Monday, April 28, 2008

Things she says

This is another post to help me try to capture Seren at this age. She is a walking contradiction. On the one hand, totally independent. She screams if you try to help her get dressed or put on her shoes. On the other hand, she wants to be hugged, soothed, held. Sometimes her frustration makes her blood boil. Honestly, I fear she has quite the temper. She shakes in her rage. Othertimes, saying a funny word will set in her peels of laughter. All said, overall, we didn't have a great weekend. We butted heads. The emotional energy it takes to keep positive despite all of the "No! No! NOOO!" and the patience it takes to play the game, or let her tie her shoes, or let her help can sometimes just wear me out! But this is parenting a two year old. And it is normal. And I'll live.

And in 6 days she'll be two.

I feel like she has been "almost two" for four months.

Last night, I was laying in my bed thinking about the funny expressions Seren has.

If you say, "I love you Seren", she'll sometimes respond, "Bushel and a peck". Which is a song I don't sing frequently to her but she clearly associates with "I love you."

I heard her talking to her plastic horse in the kitchen last night. "Hi, neigh-neigh. Nice to see you."

If you say, "Come here Silly girl!" She'll correct you, "No, Senen BIG girl."

My mistake.

Lastly, and this doesn't quite fall into the category of things she says...but it is my blog and it is Monday and raining...I am pleased to report that Seren continues to be quite empathetic. We had our friends Andy, Doug and Julie over last weekend. Julie started to cry about something. Her response surprised us all. She immediately ran over to her blanket, put it over her head and started to play peek-a-boo for Julie. This is something that we do all of the time to distract her. (well, we used to). It was exciting to see her try to soothe someone else.

Here is one of the sweet shots that her Aunt Andy took last weekend. Makes my heart melt. It is always good to go for a walk with a dear friend. And so much better to hold hands.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Things that Scare Seren

Seren has always been timid. That is fine with me. She is scared of many sounds. I like this aspect of being a toddler because while on one hand she is "Ms. Independent" and refuses our help, the second she hears a motorcycle or a big truck, she'll drop what she is doing and come sprinting towards us for big hugs.

Makes me feel like I still have a baby in our house despite the fact that she'll be two in less than two weeks.

Last night, she was taking a bath. She was happily splashing and doing her own thing in the tub. She had been wearing blue socks during the day and a little bit of blue sock lint floated by her.

She took one look at it and quickly stood up, her arms outstretched towards me. With fear in her voice she announced, "Seren get out of tub now!"

I comforted her while smiling at the whole scene.

SOCK LINT? Dogs barking, motorcycles and vacuum cleaners are understandable scary. But sock lint? :) Poor thing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

CA pics

Here are some pics of our trip to Oakland/Berkeley April 2- April 9, 2008:

Seren as a Turtle at the Oakland Zoo

Sitting at the zoo as a family:

"Hiking! Seren in backpack!"

The same garden where Sam and I got married:

Happy, happy Mommy Meg

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In love with Mother Goose

My daughter has a new obsession which started in California. She LOVES to sleep with the book of Mother Goose stories.

She won't drift off to sleep unless Mother Goose is not only in her bed but tucked in her blanket! Many a night has left me frantically trying to locate the book before putting her down. She has Dolly, her white blanket and "Mo Goose".

But it isn't just sleeping with the book- she loves to READ the stories in there. She has memorized a few. She rocks her Dolly to sleep with "Rock a Bye Baby" and loves to sing "Baa-Baa Black Sheep" at the top of her lungs. It actually sounds like "Baa-baa black sh*t" but ya know...

Have you taken the time to actually read the stories in these books? Yuck! "What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails...that's what little boys are made of." They actually still print stuff like this?

Yes, they do and Seren LOVES it. I'll try to get a video of Seren singing Baa-baa because it is a good rendition.

Just to give you one more example of how much these stories have permeated our lives? We were at the zoo in Oakland last week. Seren took one look at the meerkats and yelled "THREE BLIND MICE!" That had me in giggles for quite a while.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Complete Blast

To say that the three of us had fun in California would be a gross understatement. We had a blast! The entire trip- from the happy start to the busy end, was amazing! When the plane touched down in San Francisco, I cried tears of joy. The Bay Area will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my first move after college, my first job, the beginning of my adult life. It was where I met my husband, fell in love and where we got married. Memories of those places come to me often so it is no surprise that I loved being back.

