Miss A’s 4th Birthday Party!

What a weekend! On Saturday we celebrated Miss A’s friend C’s birthday, and then on Sunday we celebrated Miss A’s birthday! Two parties in one weekend when you’re hosting one of them is a busy, busy weekend, but it was wonderful!

Miss A loved every second of her party! She had fourteen of her best friends from daycare come to the party, as well as her Grandpa J! They had such a blast, and at the end of the party, the owner of the place where we had her party complimented the kids on being so well behaved. She said she rarely sees a group of kids that play so well together and asked if they all went to daycare together, so we said yes, and she said they must do a good job there. To which Mr Dad replied, “For what we pay them, they better!” (SO true!)

Anyway, here’s some of the fun that was had!

 

 

 

 

Holding up 4 fingers because she’s 4 🙂

 

After we got home, she got to open her presents. At this point she really wasn’t feeling well. I knew she was starting to come down with something but was in good spirits so we didn’t cancel the party…and by the time we got home and she got about halfway through her presents, she was wiped out. She asked to take a bath and go to bed as soon as she finished, and was asleep before the sun went down which never happens. But, she still had so much fun. And we’re home resting today since she’s still not feeling well.
Happy birthday again, sweet Miss A!! I can’t believe this time next year she will be five! (And I’m not even going to think about that again until next May!)

Miss A and Mommy on Mother’s Day

Dear Miss A,
In 2008, you made me a mother. You arrived in my life, not just like a ray of light, but like a bolt of lightning, full of fire and energy and life. Over the past four years, I have watched you grow and have seen the world through your eyes, which has introduced me to a whole new way of living. From the moment you arrived, I wondered how I ever lived before you were here, because while life was good back then, it pales in comparison to the big life your dad and I share with you now. The way you embrace life, from the littlest details to the biggest of mountains has shown me what it truly means to live. As a child, you are, as you should be, always in the moment, which serves as a good reminder to me to always remain present. This morning, you came bounding into my room full of energy, so proud to present me with breakfast in bed, a card you signed yourself, and a box of chocolates (that you picked out yourself!). You wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, and while I am tremendously grateful for those tokens of your love, what I am truly thankful for is that you are in my life. You are a wonderful, smart, talented, beautiful, sweet and loving little girl. Every day you make me proud to be your mother and having you as my daughter is greater than any gift I could have ever hoped for.

Love always,
Mommy

 

Easter 2012 in Pictures

Other than when I broke my toe, we had a BLAST this weekend! Saturday we went to an Easter festival, then to see the lacrosse team that Mr. Dad’s dad coaches, and then paid the Easter Bunny a visit. Sunday morning (Easter) I broke my toe, Miss A opened her Easter basket, we did an Easter Egg hunt at home, then another one at church, and then I went to the ER. I’ll let these photos tell the story.

Easter Festival — hunting for eggs

 

She found flowers and put them in her hai

 

 

 

The saddest Easter Bunny ever.
Making Easter Eggs

 

Our eggs!
Opening her Easter basket. She said, “The Easter Bunny must love me!”

 

Hunting for Easter Eggs at home

 

 

Checking out her eggs, which were very elegantly decoupaged by our minister

Another Boston Blog Update

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted! My blog titles are getting lame. I need to work on that.

February was kind of a whirlwind. We worked on getting settled here, and I think we’re almost to that point. Mr. Dad is loving his job, Miss A is loving her daycare, and I just started a new job at a very busy search marketing agency and loving every second of it so far. We’re starting to get used to the area. I’m finding I’m using my GPS less and less. I can get to and from work, to and from the grocery store and to and from a really awesome shopping center without using it. We’ve been church-hopping a bit, but once we pick a permanent church home (and I think we have), I’ll have to make sure to learn the routes there.

We’re all really loving living here. It’s been a much smoother transition than expected. Miss A loves taking the train (and so do I — I hate driving!) and the city itself is just a wonder. I had coffee with the recruiter who helped me land the job a couple weeks ago, and got lost in downtown Boston, and instead of getting frustrated (okay — maybe I was a little frustrated) I was in awe of the city. The old buildings. The landscape. The fact that the roads are paved over horse trails so you know how our ancestors must have traveled. (And they must have been lost ALL THE TIME with the crazy roads around here!)

