Thursday, February 27, 2014

Valentine's Day Fun

I don't normally write two posts in one day but I just remembered that I forgot to post all of Little Man's cuteness from Valentine's Day.  He helped make cupcakes for his class and loved getting cards and gifts from family from a far.

"New" Cabin Fever?

   I love all this sunshine we have been getting lately.  The only problem with so much sunshine is that it's still February so the temperatures are still hovering above freezing most days.  The few days of 60 degree weather we had a week ago was just a tease and made me so ready for spring and spring cleaning and sprucing.  So I've started my spring cleaning a little early and getting all my stuff neat and organized gets all my creative juices flowing and decorating ideas popping.  Which wouldn't be such a bad idea except that so many of my projects have to be done outside.  :(   There are several pieces of furniture that I want to refinish and right now it's still just too cold to do that outside since I don't have a garage or shop area. 

   So all of this creativeness and organizing and reorganizing makes me realize how much I really want my own house and not an apartment with all antique white walls and generic linoleum floors and dingy door knobs.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my apartment.  It is really spacious and has a great layout but it has some much more potential that the designers didn't utilize.  Plus its all just a little outdated and could use some sprucing up but since I don't plan to live there forever there's really no point in making those kinds of changes.  So it's a little frustrating knowing that I have to put a leash on my decorating and design ideas since I can't paint or change any light fixtures or do any of those kinds of upgrades.

  Of course it doesn't help that I'm totally addicted this blog Addicted 2 Decorating where the author Kristi is documenting the renovation of her home which is 40 or 50 years old I believe.  If you have never read one of her blogs you really need to go check her out.  She's amazing and she does almost all of the work herself unless it has to do with something major like plumbing or electrical.  She is so inspirational and makes me want to dive head first into all the projects that I always thought would be impossible to do on my own. 

   So for now I will just keep note of all my wonderful plans and ideas as they come to mind so one day when I finally have my own little dream house, I can paint and create until my heart's content.  And I guess I will just have to find a way to be happy with however I can make my mark on my current abode and continue to dream look to the future.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sucess and Failure

  I wanted to give an update on the progress LM and I are making on our newly defined life tasks.  And yes I know that it is only day 2 but it's going so well I want to shout it from the mountain tops!  Little Man went all day yesterday without his boppy (pacifier) only having it at night when it was time to go to sleep.  He even took a nap at daycare without his boppy or Monkey.  I am ecstatic!!  We did have a bit of a bump this morning because he really wanted his boppy after he woke up but I just told him that it was his choice; he could either have his boppy or a new toy and once again my bribery won out.  I can only hope that it lasts until he no longer desires his boppy at all. So far Task Number 1: Get Rid of Boppy has worked beautifully and I'm hoping that it continues in this manner. 

   Since we had such success Task 1 on the first go, I thought I might try to introduce Task Number 2: Get Out of Mommy's Bed just on a trial run and see where we stood.  That failed miserably and included a lot of crocodile tears and diversions to try to stay awake.  LM only stayed in bed for a total for 2 seconds before he began wailing for me.  I even tried putting him in my bed with a movie and whatever else he wanted to sleep with to keep his surroundings familiar while I went downstairs to tidy the kitchen, which really means to scrub it on my hands and knees.  This technique was not successful and ultimately resulted in a half cleaned kitchen and an early bedtime for Mommy as I was certain  my neighbors would call the police to report the child next door was being brutally abused if the shrieks and wails coming through the wall was any indication.  My son seems to have a flair for dramatics.  Imagine that.  So Task 2 went up in a glorious cloud of smoke and flames. 

  But wait!  I think I just had an epiphany!  Maybe if I move his toddler bed into my room and have him sleep in it while still in the same room with me would be a good way to ease him out of my bed permanently but still give him the security of not being alone in the room.  Then once he is comfortable with sleeping in a bed alone we could try moving his bed back into his room.  I think I'm going to try this out tonight.  I've always wondered if he had a fear of being alone as he has rarely been in a room by himself since the day he was born. From the time he left the womb, he has never been in a room by himself and if he was it was never for very long.  Even while at daycare, they all take a nap in the same room together and he is with his class all day.  So it would make sense that he would have a fear or an aversion of being by himself when it's time to go to sleep in a dark silent room.  This new revelation gives me a plethora of ideas to try to help ease him into his own room for bedtime.  But I think I will try moving his bed to my room first and see where that gets us.  I'll try to update on all this in another day or so and report my findings.

