Blue is for Boys. I am a Girl.

I really didn’t expect that phrase so soon. I mean … THREE.

I’m sure I helped perpetuate the norms of boy and girl separation. We are potty training, so when we were out at Olive Garden once, she attempted to go into the men’s restroom and I redirected her to the little icon with the dress and said, “Girls go in this potty.” Mostly , so that she would know that boys and girls don’t go to the bathroom together, but well, I think I just made it stick in her head that girls wear dresses and boys don’t.

Now I’m frustrated. Not because it’s that big of a deal and frankly, she can like what she wants, be what she wants.

She’s old enough now to make her own choices. I’m doing my very best to make sure she knows she has options. She doesn’t have to be stuck in the social norms of what is expected of her.

She loves pink. Absolutely loves it. And I’m okay with that. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday theme to be, she told me Minnie and Mickey. I asked if she wanted Minnie to wear a pink dress or a red one. She picked pink. No hesitation. So pink it was and that included her pink castle cake. (Yes, that’s a cake, thanks Grammy!)

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Her Minnie Mouse Tea party was a little more low key than we have been used to, but with my being out of work right now, we didn’t have the money we usually have to rent the clubhouse and hold all the people we wanted to invite. So we invited her friends and mostly immediate family like grandparents and aunts/uncles who could make it.

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She likes to climb shit. Loves it. She loves to climb, the higher the better. And I’m well, I’m not okay with it as it gives me anxiety, but I’m okay with it.

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The pyramid she’s climbing in that second picture is 30 feet high made of metal and ropes. The sign outside the pyramid says for 5+ years and it probably makes me an irresponsible mom, but she’s been eyeballing the damn thing for over a year. Kim came with us to the park this last time and convinced me to let her climb it.

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Kim helped me keep my cool while my heart was in my throat, threatening to pump right out of my body! Literally, I was having small panic attacks the whole time, small squeaks emitted from my mouth and I was bouncing around on the ground like a spotter in gym, waiting for her to come tumbling down from that thing.

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But no matter how terrifying it was for me, so much so that Kim had to remind me to take pictures, which never happens. I am ALWAYS taking pictures, I don’t want her to lose that adventurous spirit. I don’t want her to be stuck in a box that says Boys do this and Girls do this. That doesn’t mean I don’t want her to be “girly” or traditionally feminine if that’s what she wants to be. I’m not bucking society just to be “progressive”. I just want to make sure that she know she has choices, that she has options. She can be whoever and whatever she wants to be!

Since she has had her birthday, we have kicked up our bedtime routine a notch. We read a story or two before bed every night and I think she really enjoys it. She can actually sit through a story and she can interact with me. It’s amazing to me the things she remembers.

We even went to the library the other day and she got to pick out her own book. From the time I told her we were going until we got there, she told me she wanted a “spider book” (YUCK), so we got her a spider book and she loves it, so much so, I may have to purchase it. She also got a Princess book, the “mouse and cookie” book, and “Llama Llama mad at Mama”.

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Along with a bed time story, I always ask her what her favorite part of the day was and what she wants to do tomorrow. I also ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. She’s been pretty consistent for the last several months in saying “Doctor”. Guess I better save some money!

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Whatever she wants, I just want to nurture her spirit, her imagination and creatiivity. I want her to know she has so many options that she doesn’t have to stick to the norms of society, the gender stereotypes. I was just so disheartened today when I heard the phrase come out of her mouth.

“I don’t like blue. Blue is for boys.”

But blue isn’t just for boys. How do you relay that to a kid? She has to have heard that somewhere and it makes me sad. I have been working really hard to break those thoughts and really steer her down her own path, where ever that will be, I will follow her lead. And if she really just doesn’t like blue, that’s OK! I just don’t want it to be because she’s a girl and girls don’t like blue.

The more she grows, the more personality she gives and shows. I’m enjoying seeing her grow into this little person all of her own, but I want her to be the one making those choices, for herself. Because I love her with my whole heart and I want her to love herself with her whole heart.

