Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Love You with My Whole Heart All the Time

This will be quick, because I don't want to linger on anything sad today. Every moment with you is one I cherish and celebrate and try to wholly live in.

Sometimes you are so mean to me. You scratch, you hit, you spit, you tell me that you don't want to be my best friend any more, that you'll never play with me again, never talk to me again.

Sometimes I yell back, send you to time-out.

I see these words and scenarios turning into, "I hate you, Mom!" "You never let me go out with my friends!" groundings, and taking the car/phone away.

But, what I really want, no need, you to know is that none of that matters. All of these things are just ripples on the surface of the water. Underneath, my love for you runs miles deep, is as constant as the sun rising.

I will never hold a grudge, in life or in spirit, for any argument we have ever had. Since the moment I knew you existed, our fates were sealed, together as mother and daughter, friends. Forever.

And, so I will always be singing our silly little song to remind you, the one I hum when you're crying, the one I sing loudly over your yelling sometimes, just to remind us both:

I love you with my whole heart, all the time, all the time.
Even when you're sad.
Even when you're grumpy.
Even when you're happy...
I love you with my whole heart, all the time, all the time.
I love you with my whole heart, all the time, all the time.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Mommy Guilt

Ugh, I'm having the worst mommy guilt today. And it doesn't help that I haven't updated the blog in almost 4 months.

Maybe it's just because you're acting so grown up lately. We carry on grown-up conversations to the point that, sometimes I think I'm talking to a teenager. We're not through the "Horrible 3s" yet, which in all honestly haven't been that horrible. Temper tantrums are still a daily occurrence, especially when you're tired. But I'm so impressed with your abilities to talk it out and listen.

I've always loved you, always missed you while I've been at work, but it's different now. I miss you the way I would miss a best friend. Before, I missed feeling needed as a mom during the day. I missed your smile, your giggles, missed taking care of you. Now I miss your companionship, the conversation, your perspective on life.

I miss hearing you say things like, "The mountains look like waves," or "The sun is chasing me!" -- that little break from reality, a moment to look at the world your way.

I hope it's just hormones or exhaustion, or the Monday blues, but all I want to do is scoop you up and run away for the day. Maybe that's exactly what we both need: more, as you call them, "Mommy-Ellie days."

Monday, March 30, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

Wow, where have the last two months gone? Someday, my dear Ellie, I hope you will read this blog and not be disappointed that I took a 2-month blogging vacation this year.

How do I sum up the last 2 months of being with my beautiful 3-year-old? I just can’t. I can’t capture every moment. And that’s okay. We lived them!

February was tough. There were temper tantrums and arguments, challenges, and trials, but I’m proud of us for working through it. A fellow mom told me that the “horrible 3s” would probably only last about 6 months. That seemed like a long time, but as usual, you’re ahead of the game, and it seems like we’ve reached a new “age of reasoning” early. I hope it lasts!

Sure, we still have our typical tough moments, but especially in the last few weeks, we communicate so well. You’ve learned to calm yourself, and I’ve learned to just let you be angry sometimes. It’s a nice balance.

And, oh the questions! Such beautiful questions you’ve asked me like, 1. “What’s a temper tantrum?” Ha! And 2. “What’s a false alarm?” and 3. “Why are two boys kissing in that video?” (You wanted to watch a short gay-rights activist documentary on YouTube):
  1. That thing where you just rolled around, banging your head on the floor, screaming that you wanted a cheese stick.
  2. Like, when you think something bad is about to happen but it doesn’t, and…
  3. Mommy and Daddy are a couple – a girl and a boy, but some couples are two boys, some are two girls. Does anyone in your class have two mommies or two daddies?
I was prepared to give you a complete history of rights activism in America, with a brief demonstration and roll-out timeline, but you were totally unfazed about that answer. Two people who love each other getting married? What’s the big deal? “Let’s talk more about false alarms.” Smart girl.

In other news, you now get your own cheese sticks from the fridge. I can hand you a granola bar or a bag of Cheddar Goldfish, and you open it by yourself. You stand up on your bed and say things like, “Look how big I am!” And you are! Wow, you are SO tall! I’m sure you’re going to hit 6 feet soon.

Your favorite toys are Anna & Elsa dolls and Paw Patrol anything. We must create elaborate scenes in which Elsa is trapped on a frozen mountain, and the Paw Patrol has to go rescue her. “Pups, to the lookout!” “Rider needs us!”

Your favorite foods are apples, carrots, cantaloupe, cheese sticks, yogurt, peas, mashed potatoes, and ravioli.

