I Couldn’t Be More Proud

October 31, 2008

Little Red is wearing his t-shirt backwards today.  Intentionally.  When we were walking to Kaiser (I decided to take advantage off the free flu shot while I still had insurance and today is my last day with insurance) I asked him if he was planning on turning it around.

“No.”  He replied.  “I like it this way.  It’s different.  I like to be different.”

I’M SO GLAD!!!!! 

Sweetheart, you can wear your shirt backwards all you want, you are perfect just the way you are.


The Difference of a Week

October 30, 2008

If I really thought that it was complaining that did the trick, I would do a whole lot more complaining.  It wasn’t blogging about Aiden’s refusal to sleep that changed him, but isn’t it funny that everything got better after I hit publish?

His afternoon naps have returned to their 1-2 hour normalcy, and it’s probably only been once or twice that he’s completely skipped out of the morning naps.  Yesterday, in fact, he slept for an hour in the morning.  (Thanks to Andrea teaching preschool and me needing to run errands, both Aiden and Boy Blue napped in the stroller.  So I walked home, parked the stroller where I normally park my car, and read a book in the garage until it was time to walk back to preschool, pick up Red, and load up in the car.)

What’s the trick?  Well, he’s teething, and he’s learning to cruise, and I hold to my beliefs that teething and developmental stages can be attributed to sleep disturbances.  Also, he’s sleeping better at night.  Babies are not grownups.  Sleep begets sleep.  So now he’s sleeping better at night, which makes him sleep better during the day, which makes him sleep better at night.

I am grateful.  And I think he is too.  There is such a difference between a baby who is so happy he can peel the paint off the walls with his shrieks of glee, and a baby who is so tired he won’t let me throw his dirty diaper in the trash because it means walking away from him (but he weighs 24 pounds so I can’t exactly carry him 8 hours a day.)

Adventures in Books

October 28, 2008

The Cub Scout theme for this month’s pac meeting was “Adventures in Books.”  We had the children come dressed as a character from literature, and we played reading-themed activities.  One of the things we did was to provide every family with a story starter and have them write during the evening.  Most of our boys chose to share their stories with the group.

Little Red did not want to share his story, but he did complete his first written story, ever.  This is his story:

As I walked along the path I saw a ferocious wolf.  It made me feel scared.  I ran away.  The wolf chased me.  When he caught me, he ate me.  I tasted yucky so the wolf threw me up — and I ran away as fast as I could.

It’s that time again …

October 27, 2008

This year I have mixed feelings about Halloween.

I finished another year of homemade costumes for the kids.  I’m proud of the costumes.  I really love homemade costumes.  That said, I will wait until next fall to decide if I’m making costumes again next year.  It is always such a struggle to get them done.  This year I even had a pattern for Little Red’s but the sizing was so off I had to do so many alterations I should have just saved myself the $7 for the pattern and done the whole thing myself.  Peter Pan does NOT wear parachute pants and a t-shirt that shows his belly button.

Both of the boys got into the spirit of trick-or-treating at our church party Saturday night.  How cool, really, that you can walk from car to car, say a short phrase, and people give you candy?!?!?  But now we have candy in the house.  I have already taxed a lot of it and hidden it under my bed, I don’t think anyone will see the stuff until it’s time to fill goody-bags or Christmas stockings.  The rest we are letting the boys eat, with moderation.  By the time Halloween actually gets here I will be cursing all things sugar.

This year Paul and I actually thought it would be fun to dress up.  Unfortunately, by the time the boys’ costumes were ready and we/I had the time to think about it, Paul had lost his job.  It’s pretty hard to justifying buying stuff for a Halloween costume when you are still hoping to stretch the pennies to cover rent.  😦

Anyway, this year the boys went as Peter Pan and a Lost Boy.  Turns out Disney wasn’t so creative in the old days and everyone thought Little Red was Robin Hood, whose outfit is the same.  Boy Blue was called a lion, mostly, although one person, sensing our Disney theme said he was the Lion King.  I did have a moment of triumph, however, when my friend Max approached me at the party and asked if Boy Blue was a Wild Thing.  You see, as Boy Blue doesn’t wear hats I had to modify my plan for his costume so he didn’t look EXACTLY like the boys in the movie.  My back-up, if calling him a Lost Boy didn’t work, was that he’d be Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.  Max’s wife, Candace, was the only person to ask me directly, “if he a lost boy?”  Yay for the Grundys!

Happy Hallowe’en, Everyone!

I Can’t Vote, but If I Could . . .

October 26, 2008

I dislike being political in public, not just because I am not legal to vote, but also because I am so tired of people who misunderstand democracy and a person’s right to vote as their conscience dictates.  I hate that awkward silence when someone says “how could you possibly vote that way?” or worse, the intolerance, and violence.  I dislike confrontation of any kind.

But it is exactly because some of the items on the ballot this year are so polarizing that I have chosen to document my opinions on a few things.  And that is why I am closing comments on this post.  You don’t need to tell me how you are voting, nor do you need to leave hateful comments about my decisions.  I may not be voting, but this is how I choose to support two items.

