Big Girl Bed and other good stuff…..

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Since Osita started preschool it has been leaps and bounds!

This is a girl who is fully self expressed. The good and the bad. Like with any toddler, tantrums are a regular thing. Lately, it seems like we have turned a new leaf. We are having way more good times than not so good times. Her language skills  have jumped up a notch. She is able to identify that she is angry and communicate why. It’s huge!  We also have been working on her breathing through her anger. (As an adult, I struggle with conscience breathing when I am feeling anxious.) Overall, she just seems happier. Playing, pretending, being.

Potty is a regular thing now. Even #2. But no public potties yet though.

Yesterday, we graduated from her crib to a regular bed! What could have just been ‘swap out the beds’ easy project, turned into a ‘pull all the furniture, paint the room, clean the floors, put furniture back and then put the new bed in’ project. It was fun and everything went smooth. Osita was STOKED! I was worried that she would jump out at bedtime but she went down like a total champ. I was so relieved! Today’s nap went smooth too. Success! The pic above was taken before we put the safety railing up, as you can see, she is enjoying this transition just fine.

Tomorrow night, Nina Grande’s high school orchestra is playing with the Seattle Symphony! I told her I have to work but I have arranged to leave early so I can surprise her. 🙂 N.G. plays the viola for her orchestra. She also sings and plays violin and guitar. Quite the talent, that Nina Grande.

Finally! A day off…. kind of.

There is only one way to describe our life right now. Busy.

In the last month, I started a new part time job. I work 10 hour days and have to bus (and sometimes train) to and from home. I am gone quite a bit now. I don’t mind the commute, I like putting on my headphones and listening to music and watching the scene outside my window. With me gone and J running his business from home, we decided it was time for S to go to preschool a couple days a week so J can have time to focus on work.

We found a lovely little place 5 minutes from our house. It has a small farm with goats, bunnies, and chickens, an organic garden, several playhouses a swing set, a zip line and a giant yert that her teacher uses as her classroom. They also have Spanish immersion which is perfect because my husband speaks fluent Spanish and we have been teaching her as well. Her Spanish comprehension has exceeded mine and I speak a fair amount. They spend most of their time outside exploring and playing, even in cooler weather. S loves it! She didn’t even flinch when we left her but threw a fit when daddy came to pick her up.

We have also hit our stride with potty training!! We even have had a couple of poo poo in the potty’s. YES! The mop has taken it’s rightful place again…. back in the laundry room.

You don’t realize how much time you actually have until you don’t have it anymore. Our weekends are now filled with a list of things to do. Things I used to get done during the week. Even that days that I nanny from home, my downtime is filled with laundry and cleaning. By the weekend, I am exhausted and usually in some sort of physical pain from being on my feet all day but things need to get done. And they have been. (Not my writing) The days have been flying by.

We usually spend Sunday mornings going to one of the lovely farmer’s markets around town but there are things that need to be tended to around the house. The sun is out and it’s perfect weather to winterize the garden. We had quite the rain storms the last week that have caused some damage. Got to get out there cause who knows when the sun will be out again! Ahhh Seattle Life.

Always hustling. (A piece of my history)

Before I met my husband, I was a single mom for many years. I was 22 when I had A, her dad and I were married briefly but after we separated, we split the custody time and split the costs for A evenly. A couple years later, I moved from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. He still lived in California but we kept the same arrangement, that we would split the time evenly and just be financially responsible for our time. After a few years back and forth, A told me that she wanted to live with me on a more permanent basis. Her father and I decided that we would allow A to make that choice for herself and because it was her choice she had to tell her father. As you can imagine, he wasn’t happy and as a result even though the circumstances had changed, he didn’t feel he should pay me child support. So he didn’t. And I, of very limited resources could not afford to take legal action and even if I did, what I would receive (if I won) was very little… Would it even be worth it?

So I did it on my own. I was a receptionist making barely enough to cover costs in the city but I supported us without child support, parental support, ANY support. A few years later he did finally agree to start paying me child support. I have, for the last few years, received $200 per month.

I also suffer from chronic illness. I have been seeking a diagnosis for over five years but I always worked right through it until I couldn’t. About 5 years ago, I took a medical leave of absence because my health was spiraling out of control. I was dating my husband at the time and he helped support me financially and physically. I took longer than I had originally anticipated and my company could no longer hold my job for me and then I was unemployed. Even though I was without work, I have always found a way to make money…. cleaning houses, personal organization, personal assisting, odd jobs to piece together some sort of paycheck, some way to get by.

Finally, I landed a job…. 6 weeks after S was born. I had to take it. It was a great place to work. 6 months after working there, my younger brother was killed in a horrific car accident, and then my health took a nose dive and S just seemed upset. Too many emotions, maybe? … or maybe because I left so soon… or a combination of it all?? S was stressed and my husband was running his web development business from home and managing the baby while I worked, he was stressed. We thought it was best I quit my job, for S, for my health, for his stress. I wasn’t making enough money to justify putting S in daycare full time which is what we would have needed.

It was a lovely year “off” but I still found a way to make money by nannying children from home. I have been a nanny to H for 4 months now and was watching another child prior to her.

My husband is a small business owner and, for us, that means sometimes we are flush and sometimes we have lean months. For me the ebb and flow creates much anxiety, especially when I know I could be making more money. It’s been a lean summer. And even though I watch H, it’s only one or two days a week. So I told (actually insisted) my husband two weeks ago today, that I was going to look for a job, something retail maybe I could do in the evenings.

The next day, my friend, who owns a great tattoo shop in Seattle (one that I am a client of) posted on facebook that they were looking for a part time front desk person, 3 days a week. I wrote her and said I would be interested if we could work around the days I nanny H. 3 days later, I started my new job. So now, I work 9.5 hour days, 3 days a week at the shop and nanny H the other 2 days, and still manage to have weekends off.

S is ready for preschool, so we are sending her 2 days per week and J will absorb the 3rd day.

We are all breathing a collective sigh of relief. Money isn’t everything but it’s always easier when there is decent steady money coming in. I will never be content being a housewife if my husband is struggling to make ends meet. I will always find a way to bring in some money.

(Well… that was a ramble!)