Praying for Ansley

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brusha Brusha Brusha, with your new Ipana

Quick Maia story of the day...

I had just gotten Maia ready for school and we were going to head down the hall to leave the house... I thought I would stop off in the bathroom to grab a tissue. Of course, when I walked in the hall bathroom, Maia followed me. (We have to keep the door closed at all times for obvious reasons...) Anyway, I walked in the bathroom with my back to the hallway as she followed me in. I grabbed a tissue and turned around - and in THAT amount of time, she had gotten Matthew's toothpaste off of the counter (which he leaves TOO close to the edge AND without a lid!) and she had the toothpaste in her mouth and had sucked SO much out of the tube that it was oozing out of her mouth!


This isn't the Taj Mahal of bathrooms... it isn't even a large bathroom - a regular, standard hall bathroom built in the early 80's. I walked in, grabbed a tissue and turned around!

That's my Maia!

Luckily, she was wearing blue and the blue toothpaste was quite a nice accessory with her outfit today. No pictures, use your imaginations!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Perfect Storm

well, this title is representative of my perfect christmas tree this year.... the perfect tree - which has led to a perfect storm... i don't always have the best luck with my christmas trees... i've had strands of lights go out in the middle of the tree after it is decorated and impossible to take off a strand of lights (because i wrap the lights around the branches so that the middle of the tree lights up as well) of course, i've had trees die and just look plain terrible before christmas day. i've even had a few trees that have had a stroke, where literally ONE SIDE of the tree dies and the other side looks beautfiful. i've had trees where strands of lights have every OTHER light that works, AFTER i've decorated the rest of the tree. i've had trees that scratch the ceiling when we put it up and left a mark on the ceiling. you get the idea... i've had my issues with my trees!!

but THIS year it's different. THIS year, we picked the perfect tree. so far, it is still gorgeous. the lights look GREAT, the ornaments were perfectly placed, it continues to take up lots of water each day. i sat here wednesday morning in awe of my perfect tree while i ate my mini-wheats. just look at this beauty (before we even had any ornaments on it!)

then i went to get ready for work... and it happened.... my perfect tree, the gorgeous lights and perfectly placed ornaments, the straightest in the stand tree i've ever had... came crashing to the ground in my living room. no... maia was isn't the room! she was still in bed, my parents were still downstairs and matthew was in the kitchen getting his cereal ready.

i didn't really know what i had heard - but it was LOUD and lots of breaking glass... i actually thought it was dishes from the dishwasher that someone was unloading and they fell down. anyway... of course, it wasn't anything but my big beautiful christmas tree. glass was EVERYWHERE! if it had happened in the middle of the night... i would have called 911 as i would have thought someone broke a window to get in the house. anyway - what a shock and what a mess! matthew and i tried to put the tree upright, but couldn't! it is just too big. at this point, mom came running upstairs to help - but she said we needed grandpa. what a rude awakening for him! anyway, it took us like 45 minutes to clean it up, put it up, and then, you ready for this... TIE IT UP? yup, you read it right, it won't stand up on it's own any more. we have no idea why. the stem is perfectly straight. i've used this tree stand for years... it is as tight as possible in the stand - and yet it is now top heavy some how - so we got out the fishing wire so that it would be invisible... well - that wasn't strong enough, so we got out good old fashioned white rope to tie it to my bannister. wow- that really makes it look festive! NOT!! something right out of the beverly hillbillies! my poor, gorgeous, perfect tree, tied up by ugly white rope!

aren't you ENVIOUS?? :-D

i only lost about 15 ornaments though, we think... but we actually keep finding more we've lost, like this one, today!
isn't is beautiful?

to go back in time, here are pictures of us picking out our first tree with maia!

we loved this one... but my house isn't QUITE big enough...

maia didn't quite understand what we were doing, so she enjoyed playing with the rocks...

The only other decoration i have a picture of is my village (or part of it.) i put it up HIGH this year so it wasn't an extra temptation for maia... it's on top of my hutch but i actually love it. it looks great from the living room where the tree is.

my sister regan sent maia's christmas present and said we should open it early, so we did. she enjoyed opening it - it's her first nativity scene! and she can say "JESUS" very clearly!! it's awesome! the one thing we don't understand is the horse that came with the set... check it out at the end of this section of pictures!
can you see it's mowhawk?? what's up with that??

maia sliding.

mom and dad went to a christmas party tonight and looked great! this is the only picture where one of them isn't blinking - 9 out of 10 pictures, dad blinks. the ONE he didn't... mom DID! i almost dies laughing - we have the hardest time in this family getting pictures with EYES OPEN.

lastly, here is the big hole dug near my foundation last saturday to fix the leak around the water main connection (which I had to replace 3 years ago when i moved in...) the people who put it in apparently did a terrible job and i got a new company to come fix it right. they had to re-concrete and re-tar, but we got some torrential rain this week and NO LEAKING... so i suppose it is worth the money. besides, i really didn't have a choice! i'm sick of paying plumbers though - i'd like to keep some of my money for something OTHER than plumbing.

so, that catches you up a bit on the past few weeks around here. pictures will NOT load over a wireless connection for me on blogger, so i took the computer in the basement tonight and hooked it up directly to the internet connection. so, finally i've been able to put some pictures on here. now that i know that works, i'll try to do it more often!
i hope everyone is enjoying this lovely season. enjoying time with family and friends. enjoying time for reflection and quietness amongst all the craziness of the season!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

holiday fun

hi everyone. i am playing with the backround for a change of pace... it's hard to reset all the colors though, so hopefully you can read it all without too much problem.

i just added a few holiday polls. answer just for fun. i wish there were write in spots. if there is a way and i'm missing it, let me know!

our tree is finally up, with lights and ornaments. it took a week to get it all done, but it is done and it looks gorgeous! the village is up too. things are starting to look festive around here. i hope it is all done soon so i can sit back and relax - at least regarding the commercial parts of Christmas. i am done shopping, at least 90%, and am 50% wrapped.

got our first dusting of snow today and it is slick on the driveway since it is so cold. i went to the store for milk with no problem, but i did slip in the driveway (with my feet, not the car.) at least i didn't fall down! i've certainly been known to do that before.... how embarrassing!

my parents came today for a week or so here with us. the plumber was here a long time today to fix a leak in the water main line as it comes through the foundation. poor man had to dig a hole in the freezing earth and hang out in the mud all day. he made good money doing it, but i still feel sorry for him, especially today being so cold! now, i feel sorry for me too having to pay so blasted much but i wasn't about to do it myself! he had to re-cement part of the foundation around the water main. the pipe itself was not leaking. now to dry out my carpet in the basement walk-in closet. what a mess! at least it is done, we hope and pray!

maia has surprised me with her LACK of touching the Christmas tree. I really thought by now she'd have scaled the thing, so I'm pleased that she is listening to the "NO touching the ornaments, Maia" commands. Of cousre, I still did my best to put the non-breakable ornaments at her level... so we'll hope this trend continues.

maia has a few new words... Christmas tree is shaw-shaw-shee. and Santa is Aw-Shaw. I know these aren't real words, but she says them consistently, so they are her words for these things. it is adorable.

matthew was at his dad's house last night. they ordered chinese food for dinner. matthew brought home his leftovers. i was famished at lunch today and asked if i could have some of it. it was Peking Duck. It was absolutely delicious. Now, what makes me laugh about this is that matthew told me this was a $24 dinner!! good grief! i must be cheap, i would NEVER spend that on dinner, especially take out. don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but wow. now, it made me laugh because in essence I was eating a dinner matthew's dad and step-mom bought for him, at quite a price, and i was eating the left-overs! there are still some left for matthew, i really just wanted to try them, but i did find this amusing. i'm sure their plan, as nice as they are, was not to buy me a $24 dish for my lunch. LOL. it was good............ i just hope i can go back now and eat my kun pao chicken when i'm the one paying for it! :)

tomorrow is the battle of the beltway... redskins vs. the ravens. it is a night game. tomorrow is going to be a high in the 30's with wind-chills in the teens... and that's mid-day. i can not IMAGINE how cold it will be at the game tomorrow night. wow. i hope they don't freeze, i hope the ravens win. no, i hope the ravens kill the redskins! i hope matthew can get out of bed on monday morning for school.... i'm allowing him to go because he has pulled up three grades in the last two weeks and i think he deserves a reward for his work. there is another game next sunday and he's going to have to continue his good trend to be able to go to that one!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December already??

