Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers

This blog captures my thoughts and observations of Amelia since there are so many wonderful things I want to just bottle and enjoy. Time doesn't stop and while I will have memories, it will be nice for both her and me to have these in-the-moment snapshots of her life.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Field Trip

Amelia went to an apple orchard with all four kindergarten classes today. Her daddy met the group there since he works just a few minutes away. She got to ride an activity bus for 45 minutes each way. I was a little worried about that. She said she shared the seat with three other children. I would love a picture of that!

They got to the orchard, had their lunch, rode on a hay-baled trailer to the orchard, picked apples that were then bagged (Amelia got three), came back, picked out a pumpkin, had a presentation about how orchards operate and got to sort apples by color and size, went in the corn maze which had stops where each group of four children had to answer a question to know which way to turn, and then had some apple cider. She was pooped tonight when I saw her!

Here is her loot. These apples are HUGE! I told her we would use her pumpkin to decorate the front porch for a little while and then we'd make pumpkin pie. She really liked the pie idea. It's nice to have someone in the family who likes pumpkin pie as much as I do! Mmmmmmmm.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Amelia on Dance

As I brushed my teeth this morning, I heard Amelia telling her Daddy, “Everyone has dance inside of them. You just have to let it out and you can dance any way that you want to. Dance doesn’t die until the world dies. When the world dies, there is no more dance.” The first part sounds like something she would have gotten from Angel or Me-me, but she said she made it up herself.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last day of being 4

So hard to believe today was the last day that Amelia was 4! I told her on the way to school that today was the last day of her being 4 but that it seemed like she was 5 already for a while because she was going to kindergarten, and it's true.

I love my girl at any age, but it is amazing how big she is getting. Just for fun the other night I rocked her as I sang "Rock-a-bye baby" and then dropped her in bed when the baby falls, just like I did when she was in her crib and toddler bed. She thought it was fun, but of course had no memory of it. **sniff sniff**

I find myself saying, "A couple of years ago when Amelia ..." and it floors me that there are YEARS of memories now. She still seems so young and so little in many ways. One of my favorite sayings is the days are long but the years are short ... so true.

[picture dated 9/21/2010]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Took Amelia shopping tonight at Kohl's. She found some Hello Kitty pajamas that she just had to have. Unfortunately the jeans I took her to try on didn't fit and neither did the other pants that were on sale for just $4.99. Amelia is not a chunky girl but sometimes we run across pants that are fine in the length but snug in the hip area. We did find a cute long-sleeved cat shirt that she also wanted to get for her cousin, Sarah, which was cute. I showed her an "I love Mom" shirt where the love was a heart and it was all written in a leopard pattern. I asked her if she wanted to get it and she said "no". I was a little disappointed, but that's what I get for giving her the choice.

While we were shopping an announcement came on over the loudspeaker. I was tuning it out and going about my browsing and Amelia said, "Stop, Mommy! No talking! We need to listen!" I still think it's cute when she demonstrates behaviors she has learned at school, whether it's spontaneous or transferred to a similar experience outside of school.

As we were leavingt I told her to put away the Eeyore she had been playing with the entire time we had been shopping. We walked out and I happened to look down as we were about to step off the curb and tucked under her arm was Eeyore. She wasn't being defiant, she just put him back and then picked him up again. Fortunately, no one was chasing us from inside the store but I immediately turned around and went back in with her. This time I watched as she put Eeyore away. Following instructions is still something we have to work on with her.

On the way home she talked a lot about wanting to wear her new Hello Kitty pajamas but by the time we got home she wanted to wait and wear them on a different night.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pick out the real animals!

I walked in and found this scene on my bed and couldn't resist taking a picture. The cats went in for their afternoon naps and didn't mind if some of the spaces were already taken.

I also love how DeMarcus invited himself to the picnic Amelia was having for her other animals.

