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Valentine Shmalentine

14 Feb

My husband and I don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. We aren’t anti-Valentine’s or anything. We just feel that it is pointless in our relationship. He surprises me with flowers, chocolate, cards, potato chips, etc. randomly and often. I don’t want him to get me a gift on this day just because he is supposed to (we already have an anniversary). That would be like me celebrating changing one of Zoey’s diapers. Changing her diapers is part of my life. It would be pointless for me to celebrate something like “diaper changing appreciation day.” I think we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day, but that was it. After that, I didn’t want to anymore. I don’t have a problem with other people that celebrate it, either. People will do whatever is right for them.

Now that I have a daughter, my viewpoint is changing a little. I want her to grow up with the expectation that she will be treated like a queen by her future significant other. I don’t want her to settle for anything less. In my opinion (strictly opinion, she’s my first kid and I’ve never raised a kid before), the best way to show her that she deserves the best is to lead by example. Plus, I think it would be really fun to do Valentine’s activities with her.

I want her to see her Daddy bringing gifts home to her and I. I want her to know what it feels like to be treated like you are special. I also want to make sure that she understands that love is not only for Valentine’s Day. I want her to see that love is for every day. The holiday isn’t the reason for love, but it is a celebration of it. I think it would be fun to watch her sweet face light up when her daddy brings her flowers or chocolate. Then she would see him give them to me and understand that it is an expression of love. We could have fun doing little crafts and making fun cards for daddy to hang up in his locker at work. It is important for her to know that it’s important to express love as well as to receive it.

It’s amazing what changes when you have a kid. I’m still the same Kimmy, but my perspective has changed on many things. We may not even celebrate it next year. She’ll still be young. I guess we’ll see how it goes when the day gets closer. I do look forward to starting new traditions for Valentine’s Day and other holidays.

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Driving with an Open Container

3 Jan

The day after Christmas, I was cleaning up after several of our friends had come over. Zoey was driving her little car around the kitchen (Backwards, she can only drive backwards. Women drivers, hmph.) as I cleaned. I was rinsing beer cans to recycle, when I thought it might be cute to take a picture of Zoey holding one while driving her car. I rinsed one out really well, and handed it to her.

Her expression was priceless. I captured an adorable picture. THEN, she put it to her mouth as if she was drinking it. I had to take another picture. It was too perfect! I started out texting this picture to people because I was too nervous to put it online. Then I decided that twitter and path should see it. My husband put it on facebook, so I did too. Then, he said “You should try to submit it to parenting failblog!”

One of my favorite websites is the Parenting Fails part of icanhascheezburger.com. I have the feed saved in my Google reader and I check it every day. I decided to do it. I uploaded it, and the very next day Zoey was featured on the front page! http://parenting.failblog.org/2011/12/28/crazy-parenting-fails-replace-the-car-with-a-fixie-and-were-golden/ There’s the link, if you want to see it.

I know that I’m probably the only mom that had a goal to get a picture of her child on parenting.failblog.org. That doesn’t really bother me. It’s not like I fail at parenting. I would never do anything that would harm her. I love my daughter, I just like to capture humorous moments. I don’t want to be an uptight parent. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not too “free.” I like to try to strike a balance. For example: Zoey formed her own schedule. She naps at the same times every single day. She eats at the same times every single day. She goes to bed at the same time every single night. Now, I make sure she sticks to it. I won’t go shopping if I know her nap time is in 30 minutes.  I may be strict about things like schedule, but I’m not going to play the “my kid is perfect and never does wrong and look at all of the awesome things she does” game (She obviously wasn’t doing wrong here, though. It’s not like she grabbed the can all by herself.) My kid is perfect to me, but she probably isn’t as perfect to other people. Sure, she is definitely the happiest baby I’ve ever met. She rarely cries. She isn’t perfect, though. If her teeth are bothering her, look out. You will have one clingy, fussy baby on your hands. I was about to write that she will still stick to her nap time, but I reeeeally don’t want to jinx anything.

