Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Visited A Zoo

Drew and I decided to take Annelise to the zoo today.  She really likes the few animals that she's been around, so I figured that she would really enjoy going to the zoo and seeing a bunch of different ones.  She had a great time, and I loved seeing her reaction to the animals.
We decided to go to Madison to Henry Vilas Zoo.  It's a smaller zoo, but it was perfect for us.  We only had a couple of hours before it would be time for Annelise to have a nap.  We were able to see a small, but decent amount of animals, and leave before we had a meltdown due to a delayed nap.
Are you kidding me with the size of those paws!!!
This was her reaction to most of the animals.  She loved them!
We're waiting in line to ride the train.
After the train ride, we went inside a little building to ride the carousal.  She kept signing "more" as we were waiting for the train because she could see it inside the building.
She's looking at some Meerkats.

Then, Annelise got a National Geographic lesson.
Um, yeah.  Drew went to go find the bathroom, so I took Annelise through the amphibian building that you can see behind the fence in the background.  Once I came out of the building, I heard this honking noise.  I walked around the corner and saw the male tortoise climbing on top of the female and honking at her, quite loudly.  I heard all of the parents of older children tell their kids that they were hugging.  Ha!

I can't wait to take her to the zoo again.  Hopefully later this summer.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Playing and Discovering

We took a little break from play excursions on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday, Jess and Wesley came with Annelise and me to Kindermusik class.  Once Wes warmed up, he had a pretty good time.  Annelise, however, was pretty clingy.  This has been interesting to me because she was pretty darn social during the spring semester.  I think that she got used to seeing the kids that she knew, grew comfortable with them, and interacted with them more.  Also, she's the youngest kid in this first summer session.  I'm wondering if that has something to do with it.  She almost acts intimidated by the older children.  She seems to be drawn to babies, or at least children her age or slightly younger, a lot more than she is drawn to older kids.  Yesterday was our last class for the first summer session, so I'm curious to see how the second session plays out.

Today, Eric, Jessica, and I took Wesley and Annelise to Discovery Center.  Both kids had a great time! We started out in the water area, and my kid probably would have been happy as a clam if we had just left her there to play all day.
I had to put her paci in her mouth so that she would stop putting all of the water toys in her mouth.  Please tell me that the "I've got to put everything in my mouth" phase will be over soon!!!
She noticed the stuffed dog sitting there and got the biggest, cheesiest grin on her face.  It was absolutely adorable!  And, notice the baby doll in her hand.  She's pretty obsessed with them.  In fact, whenever the teacher in Kindermusik pulled out her doll to do demonstrations for the class, Annelise always stole it away from her.
Jessica told Wes to take Annelise over and show her the train.  So he grabbed her hand and started pulling her over there.  She obliged and followed right along.  Melt my heart!
Annelise loves anything that she can climb up or down or slide on right now.
She's signing "more" because she wanted to swing on the swing with me again.
We left at about 1:15, which, if you're keeping track, is about two hours after her nap time.  I don't know how the kid was still functioning as well as she was.  She crashed hard on the way home and slept for 4 1/2 hours!!!  Her longest nap ever!

After she woke up, and Drew got home from work, we went over to his parent's house to have dinner and hang out.
She loved the little red rocking chair.  Pretty sure she's yelling at me to stop taking pictures.  Ha!

I wanted to try and get a nice picture of the cousins together.
Eric and Jess leave to go visit Eric's parents for a week tomorrow.  We'll be heading to meet up with them there on the 4th for Wesley's birthday party.

Monday, June 24, 2013

And Play We Shall

Eric, Jessica, and Wesley are in town this week for their annual summer visit.  I am beyond excited to have someone to take the kids places with.  Today, since it was rainy in the morning, we took Wes and Annelise to a huge indoor play place.  This was the first time that Annelise has every done something like that.  It took her a little bit to warm up, but once she did, she had a blast!  I had a great time watching the kids play.

She already looks up to him so much, literally and figuratively!

