Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crowns are Heavy

Have you ever held a "real" crown in your hands? One that was made from real gold and diamonds and jewels and all that "glittery" stuff?

I have never held one but (like everything else these days) I Googled it. Royal crowns (those worn by actual kings and queens) usually weigh between 2 to 5 pounds. At first you probably think this is not too heavy but get a two pound weight and balance it on your head for a few hours and see how you feel.

Today Memaw sent me a picture of Dotty all dressed up in her princess outfits complete with shoes and crown. The caption said, "...being a princess is a full time job." How true it is.

Sometimes being an only child means that all the focus is on you. While I don't know what that feels like personally (since I have an older brother and he has had his fair share of the sibling spotlight) I do know what it is like to be the mother of an only child.

My world revolves around Dotty...her schedule...her eating...her sleeping...her likes...her dislikes...her good moods...and her bad ones. I spend many moments of my days talking to her, playing with her, snuggling with her...and sometimes just looking at her (in amazement that she is mine).

I often worry that her "crown" (that of being my only child) will someday be a heavy burden for her to bear. I worry that having so much of my attention will not only spoil her but also cause her to feel added pressure in life.

While I hope this is never the case, I do realize that it is a possibility. Growing up I always said the only thing I could go on the Jerry Springer Show and complain about was that my parents loved me TOO much (of course these days it would be Dr. Phil but you get the idea...not a very compelling show).

I do love Dotty more than life itself...but I never want my love to be overwhelming to her. She will always be my princess...I just hope the crown doesn't get too heavy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marketing Genius

I took a lot of Marketing classes in college. I have even used some tricky techniques a time or two to entice my customers to buy things at my store. I also think that my knowledge of marketing strategies makes me a better consumer. However, Dotty is so innocent that she is easy prey for toy marketers.

For this exact reason I do not let Dotty watch Nick on t.v. All morning long they have commercials running for toys and games and everything else any child from the age of 8 months to 8 years old would love to have.

Today I wasn't paying that close of attention and I just say "Dora" on my t.v. guide. I turned it on for Dotty and left the room. Three seconds later I was being summoned into the living room with a "Hurry! Hurry! You are going to miss it!" cry from my sweet child.

What I was about to miss was an add for a was furry, it barked or purred, it drank real water and really made a mess on the floor (if you failed to take it out for a walk) get the idea. Dotty wanted one of each. My first thought was "no way" second thought was "who has a grudge against parents so bad they would create this toy"...and my third thought was "a marketing genius".

I simply told Dotty we would see about the toy. Before I could find the remote to change the channel, two more commercials came on and Dotty NEEDED both toys...asap...PLEASE! (At least she remembers her manners when she is demanding things.)

One toy was a toy set that had no less than 100 small pieces and if you lost even one of them the whole set would not work...of course batteries were not included.

The other toy was a pirate type thing...clearly geared toward boys...but as Dotty told me...she was open to playing with all types of toys...not just girl ones.

I changed the channel as fast as I could. God love Nick Jr. and those who created it. NO COMMERCIALS!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dotty as Bridezilla

Yesterday Dotty dressed up like a "bride" at Memaw's house...complete with veil, shoes, and bouquet. She even had Memaw and me serve as her "bridesmaids"...but we were more like slaves if you want me to be honest.

I don't usually let Dotty watch anything but Disney movies and Nick Jr but somehow that girl must have seen the show "Bridezilla" because the word Diva does not even begin to say how demanding Dotty was.

Memaw and I were told when to walk, how to walk, when to talk, what to say, and we were severely scolded if we did not obey. I am telling you if looks could kill I would be dead several times over by now.

After plenty of time had passed playing "bride" (let me tell you 30 minutes felt like 3 hours) I told Dotty it was time for us to go home. When she asked if she could wear her bride's outfit home you had better believe it that I did not object. I value my life too much.

However, when she requested (that sounds better than demanded...but we all know the truth don't we) that I wear my veil home as well (our bridesmaid's outfits were quite elaborate) I tried to decline. When I saw what was about to be the result of my refusal (and Memaw's pleading look for me to just give in) I decided to withdraw from this battle in hopes of winning the war.

I got several double looks from the people who passed by...but it was all worth it. I had a happy girl...a happy bride...and a happy ending.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flashing the Catholic School

Dotty and I live across from a catholic school. We love it. It is not a big school so traffic is not bad and we get the benefit of people slowing down in the "school zone". Plus for 3 months out of the year there is practically no traffic at all.

The only down side is when school is in session and we have to acclimate back to students walking by, parents dropping off kids, etc. The first few days I watered my plants outside with my curlers in my hair without even really realizing it.

Today was the best though...Dotty usually comes outside with me when I water to play or help me water or just enjoy any temperature below 110 degrees and she is usually still in her pajamas at this point. This morning she was playing with her mermaid dolls in a puddle I had made for her when she hopped up and rain inside to go potty. When she came back out I told her I was almost done and to grab up her mermaids so we could go get ready for school.

In an effort to not get her nightgown wet, Dotty hiked up her dress and bent over (tushie facing the school) to get her toys. I was too late to stop the action.

Dotty had just done a full moon to the catholic kids and parents.

I did not know whether to be mad, be embarrassed, be on the lookout for CPS, or be amused. I chose to be amused but Dotty and I did have a talk about what we have to be wearing when we are outside...#1 on the list is panties.

I am also still on alert for a call from CPS...and I have a feeling that if I were catholic this event would call for a Hail Mary or two.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 2 - Not as Much Excitement

Day two of school was not met with as much excitement as day one. In fact, with less than 30 minutes before we needed to be walking out the door, Dotty was refusing to get dressed, eat breakfast, or let me do her hair. She was complaining of a headache (I am beginning to think I say that I have one too much to her...although I have had some horrible migraines this summer...lack of rain I am sure).

