07 November 2019

Stress

The stress of being a mom to two children has set in and I'm beginning to lose my cool. Vanessa has been such hard work lately. Not only does she require being held ALL day but she wants constant stimulation. She's just fussy no matter what and naps are my only relief but she's not a good napper. It's put me on edge with Natalie and definitely Matt. I feel frustrated with him that he's always in the basement working or that he stays up later and sleeps in later or that I am constantly juggling everything with the kids and homelife and he's always forgetting everything I ever tell him ever. With Natalie I lose my patience since I have to repeat myself to her 100 times and then get snappy with her for not listening, causing her to get snappy back, causing me to get even more angry. Add a crying baby and busy husband to it all and it's just a recipe for a strenuous situation. I don't get to get much done in a day and it's a struggle to even keep up with basic house cleaning and having a clean house is something that helps me feel less stressed and more on top of things. The guilt for getting upset with my children for being children is awful and losing my patience is something I can never take back. I'm so lucky to be the mom to these girl's though. They're amazing.  Natalie is such a mature and understanding girl. Last night I was apologizing to her for being so impatient lately and she said, "it's okay, I know Vanessa cries a lot and Daddy works all the time and you get frustrated, that's why I want to help out and watch Vanessa so you can nap." And she does. She does help out so much.  I would never put the responsibility of taking care of her sister on her but every day after school she asks to take the baby into her room and play with her. She'll have me give her toys, diapers and a bottle and she'll entertain Vanessa for a half hour or so. I'm so lucky and feel like a bad mom when I can't handle my girls.  Thank goodness for the forgiving nature Natalie has towards me.

04 November 2019

Countdown to 8

Exactly one month left of having a 7 year old! Natalie is such an amazing little girl. She's so funny and silly and clever and smart. She is also dramatic and whiny and negative at times, like all kids. She is the BEST big sister in the world, hands down.

I was lucky enough to attend her class STEAM party today and it was fun! I was glad to be at her school, seeing her class and being in the presence of her classmates and teacher. It was a good time.



31 October 2019

Halloween 2019

Vanessa's first Halloween and Natalie's eighth are in the books! Whew I'm glad it's over. It was stressful trying to get ready and things done and prepared before trick or treating and then it was challenging and stressful actually trick or treating.  Vanessa has been in a cranky mood, I know she's not feeling well but I don't know what it is. So she wants to be held even more nonstop than before, which is literally I cannot put her down for but 5 minutes before she yelps. Anyway Natalie had a good time. I promised her we could bake muffins, do crafts, order pizza and watch a movie in addition to going out around the neighborhood. I felt really rushed and pressured to get out of the house and go trick or treating though, because the weather was calling for intense rain in addition to a tornado warning. I struggled to get anything done today and when Vanessa finally took a decent nap I did too. When she woke up it was all high maintenance. We didn't bake muffins or do crafts (Natalie didn't even ask thankfully) because there was no time to. I took the girl's  around starting at 5 and it was a slow start since most people weren't even home. We visited my mother in law and Natalie got some special goodies from her and Vanessa got a teething toy. We met up with Nats best friend and some other neighbors and walked around. Soon the group grew and I was trying not to run the stroller into people. Vanessa got cranky and I had to carry her so my neighbor kindly offersd to push the stroller. Matt joined us after an hour or so and then we walked around for maybe 45 minutes before heading to his dads house where Natalie got a special card from him and one for my nieces who didn't  make it. Then we headed home, ordered pizza and watched part of A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Well Natalie watched it, that movie makes me feel sick it's so weird and I hate the claymation.)  Tomorrow is Natalie's school "character parade " and I am getting off early to attend that even though it's not a big deal. I know she would be disappointed to not have me there even though my mother in law would go. The things I do for her. Not that I mind getting off work 2 hours early, but I could use that money.  Oh well, some things are more important, even if Natalie doesn't understand I'm kinda going out of my way to do this.

Happy Halloween!




24 October 2019

Multicultural Night

Each year since Natalie started kindergarten her school has what they call multicultural night. It's a night for families to come together to share their cultural backgrounds with the community. This was our first year participating in the event and we brought all the Ukrainian culture with us!

