Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deep breaths and Bible reading

Thanks for everyone's support on the toddler eating front. I am working hard on letting it go and knowing that she will be fine without my cheesy chicken and noodles. I try to approach dinner with lots of deep breathes and a quick Bible verse to remind me that God is in control, not me. Plus last night I laced her mashed potatoes with cauliflower, take that picky baby! : )

I think she knew I was feeling exasperated because yesterday she was extra cute and funny. We were in Target and I asked her to sit down in the cart. She looked at me started to sit but never actually put her bottom down. I said "Oh, really" and she looked at me and said "really." I had to laugh. She sat the rest of the trip squatted down like a little kung fu baby in the front of the cart.

By the way, my Target has the big box of pampers on clearance. There is also a coupon expiring today for $5 off diapers and wipes at under the section marked Target coupon generator. If you combine it with the $1.50 off coupon from this past Sunday's papers it is a little like stealing from Target! : ) I will confess I have bought 500 diapers in the last week using coupons and the clearance deal.

Emelia is also really funny lately with her word choices. Wen she sees something she likes she says " Oh Wow! look at that!" she says this every morning when she sees her cereal bowl, when I turn on sesame street and when we see a car cart at the grocery store. Oh to be that excited all the time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I lost it

I am sure I have written before about how crazy it makes me when Emelia won't eat. I have issues with my child and food. I have bad eating habits that I picked up early on and have struggled with being happy with my body for many years and I really don't want her to have that same issue. I read all this stuff about how her eating habits are formed by the time she is two and I get freaked out because all she ate today is cheerios and veggie puffs with a small side of yogurt and grapes. Lately she has had a real fondness for sugar and a real disdain for any sort of real food. Tonight she wouldn't eat the cheesy chicken and noodles I made her. What is not to like about that?

She wouldn't eat it and I tried to make her at least take a bite. She wouldn't. Jeff told me to let it go and I flipped out. I yelled at him, I cursed - in front of my child - and I stormed upstairs. I can't believe I am even writing this because I am so embarrassed. I think I do it for some form of self-inflicted punishment. I apologized to Jeff but of course he is not quick to thaw as I yelled at him. My child is sleeping and, God love her, she is quick to forgive and gave me a delicious goodnight hug and kiss.

Why does this particular issue make me so crazy? Why am I foisting my insecurities on to her? Will she be an obese kid at ten if she only eats cheerios today? I wish I knew the answers to all of these questions but more than anything I wish I could just let it go.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time to change the profile

So today I am 34. It doesn't feel any different then 33 which quite honestly doesn't feel any different than say 27. I was chatting with my niece this weekend about leaving for college. I told her I don't feel that far removed from college even though it has been 10+ years since I was in college. Maybe I am just fooling myself but I still feel pretty youthful, smarter but youthful.

Someone recently made the comment that I have lived a lot of life for being 33 and I sort of agree with that and yet all of the aspects of my life still seem so vivid to me. I don't feel old but I do feel older. I like where I am. My life is good and I feel blessed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Love Sesame Street

I have very vivid memories of watching Sesame Street when I was little. I went to morning kindergarten and when I came home I got to eat my lunch on this little kitchen step stool (I used it as a picnic table) and watch Sesame Street. I started letting Emelia watch it awhile back even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says they don't need TV until they are two. I believe they are correct, they don't need TV, I need TV. I need a chance to clean the toilets without her trying to lick the toilet brush, etc. So hard as it was, I broke the rules, You know I like rules. I am glad I did.

Today Emelia counted to 20 with Ernie on Sessy , as we call it here. She also knows all of her letters. I am not proclaiming her a child prodigy, I just think she has a good memory and watches a lot of Sesame street!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

City Girl

My parents are both from small towns in Iowa, my mom is from a REALLY small town in Iowa called Gilmore City. I think the population is like 500 counting the livestock. This weekend Gilmore City turned 125 so my whole family trekked over there to watch the "parade" (I use the term loosely) and hang out together. I forgot about the dog so Jeff got a boys weekend to see the new Batman movie and mow the grass. Emelia and I set out to reclaim our heritage. I have never enjoyed Gilmore City so much.

You see when I was a kid we went to Gilmore most summers for vacation. I never went to Disneyworld, I went to Iowa. I pretty much hated it after the age of eight. Everyone that lived there was slow, cars moved slow, life moved slow - I was all about moving fast. When I was a rebellious, super-cool teenager I remember feeling like a fish out of water and loving it. I delighted in shocking my family. The crazier my hair, the better. You hate my clothes, great! One Christmas we went home and I was reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X and wearing cowboy boots and my grandma about crapped. I was thrilled.

Here I am 15 years later and I have a new appreciation for small town life. It does move slowly and there is nothing wrong with that. People know their neighbors, in a real way, not in a pleasant conversation at the community mail box sort of way. That was very evident to me this weekend. After the parade, the Lions club served lunch for a free will offering. I bet I saw every person put in a $20 and these aren't rich folks but they believe in the Lion's club and they are thankful for a home cooked lunch. Lunch included a slice of homemade pie and a scoop of homemade ice cream. The women of Gilmore City must have baked 100 pies. No one knew me because my mom is gone and my grandparents are too so there was no way to connect me to Gilmore but when my aunt said I was Carolyn's daughter they instantly knew me. I loved being known only through my mom. She would have loved that Emelia and I went and ate blueberry pie on the lawn of the church where she was baptized, confirmed and married. I felt like for just a day everything was right and I had been so wrong.

