Sunday, November 30, 2008

30 days

Well, posting every day for 30 days wasn't so hard but not something I feel I should continue. I think about 50% of my posts were the sort of thing I would post regularly, another 25% were forced but worthwhile and the rest were filler. Nonetheless, it was satisfying and now I just have to figure out how to keep up some momentum. Not having comments is a little weird but still for the best for now.

The last few days have been nice. Weekends lately have actually been sort of tough with too many things to do and non-stop kids on hand. I feel sad sayign that but it's true. They aren't bad but just hectic and somewhat unsatisfying for Jason and me and probably the kids, although they seem to love spending time with us no matter what. Go figure. So, I wasn't sure how 4-days off in a row would be. Without really planning ti we struck a nice balance of family time, friend time, time alone (each adult) and adult time alone together. We got a fair amount done project and cleaning-wise and cooked a bunch and got a decent amount down time to relax and enjoy the kids and each other. Just really nice.

Today we drove 40 minutes out of town to the tree farm we have been visiting for 4 years. The family is charming,t he trees are very nice and well-priced, and the view is beautiful. Every single year I contemplate the whole tree cutting down business but now that Henry is so enthusiastic about the whole process I have a feeling we will be keeping the tradition. he was thrilled about ornaments! ornaments! and we got the tree mostly decorated this afternoon. Mia, of course, has no value for ornaments hanging on the tree, out of her little hands and mouth. It is going to be a challenge but we left off a lot of the glass ornaments this year and hung the less fragile stuff toward the bottom. In addition to her frequent ornament displacement, Henry is a terrible ornament clumper so, once again, I have to give up my perfectionist tendencies, and really, I'm okay with that.

Henry had such a great time leading Mia by the hand to show her all of the trees. So cute.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008


Self-applied Band-Aids. Yes, multiple bandages for a paper cut. And it took a whole 5 minutes before he realized it was the wrong finger. True story.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

too much

Yesterday we did the friends thanksgiving and today we did the family thanksgiving with my parents. I baked a ton yesterday and didn't have to do much today but all of the cooking, cleaning and eating has caught up with me. I need a nap. For about 12 hours. I would have just gone to bed with Henry at 7 but he was hogging the bed. I suppose I should just drag myself off to sleep now. It does feel amazing to have such a long weekend though. This is more time off than I have had for a very long time, perhaps a year.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have more things to be thankful for than I can count but right now I am feeling particularly good that we all seem to have turned a corner around here. As vague as it is, I just feel like things are a little saner and easier and more fun than they have been in a long time. I feel calmer and more able to deal with the chaos around me. The kids are great and Jason and I are back on the same page again. A big part of everyone's sanity around here hinges on my ability to cope and it seems to be working pretty well at the moment. Vague, yes, but palpable nonetheless and I really am so very thankful.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I just took a bath by myself for the first time in as long as I can remember. No little toes trying to sneak in the water to get warm. No small clothed person trying to propel herself in over the high tub side after me. Not even screaming from the other room. Not a noise in the house. I lit candles and just laid there. My mom picked the kids up after work for their fist overnight away. It is only 7:03 and I am really to call the evening a success. Of course, in typical insane fashion, I missed them the second they left and the house feels a little empty and a lot quiet without them. It's just one night though. I'm sure we'll get by just fine.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The blood work went okay. Henry wasn't thrilled in the moment of course but it was fine and I think I did a good job leading up to it and helping him deal with the fact that he didn't like it when it was all over. The tempeh turned out well and made a very nice lunch. We will have a few more meals of it in the freezer but I wish I had made a double batch. I will definitely be working with that more in the future. Henry and I each have a ton of bug bites and itching like crazy. They are from fleas we are guessing although there is no evidence and we have taken swift action that does not seem to have worked. I am driven crazy by our inability to locate the source and uncertainty about how bad we will be covered tomorrow. I suppose only time will tell and I am not pleased about it.

