Friday, March 27, 2009

Child management in colonial times

We finally have our vacation plans set. It’s not as thrilling as Guatemala (we decided to wait until we collectively know more Spanish) or fulfilling as Germany (my Oma really isn’t up to the trip) but we are still excited to go to Williamsburg, Virginia nonetheless. My Aunt got us a free week at a time share there and we can drive thus saving around $1000 in airfare. We will hit Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown as well as some playgrounds and the pool. We won’t have been anywhere in the last 6 months so it will be nice to get away to SOME place. And we’re already prepping Noah for the trip – getting out some books on Colonial times from the library. Of course we’d be chasing Ray around in circles no matter where we go.

Noah went through a rough patch at the end of last week. He was being so moody and utterly disagreeable about everything. It was probably a result of a growth spurt of some sort – he has these grumpy patches occasionally. But Mark and I separately came to the conclusion that Ray might have something to do with it. Ray is in this insanely charming, ebullient, show-stopping phase and we are constantly having to stop ourselves from just giggling and gushing about everything he does and says. And we both felt that Ray’s cuteness was taking a toll on Noah. So as a result I am making an effort to give Noah more positive feedback and trying not to openly marvel so much about Ray. And there is a lot of positive feedback to give. Noah’s working really hard at reading and it is damn exciting. He is writing, set designing, directing and acting out his own plays. He has become this incredible social being playing with his friends and always doing such a great job of getting along with them. I am amazed how Noah and his best friend Maia seem to never quarrel – they are both so good at compromising. And he’s finally getting motivated to do some things for himself like putting on his clothes, shoes and jacket. He is growing, learning and impressing me every day.

And as I said Ray is worth gushing about but I can’t even truly communicate how fantastic he is right now. He’s learning new words and getting more and more physically active and able. And he is utterly fascinated by the world and himself. He has started to talk in the third person – constantly calling himself by name. We get a lot of “No. Ray!” to let us know he wants to do things on his own. He jumps, leaps, smiles and giggles. He is truly infectious. It’s hard to think of my favorite things because there are so many. I love how he’s trying to count but it comes out as “one… one… one” with each one said in a slightly intonation. I love how when he hears a baby cries he automatically goes “Baby…. Ahhh.” I adore the way he chimes in enthusiastically to do whatever it is Noah is doing. I am awed by his love and dedication to drawing – he’s drawing really visually interesting patterns of circles and lines. I am overwhelmed at how cuddly, affectionate and fun he is – how adventurous, independent and physical he is. He really is something right now. I want to freeze him like this forever.

I’ve been trying to lose some weight that I put on over the holidays and unhelped by my foot fracture. I lost a few pounds that have me fitting more comfortably in my pants but now my weight seems to be unchanging though I’m still being pretty damn good. It’s frustrating. I’m hoping that with the warm weather will come more regular exercise. I have been embracing every warmer day with walks to the park and treks through the zoo. I am hoping to lose some more baby fat before getting pregnant again – of course with me I can’t be sure whether pregnancy attempts will last a few months or a year. I’d ideally like to get pregnant in July but making that a plan is nearly like planning to get a big scratch off win.

At the moment I am doing a lot of back and forth about summer plans. Last year I wasn’t thrilled with the summer program at Noah’s current school. It isn’t run by the same people and it really could be a lot better, but it wasn’t bad either and the price is right. Also I have no freaking clue what I would do with him every day all day now that we rely on school a few days a week. If I put him in the summer program at least that is three days I don’t have to entertain him for three hours. But the biggest question is Ray. One of the big pluses of the summer program is that I can start Ray and he and Noah would be in the same class. I feel like this would be a great way to make his first experiences there more comfortable. However I am also like thinking how can my baby be ready for school – Noah was nearly a year older than Ray when he started. I need advice. Do you think it would be a benefit for Ray to have his brother in his class when he has his first school experiences or should I just hold off until he is scheduled to start in the two year old class in September? HELP!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Patting my own planet poisoning back

My foot is finally feeling drastically better and thankfully we are back to our regularly hectic schedule of outings about town. Just the pain of the foot and the way it was limiting me was a large part of what was getting me down. I am certain the fracture at the base of my toe is fully healed but I still have some occasional discomfort in the ankle area of my foot at the site of the other fracture. Oh and still some issues with toe movement. I have a follow-up x-ray and appointment on Tuesday to come to some conclusion on full recuperation.

