Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

18 Months Old

It's The Nugget's year and a half birthday today.   I cannot believe how the time has flown.  I mean, a YEAR and a HALF.  I still look at her sometimes and expect to see this:


And I am sometimes surprised to look into a little girl's face and not a baby's face.


So, in honor of her half-birthday, to The Nugget, I say this:

I am so very blessed to be amazed, challenged and loved by you, my beautiful daughter, every day.
At age 18 months, you definitely have a voice of your own.  We love this about you, though it can sometimes be frustrating.  You know what you want and when and how.  This can lead to tears when we can't understand or can't provide what you want, but these periods are generally short-lived.  Your Daddy and I want you to be a strong, independent woman with your own voice in the world and we  encourage you to use that voice of yours.  To help in that department, you are learning vocabulary at an amazing rate and now use many 3 and even some 4 word sentences.

We have had a busy summer of adventure together.  You have had your first trip to the zoo, joined the Children's Museum and gone there on several occasions, attended your first rock concert at the Children's Museum with Jenny Devoe playing.  Daddy had to stop you from rushing the stage:



We have had trips to the state fair, pony rides with family, long walks on the canal and tons of time swimming, playing in the sand and, in general, playing outside.  You have loved every minute of our adventures!

You love right now:  Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and Barney (not necessarily in that order).  You love to eat tomatoes (you say, "May-nose") and especially like to pick them from the vines in our yard.  You enjoy closing doors of all kinds.  You love to read and will request most books by name.  Current favorites include Poppy and Max (which you call "Mack") and Hillside Lullaby (which you call "Coo Coo" because of the birds saying it in the story).  You also will request most every night that I sing Baby Mine to you after I read you stories and you let me rock you.  There have been periods where you have not wanted to be rocked, and I am thankful that you are currently in a more cuddly mode.

Your best friends are Piggy, your Piglet doll with whom you sleep, and Frolic, our family dog.  You have started to pretend more and more and will pretend to feed Piggy a bottle or make him shout "hooray" and clap.  You stick like glue to Frolic sometimes which makes her a bit nervous, but she adores you and especially loves to wait at your side during meals for the falling bits of food!

You have graduated from a high chair to a booster seat at the table, something you think is especially cool.  You wake in the morning and, once hungry, sit at your seat demanding, "bagel" and "milk".  You really are a great eater though the typical toddler trademark of having some more cautious tendencies is creeping in.  You make Daddy and I laugh by demanding cake all of the time, but your favorite thing to eat in all the world is berries of any kind.  Next up is mandarin oranges.  After that, you'll pretty much go for anything at most times.

All in all, my love, parenting you has been the highlight of my life.  You are an absolute delight who helps me remember to stop and enjoy the small things.  You help me remember that there is value in just playing in the dirt.  I cannot thank you enough for being exactly who you are and for the chance to be your Mommy.  I am looking forward to the years unfolding ahead and hoping that they don't rush by too quickly.  I love you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Okay!

The Nugget has found a new way to get The Mister and I to say yes to things.  Or so she thinks.  It's simple, really.  She merely mentions the thing that she wants to do or to have, for example, "cake".  As the parents of a toddler, we are used to repeating what she says in order to ensure that we understand her meaning and praise correct use of words.  She has turned this repeating against us.  When we repeat something, such as the word cake, back to her, she immediately says, "Okay."  In her mind, it's a done deal.  She has requested cake and we have agreed to provide it.  Thanks Mom!  Thanks Dad!

Needless to say, once she realizes that, no, we have not agreed to her demand, there is much gnashing of teeth.  And screaming.  And sca-reeming!  Possibly tears as well.  After all, historically she has only known how to ask for things that we would certainly provide if she requested.  Things like milk, bezzies (that's berries, people; get with the program) or Elmo.  Reasonable things.  Now we have, "outside", called out during the rain or the 95 degree heat.  She calls constantly for cake even though I think she's only eaten it twice in her life!  Not to mention the frequent demand for "Mih Mouh" (again, hel-lloo, Micky Mouse Club House.  Duh.).  Sadly the Club House folks have not consulted The Nugget or myself on their programming times.

