Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gonna Get Away

I am really looking forward to this weekend. My husband, Charla and I are going to go on a long weekend vacation with my parents, my brother and my sister-in-law. This will be our first vacation as a family! It will also be the first time Charla's slept over night somewhere besides her bedroom. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things will work out okay but I may need a vacation after this vacation!

Yesterday I was looking for a boarding kennel for our dog to stay at. I am amazed at all the luxury kennels out there! Seriously, kennels had swimming pools, televisions, stereos and privacy walls. My dog just needs food, water and a place to relieve herself! I did end up finding a good kennel at a fraction of the price because guess what?! There weren't any unnecessary accommodations! I know some people treat their dogs as their kids, and I'm not knocking that. But to me, my dog is my dog, she's a member of the family and deserves comfort but that doesn't mean a television in her kennel.

Preschool has been going really well for Charla so far. Every afternoon when I pick her up, she tells me that she had fun. Then she'll tell me a little about what she did. Usually she says she played with the little ponies and the drums! My sister-in-law is a teacher in Charla's room and she's been telling me all about the cool stuff Charla's been doing. I guess she's starting to make friends with some of the other kids. She's talking a lot (this doesn't surprise me!) and knows almost all of her shapes and colors. She still cries a little when I drop her off in the morning, but she's done before I've even walked out the door. Right now she's only going twice per week but I might increase that to 3 times per week in the winter depending on how bored she is at home.

My husband, who has been laid off since early November, finally got a job. However it's only temporary. It was supposed to last 9 weeks but it looks like it's going to take even less time than that. The construction industry just isn't good right now. Hopefully next spring things will start picking up. In the meantime we've been trying to make the most of his being home. In the end of October he'll probably be running out of unemployment. I could write an entire post ranting about the unfairness of this but I'm not even going to go there. The only thing I will say is that so many politicians seem to think my husband must be lazy to have been out of work for so long. That is not the case at all. Open your eyes, there's no work! End rant.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Can't Decide!

I think we have now entered the "terrible two" stage! Of course, things aren't terrible all the time, there's plenty of terrific moments as well. I love hearing all the new words and phrases Charla comes up with on a daily basis. I enjoy watching her try new things for herself and telling me that she will "do self". The problem enters in the form of indecision and dissatisfaction of an outcome.

Many child experts say to give your child choices. This way they feel in charge of their life to a certain extent and will hopefully be more cooperative. However, this is how choices around here are working:

Me: Do you want cereal or oatmeal for breakfast?
Charla: Oatmeal.
Me: Ok, I will make you oatmeal. (Getting her bowl down to mix her oatmeal.)
Charla: No, cereal.
Me: Last time, do you want cereal or oatmeal?
Charla: Cereal

This seems to be what happens with every option I give her. Sometimes she will even throw a fit because she said one thing but really wanted another. I have gotten to the point that I will let her change her mind once. After that though, she needs to stick with her decision!

She's also starting to cut back on her sleep, but I'm not sure she's ready to. By the afternoon the indecision starts getting even worse, to the point that she's telling me she doesn't want to eat dinner when I know for a fact she's hungry! I try telling myself this is only a phase, but it's not working because life is basically one big phase and when this one is over it will be time for a new one!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


We had a busy weekend and this week is going to be pretty busy as well. On Saturday my husband, Charla and I went to a Pirate Festival. Charla got to see a pirate ship, watch cannons go off and listen to a guitar player sing some songs. She had a great time. There was a huge blow up bouncy house/slide thing that she really wanted to try out, but I thought it would probably be better if she waited until next year.

This morning we went out to brunch with my brother and sister-in-law. I haven't gone to a brunch in a long time and it was really good. Charla had a great time and seemed to enjoy the food. Afterwards, we went to a really overpriced sporting goods store to buy a net. My husband wants to take Charla to a pond and do some frog catching, so she was really excited.

Tomorrow will be Charla's first day in preschool! We decided she needed to start socializing with other kids a bit more so signed her up for 2 mornings per week. My sister-in-law is an assistant director/teacher in a preschool/day care nearby so that is the one Charla will be attending. I'm a bit nervous about how this is going to go. She has been going through a bit of separation anxiety lately, but I'm hoping the worst of that is over. It will help that her aunt will be a teacher in her room.

