Sunday, November 30, 2008

rowan has started pretending already! his favorite thing to do these last couple of days is go over to the play kitchen, get a bowl or a cup, put it in micah's play microwave for a few seconds, then bring it to me. he also stirs things in bowls, and pretends to pour liquids from one bowl to another. yesterday, josh saw him down on the floor driving his little hot wheels. : )

i think he's trying out a few words, too. we keep half-hearing him say things... but no one is sure. he's being sneaky about it. last night at my grandmother's house, we all heard him say "mama" but he hasn't said it since. and micah and i heard him say "i don't know!" but no one believes us. just last week, he said "cotton"... oh, and when he tastes something he doesn't like, he says "blech" with lots of gusto and spittle.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

we went to the huge half-price books on northwest hwy today to see santa clause. it went so well! micah is usually not down for this kind of thing, and she was shy at first... she wanted to wait for her friend isaac before she would sit with santa. but in the end i got her to sit with her brother, and was able to get this cuuuuute picture. : ) he was a cool santa, too, he wasn't too overbearing or obnoxious with the kids. he let out with a big, jolly "ho, ho, ho!" for the older kids, and was very calm and sweet with the littles ones. some people just know how to be with kids!

Friday, November 28, 2008

thank you, for everything

thank you for mama and daddy. i can't even say anything else, just... thank you.
thank you for my soul mate husband, and for his absolutely unconditional love.
thank you for my soul mate children - for micah and her fire, for rowan and his earth.
thank you for naomi and her unwavering sense of self.
thank you for caleb and his uninterrupted enjoyment of life.
thank you for maya and her rainbows.
thank you for sweepie's angelic selflessness and grandmommy's purity of faith.
thank you for sheridan's sweeping eloquence and jo ann's fierce loyalty.

thank you for an old best friend who dropped everything and rushed to my side when i needed her at a moment's notice, and without a moment's hesitation.
thank you for a new best friend who holds and loves my children as if they were her own.

thank you for everything.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

i considered letting my dad and stepmom surprise micah today by taking her to see "bolt" at the movie theater, but i know micah well enough to know that it would've upset her. so we told her all about it last night, and talked about it some more this morning when she woke up. she said she wanted to see the movie, but she wanted " a grown-up from her family" to go with her. so josh was her movie date. :) it went okay. a couple of parts upset her, and she really wanted candy and a soda from the concession counter. josh appeased her with some sour candies out of a vending machine. she actually ended up sitting through the whole movie, which surprised me. i was sure she'd make it halfway, then get restless and want to leave.

while josh and micah were out, rowan and i joined my mom, my youngest sister, my grandparents, my aunt and my cousins for lunch at el fenix in plano. rowan and i shared bean and cheese nachos and a sweet tea. after lunch, we went to my grandparents' house and reminisced about the founding families of richardson (some of which are my relatives) and vintage members of our church. sadly, my grandmother told me the brother of a boy i grew up with at church comitted suicide earlier this week. this will be such a difficult holiday season for his family.

tomorrow will be fun and busy. breaskfast at daddy's at 9:30, lunch at grandmommy & sweepie's (mama's parents - i could not pronounce 'sweetie' as a child, and that is all my grandmother ever called my grandfather, so i thought that was his name) at 1:00, dinner at jo ann & sheridan's (daddy's parents - we've always called them by their first names) at 5:00.

i hope everyone who is traveling right now arrives at their destinations safely!
we're back home now...

we've been at my sister-in-law's house in mckinney since sunday, taking care of her four children while she and her husband went to san francisco, california to check out a potential job relocation opportunity. the new workplace was none too enticing, so they'll most likely be staying in texas. i'm sorry it didn't work out for them, but happy micah and rowan's cousins won't be moving so far away! i've already had a sister live in california, and it is hard with so much land between you. i'm sure josh would miss his sister and her kiddos if they moved. they're great kids, we had a fun time staying with them. micah and rowan played nonstop, and rowan hardly napped while we were there, which was frustrating. he's turning into something of a light sleeper, during the day at least. he still sleeps all night long, ten to twelve hours. he has a runny nose now, and i'm hoping it doesn't turn into a bad cold. i thought we were done with runny noses, grrrrrr!

while at my sister-in-law's, we ate spaghetti with meat sauce (josh made that), pancakes, farfalle pasta with chicken sauteed with garlic and herbs (i made that) with broccoli and applesauce on the side, fried cod with french fries, and pepperoni & sausage pizza. yummm!

this morning we went to our la leche league toddler meeting. it was a very small turnout, probably because many families are traveling or busy preparing for the upcoming holiday. after the short meeting, we adjourned to the playground downstairs. micah wanted to swing the whole time, but rowan wanted to play with the ride-on cars and stuff on the other side of the playground, so i had a hard time keeping up with both kids. micah did not want to leave when it was time to go, but i got her into the car without a major fit. it helped that everyone else was leaving too; it's always easier when we make a mass exodus.

