Monday, July 29, 2013

52 Acts of Random Kindness, Week 1

And make it a habit!
Several months back I was swinging into the Wendy's drive-thru to pick up some lunch, (yes I ate some fast food while pregnant), and when I got to the window to pay, the Wendy's employee told me the vehicle in front of my paid for my meal.  No, I did not know these people, and no they didn't wait around for me to say thanks.  It was a random act of kindness that was completely altruistic.  That day I decided I would pay that act of kindness forward.  Time went on, and although I am always nice to strangers, I admittedly forgot to keep my promise to pay it forward.

Today I decided to change that.  I started where it all began, at the drive-thru at the same Wendy's.  As I sat waiting on my order, I remembered that stranger many months ago who had bought me lunch.  When I approached the pay window, I decided it was time to make good on my promise.  I informed the window girl that I wanted to pay for the vehicle behind me, she said okay, and off I drove with a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.

It felt really good to do something nice for a stranger, something that hopefully brought a little extra happiness into their Monday.  It felt so good that I have decided to make it a weekly event.  Now I'm not going to specifically target random strangers at Wendy's, so don't go hanging around there during lunch watching for my vehicle to pull in.  I am, however, going to make an conscious effort to throw a bit of kindness to one random stranger per week for the next 52 weeks.

I need to interject here to let you all know that perform random acts of kindness all the time.  I enjoy making people smile, so this plan of mine is not to make up for a lack of kindness on my part.  However, my acts of kindness are usually directed at family and friends because I am around them more often.  My new assigned task is specifically aimed at complete strangers.  Why strangers, you ask?  It seems to me, that this world could use a little more love and happiness and a lot less anger and hate.  What better way to promote happiness than to intentionally put a smile on person's face?  Maybe by making that person smile, they will also be compelled to do the same for someone else.  That's what happened in my case, so who is to say it cannot be continued from person to person, stranger to stranger?

Here is how I hope my little happiness creating spree to go:

Once a week I do something nice for a total stranger.  These events will not be pre-planned, just spur of the moment events.  The stranger will be random, as well as the act itself.  These acts must be of greater significance than just opening a door for someone or letting someone cut in in traffic.  These types of acts are part of my everyday existence, so they do not count towards the act of the week.  I can, if I so choose, do more than one act a week.  However if I do, the extra act does not count towards any future acts.  There must be one done a week, no exceptions.  Upon completing the act, I must write a new bog post explaining the act of choice, and recording my feelings about what I have done.  In the case that the stranger is aware of the act, unlike the person today who never saw it coming nor saw anything more than the tail end of my vehicle, I will also record their reaction to the act.  Hopefully all acts will have favorable reactions, although I am aware that sometimes people are suspicious of random kindness especially from strangers, which is really quite sad and disturbing. After 52 weeks of performing kindnesses, I will write a final blog entry reflecting on my year's worth of good vibe making.  Hopefully I will learn something about myself and others during this process.  Hopefully I will decide to continue on after my year is complete.

Just to wrap up and reiterate this weeks random act...

I paid the lunch tab of the vehicle behind mine at Wendy's drive-thru over off of Baseline Rd. next to the Southwest Little Rock Walmart.  I decided to start there because that is where months ago a stranger did the same for me.  I did not know ahead of time what they had ordered, nor did I ask before paying.  However, the window girl did give me their receipt.  So to prove I am doing what I am doing, here is the receipt for your viewing enjoyment!

Act 1, paid for a strangers lunch!
One last thing, I have added a link at the top of the homepage titled 52 Random Acts.  All of my posts regarding this weekly adventure can be found here after their initial post on the main page.  And if any of you feel like participating in my little project, feel free to post a comment about your own act of random kindness!

Here's an act of kindness you can perform right now...

