Saturday, May 30, 2009

nap versus garden

I would like to thank Annie at PhD in Parenting for including me in her series on preparing for baby #2. Annie will be sharing the the experiences of how she, janefriar, woowoo mama, and I adjusted to life with two. I am looking forward to reading more about their experiences, and I feel very honored to be included! :)

It is nap time again here, and everyone else is asleep. I supposed that I should nap, too, but I have never been a good napper. In kindergarten I was proud of the fact that I seldom napped even when everyone else (all 6 in my class) was asleep on their mats. And I remember lying on the bed at a babysitters house thumping my belly like a watermelon when I was supposed to be napping.

Today I feel like I could nap, but both bedrooms are full of nappers - and I don't want to risk waking anyone to go lie down. Maybe I will go work in the garden instead. Weekend nap times are the only time I ever really get to myself, so in some ways I think the time is more important than the sleep. So, off to the garden before it rains....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the trouble with sharing

(tough man and his tattoo - he came back from grandma's house with bugs)

Our son isn't particularly good at sharing. Maybe no tots are? Sometimes he is very good about sharing and distributing his toys/food/whatever, but only on his terms. He's very much an in charge kind of guy. He'll push carrot sticks and grapes on daddy until daddy begs him to stop. But he still isn't used to having another strong willed little person around.

Now that our daughter is mobile she is much happier. And she is keeping our son hopping removing his toys out of her reach. He is very possessive of his things. I have no idea how much of this is normal 3.5 year old stuff and how much is our spirited gift, but he gets right mad if she gets the wrong thing. Well, nearly anything. We talk to him a lot about sharing and about how she is just checking things out and will soon drop it and move on. But if he does not get the item away from her he sits there like a pot boiling over the whole time she is checking it out. And then he sighs a great sigh of relief when she drops is. He even took over the exersaucer - it's his car.

Our son can be very efficient at removing all interesting play things from an area, leaving his sister with a cloth diaper wipe, a diaper, mama's shirt, a paper towel tube, and a few other odds and ends to entertain herself in the bedroom. She used to get mad, but I think she's getting used to it. Sometimes it is even a game. He moves things a few feet away, she follows, he moves, she moves, he growls, she laughs. I'm also not sure how much of this is his game and how much is serious. Basically, I have no clue what's going on and how to deal with it. So we try to keep some sort of peace and find a few non-controversial things for our daughter to play with. Usually the boring things that she doesn't want.

But the last few days our daughter just leaves the room if there is nothing worthy of her time. We're gonna need some major peace keeping she learns to walk. We have a self motivated, self propelled baby on the loose and a possessive, spirited tot in the same space. I'd love tips from other attachment parenting peace keepers....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: she was so small

My little girl is standing up any chance she gets now. She's getting so Big! She says "da" when her brother comes in the room, and maybe she says "dada"? And she is too busy to nurse properly except at nap and night or if she's in a carrier. I was looking for a picture for today and this group caught my eye (pictures taken by my cousin last Thanksgiving).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

bouncing baby

Today I am bouncing a sick baby for her morning nap. This is only the second or third cold that she has had (so much for the well baby visit last week - I think it created a sick baby by visiting the doctors office), and she is not happy about having a nose filled with snot. Last night she had a lot of trouble sleeping lying down, so my husband (who has a cold now, too) or I had to hold her pretty much all night. Not conducive to sleep. This morning she is fussy and clingy, so I have been wearing her most of the morning. We decided that she needed a good nap and the best way to get that was to wrap her, so here I bounce. And really, I'm enjoying it. I never know when it will be the last good wrap-nap. Warm baby snuggled on my chest, breathing gently, relaxed bare legs and warm little toes hanging at my sides.

My baby is growing up. Probably my last baby. That is hard for me to admit, but I know that our family is full, and in reality I'm ready for some sleep and easier. But still, it's all happening so fast. Two weeks ago our daughter learned to crawl, a few days ago she learned to pull up to standing by herself. One evening I left her in the middle of the bedroom floor while I went to put diapers in the washer and when I returned she was standing at the changing table looking very pleased with herself. My husband says that she likes to stand at the TV cabinet and adjust knobs and push buttons while our son is watching is lunch-time video. And she has discovered the towel drawer in the kitchen and thinks that is great fun. Yesterday she smashed her fingers in it once, but that did not deter her for long. We can no longer leave her anywhere unattended because she is Trouble! Having a tot and a toddler in the house is going to be quite a handful!

I am trying to be conscious of both my daughter's need to practice her new found skills and mobility while also meeting her needs for being held close. I am trying to be very aware of her need to reconnect with me and to be available when she reaches for me or tries to crawl onto my lap. Since I am only home for a few waking hours during the day I try to be sure to wear her when I can instead of trying to get her to entertain herself by herself while I do things. She still very much needs her mommy time. And I still very much need baby time. Now balancing all that with giving my son enough mommy time is another matter, and something I am still working on every day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

time for pictures

Everyone else in the house is asleep. I should probably be napping since nights have been so rough lately, but I am enjoying a little time to myself instead. It is a hot sunny day and I took a laundry basket of clean diapers out the picnic table to photograph so that I can sell them. Funny thing is, I enjoy taking pictures of diapers. How sad is that - my cloth diaper obsession has progressed to the point where I think they are great photography subjects. I guess it could be worse.

So, I photographed the diapers and then went around the yard and garden taking pictures of flowers and vegetable plants. This is one of the first times since we got our new camera that I have had a chance to take flower pictures, and it was fun. I still get a lot of not-so-great photos, but I think a few turned out very nice. And I even took the camera off auto focus!

I had planned to go back out and weed in the garden for a while, but it's in the 80s and I am a whimp and don't feel like going back out. Last evening I got about 10 feet of one pea row weeded with my daughter in the APLX on my back. Only about 100 feet left to go....of peas....

Oh, and I saw some pea flowers!!! Exciting. Peas are my favorite. They seldom make it in from the garden to be cooked because I sit in the pea row and eat them all.

The potatoes are growing nicely (compare to the planting scene...).

And much of the brocoli has already bolted.

Only one batch of my broccoli is forming propper nice heads this year. Not sure what happened there.
Romain lettuce is lovely. We used one head for salad last night. Steak salad for dinner. Yummm. We eat a lot of salads in the summer.

Some spinach is ready, but it's not doing great this year...need more nitrogen??

Onions look happy.
Carrots are growing and the second batch of beans is up.

And it sounds like the rest of my family is moving, so I'll leave you with a pretty peony.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby's tongue

Last weekend our daughter was really excited about her tongue.

Mommy Brain

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before – I’m too brainless to remember – but when I was little I used to tell my mother that she gave her brains to me. Not the nicest thing to say to your wonderful mother! My mom is a very intelligent person, but she was always doing silly little things that didn’t make sense to me, and it seemed to me that sometimes she had a few marbles mixed up.

Well, evidently the brain has now been passed on to my children. Or at least I certainly how that’s where it has gone! Because I am most definitely not worthy of the diplomas on my wall (not that the diplomas actually made it up onto the wall). Nope, I can’t even do basic daily tasks these days without making some pretty crazy flubs. Like last evening – after the kids were in bed my husband and I were sitting on the love seat in the office and I realized that my tshirt was on backwards. And it wasn’t one of those tagless dealies they have now, but a shirt with a big scratchy tag. I went to scratch my itchy neck and found a tag. The sad part is that first I wondered why there was a tag in the front of my shirt, not why my shirt was on backwards. I did finally determine that it was user error and not manufacturer error, but that doesn’t remove the fact that I had worn the shirt backwards for 4+ hours without noticing. Oh, and then a friend called to chat while I was washing breatpump parts, and I promptly hung up on her. Not a good day for proving my abilities and intelligence to anyone. Hopefully I made a better impression at my interview last week!

Is this Mommy Brain just lack of sleep? Or the result of increased multitasking? Or did I truly pass the brains on to my kids? Will I ever “have it all together” again? Who knows. For now I think I’d better just put my energy toward functioning at the highest level I can manage and worry about the longer term when it get here. Because I have Not mastered the art of appearing intelligent, organized, and productive at this stage of my life. Maybe if I gave in to the black tea it would help? Maybe not.

Monday, May 18, 2009

crunches, crunches, I did crunches

I did! I did crunches today and two days last week. Nothing like the shred woowoomama is doing, but at least I'm going something. Either before or after one of my pumping sessions, while my office door is closed and the door blind down, I roll out my green exercise mat on the floor and do crunches and pelvic tilts. Seems like I should be doing something else to decrease the slooge in my mid-section, but that's all I've come up with. Anyone have other exercise ideas - I mean simple ones - talking 5 minutes on my office floor type of exercises.... I still have a significant diastasis 8.5 months later, so I obviously need to do something. I've bounced back pretty well weight-wise after baby #2, but not so well belly-wise. Sigh. Oh well. At least the belly can be slooged around so I can fit into prepregnancy pants now. Yesterday I was thinking that it's time to hunt out my old jeans, not the "I'm feeling plump" ones, but the real ones. But maybe I'll wait a few more weeks just in case they still don't fit. And maybe the "plump" ones were just feeling baggy since they have been worn several times since the last washing (read "more than several but I'm embarassed to say I don't know when they were last washed"). I hate putting on jeans just after washing - makes me feel like I've gained 5 lbs. Oh, and last week I squeezed into a pair of pants that my college roomate gave me about 10 years ago. That made me feel good.

Well, all that talk made me hungry. Off to find something to munch.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a warm meal: lentil soup and corn bread

I was typing these up to email to a friend so I thought I'd put them up here, too. If only I felt like cooking today....

Vegan Corn Bread

1.5 teaspoons egg replacer
2 tablespoons water
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons cane sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup rice milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.

I'm assuming you can take it from there.... ;-)
I sometimes use 1 egg instead of egg replacer and water.
I usually double this recipe. They freeze well.

Lentil Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1.5 cups chopped carrot
1.5 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb lentils
1 quart crushes tomatoes (or fresh chopped)
1 quart vegetable broth
1 quart chicken broth
1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons garlic (either minced or dried granulated)

Place olive oil in large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. Cook until onions translucent. Add lentils (washed), tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low until lentils are tender (about an hour?).

I have already tripled the veggies and the spices, but I sometimes add even more. The original recipe calls for ground grains of paradise, but I don't have that so I just left it out and added garlic. ;-) I have also added chicken or sausage a few times.

I sometimes double this and freeze. It also goes well over brown rice.

Friday, May 15, 2009

outside my little world

Today I had lunch with my family and then did a little shopping on my lunch break. I seldom make it to main stream stores any more, but I needed to stop at Target for disposable diapers for my son. I started out embarrassed that I was buying disposable diapers, but by the time I left the store that was the least of my worries. After being astounded to pay 36.5 cents per diaper (that makes nice cloth look pretty cheap, especially considering the resale value of cloth), I went a few isles over to look for straw cups and sippy cups. Colored plastic all round! No stainless here. But I succumbed to the call of the plastic and picked up a nuby straw cup for our daughter and some more “take and toss” (we rewash rewash) straw cups for our son. Sigh. I wish I could ditch the plastic, but somehow that never happens.

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Stores full of stuff. Stuff we don’t need. We have our fair share (and then some) of stuff we don’t need, but I mean this is stuff no one needs. Stuff that should never have been made. Do people really buy this stuff? I guess they must or it wouldn’t be here.

I quickly went through the children’s clothing section looking for pants for my son. Nope. They have no pants. Only shorts. I mean, who on earth would need pants when it’s spring. Lows in the lower 40s this weekend, but you shouldn’t need pants, right? Humph. Ok. Maybe not.

Then a cart passed with a crying baby in it. The parents were talking to each other and yelling at an older child and not even looking at the baby. I’m really bothered by this. The made no move to comfort baby or see if there was something baby needed. If my son had been with me he would have said urgently “baby cry! Baby needs mama boob!” Mama boobs are instrumental in making the world better in his mind.

While I was shopping I started hearing things from the next isle over that I would never imagine saying in public, let alone in the children’s section of a store – well actually I wouldn’t ever say them, anywhere. As I passed by on my way to the checkouts I saw an obviously pregnant girl and her boyfriend and his friend picking out a car seat. The girl was silent and the boys were loud, rude, and vulgar. I felt for the girl. I feel for the child. I wanted to give her a hug. I wanted to invite her to our local birth circle of loving and caring women. Maybe I should have? I saw them again at the checkout. The friend loudly boasting what a bad influence he was going to be on the baby. The girl just standing there. What should I have done? When I see things like that it makes a different part of the motherly me surface. I want to mother the mother. I want to show her how things can be different, and things she can do for her baby. I want to make sure she has a healthy pregnancy. I want her to have a joyful birth. I want to tell her about Attachment Parenting. About the joy of wearing your baby. Heck, I’d even give her a carrier. But would it matter? I don’t know. Maybe she is just trying to get by. Trying to survive. Did she want to get pregnant? Does she want to be with this man? How long will she and the baby be with this man? Will he help support them? Will she have breastfeeding support? Probably not. I doubt that she has the support she needs. I doubt that she is prepared for what is to come. An event that can rock even a strong marriage. An event that will completely change her life. What can someone like me do but offer her a smile?

So, I guess this is a negative post. But that shopping trip scared me. Scared me for society. For our world. And it also made me realize both how lucky I am and how much I live in my own little world. My little world where homebirth, cloth diapers, and wool are not atypical. My world where people carry their babies and attend to them if they cry. My world where parents love each other. My world where people grow their food and cook from scratch. My world where kids don’t drink mountain dew while eating ice cream at age 4. My world with no TV an only very select videos. I am very happy that my little world exists and that I’m not alone in it. I have good friends. Friends who give support and guidance. Friends who are crunchier than we are. Friends who do the things I wish I could get it together to do. Friends who are an inspiration to me. I am thankful for my friends and guides and mentors. I am thankful that I know that there is a subculture of crunch out there. We connect at events like our local birth circle and at the farmers market and online communities and blogs. We need each other, and the world needs more crunch I believe.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is what a nursing toddler looks like...

(our son nursing Mama Bear)

I'm a day late, but I'd still like to join the "This is what a nursing toddler looks like" carnival over at the bee in your bonnet. I haven't mastered nursing a toddler in a sling like PhD in Parenting or others, but we have had some creative nursing. I never imagined that I would nurse a toddler, or tandem nurse, but I'm doing both and feel that it is the best thing for my children. I had composed a post in my head all about nursing a toddler, but after an hour and a half of trying to put high-needs children to bed (the toddler is still rummaging around in bed...sigh) the ideas are gone and I'm just plain exhausted. So here are some pictures of our toddler nursing, and I'll leave it at that for tonight.

(nursing at 19 months)

(nursing at 20 months)

(nursing at 21 months)

(nursing on his 3rd birthday)

Monday, May 4, 2009

little hand

My son is growing up so fast. He spent last night at my parents place and would have gladly stayed another night. It is wonderful that he gets time with them, and two-on-one time with lots of personal attention (somewhat lacking at home since our daughter arrived). He gets to be a boy and "help" feed cows and play in the creek and get completely muddy and dirty. He may come home tired and without the usual amount of food in his system (life is too exciting to eat much other there), but he is safe and sound and happy and stimulated. I feel very fortunate to have my parents nearby and to have them involved in the growth of our children.
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

lawn concert

last week the boys gave us a lawn concert after dinner. our daughter isn't too sure about grass, but she likes music.

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