Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making It Official

A few entries ago I told you about sneaking my daughter into Disney (read "My Lowest Parenting Point").  And most of my friends and family know how difficult a time we have had trying to get Rea to poop on the potty. Well, this entry is kind of a combination of both I guess.

On Sunday afternoon, Rea asked me for a "dipe." I told her that we could only use the diapers at nighttime and that if she needed to poop, she would have to in the potty. She threw a WILD tantrum. I remained completely calm (and still, I have heard that any sudden movements can cause the animal to attack you). After a few minutes of intense screaming/meltdown on her part, she began to chill out and talk about other things.

After about 5 relaxing minutes, she said, "I need to go poopie right now! Can I use Steph's potty?" (Interjection: We have a little wooden potty at our house that used to be my youngest sister's training potty. So Rea literally means, use Steph's potty.) I told her it would fine to sit on Steph's potty and asked her if she wanted to play on my phone while she tried.

It became a family affair. I had to sit on the floor in front of her, Ri stood next to her and intently watched his sister. Well, it worked. She did it. And mid-poop asked if we could go to Disney. I don't think I need to tell you what my answer was.

At 5:30pm we picked up my mom and got on the highway. I called both sisters. Steph had a big test the next day and couldn't meet us. Jack said, "Sure, what time will you be there? Where do you want to eat?" Only someone from my tree would be totally up for it and not think I am at all crazy for taking my 2 munchkins 2 hours away for dinner and a couple of rides.

The FL Turnpike was closed (bad accident, trauma hawk had to land on the road), so we were detoured. Bummer. The trip took a little longer than normal. No worries.

We made it to our favorite hotel. We ate dinner and waited for Aunt Jack. This was going to be a great night. Rea had to get an annual pass - I was not at all willing to repeat the "I am 2" fiasco. It was also fitting that Jack was with us. She was the one to carry Rea through the gates of the Magic Kingdom on her first visit, and now she was going to be with us when Rea used her very own pass for the first time.

Jack carrying Rea through the first time

Waiting for the pass to be printed

Learning how to use the ticket machine

Never again will we have to lie. 

Ri is so stoked to be up late

Getting ready to drive the racecars

Jack and Rea in line for Buzz

Rea likes bad boys

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dentist Appointment

The last time I was at my dentist's office I asked about bringing Rea in for her first check-up/cleaning. Carrie, my hygienist, told me just to bring her with me the next time I was scheduled to come. It would be better if she could hang out and watch first.

I picked Rea up from her grandma's house (and left Ri there because he was sleeping). She was jabbering incessantly in the car on the way there. She talked about everything, just for the sake of speaking. Then, without warning, it was totally silent.
Yup, Rea fell asleep in the middle of licking her lollipop (and yes, I did give her candy on the way to the dentist). I had such a hard time not laughing out loud at this ~ A mid-lick pass out!

Actually, it bothered me a little that she fell asleep. Rea doesn't typically wake up well. I was afraid that she would be super whiney and uncooperative. And sometimes she is not a fan of doctor's offices. A cold sweat broke out, oh this could be bad.

I sat in the chair for my cleaning. Carrie let Rea sit at her desk. Rea played a game and read a book on her Nook (it's a V-tech Reader, but she calls it her Nook). When it came time to actually brush my teeth, Rea came over and stood next to me. Carrie talked to her about the kind of special toothbrush they use at the dentist.

After my cleaning, Carrie asked if Rea wanted to look at the special toothbrush and feel it on her finger so when Rea came back for her cleaning, she would know there was nothing to worry about. Rea said ok. Carrie was great! She made the whole thing playful for Rea... They were laughing about how "tickley" the brush is. Then Carrie told Rea about all of the special toothpaste selections kids have. Rea liked the idea of marshmallow toothpaste (who doesn't?).

Carrie asked Rea if she wanted to put the marshmallow toothpaste on the brush and just test her front teeth. Rea said yes. She did, and Rea giggled about the tickley toothbrush.

