A Changed Life

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Just a quick write as, well, it’s been six months. It’s crazy as I think about writing all the time, but trying to get the “time” to do it tends to be the issue.

The biggest update is that we have a new addition to our family.. Devin! He’s been a dream baby and Jackie loves being a big sister. I really can’t complain about much right now, although I’m fairly certain I’m done with the Toddler-dom. I’m sure I’ll look back and say I wish I was back there again, but she’s actually tougher to deal with than the newborn.

But, we do enjoy her, she’s becoming more of a young woman every day and I love hearing her budding vocabulary and growing sentences πŸ™‚

More soon I hope but I at least wanted to get something on here to update.. lots going on this summer and into the Fall.. it’s not like I’ll have a lack of topics to write about πŸ™‚

Things Can Only Get Better

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I always amaze myself, even if it’s only a few days, in how much I fret and have anxiety over things. Although I do “learn” every time a new event arises that causes said anxiety, I always tell myself “no, this one is DIFFERENT.”

Current example is my daughter moving into a “big girl” bed a couple weeks ago. There’s so much that has gone on in the last couple weeks where I should have written, but it always felt like I didn’t have the energy.

I did post questions about this in a number of different places and got some great advice, but I just didn’t bother to put it here for some reason.

In any case, I thought the “move” would go much easier. My daughter has always been a great sleeper (please don’t hate me other parents) and she was excited about the new bed, but there were SO many change factors that I really wasn’t conscious of how it would affect her.

It started with my husband being sick, but then it was having to continue with the switch as Thanksgiving weekend was the only weekend to really get most of it done. Although I’m glad now it happened, I felt so guilty that my husband was doing it all while sick (painting, moving furniture, etc., etc.) that I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I did what I could as far as running to Home Depot for paint and other items and keeping Jackie busy, but I wanted to do more.

The initial stage was completed and we were happy–but Jackie was not. Why? Well, I didn’t think about this ahead of time, but here were all the factors:

  • Her Dad was sick
  • New bed (we didn’t convert her crib)
  • New room
  • New room looked entirely different due to painting
  • Bed in different place
  • New sheets
  • Room not completely done
  • Most of house in disarray where she couldn’t get to toys
  • Our full bed (her initial “big bed” that she called it) had been taken down
  • Mom anxious

Wow. If I had made this list during this project, I probably could have calmed down. Any normal human being would be a bit challenged by all of that, but then take a kid who only knows her same environment for as long as she’s alive.. well, that would freak anyone out.

The first couple days were hard and she was basically back in the crib, but luckily she liked the bed and the room. It was just hard to get used to. Then I got the brilliant idea to move her stuffed animals in there and some toys like I was going to do anyway. That helped, like 50%. I was happy, but it was still tough. At around day three,Β  I was able to get her to take a full nap in the crib.. SUCCESS! But the main issue was: when could we get her out of the crib officially and out of our room?

We were sleeping with her in the same room now and I thought this would go on until we had to leave in another week or so. I just didn’t know what to do with all of this regret, sadness and anxiety, but I kept moving forward.

After a couple days, I wrote my mom’s lists, talked to friends, and got some wonderful advice. I felt better and now had some tools to work with. I brought out my trusty “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” book that hadn’t been opened in a year and a half, and that was helpful too, but still not helping the situation 100%.

After talking to my husband, he had the idea to sit in the room with her until she fell asleep. I was VERY leery about this as so many people told me not to do it at all as then they expect you to be in there and you are back at square one. But I let him take the lead on this one, as I was getting somewhere with the naps, but not overnights. It was time to pass the torch.

That night Jackie slept thru the night in her own bed and didn’t get up once! Joe was in there for almost an hour an a half, but he calmed her down and she felt comfortable enough to sleep. But the big question was, would it continue?

We were highly successful on naps, which was great, and continued our own methods for the overnights. Last night, which I believe was night 7, we had success. My husband put her to bed, she only came out once and then she was out.

During all this time, I had also been playing with the length of her naps and activity during the day. At least it was all becoming clearer.

