You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Conversations with Olivia’ category.
That’s what I’ve been doing for so very long.
One year ago today, I attended the memorial service for, and said goodbye to, my dearest childhood friend, JT. It was two measly posts ago that I wrote about it. I’ve been back to my blog one time since I wrote about my greatest heartbreak and I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything. Not that anything before that point was prize winning, but I have been going down a very long road with the grief.
In one week, I’m participating in my fifth half marathon. I’m not ready. I hit a nasty block with the Air Force Half Marathon. Had I not joined Fisher House Foundation‘s charity team, Team Fisher House, and raised money, I likely would have bailed. but I didn’t want to let those who supported me down. I ended up traveling alone and running alone. It rained and I was 20 minutes past gun time starting because traffic was a nightmare trying to get on base even though I gave myself over 3 hours to get there. I developed a blister about mile 1.5, lost my interval timer and stupidly backtracked trying to find it, which I never did. However, I was a finisher. That was five weeks ago and I’ve put my running shoes on once. Today.
Today, Fab wanted to go for a run with me. I purposely didn’t time it and I refused to look at the clock because I didn’t want to know how long it took us. It was the slowest two miles I’ve had in a long time, but I swear it went by the quickest. She reminded me to be aware of what was around us, asked if my phone was fully charged, and we were off. We talked, laughed, and had a great time. She told me she was sorry for being slow. I told her it didn’t matter and I meant it. We finished our two miles and we did it with a smile and a high five. She has asked for a fuel belt for Christmas. Her biggest concern is what to put in the zippered pouch since she doesn’t have car keys or a phone. But she wants one because I have one and she wants to run with me.
Next week I’m meeting up with one of my besties. It will be her first half marathon. I’m so proud of her and the strides she’s made with running. She’s an inspiration to me and I’m looking forward to supporting her and cheering her on. Next week I’ll lace up my running shoes and don my calf compression sleeves and running jersey to raise awareness for a cause I believe in. Next week I’m dedicating my run to JT. Just like everything else I tackled in my life, he supported me with a whole heart and unwavering love. I will do my best, albeit slow, and count my blessings with every step I take.
I’m alive. I’m still unemployed, but I’m alive. Nothing too exciting has has been going on around here. I haven’t posted any recipes becuase we’ve been doing a lot of repeats because my mojo has been a little off. When I get that one little ounce of sunshine, a pound of grey covers it over. It’s a cycle. I’m aware it’s a cycle. And I do what I can to keep my chin up during said cycle.
A couple of weekends ago, the fabulous Shanny through a kickin’ baby shower for the wonderful Shannon…a mustache themed babyshower. You kinda gotta know the backstory, but it involves Shannon’s husband who has a very dark mustache and is affectionately referred to as “mustachio” by some. There were pink beads, cupcakes, delicious punch (O.M.G. Baby shower punch is the best evah. Hawaiian Punch, ginger ale and sherbert. Divine) and a game of Pictionary where there were some pretty crude pictures drawn to represent something so simple. All I know is when you hear dirty words fly through the air, you hang on by your sugar high and ride with it.
Fabul-O is just that…Fab. She’s learning more and more and is becoming such a 6 y.o. I mean, I know she’s six, but she’s starting to act 6 with a tinge of the 2s, a helping of the 3s, a slice of the 4s and the whines of the 5s. I’m not sure if I’ll make it all the way to 7. She went to the dentist the other day for her cleaning and x-rays. She was born without two of her bottom teeth. The hygienest had us both in near tears talking about implants and extractions, etc. I reminded the lady that Fab was only 6 and didn’t even have a loose baby tooth yet, but I’m sure we had PLENTY of time to discuss cosmetic options when the time was appropriate. Finally she backed off. She was a champ for all her x-rays, including bite wings. I have to go tomorrow and I totally wish I had some valium. I hate the dentist with a white hot passion. After we left, she said to me, “Mommy. I have glasses, I don’t have your color skin and now I’m missing teeth? What else is wrong with me?” Talk about Mommy melt down. Holy crap. I reminded her that I wear glasses, I don’t have her color skin and I’m missing some teeth, too, and that one day the rest of the world would be lucky to catch up and be as cool as we are. Then I gave her ice cream. She was content and has only asked me about not being born with those teeth a few times. Insecurities: Round 3.