I was a little worried about how the morning would go.  The play place doesn't open until 10 AM, and Annelise usually goes down for a nap at 11 AM.  I figured that we'd get maybe a little over an hour and she would be begging to go home and go to sleep.  However, she outplayed Wes, and was still wanting to climb and play at 12:30 and Wes was over it.  I was pretty impressed!  I can't wait to take her back again.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Beginning of Some Healing

It's about to get real in here.  Real.  And deep.  I haven't blogged in basically forever because I've really been struggling with myself.  I struggle with what I should post, and how I should do it, and whether I really want to open up and talk about it.  Then, I get so angry with myself because I don't blog about things.  I love blogging because it is such a great way for me to look back and remember what has happened.  So, I'm done being scared about what I should and shouldn't post.  At the end of the day, this little piece of the internet is really just for me.  I need to stop being scared that what I'm going to post is going to offend somebody, or make them think differently of me.  I need to grow a backbone.  I need to open up and be vulnerable sometimes.  I need to write and just let the feelings flow out of me through the keyboard.

I am feeling very alone right now.  I've had a falling out with a couple of friends recently and it has left me very bruised.  The first friend happened for the first time many, many months ago.  Last March actually.  I tried to open up with her and be honest about some things that were really bothering me about our friendship.  I must have been too honest, because she was deeply offended.  Rather than talking them through with me, she talked about it with everybody else.  She managed to muster up a "Congrats" on my Facebook wall when I had Annelise.  (Yes, that's how long ago this was.)  After many weeks, I could not get our disagreement out of my head.  I felt like God kept putting her on my heart and wanted me to reach out to her.  She was pregnant at the time and I felt like God wanted me to try to put the disagreement behind us so that we could be friends again and I could be there during her pregnancy and we could be friends with young babies.  We hung out once, and then had another fall out.  I sent her an email and told her that I didn't feel like things could be patched up and that maybe we needed to go our separate ways.  I asked her where she stood and how she felt about things.  She sent me an email back basically saying that she had a lot on her plate and briefly opened up about some struggles that she was having, but then told me that she wanted space.  After reading that email, I knew that things just wouldn't ever really work out between us.  This girl had once called me her best friend.  To me, a best friend is someone who tells each other practically everything.  A best friend leans on each other for support through good times and bad.  This girl just wanted to open up enough to get some attention, but then slam me to pieces when I tried to ask questions and be a friend.  I responded to her email with a very cordial goodbye and told her that I wished her well with her new growing family.

I thought that that would be the end of it.  Maybe we'd reconnect in the future, maybe we wouldn't.  But, just a couple of days later, my sister called me and told me that this friend had deleted her and I from Facebook.  Now, I'm not usually one to get my feelings hurt over a Facebook unfriending, but this had me a little suspicious.  She obviously didn't go through her friends list good enough, because she had still left Drew on there.  I saw that she had posted a status and had torn me to pieces.  And since I know that you're curious, here's what she posted:

I cannot stand those people who claim to be your friends, but are really jealous of you and try to put you down any chance they get.....what's the word....frenemy, right? They want to hang out with you, only to criticize you, like its their job or something. And for some unknown reason, you try and be nice to them, thinking that they are really not so bad. Then, they push the line, and you see their true colors. Good riddens, nana nana hey hey goodbye to a selfish bitch who was never really a true friend to me. I am way better off without you, baby! Wha whoo, free of the wicked witch!

Honestly, I bawled my eyes out when I read it.  I just couldn't believe that this girl who had practically been a best friend to me, we were bridesmaid in each other's weddings, we lived together, could publicly call me names like that.  And what bothers me even more, is that this girl is always talking about how mature and professional she is.  Am I wrong, or would the mature thing have been to talk to me about the situation and try to work things out personally?

After taking a little bit to calm down after reading that, I sent her another email.  I basically told her that I was most certainly not jealous of her, that I was embarrassed for her after reading that outburst on social media where all of her family, friends, and her husband's family could read it, and that sometimes choosing a gentle reply doesn't mean that you're weak, it actually means that you possess a rare and godly strength.

I received an email back.  She let me know that everyone thought I was a complete bitch.  She reminded me that she had been a great friend to me, that she stood up at my wedding, that she was there for me through all my IVF stuff, and other things.  She told me that the only reason she stayed friends with me is because I promised to change and not be such a bitch, but obviously that didn't happen.  Notice how there was no mention of her trying to fix things to be a better friend towards me?  She then told me that I would never hear from her again and that if she saw me in public that she would ignore and to have a nice life.

