Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crammed Time & Crankypants

It always seems like we have to cram stuff into limited amount of time.  This week is nuts. 

Scouts, hockey, pumpkin carving, costume creating, homework, chores, instrument practicing, shopping for costume supplies and Reagan's pumpkin all amidst the regular grocery shopping, cleaning, and yeah eating, showering and sleeping.

Our time during the week is so busy and so short, it's sometimes frustrating trying to get everything done. For example, the kids get home from school around 4pm and Reag's bedtime is at 8pm. Literally we have very little down time. Homework and chores happen first. Then maybe there's some play time outside before supper before the routine of clean up, showers & bedtime.

Mondays and Thursdays are Scouts and hockey.  Trying to plan for activities is tough. 

We talked with Reag making the best of things...she picked her pumpkin from the grocery store. She was pretty bummed about not going to the pumpkin farm. So, her way of making the best of it was picking the biggest one she could find at the store. ;)

I have a couple friends--new and not-so-new friends coming over tomorrow with their baby girls & an older man for Lily.  I have baby food, formula, & coupons to share with them and I'm looking forward to some mom time!

Tomorrow we'll be carving pumpkins. Thursday we're trying to work out logistics with hockey and a trick-or-treating event. 

Both Andrew and Reagan have a Halloween event Sunday night for Scouts and Brownies.  Andrew will be going to his, Reagan will not be, unfortunately, since that's not her time with us.

I feel pretty stressed trying to get everything fit in and done that I'd like to get done.  Is it going to matter to my friends if my floor isn't mopped right before they come? No, but it will to me.  But, if I stay up late to do it tonight, then I'll be super tired tomorrow and they just might not like it if I fell asleep haha.  So, the floor may not get mopped, ladies. ha  Forgive me.

We ate supper in shifts tonight trying to get everything done.  Not my favorite thing to do, but getting the pumpkin had to be tonight.

Yeah, I'm totally rambling and just brain dumping, really to get it all organized in my mind. 

While I'm brain vomiting, apparently Sunday was Mother-in-Law day?  Now, there's two days for my MIL to be pissed I don't do what she wants?! Fantastic.

Picture retakes are tomorrow for Andrew. His glasses were broken for picture day, so we're re-doing them tomorrow. Can you imagine how thrilled he is? 

I also don't enjoy that it's dark in the morning now. I'm ready for Daylight Savings Time to happen. I don't like the 3 hour time difference in trying to talk to my mom.

Lily crap napped today. Both times.  So come bedtime she was super crankypants. ketchup fingers and all.

Pickin' Pumpkins

The weather in Pittsburgh this past weekend was GORGEOUS! Sunny and warmed up to mid to high 60s. After a random blast of cold days earlier in the week, this was so welcome!

 Absolutely perfect for our annual trip to the pumpkin farm!

We've been going to this particular farm for the last few years because it's wayyy less commercialized than others and George and I like simple. :) For example, there's no fee for the hayride to get to be able to pick out your pumpkin.  In fact, they give you an apple from their orchard when you climb on.

Lily had her first apple (whole) and she LOVED it! I picked a little one out of the basket and it was the perfect size for her. She was super crankypants when she dropped it after we got off the hayride and ready to look for pumpkins. She shared Daddy's apple too and then had mine while we waited go back from the pumpkin patch. :)  She loves her apples!

I love that my family just knows, we get the posed pics out of the way and then move on.  It was a lot harder to get Lily to stick her head in these cut-outs this year though, but we managed. :)

Andrew just needs to show her how it's done. ;)

'Cause she was just. not. having. it.

What she did totally love was walking and crawling in the dirt!

Andrew finds his pumpkin quickly. :)  This gig is old hat for him.
And then he has to wait...

hahahahha! He's really not grumpypants....just keeping the sun out of his eyes! There was not a cloud in sight that day.