I got the “Why didn’t I get born from your tummy” question last week. We’ve had the conversation before, but we had it again. The older she gets, the more detail she requires and I shouldn’t be at a loss for words because I practiced it forever. I’ll get it. I’m good like that.
Went to a seminar about making myself marketable in the job market last week. I got some valuable feedback and they reviewed my resume. I thought it looked good. Granted, it does LOOK good, but it needs some tweaking, so she told me what to do and I’m working on revamping it. They will review it again and the CEO will be have a one-on-one session with everyone to go over questions about getting back into the groove of applying for jobs. I took a little hiatus to work on some things and now I’m ready to get back at it.
We are going to be farming in the ‘hood again this year…I have some piccies from our starter seeds, but we’ll leave that riveting post for another day.
Hope you all are fabulous…those who still stop in from time to time, that is….
“I saw a cute boy at the pool today. He was wearing shorts, a hat, and a whistle necklace. He didn’t have no shirt on. Oh, Mommy. He was so cute. He has dark curly hair and skin just.like.mine.” And I was too awe struck by this conversation to correct her grammar.
Gah. The “b” word. The word every parent dreads to hear. Boy. B.O.Y. Honestly, I never really thought I’d be hearing it at the tender age of 5-1/2. You all may remember the super tough time we had transitioning to the Y from the private school she has been at since the tender age of 15 months old. Well, at the Y they spent hours a day in the pool. A couple of hours in the morning, come in for lunch and rest time and then head back out for their afternoon swim followed by swimming lessons. Well, the boy with the whistle necklace was a lifeguard, just in case you haven’t figured that one out yet. For blogging sakes, we’ll just call him the boy who stole my girl’s attention and for a blinking moment she thought someone in the world was cooler than her mommy Buoy. ‘Cause buoys float and, well, lifeguards work hard to make sure people don’t sink.
So, Olivia has noticed Buoy. A very tan young man with the most gorgeous curls. And I’ll admit, my daughter has good taste in her first crush. Each day she would give me another piece of information on him. What his name was, where he went to high school, and how old. He is 21, as per “the girl who went to high school with him. They graduated together, so she knows this stuff, ya’ know. Because when you graduate with someone you know this stuff about people. Do you think I can wear two pigtails to the Y tomorrow. You know, like Abby on NCIS.” I think my exact response was something along the lines of, “whoa, sister. Back it up just a bit.”
I wasn’t quite prepared for it. Didn’t say too much about it at first, except to share the news with a few folks. I mainly limited it to those who share my DNA. Okay, maybe a few more. Since that didn’t help, I threw it out as my FB status. Now, let me say, this was huge in O’s world. Massive, if you will. She took this crush very, very seriously and I never mocked her over it. I may have shared the story, but I never once mocked her first crush. She would say his name so dreamily. We watched The Pacifier one weekend and she told me, “He [Vin Diesel] is cute, but he’s not nearly as cute as Buoy.” Oy vey.
So it begins…..
Fabul-O had originally requested to be a Ninja for Halloween. I said no. Her backup was a Power Ranger, to which I, again, said no. After some careful negotiations, she asked for a purple costume with wings and a wand. Bless costume(dot)com because they had a purple plum fairy? Plum purple fairy? I can’t rember, but it was purple with wings and a wand. And a headband with flowers that make it “da best ever” and put me at the top of her “bestest mommy ever list.”
Years past, we would simply take Olivia to the local mall for some treats and she would pick where she wanted to eat. Her choice: Pizza Hut. Not this year. We packed up and headed to the big city to see Shannon, Tony and Emily and went trick-or-treating in their neighborhood. In the pouring down rain.
Fabul-O loved it. Loved it, I said. And she was sure to let Emily have her turn at ringing the doorbell, but when she didn’t want to, Fab stepped up her big girl skills and accepted the responsibility. Both of them were very aware of their loot. Very aware. They were some pretty dang cute fairies, if I may say so.
Huge thanks to the Shannon’s for hosting us. We had a great time and can’t wait to see you again soon.
And Shannon totally made the night with some glitter spray.
I’m really hungry. Are you?
