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/

10/52 – Exploring the Sandbox

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After I picked Miss Punky up from school today, it was about 5:30 and it was pretty nice outside. No wind, not too hot, not too cold, so I decided it was the perfect time to get her to the park for a bit. No sooner did we get our feet in the sand than the rain came sprinkling in.

We didn’t get to play long, but it was enough for her to know that she likes sand! We will be going back on Thursday after school again.

Punky’s Awesome Cars Second Birthday Party

Last year was Punky’s one year Dr. Suess Extravaganza, because she and I spent a great deal reading books before bed and spending time hanging out with each other with our noses in books.

I got this from Baby Center this afternoon. Way to put me in a shock for the day. It went from Baby, to Toddler, to Preschooler in a span of time that feels like overnight!

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This year, Miss Punky has gotten really into all things cars and trucks. Kim found some really neat things on Pinterest to make an awesome cars themed party. So, as usual, I ran with it. I’ve been planning more parties and setting up more parties lately and I do love every minute of it. It’s different when it’s your own kid!

Then it’s all the more special!

So, we started with the racecar theme. I incorporated the Cars Movie theme because its trendy right now and the decorations were easy to find and I didn’t have to make everything myself.

So, I made the invitation, and this is the one I’m selling in the shop, it’s not my original, because that has our identifying information it, but this is what it looks like. I’ve shown it before, but I’m so proud of this design, made from scratch, so I wanted to share it again!

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Then came all the ideas that were going through my head. Originally, I was going to have cupcakes and put toppers on them with racing flags and Cars characters. That idea was scrapped when Kim came up with the idea of making the cupcakes like stop lights. Red, green, yellow frosting! So we went with that instead. The food was going to be simple anyway, a small cake in the center for her to blow out her candle, and cupcakes for everyone else. Finger foods and no need for utensils means less clean up!

The night before, we all headed over to Punky’s Grammy’s house to make 100 cupcakes (we still have a ton in my kitchen right now) and help start the cake that she would blow out her candles with. Punky made an excellent taste tester when it came to cupcake batter and the ‘dirt’ for the trimming of her cake.

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It was a pretty awesome experience to make her stuff from scratch as a family. I really have to say, her Grammy did an excellent job with this, I originally asked if she could help us with the project and she took over like a pro. I just love all the things she did with it! The cupcakes and the cake were both a hit at the party and everyone kept asking me where I got them. They were astonished that I didn’t get them done professionally, because they looked so awesome.

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The rest of the food was pretty much finger foods. And a little bit of a wacky array of foods, I admit, but it all went with the theme!

We had Luigi’s Spare Tires (Miniature Chocolate Covered Donuts), Guido’s White Wall Tires (Miniature Powdered Sugar Donuts), Tow Mater’s Tow Cables (Chocolate and Strawberry Twizzlers), Nuts and Bolts (Chex Mix). We set it up like people were eating at Flo’s V8 Cafe to re-fuel and hang out.

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There were four stations through the party venue; Flo’s V8 Cafe, Ramone’s House of Body Art, Sarge’s Surplus Hut, and Tow Maters Photo Booth. I got the inspiration and a few of the signs downloaded at this site which I found through Pinterest and put my own spin on some things.

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The kids had a blast with the temporary tattoos. I just cut out each tattoo individually and then set up the station with a little ‘drip pan’ and sponges for parents to help apply the ‘paint job’ to the kids. It was pretty convenient that the area had a nice sink area to refill the water and make less mess.

The food made up most of the awesome factor as a visual, but I did spend a lot of time on the tables and the decorations. So, we turned a boring clubhouse room into a party room in about 5 hours.

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The tables were set up to look like roads, with black tablecloths and white address labels down the center of them. I got two Cars party theme kits at Walmart for about $7 a piece, they had the cardboard centerpieces and cones in the packages. I bought a miniature helium tank to blow up some balloons that had Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater on them to attach the cones in the center of the tables.

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Walmart had a ton of decorations and party favors fit for the theme, since it’s so trendy right now. I got a couple packages of activity books and a large box of crayons since we were dealing with a bunch of little ones in attendance. I made some custom chocolate bar wrappers with the cars characters on them and set the candies out on the tables too. In the end, there were three die-cast cars running up and down the roads on the table as well, just for an added effect to go with the theme.

