Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Check This Out

Too busy wrapping gifts and cleaning house in preparation for Mom & Dad's arrival to post today. Okay, you got me, we've gotten up late and I've only just started making waffles. The Bug is bouncing in her exersaucer and Sweet Pea is enjoying a fresh tangerine at the table. There is a load of laundry washing though nobody has yet had a shower, and almost all the gifts still need to be wrapped. Slipshod is still sleeping like the dead.

Had an interesting and very vivid dream about Ireland last night - something about Slipshod and I trying to find a special book.

But for today, I leave you with this - in case you didn't already go to the link from QofS's blog. Because you have to hear this. Really.

Put away your glassware, get some tissues ready for your bleeding ears, and have a listen. Most importantly, you may not want to hold small children while listening to this, because you will be so overcome by laughter that you may not be able to keep your grip on them.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Morning Discovery

I guess the messed up sleep was due to teething after all... this morning The Bug has a tooth! Her lower left front tooth, which we could tell would be the first out of the gate, has finally cut. YAY! I'm hoping that the right one will cut in a couple days and then we can start sleeping better again for a while.

Finally, an Update!

Well, bullet points, anyway...

Somehow during normal play days with the girls I am trying to get us organized for Christmas. It's not going extremely well - for instance, I just finished my Christmas shopping and the gift for my niece in Virginia won't arrive at her house until January 2nd. Also, the gift I've had for a week for the little Bohemian is still sitting here, hasn't gone out in the mail yet, and probably won't arrive in So. Cal. until after Christmas (sorry!). However, I am finished with my shopping now, and it's time for the fun part - wrapping!

Here's what else has been going in our household since last I posted:

Slipshod is working too much and too hard. Nothing new there. He was going to take Thursday and Friday off this week but decided that he really shouldn't miss those 3 meetings on Thursday. BUT, he's taking all of next week off. YEAH!


The Bug likes peas. Bananas are what got Sweet Pea interested in eating solid foods, but this one likes peas. AND, she will only actually take food into her mouth if SHE is the one who sticks the spoon in. She has also cultivated a brand new sound of frustration, which she first used last night at the dinner table while trying to wrest her water cup out of Sweet Pea's hands (Sweet Pea was just trying to keep The Bug from spilling water all over herself). The sound clearly means, "don't TAKE that away from me," but can also be used to convey the sentiment, "hey, I just dropped/threw that toy out of my reach!"

Sweet Pea flipped her daddy off the other night. He said she knew what she was doing because she told him (I still don't know the whole story - he must have asked her if it meant something to her) that I had told her it was not a nice thing to do with your hand. This is where I wonder if I have an alternate personality, because I have ZERO recollection of being in a situation where I had to explain that to her. Am I the worst mother ever? I guess not - after all, even though I don't remember the exchange, I apparently did tell her that it's a bad thing... But geez, she's only 3 and she doesn't even go to preschool (where you'd think she might learn stuff like that earlier) - what gives?


Today, after Clark the cat stuck his claws into Sweet Pea's new yellow socks (not while she was wearing them), I heard her sternly admonish him to "NEVER do that again," and then she put him on time-out! ha ha ha! I had a good silent laugh while changing The Bug's diaper in the next room. She then tried to get him to stay in one place upstairs for his time-out, asked me to make him stay in one place, which I had to tell her I couldn't do, and then, failing that, she proceeded to follow him around the house carrying a time-out cushion made of dirty laundry, trying to get him to lie down on it. hee hee hee!

Sweet Pea has begun to disobey, willfully and often. She tells me "no" when I ask her to do things. There is steam coming out of my ears sometimes, but I am trying not to scream all day every day. Instead, she has learned that if I count all the way to 3 in a stern voice before she obeys me, she will have a time-out. It actually works pretty well and after she is sternly disciplined by me or Slipshod she usually recovers from her disappointment pretty quickly considering how much whining and stalling was involved in the preceeding conflict.

Before I was a parent I used to natter on about how parents should be utterly consistent and that would make the kids obey all the time. Now I am learning the truth of the matter: Give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Sweet Pea most often disobeys when I am least able to be consistent, like when I am in the middle of a diaper change or a nursing session.

I'm getting a more impressive Mom voice now, though. And she's learning to take me a little more seriously. Today after a 1-2-3 conflict during a nursing session I gave her a lecture about how she has to obey me and Daddy because we know what is best for her and sometimes it's a matter of safety, etc. Instead of bucking at the "obey me" part of the lecture she said, "only you, Mama! I only want to obey YOU, not Daddy!" I know that's screwed up and we are constantly trying to get her to take what Daddy says as well as she takes what I say, but at the same time I almost had to laugh because she admitted that she wants to obey. Whew...

Lastly, we had a wonderful early Christmas celebration this past Sunday with Slipshod's family. They all came over here and there were 26 of us mashed into the house. Thankfully it was a potluck, as are all full-family occasions with Slipshod's family. The floor is worse for the wear, because you can't get that many people together, kids included, without drinks being spilled. But otherwise everything went wonderfully, and it was great to see everyone. The picture below shows just how out of control Slipshod's mom is. She defended herself by saying, "well I only got one present each for the girls," (which is not actually true). You'll notice that Sweet Pea's present FILLS OUR ENTIRE FAMILY ROOM. At least it folds up nicely and this year they gave us something that wasn't inflatable!
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Surrender

You know, sometimes when you just truly say, "what will be will be," you can still get things done.

Last night I was just NOT going to set the alarm for 6am and get up and take a shower. I figured we'd see how the morning went, and I would hope to get Sweet Pea to her last art class, but if it didn't happen I wouldn't fret over it. I really didn't want her to miss it, though.

When The Bug woke up this morning I nursed her in bed while Sweet Pea continued to sleep, and since she was STILL sleeping when The Bug was full of milk and had a clean dry diaper, I elected to lay The Bug back in bed where we could see each other and "chat," and I folded the 5 loads of clean laundry that have been sitting in the baskets for a couple days.

When Sweet Pea woke up we went downstairs and had a pre-breakfast snack of yogurt and graham crackers, then we went back up and I took a shower. Back down for real breakfast, watched Dragon Tales, then went through the arduous and maddening process of getting Sweet Pea dressed. Of course The Bug had a huge poop in the middle of all of this and needed to nurse before we left the house, but that all worked in just fine and we got Sweet Pea to her class on time!

Today's story was about a little dog named Olive, who thought she was supposed to help Santa Claus with his sleigh on Christmas Eve because she kept hearing that song on the radio about "Olive, the other reindeer" (and that is the title of the book). Ha ha ha!

Thus, todays' crafts were of course - reindeer. This time Sweet Pea was able to complete the project and do circle time at the end as well, though she chose not to actually *participate* in circle time. I told her to go sit on the floor with the other kids, and then the teacher told them to stand up and did the "reindeer pokey" with them. Sweet Pea remained squatted on the floor and just watched everyone dance around her. ha ha! Sometimes I worry that she is a loner, but I think it's just that she has not been in this type of situation much and I have not given her the opportunity to hone her interpersonal kills with other kids her age. She certainly doesn't have any trouble interacting with adults.
The teacher was impressed with Sweet Pea's painting of a reindeer. It's cute, but her kitty cats are WAY more detailed. Sweet Pea did the body with a brush and then the teacher said to use their fingers to make little dots for the red nose and black eyes. Then she painted the antlers with her finger. She had been wanting to fingerpaint since we went to the first class, so she got to do that. Hooray!
This lovely stuff one of the other moms called "flubber." The teacher gave us the recipe. It feels SO WEIRD. Sweet Pea totally loves it. She was actually kissing it when we got it home. Ewww! hee hee The teacher had this stuff out in little buckets for the kids to play with before class, and then she gave them each a blob to take home at the end of class.

Today I determined that my original assessment that most of the other kids in Sweet Pea's "messy art" class are younger than her may have been wrong. Like I said, I have very little ability to eyeball people's ages simply by looking at them. However, today I HEARD a number of the kids and most of them were speaking every bit as clearly as Sweet Pea. Since she was an early talker, I'm now guessing that most of these kids are actually right around her age, and my assessment was probably wrong because compared to most of these kids, she is a giant. See? Yet another reason it's difficult to figure out how old people, especially kids, are, just by looking at them.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Cute is Losing its Effectiveness

The other day I thought I had found acceptance. I thought I had relearned the lessons I learned first in labor: Don't fight it because fighting makes it hurt more and last longer (or suck more, in this case). Let it wash over you in a wave and eventually it will pass.

