Sunday, October 28, 2012

Remember yesterday how I was shitting rainbows, puppies, and unicorns about motherhood? Today, the universe decided to laugh its shit-eating-grin head off, say, "check this out!!, and the devil's spawn was my child's replacement.

Today was a smattering of meltdowns. talking back, sticking tongues out (her, not me), demands, and just plain nastiness. She told me she didn't like me a few times, which is what every parent wants to hear, and even threw things at me when I was trying to change her clothes this morning. On top of the lovely behavior, there was no nap which means by this time of the evening (7:50pm), I feel as though I must have done something truly awful in my previous life to deserve this, even though I don't even believe in reincarnation.

So. It was the worst day we've had in a very long time.

And there, my friends, is the bi-polar part of motherhood. Days like this will make the most sane person question where the hell their mind has gone, and my sanity has always been questionable.

But, then she says things like this to break up the day:

Me: Lily, you look so cute today!
Lily: No, mom. I'm not cute. I'M AWESOME!!

Or, from last night:

Me: Lily, what do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor? A fireman?
Lily: I want to go to school to be Scooby Doo.

So, you have to love them despite the occasional demon possession. I guess that's kind of the rule.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This is what I do with my "mama day", talk/write about my kid. I guess that's what moms do.

My {sometimes} awesome husband decided to give me a well-deserved mama day, after he received a lot of not-so-subtle hints. I just needed a break. He has been working on a few side art projects and so I have been in single mom mode for about a week and a half. Although I did get a night in a hotel this week for work, but a non-working break is in order today.

We are gearing up for Lily's 4th Halloween, which is by far the most exciting Halloween to date. She is excited and we have two costumes, one for tonight's little party at a friend's pre-school, and one for Halloween night trick-or-treating. She understood it last year but this year she can anticipate it and look forward to it, which makes a world of difference. She is also starting to talk about what she wants from Santa, so I am SO excited for Christmas this year.

I had to write a follow-up post about her previously discussed's gone now. She's doing amazing in both gymnastics and soccer. She really enjoys them both now which put this mama's mind at ease. I swore that I completely fucked her up for life, passing my issues onto her, and this was going to be the beginning of a very big battle with anxiety. Then I realized, that is just MY anxiety talking. I'm sure we're going to have some challenges with new environments but now I know that she will overcome her fears, just like we ALL can.

She is genuinely coming out of her shell. She really prefers soccer but I think that's just because she has taken a shine to "Coach Taz", a flamboyant, young, fun man who Lily just finds fascinating. She talks about him at home often and keeps saying we have to invite him over to play.


Right now I'm living the life that I imagined motherhood to be. I really love this age and want to truly freeze time. I might have said that before but I didn't mean it. Now, I mean it.

Newborn and infant phases are for the birds, in my opinion. And I'm not even going to justify what I'm saying with a "It's a precious time, sure", or "It's a miracle to watch your little one grow, sure" comment. No. I'm sticking with "it sucks" and I really hated not knowing what I was doing during those phases. I knew as soon as Lily hit the 16 month mark that toddler > baby. I could have done without the terrible two's and early three's, but there has to be some bad, right?

Now? It's amazing. She's growing into a personality. A person. A kid. It's entertaining and engaging. There are most certainly challenges that I did not foresee pre-motherhood but this is more of what I envisioned: social calendars filling with kid activities, humorous conversations and banter, the "why" phase (albeit annoying, it can be funny), the "I love you's" and heartfelt comments and questions from an innocent, naive being. This stage is defining motherhood for me. I love it.

And no, I will not be having another, so please stop asking me, complete strangers.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sometimes I just love being in a hotel room. I really love hotel rooms. Even when you're in them for work, it can still feel like a mini-vacation. They're especially fun when you're a mom and you're checking into the hotel room without child. That might have been a bit of a confession, but if you're a mom, you get it. Home is a place of work when you're a mom, even if the kid is asleep. I love home, I do, but hotels can be nice once in awhile.

They also give me time to blog.

I don't know that I can really catch up on two month's worth of Lily. She is changing so much everyday. This age is really great, I can say that. She has less tantrums, her sleep patterns are a bit more predictable, she understands so much that conversations are fun and interesting, and she is overall a sweet personality.

She did FABULOUS on our 18 day trip to Costa Rica. She really loved it there and still talks about it everyday. And each night I ask her "what do you want me to tell you a story about tonight?", and she always replies, "Fletcher's house!!", who is the friend she made while we were there. She has asked for a "Fletcher's house" story every night for the past 4 weeks. She knows how the story goes, even when I try to switch it up, she will finish it for me.

She was truly well behaved in Costa Rica and we saw such a change in her while we were there. She learned to play with sticks and rocks, danced in the surf, played in the pool. She had some of her technology, yes, but she just melded right into the laid back lifestyle there. It was so much fun.

