It's Mommy Time

One Mommy, Two Daughters, Zero Time

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wishes for Hailey on Her First Birthday

I've thought about what I would write for Hailey's first birthday for many months now. There's really no way to express my love for her or to detail how that love grows every day. There's also no way to sum up the first year of her life in any way that would adequately capture all of the giggles, smiles, kisses, tears, and fun that we've shared. So, I decided to just write down my hopes for her in the best way I know how - a bulleted list!
  • I hope that you grow up to be a strong, independent, intelligent woman;
  • I hope that you always appreciate all of your personal strengths and have the courage to work on your weaknesses;
  • I hope that you never look in the mirror and wish that someone different would look back at you;
  • I hope that you remember that no matter how far away your family is, they will always love you and support you;
  • I hope that you someday appreciate how many hearts you've captured in just 1 year;
  • I hope that your life is enriched by many friendships;
  • I hope that you meet a man as wonderful, talented, and helpful as your father;
  • I hope that you are blessed with all of the joys that life has to offer and that you are able to learn from all of its sorrows;
  • I hope that you figure out what your talents are and use them for the good of those around you;
  • I hope that you always know how much your mother loves you.
Of course, I'm sure that I've had many more hopes for you over the past year, but I thought that I'd write down a few now. If anyone else has any wishes for Hailey, please put them in the comments.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Let the Crying Begin

Hailey has quickly gone from being a sweet little baby to a strong-willed toddler in what seems like overnight. Yesterday she discovered how to dip the bubble wand into the bubble mix. She would even hold it up and blow in its general direction. No bubbles, of course, but it’s pretty funny to watch her try. Later, we had a major standoff because it was time to put the bubbles away, and she wanted to keep the bubble wand. When Mommy took it away, there was a bit of a tantrum with much gnashing of the teeth. She’s so dramatic too. She’ll sit and put her little forehead down on the floor so that she’s folded on top of herself while she’s screaming. It’s really killer.

Anyway, she has become overly attached to anything that she’s holding, and it’s impossible to coax things away from her without having a major struggle. I try to be very polite and hold out my hand to ask her to give it to me (instead of grabbing because I don’t want to encourage grabbing). Unfortunately, when she has something she wants, she just locks down the death grip. Sometimes I can make a trade, but most of the time it’s impossible. She’s also grown attached to a blankie which I now have to rip out of her little claws every morning. When did this happen, and how do I make it stop?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Friends

When I moved to Nashville, I did a terrible job of making friends in the beginning. Granted, I was in graduate school so it’s not like I had a whole lot of free time on my hands. Still, I’m trying to learn from my mistakes by really pushing to make lots of friends in Atlanta.

So far, I’ve made a ton of acquaintances from all different venues: work, the neighborhood, Luke’s work, Mom’s groups etc. Now, I’m wondering if I have so many acquaintances that I won’t have enough time to make any real long term friendships. I was talking to my college roommate, Nikki, the other day, and she mentioned that she has a “second family” of friends where she lives in Sacramento. I guess I’m hoping to get to that point here someday.

Hailey actually makes it quite a bit easier to “meet” people, but the problem is that everyone is running in different directions with their heads cut off trying to raise their children. The nerve of them! Anyway, we made a list of all of the couples that we wanted to have dinner with in the next few months and the list was overwhelming. So, I think that we’re going to have one big party instead. I know it’s not ideal, but I hope that it’s a good way to reconnect with people and get them all together. When things slow down in the fall, we can start a more personalized strategy. Wish us luck on our new friend initiative!

PS: I promise that new pictures are coming soon!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Top 10 Things Dog Training Taught Me About Raising Children

Since Josie has come back into our lives, I've started to remember all of the dog training that we did with her back when she was a puppy. Actually, dog training was more about training us than about training her. Our amazing trainer, Tracy Ann, was much like the Dog Whisperer; she taught us all about how to become the leaders of our little family pack. I knew that getting Josie a few years before we had kids would certainly teach Luke and me a lot about responsibility. What I didn’t count on was how much the process of training her would influence our parenting style. So, here are the top 10 dog training tips that we use regularly with Hailey:

10) Both parents must participate and be on the same page when it comes to discipline.
9) Adults must exert themselves as the leaders in the family. For dogs, that means eating first, walking through doorways first, and otherwise setting the tone for proper behavior. For Hailey, it means not letting her dictate her way all the time.

8) Use "no" only when necessary or it will become meaningless.
7) Use distraction or incompatible commands to control undesirable behavior.

6) A calm parent = a calm dog
5) Do not positively reinforce negative behaviors like laughing when she bites or making a game out of hitting people.

4) Practice what you preach. Don't be aggressive toward the dog if you don't want the dog to be aggressive toward you.

3) Socialize, socialize, socialize. A well socialized dog/baby makes for a calmer dog/baby when out in public.

2) Exercise both the mind and body to ensure proper sleep and eating habits.

1) Heap on as much love and positive reinforcement as you can.

In Hailey news, we are taking a few steps from time to time, but no actual walking yet. Her favorite word at the moment is doggy, which sounds a little like Dada, but clearly has a long eeeee on the end.

We were in Nashville last weekend celebrating her first birthday (a little early). The pictures of the cake debacle are hysterical so I will try to get them up in the next couple days. While we were there, I did come to the frightening realization that she weighs more than her friend Corbin who is 5 months older than she is. She’s so solid, and those thighs are killer!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Miss Independence

How appropriate that Hailey choose Independence Day to assert a little independence of her own. Yesterday was the first day that she made a regular practice of standing all by herself. It wasn’t just that she would let go of my hand when she was standing. It was an actual “I’m going to pull myself up and stand without holding on,” and she did it over and over again. I’m afraid that her crawling days are numbered. I can’t believe that I’m going to be chasing a toddler around soon!

We also went to our new community pool for the first time yesterday. Her first swimming adventure started out with lots of crying and clinging to Mommy, but eventually she warmed up to it. In fact, by the end I was able to put her in her little floaty boat and pull her around the water. She thought that was very cool.

New words for the week: hat, up, and doggy.