Friday, October 30, 2009

Moving Out

While I'd really like to sit here and give you all a nice long story about the girls, I only have a bit of time right now.  You see, my in-laws are here.  That means sometimes they take the girls out, which they just did.  That also means I want to spend some of my time doing, oh I don't know, NOTHING.  Even though I love to write this blog,  I also love to relax and since I NEVER get to to the latter, I thought I'd just give you a quick little story from Sonya last week, then hit the couch.

The girls had been outside playing when I called them in for dinner one night.  Sonya protested for a while, but finally came in.  When she sat in her seat and she saw whatever it was I was serving that she decided was "gross", she started to complain.  I told her to knock it off and just eat her dinner.  Her response to me was this,

"I can't take this home anymore!" She started.  "I want to go live on my own and have my own babies and rules charge to me!!"  Then she looked over at Lana and Georgia who were in the middle of whining, motioned to them and said, "And I'm sick of the whining and crying!"  Oh that's right, she never whines and cries, so she has every right to make that statement.   

After I asked her to repeat to me what she said and it came out the exact same way, I told her to let me know when she found an apartment.  

Now I'm off to lounge on my couch.  I can not remember the last time I did that in the middle of the day.  It might have been the '80s.  

Monday, October 26, 2009

Treasure Chest

I don't believe I've mentioned Lana's "treasures" before.  If I have, it might have been in passing, but I haven't dedicated a whole post and trust me, it needs a whole post.  So here it is.

Lana has treasures, many of them, and different ones every week.  Anyone who has been to my house for a period of time has seen it.  By this I mean she chooses something to be obsessed with and carry around with her for a few days to a week.   Marbles, small magnets, costume jewelery, coins, rose petals, DEAD LEAVES are just a few things she has collected in the past.  Yes, she will collect just about anything.  Usually, she will chose one of the thousand purses the girls have, and put her weekly treasure in there.  After that it goes everywhere with her, the car, the crib for naps and bedtime,  and the couch to watch Mickey.  Heaven forbid she doesn't have it or can't find it.  Then we have a catastrophe,

"My mawbals!!  I can't find my mawbaaaaaalllllsss!!"

I have to spend ten minutes searching the house, for whatever purse she's using this week to put her "mawbals" in.  I assure you it's more fun than anyone can handle.  The good thing is after about a week, sometimes more sometimes less, she gets over it and abandons whatever she was into for that period of time.  That treasure can come back around later on.  The marbles have been in rotation for a while now, which is fantastic when you have a 16 month old baby crawling around, who puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.  

I think the grossest thing she ever deemed treasure worthy, were these gel window clings we had for Easter decorations last year.  They got so nasty, because they were gel and they clung to the window easily.  Take them off the window and carry them around and everything clings to them, including cat hair and cheerios.  Yeah, they were gross and full of disease for sure. Plus, because they were so sticky they stuck to each other and ended up in a big gooey, cat hair filled ball.  After a couple days I had to throw them away, and pray that she didn't ask for them again. When she did I gave her a lollipop to distract her.  

This past Sunday night I was cooking dinner outside on the grill and she and Georgia were out there playing.  We have a bunch of chalk  for Lana and Sonya to draw on the patio with, and for some reason Lana decided to dump it all out on the ground.  There are huge pieces and then the small regular size pieces.  She took all the smaller ones and put them in a little beach bucket.  When we all went inside for dinner, so did the bucket of chalk.  Lana put it on her place mat and climbed into her chair for dinner.  Andy took one look at the bucket and said, 

"Lana we do not put the bucket of chalk on the table during dinner.  You need to put it on the floor."

She looked at her bucket for a minute, protested slightly, but then took it off the table.  We all had a lovely dinner.  And I don't say that lightly, because dinner with the three of them is usually far from lovely.  After dinner we were getting them out of their seats to head to the bath and Lana picked up her bucket of chalk.  Andy and I looked at each other, trying to figure out who was going to tell her and he took the lead.

"Oooohhh No!" He started.  "This is NOT going to be the new thing you carry around.   Forget it!  Put it back outside right now."  

Lana looked at the bucket in her hands, then over at me for help or confirmation on what Daddy said.  

"Lana that bucket is too dirty to have inside, and the chalk is to play with outside.  You need to put it back." I had agreed with Daddy.  NOW what was she going to do.  

