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.