Thursday, December 29, 2005
Avery has learned to crawl. She also sits and turns the pages of her Pat the Bunny book. She eats chopped up turkey and cubes of cheese and moves her torso to the beat of songs. Right now she is wearing a yellow t-shirt (gift from Molly-THANKS Mol!) that reads COME PARTY IN MY CRIB. When you smile at Avery, you get the gift of an automatic grin.
We visited Champoeg State Park today and crossed the trails enjoying the fresh air. We saw Blue Herons and Sequoia. We marvelled at the height of the flood waters in 1861, shown with a placard on the side of a rustic building. We had some laughs when my husband, a.k.a. Debbie Downer (a new SNL character that always delivers a negative spin on something good, followed by a BWA BWA BWA sound) started wondering what would happen if the hypothetical levee broke, sending the muddy waters of the Willamette to engulf our precious family. Standing on the banks of the wide and powerful water puts some things into perspective. I impressed him with toyota kicks off the side of the stroller and Champoeg Park dance moves those brown pastures will not soon forget.
On the way home Julia sang me some of the lyrics to "Rainbow Connection" which I didn't realize she knew. (Then again, how could she not when it's on the line-up of songs she listens to each night before sleeping?!) She sang afew lines and then said, "Help me with the rest." Her little voice singing those words makes me glad to be alive. Following a hearty and creative lunch for her, (grilled tortillas cut with cookie cutters, hello good time!) her "quiet time" has turned into an unexpected nap. The library is open until 8 tonight so I think we'll take a field trip, she and I, to get some new stories while my husband delights himself with play after play of the Ducks at the holiday bowl. Oh yeah and he's going to have to keep an eye on The Crawler.
I am clean, just showered. I ate a power lunch and only one square of Baklava. Last night I went out with my oldest friend Donna. We ate rich pasta suppers and laughed and cried to The Family Stone, analyzing it on the walk to the car. Afterwards I called my mom, who I am so lucky to have. The movie made me think of her, appreciate her, and want to reach out more. My mom is my constant friendly mirror, my Welcome Wagon filled with pillows.
There is a new book to be started (The Full Cleveland by Terry Reed) and other things to look forward to, like time hiking in the forest as a family of four, or using my Anthropologie gift card from my bro (THANKS GILLY BOP) and a date night Sunday with my husband.
There's a whole heck of a lot of things that I am blessed to be and be surrounded by and nothing but new new new coming my way. New goals to be made. New thoughts, new challenges, new amibitions. New friends and new smiles to land on my face. And as far as the year ahead, all the green shoots of promise have me excited. Julia will become potty trained and go to preschool. Avery will take her first steps and say her first word. I will aspire to have her inner calm, and Juila's infectious giggle. I too will grow as a mom, getting better all the time. Nothing but a whole heck of a lot of promise. For now, there is this day to be mindful of and appreciate.
Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
What is this new plaything that babies will adore, you ask? Drum roll please.... fresh from the package, nestled in its' own bright green wrapper, TA DA, it's an Always Maxi pad!
Today Avery found one and LOVED it. It crackled like the best crackly fabric books. It was soft and bitable, like the finest chew toys. Her blooming teeth weren't able to shred the tightly wrapped packaging, or puncture the pad and thus let loose whatever moisture holding miracle exists within the pad, which put MY mind at ease. (Again, if your baby has merely emerging teeth I feel this plaything is hazard free, especially if you are supervising!) It occupied my daughter for a good twenty minutes.
I think I might freeze one and see if she likes that too. GENIUS!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
When we spied a clever and attractive children's kitchen at COSTCO we merely spied it. We did not lift it into our cart and haul it home. When we were ready to buy, it was gone.
SO. We headed to the next best kitchen buying locale, Toys R Us. We debated beforehand about how best to accomplish the purchase. Would my husband go alone to get it? That would be good because then Jooge wouldn't be there with us. But, then I couldn't help pick it out. If I went and got it without him, it would be too hard to do with both kids.
