Thursday, December 31, 2009
Since it's still technically 2009, I can say this year is going out real shitty and my hopes for 2010 are still strong. Reasons for this? Sylvia, the 3.5 year old, went down for a nap at 12:30. Its 4 and she's still sleeping. Plus I went in to wake her up a while ago and she said she needed more sleep. Me too, kid. Me too. Easton, on the other hand, waited till after my jog at 2 to nap, took 30 minutes of me rocking and nursing him to not sleep, then screamed bloody murder for 40 minutes. Only to finally collapse in my arms and sleep for 25 minutes. Why is my life so ass-backwards? When will I get a visit from the sleep fairy (aka something that will at least knock me out)? Please let 2010 be the Year of the Sleeping Mother. Please.
As this is my 400th post (can you freaking believe it?) and the closing of 2009, I'm going to make an attempt to challenge myself to resolute for the new year. Things to resolute here aren't going to be revolutionary, just simple and attainable. Why set myself up for some sleep-deprived disappointments? Let's be realistic here, I have 2 young children and no paying job. This list is going to be short and sweet, because hey y'all, I may never come back to this post to verify my accomplishments. Or I may. My life is filled with mystery.
~run 9 miles straight (as opposed to gay, I guess)
~get a weeks worth of 8 hours-a-night sleep
~spend the night alone away from home
~spend the night with my husband sans children
~make a king size quilt for our bed (already have the pattern, it's simple and realistic. not too overly ambitious)
~start working part-time
~decide what school Sylvia may attend this fall and stop getting anxiety attacks about it
~learn to crochet
~get back to pre-Easton weight (5 lbs to go!!) and possibly pre-Sylvia weight (13 lbs to go...shit)
~volunteer with Sylvia
~get a lovely new swimsuit that hasn't been used for the duration of 2 pregnancies
~take the family camping (maybe just 1 night)
~ride kids in bike more often
~smile and relax more
Most of these seem like things that can be easily accomplished with a bit of preparations and mental or physical training. It's really about focusing some time on myself, which you fellow mamas know comes last. So I leave you beloved readers with this question for the new year:
If you think about yourself last all the time, is anyone else thinking of you first? Do your children benefit or get spoiled by being placed in top place always? I'm going to try and be more selfish this year, because if I'm not ok, no one in my house is ok (right, Dave?!).
Happy New Year Lovelies!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My Little 1 Year Old,
This could be a potential love letter, but your current sleeping patterns are making this more of a letter of complaint. You were doing so well, taking 2 naps a day in your crib and sleeping 7-10 hour increments at a time. What is it now, little boy? Daddy thinks your gassy (I did give you a tiny bite of my beans last night), but could it be teeth (you're suddenly nursing every 2 minutes)? I don't know, but it's been rough. You've been waking up pissed every 2-3 hours. Ugh.You see, there were better photos of you and me from our snowy walk this morning, but the bags under my eyes were aging me too far. So for selfish reasons, this is the one I'm posting. Anyway, you were so tired after being so snugly in your sling on my back and under my jacket, that you almost fell asleep. Of course, it only makes sense. Why sleep in the nice, soft, warm, dry, dark comforts of your crib? It only seems right that you want to sleep in the cold, wet, snowy conditions of outside. Right.
Anyway, this past month you turned 1 year old. We didn't make a big deal about it, in fact, I bought you 1 gift because I felt I should. You could have cared less. We made homemade cinnamon rolls and had some fellow 1 year old friends over. You proved you were a stinker that morning and didn't nap at all. That's ok, the rolls were so yummy that you forgot all about being tired.
For your year appointment, you got a whopping 5 shots (one for lead and iron test). You screamed to the high heavens, but quickly forgot about them all. You weighed in at 22 lbs. and I can't for the life of me remember how long you are. Sorry. Mommy has a bad memory due to the not sleeping and all. Your doctor said you were tall, like your sister, and you even took a few steps for her. She was impressed! Your sister had many words at this age, and you have very few. But the doctor said Sylvia was hyper-verbal, and your normal. I hope you don't have to hear that your whole life!!
A week later, on my birthday, you surprised us all by officially walking. And boy are you impressed with yourself! You walk around in a drunken stupor finding new things at the higher levels you now reach. Like the toilet handle. And the stove knobs. Both things your sister never, ever messed with. We have to keep our eyes on you, you are getting quicker and more cunning by the second. Us parents are learning that if it's quiet, you're into something. Or your sister has a noose around your neck. You know, either or.
Anyway, your sweetness surrounds your every move. You reach out, wrap your arms around someone near, and say "ahhhhhhhh" with love. Then you rest your head on their shoulder (or if Sylvia, her chest). It is the freaking cutest thing ever, and shows us how full of love and affection you are. I've always heard this about little boys, but you are certainly showing us first hand!
