Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

Friday, November 21, 2008

30 is the new 20

Go ahead, wish me a happy birthday (cause my hubby hasn't yet), I'm crazily celebrating it by driving down to KY for 16+ hours tonight... just the way to spend a birthday!

See you December 1 when we return!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stepping Back?

So I've been delving into the SRA reading system with Arianna through this book.

I'm really encouraged by her willingness to learn. All the time, everywhere we are, she asks me "What does that say Mama?", "Can you read that to me Mama?". She loves to sit down and 'read' books to her sister and loves nothing more than to have her face buried in a book. She's so proud of herself for knowing all of her letters and what sounds they make.

So I got this book and we started in on it but I'm wondering if we shouldn't take a step back. This is yet another system that works letter writing into its program and expresses why it is so important to the 'learning to read' experience.

Problem is that Arianna doesn't have enough fine motor control to do any of the exercises necessary to learn to write her own letters - she can barely do a straight line for that matter and that's perfectly fine for her actual age let alone her adjusted age.

I'm discouraged but at the same time I could use the next few months to just work on her pre-writing skills and spend some more time working on her math skills. But she is so eager to read and I'm really at a loss of how to teach her.

If anyone knows of anything, please let me know. Arianna will love you for it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today I took the girls to our first playdate with a local moms group I found. The meeting location was only around the corner at a local farm. The lady that owns it puts on a story time/craft time every tuesday morning at 9:30 AM (I, of course, thought it was 9 AM so we had to wait 15 min. for anyone to even show up). Best part was it was free. Since Arianna loves nothing more than to read books these types of events are great for her.

They read a book about dinosaurs who eat alot and then read a book (and for the life of me I can't remember the name, its a well known book) about an old woman who ate lots of food at Thanksgiving and then we made a paper bag puppet of the old woman and they gave us little cut outs of the all the food in the book for the puppet to 'eat'. Arianna LOVED this craft - she kept going back to get more food pieces instead of taking them out of her bag!

I was disappointed in the playgroup though. After the story time/craft time was over we all stuck around and as it turns out there wasn't another child there over 1 year old so I ended up spending all my time with Arianna, to Daria's dismay (poor kid, I really feel she gets the shaft 90% of the time). The organizer of the group assured me there really are more kids her age and I hope we meet them soon. I really felt out of place - one kid too old and one kid too young. The worst was when one mom asked me about my experience with Arianna introducing food. I hate going into too much detail about her with people I don't know...

Do I tell her we didn't introduce solid foods until 10 months because her reflux was so bad? Do I tell her we didn't use formula and I pumped for 13 months (some moms are sensitive to that for some reason)? Do I tell her about her prematurity and her failure to thrive? Do I tell her she's 32 months when she hardly looks old enough to be 2?

This is hard for me. I love my daughter and I don't want to say anything that will change people's opinion of her before they even know her.

Arianna did really well the entire time - only throwing one small fit before story time began and I was able to get her to calm down before her 'drama queen pose'. I was really proud of her... but disappointed that there were no kids for her to play with.

Daria also did fabulously - didn't cry once and even sat on my lap being very cute for a while. She was extra good when I took Arianna to the bathroom - everyone said she didn't cry at all. Very nice to hear!

I really hope that the next playdate has some more kids her age to interact with.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And the Award goes to...

someone else...

I didn't win anything in the photo contest but two of my photos were disqualified due to a technicality. I forgot to set the time in my camera when I first got it (only care about the date anyway), well as it turns out, not setting the time set some of my pictures date data back to the previous day. So the pictures I took early on October 4th actually read as having been taken on October 3rd at night- so they were disqualifed. I was not happy. I mean they were broad daylight pictures, how could they have been taken at 9:30 PM?! Whatever...

My photo of Misty did come in a tie for second place in one category though - but no winner for second place. Overall I thought the camera club did a really shitty job with this contest and it could have been executed MUCH MUCH better.

On the bright side I did win a door prize - 2 hours in a professional studio, equipped with lights and everything - I'm very excited about that. I hope to drag along my friend Brenda and her hubby (as he's a photographer too) and grab the girls for some christmas pictures - we'll see how that goes...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Introversion and prematurity: A link?

Wednesday was Arianna's day at daycare.

When we made the decision for me to stay home with the girls we agreed that Arianna should continue to have interaction with the boys at daycare because we saw it to be so good for her. She got along fabulously with all of them and when she was around them she did things she would never do at home - she would eat better, she would do more boy-ish things like climb and jump. She even potty trained better there. So it was a no-brainer that she should continue to go one day a week.

This Wednesday was not so great for her - she had two big temper tantrums and was very anti-social.

When I pick her up I typically stick around for a few minutes to chit chat. Her daycare teacher is expecting #2 in April after having her son at 35 weeks due to pPROM so our conversations have been centered around pregnancy as of late.

This week was different though. She asked me if we were doing any "Mommy and Me" classes. Truth be told all she does during the week that's scheduled is her day at daycare and 'story time' for 2 year olds at the library on Thursdays. Otherwise our days really focus on keeping Daria happy. But it seems I've done that to the detriment of Arianna.

Her teacher told me she's been noticing it over the last few weeks but didn't want to say anything until she knew for sure. She's concerned Arianna is socially regressing and becoming much more introverted. She knows the boys at daycare well and there haven't been any big changes there. Yes, her life at home did a complete 180 but daycare has been stagnant. She doesn't play with the boys anymore and is suddenly much more vocal about her demands to be by herself. She'd much rather go read books and be by herself. Her teacher even went as far as to say that she tries to not schedule outings for Wednesday because Arianna can be a big handful if they go tot he zoo or ecotarium and she throws a big fit cause she doesn't want to do something.

