Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow Angels and Sledding

Last week provided some snow and weather warm enough to go out and enjoy it.

Part of our snow removal procedure is to shovel off the back deck. Why bother you ask? Well, if we don't our cat uses it as a very large kitty-litter due to her being lazy and most likely cold and wanting to get right back in the house.

So while I was shoveling Makenna decided to make a snow angel. Another thing I'm surprised she knew about and I'm guessing she got from preschool.

Then she decided, for whatever reason, to go in circles on her knees.

There was also a lot of snowball throwing even though it was more like shards of ice throwing as this was the day with the ice storm. You couldn't really get a good compact snowball but that didn't stop her from wanting to throw something at me. I think she feels it's a safe way to throw something at me without any repercussion. Not to mention fun. I also showed her how fun it was to get buried in snow by a shovel full of it.

She also did help shovel by pushing the shovel to the wood slats but that excitement quickly wore out.
So then we decided to go get the paper at the end of the driveway by using the "new" sled that she got for Christmas from grandpa Avery. It was actually a hand-me-down sled that her uncle Brant used to use.

She seemed to like it because I was doing the work and she was sitting and enjoying the ride. She did want to use it down a very small hill (that leads toward the pond) but I said that I wasn't going to the bottom and she'd have to bring it up herself. She decided to go down on her butt instead.

I was telling Chris that we needed to get one of those plastic sleds that can easily be carted around by someone her size. He said that the sled she has is great because she can steer it like her bicycle and it was a "true" sled. I had to remind him that she's four. He feels the plastic sleds are a death trap waiting to happen, to which I agree a bit, but life is not lived until you've flown down a hill in a sled with no control.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our First "I Don't Love You"

We had a holiday and a snow day this past week and I was elated. I rather like being at home during the winter as I feel safe and secure and warm.

Makenna and I enjoyed the snow day yesterday by going out and shoveling. I really shoveled, obviously, but she did help push the shovel and then I would lift it and heave the snow. She soon realized that it was more fun to pick up the snow and throw it at me then actually help me to shovel it. Of course, being that it was an ice storm and that she was throwing shards of iced snow at me didn't matter. Plus, I was the one with the shovel-full of snow, as she soon found out. Since we were well bundled and it was actually warm out, we enjoyed playing in it, throwing more snow and making snow (ice) angels and pushing each other down into it.

It was easy to keep busy now that we have the Wii and I broke out the fitness board that has a lot of different games and things to do. She now keeps asking to play mommy's Wii games. There's one where you move side to side and back and forth hitting numbers as you do, to add up to 10. I just let her do it and she eventually gets it to add up correctly. She tried the hula-hoop "game" but doesn't quite have the knack of getting her hips to go in a circle. She is starting to get better at the ski-jump game and did really well at the running game. I figure it's good exercise so it doesn't hurt to have her play them.

She also found the yoga section and it was very entertaining to watch her try to do the yoga poses. She would say, "Mom, look at me, I'm doing it!" To which I would smirk and say, "You certainly are doing something."

The thing with the Wii games is that it is also a powerful punishment tool. On Sunday at church we had an issue with behaving (being nice and sharing with our cousin Katie,) which resulted in a warning of the Wii being taken away for the day if it happened again. As soon as it did, and I swooped in to remove her from the Sacrament Meeting, she was immediately crying and yelling, "Wii, Wii, Wii." Everyone must've though she had to go to the bathroom.

While in the other room (where I take her to talk to her about her behavior and have her sit,) she was again trying to bargain with me about being able to play the Wii later. She even said she wanted to say she was sorry, which I told her was a good idea. So she said sorry but I still enforced the punishment. She was not too happy to hear that so it was our first, "I don't love you mom" comments. It was a bit upsetting to hear but I didn't take it hard. I know it was out of anger and frustration and I knew that given an hour or two away from me (as she was going to primary,) she would be calmed down enough. I was right. She was still upset but in a more calm way and even said, she knew she couldn't play because she broke the rules.

Since then we've had plenty of hugs, laughs, and I love you's - which is my favorite.