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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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Settling In and Smoothing Out

There are hard parts about this move and the transition from independence to the changes that we have had to come to terms with. I like to think the hardest part right now is that we had to take Punky out of school, because we got so backed up on tuition and it now needs to be caught up. It will get there, but it is a sacrifice that I am so very sad about – she was starting to thrive socially, her teachers kept telling me how much more she was talking and interacting. She’s a shy kid and she’s not exactly a social butterfly – especially when she started school, so to hear those things – made me so happy! And, now, we are back to an only child being at home with adults.

The good part about the move is Miss Punky is sporting the best tan on a toddler I have ever seen. Seriously. Grammy has a small pool and our little fish is out there in her swimsuit as often as she can possibly get an adult to take her out there. She goes on trips to the park with Papa in the wagon.

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Yea, we have a park – literally in our backyard. Do we live in the basement, yea, but we also live in a neighborhood. Last time I pulled Punky around in the wagon – over to the park that is pretty much right across the street, I got to thinking that we didn’t have this when we were living our apartment. We had a cluster of apartment buildings, but we didn’t have ‘neighbors’ or kids playing in the streets. We didn’t have houses to walk past and she didn’t really see lawns being mowed.

Another silver lining, new things to explore. Of course more thing to hurt ourselves on. I fell down one of the three sets of stairs today and busted my knee and threw my camera on the concrete of the garage in the process. I am currently wearing my knee brace, but I think I will live! Punky’s lip is healing up nicely, this morning it was scabbed over, and I was resisting the urge to pull it off, it fell off by itself this evening before dinner.

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My little monkey is such a little curious thing. So it was great to see her be able to explore and enjoy herself. Its super hot, so when we get the chance to make it to the park in the early hours of the day – when it is cooler outside, we take the chance. She finds all sorts of great things to play on and I love capturing the moments. With a pool and a park in our backyard, this summer may be the best yet, no matter where we live!

 

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Another weight lifted off my shoulders this week, when my FMLA was approved for my absences as work. It means that for all things that have gone this last year, my job is being held for me. Thank goodness it was approved. Without it, I likely wouldn’t have a job and I am not dismissive about the fact that there are a lot of things we need to work on and I have a plan in place – but its a weight that makes me feel lighter and a little more free.

With all the weights getting lighter from my shoulders, it feels like someone else is holding onto the reigns and keeping me afloat. My heart isn’t as heavy and for now, I will let someone else push me. (AKA, Miss Punky was insistent that she push me on the swing, no she did not want to sit on the seat, Mommy, you sit and I will push you.) Silly as it is, but being pushed on the swing – really gave me a sense of freedom and it was great to hang out with my little girl in what feels like the longest time we have ever gone since the last time we spent time together.

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We get to spend more time together lately, and with the basement being a smaller space, we spent it closer together. I really do love coming home from work and the three of us going down into the basement and sitting on my bed with  my little girl and talking about what she did that day. We don’t spend all night down there – we sit down to dinner with Grammy and Papa, that’s different for us to, cooked meals and sit down at a table together for dinner, we didn’t do that at our home. So many good things are changing as a result of something that may not have been so good.

Kim and I have things to talk about again. I mean, I can come home and we can just decompress and talk about our day and talk about something other than the mundane and same old thing. We have conversations. We are closer. The metaphor of the small space, the closeness of the basement means we are all becoming closer, bonding and in a way, regardless of what I expected – its a great outcome for us, so far.

 

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Of course, we have only been here for three days – its still the beginning and I have no misgivings that this will be the way this situation will stay. I am sure there will be days when the closeness is the last thing I want, when the lack of private space is the last thing I want, when the constant companionship is something I will want to get away from and have no where to go. But, for now, its just calm and comforting.

We are making new adventures. New memories. We are building new hopes and new plans and new situations. We are exploring, growing and expanding and in all of it, my only hope is that we can bring forth a sense of strength, courage, and determination to our daughter. She doesn’t have to know the circumstances of our situation, the analogies of the bottom in the life we are in right now  – she doesn’t need to know the tears shed behind closed doors or the decisions made in the conversations we have in the dead of night – in the whispers words we speak in desperation of what’s left for us to do.

