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Sunday, August 21, 2011

On The Bright Side

Throughout difficult times in my life I try to look on the bright side.  Mostly this is because of the constant clich├ęs that are burned in my ears from my support system.  If you have ever been in a difficult time (and we all have) you have heard them too; When life gives you lemons make lemonade, Everything happens for a reason, This is all part of God’s plan, There is light at the end of the tunnel, It will get better in time, and the list goes on and on.
After 5 months of the arrangement between Angel’s father and me, I am realizing that there really is light at the end of this tunnel.  I can’t stand being away from my precious Angel.  When she is with me I try to spend every second with her.  Each time she leaves my heart feels empty, and I literally count down the days until she is home again.  Looking on the bright side of the situation, I realize there is a lot of good in it for everyone.  Angel’s father picks her up on a Friday and brings her back the following Sunday, 10 days a month she is away from me and then 2 months each summer (The summer months are the ones that were the hardest, as most of my readers know).  I have 2 free weekends a month.  At first I hated this time apart from her, thinking I was missing something, which maybe I am, but it’s nothing I won’t catch up on as soon as she returns home.  These free weekends allow me to catch up on sleep, take a weekend trips, go shopping, go to the beach, date, spend time with my family and time by myself!  I have come to welcome this time.  I am sure that as she gets older and we get closer to the terrible 2’s I will welcome it even more.  I am not sure, but I think Angel’s father would say something similar.  Angel of course gets to spend time with both her parents and our families.  Of course in a perfect world there would be a Mommy, Daddy and children that would live happily ever after together, but our world is far from perfect.  Angel will most likely have step siblings, half siblings, a step-father, a stepmother, step-grandparents, and step extended families.  I have often thought what I will tell her when she asks why her father and I don’t live together like some of her friends parents do.  I am not sure how I will respond to that.  All I know is that she has, and will have a multitude of family that love her, support her and enjoy watching her grow into the amazing person she will become.  In the end, isn’t that the most important thing?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Things I am loving

Things I am loving!

Plastic Cups
Like most babies, Angel loves bath time.  I have searched for and bought many bath toys, mermaids, fish, balls, boats and other likes.  I kept a cup in the bathtub to rinse her hair, and noticed she always liked playing with it, filling it up with water and pouring the water out.  I had a thought, if 1 cup is good 3 cups must be better.  I was right!  I have finally found a good use for those old Mardi Gras cups.  So forget about expensive bath toys.  This situation is like the child that gets the amazing toy for Christmas but would rather play with the box it came in!
I am of the opinion that magnets are tacky, and I never thought my refrigerator would be covered in them.  Well guess what?  I am now a tacky person.  Angel loved playing with the few magnetized chip clips I had, so I thought she would love a magnetized alphabet.  Which she does!  Then I took it even further and bought the LeapFrog Fridge Farm.  She absolutely loves this thing!  In the mornings when I am getting her milk she plays with it, as soon as we walk in the door in the afternoons she goes straight to it.  This is the description from the website:
Practice matching skills and exercise the imagination. Inquisitive toddlers discover how to pair the front halves of farm animals with the back halves - forming five complete critters - or mix up the magnetic-backed pieces to create lots of imaginary animals. Every mix or match introduces animal names, sounds, fun facts and lively learning songs. Play with the Fridge Farm set on the refrigerator or floor, or take it on the go. The pieces fit neatly in a compartment on the back. A built-in handle makes it easy to carry.
I definitely recommend this for all kids.  It is educational and fun.  Kids love the colors, animals, sounds, and music.  The price is around $15.00.  You can find them at Toys R Us. 
Recordable Books
I got Angel the recordable book Good Night Moon while she was gone over the summer and mailed it to her. This is one of her favorite books, and the one I read to her almost every night.  These books allow you to record your voice reading the story.  I thought this would be a way for her to hear my voice every day.  These books are a great option for grandparents, friends, and family that are far away.  The only drawback is they are a bit expensive.  Expect to pay around $30.00 per book.
If I may digress about Good Night Moon, this book has been around for over 60 years and is a favorite among children.  I have a few questions about it though.  Who paints an entire room kelly green and lays down red carpet? Why didn’t those 2 little kittens kill that mouse? Who was this quiet old lady, who must not have been too quite, if she is whispering hush?  Why didn’t she throw out that bowl full of mush?  Doesn’t she know leaving food out like that will cause roaches?  I am sure roaches would not flow well in this story.
In the great green room
there was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of--
The cow jumping over the moon
and there were three little bears, sitting on chairs
and two little kittens and a pair of mittens
and a little toy house and a young mouse
and a comb and a brush and bowl full of mush
and a quiet old lady who was whispering "hush"
and there were a family of roaches who liked to wear broaches who were waiting to eat the mush

Maybe not…….