Things you now say are ball, dada, mama (very rarely), and uh-oh. You also know the signs for milk (nursing) and more, both of which we had taught your sister too. When we ask you how big you are, you raise your hands to the skies, and if I say where's the baby, you pat yourself. This shows me that though you are not so verbal, you know exactly what is being said. Oops.
So as you enter you second year on this planet, and in this family, I hope you keep all this sweetness and zest for play. I can't wait to experience the little man you are becoming. I'm so amazed at the smile and glee you have on your face, especially when we pick you up after you've been screaming for 10 minutes. The sadness fades quickly to total joy. And you are so happy to be in our arms, as opposed to the confines of your crib-prison.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I suppose I can finally show these 2 quilts, since they will be given away over the next 2 days (well, pending the weather). The first one is for my FIL, who is into an art movement that we discussed in lengths about but the name slips my mind. Anyway, we discussed how lovely the art would translate into quilts, and I decided then and there that I would attempt this for his present. It's done with an applique method, but I should've zig-zagged the edges instead of using a straight stitch. I bet he won't care, for he is one to truly appreciate the handmade. I love the simplicity of the back, and the front kinda looks like a kids' quilt. But who questions art? Even if one can't think of the name to the movement?*** it's called suprematism. duh!
The last quilt turned out smaller than I expected, so I'm calling it a mini-quilt, suitable for hanging on the wall, preferably high up so no quilters may see my many imperfections and last-minute cheating methods. I think it's really cute, with lovely bold yellow (my mom's favorite color). The second photo turned out a bit orangish, the first is true to the colors.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I never thought I'd find myself out of things to do when my children take a monumental nap, at the same time. Syl has been asleep since 1, Easton since 1:30, and it's 3:30 now. Santa has decided to bring my gift early, and it is much appreciated.
We decided to hold out on putting any gifts under the tree until tomorrow night, hoping to catch that WOW factor from Sylvia. And Easton? Let's just say we're capitalizing on the fact that he's only 1 and doesn't need anything. Because it turns out he's not really getting anything. Ooops. He'll enjoy the wrapping paper, it's kinda like recycling!
As for us here in the midwest, it's 51 degrees out and raining today. I think I jinxed us by buying a sled early this year. Sorry. It may snow on Christmas Eve, which would be sentimental and romantic, but we'll see. So to all my lovely readers, may you enjoy a pleasant, safe, warm, and peaceful holiday this weekend (or last week, for you Jewish-folk). Stuff your faces with as many cookies as you can.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I guess when the steps become too many to count, your child is officially walking. And it happened on a day I will surely remember. He also slept hours last night, only awaking for about 2 minutes to nurse. Miraculous.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I really enjoy this photo of me, and I'm saying that on a non-superficial level. I'm rarely in any photos, but occasionally I turn the camera on myself, usually to be immediately deleted. Easton and I were in the backyard on one of those random late fall warm days. I was struggling to get him to nap (surprise!), so he was crawling around on the ground. The light was blinding, glowing extra strong for me to feel it's warmth. I was thinking about this very post, about how I was about to turn 32 in a matter of weeks. Now, the day is upon me, and I couldn't be more excited.
32 will be a new year for me. I guess it's ironic that my birthday is at the end of the year, right when everyone is so stressed with holiday anxiety, and right before the purging of the old and the beginning of the new. New hopes, new ideas, new resolutions, new fads, new diets, a new you. 31 was a very difficult year, with Syl turning 3, balancing hormones with a newborn and a toddler, putting pause on any sort of career I may have started, lack of sleep, lack of sanity, and so on. But 32? 32 will be a great year. I'm hoping to keep the positive energy and joy that I emit in that photo through my daily life. I know everyone's optimistic at the start of the new year, and I am no different. I'm feeling good about this even-numbered year. This will be my year to enjoy the things I have, enjoy more sleep, enjoy my children becoming more self-sufficient, enjoy time to myself. Enjoy. Let it be my new mantra.
Happy Birthday to me.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I'm having one hell of a week, let's start with the current state of things: Easton is up in his crib, crying, because he's so over-tired and won't sleep. Sylvia is working into her 3rd hour of nap, which I should wake her up, but I really don't want to. I'm trying to drown out the screams with old oreo cookies. It's not working.
I've just realized that Christmas is quickly approaching, and I've little accomplished for such a holiday. I've finished 2 of the 3 Christmas quilts, but ran out of the right shade of yellow for the final one. We've gotten the kids some little stuff, but nothing from the very small list Sylvia's requested. Plus I did one of those 'letters from Santa' and it said if she's good those few things on her list should be coming her way. She got beyond excited. Oops. So I'm scrambling for ideas, like what to get my SIL, who is hopefully being released soon, or my brother, who just got kicked out of rehab yesterday. Yes, we have issues. I also have to come up with gifts for preschool, my husband, my MIL, and my nephews. Nobody is getting anything big or expensive, but I gotta provide something, ya know?