  I do want to say thank you to all the comments and support that my last post received.  Even though Little Man and I have some tough challenges ahead of us, it is comforting to know that we have so many friends and family members that are there to help and support us.  I know that with all your love and prayers and with God's grace we will emerge triumphant in all things.  We love each and everyone of you and are so thankful to have you be a part of our lives.  So until next time, may God keep you and bless you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My First Single Mom Breakdown

   So I thought that I understood that I was now a single mom.  I mean I have the paperwork that says in plain black and white that I am officially 100% divorced and my ex-husband lives 18 hours away so I see him very rarely so there is little to make me think otherwise.  So you would think that the realization that I am now almost solely responsible for the up-bringing of my son would have already sunk in, been processed, and filed away.  Not the case.  Both Little Man and I had complete and total breakdowns yesterday.  I am at my wit's end on what to do with him.  He refuses to use the potty.  He is completely addicted to his boppy (pacifier to anyone else).  And now to make matters worse he has become attached to not one stuffed animal but two and he refuses to sleep without both of them and his boppy.  I originally introduced Monkey, the first stuffed animal in an attempt to extricate the boppy but my plan failed miserably.  So the first breakdown occurred in the car on the way to daycare yesterday when Little Man proceeded to stick his bottom lip out so far a bird could perch on it and look at me with tear filled eyes as if I had just mortally wounded him as I told him he could not take Monkey, Penguin (stuffed animal number two), and boppy into the daycare but he could only take two.  He was most distraught at this pronouncement.  So after a few more tears and another twist of the knife in my heart, I left my precious baby boy at daycare with only his boppy and Monkey to comfort him. 

   The second breakdown was mine and came after speaking with his teacher.  I learned that LM is the only one in his class that still uses a pacifier, brings a stuffed animal from home, and has trouble using the potty regularly.  Also his speech is not as advanced as most of the other kids.  So obviously I felt as if I was utterly failing him as a mother.  Oh and did I forget to mention that he still sleeps in the bed with me?  Yea put another brick on the pile.  I was so afraid to think that I am raising a co-dependent child who is going to still be wearing diapers, using a pacifier, toting a stuffed animal around, and sleeping in my bed when he's 16!  It all just kind of crashed down on me that all of this training is basically up to me and I'm sucking wind bad.  That's not to say that I don't have a great support system because my parents, aunts, and cousins are awesome.  But without another parent and authority figure in the house it all basically falls on my shoulders.  Now I don't want you to think that I'm bashing his dad or saying his an absentee parent, because I'm not.  I know that LM loves his dad and his dad loves him just as much but it's kind of hard to be a disciplinarian from 18 hours away and when they only see each other for a few days every couple of weeks at best.  This is a 3 year old we are talking about.  They need constant instruction and reminders not to poop their pants or flush their army men down the toilet or color on the walls.  And lets face it, would you be chastised by someone on a screen telling you not to throw spaghetti at your mother when you know they can't physically discipline you in any way other than to hang up the phone?  Didn't think so.  Little Man is anything but stupid.  Which is both a joyous thing to be celebrated and possibly my eventual utter downfall because I already know he's going to be smarter than me one day.  I curse the day that he figures that out. 

   But until yesterday I still had it in my head for some reason that I was going to get to be the sweet loving mother who could dote on her precious first and only offspring, the fruit of my loins, the apple of my eye, etcetera, etcetera and there would still be the big bad daddy to dish out all the discipline and instruction that was needed with his hard learned military upbringing who would form our young breed into a great and respectable and honorable and shining example of the male species.  So hence the breakdown when the realization came crashing down on my shoulders like a ton of bricks that I would now also be playing the role of sole disciplinarian and trainer as well as loving, doting mother.

