Dream Journal 8/7/17 | Surprise!

Kyle and I were eating lunch in a large, beautiful park with his older sister. The three of us were sitting at a wooden picnic table, and she casually mentioned that their younger sister, and her boyfriend, were on their way to Mexico. Continue reading “Dream Journal 8/7/17 | Surprise!”

Little Milestones 18 Months

He has a beautifully unique personality, and I absolutely treasure this little boy.

My little Liam is 18 months old now, as of July 23rd… a whole year and a half. How crazy is that? By this point in our lives, we’ve done away with all those silly apps and charts, and I’ve just been going with the flow, enjoying his toddlerhood, and trying not to worry too much about his development as much as I have in the past. I know he is perfect, even ahead in many areas, and I am done comparing him to all these super babies I see online. So, let’s look at Liam at 18 months! Continue reading “Little Milestones 18 Months”

Daily Prompt 7/24/2016 | Clock

Guess I can kiss productivity goodbye.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/24/2016 | Clock]

I only have two hours
While my toddler is asleep
To bathe, and clean the apartment
And find something to eat

The dishes are piled high
And the living room is a mess
But the clock just keeps on ticking
And I’m debating getting dressed. Continue reading “Daily Prompt 7/24/2016 | Clock”

The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles

What are some fun, artistic things that you have done with your little ones?

Hello, friends! I haven’t written about Liam’s developmental milestones for now, I have been planning a post about it, but since he is creeping up on his 18 month mark (what?!), I figured I’ll just wait until then! Today, I wanted to share with you all something that I have been having a lot of fun doing with him lately… coloring! Well, drawing. Doodling? Whatever. Toddler scribbles, yay! Continue reading “The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles”

Those Sweet Moments

He has grown and changed so much, in such a short period of time, and while I absolutely love my crazy little monster, and am so proud of his loud, silly personality, I treasure these sweet moments so much.

Hello, friends. This blog has no real significance, or important message, other than to tell you a short story about something that happened to me tonight. This will be a sappy little mommy/baby story, so if you’re not into that, then feel free to click away. I won’t be upset, I promise!

Now, it may not seem like much to many of you, but tonight, my 16-month-old son let me read to him. Let me preface this by telling you that I read to him all the time, usually several times a day, but very rarely does he sit still, or pays any attention, during story time, and honestly, that’s perfectly fine. I just love reading to him. I’m usually just reading to a room full of toys, while my crazy toddler tries to empty his sippy cup into his wagon, or throws his Mega Bloks into the kitchen sink, etc. But tonight, after brushing his tiny teeth, I asked him if he wanted to read a book before bed. With a smile on his face, he ran to his bookshelf, and grabbed Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, his current favorite book, and climbed onto the couch.

I sat down and began reading, with him cuddled against my side, and was not that surprised when he jumped off the couch about 30 seconds into the story. However, I was surprised when he went back to his bookshelf, grabbed two more books (his 100 First Words book and Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo), put them on the couch next to me, grabbed his Froggy, and climbed back up, leaning into my lap. He sat perfectly still, engaged and smiling, while I read all three books to him. Twice. He didn’t run away, he didn’t try to take and throw the books, he just sat there.

You guys, I honestly nearly started crying. He has grown and changed so much, in such a short period of time, and while I absolutely love my crazy little monster, and am so proud of his loud, silly personality, I treasure these sweet moments so much. Him letting me read to him, and showing interest, and wanting to actually sit and snuggle with me, instead of destroying something in the living room, meant so much to me, and was exactly what I needed after this really hard week.

Sorry, I just wanted to share that.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Mom’s Visit | The Final Day

Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, and Day 6 here.]

Hello, friends. Yesterday was my mom’s final day visiting with us, though her plane doesn’t actually leave Illinois for another 3 hours or so. It was a very mixed day. I felt really on edge, and anxious, from the time I woke up, to the moment we said our goodbyes. I tried so hard to make it a good day, but it felt like my mom and I were butting heads more often than not, and it created a lot of tension.

Kyle worked from 10-6 yesterday, so it was another day of just my mom, Liam, and I. Liam has been in quite the mood for the last couple days, including yesterday, which resulted in an early nap, which I was hoping to avoid doing, since we were going out to eat that night, and I didn’t want him being fussy. Ah, life with toddlers. Everything revolves around them.

My mom came over just after lunch, and we left in search of local garage sales, since there are signs littering the entire town. After over an hour of driving around, which was pretty quiet and uneventful, and not seeing anything of interest, we decided to drive to the mall so that Liam could play a bit before dinner. I stopped by Sears to see Kyle, but was told that he had just gone to lunch. I asked his co-worker if she could get him for me really quickly, as there wasn’t a single person in the store, and she was just standing at the register, but she told me she wasn’t allowed to (which is bullshit). Since I don’t have minutes on my phone, I couldn’t text him to tell him we were there, so we left, and hoped that he would be there when we came back through.

