Sophia Princess

I just finished a little creative project during nap time today.  Sophia LOVES pink and LOVES princesses, and she’s always asking for more pink and more princesses in her room.  I compromised with her.  Rather than buying her some generic picture to hang, I decided to paint one for her.  Her requirements: She must be blonde and she must be wearing a pink dress.  (AH!  My daughter’s probably going to be a cheerleader, too!)

She says it’s “Sophia Princess.”  We’re going to hang it close to her bed.  I don’t consider myself an artist or even a very creative person, but this sure did boost my self-esteem.  I’m pretty proud to create something beautiful and meaningful for my daughters.

Following through

…sucks.

I had this great afternoon planned.  After Sophia took a nap (She didn’t have one, yesterday), I planned for us to do painting projects together.  I had some wooden letters to paint for Abby’s room and a canvas to get started on, and I had a wooden birdhouse for Sophia.  She was so excited. She had her “princess pink” picked out and everything.  I told her, “After you wake up from your nap, we can paint your birdhouse.” She’d been talking about it all day.

Five minutes into her nap, “I can’t sleep.  I don’t need to paint my birdhouse.”

We’ve gone through this before: television as a reward for naptime.  She figured out that if she tells me that she doesn’t want to watch T.V., then she can get up.  Miss Princess has figured out how to exert control and get what she wants… sort of… I always follow through, no big deal, just no T.V.

Well, today I had plans.  Fun, exciting, painting plans.  I didn’t mean for the birdhouse to become a reward for her to nap, it just sort of happened that way, and now we’re both punished.  It didn’t keep me from painting, but it kept me from getting to share the experience with her.  I wanted us to be able to do this activity together. While I painted, I facilitated her potty trips and taking her back to bed… and back to bed.  I was essentially watching her make a choice that would hurt both her and me, and it was so painful.

I just wanna take it all back and say, “Screw naptime.  Let’s paint!”

But, I know that I must follow through.  An hour later with a second poop trip, she’s in the bathtub, and my head hurts.  I’ve got to step back and think again.  The rewards aren’t working.  We removed all the books from her room a few days ago because we thought that the stimulation of the books was keeping her up… apparently not. The removal of toys and stimulation isn’t working.  I can’t lock her in her room because she always has to poop at naptime if she’s not asleep–sometimes multiple times.  I’ve thought about instilling “quiet time.”  So far, that’s really what it has been most every day with an occasional nap when she’s freaking exhausted.  She does a good job of being quiet, she knows that waking up Abby would send Mommy into a HOLY TERROR! She sleeps fine at night…

Oh, the battles of the will have begun.

This overtiredness is, no doubt, contributing to a new phase that we’ve entered: Tantrums on a whole new level–a more sophisticated and verbal level.  A verbal tantrum at an embarrassingly loud volume.  I can see the manipulation in her eyes.  They’re no tears in her cries.  She screams “No, I don’t want to!” and the like.  We’ve started having time-outs in the corner with no Cowboy.  I give her opportunities to leave time-out.  I tell her, “When you are done crying, we will talk.”  Yesterday, this lasted nearly a half-hour.  I kept asking her, “Are you ready to talk? When you stop crying, I’d love to talk to you.”  She’d scream at me, “NO! I’M NOT READY!”  This whole time-out in the corner sends Abby into HOLY CONFUSION!  OH, it’s not pretty.  Finally yesterday, during said time-out event, after 30 minutes of an exhausting tantrum in the corner she stops crying, falls into my arms, hugs me so tight and says, “I can’t believe myself.”  That’s either some strange self-awareness… or she heard that somewhere.

I’m so freaking exhausted at the end of the day.  It’s no wonder.

So, all of this is to say: Let’s hold our glasses up to the moms who follow through.  Cause it SUCKS.

a single word

I was reading a blog recently about “one little word” for the year.

I’d like to think of a word to ponder on as a reminder of where I am in God’s story this year.  Today is June 28th.  I wonder what God has in store this year.  I wonder what God can tell me with a single word.

It’s not January, it’s not the beginning of the year… but, it is the middle of the year.  I’m in the middle of this year’s story looking forward to the rest of it.  I’m in the middle of a lot of changes, a lot of waiting.  Yesterday at church, the pastor was talking about not dwelling in the past (in the shame of old sins) but looking forward to the future (as new creatures in Christ)–Phil 3. I thought that might be a nice place to start.

My brainstorm for possible words.

grace

embrace

heart

move

patience

life

family

I’m so curious how you read each word, how each word makes you feel, and where your mind goes to when you read them.

I’ll choose one of these words next week and get back to you.

