Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Summer weekends make my heart so full and happy.  The bright mornings, long warm days and cool nights are just perfect.  Add in family, church, friends and food and it's even more of a perfect combination.  This weekend was just that, a perfect combination.  Dance on Saturday morning, dinner with family Saturday night, breakfast out before church Sunday morning, Sunday school, Church then beach and a cookout with friends. 

I pray that this summer is full of  having a house full of family and friends, sweaty, filthy, sticky kids from playing hard and eating too much watermelon and too many popsicles, piles of dishes, chats with friends, playing catch and easy bedtimes.

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Photo Dump

This is how we spent our Memorial Day morning.  My father-in-law passed away in 2008 and was a veteran of the Vietnam War.  We go to the Veterans Cemetery every year to pay our respects to all fallen soldiers but this year was especially sentimental because it was the first year Olivia sort of understood what we were doing.  We explained that this is where Daddy's father is and that he's in heaven now with Jesus.  She looked at my husband so sincerely and said "Daddy what happened to him?", we told her again that he passed away and is in heaven and she said "aww Daddy I'm sorry." which sent us all into emotional overload. 

The best thing we bought for the summer was a zoo pass!  We've already used it a bunch of times and Olivia never gets sick of seeing all the animals.  This time we brought her Auntie Melanie whom she adores and we all had a great time. 

When did she become such a big girl?  Swinging "super higher" on a big girl swing...just in her diaper of course since it was so hot and muggy that day. 

Olivia is obsessed with sunglasses and has about 5 pairs.  These are her new favorites!

My little ballerina.  Her 1st dance recital is coming up soon and we can't wait! 

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stacy's Story - 6 months later, a follow up.

I hope you all read this post that Stacy wrote discussing her struggle with postpartum depression.  Here's a quick follow up to show how just a normal morning routine gone wrong can bring back the fears of PPD again.  She's such an amazing mother and I truly admire her courage to share her story. 

Stacy, thank you.  I'm honored to be your friend, that our girls are friends and that you're strong enough to share your story. 

Stacy's Story - 6 months later, a follow up.

Monday morning. It’s raining. Penelope already knows she will not be able to go outside at school and is not happy. Leo spit up all over Froggy (his lovey toy that he cannot sleep without), which I have to wash in the sink cause we don't have a washer and dryer. Bill is switching jobs (again! Poor guy just can’t catch a break), and I had a headache all night resulting in a very fitful sleep. Needless to say it is not shaping up to be a great day.

I get through half a cup of coffee before realizing I left my phone at the dance studio yesterday. So let’s get everyone dressed, nobody matches and Penelope’s pigtails are crooked, throw the rest of Penelope’s cereal in a baggy, grab a soggy Froggy, and away we go.  

Quick stop at the Laundromat to throw Froggy in a dryer. I pull up in front. In the fire lane and leave the kids in the car. I am in and out in under a minute, but still-really, Stacy? Then it’s across the street to the dance studio.  Throw up a quick thanks to the Lord above I have a key and that everything in our lives is in close to home. Grab my phone and print a new food stamps application since I didn’t complete our recertification in time and I have to apply all over again. Leo is on a mat on the floor, but of course he rolls off and is screaming because he hates being on his stomach.  One would think this would be incentive to figure out how to roll back, but he seems to prefer screaming.  Penelope meanwhile tells me she is pooping. I have no diapers.  We are heading to daycare where they have everything, so I don't usually carry a diaper bag in the mornings. Oh, and now the computer is frozen.

Coats back on (did I mention it’s raining?) back into the car, poopy diaper and all, back across the street to grab Froggy out of the dryer. Penelope doesn’t want to get in the car. I scream at her to just get in and sit down (as if she can put herself in her car seat). Leo is still screaming, guess he was hungry. Well, I don’t have a bottle either. No diaper bag remember? Somehow we all get to our destinations-daycare for them, work for me.

I get to work feeling awful and I tell a friend about my morning. She asks, did you follow your PPD rules? I say yes, but 6 months later I should be able to have a better morning than just following my PPD rules. She says two things-first, 6 months is not a long time, and second if you follow the rules it is a good day, remember? She's right. I am, once again, too hard on myself. Not a great morning, but a good morning. And that will have to do.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Not my finest Mommy moment.

Do you ever question the kind of parent you are? The kind of mother you are being, the kind of mommy you want your child to remember? I talk with friends, my husband, my mother, overanalyze every decision, word choice, action, reaction, discipline etc until I just can't think about it anymore.

Olivia is in the middle of her 2 year old tantrums, she's not like this all the time. We have mostly good moments and good days but the times when she's misbehaves it seems like it snowballs from there and after working all day, parenting alone (my husband and I work opposite shifts), cooking, cleaning, trying to fit in exercise and play time I'm on "E" by the time 8 pm rolls around.

The days are long, I want to make the most of the sunlight but sometimes I just count the minutes until bedtime... Then, when she's asleep I can barely pull myself out of her room because of the guilt. Oh the overwhelming guilt I feel for everything. For wishing away the last 30 minutes until bath and bed. For raising my voice at her over typical 2 year old behavior. For not apologizing when I'm out of line. For asking her to play by herself so I can have 3 minutes alone and some personal space. For everything. For my words, my tone. For her apologizing to me for something so toddlerish that I shouldn't expect her to know better. 'I’m sorry mommy' are the most heartbreaking words. There's this fine line that I dance on all day long - being sure I don’t over discipline and at the same time not raise a brat. Balancing when to stand my ground and when to give in. Wondering is she going to hate me? Fear me? Remember her childhood as good or bad, happy or sad?

This weekend was a busy one. We were on the go since Friday morning and didn't stop until yesterday afternoon. Between grocery shopping, helping some good friends, dance, church, dance recital pictures and errands we were out of the house all weekend except to sleep. Olivia was giving me a hard time last night preparing for bedtime and my reaction wasn't my finest mommy moment. I was tired and frustrated and still had a bunch of things to get done before starting my work week. Her going to sleep was essential to me having a few moments to myself amongst the craziness and it just wasn’t going smoothly. She knew I was upset and then she said it. "I'm sorry I made you mad, Mommy."

I immediately started crying. I stopped what I was doing and scooped her up, hugged her tight and apologized for being mean. That is exactly what I was - mean. Mean to my little girl who was just reacting to her crazy busy weekend in the only way she knew how. Me, the Mommy, I'm supposed to be her safe haven, her soft place to land, her security when she needs me and I'm the one who's acting like a child by reacting, rather, overreacting to her typical 2 year old ways.

We hugged and kissed, I apologized only a million times, we prayed and she told me she loved me in between the giggles since she doesn’t know how to hold a grudge. I put her to sleep, left her room and went to bed myself. I couldn’t get her little voice saying those words out of my head. I felt and still feel horrible.

I prayed so hard for forgiveness last night. He entrusted my with this beautiful little angel and what was I doing? I know we all have moments like this. I know I'm not alone which is comforting but last night was different. I'm so afraid to break her little spirit. I pray that I learn to embrace all the little things that go wrong and realize that it's just part of life that they're not make it or break it moments.

I need to slow down, let things happen, understand that everything won’t always go according to my plan and most of all remember, she's only 2 and I'm only learning.