I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand
I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pictures in the Woods

Right before I went on vacation, it was a beautiful day here, so I took Sidekick for a walk in the woods nearby.  I wanted to take my good camera and snap some shots of his innocence while reveling in the magical world around him. I've always been horrible about taking pictures of him, and he's my first born!  I've posted before about his obsession with sticks, so he was like a pig in shit with all of the trees and sticks around him. He was my sweet, happy little boy, and I found so much joy in just watching him explore everything that surrounded him.  As I am beyond stressed with juggling him and work and now my back giving me big problems yet again, looking at these pictures puts a smile on my face.  Our time in the woods reminded me of how much I love and yearn for the simplicity of life.
 
I just love this little guy to pieces!

Heading into the woods.



Hard at work moving big sticks.

Dirt! (He's learning to not be so freaked out by the dirtiness)


I think he'll look like when he is much older because he certainly doesn't look 21 months

Friday, April 11, 2014

Back from Vacation

I survived my vacation sans child.  Well, let me rephrase that... I loved my vacation sans child!  I won a trip to Cabo for being one of the top account executives in my company.  Not only did I get to go with all expenses paid, but I was able to take a guest, so my best friend and I lived it up for four nights!  We'd wake up every morning and just lay in our beds reading books for a couple of hours (we were two hours behind, so we were awake really early Cabo time).  Reading?  What?!?  I used to be an avid reader pre-child as was my friend, but both of us had started reading a book months ago and neither of use was even a quarter of the way through. We'd then slowly get ready to for an amazing buffet breakfast and then head to the beach the rest of the day followed up be either a work dinner or an evening on our own.  It was amazing, and I was able to decompress immediately! 

Sidekick was in great hands at home with my mom.  He loves Grandma, and since she doesn't live in the same state, they really bonded during my absence.  He was perfect with her, and while she was exhausted when I came home, she really enjoyed spending the time with him.  She had a real awakening to what my life is like as a single mom and couldn't imagine adding a fulltime job into the mix.  It was nice that someone other than my connection with other SMCs really "get" it. 

On day three of my trip, I texted my mom and asked if it was bad that I didn't miss Sidekick. Of course I missed him, but I was certainly not that mom that was so obsessed with missing her child that she couldn't enjoy her vacation.  I'd think about him a bit and then move on.  Since I knew he was in great hands between my mom and school, I never worried about him.  I was in complete an utter Zen mode and was able to leave my mommy life behind me. I was so surprised at how easy that really was for me to do.

When my flight landed late Sunday night, I text my mom and told her I needed her to stay a few more days to help me wean back to mommy hood. I honestly knew I'd struggle a bit as I found myself a little sad to be back.  But I got a kick in the pants really quickly as I hit the ground running on Monday morning.

The next morning, I was so excited to see Sidekick.  (He was asleep when I got home.)  I have a twin bed in Sidekick's room and my mom slept in there the night I got home instead of my room, so I could sleep in my own bed.  I went into his room when he woke up, and all he kept saying is "Gramt-ma" (I still can't actually pronounce the way he says "Grandma") over and over again.  He didn't care that I was there... all he wanted was Grandma!  It brought me comfort that he was clearly happy with Gramt-ma, but I was a bit sad that he wasn't that excited to see me!

I had a horrible week back at work, so I was hit with reality as soon as I woke up early Monday morning.  I had a meeting with a customer and a sales presentation on Monday, four sales presentations on Tuesday, and one sales presentation on Thursday among all of my other work responsibilities I have.  I have been exhausted all week.  And to be honest, I had a really hard time transitioning from total relaxation, meals prepared, enjoying peace and quiet for five days to a working single momma 24/7.  I was kind of in a funk this week because I just couldn't get back into the swing of things with Sidekick.  I'm hoping it was because my work week was so bad, but nonetheless, I've struggled getting back into my "real" life.

Tomorrow we are going to an Easter breakfast/egg hunt, so maybe that'll get us back on track while we do a little mother/son bonding. Of course I dread the fact that we are going to have to get moving right away.  Sidekick sleeps until at least 7:45 on the weekends (but I don't usually get him until about 8:15 or 8:30), and this thing starts at 9:00.  I don't want to have to shower, get ready, and get out the door by 8:30 on a Saturday morning. I'm just so tired this week.  But, I know Sidekick will have so much fun, so it'll all be worth it.

