23 March 2021

21 Months

 I know 21 months is a bit of an odd age to be doing an update for. Just like 19 months was. But I find it challenging to actually get on here and put my thoughts together and talk about life lately. For the last year I have slowly changed. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, it’s like I just don’t give a fuck about anything. Not like my family or hygiene or anything like that. I’m not in too deep of a funk. I just feel really blah and like I don’t care about what anyone thinks or about anyone besides my family. It has its ups and downs. For a while I was super grumpy and just the sight of other people made me annoyed. Taking Vanessa to the playground would be stressful because I usually get overwhelmed with crowds and other people suck at watching their own children. It makes me nervous that older kids are going to knock her over or hurt her in someway. She also has been a bit of a challenge and tends to have meltdowns over seemingly nothing. I am a bit concerned about a speech delay in her. She tries to say just about any word we ask her to but only says maybe 30 words that are clear. She doesn’t put two words together yet either, another huge concern at her age. She does understand so much of what we say though and will follow directions and try to communicate, so I’m not super super worried. She has also been hitting me and laughing about it despite me sternly telling her no repeatedly. I guess she thinks it’s a game or just lacks the understanding that it isn’t okay, something else that concerns me a bit. Sleep wise she is still waking up several times a night, though I think she might be going longer stretches. She knows her colors really really well. She can recognize some letters too. She has counted to 3 by herself before. 


Natalie isn’t doing great. She is not back at school and virtual learning is a daily struggle. She just doesn’t want to do it. I have a feeling it’s not just the virtual aspect of it, I think she’d be giving us hell if she had to go into the building too. She just wants to play and do what she wants all day, who doesn’t? It isn’t just school that’s the problem though, we are met with sighs and huffs and puffs and a whiny attitude no matter what we ask of her. We did start doing a “book club” where we read together most nights. She doesn’t like reading despite being a good reader and I thought this would be a good way to entice her to do so. She seldom actually agrees to read from our books though unless I tell her I’m finished and too tired to. I do it at bedtime because she’ll do anything to put off sleeping and I knew that would be a good way to get her interested in books, even if it is mostly reading to her. There’s still a great benefit to being read to and she is learning new words and opening her mind up to new stories. It’s been a great bonding experience for us as well. The first book we read called So B. It was made into a movie many years after being published. We watched the movie for our “movie night” a couple weeks ago (after finishing the book) so that was neat to see how the two differ. 

Overall things are fine. They could always always be worse so I try not to bitch and moan too much. I’ll so lucky to have my children and husband and health and house and so so much more.



31 January 2021

Snow Joy

 Today we got our first decent amount of snow in a couple of years. Both girls had a great time sledding down the hill in our front yard!






23 January 2021

19 Months

 Man, time keeps getting away from me. I tell myself month after month I'll write a post on Vana but just never feel like. There are so many cute and sweet and funny things she does that I know I just have to document what I can before it slips my memory forever. 

And being honest I feel like my brain is slowly deteriorating. My memory just is not as sharp as it used to be and sometimes I fumble with my words and sound like an idiot when talking. 

Vanessa is a big, healthy, happy girl. She is in the 99th percentile for height and weight. 29 lbs 15 oz and 34.5 inches at her 18 month check up 12/29/20. She still doesn't sleep though the night (and the sky is blue) and usually takes 1 nap a day for 1.5 hoursish. Sometimes she amazes me with how long she can abstain from sleep. She'll go to bed late, wake up early and then not nap the whole day. I know Natalie was just shy of 2 years old when she stopped napping so we'll see if V gives them up soon. 

Vanessa is so lovey and cuddly. She is so good and cooperative. When she needs a new diaper she will ask (after pooping only) and then lay down on the floor for us to change her. When it's time to nap or go to bed she willingly goes upstairs and sometimes even says nap although it isn't super clear. She is a great communicator even though her vocabulary isn't very broad or clear. She understands what we say and makes herself fairly clear most the time. 

She loves to dig. In the sand, in dirt, in rocks, in mulch. 

She loves to get cozy with a blanket and pillow. 

She loves putting on everyone else's shoes and trying to walk (something my niece Bridget used to do). 

She loves Little Baby Bum and Curious George.

