Monday, October 5, 2009

Bedtime Routine

Tonight, Mia decided to take the bedtime routine into her own hands. She turned on the "little" light all by herself and told me to turn off the "big" light. She asked to give Daddy a kiss and hug. What's funny is that when she kisses him, she takes his face in her two hands and turns it so that she can kiss him on the lips. She chose a book and settled into the chair with me, but wouldn't let me read. Instead, she said, "Mia read book, Mama". She read me the Olivia book, telling me all about how Olivia likes to put on her shirt and shoes and "swimmy suit". She told me Olivia "painting" and how she took a bath because "she dirty". When she was finished reading me the story, she put herself in her bed and told me how she wanted her pillows arranged and which blankets she wanted. I turned out the light and asked her if she wanted me to sing a song. She told me she would like the "Baby" song, so I started to sing, but I was interrupted by her request for "Itsy Pider song". I started to sing the "Itsy Pider song" and she said, "Louder, Mama." Of course. You want it louder. So I sang louder, but apparently not loud enough. "Louder, Mama." I finished the song and gave her a kiss on the cheek, to which she said, "Other cheek, Mama". Wow. A little control issue?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mia's Caterpillar Party

Every night for months, Mia has asked to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This was a book given to Mia before she was born by Melissa. She has heard the book so many times that she can say some of the lines before we read them. She likes to say, "Pop!" on the second page when the caterpillar pops out of the egg. She can say apples, Sunday, Tuesday, pizza, cheese, and lollipop. She has also added "cocoon" to her vocabulary. When the caterpillar eats too much, she says, "Owie!"
So, it was the perfect fit to have a caterpillar party for Mia's second birthday. I searched the internet for ideas and found that there were a few other people who also threw caterpillar parties. Here's what Mia's party looked like:
I found a large copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to display with her birthday banner.
Each child received butterfly antennae when they arrived.
The kids decorated their own party bags with caterpillar and fruit stickers. Inside, they received insect flash cards (from the dollar bins at Target), gummy caterpillars (from Cost Plus), bendy straws, and noise makers.
Outside we decorated with a caterpillar made from balloons.
I painted some scrap wood with holes cut for faces and we took some silly pictures.
The food table had all of the food the caterpillar ate and the story was written around the food.
The "cake" was blueberry muffins with red and green frosting and watermelon skin and laffy taffy for the eyes.
Mia wore her green polka dotted dress and bows for the party.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1 a.m.

I just feel sick to my stomach not knowing. I HATE change. When I was in elementary school, I went to 9 different schools. I've moved 29 times in my life. That must be a big part of why I can't stand change.

I am fiercely loyal to tradition and sameness. My day feels wrong when I get out of my "routine".

Monday I will find out what school I've been placed at to teach next year. In the last ten years, I have been through changes in principals, changes in curriculum, and changes in staff, but never have I changed anything on my own, on purpose.

I have stayed at Wilson because it was my first love. The staff there has always felt so welcoming and genuine. They genuinely care about each other and the future of the school and their students.

I have stayed in the 6th grade because I fell in love with my 6th grade teacher and never forgot her. She was such a powerful player in my life and gave me such a sense of stability in times of turmoil. I hope that I was able to do that for the students I taught. Each one of them had their own unique story and after learning who they were each year, it was so painful to let them go, knowing I may not ever know how their story ends.

Change started when I had Mia. When she was two weeks old, I could sense change happening, but I didn't know what it would look like in the end. I didn't know then that I would decide to take more time off work than I had planned. I didn't know I would choose her over work, but feel so conflicted and torn because of my loyalty to my students and coworkers, all the time knowing that she was my most important student.

I didn't know that my school would change while I was away. I didn't know that I would lie awake tonight worried about working at a school where I don't "know the rules". And I didn't know that I would ultimately feel cheated and unfairly discarded by the new administration.

I know that God works on us most when we are walking through the desert, but I feel like I've been in that desert for the majority of my life and I really just need some rest. I pray for some relief.

I will never regret spending more time with Mia than time at work. I will never regret having made loyalties to Wilson school and the students, parents, and teachers there. I just wish it wasn't all so painful. And I wish I could sleep at night. I dream constantly and can't sleep well anymore.

I know that change is a part of life, but I hate it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Helpful Girl

Mia is my little helpful girl. She loves to do whatever I'm doing. When I fold laundry, she takes the kitchen towels to the kitchen and puts them in the drawer. She puts the bibs in the basket in the kitchen, and she takes her own clothes to her room.

When I empty the trash around the house, she takes the baskets back to each of the bathrooms. When I put laundry in the dryer, she pushes it in for me. She runs to help whenever she hears me put a pot on the stove, or bang dishes in the kitchen. She gets one of our huge kitchen chairs and pushes it across the kitchen so she can stand by the counter and help me pour things or mix things.

She's the spoon and tupperware girl when I unload the dishwasher. After a trip to the grocery store or the farmer's market, Mia will put a bag of groceries on her arm like a purse and carry (drag) it to the front door. She loves to take the canned food and put it on the low pantry shelf. She works out her muscles lifting 2 or 3 water bottles at once to put in the fridge. (Really, you should hear her grunt as she lifts them because they are so heavy).

