May 28, 2009 § 4 Comments
In between doing a bunch of sewing I’ve been checking craigslist for outdoor toys for bilingual baby. She’s been hanging out with a couple of older kids (6/7 year olds) and one of them has a bike so of course she wants a bike, too. So, I check online and I check local listings and I start to get an itch to buy her other toys.
How much fun would she have (not to speak for baby brother) with a sandbox? or some sort of water table (though she does play that she’s washing dishes so I guess that’s taken care of)? or a ride on toy? or one of those cars that you can get in and out of? and what about a tricycle? Would she even use it at this stage? do we wait until next year for a trike? would a ride on where she just pushes herself be enough? do we get a picnic bench so we can eat outside?
Where does this end? Am I just trying to make up for my lack of patience as bilingual baby and baby brother go through their parallel growth spurts/developmental stages? Am I getting sucked into the marketing ploys that attack parents and grandparents and their kids? Or do I stop worrying so much and just buy a little toy for them to play with?
Does bilingual baby even need another toy? Well, I could argue that she has no outdoor toys so getting her a ride on or a sandbox would not be adding to our indoor toys. When she’s outside she enjoys playing in the dirt, which is fun and exciting for me- except that I don’t think my catnip is going to grow because of it. argh. Will a sandbox keep her from enjoying what’s growing in nature? See, she likes to go around and look at plants and flowers and we got a perennials guide book and an herb guide book and have been looking through them finding the plants we have around our place.
We all have our limits, I find. One person would never use plastic toys but has no issue with television; another won’t do wheat or dairy but has no issue with eating dirt; another would never let their kids eat dirt but has no issue with plastic toys. Once again, I ask, where does this end? On one hand, I can only guess that these decisions or rather the chance for choice never ends and the options only increase as kids get older. In the future, I’ll ask myself if bilingual baby can have a slumber party with a good friend whose parent smokes; or if she can go on a long walk by herself. I have the option of taking every decision very very seriously. I can also take every decision lightly and appear to never worry. I’d like to try a middle ground, finding peace with the things that I have tolerance for and the things I don’t.
I have some money to work with here but not a ton so I have the option to buy something. If I had no money I wouldn’t even bother looking. However, I don’t want to buy everything under the sun just so they have toys outside (since the plastic route might last longer and be cheaper). For now, I’m gonna keep sleeping on it and waiting for yard sales and such… plus, I need to get back to the costume that’s due tomorrow.
May 26, 2009 § 3 Comments
I started reading Raising a bilingual child by Barbara Zurer Pearson and I have to say I feel like a statistic as well as some sort of model citizen of a Utopian society. The author brings up all these wonderful things about bilingual children and how they have an advantage in adulthood and well, I don’t usually feel this smart. hehe.
It does bring up some choices I’ve still yet to come to terms with, like speaking in Spanish in front of others- some people just seem to get itchy and nervous that I’m talking about them and seem to think that that would be the only reason to need another language. I’ve been asked to do a toddler Spanish class and have thought about it but right now with two sewing deadlines, I can’t quite think of anything else.
The garden is coming along, with the lettuce, spinach, beet greens and fennel peeking through. Very exciting! We usually walk around the gardens several times during the day and we’re learning more names of plants and flowers.
Baby brother has started eating some table food. Despite his eagerness, he doesn’t like most of what he gets in his mouth. hehe. He tried to stand all day and is starting to find the kitchen cupboards interesting.
I’ve been losing sleep but enjoying every minute of my new video rental, Felicity. Buffy the vampire slayer was a great 7 seasons but I must confess that I was exhausted after the whole thing.
Estoy que caigo. Me voy a comer… o mejor dicho, me voy a cocinar algo sustantivo para la familia. Hasta la proxima.
May 17, 2009 § 7 Comments
Bilingual baby has been taking heavy baby on many adventures. At one point, I noticed that her neck was looking a little… detached. You can see in the original photo of heavy baby, that her head is cocked to the right (her right). Over time, the chin line slipped up toward the eye line. So, I decided to pull the head out from the body and retie everything. I retied the neck really tight- much tighter than the last time and I think that helped everything else. Here’s a picture of heavy baby after I finished her the first time:
Here’s a picture now that heavy baby has been fixed. Her head is much more compact and I think that makes her look more realistic. Also, bilingual baby requested eyes… so, she has embroidered eyes, too.
Here is bilingual baby, clothed, wearing heavy baby in a wrap. Gotta love the sunshine!