I'm looking forward to some quiet mornings, but I'm also going to miss Charla. I have a feeling drop off is going to be hard tomorrow, for both of us. I've been talking about school with Charla and she seems excited but I know when the time comes she's going to be nervous and wondering what's going on. I just hope that after the initial sadness/fear she'll dive in and have fun.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

Lately I've been feeling like I need to do something with my life other than being a mom. I love staying home with my daughter, but I feel so isolated. I've been missing my pre-child life. Don't get me wrong, I love Charla to pieces but I've been feeling trapped. There are a few things I wish I had done differently. I should have waited to get married. Perhaps I should have even waited to have a baby. I miss going out on weekends, random car trips and sleeping in. I miss my body before having a baby. Now I just feel old and out of touch with the world and I'm only 26!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fun In the Sun!

Today was another beautiful day. Our spring so far this year has been absolutely wonderful. It's been great being able to get outside with Charla basically every day. This morning was a little breezy but she still got out to play in her sandbox. Later on the breeze stopped and we got outside again. Hubby hung her swing up and we finally managed to convince her to try it out. We started out by having her push her stuffed moose and telling her how much fun Moosey was having!

We had a play date last Saturday with someone I knew from high school and her family. They have a son 5 months younger than Charla. It was so adorable watching them give each other hugs and kisses. We walked to a nearby park and flew a kite. Charla got a huge kick out of that and is still talking about it! Then the kids played in our backyard while we grilled out. At first Charla wasn't too sure about having to share her sandbox and balls, but she got over that pretty quick. The next morning when we went outside all she talked about was how good of a sharer she was with her friend. Hubby and I are going to look into some part time daycare so she will get more opportunities to socialize. I take her to a playgroup, but I think some time away from mommy will do her a bit of good too.

Tomorrow I get to take 2 cats and our dog to the vet. They are all due shots, especially the dog who will get boarded in June when we go on vacation. One of our cats also needs to have her teeth looked at. She's always had bad teeth, but now one is red and swollen. Not sure if she's going to need antibiotics or have it pulled. Financially we can't afford that right now. I know, I know, if you own pets you have to be able to take care of them. However, we weren't planning on having my husband laid off for almost 2 years now, so money is pretty tight. Hopefully a round of antibiotics will do the trick and the tooth will fall out on its own.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Keep on Going

My husband and I continue trying for a second baby. This was only the 4th month of trying so I really can't complain and who knows, maybe it worked this time! We were sort of on the fence about trying this month because my due date will be Christmas Eve. So of course this will be the month I get pregnant just because that's how fate works.

My big concern was how to deal with separating a birthday from a major family holiday without causing issues for either of my children. I was worried that Charla would be mad that her little brother or sister would be getting more gifts than her. I was worried that the second child would feel like attention was taken away from his/her birthday. I was worried about possibly having to spend next Christmas in the hospital. I don't have everything figured out, but I think a lot of my fears have been put to rest.

If this is the way life goes, I now realize I have options regarding the way I want to deal with things. When my proverbial second child is old enough to want a birthday party, I can have it during June as a half birthday party. Charla's jealousy's will have to be dealt with by honesty, this is the way life is, she gets gifts on her birthday as well. And spending one holiday in the hospital won't be the end of the world. I sort of think a baby brother or sister is the best Christmas present I could give to Charla.

So we continue trying, crossing our fingers that one of these months will be our month to celebrate.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Second Easter

Our second Easter as a family has been great so far. When Charla woke up she found her Easter basket sitting on the kitchen table. The Easter bunny had brought her a stuffed rabbit, a chocolate rabbit, M&M's and some mini Kit Kats. She was thrilled!

For breakfast I made homemade pancakes, fresh strawberries and, of course, hard boiled eggs. We had dyed the eggs yesterday but I'm not sure if she remembered that they were the same ones or not. She didn't really care, she kept asking for chocolate! She loved the fresh strawberries though, I was sort of surprised because last summer she didn't care for them much.

After she's done napping, we're heading over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for Easter dinner where I'm sure she'll be spoiled rotten. My mom has already told me some of the things she bought Charla and you would think it was Christmas all over again! What I love about my parent's though is that, even though they do buy her a lot of things, nothing is over the top and it's not always toys. My mom made her up a little Easter basket of crackers and some candy, got her a Dora The Explorer sand pail and a princess beach towel for this summer.

I had found a cute Easter dress a month ago that will double as a birthday dress. That's the nice thing about this holiday being so close to her birthday. I can't believe she's going to turn 2 next month. Where does the time go?!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Torture With Footwear

The last few days have been beautiful. Above seasonal temps, sun and lots of outdoor fun. I've been taking Charla to the park, going for walks and playing in the sandbox. Last summer her favorite thing was swinging, this year though she's not enjoying it much. On our first trip to a park she saw the swings and wanted to go in. So I put her in and started pushing her, thinking she was going to have a blast with it the same as last year. However, as soon as the swing started going, she freaked out. She shook, gasped, tried to catch her breath; poor girl was terrified. My husband was going to build her a swing set for her birthday, but I think we're going to go with a tricycle instead for now!

