Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sigh.

So we have been gearing ourselves up for moving to Milwaukee next spring. There aren't too many wheels in motion other than just mentally preparing ourselves to do such a thing. I am not crazy about living in Milwaukee. There is very little I like about the city other than one very, very important thing. That's where my sister and her family live. And an hour away from where my parents live. And homes are actually affordable to buy there. Okay, I guess that would be three very, very important things. But we don't want to move out of the Pacific Northwest, so that would be an important thing, too.

So today we made our annual trip to Olympia for the Procession of the Species. It is the fourth time I have been to the Procession and it's so much fun bringing the girls there. Matt used to live in Olympia and so he has a fondness for the city, as well. We realized that we could afford a home in Olympia. And it's such a cool little city. And super progressive. And crunchy. And we could afford a home there. Now I have my undies in a bundle about looking in to moving there. The big thing, of course, is that my family isn't there. None of our family is there, as a matter of fact.

This is like the biggest, hardest decision ever. We feel so torn about what we should do. One lucky thing is that Matt and I are pretty much on the same page about all of it. We both have the same feelings about moving and the same feelings about staying. It's frustrating and also exhilarating. I am excited about making some kind of change, I just don't know exactly what that change is.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mama I'd like to be

Do you have another mama whose life you really are envious of? I do. And not in a way that she's like super rich and has everything and leads this pampered life, but in a way that I really admire who she is and what she is doing with her life and how she is raising her children. I don't know how to put my finger on it exactly, but there's just something about her spirit that really calls to me. There are a few specific things about her life that I am straight up jealous over, but because I don't want to look like a goober calling her out on my blog, I'm not going to get in to specifics :)

Sorry this blog has been so blah and void of very many updates! I have putting more updates and pictures on my other blog that I share writing duties with Matt on. I am finding it more comfortable to share family information on a private blog, I suppose. If you're interested in following my escapades over there, let me know and I'll invite you!

Oh, also, I just joined this whole Facebook craze, which Matt finds hilarious because I am so anti MySpace. So if you're on Facebook send me an email letting me know who you are and we can be friends!

Fo' real, yo.

Steph from Adventures in Babywearing wants all of the gorgeous mamas to show their faces sans make-up. I must admit it would be harder for me to find a picture WITH make-up than without! I am not good at keeping up with these kinds of things but I love this picture of Eloise and I and this is a good excuse to share it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Washable paint my ass

Anyone know why washable paint isn't, well, washable? A couple of weeks ago I threw a towel with washable paint on it in the laundry and you want to know what happened? I dyed a bunch of stuff pink. Last night Iris and the babysitter painted and I neglected to tell her to remove Iris' pretty new dress. I threw it in the wash and gee, there's still paint on it! I'm so mad. Trying some new tricks to remove the paint.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Potty Training Milestone

So we've been working with Iris on potty training for a few days. Mostly it consists of constantly asking her if she needs to go pee pee on the potty. I've been keeping her in undies during the day and so far we've had only one accident, hurrah! But today? Today was a milestone. Today we spent several hours out of the house and were in the car for quite a while with Iris in her undies. She did so awesome! We went all the way up to the Hanna Andersson outlet store (more about that in a bit) and when we were almost there she let me know she needed to pee, so we raced right in and found the potty and were all good. I was just so darn proud of her. She is so stubborn and we know she understands how to go on the potty, she just didn't want to for the longest time. She still has the occasional stubborn-ness to going on the potty and being in undies, but overall we're seeing alot of improvement. I can't wait until we're 100% diaper free! Woo Hoo!

