The Land of Misfit Toys

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As some of you may know, I did not grow up with Christmas. I was raised with my mother, who is a Jehovah’s Witness. We did not celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays. We also did not celebrate birthdays. So many of these occasions are new to me. 

Often times when I am celebrating these occasions with my little family, I feel the child-like wonderment that my son is experiencing too. This puts extra pressure on my husband to teach us his family traditions, as I don’t have any to call back on and G is just doing what we do.

This has and will continue to allow us to create some of our own traditions. This year, I made a beef stew on Christmas Eve. Granted it was just prep and throwing everything in the crockpot, it still feels like something I could make a family tradition. As G gets older, I am sure we will continue to add traditions. 

For me, it is exciting to share these things with him from my unique prospective. The holidays we celebrate don’t come from a sense of religion, but for me, it is more a sense of togetherness and family bonding. There is something special about celebrating with the three of us (five if you count that cats; for Christmas I do, since they have stockings too). I hope to continue to foster that feeling in my son. Not that the holidays are about obligation or just about gifts, but about time spent with the ones you love. Happy Holidays all!

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Big Haircut

 Before

Baby G had a very important milestone this past weekend. He got his first haircut. It has been a long discussion over the past few months as to whether or not we should cut his hair. We were hoping that it would just even out on its own. But the top and sides kept growing while the back stayed short.

When G was born he had dark, thick, straight hair. It still trips me out because the girl with the kinkiest of curls would have never thought, even with a caucasian husband, that I would ever have a child with straight hair. It was too cute for words and would stick up in the front in the most adorable way. Then about at about 4-5 months, it all fell out. Broke my heart. I loved his soft straight hair. Then his curls started to come in…with a vengeance. The hair the grew back was a different texture completely. This was the real thing. The longer it got, the more I realized that my boy got my super kinky curls as well.

Fast forward to earlier this month. My father had begged us not to cut it. My mother put in a braid when he stayed the night. This was the straw that broke the camels back.

He was unhappy during the cut to say the least. He cried and fought but I think it looks great. So much easier to wash and manage. He also looks so much older which is the hard part.

Of course we have an envelope with some of the hair from his first cut to add to the baby book. Another milestone to mark as he grows into my big boy.

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The Great Debate

It’s the question that everyone asks and the conversation my husband and I have on a near daily basis….

When to have baby #2.

For many the answer it cut and dry. Just start now. Why not? What are you waiting for?

For me, there are so many considerations. There is my health. My husband’s health. Our financial situation.  Our living situation. The fact that I am in school. The fact that I am in a more demanding job that I started fairly recently. And of course, as with any person making excuses, the list goes on.

Some say there will never be a right time. Part of me believes this and wants to just go for it. Then, my logic kicks and I start calculating and analyzing. Everything seems like sunshine and roses when the possibility is ahead of you. When I’m in the midst of my pregnancy, I might start wondering why I rushed into it. Who says that two years is the perfect spacing between children? I would dare to say that three to four years is just as good!

For now, I want to finish out 2013 with no more big surprises. We have had health scares, daycare drama, and good news to balance out the bad. But I truly believe I have had enough change to last me the rest of the year. I want to start 2014 fresh and ready for the blessings and challenges ahead. Will that mean another baby? Perhaps. I would like to think that it will be that easy. But as life has shown me over the past few years, just when you think things are just as they should be, life gets in the way.

This sweet boy we have is a blessing on his own. While another little one would only add to our joy and fill our hearts more, I will not for one moment think that we need more kids to be complete. We are complete as is. With the family we have now. If we are afforded the opportunity to add to that in the future, then so be it.

And the debate rages on….

The Introvert

It is said that those who are extroverts get their energy from interacting and spending time with others. As an introvert myself, this seems like a foreign concept. I love my friends and family, but overall, I feel most at peace and comfortable alone. My mother is a social butterfly and my father seems to be fine either way, so I have often wondered where I get this from.

Now it has come to my attention that my son isn’t fond of groups at daycare, especially when they involve older children. My first thought is not some behavioral issue on his part but maybe he just doesn’t like one or more of those kids. Maybe he just wants the book to himself because at home, he can do that. Or maybe it is just a phase because he is 16-months old and his feelings and behaviors are changing everyday. My point is, I don’t necessarily think that the past week or two that this has been occurring is cause for some worry about his socialization skills. He can’t even talk yet, should he have some booming social life?

Some of the things that have been mentioned is him mirroring behavior at home and that he is too attached to my husband and I overall. I’m sorry, I take offense to those statements. Again, he is 16-months. Are there other people he should be attached to right now? Is it not common knowledge that 12-18 months is the height of separation anxiety for toddlers? I don’t think the solution to this is just to take him to Chuck E. Cheese and force him to play with kids that are older, bigger, and more advanced than he is. How does that help? Maybe two months from now he will be fine. Or maybe he is just naturally a shy kid that prefers to hang back. He may not be able to convey that at his current age because his only way to express emotion is by crying. Additionally, I’m not sure how my being an introvert and not having people over every weekend is somehow causing this.

I am finding myself troubled by this whole situation because I think it is all stemming from two things, 1) how someone else thinks he should be acting in a group setting and 2) the fact that he gets upset means that he needs special attention, thus taking away from the group and causing stress for our daycare provider. I can’t think that he is the only child that needs comforting a few times per day because of some kind of emotional breakdown. I will re-iterate, he is a toddler. They don’t know how to regulate their emotions yet. So if this is not something that you are equipped to handle, why work in childcare?

I love my boy and he is sweet, funny, and relaxed. I don’t see anything about his personality that needs to be changed. Other people are always going to judge because we are looking at it from our own lens. I know there are probably lots of people that want me to be an extrovert so that I can be their source of energy, but I just don’t have it in me. While I may drive myself crazy with my own thoughts and worries, I find the time to reflect peaceful and refreshing. Maybe my son, like his mom, whether it be learned or physiological, would prefer to read a book one-on-one instead in a group. God forbid I guess…

Things I Learned on Maternity Leave

~ I love the morning news. It makes me feel like an adult still connected to the world. The Today Show ftw!

~ I miss the show Scrubs. A lot.

~ It’s ok to spend all day in crappy clothes/pajamas. They will most likely be covered in drool, breast milk, formula, poop, and pee; some combination of some or all of the above.

~ Sleep is your most precious commodity, and you will barter with it like your like depends on it.

~ You need reminders for everything.

~ Sleep when your baby sleeps is a wonderful idea if you never want to get anything done. Sleep when your partner is watching your little one. It’s the most restful sleep you can get if you trust them 😉

~ Cherish every single second. Each day is the only time in their lives they will be that little 🙂

I love my son more than anything but SAH motherhood is not for me. These last few days I’ve started to go stir crazy. I need the routine of a job, combined with he unexpected occurrences of the workday. This transition will be tough, and I’ll miss my boys terribly, but I know that my husband will be a wonderful SAHD 🙂

On Trial

I feel like parenthood is just a constant series of trial and error. You will try to deliver “naturally” but a million variables can make that go right out the window. You can try breastfeeding but again, so many things can happen. Let’s try this formula, let’s try these diapers, let’s try this schedule. Do we ever really get it right or are there always more errors that successful attempts? Sure feels like it…