You ever notice how a lot of parents only talk about the good stuff their kids do? No one talks about when the kids are cranky. No one talks about if their toddler throws a temper tantrum while grocery shopping (unless you are on twitter, people are more honest there). Parents just want to look good to other parents. That’s why I didn’t post the picture online at first. I didn’t want to look bad. Then I realized that that’s not me. I have a sense of humor. No point in hiding it just so I don’t look bad.  I would become one of those parents. It shouldn’t matter what other people think, as long as I know that I love my kid more than anything and that I try my best to take care of  her in the best way I can. So here it is. I put a beer can in my ten month old’s hands to take a picture. She ended up on a website about parenting fails. You might think I’m a bad mom. That’s ok. We’re just different people with different senses of humor.

Just don’t follow me on twitter.

Zoey’s First Christmas

27 Dec

This was Zoey’s first Christmas, and it was definitely a success! She racked up on presents. One of my aunts bought her every single toy that has been invented.  The rest of my family welcomed her as if she was their grand-baby or niece. She had SO much fun ripping the wrapping paper off of gifts. She also really liked waving the tissue paper around. We had to actually take the papers away from her so that she could discover the toys she got.

We got her a red wagon with a canopy for Christmas. It is mostly in anticipation of Mardi Gras. I’m already crocheting some Mardi Gras accessories for her.

Now, my living room and her bedroom are stuffed with toys. Next up? Purchasing toy storage!

Notice my finger in the way. I just took a picture of the picture. Zoey kind of looks like Santa, don't you think?

Santa is Fake

25 Nov

I’ve decided that I do not want to lie to my child. I will never tell her that Santa is real, because he isn’t. I don’t plan on being mean and saying something like “Zoey, Santa isn’t real so stop thinking it.” My intentions are to not say anything at all. I don’t have to tell her that Mickey Mouse is fake. She will just grow up knowing it because he is just a cartoon character that she watches on tv. The same with Santa. He is just a character that comes up around the holiday season. If she asks me if he is real, I will just be honest.

I know that other kids will believe in him, and I’m aware that I’ll have to let Zoey know. I know that I’ll have to explain to her that she can’t tell other kids that Santa isn’t real. I don’t have a map on how to do that yet, because I don’t know what her personality will be like yet. For example, if she is a sweet girl who hates when other people are sad, I could tell her that it would hurt their feelings and she wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings. You know? As time passes, I’ll have a clearer picture. I don’t know all of the answers. I’ll never pretend to know all of the answers. I only know what is right for my family. What’s right for my family may not be right for someone else’s family, just like what’s right for someone else’s family may not be right for ours.

I do not believe that she will be deprived of childhood happiness. I never believed in Santa, but it wasn’t a negative thing at all. I loved all of the Santa Claus stories. My favorite holiday classic is still “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” I can sing every single word of every single song in that movie. Growing up, we still had “presents from Santa” even though we knew he was fake. It was kind of part of a holiday game, I guess. We knew that our parents wrapped the presents and wrote from Santa on the label. It was just fun.

I’ve also discovered that there is a website you can sign up with that lets kids get “letters from Santa”. You log in and put in your child’s info, and “Santa” sends them letters. This is so deceitful. It is insulting to the kids’ intelligence. I don’t understand how anyone could be okay with going to this extreme to lie to their child. I don’t want to understand, either, so don’t try to explain it to me.

My kid is an intelligent human. I have no reason to deceive her with lies, only for her to find out later that I went out of my way to make her believe something that isn’t true. It wouldn’t be fun for her to lose trust in her mom, at such a young age. I don’t plan on lying to her and telling her that other things are real either. No tooth fairy, Easter bunny, Jesus, or leprechauns. The stories are fun, but there’s no need for me to lie to her. I feel like she’ll respect me more in the long run, and we won’t have to go through a period of time where she doubts the one person she is supposed to trust more than anyone.

I trust my kid to be smart. Too smart to believe in fake fairy tales. Smart enough to enjoy them, though.

Scum of the Earth

26 Oct

I’m not just saying that as a joke. That’s the way I really feel right now. I feel like the worst person in the world and I know that I was in the wrong.

