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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank you all so much for the support and positive feedback on yesterday's trials.  I needed the encouragement and definitely found it in your words.  Today wasn't as awful but we are still not back to any sort of "normal" yet.  Molli has just been so incredibly irritable which I've decided is due to three things: being sick, cutting her bottom molars the rest of the way and side effects from her immunizations.  Any one of those things could be cause for her crazy behavior, but the three combined is a sure recipe for an exacerbated bad attitude.  Thankfully Sunday and Monday are Myles' days off so I will have a partner in this madness.

Although she has been using it in a negative way, let me focus positively for a second on my daughters' intensity.  She is a girl who does everything with great passion.  When she plays with something, she plays with it very hard for a short time before focusing her entire attention on the next item of her interest.  When she "talks," she does it very loudly and intentionally.  There is not a babble that comes out of her mouth these days that isn't followed by a look that demands a response.  She definitely knows what she's saying and wants to communicate.  When she engages playfully, she wants undivided attention and will grin and get so excited once she has it.  She's an intense little girl, and usually it's best seen in her play.

Amanda (my best friend who lives in Chicago right now) commented on the phone today that she noticed a difference between our daughters.  When her daughter, Addison (who is 6 months old) gets mad, she grunts a little bit.  But when Molli gets mad, her whole body gets mad.  She tenses up and she clenches her fists until her face is red.  The anger is very sudden and reverberates through her whole body.

Although her intensity is most obviously seen when she is frustrated or angry, I am interested to see how it changes with her as she grows.  I think it can be a really awesome characteristic if we teach her to use it correctly.  I hope that as her parents, Myles and I can guide her to do as Colossians 3:23 encourages, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men..."

My girl is a passionate little thing.  Tomorrow, when she throws her fits, I will intentionally pray for her to one day turn that passion into a positive and beautiful trait that can be used to glorify the Lord.

Friday, September 23, 2011

tough stuff

Molli is in rare form today.  She has been a fairly difficult child from the beginning but today is pushing me to the edge.  I know she doesn’t feel well and is most likely cranky and needy because of her ear infection and cold.  But you know what?  I don’t feel well either!  I’m cranky and needy but instead of getting to rest and be tended to, I have been doing my best to summon patience from someplace deep inside me and tend to my needy girl.  Unfortunately, Myles isn’t feeling well either, so our whole household is fresh out of the “feel goods.”

She’s been throwing ugly fits all day and wanting me to hold her, but when I do she wants down.  Up, down, up, down, up, down.  Cry, cry, cry.  She has definitely mastered throwing fits and has been practicing her form on the living room floor.  She wont eat, she wont play, she wont sleep, she wont even pretend to be content with anything. 
And I am severely on edge.
I want to put her somewhere safe, and leave for a few hours minutes.  Currently she’s in her crib, crying and I was trying to clean up the house, but she could hear me walking and it’s making her more upset.  So, I’m sitting, listening to my baby girl cry. It’s heartbreaking and I just don’t know the right thing to do.  Should I take her comfort into consideration and continue to hold her and risk losing my cool?  Should I just let her cry?  I just don’t know.  It might be one of those days where it’s just a matter of time before I cry and have my own tantrum right next to her.  On days like this, it seems like there is such a fine line between failing and doing the right thing.

Being a mom is hard sometimes. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Year one recap

As if I don’t talk enough about how big my little girl is getting, let’s recap.

By her first birthday Molli has:
Learned to roll...

This is where she learned to roll



and walk!

Mastered solids... 
and the sippy cup

Been on 19 different airplanes

(Before first airplane)

Been to 8 different states (Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Idaho, Alaska, Florida, Arizona)

Got her ears pierced

Learned several words, or at least her own versions of them (Hi, bye-bye, ball, Mom, Dad, dog, Papa, baby, book, more)

Learned to sign a few words (please, more, thank you and all done)


Gives hugs and kisses

Knows, more or less, what a dog, kitty-cat, cow and bear say.

Cut 12 teeth
(Two of the first!!)
Never been sick…

(Poor first time sickie)

…that is, until now.  My poor sweetie has her first cold, and upon an afternoon visit to the doctor, also has her first ear infection.  