May 16, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday, I got an anonymous letter from someone whom I must know saying how something something they were about our kids playing outside naked (I’m too tired to recap). Today I don’t feel like defending myself and I don’t feel like attacking, either. It was kind of the same yesterday when I opened the letter. The one feeling that has prevailed is sadness. On all fronts. I’m mostly sad that this friend couldn’t just tell me in person. Were they afraid of confrontation? I’m probably way to tired to even attempt to be confrontational, even if I tried.
I’m wearing baby brother as he sleeps and bilingual baby is asleep in the stroller which is parked in the hallway. All I have energy for right now is the relief that both kids are asleep. I don’t even want to think about transferring either of them to bed because that hasn’t worked in the last week and bilingual papi is upstairs napping, too. Yes. Poor me! I would like a pity party in my honor. I’m drained emotionally, mentally, and physically. I don’t know who my friends are and I will now wonder if more of this kind of mail will come my way about other choices I’m making. Some say it’s karmic and that you are sent what you put out there. With all the difficult things that have happened to me (some of you know what I’m talking about) I can’t say that I agree. I’ll lay rest on a mindset of character building. The letter came to me to help build my character. How would I deal with something like this when I’m trying to deepen my friendships and avoid superficial encounters all the time? How would I deal with this being as tired as I am? … and so on.
One thing I have to say about this letter I received is that what she said doesn’t bother me much. It was the fact that she made the choice not to tell me in person. I’m sure she has her reasons. I’ve got mine, too.I guess it would have made me pretty defensive to have this friend make a comment while still playing outside. I did feel a little revengey-revengerton blogging about this as I think more people are lurking but … well, there you go. This is how I cope. The letter did make me want to curl up with bilingual baby and nurse her to her heart’s content, so if the anonymous author is reading this I give you a most heartfelt thank you.
May 15, 2009 § 5 Comments
Okay, I didn’t actually get fan mail. What I got was a typed note (in papyrus, of all fonts) saying the following:
I didn’t feel comfortable saying this to you in person but I think it’s important anyway. My last few visits with you involved our kids playing naked in your house and yard. I don’t have a problem in the house but I felt so uncomfortable with my naked kid playing in the yard which is public and has a public street on it. Anybody can walk by and I don’t know who that anybody is. I truly wish I could be comfortable but we live in a world where others don’t make it so. I hope you understand that I want to protect my kid and want your kids to be safe too. Please think about it.
- A caring friend.
May 14, 2009 § 5 Comments
I’ve been feeling a whole lot better since the middle of last week. I can now support bilingual baby in her 2 year old needs. The whining of last week that made me climb the walls seems to have no (or little) effect on me this week. Hormones. Yes.
I got her to nap a couple of days this week- though not all. Yay. Stroller central. We’ve also been trying an experiment. Instead of trying a formal bedtime we’ll just stay downstairs with bilingual baby until she’s tired and falls asleep. Last night we all passed out at 10pm. There’s something in the air here at work. Or maybe it’s just the increased daylight.
Let me continue bragging. I made sushi! I may be the last person on the earth to realize how easy and economical it is to make your own sushi but hey whatcha gonna do. I employed the “one for me, one for the serving platter” mode which left me with very few pieces. hehe
Since planting the idea (many more gardening references to come) of selling podeagis, I’ve actually had 3 people say they would want to buy one from me. I got some tags made but they won’t arrive for like a month and a half. So, off to work I go. I’ve made two so far and one is in a box making its way to my sister in California.
Bilingual baby has consented to getting into a carrier here and there lately and I just love it. I actually got her and baby brother to go for a walk in carriers. Bilingual baby had been napping in the stroller and woke up but wanted to keep going and said yes to a back ride. Gotta love it.
I have to say that she felt really light in the pod. I almost didn’t believe it. She’ll ask me to carry her in my arms when I’m cooking and my arms can’t hold her up for as long as she’d like.
Here are some of the things that I’ve overlooked while enjoying the pleasure of my kids company, our friends and sewing:
Vacuuming the upstairs
Promptly putting away the clean clothes (I’m a total college student when it comes to putting clean clothes away- I’ll wash and dry but leave the rest for bilingual papi and luckily he’s a good sport about it.)
Things I’ve learned about my toddler:
Do Not toast bread
and Do Not put anything on her bread
After peeling a tangerine, Do Not break apart the pieces
When brushing her teeth, have her play the role of some character (Pato and Pocoyo work these days) and ask that character what they had to eat so we can get all the food out with the toothbrush.
Follow the rule you use when there’s a fire: Stop. Drop. Roll. To spell it out: When you’re feeling that things are unmanageable, stop what you’re doing, drop everything including expectations and roll with the punches. (If that doesn’t work, have someone watch your kid(s) and go for a jog or a pedicure.)
I should lose (almost) every battle of the wills. We get more pleasure that way.