So, I had heard that Hanna Andersson outlets were having some famous $5 sale. I thought I should stay away from it, but last night decided it would be a fun trip for the girls and I to take-- the store is close to a 45 minute drive from our home. Last time I was in the HA store I was unimpressed, but I figured, it's an outlet, it's bound to be hit-or-miss, and after all, this is the $5 sale! So off we went. Well, what do you know, they had ONE rack of $5 kids stuff, all crap, and a few boxes of stuff on a table. Tights and random t-shirts. That was IT. What the hell?!?! I drove that far for that? Ugh. I was so disappointed. I did end up buying a few things, all stuff the girls didn't need and that wasn't really that cheap (would have been the same price on sale at the regular store!) because we had driven all the way there, after all, might as well blow some money, right? I am swearing off the HA outlet from now on. I'm on to you, Hanna Andersson.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How can I become a morning person?

I would love to be a "morning person". Someone who wakes up before everyone else in the house and takes the time to do yoga and/or meditate. To have a cup of coffee and enjoy the stillness. It's rarely quiet in our home and I think my mind and body would enjoy the experience on a regular basis.

There is always and excuse, though. Right now the excuse is that the baby wakes up so freakin' many times at night that I just need to squeeze out every last bit of sleep in the night that I possibly can. Right now I'm going to bed by 10:00 on most nights and usually not getting up until Matt leaves for work at 8:00. You'd think that's alot of sleep, but waking 5-6 times and many times not getting back to sleep for a while makes for a sleepy mama. I have been told that getting more exercise and spending more time being meditative would increase the quality of my sleep and reduce my times of insomnia, so that's something to think about.

How does one become a morning person? Who do you make that shift, mentally and physically? Any advice?

Eight months!

Today Eloise is eight months old. Wowzers! She is seriously on the verge of crawling. I think if we didn't have only hardwood floors for her to practice on (and hence slide around on) she would already be crawling. She gets mighty PO'd that she can't crawl, though, even though she can move across our entire living room just pulling her body with her hands. I wonder if she crawls this much sooner than Iris did, will she also walk earlier? We'll see!

She goes hot and cold with solids these days. Ever since she had a fever last week she pretty much has given up eating solids, which is frustrating. She's not sleeping well, waking at least 4-5 times a night to nurse. Ugh! I am equating the night waking with being on the cusp of crawling, so hopefully once she masters that the sleep will be better? Today I thought I heard her stirring over the monitor after her first nap so I went in the bedroom and she's poised in a crawling position right on the edge of the bed. Zoinks! I guess I will need to put the mattress back on the floor one of these days, but I really don't want to. I hate sleeping on the mattress on the floor.

Life is generally pretty good here in the home of an eight month old and an almost three year old. We have better and worse moments, but the better moments more than make up for the worse ones!

Today my sister told me that their home in Milwaukee is for sale. They are buying another one in the area, but it's bittersweet to know I'll never see that house again. There are alot of memories tied to it. I even lived there for several months, so it's like a second home to me, too. I wish that Matt and I could buy it and move there right now. Sigh. Of course, I would probably have all of the same complaints about the neighborhood that my sister does and want to move out eventually, as well! I hope that when we move we can find a place to live close to them. Oh, that reminds me that I did an online quiz today that asks dozens of questions about ideal living situations and then it tells you where the best places are in the country for you to live-- Milwaukee came out as number one for me! That's a good sign, huh? I am sure that other areas would have been at the top if the cost of living wasn't so high for those places (like Seattle!).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sleeping children, quick blog!

Wow, I actually have two hands free to blog while both of my daughters are asleep in their beds. Let's see how much I can dump from my brain!

We had a great weekend. The highlight of perhaps the whole year was the Dan Zanes concert on Saturday. We had fourth row tickets and ended up spending most of the show standing right in front of the stage. I think I was in heaven. Oh, wait, I mean I think Iris really enjoyed it! Is it a little weird that I have such a crush on Dan Zanes? It was a great show. They played all of our favorites and had a ton of energy on-stage. At the beginning the band all marched in from the back of the auditorium and at the end they walked back out the same way. They walked right in front of Iris and I and I got to shake Father Goose's hand. Sigh. It was too much fun! I really think most of the parents in attendance enjoyed the show just as much as the children did.

