We decided this morning that we officially have a quirky little kid. In addition to the baby doll story, she does several other things that are funny in a quirky, strange kind of way. Here are a few of the things that she does:
picks up the clothes that Dan and I leave on the floor and put them in the laundry baskets in the morning
when she finishes eating something, she tells you all done and hands you the bite. She then proceeds to pick up every scrap of that particular food on her tray and hand it to you. Not one green bean can be left on her tray. She'll tell you 3 times that she's all done with it, and if you don't take it, she throws it on the floor.
she thinks it's more fun to help mommy put clothes into the dryer than it is to play in the pool.
if she drops a bite into her seat while she's eating, she says "uh-oh!" and she cannot continue eating until you've gotten the dropped particle of food. We've tried telling her "no big deal!" or "we'll get it later" but she just cannot eat with that food down there.
all bathroom, closet, cabinet, and laundry room doors must be closed. If they are left open, she tells us "no, no!" and closes them, moving her fingers out of the way at the last moment.
the gate at the bottom of the stairs must stay closed. If we leave it open while we're sitting in the living room playing with her, she goes to it and pulls on it, trying to keep it closed.
if she finds something that is a no no, like the remote, she says "no, no!" and brings it to us. But it's not enough for us to just take it; she wants us to put it away - the phone on the hook, the remote control in the holder. And she'll cry until we do it.
her favorite new game is throwing scraps of paper in the trashcan. I was working on something for school and was dropping small bits of paper on the ground. She methodically picked every one up and took it to the trashcan. It took her 10 minutes, but she wouldn't stop until it was done.
she wants our shoes by the door. If we leave them in the kitchen or in the living room, she brings them to us or puts them by the door herself.
It's unbelievable, really, but Allana is right this very moment upstairs falling asleep without her soothie. She is not crying, just rolling around and talking to herself and playing with her lovie.
Evidently sucking her soothie hurt the blisters in her mouth from the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. She was in my bed falling asleep Saturday night when I tried to give her the soothie, and she told me, "no," and then fell asleep without it. When she did the same thing
Sunday night, I realized that an opportunity had presented itself, and I should seize it. So Monday I didn't give it to her, although I did hide one in her crib in case of an emergency.
But when she went to sleep without it again on Monday night, we decided that they would all disappear today.
And in the time it's taken me to write this journal entry, she has fallen asleep quietly - without the soothie!!
Today at school, the assistant director came to my classroom and said, "That little girl down there is so much like you that it's scary!" She then proceeded to tell me the following story about my child:
Allana was walking to the blocks when she passed a grocery buggy full of baby dolls. Someone had just thrown them in there on top of each other. She stopped and took all the babies out of the buggy, and then carefully put them back in one at a time, with each one sitting up neatly in the buggy. She pushed the cart over to the blocks and started playing there. A little boy came over to the buggy full of babies and pulled one out, at which point Allana turns around and tells him, "No no!" She had gotten those darn babies in there nicely, and he better not mess them up.
So around 7:00 tonight, I tried to put Allana to bed.
She screamed her little head off, just like she did last night.
At this point, we're going on 24 hours of her not sleeping well and crying constantly, and I am just completely exhausted. (I had already had a mini-breakdown earlier in the day.)
So I rush to get my baby out of her crib, and I lay down with her in my bed. She immediately stops crying. It's still light a little outside, and we have very thin curtains, so we just lay there and look at each other. She talks about the fan and rolls back and forth, throwing her little arms around me sometimes, other times pushing me away so I won't touch her. She plays with my hair, her hair, the pillow, the sheets...anything to keep from going to sleep. I just keep patting her and telling her night night, that I love her, etc.
After a few minutes, she begins to doze off, and I realize that it's such a sweet time...I'm getting to watch my angel fall asleep and see the little things she does to soothe herself, like rub her lovey's ear on her face. Just before she finally drifts off to sleep, she rolls onto her side, pats my face with her chubby little hand and says very softly, "Tane too," (translation: thank you).
Absolutely priceless...all I can do is lay there beside her and weep. There is no love like this.
We were kind of sad about being stranded in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, but we just couldn't afford to fly home in November and then in December.
Well, Allana's Nana and Paw Paw (Dan's mom and dad) are flying us home for the Thanksgiving holiday! We are so appreciative, and very excited that we won't miss this special holiday with our family and friends. What a wonderful gift from them...it will be a Thanksgiving full of gratitude.
We're flying Express Jet, and we'll arrive in New Orleans Tuesday night. We'll be in Alabama through Friday night. It'll be a quick trip, but it'll be just what we need.
That means we've had family and friends come up in September, we're meeting Dan's family in Gatlinburg for a week in October, we're coming home for Thanksgiving in November, and for Christmas in December!!! What a wonderful way to end the year!
We're trying to talk my brother into coming up to ski in January, so maybe 2008 will be as full of visits from friends and family as 2007 has been.
Last night was pergatory, and I don't even believe in that place. Bedtime is at 7:00, and from that time on, she was up crying every hour. All I could do was hold her until she went back to sleep. Then I'd lay her back down in her bed, she'd sleep for an hour, and wake up screaming. Repeat. All night long.
