Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Monday, July 30, 2012

Losing 'The One'

A year ago, after a lot of soul searching, we moved Addison out of daycare in Zillah and into a daycare here in Moxee where she would get some preschool experience. It was the perfect set up - a few blocks from our house, Derek could drop her off, I could pick her up and if I had to work late or if she got sick it didn't fall on my shoulders alone to get her home. The move ended up being an amazing one - she came home singing her ABC's and counting, her vocabulary EXPLODED, she learned to play with other kids [sometimes more nicely than others], and, most importantly, she fell in love with Miss Lynn and all her friends.

Today we found out that as of September 1st, Miss Lynn will be closing her doors to go back to college to earn her teaching degree - something she has wanted to do and has been working toward for some time now. She will make the most amazing teacher and I understand that this is her calling. Daycare was something that she chose to do because it enabled her to stay home with her youngest son, who will be entering kindergarten this fall. So, the move makes perfect sense for her and for her family.

For me, however, I have found myself devastated - even more so that I would have anticipated. I've been in tears off and on all night trying to come to terms that in the next month I have to find someone who I can trust and feel confident leaving my babies with. I don't want my kids to go to some house where they watch TV all day and pork out on whatever they want. I want them learning and playing and trying new things. My most treasured possession is a Mother's Day poem [and hand prints] that came home this year. I want my kids to go somewhere where I know they will be loved and appreciated during those hours where I can be with them. Derek keeps telling me to calm down, that things will work out, etc., etc. But what he doesn't grasp is that we are looking for someone to RAISE OUR CHILDREN when we can't be there. That's not something that I take lightly. I want someone who will discipline my strong willed daughter without breaking her spirit, who will drink all of the pretend tea that she makes, and who will let her get soaked with the hose when the occasion calls for it. I want someone who is going to cuddle my son extra close, especially during those first few weeks when he and I are apart - as much for me as for  him. Someone who I can trust to keep them safe and to teach them new things. I don't want someone who will just watch my children, I want someone who will love them and I'm terrified that on this short timetable that I'm not going to find someone that meets my standards. I have two weeks in August before a week-long vacation and then school starts. It doesn't leave much time for interviewing and transitioning and it has my anxiety through the roof.

Please pray that we find someone kind and loving and dedicated who ALSO happens to have the time, energy, and space to take on two new kiddos - one 'spirited' preschooler and one 3-month old. Those two little people mean the entire world to me and I will never be able to relax at work or do my job if I'm not 100% confident they are safe and loved when I can't be around. My heart hurts on this one... :'(

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 months

Length: 23 inches [best guess... tape measure + wiggly baby = inaccurate measurement] 
Weight: 12 lbs 7 oz [also best guess... I did the mama and baby on the scale minus mama on the scale]
Feeding Schedule: He's taking 6 ounces ever 3(ish) hours during the day and eating like a champ. I did try giving him some formula when I was out with friend to avoid having to pump and he flat out refused it... so I foresee a lot of quality time being spent with the breast pump over the next nine months.
Sleeping Schedule: HE'S SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!! [most of the time]... We usually head to bed around 9:30 and he's now waking up around 5:30 for his feeding. Now if you know me, sleeping through the night means 12 hours and I realize we aren't there yet [a mama can dream right??] but it sure beats the 3am wake up call every morning. So, his schedule now is up at 5:30 for a bottle and back down until 9ish for his next bottle (heaven!), then he's up most of the morning playing on his mat or cruising around with me, his next big nap is usually around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and then he gets ready for bed around 8 and goes to sleep. He cat naps A LOT in between - 15 or 20 minutes here or there depending on what we're doing and where we are at.
Milestones: I would say my favorite one is sleeping through the night but he also had his first day of daycare so I could go in and work in my classroom and is starting to hold his head up for brief seconds during tummy time [which he hates]. Another milestone is simply how fast he's growing - this little boy is like a weed! I can't believe how big he's getting considering how tiny he was just a few short months ago. Makes me a little sad.
Best Moment This Month: I got to sleep in once morning when Addison when to play with the neighbors and I brought Cohen to bed with me after his first morning feeding. He was fussy (trying to poop) so we just laid in bed and cuddle and took a nap. He slept with his hand on my cheek <3
Loves: Snuggling, naps, clean diapers {so he can fill them up}, laying on the bed or the floor and kicking his little legs, smiling, playing on his jungle mat.
Hates: Car seats, pooping, and tummy time. This kid gets SO mad at us when we put him on his belly...
What We're Looking Forward To: Seeing my parents in a few weeks for the first time since Cohen was born and since Dad's stem cell transfer. I can't wait for them to see how much he's changed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two years...

