SugarHouse Mama

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!

Or just tiger.

Adjoa looked really cute in her Halloween costume and she had a blast. She's at such a fun age to be experiencing all these things for the first time. S he's old enough to get what's going on, and young enough to be ridiculously excited about it. And of course, it's all new to her - her absolute first time for everything.

I loved how excited she got about pumpkins - and then when she discovered that we get to cut them all up and make funny faces with them, she about died from excitement.

We went costume shopping and she insisted on the tiger, because "tigers are scary! Rrraar!!!" Even though she was way more cute than scary, we let her think she was absolutely terrifying.

The week was full of fun for her - she got to wear her costume to school and participated in a Halloween party there. Costumes were encouraged for her music class the next day, and she got to go Trick-or-Treating at Robert's work. She had a pumpkin-bucket full of candy before Halloween even got here!

Robert took her out to some neighbor's houses while I stayed home to hand out treats. She had a blast! They took Eden as they walked around, and Eden was
very worried every time Adjoa went up to knock on someone's door. Cute how concerned she was for her little buddy.

All in all, it was a fun holiday and it's making me really excited for all the upcoming celebrations!

Here's a picture of our adorable -

uh, I mean scary - tiger!

After a long, fun week of Halloween Adjoa was still all smiles! {Probably because mommy had LOTS of candy left over}

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Food Issues Update

Ok. So I spent 4 days allowing Adjoa to eat however much she desired. Just to see.

I wrote down everything she ate - to make my list easier for blogging purposes, instead of stating 1/2 an apple in the morning, and then 1/2 an apple in the evening, I'll just write 1 apple. So, the list won't be in order and exact quantities as eaten, but a daily total. Does that make sense? {If I have to explain it, I should probably just write it out as eaten! But alas, 'tis too late for that}

She also had water, milk, soy milk, and a bit of juice throughout the day that I didn't really track.

Day 1
  • 6 pieces of french toast {as in 6 slices of bread made up to be french toast}
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 cup soup
  • 1 slice of wheat bread w/cheese
  • 1 cup peaches
  • Baked potato with vegetarian chili and cheese
  • 4-5 bites of apple pie
Day 2
  • 3 whole wheat, blueberry pancakes with applesauce. {She doesn't like it when I put blueberries in the pancakes. This even resulted in a tantrum. That said, she still ate 3. I had 2 and Robert had 3}
  • Apple
  • Whole turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • 5 baby carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup soup
  • 2 cups peaches
Day 3
  • 6 or 7 pancakes {I lost track at one point}
  • 6 crackers with peanut butter
  • 1 whole tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup vegetarian chili
  • 1 hard boiled egg
Day 4
  • 1 bowl Cheerios
  • 1/2 apple
  • Crackers with hummus
  • Quesadilla with salsa
  • Whole tuna sandwich and whole wheat bread
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 brownie
  • 2 cups of applesauce
That being said, there were many times throughout the day she would come and tell me she was hungry and I would give her a drink and send her away. Often, I was sure she stopped eating only because the food was gone. Especially if she really likes the food.

So you see, back when I cut her off at three pancakes, I was really cutting her off from 6 or 7, not just 4.


That's a lot of food, right? And this is pretty normal for her if I don't cut her off. She doesn't really go in waves or anything that correlates with growth spurts. Actually, she probably eats even more and begs for food more often and cries and throws fits {in relation to food} more frequently when she's about ready to grow a bunch.

When I took her to her pediatrician a while back - when school was starting - she wasn't overweight or anything and the Dr said she was healthy. When she wakes up in the morning her stomach is flat and normal looking. As she starts eating, it balloons out.

It's weird. I went back to controlling her portions for her.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

My book club was scheduled to read March in a couple months and I had nothing, at the moment, in hand to read. So I moseyed over to the library and peeked about for March. It was not available. But Year of Wonders was.

The subtitle: A Novel of the Plague was just too irresistible. Plus I liked the font used for the title. It's also a pretty thin book, so I didn't feel like I was really committing a whole lot in case my spontaneity and impetuous book selection didn't pan out.

But then I loved it.

