Sickly Mommy and a 15/52 picture

So, I’ve been literally voiceless for going on three days. I was feeling better in the middle of the night last night, but woke up with such a heavy head that I nearly got in an accident taking Punky to school this morning. I figured it best not to go to work again – albeit – unpaid. This is going to suck for a finances, for sure.

Speaking of finances, we are looking for a new place to live, this apartment building, we have been living in for nearly 10 years or a little less, has decided to up my rental fees and late fees without my knowledge – just all of a sudden. Like I wasn’t already struggling to pay the rent in the first place.

So, I’ve been looking on Craigslist for a little duplex or town home to rent, we don’t really need much, but where we are living right now – they pay utilities, so it’s hard to beat in the financial department when it comes to having to pay my own utilities again. Ugh. It’s been ages since I’ve had to add that expense on top of everything else.

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In other news, we got Punky’s preschool picture proofs back and I can’t decide which one I like. I thought I liked the one of her on the right, because she’s looking at the camera, but then Kim pointed out she looks like she might want to eat my liver (aka: evil shitface) in that picture. So, then I thought, well, I like the one on the left too – but I just can’t decide.

Maybe I will just get both. Like – really, I kind of wish I had more to choose from than these two. They look so similar, but of course, our daughter, can’t be bothered with pictures when I’m paying someone to take them!

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Unrelated to anything at all – I hate the weather in the Midwest. For real – we had a shorts and tank top day and then two days later, we had snow. Which is likely why I am now feeling so crummy.

While at my vendor fair for my Etsy shop, I bought Miss Punky a ‘peashooter’ and a bunch of water beads. I didn’t even know these things existed, but boy are they great to shoot at each other. Punky very much enjoys shooting me and the door and in general just throwing them everywhere.

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We are going over to Grammy’s house to dye Easter eggs tonight and my Mama is coming to visit us on Easter Sunday. Which means, I really do need to kick this sickness out of my body – or I am going to be absolutely no fun at all!

Daddy Date Night and Other Musings

Tonight was the night of my hometown’s “Daddy Date Night”. I’ve never in my entire life understood the big deal behind this date night. Probably because I have never been. Well, I take that back. I went once, on the last year I could go in fifth grade and by then I was ‘too old to care”.

Looking at all the great pictures of my friends and family’s little girls getting all dressed up and going out with their dads, uncles, and other male figures in their lives. It made me really take notice that this will be a thing we may encounter with when Punky gets older.

Who knows if they will have such an event when she’s old enough for it, but given that it was around when I was in kindergarten in like 1990, I’m sure this time honored tradition isn’t going away.

She has plenty of male role models that can take her. In fact, unlike myself, growing up, she may have to pick who to take – they may all line up outside my door. In fact, considering the overwhelming love and support she has by one very doting godfather, super awesome and loving papas, and more uncles than one kid should ever have, I don’t think she will have a problem in this department.

It’s kind of nice thinking about them drawing straws to see who GETS to take her. LOL. Take a number – or well, she may be the only girl at the party with 60 gentlemen escorting her.

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So, its times like this that some people may worry about our daughter being raised by two moms. Where the Christian nay-sayers and the well to do marriage equality oppositions would be up in arms that my sweet girl just can’t possibly grow up a well adjusted, loved, and well rounded young lady without a dad in her life.

Well, it’s times like this – when my Facebook feed is covered with all sorts of families displaying their little girls and their male figures going off on dates. It’s times like this that makes me remember just how lucky Miss Punky is. She won’t ever want for a date to something like this. I am so happy to know she’s so blessed in that way.

There are plenty of opportunities I worry, as her mom, that she will miss out on things that other kids get to experience. And, when I saw the picture of my soon-to-be seven year old niece headed off with her male figure, my sister’s current beau, and not her father, it reminds me that she had two parents – a mom and a dad – when she was conceived.

In the end, she’s seen her ‘dad’ a handful of times in her life and I wouldn’t envy her experience for the world. That poor girl has had it tough in the dad department. People need to remember, that just because you have a dad, doesn’t mean you HAVE a dad. And, it’s times like this that I have to salute those men who stand up and take up that role for little girls like my sweet sweet niece – whom I have seen grow up and blossom from birth. I have seen her knocked down and kicked around by the dad she was given.

