Thursday, November 29, 2007
One of my book clubs is meeting tomorrow night to discuss A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. I bought the book and despite repeated attempts I realized that I cannot read it. Maybe it is more appropriate to write that I choose not to read the book but each time I pick it up to try again I end up closing it quickly so my eyes cannot catch the words on the page.
I wonder if motherhood made me hypersensitive to images of dead bodies, torn limbs, and other war victims. Maybe before I could have tolerated it enough to finish the book. Once before, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair caused a similar reaction and I still regret not being able to read that novel. It feels strange choosing not to read the book chosen for discussion, but knowing that the images contained within its pages will follow me into my dreams and disturb my sleep for days to come somehow justifies my decision to myself.
I love reading and usually devour books. To me, finding a new limit or an edge to that pleasure is somewhat horrifying in and of itself.
Wesley got his first bottle attempt. He only ate 2 ounces but didn't seem to fight it as fiercely as Clare did as a baby.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
His current record at Sallie Mae reads:
Total amount outstanding: $0.00
10 years after graduating from Law School is is finally done with student loans. I admire his resolve to pay it off and now we can start doing something fun with the extra money like saving for Clare and Wesley's college fund!
Just got back from the beach this afternoon. Grandpa Mike and Grandma Bonnie are spending the night before heading up to Charlotte and our house feels very jolly.
Many posts to come once we get the car unloaded, diapers washed, fridge filled and children acclimated. (Gotta love it when everything is new to them again since they've been away!)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Siblings. Weley turned four months and we celebrated on the beach with Grandpa. He stayed in the shade of his personal cabana with an occasional visit from Clare.
Looking for shells. We found lots of scallop and oyster shells that we're going to try and make into shell angel ornaments later this week. Gotta love the glue gun!
A bit of water fun too. After a few minutes the water was tolerable but it wasn't quite warm enough to lure Grandpa Mike in deeper than his his knees.
One night we went to the park. Clare loves pushing Wesley in this stroller! We checked out crabs on the pier, the swings, and Wesley was a total 'chick magnet' for the night.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Mario had the brilliant idea of taking it from her as she slept this weekend to wash and then return before she woke up.
On paper: brilliant.
In reality: Clare woke up screaming 'blankie! blankie! blaaaannnnkkkkiiieee!!!' Mario attempted to reason with the sleepy 2 year old by showing her the blankie in the washing machine. This didn't seem to satisfy her so he then resorted to wringing out the wet blankie and putting her back to bed with a damp lovey. Later she cast it aside not satisfied that this was her beloved blankie. He resorted to drying it alone enough to restore its fluff with a somewhat hysterical child anxiously waiting her blankie's return. And the saga finally ended close to 1 a.m.
And if you have any/know any little girls past the 'this could be a choking hazard' age here is a great link to a $5 off Polly Pocket coupon. We've used it at Target a few times to get free Polly Pockets and it works great! Happy couponing!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Puzzled I handed the dollar back to the military man, thanked him but insisted he take his dollar back. He waved his hands in refusal. I asked why he was giving our 2 year old a dollar and he said "Why not? Put it in her piggy bank."
I shrugged and said okay but it felt really weird. Clearly the man was not going to take his dollar back so we put it on the table and continued with our lunch.
Why is it so hard to accept other's generosity? Why did it feel so strange? Are we that out of touch that we cannot accept a simple gift?
As the holidays approach and I start gathering my gifts together I realize how excited I am to see the gift receivers react to my selections. I want to give, I want to make others smile when they open the packages, and I look forward to the joy of giving.
Even though I still think the dollar at the burrito shop was a bit odd, I now know that I need to work on my receiving skills.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
--pick up fabric samples at Rogers Brothers
--pick up Karma Kids and If on a winter's night a traveler from RCPL
--make another banana bread
--run to Target to get stuff we probably don't really need
--go for a walk with the kids and the double wide
--try and wake up early
--read new Kiwi magazine from Stacy
--pack bags for St. Simons
--return overalls to James and pick up changing pad
--buy more Silk coffee creamer
--send birthday cards to Jen K. and Laura M.
--send baptism thank you notes out
--start making more holiday gifts and finalizing purchases
--make Wesley's 4 month doctor appointment
--spend less time online!
