Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Storms and generators and no A/C...Oh my!

This poor little blog has been neglected for the better part of a week.  Late last Wednesday a storm whipped through here at near tornado speed.  Two trees landed on our house causing holes in our roof, gutters and siding to be ripped off, our deck railing is damaged, our porch furniture was smashed, and the riding lawn mower was split in half.  We lost 3 trees, parts of our fence were blown off, and we've been without electricity ever since.  It wouldn't be quite so bad if it wasn't over 90 degrees both indoors and out.  We have been running off of a generator, but it's too weak to run the A/C unfortunately.  We've been trying to work with an electrician, the insurance company, and an insurance claims adjustor to get things back in order.  It's not been easy to say the least.  I've called more people, left more messages, and talked to more rude people in about 3 days than I have ever in my life.  It's an uphill battle, but I'm hoping to get things under control as soon as we can!  I have lots of pictures to upload as soon as I can find my camera cord.  So once again, I apologize for the lack of updates.  There's just a tremendous amount of things to do between getting people out here to look at the damage and cleaning up the damage that by the time I get a chance to sit down I'm ready for bed!  I know this could all be so much worse and I'm thankful that this is all we have to endure!  Bear with me and check back for updates/pictures in the near future!

Monday, May 23, 2011

These Days

Spring and summer are by far my favorite seasons.  Being outdoors in the sunshine doing yard work or grilling or reading/knitting is what I look forward to everyday.  This year is especially wonderful.  Harper is a walking, talking, full-fledged toddler.  She swings and slides and climbs.  She walks all over the yard pointing at things.  BABA! (ball)  DUH DUH! (dog dog)  SEE! (swing)  I can remember last year walking her around the yard while she was colic-y and thinking how wonderful it would be when she could play and have fun.  I never dreamed it would be this much fun.  Harper is into pretend play.  We have a little play kitchen on the back deck and she plays in the water, puts the dishes away, feeds her baby.  I've been obsessively knitting lately so it's good that she hit this stage.  I sit nearby watching her make-believe.  Every few minutes she toddles over to me saying MAMA! and hugs my legs and then resumes playing. Once I break myself away from my hobby, I join in her fun.

She's saying everything.  She watches our mouths when we form words and then tries to sound them out loud herself.  I don't know if I can list all of the words she's saying, but I'll try:
BABA (ball)
BA (baaa for a sheep, of course)
BOOF (moo for a cow)
MAHMAH (more more usually for food)
DISH (drink and milk and binkie)
MIMI (for gramie)
DAHDAH (dog dog)
BEBE (baby)
DUN (down)
DUG (duck)
ZEE (crazy)
CUH (book)
SHA (shoe)
POO (poop)
UCK (yuck)
ESS (yes)


She has recently been telling me when she has to go poop so we are gradually working our way up to potty training.  She says more when she wants food and drink when she's thirsty.  Whenever I get my bag she says "buh bye!" like we're going somewhere.  She blows kisses and says goodbye when we leave somewhere.  And she's still all about being outside.  In fact, I think she's happiest when she's outside.  Life is even better for her now that she can walk.  She still freaks out if I walk away, but now she follows after me.  I'm hoping that the crying will subside soon and this stage will be over.  It's unfortunate that I can't reason with her and tell her I'm just walking to the fridge, not out of her life forever.

I am absolutely loving this age.  Even though I am starting to realize my tiny baby is disappearing (where did those chubby legs go?!), I'm embracing every bit of this toddler before me.  She's super independent (trying to use spoons and forks to feed herself!  trying to put on clothes!  blowing her own nose!) and also very stubborn.  It's not always smiles and sunshine, but oh so worth it.  She definitely likes to push boundaries so I'm learning new ways to discipline gently.  I can't say it always works (anyone else lose patience when they have a cold? or poison ivy that makes their skin feel like it's on fire? or when they're having a bad day?), but I'm learning a lot myself.  I can't be perfect all the time.  But that's okay.  We're having so much fun together.  

P.S. My laptop decided to crap out on me the day that Harper took off walking (last Wednesday) so until I get it fixed, there may not be any picture or video uploads, I'm very sorry to say.  I took a bazillion pictures last week and have nothing to show for it!  Sorry!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

This is why I love having a family bed

 So sweet.  So relaxed.  So lovely.  Could I be any more in love???

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time Out For Momma

Parenting is not easy.  No one ever told me it would be, nor did I expect as much.  I have this ideal in my mind of how I should behave as a momma and what that momma is like.  Some days I live up to this role.  Many days I feel like I have let myself and Harper down.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Perhaps it was because of the heat.  It was about 90 degrees outside and our air conditioning isn't working properly, making our home a sweltering 84 degrees inside.
Perhaps it was because Harper was having an honest-to-goodness bad day.  If it happens to me, surely it happens to 13 month-olds, right?
Perhaps it was because I have a lot on my mind.  But then again, when don't I?
There are a million reasons I could give, yet I still feel guilty.

Yesterday I was a bad mom.

I lost my temper with Harper about every three minutes.  I raised my voice more than I care to admit.  I made her cry with my impatience and loud voice too many times.  I felt overwhelmed.  I found myself wishing someone else were there with me so I wouldn't have to hear her whiney when I walked two feel away from her.  Or when she hit me.  Or when she peed on the floor.  Or when she wouldn't nap.  Or when I wanted to go to the bathroom myself and had to bring her with me so she wouldn't cry.
I found myself wishing I could get away for just a few minuets ALONE.  I needed to breathe.  Collect myself.  Relax.  But even though I knew I needed a Time Out myself, I felt guilty.  I shouldn't wish to be away from my daughter.  I should want to spend every moment I can with her so I don't miss anything.


