Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Pictures that Didn't Make the Cut

Looking for that "perfect" holiday picture to send out to friends and family - these are some that didn't make the cut. Some you can see why, other's you'll wonder why you won't get them in a card as they are so cute! Well, being a biased mother, I think they're all cute.

I'm Waiting!

Things are really starting to pick up now that we're getting closer to the holidays. Hardly a day goes by when Makenna isn't asking when Santa is coming.

This week, as usual, has proved to be a busy one. On Saturday I decided to make six dozen cookies for a cookie exchange. Why? Looking back...I have no idea. I certainly did NOT take six dozen back with me. I was grateful to get rid of them.

I decided to employ the services of Makenna. Luckily I didn't have to pay her money, yet, but I had to put up with one comment over and over - "I'm waiting!" She was standing on a chair next to the mixer and while I was reading the directions for the next ingredient or getting the next ingredient measured out, "I'm waiting!" would escape her lips. Imagine this for six recipes, and for some of those recipes, they had multiple steps and/or ingredients. I think I probably said those words in my sleep when I went to bed. Plus, it was said with a sense of frustration of someone who has better things to do with her time and she's trying to be as patient as possible, but her patience is wearing thin.

At one point, she did leave, I think during recipe three and said to contact her the next time eggs needed to be added to a recipe so that she could break them open. Of course the next recipe called for them to be separated so I had to have her break them carefully.

I was thoroughly exhausted after and then we had to get ready to go to Chris's work party at Roberson Museum. It didn't take me long to realize an error of my ways. I should've had her take a nap at some point. She was starting to get into break-down mode prior to leaving.

As I figured, though, she fell asleep on the way and we sat in the car an extra five minutes to let her sleep just a bit longer. This did seem to help as she was in a much better mood. But I think that could have more to do with the pizza she got to eat. She wasn't into looking at all the decorated the trees so much but she went along room to room with us.

We also got her into the planetarium show, which for her, was too long. She was ready to leave about two minutes into the lights being turned off. We told her if she could just be quiet and behave we'd have a surprise for her. I think it was a minute later when the lights came back on and she was asking for her surprise. We took her out and there was a Wii for her to play. She waited patiently for her turn to golf and she actually did really well. The long drives she could really hammer out, but the putting needs work. I can't wait until Christmas when she sees one under the tree. I don't think we'll ever be able to do or play anything else. At least she'll want to come home after school to play it. Now it's like pulling teeth when I tell her we're just going home and have no other plans.

We did get one picture taken which will be in our Christmas cards (I think). Don't hold me to it as it could change.

Monday was my mom's surgery and my brother Jared took her up. The surgery itself went well, but it was from the table to the recovery room that things went wrong. I guess they've now determined that my mom is highly allergic to any opiate type drug. She had already given them a list of drugs that she could not take and now morphine has to be added to the list. They used morphine to put her under and when she was coming-to it caused her heart to do wacky things. The top half started beating faster than the bottom half and they almost had to put her under again and shock her to get it back into normal rhythm. But upon hearing that's what they were going to do she said "NO" and eventually they gave her something else to get it regulated. She had to spend the night in the cardiac unit but she was released the next day.

We were very grateful that she was able to make it through and especially grateful that all the snow that was predicted held off so that Jared could get her up there and Chris could get her back. She's at home now recuperating and says she feels like a truck ran over her. Although she is up and moving around a bit better than before the surgery. Next will be the gall bladder surgery. Probably not for at least a month or so.

Here's some pictures from the weekend at Roberson:

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The Update

The Good:

Makenna was in a gymnastics Christmas program this past weekend. One show Friday night, which she did well; considering all my fears of her sulking with a pouty face out on the floor or breaking down and crying for some reason like she did during the practice rehearsals (of which there were too many and too late at night for kids her age). I couldn't stop beaming and was so proud of how well she did.

She had two more shows on Saturday which Chris had to take her to. He had success with the afternoon show (even though they showed up about 15 minutes late - more on that later,) but I can't say I was too surprised to see him come home early from the evening show.

He came home exasperated saying, "I don't know how you do it." I have found this statement to be a tremendous compliment and a great thing to hear as he realized that managing a pre-schooler and her activities is not an easy thing to do. I guess she stepped down onto something that hurt her foot which sent her into a crying melt-down. Then it caused her to miss some parts of the show that she was in which further created a screaming melt-down with the final result of just leaving early before the show was over. Part of it was probably her being tired and hungry for some real food besides junk food. She woofed down some left over "chicken-love-it" (chicken manicotti) and then went to bed. He also realized his mistake in giving her a Gatorade-which is like sugar crack to a kid. I told him I NEVER give her that and don't understand why parents do at the gym. It's not like their expending so much sweat that they need their electrolytes back in balance. At least not the kids that are Makenna's age.

Then Sunday's show, after much talk and preparation in making sure that she'd have a better performance for her last show, went terrific. In fact they came home after 8pm! I was expecting them back around 6:30 or so, and it was quite a shock when it was much later. I noticed, and so did Chris, that during the performances that she was quite a "leader." She would go out before the other kids, or start to do a somersault before the other kids, and then get up and leave the stage before she was supposed to. It was quite entertaining. In fact, on Friday night, the owner of the gymnastics place, who was also running the performances, said she was quite a performer.

The Bad:

Things with my mom have been deteriorating. There's now more tests being done for different kinds of cancer besides the initial finding. Plus her back and knees are really bothering her too. She at least has a date set prior to Christmas for the first surgery.

I took her up to Syracuse last Tuesday (Nov 30th) and met with the doctor who will be performing the surgery. She said that they can do it by laparoscopic, which is good as the healing time is much faster. But she did go over the normal downsides of surgery and said that there's a 5% chance or less that they'd have to actually cut into her if things start to go wrong or if it's more involved then what they had anticipated. Knowing my mom's luck-let's all start praying that the laparoscopic works. The doctor also said depending, they may have to treat with radiation after but they'll wait the two weeks for the definitive finds of what stage she's in before prescribing that.

As for the back pain, her local doctor has decided that her gall bladder has to come out. No big deal, but that means another surgery. Her doctor doesn't feel her body can handle both surgeries at the same time. which means more time off and more recovery after. Plus a lot of doctor bills and co-pays which has been putting her in the "red" so to say.

Then to top it all off, her car broke down yesterday on the way to church and she needed to get it fixed ASAP as she had doctor's appointments today and another one in Syracuse on Tuesday with the anesthesiologist. So off to Sears she went and I was surprised that the price to fix it was not as bad as I had feared.

I just wish I could take her to her appointment this week to Syracuse and to the surgery next week but I can't. That brings me to the

The Update:

The day after taking mom to Syracuse for her meeting, I had to go to my appointment in Syracuse and have the egg retrieval done. I unfortunately have veins that like "hide" and that are not easy to get to and the nurses and doctors found this out as they were trying to put in an IV for the procedure.