Turns out I had just had an extra half hour or so of sleep the night before and as a result was feeling a bit more chipper that day.

But I went to bed the night before last feeling rather accepting; thinking, "well, there's really nothing I can do about this, I need to just live with it because bitching about it makes it so much worse." The Bug did wake up when I went to bed that night, and kept me up until 2am, but then she slept until 7am.

That would have been utter heaven for me if Sweet Pea had stayed asleep. In a freakish move, she woke up at 2am just as I got The Bug back into her co-sleeper. She said she needed to blow her nose, and then she needed to get up and go potty. I took care of both situations with her without waking Slipshod or The Bug, and we went back to bed. Just before 4am Sweet Pea woke me out of a dead sleep asking for some soy milk to drink.

I begged Slipshod to get it for her and he agreed and questioned whether I was really letting her have soy milk rather than water in the middle of the night, because our usual policy is to only let her have water once she has brushed her teeth. I was too exhausted to even remember that. Slipshod, however, is tremendously lucid while he's sleeping. Yes, he was sleeping when we had this conversation. He agreed to go get Sweet Pea the drink, then rolled over and continued to sleep. So I dragged my weary ass out of bed and downstairs, taking Sweet Pea because otherwise she would have burst into loud wails, thereby waking The Bug. I figured she must be pretty thirsty to ask for a drink at 4am so I gave her half a sippy cup full of soy milk. After three sips, she was done - put her cup on the bedside table, laid back down, and we both went back to sleep. The Bug woke up at 7am. Sweet Pea slept until 9am.

Last night, The Bug woke up a whole bunch of times. In order to get any sleep myself, I've had to nurse her in bed laying down and then move her later once she falls asleep and I wake up and realize she's asleep. Last night every time I moved her she woke up, so I just left her in bed with me too. Sweet Pea kept rolling over and bonking The Bug in the head with her arms/elbows/hands/head because her usual MO is to roll until she's right up next to me, and with The Bug in between she couldn't get there. But as long as she was in bed with us The Bug slept a little better than she has been.

I, on the other hand, slept the best I could on my side in about 8 inches of space, with my back up against the co-sleeper.

I know I'm bitching a lot here, but really, can you blame me? Both my girls have done this to me - sleep through the night for months as young babies and then totally turn the tables on me. I really don't know what's going on with The Bug either. We have given her Infant Tylenol before bed and during the night, and it doesn't seem to help. I figured she must be in pain, you know, to suddenly start waking up like this overnight, but wouldn't you think Tylenol would do something if pain were the problem? I have tried different jammies, putting her in her sleep sack, not putting her in her sleep sack, one blanket, two blankets, etc. Nothing. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this sudden change.

I give up. I just hope I can get through how ever long this is going to take on so little sleep without one of the girls getting hurt due to me being less coherent than usual.

As difficult as this is, I think it would be slightly easier if we didn't have Slipshod's entire maternal family coming over on Sunday to celebrate Christmas. Yes, I invited them. And I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and having a family potluck here. HOWEVER, our house looks like a hurricane went through right now, and I'm not getting much done around here with all these sleep issues going on - I'm trying to nap and go to bed with the girls when I can. Sometimes I just can't, though - last night I stayed up late washing all the dishes that had been piling up, because I was sick of having to wash something in order to cook, and sick of having no counter space.

We also need to Christmas shop, which we do largely online, and I prefer to do after the girls' bedtime so I can actually concentrate. Which is hard to do when you've barely slept in a week.

Tomorrow is also Sweet Pea's last art class, which requires me to get up ass early and take a shower before Slipshod goes to work. I will probably need to get up around the time that I could finally be getting a couple Zs. Oh well. Whaddaya gonna do.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Baby is Trying to Kill Me

Her sister took this picture and I think it shows her cunning Mommy-killing mind at work.

For the past four nights, The Bug has been waking in the middle of the night, or sometimes even before I go to bed (to be fair I often get there around 12:30, duh) and keeping me up for HOURS. The first night of this, she was awake from 12:30 - 6am. Then Sweet Pea woke up and I had to get up at 7:30am. We are spending a LOT of time in front of the TV these days because I feel so brain-dead. Gah.

I thought that maybe this was some kind of reaction to her shots kicking in late, but wouldn't that have stopped by now? She got the shots on Tuesday morning. Based on the occasional apparent need to nurse and then popping off and fussing, I'm thinking it's teething.

Now, let me just tell you, I nearly died from Sweet Pea's 21 miserable months of teething. I seriously had to convince myself, over the course of a couple years, that it would not be the same with a second child. That it would be better. I could not fathom having another baby if teething were going to be that bad again.

Guess what? THIS IS WORSE. Sweet Pea never kept me up ALL night. I sternly admonished The Bug that if this is teething for her, she must cut 4 at once, because otherwise I may seriously die. Or jump off the roof. And we live in a two-story house now.

She is clearly so tired when she's awake, but somehow at the same time she's VERY awake and smiley and chipper (at least she's not crying, right? That would send me right over the edge). I could have told you this before, but I'm reminded nightly again, that being extremely cute really is a fantastic defense mechanism. Good thing we have enough ambient light in the house at night that I can see her precious face in the dark.

Thankfully, Sweet Pea, who sleeps in our bed with Slipshod and me, is able to sleep through all the waking-crying, Mommy cussing in a whisper-yell, Mommy getting up and down, up and down, in and out of bed, Daddy getting up, the door opening and closing, etc.

While Slipshod, The Bug and I are suffering, Sweet Pea continues to sleep her 10 1/2 hours or so per night, obvlious to the whole crappy situation. Whew... She can even sleep through the occasional hair-yanking. The Bug LOVES to play with Sweet Pea's hair and since she's all of six months old, if she gets ahold of it she inevitably pulls it. I do my best to keep her hands away from Sweet Pea's head at night.

Bleh... anyway, send sleepy wishes to The Bug so we can all get some sleep around here.

All I want for Christmas is her two front teeth!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The First Feeding

"What the heck is this you're trying to feed me, Mom?" The Bug seemed to say. But she thought the spoon was super fun to chew on.
Sweet Pea thinks that she's smiling when she does this with her face. She is SO excited that The Bug tried rice cereal tonight, and can't wait until she can eat everything else as well. She (Sweet Pea) was a great "helper" (you know what I mean...) while I was feeding The Bug. She cheered The Bug on, and gave her sips of water between my attempts to get her to eat rice cereal from the spoon.
This one's just so cute I had to post it.

One thing related to eating that I forgot to mention from the doctor's appointment today: He said that her bottom teeth are not going to pop out imminently, as I keep claiming. He said there is still quite a gum ridge in there, and we've still got a while before those toofers come out. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Appointment Update

Okay, so we had a good appointment with the doctor this morning. The Bug weighs 14lbs. 14oz., is 25 inches long, and her head circumference is 17in. She is growing well and is in great health. Everything has gone so much faster this time that 6 months really snuck up on me and I haven't gotten her started AT ALL on solid foods yet! We have bought the rice cereal, though, and I've just washed and sterilized the breast pumps, so tonight The Bug should have her first experience with solids. Should be fun! :o)

Developmentally, The Bug is sitting up very well despite still not mastering rolling over. Now that she can sit, she just doesn't care about the rolling. I wish she would master that, though, so I could worry less about her when she's playing and sleeping on her back. Yes, I'm usually right there, but sometimes I'm in the bathroom or something and when she rolls from her back to her tummy, she's stuck. She can hold her head up well and play that way, but she eventually gets tired, and sometimes I come back to find her just laying on her tummy with her head down, looking to one side... it's kind of sad looking, though she's perfectly fine. But I'd just rather that she knew how to roll well. I imagine that will come with time.

She is also jabbering more. A couple weeks ago she started making "ba ba ba" noises, and now that's her favorite thing to yell. With a big grin on her face. hee hee!

As for her eyes, they may stay blue... Sweet Pea's are super dark brown right now and they started going dark-dark pretty early, like maybe when she was 2 or 3 months old. Around the same age, The Bug's eyes lightened, which makes me think they're going to stay blue. But, we shall see. Time will tell. They are totally gorgeous right now so I not-so-secretly hope that they stay blue. Especially since I never dreamed that I had a recessive blue gene and could have a blue-eyed child!

