Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I love my two year old

I know I know I go for long stretches without blogging. Alas, I was sucked into the daily buzz and bustle of daily life in my new role as an adjunct. I do enjoy my new job and being called Dr. doesn't hurt!

It does come at price. I am having the hardest time separating from Isabel.  I find myself sitting at my desk gazing at her picture and wishing I could run right over and pick her up from school and cuddle her.

At first, I thought it was that I didn't like her school. After briefly pondering switching her, I decided to stick it out since she seems happy there and try to dig deep and see if its really me.  I think it is me. I think I would feel sad no matter where she was if we aren't together. But I do have peace of mind that she is happy and safe their and hopefully loved but not as much I love her!

I am actually a bit surprise I feel so sad at work. I thought maybe its because I *have* to be there instead of last year where I was working but it was flexible and more for me to finish my PhD.  I think while I like my job and adjusting to the new pace and expectations I don't think even my dream job would make me happier than while I with Isabel.

So if seems strange because last spring when I was finishing up and was going to be home for the summer, I will admit I was scared and a little nervous I wouldn't be able to fill up 7 days of the week and not be bored or frustrated with Isabel.  But the summer flew and was really quite enjoyable!

Her second birthday arrived quickly and it hit me harder than her first. I think its because the year went so fast and I just treasure her all the more every day!  *mush fest alert*

Her birthday was so fun, with Elmo, balloons, good friends, family and a perfect day of weather it couldn't have been better!

Everyone warned me of the terrible 2's and I felt ready. Isabel being one of the more willful kids I figured I was in for it.  But really, I am happy to say that she is taking well to correction (discipline more than re-direction), weaned during the day and though she has a ton of energy manages to listen and be patient as needed.

I just find myself really enjoying this age.  She is talking so much, sings, holds my hand, snuggles including when I pick her up complete with her head on my shoulder. It is just precious and makes my heart melt.  I just love her plain and simple and feel blessed for the joy she is and that she brings to me and her family!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things I have learned this summer

You know, those cheesy essays your teacher would have you write on the first day of class? Well these are my musings on what I discovered throughout the course of the summer as a momma, student and friend.

1. This has been the best summer I can remember in a very LONG time.

And here is why:
2. We now live in a town with beaches, parks and friends within in walking distance practically.

3. The beach was our second home: I made it my mission to get to the beach at least 2-3x a week or any morning or afternoon it did not rain. Mission accomplished. Isabel and I are browned by the sun, sunkissed and rejuvinated. She overcame her fear of waves ( loved watching her point out the next wave to crest and saying 'bye waves' when she was done). I loved sitting by the water's edge building mud castles and having the sea water lap my feet. I loved watching Isabel run up and down the beach endlessly, discovering puddles, shells and other kids' cooler buckets/digging implements.  I loved how the beach tired her out like no other and enjoyed her 2-3 hr. naps (Oh yah DVR catch up).

4. Parks were full of adventure: I watched Isabel scale the playground structures with ease and slide on her own. We found two parks that are enclosed by a fence making it easier for me to sit and observe her without hovering or fearing she'd just take off (anyone with a toddler can relate).  Just today, I marveled at how she sits on a big kid swing and doesn't fall off (2 ft off the ground).

5. Friends have come along: I know that they always do but flashing back to January when we moved, I was pretty sad to leave my special group of mamas that basically know Isabel from birth.  Well, God has provided several great opportunities to renew old friendships.  I have really enjoyed the comraderie and fun we have had exploring parks, farms and new and old haunts.  What I have loved the most though is watching Isabel make friends.  It makes my heart swell that when we get up on a Tuesday she basically knows that a play date with Lizzie. She even has a special chair at her table where Lizzie sits and she tells me in the morning "Lizzie's chair, mama'. To that I nod and assure her we will see them soon.  And yes, I am guilty of using going to see Lizzie as way to proven dawdling to the car.

6. We went upta camp: I spent more time upta camp this summer than I have in 3 years.  I especially enjoyed how Isabel loved all the things I did as a kid, running up and down the camp road, swimming, picking blueberries,boat rids, eating dessert at gram's and going for walks.  I have such special memories of Maine and my family that also cherish it. Gram and Gramp glowed when Isabel was around and my mom just loved running her all around. I loved the down time and soaking it all in.

