Monday, February 23, 2009


February 1st we celebrated Anya’s second birthday, which was also her 4 month anniversary as a U.S. citizen. It was a small family party, but I went all out on Anya’s cake. As an excuse to purchase Valentine’s decorations, I bought several necessary items and made her the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made in the shape of a big heart. Inspired by a cake I once ate, I made a Devil’s Food Cake filled with seedless raspberry jam, whipped chocolate ganache, and frosted with chocolate buttercream. I decorated it with white, pink and red candied hearts, which was Anya’s favorite part of the cake. Happy Birthday Peanut!

Having a 2-year old scares me. I am acutely aware of how everything I do and say impacts her. So this is how dysfunctional families are born! Changing something about yourself is really hard, but when you have a reason to make a change, accountability and discipline are necessary essentials to make it stick. I have accountability, but I lack discipline. I just can’t seem to stop and think before I act. I’m one of those “in the moment” controlling A-type personalities. For instance, Anya starts a temper tantrum just before we get her into her car seat if we are leaving someplace. Her back arches, she twists herself this way and that, kicking and crying. It bugs the crap out of me every time. A screaming child just begs for attention from anyone within earshot and a video camera. So, I force her into the seat, and moosh her in the stomach with one hand so I can force the harness around her arms with the other. Then I’ll say something like, ‘I’m always gonna win this battle you little brat, so quit fighting it! AND, you’re going to time out as soon as we get home’ (which always adds an additional tantrum upon arrival).

I just started reading a book the pediatrician suggested called Raising Resilient Children. I’m hoping they have a sequel called Raising Resilient Adults. Or, maybe that’s the point at which I seek professional advice! Every parent probably wishes they had a coach. I just don’t want to screw her up. And, by the way she looks at me sometimes, with that confused look and furrowed brow, I sometimes wonder if that’s God looking back at me saying, “Woman! Get control of yourself”!

Well, Anya and I are making progress. She’s learning how to communicate, learning manners, testing her boundaries, attempting independence, and slowly learning to play on her own. I’m learning how to set limits for myself, gain confidence and reading anything I can get my hands on to help me in my current state of delirium.

There’s nothing like change to give you a swift kick out of your comfort zone. Anya received her first free book not long ago in the mail - The Little Engine That Could. It’s always a good message. It reminds me that I have 2 choices: I can say that I won’t or can’t (make a change or difference), or that I can. Choosing to say that I can change doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, but it’s the attitude in which I do it for the next…18+ years that is going to make the difference in whether I succeed or not. The comforting thing is that I have hope in a verse from the Bible that says, ‘Man alone cannot accomplish anything, but with God, all things are possible’.