(At the doctors office)

She has had a rough past few days.  Her naps are limited and restless, her hand keeps finding its way to her ear and yanking on it and her nose keeps filling and emptying disgusting mucus.  It’s outrageous the amount of snot that little nose can produce! I’ve been torturing her on a regular basis with the nose sucker.  If noting else, maybe this experience will help her become less reliant on her pacifier since she can’t very well suck on it and breathe at the same time.  The doctor prescribed Amoxicillin (YUM) so we’ll go get that soon and hopefully she’ll be feeling like her old self again soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy birthday Molli!

My baby is one.  How is this possible?  It seriously seems like last month that we brought her home from the hospital.  Everyone told me that time would fly and I’m glad I believed them.  I have made and still do make an effort everyday to just watch Molli and appreciate her at each stage.  She has grown so much this year! 

When my mom and dad came to visit right after Molli was born, I told them how sad I was when she turned one week old, then two weeks old.  I was sad because I knew that each passing week was one that I wouldn’t ever get back and before I knew it, she’d be one.  And here we are.  I have a one year old.  I’ve been a mom for a year.  Not possible!
Looking back on this past year brings back so much joy!  Molli has been an incredible light to our family and I’m so grateful that she has extended family members who are excited to share in her childhood and love on her the same way her dad and I do.  As she transitions from baby to toddler, she is becoming such a fun little girl.  She’s intensely full of life and personality.  Anyone who has spent time with her would certainly agree.

We had her birthday party two days early, on Sunday, and it was so much fun. Amanda and Drew came down on the train and brought Molli’s BFF with them.  Addison is such a sweetheart!  Molli loved her!  It was adorable to watch Molli interact with her.  She wanted to give Addi hugs and kisses and be as close to her as possible.  She did a pretty good job of sharing her toys, but we’ve got some work to do in that area =)

Molli popped a squat into the boppy, right behind Addi

She loved touching her...her hands, her face, everything!

Again, the touching


The birthday party was stressful beforehand but it all came together and I think everyone had a good time.  Molli got to see so many people who love her!  She had a piece of watermelon, which is her favorite food, and got to have a cup cake.  She loooved it!  My girl was sticky as can be and was full of sugar!  She got some wonderful gifts from family and friends…now her momma is slacking with thank you notes!

We went for lots of walks

So here we are, without a baby, waiting for toddlerhood to emerge.  We are somewhere in the middle, grieving the loss of babyhood but celebrating the next upcoming, wonderful phases.

Happy birthday sweet girl.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The sleep battles...

We’ve cried it out, we’ve put her to be drowsy, we’ve put her to bed asleep, we’ve let her sleep with us.  We’ve done pacifiers, attempted sleep props, and even weighted arms to trick her.  We’ve rocked, we’ve walked, we’ve driven.  We’ve gone for stroller rides.  We’ve read books, sang songs and stuck to bed time routines.  You name it, we’ve done it. 
And here we are…
My girl is turning one and we are still lost in terms of sleep.  We’ve made major strides in the last few months, for which I am proud.  But I’m also at a loss.  We’ve come to a new point in this lovely adventure where our previous tricks are not working.  Holding her to sleep was always the sure way for bed time to actually happen.  Now she fights and squirms.  Where holding her tighter used to calm her, it now frustrates her. 

I get insanely jealous of those whose kids just babble and maybe let a fuss or two escape before drifting off to sleep for hours, day or night.  Hours, during the day?  That actually happens?  Darn right it does- I’ve heard incredible dreamy rumors from many-a-parent. These moms have it good, and probably don’t even know it!  I wish our biggest child related problems were related to accepting a sippy cup, resisting diaper changes or crabby bath times.  Are you kidding me?  Stay awake for a year, then we’ll talk.  (of course I’m exaggerating…a little)

Our experience with crying it out has been awful.  Molli will literally cry and cry for hours.  The longest we have let it go on is 5 hours, and every minute was torture.  We tried it for a long time and never saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  Molli was miserable, I was miserable and I’m sure Myles wasn’t thrilled about it either.  There is nothing as discouraging as feeling like a failure and having those feelings confirmed by others.  Since all else seems to be failing, or at least not succeeding, we are reverting back to the crying. 
*Side note- this is not aimed directly at any particular person, more a general sense that I gathered from those more distant from our situation*

Last night we made her start from scratch.  She was beyond tired, utterly exhausted.  And angry.  I kept checking on her every 15 minutes- with reaching in the crib snuggles and a drink of water.  I set in my mind that if this big time crying goes on until 1:30am, I’d go get her.  That was my deadline.  That would have been three hours of crying… An hour and a half later, she fell asleep sitting up!  Success

Nap #1- Forty minutes of crying, then 25 minutes of sleep- Success!
Nap #2- SIX minutes of crying, then an hour nap! Super, amazing success!

