Friday, July 30, 2010

Better Day

Today was a much better day.  Thank goodness!  She took a nap at preschool which made the rest of the day/night go so much better.  She enjoyed spending time with her grandma and grandpa Jones while Chris and I went out to dinner with friends for July birthdays.  It was nice to enjoy some adult time and laughs with old friends.

I hope that tomorrow goes just as well as Chris is having a night out with friends but I have to get up early for a lake association meeting so I came home to get Makenna into bed--and myself to bed--soon.  This means whether he likes it or not and no matter how tired he is - he's in charge of her for the morning.

Considering we'll be at the cottage, means she most likely won't have a nap so that will be another test of our parenting skills and our patience.  It still makes me very leery about this Fall when her school schedule will change.

Well, short and sweet, just like my little one today.  Days like today, where you get the response of "okay mommy" in a happy cheery compliant voice and the "I love you mommy with a kiss" makes parenting worth while.  It's those moments you have to hold on to, to help you through the days like yesterday.  Now if I can only remember that next time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grandma, Is that you?

Funny thing is about this blogging thing, I don’t think Chris hardly reads it yet he’s the one bugging me to do it all the time, as he says “others are wondering why you haven’t been blogging.” Well as far as I can tell the only people who are reading it are some foreign people leaving comments I can’t read. Either way, it’s a good way to keep our family journal so I’ll keep doing it anyways.

Last night brought about some more things I had forgotten that Makenna has picked up from mimicking our speech. One is that she growls in exasperation. “Aarrgghhh” Is something I hear coming from her when she’s asked to do something that she might not want to do or if something is frustrating her. It’s almost reminiscent of my grandmother Rafferty – which I know I tend to copy when making this noise.

But another thing that she has picked up from the ghost of my grandmother is saying my name and then not stating anything after. As if saying my name is just music to her ears. I hear, “mommy?” Then I say, “What Makenna?” Then dead silence. A minute or less later, “Mommy?” “What?” I reply…Nothing. Again some short time passes, “Mommy?” Me with a more firm and stern voice, “WHAT MAKENNA?!!” “Um….”

This is exactly the reincarnation of my grandmother. She tended to say someone’s name (obviously she’d say “Teri” instead of “mommy”,) but then leave you hanging. It wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th mention that you’d finally tell her to spit it out already or leave you alone.

Another thing Makenna does or “dues” is say the word “dues” when it should be “does.” It’s kind of cute but I try and correct her. She’ll be talking about someone or something and she’ll say, “Yes she dues.” I’ll smile and say, “Yes she does.” She also get’s her tomorrow’s and today’s mixed up. She’ll say, “What do I have today?” – which is usually stated near the end of the day which means she really wants to know what she has in store for her tomorrow. So I’ll correct her and she’ll say, “What do I have today?” I’ll again correct but this time I’ll say, “What do I have tomorrow…TOMORROW you have….”

I was never great in English – but that was more when it came to subjugating a verb and finding my pronouns. I was a Mad Libs queen but we’ll have to hope for better grammar from this one.

As I was taking her to gymnastics last night, she was talking on her princess cell phone to a myriad of people (grandma, grandpa, Uncle Jared, and Aunt Jessica). One resounding statement after the initial greeting kept being said, “I Don’t Know.” It was said with different inflections—from calm and serene to a firm “I DON”T KNOW.” I had to laugh as this is most definitely from me telling her that answer to her when she repeatedly asks me over and over again the same thing and I’ve exhausted my answer bank. I can only wonder what she felt they were asking her that she didn’t know the answer to—or was she sick and tired of them asking her the same question over and over again?

I wish I could say the day ended well.  It will never end well when you're told that your child didn't take a nap.  At least, not this child.  I picked her up with this news in hand and still decided to try and run a quick errand to a store before taking her to swim lessons.  I figured it would be a good way to waste some time prior to class.  Nope - I was seriously mistaken.  Right off the bat before we even got out of the car she was giving me trouble.  I gave her more than enough warnings to get up from the car floor - yes the floor.  This was after I got her off her booster seat - obviously. 