They tried my left arm which hardly anyone ever has any luck with; even when they're just trying to get blood. I tried to get them to go to my right arm but all the blood I've had to give for tests over the past two weeks made them feel that vein was too over-used. Then they started looking at the back of my hand--which I hate! I begged them to try the left arm. So they tried and failed. In comes the next person to try in the back of my In comes the anesthesiologist who flips my hand over (inside of the wrist,) and I begged him not to do it but he was successful and I was in pain.

I was out pretty quickly but then when I woke back up from the procedure, they had decided to do an intra-lipid therapy which they've found to have some success with recurrent failure to implant. It's basically a white looking thick liquid made of egg and soy going through the IV (and burning as it does) for over an hour, adding more fat to my body through an IV.

You would think that they could just recycle the abundance of fat I already have but that was just my wishful thinking. I definitely felt it for the next couple of days. I felt heavy and bloated. I also find myself hungry all the time. Considering that I've had to eliminate all exercise since the Monday before Thanksgiving and being hungry all the time, I don't even want to get on a scale.

Then the next day I had an appointment with a Endocrinologist to get my Thyroid level down. She feels that since I'm on generic meds it's not working in regulating my thyroid. She has prescribed me the "real" stuff but said to finish out the other. She also said it should help with the weight gain I've had since getting on the meds as it's not really regulating my thyroid effectively.

BUT...something interesting was that before my extraction I weighed myself at the doctor's office. Granted I had fasted for over nine hours and had nothing on when I got on the scale, but the next day at the endocrinologists office, after the intra-lipid therapy, with clothes on and some food in me, I was 10 pounds heavier! IN one stinking day! Now I did NOT eat 10 pounds worth of food. So I think that intra-lipid stuff filled me up along with all the fluid from the IV.

The thing that amazed me the most is how God really has looked out for us in more ways then one with this process. When I knew the transfer was coming up, I was asking him repeatedly to let the transfer be today as I wanted to be able to be with Makenna during her shows this past weekend but today turned out to be a snow day and it would've been really difficult for us to get there.

Not only that, but I had made arrangements for Makenna to stay at someones house while we went up to Syracuse on Saturday for the implant. But due to a minor car malfunction, we had to run back home and switch cars which put us behind so we just took her with us. She luckily took a nap in the waiting room with Chris while I had the procedure done. For whatever reason, (of which I think they forgot about me,) they didn't take me in for 2 hours! So it was a good thing she was with us as we raced home and threw on her gymnastics outfit and Chris took her to her show, but she was a bit late.

Luckily I prepped him on Friday night and all day Saturday about what songs she was in and how to handle her between songs. Plus he said other mothers really helped him out. One of those same mothers helped him to realize it was time to leave when she was having her massive break-down Saturday night.

I took off all this week to rest and relax and of course, as I stated above, it's a snow day and Makenna's home with me. But we've been doing well and she took a nap, which gave me a chance to nap. She needed one considering how late she got home, and then we ate dinner and then she got up her usual time. She even asked if she could take two naps.

So we've made it through another week and it will be another week before we have the results of this latest round of IVF. We can only pray that it's in God's will for us to have another as it is ours.

One funny thing from Saturday night was when Chris was explaining to me how she had the break down and he said to her, "Why did you torture me?" She said, very emphatically, "Torture you? I didn't torch you! Why are you saying I torch you?" We both broke out laughing.

I'll close with some pictures:

This is called "webbing" and it's how they had most of the girls' hair for the program. I did not do this as I had no idea how (although I think I can do it now) but more so, there' s no way she'd sit still for me to do this.

In her "angel" costume - if she was only this sweet and innocent all the time

But it's more like this!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm trying to tell myself to stay positive and write a lovely post full of giving thanks. I do have a lot to be grateful for. A wonderful family that I'm close to, a husband who, even in his massively over-protective ways, has the best wishes for me and supports me, and a beautiful little girl who makes me insanely happy even in times of frustration.

I had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit and live in England and see the many sights and wonders it has to offer and I truly miss it at times. I miss the friends I made there and watching my little girl grow up with the friends she made there.

I have a job in this uncertain economy and I have a husband who still has a job and I pray he continues to have a job in this next year. I have the opportunity to send my little girl to a great pre-school that she loves going to, I have a roof over my head, food for my stomach, and I have my health.

Even with all these blessings, God gives us trials and I have a couple on my plate right now that are proving a bit frustrating.

Many know of my struggles with infertility and that through IVF I was able to have Makenna. Not only that, but on our first try which was truly a miracle. Well many, many tries later and we have not had the same success. I seem to be strong through each trial and failure but little by little it eats away at me. I try and be positive and remind myself that many don't have any success and I've received Makenna.

We decided to have one last go around and we were going to start back early in the year (like around April,) but at Chris's insistence, I went to my regular OB/GYN to have them to do some follow-up routine type work to see if there was anything else we were missing. Through some testing, they found that I have hypo-thyroidism. This can cause, among other problems, an inability to have the fertility treatments work. After many weeks of trying to get it regulated and within an acceptable range, we were ready to start again. Then the OB/GYN here suggested an "Implantation Failure Study." We did this extra test figuring that it would help rule out any more reasons why IVF might not work. Those tests all came back fine.

After some more go-arounds with the Fertility office, I was finally able to start shots this month. Then the news yesterday from the doctor's...My thyroid level is way too high. They were still telling me to take the shots and medications and come to their office tomorrow but I don't see the point. Until my thyroid level can come back into normal limits, I don't know if we should continue down this route.

I had to call my OB/GYN here and ask them to up my dosage but they are not really in the endocrinology business and agreed to have me up it but also are going to set me up with an endocrinologist as soon as possible. In some sense I know all this is for my good and it's just teaching me patience of which I am sorely lacking. The OB/GYN here feels that the fertility drugs are probably inhibiting my pituitary gland from doing what it needs to regulate my thyroid so it's like I'm in a catch-22. I guess I just have to wait and see what the fertility doctor says tomorrow and go from there and if I have to wait longer, than so be it.

The other issue is that the dreaded "C" word has hit my family. CANCER. We don't know what stage but the doctor here seems to think that it was caught in the early stages so that the chances of it being anything too serious is most likely minimal - again another blessing I have to hold on to and hope for. The hard thing is that it's my mom. It would be hard regardless of who it hits but I was not prepared for it to be my mom. That's another trip up to Syracuse in less than a week to see what they say. At least I've been able to be comforted that this may be an easy fix, and that's what we're praying for.

Now back to blessings.....Last Sunday at church, Makenna was part of a Thanksgiving program and she had a line to say. But to my surprise, she had many lines to say and singing to do (with other kids). She filled in for other kids that were unable to be there. I was surprised at how well she got up in front of all the congregation and just said her lines with no fear or shyness. I hope that stays with her as she grows and has more opportunities for public speaking.

It's also a blessing to see her personality blossoming. Today, while looking at ads from the paper with daddy, (in trying to get ready for shopping,) she saw an ad for purses. I muttered how she has enough bags (bookbags,) and or purses to last her. Her reply, "I don't have enough purses!" (stated matter-of-factly). All I can say is that who ever is lucky enough to marry this girl better have a closet bigger than Imelda Marcos!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Be Quiet Mom!

