Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stair Climber!

Up she went, Baby E.  Proud as proud can be, grinning baby-teeths the whole way.  Then excitedly reaching the top of the stairs, headed to the playroom finding Miss Monkey already in state of play.

I remember when the elder one started stair climbing, I was struck by the sudden quiet of downstairs in Maui house.  When I looked for her she was no where to be found.  I heard something upstairs, and there I found her, plumply plopped playing as if it was nothing new at all.  I went straight away to get baby-gates, then when The Man arrived home that evening we both were proud to show off (mini)Monkey's new skill.  So, for fun, I dug up F's vid.


When E wakes from nap, we'll get a vid of her as well.   Proud Momma *sigh*.  Babies aren't babies for long.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make a Different Dinner

Precious few moments of real time alone because they both happen to be asleep---OMG---at the same time!  I find myself in a small panic trying to prioritize what needs to get done, and yes of course I head to the interwebz.  And here's why:

Last night, dinner was cheap kit chili, easy, fast.  When asked by the elder of the two, "What is for dinner?" I answered "chili, with corn tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese."  She starts caterwauling, pleading for something different.  In our house the kitchen is not a restaurant, we eat what I cook, I cook what is available and healthy.  Sometimes there is occasion for chicken nuggets, hot dogs, or fish sticks, but not every night.

Oh, but wait! When said chili morphs into NACHOS, she excitedly eats her plateful.  Same items for dinner, simple change of presentation.  Make it fun and they will eat it.  Simple snack of cheese & apple, turns into alien looking spidery creatures, and she's happy to clear that plate as well.  Stellar!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Atomic Tantrum

There are tantrums, and then there are TANTRUMS.  The Atomic Tantrum, the tantrum from which there is no return. When one has "gone off the deep end" or "gone around the bend", and Miss Monkey has done this on several occasions.  Of recent memory there have been massive explosions of emotion in the grocery store for nearly an entire shopping trip, big slamming of doors, and stomping of feet, blood curdling screams that would 'cause even the most stoic person pause.  God bless the dramatics of Little Girls.

Visions of her making horrid noises, mean faces at people, trapped in the grocery cart as she was, caterwauling up a storm, interspersed with my comments of "Oh it's too bad you're having a hard time" & "I love you....I imagine you're feeling sad and mad" then walking nearby to shop.  At one point I parked the cart near the flowers ("here sweeheart, you'll have something pretty to look at while you scream") and went on with my produce selection, a kind woman commiserated with me that her daughter was the same when she was little. 

Miss Monkey had friends over to visit, it was a long fun day, everyone was doing welll with each other.
At first glance the initial tantrum was simple, and short lived, something to do with sharing balloons, that almost cascaded into her friends, all mitigated with a good snack.  Hunger is a catalyst after all.
The Follow-Up, she went Atomic kicking at me flailing aggressively, threw a boot at me and a wooden rattle as a second choice to her toy laptop.  Image etched in my memory of her red-faced fuming, fists clenched glaring holes through me 'cause I wouldn't let her have First Choice of chocolate chip cookie before our guests.

This is embarrassing to be sure, and acceptance is best in a situation where I know I'm not responsible for another's behavior.  Think about it, I can't control another person unless I stoop to devious methods, even children.  I know I have my hard days, and so does Miss Monkey.  At my best I'm pretty empathetic, at my worst I don't care what you're feeling just stuff it and get on with life.

