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.

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