Terrible Two’s?

Annelise is turning two in July but she’s already in full swing with the terrible two’s. What makes the terrible two’s so terrible is this funny combination of a never-ending curiosity about the world around them, their increasing desire for independence, and their lack of communication skills. Oh and not being able to reason with them.

How do you explain to a screaming toddler that their precious stuffed bunny is being washed in the laundry machine so I cannot give you Bunny right now? I’m sure in her mind she’s thinking – “OMG! My beloved bunny is drowning and Mommy hates me because she’s refusing to rescue Bunny from that funny, soapy water!”

Figuring out Annelise’s new language has been fun and challenging. “C” is cereal. “Fi” is gold fish. “Po” is Pororo. “Wa wa” is water. Annelise has been calling her stuffed bunny “Munny”. Huh?! How do you get “Munny” from “Bunny”? I have no idea but I’m glad I finally deciphered that word because she cannot sleep without “Munny.”

Her new favorite word is No. She says it with such adorable gusto that sometimes I can’t help but smile. Sometimes when I’m disciplining her and giving her my meanest stank-face possible, I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from busting out laughing because she’s staring back at me with such charming intention. Somehow, she manages to look cute even when she’s being completely unreasonable.

“Hold my hand please.”

“No!”

My daughter proceeds to throw herself onto the ground of the library parking lot and cries as if the world is ending.

“Did you poo poo?”

“No…”

I check her diaper and sure enough there’s poo. I cannot believe this child is lying to me already!

“Let’s do a diaper change.”

“No!”

Sometimes I play Pororo for her on my Iphone and she’ll comply with the diaper change. Sometimes I dig through my purse for some random knickknack that will distract her long enough during the diaper change. Other times, I just grit my teeth and force Annelise to the ground.

“Time to brush your teeth.”

“No!”

This is a nightly battle in which I have to hold Annelise’s arms down and shove the toothbrush in her mouth. It’s not an easy thing to do when your toddler is screaming her head off. As if she’s in pain. As if I’m torturing her by making sure she doesn’t get cavities.

“Do you want to go night-night?”

“No! No! No!”

She says this empathically while her body language unequivocally betrays her as she’s rubbing her eyes, sucking her thumb, and clinging onto her stuffed bunny.

The endless “no’s” can make for a very draining day. I can’t help but wish things could be easier – that she would be potty-trained or be able to feed herself completely. But then there are those little, precious moments which melt my heart. Like when Annelise gingerly wipes the baby’s mouth with a burp cloth. It’s so hilarious and at the same time just so sweet.

I never imagined how loving Annelise would be as a big sister. She has surprised me many times with how excited she gets when she sees Katelynn and calls her “Bay” and how much she wants to be near her and pat her hands and touch her head and give her little kisses. Lately she’s been quite fascinated with other babies when we go out. She’ll approach them with glee and say, “Hi” and proceed to pat them just like she pats Katelynn. It’s simply amazing. I am reminded to cherish these little moments because I know she will soon start talking in full sentences and soon she will no longer want mommy to hold her at the dinner table. I guess what I’m realizing is that the terrible two’s don’t seem too terrible in the grand scheme of things. In fact, I might look back on these days and remember them as simply terrific.

Curried Chicken Salad

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for curried chicken salad. The curry powder adds a kick and a punch to your average chicken salad. The grapes and apple add a delightful sweetness and the slivered almonds give this salad a wonderful crunchy texture. This recipe is great for when you have leftover cooked chicken. We love Costco’s Rotisserie chicken because it’s so moist and tender. I ended up using the leftover rotisserie chicken to make this curried chicken salad.

(Serves 4)Image

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked diced chicken breast or thigh

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup plain yogurt

¼ cup red grapes, chopped into halves or quarters

¼ cup apple, chopped into bite-size pieces

¼ cup toasted almond slivers

1 stalk celery, chopped

Directions:

1)      Mix all ingredients into a bowl. You can substitute the mayo completely with yogurt if you’d like a healthier alternative. I like to do half mayo, half yogurt.

2)      Serve on your favorite bread or you can eat it as a salad by itself.

Easter, HG, and the Cross

It’s been ten years since I made the decision to become Christian as a junior in college. The Lord has been so faithful these past ten years – through many up’s and down’s, He has been gracious and has blessed me with so many things. I feel blessed to have endured and suffered hyperemesis twice because it has given me a greater appreciation for the cross which Jesus had to endure. The very physical and visceral suffering of Christ has been made all the more real because of my own experience with physical suffering. When Christ said, “I thirst”, I can imagine how utterly tired and dehydrated he must have been because I’ve experienced severe dehydration to the point of needing daily IV treatment. What I can’t imagine is having nails pierce the skin of my hands and feet. I also have caught a glimpse of how lonely the cross must have been and how betrayed Jesus must have felt that all of disciples fled when He needed them the most. HG is a most isolating and depressing disease and I have felt that deep sense of betrayal and abandonment from loved ones as well. The amazing thing about the cross is that Jesus knew how bad his physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering would be and yet He chose to endure the pain because it was the Lord’s will and because He knew his suffering had a higher purpose to bring salvation to all of humanity. To bring spiritual life to those who choose to believe in Christ. And in that sense, HG sufferers are called to suffer for a higher purpose as well. That without the pain of HG, the birth of a child would never happen. And this is the glory of suffering for others. This is the beauty of the cross.