Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Dress-up Creative Play November 2, 2012

My daughters LOVE dress-up!

Amara and Terra being fairies

They incorporate their dress-up supplies into almost every game they play. Gloves become puppy paws, wigs signify certain characters, wings can be given to almost any animal, and the clothing has a range of uses.

When we began toy cycling  a few months ago I chose to keep their dress-up supplies accessible constantly. I didn’t want to take away something that encourages their creative play, their very active imaginations.

I don’t really add to the dress-up clothing very often. Some of their pieces were gifts (a few princess dresses, a couple pairs of wings, low-heeled princess shoes), I find some things at dollar stores (flimsy-fabric witch costumes, tiaras and wands, hats and gloves and sashes), and I make some things (knitted scarves, tutus, crocheted hats).

My favorite finds for the dress-up collection are the things I find on clearance, mainly at Walmart, the day after Halloween, and at Kohls (almost any day if you’re willing to wade patiently through their racks of clearance clothing and bring a coupon).

Since I seldom have the time and energy to get the most out of Kohls’ clearance sections I look forward to going to Walmart the day after Halloween. Retail therapy only works for me when I feel like I’m getting away with paying next-to-nothing; yesterday I had such a revitalizing, uplifting, and fulfilling time!

Striped tights $0.86 apiece, Wigs $1.49-$1.99 apiece

You can never have enough wings, $1.24 apiece

Christmas gifts! I figure their new tights, wigs and wings will be a bit worn out within two months. Plus, the adorable skirts were only $1.24 apiece!

P.S. A few weeks ago I stocked up at Old Navy’s Stuff and Save sale, and for my $60 purchase I was rewarded with $20 in Super Cash. To redeem Super Cash I had to come back between 11/1 and 11/7 and spend another $50. I typically don’t redeem my Super Cash coupons, but this time I really did need new maternity clothing and I had $25 in Rewards from previous purchases (points you get for using your Old Navy Visa card).

Here’s the math: Every $25 I spent allowed me to redeem $10 of Super Cash; purchasing $50 worth of clothing was equal to $30 of clothing with the coupon; $30 would really cost me $5 because I also had the $25 in Rewards: That’s $50 worth of clothing for $5. Um….yeah, TOTALLY WORTH IT! Especially since I only shop in the clearance sections.

I purchased another pair of jeans and a jumper dress for Amara, a maternity tank and three maternity dresses for myself. I looked for a few things for Terra, but didn’t have any luck; she doesn’t need much of anything anyway, I just don’t like leaving her out of the I-got-new-clothes parade. Terra wasn’t jealous. She actually cheered for Amara when I told them about my purchase. Such a sweet girl! I love the new dresses; they are so comfortable (and best of all, I got them so cheap)!

Never enough sister love!

P.P.S. If you didn’t know, NEVER shop online for Old Navy clothing. I love online shopping, but I save that for Coldwater Creek and Urban Outfitters and other things. Old Navy’s in-store clothing is always significantly cheaper than the same exact articles online. Also, going to craft stores (Michael’s has the best clearance sections) directly after a holiday has saved me a bundle!

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Ultrasound Results October 19, 2012

I caved.

Yesterday I went in for another ultrasound because the first time the tech couldn’t see the baby’s spine. They wanted to check to make sure that Baby’s spine is fused, to ensure against spina bifida. For days I’ve been undecided as to whether or not I should try once more to find out Baby’s sex.

Today (24 weeks)

My curiosity was getting the better of my resolve to let it remain a mystery. I never checked Baby’s sex during my last two pregnancies, but what really swayed me to find out was knowing how much I want a boy, and wanting needing to deal with my disappointment (if necessary) before baby is born.

Hands in fists (top) Straight on view of face (bottom)

I know it may sound unreasonable, a healthy baby is a healthy baby, but I refuse to lie to myself (anymore) and my heart has been set on having a boy.

Baby was positioned perfectly for the ultrasound. Head near my stomach, feet near my bladder. We could see a perfectly fused spine, cute little feet with the second toe being longer than the others, tiny hands clenched into fists, an adorable profile, and when we peaked at the genital area…a small area between the legs with a line down the middle.

I’M HAVING A GIRL!!!!

Legs (left) Profile (right)

Another girl.

But…I’m okay with it (…today. It took me some time to work through my initial disappointment…admittedly. I’m so glad I didn’t wait another 16 weeks!).

