So we booked the moving truck yesterday. I’m also pretty sure the only reason my head didn’t explode for the 24 hours between signing on the truck to move the belongings we aren’t selling and finally securing a rental home for the next six months is the fact that I’m ADHD and allowed to forget I already took my Xanax.

Three times.

Five minutes ago.

 

*ahem*

 

So now we have a house on actual property and shit. Which is cool. And then I looked at a map and about fell off my chair. Maine? You mean THAT Maine? BY THE OCEAN? I may have to put the Xanax away once we arrive just so I can take in all the thisisnotthedesertness that will probably overwhelm me into writing sappy poetry and hugging trees that I am am not allergic to.

When I’m not crying about the Living in Maine and Can’t Eat the Lobster Thing, I mean.

Also, and only because I consider it a public service announcement to the world, I just listed this for sale, too.

 

Beautiful 5 gallon fish tank with live plants and added serenity background. $60. As an added bonus you also get the guppy, which I am convinced is a trained government assassin, and the Ghost Shrimp, otherwise known as the “clean up crew”. I’d offer you the single little school fish left from the school of five we had yesterday, but I can’t promise it will still be alive in the morning. I’d tell you more, but I’m pretty sure I’m being watched.

 

Photo credit: MG Photography & Design in Rochester Hills, Michigan

 

We’re in the new rental. Mostly settled. That means We’ve unpacked enough to survive, gone through enough to donate just for the sake of creating a walking path through the sea of boxes that remain, and we have cable and Internet.

A few more notables: Buttercup has been pulled from the local school district after much internal drama because we feel homeschooling will work better for our family. So far, only three people have called me crazy to my face (which actually means via text message because that’s the same thing) and everyone else is politely looking the other way. The cool thing is I now live on a block that has at least 2 other homeschooling families, so while in my subdivision we are totally not the weird people. Just online. Or if you invite us over for dinner and happen to live outside of our subdivision.

And I’m selling baby clothes. I guess I didn’t think writing up ads for cloth diapers and Gymboree jumpers was going to be as depressing as it’s turning out to be, but it is. I’m not just selling clothes. I’m putting prices on memories and letting go of hope. I’m the oldest of five. The Husband is the youngest of four.

Buttercup wasn’t supposed to be an only.

