Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of my American friends and family-- Happy Thanksgiving! This is also a busy couple of day in our family because my brother-in-law (my big sister's husband) and dog have birthdays today and my big sister and father-in-law have birthdays tomorrow! Every year on this day I think about my mom going in to labor, well before her due date, on Thanksgiving night in 1970. If I remember the story correctly, the people my mom was having dinner with that night didn't even know she was pregnant. My two older siblings ended up being nine months apart in age!

So, it's Thanksgiving. As always, alot to be thankful for. I really look forward to this day every year even though it's a huge amount of work-- and I don't even host the dinner! We have been going every year for a while now to our good friends house who live just across town. The kids all run and play. The adults sit around and drink and chat. And then we all eat! I enjoy that I get to make a bunch of food but don't have to clean my house and all of that.

I started shopping for my part of the menu last week. I made a couple of easy appetizers, a sweet potato pie, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and cornbread stuffing with cranberries. They were all super yummy if I do say so myself! Yesterday I started cooking (and had to go to the store TWICE!) and today I finished everything up before heading to our friend's house.

After we get there and settle in Iris curls up in my lap and keeps saying she is sleepy. We think she's feeling a little hot. As the food is getting brought out we get a thermometer and yep, she has a fever. I threw together a plate of food and slipped out the door to bring Iris home and laid her on the couch. The food was AMAZING. Everything there was so, so, so good.

Matt and Eloise got home a few hours later with tons and tons of leftovers. I am sooo grateful that they sent him home with a bunch of food from the dinner. After all of the prep and anticipation is was very disappointing to miss the fun and food of the big day.

That said, you know, it's life. I am so thankful that even though Iris is having a hard day, she's a healthy, smart, vibrant and amazing little girl. I'm tired and cooked a ton and didn't get the outcome I wanted, but I'm thankful that this is my biggest complaint of the day.

It's been a tough few weeks and I've been on mom duty far more hours of the days/weeks than I usually ever am, but I'm growing to really enjoy it. Doing bedtime duty every night, the girls drive me crazy but we also have the sweet moments of snuggling in and reading books and winding down the busy days. Tucking my sweet girls in. I'm so thankful for our home and to have such a lovely place to tuck my beautiful girls in to every single night. We've got our little routine down every night and more or less, it works. We're figuring it out even we're tired or cranky or whatever. I could certainly complain, but instead, I want to be thankful for the abundance in my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of my girls' mouthes

Today, out of nowhere, Eloise looked at me and said "mama why do you still have boobies?" so I said "why?" and she said "you don't have any more babies!". I then asked "should I cut them off?" and she said "no! that would hurt!"

Tonight the girls were looking through my make-up bag, which Iris asked to do. When she then asked, repeatedly, if she could put some on, I said no. Then Eloise said "mama, look!" and I turn around to see her (surprise surprise!) with a face full of blush. I was very annoyed and, more loudly than I should have, said "Eloise! I said we weren't going to put make-up on!" and then a little bit later Iris says to Eloise "but that was a really good job telling mommy!"

Also, they have been talking quite a bit, for a while now, about going to the mall and being fashionable and stylish. It is so random to me, because we very rarely go to the mall, and if we do, we don't buy clothes there (the blessing/curse of being too tall to fit in to 99% of the clothes the stores sell!). I never use the words fashionable or stylish-- likely because I'm pretty far from either of those things. For heaven's sake, I was the only mom at the play gym this morning in sweats and/or rain boots!

Clearly they learn these words somewhere, and it really isn't that big of a deal to me, but it's amazing how children can grasp on to these things, even if it isn't our intention to expose them to the ideas.

I had a parent-teacher conference with Iris's teacher this past week. The main thing we ended up chatting about was how Iris is using her time at school to work out where she fits within the group, how to make friends, how to find her own voice and express her individuality. It seems that she is relying heavily on other girls at school to be comfortable or to know how to act or what to do in certain situations. It is sad to me, in the way that I can fast forward 8-10 years and see her doing this on a bigger level, with much more serious consequences. Wanting to fit in at any cost, potentially. Not doing what is right, or what she wants to do, simply because no one else is. She worries about people laughing at her. Even today she told me she didn't wear her hat on the walk in the rain because she didn't want anyone to laugh at her.

