Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It's your party and I'll cry if I want to

It was Ernesto's birthday today and the kids and I were busy getting a little family party in order before he made it home from work. Okay, I was busy getting things together and trying to find ways to either involve or divert David and Sofi while I worked. We spent the early part of the morning wrapping his presents and I didn't bother trying to keep the Scotch tape from the kids because they were having a ball taking really long pieces of it and wrapping them around the packages several times. If you don't already know this, tape is a great source of distraction for any child that can't/won't sit still. This is why we are always out of tape at our house. And even if I don't give it to David or Sofia to use for a project, they inevitably find it because mommy is not good at hiding things.

I decided to make a "fancy" dinner and for me that means something that involves following a recipe of some kind. I brought the kids to the store to get some ingredients for a particular sauce that was going to serve as both a marinade and au jus for a meat dish I was making. I felt pretty cool asking the butcher for advice on different cuts of meat and wandering around the market picking up all my fancy ingredients. People must have thought I was some young, impressive personal chef to a famous family vacationing in the Green Mountains. That is if it weren't for the two naughty little monkeys pulling one another's hair from inside the little seats of the bright blue and yellow bumper car-converted shopping cart I was pushing around Hannaford's. It's really hard to look cool maneuvering that through the aisles. Believe me, I've tried.

Anyway, I got my stuff and we headed home. David was about to fall asleep right before we pulled into the driveway and he never did make it down for a nap. That is until about 4:30 which is WAY TOO LATE for a kid to take a nap, unless of course their bedtime is 10pm or later. David is usually up from his nap by 2 or 2:30, so this did not bode well. I had everything just about done and Ernie called to say he'd be home a little early. David was passed out in the big, comfy chair, legs sprawled over the armrest and I thought I'd give him a few more minutes before Sofia and I woke him up. She had wandered into the living room and turned to me with her fingers to her lips, but I told her we'd have to wake him soon. A few minutes later we nudged him and gave him little kisses on his knees but he didn't wake up so Sofia started to kind of tickle him and the whole scene was out of a Norman Rockwell painting or something and then all of a sudden...


We had not woken David, but a primordial beast of some kind that had been dragged kicking and screaming from the deepest, longest slumber ever and boy...was he pissed.

Despite my best efforts David continued to wail for the next ten minutes and then Ernie arrived home and I shouted out "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" while David continued to caterwaul and the tears were flowing like you wouldn't believe and we were all ready to eat but David would just not stop crying and he finally choked out with a voice full of gravel: " I ...Just...can't stop...crying!!! AUGHHHH!!!" And I knew he was telling the truth. I think he wanted to stop, but he was so overtired and overwhelmed he just couldn't help it.

Ernie did a great job calming him down, though. He did a mind-over-matter bit with him and that had him take great deep breaths while lifting his arms over head chanting "Do-do-do...I'm not gonna cry anymore...Do-do-do...I'm not gonna cry anymore..." and after a few minutes of this the tears were gone and David seemed pleasantly surprised at his quick recovery. He even danced a wee little jig.

So the dinner and birthday party were a success, despite the earlier upsets, and I think I even made a meal that would have made Alton Brown proud. Ernie was even a little impressed. Now that's good eats.

Ernie opened his gifts after David told him what most of them were and though it took a while, we did eventually get the kids to bed. All in all, I think it was a good time. After all, it's not a party until someone freaks out and there's a little singing and dancing, right?

Kudos to you, Ernie, for bringing David back to us and exorcising whatever that thing was. You are a great Daddy and that's why we celebrate you! Happy 25th honey!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

SAHMs: A Rag Just For Us!

Found this site while doing a search on "stay at home moms". Home Mom Magazine offers a free trial issue to SAHMs. I went ahead and ordered it, as I really loved their mission statement and felt it hit the nail right on the head. Can't wait to get reading it...hope the articles are compact and to the point. You know, busy mom size.

David's Quote of the Day

Not that I'm trying to push him into choosing a career path just yet, but yesterday I asked David what he was going to be when he grew up, just to see how a nearly three-year old boy would respond. His answer?

"A man!"

Silly mommy.

Monday, June 20, 2005

If You Go Into The Woods Today...

