Christmas Countdown Out of Whack

Well, I’m terrible at updating the countdown this year. But we have done all sorts of fun things.

Day 11: Pick out ornament for the tree (2012 was Cat in the Hat, 2013 was Tow Mater, 2014 is Minnie Mouse) This was the first year that Miss Punky picked out the ornament herself. Its going to be a very Merry Minnie Christmas. Literally. She has asked for only two things from Santa. Minnie Bike and Light Up Shoes. I have the bike in the works (her godfather is painting an old bike we had) and the light up shoes I got for her are Minnie Mouse and the bows and hearts light up. She’s going to love them.

From her moms so far I have gotten her a zebra print Minnie Mouse bath robe, because she’s so dramatic about being cold when she comes out of the tub and dries off. The small walk to her room or down the stairs in just a towel brings on the jitters and shivers. Its pretty darn adorable. I also found the cutest Minnie Mouse duffel bag for traveling and it comes with a sleeping bag. So when we go visit my family, she will have her own bag to take! Just like a big girl.

So – Minnie Mouse is the theme of this year.

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Day 12:Angel Tree and Senior Tree at Walmart. Walmart always sponsors children for Christmas. Kim and I have been picking stars off the tree for several years. This is the first time Miss Punky picked her own star. A 6 year old girl who wanted a baby doll and stroller. Miss Punky picked out the baby doll and I added the cheapest stroller(cause we aren’t made of money) to give to the little girl. Our bank sponsors seniors. I always try to take one of those as well. Punky picked a Grammy instead of a Papa and we bought their wish list item of art supplies.

I always feel bad that the paper ornaments with all the senior citizens on it are not usually touched. In fact, when I went to put the gift in the their collect box, there was trash inside of it, but no gifts. When we went back to Walmart the end day of the collection, there were still the same amount of ornaments on the tree. No one ever thinks of the senior citizens – at least that’s the way it looks. It’s pretty sad.

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Day 13: Kim’s grandfather’s union always has a Christmas Party and he gathers all his grandkids and great grandkids together for chili and nachos at 9am. We adults are getting to be a little less steel stomached for it. But they have Santa and pictures and lots of great things for the kids to do. Its a nice time normally. I didn’t get to attend, because with this midnight shift, I have been sleeping in late. So, I’m not in the family picture with Santa. But! Miss Punky is sitting on Santa’s lap! How exciting is that development?!

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Kim, Mrs. Claus, Santa, Uncle Eric, Punky, and Aunt Ashley

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I very small portion of the very large Italian family that I married into. They are all the grandkids and great-grandkids and their parents.

Day 14: We colored plastic ornament balls with sharpies for our neighbors and their kids as well as her godparents. She had fun just scribbling and it really added character to the gifts.

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Day 15: We filled the ornaments with hot chocolate and then delivered them to their new owners. They are lucky they got any marshmallows though, because she kept putting them in her mouth, instead of in the ornament!

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So that’s what we have been up to so far. I have also mailed all my Santa Letters this year. I dropped them in the mailbox to be picked up yesterday, so they are on their way to all the kids on the list. 140 of them this year!

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We have 9 days til Christmas. This has been the most interactive holiday with Punky – the one where she has participated, started to fully understand that this is a holiday, and really gotten into the spirit. I can’t wait to keep on making traditions with her!

A Great Big Impromptu Announcement

At approximately 1:40pm we found out the very county that we live in was issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples at 2:00pm. Now, the Missouri ban was put in place in 2004 and put into our Constitution. Ya know, ridiculous. Right? So, St. Louis has been issuing marriage licenses. And today, my county announced their own intentions to issue marriage licenses in our two court houses; in downtown KC and then in the adorning town to mine.

I called the office in that town to make sure. You can’t always believe the internet. And it was the hot topic of Facebook in Missouri friends and family on my timeline. But, there was no way I could vet the issue until I called the office personally. Besides, it wouldn’t help my anxiety disorder until I figured it out.

So, we looked at each other; Kim and I. There was NO plan. NO more waiting.

This was it. This was the time.

11 years later and a 2 year old later; we were getting married.

20 minutes or so later, we were doing this outside the courthouse:

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We got a nice and pretty new marriage license. We also had an all dressed up Punky holding both our hands. Singing about how she was so excited her Moms were getting married. However, for Punky, a marriage is where she gets to dance. A party where she gets to dance her heart out. She was sorely disappointed. She cried for a good 2 hours about wanting to get married. We tried to tell her we were getting married and we would have a party for her to dance at later. And we will.

She was not at all happy about that answer.

I told her she could help Mommy plan the wedding party. So she will help me plan the wedding party.

Instead, we had our fantastic friends and Punky’s godparents came over and we had a little wedding moment on Kim’s parents’ couch, in their living room. Punky’s godfather is ordained and he helped officially marry us. It was a no fuss event, with pretend sipping of champagne (except that I don’t drink and Kim doesn’t care for champagne). We took a few pictures and now, its official.

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We announced it on Facebook, made it “Facebook Official” and we have had nothing but love and support from both our family and friends. Its been nothing but excitement and overwhelming love and its the best possible outcome we could have asked for. I called my mom, to tell her – it’s her 21st wedding anniversary today! We got married on my mom’s wedding anniversary. Woah.

Kim and I had a very rough week this week. Its been, tough. Kim had a bit of an episode with her Bipolar disorder and it was emotional, scary, and made me worry that we would break – our rope, on a thin strand of fraying edges, would snap. But, looking at my little girl’s eyes and seeing them light up when she said “My moms are married!” made me remember that we have weathered a lot of storms in the 11 years we have been together.