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Act like a Child

Have you ever been told you are acting like a child?  Well, unless you were wearing a poopy diaper or lying on the floor in a conference room because someone took the last ├ęclair, this could have been meant as a compliment.  This weekend I took in all of the wonderful things Angel does as a child.  When she wakes up in the morning normally I put her in the bed with me hoping to get a few more minutes of sleep, when she does get up, she wakes up smiling saying hi, most of the time she lays her head on my chest and gives me kisses.  She is so sweet and thankful for another day.  I think about how I wake up, and unless it is to her sweet kisses, I usually beg for 5 more minutes then, UGH, drag myself to the coffee pot.  Another thing I noticed about Angel is she loves herself.  I have a full length mirror in my bathroom, and every morning while I am getting ready she goes to it and kisses it.  (This is something I haven’t done since 2nd grade.)  She enjoys making faces and pointing at her reflection.  This made me think that when we as adults look in the mirror we are so critical of ourselves.  We see fine lines, deep creases, and don’t forget about melasma (No, melasma is not some little girl that lives down the street.  See my post Vanity O Vanity).  All she sees is a beautiful person, which she is, just as we are.  Sunday, we were at Target, and she was waving to every person she saw and saying “HI”.  When she is around other children she goes right up to them and hugs them.  It makes me wonder why don’t we do that? (Ok not the hugging part.  If you walked up to a perfect stranger and hugged them you might get arrested.)  We could be friendlier though.  Children are so carefree and why shouldn’t they be?  They don’t have to worry about deadlines, relationships, or finances.  They are just happy to be alive and that there are other people around to share life with.  They mostly learn from us, but perhaps we should take a lesson from them.

So the next time someone tells you, you are acting like a child take it as a compliment.  Unless you are eating something you don’t like, spiting it into your hand, and throwing it on the floor.  Hopefully, it’s because you are a little more loving, open, and carefree. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All is Right

It has been a little over one week since Angel came home, and what an interesting week it has been!  The first night she returned was surreal.  I rocked her to sleep and enjoyed the weight of her in my arms, breathing in her scent, twirling her curls around my finger, and singing “You Are My Sunshine”, softly to her (which for me is a challenge because I sound like a man).  It was so wonderful having her home with me, almost like she never left.  The world felt right again.  Then the fun began.  The next night she woke up around 11:30 p.m., and I heard her crying.  I decided to wait a few minutes to see if she would go back to sleep.  Then her cry changed.  Parents you know your babies cries, and this was not a whiny I’m spoiled come get me cry, this was a panic cry.  I jumped out of the bed and ran to her room.  I was just in time; as she was perched on the side of her bed with one foot hanging over the side trying to climb out.  I’m not sure where she was planning on going as sneaking out of the house seems a bit early?  I grabbed her up, hugged her, and immediately put her in the bed with me which is where she slept that night.  The next day a friend of mine came over and lowered her bed to prevent her from climbing out and from me having a panic attack. 
It is amazing how much Angel changed while she was gone, not so much in her appearance, although she has grown, but in her personality and intellect .  She has shown traits of being social and outgoing, but she can talk!  At 15 months she can say things like bicycle, dinosaur, octopus, and she tries to repeat anything you say!  (Look Out!)  Did I mention she can count?  OK so it’s not 1,2,3,4……and so on but she does know that 2 comes after 1 and 8 comes after 7.  She has also mastered please and thinks anytime she says it she is suppose to get what it is she wants.  My friend, Sophia pointed out that her thank you’s sound like ta co.  At least she is trying.  Sunday when I went to get her from the nursery at church she was standing in front of a handful of children talking to them as if she were a Politician.  I can’t imagine where she gets that from ;).
Eating and Pooping
I thought a toddler Angel’s size would have a small stomach, and this may be the case, but she must have a hollow leg as well.  This child can eat!  I spoke to a doctor about it and was informed that this increased appetite is normal and that she is probably going through a growth spurt.  It still amazes me that she can put away what all she does.  As we all know what goes in must come out.  Since she is eating a lot, it only stands to reason that she will be pooping more and that my friends she is.  Not only are her poops bigger (you know the kind that goes up their back) they STINK!  I mean whoa stinky, and I stand by my earlier claim to never stick your finger in a diaper to see if it is dirty…..,but even with a dirty finger I am extremely happy!  Toys are back scattered around my house, there is dried strawberry remnants on my kitchen floor, and the thought of sleeping in on Saturday mornings is out of the question, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!  We made it through our time apart and don’t have to worry about this again until next year.  Hopefully, then to pass the time my husband will take me on an exotic trip in the Mediterranean.  If not there is always another boot camp.