I’m not sure what I’m getting at, except that seeing all those pictures from the family and friends who have little girls old enough to experience something I’ve never really seen the value in – based on my own experiences – it flashed me forward to what our future may hold.

And all I can see if the line of gentlemen callers in her family and extended family that will be banging down the door to be the first to escort Miss Punky to her first “Papa/Uncle Date Night.” No dad required.

And we are just fine with that. She will have quite the choices to make when the time comes!

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14/52 – Discovering a Nurturing Side

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So my little one has been carrying around two very important babies lately. They both had the name “Ga Ga – Goo Goo” until just a few days ago. Now they are Molly on top and Shell on the Bottom.

That sling there, is a makeshift baby carrier out of my infinity scarf, because I can’t ever get those scarves to look right on me. So I put them to better use.

She has twins and she loves them so much, she popped them into the carrier and waddled around the apartment with them.

This week, I got a wisdom tooth out, and man have I been in some pain for the last two days. I have been hopped up on pain meds and Miss Punky has been (even if she bumps my sore cheek) trying her best to take care of me. Kisses and pets on the face come with the nurturing side of our little one.

Its refreshing and sweet.

We are exploring all the ways our darling toddler emerges into her personality. I love it. I love watching it.

We went to another little friend’s birthday party and it was a ‘dress up’ and be fancy toddler dance party. I picked up a cute little dress at a consignment shop and she looked damn cute in it!

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Her favorite part of going to other kids’ houses is to play with their toys, LOL.

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We took some time to relax and decompress together, which makes me smile so big.

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We also got her some new jammies. They are freaking adorable!

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13/52 – School Picture Day

According to the school, Punky was not thrilled about doing picture day. However, I didn’t get a note that says she refused it, some parents did have that stuck to their child’s cubby!

She just only got 1 good picture apparently.

I dressed her so darn cute today too!

So instead, I took it upon myself to take her pictures for her school day pictures. And with the way I take pictures anyway, that may be the theme of her life! ;)

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Honorable Mention are these:

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She’s growing up so fast. I thought maybe it might be fun to also see what her classroom looks like and what her little job is everyday she’s there.

IMG_5563 IMG_5564Punky is the bell ringer. I’m not sure what the means and what her job is as the bell ringer, but she is the bell ringer pretty much every time she goes to school – I hear she enjoys it!

I’m glad she got to go to school day, she’s been sickly. She got her first ear infection this weekend and she’s been on antibiotics for that. The doctor also says her chest sounds good, her temperature is fine, but she is running low grade fevers periodically and coughing up a storm. So we have had to bring out Sammy Seal to help with breathing treatments. The doctor says it’s probably just sinus drainage and she doesn’t know how to cough it up and get rid of it, so instead, she chokes on it.

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So we do breathing treatments every four hours, while singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and sitting on my lap. I fell asleep in her toddler bed a couple nights ago, so that we could get her to sleep propped up. It worked, but it was quite a feat getting out of the bed when it was time for me to go back to my own bed.

In that time, I’ve also learned its really hard to teach a two year old how to blow her nose. So far, that’s my single most frustrating moment thus far. She won’t let me dig in there to help clear it out, but she can’t figure out the ‘blow your nose’ trick either.

Hopefully, her cough clears up soon, she is having a rough couple nights sleeping, when the coughs hit hardest.

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12/52 – Exploring Family Bonds

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Miss Punky has been crawling into her Mama’s chair whenever it is vacant. She knows that she’s not supposed to be in her Mama’s chair for numerous reasons. Mostly because it’s right next to the computer and she’s sure to be a bull in a china shop and cause that computer to tumble over.

So, now – it’s a game. It’s a game to see if Kim can see her when she comes back into the room. It’s so freaking adorable to watch. While I’m sure I shouldn’t be laughing, it’s hilarious to see Punky climb into the chair and then look so satisfied with herself.

When Kim comes into the room, they have a little (playful) standoff, staring contest and it’s too damn cute not to laugh at. I can’t help it. Sometimes, Punky will hide her face in the chair, like Kim can’t see her.

The whole game ends in lots of spinning of the chair and giggling. Usually some tickling in the mix. It’s just so great to watch from across the room. Sometimes, I’m jealous of their connection, but then I remember, that Kim and I have an advantage.

