On Being a Spoiled Princess

I try not to take things for granted, honestly. But a person really gets use to having things a certain way. For me, it’s being a spoiled little princess. I admit there isn’t anything I want for. If we want it, we get it. Simple as that. Don’t get me wrong; we bust our butts, but we make it happen. Neither Simeon nor I came from families with much money, so following the American dream of wanting better for your kids than you had, we work really hard to make sure we have the things that are important to us. It may be a simple as having the luxury to eat dinner in a restaurant (or grab take-out) a couple times a week, have the ability to pause live television, or splurging on a pair of pants that isn’t on sale. It’s just really wonderful having nice things.

Until they break.

In this particular instance, I am referring to my car. I LOVE my car. I waited for a looooong time and worked really hard to get my car. It has soft leather seats, dual climate control, seat position memory, a sun roof, and heated seats. Ohhhh the heated seats. But the other day I noticed my butt warmer wasn’t keeping me quite as toasty as I normally like. I didn’t think much of it, guessing maybe I have become so use to it that it’s kinda dulled. Like my ass is building up a heat tolerance or something. But then over the weekend Simeon was driving, so I was in the passenger seat and since it was literally freezing outside I turned on the heated seats. In just a few seconds my seat was so warm, if my car didn’t display the outside temperature I would never have known it was cold out. I was in heaven! It made me realize just what I had been missing.

So I sucked it up and called the dealership. My car is still under the manufacture warranty (for a few more months–knock on wood!) so they told me to bring it in. Having never had the luxury of heated seats, I had no idea what kinda of maintenance is required. They explained that they have to outsource to another company to fix the seat (since upholstery is required) so it would take a little longer to fix, but they would give me a loaner car in the mean time. Good deal.

Today I said good-bye to my pretty, pretty car and loaded Ana and I into the loaner Taurus. I never knew how much I would miss my car. Now don’t get me wrong, the Taurus is fine. It actually has a really smooth ride. But it is nothing compared to my car. For a moment I considered telling them I was ok with my car how it was. Having a malfunctioning fancy car is better than no fancy car, right? But alas, the logical side of me said if the cold (and snowy!) weather we have been having is any indication, I am gonna want those heated seats working properly. And fast!

I just got off the phone with the dealership and they have to replace the heater motor. I guess I wore it out! They have one in stock, but they have to have another company install it. They should be able to do so first thing tomorrow morning and I should get my car back tomorrow night. Until then, I am stuck in the Taurus. Sigh. It’s so hard being a spoiled little princess…

One Smart Cookie

Ok, I know all parents think their child is a genius, but Ana is smart. Like almost scary smart. Maybe it has something to do with all that brain-developing DHA she’s been eating. When I look at her I can practically see the wheels of her mind working overtime.

She is at that great stage when children start figuring out cause and effect. And boy does she! She knows how to turn the TV on and off, change the stations on my clock radio, start the dishwasher, and the list goes on and on. Hardly a day goes by when she doesn’t figure out how something else works. In fact, she is already challenging all my baby-proofing efforts!

I know it is only her limited 30-something word vocabulary that is keeping her from correcting me on things: “Mama, it’s not pink, it’s magenta.” I can see that Simeon and I are going to have our work cut out for us when she is a teenager.

For example, the other day Ana was playing upstairs when I noticed her take a detour into the guest bathroom. Knowing exactly what she was planning to do, I raced in (beating her by only a second–man, is she quick these days!) and grabbed up the animal’s water bowl before she could splash around in it. Admitting defeat, she walked out of the bathroom and wandered towards my room. I sat down feeling quite proud of myself for preventing the lovely mess that would ensue when Ana sloshed around in the bowl, inevitably dousing herself with water. About a minute went by before I jumped up and ran through my room, into the master bathroom, where I found Ana contently splashing around in the water bowl in there (we keep water bowls for all the animals in each bathroom). She looked up at me with such a proud look on her face. Knowing I would take away the first bowl, she got resourceful and found an alternate bowl to play in. I admit, she beat me on this one. Score: Ana-1, Mama-0.

Now I just have to hope she only uses her powers for good…

Breakfast Musings

You know you have finally become an adult when you realize the cereal you just bought has a toy inside only AFTER it falls directly into your bowl. I remember a day when I would select my cereal purely based on the “prize” inside. Now I pick it based on several factors: 1) whether I will eat it before it goes stale, 2) if it is relatively good for me, and 3) if I can share it with my daughter. I guess it’s good to feel younger than I am, but sometimes it really catches me off guard that I am in my *shiver* late twenties. How the heck did that happen?!