As a last minute effort for the kids in my life, I'm whipping these up:
They are fabric beach balls and they're oh-so-easy. The issue is that I've been using up so much of my scrap stash that I've little left to work with. But 2 big ones and 2 small ones came together in no time at all, and I've got 2 little ones pecking at me leg as I sew. Hopefully they will forget what they've seen by next Friday. Tutorial found here.
We went to Sylvia's rather strange preschool 'breakfast with Santa' last weekend. I say strange because I thought it'd be all preschool kids but apparently it was a free breakfast for everyone sponsored by the church and no preschool friends were there. Plus we ate before we got there and the church people seemed offended by that. I drank the coffee, it was terrible. Anyway, after waiting over an hour (I was very crabby, baby had to sleep in sling) Santa arrived. Everyone broke out into "Jingle Bells" for some reason. I guess I don't quite understand church goers. Santa sat and read a story, which was a great idea to make the kids relaxed with him. And guess who the first person to jump on his lap was? Yep, my kid, the one who has always been freaked by the scary dude in red. The moment was fleeting, as shown in the hurried photo, but she did it. I was very proud.
Easton, on the other hand, having just awoke from a cramped sling nap, could've done without.
Monday, December 14, 2009
A while back, Syl and I attended an open house at New City School, an amazing (and not religious) private school located a few blocks from Dave's work. Yes, if you peruse the website long enough, you will see the gastronomical cost of tuition. But I called Dave from that open house crying, stating, "this is where she needs to be." We talked about sacrifices, financial aid, throwing so much money into early elementary education, and Sylvia being one of the poorer kids at the school. We've had countless discussions, I've thought it through in my head, I've dreamed about it, and I've tried to think on it rationally. But you see, once I get my head wrapped around something, it's hard to get it undone. Second baby? I totally got obsessed. Preschool? It was for the sanity of both Syl & me. Moving to New Mexico? Had to do it (years back). I'm not saying Dave wasn't an active part of the decision making. I'm just saying I'm stubborn, headstrong, and drive a hard bargain. I know what I want and it's hard to dissuade me.
Today we had a private tour of the school, a real sample of classes in session, one-on-one with the head financial aid/admissions/advisor lady (don't know her technical title). I needed Dave to be there with me, to tell me I'm crazy, to slap my face and say 'WAKE UP' to the the far-fetched dream of Sylvia going there. But instead, he loved it too. He agreed that this is where Sylvia needed to be. If we want to sacrifice and starve and suffer for the bettering of our kids, this is where we would start.
So my question to you, dear readers, is what now? What would you do? What if you were given the opportunity (and financial aid/support) to place your kid(s) in a program that you know they would thrive in, despite the strain your family may have to endure? Would you sacrifice? Isn't this what parenthood is all about?
I do think that education should be free, but people, this is America*! And nothing worth fighting for is ever free. Or, everything worth fighting for will never be free. Or, what the fuck is free anyway? Or, freedom's just another word for like hell anything is free.
*said with a thick, heavy, country accent. you know what i'm talking 'bout.
Anyway, we have a lot of discussions ahead, lots of crunching of the numbers and racking of the minds. But in the end, my mind is already made up. And it may just mean I have to give up my new gym membership already (cue tiny violins).
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Please, please, please send all you positive thoughts and vibes towards Cara's new baby "Beetle." She was born so early and needs so much healing energy sent her way.
Easton is so lucky to share his birthday with her. It really puts things into perspective for me. My babies were born full-term, came home with me from the hospital, and required no medical interventions. I fully take it for granted, and for that I'm sorry. Complaining about sleep issues and teething seems minuscule compared to the medical hardships some little ones require when they enter the world.
Thank for putting it into perspective for me, Beetle. May you grow quickly and fiercely!
Friday, December 11, 2009
A year ago tonite, at 5: 14 pm, this little man entered the world (via some serious pushing). All changed, our family expanded to 4, my life forever altered. I've been thinking about this post all day, all week, really, but alas, now that I am here posting, I cannot think of much.
Easton is a super adorable pain in my ass. The current stage of his age is full of duality. He is so difficult to nap, he's entering the super-clingy don't-put-me-down phase. Yet he gives these sweet hugs that melt the bitterness away. And despite the need to be held, when he is down, he is into everything (yes, toilet and all). He is a risk-taker, not caring for personal safety or gravity. But he can be delicate with fine precision when necessary.
