Evolution of an Artist with Wishes

Even though three has come with its share of whining and screaming for no reason and other assortments of unpleasant habits, words, and behaviors; it’s my favorite age so far!

Yes, Punky totally tells me I’m not fair all the time. That’s a bit annoying.

But if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook; you have been bombarded by the cuteness that is my child. More than that, I have been so impressed and astonished with her evolution in personality and interests.

Just a few weeks ago, she was writing letters to people. Notes if you will. She was ‘writing’ in a line, either on lined paper or not, her scribbly lines were thin and straight along the line. Like she knew she was supposed to write that way. Even if she didn’t know how to actually draw words.

Then a few days ago, she moved from a page full of circles to a page full of ‘faces’.

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Yesterday, those faces got some legs and were named things. (Creepy Robots)

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Previously, she couldn’t tell me what it was she was drawing whenever I asked.

TODAY – she drew her family. Her immediate family. Mommy, Mama, and Me.

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I have no idea why this brought me so much joy and pride. I just have no idea. Maybe its the fact that these ‘people’ have arms now. Or, I asked her which one was and she was able to definitively tell me who was who – as if she drew them deliberately. And while I love her Grammy and Papa, I also love that Punky is able to distinguish who her PARENTS are in relation to herself. It’s just so damn amazing to me that it brought a few tears to my eyes.

Yea, I’m that mom.

I dated the picture and the first note she wrote me and I will put it in her box of important growing up things to save.

In addition to writing, she is loving reading and being read to. When she was a baby, I used to read bedtime stories to her, but she was too little to pay attention. She was more interested in eating the pages than she was actually listening to the story. Now, we read a story before bed every night, we got to the library to get new books, and when I’m done reading the books, she wants them to read to herself and her babies.

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Punky has also just recently discovered “wish flowers” and she loves waving their little white puffy seeds all over the street. The neighbor ladies watch her from the windows and their front door and just think it’s adorable. I think! I think it’s adorable, that’s all that matters.

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This kid just continues to amaze me. She continues to grow and change every single day. She soaks up all the information around her, interprets it, and then repeats it. It’s just so crazy and pretty damn awesome to watch. Here’s to a summer of more fun and discovery.

The Day Punky Lost Her Penpal

Miss Punky is really into drawing and writing right now. She draws pictures every day now; with colors, markers, and pencils. Anything she can get her hands on. She’s writes people notes and lists and letters. She’s been really doing a lot of writing. Even her thank you cards from her birthday were made by her. She had me fold small pieces of scrapbook paper, she would draw pictures on them and then tell me who it was to so I could write their name on it. We mailed them to all her friends and guests.

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I’m not sure if that was well received by the guests, but she puts a lot of time and effort into her pictures and letters. She’s so very proud of her drawings. I’ve been having so much fun watching how her ‘writing’ and her pictures evolve. It’s gone from scribbles to lines to circles to faces.

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“This is my family”

Several months ago, Punky met her great-grandfather. He’s Kim’s step grandfather and he lived in a different state. So we didn’t see him very much. Occasionally, he would have doctor’s visits in our area and he would visit. Recently, he’s taken a fondness for Punky. He started to send her letters and color her pictures and send them in the mail. They talked on the phone, not much physical contact; but she developed a penpal relationship with him.

This last Thursday evening, her grandfather passed away. Towards the end of his life, he began to forgot things, showing signs of dementia or Alzheimers. He was still, through all of that, sending her letters and drawings.

Punky is three years old and we weren’t really sure if it was necessary to even explain to her what had happened. As atheist parents, Kim and I were at a loss of how to explain the complexities of death to a three year old; without using the comforts of Heaven and God. Because we believe that when you die, there is nothing else, you simply go back to the Earth; it’s hard to rectify and explain it to a child.

If I was a still a religion woman, I would have said things like “He’s in a better place” or “God is watching him” or “He’s happy in Heaven.” But, since we don’t believe that is what happens; it’s pretty hard to explain.

I also didn’t want to relay the message that other people’s definition of death is right or wrong. I didn’t want to put ideas in her head of what was right or wrong to think. I just wanted to relay the news of her passing grandfather and that it would be sad and that’s why Grammy and Papa were sad. I didn’t want to discount the beliefs of her grandparents either. I didn’t want to tell her that Heaven was wrong or that her moms were the only people who knew what death was and what happens.

If they hadn’t had a relationship of any kind, I wouldn’t have made an effort.

But she draws him pictures. She talks about him. She talked to him on the phone. She looked forward to the mail he was send her pretty regularly. Now that those pictures would not be coming anymore; now that she has no where to send her pictures, we had to figure out a way to explain that.

As much as we fretted over it, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. We made it bigger in our heads than it was in her head. It’s tricky to explain why she couldn’t send letters to him because he had died. But she was more than welcome to still draw pictures of him or for him if she wanted to. I didn’t want to equate being sick with dying – as to frighten her when she got sick to think she would die and cease to exist again.

So, we had the talk and she was a little confused, but I think she got the concept for the most part. I didn’t want to discourage her from asking questions, but she’s too little to know what questions to ask and I didn’t want to make thing to complicated! At the end of the day, she knows that Grandpa died and isn’t here anymore. She won’t be able to send him mail and he won’t be sending her mail anymore.

And that’s how she lost a penpal.

In happier news, we had a girls day with our friends on Friday. She had a great time looking at the animals and spending time with her bestie, Cheeks. I sure love these girls. We took Punky’s cousin with us as well. Cheeks and Punky have been friends for a long time, since they were able to walk really. It’s been awesome to see them grow up and grow closer.

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It’s like the movies, when your best friend has been your friend since you were tiny! I can only hope they don’t grow apart. I know its never something we will know, but, it’s so cute, the two of them. They enjoy each other’s company and they spend a great deal of time together when we are able to get them together.

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The girls had a great time at the zoo. I really enjoyed taking them!

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The DayDreamer Award – Heavy on Religion Today – Proceed with Caution

***This post was originally password protected, I was afraid of offending someone. But, this morning I decided that my opinion on my blog is mine alone. With that said, I hope you stick around for the whole post, but I also hope that I don’t offend you – as it’s not my intention***

I was nominated by The Little Butch That Could nearly a month ago. For that I apologize. I have been meaning to sit down and write this post, but with Easter, I now feel like I may have an answer to the question you posed!

The rules for accepting the award are:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

    Thanks again for thinking of me, and I hope people will set out and read your blog here!

  2. Complete the challenge they set you.

    See below

  3. Select a blog or blogs that you want to give the award to. The amount of blogs you select is up to you.

  4. Tell them about it and set them a challenge.

  5. Please include the rules in your post

The challenge set forth to me was this:

“When was the last time you changed your mind about something you believed strongly?”

Well, by the very nature of this blog, it’s likely obvious the answer to my question. But, with Easter just leaving us, I have been mulling around how I might write the post in such a way to get my point across. I know that I have many believers in my followers, friends, and family who read my blog. I’m pretty open about my wish to raise our daughter, with Kim’s wishes as well, as religion free as possible. I think I have been pretty clear about why.

So, when was the last time I changed my mind about something I believed strongly?

The day I declared I didn’t believe there was a God or a Jesus – not in the way that is described in the Bible. That’s the last time I changed my mind on something so strongly held in my belief system.

It isn’t something I changed my mind lightly about. I was a Christian – I grew up in the church. I was baptized three times in my life. Once when I was a baby in the Methodist Church; not because my parents were altogether religious people, but because that’s what is expected of a couple to do in a small town.

The second time I was a tween; in a non-denominational Pentecostal Church. My grandmother took me there every Sunday and every Wednesday night and we worshiped and we sang and my heart was truly filled overflowing with the spirit of the Lord. My belief was solidified when my dad became a “jailhouse convert”. If my prayers could be answered and someone like my dad could be saved, then there must be a God.

The third time, I had moved to another small town, my senior year in high school; away from all my family and friends I had grown up with. I had no one to turn to, the girls at school invited me to church. I went. I was involved in their Youth Ministry, I spent time learning all the worship songs, attending church every chance I could get. I read the Bible from the beginning to the end, studied it (yet never fully understood), kept the word as gospel.

In college, I took a Bible to school with me. I was the girl who actually said the words “I don’t believe in homosexuality, it’s wrong because the Bible says it is.” But, when I tried to get into the church lifestyle there, I never found anything that really stuck with me. I began to question how true my beliefs were, when my best friend came out to me. I loved her anyway. I began to realize that God couldn’t possibly damn anyone who loved another of his creation to Hell. Not when my best friend was so pure and loving and kind-hearted. That’s just not possible that she was damned to Hell because she loved women.

And from there, I began to continue to question, but never fully renouncing the belief. Not until a few years ago, when I just decided things didn’t add up for me. When the calls for prayers over surgeries began to make me uncomfortable.Why not ask for steady hands for the surgeon or instead of thanking God that the surgery went well, thank the surgeon who went to school for many years. The empty words of “You are in my prayers” were written on every sympathy card I ever signed and yet, I couldn’t bring myself to write those words.

I began to realize that religion doesn’t allow you to question. It doesn’t like when you are curious. I am a curious mind. I have a knack for asking questions and people have yet to have an answer for the questions I’ve been asking since I was a believer. The questions that I asked and brushed aside the pastor’s vague or non-response and continued to ‘just have faith’.

– If Adam and Eve were the first people on Earth, where are the dinosaurs? We know they exist, science says they existed. If Adam and Eve were in fact first creatures on Earth, what role did dinosaurs play? I never really came across them in the Bible.

– Also, if Adam and Eve were the first people on Earth, does that make them the original cavemen? The Bible makes them out to be simple and pure minded, but they did seem more intelligent than the primitive cavemen of science. So, where are the cavemen? Did we suddenly devolve since the time of the Bible?

And on a more relevant note, I have been thinking of Easter. The time when Jesus, the son of God, was crucified, died for other people’s sins and then rose again three days later. And while the traditional Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the day that Jesus rose from the dead, we modern people celebrate it on a different day each year.

I began to wonder why?

I learned that it was determined, by someone, somewhere that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Solstice. The Spring Solstice being a pagan holiday. Once again, a pagan holiday has been adapted to Christian holiday and it just so happens there’s a neat, fantastical story to go with it? I don’t know that I buy that. Who’s to say, and we will never know the truth, any of us; that it wasn’t more like this:

The pagans got rowdy during the Spring Solstice and celebrated a little too much for the religion people’s liking. So they made their own holiday just happen to coincide. The two holidays rivaled for a bit, but soon the Christian faith and ideology became more popular, and they began to overtake the pagan holiday; making it only a distant memory.

Perhaps another way for Christians to bully another religion and take over with their own beliefs and stories?

What if it’s like the lyrics to a song “Wonderful” in my most favorite Broadway Musical:

A man’s called a traitor – or liberator
A rich man’s a thief – or philanthropist
Is one a crusader – or ruthless invader?
It’s all in which label
Is able to persist
There are precious few at ease
With moral ambiguities
So we act as though they don’t exist

And, how much of the Easter story is left to conjecture, hearsay, rumors? Do we know when the story was ACTUALLY written? The story in the Bible is written in third person, where most first person accounts (according to a pastor I once asked) were written by people in real time, who had really been there to witness the events. So, third person accounts of this miraculous rise of the Lord and Savior of the Christian people. But, when?

I’d like to know, as my questioning mind tends to do so, when it was that the book was written? Was it written shortly after -as told by someone who actually witnessed it? Or was it written after several word of mouth people told the story and it was then written down for posterity? If that’s the case, there’s cause for translation errors; opinions; he said, she said type vague accounts; and is quite susceptible to the possible embellishment of the own writers’ creative license.

In a time when fear was the main motivator to get people to do what it was they wanted; and a time when oppression and crucifixion was a means of punishment, people were bound to believe anything leaders told them, and then come to fully make their minds bend to make that reality. And then as more people talk and more people believe, it becomes a group think type situation.

I’m not saying this is what’s happened. I’m simply saying it’s possible and no one can say for sure. No one living today knows the true story and no one living today knows what is truth or fiction in the Bible. We only have ‘faith’.

And while I have no qualms with faith – those who have it, more power to them. I don’t have issues with people who believe the story, who dispute my mistrust in the story that just can’t add up in my head.

I do have qualms with people who don’t question. I do have qualms with people who don’t try and get answers to their questions. So, blind faith, without research and lots of questions are never truly a belief, but an action.

And it causes people to do and think things that hurt other people. Such as using the Bible to justify the means to mistreat and oppress entire groups of people. A book, which is chalk full of holes and possibly susceptible to errors and mis translation; opinion and perhaps embellishment or hearsay.

Can we say for sure that any of it is true? No. Does it matter if it is? No.

