Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Calling All Prayer Warriors - URGENT

My dad will be having open heart surgery tomorrow morning, 8am.

Short version: he went in for a stress test today, and... they're keeping him overnight and cracking his chest tomorrow. No, it cannot be fixed with a stent or a *plasty. Must be open heart.

Doctor that read the test said that without surgery they would expect him to have a massive heart attack within 7 - 10 days.

He had NO warning signs. Family history of heart disease, yes. Symptoms or problems himself? No.

So, I am asking for anyone out there in blog-world that reads this to please keep my daddy in your prayers tonight, and tomorrow during the surgery, and then during his recovery as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gonna Miss This

You have those moments, right? Those moments where maybe something is driving you crazy now, but at the same time you realize that you would miss it if it were gone? Or rather, you will miss it when it's gone.

I had one the other night.

So, the latest phase I've entered being the mother to a toddler, is the don't-get-to-use-the-bathroom-by-myself phase. Like, ever.

Because if we're at home, she has to be there. Right there. Whether I'm on the potty, brushing my teeth, or taking a shower, she has to be... right there. In our not-very-big bathroom. Right there.

If we're out in public together, she has to be... right there. In the stall with me. And God forbid I try to leave her with Daddy, or Grandma, or whatever other adult we're with so I can pee in peace. Nope. Public tantrum ensues if I even think about it. So. Right there.

And then I think "well, I get to pee alone at work". But not really. Because they're like public restrooms, with eight stalls. So yes, I do manage to get a stall to myself, but it's just not the same as actually getting privacy while you're doing your thing, you know?

And yes, this annoys me. Sometimes, it exasperates me. Some days, all I want is to pee in peace. Or to take a shower without someone pulling back the curtain to see what I'm doing, letting water get all over the bathroom floor.

I have a new found appreciation for using the bathroom by myself. It is a luxury I hope I do not soon take for granted.

So the other morning, I was taking my shower, and Jena was sitting on her little potty next to the tub, not actually going, or even trying to go, but just because it's next to the tub and Mommy's in the shower. I'm rinsing my hair when I feel the familiar cold blast of air that tells me the curtain has been pulled back. Open my eyes to see Jena grinning at me, handing me her "puhple bubble" - her bath soap. Cute, right? But it's been a long night and a long morning already, and I'm more annoyed by the fact that there's water getting all over my formerly dry bath rug and her potty and her, and that we've had this talk a gazillion times before.

I crouch down, still in the tub. Thank her for the bubbles and set them down, explaining that I have my own soap, and point to it. I tell her I need to close the curtain so no more water will get out and on the floor, at which point she looks around and notices all the water. Remember? I say, that's why we don't open curtains while Mommy or Daddy are taking showers. She grins and goes back to her potty to keep her wait-till-Mommy-gets-done vigil.

As I pull the curtain back shut, it hits me.

I'm gonna miss this.

There will come a day, when she will no longer follow me into the bathroom. And I can already see myself, sitting on the toilet, wondering why my bathroom seems so lonely, so quiet.

There will come a day when Jena will have no interest in following me around. Will not cry out for me because I have the nerve to try to pee without her.

There will be a day when no one tries to hand me "puhple bubble".

And... I will miss this.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Time Suck? Blogs.

Inspired by Nota's recent post.

I heart blogs. And not just my own. Others. I love them.

I am currently faithfully following 43 blogs. Wow. I had never counted them before. Forty three.

Some are just funny. Some are informative. Most are just real postings from real people like me.

To be honest, I don't know if they all actually qualify as "blogs". But that's what I call them.

By "faithfully" I mean I check them more than once a week. Usually multiple times a week.

I love them. I've always loved reading. And blogs let me get sucked into forty-three different stories on a regular basis.

I love the blogs of people I know in real life, because our grown-up lives have all too often taken over and we don't get to see each other in real life any more. So I like their blogs because I can see how they're doing, how their kids are growing up. I can revel in their joy, and encourage them in their down times.

I get wrapped up in the stories. I get attached to people I've never met. I cry over hardships. Heck, I cry over happy times. I miss them when they stop posting. Sometimes I friend them on Facebook.