Along with our project containing her paternal family tree and facts on the country, we brought pierogies for everyone to try that were made by the Ukrainian Embassy and sold at the Ukrainian Church in D.C. (the church Matt was an alter boy at as a child). Natalie wore a beautiful vyshyvanka style dress that was handmade in Ukraine (folklore believes the embroidery of crosses, especially in black and red on clothing protected against evil spirits that caused the black plague) and we brought a wooden replica of a pysanky (Ukrainian Easter egg) along with some other Ukrainian knickknacks to show. You could even meet and talk to someone who is 100% Ukrainian, as my wonderful father in law attended and helped us out with the whole thing! It was fun working on the project and teaching (as well as learning myself) about where some of Natalie's ancestors came from and parts of their story and culture and customs!


There were a ton of people like with all events at the school and it was a little overwhelming at times, especially with a fussy baby. Luckily my mother in law and her sister who's visiting town showed up and took over caring for Vanessa. My father in law was there to served the perogies he brought. He highly enjoys feeding people, so I think he was a little disappointed that the table next to us (Poland) was serving perogies too and were more forward with handing them out. 

Before the poster board gets lost or ruined, I'd like to document the family history elsewhere. Here's my father in laws parent's and grandparent's story: 

Paul and Catherine Matichok were born in Ukraine in the 1880's. It's unknown what year they arrived in America but Paul arrived first. Catherine came years later and never spoke English very fluently. They settled in Ranshaw, PA (115 5th Street) and had 6 children, including their 4th child, Anna. Catherine was a homemaker and Paul worked as a coal miner until a mining accident crushed his legs and left him handicapped. Catherine had to work odd jobs, like cleaning a restaurant for .25 cents while their large family also helped support them. (These are Matt's grandmother's parent's.)

Wasil and Eva were both born in 1890 in Ukraine. Wasil arrived in Ellis Island, NY in 1914 and Eva shortly followed. Their last name was something along the lines of Plyzlak before being Americanized to what it is today upon coming to America. They settled in Wilburton, PA (324 East 3rd Street). Wasil was a coal miner and Eva a homemaker to 5 children, including their 3rd son, Mike. (These are Matt's grandfather's parent's.) 

Mike and Anna were born 2 days apart in September 1920. They married February 15th, 1940 and settled in the same town Anna was born in. Like his father Mike was a coal miner. Anna worked in a t-shirt factory before having 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl. Mike fought in WWII and was captured by the Germans and held as a POW for several months. Mike passed away in July 1980 and Anna passed away 26 years and 2 days apart from Mike in July 2006. 

Robert Paul (Bob) was born in Shamokin, PA in December 1950. He begun a career early on as a brick layer. He met his wife Linda in high school and they married at the young age of 20 years old. Bob moved to Arlington, VA in 1970 and lived with his sister Carol for a couple of years before moving to Alexandria. He started his family of two boys and is now the proud Pap-Pap to 4 grandchildren!





















23 October 2019

4 Months

Happy 4 months, little love! Omg, this little girl makes my heart burst with love and joy. She. is. the. best. Every day is full of smiles and she is starting to giggle more each day. 

She had her check up on Monday and is growing well and seems to be on par with her milestones. Hell, she's even ahead of the game with the rolling from her back to belly. She's the youngest in her music class and one of the only ones who can do that. She is 15 lbs 12 ozs  (72nd percentile), 26.3 inches (99th percentile) and her head circumference is 41.3 centimeters (73rd percentile). At the 2 month check up I was concerned that her head measurement was slowing down but we're back where we need to be. 

She has begun making growling sounds, especially when she is starting to get a bit upset. She still drools like a faucet is turned on. One new thing is she has really been into is studying her hands in the last day or so. She'll have her thumb folded in between her middle and ring fingers and bring her hand up to eye level and look at it. She's still extremely gassy to the point it wakes her up at night. She sometimes cries because of it too. 

She tried pureed bananas yesterday for the first time. She didn't have a huge reaction to them, was just kind like huh, bananas. She is working on her career as a contortionist. Every time I put her in one of her chairs she bends in half and leans all the way over. Even though shes strapped in it still freaks me out a bit. Today she dropped a toy and leaned forward like she was going after it. Could just be coincidental. She is getting good at reaching for things and hand control. 

Her favorite book is Never Touch a Monster, a colorful, textured book our neighbors gave us. Her favorite song is Elvis's Love Me Tender. It always calms her down and she just listens. 

I can't get enough of her and she needs us like crazy. She still won't let me put her down during the day but we manage just fine most the time. 




