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.

Another Night time debacle

A few nights ago (back on Thursday 9/2) Makenna decided to make four trips to our room in the middle of the night. Needless to say we were not too happy. Only one was really an acceptable reason of having to go to the bathroom.

The other three had to do with her blanket. She refuses to believe that she is old enough and big enough to pull up the heavy hot blanket to cover herself back up. She also has decided that she has to be tucked up tight as a sardine in said blanket. So before we say our good nights we be sure to tuck her blanket in to all sides of her mattress to make it tight fitting around her. She’ll even test that it’s up to standard by pushing her feet to the sides to make sure that they don’t poke out and show our bad skills of tucking. I just tell her to pull her feet back in under the blanket and she won’t have an issue but this is not acceptable to her.

This whole tucking thing makes me nervous anyways because if a fire came along I envision her being bound to tight to the bed from her blanket, unable to get out. But I guess I’m wrong as shown by her frequent trips that night.

We were quite upset and frustrated and my solution was to move up to the next size bed. This is really a crib bed converted into a day bed at this point. The next morning, Chris decided to take a big sheet and fold it over twice and tuck that around the mattress and then put the blanket over the top of that. This seems to have worked…so far. Of course, last night she came down again but she had gotten out to go the bathroom, which she did on her own, but then needed someone to wrap her back up like a sausage in her sheets.

I swear I have the only child I know who gets worse in sleeping habits as they get older instead of better.

Family Reunion and Other Tidbits

We went to the family reunion held in Niagara Falls this past weekend and it was a nice sunny, hot day which lent perfectly to Makenna enjoying the pool all afternoon. Since she barely slept on the way up I was incredibly nervous about how she would be attitude-wise but with the pool to distract her from any grumpiness – she was completely fine. Plus she had her cousins Brittanie and Stephanie to help keep her occupied in the pool while I mingled and talked with relatives and had way too much food.

I was also surprised when she didn’t immediately crash in the car on the way to the hotel. She actually stayed up and waited for me to turn off the light. I keep forgetting my little book light so that I can read so I had to cut my usual reading time way down so that she could sleep. I guess I should be glad that she’s not afraid of the dark and actually prefers no lights on when she sleeps.

An unwilling Makenna

I also wish she was a bit better behaved at the falls. After attending a morning church session where Chris’s dad was preaching (they had gotten married at the church 50 years ago in Niagara Falls,) we went to a relative’s house to change and grab a quick bite to eat. Then we were off to a Crocs store.

The moment I heard about the store I had to go. I realize some people think their ugly shoes but they are so darn comfortable. The only bad thing is that I have stumbled in tripped and even slipped in them but I lend that to my clumsiness more than the shoe.

The store definitely had some of the newer style shoe and not just the boat-looking shoe. The hard part to swallow was the prices. I looked at the discounted shoes which were anywhere from $5.00 - $30.00 but all they had was size 12. So off to the regular priced shoe and I couldn’t bring myself to buy another pair like I already have as they are still wearable, even if the bottoms have no tread any longer. So I opted for a sandal type shoe which I can wear to work and have done so about three days so far. And Yes…they are comfortable and somewhat stylish.

I also wanted to get Makenna a pair but considering it would be just as much as my shoes and again, no size in the sale rack would fit her, she had to go without. I thought I had found a cute pair of Winnie the Pooh ones but then realized they were close to $30 and I just can’t spend that much on a shoe that she’s going to outgrow in a few months.

So off to the falls we went and that’s when all her tiredness kicked in. We only stayed for about an hour and a half and that last half hour was eating an ice cream, or in her case, wearing one.

She seemed to like looking at them but couldn’t grasp why it was called Niagara Falls. The fall part kept tripping her up. She wanted to go on the other side of the railing and all I could picture was her falling all the way down and my heart just kept sinking. So it was probably a good thing we only stayed for an hour.

She was arguing with us in the car about how she wasn’t tired and in less than two minutes, she was sleeping. Good thing, she needed it!

The rest of this week has been our usual ups and downs but on Tuesday we enjoyed going to the CFJ Park again to ride the carousel horses and enjoy the spray park. It was definitely a day to go as it was so darn hot and I enjoyed watching her run around and getting wet. I even got in on it myself a little bit.

She shocked me yet again as I was changing her from her swim suit into her clothes again so that she could ride the horses again when she pointed out Wal-Mart to me. She said, “Hey mom, look, it’s Wal-Mart.” My immediate response was, “How do you know that!?”

It’s not a store that I frequent very often and I think I can recall taking her once before we left for England and once again before she was three. Maybe I took her there recently but I honestly don’t recall and it’s not a store we talk about since we don’t really go. I’m flabbergasted at how she knows that store is Wal-Mart. The only thing I can think of his maybe ads on the TV between her shows but I really am not sure. This doesn’t bode well for when she grows up and sees ads on TV of things she “must” have.

We also still have an attitude problem a lot of days and last night brought it to light once again why…”Mom, you’re not the boss!~ I’m the boss!” This just frustrates me to no end. I have to realize she’s exerting her independence but somehow she has to get it through her head that, that’s just not the case.

I know one way to help this is to try and be more firm in our discipline. I was so happy with my mom’s advice but then I have been slipping on it in a lot of instances. I even found myself counting to three this past week and Chris yelled up to me, “I thought we weren’t counting to three anymore.” That helped….Not!

So as hard as it is, I just have to be firm and not give three or more chances to get her to do something or stop doing something. Now on to practice it.