Saturday, September 24, 2011


I've ruined my little girl.  

Faces like these are far and few between these days.  The kid is a whiny, crying, nervous wreck.  

I'm trying to return her to a sense of normalcy.  We had Cade over yesterday.  I took them to Chick-fil-a yesterday and we had to leave the playplace after about 10 minutes because she wouldn't stop crying.  She was afraid to go up the tube because she "would miss her mommy."  I gave up and let them curl up on the couch with Curious George at home.

She threw a huge crying fit last night because she didn't want to sleep by herself in her bed.  I had to bring Drew in our room to sleep because she was so loud.  This morning she's been hysterically crying for the past hour because she doesn't want to go to church "after Saturday."  "I want Daddy to stay with me in Primary."  Fine.  She keeps crying.  "I need someone to line up with me."  OK.  She keeps crying.   "No, line up with me AFTER Primary."  Fine.  She keeps crying.  "But I won't feel good cuz my nose is stupped up."  Crying continues.  

At least someone is happy these days.  Well, at least when compared to his sister.  His second top tooth is cutting through and that's a little sensitive.

This is the pumpkin pre-decoupage.  Drewie liked it and he was right.  It did look better before my crafting.

I'm posting the "after" picture for Maur, in case she's really desperate for her pumpkin page.   But I don't want my name associated with it, Maur!

I actually have the orange pumpkin on display.  Because I was going to make TWO of these things!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Weekends for us have kind of devolved into tag-team naptime.  Ry and I take turns spelling each other of the kids while the other tries to catch up on sleep.  Tess relishes her time with Dad.  He usually takes her to the park or on a long walk and they often end up getting a smoothie together.

This Saturday, Ry took Tess to a mini golf course at one of the parks by our house.  It's closed for fall and was actually flooded during our recent hurricane. Tess was pretty thrilled when Ry pulled out his golf clubs from when he was kid so they could play the course.

Tess is getting braver at slides and more terrified of everything else.   Every morning she wakes up in tears because "she doesn't want to go to school on another day."

Today she cried all morning because she didn't want to go to church or Primary or her class.  She cried all during Sacrament Meeting because she would miss me in Primary.  Her tummy hurt, she was sick, she was too sleepy, she needed to stay in bed all day long.

Ry had to sit with her for all of singing/sharing time and then help her to class.  She gets nervous about the transition time when they go to class because of all the chaos in the hallway.  "I don't want to line-up after Primary.  It not my favorite.  I get lost!"  She hasn't needed this much help in Primary since the start of the year.

After a tough week, Tess at least got to spend some fun time with her Nana and Papa on Friday.  Nana helped us pick out some fall decorations for our house, pumpkin included.  We are now the proud owners of Tess and Drewsie scarecrows.

If Tess looks a little puffy in this picture, it's because it was taken in between crying fits this morning.  Nothing like a pumpkin to take your mind off your worries.  At least for a little while.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Growing Pains

It's been kind of a tough week, coming into our own.  After her first week of preschool, Tess had experienced enough to trigger a separation anxiety meltdown.  

Tess built her own school at home using my rapidly-disintegrating couch cushions.  The pillows on either side are the front and back doors.  She's the teacher and her students are lined up, ready to learn, inside.  Her class does a lot of lining up and listening to the teacher.

Here's a rundown of our long preschool week:

I knew it was too good to be true. Third day of preschool and Tess had a nuclear meltdown when I was leaving her today. She was fine doing her cubby and all her "checking-in" jobs, but when I turned to go, she lost it. Hysterical crying, screaming and hyperventilating for 25 minutes before she calmed down enough so I could go. She still wasn't happy when I left. She was in better spirits when I picked her up, but her teacher said the tears were "off and on" throughout the day. It's hard for me to think that she might be distraught while I'm gone because she's often too shy to ask adults for help if she needs it. I know that's why she needs to do this, but it's hard.

Wednesday night:
Lots of anxiety and tears tonight about preschool tomorrow. "I don't want to go to school. I want to stay home and play. I want to stay with you, Mom. I will miss you. I want you to stay with me at my school. It a long time. I don't want to be big."

