Musings from the Night Shift Mommy

I started my night shift – 1pm to midnight – and I will blame that on why I haven’t gotten around to blogging lately. Though, if I’m being honest, I would say it may be that I really just forgot.

I am currently helping plan three parties that are going on at the end of August and in September. So much going on in that capacity! Not to mention orders from my Etsy Shop and changing my shift at my day job, I’ve been uber busy.

So quick Etsy shop plug, all my blogger friends in the sphere, I know you guys are having babies, getting BFP and the like, I want to extend my offer to give you half off on ALL invitations and/or party supplies for baby showers, pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, etc. Absolutely no end date on that offer.  Pass it on to friends and families, I don’t mind! 🙂

Just use: BFP50 in the coupon code section and it will ring it up for ya!

I’m just so happy for all of you and I want to help you celebrate!! (This includes custom orders, so if you got a special theme in mind that I don’t currently stock, hit me up and I will totally make it for ya!)

And back to real life stuff:

I have been trying to keep up with our two year old, she has a half birthday in September, what?! Half way to three? When the hell did that happen!!

I’m also not really sure when she got sass in her pants, but this kid is one mouthful of sassy phrases and some not too nice to her moms! Its been kind of a pain in the booty, frankly, and she’s had a few run-ins with timeout or a smack in the mouth.

She’s also extra cuddly when she wants to be and is singing and talking up a storm. She’s hilarious, a joy to be around on most occasions and still the apple of our eye. She is still the most perfect little being in the whole world and I really do love her to the moon and back!

But parenting a toddler, a two year toddler, has proven to be a bit difficult. She’s so damn sensitive. She cries at the drop of a hat, she’s offended extra easily and overall, if she doesn’t get her way, look out! They aren’t kidding when they say twos are tough, but then I hear all the time “threes are worse”. Thanks for that encouragement asshole! LOL.

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So, with me working nights, and 10 hours at that, I work 4 days a week, 3 days I’m off, rotating 1 weekend a month. So, I’m home on Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays regularly now. Its been refreshing to be home in the middle of the week. Punky and I have had time to go out and hang together. That’s what I have been doing the most lately.

Here’s what Miss Sassafrass Punky and I have been doing to keep ourselves busy this part of the summer.

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Last week, we headed to the park. Our park has this ridiculously huge rope pyramid that older kids can climb on – to the top – several feet in the air. There is a small piece of it that has a rope ladder to a smaller slide, Punky took a liking to that.

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We moved onto the swings, where she just refuses to actually sit on. She prefers to “fly” – she prefers to push me in the swing. Yikes indeed. We had a run in with a little guy at the park while she was playing with the swing.

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You see that empty swing over there right? The one no one is playing with? Yea, we had a kid approach Punky while she was contemplating her next great fly in the swing and take hold of the chains of her swing and promptly tell her “I’m going to swing now.”

Flabbergasted, I looked around for the child’s guardian. He wasn’t more than say 5 or so. When no guardian emerged I said, “There’s another swing right there if you would like to swing.”

“But I will swing on this one.” He told me matter of factly.

And this is when I really just lost all hope for the future generations. I just knew this is what justified the older generation talking about how our kids nowadays have no manners and don’t know how to respect people and other things.

I replied very quietly, very gently, “No, sir. You will not. There is a swing over there if you would like to use it.”

By this time, Miss Punky relinquished her swing without a fight and headed to the vacant swing. I was astonished, however, when it comes to sharing – for an only child with a lot of sass – she’s pretty laid back about giving up the toys that are taken from her (unless its her very special babies at home, which I hide when we have little visitors so there are no fights, she might draw blood over them!)  I don’t have any concern for her manners, she’s a please and thank you kid for the most part, may have to be reminded, but she covers her mouth with she coughs (albeit sometimes later than the cough), and for the most part can say Excuse me when she burps or farts without prompting.

I took the swing chain gently and said, “No no, Punky. This is your swing. You were using it. Please come back and play with the swing you were on.”