So... the moral of the story is:  while vacationing is wonderful, transitioning back to reality sucks ass, especially when you have a kid.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Temper Tantrum Tot Turn Smartypants

Sidekick is obsessed with sticks.  He loves collecting them anywhere we go.  He especially loves giving them to Dog because she loves them.  We were outside today, and he brought a stick back home for Dog.  I told him to leave it by the door and he pitched a fit.  I told him to leave it on his little chair by the door, and he pitched a fit.  The determination of a 20 month old never ceases to amaze me!  I was not willing to lose this fight, so I grabbed the stick and threw it on the chair.  I unlocked the door and walked inside.  When I turned around to make sure he was behind me, he had picked up the chair with the stick on it and was bringing it over the threshold!  Really???? 

His stubbornness is shining through in his every day life, and while it frustrates me, I have to remember that being stubborn, pushing his limits, and challenging me is his job right now.  But holy sh*t, he's testing me every single day.  It was worse when I had to take Tag away a couple of weeks ago, and while I think he is back to "normal", he still likes to show me he thinks he is in control (and I hold my ground, so he never wins!). 

Just when I feel like my sweet little boy came back after his sadness of not having Tag, I'll screw his life up once again when I leave this week for my trip to Cabo that I won for work. My best friend who moved away last fall will be coming with me.  I miss her so much!  No Momma for five days??!!!  I can't imagine what it'll be like to not see him for five days, to not read books to him at night, to now have to wake up and get in him ready in the morning, to not have to juggle him and Dog (no yard for her because we live in a condo), and to not have my life revolve around feeding Sidekick (does anyone else feel like all they do is feed their kid all day long??).  I haven't been on a vacation for about seven years (visiting family does not count!), so this vacation is well needed (and apparently well deserved since I was one of the top account executives in the country.)  Hopefully Grandma will survive her time with Sidekick, and Momma will come back relaxed, happy, and ready to take on her toddler once again!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Copy Cat

Sidekick saw me do this one time, and he is now obsessed with doing it himself.  It makes me smile to see such a little boy act like he is years older than he is! He was in the process of helping unload the dishwasher when his mind quickly switched gears after he found some trash to throw away. (Ignore the fact that the video is not straight.  My slightly intoxicated friend took it.)  Is every kid this helpful?  I sure hope that he'll be this way throughout his life.  I am finding that he likes things cleaner and more organized that I do. 

video

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Being Bad Cop

I am a very laid back Mom, but there are three things I'm pretty strict about because I have control of them and they are in the best interest of my child:

1.  Nothing in the crib
2.  The car seat faces backwards until he is two years old
3.  A daily/nightly routine

When Sidekick was a little older than one, I let him sleep with Monkey (monkey head with blanket as his body).  I also let him fall asleep with his favorite blanket that he calls Tag (because he loved the tag on the blanket), and then once he fell asleep I took Tag away.  I would put Tag through the slats of his crib on the outside with just a little on the inside, so when he woke up in the morning, he would grab it, pull it through the slats, and quietly lay in his crib until I got him.  One night, I woke up and looked at the video monitor, and he looked like this:



(I quickly realized that Sidekick was no longer grabbing the blanket in the morning.  He was in fact grabbing it at some point in the middle of the night.) 

Like any Mom, I woke up with a start and raced to his room fearful that I would find something awful, but thankfully, he was okay.  The next few mornings I found him the same way, so I decided it was time to take Tag away.  I switched it out for a smaller blanket and when we sat down to read books before bedtime, he asked for Tag and cried.  It broke my heart that I was making my sweet little boy so sad.  It was a difficult night, and he was very restless all night long whimpering and crying for me and Tag.  (Shortly after he fell asleep, I found him like this:)



The next night, I tried a different, smaller blanket, and he was up at least three times crying for me and Tag.  (Even when he was a newborn, he never woke up three times!)  My heart broke for taking away my little guy's comfort.  The next night I tried another little blanket with a tag, and that night was just as unsuccessful as the other nights.  The next day when I picked him up from school, his teacher told me that he was putting his blanket (which is just like Tag) over his head and that he could no longer have that blanket during nap.  So, that day, I was on a mission to find a small Taggie blanket for school and home and finally found one!

After I found the Taggie blanket, Grandma came in town, and I left the next day for a three day work meeting.  Needless to say, Sidekick's life was turned upside-down.  He didn't have his momma and he didn't have Tag.  Fortunately, he rolled with the punches like he usually does and did great with Grandma for three days. I was so grateful for this, but I felt better knowing that Sidekick and I got through the worst of not having Tag before Grandma took over.  When I got back in town and picked him up from school, he was so excited to see me, but he quickly got over it and ran away from me like he always does.  My sweet Sidekick was the same little boy I left three days prior, and he didn't seem to hate me for taking away Tag and leaving him. 

