Mario's Step Mom, my Mom, Mario's Dad & Stella! They had Mom and I over for dinner one night when we were here and we got to have a nice visit! Stella's excited!
Dada caught a Pompano fish and of course Stella wanted to hold it.
My sweet babies cuddling.
Mario built Stella a sandbox that backs up to the fence in our backyard. We've been collecting buckets of sand every time we go to the beach. She loves to "play" with grasshoppers there. Which usually means the grasshoppers end up buried and "she can't find them". The grasshopper supply in our yard is dwindling. I think the words out on the grasshopper street.
Stella and Daddy "jumping"!
The kids from the library group all got together for an Easter egg hunt before Easter!
On Easter we went over to Mario's Dads house.
So these were all from before my Mom came. For the most part. Mario's been pretty busy working, which is good. He has to go back over to Panama later in the month for a few days for work so we are going to tag along and make it an over nighter back to where we took my Mom. He'll be working, but Stella and I will hang at the pool and beach and hopefully he'll get to fit in another belly flop. ;) I really like these last few pictures of Stella and Aubrey. Aubrey looks a lot older in these for some reason. Not that she's not getting older but you could look at a picture from after this day and she doesn't even look quite as old. She's out of school in just over 2 weeks so them the camps will begin. So far she only has 2 on the books but I'm sure there's more that will pop up.
I've been thinking a lot lately about being good enough. Mommy self esteem. Doing as great of a job as Stella deserves. Of course, as a toddler, she is into everything. I feel as if all I ever say is "No, Stella", "Stop that Stella", "Stay out of that Stella", "STELLA, WHY did you do THAT"! Usually quite a bit louder then I would like at the moment.
She is constantly testing boundaries, pushing buttons and being quite mischievous. I have this huge complex of not having "that kid". You know the one. THE one. The troublemaker. The one at the playground that Moms give each other side glances about, the one you tell your husband stories about. I'm not blaming it all on the Mom nor am I blaming it on the kid. I think it's a little bit of both. I'm sure she/he will grow up just fine with out doing any hard time but it makes for a lot of criticism along the way.
Personally we don't spank. Mario and I have agreed on this and he wholeheartedly agrees and supports our decision. I knew even before I had kids I wouldn't. Or should say didn't want to, she's only 2. We have a long way to go. It just didn't make sense to me. I was probably spanked a handful of times at the most. I guess that explains it huh. Maybe I should start spanking....but seriously I heard someone say somewhere you shouldn't have to resort to violence nor use violence as a teaching tool and I totally agree. Mixed message, I can hit/spank whatever you but don't you do it to others. I know there's A LOT of people that do it, especially here in the south. I know those on the West coast won't believe this but...it's still legal in schools here. Seriously???? Unfortunately yes. Absurd. A parent is one thing but if someone at Stella's school layed a hand on her. Oh man. Not their call. Punishment if called for? Yes, but you lay a hand on my child and I don't know what I would do. Never been in a fight in my life and am against violence but....anywho. Where was I?
So, nothing against it for others, just wanted to try to use other options. We've been using time outs, which the threat of them usually works with out having to actually do one. It all just depends on the situation though. When she is exhausted or worked up or happened to have been lucky enough to have a treat with sugar in it, it can get ugly. I feel like I need more tools in my discipline tool box. I want her to learn from, rather then be scared of me but when she has dumped something on the floor that I can't even believe she could get to, scared of me is looking like a pretty good option.
I think that the hardest thing for me is to look outside the box. You can't see things clearly in the box. This happens all the time in all aspects of life. It's SO easy to see why people are having a hard time with something or why they are getting the results they are when you are on the outside. When it's your box it's much harder. I get caught up in the box and can't take a step back. I think I know so many things that I don't want to do but need to become clearer and more confident of the things I do or want to do. It's not necessarily her, I just don't want to short change her. I want to be 100% every bit the Mommy that she deserves. I know I am doing some things right though...as she is a sweet, loving, smart, kind baby girl. :) With just a little bit of spirited gremlin thrown in for good measure.