Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday Daisy Bean

Our little girl is 3 today...and it is Easter! I think that's pretty special.  Two very special events on one special day.   The celebration of my precious daughter's birth and the celebration of my blessed Savior Jesus conquering death and paying the price for all of our sins through his incredible sacrifice.  What a day of celebration indeed!!

 Family flew in state from California, family drove up from South Carolina and local friends and family joined us to celebrate her birthday with us on yesterday. It was a Princess party of course.  I love that her birthday brings so many people that we love and appreciate together.  This little girl has been such a blessing to our family and she has brought joy and laughter to so many people's hearts.  Thank you Daisy for being who you are.  You are spirited, silly, sensitive, sweet, imaginative, creative, fun, daring, girly and adorable. Happy 3rd Birthday to you my darling princess.  It is an absolute joy to be your Momma.
I have been writing this post off and on for a month.  It takes me FOREVER to finish a post now days! This is a long post and it's really just a post for me to document what life with our 3 year old is like.  I spent a little time looking through old blog posts recently and realized how much I appreciate that I kept track of what Daisy was doing at each month or birthday and I want to make an effort to carry on. Such a wonderful little journal this blog has become!
So what is life like with my almost 3 year old?
IMAGINATION play is in full effect.  In the past month Daisy has learned to entertain herself for like the first time ever.  She talks with her dolls and all of her toys.  She pretends to be a secret agent on special missions or a princess at a royal ball. She pretends she is a pirate on a ship when she gets to the top of a slide or a doctor whose primary patients are stuffed animals.  She pretends she is being chased by monsters.  She pretends that she has a pink horse. She seems to have all sorts of imaginative little things going on in her head and I am loving it.  It's wonderful because she is able to play alone for a while and enjoy herself and I know that life has taken on a whole new level of adventure for her.  It's fun to see her imagination emerge.  Prior to this she never wanted me to be out of her sight and she needed me to entertain her 24/7. Now I can set a bucket of baby toys in front of her and say, "It looks like baby Wulu is hungry.  Maybe you should make some lunch and feed your babies."  With the help of my little nudge, Daisy's imagination takes off. I know some people are not comfortable with their kids being overly imaginative but, I am not concerned.  I think that imagination comes in handy as an adult too!  If we are able to imagine ourselves as graduates of a college we are more likely to follow through and pursue that dream.  If we can imagine ourselves in a specific career we are more likely to work for it and make it a reality.  The key though is teaching a child how to find balance between their imagination and reality.  Teaching balance takes time.
I've learned that a with a wild imagination a child's mind is wide open to fear as well.  Daisy has had a good 5 or so bad dreams now and she scares easily depending on what she watches, hears or reads.  As a result I try to be cautious about what she watches, sees and reads and to take things very slow with her.  I've been working on praying with her when she gets scared or wakes up from a bad dream. I tell her that she doesn't need to be afraid because Jesus is in her heart and will always comfort her and protect her.  Jesus is the source of balance.
She is finally beginning to enjoy books a little more.  She can sit on her bed or on the couch with 5 or 6 books and they will keep her busy for about 15 minutes.  She is also beginning to enjoy reading with me so long as I read with a lot of animation and energy.  She gets really into it and I do to.  I used to entertain myself for hours reading little house on the prairie or comic books and I loved going to the library. I hope that I can pass that love on to Daisy.  Books can take you all around the world and on all sorts of adventures without ever leaving your couch. 
Daisy loves candy rewards for going potty and for anything really.  She seems to prefer pink Hershey's kisses though she never turns anything down that she is offered.  She loves lollipops and she loves sprinkles. When we make cake she eats the frosting and the sprinkles but, is not really interested in the cake itself.  I would say that ice cream is probably her favorite dessert most recently.  We rarely eat dessert so when she gets ice cream she is over the moon excited.  She will say something along these lines, "oh my gudness.  I'm so excited.  It's duhwishus! Oh mom, I wuv you for gibing me ice cweam." hehehe
 Her latest activities of choice:
She likes to play with her baby dolls.  She had lost interest in them for a while but, recently got back into them when her imagination kicked in.  She loves to carry around bags full of her baby toys and food toys to feed her babies or pretend grocery shop.  She pushes her stroller around with 2 or 3 bags hanging on it.  She loves sticking stuff in bags and boxes.  She seems to like collecting treasures in little places.  For example if I give her a bin of crayons to color with the crayons will soon disappear and I will find them in a little bag or purse somewhere a day later.  We color on occasion and she likes that more now than she used to.  I try to find a new activity on Pinterest every now and then to change things up.  There is no shortage of creativity on Pinterest as you all know. :)
We play with her instruments and sing into microphones.  She loves to play on my big people guitar and sometimes she likes to dance while I play.  Music is a VERY popular activity in our home. We also play hide and seek and chase from one end of the house to the other to get her energy out.  We paint with watercolors, do simple puzzles, pretend that we are writing, stamping and mailing letters in a pretend mail box.  She likes to put on my makeup and play in all the drawers in my bathroom still so I let her go to town when I need to get something done.  She loves to help me with all of the household chores but, her favorites are emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming.  We dress up felt dolls, play catch with a football or bouncy ball (yes, in the house still haha), play with anything princess...she LOVES all things princess and she loves to bake and cook things real or not.  We go to the park whenever the weather permits, ride bikes outside or play in the backyard.  We are definitely an outdoor family which makes winter hard for us but, we try our best to keep busy.  Sometimes we go to the mall just to walk for a while and see new sights.  Daisy still enjoys baths for the most part and they seem to entertain her for about 30 minutes which is always nice after a long day. 
Her favorite shows:
Daisy definitely enjoys watching shows thanks to the bad habits I have helped her get into:).  She watches a little in the morning after waking up and after her nap primarily.  She is STILL into Backyardigans and now more than ever because she understands their little adventures better.  She watches lots of random shows on Netflix...Blues Clues, Veggie Tales, Timmy Time, Tiger, Taratabong, etc. She loves Princess shows and movies but, so far she has only seen Cinderella and parts of Tangled.  Her preference is taking my phone and watching Disney shows on the app that I have:  Octonauts, Doc. McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sophia and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Now that our portable DVD player is broken that app. is really handy on a road trip lemme tell yah!

