Saturday, January 14, 2012

First time sledding

A few months ago we decided to go in with a few other people and get a house in Boone, NC for the long weekend. Work has been kicking my butt since the holidays ended so this was perfect timing to get away.

There are 11 adults and 2 kids staying here and we are having a blast. It just so happens this is also the coldest weekend so far this winter and being in the mountains means it dipped down to around zero degrees last night. Brrrr! My blood has definitely thinned since living in Massachusetts.

It did snow a little bit the morning before we arrived so of course we had to take the kids out for their first sledding experience. As you can see from the photos they had a great time. It's supposed to snow again tonight so hopefully we can go again tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Handling an episode of vandalism

Internet, my sisters recommended I post about a recent behavioral dilemma and my proposed response. One sister thinks my solution is awesome and the other thinks it will crush Cameron's spirit. So, in the interest of fairness I'm tossing it over the wall to the Internet to comment and judge. Have at it!

Last weekend we went to the library for story time. Per our usual routine Cameron sat and listened to stories while I perused the bookshelves for new reading material. I found about 10 books and we checked them out and headed home for lunch and nap time.

Cameron has been resisting nap over the past few weekends. She still naps 2 - 2 1/2 hours at daycare so clearly she needs it but she's resisting at home. Typically she gets up and grabs a few books and brings them back to bed. I'm usually OK with that because she is respectful of the books. Unfortunately Cameron was not respectful of a library book and decided to rip several pages out and into itty bitty pieces.

DH discovered this when he went to wake her up. At first he tried to convince me that she somehow did it in her sleep and didn't mean it. Yeah, I wasn't born yesterday so I didn't buy it. Cameron was contrite but she knows that library books are not hers. They belong to the library and we borrow them. She completely understands this which is why saying sorry doesn't cut it for me.

This is what I propose:

  1. No more books are allowed in bed. It doesn't matter if they are our books or the library's. She has lost the privilege of having them in bed. This disciplinary action has already been executed with success.

  2. Cameron will come with me to the library next weekend when I pay for the book's destruction. She will have to tell the librarian that she ripped it and is sorry.

#1 is clearly not the action being presented to you for commentary. It's #2. So, what do you think? Cameron will be 3 in March and I think she has enough cognition to have this be an effective disciplinarian technique. But I'm asking you to weigh in....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Goals

Seems like everyone else in the blogword is posting goals or resolutions for 2012 so I thought I'd play along. Y'all (I can say that since I live in the South) will need to keep me honest against the list. I'll do periodic updates.

1. Run a 10K. I already have one in mind for mid April. Now I just need to get back on the wagon for training. Fortunately I received a lot of cold weather running gear for Christmas.

2. Have family dinners. This must happen. I have the pickiest eater in the world and am hopeful that family dinners and a wider variety of food will help.

3. Take (and post!) more pictures. And try to be included in more pictures. I always seem to be the person on the other side of the lens.

4. Live in the moment (at least during vacations/trips). As a Type A person I'm always planning. Even when I'm on vacation I'm thinking about what needs to get done at work. I'm already stressing about being away during MLK weekend when work will be crazy. We are also going to Disney in late May and I need to be able to take deep breaths and just enjoy the trip for what it is, not necessarily what was planned.

5. Enroll Cameron in an activity. She will be 3 in late March so she can do ballet or karate at that age. I'm leaning towards karate since her BFF, Holden, would be up for that.

6. Do some small scale home improvement projects. Things like rearranging furniture or changing out pictures or planting new gardens.

7. Dip my toe in the broader job market to identify other opportunities. Despite giving me a promotion BigFinance continues to struggle with providing compensation increases and bonuses. It's time to throw off the fear of the unknown and see what opportunities are out there now that I have a total of 10 years of experience under my belt.

8. Have a yard sale. I am not 100% fully committed yet but it appears as though Cameron is destined to be an only child. Yes, I need to blog an entire post about how I feel about that. But I plan on being fully resigned post Disney and will then need to clean out all old baby stuff.

9. Create an estate plan and execute necessary paperwork. This would include a living will.

10. Read more non fiction books. I am an avid fiction reader but want to expand my horizons. Especially since raising a "bossy" kid is hard and I need to learn how to be a better parent.

I think my goals are doable, what do you think?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cameron's first visit to Santa

We may be going a little overboard for Cameron's first real Christmas. At 2.5 she "gets" it and we have been shamelessly using Santa's impending arrival as both a threat and a bribe. Both DH and I have been buying her presents so we've ended up with a pile that is far too big. I ended up setting aside two presents already for her birthday and we haven't even received any grandparent gifts yet. Next on my list is to clean out all the current toy locations to make room for new toys.

We were supposed to go to Florida this weekend but due to a series of mishaps involving ceiling tiles our flight was cancelled. We couldn't rebook until the late evening and at that point our 2.5 day trip was down to 1.5 days. So we decided to bag it and reschedule for January. Sorry, Mimi & Papa!

That gave us a "found" weekend to get some Christmas related activities completed. Tree up? Check. Tree decorated? Check. Gingerbread house assembled and decorated? Check. Santa visit? Check! And as you can see from the pictures below, Cameron wasn't at all shy around Santa. Think she likes him?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cameron quirks

Cameron has been doing a few things lately that are alternately cute and annoying. Let me share....

Cameron is using her potty training as a weapon. Every time we put her into time out she pees herself. It's totally deliberate and has left a faint smell of urine in her time out spot despite multiple scrubbings.