For Sale
* Honest baby tee 12-18 mths
* George newborn white dress worn 1x after baptism 0-3 mth, plain white diaper cover included. 
* Old navy blue striped skirt 18-24 mth 
* Gender neutral newborn sleeper (baby) 0-3 mth
* Pink striped hooded dress 18-24 mth (plain pink diaper cover incuded)
* Old navy burgundy dress pink collar 18-24 mth 
* Pink tutu up to 12 mth (used once for 6 mth photo session & Halloween) 
* Vincent size pink frog shoe sz 16 euro 
U of m lined windbreaker 18 mths – $6
I start with the basics. Photograph each piece. List the size and write a brief description. Calculate a fair price that allows for people to talk me down a bit and feel like they got a deal. I try to ignore the images in my mind with each item I put in the box marked “baby items for sale.” I remember almost all of it. And my mind took more photos than I realized.
This sleeper she wore when I was hospitalized the third time for severe mastitis in her first six weeks. I’ve got a photo of her on my chest, head held up, nurses stunned she could already do that. I list it for $2.
* Dress my Godmother brought back from one of her trips to Puerto Escondido in Mexico. Not for sale.
 * Children’s place adjustable waist 18 mth ruffle jeans – $5
* Brown old navy winter baby boots 6-12 mths
* Matching Hawaiian  hat and onsie set (worn once for an island themed wedding right after she was born) $5
* Carter white spring sweater 9 mths (used for Easter & other special occasions, no stains) -$3
* Pink sweater, newborn, knitted for me by my grandmother who never learned to speak English & wanted my mother to name me Erika because the woman on the soap opera she couldn’t understand was glamorous & feisty, not for sale
* The yellow one she made me, not for sale
* 6-9 mth jeans with white dog embroidery. Not sure of brand. Perfect condition $2
* See Kai run black sandals sz 8-$10
* Open back summer dress top & ruffled diaper cover, white, no stains. Sz 3-6 mth (I should know when she wore this but maybe I shouldn’t. Dad died when she was 5 mths old. I’ll set this one in the maybe pile) Oh wait…never mind. We sold that one this afternoon.
* 1 Carter’s white newborn onsie. Still white. I promise this means we forgot to put this one on her and not that I bubble wrapped her through babyhood. 50 cents
* Make that 2 Carter’s unstained white newborn onsies for 50 cents each. 
* More handmade baby clothes. One for me by Guela. A few for baby by my sisters ex-mother-in-law. One outfit worn for hospital pics. None is for sale.
 * Newborn tee, super tiny, no sz, maybe hospital issued. Free with anything else you buy
* Gerber onsie, 0-3 mths, still white. I’m starting to wonder what small miracle allowed this to happen. She wore this one. I know she did. And yet I can’t keep a white t shirt stain free for longer than it takes me to cut the store tag off. I now have a complex.
* Random but not random pink flowered newborn summer romper & diaper cover. I don’t know when she wore this & that bothers me. But I need to put this one away for her with that little pile of memories to pass down one day
* 3-6 mth  cotton pants & matching hat. We’re keeping the shirt on the dog stuffed animal we made as a keepsake. Her name’s on it. I’m making myself be practical. Daffy never wore pants so I’m not allowing myself to keep those. See? Progress.
* Pink sweater for me by Guela. I see the photos of me wearing this in my mind. I see the ones of my child in the frames. Not for sale.
* 0-3 mth gender neutral sleeveless onsie. White. Stain free. I should maybe start going to church regularly again.
* 3 mth gender neutral white sleeper. I know I won’t get up in time for the Sunday morning mass. But Saturday at 5 pm is totally doable. Maybe. Fine. We all know I’m not going and spending the entire mass explaining to Buttercup that church and Easter egg hunts are not synonymous or the explicit difference between being Catholic and Mexican-Catholic…because there is.
* Gender neutral onsies of various sizing & hospital issued baby tee. All as a package. Now questioning why white is such a popular color for clothing meant for adorable little beings who live to eat, sleep, poop, & spit up.
* Pink frog face pre walkers (not in original packaging) sz 17 (euro)
* My baptismal bonnet. Wow.
* 12 mth turquoise tee. My dog Walks all over me. You’ll buy it from us for your firstborn, still convinced your friends with older kids are all heartless bastards. *Your* dog will not get demoted. There will be 2 walks per day, trips to the dog park to socialize, & that Christmas stocking Will Get filled. The walk…right…. After you find something you can wear out of the house that doesn’t have spit up on it, the baby has woken from her nap, and you change because she spit up on you again. You give up & barely register the dog didn’t even get excited when you jingled the collar while there was still hope. But you tried. And your dog still loves you. We promise.
* Robeez pink pre walkers sz 0-6 mths. Loved this brand. You totally will too. You’re welcome.
There. All listed and pretty on the private Facebook group saving me the headache of dealing with a garage sale.
And then The Husband comes home from work with news. We are being transferred to Maine for his job and it’s going to happen pretty quickly. It’s time to repack. And maybe I can buy enough gas to get us from Arizona to Maine after I sell the last seven bins full of the dreams.
 

Funny story:

I wrote the post you are about to read over a week ago with the intention of hitting publish once the BFF tweaked out of the typos. Then we got crazy news while unpacking from our move and then I got so sick I ended up taking nap on the bathroom floor while the shower ran because the floor seemed safer at the time. Eventually, I made it to bed. And I stayed there with a 102 temp and a double ear and sinus infection.

When I awoke from my Nyquild-induced haze two days later, I first saw this…

Mama got sick. Hold up, y'all. I gotta get the world back on its axis.

 

and then had to deal with a cabin-fevered child who drove me crazy enough to ask the world why I was allowed to live in the first place. Now I’m behind work by three months because those three days I was out of commission were that important. So basically, the next time The Husband sneezes and cries that he needs a nap, I’m going to go all Rapunzel on his ass and smack him upside the head with a frying pan. And that, my friends, concludes the prologue to today’s post.

 

So obviously, we’ve got some changes going on up in here. I’m busy, so here’s the list version:

* There’s that whole moving to Maine in November thing, which is going to be a funny story later, maybe.

* I’m relieved that my daughter and I will be as far away from Mesquite as possible.

* Because we’re allergic to the southern border.

* I’m also job hunting for the BFF so I can pack her up and bring her with me because I’m 34 and have been here for four years and she is the first real and true best friend I have ever had in my whole entire life.

* (Edited and less sappy version) I’m job hunting for the BFF so I can take her with me because she’s one of the very few individuals on this planet who doesn’t piss me off in person.

* Baby clothes are being sold and I’m hoping enough cash comes in to get the Yukon from Tucson to that border with the snow Buttercup can’t stop talking about.

* Which means I’m either making The Husband get something snipped just to make sure karma doesn’t bite me in the ovaries later, or I’ll end up knocked up and pissed off that my body decided to work after I sold off the baby goods.

* My mother-in-law is pricing tickets and will be flying in from Detroit sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow. Considering we could be on the road in less than three weeks, I will remind my anti-social self that her help will be greatly appreciated while I try and pack and write and prep posts for schedule publication dates so Girl Body Pride stays on schedule while we’re on the road.