I still feel badly that I took Tag away.  He loves that blanket and it was his one security thing (other than his two fingers) which he relied on.  I realize that he is old enough and would probably take the blanket off himself if he all of a sudden struggled with breathing, but I just couldn't risk it.  I have control of that, and as hard as it was on both of us, it would be harder and I would never forgive myself if something happened to him.  Plus, with my business trip last week and my upcoming trip to Cabo that I won for work, I didn't (don't) want to worry that Tag would constantly be covering his face and neither does my mom who is/was taking care of him.

I know that there will be many more times in his life when I will upset him, piss him off, or ruin his day, but this is the first difficult thing he and I have had to endure together.  Taking away his bottle was a piece of cake compared to this! I have very little control in his life, but when I can control something that is for his own good, it is my job as his Momma to protect him, make the right choices for him, and keep him safe.  Every day, I have felt guilty about Tag.  I know I need to get over it, but I know how much he misses it... all because of me. 

RIP Tag... One day you will be resurrected when I feel like my child is not trying to commit suicide. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Disciplining a 20 Month Old

I previously posted a video of Sidekick feeding Dog handful by handful which was so sweet.  He normally carries her bowl to the laundry room for me to put food in it and then he carries it back to her food stand and places it in there.  Yesterday, while walking with the food bowl, he stopped in his tracks and literally poured all of the food out of the bowl!  Poor Dog just started eating off the floor while I firmly told Sidekick that we don't do that.  He laughed. 

I then removed him from the scene of the crime and took him to his bedroom.  While I was sitting on the floor and he was standing looking at me (or rather, avoiding eye contact with me), I looked at him and told him that pouring the food out of the bowl made a big mess and he replied "Mess".  The kid doesn't like messes so I thought I would be able to knock some sense into him, but then he smiled at started laughing!  I put my head down so he wouldn't see me laugh because let's face it it was funny that I was trying to be firm, and he was just laughing at me.  When I composed myself and continued with my "lesson", he reached down, touched my feet, and said "Tickle, tickle, tickle."  I was obviously not making a strong enough point which made me crazy!  My kid doesn't take me seriously!  Really???

Is this what it's going to be like for a while?  We are four months shy of the terrible twos, but we are definitely knee deep in them. He challenges me, ignores me, fights me, and laughs at me.  My sweet little boy is forming opinions of his own and showing his incredible independence and stubbornness.  It is during these times that I wish I wasn't a SMC so that I could at least turn him over to someone so I can regroup from my frustration with him.  But then when he wraps his arms around me I melt. 

(Unfortunately, I've heard being the threes are not much better.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guilt (and Let's be Honest, Obession) about #2

With the snowstorm in process and the inability to go out because the roads are bad, being trapped with Sidekick is a bad thing for both of us!  We hate being cooped up, and being cooped up gives me too much time to think about things, a "thing" I just blogged about last month, so a lot of this is repetitive. (I'm seriously thinking I have a serious case of OCD!) 

I have mentioned way too many times my desire to have a second baby.  I've confessed that I want a second baby more than I wanted my first one (to justify that, when I was trying to get pregnant with Sidekick, I was worried if I could actually be a SMC financially, emotionally, physically, etc.)  For the majority of the time, I find being a SMC quite easy (I know, don't shoot me) and very rarely have I found it overwhelming (except when juggling work with a sick child, and my crazy work month this month with too much travelling and late day sales presentations that end after Sidekick's school closes).  Normally, when being a SMC is difficult for me, it just seems to be a random day here and there.  I contribute that to Sidekick's easy going personality and the strict schedule to which I hold him.  Since Sidekick was born, he has just joined me for the "ride" and hasn't turned my world upside down in a negative way at all. Sidekick has only enhanced my life.  So... if one is so wonderful, would two be just as wonderful?

Lately there are so many people in my life telling me I "have" to have another one, that it's not fair for Sidekick not to have a sibling, and that I'm meant to have more than one child. Ugh!  As if I wasn't already stressing enough about this, I have people telling me to have a second child.   On a side note, having a sibling doesn't mean they will be best friends, or even friends.  My sister and I have never had a close relationship at all (and at the moment, we don't have any type of relationship), so I oftentimes feel like I am an only child. I know I can raise two children quite easily, so that's not the hold up.  When I have these conversations with people, I ask if they will contribute to daycare and college, and they quickly shut up.  Haha! 