Anyway, she's pretty disappointed with this stage in life.  Oh, the grim realization that you actually cannot get WHATEVER you want.  Valuable, but painful.  Imagine, however, if this little trick worked for us.  Want some increased cash flow?  Just head up to the boss and say, "Raise."  She repeats it, wondering why you are grunting in mono-syllables at her and, okay, it's yours!  Tropical vacation in mind?  Hit your parents up with, "Hawaii."  Not only is the trip implied, but baby sitting as well.  Okay!  Wish your lawn looked nicer?  Head over to the neighbor kid and shout, "Mow!"  He repeats and, well, okay, look who's mowing your lawn this weekend!

The kid may be on to something, okay?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Two Be or Not Two Be, Is That The Question?

I know I am not the only parent in the world who wrestles with the idea of whether or not to have more children.  I am in what feels like a constant internal struggle with this idea.  The Mister would be perfectly happy to stay with just one, and I can respect that.  Then again, The Mister probably would have been happy to stay at zero, but I see how he is one of the most wonderful, loving fathers I have ever seen and know that he was meant to do this.

The Mister has a few good reasons why he doesn't think we should at least give birth to another child.  I have had two quite complicated pregnancies.  He doesn't want to stress my body anymore.  He doesn't want to wind up being an only parent.  I get it.  BUT...there is a question in my mind about having just one more.  He has tentatively agreed IF the OB/GYN says he would allow it for his own daughter or wife if she had gone through similar situations.  That seems fair.

Of course, if we don't have our biological child, we could adopt.  I have always been a fan of adoption and know that this would be a great way to expand our family, too.  IF we expand our family, that is.

I am looking to answer the question of whether The Nugget is an only child or not daily.  When I see pictures of larger families I think, "see, they did it.  I could do it."  When I meet only children I ask them, "so how do you feel about that?  Is it okay or do you feel you missed out?".  I frequently ask The Nugget, but she doesn't seem to know what I am talking about.

People offer up lots of pros and cons: "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket" is a good one.  Like if The Nugget becomes an enormous screw-up I won't care because there's always number two?  Or the ever-popular "You don't want to leave it all to her to care for you when you are old".  I work with the elderly.  First of all,  you cannot count on your kids to take care of you at all when you are old.  You can hope, but you cannot count on it.  Secondly, I find that the majority of responsibility falls on one child anyway.  Not having more kids will just save the resentment she would otherwise feel toward less than helpful siblings.

Then there are the more altruistic advice-givers.  Those who suggest we should be decreasing the world's population and therefore one is plenty.  Of course, we could look to simply stabilize the world's population.  In that scenario, two is perfect.  Plenty to replace ourselves on the planet but not grow it.  And others would argue that if we are good parents (and I think that we are), we have some sort of civic duty to have more kids and try to balance out the not-so-good parents out there.  That's a lot of pressure!

Finances play no small role in my tortured thought process.  One child is oh-so affordable compared with two or three.  We are barely paying the bills now, let alone with another couple of years of diapers to look forward to.  Yes, we would figure it all out just like we did when we plunged forward into baby number one, but do we WANT to struggle for years to come?

And one child is just so darned PORTABLE.  On days like today, I think that this toddler stage might kill me (she's taken recently to shouting at the top of her lungs when even mildly irritated).  I can't imagine having TWO of these little people to wrangle.

Then, of course, I see baby bedding and nursery decor and I just MELT.  I have to tell you, I already have a second nursery decorated in my mind.  AND another name picked out for the second child.  We talk about that second child by name.  Another friend told me she perceives signs like that to be the little spirit tapping on your shoulder saying, "I want to come home."  So, if we DON'T have baby number two, was there never a spirit?  Did the spirit pick another family?

I don't have any idea where this one is going to shake out.  I do wish there would be some BIG sign in my life to tell me what to do about it.  A crystal clear, no room for interpretation sign.  Cue the booming voice from the sky any time now...

I'll let you know if the voice calls out and, if so, what the voice says.  For now, I will spend my days alternately planning the nursery and getting rid of baby stuff.  And being exhausted with the discussion.