Surprise Visits, Starting School Again, and Lots of Playdates

We got a knock at the door last Saturday around 8:00 PM and it was my Mama. I was so excited to see her. She didn’t tell me she was coming and it was quite a great surprise. We were just getting ready to put Punky down for bed and they saved her from bedtime. She got to stay up for another 30 minutes to an hour longer than normal.

My mom and step dad live about 2 and a half, three hours away from us, so we don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I was really missing on my mama too! And, my step dad doesn’t generally venture of his own comfort places, so it was a great big deal that he came with her on their adventure.

He actually played the XBox 360 with Kim most of the night, but my Mama and I got to sit on the beds in our basement home and just chit chat. We played some games. They don’t have internet and don’t have a computer or Facebook or anything fancy on their phones, so when I pulled out the Nook and we played some “brain games” my mama was having a blast.

We didn’t get to bed until late, like 3 in the morning!

We, meaning Peyton, got up around 7:45 this morning and we were watching some TV while the rest of the house slept until around 8:30 or 9. It rained last night, so the wagon was kinda full of water, but Grandpa wanted to take Punky for a ride in the wagon and after much convincing and wiping down the wagon from wetness and she got in the wagon and went for an early morning stroll.

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Miss Punky isn’t really too warm and friendly with men she’s not been around much, but she really took to my step dad and it was a little shocking. I haven’t seen her warm up to a man that quickly. There are very few men she lets take her and do things without needing her Mommy or Mama to be around her.

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My mama and I took her to the bookstore for some new books. I am looking forward to purchasing some of the books we saw online though, where they will be cheaper!

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Before they went home again, we took them to the fountains out by City Hall and let them play in the water with Punky.  Its a great free activity for the kiddos in the heat. And of course, Miss Punky loves it!

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My step dad doesn’t usually come when my mom makes one of her rare visits, so it was a treat to see them all three together! I don’t usually spend much time with him, he’s kind of a homebody and tends to stay to himself during our visits too – he’s just quiet. So, it was awesome to get some time with him as well and I know Punky enjoyed it!

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We talk to my mom on the phone frequently, but she wasn’t really interested in talking on the phone – she doesn’t really know them very well, we don’t get to visit as much as I would like. But since they have gone home, she has been talking about them quite a lot and she can recognize them in pictures which was not the case before.

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So, in the move, we now have a backyard to let Punky play in – so she gets to be outside a lot more than she was before. Not to mention that she starts school again on Monday, and I’m so happy about that.

The other day, Punky’s aunt figured out a way to give her a TBall stand. So we spent a great deal of time outside hitting the ball with a bat. She’s not super great at it, but she’s super cute at it regardless!

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I just can’t get over how incredibly big she is getting. She’s so vocal and she has quite a mind of her own. This morning, she told me “I want to go potty training”. I have no idea where she got that from, but its adorable that she is articulating her wish to potty train. For now, we are not quite ready yet as moms, but we will get there. Right now, she will come to the bathroom with me and she will sit on her potty, so she gets practice.

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We also went to the first playdate of the summer. I know, I know – its halfway through summer. But with all the moving and crap going on, we just haven’t had time to do anything – or rather, Mommy has been too tired. But with Punky being out of school for almost a month, its been making me sad she doesn’t have companionship other than adults and I set up a park play date.  The kiddos in her age group have all been hanging around each other (well Punky has) for a little over a year. Its nice to see her grow up with kids, regardless of how often we see them!

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This week has been full of collages. I love this one of Punky and her very best playmate, I call her Cheeks on the blog. She’s pretty cute and shy, where Punky is more adventurous and loud. I just know they are going to be the best of friends, though I have a feeling …. when they get older, it will be my kid doling out the bad advice and being the bad influence!

Facebook feed was full of some collage challenges, which while they don’t mean anything, I thought the sentiment behind them were nice. I participated in both challenges.

SO, we had the “Super Mom Challenge” – you post pictures of you and your kid or cute pictures of your kid.

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And I don’t know what it was called, but the challenge was to find 5 pictures you thought made you look beautiful, so I had to break into the archives, back when I was a little more interested in having my picture taken. Normally, I’m the one taking the pictures, behind the camera, for a reason.

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So overall, we have been busy, keeping busy really.

I am headed to a baby shower for Kim’s cousin this afternoon, and I’m sure it will be super cute and who doesn’t love celebrating new kids coming to their giant Italian family! Literally, there’s a new baby or three every year. Its exciting and overwhelming the larger the family grows, the louder it gets at family gatherings!! Its so nice that I have seen a lot of these kids grow up though, its pretty astonishing that I have known them since they were little bitty and now there are a few graduating this year or just overall getting bigger! But I suppose when you have been with someone for 11 years, you invest in the family too and I most certainly am grateful for all of them!

The move has been pretty seamless – so far, I don’t have any complaints …. well, except that Punky doesn’t want to eat dinner. We have been asking that she take 1 bite of each food on her plate before she can have dessert. So far, she’s had no luck with this and has gone without dessert more times than she’s had it.  Otherwise, we are getting into a nice routine (I can’t speak for Kim!) and I think its going nicely.

I should have made a summer bucket list like the rest of you, but we have just been so distracted, its not been on the radar, maybe next year!

Oh and PS. If you don’t know the words to the “Hotdog Dance” from Mickey’s Clubhouse, you are missing out! (AKA: I envy you….)

The Year of 30

So, I have a few weeks until I am the big 3-0. I don’t think it has really hit me very much. I mean … not really. I joke about getting old and my knee is out of whack and I’m on a fair amount of meds. But in the end, 30 really isn’t much of anything. I guess we will see how I feel when I am actually 30. LOL.