Instead, she will only know happy. She will only know the memories and the joy. I will only allow her to know the light and the peace and the childhood that she is to have. She is not a grown up and by whatever means necessary, she will not have to be one as soon as I had to be one – I will keep her little and I will let her be a child for as long as I possibly can keep her that way.

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Being a grown up is over-rated and believe me when I say if I could figure out how to go back and make that part stop, be a child longer, savor the playful moments longer, linger in childlike joy and entertain my teddy bears and Barbies just a little more – I would! Alas that’s not allowed, once you are grown up, there’s no turning back and I will not force my baby to grow up. I won’t.

So we are making the best and we are slowly getting out of the holes and smoothing out the bumps. Its not a fix all and its most certainly not the end, but the beginning is looking bright.

Oh and as a side note, all heavy shit aside, I am so proud and pretty darn excited that my kid loves Minnie Mouse and Batman equally! 😉 Its a pretty fantastic thing to me. Raising a kid without stereotypes is my ultimate goal and so far, it’s working out. She thinks for herself and that’s just the way we want her to be!!

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The Bumps In Our Road

The first of these lyrics hit home on me right now.

“Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know
The hardest part is over”

And in the end, that’s all I need to keep remembering. Kim was so sick we really thought she had a disease that wouldn’t be curable, our car was repossessed for a few days last week, we were near eviction from our apartment, and we are now in the basement of my in-laws; but the hard part is over. It really is. No matter what I wish the circumstances were right now, the path to our destination may have twisted a little and taken a different path, but we will get where we want to be – regardless of the bumps in our road.

Kim is feeling much better and on the road to a speedy recovery back to her old self. With much help from great people, the car is out of repossession. We have a great bit of family that was able to get us moved out of our apartment and into the basement before Monday – when the eviction would be going to the lawyers – saving us thousands of dollars and issues with our credit.

This is likely the lowest we’ve been and yet, as I sit on my bed, in our new home surroundings, I have never been more hopeful for a brand new start and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – the worst is over, the hardest part is over.

We got a  storage unit, which is filled to the brim, even though we tried our hardest to throw out a lot of the things I’ve been holding onto for a very long time. Luckily most of my ‘sentimental items’ are digital and now backed up on my 1TB hard drive I got for my birthday. We had so much more stuff than the storage unit will hold, so we will probably have to upgrade the storage unit, blah! For now, it’s in the garage, taking up more space, because it won’t fit in the basement with us.

Here’s our new home, of course, there are some things we still have to unpack and whatnot, but so far its getting to be a little homey and comfortable for the time we will be here. **The beautiful model on the couch is my love, Kim!**

Living Area:

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Dining Area (behind the living area):

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Bedroom Area (Next to the Dining Area:

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And yes, we do have two beds, because Kim and I are old so-to-be married lesbians and frankly, we don’t share bed space or bedding well!

While down here hanging out the first night, Miss Punky was jumping on our beds, like normal and her shoes tripped her up and she fell head first into the concrete floor. She bit right through her bottom lip and it was pretty darn scary and I know it was painful – it bled forever! She tried to eat pizza last night for dinner and it kept burning her lips, she was so upset, that really is her most favorite dinner time meal. By morning, it had at least scabbed over a bit, but it sure looks like a nasty war wound, poor kid!

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With the move has come with transitions for Miss Punky of course. She doesn’t fully understand what’s going on. She actually sleeps two flights up from us, in the nursery for the grandkids. They have a bed up there already and it was less cramped down here in the basement if she slept up there. Its a change for both Mommy and Punky, as I’m used to her room being right NEXT to mine and I could hear her if she cried or woke up.

And while we use the cry it out method for the most part, its hard not to get up and make sure she’s alright in the middle of the night, when you have three flights of stairs to get to her. Not to mention, that she really doesn’t know where her moms are in the middle of the night or how to get to them, which in my mind, my anxious Mommy mind, its scary and traumatic for my baby girl.

Our apartment was her only home. Its the only home she has ever known. She’s two and she confused. She keeps telling us she wants to go home. She doesn’t fully grasp the idea that we are already home. We brought her down to the basement with us for a bit tonight and she knew that Mommy and Mama’s beds were down there, the familiar things from home are down here – but she still doesn’t fully understand that Grammy’s house is now her house too.