wow, i simply can NOT believe that it is already december! this year has flown by. i recenrly looked back at pictures of maia from when i met her... which doesn't seem THAT long ago, and she was this tiny little 'baby'. now she is a true toddler - no longer a baby at all. i can't believe the end of the year is upon us and i get to celebrate Christmas with her!!

we put up our tree on friday. my brother was here for thanksgiving and i needed help getting it in the house and up in the stand since i can't do that alone... so we decided to do it that day rather than wait until this weekend when my parents would be here. it takes so long for me to get the tree up, and put the gazillion lights on that i put on, and then the ornaments that i needed this extra week just to get it all done. as it is, i've only gotten the tree up with the lights... the ornaments will be tomorrow since we've had busy evenings this week so far. matthew didn't want me to do it at a time he isn't here. maia has been good so far with the tree, so we'll see how it goes with shiny ornaments on it!

i took 120 pictures (digital) on sunday just so i could get a good enough picture to put on our Christmas card. there were about 8 decent ones i could choose from - but not the stunner i was hoping for. they are great pictures though and certainly capture their personalities - so i'm happy about that. i've never done a picture card before, so this is all new to me. :)

the mortgage business isn't done being awful yet... two more co-workers from my old company got laid off today. one of them had worked directly with me when i was there. i know from experience that they are better off to be out of there, BUT that doesn't make it any easier to lose your job, when jobs are tough to come by right now, AND during the holidays. it really stinks. i'm not exactly sure what gets in to companies heads regarding this... the mortgage business has stunk for two years now. really bad for over a year... and they can't wait 3 more weeks (until after Christmas) to lay people off? i just don't understand the timing sometimes - but that's what makes me all the happier to be out of that business altogether. life is so much calmer and less dramatic now. work used to be a soap opera. now, i go in, i work and i go home. i have good friends, i love what i do, and there is no constant drama or stress. it is just wonderful and a blessing to be in this new environment. i hope my two friends realize that soon and are able to find new jobs, soon!! good luck guys.

time to try a few pictures - let's hope these upload tonight! :) happy december everyone!! ok, it didn't work, crashed my server again, so i'll upload some on shutterfly that you can check out there... enjoy! and see my pictures!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Very Thankful

wow, sometimes i feel like a real grown up! right now is one of them. tomorrow isn't just another day, it is a profound day of thanks!! and WOW do i have SO MUCH to be thankful for! the list is never ending, but i'm going to highlight some here now.
1. i am grateful that a year ago i was awaiting news that i could go meet and pick up my new daughter! it made last thanksgiving rather bitter sweet and we were not with her then, but NOW we are a forever family and i could not ask for a better son and daughter than the two i have been blessed with.
2. i am grateful for the new job i got this year. a year ago at this time i had been laid off from the mortgage business. the timing was perfect with the upcoming travel, but obviously it was a stressful time of unknown. i absolutely love my new job and the people i work with. wow - what a difference a year makes!
3. i am thankful for my family! they are awesome! especially my parents who are so helpful to me and selfless with their time. they have helped me in so many ways, but most recently when i needed care for maia when i just couldn't miss work - they were here, just in case! they are awesome and it would be SO much harder without them here to help me. i just wish i got to see other family more often - too long in between visits!
4. i am thankful for the wonderful house. what a blessing, (even with the leaks and critters!) so many people have so little and especially now, have lost so much. i am just thankful to have what i have.
5. my friends! i have so many wonderful friends and appreciate each of you. each one is different and perhaps even serves a different 'purpose' in my life, but all serve a purpose and i love you all!! again, some live way too far away and i simply don't see everyone often enough (even those that are local!) but i love and appreciate all my dear friends.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy, fulfilling, full of thanks Thanksgiving no matter where you are or who you are celebrating with! ENJOY!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold November Day

I wanted to post a few pictures from today. First, I dressed her in one of my favorite dresses (it's too small, but we were home today, so it doesn't matter!) It actually fits well except its like a mini-dress. :) Then I put her in some tights and the boots I gave her for her birthday.

My silly connection isn't letting me upload any more (we've just reset it 3 times in a row, so we're giving up!! - so check out Shutterfly site (listed below) to see more pictures from today. The ones in the woods are what backs up to my house and we have a nice walking path. It is very windy today, so I covered Maia up with a blanket in addition to her coat and hat and mittens. There are a couple of white trees against the dark grey sky that are just beautiful. The last shot is the one closest to home where you can see the house through the woods - it's just so pretty! I love it! I get the benefit of the beautiful woods without having to rake ALL those leaves. (We have our share, but not THAT many.) Enjoy the scenery.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

9 months and counting

I have now known Maia for 9 months! I find that unreal. I'll say what I say every month though - it seems like I've known her forever, while at the same time seeming like it was just yesterday that I was there and 9 months have now passed. Amazing.

Here are some pictures from yesterday. It is quite cold here for November, so Maia was bundled up more like winter even though it is fall (looking) outside. She loves her swing!!

Getting ready to go out together and play in the swing.

Maia - my little cutie pie.

She was so cute all bundled up! (If I do say so myself!)

Matthew being so helpful and playing with her while I get a few things done inside. (Or in this case, while I take lots of pictures!)

The cutest thing just happened as I put Maia to bed... she started pointing out all the Winnie-the-Poohs in her bed (on her sheets and bumper pads) as if it is the first time she's ever seen them... And I think it is!! She just noticed them and SAW them for the first time- how cool!! She pointed to many of them, 'saying "Pooh" over and over and the pots of honey, quite excitedly. What a little cutie!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Five Friday Fun Facts - Slightly Updated!

Oops, I forgot about this - so here is it, on Sunday... I'll do better going forward!

1. Maia can say the following words... most of which have the SH or CH sounds... Cheese, Outside, (outshide), Shoes, Socks (shocks), Ashes (ashes, we all fall down), please, (peash), Matthew (Chew, which is one of his nicknames), juice (juish), datch (we have NO idea what this is, but she says it all the time), glasses, (glashes), eyes (eyesh), Maia (I-ya), fish (fishies), sha-sha (doggy... ) sha-sha (birdie), sha-sha (gentle...) Obviously we have to put the last one in context. Ein (said as a question... Ein?) is another frequently used word, I just wish we knew what it meant. And of course, she says Da-da which means Mommy. Go figure!! **I forgot some (thanks for the reminder, Kim!!) Maia also says Thank you (dah-du while also doing the sign for that, or should I say her version of the sign), Bye-Bye (a very loud and enthusiastic Byyyyeeeee while waving), Yes (Yesh), No (Noooooooooooooo while violently shaking her head!), grandma and grandpa, but I'm not sure 'how' she says them - but she has a word for each of them.

2. Maia loves the hair drier and having it blow in her face.

3. She loves watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Yes, we've already started watching it. I broke out the Christmas Music tonight too.... At least it's after Halloween!

4. Maia loves to laugh. It is so genuine. You can really tell one something touches her funny bone. She also loves to laugh when others are laughing.

5. Maia loves to put things on her head. Clothes, hats, purses, anything that will stay if she puts it there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Gingerbread Man

Maia has been at her new school for four full weeks. It is going well. I actually had a parent/teacher conference today - since they truly treat this like a school and have the knowledge and ability to actually evaulate our children since they are trained in early childhood education. Maia is still catching up in some areas, like language, and some gross motor skill 'achievements'. I must admit, I find this one funny since she is a monkey and climbs on everything. But, for example, she doesn't really hop yet. I'm going to 'test' that tomorrow. Admittedly, it's not something I go around doing, so I don't know if she can or not, but they say she can't. These are really the same type milestones that the doctor asked Monday at her two year check up. Does she run? Yes. Does she speak? Sort of. Does she kick a ball? I'm not real sure about that either - so now I have specific milestones to check out on my own and determine if she can or not, and work on them if she can't. (The school gave me their opinions, but there are some things that she must do at home that she doesn't do there since for some our answers differed.) Like they said she never asked to be read to. I said she did at home. However, they meant more that she didn't ASK with words. She makes it known that when she wants to read at home, so maybe I was assessing a different skill. Anyway, four weeks down and it is awesome. We are ALL very happy with her there.