Proposition 8.  In California in 2000, voters approved and supported the traditional definition of marriage.   Only months ago four activist judges decided to overturn the will of the people and legalize gay marriage.  I believe in supporting the will of the people.  On a personal note, I also believe that marriage is a sacred covenant between God and a man and a woman.  Despite my strong beliefs, I have struggled greatly with my decision to support Prop 8, not because I wavered in my beliefs, but because of the polarity of the issue.  There are so many people who are working to make this a very divisive issue, and I don’t believe that by being for prop 8 makes me against all those who are not.  I have some very dear friends and family members who are gay.  I love them and I want them to be happy.  However, I know in my heart that the word marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.  (and I think, between God.)

President of the United States.  I think John McCain has served his country honourably over the years, but when I hear him speak, he does not put me at ease, and while it shouldn’t be an issue, his age is an issue with me.  Sarah Palin is young and fresh, but having been the mayor of Wasilla doesn’t really impress me.  She has a young child with special needs, as well as four other children who need her.  I want to see her at the park with her children, and helping out in the classroom.  I agree with what George Romney told Mitt, raise your children before you enter politics.  Family comes first.  I would like to see her re-enter when her children are grown, and I think then she may be a force. 

I do not support Obama simply because I don’t like the options on the other side.  I have been listening to him for years and he speaks to me.  I’m not going to go through line by line of what I like, but I do feel that he is the president we need at this time.  I believe he has what it takes to get us through these very difficult times, and I know he can mobilize and inspire the younger generations of Americans.  My family will be in better hands under the presidency of Obama.

On November 4th we will be with our friends, supporting Prop 8, at their PrObama party.  If we lose on either of those then we will not destroy political signs or throw a big fit; the will of the people will have been made known.  I just hope that come November 5th, our state and our country can get back to working together for the greater good.

The Baby Who Would Not Sleep

October 23, 2008

Next week will make six months that Aiden has been coming to us.  During that time he has grown and developped a tremendous amount — I am always amazed at the rapid growth of infants.  For my part I have tried to expose him to a wide variety of experiences, people, and, of course, toys.  And while I am not a scheduler, I have tried to keep a loose routine around the house to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

In my opinion, children under one need to take at least two naps a day.  I’m flexible with the time, but follow the same routine each time, to ensure proper sleep habits.  I’ve been doing the same thing, even the same song, with Aiden every day for nearly six months.  I haven’t done anything differently, but suddenly this week everything is different.

For one thing he has decided that he will not nap in the mornings.  At all.  After an hour or an hour and a half I usually give up.  Really, who has the energy for more than that?  And in the afternoons he’s now only sleeping for half an hour.  He’s woken up at the thirty minute mark before, but I’ve been able to successfully get him back to sleep, not so yesterday and today.

Thirty minutes a day for a nine month old?  Not enough.

Thirty minutes a day (plus nearly three spent trying to get him to sleep)?  Pass the ice cream.  It’s calorie-free if you’re exhausted, right?

It isn’t a matter of putting him down and letting him cry it out because the child can go indefinitely.  But even if I rock him completely to sleep he’ll wake up screaming the second I try to put him down.  After six months does he really think I’m going to start holding him for the duration of his naps?!  No sir.  In that field, I can assure you, I can out-stubborn him. 

Oh, and did I mention that his 9-month separation anxiety includes me?  I’m not allowed to go to the washroom or throw his dirty diaper away if he decides that we suddenly need to be in physical contact at all times.  Fortunately, that aspect comes and goes, as right now he is playing with the vertical blinds.  Separation anxiety was hard enough with my own children, but it’s even harder with someone else’s. 

Nine months has never been my favourite stage.

Now … 18 months, that is a lot of fun!  Boy Blue blows kisses as he spontaneously walks by!  And he cheerfully greets anyone we pass on our walks with a full-body wave and sweet-voiced “HI!”

Surprise Metaphor

October 22, 2008

The bad news: I got into an emotional eating contest this weekend with myself.

The good news: I think I won.

I have made a very deliberate attempt to not document my most extreme emotions because I have chosen to remember myself as being strong.  This marks a huge break from the historian I used to be; I thought that to be a true historian I needed to document everything, keep every photo, every letter, every artifact of who I was.  (If I had the time I’d eliminate full pages from my photo albums because of the insipid nature or obnoxious memories, but I digress.) 

So I was thinking about how all-over-the-place I’ve been, emotionally, and I thought, this feels a lot like pregnancy

(No, stop freaking out.  This is NOT an announcement.  I am NOT pregnant.)

Then I realized, that’s right, it’s because during the first trimester of both of my pregnancies my husband has been out of work and looking for a job!  For all I know, pregnancy for me is actually a cake walk … or it would be if it wasn’t coupled with financial distress.  I’m not sure I want to test out that theory.  Ever.  The jury is still out on our family size.

Anyway, now that I’m thinking about a job search as a gestational period, I’m starting to nest.  I’m -slowly- decluttering drawers, and trying to organize all the right fung shuy corners (it can’t hurt!)  And I’m really looking forward to that beautiful new job that will join our family before we know it!  (It had better not take nine months, or you’ll all see a side of me that I will surely regret.)