Wednesday, December 31, 2008

focusing on the ending, looking toward a new beginning

Since I am not out celebrating, or doing much of anything on this last evening of 2008, I feel that I should be doing some sort of year in review. It goes something like this. 2008 was hard and tiring. I didn't feel as good as I wanted to and I didn't behave as well as I would like to have. Despite all of this I am blessed with a life that is much harder in my head than in reality. In fact, my life is quite nice and lovely in many ways. I think I did a good job of recognizing this frequently but sleep deprivation and stress and frustration on many levels made for many fewer truly happy moments than there could have been in the last year. I hit bottom and I am thankful that I can see it safely behind me at the moment.

Given the relative state of the world, I have things very easy and am incredibly thankful for my kids, husband, parents and in-laws, nanny, boss/co-workers and friends. I have a lot of flexibility in my weeks and days and am starting to appreciate that for what it is. Work looks good for 2009, challenging but exciting. Family has been rough around the edges but I am feeling a renewed sense of love and hopefulness about the future. I am moving forward with compassion and determination to make life more fun, easier, more peaceful, for myself and those around me. I have high hopes for each day. Happy 2009.

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Monday, December 29, 2008


I started out the Christmas season as it were with an optimistic list of crafts. I finished most of them but it was a real crunch when I got a nasty cold a week before Christmas that lingered until Christmas Eve. I barely finished the many soft trees in time to give some away and have a small forest of my own to display.

I had high hopes for garland made out of felted wool balls but even though I started this one over a month in advance, the red roving was a huge pain in the ass and I ran out of steam. Now I have a nice big pile of little felt balls to put aside for completion next year.

We didn't buy many presents for the kids since they don't really need much and we knew our parents would be giving them some toys. I did make them each big felt balls and a set of beanbags for Henry. Hell, the chocolate coins in their stockings probably would have been good enough.

We did have a moment of concern when we realized that we were practically snowed in and there was a chance that my parents wouldn't make it and neither would the gifts from Jason's parents. I wasn't at all worried by the small number of gifts but at Henry's increasing questions about Santa Claus. I never planned on doing the Santa thing. I don't feel right lying to him but as time has passed I feel like an even bigger jerk for robbing him of this idea that excites him so much. So, I mostly evade the questions and casually ask how he thinks it works. He has his theories, particularly about our lack of a chimney. So, getting to the point, on Christmas morning he excitedly announced that Santa had brought him beanbags. He is seriously logical and aware for a 4-year-old so it surprised me when he gleefully announced that the beanbags Santa brought were in the same fabric as my trees. Uh, the fabric he had helped pick out a month before. Hmmm. I still find it surprising but he is too young and transparent to be playing along. He believes and as much as I hesitate on the whole issue his joy really is lovely.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

a mile a minute

The fact that Henry starts many thoughts with, "okay, so..." is completely my fault.

In other tales of verbal children, I have been meaning to write down Mia's fist few words for months. She has been saying a number of words, as I have mentioned, for quite some time but the real explosion is just beginning so if I don't do this now it will never happen. With Henry I kept a chronological list of all of his words that we updated every few weeks. I thought that Mia's verbal development was moving slow enough that I would have time to sort of catch up but I have a feeling this is just one of many things with her on which I will never catch up. Okay, so, here goes Mia's words at 20 months:

hiiieee (or something equally unreproducible but consistent for henry)
dee dee (the dog)
nay (for horse)
ba (for sheep)
mooom (for cow)
cak ga (for rooster)
dot (for polka dot)
boppy (my dad whom henry calls bop)
gigi (my mom)
mooo (more)
dow (down)
wawa (water)
bahbye (bye bye)
beees (please)
mine (yelled at high volume. thanks, henry!)
no no
ney ney (night night)
boo (as in peek-a-boo, uses same sound for book)
gak cak (chocolate, another favorite)

* oh how she loves her baby doll and pretending to be a baby. she and henry have a whole baby language and role playing thing they do. it's amazing to me that such a young child can get into pretending to be a baby when she has such little exposure to babies. maybe she is going on memory? amazing either way.

**she has been saying this one almost the longest and greets people every time the enter or leave even the smallest spaces.

