Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Milestone Monday

Nana reports that Heidi took five steps yesterday, but only because she had a toy in each hand and was too distracted to notice that she wasn't holding anybody's hands. This is the general pattern: we've seen her take one or two steps by herself many times, but only when she doesn't know she's on her own. I think hers may be a personality that has to struggle with "I can't," and we may have to encourage her a lot to believe that she can. On the other hand, she may just want to wait till she has it down before she unveils her new skill.

Ryan and I have been trying to teach her that the wood-burning stove is Very Hot, and now when she drags us past the stove on one of her toddles, she says "ha."

Also, I could have sworn she said "Papa." It sounded way too deliberate to be a fluke. She's been having lots of good bonding time with her Dallas grandparents this weekend, and has learned that Nana and Papa will let her play with grown-up books and are therefore more interesting than Momma and Daddy. She would also like it known that fried broccoli is the best thing ever, courtesy of MeMe and PopPop and Red Lobster.

Ten minutes after I started this post, she began vomiting bright pink curdled things, which is why this post is going up at 9 pm instead of at noon. There's no fever, though, so hopefully all the clear liquids and sleep today will pay off. Fingers crossed. I don't want that stomach bug; it didn't look fun.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Learning to want things

I love watching my little girl blossom into her own person with her own independent thoughts and ideas. Today she climbed into her carseat ready to go bye-bye, so we took an impromptu trip into town and got some yarn and board games out of storage. And why not? I want Heidi to grow up to be confident and able to communicate her wants and needs and to accomplish her goals. That doesn't start when she turns 15 and can already be a go-getter; it starts now with us acknowledging and encouraging her little baby ideas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Milestone ... Tuesday

I failed at Milestone Mondays on my second week. Since I'm the only one I'm responsible to to stay on schedule, though, I'm going to say pfffft and do it today instead.

This week we are walking lots and lots, albeit holding hands all the time. We can stand for ten seconds or longer unassisted, if we're holding something to help us forget that we're standing. Also, we lead Mommy to the fridge and to the bedroom to tell her that we're sleepy. Yesterday Daddy turned our crib into a big-girl bed that we can get out of independently but that we're not going to fall out of in the middle of the night (hopefully), and this morning we played in our room happily until the parents woke up and came in.

Also, we pretend to put food in our mouths before throwing it on the floor, and this morning we scorned breakfast by sticking our tongue out and saying ppppppppppb, because we're a toot.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick photo

I promised I'd teach Heidi to knit when she could focus on playing a phone game without eating it - you know, cognitive attention capabilities and all that. Ryan is trying his darnedest to make that happen before she turns two, which may end up being counterproductive.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Milestone Mondays

I stink at baby-bookkeeping, but I had the brilliant idea to do once a week posts chronicling the achievements of the week. Hopefully this format will work better for me.

This week the skills around the house are standing unassisted for as many as three seconds at a time (look, mom, no hands!) and making up signs ("milk" looks like "the wheels on the bus go round and round").

In other news, "Season of the Witch" is the horror flick that wasn't. I can't figure out whose side I'm supposed to be on - the creepy and corrupt church or the innocent-eyed but clearly witchy (or at least frighteningly manipulative) witch - and if it weren't for musical cues I'd have no idea I was supposed to be scared.

Update: and THEN the zombie monks happened. That was officially one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love Languages?

Tell your kids you love them, all the time. But please, do it spontaneously and mean it. If you find you don't mean it, don't lie. Address your own feelings, learn why you don't mean it, and fix the problem. (Because in the most nonjudgmental-to-those-with-emotional-struggles way possible, if you don't love your kids, THAT'S A PROBLEM.) Don't saddle your kids with an understanding of love that's tinged with guilt or expectations.

My shrink repeats to me, every time I tell her about being insecure about my mothering abilities, "What do kids need the most?" and I answer, "love." But what if our form of love is the problem?

As I've been working through depression, my worldviews and how my childhood formed the adult I am in good ways and bad, I've discovered that there's a difference between what I mean when I say "I love you" and what I hear when others say it to me. I suspect that most other people experience their own versions of the same thing, for the same reason that there's no such thing as a perfect childhood.

When someone else says "I love you" to me, I hear "I have an obligation to you and I'm going to stand by it. Also, I want whatever problem you're having to go away." When I say "I love you" to my husband, I mean, "I desperately need you to love and accept me as I am, but even though every time I've given you the opportunity you've gone above and beyond my needs and helped to heal deep wounds, I'm still afraid to open up because I've lived under certain expectations and related guilt my whole life, so here's my version of what I think good wives say and do." When I say "I love you" to Heidi, I mean "I'm so sorry that my depression makes my obligation to you so overwhelming that sometimes I want to run away, because you are such an important and precious person and you deserve so much better than I can give you, and I never want you to hurt in your life, and if I can do anything to make you happy I will."

These disconnects in the meaning of the word "love" cause me pain in my life and make me feel sometimes like I don't know what love is at all. However, I also know that there are others in the world who hear or mean "I hate or resent you but I can't get away from you" when they hear or say "I love you," and I know that I am lucky for my particular dysfunctional connotative misnomers, since all of mine imply care and concern.

If my therapist is right, though, and I'm sure she is, then surely one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is a healthy meaning of "I love you." It will follow them into every relationship for the rest of their lives, and even affect their understandings of themselves and their own self-worth. Surely this is worth cultivating. (This is also true with spouses, but that's a different discussion.)

What about you? Do you hear and mean different things for "I love you?" How do you try to ensure that your kids and loved ones are hearing real love in your "I love you?"