Friday, September 27, 2013

Quick 5

Let's blame it on baby brain, but I'd forgotten how spectacular fall can be in Colorado.  You should visit sometime to see for yourself.

1.  Today is the day.  If Alaina can go the whole day and night without sucking her thumb, then she has earned herself the scoop of her choice from Magill's World of Ice Cream.  And I have full confidence in her.  I was really second-guessing our whole band-aid strategy, since it seemed like all I was beginning to hear and read was "DON'T intervene!  She'll give it up on her own when she's ready! Doing something to take away her thumb will ruin her for life and turn her into a hermit/psycho/weirdo!"  But it worked for us.  Chalk it up to knowing my kid, I guess.  It wasn't a coping mechanism; it was a mindless habit.  And the band-aid worked.

2.  Which means, of course, that Joya is constantly coming up to me and saying, "I don't want to suck my thumb anymore!  I have ice cream now?"  She knows the impending reward and is desperate to jump on the band wagon.  I've reminded her many times about the new Curious George buddy that she got as a reward for giving up the paci, to which she replies, "Oh, I don't want him anymore!"  It's so cute and sad.  We plan to take Alaina on her reward after we put Joya to bed, since Joya goes to bed at 6:45 and Alaina doesn't go to bed until 8:00.  I'd rather deal with the aftermath when Alaina inevitable tells her all about it than deal with the drama of saying goodbye and leaving her behind.  (You can bet there will be a lengthy discussion while we eat our ice cream about not rubbing our special things in other peoples' faces.)

3.  Bria has graduated from the infant tub in the sink to the bath seat in the bath tub.  This was a necessity, since that girl can splash.  After the last time I gave her a bath in the sink, Lee came home and thought our pipes had sprung a leak or something in the kitchen.  Nope, it was just Bria, throwing all her bathwater on the floor.  However, she is NOT impressed by the tub.  I try to hand her toys and she just stares at me.  It takes longer to get the bath ready than it does to actually bathe her, since I see no reason to let her just sit in the tub and stare at me for too long. 
The face she gives me during the whole bath.  No smiles, no chatter.  Just a girl and her thoughts.

4.  Here are my girls on just a normal afternoon:
Bria is not crying or anything.  This is how she likes to sleep at night.  On her belly, face in the mattress.  Freaks me out every time.
 5.  I just finished the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker.  Have any of you read it?  She's hilarious and a great writer and the book messed me up.  I feel like I need to process.  It might be transformational, if I can follow through.  I highly recommend it. 

Next up: October.  I'll be participating in the 31 Days blogging challenge over on The Pumpkin Pie Patch.  Also, Joya turns 3.  It should be a lovely month.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quick 5

No pithy words of inspiration here.  Jumping in...

1.  Lee took a day off of work this week so I could go in to the doctor's for a physical.  I went to our primary physician, the one I "fired" from being the girls' doctor.  She's completely awesome, but I could never get the girls in to see her because she was way too busy.  So I was a bit nervous, because I wasn't sure how un-cool it was to remove my girls from her practice, yet still see her myself.  And do I even bring it up?  Well, she took care of it.  She came in all smiles and greetings and "how the heck are ya? I haven't seen you in forever!" and then asked where I took the girls.  I told her and was about to launch into an explanation, and she stopped and said she 100% agreed with my decision.  She said she actually closed her practice to new patients about 9 months ago and this was the first week where SHE didn't feel completely overwhelmed.  She's a mom and understands the need to have an available doctor, so she thought it was a great move.  She also mentioned how in a practice where the doctors see adults AND kids, the kids often get bumped off to the PAs because of whiny, pushy adults who commandeer their appointments into much more than they should be, or calling in and DEMANDING to be seen for something that the doctor KNOWS (because they are trained to know) that the nurse could answer their questions over the phone.  I was simultaneously relieved that she is still so cool and annoyed at the hypochondriacs that forced me to move my girls to another practice.  That being said, we love our pediatrician, and I love my primary physician.  So we're in good hands.

2.  This week was a mini-fall (or end of summer?) break for Alaina.  She was off of school Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday for parent teacher conferences.  It was nice not to have the early morning routine, although we really don't mind it that much.  I love having her around to help out with things like unbuckling Joya whenever we go places.  That's one little chore I can't seem to get used to.  Alaina always does it, and I find myself having to walk around the car more than once because I walked right past Joya's door.  Anyway, we love having Alaina around.

3.  Which means that Lee and I went to our first parent teacher conference.  It went great.  Alaina's doing great.  Her teacher is great.  And she gave us some good ideas on what to work on at home, which is so nice.  We definitely need guidance in what a kindergartener should be knowing and learning.  Mrs. Galloway said that Alaina is very kind and considerate, and is VERY conscious of the rules and making sure that the others follow the rules.  I was a bit concerned about this, because I know she has the potential to be the class tattletale, but Mrs. Galloway said she is in no way annoying about it, and that she is prepared to handle it if it grows into tattletale territory.  She's so great.

4.  Part of Alaina's homework is reading 15 minutes every day.  So far I've been doing the reading, and we've been reading through Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.  I love those books, mostly because they were written in the late 40s/early 50s and the language is so different.  If you haven't read those books, they're about a lovely widow named Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle who LOVES children and knows them better than anyone. So any time a parent has a problem with their child, they call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  She tells them how to cure crybabyitis and won't-go-to-bed-itis and selfishitis using her "cures."  It's our first foray into chapter book reading, and Alaina loves it.

5.  Since we're reading about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, I may or may not have begun to refer to her as if she were real to help US with a problem with Alaina. Alaina has always been a thumb-sucker, and we're constantly telling her not to suck her thumb.  But at this point I believe it is an unconscious habit, and not simply a matter of will.  Well, since we made Joya give up her paci, it's only right that Alaina give up her thumb.  So starting on Wednesday we've been putting a band-aid on her thumb full time.  She immediately remembers when she sticks her thumb in her mouth and feels the band-aid to stop.  She's not too happy about it.  And there have been some tears when it comes to falling asleep at night.  So yesterday I told her that it's the Thumb Sucking Cure that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle told me about.  She said, "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is REAL?!?!"  I just smiled and didn't answer.  We've never done the Santa thing, and we're not to the tooth fairy thing, so this is new territory for us.  (Don't worry...I don't think she's going to tell your kid that Santa isn't real.  We've never made a big deal out of it either way, so I don't think she thinks about it all that much.)  Anyway, I told her that when she no longer sucks her thumb, we'll go get ice cream (which we've never done before.)  Her eyes lit up and she asked if she could have it in a "triangle cone" with sprinkles.  I think it's a fine reward.  The problem NOW is when do I know that she's broken of the habit?  Do I leave the band-aid on for a full week or should I take it off sooner?  I have no idea.  The paci thing was easy; it went in the trash.  The thumb thing is much harder to measure.  Any advice would be appreciated.

So long, Summer! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick 5

What is the best way to follow a week of unusual 90 degree September weather?  With a week of unusual steady, heavy rain.  I love it!  Except for all the flooding and destruction and Coast Guard calling going on. 

1.  We've been dealing with the Kindergarten Krud around here.  Alaina, of course, brought it home a couple of weeks ago.  Joya, in all of her putting everything in her mouth still glory, caught it soon after.  Then Lee.  The girls still have lingering coughs, but I thought Bria and I were going to make it through unscathed.  Until Wednesday, when someone turned a faucet on in my nose and Bria started sniffling and coughing.  It's not terrible, but it's enough to be annoying and to downgrade our sleep from Pretty Good Considering My Infant Still Wakes Up To Eat Once A Night Or When She Rolls Over Onto Her Belly to Settle In Folks We'll Probably Be Up At Least Three Times Tonight.  I'd like to thank our Freddy Frog Cool Mist Humidifier and Baby VapoRub for all their help the past couple of nights.

2.  Some morning last week, the girls and I were in the lobby of Alaina's school waiting for her to line up.  There are about 7 or 8 kid/parent combos who all wait in there at the same time, so we're getting used to seeing the same faces every morning.  Anyway, there is this one sweet little boy who LOVES Bria.  The first day of school he bounced right over to her, much to his parents' embarrassment.  I told them that it was perfectly fine for him to look and talk.  He didn't try to grab her or anything.  Now, anyone can tell by the pale skin of his parents and by his lovely chocolate skin that he is adopted.  And clearly it is a topic they have covered extensively with him, because on this particular morning he said, "Oh, I can't wait until I'm 25 and can adopt a baby.  Did you adopt all these babies from an orphanage?" (referring to both Joya and Bria.)  I told him no, that I grew the babies inside my belly.  He said, "Oh" and moved on to line up.  It was such a cute exchange.

3.  Bria is getting to be quite the busy little baby.  I can't even rock her to sleep anymore; if I'm holding her she wants to be up and looking around.  Or grabbing something.  Like my hair or ear or cheek.  Keeping her entertained is quite the chore, although this is one of her favorite places to play each night.
And don't you dare try to hand her a toy.  She wants to lean over and grab it by herself.  It keeps her entertained for about 45 minutes, which is quite a long time in baby minutes.

4.  Speaking of by herself, that is Joya's battle cry lately.  It is teaching me patience in ways I never thought possible, since whenever Joya does something by herself it adds anywhere from one to five minutes, depending on the task.  I love that she's learning to dress herself completely, but it takes her about 15 to 20 minutes to do it.  That works at night for jammie time, but not in the morning when we have to get dressed, eat breakfast and get out the door.  Of course, I'm not exactly sure how much of the 15 minutes is used up by running around her room naked, shrieking with her sister.  I don't really want to know.  The point is, she really CAN get her jammies and pull-up on all by herself, as long as we not pressed for time.
Joya and the frozen banana I made in 7th Grade home-ec
5.  This weekend is the big fall kick-off at church, which means we are changing our service times to Saturday at 4:00 and Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30.  So for the next month or so, since I'm the nursery director and Lee is a member of the worship, we will be attending all services.  That will change eventually, but I definitely need to be close by to assist all the ministry partners with the adjustment.  I haven't thought too hard about what it will be like to be at church all weekend, but we can do anything for a season.  And this season is brief and has a definite end in sight.  I know it's not quite the same, but it seems to me that when I was growing up we were at church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights.  I have good memories of running around with all the kids, especially around the night services, so hopefully my girls will have good memories too.

Stay dry and flood free this weekend!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick 5

These 90 degree days?  I'm over it.

1.  Labor Day weekend was lovely and unremarkable.  Lee had the brilliant idea to send Alaina and Joya over to Grammy and Grandad's for a sleepover on Sunday night, so we got to have a quick dinner date and spend Monday morning attacking boxes in the basement without having to worry if Joya was tearing or coloring on something she shouldn't.  Plus the girls love staying at Grammy's, so it was a good day for them too. 

2.  Almost every day this week Joya has declared, "I'm big now!  I go to kindergarten!"  She is growing more and more jealous each day that Alaina gets to go to school.  She also tells me quite often that "I'm 3 now!"  The sad thing is that because of her birthdate she won't start kindergarten for three years.  Maybe starting Cubbies next year will help pacify her.

3.  Speaking of Cubbies, Alaina is the proudest new Sparky you've ever seen.  Sparks scares me a bit, because it seems like it requires way more work than Cubbies did.  It's like moving from preschool to 3rd grade.  Or at least first grade.  I kind of feel like the AWANA program has skipped kindergartners, but maybe it's not that big a deal.  The rest of the kids have moved through the program well enough, so I'm sure Alaina will be fine.
4.  It appears that the Lord has blessed us with a family pack of fresh, grass-fed beef.  Someone has donated a bunch to the church and some of it was offered to us, to which we said, "Yes!"  I don't know the whole story, but it's something about someone who either goes to the church or is connected with the church who owns a ranch and needed to butcher a steer and decided to give away the meat.  I'm not sure you knew this about me, but I LOVE BEEF.  Here's the thing, though.  We are in the Ground Beef with the Occasional Roast phase of life.  Maybe stew once or twice a year.  I have a feeling that this meat we're about to get is high quality stuff.  I'm not sure my culinary skills are deserving of such quality product.  I feel like the Cooking Police might break down my door if I try and bust open a can of cream of soup with any of them.  Which begs the question, what on earth am I going to make with it?  And will I mess it up? 

5.  My Big Boy tomato plant is producing Small tomatoes.  They're tasty little things, but they are little.  So it took five of them to make the BLTs that we had for dinner on Wednesday.  On the bright side, the girls ate those BLTs like they were candy.  I have about a 10% success rate when it comes to whether or not the girls actually like and eat all their dinner each night, so it was nice to have a win.  And it's nice to know that they are normal Americans who can appropriately appreciate a good BLT.

That's a wrap!  Have a good weekend!