Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today I am thankful

There is a little girl here in Huntley who the locals call "Princess Teagan". Teagan will turn 3 years old this weekend, just 2 months older than my own daughter. I have never met little Teagan, nor do I know her parents, but her story has touched my heart.
Last year Teagan was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been fighting for her life ever since. She spent 7 months in the intensive care unit of the hospital, having surgery and chemotherapy. She is now at home trying to learn how to talk and walk all over again.
I look at my own girls and think "My God, it could be us going through this!"
I am so thankful to have a healthy, happy family.
Today I will kiss them a little more, hold them a little closer, and count my many blessing.

Teagan's parents said they are thankful that they are not celebrating her birthday in the hospital this year. That puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

You can read about Teagan's story at

"My middle name shoulda' been Danger"

So far this kid is not living up to her middle name "Grace". She is anything but graceful, but she is a blessing, of course.

Today Tia woke up from a wonderful 3 1/2 hour nap asking to bake muffins. I thought that would be a great idea and we would bring some to the new mommy in our group tomorrow. Tia and I went into the bathroom to wash our hands and of course Giuliana followed us in there. I could hear her behind me trying to get at the toilet brush (her latest fascination). Just as I was turning around to tell her not to touch it, she was preparing to put the handle in her mouth (big surprise) but fell forward on the handle as she was attempting to run away from me. She began to scream, and then couldn't scream anymore because she was out of breath. I couldn't tell if the brush itself poked her in the mouth somewhere, or if her tooth broke her lip open, but there was lots of blood!

It's amazing how many things can go through a mothers mind in a crisis situation. In a matter of about 30 seconds I thought "What if it poked the back of her throat and she is bleeding back there?", "Do I know how to get to the hospital, wait, what hospital do we go to now?", "What if she needs stitches, how will they hold her down"...etc. Once I was able to figure out that the blood was not coming from the back of her throat but her lip, and saw the look of horror on Tia's face at the sight of her sister bleeding, I said "OK, I think everyone needs a popsicle". Tia quickly forgot about the crisis at hand and enjoyed her popsicle. Gia wanted nothing to do with it. More screaming. I tried ice cream. More screaming. I tried ice cubes, by now you know where this is going! It is virtually impossible to get a 15 month old to sit still and allow you to apply something cold to a wound. My last resort was a bottle with cold milk. She's been successfully off the bottle for a week now and I had just packed them away. When she saw me pull one out, she went from screaming to giddy. It worked.

This picture was taken well after 'the incident', however she is screaming again because I said "Gia, let's get a picture of your boo boo lip".


I can live without more days like this.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Want to know what to do with those pieces of square cardboard you find tucked in packages of new sheets, curtains, tablecloths, etc.?
Have the artist in your family create a one of a kind masterpiece! This cardboard was in a wall calendar I just bought and Tia had a great time painting it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Snuggle Bunnies

The girls thought it was so much fun this morning to snuggle on the futon and have me tuck them in. Each time Gia wiggled around and became un-tucked, Tia would protest wildly!

I wish for more mornings like this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Have the food wars begun?

I have always been able to proclaim proudly that Tia ate everything we ate. I never had to fight with her about what we were having for dinner. Her favorite foods were things like edamame (Japanese soy beans), tofu, and sushi. People were always amazed. I should mention that she has never liked meat products, even as an infant trying different baby foods. I have pretty much accepted the fact that she is a vegetarian. D.R. and I don't eat a lot of meat so it hasn't been a big deal. The problem is that now she doesn't even eat the things she used to enjoy.

I have asked most of my Mommy friends what they do and this is what I have heard...
My friend Michele says her son has to at least have a couple bites of the main (meat) dish before having any of the sides. This seems to be working for them, although Alexander would still prefer to eat only pasta at every meal. At least he is getting some bites of protein in between.

My friend Dena says Bella has to 'taste' everything they are having at dinner. She lets Bella have a napkin ready in case the taste is particularly yucky, so she can spit it out.

Most moms and experts alike agree that making a separate meal for the child is not a great habit to get into. I was starting to fall into that trap and recently decided to stop. I remember my mom always saying that a child is not going to go hungry if there is food on the table. There has to be something there that she is willing to eat and she is not going to starve. OK, that makes sense. I DO NOT want my kids to grow up with food issues. There are too many young girls with eating disorders these days and I don't want to contribute to that growing problem.
So, here is what I have decided to do, and we will have to wait and see if it works.
The girls get milk every morning and a yogurt every day for snack. This way I know they are getting their protein and calcium. I don't care if it's not from meat products as long as it's protein. For lunch I usually offer her a choice between two things that she is familiar with. At dinner, I make one meal. We sit together at the table as a family. I don't discuss the meal or try to force Tia (Giuliana doesn't need any convincing to eat!) to eat or taste anything. It's there on the table right in front of her. D.R. and I go about our regular dinner conversation and just hope she will go for it. If she only eats rice one night, I guess that's OK for now. Last night surprisingly enough, she ate plain lettuce through the whole meal. I thought it was going to start coming out her ears! I don't want dinner time to be dramatic and tearful. I don't need the stress. Just like with the salad, I hope that if she sees something on the table enough, she will eventually try it and like it. Only time will tell.

