Thursday, August 28, 2008

For Grandma Dianne

I managed to (finally) get these off of the camera. Lana had a blast helping Grandma Dianne water her flowers.

It makes me so happy to see Lana so comfortable with my Mama, even though they see each other so rarely. That's all about to change when Grandma Dianne moves here this winter--YAY! I look forward to so many more days of hanging out, holidays and birthdays spent together, girls' days out and lazy Sundays together. It will be wonderful for Lana, but also for me. I haven't lived near my dear mommy since I was 18 and I miss her terribly. My mom has always been my biggest supporter in my life (my dad too, for the record) and is so loving and has just been the best mama I could ever want, so I can't wait to spend more time together and for her to have such a positive influence on Lana's life, as she has had on mine. We have a wonderful new beginning to look forward to and I can't hardly wait :) Love ya Mama!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keep your pants on

Some nights (okay, almost every night) Lana calls for me around 4am and I comfort her and crawl in her bed until she wakes up at 7am. Judge all you want, I know--bad habit, will try to break it, blah, blah, blah. This post isn't about sleep issues (although clearly we have them). Its about the peculiarities of toddlerhood. So last night she called for me, I went in, got her re-tucked and crawled in next to her for a cuddle--yeah, that's right I will do anything for a cuddle. I am "easy" like that. She proceeded to FLIP OUT! She is sobbing and crying and is totally inconsolable. I am asking her what's wrong, does something hurt? Check head for fever--nope. Do headcount of stuffed animals: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Dina, giraffe, little bia (bunny), big bia, teddy bear, pumpkin head--all present and accounted for. Pink blanket--got it. What is wrong? Then she sobs, "Mommy's comfy pants gone!!!" I usually sleep in comfy pants (as we call em) and a T (sexy, i know) and I got hot b/c my darling husband insists on sleeping with a down comforter in August, so I took off my pants somewhere during the night. OMG, she is having a fit b/c I am not wearing pants??!! You have got to be kidding me. What does she care what I am wearing, especially at 4am? I asked her, "Do you want mommy to get her comfies back on?" "Yes" she responds while wiping snot and tears from her face. I retrieved my pants, she got under the covers and snuggled close to me while whispering, "Mommy's comfy pants..." and she drifted off to sleep. Note to self: pants are not optional.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Its a tail--really it is!

So Lana and I are playing play-doh (exciting, I know) and I made a cut-out man. Lana said, "needs a tail" and this is what she added, all by herself: (I know the photo is craptastic--our camera is busted, but you get the idea.)
Her father is going to be so proud!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dear Headache

You suck. Please go away and stop coming to visit me so often. You are putting a dent in all of my fun and you make me short-tempered.

With much frustration,
Crabby McCrabberston

Shoe Aversion

There are things that toddlers do just to drive you batty. Lana's signature move is kicking off her shoes. You are probably thinking, what's the big deal? So she likes to be barefoot--loosen up already Julie! For some reason, this really gets on my nerves. At this very moment there are about 6 pairs of shoes on the floor of the backseat of the minivan (along with a million cheerios). When I buckle her in the shoes are off by the time I walk around and open my door. When we take walks in her stroller, she kicks off her shoes and hopefully I am paying attention, so that I can retrieve them. Same thing in the shopping cart. And while she is in the process of kicking them off, she looks at me with that devilish--I am doing this to you so that steam comes out of your ears--grin. Long ago, I made the mistake of buying her expensive Stride Rite sneakers--well I lost one in the mall when she kicked one off and I wasn't paying attention. Now she gets all her shoes from Target or Walmart. The absolute worst is when we walk into a store and she is actually walking and she sits down on the floor and takes off her shoes and flings them in separate directions. I often turn around for a second and she is barefoot and I am wondering WTH happened to her shoes. Do her shoes truly offend? Maybe its b/c I by her cheapy shoes and they aren't comfy? Is she doing this just to see me lose my noodle in public chasing after a barefoot toddler while muttering, "What did you do with your shoes, you crazy kid?" (most likely). When is she going to learn that girls totally dig shoes? I think she actually likes to try on shoes, just not wear them for any length of time b/c one time in the Gap, I caught her trying to remove the flip flops off the mannequin. The funny thing is that there is one coveted pair of shoes that she will willfully wear for at least 15min--the pink sparkly dancing girl shoes that she calls her "tap shoes":
The teen years are going to be fun, right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor Baba

I feel so bad for my poor husband--Lana calls him "Baba", the Chinese word for Daddy. Lana is going through a very clingy Mommy-only phase. I think it has a lot to do with the separation anxiety she has been experiencing lately and the fact that I am with her 24/7, except for the one day a week she spends with my inlaws, which Lana dreads--you know, the whole Mommy leaving thing. Even if I just mention my inlaws, she gets all anxious, "Mommy coming too?" Apparently last week, after her nap she sat by the front window looking at all the cars passing by saying, "not Mommy's car..." over and over for like 2 hours.