Party City had a great scene setter that I put up on the wall, 6ft plastic puzzle I had to piece together on the wall. Punky’s godfather made an awesome little car cutout photo booth with a poster board and acrylic paints. It was way  more awesome than I expected it to even be!

The banner for the entrance was also another find at Walmart and I set out the Cars rug that Punky got for her half birthday and a crate of cars for the kids to play with. They really got a kick out of the cars and driving them around on the roads.

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I recently just learned about Spotify and I’m in love with it. I didn’t really listen to music that much before it, but in my down moments, it’s been a real lifesaver to helping me really get through this anxiety and depression I’ve been in lately. With that said, I was thrilled when I found this playlist for a Cars themed birthday party! So, I uploaded the songs and played it on repeat at the party.

playlistMy mom came up to celebrate Punky’s birthday and she doesn’t have internet, let alone Facebook, so I put together a video of all of Punky’s last two years. I put together a slideshow of her pictures, some of my favorites anyway. I turned it on and let it play on repeat as well, for people to watch and remember and to see how much she has grown and changed in the last two years.

We had a pretty good day yesterday, celebrating our little one’s second birthday. Kim had a small scare for all of us towards the middle of the party. She hadn’t eaten anything because she was feeling good and she sort of fainted on the porch of the clubhouse. The ambulance and firetruck was out there helping with her vitals. In the end, they recommended she go to the hospital, but she was feeling better, so we got her something to eat and she’s been feeling better, as much as she can, since she ate.

Otherwise, we were surrounded by so many family and friends and Miss Punky has so much love in her life and I am so grateful all the great people in her life that love her. As a parent in a ‘non-traditional’ family setting, it is always the one thing that scares me that Punky will be rejected because of her moms. That’s the last thing I want, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I’m so glad, so far, that we haven’t had to deal with that.

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We had the cake, and that was great. I expected her to cry and get upset about the singing and clapping, but she was eating it all up. It was such a 180 from last year!

When everyone was done singing, I had to whisper a reminder to blow out her candle. It was kind of cute to watch after the fact, as I had no idea we were being filled, thanks to Punky’s godmother who had my camera at the time 🙂

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Presents were hilarious with Miss Punky. She would open one present and then get preoccupied with opening it right away and she said “Thank You” over and over. It was kind of awesome. She’s really quite adorable!

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Our Punky is a great mix of all sorts of things. She likes babies and dolls and high heels and she likes tools and trucks and balls. She really is the perfect mix bag for a child. Especially for two moms with completely opposite interests – we suit her interests well, I think.

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Do you see that giant Radio Flyer, with the 6-foot ramp? Yea, that’s from my dear Mama. Can you also notice my face in reaction to this. Punky thinks its awesome, Mommy is trying to figure out 1. how we get it home, and 2. how we fit it in the apartment. LOL. It’s an awesome gift though and she will get so much use out of it this summer!

So, our daughter turned 2 this last week and it was pretty successful, minus the small ambulance snafu, which I am currently keeping an eye on now, taking the day from work to make sure my dear love is okay.

So, the party was a hit, the baby was spoiled rotten, and I am exhausted!

If you are interested in using the printables that I made or acquired for this party, please feel free! They will be at this link for the next few weeks 🙂

I’ll leave you with this day in history for Punky’s birthday on March 7th that I found on Baby Center Birthday Time Machine. Try it out, it’s kind of neat!

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Tales From The Playroom

I was asked to write a blog post about Punky’s playtime by DropCam and their campaign for Tales from the Playroom. That’s what I think I will do today.

Today is Punky’s second birthday and that post will come later, likely after her party. She’s pretty darn sick this morning, breathing treatments and everything.

So instead, I thought I’d post a little about the conversations that are suddenly emerging from our beautiful little girl. Since she started preschool, she is showing a bursting of communication. It came on so suddenly, I just can’t believe it. We can have conversations with her – broken conversations and sometimes I don’t know what she’s saying, but it’s astonishing to me that we even have the ability to have conversations with her.

It feels like just yesterday that she was born and now she is pretending, singing simple songs and carrying on two and three word sentences to tell me what’s going on in her head.

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Her favorite phrases right now are “Get Up Mommy” and “Sit Down Mommy.” She’s getting a little bit of bossy in her. Then there are moments when she says “Good Morning, Mama.” out of the blue or counts to six without being prompted. She will sit on the seat next to her Mama and carry on full conversations, obviously, Mama does tend to look at her like she has no idea what she’s saying, but it’s super cute to watch.

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My baby girl has become a big girl overnight. Her playtime right now consists of talking to Dora and repeating Team Umizoomi phrases when they tell her to say things. It’s kind of hilarious to hear her in her room making sounds for her cars and when playing with her animals, she makes them talk to each other in their own little sounds.

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She’s come to love more things, pick out favorites and things that she likes. She knows what she likes and she is having a much better time communicating that in her play. 

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It’s been two years since she came into our life and she’s turning into a little person right before my eyes. Kim thinks I’m nuts, but every time I look at her, I still can’t believe we are mothers, I am always astonished that we have a child and now, as I watch her play evolve and her speech get better and better, it’s so great to know that she’s our daughter and we are her mothers.

It’s the best feeling in the world.

I’ll leave you with a super cute conversation video to show how much we are having fun with the sweet toddler we have. She’s developed into quite the chatty cathy and the cheeks just seal the deal!

This post was inspired by the blog campaign “Tales From The Playroom” done by Dropcam. It’s a high definition video baby monitor, with live streaming to keep up with your kiddo inside and outside the house. I don’t have a baby monitor, and I don’t know that we really need one – as we have a tiny apartment and an eye on the kiddo at all times, but it looks like an awesome device for new parents with the need! Check them out.  If any of you would like to participate in the Tales From the Playroom campaign you can email the Community Manager of Drop Cm with your story/questions at tpham(at)dropcam(dot)com.

9/52 – Discovering Dora

Panties that is.

Remember the panties we got Miss Punky for school, in case the thought she might be interested in the potty training? She found a stray package I kept at home and slipped them up around her pants.

This week, we discovered that we love to wear panties. Right now, we are just putting them on. She initiated the idea of pulling her Dora panties up over her pants and running around the house.

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She graduated to wearing these panties over her pull up and now in most cases she will ask for them to be put on. Today she was a little ill, so she wasn’t interested in doing much. I’m sure the panties will come back in style around the house soon enough.

Are we starting potty training? Not really. Do I wish we were? Yep!

We aren’t pushing the issue though. Our Punky monster will be 2 in less than 2 days. More like 1 day and 12 hours or something like that. March 7th at 6:30PM, Miss Punky will be TWO.

She knows the name of all her private areas and where they are located, but she doesn’t know what that means. I also don’t think she is ready to communicate that she has to go or has already gone.

I think she may still be a little too young for panties and for real potty training, but I suppose if she’s good with wearing them and gets used to having them on, perhaps the transition won’t be a nightmare when the time comes!

11 Possibly Interesting Things About Me

I got the idea from Lindsay over at Solo Mama. I love the idea of getting outside the blogging box and just learn a little something about the people are reading about. Get inside the lives; past and present; of the people we are following.

So without further ado – here’s the not so interesting, least known facts about me.

1. I was a smart, quiet kid. It’s been said that I would be content with a coloring book and crayons for hours. I am told that I didn’t really cry much and I wasn’t really very social – able to play by myself and take joy in solitude. I was able to write my name by the time I was two and a half and I said when I grew up I wanted to be a teacher. Don’t we all!?

2. I grew up five brothers and two sisters. I am the second oldest, but I have only met my older brother a handful of times and corresponded with him mostly through letters to him in his many stints in jail. Most are half-siblings, I have a brother and a sister who have the same mother and father as myself, the rest are all half and step siblings whom I treat as full blood.

3. When I was 12, I was placed into the care of a adolescent psychiatric ward for a few days and then a group home shortly after for the rest of the summer. I was an angry kid who wanted to get what she wanted. A compulsive liar and a need for instant gratification. They put some pills in my mouth, tried to subdue the violence in my heart, and sent me home.