Things feel odd right now. It is a short work week and Henry is off school all week. My coworkers are both dealing with personal things (one mundane and the other very emotional) so we aren't getting done the things I thought we would be this week. The kids are going to stay at my parents' house tomorrow night, which will be a first. I can tell my mom is nervous but I don't think it will be too tough. We won't have a ton of time without them but the chance to sleep past 5:50 am is beyond exciting. It's already past my bedtime now and will be a long day before we get to the hand off tomorrow so I best do what I can to rest up.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

place holder

Tonight I really did wait too long to post. I am still sick and dragging so I'm off to bed. I'm not sure why I even bother posting at this point but I do like the idea of following through with the commitment as lame as a few of the posts this month may be. We have to take Henry for a blood draw in the morning (his first) and I am really dreading it, mostly the lead up. So, wish me luck getting sleep and making things as easy for him as possible in the morning. Ug.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

slow again

I am feeling a little more under the wether again and off to bed. I had high hopes for productivity around the house tonight but I lost momentum shortly after the kids went to bed. I did get things prepped for growing black eyed pea and barley tempeh tomorrow. I am excited about that but didn't really think through how that was going to work with the nanny's guidance tomorrow since I am supposed to be in the office all day. Maybe it will be her project with Henry. Or maybe I will have to come home early. I think that's likely.

On the interesting bedtime topic of conversation list was tonight's request to list all the animals we could think of that have penises. He pretty much gets what mammals are and contributed warthog to the list at one point. He also threw out trees at one point and when I laughed he said, "no trees aren't mammals their de-swat-uous." I asked if he meant deciduous to which he said yes and oh how he laughed. I swear we are not trying to teach this kid any of this stuff. He has been getting kid's nature magazine subscriptions from his grandparents for years so he picks up random animal facts and he really doesn't watch tv at all. He's just a sponge who is apparently exposed to some strange content.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

not the project i had in mind

I have had a little holiday craft project in the back of my head since I didn't get around to it last year. I pulled out fabric and the sewing machine and made patterns but then I took a nap and by the time I woke up and Mia woke up from her nap things were too hectic to get started. Henry kept talking about gingerbread men though (after seeing them at a kitchen supply store after the farmer's market this morning) so I managed to neglect the kids among my sewing supplies (the non-dangerous ones) for long enough to make a little gingerbread man cookie out of felt for their play kitchen. A container of very small beads were spilled no less than 3 times but we all survived with minimal frustration or choking hazards. I also have the pieces of a gingerbread lady traced but we'll see when I manage that. Both kids love this little guy and carried him around most of the day, making it all the more worthwhile.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

fine line

I find that for myself there is a delicate balance between being excited about my children's accomplishments and reaching of milestones and pushing them or rushing them just because we can. I think we are really careful about the big things but when my kids are in groups with others I can't help but notice when they excel.

Hmm...I think this is going in a different direction all together. I don't think the issue is really about pushing them, in fact I think I step back and let them fail or succeed on their own far more than is normal. We may have pushed Henry more when he was really young because we were so damned excited to see what he could do but really, we give them a ton of freedom and do what we can to make them feel confident in themselves and not try to impress us.

I think the real issue is that I feel guilty for feeling proud of my kids. Some part of me doesn't want to think the are insanely amazing because that means I think they are better than other kids. But I do think they are better than other kids. I think they are the most amazing kids in the whole world. And I think that has to be okay. I am afraid other parents will bristle at that but I'm not some sort of egomaniac. I do have perspective of some sort as is evidenced by my perhaps painful mental meandering right here. Clearly I don't actually believe that my kids deserve any more in life than anyone else but to me they are perfect. And I actually wish/hope that everyone felt that way about their kids. I know I wish my parents felt that way. Maybe they do but I have no idea and that's one think I plan to do differently with mine.

In short, my kids are no better than anyone else's and I will try never to let them feel superior to anyone on this planet. But, I will love them unconditionally always and do my darnedest to make sure they know it. And when I feel overwhelming pride and amazement in their presence I will not push it aside but let it be. Life can be so difficult sometimes that it's ridiculous to feel bad for feeling good.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

out of my league

Putting babies to sleep can be a challenge but in spite of the walking, rocking, and crying they've got nothing on 4-year-olds. Tonight was a fairly typical one with Henry during which I read several books and laid with him until he fell asleep. He generally does so very quickly and I enjoy the time with him for the most part. There tends to be a bit of chatter and conversation but tonight it went on for longer than usual. For about 20 minutes there were many statements, firm declarations and simple "whys" but I decided to focus on the questions. I think I got most of them in the right order. I'm sure I forgot a few but as you can see it became quite a challenge at some point, particularly as I tried to control my own existential crisis and he inspired it further.

What are other forms of transportation? What else? What else?
What else has wheels?
Why do people get dead?
Who is dead?
Who do we know is dead?
Where were we before we were born?
Who took care of us before we were born?
Why is the world in space?
Why is the earth heavy but it floats?
What is under the earth?
What holds the planets together?
What is gravity?
No, REALLY, what is gravity?
What do yellow bellied sap suckers do during the day?
Do they fly south?
Why is it warm in the south?
Why can't we see the arctic?
Why do great horned owls sleep at night?
Do I sometimes watch movies about reading and talking?
What day will it be tomorrow?
Did you go to sleep, mom?
Did you stop talking?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

two rubber bands

Or two elastic hair ties to be exact, were all it took for me to see her as a little girl for the first time. My dear Mia, I can't believe how big and grown up (for a baby) you are. You are sweet and funny and incredibly strong and determined. You are fearless and coordinated and mechanically-inclined. And to top it off you are beyond adorable...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i take my commitments seriously

Well, some of them. I don't know why I;m committed tot his posting every day thing this month but I am. I fell asleep with Henry at 7, woke up at 11:20, read and responded to some annoying email, brushed my teeth and have been laying in bed ruminating on those emails for about 15 minutes. Right as I decided that I would focus very hard on falling asleep (a dubious prospect in its own right), I remembered the commitment and looked at the clock. 11:52 and here I am without time to even compose a decent thought.

I can say that I have been spending too much brain power the last few days thinking and talking about Henry's school. It is going through a major transition/crisis and people are behaving badly. His pre-school program is great and safe but the grade school is a serious mess full of personal grudges and frustrations. Unfortunately I am entangled with a number of volunteer efforts that are now left hanging through an administrative transition and organizational chaos. I am trying to extricate myself as I am not at all pleased with the way things are being managed. A big part of the reason we thought we might stay with the school was the community but with so many people making gut-level decisions without any sense of the big picture, it's no longer a community worth the trouble for me at this moment. I have enough chaos in my life right now. So, off to bed w/2 minutes to spare. Hopefully I can put this all aside for the night. God knows it will all still be here tomorrow.


Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been noticing more oddities about my kids' eating habits lately. For one, they much prefer frozen (as in still frozen) peas and beans to cooked ones. In the summer, they like them raw from the garden and cooked, but when all I have is frozen they both jump at the chance to eat them cold and hard by the handful.

They also love to take herbs and vitamins of all sorts. I do add honey to the really intense herbs, like this week when they both had hacking coughs but their new found joy is little capsules filled with flavored fish oil. I won't even try them but they are obsessed. It almost makes me gag thinking about it but I'm not complaining in the least.

Henry did go through a year long phase from 3 to almost 4 when all he wanted was bread, cheese and pasta (and sushi of course) but thankfully he's back to trying most everything put in front of him. Mia does still out eat him most meals though. I have no idea what Mia's picky phase will look like since I no longer feed them pasta. Plain brown rice? Probably.

Tonight they ate a bunch of salmon and beans and rice and about an hour later Henry said, "that sauce we had with the fish tonight (teriyaki) I want some in a cup. To drink it." That's where I draw the line.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

place holder

Still recovering from the cold and another night short on sleep. I have been thinking about a long rambling post about my dear Mia and her constantly evolving personality but that will have to wait. Sleep is I just have to make the bed.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


I suppose it might be worth mentioning a bit of blog housekeeping for my very few remaining readers. I went through quite a posting dry spell earlier in the year. As I have mentioned, it has been a rough one. I haven't felt like myself. I have been a bit overwhelmed. I lost my voice, not literally, in case that wasn't obvious, but although I have met some people I adore through blogging and gotten closer with a coupe of people I already knew, I was starting to feel like every time I sat down to write a post I was writing it with a few people in mind. These people have different opinions and perspectives and lives and some I don't even know. This is all part of the blogging deal but it became an inhibitor for me. I was as interested in getting comments as I was in the experience of writing or the record keeping I am doing, both of which were the primary reasons I started to write online.

So, in an attempt to make the process more fun again and make me feel freer to write what am thinking and not what people might want to hear I closed comments. It feels odd to post without the chance for dialogue but right now I am just happy to be posting again and will review the features and limitations of the blog medium again I'm sure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

point of view

Today my mom said something about hoping I feel better soon and I said something vague about being resigned to not feeling great for a month or so (because I am trying to get over some health issues with symptoms that may very well get worse as I am getting better). From there the conversation went something like this:

her: No way. Not again!

me: Uh, no. I'm never having another baby.

h: Oh, thank God. I was thinking there's no way I could handle that.

m: No, there's no way I could handle it.

