Long First Weekend of 2014

We had the unfortunate experience of losing another grandmother in the family shortly after Christmas, so this weekend was the time of memory and honor to a family member. It was also the weekend we went to visit family.

We headed to farmer country. The place I grew up! I was so astonished that this is a “thing” I had to share it with others. Now you know what stock I came from. Haha.

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Another three hour drive with our toddler. It was a typical drive to the Midwest Missouri home I grew up in. We spent the first day hanging out and the second day my sister and her kids came over to visit.

The third day was supposed to be our baby shower that we were throwing for my brother and his wife. Mother Nature intervened. We had 8 inches of snow in the area and we weren’t comfortable letting my brother and 8 month pregnant sister-in-law try to drive 30 minutes to a party.

We were all pretty disappointed, but it was more important for their safety than anything else!

I had to leave their gift at my mom’s so that they could have it later, since I live a good 3 hours away and we won’t be able to come back up until my new nephew is born. I got her all the must have items I needed when I was a new mommy with the First Time Mommy Survival Kit.

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We also had to forgo the nearly 50 cupcakes that my sister made and the cute little shower games we had planned.

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I wrapped up a bunch of miniature chocolate bars with Baby Avenger labels and they are so cute! Too cute not to show off!

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In the end, I’m glad that they are safe, just sad we didn’t get to see them when we had a moment to visit. Stupid snow!

Anyway, I also spent my weekend, completely engrossed in the new book I bought with my GooglePlay money I got for Christmas. I was enraptured by “Raising my Rainbow” written by Lori Duron – the writer of a blog I read regularly. It’s the true story about her experiences raising her gender creative son who likes all things made for ‘she’. I have always been an advocate for raising kids, especially my kid, against all the gender stereotypes.

So, I wrapped up the book in just a day or so. I absolutely loved it. I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in a good read. It’s a great story with blatant honestly about parenting and difficult decisions in parenting. I really do admire her and her family. I admire their parenting. I admire their courage to share their family and while I think that Punky is really just a kid who likes all kinds of different toys, gender be damned, if she turned out to be gender creative, I’d strive to be like this supermom!

Punky got to spend time with my mom, which isn’t something that happens often, because we live so far away, but I do love these pictures.

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I know my mom loves it too! She got a new baby and a few new toys for Christmas, when you have several grandparents on several sides of the family, Christmas is never ending in the beginning of the year.

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All and all, the weekend was pretty good. We got snowed in and it was sort of sad about the party, but overall, we had a nice visit and a nice time. We spent time with family and people we don’t get to see very much. We did miss a lot of people because of the storm, but we are home now, again, snug in our own apartment, but the beauty of family visits are always with me each time we visit.

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Temporary Insanity

Right now, all I can think about is that my interim supervisor position at work is coming to an end soon. It will either become full-time or it will be over. I have my interview on Friday. I’m a damn nervous wreck. At the end of the day, I know whatever happens, I will do the very best that I can do. Just as I have been doing the last 2 and a half months in the position. 

In other news, K and I decided to visit my family this last weekend. Which means we put the trip to Iowa on hold. But, we hadn’t seen my parents or my family in nearly 6 months and it was time for a visit. I have been telling my parents we would come visit in May and then … maybe June …. for sure in July. By August, I just wasn’t making any promises.

Due to a financial snafu, of my own making, scatter-brained as I am, we were behind in a lot of bills, adding up K’s doctor’s visits, medication, and Punky’s extra-curriculars, not to mention my frequent trips to Walmart for retail therapy, it just wasn’t in the cards for a while.

Well, we finally got ourselves caught up, still slowly digging out of the hole, but better nonetheless.

So, instead of dwell on the upcoming nerves and anxiety inducing interview for a possible promotion that could help change my whole financial life, we will recap a visit with the family.

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On Thursday, before our trip, we had Punky’s 18 month doctor’s appointment. She’s 27 pounds and 12 ounces. 88 percentile in weight. She’s 34 and 3/4 inches tall. That puts her in the 99th percentile in height. Jeebs. The kid is taller and she’s off the chart.

She’s talking more and she’s mimicking more words. She just learned “apple” and “hey” She said “Hi Mom” the other day. Her very first two word sentence.

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We made it to my Grandma’s house for dinner on Friday. My sister’s kids were all there and they all had a fantastic time hanging out. If I haven’t announced on here, my brother and his wife finally conceived their first baby and so that will add a fifth to the mix soon. You can follow their little journey too, I do!  

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Punky and Robin are about 4 months apart. He’s a little older than her and will be two in November. They had a blast chasing balls, fighting over toys, and jumping on the furniture together. 

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Punky is pretty quiet and tends to like to play by herself, so while her cousins were making a squealing tornado out of great-grandma’s house, Punky was playing in a corner. Pigtails and all.

