Ollie Says

"I sent an email to Santa today. But I can't tell you what I asked for...you'll have to email Santa yourself."

"I really don't like your attitude, mom."

"Um, mom. We need to do this pattern: I sleep with you, then I don't sleep with you. That is the pattern that I like. So I need to sleep with you tonight, okay?"  

Why are you so cute?
"Because you got me that way."

"You are only 23 and grandma is 50. So she is in charge."

(That one caught me by surprise. First time cursing...preparing me for teenage years)

"I want to keep you with me forever, mom."

"I am a kid, so I can use whatever bathroom I want."

Why didn't you put a rug down before you got in the bath?
"Because I am not an adult."


Songs to Listen to When You're Diagnosed with Cancer

 Words cannot begin to describe my relationship with music. Throughout the years, it has played a key role in the person who I have become. It has shaped me, transformed me. In my moments of weakness, it has given me strength. I could not live in a world without music.

I have been wanting to bring more music related posts to Your Mom since it is such an important part of who I am. Mostly, I enjoy putting together a collection of songs with a main theme. A playlist, perhaps one might call it. I have created and posted them before on the blog.

However, this playlist has a much deeper meaning to me. It gives a glimpse of the emotions and feelings that I have had in the months since my cancer diagnosis. It is me. Raw. Told in notes and lyrics written by strangers.

But that is what I love about music.

Don't Let Them See You Cry

Manchester Orchestra


Imagine Dragons


Mumford & Sons

Sleeping Sickness

City and Color

Comes and Goes (In Waves)

Greg Laswell

Jesus Christ

Brand New

Everything'll Be Alright

Joshua Radin

Life is Beautiful

The Icarus Account

Remember to Breathe

Dashboard Confessional

Shoot Out the Lights

Ron Pope




A Particularly Hard Day

Print by bearandrobotstudio
Everybody I went to school with is moving on with their lives. They are starting new relationships, falling in love, getting married, having kids, traveling, finding their dream job, exploring the world. Facebook has become a never-ending source of jealousy for me, and then I am plagued by guilt for feeling the way that I do.

Today was a particularly hard day for no particular reason. I just feel like my life is at a standstill, and it drives me crazy. I feel utterly useless. I have no job, no source of income. I am literally doing nothing with my life right now. And while I used to think that it would be amazing to just do nothing all day, every day, I have come to the conclusion that it is the bane of my existence. I rely on people for just about everything, and it puts me out of my element.

I have essentially lived on my own since my senior year of high school. My parents have helped me, but I was fairly independent at a young age. I had to be for my son. Over the past few years especially, I have learned to rely simply on myself. 

That has been the hardest part of getting cancer so far. I feel like everything is out of my control. I feel like my entire life has been temporarily hijacked by stupid cells in my body that are trying to kill me. I know one day I will regain control, but it becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

When will that day come? 

When will I feel normal again?


Boys Don't Have Boyfriends (& Other Things I Refuse to Tell My Son)

My son is quite the character. At five years old, he already has the great sense of humor and dashing personality that I acquired during puberty. It is refreshing to see him embrace who he is at such a young age, and he makes no apologies for his larger-than-life nature. Sometimes it is hard to believe he is only in kindergarten.

As a mother, I have really tried to cultivate his odd personality rather than force him to conform to the norms expected of a little boy. I wanted him to be who he is meant to be, not who society wanted him to be. So this meant letting him play with baby dolls, buying a deluxe Barbie playhouse, and encouraging him to shake what his momma gave him.

Shortly after starting kindergarten, I saw my son "flirting" with a sweet, blonde girl in the school pick-up line. (I use the term "flirting" loosely, because he is only five!) So as we walked to the car, hand-in-hand, I asked if he had any "girlfriends" at school.

"Yeah! I have three girlfriends: Madison, Taylor, and Jordan," he told me, matter-of-factly, without looking up.

I start jokingly giving him a lecture about how he is only allowed to kiss his mom and that he better not be kissing any girls at school. As I buckle him in his carseat, he reassures me that he won't and then drops a bomb on me. "I have a boyfriend at school, too!" he nonchalantly mentions.

Now, I understand that we are talking about five year old's who may-or-may-not understand terms such as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" in the actual context. But it still really caught me off guard for him to talk about having a "boyfriend", and my first instinct was to tell him that boys don't have boyfriends. I started to form a speech in my head as I closed his door and got in the drivers seat. He just needed me to explain the difference between  "friends" and "boyfriends".

Then I remember what it felt like to grow up thinking that you had to be a certain way. You had to wear dresses and like boys and get good grades and be polite and stay thin and not deviate from what everybody else was doing around you. I looked at my little boy in the back seat, and I didn't want to ever make him ashamed for being himself. No matter what.

Still in the school's parking lot, I turned around and gave him a huge smile. "No kissing boys either, mister!' I told him. He giggled and did the typical sigh and "Okay, mom" that you would expect from a teenager. We carried on with our day as if nothing was wrong with him having a boyfriend, and I was really proud of myself.

However, I know that not everybody feels the way I do. In the rural area that we live, people don't really accept those who are considered "different", and their disapproval usually passes on to their children. My classmates teased and bullied a boy so badly for being gay that he stopped coming to school. As a parent, I never want my child to have to endure that type of pain, but it becomes hard to know which is the lesser of two evils: do you let your child hide who they are or get tormented by other kids?

For now, I am just happy and proud to have a sweet, charismatic little boy who knows no matter what, his momma loves him. And that is enough.

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88: Ain't That Great?

Some photos from my grandmother's birthday celebration. We love spending time with my extremely large family, and Oliver enjoys all of his cousins (first, second, and third!).

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