I had to close with this picture from grandma's birthday party. Makenna was "partied" out and fell asleep at the restaurant.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As we grow and learn

Today is my grandmother turns 101. It's truly unbelievable. I didn't think she'd make it to 100 and I'm sure she's just as surprised. She definitely had a hard life growing up in the times that she did and having a "difficult" husband to put it nicely, but she ended up with some grandchildren that love her dearly and now has the ability to enjoy in the great-grandkids, even though she may not always realize who they are or remember their names.

Makenna is really excited that it's great-grandma's birthday as she thinks that there will be lots of presents to open that great-grandma will need help with. She doesn't realize that great-grandma is at the point in her life where family is the best present you could give her and that all other material things are soon forgotten about or not needed. Not that I didn't get her a little something.

Makenna was also anxious to make her a birthday card. Anytime Makenna hears of an opportunity where she can make a card, she jumps at the chance. This girl truly loves doing artwork. She is constantly drawing pictures of people (mostly "Katie" as she will tell you,) along with a rainbow over the person. Now she has a new accomplishment to add...she can write her name.

She, for some time was writing "MAN ANANNAN" We had to convince her that there was a "K" and an "E" in her name and a lot less "N's" and "A's." This past weekend we worked really hard on writing a "K" as she gets easily frustrated but she stuck with it and is now very proudly writing "K"s. Luckily mommy had a great idea for Santa to bring some pre-school workbooks for Christmas and she really enjoys working in them and practicing all her letters. We still have a hard time with "G" and "D" looks more like "P" and our "S" is usually backwards, but we're getting there.

She loves writ ting so much now that she also wants to write "Binghamton" and the street we live on. She's also writing her middle and last names. As we work on writing a letter she'll also tell me what other things start with that letter. For example, as she writes an "S" she'll tell me that "Sarah" and "Snake" start with S.

Plus, because of the pre-school workbooks, have been working on the different coins and what they are. Daddy told her that once she got them all right (penny, nickel, quarter, dime,) that she could take them to school. So she's been practicing and by the third day, got them down. It's amazing to me to watch how much she's learned just this past year (2010,) and now we're only a couple of weeks into 2011 and she's writing her name.

She also started a "sports class" at pre-school that she seems to really love. It's a class that will give her exposure to lots of different types of sports (basketball, hockey, baseball, gymnastics, etc.). Yesterday was the first class and whatever they did, I was told she did very well. I was shocked, but glad, that she picked the class. I gave her an option of T-Ball again, this sports class, or a dance class (which I figured she'd pick,) but she surprised me and immediately said the sports class. Then she asked me every day when her class was, and now she continues to ask me when the next class is.

Her swim lessons started again yesterday and I was even more pleasantly surprised at her progress. They put a swim belt on her with only one float (two is usually what she had on in the past,) and she did really well. I watched her swim out to the instructor with her face under the water and she would lift her head to get her bearings and then put her head back down and swim some more. She did this until she got to the instructor and then turned around and did it again back to the wall. I was just beaming.

The other thing that's getting better is her grasp of vocabulary. Not that she didn't already have a pretty good understanding of it already but now I hear, "Mom!? What are you doing in my room? Get out of my room. Get out, get out, get out!" I was stunned and said, "Listen here girly! You're only 4 - you don't have the right to tell me not to go in your room!"

The privacy in the bathroom has increased even more too. If she needs help, I need to come in only for that moment and then leave again. Last week she went into a public bathroom all by herself as I anxiously stood outside the door. I knew it was only two stalls and no one else was in there prior to me agreeing to let her go by herself. Although we did have one funny incident last Saturday.

We were at the mall in Burlington Coat Factory and she had to go to the bathroom. I took her in and "held" the door closed for her (for what seemed like forever,) as she went. Well, everyone who came in knew she was going and knew that she was going "number two." She was grunting away and you could hear her loud and clear. In between pushing noises, she would be singing or talking. I couldn't help but laugh and smirk and turn my head so as to not look at all the other people that had come in to use the restroom. I'm glad they had a few stalls as people would've been waiting for a long time.

Her grasp of other comments of ours have increased too. I've heard, "this is ridiculous," "oh come on," "that's not right," and "phew" now come out of her mouth quite a bit too. She also pretty much dresses herself all the time now and even argues with me about what she's going to wear. I'm to the point now where I have to ask if it's okay to buy her a particular item of clothing or footwear to make sure that she'll wear it. I really thought this happened a lot later!