The Bug did get 4 shots today, but she is FINE! I wonder if the discomfort/crankiness will kick in later today, or tomorrow. The first time she got shots she was miserable for the entire rest of the day. The second time, she was pretty much fine. But we had given her Infant Tylenol before she got the shots. This time, I had the Tylenol bottle in my back pocket when I brought the girls downstairs this morning, but it dropped out in the kitchen when I sat down to nurse and I forgot to pick it up, and they didn't have any at the doctor's office. So we went without it, and even so, she's fine! She cried while she got the shots, of course, but once they were done she calmed down easily, then she nursed, and on the way out of the office she gave the doctor a huge happy smile. He's not the one who gave her the shots, of course, but still - you'd think she'd be a bit cranky in general. ha ha! YAY. I still haven't given her any Tylenol and think I'll just wait and see what happens. There's no point in giving her medicine that she doesn't need.

I also told the doctor about Sweet Pea's leg hurting last week and her fall and syncope episode yesterday. He said he had talked with the pediatric neurologist after that appointment in May, that the neurologist hadn't found anything neurologically wrong, and that he agrees with the neurologist that she has some kind of syncope. I told him that I'm starting to get all worried that she's not going to outgrow it and he said, in his friendly and down-t0-earth kind of way, "well, if she doesn't, there's really nothing you can do about it." Ha ha! So true. Sometimes we need a reminder... He said that he has had full-grown adults who pass out at the mere mention of the word "blood," and others who respond that way to other stimulus. "Some of us are just wired differently," he said, and that's how it is. Hopefully she will outgrow this by age 5, but the similar occurrence that happened to Slipshod happened in his teens, and his mom had something similar to Sweet Pea's condition well into her 20s. Bleh.

Anyway, he checked her legs and watched her walk and said everything seems fine there. Then he told us about one of his daughters having a similar thing happen and that it came and went twice, and seems to have gone away for good now. Our doctor is not a whole lot older than we are and his two daughters are only about 4-5 years older than ours, so it's nice that we relate to each other as parents (of two girls, even) as well as doctor-patient.

We totally love our doctor and his staff but determined on the drive down today that we really need to find a local pediatrician and/or family practitioner. As much as we don't want to leave them, the drive is just way too long. Today we left an hour early, which should have gotten us there 15 minutes early or at least allowed for problems on the way, but we drove past not one, but two, traffic accidents on the freeway, and arrived late. It's just too far away now. We had wanted to stay with them even while we live up here because we know we will be moving back to the South Bay sometime during the next 5 years or so, and we don't want to lose a doctor we like so well - but this is just kind of crazy, what we're doing. I told the doctor that one of my concerns it that when we move back down, he might not be accepting patients and we wouldn't be able to get back in to see him. He said, "oh, no. That won't be a problem." So, that's nice to know. Makes me feel better to know that even if we can't see them for a few years, we'll still be able to go back when we move back to that area.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Never a Dull Moment...

How was your weekend?

We had a fun one. Sunday we went to my sister's house and had a good time with my family. Today Mom, Dad, and my sister and brother came over to our house and we had a hoot cooking and eating lunch together, and playing with Sweet Pea and her toys, and my brother got to hold The Bug a couple times (he lives on the other end of the country so this was the first time he got to meet her, and somehow he didn't get to snuggle with her yesterday).

Unfortunately, toward the time they were all talking about leaving, Sweet Pea fell over and hit her head on the (Pergo-covered concrete) floor and passed out again. It felt better to have a name to put to the condition back in May, but having this happen again just made me worried all over again, especially when my sister told me that she thinks that the diagnosis (Pallid Syncope) is just a blanket term, and they really don't know what's wrong.

At least we knew what to do this time. I was nursing The Bug so I couldn't get to Sweet Pea right when she fell down, but I could just tell that she was going to pass out again. She started crying right away but my brother picked her up, which of course is what anyone would do with a kid who has fallen and hit her head and is crying. But when he picked her up she went pale and limp in his arms and stopped breathing, as she does when this happens. He didn't hear me saying, "put her down," as soon as he picked her up. But once she passed out my sister told our brother to put Sweet Pea's head down, and she picked up Sweet Pea's feet and held them up in the air. Sweet Pea came back around right away. She wasn't out as long this time as she was the last two times, which was a relief, but that didn't stop me from crying and wanting to pick her up. I am so glad that my family was here. My sister picked her up once she was "back with us," and my mom got an ice pack for her head, and she sat with my sister (her recently chosen favorite-person-in-the-world-who-is-not-Mommy) on the couch and had a drink.

Usually she falls asleep after these episodes but she didn't today, even though she had not taken a nap and was totally exhausted. She was very limp, though, so after Sweet Pea hugged everyone goodbye, I had my dad (the last person to hug her before they left) prop her up in the corner of the couch and we've just been watching TV ever since... I really thought she would go to sleep when the shows were on, but she hasn't. Early to bed tonight, though. For all of us. Tomorrow morning we're going to the doctor for The Bug's 6-month checkup, so I will definitely be telling the doctor about this. Back in May the pediatric neurologist said that this was a textbook case of Pallid Syncope and although it's scary, it's nothing to worry about, but I figure we should let the doctor know whenever she passes out!

Sweet Pea was also walking funny for about four days last week. One day after she got up from her nap she couldn't walk for a while and said her left leg hurt, but nothing had happened that we knew of. I don't know if she slept wrong or what, but she was still feeling pain for at least four days, because she was walking very strangely. After I mentioned taking her to see the doctor she kept insisting that it didn't hurt, though she was still walking strangely. I think whatever was wrong has resolved itself now, but I'm still going to tell the doctor about it.

Bleh. Emotional drain. Even more of it, I mean. I've been having a really hard time for the past week or so with Slipshod working later again, all the out-of-house activity we've had going on last week and coming up this week, and The Bug's sudden change in sleep activity - she seems to be ultra-sensitive all of a sudden to being set down or having me make her stop nursing when she's fallen asleep at the boob. So naps are not happening as frequently or lasting as long as they were, and Mommy's going crazy. BUT last night she did sleep for 8 hours straight. I think that most, if not all, of her nighttime difficulties over the past week or two have been due to me not putting enough blankets on her. Duh.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just A Quickie

I had some great blog ideas yesterday but now I can't remember what they were.

Slipshod's mom and her hubby came over yesterday to see the girls and brought a pie. Yum. After naps we went out and got a Christmas tree. It's still in its net "sock" but it's in the living room, hooray, and the house is starting to smell all Christmassy.

Sweet Pea and The Bug went to sleep at a decent hour but The Bug woke up a couple hours later, just as I finished the dishes, and I could not get her back to sleep to save my life. She kept me up until 2am! Then of course a totally refreshed Sweet Pea woke up at 7:30am after she got to sleep 10 1/2 hours uninterrupted, and obviously I had to get up and start the day, even though I only got about 5 hours of sleep. But that's something, I guess. The Bug won't nap today, either. God, I wish these teeth would pop out, or if that's not the problem, then I wish the problem would become apparent so I could try to do something about it. Again I ask, why don't these children come with digital readouts on their foreheads? It would be so very helpful to me if I could just look at the baby and read "tank empty," or "replace rear manifold cover."

The Bug does seem to already have the beginning of an understanding of the sign for "milk." Every time she nurses, I sign "milk" to her after I get her on the boob, and then again when the milk lets down. She now squeezes her hand like she's making the milk sign before and during nursing sessions. Yay! Contact has been made! Sweet Pea is excited to teach her little sister more sign language, so that will be fun. We looked up the sign for "Christmas" yesterday, so now we can sign about the Christmas tree (we already knew the sign for tree). Looks like it's time to start watching our Signing Time DVDs again. I don't think The Bug will be into them just yet, and I don't like to show her TV at all, really, but Sweet Pea and I need to brush up on all the signs we used to know so well so we can teach the baby!

To completely change the subject, if we ever get going today, we're going to my sister's house to celebrate her birthday and also to see my parents and my brother. My brother was in Utah on business all week last week, and my dad said, "hey, why don't you come over and see us since you're so close already?" so he flew out yesterday. It will be GREAT to see him - we don't get to do that very often since he and his family live on the other side of the country. Yay!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Can't Rush Art


Yesterday I took Sweet Pea and The Bug to the community center for a "messy art" class I had signed Sweet Pea up for. As you can imagine, the theme right now is Christmas. The class is called "Tinsel Time." ha ha!

This is actually the first class of any sort Sweet Pea has ever attended so it was interesting to see her in that setting. Made me really want to get off my butt and look into Montessori, because if regular school is anything like what I witnessed yesterday, they would take my focused child and MAKE her have the attention span of an MTV junkie. But she had a lot of fun.

