20/52 – And the Busiest Week Ever

Ugh. I have been a terrible blogger this last week. Of course, I did have my 30th birthday weekend and it was awesome.

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I worked on Memorial Day, which consisted of me sitting at my desk, working on this little pretty!

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Its a “Smash Book” which is like a scrapbook, but in so many ways, it is not a scrapbook. I have been putting all our trip pictures in the book and it has been awesome. You can journal and you can stack pictures on top of each other. Its like an art journal and I love it. An “unscrapbook” if you will. I got it for my birthday on my trip and it’s been fantastic to put together.

And then I was helping plan a very special first birthday party for one of my friends’ kids. It was a vintage circus theme and it was pretty darn awesome.

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We are dealing with some concerning health problems with Kim, this time not mental by physical – we have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so more to come on that, I guess. Its been a little stressful here in our house.

Bills piling up, sickness, and looking for a new place to live. I just think we need something new. A new change, something to get us back on track. I’ve been stressed to the max the last week or so, which is likely why I haven’t really done much blogging, because I just don’t have a lot of ‘nice’ things to say.

And then I remember, we get through every storm and while we may be battered and torn, we are not broken. We will get through it in one piece, even if there are chips and scratches along the surface.

Miss Punky is loving school and loving swimming! Right now, the pool has been her most favorite thing. Her Grammy has a small pool in their backyard and thank goodness this kid doesn’t burn like her Mommy. She is developing quite the little tan lines, even with the 100 proof sunscreen I slather on her! These goggles get me every time!

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Friday and Saturday, I think she may have gotten a little too much sun and she was running a fever and extra cuddly. Which, I don’t mind, the cuddling part, but it sure makes me sad with my Punky is sickly.

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If you don’t know what “Fever Bugs” are or you haven’t seen me mention them before, I swear by them! Great for infants, but Punky is also too wiggly for a thermometer and far too impatient. She picks the bug, knows it stays on her head and Mommy can check it anytime she needs to up to 48 hours as long as it doesn’t get pulled off or wet. You can order them online or go to Walgreens, its the only place I have found them in a retail store.

All my Must-Have mommy items for those of you who are expecting or TTC’ing. Total lifesavers and if I was coming to your baby shower you would get one!

 

She was better by the time we made it to the party yesterday, full of sugar highs and bubbles. We had a great time yesterday and while I am not going to work today, for other health reasons related to Kim, we had a pretty good weekend.

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Next major event will be Papa/Uncle Day. I’m still trying to figure out what I will be doing for that, but we will surely have a great big celebration of all the great and wonderful men in Punky’s life!

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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Day Two: Christmas Movie with Moms

Day two of our Christmas Countdown was pretty uneventful. I got home from work around 6 after going shopping for during movie snacks like popcorn. We had a little dinner and then initiated the envelope fun.

Punky stood patiently waiting for the envelope and when I asked her to pull it off the ribbons, this time she didn’t have the patience for it. Likely for the best really, yesterday she spilled M&Ms on the floor.

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She immediately opened the envelope and dug out the candy. Tonight there were jelly beans in there. She was happy as a clam, she shoved them in her mouth, thus the face she is currently making.

IMG_2842I know she’s not yet two yet, so she doesn’t care about the cards, but I’m damn proud of them, so I am taking a picture with her holding each one this year! This one says “Watch a Christmas Movie”.

Now, I should preface this with the fact that we have never really sat down and had a family movie night with Punky. I never felt like she had the attention span for it. However, Kim had recorded the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie, the clay version and since it was something she always did as a kid, I wanted to make sure we incorporated it into Punky’s traditions.

So, we set up a bowl of cheese puffs, her sippy of milk and curled up on the bed with Mama.

The movie was about an hour, with the addition of commercials, so after fast forwarding, I’d say it’s 40 minutes or so. We got her to keep her attention through most of it. She sat very nicely through the first 15 minutes or so, she jumped on the bed through the next 15-20 minutes and then sat quietly for the last 10 minutes or so. I would say the night was a success!

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Day two was a hit, I think, we had a chance to snuggle up on the bed together, the three of us and hang out. It was a nice de-stressing moment after a very long, exhausting day for me at work.

OH! And we finally got our stolen money back from the bank. It took nearly two and a half weeks and we were penny pinching like mad, but we made it. It was stressful, but Day 2 of our Christmas Countdown ended on a high.

Punky Monster is Getting Too Big, Too Fast!

So, Punky is becoming a little person. She is still not saying a whole lot of ‘whole’ words – in fact, I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s a horse. NAY. However, she is independent and pretty darn strong-willed. She knows what she wants and wants it when she wants it. Basically, she’s a toddler that wants things.

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I have heard about the terrible twos, but she’s not even quite a year and a half yet. But, true to form, this kid is all me and I am very certain my mom cursed me to have a child 10X worse than I ever was. So, Punky is starting the attitude early.

But, she she’s sweet. She’s just so darn sweet.

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I have been yearning for the moments when she will stop being so busy and sit with me. When she will just cuddle on the couch with me and watch Bubble Guppies. Or sit in my lap and dance to the Fresh Beat Band. That time has come. She snuggles now and periodically hangs out ‘near’ me for moments at a time. She’s not content to be sitting for long, before she’s tip toed across the living room another activity that strikes her fancy.

She is mimicking more and that’s promising. As soon as I can communicate the potty concept, we are going to work on getting that diaper done. We live in a small apartment and don’t have a washer and dryer. We can pay to wash clothes, which is fine, but well, it’s expensive. So, while I could do the conventional ways of putting panties on her and letting it go, I just don’t have the laundry patience for all that right now.

Punky’s hair is getting LONG. So long, in fact, that people have suggested that I get it cut. That just breaks my heart. I don’t want to do it. So, I am torn. Her hair is all in her eyes and that makes me feel guilty. But, the back of her hair is so cute with curls started and I am afraid to cut off those lovely locks. So, if I cut the bangs and not the back, she will be rockin’ a not so awesome baby mullet. Not really my idea of a good parenting choice.

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In true Punky fashion, she hates when I touch her hair, so those cute little pigtails I have been able to get into her hair? Well, it’s a battle and a pain in the ass to sit through, for both of us. Lots of squealing and hollering … not just from the toddler. So, we have come up with a small compromise.

Barrettes.

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They look adorable and it keeps her bangs out of her eyes. It’s still a battle, but only for a moment and then as long as I distract her, she forgets there’s something in her hair and she doesn’t touch them. Unless something or someone reminds her they are in there.

So, she’s still climbing and she’s still eating like a champ. I just think it’s awesome how much she is growing and it still astonishes me that we have a toddler.

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Now, if we can check eating with utensils and potty training off the list. But, I am not rushing things. I want her to stay just as small as she is now, without the attitude! 😉

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I know I am. And, now I really need to get ready to attend a Harry Potter themed wedding. This should be awesome!

Rachael

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

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.