* As soon as I figure out the hell that is Smashwords, I’ll be scheduling a blog tour for Strong Like Butterfly: a Girl Body Pride Anthology and reveling in the fact that women writers I admire like Elan Morgan, Carol Cain, Leslie Marinelli, Lissa Rankin, and Therese Walsh have allowed me the chance to share their words with you.

* I’m getting all business-like with the LLC and dropping the Aspiring Mama (but keeping this blog because it’s my private-public writing place and I need it to keep me sane).

* Partnerships will be announced with Berkey Designs benefiting NEDA and if things go the way I am planning, another will be announced to benefit another cause I believe in.

* I’ve given up waiting to be discovered and after re-reading Ariel Gore’s How To Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead for the third time, have finally decided to take matters into my own hands. My Girl Body Pride Posse and I will be getting creative in our efforts to bring our message to our audience because the Viral Fairy keeps passing us up. That’s cool. She’s bringing attention to some pretty snazzy people sharing the same message, so keep on keeping on, sister.

* After the business papers have been filed and the business bank account opened, I’ll be offering social media coaching services and e-courses for writers and for newbies to the social media world, as well as writing a e-book and offering coaching for writers on time management. Yes. It’s funny because I’m the one not medicated enough for the level of ADHD I actually am, but it seems other writers think I know what I’m doing. I have been asked to do something like this more than once by writers I respect, so I’ll give it a shot.

Wanna get a peek at the first draft? Here goes: Don’t take your ADHD meds and sleep is for the weak.

Oh, and don’t forget the Breaking Down the Walls e-course I’ve been asked by a few to get started. Seeing as how every one of us trying to make a name for ourselves has to first figure out how much of ourselves we are willing to put out there and People I Admire are of the opinion I can shed some light on this subject, I’ll give that a go, too.  Because until you are okay with Other People reading your shit, it’s not a manuscript, it’s a journal.

* I withdrew my name from consideration for the Listen To Your Mother Show for 2013, considering that come Mother’s Day, I’ll be watching snow melt and flowers grow from the front porch in our new house in a state that will look good in a writer’s bio.

* 2014 belongs to me, bitches.

 

Four kids. Three adults.

We weren’t just outnumbered by the kids in our group. But we didn’t mind. The crazy line into the parking lot, the line for the bathroom during intermission, and the line for the booth to let every one of the kids pick out one souvenir at the end was all worth it tonight.

 

The Disney on Ice Dare to Dream show. The Rapunzel and Flynn flying through the air thing? Stole the show.

 

Buttercup and friends are used to my incessant photo snapping with the iPhone in hand. I also told them the contract I signed for the free opening night tickets stated they had to smile for a photo or we all had to leave. Right Now.

Dancing, singing, and feeling like rock stars with a $20 band of fake hair that magically turns them into princesses.

 

He's going to deny this ever happened in a few years. That's why we took pics.

 

Thank you to Feld Entertainment for a wonderful evening and a fantastic show.  And to those attending the Dare to Dream show at the Tucson Convention Center this weekend, make sure to leave early enough to account for traffic, getting into the parking lot, finding your seats, last minute I GOTTA PEE announcements just as the lights are dimmed for the show to start, and bring some cash ‘cuz parking is gonna cost you $8.Oh, and if your kids say they don’t have to pee before you leave the building, make them do it anyway. You’ll thank me when you see how long it takes you to get out of the parking lot.

Have fun!

 

There's nothing to see here, folks. Just move along now...

 

A random stranger wished my daughter luck today. What she was really saying as she made eye contact with my five-year-old instead of meeting my eyes was that she was sorry my daughter had the misfortune to be born to me instead of someone else.

Maybe a nice lady with a sense of humor who understood the nuances of a little girl’s imagination and forgave little indiscretions like purposefully ignoring strangers compliments on her beautiful curls or comments about whatever adorable princess outfit she has decided to wear out of the house on that particular day. But good luck is apparently needed and will be offered, no qualms about the judgement on my mothering that is handed along with it, because she was born to me and had the gall to be rude and ignore my fourth reminder that day that if she’s going to wear costumes in public, little old ladies are going to gush because that’s just the way things go.

What a pretty princess!

I’m NOT a princess. (Hands on hips.) I’m just pretending.

Oh. You are TOO a princess and with such beautiful curls.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

She is bored with the concept of having to explain to adults who should know better that she isn’t really royalty from an animated movie. She isn’t really a superhero ballerina in a tutu with a cape and cowboy boots. She’s just is who she is and that happens to be a little girl who really doesn’t give a flying fuck if you like or outfit or not because she chose to wear what she has on today because it makes her happy and that happy is being drained every time she has to explain to you peasants that she’s not really a princess but a five-year-old with an imagination and a sense of self so strong I applaud it just as much as I cry thinking about the hell I’m in for when she becomes a teenager. So I take a deep breath to remind myself that I want to not beat this spirit out of her. To remind myself that I need to help focus her energies to recognize that there comes responsibility with stepping out into the public eye as a princess. Or a superhero. Or a superhero princess in a cape with a crown and mismatched socks and a wand to freeze the bad guys. And with that responsibility comes the knowledge that a simple thank you will suffice.

