Friday, July 29, 2011

Vacation 2011: Part One

I realize I have been MIA for the past two weeks but it has been for a very good reason. Vacation! First preparing for and then during it. In fact, vacation will continue for another week which is awesome. I have been having some internet challenges but my dad hooked me up. Every other year for the past 6 years or so DH and I have been taking 2 week vacations. Yes, it's a long time but it really gives us a chance to decompress. This time around we also had a chance to visit with family.

DH and Charlie drove from Charlotte to Springfield, MA last Friday. Being a smart mom, Cameron and I flew to Hartford to meet them. Could you imagine having a toddler on a 12 hour straight drive? No, me either which is why we flew.

Cameron has been having a great time and thankfully she has been napping and sleeping generally well. Eating? More like snacking but I am in vacation mode and am trying not to be too freaked out by the fact that the last time she ate a vegetable was a week ago.

I will write a more detailed synopsis of our vacation in later posts but for!

Here Cameron and her daddy try out her new scooter which was donated by her cousins. As you can see, it was a hit.
It was really hot for about two days while we were in Springfield. Like Charlotte hot. The only difference? No air conditioning. Hence Cameron's wardrobe below.
Cameron enjoys her first experience at Friendly's. Needless to say, the ice cream was a big hit.
Cameron with her two cousins. They loved hanging out with her and gave me some nice downtime to relax and spend time talking to adults.
Here are all the cousins enjoying ice cream on the porch. I think Cameron has had ice cream more often on this vacation than her entire life combined previously!
Cameron attempts to play croquette. Very unsuccessfully, I might add.
Cameron helps her cousin practice her reading.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

For the second time in less than 2 months I had to bring my 2002 VW Jetta to the dealership to get the A/C fixed. During the longest heat wave we've had all year, natch. Becoming a one car family for 5 days was both harder and easier than I thought it would be. Easier because DH works from home so we didn't have to deal with his commute. And he is usually puttering around the house on the weekends while I run errands with Cameron so there was a minimal amount of negotiating for car usage.

It was harder because it made my commute inflexible. I had to leave the office at a specific time so I could make it home in time for DH to leave at 5 to get Cameron from daycare. Normally that isn't a problem but I've been busting my butt on a really big project that the first major deliverable was due last week. It was also painful to go from my compact car to a SUV. First, we blew through gas like crazy. Secondly the garage by my office has a lot more parking for compact cars than SUVs. And unlike so many others I actually park in SUV designated parking. I hate it when a big SUV squeezes into a compact car space. Suck it up and find an open spot!

Cameron has been going through an "I can't do it" stage. DH is very troubled by this and has taken to refusing to let Cameron use the word "can't". He wants her to know she can do anything she puts her mind to. I'm less militant about the word "can't" and just tell her that she can do it and help her to complete whatever the task is. But I think it's cute that DH is all serious about building up Cameron's confidence levels.

In sports related news, Cameron has a pretty good throwing arm. She already throws better than me but that's because, as my husband puts it, I throw like a girl. Yes, I really do.

Is it normal that Cameron is already lying? Or is she really not lying she just doesn't understand? The other day I put witch hazel and a band aid on a big bug bite. When DH saw the band aid and asked her what happened (5 minutes after I treated her) she told him that she fell down. I reminder her of what really happened and she responded with "Oh, yeah." I'm mean, she's only 28 months so I can't imagine she is deliberately lying, right? At what age should I expect to encounter and manage lying?

And finally I am T minus 4 days from being on vacation. Two weeks of family, friends and summer fun. But can it truly be called a vacation when there isn't daycare too?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Food Battles: The Toddler Years

For months DH and I have been engaged in food battles with Cameron. It was been a soul sucking experience that has resulted in parental disagreements, tears (on Cameron's part) and zero desire to approach the dinner table (all of us).

Part of the fault rests with us, I know. We can't get our crap together and have regular family dinners. Cameron does better with eating when we eat together but we typically serve something we know she will eat (pasta) and we have only been able to manage it 1-2 times a week. Even when we don't eat with her we are in the kitchen and usually at the table with her interacting and talking about our days.

I get it, I really do. Cameron is a picky eater. And I've struggled with food issues all my life so I can appreciate rejecting food for texture or appearance issues. But I want her to at least try the food before declaring she won't eat it. The crazy thing is that she eats a much wider variety of food at daycare but even if we serve her the same exact thing at home she rejects it. There are maybe 7-8 foods she will eat for dinner (aside from fruit). The lack of variety is frustrating and makes me feel like a parenting failure.

DH and I have been struggling with the appropriate tact to take in dealing with this issue. And it is an issue because instinctively Cameron knows that food equals control. Her rejection of new foods keeps us essentially fawning over her trying to get her to eat it. So my mindset now is that we just prepare the food for her (with 1 or 2 new foods mixed in with the standbys) give it to her and then refuse to engage. She doesn't eat it? Then it stays on her plate and she doesn't get dessert (we don't do dessert every night but have been using it as bribe lately which has been wildly unsuccessful). We haven't caved and cooked or given her alternate food in many months so that isn't a problem for us. It's more about curbing our impatience with Cameron's approach to food.

I would never punish Cameron for not eating because I know that leads to more food issues and frankly she is far too young for the whole "if you don't eat something then it's time for bed" type of discipline. But where do we go from here? Do we just grit our teeth and continue with the plan mentioned above? Are there other things you recommend we try?