Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I had thought about homeschooling a while back. It may have even been before Eloise was born, you know, back when I had the energy to think about devoting all of that time to my children. Matt wasn't at all interested and I was only mildly interested in the idea, so I didn't think much about it again. Instead I focused my efforts on thwarting Matt's efforts to send our girls to public school. I could write about this for days, but we both had very, very different school experiences and are both quie confident that we need to pass along (or not pass along, as the case may be) our experiences to our girls.
Okay, so homeschooling. Matt sends me an email and oddly, it was the second day where Iris's teacher called me at home saying Iris was having a hard day and asked her to call me so I could come back to school early to get her. Hmmmm, I thought. Iris is a child who usually has to be convinced to go to school. She oftens asks to stay home. Heck, the girl never wants to go anywhere, ever, not to the store, the park, anywhere. The next day I was the working parent at Iris's school. I have noticed this in the past, but it was even more clear to me that day-- she really seems to slink off in to the shadows at school. She doesn't seem to make definite friends with other kids (and I've whined about this in the past) and didn't really seem overly interested in some of the big projects the other kids were working on. Now, it's not like she was a lump in the corner, but the personality I know in her doesn't really seem to come out at school. Does this mean school is wrong for her and she must be pulled out and homeschooled immediately? No. But it is something for us to watch. Something to talk to the teacher about.
It's hard for me because I see alot of the smallest personality traits in Iris that I had, well, still have. I don't want to project myself and my feelings on her, but when I observe her, it's suprising how striking the similarities are between us even already at her young age. I hated school. I hated everything about it. Man, I would have loved to have been homeschooled. Does that mean it's the same for Iris? I don't know. I wish I did. I think we have alot of time to figure it out, though.
I'm lucky in that I know several homeschoolers and I feel like I have great resources available to gather the information we would need to give this idea some serious thought.
I am sure poor Matt had no idea what kind of can of worms he was opening when he sent me such an innocent email :)
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Let's see. Seven whole weird things.
1. I won't put plastic in the microwave. Matt asked me to put this on here because he thinks it's very weird. I won't let him put plastic things in the microwave, either. We've had full-on fights about this, as well.
2. I like to label things around our home and post myself notes.
3. I have pretty severe emetaphobia. I'm on medication for it and have been in and out of counseling for it.
4. I'm not really a neat-freak, but I can't relax in my own home if things are messy so at the end of the night I have to have everything cleaned up.
5. I have very sensitive teeth and I like to drink most things at room temperature. I also brush my teeth with warm water.
6. In 2004 I became a meat eater again after being a vegetarian for 12 years.
7. I have a really hard time remembering what happens in movies and can re-watch most of them several times and be pleasantly surprised by the ending every single time.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Matt is probably doing the best, slightly beating out Iris who has a pretty good cough. I'm doing a tiny bit better each day. Today I feel like I have a cold but am much more tired than I normally am. Eloise is the worst. I think she got affected with the flu the same way I did. She alternates between periods of being feverish and crying and clingy and then she'll be acting normal and running all over the place. It's frustrating because Eloise is the only contagious one, still, so we can't really hang out with friends. Poor Iris keeps asking when she can see friends. We were going to go to the park today but it was super cold and raining. Instead we drove around while the girls napped in the car and then went to Michael's where we picked out a ton of new art supplies for Iris.
Of course, when we got home we were all exhausted and laid around until Matt made dinner.
On Thursday night I got an acupuncture treatment which was really wonderful. I'm a little annoyed in that they gave me some seriously vile tasting Chinese herbs to help get the crap out of my lungs, but they make me nauseous, so I won't take them. I'm excited to go back for more acupuncture again this week. It should really help with my flu as well as get my anxiety back in check after being so sick.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tonight I needed to get out and get some air, have a change of scenery, so I went to get some things from the grocery store. I finally broke down and called my mom and blabbered on about how sick I've been and how awful my anxiety has been. One thing my mom has been really awesome about is listening to me talk when I need an ear and understanding my anxiety.
When I got home Matt said I just missed my friend Erin who driven up from way down on the other end of town to bring us freshly baked bread, muffins and jam. Mmmmmmm. I can't believe how insanely sweet of her that was. We got alot of food delivered after Eloise was born, but this might be the first time someone brought something when we were sick. I am so amazingly touched. Iris said we should bring them something, too. Her ideas were marshmallow bones, candy canes, sugar snowmen, m-n-m's and a sucker for Erin's daughter.
Anyways, I think things are looking up. I feel like if I could get my head in right space I would start feeling better and tonight I got two much needed boosts.
