Monthly Archive for October, 2008

So, what is NaBloPoMo?

National Blog Posting Month begins tomorrow!

“Post every day for a month.  That’s all you have to do.”

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month.  It’s a pretty simple concept:  you post every day for the month of November.  I participated last year, and I accomplished my goal. And, because NaBloPoMo happened last year when I was already months into a personal continuous-posting-challenge, I then took it farther and posted every day for a whole year.

In addition to the “can I do it?” question being answered, there is the chance to win prizes!  And, it’s free to join!  So, check it out and sign up!

To be honest, I wasn’t going to participate this year.  I mean, I did it last year.  I not only posted every day in November, I posted for 365 (actually, it was 366) days straight.  So, why did I change my mind?  Why do this again?  Well, I “met” so many cool bloggers doing this last year, and I stumbled upon such cool blogs.  And, I keep seeing bloggers I admire throwing their hat in the ring, and I don’t want to be left out!

Where’s the bridge everyone is jumping off?  Is it over that way?  Wait for me!!  😉

Last year, I revisited my old journal, and that was a ton of fun.  I’ve been tossing around some ideas on what to focus on this year, but I may just conduct business as usual here at the blog.  We’ll see.  I mean, it never fails…whenever I wonder if I’ll have anything to write about, Life-with-a-Preschooler hands me a nice little package, wrapped in a shiny pink ribbon.

So, if you’re wondering where to find me, look no further.  I’ll be here all month.  😉

Almost Three!

It’s October 30th…and do you know what that means??  Claire turns THREE IN ONE MONTH!!

Click to enlarge:  35-months old, and she’s already a blogger!

Click to enlarge: 35-months old, and she’s already a blogger!

Claire said, “Momma!  Take a picture of me typing my blog!”  I asked her what she was writing about, and she said, “You!”  And then she started laughing maniacally.  If that doesn’t sum up what it’s like to be Almost Three, I don’t know what does!  😉

It seems like just a few months ago I was writing about her turning Almost Two.  It really is amazing how fast the time flies!

You know what?  Two hasn’t really been that terrible.  Yes, we’ve had our challenges, but we’ve had more fun than not, more laughter than tears, and more crazy runnings-around than temper tantrums.

In fact, the hardest thing about dealing with Two is not laughing when you’re supposed to have a dead-serious straight face.  Who knew disciplining a child would be so comical!?

And laughing hysterically at someone in distress is not only rude, but doesn’t quite bring the proper solemnity to the situation.

🙂

She teaches me something new every day, and I love that.

So Three is almost here…and I think I’ve seen her peeking her ornery little head out from behind a corner every now and then.

And from these tiny glimpses of Three, I can tell I have my work cut out for me.  I’m going to be doing a lot of deep breathing, giving myself good wrinkles, and counting.  Or maybe I’ll do the alphabet.  You know?  I’ve always wanted to be able to rattle off the alphabet backwards…maybe I’ll practice that.  I should be really good at it by the time Four gets here.

We have one month left before we officially enter Year Three.  I have a feeling that this year will be a delicate balance of continuing to encourage the independence she already has and managing the stubbornness that is so deeply ingrained.  In fact, the line between those two is so blurry that I sometimes forget which is which.

And, yes…yes…if we’re being completely honest, she totally takes after me.  I’m very independent and stubborn.  (Not to mention bossy and a know-it-all…)  But, I also enjoy being creative and I love solving problems, so hopefully our strengths and weaknesses can play off of each other.

I have a feeling that Year Three will be just as much fun as Year Two.

Glowing Pumpkins

Well, I’ve gone and changed the header again!  I just couldn’t resist!  🙂

Yesterday, Claire and I went to a Pumpkin Carving Party at a friend’s house, and this year I did something a little different.  This year, I carved three pumpkins and rather than do faces, I decided to do our names:  Momma, Claire & Daddy.

Glowing Pumpkins: Momma, Claire, Daddy

Click to enlarge - Glowing Pumpkins: Momma, Claire, Daddy

I think they turned out great!  (If I do say so myself…) 😉 Special thanks to one of my other friends who was done with her pumpkin in record time!  She took pity on me and helped me scrape the insides of my pumpkins while I focused on carving and carving and carving.

I always seem to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to these projects.  Still, I love the results.

And, the Pumpkin Carving Party was great because the kids could play with each other while the moms were up to their elbows in pumpkin guts.

It was a win-win situation!

I love the warm glow of the candles in the crisp night air.  I love the way the shadows dance and play through our names.  Autumn is my absolute favorite season of the year, and I’m so glad it’s here!

Prepping Cinderella Claire for the Ball

Yesterday Claire’s Young Preschooler Class had a Halloween Party!  It was so much fun, and we had a great time!