Same little girl, same bench, same photographer... only difference - 24 short months. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me...

of how sincere and kind the people in my life are.

I posted the SAHM blog yesterday and I really, truly went to bed scared that I was going to wake up to hate mail. Instead, I woke up to numerous comments, emails, and IM's all supporting me and expressing the same kinds of feelings that I had written about.

A friend texted and invited Addison over to play for the morning which gave Cohen and I the time to cuddle and take a nap together. He snuggled up with me and slept with his hand on my cheek which melted my heart.

I got to take a shower - ALONE. [For those of you without children, that means there wasn't someone sitting on my feet or trying to draw on me with shower markers.]

I made dinner - spaghetti and garlic bread and Caesar salad and had it ready when Derek got home...

AND... there is dessert in my oven. Yup... I baked.

I am so thankful for the people in my life who are there to pick me up when I'm dragging along on the ground - which I was definitely doing yesterday. I just wish I knew how to repay all the kindness that has been sent my way... I would be lost without you all... <3

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This post has been a few weeks in the making... it started as a few fleeting thoughts and built until it was all consuming, leaving me sitting in the bathroom, calling my best friend, and driving out to see her after my children were in bed [yes, my husband was home]. I broke down - I cried like a baby all the way to her house and *this* song came on while I was listening to Pandora. I've heard it a million times but for the first time it applied to parenting, not being in a relationship, and it hit home. HARD.

I haven't worked since February 20th. I got up and went to work on the 21st but I only made it ten minutes before the contractions started and I got my ass landed on bed rest. That means for the past FIVE months, I have pretty much been confined to my house. Now obviously, since Cohen has arrived I have gotten out and done things but still - I'm at home. A lot. I've never been one of those people who did well with just hanging out at the house - I like having things to do, I like my job, and I like having a schedule that is demanding enough to keep me on track. So, as you might imagine, [especially if you have small children at home with you] being a summer SAHM is driving me bat-shit-crazy.

Before I really dive in, I need to say that the single factor that has kept me from writing this post earlier is fear. Fear of what other people [who I know IRL and via the interwebs] would think of me. Fear of what I would think of me looking back on it six months or a year from now. But in the past few weeks I have talked to several moms with kids around the same age as mine and I have discovered something shocking - I'm not actually crazy. I know, my mind was blown too.

So, here it goes.

I'm not cut out for the stay-at-home mom gig. Some of my closest friends are SAHM's and child care providers and they are my heroes. I don't mean that jokingly - I look at them with reverence because I can't understand how they do it day after day and stay sane. I love my kids. I ADORE them. I would step in front of a bullet in a heartbeat for them without thinking. I would give anything in this world to ensure them a healthy and happy life. The hugs and snuggles and kisses I get throughout the day are everything that I hoped motherhood would be. Waking up Addison by crawling in bed with her and cuddling, having Cohen sleep on my chest, hearing, "I love you mommy!" out of the blue - those are all things that get me out of bed in the morning after the long nights. BUT [and there is a big ole fat BUTT here] the whining, crying, tantrums, neediness, flat out craziness, and epic quantities of shit [literally] is all more than I can take most days. I think I could kind of handle it when it was just Addison - we could go places and do things according to her schedule and I could keep her pretty well entertained. But throwing Cohen into the mix, who gets a heat rash the second we step outside, seriously limits what we can do, where we can do it, and when we can go. Plus, leaving the house with a potty-training-in-progress 2 1/2 year old and a 11 week old is like packing for a month long vacation and a lot of the time it's more work than it's worth. [As a side note, how we decided to potty train our daughter RIGHT AFTER HAVING A NEWBORN is lost on me... bad idea... EPIC bad idea. But that, my friends, is another post all on it's own]. So we stay home. A lot. And because I fear being dubbed a bad mom for letting my child sit in front of the TV watching Dora or Diego or Guppies all day long, I feel obligated to plan activities to keep her entertained. Planning those days is exhausting, let alone executing the plans. So, a week ago I found myself fifteen pairs of poopy panties deep in shit [not my own, thankyouverymuch] and the icing on the cake was the puddle of diarrhea that I was mopping up on the bathroom floor and off my daughter. I hadn't eaten in, I don't know, 36 hours probably, slept at best three or four hours at a time the night before and had one of the WHINIEST days ever with Addison. I lost it. I managed to get her in the tub and rinsed off and then scrubbed clean and let her play while I sat outside the door in the hall and bawled my eyes out. I felt like the world's worst mother - I was so, SO sick of the accidents that by the time the diarrhea occurred I was fuming mad. So, to avoid taking it out on her I sat in the hall and cried. Who gets mad at their kid for having diarrhea???? What kind of mother feels like that?? I begged Derek to let me go out and mow the lawn while he fed the kids and put them to bed - I BEGGED for manual labor - anything that got me out of the house and alone for a few minutes. After I finished, I called my best friend [who was thankfully in town] and bawled on the phone to her. After my shower I headed to meet up with her and just vent - something I needed so badly. And that was the first time someone told me that they had felt the same way... I can't really explain what it felt like but just knowing that I wasn't the only one who wasn't basking in the glow of 'relaxing' at home with my kids made me feel so much better. And since then, I've had the same conversation, and read similar posts to this, and come to the conclusion that it is a cruel joke that NO ONE talks about this until someone has a mental break. If I had known that other mom's really did want to pull their hair out, or would actually pay to pee in private, I might have been better prepared for what was coming.