Thursday pre-preschool:
Holy hysteria this morning. Tess had a hard time falling asleep last night and she started crying first thing when she woke up. It actually reminds me a lot of when she was a baby and we'd try letting her cry herself to sleep. She'd work herself up to such a frenzy that she'd vomit everywhere. She's wired for this kind of anxiety. "I no want to go to school today. I too sleepy. I want to stay home and sleep ALL DAY! I no like my teachers. I will miss you, Mom. I will miss you. It too long. You no be right back. I will miss EVERYTHING! I will miss my bonk bed and my kitchen and my chalk board! I no feel good. I have a cold. My nose stopped up. I sick. It no uptime yet, Mom. See outside? It still night night time. I need to go to sleep. I will miss you, Mommy. You have to stay with me ALL DAY! Mom, you tell the teacher I will miss you." Tactics that work with other kids don't work with her. Best I can do is listen, tell her I understand, tell her what we'll do to make it better and then try to get her mind off it. Because the rabid foaming at the mouth isn't pretty. "It be a very, very, very, very short day today, Mom?"

Thursday post-preschool:
Phew. Tess was in happy spirits when I picked her up from preschool today. She had lots to tell me about and her teacher said there'd been no more tears. Her teacher also said that Tess is really good with letters. She had Tess write the letter "A" on their chalkboard for class today. Her teacher suggested ways to encourage Tess' reading and writing because she said Tess was really showing signs that she was ready to take it all in.

I stayed with her the first 30 mins of preschool and she was still teary when I left, but not hysterical.  She'll get there with time and patience of all involved.

Speaking of patience, Drewie's top tooth finally broke through.  The other tooth is still pushing it's way out, but they don't seem to be bothering him as much lately.

He's still been getting up twice a night for a bottle though, and I've had it.  So it's been Baby Bootcamp time, which means NO BOTTLE if he wakes up at night.  He was one loud, mad boy Tuesday night, but last night he slept the whole night through.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Drew refuses to keep a bib on.  His immediate instinct:  RIP IT OFF!

The difficult days have made us appreciate our fun, downtime together when we don't have to be anywhere or do anything in particular.  We had one last summer picnic at the park together.  It was hardly picture perfect.  It was blazing hot and of course, Tess had to wet her pants, so she ended up running around in one of Drew's diapers.

 But Mr. Sweaty Head, Lil Miss soggy pants and I enjoy being together. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Preschool Days

Tess was so excited for her first day of preschool this morning!  She didn't seem at all nervous, though I can't say the same for Ryan and I.  We were both feeling a little anxious about it last night.

When I was walking her up to class, Tess said, "Mom, you stay for a minute and help me find something to play.  Then you gotta go.  Mommies don't go to school.  But I'll be back."  Then she added, "Mom, you can't believe what a big girl I am?"

Nope, I can't believe it.

Tess with her teacher, Ms. Jean.

The report:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Home Again

So we're back home again, enjoying cooler weather and getting ready for fall.  We went to an open house for Tess' preschool this week.  She got to meet her teachers, see her classroom, find her cubby and play with toys.  She even got to meet the class hamster, Fluffy.

This is Tess outside the front of the school.  When we got out, she pointed to the sign and said, "Mom, that the bus stop."  She's been reading words like crazy.  I started a list and there are about 40 words she can read by sight.  She also told me this is her new pose for taking a "cute picture." "When I want a cute picture, I go like this."

Good thing she's cute.  We were all ready for the open house and I was strapping the kids in the car when I discovered that Tess had wet her pants.  Tess' peeing is going to be the end of me.  My one hope and salvation is that she usually only wets at home.  At least I hope that's the case for preschool.  Her backpack is going to be stuffed full of underwear.  

This is the back entrance to the school, which has a long path up a big hill.  Tess is in the "upstairs" class, and the older kids are in the "downstairs" class.  She starts school this week, and will attend Tuesday and Thursdays from 9:15 to 1:15.  She gets to bring a lunch to eat at school.  Oh boy, is she going to be a big girl!

Her favorite activity, of course, is the kitchen playset.

I have lots of friends who love this preschool program.  Everyone I asked couldn't say enough amazing things about it.  I'm really hoping it will help Tess improve her social skills.  When her teacher came up to meet her, Tess buried her head in my legs.  The teacher asked her simple questions and encouraged her to use words to answer, but Tess was too shy.

It will be interesting to see how she does.  It's a long day--I don't think I ever left her for 4 hours with anyone but family.  But considering how long it takes her to warm up and feel comfortable, I think the long separation will be a good thing.

