Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm not sure where to start. Part of me wants to share this, but the other part of me is hesitant to.

I've been really worried about our teenager the past few days. I go through these cycles of worrying, being sad, and then getting really mad.

I know, you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about.


Well...as I mentioned a few weeks back, Our Princess-Pie has been having a really difficult time. Being a 14 year old girl is NOT easy. I remember that. I remember fighting with my mother a lot, having the most obnoxious attitude when it came to anything involving my parents, and I remember going through a period of depression during that time. The surge of hormones, social pressure, academic pressure, and transitioning from being a child to a young woman is hard.

Now I'm seeing a similar struggle in Princess-Pie although she tends to handle her emotions differently than I did. When I was her age and I was having a hard time emotionally, I was very irritable and snappy with my family and I would isolate a lot. Princess-Pie, on the other hand, has resorted to other measures- cutting on herself! That's right. I couldn't believe it and neither could her dad. Of course, it's very disturbing and we're doing our best to try and understand what she's going through.

She started reading this book "Cut" which she got from her school library about 1 month ago. It's about a teenager who cuts to relieve her emotional pain. And I know it's sort of been a "trendy" thing amongst teens these days to say that they're EMO (emotional) and to prove it by cutting on themselves. Princess-Pie has even told us that she has a friend at school who cuts on herself, and that she knows a lot of kids that do the same thing.

Has anyone had any experience with this? If you have, please share any advice or comments. The support would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Inspiration

If you haven't checked out the blog, wouldashoulda.com, you absolutely must. Talk about someone inspiring! Inspiring, not only because she is a mother, and that in and of itself is inspiring, but she is an awesome writer. She captures her feelings in such a funny way that I can't help but smile every time I read her blog.

I really like the photo she posted today. It's a sculpture of a mommy elephant holding a baby elephant. Her daughter made it for her a few years back. She used that sculpture to describe how she feels as a mother sometimes-

" Elephants are big and slow and probably clumsy. They step on things they oughtn’t and who knows if they can see everything they should, from way up there, and around their lumbering bodies. I see myself more as the flailing thunderfoot missing what needs a gentle touch more often than not, but sometimes—sometimes!—I grasp a grace beyond what I should be capable of.

For those moments, when I manage to get it right, I’m grateful. They won’t all be cast in clay, but hopefully they’ll last."

I thought this analogy was great. Aren't we all thankful for those moments of motherly grace? It really does seem like those moments are too few and far between, but when I stumble upon one, it DOES feel good. Too often I find my head filled with whiny thoughts about parenting, or focused on how difficult everything is, or beating myself up about yelling instead of having more patience.

All I can say is- thank God for those moments of grace!

1st Photo


I realized that I hadn't posted a photo of our little Mon-Chi-Chi yet. Here is a recent picture.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Loving Looks

I thought this article which I found on babycenter.com was quite interesting. It outlines the ways children show how they love their parents through different stages.

My heart absolutely melts when baby Mon-Chi-Chi looks into my eyes. It usually happens when we're lying down face to face in bed. She'll stare right into my eyes with her big browns and hold that gaze for 5-10 minutes. It's the sweetest experience. It really is like she is trying to absorb every detail of my eyes and my face.

I'm glad I came across this article today because just yesterday I was wondering does my baby love me? With work and the day to day grind of living I haven't been able to spend as much time with her as I did during my maternity leave. Sometimes I wonder if she is happy to see me, or whether she is feeling bonded or disconnected.

"1. Your newborn stares into your eyes — he's actually working hard to memorize your face. He doesn't understand anything else about the world, but he knows you're important.
2. Your baby thinks about you even when you're not around. Between 8 and 12 months old, he'll start to scrunch his face and look around when you leave the room — and he'll smile when you return.
3. Your toddler throws wicked tantrums. Nope, those screaming fits don't mean he's stopped loving you. He wouldn't be so hurt and angry if he didn't trust you so deeply.
4. Your toddler runs to you for comfort when he falls down or feels sad. Kids this age may not truly understand the meaning of "I love you," but their actions speak louder than words.
5. Your preschooler gives you a flower picked from the garden, a finger-painted heart, a sparkly rock, or another gift.
6. Your preschooler wants your approval. He'll start to be more cooperative around the house, and he'll look for chances to impress. "Look at me!" will become a catchphrase.
7. Your grade-schooler trusts you with secrets, like his first crush or his most embarrassing moment. You're his confidante, even if he shies away from your hugs in public."

from babycenter.com

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Supernanny!

I think we may have found the 2nd best person to Supernanny! I love watching that show because she has hands on techniques that seem to be very useful. I say "seem", because I haven't had the chance to try any of them yet. Our teenager, Princess-Pie, is a little too old for the "time out" techniques, and our Mon-Chi-Chi is still in that endearing phase where she can't do any wrong, so there is no need for discipline yet ;)

Well, we found another young woman on care.com. She was listed under housekeeping, but after I spoke with her, she mentioned that she really wanted to do a little of everything- nanny-ing, cleaning, organizing. She also said that she loves to cook and would love to cook dinner for us when we want her to! It sounded like a dream come true. It still sounds too good to be true, but I think it might BE TRUE!

She worked at our home 4 days last week, doing cleaning, organizing and taking care of Mon-Chi-Chi. Not only did she help our teenager clean and organize her room (which is incredible considering that ALL Princess-Pie's clothes were on the floor, dirty dishes were in her room, and you couldn't walk anywhere without stepping on something like a CD or a pair of glasses), but she got along so well with Princess-Pie that Princess-Pie keeps asking when she will be back. She even took Princess-Pie to church this past Sunday just because she wanted to!

Our little Mon-Chi-Chi lights up when Supernanny enters the room. She starts giggling and flapping her arms, and cries when Supernanny leaves the room! It's absolutely incredible.

After almost 1/2 a year of horrible childcare experiences, I think we found a winner! Now the key is getting her to stay with our family and not scaring her off ;)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

teenage angst

We just picked up Princess-pie from a Sunday afternoon birthday party. As soon as she got in the car she said "can you turn up the volume?!"

What? What happened to "hello", "thank you for picking me up", "I had fun at the party".

Apparently, she didn't have a good time because the guy she likes didn't pay any attention to her.

Ahhhhhh...that explains the bad mood.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Update on the Update

Our "skater-girl" childcare provider was much more impressive yesterday. As soon as I walked through the door, I heard her chatting it up with our Mon-Chi-Chi. She was holding Mon-Chi-Chi in her arms and Mon-Chi was looking into her eyes and smiling. It was sweet to see. So, I think it'll be fine with her. She also took the initiative to wash the baby's clothes, fold them, and organize them nicely in her closet. She's definitely helpful. Ultimately, after observing "skater-girl" with Mon-Chi-Chi yesterday, I didn't feel the need to bring up any concerns. Maybe she just had a few rough days earlier this week. Not to mention, she's also been very helpful with our Princess-Pie, who needs some extra help with her homework (after bringing home 2 D's on her progress report). So "skater-girl" has been tutoring her in math and Spanish. Needless to say, Princess-Pie doesn't like the fact that she is being forced to sit down for 1 1/2 hours immediately after school to complete her homework, but I know we'll all the happier in the long run :) And "skater-girl" is very patient and encouraging of Princess-Pie. Sometimes, especially with a teenager, it takes someone else besides the parents to really get the job done.