I just love my babies and pumpkins. :)
And my favorite babe:

Finally the hayride back to the car and Lily sums up how we all felt:

We had a great time as always!  It's a simple kind of place to just pick out pumpkins which has been perfect for us. 

Going to the pumpkin farm is one of my favorite fall activities!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Milk & Medication

George and I have discussed organic milk versus non for awhile.  He pretty much leaves things like that up to me with regard to Lily

A few weeks ago, when he was getting her some milk, he took a drink of it and from the other room I heard him exclaim, "Oh my God!"  I asked what was wrong and he said, "This milk is DELICIOUS! It tastes like milk used to taste." ha!  It was Lily's organic milk. 

This taste test has prompted him to read more about organic milk.  That's how he operates and I love him for it...especially the teacher in me. :)  Lifelong learners.
What people choose to do with their milk is their own decision. I was surprised by his reaction and glad he tastes the difference.

He sent me an article comparing the two. That article prompted some other health discussions about Lily and her reaction to her amoxicillin. 

We have been very lucky to have a baby who is rarely sick.  She has had a couple colds and one previous ear infection in her life--really not getting sick until she was 8 months old. Prior to the last few weeks, she had had only one antibiotic and it was for also for an ear infection.

I am not one to give medicine to my kids everytime they cough, sneeze or fart. I believe that immune systems need to be built as well as what they're given genetically. I'm not a sickly person.  Headaches, yes. I get 'em.  Since I've moved to Pittsburgh, I've gotten sick a couple times a year, but I am not afflicted with every cold, cough, or sneeze that comes through my door.

What do I attribute that to?  Well, a lot of things, but my brothers are both like this as well.  So, since the three of us grew up in the same house where our parents didn't run us to the doctor for the common cold, we didn't take medicine everytime we sneezed, our bodies learned to fight off those things.  Given we're all teachers too, I'd say being exposed to all of those coughs, sneezes and handshakes each year helped as well.

I don't give my children medicine at every turn either.  It worked for my parents.  And it's working for us.

My husband grew up differently. He tends to get sick pretty easily. 

Andrew stays pretty healthy.  His is like clockwork. Seasonal allergies which can lead to asthmatic issue, but doesn't always. He has had allergies since he was 2 years old and when he was little, it brought on serious breathing issues before we knew what was going on.
We stay preventative and proactive with his health. He typically misses about
2-3 days of school a year. Funny enough, it tends to be the end of January or beginning of February. Each year we think we'll make it for perfect attendance and wham, no such luck. 

I'm lucky to have healthy children.  I choose to vaccinate them.
I choose, based on Andrew's personal health history, to get him a flu shot each year.  I have carefully chosen his pediatricians in Tennessee, Arizona and Pennsylvania based on his personal needs with regard to his breathing.  He and Lily actually see different pediatricians in the same office. He likes his and at nearly 12, when he needs to see a doctor, that's important to me. I see no reason to change him just because Lily sees one that I love for her. 

I have friends that do not vaccinate. I think this is a very personal choice and it's not mine to make for anyone other than my own children.

Well, now you know there's always an element of disagreement when dealing with our blended family. 'Cause for heaven's sake, we couldn't possibly do anything right.

We prescribe to the same method of not giving medicine for colds especially.  Having a runny or stuffy nose isn't cause for running to the doctor or always medicating in our home and that's ok with us.  It's just how we do things.

I mentioned that Reagan had a cold last week that had been hanging on. No fever. Just runny then stuffy nose. She played outside, normal temperament, wasn't anymore tired than normal, etc. You know, just the typical cold.  She tends to get sick every year at the beginning of the school year and it hangs on for awhile. I don't know how much she washes her hands at school, but she's good about it at home.

The one of the things in this situation is that it's of course, our fault.  'Cause really, that helps her get better to blame us for her getting sick. And since we've been accused of every other type of abuse, I'm sure " neglect" will be added to the list soon. *sarcasm*

This cold hasn't rendered her unfunctional. She's not gone to the nurse at school, complained at home, hasn't run a fever, so we deal with her having a cold and we function.  That's it. No biggie.

