The (Not-So) Wonderful World of Throwing Up

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Since Ladybug has turned four, she has decided to do a great many more "grown up" things, such as: not having a fit when I clean her ears, helping with the dishes, getting her own food out of the kitchen with the aid of a step-stool, and listening to and obeying her parents better.  Overall, her belief that she can do more (without help) since becoming "a four-year-old" and experiencing more has been great.  There is one new thing that Ladybug has experienced since turning four that none of us has enjoyed.  Last night she threw up in her sleep and spend the entire night throwing up.  Until last night, the only times she ever threw up were when she was upset and/or congested.  This was her first full-on session of the throw-ups.

Let's just say it was a learning experience, especially for her.  She had to learn to throw up in the toilet, a bowl, or in a trash can and not on well, ME.  I'm Mom, and I'm supposed to make everything better, so she kept turning to me when she needed to throw up  I changed clothes a few times.  It was a long night, and the washing machine hasn't stopped.  Thankfully around 4:30 am Ladybug stopped.  I stayed in her room with her, and we got to sleep until she noticed the sun starting to peek through the windows around 6:45.  Then we got up and started continued washing everything that had been contaminated.

Everything has been washed / sprayed with Lysol, and wiped clean.  L begged for breakfast this morning, but I made her hold out for toast and crackers at lunch.  Poor girl didn't need to learn the hard way that you need to slowly reintroduce food to your stomach after such gastrointestinal acrobatics.  I'm sure she thought I was being cruel.  She also didn't like that I told her she couldn't go on a playdate at her friend M's house today.  I tried to nicely explain, "Baby, they don't want you at their house after you spent last night throwing up!"  Hopefully we'll all stay well so she can attend a birthday party Saturday and church on Sunday.

We're super tired, and Bart is bringing home Chick Fil-A for supper, because no one feels like fixing a meal.  The poor dogs are even pooped.  Everyone was worried about our girl.  Lucy and Dory got up with us.  It reminded me of the few (horrible) times we had all-nighters with her when she was a teething baby.  You don't really realize dogs can have circles under their eyes until you go through a night like that with them.

Ladybug's nurses were hard at work last night.
The good news is that we spent a very restful day recuperating at home.  L has spent time pretending to ice skate and flying her Wonder Woman and Super Girl Action Dolls around the house.  She napped for four hours today, and hopefully will sleep through the night tonight.  Now, let's just pray that Bart and I don't catch this lovely bug.

So It Is August

Monday, August 3, 2015

And so it is now August, the month our family has simultaneously looked forward to and also somewhat dreaded.  Ladybug starts preschool three weeks from today.  As I turned the Frozen calendar in her bedroom from July to August this weekend, I pointed out her first day of school to her, "This day is your first day of school."  That revelation was met with a resounding, "YES!  I'm going to LOVE that day!"  I'm thrilled that she's so excited about starting school.

It wasn't all that long ago I was worried she would never want to go to school or do anything away from home.  I feared she would be so painfully shy that being out would be just miserable for her. Thankfully, I think, she has come out of her shell almost entirely in the past year and resembles more the happy baby she was before teething and fear periods took over for a while I was worried that she would have a difficult time making friends, but so far I've had several people say that their kids happily tell them that Ladybug is their friend.  Of course so far she's only been places where she's comfortable.  I'm hoping that she can take this comfort and confidence with her wherever she goes.

So far her biggest worry about starting school is, "I don't have any school shoes yet."  This was said after her declaration that she would love the day she starts school.  Bart and I took her shopping for clothes this weekend, buying just about everything she could need to wear until at least January, but decided to wait on shoes to see what she would need to go with her clothes.  I assured her that she would have probably several new pairs of shoes and boots before long.  I have a tree-year-old clothes horse, y'all.  She's very much my child in that she loves to be comfortable at home, but if she's going to be out and seen, she wants to look good.  She's definitely more into accessories than I've ever been.

More important than being more stylish than me, I love that at the age of three and a half, she is fairly confident already, able to make friends easily, and is just generally outgoing.  I sometimes wonder if would have been more comfortable making friends and being in new situations during my elementary school years had I been given the exposure to other children and experiences that Ladybug has already had.  There was no preschool in Heavener, Oklahoma until I was in the third or fourth grade, just head-start for some.  I had  a few occasional neighborhood friends, but at church there were only a couple of other kids there my age, and they weren't very regular attendees.  My sister was so much older than me that as a child, I could relate with teenagers and young adults far better than my own peers.  I was sometimes accused of being an adult in a child's body.  I don't think that I was ever truly comfortable in my own skin until high school, and then that was only as much as any teenage girl can be.