It's great to see them grow, learn, and become independent but it happens way too fast! I want my little girl back some days so desperately.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Week after Christmas

Well as I stated in the previous "Christmas" blog Makenna had the week off from school and Chris and I had off from work. After Monday's get-together for Christmas with my family that left a whole week of trying to entertain a four-year old.

I immediately made plans to have Makenna go over to her cousin Katie and Natalie's one day and for them to come up to our house another day. This worked out well as the next day, Tuesday, Makenna went over to their house for a few hours and this gave Chris and I a chance to watch a movie. Even though we watched one at home, it was nice to have quiet time together. Then when we picked her up, it was off to the Jones' for Uncle Mark's birthday.

On Wednesday, I took Makenna back over to Katie and Natalie's but I stayed too as some girls got together to watch a chick-flick. I really ended up enjoying that time as Makenna decided to take a nap on me. I just got to hold her for over an hour and feel her close. I don't take those moments for granted one bit. I love it and realize too soon it will be over. Not to mention she can barely fit on my lap.

Thursday was the day Katie and Natalie came over to play. That kept her quite busy and when they took a nap, she happily played her Wii. Then later she got what she terms as a "vacation" as she stayed overnight at grandma and grandpa Jones' house while Chris and I went to a party and then to meet up with some friends to play some games. Our one day early New Year's Eve Celebration.

Friday, Chris went to pick her up and took her shopping for a bit so I could get other shopping done and some cleaning done. Then for New Year's Eve we just all watched a movie together ("Coraline" which I DO NOT recommend for small children). This movie was a bit scarier than we realized. But we enjoyed eating popcorn and spending time together. We put her down to bed after 9pm and then just waited for the ball to drop.

So the week went by really quick and I was quite surprised when this past Monday rolled around and I didn't have any grumblings about going back to school. She saved it up for today. Right away, as soon as she walked out of her bedroom she started in about how she didn't want to go to school. I explained to her that she wouldn't be able to play the Wii or watch tv by staying home. Dad had to talk to her some more but she was finally willing to go. Now the next hurdle is getting her to go to gymnastics.

Ever since her Christmas program, she doesn't want to do anything else but "practice" for the show. She doesn't want to just go do her class. I tried to explain that her class prepares her for the next show next year so that she can do more but she's not getting it. I think dance classes come this Spring are definitely in store.
The Monday before Christmas ended up being lots of fun for Chris. He had to stay home with a very sick child. I was getting ready for work when I heard Makenna yelling downstairs. Then I heard Chris respond by yelling back to come down the stairs. About 15 minutes or so had passed and I was done getting ready and I asked Chris if she had come down and he replied that he didn't think so. I went upstairs to find Makenna sitting on the toilet with a handful of vomit in her hands.

I felt so bad for her. I think she was confused as the last time she got sick like this, she was just over two and probably doesn't remember. So she probably had no idea what was happening. She just was sitting there and said, "mom, I got sick." I yelled down through the baby monitor to Chris to come up and help me. We got her undressed, in the shower to wash off and I cleaned up the floor.

Luckily, or unluckily, Chris already had the week off so he stayed home and had to deal with the constant mess. I felt it was only fair as all the other times she's gotten sick like this he was M.I.A. He said that he got her "rhythm down" and knew that about every 40 minutes another surge would happen. So he'd get her sitting up and over the garbage pail. Her aim was still not great so he went through a lot of blankets and towels. But later that day she was feeling great. In fact she started dancing around, and then promptly felt ill again, but luckily didn't get sick. She did get a fever later in the night though. But by Tuesday she was doing fine but we still kept her home from school.

It seems as though her and a lot of other kids from church all got sick on Monday. We think at the Christmas party the Saturday before, they had all picked up something. What a gift! Luckily it ran its course in a very short amount of time and she was fine for Christmas.

Well, thought I'd add a few more pictures below. Most of are a gingerbread house that Chris did 99.9% of himself. I think Makenna helped .1% and I didn't have a hand in it at all. I think it shows his artistic abilities and shows he has a future as an architect:

Another neat gift Makenna got was this big playhouse that she can color herself. She has colored parts of it and daddy colored the roof. We've moved this up to her room now and all her stuffed animals get to sleep in it.