We took both kids. We went on a Sunday. It was a MADHOUSE. I HATE going to places like that when they are super busy. Anyway, we stood in the kitchen aisle (or attempted to stand as we were constantly rearranging ourselves to let mad shoppers pass) and contemplated our four choices. My husband wanted the BIG ONE and I thought it was too much. When we finally decided on one I took the girls and maneuvered them back to the car so my husband could buy the kitchen. Had Jooge heard our entire conversation? You betcha. Were her wheels turning?
He paid and then we drove around back to pick it up. They put it into the back of the station wagon. ( Three inches from her head!) Of course there was a big old picture on the box and the lady was like, "Shouldn't we turn this around? It shows what it is." (Within earshot.)
We get home and the first thing she says is, "I want my kitchen."
What were we thinking? Buying a kitchen and then acting like we hadn't? IDIOTS! Buying a kitchen but figuring she wouldn't even notice? Uh, the box is pretty huge. Bringing her with us to the aisle, discussing the options, and then discussing our plan within earshot. People, lemmie tell ya, she would have understood even at A YEAR OLD what we were doing.
I made a quick speech about how SANTA was bringing the kitchen. I insisted there was not a kitchen at our house yet and said SANTA would be bringing it. We had just gone to the store to figure out which kitchen to tell SANTA to bring. Basically, I was serving my child a big huge plate of B.S. and proving that I had truly arrived at a place called Parenthood, sans I.Q. and morality.
Anyway, we know what she is getting for Christmas. A kitchen. And she knows too, even though she has temporarily forgotten. The question is, will we be getting what we so terribly need: a big fat clue?
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
And I am still alive. And so are they. And I bought stuff.
Our first destination was Hannah Andersson. All I allowed myself to buy was their great slipper socks in multiple sizes and patterns for multiple children on our list, including our youngest. But still, it was fun to be surrounded by amazing floral dresses and the cutest cotton frocks ever to be stitched together. Note to grandma: just send Hannah dresses! (They can be to my daughters the equivalent of the Health Tex dresses my grandmother bought me on a regular basis, well into my first decade of life.)
Our second destination was Powells, which is the city of books. When Jooge was only 6 months, I decided to start buying a new holiday book for her each year. And now that she has a sister, I had two holiday stories to buy. After a difficult search and many attractive options, I found two books, (hello holiday tales by Sandra Boynton and Richard Scarry) and made it out of there with not a sniffle uttered from my mini companions.
All in all, in venturing into the city I parked twice, put change in parking meters twice, donned baby in carrier, or put someone in the stroller each time, not to mention complimenting and encouraging the behavior that my two year old was showing. Here we were in the city with lots of potential for naughty but naughty was nowhere near.
We got back home and made a quick stop to Fred Meyer to return some stockings that were cheaper at Safeway and to get groceries since we had very few in the cupboards. (Yes, I intended to MAKE stockings for all of us this year, cute ones that match, but it just didn't happen and it just won't and the ones I found are really cute.)
Jooge had to go in the cart, and she did so without protest. Avery was asleep in her carseat, and remained so when I put her in the back of the cart. They let me return what I wanted to return. I found the things I wanted to get, and decided on something for dinner. By this time angels were beginning to hum in my ears. Was it really going to be this easy??
Well, just about the time I was putting spaghetti ingredients in the cart, Avery had had enough. She began to cry and wail, and tears flowed. I still had to check out, get home, and feed her, and put the Joooge (who had had multiple snacks in the car) down to a nap. And I do this every time. I push it too far. Everything is going completely SMOOTHLY and I don't go home! I push it too far. I should have BYPASSED Fred Meyer, gone after nap time, but did I do that? NO!
Instead, I fumbled over pushing my credit card through the machine to pay, and tried to get the sacks of stuff around the baby seat in the cart, noticing that my blood pressure had begun to climb. The checker was nice but she was probably thinking, BAD MOTHER. Jooge was being really friendly telling her that she was two because usually that is what the checkers ask her. This one didn't ask because she couldn't hear herself think due to wailing baby.