After I got her up and out, we got to the front of the store and when you first walk in to the first enclosure, there were games and that's where I lost her - completely.  I've never been to this store before and once you go in, you can't go back out that same way.  After threatening her with "I'm leaving, bye" and going around the corner, out of sight, I realized this threat held no water with her.  I then went back to the front doors and waited for someone to come through so I could get back out. 

I dragged her into the store, kicking and screaming.  I made her sit in a spot while I went down the aisle next to her.  The next thing I heard was another woman's voice saying, "Where is your mommy, is it alright for you go out there?"  I realized she got back out to the front.  I made her come hit the button to open the door so I could literally drag her in yet again.  More kicking and screaming ensued and I tried putting her in the cart but she refused.  At that point and after many empty threats, I decided to make good on one.  It was the one where I told her that I would take her home and she would not go to swim and she would go right to bed.

I picked her up, took her back to the car where she was screaming three-year old obscenities at me.  "Stupid," "I'll punch you," and "I'll punish you."  Along with hitting me, and trying to bite me and spitting at me.  This just confirmed my resolve.

At that point I had calmed down enough even though I felt like "white trash" dragging my child kicking and screaming through a store and then talking forcefully--close to yelling but not quite.  I drove home with a screaming child the whole way - still yelling and also adding that she wanted her daddy.  I felt like saying, "so do I!"

Got her home, got her dinner and off to bed.  Of course we had more crying in between as she wanted a movie and then wanted to go to swim.  When I told her, as she was eating, that swim was already happening, she had another melt down, albeit, brief.  Got her dressed for bed, did our bedtime routine and down and out she was.

Chris's response when I told him all that had transpired, "you tried to take a tired 3 year old to a store - that was a mistake."  Really?  I didn't get that.  I was ready to start yelling 3 year old obscenities at him.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh For My Goodness

Here we go – two days in a row blogging – so far so good with my new resolution.

I knew there were a few new things that I had forgotten that Makenna has been up to with her ever expanding vocabulary and statements. I had found one that I wrote down back on May 22nd—I had told her that she would have to go to bed after watching a short movie and her response to me was, “Are you crazy?”

Another thing I found was a note about how she was getting more into taking care of her baby dolls. One is called “baby boy” and the other is “baby bagel” – I have no idea why. But she wants to undress them and with one, she even had to change its poopy diaper. Unfortunately, for me, this baby then decided to pee right after she had a new clean diaper on, according to Makenna. She typically was putting on pull-ups but it’s not an easy task as we have to completely undress them and put on this thing that’s too big, and then try and get the clothes back on over it.

The past couple of days have brought about a new expression of exasperation – “Oh for my goodness.” For instance, I forgot to get her hat out of her cubby as we were leaving her pre-school. I mentioned it, and as we were walking back to get it she said, “Oh for my goodness.” I think this is a mix of “for goodness sake” coming out with a new twist. Either way, it’s pretty funny to hear her say it in a voice of disdain.

Chris bought a new booster seat for her as she’s getting too big for the 5-point harness car seat. On a side note – back in June at Chris’s Church health fair expo – we had a child safety card done for her and she was 3.5 feet tall and 42 lbs. So we knew she was big enough for a booster seat.  I said to myself, if she grows as tall as her age I'm in big trouble!

We put it in and every day she’s asking us why she needs a new car seat (refer to yesterday’s blog about asking things repeatedly and it driving me crazy!). She has realized that with this new car seat, she has a lot more freedom to move around. So much so that she can pick things up that she has dropped. The bad thing is she’s also figured out how to get the arm strap off and then she’s left with just the lap belt holding her in which is very disconcerting. I rather enjoyed the 5-point harness seat which gave me a sense of security.  This is just too "loose" in a sense to me.

I also found out that she doesn’t like me going around curves with the car as I hear her yelling from the backseat yesterday, “Mommy, slow down! You’re making me twisty.” I tried to explain to her I have no control of how people built the roads and I have to follow the path laid out for me – This answer was not acceptable. We had to go down this same road again later, and I was again yelled at from the back seat.

All was forgiven though as she made me a really nice card for my birthday with lots of faces. This is another thing she’s been doing for a couple of weeks is drawing her version of a face. It usually looks like an odd circle with two other odd circles in the middle somewhere and then a line which looks like a uni-brow furrowing. Then she turns it upside down and it’s now a mouth. It’s interesting to see what kids see as important as they learn to draw people.

