First Day of Pre School

So, today was Zoe’s first day of Pre School.

Breathes out slowly.

It was a bit hard to sleep last night.

It was harder on me to leave her there than it was for her.

She had a great time, she behaved, and they seem to be charmed by her.  I didn’t really do much more than stare at the clock the whole time before going to pick her up.

Tomorrow might be a bit more productive as I start adjusting.

Goodness, it was a serious “next step” realization in this whole adulting and parenting thing when I was packing her first lunch for school last night.

Here’s to the start of a long next stage of our lives.

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I Did It My Way…. ‘Cept I didn’t.

Ok, who doesn’t love a little  Ol Blue Eyes?  Mm.

Oh, sorry, started singing in my head and got distracted. 🙂

I’ve been sitting on this post for a handful of days so far.  It might end up taking a few more days to end up finishing as well.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have been bending to the things other people want a lot more than I was willing to realize.  I can’t believe I managed to convince myself otherwise just because I basically refused to do baby stuff (besides gifts).  I also wouldn’t want to directly compete with a friend.

I have realized that things just aren’t selling.  I do not have the money to put into doing craft shows, and on top of that, I don’t have a local business license.  I’ve looked into it, but feel like with how painfully sad my sales have been for well over a year, it’s not worth bothering to get one.  I really wish I didn’t live in a place where the craft shows require it.  If I could do just one show, just to see how well I might be able to do (I know just one show shouldn’t be a good indicator, but hey…) I would then far more seriously look at getting a business license.

I don’t know if that makes any kind of real sense, but that’s just how my brain is working at this point.

I started this with next to nothing, and pretty much everything I have made has gone right back into it, little bit by little bit, and some craft shows are quite expensive to get into as a vendor.  Some aren’t, but some are up to multiple hundreds of dollars.  Though I have a few possibilities, I’m barred by the fact that I do not have a business license.

And before I do get one, I feel like I might need to take a danged class on the taxes and bookkeeping necessary to pay taxes before I even GET one.  I’m a bit petrified of that, despite knowing it’s an eventual necessity if I do continue with this little venture.  I would like to find some form of proper bookkeeping that doesn’t overwhelm me entirely, but will provide me with the accurate figures necessary to report income for taxes.  Thankfully, I have a husband and a good friend that are both rather educated in the tax area, if not the bookkeeping portion.  So, there’s that.

But even before any of that, I have to get things organized, in order, and honestly… until Zoe is in school regularly, I feel like that’s an almost impossible task.  I make progress, then things fall apart again.  Excuses, I know.  Some people are just ridiculously better at all of this than I am.  They have the more A-type personalities necessary for things like this.  I’m trying, but with my emotional health and my hormones, it can be rather daunting.

Anyway, enough with that boring, depressing stuff.

I’ve indeed been trying to please everyone, and I’ve found myself not as inspired as I once felt.

I’ve decided to take a look at a few things that I love.  All things coffee/tea, wine and books.

SO!

An idea I’ve been tossing around for a while, considering the name of my shop is finally going to start coming to fruition.

  1. Bookmarks and possibly other book related items.
  2. Wine glass charms.
  3. Wine Bottle Cozies/gift bags.
  4. Coffee Cozies/Mug/Cup Cozies.
  5. Small to large charms on clasps to be easily added to any existing jewelry, wine cozy or mug cozy.

This is perhaps going to give me a bit more focus, and my shop a bit more focus.  More ready-made items to ship out immediately instead of having things made to order every single time.  Smaller items I can more quickly produce, so turn over time is cut down greatly.  Still using supplies from both my jewelry ventures, and my more current yarn ventures.  It’s a change, but not a complete overhaul, so hopefully I will not end up going completely in the hole in the process.

I feel like these things really are close to home for me personally, and I will have a bit more joy out of making them, and hopefully that joy will be shared with others.

 

 

 

 

Overwhelm, my old friend.