16 October 2019

Belly Laughs

When Natalie was 3 months old we were lucky enough to capture her first laugh on video. Somehow we discovered that the zipper on one of her sleep sacks made her go nuts. Vanessa is no stranger to a giggle and she is certainly so smiley but I have been waiting for her to crack up the way Natalie did the first time she laughed. Today we got to experience as a family her infectious belly laughter. It was so sweet and funny. Natalie was home sick from school, we all have been under the weather actually. Natalie coughed and that made Vanessa laugh like crazy. I called Matt up from the basement where he was working and told him to videotape. I can't stop watching this, it's the best!

13 October 2019

Beam of Light

A year ago today I woke up feeling nauseous (after a few glasses of wine the night prior but not enough to justify feeling sick). I got a sneaking suspicion that I should take one of my many pregnancy test strips. I did and saw the absolutely faintest second line. I was so happy and scared of having another chemical pregnancy/miscarriage.

All that is history though and look where we are today with this precious girl who is a beaming ray of love and light!

She is just the best. She may require all my time and attention all day long but she is so loving and sweet. Her smile is the best feeling and I hope she never runs out of them. She has discovered how to get her feet in her hands and sometimes mouth. She must drool the equivalent of a swimming pool each day. She also learned to blow spit bubbles with her drool when she coos and she loves doing that.


08 October 2019

Bangs

When I was in middle school I impulsively cut myself bangs. They came out fuck up and it was really embarrassing. Well I recently impulsively had a coworker cut bangs for me and I love em! I'm really feeling myself these days in terms of looks and how I feel/who I'm becoming. 







06 October 2019

First Church Visit

Like I mentioned before Natalie has been asking me about attending church. My niece Bridget spent the night last night, so that you have them really put on the pressure to make sure I made good on my word about going. This morning we went to a service at a church right by my house. It is a small, cute little church. I thought I would feel a bit more awkward than I did but everyone was super welcoming and I didn't feel too out of place. It's been a long time since I have been to church and I was not raised in any certain religion. In fact, I have never been to church with my family. We were not religious at all. My maternal grandma however is quite religious. The times I have gone to church when I was younger were with foster families, or on my own with a friend. I lost my beliefs as I got older, but that doesn't mean I will prevent my daughter from exploring religion. I will gladly teach her as beat as I can about any religion she would like but most importantly I will try to teach her to be a good person whether she belongs to a congregation or not.




02 October 2019

Lessons

Update as of 10/5/19: Thanks to posting about the incident on NextDoor I found out who the woman is, last name and all. She's been crazy to others, though I didn't get specifics. She unfortunately lives right by the playground. Oh and he's something really fun, she's a client at the salon I work at. My sister even remember who she is from when she came in and said she's a weirdo.

I don't talk about it too much but I love the neighborhood I live in. We're close to family, it's a relatively crime free area, I love Natalie's school, she's got several friends who are our neighbors and there's a playground right around the corner. A playground we've been going to for forever that I've posted pictures at and talked about right here on my blog. A nice, safe place to be.


Well the other night some lunatic turned the playground into her own personal space to verbally assault me in front of my children. It was 20 minutes past 7 pm and the sun was set so it was dark. Natalie was having fun as Matt chased her around. I had just fed Vanessa so wasn't rushing them but we were wrapping things up. Out of nowhere came this middle aged woman who approached us and asked if we were leaving soon. Matt told her we were. She said, "Oh good," and the inflection in her voice pissed me off. She started on her way but I couldn't just let it be. I said, "Why do you care?" and she walked back, right up to me and ranted on about the playground being closed at dark and us being loud. I told her to get over it and started walking away as she shouted, "You can go fuck yourself, bitch!" I walked right back up to her and sternly said, "Do not talk to me like that in front of my daughter." She replied, "I don't give a fuck about your daughter!" I don't know what I said back but I lost my shit. She started saying more awful things, like telling Matt to "get your dog on a leash," It took EVERYTHING in me to not physically attack her. As I type this now my blood is starting to boil all over again. Matt got between us and told her off too. I don't know what all he said because it didn't really register to me in the heat of it all.

After everything calmed down and we were back home Matt told me he was disappointed in how I reacted. I tried justifying it to him but I ended up just saying, "you're right," and moving on. He is right. I set a bad example for my daughter by responding to this crazy person and I probably shouldn't have even said anything to begin with at all. I have flaws I need to work on, anger and reacting is one of them. Anyone can react with hate in that kind of situation. It takes a strong woman to walk away and keep things peaceful. I failed at teaching my daughter how to be a better person when faced with someone who is intent on causing drama.

