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Friday, January 21, 2011

Caterpillar chatter

Jamey and I recently had this idea that putting Alyssa in a daycare 3 days a week would simplify our lives. Said idea didn't last long as we were all unhappy with the daycare (too many reasons to list, but we lasted all of a month and half before we decided that wasn't for us). We are fortunate and Alyssa's childcare has always been either mama, daddy and occasionally when she was younger Uncle BJ. We have always worked our work schedules around one another so that this would be possible (both of us being RN's it works most of the time). When she was born Jamey was still a civilian RN and he worked weekends and I worked weekdays. It worked great. Army life has complicated that a bit as he has no set schedule and it's ever changing, ever rotating and constantly chaotic. I thought it would be nice to not be dependent on Jamey's schedule and so we explored and made what we thought was a good decision about childcare. For numerous reasons this was not a good move for our family. So we are back to working around one another. I'm cutting back at work again for the time being and we will have Alyssa home with us until she starts pre-K in the fall to cuddle, chatter with, love and spoil until then.


Daddy does a fantastic job of keeping our girl on the days that I work. He always has ever since I went back to work when she was 3 months old. I truly can't say enough wonderful things about my husband. He sure isn't perfect but he gets a A+ in the Dad department. Tuesday I worked a shift in the recovery room and so Daddy had Alyssa. He took her to the park and they spent 3 hours there. Alyssa found a caterpillar and she and Dad had a huge discussion about caterpillars and butterflies. He went through all the stages with her and she happily chattered for almost an hour about her discoveries and new found knowledge when I came home from work. She did REPEATEDLY tell me that one day she (who is a caterpillar apparently) will turn into a butterfly and fly far, far away from me!! I won't be able to catch her because she's so very FAST! It was truly a hysterical conversation! She didn't totally get all the stages that her daddy went over with her, but she got the flying away part down (that dominated the conversation)! 3 years old and she is already plotting getting away from me! I laughed and told her that I sure hoped that she would occasionally fly back to see me...and maybe bring some of her baby caterpillars along as well. Conversations like this one make me extra thankful that we decided to forgo the daycare and keep her home with us for a while longer. Our caterpillar is growing up and fast on her way to becoming a beautiful butterfly! We have plans to get her a Butterfly Kit so she can raise butterflies this Spring. Jamey is more excited about it than she is I do believe!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boxes

It's a well known fact amongst our family and close friends that Jamey and I are infertile. We have tried for most of our 8 year marriage to have a baby, rather unsuccesfully...but it's been fun trying! 3 1/2 years ago we became parents to a tiny, wonderful little girl instantly! Totally unexpected was our entrance into the world of parenthood! We went to bed DINKS (Double income, no kids as some of our friends laughingly referred to us) and woke up parents to a 2 day old baby girl. We were terrified and thrilled all at once. A little different than we had planned for sure, but who is complaining? For the last year and a half or so we have made our last foray into the world of baby making with rounds of hormones and fertility drugs, but recently made the decision to be thankful for the joy that we get from our darling girl and to stop the 'madness.'


I truly believed that I had accepted and come to terms with the fact that I might not be a mama to a bunch of wild children tugging at my pant leg, and then while cleaning out the garage that last box full of baby toys and odds and ends emerged. (We have loaned out, handed off, and given back the loaned baby stuff we had) We never unpacked that little box when we were stationed here 2 years ago. There was no reason to. Jamey hefted up this box full of little rattles, bibs and squeaky chew toys and tried to put in the car, and I had a complete meltdown. I ran and snatched the box out of his hands and started screaming "That's not for the Goodwill!!! You can't get rid of that box!!!!" while sobbing hysterically. My sweet husband was completely stunned. All he could say was "Umm.....so you want to keep that box??? We can keep it....you want me to put it back??" while approaching me like he would a wild animal to hug me. I don't know why but I'm just not ready to let go of that box...yes it's just a box, no I'm not terribly sentimental. I am the gal that once tried to cut up her wedding dress to make tutu's out of the tulle much to the astonishment of my friend Terry. It's just a dress and I realize it's just a box full of junk...but right now that box stays in the garage until some future date when I feel ready to let it go. I'm completely happy being Alyssa's mom, I truly have no great desire to be pregnant. The morning sickness, stories of stretch marks, swollen ankles, uncontrollable gas, bladder urgency ect. (ok ok so I already have a few of those!) truly don't appeal to me at all. I'm super happy to let someone else do all that for me. It's the being a mama that I love, it's the idea that my little girl won't have the relationship that I have with my sister (who is my best friend) and my brothers. The late night talks she'll miss out on while you are suppose to be sleeping, the sneaking downstairs on Christmas with your siblings and gazing at the gifts. The fighting and the bickering that goes along with all that sibling loving! That's what I get sad about from time to time. I suppose that's what that box symbolizes to me. So for now I'm sealing that box back up and leaving it where it is. One day I'll be ready to let it go, but that day is not today.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tiny little toes....

