December 9, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It’s the season of giving and I thought I’d suggest you make a donation to this blog. I love writing and I love sharing the fun and the painful aspects of parenting. I know I’m not alone in this journey and my way of sharing that belief is to tell you all about it.
Thanks again for the readership. I appreciate hearing from you. I appreciate the questions, the comments, and the disapproval- it keeps me on my toes.
Thanks also for following me along on my sewing adventures.
Hope everyone has a great Holiday Season. For some of us, that stretches from December thru March. Lucky me.
And, here is the Donate button in case you’d like to make a donation
As well as the Donate Page.
December 8, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I’m proud to say that I’ve lasted this long. It’s been a roller coaster ride. You know this if you’ve been following this blog. I started it before her first birthday, when we moved to Vermont.
You might remember that she used to have days when she wouldn’t fall asleep until midnight or 1 am. I distinctly remember a slew of days over Thanksgiving weekend when she was tiny, when we just couldn’t convince her, no matter what we tried, that 1 am was really too late for a baby.
Bedtimes have always been difficult for the girl who doesn’t want to miss anything.
A couple of days ago she spent her first whole night in a separate bedroom from me. She says she thought it was cool but she’s back in our family bed.
In case the point of this blog is lost, I will add that she is bilingual. She understands what I say in Spanish and says some words in Spanish, but mostly speaks English. And some of you were so worried you wouldn’t understand her. The power of the local language is always stronger than the minority language.
She’s obsessed with Max and Ruby and might spend a lot of her days painting, cutting paper, and playing super bunnies with her brother. They are super cute together.
They disagree from time to time, but I’m very pleased to say that they genuinely like spending time together.
Her enjoyment of crafty things makes me teary.
We are still in transition mode here at home and bilingual (no-longer)baby thinks of her Vermont friends a lot. I tell her that it’s a good thing that she feels sad- that means she knows how to love.
November 13, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I have nothing for you this time. I’m exhausted. I have a cough. And I have little energy. I pour it into making food and other basics.
I’m falling asleep with the kids at night and being woken up tired the following day, making my life (currently) seems like one never-ending ________ (fill in the blank).
I’ve been on the receiving end of a whole lot of screaming. Every request, complaint and delight from baby brother is delivered fortissimo. It’s a power I experienced slightly differently with his older sister.
I am trying to avoid quick negative reactions to the screaming (which sometimes I achieve) as well as to the indirect throwing that follows a lot of the screaming.
I’m sure it’ll turn around. I’m sure I’ll get through it. In the meantime, it’s my nearly 4 year old who is consoling me when I can’t take it anymore. It’s her who historically would have these emotional outbursts (I swear they were different), but now has the patience to remind me that her brother just needs his mama.
There’s probably a better way to close this entry into the Weekly Special ranks. Some way to cheer it up. Some point of view that would make this all make sense.
The only thing I’ve got to say is that I’m not labeling it. The only thing I’m going to call it is an emotional outburst and not claim it’s anything manipulative nor normal for this stage. I guess I do have a way to remind myself that I’m loving my little boy by not letting myself call him a terrible two year old.
That’s not what’s going on. He’s not terrible.
Plus, if I start calling him names, what will keep me from calling him names in the future, say when he’s a teenager, or an adult. And what good could ever come of that?
October 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
My 2-year-old nurses a lot these days. I keep saying I feel like I’m nursing a newborn again.
I keep hoping for more of a break, more time alone, more, more, more. I think that if I only had that, I would blah, blah, blah. That’s only partially true. In my case, sometimes I just need a change of heart.
I’ve been trying to speed up Josh putting baby brother to bed at night, and it’s still not happening. Some might say that my rushing into the room when my toddler is screaming for me doesn’t help, and I’m fine with that. When I hear him crying the way he does I just don’t have it in me to prioritize the process over his need for closeness with me.
Last night, as Josh took him upstairs, he started screaming for me immediately. He knew what was going on and he didn’t like it one bit. I could hear him screaming all the way up, even through Josh’s attempt at a story. It wasn’t working. Baby brother wasn’t in the mood for it.
Finally, after several visits from my little boy, and hearing his screaming peak, I ran upstairs and nursed him. His light nursing sometimes gets to me so we decided we’d do car bedtime.