What surprises me the most, is that my life has turned out the way it has. I thought, growing up, especially as a teenager, you were supposed to find your mate in high school, breed like rabbits, get divorced, and live forever unhappy.

And that just hasn’t happened.

Thank goodness for that!

Instead, I am spending my time with the little mini me that I have always dreamed of. I swear, our little chickadee is growing by leaps and bounds and if she doesn’t stop soon, I might just die of sadness.

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We have discovered that Miss Punky is obsessed with Batman. I have no idea how – because its not like we watch or read it. But she came home one day yelling out “Batman!” and “Fireball” that’s a new one.

She’s for real throwing fireballs at us. It pretty adorable, really.

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We had a pretty low-key weekend otherwise. I am working early every day this week, so it’s off to bed early for me. But, I just couldn’t go without sharing my most favorite pictures of this weekend.

Because let’s face it, a Batman tutu and pink converse is for sure the best fashion statement EVER.

I mean seriously. How can you not just die of absolute melting at this face? Maybe I’m biased?!

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She’s a singing fool. She knows all of “Ring Around the Rosie” and holds her own finger to turn around in circles for the song when her moms are just too tired to do it AGAIN. She does a generally interesting version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” though the hand movements are spot on.

We introduced her to American Tail this weekend. My goodness, what a spectacle she made of herself! She was just so concerned every time the mice were attacked by cats. It was both heart warming and migraine inducing at the same time – each time the cats attacked, she shrieked and covered her mouth. It was super serious!

Don't mind me, yes it's another Batman shirt, because we isn't allowed to wear the giant tutu every moment of her life, like she would like.

Don’t mind me, yes it’s another Batman shirt, because we isn’t allowed to wear the giant tutu every moment of her life, like she would like.

So, we had a nice time at the park this morning, ran into some interesting people and had some interestingly dare-devilish moves from my monkey of a daughter!

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In the end, the weekend was full of some much needed Mommy, Punky time and we had a blast. It was nice weather and like my young babygirl who is now attempting to sleep, I am also exhausted and headed to bed. Not thrilled to start the work week, but we are truckin’ along regardless!

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Psst. If you haven’t noticed, there may be a new page up top.

Why I’m No Longer In A Mom’s Group

In previous posts I mentioned that I had joined a mom’s group and it was good for me, with my anxiety disorder and my fear of new people and places. It was good for Peyton’s social skills and getting her out and about. I really had high hopes for this working out. I slowly began to really come to the conclusion that in the end, I’m not cut out to be “that mom”.

What do I mean by “that mom”?

The mom who judges every little parenting choice of someone else. The mom who knows exactly the right way to parent YOUR child. Somehow, the manual to your kid popped out of her vagina with her kid. Apparently, you missed the memo, you are doing it all wrong. It’s right here in Chapter Six of “Raising Punky 101”. It’s the mom who thinks that if you aren’t parenting your kid the way they do, you are wrong, your kid will be a sociopath. The mom who is so very nice to your face, despite the obvious differences in opinion, but in a public internet forum, bashes your choices in a passive-aggressive way.

I’m not good at being that mom. And, apparently, I’m even worse at dealing with that mom.

You know, it’s not even that these comments are being personally directed at me. A lot of times, it’s just a general statement about one parenting choice or another. The problem is, it’s hurtful and I want so badly to say something, but instead, I hold my tongue. I’m really not the type to bite my tongue for very long. I’m really not very good at it.

It’s not even that these comments were directly solely at me and in some cases at me at all.

When you go out with a group of moms to relax and have a good time, I notice that all the ladies have a glass or two of wine or something related (unless breastfeeding of course). When one mom thinks it’s ok to call another one a “lush”, joking or not, it hurts people’s feelings and embarrasses people. Why say things like that? Because women are the best as making a ‘joke’ out of something they truly feel to soften the blow and not make themselves look bad.

Articles about car seats really bother the shit out of me. But, I don’t really say anything anymore. Not since I was basically told I was a bad mother (in not so many words) because we followed our pediatrician’s recommendations for Punky and turned her front facing when she turned 12 months old. She’s bigger for her age and frankly, she screamed in the car the entire time we were in there while she was rear-facing. I was happy to turn her ’round.

When I explained this as my experience and my opinion (not once mentioning anything about anyone who didn’t do this) I was slapped with a comment about how I should get a different pediatrician. And another mother, an expert in car seat safety, posted a video about what will happen to my daughter in an accident. I’m sure it’s all well meaning, but at the end of the day, hurtful and just another way to make a new mother feel crappy about herself.

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Let’s not take into consideration that I have an anxiety disorder. My eagerness to turn Punky around had more to do with my anxiety than anything else. When she was rear-facing, I couldn’t see her. I’m forgetful. Seriously. I couldn’t stop imagining that I would be one of those moms who left her in the car on a hot day. Even now, front-facing, I imagine my reaction to finding her dead in the back seat because I forgot about her back there for one reason or another. It’s part of my anxiety disorder, I picture these things the entire time we are in the car with Punky in the back seat.

During posts of seemingly support seeking mothers, especially those with small children who won’t sleep, the claws came out all the time. So, a mother posts about how she’s really having a hard time with the lack of sleep and looking for suggestions. The first time I posted that we used the cry it out method and how we did it and why and how it worked for us. The response I got from the mother was this: “With all due respect, crying it out is NOT an option in our home.” Well, excuse me for giving you a suggestion.

The comments continued with things like, “It’s unnatural for a mother to feel fine allowing her child to cry and not do anything.” “I can’t imagine leaving my child in her room alone and scared.”

