13/52 – School Picture Day

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

She just only got 1 good picture apparently.

I dressed her so darn cute today too!

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

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Honorable Mention are these:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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4/52 – Adventures With Mommy

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This week was really all about exploring the adventures we could have with Mommy. And learning that sometimes, the best “me time” is time with the little girl who makes your world go ’round. I’m exploring and learning new things too!

 

The Christmas Post

I finally got around to being able to sit for a moment and write this post. I have been pretty sickly since yesterday and the week flew by anyway! We had so much great things to celebrate and a sadness that happened shortly after Christmas. Another family matriarch passed away yesterday morning and we will be taking Punky on her first funeral trip this week.

Christmas for us is not yet, done, we still have Grammy and Papa and then my side of the family as well, which we will be seeing this weekend! My brother and his wife are expecting their first child and my sister is throwing them a baby shower. I’m really excited about that!

Anyway, our Christmas was jam packed full of presents and family and fun and lots of food.

Punky got up bright and early and wasn’t really interested in waiting for anyone to wake up – she headed straight to the tree for the promise of presents Mommy put her to bed with.

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The hit toys from Santa? I’d say Dora and Boots skating friend dolls and her animal sounds barn from Fisher Price Little People.

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Other toys from Santa included a package of new books for her LeapFrog Jr. Reader full of Toddler milestones stories like potty time, bedtime and other fun things. She also got a Doc McStuffins medical bag with a little stethoscope and other fun doctor stuff, including a Doc McStuffins cell phone, which she has been handing to us for days now. Included in her stocking was many M&Ms and small cars and stuffed unicorns of all colors and varying sizes.

After a much needed nap, we got ready to go out to visit with family and celebrate Christmas with Kim’s dad and family. This included getting dressed up in her Christmas dress and boots with pretty black flower bows in her hair.

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Since she really didn’t take a nap, even though I laid her down, she fell asleep on the way there, with both Dora and Boots in each arm. It was pretty darn adorable.

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The day was full of more fun and presents, more food and more family. She played with her cousin.

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They sang songs on that thing for what felt like hours. She also played on his new toys, since her toys were not opened, being that it was an art easel and supplies.

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And she gave me lots of sass towards the end of the day. That’s becoming a new trend in our little one. She’s pretty good out in public, thank goodness, but she’s kind of a brat face at home. Lots of no in her vocabulary, peppered with a few kicking episodes, flopping on the floor and banging her head on the floor. I am told this is normal for her age, but damn it sure gets old.

Then there are moments when I get pictures like this.

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Today was another round of fun and family. We had a great time hanging out with Kim’s uncle and his family – we don’t see them very often. She got to sit at the ‘kids table’ for the first time. It was pretty darn adorable.

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Punky opened more presents.

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Snuggled with one of her favorite people. The aunt who saw her birth.

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Then we headed back to meet up with Grammy and Papa. She was their light of the day, as Papa’s mom passed away yesterday. I think its true that the spirit of a child lightens anyone’s heart. And as much as she’s a pain in my ass at home, she’s such a doll baby out of the house and especially loves her Grammy and Papa.

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She knows when we are driving up their house as she will start clapping in the backseat and say “Papa” until we get there. If she could live with Grammy and Papa, I think she may be very happy!

She hung out with the dog a little, who just makes her giggle and whom she calls on her pretend Doc McStuffins cell phone quite regularly.

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Climbed on Grammy’s couch.

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And took her baby for a stroll around the living room.

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All and all it was a pretty great day and a nice Christmas week. We have more to come, and I’m not sure where we will fit the abundance of new toys in our apartment, but well, we shall see!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate was wonderful and full of family, fun, and food!

Coming Out The Other Side

The week I learned I didn’t move on to get the supervisor position was more devastating to my psyche than I actually anticipated. I said some things, I did some things, I thought some things that I’m not proud of. I was shocked and I was overwhelmed and in the end, that whole week, I’m not sure what people thought of the hurricane that was me walking in shell of a person I had become.

I was angry, I was despondent, I was depressed and most of all I was confused. I am fairly certain that last week was one of the hardest weeks I have had to deal with and I am fairly certain it’s mostly because it wasn’t expected, I didn’t expect myself to react the way that I did. Without going into details, while initially my heart and spirit had a good outlook, in the end in, my emotions overtook and I unraveled.

By the end of the week, I’m not sure if people thought I was suicidal or homicidal. Neither of which were the case. Though, I do think that K may have thought about killing me periodically for all the shit I put her through that week.

I have come to really think about my situation and while I handled this poorly, I am going to rise above it. I am in a place in my job, frankly, I never ever wanted to be. I never saw myself there. And, when I said that to some people, they felt as though I was expressing my dislike for the people in that department or perhaps expressing that I felt I was too good for the job.