As I said, her 2 year checkup was on Monday. She got a flu shot, a blood test and Hep. A. She is 24 pounds now, which is still low, but at 16% - so MUCH bigger than her 1% when she came home. She is a short little thing, but she is just small all over. She is still wearing her 18 month old clothes, infact - one new pair of 18 month pants was SO BIG and LONG that I had to return them for 12 month pants. She does have other 12 month pants that we still put her in too. Petite. Lucky little girl. :)

Before I forget, thanks to everyone on the input about pictures... it does turn out that something is wrong with my connection - and basically it rears it's ugly head when doing pictures on blogger. I upload them all over the place without problem, so go figure. She post below for new picture information.

Matthew was at Scouts all day today. It is so strange on days he isn't here. Then, as soon as he got home, he went with his dad for the night. I miss him so much! I'm glad he gets to spend time with his dad, step-mom nd brother and sister though - they are family too! He got in 8 service hours today.

After dropping Matthew off at 8:30 this morning, I stopped for Starbucks. YUM!! They seasonal flavors were here, so I had this years version of the Gingerbread Latte. This year they are calling it Gingersnap latte. It was almost the same, but not quite. They sprinkled candied ginger on top which I did not like. Now, to be honest, if one hadn't gone in my mouth, whole, at the bottom of the drink, I might never have really known... But I didn't like this large chunk of ginger at the end of the drink... Now, a gingersnap cookie, maybe... but not candied ginger. I may not get that again, or atleast I'll have them leave the candied ginger off! Next step to the holidays - our gingerbread house!!

Anyway, after a little while at home, Maia and I went to Cracker Barrell to eat breakfast with my friend Judy. I worked with her for years, and since I don't anymore, we have to find some fun, different ways to get together. This was great, and it was a gorgeous day! It was a short visit, but great to see her. I'm actually thinking we might be able to get together again next Friday when I have a parents night out at day care. (Maia can stay at daycare until 9 pm...) I will be doing my Christmas shopping and hope to finish that night! We shall see! We all enjoyed our yummy breakfast. I had waited too long to eat, so I was very hungry by the time we were served. Maia liked eating Judy's food and I found out Maia likes grits. That's not a staple around our house, so I might have to figure out how to make them for her?!?!

I went to a craft fair, that sadly, was quite pathetic. So, we didn't stay long and Maia came home for another LENGTHY Saturday nap. I get torn - I wish I had more time with her, and yet I get more done when she is asleep (during the day - I'm useless at night.) So, I finally had to wake her up after 3.25 hours in her crib (I think she slept 3 of those...) We had to go get Matthew and she had to get up! I cleaned my disasterous room - and made some good progress! One day, my house and room might finally be in order. We're getting there.... One Saturday block of time at a time.

I see it is snowing in Kazakhstan already and in the teens... I can't say I miss that!

Bedtime! Night.

Wanna see some pictures??

OK, since my set-up makes it impossible for me to really share pictures and no techy person can figure out why - and I'm sick of wasting my time on the phone with them.... please see my new picture site.
If you scroll down a little and click on recent pictures, you'll see various albums which have pictures in them. I can load 60 pictures in the time it took for maybe 2 or 3 in blogger, so until i can really fix my blogger issue, the pictures will be in shutterfly. :) If you can't click on the words recent pictures, then click on one OF the recent pictures... then above the pictures you'll see a directory of 'where you are' and you can click Recent Pictures and get the multiple albums listed. Anyway, I hope this works for everyone, let me know! I want to share more pictures (perhaps too many, because I like to take series of shots of one activity!) I am still learning all the ins and outs of shutterfly - but enjoy the pictures anyway. :)
I'll blog more soon. For now, just enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Posting Pictures??

Hey everyone - quick HELP ME question. I see so many blogs post so many pictures in any given post, it makes me believe I MUST be doing something wrong! If I were to post that many pictures, it would take so long to resize them, pull them all up individually and hit upload. What am I doing wrong?? Do you all resize your pictures and then upload them? Do you just choose the ones to upload and say small, medium or large? Help! I want to post more pics but it is so cumbersome sometimes it just prevents me from taking the time! Any help is APPRECIATED!

Monday, October 27, 2008

DWTS - Update!!

In case you missed the latest episode of DWTS - this is the newest couple!!

(*Copied directly from my friend Kim's blog... Thanks Kim!!) It made me LAUGH!
**Read first post from today below...

The Twilight Zone

This weekend was supposed to be relaxing... strike one. It was the end of October, I was dreaming of nice weather... strike two. The World Series is on and they cancelled Sunday Night football... strike three!!

Friday night was fine. Uneventful. Maia went to bed and I had to run out and return movies I had rented last Friday night. (If you have my taste in movies, then I recommend these. The Bucket List - good, sad at times. Definitely, Maybe. Good movie, not a classic for me, but certainly good enough to watch, maybe even again sometime. P.S. I Love You is already/will become one of my Top 10 (or whatever number I'm up to now.) It is excellent, in my opinion and I will watch it over and over and over again. What are some of your favorite movies?? That night ended with me falling asleep before Matthew even came upstairs from the basement while he listened to music... Man, how times are a changin'!!

Saturday, I had the plumber come and fix a few things and install a few things... Maybe he'd be here 2-3 hours, right? He called at 8, would be here by 9. RIGHT?? Wrong. He called at 8, be here at 9. Check. 2-3 hours? HA! Try 7. 7 hours. Now, it was a coldish, rainy, windy, dreary day. I didn't WANT to go anywhere, but because I COULDN'T go anywhere, all of a sudden I felt captive in my own home. As soon as he left, Mom and I went shopping. Dad and Matthew stayed with Maia who was just waking up from her nap. We got some good things accomplished, so that was nice. We had a lovely dinner, Corned Beef and Cabbage, red potatoes. De-lish!! Matthew even ate well, really well! Maia even ate some meat, along with her cabbage and potatoes which she scarfed down.

I started to clean the dishes after dinner and Mom asked if Maia should take a bath. Well, for 1, it was definitely a bath day, so yes, and two, if you're offering AND I don't have to help, by ALL MEANS, give her a bath!! They went in and started the bath water. Matthew came to me and said he felt pukey and could he have a Sprite, he needed to burp. Sure, I said. He came back in (our sodas are in the refridge in the garage) and was drinking way too fast. I said, Matthew, slow down a little bit. Give the bubbles a chance to work - don't drink so much so fast. I told him to go sit down in the living room (our family room on the main level). 10 seconds later I here him say, "I puked". Oh man!! I thought he was conning me into a soda, I thought he wanted an extra sweet that day. I thought he wanted to get out of washing the dishes... I didn't think he was really going to be ill!! And be ill he was... remember how I told you he ate well, really well, at dinner. Well... this was turning out to be quite the evening. He was all upset because he was sitting in MY CHAIR (my brother calls it the Archie Bunker chair since I have to sit there almost 100% of the time and make others move if they happen to sit in it. Of course, they sit in it just ot bug me!!). Matthew was all upset and said, I ruined your chair! Well, he didn't ruin my chair, but perhaps the evening, not that it was his fault! So, he got to take the shower Maia was waiting to take, and when Mom took Maia out of the bathroom (not in the bath yet...) she got hysterical. Why is he cutting in line and taking a shower? Why is she naked in the hallway? Why can't she come out in the living room or even down the hall... (I was cleaning the LR and the path Matthew had taken down the hallway.) Fun, right??

Well, he finished showering and said he felt better. In fact that was it. He didn't get sick again and no one else got it. Wow, if someone has to get sick, that was about as perfect as it gets... with a one time thing and no one else catching it!

Dishes are done. Matthew feels better. Maia has a bath. Maia goes to bed. I found out how to move my iTunes music from one computer (old as the hills) to the newer laptop I use... All is good with the world now. Sleep well, cool night. Excellent. Visions start appearing of Sunday morning and my wonderful coffee with Pumpkin Spice Creamer... mmmmm. I love Sunday mornings. Sunday supplements out of the newspaper. Coffee. No rush to get anywhere early... Sundays are great... relaxing... excellent... football comes on later... Matthew, why are you screaming at Maia?? He comes down the hall, she had my deoderant!! I think she ATE SOME! What?????? I picked her up and low and behold, her breath was as fresh as a man's underarm. Y U C K!!! Gross, disgusting, nasty - now I want to puke! What do I do?? Matthew never put ANYTHING in his mouth - I don't know what to do!! So, for a few minutes, I didn't do much, then I read the label on the deoderant.... If swallowed Seek Medical Attention or call Poison control Immediately. WHAT???? Poison control?? But I'm relaxing. I'm going to pick up my brother and watch football. I want to go buy a pumpkin.... I want, I want, I want... SHOOT.

Mom tried to calm me down and tells me to call my brother-in-law who is a doctor. They are walking out the door to church so he calls me back in a couple of minutes. Admitedly, these were the longest 2-3 minutes I think I've ever endured. I was starting to panic... I told him what happened and does he think I should call Poison Control... YES??? Really, I have to call them? CRAP! Now I'm really a good bit panicked. And Joel is so nice and trying to tell me he thinks he's sure they'll say it's OK and blah blah blah (I tuned out) I was panicked and not really listening... but I didn't want to be rude and cut him off!! He was being so nice and I just wanted to hang up on him... Poor guy. So, I didn't hear the last bit he said and when he stopped talking I said, OK, thanks... have a nice day and THEN I hung up.

I called Poison Control and after saying my two year old daughter ate my son's deoderant, she said, can you hold please? Sure... tick, tock, tick, tock, tick - HEY, I'm on HOLD HERE! Who puts someone on hold for 2-3 MORE minutes when my world is ending?? HELLO, are you coming back?!!?!?!?!
Ah, there you are. She asked how long ago this happened - somewhere between 15-30 minutes at this point. I've lost track. I'm in another dimension... (**about the Title of the Blog... "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call the Twilight Zone.")
Moving on... she asks what her symptoms are. I said she has none. She said, well, the worst we would expect is she might spit up a little and if she hasn't done that yet, then she probably won't. Go ahead and give her a big glass of water or milk to dillute anything that might be in her tummy, but otherwise, don't worry about it. I did clarify that she kept calling it deoderant, but it was actually Anti-persperant. (I had said Anti-Perspirant on the phone, even though that's not what I wrote earlier...) Anywho, she said that didn't make any difference (I thought it might have other ingredients..) and that we were good to go. I couldn't believe, all that stress - and nothing was wrong. THANK GOD!! But, wow, I started to really freak out.

So, I've known Maia 8+ months, she's been home for ALMOST 7 months and she's had to go to the ER already AND I've had to call Poison Control already. Matthew is 13 - haven't had to do this with him, yet!!

So, if anyone is still reading, I called my BIL back and let him know what they said (partially so he would know and not be worried and partially because I wanted to say goodbye properly and not be like, OK BYE and hang up on him again.)

So much for a relaxing Sunday morning... The rest of the coffee got thrown away - I didn't need the caffeine at that point - I was AWAKE, au natural. Legal stimulants became unecessary that day. (And no, I never did get to look at the Sunday Supplements (ads from the paper for sales I never do attend...)

Before I go any farther, I will let you know that I do NOT have pictures of these weekend events. You're welcome.

Matthew, Mom and Dad left for the football game as soon as they knew Maia wasn't going to die... Poor Matthew had broken in to a sweat he was so nervous, and blaming himself for her getting in to his deoderant. I mean, we have to be careful, but can't help that she ate his deoderant. Have I said how gross that is? Her breath was 'fresh' all day. Ick. Now all of you know - if kids eat the deoderant, no worries. They may throw up a little, but aren't going to die.

My brother came and watched football with me and Maia took a 3.5 hour nap while we watched! How nice of her!

Now on to today. Today was supposed to be sunny and 65 degrees. It was cloudy, if not raining, all day and hit a high of 45, yes 45 degrees today. Maia wore a lightweight gingham jacket. Man, she was probably freezing outside, it was windy, so our windchill was in the 30's!! Tomorrow was supposed to be in the 60's too, but now they're saying high of 50 at most. Not my kind of weather - but I'll be working so who cares. So, we were all cold and the house is chilly. We want some good winter comfort food. Grilled cheese and tomato soup! Matthew loves it, and man, I hope Maia does.. we eat this at least once a week during the winter months. So, I make her a grilled cheese and give her some soup. Hey Mikey, she likes it!

Fast forward to the end of the meal... she had enough of using the spoon to eat her soup and/or dipping her sandwich in the soup to eat it. So, she picked up the bowl and started to drink her soup. The FUNNY part was that she was GULPING it so loud, she sounded like a cartoon!! You could hear her slurp it which was 'cute', but more importantly is that you could hear it gulping down her throat as she chugged it. We thought it was so funny. (Crude and no mannered, but funny!!) Let me tell you - she drank every last drop of her portion of soup! Yup, she belongs in this family. She loved that meal and surely will eat it again when we do! Yeah!!

She also has figured out how great OREOS are. I've never seen someone take so long to eat one single cookie, but even funnier is how chocalately and messy she gets from eating this one single cookie.

So, that's our doings from tonight. I wanted to tape her soup chugging, but didn't get the video in time. (And even so, still can't find that blasted cable!) So, perhaps pictures soon - wanted to catch you up on out life, at least these last 3 days. I certainly can NOT claim to be bored - right?? :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two weeks...

We made it through two weeks in Maia's new day care! Yeah Maia!! This is longer than the other place lasted with her in her new classroom. This new school is so far superior - but I won't go all in to that again... suffice it to say, we are very happy here. The teachers are working with her and she has learned many new things (apparent already!!) She knows how to use 'gentle hands'. The next step, however, is having her know she doesn't have to pummell something BEFORE showing she knows how to use gentle hands... Just use the gentle hands to begin with, little Maia!

She did have one incident - she bit a teacher. Uh...oh. She was frustrated about something she didn't want to do... They told me they told her NO BITING (not, no thank you Maia!) and read her a book about what teeth/mouths are for. She does seem better (so far...) and we have some NO BITING books at home too, and she likes to read them, over and over. I'm teaching her to kiss (my hand, or whatever...) rather than biting. The book also shows that teeth are for eating food, etc. We've gone two days since then without another incident. BUT the most exciting thing is that they gave me a sheet of paper with the guidelines etc... They consider this 'normal, albeit, inappropriate behavior' until the age of THREE. Now, she can't bite every day, but I'm just saying they are not worried about her and certainly not about to kick her out. Yeah!! They are a good school who knows how to work with kids her age and what's appropriate for teaching her about changing her behavior. Not some fluffy stupid Maia No Thank You response when she has no idea what you are talking about! ok... I'll stop.

I've had a week of no sleep. It's getting old. I want to SLEEP. Let's hope it's tonight... my eyes are burning they are so tired.

Tomorrow I have the plumber coming to install some new toilets, a new faucet and fix a leaky faucet in the kids bathroom. I look forward to having this work behind me. It'll be nice.

I hope to take some new pictures this weekend and get some posted. I am still looking for the blasted cord to download some video.... Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tag, I'm it.

My friend Kim tagged me, so here goes!!

A) Four places I go over and over
1. Work
2. Giant
3. Target
4. The Bathroom

B) Four people who e-mail me regularly
1. Judy
2. Kristy
3. spammers
4. Matthew's teachers (i don't look forward to these...)

C) Four of my favorite places to eat
1. The Melting Pot
2. Rudee's on the Inlet
3. PF Changs or Sakura
4. Anywhere I don't have to cook

D) Four places you'd rather be
1. At my parents beach house
2. South Carolina
3. New England (seeing even more beautiful fall foliage than we have here)
4. In bed

E) Four TV shows I could (and DO!) watch over and over
1. Friends
2. Seinfeld
3. Everybody Loves Raymond
4. House Hunters and/or Designed to Sell

F) Four people I'm tagging
1. I don't know - anyone who wants to play along!! Jen, Michele, Kami, Christine, Jocelyn, Renee, Judy, Catalina, Sandi, Christy, Sam, Sara - and all the rest of you!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday night

I'm getting tired, so I'm going to hit some bullet points.

1. I can't find the right cable to download some video... why can I find the other 1,052 power cords, download cables except the one I'm ever looking for?? you know murphy, right?? he's my cousin. I call this kristen's law.

2. matthew has gone camping. i've been sleeping with my windows cracked at night and still been too warm at times. tonight, i have the windows closed and i'm still cold inside. i'm wearing long pants, long sleeves and slippers and still have a chill. matthew is outside camping! he claims to love it - more power to him. better him than me.

3. i rented a movie tonight. the bucket list. good movie.

4. maia has finished her first week at the new school. it is awesome and we had a wonderful week. follow your heart and gut everyone! if a situation doesn't seem right (which it didn't before the whole "disinvited to attend" fiasco) trust your instincts and move on. i even ran in to one of maia's teachers last night from the first place and she too has left the daycare - and confirmed the idiocy and incompentancy i thought i was seeing too.

5. it was a crazy busy week at work. our fiscal year has ended and not only are we wrapping things up and getting out financial reports, but we are preparing for the audtiors. oh joy!!

6. maia and i are obviously alone all weekend, and i don't have much planned. so we will have to find some entertainment to fill part of the day. the weather is supposed to be pleasant fall weather. it was in the 80's here all week until today. tomorrow, maybe high 50's... nice, but big changes.

7. my poor parents have caught the cough i had for 3.5 LONG weeks. i am finally over it but it started 4 weeks ago today. mom is like, when will it end?? they've had it about 3 days... I hate to tell them, they've only just begun!

8. i'm going to TRY to go back to titling my posts by movie titles like i did while in kaz. i am going to add in some song titles though, and perhaps an occassional TV show. i'll have to think of a few again to get me going. i probably still have the list of movies mom and i came up with in kaz.

9. I miss Matthew when he's not here, especially when he's gone all weekend! I miss my snuggle time with my 'little guy'.
10. i saw this somewhere else and thought i'd give it a try too.... i am going to do Five Friday Fun Facts.... I will list 5 facts of the day each Friday. So, I'll start the renumbering now for this one:

Fun Facts:
1. I need to buy two toilets, a bathroom faucet and a couple of light fixtures.
2. One of Matthew's nicknames is 'Chew'. Maia says it crystal clear and after he left tonight, she was going around calling "Chew".... "Chew". So cute! She gets sad when he leaves! (Like me!)
3. We bought food for 4 meals for 8 boys for $73.99 (The budget is $10 per boy..) We did OK!! (Of course, I'm not sure how GREAT the food will be, but Matthew assures me that those Cup O Noodles are DELICIOUS when you are camping. Ok.....
4. I filed my 2007 taxes this week... Bring on the refund!
5. I had cocoa puffs for dinner. (sshhh, don't tell the kids!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Maia is two today!! Happy Birthday, precious, sweet child!! I am so glad I get to be your Mommy and celebrate with you on your second birthday! In the 8 months (243 days to be exact) since I've met you - you've already grown up more than I'd like. You're getting big - FAST! I look back at pictures from 8 months ago and realize how much of a baby you were then, and how big a girl you've become!! Amazing. I've known you for exactly 1/3 of your wonderful life... and I cherish every single day I get to spend with you! I look forward to the next 8 months as much as I've loved the last 8 months with you. I am so glad I got to spend this birthday with you - I love you, little Maia.

We had a busy day today! We visited her new school for about 2 hours. She loved it! She played with lots of toys, met lots of teachers, got acclimated to her new room. They even had crafts set up at different tables in different rooms... while doing various crafts, she proceeded to eat playdough and suck on markers without the lids on. She ended up with a purple mouth... She eats everything! And puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. I've never seen anything like it. So we took her to another room where they were serving cupcakes... but do you think she would eat a cupcake... Nope, not really!! She was too full from the playdough... We went outside on the playground too and when it was time to leave, Maia was having no part of that. I literally had to drag her to the car, kicking and screaming. I think she's going to be just fine on Monday... :)

We came home and had lunch and a nap. (Yes, I had a nap too!) Then we headed to our friend Kayleigh's 5th birthday party. There were lots of friends there, for all of us. It was a gorgeous fall day and they had a big bouncy tent in the backyard. It was fun for me too to be able to chat and reconnect with some friends I haven't gotten to see in a long time, in some cases. I found out one is expecting, one is adopting, one had a baby in July I hadn't gotten to see yet... Really exciting times!! We had a great time!!

Tonight was relatively quiet at home except for the call from my sister and her kids. They had sent Maia a package that arrived today. We were going to open it after dinner, but they called right at the end of our dinner, so we opened it while they were on the phone. It was full of really awesome stuff! They sent LOTS of dress up outfits, and hats, and shoes, and leotards, and ballet shoes, etc. Also, they sent If You Give a Pig a Party and a Cabbage Patch Doll! How neat - an adoptable baby doll!! :) She was overwhelmed with it all, and will have fun going through it all for days and days!! It was great to talk to Regan and all the kids. They are getting so big now, that we can have great, real conversations with them. Maia on the other hand... still doesn't chat much, which dissappoints the kids I think, but one day, she'll be chatting up a storm with the rest of them!

Tomorrow we have Evan's party to go in the morning. That should be a lot of fun too!!

Mom left yesterday and went on a retreat. Dad left the house this morning before the rest of us got out of bed. (Although Maia woke up right when he was leaving, so we were up shortly afterwards.) So, it was different around here today without Mom and Dad, but we weren't home that much either, so tomorrow will seem even stranger. It's always quiet around here with two less people in the house.

Tomorrow is football day - yeah! Gotta love Sundays in the fall - especially when our teams win and the ones we don't like lose.

Happy Birthday, Maia! We love you!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Been a Long Time...

It may not seem like long to you all, but it feels like forever to me since I, not only wrote a blog, but downloaded any pictures, and even read many blogs. There just isn't time, and when there is, no matter how much I love blogging and following other blogs, I just don't feel like being on the computer! But, I feel like Maia changes daily, and I'll try to capture some events and changes as I write now.

The past month has been interesting trying to line up day care for Maia until the new school is able to take her. Well, Monday is the day! Maia will start at her new school - and I am so excited! Tomorrow there is an open house that we can attend. Perfect timing! I can take her in, and get her used to the room and the teachers, all while I am there. That will make Monday morning less stressful. (Frankly, I'm sure she will be fine, it's me I am more worried about!) Right now, I would say I'm not worried at all, and I'm NOT! BUT, come time to drop her off, worry isn't the right word, but something comes over me where I get sad to leave them at a new place. Like I said, SHE will be FINE!!

The first week of this month, my friend Julie watched Maia. Then my parents took Maia to their house for a week. The Friday of that week, my brother, Matthew and I went to the beach house for the weekend and brought Maia home with us on Sunday.

The third week, my friend Julie watched her again. However, Julie had an illness that just wouldn't go away, so I ended up having to stay home with her that Tuesday. Then, Julie still didn't feel well, and I had someone lined up for Wednesday, but that got mis-communicated, so my back-up fell through for Wednesday! At 8:30 pm Tuesday night I found out this wonderful news, SO, I had to find someone, at 8:30 at night to watch Maia starting about 7:30 the next morning. As it turns out, my friend Julie had a neighbor with a little girl who is just a bit older than Maia, and they had played together when Julie had been watching Maia, SO, we asked her Mom to watch Maia for me that day! Yes, a stranger to me, but a friend to my friend, and at that moment I had to trust her judgment! It turned out to be wonderful, and I hope I've found a friend for me (the mom) and a friend for Maia, the daughter as well. Julie was better that Thursday and Friday. Yeah!!

Then, the fourth and final week, my parents came up to my house and stayed her to watch her. Today ended this long stretch of people stepping up and helping me out!! Obviously I couldn't take all this time off from work to do it myself, so luckily I have great family and friends willing to assist!! Thank you ALL!!

We had a great weekend at the beach two weeks ago. My grandma was visiting from Florida, so it was awesome to see her, and have her meet Maia!! It had been too long since I'd gotten to see her (this past year has not been a typical one - obviously.) She religiously wrote to my mom and I though while we were in Kazakhstan living in Siberia in the winter... and we loved her frequent emails!! So, althought I hadn't seen her in about 1.5 years, it didn't seem quite that long as she stayed so close to us via email and kept us up on all the news stateside!