She will ask for items by color. Like she says yellow when she wants to watch Curious George and will say blue for a snack in a blue bag and such. 

She knows most major colors though sometimes gets certain ones confused. She knows red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink and black. 

She loves teddy bears and kitty cats. Particularly one pink teddy bear at home and one brown one at my MIL's house. 

She has an Eagle's hat she enjoys wearing. Something my FIL gave to her. 

She loves to color and is pretty good about keeping it on paper. She has gotten crayon on the walls and rug.

She loves playing in the sink/water. Sometimes she will dump a bowl of water out of the sink and that's when play time is over. 

When she does something she isn't supposed to she will put her hands over her face and close her eyes. 


She is just so sweet and perfect!!! 











22 January 2021

A Better America

 Happy New Year!...(?) We didn't even last a week into a fresh start on the calendar before a disastrous shitstorm hit. This time it was an attempted overthrow of the U.S. government because Trump supporters (aka a fucking cult) are FURIOUS that Trump lost the presidential election. Instead of accepting the absolute truth based on what we the people voted for, they let Trump feed them lie after baseless lie. And they ate that shit up. So they attacked the capitol building while congress was certifying Joe Biden as president. They stormed in there with zip ties and weapons and even murdered a police officer. One woman was shot and killed by authorities for trying to break into the last chamber where the politicians were secured. Of course people dare to compare the failed coup to protests and riots over the summer over racial injustices but that's just because those doing the comparing are right winged racist dickheads. 

Anyway, it feels like a great weight has been lifted. I am probably being dramatic in saying this but it feels like a 4 year war has ended. Of course our problems aren't going to go away just because Joe Biden is now (thankfully) president. But not having in power a hot headed, bigoted, sexist, racist, xenophobic shit stirrer riling up his neo Nazi fans is a great step in the right direction.    

Another great step in the right direction: we have our first female vice president! I am so glad Natalie is old enough to understand this historical event (and omg have we been living through some historical events lately). It will be crazy to see how things change and progress by the time Vana is old enough to understand!

Here's to a better, brighter America!





04 December 2020

Nine

 Nine years ago today I gave birth to my first baby. It was early on a Sunday morning when I went into labor, totally in denial. My sister drove me to the hospital and took the longest route possible as I wallowed in agony from contractions. 3 hours later I was holding my beautiful girl. I remember how warm her little body was as they laid her on me for the first time. 

I also remember for the longest time people talking about the pros and cons of having a child of a certain gender. They'd always talk about how girls are so much "drama" and I would just think "kids are kids" but now I understand why they said that. Girls are sensitive and complex and yes, dramatic. If Natalie plays with her friends there is always a freaking conflict anymore. If her cousin Bridget comes over it's emotional overload if they don't agree with something I say. I try to talk to them to figure out why they're so upset but it's just "leave me alone" (mostly from Bridget who's 11) or an inaudible tearfest. I am not much better and get easily annoyed, often just snapping at them and saying something that only upsets them more. I wonder how much easier boys are. Are they less emotionally complicated? I kinda gotta think so, at least most the time. 

But I love having two daughters. I miss so badly when she was a toddler though. It often feels like she is turning more and more into a tween with a crappy attitude. Maybe it's learned behavior from me or maybe personality traits are inherited or maybe I've just done a shitty job or maybe it's just who she is. I hope so much it's just a phase. 

Happy birthday Natalie. 


01 November 2020

Trick or Treat (From 6 Feet)

 Yesterday we celebrated Halloween 2020 style and it was awesome! I genuinely expected it to be a depressing experience with little candy but my neighbors made it special. I didn't have much of a plan, just to go to my in laws and stop at anyone who was obviously giving candy out. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people participated.Everyone had goody bags, tables of candy, bowls with sanitizer, or candy chutes to drop candy from. There were still people out and about but way way less people and I think that was the real treat for me. No crowds, no wait time, it was mostly self serve grab and go. It was fun to see how creative people got with the distribution too. There were lots of PVC pipes as slides and a few pulley systems. Someone even used a leave blower to shoot the candy down their pipe. One house used a spider pulley and hooked candy bags onto the legs then lowered it down. Natalie had fun running around the neighborhood with me while Matt and Vanessa visited with his parents at their houses. Our costumes this year were pretty cute too. I had the idea to dress Vana as an old lady but wanted to do a group thing. Natalie came up with Vanessa being the granny from Little Red Riding Hood, so I went as Red and Natalie as The Big Bad Wolf. Vana made such a cute Granny. 


