Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Piper,

On May 27, 2005, at 11:55am, you came in to this world with a purpose - at least I think that's what all that crying was about. When you could understand what I was saying to you, I asked you if you remember being born. You said wholeheartedly, "Yes!" How smart are you, so very young! I thought, ok I will push a little further, I said "Oh really, what were your first words when you were born. You said, "Hi Momma, I love you." Dang kid, why do you know just what to say?

I was never the type of person that necessarily wanted kids. I was kinda indifferent on the whole subject, plus I was really impatient and selfish. That + kids = disaster! I then married your daddy who had two kids before you were born. I thought, I am raising two kids that aren't mine by birth, so why not try for one of my very own?

While I was pregnant, I was anxious to see you - but not so much I couldn't stand it. I was more irritated that you were slowing your Momma down and I could not do the things I normally did - like never sit down unless I am sleeping or eating.

Then the doctor (who by the way was easy on the eyes) placed you in my arms and I was DONE. You had my heart and soul from that moment on. You were crying and the minute your skin touched mine, you were silent. Like you were saying, "thank God I finally got to see you in person, it's really boring in that dark place. By the way, who is that bald guy standing next to you, surely he's not my Dad?" Yes, Pipes, he's your Dad and he loves you almost as much as I do.

The first several weeks of your life were ROUGH. You had colic and would cry from 9pm til 2am. It was brutal and exhausting and I truly did not know if I could make it through another day. It got so bad that your Mimi almost took you to the hospital, you were screaming so bad. That was the night I will never forget, the night I looked at you laying on the couch screaming and I said "Please Piper, stop crying - I am so flipping (I cussed there) tired of it!"

Mimi rescued me, and I cried all the way to the bedroom and crashed from pure frustration and exhaustion. But you know what? The next morning I woke up and loved you just the same if not more.

Everyone in my family, especially Mimi, was scared to death that I could not do this "Mom thing". And for a brief while, I was not sure I could either. But after you got out of the colic stage, I took to being a Mom like it was nobody's business. I loved it and love it more and more every day.

You are my daughter in almost every way. Besides the looks (you did not have a prayer in that area, sorry sister), you are the miniature version of me. You are shy around new people but curious at the same time. You are grouchy in the morning with everyone but me and I completely understand that. You hate when all the attention is placed on you, but people can't help but gravitate towards you. If you can't do something well the first time, you rarely try it again. You have a mind of your own and I often find myself apologizing to others for something that you have said that could be taken the wrong way. You are rarely affectionate unless you want something or are tired or hurt - but you have to sit right next to me when we are in the same room. You are a perfectionist and it bugs you when you color outside of the lines. You are a momma's girl through and through - even though you joke with me and say you are a daddy's girl.

You are wonderful and beautiful on the inside and out and I will never be able to tell you how much I love you and what you have done for my life in this short five years.

Recently your little world has been turned upside down with your Dad getting married and Rob and his kids moving to Oklahoma. I was petrified of how you would take all the change. I thought you would be jealous that you were having to share your time with Mom. Oh boy, little girl, I was totally wrong.

You have taken everything in stride and have blossomed into a young lady who shares and is always in a good mood. You are the best out of all the kids - including your Momma and Rob. And I don't just say that - I am completely 100% serious. You are a rock star, Piper Ryan!

I would like to say that your Dad and I have something to do with this - that we have raised you to be this person that everyone finds joy in being around, but truly I believe this is all your doing.

You are amazing in every sense of the word and I am honored to be the one that God chose to be your Mom. And yes, you call me Mom now - not Momma. I am still working through that. Thank you for blessing my life and making me smile and laugh EVERY SINGLE day. You are my life, my best friend and my favorite person in the whole wide world.

I love you.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home Improvements

On December 31, 2009, I purchased a fabulous home for me and Piper. It had been a long haul up til then. I lost a total of 5 houses - 6 if you count the one I tried to get a second time - because I was either outbid or someone offered cash for the house I was trying to buy. It was an exhausting and frustrating process and I had all but given up. I was actually close to just renting again for a year and starting the whole process over after I had time to regroup from the loss of SO MANY freaking houses.

I told my realtor this - who now happens to be a great friend of mine - and she understood. Then a week later she called and said she wanted me to look at just ONE MORE house and then she was done pestering me. I thought what the hell, I've got nothing to lose and if I had to stay another month with my step mom I was going to go insane. Picture someone that never shuts up, offers her opinion too much, complains that she is overweight while eating a bag of potato chips and then take that times ten. You have now met my step mom!

Side bar: I seriously hope I am never that type of stepmother, because if this happens I give my family full authority to commit my ass to the nearest institution AND you don't have to pick the hairs out of my chin when I get old (YOU ARE WELCOME, MOM!).

When I walked into this house, the heavens opened, trumpets started to play and God spoke personally to me and said these exact words, "Hey, you whiner, this is why you lost all the other houses, stop being grouchy and for Pete's sake this time make a full price offer!" I think he may have cussed too, but I can't be for certain because I was still lifting the bottom of my jaw off the NEW carpet in the living room.

This house was perfect, almost too perfect and really too big for me and Piper. It was 4 bed/2.5 baths and it was a foreclosure. I had to have this house and I was actually in the perfect position to play the "government owned" game because I lived with my parents at the time and could get in as soon as or as late as they needed me too. Remember what I just told you about my step mom? I preferred the sooner option. Just sayin'.

After many months of playing the foreclosure game, I got the house. My house. The first thing I did was paint Piper's room and fixed it up just the way she wanted it. Since then, I have been doing little things to it - mostly painting and decorating until recently.

Rob and I got this crazy idea to redo the kitchen. The dishwasher I had shot craps and ruined the wood floor, so I had to get a new dishwasher and flooring, so we thought why not remodel the kitchen the way we want it. And the way someone else would want it when it came time to sell the house for something bigger down the road.

Now I will be TOTALLY honest with you, I did not want to start another big project. My past experience with men and remodelling - ahem, ex-husband - was an awful experience. Whenever we would do a project and he told me how long it would take, you could take that amount of time times three and that's when the project would be done. Well, at least 90% done. I am not for sure we ever finished a project all the way through without something not quite being complete. In fact, a stove sat in the middle of our kitchen for close to a week before my step dad took pity upon me (because I was all but in tears and I don't cry people) and hooked it back up so I could cook again. Because a person needs a stove with a NINE MONTH OLD BABY!

Rob and I started with the back splash and it went well, but I was still a skeptic. I thought, he's just showing off, he's gonna lose steam soon and once again I will have a kitchen that is only half way down. Holy moses was I ever wrong. That man's a machine. And not just in getting the job done, he actually does it right, it doesn't take forever and the end result is a whole lot of FABULOUS!

Ladies, I'm keeping him. Don't even think about trying to steal him. Plus, he's "country" and wears mesh shorts and ripped t-shirts daily - it would annoy you too. Hi, Number 8!

As I type this, he is busting his butt to get the wood floor done in the dining room before he has to go to work at 4pm. This is yet another lesson I have learned - that people can surprise you on a daily basis and when someone truly cares, they go out of their way to show it. And never expect one thing in return.

I feel lucky once again to be given a second chance at love and this time I am playing for keeps.