We've known this to be an issue and have been working on it without any success. Part of me wonders if this is her personality and how she'll be for the rest of her life? The worst part of her introversion is that she's really rude about wanting to be by herself - she'll go as far as blowing raspberries and slapping the air (in the general direction of whomever she's talking to) and saying "No!" really nastily. She does this all the time she doesn't get her way. If you continue to say no to her she will throw herself on the ground, face first and cry - and it doesn't matter who she is with or where she is at. Karah, her teacher, said the grocery store was a favorite place for her to do her 'drama queen pose' as she calls it. She laughs about it but I don't. None of us believe this type of introversion is healthy in a 2 year old.

I don't know how to help her work through this. I know she is shy, not so sure its full on introversion, although she may be - but she is scared in alot of situations. She constantly wants someone with her - she'll even ask me "follow me please mom" when she wants to walk back to her room. She'll play with mom and dad until the sun goes down but not other kids.

Dad is a full on introvert - there's no other way to explain him, but... he has friends and enjoys conversation with others but he prefers to be by himself. Luckily his job as a computer programmer suits this personality trait well.

I'm more of an ambivert - showing traits of both an extrovert and introvert but as a child I was extremely shy and was horribly made fun of for it. I don't want this for my child. Arianna is incredibly sweet and kind when she's in a comfortable situation.

One of my main motivators for homeschooling is to shield Arianna from alot of the hurt that I experienced as a child. Some have told me that its 'part of growing up' - but I don't believe hate mail, black mail, bullying and physical harm have to be part of a normal child's life. How does putting up with those things make you a better adult? I don't believe it has much to do with it actually. I believe you can learn all you need to about corporate politics from real life experience with it - not by having a bully tear you down. But... being away from a public school setting does limit, somewhat, her ability to interact with other children and build her social skills with other children on a daily basis.

Unfortunately I think Arianna may be headed in the same direction and I don't know what to do. I don't know what my parents could have done to help me, so how do I help my daughter? I do know that finding something I could excel in helped to bolster my self confidence but that didn't happen until I was 14 or 15 when I became very interested in and good at my clarinet and saxophone.

I found this link that explains a bit about causes of introversion and am intrigued by it, especially the nurture vs. nature aspect and brain development aspect.

Does being a preemie make you more vulnerable to this type of situation? Does weeks on end in an incubator separated from mom make you more susceptible to introversion?

I don't know. All I can compare is myself to her and I spent alot more time in an incubator than she did and the hospital I was at was more of the "we'll call you when she's ready to go home" type. How sad...

10 weeks...

Isn't she the cutest?

It's been fun trying to adjust to having a full term kiddo. It really is like starting over in so many ways.

At this weight/ height Arianna was sitting up, laughing, rolling over etc. I find myself sometimes getting annoyed that Daria still can't even reliably hold her head up when I carry her. I have to keep reminding myself that at 10 weeks she doesn't have to have it mastered yet!

She did surprise me this morning though - she rolled from her tummy to her back. Although I wasn't here, last night Dad said she laughed at him! She smiles and coos tons and its so wonderful to see/hear. Although Arianna had a great laugh she never coo'ed really.

I see so many differences between her and Arianna now - they look very little alike (even in Arianna's baby pictures) now. Arianna has HUGE eyes compared to Daria, yet they seem to share a nose and mouth. We think Daria's eyes will be brown while Arianna's are blue (Dad is brown, mom is blue). Daria doesn't like to be left alone for long whereas as long as Arianna was fed and changed you could put her down and leave her there ALL day - seriously.

Like her sister she seems to LOVE books - I'm looking forward to sharing more of them with them as they get older.

As far as the colic goes - she's getting so much better. Night time isn't bad at all now - she still gets up 2 times to eat but she's such a stellar breastfeeder that its so easy. I can't imagine pumping and doing bottles like we did with Arianna! This really is so much easier.

She seems to be getting into a routine as far as her nappipng is concerned too. I usually get about an hour to an hour and a half of quiet time during the day when both girls nap - its how I get to get on here and write about my lovely girls!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2 more weeks...

Supposadly in two more weeks Daria should be out of the 'colic phase'.

I can't even tell you how over due this is. I don't get even an hours break during the day...

I feel bad that I just have to let her scream much of the time - if I didn't I wouldn't get anything done! I just hope she holds true to what the doctors say and starts calming down at 3 months of age!

Next is sleeping through the night! At least she doesn't scream at night anymore - feed her and she goes back to sleep, thank goodness!


A few weeks ago Arianna really surprised me. We were sitting down reading one of her many books and focused on an alphabet book. She's known her ABCs for a long time now so reading these books is a bit boring for me...

Until she started telling me what the letters were AND the sounds they make (including doubles, like G - Gah and Jah sounds)! I was floored... really. We didn't teach her this - she got it from her leapfrog fridge phonics magnets.

I was so very excited I started looking into phonics programs. She knows her ABCs and the sounds all the letters make - she's well on her way to reading now! But... the phonics programs I've found are over her head - one of them actually wants the kids to draw the letters. She can barely draw a circle let alone letters.

I got this book from the library and will try it out to see if it works for her. We'll be getting the hooked on phonics program for christmas and hope she does well with that too.

But boy oh boy was this a pleasant surprise. She continues to amaze me every day!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night I took the girls to my parents house to do some 'trick or treat'ing in their neighborhood (which is easier to walk than our neighborhood). Coincidently we had tons of trick or treaters in our neighborhood hubby said, but Arianna would be the only one that would visit my parents and their neighbors homes.

Anyway, here's some pictures for your viewing pleasure :)

Daria, as a peapod

The 'Ok, enough pictures Mom!' look

Arianna as a pink poodle

My beautiful babies!