The first activity of the 45-minute class was story time. The teacher had the kids gather 'round on the floor and she read a book to them. I had to all but push Sweet Pea over to the group of kids because she didn't know anything about sitting in a bunch to hear a story read. What? I should take my child to the library, you say? hee hee. Once sitting down she was very interested in the story and looked at the pictures and listened attentively, but every so often would turn around, make eye contact with me and mouth "Mama," to make sure I was nearby.

After story time the teacher told the kids what to collect from the table and then they took their supplies and went to sit down at a lower activity table. The supplies were a large pinecone each, hot glued to a sturdy piece of card stock, a small paper cup containing glue, and a tongue depressor. Then the teacher came around and put a tray of beads and other sparkly things on each table and gave each child a tiny paper cup overflowing with some sort of foamy stuff. They were supposed to mix the glue and the foamy stuff and then wipe the result all over the poor unsuspecting pine cone. Sweet Pea stopped mixing when she got a little foam on her hand and wanted me to do the messy part. ha ha!

Anyway, we finally got around to the part where she could stick the beads, etc. on the foam to decorate her "tree." Sweet Pea took great care in her selection of decorations and was so incredibly focused that I thought she couldn't hear anything else. The rest of the class moved swiftly from that activity to painting and shaking glitter onto paper Christmas tree cutouts, but Sweet Pea did not want to stop the first activity, and the teacher came by, noticed how focused she was and said, "she can do that for as long as she wants." So even though she had wanted to fingerpaint when we talked about the class at home, she chose not to do that while we were there.

After the very quick tree-painting activity there was "circle time" when the teacher taught the kids a little poem with movements. I prompted Sweet Pea to go join the other kids if she wanted to do that but she just watched for a minute and then went back to decorating her tree. As soon as circle time was over, however, and the other kids and parents started gathering their coats and bags and exiting the room, she had a mini-fit about wanting to do circle time too, and burst into tears. I had to encourage her to clean her hands and get her out the door relatively quickly because everyone else cleared out very quickly and the teacher seemed ready to leave too. Or ready for us to leave, anyway.

Granted, we had to settle for a class that happens pretty much at Sweet Pea's naptime because the morning class was full, so that didn't help anything. But she can push her nap later now and then without too much trouble.

Anyway, ultimately we had a good time and Sweet Pea is quite pleased with her tree, although this morning she chose to partially undecorate it for some unknown reason, so it's not as cute as it was and it probably won't last until Christmas. When we got home she wanted to call her daddy and auntie and Grandma to tell them about her art class and how much fun she had making a pine cone tree.

Now, I do realize that no matter what kind of school Sweet Pea goes to she will need to learn to switch tasks and do things within a set time frame. But the swiftness of change of activity was really shocking to me, and completely out of whack with her personality. And I, personally, as an artist, was happy to see her take her time decorating that pine cone. I think there is something to be said for doing something until it's done, rather than throwing a handful of decorations at it and calling it art.

The age range given for this class was 2-4 but my feeling (I am a horrible judge of age, even in little kids) was that Sweet Pea was one of the oldest there. The majority of the kids seemed to be more like 2 years old. And most of them were just fine with the rapid-fire activities as well. I was intrigued. I know that there is a HUGE difference between ages 2 and 3, but I also think that there was a personality element to Sweet Pea's super-laid-back approach. It occurred to me hours after the class that the age difference might be related to most people putting their kids into preschool by the time or before they're Sweet Pea's age. I wonder if we'll run into this a lot in future classes. I wonder if it will be a problem. Will I be forced by popular practice to get Sweet Pea into preschool just so she can be around other kids her own age?Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!

Okay, today I am ready. It's time. We're going to have to sell all our shit, move to a one-room cabin in the woods, and just have one place setting and set of clothes for each of us, and one toy each for the kids. Because I cannot keep up with this place. It's ridiculous and insane that we have so much when others have so little. It's shameful that I am getting fat when there are people who have no food to eat. It's wasteful that we have things we don't even use. It's maddening that I can't find the floor in the living room. It's beyond pointless that the kids have so many toys they don't even realize that there are four or five boxes more in the closet that haven't been unpacked yet.

I feel like this frequently and often would gladly at least give it a try. We need to get rid of stuff. But Slipshod could never live without his mondo TVs and latest tech. And let's face it, I really enjoy that stuff too. There must be a way to find balance. Could someone please enlighten me as to what that is?

It is definitely time for me to sign back up for Flylady (had to turn off the e-mails because of the move) and really follow the baby steps this time.

**Nighttime addition: Okay, so during the mere 15 minutes that the girls' naps overlapped today, and a little longer than that because The Bug was happy in her crib for a while after she woke up, I managed to fold all of the clean laundry that's been sitting around in baskets (4 or 5 loads - I lost track) and find 3/4 of the living room floor. Later I got most of the garbage and some of the recycling out (tomorrow morning is pick-up day for those) and washed the dishes. There is still some work to do and I have to get up at 6am so I should really turn off this machine - but had to say that I did at least get a few things taken care of and the place looks and feels a bit better. But we seriously need to get rid of stuff.**

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving - More Pictures

My parents were also bunnysitting my sister's bunny, and Sweet Pea loves to hop around with him when it's time for his nightly exercise. He is quite fond of her as well. Saturday I wanted tomatoes on my sandwich so Sweet Pea wanted to go pick some in the garden. Slipshod or my dad or I could have gone out with her, but she would not have any of us. She only wanted Grandma.
When we got home Sweet Pea decided that she needed to color on some packing paper. She loves doing that, which is great and lots of fun, but these can't be drawings that we're going to keep - they're way too big!

Aren't the overalls cute! ha ha!
The Bug is getting better at sitting up every day. She loves to sit and scream and flap her arms all around. And of course chew on toys.
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Thanksgiving

Seems like everyone had the same idea this year - blog in photos for Thanksgiving. It's a good quick way to recap, isn't it? This year I did more cooking than I usually do at Thanksgiving because it's almost never at our house. Wait - make that never. Anyway, this year I made my first successful yeast bread - pumpkin rolls. It's a family recipe that has been improved upon. I did make them a month or so ago, but that time I killed the yeast, or it just didn't work, so they were quite different in texture. This time, though, it all worked out the way it was supposed to. I made two batches and took rolls everywhere we went. I also made my first pumpkin pies. Been cooking since I could see the countertop, but had never made pies before. I just used the Libby's pumpkin and Marie Calender's crusts, but hey, I made pies! hee hee Thursday we went to Slipshod's mom's place for dinner with his family. She's got lots of fun toys for Sweet Pea to play with and the food, as always, was great, so we all had a great time. And no, she is not trying to eat the toy. This is how Sweet Pea "smiles" when you ask her to.
Friday we drove to my parents' house and spent the night. Mom brought out some boxes of clothes from my sister's kids and toys from my family growing up, and she and Sweet Pea and I had a good time going through those things. One of the pieces of clothing that fits Sweet Pea right now is the overalls pictured here. For some reason she thinks overalls are super cool, so when Mom and I determined that these would probably fit her she yelled, "okay! I want to wear them right now!" and couldn't get her dress off and herself into them fast enough. And then she wore them the rest of that day, that night to sleep in, and the next day. ha ha! Today she wore a different outfit but wanted the overalls to sleep in. Slipshod got her ready for bed tonight and I got her and The Bug to sleep and was amused, but not terribly surprised, when she said she wanted to take off her overalls because her legs were too hot (the overalls are reversible, so they're two layers of flannel), and I then discovered that she had her jammie pants as well as her jammie shirt on underneath. No wonder she was so hot! Yeesh. Dads.
While at my parents' place Sweet Pea as usual enjoyed looking at and to some extent terrorizing (without meaning to, of course) their parakeets.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stories to Tell the Grandkids


Omigod...they're going to put me away for feline endangerment (after you read the story, click on the photo and look at the fur on Lois' side).

So, usually while I'm taking a shower The Bug is napping safely in her crib and Sweet Pea is either drawing in the bathroom where I can see her, or actually in the bathtub with me. Today The Bug did oblige and nap in her crib. Sweet Pea, however, told me that she wanted to stay downstairs while I took a shower, and seemed intent on combing the cats with a baby comb to get them ready for their "shop," meaning "shot," as in, the kind you take with a camera. She told me that after she got the kitties all combed and looking pretty, she wanted to take pictures of them with my camera, put the pictures on my computer, and then make a calendar.

I have had mixed success with letting her do her own thing while I take a shower. Usually there is a little cleaning up for me to do, or she cheerfully tells me that she put one of the cats into the bathtub and closed the door (luckily she has never tried to turn on the water), so usually I insist that she bring up her crayons and paper and DRAW kitties, rather than doing things to the real kitties, while I get cleaned up.

