Saturday, November 29, 2008

Show & Tell #19

Today was our traditional day for decorating the house for the holidays. We always have done it the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this is a tradition carried over from my family. This year, it took a lot longer than others. Mainly because we had to do a little at a time and then stop and spend time with Willow. Also, Michael had to go to the town's tree lighting ceremony because his Cub Scout Pack was singing during the ceremony (also selling NE Clam Chowder). So, a simple 2-3 hour process of putting up the fake tree and decorations took the whole day. But, it is (almost) done.

We celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah, so we have decorations for both. It was amazing to watch Michael. He knew what we traditionally do, he found lost treasures packed away, he helped decorate. How much he has grown and changed.

Where has my little boy from 2001 gone?




Nothing like the holidays to remind one of the time gone by.

Show and Tell

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 - Updated with Pictures

As this is often a time to reflect, I decided to see my post from Thanksgiving Last Year.

And then I saw this one from exactly one year ago.

I am so thankful for what the past has done for me. For what the present brings in its joys both big and small.

In these times when everything is so fragile, so worrisome...it is good to look at those snapshots of the past and remember what is the most important to you.

Last night, Michael brought home a hand turkey he made at school. He had written that he was thankful for his sister Willow and his cat Gabby. That meant the most to me than anything else he could have done.
(And, I got a sneak--he had written a note/card to a girl he is smitten with--saying "I am thankful for you being alive"). Okay, he is sooo getting a squishy hug!!

I have pjs and an outfit for Willow that says "Baby's 1st Thanksgiving" and I will post pictures later...I realize that last time I had a Baby's 1st Thanksgiving, I think I took it for granted. Who knew it would take almost 10 more years before I would have another!?!

For those who have their little ones for their first Thanksgiving--Have a memorable one! For those who are pregnant--enjoy that food! And for those still in the trenches--I wish you the hope of Thanksgivings to come.

And now, for something completely different...


Happy Thanksgiving!


UPDATE:

Waking up Thanksgiving Day...everyone does their thing...


Ready for her first Thanksgiving?




Our tradition of having pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving...with slight change for one of us...


Ready for Thanksgiving!






Monday, November 24, 2008

Seven Months

Took Willow to her Well-Visit check up today. She is 16 lbs., 26 inches. She is doing well, and the doctor was very pleased with her. Since the appointment was at the most inconvienent time, and it took 1 hour before we were even seen, and since she did get shots on all four limbs--I stayed home with her the rest of the day. Appropriate, as she turned 7 months old today. It was nice to spend some time--just me and her.



The giraffe is a baby present from Husband's work.


Comparing "hands"


Still dealing with a slight cold..



This is my favorite. After I picked Michael up (and he had his healthy snack), he had some chocolate ice cream.

Willow SO wanted some ice cream....

Perfect Moment Monday

Discovery - The Leaf


(After this picture, she tried to eat the leaf--perfect moments are fleeting...)

Usually, I try to mention both children on PMM...but today--its all Willow. Happy 7 months my little girl!



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Show & Tell #18

Once, 3 years ago, I spent a blizzardy weekend organizing my cabinet space in my kitchen. It was so wonderful to have everything organized.

However, as with everything in my family right now--we are learning to grow and adapt...so, we bought and had installed this pantry cabinet. (Still working on where the displaced items--like the phone--will go)





This weekend is being spent sorting through the kitchen and organizing the choas within.




I call this--the shelf of things that used to fall on me; the shelf of baby and cat food (please pick from the left for cat food); and the shelf of snacks that the boy can get instead of always asking me to get them while I am busy dealing with a squirming baby.

Show and Tell

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Willow meets Sir Winston

My Grammie loved stuffed animals and one of her favorites was a little stuffed dog she named Sir Winston (after Winston Churchill). I have Sir Winston near my bed, on my bedstand.

A couple of days ago, Willow met with Sir Winston.




Laundry

Laundry laundry laundry

It never ends

It never begins

It is a mound

It is a-round

It is necessary

But can be forgotten

But not for long

People need clothes

People give away clothes

I have too many

I don't have enough

Can I get a Laundry Fairy?

Help.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Perfect Moment Monday

Sometimes the most perfect moments are the imperfect ones…

This weekend, for various reasons, my husband and I switched. I took my son to Karate class and he took my daughter to swim class.

