Saturday, January 08, 2005

Happy new year!

Happy 2005 everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones this year. I kind of fell behind on updating the blog here because we had to reformat our hard drive and blah blah blah. Its a legitimate reason but oh-so-boring to explain. So I won't waste your time with that nonsense.

Our Christmas was at the mercy of the county this year. Erick was scheduled to work the night of Christmas eve and the night of Christmas. So we went to his parents house for dinner on Dec. 23 and McKenna and I went to my sister's for dinner on Christmas eve while Erick worked. We were at least looking forward to having Christmas morning together as a family, despite Erick having a terrible stomach flu. He was definitely NOT allowed to call in sick on the Christmas holiday so he worked right through it. But the county really did him in when they told him that he would not only be working Christmas night, but Christmas day too. 6am-10pm. All of Christmas. With the stomach flu. He wouldn't even get to see McKenna for even a moment the whole day. It was hard to not be angry knowing that the reason he had to work was because other people had called in sick (people that you know full well were not sick, they just didn't want to work Christmas). But it was hard to dwell on the anger when we think of people who had to celebrate Christmas without their loved ones this year, such as the Scott Family, the Thomson Family, the Prescott Family and the Fortner Family. After you've become aware of families like these, you really can't let too much get to you as long as your own family is healthy. That's like Christmas everyday to me.

So, I don't know where my baby has gone but in her place there is now a very bright and headstrong toddler. At first, it was easy for me to be taken aback by the toddler-typical tantrums she would throw. I'd do just about anything to get her to stop pitching a fit, including giving her her way. Until of course it dawned on me. "Hey wait a minute. I'm the parent. If I don't set boundaries, who will?" So Erick and I are both working on patient but firm re-enforcement of healthy boundaries. It certainly takes more energy and more focus. But it does seem to be working and paying off. I've been watching Nanny 911 religiously (I love those English chickees - they are providing a wealth of knowledge to me). And I've been reading Dr. Phil's Family First. I've actually been learning so much from both of these sources and they remind me regularly that it is ok to feel overwhelmed. But it is not ok to get so overwhelmed that I let a toddler take over the house. I'm also reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp though I'm just starting it so I can't say if its completely helpful or not. I'll get back to you on that.

Don't get me wrong. McKenna is not at all a brat. This is all normal toddler behavior. Its just something that somehow blindsided me enough that at first, it overwhelmed me. Once I realized what stage we were entering into I managed to reset myself enough to take on the new challenges. I had to switch parenting gears. I no longer have a baby who doesn't know what she wants or what is upsetting her. I now have a toddler who knows exactly what she wants and exactly what is upsetting her but doesn't yet know how to communicate it or even if she does, doesn't understand why we would dare tell her she can't have it.

Now the less challenging, totally rewarding part of having a toddler.....

<33333The completely adorable things they say and do. <33333

McKenna is so very affectionate. My most favorite thing that she does is when she grabs my face and presses her face right up onto mine. Sometimes she just holds onto me, sometimes she smushes her nose up to my nose, sometimes she puts her forehead to my forehead, sometimes she kisses my chin. It doesn't matter to me. I love it all.

One of the sweetest things I had ever seen was when Erick was holding her and out of the blue she grabbed his face and pulled it toward her and gave him a big kiss. If only she knew how much we love and cherish those little moments.

She is currently obsessed with cookies, Trix, dogs (woof-woofs) and her cousin Luke (Luuuuuuue). As soon as we walk in the mall, she knows exactly where we are and starts asking "woof woof? woof woof?" (she wants to visit the pet store). If I ever mention Auntie she will instantly ask for "Lue". The funniest thing ever is that if Luke goes crawling by her, she pets his head and says "niiiiiiiice" like he's her puppy. It cracks all of us up. Watching the two of them play together is easily one of the best parts of my week. They chase each other around laughing big ol' belly laughs at each other. I swear I will work on getting some video of it sometime. You just have to see it. Its too sweet.

Luke spent the night the other night and both of them were in the dining room. A Laurie Berkner song came on the tv and McKenna came running in. Then she ran back to the dining room and yelled out "LUUUUU!" and he came crawling into the living room right behind her. They both started dancing in their own way (they're both big Laurie Berkner fans) and even both stood right in front of the tv with their little hands on the screen like little puppies.

I am just amazed by her independence as well. We went to church last Sunday and it was my first time leaving her in the nursery. There was only one other kid in there and they don't allow parents to stay. So I told the nursery attendant "There is no way she'll go without me." Well my little "mama's girl" walked right away from me and straight into that room and never even looked back. I looked like a total jack ass but I had to laugh at myself for it. And I was so proud of her for being so adaptable.

Today she spilled a bowl of dry cereal on the floor (intentionally). So I put her in my lap and I said "McKenna, look at Mommy." First of all, big surprise that she actually DID look at me and maintained eye contact. Then I said "We don't throw our cereal on the floor. Now help Mommy pick it back up." Well at first she tried to walk away and leave me to clean it up (since I usually do). But I just kept bringing her back to the mess and showed her how to put it in the bowl. Then I put some in her hand and I said "Can you show Mommy where this goes?" And she put it back in the bowl! I said "Yay! You did it!" So she picked up some more and put it in the bowl again and this time she said "I did it!" It was really encouraging to see that! It showed me that there are ways around that battle of the wills.

A few of McKenna's new words (or some are old but are now said differently): Princess (Pwin-seh), Treasure (tweh-sho), Button (butt-tah), Outside (ow-sigh), Kitty Kat (tikky tak), Potatoe (pa-toe), Remote (mo-mo).

Speaking of remote, recently she was sitting in my lap and pointing to each and every button saying "whazat?" (what's that?) And I would answer "button". Then she would point to the next one "whazat?" And I would reply "button". Well I eventually spaced out and quit replying. She kept saying over and over "Whazat? Whazat?" She must've gotten frustrated because she said "Heh-WOH!!!" (HeLLO!!!) to get my attention. I had to laugh at her. She's already showing a little teen attitude.

Here are some new pics for you. I think I had some others I wanted to share but Erick put everything on a disk and I can't find it right now. If I find some later, I'll add more.

Kenna having a little chat with her Ging-Ging before dinner.
"Now Ging-Ging, I'm not saying I need a pony per se...I'm just saying a pony would be nice."

"Who me? Spoiled?"

This picture was too cute. Erick and his Dad apparently were not working fast enough for Kenna. She could not wait to ride that thing!

Here is a hat that Santa brought for her. She loves to wear it with her pajamas mostly.

Here she is on Christmas morning in her Dora outfit. Definitely her favorite thing to wear. She spends half the time trying to see the picture of "Dee Dee" on her shirt.

Luke and Kenna had their first sleepover. While Luke ate his dinner, Kenna kept kissing his feet. Which is funny by itself but even funnier when you notice her butt crack is showing.

Here they are in their jammies and sharing some juice.

Talking to her Auntie on the phone. She's telling Auntie that she wants "foo" (food) and doing her hand signal for food.

Here she is with Auntie. They're both doing "cute face".

Two stylish divas. And whenever we put on sunglasses we must say "oooooooooh!"

Here is our latest family picture. December 2004:

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