No, not really.
Well, maybe you should just get up and fix my breakfast anyway.
Olivia, we need to go to the grocery store. We’re out of milk.
But we have beer, right?
I swear I don’t know where she gets it from.
We are a family of three. At least that’s what all paperwork says. There’s a mommy, daddy and an Olivia. Until a couple of months ago. Will has a friend named Andy. I thought Olivia was talking about Andy. That is until I closed the car door one day and she shrieked. Apparently, I had closed ANNIE in the car. Who, is Annie? She’s Olivia’s imaginary friend. She lives with us because her family’s house burned down and her mother is too lazy to build another one. When we go to eat, we have to ask for a chair for Annie and there have been occasions where Annie had to order off the menu. She prefers lasagna. Even if it’s not on the menu. Waitresses without children roll their eyes. Waitresses with children smile. Waitresses with grandchildren tell me to be glad it’s just one. Oh, but wait. It’s not just one. Annie’s cousin Angel is now living with us, too. Not quite sure the reason, but she does. A couple of weeks ago Olivia told us there were two more that needed to move in. No. Way. I put my foot down. I told her two imaginary friends was more than I could handle. Especially since Annie sucks at getting ready for school in the mornings and there has been more than one occasion where she got left behind. It’s a looong ride to school. Even longer with a lecture from a four year old about being a good friend. It’s even longer when I have to lecture back on why it’s important for our imaginary friends to follow the same rules as those we can see. I know it’s part of her growing and imagination. I’m thrilled she can fantisize. So I’m not knocking that part. I do admit that tri-weekly birthday celebrations and making special accomodations for someone who is smarter than a scientist, taller than a tree and richer than a bank gets a little old.
Just so you know, no one gets special treatment around here. Except me.
Tonight Olivia and I were talking about our upcoming fall trip to Dizney Werld and all the fun and neato things we’re going to do while we’re in Orlando. So far the only real things I have planned are lunch with some princesses and a visit to See Werld. We’re scrolling through the pictures on SW’s website and Olivia stops me, looks me dead square in the eye balls and says:
Will they have food? I might get hungry. If they don’t, then we’ll need to pack snacks. What do you think we should buy? I know we can’t take marshmallows because they’ll melt….
No matter where we go or what we do, the girl has a gameplan for getting her grub on.
Monday we had the battle of the butterfly dress for Fabul-O’s first day of school and I won.
Tuesday she had an accident. I walked in to pick her up and she didn’t have her shoes on so my first question was where were her tennis shoes? The afternoon teacher, in the high pitched hushed whisper, said, “She had an accident and it got her shoes wet.” Olivia hasn’t had an “accident” in a year. Maybe more. The kid has been going potty on the potty since she was about 20 months old. The last time I can remember was when she was learning about brushing her teeth good and she was enjoying the taste of her toothpaste and didn’t want to put the brush down long enough to go. She learned she can always come back to brushing. This bothered me because the teacher told me that she couldn’t get the buckles undone on her shorts and maybe I should consider buying her other types of shorts/pants to wear. Okay…this went over about as well as the part of the conversation where she told me to BUY her a new pair of shoes to keep in her bag in case we had this issue again. Back to the shorts. Fabul-O has a tiny hiney. She can still wear size 24 month shorts. Hell, she hsa one pair that is 12 months she wears and loves. These were a 3T she had on so I know they were loose in the waist anyway, but, get this…THEY.HAD.NO.BUTTONS.OR.BUCKLES. Hello Einstein, elastic all the way around. I know my child is potty trained and has been for quite some time, but I also know about the herd that lines up for the potty during breaks and that when it’s her turn to go, she’s gotta go so she needs to be able to get ’em off quick. I also know that sometimes she might wait a little long and push the timing of holding it. She was embarrassed because her shoes were wet and they made her sit on the bench outside and finish watching the other children play, but Squeaky teacher did invite the other kids over to tell her it was okay that she was sitting play time out. I advised Squeaky teacher I would not be buying any other shoes, I would be putting a pair of her Cr*cs, or the like, in her bag for instances such as this. She started to protest and tell me Cr*cs are against the dress code. Buying back up shoes she’s likely to only wear the next time you ignore her on the playground when she tries to tell you she has to go potty and wets her pants is against my budget. My budget wins. Somehow I’m believing Olivia on this one. It’s ironic, or maybe it’s not, when we were packing O’s book bag Sunday night for the first day of school, I told her exactly where in her bag to look for her backup clothes and she told me, “Mommy, I’m a big girl, I don’t pee-pee in my pants anymore.” I told her it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry and remember where they were if she needed them. When we talked about it later, she told me, “Mommy, I guess I’m not as big as I thought.” Dude. That totally smacks you right in the heart. I reassured her and we went through the whole accidents happen, blah, blah, blah, but what hurt her the most is she was singled out. We survived Tuesday.