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I know she will get used to it and its not going to be damaging or traumatic for her, but as a Mommy, a stressed out Mommy, it makes me sad that she has to go through such a confusing time – moving out of the only home she’s known and sleeping in a bed she’s not used to, surrounded by a room that’s not familiar with all her toys in storage, except for her most favorite Baby Ellen and a few comforts from “home”.

Of course, the Nook with her most favorite game “Toddler Shopping 2” is also here, and she sure loves that game. If you have a toddler and they like playing with apps, this is an app to try. Its so simple and I don’t have any idea what the appeal is, but she could play with it all day!

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Its an adjustment for us all – but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I really appreciate all my blogger friends and my family and friends in our personal life that have given such beautiful and much needed words of encouragement while we all three come to terms with the path of our lives right now – and helping me see the silver lining where it is! I really am feeling much lighter as a result of your kind words. That’s why I love this community of bloggers!!

Besides … with a smile like this in your view, who could be sad for long!

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Think Before You Speak – Questions That Erk Me

In honor of Mombian’s 9th annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families, I am writing up a post I have been meaning to write for some time now. As always, my goal of this blog is not only to document our lives and the growing up of our Punky Monster, but also to get the point across that we are just like everyone else.

Yes. We are atheists.

Yes. We are lesbians.

And Yes. Our daughter is still healthy, loved, and nurtured.

So, I wanted to pick apart the questions I get asked pretty regularly. I’m an open book. I have always been an open book.

**See Unconventional Conception if you don’t believe me! I tell that story – in person, without hesitation to anyone who might be curious enough to get into the gritty details of our conception story. (You’d be surprised how many people want to know the details and then regret it when they learn them!)**

Which means that I answer cordially pretty much any question about our family, our parenting styles, our religion, or our lives in general without much hesitation. That doesn’t mean I don’t get annoyed by the frequent questions that are bordering on over the line, I may not voice it, but perhaps, there might be some tact that people could exercise before asking these types of questions.

1. Who’s Mom?

Look, I try real hard not to make this awkward. It always ends up poorly. The very definition of ‘lesbian mom’ means the kid has TWO moms. I also attempt to really think about the fact that its probably really intended to be “Who carried your daughter?” which may be a valid question, it’s still presumptuous that the mom who carried Punky is her “real mother”, which is not the case.

No matter the law, no matter the tradition or the ideals of the world around us, we are always both her mothers.

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2. Does She Look Like Her Dad?

Well, again, I will define “lesbian mom”. Two moms. No dad. I mean, I know there are plenty of lesbian moms and families with two moms that do have contact with their donors. The donors are called all sorts of things, including Dad or Father in some family dynamics.

But, we really shouldn’t assume that. For my own family, we have contact with our daughter’s donor. He is and always will be a very special man in our life. We aren’t super close, in that we visit or hang out regularly, we don’t even talk on the phone or text message in regular intervals, but he will always have given us a gift we can’t ever thank him enough for.

He is still … not her dad. To most people it seems harmless, it seems like its no biggie, a slip up, not offensive. But … it is offensive. To my partner, to my daughter. It overshadows the very definition of my daughter’s family dynamic. The family she knows.

He’s wasn’t there holding my legs as I was pushing her out of a small hole. He wasn’t up with her at 3AM singing a made up lullaby in those first few weeks, so I could get a little sleep. He’s not catching her as she jumps without warning towards his arms. That’s Kim. And much more.

Basically, while it may seem harmless, it confuses my kid and I anticipate it will confuse her more as she starts to understand that some kids have dads and she doesn’t. When she really notices that she her family is different from others. Do me a favor. Its already going to be a weird conversation for me to have with my kid, don’t confuse her more.

(And if you ask anyone, she really does look just like me. I got myself pregnant is the joke around our family and friends!)

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3. Aren’t You Worried About Her Not Having A Father Around?