I’m all for sharing. But, the way we share – we don’t take toys from another child. It doesn’t matter whose toy it is (hence why I hide her special babies) if another kid has it, she is not to take it from them and can’t claim it as hers to play with until they are done with it. When the toy is discarded or put down, she can then play with it. Same goes for my kid, people. When she’s playing with something, your child will not take it from her until she’s done. When she has discarded it, I don’t care if its your kid’s toy or not, I don’t tolerate taking toys from each other. Its disrespectful and it teaches kids they can have whatever they want, whenever they want. It shows instant gratification and teaches kids that they don’t have to be patient. That they can take whatever they want and there will be no real consequences.

I absolutely loved the article I read about it, because it made me feel great about my own sharing philosophies and I was so glad to know I wasn’t the only mom who taught my kid this way.

Needless to say, the young man relinquished the swing back to Punky, who went back to “flying to the moon, Mommy” until she was hungry for lunch. I’m glad the other child’s guardian was not around, because if they had reprimanded me or said something, I’m not really sure what would happen, but it would have been very sad to get banned from the best park in the city………

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After a great afternoon at the park, we headed to McDonald’s where she had a nice chicken nugget happy meal and strawberry yogurt.

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And for some reason, when we ordered a small snack version of an M&M McFlurry with two spoons, the cashier just thought it was adorable, as did all the passersby our table who noticed! LOL

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And this afternoon, Miss Punky became the proud owner of her very own library card. She was so very proud of the library card that I thought perhaps she needed a purse to put it in.

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However, before we could go purse shopping, we had to try out our shiny new library card and get some books. This week we picked out Dora and the Twin Puppies and How to Babysit A Grandpa.

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I haven’t read the Dora book and we only got it because she insisted on having Dora. However, the other, How to Babysit A Grandpa, is the cutest thing ever. Its even cuter when Papa reads it to her as her bedstory. (Not bedtime story, people, its a BedStory.) Which is what happened before she fell asleep tonight. Oh, the convenience of having Papas and Grammy’s on hand when a good BedStory  and rocking is needed.

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Anyway, after the library, we went on the great purse hunt. We stopped at Dollar General first, I was just sure they should have a cute, small kid’s purse for her that would be perfect for her library card. What we ended up with instead was a packages of lipgloss for little girls and package of Minnie Mouse socks.

On to the consignment store down the strip mall, which I immediately regretted the minute we walked into. We should have went into the thrift store next door like I thought about. Instead I took her into the consignment store. She found a purse, it was a bit more than I really wanted to spend, but really only like $7, but the purse was not the highlight of her trip.

Oh no, see, this wasn’t a kid’s consignment, there was not clothes for toddlers in there. It was for adults as in the clothing were not small enough for her to ever fit in. But sparklies know no age. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Jewelry doesn’t discriminate. My little one made sure I knew that as soon as she found the glass case of glitters and this awesome table of trinkets for her to touch and hold and oh and ah!

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She went home with a purse, lip gloss, her library card, and three new bracelets. Her purse also has Mommy’s old cell phone since I just got a new one and its not active. She’s  one stylish – and probably spoiled to the core – little two year old. But we had an excellent day out together!

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When we got home, she started to get a little cranky and I knew it was promptly nap time. Of course, she fought it, but eventually, now we have peace, after naptime, dinner, and a bedstory with complimentary rocking from both Grammy and Mommy, she’s had a very busy day and is now sleeping sound in her bed!

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I know this post is getting extra long, however, I would be amiss, if I didn’t also feature the great pictures that were taken of my Punky monster recently. We got her pictures done, mostly for fun, but it was a blast and she looks so much older in these pictures!

 IMG_8226IMG_8218IMG_8243These were taken by a local photographer E. Carlburg Photography to showcase the clothes made by Amelia Bean Clothing, another local business in the area. The outfit is not one I would have chosen for her, in most cases, we don’t really do ‘ruffles’ and things. But, I must say, she makes this outfit look great and she looks gorgeous in this shoot!