She thought about it for a minute, looked at the two of us looking at her, realized we weren't backing down from this one, and reluctantly said,

"Oooookkaaayyy."  Then she walked over to the back door opened it and promptly dumped the whole bucket of chalk out on the top step.  I suppose that was her way of protesting, while still doing what we told her to.  I couldn't help but laugh, but I did make her clean it up and leave it outside.  

I guess there's worse things she could be doing.  Besides, in a way it's kinda fun to see what the treasure of the week will be.  This week it's coins in her ladybug purse.  Anyone want to guess what the treasure will be next week?  


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sixty and Still Going Strong

Today is my Father's 60th birthday.  Sixty doesn't seem as old to me as it once did.  Perhaps because I'm 35 now and at one point in my life 35 just seemed to be completely ancient.  Turns out it really isn't.  I don't even feel like I'm 35 most of the time.  On the other hand not everyone makes it to 60.  My mom's dad, for example, died of a heart attack at 59. One of my good friends lost her father in his late 50's as well.  Therefore, I am so thankful to still have my father around to talk to and get to know my kids.  It's not easy making it that far in life.  You do have to take care of yourself and have the right attitude.  I know one of the things that has helped him get to this ripe old age was quitting smoking over 7 years ago.  

One of my earliest memories of my father was about his struggle to quit smoking.  When I was about three years old, I specifically remember sitting on top of the washing machine in our house. He told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb, he would stop smoking.  I agreed.  Neither of us held to our bargain.  Well that's not true.  I stopped sucking my thumb during the day and he stopped smoking cigarettes where I could see.  Instead, I would suck my thumb at nigh, and he would smoke a cigarette where ever he could that my sisters and I couldn't see.  Mostly at night when he walked our dog.  I'm assuming at work too.  Eventually, I did stop sucking my thumb at seven, but it took Dad a little longer to stop smoking.  He tried a bunch of times, but anyone who has been a serious smoker knows how hard it can be.  He kept it away from us for health reasons and also to not influence us to smoke.  Seven years ago he finally quit for good and I know we're all happy, because it means his health is better for it.  

The other reason I believe my father hit this milestone, is because he is just a good natured, easy going guy.  He's always great in a crisis too.  One of my favorite stories from when I was a kid was when my sister, Beth, got her head stuck between the iron bars that separated our kitchen from our living room.  She was about two or three and had managed to push her head through the bars, but then couldn't get it back out. She started to scream and cry uncontrollably.  My mom couldn't get her out and started to panic as well.  It was in the morning and my father had gone running.  He came back into the house, just as my mom was picking up the phone to call the fire department.  He walked over to my sister talked to her and calmed her down.  She stopped crying long enough for him to pop her on the forehead with his hand, sending her head back through the bars into freedom.  Perhaps this wasn't a huge crisis for a guy who is a retired Lt Col in the Marine Corps. A guy who was stationed in Saudi Arabia for nine months in the early 90's, but it was a crisis for our family, and he handled it with ease as he always has.  

So even though 60 isn't THAT old anymore, it is still quite a milestone and I'm so thankful to have my Daddy reach it.  With his good nature and new found health, I'm hopeful he'll be around to see a few more milestone birthdays.  Perhaps to even watch my girls reach some of their own.  Happy Birthday Daddy!  Here's to 60 more years!  Well, at least 30.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Car Cautious

I think I have made my girls overly cautious in parking lots.   Anytime we're in a parking lot, Sonya starts to freak out if she isn't holding on to me.  Even if we're standing RIGHT BESIDE the car.  Today I realized how bad it is with Lana too.

We were outside Sports Authority and parked right in the front.  I was putting Georgia in her car seat and Lana was standing next to me.  I told her to hop in the car, but she was taking her sweet time.  There was a Fed-Ex truck parked behind us and the guy came out of the store, got in his truck and started it up.  I'm sure you've all heard those trucks before and  know how loud they can be, especially if they're right behind you.  It was all Lana needed.  As soon as that truck started, she dove head first into the van and scrambled into her car seat yelling,

"Car gonna get me!"

After I assured her that the car was NOT going to get her, she calmed down and I buckled her into her seat.  

So, yeah, they're a little paranoid about cars in the parking lot, although I guess that's a good thing.  At least I don't have to worry about them trying to run across a parking lot, like my  nephew Zach has been known to attempt a few times.  I just hope they outgrow some of the paranoia.  A 20 year old parking right in front of a store solely to avoid a car "getting" her, is just not as cute.  

