Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So it's hot today, as it has been every day. I mean, I know it's summertime, but sheesh it's hot! Getting up early, I thought we could beat the heat and go pick some peaches. I've been buying my peaches from our "pick-you-own" place, but through our local grocery store. Cuz hauling 2 small kids out in the heat doesn't sound fun to me. Sylvia loves to pick fresh fruit, and it's a memory I love giving her. But lately, Easton has been visibly affected by the temperatures. He gets really clammy, his cheeks turn bright red, and he starts to get real crabby. We try to involve all outdoor activities with water play to cool him down. And there's no water play at the orchard.
Anyway, the tractor ride out was blazing hot. The driver has a shade, but no one else. I slathered the kids with sunscreen, but they were burning up by the time we got into the field. Needless to say, I brought my good camera and snapped a total of 10 pictures because Easton was pissed. The grass is really tall between the trees, and he was not having it. After we got back, we toured the new huge indoor market (in the nice air conditioning). The kids stayed awake for the drive home and crashed for almost 2 hours. I love doing stuff like this after the fact, but at the time, I feel like the crazed mom that can't keep her shit together. I got hot, sweaty, discombobulated, cranky. But Sylvia was pleased with our crop, and I think Easton will enjoy it more next year. Or I could've waited till temperatures weren't reading 92 at 10 am.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm unsure if it's the heat, the feeling of trapped walls, the humidity that seems to be pushing me into the ground, or the age of my son, but Easton's whining is driving me insane. There. I said it in writing. Direct and to the point. I can't stand the sound of a whining child, it drives me absolutely insane. But the difference in a whining Sylvia and a whining toddler is that I can understand her, she can communicate her needs, I can get her to stop. Easton understands everything we say, every command we give, every question we ask him. But he doesn't speak. His answers are inflections, changes in tone, variations on a whine. Yes, he has words, like: mama, dadda, duck, ball, choo choo, i'm all done (i know, random, right?), dog, train, and maybe a few more. Keep in mind that Sylvia was hyper-verbal, meaning she spoke a lot at a young age. Therefore she set the standard rather high. And Eatson knows many more signs than Syl did, and he can shake his head yes and no. But the whining, ohhhhh the whining. It's endless, it's grating, it's hard to bear. I'm admitting this in writing because I need to throw it out into the universe in hopes that I can tolerate it better. I mean really, it's his age, it's normal, it's a sign that he desperately wants to communicate. Lately it's just been especially difficult to listen to. Doesn't he realize that the more you harp, the more people tune you out? Isn't that what teenagers have taught us?
Monday, July 26, 2010
Ok, so I finally joined Fac.ebo.ok a few weeks back. I know, I'm late to the game. People told me that once I start my business, FB is a great way to network. Once I start getting work directly from FB, I'll believe these people. But as for now, it's a huge time-suck social happy hour, which is also fine by me. I've been enjoying newsfeeds on my iPod, it reminds me of Twit.ter, which can be entertaining for an ADD mind like mine. I like my information quick and in short sentences, perfect for both forums. My issue is this: they can't get my name right. I go by my nickname, and have my whole life. After middle school, I started to drop the dots between my letters. At first, it was a kind of rebellion. Against what? I couldn't tell you. I suppose I was trying to find some identity in my name, and having initials seemed like a cop-out. Then, it was out of laziness. It was simple to tell people "two J's, don't worry about the dots." Now, as an adult, I simply don't care. Write it however you'd like, as long as you don't write Jay Jay, which hundreds of people have over the years. I mean really, I have the easiest nickname in the book, and you want to complicate it?
Ok, back to FB. When I was signing up, I wanted to do it under my business name, to keep it away from former high schoolers. Well, they wouldn't let me. And no one knows me by my real name, so I put JJ. They told me it was too many capital letters. Then I tried with dots, like J.J. It told me there were too many dots. When it finally accepted my name, it signed me up like J.j.
