Friday, May 22, 2015

This Week

This week a lot of things are going on and it is easy to get overwhelmed. I try to find the time for me everyday. This week I cam across a few things that I found to be profound. I thought I would share them with you. Here it goes...

Earlier in the week I was reading an article by Jamie Primak Sullivan where she was describing her struggle over the fact that her husband did not want anymore children. Since I can relate to that issue--I was quick to read it. While she has overcome this issue in her life, and has learned to be ok with her 3 children (which is A LOT of kids IMO) there was something that she said that just sliced right through me. So much so that I brought it to J that night. He is an amazing man, and I love him, but he wasn't affected by the statement like I was--men! Jamie said, "you never regret having that last one, but you might regret the one you didn't have." I read that statement and instantly tears formed in my eyes. That truth resonated with me like a coin thrown into a fountain or an unspoken prayer at bedtime. It was deep to me. BUT--this coming from the person who subjects herself to videos of births even though I know I will cry when that baby finally makes it's way into the world. I might not be the best judge of it's effectiveness. What do you think?

When you become a parent you start to look at things different then you might have before. Yesterday, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I encountered the story about Josh from 19 Kids and Counting. Now, I am a faithful watcher of the show--so I felt saddened as I was reading the story.  I saw countless people gain ammunition towards the Duggar family over this. That makes me sad because I do feel that they do a lot of things right with their children. Sure 19 children is a little crazy, but there is a lot of positive in what they do. Things like their buddy system where they pair up older children with younger children, jurisdictions or chores, courting etc. I'm a fan. So this article made me sad.

As I was reading it--I became angry. I was angry that this father of three (one more on the way) has had to resign from his job because of something that he did when he was 14 years old. 14 years old. When I think back to the things that I did when I was 14--let's just say we won't even go there. He was a child himself--so I can understand why his parents didn't think to report it. How many of you would turn your 14 year old over to the police. They dealt with it internally, and I think that if Piper did something like that--I would do the same thing. Your first instinct is to protect your child. I understand that feeling now. I sympathize with that and with them. I wish them the best. He has a very young family to support, and his actions when he was a teen do not define him today. I truly believe that.

Lastly, while watching the RHONY I came across another great gem from Bethenny Frankel. She was talking to her "dad" and if you don't understand why I put that in quotes then you will have to go back and watch the last episode. It is some crazy crap from her childhood. Anyway--she is great with one liners that are just filled with wisdom. This one was particularly perfect for me. Everyone carries anger in their life. I know I do. Bethenny said, "holding anger is like continuously drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Anger does nothing to correct the problem, and just taints your life to the point where it can hurt your relationships and all things good. Learning to let go of anger is something that we all struggle with--me included.

That's it. Just a little bit of knowledge from this week.
Have a GREAT weekend, ya'll!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Poppy!

This past weekend was my grandfather's 93rd Birthday. As I sit here thinking abut all of the incredible things that he has lived through in his 93 years--I find myself thinking I hope I live that long. We should all be so lucky as to be alive during the Great Depression, WWII, Vietnam, the 80s, and to see the birth and growth of computers.

This man is not your ordinary 93 year old. He can build anything. A few years ago in his late 80s, he built his own computer. Something that wasn't even around (at least for most families) for the majority of his life. Talk about a sharp mind. I can't imagine that. My brain doesn't have the capacity for that. That brings me to this question, Where has education gone wrong today that we don't produce more people like him and less people like me? He looks at a problem and finds a solution. He builds it himself and it just works. Me, I find a problem and I find someone to fix it. Such are the times.

He's seen a lot, done a lot. But I bet you if you asked him what the best things he saw were, you wouldn't have to look much further than his late wife, 3 daughters, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. I mean, that is what we are all here for, right? Raising 3 daughters who are all strong, opinionated, successful women with strong marriages. 4 grandchildren who are all either college educated, in the process of, or successful in their fields. 2 of the cutest great grandchildren I have ever seen--though I may be biased on that one. That is what life is all about. It may not be what all of us measure the success of our lives on--but it should be.

Since my grandfather lost my grandmother suddenly years ago, he spent the last ten years and change fulfilling a promise he had made to her to see the country. He has visited all 50 states. I know that my grandmother is smiling up there in heaven because she got to see it all through him. And the adventures didn't stop there since last year he visited Scotland and Greece (at 92 years old). He is an amazing man with a wealth of knowledge that I can't even begin to comprehend. I am so thankful for him and I hope for many more birthdays and trips. Happy Birthday Poppy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

P's 15 Month Round Up

I know, I know--I thought we were done with these updates after she turned 1. While that was my intention in the beginning--there is just too many changes to talk about that have happened over the last 3 months. Like I have said from the beginning the purpose of these monthly posts is so that Piper can one day look back on them and read about herself. I also hope that when she reads them one day she will get the tiniest glimpse of how much I love her, how painstakingly I planned for each transition in her life. You get the idea. So here it is...her 15 month update.

