About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

oh, to be big


The little one, confined to her quilt, while the big kids get to have all sorts of fun in the pool.

Someday, little one, someday. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

5 months


(well, ten days ago, but you didn't expect it on time, did you??)

~ rolling
~ reaching
~ grabbing
~ laughing hysterically at balls flying (baseball, juggling, paddleboarding, etc.)
~ sleeping 10 hours (well, she did last night)...
~ ...still in our bed
~ hair growing just like Claire's
~ likes toes in the sandbox
~ is getting too big to nap in the bjorn (too heavy for me and too tall)
~ cries every time I take a shower (which means I get very short showers)
~ likes to gnaw on blocks and dolls and really any wooden or fabric toy
~ just yawned in my lap
~ can sort of sit for about ten seconds before she slowly but inevitably topples over
~ makes it impossible for me to eat if I'm holding her on my lap...
~ ...so she will soon be trying out the high chair (and solids!!!) for the first time
~ happy coos and gurgles
~ cradle cap mostly gone
~ still scratches her head when tired or frustrated
~ "talks" to you then waits for you to respond before she "talks" again
~ lights up for Daddy- any time, anywhere
~ is chewing on my shirt right now
~ has a big ol' scratch, courtesy of her brother, on the right side of her mouth
~ still thinks her brother is pretty awesome
~ is a little intimidated when her sister is her loud self, hehe
~ is a little happier in the car than she used to be
~ likes to cross ankles (is doing so now)
~ likes to examine things with her hands

~has the cutest little feet. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Single-Parenting + Terrible Twos = Not a Good Combination


I am by myself this weekend.

Noah is at a polo tournament, leaving me, essentially, to be a single parent, and let me tell you...it is not easy. :)

Every time this happens (a few times a year), I am reminded of the awe I feel for military spouses who endure many-month, sometimes year-long deployments. And if you are either of my cousins who do so, you hardly, if ever, complain.

Unlike me, who is feeling a bit sorry for myself right now.

We have had some trying moments, mostly with the two-year-old. :)

We are in the throes of potty-training, and he is doing really well...except that he might or might not be using it as an excuse do finagle a later bedtime. I hear from my room "I need to go potty" and I hear it over and over again until I think, hmm, maybe he really does need to go. And often, he does. But sometimes, he smirks at me from the toilet and I know he knows he has won at least a few extra minutes. But I'm learning to tell the difference between the two requests (there is a noticeable sense of urgency when it's for real and a more sing-songy tone when it's a false alarm).

He is also, and I hate to admit this, still acting out a bit with Lucy. I've learned to keep a constant eye on him when he is near her, but sometimes that chubby (often sticky or grimy per usual for a two-year-old boy) little hand is just too fast for me. Luckily Lucy is usually unhurt and only mildly upset, but I am furious. I don't understand why. But then I put myself in his small shoes and I sort of understand (though he still earns a time-out and a firm but gentle talking-to about compassion and empathy which I'm sure for now goes way over his head but will hopefully begin to catch on as it has with Claire).

No longer can I pick him up whenever he wants me to, no longer can I snuggle with him for as long as we both want to at bedtime, no longer can I always get him water as soon as he realizes his thirst. In short, there is another child who deserves attention just as much, and sometimes more, than he does. And that must be a tough lesson to learn. Especially for an age-appropriately egocentric toddler.

So I try to meet his needs as much and as best as I can. Today, for instance. Something woke him up from his nap early, and he was capital W-hining and crying for, no joke, an hour and a half. His whining woke up Lucy, who in turn was whining and crying. Each of them just wanted to be held, which would have been okay (I do have two arms after all) except half my lap wasn't cutting it for Alex. No sirree, he wanted my whole lap and was letting me know- "Not wike dat! Not wike dat!" He was frustrated and crying, Lucy was crying and I was frustrated (and almost crying!). And then suddenly, out of nowhere, everything was fine and he jumped off my lap to go build a lego tower.

I try to hold him and give him individual attention as much as I can, and that seems to help both of us. Because in truth, both of us miss each other a little bit, just like Claire and I missed each other a little bit when Alex was born. I suppose it is to be expected with the arrival of a new little one. We cherish and adore and can't get enough of the newest one, but a small part of us mourns the time we have lost with each of the other siblings.

If we are lucky we spend lots of time doing things all together and growing new relationships we are blessed to have. I have loved watching the evolution of Claire and Alexander's relationship, as they learn to play together, teach one another and sometimes harrass one another (hehe). I love watching each of them with Lucy: Claire brings her the toys she knows are appropriate, plays with her, laughs with her and speaks to her like I do with a higher, more sing-songy voice. Alexander asks to hold her, cannot go to sleep without hugging and kissing her, and has inadvertently given her one of her most popular nicknames ("Wootie" which is, of course, how he says Lucy, and which has also morphed into "Woots" and "Woot to the Woots.")