I try to comment when so moved, but not when I see 672 people have already commented. I've set a personal rule of not commenting if they've already received 10 comments. I don't know where I came up with 10, but I use the same rule on message boards.

Yep. I love blogs.

And I'm sure you're just dying to know my favorites? Well, I refuse to name favorites, because I like them all, that's why I check them all regularly. So here are a random few that I heart.

So that's it. I love blogs. Hope you like mine. And I hope that maybe if you don't recognize one of these blogs you'll check out at least one of the one of those I've linked here, and maybe you'll like one of them too.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Simply Disagreeing vs. Being Disrespectful vs. Being Judgemental vs. Simply Disagreeing

This has been on my mind a LOT lately. A lot. Cannot emphasize that enough. A lot.

Yes, some because of the interchange Jene and I have had regarding spiritual views.

But also because of some Facebook statuses and comments.
And because of some message board happenings.
And some family conversations.
And some work occurrences.

Basically, I've been disagreeing with a lot of people lately. Or they've been disagreeing with me. Depending on how you look at it.

And on occasions when I've disagreed with others, no matter how nicely I have tried to word my opposing view point, these are some of the words that have been used to describe me and / or my statements:

filled with hate & fear

Now, I'm not perfect. Far from it.
I'm not opposed to criticism. And I believe when you receive criticism you should take it, reflect on your actions, and learn how to improve for the future. Of course, sometimes this happens after you stop fuming, but still. You take it, and learn from it.

So... one occasion (Facebook), yes. I was judging. I actually caught it before anyone commented. This is why you shouldn't FB before 6am. Or at least I shouldn't.

Another occasion (message board), I realized I might have come across as judgemental, even though that certainly wasn't the actual case, apologized the next time I was on, and got flack for apologizing. Nice.

But every other occasion? Every one... after being called whatever lovely term my listeners chose, I reviewed my statements, sometimes repeatedly, and then one more time, and then I talked it over with someone, and then I thought about it some more, and then I slept on it, and then I thought about it some more, and finally... I concluded that no, I was not being crazy, hateful, stupid, fearful, insane, b****y, judgemental, offensive, or disrespectful.

I was, simply, stating a viewpoint that someone else disagreed with.

Still... I do not understand why stating my own personal viewpoints created such emotional responses in others, simply because they were different from their own.

I have some theories on societal responses to conflict.
I have some theories based on what I know of each of these individuals.
But I don't know. Not really. I may never know.

What I do know is that I have spent way too much time reviewing past conversations, trying to figure out why someone else felt they way they did in response to an innocuous statement that I made.

And so I am moving on. This is my my-conscience-is-clear post. In regards to all of these conversations that have been weighing on my mind over the past few months.


Oh, but just so I'm clear. This doesn't mean I'm done stating my viewpoints or beliefs. Just that I'm done beating myself up about it, when I've not actually done anything wrong.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas List

Time to add to this year's Christmas List.

If you remember, so far we have:

I am adding to that:

PhotoShop Elements 9

I would ask for the full PhotoShop, but that's pretty pricey. So maybe just Elements. For now.

And that's my Christmas List.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Fat Butt

So, if you remember my original Fat Butt post, you remember that we finally figured out that I have an insulin disorder, and started medication.

Well, 10 days after starting the medication and seven days of calorie restriction, and... I'm down NINE pounds! Already!

No, really! I'm not lying! No! I'm not! I know! It's crazy! NINE pounds! In only TEN days!

Now, no, I don't think I lost nine pounds of fat in ten days. Nor do I expect to keep up this rate of weight loss.

One thing I forgot to put in my original post is that my endocrinologist said that one of the outward signs of this insulin disoder is a puffy face, neck, and upper abdomen - all caused by major water retention. He said that as the insulin began to get regulated, this would go away.

Well, within just a few days of starting the medication, I started peeing all. the. time. Seriously! It's ridiculous!
By day five, I looked in the mirror and I realized my face looked skinnier (ie. no more puffy face).

Day nine, I realized the top of my "B" shaped belly seemed smaller. Weird, I thought, because even though he had said this was a marker of the disorder, mine had been this way since giving birth, so I just assumed everything got all weird & stretched out from my gigantic pregnant belly.

me, seven months pregnant with FireGirl - told you it was gigantic

And day ten, I stepped on the scale and was down nine whole pounds.