4. When I was 15, I participated in modeling school. At the time, my aspirations moved from teacher to model/actress. I attended Barbizon modeling school, which my mother; I’m told; is still paying for. I didn’t get a chance to finish, due to so changes in my home life and thus, the tuition went to waste and I’m pretty sure it may be a scam.  Sorry Mom!!!

5. I used to be a bully. That statement is likely the hardest thing for me to ever say about myself. I did some pretty terrible things in high school. From the time I started high school at age 15 through my junior year of high school, was a pretty much not a nice person. I would make fun of people, threaten people, spread rumors and break up relationships. For fun and amusement. Nothing more.  I still have people who may hate me, people who still blame me for their poor experience in high school. I don’t blame them for it. And I can’t make my apologies more clear, though I doubt the words “I’m Sorry” will ever be enough. I hope that I can use these experiences to help my daughter be a better person than I was growing up.

6. I almost dropped out of high school in my senior year. Fortunately for me, someone very dear to me, took me in and helped me transfer to a new school in the area that I now live in. She helped give me stability in my life – something I hadn’t really grown up with before. She gave me peace of mind. She gave me responsibility. She gave me structure. In the end, I have her to thank for turning my life around and calming the beast inside of me down. I owe my graduation of high school, my attendance to college (however brief) and my decision to choose a different path to her. She is my savior and she knows who she is.

7. I met Kim on an internet dating site. We have been together since the beginning. We met and had our first date on April 21, 2003 and we made it official on May 1, 2003. She’s my first and only girlfriend. I dated and had sex with many boys and men before her. I was drunk the night I came on the phone and asked her to be my ‘girlfriend’. The rest – is really history!

8. Kim and I have a habit of taking in ‘strays’. Or rather, taking in my sisters. Both of whom I love dearly. The reason I bring it up, is because the first time we brought in first sister, we also took in her daughter. Who had just turned two at the time. Having this little ball of toddler fun in our home, helping care for her and keeping her close to our hearts is likely the reason we decided to start thinking long and hard about having a kid of our own. We got a trial run at the job as mothers and when my sister moved out and left to be on her own again, taking my niece with me, it really did a number on us. We also took in my teenage sister and got a nice trial run at that life too. I learned how to enroll a kid, the paper work, the teachers, the meetings. I got to be involved with the homework, the advice, the drama and the triumphs. In the end, she also went off to be on her own, now over 18, but I thank both my sisters for helping shape our parenting skills. They will be forever a part of how we raise our daughter.

9. I’m addicted to Netflix. Seriously. So, most of my interesting tidbits so far has been serious and a bit hard to swallow for me. However, this little tidbit is fun and light-hearted. I am utterly addicted to Netflix. All shows on Netflix – everything I watch is generally found on Netflix and/or branched out from Netflix. I found such gems as Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural, and Doctor Who! I quite enjoy binge watching all these shows to catch up and then move to DVR options if they are still on air.

10. I have an undiagnosed version of anxiety disorder, stemming from PTSD. No I’m not a soldier.  I’m a woman who grew up with some pretty hardcore shit in her past. In the end, I’m currently going through a form of intense anxiety – spiraling into a sense of destructive behavior. I’m working on it weekly with a therapist, mostly because I don’t want the after effects of my own life to spill over into my daughter’s childhood and upbringing. At present, my days are full of anxiety, panic attacks, and lots of avoidance of certain situations.

11. My daughter looks just like me, but I hope she doesn’t become me. I say this because the paths; choices and decisions; I had to make in order to become the me I am today, has been a hard road, a tough road of tears and mistakes. I would prefer that my daughter not have to learn the lessons I learned in my 30 years of life. However, the path and choices I have experienced have made me who I am. In the end, I am pretty proud of who I am and who Punky has as a mother, but I would really be more proud if she can become a good and nice person without the extra baggage!

So that’s me. Here’s me in a nutshell. I will be 30 in May and I have a rich past, a beautiful present and an uncertain future. All I care about, in the end, is how my Punky monster turns out.

What about you? Tell me great tidbits about you? I love reading about other people’s lives!