Monday, April 30, 2007

We've hit....

the monster stage. I figured we'd eventually get there. Miss Priss has a tendency to be very scared and nervous as it is. Now she's afraid of monsters. The other night, she got up in the middle of the night, came in with me and asked, "Mommy, are there monsters?"
I told her no, that they aren't real. She said that she had "told herself a story in her head with her eyes closed" (I guess that's Miss Priss-speak for dreaming) that monsters were trying to kill her. That freaked me out a little bit. I can see monsters trying to get her, etc, but she said the were trying to "kill" her.
She doesn't watch any violent TV or anything (even if she probably watches too much, it's Noggin or Nick Jr.). I'm scared of monsters movies myself, so I know she's not seeing those. LOL I wonder if she's catching commercials from horror flicks on the shows we do watch when she's around (sitcoms and stuff -- nothing that would cause any alarm).

I hope this phase passes quickly. I had the hardest time getting her to walk into our apartment the other day because she "saw a shadow." I was carrying Baby Boo and 3 bags, and she stopped right in front of me and wouldn't move. I had to make her wave to her shadow to show her it was the way the sun was coming in and that it was her shadow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Potty Training Already?

Oh, he!! no! LOL

Miss Priss went to the bathroom the other day, and Baby Boo followed her in (don't ask -- Baby Boo has a fascination with bathrooms). When Miss Priss was done, Baby Boo walked over and was backing up toward the toilet (the same backing up she does when I'm sitting on the floor and she's trying to sit in my lap). Miss Priss, without missing a beat, pulls her potty chair out from underneath the sink and puts it down in front of Baby Boo. She then turned to me and said, "Mommy, Baby Boo needs to go potty on my potty chair. I'm letting her borrow it."

O-kay. So, Baby Boo goes to the potty chair, lifts the lid, sits down (fully clothed), stands up, puts the lid down, lifts the lid back up, sits down, stands up, you get the idea. Over and over and over again for about 5 minutes when I'd had enough and told her to get out of the bathroom. She gave me the are-you-talking-to-me look, went over and got a little square of toilet paper (it would have been a whole wadded up roll had Miss Priss left more than just a little square), sat back down on the potty, wiped, and then stood up looking for a way to flush "her" toilet. I could barely contain my laughter. Then, with the same haughty look (what did I do to deserve that?), she stood on Miss Priss' little stool so that she could wash her hands.

I'm hoping that she'll be potty trained faster than Miss Priss, but I have every intention of procrastinating the way I did with Miss Priss until she figures it out herself. Maybe Miss Priss could help her. LOL

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Miss Priss Update

I read a great article by a psychologist who had a shy child himself. It talked about what behaviors his daughter and other shy children exhibit, and then what he and his wife did to help her. If you’re curious, you can read the article here.

While reading through it, I kept nodding my head in agreement with the things he observed in his daughter, and when reading the suggestions, I realized some things I could do to try and help Miss Priss. I really liked that he gave good suggestions and examples of ways to do what as adults we would consider behavior modification therapy. I’ve learned a lot through my own battles with anxiety, but needed a way to impart some of that knowledge to Miss Priss.

This will, of course, require me to come out of my shell a little bit. I’ve looked up Saturday activities where we can get out of the house for a few hours and go to different events in the area. I’ve found some nice (free!) activities that will get us out and about. I’m hoping to get her more comfortable being around people and strangers even though this means I have to face my own discomfort at the same situation. I’ve decided I can just be honest with her and tell her that it makes me nervous too, but we can handle it. That way she understands that it’s okay to be nervous and (I know it sounds backwards) she might relax a little bit knowing that even mommies get nervous sometimes.

The guy who wrote the article gives his contact information at the end of the article. I’d love to be able to email him a year from now and tell him my story. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I think Miss Priss has an outgoing streak to her personality sometimes. Which, of course, triggers the “bad mommy” response in my head that I’ve just been such a horrible example for her socially that she isn’t sure what to do when we’re out and about.

So, I guess we’ll see how it goes. And I’ll leave you with a funny from our trip a couple of weeks ago.

We were in the car driving near the water, and Hubby looks off to the left and says, “Man, that’s a big ass ship.”

I looked over at this huge oil tanker (have you ever seen one? They’re enormous!) and say, “That is a big ass ship.”

To which Miss Priss from the back seat calmly says, “Where’s a big ass ship?”

Um, yeah, I’ll take my prize as bad mommy of the year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Crazy Baby....