We also had a surprise about the fact that she no longer liked sandals. I put them on her for the first time on Thursday and she screamed. Did not want them on her feet, refused to walk with them on, so I put her shoes on her instead. On Friday I gave it another try. She let me put them on her feet but then wanted them off right away. I persisted though and tried to encourage her to stand up and walk. Finally, after about 15 minutes, she stood up and took a few steps. I let her walk around the house a bit to get used to them before taking her outside. As she was crossing the kitchen towards the backdoor, walking like those were her first steps, she turned to me, gave me a shaky smile and said, "no crying". I was so proud of her for doing something she was unsure of doing and gave her a big hug.

I know her personality tends more towards caution. I've come to expect her to need a few minutes to get used to the idea of something new and perhaps even shed a few tears before she gets the courage to go ahead. However, each and every time she tries, I feel a strong surge of pride. That's my baby girl, overcoming her fears and learning something new!

Monday, March 15, 2010

No Sleep Zone

Over the last month there have been more and more days that Charla will talk to herself for 1 hour instead of fall asleep. I always get her up after about 1 hour because I figure if she hasn't fallen asleep yet, she probably won't. Usually, if she skips a nap one day, the next day she'll take a nice 1.5-2hr nap. However, after taking a nice nap, the following morning she's awake earlier than normal. I've always left bedtime at a consistent 8pm. I think she's normally asleep by about 8:15pm.

Yesterday, despite the daylight savings switch, I decided to keep nap time and bedtime at the same times (1pm and 8pm) because I like those times. She finally fell asleep at 2:15pm for nap and slept for 30 minutes. However, at bedtime she didn't fall asleep until about 8:40pm! She just kept talking to her blankies, "Oh, Key! Hi!" like, "Fancy meeting you here in this crib of mine"!

So, this morning she didn't wake up until 8am (LOVED that!) but she has now talked through an entire nap, for the second day in a row (can you really count a 30min snooze as a nap?)! It's almost 2pm and then I'm going to go get her up. This is craziness but I'm actually excited/relieved to be faced with the end of nap. I have always hated planning my life around her nap schedule. I've been religious about it for the last year because I know she needs her sleep but the fact that the days of counting down how much time I have before I need to get her home or hauling a pack n play to grandma's because we're going to be there during nap time are numbered, is so freeing!

I'm going to keep putting her in her crib around the same time every day for her 1 hour chat sessions. If she sleeps she sleeps if not, oh well. She's never crabby because of it and I'm thankful for that!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The weather here has been gorgeous lately! I have been taking Charla outside as much as possible. We've been going for walks (sometimes 2-3 per day!), playing ball and she's been riding her bike around. My husband is going to be building her a swing set in the next week or 2. Last summer, swinging was her most favorite outdoor thing to do. I'm also hoping to take her to a park sometime this week.

Walks this year are so much different than they were last summer. This year she can walk all the way around the block without having to go in the stroller. Her favorite things to point out are pine cones and dog poop. She likes to talk about puddles, planes and buses as we walk. Whenever we pass by a puppy she will say, "hi puppy". When we first start out on a walk she will take the lead. Soon though she will get side tracked. She stops to explore the grass, trees, rocks and whatever else catches her eye. Most of the time I'm not in a hurry and will allow her the time she needs to explore. I love watching her take everything in!

Today, Charla turned 22 months old. When I look at her, I can still see the tiny baby I brought home from the hospital almost 2 years ago. However, now I can also see the little girl she is turning into. She is learning and doing something new every day. Her imaginative play has started to shine through and she makes me smile every time I see her giving her baby doll a kiss, putting her dollhouse dolls to bed or making her farm animals eat their hay. I am so excited to watch her grow and meet milestones. A small part of me though wants to rewind time. I want to hold her tiny body again and stroke her silky hair, breathe in her baby smell.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to hold a little baby. My sister-in-law asked me if holding him made me miss holding Charla. This question made me think because as much as I enjoyed holding him, he curled into me different than she did, he smelled different than she did and I honestly felt a bit awkward holding him. So yes, holding him did make me miss Charla because I know I will never again have the opportunity to hold her in that way. Time goes too fast sometimes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A New Phase!

