This past week has been a barrel of stress. From Isabelle's canines that are just sitting on her gum line and causing random spaz outs to my never ending work pile, it's been rough. I know I do more than the average person. I'm not looking for a badge of honor, it's just how I'm wired. Ask my folks, they will tell you I've been this way since I could write a to-do list. I bite off more than I can chew, and 3 months later I'm crawled up in the fetal position boohooing my eyes out.
And honestly I look at the list and there is absolutely nothing I can or want to give up. From play time with Isabelle to making home cooked dinners, that's life. But honestly I can't do it all. I've been feeling like a failure, like everything I do is half assed. I've accepted I can't clone myself and I can't do it all.
So in 2010 I'm making some business changes. And we're hiring a cleaning crew. Thomas & I go round and round on this one. Honestly my time is better spent with Isabelle or Thomas, or working for that matter... And by hiring to do someone to do the cleaning, I'm helping someone else earn an income.
And.. we will be hiring someone to watch Isabelle for 1 day a week so we can play catch up. Right now when we really need to get something done, she'll watch tv for a little while and then wants to play..and rightly so, but we don't always have time to get everything done and read "Monkey & Me" 5 times in a row. We just don't. And I hate the seeing her zone to the tv. She's so dang smart and I feel like Dora is sucking her brain cells out (don't get me wrong, I do need a certain amount of Dora in our life!)
I feel better now. The house is a mess, I'm at least 1 work project behind, and my hair looks like crap.
Our kiddo has more character in her littlest finger than most people I know, and she's not even 2! We seriously are going to have our hands in full about 14 years...
At Gymboree this past week, one of the mothers told me about the Grand America's Gingerbread Village (did I mention it's *free). Holy cow, this hotel is the creme de la creme!! Decked out in her finest fake fur, our sweet Isabelle stomped around the place just like a princess. She was pretty interested in the Gingerbread village, but was howling for Santa. Sadly,there was no Santa to be found.
However, they did have a very fun teddy bear exhibit on the 23rd floor. A full suite chock full of teddy bears, candy, and playing a "Winnie the Pooh" movie on the TV. Let's just say Isa was ready to unpack and stay!
We had a holiday bonanza today! My parents told us about this fabulous Festival of Trees that they read about in Sunset magazine. It's a big deal here,but somehow we had never heard about it. There are tons and tons of trees that have been decorated and are sold to benefit the Children's Primary Hospital. So beautiful and just a fun family outing.
At the Tree Festival, Isabelle met Santa for the first time (last year we waited till the last minute and it was a pure disaster.. so don't ask..) She was SO excited. She was decked out in her fur coat and had her hair looking super duper cute. While we waited in line, she kept asking and signing for "Santa". She learned his name and our sign for him pretty quickly; she knows who butters that bread! And of course when it was our turn to have pictures with wonderful Santa, we had a full freakout. But we all need those pictures of our kids screaming with Santa..right?
Later this evening we traveled out to Heber for the "Polar Express". In jammies and the beloved fur coat (this girl has thing for coats..) She loved it for the most part. At times our train car was a tad too boisterous in their singing and freaked her out. She loved meeting Mrs. Claus, reading the "Polar Express", and looking at the Christmas lights outside the window. Again, asking and signing for Santa. Where was Santa?!? And another freakout during the great visit. Granted she was less scared and mustered the courage to take the gift bell from his outstretched hand.
I have TONS more pictures, but you just have to wait :o) I'll be working on the Christmas card this weekend and once they are mailed, I will post the rest of pictures on Flickr for all to enjoy.
Hope your Holidays are as much fun as ours. There truly is nothing like watching your child enjoy the magic of the season!
I read everything I could on it and joined a couple online forums.
Sammy's Friends is a Yahoo group that discusses the ins and outs of being a family with a limb difference. They have seen me through so much; and I know I don't tell them enough but I'm so grateful for these wonderful people. They helped me over the initial shock, questions about the best surgeons, and even just run of the mill extended family issues.