Ahh Yes, another wonderful comment now coming from my child's mouth. There's nothing like you talking all nice and calm to your child to help her calm down in a bout of frustration over not being able to draw a face the way she wanted to and have her yell back at you, "Just Be Quiet Mom!"

We obviously had a bit of a stern conversation about the proper way to speak to people, let alone her mother. Not that it has stopped her from saying that, but now she says it in a softer voice; enough to have me hear it but not enough to where she should get in trouble - so she thinks.

Again, I just hear this escalating in the teen years. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who hears their small children say things that immediately project themselves to the future and how it's going to be? Plus I can see a lot of me in her when she gets easily frustrated with things. I think that scares me more. I've really had to adjust my "patience" level.

At least, for the most part, we've had a better week. I did get a report from her school about her development. They check her Gross Motor Skills, her Fine Motor Skills, and her Language Ability.

No surprise here, but she scored above average on her language ability. I could've saved them the trouble and told them that! Or they could just come to my house for a day and see the conversations that take place (like the one above).

As for the other two, she's a bit below her age range, especially in the Gross Motor Skills area, such as running, jumping, etc. This shocks me because of all the different activities she's involved in (swim, gymnastics, T-Ball). Although, they said the same thing last year at her screening. I just assumed last year it was her not listening or paying attention to what was asked of her as being the culprit of a low score but now that it's happened twice, I had to look into it.

I asked both sets of teachers what they felt the issue was with her gross motor skills and both said that she seems a but clumsy. She trips over her feet, doesn't quite kick a ball, etc. One teacher even said that she could be standing against a wall and then the next thing they know she's on the floor and they have no idea why.

I felt like asking, "Does genetics play any part in your grading? Especially the female gene?" "Just look at my mother and myself, we'll tell you we're clumsy." After thinking about it, I guess they're right, she does seem to fall quite a bit but I attribute that to not paying attention to her surroundings and banging into things, or tripping over things, etc. I figured it's a spatial-relation issue - not recognizing her feet in relation to her body. Plus, she's so tall for her age, it could be hard for her to carry around her body. Not that it's freakishly out of proportion or anything but these were just my thoughts. As for kicking a ball...well, that's her parents fault. We don't go around kicking balls very often or encouraging her to, but now that we know there's a foot to ball deficiency we can work on that come Spring.

I like these reports to an extent. I like to see where she's falling short and needs work on but at the same time I feel like a "failing" parent. It makes me think maybe we need a Wii for Christmas and we can work on these things in the Winter (hint, my husband.)

They did notice a "mature grasp on the pencil" for her fine motor skills. So even though she's just a bit behind I guess all in all she's okay there. This past weekend she was writing her name by herself and got frustrated that she couldn't write the "K." I tried helping her but she just got more frustrated. I was just ecstatic that she wrote her name (in no particular order) all over the paper.

This weekend brought another birthday party, for her Uncle Jared who turned 30. She again was getting a bit miserable after a long day of gymnastics practice for her Christmas program. So during the day, I finally said, "That's it!!! Nap time!" She refused but still went up and promptly fell asleep for two hours. She definitely needed did we! She had a lot of late nights starting last Tuesday and she had to be up late Friday for gymnastics practice too so by Saturday she needed to catch up on much needed sleep.

She at least was more compliant at the practice's. What was funny on Friday night was that during one of the songs, all the little kids come out and do there little thing and then they run off and the bigger kids are running and flipping and out runs Makenna onto the floor! I was stunned and frozen in fear. Another mom started pointing to the director and saying, "little kid! little kid!" and the director turned and saw her on the stage and got her off. At least she thought it was funny and cute. Unfortunately we have that same schedule of practice this Friday and Saturday so I hope we can have good results for that too. By the end of last Saturday's she had, had it and kept asking when we could go. I don't know how she's going to get through all the shows if she can't even put up with the practice!

I can see it now, "Makenna, hurry, get out on the stage, you're supposed to be on the stage!" Her reply, "JUST BE QUIET MOM!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Four Year Old Hormones

I don't know if there is such a thing as four-year old hormones - I mean, I'm sure she has hormones, but I picture the teenage hormones when you say the dread "H" word. People this past weekend have assured me that Makenna's fragile break-downs are attributed to her growing and hormones running wild in her.

Okay, well let's hope that does explain the mess she became over the weekend. I went to a spin-class on Saturday morning that my friend was teaching and I came home to a child in crying mode for whatever reason and her father said, "She's been like this for an hour, I don't know what to do or what her problem is." I thought, welcome to a preview of what's to come in about nine years if not sooner.

I tried talking to her to find out what the problem was and she was upset that we weren't at her cousin Katie's party...yet. After trying to console her I resulted to threats of not going to the party if she couldn't compose herself.

One thing she was having an issue with is why she wouldn't be opening up presents. Why it wasn't still her birthday and why she couldn't blow out the candles on the cake. I told her that if she asks Katie nicely that maybe she could help with both but that we wouldn't know that if she didn't calm down enough for us to go to the party to begin with.

We obviously went and Makenna was able to help open the gifts. In fact, Katie who is now three, was not opening them up fast enough for Makenna. She kept telling Katie that there were more gifts to be opened. It was as if she was frustrated that Katie didn't understand she could play with all her gifts later and didn't need to linger over them. There was ripping to be done and by gosh Makenna was going to make sure it was done in a timely matter.

In regards to the candles on the cake, Katie blew out her own candles but Makenna was okay with that and in fact cheered Katie's success in doing it. The next semi-break down was when it was time to go and all we were doing was going home. That was not acceptable. We had to be going somewhere else besides home.

We did go home and we played Chutes & Ladders while daddy did some work outside. Then she was able to go outside and help daddy do a few things so that made her day. I swear the two of them outside together doing things is so cute and warms my heart.

Well then the next breakdown was on Sunday at church. I was sitting in a class and the next thing I knew I had a sobbing child in my lap telling me that she missed me. Now while that's adorable and would make any mother's heart melt, I knew something else was up.

I took her out of the class and sat with her on the couch and tried to find the reason behind this crying jag. Come to find out, she had ripped her scriptures accidentally and even though Aunt Autumn taped them back together, she was still quite upset by the whole ordeal. I was able to show her that they were fine and it was only a blank page that ripped so it was really okay. Once I got her calmed down enough I got her back to her primary class.

People said to me after I returned to class, "Wow that must make you feel good." They were only going off of the "I missed you mommy" comment so they didn't know the whole story. But I mentioned how she's been a mess all weekend and that's when a couple of people told me about how it's probably her hormones. Wonderful.

I wish I could say the rest of Sunday went well but we had an incident at the nursing home. Makenna was trying to climb a bookshelf and there was a teapot set on the top and down it came along with a few books, of which one hit her in the head, and breaking the teapot into pieces.
We brought the teapot set home as Chris thinks he can glue most of it back together again. Makenna kept asking for the rest of the day to help glue it together but it's still sitting on our table waiting for that magical day of it being fixed.