The last week has been fairly exhausting due to Charla's new phase. I don't know how much of a "phase" this is versus our new way of life. She now narrates everything that she or someone else is doing. The thing is, she doesn't have a strong ability to string more than 2 words together so her narration sounds like this:

"Shoes. Shoes. Mama shoes. On. On. On. Mama. Shoes." This would be an example of when I'm putting her shoes on! Once her shoes are on and we're getting in the car, "Car. Sit. Songs. Songs. On. Walmart?" We don't even go to Walmart that much but it seems to have made her list of favorite stores because every time we get in the car she's either asking to go to Papa's house or Walmart!

Another new not so pleasant part of this phase is the fact that she asks over and over again for something even when the answer is no. Right now she's on a TV kick. This is not something I want to encourage so I limit her screen time to around 1 hour per day. However, she has 2 favorite movies that she wants to watch ALL the TIME. If she asks and the answer is no, this has brought on quite a handful of tantrums in the last couple weeks. Part of me wonders if it's worth the battle. After all, it's winter in Wisconsin, not much else to do around here than watch TV. But I don't want the TV habit to become all consuming and hard to break when the weather gets nice.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lazy Days

The last two days I have been so lazy!

Friday I woke up with Charla, fed her breakfast and then my husband suggested we take turns napping. So, I went back to bed at about 9am and stayed there until 11:20am! It was bliss. Today hasn't been as blissful because I'm full of the negative laziness. The "I-just-don't-want-to-do-anything" laziness. I finally unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, but besides that I haven't done anything.

Charla was in an annoying mood all day today. If she wasn't getting someone's full attention she would get into something so someone would have to give her attention. Poking at the DVD player, turning the TV on and off, rocking her chair into the wall repeatedly, all annoying attempts at getting someone to notice her.

Nap time was wonderful but just too short for a day like today. I personally like the idea of putting a power button on kids, then I could turn her off for about 3hrs while I veg on the couch. I did get her outside for a walk, played ring around the rosie until I was dizzy, blew bubbles and had her talk with her "Papa's" on the webcam.

No news on my possible pregnancy. I got a negative test on Friday morning but that doesn't surprise me. I was REALLY late before getting a positive when I was pregnant with Charla. Pregnancy test kits just don't like me.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I wish

I really want to move. I'm tired of the cold and snow. Tired of listening to weathermen predict another colder than normal spring or snowier than normal winter. I want to live somewhere warm. Somewhere tank tops and shorts make a year long appearance.

I'm also bored with the monotony of the cold Wisconsin weather. There is nowhere to go, there is nothing to do. Last night my husband blew bubbles outside in 3F and we watched them bounce around on the pavement. This is the highlight of my life.

I want to move somewhere warm, fast paced and fun.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How play has changed

When Charla was younger things like shaking rattles over her face or playing peek a boo were a big hit. These things were fun and exciting for her but for me this was rather boring. Yes, it was fun to watch my child enjoy herself and learn but after a few months I was ready for a change!

Charla didn't start crawling until she was 11 months old. So, her play was limited to what was immediately within her reach. Her toys became a little more amusing to me in the fact that they did more things. Sometimes she would figure out what a toy did before me! Play was still very basic for her though.

Last summer she learned to walk and crawl all within about 2.5 months, so life's pace picked up quickly! In the warm weather, play turned into going for walks, swinging on swings and digging in the sand box. Summer was a very enjoyable time for both of us.

In fall, as winter was looming ahead of us, I wondered what we do for these long 4 months of snow and cold. I shouldn't have worried. As she is approaching 2 years, her play is both imaginative and fun for both of us! In her kitchen she will make me food and bring me a cup of "water". Her animals in the farm run, eat, sleep and drink water. Her dollhouse's doorbell is constantly ringing, the baby loves "swinging" and the doll's sit at the table to eat. The thoughts and words that come out of her mouth surprise me sometimes.

I'm excited both for what she's doing now and for what she will do in the future. I can't wait to see her first drawing of her family, to play her first board game with her and to find out if she's going to be a gymnast or a ballerina (or maybe a soccer player)!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mixed Feelings

I still haven't taken a pregnancy test. I've been toying with the idea of taking one tomorrow, but I'm so torn. There are still symptoms of possible pregnancy and I'm now 1-2 days late, so the chances of my being pregnant are getting better and better. Why am I not testing? This is something I've thought a lot about today.

This would be a planned pregnancy, my being pregnant should not take me by surprise. However, I think talking about having a second child and the reality of actually having a second child were somewhat divided in my head. I'm both excited for the possibility and terrified at the same time. This is why I'm not testing. Right now I'm in a place where everything is the same as it's always been. I don't have to think about being pregnant and I don't have to think about if I want to continue trying.

