We were out on our regular family outing....you know to Target. We had managed to coerce Elizabeth into riding in the cart on the condition that she be able to bring along her purse-complete with expired gift cards, AAA cards, and even old ID cards. We have to convince her to sit in the cart, otherwise we end up with all sorts of extra goodies in our possession. Most of them relating to Elmo or Dora or even MiMi (Mickey Mouse). Anyway, back to the story. When we got up to the register to check out, John and I were putting the bags back into the cart, when it came time to pay. Elizabeth reached into her purse and pulled out her AAA card and gave it to the lady. John and I busted up! I guess it is safe to say that we use our credit cards all too often! The lady thought it was cute, but in the end she insisted on using our Visa. Bummer!
A very dear friend of mine told me to follow Izzy's lead. "She will tell you when she is ready..." the sentence is left open because I have now heard this from Vicki when we were wondering about crawling, walking, sleeping through the night, eating solid foods, eating table foods, sleeping in a toddler bed, potty training, talking, etc. The list goes on and on. I've got to say, once again, she was right.
About 6 weeks ago, Izzy started complaining when her diaper was wet (or other). It quickly progressed to a refusal to wear diapers at all.
So as of late, Little Iz has been utterly fashion conscience. She appears to be most obsessed with Shoes and hats. My favorite part of this is when she tells you "No mama" or "No DaDa" while pointing to your shoes. She then runs to our closet and picks out which shoes she deems worthy of wearing. Oh, and don't try to outrun her. She is relentless. She will hunt you down and take off your current shoes, only to replace them with the ones she picked out. Literally. She takes off your shoes and puts the ones SHE picked out back on your feet.
And shoe shopping has become a truly competitive sport when Izzy is along. I'm not kidding it's like a kid in a candy store! She runs up and down the aisle pulling out shoes and trying to put them on. Usually shoe shopping requires AT LEAST two adults. One to pick out shoes and one to wrestle Elizabeth. The last time we took her shoe shopping, she refused to try on any shoes that I picked out for her. She had picked out a pair of tennis shoes and that was it. She wore them out of the store. (And nearly every day since then!)
As for hats, she will finally wear them when we go out! In fact, she requests them. And in her eyes, the more the merrier!
This is a picture taken at breakfast. As you can see...there are three hats. And she was asking for more!
Wow-life with a toddler never ends! In the last 3-4 weeks we have endured night terrors, multiple middle of the night awakenings (EVERY NIGHT!), an interest in potty training, a true obsession with Melmo (ELMO), and my personal favorite, the I-can-do-it-myself-so-leave-me-alone stage, maybe a more technical name might be self-determination or autonomy (John calls it stubborn and for some reason seems to think it is a genetic trait. I blame his side ;-D ).
It all started with the big move to the toddler bed. I can thank our good friend, Challeen for this one. She had given us an Elmo book where Elmo gets a big boy bed. Well, I assumed it was innocent enough (because what 16 month old wants a toddler bed?! Oh, right mine!!) Well, starting that night it was no more crib for Izzy! What I didn't know is that when you make large transitions, such as this, night terrors are not uncommon. Our amazingly wonderful and patient pediatrician assures us that this is normal and more scary for mommy than for baby. Either way I never want to go through those again!
Along with the night terrors came constant (and by constant I mean up 3-4 times a night for over an hour each time) night-time waking. Just when we were at our wits ends (and each other's throats) John happened to spy a toddler-sized bed rail at a garage sale. I am absolutely NOT exaggerating when I say that this was the best $5.00 ever spent. The moment that we installed that sucker, Izzy slept through the night. Let me rephrase that, WE ALL SLEPT THROUGH the night. (Ok, except for the pregnant lady and her many dates with the bathroom-but that is a whole other issue).
Going back to Melmo. Before I actually had Izzy, the only 2 rules that I wanted to enforce as a parent were 1.) NO stuffed animals and 2.) No Elmo. Needless to say those didn't work out so well. I have no idea how Elmo was even introduced, but when I find out I will personally "thank" those individuals involved. Though I can't be too upset, because when I say my daughter loves Elmo, that would be an understatement. It is so stinkin' cute that, even I give in and purchase Elmo just to make her happy. I know, I know, but my parenting skills are not the issue right now :-) In fact, I actually bought baby bottled water today just because it had a picture of Elmo on the packaging. Man, that Sesame Street guy who created Elmo was a marketing GENIUS!!! I never thought that our Tivo would go from CSI, to Blue's Clues. From Grey's Anatomy to Sesame Street. But I will watch hours of Elmo's World if it means that I get to watch my baby girl dance her heart out to the theme song (or whatever is the theme of the day song-think jingle bell melody with one word repeated over and over again).
As for the autonomy stage. It is a wonder and a "delight" all on it's own. Developmentally, I understand this phase. I studied this phase. I have worked with children going through this phase. I have just never LIVED with this phase. Since when did putting on shorts become such an issue? Why is it that we have to sit in the middle of the rug to put shoes on? Why wont sitting on the couch do? How come she has to drink out of juice box all by herself in my car?? Right. I know. She is learning and growing. And though it is messy, it truly is amazing. Iz now tells me when she wants to go to sleep. When she needs a diaper change, that she wants a spoon to use with her fruit. She throws away trash. And my favorite, puts away clothes-hers and ours!
I am nearing my first week of summer vacation. This is probably THE biggest perk of being a teacher. I finally get to be a mommy again. I mean a full-time, on-call 24/7 mommy. I have to admit that I waited my entire life to be a mommy and never in those years of dreams did I envision having to work at the same time. I don't know why, my own mother worked, and worked hard, to support all 4 of us kids. But in my head, I was going to be June Cleaver-vacuuming in pearls, baking fresh cookies for my kids, and having dinner ready and waiting when my husband got home from work. Then I grew up and realized that black and white t.v., does not a reality make. Instead, my wonderful, loving, incredible husband does the cooking and laundry and even takes out the garbage. Me? I pick up the baby from our wonderful babysitter and I get to be mom for the night. Most of the time this arrangement feels more like a split custody agreement-only I get the sleepless half.
But all that changed on Monday. For the next 10 weeks, I get to be THE full time, one and only mama! I love waking up and starting the day with Izzy. I love getting to take her for walks (while it is still daylight!) and going to the pool. I love that I can figure out what to make for lunch at lunchtime. Mostly, I love to sit and cuddle with her in the morning. We can take our time and read all the books we want. There are no tears when we have to put down her favorite book, there is no rushing out the door and quick kisses good-bye. No tears- just lots and lots of loving and cuddling!
Well, it is official. My baby is now a big girl. We bought Iz a toddler bed about 2 weeks ago and she has slept in it (quite happily) every night now for 2 whole weeks. I really thought the novelty would wear off once she realized that mom and dad would make her stay in it ALL NIGHT, but alas, it hasn't.
Here she is sleeping like an angel for the first time in her big girl bed!!
She even has a pillow now!!
This is her playing in her bed as soon as we got it home. We hadn't even had the chance to move it into her room yet!