I was never a huge fan of the Jon & Kate Plus 8 show. I watched it now and then before Isabelle was born. And after we had her, I would watch the show to feel better about my piles of laundry, the nights when frozen meals were called "dinner", and my belly that will never be the same post 1 baby. If Kate could wrangle 8 plus a half involved dad, I could absolutely be a good mother to my 1 daughter and extremely helpful husband.
So often I read and heard Kate labeled a bitch. Really? You think so? I'd love to know how many mothers really feel that way. As involved as Thomas is, when we travel I do all Isabelle's packing. If I forgot it, it ain't there. If the prescriptions weren't refilled by me, it ain't there. And a ton of other things. I'm not complaining, I'm simply stating a fact. I am our children's primary caregiver. And when we travel, I'm a bitch. I'm stressed before we get into the car. Did I remember everything? Is Isabelle going to pitch a fit? Is she going to nap okay? Is she going to refuse all food while on vacation, AGAIN? Now people, multiply that by 8.. I don't think we would still be married. I'd be on tabloids labeled a monster and have my hair ridiculed. And for what? Having a pretty normal reaction to the stress of motherhood.
Kate, I have your back. From the episodes I did watch, I don't honestly think I'd be that different. Maybe that doesn't say too much about me, but I'm being honest.
I wish TLC had the fore site to cancel this train wreck 2 years ago. My heart breaks for those kids. I'm sure they would have chosen a different life for themselves. Who wants to be under a microscope and the have your parents scrutinized along the way?
I truly hope this family can find some peace, even Jon. Don't get me started on Jon... Ugh. While I no longer will have my go-to show to feel better about my slip ups a SAHM, I'm relived we can close the window into their lives.
Best of luck Kate + 8 (and alright Jon, I wish you some luck too.. well definitely therapy)
While Thomas and I would never discourage childproofing gadgets, we have found they have done harm inadvertently. Those foam corners for coffee tables were ripped off in a matter of seconds and shoved in the mouth. The drawer locks allow just enough room for a toddler to shove her hand in and close hard..
Here is the latest childproofing escapade...
The goal -> to open a childproofed entertainment cabinet
The result -> a nice welt that will be a lovely lavender and black in family Thanksgiving photos
Ask the munchkin, and she'll tell you it was worth the pain (about 5 minutes of sobbing and cuddling)
Yes, folks this was a safe re-enactment.. I don't sit around with the camera waiting for moments of pain to capture on film.. Well, not most days..
Quite a few months ago Isabelle starting to show a lot of interest in the potty. Excited over the prospect of being diaper free, I ran out to Target and bought her a fancy pink throne that plays music when you "go".
Well she does love her throne, but has yet to "go". Our little angel loved having a dirty diaper. If she was all of a sudden really jubilant, you could be sure she had a super stinker waiting for you. Finally this past month she decided that having a dirty diaper really wasn't all that grand. She began to grab her diaper after she went and then started to tell us that her "foo foo" hurt. We are so close I can feel it! Yesterday she grabbed my hand and led me to her potty right after she had done the deed in her diaper. We've yet to do any kind of formal training with her, but I think when we get back from our Thanksgiving trip, we will try to.
It's an odd thing to be excited over pee & #2, but honestly each step your child takes is such a miracle and fascinating. So bittersweet to watch Isabelle move further into toddlerdom, but what a wonderful ride. Being a parent really does teach you that life truly is all about the ride and the little details.
Wow.. letting the blog slip again, okay peoples I will try to be better!
Turned 31 this month! Ack!!
We took our annual trip to Disneyland and a fabulous time. It was pretty busy, so we may have to slightly change the dates for 2010 in hopes of finding a less crowded time.
You would never ever know this country is having money issues!!
Somehow I did not take a solitary picture while in Disneyland.
I know, I know..
Part of it is I don't think we got into the park before 4pm most days (Isa's naps..)
And well Isa was either hiding her face or squealing with joy over "Toodles" aka Mikey Mouse..