Plus, she repeatedly told me all day long, “Happy birthday mom,” which I found really endearing. Makes those moments insanity of never ending questions go out the window for a sincere “Happy Birthday Mom.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, another birthday – Yuck! I remember when, a very long time ago now it seems, that I would look at people my age and think, “Man they are old!” Now I’m wondering how much time I have left instead of all the time I have to look forward to. I’ve decided to tell people I’m 60 so that if I decide to tell them my real age, they won’t be as shocked. I guess if I just live as if I’m younger than I can trick myself into feeling younger (and hopefully looking younger).

Well, enough about me. I wanted to post this blog for over a month of all the little new and exciting (and frustrating,) things that Makenna has been achieving. I’m sure after I post this there will be quite a few I will have forgotten. Thus my new birthday goal should be to get back in the habit of writing a little something every night about her instead of just relying on my failing memory (remember I’m getting old!).

One thing I have noticed and it makes me smile and melts my heart is when I hear her singing in the car or to something on TV or her movies. I just love listening to little kids sing, and when it’s your own it’s even better. Even if they don’t know all the words, they aren’t afraid to belt out what they think the word is. Whereas us older “kids” tend to just mumble or stop singing the part we don’t know.

For the past couple of months, Chris and I have worked really hard on getting her to learn her ABC’s. She’s been able to sing the song since before she was two, but we wanted to help her learn to recognize the letters. There was many a night in frustration for Chris and me. We tried all different ways – flash cards, writing them down, having her teach her dolly, making a game out of it, showing her in books, showing her letters that she colored from pre-school. It seems whatever we tried she’d forget it within 2 seconds. There were a few that she got but it seemed like she would never get it.

Well, now for the past couple of weeks, she can recognize most of her capital letters, even if we do them out of order. The one she’s really stuck on is the letter “K.” What’s funny about this is that when we started teaching her, this was one of the letters I started with – just out of coincidence, but it still seems to be one that she just can’t grasp. She sometimes get’s stuck on “V” too but has been getting better about recognizing it. This has now prompted us to move on to the lowercase letters and numbers. Sometimes I feel we’re pushing too hard too fast but as she’ll be starting pre-school “officially” this September, I want her to feel good about being able to know some things. Plus, she loves to read and will often look at books and remember what we’ve read to her or make stuff up from the pictures she sees. I can’t wait to see her reading for real some day.

She’s also excited because she’s been practicing on her tricycle (bi-cydle) as she calls it, in order to do it herself. Right now I have to give her a little push and then she can take off but if she stops, she can’t seem to get going. Although, she’s getting a bit better at it and I don’t think it’ll be too long now before she’ll be able to do it all by herself. She’s so happy with herself when I give her praise for doing a good job with it. I look forward to taking it to the park and having her ride while I walk and then me yelling at her to “stop” as she gets too far away.

A lot of my frustration is that she’s at that “why stage” or repeating herself or the question or something constantly. It absolutely drives me up the wall. I try to be patient, I try to answer her question the first three times she asks, but by the eighth time I have lost all of my cool demeanor and end up telling her “stop asking!”

I try to get her to think about what she’s asking me. I’ll turn it around and ask her “why do you think the animals had to be rescued from the volcano?” She’ll say, “I don’t know.” I then say, “Mommy just told you a few reasons why, do you remember?” “No,” comes the reply. My answer, “then I guess you’ll just have to sit quietly and think about it.” Then she replies with some sort of answer. My hopes of quiet reflection on her part are dashed. She’ll even ask on things she’s seen multiple times – like from one of her movies.

Chris had an interesting insight to this and thinks maybe part of the reason she asks things repeatedly is because we are repeating ourselves to her multiple times – especially when we’re asking her to do something, we repeat it infinitum it seems. He thinks maybe she thinks that’s what you have to do…I thought that he could be on to something here. He then promptly told Makenna she has to listen to us when we say something the first time as a way to solve this problem. That’s where his insight stopped. Leave it to an engineer to have a black and white answer.