I hope to get my problems in check and become the best version of myself for my children. I am grateful for seeing my faults and the things I need to work on. In time I do hope to be able to not even be phased much by people who are dicks. Or to just be able to respond with composure and kindness. I want to be able to say I wish the best for the woman who verbally assaulted me and that I hope she gets help and works on herself too but seriously, fuck that bitch. Maybe her lesson learned will be the hard way when she curses out the wrong person. 



25 September 2019

Daughters Day

I have no idea who decided it, and I would have no way of knowing without social media, but apparently today is National Daughter's day. I made sure to confirm by Googling at as well. That's how you know it's not a totally made up holiday. 

I celebrated by taking the girls to the bookstore, playground and then out to dinner like we usually do on Wednesdays with Matt's dad. I also snapped this amazingly cute photo of the girls.

 I know I say it non-stop but I really am so lucky that I have these precious children. I feel like they are best friends in the making, despite how completely opposite they seem to be. They look completely different. Personalities are different so far too. Vanessa is super smiley and Natalie was always very serious as a baby. Their sleep habits are different too. Natalie was always very hard to get to go to sleep, but was a deep sleeper. She would go to bed late (not because we wanted her to) and sleep in very late. Vanessa is much easier to get to go to sleep, but is an extremely light sleeper and wakes easily. She goes to bed earlier and wakes earlier too (partially because of our schedules but she just doesn't sleep in like Natalie used to). They really do seem to be made for each other though. Vanessa loves to be entertained all the time and Natalie loves to perform so it makes my life that much easier. :) 

I love these girls so much and what a treasure having daughters is to me. 



23 September 2019

3 Months

Starting when Vanessa was about a month old I started having "baby fever" again. I know that sounds absurd and if I were someone else and heard that I would think the person feeling that was a bit looney. 

It was just so sweet and the best feeling having a newborn baby and I felt the sense of "I want more." 

That feeling has dissolved. In fact, I can't really picture balancing life with 3 kids. My two girls keep me busy enough. On top of that, Vanessa demands loads of constant attention. She is becoming quite high maintenance. Lately if she's not being held she will just fuss. She really just wants to be held and walking around all day long. Sometimes even if I'm holding her I can't even sit down without her cranking.

All this is on top of her being a challenging sleeper too. She naps so much better if she's strapped to me all day. If she isn't being held the absolute longest she will nap is an hour. Sometimes it's only a 15-20 minute catnap. When she is cuddled up with me she will sleep up to 3 hours. I enjoy the long naps but I can't get much done. But I am not complaining! Long naps are so welcomed. At night she is still waking about 3-4 times. I think we may be working our way to consistent 3 hour stretches of sleep per night though (knock on wood). 

I weighed her and measured her so I'm not sure how accurate it was but she's around 14 lbs and 24 inches long. 






22 September 2019

Window Shopping

Usually weekends are reserved for doing family things, all four of us together. It can be a huge challenge trying to allot time for yourself, your partner, and your children individually. Vanessa gets plenty of one-on-one time with me and is probably too young to truly appreciate the undivided attention I give to her all day. 

Now that football season has begun again, Matt is content just hanging out at the house on Sundays and watching that. I have to let him have his down time too, even though it's so not my preferred way to spend the day. Anyway, I decided to use him watching football as an excuse to take Natalie out, just the two of us.

She is such a perfect mix of sporty and girly. She will play sports all day long and loves a physical challenge, but she adores shopping and accessories and girly things. I love that. 

We mostly window shopped but I did buy her Dippin Dots ice cream, something she has been wanting to try for a while now. We walked around the mall for about three hours, and I'm pretty sure she would have loved to keep going to a few more stores. One really fun thing that she got to try was a virtual roller coaster. She paid for it with her own money that she made selling lemonade and that my father-in-law gave for one of her silly monthly birthdays, and she said it was worth the money. It was $20 for maybe 10 minutes but she said she would have paid 50, even 100.

We went to a jewelry store and Kate Spade, and she checked the prices of everything. She is such a price conscious person. She will ponder a buying decision and weigh her options to figure out what gets her the most bang for her buck. Not that I was going to buy her anything in any of those stores, I just think it's cute how she will see the price tag of something and say, "wow that's super overpriced" or "oh, that's a pretty good deal." My mother-in-law tells the story of how when Natalie was little and they went to the Dollar Store Natalie asked, "Mam Mam, where's the clearance section?" because everything being $1 was a bargain enough.

