Diary Entry: Summer Evenings Being a Mom

What I love about this summer is being a mom. I can do the fun summer things, like making lemonade, cutting up watermelon, and finding fun educational things Isla hates/loves.

Isla is currently napping. She went down quite late this evening because she spent time with Nathan before he went to work today. It was a great opportunity for me to get my booty to the grocery store. I don’t mind going to the store, but it wasn’t really something I wanted to do in my 3 hour free time. Isla has been a handful lately. I don’t know what it is. She acts like she owns the adults in her life. I’m sure it’s typical behavior for a 4 year old, but it certainly drives my patience.

When Nathan got her today, she screamed and cried for at least 30 minutes because I made her wear a pair of blue pants. Her outfit is so cute. She just hates having no control over her fashion. I let her dress how she wants sometimes, but she doesn’t get that weather plays a huge role in what we wear. Teaching her has been hell. I finally put all her winter clothes in a box at the top of the closet. Now we’re trying to teach her how to look presentable (which may cause some debates).

I’m really thinking about giving her less of a wardrobe to choose from. Like 4 shorts, 4 pants, 4 shirts and 4 dresses. But then I won’t need her chest of drawers anymore. That’s ok. Minimalism is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to making choices and not feeling so overwhelmed. -I need to minimalise my closet some as well.

I’m also thinking about getting rid of a ton of her toys. She barely plays with toys. She likes to twirl and dance about in costumes more. If she plays with toys, she really only plays with her doll houses and stuffed animals or wants to read books with me. Oh, and cash registers. She loves making people pay for things!

She loves her iPad, and I love letting her play on it. It has taught her a lot. But I don’t like her being on the thing or watching stuff all day. So I’ve been taking those things away from her. She thought at first that she was being punished. I’ve told her that it’s not good to be on screens all day, and that she needs to play with her toys and use her imagination. She has caught on decently, but when she gets tired of playing and wants to watch TV, she starts to get antsy and moody. A true addiction. It’s my fault. Some summer days are just too damn hot to go outside and play. So we stay in, bored, watching Netflix. I’ve tried to break the habit by taking us to Books-a-Million for a couple of hours before nap time, and then visiting friends afterwards.

She used to watch a movie (Puss in Boots) every night while in bed to fall asleep to, while with her lamp on. I’ve cut both those out now too. She gets one day a week to watch a movie in bed, and only Christmas lights around her dresser and her Christmas light up angel (one of those fiber optic things) . She transitioned well. I was very proud!

Anyways, this was a mommy blog! Thanks for reading!!

Diary Entry: Kayaking!

I never thought I would see so many creatures as I have in the past week! I went kayaking with my friends. I was a kayak newbie, so I was a little nervous, but once I found how easy it was to go, I fell in love with it.

The first journey, we found a poor baby bird who looked almost dead in the water. I wouldn’t have thought it to be alive if I hadn’t seen it gasp for air. I had us quickly scoop it and placed it in the back of one of our kayaks.

We ventured on down stream…or up stream? It’s hard to tell with the bayous. Under the bridges I saw where birds had made giant nests. They looked so cool! The looked like giant dirt diver nests. There were ducks along the shore, quacking noisily together, and a few turtles. Then another bird in the water, its parents trying to get it out. We saved that one too. It was a baby crow.

The weather was nice that day. It was cloudy, drizzling every now and again, so the heat was super bearable. And the birds, well, we made friends with them. I kinda wanted to keep the baby crow because those things could make good pets, but I saw the mites. So I mostly held onto the little finch…if that’s the type of bird that is…he had the roughest life on sea and looked younger than the crow. Either that or crow babies are stronger. I have no idea, I’m not a bird expert.

We went kayaking again a couple days later. We went to Black Bayou. This is a national wildlife reserve, so it’s more of a swamp. This is where all the critters were. The spiders and the alligators. An eagle’s nest (did you know their nests are as big as a queen sized bed?) and many other birds. I even saw a blue heron, they recently went from endangered to the threatened list…if I’m remembering correctly.

I don’t have pictures of this trip. I didn’t want to get my phone out. But Bridget did!

Black Bayou is filled with lily pads and cypress trees. It was stunning to be in the middle of it all. The eagle’s nest is the end of the boat trail. Before we went back we all decided to tie ourselves together. It was so funny! I don’t know if it’s a normal thing to do, but I’m sure we looked quite amusing. We would play the Pirates of the Caribbean song (Daniel’s suggestion — genius!) when paddling fast. I hope someone saw and heard that…cause it made my day for sure.

As beautiful as the swamp was…I do not care to go back on those waters. Too much anxiety about capsizing among the gators and spiders.

Forgiveness

I will probably look like the chick from the Grudge in this blog post. Hopefully not by the end of it, though.

I always thought I was someone who had the upper hand in forgiving people. As naive as it sounds, I have always had such a hard time holding grudges. Then I met Laura.

Laura did some very awful things to me. She two faced me. She pretended to be a friend, but ultimately changed my whole life. Granted, it worked things out for the better, now. I saw that when I met Daniel, and realized what it was like to be truly loved.

Laura. She’s a spider in my life.

And because of her, I know what it feels like to have a hard time forgiving.

When I first began going to the Catholic Church, journeying through RCIA, one obstacle was confession. Because of my grudge on Laura, I wasn’t sure how to explain to the priest that my problem was deeper than just an easy sin. It was something I couldn’t change. Something bad that hurt me….that made me hate myself and cry.

How do you just forgive someone who turned your whole world around? Once I became Catholic, I visited a priest in another town every couple of weeks to talk about it. He could see how hurt I was, from what she did, the oppression, and from my own transgression. He would spend the time speaking to me about it, encouraging me to keep praying. He saw my problem… if I forgive her, I would have to be friendly with her. But I didn’t want to be friendly. I didn’t want to be around her. And he told me that forgiveness doesn’t mean being friends. I had to come to terms with this. This had been a problem my whole life. I always forgave…and forgot…and continued. I was naive. Thinking staying friends with people who did me wrong would make things right again…

I also read a verse somewhere, either during a Mass reading or on my own, that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to forgive everyone, and how little my burden is compared to that sacrifice. It would make me cry staring at the crucifix. He wants my yolk. How could I be so bitter…

It’s been since 2016. I only now feel the affects of forgiveness towards her. The anger I used to feel at her name, at seeing her, it has become more like a pity feeling. I just want her away from my daughter and to move on. I don’t need Isla learning that it’s ok. But for so long I wanted her to taste her own medicine, to feel pain twice more than she made me feel. And I hated that. It didn’t help. It only made me more angry when I didn’t see her in pain.

To conclude:

I see more than ever that there needs to be a balance between forgiveness and friendliness. Sometimes, friendliness is necessary. Other times, it is not. And being concerned about vengeance can only keep you in the darkness of a grudge.

This quote from St. Philip Neri is perfect!!

“If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix, and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave His enemies, but even prayed His Heavenly Father to forgive them also. Let him remember that when he says the Pater Noster, every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance on himself.”
–Saint Philip Neri

picture from Forgive Me, But Forgiveness Ain’t Easy by Cynthia Toussaint which is a cool blog about forgiveness! How relevant!

Diary Entry: Spiders

I really don’t like when I go through random nights of nightmares and uncomfortable sleep. Daniel just bought my grandmother’s house…so now it’s his house….it feels weird to say it. We’re in the middle of doing some renovations and setting it up so he can finally move in. We packed up everything in his apartment. It’s a lofty flat, so everything is under his bed and the place is not well insulated from the outside world. In other words…SPIDERS EVERYWHERE!

OK, not everywhere, but my mind couldn’t help but think they were scurrying away from his grasp (I didn’t help because spiders) as he pulled things out from under the bed, waiting to crawl onto the blankets and attack us at our most vulnerable.

So, when all was said and done, I had spider nightmares all night! It didn’t help that the night before I saw a spider scurrying across my bed, and another chilling between my nightstand and the wall. I kept waking up slapping myself, scared spiders were on me. I’m still uneasy about sleeping in my bed.

And then we went kayaking at Black Bayou. Water spiders….EVERYWHERE. When we made it back to shore 2 hours later, our kayaks were covered in the creatures. Especially Daniel’s. His kayak had been swarmed by them. He is just so chill about them! HOW CAN HE BE SO CHILL ABOUT THEM?!

I hate spiders….

Photo by Rangarajan Ragunathan on Unsplash