My mom bought me a late lunch at my favorite spot in the mall, and I shared a delicious, pretzel bread turkey sandwich with Liam, who already eaten lunch, but always insists on eating everything in sight. We also went into Maurice’s to scope out the huge clearance sale they were having. My mom tried to buy me every single article of clothing that I touched, not I kept telling her not to. She was not happy about that.

When we got to the play area, it was empty. I ran around with Liam for a while, but he was being naughty, and kept running out into the open mall, and I had to chase after him. There is a ramp and some stairs right outside of the play area, and he always runs toward them, which is frustrating and exhausting. My mom sat at the opposite end of the play area, taking videos and pictures the entire time. As we were going to leave, I asked her if I could see them to send some to myself, but she told me that she had deleted all of them, because none came out.

Well, okay then…

We left the play area, and my mom insisted on going into the mall bookstore to look at children’s books and puzzles for Liam. I saw so many books that I wanted to get for him, but I let my pride and my bad attitude take charge, and wouldn’t let my mom get any of them for him.

I don’t know why. I really don’t. I wanted them, he wanted them, and she wanted to buy them. I said no. What is wrong with me? Ugh.

I headed to the bathroom to change Liam, and my mom disappeared. When I came out, I was stopped by a young couple with a tiny baby, and we chatted a bit about babies and whatnot, before I went back to Sears. Luckily, Kyle was there this time, and he gave me the details on our dinner plans for the night. We were to meet his mom and step father at Applebee’s at 5:30, which was an hour from that point, and then he would be meeting us there at 6:00, after he got off work. I gave him a hug and kiss, and he got some cuddles from Liam, and I went back out to meet my mom and let her know what was happening.

Since we had an hour to kill, we decided to head to a local park that I had been to before, but had never visited the playground. It is a massive plot of land, with a cute lake, a bunch of walking trails, and a large playground, lined with sand, and surrounded by grass and trees. It is a beautiful park, and I wish we lived closer. Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes. It was funny.

There was another mom there, and she had two little ones with her, a toddler boy, and a tiny infant. Her son was about 2.5, and he watched us closely from the picnic area while Liam was on the swing. My mom sat herself beneath a tree, and watched us from a distance. She didn’t have much interest in playing until the end of our playground adventure. After nearly 15 minutes on the swing, we decided to explore the rest of the large playground, and the other little boy joined us! Rather than telling you about it, here are some pictures I took!

So that was fun!

We left the park around 5:20 and headed to meet Kyle’s mom and step father at Applebee’s. They were already there when we pulled up, and we sat in a large corner booth, and ordered our appetizers and entrees without Kyle, since he would be joining us a bit later. I ordered the Southwest Steak and Black Bean Soup, as well as the Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potatoes, for myself, and the kid’s Chicken Grillers and broccoli for Liam. It was all super delicious. I forget what Kyle’s meal was called, I think it was one of those “Build Your Own” things, but he got sweet potato fries, a steak, and some seriously amazing looking mac ‘n cheese.

It was a nice dinner. My mom and Candace politely went back and forth over who would pay the bill, as I expected, but they settled on splitting it evenly, which I also expected. We then gathered in the parking lot to put Liam’s car seat back into our Lincoln (it’s been in my mom’s rental all week), chat about some upcoming family events, and say our goodbyes.

There were hugs, and thank yous, and my mom cried.

And then it was over. She leaves tonight, and though her plane doesn’t leave for 3 hours still, and she has been sitting at the airport for 2 hours, she did not want to come by today. I’m okay with that. I had a nice week, and it was honestly good to see her, and for her to meet Liam, but I am completely drained. I don’t know when I will see her again, but I do know that I am happy to have things go back to normal around here. We definitely work better with a thousand, or more, miles between us.

I have a few other blogs I need to write, but I don’t know when that will happen. I need rest. I need to recharge.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Day 4

I was a bit anxious about being mostly nude around other people, but a funny, older woman put me at ease by cracking some jokes, telling me a funny story about her husband, and chatting to my little guy while I wrestled some dry clothes on him.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, and Day 3 here.]