 Another thing that was really funny to me was she asked me what they sell at Victoria's Secret. I told her underwear and bras and she said, "oh I thought it was-" and then I jokingly interjected "secrets?!" She laughed and said, "well they kind of are secrets, because no one sees them." She is just such a fun, funny, silly, sweet, smart, witty little girl. 

We had such a good time together and she was in a great mood the whole time. Even when we got home and I had to repeat myself asking her to do things, instead of getting sassy that I got frustrated a bit she was apologetic. 

I really truly hope that her and I can always remain close. I fret about how things between us will change as she gets older and becomes a teenager. I know she won't always want to spend so much time with me, and I'll certainly be her last choice to hang out at the mall with one day. I just really want her to be able to talk to me and know that I've got her back and will love and support her no matter what.









21 September 2019

Soccer Mom


Natalie had her first soccer game today and did awesome! She passed the ball, scored a goal and had so much fun! 

I volunteered to bring snacks for the team and felt like what I brought was frowned upon. I heard someone comment on how the chocolate granola bar things weren't great for a hot day. It's true I guess and it wasn't what she said but the condescending, snarky way she said it. You better believe if I had a rude ass comment to retort with I would have. It just reinforces why I start off the year hating everyone and why I don't have any mom friends. I'm way too sensitive about this but I did something nice and thought the stupid organic bars I brought along with the popcorn would appease the stuck up crowd. It wasn't candy or potato chips so fuck off. Also, I'm poor and spent $20 on snacks, that's over an hours worth of my life in pay.

Anyway, my parents and niece showed up to the game and I appreciated that! We then went back to my folks house for lunch and Natalie played and played with her cousin. Good day, even though I let a small remark get to me! I think I'll look into purchasing a little pop up shade for future games, it was hot and shade was scarce.





20 September 2019

Picnics and Religion


When Natalie was a baby and toddler I used to pop her in the stroller and take her for walks down to the waterfront. We would spend hours outside on beautiful fall days. I miss that like crazy. It actually makes me a little sad that those days with her are gone. Yesterday the weather was amazing. It felt like the perfect fall day. I took Vanessa on her first little picnic down to the water. I fed her her bottle while I ate a deli sandwich with one hand. We didn't stay too long because she was starting  but it was so nice. I wished so much Natalie could have been with us. I really think it sucks how many days a week school is and how many hours long it is too. If I thought it were the best thing for her and I was qualified enough I would highly consider homeschooling. 

One thing she asked to learn about out of the blue tonight was religion. I said goodnight to her and left the room and a few minutes later she asked for water. Then she randomly said, "I want to go to church!" So I agreed and asked what made her want to go to church. She asked me exactly what church was. I told her it's where you go to learn about God and the Bible. She agreed and asked lots of questions. I tried my best explaining the logistics of religion and how there are different versions of the same religion and how most religions believe in one God but aren't the same, like Muslims and Christian's. She asked if there are only two religions (Muslims and Christians). She asked how you become a certain religion and if you have to go to church every week or if you can skip it and if you have to go to church to be religious. I told her no, it only matters what you believe in your heart and you don't have to go to church a set amount of times. She asked if once you decide on a religion if you can change your mind and become another religion instead. She also asked specifically what Christian's believe and I tried my best to explain but I just don't know the hard specifics. She also asked if you have to pay to go to church or if it's free. I. Love. This. Girl. I told her we can go to church together and learn more and she can learn about all the religions and choose one if she would like. It makes me really happy that she's taken an interest in this. I would love for her to learn about different beliefs and cultures. 

Tomorrow is her first soccer game. I'm excited but it's pretty lax and informal. She had practice today and was pretty miserable at it. She said it was boring. She doesn't like the hard/non fun part of sports, she just wants to play the game/perform. I only signed her up for the fall season so if she doesn't like it when November is over then she can just stick to playing it recreationally. 







18 September 2019

12 weeks

Yesterday Vanessa and I took our second music class together! We had a good time. She was perfectly content the whole time up until class was over and she wacked herself in the face with a rattle. She made her adorable cry face and let out a little wail but was fine by the time she was upright in my arms. After class she smiled at another mom who told her she had pretty eyes.