Based on a small village, Eyam, Brooks encountered in England, the novel is about the so-called "plague" town and what happened when the town was infected with the bubonic plague. In 1666, they willingly shut themselves off from all contact with outsiders until the plague ran it's course. Which ended up taking about a year.

I really liked the book. I thought it was well written and had some nice everyday-type moments that helped the reader really get a feel for the time and place. It's one of those blessed books that comes along and makes you think you could read everything the author has written and like it all. It made me VERY excited to read March and I added Book of the People to my list. {I didn't even put it at the bottom. I snuck it in closer to the top and am right now, several months and many books later, considering it as my next. I wonder how long the hold line is at the library?}

Onward. After all that you are now going to be surprised. I hated the ending. I will not spoil it, but it was terrible. Came-from-left-field-forced sort of ending. Which was sad. But the rest of the book was delicious enough to ignore the ending. It was simple; I just sort of re-wrote the ending in my head. I promise I held true to the character.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Prepare to be inundated with book reviews as I go through my list of the things I've read in the last few months and blog.

I read this one several months back, so I don't know how much I'll remember - for instance, I can't remember why I even picked it up, but I think it was because of some-thing I read some-where on some-one's blog. Or maybe I was at the library for some other purpose {all books should be treated with purpose} and saw it and thought, "oh yeah! I remember wanting to read this at some point and never got around to it and looky here, it's checked in and everything and *insert whatever other book I had intentions for here* isn't. So I'll just get this one." But probably a little bit of both.

Plus. There's something about the fashion from this time period that makes me tingle. Or rather, the fashion of the ludicrously wealthy, and I'm certain the fashion of the time dictates the literary quality of the stories gleaned from said era.

Ahem. Back to the book.

Not particularly historically accurate throughout, but I didn't want to read a history book and I warrant a certain about of poetic license is what makes historical fiction good and fun to read {i.e. NOT a history book}.

Centered on Mary Boleyn, the story swirls around her and her family's experience in the court of Henry VIII. I had mixed feelings about Mary. I felt sorry for her most of the time, but there were also many times I felt she just let things happen. Of course, the sixteenth century didn't offer much of a voice to women - especially women who stood against their family.

Some historical hearsay was taken as pretty literal in the story, which left me a little uncomfortable, but it also made for a more interesting read on the characters, too. Considering the length of the book, it was a quick read and quite engrossing.

I think I'd chalk it up to more entertaining than literary, but there is certainly enough there to have a good, fun book club discussion. Which makes sense. I'm pretty sure this is a wildly popular book club book.

That's all I really remember about it at the moment. I'd recommend it to most people.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

RE: My Mantra and The Terrible Three and One-Thirds

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted comments so far - I should have turned to my blogging friends sooner! We've spent weeks in chaos and turmoil lately and I have a sneaking suspicion some of it could have been avoided! Well, maybe I would just be a little more sane, but still, that's huge.

I really like the bean idea. I like being able to take away a bean as discipline. Because, knowing Adjoa, there will be times when giving up a chance to put a sticker on the board will not really make a difference to her, but losing a bean would. I also like that I can carry beans around with me and reward her even if we are not at home, etc. It makes for more immediate consequences, and in my ahem dog training experience immediate reward/discipline is always best.

Sadly, I did just admit that most of my parenting techniques come from what I learned training dogs - and most specifically, a crazy, hyper Weimaraner. lol.

Behavior modification is behavior modification, right?

I'm going to keep a food record for Adjoa. I'll spend a few days putting it together and then post the results on the blog. There is definately something going on with her and food right now, and I can't quite figure it out. It started a few weeks ago and at first I thought she was just prepping for a big growing spurt, but it's gotten very nearly out of control lately and I'm not sure what's behind it all.

It seems late {9 months!} for her to be worried about being hungry like she was in Ghana. I assumed she had figured out long ago that there's no shortage of food here. She never really went through it when she came home, so maybe it's just a little delayed... I don't know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Mantra Yesterday: I Love My Child, I Love My Child, I Love My Child

There are no words for yesterday. Or even the last few days in general.