Oh, I need to add one p.s. All Matt does is take care of me, hug me when I cry and listen to me when I need to talk through what must be insanely mundane drivel. He's amazing. He's my rock most of the time, seriously. He was today, as he is everyday, incredibly supportive.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I had a mini breakdown today. It's all been overwhelming. I was on the phone with the doctor's office earlier in the day and the medical assistant said the doctor wanted to see all of us. He transferred me to the front desk and I would bet my life that the receptionist said that we had an appt this afternoon at 2:00. We bundle everyone up and drive over there and wouldn't you know it, the appt is actually tomorrow. Oh I was so annoyed. Back home we all went. We'll go back tomorrow. Because I'm a whiny little baby when I'm sick the on-call doctor at the office has been called every single night with my every ache, pain and goober of green phlegm.
Thank goodness for Matt. He has taken care of all three of us, putting up with my random, intermittent bursts of anxiety which cause me to need to stay busy even though my body needs to rest. A wonderful thing that anxiety is!
I do think we're on the mend, though. Well, three of four ain't bad, I should say. Eloise is the last to go through this all. I hope she is spared the full wrath.
Oh, and I'm now ready to kill the person who created a 24/7 Noggin channel. We have watched it pretty much every waking moment from Friday through today and I can no longer stand it.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Iris is back to her usual self. We're hoping that this sickness passes over Matt and Eloise. I think because we're nursing and I got sick first that she shouldn't get sick. If you've got some spare fingers, go ahead and cross them for us!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
We're still not totally sure what Iris has, perhaps pink eye? I don't know. None of us have ever had it, but the inner part of both of Iris's sclera are bloodshot (or, as Matt put it to the doctor on the phone ((yes, seriously)) she looks like she's been out drinkin'). Nothing else off other than a high fever, total lethargy and very low appetite. This morning she seemed to be perking back up and was sitting up on the couch and talking with us a bit, but that was brief and she's been lying on the couch ever since. Eating her sporadic bites of food and drinking her juice and water while totally horizontal.
I feel like crap today, as well, but not nearly as bad as miss Iris. I wonder if we have the flu? I am achy and tired, but that's it. I thought the flu was sort of like the cold only more all-body consuming. I need to do more internet research, I guess. I'm sure then I'll figure out we have the bubonic plague or something.
Allright, back to Noggin. I think after this weekend I will have seen every single children's show ever made. So much for our limited-tv home!
Friday, January 18, 2008
This is a video of us trying to get her to dance, but she pretty much just ran around:
This is a video of her playing ball with Matt and I:
The sweatshirt she is wearing is her new most favorite article of clothing. She picked it out last night, demanded I put it on her and then freaked when I tried to take it off of her so I could put her jammies on. So, yeah, she slept in it. And has worn it all day today. It's pretty gross now so there will be quite the melt-down when it gets taken off tonight for a washing. The sweatshirt came from my sister, so at least one of her boys wore it, then Iris had it, now it belongs to Eloise!
She's currently on her fourth nap of the day. She's so out of it. Not like scary out of it, but she just doesn't want to talk or move or eat or do anything but sleep and watch Noggin. I kept trying to talk to her and she'd just ignore me like I wasn't there.
She did request grapes today. Grapes. That's it. Of anything in the whole world. So, I spent $11 on grapes for my sick little girl.
It's so weird to me because she rarely gets sick and now this is the second time she's been sick in just under two months. Of course, this time doesn't involve the plague of death, but she's just as lifeless, minus the occasional vomiting. Hooray for that! We missed a play date this morning we had been looking forward to and we also will miss one of Iris's very best friend's birthday parties tomorrow. We are hoping to have another little party for the friend next weekend, which I am sure the friend will enjoy, but I mostly know how much it will kill Iris to miss this party. We want to make sure the girls get to celebrate together!
What's the deal with a fever that has no other symptoms? Well, none other than extreme tiredness and lack of appetite. She reports that nothing is hurting, she isn't coughing or sneezing, no vomiting or diarrhea, nothing. Who knows. So far Eloise is well, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time!
Iris is sick, she is rockin' a pretty high fever, hence the napping. She's on the couch all snuggled up under her blanket. I spent most of the morning keeping Eloise from jumping on her and smashing her on the head.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
This past month has been all about Eloise exerting her independence. She has the whole acting like a sack of potatoes thing down pat if you're trying to dress her, as well as the "alligator death roll", a term my friend Michele coined, if you're trying to put on her diaper. She screams, throws some serious tantrums and has mastered whacking her sister over the head, often in retaliation. She makes her moods wellllll known, especially if she isn't in a good one!