This weekend is going to be very busy. Tomorrow is the open house at Maia's new school. Then, at 3 pm we have a birthday party to go to. I can't wait to go see some of the Mom's I'm friends with that I haven't gotten to see in a while!! Sunday, there is a party for Matthew's brother, Evan. They invited both Matthew and Maia, so we will all be attending this party on Sunday.

Maia's birthday is tomorrow!! She will be two! The first celebration (I assume) for her birthday.) We have had a couple of little family celebrations already. Last night we celebrated with Mom and Dad. She got some presents and I made cupcakes (actually I frosted cupcakes, Mom made them for me!). It wasn't really what I wanted, celebrating on a weeknight. It was more stressful knowing I had to go to work the next day for some reason, but she didn't know any different. I did do presents before dinner though, and that was likely a mistake. After presents, while trying to seat her for dinner, she had a major meltdown. This has never happened before, but honestly, I think she was just hungry and thirsty!! She was much better after I gave her a juice box (as a treat, but also knowing she'd drink it really fast if she were that thirsty and I wanted some quick relief!) It worked, and then she ate some dinner and then a cupcake. I'll post some various pictures, not only fromt he borthday, but also other events I've been missing.

This week, Maia climbed out of her crib for the first time!! Mom went down the hall to check on her about the time she thought she would get up from a nap. She stood outside her door and listened and heard nothing. Then a few seconds later, she heard knocking. Maia was standing on the other side of the door, knocking to get out of her room. Her room, by the way, looked like a tornado went through it... so she had been up a little while, emptying her laundry basket, and diaper container, and dresser drawers.... it was quite a site. Mom left it 'as is' until I got home from work. The mattress is as low as it will go, and the sides are HIGH. She is just a monkey. She stacked up her stuffed animals, and blankets and bumper pad and made it high enough to get out. Maybe it's time to take the bumper pad out.... ?? That gave her some leverage (we could tell because it was crushed!) She hasn't done it since though - so ??? Who knows when she will strike again!

Maia got a baby doll stroller for her birthday. (Actually, she got too.) We decided one will be for inside and one for outside play. Anyway, Maia insisted that were for HER and she wanted to sit in it! I'll post a picture of Maia in the tiny baby doll stroller. Silly Maia.

Then today, she decided the stroller belonged on a chair and she climbed in the chair too. Mom took a picture of this.

I'm getting tired, and still have pictures to post, so I'll stop rambling and post some pictures. I'll be back sooner rather than later to talk some more and post some more pictures...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quiet Tuesday

Wow, I am home ALONE. No Matthew. No Maia. How strange!!

My parents have taken Maia to their house for the week since I don't have daycare set up for these 30 days... Last week my friend Julie watched her. This week it's my parents - but they needed to take her to their house rather than staying here with us and watching her. Needless to say, it is much quieter around here than normal, and we miss her!!

Of course, I had a list of things a mile long to accomplish while she was gone, but I'm certainly not getting as much done as I would have liked!!

This weekend, Matthew, my brother and I are going to my parents house for the weekend. My grandma will be there too!! It'll be a short trip, but I'm excited to see my grandma! It'll be great to all be together for a couple of days and to see Maia after a week away! The weather will be awful this week for Maia at the beach, but I'm sure she'll enjoy the time with grandma and grandpa anyway.

we'll see what the rest of the week brings - so far - all is good (even though we miss Maia!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm exhausted!

Today has been a very busy day! I started off by cleaning my bathroom. I won't dicuss all the details, but suffice it to say, it had been entirely too long and was well overdue! This took about an hour.

I was on a roll, so then I went outside to trim the second of three shrubs in my front yard (with thorns) that has overtaken the front flower bed. I did one last weekend, but the thorns hurt so badly I couldn't do more than one that day. So today my goal was to do the last two. Well, as it turns out, the heat index was over 100 today (when I found this out, I realized why I was so HOT and exhausted.) Anyhow, rather than doing the third thorny bush, I decided to trim back the butterfly bush that had REALLY taken over my front bed. This of course led to other items in the flower bed that needed trimming, etc. The 3rd thorny bush remains - most likely a job for next weekend. Things are looking better - but we're not there yet.

While I was busy doing the (careful!) trimming - Matthew mowed the yard. It looks so good!! It had been at least two weeks since we last mowed, with a tropical storm in between, so it too was long overdue. If feels so good to get things done around the house - even though the whole house and yard is never done at the same time! It's great to have some of these big jobs done.

Maia took a great nap - 1 to 4 today to allow us to get a lot of this completed. (Of course, this was also the heat of the day.)

We ordered pizza for dinner - something we do very rarely - and boy was it good!! Maia even ate a whole piece! She's never shown much interest in pizza, let alone an entire piece. Well, she devoured it and then continued with other items. Raisins are one of her favorite things at the moment. She's eaten like a champ the past couple of days - she must be having a growth spurt! With all her eating, if she doesn't grow UP, she'll definitely grow AROUND.

Right now she is watching Winnie the Pooh before bed. Frankly, I needed some extra down time - the heat really did me in. I wasn't expecting it to be that hot!

The cool thing this week is that Maia's new school has BACK-TO-SCHOOL night on Tuesday! How cute is that?? It is only 30 minutes, so I will attend while Matthew hangs with Maia in the car or if it's nice, then he'll stroll her around the center while I'm inside. Then, we'll take him to scouts from there. He's going to run for a leadership position again on Tuesday, so that should be an exciting night. I can't wait to go to back to school night - I think that is AWESOME for a daycare. Never had that at the other one....

Just a side note 0 I can tell Maia has a little more attention span these days. She can actually watch one whole video without tuning out, or freaking out. Of course, just as I typed that, she has had ENOUGH and wants to stop now! Too funny. It's still better than it used to be. Not that I WANT her engrossed in the TV, but it does give me down time sometimes when I need it and I'm glad she can focus long enough to 'enjoy' the show - which she couldn't before. Progress.

Everyone have a great week!! I'm certainly hoping for less drama than last week - of course, only time will tell!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a difference a DAY makes....

Man - was I mad last night or was I mad last night?? Yup, I was MAD last night. (Could you tell??) But, do you realize it was over the daycares lack of ability to deal with children? All children are different. Some need different methods for Matthew, some need different methods for discipline. Thank God the public schools understand this and allow Matthew to learn his way!! (By the way, he scored a perfect score on a standardized test... here here to learning HIS way!!) I just wish a daycare that is in business and has many different kids from many different backgrounds and personalities would understand the uniqueness of each child and I wish THEY would learn how to react differently to different kids. Since they aren't able to do that, I am not at ALL mad that she got kicked out. I am convinced it is a blessing and had already signed her up for a new daycare before the 'last straw' anyway... but to go through this whole routine in 3 days - with two previous warnings is simply absurd. The idiocy of it all and their lack of competance at this point, amazes me.

Example: I took Maia to Sunday school tonight. I asked, was she good?? They said, Oh she was wonderful - she is so sweet! Now, I know Maia, and she CAN be perfect for 2 hours, but chances are at some point, she wanted the same toy as someone else, or something like that. Day care kicks her out, Sunday school said she was sweet... Thank goodness not everyone runs a center as the last daycare did and their are choices for me to now turn to. For that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful that I have some of the next 30 days lined up for coverage. A friend of mine, Julie is going to watch Maia this week! YEAH JULIE! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had been focused on which of my friends have children around Maia's age that I could either ask to watch her, or for suggestions of home day cares for the next 30 days. That's when Julie's name flashed in front of my eyes (on the IM screen) and I had an idea!!! Julie was in the same awful mortgage industry I was in, and is looking for just the right job to fill the one left behind in that sinking industry. She was a nanny before working in mortgage. She comes from a LARGE family with 35 nieces and nephews... Wow, she's perfect! So, I called her up hoping and praying she'd say yes. She did!! She took on this first week for me - yippee!!!!!!

Now, the HUGE prayer request is that the new school takes Maia on Oct. 1 (since she turns 2 that month, there is a chance they can admit her on Oct. 1 and still be OK...) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this be the case. That saves me 1.5 weeks of finding other people to fill in. I do have some leads as to some who stay home and do daycare though, so with any luck - I won't have a problem regardless of her start date.

A wonderful surprise tonight - not only did we finally go to church. (It's been entirely too long for me! We do go to our 'internet campus' which broadcasts the entire thing... and saves a good bit of gas money and toll money, but... it's still nice to GO to the church!!) Anyway, we went for the first time in ages, and ran in to friends we hadn't seen in years. In fact, their 2 year old son was there, and I hadn't seen him yet! The neat this is, they don't regularly attend this church so it was a total fluke that they were there tonight, and us!! And of course, Maia and their little guy were in the same class. Cool!! How awesome was that coincidence. Hopefully we'll get together soon - I miss them!!

Our football game has been cancelled for tomorrow - good old Hurricane Ike!! We were to play in Houston - and it was postponed until Monday night, and then damage actually occurred at the stadium, so Monday night was postponed now too.

Mom and Dad had a great week in SC with the kids. Regan and Joel have made it home safely and Mom and Dad are on their way home tomorrow... Probably just in time to watch Maia next week! Lucky them - all this grandchild love - I bet they are glad they retired.... LOL. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a difference a week makes...

Well, Tuesday everything was fine. How quickly things change. Wednesday, I got a call from daycare about 4:00 p.m. Maia had pushed another kid in her class, and when the teacher told her no, she bit the teacher. Rather than a time-out in the room, they sent her to the office to take her time out. Then she returned to class. When I got there, not too long after this (maybe 10 minutes after she was back in her classroom) I walked in to her swatting at her teacher a little for something or other. I walked across the classroom watching her every move and by the time she saw me, giving her a stern glare, she bowed her head in shame and for what I had just witnessed, I spoke to her, told her not to hit her teachers and made her sit in a time out. Her teacher told me she had already done a timeout, but that was for the other incident and since when is the limit one time out anyway if she is still acting out?

So, I'll forwarn you all. I'm mad. This will get detailed and frankly, I won't be overly nice. The above was the tame version of what I'm about to tell you. And I'll say upfront that Matthew went to this same daycare for 10 years. It was awesome. I loved it. It suited him well. As I have quickly learned, each child is different and responds differently to the same situation. There, there is the only nice thing I have to say about this day care anymore. 10 years good. 3 months, crapola.

So, this daycare is very against anything negative. Meaning, of course, they can't spank a child, (wouldn't want them to!!) and are very positive in their approach to discipline. Their idea of discipline is when a child 'chooses' to shove a child, they say, "Maia, no thank you." No reference to what they are saying no too, and it is said in the same tone as "Would you like some candy?" would be said. This is the extent. So, although since she has been there since the end of June they had said "Maia, no thank you" for various things... this was the first time (Wednesday) she was sent to the office and got a Beahvior Note. Remember this. Day 1 - Wednesday this week. The note said, "Maia chose to push a child and when the teacher said, "Maia, no thank you", Maia chose to bite her teachers arm. So, we invited her to come take a break in the office." What the @)*(&@(*#&%. You INVITED her to come take a BREAK in the office. I'm sorry, I'm 39 years old, can you speak to me like an adult and tell me she was sent to the office for a timeout?? Invited to take a break... please. Side note - what toddler would ENJOY a field trip to the office - to them, that's a field trip!! To this daycare, it is 'punishment'. (Which I MIGHT understand if they are 4 or 5... Maia is still ONE, mind you.)

Call it mother's intuition... I knew right then. We were in trouble.

Thursday, about 4:00 p.m.... I get yet another call/voice mail at work (my new job of 3 months, remember??) "Maia has chosen to shove a few of her friends today." (I witnessed this a couple of times when I picked her up, she is 22 pounds, in the 2% of her age... so the smallest in the class, and her 'pushing' might move their shoulders two inches from the starting point. I am not advocating violence, but a one year old pushing someones shoulder for 2 inches is not violence. She was "invited to take another break" in the office. When I called back after receiving this voice mail, I was told that after they had spoken to the Owner of the School (the same one that was their when Matthew started there at age two!!) it had been decided that "I was going to be invited to contact a Behaviour Coach". What????? She is ONE (ok, almost two) and this is the second SHOVE. WHAT????????? When I got to the school and asked about the coach, she told me it was free (good thing!!) and that they would help set up a plan for me to follow at home so that she could get better. I looked at her, getting a little pissy at this point, if the truth be told and I said, "I have to be honest here... I don't have these problems at home. Is this coach going to talk to you all too about what further steps could be taken HERE as a little extra boost to the No thank you routine?" She said that the coach would coincide the plan set up for home with school... Somehow, I doubt a coach they are employing is going to do things my way, rather than their way, which, have you noticed, isn't working??

Before I made it to the center on Thursday, after Wednesday and the voice mail about the Behaviour Coach on Thursday.... I KNEW where this was going - and I stopped at a different center on my way there. I LOVED IT and although the money is materially more - I was highly considering this option - but they didn't have room until she turns two - 30 days from then. I thought about this option all night, and just really tried to determine if the additional cost was a possibility. It is, but not an easy one!! It won't come easy....

This morning, I was sure I wanted to move her. If I could get two weeks from now, I would give two weeks notice, get my deposit back and make it through the next 30 days at this daycare center with no toddler abilities at all. (It worked for Matthew because he was the easiest kid I've ever met!! Say no once, done deal.)

Maia was in an orphanage, where it was survival of the fittest for 16 months, until she was 18 months old. Maia has a stubborn streak. Maia wants what she wants, and is used to pulling it out of the other kids hands around her to get it. If they take it from her, she is accustomed to taking it back. That's the way the orphanage was. The workers there couldn't and didn't mettle in every 'fight' the kids had. 16 months, this is what she knows. Maia has been in this center for 3 months, this particular class room for a grand total of 9 days. Maia doesn't have kids her age at home to share with - it's all hers. Matthew doesn't want her toys. (However she does want some of Matthew's.... his computer, his cell phone, etc...) Her interaction with other kids occurs at daycare. I've had to discipline Maia in ways I never had to with Matthew. Sometimes it takes more than I think it will to get her to feel 'remorse' for her actions. She's used to putting up a wall with her feelings, no one came to her aid before in the orphanage - so her emotions are harder to break than kids who have been in a loving, happy home for the same 18 months.

So, Behaviour Coach. Day 2. Yesterday.

Today, 3:50... do you see a pattern?? I get a call from daycare. My boss is with me at the time so I don't get it. I can hear about her pushing incident in a minute. SO, I call them back and "After speaking with the owner, we'd like to INVITE YOU to a Parent University class that the owner is holding on Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m. to go over behaviour techniques you can try with your children". (Side note - for the 11 years we have now been affiliated with this center (Matthew stopped going a year ago) these Parent University classes are marketed for parents at their wits end with unruly kids at home. How to help. Ideas on potty training. (I went to this ONE for Matthew years ago - it was a JOKE and their techniques would NEVER have worked for Matthew. Mind you when I potty trainned Matthew my way, he had NO ACCIDENTS. EVER. NOT ONE. and I was a working parent then too so it's not like I was home with him all day and sat him there for 8 hours or something to be able to say this. My way for Matthew, no accidents.) Anyway, I never went to any other classes because Matthew beat to his own drummer too, and was EASY. So, my thoughts on having to attend this (AND TALK TO A BEHAVIOUR COACH) is starting to really tick me off!! SHE'S FINE AT HOME PEOPLE. Do you think perhaps some kids need to know a little more who is in authority, to be give a stern look and a solid NO and perhaps even holding her hand if she is going to 'swat' or 'shove' someone, and look her in the eye to say no. That's not mean, that's not spanking, that's not yelling, that's authority and discipline. "Maia, no thank you." PUH-LEEZE.

Ok, so after being offended and wanting laugh that I am the one they are trying to change her (what have I done wrong?? She is 'acting up' in your class with your teachers - not with me. She knows better with me!! Anyway, so I'm already getting mad, and she adds on the phone this afternoon, "And also, if there is ANY more aggressive behaviours, Maia will be DISINVITED TO ATTEND the school for 30 days." She'll be suspended for 30 days, no notice. That day, that's it. So, I asked, "what behaviours?" Shoving, pushing, biting... OK, let me get this straight. To date, she has bitten ONCE. ONCE. and on the SECOND time, at age 1, she will be suspended. I understand this for older children, MAYBE, even then I would give more chances and stricter immediate consequences to the child. This would only hurt the parents. I'm a single mother of two. Next offense could happen in an hour, or 3 weeks from now - and with no notice she'll be gone. Ridiculous. She isn't violent. A teacher in the class told me yesterday (day 2) that they ALL push each other - and for some reason - she's the one getting in 'trouble'. Yes, a teacher told me this. Could I say something and get her in trouble for telling me that. Probably. Do I want her to stay at this center? LORD NO. I just want to make it though 30 days. At the end of today's 4 pm call, I asked how she was being today. They came back on and said "SHe's had a WONDERFUL day." Great.

On the way home, I stop on the school I visited yesterday and signed up. I pleaded to try to be admitted early if possible - no such luck, but Oct. 13 it is! Now, how many days can I get out of the old center before she 'sneezes' and is out on her butt??

I get to the old center at 6:10. Guess where Maia is - two hours after my phone call. Sitting up front at the office. That's it. She's been disinvited to attend the center. Can you speak like grown ups to grown ups please? Ok, you've suspended her for 30 days, I am giving my two week notice. (They aren't sure yet if I'll get my deposit back.... they've never seen the OTHER side of me, I'd better get EVERY PENNY. I'm stupid enough to pay more to get it back to make a point than to let them keep it.)

So, Tuesday. ALL IS GOOD. Friday, she's been disinvited to attend the center. (What a crock!! I don't even want her there now because I truly can not hear them talk without being disgusted or wanting to burst out laughing. Disinvited to attend.... UGH!!!)
I now have 30 days, 4 full weeks of no day care coverage to fill - beginning Monday. No real ideas yet. A day or two, yeah. 4 weeks - wow. that'll be different. Any volunteers?? :)

The new school is well aware of what I'm dealing with. They've already said, first of all, she's one/two. Second of all, she is still non-verbal and this often seen in kids who are still non-verbal. I asked very pointedly today if they've dealt with shoving and pushing, and maybe even biting and they said yes. No one has ever been kicked out, and if it ever came to that, it would be after MONTHS of trying different things (for different kids) etc.

I thanked her profusely for saying that no one had ever been KICKED OUT rather than saying that no one had never been disinvited to attend the school... and am POSITIVE they have the knowledge and skills needed to see that different children are different, there is no 100% formula for all kids, and certainly not one that doesn't show your authority over them, no matter how nice you try to be. I'm all for being nice and trying things the calm cool and collected way, I'm not in to violence, but I also am not in to kids walking over me or being disrespectful. But if they don't respond to NO,or redirection, or books on the subject, or timeouts, or spanking if necessary, THEN MAYBE you'd have no choice but to suspend them. (LIke I'm going to find day care for 30 days and then bring her back?? PLEASE!) The new school already has books on hitting and biting, etc. and one thing they do if it's a problem is SPEAK about the specific offense, and read the book, and lend them to parents to do at home too. This is one example. The old school. "Maia, no thank you." Yeah, that works really well - HA! In my family we use no thank you to say we don't care for any more carrots. Or as an answer to the question, "Do you want to play a game"? Answer: "No, thank you." If Maia hit her brother - She would start with a definite NO and then have to hug and kiss him if she repeated it would be a definite time out with many references to what she did wrong and stern looks.

Anyway - you all get it. I'm sure of it. I'm not asking them to spank her. I'm not asking them to SCREAM at her. I'm asking for common sense in dealing with a toddler (in this case from a different background, but I don't think this has much at all to do with this!!) and I'm asking for more than her SECOND BITE or third shove/offense to not result in a suspension. Yeah, she'll learn a LOT from that at this age. Brilliant philosophy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Colds stink!! or do they??...

well, i think maia has a cold. i thought it was allergies, but i don't think so anymore. today was the first time she was actually cranky since i've known her!! but the sad thing is, when i realized that she was cranky, i was overly sugary sweet (more than my usual sweet self!! ha ha) why did it take an illness to be SO nice?? anyway, despite her crankiness, she became the happiest little thing. i'm guessing the meds helped a little too.... but it does go to show that a little extra attention and a softer voice goes a long way too.

she was snuggly and is SO in to reading now that we had some lovely moments before bedtime. i was going to put her to bed early, but she fussed (VERY unlike her!!) when i made the move to put her to bed. so i caved in, and dragged out the goodnights tonight, for about 30-45 minutes!! we said our prayers, i sang (yes, I sang!) and then we read a couple of books. she had no problem going to bed after that and that was the BEST yet snuggling - awesome. she was more than ready for bed by the time i decided to put her there, but at that point i could have sat with her for a lot longer and snuggled!

i'm glad she's so interested in reading now. she liked flipping through books before, and turning pages, but now she actually SEES the pictures and points and says... something... LOL.

In fact, one of the books we're reading is from Kazakhstan and it is in Russian, so we just look at those pictures and make up our own story. It's her favorite book right now, and we have no idea what it's saying! oh well. it's still fun! :)

school continues to go well, so far! week two begins. let's hope it continues as well as it's started.

that's all for tonight, i have a kitchen to clean and then i need to watch some football, and then i need to get some sleep before that stinkin' 4:50 a.m. alarm!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

School has begun

well, like it or not, the school year has started. so far, so good. no real stress yet. :) matthew has certainly enjoyed himself so far which is good. just a little homework thus far... i'm assuming more is to come... yuck.

football started tonight! yeah. gotta love football. gotta love it even more when the redskins look miserable! :) double yeah!!

maia is doing more and more. wow, she seems to be getting 'old' already! i guess knowing her 7 months would bring about a few changes... :) we have a single step in our living room, and she can now go down it easily, in the past 24 hours. before then, she was sitting to go down. then she learned to go to the edge and use the (middle) of the railing to help her get up. then recently, she'd sort of get a running start and kind of run off of the step and her momentum would take her feet away from it before she regained control. well, last night, she took a step, and that was that. just decided to try it and she did. she always goes down with her right leg first so far, but i'm guessing she'll branch out eventually and use her left leg too.

she LOVES raisins. two boxes for a snack are nothing for her. she would eat many more if i let her.

she LOVES cheese. any cheese!! she would eat it all day long if i let her. i don't. depending on other protein she's eaten, i don't serve her any. but since she eats so little other protein (atleast meat...) i often will give cheese if nothing else is cutting it. i do give her other proteins though too to make up for the lack of meat... eggs, cheese, yogurt, cheese, milk, cheese, fish, cheese, shrimp, cheese, lobster, cheese, cheese, milk, cheese, milk, cheese. :) did i tell you, she is just like matthew used to be! she'll gobble down fish, and shrimp and lobster, but turn her nose up at regular kid food. i hate to tell her, but i can't afford lobster every week. (my parents bought the special treat when we visited their house for matthew's birthday!) it was awesome! anyway, there are definitely things she likes, and definitely things she does NOT.

i'm tired after three mornings of the alarm going off at 4:50... i don't have to get up that early, but that gives me quiet time in the morning to myself that i don't get any other time. all summer, that went by the wayside, but i missed the quiet in the house and time to be alone, so with the start of the new year, i started it again. truthfully, i couldn't get up this morning because i stayed up too late watching the RNC, but otherwise, we haven't watched TV the other evenings so that we could wind down more easily. it really helps to be quiet and get more tired, faster, if you turn off the tv, and get off the computer!! of course, tonight i'm online at the moment and watching football, but i can tell i won't last too much longer!!

my parents will be coming up here on saturday. since football season has begun, they will be attending all the ravens home games... with matthew. therefore, at least 8 weekends this fall they will be visiting. on monday, however they are headed to my sisters house to watch her 4 children while they (my sister and her hubby) go out of the country for a week... Good timing, regan!! There are two hurricanes on the way and you are leaving mom and dad with your four kids on you live on the coast of SC! i can just imagine my parents having to evacuate with 4 kids.... it makes me laugh, actually, but not really.

in reality. they have a plan all figured out, so all should be ok. let's just hope, for everyones sake that these hurricanes turn out to sea or fizzle out with no need for evacuation! pray for safe weather and travels for everyone!!

ok, i need to go eat something for dinner. last night i realized i hadn't eaten at about 11 pm, so i had to grab a quick snack to get me through the night. crazy! i don't forget to eat breakfast, i don't forget to eat lunch, but i do often forget to eat dinner. ???? i don't know how or why!!!