[pictures dated 9/4 and 9/12/2010]

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Alpha Friends

When I picked Amelia up from Nana's last Thursday the first thing she told me was that her clothespin was moved down but she didn't want to tell me why. (This is a behavior-related thing.) My mind immediately jumped to conclusions like: she pushed down another child! she threw things across the classroom! But she wouldn't tell me. As the afternoon progressed I tried to pry from her why it was moved. I tried tricking, I tried cajoling, I tried bribing. After dinner she was playing with one of her toys and said something behavior related and I asked, "Is that why your clothespin was moved?" She said no. And when I asked her why she told me ... she had gotten up and looked at the time-out room while she was in music class and when she didn't sit down after being asked twice, her clothespin was moved when they got back to her classroom. I was so relieved! I just told her that she should try harder next time to do what grown-ups tell her, but really I was relieved. The music teacher is young and new and I don't think he appreciates the developmental levels of the different aged children. A 3rd grader is not going to behave the same as a kindergartener, and vice versa. She told me this afternoon she was much better and her clothespin wasn't moved down. She was very proud of herself and I told her I was, too!

This afternoon Amelia got her fake apple from her play kitchen and declared it was her alpha friend Addy Apple. She put it on the chair she sometimes uses as her pretend bed and then proceeded to get alpha friends B-I. For "f" I put a frog down and she said, no, she needed a fish. So not only was she repeating something they've been doing at school this week, she was precisely copying it. I loved watching her expression as she would pause to remember what came next. For some reason instead of going to "J" she chose to put her Dora doll in the purple pajamas as the last friend.

She often doesn't tell us what she has done at school but she will later mimic it or have it come out some other way - reading a story to a stuffed animal or playing with her toys. It's so cute.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Happy girl

So I think my theory about Daddy being gone was right. She is back to being her easily self-entertained person. (I think part of her uneasiness may have been that Daddy's vehicle had been in the driveway the entire time, but he wasn't home.)

Today, after school, Amelia happily played all by herself on the front porch steps. I was able to hang an entire load of laundry in the backyard without a single, "Mommy!" I came up the basement steps and walked to the front windows to see what she was up to since the last I knew, she was going to feed Romeow (our outdoor cat). There she was on the front steps with two small branches of very small pears. It looked like she was having a little show and each branch had a part. Or maybe they were just having a conversation. Then a school bus drove by and she jumped up to wave at it and went right back to her little game.

Today was the deadline for turning in Amelia's physical or she would be kicked out of school until it was complete. It's been done since the 10th but the thing is, she failed the eye exam. The same thing happened last year after which I took her to my eye doctor who said she saw just fine with maybe a slight astigmatism that did not (yet) need correction. I requested and received a letter from him about that exam but I was still nervous about turning it in, fearing that they would make me take her again (it was not an easy exam ... I don't know why she isn't more cooperative about eye exams). So I waited until the last day and the school official pretty much waved off my concern about the eye exam. (I had to ask her twice if she wanted the letter from the eye doctor as I was trying to hand it to her.) However, Amelia's shot record was missing. Apparently that is the only thing they really care about in addition to the physical form being completed, but the physical form doesn't have a place to list the shots that were given. I wondered later why the doctor's office didn't offer to print an updated shot record since they were completing the physical. Fortunately, I was able to have it faxed so that detail is taken care of for now.

I hate that I get so nervous about people who have the authority to make drastic changes in my daughter's life - like the school kicking her out of kindergarten if she can't pass an eye exam, or way back when she was first born and I was terrified social services would come after me if I didn't take her in for yet another bilirubin prick but decided to skip a day (since they weren't doing anything for her except pricking her ... what was the point?).