I'm excited. Not just because I've finally managed to lose some poundage, even if it is water weight, but because I'm taking this as a sign that my doctor is right, we are on the right track, and that this course of treatment will get things going in the right direction for me. That, to me anyway, is very exciting.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Television, and a Confession

We have a television!

That's right folks, internet & TV all in one weekend! It's an entertainment overload at the FireHouse!

And my confession?

I don't know what I'm gonna do when we get everything done.
I really don't. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

See, right now, we almost have a functional kitchen. Working fridge & stove, finally got water & a kitchen sink. But pots & pans, dishes, etc. are all still packed away. Cabinets still need to be installed, and countertop still needs to be sealed.

Basically, I haven't cooked a meal in 10 weeks.

And our washer & dryer still aren't hooked up.

Basically, I haven't done a load of laundry in 10 weeks.
Okay. Not totally true. Sometimes I do it at my mom's or my brother's. But my mom prefers to do it herself during the day because by the time I get there after work I keep the machines running "too late".

And with the renovation still in progress, there's very little cleaning to be done. The occasional sweep with the broom. Pick up FireGirl's toys. Put FireMan's tools away.

And yet I'm somehow still exhausted at the end of the day. No time for anything. Of course it doesn't help that FireGirl has been fighting her bedtime routine, which can now last for hours, but still.

As much as I have come to hate living in a partially-complete house, I am terrified of what life will be like once it's done. How will I ever find time to cook & clean & do laundry & wash dishes and and and...?
I'm terrified that FireMan will finally get it all done, and it still will never look like the picture in my head.
And it will be all my fault.

Battling Myself

Do you ever feel so beat down and stressed and frustrated and worn out and tired and just everything that you just know if you can take any more?
And at the same time, do you worry that maybe you've done or said something to someone else that might have had the same effect on them?

So then you're conflicted.

You are so incredibly at the end of your rope that there's this base, almost instinctual, response building inside of you that makes you want to come out swinging at anyone that approaches you. This need to defend yourself, this need to fight back, to claw your way to the top, to prove yourself.
But at the very same time that you feel the need to defend yourself, you also feel the need to be compassionate, and encouraging, and protective?

And so then you're conflicted.

Because even though you know that you really should just focus on the second one, focusing on taking care of others, that at this point you are sooooooooo exhausted and worn out and tired and just feel like life has beat you down so much that it almost feels necessary to your survival to be selfish and to start clawing at things for yourself, but that just doesn't seem right to you, so your stuck at an impasse, and so....

you do nothing.

And then you decide to apologize to someone you think you might have been to harsh to.

And your apology is slapped back into your face. And you are called names.

And then you try to be nice to someone else.

And they tell you they don't want it.

And you start to think that maybe you would have been better off if you had kept on...

... doing nothing.

Yeah. Me neither.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Fantasy Blog Life

Sometimes I picture myself putting FireGirl to bed, smiling at FireMan as I walk into our completed living room. I sit down on our couch and pick up my own laptop. Plug in my camera.

And blog peacefully until time for bed.

I don't know if that will ever happen.

But sometimes, it happens in my head.

And yes, the camera is an important piece of the story, as I don't really like that my blog is so devoid of pictures lately. I'd love to be one of those bloggers that posts at least a pic or two every day. Of something.

Someday. Maybe someday.


Friday, November 12, 2010

We have internet!

Eight weeks, countless phone calls, and a three hour installation appointment later, we have internet!

Needless to say, I'm not thrilled with the customer service we've received from the provider thus far, but unfortunately in our area, we only have one option for internet service.

After talking with the contractor that came out to do the installation, he said what it boils down to is a lot of the techs are just lazy. They probably drove by, saw the rural setting, didn't even check the lines, and just cancelled the service request as not being able to do it.

Luckily for us, I wasn't buying that.

The contractor that came out said that since we did finally get a successful installation, and it was proven that the previous contractor pretty much lied to get out of doing the work, that he'll probably lose his contract with the utility.

Good. With the job market the way it is I'm sure there are plenty of hard-working, customer-oriented people out there who would just love to jump in and take his spot.

And now... we have internet.

I love my guys

As in, the guys I work with.