tomorrow morning is storytime at the garland library, but i'm not sure that we'll go. rowan's nose is runny, and my throat is a little sore. i feel run down. but who knows, we may be feeling up to it in the morning... i'm going to listen to my instincts, and cancel if we need to.

tomorrow, also, my dad and stepmom are supposed to pick micah up around 1:30 pm to take her to a movie - something about dogs, with john travolta doing one of the main voices? anyway, i told micah about it in the car earlier, and she wants me to go too. i don't want to go, and i think my stepmom is really excited about taking micah to this movie. maybe micah will relax tomorrow and go with them, and enjoy her first movie theater experience. or maybe she'll go, and want to leave halfway through the movie, and have a meltdown when she realizes i'm not there to take her home. hmmm... i don't know what to do. we'll see what happens! she is so independent in so many ways, but really does not like to go places without me, even if it's just running an errand with josh. before rowan was born, when i was working on the weekends, she was totally fine waking up at home with her daddy. and when i spent those two or three nights in the hospital with rowan, she did fine here at home, even going to bed without me. because she really had no other option. but if the option to stay or go with me is available, that's what she wants. i really have no problem with this, and i think it's completely natural... but i do wish sometimes that separating from her was easier. i don't really have a need to that often, but when i do, it causes a lot of stress and anxiety for both of us. i know that if i meet her need for closeness, the need will eventually go away, and if i push her to separate from me more often and against her will, it will not have the desired affect, but will increase her need for me. i know that, it's just... frustrating, sometimes. she is a spirited child, and i think spirited children experience more anxiety and worry, because they're so perceptive. they pick up on everything. rowan seems so much more laid back...

what am i doing on the computer at 5 am?! i should be sleeping.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

micah moon

here are some beautiful pictures i took of micah. they're harder to come by than good shots of rowan, because micah, much like her daddy, does not enjoy having her picture taken : )


i feel like blogging about food today.

my neat grocery store find: musselman's totally fruit applesauce cups, sweetened with fruit juice concentrate instead of high fructose corn syrup! i bought the strawberry and peach flavors. they were inexpensive, too: $1.62 for four cups. the ingredients are apples, apple concentrate, strawberry puree (or peach puree), water, natural color and flavor, and vit C.

i found a new thing i like at wendy's: the chicken club sandwich, but i order it without swiss cheese, because i loathe swiss cheese. i think i like it because it's remotely reminiscent of the turkey club at JG's (emphases on remotely, mama), and i can get it through a drive-through. and last night at fuddruckers (can't say that without grinning), i had their chicken club without swiss. it was so yummy!!

friday morning, the kids and i ate scrambled eggs and red kidney beans for breakfast. weird! but tasty. red kidney beans are so flavorful... we didn't put anything on them, we just ate 'em straight out of the can.

my favorite thing to drink lately is 100% juice concentrates mixed with four cans of filtered water instead of the recommended three. it makes more juice, and it makes the juice less sweet and more refreshing and thirst-quenching. i prefer for the kids to drink it this way, too. yesterday, i bought pomegranate cherry, pomegranate blueberry, and apple cherry. i love cherry anything. the pomegranate juices are usually on the expensive side, but today they were on special, two for $4.

i'm going to make a butter cake for an upcoming holiday potluck brunch. butter cake, i know, it sounds weird, but my stepmom made it last week and it is RIGHTEOUS. i can't wait. i hope mine turns out as yummy as hers did.

Friday, November 21, 2008

random household items my kids can entertain themselves with for hours:

cell phone chargers
empty 12pk soda boxes
empty toilet paper rolls
my hairbrush
clothes hangers
measuring cups
plastic cup lids
magazines and catalogs

Thursday, November 20, 2008

on tuesday, the kids and i went to the dallas zoo with our friends. it was a little breezy, but the sun kept us warm. we got to pet the stingrays; i was so surprised by how they felt! they are super smooth and silky. micah got to touch two of them. she was apprehensive at first, but the handler held some shrimp at the surface of the water so the stingrays would swim up close, and she stuck her little hand down in there and petted them. she was so thrilled! if you want to check out the stingrays, you better hurry - the attraction ends november 30th! we were there around 10:45 am, and we were the only ones in the stingray pavilion. we got a personalized lecture about the different stingray species, what they eat, etc. i didn't get any pictures of the kids petting the rays (but we're going again on saturday, i will definitely remedy this...), but i did get some cute pictures of micah and her friends checking out the penguins and playing on the rocks:

here's micah with her best bud, isaac

and here's what micah did as soon as we got home on tuesday :)

