Friday, August 30, 2013

A Little Life Catch Up

Well, let's see...

We've had a lot going on lately. Some great, some not so great!

Thank you for the support and comments on my post about life as a stepmom.  I'm not looking for life to always be easy, just not quite so difficult all the time in that realm.  Taking the step back has been good for my blood pressure and my sanity.

Also within the last couple weeks, we got a new to us car.  This is actually our first car together . George was beginning to worry about not having something big enough to have all 6 of us go somewhere after the baby is born, so he came home one afternoon from running some errands and said he wanted to go look.  I said ok and off we went.  The second place we stopped, we found a deal too good to pass up.  So, back the next day we went.  We both love it!

Lily is a big fan of the headphones so she can listen to music or watch dvds. 

As if buying a new car wasn't exciting enough, I decided that breaking my ankle at 31 weeks pregnant would add an element to our lives that would be awesome.  I stepped in a hole in our front yard, twisted it and down I went.  It hurt pretty badly from the get go, but I decided to see how it went for the rest of the day.  When I woke up the next day, it wasn't any better at all and off we went to urgent care where they x-rayed it and found the break.  My fav question at urgent care was, "When was your last menstrual cycle?"  My answer: "January 2013"  The guy stopped and actually looked at me.  Lightbulb! "Ohhhhh how pregnant are you?" 

I was lucky to get an appointment that afternoon with the orthopedic doctor, so I didn't have to endure the weekend.  She gave me a walking boot and told me to lose the crutches so I didn't break my neck trying to balance my baby belly while walking on one foot.  Let's be honest, it's been a pain in the ass. It's hard enough nearing the end of my pregnancy, chasing a Lily all day, tending to the activities of Andrew's busy schedule and trying to maintain some semblance of a working home.  Going up and down stairs sucks. Thankfully, I have a good husband and son who have been amazingly helpful.

Andrew went away to band camp for a week for the first time this year.  This deserves its own post, so I'm only going to touch on it, but on the Friday before they came home, they performed all their shows and invited parents to come to camp and watch.  It was so good! 
This current week, was back to school which was also back to waking up early and I am worn out.  It's definitely an adjustment and I have napped more this week than I have since the beginning of this pregnancy. 
So I have marching band, back to school, pregnancy updates and some Lily updates to catch up on. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get to some of it. I also need to get going through baby stuff too! Ackkkkkk!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

32 weeks~ baby i2

DATE:  August 22, 2013

How far along: 32 weeks = rounding the home stretch!

Total Weight Gained:
  Still down 1 pound from beginning.

How big is baby?  "Your baby's the size of a squash!
Still growing, your baby weighs in at about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds and measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches"
**taken from The Bump
How baby is growing:
  • She's getting ready for her descent -- she's likely in the head-down position now.
  • And she's probably feeling a even more cramped
  • **taken from The Bump

    Maternity Clothes:  I can still wearing regular comfy pants (read: no buttons/zippers) and big shirts for the most part. If I put on real pants/shorts, then they are most definitely maternity!  A lot of dresses and skirts oh and pajammies of course.  And now a walking boot. Grrrrrr

    Sleep: I'm still worn out all the time.  The aches and pains at the end of the day make getting to sleep difficult and bedtime is usually when my heartburn kicks in. Adding a broken ankle into the mix did nothing for my sleep. ha!

    Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:  I'm truly trying to embrace this pregnancy since it is my last, so I spend a lot of my time I'd love to be sleeping, thinking about who this baby will be and what her personality will be like.  It's pretty magical.

    Movement: She's a mover! She doesn't really kick me though, she jumps and tumbles.

    Food Cravings:  lemonade, chocolate, hotdogs, cereal, watermelon, canteloupe

    Food Aversions:
     Nothing really is making me want to stay away except the heartburn.

    Gender:  our second precious baby girl

    Symptoms:  irritability still, exhaustion, lots of low pressure especially at the end of the day when I'm trying to go to bed. I'm not easy to be around. :(

    What I miss: not feeling exhausted all the time and being able to roll over in bed.

    What I'm looking forward to: My ankle healing and not delivering this baby in a walking boot, watching Lily become a big sister, feeling better physically, Halloween, the baby being here, figuring out her middle name.
    31weeks, 1day~ broken ankle day.

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    The Bad Guy

    Being a stepmom definitely isn't glamorous.  In fact, I'd say it's the most difficult and thankless role of my life.  I'm not looking to be thanked all the time, rather just appreciated at times.  Even though  "You're not my mom" hasn't been said since she was 3 1/2 years old, the difficulty lies in fulfilling the role of mom in my household, but not being her mom. 

    It's easy for a kid who goes back and forth between homes and parents to want to blame someone when their life doesn't look like they wish it did.  Despite the communication with all parties functioning, my part is still the same.  I get to be the bad guy, the scape goat.  Overall, I accept that.

    What I'm unwilling to accept is the blame for others' choices---kids included.

    On this particular rollercoaster, my relationship with my stepdaughter is currently in a valley. It's actually been there for some time.  As she's gotten a little bit older, it's gotten a more difficult for the two of us than when she was younger.