Guess who had a hard time falling asleep tonight? David. And can you guess why? Well, something scared him and he couldn't get it out of his head. You know how sometimes something happens right before you are getting ready to put your child to bed and you just know there's no way you're getting them to bed, not without several hours of coaxing, compromising and pleading (on your part) and that's all before anyone has even cleared the dinner table?

Well, we had one of those nights. David got a little spooked by the big, black bear that Daddy spotted climbing the tree up to our finch feeder this evening.

"Oh my gosh...there's a bear climbing up that tree...Look! A bear!" We were cuddling with the kids in the living room when Ernie spotted it. David was sitting in my lap in a chair and Sofia was with Ernie reading a story on the couch. He spied it out the window, down the slope of the lawn. With his words, chaos let loose.

"Where?? Where?!" I can't see a thing. I never put my contacts in and I can't find my glasses without them so I stand up and trip over some books on the floor and run to last place I think I saw them. David falls out of my lap and runs in a little circle before heading to the window. He's calling "Oh!! What, a bear? What???"

Ernie is running around, but I'm not sure what for. That's just what you do I guess when there's a bear in your yard.

"The camera! Get the camera!" I say to him. " Oh- Get the video's right here...oh where is it?" I knew I left it on the TV cabinet, but it's not there. "No, it's on the piano!" Ernie grabs it from me and heads to the back deck. I scoop up a kid in each arm and we head to the window to watch the wacky bear-in-our-yard show.

The bear is making its way up the tree. We can see the leaves moving but can't make out the bear so well and then it begins its shaky balancing act on the limb that the finch feeder hangs from. The bear isn't huge: It looks to be a juvenile black bear, so it's not super big, but you can see it's pretty heavy by the way the branch gives way beneath it. The feeder is so close to the ground and the bear is swatting at it from above, but just can't quite reach it. It makes its way down the tree, then back up again and continues this for a while without success. It stands up on its bear toes from beneath the feeder but still no luck. After a while it meanders down the crumbling stone wall at the edge of our side yard and crosses the street, disappearing into the thicket. Ernie got the whole thing on tape while the kids and I watched from the living room and then the office window. I think Sofia was not quite sure what to make of it, but David was horrified and intrigued at the same time. He would say "Oh, I've never seen a bear like that before!!" and press his nose to the window and the next minute he would cling to me and cry "I don't want it to poop on me!" I'm not sure where he was getting that from. But that would indeed be an awful thing.

Well, needless to say David didn't get to bed easily tonight. And he was just up a few minutes ago, asking for water. But this time when I brought him his drink he was clearly very thirsty. I think he might be just a tad stressed out by the evening's events. I'm a little wary myself. I did my usual poke around the yard tonight, to water and dead-head the flowers but my eyes were on the hills, not so much the tasks at hand. Just waiting to see what fuzzy beast climbs out of the shadows next.

And no, David- whatever comes out of that woods, it's not gonna poop on you. Not on my watch.

New theme...well, sort of

I've changed the theme of my blog because I was finding the "attachment parenting" perspective a bit restrictive, in terms of what I found myself wanting to write about. Though I still consider myself a big fan of the attachment-style of parenting and work it into my daily life with Sofia and David, I'm not all that interested in writing about it. I think perhaps I find it more interesting to talk about. For instance if someone asks me, "why do you let your kids sleep with you in your bed? You still nursing your kids?" I'm happy to explain why and I don't get worked up about it like I used to-when I was still new at it and defensive, wondering if what Ernesto and I was doing was right. I'm pretty much at peace with all of our parenting decisions and though there are always are new struggles popping up, I'm confident that our hearts and instincts continually lead us in the right direction. So I'm sure I'm bound to comment here and there on AP topics that come up, but I think I'll find myself blogging more if I can write about what is part of my everyday life and what many others out there can relate with: the role of the stay-at-home parent.

I want to be sure to include fathers in the mix, because there are plenty out there (and more and more each year) that find themselves as the primary caregiver of their children. My brother-in-law Ed is a stay at home Dad and a darn good one at that. You can tell when you meet his kids. They're great.

So now that I'm no longer constrained by my main topic, I will just be blogging all the, blog, blog, blog, blog.


And now for something completely different...