Selasa, 29 Januari 2013


The other day I wrote a post about Violet's friendship with her classmate, Noa.

Noa recently gave Violet a handwritten letter and it might just be one of the cutest things I've ever seen!  I wanted to share it here.

I am also sharing the letter Violet wrote in response. 

Violet, Good morning friend!
Did you sleep well last night.  I love you friend.  Can you be my Valentine. 
With love, Noa

Noa, You are my best friend.  Noa, you can go to my birthday party.
Noa, I love you.

Senin, 28 Januari 2013


Another Violet-filled weekend!

Violet had visits with all of her grandparents this weekend including those on my side, with both Grammies and her Grampy.

Here are some photos from Saturday evening at my Mom's.  We got an extra special treat when her Auntie joined us (and her Uncle Bill+Aunt Belinda too).

Yes! Beautiful ladies V+S.


Turns out she not only loves to "play" the piano but she has natural talent too.  My Mom's friend gave her some lines and she picked them up very quickly.  Piano lessons in Violet's future?  Maybe so!

Jumat, 25 Januari 2013


I am beginning to think about birthday party planning for my girl. 

Her sixth birthday is in late April, leaving about three months to be ready.  I am really looking forward to it, as her father and I plan to do something as a team this time.  The past couple of years he has sort of managed the party (and paid for it) or we haven't really done anything special for her.

This year I have personally chosen the place and have a couple of themes in mind.  I even began a special Pinterest board for the occasion.  It is great fun to pick and choose ideas and I am really excited about it already.

I continue to look for work as I watch my bank account slowly decline.  I wake up in the middle of the night, too wide awake, panicked about money.  I don't know how this happened.. actually I do, but it doesn't matter.  I need to quickly find a way to support myself.  Not only do I need to pay rent and feed myself but Violet's birthday requires a lot money and I want to really step-up this year to make it great.  I would literally spend my very last dime to make her happy on her special day.

I do not live beyond my means.  I don't drive a newer car, I don't have things that do not fit my budget.  My apartment should be affordable.  My desires are not many.  Really, I just have to find a little more money to make it all work.

My Mom brought Violet and I shopping yesterday to outfit her in some cold-weather clothes.  I am so very lucky that I have her (and my Dad+StepMum) to help me with these important things!  This week's cold temperatures have been dramatic.  The CRAZY below-zero wind chills had me worried that Violet would be too cold at school.  But my Mom totally hooked us up!

I haven't really done anything in regard to my diet or exercise plan as of today.  I haven't put myself in the necessary mindset yet.  But it's coming.  It is on the horizon. 

As I mentioned recently, one of things that has changed in my life recently - (for the better) - is my extra time with Miss Violet.  I see her so much now it is incredible.  I retrieve her from school sometimes 3x per week which is so so so sooooooooooo awesome!  I feel truly blessed to have this much time with her, my heart is bursting with happiness.
Not to say we don't have our little "things".  She is a rowdy one.  She is moody, emotional, demanding.  She is a little boss.  Her vocabulary is picking up, not only the good part, the bad part she learns from classmates.  We squabble.  We both have "time-outs".  We have good moments and bad.  I want to feed us better.  I bought her a toy yesterday even though I can't afford it.  I let her sleep in my bed last night.  I knew how much I would miss her today.

I get pretty caught-up in worry sometimes, worrying that she won't want to be with me if I am not fun or if I don't let her have her way enough.  I worry that I am not a better Mom.  Worry is heavy. 
I am trying my best and when it happens that I can't worry anymore for another second, that is what I remind myself.

She has been talking about her classmate Noa a lot lately.  Her very best friend at school.  Noa recently wrote her a note (it is super cute and I should share it here soon) and gave her a blue friendship rock.  Violet in turn, gave Noa a blue jewel she won at an arcade last week.

They are just too cute.

Her friendships make me so happy.

Violet and Noa at Noa's birthday party back in October '12.
Violet and her friend Kayley recently (a non school friend).


Senin, 21 Januari 2013


My weekend in review:

We attended Baby A's first birthday party on Saturday.
Isn't she so cute??? 
This photo is the obligatory "baby makes a huge mess with cake" photo.
This is ME and Baby L! (Photo by S. Gray)
He is such a good natured baby. 
I think almost everyone got a chance (or two!) to hold him.
Miss Violet was the oldest child at the party.
She made the most of the activities Uncle C provided for the wee-ones.
She still loves balloons and bouncy houses so she had fun.

