Hippity Hoppity Hodges

Jesus died.
Then he rose.
Easter came.
And here it goes.

Umm hello my carrot carrying little cutie...

Easter was a great fun filled weekend for Amaya bear and I. With a long weekend away from work for mama , we tried to fit in as much Easter activities that our little hippity hearts could handle. 

Easter Paint Crafts ✅
Easter Egg Dying ✅
Easter Egg Hunts ✅

We seriously Easter outdid ourselves into exhaustion.

To each their own but sadly for Amaya we don't treat Easter like second Christmas around here. Homegirl got whatever fit into an actual basket and for her that included: a stuffed bunny, Frozen tattoos, a new dress, a Barbie, and some Easter egg filled with treats. She also did get a game of CandyLand but mama messed up and forgot it at home when we came to Titi's. 

Here's a look at the rest of our Easter...

Okay...okay...okay...so our first Easter egg hunt did not exactly go as planned.

You may not know this about Amaya but she gets quite a bit of social anxiety when in large groups of people and especially if it's strangers. She is much her father's child in this regard as he was more the introvert than my extroverted self, but yes Amaya flipped her freaking shit when we got to our first Easter egg hunt of the weekend. 

Between fear of the creepy bunny, the hundreds of other kids, and then the stampede of kids when the hunt actually started, my girl was hot crying and screaming mess. She was terrified when the kids started running and when we stopped to help a little girl up she pretty much gave up on any part of the hunt. So we walked slowly hand in hand just picking up the broken eggs that all the other kids left behind. Was it a sad little sight to see, yes...but I refuse to be one of those crazy parents pushing over toddlers and just to pick up a bunch of eggs for my own kid. She got what she got and you know what, she was happy with it and that she just got to cuddle mama afterwards. 

Luckily for us, our second Easter egg hunt last Saturday was a much more enjoyable time than our first...

Our second hunt was a lot more relaxed, thank goodness. 
A short car nap may have helped but she played at the playground and was alot less nervous at this one. The set up was in a square so didn't have to worry about getting trampled from behind and she gathered quite a few eggs in her basket onot her own. I was so proud of my boo bear.

Painting Easter crafts and dying Easter eggs were high up on Amaya's enjoyable list. Anything that gets this kid messy is always a good time to her.

I'm happy to report that our last and final Easter egg hunt on Sunday was a success. Most likely since it was held at Titi's but Amaya was in all her glory there. She wasn't much for the group photo opportunity but when it came to grabbing the eggs, she was all in. She filled her basket with reckless abandon and I couldn't be anymore happy. 

We gathered eggs, took naps, hit up the playground and just had a great day all around. 

#hippityhoppityhodges 2017 was a success in our books. 

Married Mama to Single Mama

I've blogged for quite a long time and when I started this new blog I wanted it to be that of a fresh start. Over the last couple of months our lives have changed dramatically and it seems inauthentic of me to gloss over this very big part of my life as if it's not happening.

I've used my blog as an outlet for myself and for this transition in my life, I feel like it's even that more important to me right now. I have an amazing support system of friends and family that have supported me throughout this whole ordeal but there is something different about just typing out your own thoughts and feelings unfiltered and uninterrupted. It's been a on my heart alot lately and I think I'm finally ready to share the part of my heart that has been aching but is in deep need of healing.

And this is the first step...

As in my previous blog, I've prided myself on being unfiltered and honest in my thoughts but I also respect my family and our privacy enough to not share every single detail. These are my thoughts and feelings and I cannot speak for Bryan and his feelings or thought process throughout this whole experience. Not that many people have read my new blog, but I expect only the utmost respect for our family during this time. We are striving to make the best of this situation for the sake of Amaya, as she is our primary concern.

With that said, I wanted to dive a little bit into my transition from being a married mama to a single mama and how we've been adjusting to our new life and normal around here.

First, I'll say that I never thought that I'd ever be a situition where I was forced to be a single mom.
Does anyone really?!?

I was raised by a single mom and did not know my dad growing up, so I knew when I wanted to start a family, that I didn't want that for my child. Through many trials and tribulations as a kid, I didn't want my kid growing up in a broken home like I did.