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Alone

I know I've been out of touch for a few days, but there's a good reason for that.  I became a single parent on Thursday afternoon.  Not to worry-it's only temporary.  Andy went home to RI for a few days.  He went to go see the Red Sox play in the American League Championship Series.  But unfortunately, they didn't make it that far this year, so he just went to visit people he hasn't seen in a long time instead like his family and high school friends.  So, I was left here to do what I do every day, only with no help anywhere in sight for FIVE AND A HALF DAYS.  I'm okay, really.  The twitch in my eye is bound to go away when he gets back right?  He has been gone before, but not for this long.  I honestly don't know how other moms do it when their husbands have long business trips.  My mom was left alone with us quite often when my father was in the military.  He would go away for a week here or there.  Then there was the time she was left alone with us for NINE MONTHS when he went to Saudi Arabia, but at least two of us were in high school then.  No, being left alone for almost six days with 3 kids under five, is a bit exhausting, to say the least.  We've all been handling it well, though.  I don't have anything major that has happened, but I  do have a little story from each girl I thought you might enjoy, so here goes.

Saturday we went to a little fall festival.  It was geared towards kids five and under so it was perfect.  Well aside from the fact that it was supposed to be a fall festival and it was 93 DEGREES that day, but whatever, I've gotten past it.  We were having a good time and despite the fact that my legs were sweating in the jeans I stupidly wore, I was killing a couple hours without the aide of the television.  The girls decided to play a couple of the carnival type games they had there.  They were all geared toward little kids and even if they didn't win they still got a "consolation" prize.  There was that one game you see at every fair with the rubber ducks in a pool.  You have to pick the duck with the dot on the bottom to win a prize.  Sonya and Lana both played this and neither won, but they did get to choose a little prize.  Sonya picked her prize and walked over to show me, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Lana choose a little notepad shaped like a fish.  She pulled it out of the prize bag, looked at it, looked down at the little pool the ducks were floating in and promptly threw it down into the water.  The lady running the game quickly pulled it out of the water and apologized.  I laughed and assured her it was fine.  I mean it was a fish, so where else was it supposed to go? Oh Lana!

All weekend I've been telling Sonya she has to be my big helper because she's the oldest.  Ah, the pressure we put on our oldest kids.  I don't feel that bad though, because I AM the oldest so I've been there.  Plus there are some perks to being the oldest too, so it evens out.  Anyway, Saturday night I was trying to get the girls fed and bathed in a bit of a rush, because I was actually getting out for the night.  (You didn't think I was going to be here for almost six days with NO relief did you?  HELL to the NO!)  Sonya had been walking around pushing the vacuum cleaner.  I don't know why.  Sometimes it's better to not ask questions.  I had seen her directing Lana to hold the cord and walk behind her while she pushed it in front.  Again-I don't know.  Dinner was ready and I called for them to no avail.  Finally, I heard them arguing in the hallway and then Lana appeared in the kitchen.  Sonya was in the hallway yelling and screaming about something.  When she finally showed up in the kitchen with the vacuum I asked her what all the craziness was about. She picked up an attachment that had fallen off the vacuum threw it on the ground, and informed me, 

"This fell off and Lana wouldn't pick it up!!"  Then she turned to Lana and said or more screamed, "Lana you have to listen to me!! You were supposed to pick this up, next time you're getting a time out!" 

I think I may have gone to far with encouraging her to help me out this weekend.  After I told her that she wasn't in charge of things like that and I was indeed still the mom, she relaxed a bit, hopped up in her chair for dinner, and went back to chatting nicely with her sister.

G surprised us this weekend with a milestone.  No, not walking, but close!  Saturday evening I was getting dinner ready and she was in the kitchen frustrated about something.  She started getting mad and going into her downward dog position.  Then she put her feet apart, much like a squat position, and the more frustrated she got the closer she got to standing.  Then she was standing in the middle of the kitchen, all on her own with  no furniture to hold on to.  When she first did it, she surprised herself as much as the rest of us.  The older girls and I clapped and cheered wildly for her and she loved the attention, so she proceeded to try standing again for the next twenty minutes.  Every time she made it upright she'd clap and cheer for herself.  It was the cutest damn thing.  It's now become her favorite thing to do.  She still won't take a step forward, but at least she can stand in the middle of the room all on her own, so her legs DO actually work!