Not yesterday, I'm sorry to say.  After a full day of Harper being incessantly and overly whiney, acting out in music class, refusing to listen whenever I said "No," etc, etc. left me broken.  I needed that Time Out.
So here I sit, writing during my self-invoked Time Out.  The image of my ideal momma crept into my mind throughout today, just like she does on all my bad parenting days.  usually I am able to be reasonable and ration and pull myself together.  Yesterday was different.  Yesterday I was fed up and in a foul mood.  Yesterday will be my learning day - a day I don't want to repeat.  The momma I was yesterday is my un-ideal momma to say the least.  I know these types of days will happen in the future; that's a given.  But I hope what I've learned will be recalled later.  Unlike yesterday when I couldn't reel myself in and change what I didn't like/see/hear, I hope I can summon the strength to do so later on.  I owe that to myself and to Harper.  I know I certainly didn't like myself yesterday so I can't expect her to like me when I'm like that either, no matter how frustrated I am with her.  I am ashamed of myself and angry.  No I didn't hit her or verbally attack her, but I was not nice or fun.  Granted, it was not all bad, but the good moments were few and far between.
Now that I have given myself this Time Out to reflect on my behavior and attitude, I know I can do better - I WILL do better.  I love Harper too much not to try harder and show her what a good momma is like everyday.
Because, of course, every day is another chance to do better.

Book Challenge: Day 11

Things are going well for me with the book challenge, though I must admit that finding time to read is more difficult than I thought.  There's always house work and yard work that needs done, food to be cooked, and a certain baby girl that needs my attention.  I snatch a few minuets here and there when I can.  Also, I've got a couple of knitting projects in the works and those take up my time when I'm free.  I'm on to my second book now.  I've chosen The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Can't wait!  Northanger Abbey was good and I was impressed with its Gothic-ness, something I didn't expect from Austen.  It was a nice book to start off with that's for sure!  Short and sweet...always a good motivator.

I've had several people express interest in this book challenge, which is so awesome!  A couple of things I should clarify if you're interested in joining:
- You can start the challenge at any time!  I am ending my challenge on August 1st, but feel free to set your own challenge dates!
- You do not have to read the same book that I am.  In fact, pick something different, tell me how you like it in the comments, and you'll be giving me and everyone else ideas on what to read!
- If you have your own blog where you are keeping track of what you're reading, post your link in the comments so we can follow you!

Most of all, have fun and good luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Mother's Day

I was surrounded by beautiful weather, delicious food, and everyone I love on Mother's Day.  I was able to finish some knitting and cuddle with my baby girl.  I got a very special gift from my mom that gave me some happy tears (thanks, Mom!) and the best darn handmade green birdhouse from Harper and Wade.  I don't think I could have asked for a better day!

 Yes, it was most definitely a perfect kind of day.  I hope your Mother's Day was just as wonderful!

Friday, May 6, 2011

To Harper

My Little Love,
   On Sunday I will  get to celebrate my second Mother's Day with you.  This time last year you were just a tiny colic-ridden wee one, but oh what a wonderful day it was.  An extraordinary year has passed and I'm writing now to say "Thank you, my darling."

   Thank you for making me a mother.  This is the most precious and the most fulfilling role I have ever, in my 26 years on this earth, had bestowed upon me.  Obviously, my other roles in life as daughter-sister-niece and wife have all been ones that I have taken great pride in.  Yet they were ones that I was either born into or signed a piece of paper to get.  Not that that diminishes their value to me.  

But cradling you in my womb for nine months and then giving birth to you was such an active thing that I feel I earned the title of "Momma."   But more than that, even, is how much of a woman I have become in this last year.  

I know I have told you before that I feel stronger now that I'm a mother.  I can't help but reiterate that fact.  I have never felt so completely woman until I had you.  I feel as though I could take on anything; as though no challenge were too big.  If you needed the moon for whatever reason, I'm pretty darn sure I could get it for you.  That's how strong I feel.  

I have grown so much in this last year.  When I look back even six months ago I know I'm a different person now.  But my oh my, the woman I was last year or even the year before is most definitely not the woman I am now.  This woman is confident.  This woman will take on things she never thought possible and believe in herself enough to know she can do it.  This woman has self-confidence and self-worth that she never thought possible.  Most of all, this woman is lucky enough to have a love she never thought possible.  Some days it's a wonder that I don't split down the middle from all the love and happiness I hold within me.

So to you, my little love, thank you.  Without you I would probably never know what it is to be truly happy.  I would probably never know what it is like to be so at peace with myself.  Without you, well, I wouldn't be a mother.
 To all the lovely, wonderful women who read this blog, I wish you all a fabulous Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quick Update

We're a little sickly this week (seems to be happening to us a lot lately, no?).  A trip to the doctor's on Monday was in order after a weekend of sneezing, coughing, and a lot of nappingSo we're slowly nursing ourselves back to health which is the reason for my lack of updating.  I'm halfway through Northanger Abbey (unfortunately this sickness has slowed down my reading quite a bit) and I've also got some knitting in the works to keep me occupied on the couch.  We're on the mend right now and hopefully will be back in full swing before the end of the week!  I hope everyone is having a terrific week so far!