Baby, remember what we talked about with Daddy? That when you wear your fun outfits, nice strangers are going to want to tell you how cute you look as a princess?

Yes. (She mumbles because it’s the fourth time today she’s heard this.)

And remember how we said if you are going to argue with every stranger that calls you a princess by telling them that are you not a princess when you are dressed like one that it’s just back to the regular clothes in your closet until you can learn to just smile and nod because arguing with nice old ladies is rude, baby?

Yes. (She mumbles again because she doesn’t really want to be bothered with having to apologize to this woman who is now openly staring at me and my defiant little girl who surpassed brat and became bitch long before I was ready for it. That’s my fault. The not being ready, I mean. There are mirrors. I own a few.)

I’ve been told often how I cloned myself when I gave birth. I use to tell people cloning probably would have been less painful, but then I forget that labor was temporary. This woman judging me for reprimanding my free spirited child for countless missteps and purposeful rudeness and the failure to respect her elders by simply nodding and smiling and acknowledging their kindnesses…this is not. I somehow know, standing there at the Walgreens pharmacy that this woman is going to go home and tell her husband or her kids or her girlfriend and maybe all of her Facebook friends about this bitch at the store who told her five-year-old she couldn’t dress like a princess in public until she learned to say thank you when gushed over by grandmothers and grandfathers alike.

I imagine her saying things like:

That poor kid hasn’t got a chance. She’s five. FIVE. How many five-year-olds actually say thank you for stupid shit like this. And in public, this mom makes her kid apologize to me for telling me she isn’t really a princess. Can you believe that? I mean, seriously. Kid needs all the luck she can get…

But I still haven’t gotten my prescription and that’s because the store is out of my Adderall for my severe ADHD but here’s the bottle for the Xanax to take the edge off of that anxiety. No one knows or cares nor should they care that I have gone three days without my full dose of Adderall to slow my brain and calm my nerves and help me breathe and think and be. And now, I have to wait until I get back into the truck with the princess who isn’t really a princess and drive an hour back into town to the closest store that can fill my prescription so I can take a pill and wait for it to work its way into my bloodstream and smile in relief when I begin to feel it working. First, though, I tell the woman staring at me with contempt for having the nerve to expect my daughter to have manners when she’s going out of the way to draw attention to herself, thank you very much, that my daughter is five because that’s what I was just asked.

How old is she. And the question isn’t really a question but more of a challenge and enunciated just so to let me know that she is judging me and has no problem making it known. It’s not a question but a challenge to not bully my kid because she’s five and for fuck’s sake woman, have a heart because she’s five.

Can you please apologize to the nice lady for not saying thank you when she complimented your dress?

But m-o-o-o-o-o-m. I’m not really a prince…

Say it one more time and you can donate all of your princess outfits to little girls who aren’t ucky enough to have a trunkful of dress up clothes and would love to be called a princess just once by a kind stranger. One. More. Time.

Ok. I’m sorry, mama.

Not to me, baby. Please apologize to the lady. And please say thank you, like you should have in the first place.

Ok, mama.

She looks a the woman who is looking back with pity. She apologizes for her rudeness and thanks the woman for the originally ignored compliment that started this whole mess. I thank my child for listening and kiss her on the head and tell her that I love her and maybe when we get home we can watch a movie together or what book did she want me to read to her tonight because all is forgiven because she is five but I’ll be damned if she’s wearing a fucking costume out the house again until she learns to smile and nod because Punky Brewster is sassy and sweet and I know this and so does everyone else who knows her  which means thanks must be given for every compliment received by those who do not.

I am old-school Mexican-American in many way. Respect your elders. Please and thank you and you are welcome and Mande instead of Que when asked a question we need repeated because mande is the polite way to say what and que is just construed as rude by the adult asking the original question. I am a coconut in many others. Brown on the outside and white on the inside. I am English dominant. I suck at Spanish. My daughter knows more Chinese than Spanish because Kai Lan is less annoying than Dora. I might suck at teaching her the language I once thought in, but I’m not raising a little girl who doesn’t know how what manners are.

Good luck, little one.

That’s the woman’s response to my daughter as their eyes meet and I am purposefully left out of the exchange because I am the one being apologized for by a stranger to the child I bore. Because I am the one being judged for the back story she will never know.

My daughter says nothing and squeezes my hand and I have the sense something beyond her has just happened. And we leave the store, judgement boring holes into my back.

 

 

 

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