   The worst part is I don't know how to discipline this child.  I now know that mothers were not designed to play this role but it is a hard lesson that some have had to learn and I am now to join their ranks.  I hate to spank LM even though I mostly hit him on his diaper clad bottom with a swat that wouldn't knock a fly off course.  I'm just not that kind of person.  I have never struck another human being in my life yet it seems the only why to get this creature that I would lay my life down for to pay attention and mind is to strike him.  It breaks my heart every time because I'm always afraid I will cause real pain and not just insult his pride or hurt his feelings.  But on the other hand I don't want to coddle him to the point that he becomes self-indulgent or insolent that he thinks everything should be given to him on a silver platter (even though I would do that if I could) with no effort of his own put forth. 

   This child rearing process is much more difficult than I originally anticipated at the realization of his conception and now dealing with it on my own has thrown in a whole new slew of obstacles to overcome.  But we will prevail.  After many tears and rants yesterday I believe I have devised a game plan.  Take one day at a time.  Today we started with only have Monkey for nap at daycare and only having boppy at bed time.  I know it's not advised but I actually negotiated with my 3 year old this morning that if he could go all day without his boppy I would take him to the toy store as a reward.  It was the only way I could think of to teach him that there are rewards and consequences for our actions.  Because what do you do with a child that tells you he doesn't want to be a big boy, he wants to be a baby?  Like I said he's anything but stupid.  He knows that by being a big boy life will be exponentially harder and ultimately less satisfying.  He's learned at a very young age what most of us don't learn until we are finally on our on in the world and it's too late to enjoy the carefree life of living at home and having someone else be responsible for us.  So we'll start there and when that's mastered we'll go to the next task.  Any comments, concerns, or prayers (lots of prayers) are greatly appreciated and welcomed.  We'll make it through these misadventures together my Little Man and I, one at a time.   

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Santa Claus Came to Town and Other Randomness, Mostly Randomness

Ok so I'm a little late posting our Christmas pictures.  LM and I have had a really busy past few months.  First off my divorce from LM's dad was final on December 18, 2013 at 10:15 A.M. so Merry Christmas to me right.  I was so unprepared for the emotions that assaulted me on that day.  I thought I would feel relief that the battle was over and freedom to find out who I really am and learn how to navigate through this curve ball life threw at me.  And I did feel those things but I also grieved.  I grieved as if someone very close to me had died.  I grieved the loss of my family and the connection I had with the other half of my son.  I was angry that I was going through this situation.  I didn't understand why my marriage had fallen apart and why I hadn't been able to fix it.  This was never supposed to happen to me.  I was supposed to have the fairytale.  I had the handsome prince, the beautiful palace, the new carriage, and the sweetest baby in the world.  But I guess life decided it was time for me to wake up and live in reality instead of Fairytale Land.  And I'm ok with that.  I get a little more ok with that everyday.  I'm learning that reality isn't so bad.  Life is much more enjoyable when you walk around with your eyes open and see things as they really are and not through the haze of dreams.  Sure there are still the bad parts, the crime, the unfairness, and the general meanness of the world but you don't get quite the shock when you keep your eyes open to the fact that bad things might happen but they don't have to shake us.  We fall down.  We get up.  We rub some dirt on it and we move on.  And maybe next time we are wiser and don't trip over the same crack again. 
But on a happier note after I dealt with my gauntlet of emotions, Little Man and I had one of the best holidays yet.  It was so awesome to get to spend that special time surrounded by all of our family.  LM was in awe of the Christmas tree and was in shock at the amount of presents that Santa brought him.  It was so much fun watching him tear into each gift and the look of pure joy on his face at each one as if it was better than the last.  Christmas takes on new meaning when seen through the eyes of a child.
New Years came and went in a fairly uneventful stroke of the clock but I made the decision to look at this new year with a new set of eyes and a new plan to find my own happiness and not to rely on anyone else for it.  If I make my own happiness then no one else can be the reason for my unhappiness.