The second photoshoot was from an old high school alum. I helped design her photography business’ logo and she repaid me with a great many pictures. Andrea from Morrow Classic Photography did such an awesome job, there are too many favorites for me to choose just a few. So here they are!!

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So, that’s what we have been up to, I shouldn’t wait to update this blog for so long! Otherwise I ramble a ton!! To those of you who just got BFP, again, congratulations! And of course, those of you who are still waiting, I’m cheering for you to have days and brilliant times like these someday soon!

Road Trip to Visit The Fam

So with  my uncle having his seizures lately and then as soon as he came out of the hospital my grandpa fell off his lawn mower and broke his leg above the knee – we thought maybe it might be good to go visit. We haven’t visited for some time, my family lives about 3 hours away. So, its always a ‘treat’ to visit.

On the way there, we started with excitement. Two semi trucks had rolled over in the median and then one was splayed across the other highway, luckily we weren’t on that side! The roads were blocked and the cars were stopped for at least 15 exits, it added another 30-45 minutes to our trip.

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With the smell of soybean (my hometown is pretty much the capital of Soybean Production) and this bumper sticker, I knew I was home….

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When we got into town, we got to spend some time at my Grandma’s house waiting for her to get home for dinner from the nursing home. While we waited for her to come home, Miss Punky got out the toys and talked to Grandma “Scotch” (Scott) on the phone. Is it just as weird for you guys as it is for me that Punky won’t really know what that phone is when she’s big enough to use a real one of her own!?

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My grandparents have a lot of land full of just grass and trees. Punky wanted to go outside, so we went out and had a little modeling session. She’s been having a lot of those lately! (before our trip, Miss Punky had the opportunity to get her pictures taken for a local designer’s clothes with a local photographer. I will be plugging both of them on the blog as soon as I get the pictures from the shoot and I am allowed to share them!)

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Then my grandma came home. We actually stayed at her house this weekend. She and my grandpa are usually in Arizona when we visit, so its nice to have a chance to hang out with them and spend some great time with at least my grandma!

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I asked Kim after this picture if she wanted to have two Punkys. We both decided it was a bad idea to inflict this much cuteness and attitude on the world TWICE.

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On Saturday we had a great time a my nephew’s SuperHero Fourth Birthday Party. I helped his mom with the decorations and planning the details. We had some good times, and Punky got to spend some time with her cousins. It was fun all around!

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The newest addition to our cousin clan in this generation is our sweet sweet nephew Archer. He’s the first baby of my brother and the star of the “Littlest Avenger” over at my sister-in-law’s blog. My little Punky Monster took quite the liking to the baby and made her moms nervous that she may start asking for a brother or sister. Not happening. For sure. No, we aren’t changing our minds!

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We had some really cute decorations and it was pretty much a hit.

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After we spent some time at the party, watched my nephew open all his presents and spent some fun times in the photo booth, Punky and I went to visit my grandpa in the nursing home. He broke his leg right above his knee, so it was sad to see him in that wheelchair. He has the onset, or full-blown depending on who you talk to, Alzheimer’s. Last time I went to visit him, he was confused as to who I was, and it makes things a little difficult to figure out how to explain who Kim is – so while she loves my grandpa and would have loved to visit too, she didn’t want to upset him, so she stayed home while Punky and I visited with my grandpa. I don’t really know if he knows who I was, he was pretty quiet, he did a lot of smiling and nodding and I don’t really know how much he retained.

Punky spent most of the time climbing on this particular chair and looking out the window of the very first nursing home she ever visited. All the older people were very excited to see her and she of course charmed them with her smiles. She was wearing her light up shoes, stomping through the dining hall – they just got a kick out of her.

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After the nursing home, yes – we are still on Saturday, and Yes – we did a lot of running this weekend. We headed out to my dad’s house, one of the houses I grew up in and hung out with that side of the family for the rest of the evening. Their air conditioner went out, so it was super hot in their trailer.