I think that sums up one of my biggest problems with my mother. She can and does make everything about her. The funny (not ha ha funny) thing is that she has no idea and I'm pretty sure she would say the same thing about me. I can't count the number of times she has (what feels like) one upped me on parenting issues. And it never comes across like she's tryign to be helpful or commiserate, just compete. It could be my perception but she makes it hard to think so.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

and again

Another tough day of work, (sick) kids, volunteer obligations and a crappy sinus cold. I am off to bed without anything to say except that I would give anything for a decent night's sleep and to feel better in the morning. Here goes nothing.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Do anyone else's kids want to eat butter alone? As in, "do you want butter and honey on your pancake?" "No, just butter." Okay, just butter on your pancake?" "No. Just butter." Today Henry ate a good chunk of a stick and then I caught Mia up on the counter with a huge spoon and a mouthful. Then again, neither of them have been eating much lately through the coughs and cold. I have nothing against fat for little kids, particularly when it's good quality but sometimes those two and their deep affection make me wonder.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

oh, the coughing

Henry has one of his signature terrible coughs but this sounds horrible even for him. He has been coughing for almost 24 hours straight, like only minutes in between coughs at most. It's painful to hear and, I'm sure, much more painful to experience. Mia has a milder, snottier version of it. I slept only a few hours last night. My sinuses are burny, my ears throb and I forgot what it is like to feel like this much of a zombie. God, I hope we can all sleep better tonight but the last few hours of Henry tossing and turning and hacking aren't promising. I have no idea what I will do about work deadlines tomorrow.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

lather. rinse. repeat.

Positing every day is not difficult. Posting something interesting every day is. Some days it is at least. I had a usual busy Monday at work after being up a few times last night with a coughing Henry. I got home and was told that the lantern walk (Waldorf ceremony thing) was tonight so I got the kids to eat as much random food from the fridge as I could and we bundled them up. the walk was not terribly well organized and afterword Henry wanted to stay at the park and play in the dark. We came home, got the kids to bed and now I am spacing out in front of my computer trying to get myself to do revisions on a couple of layout projects. I plan to get through one and do the other one in the morning between dropping kids off at pre-school, taking Mia to a doctor's appointment and a working on my real job. All I want to do is crash so this is all I have for now.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

too short

The weekend, that is. And not because we have been having so much fun. A weekend with two small kids is actually less relaxing that weekdays for us lately. I find that a little sad but so it goes. I had a couple of client projects to work on as well this weekend and I have just gotten back to it on Sunday night. I don't even get to wait until Monday. So, work I must.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

bra shopping with a 4-year-old boy

Henry's running dialog was more than amusing today: What kind of bra do you want? (looking around) A red one? A pink one? Why are those bras like that? Oh wow (reaching out and touching the bras as we passed the racks), these are comfy bras (padded satin). Why are all of these bras so comfy? Whoa, look at those bras. They're for huge boobs. You don't have boobs like that.

It was like he was saying the word "bra" as often as possible for comic effect, except that he wasn't. He was sincerely interested. It was hilarious. I didn't find anything that fit so I mentioned that I would go to a store in the mall to look. He said, "yeah, with me." So, there you go. We have our Sunday all planned out.


Friday, November 07, 2008

just for good measure

Henry has a great vocabulary and I am constantly impressed with his ability to infer meanings of words in context. The issue I have noticed with him and many of his peers is figuring out past tense. It is complicated and to be expected that it will take time. However, I can't help but correct him. I don't push and if he gets pissed (I just like to say tooken!) I just make a joke of it. I have mentioned that some things aren't words but he can say them however he wants. Soooo, tonight as he was trying to fall asleep he was rambling about sentences with "it" and "was" in them and asked if one was a word. He was pretty tired and delirious and started mumbling to himself, "leaf is a word. eat is a word. chuck roast is a word." Try as I might I couldn't help but prolong the bedtime routine with my laughter.