One last "new" thing that Makenna has started now is making up words and then asking me if I can say them. So she'll say, "Mom, this frog is drizzy, can you say drizzy?" Then she waits for me to say her new word. If I don't say it right she'll say, "No..." and repeat the word again. Seems like my words coming out of her body again, except the words I try to get her to repeat are real. Maybe the next word she'll learn is HORMONES.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Fun?

Friday at the church they had a trunk-or-treat which just basically means that instead of going door to door for Halloween candy, you go to people's cars. They usually have their trunks decorated and you go up and say the usual, "Trick-or-Treat" and you get candy. The nice thing about this is that it's all compact and in one area and you can be done in about 10 minutes or so. I also thought this was a good thing to do so that if Halloween was too cold, then at least Makenna would get some loot out of the holiday. Unfortunately to Makenna, this is not true trick-or-treating.

We went to the party inside the church and she had fun painting a pumpkin

And getting her face painted

And she loved her Tinkerbell costume

But when it came time for a game similar to musical chairs where you could win a cake--she was not into it. I have to admit I wanted it more than she did as some of the cakes looked scrumptious. It wasn't until the game was almost over, and had to be rigged so she would win and stop crying, that she finally participated and we won some cupcakes. All the good cakes were already taken by that point.

She was obviously in major break-down tired mode. By the time trunk-or-treating came about I went to our car to hand out candy and Chris took her around to the other I thought. he came back about 15-20 minutes later and said she got about nine pieces of candy of which three were from our car. He said she was so upset that he just had her in his car trying to get her to stop crying and calm down. I hurried and finished handing out what candy I had left and we took her home and to bed.

The next day we took her to a gymnastics practice for a show in December. She was supposed to also be there last night but I wanted her to enjoy the Halloween party - for what that was worth.
Unfortunately the practices are utter chaos and she was just as tired and miserable. I was getting really frustrated with her and with the process. I wanted an agenda of what happens when so that I could tell if she was supposed to out on the floor practicing a routine. As it was, I didn't see any kids from her age group or class there so I thought maybe we weren't supposed to be there. I asked repeatedly and they assured me that yes, she was supposed to be there.

Another problem is that there are so many things going on at once that the people directing the show don't know if every child who is supposed to be out on the floor for a certain piece is really out there so it wasn't until a minute or so into it that I'd be like, "Makenna, I think you're supposed to be out on the floor doing this." Then we'd try to get her out there and she wouldn't want to go. When everyone was off the floor then she'd go out and dance around.

Between not knowing when she should be out on the floor for a routine and her not wanting to when I did figure it out, I was about ready for a melt-down myself. We did end up leaving early because I figured if she's not going to do this then I'm not wasting my time sitting her arguing with her about it.

Later in the afternoon, she decided to dance around some more at home making me think that maybe dance is the way to go and that I should get her into it sooner than I had planned...but I'm not having her give up yet on gymnastics or this program.

Then on Sunday, Halloween Day, Chris's church also decided to have a trunk-or-treat and we got the same results as Friday's--refusal to go to the cars for treats. At least this time she wasn't crying. They didn't really have much in the way of games for her to do and it was all outside so after a while we left and went to her grandma and grandpa Jones' house. They graciously fed us dinner and Makenna had made up her mind to not go trick-or-treating at all. After a long weekend of trying to cajole her into doing it at cars I gave up and gave in and said that she could help her grandparents hand out candy.

The doorbell rang and a kid said, "trick-or-treat" and a spark went off in Makenna who decided that she wanted to go house to house. I said, "Okay, we'll just go down this street and then come back." I was setting my hopes low this time. We got out on the street and there were only a few houses lit up and one was "too scary" for her to go to so she agreed to walk a bit further onto another street. After about the fourth house she would keep asking, "Mom, can we go get some more treats?" Off we went onto different streets around the area. By the end we had a pumpkin bag full and it was a good ending to a bad start.

On a side note, earlier on Sunday, we went and visited my grandmother at the nursing home. They informed us that they were having a Halloween party and that the kids were welcome to come. They also said they were going to have a pinata filled with candy for the kids.

We went to the party and Makenna didn't want to hit the pinata at first as she thought it was going to explode like a firework and make a loud noise. She kept covering her ears as others hit it. Her cousin Eli took his little toy hammer and was lightly hitting the pinata which was hilarious to watch. It was as if he was trying to fix it. After a few hits by other kids, she saw that it wasn't going to be loud and she absolutely loved the candy falling to the floor and the free-for-all that ensued. Luckily they had another pinata and she got into whacking that one.

The funniest part of the weekend though was Makenna's answers to a couple of jokes that were told by staff at the nursing home. This lady was up front telling really bad Halloween jokes to everyone. The lady asked, "What is Dracula's favorite holiday?" Makenna loudly replied, "Ours is Sukkot." This is a Jewish holiday that she learned about at pre-school so when I stopped laughing and composed myself I said, "Wow, I didn't know we were Jewish." Then the lady asked, "Why did the mummy have no friends?" Makenna's reply, "Because he wasn't being a good listener."

Something she accuses me of all the time, and maybe she's right. If I had truly been listening, I would've let these little things go by this weekend without getting so uptight and let things fall into place themselves and probably would've enjoyed the weekend much more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Four Year Old

I was lying in bed last night thinking, "Time truly does fly by." I remember people telling me when I was pregnant or shortly after giving birth that I really need to savor every moment as they grow up so fast. This statement could not be truer than any other statement that I've heard. Well, except for one I was told a very long time ago about how when I got older I would really enjoy sleep--that one is still the most correct statement I've heard.

Today is Makenna's fourth birthday and I can still remember all the joy and happiness that we felt when I was pregnant. In fact, I wish I could be that happy and joyous all the time. What makes me happy now is the smile and laugh of my little girl. I also love hearing her sing songs in the car. I can't get enough of it. Mostly because I love hearing her try to sing on key and say the words she thinks the song is saying. I wish I could write down every word that she sings so that when she's older she could see how she heard the words to songs compared to what they really are. It's really quite entertaining.

I struggle between helping her do things so I feel needed, and making sure she can do them on her own so that she can be independent. I still pick her up and hold her while I can, and for as long as I can, as I know the days are fast approaching that I won't be able to pick her up at all, nor will she want me to.

Every day I try and tell myself I will be a better mother today. Not too overbearing and nit-picky, but not too loose on giving directions and correction. When I do have a behavior to correct, that I will do so in a loving way, not in an angry frustrated way. Let's just say, I'm still working on that.

I tell myself that I will praise her for all her accomplishments so that she will grow up knowing that I pay attention and that I'm proud of her; that she will gain a sense of self-confidence so that when I'm not around she will think to herself, "My mom would be proud."
I hope that this year will be the year that she will take an interest in eating more vegetables and fruit without me having to bribe, threaten or cajole her into it.

