just slow down

so, this summer, we've begun planning for kindergarten. officially making the BIG step from toddler to little girl. the thing i struggled with the most? shopping for clothes. now, i remember, 32 years ago in my life, being quite the lil fashionista. i had matching shoes, earrings, hair accessories... the works. but i don't for a second ever remember my clothes looking like a grown up. or a grown up tramp, for plaid-mini skirts and knee-highs sakes!

what in god's creation is going on with the clothing industry these days? is it not bad enough that we've become such a technological society with pedophiles lurking around every website... we now need to succumb our young girls to clothes that look like they belong on a set of the soprano's in an evening visit to ba-da-bing? come on. i have 7 outfits for my daughter. 7. she will wear t-shirts, jeans, and dresses. and she will be conservative. and respectful of her body. until she is old enough to provide for herself and move out.

this little feat of shopping for clothes has opened my eyes as a parent of a girl. society has become sickened. i can't tell you how often i open facebook, and oh look, there's another boob shot of a 13 year old girl. or look, there's a diatribe of who loves who and hate all over the internet. nauseates me. as a parent, it is our job to teach self respect. self discipline. self motivation. empathy. respect for others. braveness. encouragement. it is MY job as a parent to my daughter to empower her to love herself enough that she doesn't seek the love via other channels.

my five year old is very concerned with fashion. and as i learned last night, also, already commenting on body image issues. watching a ballet video on youtube... "momma, i'll never be that skinny." my response? i stood up and said, "look at momma. is anything wrong with momma's body?" she responded, "no momma. you are beautiful just the way you are and you always will be." and reminded her.. "and so are you." daily i am ingraining in my daughter... it's what is on the inside that truly matters most. i tell her, at five.. if your heart is not full, and warm, and beautiful... it doesn't matter a minute what the outside looks like. hopefully, she gets this message.

and when she's about to enter the 7th grade, she'll still want to shop at the GAP and where khakis with argyle sweaters. because her heart will still be so full, her outside will still continue to radiate an uncommon beauty. a selfless soul, full of empathy, self-respect, and female empowerment.



the ladybugs visit & suicide

and while normally, one would be grossed out by bugs in the house - no one ever is with ladybugs. they are supposed to be good luck. they are cute. i was intrigued by them. they came for a visit. to my studio. they hung out above my head, all night, while i created stuff into the wee hours of the morning. they would move, crawl around, but always managed to end up right back above my head. felt as though they were lookin down to see what i was making. i felt inspired. yup. by two lil bug-a-boos. today, when i walked back into said studio? ladybug suicide.

that about summed up my day.

the last several weeks have been rough. personally, professionally, creatively. i finally realized it was up to me to make it shift. i'm the only one in control. i'm the only one who can fix what's "off" within. so i did. i reclaimed my tuesdays. you see, the husbands have golf league, or a bowling league, or in another week, i'm told... football season starts. god help me. so i took tuesdays. it's my night. it's my bowling league if you will. i did this for about a year solid, and i would often find myself in a class of some kind, at barnes and noble sippin a mocha, readin some mags, wandering aisles of target while things leapt off the shelves into my cart - who cares? was MY TIME! i did things that made me happy. simple things. really simple. so i took it back. last night.

and i had visitors. the ladybugs. and it was grand. we drank chai tea, we shut my studio door, and we created. i had the best evening. i made one layout and started an altered printer tray from 7Gypsies. scrappingoodness, i tell ya! i have been sper, duper inspired by some lovely women at scrapgal . such an awesome group... that's really where the mojo started... but i over-did it. i stayed up too late. and today was rough. ladybug suicide and all.

kennedy woke up in a mood of sorts which caused me to take away a "lovie".. you'd think i cut off her right arm and fed it to her for breakfast. she cried, she screamed, she wailed, she kicked, she convulsed, and it all ended with her hyperventilating. all over a damn stuffed bear. Pink Bear - her sister - she tells me. she broke down, we made up, i calmed her down. the child is just out of sorts. and so we go. ladybug suicide.

i just am happy this day is over. thankful i get to do it all over again tomorrow. i have to have a ct scan tomorrow morning... say some prayers for me. i am grateful i have insurance to cover these kinds of things, grateful to have a job. blessed to be stressed. but i will be even happier if tomorrow, there are no ladybug suicides.

peace. be good.


under construction...

attempting to re-design blog.. please excuse the mess.

Dear Kennedy - August

Dear Kennedy,

I hope to God that August brings you not only a shift in the weather, but a divine shift in your attitude and outlook on your little life. In the last several days you have:
  • yelled at us
  • hit us
  • hissed at us
  • growled at us
  • stomped at us
  • screeched at the top of your lungs at us
  • thrown things at us
  • told me you'd never speak to us again
  • told me us didn't like us
  • disobeyed us
  • been un-thankful towards us
  • been downright hateful towards us

these last several weeks it has been very difficult for me to parent, be consistent and set expectations with you. you wake up angry. pissed off at the world. i have tried everything to combat this. i have tried to wake up hours before you, so that you don't storm into my room, screaming at me telling me to wake up now and beginning your day with a barrage of i wants.

tonight? i have had it. i am done. i am exhausted. i am beat down. i am tired. i am worn out. i allow myself to feel like it is not okay to feel any of this. that i should just let it go. not let it get to me. ignore it. what is not understood by some is that if i do any of this, it allows the behavior to perpetuate and become a habit for you. i refuse, with all that i am, to allow that to happen.

although all of this horrible behavior from you has beaten me down so low, i feel like i am incompetent, one thing remains consistent, i have never once, even for an instant, stopped loving you. i just don't understand you. i can't comprehend what in your little big life makes you so angry. you have everything. you have two parents who rise and set each day because you exist. we do everything for you, with you. we play, we explore, we try new things together. we read, we make art, we watch movies, we experience life with you. we constantly give to you. of ourselves, our time, our very being is yours for the taking. if you'll just have it.

i don't know what more i can do, but show you tough love. i will continue to take things away from you and restrict you until you learn. i will continue to enforce the positive behavior in such a way you'd think a circus came to town, but i will not, for an instant, ignore the negative behavior. i will deal with it, you will not like it, and i don't care. because i love you. and i insist you become a good person. a sweet person. a respectful person. an empathetic person. a likable person. because i will not accept anything less from you. someday, this will all make sense to you. for now, you will, i guess, think i'm horrible on the best of days.

i just hope it shifts very soon. momma cannot tolerate too many more bad days like this. again, i've never stopped loving you, not even for an instant. i have a mad, crazy love for you that grows stronger every moment. never forget that.

love with all my heart,