For whatever irrational reason, it really irks me to see my name this way. I get mail, email, letters, lots of junk mail with my name spelled this way. And it drives me nuts. People have offered me many ideas to change it, none of which have been successful. And I know it can be done, because I found someone with my name spelled this way correctly. I finally emailed FB to directly make them take care of it. I mean come on, you are the biggest social networking site in the world, this can't be a difficult solution. So far, I've gotten the generic letters that are trying to get me to do it myself. I've tried those steps, FB, and they have failed me!
So this post is just a rant, I suppose. A lesson was learned here, and I'm not sure what it is yet.
And though I like to be kept abreast of peoples silly doings, I could do without the barrage of high school people that never wanted anything to do with me then! Sheesh.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
It's so hot outside, I feel trapped by the walls of my house. Luckily the kids don't mind. It does feel like we're always on the go, so to spend an afternoon with playdough is fine by them. Plus I get to photograph them with amazing colors. Still, I want to play outside. Hopefully the heat wave will break this weekend.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
As July flies by, I can't help but get a pit in my stomach for August. Next month is the dawn of a new era for us, the official end to spending my days with Sylvia. And as I'm totally excited for her, I'm extremely sad. She has been so much fun this summer, eager to play, explore, entertain, enjoy (all the E's in the alphabet, really). Here is a brief recap of July thus far, with photos dumped from my point-and-shoot. I wasn't about to bring my nice camera to a carnival in 90 degree St. Louis weather.
Webster Groves has a 4th of July Fair that runs the Thurs-Sunday holiday weekend. I promised Sylvia I would take her if she napped during the day so she could stay up late. The shot above is from her first official ride. It spun in circles and went up rather high. As we stood in line, she kept reassuring me that she would be fine. I couldn't go with her, so I stuck her with the youngest kids on the ride. Turns out they spun the ride faster than all the other kids. Syl freakin loved it.
We rode the carousel, which she insists on sitting on the benches, not the animals that move up and down. To me, it resembles riding in a car, but to her, it's heaven!
Ok, this was another ride she had to go up by herself. It was a pretty tall slide, and each kid had to carry a huge mat to the top to sit on. Anyway, you're supposed to keep your hands on your lap and zoom down. Syl kept putting her hands on the rail to slow herself down, which made her go bumpy. She had a complete look of terror on her face the entire way down, but went down again several times. All the parents at the bottom would see her face and laugh hysterically. I was so proud!
Right before the fireworks started, we waited in this god-awful long line for the huge ferris wheel. It's hard for a 4 year old to be patient in 90 degree heat, but the line went rather quickly. We got sat with this super young could (we were their "safe sex reality check" for the evening), and rode it a few times around. Syl was extremely tired at this point (it was about 9pm), so it was the last ride.
Monday, July 19, 2010
This past Sunday morning, we opened the fridge and realized we forgot to get groceries. Our favorite local breakfast spot is closed due to family vacation, so we headed to Hartford. This family with a 14 month old daughter was there hanging out. Of course, Easton and her are at the "I'm going to play next to you, act like I don't know you're there, but grab a toy from your mitts whenever I can" phase in life, so they were quietly playing. And Sylvia was quietly reading books that she hasn't been reading for the past 4 years of her life (btw, she can't read yet, she just has all her books at home memorized and will happily tell you she can read). The mom came over to me and said, "My husband just commented how easy you make having 2 kids look." I almost spit my breakfast out with laughter. Yes, at that moment, my kids were behaving angelic. They were calm, collected, happy, occupied. Generally speaking, they are well-behaved kids. But Dave and I were both present, so neither of us had to be stressed out. If I were there alone, things may have been much different. I don't usually get to sit back and sip my coffee when I'm alone with the 2 of them. In fact, I make a small pot every morning and manage about 2 sips. Hours later, I see my full cup of coffee and want to cry that it was wasted.