Monday, September 06, 2010


Every Friday Amelia brings home her Poetry Songbook which is a white binder that holds the songs and/or poetry that her class did that week. It started with two sheets and each week there are two more. We go over it on the weekends and it's a lot of fun to see her go through them for us. Saturday we took it to Nana's and Amelia kept talking about it and it sounded to me like she kept saying it was her Poultry Songbook so I explained to her the difference between the words, trying to get her to emphasize the short 'e' in poetry. I also wrote both words out so she could see their similarities and differences and explained to her that poultry meant chickens. (I didn't want to get into turkey, etc. since I wasn't really sure how many other birds are considered poultry and she's the kind of kid that would ask.)

Last night after her piano lesson Amelia said she wanted a snack and I told her we could have one when she got home. She asked for peaches and watermelon, neither of which we have at home so I asked her if she wanted oranges and blueberries or did she want to go to the store? She said she wanted to go to the store so we did. She added bananas and canteloupe to our stash of fruit and then we headed over to the yogurt section real quick before checking out. Suddenly Amelia says, "Look, Mommy! It's a poultry sign!" I was like, "HuH?" I looked around but I didn't see anything and told her so. She said, "Look, it's right there! It says poultry!" So I looked again and sure enough, way up high on what I think is called a bulkhead was a sign for poultry. That girl doesn't miss a thing! So we walked over and I showed her a package of chicken and pointed out where it says chicken. She agreed and said, "Yes! It says chicken breast!" I am not ready for that conversation so I just agreed and we went onto yogurt.

Amelia did such a nice job drawing a tree and person and house on the front of her binder. She even used different colors including brown on the face which reminded me of a story she told me one day. She was talking about coloring at school and said, "So I used brown because some people have brown skin." She was very matter of fact about it which I thought was great. I have never pointed out that some people have different skin or hair than she does because I want her to come up with her own conclusions about people and not pre-judge anyone just because they look different from her. The other thing about her drawing was how she pointed out to me that it was raining. I noticed all the vertical blue slashes but I had assumed they were just Amelia keeping busy and doing a little extra decoration once she was done. I love her imagination!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I have become my mother circa 1978

Daddy has been out of town since Thursday evening and being a single mother is not what I am cut out to be. I've had Amelia all to myself, no breaks, since 5 pm Friday. By this afternoon, I was getting a little testy.

Amelia is an only child by design. I didn't want her to have to share the love and attention of her parents with siblings. I have always been very purposeful in paying attention to her. While she can be very, very good at entertaining herself, she is also very good at wanting to involve us in her games and imaginary play. I am not very good at setting boundaries with her and I think I am going to have to start consciously making some to save my sanity and her childhood.

Every few minutes this weekend it was Mommy-this and Mommy-that. Maybe it was because her daddy was gone and she was slightly unsettled ... I am just now realizing that. But in the meantime I had a very vocal shadow all weekend. For example, I would go down to the basement to get some laundry and within 30 seconds I would hear footsteps and an urgent, "Mommy, are you down there?" And I'll spare you the battle of the wills that was her bath this morning. She wouldn't wash herself but didn't want me washing her either.

Playing with Amelia can be fun but she is a micromanager. This drives her daddy a little crazier than it drives me, but it does bother me sometimes when she tells me exactly where to sit, exactly what to say, exactly how to say it. I try to give her a lot of leeway in how she conducts herself, so I don't think she is mimicking me. I think she is just a lot like me - a control freak - which leads to the frustrations I have.

I have long known in my head that Amelia is not a mini-me. The world is better off for it, I am sure. So she doesn't behave or react to things the way I anticipate. She doesn't like many of the same things I like, or at least not with the same fervor. Examples include ice cream and pizza, or even eating for that matter; she greatly prefers stuffed animals to real ones so zoos are a complete waste of time, as is pointing out animals along the side of the road like the llamas the other day. She totally had her nose in a book and couldn't be bothered to look up. However, she adores reading so we do have that in common.

Amelia is a very bright, beautiful, healthy, energetic and joyful child. I refuse to sit her in front of the TV unless she specifically asks, and I let her play computer games upon her request. She does play lots of (childrens) music CDs and sings along while making up games, dances or audiences with her stuffed animals. One of the consequences of shunning TV is being more available to her and as the weekend wore on I became a little worn out, which brings us to the grocery store this afternoon.

