Why I’m Still Co-Sleeping with my Daughter

I felt it was appropriate to share this one this morning since I woke up in my daughter’s bed at 4:00 a.m. Blurg. I was super tired and it is so warm in there with her flannel sheets 😉 Anyway, I have had some articles in Moms Magazine and my latest is titled Why I’m Still Co-Sleeping With My Daughter. You can find it here momsmagazine.com/2015/02/09/why-im-still-co-sleeping-with-my-daughter Kind of a hot topic right now. But really what isn’t a hot topic in this parenting world? If you have a little time on your hands today stop and check me out 🙂

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I would have to take ridiculous amounts of ibuprofen and use all of the Icy-Hot in my cabinet if I fell asleep like this 😉

Just when I think I couldn’t love you more <3

Just when I think I there is no way possible that I could love you more you do something that just melts my heart. You always have a way to make me smile, laugh out loud and make my heart burst with love.

The way you organize all of your toys just like I organize makes me love you more.

The way you laugh and get the giggles makes me love you more.

When you come running up to me to give me a hug makes me love you more.

How we can just be silly together makes me love you more.

When you need your quiet time just like me makes me love you more.

Your love of books and how you want to read them all makes me love you more.

Even your strong will makes me love you more; that lets me know you will grow into a strong woman who can take care of herself.

Seeing you enjoy life to the fullest makes me love you more.

I am sure there are hundreds of other things that you do now and will do in the future that will make me thank God you are in my life and that I get to be your momma. You are always keeping me guessing and just when I think me heart is full you do something that makes me love you more ❤

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Even when you sleep you make me laugh 🙂

Cleaning out my closet

Sounds easy enough; clean closet and finish unpacking from when we moved here in September. I know it should have been done sooner but I have been putting it off. I have the biggest closet by far out of anyone so a lot of things get shoved in there. Last month husband was off and everyday I would tell myself I was going to do it. It is so much easier to do it when he is home so he can watch Avery while I clean. Avery loves to help but she makes more of a mess and I really wanted to get it done. Of course the month flew by with a dirty closet still on my mind. Now it’s a new month and husband is back to work and I am still thinking about that dang closet. So I decided today would be the day.

I kept telling myself that I was just to lazy to clean it before but when I walked into the closet the real reason was staring me in the face. The blue tote sat in the middle of the room needing to be put away. What is in the blue tote? My son’s belongings. After we had Mason and we weren’t able to bring him home it took me a long time to figure out what to do with all of his things. We had his molds of his feet and hands, footprints, pictures, cards and blankets. You name it we had it. Of course the big items would stay out for what we were hoping would be another baby. I left his clothes in his closet because I was 100% sure we would have another boy and it made me happy to think that Mason could pass down his clothes to his little brother. Lo and behold we had little Avery. Who would have thought that out of a family of all boys (my husband’s side) a little girl would finally come 🙂 I tried my hardest to put Avery in the neutral clothes I had but I couldn’t do it. They were meant for her brother that wasn’t here so I put them to the side.

I wanted a special place for all of our mementos of him and I couldn’t bear to put them in a tote pushed to the back of some closet. So the only logical place would be to put them in my hope chest which sat at the end of our bed. I was really happy about them going into the hope chest. The only problem is that we have moved three times since we had Mason. So his things have to be moved into totes to be transported. He has two totes filled with all of the things I kept of his including some clothes that I couldn’t bear to put on another baby or give away.

When we moved in I promptly unpacked the first tote. For some reason I couldn’t bear to unpack the second; so it got left until today. I am going to rewind a little. The past three nights have been rough with Avery. She just simply does not want to sleep. The first night we finally got her down at 12:30. The second night it was 10:00 and last night it was 11:30. Since she is not sleeping well that means mom isn’t’ either and Avery is a little bear all day because she needs her sleep. Last night I was at my wit’s end. I kept watching the clock tick by knowing I had to be up at 5:15. All I could think about was everything we had on our plate for today; laundry, toddler time, cleaning and a bath. I ended up taking her back downstairs while she cried it out after me getting very frustrated with her. Immediately after she fell asleep I felt bad about how upset I got with her. The guilt is still clinging on big time. Back to the tote. As I was putting Mason’s things away I started thinking about how nice it is to do so. Folding all of his little clothes and blankets. Making sure everything is arranged nicely so it fits in the hope chest. It made me have that great feeling that I long for; I was able to take care of him even though he is not here. Looking at his pictures and realizing all over again what a miracle and blessing he is. After years of infertility we finally won our lottery; we got our babies.