These comments weren’t specifically directed at me, but I felt the sting. Wow. I’m a shitty mom because I let Punky cry herself to sleep one night. Let’s not take into consideration that both K and I were exhausted and really ready to shake this baby at the time. But excuse me, ladies, you don’t get to worry about your own well-being. Again, we took recommendations from our pediatrician to put her in her own room and let her cry it out. Not only for her health and need to get more sleep, but our sanity.

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Guess what, no one thought to take into consideration that I was sitting outside her door the entire time she was crying, tears streaming down my own face. K had to practically sit on me, because we knew it was best for Punky and best for our relationship and wellbeing. It was the hardest night of my life. Yet, Punky is the best sleeper I have ever met, mothers are astonished that she goes to sleep at 8:30PM and doesn’t wake up until at least 9:30 or 10AM. I get surprised faces when I tell people that she loves taking naps and we rarely have a fight when it is time as she will clearly say “Nap” and head to her room, when she is tired and usually right around the same predictable time.

But, screw me. I shouldn’t have allowed her to cry it out for one time and apparently, I’m unnatural and not a great mother for allowing her to be independant.

Don’t get me started on vaccinations. I will be real honest here. Do I think it’s weird that there are people who don’t vaccinate their kids? Honestly. I do. But, I have never said anything to these mothers. They are making their own choices and they are doing what they feel is right for their religious beliefs or their family or whatever.

So, why is it that I hear one of my good friends was told she was uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid? Seriously? Someone said that. See that’s the case of the comments not being directed at me, but I have a few choice words I could say in response to that hurtful and highly offensive comment. But, I bite my tongue, instead of defend my friend’s choice, defend my choice. Because if she’s uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid, then shit, so am I. Awesome, at this point, I’m really doing a great parenting job according to these moms.

Other things I have felt while in this group:

  • If you are on the computer and not constantly talking to your kid, you are bad mother and doing your kid a disservice. (Let’s forget that my second job is online, that I am actually making money for my family, while on this computer.)

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  • If you aren’t still breastfeeding your child after a year old, you are not supermom. (Let’s not mention that Punky couldn’t latch and I hated pumping because it caused me mastitis and my breasts were constantly on fire or in pain)
  • If you let your child watch TV, you will rot their brain and toddlers just don’t benefit at all by watching anything that is currently on TV. (Never mind the fact that Punky has learned how to speak from conversations with Dora and learned to jump, clap, and wave from the GiggleBellies).2013-06-29 05.09.28
  • You don’t feed your kid organic food? Bad Mom! (Except, jesus, organic food is expensive and we are living paycheck to paycheck. But, then, you use cloth diapers so you don’t have to worry about not having diapers for your kid. Another strike against me, whoops.) Of course, I suppose I could just get on the cloth diaper bandwagon, except we live in an apartment and don’t have a washer and dryer and can’t afford to wash our clothes as often as I would like, let alone shitty diapers. But, then again, I’m sure these moms just think we shouldn’t have a kid until we are financially stable enough to do this very important things that cost more money.

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  • One meetup I proposed to take the kids to the city hall steps to play in the fountains. I posted a picture of Punky, MY DAUGHTER, playing in the fountains. One of the comments I got was “I don’t know if that’s safe for my child.” For real? So, I suggested an activity that I have done with my own child, but it’s not safe for other people’s children. Way to basically say that I’m putting my kid in a dangerous situation and how dare I put yours in the same boat.

The last straw was about the debate on stay at home moms and working moms. All the instances above, I have pretty much not gotten involved, not since the crying it out and car seat instance. Because if I get involved, I’m likely to get banned and I really did like getting to know some of these ladies and we are still friends on Facebook. So, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say anything.

Then a post about how being a stay at home mom was so much harder than a working mother. Working mothers had it easy because they didn’t have to change diapers and they didn’t have to deal with the constant tantrums and nap fighting and the exhaustion.

Excuse me?

I know how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, I live with one. I also know how hard it is to be a working mother, I am one! Each one of us has a different kind of challenge and hard work in different areas, but the challenges weigh the same. So, while I figured this mom was just trying to get some support for her own challenges, but she took the opportunity to shoot down working mothers in the process.

It brings me to tears every freaking day when I lay her down for her afternoon nap, knowing that I won’t see her again until morning when she wakes up. It is hard to come home for lunch, because she’s awake and when I leave, she thinks she’s coming too. When I shut the door and she can’t come, I can hear her disappointment plain as day in her cry through the door.

To give K a break, she gets to sleep in and I get up early with Punky and take her places before work. Am I exhausted? You bet your ass I am. But, I am helping my partner, the stay at home mom, and I am finding the only time I can get with my kid while I put food in her belly by working and making a life for her.

Whether she did it intentionally or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think she did. However, when someone pointed it out that her comments might be hurtful to working mothers, she got defensive and basically said she didn’t know why her comments could be construed as unfair.

That’s what broke my spirit. If you say things unintentionally that hurt someone’s feelings. How about we just acknowledge that perhaps you hadn’t thought about how things would be perceived.

I promptly left the group. Simply because if I said what I wanted to say on the forum, I’d make ladies cry. So, instead I post it here.

With my anxiety disorder, I take medication damnit, to regulate my mood and my anxiety, this kind of environment doesn’t sit well with me and it makes it very hard for me to function. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m certain I suffered from a small case of postpartum after having Punky and I already felt like a shitty mom, I don’t need anyone to help me think that about myself.

None of us need to have that in our lives. We are all mothers, doing the best we can for our kids.

And frankly, children learn from their parents, mothers in particular. Children teach their friends their habits. I’m not interested in bringing Punky into that kind of learning.