2020 Halloween was the best! I hope a new tradition has been born and people leave candy out/come up with creative ways to pass it out so we can avoid each other on Halloween from now on! 







13 October 2020

Charm City

 This holiday weekend we took a little trip to Baltimore, MD. We always go to the beach or mountains for vacation so I thought it would be fun to switch things up and venture into the city to explore and risk getting mugged or shanked. It was fun and I loved the new scenery. The hotel we stayed at was in a great location, close to the harbor and had a Starbucks and CVS (drugstore) right there which was helpful. There was a heated indoor pool (a couple of them, actually) so I took the girls swimming in the morning because their fitness center closed at 1pm as a precaution for COVID (you know, so people don't catch that afternoon coronavirus or something...). 

Our first stop in the city was to a cemetery that we heard about from a book Natalie got at a book fair a few years ago called, "Worlds Scariest Places." The story is that there once was a boy who was killed and his ghost haunts the cemetery. If you hear his scream you won't be able to get it out of your head and will go insane. It is the same cemetery that Edgar Allen Poe is buried at. That was a cool surprise because I had no idea going in that he and his wife were laid to rest there.

After the graveyard we checked into our hotel, chilled and enjoyed the view then walked around the corner to grab some food from a place called Fiesta Taco or something. Their food was not that great tbh. It wasn't that bad either but very meh. We just relaxed (as much as you can relax with a high maintenance toddler), Natalie watched tv til late and then went to bed. 






 

In the morning I took the girls downstairs to grab our complimentary breakfast and then we went to the pool. After the pool I laid Vanessa down for a nap, Matt picked up pizza from Whole Foods and then around 2:30 we logged into a Zoom call for his aunts 60th birthday. It was nice seeing family on screen for a bit. After the call we walked down to the National Aquarium to make our 3:30 timed tickets. We saw lots of interesting things but as always the dolphins were by far the best part. They don't do dolphin shows anymore but the trainers were in there feeding them and had the dolphins do some flips and such. Natalie really enjoyed it. Vanessa was a bit of a challenge as always but we survived (without a stroller too since they're not allowed in). It was raining when we left which was a big bummer but didn't deter me. We walked over to a candy store my coworker told me about called Its Sugar. I let Natalie get a partial bag of goodies (it was fill your own and candy by the pound is expensive) and Vana even got her first lollipop. A worker there asked if she could have it and I don't turn down free, goddamnit. We then picked up some food from Shake Shack (spicy chicken sandwich is my new crack) and scurried back to the hotel as it was still raining and windy. We were exhausted and hungry and ate our food, chilled and went to bed.

The final morning (Monday) I treated the girls to Starbucks (coffee free frap for Nat and a fruit/egg/cheese box fo V), took them to the pool, packed up, took a very short stroll to the water to look at boats and absorb our surroundings one last time and then hit the road back home. Overall it was a pretty successful trip with zero issues, lots of family time and a nice change of pace. 



23 September 2020

15 Months

 My baby is 15 months old today but she looks about 2 1/2 years old, I swear. She's FINALLY started saying mama. I have been making her laugh a lot lately which makes me happy and feel bonded to her. She is so sweet and funny. 






