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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Semen Strong
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We had a really fun morning, that was a real turn-around and exercise in acceptance. I had to go to the opticians to get an eye exam and glasses at CostCo and Brett was going to watch Leela while I went. And then as I started to get ready to go, I noticed that he was getting more nervous about being alone with her and her getting tired etc. So I offered that he could bring her along with me and watch her while I was getting the exam. So instead of getting 90 minutes of alone time (which would have been really nice), I got about 30 minutes, but Leela was really happy running around CostCo with Brett (eating snacks and playing with other people) and Brett felt pretty competent out alone with her, which I am counting as a win and we had a really nice family outing out of what would have been a chore.

And now she is tuckered out and asleep while I watch TV :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:55 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Yay! Glad it worked out. Can you find an activity, maybe, that Leela can do with Brett that she'd really enjoy? Like for us it really really helps that Vi looooves the baby bike seat. She and my husband would go on bike rides around the neighborhood, stop at the popsicle place (she'd get her own doggy pop, which is frozen apple/carrot juice) and meanwhile I'd get a couple hours to myself over the weekend. It's something that just the two of them do, so it helps my husband feel like he can offer something I can't (vs. so much of the other way around, esp. w/ her still nursing!!) and it's made her much more enthusiastic about spending time with her daddy. A fun weekend class or trip to a special playground or something might provide a similar outlet. Anyway, just a thought - I think having something that just the two of them do together made my husband a much more confident parent.

We've been married forever (8.5 years, and we've been a couple for...15), so I have to say that I think a kid would've been a much bigger shock to our marriage earlier on. Right now we're dealing with our first post-baby deployment, and I have to say that while the deployment cycle seems really tough on everyone's marriages, the hardest parts are before they leave and after they come home! It sucks having him away and I need to be really careful about my stress level with not having much of a break from parenting....but it's easier to stay on our schedule, he's not bringing work stress home, I'm not tasked with as many to dos for him, and it's we're no longer living under the threat of imminent separation and pressure to make the most of our time together and get all kinds of stuff done.

Anyway, I have the dubious brag of a marriage that is going great! ...because my husband is somewhere under the surface of the pacific ocean right now and for most of the months to come. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Glad things are going well for you annak!

It was just nice to have a bit of a win today, and to turn around our pattern, even once.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:59 pm 
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This is really a vent, but it's not about my kids, so perhaps it belongs here. We just moved in to a new home. It's amazing, I love it, etc. EXCEPT, we have no grass. Our lovely lot is a giant pile of mud. Our entire street is a pile of mud because it's a new part of the subdivision and nothing has been sodded or seeded yet. We have three dogs. (And two kids.) I told my husband two months ago he needed to have a temporary solution because I couldn't walk all three dogs with two kids when he's on the road (which is fairly often this time of year). Obviously, nothing happened, and both of us are having to give the dogs a forking bath every single time they go out. Which would be fine except that I get to do it with two little kids alone in the house, crying or causing trouble, when he's not around.

I knew this would happen, and I'm so annoyed that I didn't just handle it myself and get some temporary sod or artificial turf put down (which is what I spent my morning at work trying to figure out). And, every suggestion I offer gets shot down or ignored, so we end up arguing about this damn issue instead of unpacking or enjoying our new house. Also, we have a mouse (or mice, not sure). /rant

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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this is what happened in my house when we moved in last year during mud season. We ended up putting down gravel in part of our front yard since the sods we had installed immediately turned into a mud bog. This of course was after someone built a boardwalk over the mud (no comments). The dog was so filthy it was just preposterous. Good luck, i think we just barely survived that period of our relationship. Just a thought, not sure if the dogs will poop on artificial turf, we considered it too. My dog won't (nor on gravel. live and learn.)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Thanks, torque. Misery loves company, yes? Pretty confident our dogs won't do anything on gravel either, and local companies are out of sod. So artificial turf or divorce might be the only two options. (Joking, I think.) I'm so frustrated because it's not like this is a surprise - I guess I can be thankful we don't have a boardwalk. Yet. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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dogs don't poop on the boardwalk either!!!!!! ha. artificial turf may be appealing enough to doggie hinies if that's all they've got. good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:38 am 
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My husband has the worst case of man-PMS ever. He's not listening to me, he's not communicating well (as in, he tells me what the plan is, but then somehow it isn't exactly what he meant the plan was -- my husband and MIL are like Rainman when it comes to having schedules and plans, while I could give a shiitake in general, but I do like to schedule time to cook, clean, and exercise; and Mr Crabby comes up with a plan, I assume that is how things are going to go down), he's yelling at me (I'm not saying I never yell, I totally yell, that's why I'm the crabby crafter and not the friendly crafter, but this is, like, for no good reason) and he's yelling at the kids and sounding snappy at us when he isn't yelling. Yesterday and today have been so annoying and he hasn't even been up for half an hour this morning (I get up at 7, he gets up between 9:30 and 10).

