I told sitter mom that Lexi was obviously going through some growth and I did not blame her at all for Lexi's outbursts. Lexi has always loved Allen and has never, ever cried for me. Lately, she has been asking for me more and wanting to spend more time with me. We think it's because she knows things are changing. She may also just be getting a little more clingy. I figured this may have been a manifestation of those new desires. I did have the little mommy feeling, though, that something else might have been going on to make Lexi feel so uncomfortable.
Lexi has never been afraid of new places, timid or shy around anyone. She never had a problem with nursery or any of the other people she's stayed with. She's been with big groups, small groups, one on one and so forth. Anyhow, I was trying hard not to be over protective mommy here and give Lexi a chance to get through the tough times and eventually settle in. Things just kept getting worse and worse though. I had decided that I would wrap up with the new sitter to save her the anguish of watching a high maintenance kid and to save Lexi the trauma. As it turns out, last Thursday was the last day new-sitter mom could watch Lexi and with my client's horse being lame, I wasn't in need of a sitter anyway. So, as usual, things kind of just worked out the way they should.
Well, my client's horse is ok and I need a sitter 3 more times before my contract is over. I asked the same friend who had been at the sitter's on the fateful day last week if she'd be willing to watch Lexi. She's had her a couple of other times and all goes well. We were both a little curious to see if Lexi would be her normal self or scared. When S got here today, Lexi ran to the door and said, "You carry me?" S, being the nice mommy she is (I say, NO! you can walk) picked her up. Lexi looked back at me and said, "Bye Momma". Totally comfortable, willing, and agreeable. When I picked her up, she had been great and was happy. S told me she had worried that Lexi would be upset after seeing her at the other sitters, but was glad to see she was fine.
We talked a bit and S mentioned that the other sitter mom had seemed really overwhelmed when she was there. My thought: well, she had a blubbering 2 year old to watch, her 4 year old's preschool co-op to deal with, and two other kids under the age of 3 to manage. How could I fault her for seeming a little stressed that day? On that last day, we had visited a little while before I took Lexi home. I observed some things that kind of solved the puzzle for me. One of the girls pushed Lexi aside to get by and then slammed a door in her face. It wasn't directed at Lexi to be mean, really, but I could see how with 4 older girls around, if that happened a lot, Lexi might get intimidated. The energy is different at the house, but not in a bad way. Just different. I think she just felt out of sorts.
I still think this mom is great. I would trust her with any of my kids, anytime. After having observed, discussed, and pondered, I really just think the setting didn't jive with Lexi. I don't think that has any reflection on the quality of the family one bit. I'm glad I listened to my "mommy sense" and decided to let that one day be the last day. Even if it wasn't anything terrible or harmful, there's no reason for Lexi to be that upset or for this mom to have to try to deal with it. After seeing her reach out to my friend today, I felt relieved about my choice. I know Lexi won't always have the choice to leave a situation when she's not comfortable, but I do think I'll always listen to that voice and try to figure out the best solution.
It's a wind chime. Lexi makes sure to jingle it around every time we walk in or out of the front door.
Allen took a long lunch to help me a bit with some of the decor. In the kitchen, we had already put up the The Family: Proclamation to the World and The Living Christ. I found these cute iron words and made a little grouping out of them. The words had arrived and we hung those, too. After helping me for a bit, he went to get more lumber for the rest of the cement forms. He had to have them done Friday because we needed to start pouring cement first thing Saturday. He took a break for dinner with the elders and went back out to work until after dark.
Saturday, he went out at 6:30 a.m. and got all of the forms done around 9. We had a young man from the ward come over to help and he got here around 9, too. I picked up the cement and they had it all poured by 10:30 or so. Lexi and I returned the mixer and went inside while Allen and Kevin finished the mow strip. The weather was great and having an extra set of hands was really helpful. We're finally done with cement for the lawn! So far, we've poured close to 6 yards of cement to accommodate the 2,000 square feet of lawn that's coming.
Allen got done finishing the mow strip at 1 p.m. and showered quick so we could leave at 1:15 to go to a friend's volleyball game in Albuquerque. Lexi had a really good time and kept telling us, "I'm watchin' da girls!" The teams were #1 and #2 in the state so it was a good match. The daughter of our friend is a senior in high school and has a full ride scholarship to a college in the South to play volleyball. We first met her when she was going into her Freshman year of High School. It's sad to say it took us 4 years to finally make a game, but at least we got to see her play before she leaves this summer. We went to an early dinner and picked up Lexi's furniture on the way home.
We're SO glad to have all of the cement work done. We felt like we were literally running from one commitment to the next all weekend, but we had a great time with our friends and felt really good about meeting our family's goal to feed the elders.
I made the famous cream cheese ball for mutual on Wednesday night. This treat is soooo good. The first time I made it, some of it came home. I kept it on the plate I served it from and Allen and I would graze throughout the day. One day, I pulled the platter out and was helping myself in front of the TV. Allen walked through the door and said, "Back at the trough, I see." Isn't he sweet!?!
Lexi has taken an interest in everything I do lately. When I'm cooking, I hear her yell, "Mom, where are youuuu?" After learning my precise location, she comes running in, "What are you doing?" I tell her what I'm doing and she says, "I wanna see". I figure a person is never too young to learn so I prop her up on the bar stool and tell her exactly what is going on. While I was making the treat, she came running in. When I finished mixing some of the ingredients, I pulled the beaters out of the mixer, and offered one to Lexi.
She loves doing hair right now, too. Most of the time, she does her baby's hair or my hair. Today, she gave Mia a new do.
I didn't think it was that bad.
Lexi had a blast helping Allen with the tractor.
Everytime Allen would step down to do something, Lexi made her move...
She was sooo proud of herself.
Now you see it...
Now, a bucket full of tools may not seem romantic to many, but for Mr. Allen Riddle, this screams I love you.
Happy Anniversary Allen!
I couldn't resist throwing this one in. I love Allen's expression!
This year, if all goes sort of according to what we think may happen, should be pretty great. (Everything's great in 2008, right guys.) We're closing in on our goals for the house which will finally afford us some family time. We have a new baby on the way. Lexi is thriving. Allen and I, somehow, managed to grow closer through all of those trials and feel more united than ever. The refiners' fire is never a comfy place, but sometimes, is the only way to get where we need to be in our lives. Even though the last year was tough in lots of ways, we learned a lot about each other and when faced with our next challenge will be able to draw on those lessons to help us get through them with a little more grace (hopefully).
Allen asked her if she wanted a cookie and she said, "No, I'm not a cookie monster."
Today, we were looking at flowers. If she asks what color an object is, I ask her right back giving her the chance to name the correct color. Today, she asked me right back. When I responded, "That's a pink flower." She said, "That's right! Good job."
Lexi would cover her "ears" and say "LOUD!" when Allen used the jackhammer.
She's taken to laying in the dirt lately. She tells us that she's going to lay down and then pops up and says, "I wak'd up!"
- What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.