Anna’s favorite activities are those that require quiet concentration. From birth her personality has been that of quiet observer. As I watch her take in the world I can almost see the sponge within her absorbing and expanding. She is happiest reading books, coloring or building with her duplo blocks. She will concentrate for great lengths of time on these activities, taking pride in her work and gladly showing off what she has created with a very proclamation of “Look!!” as she holds up her creation for all to see.
So, yesterday, since Maya had the day off school and I was trying to come up with an extra fun activity for us to do I decided to let both girls paint. Painting has always been one of Maya’s favorite things to do, but, up until now I had not let Anna in on the fun. I taped together several pages from the big coloring pad Anna got for Christmas and I let her have at it (knowing a great mess was likely).
From the first stroke Anna was in heaven!
The look on her face was priceless. She was so proud of herself
Part way into our painting project she realized that Maya’s pictures were much more colorful than hers and started to ask for more colors. She asked for “boo” and “low” (blue and yellow). Eventually her little paint tray was filled with every color of the rainbow and she was delighted!
I’d say painting is likely going to be a new favorite activity for my budding little Picasso It won’t be long now before crayons no longer cut it and she is asking for paints whenever the creativity bug bits.
Anna sure comes by this love of colorful creation honestly, her big sister is quite the little artist herself.
When Maya was little I used to have so much fun getting her dressed in the morning. I loved picking out the perfect little outfit. My favorite was always a cute pair of jeans (I love baby jeans!) and one of her many adorable shirts. I loved shopping for new clothes for her, finding more adorable little pieces to add to her wardrobe. As I shopped for those new pieces and as I put together cute little outfits for her, I would daydream about how much fun it would be to shop for outfits when she was a bit bigger. I’d look at the clothes in the kid section and imagine what she might wear.
I knew early on that she was going to be opinionated about clothing. She was probably 2 the first time she voiced her opinion at the store as I was picking something out. I had fun with it once she started to show her inner fashionista. I’d let her choose what color shirt we would buy, or which pants. It was fun. Eventually it led to her wanting to pick out her outfits too. And, I was okay with that, it was fun to see what she would pair together. If the outfit was beginning to look a little too crazy I would steer her carefully towards something a little less fashion forward. For a while we went on, peacefully, this way. Me buying new things, with her input of course, and her pretty much picking what she wore each day.
As time went on her opinions grew stronger and I lost all hope of getting to pick out those cute big kid outfits I had dreamed about. I was okay with that. I missed those cute little jeans that I used to love to dress her in, but the dresses she just HAD to wear were pretty darn cute too.
I never would have imagined this happening, but somewhere along the line Maya developed this weird disdain for wearing clothing. She still loves clothing, especially frilly dresses and skirts, but she hates wearing clothing for any length of time and Lord help us if she has to wear pants (which is a good portion of the time since she has to wear them for school). If we are home she is in nothing but her underwear. There is always a pile of clothing at my front door because the second to steps over the threshold she begins stripping down. This has been going on for 2 years now. For a little while, last winter, I got her back into the swing of wearing clothing all the time again, but she has reverted back to her old ways again.
Lately, it has become a big problem, this disdain for clothing. Every time she has to get dressed a battle of epic proportions ensues. I mean, serious epic battles complete with hysterics, yelling screaming (on both our parts) and lots of crying. And, since she insists on stripping down to her underwear every time we come home we can end up having these battles several times a day.
The other day we hit a breaking point. We were trying to get ready for a quick trip over to the park to play for a little bit before dinner. I was working on getting Anna ready so Lorne was helping Maya. I heard the freak out begin when he told her she had to pick out pants and a long sleeve shirt (her two least favorite items). It escalated when he tried to help her get dressed, she only wanted mommy to help so down the stairs she came. At this point Anna was all ready to go complete with coat, hat and mitts. I helped Maya get her clothing on and she had a complete meltdown over the way her pants felt. She was in complete hysterics, screaming right in my face. It ended with her being sent to her room and our trip to the park being canceled.
It was one of her worst meltdowns over clothing, which is saying a lot given how crazy her daily freak outs over clothing can be. Lorne and I talked about it and decided enough was enough, and we started the clothing challenge. Now, she has to wear clothing all day, every day, even when we are home. The hope is that by having to wear clothing every day she will again get used to the way clothing feels on her body and her freak outs will begin to stop. Fingers crossed.
I don’t even care anymore that all she wants to wear are sundresses, even in the middle of winter. I don’t care anymore about the cute jeans and adorable shirts that she absolutely won’t wear. At this point I just want my mornings to not involve any more epic battles over clothing. I just want her to pick out something she will wear and wear it, all day, with no fussing.
So, one week into the clothing challenge and things are…going ok. She will wear her clothes all day, although if she has been wearing pants out she changes into a dress the second we walk in the door. But, every morning is still a huge battle to get her dressed, especially if she has to wear pants. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere where she could get away with wearing sundresses every single day because then maybe she wouldn’t fight with me every morning.