At the end of the day, if you believe in God and Jesus and you get to Heaven, your life will be fulfilled. If you find there was no Heaven, but you lived your life without judgement and loved your neighbor, you life will still be fulfilled.

And at the end of the day, I will continue to be a good person, teach my child to question things and make up her own mind about God, Christianity, and religion. And if I raise a good and decent human being by the time I die and I don’t find Heaven at the end of it; my life will be fulfilled.

So while we don’t celebrate the rise of Jesus – we do celebrate family and being a good person. And we celebrate the giant magical bunny that poops jellybeans, hides eggs, and sugars up my very dressed up kid! ;) Because who doesn’t like an excuse to put a pretty three year old in a fluffy dress and tiny heels??!!

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I nominate:

A RedHead’s Guide

The Gayby Project

More Than Words

Solo Mama

Chronicles of a Non-Belly Mama

I challenge you to write about: “What is the moment in your life that made you who you are today?”

A Day In The Life of Punky – 3 Years Old

The last time I did a Day In The Life was when Punky was over a year ago! I do so love to do these. I did her daily chronology since she’s been little bitty at 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 22 months. I love to see the changes in the daily life of our kiddo. It’s so fun to look back at them and see how much she has changed and grown. (Setting: Currently we are living with Grammy and Papa; which means we have Mommy, Mama, Grammy, Papa, Molly the dog, Missy the Cat, Baby the Bird, and All the fishes)

This is a picture heavy post. You have been warned! LOL.

** As always, for newer readers, please excuse the state of my cluttered, lived in home and know that time stamps are on the pictures but it doesn’t mean she’s literally doing the action from one picture to another. I usually get distracted and she gets moving faster!***

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 9:13AM – later wake up time than normal, so I’m glad to get some extra sleep. Off to the potty for the start of the day.

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9:21AM – Put our pants on one leg at a time. (This is a skill we are still working on right now, self sufficiency is something we really strive to give her.)

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9:22AM – Our conversation every morning:

Mommy: Are you hungry
Punky: No.
Mommy: Are you thirsty?
Punky: Yes.
Mommy: What do you want to drink?
Punky: I don’t know.
Mommy: Let’s look in the fridge and see what we have.
Punky: I want Strawberry Milk.
Mommy: You got it.

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9:25AM  – What will we watch this morning? Calliou? Daniel? Jess? (Jess is the winner)

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9:28AM – 

Punky: Mommy, my chocolate milk doesn’t taste right.
Mommy: That’s because you asked for Strawberry milk, ma’am.
Punky: I don’t like it.

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9:29AM – Making hearts with our fingers is the best talent ever. “Mommy, I was going to scream, but I didn’t – because they were SOOOOO small. Like this big!” (quotes from her favorite bedtime story ‘The Beasties‘)

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9:33AM – Early morning coloring on the Easter present we got in the mail from Great Grandma Lana yesterday.

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9:34AM – Showing off her whole book being colored. Lots of Minnie Mouse in that book!

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9:36AM – “Mommy, I have a tummy ache. I need a biscuit.”

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9:37AM – A biscuit is a chewable Pepto. She loves these. I think she thinks they’re candy. She gets one. It’s called a biscuit, because that one time I tried to feed her cough medicine in a play teacup with a side of Pepto (biscuits). It’s just stuck.

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9:40AM – “Mommy. I need you to feed me. Before I starve.”

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9:42am – 

Mommy: “Do you want cereal or muffins?”
Punky: “No. I want a waffle.”
Mommy: “We have one more waffle left.”
Punky: “I need the one more waffle to eat.”

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9:44AM – Waiting patiently for the waffle to pop up…

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9:47AM – She ate approximately 2 and a half bites of her waffle.

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9:57AM – 

Punky: “Mommy, can I have your blanket. I’m freezing.”
Mommy: You can sit with me if you like, I can share my blanket.
Punky: Thanks for sharing Mommy.

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9:58AM – My back is cold. Can you help me put the blanket on my back?

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10:03AM:

Punky: Mommy can you go get my drink off the table?
Mommy: No, sweetie, you can get it yourself.
Punky: You are not being fair. (Proceeds to pout)

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10:07AM – 

Punky: “Mommy, why are there plants in the garden?”
Mommy: “Because that’s where plants live.”
Punky: Oh.

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10:08AM – “It rained out there, Mommy!”

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10:11AM – I’m going to write a book about plants in the garden!

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10:14AM 

Punky: I need you to draw the book?
Mommy: No thanks, baby – Mommy doesn’t draw very well.

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10:15AM – shrieking ensues.

Mommy: Why are you crying?
Punky: You won’t draw my family!
Mommy: That’s because you are better at it than me!

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10:21AM – “I’m going to eat my breakfast on the couch.” (She didn’t eat any of it.)

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10:31AM – These are the conversations we have.

Punky. “Shh. Shh. Mommy’s got ya.” (Kisses her cup)
Mommy: Whatcha doing?
Punky: I was getting my cup out of time out.
Mommy: Why was your cup in time out?
Punky: For staring at everyone.
Mommy: Hm. Ok.

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10:34AM – Cue spontaneous singing.

Punky: Where is Mama? Oh where can she be? Where is Mama. Mama. Mama and Me. Where is Mama?
Mommy: Mama is sleeping.
Punky: Where is Mama? Mama where is she? I must go downstairs nooooooowwww.
Mommy: No Ma’am.

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10:38AM – Serenading in the livingroom on her fireplace stage. (Show #1 of the day)

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10:38AM – 

Punky: Mommy, what do you think the chick’s name is?
Mommy: I don’t know, did it tell you it’s name?
Punky: Not yet.
Mommy: Well, then I guess you better ask him.
Punky: I don’t know his name yet, but I know he’s Batman’s party chick.

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10:46AM – We saw an ant by the front door last night.

Punky: “Mommy do you think the ant is still there?”
Mommy: Nah. I’m sure the ant went home.
Punky: “Oh! No,Mommy! I see it! It’s crawling over there!
Mommy: The ant won’t hurt you, baby.

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10:48AM – 

Punky: Yes, it will Mommy!
Mommy: No sweetie, I promise.
Punky: Mommy, that ant will get me and it will hurt me and it will make my bleed come out!”
Mommy: I had no idea an ant could do that to someone….
Punky: Yea, and then, I won’t be able to grow up.

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11:07AM – Another nibble or two on the waffles when Grammy woke up and helped put Molly the dog outside to go potty.