I have realized (once again) it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything.  I think many of you have grown accustomed to that at this point.  Even so, my apologies.

While things have certainly gotten better in general, I’m no longer on anti-depressants, and my body is shifting back to it’s own version of “normal”, I’ve been dealing with figuring out just how I want to continue dealing with all of this.

I have started Saw Palmetto, and at the very least it’s helped tame some of the androgen that my body apparently over-produces when I’m not on birth control (which the birth controls I’ve been on happen to target).  I still have some intense mood swings, and the occasional intense pain from my cycle, but at least my skin isn’t as oily, my mustache is going away, and my skin is clearing up.  (Seriously, I started feeling like a teenager.)

Though, the rest of my skin clearing can be attributed to going back on Proactiv.  No, I’m not plugging it, but it’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my couple of stubborn spots.

My weight has fluctuated about 10 pounds, and I’m trying to work on that as gradually as possible.  There’s still some changes to make, and I’m working on those.  We’ve make a concerted effort to changing our evening dining habits, and we’re now in the third week.  We’re also trying to get up and out a little more often, which has been nice.

While a lot has gotten better, I’m still dealing greatly with an over-sensitivity to feeling overwhelmed, and it’s frustrating because I feel like it’s happening for no reason.  So, yeah.  Lots of cyclical emotional garbage, which is nothing new.

The periods seem to come and go quicker, though, which is both good, and a little frustrating.  When things are good, I am pretty productive, but then then I hit the wall pretty hard and it just knocks me so far back.  Trying to power through it as much as possible, though.

But having made a couple new friends and having an amazing friend move to the area has been a big boost for me.

So, here’s to grabbing the sunshine whenever possible and forcing myself to like it.

 

 

Almost 2 Years Old.

It’s that time again.  I’m sure I either waxed poetic or claimed I wasn’t going to wax poetic about my child turning one.  Well, my child is now about to turn two.  It’s been months since I’ve written anything, and a heck of a lot has happened since then, both in general and with my ever growing child.

It is hard to believe that two years have gone by since I gave birth.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we did her first birthday photos.  It is even harder to believe that it’s only two days away, and three days until we celebrate it with some friends of ours.

I can’t believe my child has gone from toddling around awkwardly to awkwardly running all over creation, climbing on everything, and talking up an absolute storm.  She’s forming full sentences, with appropriate structure and everything.  Sure, not all the time, but she’s swiftly moved from two and three word phrases to full on sentences involving up to six words at a time.

Her problem solving skills have grown exponentially, she’s definitely a thinker.  Her faces of concentration are pretty awesome.  She loves her flash cards and loves playing the matching game with them.  She’s quite good at it.  Her vocabulary is growing and growing every day.  Her pronunciation is of course shaky at best, but hell, she’s not even two yet.

She may still be quite small, seeing as many 18 month olds are her size, including her cousin, but she really has been growing in her own right lately.  She was about 20 pounds, a hair over at her last appointment for shots which I held off until she was 20 months old.  Now she’s floating around 23-24 pounds.  She’s gotten noticeably taller as well.  Though, it’s still pretty humorous to go through her clothing and put away things that are as small as 9 months!  Quite a bit of her 18 month things are still rather large on her, and mostly the pants are what gives her issues.  We can get away with lots of sizes for her tops.

She is certainly going through a lot of the pretty typical toddler things.  She has her times when she has her fits over everything, small or large.  And I know intellectually that it’s just the stage, she’s struggling to understand and be understood with a less than effective method of communication at this point in her life.  But I’m also seeing that the more she’s really starting to put more and more things together not just in her mind, but also through her speech, she’s calming down a bit here and there as we are understanding her more and more.

There is definitely the expected frustrations for her as well as for us.  We are imperfect beings, and she is learning how to communicate, and we are re-learning how to communicate.   It’s a huge learning lesson for us, not just as parents, but as adults.  It’s a struggle at times to find the most effective ways to communicate things to her, but also to find the patience in the more rushed and stressful moments in our lives.

