Live & Learn & How I Cope With A Challenge

One thing I have not been ready for is Sunny's rapidly growing vocabulary. Literally, overnight, she was talking using almost every vocabulary word known to man.  It must of taken off after she turned 3 because before that, I felt I had a lot more sanity then I do now.

What is so difficult about her talking all the time now is my brain just can't keep up with all her questions, all her statements, and how much she describes, notices and analyzes.

I am going to be completely honest, my brain feels fried with the over-stimulation it's getting.

Not that I am NOT grateful that she can communicate and express herself so well, because I am. I know there are kids out there who struggle everyday trying to express themselves, but can't.  As a special education teacher, I know. I have worked with kids like that.
                 Her newest saying is "duh"

However, I LOVE a happy medium in all things. I prefer quiet over noise any day!  Nonstop talking gives me a headache. I am usually the one who needs to place myself in time out when I am overwhelmed by too much stimuli.

Sunny notices everything about her surroundings. She is extremely intelligent.  She has a large vocabulary I didn't think was possible for a 3 year old, her memory is phenomenal. She is her dad's daughter in every shape and form.  I knew there would be a chance she would inherit his genius, but I had no idea that after she turned 3, it would spiral out of control.  I'm not ready, I'm just not!
                                                           Life as a toddler must be hard.

 Before Sunny was 3, she didn't have the best vocabulary, she didn't talk in full sentences all the time, and she didn't suprise me everyday with a newfound intelligence.  Things are different now.  I just can't keep up. Here are examples:

1.  Sunny notices anything different and will question you about anything that is out of routine.  For example, she will question why I am turning left instead of right when I need to go to Natural Grocers.  If I tell her I am taking a different route, she will question why and want to know every detail of why I am out of routine.

2.  If she is watching a show, she will ask how many episodes are in a season.  I will tell her I don't know and she will plead with me to find out before her show starts.

3.  She remembers every single person's name, and extra fine details about them.

4. She will question why I am doing something all the time. Why am I cleaning that, Why did I choose to make this for dinner and not that, what I plan to do after the sun goes down at night.  Why I don't ever look in the telescope when there is a full moon or mars lurking out from the clouds.  Why Mommy, why, why, why.......

And then there is trying to reason with her. I swear she turned into a tween overnight.  Trying to explain to her she can't do something often ends with, "Just leave me alone, or "Get out of my room" or I wan't daddy, not you!"

Her strong personality is a lot to take in. Someday's I honestly feel trapped. I had no idea it would be like this.

These are just a few examples of what I am just not ready for.  I need to be prepared to come up with an answer at all times. I need to have an explanation for everything. I need to be able to see the world as she does.

I am not a fast learner. I am not the brightest person, and sometimes it takes me a long time to figure things out or just comprehend anything very quickly.  It's my biggest frustration. My brain doesn't function like someone else's might.
 I was intimidated for years by Rodney's intelligence, his ever expanding vocabulary, and his knowledge of everything in this world. Stuff I had no clue about.  Now I am embracing myself to be able to raise Rodney's "mini me " and I am trying to figure out how to prepare my mind to handle it.

 To nobody's surprise, Sunny and Rodney both talk a lot. Not that it's bad, but as I said before, my brain is wired in a way that I need that happy medium of soft, quiet, serene vs. loud and talkative.

What is my coping mechanism?  Well, I am still working on it. Sometimes it's just leaving the house alone. Going to the gym or yoga.  Other times, it is locking myself in the bedroom, listening to my scriptures or reading a great book. I love to curl up and read a great book.

In the winter time, I will take a hot bath. But not in this heat.

I find these things help my brain calm down, my mind relax, and frustrations exiting my body.

Now to change the topic,  I wanted to also to put a reminder to myself of what never to buy again.

1. sidewalk chalk.  This stuff has ruined more furniture, clothes, doors, paint job, rugs, etc, then I can describe.  The stuff does not come out, no matter how hard I scrub.  I babysat this little boy once and he played with the chalk and then came inside and rubbed his body all over my white rug.  To this day, it has hues of pink in there. I have tried everything to remove it.

2. Lego's. When is too much to much. Sunny has so many legos. I have stepped and injured myself on far too many to count.  They are a hassle to clean up and they get lost.

3. Playdough.  It dries up. It's a waste of money when your kids don't clean up after themselves and mom can't even remember to put detergent in the wash on top of remembering to clean up playdough.