Before leaving the house, she wrote out our complete list. When we got to the store she wanted to get the items in the order they were listed but I explained to her that we didn't write them down in the way the store is laid out, we wrote them down in the order we thought of them and we were not going to criss-cross the store. She accepted that fact reluctantly. I consoled her by letting her cross things off the list as she put them in the cart. We got to the cat food aisle and she picked out the treats and the food. Then I mentioned that we also needed some (dry) Fancy Feast but that I may get a bigger bag than usual since the cats were really eating a lot of it lately. She announced that I should get the green bag (it's on the top shelf and she can't reach it) but I was looking for the 3 lb. bag which only came in purple and was also considering the Cat Chow Indoor Formula as an alternative. Seeing that I was not retrieving the bag she picked, she loudly complained, "You're not doing the right thing! You never do anything right!" This put me over the top. I can't remember how I started my reply, something along the lines of, "You're right I don't do anything right but I am doing the best I can. I am ready to give up," followed by "Would you like to go find another mother?" While my mind flashed back to 1978 Amelia gave me a look that I couldn't read and I interpreted as incomprehension so I said either, "Would you like a different mommy?" or "Would you like someone else to be your mommy?" (I just remember trying to phrase it in a way that she understood what I meant.) She then looked completely stricken and quietly said, "No." So I said, "Then help me pick out some cat food," and I pulled two off the shelf and she picked the green one, even though it wasn't Fancy Feast. At least the girl is consistent.

I still don't think I am cut out for all the guidance a soon-to-be 5 year-old needs. It takes a lot of extra mental energy for me to consistently make her use words (instead of whining or using hand gestures), not letting her shout or talk over people, getting her to eat neatly, and so on and so forth, on top of all the regular obligations of getting her and me dressed, feeding all three of us, remembering all the appointments and commitments, practicing piano, getting her to and from school, packing lunches, water bottles and anything extra, etc. etc. etc. I keep thinking I am doing something wrong, that she should be learning more by imitation or osmosis and not have to have everything explained to her. And why does she seem to get some things right off the bat and others take FOREVER and have to be repeated ad infinitum (like getting her to figure out she needs to go potty without being told).

I know all moms deal with this but I really don't know how.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The allure of cafeteria food

This morning while Amelia was eating her yogurt for breakfast I put her lunch box on the table. She looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, do you think I can sometimes forget my lunch?" I asked her why and she said because she really likes some of the choices they have at school. I told her that I thought we could probably do that and we would look at the September menu and pick some days. I printed one off at work today and we'll look at it over the weekend. What a big girl!

I pack her lunch so that I know she has food that she will eat and I can also check and make sure she did eat. I am not sure how well she can handle a cafeteria tray and I'm a little concerned she'll be so distracted by everything else that goes on that she may not eat. Like most kids, her little body and overall mood is very affected by whether or not she has had enough to eat and I'm a little worried that by the end of the school day she will be a bit of a whiny monster if she doesn't eat enough at lunch. But as my mother would say, growing up is saying good-bye. She will figure it out.

And yesterday morning when she slept a little later than usual (getting up at 7 am instead of her normal 6:30 am) she wasn't excited about eating her yogurt. She turned to me and said, "They have breakfast at school, you know." I told her I did know that (breakfast is free for all kindergarteners) but I wasn't sure that she always liked what they served. (The other day she told me they gave her poptarts for breakfast and I about died. How is that nutritional?)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Amelia is on a kick where she loves to dress up her animals, but it's not a complicated process. Each animal just gets the first thing she grabs out of her dress-up drawer, whether it's a plastic bracelet, hat or whatever. This started a few weeks ago and now whatever animal she takes with her to bed or in the car has to be "dressed up". It's hilarious to me how important it is to her, too.