In the parking lot Avery sent cries to the skies. Translated, they meant: "What's that? I'm still in my car seat vibrating through the cold air? I want to be home, next to warm boob!" I clicked her into the car and opened Jooge's side to get her in (of course she protested, "I want to do it!") and packed the car with the stuff I just bought and luckily a very kind lady helped me with my cart. I was about to help buckle Jooge in when I saw that she was still picking up raisins off the carpet in the car NOT GETTING IN HER SEAT. Finally she was buckled in and as we drove home, (the baby had stopped crying!) everything was suddenly okay for a moment. I actually heard the lyrics to the Christmas song we were listening to. I was momentarily tempted to stop by the one place I hadn't yet gone: the Blockbuster, to exchange the faulty War of the Worlds that my husband and I weren't able to watch the night before. NO. DRIVE. Hadn't I learned my lesson? So I stayed the course. We were going home! "HOME!" The Jooge shouted. She also said emphatically, "I'm soo tired."
By this time, if we were wind-up toys, our motions would have been slowing. We got home, and I got them and everything inside. I grabbed our new holiday books, a water for Jooge, Jooge's hand, and the baby, who had just gotten a new diaper after sitting in poop for TOO LONG, and read to Jooge while I fed the baby.
And suddenly, peace descended upon us. Jooge was napping (HALLELUIAH, this was a day she would sleep!) and the baby had a belly full of milk and was headed to napville too. There were groceries again, and stockings, and I'd begun to shop for Christmas presents. Best of all, I had earned a nap myself. I took out my Energizer batteries and grabbed it while I could.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Jooge wears her rubber slip on boots most of the time, SANS socks, because it's easier and because she can put them on. (Thank God for the ladybug boots Kyle and Mindy!)
Today Jooge had only french fries for lunch.
The baby has one bloody nostril because while trying to use the bulb aspirator to suck snot, I somehow injured her. I can not tell you how guilty I feel about this.
The afforementioned snot is still flowing from Avery's nose, and has been for too long. Someone told my husband that the kids will be sick from now until they are five so maybe her sickness is "normal." It just feels like there's something I should be doing to cure her condition.
Today I had the baby in a shopping cart at Ross and I looked down and she was sucking on the little bar near the handle. AAAAAAA! A better mom would have prevented this somehow.
Julia has had a spanking. (Okay, not for months and months, but STILL! I never thought I would!)
I have never, on a regular basis, given my children their prescribed dosages of flouride.
Julia watches TV when I have to get something done.
In conclusion, there's really nothing like Motherhood to remind you of your shortcomings. For me, it's a powerful lesson in being imperfect, something I rebel against all the time. I think of it this way: for every mistake I make, I am modeling that moms aren't perfect. What a relief not to be perfect! My children are still happy, well-adjusted, listened to and loved. And me, I'm okay too!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Julia has been alive for 29 months and Avery for seven.
If adults thought similarly about age, we'd be a heck of a lot more depressed.
I am 399 months old, weeks away from 400.
(I don't even want to know what sized clothes that would make me!)
Friday, November 11, 2005
Speaking of my square preference, when I make waffles for the Jooge (the Nutrigrain round kind) I usually toast them lightly, spread them with butter and syrup and after cutting them into bites, take her mini fork, spear a few of the middle square peices all drenched in butter and syrup and eat them. Giving myself first shot at the best middle square peices is a guilty pleasure I enjoy because I can. I made her waffles dangit and I deserve to enjoy a bite of my favorite waffle anatomy. Notice how the square peices are the ones I go for though. The curved edge peices are floating around the edges of the plate like wallflowers at a dance.