Wednesday morning, about 4:15ish or so, she walks into my room and tells me her nose is bleeding. I turn my light on and she’s right. Her nose is pouring blood and her pjs are soaked. I went to her room and she was upset because she, “tried to stop it so I didn’t wake you up” and had blood all over her comforter and blanket. We stripped the covers, cleaned her up, and got everyone settled back. She’s had nosebleeds before and knows how to pinch her nose, tilt forward, etc. She did everything perfectly, she just needed some help. Fast forward to about 10:30…I get a call from her school. Another nosebleed. They were waiting in line for potty time before lunch and it just started bleeding. I told her teacher what we do to stop it (same thing Olivia had told her) and I left work to go check on her to make sure she was okay since she had one episode of something already in the week. I got there and she was okay, but promised she had not been picking her nose and that it just started. They changed her shirt into the backup shirt and we all went on with our day. At 5:00 I got a text message from another mom who saw Olivia in the office at school with another nose bleed. This shirt got tossed I wasn’t fighting that much blood out of it. These were three of the worst ones she’s had. She used to get them quite often as a baby and we’ve done the humidifier, the vaseline in the nose, the bacitracin in the nose, saline spray, etc. She had one more last night. Four in one day at that rate was enough for me, so an ENT visit was in order. What hurt her the most was being singled out…not once, but twice. In the same day.
Today…Her ENT has suggested cauterizing the blood vessels in her nose. It was talked about in the past, but we were able to keep it controlled. This isn’t typically “nosebleed season” where we live. Right now we’re scheduled for it in a couple of weeks. We all want what’s best for our kids and I think this may be what’s best for ours right now. Blowing her nose can cause it to bleed. Rubbing it can cause it to bleed. Sneezing can cause it to bleed. I never knew one little person could bleed so much. Will gets nosebleeds and I’ve never seen his bleed as much as hers do.
Here’s to hoping we survive Friday.
Guess who had her first day of K4?
That’s right. Fabul-O started K4. Why aren’t there more pictures of my precious daughter on her first day of school? In no particular order:
- We were running late.
- She was not in the mood to cooperate. Apparently I shoved her out of the house before she had enough time to say good-bye to the dog. 500 times was not enough.
- We were running late.
- We were lucky we got this and four more that look just like it because when I stepped out of the house into a bucket of humidity, the tinsy lens on my camera fogged over.
- We were running late.
K4 is at the same school she started day care at. They go day care through 12th grade. So really to her it’s just another day of dropping her off just like we do every other day. Except today I “made” her wear a butterfly dress. Apparently she doesn’t really like butterflies, but she “wored it because she knowed it means awot” to me. “The things we do for love.” Her words, not mine.
(Those who may be sorta new around here, Jia-Jia is Olivia’s Chinese nickname, which we still call her)
For various reasons, I’m on an emotional roller coaster right now. When I need a feeling of peace, love and comfort, I turn to the one person I know who will share her love with me. Olivia. I needed it desperately tonight.
Olivia is sleeping. I went into her room. I uncovered her. I snuggled with her. I needed to have her in my arms. Just for a minute. I told her I needed some Jia-Jia love. I gave her a kiss. I gave her a hug. I told her I loved her. She hugged me back. She gave me a kiss. She made a face and then I smelled a smell. I asked her did she have a froggy in her pants and she told me, “not anymore. I want to sleep now.”
Those who say adopted kids don’t have the makeup of their a-parents are w.r.o.n.g. She may not be biological, but she sure is Will’s kid.
