Monday, February 28, 2011

Her shining face

I heard a few noises I suspected was her door opening and a foot landing on one of the multiple noisy spots of our original oak floors. I decided to see if she would make her way downstairs but after a few minutes there was no sign of her peeking around the bend of our stairs. After making my way up the first seven stairs and turning 90 degrees, I saw my Sweet One sitting at the top waiting for me. With her baby in her arms and a face fresh as only it can be after a good nap, she lit up with an enormous smile as soon as she saw me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A loving instinct

This afternoon as we took advantage of the brilliant sun and snow, she watched them chase each other up and down the sidewalk. The eldest would tackle the younger ones and growl as he pretended to devour his kill. The longer the game went on, the more the younger ones begged to be let go, tired of constantly being the prey. Sweet One laughed at all the silliness she saw as her friends played. She plays with them as much as she can; she iruns up and down the sidewalk either behind trying to catch up or in front as she knows they will soon be passing her. She adores her friends. Three boys ages 7, 4.5 and 3. Their play is some of the only play she has known with kids.

Because she has only really seen boys play together I am completely amazed at the instinct she shows with her new doll. After reading about another young child's love of these dolls, I ordered one and it arrived last week. Sweet One's initial reaction was awe. "Baby!" she whispered as if it had been touched by angels. Slowly she allowed herself to touch it but only on the arms. Eventually she made her way to holding it with one arm and carrying it around the house. Now Sweet One makes sure her baby goes to sleep with her at naptime and at night. She gives it kisses goodnight as she smiles and gets comfy under the covers. If she comes out of bed to get a little more attention, she is carrying her baby.

I truly don't know how she learned to play with her doll. As far as I know she has never seen a girl play with one before, unless it has been while we're at MOPS. This instinct blows my mind and I wish I understood more. I am hoping that showing such love and attention to her baby will help the transition of having a new baby in the house. Who knows how Sweet One will adjust to not be the sole being at the center of my world but I do know we'll figure it out as we go.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Call me Alexander

A few moments after Sweet One went down for a nap she had a dirty diaper and so I changed her and put her back in her bed but it took another twenty minutes for her to finally go to sleep. I was so tired and knew that the afternoon was turning out to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon.

The alarm didn't go off because I set it for 1:55 am so I didn't get to have my latte and Sweet One only napped for 55 minutes after being up very early in the morning. This was turning out to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon.

We hopped in the car to do a few errands and as I was driving down the hill with two cars parked on my right side I heard a bang. I looked over and noticed that I no longer had a passenger rear view mirror so I did a u-turn and checked on the the vehicles but there were no marks on them and there was no mark on my car. This pregnant fog was making it even harder to have a good afternoon. I think I should move to Nova Scotia.

We drove to the dealership and they were closed. I'll have to go to on Monday. We went to the giant store and got the few things we needed. Sweet One was good for most of the time except when we were leaving because she didn't want to put her mittens back on. I told her it was cold. I told her the wind would make her hands very cold. She wouldn't listen. So she cried all the way to the car. This was continuing to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon!

I put Sweet One in the car and she cried for her mittens so I put them on. Then we drove about half a mile to stop at the nearest Tim Horton's because I needed coffee and I decided to get some Timbits for us. When we were pulling out of the drive thru I looked into my rear view mirror at Sweet One and realized that I had forgotten to finish buckling her in when she freaked out and wanted her mittens. I was beside myself. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon!

Sweet One enjoyed eating a few Timbits and we managed to get to Big Love's workplace without any more problems. When we got home things were a little better so I think I'll worry about moving to Nova Scotia another day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Almost there!

For the past three weeks my dining room has looked like this.

With small projects on my To-Do list and then one large project that our contractor is doing, it has felt like a gong show. Previously there was a bathroom with black mold and sewage lines that were leaking where you now see the 'Florida Mango' walls. Since we really don't need a full bath on the main floor we thought that bringing the laundry appliances up from the basement would make our lives much easier. The half bath part is functional and it has been nice not to have to run upstairs constantly with this baby sitting on my bladder!

Unfortunately, our contractor has taken longer than he expected (what contractor doesn't!) and the time for he and his new wife to go to Israel arrived. I really don't have a problem with this. I didn't even mind that a lot of the mess you see in the picture was left behind and I spent half an hour yesterday moving tools and other miscellaneous construction things into the bathroom myself. Our contractor does very good work for an even more reasonable fee. His work ethic seems to be to do things well and inexpensively. Perfect for us.

