Hi My Name is Rachael, And I’m A Pinterest Mom

Yes. I have a little obsession.

It’s called the Pinterest party. I also have another obsession.

It’s called a daughter.

So, once again, it’s that time of year, where we get all sides of her family (PS, that’s huge) and put them in one room and say, “CELEBRATE OUR KID!”

I know –

So people think its weird. Some people think its over the top. Some people thought we would just go all out for her first birthday but the rest would be low-key. Some people think we spoil her. Some people think its too much.

Her MOMMY thinks its awesome.

And this is the first year that Miss Punky will be interested in actually participating.

She picked out the theme this year. Her first birthday was Dr. Seuss. Her second was Cars.

I’m sure you are dying to know what she picked. SURPRISE SURPRISE!

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It does help that her Mommy is a graphic designer and a party planner in her spare time. So with all the practice I get in my Etsy Shop (SHAMELESS PLUG: While on the subject, don’t forget, ladies with recent BFP, you get a 50% discount in my shop that caters to same-sex baby shower invitations! Just use the coupon code BFP50 at time of purchase) making invitations, this one, was a no brainer.

Minnie AND Mickey must be equally featured in her party this year. But she prefers the pink Minnie to the red Minnie, so it’s making things very, very difficult. So, we will have a dance party (for the hotdog dance of course), a homemade Minnie Mouse pinata, and Grammy is making a Minnie and Mickey cake, and a bow making station!

I am also – if all things go according to plan, taking her to see Disney on Ice. Where she will get to see Minnie and Mickey on ice – for her actual birthday. Just Punky and Mommy. Something special for the two of us to do together. I’m quite excited about it. It will be a surprise and I plan on getting her all dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume from Halloween or buying a new dress up Minnie Mouse dress from Walmart I saw the other day – because really, who doesn’t find this Minnie Mouse, simply irresistible?!

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So last year, with her party invitation, I also slipped in an update card with an updated picture and all her favorite things. Along with height, weight, phrase of the moment, things like that.

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This year, I am doing something similar – but it will be more interview style, as I will ask her questions and she will answer them. I have yet to figure out which picture from the past year I wanted to use.

So I put it to a vote on Facebook. 52 people have weighed in so far, and I’m looking for your opinions too! I can’t decide! Help me, ladies, help me pick the cutest picture to represent my darling Punky in her second year of life as she gets ready to turn THREE.

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I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are already planning for birthday #3. When did this happen? It makes this mommy very sad and unhappy! I miss that sass-free baby that did nothing but cuddle, sleep, and poop. LOL.

My Adventures in Potty Training

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The types of messages my best friend (Punky’s godmother) gets to read from me.

Potty training has been the single WORST part of parenting I have ever experienced. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m loving the idea of my kid not having to wear pull ups anymore and the financial awesomeness that comes with that.

But.

This Kid.

She’s been sitting on the potty for over a year, she knows what it is, and she’s been familiar with the potty for a long time now. We started actively trying to potty train around July. I don’t really remember, we weren’t super consistent with it.

We had tried all sorts of rewards. Stickers, candy, dances, tattoos. Blah, Blah. Nothing worked.

This kid was stubborn or not ready. I’m not sure which. But really, she was completely aware of what we were doing. She knew what it meant to be potty trained. We got lots and lots of panties for her in all her favorite characters.

We finally got around to actually being consistent. Right after the new year and the holidays. We eliminated pull ups during the day and it was sort of working. We removed her panties all together and let her run around with a bare bottom. That worked the best.

She recently asked us for panties again.

We decided to take her lead and use the panties as an incentive.

So she was able to have one pair a day. She had to take care of those or she didn’t get anymore for the day. And this strategy worked for a minute.

Then, we noticed that she was starting to stay dry at night, so when she woke up she would have a dry pull up. So, we thought maybe we would start training even more.

Grammy came up with the strategy that has seemed to work the best. That has has the most longevity.

Money. My kid is motivated by money.