Yesterday, I was very brave.
I let Miss V paint my nails.
She did a really decent job with the hot pink polish.
Later yesterday evening, we painted a very special, top secret Birthday Gift for my Dad.
Owen had to check things out while Violet painted.
Notice the Hello Kitty headband, fairy wings and blue dress she is wearing...
These are her most favorite dress-up clothes and she wears them every time she is at my place now.
She now has her own blossoming fashion whims and I love it.

Jumat, 18 Januari 2013


Now that I only work one part time job I have a ton of time with Violet.

I can't pay my bills anymore but I can pick-up Violet from school and spend two solid days with her.  This awesome (yet temporary) change in my life makes me so happy.  I can't even begin to describe how good I feel on those mornings that I roll over and see my little girl asleep in her bed, still cozy and warm.  I actually wake up feeling giddy and hopeful.  After I bring her to school, I wait anxiously until I can get her.  I know it is not possible to be a stay-at-home mommy again, but even this short reprieve is something special.  I am not taking it for granted!

Here she is again, this week, during our time together:

We had a blanket made for Grammy for Christmas and it finally arrived this week.
A rare moment with both kitties: Owen and Chloe.
We found a new game that involves crashing her Hello Kitty plane violently into a toy bus.  She loves it, naturally.
Yes! While shopping yesterday, we discovered they now have Violet-sized shopping carts.
This is the scene every morning when I drop her at school.  She watches me leave with those sad, puppy dog eyes.


Selasa, 15 Januari 2013


Photo by my lil' sis S. Gray.

So this is Owen Kitty.

My cat of almost 12 years.

He has been a part of my life for so long and I don't remember life without him anymore.

He came home to live with me again recently, as he was staying with my Ex until I was ready to take him on.  He is not a regular cat.  He is a "special needs" cat.  This means he is sickly, costs a lot of money to maintain and is very messy.

I wish he were healthier.
I wish he cost less money to feed.  He seems to be allergic to everything.  His food costs more than mine.  His doctor bills are outrageous.  He poops a lot.
I am in a constant state of sweeping, mopping, scooping and changing.

I now have two cats living with me, which is complete insanity.  I live in a tiny apartment with barely enough room to move but I have two kitties.  One is a crazy kitten, Chloe, and the other, Owen, an old man with serious intestinal problems.

It sure is nice to have them to come home to though.  They wait in the window for me to get home from work each evening.  They purr so loudly as I pour their breakfast and dinner.  I really love them (Owen definitely way more than Chloe).  They give me much happiness and laughter.

Tuesday: Plans

On the Social Workout website, I am a member of a health-minded community. 

I choose goals that appeal to my physical and mental health.  I keep track of my goals by logging them in daily/weekly/monthly, depending on the duration of the particular goal.

Here are some of the goals I am interested in attempting:

Yoga Practices - 3x per week.
Journaling - 3x per week.
Running - 60 minutes per week.
Jumping Jacks - at least 1 minute each day.
Juicing - 4 juices per week.
Exercise (home workouts) - 2x per week.
Making my own food - 7 days per week.
Getting out of my comfort zone - 1x per week.
Hugging (for Violet purposes) - 2x per day.
Reading - at least 30 minutes per week.
Spending time outside - 15 minutes per day.
Unplugging - 1 hour per day.
Walking - 10 minutes per day.
Workday Stretching - 1 break per day.

I am not really sure when I will start trying to make these things part of my day but I am thinking pretty soon. 

I've noticed so many side effects of not eating well + not moving my body and it has been getting worse lately.  Sometimes I like to deny that it is my fault and I blame old age.  But honestly, I know the "symptoms" could be avoided with just a few mindful changes.

