Snugglebug

The past few weeks, this is what I have been waking up to. A snuggly, half-awake, cuddly, sweet little four-year-old, who insists on sharing my pillow and being next to me until it’s time to get up. Sometimes she’ll rub my arm. Sometimes she’ll go back to sleep. She always brings all of the toys she took to bed with her the night before — books, stuffed animals, a sippy cup of water, you name it and she manages to bring it all in one trip. She comes in right about sunrise and just wants to be close.

She’s not the snuggly type at any other point in the day. Just first thing in the morning.

I love these morning wake-up calls and wouldn’t trade them for anything

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.

How did this happen?

In the past year, she’s grown up so much right before my very eyes. When she turned two, I wondered if she would EVER have hair. Since then she’s had a haircut and at (almost) three, she still has enough hair for pigtails. She’s gotten taller, lost her baby cheeks and while she’s still distinctly Miss A, she looks like the little kid version of her instead of the baby I saw just 12 months ago.

It really shows how much can happen in a year.

She officially turns three this weekend. Birthdays always bring about nostalgia, but this is a big one for me because I actually remember being three. My sister was born a few weeks after I turned three. I remember visiting her at the hospital. I remember staying at my grandma’s house. Knowing that I can remember back to this age makes me acutely aware of the things I say and do now with Miss A because I want her memories to be good ones.

She’s growing up fast, after all. One day, she won’t want me to rub her back and read her bedtime stories. She won’t greet me after school by screaming “MOMMY!” and hugging me tight. These are truly times to cherish and enjoy.

 

Miss A’s Church Dedication


“When we say “bless this child”, we are wishing for the child, the unmerited good of life. We are hoping that this child will have every opportunity to grow into their potential, not because they have earned it but just because they are.”
– Rev. K. S.

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, but it was also the day we had Miss A dedicated at our church. A dedication in the Unitarian Universalist faith is similar to a baptism, but it’s more of a presentation and introduction of a baby or young child to the church community rather than to God. (Though if a UU believes in God or a deity of some sort, that is certainly also respected and accommodated.)

This is a photo of the pulpit at the front of our church prior to the dedication (and the one and only photo that I took that day — my sister helped by snapping the others you’ll see in a moment). The glass dish contains water that was collected during the annual water communion service that took place earlier this year and represents the purity from which the child comes. The roses are presented to each child (or the parents, in the case of a baby) with the thorns removed to represent the child’s unfolding beauty, and our commitment to protect and nurture the child as he or she grows and blossoms into adulthood. In the upper left corner is the chalice we light at the beginning of each Sunday service.

The dedication was just so moving; the entire congregation taking a commitment to help nurture our daughter (and the other baby who was also being dedicated that day), and, as our Rev. said, “be reminded of our responsibility to create a safe, just, and compassionate society for all the children of the world.” One of the best things about our faith is how it just lives and breathes love, day in and day out, and I genuinely felt it that day.

My sister, S, and brother in law, W, were gracious enough to accept the responsibility of being Miss A’s sponsors (our version of Godparents).

The whole thing went off almost without a hitch. At one point, Miss A got fidgety and lifted up her dress to show the whole congregation her underwear…that was slightly embarrassing…

When Miss A was handed her rose, she turned to Mr Dad and yelled out, “Hey Daddy! Look! I got a ROSE!” And the entire place just burst into laughter. And naturally, being the ham that she is, continued yelling it over and over again.

At the end, Rev. K had this very touching prayer:

We pray today for the future of these children.
May they dream great dreams and have the strength to follow them.
May they know abundant love and give love freely in return.
May they walk a path of truth and beauty and have justice as their guide.
We pray today for the future of these children and of us all.
~Blessed Be

 

“Hey look, I got a rose!”

 

It was truly a joyous occasion.  I am so incredibly grateful for the community that nurtures and supports our whole family, and where we can raise Miss A in a spiritual home where she is loved, accepted, appreciated and respected just for being who she is, and challenged to grow and question, and learn and love.

After the dedication was over, our regular Sunday services followed, with a beautiful sermon called Bless This Child (clicking that link will take you to the sermon’s text).

Thank you, Rev. K, for a beautiful dedication, and to S and W for standing up with us on this incredibly important day in our life.

 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on the special teacher in our lives, Ms. Angela.

Dear Ms. Angela,
THANK YOU for all that you do for Miss A on a daily basis. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to be in charge of a group of seven two year olds five days a week and you always have a great attitude about it. It’s your enthusiasm for teaching, even at the daycare level, that proves that teachers are not compensated nearly as well as they should be! When Miss A comes home telling me stories about the things she did during the day, whether it was a song you sang, a new sign learned in sign language, a painting, a movie, or something else new that she learned, the results of your hard work are demonstrated. I also love how you always keep me informed on the things she does, good or bad, so that I can keep an open dialogue with her.

Finally, THANK YOU times a million for your efforts in helping her get potty trained this year! I have no doubts that she would not have been potty trained as quickly without your help!

With her birthday right just a couple of weeks away, I know she’ll be moving up to the next group and she will miss you greatly — as will I! But I am happy to know she’ll still see you. Thanks always for your hard work and keep on doing a great job.

With gratitude,
Miss A’s Mommy

Got a teacher appreciation story? Link up over at Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle!

What could be blue?

About a week ago, I was reading Miss A one of her favorite books at bedtime (On the Day You Were Born), and in it there was a picture of something blue. Mid-sentence she stops me, saying “Wait. Wait, wait.”

“What is it, honey?”
“Whales can be blue!”
“Oh, you’re right, whales can be blue.”
“Hmm. What else can be blue? Oh! Shoes can be blue!”
“You’re right! What else is blue?”
“The sky can be blue! The carpet can be blue! Crayons can be blue! Cars can be blue!”
etc, etc, etc.

Ever since that day, if you show her something blue, she will launch into a long conversation about the many different things that can be blue.

As a result of this, I’ve also learned a few things I never knew before: Cats can be blue, brown dogs can be blue, people’s noses can be blue, paint can be blue, Dora the Explorer can be blue, and zebras can be blue.

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there my friends! She continued this trend and expanded onto rectangles. Did you know rectangles can be blue? And that doors are rectangles, ceilings are rectangles, carpets are rectangles, books are rectangles, and feet are rectangles?

I love the almost three year old imagination. She has become so creative!

This new imagination is not without its drawbacks, though. I pretended to turn her into a cat with a magic wand the other day. She said: “I’m not a cat, I’m Miss A!”

I replied, “What’s that? All I hear is, meow, meow, meow!”

She burst into tears, ran out of the room and threw herself on the floor, sobbing, because she actually believed I had turned her into a cat. Whoops.

Good thing that magic wand could turn her back into Miss A.

Miss A’s First Haircut

About a week ago we took Miss A for her VERY FIRST haircut! Yes, at almost three years old, she finally got a haircut for the first time. For the longest time, she had almost no hair at all, and in all honesty, it wasn’t really in dire need of a haircut except for the fact that her bangs were getting in her eyes, and it looked pretty shaggy all over.

Seeing as how this is the girl who wants absolutely nothing more than for people to not touch her hair (I practically have to pin her down to get a brush near her hair), I was really surprised at how well she did. We went to a local place that specializes in kids cuts so the atmosphere was right. They put her in the little car, she got to watch Toy Story, eat a lollipop, and didn’t even flinch. She didn’t fuss. She just sat there and enjoyed it.

When all was said and done, it came out looking really cute! She didn’t have much to work with in the first place, and I was really concerned that when it was done, her curls would be gone, and it would be too short and she’d look babyish. Quite the opposite happened though. It looks fuller, and I think she looks even more grown up. And her hair is even curlier (probably since the baby-fine hair at the ends isn’t weighing down her “big girl” hair anymore). I think she looks adorable, and she really likes it too.

Now…maybe the rumors will be true and her hair will actually grow faster now? I can only hope. I’m pretty sure she’ll be the only three year old girl without enough hair to make a ponytail!

I could go on and on talking about it all, but pictures really say more than words!

The “before” — playing with some toys while waiting her turn

 

The first snip

 

The Meanest Guy

Do you know who the meanest guy is? If you ask Miss A, she’ll tell you:

Zurg (from Toy Story)
“Hat n Hook” (Captain Hook from Peter Pan)
Ursula (from The Little Mermaid)
Jafar (from Aladdin)
Swiper (from Dora)
Robbie Rotten (from LazyTown)
The Green Gob-o-lin (from Spiderman…which she calls “Tackular Spiderman” after the Spectacular Spiderman animated series)
And Sonic the Hedgehog. But only sometimes.It just makes me giggle that she doesn’t call them bad guys or villains…she calls them “the MEANEST guys!” She came up with that phrase all by herself, too!

Funny Quotes By Miss A at Age 2

We’re having an awesome girl’s night in tonight! Anytime we do this, I’m sure to be treated to cute quips from my little princess.

Tonight, any amount of money is “sixty of dollars, holy cow!”

She asked for pizza but “not the kind with the circles on it” (pepperoni).

She’s been very generous with sharing…”Mom, you want a chocolate breadstick? I get one for you!” (Chocolate dunkers from Pizza Hut)

She read me all of Brown Bear Brown Bear! Adorable 🙂

She sang me a song about the colors of the rainbow, complete with sign language AND a Spanish translation! She also told me about how they had a clown at school and it painted a spider on her cheek (they studied the circus this week and today had a circus carnival).

I just love my little girl and these times we spend together. She makes me proud!

Politely Disagreeable

I have always been so proud of how polite Miss A is. She’s always been big on saying please and thank you. For awhile, though, if she didn’t want to do something, she would scream “No! I don’t WANT to!” and we’d have to remind her to use her “inside voice” and “nice words”.

Out of the blue, though, over the past few days I’ve noticed a new kind of politeness coming from her. The conversation went a little like this:

“Miss A, it’s bath time. Can you help me pick up your toys so we can do your bath?”
“Um, no thank you.”

She’s consistent about it too! Take this other examples:

“Miss A, please stop jumping on the couch.”
“No thanks.”

or

“Can you please stop chasing the cat around and scaring her?”
“No thank you!”

or

“Can you please pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the laundry hamper?”
“Um, no thanks.”

She may be disagreeable, but at least now she’s polite about it.