4. Toys with small parts. Again, waste of money, they get lost.

5. inflatable swimming pools. They get holes in them everytime. Waste of money.

As much as spending money depresses me, thinking about wasting money is even harder to cope with.  With kids, I am learning that mother's are in a constant live & learn phase.  With every mistake we make, there is always time to reflect on that mistake and make changes., Writing things down, or keeping a blog such as this, are always great ways to remind ourselves of improvements we can make.


How To Survive The Summer With A Toddler And Tracy Family Updates

It's August, Hooray! Taking a little bit of a break from blogging has been nice. I have also toned down on my technology this summer, excluding signing up for instagram which was not a good idea, but my other post below explains all that.

I have never been fond of summertime. Even as a kid, I detested it.  I would rather be in school anyday then be hot, bored, etc.  Come fall, it's a huge refresher. The air is crisp and cool and I feel the need to be outside like a lot.

This summer, I have been so much more hot then usual. And I don't mean sexy hot, I mean miserable, sticky, slimy, just plain get me out of this oven feeling-hot.

Our swamp cooler is wonderful. It does it's job, but when it's humid of triple digits, the swamp has it's problems.

I remember my first job, at 15. I was a maid for the summer. I worked at an outdoor hotel and none of the rooms had air-conditioner until guests checked in. I remember how I could take the heat so much better back then. I continued to be a maid on weekends and every summer until senior year. I also had no air conditioner in my car, so imagine what that was like.  It's times like now when I feel I am baking in my own skin, I remember those summers as a teen. If I could endure it back then, I certainly could now.

I notice a lot of behavioral problems with toddlers this time of year. It seems everywhere I go, a 2 or 3 year old is throwing a huge tantrum out in public. Their mom's seem more aggravated  too.  While sitting there, scratching my head, it suddenly occurred to me.  The heat affects us all.  The reason is because almost all outdoor activities are excluded, leaving more kids at home, more mom's at home, and less of them less then eager to deal with transporting children in and out of a hot car. I do not blame any of them. I am in the exact same boat. The heat affects our motivation to do just about anything.

One thing I have found that is such a huge lifesaver this summer is the pool.  I have never been one to enjoy the pool, but this summer, I made a vow to try to go every single day.  So far, we have gone so much and I find Sunny so much happier as well as myself.  Aside from a few bullies Sunny comes across there, the pool really is great for the mind, body, and soul.
snow cones in this heat, yes please.

I have also found playdates to be a huge lifesaver.  Whether I go with a friend to the pool or I invite a friend over for play, Sunny has more fun with friends.
Indoor picnic with chicken nuggets and Bqq  sauce.

I have also been a little tempted to turn the TV on when I am desperate for a break, but summer and TV are a bad combo for kids and I have limited it big time.

Really, those are the two main activities we engage in this summer.  I am not too keen on driving into town or going to parks for picnics in this heat, so having to drive less then a few blocks has been wonderful.

Some other changes around here have been rather exciting.  A little over a week ago, after a ton of accidents and stubbornness, Sunny is finally potty-trained. I don't know what clicked, but she runs to her potty every single time and has had no accidents.
                         Ready for church.

Sunny is also taking naps for the first time in like forever. She will require I lay next to her in my bed and then make a big fort with my sheets, and then nest a bit until she falls a sleep, all while twirling her hair which is her soother.

I am more then pleased with those changes.

Sunny starts pre-school in two weeks! I am so excited. Hmmm, what am I going to do with myself during that time.

As far as updates on our fixer upper house. We got our fireplace done. I decided to paint it white since I had leftover paint from the house anyway, and  It looks fabulous!  We also did tiling around the fireplace and did a hardwood floor look. I love it. Now we just have to get a fireplace insert so we can prepare for winter.

There is still so much more to do on our house. The list is slowly, but surely getting checked off though.

We have harvested tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, a few delicate carrots and some strawberries this summer.  We found our PH must be off in our soil because our sod has struggled as well as our crops.  We are in the process of turning that PH around to reduce the alkaline this fall. I hope our grass seed makes it this time for front yard.

Oh, I can't forget. They released me from primary. I never asked to be released, but the kindest president said she knew I was prego and I would probably need a break, and plus, a kind new sister really wanted to be in the primary, so she replaced me.  I have been in the primary/nursery for a long time and it will be nice to have a change. But I do miss those kids!

So, there is a tiny bit of update around here. I don't have much to talk about and I am so anxious to just get this summer out of here.  Hope all you have had a nice summer and are excited for fall too!!


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)