All of it is beautiful.  It’s a reminder that life is so much more than the tiny little orbit we tend to create for ourselves as we grow and age.

Recently being able to meet and spend time with the new additions to our extended family, it really is a stroll down memory lane, back to some of the stages in the past two years our little girl has gone through.  She has a younger girl cousin, 6 months younger.  And the difference 6 months makes at this early stage in life is markedly different.  She has two brand new little boy cousins, right now only just over a month old, and of course it brings us both back to the time just after Zoe was born.

We’re raising the next generation of children in our families.  It wasn’t that long ago that we were still “the next generation of children” in our families.  I can only imagine that perhaps our own parents may have come to a similar realization and contemplation at the time they started their own families and started having their own children, us.  I wonder now whether or not my own child, her cousins… will they also have a point in their lives down the road where they realize this for themselves?

Two years old.  It seems too quick, too soon, but also is only the very beginning of a hopefully long, healthy, beautiful, and adventurous life.

Two years old, and I can only hope to help my child grow into a good person.  They will make their choices, as I know we have.  I can only hope to perhaps urge my child to be a thinker, regardless of the choices they make.  I hope I can show them the support and love I have for her in her growth and self-discovery.  The possibilities of what is to come as “dictated” by experiences past, and the kinds of stereotypes that always hold some semblance of truth from generation to generation terrify me.  But I welcome the challenge.  We made this huge choice to have a child.  I will continue to try to rise to the occasion.  To hold to that decision and to do the very best that I can and have as few regrets as possible.

Zoe, my love, my heart, you are a piece of me, and I can only hope that that piece becomes greater than my whole.  I love you.  To the moon and back, I love you.  I only hope you grow up to know in your heart that I do, that your father does.  More than anything in this world, more than ourselves, we love you.

Happy Second Birthday.

Trying to Not Be “That Mom”

I think I’ve heard, at this point, every last stupid line about parenting known to man.

Not a single one of them have ever really helped me, or made me feel better.  Honestly, when I hear lines about …well nearly any topic out there, I internally roll my eyes and groan.

When I have periods in my day to day where I am utterly frustrated, I can’t hold my temper very well and I honestly can’t think of a damned thing to do to make the situation better, for some stupid reason I’m reminded of all those ridiculous lines people always pull out of their rear ends.

I’ve seen other people who also go through what some people would say is “normal” for rearing children, and some people that seem to skate through without a care in the world.

I wanted to be one of those people that made it look easy.  I knew it wouldn’t be.  And I know for a good portion of my extremely short time raising my one child I’ve had a pretty easy time of it.  She’s been incredibly easy.

But, I am starting to wonder whether or not her being so easy  for this long has left me with an inability to figure the hard parts out.  The hard parts are sometimes so hard in the moment that I wonder if I’ll ever get it right.  And yes, I know that there are plenty of other parents out there that have probably asked themselves the same thing.

I am so stuck between the (rather idealistic) vision of how I wanted to try to make things go (think about the kind of touchy-feely granola new agey crap that makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little) and how things are going.  I fully realize, and have for a long time that I sometimes have very idealistic views and hopes for things.  You don’t have to tell me that.  And if you do, I’ll probably sit there imagining Gibbs-smacking you.  So please, just don’t do it.

I am a frustrated mom.  I’m finding that some things don’t work, and I just have no flaming clue what will.  I’m frustrated because some days it seems like I’m winning some of the battles (and I hate calling them that, but I have no better words at this point) and I get rejuvenated and it all just falls apart later that day or the next.

I feel like some cosmic something or other is getting their jollies off in kicking me over, then laughing as they put just enough pressure on me to keep me from getting up.

And I feel like sometimes society wants to shut the frustrated ones up.  It’s no kosher or politically correct, or not zen enough to be a frustrated person and be allowed to feel frustrated.

