Category Archives: life as a parent

Enjoying the Classics..

While we have not prohibited the television from our daughter, we are fiercely discriminate about what she is allowed to watch and how much/how often.  Lately Mirabelle has become a huge fan of some classics from our childhood which we love because, in my opinion, entertainment was just better back then!  Her to current favorites are “Muppets Take Manhattan” and the Sesame Street movie “Follow That Bird”.  Both are from the early 80’s and if you haven’t seen them before they are definitely worth checking out!  Mirabelle sings the songs from them constantly.

We also have been listening to a lot of classic music lately.  Ever since the death of Michael Jackson, and then since seeing the movie “This Is It” (which was awesome btw!!!) we have been listening to his music a lot more.  Every time we get in the car Mirabelle will shout “I wanna hear Michael Jackson!” shortly followed by “Play Smooth Criminal Momma.”.  She can sing along to a lot of his stuff (though when she started singing “I’m Bad, I’m bad, you know it..” we stopped listening to that one!!) including some Jackson 5 songs.

Needless to say, its been fun sharing my youth with her!

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Four P’s

I have realized lately I have been particularly impatient and down right disrespectful towards my daughter.  Now you might look at that word “disrespect” as spoken by a parent about her child and think I misspoke but stick with me.  In order to teach our children to respect their parents as well as others and themselves, we must first teach them respect by respecting them as well.  I fear I have been quick to expect her to meet expectations she is not ready to accomplish and then I quickly loose my cool.  What I should have been doing is modeling it FIRST.   If I could take a deep breath, analyze the situation, I could correct the situation by then modeling it and lessening her frustration before it leads to a meltdown before it leads to her being disrespectful (which I in turn, too often, take personally).

I have been simultaneously reading two books.  One that I have been reading off and on for the last year and the other I just began on a recommendation.  The first is called “Positive Discipline” and the other is “How to Really Love Your Child”.  One is written from a Christian Perspective and the other is a secular parenting book.  I have gained a lot so far from both of these books and they are both very much in line philosophically.

What I have learned is that I need to spend the next week focusing on 4 P’s that I used to be MUCH better at:  Peace, Patience, Positive focus, and Perserverance.  Sometimes the morning will be going fine and I will let one meltdown change the tone for the rest of our day together.  I have been resorting to threats (for timeouts, countdowns, toy removals, etc…) and I swore that wouldn’t be me!  I have very little patience these days because I am letting some personal issues I am dealing with spill over into how I interact with my daughter, and just about everyone truthfully.  I need to do better about setting aside those distractions and giving myself fully to her because it is the non-verbal communication that she hears louder than anything I speak to her.  Starting tomorrow I am going to work very hard at restoring these values…starting with peace and a positive spirit.  I know God has called me to love her in a more respectful and compassionate way than I have been.

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Too “Wasted” to blog!

Just a week ago I was bragging to friends about how I felt we had finally turned the corner in our two-year struggle to get Mirabelle to sleep as normally as possible.  (Obviously as an AP mom I was NOT looking for a “sleep thru the night” infant but by 18 months to two I was hoping to have a girl that had some idea about how to fall asleep and stay asleep for a period of time lasting longer than say 2 hours!  Well, long story short, for a week or more recently she was sleeping truly through the night from 8ish to aprox. 5am and then joining us in our bed for a few more hours of sleep.  This was working out quite nicely!  Then, her her truest form, she changed it up on us once again and she’s back to her regular shenanigans of “hard to get down” and waking up 2-4 times a night.  I know she’s cutting a tooth which would explain the night waking but the getting to sleep part is what is about to drive me INSANE!

Normally my husband will put her to bed at night and they have this whole routine worked out…well, tonight while my husband was out studying for school I had the joy of putting her to bed.  Three hours later and 3 attempts to put what appeared to be a sleeping baby into bed sent me into psychosis!  He just got home and we are now in the 4th hour of trying to get our toddler to bed.  It’s nights like these that I sit and want to cry and wonder to myself “where did we go wrong…am I just the worst mom ever??”.

As I began this journey into the night, I had visions of putting her down for the night and then having a couple hours to myself to blog, clean a couple rooms of the house (I was actually inspired and had the energy to do this which is really rare!!), compare paint samples, etc…  In fact as I was nursing her to sleep I had come up with a great blog entry I wanted to post and I and formulated the entire piece in my head.  I feel like I haven’t had anything of much substance to write lately because I feel so “wasted” and dried up lately but tonight I felt alive.  Well…3 hours of THAT and I can barely remember my home address!!