So, while I think that the mom’s group was beneficial for making a few great friends, I am not cut out to hold my tongue anymore about unfeeling comments made about other people’s choices and debates and Mommy Wars. I’m just not built to withstand the drama.

Mornings with Punky and Me

With the change in shift at work has finally gotten to be a little more settled. I’m told that I will be in the position for a little longer than I anticipated. I’m A-OK with it. I have never enjoyed my job more than I do right now. I thought I enjoyed being a senior, but in all truthfulness, I was a mini-supervisor.

Now, I have a full schedule of one on ones with my own people on my team and development and time management and keeping busy. I miss my little one a ton and I have been so sleepy, working 3 to midnight that I haven’t gone to many of our meetups with the group. We were able to make it to a playdate on Monday and today. It was pretty cool.

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Punky and I had a nice toe painting before I went to work a week or so ago. That was great. She went with her Mama to a fancy Italian restaurant and we learned that she may not like hot dogs but she will devour calamari. This kid did not get my taste buds, for sure! She has been living on fish sticks and popcorn shrimp this week from what I am told.

Monday we went to a playdate at a play place in town. We went with our playgroup and got to hang out with other moms and toddlers of her same age. I love taking her to this place because there are so many things to do. This time, she got to play at the water table – AND BECOME SOAKED – and paint her own face. She had a blast.

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This morning we hung out at the local fitness gym. They hold an open gym for toddlers and we have only gone one other time. This time, she went all over the place and was really adventurous. Punky has just learned how to jump, kind of … so the trampoline was the place she wanted to me. She did wade around in the foam pit for a bit, which was a little out of my reach, so as usual, I was anxious the entire time, but she had fun.

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The best decision I made in my parenting so far this last 17 months was to join this group and take Punky out places. It makes things incredibly fun for her, it exposes her to all sorts of things and we get to bond one on one. No matter what my work schedule looks like, I always have the mornings with my Punky. ❤

Take Care until next time!

Rachael

Why The Church Lost My Daughter

This article came over on my Facebook feed today. It talks about why millennials are leaving the church. It says in essence that most of the people in my age group or younger are leaving the church because religion has taken on more of a political stance than a faith stance. Instead of teaching their followers to love thy neighbor, they are teaching their followers to ‘hate the sin”. Instead of teaching their followers to have compassion for the whore, they are teaching their followers to condemn and judge, when that is only God’s job according to the Bible.

Of course, we are also leaving the church because we feel like there is a strict line between faith and science and we can’t have both. We can’t ask questions. We can’t be curious. We can’t have doubt. So, basically, instead of feeling bad for having doubt, I just decided that my doubt must be real and it just doesn’t exist.

I’ve felt the after effects of being a loyal church goer and follower of Jesus. I’ve felt the aftermath of leaving the church and suddenly feeling lost and confused. Of course, the followers of the church would say the lost feeling is because you don’t have Jesus in your life anymore and you are feeling it.

Instead, I say, I felt the aftermath of brainwashing. My brain and body was programmed from a very young age how to act, feel, and think. When I rebelled against that, my body went into shock. That’s an emotional response. That’s a physical response. It’s a psychological  response to my damaged brain finally taking control. It’s a kind of battle that will stay forever in my mind. that back and forth kind of battle. So far, I’m winning the war, but the battles … that pit in your stomach. That heavy feeling in your chest. The battle of wills in your mind. All part of the deprogramming of the mind when it comes to any kind of mind control. The church is a great example of mind control.

When you teach a child from the beginning that they are not to ask questions, just have faith. When you teach a child that they only need to trust in the leaders of the church, no need to trust in their own thought. When you teach a child the only way to be ‘saved’ is to follow the teachings and use guilt and fear to make them behave and think a certain way.

Like it or not, this is brainwashing. This mind control. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the beliefs of the church really are, whether they follow the Bible or not. The Bible is the excuse, the ‘teachings of Jesus” are the front for what is real. Church leaders only need to use mind control tactics to make you believe whatever they want. To make you act however they want. By the time they have all the pieces in place, they can tell you that God is going to change the sky from blue to cotton candy pink and if they do their job right, you believe them. You can’t possibly wait for the “miracle”

It’s kind of like when people blame the gays for hurricanes and natural disasters. Yes. God did that. Because of the gays. That’s compassion right there. And how may Christians actually believe this nonsense?  You’d be surprised.

How many church goers use the Bible as their tool, but they don’t really follow the teachings of Jesus that is written plainly in the black and white text?

THIS is why the church has lost my daughter. I refuse to subject her to the mind control of the church. I refuse to let her go through the withdrawal symptoms of mind control. I am seeing an increase of parents in my age group who feel the same way. We are thinking more about teaching our kids to think for themselves and release their kids from the idea of attaching their feelings to a belief in God or church.

I know for me, it’s not worth it to scar Punky with the inevitable. She will be told her parents are not natural, she will be told that she doesn’t have a legit family. I am not about to allow her to be subject to something as damaging as that. Her moms love her just as much as any family headed by a mom and dad. The kinds of thoughts that are taught and embedded in a child’s brain are not something I care to have in my daughter’s head.

We can teach our children morals without any form of church or God to be associated with. Children are taught to believe in something. Children are taught to think how their parents believe. Children are hardwired to please adults. I will not take advantage of her tiny mind. I will not subject her to any of the mind games that we adults play. I will let her question thing. I will let her be curious.

I don’t want topics to be taboo. I don’t want her feelings to be taboo. I don’t want her to be ashamed. I don’t want her to feel guilty for the way she thinks or who she wants to be. Which is why – unlike the church – I will teach her free will. In the Bible, it is taught that God created us with free will. To try and take away a person’s free will is completely backwards.