And for me, frustration is a very, very bad thing.  It’s one of my worst, most vicious circles.  I get frustrated over something, then I get frustrated for being frustrated, then get even more frustrated when I can’t get myself to not be frustrated…  You get the idea.

And indeed, it’s very much an internal battle between the me that wants to be all zen and happy and know all the answers, and have some kind of magical databank of ideas that I can pull out of an orifice whenever it is necessary, and the me that happens to exist most days.  Which certainly is not the former.

There are so many things that I always swore to myself I would never do if I started a family.  And not even two years into having a child, I’m struggling hardcore with some of those things.  I didn’t think it would be this hard to not do the things I didn’t want to do.

And because of that, I’m struggling to stay positive enough to feel like I’m being the kind of mother I wanted to be.  I feel so beat up some days, so lost, so guilty, so angry.  I know I’m not a bad mother.  But psychology just doesn’t always allow feelings to align with what the reality is.  The rational and the emotional often do battle with each other in this arena for me.  And I’m at a loss at how to go about getting it to stop.  Or at the very least, slow down a bit so I can get a breather and feel like I’m making some kind of progress.

I know that other people will never have the answers on how best to interact with my own child.  I certainly don’t expect them to.  I expect me to.  Unfortunately, I’m just not living up to my own expectations some days.  And that kills me a little.  And I think about it often enough to be fully aware that I need to do something.  But what?  I don’t know what to do.  I try keeping my calm, I try the ideas I hear about.  It’s just so hard to not feel like tearing out your own hair when things just do not work.

I know at some point, I will figure this out, or it will just stop because it’s not me, and it’s just a part of dealing with a growing child and they’ll maybe grow out of whatever the heck is going on.  (Yes, more of those stupid lines.)  Maybe it is just a phase.  Maybe it’s the terrible twos.

But part of me wonders so, so much if it’s something else, if it’s me.  What am I doing wrong?  Why can’t I get it right?  Why is it such a struggle some days?  Why is it not a struggle on other days?  Why does it seem like positive reinforcement isn’t working?  What am I doing wrong?  These are the things that go through my head and once it happens enough times, you really start to doubt yourself.  The negative thoughts come so much more often, to the point where they almost start seeming like truth.

But I’ve been in that place where negative thoughts seemed like reality.  I know that it simply is not.  And that alone keeps me from really falling for it and falling apart.  But when the solution is so hard to find, clawing my way back through everything becomes a heck of a lot harder.

I don’t want to be “That Mom.”  I want to be one of the ones that breaks the mold a bit.  I want to be one of those that doesn’t have to fight with her kid(s) on a regular basis.  I want to be one of those parents that somehow (seemingly like some mystical hoodoo) keep their shit together and never yells, or raises their voice, or behaves in an impatient  and frustrated manner.  Trust me, I know that even those people (as much as they might say they don’t) have their days.

But I would like to have fewer of them than I’m having lately.  Even that would be a big thing for me.  Never is even too idealistic for me.  Less would be good.  Yes, I would settle for less.

Eyes On You…

I know for a fact that I’m in a bit of a sensitive state at the moment, but I have the strong feeling that it’s not just that that makes me feel like I’m being watched and judged regularly when I am out with my daughter, whether or not my husband is there.

There are times I can easily shake it off and just tell myself I’m being silly and people are just glancing the way I’ve always glanced at noises and movements around me.  But there are other times when I’m just not so sure.  It really harkens back to the days of my youth when I was bullied and picked on for so many years.  With that kind of thing happening, it was extremely hard to not think that every little quiet exchange, whispered thing, or random glance in the middle of a conversation wasn’t some kind of negative thing about me.

I’ve come a very, very long way since then and while I have the occasional passing thought and fleeting paranoid feeling, it quickly passes and becomes nothing more than a momentary uncomfortable warm burst of air before sliding back into cool comfort.  But with the kinds of stories I hear from friends, read about in articles, and from time to time witness myself, it’s hard to not fall back into the old, insecure mindset.  (Thanks, school-yard bullies, thanks.)