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But we had a nice time visiting and hanging out with them, my step mom has Lupos so she’s usually pretty ill and not feeling well, she was sleeping when we got there, but boy did she get up when Punky came in the trailer, because she’s smitten with our kid and that just makes me so very happy!

Punky also met her first rat during this visit. My goodness… she kept wanting to hold the rat, and then when Kim would put it on her or would try and help her feed the rat, she would FREAK out. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no room to talk, I wasn’t holding the rat for sure! But, it was kind of hilarious to see her curiosity and then fear and then curiosity again.

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So Saturday down on the very long weekend and Sunday was just another really long day! We love visiting with  my family but by the end of the weekend, it is just sooooo tiring. Sunday was full of more cousins, more parties, more cake and more dinner.

Sunday morning, my friend and fellow blogger over at “A Redhead’s Guide” was so kind to meet us at a local park and take some super awesome pictures of Punky. She chased my spirited kid all over for about an hour and I think we got some great shots. Especially with all the movement she made and the sneak peeks she posted on her Facebook page, makes me super excited to get the disc in the mail!

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Her Aunt Brittany brought that dress home from Florida for her older cousin. Its a maxi dress for a 7/8 kid – like for real? My kid isn’t even wearing a ‘toddler’ dress. Her necklace is also from Florida, brought back from her Aunt Jourdan (godmother) – its a little big for her, so I always tie it shorter around the neck. And of course, she looks beautiful, I’m not at all a modest mommy.

Jeebs, I made a pretty baby with a little work, lots of love, and a tremendous amount of luck!

After her little photo shoot, we did visit with my dad and family again. We had another smaller version of my nephew’s birthday party with that bunch. Which really consisted of my dad riling up all the kids and making sure they were all good and sugared for their moms later.

As you can see, Miss Punky just isn’t sure about all the rough housing. She’s pretty timid when it comes to that stuff and really she’s not really sure how to play like that. Her cousins are wound up most of the time, I’m not sure how my sister doesn’t have a perpetual migraine every day of her life and again, I am reminded why I only one the ONE!

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The end of our trip was full of roast and potatoes at my grandma’s and a ridiculous game of Pictionary with my mom on the Xbox 360. We had a blast over there, as we usually do, hanging out with my. Punky was so very interactive with everyone, but she definitely loves her Grandma Stacie and Grandpa James. It was great to see her interact with them and really get to spend some quality time with them!

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My stepdad introduced her to the spoonful of peanut butter and warheads. Neither of which got the reaction we were expecting! She came back for seconds and thirds of both things.

All and all – our trip was a success, we really had a great time and for the first time in her little life, while there were a lot of names to remember and people to remember  – she did a great job interacting, charming and of course making my family fall even more in love her with spunk and spirit.

20/52 – And the Busiest Week Ever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

17/52 – Windy Days In The Midwest

I’m feeling a little down today. Work was a bust and frankly, I’m exhausted with a migraine. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day. In the meantime, here’s my most favorite shot from this week!

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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!

A Creative Mind Need An Outlet During Toddler Terrorist Attacks

I am very sure that I have more ideas in my head than I can possibly get out right now. If you have been reading for a while, you know I have a full time job as a customer service representative in a PBM Call Center. In my free time and usually in the evening and weekends, I also run an Etsy shop for printable invitations and decorations. I have been designing for the shop for almost a year with a great vision of making sure that parents-to-be like Kim and I had a resource to share our joy as much as straight couples.

I’ve always had some two mom invitations for baby showers, but for some reason I never thought about pregnancy announcements! Today, in a stroke of creativity, I came up with some pretty cute pregnancy announcements for the LGBT community. I only share this on my blog, because I know there are a lot of two mom households who are trying to conceive and it you are one of them, check out the link to my shop on the sidebar for discounts to blog readers.

