Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Family Blessing

Heidi Barbara was born to my sister, Donielle, and her husband on Saturday, February 17. She weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces and is 20 inches long. We received the phone call from Donielle just five hours before Emma and I were scheduled to leave for Chicago to visit her family. It was perfect timing.

Heidi is gorgeous and is such a good baby. I got off the hook pretty easily. I had very little middle of the night duty with Heidi. Unfortunately, Sophia, the new big sister, was sick. I was happy to be able to take care of her in the night. It was good bonding time for the two of us.

I don't want to take away from Heidi with more about the trip in this post. Still, I just had to publish this picture, too. It's Emma with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop. I don't know why, but I just love it!

More tales from Chi Town to come...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Prayer Request

We just found out this morning that Ryan O'Hara, Danny's second cousin, was killed in a tragic car crash. Ryan was one of three brothers in a very close knit family. He was a college student with a bright future. Please pray for Ryan, his brothers, and his parents, Barbara and Terrence.

Ryan, may you be in peace with Christ.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pull Up Wars

Updated at the end

Last night, when I picked Allison up from daycare, Allison had just gotten over throwing a fit. When A, the evening daycare teacher, last changed her, Allison through a fit because she wanted to wear a pull up, not a diaper. For the next hour she cried for me and kept saying that I would come with her pull ups. A. felt very bad for her. This is the first recorded 60 minute fit Ally ever threw at daycare.

This isn't the first pull up run in we've had with her. Even though I keep telling her that pull ups are for big girls who go potty on the potty chair, she could care less. She wants the status of wearing them without the responsibility. One night she came home from school with a pull up on. Let's just say that getting her in to a diaper for bed was not a pleasant experience.

There are two approaches that immediately come to mind: letting her wear pull ups and worry about the potty training later or forcing her to wear diapers and make the daycare teachers live with her tantrums. For now, I'm opting for the former. Daycare workers don't get paid enough to deal with Allison and her pull up tantrums. She's a stubborn girl and I rather doubt that she'd let this one go easily. The up side might be that pull ups don't retain as much fluid. She doesn't like to be wet or cold. Maybe that will prompt her to use the potty. Who am I kidding? She'll just demand a new pull up.

Today when I dropped her off, I told Ms. M. that if she pottied on the potty chair (I didn't specify the number of times) that she would get an ice cream cone at McDonalds tonight. We'll see what happens. If it were just me, I would fight to the finish over making pull ups a reward for good pottying. It's not just me who has to deal with her, though.

I'm not a big worrier about potty training. I figure that at some point she'll be trained. I don't see the point of getting frustrated over something that will eventually happen no matter what I do. Pull ups are more expensive than diapers, but not that much. So why do I view this as a war?

I guess that with Allison I feel like I'm always backing down. I feel like my parental authority carries as much weight with her as a fuzzy feather blowing in the winter wind. There never seems to be a hill I'm prepared to die on - at least long enough to actually die guarding it. As much as she is delightful, Ally is so bull-headed. I have no idea of how best to handle her in most situations. The only thing I've figured out so far is that when she's throwing a tantrum, putting her off by herself calms her down better than anything else. Am I too much of a pleaser to be an effective parent for her? ACK!

Allison is once again making me eat crow. When I picked her up from daycare, I discovered that she went potty on the potty chair four times that day. Ms. M left a message on Ally's daily form stating that Allison had made wonderful progress. She was proud and amazed. Maybe she's not as bull-headed as I have led you to believe. Maybe I'm the one who's boxing her in to a corner. In the poignant words spoken by Patrick Swazye in his prime: "No one puts Baby in a corner!" This baby's mother needs to keep that in mind.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Emma Fashionista

While getting ready Saturday morning, Emma decided that she had to wear the skirt Grandma gave her for Christmas and a t-shirt. Since it was too cold to go outside, I let her wear what she wanted. Allison, which should come as no surprise, followed right behind her. At some point after I'd put in their "hair bows," Emma told Allison that "if you want to wear a skirt, t-shirt, hair bows, and flip-flops, you have to wear lips gloss.

Here are my beautiful girls wearing exactly what Emma prescribed.

P.S. Emma also thought it was "darn cute" to wear her skirt to bed that night and over her navy jogging pants the next morning to church.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Carnival of Cotton Candy

A local grocery store sponsored an in-doors carnival at the Civic Center. Danny, the girls, and I joined our friends and had a great time. The kids seemed to have fun on the rides, but you can't tell that by these pictures (which I couldn't get full-sized).

Emma is on a boat in case you can't tell.
BUT, they certainly enjoyed the cotton candy! This was Allison's first encounter and her messy, messy face and hands tells the entire story.

And in this picture you can see just how well the "I'm a cat" cleaning technique works and the fact that Ally can now where her hair in a pony tail! You go, girl!

Emma was an old pro at the cotton candy game. She took charge of who got what. Jackson wasn't sure what to think at first bite, but he fell into its many charms just like Allison.

After the carnival we all went to "Old McDonald's Playland" for lunch. Emma was such a mother for Jackson. I can't wait for the kids to grow up just a little bit more so that they can play.
Nicole and Charles are great new friends, too (even though this is just about the kids...)