Wednesday, June 29, 2011

She-Nanny-gans


she·nan·i·gans/SHəˈnanəgənz/Noun

1. Secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering.
2. Silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief.

I think this would classify in the 2nd category:


Monday, June 27, 2011

and so it begins...

We have hit that age where I can no longer excuse my child's misbehavior and disobedience by saying, "She doesn't know any better," or "She doesn't understand what I'm asking of her."  Believe me.  The girl knows AND understands more than we think and probably has for some time.
Caught dirty-handed: Is that a guilty face or what?
At this point, we are primarily using the timeout as our discipline method of choice.

Here's our 10-step outline for discipline:
1. Lila commits a worthy offense (usually safety/boundary related things - standing on furniture, playing with outlets, running too far down the driveway, etc)
2. I decide if there is a natural consequence for her action (for instance, if she's not obeying me when we're outside, we have to come inside - this is cruel and unusual in her book)
3. If there's no logical natural consequence, then I pick her up and walk her to her room, explaining on the way that she did not obey and she needs to sit in her bed. (I know that a lot of people say the bed isn't a good timeout spot, but she seems to distinguish between sleep time and timeout so far - I take out all comfort objects, leave the light on and the door open so it doesn't feel like bed.)
4. I leave her in her bed for 30 seconds to a minute - occasionally 2-3 minutes but not often.  A minute usually does the trick.  I can tell because she's protesting (read, crying/yelling/whining/wailing).
5. After a minute or so, I walk in and ask if she's ready to talk.
6. If she says yes, I get her out of her crib and we sit on her rocking chair with her facing me.  I taught her that she has to look at me when I am explaining why she had a timeout and now I can feel her fixing her gaze on me as soon as I start lifting her out of her crib.  She looks right in my eyes and it's so earnest and sincere and contrite that it just about melts my heart.  If she doesn't say she's ready to talk (ignores me or says, "No!") she spends another minute (or as long as it takes) in her crib until she's ready to talk.
7.  I say, "Lila, I put you in your crib because you did not obey Mommy when I asked you to sit on your bottom on the couch.  It's not safe to stand on the couch.  You could fall off and get hurt.  When Mommy tells you to do something, you need to obey.  Okay?" (or something like that, of course depending on the offense)
8.  Usually she says, "Yeah." If not, I prompt her to say, "yes" to show she understands why I put her in timeout. (For all I know, she has no idea what I'm babbling on about, but someday she will, so we're teaching the habit of communicating understanding.)
9. I ask her to say sorry to whomever she hurt or disobeyed (she had to say sorry to the doggie the other day because she rammed her little cart into Franny and sent the poor pup scampering under the table).
10.  We give hugs and kisses and I tell her I love her because I want her to know that nothing she does will make me stop loving her.

We've definitely had our wins and our losses in this whole discipline adventure.  You know, sometimes I just can't keep a straight face when that little sinful nature bubbles up in petite defiance.  Like the time we were having our post timeout talk (she had been in timeout for taking off her diaper - something only mommy and daddy are allowed to do) and she looked me in the eye, grabbed the flaps of her diaper and ripped the snaps apart.  I was so taken off guard that I couldn't help but laugh!  Whoops.  Not the right message to communicate!

And then there are the times that I realize that the reason I put her in timeout was not really fair.  Like sometimes after a long day with Baby Ruby when I know she's just tired of sharing her mommy and the disobedience is mostly due to needing/wanting my attention.  Or when I push her nap time to run one more errand and she throws a fit in the store.  Or if we're out of her comfort zone and she's feeling anxious or bored.  Those are the moments I try to ask myself if her "tank" is empty, but sometimes I don't realize it until I've already punished her for being 18 months old and unable to cope with being tired and hungry AND not getting her way. (Golly, I can barely cope when I'm tired and hungry and not getting my way!)
Story time with Baby Ruby.  Soon after this seemingly angelic scene, Lila earned a timeout for refusing to give me the fork she had found and was wielding like a dagger a little too close to Ruby.
But in general, the timeout is working so far.  Thank God for an extroverted kid who considers it torture to be separated from people!  I really did not want to have to spank her (although I will if it's necessary - I'm not against the appropriate spanking).  And by working, I don't mean she doesn't ever commit the same offense again, I just mean she seems to be grasping that there are consequences to her actions.  And I think she's even beginning to understand the abstract concept of obedience.

