Monday, January 31, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE

Moment #1: Celery is out and she is given a celery stalk. She eats some of it, offers me some (I hate raw celery, I differ). Then she goes to get another stalk. And another one. I am distracted, and when I come back to see what she is doing...I see that she has broken up the stalks and put them in a line across the couch arm. She is "cooking" and wants to know if I want some. I agree to have some celery (its cooked, right?). Later I am picking up bits of celery all over the living room floor...

Moment #2: We finally make it to the museum. It was like visiting an old friend. Watching him show his sister around, helpfully telling her what animal was what, asking if she wanted to go see the dinosaurs. It brought me back to the various times I had taken him and lead him around. It reminded me of all the first time parental trips and pathways that I had taken with him to various museums, zoos, nature hikes. The many wonderful things to discover when you are young. Still so young, but he is doing the trail blazing now and leading his sister and me through another stage in life.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Show & Tell

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Please stop over to participate!

Last weekend, I decided we should make some Rice Krispie treats. No real reason for this, just thought it would be a fun thing to do. And I was right!

We got up Saturday morning and made them right away (we were still in pjs and everything).

Here are the ingredients...



Here's one of my helpers (note library books everywhere--we went to the library the weekend before)...



Yep, its not just cereal! (Note flowers--my SON bought them for me the day before and brought them in with a card saying they loved me!)



The real work begins...greasing up the pan...



Putting the marshmallows in...



Stirring up the melted butter, rice krispies and marshmallows.



And into the pan!


They said on the package that they are best same day. Yes. Yes they are. I think there were a few left the next day...but not many, by the end of the weekend, none. Husband and I found that the best way to have them (after they cooled) was to warm them up a few seconds in the microwave.

Conclusions: Easy easy to make; warm Rice Krispie Treats are the best!




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Outfit of Choice













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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Therapy

Every other Tuesday (with some exceptions for holidays and vacations, etc.), I take my son to a behavioral therapist. He has been going to her since he was in 3rd grade. Mostly he goes to help with social interactions (which he lacks a good understanding of social pragmatics—basically, he doesn’t always pick up on social cues—in a lot of ways, he is just that shy, geeky kid in the corner you probably met and picked on in junior high—you know, the one who is making a ba-jillion dollars on the whole inventing the internets thing…) (well—he also sometimes can get frustrated and angry and blows up when you least expect it—kinda like that weird kid who was always trouble at school that you are sure is locked up right now…). So yeah, therapy seems to help with those issues.

I don’t think we knew what a commitment it would be. Especially since we picked the therapist that our Pediatric Neurologist suggested which meant that we had to schlep all the way down to her hospital (no where near our house or our normal pediatrician). It is a long drive from work, to the after school pick up, then past our house (way past our house) to the therapist. And yeah, we should change to a therapist closer to us, especially now that our PN has moved to a different hospital and is closer to us—but its hard to know how or when to break off such a tenuous relationship. Thing is, sometimes I don’t even know if he gets anything out of the sessions. And just when I think we should stop them, I find him using something his therapist has suggested to deal with his frustrations or he mentions her and what they did in session together (usually a board game). Especially with teenager-hood just around the corner, I think we are going to keep going to this therapist.

It is a strange world to go into a children’s therapy waiting room. The department we go into is combined neurology, behavioral and speech therapy. So, every time we go into the waiting room, I see children that are far more in need of services than we are. I see a lot of children who are coming in with their adoptive or foster parents. It makes my heart warmed to see such wonderful parents taking the time and energy to help their children. I also wonder what were their circumstances that bring them to this waiting room. I also see siblings coming in the waiting room—sometimes Willow is with me and they play together.

I wonder what Willow will think of these visits to the waiting room as she gets older. There is a stigma there that I don’t want her to perceive. I want her to unconditionally love her brother. To make it more fun, we play music the kids want in the car (oh, I am sick of Weird Al and School House Rock right now…) and we go to McDonalds (I bring my own honey so I can eat the less fattening Chicken Nuggets…).

As for Michael, I often wonder what he really thinks of all of this. I wonder what he will remember and what he will take away from these excursions—will he remember going to therapy as a chore or as something that was helpful for him.

Tonight is therapy night. I am bringing Willow with us, and I have her stuffed kangaroo and giraffes. I bought bananas for the kids to have in the car along the way there…and I guess some Weird Al will be heard soon in my ears….