What She Eats these days:
 She has become pickier over the past 6 months or so.  I was waiting for that to happen.  She used to devour our homemade salsa but, now she says it is "too spicy".  She used to eat lettuce and tomatoes on the subs that we got her but, now she spits them out (so annoying).  She used to love snacking on cucumbers and tomatoes in Italian dressing but, will have nothing to do with that now.  Thanks Daisy!  She has never been a big fan of chicken nuggets either and pretty much every veggie is out except corn and steamed broccoli.

She usually eats cereal, bagels, toast, oatmeal, yogurt and on special occasions top ramen for breakfast. Yogurt is her favorite.  Lunch is usually some variation of a fruit with a cheese or pbj sandwich, pizza, burrito, leftovers or mac n' cheese.  She LOVES pizza and requests it often.  The only fruits that she eats are strawberries, bananas, watermelon and frustrating because I love all fruit!  Round fruits bother her for some odd reason and she has never wanted an apple.  Dinner used to be so easy because she ate what we ate but, not so much anymore.  She still enjoys my chili which is nice.  She loves rice so I try to serve that regularly.  She will eat steak in small bites and occasionally chicken.  She LOVES our tacos which is great because we do also.  She will eat spaghetti, bacon and eggs, subs, ham, burritos and believe it or not she seems to LOVE SUSHI!!  It sill trips us out and we wonder when that phase will pass but, for now she devours it. She also doesn't like eating soups or casseroles.  I guess she is becoming a regular ol' toddler (minus the sushi)! ha

Her Personality:
Daisy is friendly, social, wild, daring, animated, silly, sensitive, whimsical, polite and stubborn.  I could use more adjectives but, those paint a pretty good picture right?:)
She is completely comfortable going to her Sunday school class now and has been for close to a year.  YEAH!  She never cries when we leave her and she seems content to wander in and play by herself.  I can't tell you how happy this has made me to watch her adjust and mature in this little way. She is always SO happy when we pick her up and I love seeing her face light up when we walk in to get her.  I especially love when she runs to me and says, "mooooommmmeeeeee," and jumps into my arms and wraps her arms around my neck in a big bear hug, presses her cheek tightly to mine and says, "I wuv you mooomeee."  My heart turns to mush.  Daisy Love, I love you so. 