I pray for her to be a strong young woman and to not fall away from her church but to rely on it to get her through hard times and struggles that she will face. That she will grow with a strong sense of moral value and truly know that she is a daughter of God who loves her. That she grows knowing that her potential is limitless if she believes in herself.

That is my wish for you my little princess who is now four years of age.

She did wake up this morning saying, "How did I get so big?" To which we had to laugh at because it just seems to happen right before our eyes without us noticing until we look back and see how far she's come.

Here are some pictures from her party that we had this past Saturday and a couple today:

You can see we had a Dora Theme (Here she is with her cousins Katie, Natalie and Stephanie)

She received many, many presents and this year she was
really, really, really excited by opening gifts

Her cousin Eli partied too much - and fell asleep standing up against the couch

Her "Happy Birthday" face today

A couple of gifts we saved for to actually open up on her birthday - TODAY~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s pumpkin carving.  Chris does the dirty work as he’s got more of a steady hand to do the actual carving.

Makenna helping to scoop out the "guts"


Who's face is scarier?

Swearing is Not an Option

Last Thursday things got a bit hectic as I was trying to get Makenna ready and out the door for swim lessons, the phone rang and it was my Sister-In-Law telling me that their car was broken down at BCC and could we come and get the 5 of them.

I was torn between wanting to rush to their aid immediately and wanting to finish my task of getting Makenna to swim. I called my husband and asked if he felt he could go help them and he was obviously have a “day” of his own. We agreed that we’d have to switch cars to fit everyone in but since I was coming down right near where he works, we could switch cars and one of us could still take Makenna to swim while the other goes to help those that needed rescuing. Plus, there was a curriculum meeting at her school that Chris was supposed to be going to and this would mean that he wouldn’t make it.

I continue out the door, running late at this point, and what happens? I get behind a slow person on our road. This drives me absolutely bonkers! I tend to get a bit frustrated with people going slow on our road as it is but to add that we were late made me insane. The speed limit for our road is 45 most of the way and this person was maybe doing 35 and if we got to a hill, of which we have a lot, they’d put on their brakes and get down to 30.

I was so anxious that I was leaning forward in my seat, throwing up the fingers (not the ones you think,) showing a “four” then a “five” indicating that is the speed they need to be going. Granted it was raining, but it was not a heavy rain, not one that should cause someone to go as slow as they were.

I’m yelling, sighing, growling, and waving my arms around looking like a maniac and then just laughing as I was so frustrated. Makenna says, “Mom, it’s not funny.” I said, “I know Makenna but I don’t know what else to do but laugh because I’m so frustrated.”

I continue this maniacal ranting and laughing until FINALLY they turn. We get to the bottom of the hill, when I take a moment to call my husband to see if he’s called my family and found out that he had not yet done that. I was now really frustrated. I said, ‘They’re out in the rain for heaven’s sake…call them!~” He explained that he had someone in his office when I first called and was now getting to it.

The light turns green, I hang up and from the back seat I hear, “Come on! Let’s go!” As I look back I see Makenna leaning forward, waving her arms frantically imitating what I had just done for the past 4 plus miles. There was a car in front of us at the light but they had taken off right away and in fact zoomed away so fast that I couldn’t even catch up with them. But yet there she was yelling at them to move it and for me to pass them.

I then started laughing and saying, “Makenna, I can’t even catch them, “they” are going fast. “ “No, mom, pass them!” I tried to explain that the other car was the one that was going slow and this one was fine with me as its way ahead of me and that I needed to get off the exit.

Cut to yesterday as we were on our way home from gymnastics and we got behind a car. “Come on! Move it! Stinkin’ car, pass him mom.” I again reminded myself that it was darn good that I didn’t swear and explained that I can’t pass the car on the particular road we were on and that it was okay as they were at least going the speed limit. When they turned, I then heard, “Oh good, finally they are turning.” Something else I said last Thursday about that other car.

As for my family that night, they were able to get their car started after all, and get home which meant that Chris could go to the parent meeting at Makenna’s school, and we got to swim on time. It all worked out and I got some entertainment and another wake-up-call to be sure to watch everything I do around my little sponge of a daughter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Name By Any Other Would be "H"

I was just thinking last night as I was in bed about how much Makenna has grown in so many ways. It is just amazing to me to look back at her pictures or videos and see how “mature” she is in a sense. I’m really excited to see her learn how to write her letters.

For over a month now she’s been writing the letter “H” on her own. She thinks for some reason that the letter “H” is in her name. This was even confirmed to me by her teachers last week. I took home one of many of her daily art projects and I could tell that at least the “M” for Makenna was done by her. So I asked the teacher, “Did she write all of her name on this?” The teacher replied that she had and I was shocked! Then the teacher explained that they had put the letters down with pencil and she traced them.

This shows you my lack of creativity. I had never thought of doing that. I was always trying to get her to just copy what I did. They then informed me that for some reason she feels she has an “H” in her name, to which I chuckled as I said, “I know and I don’t know why she thinks that.” This whole conversation happened in the morning at her first UPK class. Then later that day when I came to pick her up from her afternoon UPK, I get this little booklet that’s stapled together and says “Makenna’s notebook” (of which her name was clearly not written by her). I open the first page which has a title, “This is how I write my name” and underneath is written “H” – that’s it just “H” – I just laughed. I guess she got her way on that project.

This past holiday weekend was filled, as usual with things to do. I know she’s going on a class trip to the Pumpkin Farm and this time I wanted to “beat” them to it. Since she’ll go to Jackson’s Pumpkin Farm which is not too far away so I decided to go to Iron Kettle Farms which is in Candor. I hadn’t been there in quite a while and to my shock and awe, Chris had never been there –e ver. Nor had he ever heard of it. He was of the assumption that the reason he never went was because it’s a “money-pit.” I do have to say that there are a lot of things to do and of course the more interesting things cost. But we paid out a bit for a hay-ride and corn maze in which we could not figure out and gave up. Of course we realized we weren’t the only ones giving up so we didn’t feel so bad. It was easier to find where we came in then how to get the heck out.

Makenna aptly showing our feelings towards this corn maze

Enjoying the Hay Ride

Just a couple of the many displays

Love the Scenery - I wish the leaves were more vibrant but you get the idea

Trying to find the perfect pumpkin


I finally also started using the mini hand-held recorder to record Makenna singing. I was also listening back to some of the things I recorded while we were in England and I can definitely hear her accent from back then. It made me yearn yet again to be there and to have her still have that cute accent. I think this is also what had me reminiscing again last night about how quickly she’s growing. This time next year – she’ll be in Kindergarten!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Circus Comes to Town

I finally got my wish. A telemarketer called on Thursday night and Makenna grabbed the phone and said, “I’ll get it.” I looked at the incoming number and saw that it was a telemarketer number and said, “okay.” The conversation went as follows:

“Oh hi!” (said with enthusiasm as if she is talking to a long lost friend)
“No he’s at work”
“No she has a headache” (which I did)
“We’re watching Yo Gabba Gabba” (or whatever show it was at the time)
“Hello?” (Looking at the phone with a confused look)

I asked her to give it to me and found a busy signal on the other end. I felt bad that they hung up on her but at the same time found myself elated that they had to talk to someone who really wanted to talk to them even if they didn’t want to talk to them…as if the tables were turned~

Yes, we attended our first circus with Makenna. It was a Barnum & Bailey circus but it was only one ring and it was more about magic tricks then the circus I remember. Although they did have elephants, lions, birds, dogs, and even cats doing tricks. I was surprised that they could get cats to do tricks but I guess a starving cat will do anything for a treat. I’m conjecturing that the cats were starving, I really have no idea.

