Last Thursday, my classroom was abuzz. The children knew the weather forecast for the night called for snow. I have to admit, I was very excited myself. After all, we haven't had a snow day here in two years. When I left school, I rushed to pick up Alice so we could get home to pull out our snow stuff.
It started snowing around 5 pm. I started getting emails from my students around 7:30 pm. "Is it snowing at your house?" "It's snowing in Hillsborough!" "Do we have school tomorrow?" "PLEASEEEEE say no school! No, No, No, No, No school!" (I live in a different county than where I teach.)
Side Note* Unfortunately, our district waits until THE LAST minute to call school...I got a phone call at 6 am Friday morning...which woke Alice. Grrrr! But, all was well because we had a SNOW DAY!
We took Alice out to see the snow falling Thursday night. She was excited! She wanted to touch it but she didn't want to stand in it. Before she went to bed, she looked out the window to make sure the snow was still there.
Since the last time Alice had experienced snow was when she was only three and a half months old, my husband and I were curious to see how she would do playing in it. Just as she did the night before, she didn't want to stand in the snow. I was able to get her to stand in it briefly...until she started crying, saying, "Mommy...holg you!", which is Alice talk for "Mommy, hold me!"
Once my husband got her sled out, she quickly realized snow is more fun when someone is pulling you and running around like a dog chasing it's tail. After our first snow outing, we enjoyed hot chocolate and marshmallows.
We ended our snow day with a mini snowman (the snow just wouldn't pack well that morning for a good snowman), munching on (clean) snow, a car ride through the yard, and balloons. (Alice loves balloons...and she loves to let them go one at a time.)
I can't wait for our next snow day!
Before you read any of this...I apologize for any typos you may see...I have been up since 5:45 A.M. and it is now 12:05 AM.
What a long week...I don't know about you all, but I am exhausted! Recently, Alice has developed a fear of bugs and frogs. Both of these have kept her up at night or have caused her to wake up during the night. Prior to this, she has always been a fantastic sleeper. She started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks (and I mean 8-10 hours)! She probably would have started earlier if I hadn't been so worried that she would starve to death during the night! New mommy worries, I guess!
Anyway, these fears have caused major disruption in everyone's sleep. Originally, we thought she wasn't sleeping because she was ready for a big girl bed. So we converted her crib to a toddler bed. That didn't seem to help. When I would put her in bed, she would scream, "Mommy night night!" and point to her teeny tiny Dora the Explorer fold out couch. Of course, being a first time mom, I obliged her request and laid down on the couch until she fell asleep then I quietly sneaked out. Unfortunately, she would wake several times each night wanting me to come back. Again, I obliged. I just didn't want her to be sad or scared and feel all alone. I finally got to the point where I would just stay in there the rest of the night after her first wake up. Sleeping on teeny tiny Dora is painful but at least I could sleep through the night because as long as I was in her room, she was sleeping though the night. Of course, if I take her to daycare with Nene (her babysitter...no, it's not her grandma...the kids just call her Nene!) she will sleep just fine!
When we figured out the bug fear, I started reading her all of these cute picture books about bugs. I made sure to pause and laugh at the silliness in the stories to show Alice that bugs don't have to be scary. Whenever she would shriek, "Bugs, Mommy!" I would hold her and tell her she was safe. We even spent an entire morning taking everything OUT of her room (bed, dresser...EVERYTHING) just so she could see that there was nothing in her room. Then when I put it all back, I let her pick where she wanted it to go. Even with all of that, she was still scared. Then I taught her to "shoo" them away. We worked on that a lot this summer. Then one day, we saw a critter zipping around outside and I saw a chance to see if her fear was getting better. I said, "Alice, watch this..." and I put my hand near the bug, making it jump. Oh, she thought that was hilarious! I did it over and over until she was ready to join in. Apparently the bug enjoyed the attention, too because it didn't bother leaving! As we played with the "buggy" as Alice called it, I talked to her about how it was a lot like the bugs in the books we had read because it was a fun bug. She loved it! She would laugh and yell, "Fun Buggy, Mommy!" Yay for text to world connection for a 23 month old! Since then, she has done really well with bugs. She still jumps when she hears a large cricket or a bee but she will look at me and say, "Safe!"