Even now…the entire time I spent preparing to get in bed to write this post and as I have been typing I have been searching for clues in my subconscious that would help me to remember what I wanted to post on earlier and NOTHING..I remember nothing.  SAD!

Tomorrow is another day.  I just hope we figure out this sleep thing soon because it’s feeling like a slow death at this point for me.  When she was a newborn, infant, even a young toddler…I knew it was all apart of the growing pains of being a new mom and particularly being the type of family we are, but at some point I am going to hit my breaking point.  I can’t imagine spending 3 hours getting her down and tending to a newborn somehow.

AHHHHHHH..I just remembered what I wanted to blog about earlier!!  I am gonna go draft a subject line and blog on it tomorrow.

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Birthday 2.0

My baby-girl is a baby no more!! As of 11:06 pm last evening, Mirabelle turned two! Its amazing been such an amazing journey thus far. I had so many wonderful and joyous expectations about motherhood and all have been exceeded!

There have been a ton of hurdles and unexpected challenges, but its fun to look back now and laugh at that sleep deprived, inexperienced version of myself and see all we have survived and learned. The newest “accomplishment” is that Mirabelle is, for the most part, sleeping through the night. This has only been happening for about a week now so I am still holding my breath on this one. For the last two years I would refer to her as my “broken sleeper” and I swore she would never sleep soundly as long as she lived!! Oh..the comedy of a tired Momma! Now she is sleeping like an angel. Looking back I realize that 2 years of getting up a few extra times a night to nurse, co-sleeping, the whole lot of it..it was TOTALLY worth it. So I lost some sleep..I got to spend more time physically and emotionally connecting with my daughter because that is her unique design and her needs at the time. It does however make having subsequent children seem MUCH more possible now in comparison to a season where it seemed near impossible!

In reflecting on her true BIRTH day, I realized I am truly healing (not past tense yet) from the emotional scars of my C-section. It is a huge relief. This year, like last, I replayed the moments in my mind leading up to my surprise induction, my 30 hour labor, and then my emergency C-section. After that mental account, no tears fell from these eyes and I could only smile and thank God for my precious gift! What a blessing she is to us.

#3 here we come…

Mirabelle Ani just minutes old!

Mirabelle Ani just minutes old!

Mirabelle's 1st birthday picture.

Mirabelle's 1st birthday picture.

Mirabelle's 2nd Birthday photo shoot!

Mirabelle's 2nd Birthday photo shoot!

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My Best Birth Celebrity Trailer

From the makers of “The Business of Being Born” comes this next edition! I think this one is going to be good…
Check it out:

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A week full of firsts!

That’s right, my daughter Mirabelle experienced a handful of firsts last Wednesday and not one of them was fun or exciting!  So, here’s how it all went down:

Wednesday around noon, we had just returned from running tons of errands and my baby girl was ready for lunch and requesting mac’n cheese.  We walked in the door and she promptly crawled up into one of our dining room chairs to sit and wait while I cooked up lunch.  I sat in front of her a water cup and a toy and walked into the kitchen.  Just in the amount of time it took me to walk into the kitchen, open the pantry, and get down a box of pasta, she managed to fall out of her chair and hit the floor.  When I heard the “boom” I went bounding back into the dining room to check on her a few steps away.  By now she was screaming.  When I got to her and started to pick her up I noticed her hand next to her face and a pen in her hand.  As I lifted her from the floor she pulled the ball-point pen away from her face and the blood started to flow!!

Apparently, there was a pen that had been left on the table from the morning that she found.  She told me later she was “coloring” with it and then when she fell out of the chair, she had it in her right hand and she fell on her right side…the pen then punctured her right cheek!  The cheek was instantly doubling (if not tripling) in size and we ran back to the kitchen for a rag to put a compression against the wound.

I ran back to get my cell phone (my ONLY phone) and decided a hole in the face definitely deserved a call to 911.  After trying several times to dial out my phone would NOT dial out a call.  I found out later that for some reason the software was acting up and had to be rebooted.  Talk about bad timing!  I then had to run out of my house with my screaming, bleeding daughter and go door-to-door until I could find someone home who would let me call EMS.  After trying 3 houses I found someone home and was able to call EMS and my husband.  It only took both of them 7 minutes to arrive and we all rode down to Texas Children’s Hospital.  One of the great things about living in Houston is that we have one of THE best medical centers in the country.  We were put in a room immediately and examined shortly thereafter.