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Introducing our Potty Pig. We all put our change in the potty fund and she gets a “penny” when she pees and a “nickel” when she “number 2” and if she has no accidents all day she gets a “quarter”. I put quotes around the money value, because she has no idea what I’m handing her, but if I’m out of pennies, I may give her a nickel or if I’m out of nickels, she may get a dime. At the end of a period of time (this weekend) we will count up her potty money and she gets to go shopping with her own money and pick out her own stuff.

The pig stays up on the fire mantle, because I have noticed that the idea of having the potty pig in her hand is the incentive mostly. She loves to hold and play with delicate things. She likes to nurture them and kiss them and play with them. (We learned that with the Nativity around Christmas). So I don’t really think it’s the money, but it will be when we finally cash out the money for a special toy. I guess we will see.

So there’s a whole ritual thing we do, because we are all a bit of creatures of habit.

She then gets to dance around with the pig for a minute. Mommy dances and sings and we make a big spectacle about it. So far it’s worked out.

She’s had minimal accidents for about a week. And I have taken her to places for an hour at a time, or visit family member houses with hour potty breaks – with little to no issue. So, I thought, why not take her to the park. She’s started to recognize when she has the urge to go and she is pretty good about stopping and holding it before she has an accident.

Soooooo, I thought, let’s enjoy the nice weather we are having here in the midwest of the US. We have been having great weather. And while I am dealing with my own agoraphobia, it really stems from going anywhere without my kid, so the park was fine. I could take her to the park without an issue.

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We were there for a little over an hour. I would ask her frequently if she had to go potty. She would tell me no. We hit the hour and 15 minute mark and then … disaster struck.

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So that happened. And she had diarrhea for the rest of the day and it was what I thought would be the end of our successful streak. We waited it out a few days and then when her upset belly cleared up, I told her yesterday that if she had a day without an accidents we could go to bed without a pull up and wear panties instead.

She’s been asking for this for a few days and I had been reluctant to do it, because of her issues with diarrhea. But, yesterday, she did really well. She even took a little nap on the couch and had no accidents. I had to wake her up, sit her sleepy bottom on the potty and then she went back to sleep.

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So. we put some plastic down on her bed and bit the bullet. She ran around the house in this ridiculous outfit for quite some time when she realized that she wouldn’t have to wear a pull up to bed.

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She’d been waking up dry for about a week, so I wasn’t super worried about it, but you know – our streak was hindered for a minute, so I got concerned.

This morning, Kim posted this.

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I was reluctant to announce it to the world. Potty training really has been the single worst job of my parenting so far. And you know how it goes, you brag about your kid doing something awesome and then the kid proves you wrong and there’s some crazy setback. It’s like the, for real, law of toddler successes. Don’t post it or brag about it, because it is just a fleeting moment! Haha.

Anyway, I’m thrilled with our success, thus far. I am hoping this isn’t a fluke and we can soon announce that she is POTTY TRAINED. We are so close I can feel it, but then, here I am posting about it and bragging about it, so we will see what tomorrow holds in store!

In other happy news, my sister had her fourth baby this week. A beautiful baby girl named Aurora. I will be calling her “Rory”. She’s beautiful and healthy and hopefully her last one, cause my goodness she has her hands full with the four of her kids in her beautiful and very active family!

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How to Teach A Toddler The Giving Spirit

Anyone figured that out yet?

I’ve been flaking on our envelopes. I know, I already smacked my own hand.

Anyway, yesterday’s envelope was about Giving to Others. Punky was to pick 5 of her toys to give to the thrift store so another kid would have a fun Christmas with those toys she doesn’t use or play with anymore.

If you want to participate in your own countdown, it’s never too late to start. Here are my cards. You are welcome to use them and share them if you like.

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Apparently, I can’t rotate the example cards. (There’s actually a full 24 at the link. Use what you like!)

 

Back to the Day 10 Giving to Others Cards.

What happened?

Tears. Lots and lots of crocodile tears. She walked to her room in literal panic mode as she headed to the firing squad of picking out five measly toys for her to give away. Head down, tears rolling, it looked like I was sending her off to the torture chamber.