On Sunday night we got to re-connect with some friends who have a daughter who just turned two. We enjoy their company alot, but we're all very busy so it's hard to get together as much as we would like to. I drank way too much wine (meaning a glass and a half) on an empty stomach so I spent most of the night shovelling in food to keep from being too drunk! Wow, I really am a "cheap date" as Matt likes to say.

Iris is still going strong on the potty training front. She is going on the potty more often than not, though we usually are asking her if she needs to go and leading her towards the toilet. Last night she even got up to pee in the middle of the night, which is a good sign even though it's annoying for Matt to have to get up with her. Iris has also been having some nightmares, which is strange. A couple of night in the last few she's woken up crying hysterically saying she is "scarey" which means she is scared. Matt has been the one to comfort her, but he says that she is barely awake and just needed to be calmed down so she could go back to sleep. It always wakes me up to hear her crying, though. I feel so bad for her.

Eloise has still been sleeping for shit, but I think it's because she really and truly is on the verge of crawling. She's getting up on all fours but our lack of carpeting is making it hard for her to get any traction. She gets so frustrated, but it's cute, too, watching her struggle to crawl. The girl's got tenacity!

I have really enjoyed having the mother's helper here a few hours a week. I've been using the time to catch up on chores so that on the nights and weekend there is less to do. I've also been going to yoga on Sundays, which I really love. I would go to yoga every day if I could! I wish I had the discipline to practice at home, but alas, I still don't.

Whew! I got it all out before anyone woke up!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wrapped around her little finger

Iris is a master at doing anything she can to get us to do what she wants us to. Lately, as we muddle through potty training, she has added a new trick to her repertoire-- asking to go to the potty when she wants to use it to avoid doing something she doesn't want to, like go to sleep. I caught on quickly, or so I thought, and had her go potty before lying down. Oh silly, silly mama! She then started screaming that she had to go poopy. Sitting on the potty again, no poop, of course. I had to cut off her attempts to convince me poopy was coming, which were truly Oscar worthy, and send her back to bed. I figured letting her sit on the potty for 15 minutes is a pretty good shot.

Honestly, I don't know how to handle this. On the one hand we want her to ask to go potty and immediately assist her in doing so. On the other hand, she's using this for attention and knows I have to react to it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Weekend

We had a pretty nice Easter weekend. For the first time Iris is starting to understand the concept of such imaginary things as an Easter Bunny, so that's pretty fun for Matt and I. She put out her and her sister's Easter buckets on Saturday night and proceeded to find their hiding spots on Sunday morning. Of course, explaining to a 2 year old why you can't devour all of the candy before breakfast proves a little tricky. We had Matt's sister and parents over for brunch on Easter, as well, which was really nice. Very low-key. I hard-boiled a few eggs for Iris to color. It was alot of work and clean up to dip six eggs, but she enjoyed it! Next year we can probably dye a whole bunch. All of our guests were gone by the girl's nap time so we had a little time to relax and then I went to a yoga class before dinner. I'm incredibly excited to get involved in a regular yoga practice again! The teacher suggested that I create a space at home for when I want to do some yoga on my own and I'm considering turning the little corner of my bedroom where Iris' bed used to be in to a yoga corner. We'll see. Baby steps! Although, I do like the idea of having a space in my bedroom because I can retreat to there when someone else is watching the girls. Hmmmm.

Eloise has a fever and has been a little crankster since last night. I'm not sure what's going on, it doesn't appear to be teeth. Maybe her ears? I don't know. I don't want to take her to the doctor again! Ugh. I'll just take a wait and see approach for now. Last night in bed she was just tossing and turning the whole night. Poor girl.