I responded back.  It was pointless really.  I did remind her that I lost my dad in a very unexpected way and that I am very careful to choose my final words with a person because of that.  I would hate to have the last words that I say to somebody be filled with anger and hate.

I must have gotten my point across, because that was the end of our correspondence.  And the end of our friendship.  I honestly thought that I would never hear from her again.  Honestly, I always deep down hoped that she would have an epiphany and realize that throwing the friendship away was stupid and we could work on things.

I was getting ready for the day one Sunday back in late February or early March when my phone rang.  I looked down and saw her name.  My heart leaped up into my throat.  We hadn't spoken in 5ish months.  I did send her an email when she had her baby and congratulated her.  I received nothing back.  With shaking hands, I answered the phone.  In a very snotty tone, she told me that it was her and then informed me of a situation that happened with my sister at her work.  Apparently, she had gone through my sister's line at the grocery store and didn't even realize that it was her line.  My sister made a comment about how she had seen her picture on Rockford Mugshots and was going to ask if everything was ok.  Before she could get the second part out, this girl leaped down my sister's throat and demanded to talk to her manager.  She told the manager that my sister had a made a rude comment and that she didn't appreciate and whatever.  She told me that I needed to tell my sister to mind her own business and that the conflict we had was between her and I.  She then kept rambling about how pissed her husband was over what happened.  Over and over she told me this.  I calmly asked her that if the conflict that we had was between her and I, why was her husband so pissed.  She was silent for a solid five seconds.  So, I repeated myself.  She didn't have an answer.  She must have gotten angry that I wasn't telling her what she wanted to hear, or apologizing for my sister, or something, because she hung up on me.

Now, if you know me, you know that hanging up on me is the epitome of disrespectful in my eyes.  Not too long later, another friend sent me a screenshot of a status that this girl made on Facebook.  She informed Facebook world that she had gone to the grocery store and that a former friend's little sister had said some immature and rude things to her and rather than respond back, she handled in a more mature and professional manner and talked to her manager.  She said that "she was a mother now and a 20 year old little twit wasn't worth her time".  I texted her the screenshot and told her to grow up and leave me alone and take her drama somewhere else because I was sick of it.  She quickly texted back, called my sister a cunt, and told me to fuck off and live my happy little life.

Yes, she seriously took it there!  In all of our correspondence, I never once cussed at her or called her names.  And then there was that.  It was kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back.  I had finally gotten over the first fall out that we had.  I didn't think about it anymore, I didn't dwell on the lost friendship, I didn't spend any more minutes wondering what she was doing and how she was enjoying motherhood.  I had finally moved on.  With one phone call, she opened up all the old wounds and sucked me back up into her drama.  I was so upset.  After letting a few days pass so that my anger and hurt could subside, I sat down and drafted a letter.  I told her that I never wanted to hear from her again.  I wanted her to delete my number and forget about me.  I packed it up with a couple of things that were from her and left it on her doorstep.  I have no idea if she received it, or read the letter, or anything.  But, I haven't heard from her since.

And do you know what kills me?  I'm upset about it still.  I'm still so hurt that our friendship ended.  She was the crappiest friend to me.  And, if I'm being fair, according to her, I wasn't a good friend to her either.  I wanted to work on it.  That was the whole point of our first initial fallout.  I wanted to become better friends.  And, in trying to get to that point, I lost her friendship completely.  Everyone keeps telling me that it's much better to have no friends than to have crappy friends.  That's so much easier said than done.

I feel so lost.  I feel so alone.  I feel so isolated.  It's hard to make friends, and it's even harder to make mommy friends.  Girls suck, and everyone can attest to that.  We can be evil, nasty, backstabbing, conniving, jealous monsters.  Of course, there are some good ones, but I'm proof that they are very hard to find.

Who knows if writing this all out will help me feel better and move on.  It's a start.  It's the beginning of some healing that I need to do.  Actually, a lot of healing that I need to do.