angels in disguise

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

end of the day and not much to say

It has been a long day following a sleepless night. I wonder if something astrological was going on last night because both kids didn't sleep well and in turn neither did we. i heard the same from a couple parents at school drop-off this morning. On top of that, I had a freelance deadline and a number of errands today so I don't have much steam left. Henry continues to be 4 but much more stable than the previous week or two. Mia is a serious handful but so funny and cute. She is going around the house feeling self-satisfied repeating, "why, why, why, why," thanks only to Henry. I don't want to rush her development (as though I could) but I am soooo curious about what this girl is going to have to say.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

flip side

Today was one of those days where you can't believe things ever seemed that bad. Henry is doing much better and I came home to him playing happily with finger puppets with the nanny. They were both all smiles and I am breathing easier on that one too. It's just one day but a step in the right direction and that's all I can ask for. Work is a bit hectic and uncertain right now but the people are good and we're in as good of a position as we can be so I'm going to sleep on it and hope we all wake up on the right side of the bed again tomorrow.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

a sigh of relief

Questions of what to do when a four-year-old sincerely doesn't like the nanny are bouncing around in my head. But, at the moment I am thankfully too relieved by the election results to worry too much about it. I feel like I can breathe in a way that I haven't in months. I know that stressing about anything is not useful and that goes double for things like politics but I really needed this Obama win to reaffirm my faith in humanity. Dramatic but true.

Monday, November 03, 2008

no precedent

Every day seems to be uncharted territory with Henry lately. From moment to moment I have no idea what to expect. My latest pet theory is that the whole Halloween candy conflict really shook his sense of stability and control. A bit extreme I know but a four-year-old who says "the whole world is bad" is a little more than I know what to do with. His stability is hinged on being completely in control of what happens when and how. Clearly this doesn't alway work in his favor and he simply can't recover without completely melting down into crisis mode full of weeping, shrieking, flailing and the like. It sucks. I am not into techniques. All I want is a stable, happy kid and I'm trying to work with him to get there. I don't want to give in to his every desire but right now they feel more like needs than wants to him and it doesn't feel right, nor is it at all effective, to dig in and fight him. I have a plan, some of which includes not over thinking it and giving him some time, another part of which includes an osteopathic treatment tomorrow. I have high hopes for both and if I can get some sleep now a busy day of appointments and uncertainty will seem much easier I'm sure.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

the faintest of memories

This weekend started out really rough after Halloween on Friday. Henry really eats very little sugar in real life and when he does it's not processed,colored, chemical crap. Also, I think just the promise of more candy in his future made him unstable. He was so unhinged for most of Saturday that we hardly got anything done. Next year I am throwing a party or something. They loved the trick-or-treating and dressing up but the hangover was a bitch. In any case, I had hoped to finally clean and organize to a serious degree but we didn't get very far. We did manage to stop by a day of the dead party in the early evening and the kids behaved beautifully (the 4-year-olds roved in a pack, dressed as knights and superheroes from the host's costume stash). I chatted with friends and met some new people and felt like a social adult for the first time in as long as I can remember.

Today was better all around. The candy had been disposed of and everyone was much more even-tempered. I actually had decent energy and cleaned and organized and read books with Henry and cooked and briefly raked leaves (until it started to downpour). Jason made a great roast and we had a couple with two kids over whom we haven't seen since the middle of summer. They brought more great food and everything went off without a hitch. Totally pleasant and easy. Now the kids are asleep and my house is cleaner than it has been in a very long time. I do have to work a bit now and I'm not feeling great about the Monday morning routine ahead but I don't feel too bad about anything either. I shouldn't get ahead of myself but I am feeling more balanced and more like myself than I have in a long time. I have had many good moments intermingled with the rough ones lately but something about this feel more real, more normal, not like a swing. For that I will hold much hope.

No matter what, I always have the cuteness to keep me from going too far afield:

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

back into the swing of things

Well, not really but at least I am getting some perspective. It has been a challenging few months, summer, well, year I suppose. Going back to work in the office 3 days a week (plus 2 at home) and moving the office and hiring a new person there and going through 3 nannies before one (seems to have) stuck and generally managing to keep everyone clothed, bathed, fed, and semi-happy has been a challenge for me to say the least. I have dropped a lot of things including blogging, anything social, my sanity but lately I feel like we may be emerging from the fog of stress and sleep deprivation. Years ago a friend told be that after his kids were born (a few years apart) he didn't sleep well (or all night or something similarly horrifying) for around 7 years. At the time I figured he was crazy or hyperbolic or joking or his children were truly a mess. Now, I find this completely reasonable and understand exactly what he meant, although I am only going on 5 years at this point (I slept like hell during both pregnancies so I am counting that first 9 months as well). It really is taking a toll on me mentally and physically and although I have been trying to sort it out and figure out how to take care of myself I am still looking for a better set of solutions. I'm going to try to write every day for the month at least so hopefully, for my sake, I will be shedding some light on this project to improve my sanity right quick here.

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