Monday, January 30, 2012

Church of Christ

Dotty LOVES going to church with Nana. Nana's Church of Christ church is small in members. Most Sundays there will be about 20 people in the pews...and they all love to see Dotty when she visits.

Yesterday Dotty and I went to church with Nana. Dotty went to Sunday School with her beloved teacher...Sandy. Then Dotty came in to have church service with everyone else.

A four year old does not have the longest attention span...especially when no electronics are allowed and you have to be VERY quiet.

During the hymns Dotty started to do her version of "interpretive dancing". Now in some denominations this might be accepted and encouraged...but at the Church of Christ things are a little bit more subdued. I tried to discourage Dotty's dance performance before she got too carried away.

Then Dotty laid down in the floor under the pews by my feet. At one point she lifted up and asked "Is that same guy still talking?" referring to the visiting preacher and his sermon.

Now I am sure I am super sensitive to Dotty's voice but I felt like everyone probably heard her. I hushed her and told her to be quiet it was almost over.

When we went to bed last night Dotty's prayer was as follows...

"Dear Lord, I am going to keep this short because we prayed a lot at church today so your ears must be tired. I know mine were."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Best Kind of Morning...

I try to not sleep with Dotty. I usually fall asleep with her at night but then I get up and go to my own bed. This is for health reasons health! Dotty is a kicker, snuggler, and talks a lot in her when I do sleep with her I end up not getting much sleep and at times have bruises the next morning.

The other day though...Dotty woke up at 4am and needed to go to the bathroom. So I laid down to get her back to sleep and I must have fallen asleep with her. I started to wake up but kept dozing off. Then I felt a little body lean over me (because I usually sleep on my side) and I got the biggest, sweetest kiss on the cheek...and an "I love you Mommy."

Now that is a great way to start my day!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Lot of Praying...

Saturday night we were in bed getting ready to pray and I asked Dotty if she wanted to say her prayer first.

Dotty said, "Are we going to church with Nana tomorrow?"
I replied, "Yes. Why?"
Dotty said, "Because they pray at Nana's church a lot so I think I will skip saying my prayer tonight."
I laughed and said, "Well I will say my prayer then."
Dotty added, "Keep it short. God is ready to go to sleep too."

Kids say the funniest things!

Weekend Update first full weekend with Dotty was just the best!

Friday night we had a 3 Generation Slumber Party...which basically means Memaw stayed the night with us. We had pizza...we watched movies...we played games...and I had a terrible migraine so it was nice to have my mom there so I could take my medicine (which makes me very sleepy).

Dotty was up at 5am on Saturday...God Bless Memaw for not waking me up! When I got up at 7am...Memaw was out the door in two seconds...which I don't blame her...she needed a nap! Having Mom stay the night was a good reminder of why I want to take Dotty on a trip later this year by myself...if Memaw goes Dotty will want nothing to do with me...and she will not mind me either!

After Memaw left, Dotty and I made waffles. Then we watched "Alice in Wonderland". We then went out to Charlie to have lunch with Dad and the guys out there. Dad then decided it was a perfect day to put up Dotty's trampoline that he had bought her for we headed back to W.F. to do that.

Dotty watered the flowers (a.k.a. weeds) and did a lot of swinging while the boys put up her trampoline. Then that girl jumped and jumped and jumped!

We then took a break and headed over to a new cupcake place for a snack. We came home and made cookies. Then we watched another movie and then went to bed. Dotty was exhausted due to her 5am wake up call and no nap...and I was just exhausted (trampolines are fun but they can were a girl out)!

Sunday morning we had breakfast with my dad, Jake, and Presley and then Dotty and I went to church with Nana. On the way out there I asked Dotty what she wanted to do after church. She said, "I want to go home with Nana. I have seen you a lot lately and I want to see Nana and Papaw."

Well...what could I say to that?!?!

So after church Dotty went home with Nana to surprise Papaw and I went back to my house to do chores and rest. It was a great weekend! I was so excited just to be with Dotty...without worrying about time...and how fast it was going by.

It was sad Sunday night when I was home alone because Dotty stayed the night with Tony but I chose to think about all the fun stuff we did...and all the fun stuff we will do!

It was a great weekend...and many more are still to come!

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Weekend in 2 Years!

This weekend will be the first full weekend I have had Dotty in two years!

I know you are thinking...WHAT?!?!?!?

When Tony and I separated and he moved to the metroplex I agreed to let him have Dotty every weekend. I agreed to this arrangement for several reasons.