That’s Fabul-O’s new favorite word. Yes, she had to pick it up from somewhere and I’m refraining from either accepting responsibility or passing the blame.
Her fever has been up and down. When it’s down, it’s down. When it’s up it is UP. No hovering. No gradual climbing. It simply spikes. She has sniffles, aches, pains, coughs and grumps. But not really too much in the way of grumpy. She’s always been good like that. When she feels bad, she still keeps on ticking. Love that about her, but sometimes I wish she just wanted to be held and loved and soothed by me. *sigh* I know…get to the point.
This morning, at 3:30 a.m., I was awaken by a very, very loud, “MOOOMMM.” My first instinct from being awaken was to retort with, “My name is mommy. What’s wrong?” (Mind you, this is being shouted between bedrooms and Will is still snoring – except for that one big gurgle snort he gives when his slumber is being jostled) The answer? “My damn nose is bleeding again.” And it was.
And that is how my Thursday began.
I learned something in parenting tonight. Ya’ll know there’s always a struggle of what to call things so as to keep it appropriate and repeatable as it creeps back past the lips of babes. Tonight, I told Olivia we were going to dye some eggs. The moment it crossed my lips, I wanted to back up 12.2 seconds and rephrase it. Four year olds have the knack of a million questions. She wanted to know why eggs died. Did their mommies and daddies leave them? Were they sad? And it went on and on and on. The only way I knew to remedy it was to throw in some spelling. D.I.E. means something stops living. D.Y.E. means we’re going to change the color. We’re going to D.Y.E. the eggs. Lather, rinse, repeat…x 4.
Uh-uh. Wasn’t happening. At the risk of bruising the dead horse I had been beating, I gleefully, and loudly, exclaimed we were coloring the eggs. Coloring. Coloring. Coloring.
To end it all, Fabul-O chimed in with, “Why dem eggs died?” Oy vey.
We just finished COLORING eggs and have grassed the basket for the bunny.
Here’s to hoping all the good stuff is still in there come sun-up.
With some business stops along the way, I’m heading up to Hampton Roads for SpouseBuzz Live. I went last year and LOVED it. I met several milspouse bloggers and am looking forward to seeing them again and meeting some new ones.
Even though I have Roxy, I always back her up with Mapquest directions. Per MQ, I have about 600 miles to cover from my front door, leaving at 6:30 a.m, until I reach my hotel tomorrow night, which I’m guesstimating between 10 and 11 p.m.
Fabul-O is vacationing with the grandparents for the next few days and bought a brand new fishing pole so she can fish at the pond at my parent’s place with Papa. This morning she left armed with a bucket to put snacks in for Papa and her and a plan. Her snack list included crackers and marshmallows. I went out on a limb and asked her, “Why marshmallows?” She told me very matter of factly, ” ‘ cause dems good.” She’s right. Her plan is to catch as many fish as she can, slice them carefully and fry up in the crock pot. I love a girl with a plan.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Friday night, Will, Olivia and I headed west into the big city for a shopping trip at C*stco. In true Olivia fashion, she had to go potty. We were in the farthest corner from the bathrooms, which were waaaay up at the front, and I told Will to take her Will obliged.
According to Will, there was a little boy in the bathroom who smashed his fingers in the stall door and was wailing super duper loud. And this was Fabul-O’s response:
He shouldn’t be a cry baby, daddy.
Thank goodness she didn’t tell him to suck it up.
The Location: Kitchen table
The Players: Daddy, Olivia, Mommy and Pom Pom
Scene 1: Family having dinner. Dog barking.
Mommy: Pom Pom! Stop Barking!!! (repeated 1000 times)
Daddy: (shoos the dog away)
Olivia: Maybe we should just get a quiet pet.
Mommy: What kind of pet is quiet?
Olivia: We could get a fish. And a hamster. Two quiet pets would be much better than a loud one.
Daddy: (chokes on dinner)
Mommy: What would we do with Pom Pom?
Olivia: Waaaayul. We could give her to another family. I’m sure they’d like her. She’s a good dog, you know.
End of Scene 1
Scene 2: Tucking in for bedtime
Olivia: Mommy. I was jus kiddin about giving Pom Pom to another family. I really, really wuv her. Even when she barks.