And yes, I can say "guys" without being exluding anyone, because up until last Monday I was the only female.

sidenote - so far I really like the new girl. whew! I was a little worried. you never can tell when you add a 2nd women into the mix

Anywho - they are soooooooo generous. No, really.

Every year, we do a Habitat for Humanity build. Who shows up varies depending on travel schedules, but we regularly have over 50% participation.
For the past five years, we've donated food to the Thanksgiving food drive sponsored by one of our business partnering groups.
This year? We decided to provide our own basket (an entire Thanksgiving dinner contained in a laundry basket). Considering the entire company is only committing to six, and we're the newest, and one of the smallest, divisions in the company, providing our own is, relatively speaking, a big deal.
Not only did we provide an entire basket, our management threw in an additional gift card to Kroger (I have no idea for how much, they didn't want to broadcast it), and we had enough extra donations (items & cash) to provide additional laundry baskets and food items.
And now I have guys complaining because they didn't check their email in time and didn't get to bring anything in.
Didn't get to! I love it! They're complaining because they didn't get to donate!

In addition, every year for the past three years we've adopted a needy family for Christmas. The program is to provide food, toiletries, clothing, & small gifts to families at Christmastime. Well, let me tell you, we don't just adopt the family, as in oh-I-guess-we'll-buy-what's-on-their-list. Oh, no. With the family's permission, we meet with them in their home. Talk to them. Find out what's going on. In the past we've rallied together to provide beds (like entire beds, twin up to queen size), televisions, DVD players, a new front door, door knobs & locks, school supplies, extermination services (bedbug), and more. Oh, and basic food & toiletries? Pshaw! How 'bout so much food they ran out of room in their cabinets?
So this year? We're adopting two families.

I love it. I love my guys. They're awesome. Yes, I'm bragging. I'm bragging on them.

They're awesome.

*note* - because I always wonder about this - the charities we work with do an awesome job of making sure the families we donate to are really looking for a hand up, not a hand out. In every situation so far they have been "working poor" - every parent working full time outside the home, but still struggling to make ends meet.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do you think FireGirl is getting Bullied at PreSchool ???

I'm starting to wonder. I guess I need to set up a conference with her teachers.
Or maybe I'm over-reacting.

What do you think?

So a few weeks ago she started hitting and pulling hair, right? But just me. So I think, oh it's just the terrible twos, and it's only directed at me, and I'm the mommy (ie authority figure), so this is part of her figuring out her boundaries, who she is, etc. No biggie.

Then we get out the Barbie. She pulls her hair, saying "Ow!" as she does it. Like she's trying to hurt Barbie. From the very beginning. Like that was the first thing she thought of doing when she saw the doll. I asked her if she wanted me to show her how to do her hair nicely. She said "yes". I showed her. Gave the doll back. She proceeded to pull & yank on Barbie's hair, saying "Ow!" repeatedly as she did it. Then she started pulling Barbie's arms and saying "Ow!", like she was really starting to hurt her.

Earlier this week she hit FireKitty with a toy bowling pin. Hard. FireKitty was sleeping on the couch, and FireGirl picked up the pin, reared back and hit her full force. And laughed. When I explained to her that she hurt FireKitty, that now FireKitty had an owie because of what she did, and didn't FireGirl feel bad? "Nope". Not gonna lie, that kinda freaked me out.
FireKitty is her kitten, and she has always been very gentle & tender w/ her, carried her around, wants to hold her, pet her, love her. This seemingly-out-of-nowhere hitting, and then showing no remorse even though she's told she hurt her beloved kitten? Yeah, kinda freaked me out.