The EMS workers were very sweet and helped me peel away my “Worst Mom of the Year” badge.  It only took me about 10 minutes to get over that and not care about what people might think.  God was definitely looking over my precious girl in a moment when I could not because the pen did NOT puncture all the way through the cheek; it only went through the outer tissue.  Also, there are two main nerves that run through the cheek that control most of the facial and mouth movements and she hit BETWEEN them so there was no nerve damage whatsoever!

She did need 5 stitches though and the doctor said it would be cruel to do it any other way other than by means of sedation.  It was a type of sedation where her mind was asleep and her pain sensation was thus disengaged, however she was technically awake and fully capable of bodily movements, etc..  We had to wait about 5 hours for this procedure because of when she had last had food and water.  It was a long wait for a nursing girl but she was a trooper; iphones with pictures and the TV w/ cartoons helped a lot!

Tonight the stitches and scab fell off so now we just have to do our best to make sure her scar heals pretty over the next year which means lots of hats and sunscreen in the sun!

So, my girl experienced her first major accident and survived it (and so did Momma!), first ride in an Ambulance, first ER visit, first sedation/anesthesia, first IV, first stitches, and first sugary Popsicle!  Hoping the next won’t be for a long time..if ever (especially the Popsicle..lol!).

Our bo-bo girl after getting poked and prooded.  She was mad!

Our bo-bo girl after getting poked and prooded. She was mad!

All Sewed up!  Still a little "drunk" from sedation and very happy about the popcicle!

All Sewed up! Still a little "drunk" from sedation and very happy about the popcicle!

I treated her to some Starbucks oatmeal the other morning.  You can see the swelling is significantly less and the bruising is yellow which is the end of the lifecycle.

I treated her to some Starbucks oatmeal the other morning. You can see the swelling is significantly less and the bruising is yellow which is the end of the lifecycle.

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Filed under health, life as a parent, picture post

Couch-Commando Parenting

I was totally convicted the other day of the parenting I have succumb to lately.  I don’t know if it just crept up on me or came out of left field but I have delightfully coined it “couch-commando parenting”.  What does this look like in terms of parenting?  Lots of, “Hey Mirabelle, don’t do this! …don’t do that!…stop it!  No! No! No!”  I wonder what my “no” count is these days but I am prettu sure it has TRULY lost ALL meaning.  I think I even question why I am saying it sometimes.  There have been times that I realize I am calling her out purely for the fact that I want to save myself the mess later when she is just flexing her developmental muscles and not actually misbehaving to it’s truest sense.

In a word..I have become lazy as a parent.  I want my 22-month old daughter to take orders from me the first time I give them as I sit on my throne (the couch).  I don’t want to get up 5, 7, 25 times and show her what she SHOULD be doing.  I want her to act, basically, like me (an adult).  RIDICULOUS..I KNOW!  Aren’t most of us guilty of this.  If not with our kids, with other adults!  We want people to adapt to US and do it our way.

I am not alone in this, I hate to call out others but I know I have found my loved ones doing the same with my own daughter.  I give this out though…  My daughter is fairly advanced when it comes to her language development and many motor skills.  Particularly with her language skills, this sets an expectation that she should be expected to also behave older than she is which is not true.  Being able to speak like that of a 2.5 year old or older doesn’t mean you have the capacity to reason and conduct yourself as a 2.5 yr. old.

The conclusion I have come to is this:  Its time I came down from my throne and start modeling proper behavior more through positive reinforcement.  This means when she wants to tear her books I show her how to gently flip through them and put them away when she is done.  And when all else fails, if destruction is a course she can’t seem to get out of her focus then temporarily remove the stimuli rather than just saying “no” over and over.  I used to think that stashing away all my things that I didn’t want her to break and get into meant that she was winning the “I’m not listening to you so now you have to move it” but now I realize it’s just a season and a matter of maturity and less pure disobedience!

As I began to think through all of this the other day a song I used to sing came floating to the forefront of my mind.  The words could not have been more perfect to my situation.  When I used to perform as a child with the Houston Children’s Chorus, this was a song that would bring tears to my eyes.  It is a beautiful tune and it has stayed close to my heart now for 15 years now.

“Show Me How”

I am small, I’m just a child

I’m still learning right from wrong

How am I supposed to know

Won’t you take some time for me

Show me How, Take me by the hand

Lead the way You want me to Go

Give me love and understanding, and sometimes I may need a hug

Show me how to love

Show me how


Through my eyes, you move so fast

Tell me where is everybody going

In my world there’s just today

How can I stop this pain from growing


Show me How take me by the hand

Lead the way you want me to go

Give me love and understanding and sometimes I may need a hug

Show me how to love

Show me how


Words mean nothing, I am watching you

Please be my example, show me what to do


Show me how… (Chorus)

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