The owner of Sidekick's daycare and I have a great relationship.  She has told me she would give me a good deal if I have a second child. Whenever this conversation comes up, I ask her what kind of deal, and she tells me to get pregnant and we'll talk.  What she doesn't understand is that I am pretty financially savvy.  I started saving for daycare before I even started trying to get pregnant.  By the time Sidekick started daycare, I had 15 months of daycare saved up, and I continue to contribute every month so I have a cushion.  I'm too much of a planner when it comes to my finances.  I have zero debt (except my condo, if that's considered debt),  and if I can't pay for something, I don't buy it. So, I have to financially plan for a second child in my head and even on paper, and not knowing what kind of "deal" the owner of daycare would give me makes planning for Baby #2 a bit challenging.

I am putting my condo on the market the beginning of April.  While I'd like to put in on the market in March, my life is way too crazy with work (travelling and sales presentations).  I can't worry about keeping my condo clean all the time, worrying about people taking care of Sidekick and them having to keep it clean and ready at a moment's notice for a showing, and needing to get Dog out of the condo for a showing in the midst of all of this.  That is Way. Too. Much. Stress. While I could have another child in this already cramped condo, I really can't.  Dog, a toddler, an infant, Momma, and a home office is way too much to cram into 1050 square feet.  Not to mention all the stairs and no yard for Dog (which sometimes already poses a problem).

The other challenge I face is that even though IVF is covered under my insurance, I refuse to go down that road.  It took eight IUIs for me to get pregnant, four of which were with injectable fertility meds (which I didn't want to do).  I am now three years older, so my age will definitely work against me more than it did last time.  My fear the first time of using fertility meds was that it increases my likelihood for multiples.  I was originally pregnant with twins with Sidekick and it freaked me out! A follow-up ultrasound showed I had lost one.  (In a lot of respects, I was happy about that because I didn't know if I could raise/handle twins).  Looking back, I think I could have handled raising twins on my own with no family in the same state to help, but at the time it seemed impossible... not to mention the financial aspect of it!  Ugh!  See... I'm back to finances.  So, unless I was willing to do IVF where we could control how many embryos I implant, I would have to do fertility meds which would increase my chances of having twins, and I cannot have three kids! 

The other thing that adds fuel to the fire is when I previously blogged about feeling guilty about wanting to be a SMC without thinking about how this may affect my child down the road:  Was I Being Selfish for Wanting to be a SMC?  So... am I being selfish for not giving Sidekick a sibling?  (I think that'll be it's own separate blog entry next.) 

I go over and over about all of this in my head daily, and I hate to admit that it occupies a big chunk of my brain.  Do I let the practicalities of having a second child override my heart?   Religious friends tell me when I talk about the financial aspects of having a second child that "God will provide".  What the heck does that mean?  Will God reach down and hand me $20,000?  If so, I'll go for it! 

First thing is first, I need to sell my condo.  Until that happens, this baby thing has to be on the back burner.  Maybe after Sidekick, Dog, and I get settled in our new home, this desire to have #2 will fall by the wayside, and I can just be content to have Sidekick.  Don't get me wrong, I am very content with just having Sidekick, but the idea of having two sounds so very wonderful.  I'm so worried I'll regret not having Baby #2. 

Am I the only one who obsesses about Baby #2 this much?  Am I the only one too freaked out about finances to take the leap?  Seriously... what is my problem?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Work Travels and the Stressed SMC

I've handled work and Sidekick pretty well since I went back to work 17 months ago, but that is all coming to a screeching halt come March 6th!  I have several overnight trips for work and several late afternoon sales presentations that won't be done in time to pick up Sidekick from school.  (My territory has changed, so these things weren't an issue last year.)  This is when being a SMC with no family in the same state can make a calm SMC a worrying, stressed SMC!  I am literally piecing people together to stay over night with Sidekick, let Sidekick stay overnight with them, have someone pick up Sidekick from school and take him to their home until I can pick him up before he goes to sleep, and pick up Sidekick from school and take him back to my home until I get home.  Oh, and how can I forgot about Dog?  I have to get her covered as well. I also need to get easy meals made ahead of time for Sidekick for the people taking care of him at my home. It would be one thing if they were just babysitting, but all of these people are driving my precious little boy to and from school, and that makes me a nervous wreck!  