This isn’t a new subject for her or for me as her Mommy. This Christmas season has been a lot about giving to others who are less fortunate, or have less love and material possessions in their life.

A few days ago, I was cleaning our room and going through the laundry. (I procrastinate a lot on the laundry) and I found a lot of clothes and shoes that don’t fit her anymore. Sad, I know. Seriously, when I give away her tiny clothes and upgrade to the big girl clothes, I’m so conflicted. She is getting to big for me!

Anyway, she was helping me fold and helping me sort the clothes into her clothes, dirty clothes or the new basket, “Cousin’s basket”. She has a girl cousin that lives in the area, visits frequently and happens to be younger and smaller than Punky. This is the first time that Punky has helped me with the weeding out of her belongings that don’t fit and aren’t worn anymore for her cousin. Let’s say she wasn’t very thrilled about it.

Literally, my kid (because I swear I am a retail therapy-aholic) doesn’t generally wear the same clothes more than once or twice, before she’s outgrown them or they get cleaned and they don’t fit anymore. AND, because she needs her own apartment for the amount of clothes and shoes she has. Its not all my fault. Her aunt works in a kids’ clothing store too, so she’s been getting clothes that way too. As well, her godparents have a thing with buying her all the cutest stuff for no real reason at all.

This doesn’t just mean clothes, she has more toys than she ever plays with. Case and Point: anyone else remember her birthday party?

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That’s what it looks like at Christmas too. And don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that my kiddo is so loved and so very very spoiled. But, a weeding out process is kind of a must!

So, needless to say, she has plenty of clothes and no need to keep the stuff she doesn’t fit in anymore. The concept however, has been super tough on her. Especially for her shoes. She got the cutest little light up shoes for her birthday last year and she loves them. However, she has outgrown them. Unfortunately, for all of us, because they are Sketcher’s Twinkle Toes and they are awesome. But, they went into the basket for her cousin to enjoy. Punky didn’t see it. (Maybe I was trying to be sneaky, avoiding the inevitable meltdown – don’t judge me! LOL)

Anyway, as fate would have it, her cousins came to visit the next day. I came home for lunch from work and found that her cousin was actually wearing Peyton’s brand new tennis shoes (she doesn’t have many of those actually) and I was concerned she might accidentally go home with them when I went back to work. So, I changed out those shoes for the light up shoes. One to appease the toddler who I was taking shoes from and to experiment with the giving idea with Punky again.

Of course, Kim said, “This is going to cause a problem.”

And I simply didn’t mind. Punky and I had already had a conversation about other things her cousin was getting. That we give away our clothes and shoes that don’t fit anymore and after many attempts to put her feet in some shoes (Cinderella step sister style) and with no success, she got the concept, I thought. Now, it was time to test the theory.

Her cousin was delighted when I showed her how the shoes lit up and how she could stomp around and make them light up. Punky came to see what the commotion was and realized very quickly that her favorite shoes were on another kids’ feet. It didn’t take long for the protest and the tears. We sat down again and had another talk. I told her that her cousin would love to play with the shoes she couldn’t wear anymore and she had to learn that Christmas wasn’t just about getting presents, but about giving presents as well. I suggested to Punky that she teach her cousin how they work. And, for a bit, that was fun. She was the big kid and she was teaching a little kid how to do something.

Of course, it didn’t last and her two year old brain just couldn’t handle the idea that her cousin was taking her favorite shoes home with her. But, it happened and I think the light up shoes are no longer on her brain, but it really brought the idea home to me again that we need to continue to instill in Punky the real spirit of Christmas.

As her moms believe the real spirit of Christmas is about giving and its about spending time with her family. She has lots and lots of family and family friends who love her and spoil the crap out of her and I don’t want to take that away from her, she’s a very lucky little girl – but I also don’t want that to overshadow the giving spirit. I want to nurture the idea of giving to other kids, to sharing her luck and love with other people, to be generous and kind; not just during the Christmas season, but all the time.