Today, however, I really just wanted that shower while The Bug was sleeping. You see, last night the newborn memo got through to The Bug and she woke up every two hours to nurse. So nothing was keeping me from my shower today, because that's practically the only thing I get to do for myself on a daily basis, and after a bad night it's the only way I can make myself human again. So I relented and agreed to let Sweet Pea comb the kitties all alone in the house while I took a shower.

Toward the end of my shower I heard a loud thump that was a bit worrisome, but soon thereafter I heard some kind of reassuring sound - I think it was a door closing - that let me know that Sweet Pea was still okay. As soon as I was out of the shower I popped my head out of the bedroom and called to Sweet Pea just to hear her answer, so I'd know she was okay.

There was a slight pause and then she answered, "what?"

I told her, "I just wanted to hear your voice so I'd know you were okay."

She replied, "I'm fine. I'm giving the kitties a haircut."

My horror mounted. I found her halfway up the stairs with a very pointy pair of scissors and a cat, and I saw black kitty hair all over the house. While I retrieved the scissors from Sweet Pea and explained to her why we only cut paper and never use Mommy's scissors unless Mommy is there and says it's okay, the cat went downstairs. Sweet Pea followed, making all kinds of noise, and just couldn't understand why her favorite kitty was hiding from her behind the couch...

Thankfully no kitties were harmed in the hair cutting, though poor Lois may have a few chilly spots on her back tonight. I can't see her skin, but there are a few areas on her back that have big chunks of fur missing. I'm just thankful that Sweet Pea didn't trip on the stairs with the pointy scissors, or cut either of the cats' tails or ears!
The scissors came out of a box in the guest room. We just can't get unpacked fast enough for Sweet Pea and the cats to stay safe and out of trouble.

Here's another, shorter one:

This past Saturday Slipshod took Sweet Pea downtown to see "Happy Feet." They didn't stay for the whole movie - it was her first time in a theater and she wanted to leave about 2/3 of the way through - but she enjoyed as much of the movie as she did see, and was talking about penguins for the rest of the weekend. That same night we were watching TV and Slipshod turned the channel to a travel show about San Diego. Of course Sea World was shown, and the part she noticed the most was the shot of an Orca sliding out of the water and up to the edge of the pool on its belly, right up to the audience.

Sweet Pea (in absolute amazement): "WOW, that is a WEALLY BIG PENGUIN!"

Slipshod and I still break into peals of laughter when we think of it. Ha ha ha ha ha!

And of course there are always the fun things she sings:

"Do, a deew, a female deew - way, a dwop of golden suuuuun, mi, a name, I call myseyulf, fa, a yong yong way to wuuuun, sooo, a needle pulling fwead, ya, a note to follow soooooooo, ti, a dwink with jam and bwead, that will green juice back to do-oh-oh-oh-do." (Note: Green juice in this household refers to Odwalla's Superfood smoothie, which Sweet Pea and I like so much we keep some in the fridge on an ongoing basis.)

This one she sang this way on purpose, but it was still very funny:

"Woe, woe, woe yo boat, gentwy down the stweeeeam, mewwy, mewwy, mewwy, mewwy, yife is buttered bwead." ha ha!

The following photo was taken Saturday late afternoon. Sweet Pea did not want to nap by herself so she kept herself awake upstairs in the bedroom for a good hour. As soon as I brought her down, she fell asleep on her daddy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reader Participation Requested!

Okay everyone, get out your trusty fingers and type away, because I'm asking for your brilliant ideas for the holidays.

Slipshod has a rather large family, all local, and of course the whole clan gets together every Christmas. Some years we opt out of presents by telling the family in October or so that we just want to see them but are not going to participate in the gift-giving part of the fandango. Of course, since we had Sweet Pea we can only opt ourselves out (not the kids), which is what we have done this year. Happily, I opted us out following a gift opt-out by Slipshod's mom and step dad, and our opt-out was followed by two more from other parts of the family. So I've reserved the right to forcibly opt out all the other adults - they're off our gift list, anyway.

That still leaves my family but we're not as large and not the whole family gets together (due to siblings living in other parts of the country) so gifts aren't as big a deal for that bunch.

But - what I want to do now is start to make the holidays FUN. Not just for the kids, but for me and Slipshod too. We're going to start off shortly after Thanksgiving by taking the girls to a Christmas tree farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains to choose and cut our own tree. We did that with Sweet Pea last year and she still remembers it and we had so much fun that day.

Hopefully the scaled-back gift giving this year will allow Slipshod and I to have a lot more fun with the holidays, though since I offered our house for the get-together there will still be a bit of stress related to getting the place ready. However, thankfully it's understood that we always do potluck when the family gets together. This year might be extra special fun with the food because one young family member who works at Kinko's came up with the idea of everyone submitting 5 or more of their favorite recipes and she's going to put them all together with any pictures we send as well and make a nice cookbook for everyone. Slipshod and I are thrilled about this because there are so many things he loves that his mom, grandma, sister, etc. cook but we have never gotten all the recipes. Now they will be together all in one place and everyone has been requesting their favorites from each other.

Now that Sweet Pea remembers things so well and can really enjoy the holidays, besides the fun of getting the Christmas tree, I want to start some other holiday traditions.

What holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, New Year, etc.) traditions have you started with your family?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Me-ow From the Robot Kitty

Just in case you worried that Fred Savage had left the world of child entertainment after growing up, rest assured he did not. His is the voice of Oswald, the earnest and ever-singing blue octopus on Noggin. We don't make a regular thing of watching Oswald, but from time to time the show crosses our optical paths. Last week we saw the episode wherein Oswald and his dog Weenie offer to watch a robot's robot cat, which is named Tinsel, while the robot gets a haircut (hey, it's a kids' show - robots can get haircuts on kids' shows if they want to; it's like a dream; it doesn't have to make sense).

We had seen that episode a long time ago, but this time Sweet Pea decided that we needed to make a robot kitty mask for her to wear. As you might imagine we have quite the collection of cardboard around after all the moving we've done, so I set to work with that, some scissors and lots of masking tape, and above you see the result before making it robotic.
Sweet Pea was so intent upon looking at her reflection in a tiny compact that she would not look at the camera, but here is the end result. We covered the whole thing with aluminum foil and then set to work with construction paper to finish the face. After taping on the nose and mouth, she insisted that the kitty must have spots, so I cut lots of spots for her and she taped them willy-nilly all over the front only of the face. I've been informed that we still need to cut "yots and yots and YOTS more spots" so that she can also decorate the sides, back and ears.

Slipshod is trying to get her to say "me-ow" when she's wearing her mask so that she'll sound like a robot, but even when she thinks she's mimicking him, she still says a fluid, "meow!"

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN - there are new pictures of The Bug here too!Posted by Picasa

You Want Pictures? Here They Are!


Here's our happy little Bug after a diaper change. She sure is a smiley little girl! Check out the super cute dimples. Combining her interests: Gnawing on anything and everything has been her favorite pasttime for a couple months already, but now she can do that while sitting up!
The sitting is not second-nature yet. Note the red spot on her forehead. That was from having very slowly leaned/fallen over onto her face on the green rattle toy in front of her shortly before I took this picture. But she didn't mind! She never whined about it, and as soon as she was back up she was all great big smiles again.
I just think this is a very striking picture of The Bug. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hello, My Name's Violet and I'm an Addict

Yep, once again I have gone and gotten totally hooked on sugar. I've cleaned my system of it several times and truly once you get through the first three days it's a breeze and it's simple to say "no" to it -but once you start eating it again, ("just a little bit won't hurt me," you tell yourself) it's all over. Downhill slope. Gotta start all over again once you hit rock bottom.

That's pretty much where I am - rock bottom. For a couple months now I've been snarfing everything sugarry I can find in the kitchen, even if I think it tastes awful. I just have to have that sugar fix! And then a little bit later I'll get that awful headache and start snapping at the kids. Worse, since I know what I'm doing is bad for me and I don't want Sweet Pea to emulate me, I hide my fixes from her. For the most part I only eat ice cream after she has gone to bed. I sneak sweet treats out of the pantry when she's in a different room. I've even been known to hide things behind my back if I'm holding them when she walks into the kitchen. Thankfully she's still young enough not to notice I'm being furtive... but probably not for much longer.

Ooooh, how low have I sunk.