Daisy is still very shy around men.  She tends to avoid them for the most part.  I suppose this isn't a terrible quality for a little girl.  She does not want to play with her buddies so much as she prefers playing beside them with her own little activity.  She doesn't like her space being invaded and she is quite independent.  Sharing is definitely a work in progress but, I've noticed that Daisy is becoming more submissive and doesn't challenge kids much when they yank things out of her hands like she used to.  She will not walk up to a group of her peers playing and join in.  She would probably walk to another area and play by herself at this point.  In our home she is very loud and wild but, when we go out to new places she becomes very clingy and quite shy.  It takes her a good while to warm up to new places and people but, once she is comfortable she becomes loud and wild as she is in our home.  For the most part she is very flexible.  She lets me dress her in whatever I want and she never has an opinion about her hair.  The only thing she has really been insistent with is what show she wants to watch and in the car she likes her shoes and socks off.  She loves attention from adults and tries very hard to carry on conversations with them if they will listen to her babble half English half Daisy-nese.  She is not a super affectionate kiddo with anyone other than me and usually Joey but, she loves to wave and say hi to everyone.  She definitely has a personal space bubble. hehe

How well does she sleep:
 She naps everyday for about 3 hours...yes, a crazy long, awesome nap.  I have started waking her up earlier (booo) because it is interfering with her ability to fall asleep at night which makes sense.  She wakes up around 7:30 (only because she was up so late) and we don't usually put her into bed until around 8:30 or 9.  She chats and plays in her bed until around 10:30 most nights. (she has endless energy)  Yes, I realize that is late.  She needs a lot of unwinding time before she falls asleep.  I know that with a shorter nap she would go to sleep faster at night but, I haven't been ready to sacrifice the quiet time midday...soon hopefully.  All in all she is a great sleeper and I have no complaints.  She does however; ask to go potty 2-3 times every single night pretty much starting the second we close her door after putting her to bed.  It's frustrating but, she usually does go potty and often poop so we have to deal with it....we can't ever assume that she doesn't need to go because we have no way of knowing.  She did transition to her big girl bed SO well.  I am so proud of her for that.  Literally it was a breeze and I know that her being older helped but, she also enjoys being in her bed.  Such a blessing.  We turn the lights off by 8:30 or 9 and then she is allowed to talk with her stuffed animals, dolls etc. or read books in bed until she falls asleep.  I don't make a big deal out of her being awake late so long as she is in her bed.  Works for me.