So, when we opened this envelope today and it said she was to go up to her room and pick out 5 toys to give to another child, we at tearful struggle and sad conversation about how, again she was a lucky little girl and not everyone got to have the things she had and she needed to help another kiddo have a good Christmas. She got hung up on all the things she didn’t want to give away. Her favorite doll Ellen, the Dreamlight my sister got her, her Minnie Mouse blanket.

To redirect her, I suggested things. Like the rocking horse she hasn’t played with for months. Its also too small for her, in reality. What did she do? Much like the shoe incident the other day, she tried it on.  She hopped right on that horse and said, “No, Mommy see. It still fits. Its not too small for me.”

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*Insert eyeroll here*

We still live with my in-laws, so technically all her toys are mixed in with the community toy room toys. Once she finally got the idea that we didn’t have to give away anything she didn’t want to give away, but she had to pick five things she could part with. She picked …. random toys that weren’t really hers to give away.

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I suppose its a step in the right direction, anyway. When we are in our own home next Christmas and she only has her toys to pick from, it won’t be as much of a surprise, because; like it or not, this will be a tradition she will participate in. I feel very strongly about it. Last year we picked all the toys we gave away – to make room for the gobs of toys we knew she was getting for Christmas from other family and friends. She wasn’t part of it. So this was the first year.

I’m not sure how to make this process less painful for her or to make her understand what she is doing is really a good thing, the right thing to do. She’s two, so I don’t have much of a high expectation, but its something I’m very passionate about and I’m sad she doesn’t go along with it, better. But, she’s two. I just have to keep telling myself – she’s two!

What traditions do you have this time of year? Anyone else trying without avail to instill that generous and giving spirit into your child this holiday?

I’d love to hear all the tips and tricks you have tried!

Barely Afloat

I am pretty sure there is little else I can put on my shoulders right now, on my metaphoric plate of life. Literally, one more thing may cause me to topple over and explode – turn to dust, ash, disintegrate. And at this point, maybe that would be better.

In the last few months, I have developed what my therapist is calling Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. If you don’t know what that means, it means I am reluctant to leave my house – which is affecting my work attendance. By not attending work, affects our finances, as the only person making steady income to support our bills. Which means, we are very very behind on every bill we owe, including rent. A contributor to the reluctance to go to work is Kim’s health has been on the fritz lately, and I know I have discussed it here before.

She was having trouble walking, stumbling around, losing function in both her legs and her arms. She was becoming clumsy, dropping everything, the grip in her hands were gone. She was finding it difficult to see, focus on anything in her vision. She couldn’t hold our kid. She couldn’t help take care of her and it made me nervous to leave the house and leave the two of them without proper support.

It was starting to scare the shit out of me. Every doctor we went to see sent us to a new doctor, racking up more and more debt that we don’t have money for. When we Googled it, which remind me again, not to do that, I know – I know – we found that all the symptoms really pointed to something neurological, Multiple Sclerosis to be exact.

However, what we found out instead was Kim had developed Lithium poisoning. And Lithium poisoning is no joke. It can mess up a ton of things in the body and affects the body much like other neurological disorders.

We found out that due to her bipolar medication, Lithium, in three months, her kidney function was cut in half. She was being poisoned by the medication that was supposed to help her. This contributed to the symptoms that we originally were concerned may have been multiple sclerosis. The neurologist had her Lithium levels checked and they were well beyond a safe range and the psychiatrist took her off the medication for a bit.

So, while, currently we are seeing some improvement since she has been taken off it, she is still experiencing some of the symptoms on a smaller scale – like her hands still shake, but she is at least able to sign her name somewhat legible now. And, we are happy to know that she doesn’t have MS, but instead she was being poisoned.

**Which I know sounds terrible, perhaps even the same kind of terrible, but at least it’s been caught and likely reversible! I am trying to look on the bright side here!**

After the last three months of craziness with Kim’s health and my concern for leaving her alone with Punky, I wasn’t going to work and was focusing on taking care of things at home. What does that mean? It means we are so far behind in our bills and finances that we have to move out of our apartment and go live with Kim’s mom in their basement. Yes. We will be basement dwellers with a two year old. I’m so very not pleased about this, mostly because I feel like such a damn failure as a person, a partner, and a mother.

