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Structured Life Sucks

Sometimes I hate waking up. I never know what to do first thing in the morning. I was never a morning person. Now that I am a mother I figure it’s about damn time I make a schedule for myself to live by so that I don’t lose my marbles everyday – because it gets tiring trying to find them day after day.

I don’t really like schedules. Growing up I always hated structure. I related it with institutions and being all about anarchy I HATED everything that had to do with institutions. Being 25 – still an anarchist – I know enough that a little structure isn’t all that bad. Done right it can actually do some good.

A friend I only see a couple times a year (if that) took Yuri and me to the movies this weekend.  It was good to just spend some time with him even though we didn’t really get a chance to catch up that much.  I started thinking about all the friends I’ve lost touch with over the years and I want to start making time… but first I have to make time for myself so that I don’t go nuts trying to catch up with everyone all at once.

I figure taking small steps at first is the best choice.  This is how it will start:

Movie Night Monday: Obviously Yuri and I will be doing things throughout the day but it will all lead up to the movie that was chosen for the night.  Sort of like a scavenger hunt throughout the day to guess what movie I have chosen for him to watch.  It’s going to be sooo fun! haha

Tunes Times Tuesday’s: I kind of already scheduled this day for music for the blog, so why not incorporate to actual life?  Every Tuesday I will have different musical activities for both Yuri and I to do.

Reading Rainbow Wednesday’s: I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

Arts & Crafts Thursday’s: This weekend I was pretty down because both Yuri and I got severely sunburned while we were out camping the week before.  Instead of sulking pitifully around all day, I came up with an idea.  Well maybe Yuri came up with the idea.  No.  Both of us did.  I was boiling some noodles for lunch and Yuri got into the noodles and started playing with them.  They are the kind of noodles that I used to make necklaces with when I was a little girl.  So after lunch I got out the water-colors and Yuri painted some noodles and made a necklace.

 

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We had so much fun with it, and I really need to set aside an entire day to my own arts & crafts anyways, so it will be saucesome!

Fútbol Fridays: Ya know, for soccer and sports and spanish and german and french and such.

So there’s my weekly schedule. Weekends will be a free-for-all because we all know how those goes. I left lots of room purposefully for a little bit of tweaking here and there. Maybe I won’t feel so dragged down all the time now. Knowing what I will be doing with my kiddo on a daily basis will, hopefully, give me some time and space to sort out some other (somewhat) important aspects of my life.

– ❤ Ari

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Flashback: Morro Bay

Since I missed throwback thursday, here are a few photos for flashback friday.

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These are from last spring when Yuri and I visited Morro Bay. We had so much fun on the beach. We chased waves, lost a kite, went to the theatre for Yuri’s first big screen, walked for miles on the beach, found seashells, got California haircuts, and we could’t leave unless I got to bury him in sand!

❤ Ari

and here is a natural arch made of trees.

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Such beauty!

Gender Specific Boots?

I’m sitting here, at a local restaurant, and I just finished eating a bagel. Yuri has finished his bagel and is playing with a couple other children in the play area – both are a little bit older than him. The other children are brother and sister and both parties have already been warned to share and take turns on the slide by parents. Then I hear the little girl (who is closer to Yuri’s age than the boy) say, “Why are you wearing pink?”

Instantly I felt an urge to defend my baby boy. But there was no need to. I hear these words come from my little dude, “These are my boots. They have polka-dots on them. We went to [a local sports store] and mama got me these ones because I liked them… and I really like them.” This statement was made by someone of such small stature, yet it made a huge impact on my heart. I don’t need to defend him from other people’s children because he can do it by himself… just by being himself.

Yuri Taylor, just a boy of the age of three, has given me more inspiration in these short years than any of hundreds of people have given me in all of my life. I tell almost everyone I meet that I learn more from him than he does from me every single day. The story he told that little girl was the absolute truth. Exactly the way it was told. He needed rain boots, there were black ones, camouflage, and sparkly polk-a-dots – they all light up – and he wanted the polk-a-dot ones. I even tried to talk him into getting the black ones, but the words were pointless, he insisted on the polk-a-dots. I worried about other children hassling him and poking fun. What happened here today is exactly why I worry. Yuri was able to fade those fears slightly.