How is Potty Training going:
Well, I am beyond thrilled to report that after nearly six months of exhausting potty training effort on my part and hers I suppose...she is potty trained!  Hallelujah!! Thank you JESUS!! Potty training was  by far the most exhausting skill to teach.  I learned about the beauty of patience.  I learned about grace.  I learned about letting things happen on their own and not rushing them.  I learned about letting go. It was a training experience for both of us. hehe.
 She never has accidents at naptime or bedtime and in fact she never has for over a year (maybe once or twice)!!  That is why I figured potty training would be so easy for her.  I think a lot of factors contributed to the slow progress.  She always had anxiety with public bathrooms so she would refuse to go and ultimately this caused her to have accidents in public places.  She doesn't like how public bathrooms smell or the loud noises of the toilets and hand driers.  She was getting sick often and diarrhea set us back every time.  She wasn't comfortable telling anyone but, me that she needed to go potty..not even Daddy so she would have accidents every time he or someone else was watching her which made me feel like I couldn't go anywhere for months....ahhhh.  She didn't know how to take her own pants off to go potty and if we weren't around the very second that she needed to go she would have an accident because she couldn't hold it.  Regardless, the patience and love have paid off and I know those two things are really all that is required when it comes to potty training.  Though I got very frustrated at times I tried to steer away from discipline and scolding as it had a negative effect and somewhere along the way she just got it and I think all the efforts together got her there.  A big turning point was when I let her start going into the bathroom by herself and shutting the door.  She LOVED the privacy for some reason and she got better SO FAST every day after that.  WHEW..what a ride.  She still needs assistance with her clothes and with wiping but, that is normal.  Even though it took longer than I was expecting I am so proud of her.  Any time my kiddo tackles another milestone regardless of the time it took I celebrate with her.  Well done little one! This Momma is so proud of you!
  Other Random Things:  We have about 2-3 play dates a week.  Daisy is just starting to identify who each of her friends are.  It has taken her a while to even care much...I think but, she is remembering lots of little details now.  She still hates water getting in her face when we wash her hair at bath time.  She flushes the potty twice every time she goes...once before going and once after...OCD?? hahaha I'm trying to teach her that it isn't necessary but, she disagrees with me.  Sigh.  She can get out of bed by herself but, she still often calls me through the monitor to come get her because walking across the dark house alone to our room scares her sometimes I think.  She is starting to enjoy being naked again these days.  She cries uh-lot when I tell her no and public outings are hit and miss miserable for both of us.  Her tantrums consist of endless crying and she is usually inconsolable.  It's fun lemme tell yah.  Typical three I hear.  She prefers being barefoot.  Her hair is still so thin and pretty short compared to other gals her age.  Only one tiny little trim in 3 years!  She has several cowlicks that make doing her hair rather difficult.  She still gets a pacifier at bedtime and in the car.  The plan is to stop it cold turkey sometime in the next month.  I know it is going to be brutal and I never intended her to have it this long but, whatever.  It is what it is.  It'll be hard on all of us to get through that week so wish us luck! lol.  She loves her blankets and her little Ellie (small satin elephant blanket).  She takes them in the car and drags them all around the house.  Her colors of choice are pink and purple.  She wears 3T pants and and 3T shirts but, they are both getting small on her.  She wears size 7 or 7.5 shoes.  She wears size 4T princess panties. 

In conclusion..I want to share something rather personal and I might as well because it is relevant to this post. SO many times over the past 3 years I have longed to have another child.  I have ached for it in fact.  I have wrestled with God over it at times and each time that the desire has crept up I have painfully laid it at the feet of Jesus because my heart knows that God's will for my life is far better than my own.  I don't talk about it much.  I try to never complain about it. I try not to compare my life to others around me.  I wait and trust God to the best of my ability.  Maybe for some people this seems like no big deal.  I have one child and she is only 3 years old after all so what's the big deal?   Well, I guess it's only a big deal because it is something that I have longed for for so long.  Human nature is funny that way.  If we don't want something then it isn't an issue.  It doesn't weigh on our minds or nag painfully on our hearts.  It doesn't try to chip away at our peace but, when we do long for something and that something doesn't come year after's different.  I think most of you should be able to understand that to some degree or another.  

Every time I have had a little twinge of sadness over my circumstances I take it immediately to the Lord in prayer because after all what else am I going to do with that pain?  I don't want to let what I don't have rob me of enjoying what I do have and I know that I have so much to be thankful for.  Just knowing something isn't always enough though.  I need God's supernatural peace to wash into my aching heart and soothe it; like gentle balm on chapped lips.  And here is the point of me sharing all this...God has answered my prayers by blessing me with 3 glorious years with my daughter, Daisy Love.  He has given me a strength that I could never have imagined to appreciate every moment of life and my beautiful daughter.  I have savored these years so intensely and so fully that I have no regrets.  I have relished our time together (even the harder days) and found that my heart is brimming to overflowing with joy in spite of the have nots.  This little gal and I have had so much fun together!  God has been faithful to me and Daisy has been a priceless gift. 

Happy Birthday to you my beautiful, brown-eyed girl. 
Sunday, March 10, 2013

One Shirt...

I really enjoy pinning outfits on Pinterest.  I marvel at all of the creativity out there.  Some gals manage to wear a different outfit every single day of the year.  That is a lot of clothing...and money.  Some gals have an incredible knack for accessorizing.  They rock arm candy like it aint no thang and  they know just the right earrings and necklaces to wear with every shirt and dress they own. Then there are the gals who have more shoes than I have hair on my head.  I am currently owner of a single pair of heels...yes, just one boring black pair that you will shortly see below.  Lastly, there are those ladies that layer like six shirts in such an epic way that we all step back and say, "wow, that is not practical in any way but they look so chic," and we want to look just like them.  hahaha

