Monday, March 31, 2008

Kissing the Boo-boos

We have entered the stage of boo-boos. Things that are broken have "boo-boos". Holes in socks? They have boo-boos too. We place band aids on teeny,tiny marks on knees. Most of the time, we can make it all better with kisses.

During the weekend, I am THE parent. Because I'm not around during the day in the work week, Seren likes to be with Mom all of the time during Saturday and Sunday. This is fine with me! I get to play and Sam has a chance to do all of the things he can't do during the week. (That being said, Sam still does a ton of work.) I say this, because she prefers me to do the silliest things. Like get her out of her high chair, etc. "No! Dada do! Momma do! Momma! Momma up!" Etc.

All three of us were playing in the living room Sunday night. Seren was running and slid her hip/butt right into the door frame. Crash. Tears. Sam offered, "Oh, come here, honey. I'll kiss the boo-boo on your butt."

Her response? Said through snuffles and sniffs and tears...

"NOO!! MOMMA kiss my butt! (snuffle, sniff)"

Momma kiss my butt? Oh jeez.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Like an odd game of hang man

Seren and I have been playing a new game. This game involves me singing part of a song or reading part of a story to her. When I stop singing or reading, she fills in the rest.

I love this! She does to!


Me: "Twinkle, twinkle, little..."
Seren: "STAR!"
Me: "How I wonder what you..."
Seren: "ARE!"

She has such enthusiasm for this game! She also loves to play with books.
Me: "This is George. He is a good monkey. But always very..."
Seren: "Curus"
Me: "When he wants to get away, he hops in the blue car with his friend, the man..."
Seren: "Wit ello HAT!"

Simple things amuse me people, simple things.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

7 things about me

My blogging buddy, Laura over at Laura's Mommy Journal tagged me to write 7 things about myself. I am behind on my blogging and have much to say about Easter and other adventures with Seren and Sam but I couldn't resist this challenge.

1. When I was about 14 years old, I went to "Space Camp" in Huntsville, AL. I went because my best friend lived in Alabama (far from PA) and I wanted to share the experience with her. We spent a week sweating in AL with a whole bunch of nerdy boys. There were a total of 6 girls in the whole camp. We prepared for our "mission" all week. We then had a simulated space experience! I wasn't an astronaut during our mission, I was centered at mission control. We stayed up late until all hours making sure our team was safe as they "walked on the moon". What a trip! It was only simulation of course but I really bought into it- we all did! (I think this also ranks as one of the most nerdy things I've ever done.)

2. I have a horrible sense of direction. I can get lost just about anywhere I go. I have inherited this from my father. When we leave a store in the mall, neither of us know which way we came from before we walked into the store from the mall. I can't read a map very well. Google maps has been a life saver. I don't think Seren has inherited this. So that is good. When going to my parents home two weeks ago, Sam got off the highway at an earlier exit to run an errand and Seren started yelling from the backseat that he wasn't going to "Ammy and Pop-pop's house!".

3. I am a list maker. Anyone who knows me in real life, know I live by the list. I seriously write lists all day long. Anything that isn't on a list, just isn't in my brain. My good friend, Amanda, once asked me when we lived together in college, "Meg, do you cross- reference those!?"

4. I have been to 46 of the 51 United states. Still on my list? Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Alaska. I had a goal of getting to all of them by age 30. My husband and I took a long cross country trip from CA to WI and made several crazy stops just to "get another state".

5. My husband and I spent 3 weeks in 2004 in Ghana. That trip is the source of many, many funny stories. It was the most challenging, exhausting and exciting trip I've ever been on. We went completely on our own and struggled through it all. We met the most wonderful people and shared some incredible dinners and nights. And like good Western tourists, we got incredibly sick. Looking back on it, that trip was really a milestone in our marriage. We traveled together- it was a complete partnership as we negotiated language barriers and cultural barriers. Here is one of my favorite pictures of me in Ghana- in the village of Tafi Atome which was home to a monkey preserve. We toured the monkey village in honor of my birthday!

6. I am allergic to cats and always have been. Despite this fact, I live with two of them. Sam was a "package deal"- I got two cats with my new husband. The cats were almost a deal breaker for me. When we first started dating, he told me about his cats. My heart sunk. Yuck, this won't work. But I suppose love conquers all. 8 years later, I'm still with him and our nutty furry cats, Wally and Jordan. Well, I live with Wally, Jordan and a daily Claritin.

7. I don't "do" change very well. Maybe most people don't. But I don't embrace it at all. I don't rearrange my house or repaint walls just for "change". That whole mentality isn't part of me. I like it where it sits now, why change that? I am someone who needs closure to situations/jobs/relationships. Coming up on a last day at work? I spend hours contemplating the experience, what I learned, what I will miss. I need the "lasts". "The last time I'll make this commute. The last time I need to go to this meeting, etc" That sort of thing. This is a technique that helps me make change.