yesterday morning, we joined our friends again at the south garland branch library for the preschool storytime. this program is so much fun! first of all, the room where the kids meet is great; there is only one door in and out, so it's easy to keep the kids contained, and the wall outside the room is made to look like a little village. it's adorable. the program begins with a couple of songs, then two books are read. after the reading, a big, nylon parachute is brought out and the kids gather around it in a circle and each take hold of the edge. they sing songs, walk in a circle, and some air-filled balls are tossed in the middle of the parachute for the kids to pop and shake around. then they sing the goodbye song, and everyone heads to the craft tables. the craft usually relates in some way to the stories that were read. for example, yesterday the stories had to do with putting on clothes, zipping zippers, buttoning buttons, etc., so the kids got to glue little buttons and other decorations to a paper picture frame! i love the crafts in this program, because they are simple and use inexpensive materials. they'd be so easy to duplicate at home. i don't think of things like this on my own, so it's nice to have some inspiration! micah is really into stuff like this lately, anything she can make herself and use is very intriguing.

and now it's time to go wake micah up from her nap. i'm hoping to gradually change our waking and bedtime schedule so that the kids are both asleep by 9 pm, and josh and i can have some time together! i could also use the time to clean the kitchen, scoop the litter box, and a number of other chores that i can't seem to get done while they're awake.

Monday, November 17, 2008

rowan has discovered how to take off his own diaper. no more letting him run around with no clothes on, i guess... last night i was on the computer and didn't know he had taken it off, and suddenly micah and josh ran into the playroom holding their noses and yelling, "rowan pooped on the floor!" hehe, poop is only cute and funny when it's your kids' poop. : ) i rushed rowan to the tub while josh cleaned up the floor. i wish we had hardwood floors instead of carpet...

my kids are very naked lately, come to think of it. we went to a restaurant for dinner last night, and promptly upon sitting down in our booth micah grabbed one of those squeeze-bottles of spicy bbq sauce and squirted it all over her shirt and pants. she said the sauce was burning her skin through her clothes (which i believe, because the stuff was making my eyes burn like crazy), so we took off her shirt. hey, she's three, and there's only a short time in one's life when one can be half naked in a restaurant. why not take advantage of it?

it is such a beautiful day today, we have to get outside... i think a trip to the park is definitely in order...

micah's favorite movie to watch lately is tim burton's the nightmare before christmas. she loves all the songs now, it's so cute the way she sings them. she never gets the lyrics quite right, so it comes out something like this:

this is halloween, halloween
pumpkins scream at night
jack the pumpkin king, a very special guy... everybody scream
halloween, halloween, halloween...

it reminds me of when my sister naomi and i were young and we loved that movie, and we would sit in front of the tv, i with a pad and pencil and she with her finger poised on the VCR buttons. she would hit play then pause, play then pause over and over, letting little bits of the movie play at a time, and i would hurriedly write down the words to the songs so we could memorize them. this was before we could just get on the internet and print off the lyrics!

Friday, November 14, 2008

writing this post made me hungry, even though i just ate...

josh came home a day early!! yeah! micah and rowan were glued to his side for the first hour. then they let him change clothes, and we went out for a late supper at the string bean, a family-owned home cookin' restaurant in dallas. i am one of those people who orders the same thing every place i go, so i surprised myself and our waitress (an old family friend - 'old' as in she's been a family friend for a long time) by ordering something completely different. i had smoked sausage and onion quiche and a cup of black bean soup. now, if i had deviated from my norm and been disappointed, it would've ruined my mood for the whole evening. sadly, i'm not exaggerating that much. but that wasn't the case; the quiche was delicious, the soup rocked, and my tummy is happy. the kids ate well, too; micah had a corny dog and mac & cheese, and rowan ate some of her mac, some of her corny dog sans corny, some spinach and some mashed taters. rowan is such a good eater right now, and micah's going through a bit of a sparse-eating phase, so i was happy that she ate so much. oh, and rowan is drinking through a straw now, and at dinner he finished a whole 6 oz. cup of water by himself. this may not be unusual, but i'm accustomed to micah's drinking habits, which are to take one tiny sip of beverage for every nine or ten bites of food, and to go hours without drinking anything at all, despite my shoving cups of water or milk or juice in her face all the time!

we had the best day yesterday! we went over to one of my best friends' house in the late morning for a la leche league meeting, then stuck around to play and eat lunch afterwards. her kids and mine are close in age and are best buds, so we took them all down to a playground near her house and let them run wild. got lots of cute pictures. after the park, we all went to a BBQ place in dallas for dinner and more fun! it's so very nice to spend time with families who have similar parenting styles, and with whom i have so much in common!

