Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Blog-iversary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my first post on the blog! Wow! How amazing is that? I cannot tell you all how much I have enjoyed sharing the last year with all of you. I have learned so much about life, love, friendship, and myself over the last year. I doubt I would have done that if I would not have embarked upon this journey.

I have always loved to write, but I had really fallen away from it over the last five years or so. The birth of Baby P give me a new reason to chronicle my life as I went through the amazing change of becoming a mother. My hope is that one day she will sit down and read a lot of these posts that are about her, and she will get a really good glimpse into the magnitude of my love for her. Maybe I will let her read it when she is a snotty teenager who thinks I only exist to make her miserable...

I am working on a giveaway for you faithful readers next week--so stay tuned for that! Meanwhile here are a list of my favorite posts over the last year in case you are in the mood for a stroll down memory lane!

1. P's Birth Story

2. To Breastfeed or Not

3. Pumping My Brains Out 

4. Fighting the Darkness

5. First Steps

6. P's First Birthday Letter

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifty Shades

Yesterday I read a number of posts from several different bloggers about why they would not go see Fifty Shades of Grey. A lot of their points were valid (to them, at least). A lot of said bloggers are religious, and therefore they object to the books and movie because of religious reasons.

The one thing that bothered me about all of these posts is that the bloggers who wrote them had never read a word from the books. Not. One. Word. This was bothersome to me because you are literally judging a book by it's cover and reputation. This, I feel, draws a lot of parallels with things that I do not appreciate about the religious community. If you are reading this mom, you might want to stop here.

Growing up I went to church every single week. I was in the children's choir and I was involved in Wednesday night festivities. I think that my religious education was very valuable. I am grateful for what I learned from that time in my life. I truly believe that a lot of my moral education came from that time.

What I did not like is how a lot of the people in the church seemed to relish in other people's pain while appearing to care about them on the outside. Gossip ran rampant all around the place. It became a source of unwanted and unneeded stress in my life. There are many people within the church who I did not (and still do not) feel that way about. Unfortunately, those who participated out-shadowed those who were using the church for what it should be. I found that many people were judged by their covers within the church setting, and that the focus was often pulled from where it should be--you know, on God.

I am fairly quiet about the fact that I do not participate in any religious lifestyle. I have my beliefs, and I have my trainings, and I choose to keep them private and to myself. What I believe is no one's business and it is not up for discussion. It is as simple as that.

When I read these blogs, I understood their arguments from a religious perspective. I even agreed with certain points. Sure, you could absolutely find a better way to spend your money. Absolutely, you should go with your husband and discuss the premise of these books and movie with him before seeing it. I am sure if you read the books, then you would have discussed them with him at some point anyway. I know I did. Sure, it sends a message about relationships that contradicts those of the Bible. But so does our mainstream media anyway.

What I disagreed with vehemently in most of these blogs was the idea that these books and this movie should not be allowed in theaters and on book shelves. Many are calling for censorship of the franchise entirely. But those who are calling for this haven't even read it. So how do they know what it contains and how bad it is? Once again, judging blindly without knowing. I understand that you feel these books are threatening to your morality. BUT I would be willing to bet that there are some parishioners within your church who practice or have practiced some of the acts that are in the novels. Should they be removed from your pews? I think not. People have a right to choose what they want to read and what they want to watch and they should not feel like God would be angry at them for doing so. Such an argument is likely to push more people away from Him than it is to bring them closer. That is my own personal opinion.

I read each and every line of all three books. Then in the last two weeks I read them all again. That's right, shameful. I wanted to remember what all of the fuss was about. Here is what I think about them:

1. There are definitely things in there that make me cringe
Yeah, they do some pretty crazy things together. The first time I read it I remember thinking, "I'm not old enough to read this." or "you can do that?" and even, "why would you want to do that?" But honestly--this is only one part of the book. You are certainly welcome to not be comfortable with the types of things that they do in their consenting sexual relationship. But, honestly--it is relatively mild in the first book at least. It isn't until the end of the second book and into the third book before the really crazy stuff comes out.

2. It is one of the most beautiful love stories
For a person who loves to read and loves literature (as I do), Fifty Shades of Grey is a beautiful love story. While it is a little unconventional--the characters are certainly endearing and lovable. If you actually read the books--you not doubt fell in love with Ana. She is not unlike many heroines in your classic novels--Tess Durbeyfield comes to mind. She is searching for her place in life. But for most of you (and for me) it's Christian that keeps you reading. You understand that this lifestyle he chose is for a reason, and you want to know what it is. This is a story about abuse and it's effects. He is a broken person in need of a change, and he finds that change with Ana. Even without the sex scenes--I would read it. You really root for him to overcome his horrific childhood and find happiness.