Andy's scheduled to come home tomorrow evening.  I can't wait!  No really, I can't wait. This was just to long without him, and I know he had fun in RI, but he feels the same.  Kids don't get the concept of time and to them he might as well have been gone for three months.  They ask me every day when he's coming back.  Sonya understands it a bit more, but still, I remember at her age Christmas seemed to take 5 years to get to.  I'm sure she feels Daddy has been gone for a looong time.  I feel I must commend all the single moms and dads out there as well as those who have a husband or wife away for long periods of time, for whatever reason.  You are the unsung heroes, because even though I do a lot of this by myself most days, having Andy here on a regular basis makes a huge difference in the "much easier" category.  Doing this completely alone, well, it sucks ass.  Plain and simple.   

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


On Monday night, Andy got home just in time to rile the girls up before they went to sleep.  Yay. I guess it's okay since he's going away for a few days.  After they finally settled down and tried to go to sleep, WAY past their bedtime, Lana kept calling me in her room to give her "cuddies".  This means covers.  She throws off her covers and then wants me to come in and cover her back up.  It's a game she likes to play when she doesn't want to go to sleep yet.  Sometimes she'll call me in there ten times in a night.  I don't always go, because I do know it's a ploy, but then she'll start to yell and Sonya can't sleep, so most of the time I appease her.  She's actually gotten better about it lately, and doesn't ask for it as much.  

Monday night, however, since she was still excited from Daddy being home, I was getting the call a few times.  After about the third time I hear her yell for me, I  ignore her.  

"Mom?!" she called.  I didn't answer.  I'd already been in there twice and I didn't want to continue the game.  

"MOM?!"  She yelled again.  Nothing.

"MMMOOOOMMM!!"  She yelled, sounding more worried this time.  So I finally answered her.

"What, Lana?"  I gave in, expecting to hear the usual, "I need cuddies."  But instead she said,

"Oh.  Just checking."  I looked at Andy sitting on the couch, and the two of us quietly laughed together.  We didn't hear from her for the rest of the night.  

I'm not sure what she thought.  Perhaps she thought I ran away or  went to the neighborhood bar for a drink?  Actually,  some days that wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities, so I suppose it's a good thing she's checking up on me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eight Years and Counting

Most of the time I regale you with colorful stories about my girls.  Today, however is my 8th anniversary and I do believe I mentioned somewhere on this blog, that at some point I'd give you the fateful story of how Andy and I met.  I thought today would be a good day to do it.  Even though it's not technically about my girls, without us meeting, there would be no girls.  Consider this the origin of Pooping in Peace, if you will.  For those of you who have heard the story before, you might learn something new, so sit back and listen to it (or read it) again!

Andy and I went to college together.  Well, we went to the same college in Boston, Emerson, but we didn't really know each other at all.  We were acquaintances, and that was about it.  He was in the same fraternity as my jerky college boyfriend, so I knew who he was and vise versa, but we never really hung out.  At one point, when said jerky college boyfriend broke up with me briefly, he considered asking me out, but never did.  Just as well, the timing would have been off.  

During our last semester of our Senior year at Emerson, a good number of the seniors move out to Los Angeles to do internships, and try to get their foot in the door somewhere in Hollywood.  It's a pretty good program for the most part.  My friends and I decided to drive across country during our three week winter break to get to L.A.  This way I would have my parents mini-van to drive for four months, not to mention it was an easier way to get all my junk to L.A. 

We didn't have set places to stay the night every day, we would just drive until we felt like stopping, while seeing some sights along the way.  When we decided we wanted to sleep we would stop at different hotels to find who had the best rate.  My friend Melissa or Trista would run in and request a price for the night.  We would eventually pick whatever was the cheapest, without being the grossest.  I'm all about saving a buck, but not at the expense of sharing my bed with a cockroach.  Belch!

It was toward the end of our trip and we had finally gotten out of Texas.  (Do you have ANY idea how long and boring a state Texas is to drive through?)  We were in Las Cruses, New Mexico, and we were tired of driving.  We stopped at a couple hotels, but were still in the looking stage.  Our 3rd stop was a Days Inn.  Melissa ran inside to check out the price, but she was taking a much longer time than usual.  When she finally did emerge she had two guys walking behind her.  Trista and I wondered aloud if she had picked up some men, which wouldn't be out of the realm of Melissa's character.  She was always the one who would talk to any guy at a bar.  That didn't mean she was going home with him, but she was always nice and chatty with everyone, especially after a beer or two.  As they got closer, however, we realized that we KNEW these guys.  They went to Emerson with us.  HOW WEIRD!!  