My skin is terrible.  Blemishes, redness and dry patches.  My facial skin is just awful.
Hair is flat, oily and lifeless.
I've gained several pounds over the past few months.  I am not sure of the exact number gained but most of my clothing no longer fits me comfortably or at all.
I have no muscle mass anymore.  My legs are wobbly and dimpled.  My stomach pokes out and the double chin I sport makes me sad.
I am tired a good part of the time.  I should have abundant energy, if not for me, for Violet.
I drink a ton of coffee.
I buy fast food drinks.
I waste precious money on bad food choices.
I listen to really bad pop music on the radio.
I never sweat anymore.  Zero exercise!  Walking up the stairs at work makes me winded.
I waste my free time.
I rely on sugar (candy!) and caffeine to get me through the day.
I cannot sleep, so I take sleeping medication almost every night now.
I am distracted a lot.  Restless. Grumpy.  Purposeless.  And anxious. 
The list goes on and on.


Senin, 14 Januari 2013

My Lovely Violet



I took a few minutes to go outside my office today and breath-in some of the fresh winter air.

It is nearly 50 degrees here and it is mid January! 

Crazy New England weather. 

I will take it though as the colder days are on their way.

Right outside my window!  A contrast of shadows and light.

Only a small amount of snow remains... for now.

On a normal day I make every effort not to go outside because it is so frosty cold here, but with the warm temps and sunshine, I couldn't resist a quick peek.  It is usually a good ten degrees colder on the hill at my work than at home (which is only 45 minutes south).

This temporary warm-up in weather makes me think of being outside, which naturally makes me think of wanting to spend time feeling healthy.  I think of the beach and walking the park trails and taking up running (a goal of mine) and long walks on warm nights.

Right now I am working on a mental/logistical plan to start moving and eating better.  I've lacked motivation because I feel so unsettled in other matters of my life.  But here is the thing, I hate being one of the "tomorrow" people.  The kind that keep saying "I will do it starting tomorrow" because really, tomorrow comes and goes, I still have problems and I still feel unhealthy.

My life is a jumble of transitions and works in progress, yes, but I don't want to keep making excuses because of it.  I have been this way for years and maybe THIS IS MY LIFE, not just a phase or matter of time.  My excuses feel like a lie, like failure and I'm saddened by my lack of action.  It is so easy for me to take care of myself because my personal health is something I can actually control when so many other things I cannot.

I have a ton of resources and information to help guide me into a successful diet/exercise routine.  I've been here before and done my homework.

Lately, I've been looking into social websites to help as well.  My most favorite, that I've used before, being Social Workout.  I like it because it lists all of these fantastic goals (fitness for mind AND body) and also, features group goals.  The other members on SW are very supportive and I like the attention.

I've found other sites too, like Nike+ or Runkeeper (if I ever start running damn it) and Myfitnesspal and although I haven't joined them yet, they are prospects for sure.  I like the idea of tracking and being accountable and using my iphone to help me too.  I would like to find an app on my phone that is pleasant, easy to use, coincides seamlessly with my blog/websites and is very helpful.  I guess that I will play around with each one and see what works for me.

I am going to create my goals on the SW site soon and will post them here too.
I am confident that a change in health will reach into all the other areas in my life in a positive way.  I think one of the most important steps of any health change is in the planning (meal+routine), so that I have something to refer to and help guide me when the going gets tough (and it will no doubt).  I am well on my way!


My weekend with Miss Violet:

Violet and the two kitties.
Violet and Owen.
Violet and Grammy A, yesterday at the arcade.

An update:

Right now I am scrambling to find another part time job that is not overnight, offers decent pay and is not public service desk oriented.

I feel like I have been looking for work forever.  And when I look back at my resume/cover letter drafts they are dated over consecutive years for almost a decade now.

It would be super nice to just be happy and comfortable in a job situation for a good duration of time.  Sometimes I think I need to do graduate studies to be more profitable.  I worry that I will never get ahead without some kind of advanced degree.  But then I realize how time consuming that would be and how I already owe so much in student loans.  It can really be an overwhelming mental loop and I tend to shut down when I try to process too much at once.

I really just want to make enough money to live a good life with my girl.  I want a living space that offers her a room of her own.  I want to take care of my cats.  And I want to go to yoga school too.  All of these things are difficult right now.

Luckily I have some monetary resources in my family and loved ones.  Without them I would be so screwed.

Jumat, 11 Januari 2013


So as it turns out, I had to leave one of my jobs this week.

It killed me.  Totally killed me.  I loved this job so much.  And I don't really love jobs, ever.  I thought I wouldn't mind leaving it though, in theory.  The shift being in the middle of the night and me being dead tired/not seeing Violet/never sleeping/not having a life.

