My baby–isn’t so much a baby anymore.

It’s pretty custom to write a fresh blog post for the New Year.  But, this time it’s not about resolutions or solutions.  And, it’s not a trip down memory lane either.  I get tired of reading posts like that.  You know–posts that are full of optimism and hope for the New Year to bring new things.  Posts that ramble on about new goals and ideas.  Posts that reminisce on all the woes and triumphs of the past year.   Seriously though, how many goals do you attempt to achieve in one year and actually achieve them?  Okay, I’m guilty. I’ve written these types of posts.  We all have. But, this year I’m just not feelin’ it.   Don’t get me wrong–I did make a goal list and I’m very excited for 2016.  I’m just choosing not to share it this year, because I’m assuming you’ve read enough of these posts.

  
Maybe it’s because Cora (my youngest) turns 1 today,  and that’s what I want to write about.  The fact that my baby– isn’t so much a baby anymore.  And, it’s totally heartbreaking.   Insert 1,000 tear emoji’s. Sure she will always be my baby, because she is the youngest.   But now, she is a walking toddler.  A freakin’ one-year-old!

  
Each age comes with new responsibilities, stages, and developments.  And, with Cora turning one I’ve slowly entered into this world where my children are starting to fight.  Sibling rivalry has officially begun folks.  Uhh surprise! –Yeah, no.   It’s not fun.

And if you have kids you know how it goes:

Cora is holding a toy.

McKinley grabs the toy.

Cora starts flailing and screaming.  Technically a tantrum. (And not a cute one).  It’s the kind where you actually scrunch up the side of you lip, raise your eyebrows, and say, “Are you serious?”   Then you attempt to correct the situation.

“McKinley, you took that from your sister and she was playing with it.  Please give it back to her and when she is done you can have a turn.”

Boom. Fireworks.

McKinley starts stomping her foot with hand on hip.

My eye starts twitching.

Cora grabs toy from McKinley.

“Hey, that’s mine!” as she grabs back from Cora.

Eyes bulge. Teeth clench.

“If you guys cannot share, then the toy goes.”

Thankfully at this point I can still distract Cora—but with effort.

It’s obviously not all like that.  Now, when McKinley stubs her toe, or is crying about her newest and latest “boo-boo,” Cora toddles over to McKinley and repetitively pats her with both chubby little hands.   And smiles.  McKinley giggles. They hug.  Ah!  I live for these moments.  Every parent does.  Because, It’s better than gold.  It’s a calm and peace that rushes through your mind and body.   Where the world makes sense.  And you understand purpose.  And love simply permeates the room in a profound way.

  
“Cora say, “MA-MA,” come on you can do it!”   McKinley has become an amazing sister.  I think it’s a big milestone–developing that role and understanding what it means to be a sibling.  But, in a year, McKinley has owned it.  Cora cries and in a matter of minutes McKinley returns to the rescue with a teddy bear.

Another aweing thing about having a big One-year-old is that their personality emerges.   Cora is a sweetheart.  And that’s the best word to describe her.  She stumbles over to give my legs a hug while I cook dinner.  And is laid back enough to let me hold her in an Ergo carrier for hours.  She has gentle eyes. You look into them and see a softness. I recognize them, because my father had the same blue eyes.

  
Cheers to parenthood and Happy Birthday to our sweet Cora. We love you!

 ~g 

 

A Meaningful Children’s book–finally published. 

Dear bloggers and faithful followers! My book has finally been published!  It’s been a long and slow two years. BUT with my newest publication Going Through A Maze I thought It would be a good idea to venture down memory lane–Why I wrote the book and how it came to be.  

  
For those who havn’t followed me in the process– I wrote this children’s book during a difficult time, while I was caring for my sick father. 
This book is based on the love and friendship built between a grandfather and granddaughter. It depicts the reality of a family member or friend struggling with cancer in a simplistic way that is appropriate for young and older audiences. The story ultimately is meant to help prompt difficult conversations with children relating to cancer or any serious illness. 