What was the big deal about having a boy? Well, I don’t have one, that’s the most obvious answer, but having a son meant a lot to me for other reasons as well. It might sound silly, but I wanted to be the woman to bear the male child who would carry on my husband’s family name. I know that my husband and I are no longer together, and some might say it’s a good thing he had no sons, but it still feels like a duty that I am not fulfilling. I feel somewhat, apologetic, even though I know the baby’s sex determination has pretty much nothing to do with me.

I was also disappointed because this will be my last baby, and this means that I’ll never have a son. I know, I know, I’m only 27. My best friend says not to worry, that I’ll have a son with the man of my dreams, but I cannot even fathom another dream man. I vowed to never love again if things did not work out with my husband.

Silly sisters (today)

I also promised myself to never put my children through the ups and downs of having mommy dating; it was hell for me growing up while my mother searched for her soul mate. I’m quite certain that I should just get used to being lonely. Every time I think of a companion I still wish it could be my husband (minus the bad stuff), but I know that’s not going to happen. So…I’ll never have a son.

There are good things about not having a male child as well. I would feel even more compelled to have a positive male influence around while my son were growing up than I feel obligate to having all girls. I still think it’s important for my daughters to see positive examples of males, and have interactions with them, whether or not it can or will be their father. It just seems…more detrimental for a boy not to have this. Maybe I’m just sexist?

I already have a ton of girl clothes. Terra was born at the end of March and Amara at the beginning of July, so I have mostly summer items for the first 0-6 month range, and Baby is due in February, but what I have may suffice. I’ll start checking my supplies. Also, I know what to do with a girl child. I know what she will have to go through in life as a woman. I will be able to empower her and contribute one more strong, independent, beautiful, loveable, and unique woman to the world.

Sisters hugging 🙂

I will have to fund three expensive weddings. That’s not necessarily a perk, but something for which I should probably start planning. There’s always the chance that one or more of them will be a lesbian…then I guess the parents on both sides split the expenses? I suppose I’ll worry about that if/when there’s the need (I have plenty on my worry plate already)…

Baby is a girl 🙂 She is healthy. She is in the 60th percentile at the moment. Her name will be something to do with nature, five letters, and end in “r-a” (because I’ve begun a trend already with Amara and Terra’s names). I’m thinking Keira, but I’m not sure yet. If you have any ideas please share them with me!

I’m glad that I found out Baby’s sex. I needed to come to terms with this. I am so happy that she’s going to be in my arms in 16 weeks!

 

Sibling Rivalry September 3, 2012

I know that I cannot force my daughters to love one another and that to a certain extent their rivalry is perfectly normal. But am I horrible for saying that it drives me CrAzY?!

I cannot stand their bickering.

“No I didn’t!”

CRASH!!!

“Aaugh! Sister hurt me!”

“STOP IT!”

“Mama!”

And the crying. There are so many tears that I think I’ve figured out why I hardly shed them in my adult life. I must have used them all up between the ages of three and five.

I cannot believe some of the things they’ve done to one another. Hair pulling, kicking, punching, spitting, purposely urinating on the others belongings, stealing, biting, lying, crying wolf, and breaking toys among other things. I often wonder if the negativity of my marriage influenced these behaviors, or if this is just the way of young siblings. It bewilders me.

I try so hard to teach them how to show one another respect. I try to wisely choose the battles I step into. I try to lead by example, to explain how valuable a sister can be. I pray that they will outgrow their disheartening rivalry, but at the moment I am annoyed beyond belief.

I want to scream with them. I want to run away. It’s extremely difficult to handle these days because of my severe lack of patience. I am too tired and stressed and borderline depressed to deal with such insensitive unnecessary madness. I just want to tell them to shut up and shake hands and show love, but that would be inappropriate.

I am trying harder to not not play favorites. To not compare them to one another. To let them be who they are trying to become and encourage them to express their individuality while showing them that I love them unconditionally. I try to make sure that every one is well fed, well rested, and working as a team. Still it seems that they are constantly competing.

I am counting down the days until they start school. I imagine that having more than one playmate will cut down on their constant battling. I fear that they will both be their class’ bully, but I’m hoping that once there are other children around, and more than one authority figure, they’ll straighten out.

Or, at least they’ll practice being kind in public and save all of their negative energy for me. I’ll work on finding solace in the breaks in between.