Tag Archives: Milestones

From Baby Tooth to Dream Dust

A month and a half ago, I wrote about the wiggly tooth that really was wiggly. Since then, TD1 has been wiggling and wiggling till she had a permanent “my tooth is about to come out” gap. I didn’t think she would make it to the first day of school.

She did.

The tooth even managed to survive her not-so-fun fall out of her chair earlier this week. Friday, she was able to make a 90-degree angle with her tooth, but it was still holding on.

Then it wasn’t.

I came back from running errands Saturday afternoon.

TD2: Mommy, [TD1’s] tooth came out!!! You have to see this!
T-Mommy: No way! [TD1] is this true?
TD1: Yup!
T-Mommy: It just fell out?
TD1: No, I wiggled it out.
T-Mommy: How did that happen?
TD1: Well, I was wiggling it to help it fall out and it got stuck so I had to *motions with hands* and it just came out.

TD1 lost her first baby tooth!

She showed me her tooth that she put in her special Tooth Fairy can so it wouldn’t get lost. I was not ready for how cute it looked. Actually, I’m a little creeped out by all the feels I felt towards this now dead body part.

I had a few more errands to run before church, so I promised her we’d work on her Tooth Fairy letter after church. Of course, she went straight to sleep after church. Does this mean the Tooth Fairy should wait or still come tonight? While I was pondering what the Tooth Fairy would do, she woke up and I reminded her we had work to do. This letter wouldn’t write itself!

True to her nature, TD2 was super excited and couldn’t stop herself from looking at TD1’s tooth, causing her to temporarily lose it while TD1 was writing her letter. Thank God that TD2 has awesome memory and eyesight better than both her parents. Level 1000 tantrum averted!

We wrote our letter and went to bed. While we were sleeping, the Tooth Fairy visited TD1 and left her a dream dust-covered letter.

TD1: I think next time we should write her a letter that says “Thank you for writing me and leaving me a special $2. I LOVE IT!”

And just like that, my baby is growing up.

Wiggle Wiggle

Backstory: Last year, the dentist said that one of TD1’s teeth was becoming loose and she’d probably lose it in the next year or so. He said it wasn’t noticeable, but just giving us a heads up. Six months later, he said the same tooth was getting even looser and he wouldn’t be surprised if it came out before her birthday.

Fast forward to yesterday.

*On the way home from her cousin’s birthday celebration*
TD1: Mommy, you know my wiggly tooth? It’s getting more wiggly. And when I get back to school, I’m going to show all my friends. They’re going to be so excited.I tho
T-Mommy: Oh really? When we get home, you’ll have to show me too. I want to see it wiggle.

Then she continued with several “what-if” scenarios about this tooth coming out – before she gets back to school, in her sleep, while she’s brushing her teeth, in her throat, etc.

We get home and she brings me some books to read while T-Daddy is making some dinner. I get a little teary-eyed at the fact that she’s actually reading most of the words, and trying to sound out the ones she doesn’t know. Who is this girl? Just yesterday, we were trying to teach her letters, now she’s reading WHOLE words?!!??! Later, as I’m putting up the food, she reminds me that I never looked at her wiggle tooth.

So she showed me.

​And. I. Was. NOT. Ready. Her tooth is noticeably, visibly, no-denying-it loose. She can wiggle it. I can wiggle it. It wiggles. It’s going to come out. And she’s going to get an adult tooth in it’s place. I thought she was being overly anxious. I thought it was all in her head and she was going to show me this wiggling tooth that’s in fact not wiggling much at all. I. WAS. WRONG.

So, let’s recap: in one hour, I realized that my firstborn had moved beyond the occasional word reading/memorization to reading a book mostly on her own AND she’s on the brink of losing her first tooth. Mommy meltdown in 5…4…3…2…1…

TD1 Turns 5


Yesterday, TD1 turned 5 and we celebrated by taking a road trip to Indiana. Though, to be honest, the celebration actually started on Thursday. I went to her school to read a story with her to her class. Then we sang and danced and TD1 passed out the treats we made. Later, some friends and family came over to sing happy birthday and eat cupcakes.