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Everyone kept insisting on giving her sticky things to eat. She had many sticky moments this weekend. The ringpop was Mama’s fault and the sucker was grandma’s fault.

 

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She ate some cheese pizza with my mom, chewed on a car I got at a garage sale for a quarter and played with a few pitbull puppies at my dad’s.

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Overall, besides not having but ONE nap the entire time we were gone (three days), she did pretty great. She’s finally asleep, I don’t hear her in her room protesting with her new favorite word “HEY!” anymore. 

The fall tv season has started this month, totally slipped my mind. Set up my DVR and wrote out my list of shows this Fall. So, if you are like me and you watch a lot of TV, hope you didn’t forget like I did!

Anyway, that was our weekend, we had a good time with my family and hope to get to Iowa for the marriage license soon. For now, one step at a time. Friday is my interview, wish me luck!!

Family Visit and Letter to Peyton

Dear Peyton,


Mommy doesn’t want you to be one. I can’t imagine that you are already old enough to drink from a sippy, to walk from couch to chair. I can’t begin to believe that you are waving and SAYING “bye”. I can’t get enough of you little baby laugh. You are never going to be a big kid to me. You will always be Mommy’s tiny, precious, beautiful miracle. My very heartbeat.

In just a few short weeks, you will be ONE. I can’t believe it. I refuse to believe it. Pretty soon we will be hearing you count to ten and ask why the sky is blue. I am not ready for that. I don’t want my baby to grow up! Where did the time go? Where has the last year gone? I have no idea. You are growing up to be so smart and so funny. You are made with such a unique and beautiful personality. 

In less than 5 weeks, you will have your birthday. You will be ONE. I want some more cuddles before you get too big. I want some more smoochies before you are too embarrassed. I want some more bath pictures before its too weird to be taking them. I want to put you in just a few more footed pajamas before they don’t make your size anymore.

You will always be Mommy’s little girl. I promise. It matters not how old you are. You will always be a baby to me.

Love, 

Mommy ❤
***************
So we spent the weekend with my family. My family lives 2 and half hours away, which means we always have to prepare for riding in the car with the baby. In her whole ALMOST ONE year of life, Peyton has not ever really slept in the car. So, we were concerned that this would be an issue. So, I started the day by headed to WIC and they pricked her little finger for iron. She was spot on. Then we went to Mama’s doctor’s appointment with her. After that, it was pretty much nap time. This means, hopefully a sleeping kid on the way to my parents’ house. Sure enough, we headed towards our destination and shortly after we got going, she fell asleep.
Once we got there, we headed to my dad’s house first. She didn’t really warm up to my dad right away. Which is pretty normal. She’s used to quiet and calm. My dad is neither of these things. So, she was a little shy around him. Every time he looked at her, she cried. When we put her on his lap, she cried. So he lured her with an oatmeal cream pie. It worked for a few minutes.
It worked pretty well for a few minutes. Basically any food that he offered her, she would take, but tickling? Nope. Playing? Absolutely not. However, when my youngest brother came in the house, she took to him with no problems at all!
This is probably my favorite picture from the weekend. SO sweet! Anyway, we hung out at my dad’s house for a while and then we headed to my mom’s house where we were staying the night. After a really long night of sick sister being rushed to the hospital, screaming nephew and no sleep, the next day was full of bed head and cats.
We spent the afternoon there and then headed back to my dad’s house for the rest of the day. We had a nice ham and mashed potato dinner. It was pretty awesome. While we waited for dinner, Peyton and their pitbull Petey looked out the window and pondered the cold outside.

I love these pictures. Also, we discovered something else. Peyton started to recognize when the camera was on her. She would hear the camera come on and she would turn her head, wrinkle her nose and smile. It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen. She is usually very hard to get to smile for the camera. For the last 10 months, its like pulling teeth to get her to smile for the camera. So, since then every time the camera is pointed in her direction, she smiles like this:

She also made up with her grandpa. It is the most adorable thing to watch. Ignore all the talk in the background, the people in the house didn’t know I was video taping the whole tickle session.
After dinner, we went back to my mom’s again to stay the night. We had a much quieter night but still an early morning. Peyton’s sleep schedule was off on this trip. However, she did eat Lucky Charms for the first time and her Aunt J gave her the first of many temporary tattoos.

 
That afternoon, she played with the blocks that Grandma gave her for Christmas. She was quite happy to watch Grandma stack the blocks so she could kick them over!
She had a little chicken nuggets for lunch, in a high chair she’s not used to. She is used to a full tray, so this was an interesting experience for us. She thought for sure she needed to stand up in the chair.
After some lunch she helped Grandma play cards. Grandma won in the end. Of course she did! With this lucky charm on her lap, who wouldn’t win?!

