Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I don't know why I feel this need to "catch up" in the blogs but I do and it's tough because I never have much time and now it feels like I'm so far behind. I would like to do one post a month. That was the plan but somehow two months slipped between my fingers. Now I can't even remember what happened in April! Seems like a year ago...I'll have to look back at the photos. They're like a diary in images. Photos are my way of holding on and recalling things
because I have a hard time even remembering what happened yesterday (I make notes in my calendar as well to keep track of things. My short term memory is SHOT. If you've seen Finding Nemo think of the Dory character. I'm not quite that far gone but well on my way.) I looked back at my April uploads and found these shots I almost forgot about. It was a fairy costume I got before Michelle was born and almost didn't fit her so I figured I better do a photo shoot before she outgrows it. She's already wearing size 3 clothes (and has the vocabulary of a 3-4 year old.) I constantly have people tell me how bright she is and I'm very proud of her but at the same time, she is the most difficult child you can possibly imagine. And she's moodier than ever. She went through a stage (and I hope it's over now!) where she would haul off and hit me <WHACK> out of the blue, for no reason (well because she was tired/cranky or there's a bit of her father-monster in her). So I'd say "That's not nice! You don't hit Mama. You don't hit ANYONE. EVER." Then she'd throw herself on the floor and scream and cry. "Why are YOU crying? I should be crying!" I'd say. Then later she'll be sweet as pie, hugging me and saying "I love you Mommy." Yeah I think there is a bit of her father in her. Runs hot and cold. I adore her but she drives me bat-sh%$ crazy sometimes!
I love dressing her up. She's like a living doll. If I'm being honest that was one of the reasons I really wanted a girl. Michelle was a bunny for Easter, of course. Though I had a hard time keeping the ears on her. Princess will gladly wear a tiara but she wasn't too keen on the ears. The bunny outfit suited her with her two teeth at the front. She's actually getting a lot more teeth now. When she laughs I really see them coming in. She has more front teeth and molars at the back. I don't know whether teething has anything to do with how difficult she's been. The screaming fits, the lack of sleep. It's hard to say. Could just be that she's a redhead and a spoiled Princess redhead at that. And yes, coddling attachment parent that I am, I know I am at least partly to blame.
The one party/BBQ I attempted to attend was a fiasco. She seemed OK at first, playing with other kids, but then mid-afternoon she had a full-blown tantrum over nothing and I left so we wouldn't ruin it for everyone else. She was screaming "Nap! Nap!" (this is what my kid does -- instead of going to sleep like a normal human would when she's tired, she screams "Nap!" and doesn't sleep.) Then we get home and sure enough she doesn't even go to sleep. She starts running around and wanting to play. "I left the party because of you and now you don't even want a nap anyway?!" Family events are different. I figure my family loves us no matter what but around anyone else I feel embarrassed when Michelle goes ballistic. It feels like people will be looking at me and shaking their heads in judgment "Gheesh. Can't you control your kid?" Because before I had kids sometimes I thought that way. And the truth is, no I can't control a force of nature! She's like a volcano or a tornado sometimes. I mostly just try to keep the peace and avoid situations that will set her off. Yes I'm OWNED by a 22 month old. I sacrifice my own life and sleep and happiness and just about everything for her sake.
I was hoping Michelle would have gone over to see Shannon and Reggie at the end of the pew since she is always going on about them and loves when we visit Auntie May but no she spent the whole time torturing me instead. It was excruciating and felt a lot longer than an hour. It didn't help that the priest went blathering on a long-winded homily (usually they try to keep things short and sweet when kids are involved so they don't lose patience but this guy had no clue. Sorry Father Whoever You Are. I love Jesus too but can you wrap this puppy up, I'm trying to get out of here alive!) Ironically, once the service was over, Michelle sat in the seat, good as gold, reading the hymn books. "Why couldn't you do that DURING the mass?!" I sighed. She just laughed at me. "Mama, I read books?"
I felt bad that my Mom had to watch Michelle on Mother's Day. My Mom loves Michelle so much. She says it's like having me back again as a little girl (mind you, that can be a bad thing too! I wasn't always a picnic either!) Before I went to work we had three heart-shaped pizzas, for the three Moms -- Mom, May and I. It was a cute idea. Nothing says "I love you Mom" like a heart-shaped pizza! At least Michelle did say "I love you Mommy" which she says often and which is the sweetest sound in the world and could make me forgive her anything.
Michelle knows how to say and even sing "Happy Birthday" but of course she wouldn't do it on my birthday. She can do so many things but she has to feel like it. It's basically impossible to MAKE her do anything she doesn't want to do. She'll shake her head "No!" She'll even scrunch up her nose and frown and go "No WAY!" "She's so contrary!" my Mom said. Contradicts you just to be difficult. Says "No!" even when it's something she wants.