We were supposed to go to Nashville (Brown County), Indiana, but never made it because nothing goes as planned with T4. Instead we ended up going to White River State Park in Indianapolis and getting pizza. For a brief second, I was bummed that we didn’t get to celebrate the way I had planned, but I was later reminded that some of the best things in life aren’t always planned. *cough cough TD1 cough cough*

TD1 5 BdayWe had uninterrupted family time sprinkled with a basket full of candy and TD1 got to call a lot of shots. In her words, “My birthday is awesome!” We laughed and were silly together and on the drive home, it hit me: T-Daddy and I have a FIVE year-old!!!!

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since I gave birth to this little one. She has changed my life in so many ways and I love watching her go through life. She’s smart and independent and loves helping others. It may sound cliche, but she really does make me want to be a better person. I want to be a good example of the type of woman she should aspire to be. I am also proud of who she has already become. I wish I could take all the credit, but I can’t. She’s her own person and she makes her own choices daily. And she’s managed to survive five years of having T-Daddy and me as her parents.

Happy Five Years TD1!!!!

9+6=15+1=16: Our First Year of Marriage

Today marks our one-year anniversary, and I must say, it went by fast. In honor of our first year of marriage, here are 16 things I learned about Wifedom this past year:

  1. I’m selfish. Before I got married, I considered myself a very loving and giving person. Right before we got married, T-Daddy and I went through pre-marital mentoring (I highly recommend some sort of pre-marital counseling or mentoring for all engaged couples) with a lovely older couple at our church, and we continue to sign up for coed Bible study groups. I also did a 30-day prayer challenge on FB, which led to me joining a small-knit wives’ support group. What I’ve taken away from all of this is that I’m a lot more focused on “What’s in it for me?” than I realized. When T-Daddy doesn’t act the way I think he should or do what makes me happy/comfortable/etc., I get upset and conversations take place. My view on our marriage revolves around how he makes me feel. I’ve done a few marriage challenges that required I focus on T-Daddy – his happiness, his likes, dislikes, worries, dreams, goals, etc., and each time praying for him or affirming him when I was upset at him caused me to act outside of how I felt. The result was a change in my own heart and feelings, and sometimes it even shined an inward mirror causing me to re-evaluate my own self.
  2. I know nothing about marriage. See #1. Seriously. I’m the product of divorced parents and I made a vow to myself when I was a pre-pubescent child that I would never get divorced. I’ve grown some and learned a little about relationships, but that sentiment is still very strong. So I’m determined to make my marriage work. In my quest to learn as much as possible about successful marriages, I’ve realized I don’t know anything. Most of the ideals I had about marriage came from a variety of places, but I can’t say that many of them came from the right places. There are these ideas about marrying the person that makes you happy or is “the one” and they pretty much set you up for failure.
  3. It takes three. For five years, T-Daddy and I tried to do this by ourselves. And we failed miserably. There were a lot of mistakes, heartache, blame and immaturity floating around to end a thousand relationships. It wasn’t until we both started earnestly working on ourselves and our relationship that things changed. During our pre-marital mentoring, we were strongly encouraged to get serious about our relationship with God – consistently going to church, reading the Word, praying (with and for each other), asking for God’s direction and then heeding it. So we did. And I can honestly say that we are leaps and bounds further and better than we were just a year ago.
  4. My marriage is as good as what I focus on. Pretty self-explanatory. When I focus on all the ways T-Daddy annoys me, I can easily find myself wondering why I’m with him and if I made a mistake. Is there somebody else out there that’s better compatible with me….blah…blah…blah. When I focus on all things I like about him or the things that he does that makes me happy, I find myself wanting to shower him with love and praises. What I focus on dictates how I see him – World’s Greatest Husband or World’s Worst Man Ever. And how I see him determines how I treat him, which plays a part in how he treats me.
  5. My marriage is my business. Not everyone will agree with how T-Daddy and I choose to live our lives. Some people will just nod and keep their thoughts to themselves, but others will gladly voice their opinions. A few may even try to persuade us that we’re wrong and need to do it their way. It can be so easy to get caught up in others’ opinions of our lives that we lose focus on who we are as individuals and as a couple. Also, we’re human and sometimes we do some pretty messed up stuff. Unfortunately, when we’re ready to forgive each other, our friends and family may not be so ready to forgive. Things are just easier if we keep some stuff to ourselves.
  6. Time together is a must. We have two kids under the age of five. Free time is a magical unicorn with three horns. We work. Friends want to hang out with us (and not always the two of us together). We have individual interests. We want to sleep. So it can be pretty hard to squeeze in time together – even with a standing weekly date (hey, sometimes we fall asleep on each other. Not sexy, but real). But whenever too much time has gone by without us spending some real quality time together, it shows. We get out of sync on small things like our daily routine. We become at odds with each other. A little QT and most of that gets fixed.IMG_6592
  7. Sex still feels a little taboo. We’ve lived in sin for the majority of our relationship, and sometimes it can be hard to remember that we’re legit now. I don’t have to be ashamed about talking about birth control methods with my midwife. I don’t need to get sheepish or bow my head when sex comes up in therapy, a church sermon or a study group. Yet, I still find myself going “Oh yea, it’s okay now. We’re married.”
  8. Being married doesn’t mean that birth control is no longer a problem. It’s no secret that T-Daddy and I had kids before we were married, and most of the conversations we had with family and friends all centered around why we weren’t using some kind of birth control if we weren’t married (we were…they failed, but that’s a totally different topic). The assumption being that our unplanned pregnancies were only a problem because we were not married. However, we have two beautiful girls that we love so much, and we’re satisfied. We don’t want anymore kids, and now the same problems we had in choosing a birth control method that works for us pre-marriage are the same problems we’re having now post-marriage.
  9. We made things a lot harder than they had to be. T-Daddy and I have been through some things that really rocked our relationship. And the worst part is that we didn’t have to go through that stuff. We could have avoided a lot of drama and stress if we both had acted differently. But hey, you live and you learn.
  10. I’m actually grateful for a lot of the stuff we went through. Don’t get me wrong, it sucked. I have some serious emotional PTSD behind some of the stuff we both did. (Guilt and regret are horrible bedtime companions). But, now that T-Daddy and I are older and more mature, I’m able to look back and learn from a lot of that. I can see our mistakes and our resiliency. And I’m grateful we made it through the storm. I’m grateful that we went through some pretty bad stuff early on and made it because it gives me reassurance and hope that we can make it through whatever obstacles are yet to come.
  11. I want TD1 and TD2 to marry a man like their father. T-Daddy’s pretty awesome. He loves me and he’s committed to our family. The girls will choose whoever they choose, but if he’s at least half the man their father is, I’ll be proud.
  12. Respecting and submitting to T-Daddy is pretty important to me. I may not always get these two right, but I always strive to do them. It’s important to me that I’m a living example for my daughters of what it looks like when a wife respects and submits to her husband.
  13. I didn’t just marry him; I married his friends and family. They’re mine now and my love for him has to extend to them. The more I love them – flaws and all – the more I allow them to enrich my life and I’m able to fully appreciate what he sees in them.
  14. I’m a better wife to him when I’m a better me to me. All that to say that I have to do a better job of taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When all parts of me are balanced, I don’t unload my baggage onto him and we can actually enjoy our marriage.
  15. T-Daddy’s laugh is the best medicine. I love his smile and his laugh and I love being able to share in it with him. Nothing feels better than when we’re just hanging out and one of us does something funny and we just erupt in that deep belly gut laughter. No matter what’s going on in life, at that moment, everything is just A-OK.
  16. T-Daddy is the one…I’m married to and that’s all that matters. I’m committed to continuously striving to be my best self for him and our marriage. We’re a team. Partners for life.

And We’re Baaaaack….to School Again

Monday, the TDs started school. The fact that it’s Thursday and I’m just writing about their first day should be a good indicator of how it went…..busy….and exhausting!

I definitely was not ready. I felt like the summer went by too fast. I still wanted to do things with them. Fun things like trips and the beach and trips downtown. Emotionally, it was no big deal. They’ve both been in daycare since they were 3 months and we started “real” school last year.

I spent the week before failing at getting us on a schedule to prepare us for getting back in the swing of things. No changes to the uniform and I’d washed and hung uniform clothes months ago. We ordered school supplies through the school and they were shipped there. Book bags were bought. They just needed a few minor items – lunch box, water bottles, snacks. We were all good to go!

Then Monday happened. And I realized just how not good to go we really were. Several of TD1’s uniform items are missing. And they happen to be the items that have to be specially ordered from the uniform store and currently are on back order. Yay us! Maroon leggings and shorts (non-logo or branded) are the bane of my existence right now. Seriously, does anyone make or sell them??? We ran into this problem last year, which caused us to stock up whenever we found them in the girls’ sizes. Guess what’s mysteriously missing now….

Despite an early bedtime, the girls did not want to wake up. Grumbles of “Why do we have to go to school?” were repeated throughout breakfast and getting dressed.

timetoschool16Then they were dressed and we had about 10 min for pictures and to get them in their respective classrooms. And that’s when it hit me. During that quick 2 min photoshoot when TD1 was posing and telling me which shots I had to get. My daughters are big girls.

TD1 is a kindergartner this year. Gone is her cubby. Replaced by a hook to hang things now. Her classroom even looks big kiddish. TD2 is still in preschool, but she’s moved up. She’s in TD1’s old classroom. They have recess together, but they don’t eat lunch together anymore.

After I dropped them off, I spent my day trying to acquire the lost items that have fallen into the invisible black hole. Then it was time to pick them up. TD1 excitedly ran to me. “Mom, I’m sad that my friends are in a different class than me. I only get to see them at recess.” (By friends, she means a certain group of boys that T-Daddy is happy to have her separated from. I think someone may have had a talk with the office.) Then, we walked to TD2’s class where she was knocked out. TD1 ran straight to her and started rubbing her and trying to put a pillow under her to make her more comfortable.

I picked up TD2 and two of us walked, while one was carried, to the car – on our way to acquire more lost items. Man, I really aced this being prepared thing this year. Ten min later, I pull up to the uniform store with two sleeping kids. I woke TD1 up and bribed her with ice cream if she walked. She stayed up long enough for me to complete the purchase and get back in the car before it was lights out again.

Happy first day of school TDs!!! School must have worked them hard.

“Can I Have Your Kids?”

“What are you guys doing this weekend?”
“Nothing, what’sup?”
“Can I have your kids?”
“Huh what?”
“For a sleepover. Tiana* has been asking to have a play date with the girls and since we can’t get our schedules to line up, I thought this would be perfect.”

And just like that, TD1 and TD2 were invited to their first non-familial sleepover. My first thought was “Ummm we’ll pass on that.” No offense to our friend, but I’m just barely comfortable with our family taking the girls, I wasn’t ready for someone outside the family. Had she offered to babysit for a few hours, we would have gladly taken her up on that, but a whole night away? Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that. I’m sure she could sense the uneasiness over the phone because she did in fact offer to have us just come over for a few hours so the girls could hang out.

can-i-have-your-kidsT-Daddy hung up the phone and we didn’t speak on it. For the first time, I was actually glad because I needed time to process my feelings. This was an acquired friend through T-Daddy and one thing that I’ve learned, especially since raising kids, is that no matter how close or cool both sides are with each other, when there’s opposition, lines are clearly drawn: His Side/Her Side. My uneasiness didn’t have anything to do with who was asking, it was what was being asked. But I didn’t want her to take it personal, to think that I didn’t want her keeping my kids. I mean I have only had limited interactions with her in the parenting arena, so I had questions about her parenting beliefs and methods and how that would align or clash with our own, but that wasn’t personal. I have a relationship with her, we get along, we’re a lot alike in many aspects. But still, I’ve been down that road before and I know when someone thinks it’s personal, none of that other stuff matters. I didn’t want that battle, not when she was trying to do something nice for my kids.

But I still had questions. Not just about her and her household, but what was expected of T-Daddy and I. What were we supposed to do to prepare? So I Googled. I read a dozen or so articles on sleepovers. What’s the appropriate age? What am I supposed to do? What do I tell the girls? T-Daddy gave me a few days before he brought it up and I was ready. I had an answer for him. I let him tell me what he thought and then I told him what I thought. We were pretty much on the same page. He shared the same uneasiness that I felt about her not being family. (Not that that matters, but this was still new territory for us and we went through the same thing with each family member that kept the girls for the first time.) Our girls are a ball of non-stop energy and having them around other people usually gives us both anxiety. Having them around someone that’s never been around them without us, well that’s full-blown anxiety attack.

On the flip side, T-Daddy and I desperately want our friends to be more involved in the parenting side of our life. It’s extremely difficult to keep the two separate and our friends without kids sometimes don’t get it. Sure, partying and all that is great, but for us, so is trips to the park and watching our kids react to the world around them. And we want our kids to be friends with our friends’ kids. That can’t happen if we never hang out with them with the kids. Also, we want to have someone that can take the kids off our hands to allow us a date night. In one phone call, we were being offered all of that – “come hang out with me and my daughter and then leave your children so you can have a date night.”

So we came up with a list of important things, we thought she should know: TD1 doesn’t like fish, but TD2 loves bread; our discipline routine, bedtime routines, etc. And then we told the girls. Big mistake. TD1 asked me about the sleepover every day. Then she told every one about the sleepover, including her teachers.

Finally, Sleepover Day had arrived. The TDs were excited. I was nervous. I didn’t want to drop off and run, but I didn’t want to linger too long. They were excited now, but would they freak out the minute the door closed behind us? I thought I was ready, but was I really? What if Tiana’s mom quickly realized that she didn’t want to keep the girls. This was turning out to be a high-pressure situation and a reminder that my girls are growing up faster than I’m ready for.

We arrived and the girls instantly started playing together. We hung around for a while before leaving to enjoy our gifted date night. The girls barely batted an eye when we left. T-Daddy and I received snaps (direct picture and video messages sent through Snapchat) throughout the night and the next morning, which I really appreciated because I like photo and video evidence of the TDs experiencing life and new experiences. When we picked them up, TD1 and Tiana were already planning a Part Two of the sleepover. We promised she could sleepover at our house next, and the whole car ride home, TD1 was planning her sleepover with “The Tianas.” (We know two girls the same age with the same name and the TDs are crazy about both of them.)

And just like that, the girls had not only survived, but thoroughly enjoyed, their first sleepover. T-Daddy and I did too. Then, we made good on our promise and hosted a sleepover at our place. And now, “sleepover” is some new buzzword.

Thanks Tiana’s mom! I think you started something.

*Since I went with a Disney princess in “TD1 and the Super Straight Hair,” I decided to stick with tradition and go with another beloved Disney princess.

Getting Bigger

Until this year, my daughters have always taken a while to grow into their clothes. I mean like still wearing 24 months clothes on their 3rd birthday, kind of take a while. So imagine my surprise when at the start of this school year, TD1 was in between a 3T and 4T and now, sevenish months later, she’s outgrowing her 5T leggings. She won’t be 5 for another four months. Likewise, TD2 went from 18-24 months to straddling between a 3T and 4T. She just turned 3.

Getting-bigger

T-Daddy and I are completely unprepared for this growth spurt. TD2 is faring a little better because she gets to pull from the reserves of TD1’s old clothes, but even that is sparse. They are both in need of a full-fledged shopping spree.

If their physical growth wasn’t enough, they are both evolving into little women with their own personalities. Everyday, they say or do something that is new and amusing, and lets me know they’re a little older today than they were yesterday. We have detailed conversations about their day, wants and fears. I’m constantly being called to look as they show me the latest dance or athletic feat they mastered.

It’s enough to make your heart grow the size of five Grinch hearts. And it does. I love watching my daughters grow and get bigger. As they do, they teach me a lot about how to love and forgive unconditionally, to let my hair down and have fun. As a mom, you hear a lot about how you shouldn’t rush this time and it goes away in the blink of an eye. But, I’m looking forward to them getting bigger. Not in a “these toddler years are hell and I’m ready to be over them” kind of way. I truly cherish my late night snuggles and tickling hug fests with them. But I’m also curious to see how their individual personalities and interests will develop and change over time. With each new learned behavior or milestone they meet, I can’t help but feel a little proud.

Potty Chronicles: Self-Trained

A while back, T-Daddy and I decided that the time had come for us to be consistent in our potty training of TD2. The problem is that our lives and our schedules are usually pretty inconsistent.

Luckily, last Saturday, one of us got a break and was able to stay home* with the girls all day. During this time, TD2 decided she wanted to start taking herself to the potty.

Fast forward 24 hours and TD2 is taking her pull-up off, sitting on the potty, wiping herself and enthusiastically running bare-bottom through the house, yelling “I poo in potty day!!!!!”**

One weekend and she’s self-trained herself. I don’t know whether to be proud or worried. Or both. She’s apparently even smarter than we already suspected.

*By home, I mean at someone else’s house with an accessible children’s potty, where obviously our children feel free enough to run around like they pay the mortgage.

**Translation: I peed in the potty today!

And So It Begins: TD1 Is Growing Up

TD1TumbleThis past weekend, two things happened that made me realize, my big girl really is a big girl.

Last Friday, TD1 started ballet. She’s been talking about it for a while now. “Moooom, I have to practice my ballet!” “Daaaaddy, she won’t let me practice my ballet.” “She” being TD2 who sees “practicing ballet” as an invitation to tackle her sister.

Rewind to a few months ago, and we started having issues with TD1 flipping in class when she’s supposed to be sitting in a circle. While her teachers were amazed at her natural skill, they were concerned that she was going to hurt someone or herself. With me in school and it being the middle of holiday season, timing wasn’t on our side. Fast forward to last week, and we enrolled her in a Toes & Tumble class at our local park district. The description said that students would have a blast practicing their ballet moves while learning basic tumbling moves. The class meets once a week for 30 minutes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was confident that TD1 would love it.

We were about 10 minutes late because T-Daddy thought the class started 15 minutes later than it actually did and traffic was not on our side. I started getting nervous that they wouldn’t let us in since we’d already missed one-third of the class. I was also worrying that TD1 would be clingy or start crying and I’d have to spend the remainder of the class trying to talk her down.

Boy, was I wrong!

We got in the class and I asked her if she wanted to take her coat off. She said yes, and before I could get her second arm out, she was already headed to the floor. I expected her to sit close to me. She went to the other side of the room and immediately joined in the exercises. The teacher asked all the parents to leave out the classroom, so they wouldn’t be a distraction. TD1 never even looked my way. I watched her through the window in the door and I couldn’t be more proud. Her excitement and joy was radiating out the room and all I could think was: “I’m glad that we did this for her.”

As we were walking to the car after the teacher released them, I asked her about her class:

T-Mommy: Did you enjoy the class?
TD1: Yeah!
T-Mommy: Did you…
TD1: But Mommy, next time we can’t be late. I need to practice my ballet!

On Monday, she shadowed at the preschool she might be attending in the fall. We’ve been looking at our options for Kindergarten because her birthday falls after the deadline – by just two weeks. While it won’t be the end of the world if she’s 6 in kindergarten, I’d rather she not start in 2016 because she’s not ready and not merely because I didn’t get pregnant with her two weeks earlier. Illinois law has made this a very hard battle with very few options. We found a school that’s within our price range, close to us and is focused on teaching based on students’ personal development and interests, not just their age. They also were willing to let TD1 shadow to determine if it was a good fit.

I explained to TD1 that she would be visiting a school that might be her new school if she liked it. All she wanted to know was if TD2 was going to the new school too. I told her “Maybe, if she’s potty trained by September.” She said okay and has been telling her sister that she needs to go pee on the potty.

As we prepared to drop her off on Monday, I fully expected a scene when it was time for us to leave. We introduced her to the teacher and she ran out of my arms straight to the teacher. She talked to her for a few minutes before running off to play with some of the other students. She barely waved bye.

Drop-off was harder on TD2 who wanted to know “Where Pempess?” The whole ride to my job (and I’m told her daycare), she looked like she’d just lost her best friend. Here’s to hoping we can get her potty-trained in the next 4.5 months.

When T-Daddy picked TD1 up, the teachers said that she did well and they hope she comes back in the Fall. TD1 told him, “I like my new school. I don’t want to go back to my old school.”

When I dropped TD1 off today, she went straight to her friends to give them hugs and tell them “Hi!” She barely waved bye, again.

My big girl is growing up…