I think I'm going to wait until Friday to test.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby sling

I didn't know about baby slings when I got pregnant with Charla. By the time I discovered what they were, I already had a baby backpack. I've just spent the last 10 minutes browsing through different sites looking at all the super neat baby slings. The thing is, they are SO expensive! Maybe I'm not looking at the right sites but $50 for a piece of fabric?! So I think I'm going to try to make my own. I've enlisted my husbands help, which may or may not be a good thing!

There are other cool baby items I want to try out this time around too. Like the mesh bathtub seat and a delux pack n play. The pack n play will actually double as a crib for the first........2? years of life! We live in a 2 bdrm condo so space is going to be a bit tight. Hopefully my second child won't hold a grudge that Charla got a nice crib turned toddler bed and he/she got a pack n play!

The other thing I really want to do this time around is breastfeed. I had tried with Charla but neither of us were getting the hang of it and after a week I switched to formula. I had thought I was going back to work so it would be easier to formula feed but then I ended up not going back to work and wishing I had spent more time with breastfeeding. So, no regrets this time! I'm not a nervous first-time mom so I think I'll manage.

I haven't actually gotten a positive test yet because I haven't taken a test! I'm too nervous. I "feel" like I am and will work up the nerves to test later this week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still loving sleep!

I have still been more tired than usual the last few days. Whenever Charla takes a nap, I take a nap! I've also been feeling some cramping/pulling type feelings. I am cautiously optimistic about this. I can't really remember too much about how I was feeling when I found out I was pregnant with Charla.

I remember the weekend before finding out, my husband and I went up north. My stomach was feeling a bit funny, but nothing that I really thought much about. If anything, I figured Aunt Flo was on her way. A day or 2 before we had went up north I had taken a pregnancy test but it had come back negative, so I figured it was just a matter of time.

A few days after returning home I was still having cramping but Aunt Flo was refusing to show up. That's when I took another test and it came back positive. I remember feeling pretty good for the first few weeks after finding out. My mom kept asking me if I was feeling sick yet but I was still in that "honeymoon" phase of being pregnant. The other shoe dropped when I was 8 weeks pregnant. That is when the nausea (all day) started and I was absolutely wiped out every day after work. By the time I hit 4 months though, I was back to feeling pretty good!

We are planning a trip to an indoor waterpark the 3rd weekend in February. If I am preggo, this should be right around the time I start feeling sick, oh well!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I love sleep!

Today was a relatively boring day. I took Charla to playgroup this morning. She enjoys going even though she doesn't play with any of the kids yet. Her favorite part seems to be snack time because she can have juice. Playgroup is the only time she gets juice, so it's a fun treat for her.

She got in a little spat with another toddler today. They both wanted an ice cube tray in the kitchen area. Charla's a pretty sensitive kid and when she meets with resistance she immediately turns to me. Her pouty face is so cute. Her lower lip gets about 4 inches long, she lowers her head but raises her eyes to look at me. She also uses this face when she wants what I'm eating! It's the classic puppy dog look.

So far, Charla has proven to be an easy going kid. So simply telling her she can have a turn with a toy next or that another child is playing with it, works pretty well. The only things she would probably fight to the death for are her blankies. I like to tease her by stealing them, laying on the floor and telling her I'm going to sleep. She'll start whining and saying "keys" which is Charla for "blankies". She surprised me one day though and let me keep one as a pillow!

Anyway, by noon I was ready for a nap. Charla's nap time is 1pm, so I got through lunch and put her down then crawled into bed myself. I slept for 1.5 hours! I haven't napped like that in ages. Maybe today was just a one off but I'm hoping it's a good sign and that I got pregnant this month!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spring Fever

I am ready for Spring! I know it's only January and here in WI that means 2 more months of winter, but I can wish!

I've been looking online for some cute spring/summer Toddler Girls clothes. Old Navy is great, especially for swimwear. Baby Gap is cute too but a little more pricey. Target has some super cute outfits! I love shopping for Charla, her clothes are so cute and she's still young enough that she doesn't care what she wears. So that means I have free reign to make her look as adorable as I want her to. Summer dresses and cute little capri/short sets here I come!

This coming fall she'll probably be wanting to help pick out her clothes. I really have no problem with that since it's almost impossible to find ugly little girl clothes as long as I take her to the right stores. However, the thing that totally drives me nuts just thinking about is her wanting to wear something with cartoon characters on it. Dora, Cinderella, Tinkerbell, UGH!!! Her current obsession is Elmo and I am so thankful that she doesn't care enough about her clothes to want something with Elmo on it. If I had to dress her in shirts with Sesame Street characters on them I think I would vomit!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adult day!