With all of that good, there is bound to be a bad. That bad right now is anxiety. Major anxiety. She is not fairing well in organized activities. We had her in swim lessons in August for 4 weeks and then she started gymnastics and soccer in September. All of the above cause her a ton of anxiety, including crying hysterically and stomach aches.

When she first started this, my first gut reaction to this was to cry. Aside from feeling sympathetic to how she feels when she's anxious and wanting to take that away, I wanted to cry out of guilt, as though I did this to her. I am the one with anxiety so this is clearly my fault. But, genetics are a bitch. She is what she is, as my mom says. She did come from me so she's bound to have some of my negative traits.

Before I had Lily, I had these unrealistic, euphoric expectations that my child would have a balanced combination of all of my redeeming qualities, as well as Dustin's: his calm demeanor, my organizational skills, his athleticism, my generous spirit, etc. Apparently, that's not the way it works.

Lily just has a hard time in a big group and she does not like to be told what to do. She absolutely hates following she cries and wants to leave. Then she gets anxious about going to the next session of said activity. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's a whole lot of dialogue that Dustin and I have to go through almost on a daily basis. It goes something like this:
{A few days prior to gymnastics} Lily: Mom, I'm all done with gymnastics??
Me: Nope. It's on Fridays and today is Tuesday. Few more days!
Lily: Noooooo!! I don't want to go. I don't want to go upside down!!!
Me: I understand, Lily. I know that going upside down scares you. Miss Debbie will not make you go upside down.{validation of feelings} But, you're still going to go. {pushing through it, trying to show her it isn't scary, not giving into irrational fears}
Lily: Nooooo!!!
Me: {Changes subject}

Then, the day of gymnastics, it's more of the same, starting when Lily sees her leotard. During gymnastics she cries so much and barely participates. It's flat out disruptive to the other ten little girls that are having fun and NOT crying. She'll only stop crying if the teacher gives her one-on-one attention.

It's very frustrating, exhausting, and it makes us very sad that she's not enjoying these activities.

But this too shall pass.

And, as her parents, we have to give her a break. She is still relatively new to all of these organized sports activities. When she went to gymnastics last year, Dustin had to be in the gym with her, because she was under the age of 3, and she loved it, so I have hope she will learn to love it again after she gets over being with her peers without parents. She's only been to gymnastics four times in four weeks, so it is still new. Soccer has only been twice and thankfully, she did really well today, on her second time.

The upside is that she will learn coping mechanisms early in life to deal with such anxiety. She's young enough to mold behavior and help her learn that these activities don't have to be scary. She will learn to deal with being in an uncomfortable situation and work through it, realizing that you WILL make it through and it can be fun.

It's always an adventure...and a learning experience.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

So, how do you discipline a three year old, exactly?
This age is so interesting to me. Lily is nothing short of hilarious, even when she's being bad. Everyone keeps telling me "Make sure to have a consequence for wrong doing...and follow through!".
Ok, so, she spits her chocolate milk because she thinks it's funny. I warn her twice to stop, the third time the consequence is no more :::ipad, movies, pool, treats, etc.:::::: for X amount of time, or the rest of the day even.
Her response?
"I don't want my :::ipad, movie, treat, pool, etc.::::", with the proverbial devilish grin, and continues undesirable behavior. I follow through with my threat and she follows through with her ability not to give a shit.
It's interesting.
I'm really at a loss in those moments on how to discipline. I always knew discipline would be tricky. THAT is one thing I was kindof-sortof prepared for with parenthood. I did not expect it to be so funny though. I cannot help but laugh when Lily says something snarky right back at me or Dustin. I don't let her see me laugh, of course, but it's funny.

One thing that she does that really irritates me, but, again, it's funny, is when she does the "dead man float" out of water. Does that need elaboration, or do all kids do this? So, it's when I'm trying to get her to do something: take a bath, go potty, etc., and she doesn't want to go.... so she plays dead. Her whole body goes limp and she even closes her eyes. I'll attempt to get her on her feet and she is just dead weight. I literally cannot lift her when she does this and she just lays there and laughs. I cannot muster any verbal commands when this happens because, again, I'm laughing at her creativity.

Sigh. Toddlers.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm trying to keep up with blog. I know I will regret it if I don't. This is my memoirs of my only child and my sole purpose is so I can do two things, 1.) let Lily read this someday if she chooses, and 2.) laugh at myself someday when Lily is WAY more challenging, as in the teenage years.