My cousin brought a bag to collect candy thrown from the floats, Emelia loved it! The church had a little kiddie carnival, this is Emelia's version of the ring toss. At one point I looked up and she had stolen the ring. Great, my kid is stealing from the church carnival!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Parenting Lessons

This week I am getting yet another lesson in parenting taught by professor Emelia Mae. As a child grows they are continuously going through new phases. When they are in a tough phase you console yourself with the mantra that this too shall pass. The tough thing for me is that wen she is in a good phase I settle in to it like a pair of old slippers. I start to subconsciously think look at how nice this is, I must be a good parent look at how good she is. Then when she leaves that phase behind in favor of the "NO!!!!" phase it crushes my spirit. That is the only way I can describe how I have been feeling this week.

Last week she was saying please and thank you without being prompted and coming up to give spontaneous hugs. This week she is yelling "No!" at the top of her lungs to most requests. We are in a power struggle right now and I fear I may be losing. I am trying desperately to stay calm, be consistent and measure out praise and time outs with authority but I still feel like I am sucking at this. You see that is the hard part for me. I am used to being pretty good at things. Don't get me wrong there are definitely things I am not good at but for the most part I know my limitations and I avoid those things. I have never felt so completely inept in my entire life. I feel like I have no knowledge in this area and worse yet I have nothing to compensate for it. You see I worked for a client most of my life and there were certainly times when I didn't know the answer but I could usually rely on wit or charm or some bs memo to smooth the waters until I could figure things out. The Bible is right "charm is fleeting" because it certainly doesn't work on Emelia unless it is coming from ELMO. It is really hard to spend your day feeling inadequate and then to go to bed knowing tomorrow is going to be the same way.

I was really struggling at the beginning of the week but God has graciously provided other mothers to help me along the way. I had a minor melt down at my women's Bible study this week and instead of feeling judged or silly I felt embraced and comforted knowing every other mom there fessed up to having similar feelings. I also went to the library and checked out 8 books on parenting. From what I have read it seem like t his is a tough age, you may have heard of it, "the terrible twos". Yes, it seems as though we have landed smack dab in the middle of budding independence. I will try really hard to learn form this time and know that it will pass. She isn't going to be my baby forever and I will try to just enjoy the cuddling I get because I know when she does this again at 13 the cuddles will be few and far between.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mommy and the Seven Dwarfs

Emelia is either teething, entering some new not so nice stage or schizophrenic. This weekend I think she acted like just about every one of the seven dwarfs but she spent an inordinate amount of time being grumpy.

My delightful husband took crabby appleton for a few hours so I could get a pedicure. Man I use to really take those things for granted. When we both worked I got them pretty regularly but they are more of a luxury nowadays and man do I enjoy the heck out of them. The girl even talked me in to getting flowers for my toes. I can hardly stop staring at them.

After my pedicure puppy and I enjoyed some quality relaxation!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Over It

So now I am done with vacay planning. We could go to Turks and Caicos potentially, to a Sesame Street themed Beaches resort or to Disneyworld but it is all so expensive. Jeff needs a vacation and I need a vacation for vacation planning. We want a luxury resort beach vibe but don't know where to really get it outside of the Caribbean/Hawaii. Now I shall go to bed and dream about people from high school again - three nights in a row this week.. Darn that Facebook.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obsess much?

Oh yes I do. Right now i am obsessed with planning a vacation. I swear I have done NOTHING all day but look at Disneyworld vacations online. I want to go NOW!!!! I love Disney and while I say this will be great for Emelia it will really be great for me. seriously though there are 7 million options for how to plan it. Yikes!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Make Way for Noddy

Jeff and I had a discussion the other night that, after further reflection, is ridiculous and warrants a blog entry. It went something like this...

Jeff - Emelia, did you fart?
Erika - Don't say fart say toot?
Jeff - What is wrong with fart?
Erika - It sounds harsh, and less palatable in public, so use toot.
Jeff - Whatever you say, but she is going to think Noddy is one gassy elf.

You see, Noddy is a PBS show we watch about an elf that lives in Toyland. The opening song goes "Make way for Noddy, he TOOTS his horn to say hooray."

Yes parenthood is one set of ridiculousness after another but I sure do laugh a lot.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pure Joy

Emelia loves to swing. She would swing for an hour if I would push that long. Sometimes I even go to a playground that has no swings so she will try new things. The playground nearest our house has toddler swings which means no matter how far away we park the stroller/wagon/whatever she will walk right past every other slide/jungle gym/rock wall and head straight for the swings. Then I ask her if she wants to swing and she says "oh okay," like it was my idea.

The look on her face when I pull back the swing and let go is magical. She screams "weeeeee" and just lights up. Often as I watch her I think about how I wish I could experience that kind of joy but then today I realized I do... every time she gets on a swing.

In the routine of cooking dinners and scrubbing toilets I sometimes lose sight of the amazing blessing that I have in being able to be with her and watch her grow and play and learn new words. I take for granted the joy that watching her swing brings to me. Because I am human I miss working sometimes and I miss having colleagues and a sense of worth and importance but I know that I still have worth and importance just a different kind. I wish I could remember that all the time and be able to be fulfilled each day the way I am today. Alas, it is always a struggle but today I will celebrate a day off from that battle and I may even get on a swing myself.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Under the Weather

I'm not sure what that really means but I do sort of feel like I am under a rain cloud. I somehow have a cold in the middle of summer. I don't get it. Two days of staying home have been productive on the cleaning front but no fun on any other front. My bright spot is that So You Think You Can Dance is on and I can't wait.

Get your groove on....