A Year in Pictures

Another year has come and gone, we have done so much!  You started and finished VPK with flying colors.  Scotty and I started a business. You’ve grown so much emotionally, physically, and personally.  It really has been great to watch.  I love you kiddo.  Here are some of the past year adventures.

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Holy Smokes! It’s Been 4 Years already!!

Hi Jayden,

Good lord you are 4 years old already!  It’s gone by so fast, but at the same time SO much has happened in these 4 years.  Of course for you EVERYTHING has happened.  You start VPK in the fall then off to real school.  You’ve started telling “jokes” which consist of 

You: Mommy want to hear a joke

Me: Of course

You: Pineapple

You: You have to laugh Mommy

Me: Oh of course “hahaha…”

And this goes on until you run out of fruits and vegetables or you see a “dinosaur” outside that is attacking.

You continue to amaze me though.  We got you some Legos for your birthday and you came downstairs last night to show us the battleship you had made to shoot the truck you and I had put together.  It was pretty good 🙂 and it even  had little spots on the wings that were the “shooting parts”.

 

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No longer the tiny little helpless babe

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Instead the proud little independent

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Love you kiddo

XOX

Unseen Changes

Good Morning Jayden,

It’s been a while since I’ve written in here to you.  Things have been crazy, getting ready for the wedding, and the vacation and all that.

One thing that struck me amidst it all… You change so much, every day it is something new and I see it and love it.  Coming back after two weeks of little to no interaction with you everything seems different.  You seem taller, you are DEFINITELY tanner (my little beach bum 😀 )  You’re attitude has changed some for the good some for the bad as always.  And you’ve added “anyway” to your vocabulary.  I missed the first time you really swam by yourself.  It doesn’t make me sad though.

It makes me appreciate that I get to see you grow and develop every day.  Never taking for granted any time you want to stop and tell me a story for the 400th time about a dinosaur, or whichever animal you are fascinated with at that moment.

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I love you Jayden.

Hugs n Kisses

~Mom

 

 

The Toddler Rollercoaster

Good Morning Jayden,

Phew what a rough couple weeks we’ve had buddy.  You’re really starting to push boundaries and assert yourself which is awesome, that’s what you need to do…but man is it trying on Scott and I.  I think the most frustrating part is that 90% of the time you are awesome.  You’re funny, sweet, smart, in general a blast to be around, so when that 10% toddler comes out its like WOAH THERE bring me back my other Jayden.

Right now you are on day 3 of “being grounded” You helped pack up all your toys and lock them away in your closet (honestly, it was best clean up I’ve ever seen you do and you did it with a smile go figure).  You have books to “read” and Scott and I come and talk to you every night about why you are grounded and what we expect and so on.

When we were talking to you yesterday I stopped to think about this word “grounded” and it dawned on me, probably the first time ever, that it really is meant to “ground” you.  Give you that time out from whatever it is that is currently going on, give you time to reorient yourself, bring you back to baseline and start over.  First time I could really appreciate the value that it can hold.  I think we all need to be grounded once in a while.  Anyway I hope your time out helps.

I know that you are 3 and this behavior is “normal” but I hope we can give you the tools you need to overcome issues and situations appropriately and in a healthy way.  Then take from the entire situation a lesson.  Of course right now it will be “listen to mommy and Scotty and don’t poop in your pants” but hey it’s a start!

Back to work for me

Love you so much!

~Mommy~

It’s always the little things

Hi Jayden,

Just a quick one today.  You never cease to amaze me.  Last night, I served you dinner, nothing special, steak, some boxed Parmesan Alfredo pasta (although it came out fantastic I’ll give it that) and some steamed green beans (with maple syrup on them so you’d eat them).  About 2 min after you started eating I hear “I like this dinner mommy…thank you for making it for me” “You’re welcome Jayden I’m glad you like it” (this part is pretty normal you thank me almost every time for your food) “I appreeeeciate you making this for me mommy”

We talk about appreciation quite a bit around the house, this is the first time you have every used this word, and used it correctly. Brought a huge smile to my face and warmed my heart.

