08 September 2021

Summer Recap

 Wow, time just keeps ticking away! I haven't updated about several big things, like a visit with my grandma and uncle, a family reunion and amusement park trip, the first day of school, and more! 


So over the summer in July my 87-year-old grandma and uncle drove out from Colorado to visit for my mom's birthday. They stayed about a week and we visited every other day. It was Vanessa's first time meeting them and Natalie's first time in about four years. It is challenging to talk to my grandma because she is severely hearing impaired. She used to wear a hearing aid but years ago someone broke into her house at gunpoint and robbed her and for some reason took the hearing aid. I believe she accused her nephew of being in on the robbery and then her sister got really angry and there's been bad blood since. (The nephew may have even done jail time for the crime, I honestly don't know all the details.) You literally have to yell at her a foot away and she still doesn't seem to hear you sometimes. My uncle is a chatty guy but a bit...not so politically correct. He even insulted my weight (mind you, he is a very large guy), which upset me a bit. Anyway, we had a big family dinner and my grandma got to meet all 10 of her great-grandchildren. The evening before she left I also gave her an engraved, personalized photo album with lots of photos I took during their visit. She actually cried, and so did I.  I am so glad she got to meet both my children. Vanessa was so sweet and hugged a lot and made my grandma laugh. It's a bit morbid but that may be the last time I see her again. I'm glad it was a good visit. 


A couple of weeks after that, we had a family reunion on Matt's side of the family up in Pennsylvania. It was roughly a 4-hour drive up which I was nervous about with Little Miss High Maintenance. She did surprisingly well, however. It helped my mother in law rented a minivan and sat next to her the whole ride. We spent a couple of days up there and had a good time! The amusement park is at the bottom of the Appalachian mountains with a stream that cuts through it and a good amount of trees. Natalie had a blast riding roller coasters over and over and over again with her cousins and dad. Luckily my father-in-law took Vanessa and I back to the hotel when we had had enough because Matt and Natalie stayed ALL day. In addition to the park, we took a tour through the small town my in-laws are from and visited family cemeteries and old houses. Matt and I have talked about visiting the amusement park he frequented as a child for years and years (before we even had kids) so I am glad to mark it off the bucket list! 


And now on to Natalie's return to the classroom full time for the first time in 17 months! She started on August 24th which is much earlier than ever before. It should have been September 7th but there was some change in VA law that required kids to start school before Labor Day in the dead heat of the disgusting summer. Anyway, she was so happy the first couple of weeks back but I think she is starting to get depressed/bummed again. There are a lot of challenging kids it sounds like and some mean girl bullshit and cliqueyness going on. The kids sound very obnoxious to me and I don't blame her for mostly keeping to herself, TBH. I feel like this is going to jinx it but she has been getting up at 6 am, taking a shower, having breakfast, and then going to the playground before school even starts! It is a total change from the girl who could barely get up in the morning for an 8 am Zoom day. I just want her to enjoy school and be happy. I fucking dread the drama that comes with girls though. She already doesn't have many friends because she just doesn't vibe with them and there have been some minor issues with things like exclusion and gossip. Ugh. I will admit that since covid, I have been very uninterested in anything the school says or does. I am actually quite bitter towards the school and community because I feel no one was there for us in a darker chapter of our lives. And the question could be posed to me, "who did YOU help or support through the virus and all the bullshit it brought about?" and the answer would be pretty much no one because no one reached out to me. We would try and contact neighbors and people we thought were Natalie's friends and we always got the cold shoulder. It had nothing to do with safety either, as they were socializing with other families and were not keeping a "bubble" of people. I can't wait for her to be done with the school she is at and move on to a bigger school that hopefully presents more opportunities for actual friendships. 


Anyway, there is something else I am not going to update on yet because it feels like bad luck to at this point. (I am not pregnant.)






















15 July 2021

Two




 I cannot believe I kept forgetting to post about my baby turning 2! Her and her father celebrated their birthdays together with Matt’s  parents and of course Natalie and I. I just did not have it in me to try and do a big party so I kept things simple with pizza and cake plus of course presents with a very small guest list.


Potty training has gone down the toilet. She did it a few times but since refuses. I knew it was too good to be true. Her vocabulary and speech is really taking off, however. She has said four word sentence fragments like “chip way pap-pap house” for “chipmunk ran away from pap-paps house.” It’s now isn’t uncommon for her to say two word sentences like “mama hand” “mama help” and such. She also seems to be doing a bit more nonsensical babbling from time to time.