I love twitter. About 90% of the people I like to hang out with are people who I’ve met on twitter. For me, it is an outlet to vent, to crack jokes, to be vulgar, and to talk about my life. It is perfect for me, because I can make an inappropriate joke about something if it stresses me out. That’s what I’ve always done my entire life and it was never acceptable with people I would hang out with. A reason that I love twitter is because that’s what most of the people I follow do, which gave me the false security of thinking I could be free with my words. I would push a limit, nothing would happen, then I would push again. I would make cruel jokes, people would laugh, favorite, and retweet, so I would continue to do it. I’m not blaming anything on anyone but myself. I’m only saying that I wasn’t strong enough to not get caught up in twitter popularity.

With all of that being said, I used to babysit a ten month old boy until today. When things would get stressful with him, I would vent on twitter. Even if it wasn’t too stressful, I would say silly things to get a laugh. The things I would say were things that I would probably say about my daughter on twitter, but I can definitely now see how it was hurtful to his parents. 

Today is the day that his mom let me know that someone told her that I would talk about her son on twitter sometimes. She began to follow me and got very offended by the things I would say. Until she texted me, I had no idea that I was saying offensive things. To me, I just take a situation, put an extreme spin to it, and put it on twitter for a laugh. Or even to vent. I’ve done this about coworkers, customers, my husband, family members, people that I like. I never thought that I was being offensive because I still liked the people and I always made similar jokes about them to their faces. I thought it was all harmless. I thought it was so harmless that I probably would have still posted most of the things I was posting if I would have known she was following me.

This was my wake up call. That sounds cliché, but it’s true. If this wouldn’t have happened, I would have continued to do this to everyone. I could have hurt even more people. I’m not the kind of person who likes to hurt people, so I felt so bad when I found out. I don’t believe that I can possibly describe how bad I felt. I was walking my dog and my baby when I got the text, and I had to come home in the middle of the walk to cry. I caused stress and pain to someone else and I felt like the worst person in the world. I caused so much stress and pain that they had to take time out of their day to find a new sitter.

What do I do now? Well, I’ve set my twitter account to private. Not because I don’t want people to see what I tweet, but because I don’t want to get any additional twitter followers for now. I’m trying to minimize and I don’t want to feel like I need to impress any new people. I’ve already deleted about 200 of my followers, and I plan to delete more. I haven’t even gone through the list of people who I follow, yet. I’m going to cut down on my twitter time. It had taken over my life, and that’s not right.

I’ve apologized to the mother, and I wish I could do more to show her how sorry I am. I know there isn’t much more that I can do, because I put myself into her shoes to see how I would feel if I was in her situation. I would have done the same thing. I wouldn’t have been forgiving at all. I wouldn’t even have been as polite as she was after I gave her my apology. 

I can still thank the ten month old for getting me in the habit of mopping every day. I can still thank him for showing me the way nap schedules can work, and helping me to get Zoey on one that worked for her. I can also thank him for helping me to have confidence in letting Zoey try new foods. Thanks to him, my house is already child proofed with outlet covers and cabinet safety things, before Zoey can even crawl.

All I can do is learn from this situation and move forward. It is difficult for all of us, but it’s all we can do.

Macaroni Tears

5 Oct

About week ago, I went to lunch with a friend. While we were talking and eating, Zoey tried to grab everything off of the table. Toys didn’t interest her or distract her because she was focused on food. My friend asked if we could get a soft tortilla for Zoey to eat while we had lunch. That would be the perfect distraction to keep the baby’s hands off of the table. At first I was nervous. Before that day, Zoey had never eaten anything except for mashed baby food. I figured that my friend knew what she was doing, since she has two children of her own. I agreed and Zoey ate the tortilla. Guess what? SHE SURVIVED!!

After that experience, I’ve become a little more brave with allowing Zoey to try new foods. I bought cheerios for her, and she loved them. I gave her steamed vegetables without mashing them. I give her little bites of my food. She loves it all.

Tonight, we ate in a restaurant because we were running errands at supper time. My cousin met up with us and mentioned a kid’s menu. I didn’t order anything from the kid’s menu, but it gave us the idea to let her have some macaroni and cheese. My husband ordered it as his side dish and fed her the first bite. She loved it. He kept feeding her, and she continued to reach for more. She liked it so much that she began to shout if her daddy was taking too long giving her another bite of macaroni. It was adorable and she had cheese all over her face by the end of her meal. I’m not sure how it happened, but she even got cheese all over her glasses. I regret not taking a picture.

On our way home, I began to sob. Seriously.

This baby didn’t exist until February 16, 2011. I created her. She wasn’t here, then she formed inside of my body, and then she was here. AND SHE CAN EAT REAL FOOD LIKE MACARONI AND MOTHER FUCKING CHEESE. I know it sounds like a ridiculous reason to cry (I promise I was sober), but it all hit me at once and it kind of amazed me. It is so hard to believe that I made this baby, and she is a functioning human. I’m just plain ole me. How did I create this? (Not literally, I know how that happened.)

It made me so happy.

I usually have a similar emotional experience once every couple of days, but I never sob. I usually just find myself surprised/amazed that I created a baby, smile, and move on. I think the symbolism of her eating fully prepared food for the first time triggered the same type of emotion I’ll feel when she graduates or when she gets married. Oh my god. I created something that will graduate and eventually get married. I need to go and shower all of this emotion off of me right now. Right now.

Attack of the Four Eyed Monster

13 Sep

Here’s the latest: My baby is broken and so she had to get glasses.

When I say that she’s broken, I’m talking about a condition that she has that causes one of her eyes to turn inward. It is hereditary. Many people in my family have had it (on both sides of my family, she was screwed before birth), and many people in my family have gone blind in one eye because of it. When one eye faces inward, you will automatically stop using it and begin to depend on the eye that sees the best. Not using the eye causes it to stop working. The doctor said that it is great that we caught the problem so young, because it can be corrected before she loses vision.

The first step in correction is using glasses. Putting a prescription in front of the eye forces her to focus the eye, which forces her to use it. In 50% of cases caught this young, the eye muscles train themselves back into place because of the glasses causing her to use the eye. In the other 50% of kids, surgery is required. The glasses aren’t pointless in these cases, though. They still force the child to use the eye, which helps to make sure that they do not go blind and that their vision doesn’t get worse. Another thing I learned? Baby glasses cost about twice as much as adult glasses. I’m very thankful for insurance, right now.

Also, I thought it was really neat how the doctor figured out the prescription. I asked a million questions and I’m sure the doctor wanted to throw something at me. She held up a piece of glass with 10 different circles on it to Zoey’s eye. She shined the light through each circle and into the baby’s eye. She explained that these circles were sort of like prisms, and they cause light to reflect from the eye similar to the way your eyes turn red when the flash from a camera goes off. She said that she could tell from the amount of light that came back, which prescription to give to Zoey.

Now I have to admit, while I was expecting some sort of eye issue to be found, I still wasn’t prepared for my daughter to be put in glasses. She was only six months old at the time. It made me feel like I made a baby who wasn’t perfect. Like she was “broken.” It made me so upset because I can remember hating to wear my glasses throughout my entire life. I had always hoped that she would get “perfect” eyes from my husband (I can’t see two feet in front of me without glasses). I was disappointed for a while, until I took my daughter in public for the first time after getting glasses. Complete strangers will shout at you from across the room/doctor’s office/grocery store/any store just to tell you how cute they think your baby-with-glasses is. Seriously! I don’t think that this is just because Louisiana people are overly friendly, either! I think that people just really love babies in glasses! I had no idea, because I had never really paid attention to babies before I had one. I –I mean, she— was getting so much positive attention from the glasses that I began to seriously love them. Now Zoey is “the cute baby with glasses” instead of “the super fat baby with a million rolls all over her body.”

So now Zoey has had her glasses for a few weeks. She’s doing better than I expected. She definitely pulls them off (constantly). She definitely tries to eat them. It just isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I thought she would scream every time we would put them on her. Nope! She gets happy at first. I’m guessing because it really does help her. I’m just happy that she won’t go blind in that eye. I’m also happy about all of those really nice comments from strangers. Not going to deny that.