I have stopped putting sweet treats on the grocery list, and now we're nearly down to nothing and I'm pacing the kitchen trying to find sweets! I totally sound like I'm in rehab, don't I? So far I haven't sold anything important to keep myself on the sugar, though. ha ha!

It's weird, though. I want to eat cleanly again. I want to get this out of my system and truly teach my children good healthy eating habits for real, without hiding my vices - because I don't want to have any vices to hide. And yet, I REALLY WANT more ice cream, cookies, whatever. I really really want more sweets. Now. NOW. It seems that I cannot be trusted to eat sweets in moderation, so for me it's all or nothing. Having all the sugar I want makes me feel like crap. Having none makes me feel wonderful, but it's so hard to maintain, especially from Halloween through Christmas.

Part of the problem is probably that whenever I make a healthy change, I'm on my own. Slipshod would never do this sort of thing with me. He will keep his sweets/snacks hidden or only take them to work if I ask him to, and sweets are not the kind of crutch for him that they are for me. He can so "no" to them no problem. But... I don't know what it is. I guess I feel deprived somehow, even though I KNOW that I am so much healthier and feel tons more energetic, cheerful, and healthy in general without them.

So I keep knowing that I should ask him to keep the sweets away from me, but not wanting to actually say the words. Because I don't want to have that day where I ask him for ice cream and he says, "okay, is this the place where I'm a hardass and say 'no, you asked me not to get you sweets,' or are you jumping off the wagon?" and usually at that point I'm jumping off the wagon. But it makes me feel even worse to have it pointed out to me, and to have to say right then when I'm doing it, "yes, I'm giving up."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here We Go Again

Dammit, I think we're headed down the no-sleep-for-Mommy-for-two-years road with the teething again. The Bug has actually been chewing on anything and everything for a couple months, but this past week she has also started to wake up at night. GAH!

Sweet Pea had a horrible time teething until a couple months after her 2nd birthday. It was an extremely rough time for me. I cannot imagine being able to live through the same thing while having TWO kids to take care of.

What happens is that I get the girls to bed, The Bug wakes up once or twice for an hour or more (sometimes two or three) and nurses, part of the time she's just awake in her co-sleeper, sometimes I change her diaper if I think that might help... meanwhile Slipshod and Sweet Pea are soundly sleeping next to me, missing the whole thing. In the morning Sweet Pea wakes totally refreshed after an uninterrupted 10-11 hours of sleep and encourages me, who has had MAYBE four hours of sleep in two-hour increments, to get up.

Yes, part of the problem for me is definitely that Slipshod and I stay up way too late and I miss out on two to three hours of sleep at the beginning of the night that I don't necessarily need to miss. But ugh, I was really hoping this baby wouldn't have as much trouble with the teething as her sister did.

Speaking of all that - we still don't have any teeth actually popping out, but boy are her gums bulging on the bottom. Yowza!

Once upon a time, when, I can't remember, I heard a theory that ability to deal with pain directly relates to skin tone and hair color, and that people who have the most difficult time have very light skin and red hair. And guess what my kids look like. However, I've also heard that that theory is a big load of bunk. It can't be that cut and dried, but I do wonder if there's some truth to it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Holy Shit.

WTF?

Okay, at first I didn't write any commentary about this, but since I just wrote the following as a comment on the Queen's site, I figured since I actually had something to say about it I might as well post it on my own blog...

Besides getting the chills from reading the article, all else I could think of was someone a few generations back in my mother’s family. A poor woman who was forced to continue having children by her husband because they were Catholic and the Catholic church didn’t believe in birth control. She went to her priest for help and he told her she had to keep having children. One day she took her brood of 5 to a park for a picnic and left them there. She couldn’t do it anymore.

They put her in an asylum.

That sort of situation in itself cried out for women's liberation, and any patriarchy that strives to undo what feminism as accomplished needs to be very strongly ignored out of existence. If some women choose to let that be done to them, so be it - you can't force anyone to have a sense of self, or to stand up for herself if she doesn't want to - we each have to do that for ourselves when it comes to this kind of homefront battle.

Now, I must say that I am amused, as well as chilled, that they are calling these umpteen children "red diaper babies." The parents completely assume that the kids will turn out just the way they want them to, and spread the parents' own religion and politics to the world. I understand that the parents don't believe in free will in any way, shape or form, so won't it be funny when some of those kids run off to New York or Los Angeles to raise hell and make documentaries and write books about their crazy upbringings? And won't it be funny when the kids who get away seek to undo their parents' political agenda?

Want to read more on the subject? Check out the Queen's and Christina's blogs today.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fashion - What Am I Missing?

Okay, there are apparently a whole lot of girlie genes that I missed out on when I was being crafted. I am not big into clothes (unless you're talking costumes, or period clothing). I don't like pink (though you will see my little redheads sporting it quite a bit, since it looks completely adorable on them, and I actually wear more of it than I used to). I don't wear makeup. My favorite jewelry is not diamonds in gold or platinum from a known jeweler name - it is metal or bone or horn handcrafted by the likes of MacManus or Greene or Miller (actually Heidi Bartolemy does the carving if I'm not mistaken). I don't care that "boots are back." I hate boots, unless they're necessary for trudging through the snow, or they're my Dr. Martens.

And I HATE SHOPPING.

But today I had to go. I've been wearing the same two pairs of pants and four shirts (not all at the same time, mind you) since the beginning of August. No joke. There are two reasons for this: 1) I couldn't wear my old size after having the baby so I had to get bigger pants, and 2) I wasn't able to find my regular non-maternity clothes when I started to need them because we were packing and then actually made the move to icky house and then had to move again to this house - and in all that chaos my old clothes never made it here. They are in a pod in storage somewhere and we still don't have room in the garage to move that stuff here. BAD PLANNING. Story of my life.

As if having to go clothes shopping weren't bad enough, I had to go to a place in the depths of hell known as THE MALL.

Thankfully The Bug slept through half the trip. Sweet Pea stayed home with Auntie. All I wanted was some jeans that fit, a few new long-sleeved shirts, and some comfortable but not ugly lace-up shoes.

First, I was faced with a corner of the store full of jeans that looked as if they had been worn, rolled in the mud, driven over by a bulldozer, bleached, worn some more, and then lightly hosed off. Ugly as shit. What is supposed to be appealing about this? Is this really fashion? Or is it for bored rich people who will also buy dirt-scented soap, which I'll have you know really does exist, simply so they can find out what it smells like without going outside? I weeded through the crap and did happily manage to find two pairs of jeans that did not look completely horrid which actually fit. AND, happy note here, they are the size I used to wear pre-baby! Wahoo! No wonder the pants I've been wearing since August kept falling down...

Next I turned to the shirts. I don't know if I was in a special old-lady section or what, but a sweeping glance told me that I needn't actually browse. Again, boring, old-looking, and fabrics appeared to be largely synthetic. Yuck. The tops that did appeal to me were in the Juniors section, which left me thinking that perhaps I am one of those women who doesn't know I'm not 16 anymore. I thought it best to keep my 35-year-old, breast-feeding mama body out of there lest I become depressed.

What's left? Shoes. The shoes-only store had left me with a question mark over my head about what the current style may be, and I couldn't find anything that actually felt good on my feet. Serves me right for wearing Birkenstocks for most of the past several years. Now I'll never find anything comfortable again, those fit so well! I didn't want white-white shoes, but that's what I ended up buying because they were SO comfortable. Like walking on a cloud. Ahhh.

For good measure I threw in an empire-styled corduroy jacket, but I'm not sure I'm going to keep it. So, I won't look like a fashionista, that's for sure. But at least I have some new pants that fit and shoes that are comfortable... I just hope I don't look as old as I'm starting to think I might be.

But... can anybody shed any light on this fashion thing for me? 'Cause I REALLY don't get it. Are we supposed to be able to turn a blind eye to the fact that often what is in style is undeniably hideous? Or am I simply unable to change with the times?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blogging On the Run

On the run past the computer, I mean - I'm not actually going anywhere out of the house - that would be radical!

So here's the idea: I need to take stock of what I want in my life, what I have that can help me accomplish that, and what else I need to do to achieve my goals. That was the idea for the plan I was talking about earlier. I blog in my head all the time and have all sorts of things to say, but they almost never make it here because when I have any time free, I am trying to unpack boxes before the kids wake up, or wash dishes before I fall into bed completely exhausted. You get the idea.

I have determined that I need to start taking better care of myself by insinuating new things into my routine. To that end I have started my first "taking care of me while still doing everything else" task, and have managed to keep it up for a couple weeks to the point where it is actually becoming part of my routine without me thinking about it.

