Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Great Name Debate...

Names are a funny thing. I remember when we were picking names for the baby (back when we did not know if Dotty was going to be a boy or a girl). Tony and I had such a time. Of course now I cannot imagine Dotty being named anything else...she is such a Dotty!

My mom has had a time with names as well. Presley started off in life calling my mom "Grandma" and then just one day out of the blue switched Mom's name to "Memaw" and has never gone back.

I wanted Dotty to call my mom "Grandma" for many reasons...
1. I had a Grandma - Wanda Montz - and Tony had a Grandma - Mary McGhee.
2. Both mine and Tony's "Grandmas" knew each other and were friends.
3. Dotty's middle name - Marie - is after my Grandma.
4. My other grandmother (Mom's mom) was called several different names by each set of grandchildren. Jake and I call her "Mother", my cousin Tracey calls her "Monie", and my cousin Will calls her "Grandma" (I am not sure what the Josh, Matt, and Megan called her when they were little (now they call her Mother) because they lived in Georgia and we were not around them as much). So along these same lines my mom would have different names too...Memaw by Presley and Grandma by Dotty.

I have found though that children can be very headstrong...especially my own child. She now calls my mom Memaw and no amount of me gently correcting her seems to be changing that. There were times when Dotty would be around Presley for a good while and she might start calling my mom Memaw but after a few reminders from me that Mom's name was Grandma Dotty would change back.

Now though I spent all day Monday trying to get Dotty to call my mom Grandma and she went to bed crying for Memaw and woke up wanting to see Memaw...so...Memaw it is. It was an uphill battle anyway. Even Tony would refer to my mom as Memaw when he talked to Dotty and of course Jake and Keri called Mom Memaw since Presley did...but the one who more than likely influenced Dotty the most was Presley because Dotty wants to do everything like Pres!

So now the only hard thing to do will be for me to learn to call my mom Memaw. A part of me is sad to be losing the name "Grandma" but I am sure I will come to love the name Memaw as well. After all...the name is not what really matters but rather the person. Dotty has a great Memaw...just like I had a great Grandma.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Full Bloom...

Around these parts the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are in full bloom. I love seeing them along the highways and in people's yards. I even have 2 bluebonnets growing in my front yard (and thank you Chad for not mowing them over).

Dotty has had her pictures made in the bluebonnets every year since her very first spring when she was only 7 months old and Rocky and Delnita Bray let me go in their back yard to snap some pictures of Dotty. Back then the little chunky monkey was almost too chubby to sit up on the blanket while I danced around her taking her picture. Dotty was amazed at the blue flowers with white tops blowing in the wind and she spent most of the time trying to eat the bluebonnets or having a staring contest with the cows that had come up to be an audience for her photo shoot.

The next spring when Dotty was about 18 months old we walked the short distance behind our house to Patti Bray's house (where Patti's Grandmother had lived) and took Dotty's annual "Bluebonnet Pictures" in the side yard (thanks to Patti having spared them from being mowed down by Rocky). That year had its own challenges. Since Dotty was so mobile she had no plans of sitting still for a picture and she really didn't care to being "positioned" in the wooden chair that my grandmother (Mother) had given her. Dotty wanted to run and play and so I was lucky to get a least one good one of her that year.

This year Dotty and I once again headed just across our yard to Patti's grandmother's house. The bluebonnets were growing wild in the front of the house which was a good thing since Patti is off at school and Rocky mowed over the patch of bluebonnets in the side yard. The bluebonnets were beautiful and so thick. I just knew I would get tons of gorgeous pictures from Dotty this year...I was clearly mistaken.

Try telling a 2 and a half year old that it is against the law to pick the state flower...Dotty is apparently not too concerned about her "permanent record" at this point in life...either that or she is confident she can get out of a ticket with her blue eyes and sweet smile. I spent the entire 30 minute process trying to keep Dotty from trampling all the bluebonnets down as she made her own personal parade through the patch and telling her to "stop picking the pretty flowers!"

Recently my mom (Grandma) has taught Dotty how to pick dandelions and blow them. So now Dotty thinks all flowers will "blow". Those poor bluebonnets did not stand a chance in the chubby hands of a 2 year old. Oh well...we did get a couple of really cute ones and I have the memories of the photo shoot which I cherish more than the actual pictures.

As a side note...I went back a few days later and the bluebonnets seemed to have rebounded fine...the patch was full as ever and you could not even tell Dotty had been right in the middle of it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

School Program...

