Friday, May 25, 2012

National Pride

 Emma and I went shopping today, and decided that we would decorate for the upcoming holidays.  We bought a star to hang by our front door, and some patriotic bells for the door knob. To add some more fun for our little girl, we got some gel stickers for the front window for Emma to decorate with.
 As she was so fascinated with these gel stickers, I took a quick trip outside to get a good shot.  She loved that I let her choose where to place them and that she could change her mind.  I think she spent a good 30 minutes placing her stars exactly where she wanted them.
So now we are all prepared for Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day.  Emma has learned about our Flag and we have begun her education of our country.  I need to remember to give her more opportunities to decorate and learn.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Potty Training: The Thrills and Spills

Potty Training has not been a happy event in our household.  I started trying to Potty Train Emma last September.  She was showing all the signs, and we had a small success the first day, but when we got to day two, everything fell apart.  Emma did not like having a part of her go in the potty.  On day one, everything was fine, and we had a fun little party to celebrate, but on day two, it was not okay.  When she started to go, she stopped herself and had a major melt down.  Also, by stopping herself, she ended up having another accident, which just added to the agony.  After a long morning of this trauma, I decided that Emma was not emotionally ready for potty training, even if she had all the signs.

Move forward four months, and we try again.  All the holiday fuss was over, and January was a good month for goals.  I got everything prepared, and Emma was excited by her new underwear, but not by the potty. She would sit on it, but would refuse to go.  Then she would have an accident, stop herself from going, and after I cleaned her up, have another.  She was so unhappy that after this happened twice, I decided to put her back in a diaper.  This ended up a good thing, because she had the flu for the next several days, and we really needed that diaper!

After our distressing experience in January, I decided to just have Emma sit on the potty in the mornings, evenings and with bath time.  This did not work well at all!  After being so upset in January, our little girl refused to even sit on the potty chair.  She would look at it, and start crying.  If I tried to sit her down on it, she would fight me.  Every morning for several months we had the same conversation:

Mama: Emma, you want to sit on the potty?
Emma: Maybe tomorrow!

Well, tomorrow never came with her!

So, last month I decided that maybe we needed to get the converter seat for the toilet and not use the potty chair.  It is a pretty potty seat with the Disney Princesses.  Emma was excited by it, and willing to sit on the toilet.  So last week, I decided that we would have an underwear day and work on potty training.  When I put Emma in underwear, she threw a fit, took them off, and brought me a diaper, pants and shirt and demanded that I get her dressed.  After 20 minutes of this, we decided that we would  just work on sitting on the toilet every day and practice.

So, with all this drama over using the potty, imaging my surprise when yesterday Emma informs me she wants to use the potty. And she wanted to sit on her potty chair, not the toilet.  So we hurried in, removed her clean, dry diaper and sat down.  Within a few minutes, she was peeing!  We were so excited.  We sang, we danced, we rejoiced.  My little girl was doing it on her own.  I decided then and there to let her make her own time frame for this, and go by her needs.  So I wasn't surprised that we did not repeat that night. Or this morning.  But we were delighted that this afternoon she repeated the performance. We were finger painting, and all she had on was her diaper.  When she stood up and started doing the potty dance and telling me to hurry, we ran in and got her down.  We had another party, and told her she is getting to be such a big girl.

I am amazed and awed that after so many months of struggling with her, she is now potty training herself.  I have hopes that by the time we go on vacation next October that she will be ready to go without diapers.  I still might use pull ups for the car trip and the days in the parks as it will be so exciting, but we are on our way to getting rid of the diaper pail!  Yeah!

Monday, May 21, 2012

You Never Think It Can Happen To Someone You Know

When Glenn and I first moved to Hillsboro, I became the Visiting Teacher of a wonderful woman named Cindy Givins.  A few months later, we became Visiting Teaching Partners. Cindy was a nurse, and we had lots in common.  We quickly became friends, and she helped me feel comfortable in our new ward.

Years later, we were now in separate wards, and we rarely saw one another, but I still considered us friends.  We kept updated on each others lives through Facebook and the occasional greeting at church.  I was sad for her when she got divorced.  I was happy for her when she found a new man friend.  I was thrilled for her when she got her dream job and started to plan a move to Las Vegas next month.  I know she loves it there, and has a loved sister already living there.  What a great opportunity for her and her three kids to start over.  So imagine my shock today when I discovered on Facebook that she was gone!

At first I didn't realize it was Cindy who had been killed.  I saw a post that made me think Cindy had lost a member of her family.  As I have met many of her family members, I went to her wall to see who it was.  Then to find out that Cindy had been beaten and stabbed multiple times by her ex-husband last night brought instant tears to my eyes.  I quickly search out the story on and read that last night, while her children were sleeping in their beds, her ex-husband had done this heinous act, and then drove to Banks and killed himself on the side of the road.  Cindy was still alive when he left, and was able to call 911, telling them her ex-husband had attacked and stabbed her, but by the time they got there she was gone.