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Too Smart For Her Own Good

Playing with her new ball!
This entry might have been titled Too Smart For MY Own Good.  Piper's intelligence may annoy her at times when she cannot accomplish tasks physically that her brain can grasp mentally, however her intelligence really backfires on me more than her.  I ordered her with a brain, and I got more than I bargained for, but in a wonderful way.  Here are a few of the things that she does that show her intelligence in ways that backfire on me quite regularly.

Sometimes she just wears herself smooth out!
Just this week she has learned how to crack a joke.  I'm serious folks, this girl has quite the sense of humor and gets her grin on whenever she can pull a fast one on somebody.  Warning, I'm about to start talking about poop.  I've heard that once you are a mom poop becomes a regular topic, so here's to mommyhood! Anyway, there have been a few instance recently where Piper has had a poopy diaper that seems completely full but once the changing process begins I realize in comedic horror that she's not quite done in the stinky department.  At these times I am left trying to catch escaping poop with my a wipey as I have already removed the thought-to-be-finished dirty diaper.  As I am folding up the nasty culprit, Piper then decides she has more to offer me.  Only once has this led to a mess on her sheets, the other times I have been completely successful in catching the goods.  Now to the point...

Sometimes I make fun of her grumps!
I am assuming Piper has become aware of this pattern of changing and catching and has now decided to make a game of it.  Just the other day she had a poopy diaper and it was suspiciously not full to her usual standards.  I immediately assume she is not yet complete and tell her, as I'm changing it, that she better not try pushing anything else out while I'm switching the dirty with the clean diaper.  After I finished folding the dirty one and turned to place it behind me on my desk (yes, I'm at work in this scenario) I hear this wet, gurgling, obvious pooping sound.  I immediately flip around to try and catch the mess being created and low and behold there is nothing there.  Piper then lowers the burp rag she's been holding from covering her mouth and gives me the biggest grin as she vibrates her lips together whilst slobbering!  Yes, she was making the fake wet poopy noises, and I swear she knew exactly what she was doing.  She thought it was hysterical that I fell for the oldest trick in the book.  She actually laughed at me!  Yep, she's a sly one.  I'll definitely have to keep an eye on her jokester self.

She can pout as good as she can joke!
Another thing she's been doing on a regular basis is completely changing her routine on Thursday and Friday mornings, knowing these are the two mornings of the week when I have no real help with her.  As most readers know, I moved back in with my parents once I decided to get pregnant.  My dad is fully retired and my mom only works Monday-Wednesday.  That being said, my parents both like to sleep in on Thursday and Friday mornings.  Every morning Piper and I have an established routine.  We get up at 7am for her first feeding, and back to sleep she goes while I get ready for work.  I then wake her up once I'm ready, get her dressed and into the carrier and off to work we go.  On the weekends she goes back to sleep until about 10am, which is quite lovely.  Just recently, however, she has taken to not staying on her usual routine.  This morning was no different.

We enjoy playing in the mirror together
We woke up at 7am for her first feeding, and as usual I put her back down afterwards so that I could get ready for work.  She then decided, unlike every other day of the week, she didn't feel like going back to sleep.  Instead she wanted attention.  Now had this been any other day, I could have taken her into my mom's room while I got ready and my mom would entertain her.  But my parents sleep in on Thursdays so I'm left to my own devices.  Sure they would get up if really necessary, but I don't feel it's fair to ruin their sleep.  So once again, on a Thursday morning, I had to come up with a solution that satisfied Piper as I do not want her screaming for attention while I'm trying to shower or put on eyeliner!  This morning she was very good and sat in her swing and watched one of her Kidsong videos, thank goodness.  The point is that she seems to know that Thursday and Fridays are the days I really need her not to get off her routine, and yet she does now just about every week.  You may think it's a coincidence, but I say there are no coincidences.  She just knows and chooses to test my mommy skills.  So far I have pulled through, and I think she secretly praises me for handling myself and her without flipping my lid.  She's training me, that's for sure.  Smart girl!