I want her to be confident and comfortable in her own skin, but not conceited. I love that yesterday at church a little girl in L's class said, "She's my friend!"  I want her to be popular, but not in the manner so many young girls are.  I want her to be known as a friend.  I want her to be known for being kind, friendly, and caring to all.  I hope she never loses that.

Meanwhile, my only baby is starting her educational career soon.  I'll try not to get too sentimental this next month.  Maybe it's a good thing our church is hosting a night devoted to anxiety the week L starts.  I'm thinking we'll do a lot of celebrating that weekend, with a cookout, maybe some leftover sparklers, and possibly a Razorback Volleyball game, since Ladybug seems to think she's into hat now.  Goodness, can you believe this baby is going to preschool this month?  At least we've broken her book-eating habit.

2013 Rewind Friday: The Blessings Of Ordinary Days

Friday, November 15, 2013

This week's Rewind Friday post is from April.  It's titled "The Blessings of Ordinary Days."  You'll find mention of a Photo-a-Day blog that I started at the beginning of the year and kept up with fairly well until May.  My birthday and other things kept me from keeping up with things, and I gave up that endeavor rather than trying to force it.   The sentiments of the post remain though, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

I turned around, and my little baby has grown into a sweet, capable little girl.  I think it happened some time last week, or maybe last month.  I don't really know when it happened, because it came both so gradually and yet so suddenly that it constantly takes me by surprise.  Just the other day I was putting shoes on her feet, only to have her kick them off as soon as possible.  Today, she brought one of her shoes to me so we could go play outside, and when I asked her to find the other and bring it to me, she did.  Every day she eats a little more big-person food, and takes a little less baby food and formula (thank goodness).  Every day her walking improves to where can almost sprint.  I both love and hate these new developments.  Parenting has to be the most polarizing occupation imaginable.

I spent the first thirty-two years of my life, always waiting until the next big thing was going to happen, thinking then life would really start.  Suddenly now I'm on longer wishing for life to pass me.  Now I find myself praying, "Dear God, please let time slow down or even stop for a while.  Please let her stay little and innocent as long as possible."

Sometimes life can seem monotonous when you're a SAHM.  Then I remembered that sometimes life could get monotonous in the workplace too.  Doing the same thing, day in and day out can have that effect on you no matter where you spend your days.  Slowly I'm learning that life is more than waiting on the next big, adventure.  It is finding the joy, the inspiration, the laughter, and mostly the blessings of ordinary days.

I don't want to miss a thing in Ladybug's life.  I want to forget nothing.  I don't want to find myself sitting at her college graduation or wedding, still waiting on better, happier things to happen.  My mother has spent her life wanting better, never being content, and never finding happiness with me, with herself, or really anything or anyone.  I want to take time to realize and appreciate the importance of ordinary days.  I want Ladybug to know that she is enough; that I am happy with her.  I want her to know that she is a blessing in my life and not sound fake or frankly full of it when I say it.

My photo-a-day blog, 365,000 Words, isn't a masterpiece.  Most of the pictures are taken not with my DSLR, but my iPhone.  It is helpful in aiding my search for something each day that inspires me, gives me joy, and makes the ordinary day a little extraordinary.  The Lord made each and every day, not just the ones when something major happens.  He makes the days we spend washing and folding laundry, the days we work on a deadline, the days we're suffering from the throw-ups, and the days when the juice spills, the dogs get the floor muddy, the baby/kid is clingy and crying, and you just wish that Calgon could take you away for a while.  He's there, in all of it.  We just have to life up our eyes, look around the tasks at hand, and see the silly smiles, the budding flowers, the way the sun filters through a window, or to feel the coziness of a dog curled on your feet.  In doing so, maybe time will slow for just a little bit.

Psalm 118:24

English Standard Version (ESV)
This is the day that the Lord has made;

    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

The Rockford Peach Goes Trick or Treating

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween was last week, and it had the potential to be an incredible mom-fail.  We had possibly one of the coolest girl costumes imaginable ordered, and by the morning of Halloween Eve, it still wasn't in our possession.