So this morning, we're getting ready for preschool.
Me: "Are you going to read books?"FireGirl: "Yep"Me: "Are you going to sing songs?"
FireGirl: "Yep"
Me: "Are you going to play?"FireGirl: "Yep." {{makes raspberry, her way of saying 'horse'}}
Me: "Are you going to ride the horsey?"FireGirl: "Yep"
Me: "What about the other kids? Are you gonna play with the other kids?"no response - face is dead-pan
Me: "Are you gonna play with the other kids today?"FireGirl: "No" {{starts whining}}
Me: "why not?"
FireGirl: {{starts crying & walks away}}
a few minutes later
Me: "Are you gonna ride the horsey today?" (she loves the horse toy they have there)FireGirl: "Yep"Me: "What about the other kids? Don't you wanna play with the other kids?"no response - face is dead-pan
Me: "Are the other kids nice to you?"no response
Me: "Are the other kids mean to you?"no response
Me: "Are you gonna play with the other kids today?"FireGirl: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooo!" {{runs off crying}}

So I take her to preschool. We're a few minutes late, the last ones to arrive. When you first arrive, the students have to wash their hands before joining the rest of the class. We wash our hands. I ask FireGirl if she wants to go play and point to the classroom thru the half-door.
I open the half-door. There are two kids standing right on the other side of the door, but with enough room between them for us to get thru.
She. Won't. Budget.
Won't go near them.
I have to take her hand and lead her thru the kids.

I lead her over to the horsey, and she climbs on happily. I hang up her diaper bag & sweater. I have to stop by the office to pay this month's tuition, and to get out of the building I double-back by FireGirl's classroom. I peek over the half-door.
The rest of the class is sitting at a table listening to the teacher read a story. I don't see her. The teacher sees me, and gestures to the corner.
FireGirl is sitting by herself in a corner, "reading" a book.
The teacher looks at me & shrugs. I shrug back. Because after my conversation with FireGirl this morning, I know she doesn't want to play with the other kids. And if FireGirl doesn't want to do something, well, she ain't doin' it.

So, what do you think? I mean, I know she's shy, but she's been at this school, in this class, with these teachers and these kids for over two months now. She knows the kids by name, if you ask her. So it's not like it's strangers.
I'm really kinda worried that with her new outburst of violent behavior, plus how upset she got when I asked her about playing with the other kids, that something is happening or has happened to her.

Do you think she's getting bullied?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blog Topics. Racing Thru. My Mind. Faster. Than I Can. Get Them Down.

The past few days I've had what seems like a zillion blog topics racing thru my mind. I've written at least a hundred blog posts in my head.

And I'm afraid very few of them will actually make it here.

Mostly because FireMan keeps not bringing our personal laptop home, and when I become so desparate I am willing to scratch some thoughts out on paper, I can't find any in the house. Seriously.

I have been brilliant the past few days. Absolutely brilliant. Composing posts of mind-numbingly awesomeness.

But now that I have a computer in front of me? That's right. It's as if the brilliance is fading in the glow of my laptop.


One of these days I'll get it together. One of these days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do you ever feel like you must just be weird?

I do.

Like when you finally get all girly, and pick out a scent at Bath & Body Works to be all your own, and six months later they discontinue it?

Or when McDonalds takes your favorite Value Meal off of their menu? although I did learn you can still order it, it's just not on the menu

Or when the cafeteria at work takes buffalo chicken, your absolute favorite thing that they have that you order regularly, off of their regularly supplied items?

Or like how clothing never fits you right? Never. You're always in between sizes.
And you must just be oddly shaped as well because if your pants fit in the waist then their sagging in the butt, and if your shirt fits in the bust then its bellowing out around your gut, and regular pants are too long, but petite pants are too short.

And a bunch of other stuff too.

And some days you just end up feeling like you just must be the weirdest person ever.

Do you ever get like that?

Yeah. Me neither.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Short Post of Randomness

Because I felt like my blog needed a short post. And since I couldn't think of anything "short" to say, here's some randomness. And some color.

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long (eye hip arm leg ear toe jaw rib lip gum).

Elephants are the only mammals that can't jump.

American car horns beep in the tone of F.

The word "nerd" was first coined by Dr. Seuss in "If I Ran the Zoo."

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

"Goodbye" came from "God bye" which came from "God be with you."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So... about my Fat Butt

I finally went and saw an endocrinologist. A really good endocrinologist. Like, one of the top in our area.

He also specializes in obesity & metabolic disorders.

I thought: I've hit the jackpot!

After my weight frustrations, how long my PPD lingered, unexplained fatigue, and some other issues that I just didn't have an explanation for, I finally went.

Like... five weeks ago.

I didn't want to post until I had the results of my labwork. You know, just in case he said "you really are just a fat, lazy slob".

But he didn't.

