Vista

I Think She’s A Bit Of A Free Spirit

Me: “Vista, maybe you should go put your pyjamas on.”

Vista: “NO!”

Me: “Let me rephrase that.  Vista, go put your pyjamas on.”

Vista: “NO!  I’m going to stay nudie FOREVER!”

Me: “You can do that when you turn 18 and move to a nudist colony.  While you live under this roof, you will have to wear clothes.”

Vista: “I don’t care.  I want to be nudie!”

Me: “It’s not summer anymore.  It’s cold at night. Go put your pyjamas on…. NOW.”

Vista: “Well this sucks!”

 

a) I can’t believe I have to have these conversations with my five year old.
b) I’m starting to sound more and more like my parents.  Kill me now.
c) Clothes are highly over-rated, but I’ll never tell her that.

I Laughed, I Cried, I Peed My Pants

We have been trying, in vain, to potty train Vista for going on a year now.

To say she’s not on board with it is putting it mildly.

Some days she does great.  But we have to be constantly on her, reminding her to go to the bathroom.

And then the arguments start.

Like tonight.

Bil was doing the bedtime routine and part of that is getting her to use the toilet before getting her pj’s on.

He took off her diaper (which was dry – yay) and told her to go pee on the potty.

V:  ”No.”

Bil: “Vista, just go pee on the potty.”

V: “No.  I don’t have to go pee.”

Bil: “Well, just TRY.”

V:  *starts sobbing*  ”No, because I peed in my diaper…”

Bil: “What? No you didn’t.  It was dry.  Now go pee on the potty.”

V: *still sobbing* “Then what was that pssssssss sound?”

Bil:  *completely bewildered*  ”What pssssss sound?”

V: “The pssssss sound…. It was the sound of me peeing in my diaper”  *cue a fresh round of sobs*

(the kid needs an Academy Award.  She can make herself cry at the drop of a hat)

Bil: “Vista…. you did not pee in your diaper.  It was dry.  Now  GO. PEE. ON. THE. POTTY.”

V: “Then what was that psssssss sound?  It was….”

Bil: “No! There was no pssssss sound.  Your diaper was dry.  GO PEE!”

V: “But I don’t have to pee.  I peed in my diaper!”

Bil: “You. Did. NOT. Pee. In. Your Diaper.  It was dry.  If you peed in it, then what happened to the pee?  Did it just vanish?”

V: “Yes!  It vanished!  …… Wait…What’s ‘vanished’ mean?

 

Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the living room listening to this go down.  By the end I think I was laughing so hard I just about peed myself.  Hmmmmm…Perhaps I’m not the best person to be trying to potty train my kid after all.

 

 

 

Paging Dr. Freud

Vista, at the ripe old age of 4, is a master manipulator.

She’s smart.  Waaaay too smart.  And she knows exactly how to play people.

I watch her do it with her therapists when she’s not in the mood to work with them.  She’ll play dumb, bat her eyelashes, cock her head to the side, smile, and give a ‘I don’t know’ shrug.   At which point we’ve now trained her therapists to glance over at me, where I can give a slight nod to indicate ‘yes, she knows this.  She’s just fucking with you right now.’

The other day she was throwing a fit while getting ready for school.  It was only 7:30am and I had already had it.  So I looked at her and told her to drop the attitude.  She stopped, cocked her head to the side and gave me the biggest smile.  In return, I rolled my eyes at her.  ”Nice try.  That might work on some people, but it doesn’t work on Mama.”

Without missing a beat, she let the smile drop and told me, “It works on Daddy.”

*snort*

Yeah, my kid’s no dummy.

This morning she was being a typical four year old, running around and not listening to a thing we had to say.  After 5 hours of this, Bil was understandably tired of it and told her “Enough.  You need to start listening to Mommy and Daddy.  You haven’t been listening at all this morning!”

Again, without missing a beat, she turned to him with a straight face and asked him “Why do you think that is?”

That *boom* you heard was Bil’s head exploding.

 

 

Cranky

Vista is slowly coming down from the two weeks of oral steroids she was on over Christmas for her asthma.  It’s hard to say when she’ll be back to ‘normal’.  But it’s definitely showing in her behaviors.

Her teacher commented on it at preschool on Monday.  When ever one of the kids would approach her she would scream and throw a fit (see: How to win friends and influence people).

Aaaaand that would be why we’re thankful she has an aide in class with her.  To deal with the situations like that.