Then Carrie told Rea that this would be what it is like when she comes back for her appointment... or she could sit in the chair and do it now. It was up to Rea.

Strike when the iron is hot, right? Rea went for it. She was amazing!

I thought once she sat in the chair she would panic, but she didn't.
"I'm a big girl, right Mom?"
She is actually laughing at "Mr. Thirsty"
Rea wanted to get flossed too, just like Mommy.
The day was a HUGE success! I am so grateful for Carrie... she was perfect!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Lowest Parenting Point

My mom, both kids, and I met my youngest sister in Disney on Tuesday. Steph had no classes that day, so she was able to drive over and spend the better part of Tuesday with us. Rea pooped on the potty again on Monday and decided that she needed to stay in the "giraffe hotel" (also known as The Animal Kingdom Lodge) as a reward for her efforts.

Rea's reaction when we turned onto the Disney driveway.
My sister and I thought it would be fun to hit Epcot for the afternoon. That's the park we very rarely visit. Our intent was to go see the awesome aquarium in The Seas. Rea loves it and I know Ri would have the time of his life running around that place.

In the car on the way up, my mom told me that she would buy Rea's annual pass. Rea has been 3 for 3 months and Mom thought it was high time that we pay for her. I scoffed. Everything is so expensive and my initial reaction was that we shouldn't have to pay for her. I have friends who have brought their school-age children into the Parks without a ticket. (Hindsight tells me this is one of those "bad company corrupts good morals" moments) I told Mom that I would just stroll her through in her stroller, no worries.

We made it. No problem. No evil-eye by Disney employees. No second thought by me.

Epcot was fun. We somehow managed to stay in the shade and completely avoid The Seas. As I have said before, we never go with a real plan. We tend to just wander. Anyway, we stumbled upon a character spot. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy & Pluto! All in the same spot! We waited in line for about an hour, which is approximately 15 minutes past Ri's line waiting limit.

But, it was all worth it. Ri LOVED them! And Rea was her usual timid, quiet self.

For those of you really paying attention, our Pluto pictures didn't turn out so well.

After meeting all of these characters and riding "Ep-cop" (the ride in the big Epcot ball) 2 times, we had had enough. It was time to go see the giraffes and check in.

We showered and headed over the Magic Kingdom. This time though the gate attendant asked me how old Rea was. I was caught totally off-guard. I said "two and a half." She looked at me like, "LIAR!" But didn't say anything. Then, almost on cue, Rea looked up at her from her stroller and said, "I'm 2!" The girl smiled at Rea and let us in.

Once we passed through the gate and were out of earshot of the Disney employee, Rea looked at me and said, "Why am I 2?" Oy... Immediately, I regretted not letting Mom get her a pass. I bent down and told the truth to my toddler. I explained that Mommy was very bad and told a lie because she didn't want to pay. The simple truth was accepted by Rea, but I told Mom that we had to buy a pass the next day because I cannot let this happen again.

Maybe if I only went to Disney once a year or once every other year I would feel differently about spending money to get Rea in, but we are going back in 2 weeks. This is NOT what I want to teach my daughter.

So the next morning, we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed over to MGM (Hollywood Studios). It had been decided that we would do the honest, right thing and not sneak Rea in. When we got in line to buy the ticket, Mom said, "Min, where's my credit card?"


I stammer, "Didn't I give it back to you?" My mind is racing to remember the last time I had it in my hand.

Mom says, "No. You used it to buy breakfast."

If I didn't give it back after sitting down at the table, I know where it is: in the trash. Oh man, I don't want to say the words out loud, "I think I threw it away."

I know my mom. And she is pissed (sorry, no way to sugar-coat that).

She says I have to go through the gate with Rea first. Great, I have to sneak my daughter in again.

We head up to the gate, I put my ticket in. The guy smiles, opens the stroller gate and says, "Have a magical day!" Rea looks at him and says, "I'm 2!"

I promise, in 2 weeks, I am buying Rea an annual pass.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Huge Day for Rea

In order to fully understand my daughter's excitement, we have to back up over a year.