I was listening to this mommy’s podcast just the other day and the lady on the show stated how her boy is like, “give me my cars and trains and leave me alone,” whereas her twin girl is more like, “let’s talk mommy, and be together.” It made me pause and realize that’s how Makenna is. I guess that’s how most girls are.

Unfortunately, her attitude is also growing along with her. More and more she’ll yell back at me, and tell me to leave her alone and get out. The latter is mostly from when she’s going to the bathroom. She’s at that stage where she wants to do it independently. This is great, unless she’s pooping. She doesn’t realize that I have to be there for the clean-up process. She insists on doing it herself. Which again, I’m fine with but I tell her I’m like the clean-up batter, doing the double check that all is well. If I come in too early, while she’s still going or trying to do it herself, I hear yells of, “I’m not done! Get Out, Leave me Alone!!” Do I faintly hear these words occurring for the next 20 years?—probably.

We also have had some more bumps and bruises, literally, the past couple of weeks. Last week (July 20th,) I got a call from her pre-school telling me that she had fallen on the playground off a twisty thing and hit her head, turned pale, and bit her tongue which was bleeding. She seemed inconsolable and they wanted me to come and have her checked out at her doctor’s. So I went over and got her, took her to her pediatrician’s who said everything looked fine and that if she complained that her head hurt for the next couple of days, then to call him back, but that I didn’t have to worry, as far as he was concerned about a concussion. His parting words to Makenna were, “try not to bump your head.”

I left and took her over to Chris’s parents as I had a scheduled work-out session and didn’t want to miss it as I was off the previous week on vacation and really needed this workout. We weren’t there even 5 minutes and she had rolled off the couch right into the coffee table on that same spot which was now really swelled up, and a bright red and purple color. Previously, when I had picked her up at pre-school there was a faint bruise but now, there was an egg on her head. My first reaction was, ‘now what? Do I take her back to the doctor’s?” I left after 15 minutes or so, hoping that all would be better and that she would just nap—which she did. She was just about getting rid of that bruise when on this past Sunday (July 25th,) she ran full force into her cousin Eli with her face into his head. So hard in fact that he was sent flying across the room and she was still standing with this puffy, black-and blue cheek under her one eye. It looked as though someone had punched her.

Chris and I promptly on the way home started to train her to say, “You should see the other guy,” when someone asks her what happened to her eye. She promptly took us up on this and was quite funny in saying it loudly and firmly. The next day at pre-school, with a little coaxing, when one of her teacher’s asked her what happened, she said it. She then continued to say it to various people throughout the day. I felt as though we had really accomplished quite a feat with that small thing – silly as it is.

On the 2nd of July we went to a pool party at a friend’s house and Makenna loved swimming, as usual. So much so that even after she was dressed, she fell into the pool, a bit, while trying to reach for something. She was near the shallow end where there were steps and I guess she reached a little too far and got wet. Luckily, I had brought a change of clothes so it was no big deal. What did scare her though were the fireworks that they set off unexpectedly. She was so caught off guard that she decided to stay in their house from that point on until we left.

This made me nervous about the 4th of July fireworks that are set off at our Lake, but she did fine with those, as they were farther away, and she was expecting them. It was so cute sitting there watching with her as during a quiet moment, she turned to her dad and said, “Dad, you’re my best friend.” I thought that was the best thing ever! I’m so happy to see how much she loves her dad and her grandparents. I know my grandfather was everything to me growing up and I’m so happy to see her have that happiness and joy with both her dad and her grandpas.

A couple of weeks ago Chris also asked that Makenna attend his church’s Vacation Bible School. I agreed to take her on Monday and we would see how it went. I didn’t realize it was so long (from 5:30pm – 8:30pm) but I can’t really complain when on Sunday’s she’s at church for that amount of time. So I left after 6:30 and decided I’d go home and see how she handled being there on her own. I came back around 8:20 and picked her up and on the way home I asked her how it went and what she learned. Her reply had me laughing and then thinking.

She said, “God told them not to touch the tree and they did and now they have time out for 3 minutes.” She stated this again and I realized that she was talking about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. So I clarified that’s what she was talking about and she said, “Yes! Now they’re in timeout for 3 minutes.” I laughed and then thought what if God had given them a time-out? Wouldn’t the world be very different? Then I realized that I wouldn’t have Makenna, most likely or her wisdom.