But in an attempt to really get more of a handle on this thing, I feel like writing about it will help me.  If it helps someone else, all the better.  But you can be sure I’m doing this for selfish reasons first.  You’re welcome.  😀

I have felt for a long time that really addressing issues head on rather than just tossing them aside because they are negative, is a far better way of dealing with things.  It brings the issue itself into a better focus, gives it a bit of tangibility and something for me to work with, instead of against.  Some people may consider it “picking it apart” but honestly, sometimes picking something apart is the best thing you can do to it.

Sure, it’s not good for me to allow myself to feel insecure in myself, and my parenting, and all that.  I recognize that, and support the sentiment.  But I don’t agree with just basically giving a big, unseen “you’re number one” one fingered wave to the people who upset me.  There is the idea that no one can make us feel a certain way, and that it’s really our fault for allowing ourselves to feel that way.  And again, I understand the sentiment in that, but I think it’s greatly flawed.

We absolutely have the ability to change our perspective on something and change how we feel about things, and change how we react to things. But we have to have some kind of positive thing to draw from in order to know that it’s even possible in the first place.  But the onus isn’t completely ours to change it.  The responsibility of this is also on other people.  (Yes, I know, it’ll never be a perfect world.)  And I could sit here and go all couch-psych on this and relate it back to my bullied childhood in a long, rambling and likely very boring post.  I could probably, and would probably, also relate it to all sorts of other pseudo-psychological issues in society and socializing.

I will focus on one point, though.  Yes, we can learn to deal better with the feelings that pop up from whatever might be causing said feeling.  But perhaps we should be making a more proactive move to help other people stop being the source of that issue for us.  It’s certainly no secret that people look, stare, sneer, roll their eyes and make comments either to whomever they’re with, or to the person with the child.  We’ve all heard stories.  And many of us have our own.

Perhaps instead of ignoring them, or even getting rude back, or whatever other approach has been taken, perhaps people should be taking a step up, and going at it from a polite, smiling but firm approach.  To let people know that to be quite honest, we don’t give a flying, flaming rat’s patootie what you think about whatever is going on.  Though, of course…not in those words.  There are times when unsolicited advice is an ok thing.  There are far more times when it is not appropriate at all.  And most people have absolutely no idea how to deliver unsolicited advice to people, let alone strangers in a way that is in any way actually helping anyone.  So, just don’t do it.

The amount of hypocrisy in a lot of it is really ridiculous.  The worst is when it’s coming from people (unfortunately, largely mothers) who have kids with them as well who are acting/behaving much worse than the person they’re addressing or making snide remarks about.  When it comes from people who obviously have had time to have their own kids and those kids are grown and possibly have their own kids, it just makes me shake my head.  Look, you’ve been there.  Sure, it may have been a different time, but dealing with kids hasn’t changed all that much.  Some kids do great, some do not.  Some kids have bad days, no matter how well-behaved they are normally.  And people who have had kids themselves should be far more appreciative of that fact.  Appreciative, understanding and capable of realizing that perhaps it’s just one of those days, and the parent is doing the best they can.

(Don’t get me started on people who really don’t actually teach their kids basic life/social skills.  That’s another rant for another day, and probably a completely separate blog.)

When dealing with infants, guess what?  They cry!  Can’t really help that.  And if you see someone is trying so hard to soothe a baby, and is frazzled because it might just be their first child, and already look embarrassed to death, don’t wear your rear for a hat.  Give them a smile and let them know that it’s really not that big of a deal.  If you really can’t handle it, go the hell away.  Your inability to be understanding for whatever reason is an inexcusable catalyst for being a jackass.