Well, I'm a bit behind due to the holidays. All three of us were "off" from work or school so it kept us fairly busy with no time to blog.

We went to our annual Christmas Eve's Eve party at a friend's house where Chris and I were able to see some old friends that we barely saw all year, if even at all. A lot of people marveled at Makenna and how big she's gotten and one guy, who has never seen her, thought she was in second grade! Heavens! She's tall, but not that tall (is she?). I mostly sat in a chair holding her and trying to get her to fall asleep to no avail. Too much going on and everyone checking to see if she was sleeping yet didn't help. On the way home she told daddy that everyone was too loud for her to fall asleep.

On Christmas Eve, we got to see Grandpa Avery and have a brunch and presents. Makenna got this really awesome Dora fold out couch that's just her size and loves it (you'll see pictures below). She sits on it quite frequently and constantly goes between leaving it a couch or pulling it out to a bed.

Makenna and I went to visit some extended family on my side (my cousin and her family) while daddy went to church services. Then it was home and to bed before Santa came. We made sure to leave out some cookies and milk for Santa to have on his long trip. Before going to bed we talked about little bit about what the day truly was (Jesus' birthday) and she even sang happy birthday Jesus before going to sleep.

Christmas morning, of which I have no pictures of, because I totally forgot and Chris was videotaping, went well. She was so extremely excited to first, see all the presents. She came racing into our room in a giddy tone saying that Santa had come and left presents. She may have also said something about having to go open them immediately but I was still in a sleep-haze and trying to wake up.

Chris then sent her to look at the cookie situation and that was the second thrill she received. She came back still in an excited voice and told us that Santa ate the cookies and milk - not just one but "all of them!" (Which were about 4 if I recall - and I think I ate two of those four). Then she said, "That's not right!"--One of her new sayings lately but quite funny when applied in this situation.
Chris then went and showed her from the window, the reindeer tracks outside in the snow which got her even more excited. After all the distracting, it was time to open up gifts. This was the year to tear through them. I remember last year was more like, open a gift, want to look at it, or play with it immediately and then refocus her on opening another gift. This year it was gift after gift after gift.

In fact, at the end, she looked up a bit disappointed, and said, "I didn't get a Wii." It was then we realized that Santa had magically left a Wii and had kindly set it up ahead of time so that we could play it immediately. All was right with the world again.
Let me tell you how scary it is that she can actually do really well at this Wii thing. There's a sword fighting game that she is really good at. In fact, many times she has beaten me, not including the few times I let her. She's picked up the other games fairly well too. She has beaten me at Ping-Pong and tennis and all I can do is laugh because I'm so shocked. On Sunday we tried boxing and she knocked me out! I was actually trying to win and she did it three times before I was completely out. I think there's something about it being able to pick up her "shorter" stature than mine. She does get frustrated at some games and wants to quit but we insist that she has to finish a game that she's playing with us.
I also tried out the Wii Fit that I got for Christmas and it was definitely a work out! It's been a little over a month since I went to the gym so this past week off, I started gearing back up for it and went downstairs and went on the bike and elliptical machine and then did this Wii workout. Let's just say the machine didn't always pick up on me doing my lunges and would keep me in that position for what seemed like forever and because of it, I was certainly very sore for the next few days. I have a work-out session with my trainer today and I told him to be nice since the Wii kicked my butt!

Later on Christmas day we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house and had a good meal and more presents. Since they have a Wii, she got to play some more with her cousins and practice up even more.

Monday was the celebration with my side of the family and that's where most of the pictures come from below. With all the days of opening presents, she's having a hard time understanding why she isn't opening up more every day. She kept asking during the week after Christmas and is now resigned to the idea she has to wait for her birthday. But that doesn't stop her from asking when her birthday is, or if every day is her birthday. Hope your Christmas was as fun and family filled as ours!
Great Grandma (who's almost 101) with Makenna and Eli

Picture with Aunt Jessica, Uncle Jared, and Cousin Eli (missing is cousin Abbey)

The "kids" craft table - I like how Walter is part of the kids table

Sitting on her Dora couch with cousin Eli

Now lounging on her Dora couch with cousin Eli