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11:10AM – Morning conversations with Grammy and finishing up her waffles.

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11:16AM – Because why not? Candy in the morning? Sure. I guess so.

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11:20AM – She serves the best darn tea in the house!

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11:21AM – The secret to Punky’s delicious tea recipe (it’s top secret, don’t tell anyone!)

Mommy: What do you put in your tea to make it so delicious?
Punky: Presents!
Mommy: You put presents in your tea!?
Punky: No, Mommy! (eyeroll) Its just pretend presents.
Mommy: Oh. I see.
Punky: And teddy grahams and sugar and cake.
Grammy: That’s a special blend of tea, wow!

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11:23AM – Demonstrating how to make tea for a tea party.

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11:30AM – She ran out of adult tea party guests interested in attending, so she went to her room and recruited Minnie Mouse.

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11:31AM – But what day would be complete without accompanying Mommy to the potty.

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11:32AM – Minnie is sick. She needs a check up before she can drink tea.

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11:37AM – Mommy needs a check up now too. I have a strong heart, according to Doc Punky.

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11:38AM – Minnie is well enough to have a tea party now.

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11:41AM – It’s not long before Minnie needs a nap and Punky has a tea party on her own.

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11:42AM – Conversations with Minnie after she woke up from her nap. Tea Party resumes with cuddles and washing the dishes between drinks.

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11:47AM  – Minnie needed another nap. She’s very tired.

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11:51AM – Mom! Pause! (apparently, I was taking pictures of the wrong seating arrangements.)

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11:53AM – All is now right with the world.

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11:54AM – 

Punky: Mommy, Minnie isn’t over here.
Mommy: I see that. What’s Minnie doing?
Punky: She’s sleeping, cause she smacked me in the face.
Mommy: Oh….. well that wasn’t very nice.
Punky: No, we don’t smack mommies.

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12:00PM – Minnie must be 5 years old, because she got a talking to after 6 minutes of thinking time. Something about not being mean and making sure we keep our hands to Minnie.

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12:02PM – But Minnie just isn’t feeling well, so its off to rest time with the mouse again. (Looks like someone else is almost ready for rest time!)

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12:06PM – Mama woke up, so she needed a check up. Rest assured, her heart is beating strong though.

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12:13PM 

Mommy: Are you ready for lunch? Are you hungry.
Punky: I need a sandwich.
Mommy: Do you want ham on it?
Punky: I just want a cheese sandwich.

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12:14PM

Mommy: Do you want a big sammich(2 bread) or a little sammich(1 bread)
Punky: Little sandwich.
Mommy: Here’s your cheese. Do you need me to fold it?
Punky: I got it Mommy.

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12:36PM 

Mommy: 4 minutes til rest time, punkin.
Punky brings down her stroller from her room.
Mommy: Whatcha doing, kiddo? We are about to go take a rest.
Punky: I’m just playing check up right now.
Mommy: Mommy told you it was almost rest time, so you won’t have time to play with your stroller.

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12:38PM 

Punky: I don’t want to rest.
Mommy: I know you don’t, but it’s rest time and we need to go to your room.
Punky: Mommy, you aren’t being fair.
Mommy: If you don’t go to rest time quietly, we won’t have time for a story. Do you want me to read you a story?
Punky: Fiiiiiiiiine.

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12:43PM – We start rest time sitting up, reading our favorite book. Again.

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12:46PM – Three minutes in and she’s down for the count. Hopefully she will stay down.

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12:50PM – I leave her with her book to read to her babies.

Mommy: You know the rules of rest time. You don’t have to go to sleep, but you do have to stay in your room and be quiet.
Punky: I don’t want to rest.
Mommy: If you rest like you are supposed to, we will go outside and play with chalk.
Punky: I don’t want to.
Mommy: That’s completely your choice, my love, but if you don’t rest, we won’t play with chalk.
Punky: I like rest time.
Mommy: Oh good. I will see you in a few hours.

Hugs and kisses, shut the door and update the blog post.

********First Half of the Day Over***********

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1:14PM 

Punky: I don’t want to rest.
Mommy: If you don’t rest, we don’t get to play outside with chalk today.
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1:15PM: 

Punky: But, I will rest. I can walk myself.
Mommy: Great. Did you want me to shut the door for you?
Punky: Yea.

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3:21PM – Rest time is over. Time to wake the beast.

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3:22PM – Come and play with me, wake up and come and play with Mommy!

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3:32PM – Let’s put on real clothes and socks and shoes and go outside to play. After realizing it was 47 degrees outside, we changed our short sleeve shirt to long sleeve.

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3:40PM – Accompany Mommy to the bathroom #2, because of course. She’s a typical threenager.

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3:42PM – We tame the wild hair beast on her head. So much hair, so thick. No match against the wind unless its in a ponytail!

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3:45PM Who doesn’t have a giant box of sidewalk chalk?? This was one of her favorite presents from her birthday party.

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3:50PM – Look what I found. Pretty flowers. I will give them one to Grammy! I will put it in my pocket and keep it safe.

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3:53PM – This flower is beautiful. It is for you. (Mommy put the flower in her hair and Punky thought that was pretty silly.)

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4:01PM – Punky picked most of the yellow flowers in the yard and threw them in the “garden” where they belong, instead of in the yard.

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4:03PM – This smells so good, Mommy.

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4:04PM

Punky: Maybe it’s time to plant the seeds.
Mommy: Are there seeds in there?
Punky: Yep. They plant big trees.
Mommy: Can I see the seeds?
Punky: Not yet. You can see them in the ground.
Mommy: Oh. Ok.
Punky: Then the flowers will grow a lot.

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4:07PM – 

Punky: I will just sit here and wait for the seeds to grow.

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4:10 PM 

Mommy: How long does it take for the seeds to grow?
Punky: A night in the water.
Mommy: Huh.
Punky: Then we will have beautiful flowers in the garden.

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4:11PM – Grammy and Papa came back from the doctor’s office.

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4:12PM – Showing Grammy all the relocated flowers in the garden.

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4:16PM – It got too cold to stay outside and Mommy’s fingers were freezing off.

Punky: Can you get me some more strawberry milk?
Mommy: Just a second and I will do that.
Punky: I don’t want to wait a second.
Mommy: Well, you will have to, I’m in the middle of doing something.
Punky: Can I have chocolate milk?
Mommy: In just a second…

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4:37PM – Mama woke up from her rest time and got the flower that Mommy took out of her hair.