Speaking of teenagers, I read the term "Threenager" on my friend Christie's blog and that is a PERFECT way to describe the age of three. It's much more challenging than two. I'm sorry to break it to my friends with children younger than three, but it's true. Someone wrote in an article that "three is two... with intent", and it's so true. Three year olds are much more calculating, manipulative, and determined. And much more hilarious, which I'm assuming, is what God throws in there to make this all worth it. Emotions run high at this age. It can be downright scary at times...but, it is such a time of learning and exploration, so much different than that of a younger toddler, so it's fun.

Recap from the last couple of months:

"The happiest place on earth" is what they all say. I have to argue with that. I mean, if walking around in 100 degree humid heat, waiting in lines for hours, paying a ridiculous amount of money for food, tickets, and souvenirs, watching kids melting down everywhere you look, and battling copious amounts of people is what the happiest place on earth is like then I would HATE to see hell. Ok, so I'm obviously not a fan of theme parks but I have to say every single second of heat and crowds and every penny was worth it. We had a blast.
We took her the week before her 3rd birthday. It was so fun to see her reactions and all the excitement on her face. She was so excited that she didn't sleep well the night before which made for some really interesting tantrums throughout the morning but she did really well overall.
My favorite tantrum story of the day was her meltdown on It's a Small World ride. It was her first ride ever. There was no wait at all. As we're walking onto the boat, Dustin picks her up to help her since she almost fell into the water trying to do it herself. Apparently, it was one of those "I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF" moments and she freaked the hell out. She threw the biggest tantrum for the first five to ten minutes of the ride. Everyone was staring. Classic moment. Then, this sweet lady with two older children turned around and gave me one of those looks to say " I so know what you're going through. Just breathe" and then looked at Lily and said, "Hey, you can't cry on It's a Small World! It's supposed to be happy" and then proceeded to try to calm her down by pointing things out to her. It was all to no avail but sometimes the kindness of strangers reinstates my faith in people. Lily did calm down and did enjoy the rest of the ride. I've never seen her eyes so big.
She got to meet all of her favorite characters and got their signatures in her autograph book (with the help of daddy since we forgot the book when we saw Mickey and Minnie). We only rode a couple of rides since meeting characters was much more important, but it was all perfect.
We spent the night in a hotel, which was a first for her. So, after waking up at 6am, not napping, and being completely in love with everything in the hotel, especially the elevator (or alagavater, as she called it), she finally fell asleep at 10pm, in bed with me, which was also very interesting. It was certainly a very memorable couple of days.

A couple of months before her birthday, I asked Lily what kind of party she wanted. She vacillated from Curious George to Rio to Up to Minnie/Mickey Mouse. I was super excited about the "Up" theme...but then I realized that it was her party, not mine, and as she became more insistent about the Mickey/Minnie thing, I had to go with it.
I decided to DIY a lot of the decorations, thanks to Pinterest. I made Mickey Mouse plates out of small and large black paper plates, dipped strawberries and marshmellows and covered them with Mickey Mouse sprinkles, and even make Mickey shaped rice krispie treats. No one ever told me that DIYing does NOT mean it will be cheaper. I think I spent more on this party than I did on her first and second combined. Everything did turn out the way I had imagined though and Lily seemed to really like it.


{banner by Paper Lullaby, my friend Shel's company. Love her stuff!}

{Cupcakes by Auntie Kiki, who should have her own business!}
{Cupcake topper designs by my husband, Designs by DN}
 {My daughter was lucky enough to have 2 homemade dresses for her party. Dress #1, compliments of Jessica.}
{ Dress #2, compliments of my friend Cori.}
{And yes, my child had a black eye on her birthday from tripping at Bop's house. It's genetic.}
We hosted around 40 guests at our clubhouse in hopes of a pool party. Of course, true to Lily form, she wanted nothing to do with the pool and was so fixated on her gifts that nothing else mattered, not even cupcakes. 
So, I made the ultimate mistake of allowing her to open her gifts. With 9 other toddlers in attendance. I apparently missed the memo that the reason why parents wait until guests are gone to open gifts is so that bar fights don't break out amongst the children....because that is exactly what happened. Lily received a play golf set from her "Uncle" Nick. Very cute, simple toy with 3 plastic clubs and balls. Well, the clubs soon became weapons and there was a lot of crying involved. Lily couldn't care less because she was onto opening her next gift, but, I won't be making that mistake again. Toddlers are scary. 
This was one of the bar fights. Lola and Gema fighting over golf clubs. Notice Ty on the far right using the club as a bat. He loves baseball. 

It was a really fun party and went by in a blur. She got shy when everyone sang to her but proudly blew out her own candles. She chased her friend Lola around the most, since my child loves to just be one on one, and was so happy the whole day. We didn't get any videos this year. I'm not sure what happened to my brain on that one. All of the DIYing got to me, I think. 

On her real birthday, we celebrated quietly at home with a homemade dinner by Bop and cake by mommy. That was a fun, relaxing day. 