At home, though, there’s no aide.  Just us.  It makes for some long days.  Add the fact that the steroids interrupt her sleep patterns and you have long nights too.  And I’m one of those people who NEEEEEED to sleep.  I love my sleep.  I covet the sleep I used to get pre-kid.  Lack of sleep = very cranky Jenn.

And that in a nutshell is why I haven’t been on the interwebs lately.

Cranky kid + cranky parents = not fit for human interaction.

But we’re slowly getting back to normal around here.   Whatever normal means.  If someone figures that out, let me know.

As The Seasons Change

Ahhhh… October. The changing of the leaves, the return of the pumpkin spice lattes, pulling the winter wardrobe out of storage…

What? Not everyone gets to experience the joy of packing away all the summer clothes and pulling out your winter outfits that have been packed away for the past…ummm…three months…?

It’s SO! MUCH! FUN! *cough*

I just love having to go through every single shirt and figure out if it still fits Vista or if it can go in the donate pile. Love it, I tell you! I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with an hour of my life. *sob*

Vista on the other hand is beside herself with joy. She’s a firm believer in the theory that a girl can never have too many clothes.

Every shirt she pulls out needs to be ooooooohhh’d and awwwwwww’d over.  Then it has to be hugged.  Like you would hug a long lost friend.  Then she has to exclaim “Oh! My favorite shirt!  I’ve missed it SO MUCH!!” over Every. Single.  Shirt.

It’s a loooooong process.

Don’t even get me started on the absolute elation when she discovered the pile footie pajamas.  She’s a footie girl, through and through.  There might have been squeeing  (on her part) and a few advil popped (on my part).

On the bright side, since she so excited about the new-ish clothes, she’s more than happy to help put everything away in the drawers.   Child labour for the win!

The wardrobe change over does tend to highlight exactly how much your kid has grown over the summer, though.

I put a size 5/6 shirt on her this morning, thinking it would still be fine on my 4 year old.  Uhhh, yeah… that would be a negative. Unless of course I was looking to send her to school in a belly bearing crop top.  Oy.

I am thanking my lucky stars I stocked up on a bunch of size 7/8 winter clothes when they went on sale last spring, otherwise I’d be taking out another mortgage just to keep this kid in clothes.

Have you started the great clothes swap with your kids yet?

 

 

Priceless

Leather couch and La-Z-Boy recliner: $2500
couch Priceless

 

 

Ikea Kura Bed and mattress: $300

after1 Priceless

 

 

Custom book nook: $50

after2 Priceless

 

 

Still being able to fit in a laundry basket: Priceless

inthelaundry Priceless

Silly Simple Words

Thank you to everyone for your hugs and love over the past few days.  They’re both needed and appreciated.

We’ve been watching V like a hawk the past few days.

Super vigilant and on high alert.  The ultimate helicopter parents.

It’s hard not to be.

Luckily though, it seems like the after effects from V’s seizure are mild.

She was a bit unsteady on her feet Sunday morning, but that has corrected itself, and we haven’t seen any other physical issues.

There doesn’t seem to be any behavioral issues from the seizure, either (everyone cheer!!).

It looks like this seziure went after her language center instead.

She’s had seizures in the past where she lost words, and when as a toddler you only have a few words to begin with, it meant she lost her ability to speak.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case this time.

But it’s the weird things that you take for granted that hits you like a punch in the gut when you least expect it.

Last night V wanted to dress up as a kitty cat.  She loves to dress up as a cat with a nose and whiskers painted on her face using my eyeliner.  A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a cat costume for her off Etsy.  Just a little set of ears and a tail.  And so last night when she wanted to dress up, I mentioned that we’d have to wait for the costume to come in the mail.

“Mail?” she said.  ”You mean like press send?”

“No sweetie,” I replied.  ”Not email.  Mail.  It will come to the mailbox and then we can go get it.”

“Mailbox?” she looked at me confused.  ”What’s mailbox?”

“You know… a mailbox… don’t you remember how we walk to the mailbox to get the mail?”

A memory.  A word.  Something simple, and really, without a lot of meaning.  But *poof*, it was gone.  She had no idea what I was talking about.

I saw it again this morning.  She wanted to dress up in one of her play silks.

“Can you tie it around my elbow?”

I looked at her, “Where do you want me to tie it?”

She pointed at her shoulder “My elbow.”