7. Visiting with family has been my mission this summer:  I saw J's relatives that were living abroad when they visited for 2 weeks almost everyday. It was special to catch up with the kids and have them meet Isabel.  Their youngest and Isabel really hit it off.  Also, I saw my Aunt and cousin from out of state and my grandparents who were upta camp all summer.  Its so important to me that Isabel knows her family and gets to see them as much as possible.

8. J and I got some down time: whether it was a quick dinner out or a movie, J and I got some time together which is highly under recognized as being important to a marriage.  We also made some really awesome family memories including trips to the beach, even a picnic at night one time.  We took Isabel for ice cream and wagon rides as well as to the farmers' market.

9.  I got some snuggle time and walks in with my pups: Its been different living in a more populated area that its hard to walk the dogs and Isabel. So lately, I have been walking them alone after she goes to bed and J is home. It has been blissful soaking in the salty evening air and watching the boats going down the river, imagining one day we will have a boat. Also, Isabel has been sleeping better so I have loved snuggling the pups.

10. I have gained perspective as a mother:  At the start of the summer, I had trepidation about being home every day all day with a busy toddler. I was in a certain routine and afraid I would not be able to keep days stimulating enough for us.  Let's be honest, some days especially at the start or when the weather was bad, felt long and somewhat dull. However, as the summer evolved, I made each day an adventure and challenged myself to do different activities and new things.  It would have been easier to watch Mickey Mouse Club House 10x than lug all out stuff and Isabel to the beach or bake in the heat of the park play ground but so worth it.  I know she is young but we are setting up patterns and still making memories.  We bonded through our activities and her language is exploding. It is so fun to see what she will say and how she makes connections.

Ending this summer has been unexpectedly harder than I thought.

I figured I would feel sad and dread going back because I was in a new job and all that first day jittery stuff would get me.  I thought I would feel ready for her to go to school because after all we were getting on each other's nerves a bit.


Starting back this week has been rough.  Starting with Isabel getting her suit and towel first thing Monday morning and saying 'Beach, mama?' gah, that hurt.  Can't say I didn't cry hard after J took her to school and honestly its Wednesday and I am still crying.  Unfortunately, we are all sick with a cold now and she got several bug bites (none until now for the summer) so its has turned me into obsessive over protective mamma mode or oopmm for short ;-). I am so scared she'd get a mosquito born virus or hate school or something.  But just in Isabel fashion she surprised me Tuesday when we got to school she jumped down out of my arms and said 'bye momma' and blew a kiss.

I guess she was ready.

I should note that I am not working full times, but 3 days a week so I can savor the two week days we have. I am however, starting a new job that will be more intensive and stressful. So I am feeling torn over the whole start of the school year.

In the end I am taking stock in this summer. Leaving it on a high note and with many many many memories to cherish for my lifetime.

So its bittersweet but necessary.  In the end, I know my working is good for Isabel. I am starting in a career path that will help her become college educated and hopefully have a mom who is a good role model for her.

*sigh* but it doesn't make taking her to school tomorrow *feel* easier.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I said I wouldn't do it

Be that mom that tears up at commercials (i.e. PG Olympics commercials really got me oy!) or when they go off to school. But just the *thought* of Isabel going to elementary school brought me to tears this morning.

J and I were getting her ready for 'school' at her new daycare today I just marveled at how grown up she looks to me. J said 'just think in a few short years she will be off to school' gah!!!!! I just teared up and hugged her.

Growing up, its a necessary part of life and I am not trying to slow it down or squelch it but at the same time I can't ignore it.

I love every stage of Isabel's life so far. It just keeps getting more fun. That is not to say I don't have my moments of frustration with her like when she takes off a poopy diaper and runs around the house with it, or she reaches over and pinches me when she doesn't get what she wants, or when she refuses to nap or go to bed.  All in all though, the great outweighs the bad, as it should!

At the start of the summer when we changed gears and I went from p/t work to full time stay at home mom, I felt a little scared. I wasn't sure I could fill our days with activities, structure and enough fun to not be bored, frustrated and cranky at times.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find fun things to do and enjoy our days. It does take conscious effort not to wish away the day and to stay engaged. There were days where I didn't want to even look at play doh or finger paint.  But the days we spend at the beach are priceless, and fleeting.