I’m 30 years old and we are going to pack all our things and go live with her parents. It continues to sadden me. I am so grateful that we have this option and we aren’t instead on the street somewhere, but it’s really a very humbling experience to know you can’t support your family or your kid the way you want to. I am still very grateful to have the support of her family around us right now when things are so out of whack mentally and physically with both of us. We both decided to break at the same time!

I’m also disappointed in myself that I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity for so long that I broke our finances and was no longer able to be counted on to be a provider for our family. So while this is not the most ideal situation I would want us to be in, we will have more support from Kim’s parents while she is on the mend from her ordeal medically and I will be feeling more confident in leaving them alone – so that I can go back to work and start making money again.

Luckily for us, and one of the prouder moments of my last few months, Miss Punky isn’t the wiser of what’s going on. Its always my concern that she will never knew the struggles we go through – not like I did when I was growing up.

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Instead she doesn’t know what’s going on, but she’s still going to school, which we have had trouble paying the tuition on, but I just can’t let it go, yet. And she’s making friends and her teachers say she has really come out of her shell a lot! How in the world do I take that away from her!?

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She’s interacting, exploring and overall thriving in her toddler-age and that is something I am most excited about. So even though we have some troubles right now, the bright light of our life is always Punky, even when she’s driving me nuts – with whining and tantrums – a little hug or cuddle and my heart is unburdened a little and my spirit is uplifted just a bit more.

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We are in the process of packing up our belongings and finding a storage place to keep them for maybe 6 months or so, hopefully by then we will be back on our feet and house hunting. Rental houses, but house hunting nonetheless. I really don’t want to live in an apartment again. I would love to have Punky living in a house with a yard, where she can grow and thrive and play. And … maybe get that puppy she’s been asking for, thanks to her Mama’s suggestions!

So, while we are not really on the path I would like to be on for our future, it will only be for a small bit, a little while and in the end, the goal is to be better than we were to start with. Hopefully. Here’s to a big hope. So while this post may be full of what I feel like is overwhelming depression, we are wading in a pool of uncertainty, I’m not even sure where to begin – the future is in sight, the goal for better things is in our minds, but it sure does feel like a long way away!

Maybe Miss Punky will keep our spirits light by learning to play the piano! Or … just banging on the keys of the piano she discovered at Papaw’s house.

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18/52 – Discovering Impulse Control

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So you totally wouldn’t know it, by the super cute face in this picture…..

But, we have a hitter. A live smack ya right in the face, hitter.

And, apparently she’s been pretty aggressive at school too. According to her teacher it’s out of character for her, so it really has just started up. So, I’m not sure how we are going to handle this. Conversations are just not working.

She won’t look at you when you talk to her, she doesn’t sit still, and frankly, she says sorry for everything. I mean, I’m glad she can say she’s sorry, but it really isn’t without much meaning. She’s two for crying out loud, I don’t think she fully understands the concept.

So, she went to bed without any playtime last night, because she smacked me pretty hard on the arm and we asked her to play nice. She smacked me in the face and her Mama popped her in the butt. And then she smacked her Mama later in the face. She’s not really getting the “hands to yourself” concept.

Ugh. I was excited we didn’t have a biter. I forgot there were other kinds of twos to have. A hitter isn’t exactly on my to-do list.

Easter Awesomeness

We had a great day yesterday, Easter was pretty darn great. We found out last week that my mom and my niece were coming to visit – so it was an extra treat for us to have them come for the day, stay the night and then go home this morning. I was able to take my niece to the great park we have here. She and Punky had a blast hanging out, even if they are like 5 years apart.

So Easter morning, I heard Miss Punky in her room babbling away, just singing and playing. I held out until around 9, when I finally woke up Kim and told her the festivities were about to start. I got Punky changed and gave her an oatmeal bar to keep her occupied while the Easter Bunny hid her eggs.