We did the babies class this time and I felt a lot more comfortable with the younger age group, just because I wasn't the only one at risk of a little time bomb going off at any second. All the babies were chill and even let out a few squeals though. I really enjoyed it and look forward to next class.

One thing about class that really struck a chord with me is the instructor mentioning how her mom was a music teacher and would sing to her all the time. Her mom was sadly murdered a few years ago by an absolute lunatic who was a stranger to her. He knocked on her door and shot her when she answered, completely unprovoked and no personal ties to each other. It just made me so sad to think about the heartache the instructor went through in losing her mom and how I'm sitting in class so lucky to have my baby and be here, alive, singing to her. I don't know, I'm not really articulating my feelings about it well.

Yesterday was also back to school night. I really didn't feel like going and honestly could have skipped it. It wasn't very informative or eye opening. The only thing I learned is how homework will be different this year and that they'll be taking an ass load of tests in 2nd grade. I always start the school year feeling like I dislike everyone for some reason. It takes a few months for me to warm back up to things.

Natalie seems to be doing pretty well. She'll tell me she's sad to go to school but doesn't put up a fight. She was so damn cute and sweet this morning when I went to wake her up. She tiredly said, "I can scratch your back" and began straching. (Scratching her back is something she loves me to do.) Then she asked me if I was cold. I said, "a little tiny bit," and she said, "then here's a little tiny blanket for you," as she covered me with her fuzzy blanket. Next I asked what she wanted me to cook for her for breakfast and she replied, "what's the easiest thing for you to make because I don't want you to work too hard." Omg that little girl! Freaking melts me. Another sweet thing that happened last night was me telling her about Vanessa bopping herself in music class and Natalie got so upset. She started crying and telling me how she didn't like that her sister got hurt. I definitely didn't expect that reaction or I never would have brought it up. I didn't make it into a big deal or horror story either. I just casually told her about it as a cute thing that happened, laughing about it. She is extremely sensitive to getting hurt or others getting hurt but I assumed since she knew everything wa perfectly fine it wouldn't be a thing.

Vanessa has been a bit more high maintenance and fussy the past couple days. She is so dang restless at night and just not sleeping in as long. Today she was wide awake at 6. It's fine because I get up at 6:30 and honestly am usually awake the rest of the day starting at 5 when she wakes for a feeding a squirms around for an hour and a half. I really think some teeth are coming in in addition to her having a slight cold. She is the drooliest and gnaws on fingers and teethers all day. She still only naps when I hold her and only wants to be held when she's awake. It can be challenging to do anything but luckily I don't have much to do. I'm actually writing this blog post via my phone while she's strapped to me snoozing.

My back does start to hurt carrying her weight around all day. I try to go for walks in the morning and look for things to do and errands to run with her. I was feeling somewhat under the weather yesterday but feel a lot better today. It felt like I was coming down with a cold. Right now I'm a bit tired but I can never nap during the day. One other thing going on with me is how my menstrual cycle has changed after baby. It comes every 2 weeks now and is a lot heavier. It's not painful just extremely annoying. I email my doctor but was told it's normal.

Well my fingers are tiring and baby is stirring so you'll have to hear more about my gross bodily functions later.





13 September 2019

Music and Soccer

Another week is gone just like that. I suppose we're getting settled into more of the daily routine of things, at least for the mornings and getting Natalie ready for school and there on time. After school is alway unpredictable with play dates and family stuff. I love it though. I love switching up what we do.

This week Vanessa and I took a music class together. It was definitely more for me to get out of the house and have something to do but I really wanted something new for her and I to do together to bond too. I'll be honest, I felt pretty stupid at times doing the dances and movements while singing cheesy songs to such a little baby who wasn't all that engaged. She did sit quietly in my lap/arms almost the whole 45 minutes until she got hungry at the end and fussed a tiny bit. She did coo loudly when we first got to class and the older kids banged on the drums. She also smiled at another mom who I had to hold hands and rock with. I'll tell you, Natalie made me a big softy and now Vanessa has turned me to mush.

Natalie will be starting soccer next week! I'm so excited for her to be part of a team. I'm a tad nervous, because she can be really competitive and want to be the star of the show, so we'll see. I casually asked her last night what she thinks it means to be a team player. She talked about passing the ball to other players and having good sportsmanship. I was pleased with her response. We'll find out soon!