That’s all for now, time for me to jump in on my days work.  I love you kiddo!

xoxox

The Big Secret

Good Morning Jayden,

I read an article on the Huffington Post website this morning and felt compelled to share it with future you.  So this post isn’t necessarily directed TO you.  There have been very few times in your young life so far that I have had much cause to “rage”.  I was blessed with a baby who slept well, who ate well, who was easily calmed.  You are pushing limits now, as is your fundamental right to do.  I’d be worried if you didn’t honestly.  It is frustrating sometimes.  I attempt the mantra of “this too shall pass”.  That said I wanted to share this with you.

The Part of Parenting We’re Too Scared to Talk About

Occasionally a post circulates the Internet in which the author describes witnessing a mother in the midst of a public tirade against her child or children. The mother may have screamed in a way that could only be an overreaction to a small child’s mistake or incessant crying. Maybe it was in the checkout line. Or a parking lot. Or at a coffee shop or on a bus. Maybe she grabbed an arm too hard and in anger, or slapped her child’s face. She embarrassed him. She may have threatened to hurt him.

Everyone watched her lose it. The scene is over the top. Someone should have come to that child’s rescue. Everyone reading the story agrees. The comments on these posts are unanimous in their condemnation of the parent. She doesn’t deserve children. There are so many good people who can’t have children, what a shame this woman has a child.

I don’t personally know any mother I’ve read about in these posts. I don’t know her story. I don’t know what happens at her home. And I too have been sad and horrified seeing parents scream at their small kids over what seems like nothing.

But I’ve also been that mother in public. I have shrieked at my three children in a voice that doesn’t sound like my own. I have scared them, and attracted the unmerciful attention of strangers. I have dragged my 4-year-old son across our lobby floor — screaming at him — into the elevator while crying so that his sister could get upstairs to the bathroom. Old ladies opened their doors to stare at us, at me. The woman losing control with her children.

I have gripped little arms forcefully to get them to cross a busy street in the middle of a meltdown. Someone screamed at me to “calm down” when this happened. And as I tried to keep my three small children from being hit by cars on a busy avenue, I screeched back, “F— off!” None of this came from nothing. We don’t, however, see the intricate movements behind the scenes we witness.

Rage in parenting is not something we talk about. It does not garner the empathy that sadness or apathy does. It is not passive, and it has innocent targets. There are bad parents and there are good parents, along a spectrum. The good ones have bad moments, but those don’t move outside what we can accept as “normal.” No one is perfect. We all lose it sometimes. But what happens when losing it crosses the line from frustration to rage?

I am not talking about abusing and hurting children — when we know a child is being hurt, we must act without hesitation. What I am describing is the buildup of resentment and a loss of control that many “normal” mothers experience but can never safely discuss. It’s too ugly, and the risks are enormous. What will my friends think if they know what I’m really like when I’m angry? If I talk to someone, they may take my kids away.

So many of us, with tremendous pressures of caring for family, work, households — often without consistent help — hold on tentatively to the place where all is calm and manageable. Some of us have run from our own chaotic pasts. And when we slip from that place, we fall quickly to where we hardly recognize our own responses. We hate ourselves for being so far less than perfect, less than what our friends are like, that we never even hear of other mothers like us.

And we cope by drinking more, eating more and sleeping less. There are few acceptable outlets for this honesty that doesn’t fit in. We may put on a show for the world, but we deal with it alone. I spent countless evenings having screamed at bedtime, once the children were asleep, torturing myself for my lack of control, promising I’d get it together tomorrow. I felt unworthy of my children and my life.

My experience with rage began when my first child was born. My irrational anger toward this baby I loved more than I could have imagined stunted me. It took my breath away and planted the seed in my consciousness that I was a bad mother. And when we had twins 19 months later, I truly felt I was an island unto myself.