Hello, friends! Yesterday was an absolutely lovely day, despite ongoing thunderstorms and several tornado warnings for our area. We had made plans to go to the Princeton Metro Center, where there is a gym, pool, kiddie pool, etc. (similar to the YMCA), after Liam’s nap, which ran much later than usual, but we also wanted to wait for the storms to pass, so we didn’t have to drive in the rain. As I said, Liam’s nap ran pretty late, so it was nearly 2:15 when we texted my mom to let her know that we were ready to leave. Of course, she was miles away, and had just gotten her lunch, so it took her another 45 minutes to get there. We left as soon as she showed up, and drove the 30 minutes to the Metro Center. It only cost $11 for a family pass (which allows access to the gym, pool, and basically everywhere else), and it was probably the best $11 I’ve ever spent in one place.

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The larger pool area was quite busy with other families, but the kiddie/wading pool was completely empty. I had never been to this place before, and was immediately drawn to the adorable, detailed, under sea paintings that covered the wall by the kiddie pool. It was large also quite large, and there was a basket filled with various, tiny pool toys for the littles to play with. I was nervous that Liam would be upset at the water, since he had never been in a pool before, and it was a bit cooler than a bath, but after just a few minutes of nervously clinging to me, he began playing with the floating toys, and splashing around happily. He even stumbled a few times, getting chlorinated water in his face, and it didn’t bother him one bit.

Unfortunately, since we left so late, we only got an hour and a half of swim time in before we had to leave for dinner, and I honestly didn’t want to go home. Showering off in the locker room while holding a shivering toddler was quite the ordeal (my mom decided to just take off and not offer any help), and while I initially wanted to get us dressed behind the curtained area, I opted to just put my insecurities aside, and get us dressed in the locker area, like everyone else. I was a bit anxious about being mostly nude around other people, but a funny, older woman put me at ease by cracking some jokes, telling me a funny story about her husband, and chatting to my little guy while I wrestled some dry clothes on him. I honestly don’t mind being surrounded by nudity. It has never bothered me. I’ve never been the prudish or modest type, though I struggle with my own insecurities with my postpartum body, and being nude around others. I felt comfortable. Sure, there were young, fit girls in the locker room, but there were also moms, and grandmothers, of all shapes and sizes. I felt oddly comfortable.

It was empowering!

After we were all dressed and dry, we went out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant near my mom’s hotel. Despite hearing great reviews, we were very disappointed with our overall experience. The staff were very friendly and attentive, but the floors were dirty, and some tables desperately needed to be wiped down. It wouldn’t have bothered me that much, except that there was only one other family there besides us, and the staff were all just standing around talking. We had no problems ordering, but when we got our food, we were surprised at the small. The prices were similar to other Mexican and Mexican-American restaurants in the area, but the portions were much smaller. We were also disappointed by the fact that Liam’s food, a grilled cheese and fries, did not get to our table until nearly 10 minutes after the rest of us had gotten our food. Kyle finished his very tiny enchilada before Liam even got his sandwich, and we were all left waiting on him. Overall, not the best experience, but the food did taste pretty good.

After dinner, we did a few laps around Target, where I saw one of my good friends, Olivia, who told me all about her new internship with a coroner’s office, and how much she was enjoying it. We also bought Liam a new swimsuit, which you will see in the next post!

All in all, it was a nice day. I had missed swimming so much, and it felt so good to be in a pool (even if it was just a kiddie pool!) after nearly 7 years. We went back again today, but you’ll have to read the next post to hear about that!

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Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #12 | Vlog

Hello, friends! I am sweaty, sunburnt, and cranky as hell. I am also too lazy to write about it, so here is a quick(ish) vlog telling you why! The video is unedited, obviously. Please excuse my appearance, as I really don’t give a shit about it right now, haha. Oh, and some pictures from our walk today. I forgot to mention that after Liam fell down, he decided to pick up, and throw out, all the sticks in the park.

Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks for reading/watching!

Jan

Trolls, Stress Cleaning, and Milk Showers… Oh My!

Hello, friends! I know my blog has been quite bare as of late, but I promise that I will be back soon! After exactly 4 weeks of nonstop sleep regression and separation anxiety, resulting in what seemed like endless rocking in our very uncomfortable rocking chair, we are now on day three of kiddo getting himself to sleep without needing to be rocked, and sleeping through the night! I have slept more in the last three days than I have in over a month… at least, that’s how it feels.

I don’t have anything specific to talk about, and I can’t focus enough to do today’s prompt, so I thought I would just tell you a little bit about the crazy day that I’ve had.

My day started off with being fortunate enough to be able to sleep in until 7:30, the latest I have been able to sleep in since Liam got sick. Kyle decided to wake up with us, and he offered to make breakfast for the first time in… well, ever. So we had a yummy family breakfast of French toast, which was nice. I then spent the rest of the morning trying to convince Kyle to help me clean around the house, and that went absolutely nowhere, so on top of doing a huge load of dishes, I finally got around to taking all of Liam’s 12 month clothes out of his dresser, which haven’t fit him in months, and putting all of his 24 month clothes in with his 18 month stuff. I also cleaned his room, and organized his shelves, with his “help“, of course. It is absolutely insane to think that my sweet, little 14.5 month old boy is already wearing 24 month clothes. WHAT. HOW?!