Drewbie, Drewbers, Drewster.  Um, that kid has kind of been driving us crazy lately.  His top two teeth are breaking through and it looks like a bunch more are on their way.  He's been cranky and not sleeping and all that good stuff.  

Also new with him, he's too big now for his baby carrier car seat.  This is a tough transition because he's still not great at sitting up in a grocery cart or restaurant high chair by himself, and usually ends up bonking himself in the swollen teeth at some time during an outing.  He's also a heavy, squirmy kid, and I can't just set him down without his carrier.  

We tried going out for dinner last night, and he was just impossible:  grabbing everything in sight, shredding the paper on the table, cranky, shrieking and refusing his bottle.  I finally brought his big carseat into the restaurant so we'd have a place to restrain him.  It was the worst going-out experience we've had since...well, since Tess went through this same stage.

Some things really are like deja vu.  Drew's been clapping a lot lately.  That was one of Tess' first games too.  Here's a video of Tess the happy clapper at 11 months.

Drew has also enjoyed my new nursery calling.  I take him in for the first hour of nursery and he totally loves playing with the toys and hanging out with the "big" kids.  That has made church a little easier.

Speaking of church, this is Tess' drawing of "Mommy at church with a long dress."

We also have church at 11:00 now instead of 9 am.  Which allows for morning nap before church.  I was surprised to see Drew conked out on the living room floor.  Guess that's what happens when you're up twice at night and then wake Dad up at 6:30 am.  Isn't he cute, though?

Lots of changes and adjustments.  We'll get there with time.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 2011 Tidbits

Tess was riding her tricycle down to the "angel" this evening. It's her favorite landmark on our sidewalk--a neighbor's plastic fairy lawn ornament that she's loved now for years. (Here's proof.) It's also the farthest point she can ride where we can still see her, so it's a good stopping point. I asked her if she would like to take the angel a flower on one of her trips. Ry and I watched her pedal down to the angel, with the flower stowed in the back of her bike. Then we could see her approach the angel slowly with the flower behind her back, which she whipped out for surprising, dramatic effect. We watched her have a long, animated conversation with the angel and then she pedaled back to us. Ry asked Tess what she told the angel. Tess' reply: "I told her to enjoy it!"

Today Tess told me that the animals at the pet store were missing her.

Tess was examining her thighs as she was sitting in her carseat. She reported excitedly, "Mom, my legs getting all wobbly like yours! Yeah! I growing up!"

The morning of our flight home from Idaho, Tess woke me up in bed with big tears in her eyes. "Mom, I don't want to leave Idaho. I like it."

Tess and Lauren were discussing what they want to be when they grow up. Tess informed Lauren that Drew is going to be a "football maker."

The first day in Idaho Tess was playing with all her cousins and I asked if she was glad to see them again.  "Yes," she said, "It's good to see that they still alive."

In the car today Tess pointed out a car in front of us with its blinking turn signal on. "What wrong with that car's light, Mom? It must need batteries or someping."

Tess' Saturday agenda included playing "kitty kitchen" with Dad. The kitties decided to have Family Home Evening together. Ryan's Dad kitty gave a lesson on nature and he asked the other kitties, "Who made all the beautiful trees and rivers and things in nature?" Tess' kitty responded, "Jesus!" Then she quickly corrected her answer, "I mean Kitty Jesus!"

While I (Ryan) was driving yesterday with Tess in the car, Tess pointed out a police car. I said, "Tess, what do the police do?" Tess replied, "They help people. When people fall down, they help them get up or something."

When we arrived at the playground, I (Ryan) pointed out a basketball hoop to Tess. She asked where the hoop came from. I told her that I didn't know. Tess responded, "Maybe the workers built it. That was nice."

"Mom, know why I like Dipsy's Papa? Cuz I like hammocks."

Tess went to play at her friend Cade's house today. She asked me what I was going to do without her and how long I'd be gone. I told her that I'd be gone long enough for her to play. "Mom, I hope you gone a long time."

While reading to Tess this morning, she pointed out and read several words, including: you, start, prince, kids, yellow and baby. She always points at the word and says, "Why that say you?" "Why that say baby?"

Today in the car Tess asked me, "Why that pool beside you, Mom?" We were in the grocery store parking lot, and I told Tess there was no pool anywhere to be seen. "No, Mom, that pool right by your head!" Huh? I turn my head to see the top of my seatbelt shoulder harness, inscribed with the word "PULL." Stunned, I asked her how she knows the word pull. "I just teached myself."