Feeling like I needed to go and squeeze Avery and tell her how much I love her I went into her bedroom where she was playing so nice with her books. Then I smelled it; yup she pooped. I laid her down to change her and it all hit me; the gas, the frequent stools, the not sleeping, the runny nose; she is getting more teeth. Ugh, I felt like such a jerk. I was so frustrated with her I didn’t even realize she was hurting. All she wanted to do was hold my hand and cuddle. All I wanted was some sleep.

All of these thoughts and feelings washed over me. All of the nights I prayed, wished and hoped for little clothes to fold. All of the nights I cried wanting a baby to cuddle and hold hands with. Now I have two and I let my lack of sleep frustrations and sadness take over me. Sometimes I forget how happy going through Mason’s things can make me. In those late night hours I forget how wonderful it is to have my little Avery to hold hands with.

Today Avery is getting smothered with love and I am going to pick a picture of Mason out to hang in our room. I will be happy to fold those little clothes and clean up the messes. This is what I prayed for, wished for and hoped for. I am happy to be cleaning out my closet.

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The brushing and food wars

What made me write this post you ask? A couple of situations. The first being that I chased my daughter around for about an hour trying to get her hair brushed and styled. When I say styled I mean a small ponytail in the front just to keep the hair out of her eyes. The second being that I am trying to expand her menu. The girl is so extremely picky. The third being I am procrastinating  on an awesome writing opportunity. I know you are probably thinking why in the world would you do that? Well I am experiencing a horrible case of writers block and every time I go to write it comes out looking like an eighth grade writing assignment. For some reason writing helps my writers block? I know it sounds completely insane but it does. If I write about something else it helps the other subject I am writing about. I will let you know how the article comes out when I am able to. Very exciting and awesome opportunity!!

Back to the task at hand. The brushing of the two-year old. My Avery was blessed with my beautiful mane. I don’t give myself compliments like ever but when it comes to my hair I am willing to shell out a couple. Anyway, there does come some downfalls with thick hair. It becomes tangled or mangled as I like to call it. We have to have the perfect storm to be able to brush and style. When Avery gets out of the tub she will allow me to brush her hair if I do it quickly enough. Baths must put her in a good mood because she usually lets me put pig tails in. If she is not in the mood then it’s a quick front pony tail. If it is not bath day we have a problem. I try my hardest to sneak up on her but she always see that brush or comb. Then the chase is on. After we run around and I finally catch her the brushing starts. If I am lucky I can get a couple of sprays of de-tangler in. The Bubble Guppies must be on the television for her to even think about letting me brush her hair. Usually when the brushing starts her hands start going. She tries as hard as she can to get the comb or brush away from me. One day she succeeded and put the comb in her toy box/hiding spot. After the brushing is over we move onto the ponytail. I guess it’s called a ponytail. I am far from a hairdresser so I could be wrong. Anyway, the ponytail goes in the front to keep her hair out of her eyes and to prevent food, boogers and liquids getting in her hair. Sometimes the ponytail is just perfect, sometimes it’s a side ponytail and sometimes we get what I call a Snooki bump. For those of you that have never seen Snooki the bump is when your hair looks pushed up in the front. I have actually put the ponytail in while Avery was running or walking really fast away from me. I think sometimes it does hurt her sensitive little scalp to get her hair brushed. I totally get that as I too have a sensitive scalp. But for the most part she is just being a stinker.