***cutest word/pronunciation yet.

****amazingly she seems to have picked up the meaning and uses it appropriately and constantly.


Saturday, December 27, 2008


With all of the snow and all of the illness (mostly run-of-the-mill but lingering colds) in our house we have hardly left the premises in weeks. It has had its nice moments and its not so nice moments. The kids got a little nuts, Jason got stir crazy and I was feeling really worn out. Thank god our nanny made it over most days so I could actually work and work on the little crafts and stuff I planned for the kids for Christmas. Handmade does have a downside. I am once again reminded how lucky I am to be able to work from home when needed. Also thankfully, I felt fine by Christmas day but Jason has since relapsed. It's been more than a bit rough. Today though I left the house multiple times (all with kids) and saw people and went to the grocery store and had fun. It was nice. I needed to get out more than I realized and am feeling better. However, it feels like it has been weeks since I have worked and going into the office, even though it's just for 3 days this week will be strange and likely be really tough for the kids, particularly Mia who has been attached to me whenever she possibly can.

Christmas was nice and I will post photos of my handmade gifts and projects soon. I hope life is lovely for you these days.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

i guess whole paycheck really is evil

I know this is likely not news to anyone who lives in Portland and would be reading this blog but I am really baffled. I caught wind of this a few weeks ago but reading the perspective directly from a New Season's representative really did it. There are many instances in which our legal system makes no sense to me and this is at the top of the list. New Seasons is our neighborhood grocery and I love it for many reasons (even though I do buy wholesale natural foods and shop the farmer's markets as much as possible). I would hate to see it in jeopardy and will not be setting foot in Whole Foods again. Really, I have no reason to with all of the other amazing resources we are so lucky to have available.

New Seasons Market: We're Just Trying To Mind Our Own (Local) Business

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

reality check

I am noticing a tendency in Henry lately and I'm not sure what to call it. Embellishment? Backing up ones ideas with fabricated facts? He wants to be right and have the right answers and believes he does know what he's talking about even when he doesn't. He has always argued a point but usually would acquiesce when we had more information and move on to the dozen whys. Lately though he comes up with an idea or explanation and will do whatever it takes to convince me of it. I don't want to call it lying exactly because I think he really believes he is right and is just making up the rationale. Besides, I don't think it really needs that kind of label/definition. I find it rather amusing really at this age. We'll see how it goes as time passes. I remember doing the exact same thing as a kid when I was sure I knew something and felt like I had to prove it.

I guess it did start months ago when he would tell me he had seen something on tv at my mom's when I wasn't there or would tell Jason or me some insane fact that he had learned with the other one of us. Actually, I think I wrote about one such instance many months ago but my tags aren't good enough that I have a clue how to find it now.

Last week I was picking some things up at his school and he was running around with a couple fo girls who were around 4/5 and 7. In the car as we were leaving I asked if he knew either of their names. he said he didn't but one was a boy and one was a girl. I contradicted him but he stuck to it and after a little back and forth said, "no he is a boy. I asked him if he was a boy and he said yes." Hmmm. I debated that so he replied, "I asked him and he went up to his dad (who was there also) and said am I a boy or a girl and his day said you are a boy." Hmmm again. Yeah, right. He was looking for authority for his argument but didn't understand how illogical it was. I argued a bit but quickly dropped it.

Tonight I was rubbing his back and we got into a conversation about bones and muscles. He stated that bones and muscles are the same thing, bone-muscles, really. Of course I gently tried to explain otherwise to which he replied, "the last time i was at gigi and bop's house, not the time with the decorations but the time before that, when only bop was there and gigi was gone, i asked bop to type on the computer "are bones and muscles the same thing" and he typed that and we looked at pictures of bone-muscles. they are the same thing." I said, "hmmmm." He paused a few seconds and then said, "okay?" To which I replied, "hmmmm."


Monday, December 08, 2008


Actually, Mia is far from advanced verbally. Probably pretty average I would guess. But, a few of the words she repeats regularly are certainly not typical 19-month-old words. Unless that 19-month-old has a 4-year-old sibling that is. Of course Henry hates it when she repeats back, "why, why, why, why, why." Maybe he is getting a sense of how we feel. Also favorites are, "no, no, no, no, no, no, no" and my all time favorite to date, "puhhhleeeeease, puhhhleeeeease, puhhhleeeeease, puhhhleeeeease."

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