Totally engrossed in her video!
This last little thing I'm going to address is not so much a mental thing as it is a physical one.  Just recently she has taken to,what I like to refer to, as frog hopping in her crib.  She draws her legs way up underneath her, in the frog position, and then pushes with all her strength in order to propel her body forward.  It is a method of scooching that is remarkably her own style, and it is quite hysterical to watch.  It is also sometimes a bit annoying as she will do this late at night when she can't sleep.  She always ends up at the head of her co-sleeper or crib, and she doesn't stop because she runs out of room, she continues to try.  Late at night this will prevent her from sleeping, although she also often does this while sound asleep.  During the day, she will do this to keep herself awake since she hates taking naps.  Besides doing this in her crib, she is also beginning to incorporate it into her floor play.  It's like she is trying to crawl already but her body is not quite physically capable of doing so, so this is the next best method of mobility.  Needless to say, she can no longer be left alone to play on her floor mat as she will manage to escape it.  I have a feeling she will be crawling early and will be a crib escape artist just like I was when I was a wee one.  My parents say I was escaping my crib before I could walk.  I think Piper is a lot like her mother!

Sometimes she's like a battering ram!
I know when I picked out my sperm donor that I wanted someone intelligent that would pass those genes on to Piper.  I consider myself pretty damn smart, so she has it coming from both ends.  And that is a good thing.  However, having a smart child does have it's drawbacks.  She seems to be advancing so quickly she's hard to keep up with.  I love it, that is for sure, but sometimes it does come back and bite square on the ass! I wouldn't want her any other way though, I love her smarts and love watching her mentally capabilities advance right alongside her physical ones.  I will admit I am not always fond of when she throws a fit because her mental sometimes outweighs her physical, but I know she only does this out of frustration with herself, and she gets that from me so I can't blame her too much for that type of reaction.  Mostly she's a happy and curious baby, though, and she gets much joy out of accomplishing new tasks and cracking new jokes.  One thing is for certain, I will never get bored with her around, and that I am thankful for every single day.

Trying to crawl outside the crib!
(Youtube link)

Other things she does that make me scratch my head and grin...

She loves to flirt, and is quite good at it, with all males.  I think flirting is inherent to the female species, and Piper does it with ease.  She knows just how to bat her eyelashes, give a crooked grin, hide her face shyly, and other such wily feminine things.  It's funny how she reserves most of these behaviors to use against the men in her life, especially her Papa and her uncles.  It gets her what she wants and it's very good practice for later relationships with men.  I was a pretty good flirt as a child, but like I said before, I think it's pretty much inherent in the female to flirter with males beginning at a very early age.

She knows how to pout and when to use said pout to her advantage.  Although she often pouts when she feels bad, she also pouts to get attention and picked up.  Can't blame a girl for using her virtues for her own good.

I'm very shocked still that she will sit through a 30 minute video, completely enthralled, and never complain or get bored.  She's been doing this for several weeks now, and I'm still amazed every time I put one in and she gets excited.

Watching her Kidsongs video
She loves her solid foods and talks about her meals as she is eating.  She has yet to meet a food she does not like, and she has yet to eat in silence.  Seriously, this girl loves to talk with her mouth full!

First time in her high chair
Last but not least, I love how much she enjoys her baths.  She kicks, and laughs, and grins, and splashes around.  I'm surprised there's actually water left in the tub when we are finished.  Also, now when she gets out to dry off she kicks and laughs as much as when she's in the tub.  She's a spaz, through and through.

She's loving her baths without the sling!
Alrighty, I'm gonna wind things up now.  Piper is getting restless sitting her in my lap helping me type, so I best get to focusing on her before she gets too upset.  Twenty bucks says she wants a snack, as eating is her favorite pastime.

Until next time...

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Piper's First Fourth

Staying cool in the pool!
The 4t of July has come and gone, and boy was it a fun one!  Every year we get together at my brother's house for a family celebration, and although my other brother and his family were away on vacation this year, the rest of our clan had a blast as usual.  As this was Piper's first fourth, we of course wanted to make it a memorable one.  What better way than to make things special than to gather the family to witness Piper's introduction to swimming.