Summer 2009

Shane and I found out we were going to have our second child in early 2010. Baby McStu #2 was due on 2-22. I knew before the summer was over that McStu #2 was going to be a boy. So Shane and I started narrowing down our boy names. We settled on Riley Cooper Studer...

Then football season began.

If you watched any college football in 2009, you probably have heard of these two guys: Tim Tebow and his roommate Riley Cooper. Well, we don't need to say anything about Tebow's year, but Cooper had a pretty good year too.

Shane and I really struggled with the name. We chose it before the season started, but no one would believe that. Everyone who knows us would think that I gave in to my Gator husband and let him name our child. The week before our Riley was born we switched his middle name. It's close to Cooper (I don't think it appropriate to share too much personal info about my kids on the web, so I won't spell it out now).

As our lives changed dramatically over the following year, my husband and some of our friends at Palm Beach Autographs told the real Riley Cooper about our little RC.

The important thing to note here is that Rea has heard the name Riley Cooper over and over in various circumstances over the past 2 years.

Yesterday (Saturday, March 19, 2011)

Rea woke up in the morning very much like normal: demanding her "chocolatey milk". Our entire family bummed around for a little while in the early morning hours. When it was finally time to get moving, Rea (who usually fights getting dressed and ready) ran up the stairs to search her closet for the perfect outfit.

She said she needed to wear her pretty green dress because Riley Cooper was going to think she looked beautiful. (oh boy) I assured her that she did look so cute in the new dress. I mentioned that her hair was a hot mess and I needed to brush and fix it. She said, "Let's go get it cut. The haircutter can fix my hair and make it beautiful for Riley Cooper." (oh boy) As I was brushing her hair, she said "Does Riley Cooper have a girlfriend?" I said, "I have no idea." She said, "I am going to ask him." (oy)

So, it was decided that Rea would get her first official haircut! Yay! There is this adorable kid place in Downtown @ The Gardens called Cartoon Cuts. It is FABULOUS. Plus it is right by Uncle Jim, Uncle Steve and Uncle Danny's store.

Rea was a pro. She hardly freaked at all. And she was so proud of how she looked when it was over.

Little bro spent most of the afternoon at Grandma's house. Grandma was going to bring him over later.

My best friend Ash was in town for the day. We almost never see her anymore. Rea calls her Pete - It's a long story, don't ask. Anyway, Pete and Rea were having a blast together. They ran all over Downtown. And they were off somewhere when Riley Cooper arrived. I told him all about Rea's excitement, explaining that she is only 3 and probably has no real idea who he is, but that she is over the moon ecstatic regardless.

When Rea saw Cooper for the first time, we were in the private room with all the food. He was talking to someone else, but as soon as he saw her, he smiled and waved. She stood in complete awe. Then he came to introduce himself to her. He held out his hand and she walked over with arms wide open. He bent down and hugged her back.

Riley asked Rea if she would show him where to go. She said she would lead him to the stage. When they got to the area designated for the signings, he asked her to sit next to him and help him sign autographs. She said ok. =) But she didn't last very long at the table. A few people in, she got up and walked off the stage.

I cannot even explain in words how happy this made me. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Riley's kindness to my daughter makes me love him. I think I have to become an Eagle now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Impulsively Mean

I guess "mean" is probably the wrong term to use... maybe "not nice", "bad behavior", or (my fave) "snarky" would be better.

Sometimes I do bad things. Usually they are completely impulsive. I don't have malicious intent, but I still do it. The "things" to which I am referring would not cause anyone else to pause and consider. But I was cursed/blessed (depends on your p.o.v.) with a guilty conscience.

I could never lie. Have never really been able to get away with it. In high school I tried lying to my parents. It was futile. Whatever I would say, my mother would respond with, "Hmmm... You have lying eyes Min." EVERY SINGLE TIME. (I pray that I can do that to Rea in 10 years) So, after a while, I stopped trying. Generally speaking, I am an honest person. Sometimes painfully. Shane has told me before that he wishes sometimes that I didn't have to be so truthful... But I think, if you don't want the answer buddy, don't ask the question.