My feet had gotten extremely dry and gross during the move. I only knew the whereabouts of one pair of shoes the whole time, and those were some of my open Birkenstocks. If I wasn't outside I was barefoot in the house. So my feet got REALLY dry and crackly and scaly, etc. It was really disgusting. I wanted to soak them and do a pedicure and then start keeping them up on a more regular basis but kept thinking that I needed to find time after the girls were in bed to get started.

Then one day it occurred to me that almost every morning while I'm taking my shower, I am standing in water, thereby soaking my feet, because Sweet Pea is almost always in the tub with me, sitting and playing in the water in the tub. So one day I remembered to take my foot care files into the shower with me, and now my feet are in great condition because I keep those files in there and when the foot skin needs a little rub, I do that before I get out of the tub. I also put lotion (currently using Kerasal to heal the cracks) on my feet and wear socks all day, and often lace-up shoes as well. That keeps my feet much more moist and happy.

Just making this little improvement has helped me feel like the rest of my goals can be obtained. Hooray! Nothing like making a start.

I've been writing this while Sweet Pea makes toys for the cat and comes and shows me, so I'm not going to get into the whole "taking stock" thing right now - but hope to do that soon at night when I have my brain to myself. Wish me luck!

Oh - and here's the kid update: Sweet Pea has not had any potty accidents since two weeks after she started doing great and wearing big girl panties every day. The Bug has rolled once from her tummy to her back but prefers to roll the other way, and then gets stuck. But what she really wants to do is sit up. She doesn't like to lie down to play that way much anymore. The world is so much more interesting from a sitting perspective.

Check out the pictures Slipshod posted below. And come on - you can't resist that couch, can you? I love it. Tee hee! We're going to add another chair section to the right side - it's just too small with only the corner and two side chairs. And we may get an ottoman that matches as well. But this is in our family room, which is the play room, and which has precious little wall space to decorate because nearly the entire back of the house is covered in glass! Sliding glass doors and lots of windows. Love it! So that couch is my big, big splash of color. We're going to get a rug for the floor as well (the floor is Pergo and I'd rather have a softer floor in the play room) but trust me, that will be a non-bright solid color. I'm not totally crazy! >snicker<

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Halloween

Mommy took sweet pea and sprout out for Halloween. Guess what sweet pea wanted to be? Posted by Picasa

My wife made me do it.

This has entered our home. No, not the drooling child or the kitty-cat - though honestly I'd be surprised if you could see them clearly past the glare from their perch.

I mean the couch. The one which, while it has nifty features like removeable fabric which is machine washable, will still always look like Picaso performed a mighty "technicolor-yawn" on it.

I grew up in a house with clown-orange carpeting, and find solace in neither. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Free Giveaway

Does anybody want most of a package of size 5 Pampers diapers, most of a package of princess-themed Huggies pull-ups (the kind that get cold when the kid pees in them) , and three pairs of 4T Thomas the Tank Engine underwear?

When we went to pick out underwear Sweet Pea chose Hello Kitty (that was a given) and Thomas. I didn't explain to her that the Thomas ones were for boys because I thought she should be able to have Thomas undies too, if she wanted them. But when we took them out of the package and washed them when we got home, she looked and looked at that funny "pocket" in the front... she never asked me about it, but once she saw that she didn't want to wear them.

Why don't they make Thomas undies for girls? And why do the boys undies have those stupid little "pockets," anyway? Do toddler boys already pee standing up? Really?

She sure is happy with her Hello Kitty big girl panties, though! She had a little bit of an accident this morning - didn't quite get her panties off and her bum onto the potty in time - but way most of it got into the potty because she realized in time to get to the bathroom and get her hands on the toilet lid before anything slipped out. This following TWO ENTIRE WEEKS with zero accidents. YEAH!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Remember When...

Hey, remember when I used to post stuff on my blog? Yeah, that was fun.

Things are getting away from me again and I have been trying to figure out what to do about it. This morning in the shower I thought, "why don't I blog about THAT?" My struggle to get my family's lives in order, to figure out how to balance it all, to find ways and time to take care of myself as well as the girls, etc.?"

I have been adding activities into my routine to try to make myself happier and Sweet Pea, Slipshod and I healthier (The Bug is only excepted because she doesn't eat solid food, although the benefits of me eating better will certainly be passed on to her). Could be incredibly boring, could be okay to read. Depends on how much time I have to think about and actually sit and write these things. For example; right now both girls are supposed to be napping but The Bug has just begun to protest from her co-sleeper, so I have an ear out for that and am having difficulty writing coherent sentences because my mind is halfway up the stairs to get her.

Yeah. Anyway, just wanted to say, I have an idea and hope to start blogging more regularly as part of my path back to sanity. ha ha!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It All Balances Out

No worries, Christina and others pondering how life will be with a second child. Really, it does all balance out. I tend to blog about my worst days. ha ha!

The day after my last post, I was able to get a shower as soon as I got up while the baby slept, and the girls and I got out to the grocery store and did an hour+ long shopping trip (we hadn't been for a long time and had a lot of shopping to do!). In the afternoon, Sweet Pea and I made pumpkin rolls.

Yesterday some friends called in the morning and told me they both had the day off and asked if I would like them to come over and help me with anything. You bet I jumped on that! They brought lunch too, which totally rocked. Then they helped me fix a shelf paper oops I had made in the kitchen that had slowed my unpacking (I put that no-skid shelf paper in a cabinet rather than the drawers, and was having a difficult time getting my pans out of the cabinet because they wouldn't slide, while my spices, silverware, etc. were sliding all over the place in the drawers). After that we just sat around and chatted for a couple hours, and it was heavenly to have the company.

Happily, Slipshod is also making a very concerted effort to come home for dinner. He balances coming home earlier by doing work from home while I'm getting the kids to bed, but it is SO great just to have him in the house, even if he can't do family stuff part of the time.

Yesterday The Bug did not nap AT ALL. I kept telling her that she really needs to nap three times a day, she's a 4-month-old baby, fer cryin' out loud. But she responded by grabbing my hand or whatever else happened to be close enough and chewing on it like there was no tomorrow. I hope those two bottom teeth pop through the gums soon, and she starts getting more rest until the next batch.

Today, thankfully, both kids are napping simultaneously. I want to go do some shelf papering and unpacking upstairs, but had to pop a post on here to say that it's really not all bad. Difficult, yes, but over all the good outweighs the bad - and I haven't fallen down the stairs since Monday... ha ha!

Sweet Pea has not had any can't-get-to-the-potty-in-time accidents for four days, going on five, and we had two longish outings during those days. She's a pro! :o) I'm unbelievably psyched that we're suddenly in the land of little girl panties and NO MORE DIAPERS FOR THE TODDLER! WaHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some Whine With Your Cheese?

I'm sorry if I use my blog to gripe a lot. But this is how my day went today:

Awaken after actually getting a good amount of sleep for me (6-7 hours in a row!).

Slipshod gets up, showers, etc., goes to work.

Baby's awake - bring her in bed to nurse.

Baby falls asleep.

Toddler wakes up. (I swear they plan this the night before.)

Get up with toddler, prepare to shower while baby sleeps. Feeling good at this point, like maybe we can get out to the grocery store, which we desperately need to visit, before toddler's nap, because she slept well and long and won't need a nap until 2pm.

Baby wakes up by the time we're done with morning potty, so I decide to put shower off until after breakfast.

Start load of laundry before going to kitchen.

Take both girls downstairs and make and eat breakfast.

Nurse baby again.

Baby falls asleep.

Before can take baby upstairs to crib, toddler needs to use potty again, and although she is fully capable of doing everything but wiping by herself, she HAS to have me present for the whole production.

As a result of the constant toddler chatter, baby wakes up.

Play with kids.

Eat snack with toddler who asks for a sandwich.

Nurse baby. Baby falls asleep. Take baby to crib. Get her in crib. Toddler and cat come upstairs and talk/meow loudly and wake baby up.

Take everyone back downstairs.

Play.

Take kids upstairs for nap.

Both kids FINALLY fall asleep. This is at 3pm.

Send a couple e-mails, talk with hubby on phone, take a shower WAY later than usual (which means that I haven't been a pleasant person to be around for the past couple hours because I get super cranky if my shower gets put off 'til the afternoon).

Baby wakes up.

Toddler wakes up.

Try to feed toddler and self lunch while nursing baby - toddler runs amok instead. Sit and feed self and baby, anyway.

Try to get toddler to eat and get dressed so we can go grocery shopping. Mind you, it's about 5pm by now.