Now on to the food. These are Avery’s meals everyday of her life. Breakfast is a packet of Quaker Oatmeal. It can be just about any kind but some days she decides she doesn’t like a kind she had 12 hours before. Lunch is one container of Hello Kitty yogurt. I learned the hard way it has to be Hello Kitty. The grocery store was out of Hello Kitty so I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles yogurt. I got the hand and then there was some chasing. (You would think I would be thinner with all of this chasing) Avery likes to give us the hand. If she needs you to move the hand goes up, if she doesn’t like something the hand goes up. Moving along to supper. Avery will partake in another packet of oatmeal. For snacks she will eat corn Chex; not Rice Chex it has to be corn. She will also eat Teddy Graham’s if they are honey, chocolate chip or apple flavor. From what I understand the Apple has been discontinued. Blurg. Avery pretty much refuses to eat meat. A small piece of hamburger is about all she will take. Until tonight she ate one and half chicken nuggets. After a couple of hands she ate. I think she knew I was in the middle of writing this) I am not sure how but even though the girl has such a small menu she is growing like a weed. Avery just entered the 3T world around her Birthday. She has now outgrown her 3T footy pajamas which are a must have in Wisco. Some of her 3T tops are a little on the tight side. I have heard from some confidential sources that her father was a pretty picky eater too. I on the other hand will pretty much eat anything except for peas.

In conclusion this post helped Avery eat meat (not sure how much “meat” is in chicken nuggets but I will mark it in the win column.) The writer’s block is still here. Tomorrow is bath day so that means a good hair day for Avery. I hope it doesn’t sound like I never give her a bath; we usually do baths every other day. On a good note Avery loves to brush her teeth. If it was up to her she would brush them every time she is in the bathroom. She doesn’t always use her toothbrush but we are working on that.

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Tools of the trade
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Now she wants to de-tangler

The Swimsuit

Today was the first time in three years that I have worn a swimsuit. Doesn’t seem like a long time since every year flies by so quickly but it is for someone who loves water parks and swimming. I refused to put on a swimsuit since I have had my daughter until today. I always thought I was way to fat to put one on and nobody would want to see me in one. Now I ‘m not going to lie I have lost some weight in the past year put I am nowhere near where I want to be. The past two summers I have taken my daughter to the beach but I would always wear clothes. The first year it was a t-shirt and capris and last year it was athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I never wanted to rob her of having a love of water so I want to take her to the beach and things. There are a some tricky things about taking your kids swimming when you are wearing clothes:

  1. Kids don’t stay where they are supposed to. You are going to get wet and once you are wet your clothes look pasted on and you might as well have worn a swimsuit.
  2. Kids want you to play with them and it is hard to play in the water when you are wearing jean capris.
  3. You kind of look silly at the beach fully clothed when everyone else is enjoying the warm weather and water.
  4. You are at a beach or water facility. It is warm and you are fully clothed. Not a good combination. Rashes and sweat can occur.

Back to the swimsuit debacle. So I actually had to borrow a swimsuit because I don’t even own one. The reason for the swimsuit was I had decided I really wanted to go swimming and try the sauna at the gym. I really missed swimming so I was super excited to go. Of course body issues arose and a lot of self-consciousness. Not only my weight but scars and all the like. See after you have cancer you are pretty much guaranteed one scar. I call it my port scar; because well, that’s where they put my port to get my chemo. More than likely you are going to have other scars from surgeries too. Plus after you have kids nothing is where it was before. After I was assured that I would be able to run quickly from the locker room to the pool I was really ready.

After I put my suit on and did a body check in the mirror I was ready to sprint into the pool. (Body check means making sure everything that is supposed to be covered is) I ran to the door and was about to fling it open when I realized; it was locked. Crap. I was with my dad so obviously he was not in the locker room with me. I ran to the door of the locker room and realized that the men’s locker room door was open so like a child I yelled “Dad?” Luckily he responded. I asked him if his door to the pool was locked too and he said it was. I am not sure what came over me but I volunteered to go and find another entrance. So there is body-conscious me running the halls trying to find a staff member in my swimsuit. After having a nice conversation with a gentlemen that works at the gym I learned that the pool was down for repairs and the sauna was closed at that time of day. Not a big deal; I still got my workout in for the day the pool and sauna were just a bonus.