He got to nurse, so he was okay with this scenario. Bilingual baby, who has been going to bed pretty late, wasn’t so much, but came around shortly.
By the way, her flexibility and willingness is my current prize for patiently (mostly, anyway) listening to her vent when she needs to.
After the kids fell asleep during the drive, we pulled them in and baby brother woke up to ask me to take off his shoes. I did and put him in bed where he started to scream for mimi. I uttered a gutteral Ugh and nursed him back to sleep.
Sometimes, he’ll actually break off from nursing to say, “I love you.” Last night, this was the best I could do. It wasn’t a romantic picture. It wasn’t the loving embrace. It was a half-hearted nursing session I wished I didn’t have to perform. I was annoyed and mad and resentful. And I could still tell that I loved my little nurser.
As rocky as yesterday went for me in general, kids, this is me loving you. Thanks for your patience.
And to lighten things up, here’s a cartoon of a dad putting his kid to bed.
October 15, 2010 § 4 Comments
We were coloring.
I bring crayons.
Markers are demanded.
Again, they are demanded. Not crayons! Not crayons!
I figure I should just put the whole thing away and bilingual baby can get upset and cry and I’ll fell like I’ve won. I’ve made it clear that I’m the parent and she cannot demand things from me, because clearly in the adult world, adults don’t make any kind of demands. (Read with sarcasm.)
O SON OF MAN! Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee.
That’s where my irritation stops. I swallowed my “I’m the parent. You don’t tell ME what to do” and go downstairs to get the markers.
I figure that if bilingual baby were someone else, not family, not a kid, not I don’t know what, I’d probably grant her request without thinking twice. When you really love someone, you do all sorts of things for them, and you ask nothing in return. Why not do the same with my kids? The fact that she sounds a certain way when she declares she needs markers instead of crayons rubs me the wrong way every time. Would I be rude to a friend who made the same request? In that same tone of voice? I might just figure they were having a bad day and move on. I’d offer all the crayons, markers, and colored pencils I had.
The lesson was for me, again.
I was there to learn humility. Bilingual baby might take something from this incident. Maybe she’ll take nothing “home”. She seems to already get that being nice to people feels good on both ends, so perhaps its working.
Note: Giving myself these lessons and personal character notes in the moment drains me almost completely. Like when Jean Grey uses Cerebro in the first XM movie and needs help standing back up. That’s how much it takes from me. Luckily, I don’t have these intense interactions every single day, and I also don’t take the time at every single event to find out what is at the heart of my annoyance. When I do take the time, it’s incredibly rewarding.
I tell ya one thing. Having a nearly 4 year old is very different from anything prior. If your kid is younger, hang in there.
October 12, 2010 § 3 Comments
I’m sitting down in the basement hoping bedtime can be done by Josh and that the kids will be okay but it’s just not happening. You think a tired 2-year-old will just conk out before 9pm, but there he goes, still.
No want Papi.
Papi, I want Mami now.
And the crying stops. I can hear Josh reading a book. This has baby brother’s attention.
Why don’t I want to do bedtime? Basically, I need someone to put me to bed. I’m overtaxed, over-touched, and don’t feel like nursing.
I hear the end of the story upstairs and the crying starts up again. I’m not made of stone, nor do I have it in me to just let him cry. I’m pushing myself to wait one more minute because I really am exhausted. Apparently not exhausted enough that I’m getting ready to just go up there and nurse him into sleepy bliss.
I know Josh should get a chance to put both kids to sleep, but at what cost? At the boy’s expense? What’s he even thinking right now, as he cries for my presence?
Ok. I can’t take it. I’ll finish this entry after everyone is asleep- let you know how it went.
I started to head up when the crying stopped. I’ll give it another couple of minutes. It’s getting so late for him… wouldn’t you think he’d be wiped and eager to snooze? Well?
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings regarding kids (well, the biggest tonight): Skipped naps don’t mean early bedtime.
Write that one down, people. It’s for reals. For. Reals.
Kids are both asleep. I went in the bedroom, nursed baby brother for about 2 minutes and he was out. In the meantime, bilingual baby cuddled up against my back and passed out, too. To top it off, I think Josh fell asleep for a second or two as well.