Hopefully I can get the Easter picture of Eloise posted soon. I only say Eloise because Iris refused to let us get a decent picture of her. You'll just have to imagine how adorable she looked, I guess!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hiking

On Friday the girls and I took a trip to St. Edwards State Park. It's quite a drive from our home but they have a spectacular playground that was built fairly recently. We spent some time playing there and then I asked Iris if she wanted to go for a hike on the trails in the park, an idea that she was excited about. So, with Eloise in the sling and the diaper bag slung over my shoulder, off we went. The park is on the northeast side of Lake Washington, so if you hike down a trail you get to the water, but then you have to hike back up again! I used to hike those trails with Lily and when we got to the water she loved to go swimming. Friday was the first time I was there without her, but remembered vividly watching her run along the trails. Today would have been her 11th birthday, actually. She was born on April Fool's Day!

So, anyways, we hiked all the way down and it was a little cold and windy at the bottom, so we started our hike right back to the top. I couldn't believe that Iris could hike the whole way! Almost two miles total and it was no leisurely stroll! When we got to the top she found a giant stick that she insisted on dragging along until I had to pry it from her hands while she screamed bloody murder. It's hard to explain to a determined toddler why you can't fit a tree branch in the car, I suppose. I did find a neat little stick that Iris and I can use as a base for a mobile, so that will be a project for us to work on this week. Something to decorate her new space where her bed is!

Cooking

Yesterday I did a whirlwind cooking spree, mostly in an effort to make some more food for Eloise to enjoy. We were stuck in a rut of bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and pears. So I went shopping and then started cooking. When I was done I had five ice cube trays full of food: pears with prunes, pears with apples and blueberries, broccoli, carrots with spinach and lastly, oatmeal with cherries and raisins. I am glad to have gotten all of that work out of the way and have enough food for her for a little while now.

I also decided to involve Iris in baking some muffins. She was really, really excited about the idea of helping me cook. I tend to be a control freak in the kitchen so I'm trying to let go of that idea so I can support Iris' love of learning to cook. When I was touring the preschool that I want Iris to go to the children were making carrot raisin muffins and I was struck at how laid-back the teacher was and how great the children did with the project. I wanted to re-create this experinece at home so I measured things in to a small bowl and Iris dumped it in to the large bowl and mixed it all together. Luckily for my anxiety, she didn't spill anything or make any huge messes. I let her fill all of the muffin cups herself and it was a success! The muffins were SOOOO good. We already at all of them and since there is carrots, raisins and yourt in them, I consider them somewhat healthy. Iris won't normally touch carrots, but in a muffin? Bring 'em on! She was already asking when we would make muffins again. Hopefully soon! I will keep working on removing my ideal of a mess-free cooking session and be more excited about the learning process than the final result-- though having a pan of fresh-baked muffins at the end of all of the work certainly doesn't hurt at all. I'm glad she is getting to the age that she can actually help do things instead of just "help" do things, if you get my drift. It always made me bristle when people suggested I let my toddler help with chores, because we all know there is no part of having toddlers meddle in chores that is actually helpful to completing a task. Of course, if your goal is more for fun, learning, exploration and play, then you've had success! I need to re-train myself to look at those things differently.

Olympic Sculpture Park

This morning we all took a trip to see the new sculpture park down by the waterfront in Seattle. With overcast skies, it was a perfect opportunity for all of us to wear our rain gear, but luckily we never got rained on.

The sculpture park is so cool! I'm a big fan of art that can be more interactive. I was a bit annoyed that there were signs up saying not to touch the art, but even more annoyed that people taken it upon themselves to scratch doodles in to the rust of some of the artwork. Ugh! Respect, people! At any rate, I haven't exposed Iris to much "proper" art mostly because I don't see the point in dragging my children to a museum or gallery where I have to shush them and keep them from being, well, children, in order to appreciate art. Being outside in the fresh air and wide open space is a great place for a child to be around art. Eloise rode in the back pack and was happy as a clam. They had a pavillion with two pod thingies that people could climb inside, which were a huge hit with all of the children there. THAT is the kind of art I'm talking about! I was thinking it was such a cool space, perfect for a wedding, perhaps?

Here are some cool photos from our morning: