I love my girl

I love Ellie sooo much. I was just really feeling that today, and lately in general. It can definitely be hard to parent  a 3-year-old (can’t believe she’s three now!) with all the strong opinions and fussing when you don’t get what you want, but she’s able to have conversations now, and I enjoy having special Mommy and Ellie time. 

I also feel joy making things fun and exciting for her, like getting donuts this morning or going to the park after school. She likes thinking about next day’s plans, and she has a very good memory, so don’t try to change them! :) 

I talk to her about a variety of things, and she listens and understands so much now. We’ve been talking about our upcoming move and getting excited about that (but also knowing we have to pack). 

Then yesterday I read her a simple book talking about how she was conceived with a donor egg. I’d been feeling now was the time to share a little about it, and I feel good that I did. She didn’t seem phased at all and was more into the parts where Daddy and I met and how excited we were when she was born. But the door has been opened, and I feel positive about that. 

I love you sooo much, Ellie! XOXO


Cohousing is happening!

After some uncertainty as to whether we could manage the loan and resulting loan payment, especially from RC, we are now on the same page and working through the many final steps and decisions to move in to our Cohousing unit! I’ll share about a few of these below…

First of all, which unit will we choose? We were going to be  in a one level, slightly smaller unit for some time, then moved (on the unit map, not in real life) to a two-story unit with the office and Ellie’s bedroom upstairs, and the kitchen, living room, washer/dryer, and a very small master bedroom downstairs. Then the price was recently reduced on our previous c-unit, so we are considering moving back. 

But, RC just got a promotion! And I really think I would miss not having the upstairs to retreat to or hang out in when I needed a change of scenery or energy reset. It just feels mor expansive and lighter upstairs and allows more separation between activities. Does this make sense? 

The other, now less expensive unit has a wonderful, large outdoor deck, though, and a slightly larger backyard. I wish we could have the outside of that unit and the inside of the other one. 😏 

There is a site tour tomorrow, and I’m going to do some measuring and then we’ll decide! I’m leaning toward the D but am willing to sacrifice and go with the other one if RC thinks it would be prudent. I feel lucky to be buying into the community period, and I’m grateful he’s come around to commit to it  

Then we will continue working on our loan. We’ve gotten most of our ducks in a row, but closing costs are more expensive than we’d remembered, and we are really hoping interest rates go down a little in October. 🤞🏼

Additionally, we have seemingly dozens of things we need to decide on and purchase with others in the community. Finishes/items that for whatever reason were not included in the construction plans. In actuality, there are just a few we want/need (washer/dryer, blinds, ceiling fans, microwave, ?), but coordinating these decisions feels like a lot right now. 

But I have to say that it’s also super exciting. I’ve dreamed of living in Cohousing for a looong time, and Ellie is really getting to know and grow attached to our “neighbors.” She’s adored and gets quite a bit of attention, which is so nice! When we go to see the unit, she is thrilled to go into her room, and she throws herself down on the floor and looks so comfortable and at home. Her experience of home and neighbors/loved ones is (hopefully) going to be so different  than mine  

I’ll share more soon about unit choice; please send good thoughts. Move-on is scheduled for November 7th! Happy almost fall! 


A Rainy Spring

I’m sitting here looking outside at the downpour. Lots of rain in our area of the NW lately. It definitely cramps our style, as it limits our neighborhood walks and family park visits. We are still trying to get out as much as possible, whenever the clouds part. 

So happy to report that Ellie is loving her part-time preschool! She’s always excited to go and likes running around, circle time, and reading - at least that’s all I can get out of her so far in terms of activities. :) She naps for an hour or hour-and-a-half usually (half the time she naps at home), but at least she is managing to sleep, which I was a little worried about. She talked about a friend she was playing with for the first time yesterday, and she brought home her first ever birthday party invitation. 🥰

Other recent Ellie developments: she LOVES listening to “Islands in the Stream,” knows all the words, and asks us to play it as soon as we get in the car. It’s adorable! It’s also hilarious hearing a toddler sing, “…makin’ love with each other, uh uh,” and have no idea what it means. She helps daddy make his protein shakes and oatmeal, and those are a couple of their special times. Daddy will also read to her endlessly, book after book after book. 

She really does love reading and songs, and I think/hope that has helped her. It was nice to hear her teacher say that she had a big vocabulary. She sure does talk a lot right now, and continues to like to describe things in increasing detail, and also report back what happened after the fact. She just recently said she was “disappointed” that her stuffie fell down - after chastising him for falling down.  lol She shows more and more independence but still likes to be Mama’s baby sometimes, thank goodness.

We all got colds here over the last few weeks; first Ellie, then me, then R. She had to stay home from preschool a few days, and it’s amazing how quickly a big life change (going to preschool) can become the norm. It felt like she was so cooped up and life was so limited. At least R was able to watch her half day Tuesday and all day Thursday, so I was could keep up with most of my work and meetings with clients.

Speaking of work, and continuing the theme of rain, I’m taking a 10-week, Wednesday morning class called, “Rainmaker,” which is focused on digital marketing (and making 💵💰💵💰) for entrepreneurs. I’m learning a lot about targeting clients, social media, how to get free marketing (I’ve contributed content to two media pieces so far, which will backlink to my website), and email campaigns. Several more weeks to go. 

The challenge will be following through and implementing more strategies, and continuing to implement them over time. I’m excited to report, though, that I doubled my client load last month!

I do love where I work at the Coworking space, and I’ve never felt as excited to go to work as I do right now  I genuinely look forward to the next day when I know I will be working. It’s so nice to focus and use my brain and talents, but I’m grateful I had the time and was able to wait for a couple years before Ellie went to daycare/preschool. Hoping I can keep it up to help us make our mortgage payments come November. 


Winter Lament

Popping in to let you all know (you’re welcome :-)) that we have been dealing with a little girl’s constipation over here for almost two weeks, and I am so ready to be done with it. We have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow with the head of the practice, so I hope she has some really effective advice for us. I thought at first it might be a lingering side effect of a 24-hour virus she had, but seems beyond that now. 

We started yesterday with small doses of miralax and have been giving juice and pears and veggies. It’s helping a little, maybe, but she’s still struggling. Lots of, “Pick me up, Mommy!” Said in a pitiful tone. 😢 Sad and exhausting. 

I admit that we have not been working as hard as we should be to get her to eat veggies. She often eats one fruit/veggie pouch every day or two and eats lots of fruit. She doesn’t like most veggies but will eat bites when we feed them to her of zucchini, carrots, and asparagus. Tonight I tried chopping  broccoli up in really small pieces and sautéing it in butter, and she ate three bites of that, which I count as a win. 

Any tips or recipes toddlers will eat with veggies hidden in them? Is constipation a developmental thing most kids go through? 

A few other updates, since I’m here and haven’t posted in quite a while…

Winter is dragging on now in the NW and getting really old - move on buddy, you’ve overstayed your welcome. I wore a summer dress the other day to try and nudge the weather. ha

Ellie is going to start preschool in about a month!! We are excited, and I know she is ready for more variety and time with other kids. It will only be part-time so not too hard of a separation. 

Our cohousing project is well underway, and they said we might even be able to move-in early. We will see. Right now, still planning on end of October/beginning of November. I’ve been spending time on committee work, and we’ve sold the last two units (one to family with a 16-year-old). 

At some point Ellie full-on entered toddlerville, and, though I wouldn’t call them terrible, I do now understand where the term “terrible twos” came from. Lots of strong emotions and expressing wants and needs all the time. “I don’t!!” Is something we hear regularly, meaning I don’t want to do whatever you just asked me to do. 

But she has also become so actively loving and affectionate, and she says, “I love you,” all the time, in the sweetest way. ❤️ She loves to help, and we really need to get one of those kitchen towers so she can safely stand and help us in the kitchen. 

Signing off for now to watch some tv and shut off my mind for a while. Sad and worried about Ukraine, as I’m sure you all are. Sending prayers. 


Juggling many things

This month has been pretty busy and intense for us; you, too? Let’s see, what’s been going on:

Filling the last units in our cohousing community, after making a big push to recruit and encourage families. Final decisions end of February. 

Actively involved on several community teams, including membership, community agreements, and Covid, as well as mentoring two Explorers. Here’s a picture of construction progress…

Trying to keep up with the developmental leaps of our little Ellie. She’s running, jumping, dancing, balancing, wants to help and be involved with everything. She recently started talking in whole sentences and singing entire songs, and continues to describe and identify everything. And being her strong, sensitive, emotionally expressive self, which I love but which can be quite exhausting, as you know. Let’s just say “No” is a big part of her vocabulary right now. But man, getting hugs and snuggles from her, and catching her up in an embrace when she runs to me exclaiming, Mommy!” can’t be beat. And she’s into imagination and so fun to play with. 🥰

Working out two days a week at the gym, again. Feels great, and Ellie loves going to see the childcare provider there and playing with another kid or two. We are thinking we will start her in preschool part-time when she qualifies at two-and-a-half.

I’ve been working a few hours, a couple days a week at a Coworking/flex desk space for the past few months and loving it so much. A clear head and lack of distractions feels liberating, and it’s a modern, open, well-lit space with perks like coffee and snacks. Clients and colleagues can meet with me there, and they have private/soundproof zoom rooms. I come home feeling productive and grounded, and missing Ellie, which makes for a sweet little reconnection. 

We started up with our parenting group again, it’s good to see everyone and share experiences and ideas, and just get understanding. It’s yet another meeting on Zoom, though, and I’m getting burnt out on that medium, for sure, Being in the spotlight, on-camera, for long periods like that is super draining for introverts. 

I’m going to end there for now. Hope to post more, soon, about holidays. They were good but just sort of low-key and average, probably partly because my sister and family were out of town. Time at my Dad’s on Christmas Eve was really nice, though. More exciting than Christmas was probably getting several inches of snow the day after! Ellie was sooo excited, and we went out in it a lot to explore, make snow balls, footprints, and just run around. So peaceful, too. Anyway, more later. Hang in there, everyone!


Two-years-old! Life progressions

We had Ellie’s Daniel Tiger party with family, including two cousins who adore her, and it was lots of fun. Highlights were seeing her playing and loving the ball pit (balls in a child’s pool) and doing the piñata. 

Other big news is that she’s started taking up a storm! Repeats everything we say and talks and sings to herself. She even asked a question! “Why sleeping?” about why Daddy was sleeping. Stringing a couple multiple syllable words together, using words in context, unprompted. So fun and exciting! And her little voice is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. 

Enjoying Falls arrival. Trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the Oregon rainy season hits. Our Cohousing community broke ground a few weeks ago - woo hoo! And we are on a last push (marketing and offering incentives) to find more families to take a couple of our last few units. There is only one child close to Ellie’s age right now (just turned 4), but a couple other families with young kids are exploring, fingers crossed. We switched to a downstairs flat that has a little backyard. It was a little more expensive but I couldn’t imagine not having a little private yard with Ellie. There will be lots of common outdoor space, too. 

Two other recent developments: we started working out again! I gained 10 pounds in the last year or two and feel uncomfortable so glad to get back to the athletic club. Ellie is going to the childcare at the club and doesn’t bat an eye walking in. No clinginess at all. Not sure how I feel about that! But I guess it’s a good thing. I think she was really ready to explore and experience some new places and people. She hasn’t had childcare before now. 

And one of the childcare workers there said she could babysit for us on the weekend sometimes, so RC and I might actually get some alone time on a date. We need this. I feel like our closeness comes and goes and we get frustrated and reactive with each other sometimes. We need to resolve a particular communication pattern that can come up where I want his attention/focus and he feels I’m not accepting him or want him to be something he isn’t. Argh. But overall, we are having some nice family times and working well together as parents. 

Anyway, I got off on a tangent. The other thing going on is that my career counseling business is growing! My online platforms are reaching people a little more, it seems, and I’ve gotten a few recent referrals from my business networking group. Hoping this online career class platform I’m part of starts getting clients, as well. It would be fun to both run a small group and continue working individually. 

I still think of having another baby sometimes but, mostly, I’ve settled into being a one-child family. Mom to my little Ellie. :)


Long overdue update

Dropping in to say, “hi! I’m still here!” Can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Lots happening and shifting, including:

Full members of Cohousing community, now! Woo hoo! So excited and am getting to know other members better, both local members and those visiting from other locales who will be moving here. Breaking ground scheduled for end of this month, eek!

RC’s sister visited last week, the twin sister I (and Ellie) had never met. I liked her a lot and feel like we started a friendship. She talks a lot more than RC, so that’s interesting.  I got to know more details about his family and history through her, which in turn makes me feel closer to him. Ellie really liked her, too, and I’m happy to have a new Auntie in her life. Hopefully, we will keep on touch now. 

I think my next post will be all about Ellie, but here are some recent developments…She is so fun, and I see why some parents say, “my sidekick,” because it does feel like that.  She’s my buddy and with me wherever I go, except when she’s sleeping or her dad’s watching her, but most of the time.  :) She’s saying more words now! Not always predictably, but she’s saying more and more, mainly nouns/names for things. And she understands everything, and I’m so impressed with how she can follow multiple-step directions or understand future plans, etc. 

She still LOVES to read and be read to, and is super active and practicing running, walking on tiptoes, dancing, climbing up and down stairs. Can’t take our eyes off her in public places now at all.  Okay better end there, as it’s time for bed but I will try and write more soon. Here’s a recent pic of my baby: