Saturday, January 28, 2012

Little Miss Independent


Dear Isis,

You are changing and growing so much lately! In the last few months, you have grown 3+ inches and you've grown even more than that if I measured attitude and personality in inches and pounds! You are so like me and your daddy. Independent, feisty, opinionated, but also sweet, sensitive and caring. You are apprehensive at first around new people, choosing to sit back and wait before joining in on the fun. This is more me than your dad. You're developing such a little attitude about things. You have opinions now on what thing you wear and what things you want to do. You are becoming more and more independent as each day goes on.

We recently had to let you cry again at night because we had let you get into a routine over the holidays (due to all our life changes) of crying at night and us coming in to comfort you. When it got up to about 4-6 times a night, we decided we needed to do something. We let you cry without coming in one night. It only took one night this time, but I still wanted you to know my heart here. I want you to know that above many things, your dad and I have paid extra attention to being intentional with you. One way we've done this is with trying to help develop your independence. As you get older, your independence will look different. Right now, it's going to sleep in your own room & being able to put yourself back to sleep as well as being able to go to the sitter or be with your grandparent's without us. It's playing on your own for a little while each day. Later, it will be choosing your own clothes and picking up your own room. It will grow and change as you do. One day you'll bathe yourself and do your own chores. Finally, you will make decisions about your life without us. You will move out and move on and become an adult. We hope to be introducing things to you now that help you to develop on this path to independence in a healthy way.

When we get to that point when you're a teenager and you're needing to make some decisions on your own, you may need to remind me, "Mom, you helped me become independent on purpose. Let me make these choices on my own." And I'll probably laugh, maybe need a minute to think about it, but ultimately yes. I'm building towards that on purpose. Your dad and I had a whole conversation today about how to intentionally affirm and model certain behaviors for you so that you set high expectations for yourself so that when you begin making decisions about boys, or later men, in your life, that you are making wise, independent decisions there as well.

I pray daily for wise choices in your life. I pray for the person you are now and the person you will become. I pray for wisdom and for grace. I pray that you look at the world with a servant's heart. I pray that you will never treat others as less than yourself. I pray that you will be honest and sincere, a woman of integrity. A woman of peace. I pray that by teaching you moment by moment to be independent and someone who can think for herself and behave in a way that is in line with what she knows to be Truth, will help you to make these wise choices and will help you to become that woman who can one day be proud to say that her parents intentionally helped her to become who she is. I already am so proud of you.

Love,
Mom


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You are describing "unity"

(Pic from Adriel's post)

I read the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky when I was in high school and at the time it really resonated with me because of just where I was and who I was and what was going on in my life at the time. I haven't read it in years, but I doubt it would have the same effect anymore because I'm not the same person anymore. Interesting how perspective changes... That being said, there was a quote in it that I have always remembered and it reminds me of why I read blogs...especially this week. I'll explain.

"And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing “unity”."

I feel like blogging has always been this to me. A place where I read someone else's thoughts or stories or life experiences and I find myself thinking "you too??" and for a moment, I feel connected to a stranger in a way I sometimes don't feel connected to people in real life. Because not everyone in real life is pouring out those stories or thoughts or life experiences because honestly life is messy and who wants to share all their junk with other people? Especially not face to face when they could laugh or be mean or worse than both of those, be apathetic or uninterested.

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and share too much and be honest about the junk in my life because with everything I've been through, it just doesn't make much sense to hide the junk because it's made me who I am and it allows me to be real and sincere and authentic with people.

So, short story way too long, I read 2 awesome blog posts this week that you must read. Both of them brought me to tears. Hopefully you will also feel connected because of them.

Marriage. - Stay Forever Sunday
Hello Judah: A Birth Story - The Mommyhood Memos

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 Year Old

I cannot believe she is 2 years old already!!

General Stats: Weight - 27 lbs, Height - 34.25 inches

Movement: This girl is obviously on the move. She runs, jumps, climbs the stairs, walks down the stairs when she's holding our hand and obviously walks everywhere. We're having some issues keeping her in the stroller or shopping cart sometimes. She just wants to walk, but she can't quite keep up, so on a quick shopping trip it can be difficult.

Food: She still eats pretty much everything. She's started trying to resist vegetables lately, but we can usually get her to eat some at dinner. She loves peanut butter & jelly sandwiches or pretty much anything with peanut butter. She loves to dip things. She dips chicken in A1 or honey mustard or ketchup. Most things if she's not wanting to eat it, we can offer something to dip it in & she'll start eating it. She's eaten some really weird stuff dipped in A1. She also likes spicy foods! It's the strangest thing! She loves salsa, even homemade salsa with jalapenos! We went to Chuy's the other day and she even ate their creamy jalapeno dip! She loves potato soup & tortilla soup & turkey sandwiches with mustard. Her favorite fruit is bananas & her favorite vegetable is broccoli.

Teeth: This really isn't a big topic for 2 years old, but seeing how I missed her 18 month post, I think it's important to say that she now has all her teeth and I guess all we have left are those 2 year molars! We're also wanting to take her to the dentist soon. Lewis is a major healthy teeth fanatic, so he's been ready since the appearance of tooth #1!

Talking: Wow this girl has erupted with conversation! Over Christmas break I noticed a major change! She's been putting words together for a while now, but it's still really fun when she comes out with a sentence. The other day I hit my arm on the cabinet in the kitchen & as I was going "ow ow ow" I hear her in the living room go, "What happened, Mama?" It was so cute & the first time that she really expressed interest in reacting to something like that in a sentence. She says "thank you" to anyone who gives her anything. We've also taught her to say "I'm sorry" before she gets up from time out. Now she says "I'm sorry" any time that she bumps into anyone or anything. I definitely think we understand about half of what she says. The majority of the time she can pretty easily communicate with us through words, even if me & Lewis are the only ones who know what words she is saying. Haha no matter what, this is a super fun stage with the talking! My favorite is when she says "I love you!"

Sleep: She is still taking 1 nap a day and sleeping all night. She goes to bed around 7:30pm and wakes up around 7:00am. She naps from noon to 2 or so. The big milestone we've reached with the sleep is that she is now sleeping in a big girl bed!!! Lewis' parents gave us their queen size mattress and we put it on the floor in her bedroom. She slept in it for the first time the night before she turned 2! We are now 5 nights in & it's been incredibly successful! She sleeps well and she stays in her bed until you come get her in the morning. She hasn't napped in the big bed yet, but I'm hoping it'll be just as great!

Potty Training: She hasn't potty trained yet. She will go sometimes. It's not consistent at all yet. She will tell us right after she's gone, though. That's good. She has peed on the potty a lot of times, but has yet to poop on it. We're just waiting for her to instigate this right now. I feel like she is still early with this, so I'm not worried about it.

Discipline: This is the newest category that I feel like I need to add to these updates. We started doing time out around 21 months. I started doing it because she was hitting and I felt like that was a concrete thing she could do that would result in her being put in time out. I didn't do it for just whining or something more abstract where she wouldn't exactly understand why she was being put in time out. Now that it's been a few months, we can do time out for anything and she gets it. It usually takes just threatening time out once and she will change her behavior. (I never threaten more than once - I just put her in time out after the first threat if she continues whatever it is.) I also have been using positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement being that I praise her or reward her for behaviors she is doing that I want her to do. Negative reinforcement being that I take away something she wants immediately when she does a behavior I don't want her to do. For example, she has a little animal blanket that she has with her the majority of the time as a lovey. If we are out & she is fussing, I will immediately take the blanket away until she stops. I usually say "No fussing, okay?" and when she says "Okay" and stops fussing, I give it back. That lovey has been incredibly useful as a reinforcement tool!! We are trying to focus on being intentional and consistent. That's pretty much our parenting mantra in everything.

Milestones: She uses the pronoun "me" even though she doesn't exactly use it correctly. She usually says "to me" for everything. She will say "eat to me" when she wants you to feed her. She says "bath to me" when she wants you to take her upstairs for a bath. It's really funny actually, but she does get that she's telling you something she wants you to do for her. She is constantly asking "what is that?" And she can count to 10 with help. Usually you can go back and forth with her doing every other number and she knows them all to 10. You can start at 1 or get her to start at 1 and she will do it either way. She always will say "1, 2, 3" or "8, 9, 10." She knows the color orange. I'm not sure why that one stuck out over the others, but it's the only color she references right now. She mimics everything! She was watching tv the other day and they were making funny faces and she made her own funny face. She makes a sad face if you ask her to and then will make a happy face. Her personality and sense of humor is really starting to come out. She'll try to scare you and sneak up on you and she will pretend to be sad and then all of a sudden burst out with this big smile to try to get you to laugh. She love love loves to sing! She sings Twinkle Twinkle, You Are My Sunshine, Head & Shoulders, Jesus Loves Me, Itsy Bitsy Spider & the ABC's. It's probably my favorite thing right now when she sings. She also says prayers with you before a meal and before bed. It's really cute. She will bow her head and then say "amen" when you're done. She got her first haircut at the beginning of December! She differentiates between hot and cold. She has to blow on anything that is hot. She tells you to "shhh" all the time, especially if you're talking during one of the Yo Gabba Gabba episodes she's allowed to watch during the day. She can watch 1 on a week day and 2 on a weekend.

She is just really fun & I am loving this stage!!! Every stage really is better than the one before!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Back on 2011

2011 has been quite a year for my family. I slacked a little in the blogging, but mainly because there was so much going on! I love the New Year because it always makes me want to take time to look back & reflect on a year passed & then to look forward to possibility for the next year.

January
Isis turned 1 and we celebrated with a birthday party! I reflected on what it meant to me to be a mother and what I was learning from the experience. We also put our townhouse up for sale in January!

 
February
I found out in February that a bunch of my friends were pregnant! Isis took her first steps! I got a little frustrated that things had not yet regulated after having Isis. And I shared 10 of my Favorite Things!

March
Isis dropped to 1 nap a day! I shared some of her favorite books and some of her technology milestones at 14 months. I also shared why I think my choice to be a teacher was great for me as a mom and also great to my future students because I am a mom!

April
Isis was 15 months & it made me stop and think about how important it is to live for today.

May
My blogging really slacked this month, but my main focus was on encouraging those dads who really step up, but still tend to be overlooked in our society. I chose not to overlook them!

June
Isis took her first swim in a pool!! And I discovered Pinterest, which definitely changed my life.

July
We went to the lake!

August
I set up my classroom for my first real teacher job & then right before school started, I had the honor of being there for the birth of my best friend's 3rd baby! Amazing. I also turned 27, but I didn't write about that.

September
I feel like I just got really reflective this month, especially after reading Jen Hatmaker's blog about adoption. Then 9/11 was really meaningful, too.

October
Isis started throwing major tantrums & we started having to also do time-out.

November
We bought our second house, but our first real adult house! The house where we will raise our family! 

December
I didn't post at all in December, but a lot happened. I finished the first half of my first year of teaching. I also finished my first cycle of KTIP, which if you aren't from Kentucky, is the internship program you have to do your first year. It can be pretty intense just with paperwork and observations and portfolios, so having 1 of 3 cycles, also the longest cycle, under my belt felt pretty great! We moved into our new house on December 16. We absolutely love it! I can't wait to take pictures of everything & share it with everyone! Isis has just burst out of her shell in ways we didn't even expect. All of a sudden her interactions with us and her conversation and the amount we could understand of what she was saying just increased rapidly. She also had a growth spurt, leaving her at 33 inches tall, which is great for her! I found out a close friend of mine is pregnant with her 2nd child, so that's always exciting! We also hosted Christmas at our house for the first time with all sides of the family! I am so excited about what 2012 will bring and so happy for everything 2011 brought us!

I hope your New Year is wonderful!!


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