Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Sunshine Blogger Award November 30, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — B_Momof3 @ 9:56 pm
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This week has been an exceptionally hard one for me, but just as the doubts started rolling in I was given the Sunshine Blogger Award by the ever so thoughtful (and witty) Combat Babe. Some may think these blogger awards are silly, but to me there’s no such thing as a meaningless show of appreciation. This award encourages me to maintain the qualities that compelled Combat Babe to award me: to keep my head up, stay strong, and continue being the best mother (and blogger) that I can be.

When given the Sunshine Blogger Award you must follow a small number of rules to both accept the award and pass it on to others. These are copied/pasted straight from Combat Babe’s post (funny side note: When I looked at other bloggers who have received this award the rules are different. I suppose it’s a bit like playing that childhood game, telephone):


                      Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 5 things about yourself.
  4. Pass the award onto 6 other bloggers and link to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.


Here are the five things about me:

1) Boston is my favorite city, and where I attend graduate school.

2) I’m enamored by chubby things (baby cheeks and thighs, penguins, bunnies, groundhogs, anything cuddly and squishy and round).

3) I’ve only had one notable winning streak, but I love playing poker.

4) I did NOT vote for Obama (or Romney). But yes, I did vote.

5) There are so many things I wish I could tell you (blog about), but I cannot…not yet. It’s just not safe to say all that I would like to say here at the moment.


I must admit that I don’t follow very many blogs at the moment. I’m sure that there are some really awesome, well-written, inspiring, humorous, and all-around entertaining blogs out there, but I don’t have much time to go searching for them these days. I’m giving this award to the bloggers who make me happy to read them for various reasons.


In no particular order, I would like to pass the Sunshine Blogger Award on to:

1) Chew Out Loud – for always making me salivate and encouraging me to try new things

2) Moved by Faith – I cannot say her entries make me smile as they’re mostly about Domestic Violence, but she gives great insight to current victims and wonderful support to survivors.

3) Patrick Latter of Canadian Hiking Photography – He probably doesn’t acknowledge these awards, but I absolutely love his photography. The unique people, places, and scenes he captures are mesmerizing.

4) Alone but Strong – Another single mother taking it one day at a time, and being honest about the struggles.

5) Kate Surfs – I haven’t been reading her blog very long, but I’ve learned a few things and I always benefit from that. Also, her children are ADORABLE!

6) The Other Baby Blog – As this is a blog run by a group of individuals, and since it is not simply a blog, but a professional link to their book, I doubt that they’ll accept this award, but…I love their posts. I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one who challenges Western society’s take on child rearing, and it’s another blog I look to for learning new things.


My thanks go out to Combat Babe a million times 🙂 This award could not have come at a more perfect time.


It’s Almost Time November 28, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — B_Momof3 @ 10:00 am
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Ten full weeks left of this pregnancy. ONLY TEN MORE WEEKS!

It seems impossible. Where did the time go? How has the majority of this pregnancy possibly passed by so quickly?

Just moments ago I was sitting in my bathroom, laughing at the hand I’d been dealt; I was already going through hell, facing insurmountable obstacles, but now the purple-tipped stick told me that I was pregnant as well. I laughed, unable to do anything else. Yet that was almost 30 weeks ago, and in another ten I will be holding my third daughter.

My third daughter: another strong-willed baby girl. More than likely to be a curly-haired sister; another honey-oak skinned beauty I’ll contribute to the world.

I remember being nauseous. Those first 14 weeks or so of feeling fairly low. I am still in pain; my ribcage and my pelvis ache, the Braxton Hicks contractions keep coming, and I cannot ever find a decent position for peaceful sleep.

Still, one month until Christmas and then only two more weeks before I’m full term, then only four more weeks before my estimated due date. It all seems so soon.

I need time to nest. I need time to set up her bed (though she’ll spend most of her time nursing beside me). I need to pull out all the cloth diapers and clothing; sorting, washing, folding. I need to buy a play yard, a quality baby carrier/sling. I need to test the monitors. I need to make more laundry detergent because I started dipping into my stash.