Parenting, on the other hand, is ALL about change. Day to day. Moment to moment. I remember early on desperately searching for some pattern- something I could hold on to. Does she always eat 6 oz of milk after that morning nap? How many times did she poop? Partly because she was a preemie and partly because I'm me, I wrote all of this down religiously. It is the analyst in me that would try to find patterns. If we get to parents to a new little one again, I hope I would just let go earlier in the game.

This was a fun! Hope you know a bit more about me. I tag my college friends Laura S and Amy to do the same on their blogs!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Those of you with kids may remember the days of swaddling. Newborns love to be swaddled in blankets. It makes them feel cozy- just like the womb. Seren was a big fan of being swaddled. The first few weeks of her life, we just needed to swaddle her and out she'd go.

Recently, Seren has insisted that we swaddle Dolly. (She actually also insists on being swaddled herself but that is another story). Dolly has been a good friend to our family for about a year. She goes everywhere with us. Seren deliberately swaddles Dolly, takes her to her own chair, rocks her a total of 3 times and puts her in Dolly's crib.

Last night she added in her sweet voice, "Night-night. Sleep well." And gave Dolly two kisses and then blew her one. She then walked out the door. It doesn't surprise me that she mimicked EXACTLY my routine.

I have been surprised that the pretending started so early. I was surprised when Seren started pretending in the summer (?). I thought that would come much later. But I love it. I told Seren she was a very good mom. She just smiled and said, "yeah".

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random Thoughts

I am too tired for a real post. But I have been meaning to record several things for myself:

**Seren decided she likes asparagus. I love how toddlers keep you guessing. One day, nothing that is green is worth touching, much less eating. The next day, she is chomping down on asparagus and asking for more!

** Seren also LOVES blueberries. When she was younger, she tried a blueberry and broke out in hives. They were off the list for a long time. Then we got them again and she goes to town eating them. When you ask her if she wants fruit, she replies "YES! BLUEBERRIES!" This is unfortunate as we don't often have blueberries. Thank goodness she isn't allergic!

** Seren gets obsessed with things out of place or things dirty. Several weeks ago, my family and my parents all went on a muddy hike. It was a first spring walk and Seren got mud on her shoes. The entire way home, all we heard from the backseat of the car was "Mud on shoes. Seren's shoes muddy! Mud on shoooooos!"

** Singing is a favorite past time. She sings all of the favorites- Itsy Bitsy, Twinkle Twinkle, Baa-Baa Black Sheep. ABCs. Our favorite is when she sings them all at the same time. And heaven forbid you try and correct her. "Mama! No sing! NO, NO! Seren sing!" Be my guest.

** She loves to bounce. Bounce and fall flat on her tush. Over and over again. While hysterically laughing.

** Giggle fits at dinner are my personal favorite. She can't say the word "grapes" but loves to try. Last week found me crying tears of laughter as she attempted to say the word again and again, laughing as she said it.

** Seren continues to use her nebulizer. On the 7th we got the diagnosis of childhood asthma. Apparently, she will likely grow out of it. As of now, she has to use a little inhaler in addition to the nebulizer :( We are to continue to treat her "until the weather turns". Until then, we'll use the nebulizer two- three times a day. This is how Seren looks wearing her little "steam clean machine". (She also will give a breathing treatment, to each of her farm animals- one by one.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ice Skating

My mom used to ice skate competitively. Growing up, I thought she was the coolest mom ever. (ok, so I still think she is a great mom). When I would go ice skating with my friends, my mom would go out into the middle of the rink and spin and jump. How cool is THAT? For my 10th birthday party, a whole group of my friends went ice skating and I couldn't get over how cool she was.

So I suppose it should come as no surprise that my mom was REALLY excited about taking Seren ice skating. Sam and I both thought this could be a potential disaster. Readers may remember how much she "enjoyed" the snow. Maybe Seren just doesn't "do" winter sports. What if they drove all the way to the rink only to have her burst into tears? Despite our strong misgivings, we gave it a shot.

Sam and Seren met my parents at the rink last Thursday. As soon as she saw my mom gliding around the rink, she started to smile. My mom took her out on the ice in her little shoes to see if she liked it. She did! Three pairs of rental skates later, Seren was "skating". What a great sensation it must be to be dragged around the ice! Seren had a grand time. But we all agreed that while Seren had a good time, my mom had a GREAT time. We all look forward to one or two things that we can't wait for our children/grandchildren to be able to do. And clearly, for my mom, getting my daughter on skates was high on the list.

So they are going skating again today. This time, Sam will also join the team on the ice. Only, he doesn't need little skates. He has a mighty size 13 foot. Hope they make 'em that big.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Bag on Head"

When I was young, my parents drove a 1965 Pontiac LeMans Convertible. It was my Dad's first car. It was the car that he used to pick my mom up for their first date. It is the car they used for their "getaway" car from their wedding in 1972. This car, which is an entire story it itself, still sits in our garage. They drove it into the ground and when it no longer worked, they kept it. One of my clearest memories from when I was young was a huge summer rainstorm. My brother and I were our running errands at the grocery store with my Dad. As we left the store, the skies opened up and it started to pour. It just rained and rained. My brother was sitting in the kid seat of the grocery cart and I was in the cart itself.