I've made my fair share of mistakes and wrong decisions in my life but when it came to life with B, I felt like we were doing everything 'right'. We fell hard for each other immediately, waited 3 years till we got engaged, waited 2 more until we got married and even took our time afterwards to start a family. Our first pregnancy we suffered a miscarriage but even then we persevered and carried on. We were actively trying to conceive and coming from two broken homes, I knew I wanted to bring our first child into the loving two parent home that we never had.

But that is not life, my friends.

Life doesn't care about the plans you've made, the vows you took or the dreams you had. Life can pull the rug right out from underneath you without a second glance or whince of concern. Let's be blunt...life shits on you sometimes.

The picture above (removed) was taken the week before the day B decided to end our marriage. It's our 'last married family photo' together and will forever live as that. It's both bittersweet and heartbreaking.

As some one who enjoys capturing myself and our family through photography, it stings to know that this was our final hurrah, picture wise, as the traditional family. But I look at those pictures and even if it hurts, I love still having them. It gives me perspective. That this was our family and through some of the pictures I even see the difference in B's face, features, and eyes. A man's whose heart wasn't completely there and that I would come to find out soon enough.

Two parents and a child who was blissfully ignorant about how drastically her life was about to change.

And these last five months have been a drastic change to say the least.

I always thought I was a strong person but I'll be honest guys, these last couple months have broken me down as a person. The countless times I've plastered a smile on my face reiterating that I was fine to those who would ask would always be a followed up with a burnt cheeks and puffy eyes from the inevitable crying session that I had become accustomed to.

Do you know where the best place to cry is...?
The shower.

With the water pulsing against your face and body washing away your salty tears and steady stream muffling the sound of your sobs, I've become well acquainted with that scene.

As much as I've personally hurt (a different post, a different time) throughout this, I've tried to shield Amaya from it as much as possible. It wouldn't be fair to her as a child to see her mother as a weeping emotional mess. It's my job as her mother to protect and to make her feel secure and that's what I intend on doing.

While making the transition from married mama to single mama has not been the easiest, we're coming along with as much grace as we can. Being a married mama, I had the luxury of having an extra set of hands, eyes and voice to help, play, and redirect Amaya but now the responsibility lays all on me. The responsibility of still working 10 hours a day to provide for her and our home, bathing her, feeding her, calming her crazies, disciplining her disrespect, bedtimes and the current wakeups in the middle of the night.

Gone are the days of shared responsibility and being able to take a breather for a minute and hand off the parenting baton. I always have to be 'on' getting all the snacks, putting on the requested cartoon, filling up the sippy cup, wiping the tears, wiping the butt, rushing the impending poop to the big potty, ...I think you get the picture.

It's exhausting...and frustrating...and on the terrible tornado of age three epic tantrums days, I literally want to pull my hair out and scream.

And you know what....
Sometimes I do.
Sometimes I lose my cool and yell, sometimes we eat mac and cheese for the third day in a row, sometimes we have 'stink nights' where bathtimes are optional and sometimes I sleep on her floor after I put her down for bed because I'm too tired to pull my passed out butt back down to the couch.

It's a mix bag. We have our bad days of typical toddler attitudes but more times than that, we have the sweet endearing moments that make my mama heart skip a beat.

The moments when she climbs up on my lap to cuddle when we're watching tv, the moments when she pulls me up to my feet to pick her up and dance with her to yet another Frozen soundtrack song, the moment when she climbs up on the stool to always help with dinner or doing the dishes, the moments she still lets me rock her to sleep at night, or the moments when she without prompting looks me in the eye and wraps her tiny arms around my neck and tells 'Mommy...I wuv you...you mah best fwend!'.

Those are the moments I live for.
Those are the moments that no amount of sadness, frustration or exhaustion can take away from us.

When she uses her manners, helps with her chores, and enthusiastically runs to the door arms wide open shouting Mommy...those are the times I know Im doing something right.

Single mama life might not have been the life I chose for myself but it's one I plan on flourishing at.