The truth is that as much as I like fashion, I am not a fashion savvy gal.  Most of what I wear is straight up copied from somewhere and as for accessorizing?? Fuggeddaboutit! I will say that earrings are my favorite accessory for some reason but, choosing which ones to wear with different outfits doesn't come easily to me.  I end up resorting to my silver diamond-studded hoops like 80% of the time.  I also have a couple of bracelets that I wear regularly and a few necklaces that I throw on if I feel like my outfit desperately needs a little more umph.
Anyhoo, I digress, I have my backdrop/studio set up this week and I wanted to get as much use out of it as possible.  I got the idea to do a "one shirt 3 ways average-mom style" feature...though technically I wore it 4 ways.  I had to use the basic pieces that I already had in my closet and I had to figure it out quickly because I had a mere 30 minutes until my kiddo woke up from her nap.  I probably would have come up with different outfits if I had more time and had planned this in advance but, it was a wild hair idea and I ran with it.

I thought it would be most realistic if I shared what I wear most mornings and weekends...oh and nights.  If I don't squeeze in a shower first thing in the morning, I often get stuck in the jammy outfit until nap time.  When I get stuck in this outfit I find that I am much less motivated to get anything done in the morning. I don't want to go out to the park or run errands and I don't even feel as awake.  I can gulp down two cups of coffee but, it makes no difference...this mom outfit is fabulously comfortable and fabulously demotivating at the same time.  It is real life.  For me that is.  
On better days when I get my " I'm not a morning person," butt out of bed and shower before my early rising child wakes up, I might wear something like this.  Scarfs annoy my neck so I don't wear them often but, they sure add a nice pop to a simple outfit. 
I'm really trying to limit my phone time these days because, I don't want my daughter to remember only that my eyes were always glued to a tiny screen in my hand.  I want her to remember my eyes and my heart, giving her my full attention more often than not.  

On the other hand, I thought it would be fun to exaggerate mom life in these pictures.  Step one: enjoying a quiet moment with my iPhone.  Step two: kids are screaming, throwing things and fighting over absolutely nothing...mommy time is over and mommy is not happy.  Step three: mommy has a tiny melt down and wonders why she ever wanted to have children.  Yes, this is mom life too.  hahahaha...though I am not remotely that intense. I promise!
When I have to go to an appointment or when I am going to church on Sunday etc. I try to take my normal mom outfit and add just a pinch of's a challenge lemme tell yah.  I do enjoy the occasional chance to dress a little less mom like and since my hubby is home on the weekend it gives me a tiny bit more time to get ready.  See below: This is as good as layering gets with me...two layers and I don't have a clue what to do with them but, the colors match so BAM.  I also threw on a skinny little belt that is almost completely invisible but, I feel stylish because it is there nonetheless.  Boots are also an easy way to add a little flair to a regular outfit.  I wish I owned lots of boots but, I only own two pairs...I'm working on changing that! I should have put a long necklace on with this outfit and I'm annoyed that you can't even see my hoop earrings.  Sigh.  Still, you get the idea. 
I like that the zippers on the back of my boots matches the blue of my shirt.  Bonus points:).
Lastly, I wore my blue shirt with a short, striped skirt that I have worn all of 1 time since I bought it almost a year ago. I wore it on a hot date with my hubby to the movies.  The end. 

 This skirt requires the weather to be warm and requires me to be temporarily childless because, I cannot...or should I say, I will not bend in this skirt. I don't like wearing things that limit my mobility and I don't like being uncomfortable...this skirt poses numerous problems for me. So, I call it my, "weeeeee arrrreee never ever, going to go steady," skirt.  I added a chunky necklace that used to be my Gram's so it is sentimental to me, along with her broken skinny watch.  I added a funky turquoise ring and I wore my only pair of heels...for this picture.  I can barely walk in them...seriously.  In spite of the fact that this outfit is in no way functional and I might only wear it once a year, it did feel good to put something extra girly on for about two minutes.  I was pretty proud of myself for finding 4 rather simple ways to wear one royal blue, cotton shirt.  Four outfits ranging from frumpy jammies to a nice date night out.  This is mom life.  Whew. That was a fun...might even try it again someday!

  Don't judge my legs...they haven't seen the sun since the summer of 2012.  :)