The woman told me they want to have more, but the first was so difficult it's hard to imagine 2. I'm always apprehensive to scare parents out of having more children. Every story, family, life, situation is different. Yes, shit was really hard for us for about a year. But in those hard moments, there were joyful ones too. And now that the 2 of them play together, much of life has gotten "easier," but there are still parts in every day that result in tears (both mine and theirs). And it's hard to accept a compliment like that, because my instinct is to be very honest. Again, I instantly want to instill the wrath of subsequent children. Alas, I did feel rather proud of my parenting skills at the moment. We avoided the storm of thrashing children, all happily ate their breakfasts, and we returned home free on any incidents.
What I failed to tell her is the fight Dave & I got in on our way to Hartford. But she wasn't complimenting my marriage!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Is it Friday? No? My brain is falling out of my head. This title has little to do with this post. Titles are overrated.
Back to the everyday! I spent so much time obsessing about my site that this week has magically flown by! Not really, life is kicking my ass these days. Sylvia was up half the night throwing up, which of course awoke little man, which of course caused me to yell at Dave to wake up. So, it's 4 am and we're all up! Hurray! I had to go assist one of the photographers I work for today (outside, in this disgusting weather) so we had to call off the bsitter and keep Dave home with the kids. It's less than ideal, since Dave is our primary breadwinner, but he ran them around to the doctor and filling prescriptions. Yes, Sylvia has strep throat. Awesome. We caught it quick, so hopefully it won't get as awful as mine did. Dave is now the only one that has yet to catch the illness. Ugh.
On a completely different tip, my dinner last night was fabulous. I picked fresh green beans and tomatoes from my garden, which tasted delicious, then made a smoothie. All that was a bit too healthy, so I round it off with the kids mac n cheese (which, btw, they aren't into anymore. wtf? it's a childhood staple!!!). Back to the garden, it is so amazing to eat something you grow. I know, duh, right? Next week I'm going to be much more methodical, dedicate more yard to it, and start with seeds earlier. Lofty goals for a lady as crazy-busy as I am.
So, in conclusion, I have a sick kid, yummy things growing in my yard, and little sleep. Do you feel well-informed? You're welcome.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
After hours and days and weeks of shuffling things around in my head, in my life, on my computer, and with many images, my actual website is officially up. Please go there, tell me what you think, leave me some feedback here, tell me what I spelled wrong, ect. If your kid is on there, congrats! They are winners! Just kidding, but they are lovely. I'm sure I'll be doing some tweaking over the next few days, but it's up. I. Have. A. Website. And soon it'll come up in search engines. And I'm about to pee my pants.
Go look, then hire me. Please!!!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Now, I'm no scientist, but I can guarantee you that the key neurons that link my eyeballs to my brain are so kinked and tangled that doctors would declare me unfit to parent. Or maybe I just wish the doctors would say that to me. I take that back, karma! Anyway, I've been spending the past week getting my computer back up and running after I somehow managed to fill up it's entire memory with data from taking so many damn photos. I'm now officially behind on 3 shoots, but the computer was so full I couldn't even edit. On top of it all, I've been working feverishly to finish my website, which will (fingers crossed) be up in the next day or so. It's so hard to peel the kids off my legs long enough to work on the computer, so I've been squeezing in moments and spending late nights in front of the screen (hence the brain miss-fires).
Long, boring story short, I'm almost officially up and running. And I'm so flipping excited I could gouge my eyes out. Then they wouldn't hurt anymore.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Scene: early morning risers, the sun is bright and just above the horizon. 3 of the 4 members of our family are piled into the 4 year old's bed.
Sylvia: Mom, I have something to tell you.
Syl: Yes, I mean I really really REALLY have something to tell you.
Me: Ok, I'm listening (though a bit fearful at this point).
Syl: At night, after you and daddy leave, I've been putting my boogers under my pillow.
Syl: And there's a lot under there.