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Click to go to shop listing

I also would love to have any suggestions or extra awesome creative ideas from the readers of this blog. I’m hoping to grow my shop to be more than a hobby. Someday, maybe it can be something more of a job, since my full time day job is getting me down lately. Just in general, it’s not challenging me and I feel pretty damn stale right now. At least this shop, my second job, my second baby – allows me to get the challenges and the creative juices flowing – the goal I have been desperately trying to get out of my day.

I just wish I could make a living on it.

I find it adorable when my daughter watches me work, from my work station on the couch from my laptop in the living room.

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In Punky news, she’s been what I like to lovingly refer to as a “Tiny Toddler Terrorist”. Literally, she’s been acting really weird. One minute she’s fine and the next minute she’s screeching for no reason at all. It’s messing with my sensibilities. Seriously. I can’t figure out what the problem is. Usually, I lay her down for a nap and she goes to sleep and it makes me think that she just wanted to lay down. She’s totally mobile, so I don’t know why she can’t just lay her little self down on her own. She climbs in and out of the bed all day, but she has to have Mommy lay her down in it to sleep.

It’s really the strangest thing ever.

She gets frustrated easily and when she gets mad about something she can’t do or can’t get to work right, she throws herself on the floor and bangs her head on the floor. There’s concrete under there, and I’m positive it hurts, though she looks at me LIKE I SLAMMED HER HEAD into the floor. For real?

All I can do is stare at her in disbelief sometimes.

She’s really so cute in public and for that I should be grateful, since frankly – most toddlers spend most of their energy being cranky and ridiculous in front of other people. It’s like an embarrassment factor that’s built in on toddlers. But, get her home and she’s a ball of “NO” and screams and throwing things around. She’s kicked the cat more times than I’m willing to admit and I have tried both time out and smacking her booty.

Neither seems to make a difference.

It seems like now is the time for the terrible twos and they have come 2 months early. She’s pretty much doing everything early. Teething, talking, colors, eating, weaning. Literally, she’s just doing everything early and I’d be ok with it, if she wasn’t being a royal pain in my ass.

And then there are cute moments, like this when she cuddles with the giant sock monkey her godparents got her.

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Day 5: Jingle Bells Bracelet Making With Mommy

Day five was another day of M&Ms, which is becoming a very special snack for Punky. She loves those. She opened up her next envelope and immediately popped the little candy coated chocolate in her mouth.

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Notice the horse tattoo that is on her hand that is quickly disintegrating!

She helped me string the bells on an invisible jewelry line. Really she just helped me pick out the order of the bells. She just gave them to me – and I put them on the string for her.

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The more bells she gave me the bigger the bracelet got. She was really loving the jingle bell song. So I sang jingle bell Christmas carol and she started to mimic me. So every time I sang she would holler “HEY!” She let me put the bracelet on her wrist and we jingled and shook it around the living room.

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She wore the bracelet, prancing around the house with it for a good 10 minutes, I am beginning to see a pattern with my toddler’s attention span. Anyway, she took it off and Mama put it on the monster. Her favorite baby right now.

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She would shake it around and gave it to me several times, before I threw it in her room. She tore it off the monster’s neck and by the end of the night the bells were no longer strung on the bracelet and are now laying on my living room floor.

She does come by periodically and pick one up and shake it at me. Day five was pretty darn successful, she just kept in true tradition for our toddler and enjoyed it for a short period of time!

Temporary Insanity

Right now, all I can think about is that my interim supervisor position at work is coming to an end soon. It will either become full-time or it will be over. I have my interview on Friday. I’m a damn nervous wreck. At the end of the day, I know whatever happens, I will do the very best that I can do. Just as I have been doing the last 2 and a half months in the position. 

In other news, K and I decided to visit my family this last weekend. Which means we put the trip to Iowa on hold. But, we hadn’t seen my parents or my family in nearly 6 months and it was time for a visit. I have been telling my parents we would come visit in May and then … maybe June …. for sure in July. By August, I just wasn’t making any promises.