So instead of focusing on politics and agendas, both sides of the religious debate could learn from each other. Partner with each other. Instead of playing head games and a battle of wills, come together and put differences aside and work on what is important – compassion, love, and kindness to all human beings as we are all the same on the inside.

This is what I’m teaching my daughter, what about you? Regardless of your religious preferences, I promise to teach my kid to treat your children with respect and dignity. If we can all promise to teach the new generation of children to love thy neighbor and withhold judgement when possible, we can achieve a better world.

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Hope you had a great weekend and to those with cycles up in the air, good luck and good vibes are being sent from us to you! ❤

Anxious Toddler in A House Full Of Changes

Recently, as I wrote before, I got promoted temporarily to an interim position as a supervisor in our call center. This comes with the hopefully very real possibility that I will be chosen in the next phase of interviews as a permanent supervisor over the team that I am currently over. It also comes with a shift that is completely opposite to what Punky is used to.

Her entire last year and a half has been Mommy working 8AM-5PM. Now, I am working 3PM-Midnight. Punky has been pretty easy going her entire little life and I had witnessed her change and adapt to changes in her routine pretty easily. I was nervous when accepting this position that she may take a little longer to adjust.

I think we are seeing the anxiety this new change has created in our little one and I’m not sure how to curb it, or how to help her cope with this. I feel terrible that she is having such a hard time with the transition and I’m really not sure how to fix it for her.

Lately, and I just witnessed it this morning, Punky has to be hanging on K all the time. K mentioned it to me the last few days, but I haven’t really noticed while I was home. Well, I noticed it today. Punky will literally stand next to K’s chair and hold onto a piece of her shirt. Or has to be touching her in some way. K says that it escalates when I go to work and Punky needs to be held and whines and wants up and down constantly.

I’m concerned that Punky is afraid that since I’m leaving, she thinks K is leaving. I am afraid she thinks I have abandoned her, even though, she has to know that I am coming home every day and she sees me in the morning. It breaks my heart to think she is anxious about my leaving her. And even moreso, it makes me sad that she is clinging to K like she’s going to be abandoned twice.

I’m hoping this is just a phase, but I don’t know how to help her transition better, because this promotion is a great thing financially for our family and it’s what I want to do at work. We have always had a semi-predictable routine for Punky and I think that may be part of the problem, but it has helped keep her sleep on track and she’s been able to know what is coming next.

I was afraid this would happen when I accepted the position and I had hoped, since she is usually so independent and able to keep to herself, that it wouldn’t be a big deal. We have changed the routine before and she’s adapted quickly to it. Not only that, but I have so much more time to play with her in the day time than I did in the evenings when I worked the day shift. We get to go to play dates and spend time outside the apartment. We get to do things with other kids and she’s not stuck in the apartment with just her moms.

I tried to talk to Punky today and yet, I know she’s too little to really understand. She’s also like a ferret and doesn’t pay attention to what I’m saying unless I have shiny things in my hands. Anyway, I tried. I said, “Punky, you know Mommy loves you. Mommy just goes to work at night and I see you in the morning. You know Mommy isn’t going to stay gone, right?” She just hugged me tight and that made me want to cry! I said, “Mama is not going anywhere, either. You don’t have to hang onto her, she’s right there. She’s going to be right there.” Of course, at that point, my toddler got bored and climbed off my lap, and proceeded to go grab a piece of K’s shirt.

I just wonder if anyone else has these problems. I just wonder if there is anything I can do to ease her mind that her moms aren’t going anywhere. I used to think that these fears of children thinking their parents were abandoning them was really just the moms over thinking and feeling guilty, and maybe that’s what this is. But, I am seeing a definite difference in Punky’s demeanor or the way she interacts with the both of us, together and separately.

Hopefully, this is just a phase and it too will change, because it’s hurting my heart and I know K would love to get some things done without a toddler hanging off her shirt all day. People need personal space, ya know.

Leibster Award What?!

What? You like me! You really, really like me?! Ahem.

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award! Thanks to Charity for her nomination! This is a way for small bloggers to give recognition to other small bloggers (200 followers or less). Here’s how it works:

Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.

The rules:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5. No tag backs meaning you can’t just re nominate the person who nominated you.

As Solo the First put it “The real purpose behind these nominations are not only as an accolade from a fellow blogger and let’s face it, nothing gently strokes our little writer hearts more than someone telling you they appreciate your work.  In addition to the back patting we need to receive from time to time, it also allows us to get a little more personal as we get to know our increasing blogging community. It also helps drive traffic to your site as we reference one another.”

The questions put forth to me (with my answers) are as follows:

1) Tea or coffee? Sweet Tea

2) Who is the most influential person in your life? My little brother, Cody. He’s a damn rockstar and I am so proud to be his sister.

3) What’s your favorite Shakespeare play? The Tempest

4) What is your favorite genre of music? MUSICALS (especially Wicked and Aida)

5) Do you play an instrument? I do not.

6) What’s your favorite state or national park? I’ve never visited a national park and I’ve never really been too far outside of Missouri. So, I pick Missouri.

7) What’s your favorite view, sunrise or sunset? Sunset, only because I’m never up early enough to see the sunrise.

8) Which environment do you enjoy more the grasslands, desert, mountains or the beach? I’m so boring! I have never seen any of those. I will go with grasslands, I live in the midwest, that’s the closest option for me!

9) What is the best movie you ever saw? I could watch the Notebook a million times and never get bored.

10) Who is your favorite author? George R. R. Martin (damn him!)