Andy and his best friend Norb were the guys with Melissa.  She had been in classes with them, as had Trista, so they knew them a bit better then I did.  We decided we had to stay there that night, because it was just so odd meeting people we knew randomly in the middle of the country.  We went and checked into a room got ourselves settled and went to hang out with the guys.  They had ordered pizza and we all drank most of the night.  I liked Andy right away.  He was a really funny guy and kinda cute, but I still had jerky boyfriend, who every family member and friend will tell you I shouldn't have still been with at that point.  The last thing I was thinking of was dating this guy.  We just had a fun time together, and it started a friendship among all of us.  

The next morning I got up to go swimming in the indoor pool the hotel had.  I had two gold bracelets I always wore.  One was given to me by my high school boyfriend, and one had been given to me by my then current jerky boyfriend.  I had forgotten to take them off in the room, so I took them off and put them with my towel by the pool.  Somewhere between swimming and going back to the room they were lost.  I looked everywhere for them with no luck and was devastated at the time.  Looking back on it now, I suppose I could see it as a sign pointing me in a different direction.  

When we got to L.A., we kept in touch with Andy and Norb and hung out in their apartment.  After graduation and upon moving to Los Angeles permanently,  I continued to go over to their place with other girlfriends of mine.  We would all watch movies or have dinner together.  It was always a group of us.  I was living with jerky boyfriend at this point, but more out of necessity than want.  I know-it was not a proud time in my life.  The more I hung out with Andy the more I realized I had feelings for him other than just friends.  I had an idea he felt the same.  Eventually, we confided in each other, and there was a kiss in there that was very telling.  I knew what I had to do.  It was a very rocky three months, where I finally ended my relationship with jerky boyfriend, he moved out, a friend moved in and Andy and I began dating.  

In February of 2000 we got engaged.  We were supposed to be married on September 15th 2001, but the tragic events of September 11th forced us to postpone for a month, winding up with our anniversary on this day, October 12th.  We've been married for eight years and together for thirteen.  I'd love to say it's been all sunshine and roses, but I think you all would know I was lying.  Every relationship is some work.  Nobody has a perfect one, and we have had our share of ups and downs over the years.  However,  I can say with certainty, that the ups far outweigh the downs.  There is nobody else I would want to work on a relationship with. There is nobody else I would want to raise these three girls with.  I love him as much today as the day I married him, probably more.  And he makes me laugh just as hard as the day we "met" at the Days Inn in Las Cruses, New Mexico... probably more.  I love you, baby!  Happy 8th Anniversary.  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hairdresser in Training

At some point in time I think every kid gets a little too curious about the scissors.  More specifically what the scissors can do to their hair,  or somebody else's.  I know I was guilty of this.  My parents like to tell the story of how I cut my hair when I was about five, I guess.  I can actually remember doing it too, clear as day.  I was standing on the stool in front of my dresser. I cut a big chunk out of my bangs and watched as it fell into the trashcan beside me.  My mom caught me and when asked why I did it, I said I wanted my hair to be "fethahd".  Farrah Fawcett's hairdo even had an impact on us 5 year olds.  Last year Sonya had a new pair of kid friendly scissors and within a day of having them she took a chunk out of her own bangs.  Two days before picture day at school.  It was barely noticeable, to be honest.  She was punished by having the scissors taken away for a bit, but I suppose it wasn't lesson enough, or she just forgot about it.  Either way, today she decided it was time to try her hand at cutting hair, yet again.

All three of the girls were in the backyard playing this afternoon and I was inside cleaning up the kitchen.  (You can assume that at any point in the day I'm cleaning up in the kitchen.)  I checked outside to see what they were up to and noticed Sonya walking around with her kid friendly scissors.  When I asked what she was doing, she brought a mushroom that had grown in the grass and informed me that she cut it out of the lawn.  She said she knew it was poisonous and didn't want Georgia eating it.  I was impressed by her forethought, thanked her and threw the mushroom away.  I didn't even think twice about the fact that she still had the scissors in her hand.  What could my daughter, who is obviously mature beyond her years, do bad with scissors?  

About five minutes later I went outside to push Georgia in her swing when I noticed Sonya still walking around with the scissors.  They seemed to have become more of toy at this point, so I told her to go put them away and she did, I think.  

Fast forward to dinner time.   Sonya was talking to me about something I was half paying attention to.  All of a sudden  I looked at her and noticed something was off.  Then I looked at her bangs and knew.  

"Sonya, what did you do to your bangs?" I asked.  She was caught completely off guard and tried to take the, "I have no idea what you're talking about" approach.  