Due to a financial snafu, of my own making, scatter-brained as I am, we were behind in a lot of bills, adding up K’s doctor’s visits, medication, and Punky’s extra-curriculars, not to mention my frequent trips to Walmart for retail therapy, it just wasn’t in the cards for a while.

Well, we finally got ourselves caught up, still slowly digging out of the hole, but better nonetheless.

So, instead of dwell on the upcoming nerves and anxiety inducing interview for a possible promotion that could help change my whole financial life, we will recap a visit with the family.

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On Thursday, before our trip, we had Punky’s 18 month doctor’s appointment. She’s 27 pounds and 12 ounces. 88 percentile in weight. She’s 34 and 3/4 inches tall. That puts her in the 99th percentile in height. Jeebs. The kid is taller and she’s off the chart.

She’s talking more and she’s mimicking more words. She just learned “apple” and “hey” She said “Hi Mom” the other day. Her very first two word sentence.

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We made it to my Grandma’s house for dinner on Friday. My sister’s kids were all there and they all had a fantastic time hanging out. If I haven’t announced on here, my brother and his wife finally conceived their first baby and so that will add a fifth to the mix soon. You can follow their little journey too, I do!  

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Punky and Robin are about 4 months apart. He’s a little older than her and will be two in November. They had a blast chasing balls, fighting over toys, and jumping on the furniture together. 

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Punky is pretty quiet and tends to like to play by herself, so while her cousins were making a squealing tornado out of great-grandma’s house, Punky was playing in a corner. Pigtails and all.

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Everyone kept insisting on giving her sticky things to eat. She had many sticky moments this weekend. The ringpop was Mama’s fault and the sucker was grandma’s fault.

 

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She ate some cheese pizza with my mom, chewed on a car I got at a garage sale for a quarter and played with a few pitbull puppies at my dad’s.

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Overall, besides not having but ONE nap the entire time we were gone (three days), she did pretty great. She’s finally asleep, I don’t hear her in her room protesting with her new favorite word “HEY!” anymore. 

The fall tv season has started this month, totally slipped my mind. Set up my DVR and wrote out my list of shows this Fall. So, if you are like me and you watch a lot of TV, hope you didn’t forget like I did!

Anyway, that was our weekend, we had a good time with my family and hope to get to Iowa for the marriage license soon. For now, one step at a time. Friday is my interview, wish me luck!!

Why I’m No Longer In A Mom’s Group

In previous posts I mentioned that I had joined a mom’s group and it was good for me, with my anxiety disorder and my fear of new people and places. It was good for Peyton’s social skills and getting her out and about. I really had high hopes for this working out. I slowly began to really come to the conclusion that in the end, I’m not cut out to be “that mom”.

What do I mean by “that mom”?

The mom who judges every little parenting choice of someone else. The mom who knows exactly the right way to parent YOUR child. Somehow, the manual to your kid popped out of her vagina with her kid. Apparently, you missed the memo, you are doing it all wrong. It’s right here in Chapter Six of “Raising Punky 101”. It’s the mom who thinks that if you aren’t parenting your kid the way they do, you are wrong, your kid will be a sociopath. The mom who is so very nice to your face, despite the obvious differences in opinion, but in a public internet forum, bashes your choices in a passive-aggressive way.

I’m not good at being that mom. And, apparently, I’m even worse at dealing with that mom.

You know, it’s not even that these comments are being personally directed at me. A lot of times, it’s just a general statement about one parenting choice or another. The problem is, it’s hurtful and I want so badly to say something, but instead, I hold my tongue. I’m really not the type to bite my tongue for very long. I’m really not very good at it.

It’s not even that these comments were directly solely at me and in some cases at me at all.

When you go out with a group of moms to relax and have a good time, I notice that all the ladies have a glass or two of wine or something related (unless breastfeeding of course). When one mom thinks it’s ok to call another one a “lush”, joking or not, it hurts people’s feelings and embarrasses people. Why say things like that? Because women are the best as making a ‘joke’ out of something they truly feel to soften the blow and not make themselves look bad.