Some history:

I started my son out in karate class when he was 4 years old. I used to have Wednesdays off, so this was a class he and I could do. It was our “thing” together. Then, as he got older, he started acting “silly” in the class. He wouldn’t pay attention, he would talk when the instructor talked, he would act silly and not do the blocks, kicks, etc. Slowly, but surely, something I had had fun doing with him became a chore. Slowly—we learned he had ADHD. Even with the diagnosis—I just couldn’t bear watching him. I couldn’t bear the tension—but, my husband—he could. And he started taking him on the Saturday morning classes. With medication he has gotten better. And he has advanced and he has gotten into the Black Belt club.

Fast Forward to Saturday. I went with him. And he did not pay attention as much as he usually does. He acted silly during a quiet time. The tension came back to me. I tried hard to enjoy my son for who he is--and I was much better at it than I used to be--but I knew—in that imperfect moment—it was better that he went with his father. It clicked with his father.

My husband had a similar experience. Willow is 6 ½ months old. It is hard to take her to a class. It takes organization—something he is not good at. He hates swimming and the chlorine in the water makes him itchy. The infant swim class is held in 4 feet of water—he is 6 foot 6. And, most importantly, the smiles and giggles that I had elicited from her in previous classes—were not there for him.

When we got home after the classes—we both looked at other and knew—the perfect moments that we missed that morning. We won’t be switching again for a while.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Show & Tell #17

I am in the midst of finishing off my holiday giving list...so, I thought today I would share some sites I especially like. Of course there is Amazon, but I LOVE this site:

Think Geek

Where else can you get this:


(for my daughter)

and this:


(for my son)

Another site I like, for crafty things and decorations at a cheap price:

Oriental Trading Company

And this year, I got a couple personalized ornaments and Hannukah items here:

Personal Creations

Show and Tell

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wonders of a Hectic Life

Sometimes I am able to get through all the noise in my life and realize the many small moments that occur there.


We were up late last night—a friend was over, the kids went to bed pretty much on time, and we had some adult time and discussion—which meant the cleaning up of the dinner dishes, baby toys, cub scout uniform and badges, books and comic books (not our sons--our comic books) and other miscellany strewn about the house were put off until late in the night. While my husband and I (well, mainly I) grumbled while doing these tasks at almost midnight, I realized what a great team we make. We complete each others sentences. Which is good, because when I get flustered (quite a bit lately), my mind running at 110 mph, I stumble to get a coherent sentence out. We are a good team socially, and we had a good time with our friend. We discussed topics that we love and there are so many of them. And then while we were cleaning up the house—we talked about things large and small, and I felt the bond that I have with this human being, this man that I have known for almost 20 years. This bond that I sometimes take for granted. And when we went to bed I said “I love you.” as I always do, but I knew it was not enough.

I got up later than I wanted to and I was preparing to do my normal morning stationary bike ride. I could hear Willow slowly waking up on the monitor—babbling away—I calculated I would be able to fit in my 20 mins. Then, to my dismay—my son’s quick pounding footsteps and his struggling waddle over to our bed—Michael has brought Willow in! My disappointment at my disrupted routine started a bad mood that I guiltily regretted a second later—as Michael points out that she has said her first word!! “Hi!” (which I have been practicing with her in front of the mirror—Hi! Hello, Willow! Look at Willow! Hi!). Michael got to hear Willow’s first word. I could not have wished for a more perfect moment—Michael so excited, Willow in his arms. I smiled.

Normal routines started again—too late now for exercise—uh, ooh…too late now for showering (glad its Friday!)!! Rushing around, trying to get things ready, my son brings in his McDonald Station into my bedroom (Husband and Willow downstairs already). I sigh—I don’t have time for this…can’t he see that I am trying to get dressed and out the door? And then I see him kneel down at this little play station. I recently confided to him (after he figured out that Santa did not give him this present) that it was very hard to assemble and I struggled hard with it. This McDonald’s Station that has been sitting in his room untouched for about a year—that he is too big for, but is now kneeling down to take my order. I order—and end up paying $25 for an egg mcMuffin and coke and four piece chicken mcnugget. (“12 dollars for the egg mcMuffin” “Michael, you know I can buy 12 eggs for 3 dollars?”) I eat the pretend food.

And I have him help me put a sticker in Willow’s Baby 1st Year calendar—Her First Word. And I am late to work. I don’t mind.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You'll Poke Your Eye Out, Kid...UPDATED

Oh lord. My son wants a BB gun for Christmas.