I need to finish my classes; I need to not only pass, but to get an A in both, because I’ve yet to get less since starting grad school. I need to hand in proposals for my Master’s Project and a Directed Study. I need to find the time to apply for my PhD, and an MFA…so many things.

I suppose I could use some sleep, but more realistically I need to spend my days doing as many things as I can manage. When Baby comes I need to be certain that I used my time wisely; that I’ve done all I can to make sure she has a nice earth-side entry.

Ten full weeks left of this pregnancy. ONLY TEN MORE WEEKS!


Santa Craft November 26, 2012

I haven’t been able to make it out to Michaels or ACMoore in a few weeks and my stock of cheap prepackaged crafts has depleted.

Luckily, I had a huge stack of adhesive foam sheets, some cotton balls, and glue, to make this easy Santa craft for my girls.

Designing the parts was fairly simple. Cutting them out was a little tedious, but the girls enjoyed the craft so much that it made my time spent well worth it! *Don’t ask how I forgot the beard*


One long thin black rectangle for Santa’s belt
Two short fat red rectangles for Santa’s arms
Two short thin red rectangles for Santa’s legs
One small yellow square with its center cut out for Santa’s belt buckle

One large red circle for Santa’s belly
One medium white (or peach or brown) circle for Santa’s face
One small circle for Santa’s cap
Two smaller red circles for Santa’s rosy cheeks, and three black for Santa’s buttons
Two tiny black circles for Santa’s eyes

Two black boots
One red cap
One cloud shaped cap liner
Two white (or peach or brown) hands
One black smile, nose, and set of eyebrows

Cotton Balls























Getting started!

I love how they did different things first.










Almost finished!

She did much better than I’d expected!










All done!

A Santa Family 🙂










































Liebster Blog Award November 23, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — B_Momof3 @ 10:00 am
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I am so grateful to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Combat Babe and I accept it graciously!

Maybe I am one of the rare few who cannot muster any sarcasm toward being nominated for a chain-email-esque award, but…it feels good to be awarded something and I need all the good feelings I can get!


When you’re nominated you are supposed to answer 11 questions that your nominator chose for you, then you are to nominate 11 other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers), and you are to give them 11 questions to answer as well. The cycle continues.


So without further ado, the questions answered:

1. What was your most embarrassing moment as a child?

  • But really there were so many! If I must choose only one I will say the time I was in 7th grade and our school principal was telling my P.E. (gym) class that our teacher wouldn’t be in that day. I loathed my P.E. teacher and said, louder than I’d meant to, “Yes!” What I hadn’t heard from the back of the gymnasium was that my P.E. teacher wouldn’t be in that day because her mother had passed away. Oops. I was considered heartless for a little while.

2. When your bubble’s invaded by an intruder (read: a stranger), how do you react?

  • Depends on the intruder. My daughters? I steal a hug or a kiss. A man? These days I get a little nervous and avoid eye contact. A woman? I smile at her while sizing her up…it’s a habit.

3. If you were a musician, what genre of music would you want to be known for?

  • Classic rock (had that been my era), but these days it’d be indie rock or alternative rock.

4. Would you tell the Goblin King he had no* power over you or would you agree to let him be your slave? (If you haven’t watched The Labyrinth, you should. You may understand the question a little better.)

  • “I can never remember that line.”

5. Which century would you have liked to live in* and why?

  • If I could be born in a different century, but still be the same person? Well then I’d have to choose this one unfortunately. No time-hopping for me. This happens to be the best era for being African-American. For being anybody really; the world is so mellow right now compared to how things used to be.

6. Vampires or Werewolves? Elaborate. (Elaborate — to explain why you’d choose one over the other. It doesn’t matter if they’re real or not using that as an excuse to not answer lacks wit and creativity. You disappoint.)

  • Vampires are incredibly sexy. Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys – is that elaboration enough? I wouldn’t mind being bitten by him 😉

7. If you weren’t/aren’t a parent and there ever is some Apocalypse, would you want to survive it? (Replace apocalypse with epic war, it makes sense. Therefore apocalypse makes sense whether I say ‘some kind’. This may not be true in Writing 101, but again this is my Blog, my rules.)