Me: Why wouldn't you go get a tissue?
Syl: I didn't want to wake you up. And I didn't want you and daddy to hear me.
There's a lot under there (laughing with psychotic glee).
Me: Thanks for being honest with me. From now on, let us get you a tissue. Hiding boogers is rather gross and unnecessary, ok?
Syl: Ok, sorry.
Upon her exit, the pillow is lifted. Mama almost throws up right there. Dried boogers are seen throughout. Saturday morning is successfully ruined.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I finally bucked up and joined faceboo.k today. I've been feeling the pressure of getting things going for my company, and people tell me this is a great way to network. And dammit if I succumbed to the popularity of it all. I've already killed 45 minutes on it. Must.Get. Off.Computer. Now.
Sometimes days will slip by and I haven't felt like I've actually "taught" Sylvia anything. We get so caught up in errands, play dates, swimming, relaxing, napping, ect that we rarely have a free moment to sit and study. For a while, we would try and sit down with her once a day, usually after Easton was in bed, and practice writing, spelling her name, numbers, ect. It makes up for her being out of preschool and having zero schedule. But as summer wears on, this daily lesson plan slipped.
As we were driving home from Springfield the other day, Sylvia decided she was going to count the passing cars. She has always been very verbal, but her visual identification of letters and numbers is about average for a 4 year old. Anyway, as she counts, she always skips seventeen and says "eleventeen" which is cute and frustrating when I'm trying to teach her actual things. But I digress, she continued her counting as I zoned out to drive. All of a sudden, I realized she was at 65! I had to tell her 40, 50, 60, but she just kept on going. After giving her a hint, she continued to count all the way to 99. I was so shocked, I had no idea she could go that high. Now, I understand that counting as a concept is rather easy, once the understand that each set of ten is the same, the possibilities are endless. Still, I was amazed. Turns out accidental "unschooling" is rather effective.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I'm finally feeling better, though still not at 100%, from my illness last week. I'm so lucky that Dave had the entire week off, but feel a little guilty that he spent it listening to my tiresome whining and complaining. He was able to keep the kids out of my hair and the house never technically fell apart, so all is good in the end.
I've been struggling getting my website going, being stuck with design elements/themes/logos ect. In the past, I can easily come up with things for my small business ventures. But I think I'm over thinking it, I'm trying to hard, focusing on it every minute. I keep second guessing, deleting everything, starting over, then quiting. It's my business, it's going to be my livelihood (fingers crossed), so maybe it's a good thing I'm not jumping into it. Yet suddenly things are frozen and static, never a place that I enjoy being. So mentally, I need a break. I'm taking the rest of the week off from thinking about it. I'm going to finish editing and delivering the rest of my last photo sessions, take the kids up to Springfield to hang with some old friends, and enjoy a week of health and happiness.
Over the weekend, I took Sylvia to her first carnival. I was a mean mom and told her she could only go if she napped (which she did). We rode rides, she was brave and did one without me, we went high on the ferris wheel, she didn't want the stroller (thank GOD). Nearing time for fireworks, we walked back to watch them near my car. I thought this was far enough away for her, but I was wrong. She like them for a minute, then her fear kicked in. She got so paranoid that they were too low and were going to burn her, she insisted we leave. Lucky for her, the finale happened as soon as we got in the car. Otherwise, my car couldn't get out. We escaped without incident and she passed out minutes after I strapped her into the car seat. Either the nap wasn't long enough, or the carnival was just that good.
We took the kids to the pool tonight, first time in weeks. As we were all 4 floating along the lazy river, I realized that Easton and Sylvia were holding hands. They both started to make each other laugh and were truly enjoying themselves. In those moments, all the worry is lost. It thrills me beyond belief when they are genuine together, not battling for attention, not pushing for possessions. They have each other to team against us, and it a sick way, I couldn't be happier for that.
I'll kick myself later, but today it was good.