May 11, 2009 § 4 Comments
I’ve been asked by a good friend to make her son a costume for his birthday coming up at the end of the month. I’m wondering if you all can give me some ideas. Here’s a picture of what he would like (though he doesn’t know I’m making him a costume):
Sorry for the blurr. I’m figuring I’ll have an easy time making him a white tunic but it’s the armour or chest plate that I’m wondering about. He’d really like this design and I’d like to make it happen. How would you get this design on fabric? What kind of fabric would you use? He really likes the gold…
This is such a fun project.
May 8, 2009 § 5 Comments
Last two days were the hardest I’ve had so far, with one child or two. I have to add that having one child (your first) is as hard as having two. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m in such a daze I don’t know where to begin. Do I go step by step and tell you all the “things” that happened? Nah. It’s an in the moment sort of thing that happens. I wonder if any of it would translate and make sense in words. Plus, once written, it all sounds so trivial and I’d like to retain some level of dignity.
The obvious: I didn’t react the best way possible. I walked away and tried to ignore the annoying stuff bilingual baby kept doing.
What’s hidden: My fears that I was turning into the memory of a person, or rather a mishmash of persons, who weren’t there for me thru childhood.
The mainstream: I did turn out “just fine” and my kids will deal. They seem happy enough.
A sensitive approach: There are fears and times of growth when my kids need me more than ever.
In conclusion I want to dissolve my own fears about the person I’ve seen myself to be: insensitive and controlling. I want to build myself back up to the person I know I can be: sensitive and responsive.
I’m feeling very vulnerable and within that vulnerability I’ve found reasons to work even harder, regardless of how little sleep I’m getting. One realization I had yesterday that makes sense of all bilingual baby’s whining and turning on a dime, is that she’s been hungry a lot lately. I wonder if she’s going through a growth spurt. I also see that she’s been learning how to get her socks on as well as using the big toilet. Oh, and jumping. She’s learning how to jump. Pretty big deal around here. It would explain all the food preparation in lieu of a nap (which is why I’m so tired) and the roller coaster ride emotional spills. It took me two days to figure this out. Two days of “please, no” over and over again, and “that’s too much for mama”. I cried a lot out of desperation and feel emotionally drained. But, with my new found realizations I think I can maneuver myself into the weekend with a steeled resolve.
Here are some ideas I got from Sarah’s Waldorf Playroom
Six Things to Include in Your Child’s Day:
• meaningful work
• imaginative play
• good books
• beauty (art, music, nature)
• ideas to ponder and discuss
The meaningful work is really a life saver. I truly believe that a lot of the “acting up” that kids do is because they want adults to do something interesting, as in laundry, dishes, gardening… you know. Real work, not just pretend play- which they obviously need to do, too. Once I get the reminder and am back to including bilingual baby into my chores she resets and we’re back to a smoother day.
May 4, 2009 § 2 Comments
Baby brother is getting so close to crawling on hands and knees. So far he does the army crawl. Very efficiently. He also pulls up to standing with anything that is still for more than a second. He has 4 teeth and more coming. This morning he was in so much pain. He kept crying and couldn’t fall back asleep. We transfered ourselves into the other room so that bilingual baby and papi could keep sleeping. Eventually, we both fell back asleep.
He loves playing with bilingual baby. He smiles almost every time he sees her. No matter what she does, he loves her. I hope he never forgets this lesson.
Bilingual baby has started singing. Her repertoire includes many kid favorites plus a couple of prayers. She knows that a song from her delights mamas heart. (Her favorite is “Riverbed” by Ron Sexsmith which we’ve been singing to her forever.) She’s started sprinkling in “because…” and “sometimes”, though not on cue. You just have to wait and listen. We’re still on our puzzle kick. Loves them. I also find something so meditative (fancy word to associate with puzzles, perhaps). I also can’t find the word for the feeling I get when a puzzle is completed. Cool thing about doing puzzles with a toddler is that you do the same one over and over so you get that feeling of satisfaction over and over again. My mom, the teacher, says that by doing puzzles she’s learning mapping…. whatever that means. Not too interested in the educational link, though I know she’s learning, just not focusing on it. I don’t want to offer her a toy on the sole basis of education. She’s still in pure fun mode. Why bog her down with an adult’s perspective of what play should be? Adult’s are dull when it comes to child’s play.
I have to admit that up until recently, most of my thoughts were in the shape of ideals and theories that are based on my hopes for myself and my family. A good source tells me that the first 4 years bring out all the fears a person has about themselves as parents as well as about their children. Certainly true on our end.
I’ve started sewing for myself and gardening. On the sewing front, I have to admit I have been making things for kids and others and don’t really know how to make things fit me.