You are caring, kind. You don’t like to see anyone get hurt on TV, especially any Paw Patrol pups, or that boy in the Mary Poppins play who pretended to fall down. When we went to see Cinderella on Friday, you couldn’t understand how the step-mom and sisters could be so mean. You exude positivity, love, and acceptance. So, I can confirm what you’ve been telling me for the last few months: that, yes, you are a princess – in all the ways that really matter.

I tell you every day, but I’ll put it in writing again anyway – I love you, I love painting with you, playing with you, dancing, singing, playing Candy Land, Paw Patrol, and Guess Who. If I sometimes seem tired or frustrated, it’s not your fault. You are and always will be my “sunshine.”

Don't forget that we're still blogging over at ArtSourceVT.com, and we have some exciting upcoming classes listed there. Stay tuned for a FREE April workshop for parents and kids!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pity Party

So, Mark was just diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. He'll have to be on a CPAP machine for the rest of his life. As I've begun noticing his symptoms more, I started paying closer attention to Ellie's sleep habits. Yep, she has it too. Her pediatrician is sending us to a specialist in Burlington on the 9th.

I know that, in the grand scheme of things, this ranks somewhere between "Ugh, Annoying" and "No Big Deal." There are some amazing parents out there who have dealt with worse. But, you know me and my anxiety. I can't sleep well -- I wake up in the night, trying to listen to her breathing. I know that every coughing spell is a sign that she's stopped breathing for a certain length of time. I've witnessed some scary ones after she's fallen asleep at bedtime.

The doctor says that her body knows what to do, so chances of her completely stopping breathing in her sleep are slim, but there are long-term developmental concerns. She's tired and cranky a lot. Of course, aren't most 3-year-olds? And I've noticed some odd speech things developing, which could all be normal. We'll know more when we talk to the specialist.

This makes me happy.
And, so, all I can do right now is wait. But, you know how I am about waiting... anticipatory anxiety is my kryptonite, and I'm not much of a superhero to begin with. I have good days and bad. This morning, I'm totally depressed. The thought of my little girl having to have her tonsils out breaks my heart, even though it's a relatively simple procedure, and we may not even have to do that. I know I can say "no" unless it's absolutely necessary, a.k.a. her life is in danger.

I thought writing about this would help me feel better, but all I've done is admit that it's a real thing when, up to this point, I've floated in and out of the preliminary worrying stage.

I don't even want this post to transition into all the wonderful things going on right now, as we're recovering from this flu. I feel like it will all be squashed by one big, looming tonsillectomy.

I want to go hide in a TV show, good music, or a box of donuts, and I don't have access to any of those things right now.

So, welcome to my pity party, readers.

If you want a more sunshiney post, check out our Birdhouse Craft Fail on the art blog. :-)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh Goodness

Has it really been a full month? I've been dedicating lots of time to the art site, freelance design work, and... oh yeah, raising a 3-year-old!

She's the best, and we finally had our first official birthday party with friends and family. I can't tell you how much it meant to me, especially since we were all sick on birthdays 1 and 2.

This year was all about Paw Patrol. She handled most of the party planning, ordered balloons, picked out all the supplies for her cake and helped decorate it. Is she related to my sister... or what?

She's the best, and we had a great time! 2015 is going to be a great year! I'm determined to do the usual resolution-related things like eat better, shower more, make fewer messes, and work harder. I also hope to continue raising a pretty amazing kid. I think we've done OK so far. She's awfully feisty at times, but she has a heart of gold.

I still can't believe we'll be starting our 4th year here at YMIS! It's pretty exciting! I have no plans of stopping blogging here. I write mainly for Ellie -- so she'll have a record of the early years. So, I'll definitely continue to write and update as I can.

One small change that I'm planning -- linking this site to the art blog, as essentially a MASSIVE bio if our local artist friends want to learn more about us!

What this means only right now is that Instagram is going to now be @artsourcevt. I may eventually switch over Twitter too, but we'll see... Anyway, point is -- we're in it for the long-haul.

Mark and Ellie are now quietly playing Paw Patrol. I've been assigned some role in this play. I think I'm the doctor for the pups. She keeps bringing me a pup, and nail clippers, and asking me to fix sprained paws and remove splinters. Gotta run, as we have a new patient... and, oh yeah, it's way past bedtime!

If you haven't ready my absolutely terrifying post about bringing a toddler to a gas station bathroom, check it out on the BVT Moms Blog -- The Horrors of Parenting!