After giving nine vials of blood, two vials of saliva, and a jug of urine (literally), here's the rundown:

 - my vitamin B12 is slightly low
he said it's not a huge deal, but is probably contributing to my fatigue. Recommended an over the counter supplement.

 - my vitamin D levels were "shockingly low"
a bigger deal. Also can contribute to fatigue & depression, and is needed for things such as bone strength, is thought to help prevent breast cancer, etc. Because it was so low, he prescribed a daily supplement.

 - my sugar levels are whack
hence, my fat butt. This is a little more complicated to explain, so I'll do my best. He said I have "insulin reactive disorder" which basically means my body's response to sugar intake isn't normal. My A1C (checks your blood sugar over the past three months) showed that my blood sugar on average was around 90, the very low side of normal. Which means I probably spend a great deal of time hypoglycemic, which I already knew. But... he also said it showed signs of these weird spikes, where it would get very high. In fact, my fasting blood sugar, on the day of the test, was 119 - nearly diabetic.
What he thinks is happening is that while I am awake, my body overreacts to sugar intake, my insulin levels rise too high, and consequently the sugar is pushed out of my bloodstream into my cells. Excess sugar in your cells turns to fat.
But he thinks while I am resting, my body basically doesn't acknowledge the sugar at all. So if I eat something sweet before bedtime (which I often do), the sugar sits in my blood, and come morning, my blood sugar is as high as if I had just eaten it.

What does this mean?
Well, basically it means that for me it is very easy to gain weight, and very difficult to lose it (aha! I knew it!). Then, because excess weight is difficult for the body to handle, it makes it even more difficult for your body to regulate its insulin levels.
And thus begins the vicious cycle.

He said even though my blood sugar now tends to be low, he believes left untreated, as this progresses, I would eventually develop Type II Diabetes, because my body would eventually be unable to regulate its own insulin.

So what now?
We're treating it. Aggressively. The medication he thought would be most effective isn't covered by my health insurance (of course), so I am now on a combination of three different medications in hopes of achieving the same results. In fact, he said we should get the same results, just not as quickly as with the one other med. These three medications should essentially regulate my insulin levels, and trick my body into doing what it's supposed to do with sugar.
I also need to lose weight.
A side effect result of the three medications he put me on tends to be a modest weight loss, as the insulin levels normalize, but as I am now obese, I need to lose more than that. So he wants me to restrict my caloric intake.
I still groan inside at the thought, but he promises me that as my insulin levels regulate, I should see noticeable weight loss. Like, a lot. With only moderate effort. Even more with strong effort. Basically I should start losing weight like a normal person.
I don't want to put a number on here, even though he did give me one, because I'm scared. I'm scared that even if I lose, I won't hit that number. And then I would be embarrassed because I posted it on here and everyone would know that I failed.

So today I will go to the pharmacy to pick up my new prescriptions, and tomorrow I will start them.

And tomorrow I will start making better eating choices.

The real calorie restriction will begin Monday, so I can have the weekend to shop for some low-cal options, and plan my lunches for the week

And that, dear readers, is an update on My Fat Butt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Water. Meh.

Well, our water did indeed get hooked up. Monday.

But I just can't get excited over it.

Why, you ask?

Because they didn't install the filter. And we found out today that they may charge us extra for coming back out to install the filter because we didn't specifically mention it when we got a quote (really? yes, really).

And because we don't have a filter, we can't drink it or cook with it.

And because our kitchen sink is not yet installed, we can't wash dishes with it.

And because our washing machine is still not hooked up, we can't do laundry with it.

So... even though I feel like I should be really excited about finally getting county water, I just can't get excited about it.

Tonight FireMan is planning to continue installing the kitchen cabinets and countertops. I plan to paint the laundry room, to expedite the hooking up of the washing machine.

FireGirl's Moment of Defiance Last Night...

... resulted in me, for the very first time, saying "That's it! You're going straight to bed!"

Background: the furnace in our home is not yet up & running. Thus far we've been able to heat the house with a wood-burning fireplace, but with temperatures continuing to drop, we purchased an electric heater to help warm the bedrooms at night, which are on the opposite end of the house as the fireplace.
Yes, the electric heater we bought has all the latest & greatest safety features, including broad-based legs to prevent tip-over, a tip-over sensor which turns the heater off if it does get knocked over, and a cool-touch surface.
But... we want to teach FireGirl that you don't touch heaters, because you can get burned. Because we know that at some point in time she will be at someone's house who doesn't have a cool-touch heater.