I just put her in bed and I’m not even kidding, by the time I turned on the monitor she had stopped crying and was laying down.  She wasn't asleep immediately, as evidenced by short bursts of vocal frustration. Maybe ten seconds of crying... I am amazed! 

My girl became ready for sleep training, in her own time.  I am hoping (and praying big time) that this is a permanent improvement to her sleep habits.  It is so far vastly different than our past experience with crying it out, in that she is actually sleeping and not getting upset and stiff each time we go anywhere near the crib. 

I hope that anyone reading this can glean some hope from our experiences and trials.  It seems that people are quick to pass along advice, ensuring that it’s golden.  They likely have all the best intentions and truly believe that their words will solve all your problems.  However, every child is different and I want to encourage anyone who needs to hear it, don’t feel like a failure when some bit of “solid” and “sure” advice fails you.  You take what you want, try new things and don’t believe for a second that there is one right way to do things.  You are not a failure if something doesn’t go quite as planned and your child is not a failure if he/she does not respond to whatever training attempts.  Keep trying and in time, something will work.  Some kids just don’t fit the mold that inspired all the parenting books.  Be adaptable and consistent.  Take some advice and leave some but don’t feel bad about it.    

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I am certain that within everything a child provokes a parent to do and deal with, there is a lesson to be learned.  I have, along with anyone who has ever met her, seen time and time again the stubborn streak in my daughter.  Her incredible persistence to make her own choices (even at this age) drives a number of decisions everyday.  Sometimes she will learn that her desires will not grant her the wonderful experience she is hoping for, and likewise, she will learn that those who care for her will set her up for wonderful experiences.

Yesterday Molli ventured off into her bedroom, which is allowed.  I had set some toys out for her to play with and I was listening as she played by herself.  “Happy play” sounds like this:  Babble, jabber, jabber.  Clunking toys, squeals and more jabber, jabber.  When those noises cease, worry ensues. “Happy play” noises ceased yesterday and I sat in the living room for a moment, listening to the quiet, waiting for an indication of what was happening within the walls of her bedroom.  Then she called for me.
Quietly at first, “Maaaaaa…”
A little louder, more urgent, “Maaaaaa!”
I walked into her room and found her facing her dresser with her all fingers (minus thumbs, which are lacking a joint, therefore, aren’t fingers and don’t count) stuck in a drawer. She couldn’t move. 

I’m not going to lie, I wanted to grab the camera… but I played the role of Good Mom and rescued her.

Now, she wasn’t hurt at all, and this certainly wouldn’t have been a big deal except I can’t help but note that she KNOWS she’s not supposed to use the drawers.  We have a common saying in our house that goes a little something like this:

“Molli, no _____.”  (insert forbidden act/object here- cords, climbing, phones, drawers, remotes, touching, computers, biting etc.)

We have recently simplified our common phrase to a more general, “That’s a no.”  It covers all grounds. 

Anyway, she knows drawers are a “no” but with the absence of her bossy mom, she got sneaky and made the choice to follow her curiosity to open the drawer to unseen wonders and all things exciting.  How enticing were those pretty green knobs and how urgent the desire to peek inside.  What wonders could this gigantic drawer hold?  Certainly she never found out.  The drawer is too high for her to see into and she was, undoubtedly, stuck before enjoying the neatly folded towels within.  Sorry kid. 
And sorry she was. 
I can imagine her frustration at the realization that not only was she stuck, she also had to get Mom’s help.  Which means BUSTED!

I can draw lots of conclusions and make a few different lessons out of this scenario, but today I will leave this thought:

How often do we, even as adults, make unwise choices, based entirely on our whims, end up stuck and hesitantly ask for help, or just plain busted?  We see it on TV everyday and I know it’s in our lives, to some extent.  (Although, I must add, in my life, I’ve seen this more often in attempts to rearrange my bedroom furniture as a kid.  Nothing like getting all the heavy furniture stuck in the middle of the bedroom and either getting busted or stuck and having to ask for help.)

I love my crazy girl.