    Last week a lot of her choices and actions came to a head.  Only this time wasn't with me.  The difficulty lay with her dad.  She made some choices that angered, disappointed and hurt him. None of that seemed to matter to her.   When it came time to come back to our house from her mom's after this happened, she didn't want to come.  It's hard to face someone you've hurt, of course.

    Only that wasn't how that played out.  It was that she didn't want to come back because of me.  You know, the bad guy.  I didn't make the choices, I didn't disappoint my dad.  But, it's easy to blame me instead of learning the lessons of being accountable for your own feelings, choices, and behaviors.

    I will admittedly say, I have zero tolerance right now for bullshit.  I don't have the energy to play the "oh woe is me" game with anyone.   That being said, telling any of the kids in my life something for the 932543927304th time, has me with no patience. Especially when they're old enough to know the day-to-day expectations.   Or I have no patience when I'm told that it doesn't matter what I say because, "I'm going to do what I want anyway since all you can do is yell at me."   I refuse to accept backtalk and mouthy, disrespectful kids.  I don't have to accept that.

    Last week had nothing to do with any of that. Last week had nothing to do with me.

    Yet, the return conversation was all that those choices, actions and behaviors are because I'm always grumpy and cause everyone here to be agitated with each other.  Ohhhhhh realllly? 

    My frustration level is ultra high as a result of the disrespect, being the bad guy, and a handful of other inappropriate behaviors.  When the apathy of the child outweighs the desire to contribute to the family dynamic positively, I have hit the end of my ability to handle it.

    I don't like the lessons I'm watching be learned and since my contribution just has gotten the "bad guy" rap, I have to step away from it.  Of course, my husband and I still will parent together--all of our kids--but my role in accepting the blame is changing. I'm no longer willing to be the enforcer for my stepdaughter.   Yes, I realize I will hear, "Well, she doesn't have to... or she didn't..." from my son, but he's old enough to understand the issue whether he chooses to agree or not.

    The expectations won't change, but if they're not met, the consequences won't be coming from me. And with the nature my husband's schedule, that makes it more difficult for her during the time he is home with us because his time at home is limited.

    I guess I'm adopting a step back.

    Something has to give.  I have two kids plus one on the way who have no other mother except me and it's unfair for them to have to deal with this drama all the time and my resulting frustration and anger.  I feel like I'm gypping them out of their mom.

    It's a good time for the transition with a new school year starting as she will be attending a new school. So a fresh start all around.  

    Again with the nature of my husband's schedule, much of the day-to-day falls on me. That has honestly been fine with me all this time until the disrespect hit an all-time high.  So, with a new school year, she will work on being more independent---especially since she will only be here during the school week. She's absolutely capable.

    We'll see how it goes. I'm simply not willing to accept being the bad guy any longer and I have to be the one to change my role in order to achieve a different outcome.

    Here's hoping...

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Party Day!

    In our final installment of our sweet Lily turning 3 years old, we had her birthday party this past Sunday.  It was a perfect weather day!  We've been having this fall-like stretch of cooler temperatures and no humidity--sleeping with the windows open at night and daytimes filled with sunshine, but not suffocating heat.  Birthday party day was no exception!

    Party prep at 29 weeks pregnant is no easy feat.  Definitely much slower moving which made things take a thousand times longer haha.  

    Lily has long loved Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood! You know, as long as a just turned 3 year old can love something to be considered "long."   So, when it came time to decide on a party theme, I knew this was it!  Although, there is literally nothing out there Daniel Tiger wise, so this was all to figure out on my own.

    I found a handful of other moms who created some Daniel Tiger stuff on Pinterest, so I had a jumping off point of ideas.  Thankfully.

    Back in March, on Mr. Rogers' birthday, we went to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and I was able to capture the best picture of Lily in her Daniel Tiger shirt with her Mr. Rogers sweater on Trolley and absolutely knew I would be using it for her invitation four months later!

    What I had envisioned and hoped for on party day was a relaxing day of eating lunch and cake, letting kids play and relaxing in our backyard with friends.  A very low-key party.  It's exactly what it turned out to be.  It made me so happy to see all these kids I love playing and running around while their parents, our friends, chatted and laughed and relaxed.

    The cake was a "give it a whirl" off of a picture of Daniel Tiger's face.  Lily knew what it was and that was all that mattered. ;)   She also requested pink cupcakes, so I created some cupcake tags to connect Daniel Tiger and it allowed me to include the other characters she loves so much too.

    The kids played and we all ate before it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" and have cake. Lily was excited about her birthday party for weeks about her friends coming and having balloons and cake, so watching her wait patiently as we sang happy birthday, just content was sweet. 

    She and Daddy cut the cake~ they've done that together each year which I love so much. 

    I wanted to get a picture of all the kids which turned out to be pure comedy with the little ones!  The big kids did exactly what they were supposed to do because their mamarazzi mamas have taught them well. The little ones are still learning. This was the best shot I got and we're still missing a kid! I can't wait to see what shots everyone else captured.

    The day was happy, relaxed and went perfectly along with what I had envisioned it to be. Thank you, friends, both big and small for coming to celebrate our Lily!

     Happy 3rd birthday, Lily! We love you so much!