So in a few weeks things should all be wrapped up!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet One's Interpretations

Lately I have been captivated by how much Sweet One seems to be interpreting. I put Elmo in Grounchland on for her to see if it would scare her as it did a number of months ago and I am happy to say that it doesn't. (Part of me is gauging whether it may be possible to take her to the movie theater since I absolutely love going to movies myself!) She is definitely understanding what is going on in the story as she shouts "Find Elmo!" and tries to dance with the same motions that Vanessa Williams does. A few moments ago she shouted out words that I didn't understand but with an expression that clearly showed her concern for Elmo.

She is also expressing her understand when reading books. I recently took a book called But No Elephants out of the library because I loved it as a kid. Sweet One will 'help' me read spots where she knows what is going to be happening after only having it at home for five days. When we read You Are Special she imitates the poses she sees some of the characters doing. Another book that she was addicted to for a week or so was The Giving Tree. The last time we read it she started calling out "Apples!" and then "House!.....Boat!" etc, identifying the correct order of what the boy/man demands from the tree before I was even reading the words myself.

In the car we've been listening to the third volume of the Glee soundtrack and over the past few days Sweet One has been singing the chorus to Lady Gaga's Poker Face. I am constantly amazed at this and think it is the cutest thing in the world. She's not just singing one small part but is singing out one line after the other.

Oh how this little girl of mine never ceases to amaze me! Bit by bit she is telling us what is going on in her mind and I love every minute of it. Now if only she could do more of that when a tantrum is upon us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Toggle bolts and omelettes

Last Friday I took Sweet One over to her surrogate Grandma's house so that Big Love and I could move her shelves between rooms. Previously, I simply put them up with a screw long enough to make it through the lath. Easy enough and I was surprised by how little damage it left on the walls. We did decide that since the purple room will eventually house both kids that the need may arise to have books on the shelves and so we decided to put them up with toggle bolts. I was nervous about using them but figured it would be like everything else - I'd learn how to use them and be happy to have a new skill.
As you can see, we did a pretty good job of getting them up. They're level and secure. The toggle bolts were not as hard to use as I had expect. An added bonus was that our contractor was here working downstairs and he was willing to help us out when we were trying to figure out a few things.

In the end I only had one major brain fart. We didn't have to use a toggle bolt in every spot because....
... this is what is on the other side of the wall and I forgot to gauge just how deeply it sits inside the wall.
And so amidst my Mary Kay and deodorant there are two toggle bolts and one point of a screw!

We have had one of those mornings today. And by one of those I mean a freakin' awesome morning where I can almost forget some of the stroggles of being a parent. Sweet One slept in until almost 7:30. I got my workout in and did some cleaning while Sweet One played downstairs with her Daddy. "Five Six!" she called over and over while running around in circles. Then we decided to go to a restaurant where she actually behaved herself. I got to enjoy my coffee and omelette while Sweet One scarfed down her pancakes. We rarely go to a restaurant other than McDonald's because a few months ago we tried to go for dinner and she did laps around the restaurant the whole time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet One leads and Mama is relieved

"It seems that they usually lead us to new frontiers instead of us pushing them!" That's what a friend of mine, who has two grown children and two grandchildren of her own, told me after I had shared a story about Sweet One sledding down a hill all by herself. Today Sweet One was ready for another frontier. A few minutes ago Big Love was reading my previous post and almost started laughing.

As often happens, last night's post was gave me the cathartic release I needed to be motivated and get more work done on the switch. I got things out of the purple closet that need to be in other rooms and I got all but the crib and a bookshelf out of the green room.* With the bed rail assembled I decided to just suck it up and get her to nap in her new bed. Perhaps starting with napping for a few days will help her become more comfortable in the new bed. It went alright. We brought Elmo, her water cup and her blanket in from the green room before we read her books. I snuggled up beside her and she fell asleep easily. (I'll try not to bitch about her nap only being an hour leaving her quite moody for the rest of the day!)