For you people who stare, guess what?  We do see you.  Hey glancers, we notice you too.  You’re not being sneaky, or inconspicuous.  We have eyes in the backs of our heads, or did you not get the memo on that?  Take a look, and leave it at that.  Is it really in your best interest, or the interest of anyone else for you to shift your focus to those with children?  No.  It does nothing for you.  It does nothing for the parent(s).  It does nothing for the people you happen to be with.  Butt the heck out.

And for those of you that stage whisper.  Really?  What, do you still think you’re in high school?  Were you that person that bullied others as a child?  Were you the one that gossiped, cajoled, and spread rumors about people?  Guess what, whether you intended us to hear or not, we likely did.  And no, it doesn’t make you cool.  It makes you “that guy”.  Grow the heck up.

Now that I’ve vented a little.  😀  Back to the actual discussion.

Perhaps we shouldn’t take such a passive approach to these things.  Perhaps we should screw up our own courage and just make eye contact with these people.  Really make eye contact.  Hold it for a few seconds.  Let them know we really do notice.  And if we’re not already in a pitchfork wielding, laser beams from our eyes kind of mood, smile at them.  Or smirk.  Whatever is your style.  If someone actually comes up and tries to say something, or offer unsolicited advice, smile and say “Thanks, but I didn’t ask you.”  Sure, it may sound confrontational, but hey, we’re not the ones that started it.  I do think these people need to be made more aware of the kinds of effects they have.  Regardless of their intent, whether it be good, neutral, bad, indifferent…

Now, if someone is seriously trying to be helpful, that’s different in my eyes.  I’ve had people who you could tell were seriously just trying to be friendly and helpful.  Those people I can honestly appreciate for who they are.  They are the people who make me think of the saying “it takes a village”.

But for those that are just doing it because they can’t keep their pie-holes shut?  They need to know that they need to keep their pie-holes shut.  Carry some pie around, to shove into the hole when they feel the need to say something where it’s not their place.  A passing comment, however it’s meant really doesn’t generally come off as anything other than “I want to smack that….” I’m sure you can fill in the rest of that to your heart’s content.

Just because I’m young, doesn’t mean I’m clueless about raising a child.  Just because you happen to be witness to a mere ten seconds of whatever is going on with me and my child, doesn’t mean you magically know in that moment what’s best for my child.  You do not know me, you do not know my child.  So really, just keep your comments to yourself.  They aren’t appreciated.

Next time you want to open your maw to let some drivel flop out, don’t.  Take a second to think about whether or not you’d want someone coming up to you and making a comment, judging you and how you do things in a split second.  A drop in the bucket of a random stranger’s life.

A Year Gone By…

It’s been a year since I gave birth to my first child.

The feelings surrounding this are varied, confusing, awesome, bitter sweet… It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.  It’s hard to believe that my baby, isn’t that little swaddled baby any more.

It started to really hit me when I was getting together the things I wanted to save of hers ready to go into storage bins for safe keeping.  A lot of it is newborn, since she was in that size for so long.  Some of her hand knit baby blankets are going in there, a few of her newborn toys.

I think think about my miscarriage from time to time, but it’s alright.  I knew it wasn’t meant to be at that time, and quickly I had the ability to start over and try again, and It happened so quick, and now I’ve been through 9 months of pregnancy, and a whole first year of my child’s life.

It really is incredible to see the growth physically and emotionally and mentally in a baby.  They come out so small and helpless…but already instilled with incredible survival instincts.  And as they grow and become stronger and develop, their sense of individuality is amazing so early on.

I honestly thought I would end up waxing all sorts of poetic about this.  And in my heart, I know it’s there, and I feel like I could wax poetic about it but it seems to be staying right there.  I guess where it belongs.  In my heart.  The full spectrum of feelings and emotions and reactions I get from learning every new day with this child, is incredible.  Nothing beats the kinds of smiles she manages to illicit from me in a fraction of a second, the smile that not only lights up my face, but causes invisible fireworks to explode from my eyes and fills my heart to overflowing.