After we (hopefully) conquered that obstacle, Alice was still waking during the night. I knew school was starting soon, so I was beginning to panic! I thought maybe she was hitting her head on the wooden side board on her bed because for some reason, she sleeps horizontally in the bed and her head is always on the side board. I went to Hobby Lobby and quickly sewed her a toddler bed bumper. She loved it! When she saw it for the first time, she ran and jumped in the bed, yelling, "Cool bed!" But she still wouldn't sleep. That particular night she woke up to talk about her bed bumper..."Kee (kitty) Cats. Pink. Purple. Hawts (hearts). Cool." I was ready to pull my hair out.
Now, the frog fear...that is a whole other beast! Our area has had a lot of rain this summer and just below Alice's bedroom window, we have a wonderful bullfrog residing. Each night he croaks at just the right time to freak Alice out. And if it has rained, his friends seem to join in. When I try to get her ready for bed, she starts wriggling around, saying, "Mommy ribbits...scared!" Needless to say, I had many nights in her room. So many, in fact, that my husband bought me an air mattress. Unfortunately it became more of a distraction because Alice wanted to sleep on it instead of in her bed so it was back to the Dora bed for me.
As of last Thursday (a week ago yesterday), I have gone back to work. Teacher workdays began early for our school this year. I am already exhausted from having to get up at 5:45 each morning so the last thing I want is to A). get awoken by a screaming toddler and B). spend the night sleeping on something that is only two inches thick and only goes to my knees in length! So, I caved and put Alice in the bed with her Daddy and myself. I just wanted a full nights sleep, which I got.
Tonight, I have tried something different. I downloaded two frog apps on Alice's iPad. One is a game called DizzyPad HD
and the other is Pocket Frogs, which basically amounts to pet frogs. Your view of them is as if you were looking down inside an aquarium. On DizzyPad, your goal is to help the frog jump across lily pads. Alice laughed and laughed at those frogs as she tried to make them jump! And when they croaked, they sounded much like our bullfrog friend! After playing with the frogs, we did our nighttime routine and she actually went to bed in her own room. She has been in bed for almost three hours now...I have my fingers crossed that she stays there! Of course, I can always use some advice, which is why I have posted this particular blog. Please, if you have anything beneficial to say, comment away! I appreciate advice from other parents!
With that said, I am heading to bed! I don't want to miss an opportunity to get some peaceful shut eye! Sleep tight!
When I sat down to create this blog, I thought I would make something fresh and cool; something new and hip. I think I had been watching The Fresh Beat Band too much with my daughter! Then as I searched for a photo to use as my header, the song, "From My Front Porch Looking In" by Lonestar popped into my head. For those of you who have never heard the song, you can watch the video here
. Even if you're not a fan of country music, if you are a parent, that song will warm your heart, as it does mine every time I hear it.
Right after my husband, Clint, and I got married in 2006, I went back to school to become a teacher. It had been a lifelong dream of mine. All of the caring teachers I had throughout my public education career had planted seeds in my heart. I started at a community college, completing my general education classes while researching my options for a transfer. I was determined. I worked diligently. I took my grades very seriously. Anything less than perfection was unacceptable. In August 2008, I transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. There were very few of us selected to transfer in the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program. I was elated, to say the least. While the daily commute exhausted me, the fact that I was a Tar Heel made me smile, inside and out. I continued to strive for perfection. I put school above everything. During my final year, my husband and I found out that we were expecting. I was thrilled! I was scared! And I was unsure what life would be like as a mommy...
My life completely changed on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm. That is when my sweet angel of a daughter, Alice, was born. Everything I had come to know and believe about life suddenly shifted. Everything I think or do now affects another human being...a little person who depends on me to be her protector and who until recently couldn't tell me how she felt about, well, anything. Being there to care for this little miracle is priority number one.
Where I once heard the tip-tapping of my nails on a keyboard as I typed lesson plans after dinner, I now hear the laughter of my silly daughter as we play hide-and-go-seek. (Lesson planning can wait!) Where I once spent Friday nights at the late movie, I now spend it singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" until dreams begin. Where I once slept in late every weekend, I now rise with the roosters and enjoy Blue's Clues...and a cup of coffee! Where I once looked to the future and saw a big house, a BMW, and various vacation homes, I now look and see a beautiful daughter running around the yard playing or laying in the living room floor, coloring in her favorite coloring book.
I have started this blog to capture the moments of life...good, bad, or ugly. Those moments could be about getting stains out of clothes, planning the perfect play date, creating travel games...anything really. Life's moments happen constantly...and now I want to share them with you!