We went an hour before the actual show as they allowed people to come and meet some of the performers and “have fun” doing different activities. Makenna wasn’t in to “having fun.” They were trying to get kids to come into the ring and dance and do a hula-hoop and jump rope. She sat clinging to us shaking her head “no.” We told her that was fine, she didn’t have to.

Then we got to our seats and bought a $9 box of popcorn and later a $7 lemonade – yes – they rip you off for every penny you’re worth! The show started and very shortly into it, a cannon noise went off and a firework of sorts went off and that was it – Makenna was ready to leave. She kept asking every few minutes, “Is it time to go?” Chris talked to her and found that she was afraid that the noise and fireworks would go off again without warning. He covered her ears for a while to help ease her fears.

Once we got over that hump, then it was the constant asking for the lions. I was unsure whether there would be any but thank goodness there was. There was still an occasional asking of if it was time to go but she seemed to enjoy it overall and was able to con daddy out of $20 for a souvenir while I was taking a bathroom break. Lesson learned here – don’t go expect to go to the circus and get anything cheap! At least she asked the next day if she could go to the circus again.

I’ve written in the past how she seems to like fast rides at fairs and she confirmed that to me this past Friday when I was taking her to pre-school. She saw a car ahead of me and said, “Mom, pass the car.” I told her I was planning on it and was in the process of doing it. She then told me, “good job mom! I like going fast! Now pass that car.” I told her I couldn’t as I had to merge into traffic to get off the exit. She said, “Oh, okay.” I told her dad this story later and he’s just “thrilled” (sarcastically said obviously).

She has also been in the habit lately of trying to get out to the car early so that she can “drive.” She’s sure to assure me that it’s only pretend driving. This pretend driving leads me to sit in the driver’s seat once I coax her out of it, to find my lights disrupted, my windshield wipers on and all the automatic doors open. But it also reminds me of how she used to do this all the time in England when she was younger.

She also wants to make sure that I let her close the automatic doors. She has a handle near her car seat that she can push and it will close. I warned her a week ago not to put her hands near the back end of the door so that when it closes she doesn’t get her hand caught in the door. I told her it would hurt really bad and crush her fingers. Yesterday, she got to experience what I told her about.

She had closed the door and unbeknownst to me until I heard the screams she had put her hand back there. I quickly fumbled to press the button to open the door and was scared and angry all at the same time. I got out of my seat and went over to her and looked at her hand which was red and a little purple in some spots. I felt it to see if I could feel any bones out of place and then asked her to make a fist.

As she was doing it, she was saying, “I can’t!” I was debated whether to take her over to her doctor’s or not but felt that if she could make a fist without any louder screams then was already coming out, then she was okay. I kept checking on her hand for the rest of the night and she was okay. She even said it was all better and this morning she tried to do a handstand so I figure all is okay.

I asked her last night, “What did we learn from this?” She agreed that putting her hand back there was not ever going to happen again. I also tried to reinforce that listening to mommy and all her silly warnings may also be a good thing.

She also started her new Pre-school class in the afternoons yesterday and the teachers said it went fine and she seemed to really like it too. I could tell she was pretty tired though. She was upset and confused as to why she couldn’t go back there again this morning. I had to explain she would go back, just after lunch but that she’d still go to her other class that she had been going to in the mornings and then her new class.

One good thing I saw already was that she drew an “M” on one of her papers. This is an accomplishment as I’ve been trying to get her to draw an “m” for Makenna instead of all the “H’s” she seems to be drawing like mad. I’m trying to convince myself that she was supposed to be called Makenna and not something with an “H” contrary to all her scribbling of them everywhere.

Okay Mudder

We made it through the first week of pre-school without too many hiccups. She definitely can be a bit grouchy and irritable by the time her bedtime comes around when she’s had no nap but I try and remember this as she’s sternly telling me no or whining about this or that.

The one thing she doesn’t understand is why she has to go to bed when it’s not dark out. I explain to her that by the time we get through our routine, it will be dark. I also tell her that since she's had no nap means going to bed earlier. Of course, going to bed earlier also means more trips out of her bedroom during the night.

One night last week I think it was a total of four times out of bed and only one of them was really a plausible excuse of having to go to the bathroom. So ever since then, Chris and I stress that the only reason she should be getting out of bed is to go to the bathroom. She’s adhered to that pretty well. Although the other night she gave me a fright as I was watching TV and then all of a sudden I looked up and saw her sitting on the landing and I have no idea how long she’d been there.

To adjust to her schedule, Chris had to make changes in his too. He now gets up earlier and then gets her up and fed. While he’s showering, I get things ready to go and then when he's done getting ready, he gets her up and fed while I’m showering and getting ready. I like this routine as she’s much more agreeable to get up for him than she is for me. I then take back over as he leaves for work and finish the breakfast and get her ready for pre-school. Chris is then usually able to come home a bit earlier from work to spend some time with her at night before bedtime.

Of course, weekends are up for grabs as to whether she’ll have a nap or not. I planned on her having one this past Saturday but she had other plans and we just put her to bed early. Then on Sunday, I figured she’d get by without a nap but after spending time at church and then at my mom’s house, she promptly fell asleep on the way home. Chris brought her in to the house and she slept on the couch for another hour to two hours.

She started another swim class on Thursday nights so I bring her PJ’s and toothbrush so that we can get ready for bed after swim in case she decides to fall asleep on the way home. Another mother saw my ingeniousness and said that it was a good idea. Score one for me! Of course, Makenna stayed awake all the way home. Well, at least I was prepared.

I’ve also confirmed that Makenna really enjoys the company of older men. She always seems to gravitate towards men – whether it be wanting to sit on her uncle’s laps, or talking to them on the phone (asking to talk to grandpa instead of grandma,) or her after-care teacher. After pre-school she goes to drop-in and a couple days a week an older gentleman named “Geo” watches her.

She came home one day with a small stuffed toy and I asked where she got it and she said, “Geo gave it to me.” I assumed Geo was some kid and that she had absconded with this kids toy. So the next day we took it back and I couldn’t figure out who Geo was. So then another day when I picked her up, she said his name and then I realized that the toy had come from the classroom where she had been playing.

Well, twice now this Geo has told me how she doesn’t take any crap from the boys. He told me last week that one of the boys hit her, in the face, and he was going to step in but just as he was about to, Makenna hauled off and hit the kid back – three times! He felt it was appropriate for the kid to see that retaliation was just punishment in this case and then he said he took them both aside and talked to them. Then yesterday, he again told me how she doesn’t let the boys get to her. I was proud of this but also concerned – mostly for her cousin Eli. I think that’s why she has confidence in standing her ground is because she knows she can boss around her cousin, for now, and get away with it so she expects all boys to react this way. When they don’t – I hear about it.

