Monday, March 17, 2008

March 7, 2008

The morning after my birthday.

Yeah I know it's been a while but after Kay K. (her nickname because it is what she could say) started walking all bets were off. She took off and Clay and I are still trying to play catch up. She’s growing up so fast.

It’s snowing here in the Brazos, flurries whisking through the air and melting on the ground. It’s like God’s Happy Birthday to me. I haven’t seen snow in a while and it makes me smile to know God remembered to make my birthday cold and gray and a little rainy. I know it’s weird to wish for what others feel is dreary weather on my special day but I like to think it’s His way of thinking of me. It’s always been cloudy on my birthday with a sprinkle or two of rain and blustery wind (blustery in Texas terms not in English terms) and the smells of spring lace the air.

I’m 28 this year as of 7:00am yesterday. It was a good day. Cassandra was my birthday clown and we had a good time by ourselves. When mom came home she had some presents and a frog shaped cake. I received a ken doll (I know I’m “too old” but I still have my Barbies from when I was young and I’m getting ready for when Kay K. and I can play Barbies together) some doll clothes for Kay K.’s rather pudgy baby doll (that she picked out herself) and the most beautiful cook book with lots of goodies to make.

It’s hard to believe I was so worried about being a stay at home mom. Now I can’t even think about being anything else… at least not until a little later when she is in school. Now it’s as comfortable as a perfect pair of jeans. We have so much fun together and there is nothing so decadent as napping with your own baby. She’s so warm and reading to her is so relaxing. I take pictures constantly and have learned to temper her tantrums by helping her count to ten and getting her to focus on something else. She responds well to simple explanations by repeating key words to be sure she understands.

Clay and I have been talking about having another baby and about the possibility of adoption if we can’t get pregnant again. I’m pleased to say that the adoption process has taken a few steps at getting better than the meat market it was. It still galls me the way they do things. Linda (the young teacher whose little girl was taken back from her because it’s “mother” changed her mind) is now the adoptive mother of two little boys and staying home with them as well. I couldn’t be happier for her. She was so devastated when the little girl was taken from her. All that year walking around with rings under her eyes from crying. I still think that the whole institution is too much of a market and not enough of a secure process for the kids that have to endure the whole thing. You never know whether you are going to have to fight for the child you chose and even you’re your rights are second to the “parents”. Thirty days is more than enough time to bond with a child and it’s horrific to allow a careless individual to ruin that bond just because they “changed their mind”, ugh! It’s one thing to give a child up because you know you can’t take care of them and when circumstances change to rush back to retrieve them (even then I can’t imagine giving up like that), but it’s a whole other ball of wax to give one up and then “change your mind”.

I’m so happy with Cassandra. I remember in the beginning worrying about being a good mom. She is so different from how I was as a child that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with or understand her. But we have fitted into a decent morning routine with PBS shows Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Super Why (a reading show for young children). We eat our breakfast and talk about what is happening on the screen. She knows the names of the characters and (thanks to Super Why and her wooden puzzles) knows all but one of her alphabet. W seems to be giving her a little trouble. She used to think that Z and W were merely sideways and upside down N’s and M’s. She can recognize her letters and even pick them out of a jumble. She can count to ten. She loves Jazz and Classical and ALL other forms of music. She dances to ANY music she hears and has discovered the stage. She dances and sings on the mini stage at mom’s school and cues us to clap after each tiny performance. She loves the stage at the theater and all the music during the shows. She loves to clap with the audience.

Cassandra has become VERY interested in books and reading. She wants to read all on her own. We got rid of the king sized bed in favor of a smaller one so we could turn our old bedroom into an activities room with all the bookshelves and a reading center. Kay K.’s books are all on shelves she can reach. On PBS they recommend reading with your child fifteen minutes a day but we read a lot more of that. Clay and I started reading out loud to each other before she was born in order to practice so now she gets a story before naptime and a story before bedtime, not to mention all the books she brings up to us to read during the day. She even has some in the bathroom for her to look at when she goes to the potty. She likes to follow along with the words and pick out the letters as we go. She also knows which story she wants for naptime and bedtime.

Kay K. is using so many words that we can’t keep track. She has begun to play the “where’s” game all on her own. That’s where we say “where’s… Nose?” and we touch that body part. She knows eyes, nose, face, neck, hair, head, eye brows, mouth, teeth, lips, ears, shoulders, elbows, arms, arm pits, hands, fingers, thumbs, tummy, pookie (we called her belly button a poopeck and pookie is what she said and it stuck) back, bottom, legs, feet, toes, knees, and ankles. She also uses “where” as an actual question. She’s nearly three feet tall and beautiful and is using two and three word combinations (without prompting) to communicate who and what she wants. I have a feeling she will be speaking in full sentences on or around her second birthday. I am keeping my fingers crossed she is such a smarty but we are still looking out for any delays that might indicate autism or some other form of difficulty. Nothing so far but we still keep an eye out.

I’m hoping to get the printer outfitted and my scrapbooking station ready to start putting albums and framed photos together. I am hoping to get photos up on the walls and several special albums put together for Mom and Jean and one for Mike. I have two window frames with panes in them that I’m going to back and put some really nice photos in. A friend of ours is a photographer and she loves black and white. She has several of the windows up in her home. I might even consider getting like a mini cam for her darling little “shows”. At the bargain blitz I found a little Cinderella princess dress up dress and she loves it. She puts it on and starts singing and dancing using words like “mommy”, “camwa”, “dobby” and anything else she just happens to see. I want to set up a dress up station in her room. The house is a disaster right now because of all the moving around but this week we will get it all pulled together. I’m so excited about opening up more play space for us.

One of the stations will be a sewing station. I found a little kids sewing machine at a garage sale and if I can get it repaired I want to teach Cassandra how to sew. I don’t know much myself but I can follow a pattern. I even know some shortcut tricks to use from working in the theater for so many years. My machine is set up in one corner and I have patterns for Kay K and her baby doll. I can’t wait to pick out fabric for her and her doll (I probably won’t make them match though just compliment each other). I hope to make her summer clothes and a costume this year for Halloween.

I’m also ready to start gardening. The thing is my beloved puppy dog, dobby, eats anything with a stem… I love him so much, he is a wonderful dog and so well mannered but seriously he eats ANYTHING with a stem… I’ve toyed with the idea of fencing in the front yard and just moving him there but that restricts him to a smaller area and I don’t want to do that. The back yard is huge and there is plenty of room but the problem is keeping him out of the plants. Some of the plants I plan on getting I can hang but that doesn’t give Kay K. the “dig in the dirt time” I’m hoping for… I don’t know, I’ll play around with it and see what works. I need to build him some jumps (boxers love to jump) and see if there are some pretty fencing or partitions I can use to section the back yard with. That way he will have his running room and something to keep him busy and I can garden with Kay K.

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