I would never, ever, want to make someone feel that way. That was not my intent. But, in my hurt feelings, my shock and my entire work life being turned upside down, I didn’t express myself in the way I likely should have. For that, I am sorry. I don’t know how many people actually dealt with me or came in contact with me that week and a half, but I know that I likely made them uncomfortable and they saw a side of me that I have worked so very hard to overcome.

In the end, I just needed a light at the end of the tunnel, something good to put me back to rights. Which is why I have such an awesome best friend and godparents for Punky. They got K and I tickets to Wicked which was playing last weekend and I was in absolutely the most happy place ever. It’s a simple gesture of kindness – an unexpected happy turn of events, to put me back in the mindset I needed to be in. The one where my spirit isn’t broken and I’m not willing to give up.  I needed that little extra push from the darkness and I am now back in the light.

I was as giddy as a school girl. If you asked K, she’d tell you it was like taking a 2 year to the movies for the first time. This is my most favorite muscial, though I have only ever heard the soundtrack and my very first Broadway show ever. So, needless to say, i was excited. The seats were awesome and the music started and I was so overcome with happiness I cried. Shhh.

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I have had time to adjust to the new position and actually allow myself to get to know the people I am now working with. Though I have been on the same team of people for the last 7 years, with the same supervisor and the same routine, this transition and this adjustment has been hard, hence the shock to my system and the darkness this change took me to. However, today I came to notice that I like this job. I’m good at this job. I will excel at this job. Not because I am believe I am above this job, but because I believe I can do anything I put my mind to.

I now look at it as a way to hone my skills even more to become even more an asset to this company and I will get the job when the time is right for me. So, while I am not proud of the things I have said or the damage I have caused in the reputation I have worked so very hard to build – I am willing to put in the hard work to see thing through.

Now, besides the doom and gloomy stuff, it’s Halloween soon!! We have a costume for Punky and it’s going to be adorable. We are making it a family affair. So I give you the little Snow White! I will be the evil queen and K will be the Huntsman.  More pictures to follow when Halloween parties have commenced!

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Hope all is well with each of you, dear readers, because I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the blogs like I would like to, but I promise I am lingering still – hanging out around here, sending great big positive vibes to those of you who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or those who have just had little ones!

Take Care until next time.

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.

Our World Is Full Of Awesome

On the wedding front, we are still saving up the money to drive to Iowa and get the marriage license to make this thing legal. Not as romantic as a wedding should sound, but it’s practical. The fun part is on Pinterest. I was a little discouraged about the venue and stuff being so expensive, well out of our price range. However, we have some awesome and very supportive friends. They suggested some great parks and places in the area. So I am going to scout this place out in person. It’s $100 for the whole day. I think I can spruce it up and make it wedding AND reception worthy. I already have lots and lots of ideas in my head.

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It holds 100 people, which is great for K’s huge Italian family and my semi-large out of town family and of course our friends and co-workers!

I’m thinking if I can get some fabric, we can put it around the outside edges to make it more like a ‘tent’. I am envisioning getting some stringed lights to hang on the inside to give the lighting more of a glow and romance. I have gone to Pinterest for centerpieces and all that, so we can get decorations cheap at the craft store and I’m pretty darn crafty.

We also started painting in this house. K’s therapist recommended that she get some of her creative ideas out in the form of painting. With her BiPolar Disorder, she has a lot of racing thoughts in her manic swings and it’s difficult for her to concentrate. So, this is one way for her to get it out and have an outlet for those thoughts. She has painted some pretty nice paintings. We are a Doctor Who family, so she painted a galaxy painting with a TARDIS for me to display in my cube at work.

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People comment on it a lot and absolutely love it. I helped her paint this one, we did it together. So I really took a liking to painting, so I painted one of my own last night!

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Punky has been way more vocal lately and that’s pretty awesome. Her little voice just melts my heart and I love it! Here’s a little treat – I think I figured out how to post videos!

Hey Parents, Let’s Stop Parenting With Fear

I’m not sure I will ever understand the idea of parenting with fear. The media and the ‘research’ out there is geared towards fear and scaring the shit out of new moms and dads. We are in a constant state of fear when it comes to our kids. Making sure they are eating right, sleeping right, playing right, talking right, walking right, freaking blinking right. Or if you are a Whovian, you teach that kid not to blink at all.

Where is the line drawn?

In the end, does it really matter what the research says? No two kids are the same. No two techniques work for the same child nor for the same family. Why then, are we letting ourselves get all worked up about what the media says is the right way to parent? Why are we up in arms if the mother next to us isn’t doing the same thing we are.

Are there great benefits to breastfeeding? Absolutely! However, there are some women who can’t breastfeed and frankly, formula feeding your baby is just fine. They get the same nutrients, the same nurturing from a bottle as they do the breast.  I did both. I breastfed and yet, my baby didn’t latch properly – ever. It was never something we were really in sync with, Punky and I. So, I pumped. I hated it, but I pumped because I felt like I was obligated to, because I wasn’t a good mother if I didn’t give my child breast milk.