After I got back in the locker room to get dressed I realized that being in that swimsuit really wasn’t that bad. The employee that I talked to did not care about my scars or my weight. He told me what I needed to know and even gave me a book recommendation. (Not a book about pools; if you have ever met me you know one conversation leads into five more.) Anyway, I got to thinking about all of the things I want to do now that I got my butt in that swimsuit. Take my daughter to the beach, water park and pool. Oh the possibilities! Then I thought am I giving my daughter a bad opinion on body image because I don’t wear swimsuits and have insecurities about my body? Those kids are always listening and even if I don’t say it to her she will most likely hear me. In the past she didn’t realize that everyone else was swimming while I was in street clothes but soon she will. I don’t ever want her to think it’s not okay to get in a swimsuit and have fun. Whether it be with her friends or her own kids. I also want her to know that she can always be comfortable with herself. I love to make memories with her and it’s hard to make memories from the shoreline. So I decided from now on whether I lose, maintain or gain weight. I am going to do all of the things I want to do with her. All of this time I have been thinking and saying out loud that I am too big to wear a suit. But my daughter doesn’t care about my weight or my scars; she just wants mommy to play with her. After today I don’t think anyone else really does either. Besides taking a very active toddler to any type of water facility will keep me busy enough to where I won’t have time to worry about what people are thinking. In this world it is hard enough for women to be okay with their body and my daughter doesn’t need that type of thinking to come from her own mother. So from now on I will put on the swimsuit.

Dear Pinterest: We need to talk

I want to start this out by saying I have always loved you Pinterest. From the moment I logged in I knew it was meant to be. From the recipes to the crafts I was hooked on you. Countless home decor ideas and gardening tips have been pinned to beautiful boards. There is just something that has been on my mind lately and I need to talk to you about it. I pin cute toddler crafts to my craft board. When I try to execute them they don’t look the same as the pictures. It leaves me with a lot of questions. “Are the parents doing the handprints?” “Were the toddlers even in the room when these crafts were done?” “Are these superhuman toddlers that were made in a factory in the desert?” “Maybe it’s just my kid?” Those are just some simple questions that I would like answered so we can continue our relationship.

I was going to title this post “My Love Hate Relationship With Pinterest” But I couldn’t do that because I don’t hate you Pinterest. I love you Pinterest. I get that tingly feeling in my stomach when I log on. You know the one where you know you are in love. Then I start pinning. Oh the pinning! I find cute things to send to my fellow pinners and you also let me send a message with them. (I love that!) I have made many recipes and actually purchased some things I found on Pinterest. I even have a board for my blog. There is wonderful information right at my fingertips and you are always willing to share it.

But why do I feel like you are lying to me? One time you emailed me and you told me I was a “special” pinner and you wanted me to take a survey. I felt so loved; so needed. Then I went to the grocery store and I found out that you sent the same email to a gal that works there. My heart was crushed. Needless to say I did not fill out your survey. I gave you another chance. Now the craft debacle. I want to know and I feel I deserve to know. “Are these children sitting in a chair, sipping lemonade and letting their parents paint their hands?” “Do these children even know they did these crafts?” “How many special pinners do you have?” “Will you still be with me if I pin my handiwork?” I love you Pinterest but I am not sure I can take the lies.

Your Friend Always,

Autumn

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Would you let me pin this? Would you?

How many fingernails does it take to install a car seat?

I have mentioned before that I am not mechanically inclined at all. When it comes to car seats, toys, play-pens and all of the other things that comes with babies and toddlers I am at a loss on how to put them together or install them. It probably sounds bad but for the most part I leave those things up to husband. He is way better at those things than I am. That is the one thing people don’t warn you about when you are pregnant. I always heard about lack of sleep, privacy and the dirty factor. Never once did someone say “By the way you are going to have to put together and install endless amounts of heavy equipment and toys for the rest of your child’s life.” It took me about four months to realize Avery should have come with batteries. When they sent her home from the hospital they should have said “Here is your baby, sleep sack and complimentary pack of AA batteries.”