I had signed up to bring cookies, and all the kiddos were told to come in costume.  It was awesome!

Of course, when Claire found out I was going to be staying in the class with her this time, instead of just dropping her off, she promptly told me she didn’t want me to stay.  “Don’t you have paperwork to do, Momma?”

I told her that I’d have things to do next time, but this week, I was going to enjoy the Halloween Party with all the other kids and moms.  The teacher had the class stick to their routine, and it was great to see them in action.  I let Claire do her thing, and tried not to pout too much about being told unceremoniously to go home. 😉   She *did* let me play with her on the playground during playtime, so that was nice of her…  🙂

In preparation for the party, Momma & Claire made and decorated cookies the day before.  I made sure to bake three extra in that batch (one for Daddy, Momma and Claire), and as soon as they were gone (which happened about 2 minutes after we frosted and decorated them), the dozen for the class were safely hidden away in the Laundry Room, only to make an appearance right before we left on Monday!

One of my friends had given Claire a Cinderella Dress.  Click here to see other pictures of it. I have since made some alterations (I added some ribbon straps) to it so that it could be worn by someone of her stature…it’s still a little too big, but that’s okay!

In prepping Cinderella Claire for the Ball, I opted to have her wear a long-sleeved white shirt underneath, and that worked really well.  She also picked out a pair of light pink tights.

So, here are the photos from the preparation for the festivities.  Just a note about the photos:  Click each photo to enlarge.

Cinderella Claire

Cinderella Claire

Here she is showing you her slippers

Here she is showing you one of her slippers

Here is a close-up of the Cinderella Shoes (slippers)

Here is a close-up of the Cinderella Shoes (slippers)

Extreme close-up of the glove

Extreme close-up of the glove (and purse strap)

Cinderella Claire's purse

Cinderella Claire in the whole ensemble

What's in the purse?

What is in the purse?

Speaking of Cinderella Claire’s purse…have you ever wondered what Cinderella would keep in her purse?  Now you know:  her sunglasses and the bracelet that matches the necklace Momma is letting her wear her necklace.  😉

Can you tell how much she likes the outfit?

Can you tell how much she likes the outfit?

Even with all the prepping, we had time to dance!

Even with all the prepping, we had time to dance! The Cinderella Claire is such a Diva!

Not quite a Pumpkin Coach

Not quite a Pumpkin Coach

Do you know why Cinderella arrived at the Ball in a Pumpkin Coach?  Because getting strapped into a car seat is quite the feat! 😉 On a good day, Claire and I have our struggles…quite literally, I’m afraid.  But, this time, Claire understood that struggling could rip the delicate layers of her gown, so we had to be careful.  (Thus proving that she can be good while getting in the car seat…but that’s a different story for another time…)

But, we figured it out!  If you flip the back of the dress up, it makes latching the bottom buckle much easier.

“Thank you for helping me, Momma!” was so awesome and refreshing to hear!

When we got home from the Halloween Party, we carefully removed the entire outfit and put it away for safe-keeping.  We have at least two more Holiday Functions to attend this week!

And, yes…the Cinderella Shoes fall off so easily!  It’s good to see some things never change…  😉

Lipstisk

The name of the actual indiscretion isn’t important.  She’s done it on purpose, and now she suffers the consequences.  She is promptly whisked to the time-out corner against her will, the minutes matching her age punched into the microwave timer.

I take a deep breath.
I unclench.

Consistency is the key, and we’re both nothing if not consistent.

I remind her that there is no talking in the time-out corner.
We can talk when the timer goes off.
We will talk when the timer goes off.

The microwave beeps, and I grant her release from the corner.

She comes to stand in front of me, her eyes brimming with tears.  I kneel down to her level and look into her eyes.  I wipe her tears, and she says she’s sorry.  She says she won’t do it again.  We embrace as she gives me a hug and a kiss.

I ask her to explain why she was in time-out, and she does.  I explain to her why it’s important to not do what she’d done to land herself there.

I think I’m really getting through to her.  I hope I’m really getting through to her.  Discipline is a process.  Is the message being absorbed?  Will she take this to heart?

I take her face in my hands and look into her eyes again.  I ask her if she understands me and understands what just happened.  I search her face, hoping to see any evidence that she’s taking this seriously.  I’m waiting for her answer.

She looks at me, gently touches my mouth, and says, “Momma?”

“Yes, Claire?”

“What color is your lipstisk?”

Sometimes that just happens

“Momma!  Shut this!  I can’t get it shut!  Can you shut it for me?!”  Claire frantically calls to me from the bathroom.

“You can’t shut what?”  I ask as I walk into the room.  Nothing seems out of the ordinary, Claire looking up at me from where she’s standing by the sink.

“That!  The MEDicineCABinet,” she says, the words nearly combining into one noun, her inflection enhancing the separation in the two words.  She’s pointing up to an open door.

