the big day

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl.

As much as I want this change to happen, as much as I know this will be an amazingly good change…I also know that I’m going to cry. A lot.

I sat here today for over an hour trying to decide what the cake I ordered for tomorrow should say. The cake that will feed all the kids and all the staff (and then some) at Lovie’s daycare.

Tomorrow is her last day there. The cake is to help celebrate this milestone and help us say goodbye.

It would’ve been her last day there long ago, but there wasn’t an opening in her new school until now (summer program starts Monday). While Lovie is doted on like crazy at daycare/preschool (they treat her like a pop star), it’s really much more of a daycare environment than a preschool one. I’m not saying she should be schooled the entire day, but she’s so smart and I don’t want her to get bored (and Montessori school, which she’ll be attending, seems to be an amazingly perfect fit for Lovie and her independence and love of learning).

So tomorrow’s the day we finally say goodbye to daycare.

 

We’ve had some rough moments these past four-plus years—from getting ready in the morning to leaving her friends at the end of the day—but for the most part it’s all been pretty damn great. Especially since I’ve been able to spend nearly two hours more a day with her because the daycare was close to my work.

But tomorrow will be the last time we’ll spend so much time together during the work week. Tomorrow will be the last time I get to peek at her through the rear-view mirror as I drive the 20 miles to daycare to drop her off, or the 20 miles from daycare driving home. Tomorrow will be the last time we can jam out to Pompeii or Happy or yes, even the Wiggles. Tomorrow will be the last time she can ask me to stop for an Icee or chocolate ice cream because after tomorrow, we’ll be literally two minutes from home.

So what do you have written on a cake for such an occasion?

I almost went with a silly “got cake?” message. Then I thought maybe “eat me” would be fun, too. But this isn’t fun. This saying goodbye to the people who helped mold my baby into a little person, who helped her and encouraged her to sit up and crawl and walk and run and eat with a fork and use the bathroom, isn’t a ton of fun.

So then I thought maybe a simple “Thanks” on the cake would suffice. But really? “Thanks” on a big-ass sheet cake with a smiling sun and flowers?

Eventually I opted to leave it blank. Let the smiling sun and flowers speak for itself.

 

smiling-sun

 

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl… and me.

 

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#USA #WorldCup #IBelieve

I’ve tried SO hard not to get too excited. I really, really did. But … man, I can’t help it anymore. After Sunday’s game, I can’t help it. After all the attention the GREATEST GAME IN THE WORLD is finally getting in this country (#USA), I just can’t help it anymore. I can’t contain the excitement, the emotions regarding the US team in the World Cup.

See, I’m first generation born American (Chicago, IL). That means that both my mom and dad were born and raised in other countries: my mom hails from Austria, my dad from Italy. You don’t get more soccer than that.

Their love of the game was instilled in us very early on. Then the Chicago Sting formed just a few years after I was born so I absolutely grew up with soccer, soccer, soccer.

And it was amazing. It IS amazing.

For years I struggled with being a soccer fan in the US. It’s just not a popular sport here. Yes, it’s getting more and more popular– especially with kids– but it just doesn’t really get a lot of respect. I mean, even with the US team in the World Cup on the brink of possibly advancing to the next stage, there are still people talking about how boring the game is, etc.

I don’t get it. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried to see where they’re coming from. How they can think a sport with a ridiculous amount of time outs is more exciting than the pace of soccer. How they can think hitting a ball and catching it and running around bases is more exciting than soccer where they are in constant movement.

But I stopped. Long ago I stopped trying to defend soccer. I know it’s the greatest game in the world. I know most other sports derive from soccer. I know it’s bullshit that American Football stole soccer’s real name. I know.

And now… now?? Even if you hate the game, even if you find it as boring as watching the hair on your toes grow, even if you have no interest in the game whatsoever, you still hear about it.

And that it why I’m so emotional. That is why I can’t contain my excitement.

Because for the first time in my 40-plus years, people in this country are truly becoming excited about soccer.

 

she’s an ex for a reason

Except for the extra mileage entrenched around her glassy, stoned-looking eyes, her face looked the same—all smiley and everything. She reeked of sweet, yet medicinal perfume. A COACH bag dangled from her wrist, and sparkly jewelry adorned her fingers, ears, and neck.

I felt nothing; not rage, not excitement, not anything. And then she went toward my dad and hugged him. Then me. Then my husband.

Confusion drizzled over me.

I think my arm went up to kind of encase her as she hugged me like a normal person hugs—arms reached around and squeezing me a bit.

She wouldn’t stop smiling. She looked happy. Really happy. And that pissed me off a bit and fueled my judging her from her perfectly painted red toenails to her matching fake fingernails.

We all played follow the leader to the dining area of the steakhouse my nephew Jordan (her son) wanted us to meet at for his birthday dinner celebration.

It may have been nearly twenty years since we sat at the same table to have a meal, but she really hadn’t changed all that much: she still thought everything was funny, she still found nothing to talk about (and talk about it a lot), she still pulled off the Dumb Blond thing really well.

Only difference was that now she sat next to her boyfriend whom she was living with—along with his two kids, a 13-year-old and 5-year-old—instead of my brother and their children.

Anger started brewing as I started reflecting.

She can leave her own kids when they weren’t even 5 and 10 (now in their 20s) for occasional weekend visits with them, but here she is living with some guy and his kids, taking on a motherly role?

Her boyfriend’s 5-year-old, a girl, leaned against her and she put her arm around the girl and brought her in closer. Both with straw-colored hair, I’m sure the wait staff thought they were mother and daughter.