It made me come to the conclusion, that no matter how much hard stuff comes up, we made the most beautiful thing in the world – we made Punky with our love. We went through a ton of tough stuff to make her. This episode, this scary, emotional, and hard episode is not our first rodeo – its not like it hadn’t happened before.

Besides, we never expected this ruling to happen so quickly. It wasn’t something I thought would happen in Missouri until the last of the states were called for marriage equality, so when it happened – out of the blue…. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in fate. But, I do believe in instinct, and this felt right today. We have waited 11 years. That wait is over. They will appeal the decision, that is inevitable. It will happen – but it’s also inevitable that we will be married. We ARE married. And though we had a rough week…..

We are strong enough. And after 11 years, we are officially married. I am officially a MRS. and its strange and weird to think of myself as married. I’m a wife. Not just a mother. Not just a daughter. Not just a sister. I’m a wife…. well, shit just got real didn’t it?

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 🙂

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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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!

 

Midwest Annual Snowpocalypse Makes Me A Temporary (Insane) SAHM

So, this snow thing, the over-abundance of snow is becoming Mother Nature’s damn cruel joke every year. Right around the same time each year in fact. This will be the second year in a row that I’ve been snowed in for more than 2 days.

When the Snowpocalypse comes to town you would think that would be awesome. A couple days to just sit and relax and recharge. And then you remember, I’m a working mom for a reason. My sanity. Not to mention that a cooped up toddler is no fun on a normal day off, but when you have no choice but to do indoor activities because of the 10 inches of snow piling up in the yard, amusing your child becomes a job all on it’s own.

I have always said that SAHMs have their own set of challenges and I’m not one for those very reasons. I am glad that we have the ability to have one of each type of mom in the house and she’s not in daycare, but it also helps me recognize the differences both types of moms go through.

So, my exercise in being a temporary SAHM further re-inforces why I’m just not cut out to do it full-time. However, thanks to Pinterest, I had some ideas for keeping Punky entertained. How do parents without Pinterst do it? Oh, hell, what did we do before Pinterest? I know, moms have been entertaining kids for years without it, but I’m just not that creative on my own. That’s not where my creativity lies.

Oh. And what about the parents who don’t allow TV. How the hell do they function? I just don’t know.  Props to you.

Anyway, before the snow got too terrible yesterday, I took Punky outside for the first snow of her existence that she could actually play in. The first year, she was teeny tiny and I took her out only long enough to get a picture in the cute snowsuit and under a snow covered tree. This year, she got to wander in it, kick it up and experience the ‘1 glove wonder’ of mom tricks everywhere!

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I took some time yesterday to finish up Punky’s birthday party invitations and also the insert that will be going into them. I’m pretty darn proud of the insert. I used one of the snow pictures and manipulated it. (Clearly, this is where my creativity lies, LOL). I know I don’t frequently use her “given” name on the blog, but it’s a bit too time consuming to go back and edit it just for the showcase!

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My sister-in-law went into labor last night and had our newest nephew by C-Section. Mr. Archer was a most anticipated baby for our entire family and we are all excited to meet and cuddle the Littlest Avenger! And when I am able to announce the stats of this precious little baby, I will share the nursery print I created for them to hang in the nursery!

Today has been a stay inside day, because I’m pretty sure the snow may come up to Punky’s waist or chest, not sure, she’s kind of a short person. Of course, just as I type that, I’m now curious to see what would happen if I took her out there and covered her in snow!

Instead. we have found lots of things for Punky to do, but with her attention span so very small, it’s not really working to keep her entertained and preventing her from hanging on me (Mommy is really not interested in wearing the two year old, I wasn’t ever really much of an attachment parent to begin with!).

I’ve been trying to work on her ‘threading’ which apparently works out her fine motor skills. So yesterday I showed her how to thread beads on pipe cleaners. Today, we made “wonder dough” and stacked Apple Jacks on dry noodles.

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It was fun, until she thought she had to eat the dough. It’s really not edible, but it only took two ingredients and I happened to have both ingredients in the house.

The afternoon, before the nap we just laid her down for, ended with a Blow-pop covered face and a promise for possible playing outside in the snow. Luckily for me, she’s not yet 2 and probably won’t remember that promise when I am not feeling it later!

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Hey, by the way, if you haven’t taken the survey from my previous post, please do. You can find it here. (Moms and Dads!) I need 12 more responses before I can start my writing series on Hubpages, so I have an even 100. After I get the 100 responses, I am closing the survey and writing the results. I will keep you posted on that!

Hope everyone is staying warm and entertained on this Wednesday afternoon!

Day 13: Santa Writes A Letter To The Toddler

We already put the tree up and the card in the envelope said to go sit with Santa, but we will be doing that tomorrow. So, I was in a bit of a tight spot in which I had no idea what we were going to do today.

Then we got the mail!

So, I let her open up her envelope and munch on her chocolate covered marshmellow Santa.

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It was the most delicious piece of candy to come out of her envelopes thus far. At least, it looks like she was very excited about it, hmm.

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We then got to go to the mailbox and got our very first letter. Well, technically, she got a letter last year too, but this is the first time that she has opened her own piece of mail.

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We found out that she was on the Nice List this year. Which, her moms find a little hard to believe, as she’s kind of a jerk some times. But then of course, she’s also been engineered to survive all her ridiculous brattiness with severe cuteness. So, it all balances out.

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Her mama, on the other hand, is getting NOTHING for Christmas! 😉