Alyssa and I were having a tea party a couple of days ago and I looked down and noticed her little feet with it's bandaid and thought it was just too cute not to capture....before I know it she'll have manicured toes and heels....she's growing up too fast!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's official I'm a mom...I spent Saturday afternoon doing this...

Once upon a time my Saturday's were filled with shopping, partying, long phone conversations, laying by the pool, dates and drama....now I make chore charts with a small person! I'm happy to be doing it. Truly, truly, blissfully glad that I get to spend the day with Alyssa making things that I hope will improve our routines (Daddy helped as well, it's a family activity). I can't believe that she's old enough for a chore chart....where did the time go?

We have been struggling lately with "princess syndrome." The definition of "Princess Syndrome" would be that our "princess" believes she entitled to everything, should get everything, and should never do anything other than lounge in the chair, watch princess movies and order around her subjects (otherwise known as Mommy and Daddy) whilst sipping on chocolate milk and snacking on cherry tomatoes. Said syndrome results in massive trantrums, throwing oneself on the floor, kicking, screaming, occasional spitting, crying, sobbing, slobbering, theatrics, fainting dramatically while you pretend you can't hear your nagging subjects, pleading with the non-nagging parent...ok you get the idea, this could go on a while!!! It's a syndrome that we created, but it has created a monster. A beautiful, happy little monster but a little monster....I kid really I do (other than the fainting...that parts very true). She's not that bad, but it's time that she started helping with a few things around the house. I hope to teach her responsibility. I had it, it's good for her, it can't hurt her, and you are never to young to start learning it. Daddy and I sat down and thought up some things that she likes to help with, i.e feeding our furry critters, helping me load and unload the dishwasher, and some things that she would rather die than do i.e brushing her teeth (yes gross I know...but truly it's a constant struggle), picking up her toys and going to bed minus the drama and turned it into a delightful chart for her to use. Alyssa got to help with the construction. We took her to Hobby Lobby today and she helped pick out all the things that we would use for her chore chart. She got to pick out the colors and she thought that was awesome. She cut out the pieces, glued on the pictures and attached the velco for us. Tomorrow she and I will decorate the jars that hold the pieces for our chart and she's looking forward to that.
She's a cute little monster huh? And she loves her mom, her shirt says so :)
And thus you have it: THE CHART.......insert dramatic music
And should you desire a chore chart for you own happy home here is how ours works. Each day she has 5 chores. She gets to put a blue dot (ok my dots are misshappen little blobs, but I was too lazy to make it looks fantastic!) on the chart for each chore that she completes that day. The green dots are BONUS dots. She can earn those for extra special behavior, doing extra things to help, good behavior at the store (again Princess Syndrome sorta comes out at the store on a regular basis. Our last "flare-up" lead to a Princess laying facedown in the aisle crying dramatically for marshmallows. Old people look at me disdainfully, fellow mother's look at me with pity and understanding...and teenagers snicker). At the end of every day she counts her dots and she gets to put a little purple fluff ball (for blue dots) or a pink fluff ball (for green dots) in a special bowl. (This is a counting exercise for her, she counts her dots and she counts out her fluffs, thus the extra step in my method of madness). At the end of the week she counts all her fluffs and she gets a nickel for each purple fluff and a quarter for each pink fluff. She can potentially earn $3.50/week for her chores. Pretty awesome right??? That is $182/year for a 3 1/2 year old!!!!!! (I think I got a quarter a week) She gets to take a trip to the Dollar Tree and spend her earnings or save up for something nice.

I'm happy to report that at the end of day one Alyssa completed all 5 of her chores (including brushing her teeth...this is huge folks...HUGE!), went to bed with minimal whining (HUGE) and now sleeps happily knowing that 5 purple fluffs are resting in her little bowl. (She instructed me that I am not to remove her fluffs while she's asleep...she'll know and will count 'um when she wakes up!)