I'll continue to raise children in my home the way my husband and I agree about it regardless of whether someone disagrees. My home.  Organic or not. Vaccinations or not. Medication or not.

Now, excuse me while I go drink some delicious organic milk with my pumpkin roll.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Weekends are easy.

I enjoy the relaxing and downtime....more than I can say.

Yesterday we had planned on going to a couple local Halloween/Fall events, but instead we all decided we'd rather be home and not run anywhere. George, Andrew, and I are very similar in this...we like our alone time too.  Lily actually also likes doing her own thing sometimes too and others she likes to be playing with someone, reading with someone etc. 

The ease of our family is something I don't take forgranted.

Today we're heading to the pumpkin farm to pick our pumpkins!! This is one of my favorite things we do each year. I LOVE it! I loved it when Andrew was little in Tennessee too. Great memories, great pictures. 

Last year we took a 3 month old baby and this year a 15 month old. Time flies so quickly. I mean, look how teeny she was!

For the 1st time since we've been together as a family, we'll be going without Reagan though. We're all pretty disappointed by this because regardless of what the custodial schedule has been since 2007, we have always planned it to make sure she came with us. This year, however, we have her during the school week and no weekend time, so she misses out. :(  She is really sad about it too.  We are looking forward to carving the pumpkins with her later this week!

Then we're all looking forward to watching the Steelers Cardinals game. My two fav teams! Superbowl 43 was the greatest ever!

I also bought a pie pumpkin at the grocery store to make my own pumpkin puree, so I can bake more pumpkin rolls. I've perfected the recipe to the exact taste I was going for. My husband refers to them as "logs of sin".  We have a busy week ahead and I need to get working on Andrew's Halloween costume too!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Baby Piggies

I LOVELOVELOVE baby piggies!

I always have. Like wanna eat 'em up love. Baby feet, toddler feet I LOVE. When they become big kid feet and above, I don't. do. feet.  ewwww.

Even when I was pregnant with Lily, her feet were prominent. I mean the girl has some big feet.
26 weeks, 6 days

I actually exclaimed at that ultrasound to George, "Oh my God she has YOUR feet!" 

She wears size 4.5 (if I can find them) or 5 shoes. Half sizes are hard to find in baby shoes. Which is DUMB. Size 4 is too small and 5 is too big.  And my girl has big feet. When Andrew's dad was here a few weeks ago, she was chattering at him and he (who never notices anything & isn't all about babies) said, "She has some BIG feet."  Yep.

I guess because I love baby feet so much and I think they're just an accessory before babies can walk, I don't do shoes much.  Pretty much now, Lily wears shoes only when we're out and that's basically because it's gotten cold. 

Don't get me wrong, I think baby shoes are adorable.  I'm just too cheap frugal to spend $$ on shoes for a baby whose feet will grow out of them before she really gets to wear them.  On the other hand, I did buy 4 pairs of shoes for her for $14.98 total when I had a really great sale/coupon combo at Payless. And I've picked up a couple of pairs of sandals for next year that were wayyyy too good a deal to pass up. Like $1.99 for an adorable pair of purple flower Carter's sandals. Can't go wrong with 2 bucks!

My girl doesn't care whether she has shoes on, shoes off, socks on or off, one sock on and one off, bare feet. Whatever. She doesn't care.
I feel pretty much the same. Other than I don't do one off, one on. Or wet. NEVER wet socks.

After Lily was born, I literally would just squeeze and kiss her sweet little baby pigs ALL. THE. TIME.  I still do. It's one of my favorite baby things.

We play "This Little Piggy" about 83720457294 times a day. She always laughs and I always get to kiss on those piggies. 

Earlier this week, she was standing watching Yo Gabba Gabba (so she could dance, of course) and I caught sight of her little piggies sticking out of her pants. :)  I LOVELOVELOVE them.