Anyway, my truthfulness seems to have morphed into a sick sense of required confession to my super-close loved ones. Even if they have no idea a wrong has occurred. I think it stems from my fierce loyalty issues.

Proof #1:

I am going to make this short: I listened to and deleted a message left for a family member from someone I cannot stomach. Neither party knew about my sneak attack. And no one probably would have... until I confessed to five people!! FIVE! All five people thought it was funny. I fancy myself the villain but am clearly not.

Proof #2:

My family. How should I describe them? Nuts. Always laughing. Constantly poking fun at each other and everyone else. Burlesque at times. Yes, my family is the group of people in the ER waiting room laughing uncontrollably.

Again we were at my mom's house for dinner last week (seems a lot happens there). Anyway, I noticed this fabulous cookbook magazine on the desk in the kitchen. After flipping through a few pages, I knew I had to have it. At least for a little while.

Almost as if she read my mind, Mom said, "You can't have that. I bought it for Steph." I scoffed. Dad chuckled. I continued to flip through the pages. When Mom left the room, I put it in my bag. Dad saw me. I promised to bring it back when I copy all of the recipes out of it.

I don't think Mom has noticed because she hasn't said anything to me.

I made one of the recipes last night. Pizza Mac & Cheese (really, why wouldn't I steal this book??). It was AMAZING!!

But here's my need to confess. As I reheated some of it for lunch a few minutes ago, I felt a twinge of guilt for depriving my baby sister the joy of tasting this AMAZING meal. Sorry Steph.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plane Old Fun

Yesterday, a group of little munchkins (and some Mommies) descended on my dad's hangar. It is Spring Break in PB County and the kiddies needed something to do.

There is this wonderful woman at my parents' church who watches kids for a living. She is truly amazing... and now that I am a "stay at home" mom of 2, I have a HUGE amount of respect for her. There are times that I want to pull my hair out because 1 of my monsters is driving me nuts. I cannot fathom multiplying that feeling by about 5!

Skye is always looking for interesting things to do with the kids. So she asked my dad about a field trip. And since the plane is really Rea's, we had to be there too. =)

I realized how much Rea needs to hang with other kids her age... She doesn't start school until August. She was SO excited about getting to see other kids. She kept calling them "school kids". It was the highlight for her. It hurt me a little to see how crushed she was when they had to leave.

The group of kids were adorable. They had cute questions and comments, as kids usually do.
Since she was given a taste of the co-pilot's chair this weekend, this is now where she thinks she sits.

Rea is guarding the entrance to her plane.
Ri likes girls, older girls. =)
Cutest little group
Another plane was getting ready to start up and roll by

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time Flies - Sometimes Slowly

This weekend was a very big deal... it was the first time Rea went out of town without me or Shane. 

She has been asking to see her Aunt Jack. Because of Jack's crazy work schedule and life, we only see her a handful of times a year. My parents were going up this weekend to help Jack out with some things around her house. It was the perfect opportunity for Rea to tag along. 

She asked me CONSTANTLY when it was time to go... when I would ask her to get dressed in the morning she would say, "So I can go to Jack's house house now?" You know how some kids get ridiculously stoked about going to see Mickey Mouse? That's the level of excitement Rea had for a trip to G-ville. 

Friday finally came. And after a few morning errands (and lunch), it was time to head to the airport.

I'll be honest, I was looking forward to having only one child for a few days. I didn't think I would go through physical Rea-withdrawals! Almost as soon as they pulled away, I wanted her back. I was already dying to see pictures. I had no idea how I was going to survive the next three days.

Rea was having a blast! We got photo updates often... 
But knowing how much fun she was having didn't help me miss her any less. I still checked her room at night and half expected her to come down in the morning. I almost made her a plate of spaghetti last night too. 

Now it's Sunday. And I get my girl back tonight! I cannot wait.