I know this *tear*.

And yet, I am going to make the conscious effort to hold onto the good and precious moments and welcome the future ones.  I am trying to take this approach so that it doesn't sting so much when I look over and see my baby growing before my eyes.  Not that I want to go back to the newborn days but it just reminds me how fast time goes.

We visited where I will be teaching in the fall which is also my alma matter last week and it hit me that she will be in college before I know it.

I treasure my days with my girl and the more time we spent together, the harder it is for me to let her go. I find this to be true of all the people I love, especially my mom and sisters.  Its easy to get set into routines where we only visit a little bit here and there but there have been times in the recent past where my mom and I or my sisters and I have spent longer periods together and feel twinges of sadness when it is over.  I guess that's how you know you really love someone, when you long for more time together.

Anyway, I am happy to see my precious Isabel growing up but its not without a twinge of sadness. I wish I could pause time sometimes.  She's the best and I am so glad we had the whole summer together!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday well almost

Cherishing summer days:
When its the middle of winter, I will soak in the memories of sitting by the shore as waves lap Isabel and my feet and we built sandcastles and soaked in the summer sun

Idyllic day, picking blueberries and enjoying the day, these are the days I love

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weeks like this week make me feel

Thankful.  Proud. Like a good momma.

Here is why.

I have been slowing down, really taking in the moments with Isabel. There have been so many little moments that just make me smile.

Here are few:
1. 'Sorry mama' Isabel looks into my eyes and says sorry if she thinks she has hurt me or if I cry (not often)
2. 'sicle? mama' Isabel loves popsicles and I don't even mind the stick mess it makes
3. Isabel loves her family, I love watching her give kisses and hugs to her family and talk about them even when we are not with them, and asks 'mimi'. 'auntie', 'nuno'?
4. Watching Isabel experience new things like jumping waves at the beach, floating in her life jacket at the lake and getting braver in the water
5. Watching her face light up on her first boat right with 'mimi' and great 'papa', loved that sweet moment in Maine.
6. Watching Isabel run around galloping after the dogs in the yard and giggling with glee
7. When she makes funny faces at dinner that made my MIL laugh so hard, harder than we have laughed in a while.
8. Seeing Isabel grow and change every day, including her word explosion, its turning into little phrases like 'beach, yay, ' waffles, mama', 'go outside'?
9. Listening to Isabel's conversations in her sleep
10. Picking her up from school and feeling her wrap her arms around me (she's starting to go 1x week until the far).

I have been struggling lately because staying home with a busy strong willed toddler is hard.  She tests my patiences, she has been trying to pinch me when she is angry and she has temper tantrums.

I want to be a good mom, that provides love, compassion and nurturing but also discipline and structure.  I want to be 'present' not just physically as much as I can. It is easy to use a TV show or my iPhone to escape during the day to give me a mental break but for the most part, I am there being her mom.

I know that if I can be consistent and remember the bigger picture, I will be able to do this!  This week, I feel like we are hitting our stride, we have fun activities and good family time and our days go by so fast.  At first I felt like when we started the start of the summer I it felt like it was going to be long.  Now I feel like every day goes by so fast, I actually miss her when she is asleep. Ha.

So I embrace these little moments and enjoy them and even feel like a good mom once in a while ;-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Open letter to Rosie

This is for Rosie, the sweet golden girl that showed me how to love with all my heart and how loyal a dog can really be.

Dear Rosie,
I met you one spring afternoon when I went to visit J at his mom's while we were just starting to date.  You came over to me and instantly we connected. You put out your paw and we held hands all through dinner. Everyone trued to shoo you away from me to be polite but I didn't mind. You made me feel special, wanted and accepted and I looked forward to visiting because of you.

Visiting the future in-laws is nervewracking you know but knowing you would be there to break the ice and literally lend a paw broke the awkwardness as well as the silence.  Everyone commented on how you lit up when I came in, you'd jump, bark and your tail would wag wag wag.  Of course, I love Sophie (your sister the same) but you were so special to me.

Over the years, I have watched to you run, jump, play and enjoy life. You sure have a special mom that gives you the best, down to cooking chicken and rice for you for dinner even night. Lucky girl!

