Eat..Play..Sleep

This year has been a transition year for me and Della.  I lost my job and took her out of daycare. Because of my crazy commute to work, being in traffic almost three hours some days, my sister would pick her up from daycare because of how late I got home.  By the time I did get home, we would only have an hour of mommy and me time before she had to go to bed. So, we’ve basically been adjusting to being together 24/7 and getting to know each other again.  I cut back on blogging and decided to spend the time just hanging with Della. It’s been stressful for us both as we are both very stubborn people but very much worth it.

I think the hardest part has been adjusting to her eating habits.  When she was in daycare, they had a schedule and she pretty much knew what she was going to eat everyday for breakfast, lunch, and snack.  None of this was stuff we had at home.  Her daycare served a lot of prepackaged food and we cook with mostly fresh food.  Trying to get her to eat fresh food for each meal was a huge challenge. I think I heard “I don’t like that” or ” we don’t eat that at school” a billion times.  I wasted so much food trying to push her to eat and because my three-year old’s attitude is a carbon copy of mine and her dad’s, it causes a lot of tense moments. Like I said, we are both stubborn people. Eventually, I gave in to some of the prepackaged foods she liked, and slowly she began to eat fresh foods again. Now, she helps me cook meals and rarely eats prepackaged ones.

One thing my little has taught me is to play more.  I was so stressed out from work and the being stuck in traffic, I barely wanted or had the energy to play when I got home.  Since Della was so used to get up early for daycare, she continued to get up early.  I was not happy about this because I finally wanted to enjoy sleeping in for once.  Heck, I thought she would sleep in since she didn’t have to go to daycare.  Nope, in true kid form, she was up when the first ray of sunlight hit the window ready to play.  I’m not one to talk first thing in the morning and her cheerfulness, millions of questions, and requests to play were not very welcoming.  Little by little as we went outside, in the very early morning, I learned to enjoy our early morning play dates.  I’ve taught her to play games, such as hopscotch, kick ball, and how to fly a kite.  We’ve enjoy making stories using sidewalk chalk paint and playing school on the chalkboard in the garage. Yes, she is the teacher most of the time. We’re mostly just having fun and letting the day take us where it wants.

Bedtime plays a major part in our days.  Della rarely takes naps anymore and by the end of the day, she is so worn out.  When she gets tired she is not a nice or happy toddler. When it’s bed time, and we are all cuddled up, I ask her to tell me about her day. At first she wasn’t really feeling it because she didn’t know what to say. She would just say it was  OK.  I would ask questions about how she felt, what she did, what she ate, or what did she like best about her day.  As time went by, she began to open up and express herself more. It’s all about getting to know her as a person, what she likes, her personality, and how she views the world and our time together without pushing her to share her feelings.  Now, when we go to bed, she crawls in my arms and says mommy I want to tell you about my day.  It feels good to hear the excitement in her voice and know that she feels comfortable talking and opening up to me about things that matter to her.  I hope, as she gets old, she continues to feel she can openly talk to me about things going on in her life.

These months haven’t been all rainbows and glitter.  We’ve cried, gotten on each other’s nerves, and had more personality clashes than needed, but we’ve learned to so much in the process.  We’ve learned to enjoy our mommy and me moments more. We’ve learned to enjoy our free time with play instead of worry and frustration, how to communicate so we understand how the other person feels and what they need. We’ve also learned to cook so good recipes from Pinterest.  But, the most important thing we’ve learned it love and enjoy life.

Museum of Life and Science

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Della and I decided we needed to get out the house, after a long week, so what better place to go, on a dreary day, than the museum.  I have not been to the Museum of Life and Science since I was is in grade school and that’s been a long darn time.  It was exciting to share this experience with her and discover new things together.

The Museum of Life and Science is in Durham, NC.  Looking from the outside, you would never expect the amazing adventures that lie ahead.  We started the day with some music in the musical instrument section outside. Della loved the drums and I must say, my baby got rhythm. We then moved over to the farmyard, to look at the baby animals, before heading off to the train.

The train makes two circles around the park. While riding you can spot dinosaurs in between the trees, animals statues, a giant tree house, and wonderful artwork.  Right before pulling into the the train station, the train enters a tunnel and every one is encouraged to scream as loud as they can. Della and I definitely got our scream on.

The Magical Wings Butterfly House was amazing.  Who knew so many types of butterflies existed.  The museum has a butterfly conservatory that feels like a tropical paradise. All I needed was a beach and I would have been in heaven.

Inside the museum, there is an art gallery and a place for kids to create their own art pieces.  Della’s favorite part was definitely the weather center.  She got to see how clouds and tornadoes form and how changes in the atmosphere affect our weather.

There’s so much to do in at the Museum of Life and Science but we couldn’t fit it all in one day.  After a good three hours, we  were exhausted.  I see us spending many days here this summer.  Since we love going to different museums and science centers, I signed up for a membership.  The membership has great benefits, such as – free entry into the center, early entry for special exhibits, discounts at the center store and cafe’, and discounts or free entry into affiliated science centers around the world.

So, if you’re bored and looking for something fun and educational, check out your local museum or science center. It’s a great way to play and learn at the same time.

 

Emotional Roller Coaster – Late night ramblings

It seems, at least for me, living a free flow life is much harder than I expected.  I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately.  Sometimes it seems as if my life is spinning out of control or, should I say, my brain is spinning out of control.  I find I think too much when I don’t need or want to.  At night, I find myself lying awake for hours when I should be sleeping.  I over analyze my life and question every decision I’ve made – wondering how did I get back to this point, again.  How did I end up jobless when I did everything “right”?  How is it my life keeps coming back to the same point – no matter which choice I make? What am I going to do?

Some days are carefree. Letting my body wake up naturally and enjoying the morning sunrise has made a huge difference in my mood.  Watching the rays come through my window then going downstairs to open the blinds so the light can flood the house.  Barefoot and half asleep, I open the sliding door and step out into the crispy spring air and let the sun wash over me.  Making myself breakfast before my toddler awakes and just enjoying the flow of the moment.  These are the times when my emotions are in alignment with who I am and the Universe.  These are the free flow moments that bring me so much joy and happiness.  The moments I try to hold onto. 

I am much better at stopping the emotional ride.  Where it used to go on for days, now it lasts for hours or minutes.  When I feel the anxiety taking over, I find something that makes me happy.  I take my daughter outside to play in the grass or to water her plants.  I paint or watch a good movie.  I try to embrace the ups and downs and the twists and turns. I tell myself to remember this is what I asked the Universe to give me and that everything will work out for the best – like it always does.

 

 

I Can’t Control It!!!

So, for the past couple of months, I have been focusing on not trying to control every outcome in my life.  Now, I am that person who needs to know the who, what, when, where, why, how, and any other details before I commit myself to something.  I need to know the outcome.  I need to know “my” outcome.  I think it’s from watching too many horror movies where the people just walking into a situation blindly and end up screwed or dead.

This year, I hope to bring new dreams into the physical.  I want new experiences, to meet new people, and step outside my comfort zone.  I can’t do that if I am trying to control what I see and do. Because,  I am not experiencing new things, I am experiencing things I have already preconceived the outcome to in my mind.  

How is that exciting?

How is that expanding my wings?

How is that stepping outside my comfort zone – when, in fact, I have already predetermined my comfort zone?

If I want to experience life on a new level, I have to be willing to let go and see what happens.  I have to be willing to give up the knowing how and give up the belief I know what I need and want in every situation.  I have to let the Universe work for me.  I have to let it bring in the people, places, things and events that will help me grow.  I have to trust that no matter what, good or bad, the experience is what I need at the time. 

It’s not easy giving up control of your life.  It’s not easy to just accept what every comes.  It’s not easy to just be and not worry about the being.  Through making small changes, everyday, I have felt and experienced more happiness, by not trying to control my outcomes, than planning everything down to the last detail.  Every day this is something new and it’s not always perfect and happy, but it’s what I need to grow. 

 

Happy New Day!!

While many people are celebrating the new year, I am celebrating a new day.   A new day to work on making all my dreams, wishes, and desires come true.

Why spend months or days waiting for a new year to come to start working on your dreams?

Every day, you wake up, is an opportunity to start new and  make changes that will impact your life, for the better.  So in reality, every day is your “new year”.

Take this opportunity to treat yourself kinder, love yourself more, and get to know who you really are.  Remember the things you love to do and do them.  Each day, do something that makes you happy.  This could be listening to your favorite song, watching your favorite show, talking a picture, a long walk, or treating yourself to a wonderful dessert.

Also, learn to say “NO” more.  No to spending time with people who drain your energy.  No to lending money to irresponsible people.  No to putting other’s needs before your own.  In return, you will be saying “YES” to you.  Yes to the things you like, the life you want, and the people you love.  Yes to building the relationships you value.  Yes to creating the life that makes you feel safe, secure, and comfortable.  Yes to YOU!

So, HAPPY NEW DAY!  I look forward to spending more new days with you.

 

 

Yes Della, Your Feelings do Matter

As a mother of a three year old, I know first hand  kids crying is not the most joyous sound to hear.  I know it can get on a person’s nerves and make them uncomfortable.  I know I just want it to stop as soon as possible.  I know I am making it about me and my comfort and not about comforting my daughter. I also know, I am wrong for doing this.

Today, as I listened to my daughter cry because she couldn’t have a piece of chocolate (she’d just had chocolate ice cream) and I told her to stop because I didn’t want to hear her cry, I realized I was not letting her acknowledge her feelings about her circumstances at the moment.  When she decided to go upstairs and cry by herself, I listened to my sister tell her to go back downstairs and cry because she didn’t want to hear it, I realized she was not letting my Della acknowledge her feelings.  When Della came back downstairs looking lost and defeated, I realized I had taken away her power to express her sadness and frustration. I and my sister were telling her, her feelings didn’t matter.

Della is three and three year olds cry.  Does she cry all day?  No. Does she throw temper tantrums? Rarely.  Does she gets sad and overwhelmed at times?  Yes.  But, she is a toddler and she is learning how to process her emotions.  She is learning how to express herself in a world of where it seems everyone can do what they want but her.  As a three year old, she cannot sit down and properly express to me how she’s feeling and control her emotions every day all day.  Usually, Della is pretty good as controlling her feelings.  If she’s upset and crying, she will go sit on the steps, cry, get herself together, and come talk to me afterwards, but, as she gets older, it’s getting harder for her to process and understand these new feelings.

As she looked up at me, with her big brown eyes, feeling defeated and emotionally drained, I realized I was letting my feelings and my emotions dictated how she should express herself.  It also made me look at myself and how I dealt with emotions and acknowledge the shadows of my past.  How I felt I needed to hide when I was feeling sad, when I cried, or was feeling frustrated because I knew my parents didn’t want to “hear that noise”.  I was reminded of how I felt my feelings and sadness didn’t matter and how I felt scared to show any emotion besides happiness for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.  It also reminded me of how alone I felt, as a child and teenage, because I didn’t have anyone to help me understand what I was feeling.  How alone I feel now.  How, as a society, the only emotion acceptable to show is happiness.

I refuse to let Della think the only time she can be around her family is when she is happy.  The only time we want her to show emotions is when she is entertaining us or other people.  The only time she is a good child is when she is happy.  I don’t want her to think she can’t be comfortable, expressing her sadness, in her own home.  I don’t want her to grow up with the belief that other’s feelings are more important than hers.  That she is not allowed to feel frustrated or sad. That she is only here to make other’s happy.

Does this mean I am going to let her throw temper tantrums all day?  No.  It means I am going to acknowledge her feels and her.  I am going to try to help her understand and process these feelings. Not because, I don’t want to hear her cry, but because I want her to understand she can cry and there is someone here to help and love her.  I want her to know and feel she has emotional support.  I want her to know my feelings are not more important than hers and she doesn’t have to hide her sadness. Della is not just my daughter, or a niece, or a granddaughter, she is her own person, who has feelings and insecurities just like everyone else.  As her mom, it’s my responsibility to help her become the best person she can be. Because, she’s too young to live in a world where no one cares.

 

 

 

 

 

When Kids Get Sick

The last two months have been the longest months of my  life.  Della has been sick for two months straight and I am not talking about a little sniffle.  We have fought two stomach viruses, croup, and pneumonia. She’s also been to the emergency room three times. You know you’ve visited the ER too much when the admin knows you on sight.  Thankfully, Della has a wonderful pediatrician and the ER doctors, nurses, and staff were amazing.

I understand kids get sick and it’s all part of growing up, but, honestly, it seems as if she has been sick the whole year.  It doesn’t help that she was a preemie and her immune system is still not quite up to par as term babies.  Also, it seems like every time I get her healthy, she goes back to daycare and gets sick again.  I know, as she gets older, her immune system will improve and she will get less illnesses.  I just hate to see her down and out, not laughing, playing, or eating. I miss her terrorizing her big cousins and leaving a trail of toys from one floor of the house to the other.  No parent wants to see their child ill or being stuck with needles in the ER. Every time she goes, I have flashbacks of her in NICU. So, hopefully, no more trips anytime soon.

As of today, my little one is finally healthy and back in daycare, playing with her friends.  She’s smiling, playing, and running around with more energy than ever. She’s giving cuddles and wiping kisses.  She’s being Della and I am loving every minute of it.

New Beginnings

Every morning the sun rises in the east, setting the stage for a new day.  A new beginning.  Another chance to start over.

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In the Native Spirit Oracle deck, by Denise Linn, she states ” the east is the place of the rising sun; associated with planting seeds in the springtime, birth, the waxing moon, and new beginnings.”

Life has a way of making us feel unbalanced.  Sometimes, the way to bring balance back into our lives is to start over.  We have the power to create new beginnings, every day.  No matter how bad it was yesterday, tomorrow is always a new day.  A new beginning to set a new tone, start  a new project, a new job, a new relationship (with ourselves or someone else).

When we create new beginnings, we release the old negative energies, people, thoughts, and circumstances that cause us to become unbalanced.  We let go of limitations, that keep us stuck in the past.  We let go of doubts, fears, and what ifs.  We say yes to the now, new energy, new people, places and opportunities. We say yes to ourselves.

So, every morning when the sun rises in the east, breaking through the dark, and shining upon us a new day, remember this is also a the start of a new beginning for you.  What will you do with it?

Oracle Card  from the Native Spirit Oracle deck by Denise Linn

Hill Ridge Farms – Pumpkin Patch

It’s Fall and Halloween, so we had to visit the pumpkin patch at Hill Ridge Farms.  The kids had a blast.  There was so much for them to do.  They had bouncy houses, slides, swings, a giant bouncy pumpkin, animals, games, and FOOD (funnel cakes, ice cream, popcorn, sandwiches, hot dogs,..) The adults were more excited about food but hey, it’s all in the name of making memories.

Della had her first train ride and hay ride with her big cousin, Bre.  At the end of the hay ride, the kids went to a giant pumpkin patch and picked out the perfect pumpkin.

Hill Ridge Farms is a great place to take the kids where they can run wild and free and learn in the process.  I can definitely say they enjoyed themselves.  We can’t wait to go back for the Christmas lights.

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Don’t let the storms stop your growth

For the last couple of days, we’ve had storms here.  I feel it is a reflection of what’s been going on in my world lately. I haven’t written, in a while, because of inner storms.  I’ve had my gloomy moments when my brain is cloudy and I didn’t want to get out of bed, my lightning moments when just little things set me off and I am quick to strike back, and my thunder moments when I let things stir inside creating a rumble but never fully letting it go.

Even my daughter noticed the changes.  She tells me Mommy are you grumpy or Mommy don’t be grumpy.  One time I raised my voice and she said Mommy you yelled at me.  It wasn’t a yell, but from her perspective, it was  louder than I usually talk.

We all have storms in our life.  Some are self-created and some come from external forces.  Sometimes, these storms can catch up by surprise and turn our whole world upside down and cause us to stop and reflect on what’s really happening in our life. Sometimes, we see the storm coming but just can’t stop it.  Maybe we don’t need to stop it.  Maybe it’s coming as part of growth.  Yes, it may cause floods of tears or damage to our existing structure, but like all storms, it will pass.  Storms are a necessary part of life and sometimes they force us to make changes we don’t want to make.  But remember, a new day will come, the sun will shine again, we will adapt to our new circumstances, we will survive, and grow stronger.