It had been three years since we had visited. And in that time, we moved to Wisconsin, I went to graduate school,we had a baby and I finished my degree. Then we moved to PA and I began to work in NJ. So a lot of "life" had happened since we had been back.

Seren was amazing on the trip. I have to say that I was very worried that the terrible twos would continue to challenge us. But she had so much fun being the center of attention, that it wasn't a problem at all. And I was proud of myself: we just went with it all! She surprised us and reset her clock to Pacific Standard Time as soon as we arrived. She took her normal nap and went to bed on time. It was as if we hadn't just flown 3000 miles and three time zones away! She got up once a bit early and got confused as to where she was but she settled herself down. I can't complain at all. She skipped one nap and missed about 5 tubbies because we were having too much fun. All in all- a great switch to our schedule/routine.

Man, did she love California! We went hiking one afternoon and she got to ride in our friend's back pack. We had to cut our hike short and wanted to start on a better trail. So, we had to take her out of the pack and drive in the car a short while. The entire time, she yelled from the back seat, "HIKING! HIKING! SEREN IN BACKPACK!"

That's my child.

We visited the ocean, we hiked in Berkeley, we smelled the CA air. We ate Thai Food. But most of all, we saw our friends. We saw our community. We visited with people who already KNOW us. They knew us before we were "Sam and Megan" when we were just "Sam" and "Megan". Friends like that are amazing people. And there were spontanous dinner parties- three of them! We felt so loved! Seren was so loved!

I learned a lot about myself out there. I learned that we can DO more. We don't have to be home as much as we are. Seren is more flexible than we give her credit for. New place for dinner? Ok! New bed time? She was good with that too! I also learned that I love spending time with my family. (I already knew this) Vacations are great reminders to just slow down, breathe deep, enjoy life. I also learned that not only can we do more, but we SHOULD do more. And we should seek out a community here in PA. Not that we haven't tried. But being there was a great reminder that building community takes time. When I arrived in CA, I only knew one person. Three years later, we gathered with over 30 friends in one week. We can make that happen here too. It just takes time.

Fresh food. Fresh air. Sunshine. Sunburned noses. Horses on the trail (Momma! Two neigh-neighs!). And friends. Lots of friends. We missed it all. We can't wait to go back.

Because let me tell you, the "vibe" in Levittown ain't the same "vibe" as in Oakland.

Pictures soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We'll be leaving on a jet plane!

We are headed to Oakland/Berkeley and San Fran tomorrow! I am so excited! I get goosebumps just thinking about seeing my friends, having them all meet Seren, etc. Our friends are throwing us a party as well. I can't wait to breathe in the CA air, go hiking, etc. I am also praying that all goes well on the long flight. If she is in half the mood that she was in last night- it will be a LONG, long flight.

We tried to keep her up late last night to slowly move her bedtime along. Bad idea. She got VERY angry. At EVERYTHING! The highlight of the night? When she was SO mad at me that she stared me in the eye and bit down on a wooden egg that goes with our play kitchen. It was as if to say, "Take that! I'm mad and I want you to know it." These nights wear my soul out and make me feel like I've completely failed. But then, once she is asleep, I realize that this is normal. That we are doing our best and that messing with schedules is never a good thing. Sigh.

I am going to have to fight every one of my "control" instincs and just go with it. What happens, happens. She wakes up at 3? I'm ok with that. She goes to bed for the night at 5? I'll work on being ok with that too. If she throws a fit during church? People have seen that before too. I imagine we may need a vacation right after our vacation but I'm thrilled to be seeing old friends, reconnecting with favorite places and lets face it, EATING in the Bay Area in a matter of hours! Sam and I will also try to fit in a trip to the garden we got married in. We will be visiting the place Sam proposed. It means a great deal to me to take our child there as well.

Here we go! Ready or not, here we come! We have tylenol, motrin, several Elmo bandaids and more books than I can count. I *think* we are ready.