this afternoon we were supposed to join another close friend and her kiddos for a playdate at a park in lewisville, but darn it, m & r still have drippy noses... they are at the tail-end of their colds, and it was windy and chilly out today, so i chose not to get them out in the elements and expose them to other kids. (again, i am learning... it is not the end of the world to cancel your plans if the kids aren't up to it. hannah is growing up.)

hannah is also very, very...very happy to have husband back home.

and because i loooove making lists, here are my usual orders at restaurants around town:

JG's: turkey bacon club sandwich and sweet tea
chick-fil-a: chicken sandwich no pickle, fries, sweet tea
jack-in-the-box: chicken sandwich, mozzarella sticks, fries, root beer
corner bakery: DC chicken salad sandwich and a dr. pepper
red hot & blue: pulled chicken platter w/ hush puppies and cole slaw, dr. pepper
the string bean (until tonight): chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and corn, sweet tea
any chinese food place: sesame chicken with fried rice
highland park cafeteria: brisket, sweet potatoes, okra, sweet tea
chili's: black bean burger, steamed veggies, dr. pepper
cosmic cup (i know it's cosmic cafe now, but i hate change): nan and hummus,herban renewal, mango lassi
cafe brazil: black bean, mozzarella & spinach crepes, dr. pepper
amigos: mexican lasagna and root beer
kebab n' kurry: navrattan korma, nan, dr. pepper

that's all i can think of right now... pictures of our fun day yesterday to come.

micah has been very in tune with the sacred feminine lately. she has been playing midwife these past few days. she brings a doll to show me, and says, "this is a pregnant mama. she's about to have her baby." then she settles the mama doll on our bed and pushes on the doll's belly, tellling me, "i am helping her push her baby out!" she holds the doll's legs up and squeals with excitement, "there's the head, can you see the head mama?!" when the baby is born, micah cradles the mama doll in her arms and whispers, "you did so good, you did so good..."

last night on our walk, i pointed to the full moon and said, "hey micah, there's mr. moon in the sky!" she thought for a moment, then told me, "mama, that's a 'her' moon."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

and rock-a-bye, sweet baby micah...

wow. bedtime was hell tonight. it's nights like these that make my inner voice say, "i am doing something very, very wrong..." but i know i'm not, there are just rough nights and smooth nights.

micah fell asleep at 7:45 pm on the living room floor, watching the nightmare before christmas. "perfect," i said. i nursed rowan to sleep in bed, then went to get micah and put her in her bed. she woke up. and threw a fit. not just any fit, mind you, a kicking, screaming, bawling fit. amazingly, her brother slept through all the noise. micah was upset because she did not want to go to sleep. i held her and reassured her that it was time to go to sleep, that we needed to get a full night's rest because we have such a fun, busy day tomorrow. usually talking with her about our plans for the following day helps her to calm down... but not tonight. it just enraged her further. so i got in bed with her and tried to nurse her. she screamed more. i tried walking around with her - nope. it took about an hour, but i finally got her to go to sleep, lying down with her head on my chest and my arm pinned underneath her. i waited until i was sure she was sound asleep, then tried to shift her body off of mine and onto her bed (which, by the way, is a twin bed pushed up right against our queen bed). she woke up and started to cry again. i thought i might join her... but this time, she only protested for a few minutes, then drifted off to sleep. round three happened half an hour later while i was talking to josh on the phone, but again, only a minute or two of tears and she was back to sleep.

it's not always like this at bedtime. in fact, tonight was rare. usually, depending on whether or not she's had a nap, we get in bed somewhere between 8 pm and 11 pm (closer to 8 if she's skipped the nap, closer to 11 if she snoozed at all during the day). i put on a movie at a low volume, we nurse, rowan almost always dozes off first, and micah follows closely behind him. then i get up, take care of stuff around the house, read, or hang out with josh if he's still up. one or both of them will usually wake up an hour or so after falling asleep, so i go in there, help them back to sleep, and nine times out of ten i stay in there after that, either reading in bed with my little headlamp, or falling asleep myself.

micah has been telling me lately that she wants to sleep in her own bed, the one we have picked out for her from IKEA. we haven't bought it yet, she's just seen it and played in it at the store. she would like me to put it in the playroom, she says. i do want to buy it for her, because i know she'll have a blast playing in it and pretending to sleep in it. and who knows, maybe we'll move it into our bedroom and she can start out the night in it, at least. if she wants to.

josh will be home on monday - yeah!!! :)

rowan kyaio levi poole

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a light in the darkness

tonight we joined mama, wesley and maya for a lantern walk in the waldorf tradition, in honor of st. martin's day, or martinmas. st. martin was a roman soldier. on a bitterly cold day, as he was riding past the gates dressed in the regalia of his unit, he saw a freezing beggar with clothes so ragged he was practically naked. no one would stop to help this man. st. martin was overcome with compassion, so he took off his luxurious white mantle lined with lambswool and slashed it in two with his sword. he gave half to the beggar, who wrapped it around his trembling shoulders. st. martin dreamt that night that the beggar wore the face of christ, and st. martin was so moved by the vision that he abandoned his post in the roman army and was baptized into the christian church.