And Troy's favorite is when she walks around the kitchen behind me and closes the cupboard doors that I leave open! She will even tell me when there is a cupboard door that needs closing that is too high for her to reach.

I love my little helpful girl! She even helps me make the bed by sitting in it and holding the sheets up. Hopefully, I can post pictures soon.

A Toddler's Memory

The other day, Troy and I decided to walk to Rite Aid and get Mia her first ice cream cone. She'd had ice cream once or twice before, but only with a spoon, never on a cone. When we entered the store, we walked to the left where the ice cream stand is and ordered our cones. The lady behind the counter scooped a monstrous one for Mia! We walked outside and decided that it would be best to sit on the curb and eat our ice cream in case that huge scoop of vanilla decided to jump out of the cone and into Mia's stroller (that's not something I wanted to clean up). We sat down on the curb and gave Mia her cone, which she had to hold with two hands because it was so heavy. Troy and I started eating our ice cream, but Mia just sat holding the cone and watching us. She didn't know what to do. We tried to show her how to lick the ice cream, but all she could figure out was to touch her tongue to it, so it was quite a slow process. Troy had to "clean up" her cone a few times. In the end, she really enjoyed it and even ate the entire cone!

About a week after our trip to Rite Aid, I had Mia with me in the car and I told her we were going to stop at the store and get a carton of ice cream to take home. She said, "Ice" like she knew what I was talking about. We got out of the car and walked into the store where she immediately tried to take a left (towards the ice cream stand). I told her we were not going that way and convinced her to come to the back of the store with me where the cartons of ice cream were. I got the ice cream and we paid and walked outside. As we were stepping off the curb into the street, Mia stopped and tried to sit down on the curb. She was saying, "Ice" over and over. Can you believe that she remembered from a week before? I was blown away. I've always wondered how much a child could remember, and this was a great example for sure!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Avila Barn

We've been hearing about Avila Barn since last October. Apparently, they give hay rides and sell pumpkins and apples in the fall. We finally went a few weeks ago. The barn has goats, chickens, peacocks, and sheep. Mia and Trinity enjoyed feeding the animals lettuce. I was surprised at how quickly Mia got comfortable feeding the animals. She went right up to the fence and let them eat the lettuce out of her hand.
The barn is in the mountains just a few minutes away from the beach area. It was very pretty and the weather was perfect.
Troy with Trinity and Mia (cousins). Mia loves being with Grammy Lin. Whenever Linda walked away, Mia would follow her to see what she was doing and then point and make noises to tell her that she wanted her to come back and play. She was Linda's shadow the entire weekend!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Love Hugs and Pats!

Mia has been sick this weekend, so there has been lots of nose wiping and grumpiness. She hasn't been real hungry and has been sleeping a lot. As yucky as it is to be sick, I have enjoyed it because when Mia is sick, she is VERY cuddly! She comes over to me at random times while she is playing and crawls into my lap to cuddle and suck her thumby. Today while she was resting on me and sucking her thumb, I felt her little fingers tapping on my shoulder rhythmically. She was patting my back! I just melt when she does that. Then when she was sitting on my lap looking at me, she spontaneously decided to give me a kiss. (As much as we try to teach her to kiss on the cheek, she prefers to kiss on the lips, and it's really cute!) Just a month ago, Mia started to get less cuddly, so when she's sick, I enjoy every minute of her snotty nose kisses and warm body snuggles.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Mia is learning so much, so fast! I'm amazed every day when she says a new word or does something we haven't seen her do before. She has lots of energy and is very animated. Yesterday, she clearly said, "doggy" and "crackers". I wish I could get more of her talking on video, but she clams up the moment she sees the camera.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Troy's family is very musical in the sense that many of them play instruments and nearly all of them can sing well. Troy's dad was a worship leader back in the day, his cousin Allen sings and plays the piano, and I've heard rumors that when they used to get the whole family together for Christmas, they would sing Christmas songs in 4 part harmony.

My family also has a love of music. That does NOT mean that most of them can carry a tune. Each week when we play cards at Grandma's house, my mother gets kicked under the table many times for singing off key, singing when the stereo is not playing anything, or singing the piano or guitar solos. On Christmas Eve we get together to "sing" Christmas songs, but everyone just kind of picks their own key.

Mia is extremely musical. At only 5 or 6 months old, she was already bopping her head along to the music in the car. One of our favorite memories is when we were listening to one of those eclectic music stations on the radio and "Low Rider" came on. We looked back at Mia and saw her rockin' out! She sings when she's going to sleep and when she wakes up. And she loves to get up on the fireplace and sing and dance with her hands waving in the air.

Yesterday, while I was at MOPS for the evening, Troy went out to the garage and brought in our old keyboard for Mia to play with. When I got home from my night out, Troy showed me video after video on his phone (why he didn't pick up the "real" video camera, I'll never know) of Mia playing the keyboard and dancing to the prerecorded background music. He said she played on the keyboard for an entire hour!

It's obvious that Mia thoroughly enjoys music, but we'll have to wait and see which side of the family she takes after in that area. Hopefully, the Vasquez genes will prevail on this issue.