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Big little moments

6 Feb

Maura has always been able to express herself well. But back and forth communication, that’s where we have struggled. And lately, Maura’s gone more quiet on me, so I’ve gone more “Use words” on her. Because we’re still teaching her how best to communicate to others, and not everyone gets interpretive dance.

Today – well, it’s been a rough morning because of older siblings who don’t understand that their possessions are the coolest things that must be pillaged by Maura in pure Viking style. Older siblings are also bossy, like saying how you can’t take a bite out of a slice of leftover pizza then put it back in the box.

So to communicate her frustrations, Maura let them know, loudly, what she thought of her siblings interferences.  Then threw the slice of pizza at Sean. Then picked up the slice of pizza upon being ordered to as I told her that throwing pizza was rude. (“Rude” is a word she gets – I don’t know why, but she does, so we use it.)

Maura picked up the pizza, and went to take an angry bite out of it. Sean, being the horrible older brother that he is, stopped her from eating the now dog-hair coated slice.

Maura screamed at this interference. I watched our morning going downhill quickly. She sat on the ground. I sat on the ground with her. I told her Sean was trying to be nice, that the pizza got dirty, he was being a good brother. I didn’t know how much was getting through to her. But she pointed to her hand – the hand she bites when angry or frustrated. I rubbed it gently and said “Don’t bite yourself honey, it’s…” I paused to come up with a word.

“Rude?” she finished.

“Yes! It’s rude to Maura. Be nice to you.”

“Sorry Mom. Hug?”

You get all the hugs sweetie. Because today, we were able to discuss the situation, however simply it might have been. The ability to discuss the situation and all the feelings is a huge step forward for us, one we’ve been working on for…well…ever. It sounds so easy, the conversation above. But it was preceded by stuff being thrown, Maura screaming, me yelling “ENOUGH!” at her, her screaming some more, the dog nosing in to try to figure out who was hurt and how she could help only to step on Maura’s toe which caused more screaming, until both of us were sitting on the floor and using our words.

This is sort of our M.O. – I get pushed to the edge of “I don’t think I can do this anymore” and then bam! A little sparkling moment of breakthrough. And however little that moment, its sparkle keeps me going until the next one. It’s not because I’m a saint or a superhero. It’s because I can’t give up on the girl who doesn’t give up on anything. And these little moments, these big little moments, are the reward for everything.

She loves me. You should too :D



Dear Maura, please stop growing

4 Feb

Okay, I don’t mean forever – though now that we’re the same height, I’m thinking she’s tall enough, and can stop growing upwards.

But she probably will be taller than me. It’s a fact I’ve embraced as the short person I’ve always been.

However, I need her to stop growing for a period of time. One long enough for me to delve into the pit of despair that is the (clean) laundry pile and sort out what doesn’t fit her anymore. Which is a lot. Because she keeps growing and keeps wanting to wear things that don’t quite fit her anymore.

“That’s too small honey.” I say.

“No!” she insists.


Even when she can admit that yes, she’s outgrown something, she forgets that and by the next week she’s trying to get herself into that outgrown item. Which is how she got stuck in a sweater the other week.

I know, I should be able to just Konmari things, pile all her clothes on the bed, and sort them quickly. But I must do that while she’s at school, or at least out of sight. Then, I must be able sneak those things out in the cover of darkness, where she won’t see. While making sure any other teen sibling who is told to fold the current pile of clean laundry on the table doesn’t fill Maura’s drawers with clothes that don’t fit because I didn’t beat them to the pile.

Oh, and let’s be honest – with all the other “fun” stuff I get to do on a daily basis in this indentured servitude vocation we call motherhood, it’s not the highest thing on my priority list. It’s getting there though. Because the clothing wars are beginning to rule our mornings, and I’m trying to make mornings less of a battle.

So if you don’t hear from me, I’m either trapped under a pile of hopefully clean laundry, or in a death match with Maura over a plaid skirt that no longer fits but she refuses to give up.

And maybe we’ll find the gym shoes we lost last week. That would be nice. Though she can fit into my shoes now, and not stretch them out like other teen girls in the house <cought>mim<cough>

Growing out the bob and rocking her outfit - that's my girl there! (Autumn 2011)

#TBT Maura’s favourite outfit from Autumn 2011 – she insisted on buying this outfit, then rocked it. 

Being stylish

2 Feb

Maura loves clothes and clothes shopping and picking out her own outfits to express her individuality. So, you know, normal tweeny girl.

However, because of Maura’s super-bendy fingers and motor planning issues, choosing clothes that help boost her independence can get tricky. Anything with buttons or zips or snaps tend not to be chosen, as clothes have to be easy to pull on or off. She also doesn’t like anything pressing on her belly, cause sensory issues.

Which is why you find this middle-aged mother wandering the junior sections of different stores, trying to find just the right thing for her girl to wear. This year’s style of what I’d consider jogging pants have come in handy – they’re cute, elastic waist, come in denim, easy to put on. Regular jeans have been out of the question since we want to grow her independence.

However, last year, her old teacher said something when I mentioned how we were having issues finding pants for Maura. “Have you tried maternity pants?”

No. But then we found the many styles of jogging and yoga pants and Maura was happy.

Meanwhile, in a desperate last minute search for Halloween costume parts, the only white pants we could find for the girl’s costume were from the sale rack in Target…and were maternity style. But not old school, giant belly panel maternity. No, this was made to fit more under the belly, with two sides of elastic waist, making them easy to stretch.

Maura walked in wearing them one day, able to put them on herself, and I thought of what her teacher had said.

Yesterday, at Target, I grabbed a couple pairs of means from the maternity section, the ones with the elastic sides. Maura was easily able to slide the pair on herself, and they fit around her tummy comfortably. We paired it off with a new tunic top. And just like that, we’re able to do jeans again with Maura, who loves wearing jeans.

So if anyone else is in a similar boat, this might work for you guys as well. And right now, they have a buy one/get one half off sale on all women’s jeans at Target, including these.

from – these are the style we got















So yeah, as usual, we have to go off the beaten path a little with Maura. But at least in this aspect, the path is still to Target, or as Maura calls it “Store? I LOVE STORE!”

Now to order her more jeans.









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