You know what I learned? Punky loved me either way. Punky just wanted milk and her Mommy. She didn’t necessarily need the two together from the same body. She was perfectly content to have formula as well, when I made the decision to stop pumping, because my breasts were getting mastitis from not being able to pump regularly when I went back to work. Punky didn’t mind. AND, frankly, I’m sure she would rather her Mommy feel better and not be in constant pain that drink breast milk.

Is it possible that crying it out can be stressful for a baby’s little brain? Absolutely! However, there are women who need to sleep in order to be better for their child. I was one of those women. I let my baby cry it out. I did in fact sleep train my baby. You know what the results were? One night of Mommy and baby crying it out and then …. a very happy, well adjusted toddler, who takes naps like a champ and doesn’t have a problem sleeping through the night from 8:30 PM until 10 AM.

It’s absolutely bullshit to sit there and say that ‘research’ says that crying it out has adverse effects on EVERY child. I refuse to believe that. Do I think excessive crying can be stressful for a baby? Yes. I do, but in the same token, we all know it’s more stressful for Mommies. The argument “If you hear your child crying and it doesn’t pull at you like a heartache, there’s something wrong with you” is accurate. However, it really pisses me off when people assume that I’m a heartless mother because I let my child cry it out for 1 night. Let’s get something straight right now, I read the research for both sides and let me tell you something, both sides blow each other out of the water. In the end, the conclusion in, it doesn’t matter if you use the sleep train method, the crying out method, the rocking method. Use what works for YOUR kid and stop assuming things about people you know nothing about.

Is organic the purest way to eat? That’s what we hear. It is likely better than fast food, well, duh, of course it is. However, if organic seller were really concerned with our health, they would make their foods more affordable. Period. What’s really the difference between organic apples and regular old apples? I’m not sure, I simply don’t know. I’m not afraid to admit that. The major difference I see is the price tag. So, in the end of the day, Punky can have the apples that have the same look and taste at a fraction of the cost. There’s no way I think it’s appropriate to tell my daughter that she has to rape her wallet just to eat an apple. If you can afford organic, I think that’s awesome, but let’s not forget that most of America is struggling to make ends meet. They don’t need to be made to feel bad that they can’t give their child the ‘right’ fruits and veggies.

In regards to the fast food debate, Punky gets fast food. We eat fast food in this house. A chicken nugget is not going to kill anyone. Is it likely not as healthy as some carrot sticks, yes, that’s right, it’s not the healthiest food out there to give your kid. However, after a very long day at work, shockingly some parents work, we don’t have time or energy to cook a full meal and still have time to spend time with our kid. So, would I rather sacrifice a few carrot sticks for precious time with my daughter? You bet I would. At the end of the day, don’t let someone make you feel bad for the food choices you give your child. Organic, regular, fast food, is your kid getting fed? Yes. Are they healthy weight? Yes. Then who gives a damn what others think!

Can it be a reality that spanking your child can hurt? Yes, you better believe it. I know from personal experience that a good spanking can sting like hell. However, are there really adverse effects to a little smack on the hand or diapered rear? I guess it depends on the child, doesn’t it? There’s a great big difference between spanking and beating your child. I will be the first to say that I don’t think spanking should be used as a scare tactic for controlling children. However, there are some times when a child needs more than a shake of the finger and a raised voice to get their attention.

I’m not advocating one way or another, because we do both timeout and smacks on the hand around here. If Punky is getting into something she’s not supposed to be, after a resounding “No.” if she doesn’t listen, it’s possible she will get a smack on her hand to show her that it’s unacceptable to touch whatever her fingers are reaching for. If she is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the living room, I remove her from the situation and place her in an area where she can’t get attention for her behavior. Let’s just remember that a spanking doesn’t mean you are beating your child. We should all know the difference, seriously.

I could go on and on about the things we parents let others dictate is right or wrong. What we allow the media to drive fear into us. TV or no TV? Front facing carseats or not? Cutting their hair or not? Gender stereotypes, gender roles, and much much more.

What’s the moral of my story here?

Kids don’t come with a manual, parenting doesn’t come with a training class.  Stop stressing yourself out. Stop stressing your kid out. Shit, stop stressing ME out.

Do what’s right for you. Do what’s right for your child. We have enough going on in our lives now, too much in fact, to allow someone who isn’t living in our home to dictate how we raise our children. Do you love your kid? Do you show your kid you love them? Are they fed, dressed, bathed, and healthy? Do your children have a roof over their heads and parents who love them? If so, forget the fear tactics and the ‘rules’. Do what’s best for your kid and stop judging others for a choice that may or may not be the same as yours.

Happy parenting, you all!