I sat next to her and gently said, “That’s your shoulder, not your elbow.  Where’s your elbow?”

She again pointed to her shoulder.

We proceeded to do a body inventory.  Body parts she’s known and been able to name for years.

She knew where her knee was, but the word ankle was also missing for her again.

*gut punch*

Silly simple words.  Word I know will come back.  Words I know we can easily correct and reteach her if we need to.

But, oh those words.

Their absence says so much.

Please Send Comfort Food

I’m one of those people who can cry at the drop at the hat, sometimes.  If I’m frustrated?  Waterworks.  Angry?  Yup, I’ll tear up.  Watch that commercial on TV with the cute kid?  Well, you get the idea.

I’m having one of those overly emotional days, today.

Vista had a bad seizure last night.  It took her a long time to come out of it, which is very unusual for her.  Usually her seizures are short, and she’s fine right after them.

This one lasted longer and when we were finally able to wake her up after it, she couldn’t tell us her name.  She fell back asleep, which meant we had to continue to try to wake her up every little bit, trying to bring her out of the post seizure and make sure her cognitive functions returned.

Let me tell you… when you can’t wake up your kid, it’s scary.  V’s notoriously hard to wake up at the best of times.  But this?  This was different.  This was holding a ragdoll in my arms.  And just when we thought she might open her eyes she was gone again.

When we finally started to get some response out of her and I was coaxing her to open her eyes, she told me she couldn’t.  She was trying, but her eyes wouldn’t open.  Gah!

It took almost an hour for her to fully return.  That is a loooong 60 minutes of debating whether to bring her into to the ER, chatting with an on-call nurse, and repeating “Vista, sweetie…wake up and open your eyes for Mama” over and over.

This kid is seriously going to give me a heart attack.

She’s better this morning.  A little off on her balance, but otherwise seems to be alright.

I’ll be calling her neurologist on Monday morning to see if they want to do some level checks for her meds, since she’s had a couple growth spurts over the past could months.

But the fact that this seizure was so different than her normal ones… doesn’t sit well with me.

It makes me nervous that they’ll want to talk brain surgery again.  Which REALLY doesn’t sit well with me.

 

So while I’ve been doing the classic ‘worry about things you have no control over’ this morning I realize… wait… where the hell’s my cat?

I haven’t seen him since yesterday.

He always comes home.  Several times a day.  To eat, and get pets, and shed all over my floors.

But, no sign of him.

I couldn’t be Bil’s annoying useless cat that goes missing.  Noooo…it has to be my cat who I love and adore.

*sigh*

 

So I quit this weekend.  And in lieu of crying I’m eating ice cream, and carbs, and other random junk.  Please send wine and margaritas to wash it all down.

 

 

It Started With A Simple Stencil

I’ve been wanting to repaint Vista’s room since before she was born.

In fact, I had this whole beautiful nursery planned out.  But V had other plans with her early arrival.

And so her room went unpainted.

Instead I stuck up some Winnie-the-Pooh decals and, later, Disney Princess decals.  But anything within her reach was quickly pulled down.  So, her room was a very stark and drab, with it’s beige walls and white furniture.  And it’s been like that for 4 long years.

I finally decided I was sick of looking at it and made up my mind that this summer we were giving her room a paint job.  It was way past time she had a room fit for a little girl.

So, I did what any geek would do.  I scoured the internet looking for ideas.

The only thing I knew was that decals were out, as far as decorating went.  Other than that, I was at a complete loss as to what to do with her room.

After months (yes.  really.  months) of looking, I finally settled on a design of pale green walls with pink and white accents.

But, once again, V had other plans.

I was looking at a wall stencil site one evening when Vista crawled onto my lap.

She immediately pointed to a picture.  ”That.  I want my room to look like that.”

I brought up some other pictures for her to look at, but she wasn’t budging.  She wanted fairies on her wall and the walls better be pink… or else.

So I did what any parent would do.  Caved and bought the stencil package  (never mind the fact I’ve never stenciled anything in my life).

And things just went downhill from there…

This is what the room looked like before we started (well, we had gotten as far as clearing stuff out of her room, removing the horrid shelving units from her closet and wall cubby and patching holes before we had an ‘Oh crap…we need before pics!’ moment)

 


before1 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Her armoire (complete with tacky Disney Princess decal) and bed.  Her bed was one of those crib- to -daybed-to-full bed deals.  I love her bed.  She, of course, hates it.