11) What do you hope others will remember about you when you die? I hope people remember that I stood up for what I believed in, I raised my kid to the best of my ability to think for herself and I love those closest to me with all my heart, regardless of our differences.

Here are my nominations (In no particular order!) I also have no idea how many followers these people currently have, but I love reading them!:

Here are my 11 questions:

1)  Paper Book or Electronic?

2) Who would you have dinner with if you could pick anyone ever?

3) What kitchen utensil would you be?

4) If you met the president, what would you say to him?

5) What’s the hardest lesson you have had to learn in your life?

6) What’s the best decision you ever made?

7) What’s your favorite musical?

8) What’s your biggest pet peeve?

9) What’s your greatest accomplishment?

10) Where do you see yourself in 15 minutes?

11) Where do hope to be in your life by the time you are retired?

A New Chapter Has Started For Us

Hi all,

So, it’s been a while since I have posted something substantial because I have been so busy at work. We have been having system issues and other things. We deal with people’s medication, so I have been staying late a few nights a week to make sure we get these people their medication. That’s the great thing about this job. I don’t really care for being on the phones, and I’m not as much as I used to be. I’m a senior now, so I talk to the grumpy, the sick, the frustrated elderly. I answer questions from our representatives and coach when necessary.

Well, dear readers, I am here to announce that I have been given the opportunity to go a step higher. I am going to be interim supervisor starting today. This is pretty big news for me! I applied for a supervisor position about a month ago and I nailed the interview, I just didn’t have the ‘experience’ they were looking for. This interim position will give me the experience I want and need for the next step in this path.

I’m kind of the glue that holds my current team together in a lot of ways, so I am concerned that I am leaving them hanging, so on the work front, I’m feeling a tiny bit guilty just ‘abandoning’ them. However, they have an excellent supervisor and my backup senior is pretty sharp and knowledgable, he just has to have the confidence to do the job!

On the home front, I’m even more guilty. My shift will change now from 8-5PM to 3-Midnight. Which really means that I will be missing the bedtime routine. I do so love putting Punky to bed. So, I’m sure not only do I need to get my own bedtime routine and sleep schedule changed, but I will be wondering what she’s doing around 8PM every night when she usually goes to bed.

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We spent last night watching the Giggle Bellies before bed. Just laying in mommies’ bed and cuddling!

The upside to this is that I get to spend time with her in the day time. I get to take her out and do things with her. The mommy group that I am a member of usually does playdates during the day and I was always bummed that I couldn’t take her to those things. We only had time to do things at night (when I was usually too darn tired) or on the weekends (when I really didn’t want to get out of the house).

Now, we can do all sorts of things. In fact, we have been booked for three playdates this week.

On Thursday, Punky and I are going to a free FitMom class in the morning. I hear it’s a great workout for moms who don’t have time or daycare to get to the gym. I’m looking forward to that. I have been counting calories for about a month now and started doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred level 1 workout consistently for the last week. I’ve lost about 8.5 pounds in the last month. It’s pretty exciting and I’m pretty happy with this new chapter in my life too!

On Friday, we are going to Xtreme Fitness to play at the Toddler Time. I’ve been told that this place has all sorts of fun things for kids to play with. Trampolines and foam pits and just a nice place to run off the energy of a toddler.

Yesterday we visited the open house at Gymboree for a couple hours. I really miss taking her to Gymboree. I sure wish she liked participating in the classes more!

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It’s so important to me to spend time with Punky while I am still working. I am a working mom. I am a working mom for a reason. I can’t possibly stay at home with her 24/7 and keep my sanity. But, I want that bond with her. I want to be close with her and I am hoping being able to have that bond with her and be a mom she can come to when she needs something.

So, with a new job and a new schedule and a new weight loss plan, things are looking new and different, but hopefully a great new life is starting!

Take care.

Etsy Digital Designers Baby Shower HOP!

baby shower logo

For the month of July, the DigitalDesigers Team on Etsy was tasked with a fantastic promotional piece. We are all doing something with the theme of “Virtual Baby Shower”.

I know a lot of you Mamas out there are either trying to conceive, pregnant, or close to popping! This is a great thing for all of you!

So, from July 12-19 the hop will be basically allowing you to bounce around and grab up free gifts from our participating designers! Let me tell you, they are all fabulous and so very talented digital designers!

I’m currently offering a set of printables to go with your “Little Man Baby Shower” The colors will be yellow and grey. Here’s a preview of the invitation, for sale in my shop right now, if you would like it. Also, if you decide that these are not the colors you are looking for, you can also convo me on my Etsy shop for custom invitations and/or printables! (Custom orders are not free)

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For purchase at Events You Can Print – on Etsy

Now for the free stuff!! Who doesn’t love free stuff! I know I do! It’s Christmas in July, ladies and gentlemen!’

Check out my Shop’s Facebook page for great coupons and freebie promotions later next month!

**THIS PROMOTION HAS ENDED, PLEASE MESSAGE ME FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO PURCHASE A SET FOR YOUR BABY SHOWER IF YOU WISH**

What you get?

  • 1 Little Man Banner
  • 2 sheets of Cupcake Toppers
  • 1 Sign for Favors Table
  • 1 Sheet Argyle Sweaters and Bowties for Favor bags

These next pieces were not used in the baby shower I hosted with this bundle. So they are extra special and free for you to use!

  • 1 sheet of 12 miniature chocolate bar wrappers
  • 1 sheet of 5 water bottle labels
  • 4X6 “Wishes For Baby” card
  • Little Man Gift Bingo

Check out how we used these in a baby shower just a few weeks ago!

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Your bowties for the bags will be smaller and say “Thank You” on them. We accidentally used the wrong ones! These bowties were for the photobooth props!

