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…

 

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.

 

Just a few cute things from lately

Apologies to anyone who has been checking for posts. We’ve all been sick the past week! This post is really just a mishmash of random things Miss A is doing that I’ve been loving lately and want to get into the blog before I forget them.

* Last Saturday, she grabbed a bandaid, put it on her chin and then said, “What do I look like, a grandpa or something?”

* Her daycare had an open house a few weeks ago, where parents could come and meet the teachers and other parents, and see the classrooms, and all that good stuff. She was SO excited to have me there that she kept asking, “Can you just stay?”

* The other day, I asked her how her day was, and she launched into a story about her day at school that went something like this:

“Today, I wanted to play in dollhouse center with Ellie, but she wassided (decided) to play in housekeeping center. So I wassided to play in dollhouse center by my own self. It’s my favorite. I put the kitty in the bathtub, and then Maddie came to play, and then we wassided to go to housekeeping center.” For some reason, the word “wassided” just kept cracking me up.

* Also, over the weekend, we had a playdate (we were actually babysitting a friend’s son, who is a few months younger than Miss A), and we went to the swimming pool. Miss A can’t quite swim yet, but she stood on the side of the pool and jumped off and let us catch her. Every time we got too far away, she’d yell, “Hey, BUSTERMAN! Come back here, BUSTERMAN!”

* We’ve also come to an accord on how to answer the “how was your day” question. I’m not sure if it has to do with the new daycare she’s going to, or if her verbal skills have just come along a little more, but when I ask how her day was, she now actually TELLS me. For the longest time, she would just whine and say, “I don’t wanna talk about it!” Lately it seems like, before I can get her into the car, she’s launching into a whole tale about how her day went and what she did. For example, yesterday they made the letter A in shaving cream, and she started telling me all about it, how she traced it, and how her teacher said she did a good job, and it was fun.

And then: “And when I wake up tomorrow, I get to wear my bathing suit under my clothes because tomorrow is (whispers)…water day…”

* The other thing that CRACKS ME UP is how she confuses the months with the days of the week. I’ll tell her that we’re going to go do something, and she’ll say “Yeah! Because the month is…” and then pause for me to say the month. And then say “No!” and correct me with the day of the week.

* When I picked up Miss A from daycare yesterday, I was feeling absolutely rotten. (In fact, I still am today. I feel like that Katy Perry song…”I’m hot then I’m cold…“) Anyway, I was grumbling under my breath about not feeling well, and I guess she heard me over the music and said, “Aww, Mommy! What’s the matter?” So I said I didn’t feel good, and she said “Want me to get you some med-a-cine?” Melt my heart!

* One night when I was putting her to bed, she looked at me and said, “I love you Mommy! I love you!” I know for a lot of people, this is no big deal. My daughter is a lot like me though…she is just not expressive with her feelings (aside from tantrums)…so it felt really nice to hear that coming from her, unprompted. She also followed it up with “Nite nite, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! Sweet dreams!”

* Last Friday, she was DOG TIRED after school, and just laid on the floor and whined while I cooked dinner. She refused to get in her chair to eat, saying, “I’m too tired!” so I said, “Well, then do you want to just go to bed?” to which she replied, “But I’m not tired!”

* Later this year we might be going on a trip up north for Mr. Dad’s cousin’s wedding, and I made the mistake of asking Miss A if she wanted to go. At first, she FREAKED OUT about going on an airplane, because it was “too scary”. Like, so scared she was physically shaking and crying at just the thought of it. This was SO strange since (1) she went on a plane at 15 months and LOVED it (and so did I, since she slept through most of the trip up) and (2) Since then, we haven’t even talked about flying on a plane, so I have no idea what would have made her think it would be scary. But, now she asks me every single day if we can go on an airplane, and then when I say, “Soon” she says, “Yeah! When the month is…?”

* She is going to be a purple kitty for Halloween. She’s already told me this. She’s also told me that her friend is going to be a ghost, and the ghost is going to scare her, and she’s going to say, “MeowAHHH!” because that’s what scared kitties say. Except, the “ahh” part is a really loud, long, high-pitched squeal.

* Also, if I haven’t mentioned it before, she’s starting to be able to read a handful of small words. She’s got Cat, Dog, Dad, Mom, and Hat. And she is genuinely reading them, as in, even when the words aren’t in front of her, she will spell them, or if she sees them on a sign while we’re driving, or in a book (or anywhere, really), she’ll point the word out and say, “Look! That says ____!” She’s really only consistent with Cat and Dog, but the others she gets about 75% of the time.

* She can write the letter A. And draw a sunshine. And aliens, with three eyes, and two arms, and four legs.

Open house!

I went to Open House at Miss A’s daycare last night. It was fantastic!

Right after her birthday, we switched daycares to move her to one that was closer to my work, and in with a friend of hers, since my niece and nephew were no longer attending the daycare she’d been going to. She’s only been there for a couple of months, so it was really great tonight to be able to go in and meet the teacher, and have Miss A show me her classroom and introduce me to her friends!

Miss A is always talking about the “dollhouse center”, because that’s apparently her favorite thing about school. So, she showed me the dollhouse center and told me all about how it works. And then we got to play in dollhouse center together! It was so great to share in something that brings her so much joy every day, but that I don’t normally get to experience.

She also showed me housekeeping center, and showed me how they do arts and crafts time (and how well she cleans up after herself at all of the centers!)

The whole time we were there, Miss A kept asking, “Can you stay, Mommy? Please, can you stay with me?” and of course I could say YES! I could tell from how excited she was for me to be there and stay with her that she loved being able to show me this part of her world.

I also got to really talk to her teacher about how she’s doing in “school”, and I’m really pleased to hear that: 1) She’s super polite, 2) she plays really well with her friends, 3) she (mostly) listens when she’s asked to do something and 4) she doesn’t give the teacher any back-talk. Seriously, with the way she has been acting at home lately, I was pretty sure she was going deaf and in need of anger management courses. She’s apparently the complete opposite and a total joy to have in the class.

The whole evening was a great opportunity to bond with each other, and it was reflected well in the way the rest of the evening went. Other than when Miss A spilled some ice water in her lap, which made her very upset and cranky for a short period of time, she was really well behaved the rest of the night. Even bedtime was a breeze. She got herself dressed (including buttoning her own pajama shirt — I didn’t even know she could do that!) and when we were done reading, she put her own books away.

I really need to find a way to take more time out of the busy hustle and bustle of the day to spend time letting her lead the way.  This night was full of joy.

The Sweetness

I was always warned about the threes. I was told they’re worse than the twos. (I also cringed upon hearing that). So far, though, I’m loving the threes.

Sure, Miss A has her moments. We had a massive meltdown this evening because she skipped her nap at daycare, was exhausted, and I started the Lion King DVD at the wrong point in the movie. (Who knew that the beginning would be the wrong part?) But for all the tantrums and unique quirks the threes bring, they also bring what I like to call, The Sweetness.

Some examples of The Sweetness:

A few weeks ago she had refused to pick up her toys, so the toys “were given to the garbage man”. She had forgotten about it until she noticed her Tag Jr was missing, and I reminded her that she hadn’t picked up her toys so we had to “give them to the garbage man”.

Her voice quivered. “But if I pick my toys up, the garbage man can bring it back, right?”

The next day, she found that her toys had returned (after being gone for two weeks) and that I had cleaned and rearranged her room, and she immediately clapped her hands and said, “Oh mommy, thank you SO much for putting my toys all away!

Another example:

We were doing an alphabet puzzle, and she would take a letter away and then ask me which one was missing. I pretended to get it wrong almost every time, but the one time I got it right, she said, “Great job, Mommy, that’s right! Give me a high five!

Yet another example:
Yesterday I worked on some much needed cleaning, organizing and “redecorating” — in the sense that I put up new curtains for our sliding glass doors and put out a new welcome mat since the one we had been using was pretty much wrecked.

After we got home from daycare, Miss A saw them and immediately proclaimed, “Ooh, I LIKE the new carpet!” and “Ooh, I LIKE the new window!

And an example with the cat:
I’ve mentioned a few times that Miss A really loves our cat, Mindy, and she is surprisingly good with her (and visa versa…for an 11 year old cat, Mindy is very tolerant of the three year old’s antics.) The other night, she went up to Mindy, gently hugged her and said, “Oh Mindy, I just love you, you’re such a cutie, doopie doopie doopie doo!

And then, of course, there was tonight, which was a delightful combination of both The Sweetness, and the other thing that comes along with the threes, which is The Silliness.

Miss A: Mommy, how old are you now? (she knows I just had a birthday.)
Me: I’m 31.
Miss A: Noooooo, mommy, you’re FIVE!

Oh, bless her heart. Last week I was eleventeen, and now I’m five. I’m getting younger!

A little while later we were singing The Wheels on the Bus song, and silly me, I couldn’t remember how all of the verses went, so she was “helping”. Did you know there’s a daddy on the bus, and he says “I love you”? Has anyone heard that version of the song before? Because I hadn’t, and I thought it was sweet.

And if all of that isn’t enough…I have lamented for three years now that Miss A is not an affectionate kid. But the past few weeks she has been full of hugs and kisses and snuggles. I love it. I hope it lasts. She even gives “nose kisses” (like she rubs her nose on my nose) and will pat your back or rub your shoulder if you give her a hug.

Heart. My girl has it.