I guess wisdom is a good way to end, now that I’m supposed to be older and wiser. I think that Makenna will give me great wisdom, gray hair, frustration, laughs, and love for many years to come.

And hopefully, I’ll stick to my birthday resolution to blog – if not every day, at least every couple of days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Summer, so far, in Pictures

I don’t feel too bad about not blogging as often as I wish I did as there are other’s on my “favorites” sidebar that don’t either. So I must enjoy a group of slackers as my friends or they, like me, are all too consumed with facebook and their families to be blogging all the time.

But alas, I give excuses. So here are some pictures to update you on what we’ve been up to:

Makenna had an end of year picnic at pre-school on May 28th, where she also worked on some of her picture taking skills

This is what you risk when you don't want to do the blog - an unflattering picture of you might make it on the post!

You can see that Makenna got better with her centering skills

Later that day, she helped daddy with planting some flowers

Chris’s church had another health fair day on June 5th, where Makenna got to ride the pony again, see our local baseball team’s mascot, and also got her face painted for the first time:

It's a dinosaur - in case you were wondering

On June 19th, we went up to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse for the yearly zoo day with CNY Fertility Clinic.

Just like at the RI Zoo back in May, we had a hard time getting her to leave the penguin display.  Maybe I have the makings of a Marine Biologist

This Lion is really behind her - not just a picture that she's sitting in front of (obviously it's behind safety glass)

She can hate me later in life for posting this - too cute not to!

No matter how hard Chris tried he just could not line up the lion and Makenna in one frame

A guy outside the zoo was creating these huge bubbles with some sticks and a rope (and soap) and the kids would just chase them to try and pop them and Makenna enjoyed joining in.

On June 26th, some of my friends from college met at one of their houses and we enjoyed catching up and see all the kids. What was even funnier was to see some of the pictures that Noreena brought up from our college days.
Makenna’s going to be like her mommy – hangin’ with the boys!

Noreena, Duane, and their sons Jake and Hunter

Ronda, Frank, and their kids, Amanda, Kayla, Emily, Grace and Daniel (who are twins and one week older than Makenna)

Noreena, Ronda, Me, Dorothy, and Vicki

I some how don’t have pictures of Dorothy’s family or Vicki’s family and the one of all of us with our spouses came out too dark unfortunately. You can tell that we were all looking at different cameras to get our pictures taken though.

The week of July 4th Chris and I took off time from work and spent it up at our family cottage. It was a great week to go as it was so darn hot! We enjoyed lots and lots of swimming and Makenna got to fish with her daddy and even caught a couple.

Showing daddy and Uncle Rich how to steer the paddle boat

On July 6th we went out to dinner for “Uncle Lori’s” (as Makenna would say,) birthday

Showing us her "boo-boo" for the millionth' time (and yes, I know you can't really see it but Makenna says it's there and it hurts)

More practice at picture taking by Makenna - she's getting pretty good!

She took this one too

and one to show the pizza still left on her plate

This was across from the restaurant in Oxford, NY

On July 9th, Makenna saw me vacuuming and immediately went on the stairs and said, “Don’t vacuum the stairs, don’t vacuum the stairs.” I told her I wouldn’t and then part way through she asked to have a turn. I told her sure, but that she had to put on some shoes – so she went and put on her rain boots.

And of course on many days, we’ve had swimming – as much as we can get in, anywhere!

At the lake on 5/29 (Memorial Day Weekend)

Jumping in the Lake on June 19th

On Father's Day, June 20th at Cole Park

Plus more days since then! She’s still in swim lessons and doing very well and I decided to buy her some swim “gobbles” as she calls them. She liked them so much that she wore them right away at home, while watching tv.  She got a chance last weekend, (July 17th,) to try them in the water up at the lake.

Then this past Tuesday on July 20th, Makenna decided to try out her "bicycleble" and is starting to get the hang of it.  It seems if i give her a little push then she can get it going but doesn't quite yet have the leg strength to do it on her own.

So you can see, we've been quite busy enjoying ourselves and hopefully will have lots more adventures before the Summer is through.