She's so scared, so nervous, so shy that I worry for her. That she will be so paralyzed by fear that she won't do the things she might want to do-- or worse yet, not even know what she wants to do because she spends too much time worrying about what other people think of her.

And what's funny, she's in freaking kindergarten. You KNOW those other kids couldn't care any less whether or not she wears a hat! These kids are a very loose, wonderful, laid-back group. Iris could come to school in a peacock costume and they'd all be like "hey, groovy!".

So I'm paying more attention. Trying to seize opportunities for her to open up a bit. Push her limits a bit and be there to support her in doing so.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Who are these kids?!

The girls got their school pictures taken recently. I am not typically a big fan of these kinds of pictures, but thought it would be fun to get the smallest set they sold and it came with a free print of the class picture.


Of course, once the pictures came, I was thrilled!


These kids, who are they? Don't they look totally unrelated? Isn't that so bizarre?!



Anyone else have kids who don't look related to each other?


ps for the record, they both have the same two parents ;)

pps that wasn't the shirt I sent Eloise to school in. She destroyed her first one before the pictures were taken. If you look closely you can see the ink on her face and on this shirt!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why I hate November

Have I ever told you that I hate November? I do. I always have. It's interesting because October is my favorite month, so it's a bit of a downer to be followed by my least favorite.

I don't like the bare trees. I don't like waiting for the holidays. I don't like the money woes that come with waiting for the holidays. But mostly? Mostly I hate that every November is our sickest month. Without fail for the past few years the girls get sick. This year? It was 2:00 am on November 1st that Iris woke up with a fever. That girl doesn't waste any time! We've pretty much spent the whole week so far under fevers. Iris's went away by Sunday morning, but Eloise's, whose appeared Monday night, is still hanging around. Grrr.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trick-or-Treating

Halloween is finally over. It felt like a ton of build-up and anticipation for what actually occurred, but of course, many things happen like that.

On Friday afternoon we went trick-or-treating at Matt's work. I think this is the third year we've gone there and it's pretty fun. The high points are getting to meet his co-workers, and for them to see the girl's all dressed up. There are games to play, as well, which is nice. What I don't like is that the workers there seem so desperate to give away candy that they are literally dumping handfuls of it in to the girl's bags.

That night I convinced the girls to keep a few special pieces of candy for themselves and give the rest to the "Halloween Fairy". They weren't terribly interested at first, but surprisingly, they were very in to it after we got all of the candy home. I put the candy away and slipped a Polly Pocket in to their bags for them to find in the morning. The girls were absolutely thrilled!

On Saturday we were supposed to trick-or-treat with friends in their neighborhood, but they were sick so we decided to go hit up the businesses in our hood, instead. That appeared to not only be our idea but the idea of every family in Western Washington, as well. I think the girls enjoyed it. I know Matt and I were a bit overwhelmed. It just didn't feel like a fun celebration, it felt like families pushing and shoving through crowds to fill their bags with candy.



When we got home the girls once again took out a few special pieces of candy to keep. That night the Halloween Fairy brought two Littlest Pet Shop toys for each of them, again, a big hit. We put the left-over candy in a bowl for the trick-or-treaters that came to our door, of which there was a grand total of three.


I am so torn about Halloween. I don't want my kids to have that much candy but I want them to participate in the fun ritual of trick-or-treating. I think we came up with a decent solution this year. I am unsure about going door-to-door around here, as it would appear most people were, since not many people came. In some neighborhoods, like my sister-in-law's, they got about 1,000 kids. So people are doing that somewhere, just not around here. Of course, my kids are so little, I think not going out at night is the best idea right now. Going to the businesses is a good idea, but sooo crowded that it isn't that much fun.

Just trying to figure out what the right plan is so we can prepare for next year. Maybe we will host a Halloween party? Something where the celebration includes costumes and games and doesn't center around candy?