When he first told me today, I thought he was joking. He has seen "Christmas Story". He knows full well what we think of guns. But, no...he wants a BB Gun. Both my husband and I gave the answer--No. But, now, I am torn between getting what my son wants (and he knows about the Santa deal--so, he is talking directly to us) and sticking with our "guns" and saying no. Tonight, when I was putting him to bed, he talked about a gun that shoots bubble gum--I said I would look into it.

Does anyone know of a safe alternative? I know he merely wants to shoot at targets...

UPDATE:

I think this looks like a good alternative. I also put some nerf guns onto the wishlist...


Monday, November 10, 2008

Perfect Moment Monday

(Children mentioned)

Moment 1:

Stopping Michael in the midst of his comings and goings this weekend (indoors and outdoors all weekend with J--his first sleepover--with the next door neighbor's kid). I asked him how he wanted the planets aligned. We are in the midst of redecorating his room. Star Wars and Outer Space themed. I had some Wallies to put up of the planets. I wanted his input as to where. I got a discussion of the various planets, which one is his favorite (besides Earth, of course) -- Saturn (my favorite too), and helpful advice on how the planets are aligned (Pluto--poor Pluto). Watching him explain to J the various planets, etc. I was struck once again how beautiful my son is.

Moment 2:

Willow likes my face. She likes my glasses. She grabs my glasses. I take them off. She grabs my nose. I beep. She smiles and giggles. She explores my lips and eyelids, my cheeks (OUCH!--I think she needs her fingernails trimmed!). She has no teeth, but loves mine. She trys to explore my teeth like she explores everything else--into her mouth! So, I got my first "kiss" from my daughter.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

A guest blog entry, bought to you by the Great Blog Cross-Pollination



[Little Miss Impatient]



Impatience has been a defining characteristic of my personality, one that is so much part of me that I cannot remember a time that I wasn't anxiously waiting hopping from one foot to the other in anticipation of the next interesting thing that was coming along Life's Freeway. Anxious to finish school, to get married, have children, have the children finish school, it has been a long procession of waiting for big life events interspersed with fury when faced with queues, or non-answered phones, or traffic or any one of the myriad little interruptions that arise every day. I am better than I was...much better at staying calm and being in the moment. It was essential to learn some sort of patience if I was to keep my friends and family, I suspect. But today, this sign made me feel like I was not alone.



Go on. Guess the identity of the cross-pollinated blogger in the comments field.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My son has witnessed history.

I am very proud of our country. And I am very proud of my son, who watched much of the coverage, adding up the electoral votes every so often. One of the most wonderful images was seeing Jesse Jackson in tears. And McCain's speech was very eloquent. I hope that this spirit of change actually becomes a reality of change. I hope that after living through one of the worst presidents of the United States, I can witness one of the best. I have hope.

Vote

Vote!

Already did. Husband going to take Michael to see the process of being a citizen.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Show & Tell #16

The Homework Rant Edition...

This is a pet peeve of mine, and I don't mean to offend any teachers out there (my brother is one of you, I know the pressures on you guys). BUT, I do not believe in homework for elementary school children.

This is a picture of my son's homework from the past week:





He is in 4th Grade. He has had homework since he has been in kindergarten. I really really don't get that. I was in junior high school before I had homework. I am sorry, but I feel that having our elementary school children in school for 5-6 hours a day is plenty of time. Do they need to spend 1-3 hours MORE at night? As a parent, it is hard for me to find time to spend with my son, on top of having him do his homework, eat a balanced dinner, read a book (which is the most important thing to me), have a bath, brush his teeth and go to bed. Where is the time for this child to be a child?? For Michael specifically, it is hard for him to focus on tasks as it is...after a day of doing that, he then has to hunker down and focus on projects for school. Also, we are supposed to be letting him have more time socially with other children, to help him be more social--so, how do I work that in?? Oh, and per his doctors instructions, he has therapy and Cub Scouts. Hmmm...I don't believe in over scheduling, but it seems I have been placed in said situation beyond my control. I would rather have less vacation days, longer school days, or whatever--just no more homework, please!!

A side argument to this -- I do believe that school should not be the only place children should learn. Parents need to be involved with their children's education. We take our children to museums and other educational experiences, we read to them daily, we talk to them, etc. I think that is very important to have. And I know that it is something some children are not fortunate to have, and I understand that school is sometimes the only exposure some children have to learning.