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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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’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.

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.

Beatrice is either teething or going through some kind of growth spurt and wow has it messed with her baby juju. She’s usually very laid back and it’s easy to tell what she needs. Stimulation, food, sleep, or a diaper change. The last two days she’s gone through major sleep regression from sleeping through the night to randomly waking up at midnight clearly still tired, but too irked to go back to sleep for at least another hour. She’s also been fighting naps which isn’t like her at all and stuck to either my boob or her teething ring 24/7.

It got to the point yesterday that Brandon had to give her formula while I ate because she’d been stuck to me all day and nothing was coming out because I was dehydrated and had only eaten a piece of toast. It’s really strange she hasn’t acted this way since she was a month old. I think it may be teething but I have no idea. I don’t think she’s due for another leap yet she’s five and a half months at this point.

I bought an amber teething necklace and one of those mesh feeders to put frozen breast milk in.The necklace isn’t here yet, but the mesh feeder is a god send. Though I definitely have to supervise when she’s using it because somehow she figured out how to open it. If this is teething when it’s all over I’ll write a blog about what’s helped and what was totally useless.

Oh the joys of being a first time mom I just want my baby to be happy again.It doesn’t help that we’ve been snowed in since Saturday and Beatrice absolutely loves going out, but it’s slippery, cold, and super snowy out. It’s suppose to get up to 49 degrees today so maybe the snow will melt some and we’ll be able to go to the library at least.

Despite all that I’m starting to feel better. I’ve been doing some stretches to help my back and despite the random wake ups at night I’m still getting more sleep than I got working full time. Now if I can just get used to my new meds and eat regularly I might feel 100% human again.

 

 

 

I’m now a mostly stay at home mom and I don’t totally hate it. Despite the fact growing up I always wanted to be a bad ass working mom since actually becoming a mother I’ve wanted nothing more than to be home with my baby. Finances have been in the way they still are actually which is why I’ll still be working Fridays and Saturdays and will hopefully be making some money writing and selling the things Beatrice has grown out of.

This wasn’t really the plan I had in mind when I thought I wanted to stay home, but I had another seizure a couple weeks ago and I haven’t been the same since. Maybe it’s the medication increase and being put back on keppra or maybe it was the seizure regardless something has shifted inside of me. I don’t have the energy I did to keep up with Beatrice and work and my relationship and my house. It’s hard for women in the best of health to do that. Not to mention I seriously messed up my back somehow during the seizure so I can’t stand up straight or bend or turn or sleep comfortably any more. Every time I move my back hurts worse than anything I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been hit by an eighteen wheeler before so that’s kind of amazing. I know I should see a doctor and I will at some point when I can find one in Indiana who can actually help me and isn’t a complete moron.

It’s getting better though since I’ve stayed home I’ve had more time with my little one and to help around the house we moved everything around since we won’t be moving any time soon and by we I actually mean Brandon because yeah that wouldn’t be helping my back much.

Today is Valentines day. Brandon and I don’t really have plans. We’re just staying home and eating doughnuts to save money because Valentines day is super expensive. I’m going to do some craft stuff with Beatrice she probably won’t care about it much since she’s only five months, but it’ll be something to remember her first Valentines day by. I’ll post pictures of that and her cute Valentines day outfit on instagram I’m sure if anyone’s interested in seeing either.

Here’s to better things coming and hopefully more writing.

My Childhood and a Promise to my Daughter

I don’t talk about my chidhood much. There’s not a whole lot of positivity there and these days I try to only focus on the positive. It keeps me going and sometimes I forget about that part of my life. Now that I’m a parent it lingers on the edge of my mind if only because I worry I’m turning into my mother.

Any time I have to work or I take a minute to go through social media sites while Beatrice naps or is playing contently I feel this anxiety. I worry she thinks I love her less or not at all or that I’m not stimulating her enough or being present with her when I’m home. She’s a baby of course and basic reasoning and common sense tells me she’s perfectly happy playing with her toys or trying to get her feet in her mouth for a few minutes. The worry remains regardless.

My mother after getting divorced wasn’t the same as she once had been.I do have fond memories of my parents from when I was a toddler. I remember my mother gardening and loving just being there with her and I remember waking up after a nightmare and going into the kitchen to find my dad already awake with his token coca cola (he doesn’t drink coffee) and a book. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I remember feeling better. After my dad left though it became clear things wouldn’t be the same.

My mom no longer stayed home being a single mother I don’t blame her for going to work at all. She stopped spending time with us an stopped coming home at night to go drinking or go on dates. When she was home she was miserable and hung over. I remember cuddling with her when she seemed especially sad and drunk. She would tell me things about her life that children shouldn’t hear but that have made it impossible for me to ever hate her. The first time I’d seen her happy since I was a toddler was when she met my step dad. We were all happy for a while she seemed like she was doing better that didn’t last however they started going out every night together drinking and when they were home my siblings and I were constantly on edge.

My then stepdad choked and beat the shit out of my brother regularly and my mom just stood back and let it happen. He sexually abused both my sister and I which my mom still refuses to accept. When my brother was getting in the way of her happiness with my ex-stepdad she sent him to a mental institution then to my dad and eventually to my grandma rather than taking his side or trying to help him. My entire life we were treated like an inconvenience.

I never want my daughter to feel that way. I never want her to question the love either of her parents have for her. I never want her to feel helpless or like she can’t come to me or that she doesn’t matter or that anything in my life is more important than her well being. I certainly won’t stand back and let anyone hurt her.

I sleep with her curled up much like she was in the womb against my body. I greet her joyfully each morning and play with her every chance I can get. We read stories, snuggle, and nurse Sometimes we watch cooking shows because she enjoys looking at food. I don’t believe I can spoil her with attention. I would be spoiling her if all I offered her were material things. I’m teaching her she can rely on me and that she’s safe. I’m teaching her people care about her.

I rarely if ever drink because I know a lot of the problems my mother had stemmed from that. In fact aside from drinking copious amounts of coffee and sweets to go with said coffee I don’t indulge myself in anything that can be addictive. That’s not to say I haven’t fought any kind of addiction, but that’s another post. This post is me making a promise to my daughter that her mama will always love and value her above all else and that she’ll not only have a childhood, but hopefully a great one.