Love & Logic workshop The Man and I recently took was an immense help, yeilding up many more tools to use, most especially the verbiage we really needed.  Take care of myself first, saying what I'm willing to do, rather than barking orders.  Offering choices, even silly seemingly mundane choices, helps to maintain control on my terms, rather than constant power struggles.  Let empathy and consequences teach the lesson (rather than monologuing, or forcing the lesson on them).  For example, her newly acquired allowance will now be relegated to paying for damage she did to her door during the two most recent displays of temper .  Once more, she knows it, she's accepted it, and is moving on.  Ah, the resilience of little people.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rooms Around

I moved the rooms around.  Now there is a sleeping room for the girls, and a playing/craft/soon-to-be education room.  Miss Monkey is adjusting all right with Baby E waking periodically in the night.  A few recent nights due to stuffy nose.  Other nights, however, it seems baby simply wants to know that we're still around, cuddling her momentarily (not removing her from crib) and she heads back to sleep.  As she's not on a schedule yet, I'm still not getting training in as I would like.  Doing what I can when I can means squeezing in runs, and yoga.  Finally a replacement swimsuit! So, a bit of swimming whenever plausible.  Timing naps with Baby E means I haven't been to the gym in a looong while.  Then passing around another bout of illness, and workouts get pushed back over and over.  Excuses? not really. Re-prioritizing, is my term.  I realized I was becoming too stressed trying hard to get a workout in at all, defeating the therapeutic effect.  So, I'm giving over to care of the baby until she's at a place where it'll be easier to get it in.  Might mean I'll pass up early season races, but come fall I'll be ready to go for sure. 

I had really been feeling as if I had to prepare for battle every day with Miss Monkey The Terrible.  I was really beginning to get into a power struggle over almost everything, and I felt as if I was operating withing a spiritual-mothering deficit. Little patience, no compassion, no energy for empathy.  I was slowly slipping into a "do it or else" mode of parenting.  And that is never how I set out to do this mommin'.  So, The Man and I took a Love & Logic parenting class, and may I simply say WOW.  Much has changed in the past 3 weeks that I've been using my newly acquired tools, there is less yelling, definitely less tantrumming (on both sides), and the theatrical crying we witnessed last night just didn't have the same 'oomph' that it normally does.  Thank Goodness!

F has started her ballet class, and continues into Level 1 gymnastics.  She apparently imagined ballet somewhat different than the reality, and expressed some disappointment around that.  We'll keep going and see what happens though.  When youth ministry teachers see me at Mile Hi they might quip, "Oh, you're Sparkle's mom!" Yes, that's our famous Dragon Warrior Princess Sparkle, and her brothers, all of them led by Luke Skywalker.

E is eating more solid foods, still nurses 3-4 times daily, drinks from a cup if offered, pulls up on everything creeping along, just beginning to attempt standing alone, loves pushing things around looking so proud practice-walking, and shakes her crib in anguish if we leave her up there foolishly thinking she'll go to sleep.

We are getting set to start homeschooling, and a visit to grandparents in Texas post-birthdays.  Keep marvelously moving freely forward, in great gratitude always.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Any job

"If you could do any job, what would you like to do?" from the writer's jar.

I don't know. 
But I do know, I know there are things that I would like to do, than some vague fear of success keeps me from fulfilling. 

That's right I said fear of success.  Because with success come responsibility of maintaining that heart-felt dream.  Exposure.  Vulnerability.
So, let us call them dreams.
  • playing clarinet again
  • teaching yoga, owning a studio
  • empowering women to seek their strength in childbirth and mothering
  • owning a family style ice cream & coffee shop
  • sewing whenever I feel the urge to create
  • making big metal art, and stop motion animation paper art
  • sailing on the big deep blue ocean, swimming out there too
  • being a compassionate, empathetic mother
  • peace & ease with holistic education of my children
That's all that occurs to me right now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One question

Writing exercise from the jar: "If you could ask god any one question what would it be?"
Why does it have to be so hard?  rather why do we make it so hard?
Why do we think we don't know the answers?
Why are we all so afraid?  then why do we think we are supposed to be afraid?
Why is life so beautiful and yet we fail to see the precious moments of existence that we are given to grow beyond this mortal existence?

Why every time I start to write something, the baby cries?  : )

The jar of writing exercise questions was a gift from Melissa Kline, and I'm trying them out here and there, now and again.