When the eggs were hidden, I came back in the room, and said, “GUESS WHAT. The Easter Bunny hid all your eggs and you have to go find them.” She was still tired and not exactly impressed by this. So, I used a different tactic to get her out of her bed. “AND, the Easter Bunny left you chocolate in the living room to eat for breakfast.”

This is the face she gave me in response!

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She made a mad dash to the living room and found her basket, grabbed a piece of chocolate, shoved it in her mouth and that was the start of our chocolate and sugar filled day.

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We did hunt for eggs, which was a pretty good time. We had a blast with the running around, bouncing on the couch and altogether burning all the sugar out by 11AM, just to be fueled by more, only this time she was all dressed up in her Easter best.

Now, as atheists we don’t have anywhere, like church, to attend, but we still like to get our girl all dressed up in a cute dress and white shoes. She looked adorable.

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The shoes were too big, but the smaller shoes were too tight. She has the chunkiest little feet ever, but they are also long! Go figure.

We got to Grammy’s house where she got more candy and more egg hunting done. First thing she tried were PEEPS and while Mommy doesn’t care for them, she sure they they were awesome.

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After going to Grammy’s – we took my mom and niece home to hang out and look at old pictures my mom brought for us to look through. I found a lot of me when I was Punky’s age, it was super fun to look and see how much we really do look alike.

After a nap and recharge, I took the three of them to the new park that was built a few months ago in town. It’s pretty darn awesome.

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Punky especially enjoys the sandbox and the slide, my niece had a blast climbing on everything. She got higher on the pyramid than this rock climbing wall – but she freaked out a bit and had to have help getting down. It was silly.

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I got a great picture of Punky with my mom – which doesn’t happen often, since she lives so far away – but it was super great and kind of accidental.

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And at the end of the evening, before we went home, I got another shot, perhaps my favorite so far of the two of us. If she was freaking looking at me!

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We ended our Easter night with the girls taking a bath, splashing and carrying on and then watching Frozen, since my mom had not seen it yet. Overall, we had a great day and I am so glad we were too super sick to enjoy it.

In the sick department, I missed work for four days last week and I’m definitely going to feel it in my paycheck, so I’m a little stressed out. My throat still hurts when I swallow and I’m starting to cough more up and out – instead of dry coughing – so I don’t feel as bad and I have my voice, so that’s better than last week!!

Hope everyone else had a fantastic Easter and I can’t wait to read all about it 🙂

Sickly Mommy and a 15/52 picture

So, I’ve been literally voiceless for going on three days. I was feeling better in the middle of the night last night, but woke up with such a heavy head that I nearly got in an accident taking Punky to school this morning. I figured it best not to go to work again – albeit – unpaid. This is going to suck for a finances, for sure.

Speaking of finances, we are looking for a new place to live, this apartment building, we have been living in for nearly 10 years or a little less, has decided to up my rental fees and late fees without my knowledge – just all of a sudden. Like I wasn’t already struggling to pay the rent in the first place.

So, I’ve been looking on Craigslist for a little duplex or town home to rent, we don’t really need much, but where we are living right now – they pay utilities, so it’s hard to beat in the financial department when it comes to having to pay my own utilities again. Ugh. It’s been ages since I’ve had to add that expense on top of everything else.

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In other news, we got Punky’s preschool picture proofs back and I can’t decide which one I like. I thought I liked the one of her on the right, because she’s looking at the camera, but then Kim pointed out she looks like she might want to eat my liver (aka: evil shitface) in that picture. So, then I thought, well, I like the one on the left too – but I just can’t decide.

Maybe I will just get both. Like – really, I kind of wish I had more to choose from than these two. They look so similar, but of course, our daughter, can’t be bothered with pictures when I’m paying someone to take them!

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Unrelated to anything at all – I hate the weather in the Midwest. For real – we had a shorts and tank top day and then two days later, we had snow. Which is likely why I am now feeling so crummy.