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Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE

Moment #1: Not in a particularly great mood, I find myself trying to lighten the mood by taking us to one of our favorite museums...only to find that the HUGE amount of snow makes it impossible to find a parking spot nearby, and its too cold and too treacherous to walk too far, especially with a toddler. We are all disappointed, and as we make plans to go elsewhere, she starts to cry and asks why we are not going to the "moooseeem". I am angry and frustrated and start to cry too. Both other occupants in the car offer suggestions (which I gruffily dismiss), and I find myself resolved to pull it together--so we start to head to another museum (of course totally opposite direction), calming both the toddler and myself down. But, the car is running out of gas. So, we have to stop off the highway, nearby a fast food restaurant...which reminds my son that he is hungry. So we go into the fast food restaurant for lunch and then decide that both my husband and son really do need to get those haircuts (the haircut place is nearby)...so we go there next. And we go to the comic book place next door. And we all decide that we are satisfied with our outing which wasn't--and return home, never going to a museum, but not unhappy.

Moment #2: The mood is totally lifted by a wonderful outing of Beatles Rock Band--never before has "Yellow Submarine" been so impressively sung than by a toddler, pre-teen, mom and "uncle"....

Moment #3: We play in corn meal, flour and water and I feel that that "educational/interactive" experience I wanted her to have today was fulfilled.

Moment #4: My son's pop culture education continues as me and him watch his first ever Gilligan's Island--the one where they "sing" Hamlet (oh and that is caught in my head now!)

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Praise to our Cats



I think we have been very lucky to have the most affectionate cats around. I have met a lot of cats who are the general stereotype--stand-offish and aloof. Neither of our cats are like that. In fact, sometimes I feel like they act more like dogs--they miss us when we are gone, they spend time with us and want to play with us, they love to be petted.

Gabrielle has always been socialable, although not a lap cat. She loves to sleep right next to us in the bed during naps, and she watches us intently when its bed time because she wants to guard the top of the stairs for us.

Kif loves to come right up and cuddle, loves to play fetch with a ball.

As Kif came up to me this morning and cuddled up to my neck and face to wake me up--I remembered how lucky we are to have such wonderful pets.


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Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE


Moment #1: I used to sing it every morning to him. He was my first, my only. I told myself I would always sing to him in the morning...but, time flew by and songs that are sung get lost in the scramble to get up in the morning for school--the looks of "aww mom" perceived....

Sunday morning, my son comes into my bedroom, singing THE SONG to me, to wake me up. As I wonder at the fact that it has been a few years since I have sang him up in the morning; I am in wonder at the impact that it has made on him. (Perhaps I will start singing good morning to not only him--but to her?)

Moment #2: Evening time and things are winding down. She has gone upstairs and I wonder what she is doing. She is in our bedroom--not a place she should be. I enter to find that she is sitting on our bed with her pretend dishes and utensils out. We are having a picnic on my bed. We eat air with blue plastic forks and plates and I think--well, at least there are no crumbs!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

An incredible amount of snow fell--I think we had two feet here. I think that is the most snow I have ever seen here.

The good news is that we knew before hand. So, both husband and I knew that our places of work were going to be closed, Michael's school called for its closing the night before...so, we had everything in place.

Got up with the kids saying "Morning!" at 7 a.m. I did my normal morning exercise, then went down and started slow-cooker chili for dinner (YUM!). Made eggs and hung out and looked at the snow coming down.

Around 9 a.m. there was a doorbell ring--and there was one of our neighbor kids, coming over to ask if Michael wanted to go out...





I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the snow...





Willow wanted to go out, but I was just not in the mood to get her all dressed up and into this much snow--especially since last storm (which was only 2 weeks ago) we did all that fun stuff. So, instead, I scooped up some snow in a pan--and let her have at it...

Toys On Ice...



Snow did not really stop until after noon--and then the shoveling began. It was a lot and lot and it was HEAVY wet snow...

For lunch we all had some oven cooked mac n cheese and we watched a Futurama movie...and then back out to shoveling...

It was nice to smell the chili throughout the day, and after we got done shoveling we came in and had the chili and cornbread.

Tomorrow--another snow day as Michael's school is again closed. Its just going to be me and the boy, I think.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday




Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Moment #1: He has been up in his room most of the day. Sometimes doing homework, sometimes just wanting to be alone. After the chaotic day yesterday, I can't blame him for wanting to be alone. But I miss him. I go upstairs to his room, hearing in the background beneath me, my husband and daughter playing. I knock on his door, let myself in. And grab the Connect Four. And we play best two out of three (I let him win--don't tell him).

Moment #2: She is sitting next to the almost four year old girl, watching the tamrin monkeys at the museum. I look at her, sitting beside the blonde little girl and see the future. And a bittersweet happiness hits me. She is growing up so fast, but yet is not there yet. Not three yet. But soon. I look forward to it.


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Friday, January 07, 2011

Glimpse of the Future

I don’t paint my nails. Partially because I cannot be bothered with it, partially a rebellion from my childhood where my nails were always an issue (I bit them--still bite them sometimes) and the argument usually with my mom and my mom’s mom was if I was good and did not bite them, I would get to “do” my nails. So, despite my TomBoy oath, when I was growing up, I did paint my nails and have earrings. As I got older, the colors reflected my teenage tastes and once I got into college—well, we entered into the “I can’t be bothered” phase I am in now.