With her cousin Haven and Sam, the puppy.

With her cousin Larkin

With her funny Papa!  No, he didn't really giver her beer!
My parents taught me and my brothers to swim at very early ages.  I was swimming fully underwater, sometimes upside down underwater with my eyes open, before I could walk.  We never used water wings or other safety devices, my parents just simply tossed us in the pool and we did what came naturally to us.  I know that tossing one's child into the water without a floatation device is frowned upon these days, but none of us drowned so it can't be all that bad of a method for learning to swim, right?  Well don't worry or freak out, I didn't do that to Piper at only 12 weeks old.  This swimming lesson was more an introduction to the pool rather than an all out swim-or-drown party.  Mostly I wanted her to get comfortable being in a body of water larger than her bathtub.  Fear of water is completely unacceptable in our family, so I guess it's a good thing she took to the water like a pro, just as I had expected she would. Yay!

She took the dunking like a champ!

Not only did she love the pool, she also went all day without any complaining.  She splashed in the water, played with her cousins, sucked pickle juice off her papa's fingers, wore her new sunglasses like a superstar, got licked by her first puppy, and just had a damn good day all the way around.  Unfortunately, by the time it got dark enough for fireworks, she was smooth worn out.  In all her revelry, she forgot to take a nap...wait, she never naps!  Anyway, she oohed and aahed at the initial sparkler I lit, tried to cry a bit when the first loud fireworks went off, and then settled in for some comfort nursing during the rest of the show.  Hopefully next year she will be old enough to really appreciate the fireworks, but this year it was all about the pre-show party.

Getting her sea legs!

Meeting Sam the puppy

Fun with her uncle Christian

Center of attention, as usual!

Surfin' USA!

More surfing
Speaking of pool parties, you probably noticed the man in the pool pictures with Piper, that is her uncle Christian, the younger of my two older brothers.  He is probably one of the most amazing fathers I have ever encountered, including my own.  The two other girls in the pics are his daughters and they are the most stable, adorable, well-behaved, level-headed, thoughtful, outgoing, funny, and kind young women despite going through a divorce and all that a divorce entails.  My brother has full custody of them, which speaks volumes for how much they are loved and adored by their father.  I hope to be half the parent he is and raise Piper to be at least half as lovely as they are.  I'm glad to have both my brothers as part of Piper's life.  They will both contribute to her understanding of what real men are supposed to be and how real men are supposed to treat women...of course my dad is another prime example for her to have around.  So although she may not have a father living in the household, she does have strong male role models in her life.  We are extremely close, so there is no shortage on her witnessing these men in action on a daily basis, especially her Papa who is part of her immediate household.

Before the dunk...

...after the dunk!

Cuddles after swimming

On Nana's lap for her first fireworks.
I'm bringing this up because I know a lot of people are curious as to how the "father" figure will be represented in her life.  I couldn't think of a better way than through her two uncles and Papa.  They may not be her father, but they are some of the best dads in the world.  I feel much more confident in them sharing this role than in one of my lousy choices in men having such a great responsibility placed upon them, lol.  I'm really bad at not picking scum sucker losers to date, so I'm very thankful and gracious that good men came with the family I was born into.  I honestly think she is getting the best of the best in this regard, what a lucky little girl!

Too finish off this segment, I'll show the pics from our fist in the mouth contest.  Piper is teething and constantly has her entire fist in her mouth.  My niece Haven challenged us girls to see which of us could also accomplish this feat.  Here goes...

Piper started it...

Haven challenged us...

Larkin's attempt...

Not my most flattering look!

Nana's turn!
The challenger wins by one-upping us all!
Yes, we are a goofy bunch!!!  Wouldn't have us any other way :)

Now here comes the spiel, again, cause it's easier to copy paste it than rewrite it every time!

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