Her personality is so sweet and friendly. She does have a good amount of tantrums and meltdowns randomly when she is in capable of doing some thing she wants like climbing somewhere high at the playground or something along those lines. 


I just love this little girl though, handful she is. 



02 June 2021

Milestones


 So I am not sure if I updated on Vanessa and how she has finally started putting two word sentences together! The first time she really did it was on Mother’s Day when Natalie was leaving the car and she said bye-bye Nanny. It very slowly began to progress a few weeks later and she started saying up mama. Then she started saying blue chip for salt and vinegar chips, hello mama, hello daddy, hello Nanny, and yellow hat. She is getting good at saying the color of a car and then the word car like blue car and such. We had the evaluation for speech therapy eligibility and they said she was very borderline so it was up to me if I wanted to proceed. Of course if I can get her further ahead and teach her skills and expand her vocabulary why wouldn’t I do it? I know and that his mom don’t think she needs it and I do believe she will catch up in a matter of time. Again I just don’t see why we shouldn’t do it and if we don’t do it how far behind would she fall? We really don’t know.

Last night she made me super proud and sat down on her little potty and peed! I had her sit on it this morning as well and she peed and then later today she showed signs that she was going to start pooping (she was starting to hide in the corner) so I told her if she pooped on the potty she would get a treat. She happily agreed and sat there watching Curious George. For a good amount of time I did not think she was going to actually do it because she wasn’t squeezing in her eyes were watering but low and behold it she did it! I was so happy and proud! We both totally forgot about the treat I offered her which is kind of good because I don’t actually know how I feel about bribing kids to use the bathroom. I was not intending to potty train until she gets more verbal but now that she has shown an interest and ability to do it I guess consistency is key. I have a feeling she will be over the novelty of using the big girl potty pretty quickly though. I also think she lacks the ability to understand when she has to go and that she has to communicate to us before she goes. I also fear putting too much pressure on her to use the potty and her resisting and not wanting to do it. I just foresee her being a challenging one to get potty trained.


Speaking of challenging, she has woken up two nights in a row completely inconsolable. It has been rough. It takes her about an hour to go back to sleep and if I move the wrong way or am not rocking her she will wake up and start crying all over again. It could be teething or growing pains or who knows. It is a lot and I hope she sleeps okay tonight or at least the nights when I have to work the next day. I tend to her through the night (poor Matt is being disturbed by her crying and he tries to help too but she doesn’t want him then) but I am lucky enough I get to nap when she does.

Whew okay enough updates for now. 

28 May 2021

10 Years Married!

 Wow, today makes an entire decade of being married to my love! I read something that went, "don't brag about being in a relationship for 10 years when you've been crying for nine of them," or something like that. I can say even though tears have been shed through the years there have been far more happy times than not. I don't have any sound advice or enlightening wisdom on how to make a relationship successful. I feel like I hit the love jackpot my first time playing. Matt makes thing so easy and effortless (most days). I wish I could say I always do the same but I am a work in progress. I can be a total hormonal bitch and I hate it. I have come a long way from some of my not so pleasant ways though and for that I am proud.

Okay, enough about me being a less than perfect wife. 

Man, 10 years. In some ways it feel like a huge chunk of time, in others it's just a drop in the bucket (if we're lucky and don't die soon, haha). Time is so strange and hard to grasp. I am really grateful to have made it to this milestone. I looked back at photos and the video from our wedding day and it felt like another lifetime. In all honesty I did not want to have a wedding. I hated the idea of so much attention on myself, my family, my love life. I was young and not full of confidence the way I am today. I was a little insecure about my looks, mostly my teeth, which is why I am barely smiling in any of my photos. I had actually just began the process of getting Invisalign before my wedding and my teeth were pretty crooked. You can't tell from far away or in certain angles/lights but you mostly can't tell because I kept my mouth closed all the time. I felt so awkward about walking down the aisle too. So much so that I tried my best to convince Matt is was an unnecessary formality. I brainstormed ideas like just walking out from the side of the venue real casually at meeting at the altar on the low. Eloping would have been way more my style but Matt wanted a traditional day and I did too in a way. Just minus all the people gawking at me at one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. It was like public speaking times 100 and the speech I had to give was declaring my deepest thoughts and feelings for the man I love. It honestly is an intense thing to do. I was also so worried about how people perceived me and if I was being awkward or if my family was going to do something embarrassing. I know these aren't pleasant things to admit but it's true and I am so so very different today. Sure, it still isn't my style to have all eyes on me and it would be a little uncomfortable to be super mushy in front of 85 or so people but the things that stressed me out then probably wouldn't be such a huge deal. (Maybe I only say that because I've been down the aisle and know what to expect but I think I have just gotten more confident and comfortable in my own skin.) 