The other day we were having our post timeout talk and as I was explaining to her why she got a timeout, she kept interrupting me saying "bay? bay? bay? bay?"  (I should explain that sometimes she'll try to distract me from her offense by pointing to things or suggesting activities.  But the deal is she has to look in my face and listen to what I'm saying, so usually when she tries to interrupt me I ignore her or refocus her to our discussion.)  This time, however, she was insistent, persistent, and determined to get her point across to me.  She got louder, "Bay! Bay! Bay!"  And finally I realized that she was saying, "Obey!"  As in, "I know what this is about!  This is about obeying!"  Yes!  And in that moment, I forgot all about what I was trying to explain to her and I just said, with a little bit of pride in my voice, "Yes, Lila.  You need to obey.  Okay?"

"Yeah.  'Bey!"

Isn't she just the best?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lila's Daddy Day Top Ten List

Top 10 Things I Love about Daddy:

10: He reads me Bear Snores On every night and does voices for all the animals (the Hare is Australian).  My favorite part is when the bear sneezes.
9: He takes me on Daddy-Daughter dates every Saturday morning so Mommy can sleep in.  I like to rearrange things at Starbucks and meet new friends.

8: He teaches me to like cool music.  So far my favorites are Cake's Mahna-Mahna, Brooke Fraser's Something in the Water and the Beatles' Hey Jude.

7: He cooks Mommy and me pancakes and waffles on the weekend.  Yesterday I ate an entire pancake and some sausage! Yum!

6: He lets me climb all over him like a jungle gym.  Sometimes I accidentally bruise his nose when I get a little too wild.

5: He showed me how awesome the Muppet Show is.  I love to sing along with Bohemian Rhapsody.

4: He loves my Mommy so much, I can tell.  I like it when he kisses her and I tell him to do it again.

3: He texts my Mommy while he's at work and asks her to send him pictures of me because he misses me.
Mommy asked me to say "Hi Daddy!" in this picture.
2: He can make me belly laugh like no one else.  Even when I'm really grumpy.  It's a gift.

1: He loves me soooo much! And I love him!  Oy-yo, Daddy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When it rains it pours!

That's right!  After 135 posts NOT about poop (well, at least human poop), I now bring you the second post in a row about poop.  Rest assured, this one lacks the disgusting pictures, so you're fine if you're reading this around mealtime.

This poop story is a newsflash of sorts.  Breaking news!  This just in!

Lila pooped on the potty!! 

Hooray!  Three cheers for Lila!  Hip-hip-HOORAY!  Hip-hip-HOORAY!  Hip-hip-HOORAY!  And, one little sniffle for Lila's Mommy because how old is my Baby Girl that she's pooping on the potty!?  *Sniffle* 

She's been curious about the potty recently so today I got out the potty seat that someone gave us and asked if she wanted sit on it.  Which she did.  With great excitement, but no "product."  Then, a few hours later, she pointed to the potty and said, "A-gah?"  (For those of you who don't speak Toddler-ese, that's "again?")  So I plopped her up there again, and again no potty.  Not that I was surprised.  She's only 18 months and I wasn't expecting her to be ready yet.  

Then tonight she was you know, breaking wind...cutting the cheese...stepping on a duck...you know...(tooting) so I asked her if she wanted to go sit on the potty.  "Yesh."  So we tried again, but this time when I said, "Do you have to poop?"  She grunted in response.  I enthusiastically encouraged her and soon I heard a distinctive *plop* (too much information?) and I just about did a jig in excitement.  (These are the things that get you worked up when you're a parent.)  Yay!  Lila pooped in the potty!  Lila pooped in the potty!  And of course I had Eric take pictures to document the event.
Action shot.
No, no, Lila you can't get down yet!  Mommy's  documenting!
 I'm sure she's not really ready to potty train.  I think this was just a happy accident.  Hey a poop in the potty is one poop I won't have to rinse or dump from a diaper (and risk misplacing)!  I'm sure when we're really ready to potty train we'll have lots of not-so-happy accidents to tell you about.  I fear this blog is about to get a lot poopier.  I'll try to control myself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case of the Missing Twosie

Okay, I know I already posted today, but I couldn't let this opportunity slip by.  You know what's been missing on this blog?  A post about poop.  Well, I found my inspiration.

To give you fair warning, this post may be a little graphic for you squeamish ones out there.  (Mom, you're gonna love it.  And don't worry, I'll email you the pictures so you can put them in your book.)  So if you're newly pregnant (and therefore enjoying the nausea of the first trimester) or just a wimp about bodily functions, just wander on to your next internet destination.  Don't say you haven't been warned.  In fact, I'll even put in a bonus picture right here so that it's the image that comes up on your reader or dashboard or whatever:
Puppy bonus!
Okay, on to the Excrement Escapades!

So earlier today I changed Lila's diaper and forgot to empty its...er...contents into the toilet (cuz that's whatcha gotta do with cloth diapers - one of the perks).  As I was getting LJ ready for bed, I noticed the diaper was still sitting on the dresser so I picked it up and walked to the bathroom.  However, when I opened up the diaper to dump the poop into the toilet it was mysteriously empty.
uh-oh. MIA poopie!
 I asked Eric if he had taken care of it for me.  When he said no, I began to worry.  Somewhere there was a large turd loose in our house just waiting for a curious toddler to come across it and...well let's not allow our imaginations to go there!

I made several sweeps of my path from Lila's room to the bathroom and couldn't find it.  I started wondering if perhaps I had emptied the diaper and forgotten about it, but I knew I wouldn't have put it back on the dresser if that had been the case.  I looked again, I asked Eric again (same answer).  Then I just happened glance down and see this:
I know what you're thinking - why is it shaped so weird? and why is it orange?  The shape is what happens when a cute little bottom sits on it for a bit before Mommy finds smells the evidence.  The orange is because the kid loves sweet potatoes and what goes in must come out.
Gross.  I really have no idea how that even happened.  I'm always very cautious when transporting the loaded diapers to avoid just such a situation.  It's an orange-tinted mystery.

So upon discovery, the first thing I did was get a wipe and dump that thing, right?  Wrong.  Proving once again that I am my mother's daughter, the first thing I did was take a picture.  The second thing I did was dump it.  Wrong again.  Second thing was call Eric in to see my discovery.  Third thing was dump it.  I know you were beginning to worry it was still there, right?  Actually, third thing I did was have Eric take this picture:
Never mind my greasy work-out hair.  I had just gotten done Shredding it with Jillian. :)
I know you guys were just dying for another shot of my daughter's poop.  I'm here to meet your every expectation and hope.  So I guess fourth thing I did was flush that renegade number 2.  What is wrong with me?

As I was loading the pictures to my computer, I forced Eric to look at them again (he was not nearly as fascinated by the whole adventure as I was, apparently).

Me: Look at this!

Eric: Poop in a drawer, Honey.  Poop in a drawer.

Me: Yup.  And I'm gonna blog about it.

the writing on the wall

Well, it's happened.  That quintessential childhood offense.  Lila drew on the wall with crayon.  She was a little baffled by my strong negative reaction to her masterpiece.  I had never specifically told her to not draw on the walls.  I think she thought I would be impressed with her resourcefulness.  I was not.



Luckily I keep a box of Magic Erasers under the sink and it worked like a charm.  Ever since, she has taken to "washing" the walls with whatever she can find - a paper towel, a dish towel, her Snuggle.  Mostly she just rubs the walls with her cleaning item of choice and mutters "Oh, yi-ya" to herself.  I'm thinking about getting her a little broom and dustpan and putting her to work.  My own little Cinderella.  Except my version makes more messes than she cleans up.

I think that's about all I've got for now.  But just cuz I like you guys, here's a bonus for ya:
This was a result of another Nanny adventure



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lila's Nanny

I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures with an actual camera (thus all the not-so-great iphone shots you all get the pleasure of seeing on this blog) and even worse at taking the time to upload those pictures to my computer.  I recently emptied two different camera cards onto our computer because I was starting to have to delete pictures so I could take new ones.  I found these:







It might go without saying, but I didn't take these pictures.  My mother did.  She was her own actor, producer, and director of photography for what I have dubbed "The Nanny Show: with special guest star Lila!"  Based on Lila's outfit and the sweatiness that seems to be stylin' my child's hair, I assume these were taken sometime last summer when my mom was watching Lila.  I love them.  They perfectly capture who my mom is as well as Lila's faces that I think will continue to be the natural reactions to her Nanny's shenanigans.  One of my favorite things about my mom is that she doesn't take herself too seriously.  As someone who DOES take herself too seriously, my mom's willingness to ham it up - no matter the size of the audience - is something I aspire to embrace as a mom.

As a tribute to my mom (and perhaps to make up for posting these pictures which she may or may not be happy about), I would like to share with you a list of random memories of my mom from my childhood:

1. 6th grade, my mom was driving my friends and me to volleyball practice.  I was mortified (and alright, a bit amused) when she pulled her billy-bob teeth out of her purse (yes, they were always on hand in case of emergency) and popped them in her mouth.  She then proceeded to put on a show for my friends and the people in the cars next to us.  I remember hunkering down in my seat in embarrassment, all the while secretly enjoying the fact that my friends had collapsed in fits of giggles as 12-year-olds are prone to do.

2.  Sometime in upper elementary school, my mom brought my sister and me and a few of our friends to the swimming pool.  We begged her to buy us a treat at the pool snack shop.  She kept refusing until finally she said she would buy us each a treat if we jumped off the diving board and yelled "I'm a dork!" as loud as we could.  She even offered to go first.  We all stood along the edge of the pool and giggled with our hands over our mouths, watching as she jumped off, splayed her feet out and yelled "I'm a dork!"  I can't remember if any of us did it, but I do remember my friend saying, "Your mom is so cool!"

3.  When we were little (5 or 6 maybe?) we would beg my mom to do SuperMom, this character she had created whose goal was to meet every need of her children in record time.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table and yelling out things like "I need some ketchup!  I need a fork!" while my mom ran around the kitchen dramatically slamming drawers, throwing things around, opening the refrigerator, and tossing things to the table.  We thought it was brilliant.

4.  For one of our many elaborate birthday parties (the backwards party, maybe?), my mom came downstairs wearing a rainbow mow-hawk wig and overall shorts (yes, I said overall shorts) on backwards with a banana in the pocket.  'Nough said.

5.  The first time Eric came over to our house for dinner when we were dating, my mom brought out her Book of Inappropriate Pictures.  (It's just what it sounds like: photos of people's butt cracks, things hanging out of people's noses, people with pit stains, my mom and her friends standing in front of naked statues, etc.)  I'm not sure what Eric thought, but that wasn't the most memorable part of the evening.  The most memorable part was when my mom "zoobied" him.  What does that mean?  It's when she gets really close to your ear and says "zoobie, zoobie, zoobie, zoobie" into it.  Kids love it.  Prospective husbands may be a little wigged out.  I know.  She's a total weirdo.  He must have really wanted to marry me if that didn't scare him off!

6. I have a memory - the time and location I can't place, but I must have been pretty young - of being in the car at night with just my mom and sister.  Jessica and I spotted a search light out the car window and asked our mom what the light was.  That query resulted in an indulgent hunt for the source of the light.  Now that I'm older, I know what my mom must have known: a search light is usually no more than a marketing ploy for attention from a car dealership or the like.  She must have known that, but I think she sensed that the hunt would be worth it even if the result would be disappointing.  She was right, because as an adult I have no memory of where the light was coming from.  All I remember is the excitement, the mystery, the earnestness of the search.  My hazy nostalgic memory is of two wide-eyed kids staring out the window, making imaginative guesses as to the source of this mysterious night.  And I remember having a sense that my mom was allowing the creation of that moment - she was setting aside any agenda of getting wherever we were going for the opportunity for adventure.  She was rewarding our curiosity.  She was telling us, showing us, what really mattered to her.  Us.

I hope I have the opportunity to do things like these for my kids.  Scratch that.  I know I will have the opportunity.  I hope I have the presence of mind, the discernment to recognize, the patience and perspective to set aside my plans and agenda to do things like these for my kids.  And in the moments when I don't have any of those things, I'll just send them over to Nanny's house.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strep: 3 Us: 0

Just in case you all were wondering, here is the final tally of our ailments:

Lila: Strep, Scarlet Fever and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Eric: Strep, HFMD
Me: Strep

That's right - we like to do things as a family so we joined the family Amoxicillin Train.  And, yes, it turns out Lila won the sickness lottery with the trifecta of Strep, Scarlet Fever and HFMD.  We confirmed the HFMD when the Husband started noticing blisters on his hands and feet.  When I asked him if he had any on his mouth, he said, "No.  Just a cold sore."  Um, sorry Husband, that's no cold sore.  Poor immunosupressed husband.  I definitely made out the best because I opted for the strep test before my symptoms really kicked in so I never really felt that horrible.  Thank you Alexander Fleming.  I may just name my next child after you.

Now that we all have antibiotics in us, we're finally feeling better.  Whenever Lila is sick, she becomes such a little grumpus.  Every little injustice is tantrum-worthy.
And the longer she's sick, the more I start to think that this is just the way she is.  I forget how fun and happy and sweet she is when she's well.  So it's always such a delight when she's back to her usual happy self.  And doing really cute things like this:


The month of May was just plain unpleasant from beginning to end with too much on our schedules, sick babies, sick mommy and daddy, tornadoes and other party-killing events.  Needless to say, we were happy to say "Hello June!" and "Bye-bye, May!" Or as Lila says, "Bye-bee!"


...or not!