Before we left my mom’s house, she had a nice little wrestling match with her Cousin M. Her cousin is the first grandbaby of the family and she’s 5, just started Kindergarten. She’s the only girl with 2 younger brothers, so M is always thrilled to have a little girl time.
Of course, when we left my mom’s house, both my mom and sister cried. They always do when we leave. We went to my brother’s house and hung out with him and his wife. We had not been to their house before and it was pretty neat to just hang out and watch The Lorax. We didn’t get to finish it, but Kim and I have decided we will see if its on Netflix, because what we saw of it, was pretty cute.
It’s so cold outside and the air is so dry. It doesn’t help that she has the craziest hair on the planet anyway, so when I took her little hat off, her hair looked like this:
She loves her Uncle C. He’s pretty cool and he likes to dance with her and sing crazy songs to her. Here, they were hanging out on the couch reading a comic book. I just know he’s going to make an awesome daddy someday.

We stayed the night at my brother’s house and then came home today. Kim is sleeping and I am blogging. Peyton is playing with all her toys that are not being shared by her cousins. I have two more days before I have to be back at work and I plan on spending that time relaxing and watching TV, playing Ruzzle on Facebook (Thanks, C and H) and playing with my baby girl. 
She’s going to be one soon, you know. I got to get in all the cuddles and playtime I can!
Until next time, 
Take Care ❤
Rachael

I Traumatized My Baby

So, we all know that Peyton is 4 and a half months old. She’s still little, regardless of her size. Technically, the baby is a giant! Anyway, we planned a trip to visit my family this passed weekend and it didn’t really go the way I had hoped.

Mommy and Peyton

Let’s preface this by saying …. Peyton only knows her mommies.

Truly, we don’t have people over and we don’t really go out with her. We are both pretty much homebodies and don’t leave the apartment if we can help it. Peyton knows my brother because he comes to visit, my sister because she lives with us, Kim’s sister because she visits frequently, and Kim’s mom and step-dad because we are over there a lot.

Papa Gary makes Peyton scream

However, Peyton kind of made it look like she hates men. She screamed at my dad. She screamed at my step dad. She screamed at my grandpa. BUT, she also screamed at my mom and my grandma as well.

So, its not a gender thing. Its not about having two mommies. I am sure that people will be jumping to the conclusion that the lack of males in her life has a bad effect on her tiny brain. That’s not true. 

My daughter was unsure all weekend



It is now the time in her development where she is creating bonds with the people she knows and cares about. She doesn’t know my family. It makes me sad really. It was even worse when she was screaming at my grandpa and then he didn’t know who I was. He’s getting dementia and that’s another story, but it still made me sad that I couldn’t get a picture of Peyton with my grandpa because she wouldn’t let him hold her. I don’t know how long he has left with us.


Basically, Peyton isn’t really exposed to different kinds of people. This is our fault. She’s not used to loud places or people. She’s not used to being in the car that much and the drive was 2.5 hours to and from. She’s not used being held all the time or having people in her face constantly. She’s not used to being passed around and she’s not used to being played with all the time.

This is her “unimpressed” face

Peyton has a schedule. This weekend screwed up her schedule. She didn’t nap. She refused to nap. Not only because she was overwhelmed, but also because she had some much she wanted to see. Not to mention that I realized this weekend that I have a serious baby. Her personality is pretty quiet and observant. She wants to look at everyone. She wants to see what’s going on. She really doesn’t smile at people unless she means it.

This weekend. She didn’t really mean it. She was not impressed with my family and she was not impressed with the importance that I had in my heart for her to love my side of the family. They were so excited for us to come visit and so excited to see her. They hadn’t seen her since she was 3 weeks old, so she is more interactive now. Unfortunately, she usually just gave them all this funny look.

SO SLEEPY.

So, the entire weekend, we fought about napping and interacting. She didn’t want to take naps, so she was always tired. A tired baby is not a happy baby. Unfortunately, that made things so much worse. She is not at all a nice baby when she hasn’t had her naps. She is on a schedule of sleeping, eating, playing and repeating all through the day. She didn’t have her bed or her toys readily on hand. So, instead, she was not interested in playing or sleeping in unfamiliar territory.

Her cousin is grabbing on her.

Instead of playing with her cousins, who … I’ll admit … are a little loud and ornery, she played with her toes. Her toes and her mommies were her best friends this weekend.

So sleepy and sucking on her toes
is apparently very soothing.

Even when we got home, she was not having any part of naps or being playful and cute. She screamed at us for a really long time and it wasn’t until this morning that she was even close to her normal self. So, note to her mommies, we need to socialize the kid. I didn’t think it really made a difference, since she was so small. Apparently, that’s something we need to work on. I am going to see if I can find a mommy and me type thing to take her to. She can’t sit on her own yet, but I really think just bringing her around other people will be helpful.

We have another visit in October. Let’s hope by then she will be older, less skittish, and more socialized!!

Take Care