Sometimes I get too frustrated, like today when for the better part of an hour we went back and forth between the kitchen (where we were painting) and the bathroom as Alex thought he had to go potty, then decided he didn't, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat until finally, success. But I may have lost my cool on the fifth or sixth repeat and told him that he wasn't going to leave the bathroom until he went. But I stopped and reminded myself how difficult it must be, after two and a half years of simply going in your diaper to suddenly need to control it and know when it's coming, etc. So I apologized, and we talked about how Mama was frustrated and how proud I was of him when he did go.

I find myself being frustrated a lot lately, and then talking to the kids about it. We talk about how we all get frustrated and that's ok, and it is difficult, but we need to try to find ways to deal with it instead of raising our voices (mama) or crying (Claire) or biting (Alex).

But oh, two year old boys are also so much fun. :)He is so enthusiastic about everything from playing in the sandbox to changing Lucy's diaper to helping me wash dishes (he really enjoys dumping the water out and transferring it back and forth between dishes).

And just when I wonder how I am going to make it until bedtime, suddenly we're brushing teeth and reading stories and tucking in and that little boy who drove me nuts so many times today is sound asleep on his back, arms spread-eagled, with his favorite books du jour tucked in beside him.

And I smile and chastise myself for ever showing him anything but love and gentleness, because how could that angelic face have given me any reason not to??

And I really really REALLY want to sneak in and kiss him and hug him and even get in bed with him for a few- or many- minutes, but I'm holding a little one who needs a feeding and a changing and some snuggles of her own, and oh yeah, his door creaks and what if I woke him up and he was whiny again...

So I am content just watching him for a bit and whispering how much I love him and how proud of him I am and how much fun I really did have today.

Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity for loving and caring and playing and sharing and growing and laughing and tickling and dancing and hugging.

And, oh yeah, my other half will be here. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

flickr!!

I take tons of pictures, but I don't upload all of them here.

So if you want to see them, you can check out my flickr!

I plan on organizing them by month, and I also have a sewing set. I plan on adding a scrapbooking set too...

It isn't unlimited space, and since I'm already at my capacity for this month, I'll have to wait until July to upload more, but there are quite a few, complete with explanatory captions if you're interested, hehe.

Just go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42467597@N08/

YAY!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let the summer begin!!

Well, Noah's summer doesn't begin until Friday, but heck, the kids and I have been cooling off in the teeny pool every afternoon (just standing in it feels divine) and it feels liks summer to me!

I'm about to pop in my TENTH batch of cookies for Noah to take to school for his students...and I still have nine (plus a batch of brownies) to go!

And no, I have not been sneaking cookies here and there as I go... :)

Funny story: Claire (and Alex is starting to do this too) comes running into the kitchen if she hears the fridge open. Every time. And if she's in the bathroom, she'll call out from the toilet "What are you eating??"
Heaven forbid she miss a chance to eat!

So I thought I was being so slick, tip-toeing into the kitchen and quietly eating a small cookie.

I swallowed and walked into the living room where all the kidlets were playing.
And she can smell it.
I kid you not.
"What are you eating, Mama?"
"Um, tomatoes?" (because I already know I've been caught)
"Uh-uh, I can smell chocolate."
HEEEEEEEEE!!!!

She's good. She's really good.

So I told them that if they take really good naps they can have a small cookie for a snack. Luckily to them, as long as it isn't broken in half (because that implies sharing, and they wanted their own, you know), "their own" cookie can be quite small and still satisfy. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Crafty Updates

Oy, this poor blog has been neglected!

I'm in a major sewing mood (have been for almost a year now!) and have, of course, tons more projects going into the pipe than coming out.

Last weekend I completed these shorts for my boy:
I really love them, however they are a tad large on him. They'll wait for him!

I also finished this dress for the littlest one:
The fabric is a silky cotton voile that feels so cool for our hot summers. Also a tad alrge for her (I made it in size 6-12 months), but the way she grows, it won't be long!

I'm also about to baste/quilt/bind a new baby quilt for my etsy shop! I'm really excited about this one because I LOVE the fabric:

I'm also working on new living room curtains, using awesome fabric. I was unaware that the fabric has been discontinued and I got the last five yards of it- literally-on the internet. I know, because I've been looking for a sixth yard and I cannot find it anywhere. I'm so happy I got the five I did!I've got plans for a few coordinating pillows for the couch too- I'm excited because I've never made a pillow!

I can't help it- I love sewing!!