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4:53PM  – Checking out funnies on Mama’s phone.

Punky: That’s Loretta. (picture of a dog that looks nothing like the dog we know named Loretta)
Mommy: Sweetie, Loretta is a basset hound or something…
Punky: A bass-it howend?
Mommy: Yep, that’s Bubba’s puppy. (Bubba is her godfather, who she pretty much thinks is her best friend and loves him to bits. Oh – and she has him wrapped tightly around all her little fingers)
Mama: You need a playdate with Bubba huh?
Punky: Yep.
Mama: When the weather is nice, we can set that up.

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4:55PM – Grammy called to ask what we wanted to eat for dinner. (Chinese)

Mama: Rachael will have sweet and sour chicken, sauce on the side.
Mommy: White rice, no veggies.
Grammy: Ok, what do you want.
Mama: Chicken Fried Rice.
Punky: Hi Grammy!
-We gave her the phone-
Punky: I want a cheeseburger plain please.

Laughter ensues. A lot of laughing.

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5:04PM – Watching videos and looking at pictures on Mama’s phone from when she was very small!

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5:10PM – Took over Mama’s phone… because of course she did.

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5:22PM – Got a soda for Mama from the kitchen.

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5:24PM – We broke out the Giggle Bellies for a bit as we did when she was little, like before she was a year old ish. It’s always been one of her favorite DVDs.

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5:30PM – Dinner made it home and sure enough she got a cheeseburger plain.

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5:41PM – She’s going to turn into a cheeseburger.

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6:08PM – Helping Grammy do her nails.

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6:46PM

Punky: I have a little tummy ache.
Mommy: Oh?
Punky: Yea. I need a biscuit. (Pepto)
Mommy: You already had one today, you can’t have anymore.
Punky: You can go to the biscuit store.
Mommy: We have plenty of biscuits, but you can’t have any.

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6:46PM – She forcefully poked me in the eye because I wouldn’t give her a biscuit.

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6:47PM – But its all in fun, when Mommy starts tickling.

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6:49PM – Went on to read a story to herself in her chair.

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6:54PM – Reading the “wolf book” to Grammy.

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7:09PM – Grammy needed to go to the store, so we went with her. Her pants are waaaay to long.

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7:10PM – She waits patiently for Mommy to open the car door for her to get in at the ‘safe place’ that we invented when she was very little, when she first started walking – so that she would always stay close to the car and never run off. So far, it’s worked wonders.

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7:17PM – We made it to the store and I think she called me a trollop….

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7:28PM – Testing the rules of sitting in the back of the cart. (Rules: Sit on your butt and don’t play with the front.)

Punky: Grammy, get me candy!
Mommy: Don’t go asking Grammy for candy right now.
Punky: But, I want candy, I ate all my dinner.
Mommy: Yes, you did. They have a dairy queen here, let’s get ice cream for dessert instead.
Punky: I can have ice cream for bissert!?
Mommy: After Grammy is done shopping.
Punky: Oh, thank you, Mommy! Thank you!

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7:44PM – Just chillin’ in the car. I’m blessed with a very nice cart rider who likes to wander around the store, no matter how long it takes.

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7:58PM – Waiting for Dairy Queen to make her shake.

Mommy: What kind of ice cream do you want?
Punky: Chocolate!
Mommy: Ok, we can get you a mini chocolate. (its cheaper!)
Punky: I want a straw in my ice cream.
Mommy: Oh…. (disappointment) You want a shake?
Punky: I want a straw.
Mommy: Got it. Shake it is.

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8:21PM – Enjoying said chocolate shake. Once the whip cream was gone, she was pretty much done with her shake. Hence why I would have rather gotten a mini blizzard. But, that’s the joy of giving your kid choices and then following through….

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8:33PM – Giving Molly the dog cheese for coming inside.

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8:52PM – Throwing the toy for Molly the dog. She played this game with Molly since we got home, until she got interested in her storytime. (next photo)

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9:06PM – She read her book on the train. (Usually she has babies in those other chairs.) This is when the blinking stared. Even though she protested, she was blinking to keep her eyes open and fight the tired.

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9:08PM – Punky asked Mommy to read her a story, but I told her I would wait til bedtime. Mama told her she owed her a bedtime story anyway, since they were both too tired last night, so she read her a story instead.

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9:31PM – 10 minutes to bedtime. Playing with Mama.

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9:32PM – Mama is a jungle gym, a wrestling mat, a stealer of all the body parts and the tickling machine.

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9:38PM 

Mama: What’s with all the pictures today?!
Mommy: Its a day in the life of Punky, duh!
Mama: Oh.
And proceeds to flip the kid upside down, because that’s just what they do.

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9:50PM – After clean up time and putting all her toys back in her room where they live; it’s time for hugs and smooches. She sure loves her Mama!

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9:52PM – She picked this book for bedtime story, because she just discovered she owns it. We are still weeding through all the birthday presents she got and this one was in a bag we hadn’t gotten to yet. It’s a short book, thank goodness, Mommy was tired.

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9:55PM – After story time we have a little conversation time.

Mommy: What was your favorite part about today?
Punky: My favorite part about today was having tea with Minnie.
Mommy: What was your least favorite part about today?
Punky: Mellie didn’t come over. (Mellie is the neighbor kid that Grammy watches sometimes, she’s super sweet and puts Punky in kid sister mode)
Mommy: Yea, that’s kinda disappointing. I”m sure Melanie can come play with you another day.
Punky: I just pretended that Melanie was here with me and we had tea with Minnie.
Mommy: Well that’s a great solution. What do you want to do tomorrow?
Punky: I want to decorate eggs tomorrow, so the Easter Bunny can come and give me candy.
Mommy: Well, we are definitely doing that. But we can’t do that until you go to sleep.
Punky: I don’t want to go to sleep.
Mommy: Yes. I Know.

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9:57PM – One more glass of water before bed. Because once you turn three, big girls don’t take a sippy cup to bed anymore. It’s against the growing up rules. *Shh. No need to tell her there’s no rule book* She generally gives me half the cup back and I find it empty in the morning, which leaves me to believe, that she was smart enough to think about – at some point – and save some for the middle of the night cotton mouth everyone gets. She’s been waking up dry though, so this doesn’t seem to be cause for alarm.