Mrs Crabby: When can I exercise this morning?
Mr Crabby: You're supposed to be doing it now.
Mrs Crabby: Why didn't you say something earlier, you've been up and lying around for 15 minutes?
Mr Crabby: I did say something just now when you asked.
...
Mrs Crabby: Are you going to do school with the kids? (asked for the third time)
Mr Crabby: I will when you GET OUT OF THE ROOOOM!!!!!

Pass the Midol!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Nothing feels lonelier than a bad relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:04 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Many hugs, T. Call/text me if you want to talk.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:35 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Nothing feels lonelier than a bad relationship.


If you need to talk, you know where to find me (in the internet where I live!) <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:46 am 
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I'm here, too. Believe me, I understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:02 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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yes, there have been a few times that i've been wanting to write an update but there isn't really anything to update. i don't want to go into details, and our day to day existence has been relatively stable, but i hear you on not having backup. i do what i can, and the kid is good except for when the kid is old enough to realize that the parents don't agree on parenting. then it gets really complicated.

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Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:09 am 
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Semen Strong
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Thanks! We are in the middle of negotiating a new boundary and it is uncomfortable.

Basically, B is used to doing whatever he wants when he wants to, and not really checking in. But as L is more aware of when he isn't home, she will be asking "Dada? Dada?" constantly, and its hard for me to manage expectations when I don't know his schedule. If I tell her Daddy isn't coming home, then she'll go down pretty easy. If she knows he is coming home, she'll fight sleep until he is home which means that she is completely exhausted and melting down. And I don't want to say "he isn't coming home", only to have him walk in 10 mins later, because that damages her ability to trust what I am saying. His feeling is that that is BS and he should be able to put her to sleep if she is there, or I do it if he isn't and its not a big deal either way. So his story is I am using L to control him, and he is already doing all he can. He didn't grow up with a father until he was 2 and his story is that his stepfather was a jerk and not part of their life, so he pretty much thinks moms do all the parenting and dads are just gravy. My Dad was super-important to me and I adored him, so for me fathers are hugely important, plus I see that L is always checking in with him and adores him too. Intellectually we agree that Leela needs two parents, but we're still working out the balance.

And we have a hard time with communication because he gets often really defensive and shuts down any attempt at conversation, and I really have a hard time just letting him be in those moments, even though what I know he needs is to be allowed to process alone for a few minutes and then return. So we both have our part in it, but in the moment it feels horrible. And we both come from families where our parents put their kids in the middle, and enlist the child on one side or the other. So I was my father's soldier and he was his mother's. And he'll pull L into it - he will pick her up to comfort her, hold her and then fight with me and that is really shitty. We talk about it in therapy, and he is always really apologetic and admits fault and says he wants to do better, but then the next time we fight things go down the same route. Therapy isn't a magical fix - its great to have an impartial observer guide you as you look at your relationship, but the only thing to do to shift behavior is to keep working on the patterning, recognizing triggers, practicing different responses etc. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I need to learn from yesterday. Definitely taking space for letting things go,when my partner is triggered but prob more as well.

I just really needed to vent because everything was going pearshaped yesterday.

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:35 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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That sucks, Tlish. You're definitely not alone in a lot of that. Reading your story it seems like you both might really benefit from some time together with just the two of you. Maybe even a weekend if you could swing it..


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:54 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Nothing feels lonelier than a bad relationship.

Truth.

I think Annak is right. A day or two alone might be good for both of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:41 pm 
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So sorry t'lish.

Do you guys ever get to sit and talk when Leela is asleep or playing by herself? Not even about important things but just talk. I was talking with friends the other day, 1 with a kid 1 without a kid, we were trying to explain to the 1 without kids how hard it is just to find time to talk about anything and that getting stuck in traffic with a napping child in the backseat is the best thing ever sometimes because thats the first time we've gotten to chit chat in ages. For us when the the kids go to bed P usually cat naps on the couch and I watch Netflix. Lately I've been keeping the tv off and he's been trying not to fall asleep and we just talk and it's been wonderful. I don't feel like anything was wrong with our relationship at all but this has definitely added to our relationship. We will talk about friends, things in the news, general stuff and not talk much about the kids.

I seem to remember your relationship got better by the two of you laying in bed together at night with Leela before B moved to his own room for the rest of the night. Are you guys still having that time together?

Perhaps it's time to consider moving Leela into her own room so you and B can have that time back together that you had before you had Leela. At the least maybe get her to sleep in your bed without you there after she falls asleep. You guys can't go away for a night or two without her like Annak suggested although if you could leave Leela with someone it would be wonderful!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Thank you all for the input! You know, we totally need to put that practice back in. Thanks for that, JENNA.

It slipped out because B started to take a course in NYC, which means that he can't work for his business on one day a week, and so he's been trying to do 6 days of work in 5, and that means that he has been extra-stressed. Plus, as part of giving me more time alone, he took on putting L to bed when he is home, so they have that hour, and then he goes back into the basement and works more, so he is going to bed around midnight. And he wakes up with us, and he and L feed the cats and make me coffee etc. So he has been taking more time with L, but that has come at the expense of us having time alone together.

And of course, when we're both really tired, its not easy to absorb as much, and this fight came on the heels of L being sick for 4 days, so I'm exhausted. And we had no water because he decided to fix a faucet just as she was going to bed and instead of an hour long job it turned into a 6 hour one, with 3 trips to the store, and she was so interested in what was going on that she didn't go to bed but kept begging to be allowed to "help" under the sink, while also overwhelmed and melting down.

Most of our problems would fade into insignificance if we had more time and more money :) Which I suspect is not uncommon :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:

Most of our problems would fade into insignificance if we had more time and more money :) Which I suspect is not uncommon :)


Oh, Lard, yes.
Thinking of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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JENNA wrote:
Perhaps it's time to consider moving Leela into her own room so you and B can have that time back together that you had before you had Leela. At the least maybe get her to sleep in your bed without you there after she falls asleep. You guys can't go away for a night or two without her like Annak suggested although if you could leave Leela with someone it would be wonderful!


I am actually struggling with this myself - I would like do a little traveling to see my husband but am mulling doing a short trip without V. On one hand it seems insane, and on the other I'm wondering why, and how long is too long to leave a baby at what age. I have friends who have definitely left their toddlers alone overnight/for the weekend/longer trips for various reasons, and I haven't spent more than about 5 hours away from V, ever. It does seem so daunting, though. And of course it involves finding willing caretakers that you really, really trust.

Anyway I agree with considering moving her into her own room. We went from V going to sleep around 10pm along with us, in our room, to getting her to sleep around 7-8pm in her own bed, where she'll stay until at least 10pm and sometimes all night. It was really so nice to have some time together back. Of course in the pre-D workup, by the end of the day my husband was usually exhausted and passing out on the couch anyway.. but in theory we had time together!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:18 pm 
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When Reno was around 22 months old or so my husband and I took a 3 night vacation to Philly. It's 2 hours more or less from where we live so we were comfortable with that distance in case we had to get home for whatever reason. Reno stayed with my parents who we are lucky to have live right below us which was a brand new living situation at that time. It was a great vacation. The first thing we did when we got to the B&B was sleep. Then we got dinner and then we slept some more. We did a lot of sleeping! Miles is 21-22 months now and has already spent a night at my MIL's house a few times. At that age your kids aren't going to hate you for leaving them.

Now, though, Reno is starting to get upset when I leave just for a few hours at night! I feel it's all an act with her because she is very dramatic but who knows. I don't know what's going to happen when I go to Vida Vegan Con from Thursday-Monday in May. I don't know what's going to happen with Peter those days either! I am so thankful for my parents below us and my MIL who is a 10 min drive away.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:

It slipped out because B started to take a course in NYC


Just a thought... B seems to take a lot of courses. Are these really necessary courses? He gets an awful lot of time away from you guys. That can't be helping things. Also I think you should take some sorta course even if that means sitting in Starbucks drinking a coffee for 2 hours reading the newspaper once a week. :) I'll join you on that course!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:46 pm 
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We've started leaving Malka with my mother in law once every other week or so overnight. It is awesome to have that time back for each other, even if we spend most of it cleaning. We also try to see our friends as much as possible because it is too easy to run out of things to talk about to each other that aren't baby related, and outside stimulus helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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I really wish we had family nearby sometimes. All our living parents and siblings are back in the Midwest, and they come out to visit sometimes, but usually that means they try to be helpful for the first day or so but then the help sort of evaporates because really they're there for a vacation. But I don't ever feel like I get a vacation--even going to Japan was fun but largely stressful because, especially those first few days, so many hours of the day were focused on keeping V happy and/or quiet.

However, leaving her home to visit another port call would mean a logistical dilemma - I could take her back to the Midwest, where there are several potential caretakers to share the burden, but that requires extra time and flights, or someone could come here to watch her, and then I have to make sure my house is in a state that I want other people staying alone in, and all the consequences of each (having to be very clear about food/risk V being fed nonvegan stuff, it being hard for someone to care for V in an environment she's not familiar with/hasn't been V-proofed at all, people rearranging shiitake in my house and not being able to find anything, having people cook their nasty meat in my house, concern about other people's pets in their own homes, my MIL in particular has a history of getting sick and cancelling at the last minute, etc.)... And then my absence would be farther and longer than I'd really like to start out with anyway.

Anyway all this is very lonely sometimes, and I can identify with Tlish not having easy, trustworthy people to give her & B some respite. I don't know what the solution is. I'm thinking of booking one of those all-inclusive family resorts or a Disney cruise or something after deployment (just what someone wants after 6 months on a ship - a cruise!!! ;) ), it's not at all how we like to travel but chiiiildcaaare..


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