i hope that we never forget our responsibility to take care of and provide for those less fortunate than ourselves. next week a local children's home is picking up donations in our neighborhood, and we're going to donate clothes and toys.

may the spirit of giving burn bright within us all!

micah showing off her climbing skills

rowan enjoying the sunset

micah and i smoothing over a disagreement

josh and rowan chilling on the sidewalk

Monday, November 10, 2008

make it so

ahhh, what a wonderful day! i went to sleep last night happy and serene because i knew today was going to be fun, and it was. we slept late - 10:45 am. micah woke up in a great mood (rowan always wakes up in a great mood). i made french toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and a pot of coffee that was waaaaay too strong. :) it looked gloomy and cold outside, so we played in the playroom for hours. we played with dolls, pretended we were at school, read books, sang songs, and practiced letter recognition and sounding out words. turns out it wasn't cold out at all (looks can be deceiving), so at 3:30 pm we met my mom and little sister, maya, at JG's old fashioned hamburgers in dallas, near greenville ave. and LBJ. if you have never eaten here, you have to try it. my mom and i got our usual, the turkey bacon club sandwich, and micah and maya got grilled cheese sandwiches. rowan ate goldfish, some of micah's fries, and some of my sandwich - pre-chewed by me (you can say what you like, and i know we are not birds, but the kid has no molars, and he really wants whatever i eat!).

my sister maya is crazy about stickers (she'll be 5 years old in march), and when we get together she always brings a little batch of stickers for micah to play with. today's selection was foam paper-doll stickers: little naked foam people with little foam shirts, shorts, socks and hair to stick onto them. fun!!

on the way home from JG's my friend katherine called and wanted to hang out for a couple of hours before her dinner date. so we swung by home, picked her up, and took her with us on a couple of errands. we went to movie trading co. in plano to drop off two movies we'd rented, then we went to michael's arts & crafts to get some more of those cool stickers maya had introduced us to. they were on clearance, so we got two containers, one with more paper-dolls and one with animals. our dining room table is now densely populated by body-less, googly-eyed animals impaled on popsicle sticks, and naked foam people with no mouths. you're supposed to draw the mouths on with a pen. i guess the sticker manufacturers didn't want to impose a smile on children who may be feeling morose when dressing these foam people.

in the car with katherine on the way to movie trading co., we were talking more about letters and words. katherine's an english teacher, so she's all into this kind of stuff... we were saying words and asking micah if she knew which letter that word began with.

katherine: lion, l-l-lion... what letter does that start with?
micah: {silence}
me: does it start with the letter L? how about l-l-love, loooove. that starts with L too.
katherine: and leg, l-l-leg?
me: how about lacy lilting lilies losing love lamented? that starts with L.
micah: {pause} no it doesn't. you're drunk.

katherine and i proceeded to laugh ourselves into oblivion, and micah proceeded to use the word "drunk" to describe every single person she knows, hoping to get such a huge reaction again. :) (for those concerned about how my 3-year-old daughter may have come to learn the word "drunk", and how to use it in the proper context, we had just watched an episode of M*A*S*H in which hot lips accuses henry blake of being in that state.)

i was with micah and rowan today, mind, body and soul. what is really amazing to me, and what i continue to disregard on days when i try to hide myself away and then wonder why she is sooooo impossible... is that micah can feel the difference when i am %100 with her, and when i'm just going through the motions. she is so incredibly perceptive, and i feel this overwhelming sense that when she misbehaves, she is telling me loudly and clearly that she needs %100 of me. what's really reassuring is that i am fully capable of this, most days. as long as i have time to bathe myself, blog, read, and connect with josh... i can do this. i feel empowered by my own ability to change my thoughts, and my intentions.

a letter to myself

hey hannah,

today you weren't the kind of mama you want to be. you raised your voice a lot, you sat at the computer a lot, and you didn't pay attention. you are enjoying your laptop and your new internet service, and that's cool, but save that for at night when the kids are asleep. while they're awake, you need to cherish the time you have with them. you are so lucky to have a husband who works hard so you can stay at home with them. please don't waste that time doing things that don't matter, like watching M*A*S*H episodes you've seen a hundred times. please dig deep for your patience and your energy, and your imagination and your creativity. please don't spend your anger on messes that can be easily cleaned, broken rules that probably shouldn't have been made rules in the first place, or attitudes that you yourself are exemplifying. turn inward and hold yourself and your kids in that place where you know you want to be, where you are. josh is not here to give you a break, so be forgiving of yourself and take time at night (like you're doing right now) to rest and have fun. and plan your day so that there will be plenty of time for you at night. don't forget, you're in control of the schedule, so make it so. you need to make sure you take a shower tomorrow; don't forget. make yourself a pot of coffee in the morning, have fun with your kids, play outside, get them to bed early, and take care of yourself.