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9:59PM – The final steps to bedtime is “sweet dreams”. Back when Punky had ‘bad dreams’ or ‘monsters’ Mommy got her a dream catcher and the dream catcher catches all the bad dreams. Every night before bed, Mommy pulls those sweet dreams from the dream catcher and puts the in her head. (Which really is just a way for Mommy to tickle her face and make her eyes close and become more tired)

A hug and a kiss, ONE. More. Hug. ONE. More. Kiss. A blanket adjustment and an I love you and it’s off to bed with this kid.

***End of the day for Punky*** Sweet dreams everyone!

I’m really going to miss days like this. Doing this kind of stuff when I got back to work will be harder. I’m working on getting back to work. It’s necessary at this point. But, I think I will miss this time. These last three months has been tough financially, but so rewarding emotionally. I know it will be tricky for Punky too and I’m not looking forward to the sadness and the routine change. But for now, I will revel in it.

I’d love to see what you do with your littles all day! Why not do a Day In The Life? It’s absolutely revealing to pay attention to every moment of the day as they happen! Until next time. Take care and everyone have a Happy Easter Weekend!

Fever Roller Coasters are Just Not Fun

My baby girl has had what I like to think of as a spontaneous fever outbreak. It’s the third full day and she goes from 103-104 degree temp, Tylenol, fever breaks for a few hours and then back again. She’s kicked me out of my sleeping place twice this week, finally sleeping with Mama in her bed last night.

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When her fever is down, she’s happy, running, singing even. Serenading me on the fire place which has become her stage. When she’s hot, she burns me through her clothes and mine. So much so that I get scared. I’m nervous. But, the pediatrician’s office says there’s nothing they can do for her if her fever breaks – so just keep her comfortable and make sure she drinks plenty of fluids.

She’s been drinking thank goodness.

Thank the person who made the chew-able Tylenol, my daughter hates, but will actually take – opposed to the liquid, she refuses.

This Mommy is at her wits end. When today was a full day of whining, crying, SCREAMING which all resulted in a migraine for me. One like I haven’t had in a while. The kind that made me what to vomit. Need of a dark room and sobbing in the guilt I felt for being so frustrated with her for being sick.

Like it’s her fault.

Shit, I know its not her fault.

She’s sick. She’s irritable. She hit me in the face. I put her bed, I was at the end of my rope. I lost my compassion. I lost my cool. And I felt terrible.

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I took a nap, I cleaned up my act and I figured shit out.

She fell asleep again, tonight, where she has been on and off for three days. On her Doc McStuffins couch in front of a British cat from Netflix. I can’t fix her. I don’t know what else to do, but hold her and cuddle her and kiss her burning cheeks.

I’m tired. I’m worried. I’m overwhelmed.

I carried her to bed tonight, tucked her in and took off pants to try and cool her off.

I did my best to coax her into taking medicine she hates, pushing it back into her mouth when she spit it out. Waiting for it to dissolve.

It’s been a hellish week. With no end in sight. I thought – I hoped – she was better this afternoon, but the fever came back.

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My sweet girl is sick and it’s breaking my heart. I can’t fix it. I can’t help her. All I can do is watch her be miserable.

And that’s just not the way I like to spend my days.

Blue is for Boys. I am a Girl.

I really didn’t expect that phrase so soon. I mean … THREE.

I’m sure I helped perpetuate the norms of boy and girl separation. We are potty training, so when we were out at Olive Garden once, she attempted to go into the men’s restroom and I redirected her to the little icon with the dress and said, “Girls go in this potty.” Mostly , so that she would know that boys and girls don’t go to the bathroom together, but well, I think I just made it stick in her head that girls wear dresses and boys don’t.

Now I’m frustrated. Not because it’s that big of a deal and frankly, she can like what she wants, be what she wants.

She’s old enough now to make her own choices. I’m doing my very best to make sure she knows she has options. She doesn’t have to be stuck in the social norms of what is expected of her.

She loves pink. Absolutely loves it. And I’m okay with that. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday theme to be, she told me Minnie and Mickey. I asked if she wanted Minnie to wear a pink dress or a red one. She picked pink. No hesitation. So pink it was and that included her pink castle cake. (Yes, that’s a cake, thanks Grammy!)

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Her Minnie Mouse Tea party was a little more low key than we have been used to, but with my being out of work right now, we didn’t have the money we usually have to rent the clubhouse and hold all the people we wanted to invite. So we invited her friends and mostly immediate family like grandparents and aunts/uncles who could make it.

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She likes to climb shit. Loves it. She loves to climb, the higher the better. And I’m well, I’m not okay with it as it gives me anxiety, but I’m okay with it.

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The pyramid she’s climbing in that second picture is 30 feet high made of metal and ropes. The sign outside the pyramid says for 5+ years and it probably makes me an irresponsible mom, but she’s been eyeballing the damn thing for over a year. Kim came with us to the park this last time and convinced me to let her climb it.

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Kim helped me keep my cool while my heart was in my throat, threatening to pump right out of my body! Literally, I was having small panic attacks the whole time, small squeaks emitted from my mouth and I was bouncing around on the ground like a spotter in gym, waiting for her to come tumbling down from that thing.

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But no matter how terrifying it was for me, so much so that Kim had to remind me to take pictures, which never happens. I am ALWAYS taking pictures, I don’t want her to lose that adventurous spirit. I don’t want her to be stuck in a box that says Boys do this and Girls do this. That doesn’t mean I don’t want her to be “girly” or traditionally feminine if that’s what she wants to be. I’m not bucking society just to be “progressive”. I just want to make sure that she know she has choices, that she has options. She can be whoever and whatever she wants to be!

Since she has had her birthday, we have kicked up our bedtime routine a notch. We read a story or two before bed every night and I think she really enjoys it. She can actually sit through a story and she can interact with me. It’s amazing to me the things she remembers.

We even went to the library the other day and she got to pick out her own book. From the time I told her we were going until we got there, she told me she wanted a “spider book” (YUCK), so we got her a spider book and she loves it, so much so, I may have to purchase it. She also got a Princess book, the “mouse and cookie” book, and “Llama Llama mad at Mama”.

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Along with a bed time story, I always ask her what her favorite part of the day was and what she wants to do tomorrow. I also ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. She’s been pretty consistent for the last several months in saying “Doctor”. Guess I better save some money!

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Whatever she wants, I just want to nurture her spirit, her imagination and creatiivity. I want her to know she has so many options that she doesn’t have to stick to the norms of society, the gender stereotypes. I was just so disheartened today when I heard the phrase come out of her mouth.