You know, I had a dad around. I still have a dad around. I love him to pieces, but he hasn’t always been the stand up dad that traditional June Cleavers are married to. Frankly, my dad has helped mess me up and I’m still in therapy working through the issues I have because of actions, a result of emotional distress in my childhood from having a father.

Do I think having a father is a bad thing? No.

But, do I think Punky absolutely has to have a father? Absolutely not.

We have discussed it before – Punky has more role models than a little girl could possibly had! She has one hell of a godfather in her life, who loves her to bits, like his own kid I would surmise. He is already planning on taking her hunting (which I will probably fight when the time comes), fishing, and teaching her how to do things with cars.

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I have no doubt my brothers will teach her all about comic books, video games, badass underground, never discovered local bands, and how to take the perfect picture of her poop (yes, that’s a thing).

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Kim’s brother is sure to bring a culture of motorcycles, tattoos and fast cars.

I know her grandpas have a wealth of knowledge in work ethic, humor and silliness, and overall doting and caring for her.

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And all the men in her life are sure to teach her how a man is supposed to treat a lady and she will be able to raise any man she dates to the standards they set in her eyes for her future mate. And should she, (personally, I hope not) be a lesbian, she will learn how to treat a lady right as well.

4.  Isn’t Punky Confused About What To Call You?

Okay, so this is a valid question. However, there is a much tactful way to ask it. Perhaps something like, “What does she call you? What does she call her other mother?” I have been asked, “Who’s Mama, Who’s Mommy?” That’s also acceptable. Some lesbian families have all sorts of different ways we help our kids distinguish between two moms.

We decided to sort of guide her in the process of picking a name, but not choosing the name for either of us. She just settled into Mommy for me and Mama for Kim. Both of which we are thrilled with. She’s not confused, because she doesn’t know anything other than having two moms and calling us what she calls us.

Its normal to her, no confusion – thanks for asking!

5. Isn’t It A Concern That She Will Be Teased Growing Up?

This is a very good thing to be concerned about. I don’t know if all lesbian or gay parents are worried about this. I know I was. I still am. I have been concerned – sometimes that we actively thought to have a child, in a world where having gay parents, being gay in general isn’t completely accepted (check out the states still banning gay marriage, HELLO MISSOURI.)

And then I remember that there are several states striking down the bans on gay marriage and it means that acceptance and tolerance is coming around. I put into perspective that Punky is only 2, she’s in preschool, where kids don’t care if she has two moms, her teachers are incredibly supportive and all my mommy friends want to meet Kim and if she wasn’t agoraphobic, they would with no issues.

So in the end, by the time she is school, real school, my hope is that kids will be taught about love and acceptance. That their kids will taught by parents the different ways to make a family, the different kinds of parents and family dynamics out there.

I am getting less worried and more optimistic. This question is a well meaning question, but it can be seen as presumptuous. It could be interpreted by some that you think I’m selfish for ‘daring to bring a child into an intolerant world, just to get bullied.’ I’m sure that’s not the intent, but it sure can be misconstrued.

**

These are my five pet peeve questions. I will always answer them, and they aren’t altogether offensive. But when I answer them everyone is then made to feel awkward. I’m uncomfortable, the person asking is uncomfortable because they made some ill-conceived, usually well intentioned faux pas.

So in the end, I’m more annoyed by the uncomfortable air around the question and the answers and the awkwardness that ensues around the whole thing.

Think before you speak, think about how your words may be interpreted. I won’t ever say out loud that your questions are offensive, stupid, or hurtful – but rest assured, I’m probably thinking it.

The Ultimate 30th Birthday Wish List

It’s my birthday week.

Yes, that’s right. Its my birthday WEEK. The week in which we celebrate the awesomeness that is me.

Usually, I’m really bad at the “What do you want for your birthday?” question. Because I think about it all year, but never write it down. And when it comes time to actually cough up the list, I get all shy about it.

I mean, really. My birthday is just another day.

Not according to some people. And my being 30 is apparently an even bigger deal than I ever knew.

Cue three very awesome friends who will be taking me – just me – to a cabin somewhere on a lake or something. For a girls’ weekend.

