Friday, January 30, 2009

I love 'em more than Chocolate!

Maya is adorable. Then she's not so adorable. Then she's stinking adorable. Then, not so much. And she's teaching Maria everything she knows! This 3-year-old tantrum thing is really getting old. She knows what she is doing is naughty. But she does it anyway. Tonight's finale was after bathtime, when I was trying to make her brush her teeth. She normally does it just fine, but was already mad tonight because I sent her out of the bathroom after the bath because I refused to listen to her whine and cry (loudly) because she didn't like being punished for screaming loudly and not listening to mommy. But after the beginning battle, I told her in no uncertain terms to brush her teeth. She picked the toothbrush up. I thought she was complying with my request. Then she stood up, looked at me, and put it back on the counter! Sigh. I hope one day that she will be blessed with a little girl just as .... oh, let's call it "spirited". I will laugh my head off.

But I gotta say, in spite of the tantrums, I just love that kid to pieces. She can make me crazy with her defiance, and in the next minute, have me laughing hysterically at her antics. The latest is she will sing and dance in the tub and Maria will try to copy her singing and will also mimic whatever dance or arm movements go along with the made-up song. It's just too darned cute!

But on to the pictures! This was from her 2K class at daycare (church preschool program and daycare) when they had their little Christmas program. Cutest thing I've ever seen! They all did really well! Here they are rocking baby Jesus.....

Here she is jingling bells. The poor little boy on the left wearing the red sweater with white stripes got bopped in the head with the jingle bells. I had to watch the video a couple of times before I realized it was the boy behind him that got him, not Maya. whew!
And Maria. Sweet Maria. Who is being taught everything Maya knows. She has learned to say "no!" and to hit. But she has also learned to march her little self up to Maya's room when we tell her to go to time out (because, silly, that's where timeout MUST be, as that is where Maya always goes when she gets in trouble!) After about 30 seconds, she will come back to the door and peep out, and we'll tell her she can come back downstairs. Or even better, Maya will go up and get her, hold her hand as she walks her back down the stairs, and lead her over to us and tell her, "now tell mommy you are sorry." And Maria will say "saaaawwwwy" . Just adorable.
Maria, as I think I have mentioned before, is NOT a morning person. So E gets her up in the morning and changes her diaper. Then brings her downstairs and sets her in a chair while he goes to get her milk and breakfast. This is what she does once he sets her down. hehehe. cute, cute, cute.

I know everyone who saw this just went "awwww." How could you not?!
I love these girls more than chocolate! And if you know me at all, you know how much love that would be for me!! Today chocolate was involved in breakfast, lunch, snacktime and pre- and post-dinner snacks. I could live off of chocolate. But I'd give it all up for my babies. If I had to, that is. No need to make a choice now, right? I think I hear the brownies in the kitchen calling me.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Family Pics

Yes, we have the copyright release on these ....
These were taken by Bella Sposa Photography, and I must say they are my very favorite photos ever! Oh, ok, so maybe it's the subject that make it so great this time ... I mean really, how bad could pictures be with these adorable faces?! But I was so impressed with them. This was actually a fundraiser for the hospital I work for, and we had only a 1/2 hour time frame for taking them. That may seem like plenty of time, but try to capture two running targets in that time frame! Maria is extremely reserved and shy around strangers, but after an hour or so, she warms up and becomes quite animated. However, that's not going to happen in 1/2 an hour. And Maya was her usually sometimes bubbly and outgoing self, and her sometimes pouty and not wanting to cooperate self. It was interesting. But yet, the photographer somehow managed to capture my girls' personalities PERFECTLY in the middle picture below. Maya, my sweet, happy, feet-off-the-ground, hair flying in the breeze as she whizzes on by child, and Maria, my lovable, reserved, shy, grounded, steady and stable child.

Maya & the plege of allegiance

Isn't this the cutest thing ever?!

Oh, my mommy pride overfloweth...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holiday photos

I just realized I completely missed Thanksgiving here somehow. Oh well. No excuses. Thanksgiving was nice. Lots of food, ate at the in-laws house. My mother joined us. That's it. Now on to Christmas!

Yes, Santa does visit our house. Maya has an incredible fear of Santa. So no photo ops with my wee ones sitting on Santa's lap. I don't want to pay for the psychotherapy we would need if that was forced on the poor kid. But we are trying to get her to understand the good in that jolly old elf. Everyone was trying to ask Maya this year about Santa, and poor kid would just look terrified. They would ask what he's bringing her, or if he was coming to her house, or God forbid the "you have to be a good girl or Santa won't come see you" phrase! She does NOT like the man and does NOT want him in her house, so that threat certainly held no power over her! But we explained more than once how he'll come here, but she will be asleep and she won't have to see him at all, and that mommy and daddy will see him and just take the toys he leaves and keep them for her and Maria until they wake up. And we put out the required cookies and milk because he's going to be hungry after bringing all those gifts for her and Maria! She still didn't really 'get it' until Christmas morning when she saw the loot! It was the cutest thing ever to see her eyes get so big when they came downstairs! I think this is the last year we'll have to sleep in a little. Maya is an early riser in general, so we had to wake Maria up to get them downstairs at the same time. But enough words. On to the pictures!

