Friday, June 25, 2010

Activities, Meltdowns, and Motherhood (oh my!)

A couple days ago, in order to ward off a post-nap whine fest (which often happens, by the way), I showed Leah the stickers that came with her new Sesame Street coloring book from Grammy. As you can see by the front of her shirt, she loved them. She adorned Momma, a baby doll, and Bolt in stickers as well. If only we had a photo of all of us. ;) A couple things from my own childhood that I would love to introduce Leah to are paint-with-water books and Colorforms. I'm thinking Colorforms are probably a no-show nowadays, but I've heard that I should check Walmart for the paint-with-water books. No luck so far at Target, TRU, and Barnes & Noble.

Speaking of B&N, we left that store in a tizzy today. I allowed Leah to play in the children's section for awhile as I scoped out the activity books. They had a train table and a bunch of little stuffed animals that kept her occupied. The problem came when it was time to leave. In the not too distant past, Leah would return stuffed animals to their proper shelves ("to go sleepies") when asked. I don't know if she was simply tired & cranky today, or if she was just being 2, but boy oh boy, what a meltdown! I had to carry her kicking and screaming from the store to the car because she wanted to leave with more stuffed dogs and cats. Ugh. This is becoming an increasing trend too: major meltdowns in public. At least at home, when she flips out about something or yells because she can't get her way, I can ignore her and not give her the attention that she wants. But in public, I have to deal with her. It's exhausting.

Still, as most children do, Leah makes up for it with moments of cuteness and silliness. A couple nights ago, after playing outside in the hot and sticky air, I told her she could have some ice cream. (Or "cuh cuh", as she calls it.) I opened the freezer and the first carton I pulled out was vanilla. I show Leah and she shakes her head and says, "No cuh cuh." Then, before I can even fully pull it out of the freezer, she spots the Cookies & Cream carton, points, and says, "How 'bout cuh cuh?" The girl knows what she likes, I'll tell ya. Made me laugh. :)


I read a book this week regarding motherhood. It's a short book (roughly 80 pages), which began as a letter that a mother wrote to her two young daughters: "Lift" by Kelly Corrigan. During one of Leah's naptimes, I read it cover to cover. I was so affected by it, so emotional. She tries to illustrate to them what life is like now, in the beginning, in the years they won't remember as they grow. This blog, as mundane or as silly as it's been, and not nearly as beautifully written as Corrigan's book, will hopefully be something that we can share with Leah in the future, to capture a little snippet of what her early years were like.

Corrigan wrote, "If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you're making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can't find a towel or a sponge or your "inside" voice." Ah, so true.

But my most favorite passage from the book is this:
"I am your mother, the first mile in your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means that in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that - even as I fail you. Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done."

Love you, Leah. Terrible twos, meltdowns, and all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beach Bum

We took Leah on her first trip to the beach last week. As we expected, she loved playing in the sand yet was intimidated by the ocean. That picture shows about how close she got to the water. Sunday, the 6th, was our first full day and it was a scorcher! Hot, humid, and tough to be outside for too long. Leah lasted about 1.5 hours on the beach. However, Monday & Tuesday were beautiful, breezy days that allowed us to soak up the sun & sand a little longer. I think we spent a solid 3.5 hours on the beach on Tuesday. Heavenly.

Leah managed to do very well on the long car rides both to and from our destination. We stopped by the Disney Outlet store at the beach, where Leah gladly picked out a stuffed Bolt as a reward. :)

Unfortunately, she did not fare so well in some of the restaurants we visited. Mostly, she's just so active and full of energy that she hates being confined to a chair for very long. She's been full out YELLING when she doesn't get her way either, which makes for an embarrassing outing. Still, we were able to enjoy the beach, enjoy some wonderful food, and overall had a really fantastic time.

Mid-week, we left the beach for our old hometown to visit with family. We successfully surprised Popel for his 60th birthday! Leah also enjoyed swimming in Grammy's pool, exploring the children's garden at Longwood, and visiting Boyds Bear Country on the way home. (She managed to pick up three more stuffed animals - 2 from Boyds Bears and 1 from her Uncle Ryan's bedroom. Ha. ;) ) All in all, Leah did really well visiting with a lot of extended family. She got a bit crankier with each day, but for being out of her routine for over a week, and probably very tired, it was to be expected.

To the family in PA, thanks for a great time!