So now, we have a solid plan, her room is almost fully completed, most of the house is liveable and I’m not anxious anymore. As with all of these things “this too shall pass,” but as I’ve been telling everyone.. I get it, but WHEN??

I guess there is no answer to that and for the next big transition I just have to remember that it will pass and we will work it out. I just have to keep my mind in check when it fast forwards weeks and weeks of misery and it hasn’t even happened yet!

For those that are reading this and I’ve reached out to you, THANK YOU for your advice, kind words or just checking in. Although this wasn’t a huge ordeal, it could have been and I’m thankful that I’m not ashamed to ask for help. This is definitely one place where I have grown throughout my years and thankfully it allowed for some great success this week.

Onward and Upward!

Life without our Bird

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This weekend I got a major dose of reality regarding how I feel about my daughter. She’s basically part of my soul now.

I knew I had a major connection with Jax, but it wasn’t until my husband and I had a “staycation” this weekend (thanks to Aunt Babs) that I got to actually FEEL that connection.

I missed her from the minute we dropped her off. She was only to be about 5 minutes away, but two days without her was now feeling like an eternity. Don’t get me wrong.. I’ve had afternoons and probably up to 8 hours away from her, but it was the special times like waking in the morning, naps and putting her to bed that caused me some pain. My heart was heavy with sadness, like when I was in my 20s and broke up with someone. I never thought I would feel that pain again. Although it obviously wasn’t the same context, it definitely was the same pain.

My husband and I had fun hanging out, celebrating his birthday and sleeping in, but honestly, I was waking up at the same time those two mornings and just going back to sleep. The place was quiet and other sounds around the house made me think of her.

This entire expeirnece was one I partially expected, but not at this level. Although I was sad and wondered why I was putting myself thru the stress, I also am so fortunate that I have this type of love in my life–unconditional. And, it was great to reconnect with my husband. It had been over 2 years since we had an entire weekend “alone,” and by today (Sunday), I was actually getting used to our “old life” again πŸ™‚

Picking up Jax, though, was fun and exciting. My heart raced as we drove to go get her. My husband and I were both overflowing with joy. And then to see her, she was excited too wanting to show us all the drawings she did during the weekend and then giving us hugs. She even said “I missed you Mama.” Fairly amazing for an almost 2.5 year old.

I’m glad I had this experience, but wondering what other vacations will be like without her (if we choose to do that) and if it’s even worth the stress. This was such a wild experience as it really took me this long to fully bond with her. I’m not a “baby person” I always say, and although I loved her dearly as she was growing, we had done a few overnights without her and I was just fine. A bit choked up initialy, but nothing like this weekend. I literally lost it the first night and sobbed for a good 15 minutes.

My little Bird is spreading her wings these days. She’s still two, but getting very communicative and independent. It’s cool to watch, but daunting too. I’m wondering if I can keep up with her learning and growth. All I know to do is take her lead and I’ll be fine. I’m just glad that she had a blast with Aunt Babs this weekend and I heard there were no tears. I hope she stays that happy forever.

“Still They Ride” always reminds me of kids and their freedom. I always think of myself riding my bike fast down the road with no care in the world, and as I wrote this, all I could related this song to was Jax.. enjoy.

Crazy, Wonderful

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This weekend was a whirlwind of stuff to do centering around our family, but it was all good. It turned out probably better than expected so I can’t complain. It’s nice when life works out that way πŸ™‚

Saturday, we headed to the Little Sprouts Open House. This is a pre-school that is opening a location over the hill from us, literally. I have been contemplating schools for Jackie for the fall. I wanted her to be in some group and/or curriculum based program to see how she would do in that environment. I’ve also reached a level where it’s going to be tougher and tougher to keep up with her (but more about that in a future post).