Having been together for nearly 11 years, Kim and I are actually pretty different in most ways; hobbies, talents, social skills and parenting styles. We both have strengths and weaknesses and frankly, we mesh well. We have grown into each other and really have been able to go through so much together and it really has glued us together as one person.

It’s an advantage for Punky, because, she has two moms who fill in the gaps and become one complete and total mom. She was carried in my belly and she looks like me. She takes on so many expressions and mannerisms that are distinctly me,  and it’s beautiful to watch her blossom and take on so many characteristics of her Mama as well. She laughs at the same things Kim does, she seeks so much approval from her Mama just by imitating her. I see her smirk a bit or light the room in the same way Kim does.

In moments like that, I know – blood doesn’t make a family, love does.

From the moment that Kim started talking to Punky through my belly button while she was still inside, to now, two years later, it melts my heart seeing them bond and grow more and more in love with each new day!

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And this really is the sweetest thing to watch!

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So, while I’m still puny ill and my throat hurts and I’m a coughing mess – its moments like these that bring brightness to the day full of sickliness.

The Doc Is In – And She’s Two.

So basically, this Mommy feels like death right now. Literally and utterly – like death. My throat is on fire and I can’t get myself to stop the coughing. I thought a nice nap would help things, but I’m just more exhausted than I started.

Miss Punky has been a very cute, very annoyingly attentive nurse today. She keeps bringing out her Doc McStuffins stethoscope to “Listen Mommy Heart.”

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She’s also full of kisses today, which wouldn’t make me pause normally – but I really don’t want to get her sick too. So I have been kissing her on the cheek and she will stay there – in my face – until I “Kiss Lips Mommy” which gets me every time.

We went to a baby shower yesterday that I helped host, I sure love baby showers. I also tried my hand at designing baby stats nursery prints, which turned out really cute on canvas. My friend had me design it so she could give it as a gift, and it turned out super adorable.

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I’m working on Mother’s Day right now. I’d like to make a line of two mom mother’s day cards, and it’s still being mulled around in my head. When I do a Google search for “lesbian mother’s day” there’s not much out there for two mom parenting on Mother’s Day. I would assume the same is true for Father’s Day.

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This one is my favorite design so far.

So this is how I’m spending my sick day. On photoshop – designing things. Because I really do love it. Last night, Punky and I spent some time hanging out and listening to Spotify. If you haven’t started a playlist over there, you are missing out. I find it much better than Pandora.

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Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel better. As of right now, I’m in a sore throat, medicine induced, slow motion plague haze. But Kim has made me chicken noodle soup and biscuits, so things are about to get much better!

This Just In!

We just landed in “BIG GIRL LAND”

So much has happened in just this one day. I swear, toddlers are the most astounding little people on the planet.

This afternoon, I had to stay home from work for some … personal issues, so I of course spent time with our Punky. Always a treat and a whine-fest – so it really just re-enforces the ‘working mom’ role is best for me.

However, we have moments of pure awesome too!

So, at school, March has been the month of learning about space and planets and things like that. They have been painting aliens, learning about the different planets, and playing with “ice planets” (I’m not really sure what that is.) Anyway, for my baby shower with my co-workers, each guest colored a letter and they made me an alphabet book for Punky when she got bigger.

Well, now she’s bigger. She found the book on her own, not sure where it has been stored, but suddenly she had it out and brought it to me saying “Read it, Mommy”.

Well, ok, sure.

We get to “O” and it was covered in planets and the sun and such. I suppose it’s for the word “Orbit”. A strange word for an alphabet book, right? Nope. She says, “Planets, Mommy.”

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Excuse me?! And while Kim and I are looking at each other with our mouths open, she points to ‘saturn’ and says “Mercury” which I clearly know that Saturn isn’t Mercury, but it’s pretty damn awesome that our kid knows a planet’s name!

I get the vibe sometimes that ‘daycare’ is looked down upon by some, especially stay-at-home moms, but you know what, it’s just like anything else we do for Punky (TV and electronics included, a post for another day) it’s all about education and fun combined.

So, we go take a nap and when she gets up, we needed to change her pull-up and she came to me and says “Go Potty.” well, I can’t tell right now if she’s just experimenting with words or if she really means it. I mean, if she’s interested – who am I to discourage right?