**On a side we were looking at the calendar and Tia saw a picture of a turkey on the page for November. I said "you know Thanksgiving is in November and we always eat turkey at Thanksgiving time". Her response was "I no eat turkey. I eat toast". See, she is a vegetarian!**

Monday, July 28, 2008

Things Tia says that make me laugh

1. "Ju Ju, no touch the pyunger, dirty!"
2. "When Ju Ju grow up, I teach her to dance"
3. "My birthday in the Fall, I be a princess"
4. "Daddy took my fever, give me medicine, I all better now"
5. "No jammies to playschool, right mommy?"
6. "Ju Ju, no touch Daddy's floss!"
7. "No touch stove Ju Ju, burn yourself!"
8. "Mommy, you my Muffin"
9. "I be the princess, you be the queen Mommy" (I taught her well)
10. "OK, I be the baby, Ju Ju be the sister"
and my all time favorite....
11. "Waaaahhhhh (high pitched squeal). I'm bein' Ju Ju Mom"

Bears and Monkeys and Bunnies, oh my!

Tia is now having to sleep with a barrage of animals in her bed. Her 2 favorites are a Christmas Bear she received from "Gramma Cathy", our former neighbor, as well as a small Curious George doll. It's so funny that she insists on having these things with her at bed time because she was never a kid who needed comfort items. I have heard that "hoarding" things is typical for children starting at about 2 1/2 years old.
I guess this is just typical behavior.

The only problem is that she doesn't always leave her favorite items in her bed, so when it's time to go to sleep I have to go on a mad hunt around the house to find them! Once, I honestly found her Curious George (or Georgie, as she likes to call him) outside in the playhouse. I don't know what made me go out there to look but it must have been divine intervention!
Now I try to be sneaky and toss the animals up the steps as I find them around the house, so when it's nap time I don't have to go hunting for them.

Ahhh, the things we learn as Moms that save so many tears and headaches.

Precious Moments

I have many reasons to be thankful, but one big one is my ability to stay home with the girls. I recognize all the things I would be missing out on if I had to work full time.

I have been noticing lately that at various times throughout the day, for no particular reason, they go up to each other and embrace. It's the sweetest thing to watch. Well, today I just happened to have my camera when they did it, twice!
Keep in mind that they were not doing this for the camera. They just hug whenever the mood strikes them, and then go on with whatever they were doing.
I truly hope they stay close as they grow up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I wanna' be a big kid

Giuliana wants to love popsicles because her big sister loves them. She begs for one when Tia has one. However, they are much too cold for her and she really does not enjoy them. She will take a lick, then drop it for a minute, then pick it back up and try again. Her admiration of her sister is cute.
One day she will realize it's OK to be her own person and she doesn't have to be just like Tia.

The artist in our family

Tia can sit and paint for hours. When we go to "Art in the Park" she is always the last one there, still working away to make her project perfect. All the adults comment on her attention to detail and precision. The art lady usually packs up her supplies but leaves Tia with extra paint and lets her keep the brush because she has to get going to another park.
I think she will be an architect, or some profession that requires patience, precision and attention to detail.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I have been doing a lot more exercise at home this week. I particularly like doing Yoga on the "Wii Fit". Sometimes Tia wakes up early and joins me in the living room, attempting to do some stretches with me.
Tonight before bed, I mentioned something about getting up early to work out. Tia turned to D.R. and said "yeah, Mommy does Yogut in the morning!" I love it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

10 Books, WOW!

I had a love of books when I was younger. Once I became a mom, I never seemed to find the time to read more than the newspaper headlines. This year I decided to make some time for ME and start reading again. It also helped that Tia loves to visit our local library. When she wants to go pick out new books, I get some for me too. D.R. is also reading again! I still don't really know how either of us find the time but in the midst of our very busy lives, I have managed to read 10 books already this year! Some have been OK, and some have been fantastic, like "The Testament" by John Grisham. D.R. says I become obsessed with a new book, and he is right. I had a dream the other night about some of the characters in the Grisham book. That's going a bit too far, I admit. With my new found love of literature I hope 2 things happen. First I hope that reading will keep me sharp, imaginitive, and well versed. I also hope that our children will grow up with an appetite for literature. I truly believe that education continues throughout life. Just because we stop going to a classroom, doesn't have to mean we stop learning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The things my kids find funny

Giuliana was very interested in standing on this circle in front of my sisters house.

Tia kept pretending to be Sleeping Beauty, she cracked herself up!
Yesterday while the kids were playing in the back yard, I decided to water some flowers. Tia took this as a great opportunity to run through the hose and get totally soaked. It wasn't long before she was asking me to spray her head. She looked like she had just stepped out of the shower. It was fun but made me question something. Why is it that when it is bath time and I attempt to wash her hair, she screams that she needs a towel for her eyes, and then proceeds to cry that she needs her Daddy? Is hose water different than shower water?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tia woke up asking for her cousin Jennifer who was here visiting last week. I explained that Jennifer went home to be with her own Mom and Dad. Her response was "I have no one to play with ". Talk about drama!
The other day I heard Tia coming downstairs after her nap. I said "Is that my Tia waking up?". Her response was a priceless "Yes Mommy, and I have a nasty poop!". I was cracking up all day.
This week the challenge in our household is how to get Giuliana to stop throwing food on the floor. I have tried everything short of threatening bodily harm! I remember Tia going through this phase but I don't remember it lasting this long or being this deliberate. She will purposely get my attention and then drop a food item on the floor while smiling at me. She knows she is not supposed to do it, and waits for my reaction. I can't even count how many times a day (that's right, day, not week!) I sweep and mop my kitchen floor. This week I have started something new to try to combat this issue. I take her out of her chair, put her on the floor, and make her hand the items to me. So far she thinks it's fun. I am not sure she gets the point. All I can say is Grrrr.