My biggest fear is when my car seat is not installed. I have had to install it all by myself once and it was awful. Step-son called one day saying he was sick and needed to be picked up from school. Sounds simple enough; start the car, put toddler in the car and go to the school. I went outside to start the car and the car seat was missing. Crap. What the what was I supposed to do. I had never installed it by myself before. I really had no choice at this point; I had to put the car seat in. After a few choice words under my breath regarding the person who had un-installed it I went to work. After losing about every fingernail I own and having a slight panic attack; the car seat was in. Of course this was all happening while my car was running so I received a heavy dose of exhaust in my face. It’s a good thing I had my sunglasses on otherwise I would have taken a couple fingernails to the eye. Will I ever install the car seat again? I really hope not. Did I mention that the brand of my car seat is Safety First? Obviously not meant for the parent.

One day I decided it was time for the pack and play had to go. It had been a long time since Avery was in there and it was taking up space in the closet. So I jumped on a stuff for sale Facebook page in my area and put some pictures up. In a matter of minutes I had the thing sold. Awesome! Since I am so horrible at putting things together I decided to have husband put it together and leave it that way until the gal came to pick it up. There was one thing I didn’t consider in my master plan. How in the world was I going to take it down to get it in her car. As I struggled and struggled with it the gal actually ended up taking it apart with ease. I am sure she was tired of watching me sweat trying to take the thing apart. I may or may not have thrown a fingernail her way on accident.

On to the toys. Again I usually have husband put toys together. That is until Rapunzel’s Tower entered out world. If you have been reading for a while you know a little about this coveted tower. I looked and looked for this magical tower and then I finally broke down and ordered it. I may lose some followers after this but Avery actually likes Tangled more than Frozen (gasp!) So this tower was on the top of our toy must have list. We waited very patiently for the tower to arrive and one day it came! Luckily Avery was napping so I thought good husband can put it together. I opened the box to find Ariel’s Castle. Dang! After many calls and a confusing UPS drop off experience we finally received Rapunzel’s Tower. This time Avery was awake and she wanted that thing immediately. She pretty much yanked it out of my hands and tried prying it open herself. Then I knew I would have to put the thing together since husband was at work. So I pried it out of her hands and got to work. Luckily it was very easy to put together and I thought I was pretty cool. I was ready to brag to husband about how I put this thing together all by myself when it happened. Avery started pushing buttons and no sound came out. No batteries! I thought it should be easy enough to install batteries. Oh how I was wrong. I proceeded with my screwdriver in hand to the spot where I thought the batteries would go. Try as I might I couldn’t get that battery area open. I even went as far as to send a picture of the tower to a friend to see if she could figure out where the batteries went. She did agree with me that I was trying to put them in the most logical place. I really wanted to show husband I could do this so I went in the toolbox to find more screwdrivers. When I realized I was stripping the area where I thought the batteries should go I stopped. Hanging my head in defeat I waited until husband got home. After explaining my situation to him he looked over the tower. He said he could tell I put it together because the stickers on the tower were not put on perfectly straight. Then I got to reply with it actually did come that way and they must have felt bad for sending the wrong item so they put the stickers on for me. Then husband turned the castle around and installed the batteries lickety-split. Ugh I was trying to put them in the wrong place the whole time!

The moral to this story is I am still not good at installing or putting things together. If you want me to type up a fancy letter or make an awesome casserole I am your gal. If you need someone to build you something I will introduce you to husband. To answer the question of “How many fingernails does it to take to install a car seat?” The answer is every. single. one.