I have much to learn with 2 children, especially patience. I'm so drained right now, physically and mentally, that my fuse is shorter than a firecrackers. But Easton has shown me that, though trying and exhausting, a mother's heart always makes room for more babies (though I SWEAR this is it).
My Dear Easton, your smile melts every fiber. Your squeezes engulf my heart in flames. Your love pats suck me in. I'm so glad your here, Happy First Birthday.
And I'm sorry for the generic birthday post. I'm just so damn tired. Because of you, son.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Why? Because I'm crazy. It's official.
This one will be for my mom. She doesn't read blogs, and in fact, I can bet if you asked her what a blog is, she's reply something along the lines of a thing that floats down a river.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I guess in every instance of occurrences, you get the good and the bad. Or the bad and the bad. But rarely, it seems, the good with the good. If you always got good with good, the figurative coin wouldn't really be spinning, and gravity wouldn't exist, and the coin would just keep heading straight upwards. Anyway, not trying to be all philosophical here.
December is my most hectic month of the year. "But JJ, it is for everyone," you may say. Yes, I concur, but in addition to the usual holiday uproar, I add 3 family birthdays to the mix, all right in the nick of Christmas. Easton turns 1 this Friday, and then is my brother's, on the 16th. To conclude the Crazy Month of Birthdays and Holiday Mayhem, mine is the 19th. Yes, it's a good thing to have a birthday. It means you were born. But my brother is now back in rehab, having relapsed at Thanksgiving-ish. So not only will he miss his birthday with his family (no biggie, there's always next year), but he'll be missing all the holidays this season. It's a hard pill to swallow (no pun intended for his recovery), especially for the 2 little boys that won't get to see their daddy for months. Another bad with the bad? Swine flu. No, I'm not being funny. Since the outbreak, the facility my brother is staying in won't let children in for visitation. Not even on the holiday. Normally, they could go up once a week, family day on Sundays. If that weren't hard enough, they can't see him at all. Until release date (which is unknown).
Yes, there is a good side to this coin: my brother is actively seeking recovery. In the end, my nephews will have a father, and that is the most important thing. And they are young, so we're hoping this holiday season will be the forgotten one. Plus, my mom is going to try and bring the boys down here a lot to fill the void with lots of busy activities. But I'm having a hard time with this one.
On the good side of some other coins (I know, enough with the stupid coin reference), I am mostly done shopping for the kids, I'm hand sewing the last of the binding for a Christmas gift quilt, Easton took 3 steps unassisted last night, followed by 2 more (we're in for it now) and we got the loveliest, most yummy smelling tree this weekend.
But the tree is Easton's new favorite target. Eeeeeek!
He licked the camera right before this.
First ice, squeeeee!
Photo by Sylvia.
Big sisters do come in handy. She fed him lunch while I ran up and down doing the laundry.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Easton has slept 3 nights in a row for at least 10 hours straight. Plus he's been taking 2 quality naps IN his crib. Thank you for the tips, night weaning was key (Emily). Amen, the choir praises hallelujah! And I even spelled that right the first try. Wow.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Flying curls be gone!
If you know Sylvia in real life (since she's so not into her picture being taken right now), you'll know of her super curls. Dave's hair, when not shaved short, is a kinky curl. Mine is straight with a slight wave. Syl has big, fat, round spirals, which tend to dread into knots because of our lack of time to deal with it. I rarely brush my own hair, Easton was at the Gardens yesterday barefoot, deodorant lasts me a year because hey, who's got the time? As I was stinky saying, poor Syl's hair tends to get abandoned. Even on preschool days, when I should be spending an ounce of energy on her appearance, I don't. Hopefully this is instilling some sort of "look at people from inside, ignore the outside" ideals, or something.
Anyway, she's never had a haircut. Yes, she's 3 1/2 years old. No, never a haircut. And I used to trim her bangs, but Dave made me stop due to the rest of her hair getting so long. So then she was always fussing to get her bangs out of her eyes, totally a peeve for me. When I asked if she'd like to have a girls date out and go get our hair did, she was so not into it. Tonite, after squeezing 3 of the 4 members of our family into our bathtub, I gave her a hair cut. I don't know if you've seen my credentials lately, but I'm no stylist. In fact, I get my hair professionally cut once or twice A YEAR. I really don't know what I'm doing. And it's real obvious. Sylvia's hair is a hot mess. Dave was a bit perturbed. Sylvia doesn't even notice it. Thank goodness we already did our Xmas cards!!!
Today's post was brought to you by this mom's "oops" moment.
Ok, so maybe nursing this cute little man isn't the end of the world. Plus he is no where near close to giving it up. Sylvia took this photo of us last week and I think it is the sweetest ever.