Articles about car seats really bother the shit out of me. But, I don’t really say anything anymore. Not since I was basically told I was a bad mother (in not so many words) because we followed our pediatrician’s recommendations for Punky and turned her front facing when she turned 12 months old. She’s bigger for her age and frankly, she screamed in the car the entire time we were in there while she was rear-facing. I was happy to turn her ’round.

When I explained this as my experience and my opinion (not once mentioning anything about anyone who didn’t do this) I was slapped with a comment about how I should get a different pediatrician. And another mother, an expert in car seat safety, posted a video about what will happen to my daughter in an accident. I’m sure it’s all well meaning, but at the end of the day, hurtful and just another way to make a new mother feel crappy about herself.

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Let’s not take into consideration that I have an anxiety disorder. My eagerness to turn Punky around had more to do with my anxiety than anything else. When she was rear-facing, I couldn’t see her. I’m forgetful. Seriously. I couldn’t stop imagining that I would be one of those moms who left her in the car on a hot day. Even now, front-facing, I imagine my reaction to finding her dead in the back seat because I forgot about her back there for one reason or another. It’s part of my anxiety disorder, I picture these things the entire time we are in the car with Punky in the back seat.

During posts of seemingly support seeking mothers, especially those with small children who won’t sleep, the claws came out all the time. So, a mother posts about how she’s really having a hard time with the lack of sleep and looking for suggestions. The first time I posted that we used the cry it out method and how we did it and why and how it worked for us. The response I got from the mother was this: “With all due respect, crying it out is NOT an option in our home.” Well, excuse me for giving you a suggestion.

The comments continued with things like, “It’s unnatural for a mother to feel fine allowing her child to cry and not do anything.” “I can’t imagine leaving my child in her room alone and scared.”

These comments weren’t specifically directed at me, but I felt the sting. Wow. I’m a shitty mom because I let Punky cry herself to sleep one night. Let’s not take into consideration that both K and I were exhausted and really ready to shake this baby at the time. But excuse me, ladies, you don’t get to worry about your own well-being. Again, we took recommendations from our pediatrician to put her in her own room and let her cry it out. Not only for her health and need to get more sleep, but our sanity.

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Guess what, no one thought to take into consideration that I was sitting outside her door the entire time she was crying, tears streaming down my own face. K had to practically sit on me, because we knew it was best for Punky and best for our relationship and wellbeing. It was the hardest night of my life. Yet, Punky is the best sleeper I have ever met, mothers are astonished that she goes to sleep at 8:30PM and doesn’t wake up until at least 9:30 or 10AM. I get surprised faces when I tell people that she loves taking naps and we rarely have a fight when it is time as she will clearly say “Nap” and head to her room, when she is tired and usually right around the same predictable time.

But, screw me. I shouldn’t have allowed her to cry it out for one time and apparently, I’m unnatural and not a great mother for allowing her to be independant.

Don’t get me started on vaccinations. I will be real honest here. Do I think it’s weird that there are people who don’t vaccinate their kids? Honestly. I do. But, I have never said anything to these mothers. They are making their own choices and they are doing what they feel is right for their religious beliefs or their family or whatever.

So, why is it that I hear one of my good friends was told she was uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid? Seriously? Someone said that. See that’s the case of the comments not being directed at me, but I have a few choice words I could say in response to that hurtful and highly offensive comment. But, I bite my tongue, instead of defend my friend’s choice, defend my choice. Because if she’s uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid, then shit, so am I. Awesome, at this point, I’m really doing a great parenting job according to these moms.

Other things I have felt while in this group:

  • If you are on the computer and not constantly talking to your kid, you are bad mother and doing your kid a disservice. (Let’s forget that my second job is online, that I am actually making money for my family, while on this computer.)