I don’t necessarily blame the parents for the little girls obvious boy-girl stereotype. It is something to hold against society. What’s it matter if a boy wears sparkles and polk-a-dots and pink? Or if a girl wears all camo and super-hero apparel? That ‘s just it – it doesn’t matter. If my kid really wants some pink, shooting star, and rainbow socks – not simple white ones – then he can have ’em.

All I can hope is for other parents to teach their children to understand without any judgement. Because a bullied child is heartbreaking to any parent.
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I Won’t Fight…

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I was 19 when I first met him. We worked together. I was head over heels for him. Basically, I would do anything he asked me to if it made him happy. I was a pathetic puppy that was depressed and uncomfortable if he wasn’t near.

I am 25 now. Six long, messed up years have passed. There was so much fighting. Even more tears. Underneath all of that though… underneath all of the lies and the cheating, the drugs and the stealing… there was love. There has always been that love, and there always will be. At least, I will always have love for him.

The abuse had always been present since the very beginning. It started with the emotional abuse. Then came the drug abuse. Last of all, what is a fucked up, completely suicidal relationship without the physical abuse? Any form of abusive relationship you can think of could categorize with his and mine. We were not a happy couple.

I was 21 when I got pregnant, and that was when I decided I wasn’t going to fight back anymore. I still loved him though and it was very hard to let go. I suffered through more of the abuse and we eventually ended up living together. It only lasted for so long before it got too intense for me. He stole my medication one night before he went out drinking with some friends. When he got back he was blacked out and belligerent. I will spare you the gruesome details, but I will tell you this, I ended up calling the police and getting a restraining order that night. I also dropped out of my college classes that week. I was heartbroken.

I ended up in the psych ward while our families took care of our 6 mo. old baby boy.

I don’t want to fight anymore…

It’s been a long road – not one that I would advise just anybody to travel down. Yuri is 3 now, he will be 4 in October. He is such a smart, sweet, caring, and comforting little boy. He loves his daddy very much… I still wince whenever his daddy moves too quickly or suddenly. I also have trust issues – I tend to lay my trust with people that aren’t worthy of it. Things aren’t as they seem.

Earlier in the month, Yuri’s dad served me with custody paperwork. I feel like I am being suffocated. He waited until I am at my most vulnerable to attack. Again.

It’s been about two years since he proposed to me. The night he proposed was when it finally hit me that I was unhappy. It was a huge slap in the face to realize that I was wasting my time with somebody I loved so much. Wasting my time because I knew that the fighting would never cease to be. Wasting my time because I put in 90% of the effort to make things work between us. Wasting my time because he was still under the impression that he couldn’t do things anymore because of our son. When I said no, that’s when my hopes of him being a good father started to spiral downwards and they spiraled fast.

He quit his job and hitch-hiked to the coast. He met a young girl who was a prostitute, apparently, and traveled the coast with her and their road companion. It occurred to me then that this man would never be able to experience the same feelings that I held for our baby boy. This was when I tried to get custody with the courts. Custody that they wouldn’t give to me because the boys father had no mailing address. Custody they wouldn’t grant me because his dead-beat father wasn’t around anyways. Custody that he now has a right to, because his new girlfriend wants him to be a father.

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I have called the authorities on Yuri’s father at least once a year since he was conceived. He has tossed me around many more times than that – including while I was pregnant. I never followed through on pressing charges. I thought that it would only fuel his anger and resentment towards me and our son. About a month ago, I went to pick up my son after snowboarding for the day and he refused to hand him over. He called the cops on me. He told them that I had been drinking and that he didn’t feel comfortable with handing over the parenting responsibilities to me at the time..

It is true that I had been drinking that day, however, I had not had a drink for a few hours and was sober by the time I had gotten there. The police officers released custody to me that night and did not leave without warning me in front of Yuri’s dad to file for a parenting plan with the county judge. I said to them, I said, “This is something I will not give the government control of.” A week later I was served the paperwork.

Maybe I am letting my pride get in the way. Maybe it’s because I know he just needs control. Maybe it’s because this is about more than just power. Maybe it’s because I am weak. Or maybe…

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I am not filing the paperwork to petition back. If he wants control this bad I will let him have it. I gave him opportunity after opportunity to handle this situation like civil parents – opportunities he refused to grasp. He is the one that chose to be a dead-beat for the first three years of our child’s life, if he wants to make things harder for his son out of revenge for me that is his call. In the end it will be his guilty conscience on the line. In the end I know that I did everything I could to include him in our life.

