Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Boy's boy

When I first became a mom, when moms of boys would talk and talk about how their boys were so "boyish", I didn't believe them. I thought they were being highly overdramatic and, in fact, perhaps using it as an excuse for why their boys were so "active" and unable to follow rules during playdates. Rules like, "No climbing on coffee tables." To all those moms who I ever mentally judged, I am issuing a sincere, public apology.

Currently, Sawyer's favorite activities are: 1. Pulling up a stool to the bay window, climbing up, and running back and forth from side to side of window; and 2. Climbing up on the coffee table and dancing as if he's at a college bar, often, while naked or pantsless. Does redirection work? No. Does hiding the stools work? No, he'll just find something much more dangerous to use as a stool.
When these moms also talked about how their boys were obsessed with balls, trains, trucks, cars, and anything that moves, I mentally rolled my eyes. Why were these moms playing into gender stereotyping?? Surely, the boys weren't actually like that, they probably were just never exposed to anything besides balls and trucks, Right? Here, in the land of pink, babies, strollers, and dress-up clothes, Sawyer would surely not turn into a caveman boy - "Me like trucks, me roll ball, I am man." Again, I stand corrected. Case in point:

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Sorry again, Moms of Boys. I was inconsiderate, and I apologize. I now see the error of my ways. Next time we see each other at the park, I'll give the boys a ball and you can enlighten me on things I have yet to experience like fart (ugh, I can even say the word) noises and poop jokes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Springtime Favorites

Gardening in our newly-created Square Foot Garden


Regular hiking in our favorite hiking spot...three kids running down the trail this year!
Exploring the creek
Finding the best throwing rocks
Uncovering secret houses
Spring is here!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby Down!

Attention Sawyer: If you do not want to have "Baby Down"... do not repeatedly throw it out of your crib!

Night #2 of sitting in his room and saying "nigh-night" every few minutes while I do my computer work. I'm doing the fade-out technique that worked with the girls when they've had various extreme sleeping fears over the years. That way I know that he can see me and is not sitting back in his room screaming because he's legitimately feeling scared that a tree trimmer is going to bust through his wall at any moment, and a parent is nowhere to be found.

However, Mr. 18-Month-Old Boss of the World is none too happy that Mom is not rocking him to sleep. And he's been letting me know about it...loudly. The blanket and baby and pillow are now on the ground as I've grown tired of picking them up, and he's grown tired of throwing them at me in defiance.

He's finally lying down, but putting his head up every few moments to baby bark at me, confirming his disapproval of my decision. I think I few more tired utterances of "Mommy", and this bedtime dance will be complete.

Wish me better luck tomorrow!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog Daily - 10 minutes

That is going to be my new strategy. I started blogging as a sort of digital scrapbook so that I remember the happenings of our family life (since many days run into one another and sometimes I forgot what month it is). But not blogging for four months doesn't really serve that purpose! So, new rules. 1o minutes, talking about whatever it is that is floating on the the thought cloud at the moment.

Lately, it seems like the kids are simultaneously so needy that I feel like I have a newborn in the house again. Reiley is having some separation anxiety issues, I think from a recent death in our family and the resulting dreams she's been having frequently of me leaving to go to a meeting, and then never returning because I have died. Dropping her off at school has become a trying ordeal, and evening meetings or date nights are rough too. I'm trying to be empathic, while also trying to let her know that the world is a safe place and that he can trust others (her teachers, grandparents, etc.) to help her in my absence. I don't know if I'm striking the right balance, and it's tough. Meanwhile, my once-champion sleeper Sawyer has entered his own phase of separation anxiety. Last week some tree trimmers interrupted his nap with loud sawing and thumping on the house, which has resulted in extreme fear of his crib. I'm sitting in a chair in his room right now so that he can see me, but feel like his crib is still an OK place to be. Similarly, I feel sorry for him and am trying to be present to help him over this fear, but simultaneously kind of resent him for cutting in on my free time (which, come on, it's not like it's "me" time...it's weekly scheduling and meal planning...not a pedicure).

I'm trying to keep in mind that these seemingly looooooonnnnnggggg periods of intensity and neediness are really just a moment in our lives together. I know they'll each find new coping skills and get past their current woes, and I hope that I can tip the scales toward being a "steadfast support" rather than "raging crazy woman".

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Glimmer

There are those moments that will pass us by unless we are truly present. Little glimmers that get covered by the whirls of busy days. Today, I caught one.

We've been cooped up in the house all week due to Reiley's strep-like infection. The days have involved much of the usual rhythm: eating, laundry, playing, cleaning, eating, napping, playing, eating; but have lacked some of the most vital aspects for me - regular outside time and getting away from my house. I'm more than a little stir-crazy and am missing some of my spunk. Meanwhile, Sawyer is full of I'm-going-to-walk-any-day mania. He's cruises round and round the table until he's exhausted; he flops around on beds, throwing off all of the pillows; diaper changes are medieval torture. Add to the mania a sick, screaming child and her less-than-stellar napping sister, and any spunk or even friendliness I might have is disappearing.

So when Sawyer was eyeing our premier learning-to-walk toy (our beaten-up, well-loved stroller), I wanted to hide it in the closet. I just didn't have the energy to make the dozens of circles my near-walkers demand of me while I ensure that while pushing the stroller, they don't body slam the hard wood when their feet slip out from under them. However, my mama guilt from days of neglecting Sawyer due to Reiley's sickness pulled me from my jobs and over to the stroller. He pulled himself up and started pushing. I was behind him, steadying the stroller, and he started saying "vroom, vroom", then stopping and doing his baby booty dance in celebration. He started pushing again and then looked straight up at my face above him. He smiled this incredible smile, and his eyes twinkled: Can you believe what I'm doing??? I'm doing it!

A moment almost lost. Rather than giving myself the typical guilt trip where I obsess over what other moments I must be missing other days, I stopped the judgment. Inevitably, moments are going to be lost because of various circumstances. I can't try to keep score about which children's moments I keep up with, and which children are going to grow up and hate me. I chose to be grateful for the little glimmer of happiness Sawyer and I shared today, and be thankful for motherhood and the everyday blessings it brings.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sick Day

Reiley has been down and out for the third day with a "much like strep but not strep" virus. The doctor took one look at her throat yesterday and said Oh my God, if I were a betting woman, I'd say this was strep. But, no, some unidentifiable painful virus is apparently what we have. I think she was pretty close to dehydration yesterday because she has been refusing to eat and drink because of the pain. Luckily, she made a turnaround overnight and is still hesitant to eat, but willing to play with Ainsley, and actually stayed awake all the way until 3:00. Progress! I'm hoping she can be back to school by Friday.

While we've been held captive in the house by sickness, we've been trying to have some fun. Here are Ainsley and Sawyer giving Reiley and I a concert.

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