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  • If you aren’t still breastfeeding your child after a year old, you are not supermom. (Let’s not mention that Punky couldn’t latch and I hated pumping because it caused me mastitis and my breasts were constantly on fire or in pain)
  • If you let your child watch TV, you will rot their brain and toddlers just don’t benefit at all by watching anything that is currently on TV. (Never mind the fact that Punky has learned how to speak from conversations with Dora and learned to jump, clap, and wave from the GiggleBellies).2013-06-29 05.09.28
  • You don’t feed your kid organic food? Bad Mom! (Except, jesus, organic food is expensive and we are living paycheck to paycheck. But, then, you use cloth diapers so you don’t have to worry about not having diapers for your kid. Another strike against me, whoops.) Of course, I suppose I could just get on the cloth diaper bandwagon, except we live in an apartment and don’t have a washer and dryer and can’t afford to wash our clothes as often as I would like, let alone shitty diapers. But, then again, I’m sure these moms just think we shouldn’t have a kid until we are financially stable enough to do this very important things that cost more money.

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  • One meetup I proposed to take the kids to the city hall steps to play in the fountains. I posted a picture of Punky, MY DAUGHTER, playing in the fountains. One of the comments I got was “I don’t know if that’s safe for my child.” For real? So, I suggested an activity that I have done with my own child, but it’s not safe for other people’s children. Way to basically say that I’m putting my kid in a dangerous situation and how dare I put yours in the same boat.

The last straw was about the debate on stay at home moms and working moms. All the instances above, I have pretty much not gotten involved, not since the crying it out and car seat instance. Because if I get involved, I’m likely to get banned and I really did like getting to know some of these ladies and we are still friends on Facebook. So, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say anything.

Then a post about how being a stay at home mom was so much harder than a working mother. Working mothers had it easy because they didn’t have to change diapers and they didn’t have to deal with the constant tantrums and nap fighting and the exhaustion.

Excuse me?

I know how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, I live with one. I also know how hard it is to be a working mother, I am one! Each one of us has a different kind of challenge and hard work in different areas, but the challenges weigh the same. So, while I figured this mom was just trying to get some support for her own challenges, but she took the opportunity to shoot down working mothers in the process.

It brings me to tears every freaking day when I lay her down for her afternoon nap, knowing that I won’t see her again until morning when she wakes up. It is hard to come home for lunch, because she’s awake and when I leave, she thinks she’s coming too. When I shut the door and she can’t come, I can hear her disappointment plain as day in her cry through the door.

To give K a break, she gets to sleep in and I get up early with Punky and take her places before work. Am I exhausted? You bet your ass I am. But, I am helping my partner, the stay at home mom, and I am finding the only time I can get with my kid while I put food in her belly by working and making a life for her.

Whether she did it intentionally or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think she did. However, when someone pointed it out that her comments might be hurtful to working mothers, she got defensive and basically said she didn’t know why her comments could be construed as unfair.

That’s what broke my spirit. If you say things unintentionally that hurt someone’s feelings. How about we just acknowledge that perhaps you hadn’t thought about how things would be perceived.

I promptly left the group. Simply because if I said what I wanted to say on the forum, I’d make ladies cry. So, instead I post it here.

With my anxiety disorder, I take medication damnit, to regulate my mood and my anxiety, this kind of environment doesn’t sit well with me and it makes it very hard for me to function. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m certain I suffered from a small case of postpartum after having Punky and I already felt like a shitty mom, I don’t need anyone to help me think that about myself.

None of us need to have that in our lives. We are all mothers, doing the best we can for our kids.

And frankly, children learn from their parents, mothers in particular. Children teach their friends their habits. I’m not interested in bringing Punky into that kind of learning.

So, while I think that the mom’s group was beneficial for making a few great friends, I am not cut out to hold my tongue anymore about unfeeling comments made about other people’s choices and debates and Mommy Wars. I’m just not built to withstand the drama.

Punky Monster is Getting Too Big, Too Fast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barrettes.

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

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

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

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

Rachael