A Letter: Thirteen Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn thirteen months…I know, back to telling your age in terms of months again! Thirteen is usually considered an unlucky number, but not for us. This month has been as perfect and magical as we could ever hope. I had fully intended on only writing these letters to you for the first year of your life, but like a lot of things involving you, I am not ready to give this up. There are just so many things I want to tell you, to share with you, to help you understand what an amazing person you are.

The biggest news of all this month is you are officially walking! You started walking on your birthday and haven’t stopped since. It was perfect timing because so many of your family and friends were all there to witness your first real steps. We had the video camera rolling as you took about ten steps right into your cousin Emmitt’s arms. It took a couple days before you really got the hang of it, but now you walk everywhere with confidence!

But walking hasn’t been your only great accomplishment this month. You have started talking as well. It seems like you learn a new word every day and it is becoming difficult to keep track of your expanding vocabulary. When you learn a new word you mouth it first, then whisper it for a couple days as you practice the way the word sounds coming out of your mouth, then once you are confident you are doing it correctly, you say the word aloud. (Being a perfectionist is totally something you get from me, sorry! But I swear it’s not always a bad thing!) These are the words you can say: Mama/Mom, Dada/Dad, kitty (which is sometimes shortened to just “ki” like you are so excited you just can’t complete the word), Abby (our cat…you can tell what you find important), baby, bite, cheese, treat, up, uh-oh, please (pronounced “peas”), hi, bye, guys (as in “Hey! Guys! Come get me out of my crib!”), happy, book, ball, balloon (pronounced in one syllable as “bloon”), blankie, binky (pacifier), go, yes/yeah, no, and don’t.

But unlike most children who use “no” or “don’t” as part of a tantrum, you use it as more of a baby alarm system. When you are doing something you know you are not suppose to be doing I hear a faint, “No, no…don’t” from across the room. Then I am able to come over and quickly remove the object you shouldn’t have. I can also tell when someone forgot to put the baby gates up because the pitter-patter of your little feet speeds up when you are racing towards something you shouldn’t be doing. I just listen closely to you and your noises and we can prevent most major accidents. Works like a charm!

We have recently expanded your language boom to include some fun “baby party tricks.” When asked what noise a puppy makes, you reply “woof.” In fact, when you hear our dogs bark, you often woof back at them…then more often than not you follow it with a “shhh!” You also know that a sheep says “baa.” But when we try to tell you a kitty says “meow” you simply laugh at us. I think it’s because you have never heard our cats make a noise anywhere close to that. And you would know because you pay very close attention to those cats!

Aside from animals, you are also very into music right now. Anything that sings or plays music captivates you and makes your eyes light up in a way that warms my heart. A lot of your toys sing the alphabet so every once in awhile you belt out a random string of letters. It usually starts with “ahh, bee, cee, dee,” then warps into your own twisted version of what I imagine you think are “letters.” We have also gone to a lot of birthday parties in the last couple weeks and you have become very fond of singing “Happy Birthday” only your version goes more like, “Happy to ooo.” If we even mention the song or say “happy” in a sentence I often hear you whispering the song under your breath.

Oh Ana, my sweet baby girl, I am just so happy you and I are able to spend so much time together. I know you won’t be able to remember these moments when you are older, so I try my very best to document our lives through my website, photographs, and even these letters, so when you grow up you will always know we filled our days with happiness and laughter, but more than anything you will know that you were loved.

All my love,

Happy New Year

My nephew, Emmitt, was born on New Years Eve so more often than not we celebrate his birthday and New Years with my sister and her family. This year wasn’t any different. We all met up for dinner and headed back to their house for cake, ice cream, and games to keep us busy until midnight. On the drive to my sister’s house Ana fell asleep (which was to be expected since it was well after 8pm) but instead of being groggy when we got her out of her car seat and curling up to sleep (we brought her Pack N Play along) she looked around, realized where she was, giggled and took off around the room.

And she didn’t stop until after the ball dropped.

(Photo taken just minutes before midnight.)

Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday!. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2008! If it is anywhere close to as amazing as last year, I can’t wait to get started!