Motherhood was hard work. I was devoted 100% to my daughter while juggling a challenging classroom, a divorce, and maintaining a home. We spent 95% of the time at my Mom's house because it was easier. I didn't have to clean if I didn't get the house dirty. I didn't have to do dishes if we didn't eat there. However, I was wearing my Mom out! :) She started keeping Olivia in August when I went back to school and kept her until April 2009 when my niece was born. The ex-husband situation was calm; he didn't pursue a lawyer, therefore I just continued getting support as if we were still pretty much married. I worried constantly about my long-term finances. I knew at any time he would get a lawyer, finally go through with the divorce, and my support would be cut drastically. I saved as much as I could. I worried. I stressed. I held on to every friend and family member I could. I wouldn't have been able to remain upright if it wasn't for all of them. Being a mother is hard work; being a single mother is even more challenging. Yet, being a Mom was the best reward of all. And I am lucky to have learned from the best. You can read my Mom tribute here.
|I wish I could still 'trap' her.|
|Olivia and Grandma Karen|
|The best present ever!|
|Wait for it...|
|Lord help me!!!!|
In April 2009 I lost my grandmother. She had started going blind while I was in college. It went slowly down hill from there. She never really 'saw' Olivia but enjoyed us visiting each week. She would tell her funny stories and try to hold her when Olivia didn't want anything to do with her. At this point, I only had one surviving Grandparent. I held on to her with everything I had.
The same month a very joyous thing happened... Astoria Annette joined the world! Andrea and Rex welcomed their daughter into the world on April 5, 2009. Olivia was entranced from the beginning!
|What is this thing???|
|The Family :)|
|A ham from early on!|
|This was the 'clean' shot.|
|The best part of home daycare.... I got to send her in her pajamas!|
|My life was complete!|
|I LOVE Vegas!|
|We decided Vegas was overrated - We put on our glasses and pajamas and went back downstairs to gamble in comfort!|
|Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate... mmmm|
|My Tinker family was and still is a huge part of my life.|
|I was luring her to the camera with a Tootsie Roll..|
|I'd never allow my daughter to feed my niece a french fry... never.|
|My Mini Me!|
As with all things, there was a calm before the next storm. The year 2009 allowed me to get a grasp on my parenting and my life. It was time to stir up some more ruckus in 2010.