Toddler takes hours to eat an apple and a couple other things, puts her underwear on backwards about six times in a row, pretends not to know how to put on a sock, refuses dress I picked out for her. All very cheerfully, mind you, assuring me that we still have plenty of time to get to the store before bedtime.

Meanwhile, outside, the sun goes down.

Give up on grocery shopping for today.

Call hubby, ask if he's coming home soon, ask him to bring dinner.

While on phone with hubby, put baby in crib and carry heavy bag of soiled diapers downstairs to put out front for the diaper service to pick up. On the way down the stairs, FALL DOWN THE STAIRS on back.

Start another load of laundry, take baby back downstairs, put her in baby gym, give up, and turn on a movie, leaving kids in the living room, and go whine on blog.

My back and head and legs feel all weird and I just want to cry. Ugh. But that's what the baby's doing now, so off I go...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Woo woo! I'll Take It!

I was informed yesterday evening while talking with a friend who has slightly older children that Sweet Pea's current potty status qualifies as "trained." She is completely out of diapers, uses the potty almost every time she needs to go, and barely has any accidents. We were making her sleep in a pull-up "just in case," since we all sleep in the same bed, but last night Slipshod forgot to put one on her (yes, he was home by dinnertime! Whoop!) and I told him not to worry about it. It has been over a year since Sweet Pea wet a diaper at night. So she slept in her undies and went pee pee on the potty first thing this morning, and all is well. We were doing charts with star stickers and giving her kitty stickers (that's what she wanted) when she reached our specified numbers of stars, but now she's racking up the stars so quickly and easily that we're finishing this last one and then we'll start going to rewards for multiple days without accidents (so far she has had several days with no accidents, but they have not been consecutive).

Wahoo! It's been a long time coming but apparently now is the time -she's ready, and that's that. She was the same way with walking - she didn't walk until 15 months. It seemed almost as if she wanted to make sure she could really do it right before she went for it. Which worries me in terms of a perfectionist tendency, but otherwise I think it's pretty cool. And I may very well be making up the perfectionist thing. She doesn't act that way with everyday activities.

Anyway - we're into big girl panties now! Yay!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Need Some Answers, People.

Why are both of my children refusing to nap today? Why was I unable to do anything but laugh when they kept each other awake at naptime? Was it because Sweet Pea is so great with her little sister, nibbling on her fingers and giving her kisses, and The Bug laughing and squealing and reaching for her sister in return?

Why are we still live TV-less after living here for 3 weeks?

Will I go crazy if I actually finish watching Van Helsing? (I'm down to the last few things I haven't watched on the Tivo - that was one thing that the Tivo recorded for us without us asking...)

How many times can a person watch Finding Nemo before one has a nervous breakdown?

Where the hell is my husband every night at dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime?

Can I hire a look-alike to play Daddy in the evenings? Or make a clone?

When will I be able to use my car again? It's currently back seat-less (therefore rendering it child seatless) and full of crap.

Can I have some ice cream?

**Note: I did not realize that the last post had worked - Blogger had given me reason to think I'd lost it and I thought that was just fine, but since it actually went through I'll leave it. But sorry for the repetition.

Also, while I was writing my list of questions, The Bug, on her play mat in the other room, rolled over for the first time (there was that time a couple weekends ago but it happened as I was setting her in her crib so I think I may have rolled her)...

Bleh.

It's good that I didn't blog last night. I was in a very dark place and would have really let Slipshod have it - outed his never-home tendencies in more specific detail than usual, and worded more strongly how I feel about it. I really do hate raising two children nearly alone. The kids are great, but I would LOVE some help in raising them. That's how it's supposed to work, right?

The situation is not that simple, though. In many ways I can't gripe because Slipshod brings in all the money we have, and often does the grocery shopping if I can't make it out to the store (which I haven't been able to do this week because the back seat in my van, the one with the kids' seats on it, is out of the van, and the whole back of the vehicle is full of stuff that he picked up last weekend from storage). He deals with wacko landladies and lawyers and making sure that the people renting our old house are happy. He goes down there to water the plants and get the mail (forwarding order not 100% yet, and he still needs to run the drip lines for the flowers in the front flower bed).

I guess what bugs me is that on the nights that he's not doing that stuff, he works until 9pm. I take care of these girls from waking to bedtime alone, almost every single day. The girls don't get to see him. Sweet Pea is so used to not seeing him that she says she doesn't like him when he is around. And for me, that means that even when he is here, things generally happen as if he weren't. Mind you, we do come up with fun things he can do with her to get her out of my hair, and she's up for that - walks around the neighborhood, trips to Starbuck's - and sometimes if he's home by bedtime he gets her teeth brushed and talks with her a bit before bed.

I don't think I'm making any sense here, but I've just been having a more-than-usual difficult time raising these girls on my own. Does anyone know of a husband-rental service? I'm looking for someone who looks and sounds exactly like Slipshod, but I need him to be here by dinnertime and help with bedtime preparations. If he washed dishes that would be a bonus.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Do I Care So Much What Other People Think?

I really hate it that I take in so deeply what people say sometimes. Especially family. You know how it is. Well, maybe you don't. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only freak who can't just tell people to DEAL with me and my choices. Or at least just get myself not take their comments so personally.

Lately due to conversations with various folks, and on some issues from conversations over time, I feel like lots of people disapprove of my mothering ways, all the way from prenatal care and birth choices to potty training and discipline. Of course that's true - no two people do these things exactly alike, and everyone has their own opinion. But what I don't get is why it's so very important for people, especially people in older generations (yes, I'm griping about my own mother), to point out very finger-shakingly exactly where Sweet Pea has issues and tell me what I should do about it.

Besides the fact that I KNOW where we have issues, all kids are different, parents make different parenting choices from the way they were raised, and, perhaps most importantly, Sweet Pea is THREE YEARS old. So you're freakin' nuts if you think she is going to have perfect table manners. And I don't necessarily believe that my siblings and I were all potty trained by 18 months, but even if we were, it wasn't because we were ready. I have a much more laid-back approach to these things than the way they were done back in the day, and y'know what? THAT'S OKAY.

I'm kvetching about this because I'm frustrated to notice that after my mom calls and gives me pointers ("She really should be using the potty by now;" "She needs to eat at the table for every meal," etc.), which, by the way, I didn't ask for, I find that I am much harder on Sweet Pea. I get very short with her and feel as if I'm a failure as a mother because MY mother isn't happy with her progress.

When in fact, Sweet Pea is a good girl. She has a thing lately about dragging everything out forever, but she can be pushed and steered when need be with a minimum of crying, and over all she minds decently, and she is a happy, nice (except for the bug-squishing tendency) girl who loves her mommy and "her" baby (poor Daddy - but I really believe that if he were around more she would tell him that she loves him too).

At least Slipshod's mom is nice about this stuff. She points out Sweet Pea's goodness and accomplishments and says that we should be proud of our little muchkin.

But my point was, WHY do I even let this crap bother me so much? I hate that I take it in so easily and doubt myself so easily, when if I really sit down and think about it I know that the choices I've made for my daughter and how to raise her are right for us. There are definitely areas where I'm flailing, but isn't that true of every parent? I never give myself enough credit. Every so often I have to remind myself that besides what I already said about knowing that my choices are right for us, nobody else lives with us - nobody else actually knows the way we interact daily. So basically, when they're offering very specific advice, they're talking out their asses. I've gotta remember that. Maybe I'd be able to laugh it off more easily and not let it sink in if I use that "imagine them in their underwear" trick - only in this case, if I imagine butts with eyes. Okay, that's gross. But it sure would make me think about taking unsolicited advice so deeply to heart!

Oh, and for the record, if you're one of those folks who thinks that because I believe in homebirth I think everyone else should, you're wrong. I do think it is unfortunate that a very large portion of American society is completely oblivious to the option of homebirth. I also believe that a mother must choose the birthing place option that makes her feel the safest and most comfortable. If that's in a hospital, so be it. Birth center? Right on. If you don't feel like you're safe, you're probably not going to have the experience you're hoping for.

Update From the Bathroom

Today Sweet Pea informed me that she does not want to pee pee and poo poo in her diaper anymore, but she wanted to wear one this morning just to have something on her bum. She did pee in two diapers this morning, but since then she has had two successes on the potty, which are more exciting than usual to me because she went by herself twice when I couldn't help her. Once while I was in the shower, and once at naptime while I was nursing the baby. And both times she got ALL of the pee in the potty, which she has trouble doing sometimes... This afternoon we're going shopping for big girl underpants! Wahoo!