Sunday, April 26, 2009

Growing Pains

My girls are growing up so fast. I took Caroline last week to get her first pair of "high heels" (wedge heeled sandals) for her graduation in June. I wanted to give her time to practice. Both my girls only wear sneakers. She looked so grown up and so calm as she walked through Target in them. No wobbling or "Bambi on ice" as I had predicted. It was like she was made for this moment. Yeah, I cried in Target.

Lily has started soccer. Well, that's a relative term. She's had two games and has spent a record breaking tow minutes on the field. When Rob signed her up and signed himself up to coach, I knew this was going to be tricky. We had this same problem with swimming. Lily is bright, funny, and precocious. She is also easily overwhelmed. I think of it as she has no filter. She takes in everything in a new situation, the people, what they are saying, their clothes, their hair, etc. Therefore, she really dislikes change. She liked the idea of playing with the kids on her team, but throw in different kids on the opposing team (wearing a different color) and add the fact that she has really never played soccer and she is not happy.

I went against my crunchy tendencies and used the "carrot and stick approached." In others words I bribed her (we'll get ice cream after), threatened her (no T.V.), and guilted her (your team will be sad). I know it sounds harsh, but I can't give her an inch. We really have to push her to get used to new situations. Anyway, it worked a little. Two minutes is better than last weeks cry and hang on Mommy. She also watched the game because she asked questions. When our team scored their fourth goal for the other team, Lily wanted to know how they were supposed to know whose goal was whose. Valid point.

Rob is going to take her outside and practice with her this week. We really just want her to have fun. She loves to run and dribble, so I think once she gets used to the people, she'll be fine. I really can't blame her. She looked so confused out there. There were so many kids and so much noise. I have a feeling this is the first of many times we are going to have to gently coach Lily to do something.

You know, just when you think you have it all figured out, they go and change things up on you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I See Mouse Ears

Note: Before I write the rest of this I need to let everyone know that in no way did we let Lily get away with some of the atrocious behavior you are about to read. It makes for funny stories, but for very irritable parents.

We finally made it to Disney after a very rocky start. On Friday, Caroline had a stomach ache, so I ended up keeping her and Lily home. While Caroline laid on the couch and moaned, I attempted to pack while being helped by the world's naughtiest preschooler. First I had to try on the size 5 summer clothes to see what to for pack her. This turned into a fashion show complete with shoe changes and accessories. I normally find this cute, but was under time constraints and just wanted to get everything done.

It went down hill from there. Lily proceeded to annoy the heck out of her sister all day, pee in the bathroom trash can (how or why I'll never know), and hide grapes in the bathroom foot stool. By the end of the night, I was sitting in the middle of the living room sucking on a rum and coke and frantically packing clothes. I wasn't able to supervise Rob or Caroline and, well, they forgot some needed items (I ended up doing laundry at Disney, it was not a magical experience).

By the next morning we were ready to go. Halfway there Caroline started throwing up and spiked a fever. I spent a sleepless night in Jacksonville wondering if we should go to the ER. We decided to wait until Disney. Luckily Disney has an awesome urgent care facility. She had strep throat and we were able to get antibiotics there. Caroline felt really poorly the first day, but got better after that (she almost passed out on the bus the first night).

Over the course of 6day, 5 nights, we went to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom (on Caroline's 11th birthday), a Little Einsteins character breakfast, and Downtown Disney. Animal Kingdom was by far our favorite. My budding photo journalist took tons of pictures. Epcot came in second. Magic Kingdom was too crowded. We literally shuffled from one end of the park to the other. Oh yeah, we shopped for souvenirs.

Now for Lily:

Over the course of the week she managed to:

look at her stuffed bear and proclaim that he had a "big ass butt." (timeout #1)

sit anxiously in the back seat on the way to Disney Urgent Care and yell about wanting to see Mickey. Rob said he did too and Lily replied "Well then hurry the hell up!" (timeout#2, stern lecture, and Mommy swore to never swear again).

after a day of many tantrums (half way through the week), Lily got a swat on the tush from her frustrated mother. Her reply was "Don't hit me, can't you see my angry face? GRRRR!" (timeout and early bed).

during the Stitch ride, once the lights went out and a pretend Stitch ran around the room Lily started to yell "Where is he?!" and put her feet on her seat. After he asked if she wanted to be his friend she screamed "No leave me alone!" (after she was calmed and we stopped laughing, we got the terrified child an ice cream).

throw numerous tantrums in the gift shows (more timeouts than I can count)

bear hug and get an autograph from 18 different characters (the characters carefully protected themselves and patted her on the head).

wave like the queen of Disney at every character during every parade and show. This was by far her favorite part. I guess these guys are rock stars to her.

proclaim herself "Pinky Mouse" after buying pink Minnie ears. She only wore pink for the rest of the trip and every time she'd "hide" behind a pillar, all you'd hear is giggles and all you'd see is pink ears.

My advice for surviving Disney.

Stay on the resort. Use the buses and get a meal plan. It gives you one less thing to think about.

Try to get Fast Passes, but if they run out, it's ok everything there is fun.

You might not get to all of the big rides the first time. It's all good. Just roll with it.

Practice juggling coats, toys, and water bottles all while folding a stroller weeks before.

Spend the month before doing lunges while holding a child under the age of five (it will help you get used to carrying them everywhere).

Run sprints in the backyard (helps you get ready for Fast Pass dashes).

Learn to throw your backpack across a crowded room in order to secure a table in the crowded dining room.

All in all it was a "magical" vacation. We had fun, but Rob and I were definitely tired and sore. We want to go back when the kids are much older, so we can actually sit down and enjoy the place. Next vacation will involve a beach and lots of sitting down reading while the kids build sand castles.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Goody Goody 101

Caroline has been learning a lot about making the right choices lately. She is either asocial butterfly or a good student. She can't balance both. Her science grade had started slipping, so we brought down the hammer and she had to cut back on hanging out with her friends at school. She brought her grade up, but has paid the price. Girls can be so fickle and nasty. She got one girl spreading silly lies about her and Caroline feels she turned all of her friends against her. I tend to stay out of these things. I know how quickly it all passes, but it doesn't make her hurt or my hurt for her any less.

We had a good talk about the whole thing. She said that when she hung out with this girl she felt bad because she was always saying mean things about other people. Caroline said she never joined in, but still felt bad. I told her that she'd always run into people who were nasty or broke the rules and never got caught, but they end up unhappy as adults. Not sure if that's true. I'm dealing with my own work nastiness right now and chose to take the high road. The high road is lonely and has few rewards, but I can live with myself at least.

Caroline and I have been having a good time lately. Last weekend, I took her to a careers for girls conference. She had a ball. Now she wants to be a photojournalist. But the other day she shyly whispered that she might really want to be a teacher. How proud am I? It is wonderful and frightening to watch her make her path in the world. She amazes me with her choices some days.

PS We are on our way to Disney! We surprised the girls with a trip (the price was right). Unfortunately, my poor Caroline is sick. I'm afraid she has strep and am trying to figure out how to find a Dr in Florida on a Sunday. Doesn't Mickey play a Dr on T.V.?

The next post will focus on the insanity on packing for Disney with the world's most destructive and curious preschooler. I needed a "happy hour" after that nightmare.