Your dad, J, and I got married and we adopted a golden retriever just like you. Heck, if I could've I would have adopted you!  But by some twist of fate, we adopted Ladybug who all can agree is just like you.  I was so nervous to adopt a dog, I never grew up with dogs and I was afraid. You showed me that I could love a dog. How they become like family, heck you are family.  You are loyal, loving and protective. You are a terrific companion and a source of comfort.

We love our Ladybug and now Liam and like you they have had health issues.  Man, those times are scary. We just want to know what is wrong and help heal you.  Its a helpless feeling and its gut wrenching.

Your mom has been saying that you have been not acting yourself.  Even at 12 years old, you still greet me and Isabel at the window when we come by wagon and Isabel would watch you through the window of the door as you played outside. Sometimes you'd bark to her, she'd squeal with glee.

We did keep Isabel and you and Sophie at a distance because we didn't want her to bother you. But I know you wouldn't have minded a pat or a squeeze.

Today, we came to visit you.  With heavy hearts because we know that your time on this earth is not going to be as long as we had hoped for.  You have a cancerous tumor and having trouble breathing.

To be honest, I wanted to visit you but I was nervous for the first time.  What if Isabel wasn't gentle or you didn't want to see us.

All that was relieved when I walked in the door.  You lifted your head like you had for J but then your tail just thump thump thumped like usual.

*relief* but a swell of sadness welled up in me.

'Its Rosie girl' I said as I always did.

For the last hour I sat with you, talked to you rubbed your side and stroked your nose. I felt the pads of your paws and the soft fur on your ears.  I told you were a brave girl, that I love you and that you should just rest.  You were calm and yet with me at the same time.

I didn't want to leave you but Isabel was getting tired so I am here thinking of you and hoping that you are still resting. It comforted me that you raised your sweet head again as if to say goodbye.

I don't want to say goodbye because even though you will go to heaven, I know I will see you again.

Its a comfort to know that but at the same time I know I will miss you terribly.  Some people can't understand how we can love our pets so much. To them I say you must not have a heart because these dogs are loyal, loving companions that are family.  If you can't understand it then you don't know the love of a pet.

Losing you reminds me how fragile life is and how much I love our Ladybug and Liam.  They both suffered a lot last summer with surgeries and Ladybug's cancer. They are young but its hard to contemplate them not being here with us.

I love you Rosie girl. You taught me to love without reservation and fear of getting too attached. You have been a loyal and faithful girl.  Be brave sweet girl and rest. I will see you again someday.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

God is good

Here is why,

He answers prayers.

We finally go to go to church this week. We are now attending the church where we were married and went before we moved. I had been putting off going to church because Isabel would likely only be good in the pew for max of 10 minutes and I was afraid she would freak out in the nursery.  But we mustered up the courage to go this week and decided to see how it would go.

She was like I predicted good in the pew for about 10 minutes. Complete with scribbling on the donation cards ha!

I took her down to the nursery and was greeted by two moms that were friends of mine growing up. It was quite reassuring. Isabel was ready to play but after leaving her there for another 10 minutes Isabel was crying for me. So I stayed with her in the nursery most of the time.

The sermon however, that I got to hear for five minutes was about how God wants us to have a relationship with Him.  That he is waiting for us to talk to him and open our hearts.

Its not that I don't know this deep down. On a day to day basis however, it is easy to just try to take over and be in control and forget that God is waiting for you to cast your cares on Him.

I needed to hear this, this week.

Good things are happening.

Its because of God.

I have been feeling really apprehensive about putting Isabel in a new school, how I will finish my dissertation and feeling sad about not having a big job to start now that I have my PhD.

Well, this week, I got offered a chance to teach another course and it will make me an adjunct which is perfect as I will still work part time but feel more like my career is being built up.  Isabel went to drop in daycare at her school and while she cried when J left, she did great  the rest of the time. Relief.

I have much to be thankful for.

I have a family I love dearly, I have a job and so does J.  Isabel is growing up and changing all the time.  Our dogs are healthy, Ladybug is doing really well (this is huge) and Liam's paw is healed. Yay for walks and family time.

I know that God has a plan in spite of me trying to get in there and 'do it myself'.  I am glad to be back to church and how God will work more in our lives everyday.