1st Snow of the Season & Ice Cream

I’ve lived in this New Mexico mountain village for almost two years now.  That equals almost 2 winters, and so far they have been very mild and not worse than anything I would have experienced back home.  However, the weather folk are predicting this winter to have below average temperatures and above average moisture thanks to El Nino.

This morning we awoke to our first snowfall.  There is something magical about waking to snow, even when you are no longer a child, but especially when you are.

Normally, the first thing EK wants to do after awakening is put on a princess dress.  That is if she didn’t sleep in one the night before.  But this morning, after seeing the snow, she started pulling off her pajamas and said, “I need to wear a hat and mittens and a scarf.”

Her daddy, who loves the snow too, dressed her and off they went.

I braved the weather in my housecoat for all of twenty seconds to get a few pictures.

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Of course, catching snowflakes on your tongue is required.  DSC_2179

Then we got a big bowl full of snow for making snow ice-cream by adding a can of sweetened condensed milk and a splash of vanilla.

The snowflakes are big, the fire is crackling,  and life is good.

October Photo Dump

Anne of Green Gables said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Me too, Anne.

The colors here are breathtaking.  The air is crisp and cool.  The smell of fireplaces fill the air.

October is my favorite time of year.

I don’t have too much to say, I just wanted to share some pictures.

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We like to walk down by the river and crunch leaves.

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Our cat, who thinks she’s a dog,  walks beside us.

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We throw rocks in the creek.

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EK has a cheesy smile these days.

But it’s cute.

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It’s the month of costumes.  We were asked to dress up as a super hero to help out our library for an event.  Ek was batgirl and her little friend was Wonder Woman.

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For Halloween, she was Snow White.  She had so much fun getting candy.

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In three months, she’ll be three years old.

Her hair is nearly to her waist.

Lately I find myself remembering.

Today I looked at pictures and couldn’t help wondering where the time has gone.

I know these days too are fleeting.

Like the changing of the leaves.

All About EK

I’ve got two reasons for this post.

1) my kid is darling

2) I occasionally run into ‘online’ friends  face to face who say they miss seeing my kid on Facebook.

Okay three reasons

3) I need to document the cute, funny, wise, serious things she says and does, and the baby book isn’t cutting it.

 

So for starters, here’s a pic or two.

She wants to be Snow White for Halloween.  Her costume came in and of course I let her try it on.

The problem is, I’m not sure if I snapped a picture of Snow White or Elvis.

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I love this picture of her.  Even though her eyes are closed.  Even though she’s itching her cheek and her dress is dirty.  Even though my thumb is in the picture and I didn’t have enough sense to crop it before I posted it.  I still love this picture.   This is beside our house in a “field” of wildflowers.  But we call it the Bear Forest.

 

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She has so many funny things that she says.  People tell me I won’t remember and heck, I know that’s true.

This week, I took a piece of paper and pen and decided to write down some of the stuff  she says.   Some of these, I’ll have to set the scene, and it may be they turn out to be a “you had to be there” moment.  But I was, so trust me, it was cute when it happened.  Or I wouldn’t have written it down.

 

Scene 1:

She loves to play with my phone and I’m one of those moms that let her.  She calls people, texts people, and I’m sure annoys the crap out of people.  She will blow up your phone with emojis.  String after string of them.

After sending a text, she said, “I sent daddy a text.  He got it in his pocket.”

 

Scene 2:

She’s a thinker.  Always trying to put things in their proper category.

“Why did an old lady live in a shoe?  She’s supposed to live in a house!”

 

Scene 3:

We had some friends come and visit for a couple of days and they happened to have some movies with them.  One of them was Beauty and the Beast.  EK had never seen it, but she knows all about the princesses, I can assure you.  We watched that movie and of course when they left, they took it with them.  The other day (months later) she was sitting on the potty….

Her:  I wish I had the Belle movie.
Me:  Maybe you can get it for Christmas.  Maybe you could ask Santa Claus for it?
Her:  Maybe Santa will go grab that movie from Suzanne.

 

Scene 4:

Don’t forget we have a teenager in the house, and with that comes that horrid teenage music.  Actually, there’s one song I kind of like.  It’s catchy, even though not really appropriate.   EK has heard it enough to be caught singing……

“I’m on the bass, on the bass. No trouble” (google it if you don’t know)

 

Scene 5:

Speaking of singing,

“What are little girls made of?
Spice and onions and sugar”

 

I’d say that’s right.

 

 

 

Pack up all my care and woe

Right now I am drowning in this parenthood thing.  Drowning, I tell ya.  The most frequent thought that runs through my head is packing a little knapsack and running away. Far, far, away.  Seriously, I’m considering getting a job just to get a break.  Is that crazy?  Really I should have a handle on this by now, but I don’t.

EK is 2.5 and I think this is the hardest season we’ve gone through so far. For starters, only mom can do anything.  Only mom can dress her, wipe her, hold her, pour her milk, put on her shoes, fix her noodles, etc. etc. etc. And second, she is wanting to be independent, bossy, and rule the roost.  Then on top of the “push the limits” behavior, the binky fairy visited and took her binkies to all the babies of the world.  Biggest Mistake Ever.  This has totally rocked her world. And mine. And I’d just like to say right here for the record, the INTERNET IS A BIG, FAT LIAR!

I always go to the Internet because I don’t have an old, wrinkled, medicine woman from an indigenous culture living with me, but oh how I wish I did.  First off, I timed the fairy’s visit with the farmer’s almanac for weaning animals and children.  Stupid farmers.

Second, I was told by the so called “experts” it would be a couple of rough nights, maybe up to a week.  Well, let me tell you folks, we are on day 11 and rough doesn’t scratch the surface. She still asks for it 2-3 times a day and all night.  She’s not napping, she’s not sleeping, which translates into I’m not napping.  I’m not sleeping.  Which translates into one huge, grouchy mother.

Do you want to know what we’re doing?  We’re crying.  We’re fighting.  And I’m drowning.  I almost caved last night.  I almost, after 11 nights, gave it back to her. It was pushing midnight and she hadn’t napped in days and everything was and is a crisis.  But instead of caving, I got the Tylenol.  A swig for her.  A swig for me. Actually, a couple swigs for me and a carefully measured, accurate dose for her because she truly is a little sick which is like the cherry on top of everything else.  We made it until 4:30 a.m. before the next crisis.

Right now the reason I’m able to even blog, is because my husband dragged her out of the house to go build a princess castle in the woods, whatever that may mean.  I’m just thankful.

It means I’m alone.  It means the house is quiet.  It means I can refuel my soul from every ounce that has been drained from it, to prepare for the next siphoning session to begin.

I truly don’t know how parents do this?  How do you people do this?  So say a prayer for us, would you?  I know this isn’t the biggest issue in the world, but it’s the biggest issue in my world, and I’m selfish.  And tired.

Building a Duck Pond

The past two days, EK has woken at six bells.  Because the sky is not dark, she thinks it’s time to get out of bed.  I wholeheartedly disagree with this concept.  Yesterday morning, I handed her my phone with Peppa Pig primed and ready to view, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  Some days, you just gotta do what you just gotta do.  I don’t feel a bit guilty about that.  Well, maybe just a tad.

Half of everything she knows, I owe to some animated being, whether it be Elmo, Barney, Cinderella, Ariel, or good ol’ Peppa. Some I’m thankful for, and some not so much, but it is what it is.  In one particular Peppa episode, they visit a duck pond.  So EK got it in her head that we should to.  This posed a couple of problems.

1) I don’t know where a duck pond is in this area.

2)  That would require leaving the house

So we did the next best thing and made our own in three easy steps that didn’t require us having to brush our hair.

STEP ONE

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STEP TWO

 

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STEP THREE:  Put on your “babing suit” and swim with the ducks.

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 A duck pond and a big smile.  And it didn’t even cost a loaf of bread. 

Summertime Splash

Do you think my kid could use a bigger pool?  Or even one of those plastic ones with a built in slide instead of our redneck contraption here?

There’s not even any room to splash in this thing.

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She doesn’t mind, trust me.  We’re talking about a kid who won’t even lay down in the bathtub.  This super chill girl is more than content to sit and soak her feet.  But really, once we put the slide and the ring and the kid in the pool, there’s not much room for anything else.

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Oh my goodness, this teeny weeny pool just drives it home to me.  How in the world did she already outgrow this?  This was last year’s swimming pool, the smallest they made.  Because after all, she was pretty small.  A one year old, practically a wittle baby.

But not anymore, now she’s a whole year older and apparently a whole lot bigger. This summer I pulled out the little plastic guy and discovered many little puppydog teeth marks that were keeping it from holding water.  Never underestimate the power of duct tape.  After a few little patches here and there, it’s just like a brand new one.   Since the weather was relatively warm, we (meaning EK) dove right in.