She brought me her Dora panties and I was like, “Well, ok!” Terrified – I took her to her room and gave her a choice between pull-up and panties. (I’m pretty sure I had a moment of temporary insanity, people!) She picked Dora panties over Minnie Mouse pull-ups of course! When I put the panties on her bare booty, she was just giving me the strangest looks. She kept poking at it, like it was some new sensation.

I let her run around the apartment for about 10 minutes without pants or pull-up and she came to me at one point and said “Go Potty.” So she sat on her potty for a good ten minutes, for the first time without panties and just carried on a great little broken conversation with me on the bathroom floor. (We got nothing, but there was plenty of clapping involved)

SO, after that, I got to thinking about how we don’t have a washer and dryer and damnit what if she peed on the couch and we didn’t really plan for this and we didn’t really have this thought out. How do we even begin to communicate this thing with her? How do I make her understand that she has to tell me when she needs to pee. She can’t pull her own panties up or down.

And I started second guessing myself and that’s when the thoughts took over (anxiety brain) and kicked into overdrive and I ushered her back to her room to put pull-up on!

Yes, Mommy sabotaged her first attempt at potty training, but I got nervous! She’s interested – the teacher at her school said she may start to be more interested and she has been more vocal about when she has to be changed and things. So it’s not like she can’t communicate with us, but jeebs, I just got all nuts about it.

Maybe we will try again another day! We aren’t in any rush, right? I mean, she doesn’t go to kindergarten for a few more years! Haha.

She coerced me into taking her outside for a bit, she got a new bubble car for her birthday and she was very excited to put ‘gas’ in it and blow bubbles everywhere.

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After going outside in the chilly semi-spring weather, we made dinner and Kim decided to get out the table she got for her birthday. Yet another BIG GIRL moment. We retired the high chair tonight and gave her a cup without a lid for dinner.

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It went as well as can be expected. She ate the crap out of pulled pork and that was awesome. She’s being less of a picky eater since school started too! If I had any reservations about putting her in ‘daycare’ those have all been countered by the great things it’s doing for her development!

Lots of big girl things going on around here. She’s such a good little helper and she’s so vocal about everything. She sang bits and pieces of “Twinkle, Twinkle” today and danced to “The Voice” with Mommy today.

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I hope to have many more moments of fun and sweet with my special girl! I know some people are looking at adding to their family, but I don’t know if I could hold anymore love for any other kid but this one. Even in the moments when she drives me absolutely batty, she’s just the joy and heart of my life.

Besides, we really lucked out in the kid department. From conception to toddler-hood, we have the best experience and the best kid anyone could ask for. Sometimes, I feel guilty for the awesome-ness that is our kid!

Even if she does steal my money! LOL

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11/52 – Exploring Spring Weather

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Here in the Midwest of the US, we have been slowly digging ourselves out of cold temps and snowy terrain. Punky got some bubbles for her birthday and we had some fun with them for the first time, really, on Saturday. She was able to really enjoy them, interact with them.

Minus the whining that is currently going on right now, I think this may be my favorite stage in her life so far!

She’s talking so much, she says so many things, she comprehends so much. Today, we picked her up from school and the teacher gave me the most astounded look and said, “She’s so polite.” I just had to laugh. Punky says “Thank you” to everything. Usually at the right time, but sometimes, she just says it.

We’ve been discovering language and she’s been practicing with words. She will say “Oops Sorry.” or “Oh No.” out of no where. “I get it.” She’s expanded to larger sentences that are broken and a little slow, but it’s still astonishing to me that we are able to communicate. She says things like “Have a cookie, Mommy.” or when I prompt her, she will say “Have a cookie, please, Mommy.” which is five whole words strung together!

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We have been getting a little more sassy in our words as well. “Stop it.” and “Sit Mommy.” is a frequent couple of phrases coming out of her mouth.

Lots of time is spent making sure that Mommy knows when she is hurt and making sure that Mommy kisses the exact right place on her appendages. And when that spot, that magical, elusive spot is kisses, I get a “Thank you Mommy!” and she’s off running around the apartment again.

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I know I spend a lot of time talking about her communication, but it really is the coolest thing ever to watch and to hear! It is also dangerous, when her Mommy talks like a sailor sometimes. So, I am taking my time when I speak and trying to be more aware of my surroundings.

Oh! Speaking of communicating, Punky also for the first time, on her own told me “Go potty.” and we went to the potty, pants down and everything. Nothing happened, but Mommy had to go anyway, so why not do what she says.