"What?" She said.  

"You cut your bangs?!" I slightly yelled.

"No," she tried.  Then seeing the expression on my face changed her answer reluctantly to, "yes".  

I asked her the only question on my mind, "why?"

"Because I don't want my hair long," she stated.

I asked if she wanted to go and get it cut short, and she told me no.  

"I wanted my bangs to be like yours," she said pointing to my hair.  I don't have bangs.  Well, not like hers.  They're long and layered with the rest of my hair. 

"Well cutting them isn't going to make them longer, Sonya!!" I told her.  

About this time, Andy called from work and I told him what had happened.  He laughed and told me not to be mad at her, and I had started to soften, realizing how funny she looked.  I took a picture to send to him.  She was upset for a minute because she thought I was mad.  I assured her I wasn't, but she still shouldn't cut her hair and there would be no scissors for a week.  She calmed down and brightened up when she realized I wasn't angry.  But wait, there's more!!

Once she felt like she was off the hook, she told me how she cut a little piece of her pigtail too.  I found myself getting a bit upset again, but calmed down and looked at it.  I couldn't even tell where she did it, thank goodness.  Then it dawned on me.

"Did you cut your sister's hair?"  I asked looking to see if Lana had any chunks missing.  

"Yeah!" She proudly replied, and Lana nodded her head in excitement.  She got a haircut too!!

"WHERE?!" I demanded to know.

Lana pointed to the side of her head and said, "White heya."

"I cut off one of her curls," Sonya offered.  Luckily, Lana has that kind of unruly, curly kid hair and I couldn't notice at all.  Then I looked at Georgia who, poor thing, is still trying to grow her hair.  

"What about G?" I asked.

"Yup," she said, "right there," and pointed to the right side of Georgia's hair.  There was a small patch missing, but also barely noticeable.  Sonya was the only one who's new do was apparent.  Still, this required more punishment, so the scissors are off limits now for two weeks.  Then I asked where the hair was and she told me by the swing set.  I went and retrieved what I could find.  (See pictures below)  When I told her about her punishment she told me, 

"That's okay."  

"It is?" I asked.

"Yeah, I can still watch TV and stuff right?" she inquired.  This made me stop and think for a minute that maybe this WOULDN'T teach her a lesson and perhaps I should take away the TV.  However, I already gave out the punishment so I couldn't go back on it now.  Plus seeing her bangs and how she would have to go to school for the next few weeks would be punishment enough, I was pretty sure.  But just for good measure I added, 

"Yes you can still watch TV, but if you ever do this again you will not get TV for a week, do you understand?"  She nodded her head.  

I really don't think SHE will do this again, but I do have two more girls yet to wield scissors.  I'll just have to make sure they always have the hair styles they want so they don't try and make it happen themselves.  Otherwise I might end up with this again, or perhaps worse.

Sonya's lovely new cut.

The "chunks" of hair found in the backyard.
Sonya's is on the Left, Lana on the right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Walk This Way

Every new parent waits with anticipation for their baby's first milestones.  The first time they smile, roll over, sit on their own, crawl and walk, are among the big ones.  If your baby seems to fall behind  other kids on one of these milestones, it can cause some slight panic.  The reality of the situation though, is they all do those things in their OWN time.  This is what my girls have taught me.  While they all advanced in their language skills before other kids their age, they fell FAR behind in the  "becoming mobile" category.  Even though Sonya was spouting Shakespeare at 20 months, she refused to walk until almost 18 moths.  Lana was a little sooner at 17 months.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Georgia, who just turned 15 months, has no interest in being upright to get around.  

I guess part of the reason why I'm writing about this is to let other parents know that those milestone charts should not be gospel.  They're a guideline and that's it.  So don't put to much stock into like I did.  This is also to let people know that no, Georgia is NOT walking yet, so stop asking me.  When I was at this stage with Sonya I was freaking out that she wasn't close to walking yet.  Now I know how this song and dance goes now, so I have no fears that G will do it when she chooses to.  Plus, as I now know, how soon they walk has absolutely NO bearing on when they will read or how smart they will be.  Let's keep in mind Sonya can spell "pumpkin" at FOUR YEARS OLD.

Georgia is  showing some interest in getting on her feet.  She can pull herself up and cruise around the coffee table.  She also likes to stand up and lean against the couch, which is the cutest thing to see.  She'll stand there barely touching the couch and then I think just MAYBE she'll take a step, but no, she drops down to her knees and starts crawling.  Don't even think you're going to trick her into walking by holding her hands and guiding her along like most other babies like to do.  Whenever I try to do this she screeches and puts her legs up in the air into a sitting position.  She'll have no peace until her butt is back on the ground.  Lately she's started using her walking toys more, and she's pushed the dining chair around the kitchen from time to time to practice, but still, no walking.  

I think my favorite thing she does right now doesn't even seem to have anything to do with walking, but I'm sure it's helping to strengthen her legs.  She'll crawl around the house and then all of a sudden for no reason, I find her in the yoga position of Downward Dog.  She'll stay like that for a good minute, head on the ground with her the palms of her hands on the ground beside her head, and her butt up in the air.  It's pretty damn cute to see a 15 month old doing yoga positions.  Still no actual walking.  I like to think she's doing this as a favor to me, because lets face it, once they start walking, no surface in your house is safe for your glass of wine.  

Yes, I do want her to walk eventually, but for now, I'm okay with her not.  Besides, she's my last one, so as excited as I was for each of Sonya's first milestones, I'm equally as sad for Georgia's.  I know it will be the last time I get to see the first steps of one of my own.  I don't mind if she takes her time.  It lets me keep my baby for that much longer.  

Monday, October 5, 2009

Little Miss Smarty Pants

I've mentioned before on this blog that my oldest, Sonya, is pretty smart.  I mean I try not to brag about it too much on here or in person, because I don't want to be one of THOSE parents.  You know the kind who talks about how smart they're kid is, when really they are just average kids.  Let's be honest, that's what most kids are, average.  We would all like to think OUR precious darling is the smartest thing ever to walk the earth, but in reality, they are learning things at a normal pace.  Therefore, I was always hesitant to say too much about Sonya, although she was talking in complete sentences by 20 months and knew all of her numbers, letters, and colors by 18 months.  She knew most of that stuff before she even started walking. 

 I didn't realize how ahead of the curve she was, until I saw other kids her age.  They were lucky if they knew the difference between a letter and a color, and that was fine because that is where they were supposed to be.  Then when Lana started getting older I realized it even more.  Not that Lana is stupid, mind you, she's just on the more average intelligence track.  However, what Lana lacks in book smarts, she more than makes up for it in analytical thinking and "street" smarts.  She figured out to take the stool out of the bathroom to reach the candy on the kitchen counter, while Sonya would longing stare at it from the floor.  

Still, Sonya has already been reading for almost a year now and over the summer she started to get the hang of writing.  This is something that has floored both Andy and I, because although we may help her from time to time, neither of us drills this stuff into her head.  We never did.  We've always read to her or talked about colors, letters etc, but for the most part, she is a sponge and soaks everything in quickly.  I am always  amazed when she does something I haven't seen before and didn't realize she could do.  

On Friday afternoon she decided to color and draw some pictures.  Lately, when she draws she'll write words on her pictures.  Most of the time it's her name, "Mommy" or "Daddy".  If she ever wants to write a different word, she'll ask me how to spell it.  We usually go through the word together sound by sound, and she'll write each letter down as she figures out what it is.  This particular drawing session I was in my room changing the sheets on my bed, as Friday is change the sheets day in our house.  I walked out to the living room and Sonya said, 

"Mommy look!"  She picked up her piece of paper she had been drawing on and proudly held it up for me to see.   There on the paper were two words with drawings next to them, "CANDY CORN" and "PUMPKIN", spelled just like that, CORRECTLY.  

"Sonya," I said, "did you write those words by yourself?"

"Yeah," she said nonchalantly.

"You figured out how to spell them by yourself?" I asked in amazement.

"Yeah," she said like it was no big deal.  

"Wow, Sonya!  That's great!  Good job for spelling them right!" I enthusiastically told her.

"Moooommmmmyyyy," she said a bit exasperated, "it was easy! All I had to do was sound them out."

"Oh well, if that's all you had to do then, I guess it wasn't a big deal," I said.  Then I swear she rolled her eyes at me and went back to coloring.  