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cupcake toppers

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The banners and cupcake toppers in the downloads will not have the Lincoln ones included. Only the Little Man variety.

Let’s see what you can do with them! I’d love to see pictures of your own party and how it turns out!!

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A Day In The Life of Punky – 15 months old

So the last time I did one of these posts was nearly 9 months ago on Punky’s half birthday. So much has changed in that time! Get ready for a photo intense post.

Please excuse the mess of my living room. This kid literally drags out all her toys and makes sure there is no shortage of fishes, crackers, and cookie crumbs on our floor.

I put time stamps on these pictures, but just know that sometimes she’s not literally doing the current picture to the next one. Sometimes I got distracted and she moves faster than I can really capture in real time.

These are pretty much unedited as far as pictures go. And some may be blurry – blame it on the very fast movements of my toddler and the slowness of my camera to keep up!

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10:26 AM – I had been up enjoying a little Facebook since 8AM but then a heard a squeak from Punky’s room. I opened the door to this, dancing and adorable little one.

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10:27AM – We laid on the spare bed in her bedroom and changed her diaper. At the time, that diaper did in fact make her butt look big.

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10:31AM – After getting a nice clean booty, we headed into the living room (AKA Punky’s playroom) to get some breakfast in the form of a cereal bar and a sippy of milk.

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10:50 AM – Mommy gets some breakfast too and sits down to check on Facebook stuff. Punky takes the time to eat her cereal bar and watch a little Kai Lan on Nick Jr.

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11:18 AM – Mommy had to go to the bathroom which means Punky must accompany her! Look, her very own potty to sit on.

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I had to share this picture too, she’s so happy to be sitting on her potty and she started laughing and clapping. Oh, the fun we have in the bathroom …..

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11:25 AM – Mommy thought she might get in a little Sims 3 time while the toddler played with her toys. She’s so independent when it comes to playing. She had to come show me her sunglasses though! She can now put them on all by herself.

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When I told her they were on upside down, she basically looked at me like I was the weirdo.

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11:29 AM – Punky moved on from sunglasses to playing with her activity cube that her aunt and uncle got her for her birthday. It may be on it’s side, but she loves it.

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11:43AM – Of course, in the world of toddlers, one activity doesn’t last very long. Soon enough she has moved from activity cube to riding her horse through the land of the Fresh Beat Band.

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12:07 PM – I turn around from my Sims 3 and find that Punky thinks this blue ring might make an excellent ankle bracelet. She does try so very hard to shove it around her foot. Without much success, but lots of laughs from Mommy.

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12:18 PM – She moves quickly to her flash cards. I’m surprised that most of them are still in tact. Some of them are not, but most of them are still in tact and she loves looking at them.

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12:41 PM – Taking a sip of Mommy’s Cola before naptime. I don’t actually think she got any, but she did want a sip, there wasn’t much left, so I let her get a sip. I’m pretty sure she thinks this is the coolest thing ever, to get to drink out of a can.

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12:43 PM – I muttered the word Nap and she let that non-existant Cola fuel her flight from me! She took off and headed up the couch in her escape. Little did she know that I was faster and there isn’t really any way out from UP.

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1:02 PM – A quick run around the living room and a diaper change later, we refueled her sippy cup and headed off to her bedroom for a nap. She laid there and was not at all thrilled, see how she threw her baby off to the side. I knew she was going to fight the nap.

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1:51 PM – She sensed her Mama woke up around 1:30 PM and thought it would be a brilliant idea to squeal until she came and got her out of bed. Mommy was not agreeable to this, and by the look on Punky’s face, she knows who won!

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1:55 PM – Upon being told that she should really still be napping and shouldn’t be up yet, she decided to charm Mommy with a nice little game of Peek-A-Boo around the laptop!

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1:55 PM – After she knew she had engaged me in a nice game – she gave me a cute cheeky smile and I knew she was definitely staying up until she felt like going to sleep.

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2:17 PM – Once she got Mommy’s go ahead to stay awake, we played “Capture the Kid On Camera” for a good 10 minutes, this was the best shot I got.

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2:18 PM – Once she took the sunglasses off, she decided to inspect one of the holes in my laptop. Just some hole for her to stick her finger in.

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She also took that same finger and wanted to make sure I knew where her “Eye” is. She is so cute when she says it and then pokes herself right in the eye.

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2:27 PM – Punky took it upon herself to sit in the middle of all her toys and play with the big spinning toy that makes animal noises. She could be heard saying “Bzzz” and “Oo, Oo”

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2:52 PM – Punky and Mama attempted to reach Grammy and Papa via Skype. They just live across town, but we thought maybe a little phone call on the computer was in order. Sometimes, I wish my mom had internet so we could Skype, she lives much farther away.

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2:57 PM – Punky finds it hilarious to see Grammy and Papa in the computer. Got ahold of Grammy and played peek-a-boo, we blew some kisses, and sang some songs with her and Papa.

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3:38 PM – HIt her head on something and went to her Mama and sippy for comfort before going back and doing it again.

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3:37 PM – Still going strong without a nap. A good “Jack and the Neverland Pirate” episode that made both baby and Mommy sing and dance along with the kid pirates.

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3:46 PM – Talented little one is going to ride her rocking horse backwards. I am just waiting for a toddler to fall into a gate and go boom!

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Shortly after being unsuccessful at riding her rocking horse backwards, Punky thought she might like to hang out with Mommy on the couch. That required her to climb. Her most favorite thing to do.

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3:47 PM – She tried a few different tactics to get up on the couch, including this interesting little roll to get up on the couch.