After I calmly counted to ten, I pointed out to Dotty that in order for her to get a blue snow cone AFTER school...she had to actually GO to school. I am not sure how this bribe will work when the snow cone stands close down for the winter. But for today it got her up and moving...s-l-o-w-l-y...but moving nonetheless.

Of course when we got to Mrs. Grace's class I could barely get a hug goodbye.

As I walked down the hall I heard all the crying and tears of the 2 and 3 year olds who were going to school for the first time. It reminded me of Dotty's first few days when she was 2 and started at this school. Those days were hard ones...on her and me.

While I am glad she does not cry and hang on to my leg anymore...there is a part of me that is sad that she is growing up so fast. Before I know it she will be heading out to Kindergarten, then Junior High, then High School, then will all happen in the blink of an eye.

So tomorrow if she is moving sort of slow and wants to dance to one more song before we leave...instead of demanding that she get in the car...I plan to just dance and know that all too soon the song will end.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011-12

Dotty went to her first day of school today. She actually goes year round but she has a new teacher now and a new classroom. This classroom comes complete with a bird named Beaker and a fish named Norman. Hopefully this will keep Dotty from asking for a pet of her own for at least a week or two. Dotty is super excited about her new class and of course I am super excited about anything that makes Dotty super excited!

(Side Note: On a personal note, for me I realize I am not "Mother of the Year" but today I felt totally inadequate. I only took two pics of Dotty on her "first day of school". Several parents were not only taking no less than a million pictures but they were also videoing the entire event. I even think one set of parents actually hired a film crew to document the entire process...step by step. That poor kid will someday have that video showed on his first date, high school graduation, and at his wedding no doubt.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dotty's 1st Soccer Practice

Tonight Dotty had her very first soccer practice. She is playing in the "under 4" division due to her birthday. However, she will be 4 before her first actual game. Thus she is one of the older girls...although she is not one of the biggest girls on the team...she is still sort of petite.

She did fairly well overall. She was a little timid and seemed sort of shy but she listened well and had fun so that is all that matters.

I am trying to not be a "helicopter" parent...thus I am trying to not "hover" over her. But it is hard!

I am not sure she will be in the World Cup in the future but she might score a goal or two during her soccer career.

I just wish it was indoor soccer...I prefer climate control!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Highlights from Dotty's Vacation

According to Dotty the best things about the Nichols family vacation were...

#1 The airplane ride! It was Dotty's first but the thing that impressed her the most was that "they served you drinks!" Dotty got a Sprite on the way to Denver and a Coke on the way to Dallas. She informed me Dr. Pepper was not an option.

#2 The minivan. While Tony and Brittany appeared less thrilled about their wheels in Colorado, Dotty was apparently very sad to see the minivan returned. She asked both me and Brittany if we could get one. Needless to say, both Brittany and I declined to trade in our SUVs.

#3 Smurfs. The kind you get in the McDonald's Happy Meals. It appears Dotty got 3 different Smurfs while in Colorado...and to an almost 4 year old that is way more impressive than the Rocky Mountains.

I know Dotty got to do a lot of great things and spend a lot of quality time with her family. It is always just so funny to me how kids view things in life...what is important to them...or at least what they say is important to them.

The best part of the vacation for me was seeing Dotty's face when I picked her up at the airport in Dallas. Priceless! I still get teary just remembering it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Half Way There...

I am about half way through Dotty's vacation with the Nichols. While I have got a lot done, I am missing her quite a bit.

Last night I did not even want to go home to a quiet, empty house. Normally I would have a million things to do...laundry, dishes, dinner, etc. But when I don't have to give a bath, play dress-up games, or dance with Dotty I am able to get things done faster...therefore everything was done up on Sunday.

The evenings when Dotty is home usually seem so hectic and fast. Last night felt so empty and slow. I sat back in my room and watched my tv show and I did not even have to set the DVR in order to watch it.

Life with an "almost" four year old is definitely more difficult...but it is also way more fun. I know Dotty is having a blast on family vacation (in fact I hear she is practically living in a hot tub) but I am ready for my little girl to be home.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

First Plane Ride

Yesterday Dotty took her first plane ride. She flew Southwest Airlines with Tony, Brittany, and Dylann (it was also Dylann's first plane ride but I have a feeling she was not as excited as Dotty was).

I heard Dotty did a great job on the flight. According to Tony there were lots of "Whoo Hoos" from Dotty and they were stated in a loud, excited voice. Luckily the other passengers were friendly and enjoyed her excitement...or at least faked it.

Dotty will be gone for over a week on vacation with the Nichols. The Nichols go on vacation every year and it is a wonderful family tradition that I always want Dotty to be a part of.

While I am thrilled Dotty is getting to share in that side of her family's traditions a part of me already misses her terribly. I have not been away from her for this amount of time since December 2009.

It is hard on me to miss out on moments like Dotty's "first plane ride" but I have to remember that Tony misses out on a lot too. That is just the lives we now lead.

I am so glad Dotty did get to share her first plane ride with her Daddy. I know that is a memory he will always cherish. I hope they have a great vacation and a safe one too.

Side Note: I also want it to be known that when I went on Nichols Family Vacations we had to drive 10+ hours to our destinations. Flying was never discussed. Just wanted to point that out. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Next Donald Trump...

Dotty could make even Donald Trump stand up and say "Yes Ma'am!" She is one bossy child. And if you don't jump to it...

You are fired!