Baby Boo is a determined little thing. I remember reading books when I was pregnant with Miss Priss on discipline, and everything talked about redirecting them when they were little. I had worked in a daycare, and I had seen this work very effectively. And then Miss Priss hit the age where she needed to be disciplined (or at least kept away from a few things). So, I redirected her. And she went back to what she was not supposed to be doing. So I pointed her in a new direction, and she went back to what she wanted to do. Let's just say that redirection didn't work so much as just having a "minimalism" look to my house. No knick-knacks anywhere. Nothing that would look "fun" for a toddler.

I found early on that redirection didn't work with Baby Boo either. She is even more determined to do whatever she wants than her sister is. Case in point, last night I was washing the dishes. She was in the living room climbing on the couch.* She was using a stool that came with Miss Priss' table that she got for her 2nd birthday. It came with 2 stools. One is in the bathroom that Miss Priss uses to wash her hands and brush her teeth. The other normally stays with the table in the kitchen. So, I went in and took the stool from Baby Boo and put it back in the kitchen. She gave me "the look." I told her she had no right to give me the look, that I had the look way before she did, and she should stop climbing. I took the stool to the kitchen and continued doing the dishes. A few minutes later, I saw her little back disappearing out of the kitchen into the living room carrying the stool. I took it back, and she took it back, and finally, I put it in the bathroom with the other one and closed the door. This is only a temporary solution since I've found that she can sometime open doors as well. Damn those tall genes!

*She has recently found her climbing ability. She climbs on the couch and even onto Miss Priss' twin bed. I'm not sure how she gets up there. Hubby found the pair of them on her bed one day, and got them both down. When he turned back around, there was Baby Boo sitting on the bed.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Not sure what to do.....

I took Miss Priss to a birthday party for one of her classmates yesterday. It was at a place that has lots of bounce houses, and the kids get to play for an hour and half before cake and ice cream, etc.

We got there, and Miss Priss is so exceptionally shy. She won't talk to any adults (won't even look at them), and she won't even talk to any of her classmates. I was ready to go home seeing how she didn't want to talk much less play with any of her "friends." She spent the first 15 minutes watching other kids play but not leaving my side.

Then her friend C showed up. She and C are really good friends, and all of a sudden, she was gone, and I was having trouble keeping up with her and seeing where she was. She was smiling and happy and running around. And then she wasn't. There were older kids there, and they were very rough and not looking out for the littler kids. Every few minutes, she would come to me crying because C was playing and climbing and having fun, and she "couldn't keep up" (which wasn't true, she just wouldn't follow when C would go somewhere). She was also upset that C was playing with another little boy. I told her that C could play with other kids and that she could, too, but she is not interested. As background here, her teachers told me at the parent/teacher conference that she and C play almost exclusively together at preschool. She would get upset if she couldn't find C or if she couldn't find me. I swear she spent half the time crying. It just made me want to cry myself.

Here's where my question comes in. At this point, I don't even want to take her to any more birthday parties for her classmates. It just depresses me to see that she is such a loner and seems happiest playing by herself or with her one friend.

In all honesty, I can't say much. I spent 3 minutes (if that) talking to C's mom and only passing comments to anyone else. So, I spent almost 2 hours talking to no one myself. For the most part, I'm a loner. I don't have anyone I would describe as a close friend. I've dealt with social anxiety my entire life (I was painfully shy as a child as well), and I guess I just want something different for her.

I know that her anxiety in social settings provokes a physical reaction in Miss Priss. She tells me that she is cold (she is usually shivering, so she assumes it's cold), but I recognize that as a symptom that I get a lot of times when I'm nervous or in the middle of a panic attack. She only gets this way when she's nervous in public, so I know it's not a symptom of something else. I was so hoping that my girls wouldn't have to deal with any of these things that I did. I'm about to start crying just thinking about it.

Back to my original question (for real this time). I'm not sure how to help her be more comfortable in social situations (where I'm usually uncomfortable myself). I know she can probably sense that, but I'm helpless to change my own comfort level. I don't want to throw her to the wolves and make her go do things that she doesn't want to do. I don't know if I should get her involved in more activities (since she does well at school even if she only plays with one child) or a different preschool or if I should just accept this as a facet of her personality and not try to "change" it. I also found out that this is C's last week at preschool. She and her family are moving back to Finland, so I don't know who Miss Priss will play with now. I'm kind of hoping it will force her to play with other children. I don't know what to do. The other thing is DH asked her if she had fun, and she said yes and proceeded to tell him that she played with C. So maybe she's happy how she is?

I don't know. Congratulations if you made it this far and still understand what is going on.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm so sleepy....