I don’t see a stepstool.  There are no preschooler tracks on the counter.  And, she is standing innocently on the floor.  But, I can see right through her disguise.  Innocent?  Hardly.  Interrupted in whatever she had been trying to do up there?  Absolutely.  She has gotten quicker, more ninja-like.

“You think you need the medicine cabinet closed?  Well…what was it doing open!?”

“Oh,” she said matter-of-factly, sounding more 30 than almost 3.  Then she shrugged and looked around with an over-exaggerated innocence.  “Wellllllllllll…sometimes that just happens.”

🙂

I loved this post.

I don’t usually link to other posts, but I read this one, and something just resonated so deeply with me that I have to share.  If you’re on GoogleReader, I’ve “shared” it there, too.

It’s “Wild Surmise” at Breed ‘Em And Weep, by Jenn.

Go check it out!

Tree Hugger

Note:  Click on photos to enlarge.  Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Last weekend, the weather was gorgeous.  I was very fortunate to have a chance to play with Claire out in the leaves.  (We also took some shadow portraits…)

She had a great time playing with the Linden.  At one point, she stood up on the little shoots coming out at the base and said, “Look at how high up I am!  I can see Daddy’s flagstones from way up here!”

Way Up High

Way Up High

Keep in mind…she was just mere inches off the ground.  😉

Then, we decided to play Hide & Seek.  She loves this game, and she still hasn’t mastered the “real” way to play, but that’s okay.  I’m cherishing these moments that are so full of childlike naïveté.  It won’t be long before she’ll have all the rules down, and then I’m sure she’ll give me a run for my money.

In the meantime, here are some good shots:

Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

You can see Daddy’s progress on the rocks in the background.

She's spotted the surveillance...

She has spotted the surveillance...

She’s figured out that the camera is there…

Hide & Seek

...but she hasn't moved.

…but she still doesn’t realize I know where she is.

Peek!

Peek!

I see you!  This is my favorite shot of the afternoon.

one... two... three...

one... two... three...

And, then it was her turn to count and my turn to hide.  And, if you must know, she told me to hide behind the tree.  And why not?  It had been the perfect place for her!

🙂

My, what a big name you have.

Click to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball

This fluffy little blue ball is Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball.  She came home on an art project on Monday from Claire’s Young Preschoolers Class.

That night, Merlin took a liking to Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball and rescued her from the paper pumpkin where she was adorned and batted her into Claire’s room.

That’s where Claire found her.
And named her.
And, she didn’t get a short, easy-to-type name.  Noooooo…that would be too easy.  😉

And, if you don’t get her full name said correctly the first time, you will be corrected by Claire.  Needless to say, I’ve got it memorized.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball is just lucky Merlin didn’t bat her under the fridge, which is where most everything goes…eventually.

So, even though we’ve only had Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball in our charge for a few days, Claire is totally smitten.  She goes everywhere with us.  She’s a little harder to contain than Baby Piggy, but I’m trying my best.

Thankfully, my jeans have a special pocket designed just for her.

A special pocket just for her

A special pocket just for her

All this time, I thought that little pocket was for coins or something.  But, come to think of it, I’ve never used that little pocket until now.

Squiddy Gwiddy Itty Bitty Bitty Bitty Ball went with us yesterday on a playdate, and she peeked out a couple times and even met some of Claire’s friends.

She also went to vote with us. She didn’t get a sticker.  It was bigger than she is!

In fact, life is pretty interesting when you have a name bigger than you are.  😉

Vote Early!

Claire and I voted early…today!

Click to enlarge: We voted!  Check out our stickers!

Click to enlarge: We voted! Check out our stickers!

Does your state offer Early Voting?  Click on this link to find out.

All this time, I thought “Early Voting” meant “Absentee” or “Mail-in” voting…but it doesn’t!  There are polls open at various places around the city where you can vote early!

(Don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against mail-in voting…I used to “Absentee Vote,” but since I only have one child, I wanted to show her what the voting process was like in person…)

Claire and I got right in and right out, and there were no lines.  But, it still had the “going to the polls” voting experience feel to it.

There was a reporter for Reuters there, and he took our pictures!  It will be interesting to see if they turn up anywhere.  [Edited to add:  They did!  Two photos of us are circulating.  How cool!] Claire was SO excited and SO good at the polling place, and she even helped me push the final “button” to cast the vote.

May this be the start of a lifelong habit for my little girl.  May she never take for granted this right…a right that has been so hard-fought by those who’ve gone before us.  I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

So…GO VOTE!  NOW!  IF YOU CAN!  Because if you can…you should.  (I would say, “Because I said so,” but that would be a little too cliché…especially coming from someone who calls herself Momma.)  😉