Charla spent the day today with her grandma. She was so excited! I mentioned to her last night that she was going to go play at Papa's house today and she was thrilled. When she woke up this morning she could hardly wait to go. So we were in the car and on our way by 9:20A.

I admit that my husband and I were equally thrilled for her to be spending the day away! I love my daughter to death, but it's so nice to get a break. After dropping her off I spent some time browsing Bath & Body Works. I got a gift card for Christmas so I took the opportunity of being childless to pick out a new scent. Of course taking Charla is an option, but then I would be spending more time telling her not to squeeze the lotions than smelling and comparing the lotions that I like!

The drive home was very quiet. I'm used to her commenting on every single tree we pass. And if we happen to see a school bus we talk about that for a good 10 minutes too! My husband and I actually went out for lunch at 1P, that's nap time and I haven't been out during that time of day since she started taking 1 nap 7 months ago! Lunch was great. Even though it was just Subway, I didn't have to worry about what Charla was or wasn't eating and what was ending up on the floor. How relaxing!

After lunch my husband and I decided to go look around some stores. It has been a long time since I have gone to a store with the sole purpose of looking around. Usually I go with a list in my head of what I need and make the trip a relatively quick one.

I went to get Charla at 4P and both she and grandma had a lot of fun. It was nice to see her again but when we got home she was so talkative and full of energy I found myself wishing that I could take her back. I miss the old days sometimes, when I could come and go as I pleased and didn't have to worry about the care and well-being of another human. I love being a mommy, Charla's mommy, but I can't help shake the feeling that I'm losing bits of myself along the way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

20 months!

Today was Charla's 20 month "birthday". On these monthly milestones I love to look back and see how far she's come. Over this past month she has accomplished a lot. She is now saying more words than I could ever hope to list. She is putting 2 words together, answering yes or no questions and following simple commands. While I'm reading some of her favorite books, she will jump in and finish the sentences. She helps get herself dressed and undressed, feeds the dog and cleans up her toys. All in all I believe she is coming along quite nicely!

Due to the fact that I believe she is a bit advanced in her understanding, we have started the potty training process. I introduced the potty a few months ago and she's gone on it a handful of times. I've never been super consistent because quite frankly, I wasn't ready to commit to such an undertaking. Today however, we have dived in.

I took her to the store after dinner to buy some panties. She had no idea what they were and initially thought they were cool new hats! Once I helped her put a pair on though, she was quite impressed with herself. I kept her pants off to try to minimize the mess, so she walked around the living room patting her panties and saying "panties". So adorable!

She sat on the potty twice but nothing happened. Finally, after about 35 minutes, she had her first accident. This was what I was waiting for because I knew we weren't going to make any progress without some mistakes first. The look on her face was priceless. While she was going she looked at me and said, "mama, poop"! I explained to her that she had gone pee pee, picked her up and took her to the bathroom. I told her that when she feels like she needs to go pee pee she should tell Mama so I can help her onto the potty. I asked her where does pee pee go and she pointed to the potty.

When we came back out to the living room she saw the wet spot on the floor and said "whoops, pee pee". I told her that this was her pee pee and again asked her where her pee pee goes. She went down the hall and pointed to the potty so I think she was starting to make some connections. She was also a bit concerned about her wet panties hanging over the tub to dry so I explained that she had went pee pee in her panties so they had to get washed, that was why she was wearing new, dry panties.

Tomorrow she is going to my mom's for the day so I won't be able to work with her much. This weekend though I'm hoping to have her in panties most of the time and see what happens. I would love her to be potty trained by the time she turns 2!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My kid could be the next American Idol!

For the last few years my husband and I have gotten together with my brother and sister-in-law to watch American Idol. Mostly it's just a fun excuse to get together, but we've been known to vote now and again. Two years ago, Charla was born on the season finale, David Cook won that year. Of course my brother and sister-in-law came up to the hospital to watch it with me. The nurse even stuck around and watched Ryan Seacrest announce the winner!

So last night the new season began and of course Aunt RyRy and Uncle RyRy came over. Yes, they are both named Ryan and no they are not gay. Aunt RyRy is actually Ryan-Marie! Anyway, right before Idol came on Aunt RyRy starts playing her ringtone for Charla. It was Tik Tok by Ke$ha and Charla started dancing to it and saying "again, again". We must have listened to this ringtone a dozen times. Then there's this part that goes "woah-oh oh oh" and Charla starts singing that part!