Over the last three months Piper's personality has been ever evolving. She is a bundle of joy quite literally. Whenever you wonder what sheer joy looks like--all you have to do is look for a happy toddler. On a good day everything is so fascinating to her and she is captivated by the world around her. She will study each toy in her toy bag and chase the dog while giggling incessantly. That is what sheer joy looks like. I have seen it--witnessed it. It surely is amazing to behold. Children are a blessing if for no other reason than to remind you that everything in your life is not such a big deal. They help you remember to slow down and live in the moment. Each day is precious because she is different each day.

The other side to her personality is definitely the Mr. Hyde to her Jekyll. Yesterday she pitched a whopping 10 separate tantrums. They come complete with flapping hands, stomping feet, angry red pudgy face, and hot sticky tears. I have tried time out (a little bit of success), and even a smack on the hand (not much success at all). It doesn't seem to reduce the number of tantrums at all. P is definitely hard headed and I have no clue where she would have inherited this trait because it certainly wasn't from me (sarcasm). I try not to lose my cool with her, but there are times when I feel the anger swell, and I have the urge to yell at her. I just try to remember that she is frustrated because she doesn't understand and she cannot communicate as effectively as she would like. I believe that a lot of her tantrums come from boredom.

While she cannot communicate like she would like at times--she has quite a varied vocabulary. It is to the point where we cannot even count the number of words she can say. Almost every day she is picking up a new word. Yesterday I bought her bubbles and started blowing them today for her. Within seconds of me blowing them as saying bubbles--she was saying it as well. And it is not just that she is repeating what I say. She recognizes the connection between the word and the thing. She is so smart. She can follow pretty basic tasks and even some more complicated ones such as , "Piper can you bring me the remote," or "Piper, put that down and go to the stairs."  She can point out most of her body parts, and can tell me what sounds a Cow makes along with a few other animals.

P weighs in at 26.5 pounds and is 32 1/4 inches tall. She is still in the 95th percentile for both. This makes her a towering one year old who looks bigger than a lot of 2 year olds we come across. This makes me both proud and sad all at the same time. She still likes to eat, but is extremely picky about her finger foods--refusing most "kid" foods.

The biggest change in her 15th month has been in the affection category. Piper has just recently started showing real affection. This is the most amazing thing for a parent. You spend the first year pouring love into your child and they are unable of expressing that love back to you verbally or with other social cues that we are accustomed to. While you know that they love you--it is hard to see from the outside. P loves to give me kisses and hugs. She will often just lean in and plant a big wet one on my lips. It is the best feeling in the world. Over the past month I have really been emphasizing telling her that I love her. I tell her all day every day. At least 30 or 40 times a day I would say. Just today I was changing her diaper and talking to her and she said something that sounded like I love you. So I said to her, "I love you." She repeated back what she had said just a moment earlier, and I knew that is what it was. She is finally able to put it to words. I immediately teared up. There is no greater feeling than that.

Now that it is spring time and it is warm outside--I try to take P to the park every day. She loves to run around in circles, swing, and slide. We have some much fun playing together, and there is nothing I would rather do. One day she will no longer want to hold my hand as she slides down the slide or have me push her in the swing--so I am going to savor every moment while I still can. These days are now so fleeting that it is almost like the clock hands are chasing us. In less than 3 months she will be 1 1/2, and I will be planning her 2nd birthday party. HA--you know I already started, right?

So there it is, my little Pooper! 15 months down and a lifetime to go. Only 16 and a half more years before you will be 18 and anxiously readying yourself to leave the nest. The thought sends chills up my arms and triggers that choking feeling in my throat. I love you so completely, and hope that you will forgive me for holding you closer with each passing day.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It Takes A Village

Over the past two weeks I was out of my home office due to state testing. It is always a very long and hard two weeks, but since I added Mom to my resume--It is definitely a lot more complicated. This time last year, P was a tiny four month old and I was terrified of being away from her fro that long. I was still breastfeeding, and that added a whole other level of stress to my plate.

This year, I was expecting that I would feel a bit more comfortable with being away from P for two weeks, alas, I was not. I found myself dreading it as the days and weeks drew nearer. I was terrified that she wouldn't do well in the care of my friends and family.

First, let me say that I have been extremely lucky to have family and friends step up to care for my sweet P while I am away for work. This kept us from having to pay for daycare, and it kept her from being with strangers. I thought that this would make her more comfortable. I was so worried that she wouldn't sleep in these strange places, that she would eat her food. I stressed that she would show my friends her best tantrums.

In typical Piper fashion, she showed me that she had this completely under control. Once again I have learned to never doubt how amazing my child is. I got good reports from everyone that watched her each day, and I was able to work peacefully without worry.

What I learned is that I have a pretty amazing support system surrounding me. People that love P and me enough to help out in a tough spot. I am endlessly thankful for their support and for the fact that they will love on my baby girl just like I would when I can't be there. I am reminded of the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." Well, I'm still a believer. I have always felt that it was important for my child to have adults outside of her parents to support her and love her. AND--I know she has them.

The only down side to being away was missing all of my snuggles and kisses. P has changed so much over the last month. I can't wait to tell you all about it tomorrow. Until then--enjoy your little ones or big ones each and every moment. The change in then is so subtle that it is hard to notice daily, but weekly I marvel at all of the new things P can do. I pray I always see her brilliance. It is truly an honor to care for her.

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!