I also spent much of today trying to get my son to keep his clothes on, as he has been stripping himself completely naked every chance he gets lately. I’m not joking. While I was doing the dishes, and Kyle wasn’t watching him, Liam walked up behind me, got naked, and proceeded to hug my legs from behind. I looked down and all I saw was a cute, naked baby! I didn’t get to finish the dishes, because Liam was being a clingy butt, but  he was ready for his nap, which he went down for without a fight. Once he woke up, I decided to walk to the playground with him after his lunch so he could burn off some oh his crazy, toddler energy. We were completely alone in the park, which made me feel really tired for some reason. It started getting chilly, so after nearly an hour pushing him on the swing (his absolute favorite, he will not let me take him out until he is absolutely ready), and several (almost) mouthfuls of rocks, grass, dirt, and twigs, we walked back home, stopping at Casey’s for a cheese stick snack for Liam, and a huge slice of veggie pizza for me.

After we got home, Liam played for a bit on his own, and I engaged in a war of words with several trolls on a parenting article about attachment parenting, and the CIO method, and other things. I really hate when I post a logical, thought out comment, and people just attack the fuck out of it, and pull wild assumptions out of their ass about me. So fucking annoying. So unnecessary.

Then, it was time for dinner! I put Liam in his seat so he could eat, went to the bathroom for no more than two minutes, and returned to find that he had given himself a shower with his milk. He doesn’t use a sippy cup anymore, he uses a regular cup with a lid and straw. Lately, he has been doing this thing where he takes his straw out, tips his cup upside down, and watches the liquid pour out. Today, he decided to do it on his head. Fun. I then wiped up the floor, his chair, and the table, all while he tugged at my hair, and gave him an early, emergency bath. I decided to stress cleaned my bathroom while he splashed around happily, so it worked out for both of us. My bathroom is now spotless!

Oh, why have I been stress cleaning you ask? Well, let me tell you. My mom messaged me a few days ago, and decided to inform me that, without speaking to me about it first, she went ahead and booked a plane ticket, car, and hotel to come and visit us for an entire week at the end of May. All non-refundable, of course.

So, I’ve been losing my mind.

My mom and I are not close. At all. Never have been. In fact, she is the reason I moved halfway across the country. After not seeing her for a few years, I decided to surprise her for her birthday, and flew back home to see her. I was supposed to spend three days at her house, and one day at my dad’s…. well, that isn’t what happened. My mother is immature, passive aggressive, and just… I honestly don’t know. After one day of dealing with her, I couldn’t take it anymore. I spent the night at her house, but ended up spending the rest of the time at my dad’s. She didn’t seem to care.

That was four years ago. Now, I have a child, her first grandchild, and I can certainly understand why she would want to come and see him, but I am furious that she did not even run it by me first. She has been talking about coming out here for a whole year, but always cancels or flakes at the last minute, and spends her vacation time doing something else. Whatever. Not only did she spring this on me out of nowhere, but she ignored me telling her several times in the past that a week is way too long. WAY. TOO. LONG. For one, we live in the middle of nowhere. There is NOTHING to do here. At all. Nothing. Second, I am broke. Broke as shit, and I do not want her spending a fortune on me. Third, Liam doesn’t know her. He has never met her. He still doesn’t even want to be around the people he DOES know, but she doesn’t get that, and seems to think that she will get to spend all of her time playing with him joyfully. Nope. Not going to happen. Besides, he goes to bed at 7:00… what the hell are we supposed to do after?

So not only ALL of that, but she also tried to guilt me into uprooting my family, and spending an entire week with her in some lodge. Are you joking? No. Absolutely not. She got so offended when I tried to tell her that, not only can we absolutely not afford that, but Kyle is still looking for a job, and we have NO idea what will even be happening then.

Speaking of Kyle and work… still no luck on the job front. He had a Skype interview with AT&T, which went really well, but they ended up not choosing him for another interview. That was the only job, out of dozens, that even gave him a call back, so we are starting to stress. A lot. We have enough in savings to cover bills for this month, and for May, but nothing else. He finally has been getting house at his other job, but they have been cutting hours so badly for everyone, and it is so unpredictable. I have a lot of baby stuff that I can sell, but that takes time. I’m keeping my hopes up, but we’ve been here before, and it took months and months…

So there you go! That’s what’s been going on with me lately. Since kiddo fell asleep right away, I’m off to stress clean my living room.

Thanks for reading!

Jan