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3:51 PM – Punky made it up there, but it wasn’t to hang out with Mommy. She just wanted to hang out on the recliner of my couch seat. But, just having her close was good enough for Mommy.

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4:47 PM – Around 4 ish, Mommy and baby got in our swimsuits and took a little dip in the pool. She was not thrilled to come back inside, but I got to snap a little picture before we changed her out of her wet suit.

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4:40 PM – When we got back in the bedroom to change her out of her clothes, she was very much ready to get out of them, rolling around in the towel.

5:09 PM – Instead of being backwards, she will just watch her Disney Jr. backwards on her rocking horse.

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5:37 PM – Since today was a no naptime day, I am starting to see the first inklings of sleepy Punky! She is rubbing her eyes and getting all cranky!

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5:38 PM – She thought she might just rest her head on the recliner of the couch for just a moment .. I thought maybe she might fall asleep. Not my kid – she never really sleeps anywhere but her bed!

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5:39 PM – Instead, she chose to do something like baby yoga on the couch recliner. I am not really sure what she’s doing to be honest. …

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5:40 PM – Oh, nope, she just thought she might rest her head a minute before standing up and dancing on the recliner of the couch. She is determined to fall and bust her head open, definitely trying to give Mommy a heart attack.

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6:12 PM – I stopped taking pictures for a moment and when I looked up, there she was – hanging out on the toybox. Like she doesn’t have enough toys on the floor, now she wants to play with the blocks on the top.

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6:22 PM – Punky got scooped up by her Mama and they played in the spinning office chair for a bit. Up and down, back and forth. She was a giggly little one by the end of this session. This is the clearest picture I got.

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6:26 PM – The next three pictures are really all the same time frame. Our child decided it might be fun to roll around on the couch. She moved from this position …

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To this one .. I’m not sure what she’s looking at on the ceiling. From here ….

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She moved to this one for half a second. This kid is always on the move. It didn’t really last long on the couch, but it was fun to watch her flip around and roll from one position to the next.

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6:38 PM – She found one of her very old binkies in her toybox where she likely threw it .. or hid it .. for future days – like now. She never really took a binky, so it’s always surprising to me when she sticks it in her mouth. Of course, she had in in backwards before this shot.

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6:51 PM – Mama made a delicious Italian Spaghetti dish. This munchkin chowed down on the noodles. We thought about using utensils, but when I put them in her hands, she looks at me like I’m dumb and tends to fling food onto our carpet.

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6:55 PM – We took her shirt off for this dinner, there was no need for her white shirt getting all ruined. It’s not like we have a washing machine in our apartment!

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7:35PM – After dinner we took the rocking horse for a ride. Sitting on it properly.

Around 7:40 PM when she was done eating, my camera decided it needed to be charged! For real?!

Charged up the camera and then it was time for the bedtime routine to commence.

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8:09 PM – Let’s play a little peek-a-boo before the bedtime diaper change. She gets so darn squirrely towards the end of her day. This is pretty darn good for no nap!

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8:11 PM – After diaper change and all is good, she goes straight for Mama for playtime and reading. This is how we start our bedtime routine, since she just learned how to climb up onto the bed all by herself!

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8:11 PM – This is her “I’m gonna get my Mama” face. She thinks she’s sneaky, but we can all see that Mama is watching her closely. She’s all knees and elbows flying everywhere right now!

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8:12 PM – She settles in for a nice book and a tug on Horton’s nose. She loves this book. It makes her giggle when I tickle her face with the nose.

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8:13 PM – We asked her where Horton’s eyes were, she likes to poke him, pretty violently with those little fingers and giggle. I am not sure if I should be concerned yet.

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8:14 PM – We moved on to her newspaper. This is a great little toy that I found at a local book store. She can learn all the animals and sounds. So far she can point out the horse and the cow. She can also tell me where her shirt and her pants are from playing with this newspaper. And, she learned how to say “Ball” from this little gem.

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8:16 PM – Mommy thought her hair was too long for this little friend – but that stray hair just made an appearance tonight and decided to hang out with us for bedtime.

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8:24 PM – After much reading of the newspaper and jumping on the bed, it was time to start tickles and wrestling with Mama. This is pretty much one of her favorite things to do. AND if she was still full of energy, after her Mama gets done with her, she is exhausted.

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8:25 PM – No bedtime playtime could be complete without Punky being turned upside down and tickled at least three times.

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8:27 PM – I asked her where her tongue is and she chose to show me her Mama’s tongue instead. I’m sure by now, this kid was tired of seeing Mommy’s camera in her face.

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8:30 PM – We also must have jumping on the bed at some point in the bedtime playtime routine. Of course, right now, her jumping looks more like running in place. But, it’s ever so adorable!

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8:36 PM – A little past her normal bedtime, we generally wind down around 8:25, but tonight we played a little longer. It looks like we are torturing her, but really, we are just brushing the teeth! She tends to run away when Mama doesn’t hold her for this piece of bedtime routine.

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8:37 PM – Once Mommy washes off the toothbrush and grabs her bedtime drink, it’s time for the light ceremony. Turn off the Mommies’ bedroom light. And give Mommy and Mama a bedtime kiss!

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8:38 PM – Turn off her own bedroom light and head to bed with sippy in hand.

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8:39 PM – Get covered up and Mommy makes sure she has her baby. This shot was in complete darkness with flash. I had no idea what I was going to get. Good night, Punky. It was quite the eventful day.

I’d love to see a day in the life of your child? What do you do with your kid on a weekend! This is my day off and this is how I spend it – observing my little one and entertaining her when she needs it, which is usually not very often. I swear she never really wants to play with me!

So, who’s next?