I will occasionally paint them, but my husband doesn’t actually like painted nails, so I have further reason not to be bothered.

However. My daughter. She has found this ritual FASCINATING. Her daycare provider was painting her nails one day…and a few weeks later, I come to pick her up and my daughters toenails were painted.

Every so often this becomes something that she wants to do. For a while I had set aside a paint brush and water for her to play at painting her nails, my nails…whoever would let her. (Cats said NO)

I thought it was a phase, hadn’t heard about nails in about a month—and then last night. I picked her up from daycare and she was displaying her feet, asking our provider to paint her nails. I wanted to get moving (brother was in the car) and get home, so I said—we can do that at home.

She did not forget that. So, as I enter the house and try to get a few things done (fix garbage can that Kif got into; feed the cats; help steer hungry boy onto fruit before eating a popsicle; steer him into prioritizing his homework; look at the mail). All was done with “nails now?” in the background.

We go up to my room. I only have two nail polishes. Black and glow in the dark. (obviously for Halloween)

I decide on the glow in the dark polish. And we sit on my bed and I paint her nails. And she paints mine. And I smile, because I can see I will be needing to buy some more nail polishes soon in my future…and I don’t mind a bit.


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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Assessment/Adjustments

While it is hard to say good-bye to another year, I do find that the start of the new year does bring a sense of renewal that is refreshing. Perhaps it is because of the cold weather, or despite it. But I find myself not as much assessing the last year, but now making the adjustments that one makes at the beginning of a new one.

As the year goes by, habits are borne upon the duties of the everyday. Sometimes they are habits that are good, sometimes they are necessary. Sometimes they come from the drudgery of sameness, or the crisises of the moment or the slow slippage of time. Changes come and new habits are formed. Something is added or subtracted. And as the year progresses, choas and clutter of life adds to the mixture and by the end of the year some of the habits have become a burdensome cloak under which I hide.

So now I readjust. I resolve to go to bed earlier, get up earlier, be on time and de-clutter. I dust off the recipes that I tried last year and then got tired of. To reach out more to people in my life and to spend less time "in my interior walls". To accept certain chaos but not produce more. To help myself as well as others. To really look at my children, my life and my surroundings anew.

And I throw off the cloak of last year.



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Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Plan 2011

This year I am going to expand on some of my goals from 2010. Again, I am going to keep these goals a little vague, because often times life can change the goals and how I can achieve them. Hopefully, this plan will help tame the chaos in our lives...

Health/Well-being

-- Ultimate goal to lose more weight and keep it off--

- Continue with my exercise routine, expand and diversify with different exercises, WiiFit, etc.

- Purchase an elliptical machine to further above goal

- Keep a better track of what I eat and increase the amount of vegetables and fruit in my diet

- Try to tone down the stress eating--find other outlets for getting rid of stress

- Mentally count-down to help with patience

- Try to live in the moment and stop worrying about all the things that need to get done

- Take an on-line class in something I want to explore

Family Life

--Ultimate goal is to spend more time with family; family work as team --

- Daily goal of trying to spend quality time with each child according to their ability/needs

- Draw Michael out of his shell, help him with social goals

- Discipline Willow and shape her whining into a more productive discussion

- Family meetings - Monthly

- Give each child more duties/chores within the family

- Eat dinner at the table at least 3 times a week

- Continue diversifying our menus and eating out less

- Continue with having children help with cooking

- Get out on a date with husband once a month

- Cut down on the swearing (especially in front of Willow); while I am more of a George Carlin frame of mind when it comes to swearing--um, having your toddler say "dammit" while playing--probably bad...

General To-Do List

- Clean out the basement and make it a more workable storage area

- Look into possibilities of selling house and buying another

- Balance social calendar with family calendar

- Track spending and wastefulness







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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Memories are Made...

I remember New Years 2000. Not because of Y2K, etc. I remember it mostly because husband was in the bathroom vomiting up his internals--he says bad sushi, I say stomach bug.

I remember New Years 2011...Willow has decided to keep with traditions! She was fine all day yesterday. Until around 6-7 p.m. (about the time we had people coming over). She then promptly threw up. The tally so far is 6 pj changes, 2 baths, 1 shower (with mom who was covered with it) and 2 changes of bedding (hers and ours).

She slept pretty well last night, but this morning came into our bed. I was lying there with her beside me going "hmm...maybe it was just something she ate, she seems fine and she has no temp...whew, maybe we dodged the bullet..." and then she projectile vomited on me and our bed.

Yep. Happy New [BLERGH] Year!!


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Busy doing that Thing called Life...

October is a busy month and we have been pretty much on the go for most of it---I cannot believe Halloween is almost upon us!! I often t...