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Blocks are awesome because the little’s have to put them together 🙂

I seem to have lost my toddler instruction manual

When I was pregnant with both of my kids I read What to Expect When You Are Expecting religiously. I would get super excited when I came to a new week of my pregnancy and I could find out the new things that were happening with my baby. I just figured that the next books in the series would tell me everything I needed to know about my infant and toddler. It wasn’t so with Avery. Of course she had to be way different then the books and internet would tell me. I just figured since my pregnancy book was so accurate and great that the rest of the info on babies would be wonderful too. They very well could be for other kids just not mine.

Avery has always been a little stubborn and would like it if everyone catered to her and followed her rules. I have a couple of examples of this behavior:

  1. Tonight Avery decided she no longer liked strawberry oatmeal. Even though she ate it yesterday; I had to chase her around the table to get her to taste it. So she took a bath and is now eating her strawberry oatmeal. O.M.G.
  2. Today Avery sat on the toilet and screamed like we were killing her and refused to go. After we finally gave in and took her off the toilet husband went in the bathroom. Avery cried and kept opening the door because she wanted to sit on the toilet. Seriously?
  3. Avery boycotted juice for two months. She used to love the stuff and I would give her a cup every other day or so. then one day for no particular reason she wouldn’t drink it. Last week I picked up some juice that came in a container with Hello Kitty on top. She now drinks juice.
  4. I have a collection of her toys that she has not touched for months and today I decided to get rid of them. She has been playing with them since. This girl…..
  5. For some reason Avery is obsessed with having her feet rubbed. Some nights she will not fall asleep until each foot gets a rub.

When we were in the bath I kept thinking “What in the what am I going to do; I think I have to feed her by law?” I really didn’t want to make her a different flavor oatmeal because I didn’t want to give in. (Still not sure where this stubbornness comes from) I was wishing there was something to reference so I would know what to do with this child.  Maybe a magical book or user manual perhaps. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had a factory reset button? I would reset Avery back to the days where she would eat everything I put in front of her. (Except for peas but I can’t really blame the girl on that one.) Now her diet consists of oatmeal, yogurt, crackers, Chex and the occasional piece of meat. Or whatever I am eating because mommas plate is always better.

I am hoping this is the terrible twos everyone talks about. Maybe three is better; one can only hope. I know what people are thinking; your kid is running your life. Yes, I know people and when I find that reset button or instruction manual we will get back on track. Until then it’s Avery’s world we are just living in it.

 

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Back when she ate and a little Percy tail 😉
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Of course she likes chips 🙂 Percy is a little jelly….

 

I don’t always need to be mama bear

I have a problem. My problem is I am way too overprotective of my kids. I am that mama bear just waiting for someone to strike. It doesn’t matter who it is I always feel the need to defend my kids. Even to my own husband. Not that he picks on them or is mean at all but even when his scolding is justified I still usually give an eye roll at least. It needs to stop. It’s not fair for the people who truly care. Even though my son is in heaven I still feel the need to be a protective mama to him.

I am starting to come to terms with my protectiveness and I realize I need to let it go. (A little bit) The incident that pushed me over the edge was when I heard my husband and daughter after bath tonight. At first I thought he was scolding her for something. All I could hear was him talking loudly and I was about ready to go upstairs and see what was up. I turned the TV down and then I heard it. They were singing. All I could think was what a fool I am. How upset would my husband have been if I went running up the stairs to break up signing. I couldn’t have blamed him if he would have been upset.

It got me thinking about the events that could or most likely will happen in my daughter’s life that will make me want to pounce on someone who does her wrong. But unfortunately I will probably have to back off. I know she has to learn how to deal with what life throws at her and that won’t happen if I am constantly stepping in. I know it is going to be extremely hard. I am sure there will be some situations that I will step in. I can’t help it; but I will try my hardest to stand back. I have always been ready to pounce if someone hurts someone I love. I think I was just born that way. Sometimes it may be warranted but other times maybe not so much.

Even though I will always be there for her when she needs me I also need to learn how to stand on the sidelines. There are times when I will need to pounce but there will be other times that I need to stand back. (Maybe growl but no pouncing) It will be hard, maybe for both of us but I at least have to try. I guess this mama bear needs to hibernate. (A little bit)

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