Dotty had her first ever school program last night and she did great! She performed "I'm a little birdie" and she was the best little birdie ever!!! (No bias here of course.)

There was a slight "wardrobe malfunction" though. Dotty's "birdie" cap fell off during the performance, but like a true professional she knew that "the show must go on" and so she did the song with flare...and a slightly lopsided cap.

Thanks to all who attended to applaud her performance! I know it was a long night for about 5 minutes worth of Dotty on the stage. However, we will all have fond memories of her first public appearance in front of a rather large (several hundred people) crowd.

We also have it caught on numerous electronic devices so if she ever gets famous (or has a boyfriend) we will have plenty to embarrass her about later in life.

Bye-bye Birdie!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dotty's First Trip to the Dentist Chair...

Dotty went to see a dental hygienist that works with her Aunt Julie on Friday, April 16th. From what I understand, the office does not really see patients that day but it is open so Dotty got to just hop in and hop out.

Dotty did really well with Sheryl and Sheryl was WONDERFUL with Dotty (Thanks so much!). Dotty got up in the chair and let Sheryl look at her teeth under the light. Sheryl was explaining to me that Dotty did not have a top baby tooth and that she would definitely need braces some day based on her bite but all in all she looked pretty good. At this point Dot burst out in tears! It was a bit of a surprise to all of us but I think the shock had finally wore off and Dot was a little scared.

Luckily Julie held Dotty and got in the chair with her and Sheryl was able to clean on Dotty's teeth a little. I am amazed at how well Dotty did with Sheryl cleaning her teeth. She just laid on top of Julie so still and even let Sheryl give her teeth a good brushing (which at home it is quite the choir to get Dotty to brush her teeth).

When it was all over Dotty got to pick out toys (several thanks to Aunt Julie) from the toy box, got her a new tooth brush, and away we went. I was very nervous about Dotty and this visit but it all went very well.

Enjoy the pics!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wild Rides at Waurika

For those of you that are local to the North Texas area you may know about Waurika, OK and the annual Rattlesnake Roundup that takes place every April. For those of you that do not know about such an event you are truly missing out on a "life experience".

Saturday we took Dotty to the Roundup to ride on the carnival rides and play the carnival games that come with the Rattlesnake Roundup. Luckily we missed the actual rattlesnakes! Dotty loved all of it and this child (unlike both her parents) has no fear of heights.

She rode on the Farris Wheel (both Tony and I were not crazy about that ride...especially getting stuck at the top...but Dotty nicely patted Tony's hand and told him everything would be okay...it is sad where your 2 year old has to be the one with the calm head). Dotty also rode the flying elephants 1 and a half times (the last ride had to be stopped due to Dotty crying to get off...she was getting a little tired at that point), the carousel twice (once on the giraffe and once on the monkey which she claimed looked like "Boots"), and the alligator train which she hated and cried to get off as well...it was a little too bumpy for her. She rode down the big slide numerous times with Bara, Tony, and me and she and I rode the strawberry ride (this one is very similar to the teacup ride).

She won prizes at the Duck Pond and the Fishing Pond. Howard tried a few other games but didn't have much luck. All in all it was a great night of fun.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Leave Some Kisses...

I am always reminded of how children Dotty's age take what people say so literally and thus I have to be careful what I say around her. The other day I was giving Dotty tons of kisses on her cheeks and all over her face and I said, "I am getting ALL your kisses!" She stopped laughing and pulled away from me and very seriously said, "No Momma. You can't have all my kisses. I need to save some for Daddy." I thought that was very touching and sweet and it reminded me that Dotty listens to every thing I say and takes it to heart and even when I am joking with her she takes it as the gospel truth.

Just like any parent of a young child I have to watch what I say because little ears and little eyes are around and the while it may be easy to say "Do as I say not as I do" little ones tend to do as their parents do! Thus I have cleaned up my language tremendously...not to say that I cussed a lot before Dotty but even words like darn, dang, gosh, and crap are not good for little kids to say. I have also found that words like boobs, butt, poop, stupid, dumb, idiot, ugly, and so many more (while used properly are not deemed bad to adults) when a 2 year old says them can seem inappropriate (especially when she screams them out in the middle of a store). It is much nicer to say tush, poo-poo, or silly and little ones do not seem to get as much of a kick out of screaming the word tush and they do out of the word butt...or at least mine doesn't.