Aren't they just adorable????
until they become big kid feet. ha

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On the Mend

We headed back to the pediatrician yesterday after the rash breakout. 

I had stopped giving Lily the amoxicillin Sunday when we first saw her rash, so by the time we'd gone to the doctor, she had missed two doses and still had the rash.

The GREAT news we learned is that her ears had cleared up in just 3 days with the antibiotics!  She's a strong little sucker. :)

And because of that, we didn't need another antibiotic to try while we let this amoxicillin leave her system.  Her temperament is totally normal, she's just a little rashy and of course, it's more pronounced after her bath or when her skin is warmer, like in her footie jammies. 

The good thing is, it doesn't seem to be causing her discomfort for the most part. I noticed after I took her clothes off last night, she was rubbing around trying to scratch her back.  So, we gave her some benadryl before bed.  She slept great.  This morning her rash is minimal. We'll see after her bath tonight how it is.

Her daddy and I are both allergic to penicillin, so I'm not surprised by her reaction. :)

I'm happy she's blessed with a super strong immune system like Andrew and myself. The doctor was suprised how quickly her ears had cleared up.  While I'm pretty opinionated about strong versus weak immune systems, suffice to say environment is as important as genetics.

Yay for a babe on the mend!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Double Infection with a Side of Rash

Thursday early, early morning I heard a crying baby girl over the monitor. 

Look at the clock:        2:38am.

I went up to re-paci and make sure all was well since middle of the night wake ups are not the norm. 
She'd had a runny nose for a few days which I knew was inevitable with Andrew and Reagan starting school. Reag catches everything and in return so does GeorgeAndrew and I tend to be able to remain healthy *knock on wood* most of the time.  Lily too, actually.  But, with her daddy's cold and cough hanging on for too long, Reagan's snotty nose sticking around, and the weather going from 40s to 80s, I knew it was coming.

She felt a little warm, but not really feverish and went right back to sleep.

I, on the other hand, could not go back to sleep.

So, I caught up on my dvr and this week's CSI on the couch trying to fall asleep.  Jussssssttttt about the time I was falling back to sleep at 4am... crying Lily. I went back to check on her and this time she was burning up.  I got her up, changed her diaper, took her temp... 103.  I got her something to drink, gave some motrin and she and I snuggled up on the couch.  Neither of us really fell back to sleep except for a few minutes here or there.

Daddy got up at 6am and joined the party before work. We knew we'd be off to the doctor since the day before she'd had a low temp and it obviously didn't improve on its own.  My suspicion: ears.

Off to the doctor's office first thing---LUCKY---an appointment was available right away.  They checked her weight (22lbs, 3oz) and took her temperature--which, of course, was normal due to the motrin.
And sure enough: double ear infection. 

She's such a trooper though. Just easy going, go with the flow and even on the way home was dancing to "Moves Like Jagger" and chanting "Go! Go!  Go! Go!".  She's super funny and makes me laugh all the time.

We picked up her amoxicillin from the pharmacy and home we went to nap. 

She kept her fever up and down from early Thursday morning until Saturday afternoon. Friday afternoon's nap was entertaining since she ended up pooping all over herself and her crib. Although, between the bed and the baby, Lily's the easy clean...just throw her into the bathtub!
Andrew decided to say hello

 Saturday she slept for her afternoon nap for 3 and a half hours! I kept going in to check on her and she was just snoozing...hard. When she was awake, her temperament was pretty normal. Just a little whiney at times, but she played a little bit too and watched a little tv.  There was a lot of snuggling and I have to admit how nice that really has been because she's so on the move now. You can just tell in her eyes that she's feeling miserable.

When she woke up from her marathon nap Saturday afternoon, she had total sleepy face, bed head (what little hair she has haha) and impressions on her face and head from her afghan.

She had started eating better on Saturday too, so we knew she was on the mend and the medicine was working to help.  She went to bed early and slept until 8am today which was GREAT since she'd gotten up at 6:30am on Saturday.  8am is normal for her.  She ate breakfast, played a little bit, read books and was ready for a nap at 10:00am.  She slept until 12:20pm, woke up happily, chatting to her babies and stuffed animals.

I picked her up to change her and while I unzipped her sleeper I noticed she had a rash on her face and neck. Sure enough on her belly and chest too.  I checked her all over and it was only on her head and trunk. I asked George to come upstairs. He said, "What for? I don't like surprises." ha! I guess after the poop all over the bed Friday afternoon, he was worried.

I said, "I think she's allergic to the amoxicillin."

Looking back on it, after Saturday's nap...I think it was the beginning of a rash not her afghan making impressions on her face.

He held on to her to keep watch and off I went for benedryl.


I guess since he and I are both allergic to penicillin, I shouldn't be surprised.  Although, she'd already had amoxicillin once before with no reaction.

She is fine and took another super long afternoon nap, ate normally and played normally.

Looks like we'll be calling the pediatrician first thing tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

October 15 ~ Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

 In July 2009, George and I miscarried our first baby.  Recently, one of my dear friends experienced this loss as well and it broke my heart to learn of her story.  She's an amazing woman, teacher, wife, stepmother and friend and she and her husband were over the moon learning they were expecting their first baby.

Tonight, I lit a candle for our angel baby and for theirs.

I have shared our story before.

Our angel is a part of our story.
We do not stay stuck in that grief, as we have grieved.
We remember, love and honor.

While I don't wish we had gone through it, it is a part of our story
and everything happens for a reason.
We are so grateful for our Lily, who would not be who SHE is, had we not gone through that loss.

And SHE is the light and blessing we waited for....
and SO worth it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Drama You Don't Want

This is my blog, my crap to deal with, so here it will be talked about.  I've talked about it before. It's ugly, it's crazy, it's vile. And I'm sick of it, so we're going to get a few things straight here. No beating around the bush.  

First of all, last night this message on twitter from Reagan's biological mother:
Sent: Oct 14, 2011 12:34a
Fucking cow. Watch ur back. #swf


Yeah, since this is the woman who accused me of molesting her daughter. Yeah, a threat.

Today these words followed...
(Her words in black and My corrections & comments will be in red with my teacher pen.)

"What else is new?!

I've mentioned many times over my blogging life about my stalker, my daughter's step mother, StephanieG143, or GotOnePastTheGoalie, or LittlePunkyPie, whatever floats your boat. Over 4 years now she has followed me to every single place I've been online,(really?) starting with pretending to be someone else on a makeup forum(actually, not so. I had a screen name 'starrcountry', but I guess that makes me "someone else" along with every other single member --including 'pebzy', 'rubyrocks' 'momma' or "whatever floats your boat" and HELLO??? the internet if full of screen names, so I guess everyone is pretending to be someone else. It was on this board I made friendships I STILL have because I did NOT pretend to be someone I'm not.) to silently stalking my November 2011 due date club on a pregnancy site.(wrong.) She has attempted to be me,(yeah, no thanks.) look like me, (ummm, what?! have you seen me? And have you seen a picture of this crazy broad?) talk like me,(really??I don't even know what to say about this other than she's insane. Her voice sounds like Beaker from the Muppets and she has no concept of appropriate language, let alone grammar)  what have you, & every futile attempt has failed.

There is only one me. DUH. lol.

I recently made a new blog to privately
(it was not private, it was public) document our new life here in the new house with the new baby coming & lots of changes on the horizon, & nothing was tied down to anything else of mine other than my followers. She stalked my followers to find my new blog in 2 days. (Not true. Actually, I was trying to determine and link the reader who has spent hours on my blog reading posts about Reagan recently to one of BM's followers, so when I clicked on said trailer park chick's name, I saw new blog link.) I know this because I have IP trackers on every single thing I do - because eventually it WILL be enough to press charges,(for what? reading public internet?) which I absolutely plan on doing. (I would also like to mention here that I myself (keyword."myself") have not been on her blog or anything else since June (just about the time I closed my other blog and moved. Only I wasn't hiding, yet she just sends minions to read and copy for her like always, hence the reader I mentioned above) - I'm trying to set an example for her to follow but of course it's not working.) I have asked my ex to  keep his psychotic wife in check, (funny how she always refers to my husband as HERS rather than Reagan's dad...)  but at this point I don't even think he realizes just how obsessed she is & how SHE is the reason co parenting fails again and again and again.  (Wait. First I was the reason he wanted his daughter, NOW I'm the reason they can't coparent?) I am at my wits end here, & aside from personally handling the situation, I just don't know what else to do.