Eloise has a bunch of new words and can point out most major body parts. The most fun thing is how excited she gets when you say "Eloise, where's your hand" and she pulls out her hands and beams. She says "thank you" pretty consistently now and it makes us melt every time. If she doesn't say it, I say "what do you say?" and then she will. If you ask her where something is she'll put both of her hands out, palm side up and kind of shrug with that questioning look on her face. We never taught her sign language but she makes up her own! The other day she tossed some food on the floor, pointed at it and the threw up her hands in the shrug as if to say "wha happened?".
Eloise is also so much more of an adventurer than Iris was at this age. She tries to climb on anything, anywhere, and is fearless as far as just wandering off and doing her own thing. If she is dawdling and you say "okay, Eloise, see you later!" she won't even look up. With Iris that did, and still does, cause her to immediately be at your side.
She still has two and a half teeth. I swear, she's like the slowest teether in the world. Her favorite foods are still rice and beans, just like her sister. A while back she started using utensils but she's definitely very good at it now. Throwing food across the dinner table is a fun past time, a bad habit which is made no easier by it eliciting laughter from her sister. Ah, the positive reinforcement she was searching for!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when the shorts arrived today and they were so big on me I could pull them on without unbuttoning them! Wow. I guess that answers that.
Back to Lucy the shorts will go, maybe I'll find some other shorts in the store that I like?
Anyways, it was truly a feel-good moment for me. Just wanted to share!
Monday, January 14, 2008
I also have been struggling during the day. It was so easy to steer clear of cleaning the girl's snack bowls, not sneaking extra slices of cheese when I get one for the girls and avoiding filling myself with high-carb lunches, but again, I'm slipping. Mmmmm, a slice of cheese. Mmmmmm, pretzels and cheese crackers! In general we have been eating healthy meals, but we did make homemade french fries twice this weekend. At least I limited my portion the second time, so that's something. Then there was the trip to the movies and the contraband candy and hot pretzel. Oh, so yummy but oh, so terrible for my weight loss.
It's just dawning on me that this isn't simply a fun thing to do for a while, a fun challenge to work through, but rather actual lifestyle changes. I am making these changes not only in my quest for a smokin' hot bod for my wedding, but so I can be healthy and happy for many, many more decades of my life. It's worth it, but sooooo hard sometimes. Being under stress is the worst, because stress affects my body in a way that makes me feel like I have low blood sugar. What do I do when I have low blood sugar? I eat. And because it's stress and not actual low blood sugar no matter how much I eat, the feeling doesn't go away. I need to focus more on breathing and relaxation before I turn to food! (That's sound of me banging my head on the floor)
Of course, it's so wonderful to feel my body slowly shrinking. It's so wonderful to feel my energy level rise. It's so wonderful to be creating healthy habits to model for my daughters. I just hope it sticks. After I reach my weight loss goal (only nine more pounds!) I will have to re-evaluate and work on the long-range plan, but for now, I'm on my way!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This afternoon the whole family went for a walk around Greenlake. Well, it was us and half of the rest of the city. It was such a gorgeous day out, sunny and close to 50. It is nice to be out in January with a vest on, but I really do miss the snow. Why can't we get some more snow?!?! Grr. I was telling Matt how wasteful it feels to go for such a nice long walk without a dog at our side. Sigh. Someday, someday.
Our limited tv time is still going really well. Iris has been engaged in alot of art projects and is starting to understand that she just isn't going to be watching as much tv anymore. When she does watch a show she is generally good about turning the tv off when it's over. So far we haven't had any big fights or melt-downs. Phew!
Friday, January 11, 2008
Over the next few hours a very amazing thing happened. I was relaxed. My children didn't fight. Iris went potty. Let me explain.
By the time Matt gets home every day I'm a big ball of nerves, exhausted from dealing with tantrums, fights, lack of sleep, etc etc. I always thought, oh, if my children were just better behaved and more self-reliant I would get more rest during the day! Um, yeah, right. My children are 3 and 1. They fight constantly. Not surprisingly, I found the more I sat with them and played, the better they got along. When something started to come up I was there to help them work it out before it turned in to a fist fight. Iris didn't scream. Eloise didn't scream. For those who know my children, this is huge. Iris shared things with her sister and was talking very sweetly to her (if only I had had a tape recorder!). Eloise didn't get in the way of every single thing Iris tried to do. Again, not surprisingly, it didn't require more energy to hang out with them and play. In fact, I found it relaxing. We mostly cut paper, wrapped presents, opened presents. What's not to love? In the past few weeks Iris has already burned through several rolls of wrapping paper, so lately I have been meeting her pleas for more with a stern "No, we're saving that roll for next Christmas!". But yesterday? I said "Sure! Here you go!" to which she replied "but I can't use all of it, right? I need to save some!" and I said "Nope, go ahead and use as much as you want!". I'm pretty sure her little head spun around in amazement. Her mama was letting her use a giant inexpensive roll of paper to let her have fun and be creative. Um, duh. Where has my head been?