Favorite toys this year: I'd say for Maya the Wiggles guitar was a huge hit, as was the Sleeping Beauty Vanity Table. She loved playing with the curling iron and Aurora's hair! For Maria, she loved the animal choo-choo train. As for non-Santa gifts, Maya absolutely adored the little ironing board and iron that Gran gave her, and also the Elefun game that Omi got for her. Those have been well used in the week since Christmas. Maria loved all of it ... the Little People toys, the Learn about Town she got from her speech therapists, and all the musical toys (including her own Wiggles guitar)! Maria plays very well on her own, and all these toys allow her to do that. But she also plays well with Maya and her toys, when they are not arguing over whose toy it is, that is. One of Maria's current words used daily is "mine!" Maya loves all her toys, but she mostly loves whatever it is that Maria has in her hands at any given moment. I used to love, love, love getting gifts for my birthday and Christmas. But I can honestly say that this has been my very favorite Christmas ever, and would have been if I had not received one single gift. And my gifts meant nothing compared to the gift I received in my girls' smiles and laughter and utter joy Christmas morning. It's the same way they light up when they see Gran, or Omi, or Aunt Lisa. So imagine having Omi and Gran AND presents on Christmas morning, all in one place! My mom spent the week with us, and Gran came over Christmas morning to see what Santa Clause left them. I was up until 4:00 that morning putting together all of the things that Santa brought (because of course Santa brings many of the toys in boxes, because he outsources much of his toy production these days, and he just doesn't have time to assemble EVERYTHING and still make it around the world in one evening), plus making sure the breakfast casserole was ready to put in the oven when we all awoke, and making the honey bun cake I wanted to have ready for our guests. So 7:00 a.m. arrived mighty early that morning, but I wouldn't change a thing. Oh wait, I did decide that next year, I'm going to see if Santa can arrange to deliver some of the outsourced toys early, and I'm going to distribute them to my own outsourced help. And Aunt Lisa and Uncle Robert, and Uncle Russell and Aunt Kathy, and maybe a few others can help assemble some of these gifts and store them until Christmas Eve. So that way, mommy can get some sleep next year! Think Santa could arrange that for mommy??

No, I have not given up blogging.... it just looks that way.

So a whole Christmas season has gone by without a single blog from me. The fact that I'm writing this one at 12:40 a.m. should be a clue as to why. And I think the only reason I'm taking the time to write this one is the guilt Sarah made me feel when I read all about Lily's Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Year's Day.


Guilt. It's a mom's best friend. I want my girls to have absolutely everything for Christmas, but I don't want them to be spoiled. I want to be a laid-back, cool, 'hip' mom, but I want my girls to respect my authority. I don't want to be strict, but I want them to be disciplined. I want to be able to give them treats, but I want them to be healthy. I want to do absolutely everything for them, but I want them to be independent. I want them to be giving and trusting of others, but I don't want them to be taken advantage of. I want them to understand they have been given an incredible opportunity in this country, but I don't ever want them to feel indebted to me and their daddy, as THEY have saved ME in so many ways. I want them to know their birth mother and the sacrifice she made for them, but I selfishly don't want them to ever become more attached to her than to me. Oh, where does it end? Does the line ever become clear?

Anyone else ever think they were a much better mother before they actually had kids? Me!! Me!! I had such idealistic attitudes... my kids wouldn't ever be spoiled rotten, or ever act up in public, and I would NEVER give in to tantrums. TV would be very limited in my house, if I allowed it at all, and it would NEVER be used to babysit the kids. And I would watch what they eat like a hawk, and not allow any sugar in their diet for at least the first 2 years of their life. Bwahahahaha! And God forbid if MY child ever ran wild in a store. Or created a scene in a restaurant! And heavens, I certainly never understood parents who would actually bribe their own children to do things! Children should do what they are told without expecting anything in return, right? Oh, I just kill myself with the guffaws on that one.

Well, having said all that, I do happen to think my kids are perfectly normal. And I do think I'm a pretty decent mother in spite of not living up to my former expectations. I mean really, what's wrong with ice cream at 10:00 in the morning occasionally? It's milk, right? And so what if it's a complete, out-and-out bribe for pooping in the potty instead of in pants? I mean, a mom has to do what a mom has to do in order to keep her baby from being thrown out of daycare because she has regressed in the art of pooping in the potty, all because stupid DHEC regulations say the 3K kids MUST go to the potty by themselves, right? (And Maya, I hope you read this one day, just in case I forget to use this information against you in your rebellious teenage years somehow ... hehehe!) And so what if the baby gets the same treat, just to avoid the tantrum you know would be coming if one child got ice cream and the other didn't? And ok, so what if they eat it in the living room so that they can watch Jungle Book for the 2nd time in a row, because mommy really needs to take a shower and clean the kitchen before the entire family descends upon the house for the holiday festivities! I can clean the couch later of the chocolate drippings.....

Back to my regular scheduled (hah!) blogging next time....