i love you. tomorrow will be better.


p.s. i just noticed the time stamp on your blog posts is wrong... wonder how to go about fixing that?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

the park was fun tonight. there were lots of kids micah's age for her to run around with, and rowan had a blast climbing up the steps and sliding down the tunnel slide over and over. the kids were dressed warmly, but i forgot to grab my sweater, and i was wearing my birks with no socks. i was a little chilly. the kids' colds are definitely going away. micah hasn't coughed all evening, and their mucus has gone from thick and green to thin and clear. sorry, i know that's gross, but... yay!

now rowan is napping. he naps every day between 1 and 2 pm, then again around 6 pm. usually each nap is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour long. that doesn't seem like a lot of sleep during the day to me, but i guess it's all he needs. he sleeps for 10 or 11 hours at night, usually only waking once, then nursing right back to sleep. his early nap today only lasted 10 minutes, so i'm expecting his evening one to be a little longer. which will mean he won't be ready to go down for the night until probably 10 or 11 pm. micah, on the other hand, hasn't napped today, and should be sleepy by 7:30 or 8 pm. she is just not an early riser. even when she falls asleep at 7:30 pm, she still sleeps until 9 or 10 am the next morning. i love it! if she does nap, however, even if it is a 10- or 15-min nap in the car in between errands... she absolutely will not go to sleep before midnight. i don't get it.

well, rowan napped no more than 20 minutes... and he is really cranky. at least he will go to sleep early tonight. i wonder if it's his bottom tooth bothering him, or if he's just tired of having a cold. i get so frustrated when he wakes up from his nap early like that, because i know if i got in bed with him and nursed him, he'd fall right back asleep. but i can't do that because micah won't be quiet and leave us alone. i love that she wants to be with her brother, but the minute she hears or sees him awake, she runs in and cuddles him, no matter what i say or do. i guess i need to try harder at occupying her with a video or something while he's asleep, so that if i need to run in there and help him fall back asleep, i can. it's hard having such a small home; micah and i have to play pretty quietly so as not to wake him up. it's also hard not having a bedrail or a crib-like apparatus. when rowan wakes up, he doesn't make a peep, he just starts rolling or crawling for the edge of the bed. he is still learning to turn himself around and go off the bed feet first, so sometimes if i don't make it into the bedroom in time, he takes a nose dive. it makes me edgy while he's asleep, so it's hard to get stuff done or enjoy time with micah. i can't wait until he's gotten the hang of getting down from the bed, then i'll be able to relax a little. i also can't wait until we can move into a bigger place, then i can shut the door to the kids' room where i'll have a bed set up for them to nap/sleep in, and buy a monitor.

i burned our dinner tonight. i was making this chicken fettuccine alfredo dish with bell peppers and mushrooms... and i burned it. damn. it was going to be yummy... luckily, my stepdad showed up minutes later with leftovers from babe's chicken house! yeah!

i am in a funk today. micah and i have had several squabbles ending with me yelling and her crying. the house is very messy and i am not motivated to clean or straighten at all. i haven't eaten well or often, and i've only gotten to talk to josh once, for just a few minutes. i think i'll call him right now, then go take a bubble bath with the kids and get in bed.


  • cute micah-ism: she says "sneak" instead of "peek", so when she's holding one of her babies all swaddled in a blanket, she comes up to me and says, "sneak inside, it's a beautiful newborn baby!"
  • every time i ask micah where something is today, she says "i ate it!" and giggles hysterically.
  • rowan says da-da, bah-bah, and oh-oh-oh, and an assortment of other sounds and noises... except mama.
  • when micah and i sing, rowan dances by wiggling his bum and waving his arms.
  • rowan will not let me read to micah. when i sit down with her to read, he starts to cry, rips the book out of my hands, and wants to nurse. i don't know why.
  • micah made up a song about caterpillars yesterday. here is an excerpt: "i'm proud of caterpillars, they know how to climb. they go here and there, they go up, they go down."
  • rowan's new nickname is "linebacker." he frequently gets a running start, stretches out his arms, and tackles us full on, usually while we are sitting on the floor, and usually resulting in a headbutt to the nose, chin or sternum.
  • rowan is magnetically attracted to anything plugged into the wall. lamps, the power cord for my laptop, our cell phone chargers, the nightlight in our bedroom, anything. i am amazed that he has not shocked himself yet.