  • I am a parent, but I’m answering this one anyway. HELL YES I’d want to survive it (granted I still had full function of my brain and extremities and my children all lived through it with me). Why not? I’d have nothing better to do.

8. What is Meatloaf not willing to do for love?

  • That.

9. What does your dream life look like?

  • I’m standing on a balcony, wearing all white. My outfit flows with the wind. I’m looking out at the ocean. I am happy. I have some drink in my hand and it’s afternoon. I am alone, but not lonely. I am confident, and fulfilled.

10. Out of everything that makes you you, what do you think does it the most?

  • My honesty.

11. You have to make up 11 questions for 11 different people, is that hard for you?

  • On three hours of sleep everything is a little difficult. I’ll try to make the most of it though!


Now, for my 11 nominations (So sorry if you already have over 200 followers; I have no clue how to check your stats):

1. clementine morrigan

2. clotildajamcracker

3. belly button blues

4. Pyjama School

5. Not Your Victim

6. Grapes, Gripes, & Gratitude

7. Rantings of an Amateur Chef

8. Fighting for Autumn & Ivy

9. iGameMom

10. Deliberate Donkey

11. A New Free Life


11 questions to be answered by award recipients (those I’ve nominated):

1. If you’re a parent, what has been your favorite part of the journey? If you’re not yet a parent, what do you think you’ll enjoy the most?

2. Boxers of briefs? (Women, what do you prefer to see men wearing? Or…taking off?)

3. What was the best thing about being a child?

4. Would you consider yourself to be religious? Spiritual? Elaborate.

5. If you hit a parked car do you A) Look around, see no one in the vicinity, then speed away? B) Get out, check for damages, then leave a note? C) Call the police regardless of witnesses or noticeable damage?

6. Blind Faith or Derek and the Dominos?

7. Are you sick of this yet?

8. What is something you used to do/watch that you’d be embarrassed to admit you used to enjoy?

9. What’s your sign? Do you exhibit the characteristics of your sign? (No fair saying that you don’t know your sign’s characteristics, look them up and then answer).

10. Back when you did drugs (don’t lie, you’ve tried them) which was your favorite? Okay, okay…for those of you too shy to admit it, what is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

11. What is more important, your safety or your liberty?


That was fun 🙂 Thank you again Combat Babe! Congratulations to everyone who has been awarded the Liebster!


The Good Things November 21, 2012

I’ve only been a single mother since late May 2012, but nearly every mother who has gone through a similar situation shares my sentiments:

We were single parenting long before we were actually single.

There are some things that have actually changed though. I may have had little time to myself before leaving him, but at least the children didn’t have to come with me to pap smear appointments. I no longer hold out the hope (though it usually wound up in disappointment and added resentment) that someone will help carry the load. I no longer have anyone to vent to about the children’s behavior on a rough day or the hardships of pregnancy. There is no soft skin to bury my face into, no strong arms to wrap around my waist and hold me tightly until I’m feeling okay.

There isn’t any abuse, but there aren’t any of the good things he brought to our household either. I miss the good things tremendously.

I miss the way he made me laugh. I miss our talks about the country, society, history. I miss him teaching me things. I miss his cooking. I miss his hair. I miss the smell of his skin, and the feel of his large hands. I miss the feeling of being protected from everybody; he was the only one who could truly hurt me. I miss the dream of loving each other eternally. I miss knowing that I had somebody.

I miss saying, “my husband,” in conversations. Now I don’t know what to call him. We are still married, but…

I miss his ears. He always thought they were too big, but his head was big and his ears fit it perfectly. I miss the way that he said my name. I miss watching him play video games that were too complicating for me to see how they could possibly be entertaining.

There were so many good things.

Tomorrow marks six months since The Big Incident, but somehow I’m supposed to smile and host a celebration.

Before The Big Incident, there was energy surrounding his presence. Whether he was raising hell or being peaceful, he was there. Whether he was gainfully employed or gleefully indulging in one of his vices, he was there. Whether he was contributing to my attachment parenting efforts or being a dictator, he was there. Now he is gone, and though there are countless ways things have gotten better, the reality of being alone, truly alone, makes getting things done just a bit harder than ever.