Last night, FireMan caught FireGirl reaching towards the electric heater. He very sternly told her "No!", and explained that she could get an owie if she touched a heater.

Fast forward about an hour. FireGirl & I are going thru our bedtime routine of putting toys away (interspersed with her deciding she wants to play with them). Usually before bedtime we also read one book before saying goodnight.

As we carry some toys back into her bedroom, FireGirl stops at the heater. She leans towards it. I say "No, no. Don't touch."
She stops. Looks me in the eye. Still looking at me, she reaches down and places her flat hand on the front of the heater.
I drop what I'm carrying, pull her hands off of the heater, lightly smack the hand she touched the heater with, and carry her the few steps into her bedroom, while saying "That's it! It's night-night time!"
She's already crying as I shut the door behind me.

I realize I can't just leave it at that. Seriously. The light's still on. She doesn't have her lovey (cries of "Tuuuuttteeeelllllllll!" are now coming from her room), and she's just standing at the door upset. I go get Mr. Turtle. Walk back down the hall to her room, and knock on the door before opening it. I hand her Mr. Turtle, announce that's it's time for bed, and point at her bed.
She obediently walks to her bed & climbs in.
I tell her no story tonight.
I call FireMan in to kiss her good night. He does so.
I sit at her bedside to say our prayers, kiss her on the forehead, and tell her goodnight.
As I walk out of the room I turn off the light, say "I love you PunkinButt" and close the door.

It's only 15 minutes before her regular bedtime.

And no, the toys did not all get picked up.

But... I think she got the picture.

Until this morning.

That's right. She touched the heater again. Defiantly. In that you're-not-gonna-tell-me-what-I-can-or-can't-do sort of way that only a toddler can pull off.
I tell her "No!", explain again about how she can get a bad owie if she touches heaters, and order her to sit in the living room and wait for me.
She looks me in the eye, says "no" and turns to go in her room.
I pick her up and carry her into the living room, placing her in the chair. She starts crying. I hold her there. She wrestles against me.
FireGirl finally stops fighting me, but keeps crying. She holds her arms out to me, and I embrace her. We talk again about the potential owies of electric heaters. I tell her I'm not trying to be mean, I just don't want her to get hurt.
I ask her if she's going to touch the heater again. She responds with a quiet "no". I ask her if she's ever ever ever gonna touch a heater again. She says "nu uh", very quietly.
I say okay and let her out of my lap, but ask her to sit in the chair. She complies.

I get this new defiance, this new independence, this testing of boundaries. I get it. She's two. It's what two-year-olds do. It helps them define their world and define their selves.
But I worry. I worry that she will do something just to defy us, and end up injuring herself.

I worry.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And... Here Come the Terrible Twos !!

I'm assuming that's what this is.

Came in with a fury, seemingly out of nowhere. Not even on my radar.

And the bonus? So far, it appears to be directed solely at me! Joy!

And if screaming & crying & throwing tantrums aren't enough... we've started hitting & pulling hair! Weeeeee!

And just general nastiness.

This morning started off great. Happy FireGirl & happy mommy. Ended with a battle of wills. Yes, mommy managed to pull out a win. Barely. But the kind of "win" where you end up badly bruised & exhausted by the end. And late for work.


At least the hitting & pulling hair is reserved strictly for me, and not for the other kids in nursery or at preschool, right? That's a good thing, right?

Oh, the would-have-been-funny-if-we-hadn't-been-fighting-for-so-long-already moment? She found her Halloween candy and asked for M&Ms. Specifically, two. I told her she had to ask nicely. After a lot of crying. She finally said "Peeeeeeeese!"
I accidentally poured three into my hand, and instead of putting one back, I told her since she asked so nicely she could have three, and proceeded to put all three M&Ms into her hand.
She cried. Screamed. And threw the M&Ms, while yelling "Twooooooooooo!"

Apparently she really wanted TWO, not three. Silly mommy.


This is gonna be a long year, isn't it?
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