“I don’t like blue. Blue is for boys.”

But blue isn’t just for boys. How do you relay that to a kid? She has to have heard that somewhere and it makes me sad. I have been working really hard to break those thoughts and really steer her down her own path, where ever that will be, I will follow her lead. And if she really just doesn’t like blue, that’s OK! I just don’t want it to be because she’s a girl and girls don’t like blue.

The more she grows, the more personality she gives and shows. I’m enjoying seeing her grow into this little person all of her own, but I want her to be the one making those choices, for herself. Because I love her with my whole heart and I want her to love herself with her whole heart.

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Punky’s Third Birthday Minnie Mouse Extravaganza

So the night before her birthday, we got her a box a filled it with all the Disney on Ice things. I made her shirt and my shirt, wrote her a little letter from Minnie, put in the real tickets and her pretty pretend tickets and wrapped it up like a mailed package. Put a clubhouse postage stamp on it and set it on the porch.

All while she was napping in our room downstairs.

I didn’t get a picture of the box, because I hadn’t found my real camera and my phone camera takes crappy pictures. We did take a video of her opening the box with Grammy’s phone, but she wasn’t nearly as excited as I wanted her to be (She’s three and didn’t fully get it!)

But, I have the pictures of the things inside.

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Letter from Minnie, inviting her to the show!

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Her special ticket, signed by Minnie and Mickey

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Clubhouse postage shipping label

So, when she got up from her nap, Kim told Punky that she thought she saw a mouse outside!

Punky was so surprised that she said, “What? Like Mickey Mouse??”

Kim said, “I don’t know, I just saw a mouse out there.”

Punky peeked outside and spotted the box and said, “I see Minnie and Mickey in the street and they are holding my hands and we are walking together! Oh, look, it’s a mouse box.”

So, we went to investigate and she pulled the box out. It had all her goodies in it. She didn’t fully understand what was happening, but she thought the idea of Disney on Ice was fun and it was neat that Minnie put a present on her porch.

So yesterday was her THIRD birthday. Jeez, where has the time gone!?

I got up before she did and reveled in the quiet of the morning that would be a busy busy day full of birthday fun and running around. I posted this on my Facebook page and meant every word of it. I think when we want something so badly and we work so hard to get it, the amazement never fades. I am still astonished that I have a kid, let along a three year old. I’m also sooo astonished that such a tiny person could complete me so much, to overflowing (even when she’s a holy fucking terror).

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As a side note, if any of my blog friends want to follow me on Facebook, it’s my personal page, but you are welcome to message me or email me (in the password page, email is listed) and I’m happy to give you the details. It’s mostly just pictures of Punky!

I woke her up with a Happy Birthday song and she woke up and we had birthday waffles. With my being off work right now and my short term disability not being effective like it’s supposed to be (another blog topic), we are completely out of money until Wednesday. So I didn’t get to have any special ready for her, like balloons or something. Instead, I warmed up some frozen waffles and stuck some candles in them.

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While she ate her birthday waffles, I went to town on her hair. She was so occupied with the waffles, I was able to get the bow styled into her hair! It was a success. This tutorial I found on Pinterest, was perfect and helped a bunch! I added her Minnie Mouse ribbon bow to the center and she was set.

We had a blast at Disney on Ice, so much so that I took too many pictures and videos to share them all. I also probably have more favorites than are necessary, but I found my real camera the night before we went, so of course, pictures were plenty!

Afternoon

The show was definitely worth the money I spent. And as someone who has anxiety about driving, especially in downtown, we made it without any real issues, thank goodness. This kid better know how much I love her, I drove there and back by myself. Anyway, we were in row 6, right behind the rink side seats, so the show was pretty close and she was able to see for the most part. (Except for the adult heads in front of her) She sat on my lap and stood up for most of it.

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After the show, we went home and relaxed for a bit before we headed to her godparents’ house for a little celebration of cupcakes and bubbles and presents.

Evening

Its getting sooo nice outside during the afternoon, it’s like spring has sprung suddenly. So, she got to ride her bike until the street lights came on and we went inside for dinner.

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We rounded the evening will a special birthday dinner. Papa asked her what she wanted to eat and she asked for hamburgers and noodles. We had fries and cupcakes too.

This video is hilarious by the way. She blew out her candles on her cupcake at dinner and we were left with icing, adult words, and pure laughter. Because well, I love it.

So, even though Mommy didn’t have much money to do anything for her birthday like we usually do, we have support and love of her family and our friends and I think her party was great!

Next week we are having a tea party for all her little friends. And I just found out my mom and my sister (and all her kids!) are coming to join us. I’m so excited about that! They live three hours away and I miss them all soooo much. So, it will be fun for everyone!

A Rose By Any Other Name….

So we went to the Social Security office to get a replacement card for Miss Punky. We figured since we were already there, we might as well get my name changed, since it takes forever to drive there and it’s a pain in the ass to go there.

We found out that Missouri is STILL in appeal, thus we can’t change my name.

So does that mean we are really married? I don’t know. I still go by that name,but it makes things confusing when we have to do legal stuff like applications and job stuff. Signing up for things and the like is difficult, because I have to remember which name I have given to people in order to be consistent.

It’s just a little disheartening that we have a marriage license, its signed and paid for. And yet, I can’t legally change my name and it’s just a name – it’s not a validation of our marriage or our commitment to each other. It’s just sad that we have to go through all these hoops and then I see comments on my news feed in regards to politics and religion that want to tear down the basis of my family. All the while, these same people saying things like “I don’t agree with your position on this, but you know I love your family.”

Obviously … I just don’t see the logic behind that.

People are always, in my mind, entitled to their opinion, though I would appreciate less platitudes from my ‘friends’ in regards to my family. If you support certain politicians or certain laws being put in place, that’s great, but it doesn’t do me any confidence, only some kind of band-aid, for you to say, “But, it doesn’t really apply to you!”

I mean really. It’s like saying “I don’t like your lifestyle and you are probably going to hell, but I love you anyway.” That statement is so contradictory. I just don’t understand and I generally ignore these comments, internalize them. I just brush them off and pretend it doesn’t matter, because it won’t matter to the person I attempt to educate. Because these people, who say things like this don’t know what it’s like to live the life I live, in the family I live. To be me. People think they know, but they don’t. It’s not your experience, you have no idea.

And of course, this is all over a damn name change.

Anyway! Onto more exciting news!

Miss Punky will be three on Saturday!