It was tough having to work but I knew we'd be celebrating with the family on the weekend anyway. My sister and I had a combined birthday party this year. It just made more sense in a month of birthdays (and when I had to work so much). Also, we're at the age now where we don't really WANT to remember or have our ages singled out! I actually can't believe how old we are. I think I'm just going to be 39 from now on! Age is just a number anyway. I recently heard about Ernestine Shepherd who won the Guinness World Record for oldest female body builder at 77 years old. Look for her on Youtube. She looks amazing! Girl is RIPPED! No excuses. Never say you "can't."
Since 99% of my energy goes to taking care of Michelle, I haven't really been taking care of myself. I decided to become healthier and to get back in shape. I started working out in April. It's very hard to find the time and energy but I'm committed. I finished Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I had done it years ago and lost 17 lbs then but now I was having a much harder time. I only lost 5 lbs this time around (different being older and having had a baby) but must have gained muscle because I could see and feel the difference and felt a lot stronger. I've been counting calories as well (calculated my BMI to see how many calories I burn then creating a calorie deficit for weight loss.) It's been a challenge and frustrating to say the least. I'm at the age where your metabolism slows and you lose muscle mass so if you don't really work at it you're certain to gain weight. I'm determined to get my pre-baby belly back, or at least a reasonable approximation so after the 30 Day Shred I started Jillian's "Six Week Six Pack" and have lost another 5 pounds and have more muscle definition. It's an uphill battle but I'm not giving up. As much as I hate working out, I do like the feeling that it gives me afterward. I feel stronger and healthier and it feels good to be doing something for myself for a change. I was hoping to have a six pack in time for bikini season but I don't have much longer to go now. While I do see a difference, I'm still not quite where I want to be. I'm not giving up. I already have my next workout, Jillian's "Yoga Inferno," picked out. I am a work in progress.
After the combined celebration for May and I we got together for Shannon and Reggie's birthdays (which will always be combined because they were born on the same day, which still blows my mind! What are the odds? 1/365 at least!)
I was reading to Michelle before she was even born. My Mom said she read to me in utero and I really thought there was something to it. I know that's one of the most important things I did for her. Michelle loves books. I got her a big book of fairy tales and now she loves pretending to read The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood and has me read them to her OVER and OVER again. I'll watch her sitting with the book, turning the pages carefully, reciting the story in so much detail she could be reading it. I think that's why she has me read them so much. She's trying to memorize them. I wish I could catch her on camera but as soon as she sees the camera she stops. When I teach her a new word (which is rare now because she knows just about everything) Michelle is excited, as though I've given her a gift. Once in a while there's a random word (like hospital) that I realize has just never come up in conversation. She was saying "panino" for piano until I corrected her and then she said it right. One word she chooses to say her own way and my Mom and I have not been able to cure her of: she says "MIND!" instead of "MINE!" and you can't convince her otherwise. Everything is hers by the way. The house we live in, the car I drive, my makeup, everything is Michelle's. "Mind!" she'll exclaim and grab at whatever it is. "You mean MINE without the D but you're mistaken anyway. It's not yours." She screws up her nose and says "MIND!" all the more defiantly. "Whatever."
One big change since my last post is that Michelle LOVES going to the playground now and loves the swings and the slide. We go every day that it's nice out. When Spring started she was timid at the park -- wouldn't go on the swings at all, wanted my help to go up the slides. When another child came near her she'd run and hide behind my leg and even say "I'm shy." Now she loves the swings and the slides and goes up and down herself. She's more outgoing with other kids as well. There are a couple of friendly girls at the park that she plays with and she even says "hi" to kids she doesn't know now. She went up to a group of boys under the slide one day and said "Hi!" (I will have to warn her not to be too friendly with boys as she gets older!)
I am still in awe that we're into June already. April and May just flew by. Time goes so quickly. Between occasions and working and working out and trying to keep up with a speedy twenty-two month old, life has been sheer mayhem! Somehow writing this brings peace to the chaos. It is my way of putting our lives in order. These are the Coles Notes of our life stories. I'm going to try to do a post a month so I'll leave June for the next one. Hopefully I get it done before August!
When I look at Michelle now, she's looking more and more like a little girl and less like a baby. Her personality (very headstrong, dramatic, larger than life) shines through. She can be a monster. And it's not easy to deal with, especially on my own. Sometimes I feel stressed and overwhelmed. It is a strain on me never getting a break. No vacation. No time to myself. So many women have said they need that time for their own sanity (a break in the afternoon to meet a friend for lunch or get their nails done etc.) My workouts have become my "me time" though I'm often having to do them with her underfoot, worrying am I going to accidentally clock her in the head. (I tried to wait til she was in bed at night except that she often doesn't settle down til the wee hours of the morning and then I'm too exhausted.)
When she says "I love you Mommy" and hugs me tight, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. And it's worth all that I've given up and all that I do. It's worth months and years of mayhem and struggle and sacrifice. It's worth anything. She is my life now. I'm owned by a 22 month old. And that's OK.