it's a gorgeous day outside; we're going to stroll down to the park soon. micah's nose is running less today, and her cough is much better. rowan's nose seems to be needing fewer wipes, too. we're going to take an empty coffee container and two plastic shovels to play with. at the park, rowan loves the swing and the woodchips, and micah likes to climb the rope pyramid and the rock wall.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

bedtime is near. it's been something of a challenging evening... rowan has been on the fussy, clingy, won't-let-me-put-him-down side, and micah's doing the whiny, babytalk thing. and they both still have runny noses, and micah has a cough. sigh. i think it started out as allergies and is turning into a light cold for both of them. i'm glad i'm well; getting sick with josh out of town would be very un-fun.

today's taste test revealed that brown sugar & cinnamon mini bagels are absolutely delicious toasted with nutella, and a glass of ice cold milk.

belated kid news: micah and rowan saw the pediatrician last week for their 3- and 1-year checkups (a little late, i know), and also got their flu shots. micah weighs 27 lbs (50th percentile) and is 36" tall (25th percentile). rowan weighed in at 21 lbs (90th percentile) and is 31" tall (25th percentile). neither of them had any problems with the flu shot. they both cried when the needle went in, but were fine once they had the cool bandaids and the disney character stickers. micah deliberated for about 30 minutes, then finally chose the lower part of her pant leg where her sleeping beauty sticker wouldn't get bunched up or folded. rowan wadded his elmo sticker up and stuck it in his mouth. this was the first vaccine either of them has ever received. josh and i have decided to get them both fully vaccinated, and are going to start them on a slow but steady catch-up course. they'll get one shot at a time each, with 4 weeks in between. it'll take forever, but it's what we're comfortable with. luckily, our pediatrician's office is more than happy to work with this schedule, and is not put off in the slightest by all my concerns about mercury and aluminum content and other weird chemicals in vaccines.

yesterday was my grandfather's birthday, and we celebrated at my dad's house tonight with dinner and yummy lemon pound cake. micah and my foster brother, zach always have such a blast playing together.

staying home

we had plans this afternoon to meet a friend of mine at a park downtown and have a picnic lunch together, catch up while micah and rowan played on the playground. but my babes still have coughs and runny noses, so we had to cancel... something i am getting way better at doing. i handle disappointment and changes in plans very immaturely. i get my hopes up about doing something, go to sleep the night before thinking about it and planning on it. when i have to cancel, i tend to... throw a fit? how unattractive for a 26-year-old. i've been working really hard on this lately. when my kids are sick, or even tired, we stay home. when i'm sick and tired, we just stay at home. people understand; no one wants to be exposed to sickies, anyway.

i just fed micah and rowan some lunch: saltines, organic peanut butter and milk for micah ("i don't like cold peanut butter!"), and sliced turkey hot dog and organic green beans for rowan. rowan's lunch included a successful lesson in where to put his sippy cup when he's done drinking from it: in the little circular space on his booster seat tray! his sweet little face lit up when he put it there instead of throwing it on the floor, and micah and i cheered. micah gets so excited when rowan learns new things!

it is really disturbing to me how many tiny, tiny children play in the alley behind my duplex unsupervised. i swear, there are toddlers - i'm talking 2 or 3 years old, looked after by kids only in elementary school. in the alley, and in the street. i know parents can be viscously judgmental of other parents, and i strive not to be that "they obviously don't care about their kids" kind of mom, but... in the alley? really? that's akin to smoking while pregnant. you just have to be a flaming idiot. or an a**hole.

i'm feeling very snacky today. i haven't really eaten a meal yet, and it's 1:30 pm. i've had an oatmeal cookie, a pear, some string cheese, and a dr. pepper. i think i'll fix myself a sandwich here in a minute...

after several days of asking micah not to whine when asking for things, she just walked up to me and calmly said, "mommy, i would love it if you would hold me and nurse me right now." i couldn't pick her up fast enough.

rowan's party

we had a birthday party for rowan 2 weeks ago, and my mom took some beautiful photos... here they are. the last one is my favorite : )

Friday, November 7, 2008

a quiet house, time to blog

my babies are sleeping, and i finally have internet service at my house. sweet! this is fun.

first things first. my latest food obsession: pepperidge farm brown sugar & cinnamon mini bagels. they're good with butter, with cream cheese, plain and untoasted... and tomorrow, i'll find out whether they're any good with nutella. stay tuned.

rowan now has four teeth on top and two teeth on bottom. one more is breaking through on the bottom, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him, except he is a little restless at night. i never thought i'd be so happy that one of my children would take a pacifier.