09 September 2020

First Day of School 2020

 Well the long awaited first day of virtual school has come and gone. Yesterday was the big day and it was mildly disastrous.  Natalie did great but it was a technological shitshow. To add to the confusion the website that we use to connect to her Zumba classes and that has her schedule had an entirely different teacher listed as her homeroom teacher. For some reason in third grade her school begins to switch teachers around for different subjects. I guess to get them prepared for Middle School? Anyway, the site said that another teacher than I thought was going to be her main teacher. So we went to that teachers Zoom class. She called attendance but didn't wait for the kids to really say that they were there. She just started rattling off names in clusters of three or four. She never called Natalie's name but she noticed that a girl who wasn't supposed to be in the class was there and ask her why she was there and told her that she did not have her in her class. I assumed that meant she noticed Natalie and Natalie was supposed to be in her class. The teacher did end up saying Natalie's name but I think it was just that she saw her on the screen. We switched Zoom classrooms and were in the classroom of the teacher I was told would be her teacher. That teacher told Natalie that she was supposed to be in her class and asked her why she wasn't there initially. I explained that it was listed but the other teacher was her main teacher. Anyway, there was so much bouncing around from different and zoom lesson two different Zoom lesson. Everyone was super confused and ending up in the wrong Zoom class and there were audio and video glitches on top of it all. I am super proud of how well Natalie did though. Today she did awesome and things went a lot more smoothly. My father-in-law thankfully helped both days in the morning with Vanessa. It allowed me to spend a little bit of time helping Natalie although I cannot predict or schedule when she is going to need me during the day. It still made things less stressful because at one point on the first day I was trying to talk on Zoom to Natalie's teacher to explain a glitch and Vanessa was super tired and screaming and crying on the screen, lol. Honestly I will take anand accept the things that go wrong with computers and misunderstandings. What I will find completely stressful and hard to deal with is one Natalie gets fed up and doesn't listen or complains and whines about the circumstances. Sometimes I feel I am too hard on her and should be better understanding of her meltdowns. I genuinely think she looks for reasons to get upset sometimes though. Like she isn't actually upset about something but just uses it as an excuse to complain because she might actually be upset about something else that she doesn't want to talk about. Like if she gets the phone taken away, then Vanessa bumps into her she will cry that she's hurt and be dramatic but what she's really upset about is losing the phone. (That didn't actually happen, just an example.) Anyway she did really well and enjoyed the first 2 days. I think what really helps is she has the same teacher this year as she did last. (For some reason teachers move up and down grades every year at her school, something called looping.) Oh today there was some drama in class with their chat during a lesson. One boy started started typing some nasty things, not directed towards anyone I don't think but he used a racial slur and I didn't even know kids this age were aware of that word. One boy started crying apparently and it was obviously upsetting and disruptive to their day. I honestly think the boy should be suspended for his actions. Let's see what issues tomorrow has in store for us, haha!





12 August 2020

False Alarm

So the apocalypse hasn't happened yet and humanity is still trucking along. Since I've started actually paying attention to politics for the first time ever I am more and more disgusted by the day. I fear for the future of the country I love and call home.

Still I am hopeful and somewhat optimistic that by the time my children are my age things will be much much better.

My girls certainly keep my busy and vice versa. There isn't much to do but we fill the days with trips to the playgrounds, sometimes up to 4 times a day. I try my best to limit screen time and keep it at 2 hours for Natalie and less than 1 hour for Vana. I don't know what the actual guidelines are and I don't care. Surviving this pandemic with a shred of sanity is important and I don't want to beat myself up over how much T.V. or stupid fucking TIktok my kids brains are being rotted with. 


Speaking of surviving, we had our first semi covid false alarm. On Saturday I woke up with a sore throat but literally since the beginning of coronavirus I have had an on and off sore throat and runny nose at times due to allergies. I didn't feel bad or think anything of it because again it's normal for me. I went to work and began feeling tired, another symptom my allergies cause and also a product of being a mom and woman. (I haven't pinpointed it but I believe some point in my cycle affects my energy levels.) Anyway, come Saturday night when I was off I was beat. I had dinner at my father in laws and usually Matt grocery shops and I put Vanessa to bed but I just didn't have it in me. Natalie began saying she didn't feel well and Vanessa wasn't herself either. Sunday the girls and I woke up definitely under the weather. Sore throats, runny noses, and fatigue were the initial symptoms. I immediately scheduled a phone visit to talk to a doctor and was told to go in Monday to get tested. My results came back negative yesterday (Tuesday). I started feeling almost 100% better Monday afternoon but there are moments I feel pretty meh again like this morning. Vanessa for sure isn't completely herself as she is very sensitive lately and her nose is a snot factory. Natalie is up and down and still running a mild fever on and off, in the 99's. She started complaining of a tummy ache last night and today. If it isn't covid then I am not really sure what it is. I guess a very mild flu. I wish they would run a flu test along with the coronavirus test too to help you figure out what you're ill with .Oh well. We are on the mend and very lucky. I definitely want to be more cautious now. Not that I was being reckless or anything. I am taking precautions but refuse to live in a bubble or a fear stricken life. I let Natalie play with some neighbors and we still see family. I'm not going out and partying with loads of people or refusing to wear a mask or anything. It still puts things in perspective though and is a dose of reality for sure. 