3. They are not much different than what your mom used to read
I don't know about you, but my mom used to read those erotic novels. You know the Danielle Steele ones with Fabio on the cover? I would venture to state that these are not much different--if they are at all.

So my opinion is the same that it has always been. Don't knock it before you try it (or read it in this case). Just like in most situations--there is more to the story. While you might think the book became popular because of all of the BDSM weaved throughout, but in my case--it was the love story that brought me to read that second and third book. By the last book I admittedly skimmed over the sex scenes to get to what really matters--and that is the development of these characters. These people who are not much different than me and you in many cases. They just want to find love in a world that hasn't been that kind to them.

So while the sex scenes are a little much, the author seriously needs a thesaurus (I mean all encounters can't seriously be mindblowing or earth shattering), and surely there are a lot of things that go against the moral background that I have. I still feel that people should be allowed to read anything they wish and go see any movie they wish without judgement. To each their own.

Laters, Y'all

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Temper, Temper

Sorry for my absence...

I have been feeling like I didn't have much to write about these days. You know, besides things I have already said a million times.

P and I got back from Hilton Head, and she did great in the car on the way home. I am still nervous about our 10 hour trip to Virginia this summer, but not as much as I was before taking her to Hilton Head. I think it was a success. I am considering, though, stopping half way and spending the night in a hotel.

We are now facing a whole new monster in our household. It is called the tantrum. I always heard that toddlers could be challenging--particularly once they are two. BUT P is quite the tantrum thrower and she is 13 months. Who lied to me and who do I need to kill about this? Kidding...but I'm kind of not.

Last night I felt so bad because P pitched a fit when I handed her to J so that he could take her upstairs for her bath and bed time routine. It was so bad that he deemed it unsafe to bathe her. He had never seen her like this, but I had. It has become commonplace at least once a day in our house. Usually while J is working, P will get angry at something I do (it's different everyday.) She will scream and slap, swat, kick, and scratch in my general direction. Nothing seems to soothe her for a few minutes.

I am at a loss for how to deal with this. While I know that she is smarter than I think--I know she does not have the mental capacity to reason with yet. So, I don't feel that I can do time out or many other forms of behavior management with her. There has got to be something that I can do about this. Right?

I am growing increasingly nervous that I am raising a spoiled brat. I don't know how it happened, and I certainly don't know how to protect against it. I am worried about her going to daycare or preschool because she is so attached to me. This girl has a strong will and I wouldn't put it past her to cry all day long. UGH!

I have decided that she many need to start getting some socialization once a week or so. I am considering a few options that would involve her being with other babies without me. I think that may help with the clingyness.

What do you do to curb tantrums in your home?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Trails

This week P and I are in Hilton Head on vacation. We are setting off with my mom and god-mother on a girls trip. I was definitely wanting to get P out a little bit because we have a VERY busy summer planned for her and I wanted to get her used to being in the car. However, there is always a little bit of anxiety when it comes to traveling with a little one.

I do find it a lot easier to travel with a toddler than an infant. When I took P to the beach last summer it was pretty miserable for the both of us. She wouldn't sleep pretty much the whole time we were there and I felt like I did just days after she was born--overwhelmed and exhausted. Plus, it was just hard for me in general. It was the first vacation I have ever had as a mom. It was quite an adjustment not really being able to go out and lie on the beach all day long.

This time--I don't have to bring everything and the kitchen sink--just everything. We still had to bring a pack n play and high chair. Then there are the many toys to keep her entertained. It is a pain to bring everything, but at the same time--the look on her face when she took off running on the beach made it all well worth it.

The key to traveling with a little one is to understand that they will do things differently because their environment is different. I have a hard time with this. At home, P eats pretty well and drink tons of water. Yesterday, I couldn't get her to eat her oatmeal and she was swatting that water away like it was a plague of locusts. BUT--come night time she started guzzling it. In the end thirst and hunger will win out. Just another example of how I have got to learn to trust her and her little body to tell me what she needs and when she needs it.

I was DEATHLY afraid that she would not sleep the whole trip down to the island. At home on our short trips here and there--she almost never sleeps in the car. I was worried that she would get hysterical. And--she did, but only once and I think it was because she was in pain from being really constipated. She did take 1 hour and a half nap and 1 40 minute nap while in the car. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. This is why I need to take her out more and get her used to adapting to my schedule instead of me being a slave to her's.

This summer we are taking the long trip to Virginia and Washington, D. C. We plan to take her with us, and I am hoping that she will do well on the trip. Let's see how she does on the way home on Wednesday.

What things do you do to make trips with your little one more enjoyable for everyone?