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Summertime and the living is easy.  We don’t get very many days here that are hot enough to endure that icy cold water straight from the hose kind of swimming, so we got to take advantage of it while we can.

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Just today I saw a post on pinterest that said something along the lines of “Don’t save things for special occasions.  Today is a special occasion.”  How true.

Just watching my little girl sing in the pool with not a care in the world for either of us makes today a special occasion.

Maybe tonight we’ll eat our ramen noodles off the fine china.

Adventures in Parenting a.k.a Grody Things

It’s the day after Mother’s Day.   The chocolates have been eaten, the flowers are wilting, and all the mothers around the world are back to cooking suppers and cleaning up messes, don’t forget the never-ending messes.  Yes, throw me into that lot as well as it has been a doozy of a day with the mess o’ meter going full throttle here.  It’s needle is all the way to the right, the red light is blinking rapidly and horns are blaring.  This is the house of a toddler.

Through the messes and the accidents that have occurred just today, I have come to the very profound conclusion tonight, that my sweet girl will not make it in the medical profession.  I’m writing it down in case I forget to tell her when she’s taking anatomy and filling out admission papers to some high falutin’ medical school 9,000 miles away.  Not that I care whether she is a doctor or a nurse or a street-walker, I’d love her all the same.

I don’t know, I could be wrong, I’ve been known to be.  So let me lay it out for you and you can understand where I’m coming from.    For starters, this morning she had a bit of a mucous problem, putting it nicely.  At one point, she smeared her shirt sleeve along her nose, as all kids do, and well, “stuff” ended up on her sleeve.  I was rushing for the kleenex and she sat in the chair, looking at it, rubbing it on the chair, and gagging.

What?  2 year-olds gag at grody things?  Two year olds ARE grody things, how can they differentiate?

Later in the day I got a splinter.  We’d been outside playing and who knows what I did, but I somehow got one of those tiny, annoying, yet painful splinters in my thumb.  We came inside and she followed me to the bathroom.  The instant I pulled out the tweezers and went to work, she began to cry and protest and tell me she doesn’t like that.  Then she ran off crying.

Then somehow later in the day, I scratched my arm pretty good.  By what or how, I do not know.  I’m as bad as a kid myself.  It’s the kind of scratch like the end of a pipe cleaner would leave.  A wire scratch.  Once again EK started crying and protesting how she doesn’t like my scratch and exited the room.

Then tonight, when it’s supposed to be winding down time, and a mom should be able to put up her feet and drink a glass of wine, a really big mess happened.  To save my daughter’s dignity in case she reads this when she’s twelve, I won’t go into details.  Let me just say in order to get the point across, it involves the bathroom, bleach, a mop, and a mother’s love to clean it up. It was a case of bad timing on Ek’s part that left her in tears and the bathroom with a lot of sights and smells.

I’d just returned from taking out the trash and returned to a wailing toddler in the bathroom.  I go into mother-drive and begin the cleaning process which involves cleaning the toddler as well.  The whole time I’m cleaning, she is sitting on the potty and gagging.  I thought she was going to vomit, her gagging got so bad.  I had to hand her a trashcan so I wouldn’t have that to deal with as well, but fortunately she got it under control after about a minute. And I got every thing else under control about 30 minutes later.

This is definitely not a learned behavior.  No one gags here.  No one cries and runs off at the sight of a boo-boo.  Unless there’s a lot of blood, and in that case, I have a tendency to almost pass out, but that was a long time ago and a whole different blog post.

So she cries and runs off at the sight of a scratch and tweezers, and gags violently at the sight and smell of bodily functions, I seriously think performing open heart surgery or a colonoscopy is out of the question for her.  At age two anyway.  Perhaps she’ll outgrow it and go on to deal with lots of grody things in stride.  But for now, it’s a little bit comical watching her react this way.  Well it would be  comical if it wasn’t so grody and I wasn’t the one  having to clean it up.  But after it’s all over, it’s a little bit comical.

Tonight when everyone winds down, I’m  going to  put my feet up and thank my lucky stars that tomorrow is a new day and that I don’t have carpet in the bathroom.

 

 

 

Two, but not terribly terrible

I went to the bathroom and I mean to tell you, I was not in there longer than a minute. Probably 40 seconds tops. I don’t piddle in the bathroom. Well I do piddle, but I don’t piddle, if you know what I’m trying to say. All those years of teaching school taught me how to pee fast. When you leave 20 some-odd young children alone in a classroom, you better only do it for less than a minute. That real life skill has proven to be very handy when you also must leave a 2 year old alone in another room of the house, which doesn’t happen very often. Usually she follows me right along. But today, she had more important things to do, like picking out her fingernail polish.

Earlier we had a fight, a big one. You see, every day this little girl wants to wear a “beautiful duress” as she says. I let her choose one this morning that she wore until afternoon. Then, after eating lunch with Ashlynn, the dress was wet and dirty. She wanted it off and wanted another beautiful “duress”. Well, this time I chose, and she didn’t want to wear it. It turned into a fight. A literal, physical struggle of me trying to push the thing over her head and pull her arms through the arm holes, while she cried and fought and kept getting it back off her head.

Yes, part way through this battle, I thought of giving up. It was a dress, for crying out loud. A truly inconsequential item. Why was I fighting a 2 year over what she was going to wear, especially when we weren’t even leaving the house? The thought crossed my mind, but was overruled by another thought. The little girl is headstrong. Of late, she is super duper, bigtime headstrong, and if I gave up, it would send a message to her. The message that she won. The message that she is the boss of me. That the simple act of throwing a wall-eyed, screaming Mimi fit is all it takes to get her way. Because of that, I dug in, and because I’m bigger and stronger, I won.

She left the room crying loudly. She wanted nothing to do with me after that. She paced back and forth crying. Pulling the skirt of the dress out to look at it, she kept repeating, “it isn’t beautiful. It isn’t beautiful”. I felt terrible. She wouldn’t let me console her. So I did what all first time, questioning mothers do, I left her crying in the hallway and I went to google.

I read: The strong-willed child is self-motivated and inner directed. They aren’t easily swayed from their viewpoints (or choice of “beautiful duress” in this case) And they want to be in charge of themselves (and in EK’s case, everyone else as well). I was advised to give her authority over her own body. Exactly what I didn’t do. This article went on to make me feel terrible as a mom by saying these children feel their integrity has been compromised if they are forced to submit to another’s will.

My thoughts went something like this, like the angel/devil on the shoulder thing:

Mom 1: BUT SHE’s TWO! She can’t run the show all the time!

Mom 2: But it was just a dress. Completely unimportant.

Mom 1: But it is a matter of principal.

Mom 2: But it wasn’t a matter of morals.

The strong willed child wants respect. They like to have choices. They want to pick out their own stinking dress.

The article went on to give me suggestions on how to handle her, of which did not say to pin her down and force her to wear something that in her eye is not a “beautiful duress”.

So, yeah, I botched this one.

Big time.

Later…..I amended it, I hope.

We made up, I think.

At nap time, she slept in my arms, as sweet and as precious as the day she was born. While I watched her little mouth do that suckling thing, I thought about what kind of kid she is. I wondered if this new EK was a stage she is going through or if this is her personality, just now appearing.

I truly did not ever imagine she would be so independent. So head strong. So…..dare I say it……bossy. Just a few months ago, she was a timid, cautious child who sat back and observed before jumping in. She was easy to deal with, curious of all things introduced to her, sweet and kind. And now, she’s hitting the dog with a stick, and bossing anyone and everyone who will allow her to. She is raising her voice and demanding people do her bidding. She wants it to be her idea first. She argues like something I’ve never seen. And if you change your standpoint and agree with her, she’ll argue the other side that she was just arguing against! She tells me she’s busy and “just a second” when I tell her to do something (Things she’s heard from me, I know) When do you punish your kid for sounding like you?

I realize that she is only two and that she has great qualities and traits and potential for leadership, but in a little toddler who still sucks a pacifier, sometimes her ways come across as a little bratty. That is the last thing I want. A bratty kid.

Wow, this parenting is no easy gig.

She is two. But she is not a terrible two. Before you start thinking I’m all down on my kid, I AM NOT. She is my love, my precious gift, and she is amazing in so many ways. She does not wreak havoc, make disastrous messes, or terrorize or even throw tantrums. Yet. I’m going to say yet. Because I am not sure what is ahead. It’s all just a little confusing because it’s just a side of her that I haven’t seen and didn’t think would be a part of her personality, and I really, really hope it is only a stage.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. I held her while she napped, and then suddenly her eyes popped open. She began crawling out of my lap, informing me she was going to paint her fingernails. Informing me. Not asking. But telling me she was going to paint her fingernails. I chose not to fight this battle with a no, and instead told her I WOULD PAINT HER FINGERNAILS FOR HER. But first I had to go to potty. She was left to choose her polish and that’s when I went to the bathroom.

40 seconds, people. I was gone no more than 40 seconds. Heck, it could have been 25. It’s not like I timed it.

When I walked out of the bathroom, she was already in charge. Full leadership mode. She had chosen the color she wanted from Ashlynn’s bag full of polishes, unscrewed the lid, and was taking care of business.

I can’t complain.

She was doing a great job.

So I let her finish her left hand, and then I painted her right.

 

 

 

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Easter Sunday—-2K14

Happy Easter to all!

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This day finds me a bit happy, a tad sad, with a little hope thrown in.  I’ve neglected my blog as of late simply because my life is boring, quite frankly.   I do all the things that everyone else does.  I have a wonderful bundle of two year old joy that keeps me entertained.  I try to exercise.  I try to read.  I attempt to write.   I avoid cooking and cleaning as much as possible.  I have a stack of laundry that begs for my attention.  It’s really the same, ol’, same ol’ day after day.  I feel that I don’t have anything profound to say anymore.

I just feel quiet.

But today is Easter and so in an attempt to preserve some family memories, I’ll blog.

I’m happy today because I’m so truly blessed with every good thing that really matters in this world:  family, friends, faith, and health.

I’m a tad sad because we haven’t been to church for the past two Easters.  We have yet to find a good church home and that makes me sad.  Recently, when we went back to our hometown we visited our church and it was so wonderful, so refreshing.  I wish my dear old Briarwood would pack up and move here, then I would have the perfect world.  Sure, I understand that I don’t need a church to worship, I can worship right in my own front yard,  but I miss the fellowship and the sharing with a body of believers.

But of course, I keep my hope and I believe good things are always heading my way.  A wonderful church, included.

For Easter Sunday, we did the “thing”.  We colored eggs and had an egg hunt.

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We attempted to take a family picture with a self timer on our camera.  I regret to inform you that we did not get a good one.  Big surprise!

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The house is now scattered with candy wrappings and EK is green up to her elbows.

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She fell asleep after her sugar crash reading Beauty and the Beast and I am soon to join her for a little siesta.  All in all, I’d say we had some great Easter success.

 

Most importantly….

He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today.

You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.

I sang that to EK today, and she got a kick out of it, especially when I tried to hit the high notes.

I hope you too had a blessed Easter, spent with your loved ones celebrating the true meaning of the day.

God Bless you and yours.

 

 

 

The Joy of Childhood

She just turned 26 months old.  I know I’m not supposed to do that anymore, you know, count her months.  But I’m just going to make my own rules up as I go.  Time is too precious to just cast it aside and not see every moment for the treasure that it is.

Guess what we did today?

We built a snowman.  Not a real snowman of course.   It’s actually a blustery, warm spring day, not a flake in sight,  but it was her first day to watch the movie Frozen.  Afterwards, she asked if I wanted to build a snowman with her.  “Come on,” she said patting her thigh as if calling a dog,  so of course I did.

She is such a joy.  So smart.  She pretends and plays make-believe all day long.  One minute she’s Cinderella, forcibly kicking off her plastic dress up shoe and saying she better get in her carriage while running to sit in her pink Barbie Jeep, and the next minute she is pouring tea for me and adding spoonfuls of sugar.  She goes on Bear Hunts and squelch-squearches through the mud and peels pinecones apart declaring they are surprise eggs and wonders what’s inside.

We built our snowman today with a carrot nose made from a blue piece of wire found in the yard and two eyes and arms she stuck in the ground.

Her shoes were on the wrong feet, chocolate smudged her lips.

Her dog-ears had long since lost their snugness and flopped haphazardly.

She searched for crickets and got scared by something and ran to my side.

I lay in the grass just watching her and feeling filled to the measure with happiness and joy that she is mine.

Our days are filled with magical make-believe, chocolate kisses and snowmen fashioned from dirt.

It’s been a very long time since my own childhood, but I can vividly remember the games I played with my own imagination.  How magical my world of pretend was.

Watching EK grow and play in this same make-believe way takes me to a place I used to know.  It reawakens a child I used to be.  I remember care-free days where nothing really mattered.

And now all that truly matters is that this little dog-eared 2-year-old (ahem……26 month old) who brings me such joy.

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