The middle toe

So, February. 😐 Personally, not a fan of the shortest month of the year. It’s always cold and gloomy. I hate the gray skies. I hate the unpredictable weather. I hate that the stupid groundhog always seems to see his shadow and says it’s going to be winter for 6 more weeks. I hate that I get angry at an innocent rodent once a year. February is the middle toe of the calendar. It’s a weird analogy. Trust me. I’m aware of how weird it it. But I was trying to come up with something to compare this month to and that’s all I got. A middle toe. Cause, honestly, it’s kinda useless. You wouldn’t really notice after a while if it was gone because the other toes do most of the work anyways. But, you’re still kinda glad it’s there cause it makes the foot complete. You appreciate the other toes more for supplying support and dexterity (or sunshiney warmth and good holidays) but it serves a purpose so you keep it. Maybe I could’ve gone with the appendix. That would’ve worked too. I’m gonna stick with this one though.

So, this middle toe of a month swept in a patch of very cold days. And then it got warm again and then it got cold again. The weather patterns this year are causing so much grief to my girl’s sinuses. They just can’t catch a break.

We went up to see Mamaw and Papaw because it had been so long since we had seen them. Christmas with them got pushed back due to Ellabelle’s stomach bug, and, on the make up date, I had surgery. So, we wanted to make sure the girls got some time to go see them. Poor Josh was sick though. He fell asleep on the floor while we were there, and the girls took to jumping up and down on top of him.

The superbowl was that weekend, and, while we weren’t really that interested in it, Ellabelle liked watching the two times “fight.” Mattie liked the shakes we got to enjoy during the game. (PS: Boo the Patriots won)

Little Mattie update (mostly because I used to do these for Ellabelle all the time):

Mattie loves her tea set, and whenever she remembers she has it, she insists we have tea with her.

She has become the sweetest, funniest, and sassiest little person. She’s all over the place all the time. She gets into everything. She throws things and whines about food and then eats it anyways. She loves comic books and dress up. She does this big exaggerated pout when she doesn’t get what she wants. She’s also attached to my hip which I love and hate all at the same time.


Miss Mattie wasn’t feeling well the beginning of the month. We don’t know if it was teething or just generally feeling bad, but she’d scream and wouldn’t fall asleep unless she was laying on someone. So poor daddy slept with her on the couch for a couple of nights. She had us all exhausted.

We got a huge burst of warm air (which are the best days in dreary February). So we took the girls to the playground. It was Mattie’s first time being able to walk at one, and she loved it. She was obsessed with the swings and screamed when it was time to leave. Ellabelle loves running around and scaring the crap out of me (a byproduct of the broken femur at 2). I try so hard not to make her aware that I’m nervous the entire time, and I try so hard not to hover. I totally do though, and I see parents watching and judging from a distance (as their 12 year olds knock over 4 year olds), but I don’t care. The leg break messed this momma up. Thank goodness, she doesn’t remember and has no problem trying to jump down ladders.

Maisy’s birthday is the 12th, and she got her annual party hat. She tried to destroy it as soon as I put it on her. Poor thing didn’t realize that both of my children were going to chase her around all day trying to put it back on her. She got special treats and lots of belly rubs because she’s such a good girl. She’s 9 so she’s an old lady now. She’s starting to act like one too. She goes and gets in bed before us. She growls more at things that didn’t use to bother. I swear when she barks at other dogs outside she’s yelling “Stay off my yard!”

Jericho had some tummy trouble that resulted in the need to throw away a blanket and a purse belonging to Ellabelle. He’s doing better now, but she was devastated to see her momma-made My Little Pony blanket go. So, I made her a new Tsum tsum blanket instead. She loves it very much and doesn’t like to share it (with her sister anyways).

Our friend, Amy, convinced me to go to one of the CRG open nights. I’ve had this ridiculous idea that I could be a rollergirl even though I have no idea how to skate. So, I went and bombed. Everyone was really nice, but I couldn’t even leave the wall. I fell flat on my back (on the carpet) and then tried again on a longer stretch of wall and fell belly first into said wall. This upset my still healing incisions from my gallbladder surgery. So, I was done. After only an hour. I sat and watched them practice and realized that even if I learned to skate (which I think I could totally do) I have no desire to actually do the things on wheels needed to participate in roller derby. So, I’m done. I not sad and I don’t feel like I quit or gave up, I just realized I’m a much better fan than skater.