Of course, as a kid, I would have thought of that as a ‘sleepover’, as an adult, I’m not really sure what that means. I mean, what do four adult women do in a cabin on a lake for an entire weekend.

No kids, no significant others, and no real responsibility?

I have no idea. But boy am I looking forward to it!

What else would make my birthday week awesome?

A Fully Potty Trained Toddler

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No, we haven’t actually started potty training, but is it too much to ask that she magically just start using the toilet? I don’t think this is an unreasonable request. The Birthday Fairy can wave a wand, make the Pull-Ups disappear and the wipes no longer needed for dirty butts and only dirty hands and faces!

Take A Bath Without My Own Personal Cheering Section Outside the Closed Door

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I swear, the minute I start to strip my clothes off for a ‘quick shower’, I am immediately assaulted by the banging of the door. “MOMMY, mommy, mom, mom, mom, Mommy? Mommy. Mom. Hi Mom! Mommy! Mommy I come In? Mommy!!”

One time, I made the mistake of leaving the door slightly cracked, so she could still hear me from behind the shower curtain. What actually happened? She tried to climb into the shower with her clothes on.

So, my request is this: A well made, very sturdy bathtub reading device in which I can place my Nook. I probably won’t be reading. I will probably be watching an episode of House M.D. or Mortified Nation, but I will be relaxing in a bubbly bath of quiet solitude that doesn’t involve a fully clothed toddler trying to crawl back inside of me, just to be THAT. CLOSE.

A Training Manual For Toddler Terrorists

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Who doesn’t want a toddler handbook? Jeebs. I didn’t get a newborn manual when I gave birth and believe me, when your hoo-ha gets that big … a manual should come out too.

I just came across this fantastic blog, Honest Toddler. Now, I must have the book. Because who better to help me be the best mommy ever than a toddler who has all the secrets and is skillfully sharing them with me. I want inside my toddler’s brain. This is the next best thing.

I will be appeased with the Nook Book version. A B&N Gift Card is acceptable.

A Free Pass From Escalations At Work. All Week.

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Look, I will take stupid over irate any day. Why? Because stupid doesn’t understand logic, so you can convince them … 9 times out of 10 that you are correct. Irate customers don’t have a way to process logic. Because they are irrational.

The whole purpose of my job is the help the front line customer service representatives with their questions and hard to find answers. The other very large part of my day is taking over escalated callers and doing my best to either, make them understand the reason for the NO or come to a solution that is acceptable for the caller.

This is generally how it goes. 

I requesting no calls like this … All Week. I am requesting that we get me a direct line to transfer these people to, OR I will settle for them bypassing me altogether.

K? Thanks!

A Cuddle on the Couch With My Boo

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We have three seasons of Game of Thrones collecting dust that we could totally be catching up on. Or perhaps that Catching Fire DVD that we got, but never actually put in.

You see, Kim and I are pretty much keep to yourself kind of people. When Punky goes to bed, we are off doing our own things. The invention of Netflix Lists has literally saved our relationship. Now, we can watch our shows, even the same shows, at our own pace.

However, it does make quality time a little hard to come by. I’d love to just sit on the couch with my boo and cuddle in front of the TV. Just watch a little Netflix or a DVD or seven.  I would settle for one WHOLE season or three of a series we both have been waiting to watch on Netflix too. Hint. Hint.

Cool Gadgets For My Fast Fleeing Memory

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All joking aside … this shit is important!

The two things I am constantly losing. My keys and my phone. And to top it all off, because I can’t be on my phone at work, my phone is generally on silent or vibrate ALL. THE. TIME. Which makes finding it very difficult. Luckily it lights up when it rings.

I don’t have any tricks for my keys though. I just throw them in random places, it drives Kim crazy. Sometimes they are in my pockets, some times in my purse, and sometimes on a bookshelf or a kitchen table and one time … I think this was Punky’s fault, but I found them in my shoe. *She’s obsessed with my shoes*

So, cool gadgets. You can never go wrong with cool gadgets.

Speaking of Gadgets….

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With all the clipart I hoard for my Etsy Shop – I really should be in a support group. Some sort of “Clip Art Anonymous”. If they don’t have something like that set up, I would really suggest they making one.