I liked being there though.  I liked working late at night on my own and being part of that community.  I liked making the extra money that supported me and Violet.

Now I am totally f*cked for money.

So bad.  Soooooo bad.

But it will allow me to have equal custody of my girl if it comes to such matters.

And really, that is ALL that matters to me.

Senin, 07 Januari 2013


I took Miss Violet to her most favorite children's play area/inside gym yesterday, appropriately named Krazy Kids!

Here she is in all her cuteness:



Kamis, 03 Januari 2013

My 2012

Adrianna.  Library endings.  Child care.  New job.  New commute.  New bills.  Independence. My own office.  40-hour work weeks.  No health insurance.  Studio apartment.  Missing Violet.  Taking care of my car, myself.  Nights alone.  Nights with Violet.  Missing my cat.  Black Keys with my sisters.  Buying my own food.  Making my own food.  So much green juice.  Working all summer.  Beach days with her.  Old loves.  New loves.  Passion.  Open heart always.  Crazy relatives.  My Sisters.  Happiness.  Joy.  Pain.  Shame.  Embarrassment.  Forgiveness.  Need for privacy.  Saying goodbye so many times.  Weight up.  Weight down.  Death of a blender.  Moldy apartment.  Smelly apartment.  Entrapment.  Messiness.  Laziness.  No yoga. 

Two jobs.  Three hours of sleep.  No time.  Only one night with her.  Loneliness.  Heartache.  Regret.  Persistence.  Brain fog at 2am.  Coffee.  Candy.  Sugar!  Bad food.  Good food.  Fast food.  Movie nights.  New music.  Loud music.  Can no longer hold my drink.  Indecision.  Broke.  Tired.  Poor.  Work woes.  Underpaid.  Overworked.  Missteps.  Mistakes.  Craziness.  Stride. 

Levi.  Money for Christmas.  Pushing through.  Adventures in motherhood.  Violet grows.  Violet learns.  Violet is so awesome.  Feeling good.  Feeling bad.  Desperation.  Uncertainty.  No cats to two cats.  Owen kitty is sick.  More work.  Opportunities.  Changes.  Doing it all for us.  Dreaming.  Hoping.  2013.

The idea for this post was adapted from something written by John Kim on his blog.  Visit HERE.

Holidays 2012!

Here are some pictures of my 2012 holiday season:

A visit to see Baby A!

And Baby L was there too.

It is hard to see here but this house near mine was CRAZY decorated!

The Christmas Tree made of books at our local library.  I love it.

Violet's Christmas gift from my Mom: Chloe Kitty.

She really loves Violet. 

My cat Owen FINALLY came home to live with me.

The three of us: notice Chloe behind me!

Violet's "big gift" from me this year: her big girl dollhouse.

I made these magnets for her.  They feature her favorite characters.

I made a Violet-Magnet too.  It is my personal favorite.

My big brother and his granddaughter Kira. 

Christmas Eve: playing with toys from Grampy+Grammy before bed.

Christmas Morning: waiting with Levi for Grammy to wake up.

I snapped a moving shot of her opening her most favorite gift.

Post present opening: wearing a cute new dress and blue sparkle shoes.

SO cute!!
K, Levi and S.  Photo by J.

At home after Christmas: playing with Play Doh from Auntie J.

Yup it finally snowed here! And it was a good one too.  We made a Snow Kitty!

New Year's Eve party at the library. 

Bubbles on her fingers! Dontcha just love her Hello Kitty headband?!

She decorated and then put a wish inside this paper bag.

Oh Hello!  This is me saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013!

I was totally dreading the holidays this year.

When you are in a single parent situation it can be a really rough time of year. Negotiating time with my girl was really really bad. It was so bad that at times I just wanted to sleep the Christmas holiday away. I believe the stress, loneliness and exaggerated expectations of the holidays put a lot of folks in a state, including myself. I knew well in advance that it would be difficult for me, so I planned things for Violet in anticipation of this. I purchased many thoughtful and unique gifts months ahead. AND I was actually able to spend Christmas Eve with her after much uncertainty! We woke up together that morning. THAT was the best part of my Christmas, hands down.

Time with my family (sisters + mom) made it feel much better too. I wholeheartedly thank my Mom this year for really helping me through the bad parts.