Dear Beatrice,

You are two years old (25 months now because mommy fails at writing things when she’s suppose to). You are every bit as wild as you were at one if not more so because now you can run and jump and even climb. You’re like a little monkey on everything and everywhere all the time. I’m going to have to start training myself to keep up with you like my friends train for marathons.

You’re also very compassionate and so smart. You know so many nursery rhymes, numbers, letters, names of planets, and types of plants/bugs/dinosaurs. You always worry when you hear a baby crying or someone gets a ‘boo boo’. I sprained my ankle last week and you came up to me and very very gently patted my foot and told me “All better!”

You have amazing determination and a stubborn streak. Everyone in your family on both sides does, so you’re in good company. It’s going to serve you well one day when people try to make you change or when you figure out what you really want in life. Though ice cream for dinner is not something that’s going to happen outside of your birthday no matter how good of an argument you make, sorry.

The red baby hair is gone and your golden curls are much like I predicted slowly turning a beautiful brown. Your eyes aren’t bright blue anymore, but getting green or maybe hazel? You look more like daddy now, but we still share the same nose and chin. You no longer get confused as a baby though you still tell us you are. I don’t notice the changes until I look at baby pictures because you still seem so small to me. I know this is just the beginning. You still have cute little baby thighs and mickey mouse knuckles, but soon you’re going to look more like a preschooler. You’ve sprouted up in the last month alone it makes me sad, but it’s part of being a mom. Despite me telling you to be little forever you have to grow and change.

You got your first scar this year and lots of bumps and bruises from your adventures. You love the outdoors whether it’s sunny or raining. You know to be gentle with flowers and bugs. One of your favorite activities is building little houses with rocks.

You love trying to stand on your head, playing ‘basketball’ with your friends at daycare, your doll house (and dolls), building with legos, racing other kids even if you don’t know them and they’re bigger than you. I’m amazed at how active you are and kind of envious too.

I love you and I love watching you grow. Your daddy and I are so proud of who you’re becoming and who you are. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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Goodbye Church and Christianity

 

I’ve been through three churches now thinking that maybe the homophobia, sexism, and racism that I found at one point or another at each one was simply a product of that particular church.

I don’t think I’ve ever been a true Christian. I’ve wanted a sense of community with people the same kind other people in my small town had when I was growing up. I dreamt of knowing everyone’s name and feeling like I belonged somewhere and certain of what’s out there and who God is, but I’m just too curious to be a Christian. There are too many things that don’t make sense to me and too many people who use the label to bash and hate people who are different from them.

I can’t be a part of something that claims my brother, or friends, or anyone in the LGBTQ community are going to suffer eternally for being themselves or that people who think different or worship God differently are going to hell. I can’t be a part of something so harmful to women teaching them that their sexuality is evil and all of the world’s problems started with Eve.

I have a two year old daughter now. She’s learning from me every second of every day in every action I take or don’t take. Not only from me, but the world around her as well. I can’t keep her in an environment where people are trying to teach her to hate and fear those different than her even if it’s only on Sundays. There are 53 Sundays this year alone and she’s spent most of them at church which was fine when they were preaching love and tolerance and helping others, but the longer Trump has been President the less love is preached about and the more donating to the church and converting Muslims and taking away women’s rights to their body have been brought up. I’ve brought my concerns up and been told if I don’t believe those things I’m not a ‘true’ Christian, so I guess I’m not.

So this is me breaking up with Christianity. I might question too much to ever fit into one particular religion or maybe all of my questioning will lead me to a different path the one I’m suppose to follow. It’s hard to say.

Outdoor Activities for babies

We’ve had a surprisingly beautiful summer this year. There have only been a few extremely hot days and until this week very little rain. Which for Indiana is pretty amazing considering in Texas where I’m from originally there’s been tons of rain and flooding.

I’ve made a point to go outside with Beatrice every morning assuming we have time that day and it’s made a huge difference in her. She naps so much better and eats better as well I’ve also noticed she cries much less on days we go outside vs. days we have to stay in. These are a few of the things we’ve done.

1) The easiest and most obvious go on a stroll. Sometimes with a set destination and sometimes just where ever we end up. It’s good exercise for mama and fresh air for baby.

2) Go to the park. Your baby can’t really use any of the playground equipment on their own just yet, but you can always hold them while you swing, go down some slides, or one of Beatrice’s personal favourites ride on one of those cute little springy rides that rock back and forth. Once your baby learns to crawl or can stand with assistance they’ll have a blast on the playground structure especially if it includes a bouncy bridge or blocks to spin.

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3) Let them help you pull weeds or play in the dirt. It’s good for their immune system. Beatrice loves to help me pull up the weeds. Though you will want to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t eat anything. Also to ensure they don’t pull up too many of your plants. (RIP our green onions)

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4) Get messy with some edible paint. This is the first outdoor activity we did and Beatrice wasn’t super crazy about, but I’ve heard lots of babies love this particular activity and it’s outside so it’s easy to clean up.

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5) If your baby can sit up well in the bath you can invest in a baby pool. I got this one from amazon for five bucks. I just put one bucket full of water in it as well as a few plastic toys and Beatrice goes nuts. She loves to splash around and catch the water in her hands as I pour it out of the bucket. This is also a good time to give your baby a frozen treat on especially hot days because you can clean them off in the pool before you go inside.

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6) Bubbles. Beatrice loves to watch me blow bubbles and attempt to catch them especially now that she can crawl.