I have not been sleeping well. Not sure why. I’m still adjusting to the hormones in my birth control, so that’s probably why. Fortunately, I have not been having the weight gain thing going on that supposedly is a possible (and usual) side effect, so I’ll count myself lucky. I’ve done enough weight gaining on my own, so I could use a little less. A little weight gain here, a little there, and I’m almost back to where I started before I lost so much weight before Christmas. It’s sad. I’m trying hard to get back on track, but seeing how easily it comes back, I have kind of a “What’s the point?” attitude at the moment.

I’m so behind in blog reading. I think I’ll try to catch up over the next couple of days. Or at least read about the last months worth of posts on everyone’s blogs. So, what’s up with you? Anything exciting I should know about?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An Update (Long)

Things have been very busy around my house. Work was busy, and then we were getting ready to go the beach, and then we went to the beach, and now we’re recovering from going to the beach. LOL

We drove down to see my grandmother last week, and it was interesting. We got there on Wednesday, and just walking into the house, you realize that there is an animal that isn’t potty trained. It’s gross. Her stupid little dog has probably never been house trained, so her carpet is atrocious. I tried to keep the girls from playing on the carpet and tried to convince them that blocks worked better on the tile (my grandmother has a woman come in and clean her house, so I know the floor probably gets mopped). It’s hard to do things with family (especially my family) because everything is “play it by ear.” That phrase annoys me to no end now. When we were eating dinner, I was asking my parents if they were going to the beach with us on Thursday, and kept getting, “Well see what we can do. We’ll have to play it by ear.” Apparently, this was no vacation for them since my grandmother had “chores” for them like mulching and doing some sod work and stuff. Hubby and I opted out of that since, well, this is our vacation, and she has a yard guy. Pay him a little extra to do that stuff.

So, Thursday, we went to the beach. It was a fabulous day to go. It was warm, but not too hot, it wasn’t windy. It was just perfect. We got there, and got our stuff out of the car and put it on a picnic table. Then we took a few things down to the water with us. Hubby was doing some surf fishing, and Miss Priss was actually in the water (I was shocked), and Baby Boo was collecting shells (she was very good at it). Hubby decided to walk down the way to a jetty. Within about 15 minutes (enough time for me to put a lot of the stuff from the picnic table back into the car since we didn’t necessarily need it), I got a call asking me if I would be willing to load everything up and move down the beach. Okay. So, since Baby Boo was getting ancy and upset, I gave her some crackers to munch on while I finished packing things up. I was trying to get Miss Priss to come out of the water without having a fit, get things packed up, and then I turn around when Baby Boo started screaming. She had dropped the crackers, and the seagulls (who think that anything on the beach is theirs to eat) had swarmed around the poor little girl. I grabbed her up. She was really freaking out, and Miss Priss was having a fit, and I was trying to calm them both down while still trying to gather our stuff up before the birds crapped all over it. It was not fun. We eventually made it down the beach closer to Hubby. After playing for a while, he decided to drive to the local town to see if they had any deep sea fishing boats going out the next morning. The girls fell asleep on the drive. After securing a spot on a boat, we went to a nearby pier where he could fish, and I could sit in the car with the sleepy girls and read my book. After that, we headed home. That night, my uncle and his family came over for a while, and it was great to talk to them. My uncle, as usual, pissed my grandmother off. He’s a perpetual teenager sometimes when it comes to his mother.

On Friday morning, Hubby left early because he had to be to the boat for the “safety briefing” by 7:30. It was very windy, so it was a rough ride out. Fortunately for him, Hubby doesn’t get seasick. Or at least not when he takes something for it. He always takes something, so I don’t know how he’d do without. In the end, he caught a lot of fish (and had to throw some back since they weren’t in season until this week), and he almost caught a shark. It bit through his line while he was bringing it in. He could see it. He was very disappointed.

While he was out having fun, the girls and I stayed at my grandmother’s house, trying carefully to avoid any stains on the carpet (not an easy task). When Baby Boo was down for her nap, Mom took me to buy some shorts and shirts. When we got back, Dad and I took the girls to a playground so that they could run off some energy. They were all over the place, and this was a huge playground, so there were several places to disappear. I’m glad I wasn’t there by myself with them. I also checked Hubby and I into our hotel for the evening. When he got back, he showered, and we left the girls with my parents and had a night out for ourselves.

On Saturday, when we got back, my parents wanted to go the beach. So, we went. And it was windy and cold. So, we stayed less than 30 minutes. Then we went souvenir shopping for a while. My cousin Tara had driven in to see us, and it was wonderful to see her.

We left on Sunday morning and made great time coming home. And back to work on Monday. Now my next vacation isn’t until July. But that’s a nice long vacation. And that’s with Hubby’s family, and they’re more sane than mine.