I have also begun to just watch what I say in general. Too often I make sarcastic and most of the time needless and useless remarks. As life has gone on I have become calloused by the world and have begun to focus more on the negative than the positive. I don't want Dotty to be like that and I myself don't want to be like that. Therefore, I have begun to see the world in a whole new light...more like how Dotty sees it. New, exciting, full of possibilities! It is much more fun to see things that way than to see them the other!

I have also started going by the old saying "If you cannot say something nice do not say anything at all" and I like it a whole lot better. Even if I was only joking when I made a comment if it was negative then I know it was on some level hurtful. Of course to those of you who know me best and are reading this you can attest to the fact that I am not perfect. I still have days where I say and do things that are not positive and do not make the world a better place...but I am trying.

I think we should all try harder to be childlike and be happy with the simple things. Dotty tells me every day when I pick her up either from school or from Kathy's "I had a wonderful day." I am sure she did have a wonderful day but I am also sure there were times when she was not getting her way and was thus unhappy about it...yet all she remembers is that she had "a wonderful day".

I hope you all have a wonderful day too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Dotty has become a pro at hunting Easter Eggs. After 3 different hunts on Sunday she can now find an egg 20 feet away, hiding under a rock, with her back to it. She is just that good! And she loves to hunt for eggs. Even when all the eggs have been found and everyone has left church and just Ruth Ann, Howard, Bara, Tony, Dotty, and me are the only ones left in the parking lot Dotty will still claims there are more eggs to be found and by golly she is going to find them!

Dotty did have a big Easter! Thanks to all our friends and family that girl has more chocolate than the Hershey's manufacturing plant! She made a haul in not only candy but also toys, "girl stuff", clothes, money, and even a tricycle! The Easter Bunny sure has upped the prizes since I was a kid. I think the biggest thing we got as kids was that solid chocolate Easter Bunny that you could only eat the ears because after that your stomach hurt from all the chocolate!

We hope you all had a "Hoppy Easter"!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dotty is a "Dora Girl"...

Tony and I are not the type of parents that stress over a lot of things. Mainly we worry that Dotty is too skinny but other than that we don't get overly excited if she gets her clothes dirty, drops her sippy on the floor then immediately picks it up and starts to drink it again without us washing it off, picks up bugs, dances to Beyonce, or things of that nature. I know I personally never make a big deal about Dotty being "dressed to impress" (except for church) and her hair is usually a mess when I have her (although I am getting better about at least keeping it out of her eyes).

(As a side note...Ruth Ann does a great job of getting Dotty super cute and she always has her hair looking great and Julie makes sure Dotty's toes are painted up pretty. My mom's apartment is Dotty's own personal "nudist colony" so she never wears clothes there and if they go out Mom is a firm believer in sweat pants, tshirts, and crocks.)

All this being said, everyone on both sides of the family watches a lot of tv...or at least we have the tv on in the room whether we are actively watching it or not. I realize some parents are sticklers for how much their children can watch tv but not me and Tony. Dotty is a big fan of Nick Jr. and loves Dora, Diego, The Wonder Pets, The Backyardigans, Wow Wow Wubzy, Kai-lan and so many more.

I watch a lot of these shows with her (mainly because she watches them in the living room since she does not have a tv in her room) and I find them very educational. (One night Dotty was gone and there was not much on tv and I caught myself watching Dora because it was one I had not seen before...sad but true.)

Dotty seems to be doing fine even with all the tv she watches. She can count to 13 in English, 10 in Spanish, she knows her ABC's, she sings tons of nursery rhymes, she can do puzzles, she has quite a vocabulary (as you can tell I am one of "those mothers") and she she is active (wow is she active). So I don't think tv is all bad (of course Dotty does stay with a retired school teacher 2 days a week and goes to preschool 2 days a week but even so keep reading because I do have a point...).

This past Tuesday I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and Dotty was in the bedroom where Tony has an old water jug (the kind that goes on the stands) that he throws change in and Dotty had stuck her hand in the jug to reach for the money. Her hand was slightly stuck (because she was spreading her fingers and could not get her hand out. I got it out just fine but did remind her that sticking her hand in there was not a good idea). She called out "Mommy help me! Ayuda me! Ayuda me!" At first I had no clue what she was saying so I asked her and she replied "I was saying "help" like Dora does."

So there you go. Dora (and tv in general) cannot be all bad. My 2 year old child probably knows more Spanish and Chinese (thanks to Kai-lan) than I do. Although I am learning a few words myself from watching with her.

Little brains are amazing. Little minds work mysteriously. Little mouths say the cutest things.

Adios, Zai jian, Bye!