I can't bear to go into detail, so I will be forced to paint large strokes for you and you will need to use your imaginations. Ok, medium strokes. Large strokes aren't that much fun. You need a little detail.

Adjoa was mad because I told her 4 pancakes was too many and she would be sick {I need to post about the food issues we have been experiencing as well}. I caved a little, and cut one in half so she ate 3 1/2 pancakes. I had two. Robert ate three. Really, she should have been full. But she was mad. She ate the half pancake and wanted more. I explained again that she would be sick if she ate more. She started licking her plate.

I asked her to stop and explained that it's bad manners and "gross" to lick your plate like that. I took the plate away and set it down. She glared at me. Pick up the plate. And started licking again.

Adjoa, I asked you not to do that.

I took the plate away again and set it down. She glared. She picked it up. She licked it.

Adjoa! I said no.

So I took the plate away and put it in the dishwasher. I turn around and she is glaring at me, licking her knife and fork. I take them away and put them in the dishwasher. I turn around and she is glaring at me, licking her cup.

Robert is aghast. This is pretty much the first time he witnessed her deliberately disobeying me.


It was time to take out Adjoa's hair and re-do it. The day before, I really talked it up. Told her we could watch princess movies and she would get beads and braids and all that jazz. She was excited.

I put her in the tub {much easier to take out the old 'do when the hair is wet}. She starts with being silly. Then it morphs into obnoxious. And suddenly, I have this child who refuses to cooperate with me. I warn her that she won't get to play in her bubble bath while I take out her hair if she keeps it up. She keeps it up.

I drain the tub. She stops the drain.

I ask her to get out of the tub. She lays down.

I had my fill. I pick her up, sopping wet, and carry her to her room. I was holding her away from me because I didn't want to get wet. She started fighting me. She was so slippery. I dropped her. I felt terrible. She was mad at me. She began again with her fit-throwing.

I left the room and told her I would come back when she was ready for me to do her hair. I few minutes later I hear her in the bathroom. I walk in and she has this totally guilty look on her face. I figure it's because I caught her out of her room. I pick her up and carry her back to her room and begin taking her hair out. She had cut off two of her little ponies clear down to the elastic!!!

I was horrified! 9 months of growing her hair out wasted! The hair is like 1/4 inch long! The section is 1 inch wide, and 2 inches long. I wanted to cry. I was beyond words. She had school pictures the next day.

I think we are going to have to basically shave her head. 9 months! No more cute beads. No more braids. We are back to headbands. I am distraught.


More fits, crying, fighting me while I try to do her hair. She refuses to talk to me. She just suddenly starts crying and stomping around. 20 minutes of tantrums.

I called Robert and asked him to come home early from work.


I Love My Child. I Love My Child. I Love My Child.

When are those scholastic books going to get here????

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Terrible Three and One-Thirds

You know what I'm talking about, right? You've all experienced this, right? Your sweet little two year old who is so obedient and cheery suddenly turns about 3 1/3 and it's like waking up to a nightmare.

The fits.

The scowls.

The power struggles.

I spend 3/4 of my day with a child who is either crying or deliberately defying me on some level, 1/4 wondering where my sweet little girl went and who {or what} has taken her place, and about 20 minutes of sheer joy {or rather, what used to be her normal behavior}.

Remember this incident? Great. Occasionally since then, Adjoa was naughty and when presented with her discipline options {no TV show today, or Time-Out} she would always request a "beating". {I want to be perfectly clear, here. By "beating" we are meaning a swat on the behind. Ghana lingo for any discipline of a physical nature is "beating"; they even use that term when one child hits another}

Anyway, she likes it quick and dirty, I suppose, and sometimes I totally understand. It's like ripping off a band aid. Sure it hurts, but doing it quick and getting it over with is better than sitting in a chair quietly for 3 WHOLE MINUTES or forgoing your TV show for the day.

Disciplining a child who spent most of her life with nothing {and who received far harsher punishment I could ever dish out under much more strict rules} is hard. Sometimes I think it's impossible.

I tried taking away toys. She doesn't care. She can play and play for hours without a single toy. When she is in Time-Out she just sits there and sings and sings and doesn't care. She can sit still FOREVER. I thought about taking away school for serious infractions because she loves it so much, but that punishes me too and I don't think that's fair!