Many moons ago, when Maya was a wee thing of only 18 months old, she had an allergic reaction to peanut butter, which landed us in the allergist’s office for allergy testing. The almost immediate hives that sprung up on her back in several spots made it apparent we were dealing with a nut allergic kiddo. Sure enough, after the testing window was up, the results indicated a fairly severe allergy to peanuts, cashews and pistachios. Epipen in hand we went on our way.
Here we are 3.5 years later and we found ourselves in the allergist’s office again. Our pediatrician in St. Louis recommended retesting Maya at 5. Our pediatrician here in Seattle said she would have probably recommended retesting sooner, but 5 worked, so she referred us to a great allergist here. I admit I was hopeful going into this appointment. Perhaps too hopeful.
Our appointment was first thing in the morning and this clinic deals with a lot of pediatric patients so they were well equipped for my two kiddos to be running through their halls. The staff was wonderful, the receptionist got us checked in super fast and the nurse has us back in the office 20 minutes before our scheduled appointment! The nurse was great and super friendly with Maya, which helped calm her nerves a little. After a brief once over by the nurse the doctor came in. She was super sweet and very informative. We went over Maya’s history at length, including everything I could remember from her previous appointment, many moons ago. She went over in great detail what they are looking for in retests, specifically what indicators they hope for that would show Maya is perhaps on her way to outgrowing this allergy and what indicators would show that she may be one of the 20% who never outgrow their food allergy.
Once our long, and very informative conversation with the doctor was over it was time for the actual testing. Maya is, shall we say, a bit over dramatic when it comes to needles, bandaids, pricks of any kind from medical professionals. I had done my best to prepare her for what to expect at this appointment but I don’t think she completely understood. She flipped out a bit when the nurse came in with a tray full of little pins! The nurse did a great job of calming her down and talking her through everything she was going to be doing. Maya laid down on the table and was super brave. She did cry the whole time, but given her history for melodrama I was very impressed. With the allergens in place on her back we began the waiting game.
The waiting game didn’t last long. Within minutes she started to develop hives in several locations including the peanut, cashew and pistachio spots. Halfway through the testing window the nurse came in to check on her and this is what her back already looked like
6 minutes later when the test was complete each hive was bigger and there was no question she was definitely still allergic. The nurse came in and measured each of the reaction sites. The doctor returned to go over the results. Just as I had expected from watching the hives rapidly develop on her back during the test she is still severely allergic to peanuts, cashews and pistachios, and has now added pecans and brazil nuts to the mix. Her allergy has not gotten any better over the last 3+ years, in fact it has gotten worse. Each of her reactions was worse than her previous testing plus she reacted to 2 new nuts. I was so incredibly bummed by that news.
So, what do the results mean? Well, they mean that Maya is still severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (more so than before). She will still require an epipen. And, she is getting closer to the likelihood that she will never outgrow this allergy. The doctor recommended retesting in 3-4 years to see where we are. There is still hope for her to outgrow this allergy, but her chances definitely took a big hit today.
Today I am wishing you the happiest of happy days. Happy 5th Birthday, Sweet Girl!
Five years ago you came into this world and made me a mom. I was happier than I ever could have imagined. Holding you I could feel my heart melting.
Over the years you have changed and grown so much. You have gone from our little baby girl to our big girl, full of life, and opinions.
You bring lots of love and laughs to our family! We love you sweet girl and look forward to continuing to watch you blossom and grow.
I hope this birthday is everything you could have hoped and dreamed to could be, love you to pieces.
In just 3 days this girl….
(photo courtesy of Chinnici Photography)
…turns 5!! I can’t quite wrap my head around that fact. She has been in our lives for half a decade, HALF A DECADE! Seriously, how is that possible? Can’t wrap my head around it.
A while back, before we knew we were moving to Seattle, Maya said that for her birthday this year she wanted to have a fancy dress party. She wanted to have her best friends come over, all dressed up in their finest, and have a birthday ball. It sounded like such a fun idea, and I was looking forward to planning it. Then we moved, and the idea of throwing a birthday party without her best little friends made me sad. I had to come up with a way to mark this occasion the way it deserves to be celebrated, and yet not bring attention to the fact that her best friends no longer live close enough to come to her party. What to do?
Well, Lorne and I talked it over and decided that the trip to Disney World we had been hoping to make sometime soon, would now be a trip to Disneyland, and it would happen now. We decided to keep it a secret. So, to celebrate her 5th birthday we will wake Maya up on Thursday and tell her that we are taking her to the “happiest place on earth”! I can’t even begin to imagine her reaction! 5 days at Disney to celebrate her 5th birthday. I can’t wait
This birthday may not be what she had originally wanted and she may not be surrounded by her best friends, but it will definitely be the kind of birthday little girl dreams are made of. And, since we are going to the world of princesses she will get that fancy dress party after all