We have also been having huge problems with Iris in the, um, pooping department. It's a huge deal every day to get her to empty her bowels, a struggle we've been dealing with for a few weeks now. Ever since she was really sick right after Thanksgiving. So yesterday she goes poop no less than FOUR times. Without screaming, crying or otherwise throwing a fit. I don't think it's a coincidence.
I also decided our tiny apartment would no longer get completely picked up every night before dinner. Matt and I both feel stressed in cluttered environments, but I realized the stress of cleaning while I'm simultaneously making dinner while keeping the children from killing each other while yelling at Iris to just "help already! I'm not asking you again!" was just WAY greater than the stress of just living with the mess for the night. From now on, things get straightened enough for us to eat dinner and that's it. The big cleaning will be done once a day after the girls are in bed.
The girls and I ate dinner. Well, rather Eloise and I ate and Iris played with her presents. Not arguing over her eating dinner with us has been another recent development. After Eloise and I were done eating the three us went in my bedroom and played and played on the bed until Matt got home. Even though Iris said "I DON'T like chili!" I found her gobbling down her whole bowl full later in the evening. Hurray!
After Matt arrived home from work I had energy to work on chores while he played with the girls. I actually enjoy chores when I am not exhausted or trying to do them while doing eighty other things all at once. Give me the afternoon child-free after a good night's sleep to clean the whole kitchen and I'm a happy camper.
Of course, our idyllic day was blown to pieces once Miss Eloise refused to sleep and either Matt or I spent the last couple of hours of our night laying with her in bed, but it was a good start. A damn good start. I'm under no illusion every day will be so perfect, but even a day half as good would be better than most of the days we've been having.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Melissa and I chatted about lots of different parenting stuff and I asked her about how they keep her son's tv time so minimal. I have been struggling for a looooong time on reducing the amount of tv Iris watches. For some reason it's exceedingly difficult for me. Melissa helped me realize that I just really need to get more involved in what projects and play Iris is interested in instead of just turning on the tube whenever she asks (or I'm tired). In my head I think that I'm awesome about giving all of my time to the girls and shirk some of my household tasks for the better of their development, but I know in reality that's not true. I work really hard to keep our home orderly because the apartment is just so small and our main living space is home to everything, the toys, the arts and crafts, the kitchen table, the books, the computers . . . so I crave a sense of order so that I feel relaxed and not too overwhelmed. I feel really uneasy when the girls just trash the place during the day-- not cleaning up as they play is hard for me. So how does this tie in to the tv issue? Well, I often use the tv for Iris so she is contained and quiet and not making huge messes. So I don't have to supervise her as much. So I don't have to think about what I can do to keep her entertained. These are all MY issues and I really need to get over them.
Today when we came home from playing I turned on the tv so Iris could watch it and stay quiet as I got her sister to sleep. After Eloise was in bed I noticed Iris got entrenched in wrapping presents (her newest favorite activity) and I just turned the tv off. She didn't even notice. It's not always that easy, but sometimes it is. It's much easier if she has something else to turn her attention towards.
I want to seriously focus on this. I want to make a goal of her only watching three shows a day. Some of you may gasp, but on average she watches MUCH more than that. Not usually just sitting there glassy-eyed staring at the tv, but the amount of time the tv is on in this house is pretty much ALL of the time. Not kidding.
Matt and I are in to the tv as much as Iris is, so hopefully this will be a good experience for us, to unplug from it. To only turn it on intentionally and not just to have on as noise.
I've asked before, but I'll ask again. What are your best tips for keeping the tv off in your home?
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
It's called Art by Iris.
Monday, January 07, 2008
It does feel good to be getting so much exercise in. I've felt and looked better than I have in a long time so it is definitely a motivator to keep going.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Iris was very interested in having me teach her some yoga this afternoon, as well. Which I enjoyed immensely except for her sister trying to climb all over me like I was a jungle gym. We'll have to do more yoga when Eloise is napping. I bought Iris a tiny yoga mat for like $4 a little while back and having been saving it for a special occasion. Today I took it out and it's really small. Like maybe just barely the right size for Eloise if she happened to want to take up yoga. Alas, I will have to get Iris a new mat. She really likes the idea of having her own mat, so I'll have to find something. I already ordered the girls new shoes and new SIGG bottles for their Valentine's Day gifts, so we'll have to see where a yoga mat fits in. I want to get Matt a yoga mat for V-Day (and he already knows this) so once I find a small one for Iris and an extra-long one for Matt we'll be like the three little bears doing yoga together!