It was the funniest thing I've seen in awhile! First of all, Charla dances like a peacock. She is a 100% white girl dancer, no rhythm. So she bounces around thrusting her head forward and back and singing "oh oh oh"! I really wish I had video of it! We were still laughing when Idol started. After watching a few of those rotten singers that you know just get air time because of how horrible they sing/dress/act I really think my little girl has a chance. Too bad this is Simon's last year. Oh well, perhaps she can perform for The X Factor when it comes out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My kitties!

We have 3 cats and each one has it's own personality. Jake is our youngest. He is all black with just a bit of white on his chest. He is your typical "scaredy-cat". If we have company, he's hiding either under the bed or in the closet. He is terrified of my husband for some reason but will allow me the luxury of petting him a few times per month!

Sophie is our middle "fur-child". She is a teeny little thing, weighing in at a whopping 7 pounds! We got her on a total whim. We were driving past a farm and noticed they had a sign for free kittens. So we stopped to see the kitties and ended up taking her home. She is a total sweetheart and is the only one of our 3 cats who will allow Charla to come within a foot of her. Here's Sophie curled up with 1mos old Charla!

Then there's Caleb. His nickname is "Fur Man". We rescued Caleb from the Humane Society when he was only a couple months old, he will be turning 8 next month! From the very beginning he was my cat or rather I am his human! He and I have had a strong bond from the very beginning. When I was pregnant with Charla he would be by my side whenever I was home. People would always ask me if my dog was more protective of me now that I was pregnant and I would always say, "No, but my cat is"!

The night I went into labor I stayed at my parents house because it was closer to the hospital. I remember trying to convince my husband and parents that I could go home when really all I wanted was to be near my cat on that night. It was a good thing I stayed though because my water broke at 1am! When I came home with Charla he acted a bit like a jealous sibling would. I thought I may have to give him away because he actually nipped Charla a few times. Now though they seem to have a distant but respectful relationship and Caleb uses nap time and bedtime as cuddle opportunities with his "mama"!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I know these are tough times for everyone and many people have it much worse than I do. I just need to throw a bit of a pity party tonight!

My husband has only worked 4 months this year. He is a HVAC technician and there is VERY little construction going on in our area. He worked January to the beginning of March and then got laid off. He wasn't able to find a job all summer. Finally in September he was hired at a non-union company but got laid off in early November. Our health insurance ran out at the end of August, we have mounting debt and we just can't seem to get our heads above the water.

Right before Christmas one of my husband's molars starting hurting him really bad. He went to the dentist to see what was going on and the dentist said he needed a root canal. Our state insurance doesn't cover root canals, just pulling teeth. Apparently teeth just aren't that important. Dental plans are relatively cheap, however most make you wait 6 months to 1 year before getting any work done. He wasn't going to be able to make it that long.

We discovered that there's such a thing as a discount card. According to their website our out of pocket cost should have been about $400. Much better than the $1000+ it would be without the card, so we went ahead and bought it. On the day of his appointment they charged us $250 and said if they needed more they would send us a bill. Well, today we got a bill for another $650!!! The discount card saved us a whopping $80. My husband is calling tomorrow to say "What the hell!" but if that's what we owe, the dentist is going to be waiting awhile.

I am so over everyone wanting more and more money out of us.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can't stand the whining!

There is nothing more annoying to me than a whiny toddler. Last week, when Charla was sick, she was whiny. I tried to stay as patient as possible because I knew she felt like total crap. This week, however, I'm back to my zero tolerance policy!

The weather here has been cold. I live in Wisconsin so the last 2 weeks or so has only seen highs in the low 20's, not fun and some days it hasn't even hit that. Needless to say that means most of my day is spent indoors trying to keep both myself and Charla entertained. Charla is getting bored. The toys from Christmas are already 2 weeks old and losing their appeal. We live in a condo but have a private basement so I take Charla downstairs every couple of days. This helps put a bit of spark back in our mundane existence.

Today was a balmy 21F outside so I decided to brave the elements and take Charla and our dog, poor soul, she's been staring out the window wistfully the last few days, on a walk. It started off well. Charla asked where her swing went (for the thousandth time) as we walked down the driveway. I asked her to hold my hand as we crossed the street and off we went. About 2 houses down we hit an icy patch. I pointed it out to Charla so she knew to walk slowly and held her hand. Then she slipped. I had her hand so her fall was more of a firm sit but it was still the end of the world. Nothing could get her to stop the whining. I tried talking to her about puppies, snow, how mommy really didn't want to carry her the entire walk, nothing stopped the "Mama, up!" that she kept repeating like a broken record. So we turned around and went home, the poor dog was extremely disappointed and I was about ready to pull my hair out from being stuck in the house.

