Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What 'cha doin'?

All day, everyday, this is Leah's favorite question. "What 'cha doin' Momma?"

"I'm washing dishes, Leah."

Two minutes later... "What 'cha doin' Momma?"

"Still washing dishes, Leah!"

Rinse and repeat. All day long. Even as I'm changing her diaper... "What 'cha doin', Momma?" Seriously, kid? Having the time of my life. Wishing like heck you'd potty train already. Good grief.

There are variations as well. If we're watching a movie, it's "What's he doing? What are they doing?" Sometimes, I answer. Sometimes, I say "I don't know." Sometimes, I turn around and ask Leah, "What are they doing?" and she TELLS ME WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Ah! I'm starting to think that she's simply quizzing me to see if I'm paying attention.

I suppose this is my payback. When Dan and I first began living together, it used to drive him nuts that I would sometimes ask what he was doing when it was really obvious - like changing clothes or getting something to eat. I have sincerely apologized to him because now, I GET IT. It is maddening. Ha!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Year as a SAHM

Today marks the one year anniversary of my first day as a stay-at-home mom. This has been the most satisfying, most challenging job I have ever had. No other job, no other experience has filled me with such purpose and such joy. And no other job has ever required me to be so constantly ON.

For me, life with Leah...
  • ...is being there to watch her grow, learn, and figure things out in her own way. To cheer her on, to be amazed by all she picks up.
  • ...is deciding to bake cookies on a Tuesday morning, just because.
  • ...is enjoying Storytime at the library, spending an afternoon at the park, or meeting for a playdate with a friend.
  • ...is piling a toddler and the dogs in the car and struggling to keep them all under control in the vet's waiting area.
  • ...is a constant up and down. Literally. For instance, I give her cereal and then sit down. A minute later, she wants a sippy of milk (why, when there's milk in her cereal, is beyond me). Give her the sippy, sit down. Another minute or two passes and she needs a napkin. I don't think I'll have a meal with zero interruptions until she moves out.
  • ...is having an excuse to do cheesy things, like making heart-shaped pizzas for Valentines Day or wearing green shirts and making green frosted treats for St. Patty's Day.
  • ...is singing and dancing around the house, to the tunes of The Wiggles or simply what's on the radio without a care about how you sound or look.
  • ...is losing your patience, yelling too much, and making mistakes. And then apologizing and explaining that Momma probably needs a timeout.
  • ...is being so grateful for her forgiveness, her love, and her snuggles. Nothing melts me more than, "I love you too, Momma".
  • ...is realizing what's important and what I can let slide or do without.

Some days are hard, some days feel terribly long, and sometimes we're both so happy to see Dan walk through the door in the evening. Still, this has been one of the greatest years ever in my life and I am thankful that I have this opportunity to simply be a mom.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Monster at the End of this Book

This story starring Grover from Sesame Street was one of my favorites as a kid, and one of my favorites to read aloud when my brother was young and now to Leah. It seems to have become one of Leah's favorites as well and she asks me to read the book nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times per day. This past Saturday, I noticed her flipping through the book and "reading" the story herself; we both have it memorized now. :) I grabbed the camera and asked her to start again at the beginning, and she gladly obliged! I love it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Potty Rewards

These Pez dispensers and additional candy refills sit atop a high shelf in Leah's bathroom, eagerly anticipating the day she finally uses the potty. We purchased them last weekend, from a fun, eclectic store in town, selecting characters she loves from the whole lot of Pez they sold. Leah absolutely loves Pez; our theory on that is because she has control over how much candy comes out. ;) So, last week, Dan suggested that Pez be our potty training reward.

Still, the Pez sit. And wait. And remain full of candy.

In Leah's case, it's the urinary tract infection at Christmastime that set her back. When the incompetent nurse inserted the catheter to obtain a sample, urine went everywhere and to this day, Leah still talks about how the "pee pee fell down". She hated that sensation and so, without a diaper, she just doesn't relax enough to allow anything to happen on the potty, though she certainly doesn't mind sitting there to "try". Even bathtime had been a nightmare for the past two months, because there was no diaper safety net and Leah didn't want the experience of anything trickling down her leg. She would scream and cry and beg to get out as soon as I finished scrubbing her. Thankfully, within the last week or two, Leah has begun enjoying bathtime again, playing with her tub toys, and remaining tearfree.

So, there is hope.

Physically, she could do this. She only has a few wet diapers throughout the day, and can clearly hold it for extended periods of time. She tells me everytime she needs a diaper change, and sometimes even tells me before she's done anything - so I know she recognizes the sensation of having to go. I truly believe if she'd let anything come out in the potty, and saw the enormous fuss Dan and I would make, we would be - for lack of a better word - golden.

It's just this darn mental block.

 We have a lot of excitement on the horizon, with her third birthday coming up and family visiting, so I'm not going to do much more than encourage her to try and remind her of the Pez that waits for her. Once the celebration is over, however, and warm, spring weather is abundant, I might try the whole "no diaper, lots of liquids" approach and see what happens. I'm not 100% sure yet.

As with most things, we usually just have to follow her lead. Or come up with a better reward. ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Longer Days

Naps are no more.

About a week after the crib became a toddler bed, the novelty did wear off and Leah began napping again. Not every single day, and not always for the full two hours, but at least half the week (or more) she'd rest for awhile. Success!

However, by the end of last week, Leah started showing more signs that she really didn't need all this sleep. On the days she would nap, she wasn't very sleepy at bedtime (and we would hear her chatting away in her room) or she would wake extra early the next morning. Or sometimes both. :P Even when I tried shortening her nap to one hour versus two, it didn't matter.

So, this week, I did away with naps altogether. She seems fine with 10-11 hours of sleep. Bedtime is 8-8:30pm and she tends to wake between 6:30-7am. She goes strong all day, with the occasional ten minute snooze in the car if we've been out at the park or something similar. I suppose that's that! Since the clocks will be springing forward in another week, we'll probably be outside most evenings after dinner and her bedtime may get pushed back like it did last summer. In that case, we may find it necessary to try a short nap or rest time in the middle of the afternoon, if it seems as though she needs it. But as of right now, it looks like Leah has crossed another item off the "growing up" checklist. Now, if we could just get rid of these diapers...