"You should have the space and time to do that. We're young. We need to experiment," said Natalie Winston, 12, shortly before the protest here. "When you're 21, you're old already, and ugly."
Ah, to be 12 again. Though, I was faaaaaar from my first kiss when I was 12. Wow. I hope my girls don't start that young!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
She told me what they all were about:
"That's me and that's chocolate and that's the sun."
"That's a yummy cake with candles. That big, big part has candy in it."
"This is a machine that shoots candy. And that's Eloise, that's Dada and that's me"
"That's me, that's sissy, that's Dada and that's you. And the dots are cotton candy."
Friday, January 04, 2008
I was a terrible, mean mama and forced Iris to get out of her pajamas and get outside. She screamed and cried and through a monster fit, but the second she was outside riding her trike she was happy as a clam. We walked about 12 blocks to the nearest Starbucks (can you believe we live in Seattle and that's the closest Starbucks?!?!) because that's where I had a gift card to use. I got the girls a cup of vanilla milk and little Eloise tripped on the sidewalk, spreading her vanilla milk everywhere. Surprisingly, she wasn't upset. On the way home we stopped at a park and as the girls were swinging and laughing I was immediately reminded exactly why I drag Iris out of the house even when she doesn't want to go. I even said to her "Isn't this fun babe? Aren't you glad we came for a walk?" so which she gleefully replied "Yeah! Call me Karen!"
In the past few days I've launched a major campaign for my mom to give us one of the puppies from her dog's next litter. The dog having the pups is Lily's grand-daughter, so it would be really extra special to me to have a pup from her bloodline. I've convinced Matt and so now I'm working on my mom. Wish me luck!
In closing I wanted to offer a big ol' cyber-hug to my friend Melissa, whose family had to put down their sweet kitty, Lemmy, this morning. I have spent a good deal of time with Lemmy, including the night I watched Melissa's older son while she was in the hospital having her second baby and Lemmy slept at my feet on the couch. He was truly a wonderful kitty and I know Melissa and her family will miss him dearly. A very sad day, indeed.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
If you haven't checked out any new blogs lately, have a look at what I have to recommend!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
- Last night Iris stood up in front of her height chart and I noticed that even though she grew 6" between two and three years old, she has only grown less than an inch since she turned three just over six months ago. I am kind of glad she stopped growing-- the girl is already on track to be a giant and man, it's annoying upgrading her clothes so often!
- Eloise now hates the bathtub and shower. HATES. Like, she screams her head off if you put her in it. She used to freak out if you didn't let her in the shower with you, so I have no idea what's up. Now when we have to bathe her it will be a huge screaming fit. Fun!
- The funniest new thing in Eloise's world is that she says "buh!" and points to her or anyone else's, butt and then laughs. It's hysterical. It's like she knows butts are funny, which they are. It's even fnnier watching Iris egg her on by saying "Eloise, butt!" and then laughing herself.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Watch out Avril! You likely won't believe me, but we don't listen to the Avril Levigne song that Iris is attempting to sing here. I think we've just heard it so many times on the tv and it's so catchy that we get it stuck in our heads. I'm certainly guilty of walking around singing this song, too, but I'm lucky there's no video footage of me doing it (I hope!)
Here is one last holiday video for ya'll. Iris singing "Chingle Bells". Last year it was "Tinkle Bells" but it has since evolved. I wonder what it will be next year?
I must say even though I looooove the holidays, I'm glad they're over. I think the festivities last just long enough and are just draining enough so that we're ready to move on come January 1st.
In other news, my right arm is seriously sore from playing the Wii last night. Wowzers. I feel the need to clarify it's not that I'm out of shape, but rather those are muscles I never use in that way so it was quite a strain, apparently! Never-the-less, it was alot of fun. Since we can't afford to purchase a Wii of our very own, we're thinking of proposing a sort of visitation schedule to our friends who have one. I wonder if they'd go for it?
Tonight while I was making dinner (which included, ahem, refried beans from scratch to go with our tacos and homemade ice cream!) it occured to me that one thing I can't do but really want to be able to is make bread. And not in a bread maker, but actually doing it by hand and baking it in the oven. This is an art that has always mystified me.
Any of my bread-baking, Seattle-area readers care to offer me a lesson or two and make my New Year's dream come true?