In the meantime, it would be really sad if my laptop died and all my templates and clipart was lost. Thus, this is necessary!  1 TB (that’s Terabyte) Portable External Hard Drive. Fits in my hand and portable. What more could a geeky electronics clipart hoarder ask for?

Not much, I tell you!

The Best Present Is For My Tummy

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My most favorite dessert is peach cobbler and it’s been ages since I have eaten it. I love the edges the best, so that’s why a small pan will do. Oh, and the size would be perfect for a one person serving so I don’t have to share.

Oh, I have a toddler, so she will probably get a bite, but after that, I want my dessert to myself. Peach cobbler.

My Grandma Dorothy used to make the best peach cobbler in the whole universe. It was so good, I could literally eat the whole thing myself if my mom didn’t step in and stop that tummy ache from happening. Of all the sweets in the world – more than cake, more than pies, more than cupcakes, a Peach Cobbler will delight.

A Pocket of Personal Space. Just For Me. 

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Oh man. This one…. Its a must. Can someone please advise my dear sweet toddler in the concept of personal space? I think that same Birthday Fairy needs to give me a magnetic field that repels the little fingers and appendages that much be touching me. AT. ALL. TIMES.

Look, I’m all for cuddling. I love a good hug and smooch with the kiddo. But, sometimes, when she sits directly, not not exactly right on top of me, it really does make me a little claustrophobic!

Can we please – even just for the week – if I put her on the opposite side of the couch, she can’t sneakily find a way to put a toe on my knee. Just a toe. Nothing else. Or her nose touching my arm. Or something. Her breath breathing the same air is mine. Straight from my mouth.

In an effort to get back inside, this kid is literally ON. TOP. OF. ME. When I pushed her out, I lost all personal space. I’d like to have it back – even just temporarily!

***

There you have it.

The Ultimate 30th Birthday List.

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.

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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14/52 – Discovering a Nurturing Side

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So my little one has been carrying around two very important babies lately. They both had the name “Ga Ga – Goo Goo” until just a few days ago. Now they are Molly on top and Shell on the Bottom.

That sling there, is a makeshift baby carrier out of my infinity scarf, because I can’t ever get those scarves to look right on me. So I put them to better use.

She has twins and she loves them so much, she popped them into the carrier and waddled around the apartment with them.

This week, I got a wisdom tooth out, and man have I been in some pain for the last two days. I have been hopped up on pain meds and Miss Punky has been (even if she bumps my sore cheek) trying her best to take care of me. Kisses and pets on the face come with the nurturing side of our little one.

Its refreshing and sweet.

We are exploring all the ways our darling toddler emerges into her personality. I love it. I love watching it.

We went to another little friend’s birthday party and it was a ‘dress up’ and be fancy toddler dance party. I picked up a cute little dress at a consignment shop and she looked damn cute in it!

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Her favorite part of going to other kids’ houses is to play with their toys, LOL.

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We took some time to relax and decompress together, which makes me smile so big.

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We also got her some new jammies. They are freaking adorable!

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9/52 – Discovering Dora

Panties that is.

Remember the panties we got Miss Punky for school, in case the thought she might be interested in the potty training? She found a stray package I kept at home and slipped them up around her pants.

This week, we discovered that we love to wear panties. Right now, we are just putting them on. She initiated the idea of pulling her Dora panties up over her pants and running around the house.

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She graduated to wearing these panties over her pull up and now in most cases she will ask for them to be put on. Today she was a little ill, so she wasn’t interested in doing much. I’m sure the panties will come back in style around the house soon enough.

Are we starting potty training? Not really. Do I wish we were? Yep!

We aren’t pushing the issue though. Our Punky monster will be 2 in less than 2 days. More like 1 day and 12 hours or something like that. March 7th at 6:30PM, Miss Punky will be TWO.

She knows the name of all her private areas and where they are located, but she doesn’t know what that means. I also don’t think she is ready to communicate that she has to go or has already gone.

I think she may still be a little too young for panties and for real potty training, but I suppose if she’s good with wearing them and gets used to having them on, perhaps the transition won’t be a nightmare when the time comes!