Around midnight, Dan called to tell me that he was on the way home from work, but the Contour was only going about 15 mph, and the headlights wouldn't come on...needless to say, I was petrified. He finally got home safely, and just about the time he dozed off, Allana woke up again screaming.
So at 8 a.m., she was up, and we headed to the Kids After Hours Express Care at our pediatrician's office. She has some yucky upper respiratory stuff, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. Combine that with 4 teeth coming in at the same time - no wonder she was awake all night!
Anyone with good tips on relieving her symptoms, let me know. I feel terrible for the poor kid.
We went to the store & got more Tylenol and Motrin, and lots of popsicles, all of which the doc says might relieve the pain for her.
No wonder we've had a drooly baby for weeks now...she's got 4 more teeth coming through! Two more bottom teeth are coming in, which will (finally!) give her 4 on the bottom. Her top two one year molars are also in, which means she has 6 on the top. She now has 10 teeth!
We're such bad parents...there's no telling how long these teeth have been coming in, and we didn't even realize it until they broke through. Poor baby!
We had a rough night last night...Allana is getting a head cold, perhaps because of the weather change here; perhaps because we're back to school. Either way, she is having a hard time sleeping at night because her nose is stopped up and she can't breathe well. Even the humidifer is not helping.
So about 4 a.m., she was crying again, and she just couldn't get herself back to sleep. I went in, checked for fever, changed her diaper, and sat down in the rocking chair with her. As soon as I sat down and wrapped her in my arms, she stopped crying and her whole body relaxed. She cuddled her head into my shoulder, and took a deep breath.
I was her safe resting place. And as tired as I was, as much as I wanted to be asleep in my bed, I knew that our rocking chair was the place I was supposed to be right then. She was exhausted and feeling yucky and disoriented, and she needed to be where someone loved her best of all; what a privilege that I can be that place for my daughter.
Dan loves me more than his own life...our extended family loves me...I have friends who love me like family...but no one needs me like Allana does, especially when she's sick in the middle of the night. Sometimes that need feels like an overwhelming responsibility, but in the middle of the night last night, I saw it for what it was - an honor. She is my treasure.
I was so full of joy as I held her close last night that I wept over her and the miracle her life is. Scripture tells us that God rejoices over us with singing...I know that the love I feel for my daughter is only a reflection of the love He feels for me. And I can walk around and act independent and hold his hand as I walk through each day, but oh how I long sometimes to climb in His lap and bury my face in His shoulder and let Him rock me. What a precious Father we have. What a sweet resting place He is for us.
We flew my mom in to stay with us for Labor Day weekend, and that was wonderful, of course. Sue Sue cooked up a storm, tomato gravy, beans and cornbread, homemade chicken salad, even making us a pan of dressing to freeze for Thanksgiving. Yum-o! She & I had pedicures and manicures together, and she got Allana some new, big girl bath towels. We played and talked and just enjoyed each other all weekend.
When she flew back on Tuesday, she took Allana with her to Alabama, where she stayed with Dan's parents for the week. Allana got to visit with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and uncles, and great grandparents. What a special time for her...she had a great time, and although we missed her like crazy, we enjoyed the time alone.
On Sunday afternoon, Allana returned, bringing with her Dan's mom, his sister, and our nephew Noah (6 months old). They stayed with us until Wednesday, and it was such a great visit. Nana spoiled us, buying groceries for us, buying toys for the babies, cooking a big breakfast every morning and taking us out to dinner every night. (We very rarely go out to eat, so eating out so much was a fantastic treat!) We spent lots of time with our precious nephew - Allana can say his name so clearly. She would wake up from naps asking for him. So sweet...
They left on Wednesday, and our dear friend Melis flew in on Friday evening. Melis started pulling gifts out of her suitcase, and Allana kept opening it up, thinking it must be full of gifts! She brought Lana a stool and a stack of books. She loves to sit on the stool and read - and read she does! We must have read the new books she got a thousand times already. We had such a relaxing visit with Melis, doing not much of anything. We talked and napped and watched TV and read books and played with Lana and just enjoyed spending time together.
Our favorite part of all our visitors has been that we haven't had to do a lot of entertaining or going and doing. We have just really embraced each day with our family and friends, savoring the moments with them.
It's a bit lonely and quiet in our house now. We miss home.
We're going to Gatlinburg the second week in October, so we're counting the days until that vacation. Dan's parents have rented a big cabin in the mountains for the whole Davis clan...Dan's parents, our family, Dan's brother and his family, and his sister and her family. Dan's parents will have all their children and grandchildren under one roof for a week....what a special time that will be.
Allana still uses her soothie at naptime and bedtime. She never gets it unless she's in her bed. She doesn't even use it the whole time. She puts it in her mouth to fall asleep, and spits it out when she's good and asleep. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she'll find one and put it in her mouth until she falls back asleep. Her pediatrician said that we needed to get rid of it ASAP, and her pediatric dentist said the sooner, the better.
Any suggestions about how to take a soothie away? Any parents who have been there, done that and want to share ideas?
We're thinking that we'll wait until Thanksgiving break and take it away cold turkey then. That way we won't have to get up early in the mornings if we're up all night.