While at my vendor fair for my Etsy shop, I bought Miss Punky a ‘peashooter’ and a bunch of water beads. I didn’t even know these things existed, but boy are they great to shoot at each other. Punky very much enjoys shooting me and the door and in general just throwing them everywhere.

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We are going over to Grammy’s house to dye Easter eggs tonight and my Mama is coming to visit us on Easter Sunday. Which means, I really do need to kick this sickness out of my body – or I am going to be absolutely no fun at all!

Daddy Date Night and Other Musings

Tonight was the night of my hometown’s “Daddy Date Night”. I’ve never in my entire life understood the big deal behind this date night. Probably because I have never been. Well, I take that back. I went once, on the last year I could go in fifth grade and by then I was ‘too old to care”.

Looking at all the great pictures of my friends and family’s little girls getting all dressed up and going out with their dads, uncles, and other male figures in their lives. It made me really take notice that this will be a thing we may encounter with when Punky gets older.

Who knows if they will have such an event when she’s old enough for it, but given that it was around when I was in kindergarten in like 1990, I’m sure this time honored tradition isn’t going away.

She has plenty of male role models that can take her. In fact, unlike myself, growing up, she may have to pick who to take – they may all line up outside my door. In fact, considering the overwhelming love and support she has by one very doting godfather, super awesome and loving papas, and more uncles than one kid should ever have, I don’t think she will have a problem in this department.

It’s kind of nice thinking about them drawing straws to see who GETS to take her. LOL. Take a number – or well, she may be the only girl at the party with 60 gentlemen escorting her.

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So, its times like this that some people may worry about our daughter being raised by two moms. Where the Christian nay-sayers and the well to do marriage equality oppositions would be up in arms that my sweet girl just can’t possibly grow up a well adjusted, loved, and well rounded young lady without a dad in her life.

Well, it’s times like this – when my Facebook feed is covered with all sorts of families displaying their little girls and their male figures going off on dates. It’s times like this that makes me remember just how lucky Miss Punky is. She won’t ever want for a date to something like this. I am so happy to know she’s so blessed in that way.

There are plenty of opportunities I worry, as her mom, that she will miss out on things that other kids get to experience. And, when I saw the picture of my soon-to-be seven year old niece headed off with her male figure, my sister’s current beau, and not her father, it reminds me that she had two parents – a mom and a dad – when she was conceived.

In the end, she’s seen her ‘dad’ a handful of times in her life and I wouldn’t envy her experience for the world. That poor girl has had it tough in the dad department. People need to remember, that just because you have a dad, doesn’t mean you HAVE a dad. And, it’s times like this that I have to salute those men who stand up and take up that role for little girls like my sweet sweet niece – whom I have seen grow up and blossom from birth. I have seen her knocked down and kicked around by the dad she was given.

I’m not sure what I’m getting at, except that seeing all those pictures from the family and friends who have little girls old enough to experience something I’ve never really seen the value in – based on my own experiences – it flashed me forward to what our future may hold.

And all I can see if the line of gentlemen callers in her family and extended family that will be banging down the door to be the first to escort Miss Punky to her first “Papa/Uncle Date Night.” No dad required.

And we are just fine with that. She will have quite the choices to make when the time comes!

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10/52 – Exploring the Sandbox

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

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

6/52 – New Haircut

IMG_4594Discovering new ways to do Miss Punky’s hair. Thanks to the girl who cut her hair for suggesting it. I absolutely love the place that cuts her hair, they are fun and easy and totally geared towards kids.

We also discovered new ways to spend time together. We have been to Smallcakes before, it’s a cupcakery that has all sorts of very delicious cupcakes. So after her haircut this week, we took 3.25 and shared a Caramel Crunch cupcake and it was awesome.

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Overall, we had another great week.

We also learned some new words. Like “Clock” except she can’t say the “L”, thus it comes out very inappropriate. Mix that with Kim encouraging her to say she likes “Clocks and Balls” – which thank goodness she can’t fully say, it’s pretty hilarious, but so very inappropriate!