Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ramblings and Musings, and really late Halloween pictures

This is my friend, Lea, the one lone friend I kept in contact with from high school. Her sister has a Halloween party each year, and we were actually able to be in C this year to attend. She was a HUGE help, as I had the girls by myself that weekend. She's great at just jumping in and taking one or both of the girls and keeping them occupied to give me some time to rest. I've got awesome friends!
It did not take this one long to figure out the 'free candy' thing! And boy did she eat a lot of candy that night! But fun was had by all....

So maybe the 'by all' part is a little over enthusiastic. Maria didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing. But she did learn all about lollipops that night! She had never had one before, and I actually let her eat the one my SIL gave her (this is in front of their house). I was worried she might choke on it somehow, but darned if she didn't eat the whole thing! Little monkey... oh, wait ... little kitty! Yep, that little one learns fast. Just feed her and she's quite content.
And this was before we got on the road to start the festivities.... she was NOT a happy camper when mom put her down to take the picture. But really, what could be so wrong? Just because mom puts a strange outfit on her, complete with cat ears, and then paints stuff on my face using her makeup ... what in the world could be wrong with that? poor kitty....
Now on to the ramblings....Maya has reached an all-time high (low?) with the temper tantrums. We're just about at our wit's end here ... she is very strong-willed, and has caused quite the scene in more than one public location. We've dealt with it before, but not to THIS extent! The last straw was when she once again ran from E when he took the girls to daycare one morning. He had to put Maria down to run after Maya, and Maria ended up falling and had a pretty bad nose bleed as a result. So that was it for me .... I announced it was the beginning of boot camp for Maya. I got off work just a little early to beat E home, and I got out the big trash bags and loaded up ALL of her toys. There were none left in her bedroom at all, and only a couple of big items left in the living room, which we forbid her to touch. Several things were moved into Maria's room, but we didn't let her in there, either. I think this was last Tuesday evening, and I told her she had to earn back all of her toys with good behavior. If she would be well-behaved for an hour, she would earn one toy back. As of Thursday morning, she still did not have any toys back. But by Saturday, she was doing very well and had a few toys back and could watch movies again. Then Sunday came ... she did very well in the morning, but then E took her out so that mommy could stay home with Maria while Maria napped. Maria had one of those strange nights where she was awake at 4:00 a.m. and wouldn't go back to sleep. So she was napping by 9:30 a.m., and mommy tried to nap, too, since guess who had to be up with her at 4? But I digress.... when E came home with Maya, she was very sleepy, but by the time we went potty and got her in bed for her nap, she was wide awake and would NOT go back to sleep. I empasize the 'would' in that 'would not', because she still rubbed her eyes and was obviously tired, but she wouldn't lay still long enough to fall asleep. I finally gave up and sent E back in there and told Maya I was leaving and going shopping. Well, that did not go over well at all, as anticipated. I also made her take off her much-beloved halloween shirt with the blinking pumpkin. Also did not go over well. The tantrums were back! She was pretty bad the rest of the day .... It does seem that taking away beloved items works best on her, plus out-and-out bribes. If she's good in school all day, including no pee or poop in her pants at school, then she gets a special treat at night. Friday it was getting her toes polished. At Target Friday night it was picking out her toenail polish. Saturday it was getting to go to Sams and tasting all the samples they pass out. Saturday evening at the mall it was picking out her dessert when we got home. So it's now Sunday night and she is once again toyless and pumkin-shirtless. If anyone out there has any great ideas, I'm all ears!
Other than the temper thing, she really can be a sweetie-pie. She loves to "help" mommy in the kitchen. And she's a great help with Maria most days ... always wanting to bring her things and help her eat and dress. She's so much fun. Saturday while Maria was still napping, Maya and I made edible playdough. She had a blast! I let her use sprinkles for decorations, and she loves nothing more than eating 1/2 of them and then playing with the rest.
As for Maria, she is making amazing strides in her speech! Ever since the ear tubes were put in, she hss been saying more and more words! She qualified for speech therapy under the babynet program, but her evaluation was done only a day or two after her ear tubes were put in. Even the speech therapists cannot believe how far she has come in just a few short weeks. She qualified for a year's worth of services, but they are not sure she'll be able to remain in the program that long. But until then, they are just enjoying having her there at the local rehab (inside the local hospital). They said it's nice to see children that they can make such an obviousl difference with, knowing that her delay was merely environmental. And just today I realized she was actually trying to sing some song on the toddler song CD we were listenting to in the car.... I don't remember the name of it, but it has several animals and animal sounds in it, and she would hum and sing and occasional word and make some of the animal sounds. It was sooo cute! Some of her newer words are "hello" and "my-my" (which means Maya, of course) and "mine!" whenever me or maya take something from her. She also does animal sounds of "moo", "meow", "woof" and "quack". But I have to admit her 'quack' sounds an awful lot like her 'duck', so it's not very clear. But she understands things really well! I can tell her to go get her shoes and she'll do it, or ask if she's ready to eat and she'll stop whatever she is doing and head straight for the kitchen! She says 'mama' quite often now, but not as often as she still says "da-da." I think she's going to be a daddy's girl.
So much more to tell about what they are doing, what they are learning, and how much fun I am having with them! I so look forward to weekends, and then they just fly by so quickly. Not the least bit restful, of course, but I can rest in oh, another 20 years or so. I constantly look at them and wonder what their life will be like. A friend of E just recently lost his wife to cancer, and they have 3 young children at home. So it keeps bringing back to me how precious and fragile life is, and how very much I want these girls to have happy, healthy lives, and how very much I want to be there to see those lives. I imagine Maya working with animals, outdoors, and most likely around water somehow. Being a Shamu trainer would be the perfect job for her! And Maria will be more likely to have an indoor office job .. something that doesn't require moving fast, and takes lots of attention to detail and figuring something out. She's very studeous when she's playing with something. They both love animated movies about animals with lots of music. They loved Jungle Book, Garfield, and now Madagascar is the current favorite.
Well, that's it for now. After midnight again, and I really MUST get to bed for my 4-5 hours of sleep before work again.