On another note Vanessa is such a little ham! She is hilarious and smart and sweet. There are so so many funny and cute things she has done. Yesterday morning she grabbed a pillow with two hands and whacked Matt in the face saying, "bop!" She pops out from behind things and says, "boo!" too. She gives kisses and will sit in your lap and cuddle. I got irritated with her today because I was trying to get ready to head outside but she was clinging to me crying. I said, "Oh my goodness Vanessa, I just need to put on my shoes!" and went to sit to get my socks on. She stopped crying and came out from the kitchen with one of my tennis shoes and handed it to me. Instant guilt overwhelmed me and I felt so bad for getting annoyed with my sweet baby. Then I asked her to find my other shoe and sure enough she came back with it. She understands so much. Once she brought me a bag of snacks while I was cooking dinner and I simply said, "Bring it to Natalie" since my hands were covered in chicken juice and she walked out to the livingroom and handed it to Nat. There are a ton of other things she does that impress and melt me but I can't really think of them right now. 

07 July 2020

4th

Getting in the mood to celebrate the 4th of July this year was challenging. One reason is because we couldn't have a big get together with friends like we usually do but more so because of the state of despair I feel like this country is in. It's daunting and wears your soul down. Nonetheless I got festive and pulled it together to enjoy an afternoon of family. I got to see my nieces and one nephew and my parent's. We hung out at my father in laws house (for spacing purposes and because he offered to have us there), had food, cake, swimming and sparklers. 

I'm not sure why but physically I haven't been feeling at my peak. I get tired and just feel blah. I've been talking about how I get dizzy randomly for a long time but I'm off any meds except for my thyroid medication. It doesn't happen too often but it does happen. Mood wise I'm feeling blah as well. I just want to have good energy and to be able to go places with my kids and to have more structure. We can go to some playgrounds but it's so hot most days. It's just depressing. 























02 July 2020

Life Lately

So much has happened that I haven't blogged about. My 9th wedding anniversary, my birthday with a beach trip and Vana's first birthday party.

There are loads of current events that have been happening too that have weighed so heavy on my heart. I fucking hate people so much. I mean, I always have, but now I really don't have the patience for their horseshit. A civil rights movement has been sparked for the death of a black man who was murdered by a cop. Racist people are doing everything they can to discredit and call the movement anti American. (Because that's how American racism is--when you're against it you're against America...) I have a lot more to say about all this but now isn't the post for it.

May 28th Matt and I celebrated 9 years of being married! We took an aimless drive out to the country. We were initially planning a picnic as our date with a willow picnic basket (the material for 9th anniversary) but it was pouring rain that morning. Even though the monsoon ended the ground was still soaked and I left the basket at home. We ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant outside, going shopping at Walmart and Lowes (super romantic) and stopping at a scenic overlook. It was a nice, childfree date.

June 12th I turned 30! Me, Matt, Natalie, Vanessa and my niece Bridget went to Ocean City, MD. We're still in the middle of a global pandemic but life has to go on. Our new normal consists of wearing face covering, extra sanitizing and "social distancing" aka remaining 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household. Anway we stayed at a nice hotel right on the beach that had 2 pools. The girls loved it. We just hung out, went to the beach and pool and out to eat and had a nice break from the mundane everyday of being cooped up in the house.

On June 20th we celebrated Vanessa's first birthday with family. (I strongly feel I'm being judged by some for talking about going on a trip and celebrating my daughter's birthday during the COVID outbreak but whatthefuckever.) It was a super low key party with parent's, siblings, nieces and nephews. We just had food and hung out but it was nice.

I still can't believe my baby is 1! She is seriously just the silliest, sweetest, smartest little girl.

23 June 2020

One

One year since the first time we met face to face. One year of sleepless nights.  One year of waking up to see your beautiful smile in the morning. One year of trying to figure it all out. One year of your silliness. One year of milestones.  One year so full of happiness. One year of Vanessa!

Happy first birthday to my precious daughter.