I don’t want anyone to think I am giving up on my son, because that is not the case. I simply am just tired of fighting with his father. If control is what he needs right now, I will let him have it; I will never give up on giving my son the life he deserves just because his father is in control. I am not giving up on my son because I won’t pay the fee to petition a custody-battle against his father. I just won’t do it. Why do I need to propose a war with the man that gave me the most important gift in life to prove my love for my child? No. I won’t do it.

He has changed a lot over the last year. I think his heart is growing, for our son at least. He is working and I don’t think he will keep me from having Yuri half- time. He just wanted control in writing… but I will not sign away my right as being a mother. Not to the government. I still have love for him, and I love my son to the moon and the stars and back. That is why I will end the war by not petitioning back. No war is a better war.

I don’t want to fight anymore… but I won’t give up on my son.

-Ari, ❤

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[Yuri from when he was just a couple months old]

 

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My Response… Deep Thoughts

I follow this blog regularly because I have always been into philosophy and this guy really gets my brain turning. Anyway.. I felt the urge to respond and this is what I had to say:

“While I was reading this the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley came to mind:

Out of the night  that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Loom but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Why this came to mind, I can only say this: that we can allow our past to shape who we are, or we can let it go and become the person we want to be tomorrow.

I suppose we can also embrace our selves of the past and hope for a better tomorrow. I think you really have to almost reset and reflect if you are going to delve into the past. If you forget to reset though, those past memories will just haunt you. After all, you aren’t the same person that you were yesterday.”

This post by Austin (his blog: The Return of the Modern Philosopher) really hit home for me. For years I have let people and events of my past hold me back from being myself. I have developed social anxiety spells just thinking about it! I have to remember I am not the same person I was of my past. Sure the events have changed me, but it’s my time to become who I am meant to be… I am an activist, a feminist, an artist, a musician, a teacher, a writer, a skater, a snowboarder, a camper… but most important, I am the mother of a wonderful boy. It doesn’t really matter what I have or haven’t done as long as I continue to move forward, thrive, just by being me.

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He’s getting mean… Mother’s Day must be approaching..

I know how this must sound.. absolutely horrible! Since I have been a mother, I have always kind of dreaded Mother’s day.. Oh gosh, it sounds worse than horrible.

My reasoning? Only because it’s the time of year my son’s dad becomes mean. He is always kind of mean to me, but I mean he gets really MEAN!

In 2010, the year I was pregnant, he told me that he hated me. That he had cheated on me. Basically told me to go to hell. It was a very emotional experience for me while I was pregnant. Couldn’t he have waited until after Mother’s Day?

In 2011 he told me that I was on my own and moved 3 hours away to work in a lumber mill.

In 2012, a couple months after I turned his tacky marriage proposal down, he decided he was going to be a traveling west coast bum. On mother’s day he called me while he was having sex with some girl in a hot tub in Seattle.. told me, “Happy Mother’s Day, bitch.”

In 2013 he had moved back home, found a new girlfriend, and completely changed his mind about being a dad. Now he has a girlfriend to impress. He started harassing me about getting to spend more time with our son (sure, after all the hard parts are over). Mother’s Day he told me that I am going to be just like my crazy mom and that his new girlfriend will make a better mother than I ever will.

We are all a year older now.. I kind of thought that we had grown past all of the animosity. Apparently not. He served me with custody paperwork a couple days ago. He wants full custody. It’s not exactly mother’s day quite yet.. just the week leading up to, c’mon!

Thanks, guy!

I guess I shouldn’t be THAT upset. The guy wants to take initiative.. finally.

It is that just last year I withdrew my child support case… because he didn’t like to involve the government. Mister communist.

It is because when I went to do custody paper work, they never went through because he didn’t have a home address. Also, his parents convinced me that it was pointless to push the paperwork… that he’s going to do whatever he wants to do for now. He might come around, eventually…

It is because I have been gradually moving towards a half-custody schedule with him. He is overly entitled. He doesn’t respect my wishes. He has no appreciation for me..

It is because custody decided by a county judge is for the married and divorced…

I am pissed because my son’s father’s thirst for power and control over me seems like it will continue to be a never-ending battle.


So, to another very dismal Mother’s Day for me. All I can do is let it go. Forgive. Have the best weekend with my son I can create. We’ll be camping at the lake. Something about the freedom of being outdoors and in nature, the patience that comes with fishing, and the after smell of the campfire on my clothes just calls to me.

-Ari

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