Anyway, I digress, back to Baba. Poor Baba is feeling so left out. Lana wants nothing to do with him if I am in the room or nearby. If I am holding her and my arms get tired, she will NOT go to him--she would rather go wet noodle and pitch a fit. It makes him feel so bad. She will sit and cuddle with me, but if comes near us, she will say, "Baba, go to office, check email." Rude, huh? He was traveling last weekend and he was working long hours last week, so I suppose its just b/c he hasn't been around as much. He always asks me why Lana hates him so much. I do feel bad that Lana and I seem to be growing closer and more affectionate, while she is totally rejecting Bill. I keep reminding him that it is a phase and soon she will be Daddy's Girl and I will be missing her. I have been trying to give Bill some extra attention from me though, poor guy. I must confess though, I feel a little spread thin with Lana physically attached to me all day and then wanting and needing to give Bill attention at night. We are thinking about adding to the family in the relatively near future, but this needy phase makes me not want to rush into it.

Believe me, I am not complaining about my close bond with Lana and all the cuddles I have been getting. Just yesterday Lana said to me, "Mommy look pretty" and "Mommy cuddle Lana" (yes, she is still talking in the third person, like Elmo). Aww! How could you not love that? I especially appreciate it b/c she has never been a cuddler. I just hope that Bill too can partake in some of those delicious snuggles from Lana soon. He totally deserves it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our crazy garden

I know I have posted before about what a nice garden we have. The previous owner of our house put a lot of love and thought into it. There is always something in bloom and it has been so nice this spring and summer (the first in our house) to see what is coming next. We had a cold spring, so the irises were late, but WOW, we were rewarded with some beautiful blooms.

Then our roses started. I am posting pics of some of the more unusually colored ones, although we also have hot pink, yellow, and pale pink varieties.

I literally do not know what I am doing when it comes to gardening. Its a bit overwhelming at times because things grow SO fast due to our rainy climate and the weeding is never ever complete. So once in a while I go out there with Lana, we pick a few weeds, she throws dirt onto the sidewalk and then we come inside with this:
And this (disregard all crap in background, if possible):
This has been one of the true joys of first time home ownership. We also have lilies, hydrangeas and a whole boatload of rhododendrons. We did manage to pluck out plants we couldn't identify in order to make room for a raspberry, 2 blueberry and a strawberry plant. We also planted a cherry tree and an apple tree. Our berry plants did produce this year, but not abundantly. Lana ate every berry she could get her hands on, of course!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sing a Song

Lana has just started singing along to her favorite songs and it is SO cute. Some of her favorites (in no particular order) are:

ABCs--I love it when she gets to LMNOP--she says "ello ello P"

Wheels on the Bus--I get requests for yellow bus or red bus or purple bus.

Sesame Street theme song--"Mommy, sing Sunny Day" Her favorite part is the "A-Okay!"

Lime in the Coconut--the Kermit version

Where Are My Friends--Chinese song that translates to: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7--where are my friends? They are here, they are here, my friends are here!!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star--AKA "Quinkle, Quinkle"

Do De Rubber Duck--Ernie does reggae really well.

Sing a Song--"Mommy, sing La La La La part"

Hello, Goodbye--Target commercial version

Yes, we are big Sesame Street watchers here. Lana has always loved songs and music in general, and she would always request that I sing to her. But lately, she has been singing along and I can't help but smile and giggle to myself at her cuteness.

M&Ms--the great motivator

She did it! Lana peed in the potty! We have had the potty forever and while she seemed very interested in the whole process, she just would not sit down on the darn thing. I decided she is just not ready and I dropped the whole issue, although I bought a bag of M&Ms for when the time is right. On Friday, Lana was walking around nekkid, as she does often, and she says, "uh-oh, a little pee pee coming out!" I said, "You better go sit down on the potty--its your BIG chance to get M&Ms!!!" So she went to the potty, sat down and peed a few drops. Excited, she jumped up screaming "M&Ms!!!!" I gave her the M&Ms and she went right back to the potty, squeezed out a few more drops and wanted more M&Ms. She ended up getting three rounds of M&Ms before the tank was empty. Yep, she's workin the system already. I thought it might be a fluke, but yesterday she went pee in the potty 5 times and today twice!! WOW! I am so proud of her.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Separation Anxiety--better late than never

I have heard all my mom friends talk about separation anxiety and how much it sucks. Your child clinging for dear life onto you as if you are about to get on a one-way flight to Istanbul. I remember you all talking about this when the kiddos were around 9 months to 1 year of age. We never experienced it at all. Not a hint of it. Lana would always act like she could care less if I was around or not. Drop her off at my in-laws? "Bye Mommy!" and off she runs. Okay, this was a good thing b/c it made me feel like she was happy to be there and an independent spirit. But part of me wouldn't have minded if she liked missed me just a tiny bit.