Lily now:
- Is in the "why??" phase, which I have always dreaded, but it turns out that it can be kind of entertaining. 
- Can count to 20.
- Can count up to 20 objects when asked "how many _____ are there?".
- Swims with floaties.
- Is in a fearful phase of things like slides.
- Is asking about going back to school.
- Loves playdoh.
- Continues to recite commercials and movies.
- Loves to jump on anything that can be turned into a trampoline.
- Continues to be a tomboy and wants nothing to do with anything princess-like.
-Has a fantastic memory and remembers every.single.promise. you make her.
- Loves old school cartoons like Tom & Jerry, Scobby Doo, and Chip & Dale.
- Is fully potty trained but can be so stubborn about pooping in the potty. 
- Continues to get compliments on a daily basis for her "classic hair".

I know I missed updating a lot but daily life just slips by. I can't believe just 6 more weeks until we leave with Lily for 2 weeks to Costa Rica. I'm starting my prayers now for that trip.
More to come...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three years ago, I was calm.
I was at peace.
I was ready.

I've talked about how motherhood has thrown me for a loop over and over on this blog. How utterly unprepared I was for this challenge and this life change. But for labor and delivery? I was ready.

Going into my 38 week appointment felt different. I had been feeling really awful that week but being my first experience with pregnancy, I chalked it up to being... well... pregnant. I was so fatigued that I could barely function, I was nauseated all of the time, and I was so swollen, as in abnormally swollen. Walking into that appointment I was 99% sure that things with me and baby were just fine. But that 1% would just not shut the hell up and I had this irritating voice in my head telling me today was not any normal, average day.
Soon after 3pm, it wasn't just the voices in my head talking, it was my doctor sending me to triage telling me that baby needed to come out. My blood pressure was climbing and my pee was apparently pissed off. I had pre-eclampsia, which was a condition I feared my whole pregnancy.

On the ride to the hospital, I was nervous but by the time I got to triage I was collected and calm. And I stayed that way. It was the most calm I've ever been. I didn't have a birth plan or even an overnight bag with me. I had no expectations or preconceived notions. I did not over-thing or analyze. It was almost a euphoria. I was certainly worried about Lily's well being, knowing what pre-eclampsia can do, but I knew this was it. I was going to have a baby. I felt meant for it. I was in the moment and I was present.

As the hours passed, the pitocin dripped, the sitcom re-runs with canned laughter played, and the epidural failed, my mood didn't waiver. I had a handle on this labor thing. I was focused on the task at hand and just waited on directives from the medical professionals.

At almost 4am when the nurse said, "It's time to push! You're ready to go.", I was tired, but I was ready. There were moments in that hour of pushing that I was certain my body would not get through it. My medical condition was wanting the best of me and I was convinced that passing out was in my near future but somehow, I was still calm.

At 4:45am on May 15, 2009, my baby girl arrived. She was flipped upside down, tore me a new asshole, and wreaked havoc on my body...but she was there. Healthy. Wailing. Pink. Perfect.

Although the following 10 hours were full of intravenous (legal but should be illegal) drugs, staying in the Critical Care Unit by myself, hourly blood pressure readings and blood draws, I had done it. I created a life and she was healthy and thriving. I was proud. Lonely, being without her, but proud.

I was over come with emotion when I saw her for only the second time at almost 7pm that evening. I had a baby in my arms. She was mine and she needed me, her mama. It was like I knew her for a lifetime, yet she was a stranger. She made so much sense to me even though this whole experience was so foreign. She made me a mom. She made me stronger than I've ever been. She gave me courage that I didn't know I had...and she was only a few hours old.

Thank you, Lily Ocean, for teaching me so much. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me how to love. I love learning so much from you. I am one lucky mama.

Happy 3rd birthday, sweet girl.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Holy shit, my daughter is a comedian.

A story.

She's sick. She has a REALLY runny nose, sneezing frequently, low grade fever, chills, cough, the works...but she's a trooper and in a good mood.

I gave her a really steamy bath complete with the humidifier tonight. She was happily playing, standing up, and she sneezed. With that sneeze came huge snot rockets out of both of her nostrils. You know, the kind that hang past the chin looking like, well, something out of an animated movie.

Now, in order to appreciate the rest of this story, you have to be familiar with the movie Rio and the character Luiz the English bulldog. In case you have no fecking clue what I'm talking about, watch this clip, most importantly from about :41 to :46...

Ok, so you noticed where Luiz the dog is drooling and says, "I got youuuu goooooood!!"?

Back to the bath, my kid leans over with the snot rockets dangling past her chin and says, "I got you gooooood!!", then looks at me and says, "I'm Luiz, mom!! I'm drooling!!".