Christmas Parade November 19, 2012

Yesterday was our town’s Christmas parade. We had such a great time. The weather was perfect, the children were well-behaved. It was a nice break. Even though today will be spent making up for time spent away from home yesterday I cannot complain. I got to see the smiles on my daughters’ faces, and I got to be close to a team of Clydesdale horses! How could one complain after that?


Clydesdales! They’re so beautiful!

Can you EVER get enough of Clydesdales?









We had a great spot along the curb

There were at least six marching bands.


The girls really loved seeing the old cars

They had a few favorites; this was one

You don’t get to see/hear this everyday

They loved the wigs! The music too of course.


M.A. Candidate – Publishing and Writing November 16, 2012

I’ve always been fascinated by the Book Publishing industry.


When I was a child I was enamored by books; their creation was such a mystery and I was interested in everything. Who was the author? How did the author get the idea to tell this story? Who was in charge of making it a book? How was the book manufactured? How is it that the book is available for us to purchase? How did they get that shiny gold edge on the pages of our bibles? How do people get into this business?

Upon acquiring a new book I would look first to the copyright page. I wanted to know as much as possible about its origins, I wanted to somehow unravel the mystery, but for some reason it never occurred to me that book publishing was a tangible career possibility.

Not until my senior year of undergraduate college, while interning for a journal published through my university, was I introduced to the behind-the-scenes of publishing. I found it fascinating. From acquiring works, to selecting which pieces to include in the journal, to editing the pieces, to electronically formatting the works for print publication, everything was enthralling.  I enjoyed it so much that the journal’s Editor suggested I intern for the university’s press. My university had a press? I hadn’t known a thing about it, and I was ecstatic.

During my time at the university press I began to see the mysteries of book publishing revealed right before my eyes. I wanted to know more; I wanted to learn everything. There are only a handful of universities in the country which offer Master’s degrees in Publishing; I knew that Emerson College would be perfect for me. Five years passed before I was able to attend; one mortgage, two children, the roller coaster of my abusive marriage, and the continual lack of finances all attributed. Nevertheless, I was determined to make it to Boston, to learn even more about the ins and outs of the industry, to meet and network with people who actually work in publishing, to further unravel the mystery, the magic, of bookmaking.

Being here has been wonderful. I love the city, I love the school and the people that I am surrounded by, who are as enamored by good writing and beautiful manufacturing as I am. I have met people on all sides of the industry, from authors, to editors, to marketing folk, from agents, to booksellers, to those who are brave enough to do rights and permissions, from traditional booksellers to eBook professionals, from printing facility personnel to distribution managers. All sides of the spectrum are being shown to me through this program, and I feel so fortunate to have made it here. I love that I am getting my Master’s degree in a field that intrigues me, fulfills me in a way that no other profession has the ability. I belong in this industry, I breathe publishing.

After this semester I will be three courses away from obtaining my M.A. in Publishing and Writing. Just three courses away; I am going to make it. I will have no choice but to stay in school through the birth of Baby #3. I will not be able to take a break as we are currently living off of my loan money. It scares me a little, but I have the support of my program’s faculty, and I hope to be allotted flexibility. I will not give up, I will not drop out. If I quit now I will probably never finish; I am too close to quit. And I want this.


I don’t know what the future holds for me as far as it goes with me actually working in the publishing industry. I have learned so much throughout my schooling that I have a wide range of interests in various aspects of the trade. I absolutely love marketing, but I unexpectedly fell in love with production as well. I think that trade books would be exciting to sell, but I am compelled to work for a scholarly press. Then there’s always novelty books, textbooks, electronic publishing, or something else.

Only time will tell which direction I may go. Right now my focus is on graduating, taking care of my three babies, and stabilizing our lives. One thing I can count on is the industry still being around when I am back on my feet. Only three more classes and I will have a Master’s degree in the field of my dreams. I must find the strength to keep going. I’ve come so far. I am so close now.

I will succeed.