The rest of the morning actually went fairly well. We read some books and then she asked to watch Elmo (she actually couldn't care less about Elmo she likes Dorothy the fish!). After that it was lunch time. Shortly after starting lunch however, she bit her tongue (I think?) and started the whining again!

"Blankie! Blankie! Done! Down!" So I cleaned her up and she got down to find blankie. After 2 min of that she was back. "Milk. Eat. Chair." So I tried to put her back in her highchair. "NO! Mama chair!" She wanted to sit on my lap and eat her lunch. Fine! After that she was good as gold and is now sleeping peacefully.

Thankfully she has quite a few words and at least she's using them while she's whining, but that tone just drives me nuts!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a zoo!

I have always loved animals. Luckily I met a guy who is also a fan of animals and together we have owned quite a menagerie.

Our first place together was an apartment. It allowed cats so we immediately went out and bought a cute orange kitten. After a few months we realized that he was probably lonely during the day so we got him a black kitten as a friend. A year later I absolutely fell in love with a gray and white kitten at the local humane society, so he came home with us too!

We didn't limit ourselves to cats, however. We owned quite a few mice and bred them for fun. We also owned a few guinea pigs and bred them as well. Let me tell you, guinea pig babies are THE cutest things on the face of this earth! Rabbits, ferrets, parakeets, a cockatiel, an iguana and some tropical fish were also inhabitants of our apartment.

When we moved to a condo we bought a dog and a few years later we rescued another dog from the humane society. Over the years our animal group has decreased in size. We still have 3 cats but we ended up putting one of our dogs down. The rest of our animals either passed or were given to new loving homes.

Instilling a love and respect for animals is a major goal for me as a mother to my child. So far Charla is still learning how to be gentle and she has this odd habit of screaming as loud as she can (for fun) whenever she sees a cat. Unfortunately this is quite frequently since we have 3 of them! As Charla gets older I believe the animals will teach her about love, empathy and responsibility. All good qualities I want for my daughter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I visited the Black Hole and all I got was...

My bedroom is and always has been, the messiest area of my life. When I lived at home my mom was constantly on my case to clean my room. After moving out and getting married, nothing changed except the fact that I didn't have someone breathing down my neck to clean up my "crap". Over the last 2 years more things piled up since most of my free time was taken up with an infant.

Today however, I entered the Black Hole and did a bit of organizing. My sister-in-law was kind enough to come over and assist in some of the sorting. We were in there for about 2 hours! Mostly I just needed to dig through piles of clothes. I had a lot of pre-baby clothes that I was holding onto in hopes of fitting back into them. However, I've come to the realization that they will never fit quite the way they used to so off to Good Will they go!

I still have a bit of organizing to do in there. I have some pictures that need to be put in an album and some nic naks that need to be either given away or put somewhere, but a big dent was made today. I hope to be able to stay on top of my bedroom from now on but, with my track record, I'm not holding out too much hope!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Some days I feel like I can't keep up with anything. The housework, child care and even my own personal interests fall to the wayside. Starting in this new year I would like to be able to feel a little more on top of things. I know I can't be perfect and shouldn't expect perfection. However, I feel like I can do a bit better than what I've been doing.

Housework is a matter of organization. I'm not a highly organized person. If I want to save something it ends up in my bedroom or the hall closet. Normally it is then forgotten about for months or years until one day it turns up as I'm digging through in search of something else. I call my disorganization an organized mess because most of the time I do know where the important things are.

As for child care, Charla is cleaned, fed and cared for on a regular basis. What I feel like I fall behind on some days play. She must get tired of hearing the constant "no's" or "laters". I wish I felt like I had enough time in the day to get things done I need to get done but still sit down for 1 hour and give her my undivided attention. Lately I've been sitting on the floor to play with her while trying to watch a show I've wanted to see and this isn't fair to either of us.

I haven't been able to keep up with my own personal interests since Charla was born. Things I loved to do pre-baby were read, write, puzzles and watch movies/shows. I am still able to do all these things, just not as much as I used to, obviously. I am getting better at taking time for myself. I realized around the time Charla was 6mos that I did not in fact die. I am still alive and still need to take the time to make myself happy.

So those 3 things are what I'm working towards in this new year. If only there were more hours in the day, then I would have no problem with my time management!