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With my issues with work right now, and my sudden stay at home status – money has been tight. I’m used to giving her the giant parties and celebrating her birthday with lots and lots of love, family, friends, and decorations. Unfortunately, this year, the big extravaganza is not an option. I’m sad about it, but it’s my hang up. I know that she won’t remember, I know the parties are more for me than for her. I know that, in my logical mind.

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Play glasses from the eye doctor recycle bin.

But, in my effort to make Punky’s childhood more fun and more child-like than mine was. So, I parent out of my own guilt and out of my own trauma. I know that – with my therapist’s help, I get it. But, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

I just have to remember that I’m the best mom I can be. No amount of money, no amount of parties or things will change that. So, before we ran out of money, I purchased two tickets to Disney on Ice for myself and Punky. I’ve never been before, but it looks like something she will really enjoy.

She got a birthday present in the mail from a relative out of town, so I will be using that box to put together an extra special “invitation from Minnie Mouse” to enjoy the show!

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I’m also going to be making her an outfit sent in the box from Minnie Mouse for her to wear to the show. I am making her a shirt with Minnie Mouse on the front and “It’s My Birthday” and on the back it will have her name and the number 3, like a jersey. Pair that shirt with a tutu skirt, tights, and her high tops, she’s going to be set.

I have also been holding onto a very pretty sparkly necklace with a Minnie Mouse Pendant for her to wear with her outfit.

Along with all my lofty goals, I want to do her hair with this tutorial. It’s going to be fantastic if I can get her to sit still long enough!

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So the box will be on the porch for her. I can’t decide if I should give it to her the night before or the morning of! Decisions, Decisions.

My little Punky will have a great third birthday, I just want her to have fun and enjoy being a kid. I just want her to stay as sweet and innocent as she is when she sleeps! This is the best way I can do it.

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Along with her Disney on Ice experience, her godparents are planning a miniature party for her as well on her birthday at their house and then next week, we are having a tea party for her and her little friends here at our house.

So, not a giant party, but it will hopefully still be as special as she is! Because, boy do we love this little girl so much!

Unexpected Stay at Home Mom

I haven’t actually left my job, but my anxiety has gotten so bad that I have taken out a personal leave from work. It’s paid – sort of. I get paid in full until my paid time runs out and then they will pay me 60% of my pay. It’s not the most ideal situation, but it’s something. I guess, if I’m going to have a complete and utter mental break, it’s good to have the support of family.

My sister-in-law just got me on with a company to do some work from home stuff. So far, it’s pretty good and it’s been getting me out of the house, on my own terms. Its been opening up my horizons and in the process, I get access to some great quality, organic, all natural products. I never really cared about being “green” or “organic” or whatever, but if it’s going to help me earn some income and stay at home – well we do what we have to do.

I know that the east side of the country has FEET of snow, that’s nuts. We got a few inches recently. Our first REAL snow finally. Miss Punky has been itching to really get her hands in the snow. Really get in there and make snow angels. Mostly, snow angels. We had a small snow and we went out about a month ago, but it didn’t stay around and it wasn’t any real accumulation to do anything with.

So yesterday, she got a great little with her cousins in the snow.

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I always thought that I wouldn’t want to be a stay at home mom. That I just wouldn’t be cut out for it. And working was my solace. I was not a stay at home mom for a reason. Being home drove me nuts. But, I find lately, I can’t get myself to leave her side. It’s emotional. And I love that I can see all the things she’s doing. I can be involved in all her new creations. Her imagination.

Just last night we had a rousing game of Bathtub Drive Thru.

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So, this is a turn in my story, I didn’t expect. And I do plan to go back to work – after I can get myself back on track. But, who knows, being at home has helped me feel better, has calmed my anxiety, perhaps it’s the right move to make. Everything is up in the air, but so far, I’m enjoying the moments I have with her, the snuggles, the random kisses. And the stories, all the stories and songs she share with me.

I am enjoying not missing a thing.

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Hi My Name is Rachael, And I’m A Pinterest Mom

Yes. I have a little obsession.

It’s called the Pinterest party. I also have another obsession.

It’s called a daughter.

So, once again, it’s that time of year, where we get all sides of her family (PS, that’s huge) and put them in one room and say, “CELEBRATE OUR KID!”

I know –

So people think its weird. Some people think its over the top. Some people thought we would just go all out for her first birthday but the rest would be low-key. Some people think we spoil her. Some people think its too much.

Her MOMMY thinks its awesome.

And this is the first year that Miss Punky will be interested in actually participating.

She picked out the theme this year. Her first birthday was Dr. Seuss. Her second was Cars.

I’m sure you are dying to know what she picked. SURPRISE SURPRISE!

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It does help that her Mommy is a graphic designer and a party planner in her spare time. So with all the practice I get in my Etsy Shop (SHAMELESS PLUG: While on the subject, don’t forget, ladies with recent BFP, you get a 50% discount in my shop that caters to same-sex baby shower invitations! Just use the coupon code BFP50 at time of purchase) making invitations, this one, was a no brainer.

Minnie AND Mickey must be equally featured in her party this year. But she prefers the pink Minnie to the red Minnie, so it’s making things very, very difficult. So, we will have a dance party (for the hotdog dance of course), a homemade Minnie Mouse pinata, and Grammy is making a Minnie and Mickey cake, and a bow making station!

I am also – if all things go according to plan, taking her to see Disney on Ice. Where she will get to see Minnie and Mickey on ice – for her actual birthday. Just Punky and Mommy. Something special for the two of us to do together. I’m quite excited about it. It will be a surprise and I plan on getting her all dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume from Halloween or buying a new dress up Minnie Mouse dress from Walmart I saw the other day – because really, who doesn’t find this Minnie Mouse, simply irresistible?!

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So last year, with her party invitation, I also slipped in an update card with an updated picture and all her favorite things. Along with height, weight, phrase of the moment, things like that.

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This year, I am doing something similar – but it will be more interview style, as I will ask her questions and she will answer them. I have yet to figure out which picture from the past year I wanted to use.

So I put it to a vote on Facebook. 52 people have weighed in so far, and I’m looking for your opinions too! I can’t decide! Help me, ladies, help me pick the cutest picture to represent my darling Punky in her second year of life as she gets ready to turn THREE.

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I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are already planning for birthday #3. When did this happen? It makes this mommy very sad and unhappy! I miss that sass-free baby that did nothing but cuddle, sleep, and poop. LOL.