The Jooge flipped out this twice this morning: once when I didn't put her milk in her "morning cup," and then when I reached for the diaper with Elmo playing soccer on the front, because she likes the diapers where Elmo is pictured on the front brushing his teeth. Each of those moments made me realize it's official. I have learned it by watching her.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
My favorite branch is this branch in a really quaint neighborhood between Portland and Beaverton, the West Slope branch. There, it is quiet. They have stuff on the shelves that other branches don't. It's never crowded. And the children's section! It takes up half the building and boasts a neat wooden dollhouse, large stuffed friends on the floor, and a layout that makes for great perusing while the Jooge plays. Tanasbourne, the branch closest to us, well it's a little too strip mall. I was so excited to learn that their location was temporary and that they would be settling into the spacious ground floor of a building near a really cool local park. Happy sigh. Of course that was the option that came about AFTER the local library levy failed.
And so one of my great destinations, my friendly places, continues to be the library. There I can hunt and aquire. Returning home with piles of free STUFF to look through and read is a strangely satisfying treat to me. Since the county library system is online, I often search and reserve that way, which means I get automated phone calls from Washington County Library Services about my items on hold all the time. (This can be both an annoyance and a treat)
And of course, since I go to the library, my offspring are also its friends. Jooge has been known to get excited about trips there. Sometimes she and I go there together while Daddy gets to be home with Avery. Since books have been part of Julia's world since day one, it's always a delight to find new favorites to read, especially because mommy gets tired sometimes of reading the same old stuff to her. She goes to sleep each night surrounded by the librarys loans.
The following are the most recently appreciated treats from the library:
Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling (I'm a little off schedule with this series but finished it just in time to be ready for the movie that's about to come out)
Wonder Spot by Melissa Banks
Wilful Creatures by Aimee Bender
May Cooking Light-some great lower fat CAKE recipes :O)
So seriously folks, if you haven't been in awhile, go now! Run to your local library! I believe that these days it is one of those forgotten locales that always deliver, whether through the atmosphere, people , or the goods they let you borrow for free.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Don't get me stARted on being a mom and trying to control everything. It's just not possible. In fact, control must have gone to the same place my sized ten jeans went. It must be hiding in the tubs that hold my pre-pregnancy clothing (worn three years ago) , knowing it will be awhile before those gems fit me again. And when they do fit, control will leap out of the container and skitter off to reside with my pregnancy duds, an even safer place to hide seeing that I am feeling pretty done with adding more children to our family.
For me, trying to control the madness that is our home is one of my most frustrating jobs. Whenever I try to neaten up, the two year old hands of my daughter Julia tear it to shreds again, then demand dinosaur crackers, dinosaur crackers that are supposed to be eaten at a table but which somehow end up travelling around the room leaving behind crumbs.
Aside from the obvious food remains, it's always the most random things that lie, minutes after I've cleaned, on our momentarilty pristine carpet. Who finds the paddle to my stand mixer captivating? Bet you can guess. And I'll give you a hint-she's the one who is recently tall enough to reach inside the kitchen drawers. Yes, she finds these kitchen treasures so captivating that there is a major shriek and flop when my controlling hands take something away. Does she then go to the playroom to grab something designed for play? SHA! Not. But, you've gotta love the way a two year old sees the possibility in all things. I mean to her, everything is a toy.
Lately we've been playing with rigatoni, stringing it on pipe cleaners, enclosing it in tuperware tubs for mini tamborines, etc. etc. Well, as fun as the tubes can be, it will hold Jooge's attention for only so long. I mean, come on, cupcake papers and wooden spoons beckon! And as soon as the noodles have been abandoned there is the threat that my 7 month old Avery will find one and ram it in her mouth, choking on it. I can TRY to control the noodles and their whereabouts until something happens to remind me that control is just the name of a Janet Jackson song.
The other day after the stand mixer paddle made it into recreational circulation, the silver icing bag tips also found a place right in front of baby, and I looked down to find her with one in her mouth. It was my turn to shriek and luckily I was able to pluck it out before it became lodged in her precious and virginal windpipe. Picture the pile of kitchen utensils that has found its way onto the countertop to be put somewhere else. Can't wait to control THAT mess.
So, I turn to blogging, something which seems to me to be the perfect way to control at least SOMETHING other than a freshly changed dirty diaper I am ramming into the diaper genie.