Here are a few past blog posts I wrote from the time my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, to his passing, and then my grieving. 

Please fellow bloggers I need your help.  Repost this and help me spread the word.  Portions of this book are donated to cancer research.  
You can purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other participating bookstores. Available in paperback or ebook. 

All my love & many thanks in advance,

G

Illustrations 

In my opinion illustrations and media formats are the most important part of any book or story.  And maybe it’s because having dyslexia makes it harder for me to put the words together fast enough to understand the content.  Regardless, it’s where I go to understand the emotional point of the message.   For children I believe they act in the same way.   So today I’m working tediously on formatting my illustrations for Going Through A Maze #publishingprocess

 
-g

Publishing. 

So, I’m finally gearing up to publish the children’s story I wrote & illustrated two years ago. 

 Going Through a Maze.  

 

When I was writing this story my father was diagnosed with cancer. And actually, it wasn’t a story it was a poem.   My father even had the opportunity to read that poem.  I turned it into a story after he passed away.  And every Wednesday when my mother in-law would watch McKinley I tirelessly sketched and colored my heart out. 

Unfortunately, I’ve sent it out and It’s not a story publishing company’s want to publish.  Mostly, because it’s a children’s story about Cancer and subsequently death.  Shocker.  But, it also happens to be a story about preserverence, love, friendship, and family. You know, like important shit?

Anyways, I wanted to read my daughter something to help explain what our family was going through at the time, and there just wasn’t anything on the market.  It’s important that there are story’s for children about cancer and death because many families experience this and death is simply inevitable– no matter how invincible you want to be. 

So,  I continue my journey and will be now be self-publishing!  I’ll be sure to let my readers know when it’s ready to purchase. I also plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to help fund lung cancer research.

-G 

One thing at a time.  

It’s days like yesterday when I miss dad the most.  The long grey-color-pallet days of winter and the feeling of 1,000 things gone wrong. Just wrong. All my mistakes and shortcomings and the mistakes and shortcomings of others.

I just need to talk to him. “Dad, I’m having a hard time,” but that’s not actually what I would say.  

It would be a phone call and he would pick up, “Gorrrrdita!” rolling out the “r” for an exaggerated effect. (I forget how, where, and when that nickname actually came to be). His excitement to hear from me is warming, but my heart accelerates and my breath is heavy–

“Hey Dad,” with an exhale.  

“What’s goin’ on?” he says casually to not be presumptuous. But come on–he knows. He always knows. The wooshing wind from his rolled down window distracts me.  No matter what season it is his window is down and  he’s driving—always driving.  

“I dunno. Not much,” I mumble. 

“Uh-huh, well don’t put too much stalk into what other people say.”

“I know.  It’s just…I know. You’re right dad.”

He continues, “Seriously Don’t let other people dictate things for you.  Fuck em.” 

Dad had a way of making things seem OK again. I remember a night 3 years ago after the birth of McKinley.  My anxiety level was at a new high.

I called to talk to mom first, because they worked best as a team.  

“What’s the matter?” mom asks softly. 

Working through my sniffles, “I don’t know if I can do this. It’s too much.” 

“Oh Georgia, of course you can.  I know It’s not easy–trust me!  But, you are going to be an amazing mother.” 

Then dad.

“What’s goin’ on?”

“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” 

“Well, shit–you never are.” 

“What am I gonna do when she’s 15? How am I supposed to teach her right from wrong?” 

“Well, just take it one thing at a time. Don’t think about 15…She’s not even 1 month.  Every age and stage is different.  Don’t think or worry about it until you get there.”

I also miss dad on days like today– when the sun is finally starting to break through. When something happy happens and you get that good news

We’re moving into our first home. No extended family this time.  Just our immediate family unit. 4 elements under 1 roof.  And a dog. 

Dad would have embraced me in his tight hug, kissed my forehead, and whispered, “I’m so proud of you kiddo.”  And, he would have said that on my worst days too.