Now on to other news…as you can see by this picture, Makenna helped her dad to mow the lawn. She really enjoyed it but it had to be cut short as one of the ear plugs she had in fell out.

Also, we have a new saying, which I quite like which is, “okay mudder (mother).” I’m not sure why it’s mudder but since the tone is one of acceptance and compliance – I don’t really care to correct her. I’ll take what I can get. “Makenna, time to come brush your teeth.” “Okay mudder.”

It’s better than the drama queen, whining, and yelling that usually occurs. If she falls or feels someone has just slightly touched her, it can turn into a whining free-for-all and that she’s “bleeding” and needs a plaster. Or it can be a yell-fest.  She’ll even yell this at herself, or the body part, that has done her wrong. “Ouch finger, that was not nice..say you’re sorry!”

She’s also picked up singing again in the car which I absolutely love. I need to try and get that mini-recorder we had to tape her. What’s being sung and the words she uses are typically two different things and I find it so amusing. For instance, she really likes the song “Rubber Ducky.” Some of her lyrics.. Rubber Ducky when I squeeze you, you make toys (instead of noise), or “in the shovey” (instead of tubby or chubby). There’s other things too but that’s been the latest.

One last thing, more as a word of warning for anyone that calls us. She now knows how to answer the phone and does so often. When she feels the conversation is done, she’ll hang up – regardless of who you really wanted to speak to or if your conversation with her was done or not. The other day, someone called and she answered the phone. Then I heard her say, “oh hi!” as if she knew the person and she proceeded to tell them about how she was going to swim lessons and a few other things. Then she was going to hang up and I was saying, “wait, wait, who is it?” She said, “I don’t know.” I said ask them who it is, “Who is this?” She then told me a name I couldn’t understand and I had to pry the phone from her fingers before she hung up. It turned out to be someone for Chris. On other phone calls she has just hung up before I could get to the phone. I’m hoping one of the times she answers it’s a telemarketer.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting Kicked In The Head Leads To Changes

I really need to keep a voice recorder or notebook with me as I constantly think of things that Makenna has said in the past that I want to write down to have her read as she’s older and see what a “pip” she is.

Back on Sunday September 19th, I was trying to get Makenna to the table to eat her breakfast after she had powered on my laptop. Me: “Makenna, come to the table to eat.” Makenna: “Mom, I’m trying to check my e-mo (e-mail).” Me: “You don’t get E-mo, now get over here and eat!” Her, begrudgingly coming to the table with a huge sigh as if I’m totally uncool and don’t get it.

Then while at church, the closing song was “Praise to the Man” and it was the first time I heard her sing along to a hymn, in her own words. When it was done she started clapping loudly and saying, “Yeah!” I quickly covered her mouth and she said, “What? I was just saying ‘yeah’.” I recall when I was younger I used to wonder why no one clapped after songs too, so it was funny to see her really do this.

Then last Sunday, September 26th, on the way home she was talking about all the animals that God created and she ended it by saying, “Mom, God has a great job.” I thought that was so cute. I love the innocence and thought process she goes through and wonder as she reads the Old Testament, will she still see God as having a great job?

On Tuesday, September 28th, I was bringing her home from pre-school and said to her as she got out of the car, “Makenna, I have a surprise for you.” She replied nonchalantly – “A pony?” I said, “Ummm, No.” Then after some thought I asked her, “Do you want a pony?” She replied, “No.” I was relieved at that. Not that I’d get her one even if she wanted one. I was happy that she was excited by the actual surprise of a knitted hat and headband (not done by me). She was wishing for snow to come at that moment so she could throw snowballs.

Later that night when I was trying to get her off the couch to go to gymnastics, she said, “Are you trying to make me mad?” I chuckled, and said, “No, I’m trying to get you out the door to gymnastics.” She just sighed and came to the car. I must sigh a lot without realizing it.

The biggest change coming next week is that she will now also be in a Pre-K class in the afternoons. Currently after Pre-K in the morning she goes to lunch and then to a “drop-in” where it’s unstructured and a “free-for-all” as they put it. It’s supervised but an issue arose on Tuesday where another friend of hers kicked her in the face. I’m not sure why this occurred but I guessed that Makenna was lying down and the little boy came over for whatever reason and kicked her just below the left eye. She’s had some run-ins with this boy on occasion but usually holds her ground.

Then yesterday they called me in to the office and suggested that for the price I pay for drop-in that they have a slot available in their afternoon pre-k and she could just go there instead. I agreed but I’m afraid it’s going to make her even more tired. I think they feel this is a solution to the issue which is fine because this is a different Pre-K class and it will hopefully make her even more ready for school and it also gives her another swim time and gym time.

On Monday, I had just signed her up for an eight week T-Ball class on Friday’s. They would pick her up from the drop-in and then take her to the T-ball class and then back to the drop-in after as it’s only about an hour and a half. So now they’ll just pick her up from her afternoon pre-k class.

She’s taken an interest in T-ball from going to her grandparents’ house. She loves going and getting the whiffle ball and bat out and whacking at it. We visited last week and found out they had bought a little “t-ball” set and she loved it and kept asking to go back to their house. So when I saw this class being offered I figured this will give her a chance to play it and learn more about it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m making her do too much, with swim, gymnastics, now T-ball and two pre-k classes. I was also thinking about enrolling her in dance but not until next spring. I figure by the time she’s five, she can better choose what she may want to do still or not do. I want her to have the opportunity to try different things but not overload her, or me – the taxi.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Want My House to Be Like Sam's Club

Now most of you who know us would probably say, isn't most of your belongings (clothes, food, electronics, etc.) already from Sam's club, so in essence, isn't your house Sam's club?  True as that thought may be there is one thing I've realized I'm missing...little tasting stations.

I took Makenna on Monday to Sam's club to pick up some things and we tried some of the things as the different food stations.  She did not hesitate once to try anything they had to offer.  If you know Makenna, or have talked to me, you may know, that she is a picky eater.  To see her not hesitate and eat a piece of chicken cooked in some spices, Talapia (fish), pizza (no stretch there,) and a Cliff Bar was amazing to me.

Especially the fish - since I don't eat it - I don't make it.  But I'm all for having her like it.  I almost bought some just to make it and have her eat it.  Every once in a while, when we lived in England, Chris would get fish and chips and we'd get her to eat a bit of it with the the "It's chicken" statement.  I might still go back and get some.  I'll eat something else that night. 

This was the second time she's eaten what was given to her at Sam's Club.  At home I get an immediate, "I don't like that" (even when she hasn't tried it,) or a very firm "No."  So tonight, when she wanted to eat a crouton - just a crouton, I told her that she had to eat a bite of cucumber.  She said, "No!  I don't like that," and she flicked it away with her hand.  She even agreed to no crouton.  Then I told her, "Pretend it's Sam's Club."  That didn't work. 