Sure there are a few kids in kindergarten who are spelling words, but I'm pretty sure most of those words are "cat" or "hat".  How many of them are spelling two syllable words, and spelling them correctly?  And what about "pumpkin"?  I don't think most kids know about that second "p" even in first of second grade. Hell, I'm not sure I knew it even in the 9th grade!  Then again I was always a poor speller.  However, the most important thing to remember here is not only the fact that she's just in kindergarten, but she's still ONLY FOUR!  So that's it, I decided I'm allowed.  My kid is damn smart!  Maybe not graduate from high school at age 12, genius smart, but certainly, AP High School English smart.  So, I'm bragging.  Even if only on here for a minute in this post.  I'll try no to be too obnoxious about it if I see you in person.  Although, my poor friend Julian (hey Jules!) got some of it last night when we went out to dinner.  She didn't mind though, because she's seen Sonya in action and knows I speak the truth, and I'm not just trying to be one of THOSE parents.  Even though, by default I guess I am anyway.  Oh well!  My daughter spelled PUMPKIN! 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One Of Them

Since I'm the oldest of three girls, I forget sometimes how much younger siblings want to be like the older ones.  I got it all the time when I was a kid.  My sisters always wanted to do what I was doing, eat what I was eating, watch what I was watching.  It used to annoy me to no end.  Even to the point when I once told my sister, Beth, she wasn't allowed to watch The Electric Company with me because it was for older kids.  She could only watch Sesame Street, since it was more for her age.  We are 2 1/2 years apart.  What a huge age difference.  Looking back now I see how endearing it was, especially since I see the cycle repeating itself in my girls.  I still have a hard time recognizing and understanding it since I was always the leader.  I didn't have anyone to look up to or follow, so when Georgia gets upset and I can't figure out why, looking to see what her sisters are doing is one of the last things I think of.  I guess I have to change that way of thinking, because nine times out of ten that's exactly what she's upset about.  She just wants to do what they're doing or have what they have.  EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.  This is what happened at the grocery store yesterday.

I didn't have too many things to shop for, because I had gone on Monday afternoon.  There were just a few items I annoyingly forgot, so I had to take a short trip back.  It worked out okay though, because my van  desperately need washed, and I put the two errands together to take up most of the afternoon. 

 When we got to the store I put Georgia in the double stroller.  Lana didn't want to sit in there, but I decided to bring the double one anyway, because I've been through the, "I want to walk, I want to sit", game before.  It's always better to have the double stroller and not use both seats than have the single one, and a screaming Lana who must sit NOW!  Plus if she didn't  sit in there it gave me a place to put my backpack.  This trip, however, Sonya said her stomach hurt and she wanted to sit, so I let her in the stroller.  

Georgia started to get whiney and Lana was threatening to run around, so I was quickly trying to grab the few things I needed and get the hell out of there.  We ended up in the cheese aisle and I got some "cow" cheese, as the girls call it.  These are individually wrapped rectangles of cheddar cheese (with a picture of a cow on it), and they make good snacks for the girls in their lunchboxes or my backpack.  Sonya asked if she could have one, so of course Lana asked too.  I opened two up and handed them out.  I've done this before, opened crackers or cheerios in the store, to keep the kids quiet.  It's not like I'm not paying for the whole thing, so I don't care about the dirty looks I get from other customers.  ANYWAY-Georgia saw her sisters each get a rectangle of cheese and started whining and pointing at the cheese.  I opened one for her and started breaking off a piece.  She immediately shook her head, started to cry and get upset.  I took this to mean she didn't want cheese and she was just being cranky.  We went about our shopping business, while Georgia started a total flip out.  She cried, whined and did the sliding down in her seat thing.  She was buckled, however, so she didn't get too far.  

"Sonya, do you have any idea why G is crying?" I asked.  She was sitting behind her in the stroller and Georgia kept turning around seemingly angry at her.  

"I think she wants some cheese," Sonya guessed.  

I explained, "I tried that already and she didn't want it."

"No, I think she wants the whole thing," she told me.

I stopped to think for a second.  That couldn't be it, could it?  I mean I tried to give her some of the cheese broken up, and she wanted nothing to do with it.  It was worth a shot though.  So I opened a new piece and put it in the wrapper, handing it to her the way I had her sisters.  She looked at it and then at Sonya's, took a bite and immediately stopped her tantrum.  She quietly ate her cheese, that was just like her sisters', for the rest of the trip.  

This isn't the first time something like this has happened.  She is constantly trying to follow them, do what they're doing and she must always eat what they're eating.  I thought she was too young to start acting this way, but apparently not.  I know it's only going to get worse from here and as endearing as it is, it is still a tad bit annoying, especially when it takes me a few minutes to realize the current tantrum is about wanting to be just like her sisters.  I guess I better explain to Sonya now how everyone is allowed to watch The Electric Company.