I shall now amend my title "It's official I'm a DORKY mom....I spent Saturday afternoon doing this...."

Happy Chores.....we hope!!!!

Girl's Night Out--Painting with a Twist

Our New Year's Eve party spurred a Girl's Night out! I heard about Painting with a Twist and have been wanting to go there for a little while now. (For my Huntsville, AL friends there is a similar place called My Spirited Art there) It just seemed like such a fun something to do. I am no artist by any means, but it looked like so much fun that I was dying to try it! Maria mentioned it at the party and that's all it took for us to decide that we totally needed to go! And off we went for a fun filled night filled with lots of laughter, a lot of paint and ended up with four gorgeous paintings made by all of us and some hysterical laughter in the car ride home thanks to Jude's hysterical story telling! Here are a few pictures from our little "Painting with a Twist" adventure! We are planning on going again in Feb! It was absolutely the best girls night out!
Here is a closer look at our masterpieces! I think they are all gorgeous! Jude pointed out that somehow our pictures turned out a lot like our personalities and I tend to agree...even though Maria had a little Bok Choy and I had some Pac Man going on in our paintings for a bit! We "Smudgied" (That would be a technical painting term I made up!) 'um a little and fixed them up!
Mine! I like it! Jamey was impressed he thought it actually looked a little bit like Starry Night. He was sort of expecting me to bring home something that resembled a complete disaster.
Me and Terry. She's become a really great friend over the past year. She's my crafty friend who is WAY more creative than me.
Jude and Maria!
And thus concludes a fantastic girls night out! And just in case you want to go yourself here is their website http://www.paintingwithatwist.com/sanantonio/

And the word of the day:
Smudg-y /ˈsmʌdʒi/ Show Spelled
[smuhj-ee] Show IPA

–adjective, smudg·i·er, smudg·i·est.
1. marked with smudges; smeared; smeary.
2. emitting a stifling smoke; smoky.
3. British Dialect . humid; sweltering; sultry.

Smudgied!!!
Thank you Terry :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Just because she's beautiful.....


My new favorite photograph of The Rose (I know they are all my favorite). This morning she threw a tutu on over her PJ's and she was just to cute! I'm accused frequently of only having snapshots of her, and it's true....it's true I admit it. Snapshots make the best pictures because this is how I'm always going to remember her, even when she's 15 and has a blue mohawk (and she will, trust me...she will!!!). She was laying on the floor singing and it was to precious not to capture. I love this kid....where did the time go? She's not a baby anymore....Now off I go to sob hysterically.....




And this one just cause well....this is so HER!

New Year Goals and accomplishments and whatever else I rambled on about.....

I officially feel like time is flying by. I guess that's a clue that you are getting older right? 2010 just started it seems and now it's 2011! We had several friends and their families over and had a wonderful New Years Eve party. We had 14 kids here ranging in ages from 15 to 4 months! It was a lot of fun. We had sparklers and made s'mores (which is the worlds most perfect food in my opinion just so you know...), silly string and noise makers. The kids ran and ran and played and played and Alyssa slept until the late late hour of 9 am (GASP!). That never happens in our house! She's always up right about 7 wanting her milk and to rock in the chair.


I had a really good 2010. I have no complaints at all. I love my little family and the life that we have built together. My husband is wonderful and he adores everything about me. Including the extra dimples that 2010 added to my butt....lol. I accomplished a lot this last year. I made several new friends and aquired new skills. I learned to sew which I'm very proud of and have made some quilts this past year (4 in total!). I have continued to raise a really remarkable young lady who brings me a tremendous amount of joy.

In 2011 I have a few goals. This year at our party my husband had everyone write down something they wanted to change or improve upon on a slip of paper and then cast that paper into the fire. Sort of a symbolic thing and the kids all really liked the idea. Of couse I asked the 3 year olds what they put on their paper and Alyssa put a cloud on hers, Kaci put a tree on hers and Sebastian put a dinosaur on his, cute huh? On my slip I wrote that I wanted to be a better wife and mother. Not that I don't think I'm good at this now, but always you can improve. I have a few other goals as well. I'd like to learn something new this year. Just like sewing last year. I would like to learn something new to add to my list of life accomplishments. Pretty simple goals for 2011. I feel confident that I can achieve them! Hope 2011 brings all of you lots of happiness!