Those are some of our favourite activities. This week it’s suppose to rain all week so with any luck I’ll have another list of ways to occupy an older baby indoors.

I really wish I had mom friends. It’s hard being the first mom in a group of friends who want nothing more than to be parents. You can’t really vent because they’d give anything to have a beautiful little girl with them.

I wish I felt like I still belonged among them because they’ve always been work friends and I only work a couple times a week. I’m no longer in on all the office gossip.I miss all the cool events. I pretty much stay home or if I’m feeling adventurous do laundry or go to the dollar store across the street.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and not very inspired. I’m constantly bickering with Brandon he hasn’t done anything wrong, but we pretty much have to reorganize our entire house now because we can’t move because I’m still not able to function. Even when I’m at home there are long periods I just stare at nothing and Brandon snaps me out of it and I get annoyed even though I know he’s just worried. I get annoyed because I shouldn’t be zoning out randomly. I should be the super awesome mom I always assumed I would be. It’s frustrating to say the least.

My house should be spotless or at least reasonably organized so I can find the gripe water when my baby gets her first stomach ache. I should be stimulating her more with baby projects. I try to have her do one new thing a day I think she’ll enjoy even if it’s tissue paper in a box or taking a magnet on and off the fridge, but I always feel super crappy when I just set her down on the playmat and put some cartoon or cooking show on while I try to get things done. Sometimes I put her in the carrier and she ‘helps’ me with cleaning and organizing, but she’s a baby and has eczema and we aren’t one of those chemical free households. I don’t feel right holding her while scrubbing the tub down with scrubbing bubbles.

It would be different if I were staying home out of choice if it were something we had somewhat prepared for but it’s not. We have no extra money and the little bit I thought we would have this month so I could at least do something for Brandon’s birthday Sunday, but that didn’t happen. Thanks government for not giving me my money back after I went through all that trouble to file my taxes.

Oh and I haven’t even made a dent in baby proofing the house. All I have are outlet covers someone bought for me before Beatrice was born. I still need a baby gate and at least something to keep her out of the cabinets because the day is coming that she’s going to start crawling and I’m not even kind of prepared.

I know I’m lucky to have my daughter and Brandon. I just wish I didn’t feel like a failure ninety percent of the time

I’ve become somewhat used to people giving me unwanted advice and criticism since I found out I was pregnant with Beatrice. In one area of parenthood however pretty much everyone has agreed with me up until this point and that’s my choice to breastfeed. Everyone has been super supportive up until recently.

The reason? My choice not to wean Beatrice. She’s nearing six months now and a lot of people seem to think since she’s eating solids she needs to stop breastfeeding or at least do it less. I was expecting this at some point but not before she even hit the six month mark. Beatrice still nurses pretty much all day and nurses to sleep at night. She has oatmeal for breakfast and squash or whatever homemade baby food I have available for dinner if she wants it.

I want to breastfeed as long as she needs it and whenever she decides she’s done we’ll stop. The WHO recommends breastfeeding until age two though even beyond that breastfeeding has many benefits. It seems like most breastfed babies decide they’re done nursing around one and a half. I’ll leave the choice up to her and my body however and hopefully make it to one year.

Obviously breastfeeding isn’t right for everyone and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to formula at six months or whenever. I genuinely enjoy nursing and how close it’s brought us. Without even considering all the health benefits for both of us.

I never liked dealing with phone calls once I got my first computer and learned I could just im or email people. It slightly annoyed me when friends or relatives called. It was just always so forced at least on my end. I’m not a social person and when I’m home I like to have time to myself if I want to talk to my friends I make plans to hang out with them or talk to them next time I see them. There’s never been a phone call made to me that couldn’t of been said in person or in an email.

Maybe I’m just weird or socially awkward, but it really irks me when people call.Now it pisses me off for a whole new reason because people only ever call right as I’ve gotten the baby to sleep and they pretty much always wake her up. It doesn’t matter if my phone’s on silent or vibrate she has some kind of super sonic baby hearing and wakes up. It’s the same when I try to watch Mad Men with no sound and just subtitles Beatrice knows just magically and immediately must put a stop to it.

I have one of those super fancy quiet floppy keyboards I’m typing this up with right now and I can hear her yawning, farting, and rolling around she’s about two minutes away from demanding my attention. Which is totally understandable she’s a baby and I’m her main mode of transportation and her own personal liquid ice cream maker. I’m pretty popular with my daughter you know.

My main point in this post is if you’re calling a parent with an infant with super hearing and a spidey sense that parent is silently judging you.

 

 

We finally left the house yesterday to grocery shop and it was glorious. Beatrice was super fascinated by Aldi’s and all the colourful boxes and slept until 7am this morning, so I do think she had a bit of cabin fever. She’s in such a good mood today I think until the weather gets nicer and we can do more I’m going to try doing some of the projects I’ve pinned. Mostly the art related ones because we have enough crafts supplies to open our own hobby lobby.

I’ll let you know how that goes because playing with my scarves,her stacking cups, reading, and Sofia the First are getting really old to this kid. I think she’s going to be super happy this spring when we get out more than every other Sunday for church. Assuming we get a real spring because last year we just got a lot of snow.

It’s crazy to me that in no time at all Beatrice is going to be six months old. I’m already searching etsy for ideas for her party in September. She’s growing up so fast it’s not fair. Every day she’s learning something new and changing right before my eyes.