Well, I got my wish. Since we have returned from our trip back east, Lana has been very attached to me. I like how she has progressively become more affectionate--hugs and kisses, but only on her terms. Whatever, I will take it. There is nothing like a hug with the pat, pat on the back. Love it! What I didn't bargain for, or fully appreciate, was the anxiety part of separation anxiety. Even if I drop her off at my in-laws, which I have been doing once a week for nearly a year now, she gets totally wigged out. It starts with a frown, then she hides her head, trying to fight back the tears and be brave, but ultimately she loses it and is bawling big ol tears all while clinging to my neck. Today my father in-law had to peel her off of me so I could get out the door. Apparently 5 min later she was fine. Ah, this may be old news for all of my 5 readers who experienced this a year ago or more, especially with those in preschool/daycare, but for me it is a whole new heartbreak and even though I know she is fine, I feel bad for her that she has fear. The whole time she is bawling, between sobs she says, "Mommy (sniff) always (sniff) comes back (sniff sniff). Why don't you just throw my heart on the floor and smash it into a thousand pieces. I will repeat my mantra of motherhood--ITS JUST A PHASE...


I wasn't sure if I should post about this, but what the heck, its the internet and there is certainly more controversy elsewhere. I have been noticing that Lana seems to have a concept of her race at least to some degree. On one hand I am surprised by this, given her age, but on the other hand she does look in the mirror. So perhaps she is not so intuitive on complex concepts, but rather she is just seeing what is similar in herself and others from a very superficial level. She told me that she looks like June from the Little Einsteins, which is the Asian one. She also repeatedly gravitates toward other children that are either Asian or look Asian. Like when we were in Buffalo, there was a whole beach of children and she made a beeline for the family with the Asian dad and white mom--she played with the kids and ate their pretzels. Like I said, I doubt that she is feeling ethnic unity in others like herself--its probably just "hey they look like me". But its interesting anyway.

Then yesterday we were at the beach here (what is it with the beach to get me thinkin?) and this woman says to me:
Weird woman--is that your daughter?
Weird woman--what is she mixed with?
Weird woman--what are you?
Me--i am your basic white person.

WTH did she mean,"What are you?" Umm, homo sapien, purple people eater, alien? I am not exotic looking and my skin could not be paler. I mean, I am kind of getting used to answering questions about Lana b/c well she looks different and I suppose its natural to be curious. I do believe that while it is natural to be curious--KEEP YOUR CURIOSITY TO YOURSELF PEOPLE! Its freakin rude! I don't care about your ethnic background, quit asking me about Lana's or mine (that's a new one!) The weird thing is that where we live is very ethnically diverse--that was something I really liked about it when we visited. When I was growing up, I lived in a very white town--my high school had very very few minorities represented. Yet, I have grown up to not even see people's skin color. I don't see people as Chinese, Indian, African-American. They are just people and I would never ask anyone--"What are you? What are you mixed with? Did you get her from China?" The last question I like to respond with, "No, I got her from my uterus". My point is that I wish people would mind their own business and just say something like, "cute kid!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Innocence of Childhood

There are some moments that I hope will always remain with me because not only do they make me smile, but they remind me of when I was a child. I love it when Lana makes a new discovery and she looks so serious and has true wonder in her eyes.

A few weeks ago, she put her ear to my stomach--she was just resting her head--and she popped up and said to me very seriously, "Mama, there are animals in your tummy!" I said, "Really? Did you hear something in Mama's tummy?" "YES!" She said. I asked, "What kind of animals are living in my belly?" She went back for a second listen. "Ribbit, Ribbit" she replied. "Oh, I see, there are froggies in Mama's tummy?" "Yes, Mama."

Just a few minutes ago, we were sitting on my bed and there was sun coming in the room--you could see some dust in the air (probably lethal amounts of dust since it has been forever since I have dusted our bedroom). She said, "Mama, there are little bubbles". I said, "No, that is dust in the air." "Little dandelions" is what she decided--like when you blow on the dandelions that have gone to seed. She looked so proud of herself, like she just solved a puzzle. I love that innocence. I love her perspective. I love that she can sympathize with the Little Einsteins when Annie loses her balloons--"Poor Annie. Little Einstein lost her balloons. They go to Seattle needle and will POP!" I love that she really believes that frogs live in my stomach.

I remember when I was little, I had lots of fears. I hope that she can avoid the monsters in the closet and can hold on to the frogs in my stomach, Santa, the tooth fairy, the coolness of her shadow, rainbows and all that good stuff.