Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Attitude

Wow are we in for it. The sassiness has gotten really bad around the Keenan house. Cady has learned all kinds of new ways to express herself lately and her attitude is growing by the day. Most of the time we can nip it by giving her a warning, sometimes time-outs are warranted, and other times we are dumbfounded and wonder if anything is going to work. A recent example that it blog-worthy.

This happened yesterday while I was cooking dinner. Cady was in the living room and I was in the kitchen.
I asked Cady to pick up the marbles off the floor and she ignored me. So I peek my head into the living room and ask her again to please pick up her marbles. She says, "Hold on, I'm doing something" which is a new one and one that she tries using ALL the time to avoid doing what she needs to do. There is always "something" to do that doesn't involve cleaning up, brushing her teeth, getting ready for bed, you name it.
Then I say, "Cady" in that "I'm warning you mom voice" and she says, "Paula" in the same voice. Gah!! So I walk into the living room and I say, "Excuse me Cady, what did you just say?" in that "you are past your warning mom voice". And she says... "Sweetie, you need to calm down and wait". Yeah, she really went there.

At this point I head back to the kitchen because I was at a complete loss for words and wanted a half a moment to think the situation through. But wait, Cady then follows me into the kitchen and says, "Sweetie, are you calm yet?"


Rob and I are trying to stay one step ahead of Cady but we are afraid that our reality is more like being 1/2 step behind. Just when we think we have something figured out, she switches things up, our jaws drop and we have to get back in the huddle.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Many of you don't know that I had some intitial bumps in the road with the school that Cady is currently attending. I wasn't sure about the choice. It's a low performing school but it is in the neighborhood so I was willing to check it out. I wasn't impressed by the way the initial communication went and decided that I wouldn't be sending Cady to the school after all. I decided to write the Principal a pretty long email about how I believe in neigborhood schools and was thrilled that Cady was accepted into the program and then outlined the reasons that I wouldn't be sending her. I wasn't hoping for or expecting a response but felt a responsiblity to let her know. The Principal responded immediately (she even had to go a step further and do some research to find my phone number). She gave me her personal cell number and asked me to call her anytime to discuss. I called her and we had a great conversation. I was impressed with her response and agreed to at least go check the program out. I have to admit that at this point I visited the program with a pretty closed mind which lasted all of about the first 30 seconds. I really liked what I saw when we visited from the academics to the play to the social interactions. And for this reason I decided to send Cady to Colfax Elementary.
It's been a unique experience having her attend her home school. For starters, the school is comprised almost primarily of Hispanic students and many of them are monolingual Spanish speaking. There are a few African-American students and maybe a couple of Caucasian students in the whole school. I love this because it reminds me of home. I grew up in a ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood and I want Cady to have the same exposure and Rob feels the same way. It's interesting to see how well Cady has adapted to being with other children that do not necessarily look like her. She doesn't even question it. The other day I asked her, "which kid is Ivy? What color is her hair?" and I swear that she just about did a little eye roll when she responded, "Mom, everyone has black hair." And when describing to me who her new friend was a couple of weeks back she said, "She has black hair, black all over her skin and marbles in her hair." Color is just another way of describing someone the same as if she were to describe someone as having a big nose or small feet. The school is also comprised of families in the lower-income bracket and it's highly transient. But if you look past the low test scores and understand the reason behind them, there are some good things going on behind the doors of Colfax Elementary.

Cady is thriving in her new school. It's a mixed room 3 and 4 year old class. The other day there was a parent meeting before school. The teacher went over what she would like us to be working on with them at home. Three year olds were to practice holding a pencil and cutting with scissors and four years olds were to practice writing their names on the dotted line stencils. The teacher asked me to stay after the other parents left and she told me, "I know that Cady is only three but would you like to do the four year old assignment with her? She is smart and I think she is ready." Go Cady!
Today I walked her to school as usual on my day off. I am OVERJOYED to be able to walk her to and from school. It's a time to talk and connect without distractions. We arrived at school about 10 minutes early today and it was beautiful outside so there were many of her classmates playing on the playground before class. I loved that when Cady walked up the kids started saying, "Hi Cady! Cady, come play with me! Cady, chase me!" She seems to have made friends with everyone in her class! YAY!! I had a blast watching her play with all of her little friends. She plays in a very Cady way and her classmates seem to go right along with it. Picture Cady at the top of the stairs to the slide standing in front of it and telling each kid, "You have to give me a ticket. Where's your ticket?" And the kids good-naturedly hand Cady a pretend ticket as their admission (or is it PERmission, lol) to slide.
Maybe the next time you visit you will have a chance to go for the walk to Cady's school and see what I am talking about.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Darn. The second picture didn't come out. It a pic of Cady naked tromping down the hall in my black pumps.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fat girls and yet more wrinkles

It's been a while so I'll just throw in some tidbits.

Overheard Saturday night during dinner time when Emma was staying over.

Cady to Emma: Us girls are going to eat all of our food and we are going to get fat. We're going to be fat girls just like mommy!!

After defending me, Rob used that moment to divulge to me Cady expressed concern on the way to gymnastics that morning, "Mom sure is getting old, isn't she daddy? She has a big wrinkle on her eye" (Yes, you dodged another one Mimi).

Brotherly love. The older Coben gets the more enchanted he becomes. If Cady enters the room and he hears her voice he stops whatever he is doing and looks for her. Even if he's in an ultra-serious mood she can make him laugh like we never could. He laughs with us but Cady can get a full-on belly laugh with minimal effort. She talks to him and reassures him. She continues to hold his hand. She LOVES when I give them alone time (or what she thinks is alone time, my mama ears are turned on full-blast and I'm usually lurking). I lay him on the floor and she sits next to him and they have a great time together. It's a beautiful thing and makes me contemplate the absurdity of almost stopping at one.

School continues to go well for Cady. It's unfortunate that I don't have more gang colors in my wardrobe because I sure would it in better with the parents when we are waiting for school to get out. She really loves her teachers (even the teacher she said she wasn't going to like because he is 'brown and bald').

Coben. Coben Coben Coben. What can I say about him. He's mellow but particular? He doesn't make waves about the small stuff but digs in his heels when it matters. I'm referring to his refusal to take a bottle. It still ain't happenin' and I'm in week three of work. The first couple of weeks I was running home which was fine then but totally unrealistic long-term. I was hoping for some words of wisdom at last weeks' pediatric appointment but was told by Dr. Bacon, "Yeah, you'd think they would eat eventually when they get hungry but some babies just won't do it." So, the solution is to feed him solids when I'm at work but she said breastmilk should still be his primary source of nutrition and that he needs to have between 24-37 oz a day. So that means when I get home she wants me to make up for it by nursing him frequently in the evening. Hopefully in the next few months we can get him on a sippy cup or something or I won't be able to venture off very far. (I have a really important conference in Steamboat in October and a promise to visit a very close friend whose wedding I missed in June, neither of which looks likely unless something changes).