In September I ordered a custom-fit Rockford Peaches uniform for Ladybug from a shop on Etsy.  I was even bolstered by the knowledge that this Etsy shop originated here in Arkansas, albeit Central Arkansas.  However when the promised ship date of October 15 came and went, I started to get nervous.  I contacted the seller, and she explained that due to some family emergencies she had to cancel several orders.  Mine wasn't canceled, but she wouldn't be able to ship it until October 25.  I replied that was fine, as long as it shipped on October 25.  I've shipped enough across the state at various jobs that I knew it should only take one or two days to get here from Central Arkansas.

October 25 came, and no email with shipping information.  I contacted the seller again.  That evening she sent the tracking info.  I assumed I should have gotten in it the mail by Monday.  Unfortunately she obviously just dropped it in a box that wasn't picked up until Monday evening.  She could have taken it to the post office on Saturday, and it would have shipped sooner.

Monday came, no uniform.  Tuesday came, no uniform.  Wednesday morning we were supposed to go to a Halloween/ end of season party at Little Spouts.  My friend Marci suggested on Twitter that I cut up a pillowcase and call her a marshmallow.  I was opting to dress her in the red and white checkered dress that used to be mine and call her Strawberry Shortcake.  God took pity on me and sent last week's rain early.   There was no way I was going to park in the back forty of the Botanical Garden and schlep Ladybug to a diminished indoor party.  Mom-fail averted (for one day at least)!

The highly anticipated uniform finally arrived on Wednesday evening while it rained.  Then it rained, and rained, and it rained!  It rained enough that Thursday our church canceled their Fall Fest, which we had planned on attending.  Thankfully I had a backup plan!

We had always planned on going to Trick or Treat on the Square in Fayetteville from 3-5, then stopping by my old place of work (in their still-new-to-me-location) to visit old friends.  We first took Ladybug to the Square.  She immediately took to the whole trick or treat thing.  She went to each stop, held out her bucket and whispered, "I trick or treat!"  She wasn't a bit scared and didn't like when we dallied.

We finished on the Square just before another rainstorm hit and visited good old KNWA / FOX 24.  I know fewer people there than those I don't now, but it's still always good to see old, dear friends.  I wish I had taken some pics of Ladybug with Miss Neile and Mr. Brad to have one from every year, but I also feel very uncomfortable interrupting people while they work so close to the five and five-thirty.  So, I forgot until we left.  

Since our evening plans were canceled, we decided to hit up Malloween at the NWA Mall again, like we did last year.  We got there a little late, as we waited on Ladybug to eat her "chicly and fries," but she enjoyed standing in that hellacious line to go from store to store for more candy.  She was very put out when we would pass by stores that either didn't offer candy or had run out of it.

All in all, it was a huge success.  Ladybug had so much fun, and almost every woman who saw her loved her uniform.  Bart, being a guy, didn't really understand what an awesome costume Ladybug had.  Now I think he gets it.  It's so awesome, that it may not be the only time she's a Rockford Peach for Halloween!

Don't Throw Away the Dandelions

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I think that I log on to Pinterest in order to read memes, funny memes and serious, thought-provoking memes, more than anything  To me, they're usually a nice distraction from everyday frustrations.  There are two serious memes in particular that are related to parenting and have struck a serious chord with me.  I posted them both below, because I think that they're both very true statements.  I hope that I never forget them.  I know from experience how very true they are.  You see, I was the child whose mother didn't listen to her, and I was the child who brought my mother "flowers," only to have her throw them outside and complain to me for bringing in weeds.

 You know all of those heartwarming blog posts where daughters extol all of the virtues of their awesome mothers?  This isn't one of those.  This is me being honest, because I think that the blogging world needs a bit of honesty and reality to go against the seemingly perfect lives that no one lives.  The truth is that I don't really talk to my mom.  You know, we don't have long, meaningful discussions - ever. I don't tell her most of what is going on in our lives.   What I do share with her, I edit more than I did any research paper in college.  Our conversations usually revolve around the weather, people I don't know, her endless complaints about various other family members, and as little information about what's really happening here as possible.  She was the last person I told I was pregnant with Ladybug, and I did that because I felt that I had to in order to keep down my stress.

I don't really remember a time when I did tell her things. We have never had the type of relationship where I felt comfortable telling her anything. When I did attempt to talk to her, she would only half listen enough to get details horribly wrong or to criticize whatever I was telling her.  She would rather have read my diary (if I kept one) than ever stop criticizing me to listen to what I had to say - about anything.  To this day, I have to psyche myself up just to call her up on the phone once a week.  I give her as little of myself as possible in order to protect myself.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, I've tried to make things better.  This isn't about getting help with that relationship.  It is what it is.  Now I don't care to anymore.  I just don't want to have the same relationship with my daughter as my mother does with me.