Sometimes I think a swat will at least make me feel like she was disciplined. Yeash.

I'm going to try a new thing. {Thanks to input from my mom and my lovely neighbor Amy}

Like pretty much every three year old on the planet, Adjoa loves stickers. So I got a blank job chart and some stickers. She will get to put a sticker on the chart when she makes a good choice. Like obeying mommy when she doesn't want to, or choosing to not throw a fit, etc. I ordered a whole bunch of books from Scholastic - about $3 or $4 each. When she gets to the goal line, she will be able to choose a new story. I'm hoping it works. She loves books and stickers. She really feels good when she does things that make mom and dad happy. Plus, I think it will start to teach her that attitude is a choice.

At least that is my hope. The books should be arriving soon {I'm counting down the days}. I thought it would be important for her to see the books so she knows what she's working towards. Any input there? Do I just get going on it, or is it best for her to actually see the stories, etc.?

Also, I'm wondering if I should have a smaller goal line too - about halfway to the book line, where she can choose a simple prize or a treat.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm desperate and open to just about anything.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Handy Mommy

Sew I've been busy.... Get it?!?!?! Because I've been busy sewing. {hmm, maybe I've had too much codine-laced cough syrup lately. I've been really sick recently too.}

Anyway, when my mom was here {weeks and weeks ago for a short visit from the not-so-main-land} we had our usual sewing get together with the ladies. I picked up a couple new patterns and some fun fabric and began whipping this little number up. It was super simple, but really quite fun.

I really stepped out of my comfort zone here. For some reason, clothes scare me to death. I don't understand half of what the directions direct, so I usually abandon the pattern shortly after reading through it. I had lots of help nearby this time. Thanks to mom, Auntie Jill, and Auntie Cathy I finally finished my first attempt at clothes.

Now if the snow will hold off long enough for Adjoa to wear it a little, that would be truly awesome!

Here's a close-up of the apple on the little apron. I loved the cute "A". 'A' for apple, and of course, 'A' for Adjoa!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Visiting Gam

So weeks and weeks ago when my mom was here for a visit we went up to see family in Ogden. I took this picture of Adjoa and my grandma, aka Gam. It's pretty cute.

Adjoa found a jump rope and was practicing. It was so cute, I had to take a quick video. My mom was talking on the phone, so you might just want to turn your sound off or something. It's just background noise and if I knew super fancy tricks on my computer I'd just edit out the sound anyway. But, sadly, I know not these super fancy tricks, so you will either have to A) suffer or B) turn your sound off. Your choice. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Three-Year-Old's Reivew of Conference

Saturday went well. I think Adjoa even lasted through all the sessions. Sunday proved to be a bit much. As you can see, she fell asleep during the opening song. {every time the choir started singing, she raced to find a hymn book so she could 'sing along'. nevermind she didn't know any of the words! she's so funny!}

A Landscape Composed by Adjoa

Adjoa was asked to draw a picture of her family at church last week. This is what came home.

I added labels to explain everything she drew.

She had some help with drawing the chuck-it Robert is holding and the ball {this is a fetch toy we use when playing with Eden}

I love that we have Monster as part of our family. That's his name, by the way, Monster. He plays with Adjoa all the time. I'm not sure if this is a Halloween thing or if our child is nuts. Probably a little of both. Don't worry. He's not a scary monster. Just a monster who growls and chases and occasionally possesses our child.

You can't really tell, but apparently she drew herself trying to go inside the house, but the door was locked and they key is somewhere by the cars. I wasn't really clear on what exactly was the key.

Her details crack me up. Like the fact that she drew all those cars parked on our street {pretty accurate, too}. The paper-bark maple we just planted in our yard even has an orange-ish bark. And I don't know if you can tell, but Mom and Adjoa have glittery bows and earrings. Dad was about to get a glittery bow and earring too, but Adjoa was convinced that maybe a tie would be better for daddy. Oh, and Eden has a glitter collar and glitter bone.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. It makes it easier to throw some of these things away when I can scan them and save them here.