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     The first time I saw her I fell in love all over again. I knew the feeling because of oldest child, and I didn't think my heart could possibly hold anymore love. It could, and it did. When I met her she was absolutely beautiful and she still is. 
     Middle child is the exact opposite of me. I am a tomboy and she is the epitome of a girly girl. She loves nail polish and makeup. Her favorite color is pink and she adores anything with glitter. I like understated beauty and glitter makes me itch. Raising middle child is a challenge. 


 
 
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     There has been much ado in the news over the Ray Rice scandal. The question at the forefront of everyone's mind is why his then girlfriend chose to stay in an an unhealthy and abusive relationship. The truth is, only women in that situation can truly understand why you choose to stay. Everyone has their own reasons and they are all different. My first marriage lasted ten years. It was riddled with abuse, both physical and mental. I chose to stay, until I didn't. There was no moment of enlightenment for me, I just couldn't do it anymore. 


 
 
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     They look so sweet and innocent, but they aren't. Maybe at times they act it, but they are typically snoring. Since youngest has hit toddler stage, our life has turned upside down. He rules our house. We all quietly admit it, even middle and oldest. We do what youngest wants, when he wants, or there will be hell to pay. 


 
 
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     Middle child is turning ten. She has been in this world for nearly a decade now and they have been ten of the best years of my life. I love that little girl more than anyone can possibly imagine. She is my world, as all of my children are. So when middle comes home from school crying because kids make fun of her or abandon her, it breaks my heart. As a parent, you talk your child through it and wait for things to pass, but with middle it doesn't go away. All summer she has been dreading this year. She knows that kids can tell she is different now. She knows she is different. I try to tell her that different isn't bad, it is beautiful and wonderful. But when you are ten, you don't want to stick out, all you want to do is fit in.