Any words coming to you?

heavy nesting

Well, we’re less than 4 weeks to the due date, and I’m nesting hard!  I hope I don’t go into labor anytime soon because I’ve got some projects in the works.  The upstairs bathroom needs all manner of storage solutions/decorating, and our bedroom (where the new baby will sleep for a time) needs to be rid of a hideous border, needs curtains, and needs a pretty major rearrange to accommodate a small nursery in the corner.  I just got the supplies to get started on these major projects.  I hope they don’t prove too big.  I finally have the energy and my foot has finally healed enough that I am rerring to go! Tomorrow we go in for the first “weekly” appointment where my cervix will be checked for dilation and ripening and what-not.  So, tomorrow we’ll know a little more if I am being a little too ambitious…. 😉

In other news Sophia has been hilarious lately!  I’ve really been realizing how much she’s growing up, too.  Her language skills are on the verge of blowing up.  She’s just started rote repeating us and her verbal comprehension is freaking unbelievable.  She doesn’t have all the sounds to work with, so repeating us is pretty funny.  A few minutes ago I was working on putting a shelf together for the bathroom and getting frustrated as one does with nothing to work with but an allen wrench and sweaty palms… when I exclaimed emphatically, “Oh crap!”  Sophia, only inches away from my side, says, “Oh sap!”  Wow!  That was a first!  Better watch your mouth, Mommy! Good thing she’s not around when Mommy and Daddy are playing video games… 😉

A few days ago, she first verbalized the word “no.”  She’s been shaking her head no for at least a year, but this is the first time the sound “no” or anything sounding like it came out of her mouth.  And, she said it for the first time yelling it 6 times in a row when she didn’t want to do something.  Woah!  She never does anything half-way, I’m realizing.  Since then, we have heard “no” at the door when Daddy goes to work, “no” when I take something away from her, and “no” when I’m putting her diaper on.  Argh!  I could’ve done without that word for a while.

We’ve also noticed that she understand so, so much.  When Will and I have been talking about something, she has understood just enough to go get something that one of us has mentioned and bring it to us.  Will and I are talking about going somewhere, out to eat or something, she goes to the door, picks up my purse or my shoes… Will and I were talking about Christmas gift ideas and I said, “I should get a pencil and paper and make a list.”  She immediately goes and finds paper for me to write on.  Mind you, we are not talking to her. We were talking to each other. She’s off playing by herself… or so we thought!

Moral of the story: your children are listening.

projects

I feel accomplished.  I just installed a “decorative” curtain rod, the first of its kind in our house!  You know, not just the wide U-shaped metal one… the real one with balls on the end!  So, I feel accomplished–complete with drilling, screwing, mounting and the like.  Husband wasn’t home.  I figured it out.  Call me proud.  I’ve been excited to do some different projects in the house, but I haven’t been able to get to them very quickly.  I’m thinking that tackling one room at a time is the way to go.  I started with Sophia’s room, the smallest and easiest.   I just found an adorable cribskirt for $1 at a garage sale.  Yes, she’s 1 and I finally skirted her crib!  And, the new curtains just went up in her room.  Adorable, bright and cheery.  I have two ideas left.  One is a better storage solution as her changing table is only shelves and no drawers.  So, I’m on the lookout for some brightly colored, modern looking storage bins.  They’re out there but pricey.  The next thing is a creative project.  I want to paint a twin canvas to match the little girl I painted for her room, but this one as a little boy–same size, same color scheme.  The other thing I’m thinking of  is making some flower cutouts for a blank wall above her crib.  There’s so much white in her room now…  white walls, white crib, white changing table, white chest of drawers… Rather than paint, we get creative!  Sounds fun, now for the time… It’s there.  I just need to work for it.

There’s another project in the works.  This one, maybe more imperative, less fun.  It involves cloth diaper repair.  So, in case you don’t remember, we have been exclusively using cloth diapers.  We have about 15 bumGenius all-in-one diapers and about a dozen all-in-one of the homemade variety (thank you sister-in-law).  They have all been great, except that the bumGenius’ have long since begun deteriorating.  The laundry tabs (soft spots to keep your velcro in place through the wash) have worn out, and thus the velcro tabs (those tabs that keep the diaper securely in place) have curled up in a nightmarish fashion.  This has resulted in Baby’s easy escape from the diaper, with just a flick of the wrist… or Mommy’s crafty solution: always a onsie and always a pair of bloomers.  Yes, we’re running out of little bloomers and shorts.  I was going to make bloomers… but, what if I fix the diapers instead?  I’ve thought about crazy velcro solutions, but with a baby on the way, I thought I should fix them for real…  Guess what I found out!  It turns out that cottonbabies.com, from where I ordered the bumGenius diapers, will send you a “tab fix kit” free of charge if you simply ask!  They sent me 15 tab kit sets and 15 sets of laundry tabs.  Now, it’s only up to me.  It shouldn’t be too hard if I can just get started… And, I’ll feel so empowered saving $17.50 per diaper.  I’ll let you know how it goes…