Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not much going on around these parts . . .

Sorry for my complete lack of blogging. I feel like I have little to say, but here's what I've been up to:

Night weaning. Yeah, not fun. The other night on like round seven of middle of the night nursing I was just like, oh my god, I'm DONE. I've basically been night nursing for four years, minus a very small chunk of time when I was severely pregnant and waking up every twenty minutes, anyways. So I'm done. In 100% honesty, I'd like to be done nursing all together, but I'm not ready to take on that task yet. We're actually still working on nursing only at specific times (ie surrounding sleeping times) and I have been working on THAT for quite some time. So now we've moved on to night weaning. Tonight will be night four and each night is getting a teensy, tiny bit better than the night before.

The issue with Eloise is that she wants what she wants. She doesn't take no for an answer, and if your answer happens to actually be no, well, then she'll scream bloody murder. And scream. And scream. So there you have it, weaning and screaming pretty much sums that up.

Iris has been a test, as well. I swear she often just wakes up in a terrible mood. I don't get it. I wish I did, but most days I feel like saying "what the hell is THAT bad?!? You're four! Lighten up!" I've been worrying a bit about how bossy she is, as well. I was watching her and her classmates the other day when I was the working parent at her school and was struck by how much this age group really can be kind of harsh with each other. Both verbally and physically. It was interesting to watch the teacher diffuse the situations that would arise. Though it often feels like you're just a broken record. "We don't use those names. We don't hit. Please use your words to explain what you would like" etc etc ad nauseum.

I've been putting off writing the thank yous for our wedding as, wow, there are like a million. We are beyond grateful for everything people have given us, of course, but it's overwhelming! I am hoping to work on them while we are visiting my in-laws over the weekend.

My dear friend Julie and I have been walking together quite a bit. It feels good to be back on the exercise train after jumping clear off right around the time of the wedding. I wasn't even at my goal weight/size before the wedding, so I'm working on it again. Julie and I like to walk to get our coffee, but my new rule is that I can only buy coffee out if I've walked a mile each way to get it. Alot of days our walks are three miles total-- and I do these with at least 35 lbs of child and pack on my back and some times, like today, also pushing a preschooler in a stroller!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doing the work for me

Doing the work for me
Originally uploaded by mama_milkers

I love this picture. Heidi walks so well with the girls, it's more the girls that I have to keep on task (to not jerk her around, trip her up with the leash, etc etc). I took this after Eloise finally figured out how to keep the slack from the leash from dragging on the ground and they had a fun time walking alone together.

Head to toe dressed themselves

Head to toe dressed themselves
Originally uploaded by mama_milkers

I couldn't help but share this picture on my blog.

On the left is Eloise dressed in a Hanna Andersson dress, a hiden White Lake, MI t-shirt (from her sister's drawer), her sister's "rock on" t-shirt and a pair of brown and orange toned baby legs. She has paired the outfit with pink Old Navy flip flops. As you can see, she is sharing her very special picture taking face.

On the right is Iris dressed in her sister's size 3T Gymboree Hide-n-Seek dress with her own Hide-n-Seek leggings. Paired with H-n-S socks and one size too small Easter shoes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So klutzy

I have turned in to a major klutz. It's insane. I drop things, forget things, you name it. This week I've taken it to a whole new level, however. On Monday I sliced a big chunk of my thumb nail off with my razor while I was in the shower. I was just turning around and somehow there was blood everywhere. Then yesterday I was walking out of the kitchen and smashed my pinkie toe in to the doorway. It was bleeding and hurt really, really bad. I thought I had broken it but thankfully I didn't.

What is the deal? I have no idea why I'm all spacey lately.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Update on Eloise's sleep

Eloise is ready for her first day of school!

I know you're all losing sleep (har har) over my dramatic recent post about how terrible Miss Eloise's sleep has been, so I thought I would share an update.

Things are definitely getting better. It's like a two steps forward, one step back sort of deal, but things are improving. After the wedding was over and all of the guests were gone and we settled back in to real life we finally enacted a bedtime routine. I know this is probably the very first thing we should have done with her way back when, but we never did. Matt and I aren't too much of routine type people so I think it's really hard for us to get in to one. It's really been wonderful, though. Our new routine is as follows:

6:45 jammies on
7:00 quiet play time or watch a tv show or go for a walk
7:30 brush teeth/potty/read two night time stories and snuggle in bed
8:00 light's out for Iris and move to the living room chair for Eloise to nurse

After nursing Matt has been taking her in to the bedroom and laying with her until she falls asleep. Some nights it's not so bad, taking about an hour and a half before she falls asleep (and yes, that actually is progress for her!) and some nights she has had a really hard time. Last week Thursday she wasn't staying asleep and was very cranky until midnight (yes, four hours after going to bed)-- I realized later that I think it was because I had re-arranged the bedroom earlier that day. Even I had a harder time sleeping that night. Oops.

Tonight was the best night so far, though. Matt went in with her at about 8:15 and her needed to come out at 9:00 to get something from a friend who was dropping by. Not sure what he said to Eloise, but he was able to walk out of the bedroom while she was still awake and then we never heard another peep from her! Craziness. This makes the third time ever she has put herself to sleep at night.

We are under no illusion this is the new thing for her, but it is a step in the right direction! Matt and I were looking at each other and laughing about all of this free time we have tonight. Whatever will we do? A little Wii is certainly in order!

p.s. the picture above was taken last week on Eloise's first day of school!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The reason I won't be homeschooling Iris

Iris, probably saying something bossy

I have long thought that homeschooling would be the best thing to do for our girls. I know plenty of homeschooling families whose children are thriving in that environment and the flexibility of a homeschooled family really appeals to me.

As the months drag by of Iris being in very part time preschool (12 hours a week) I find that often desperately looked forward to her being gone during her school time. I was also struck by how much cool stuff she enjoyed doing at school that she wouldn't be able to do at home, like build a giant space ship with the other eight children in her class and plan a space trip to the sun. Her teacher is worlds more creative and patient than I am. I suspect she might not even truly be human for how patient she can be. It's eery.

The last nail in the coffin for scrapping my homeschooling plans came over a screaming, messy attempt at learning this very morning. It starts with yesterday, actually. Iris and I stopped at the drug store to pick up some band-aids. While we were headed for the check out I spotted some boxes by the schooling supplies, they were kits for preschoolers to learn to read. They were full of workbooks, practice reading books and flash cards and Iris agreed that she thought she would really enjoy them. This morning she picked up the box and asked to do some lessons with me. We hunkered down on the bed and opened a workbook to page one.

I told her that there was a space at the top of the worksheet for her to write her name. She did. Whew. Got through that one! Then I showed her where the number "1" was at the top and the word next to it was "one" O-N-E. There were some shapes below that, one of three different shapes and then a group of four shapes. I explained that she should draw a line between each thing there was only one of and a number one in the other column. She immediately got frustrated and begin slamming her marker on the page before throwing it across the room. Then she got another marker and did the work. Okay, on to number two! With number two she needed to draw the second mitten and second boot next to the pictures on the page. She totally freaked, saying she couldn't do it and begin screaming and throwing stuff around the room. I told her, calmly, that I didn't want to work with her if she was going to be screaming and throwing things. She totally lost it and what ensued was at least an hour or her screaming, throwing stuff, calling people names, it was a mess. She ended up throwing all of her markers in the trash can when I told her she needed to clean them all up. Nice.

I said to Matt, you know, she wouldn't do this at school. She doesn't pitch monster fits over things or decides that she can't do things before she even tries. She doesn't scream at people and throw things around. Apparently I am "lucky" enough to have the kind of relationship with her that this is how she acts when she is with me. I honestly don't think I could homeschool her very effectively. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to get through each day with that sort of dynamic between us. I need her to be able to learn, not engage in daily power struggles.

So, anyways, I'm hanging up any hopes of homeschooling and am instead not-so-patiently Xing the days off of the calendar until Iris is in full-time kindergarten.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Blogging Bumbershoot

On Saturday Matt and I took the girls to Bumbershoot, Seattle's yearly music festival. I hadn't been to Bumbershoot since Iris was just over a year old. I don't even remember who we saw that year, only one performance, but we had a hell of a time getting home on several different buses in the pouring rain. But I digress. I will admit to not being too terribly excited about the festival this year. Typically it is super crowded and typically our children are more than we can handle on a good day in the protected space of our tiny apartment, but once again Matt had press passes so we packed up the girls, hopped on the 28 and went Bumbering.

We checked in easily, got our press passes and wandered out looking for some food. Likely we made the worst possible food choice, paying $7 for a plate of something that barely passed for phad thai and a chicken satay skewer. Pretty much every other booth we passed was making what appeared to be something much more delicious. Matt had a philly cheese steak and that was deelish. We parked ourselves on the fountain lawn and watch the skateboarders on the Rockstar half-pipe. Matt was delighted, and I was appalled, by the amazingly scantily-clad Rockstar girls who were serving up free drinks a mere twenty feet away from us. The girls loved the music and skateboarding, but alas, it was time to head to the mainstage for a little Neko Case.

The press passes came in handy here, as we were able to get in to the show from the entrance behind the stage. We had friends who waited in line for what seemed like half the show to even get in to the stadium from the main entrance. I was extra-pleased the Starbucks' crew had a tent set up inside Memorial Stadium. They weren't even charging through the nose for their beverages as most other vendors at Bumbershoot seem to do. $4 for the same drink I usually pay $3.83 for. Not too shabby. We found a spot on the "lawn" near some other families with small children and plopped down. Neko started a few minutes later, we danced, sang along, took pictures and hung out before we were joined by some friends.

Here's a little funny side note: as you may or may not know, Matt and I were "married" last Saturday. I say "married" because, amazingly, the ONE thing we forgot to bring to the wedding ceremony was our marriage certificate. It wasn't until a week later that we hit everyone up to sign the certificate for us so we could turn in to our friend/officiant, Adam. Julie, a bridesmaid in the wedding, signed the certificate for us during Neko's performance.

Okay, back to Bumbering. After Neko we headed back to the press room to meet up with the fore mentioned Adam, turned in our certificate and hung out eating and only slightly succeeding in keeping the girls from destroying the press room. The free red vines helped keep them bribed/entertained for a bit, as well.

Then on to Asylum Street Spankers. Now, I loves me some ASS. Yeah, yeah, pretty funny. But they were not at their finest during the band's afternoon kid's show. Technical difficulties plagued the beginning of the set and though some of the songs were spot-on kid's favorites (one about a lunchbox, one about boogers) some of them were complete snooze-inducing mis-steps. The only female in the group, whose name escapes me, seemed uber-cranky, as well. Maybe pregnancy induced? Who knows. We left about 2/3 of the way through the set to seek out some cotton candy before making the hike back down to Dexter to hop back on the 28 and head home.

Overall impression on the festival this year was overwhelmingly positive. We have to keep ourselves open to any and all possibilities when traversing unfamiliar situations with the girls, but everything went incredibly smoothly this trip. The festival was comfortably crowded, which was a huge bonus. We never found ourselves trapped in a sea of slow-moving folks, as usually happens at Bumbershoot. Looking forward to next year, where hopefully we can coerce the girls in to staying up late enough to see a headliner!

Note: all photos taken with my Sidekick