She talks shit on me, which is funny because every single thing she says are the things SHE is guilty of, but she also takes out her hatred & jealousy
(jealous of what?) on my 7 year old (SO far from the truth, not worth commenting other than I understand that's how she sleeps at night.) AND my unborn child (yeah, other than the fact she's naming said baby a stripper's name, I have said nothing. But she publicly blogged she's naming said kid after a song about a prostitute) (which btw, last time I checked is none of her fucking business) which is clearly not fine. She is a coward, (nope, takes more power and courage to put up with a crazy person) a pussy if you will, & will never discuss this stalking subject in person (like you are by writing this blog? or when I do speak to you, you call me derogatory names--see above: 'pussy'-- or just looking at the ground and ignoring me. Yeah, keep trying.) OR over the phone. (you mean the last time you called and again, screamed derogatory names and told me you were going to get my internet shut off because I read public internet and I just hung up on you?)  She thinks it's normal what she does,(don't tell me what I think because the fact is, you do not want to know) that it's perfectly acceptable, justifying it by "needing to know" what my 7 year old is up to. (I read your crazy shit to PROTECT MY FAMILY. keep your enemies closer? ring a bell? not getting blindsided by accusations. Did that once. It has not happened since.)

My 7 year old has been at their home 1/2 the week for over 2 years now. That excuse dried up a long time ago yet it's still happening. (My stepdaughter lives here Mon-Friday. We have her more than half the time.)

This is her lifestyle, her habits, her way of making her current husband love her more than their previous women. (I don't need to MAKE people love me or issue ultimatums to get one to marry me. He chose me.) I'm not the first to deal with her as a psycho step mother (and you all of a sudden are buddies with my son's dad's 1st wife?? because I can GUARANTEE you, you and she would NOT have anything in common EXCEPT being children's mothers), which is the ONLY consolation I have.(how is it consolation that more kids have split homes?)  She clearly has some sort of mental disorder (this coming from the girl who recently called her mom the "c word" on the internet when she didn't get her way, was willing to put her 5 year old daughter through a sexual exam to "prove" molestation when she knew it was a lie to win in court) which is why anyone close enough to figure it out gets booted out of her life.(what???)  The last mom gave in - I won't. You fuck with my child (yeah, like that's EVER the case) like the coward you are, you fuck with me. It's that simple. I'll never sit back & allow it to happen because I've been annoyed to the point of not giving a fuck. I will ALWAYS give a fuck when it comes to my child.

But anyways, the 4 year history of stalking just got about 2 inches thicker as far as print outs... & eventually I know this will end - I just have to stick it out.

In doing so though, I am no longer writing anything about my private life here - from now on that will all be
here. It is invite only so shoot me an email if you would like to be added - I know I added about 12 of you already, but there's always room for more!

I've also removed myself from every public place, with the exception of
facebook because those annoying privacy settings actually work to my advantage. I just don't have the $ nor do I feel it's fair to me to spend $ to move to WP just to block one fucking IP, so things will just be kept invite only.