Valentine’s Day finally arrived! I obviously love holidays. So I’ve been itching for one since Christmas ended. And while Valentine’s is pretty low on my list of favorite holidays, I will take any excuse for some sparkle and decorations in this god forsaken month. I carefully picked out each gift for my two tiny valentines, and momma did good. Ellabelle loves her singing Moana necklace and her Princess Peach. Mattie adores her piggy. They didn’t fully understand that the piece of paper with Moana on it means that they get the blu-ray when it’s finally released, but I know they’ll be excited about that as well.

Josh and I exchanged gifts early (cause we always do) and I got him his complete set of Green Lantern rings and Hulk tsum tsum (which the girls love as much as him). He got me a hot water maker for my desk at work and vinyl tsum tsums.

On Valentine’s Day, the girls had their little parties at school and the babysitters. Mattie loved making valentines and insisted on making 2. She was the only kid who did. Ellabelle decorated her mailbox and loved getting things from her friends.

We finally made it back to Costco once we got our tax return. We’ve missed visiting because Costco is the best. Free samples and movies on the tvs and giant churros – the girls think it’s the equivalent of Disney World. Mattie really loved the fact that Ellabelle got to ride in the grocery cart with her. She was cheesing the whole time, and they kept giving each other hugs. They are so sweet sometimes they could cause a cavity.

We also finally upgraded our bed. Besides the fact that it was definitely time to get a new mattress, we needed more room because these children of ours (plus three pets) aren’t getting any smaller and they like to hang out with us the morning.

Doesn’t leave a lot of room for me or Josh.

So, tada! All hail the king! It’s been amazing to be able to all fit. The poor animals have no idea what’s going on or where to sleep, but us humans approve.

Ellabelle had to go back to have another allergy test done. She’s still allergic to all tree nuts (thankfully, not peanuts). They did a blood test on her too. Oma took her so we didn’t have to take time off work, and she said she did amazing. The girls spent the night at Oma and Opa’s so Josh and I could go to parent’s night at Ellabelle’s kindergarten. I can’t believe she’s starting school in the fall. It’s crazy. She was just born. I’m not ready! Anyways, we got to see her gym and classrooms and library and cafeteria, and I know she’s going to love it. There’s also one of the big Cincinnati pigs who “lives” there and she’s excited to meet him too. Lol

One of the cops in Josh’s office brought in Fiona cookies. She’s a premie hippo at the zoo that the internet has fallen in love with and Buskens is making special cookies for her. They are impossible to get and I got one! I love Buskens, and I love baby hippos so it totally made my day.

That night we went and got the girls from Releaf. It was Cathy’s 60th birthday. The girls had a fun running around, but there was a big storm coming in so we skipped out early. Mattie hadn’t napped either so she was a mess.

We spend the last weekend of the month at home. I dyed my hair (multiple times) and we cleaned some. We did go out to Jungle Jim’s on Sunday night. Mattie is obsessed with dress up clothes. So she grabbed her Belle dress while we were getting ready to leave. Ellabelle decided she just had to wear hers too. So, our little princesses set off with us. They love Jungle Jim’s because they get cookies and can dance along with the cereal band in the produce section.

February is closing on a wet and cold day. I’ll be happy when it’s sunny again. And warm. And I can get my girls outside every weekend. This middle toe needs some sunshine! Bring on March!

 

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Better 

We meditated last night. It was a huge failure because, well, cats. They wouldn’t stop walking on us and meowing loudly because they were being ignored. 
Despite the feline attempts to sabotage our relaxation, I really liked it. I downloaded the Insight Timer app. We only did a 5 minute meditation, but I feel like it actually helped. I slept through the night and woke up refreshed. Not sure if the meditation is actually responsible for this or if I was just so exhausted I finally passed out and caught up on sleep, but it was still nice not to be awake at 2am. 

Besides meditation, I’ve been trying really hard to focus on only the happy things in life. This is a common theme with me, and it’s something I relapse from more often than not. However, it certainly helps. My babies photos are kept on my phone just for this purpose. When I feel like all is lost or work is driving me crazy, I simply look at them and remind myself of what matters. 


These little girls ground me. My anxiety takes me so far and away sometimes that I need them to keep my feet on the ground. You can’t argue with these sweet faces. 


I need constant reminders of what I’m doing and where I’m going. I get very distracted sometimes and very overwhelmed. I’m trying to improve myself as a person and continue to grow. I turn 30 in 6 months, and I feel like it should mean something more than another number. I want to be better. I want to think better. I want to, most importantly, live better. 

Dealing with my oldest 

I like to appear like I have my shh together (who doesn’t), but, honestly, this mom stuff isn’t getting any easier. I have two who constantly fight over my attention or I have two that want nothing to do with me at all. 
Ellabelle is going through an attachment to daddy phase. She usually wants to love on me and snuggle me and hold my hand and have me pick her up from school. It can get really overwhelming and irritating especially since I tend to have sensory overload. So if she wants to bug daddy, fine by me.
But this morning, I was brushing my teeth in our bedroom and she comes back to get her boots. Only Josh had been in the girl’s room so she didn’t think I was home. When she saw me standing there, her face fell. Like from happily getting her shoes to like she walked in and she realized someone ate the last cookie. She looked so upset to see me, and it crushed me. Now I’m super sensitive anyways. I’m super hard on the outside usually (my resting bitchface is on point) but I’m just a big ball of insecure self doubt on the inside. This what not what a momma who’s whole world is about her kids needs in the early morning hours before I’ve had any caffeine. 

It didn’t help after what had happened yesterday. I had to use the bathroom really bad on our way home from work. So I had Josh stop at Target so I could jump out and go. When we pulled up to the door, I explained that I’d be right back. I do this mostly because Mattie loses her mind if I get out of the car without her. Ellabelle responds, “Nuh-uh.” So I playfully argued, “Oh yes I will.”

“Nuh-uh.”

Josh: “Ellabelle, your mom will come back after she’s done.”

Ellabelle: “Nuh-uh.”

Josh: “Don’t you want mommy to come back?”

Ellabelle: “Nuh-uh.”
Clearly, she’s a brat. Josh scolded her while I was gone. Now she’s old enough to know what she’s saying unlike Mattie who still says “no” to everything. And she’s also old enough to learn that her words carry meaning behind them. This is how bullying starts. She’s already bossy (which is a good asset in the work world when it’s being assertive, not so much in preschool) and we don’t want it to evolve into something worse. So, he explained why it hurt my feelings and how that’s not how you treat people. She apologized and told me she loved me, and we moved on. So that and the look this morning makes my momma heart weary. 
Will she grow out of this phrase? God I hope so.

Will I survive regardless? Yes. 
I know it’s only going to get worse, but I love my girls and I want to be the center of their universe like they are of mine as long as possible. Im obviously not delusional and know that this is a short window for the momma love. They get bigger and so will the fights and the eye rolls. It’s just hard to let go of yet another “baby” trait as Ellabelle gets older. Along with the sweet cheeks, the dimpled hands, and clumsy waddle, the soft spot for mommy changes. I’m glad to share her with the world, but it’s still hard. 
She was better tonight. She wanted to sit with me and play Mario with me. She let me love on her and she went to bed easily. So it just does to show that preschoolers are fickle, and this whole parenthood thing makes no sense ever. It really should come with a manual. 

Resting and learning to rest

So, 2016 went out with a bang (or a surgery, same diff) and my 2017 started nice and slow. I literally slept for most of the first week. Pain pills and walking around the house like an old person kept me going. I hardly ate because I didn’t feel like it. When I was awake, I was depressed – depressed because I couldn’t hug my babies (like Matilda had to literally be kept away from me), I couldn’t spend time with my husband (cause I was so tired), I felt like I was failing as a mom and that I had failed myself somehow because my organ needed removed. None of this was true and Josh tried so hard to remind me of this. He did such an awesome job being a full time dad and taking care of a whiney sick wife. It was very hard on me because I hate just sitting around. It was also hard to do anything. So my body forced me to rest. I think it’s what I needed especially after Christmas. With being so busy almost everyday, maybe my body was just ready to take it easy. Funny how your body always seems to know.


We were both so relieved when I finally started feeling better on Friday, and on Saturday Oma watched the girls so Josh and I could go out for his birthday. We went down to Newport to eat at Joes Crab Shack because Josh loves seafood. The first thing that greeted us upon arrival was a firetruck. Josh pointed out this isn’t exactly the best sign at a restaurant you’re planning on eating at.


It was freezing, and the restaurant had a pipe burst. There was water flooding out of the bathrooms that a guy was trying to mop up. Thankfully, the kitchen was not affected. We had a nice quiet lunch, and Josh got him some mussels so he was a happy birthday boy.


When we got back my parents house to get the girls, Ellabelle had helped Oma bake a birthday cake for Josh. Ellabelle insisted it have strawberries on it. She then proceeded to pick off and eat every strawberry off the cake.