But anyway – we are out and about as usual. Bowling with Grandma on Saturday, Academy of Natural Sciences on Sunday, blasted snow day on Monday, Flower Show on Tuesday, and Please Touch Museum on Wednesday. Ahhh. That is the kind of busyness that I need.

I’ve been feeling a bit proud of myself lately. I feel like I have been making real progress in living a slightly greener life. I’ve drastically reduced the number of water bottles we use. I’ve switched to greener cleaning products and recycled paper towels and toiler paper. We joined the winter harvest club to get local produce during the winter and renewed our CSA registration for the warm months. And Mark is excellent at staying on top of the recycling. I understand noone is going to give me any damn medal. I still drive around town a bit too much. I still use unnecessary paper products. I don’t buy everything fair trade. And I use disposable diapers (Have to admit to world that I have no plan to change this.) But what I am proud of is that I am not only trying to be more conscious but more active. That makes me feel good. A couple of things I really want to do in the short term is buy more hand towels so I use less paper, get ready to container plant some veggies in the backyard and get a handle on composting. Any suggestions of other ways to green up that I might not be acting on?

I am thinking about food. A LOT. Been wanting to do another grocery post and hear other peoples ideas and menus. Part of this obsession is magnificed because I am on a diet, but the bigger part is because I am shopping, cooking and feeding these boys endlessly. I think it is a huge important component to my job. I want to make sure we are eating healthy and balanced. That the kids are getting 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables. That we are eating predominately fresh and I am minimizing the processed food and chemicals. But I am also a middle of the road girl. I don’t shop at Whole Foods because of the price and location. I buy a few things organic but mostly not. (I focus on local instead.) My kids are snack beasts and love Chex Mix and Goldfish above all else. And I should be a whole lot more creative in menu planning. But again – I try. The continuum of life can be so funny. I see myself as so middle of the road on these issues – as I have friends that are infinitely more practiced and disciplined than I. But some folks might see me as a bit extreme. Last weekend I gave the boys a lollipop and my Mom said to Noah “What kind of lollipop is that? Knowing your Mom it’s sweet potato.” (It was in fact an organic lemon lollipop made from real fruit juice that I got at Trader Joe’s. But sadly my kids still do get their fair share of plain old HFCS candy.)

Noah has become a social beast. In the last couple of months he has changed into a boy that would rather be playing with his friends than just hanging with Mama. I’m told this is a sign of four and I welcome it. It makes me feel excited for him to go to his new school in the Fall when he will be going M, T, W from 9 am – 3 pm. It will be a huge change for us both but I can now see that by then he will be totally ready.

I don’t have much new to say about Ray. He is growing up so fast and attaining skill and language at a mind boggling rate but it’s pretty steady and somehow becomes hard to comment on. He is amazing. He is adorable. He is hysterical. He makes me want to have ten more. Almost.

My Mom has scolded me for putting less stuff on the blog and more on Twitter and Facebook and I have to admit it is true. Twitter and FB are infinitely less time consuming then sitting here typing away trying to think what in hell I wanted to say. The only time I really get to do this is on Friday when Noah is at school and Ray is napping but it eats up my only chances at free time. But the main advantage of the blog is that it is more of a memoir. I look at old entries to remember what Noah was like at Ray’s age and I won’t be able to do that if I don’t start getting some stuff up here. I’m thinking I might start doing a Twitter Redux post where at the end of each month I post all the tweets I will want to remember – funny things the kids said and did.

I am also way behind on commenting on other folks blogs. I read everything on my phone. But because of word verification and sign ins it is near impossible to comment from there. I mean to go on computer and back-comment on already read posts but I can never find the time.

Sorry this post was so damn boring. I should be posting fun boy stuff but I’m at a loss a the moment. But at least there is pictures.

Bowling, Big Dig, The Arctic

Snow day, Fort Day, Flower Show