Feeling a little like the Mom Hero of the story. (Don’t worry. When the nap doesn’t happen tomorrow, I’ll be singing the Anti-Hero song.)
September 19, 2010 § Leave a Comment
The move is finally hitting me. I’ve got one more week of sewing and hanging with my friends before having to bump up my packing from 3 boxes a day to as many as I can pack before passing out a day.
I managed to get one kid down for a nap today and I’ve got “free” time. I could clean the fridge as a prep for The Big Clean. The Big Clean is happening after the movers take all of our stuff. Carpet cleaning, wall washing, deep fridge cleaning, freezer stuff, scrubbing with toothbrushes and the like. All of this so we can get our deposit back and put it toward renting our new home.
My Weekly blog posting, This is Me Loving You, has been on my mind, but not enough to write anything. Sorry. I know it was becoming a favorite for some of you- and for myself, too. Don’t worry. It’ll come back in full Weekly force very soon.
As a disclaimer I’ve gotta say that the next couple of weeks my entries into this blog will no doubt be rambly in nature. Don’t hate me. I’ll return to my regular ramblings once the move is complete.
September 15, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I realized reading a friend’s tweet about maple syrup that I am snobby about what people call maple syrup. I didn’t go sugaring or anything, but I still feel like the purity of maple syrup is lost in the likes of Mrs. Butterworth, whose website delivers no assurance that there is any actual maple syrup in it.
I wonder if it’s the purity of the air up here, and the beauty of the Green Mountains that leave you wanting only the best. Maybe it’s just availability. Obviously, not everyone has this reaction to living here and I”m not saying that if you don’t, you should.
Here I present you with a small list of ideals I’ve gained from a mere 3 year stint in Central Vermont:
- Maple Syrup should be made of pure maple syrup.
- Organically grown local veggies are fresher and therefore better for you.
- Locally made goods mostly assure you that workers are paid a fair wage (Fair-Trade) and don’t have to be transported, using fuel. Buying from local artisans is very close to my heart, as you know.
- Living in a small home conserves natural resources.
- Compost all food scraps for growing #2.
- Choosing second-hand first, even before buying new Organic items (clothing, for example).
If I drank cow milk, or gave it to the kids, I’d go raw for its known benefits to some groups of people. Putting it that way, you might have noticed that I’m more a fan of Eat Right for Your Type- basing your dietary and exercise habits on your blood type. In this line of thinking, not everyone should be following the same diet. Check out the overview by blood type and see what you think.
I’ve made this list to remind me of the things I’ve really come to appreciate about our time in Vermont. Besides all the great friends we’ve made, I’ve learned a lot about … a lot. This list is not intended to be something I wish to push people away with. It’s merely what’s on my mind.
August 31, 2010 § Leave a Comment
He turned 2 yesterday and while I’m really distracted by the move and the emotions of leaving, I’m also forced to remember that he’s two.
One of the things about having a 3.5 year old (she’ll be four in three months!) who likes to joke around is that you then get responses like this from your 2 year old:
Me: Do you want some food?
Boy: No way.
He also tells me to “get out of the way, mama”.
I love my baby boy so much and wish him a happy birthday!
August 27, 2010 § 3 Comments
Baby brother has a lot of energy. He’s turning two in a couple of days and it shows. He’s not a baby anymore. He does have some baby-like demands that no amount of toddler reasoning or distraction can quell. I don’t have it in me to be man handled all the time and when I do lose it with my tiny boy, I hear my own words thrown in my face.
One day (though this has happened several times), baby brother had crossed the line I had drawn in the sand. The line that kept me sane. The line that delineated the number of demands I could tolerate. He cried, whined, and wouldn’t let it go.
I didn’t want to nurse him.
I said, in my big voice, “I don’t want to”, and bilingual baby said, “Don’t talk to him like that, mama. He gets sad.” She came over to me and put her hand on my arm and said, “All he wants is his mi-mi (to nurse)”. Baby brother chimed in with: Yeah.
I told bilingual baby I needed some love and she gave me the biggest hug and a ton of kisses. Then she asked me if I was ready to nurse her brother. Yes. I was ready.
That’s bilingual baby loving me. Little Leila.