My dad started to frantically try to get the convertible roof back up. The thing wouldn't budge. He started to curse at it. Pulling on the huge roof, he strained against the heavy material. My brother and I were too young to be of any use. We simply just sat there in the grocery cart while the warm rain fell. Finally, my dad just gave up and put us in the car. He handed us each a plastic grocery bag to put over our heads to protect us from the rain and we drove home in the pouring rain with the convertible down.

I remember clearly sitting in the basket of that cart and my young dad trying to fix the roof of the car, that they most likely, couldn't afford to fix or replace. I don't remember arriving home or when it stopped raining but what a thrill for a little girl! First being outside in the rain and then driving home in a car while you could still feel the rain!

I was reminded of this story on Saturday. Seren and I went for a quick errand to Babies R Us to purchase some diapers. When we left the store, the skies opened wide. I sprinted to the car, with her on my left hip, and a box of 162 size 5 cruisers diapers on my left. She said to me, as she is prone to do after her bath, "Hair all wet."

The problem was that I had to return to the store next to it to finish our shopping. I threw the diapers in the car and pulled out a large, black "Hefty" trash bag that was in the car of my trunk. I asked Seren to hold one side of it and I draped it over her head, then mine and I held down the other corner of the bag. We ran like this through the rain back to the stores. She loved it!

We did our shopping without a care in the world. We heard the rain fall on the ceiling of the store. We were safe and dry. Seren enjoyed JoAnne's fabric, stopping to explore the ribbon and the colorful fabric. She identified many colors as we walked, hand in hand down the many aisles. I realized that I wasn't rushing for once. And was actually relaxed. It was great! My shoulders lowered a bit and we just took the whole store in. The rain hadn't stopped by the time we left, despite our intentional dawdling. So we sprinted for the car in much the same way we arrived. I put her safely in her car seat and made sure she was in there good while the lower half of me got drenched in the rain.

We returned home to our neighborhood. It wasn't raining. Just a sprinkle.

I was maneuvering the diapers and the other items we bought as we came through the door. I was a bit flustered by the wet shoes, the wet jackets and the wet clothes. Seren, however, had a story to tell Dada. Sam greeted us and she proudly said to him, a smile on her face and excitement in her voice, "Dada! Bag on head!"

It was a good adventure. Thank goodness for plastic trash bags.

picture from

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spring Fever

Yesterday was the first day that it felt like spring. The feeling of wanting to open up the windows and breathe in the air. Deeply. We haven't had a rough winter- not more than 6 inches of snow fell. But we have been cooped up. Seren is still on her nebulizer treatments and everytime we do fewer than three treatments a day, her cough comes back. As a result, we really feel like we are ready for spring.

I got home from work yesterday and wasted no time getting ready to take a walk with Seren. She was ready. She wanted to wear her new vest, her new white shoes and got all ready to go. And we were off. Seren didn't leisurely walk. No sauntering for this one. Nope- a full out sprint! She held tight to my hand and sprinted down the hill of our street. She was laughing, her pigtails bouncing up and down and she giggled and ran around the block. Her behavior modeled exactly how I felt- FREE! I ran along side her. Stopping only to catch our breath, laugh at each other and keep on running. The more noise our feet made, the better.

I know that there will be a day soon where she won't want to hold my hand so tightly. Or that she won't be so willing to spend time with me. I am cherishing these moments- and holding them tightly to my heart.

Seren turned 22 months yesterday. The closer we get to her turning two, the more emotional I seem to get! It isn't that I want to hold on to the "baby days" because those days were rough in a different way. It is the fact that I can't believe that she'll be two. She walks and talks. And tells me stories. And laughs about "jokes" that we make. She isn't a helpless infant anymore. She LOVES life. And finds so much humor in everything. She is a "big girl" (which she'll tell you if you ask her).

Two years!? I've been a mom that long?! Some days, I can't remember our lives without her. I'm a pro at this mom stuff! I make my child laugh. We are partners in parenting. And I love, love, love being a mom and seeing her little face. Other days, I feel like I have been faking it all along. Being a parent to a toddler can make you feel like you are the worst parent. It is exhausting negotiating. Just so many ups and downs- sometimes within a 30 minute timeframe!

Today I find myself thinking back to two springs ago- when we waited eagerly to become parents. Our drama surrounding her birth hadn't yet begun. We hadn't moved to PA. I hadn't finished my degree. I didn't work full time. Our lives, in many ways were just so different. Spring always holds the promise of new life, new beginnings. Having a baby born in early May will forever make me think of all of the change that spring can bring.