Mommy: You sure?
Olivia: Oh, yes. I can get a fish when I grow up. (kisses dog) Good night, Pom Pom. I wuv you.
End of scene.
In lieu of really good stuff, I’m posting this. Okay, so good stuff really doesn’t exist. I’ve jotted about 10 blog posts in my mind, but they never make it the blog. Could be a good thing or it could be I’m just that freaking boring with a heaping side of lazy. Olivia, on the other hand, just keeps on going. So, I will fill you in on tonight’s conversation in the bathroom of the restaurant where we ate dinner….
Lady in stall (LIS): (I truly have no idea what she was saying b/c I wasn’t listening, but Olivia heard her)
Olivia: Mommy, who’s that lady talking to?
Me: I don’t know, let’s wash our hands and go.
Olivia: (knocking on the stall door while I’m drying my hands) Are you talking to me?
Me: (insert slightly mortified) Olivia, stop that and leave the nice lady alone.
Olivia: We don’t know she’s nice. She could be a mean ‘ol monster.
Me: She’s not a monster and she wants to be left alone.
Olivia: I don’t know about dat.
Me: I do. Let’s go. Now.
Olivia: Wayul, okay. Think she’s on the phone? She shouldn’t talk on the phone while on the potty. It might fall in. Just like daddy’s phone fell in PomPom’s water bowl that time. Remember, mommy? It got all wet…..
There were only a handful of us in the restaurant. Thank goodness my back was too her as she passed by. Otherwise I would have been super duper mortified. How do I know which lady it was, you ask? Only because Olivia pointed out her funny looking shoes and I recognized them from seeing them under the stall door.
This morning, the director of Olivia’s school pulled me aside and asked if anyone had told me what Olivia said to one of the new teachers. My heart sank ’cause ya’ll know it could have been anything. I took a deep breath and shook my head.
Olivia: Miss T. My mommy is white. My daddy is white. I’m Chinese. Are you chocolate?
Miss T: Well, I never really thought about it, but I guess that’s one way to look at it.
Miss T. is an African-American teacher who just joined the school. She has a bright, bubbly personality and it shows in her interactions with the kids from what I’ve been able to see.
Olivia: I think you’re funny. That’s a good thing.
Miss T. enjoyed hearing the end to the conversation.
Olivia has always known our family dynamic is different, but now it’s branching out to those who are around her. Thanks to T for helping me regain my breath on this one with her kind words.
Fabul-O has this new fascination with maps. She has known her address and phone number for quite some time now, but she is to the point she wants to see where we live. My mom gave her a pocket calendar that has maps in the back of it. The kid poured over those maps like I’ve never seen her do. Saturday afternoon we went to the bookstore and I bought her an Atlas that details the history of each of the states. She knows a few states from visiting and talking about friends who live in other states. Last night I gave her the choice of states to learn about and we learned about North Carolina. She was pretty bored with Sir Raleigh and the “lost colony” part of it, but she perked right up when we moved on to the state bird, flower and tree. That followed with a loooong discussion about the hummingbird feeder vs. the bird seed feeder. The kid loves to learn about things. Her favorite animal to tell us about is the narwhal, which is the animal they learned about when her class studied the letter N. She’s also pretty hip on the macaw. We encourage learning new things and love when she tells us what she’s learned. Heck, I didn’t know about the narwhal until she told me, which proves what I’ve always said: she teaches me just as much as I teach her.
Monday, I went to Olivia’s school and talked to the kids about the Chinese New Year. I stayed and we made paper lanterns to celebrate. One little diva told me we couldn’t be celebrating the Chinese New Year because it was Groundhog Day. I explained that more than one thing could happen on the same day and today we were talking about the Chinese New Year on Groundhog day.
A wee bit later, she and Olivia had a little pow-pow and it went a little something like this:
Kid: My mommy says it’s Groundhog day NOT Chinese New Year.
Olivia: My mommy says more than one thing can happen on the same day so we can talk about both.
Kid: Huh-uh. Because MY mommy is right.
Olivia: Well, MYmommy is smart. We win.
Olivia: A froggie was in my tushie. (she had gas)
Me: (giggle/snort) What do you say?
Olivia: Here’s the rest of them.