Thursday, June 30, 2011

And then she does this....

We took Kirsten to our local water park today for something different to do on this nice day. She had a great time splashing around and getting absolutely soaked in the big water park tree house.

But then it happened, she hit her wall.

She screamed, threw toys, threw other kids toys, and slobbered all over herself. When she has blotches all over he face from screaming so much, you know its time to go. We packed our things and started to leave when we noticed she fell asleep in the stroller. Being brave we decided to grab a spot under a tree and stay for a bit. She snoozed, we got a couple Coronas, and enjoyed the sun.

As soon as she woke up from her 45 minute nap she was back to being a little terror. We tried the pool again but no dice, she just really wanted to slobber and throw her little body into yoga poses on the grass. We were defeated so we packed up again to leave.

I stripped her down to change her back into dry clothes, and while standing on the towel, completely nude, she grabbed my glasses and did this....

Tell me something, how the heck can you be mad or frustrated with a toddler who is that funny?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

... and parents can be kids too!

We took Kirsten to our local amusement park, Kennywood, for the first time last week. It was a place we both went as kids and had millions of memories, so this was a big moment. It was a spontaneous trip, which turns out, are usually the best trips. There was a lot of room or error, taking a 1.5 year old to a huge park with loud noises and some rides that are much older than me.

We didn't expect her to be able to ride too much other than the merry-go-round. We were surprised that they allowed her on most of the rides in Kiddieland, and even more surprised that she ENJOYED it! My kid rocked that place. She loved the rides, even ones that turns and went sideways. She smiled from ear-to-ear and screamed "weeeeeeeeee" around every bend and turn. It was a really great moment. And she totally deserved the cheese fries with extra bacon for dinner (okay okay... honestly, I wanted to fries, but you can't go to Kennywood and NOT get the fries!).

Kenny Kangaroo!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting There is Getting By

Something that was not apart of our plan has come up and changed everything.

Since leaving my full-time assistant manager position I have devoted my time to being a full-time mommy to Kirsten. We realized I could not completely stop working, and landed a really amazing a flexible position at a store for a few hours a week. It worked. It worked great for us, Todd's schedule, and allowed me to be home with Kirsten.

But sometimes things just come up...

I love my job and the people I work with, and really feel at home there. I said from the start that they regained my confidence that retail doesn't have to be the disaster that my last job turned out to be. I could work for a good company and actually learn and move up... eventually. It took me a while to understand that retail was the place for me, and I think it really only took finding my right place to see that.

I expressed interest recently that I would be willing to move up if the opportunity came before me. We agreed that we would take things at a snail's pace. I liked the idea of easing into a job that would require more hours and more responsibility. That very day that we had the discussion, I get the phone call. The girl in the position above me has quit.

I could very well keep going with how things have been. I really liked staying home with Kirsten and being with her during the day, just us girls. I also liked having my release at work, somewhere to go that was just for me and doing something I was good at. I felt scared. I tend to take on more than I can handle because I am very much a people pleaser. Things go really well at first and I enjoy being constantly busy... and then it catches up to me and I feel overwhelmed. I didn't want that this time. I wanted my focus to be Kirsten and everything else would fall into place after that.

So how would this work?

Even though I am still struggling with being away from her a little bit more than before, and in the fall having to look for daycare, I know this is a good decision for me. Which is a super hard pill to swallow. It sits in my throat and nags at me constantly. Being selfish is hard to do when you have a terrific kid who you'd rather be selfish for. I love having her consume my life and I feel so proud when I take her places and do things with her. But I have to realize that its okay to be selfish for myself too.

I recently went to the mall alone for the first time since having Kirsten and I got my nails done. I loved every second of it, but I felt like I had something missing, like I had forgotten to put on pants before I went out of the house. I hated not having her with me. I hated having my identity taken from me. But I needed it, I needed that alone time.

So much like that, I need my own career. I love what I do and I'd hate to give up on something because I felt comfortable in what I was currently doing. It will be a slow process, and the hours won't be too consuming.

Baby steps, for all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Of course!

a story, just in time for Father's Day

We have been very lucky with getting Kirsten to bed and how well she sleeps. We are on no schedule of any kind, but when she's down, she down until at least 8am.

So the other night it was rather odd that she stayed up until 10pm. With Todd being home since school has let out her schedule may be off, so I really didn't mind it too much.

It was around 10:30 that I decided to go up to her room and crash the little party she was having in her crib. I entered the dark room and saw her curly fro pop right up. I silently picked her up and sat down on the rocker with her, something that I haven't done for months. We rocked, I sang songs from Kindermusik (I figured they would be soothing? I don't know too many slow Michael Buble songs), and she began to settle down. I laid her down, put her covers over her, turned on her Giraffe sound machine, and left the room. I was confident this was it. So I turned on season 3 of True Blood (season 4 starts soon!). But she just would not give up!

This time I filled her cup up with milk and rocked her while she drank. I changed the songs to Katy Perry melodies, in hopes that it would be like in the car when she gets drowsy and sleeps through all of my pop tunes cranked up loud. We was settling down again so I put her down, changed the Giraffe's sounds, and left the room.

Back to True Blood... (oh gosh who isn't so excited to see what will happen with Vampire Eric??)

But nope, not even "Pictures of last night; Ended up online; I'm screwed" could sooth her into a blissful sleep.

I decided this time I would trust what we did before when sleeping training her and would only run her back until she falls asleep. I rubbed and patted, and finally just left my hand on her back. I thought she was asleep, or at least mostly asleep, so I left the room.

I was almost to the door when I heard her stir. I stopped, turned halfway around, and that's when I heard it...

"Bye Daddy"

Bye Kirsten, Goodnight
(Love, MAMA)

Wordless Wednesday

For my amazing father....

and for the one that surprises me every day....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

GroVia Diapers - One Year Later

I started using GroVia (then GroBaby) diapers about a year ago when Kirsten was 5 months old. We used other cloth before that, and after being discouraged and burdened by all of the work, I almost gave up on cloth all together. On a whim I ordered these diapers, just to give it a try, and have never looked back since!

Thankfully they came out with new prints and colors recently, and have been working on making new products that are safe and environmentally friendly.

I bought Kirsten a few of the new prints, and really could not resist getting her the airplanes. Of course these are meant for boys, but who are we kidding here, they are TOO CUTE FOR WORDS!

Did you just die? Because I did when I put it on her!

I could keep going about how great I think GroVia is, and how someone who is hesitant about cloth diapering should give them a shot before giving up on the idea of cloth. They are easy to use and I have had ZERO problems with cleaning them. Most of my inserts, about a year later, are still stain free and as absorbent as ever!

The customer service is really amazing and have been there for me in a few pickles. Like the time the snaps stopped snapping or Kirsten's "sick" diaper stains almost ruined a whole batch of inserts.

One year later I am as happy as ever, and look forward to cloth diapering my growing toddler, using my adjustable GroVia diapers that will fit her little butt until she can use the potty.

Thank-you GroVia... and I hope every one is encouraged to give their cloth diaper companies a little hug sometime soon... they deserve it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

At the Zoo

We go to the zoo often. It is actually a joke amongst friends because it seems like we go a lot. But really, we have a pass and live 10 minutes away, so why not!

Usually if I go alone with Kirsten I try to make it through without having to carry her and push the stroller. We mostly visit the animals, eat lunch, then leave. But this time I got brave and took her out of the stroller a lot to see the animals up close. Previous trips it seemed like she barely saw the animals, or really had no interest. This time... she loved it!

Something that a place like the zoo teaches be each and every time is patience. It isn't easy to navigate an entire zoo with a 17 month old by myself. I see a lot of frustrated parents, and frustrated kids, and I always pass them and think, "I hope I never act this way." When in reality... I will. We all have our days and I can't judge them based on one small experience. My kid won't be good every time we go, nor will I always have the patience to deal with her in the 80 degree heat and crowds of people. But I hope I remember the fun days like these, when things were easy, and know that for every good day, we have a pretty kick ass day too.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Holding Hands

Kirsten has just learned how to walk while holding our hand. She does some independent walking but nothing that takes her from Point A to Point B. It is more, "oh this is fun!" and then she realizes that she can do what she always does (crawl) to her destination.

We discovered she can hold our hand and walk last week at the park. She went down a slide and I ushered her off of it by holding her hand, and she didn't let go! Normally she will bat my hand away, insisting she can do everything on her own. But this time she held on and took a few steps with me. It was one of the best moments I ever had with her.

She continued it a few days later at the pool. I stayed at the bar waiting for our check from dinner while Todd took her to the docks to see the boats. Her put her down and walked while holding her hand. I look down off the deck and see them walking, hand-in-hand, in the sunset. Again, magical.

I only just started holding her hand, and getting her to trust me to walk with her, when it all came crashing over me like a wave.

This happened....

We went out to dinner and decided to walk by the fountains afterwards. Todd held her hand and slowly walked her up to water as it shot out of the ground. She loved it. She shouted, "doggy!" as a big Pit Bull galloped through the fountain. It was a great end to a nice dinner.

Not wanting to be left out I took her hand and walked her around. My little girl, holding my hand, as we walked around in our pretty dresses. I loved it. And then a small girl with a pretty dress on came over. She was hesitant at first, but then I noticed her reaching for Kirsten's hand. She then hugged her, and we thought it was the sweetest thing. After a good "you are my new best friend" hug she reached for her hand again.

And this is where it gets me.

Kirsten took the girls hand and dropped mine.

Dead. Over. Heart smashed. I looked at my husband and he had a look of shock on his face. I was witnessing two things... Kirsten's first real friendship (even though it only lasted the moments we were at the fountain) and the first time she didn't need me anymore.

I spend every day with her. It is just us girls and I love it. We go shopping, to the pool, we watch movies, and I sneak her cookies before her nap. We have a bond.

Seeing her drop my hand made this whole "growing up" thing more real for me. Eventually this will be the norm. She will think it isn't cool anymore to hold her mom's hand. Or be seen with me. Or wear a pretty dress to dinner with me.

I was just hoping that day wasn't today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

(slightly) Wordless Wednesday

"Cancer sucks!"
Karen Wheeler

dear friend, and best cancer-butt-kicker I ever met

Photo taken after we completed the 3 mile walk for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure