Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Save a Kitten (Use a Kleenex)

Emily brought me a present yesterday. She cupped it in her hand as she walked into the kitchen and said, "Here, Mommy!" Before I could figure out what she had, she had wiped it into my open palm and run off to play again. I looked down and realized she had taken something huge and slimy from her nose and decided I should have it. Ew. What's more, she didn't exactly do a clean job of nose picking. When I stopped her with a Kleenex I realized she had smeared it across her face and into her hair. Good stuff.

About a year ago one of us told Emily, "Every time you pick your nose, a kitten dies." I'm not naming names, but does this sound like MY humor to you!? She was super young and didn't get it (Thank God). However, we still make dying kitten meows every time she starts digging. She has no idea why we do this. We think we're hysterical.

Blowing your nose is one of those basic things that's easy to do, but apparently not so easy to teach. Much like spitting after brushing your teeth. Em is great at putting her nose into a Kleenex or leaning over the sink and making a "Ch!" noise... And that's about it. There's no blowing. No spitting. She's just pretending to do what she's supposed to be doing. It's a start and she'll figure it out eventually. She'd better... Kittens are dropping like flies around here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toddler Tunes

The first order of events every time we climb into the car is always the same. What should we listen to?

Emily: "Princess songs! Princess songs! Princess songs!"

Me: "Princess songs, please?"

Emily: "Mama, Thank you for using your magic words."

Me: "Um... You're welcome?"

And then we listened to princess songs. I totally lost control of that teaching moment.

At least we're finally breaking out of the toddler tune rut. Lately I turn the radio on just to see if I can get away with a few minutes of something other than Raffi, Elmo, or Disney.

Emily: "Who is this?"

Me: "This is the radio, Doll. It's Def Leppard. What do you think?"

Emily (looking very serious): "I...like it."

Really?! I'm not exactly a Def Leppard fan, but it's a far cry from the Wiggles and I'll take what I can get. I immediately turned it up and started singing, "Pour some sugar on meeeee!" And with that, I jinxed it.

Emily: "No! No, thank you! Princess songs."

So close... Thank you for using your magic words.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tin Man & Jello Legs

Emily loves watching Sesame Street clips on YouTube. One of her favorites is one she calls "Walk Walk." Elmo, Grover, and Zoe have a new walk worthy of a song. Destiny's Child has just the song, of course. "I've got a new way to walk... walk, walk..."

I'm reminded of this silly video when MS changes the way I walk. Every morning I walk like the Tin Man from Oz. I move in rigid motions trying to get my stiff legs to cooperate. Once I stretch out a bit, it's much better. The one benefit is that this usually gets me out of late night trips down the stairs to let the dog out!

Through most of the day my legs are fine. The only time the Tin Man Walk returns is after I've been in one position for too long (e.g., driving). My new walk turns to something I call Jello Legs in the evening, though. They're exhausted and struggle to hold me up. Unfortunately this is the wobbly walk Emily sees often and I've noticed more than once that she slows down for me and even has her own funny walk she does when I do mine. Copycat.

I've read enough about MS to know that I should be trying to conserve my energy. I should take breaks during the day so I'm not hit by the fatigue bus by 4 p.m. I keep meaning to try yoga in the morning to alleviate the Tin Man stuff, but between feeding the fish, making Em's breakfast, letting the dog out and taking a 10-minute shower I tend to forget. It's on my to do list (the one that tends to spill over into tomorrow and then the next day and the next...) It's just a few lines above "Take a break." Maybe I need a sticker chart. I earn a sticker for each 5-10 minute break. 5 stickers = A glass of wine.

Behavioral modification has never tasted so good!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Computer Woes

I'm back from the land of the disconnected! As it turns out, letting your toddler run around upstairs screaming, "Naked baby!" at bathtime is only funny until she runs into the office and pushes buttons on the computer. Strangely, pushing the power button 50 times did NOT fix whatever she did and it continued to stare at us with a black screen and funny "I'm trying to turn on, but I can't" noises. Geek Squad arrived today to the tune of $130. Apparently that's the cost of having an "agent" (no joke) tell you that he CAN'T fix your computer! Ugh. Perhaps I should be an "agent?" I already know I can't fix computers, so I'd just tell people we can skip the house call. Here's my bill. Thankfully, I got my hands on a laptop I can use until we shop for another home computer.

It's been such a busy week! The highlights included a wine tasting trip to Walla Walla, an incredible birthday dinner with Jason, and Emily's charming nature going into overdrive lately. She wants to "cuddle in mama's bed" (I like to pretend this isn't just a bedtime stalling tactic) and lately she's all about hugs and kisses. I love this. It almost makes up for the whole killing the computer thing. I'd be willing to forgive and forget if she would just go back to taking a nap every day... Hint, hint, Emily.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

Oregonian's have a reputation for a lot of things and often I feel like I don't quite belong. I don't recycle enough. I don't have a compost pile. I don't eat organic, wear crocs, and I'm not really into hiking / camping / outdoor sports (with the exception of skiing). But the way we treat one another... That's something I LOVE about this place and am glad Emily gets to be a part of it.

I'm convinced I live in one of the nicest cities in the U.S. People are genuinely kind here. Maybe it's because it's so rainy and gloomy for such a large part of the year that we all feel like we need to be nice to one another? Whatever the reason, I like it.

This week alone a stranger in a parking lot took my grocery cart for me after I loaded Emily into the car. She had just arrived and needed one anyway. She saved me from having to haul Emily to / from the nearest cart drop. Then the man walking behind us stopped to pay a compliment to my "darling daughter." Today I groaned in the car seeing the traffic I'd have to battle. Not even two seconds later a woman waved me into her lane. This happens all of the time here.

Emily is picking up on it, too. The baker at Albertson's handed her a cookie and she said, "Thank you! That's a nice lady." She praised a woman's hygiene in a public restroom this morning ("Good job washing your hands!") and has taken lately to spontaneous outbursts of affection ("Mama, I love you!") That's my favorite, of course.

Living in Oregon will undoubtedly help Emily to further develop a strong sense of altruism. I'll show her where our recycling bins are when she's a little older. I might even take her camping one day.... in our backyard. We'll borrow a tent from one of our REAL Oregonian friends!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Silly Mommy

I don't think I realized how much singing the Mommy job requires. I sing constantly. We have a clean up song. A brush your teeth song. There's even a potty training song! Tonight ended with a bedtime request for Beauty and the Beast. Four times. I don't even know the words, so I just sing the chorus over and over and make up the rest along the way.

Then there's the dancing. We do kicks, jazz hands and hair flips. I like to throw in a few 80's classics (sprinkler, anyone?) hoping she'll add them to her routine. Every day Emily asks, "Mommy, Wanna play dress up?" She always wants me to wear the big floppy black hat and doesn't understand why I won't put on the tutu. I tried once. I won't do it again. We have tea parties and I rave about the pretend cupcakes she serves. I ask her doll, Marabelle what she wants to wear / read / eat because lately Emily insists I ask her as well. Marabelle wanted to wear the gold heels today. Good choice, Marabelle. I was cooking dinner when Emily decided she wanted to show us her "bee-bo" (belly button). Then she wanted Daddy to show his. Now Mommy.

I look back on my day of singing, dancing, dress up, flashing my bee-bo, and realize I'm so very thankful for two things....

1) I get to spend my days with my hilarious little girl doing all of the silly things that make her smile and

2) The blinds were closed.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who Wears the Pants?

Apparently I don't... Emily made this abundantly clear while Jason was away last weekend. We were running a few errands before heading to a nearby park to feed the ducks (right next to the "Don't feed the ducks" sign, of course).

Emily: "You want to get a balloon today?"

Mommy: "Honey, We're not going anywhere that has balloons."

Emily: "You want to go to Red Robin?" (Red Robin gives balloons to little girls, but only if they eat their dinners. Lie #257.)

Mommy: "No, Sweetheart. We just went there last week."

Emily: "Welllll... Let's ask Daddy."

Seriously!? I don't get any say in this? We didn't go to Red Robin. Partially because we didn't have time and mostly because I was out to prove a point. We did, however, go to the mall. Nordstrom gives out balloons in their children's shoe department. I was Super Cool Mommy AND I wore the pants... for one whole day.