That went very well on Saturday as DH and Jackie’s “Aunt Babs” came along. Jackie took to the rooms very well, played with all the new toys and I got to talk to a lot of the administration (again). I’m very happy with the school and worst case is I could take her out of there after a few months, but I don’t see that as an issue. We can’t lock in a Fall spot for a bit as they open this week and they also have summer enrollment. I did speak with the Executive Director and she told me she may be able to let me know about Fall next month which would be GREAT and a huge weight off my shoulders. *Fingers Crossed*

 

Sunday, we had our holiday photo shoot. I had made the appointment about 6 weeks ago as I wanted the same photographer that we’ve had several times. Got a call from the manager last week saying that they had overlooked the note in the schedule and I may not be able to get her. I told him I was disappointed in that response, but would do whatever we had to do to make it happen. Ended up that not only did we get Jai, but she sat with me to pick out the photos AND gave me an amazing deal! VERY happy with the outcome, as Jackie was not having it when we first got there. It was amazing she got so many great ones.. case in point of why I wanted Jai.

Today we had a beautiful morning in the fall sun at the park and playing in leaves. I’m getting to the point where I LOVE Mondays as it’s a “down day” for Jackie and me. We don’t have classes on this day, so we are not runnning around in the morning and we can take it easy to get outside. It’s fun, relaxing and stress-free.

Soon I will get in the habit of just uploading my photos the day of so I can post one here, but for now, you can just imagine a beautiful, sunny, Autumn day in New England with the yellow, crunchy leaves on the ground and a little two year old running around, smiling and laughing without a care in the world.

Enjoy!

Down with the Sickness

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So much for blogging daily.

My entire family has been sick for what seems months. Either allergies or just a full blown head cold, I can say, this is getting old.

So of course when I set a new goal to blog daily, BAM, we all get sick. I was doing OK after about 24 hours and thought I kicked it quickly, but this nasty thing grabbed a hold of me Monday and I was in hell. It’s sad to say you’re doing worse off than a toddler. I literally couldn’t get myself out of the house to DRIVE to the park. Oh yes, it was bad.

Luckily after that 24 hours I was much better and thankfully, almost a week out, I’m about 97% there.

On top of all that, Jackie has been showing us a few new things we haven’t expected. For about 4 days now, she doesn’t want to sit down in the bath and cries that she wants out. This is a kid who has been a fishΒ  since birth. We think it’s due to a scrape she had on her knee and that it may have stung a few days ago when she took a bath, but she’s not at the point to tell us.

My husband said that it could be her ears. Since she’s been sick for about 2 months (or really just a runny nose and low grade fever last week), it’s possible that her ears may be a bit clogged, but not infected. She’s not showing any signs that she’s in pain and is generally in good spirits during the day. She even is happy to get ready for the bath, but when we go to put her in, she cries. She’s also been complaining about things being “too loud” lately. She has great hearing but this is a bit over the top.

We think she’s remembering that her knee stung the other day, or if it is the ears, she ‘s afraid to lay back (she floats on her back in the tub) as she’s been putting her head almost all the way down to get her hair wet. I did some research last night and most people say it’s a phase, which I’m really hoping, as she has loved the water so much and it’s been tough to get her out.

I have noticed that there’s a lot of change going on right now with her. Her language exploded yet again in the last couple weeks. She’s really able to let us know what she wants and how she’s feeling (with exception to this issue). She’s trying to do a lot of stuff on her own to show to us and herself that she can do it. So all of this may be just a growth spurt in a number of areas. I just wish it was a bit easier to figure out.

Our two biggest projects that we’ll be taking on very soon, however, is to get rid of the paci and potty training. Both of these have been going on for several months, but nothing hardcore. I stupidly tried to deal with the paci situation the day I was really sick = BAD IDEA. When I wouldn’t give her the paci for nap, she literally cried and screamed for an hour.. ONE HOUR. I couldn’t believe it. This kid definitely is her mother’s daughter. And I have the audio recording to prove it. I realized that this was not going to be an easy task and it’s actually hard for me too. Not becasuae I don’t want to put the “baby phase” behind me, but because I know she’ll suffer a bit. Knowing that life gives us enough to suffer about, why start now? But she’s also acting older than she is and still has a paci to sleep. It just doesn’t make sense.

She’s also not old enough to really say “now let’s give your pacifiers to a baby that really needs them”. She’s not there yet. So it’s really just about going cold turkey. I’ve done research on this as well and most parents say that their kids cried for like 10 minutes and just went to sleep. Yeah, right. I’m trying not to be pessimistic, but it’s hard to hear her plead and cry over something that is really a small thing. But I also know, that this is the time that she really needs to find her own strength to deal with upsets. Although I know we, as parents, are here to protect our children, our main purpose is to teach them the coping skills to lead happy and successful lives. Although this may sound like a small thing, I do find she is addicted to it when she’s upset. And, good news is that we have worked with her and she can calm herself down without it (and we’ve acknowledged her for that), but SHE really needs to get that she did it on her own for it to stick.

The potty training has been going well but we haven’t been full force on that either. I did get some good ideas from her Isis teacher today which gave me some hope (just some other structures to put in place to help all of us), so that will be happening soon. I don’t want to bring on too much all at once as it will all backfire, but all I can say is that I’m learning on the job as well.

I’m just glad she’s happy, fulfilled and having fun. Although sometimes, it is hard to be Two.

Writing About Writing

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It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written here. I just posted on my personal blog and linked this one. As I came over to determine if I wanted to change the look and such,Β  I saw that I had about 8 views in the last 15 minutes. That told me I had to write something πŸ™‚

There’s so much that has gone on since April of this year with my family, my daughter and myself and I’m not going to even try to rehash all those things, but let’s just say they will come in time.

For now, the small updates these days are my daughter just turned 27 months and is a true toddler. I love this age and love her to death. She’s funny, smart and independant. I’ve been waiting for this age since WAY before I had kids.. even before I even thought about marriage. I just love that toddlers are more like “little people” and you can finally communicate with them in a way you both understand. I know I will miss this age a lot as time goes on, but for now, I’m doing all I can to enjoy her. We go to three classes a week, the park quite often and I’m teaching her a bit of Spanish. She still signs when she really wants something and I find that extremely cool.

She loves her routine (just like mom) and our weeks are quite fun. I’m finally getting to the place of saying that this is better than work. That in itself is a great thing πŸ™‚

 

However, as I wrote in my other blog, I do recall why I stopped writing. I had gotten a HUGE energy spike earlier this year from finding other local bloggers and mom bloggers. I went to a few events, as I wanted to see if I could actually have a “job” writing blogs. Although the events were OK, I wasn’t blown away. I met some really great people, but unfortunately, none of those people were really using their blogs for monetary use. Most had just started (a lot like me) and didn’t have the monetary part as an end goal.

As with many things I’ve done in my life, I got very frustrated after putting a lot of energy into something and when it didn’t work as quickly as I’d like, I give up or pull away. I could probably go back into my calendar and look at when the last meeting was and when I stopped writing to find the correlation.

It’s no one’s fault other than mine and I guess that needed to happen. I have other things I like to put energy into and places where things (or people) take my time. This is a choice, but I always think I can take on a lot for a small amount of time. Usually that is not the case.

So for now, I’ll be back just writing about my life and what’s going on, my opinions and thoughts on things. I do love to write, but when I lose the context of why I love it, the frustration happens and I “quit.”

But, for the 10th time, maybe I will take on a game to write daily, either here or on my personal blog, to see what shows up. It’s worth a shot πŸ™‚

American Idol, Pia and the Buzz

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I knew there would be a lot of buzz today about Pia getting voted off Idol last night.. well, more than a lot.

I just read a few blogs on this, but this one made me head over here to blog.. and fast.

A voting problem? Well, I can’t say there isn’t, but in my opinion, America may have gotten it right again last night. At this point in the game, the weaker contestants will be gone 1-2-3. That’s what happened to Thia and Naima last week. America got it right. Thia was just getting eaten up by the show and the competition. In her case, her age got her and Naima just wasn’t a “fit” for the show and I think a lot of the viewing population didn’t “get her.” I did, but 40 somethings are not a large population of viewers. Would I have loved to see her win or get farther? Sure. But was she one of the best singers, no.