I'd be lying if I said that I don't freak out daily about the logistics of all of this.  I am hoping my Village comes through for me.  I have never had to rely on my Village up until now.  It's going to cost me quite a lot of money to get Sidekick taken care of, but it's worth having him in such good hands.  Sidekick is a very laid back kid, so I think he'll be just fine through all of this and will roll with the punches, but his Momma won't be.  I've been away from him overnight two times before and it was only for one night both times, and my mom took care of him.  It's not that I don't want to be away from him.  I'm totally fine with that.  It's that I have so many different people covering him in March and he is being tossed around so much.  This time I'll be overnight for more than one night in a row.  For one of those trips he'll be at my friends' house and the other trip his teacher is taking care of him at my home.  There's something strange about someone else (who I really don't know outside of school) living in my home, driving my child, and keeping him alive (haha).  But, it's what I have to do, so I'm just going to have to suck it up!

The good news is that after my crazy month, I will be heading to Cabo the first part of April because I won a trip for being one of the top sales reps in my company.  My best friend who moved out of state is going with me and my mom will be taking care of Sidekick.  While I'll miss him dearly, I am less worried about my mom taking care of him than anyone else.  Plus, she can juggle Dog (living in a condo makes having Dog a little more challenging).  So... I just need to get through March and then I'll be enjoying four days on the beach drinking a lot of margaritas.  

And by the way, it's months like March that really deter me from thinking about having #2.  It's a lot more to ask someone to watch two kids for overnights or pick them up from school than it is just one. Just the car seat situation alone for Sidekick is crazy (thankfully I have two because I have a personal car and a company car), let alone for two kids!  After March, I might be back on the "Wanting Baby #2 Bandwagon" again.  : )

So... I need to breathe.  It'll all work out, I know it will, but how could I not be worried being away from my little guy for so many nights?  <sigh>

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Little Helper

Sidekick has been feeding Dog for a couple of months now.  After he eats dinner, he carries the dog bowl to the laundry room for me to fill, and then he carries it back to the kitchen.  He started doing this on his own.  He has only spilled a couple of times, which is pretty impressive.  Yesterday, I opened the bag of food and was going to pour it into tubs. A few minutes later, Sidekick did this (see video) and continued making about 20 trips.  I have no idea how he knew this was Dog's food.  He's such an awesome little helper! 

video

Friday, February 14, 2014

L O V E


L O V E... I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day, even when I was dating a great guy and in LOVE.  It's just a stupid, mushy Hallmark holiday when people show their LOVE (when they should be showing their LOVE every day).  What's interesting is that when you are a Mom, you are required to show your LOVE every day regardless of if you are sick, tired, crabby, having a bad day, etc.  It just comes with the territory of parenthood. 
Every day we show our LOVE the minute these little beings wake up in the morning because they need us.  Every morning, no matter how tired I am, I walk into Sidekick's room, and he puts such a smile on my face because he is so happy to see me.  It's like I left him for days.  I pick him up from his crib and always give him a hug and kiss and tell him I LOVE him. The LOVE doesn't stop there.  It continues all day long.  I get him dressed, brush his hair, feed him a good breakfast, and calmly deal with his tantrums/stubbornness... all before we head out the door to start our school/work day, and then the LOVE continues as soon as I pick him up from school.  Every single thing we do for our young children shows LOVE.  They depend on us for everything, and when they suck everything out of us by the end of the day, we feel LOVED when they wrap their little arms around us and give us a sloppy kiss for no reason at all. Even these little beings show LOVE at such an early age.  
 
I LOVE the similar expression on his face one year apart!
 
I've said/written it before, and I'll say/write it again.  I am, and always have been, madly in LOVE with my son.  I never knew LOVE until seconds after he was born.  I was exhausted after being in labor for 23 1/2 hours (and pushing 2 1/2 of those hours), but I was instantly rejuvenated when I saw his sweet face look up at me, his Momma, after he was laid on my chest!  He had this sense of peace as soon as I wrapped my arms around him and kissed his wrinkly forehead.  He had this knowingness as soon as I said hello to him... kind of like he was thinking, "So you are the one I kept hearing for nine months. Awesome!"  I was head over heels in LOVE with this beautiful little baby I made. How could I LOVE someone I didn't even know?  That moment made me see the beauty of life and how precious it really is. 

So, on this Hallmark holiday when I am wrapping up a stressful week that brought me to tears, I am reminded just how lucky I am to have Sidekick in my life. Regardless of how bad my day is, Sidekick can instantly turn it around by his goofiness, when he plops himself in my lap with a book, and when he snuggles with me before I lay him in his crib. LOVE... while I may not have a husband/boyfriend to LOVE, I have a child to LOVE, and I'm blessed and fortunate that I had the opportunity to discover the kind of LOVE I have for Sidekick. It is an indescribable LOVE, and only a parent can truly understand the depths of this kind of LOVE.