my nighttime issues are way more about micah than rowan. she still wants to nurse to sleep and isn't interested in trying to fall asleep by any other method... last night marks the third time i've tried to initiate night-weaning with her. we'll see how it goes. i know i'm part of the problem; sometimes i really don't mind nursing her to sleep, and sometimes it drives me crazy. i need to be consistent! the other thing that's been going on with micah is her using sounds and noises and hand gestures instead of words. she has a huge vocabulary and can be very precise with her language when she wants to. but lately when something upsets or frustrates her - like when her brother smacks her or grabs from her, or when i do something for her that she wanted to do "by her own self" - she lets out with a loud, whiny "unnnnnhh!!" and kicks her feet or waves her arms. i have an instantaneous angry reaction to this... which doesn't help, but it really makes me furious for some reason. i wonder if it's got something to do with seeing and hearing rowan get a response from her dad and me when he uses sounds and hand gestures... and her just wanting to try it herself? i don't know. tonight i talked calmly with her about it and we came up with a phrase: "don't tell me with noises, tell me with words!" the next time she starts with the inane noise to get her point across, i'll try it and see how she responds. coming up with a solution together that way usually works well for us; she remembers what we decided, and is able to calm down and do what we talked about. sometimes it takes a few conversations for it to sink in, but we've been successful working things out this way in the past.

last night, on a lark, i decided to try to teach her how to write the letter M. she was able to do it several times; i was so excited! she also memorized our address (everything but the zip code) and repeated it back to me several times. this morning she was able to recall our house number and street name, and when i asked her to write an M she said she was too tired. : ) maybe i can homeschool her without destroying our relationship after all...

rowan has been practicing pointing at things. micah and i enjoy naming all the things he notices: the cat, the dog, the computer, the TV, the window, the bed, etc. and he has been so affectionate, with everyone! he hugs and kisses josh and me all the time, sometimes without being asked. the other night in the tub, he just wanted to lay in micah's arms. i really wish i had gotten a picture. and the day before yesterday one of my good friends was over at our house with her kids, and rowan kept toddling over to her and throwing his arms around her! : ) what a sweet, sweet boy.

oh, i went back and added some pictures of rowan in the hospital to my first post, "whirlwind", in case anyone would like to see them.

i miss josh!

my husband left earlier this week on a business trip, and i miss him. the first couple of days are always okay because the kids and i are settling into a routine without him, and some things are easier... like bedtime, because he's not here to get the kids riled up, or he's not sitting in the living room while i'm trying to nurse micah to sleep but she won't fall asleep because she knows her daddy's on the other side of that door and she hasn't gotten to play with him nearly as much as she'd like to today! mealtime also seems to be easier, because i'm the only one involved in the decision-making process. the kids will eat whatever i fix for them.

but bathtime is considerably harder. our usual routine is i get in the tub with both kids, and as soon as micah is clean she gets out. josh is usually there to towel her off and keep an eye on her while i bathe rowan. but when he's gone, i have to cajole micah into staying in the bathroom with rowan and me until we're ready to get out. bathing myself is also next to impossible. yesterday i brought a basket full of toys into the bathroom, but the toys barely held rowan's interest and i spent most of my shower picking them up out of the tub and rinsing the soap and shampoo off before handing them back to rowan so he could toss them in again.

i don't just miss josh because of the help he lends with the kids, though. i miss him because he's my best friend! i talk to him all day long; we call each other at least 3 or 4 times during the day, and we're usually together all evening, talking about our days and the kids and stuff we want to do and places we want to go. as cheesy as it sounds, i feel like a big piece of me is missing when he's gone like this, out of town.

he doesn't particularly enjoy having his picture taken, so this is the only one i have of him on my computer... i love his smile in this picture, though.

this is josh holding our daughter and the son of a close friend.

i hope he's having fun. he works with one of his best friends, and he's also good friends with his boss, so i bet he is having a good time. boy time. at least we get to talk more often this time. last time he left town, he was in a more rural area in texas and his cell phone was on roaming the whole time.

(the word 'time' is in this paragraph five times.)

i'm counting the days until he's home again. : )

Saturday, November 1, 2008

trick-or-treating is for the young-at-heart

trick-or-treating was so fun and nostalgic for me! my dad and i reminisced about childhood halloweens while micah and zach, my foster brother, ran up and down the front walks of spooky house after spooky house, giggling and counting candy. we remembered one year when it was so cold we had to wear heavy coats over our costumes – what a drag! i don’t think my mom ever got out of the van that night, as we drove around to different neighborhoods, looking for the best houses. and one year not too long ago, my dad put up some stellar spooky decorations on his front porch, including a 15-foot-tall cloaked, bug-headed monster… and not one trick-or-treater showed up all night long. he was so disappointed.

today i went to a baby shower for one of my closest friends, jessica. she’s having a baby boy in january. baby showers are so exciting! she got tons of great stuff, some fun and some functional. josh took micah and rowan to see his grandmother in rowlett, so i got to spend the afternoon mingling and snacking and visiting with my friends! it was so much fun!

i'll post pictures of the kids in their costumes soon...