Aside from a few accidents (or not so accidents per above) here and there, Cameron is officially potty trained. True she isn't consistently going #2 as regularly as pre-potty training and she needs constant reminders and forceful trips to the bathroom but she stays dry all day. Of course I did not anticipate the pooping in her pull up at nap time. More importantly I did not anticipate that she wanted to "help" and decided to change herself while in bed. I was greeted to a nice smell of poop and lots of clean up activities when I went to check on why she was being so noisy, mid nap. Lovely.

Cameron wants to make sure that Santa brings presents for me and DH too. How freaking cute is that? She has a Santa list made out and it includes things like: paint my toes pink & green, new underwear, an Oso toy and a Backyardigans toy. I think Santa (or family) will be coming through on that.

A friend graciously burned several of the classic Disney movies like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, etc. Damn Disney for their stupid "vault"! I would pay for the DVDs if they just offered them retail like a normal company. But I digress. Last night Cameron was watching Sleeping Beauty and was very upset at the scene where the prince was attempting to rescue Aurora. She demanded that I turn off the movie and put on a Winnie the Pooh instead. I had forgotten how scary some of those older Disney movies are!

Cameron is really starting to rub along with Charlie. It's taken longer than I thought but now she regularly gives him kisses and pats and tells him that she loves him. She also imitates us and tells him "You are such a good boy." If we can get Charlie and Cameron to cooperate one of these days I'd like to get a great photo of the two of them.

What cute or annoying things has your kid(s) done lately?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Keeping my head above water

BigFinance had layoffs this week. Again. They layoffs were primarily in my division and I personally know several good associates who were let go. This is a particularly hard time of year given the holidays.

While I am thankful to be still gainfully employed the reduction in resources has required me to take on additional tasks on top of what I picked up back in September which is also on top of my regular responsibilities. Needless to say, it's been stressful. I worked until 9 or 10 each night this week and should be working now.

I deliberately pursued BigFinance while I was in grad school because I wanted a good work/life balance. I can only hope that this situation is temporary and once my two big deadlines pass (12/6 and 1/13) my work/life balance can return to normal. In the meantime I am attempting to keep a few things top of mind and find a more zen-like state.

  • Finding time for me. I got a run in yesterday and it was the first time in over a week. Considering I should be training for my 8K on Thursday (eek!! Thursday!!) that's not good. So I'm committing to myself that the computer can be shut down for an hour or two every couple of days so I can get a run in. And I refuse to feel guilty if it cuts into time with Cameron. Well, not too guilty anyway.

  • Keeping the evening hours with Cameron sacred. Aside from when a run interferes I also plan on being present with the family in the evenings. Cameron goes to bed around 7:30 so there is plenty of time to get back to work after she goes down.

  • Eating decently. It can be hard to keep to healthy eating habits when work becomes consuming. I plan to continue bringing a healthy breakfast and lunch to work each day with an occasional indulgence of eating out. I have, however, given myself permission to increase wine consumption.

  • Embracing the holidays. Sure, I don't really have time to get any holiday shopping done but dammit, I love Christmas! So I will find time to put up the decorations, bake the cookies and wrap the presents. And also introduce Cameron to Santa and all the awesome family traditions.

  • Finding the bright spots. Cameron has been so great with potty training. It's hard to believe it was just a week ago we started our quasi "boot camp" with her. She's been in underwear all week at school with only one accident there and two at home. Sure, she hasn't pooped in three days but I'm going to pass that off as a normal part of the learning process. She'll have to go at some point, right?

So that's my plan. I'll check back in and let you know if I'm succeeding. I'll also warn you that my blogging (which has already been irregular) will be even more intermittent.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Potty training bootcamp

Edited to say: Cameron stayed dry all day and came home in her original clothes. Go, Cameron!!

It is fitting that we put Cameron through a potty training boot camp during Veteran's Day weekend, don't you think?

DH and I met with Cameron's teacher on Thursday for a parent/teacher conference. So cute! We learned, not to our surprise, that Cameron can be a little aggressive with other kids. She is certainly bossy with me and DH and that has resulted in some time outs at home. Her teacher is also using time outs (not that they are allowed to call them that) so we will just continue to reinforce that Cameron needs to be nice to her friends and that they don't have to play with her if they don't want to. Considering that Cameron comes through her bossiness naturally (I'm referring to Grammy, of course) we'll just have to keep an eye on it.

During the discussion we broached potty training. For the past few weeks Cameron has consistently been using the potty at school and at home. However, she has this habit of only going a little bit so she either needs to pee again in 15 minutes or she has an accident. But trying to explain to a 2.5 year old how to fully empty her bladder is an exercise in frustration. Plus Cameron wouldn't poop in the potty. She's gotten to the point when she's wearing underwear of asking me to put her in a diaper so she can poop in it. If she's asking that then clearly she is ready to use the potty instead.

DH and I concurred in the car on the drive home that the order of the weekend is underwear and nothing but underwear. For 3 days (she didn't have school on Friday) we hung out at home and watched a lot of TV. We limited liquids and made sure she was on the potty every 45 minutes or so. And we had success! She even pooped on the potty a few times. We still kept her in diapers for nap and bedtime but that was it.

We ran a few minor errands (groceries, Target, library) and she did great. It helps that she likes to try out bathrooms in public places. There was one major accident last night right before bed but I blame myself for not being as insistent as I should that she at least TRY to use the potty. Lesson learned.

So for the first time ever, Cameron is in underwear at school. Along with 3 changes of clothes. DH bet me a million dollars that she would not come home in the same pants she left with. Needless to say, I am no fool and did not take the bet. But I'm still secretly hoping Cameron kicks ass. Wish her luck!