Although I had known depression before and after children, its manifestation as anger continued to confuse and shame me. My quickly tightening jaw and clenched fists in response to the crying, whining and never-ending demands of three babies shocked and terrified me. I listened to friends describe their difficult moments with their kids, hoping something would sound familiar to mine, but the disgusting fear that I was unique balled in my stomach.

As my two daughters and son are getting older, are in school now, I am enthusiastically, oddly willing to talk about parenting rage. Where it comes from and how prevalent it is in mothering young children. Mine is not the face of a wickedness, nor are the faces of any of the mothers I speak with. I want to be a better mother. Not the best mother. Not even a mother who never curses. But I seek to understand the cycle of nurturing — what we give ourselves, we also give our children.

When I describe writing about rage, depression and parenting, I sometimes get blank or uncomfortable faces looking back at me. But more often, I see the eyes soften, and I hear from a similarly evolving soul, “Oh, yes, I’d read that.”

I’m not sure when you’ll actually start reading this thing.  Maybe it will be when you become a parent for the first time, maybe it will be after some fun teenage incident where “i hate you mom” is throw out (which I’m sure it will, hopefully I’ll take it as well then as I do in my head thinking about the situation).

Either way I hope you are able to take away how incredible difficult that it can be to be a parent sometimes. How people expect you to go against every other human nature and be a saint.

End of the day though.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  No amount of frustration I could imagine would ever change how I feel about you, or think you are any less of a blessing in my life.

I love you kiddo.

Just an average Saturday.

We had such a good day today. Nothing special happened. No grand adventures or life changing moments. We hung around the house together this morning after Scotty went to work. Played with your favorite trucks of the moment, talked to daddy on Skype for a while and horsed around until it was time to start getting things done. 

We ran errands all after noon bouncing in and out of the truck from store to store. But it was just you and me, and you were in a great mood having fun telling stories and being my helper. We had wrapping paper sword fights in the dollar store, and cart rides at the flea market. Snuggled up and watched a couple movies when we got home.  I couldn’t stop telling you how much I enjoyed hanging out with you and showering you with kisses and love…only to get sweeter kisses back aand “me too mommies”.

I think I take back the life changing moments part..I like to think all the awesome collection of moments like these we get to have will build up to you being a happy healthy adult. 

Anyway kiddo much to do tomorrow time for me to go nini too. I love you so much and am so proud of all that you are already.

Beauty of Christmas

Good Morning Jayden,

I think I am more excited this year for Christmas than I ever have been, even as a kid.  You are enjoying all the decorations and Christmas stuff so much this year it’s fantastic to watch.  It is a great feeling for me to be able to bring this wonder and joy to you.  Everyday when we come home from work and school you are as amazed at the lights and decorations outside as you were the day before.  We walk inside and its “Mommy we have TWO Christmas trees!”.  I told you this morning that there were only 8 days until Christmas…”It’s Christmas now mommy that doesn’t make any sense”  🙂 This is your new thing lately “that doesn’t make any sense!” I love it.  Scott is just as excited to see your smiling face on Christmas morning.  He’s had so much fun helping make the first Christmas that you can really enjoy the best.

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Time for me to get back to work. I love you buddy.

~Mommy~

Let’s Begin

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Our journey together begins almost 3 and a half years ago now.  It’s going by so quickly.  You are growing and maturing so fast.  Having the opportunity to watch you, experience the world is such a satisfying experience.  There are so many things I want to tell you, things you can’t begin to understand, and things you won’t appreciate until you are older.

I’m writing this for your future self, and mine too.  My side of the family can be very bad at communication, bad at verbalizing how we feel, what we think and we do a lot of both.  I want to change that.  I want to change it in a medium that will most definitely be around for a while.  I hope to use this vehicle to give you insights into snippets of your life.  Give you an opportunity to see things from another perspective, or simply give you something to laugh about, blush about, get mad about, and get sad about.  Whatever it is I hope it will keep a strong bond between us forever.

I love you more than you could imagine (unless you have children by now in which case you do know).

Until next time….

hugga mugga