It’s been a mild winter, which I think has helped the transition. We’ve only had two snowstorms since we got here. One was last week, and it was pretty heavy. I had to dig myself out of my parking space, but in true Andrea fashion, didn’t account for the extra time that would take and of course it made me a little bit late for work. Miss A just loves the snow! I’m thinking she’ll enjoy it even more next winter if/when we have even more of it. Temperature-wise, it hasn’t been too bad. In fact, in a couple of days we’ll have temps in the 60s!

Some of the things we’ve done since we’ve been here:
– Saw Disney on Ice’s Dare to Dream at TD Garden (where the Bruins play)
– Visited four different shopping malls
– Had dinner at a few small, locally-owned restaurants
– Been to two different Unitarian Universalist churches. (Lucky us, there are about a million of them up here! We fit right in!)
– I got majorly lost in downtown Boston, as I mentioned before, which resulted in me driving past Northeastern University, Boston College, and some other college I can’t remember the name of, plus seeing a trolley for the first time in my life.
– Took the train to Quincy Market. Don’t call it Quin-see, by the way. It’s Qwyn-zee. The locals will look at you funny if you pronounce it wrong.
– Saw an outdoor pay toilet.
– Found an indoor playground for Miss A.
– Went to a birthday party for one of Miss A’s new daycare friends.
– Registered Miss A for K-1, which is something I didn’t know Boston had. Up here, kids basically start Kindergarten at age 4, and then have two years of it. AND, you get your pick of schools, as long as you register early and beat the lottery system.
– I’ve now taken a train, a bus, and the subway. I love public transportation.

I’m sure there are some things I’ve forgotten. But I have rambled on a LOT. How about some cute pictures!

 
Playing “vacation” with her Toy Story toys

 

The next few are from an indoor kids playground that we went to on a snowy day
Headed to our community playground

 

 

No worse feeling than this.

Last night as I was getting Angelica ready for her shower, she flipped out on me. Since she’s three, I’m used to her very, very regular freak-outs but this was something entirely different. The conversation went a little like this.

A – Mommy, I want to sleep in YOUR room.
Me – I know you do, but you need to sleep in your own bed. (She had been in our bed the night before and I got almost no sleep as a result.)
A – But I don’t LIKE my room. It’s scary!
Me – What’ so scary about your room?
A – It just IS! I want to sleep in your bed!
Me – Well, honey, I’ll stay with you for awhile.
A – But when you leave I’ll be all alone! And I don’t like my room! It’s scary! I want a DORA room!
(For those not in the know, before we moved, she had a Dora-themed room. It’s now Ladybugs, which is what she asked for when we moved.)

After she said that, it hit me all of a sudden what she was really saying. With three year olds, you have to read between the lines sometimes, and this was one of those times.

Me – Honey, do you just miss your old bedroom?
A – Yes! (Starts wailing)
Me – And your old house? And your old friends?
A – Yes! Yes yes yes!
Me – And your old school? And your old church?
A – Yes! (She really lost it at the mention of our old church. She loved it there so much.)

By this point, I’m already sitting with her on the floor, holding her in my lap while she sobs, big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. She buried her face in my shoulder and just wrapped her arms around my neck and cried and cried the saddest sounding cries while I patted her back and tried to soothe her.

I assured her mommy and daddy were there for her. And that we’d visit her friends, and our family back in Florida. And they would come visit us.

It was tough to hear that. In all honesty, while I love it here, I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the not knowing anyone and it’s been lonely. I also miss my friends, my coworkers, my family, my church…but she seemed so happy. She was always saying she didn’t miss her old home or old friends, and she liked her new school (the last of which is probably true). She’s been SO giggly and happy. Little did I know she is JUST LIKE ME when it comes to her emotions. She buried her sadness and put on a happy face and just tried to fake it and eventually it became too much for her to bear.

Me – Angelica, sweetie, are you just lonely?
A – (calmer now, but still crying a little) Yes, I’m lonely.

So I told her we’d go out and meet people. And that I would always, always be there for her if she needed to talk. And that I know that sometimes, it’s hard to talk about the tough feelings but that I would always be happy to listen.

Later on, after I got her ready for bed:

Me – Do you feel better now that we talked?
A – Yes, I feel much better.
Me – Are you glad you told me how you were feeling?
A – Yes, it made me feel happier.

I’m so happy she felt better at the end of the night. I’m so glad we talked about it too. But there is truly no worse feeling than when your child is hurting and there’s nothing you can really do to make it all better.

Once upon a time in Miss A’s world…

So this evening Miss A and I were camping out, watching My Little Pony and enjoying our time together, when I had to go to the bathroom. It happens. And when you have a 3 year old, it’s never easy to navigate the right time for it to happen. This time, she was wrapped up in watching My Little Pony so I just went upstairs to go to the bathroom without saying anything.

No sooner had I sat down on the seat, I hear, “MOMMY! WHERE ARE YOU?”

I reply, “I’m in the bathroom! Be right there!”
She yells back, “But Mommy! I need to tell you something!”
I yell: “Okay! Be right there!”
“BUT I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!” Enter hysterical crying here. I was gone for less than a minute and she was hysterical.

I finish up on the potty and wash my hands and go back downstairs and she is just wailing. I give her a hug and ask her what she needed to tell me.

“I’ll tell you TOMORROW. LEAVE ME ALONE.” she yells.

So I back off and give her some room. She calms down. Silence for a few minutes. Then…

“Mommy, did you know Rainbow Jack can fly?” I assured her that I did.

“Now that you’re calm, do you want to tell me what you wanted to say a minute ago?”

“I just did!”

My child is sneaky.

Last night I was babysitting my niece and nephew (ages 3 and 5, respectively) and Miss A was at the house with me. My sister’s family just moved and their house is all in boxes, and right in the middle of the room was a box with a bowl full of candy in it. Of course, children ages 3-5 are drawn to candy like moths to a flame and somehow unearthed the box and proceeded to dig in before the parents realized what was happening.

So, of course, after noticing they had eaten about ten pieces of candy each, we took the bowl away. Somehow, they had a stash.

I was making dinner for the kids, and it got quiet. Too quiet. So I went looking for the kids and I heard some whispers and giggles coming from behind an open door.

I peered around the door, and what did I find? Three little ones, giggling, hiding, and secretly opening up their hidden candy stash. All three looked up at me with their candy hidden in their hands behind their backs. Miss A said, “Mommy, go away!”

Oh, those sneaky, sneaky kids…

 

Mommy, tell me about Baby A

The past couple of weeks, Miss A has been very interested in how she was as a baby. One night, she asked me to read a book that was a favorite of hers before she even turned a year old, and I mentioned how she loved that book as a baby, and she loved it so much that her first copy got worn out and I had to buy a replacement.

(For reference, that book was Baby Einstein’s Touch and Feel Baby Animals. Miss A now calls it “the fuzzy book”.)

Ever since telling her that story, she will pull it off the shelf and tell me, “When I was a baby, I loved the fuzzy book, and then it broke and you had to buy me a new one and then I was a big girl!”

So this story about a book has turned into her asking me to tell her a story about “Baby A” almost every night. She absolutely loves to hear about the sweet and silly things she did as a baby, and looking at it from an adult perspective, I feel like it gives her a real sense of who she is and how she became the amazing kid she is now.

Tonight she asked to see a picture of Baby A, so I showed her the hospital photos we had done, and she asked what dress she was wearing. That dress still hangs in her closet, so I took it out and showed her. She said, “Ooh…how small! That wouldn’t fit me now!” And I replied with, “Would you believe when we took that picture, this dress was too big?”

I also practically had her in tears from laughing so hard about some of the things she did as a baby. For example, when she was first learning how to talk, she would pick up one our cell phones, hold it up to her ear and say, “Hello? Chip? Wassup? Goodbye!”

As I was rubbing her back, she was quiet and still, and I thought she was asleep. Then, out of nowhere, she busts out laughing! She had started to drift off and then remembered what I’d told her about the phones, and she just couldn’t stop laughing. It was kind of amazing.

But, wasn’t it just yesterday that she WAS Baby A? It feels like yesterday she was, and now I’m telling stories about that baby to BIG girl A. Kind of surreal.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody! We just wrapped up a SUPER fun weekend of Halloween festivities! I haven’t finished going through ALL of the photos yet — missing from this are a few snapshots of Miss A “helping” me carve her first pumpkin, and the trip we took to the pumpkin patch with W and AL, but these photos are a start!

First, Miss A in her purple kitty costume, made by my mom. She’s been talking about being a purple kitty for Halloween since MARCH! These were taken at our church’s Halloween party. They did an excellent job. We had a potluck dinner, and the high school youth group did a fantastic haunted house — which scared Miss A too much, so Mr. Dad took her out. I went through, though, with a couple of seven-year-olds who clung to me with fright and then ran screaming from the place after the last room.

At the end, they did a “trick or treat”, where each kid who was dressed up got to say their name, what they are, and then go through a line of people around the courtyard to get some treats. She got candy and toys, but she was most fascinated by a butterfly stamp that was in one of the treat bags. She was also very excited that her daddy got to be one of the candy givers!

Miss A, the purple kitty.

 

Acting like a cat 🙂

 

A ghost statue, just her size. She kept hugging and kissing it.

This second set is from our friends J and S’s Halloween party. Their little boy, J, who is just as cute as can be, has been in the nursery with Miss A at church for the past year or so. Miss A decided to break out the princess costume for this party (though she will be trick or treating as the purple kitty. Anyway, here are some pictures of Miss A having fun at the church party!

Pushing a baby monkey (Eli) in the swing

 

 

Showing her boyfriend A how to mow the lawn.

Tonight we’ll be trick or treating with W and AL! I should have more photos of that tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Oh, the Joy

At the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to find more joy in motherhood. At the time we were in the throes of the terrible twos, and well, now we’re in the throes of the terrifying threes, which, in my experience, has not been nearly as difficult as the terrible twos were, so it’s easier to find the joy. Miss A, at age three, has the ability to occasionally use logic and reasoning which means that we have fewer power struggles. But oh, the ones we do wind up having are epic.

Anyway, last night I was preparing dinner, I heard quite a commotion coming from Miss A’s room. When I got to a point I could pause the cooking process (and, since what I was making really just consisted of me heating up the oven, so Miss A was only unsupervised for maybe three minutes at most) I went to see what she was up to….and what I saw left me completely floored.

Had I not been so shocked, I probably would have remembered to grab my camera and take a picture.

In a span of two minutes, she had emptied out her entire toy organizer/box and was in the process of throwing the toys around the room, like a spinning tornado, ripping through her room and leaving a path of destruction in her wake. I had never, ever seen such a mess in her room before.

Now, one of the only power struggles we have with Miss A is getting her to clean. Sometimes she is really, really good about it, but other times she just wants to play…and come on, she’s THREE, what else can you expect? So I told her she could play, but after dinner she would need to clean up her toys.

During baking time, I sat down and did a letter matching game with her and we had SO MUCH FUN. She can now match her upper and lowercase letters. Oh, and math! It’s her new favorite thing. She loves addition. She will group things together and add them up. Like one group of two toys, and another group of three? She will group them, and then say, “two plus three is FIVE!” This girl loves learning and she is just like a little sponge, soaking it all up. It makes me such a proud mama!

But, while that was super fun, after dinner when it came time to actually clean up the aftermath of her destruction? Queue power struggle.

Thirty minutes into the process, I found myself telling her very firmly (and maybe a bit louder than I normally would) “Miss A, I am SO serious! If any toys are left on the floor, I WILL call the garbage man to get them!”

To which she replied by cracking up and saying:

“Mommy, you’re yelling at me! It’s so funny when you yell at me! You laugh me so much!”  (People don’t make her laugh, they “laugh” her.)

Clearly, the seriousness in my firm mommy voice was NOT getting through.

Later that night, after a few more power struggles (“No, we can’t skip brushing our teeth.” “No, it’s not okay for you to throw a cup of water at me.” “No, it’s past your bed time, we cannot color.”, “No, we just brushed your teeth, you cannot have chocolate milk.”) She said, “Mommy! I know you want to yell at me, but you CAN’T.” The funny thing is, that time, I wasn’t yelling at her, so maybe she was cautioning me not to?

Long story short, her room got clean AND we got through the bedtime routine, ending with smiles and giggles and hugs and kisses. When all was said and done,  those moments are a total joy and make the occasional power struggles worth it. But when Mr. Dad got home last night, I told him…there are some nights that parenting kicks ass, and other nights where it kicks your ass, and last night was one of the latter.