On Sunday, we went BW3s with my parents and Angie and Mike to celebrate Josh’s bday. The girls were awful as usual while out at a restaurant. However, they were both very happy to have a captive audience. Ellabelle ran back and forth around the table, and Mattie was unhappy because she wanted to run around too but was strapped into a high chair. Ellabelle threw a massive fit when we left because she was given a balloon by a table next to ours and she let it go almost as soon as she had it. She wanted another one and we were not about to ask the nice strangers for another so that mean the world was ending.
If you’re signed up for the Red Robin card, you get a free burger and so we went and got burgers for Josh’s birthday. We like to extend the birthdays around here. I’ve managed to stretch mine for a whole month before. Now, mind you, this was Monday. The first day back to work for me following my surgery as well as the first day of my “healthy lifestyle change.” I did not enjoy my salad for lunch and needed something fattening. Thankfully, I’ve been doing a lot better with the eating better and eating the right things when I do eat. That first day was rough though.


So, I came back to work and, while I was gone, I had received an invitation to my promotion ceremony. So I got to dress all nice and go to the Chief of Police’s staff meeting and he read a little thing about me and we took pictures and I got a certificate. It was all very exciting. Josh is jealous. He’s never been promoted so he’s never gotten to do this. He still makes more money than me so I’d rather have the cash then the certificate, but I get his point.


So I made it through my first week back fairly easily. I had a rough time with my incisions hurting, and I had to switch to yoga pants instead of work pants to help, but I pushed through. Martin Luther King Day was that next Monday. So, I took Ellabelle to see Moana in theaters. We went to one of those super fancy new theaters with the huge reclining leather chairs. She loved it and the icee and the movie.


She did super well during it. I thought she’d be a pain because this was my first movie with her and others who have taken her said she likes to talk and move around a lot, but she did great. Moana was absolutely adorable, and she loved it so much she’s getting the bluray for Valentine’s Day.
The next week ended in a down note – Donald Trump was inaugurated into the office of President. Hearing him referred to as president still makes my skin crawl every time. I’m still in denial about it, I guess. In an effort to help myself feel better about the world I’m raising two young girls in and to actually get out there and do something, I made Josh go to the local Women’s March.


He was reluctant at first, and not because he doesn’t support women’s rights. We got down there and the crowd was huge. It was amazing. Being surround by people who think like us and feel passionate about the same causes was something we needed. We live in a very conservative area and it’s so easy to feel lost and alone. Josh told me he was really glad I made him go. And we took the girls too. I wanted them to be a part of it even if they likely won’t remember it. Unfortunately, it looks it’s a fight they’ll be fighting along side me someday, but we have to start somewhere.


Ellabelle loved it because she thought she was in a parade.


After the march, I took Josh to his friends house, and he went off and had a guys night. So it was a girls night at the Hawkins House. We napped and hung out and made brownies and watched Lego Movie while we ate brownies.


We had a quiet morning the following day and then we went over to Oma and Opa’s house. Maisy had a puppy play date with her cousin Beanie. Maisy scared Beanie and chased her around the house at first, but eventually they both settled down. I don’t think they’ll be best buddies anytime soon, but at least they’ll be able to hang together in the future if necessary.

Josh and I both took our birthday holidays from work on the 27th. We literally slept all day since we were both so exhausted. We ran up to the Disney store though because I wanted to get Ellabelle’s Valentine’s Day gift because she wasn’t with us.
We all watched Big Hero 6 on the 28th. I’m not good at relaxing and sitting – especially for a movie. But I love my whole family being snuggled up on a couch. January’s was slow paced compared to December and even November. So I’m working hard on just being at home and being relaxed on weekend.


Ellabelle got her first library card. She was so excited. She picked out books for herself to check out, and she wants to go back to visit already. I’ve been trying to instill in my girls the love of reading, and so far so good.


Our month ended on a not so great note -Miss Ellabelle was sick. She had a bad cough and kept wanting to sleep on the couch which is way out of character. So Josh had to stay home with her. She’s doing better, but this crazy Ohio weather (mid-50s one day, snowing and 20s the next) is so hard on the girl’s sinuses anyways that it makes colds even worse.


My February is looking crazy on the calendar because there’s nothing planned. Sure, Valentine’s Day is in there, but my weekends are blank. I think I may be kinda happy about it. Like I said, I’m not good at doing nothing. So it’s a constant process to grow and slow down and just be. But I’m working on it. I want to be better. I want to learn to be more present. We spent most of the weekends in January at home. I was still healing, but it was nice to kinda hibernate. I love spending time with crazy girls. They keep things fun in the house even if they also keep it very loud and messy.