Something else we talked about last night that broke my heart was safety drills at school. She was telling me how they are going to practice walking to their designated safe place during school and how if someone mean enters the school and is trying to hurt them they'll barricade the classroom door. She told me if that fails then they'll throw chairs at the person and she said "that's reasonable" to do if someone is trying to hurt you. I felt like I was punched in the gut hearing my little girl talk about such a horrible scenario that is all too real.

On a lighter note, Vanessa and I got to visit Natalie at school for lunch this week! Boy was it overwhelming in that cafeteria though. So noisy and a lot going on. I feel bad for the staff who oversee the kids but one lady sure has gotten mean this year compared to last. I try not to be too critical because it's not my job to redirect 100 kids, a lot of whom are disrespecting me and not following directions. I am considering asking the principal if he would like me to create a parent sign up for volunteers to come assist with the older group of kids to help relieve some stress for everyone. I'm not sure if he'll think that's a good idea though and don't want to overstep my bounds by making that suggestion. Like I'm insinuating he's incapable of his job and figuring out a solution. Or maybe he doesn't feel like there's a problem at all.

I'm glad that Natalie has gotten a bit more used to school and is making new friends. She is having a playdate with someone tomorrow and told me about someone else she befriended today during their safety drill. I look forward to seeing how soccer goes and what kind of things Vanessa will be interested in when she is older. I foresee she is going to be on the more creative side and be into the arts more than sports. Whatever my little girl's are into I hope I can nourish those interests and be part of them.




06 September 2019

Cynicism

The first few days of school are done with and tomorrow is the weekend! I seriously look forward to that so much. I'll be off Saturday and Sunday. School is actually the reason I started alternating Saturday shifts, so I could have more time with Natalie since she wouldn't be my sidekick all day anymore.

Now I've got a new little one glued to me all day. Vanessa is so damn sweet. She is non stop smiling and cooing and it melts me. Last Friday she learned to roll from her back to belly two days before the 10 week mark. She's also gone on the swings at the playground while strapped to me and down a slide when she was sleeping and strapped to me at an indoor playground.

Sleep is still all over the place. I can say she will sleep between one and three hours a night. She is still so gassy and wiggles around in discomfort at night. I'm holding up pretty well though, especially with having to get up around 6:30 with the school schedule. Natalie on the other hand has a harder time waking and she is grumpy about going to school. It's not because it's a bad school or experience, it will just take some getting used to. She has had play dates each day after school so far.

I encourage her to make new friends since she was bummed none of her best friends are in her class and she told me she has enough friends already and isn't going to. Man is she stubborn. I also think she is beginning to rebel against me and all authoritative figures as she is quite often combative and contrary. If I tell her to do something or make a suggestion it is the opposite of whatever I say. She can also be really negative and dramatic and says things are terrible or awful or the worst thing in the world... ugh. I can't help but feel I am to blame for a lot of her negativity. I am not always the most optimistic person and I think that gets projected onto her at times. I am not mean to her or anything like that, I just have a negative attitude about various things and she has probably picked up on that. Or maybe she is just a 7 year old cynic. Who knows... I am starting to realize I need to be more upbeat myself since that is how I want my children to be. I am just so skeptical of the world and so untrusting and always assume the worst. I don't want my kids to be disappointed in life and I don't want their hearts to get broken by false expectations, so I tend to make sure Natalie is aware of the less pleasing side of reality. Example, and I am glad I caught myself before saying it, but there was a boy who Natalie really can't stand who she was anxious would be in her class. He is just mean and apparently called her a bitch to another kid last year and she heard it. Makes me so mad. Anyway, he ended up not being in her class and I was so happy and she was too. I almost was like, "Well keep in mind there might be other kids you don't like in your class this year too," and then I thought, why does she need to think about that? Her anxiety was just relieved and here I am about to put that worry back in her head because I don't want her to get too comfortable with the idea that everyone will be nice. She will learn that in time. And I hope I can teach her to see the good in people despite their flaws.

I have a some flaws to work on in myself, clearly. Change is hard but necessary. I want to raise my girls to the absolute best of my ability and I know I can do better. I am a very happy person inside and need to do a better job portraying positivity even when I feel cynical about life.

03 September 2019

2nd Grade

 It's so bittersweet watching your little ones grow big. I am so unbelievably lucky to have these children in my life. I can't believe Natalie just started 2nd grade today. She was so excited and we all went to drop her off. I was going to walk her into class but she changed her mind on that at the door because she saw a friend in another class going in without his mom so she walked with him.