Today we celebrated with a lunch and bowling date, then a family dinner with both our sets of parents. Lately I’ve been trying to spend more time with my parents and better our relationship while they’re still here. It was a great day and I’m sad it’s over. Happy 10 years!!








13 May 2021

Mother's Day 2021

I still reminisce about my first Mother's Day (and I've brought it up several times on this blog). Matt did such a good job making me feel special and it was so neat to celebrate the holiday as a mama. He planned and execute a perfect day to make me feel special and loved. I don't remember every single detail like how the day began but I do remember he gifted me a personalized frame and personalized robe, took Natalie and I to the spot we got married and did a photoshoot of her and I and got a couple really great shots. He then (and this is the part that really sticks with me because he does NOT cook) cooked me a steak and lobster dinner complete with melted butter and a baked potato! I am so serious, I think that was the last time he ever cooked a real meal (not a frozen pizza). I know I should say since I have more children that subsequent Mother's Days topped that was but that was my favorite Mother's Day. That doesn't mean I appreciate the holiday less or anything, it was my first and such a great one emotionally for me and holds a dear spot in my heart forever. There have been Mother's Days where I was disappointed and cried (mostly because pregnancy hormones) and ones that were a bit unremarkable (god I really am sounding like an ungrateful shrew) but I savor being a mom almost every single day. I know even when I feel like my efforts go unnoticed or unappreciated that I doing a great job. Some times I question my parenting because there is no handbook and the hardest part about being a mom is just not knowing what the right call is. Do you ground your child for sassing you and using a negative tone of voice for the 100th time today? How lenient or strict should you be? That is my biggest dilemma. Oh and then there are the very unique things to ponder like am I going to send my daughter to virtual summer school and know she will complain and be miserable for three hours a day for a month and probably slack off and not learn shit or should I just let her openly slack off at home and not do it? Life is a trip, man. 

So this Mother's Day was very busy. We planned a beach trip to enjoy before peak season so we could stay right on the beach with a nice view at an affordable price. First we had breakfast with my mom, then a quick visit with Matt's mom before hitting the road and running into traffic. We decided to pull over for lunch and found a frozen yogurt place for dessert. They were offering a free yogurt for moms so we had to do it. ;) (I actually used to not like sweets for a long time but when I stopped drinking alcohol a couple of years ago my sweet tooth kicked in.)

We drove with a fairly cranky, non napped Vanessa but she did good for a tired child confined to a car on a long ride. We made it to our hotel, chilled, I took the girls down to the cold beach where they both loved getting their feet wet in the waves. It was windy and chilly but our feet got used to the water (or just became numb, who knows). We ordered pizza and then I put Vanessa to bed and went to bed shortly after that while Matt and Natalie hung out. The next morning we went to Walmart to get some grub. It started raining and we were trying to figure out what to do to keep us entertained since I foolishly didn't book a hotel with an indoor pool. We went to lunch then to a playground since the weather cleared up. Then we went down to the beach again and splashed in the waves. Then we went out to dinner at a place with a playground, back to the room, Vanessa bed and then we played Clue and had popcorn and junk. Our final morning we (the girls and I, Matt really doesn't like the beach) went to the beach again. This was the warmest and sunniest day (go figure) and it was really great. Natalie collected seashells and we walked along the beach in the waves. We saw dolphins and whales and Natalie says she saw and petted a baby seaturtle! It's funny, I remember when Natalie was 9 months old and we took her first beach trip. There was a young girl who was 10 years old and she was there without a parent. I remember her sitting and talking with us and I kept looking around to see who she was with or if someone was watching from a hotel balcony. I was just astonished she was there solo. I actually left Natalie alone on the beach for maybe 10-15 minutes a couple of times because Vanessa was wet and cold and Nat wasn't ready to leave. Our hotel was right on the beach with an ocean view and I trusted Natalie to not go far enough into the water where she could get swept away. My how times have changed for me! I never would have imagined giving her that much freedom at such a young age a couple years ago. 

Anyway, I definitely had a good Mother's Day. I have made it my mission to better my relationship with both my parents and to take more photos of/with them while I'm lucky enough they're here.





















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!