We haven’t been pushing the idea of potty training, since I’m not even sure where to start and frankly, I think she’s still a little small for that, but since going to school, she’s been telling us when she’s “Poopy”, sometimes it’s not true, and then sometimes, like tonight – it is very true. I can’t tell if she’s telling me she’s “Poopy” before she actually goes or after, because this one time she was telling the truth, I didn’t check!

It feels like its too soon for us to have a two year old. They aren’t kidding when they say time flies. Goodness, they never really tell you how much time flies and people most certainly don’t express, as I don’t think there are words, for how incredibly awesome it is to witness how the time flies and what fills up that time!

And while our little one, minus the ridiculous whining, is generally pretty damn sweet, it’s the quiet moments that I appreciate the most when I forget just why we wanted to be moms in the first place!

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One Woman is Smashing her Fears to Bring Awareness to Mesothelioma

I was recently contacted by a man named Cameron Von St. James. He left me a message in my comments and as always, I was sure it was probably spam mail. I Googled his email address and noticed he had left the same message on several other blogs. That really wasn’t making me very optimistic about the message left on the blog. But he wasn’t trying to sell me anything and to my knowledge I didn’t get a virus from his message.

Instead, I received a very nice email in response to my attention to his comments. I was asked to feature his wife’s story on my blog and while it doesn’t really fit with the general topic of my blog, what it does fit with is humanity. It is an inspiring story about a woman who survived Mesothelioma.

When he contacted me, I had no real knowledge on Mesothelioma. I knew what it was, a cancer, but I didn’t know the symptoms, treatment, or know anyone who might have been effected by it.

Now, I know about LungLeavin’ Day and how it was started by one woman affected by this disease and how it is about more than what they set out to make it about. It’s about letting go of your fears, celebrating the freedom from those fears, and making people aware of the things that are most important to you.

Whether they meant for this event to mean more than their intended cause, it does. It also brings awareness to a cause that most people don’t really think about until it effects their family.

The best way to tell his wife Heather’s story, is to watch this video. I didn’t choose to write about her story because of the disease she survived. I didn’t choose to showcase her cause on my blog because of the message she gives.

I chose to feature this on my blog because I felt a kinship with a fellow mother. I felt a kind of warmth and connection to a mother who was told she would die before her daughter was two years old.

I am always applauding those people who are strong enough to share their weaknesses with the world. To help the world be a better place. To raise awareness to the next generation for understanding. And for those reasons, the connection and the bond across the world wide web, I wanted to learn more about the disease and the family.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer – generally a result of exposure to asbestos. Heather’s own father was in construction and like a true Daddy’s Girl, she liked to wear her father’s coat around the house and outside. Her exposure started from something so simple, so sweet as a coat her father wore. It likely smelled like him, it likely covered her in warmth like him, it likely gave her comfort and I’m saddened that the thought of that coat may not have the same sweet memories when she thinks of that coat. I hope that she does.

That coat made her a fighter. That coat made her a survivor. I don’t know Heather personally, but I do know that she is an 8-year survivor of a disease that doctor’s told her she had 15 months to live from. I don’t attempt to speak for her or her experiences, but I can attempt to try and put myself in her shoes.

I won’t ever know the thoughts that went through her mind during that time, and I will never be able to fully comprehend what it means to get that diagnosis. However, as a woman who does suffer from something that won’t be going away, a silent disease, an unseen disorder, I know the feeling of wanting the world to be more aware of the things you are suffering or bring awareness to the disease that affected her life so much!

Lung Leavin’ Day is celebrated by Heather and her family, and I’m sure it’s reached many, on February 2nd. Every year, this year being the 8th year she’s been cancer free, they stand outside in their backyard, writing their biggest fears on a plate, and then smashing those fears in the fire.

While it may be a simple thought, it seems to easy to do, and yet, to shed those fears, the admit those fears, to share those fears; takes courage. Heather has had courage for 8 years.

So you can go to the website for Lung Leavin’ Day and write your own fears on a plate, and virtually smash it. Why not try it? I did!

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Then I smashed the plate and it felt pretty good. It didn’t really take the anxiety away from me – obviously, but the sentiment behind it was very inspiring.

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**I am not paid for this post. It is simply a post for awareness**

If you would like more information you can visit:

http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/cameron/

http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/