Nov 4, 2013

Countdown to 30: Day 5

The year was 2008/2009.  I had just turned 25 years old.  Very funny how I don't have very many birthday pictures any more.... it is all about the kid!  (Where did my life go?!)

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.

My Rocks.
Christmas 2008 - Olivia was not yet crawling, but getting very close!

I wish I could still 'trap' her.

Olivia and Grandma Karen

The best present ever!
 In January Olivia experienced her first snow - She wasn't too impressed.

This was also about the time I left her on my bed while I went to blow dry my hair.  She had a bottle and was perfectly content.  While drying my hair I heard a THUD and screaming.  Yep, she had rolled off the bed.  Earned herself a nice scabby nose and Mommy a very stern talking to from the Doctor.

The year traveled on with very few uneventful episodes, well, besides trying to keep a small human alive.

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 :)
We adjusted to life with Nana living in Texas for quite awhile.  I think Olivia and I bugged my dad more than ever!  Haha, but he got very used to it! (and loved it!)
Faster, Pops!
Olivia had a ladybug themed birthday party.  I believe she had over 50 people in attendance to celebrate her very special day!  She still wasn't walking, but getting very close.  At this point I was encouraging her... that was a baaaadddd idea.  Once she started, she took off very quickly!

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!
In July I took my first vacation without my family and child!  Cindy and I went to Vegas!  It was so much fun and I enjoyed my 'single' days every day!

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.
Towards the end of 2009, ex husband started getting a bit more vocal with his threats to finish the divorce.  I knew it was coming to an end.  At this point I also knew I was getting very close to losing my house.  Without the support, I wouldn't be able to afford my beautiful, memory-filled home.  It still brings tears to my eyes.  I wanted nothing more than to just stay there and raise my daughter.  However, God had other plans for us in another place.

Halloween 2009

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!

Around November I started 'dating' someone.  I wouldn't say it was anything of the official type, but he was great for me (at the time) and with Olivia.  It was nice to have a companion... it was nice to get out with friends again, it was nice to be able to confide in someone.  It was just nice.  It was the first time I had the companion-type since September 2007.

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.

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