I guess it shouldn't have been a shock - I dealt with PPD with Addison and I kind of assumed it would rear it's ugly head again this time around. In fact, there is proof of it here. I'm not eating - not because it's a conscious decision, but I don't get hungry and truthfully, most days, I don't have time to make food... if Derek hadn't yelled at me yesterday I'm pretty sure it would have been almost two days since my last meal... I sleep when I can but even if Cohen sleeps through the night - which he's done officially twice - I still have to wake up and pump and since my supply is sucky right now [sorry TMI] it takes me almost 30 minutes to get the 8 or so ounces I need to get us through the night. My emotions are all screwy - whether it's due to hormones or just stress, I have no idea. I get angry way to easily - if you heard my rant about how pictures when the other night you'll understand that one and I feel like half the time I'm on the verge of breaking down and crying. So yes, I called my doctor's office today and maybe a little tweak to my meds is all it'll take. I sincerely hope so because I can't take feeling like this for another month before I go back to work - I'll lose my mind.

I'm not proud of the feelings that I've had these past few weeks and, although I know my kids are well taken care of and well loved, I don't feel like I've been the best mama that I could be lately. I don't like the person I've become under all this stress and I don't want it to rub off on my babies. I need to get out of the house - to workout, to work in my classroom, to see friends... anything to feel a little more like me again and a little less like the frazzled mom I feel like I've become.

This shit was SO not in the parenting classes... false advertising. I'm suing someone.  

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been
Relient K

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cowgirl Up

Addison and I had a girls night at the Toppenish rodeo tonight to cheer on her friend Jaxon in the Mutton Bustin' competition...

I'm in for it... every time a bronc threw it's rider and took off galloping she looked at me and said, "Mama, I want that pony." =]

A picanic basket...

Derek always teases me because of the way I say 'picnic'... apparently I sound remarkably similar to Yogi Bear [not that I have ANY idea who that actually is, I'm just going based on what he says...]

Anyway... I'm struggling with this whole summertime SAHM thing - I'm wiped out, stressed, short tempered, and out of ideas for entertaining my preschooler... and that's usually just by 11am. So, today my bright idea was to take the kids to the park at the other end of town for a picnic lunch and to feed the ducks. We loaded (and I do mean LOADED] up the car - stroller, diaper bag, porta-potty, 'picAnic' basket, etc, etc, etc. and headed off to the park. It was hot today - pushing 100 degrees so we found a nice spot in the shade and  had our sandwiches. Cohen and I enjoyed the breeze while Addison played on the toys and tagged along with one of the older kids there [much to the older girls dismay, I think... but my kid was clueless]. Once lunch was taken care of we went over to the pond with a bunch of the hamburger buns left over from our BBQ. Addison loved feeding the ducks [and then yelling to scare them away... SMH] and we shared our bread with several other kids there who wanted to get in on the feeding action as well. Things went pretty well until Addison biffed in on the way back to the car and skinned her knee and elbow... I swear I have the klutziest kid ever - it's ridiculous. Anyway - we got out of the house and did something different, which was a plus. However, I think next week we'll try decorating the driveway with sidewalk chalk or something less labor intensive.

4th of July

4th of July has to be one of my favorite holidays - it's informal, it's warm, and it's relaxed enough to just enjoy the night with friends and family without slaving all day in the kitchen or dragging out the fine china. This year, our 4th of July was brought to you by Pinterest =] I found all sorts of food for the party and stashed a bunch of ideas away for next year. Addison was finally big enough to brave the sparklers and Cohen was terrified of all the noise and spent the better part of the show snuggled up in the living room with me.
Oh-so heavenly sangria... my new favorite drink!! Visit my foodie blog here for the recipe!!

Total Pageviews