This is not a mom-bashing post, really. I'm not ungrateful for all that my mother did to raise me.  I do love my mother, I just don't want to be like her, especially when it comes to being a mom.  I never want Ladybug to feel that she can't tell me something; good or bad.  I don't ever want her to believe that I'll think something so very big to her is unimportant to me.  I don't want to throw away the dandelions.  I want to listen to and enjoy the small stuff with her, so that when the big stuff happens she'll want to come to me.  I want to remember take a moment from what I want in order to listen to her enough in conversation to be able to pick out a gift for her come her birthday or Christmas.

The truth of the matter is that my mother doesn't know me.  She doesn't understand me.  She never has and never will.  She assumes a great deal, and we know what becomes of people who assume things. She's never stopped pushing me to be what she thinks I should be in order to actually become acquainted with who I really am.  It's a fact that I've not only reconciled myself to, but I've moved beyond it.  I don't want to be sixty-four years old, wondering why my thirty-three-year-old daughter only calls once a week or so.

We begin laying the foundation for our future relationships with our children from the get-go.  How we act to our children now will have a direct result in how they react to us later in life.  Keep the dandelions they give you and make necklaces and bracelets from them.  When your child wants to whisper something in your ear, even gibberish, bend to her  level rather than shoo her away from you.  When Ladybug hands me dead leaves, I happily take them.  When she wants to tell me something, I make sure to listen even though 65-70% (at least) of what she says is still unintelligible.

God blessed me with this beautiful, fascinating person in my life.  I get be her mom.  That's a privilege I'll never take lightly.  I think I'm the big winner here.  I definitely don't want to take such a blessing for granted, and I never want her to feel that she can't talk to me.

Watching Airplanes

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We live directly in the flight path of one of the municipal airports here, in Northwest Arkansas.  At any time of day, a plane may fly directly over our house; be it a two-seater or private jet.  In recent weeks, it has come to my attention that Ladybug enjoys watching the planes fly over us when we're outside playing with the dogs, and has even started to point at them with glee.  This thrills her Daddy, because a great deal of his work is actually at airports all across the region.  She enjoys watching airplanes so much, that I’ve started trying to spend more time outside at times I know there is heavy air traffic:  time we could be spending doing so many other things.

I will never claim or pretend to be a perfect mom or wife.  Let’s just get that out in the air right now. I admit that I am hopelessly flawed.  I make mistakes all the time.  I hope that I learn from my mistakes and become a better person in the process.  I hope that Ladybug will see that as she grows.  I grew up with a mother who believed she was perfect and wanted everyone else to believe that as well.  She wasn’t and criticized us constantly when we weren’t what she considered to be perfect.  I don’t want Ladybug to ever feel as if she isn’t good enough for me.  She’s wonderful the way she is.

She’s so wonderful that every day I find myself doubting myself and worrying that I’m not doing everything that I should be in order to help her in her development.  I worry that I don’t spend enough time playing with her.  I worry that I should read to her more than I do, though I don’t know how I could read to her much more.  I worry that we should sing more songs with words and hand gestures that I can never remember completely.  I worry that she isn’t socialized enough, but then I don’t want her exposed to too many germs.  I just often feel inadequate.

Yet, when she goes for her checkups, her pediatrician tells me how bright she is.  He’s impressed with her development, both physically and mentally.  She’s fine.  She’s doing just fine, and so far I don’t think that I’m screwing her up permanently.

Does that mean that I should rest on my laurels?  Should I just sit back, turn on the TV, and let her develop totally on her own like Matilda?  No.  I can relax a bit, but I cannot ever completely worrying over whether or not I’m doing well as a mother, nor would I ever want to.  I remember telling more than one friend in the past that it’s the good moms who worry about how they’re raising their children, because they care.  It’s the moms who think and/ or pretend they’re prefect who probably aren’t as great as they think they are.

So, I’m still going to sing songs I can’t remember all the words to.  I’m still going to get down in the floor to play with Ladybug, wearing the knees out of all my jeans.  I’m still going to read book after book that she hands to me (which really thrills me to no end).  Sometimes though, it’s good to just go outside, sit back, and watch the airplanes fly by.  I’m not raising a perfect child, just a wonderful one.

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