Maybe I'll just have to start paying people at Sam's Club to serve her vegetables on the side.

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Official Day

Today Makenna officially started pre-school.  She still goes to the Jewish Community Center but now instead of being in their Early Childhood Center, she's in their pre-K class.  After class is done, since I'm still at work, she goes to what's called "drop-in."

This also starts the official end of naps during the week.  I have a feeling weekends are still going to be nap-filled until she can really adjust without one.  As I predicted, she fell right asleep on the way home.  Of course, taking her swimming after picking her up probably helped speed up the process of her passing out.  If it wasn't for her seat belt holding her in, she would've toppled right over onto the floor.  I didn't know it was humanly possible to fold in half at the side but she seems to have mastered it.

This also now means a change in her bedtime routine.  Usually we'd start to get her ready around 8:30pm and now I have to move it to around 7pm.  This then means that dad, if he wants to see and spend time with her, has to come home earlier.  Not that he'll be able to every night but so far, tonight, he was able to get home and eat dinner with us and then put her up to bed.  This then also means, more free time at night.  So far it's a bit strange as I keep looking at the clock figuring I should get myself off to bed but it's still early.

She seemed to like her class so far.  I was nervous that I was going to have issues dropping her off to her new teachers, Jean and Dusty, but I think she had most likely met them several times previously so she at least knew who they were.  She did request that we go in to her old class to say hello to her old teachers Rachel and Karen.  "Mom, let's just stop in and say hi."  I agreed and she was willing to then go off to her new class.

Since I don't see her teachers when I pick her up, I don't get the daily "attitude" report.  So I guess I'll have to ask the next morning how she did and if there was back-talk or yelling that we have to address.  In her previous class I would get these reports and then we'd talk about how we could better improve on the way home.

Her new back-talk comment, to me, has been - "stop it."  Today at least came with a please, "Mom, stop it please."  This was still said in an exasperated voice as though I had embarrassed her in front of her teenage friends and she's now mortified at my presence.  I firmly told her that although I appreciate the please, the "stop it" comments have to "stop." 

She was also following up the comment with, "You just told me three times."  In my mind I was thinking three times was the minimum I was telling her things.  Today's "three times" comment was mostly about coming closer to me so I could help her finish getting dress after swimming.  So telling her something repeatedly was happening and then she'd tell me to stop it and that I had told her three times, in her exasperated tone.  I realized that part of this was due to her being tired so I cut her some slack but for the most part, I told her tired or not, that's not how she talks to me.  Plus, even though I have told her something three times, until she responds in the manner I'm expecting, I will repeat myself and the way she can remedy that is to respond appropriately on the first request.

I know I talk to her in an adult like manner at times, and then I wonder why I'm so shocked when she uses a vocabulary word in its appropriate context.  The other day she said, "now it's ruined."  I'm sure I've said this word to her but I was surprised she picked it up and used it correctly back to me. 

More I realize through her actions and words how quickly she's growing up and I'm just not ready!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


This past weekend, being the last holiday weekend before school starts was about “fairs” for our family of three. 

We decided to take Makenna to the NYS Fair in Syracuse and for the most part it went well. She was a bit crabby here and there due to lack of a nap but she really enjoyed the various rides she could go on.  She enjoyed this very lame, slow cow ride and wanted to go on it again and again.  We limited her to one ride - for our sakes - although it was free so I don't know why we did that?!

She went through a bounce house and along the line got stuck somewhere and I could hear her crying in the distance. I asked the guy to go check on her and sure enough he found her and brought my tearful child to me. The guy said that she had gotten stuck somewhere and turned around and started coming back. Luckily a mother knows her child’s cry.

All three of us enjoyed a Ferris wheel ride that was in more of a round container than a chair with a bar holding you in. It was also nice because it was so hot and humid on Friday that being up in the air gave us a really nice breeze to cool off with.

She also went on a roller coaster, for kids, but this one was actually a bit faster and it had her go up a small incline and down so we were nervous about how she would be with that. As she came around from her first trip I heard Chris say to her, “oh honey, it’s going to be okay.” I said to him, she’s screaming with glee not fright. She really enjoyed it.  Not only that but she ran right up to the front to get in the first car.  Unfortunately, some other kids had already gotten there so she had to take the second car.

We also looked at the pigs and cows and chickens that they had displayed from the various people bringing them to be judged. I never knew there were so many varieties of chickens. We got stuck watching the ducks and had to pry Makenna away from them. She’s seen so many ducks in her short life span I don’t know why they’re such a huge fascination.

We got the obligatory chocolate milk, which Makenna didn’t want but it was pretty refreshing and tasty. We also sampled some cheese, had a horrible and expensive lunch and a pretty tasty ice cream.

We’ve decided that fairs are all about how much money you can spend on silly stuff. But that didn’t stop us from going to our local JC Field Days which is an end of the Summer ritual. Last night it seemed like everyone from New York was there – it was packed, even more than the NYS Fair.

There was more rides to go on and Makenna went on another roller coaster which was not as “elaborate” as the one at the NYS Fair but for some reason a lot more scary for her. I think because this one jerked her around a bit that she didn’t like it. The first time around she seemed okay but by the second pass we could see the fear and pout on her lips. When it finally came to a stop the tears came out. I felt like a mean mom as all the parents looked at us as if “who would put there small child on such a ride?” We soothed her with other rides more her speed and somehow got out of there without buying anything else.

She also talked about seeing the fireworks for a bit but when they came out, loud and banging, she was not a fan. She covered her ears and we helped cover her ears some more. We had to hold her and both of our backs are sore today because of it.

As for the rest of the weekend it was spent with family at our cottage. It was also a practice run for next week when she officially starts a no-nap preschool day. It showed us that we are not ready for the grumpy, whiney child that ensues with no nap. It also confirmed that she will be going to bed earlier than she does now.

There was a lot of fighting and arguing with her cousins and in one instance in particular, she was trying to take a nap, according to her, when her cousin Katie wouldn’t stop looking at her. Later when I tried to talk to her about it on the way home she said, “Well, I was trying to take a nap and Katie was bothering me.” I said to her, “maybe you could say in a nicer voice to Katie that you were trying to take a nap, could she please leave you alone?” She replied in an exasperated, irritated with your mother voice, “Fine, fine, fine.”

There was also a lot of yelling at me and others to “Stop it.” So now we have a new “swear words” of sorts to punish her with. I know we say it quite a bit to her so it’s only natural for her to say it back. It’s still the whole who’s the boss scenario being played out.

Needless to say there were a lot of time outs this weekend for yelling at us, talking back to us and general behavior issues. We’re still practicing on putting her in time-out just after one warning it just seems so time consuming.

If we as parents could just remember to punish her with words such as “yes I’ll do that willingly,” or “sure I’d love to,” or “anything you ask I’ll do,” instead of “stop it,” “calm down,” “knock it off,” I think we’d have a much more compliant child and one who’d yell at us in phrases we’d love to hear.