Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Birthday J!

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Thank you for always letting me chase you around the kitchen.

 For giving me many "oy veh's" every night before bed. 

I love how you rake all of the leaves into big piles and leave them there for me so that I can tromp through them with squeals of laughter that fill the back yard. 

Thanks for giving me baths every night, I am sorry that I don't really like them much anymore and refuse to sit down. I am sorry that I got your shorts all wet last night. I was in a bad mood. 

Thanks for being patient with me. 

Thank you for convincing Mommy that it is ok to play Ring Around the Rosie in the house before bed every night. Can we please have four time tonight in celebration of your birthday instead of just 3? 

Thank you for agreeing to read whatever book I choose before bed--even if it is a really long one.

 Thank you for not being angry when I wake you at night, and for rocking me back to sleep when I don't feel well. 

I really love how you play tea party with me. You always drink your cup so fast and tell me how good the tea was! I love that! 

Thank you for teaching me to play soccer, and how to kick and throw the ball. I enjoy playing with you. 

Thank you for singing at the top of your lungs with me. It makes me not be so shy to sing.

 I can tell that you really love spending time with me, and that I all I could ever hope for from you.
Thanks for being the best daddy in the world! Thanks for just being you. 

I love you,
Love Piper

Friday, December 11, 2015

O Hanukkah

My husband and I come from different faiths, and while it doesn't seem to make a difference to either one of us--it does confuse and astound some people in our community. Since I came back into the classroom--I have had a few questions here and there about how we navigate the whole religion thing. I always change the subject quickly, but I understand where the questions come from. Especially around the holidays. People want to know if we are celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas.

The answer to that question is that we celebrate both. When I say that we celebrate them--I do mean it very loosely. Neither J or I go to church or synagogue frequently. Therefore, our celebration of the holidays is more focused on family tradition and celebrating eachother and spending time together than it is about religion. 

This year it has been a bit more pronounced because it is the first holiday season that P can really interact well. She loves our Christmas tree, and claps as we light the menorah. She loves singing O Christmas Tree, but would probably prefer the Hanukkah, O Hanukkah or Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel. She gets a few gifts for Hanukkah, and has a big haul for Christmas. 

When people ask me if I care which religion she chooses I always say, she can choose one or none at all. That is not what it is about to me. I am going to do things the way that I have always done them. I am going to give her the same type of holiday memories that I had growing up, and I hope that my husband can do the same for her. I definitely don't think she will be worse off for knowing both sets of traditions. I actually think she will be better off for it. 

One day, I hope she looks back on her childhood and appreciates that we didn't make a choice for her, but that we embraced what we love about each religion and taught her tolerance and love through each. 

Have a GREAT Weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Case For A Baby--Why I Decided to Have Children

This post has been weighing heavy on my heart for the past week or so. It was sparked by a comment of one of my Facebook friends who has decided not to have children because she does not want to "sacrifice her marriage". It got me thinking, and doing some research. I came across article after article claiming that  more of my generation is choosing not to have children than any generation before them. First of all, let me just say that I take these articles with a grain of salt. As a history teacher, I know that there is bias in everything and that there are many, many different factors at play in why more people are choosing not to reproduce. BUT--I also cannot ignore the fact that this is true in most of the developed world. More people are electing to live child-less. So why is that?

In the articles that I read the authors claim several reasons why people chose not to reproduce. 1. She never had the desire to have children growing  up. 2. She is in love with her current life, and wouldn't want to give it up for a life she does not know would make her happy. 3. She believes children harm marriages and cause divorce 4. Her career is more important to her than having children. 5. She feels like she isn't good with kids/ kids don't like her/ she has no maternal instincts. As I read this--I couldn't help but feel sad. Sad because I feel like some women may be out there thinking that it is not possible to have children and have a good marriage and a satisfying career.

When I was engaged, and we talked about having a family--I had some doubts too. I had never held a baby before my own. Seriously! I had no knowledge of whether I had or would have maternal instincts. I worried about that a lot. I don't particularly like little children--or I didn't before having P. I think that it is a natural feeling to worry about not being able to do it "right".  I'm not sure what that even means, but I understand the worry. I felt it too. The weight of raising and molding a child is enormous and I get that some people feel that they are not "with it" enough to take that on. I feel not "with it" a lot, but I'm still doing it everyday, and I'm pretty proud so far.

As far as my career goes--I can think of several things that are more important to me than my career. Teaching is what I do, but the relationships I have are what defines me, and being P's Mommy is one of the most important ways that I now define myself and my own happiness. She is a huge motivator for me. She doesn't hinder me from doing my job, but then again, I have never been one to make my job my biggest priority. A loft of women have very demanding and successful careers, and yet they have very large families. P's Pediatrician has EIGHT children! She works a lot, and I have come to refer to her (only in my head) as superwoman. I would just hate to think that in this day and age a woman feels like they have to choose between being truly successful in their career and having children if that is what they want.

I loved my life before P was born. I enjoyed the freedom, late nights, and last minute vacations. Sometimes I even miss that life. But I guess it all boils down to the idea that for me even though I loved my life and was completely happy--I always felt like there was something more. AND not just because society told me I SHOULD have children, but because deep down--I felt LED to have them. When I looked into the future and thought about my life at 70 or 80--when I can't travel anymore, and late nights are less appealing...I know I would wish I had children. Not just to take care of me, but that is true as well, but also to enrich my life. Of the greatest memories I have--P is in most of them.

Now for the marriage aspect. Children can cause a lot of problems in a marriage. J and I disagree about things with P occasionally, and I think that that is normal. BUT ultimately I think divorce is caused by the people in the marriage and not by the children it produces. Sure children mean less time to spend with your spouse alone, but it does make you see your spouse in a whole new light. Having children together brings on a whole new closeness. You really have to depend on each other. You become even more of a team. I think it has brought us closer.

So here is my message--in case you wondered if there was going to be a point here--if you feel like you are on the fence about it, then ask yourself this question. What is most important to you? How do you picture your life at 70 or 80? I was on the fence once or twice, but I can say definitively that I have never once regretted it. Not one single time--except--nope not even then. In fact, I hope to do it again, one day.

Women shouldn't feel like they should have to make excuses why they chose not to have children. Women shouldn't have to explain why they chose to have more than 3 children (which I feel has become an issue these days as well). I mean--god forbid anybody would want to have more than 3 children--that can't possibly be financially responsible--right. I think I am gagging right now. UGH!

A decision as important as bringing a child into this world should come from someone who has carefully looked at their life and what they want out of it, and decided that it would be better with a child in it, and not because we are scared of what the world will say if we chose not to. It should also not depend on us worrying that we can't have it all--marriage, career, and happy children. There is a way to make it work. I see it happening every single day.

There--weight lifted.
Happy Wednesday, Y'all

Monday, December 7, 2015

Live in the Moment

As an adult I spend a lot of my time just wishing for the next thing. I welcome each coming day of the week so that I can quickly get to the weekend. Why? Because I so desperately want to sit in my pajamas on my couch and do nothing. I want to vegetate and binge watch my TV shows and just exist. BUT that is not what happens for me anymore. That is not my life now. And that is the both the biggest blessing and somewhat of a curse.

Saturday was a horrible day for me. J was going out with friends, and I was planning on having a great day with P. We were going to play all morning, and then go shopping after her nap in the afternoon. Well--as most plans go--mine went to waste. P was running a fever, she was clingy, irritable, and she wouldn't sleep. I spent the majority of the morning trying to make her happy, and the afternoon letting her snooze in my arms. Here is the truth, ladies. I felt annoyed at her.

I was annoyed that she had ruined my only full day off this weekend. I was annoyed that she didn't give me a break during the day to do what I wanted to do. I was annoyed that she wouldn't sleep in her bed so that I could shower and eat. I was just annoyed. As I sat there rocking her in her dark room in silence with only the whoosh of the fake waves from her sound machine--I let the guilt of that fact wash over me. She was sick. She didn't feel well. She couldn't get comfortable. And guess where she was most comfortable--on me. On her mother. I can't tell you when the last time I held my child while she slept was. So I felt guilty that I didn't feel happy about doing that for her. I should revel in being her safe place, her place of comfort, and her home.

So I studied and counted her light snores, and inhaled deeply the smell of her hair. I rubbed her little fingers, and rocked, and rocked, and rocked. Because I now remembered the last time I had held her while she slept. It was when she was 6 months old. Over a year ago.

On Sunday afternoon when P once again was having a hard time napping through her cold and ear infection. I readily volunteered to go up and lay with her. I brought her into our bed and cuddled her close to me. She went back to sleep and so did I. This time--I was very happy. Sure, I didn't get to catch up on all my shows. And I didn't finish all of our Christmas shopping. But I was there for that little girl of mine. These moments are not wonderful all of the time, but they are all together wonderful. I am lucky to have a little reminder of that each and every day.

Happy Monday, Y'all

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Favorite Christmas List for Her

This year I had a hard time thinking about items that I wanted to place on my Christmas list. After a lot of research and looking at what I need in my closet and makeup bag. I decided on the items above. I think they would be great additions that most women would love.

1. Buxom Mascara
This is by far my favorite higher end mascara around. I love the blackest black. The applicator is awesome. I would always be happy with a tube of this stuff in my stocking!

2. JCrew Factory Lexi Pants
These are my  number 1 go to pants for work, so I am always looking for fun new colors to add to my closet.

3. Sam Edelman Boots
My cousin wore a pair of these babies to our Thanksgiving celebration, and I have been dying for a pair ever since.

4. Tyme Iron
This thing is ridiculously expensive, but it is really cool. Anything to save your wrist while you are making those perfect curls with the straightening iron.

5. Pandora Brillant Legacy Clear Earrings
I don't often wear earrings, but maybe I would if I had these babies. I think they are pretty without breaking the bank.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Piper's X-Mas List

This year I was having a really hard time figuring out what my P would want for Christmas/ Hanukkah. She is still in that stage where she can show interest in toys, but cannot really tell you what she wants in so many words. So--The best way to determine what she might like is to actually take her to Toys-r-us and actually observe her in her own environment. Then there were things that as I walked through--I just thought would be good for her development. Here's what we came up with. Hopefully it can help you shop for the baby love in your life. Or for P if you are family :)

1. Just Like Home Deluxe Housekeeping Set
P is always the happy helper around the house. She loves to help us do the laundry and wipe up messes on the floors. I know that she would love getting this set for the holidays!

2. LeapFrog My own Laptop
J loves educational toys and specifically felt that we needed to buy this laptop for P for Christmas. It is already purchased and read to place under our tree. It will help P learn her letters and numbers as well as learn how to spell. I think she will love it.

3. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move Beatbo
While walking through the store I saw this little guy, and although I didn't purchase him, I know my girl would love him as she loves anything musical.

4. Little Tikes 3 ft. Trampoline
When I was looking through different blogs and parent websites for gifts for 2 year olds. A lot of them said a small trampoline to work on jumping with both feet. P is still having a hard time mastering this skill, so I think that this trampoline will be great for her development. Thanks, Glammy!

5. Baby Amaze Learn To Talk and Read Babydoll
I saw this babydoll when we were walking through Toys r us and just knew that it would be a great pick up for baby P. We opted to get one of her accessories, but not the doll itself. It may be a great pick up for later on, or for another family member to get her. I can just see P reading along with the baby as she has a real passion for books lately. It is one of the things I really love about her!

6. Yvolution Y Velo Jr. Double Wheel Balance Bike
As someone who didn't learn to ride a bike until much later in life--I was fascinated when I saw the whole section of balance bikes in the stores this year. What a cool idea for a little one's development! I like this one because it is for two year olds and the double wheel helps them learn balance but is a little bit more stable. There are no pedals so it is just about learning to balance and move on the bike frame. This gift has already been claimed for baby P, but you should get your little one one of these pronto! I kinda want one for myself, not going to lie. Just make sure you get your little one a helmet too. Safety first Friends!

So that is it. There is my list of things that I think any two year old would want. You could always add Play-doh, coloring books with stickers, board books, and cute outfits. Those things are also always winners in my house. 

Happy shopping, and have a Happy Holiday Season, Y'all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

So Big!

Two nights ago Piper did something that scared the crap out of me. It is one of the fears I have always had as a mother, and something that I hoped she would never do. 

I had put her to bed and was sitting downstairs. I heard her start to cry. It is right after a break, so I knew that she probably wasn't tired yet because she had gotten used to going to bed a little bit later than normal over the past week. However, she had to get up early and needed to go to sleep. I went back upstairs and rocked her for a few minutes. I put her back down and she immediately popped back up and started screaming. She did NOT want to go to bed. I decided to let her cry it out for awhile. I went back down stairs. She was protesting pretty profusely and then all of a sudden I hear this big BANG and the whole house shook.

I knew instantly what had happened. I have never climbed a set of stairs so quickly in my life. When I reached her door I could tell that she standing on the other side of it. So there it was--my child, the crib escape artist.

I gave her a quick once over. Evaluated her pupils. Made sure she could walk to me without a limp. Made sure she could move and lift both arms over her head. Saw that she could wiggle her finger and toes, and turn her neck, and decided that she was probably fine. But. I. Was. Not. Fine. 

I raced down the stairs with her and grabbed my phone to call my husband, who was out getting dinner. I broke down on the phone with him trying to tell him what had happened. I was so scared. I knew she was fine. That wasn't the issue. The issue was the what if's. What if she hadn't been fine. What if she had broken something--like her neck. I would have felt like it was my fault. I couldn't live with that. 

After a call to the pediatrician and some M&Ms to calm our nerves we lowered her crib all the way to the floor to ensure that she could not again escape, but vowed that we would not let her cry tonight out of fear that she might try again. 

Yesterday I spent spare time searching Wal-Mart for toddler beds months earlier than I thought I would have to and choked back tears. My baby is not ready for a big girl bed. My baby is, well, a baby still.

But the facts were all there, she is not a baby anymore. She is almost two. She hasn't sipped from a bottle in almost a year. She can say full sentences, and count to fifteen. She can tell you her name, that she a girl, and that she loves her Daddy. She knows at least 15 different songs by heart. She can spoil the ending of any book in her repertoire. She is a busy, beautiful, wild, bustling, toddler. NO denying it anymore.

As I am already planning her second birthday party, I shouldn't be surprised. But I was. She may be ready, but I am not. As they say--each day she is youngest and smallest she will ever be. It seems like forever ago that I was pregnant with her. I can barely remember what it felt like to nurse her, to cuddle that tiny body. It just seems like a lifetime ago. 

And it was. She is a completely different person, and so am I. She has made me that way. I am thankful for that. I truly am. So I will have to learn to be ok with the fact that she is SO BIG! I needed the reminder to stop and savor the moments everyday. Because one day I will look back on these days and miss them too. I want to remember every little bit. So tonight we are going to play Ring Around the Rosie. I'll let her chase me around the kitchen island. Maybe we will even have a dance party on Mommy's bed. That's what I want to remember one day when she is again, So Big.