 

 

before2 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Her massive dresser and the weird in-the-wall cubby hole.  The cubby in the far corner originally had a wire shelving unit in it. It came that way when I bought the place and I just never bothered to remove it, despite my intense loathing for the thing.  I figured since we were pulling it out to paint, it could stay out.

 

 

before3 It Started With A Simple Stencil

The closet also had a horrid wire frame shelving unit in it.  Buh-bye.

Vista’s room is fairly small, with several large pieces of furniture.  Too many large pieces.  One of them had to go.  Which kinda made me sad because I really like her furniture.

We made the decision to take the armoir out and got it as far as the living room before realizing that the thing weighed a billion pounds and there was no way we were going to be able to carry it downstairs to the spare bedroom as we had originally planned. We *might* have had an ‘Oh shit’ moment before Bil came up with the genius idea to put it in our kitchen as an extra storage pantry.  Since our appliances are all white, it fits in nicely.  And also makes me want to redo all the kitchen cabinets so that they’re white too.  And maybe refinish the kitchen table.  It’s funny how projects snowball, isn’t it?

Well, Vista’s room was no exception.  It started with a simple stencil kit.  It ended up being a total room makeover.

After pulling the armoire out, we decided it was probably time to get Vista a full sized mattress.  She’s been complaining that her bed it too small for a while.  She’s also been begging me to paint her bed pink.  I really, really, don’t want to do that. Really.  Like I would cry if I had to.  So instead we headed to Ikea to look at new (cheap) beds.  Because we’re giant suckers and our daughter is spoiled.  Oh, like you wouldn’t do the same.

We wandered around the kids bedding section at Ikea for an hour.  The single beds were ugly.  The full size beds would be to big for her room.  Well…this wasn’t working out how we had planned.

We saw a loft bed that we thought might work, but the reality is we would have to make huge modifications to it in order to make it safe for V to go up and down right now.  That sounded like work.  And effort.  Neither of which I’m terribly fond of.  But, wait! We found out that same bed can be flipped upside down!  Twin bed today, loft bed if she ever get’s coordinated enough to handle it.  Those crazy Swedes.

So we had our new bed.  And then we decided, oh what the heck… lets find a shelving unit to go in the closet while we’re here.

And of course a new bed means new sheets and comforter.

Oh, and then we saw this adorable light fixture that was just PERFECT!

(You see where I’m going with this…right?)

Yeah.

That $80 stencil kit turned into a $1500 complete room reno.

Which we are going to invoice her for on her 18th birthday.  Plus the cost of labor, because ZOMG it was a lot of work.

So….

*drumroll*

This is how the room turned out (and it’s still a work in progress).

 

 

after1 It Started With A Simple Stencil

The new bed.  I hate the canopy on it.  I wanted to do some pretty pink drapes or something more feminine.  V and Bil love the ‘tent’.  I totally got out voted.

The walls look like a pale pink in this picture…they’re actually quite a bright pink.  I had a bit of buyers remorse on the paint once we got the second coat on, because, ZOMG, it’s a lot of pink.

On the to-do list is to paint the wooden bed frame in either a dark pink or white (what say you, my readers?).  I just ran out of time this weekend.

 

 

after2a It Started With A Simple Stencil

The ugly cubby was painted a darker pink and turned into a little reading nook.  I still need to find and put up some little book shelves on the far wall of it.

We ended up, with taking the armoire out and the new furniture arrangement, being able to put V’s toy kitchen in her room.  And she still has more floor space then she had previously.  Bonus.

 

 

after2 It Started With A Simple Stencil

A close up view of the cubby and the wall stencil.  V was totally head over heals in love with this mushroom stencil.  I’m pretty sure that means she’ll be a drug addict when she’s older.

 

 

after3 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Rather than a shelving system, typical of closets, we opted for a wooden bookcase type unit.  I like how it recesses into the closet, but still has plenty of storage space.

 

 

after4 It Started With A Simple StencilThe stencil as you walk into the room.  I have to say I’m really happy with the look of the stencils.  They can be a bit of a pain to place on the wall properly, then time consuming to paint (especially if you want to layer them).  But the final results are amazing and totally worth the effort.

I only had time to get a couple stencils on the wall, but I will be adding more in the weeks to come.

Overall, I’m happy with how things turned out (I could have done without the attached price tag, though, but hey).

Now… to do something about those kitchen cabinets…

 

 

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