This evening Sweet One had her bath while I did a little bit more organizing in her new room. I was a little disappointed to find that the drawers in her mate's bed are smaller than the dresser/changing table but we'll deal with that. Fortunately, the progress made during the afternoon and bath time seemed to bring it all to a point where it really seems like her room. After her bath, she and Big Love left the bathroom while I stayed behind for a moment. When I left, Sweet One had directed Big Love to her new bed where she had decided she'd sleep. I was shocked. Even more surprised when she had Big Love read her her bedtime stories because up until tonight she usually asks him to leave the room when it is story time!

While it did take her longer to settle down than usual, Sweet One has been sleeping in her room for almost two hours. I stayed in there with her until she fell asleep and will slowly work my way out the door to try and avoid any screaming fits. I am completely surprised that after worrying about this transition, Sweet One guided me and let me know that she was going to be ok! (It is almost insane to how often the things I think will be easy are a challenge and those I am worried about go smoothly!) I'm even more relieved that now if she wakes up too early in the morning I'll be able to crawl into bed with her and not have to lie on the floor anymore!

*The purple room is her new room and the green room is her old room.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Transitioning on the spot

I'm starting to realize that when it comes to transitions, I can be just as uncertain about what is going on as Sweet One is. Then I end up somewhat paralyzed. I am unable to move forward because I am afraid that it will be too difficult or that I will do it wrong.

The two bedrooms are in the process of being switched and being stuck in this state of transition is making me feel a little nuts. Her new twin bed was delivered and I just finished making the cover for her duvet about three minutes ago. I'm slowly removing all the small steps I need get done before it is "ready" for her. Eventually the crib will be in this room with her as the two kids will share a room but I am not sure if I should just move it now and let her get used to the room being hers before I move her into the twin bed or if I should get her into the bed first. Quite honestly, the baby will probably end up sleeping in our room with us as Sweet One did for 6 or 7 months and so it isn't necessary to have the crib in there right now nor is it necessary to have Sweet One out of the crib before the baby is born.

I feel like there are so many options and ways to do this that it is overwhelming. I feel absolutely unable to figure out how to move forward. I need to rip the bandaid off. Stop doubting myself, make a decision and move forward with it. I want these rooms completely transformed into their new purpose so that the bedroom won't have a piano in it and the office won't have a crib in it. But I also want the transition to go smoothly to prevent Sweet One from being upset too much.

I also know I may be over-thinking all of this and that having both rooms in a state of flux is what is more overwhelming than just taking the step forward.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rethinking the space

I got a call from the locally owned furniture store where we ordered Sweet One's new mate's bed from telling me that it was here and they could deliver it. I wasn't quite sure what to say because it was weeks earlier than I had expected and the two rooms need to be switched out. Yes, I had gotten the curtains done but was somewhat stalling on everything else.

When we first decided to move here, I fully believed that if I selflessly gave up the small career in teaching and performing I had started and enabled Big Love to take the position at the church, things would fall into place for me and I would be able to do something fulfilling career-wise. While looking for our house I made sure we had three bedrooms instead of two so that one could be made into a studio for me. "If you build it, they will come" being in the back of my mind; if I only had a room to teach students then eventually I would have some. I chose a lavender color that helped to "inspire imagination in children" and was excited for the possibilities. Students coming for lessons and me finding the motivation to do my own practicing in the special room I had created.

I did have one student for almost two years with two others for two weeks. That short amount of time I could teach each week gave me something of my own and I cherished the time despite the challenges of working with a stubborn teenage girl! Unfortunately, she did not return to me this fall and I've had no other interest for lessons.

As the arrival of Sweet One's bed is giving me a bit of a push to get the rooms moved, I am thinking of how I am going to best use the space. The studio is actually a little larger than her current room and it will have enough room for two kids. This also means that I will have less space for everything we've stashed in the closets and on bookshelves.

I've come to the realization that perhaps I need to pack up my music books. I am not exactly happy about this because it feels like I am giving up the last inkling of hope I have for students to come. Over the past couple of years I have been learning to accept the fact that I am a SAHM. Packing up these books furthers this effort. I am not burning my books nor am I giving them away. I desperately hope that one day I will have a career whether it require the opening of these boxes or be something completely different, I have no idea what is ahead of me. But for now, I think I am ready to further accept where I am right now and what is important to focus on. Remembering that there can always be unexpected things around the corner.