I looked over at Jordan whom she left when he wasn’t even 5. Was he seeing this too? Was he steaming inside too? Was he wondering why she, his own mother, could act motherly toward this little girl when she couldn’t act that way toward him nearly 20 years ago?

“What kind of wine do you have?” she asked the waiter, batting her glossy eyes at him while he rattled off a list of wines. “Oh,” she cackled before he finished with the list, “I’ll have a white zinfandel.”

I’m certain my eyes rolled at this point, but I pretended to be looking at the light fixtures to avoid confrontation. This was about Jordan and his birthday after all. This wasn’t about me and my disdain for this fake-ass, wanna-be-someone-she-never-will-be woman who used to be my best friend. It’s never been about that. It’s always about the kids. Always.

I squeezed my daughter in closer to me and asked if I could color with her, avoiding making anymore eye contact with Jordan’s mom.

I was, after all, waiting on a steak dinner to come, and I wanted to be able to stomach it.

 

25 Days/Songs: Day 8

Day 8 — song that reminds you of your “first love”

There are so many different ways I could take “first love” and I think that’s the point. Particularly since it’s in quotes. I’d love to take this back to my very first love ever– a boy named Frankie whom I was quite smitten with back in second grade, but, quite frankly, there aren’t any songs that remind me of him. I just remember always getting super excited when he’d show up at the playground after school, and I remember he moved after second grade was over.

I almost took this back to my first real love. Like, the boy I know I loved. Really loved.  There’s a song that totally reminds me of him, but I was a chicken back then and never told him how I felt. Then he moved states away when we were around 14 so by the time I got my nerve up to tell him how I felt, he was gone. Sniff, sniff.

No, instead, I’m taking this back to my “first love” who took my virginity. Why not? Thing is, I was beyond ready when the time came as I was already out of college. What? Yeah, I went to four different high schools so I didn’t date. At all. So when the opportunity finally came, I snatched it up. Oh yes I did. No regrets either. Did I love him? I don’t think so. I also don’t think he loved me. Regardless, he was my “first” and this song reminds me of him in so many fucking ways it’s kinda cray.

 

 

pssst, don’t forget to check out more participants over at Stuphblog

25 Songs/Days: Day 7

Day 1
Day 2
Days 3 & 4
Days 5 & 6

Day 7 – song that reminds you of the past summer

I mean, really. 2013 to me screams Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. I freaking love it. Each and every time I hear it, I wanna move. Oddly, last summer, I didn’t want to do any kind of moving because it was too bloody hot. And I hate hot. I just am not a fan of summer. Not at all. But this song? Hell yeah I’m a fan. “Hey Hey Hey!”

What song reminds you of last summer?

25 Songs/Days: days 5 & 6

So clearly I suck at posting daily. Such is life sometimes.

Day 1
Day 2
Days 3 & 4

Day 5= song that often gets stuck in your head.

I’m gonna go with a more recent song for this one. It’s one I didn’t really care too much for until I saw the band perform the song live on Saturday Night Live. From that performance on, I just couldn’t get enough of this song. Still can’t! I even got my 4 year-old asking for this song and she’s normally one that demands “kids music.”

Day 6= song that reminds you of a best friend.

Heh, this one makes me smile so much. It brings me back to a time in my life when things were just starting to get really messed up in life, but not so much that I didn’t still have a ton of fun. I was about 10 when this came out and was in a brand new school. It was the first time I switched schools so I was still OK with the change. I was still outgoing and playful and … ten. I met a girl who lived two streets away from me– Shari. We became pretty inseparable and this song was super popular during that time. Listening to it brings me right back to her apartment with her younger brother and older sister. I can still see us all just running around the apartment scream-singing to this song. Good memories. Good, good memories that aren’t very common from back then. Also, I was SURE they were singing “Warm my cold Italian heart” back in the day. Ha.

Don’t forget to check out more songs at Stuphblog’s place.

25 Songs/Days: days 3 & 4

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3= song that reminds you of one/both parents…

I said it back during Day 1 that there’s a song I’ve written about before and a song, I’m sure, I’ll write about again. That would the same song that reminds me of my parents: Chicago’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry.

You can read more about why I chose that song HERE.

***

Day 4= song that clams you down.

This one is really tough. How do you choose ONE song that’s best suited for calming you down? I haven’t a freaking clue, nor do I have all the time in the world to figure it out. So how did I choose one? I looked to my favorite artist of all and picked one of his tunes. Even that wasn’t very easy to do because Bryan Adams has been around for a long damn time and has a ton of songs to choose from. Nevertheless, I’m picking one from this 1983 Cuts Like a Knife album: Straight from the Heart.

Choosing a Bryan Adams song as one that calms me isn’t too difficult; narrowing it down to ONE is, but this is a lovely song, don’t you think? And this video version of it? Wow do I love this man. He’s just such an awesome, inspiring talent.

check out more challenge entries at Stuphblog.com.

25 Songs, 25 Days: day 2

DAY 2 of 
25-songs-blog-challenge5

A song that reminds me of my most recent ex? I’ve been with my husband now for fourteen years (married 7 in a few weeks!) so I had to do some thinking about this one… the person I was with prior to S was a dude I met on the internet. A dude I was in a physical relationship with more so than anything else. I remember his first name, I remember he had a kid, I remember his more than ample size (just being honest), I remember he lied about his age, I remember I didn’t give a shit about anything (like his stupid lie– he was like 10 years older than me) other than having fun.

It was 2000 and with the turn of the century, I had vowed to turn a new page in my life and start truly living life for me. It’s also when Blink 182 started getting super popular so for day 2 of this little diddy, I’m going with Blink 182’s, All the Small Things.

What song reminds you of your most recent ex? For more answers to this question, hope over to Stuphblog!