I have never know someone who was brutally killed. I did not know that a year ago Cindy got a restraining order against the man she once loved.  Throughout the last few years, she always had a kind word and appeared cheerful.  She obviously loved her children and was providing the best home for them that she could.  She was moving on with her life.  We will never know what set her ex-husband off, or what was said in that last meeting to cause this to happen.  Those poor children will never have their parents back and will have this legacy to deal with. I am so happy to know that they are blessed with their extended family, who will be there for them each and every step of the way.  But nothing can ever replace a parent, or erase the violence that they were taken in.  My heart and prayers go out to this family.  I will miss Cindy, and seeing her updates and photos that she shared.  I was happy to call her friend, and even though I did not see her often, I will miss her.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Turning Off the Television

I have always said that I wanted to limit my children's television watching, but in practice it has not happened enough.  Well, a couple weeks ago, I started turning off the TV more often, and I can see a difference.  Today, because we didn't have cartoon's on, Emma gave me a little musical concert playing her instruments with her MP3 player.  We did the Hokey Pokey together.  She had a camp out in her tent with her dolly.  We baked cookies.  She colored.  All things that she would not have asked me to do if she was watching "Mickey" or "Max and Ruby!"  And because she asked, I was willing to play with her.  What a difference turning off the television can make.  I need to remember to do so more often.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Conversatons to remember

Emma often surprises us with what she says or does.  Here are some of our favorites lately:

  • Mommy: Do I have a tail?
  • Emma: No, not a tail, a bum! 
  • Emma:  Look Mama
  • Mama:  Yes, I see, you have bare feet
  • Emma: No Mama, not Bear feet, little girl feet
  • Emma to Glenn:  Play me Daddy!  
  • Mama: What's wrong Emma?
  • Emma: I miss my Family!
  • Mama: Do you know who your family is?
  • Emma: (after taking a moment to think about it with her finger to her mouth) Jesus?

  • Mama: Emma, go away!
  • Emma: I never go away Mama!
  • Mama: That is what worries me!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Beach Trip

 Mother's Day started out as a normal Sunday with presents.  Glenn and Emma had got me the park blanket I wanted that is water resistant on the bottom, and zips up into a small square with a strap for easy carrying.  Great for all those play groups at the park with Emma.
 After church and lunch, Emma's no nap day from Saturday had caught up with her, and a nap was a must.  Emma wanted to nap in our bed, so we all piled into "Mommy & Daddy's bed" and promptly fell asleep. After an hour or two, Glenn sat up and woke both Emma and I up.
 The day before, Glenn and I had discussed the possibility of doing a picnic at the park for dinner.  Emma love's the park, and it was to be a beautiful day.  We were all set on this idea, until Emma saw pictures of her at the Beach.  From that time forward, all she wanted to do was go to the beach. So when we woke up from our nap, and it was still fairly early, we decided to drive to the beach for a picnic.
 We packed up our van, and an hour and a half later we were on the beach.  We headed to Cannon Beach and parked next to Moe's at the beach access.  We arrived a little before 5 pm, which was perfect.  Many people were leaving the beach for dinner, so there was lots of room. We found our spot, and Emma started moving sand.  That was her favorite part, moving the sand.  She did also build a sand castle (more of a sand wall,) but mostly she picked up sand in her hands, walked a few feet and deposited it.  Over and over again!
I also took Emma down to walk in the water.  Emma did not want the water to catch her, so always ran away from the waves long before they could even think of catching her.  She did have a great time with the wet sand however, and wore much of it.

After playing for a few hours, we moved back up to the car, and had our picnic.  It was too windy on the beach, and Emma had to be cleaned up before she could use her hands for food. It was fun to sit together and discuss our day.

Overall, an unusual Mother's day, but very relaxing and enjoyable.  I got to spend it with my family, and enjoy a beautiful day at the beach.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Visiting Grandma's for Mom's Day

 The day before Mother's day, we decided to visit all the Mom's in our lives.  We started with a visit to Glenn's mom Sharen.

Emma had prepared for Mother's Day by making beaded bracelets for Grandma Sharen, Grandma Sally and Birth Mother Kristen.  Here you can see Grandma Sharen wearing her blue bracelet.

 Whenever we visit Grandma Sharen, Emma runs into her bedroom and brings out this stuffed cat.  She loves to dance around with the cat and run around the room.  Emma sang a song for Grandma with me, and gave her a kiss on the cheek (above).  Sharen was having a good day, so it was a pleasure to visit her this day.

After visiting Sharen, we drove to Sherwood to drop off a gift to Birth Mother Kristen at work.  Today is National Birth Mother's Day, and Kristen was working, so we had to make it work.  It was a quick visit, and Emma was getting tired as it was nap time, but good to see Kristen all the same. She had to get back to her client who was in the chair, so we left after a few minutes.

 Then it was on to Milwaukie to visit Grandma Sally and Grandpa. Grandma's bracelet was green, and a little too big, but Grandma loves it all the same. Emma watched over all the present opening, and was all tired and cuddly, until the next visitors arrived.  We had not planned it, but my brother Joe and his family arrived while we were there, so we had a good visit. It was also great to see my Sister-in-law and which her a happy Mother's Day in person.
 Emma was all excited as this gave her a chance to play with Pirate Cousin and Army Man.  She loves her cousins so much, and they had a great time.

As we were all together, and we were all getting hungry for dinner, we decided to all head to Sweet Tomato's together for dinner.  The boys were so cute, and wanted to eat with Emma sitting between them. Emma was in heaven.
Mother's Day for me has become more work, but it is all worth it when we have such a good day, and get to see all the women whom we love so much. Now to start figuring out Father's Day! :)