1. I knew Dotty missed her Daddy terribly and she could not go several weeks without seeing him.
2. I knew Tony missed Dotty and he did not want to go several weeks without seeing her.
3. I have never thought the traditional "1st, 3rd, 5th" weekend arrangement that most divorced couples use in "joint custody" was fair for anyone. Kids need parents and parents need equal as possible. Before Tony left to go to the metroplex we were just working out a schedule as it worked best for everyone...we tried to have equal time...and it was working. Plus, I did not want to have to go "weeks" in the summer without seeing Dotty (which typically happens in most joint custody agreements).
4. Tony and I handled our divorce very differently than most and I saw no reason why sharing Dotty should be any different.
5. I am sort of ashamed to admit this...but at the time I never thought Tony would make time for Dotty EVERY weekend. Tony loves sports and hunting and being with friends and I just knew he would miss a weekend or two with Dotty. I am happy to say I was VERY WRONG about Tony. He made Dotty a #1 priority. He has been a great dad to Dotty...better than I ever thought he could be. I don't know if I was just too blind to see it when we were married or if divorce did that to both of us...made us better parents or what...but I have always said since the day we separated that while Tony and I were not good to each other as husband and wife...we were good as parents to Dotty. I am truly sorry that I doubted Tony...for once in my life...I am glad to be so very wrong about a person.

So for two years...Dotty has gone to see Tony every Friday and come back to me every Sunday. Then when Tony moved back this past November, we decided to go back to just a "flexible" schedule when it came to Dotty. However, I was right in the middle of the busiest time at the Pecan Shed and I needed Tony to watch Dotty on weekends so I could work.

Today I will get Dotty after work and I will have her until Sunday. I can't tell you what it means to have my little girl for an entire weekend. I always felt like I got the "not fun" times with Dotty. I got her during the week when we had to get ready for school and work and it was just the "business" time of the week...not the "fun" time. I would try to take off some when I wasn't busy to spend a day with Dotty during the week but it just wasn't always the same.

I have heard from lots of parents how "lucky" I was to have every weekend free. But I am here to tell divorced parent feels "lucky". I know that I am lucky in a way that Tony and I get along so well and we can work together to raise Dotty but we both miss out on a lot. Yes we both cherish our time with her more but we have to sacrifice time as well.

I would never have made Dotty miss time with her Daddy to spend time with me. I didn't want to be selfish in that way...but it wasn't always easy to spend weekends without her. Now that Tony is back and work is slower, I am looking forward to spending lots of weekends with my daughter...doing the things that I didn't get to do for two years.

It is easy in life...and especially in look at the negatives and to focus on why things are not fair or why they went wrong. I try not to do that...emphasis on "try". I have always tried to look at my life...especially the last two years of it and I have tried to find the good in it. Some days are easier than others but I have heard it said "you find what you look for". If you look for the will find bad. If you look for will find good.

Lots of people don't understand how Tony and I function in a dysfunctional family. Lots of people don't understand that it takes me and Tony working takes our families and our friends supporting us...and it takes us simply putting Dotty and what she needs first.

I know this weekend might be hard for Tony. And I feel for him in that way. I feel for him every time he has to bring Dotty back to me and leave. It is the hardest thing to do. I know because I have to do it too.

Tony and I have many more "weekends" ahead of us with Dotty. She will be with me...she will be with him...she will be with family and friends. The best part though is that no matter who she is with...she will know that she is loved.

And that is all that matters.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Saying Goodbye to the "Fantasy of Lights"....

Dotty LOVED the Burns "Fantasy of Lights" that is set up outside of MSU! We drove past it at least 20 times (this is no exaggeration either) and we walked through it 5 times (and she also went with her Daddy a few times).

The light show will be taken down this week so on Saturday night I took Dotty for one final stroll through the Fantasy of Lights displays. The night started off perfect...not too cold and very few people were we could look at each display as long as we wanted to without feeling like we were "holding up the line".

Then a cold front started to blow in and the wind and leaves started to really blow hard all around us. We had been there for well over 30 minutes and I was ready to leave. But Dotty wanted to pop a bubble coming out of the "Robot".

Now on night with no wind...this is a pretty easy task...but tonight the bubbles were flying past us at about 20 miles per hour or were flying up too high to reach.

Dotty was getting very frustrated and she was also very upset that the Fantasy of Lights would not be up any longer...she was having a hard time saying goodbye to the lighted lawn of MSU.

We stood in front of the Robot for well over 10 minutes trying to catch an illusive bubble...Dotty cried for a good 8 of those minutes. I finally told her that it hurt me to see her cry and that we should go...or that we could stand here...even if it took all night and she could try to pop a bubble...but I would not stand and watch her cry. (Mainly because the people that passed by us looked at me like I was the worst mother ever!)

At one point I was telling Dotty to be like "The Little That Could" and say "I think I can...I think I can" and maybe the positive attitude will help us pop a bubble.

Dotty just looked at me and said with tears still tempting to fall from her eyes, "I think God is laughing at us."

I started laughing so hard! I told her God had much bigger problems that whether or not we popped a bubble...but that God had given her the patience and the ability to pop a bubble...she just had to use both.

Glory to God...about a minute after that she popped a bubble!

Big Smiles...high fives all around...a small victory dance that involved a lot of booty shaking...and then she skipped all the way to the car.

I know Dotty will miss the Fantasy of Lights but I personally need an 11 month break!