Caroline and Katharine brought their FOUR children to Columbia for the day so we could all play. We took the kids to the zoo where they ran free on the paths and enjoyed the gorgeous fall morning. I hosted lunch at our home. We went to the local consignment shop looking for goodies. On the way to Finlay Park we stopped for extra hot Starbucks treats to sip while we watched the kids play on the playground. And all of the while we talked about everything seeking advice, commiseration, and a solid sounding board. Thanks for a great afternoon.
Tonight I met a new friend out for some stitching. And suddenly two more hours flew by as we learned about each other and told stories. I love the kind of meetings where you leave wanting more and still have questions on the tip of your tongue. Both of my play dates today left me feeling that way and my cheeks were rosy from spending time outside. Ahh...
Parts of the day were challenging (like when I had to carry Clare over my shoulder from the playground to the parking lot at Finlay Park when it was time to leave) but I'm glad we did it all. I'm all for trying things (such as taking six kids to a consignment shop during their supposed nap time?) and if they bomb we can just chalk it up to experience.
Now I just have to dream up what I want to try and attempt to do next.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
And after glancing at the new website I totally wish I was pregnant again.
But then I remember the tortured hour and a half of trying and crying to get Clare to nap this afternoon.
So if you are pregnant...it's just another option to consider.
Monday, November 12, 2007
My new longing: this bag.
Any ideas on how to cure the bag fixation? Clare has the beginnings of a similar disease based on her current love of bags too.
In the meantime I've somehow lost my camera (the above pictures are from Grandpa Johnson) and feel like I've lost my arm in the process. I'm hoping it will turn up soon so I can start snapping more pictures for the 'year of the tantrum' calendar I hope to make on Snapfish later this month.
Highlights of the weekend: Saturday Clare shoved a blue marker up her left nostril at a birthday party, Uncle Joe baked cornbread and gave Wesley a bath!, we had 2 TV's in our house to accomodate both Bills and Panther fans, Clare took a nap on Sunday, Grandpa fixed our toilets, and Clare got a mini Dora doll that I now have to kiss goodnight each evening before bed.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Poppa Great and Grandma Great are here en route to Florida. Today Wesley got to meet them for the very first time and he seemed to be quite enamoured with them both. We look forward to more visiting over the next few days.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Monkey Chunk Banana Bread
1/3 c. margarine (dairy free if you'd like to pay more)
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour (you can use any kind, I used white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 ripe mashed bananas
1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips (Trader Joe's are dairy free)
1. Cream margarine and sugar.
2. Add dry stuff.
3. Add banana, milk, and vanilla.
4. Stir in chips (or nuts or raisins)
5. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes
**Recipe courtesy of my wonderful friend Christy (another dairy free mama) in Sturbridge, MA.
And then we left her room and I tried my best to revert back to normal. But I couldn't. I was really grouchy with her for challenging me, ruining my down time in the middle of the afternoon, and that she was now grumpy b/c she didn't nap. I need to work on letting go after we have outbursts and incidents. Moving on to the next activity with as much love and enthusiasm as I might have otherwise. But it was hard and I'm not sure how to do that effectively.
By the time Mario came home I was officially D-O-N-E with being a Mommy. I packed up my non-diaper bag purse and headed to Earth Fare to wander and relax. It helped considerably (along with one of their amazing vegan raspberry muffins) and I returned home feeling much better. Mario urged me to go and check on the kids as a reminder about why we adore them. When we tried to open Clare's door we found the above situation: candy striped footed pj's, her trusty Dora book, and her blankie all curled up on the floor behind the door.
And I fell in love all over again.
(And for all of you Dora and Diego fans I found these free coloring sheets to print to help satisfy any Dora or Diego needs your children might have!)
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
by: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley
by: Patricia Beard
**Book Club pick for December 2007
The Vegan Family Cookbook
by: Brian P. McCarthy
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Clare and I enjoy doing art projects in the afternoons and actually being here makes that possible. I like being able to say yes to her when she points to her paints or brings me a story to read. So things are good right now and it seems as though the demon child is currently on vacation.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Moroccan Black Bean Stew
4 cups prepared couscous
1/2 onion, diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 olive oil
3 T flour
2 T sugar
2 t. curry powder
1 t. cinnamon
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup raisins
salt to taste
1. In pot, saute onion, potato, zucchini, and pepper in the oil until vegetables are tender. Reduce heat to low.
2. Add flour, sugar, curry, and cinnamon. Saute for 1 minute.
3. Add the broth, beans, and raisins. Turn up the heat and cook till stew is thickened.
4. Serve on a bed of couscous. Serves 4.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
We did have fun though! