Starting A New Chapter - Preschool!

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When my son Ryan was two and half we started him in preschool mostly because my husband Dan and I worked full time. Though after just a few months we noticed he was learning so much! Not just school stuff like ABC’s, Numbers etc. but also how to be social, share and his personality really started to shine. I think once he was around others his age he began to truly understand himself; his likes/dislikes, how he likes to play with others and most importantly how to react to certain situations that being in school offers. Our kids for the most part are only around adults so putting them in preschool around two and half seemed like a natural fit for us. Anyways, Ryan attending preschool was such a highlight for our family. Not to mention the sweet holiday performances and heartfelt artwork. It just really was such a special time to watch him grow. I mean as a mother we tend to always want our children to stay babies, but that feeling we get when we see them learn and grasp new things is quite exciting! I love that proud feeling and feel so honored to watch my kids growth from the front row! More on the school artwork, we have a few of our favorite art pieces by Ryan framed and hung on our walls. I love thinking about his tiny hands hard at work creating something for myself or Dan. I even wonder if he knew about his future and his little sister? Some of my favorites include; a feathered bird, an octopus made out of his handprint and a little basket filled with tissue paper flowers ... all of those are hung in Mila’s room. I like to think he made those for his little sister. Just a few little gifts he made for her knowing you know, I don't know actually. But I think my kids are tied together so strongly by a bond not visible to the naked eye. I feel as though, in order to see their bond you have to believe its there. 

You know, finding a preschool can be very stressful. At least here in Los Angeles parents start finding and applying to schools for their children sometimes when they are still pregnant! Both Dan and I knew that once Mila hit that two and half mark we’d put her in preschool. Just like we did for her big brother. It was what we knew and had such a great experience with it. So while starting school in May seems a bit off, it worked out that way for us. Sort of like if the school you want has a spot, put them in! Before we knew it, Mila started preschool this week! 

As a mother of two it’s only natural to compare your different experiences with each child. When the topic of preschool for Mila came up, both Dan and I said “hopefully she’ll transition easier than Ryan.” Ryan, poor thing, had zero interest in preschool at first and made himself sick every morning when we dropped him off. It took about two weeks for him to start enjoying preschool. But during those two weeks I just thought I was making a mistake or maybe something was wrong with the school? It was a long two weeks until Ryan started to get excited for school and felt comfortable being away from home and his parents. So the night before Mila started I was so nervous! Mostly you guys because I can't stand throw up and I was so afraid she'd follow in her big brothers footsteps! haha!

This week when Mila had her first day I was preparing myself for a melt down or worse. We had been talking about preschool with Mila for a while. We read books and visited the school a few times to help Mila understand what we were talking about. Come her first day Mila was all smiles and walked into her class with no problem! No tears, no nothing! Not even a hug for me haha! On her second day it was the same thing and she was so excited to “go to cool” that she didn’t even want to sit and eat breakfast. Which says a lot because she loves to eat! During the day she only has trouble at nap time. Her teacher says she cries a little and asks for Mama. Which I think it is because she is used to being swaddled and taking a nap in my lap. (I know it was a terrible habit to get ourselves in) Anyways, it’s early still so I’m sure we have some learning curves coming up. 

I’m so proud of Mila so far though, my little preschool girl! 

You know, when our kids start school or venture out away from us for anything, it’s always harder for us! The parents. Even my husband says he missed her being at home while he was work. Which I didn’t understand. But he said “I like when she home with you or I. Now she is somewhere else with out us.” When I dropped her off I sat and cried in my car. Terrified to leave her alone. That feeling of loss crept in and negative thoughts. Those nasty 'What If' ideas pop up and then I think OH MY GOD MY BABY IS IN THERE AND I'M ABOUT TO LEAVE HER! To try and help myself, I scheduled a bunch of stuff to keep me busy while Mila was at school. You know, to try and keep my mind off worrying. I kept talking to Ryan in Heaven telling him he better keep an eye on his sister. I mean it’s only two days a week, but still it’s a big deal for us and our little family. Also, her first piece of artwork was something for Mother's Day. Her tracing the letters of her name blew me away, I didn't even know she could do that!

I wanted to share this big time milestone here and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on everything that follows. Thank you all for the well wishes and high fives! When did your little one start school? 

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The Truth About Easter Weekend

You guys want the truth about this past weekend? I am not even sure if you do or even care, really this story has no real purpose other than to embarrass myself by sharing the inner-workings of my brain. I’ve debated on whether or not to share, only because sometimes exposing your reality can be a bit scary. It is scary to open yourself up and share what is truly on your mind and any story that ends in poop you guys is just not cute. But, if you know anything about me, you know that I’m more than happy to share any and everything. So here goes nothing …

When any sort of holiday rolls around I feel two things at the same time and I am beyond grateful of the two, because after we lost Ryan and before we were blessed with Mila I only felt sad (+ angry). Now I feel both sad and happy. It actually wasn’t until a few months ago when I realized I can feel both emotions at the same time. Since having Mila I was going about life feeling sad when I need to and feel happy when I was. Then I was sitting on the floor playing with Mila and I felt so overwhelming sad that Ryan wasn’t with us in that moment. But also while watching Mila play and interacting with her it made me so unbelievably happy. It was then I understood that sad and happy can co-exist and they do so gracefully at times. Sometimes the both sneak up on me and it takes a minute for me to catch my breath. Grief is so wild and toys with me daily, but what is a mother to do when she is forced to walk through life with out her child? Anyways, sad and happy. It can be felt at the same time, who knew!?

Now, take this into consideration. Easter was the last holiday we ever spent with Ryan. It was our last holiday before he left us for Heaven and every year when Easter rolls around I can’t help but think … in just a few short weeks the anniversary of his passing will pop up and well that always makes me feel more sad and angry than anytime of year. I also re-live our last Easter together and how thrilled he was during the egg hunt. How we scoured for peanut butter eggs only and how Ryan fought with me on wearing the vest I made him wear. I remember Dan coaching Ryan during the egg hunt too, which makes me so angry because I can’t stand to think of Dan losing his only son. You know? Does that make sense? Like it just kills me to think that Dan too, has to go through what I feel. It is all not fair. Though life isn’t fair is it?

So while Easter is truly an exciting time, it also brings with it a cloud of heaviness that is not to be ignored. However, when you have a rambunctious toddler (Mila) and a mom who fights daily to find the good and joy in everything (Myself) … Easter gets ramped up and we dive in head first into egg dying, basket stuffing and candy eating. I just love watching Mila’s little face light up and honestly her first go at dying Easter eggs was truly a memory that will be carved into my brain forever. But we can’t all the way forget about being sad and missing Ryan because I physically just can’t and also I would never want to forget. There you have it, happy and sad at the same time.

Feeling this way makes me a little more sensitive than normal. To which Dan rolls his eyes at because he thinks I am too sensitive all the time. But I am sensitive non the less. On social media I shared our Easter weekend and it went something like this;

Saturday we spent the day with my family and did an Easter egg hunt etc. and we were all happy!

Sunday we spent the day with Dan’s family and did Easter brunch and another egg hunt and were were all happy!

Both days were beautiful and Mila had the best time spending time with all her family. But I will say it was a little bit of a struggle to figure out who's family gets Easter and who's family gets the day before Easter. I will also attribute my sensitivity to this struggle. And the fact that around Easter time I always am more emotional because of what this time of year brings with it. I cried over who's family got what and it was only because I wanted it all to be fair you know? Being married and dividing up holidays with our families has always been a bit of a struggle for me because both Dan and I are so close with our own families. It can be heart wrenching to give up a family tradition to join in on another one. Of course it always works out. I just get sad sometimes when we have to choose between my family or Dan’s. Can anyone who is in a relationship relate? Or am I being a nut bag? haha! I thought I'd share this only because when I shared our weekend on social media it all was just so happy and it seemed so seamless. I wanted to come clean and just tell what it took to get to what I ended up sharing on Instagram. You only see so much with a photo, you know?

OK, I’ll just keep sharing here. As most of you know we potty trained Mila two weeks ago and it has been going so well. Better than we had expected! However, Easter weekend was our first weekend away from home. Plus being away from home we had to log 3+ hours in the car at a time. I planned ahead for any accidents and we just went on our way! We stopped mid-car ride so Mila could go potty and things were looking so great. That is until I accidentally left Mila’s potty seat somewhere in San Diego and didn’t realize until we were pulling up to Dan’s family beach house in Laguna. It was past 9pm and everything was closed. The one place that was open didn’t have potty seats. Anyways, Mila refused to use the potty with out it and held her pee all night and all morning. I finally made it to a Walmart on Easter Sunday to buy a new potty. Which Mila refused to use because it wasn’t what she was used to. She had three accidents on Easter Sunday all because she refused to use the new potty I bought to replace her original one I lost. I guess you can call that a “Mom Fail” right? So, the beautiful dress you saw Mila in. It has to be dry cleaned now.

On the drive home we all were exhausted. The three of us didn’t say a single word the whole drive home. I had dinner delivered and put Mila in the bath. Things were looking up! I was in the bathroom sorting through laundry while Mila played in the bath right next to me. Dan was cleaning up the table. I was literally thinking that any uncertainty I felt about Easter weekend was overruled by the wonderful time we had with our families. I was replaying Mila hustling to find eggs and wishing I took extra coffee cake home with me. My thoughts were disrupted by Mila exclaiming “Uh Oh MOM!” I looked over and her bath water was brown and I screamed mostly because I knew I’d have to spend the end of my night cleaning poop out of the bathtub. And not just any poop. Poop Mila had been holding for the last two days … it was beyond disgusting.

I guess what truly motivated me to share all this was while I was scrolling through Instagram I saw so many families post about their Easter. Family photos, Easter baskets and egg hunts, bunny pancakes before church and Sunday best outfits. I was right there among them all! I think I posted twice on Easter! I did mention missing Ryan, but I knowingly dismissed the rest of our Easter weekend because why would anyone care?! But I’m sitting here, the Tuesday after Easter and I felt so heavy like I needed to get it all off me and out of my brain. I miss my son so bad it makes me sensitive and crazy most times. I struggle when it comes to picking my family or Dan’s family to do holidays with. I lost my kids toilet seat, she refused to use the new one I bought her, only to pee everywhere all day. And to just round out the weekend my kid also pooped in her bath and I got to clean it up. That is life I guess! For me things happen and a lot of the time I physic myself out because of all the emotions I’m feeling on a daily basis. Holidays just add another layer of sadness which can make my brain a little cloudy. Something I am aware of … Just thought I’d share of real life with you guys.

Any who … Thanks for listening to my ramblings. I’m already laughing about the weekend and I’ve ordered two potty seats that Mila will approve of that arrive today!

Some photos we took on Easter Sunday ...

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