Not too much ability to fiddle with a F-Stop while grasping a toddler, stroller, and some sanity..
**The picture featured is Isa with one my dearest, best friends Annalee.
Thank you so much for making the drive!! **
And I got sick on the last day.
Feel pretty fortunate it that it is just your run of the mill cold,
but now Isa, Daddy, and Grandma have it.
Blame SWA and their dirty recirculated airplane air!
As most of you know, we lost a baby last month.
Physically I'm still recovering. I always thought these were fast, but my body apparently wanted to be pregnant as much as my heart did.
Most days I'm back to normal, but then someone at the library that is unaware of the situation will ask how the "baby" is, and it takes me a minute to realize they mean Isa.. and then it takes me a couple more minutes to pull myself back together again.
Isabelle, the bright girlie she is, was well aware we were expecting a baby.
She would kiss my belly and tell the baby hello.
It still breaks my heart when she tries to and I have to explain that the baby is in heaven.
We are hoping for another bright pink line in 2010.
So keeps those prayers, good wishes, and baby dust our way.
Ah, as Isa grows older my free time shortens :o) We spend the days reading, playing "tea party", and "ring around the rosies". She is so much fun and so dang smart it is really kind of scary. You can ask/tell her just about anything these days and she gets it. We've had to start watching what we say and do :o)
She got her first official haircut last month at "Cookie Cutters". I can not say enough wonderful things about this children's salon. Isa in the past was not a huge fan of having her head or hair touched, and I expected the worse. The stylist was very sweet with Isa, and I couldn't get her out of there! Doesn't she look all grown up with her pigtails?? She's become quite good about letting me do her hair, and most days she sports a ponytail & bow (just don't tell her there's something in her hair!!)
Isabelle is rockin' in her sign language class. She's the oldest and the only one able to sign, and she does love to show off! She recently learned "berry" after maybe me showing her the sign twice. Granted, "please" "sorry"and "more" sometimes all look alike..she's really amazing with it!
I don't know what I would if something happened to Isabelle. My heart leaps out of my chest every time she falls, my heart breaks whenever she has an owie.. So when I read about Cora Paige last night, I spent most of the evening crying.
Please, please, please consider buying something from a Etsy crafter that is donating proceeds to Cora's playground. I bought a few for Isa's birthday.
I can not believe I'm planning our baby girl's first birthday! This time has flown faster than I was prepared for, though everyone tried to warn me. I cherish these days as much as I know how. I love watching her learn new things. She is so sweet natured and easy going - she is so much like her daddy :o)
When she was first born we took her to see a physician that specializes hand differences. He told us then that he wouldn't recommend anything be done to change her hand as based upon what he saw, her function would be perfect. And recommended that we wait till she was 1 before we had xrays taken. I remember feeling so alone, feeling that this doctor didn't care and wanting more information. I was so wrong.
I don't talk about Isa's little hand very much because it has become a non issue. She does have perfect function. There has been nothing that has been delayed or an obstacle for this lil' monkey. And I'm dragging my feet on making an appointment for her to get xrays. I get it now.
We will probably still get the xrays done some time this year. We feel we owe Isa all the opportunities avaliable. But if you ask me, I wouldn't change her hand if I could. We aren't meant to look the same. And she couldn't be anymore perfect than she already is.
I know there will be hard days and my heart will break the first time she says "I can't..." But I know my easy going gal will make it work and will only be stronger for it.
Before we were pregnant, I made it clear to Thomas that I want to adopt a child at some point. I still do. And if it works out, I really would like to adopt a child with a limb difference. I feel blessed that someone upstairs believed in Thomas & I, someone knew that this is something we could be awesome at as a couple. And we are. It would be awesome to be able to bring love and confidence to another child that may not otherwise receive it.
And with that said.. I'm not pregnant.. but we are trying for number 2
Oh.. I'm on Thomas' lap top, so no access to post pics this moment.. but there are tons on Flickr.. and I'll be taking a very special Valentine's Day photo shoot of Isa in the next week.