I do have to say that last night was a surprise for me, as Pia was destined to win the thing. I mean, look at her. Perfect body, perfect voice, singing since she was four, comfortable on stage, articulate and great fashion sense. Here’s what I think happened.. and it’s what the judges always say.. song choice, song choice, song choice.

Last week’s theme was “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” She had hundreds of songs to choose from. But what does she choose? A Tina Turner song that even I wasn’t familiar with, “River Deep – Mountain High.” She sounded great, but it was boring. She didn’t do anything with it, not many people knew the song (except maybe Randy) and I knew she’d be in the bottom three the next day. Was I the only one?

Here’s Tina’s version:

Fast forward to last night, it wasn’t a huge surprise to me that she was in the bottom three with that song. The deal with this season is at least they found really talented singers, but now they are stuck with ALL of them being amazing. There are some that stick out as “better,” but it’s all about the song choice and if they end up having a good night that night, or if they’re not sick, or “_______.” At this point, unfortunately, it will be a popularity contest. We’ve already been warned (as we are every season, every week) to be sure to vote for your favorite as no one is safe–no one.

I now feel like I’m getting a small glimpse into Simon Cowell’s mind and really seeing his reasoning on choosing some people over others during try outs and in Hollywood Week. In past seasons, it’s been obvious that there were amazing singers that didn’t get picked and we all wondered why.. well.. we now have the answer, or at least one.

I think Simon was always looking at the show, numbers and what would have people continue to tune in. He was looking at the big picture. We may not like that context, but in the end, this is a TV show. With the new judges, minus Simon, their context was finding the best singer. Was this wrong? No. But their view was smaller. I don’t think they were looking at the show.. they were focusing on the kids and getting them a record contract.

Good or bad, we are now “stuck” with 8 extraordinary singers. I love hearing each of them sing and finding out what they will bring to the table with arrangements, but as we move farther along in the show, I think they all may be a bit tentative in bringing uniqueness to their performances. Why? They’ll want to play it safe. All of them know any of them could win this. If Pia got voted off, anyone can. Especially since deep down inside, I think each of them knew that Pia would win it all.

I was waiting last night for someone to give up their spot. It’s never happened before. But in this case, one of them should have. You can’t tell me that Jacob or Paul, for example, think they can win this on vocal ability. Don’t get me wrong, their voices are unique, but they are not American Idol winners (sorry to those that are huge fans). I’m a huge Casey fan, but he would be the one I could see giving up his spot. He already almost left the show, he was feeling guilty that the save was used on him, it would have been perfect TV.

In the end, he was going on tour anyway, he’ll have a record contract either way and he would have left as a name that no one would forget as he gave up his spot for the better hopeful. Just perfect.

But that didn’t happen.

I’m wondering what the producers are saying right now. Ironically, I just went to the American Idol website and they don’t have the banner on Pia’s picture that says “voted off.” Makes a girl wonder.

Many have said there’s a major issue with the voting process on the show including the blog link I shared above. You can vote a number of ways and as many times as you want pretty much. There’s people who are haters of the show who have a contest where they vote for the WORST singer to see if they can stay on the show. Although there will always be those people, if there was a limit on how many times you could vote (other shows have that rule in place) I think it would end up a bit more fair and accurate.

But for now, there’s no way they will change any voting structure until next season. It wouldn’t be fair to the past contestants and it would show some sort of “failure” with the Idol voting process in general. And we wouldn’t want to show the reality of this on a REALITY SHOW would we?? Wow, do I smell lawsuit on that one.

So in the end, I’m shocked, but not floored about the Pia departure. The song wasn’t the best choice, she veered away from what she does best (ballads) and got sucked into what the judges kept telling her. What she should have listened to was America and their fast fingers. All those other weeks she was in the game, then she changes it up and she’s gone.

To the other contestants, I say this: “Follow your heart and gut. You know what’s right.”

Needless to say, the show has an interesting twist starting next week and for that alone, people will continue to watch. Oh the drama! American Idol, how I love you!