A lot of things changed in August & I had hoped this insecure little woman-child would stop with her shit, but I now know NOTHING will ever be enough. Until she "wins" by thinking she can get me to run away from my daughter,
(you are delusional. I do not want your daughter to be anything more than a part of my family. Be HER MOTHER WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT ME) this shit will never end. I am all she has in her sad little life  (wait? I thought I had your daughter????) to bring any type of jealousy fueled excitement, & yes that is annoying, but it's also a constant reminder of how blessed I am. If my life sucked (what life? You gave up your kid because you were too lazy to drive her to and from school 3 days a week, no thanks and you moved to the ghetto.) nobody would care this much, & when things get low & I'm ready to flip the fuck out, I just remind myself of that fact & feel better. ;)"

So, that's a little bit of insight into the crazy that we deal with on a regular basis.  I clearly could go on with the destructive and damaging things said to this child, but for what purpose? The damage is done to her own child. Not mine.  We just have to pick up the pieces.

This is honestly the worst person I have ever encountered and continually have to endure.

It's embarrassing and my husband is mortified that he has a child with her.

It's not funny.  Her stupidity is laughable, but it's not a funny situation.

It's a nightmare.

I'm grateful for my children and the fact that neither of them have to endure a parent like this and I do my best to protect them---including hers when that child is in my home.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If You Give a Kid a Muffin

Lily wakes up in a happy mood every day.  Seriously LUCKY!

She immediately says, "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!" over and over when I walk into her room to get her, jumps up and down in her crib, smiling and chattering a bunch of stuff that I'm certain means something, but I have no idea what just yet. ;)

I love that sleepyhead look and since she's finally  just starting to get some hair growing in, she has this curl in the back that sticks out.

She loves to watch a morning show while she eats her breakfast and during the week it's helpful getting Andrew and Reag ready.  Typically she eats in her highchair and I slide it to the livingroom.

Yesterday, Andrew's dad dropped him at school before he headed back to Nashville and Reag is with BM on Monday mornings, so it was just a Lily and me morning.  I decided to give her some mini blueberry muffins while she watched her show and let her sit snuggled on the couch to eat her breakfast.

I was in her way to see the tv...

apparently she likes them...holy cramming!

dancing while eating breakfast is the way to go everytime
I love our mornings!

Connecting and Stepping Back

My favorite thing about the internet... connection.

It's helped me keep friends and family across the country updated on my pregnancy, my kids growing, happenings in our lives regarding a neverending  lengthy court process, pictures, day to day life. Well, you get the idea.  The downside of that for me is that it's often easier for people to "catch up" that way and never make any real time connection. I'm guilty of this too. I'm just cognizant of it and when you get random texts or calls, that's why. I miss you.

In other ways, the internet has connected me with different groups of women who have similar life experiences whom I have never and may never meet in real life. I'd been active on some pregnancy message boards and baby boards and many moons ago I was a member of a stepparenting site during my 1st marriage because I was a stepmom then too.  Those children were 4 and just turned 2 when I met them. Now, the oldest just turned 18 last week. I keep up with them through Andrew's dad to find out how they are even though it's been many, many years since I've seen or spoken with them.

When George and I met and I learned about Reagan I momentarily thought, "Can I do this stepmom thing again?"

It was difficult working through things with the first BM in my life for a little while, but we worked through everything and eventually became friends. Her new husband was a good stepfather and a positive influence.

When George and I met, he warned me about the BM.
I said, "I have had to deal with this before, no biggie." HA!

I, without a doubt, can say if THIS experience had been my 1st, I would never have gotten involved with a man with a child again.

Some days I don't want to be a stepmom. 
It's hard.  It's exhausting. And the constant evil makes it less and less desireable.

Nothing is ever enough or right. There is always conflict. Every single thing is fraught with drama. There is never any relief.

Most of the time it's brought about from BM and that's become pretty easy to leave out of our home, laugh at and be done with it. We expect what we get from her.

When I witness similar behaviors in a child, it's much more alarming. Lying, hurtful and hatefulness has seemingly become second nature. 

I'm not her mom. And quite honestly, I have never tried nor wanted to be her mom....just love her, treat her fairly and respectfully and as a family member in my home. 

