Briana's Progress

She Takes My Breath Away

I’ve mentioned in recent blogs that Briana’s vocabulary is very rapidly expanding, but I don’t know that I’ve really gotten too far into how much, or how her little mind seems to soak up ideas really easily, and she seems to be understanding more and more about what is happening around her, what she is seeing on screens, and what she is having read to her in books.

We were in my room the other day, playing around having tickle wars on the bed and just being silly, when she suddenly stopped and looked at me, very alarmed, and said “Something is scary!” She didn’t look at me and just start to cry, or yell, or run away in fear, she identified what was wrong and told me about it. I immediately scooped her into my lap and said “What’s scary, baby?” She burrowed into my chest and mumbled something. “What’s scary, hon? Mama can’t hear you.” She pulled away from me just enough to whisper “I hear a noise!”

I listened.

All I could hear was the fan in the bathroom, which had been running the whole time we had been in my room. I said, “Let’s go see what it is. You might feel better. Is that okay?” I stood up, holding her, and started to cross the room, but she yelled “No!” So I said “Okay, mama will put you on the bed and make the noise go away. Is that okay?” She thought. “Okay.” So I set her back on the bed, crossed the room, and flipped off the switch for the bathroom fan. I turned back to her. “Is that better?” She listened. “No more noise. No more something scary. Better.”

I love that she is now able to identify what is wrong or what she needs, and I love how fast she is learning new words and ideas.

I also love how kind her heart is, and how sweet she is. I posted this on Facebook just a few minutes ago:

Bri and I were sitting on the couch together, and I was tickling her and playing with her, and I started to get out of breath, so I stopped and said “Okay, honey, give mama a minute. She needs to rest.”

Briana stops, and looks at me really seriously for a minute, and then stands behind me on the couch, puts her hands on my shoulders and kind of rubs them for a second, then leans her little face onto my head like I do when she is snuggled up next to me and whispers, “It’s okay, baby, you’re tired. Rest.”

David rubs my shoulders when I am tired and sore after work. If she’s getting really upset over nothing, or is just over-tired, I’ll usually say something like “It’s okay, baby. You’re so tired. Lay here and rest with mama.” The fact that she did that when I said I needed to rest just melted my heart. It brought tears to my eyes. She is only two! How can she be only two and growing up so fast at the same time? On the one hand, it’s amazing and beautiful and I love it! But on the other hand, she’s my baby girl, and I want her to stay my baby girl forever.

She has started laughing at movies. She loves the baby sea turtles on Finding Nemo. When she watched Beauty and the Beast today, she would be watching a scene and turn to me and say “She’s crying. She’s sad.” or “He’s  mad, mama. He’s scary.” Just last week, she wasn’t doing that. Now, she is naming characters left and right (Daniel from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, James and Sofia and Amber from Sofia the First, even the Beast from Beauty and the Beast), laughing at jokes, and seemingly following simple story-lines. It’s crazy!

Today she also announced twice that she needed to go to the potty. She’s been doing this sort of randomly over the last couple of weeks, but usually would just go in and sit on the toilet for a few minutes and then say she was done without doing anything. Today, she said “I need to go to the potty!” She ran in there and put her potty seat on the toilet and helped us get her pants down, and then she actually went both number one and number two! She got the biggest grin on her face when we praised her and said, matter-of-factly, “I went potty! Wash my hands now, please.”

And then, right before bed, she told me again she needed to use the potty, and actually did!

We had stopped potty training her a couple of months ago because she was turning it into a power struggle, and we didn’t want it to be such a traumatic thing for her. Now, she’s volunteering to use the bathroom. I’m hoping if we just keep at it this way, letting her decide when to go, and then just gently start encouraging her to go more often and not use her diaper, we will have her 100% potty trained before Chelsea is born in May. I don’t know how well this will work, but I am encouraged by her wanting to go twice today. So I guess we will just take it one day at a time…and let her watch the Daniel Tiger episode about using the potty A LOT. 😀

I just find how fast Briana is changing and developing her vocabulary and becoming a little girl instead of a toddler…a bit alarming. And amazing. And wonderful. And absolutely terrifying. I was reading something the other day that told me she is technically a pre-schooler instead of a toddler now. I was like “Seriously? At TWO?” But I guess it’s true? Who knows.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment or share if you found it particularly fabulous. 😉

Briana's Progress, Mommy as a Human

Good Surprises, Baby’s Name, and Briana Updates!

Today, we received our lease renewal offer from our apartment complex. We were expecting a huge jump in rent due to our apartment complex’s website’s stated “market rate,” and many of our neighbors moving and telling us rent was climbing too high to afford living here. I was prepared for the worst, and feeling completely overwhelmed about moving in the middle of a pregnancy and with David being unemployed. I expected at least a one hundred-dollar jump, but was actually expecting more along the lines of two or three hundred dollars.

So imagine my pleasant surprise to discover they had only upped rent by about twenty dollars, plus parking!

I feel so relieved. That is one ginormous load off of my shoulders. We’ve decided to renew our lease and stay here for at least another year. The baby will be in our room for at least a year anyway, and even after she turns one, she can share a room with Briana until we get our feet under us and are ready to move to a different place. Hopefully by then we’ll be able to rent a house, at the very least. I have to repair my credit before we can purchase. Sad day. But anyway.

Knowing that we’re staying here, I can stop feeling so stuck when it comes to figuring out how to prepare for baby! Before I felt like I couldn’t do anything, because what was the point of rearranging and reorganizing if we were going to have to pack everything up and move anyway?

David finding out that we were staying resulted in a very relieved expression and a visible relaxation in his shoulders…followed by him looking a wee bit harried as I started expounding upon all of my plans for organizing the apartment and our porch storage unit, downsizing and getting rid of some shelving that takes up too much space, de-cluttering everything, and rearranging our bedroom. I’d guess his stress comes from him knowing I’ll need a lot of help, and be giving him lists of projects, haha. Poor guy. He’s not a fan of change, even change as small as rearranging furniture.

Another positive today was my new breast pump showing up in the mail. My insurance covered it fully, and the company I ordered it through didn’t even charge shipping and handling! How cool is that? They also sent me six bottles for free, I’m guessing just because I ordered it through them instead of trying to figure out insurance by myself? Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to get free things, especially when it’s something I know we’ll use. I plan on exclusively breastfeeding, but I also want David and Briana to be able to get in on the feeding action, and having the bottles is handy!

Finding out that we have a place to live for the next year put me in a completely different mindset today. I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed. David’s unemployment claim was also processed, so soon we will have a small amount of money coming in from that, which will help with not falling so completely behind while he looks for a new job. We have two really good ones that we are keeping our fingers crossed for, and then two that are kind of “meh” but that he would accept just in the meantime while looking for something better. Keep us in your thoughts!

I realized that I never shared our baby girl’s name with you guys yesterday, because I was so overwhelmed about the apartment thing. We have decided to name her Chelsea Rose. Chelsea is after my very close friend (who is also Briana’s godmother, and will be little Chelsea’s godmother as well), and Rose is after my husband’s grandmother, Rosie. We’re very excited to have another little girl. I’ve gone a bit crazy today since we found out we’re staying here, pulling out boxes of clothes and toys, sorting through everything. I’m glad that we are having another girl, because we can re-use everything. I would have been thrilled to have a boy, too, but it would have meant a lot of extra money to shell out for clothes and car seats and…everything. Hardly anything that we have from Briana is gender neutral. She was very much dressed in pink, girly stuff most of the time, and even her infant car seat has a pink plaid pattern!

I ordered a baby book for Chelsea already, I guess some people call them “memory books” but I think of them as baby books. It’s by the same company that made the one we used for Briana. I LOVE their products. C. R. Gibson has amazing quality stuff. If you’re looking for a good memory/baby book, go Google them! They’re a little more expensive than what you might find at Target or Wal-Mart, but the quality is great. (There’s my product plug, heh heh.)

I am sorry that my blog has been so negative for the past few posts. Life isn’t horrible, it’s just stressful right now. I’m truly trying to stay positive, but sometimes the fear and negativity takes over. And since I’m trying not to stress out the people I love, it has to have an outlet somewhere, and that’s usually my blog, unfortunately. Please try to stick around. I promise I will not be so doom and gloom ALL the time. 😀

Let’s see. A quick update on Miss Bri Bee before I go. Her vocabulary is expanding so rapidly that I literally cannot keep track of all the new words she throws at us in a day. Today alone I think I heard at least five new words and two or three new “phrases” that she has picked up from us. It’s mind-blowing! I love how quickly she learns, she’s like a little sponge.

She’s also definitely testing limits and pushing boundaries lately, figuring out how far she can go before we stop her. We’ve set firm limits and stick to them, and that seems to help. She pushes right up to the edge of the boundary, and sometimes puts a foot over, but when she knows she’s crossed the line, she gets her act together pretty quickly. She has learned how to say “I’m sorry,” and although sometimes she tests my patience and makes me want to scream, when I hear her little voice pipe up and say “I’m sorry, mama,” without prompting or pushing, it makes everything okay again. We’re trying to encourage her to use her words, and she’s trying really hard to do that. Except when she gets really angry or frustrated, and then she does the temper tantrum thing…we’re working on it.

It’s hard to give her the tools I know she needs, when the need for the words and tools doesn’t come up until she’s too upset to listen and absorb. I don’t know that prime teaching time is when she’s kicking her limbs and flailing about on the floor, hitting at anything or anyone that comes close to her. So I stand back and wait until she’s a tiny bit calmer and then kneel down and talk to her. “It’s okay to be angry (or frustrated or sad or whatever), but it’s not okay to hit (or bite or kick or run away or not listen). Okay? Let’s try to use our words next time. Say ‘I’m mad’ (or ‘I’m sad’) instead of .” I hope that’s helping. Sometimes it feels like I’m talking to myself, and I don’t really know if it’s an effective way to teach her, but darnit, I’m trying! I want to be a good mom. I try really hard to do the right thing. I worry that I don’t do the right thing more often than I do, but part of that is just me being hard on myself, I think.

Briana keeps running up to me and saying “Kiss the baby?” And then she likes to pull up my shirt and kiss my expanding baby bump. It’s adorable. I don’t know if she truly understands yet that there is going to be another baby in the house and she is going to be a big sister, but whenever we talk about the baby, she gets really excited. She loves babies, and she asks about her baby cousin (he’s about a year and a half old now) a lot and loves seeing him, but I don’t know how she’ll be when the baby is actually living in the house!

Briana is still obsessed with the Frozen soundtrack, and insists on listening to it every time we are in the car, but at home she is more into Daniel Tiger, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and The Lion King right now. Thank goodness. I still love the Frozen movie, but I’m glad for a break from watching it so often.

I’m trying to figure out when we should potty train Briana. I tried on a whim today putting her in some underwear and taking her to the bathroom every half hour or so, but she didn’t pee on the toilet. She peed her underwear and then didn’t tell me about it. She didn’t act bothered at all by the wetness, so I’m guessing that might mean she isn’t quite ready? I’m very intimidated by potty-training. She did use the bathroom later in the evening, but that was after I had put her back in a diaper, and she randomly announced she wanted to use the potty. *sigh* I know we’ll get there eventually, but I was kind of hoping it would happen before Chelsea was born. I guess we still have about 20 weeks to make it happen. 😀

That’s all I can really think of for now, and I guess the blog is getting kind of long today. Hope you’ve enjoyed it more than the last couple though! I’ll be back soon with more updates. 😀




Real Life Stuff

We are having another girl! I am very excited, and so is my husband. Psyched in fact. We have already picked out her name, and I am over the moon about Briana having a sister. I always wished for a sister growing up. I loved my two brothers (still do, hehe), but having a sister would have been nice. I’m jealous of the relationships that a lot of people I know have with their sisters. Even when they are fighting like cats and dogs, they love each other and are there no matter what. And there’s just something special about a relationship between sisters. I’m glad that Briana won’t miss out on that.

Having another girl is exciting just in and of itself, too. I get to say “my daughters” now. 🙂 I picked up two small little tiny newborn outfits for our baby girl at Target the other day. She will mostly live in her older sister’s hand-me-downs, at least for the first few years, but I wanted her to have a few new things to call her own. She’ll also be using her sister’s old infant seat (it’s not expired until 2017, I checked), her sisters old crib, Rock n Play Sleeper, bouncy seat, and the list goes on…It’s nice to not have to put out a bunch of money to buy new non-pink items.

Speaking of money…

Hubby still has not found a new job. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but we’ve had a couple of really exciting opportunities crop up…and then let us down. It’s frustrating. With a baby on the way and a probable move needing to happen in February, we are left with my piddly income, not sure when unemployment will come in, not sure what our income will be when he finds another job, worried about maternity leave and where we will be living when the baby comes…

He doesn’t know it, but I broke down in tears tonight. I was searching online for apartments, and I realized that, without another source of income other than mine, we will qualify for practically nothing. Here we are, needing a bigger place, and I’m sitting here going “we won’t even be able to afford a SMALLER place!”

I am trying to have faith that everything will work out for the best. Trying my darndest. But with a two-year old and a baby on the way, it’s really difficult to survive on just hoping.

There are places where rent is based on income, but those places have long waiting lists. I’m calling tomorrow to put my name on ALL of them in the area, but I honestly doubt that, without some kind of miracle, our name will make it to the top of the list inside six months. And we need to move next month. So, you know, you see how this is going?

I am just feeling so completely and totally overwhelmed. I’ve been praying for a solution, hoping, praying, hoping, praying, screaming and yelling and crying and raging and begging…for two years now. I’ve been trying to be faithful that everything will work out. And it’s NOT.

*deep breath*

This is a new year. This is GOING to be our year. It HAS to be. I am tired of trying so hard to make everything work, climbing those stairs day after day, throwing my whole self into keeping our lives in some semblance of order, and having everything crumble under my feet time and time and time again.

I think it’s hitting me so hard this time because I finally allowed myself to hope. I finally told myself “everything really is getting better!” David was working, feeling better, working HARD, and we were finally starting to pay off tiny amounts of debt and get caught up on bills, I was finally starting to feel like we had this in the bag, and then WHAMMO everything crumbled again, and it hit me three times as hard as it would have if I hadn’t let myself BELIEVE everything was getting better.

What’s really hilarious, in a sad kind of way, is that we are currently 100% caught up on bills, excepting our credit cards which are ludicrously behind. So, with David’s final paycheck, which did not have any kind of bonus or vacation time, just his pay for his last two weeks of work, we were there. We got caught up. We still needed to work out the credit cards, but our vital bills, our rent and electricity, our phones and car payment, EVERYTHING is caught up right now. And because David got laid off, we are RIGHT back at square one starting on the first after we pay rent.

I am feeling so defeated.

I’m sorry for ranting, this is getting repetitive. Next time I blog I promise to try to be more positive and upbeat and talk all about baby stuff and toddler stuff and mom stuff.

But right now, this is real life stuff. And I just need it to get better.