What I do wish is that her mom was better TO her about her dad and our family.  I've always wished for that.  I have given up hope of that ever happening.

Every detail of our lives is made negative by my stepdaughter and BM together. Whether it's about school pictures or chores or every other single thing we do and are, there is nothing positive said to Reagan by BM about our family.  Just constant criticism. And Reagan joins in and stirs the pot.  She knows it pleases her mom and she gets attention from it.
I'm getting tired of dealing with the garbage all the time.

I have never seen a child derive as much satisfaction from drama.  I find it scary.

I'm at a point of exhaustion.

So, I am in total "stepback" mode.

Looking back on my first experience as a stepmom, I can see the natural progression of feelings and actions of my stepchildren's mother. From rough and rocky moving forward to peaceful coexisiting.

This experience dealing with the BM has been a nightmare since the beginning.
From the moment she knew of my existence, she began withholding my husband's daughter to keep her from having anything to do with his "flavor of the month" (me).  For four and a half years, (some flavor) it has been constantly that same negativity, control, and damaging words and behavior.

And although I am so, so grateful that I have been able to find connection with other stepmothers online, I'm terribly saddened that other women, children and families have to endure similar issues.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Dancey Dance Time

One of the shows Lily loves to watch is Yo Gabba Gabba.
It's the music. She's sucked in by music and that's all she wrote.  I have to crack up when I hear her making raspberries after Biz Markie's "Biz's Beat of the Day" segment.  I mean, come on, she's 14 months and mimics a rapper whose big song was out when I was a senior in high school?! Cracks me up.

George encourages her to dance along....and she does...until she realizes you're paying attention to her. :)

Yo Gabba Gabba Live came to Pittsburgh this past weekend. I entered an online contest through one of our news channels to try to win tickets. I had decided right away, Lily is just too young to buy tickets despite how much I knew she'd like it, but I figured I'd enter and see if we won. A few days before the show, Groupon had tickets for $19.00 and I briefly considered it. I said to George it was a good deal because they were 50% off, but I still didn't want to buy them because Lily is so little. I had entered some other giveaways and said if we won, great, but if not, there'd be other things we'd take her to later on.

I didn't win that news channel contest.
However, Wednesday, I won an online giveaway for 4 tickets! Winner, winner chicken dinner!  The next morning, I found out I had won 4 MORE tickets on a Macaroni Kid website that I follow. Lucky me!!

Meant to be to take our sweet little Punky Pie.

We gave away four of them to others who also would not have otherwise been able to go. We were so happy to be able to share!

Andrew's dad was in town for a work conference and Andrew even wanted to come with us to see Lily experience this. (Sweet, sweet big brother) See? He brought his iPod to keep himself occupied from the "baby show".

Of course, it was one of those days where Lily's normally 2 hour morning nap lasted 45 minutes total and because we had some running around to do before the 3:30pm show, she just didn't get an afternoon nap which is about an hour and a half each day.  She typically doesn't meltdown, so I was hopeful! *crossing fingers*

Oh! Did I mention that her molars are on the move again and working the rest of the way in? Yeah, couple that with minimal nap.

In all honesty, she did great! She got her crankypants on near the end of the show was all. You could just see the exhaustion in her and she spent the end of the show with her fingers jammed in the back of her mouth. She's such a trooper!

The show was fun for all of us. Andrew, George and I sang along and Lily clapped and danced.

Biz Markie was really there too. ha! He brought up a bunch of kids to do the "Biz's Beat of the Day" sketch which was super cute and funny.

We all had a lot of fun and we're so happy that we were able to go thanks to Macaroni Kid!
She hit her wall...teething and tired.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday!

When my mom was here last month, she brought with her some of my baby clothes.  Yes, she's hung onto some of my baby things for 38+ years. I want to at least get pictures of my little one in those clothes. ;)

With the unusually warmer weather and lots of sunshine, I was able to put her in one of the rompers yesterday.  I put the bonnet on solely for the pictures, but she did wear the romper all day.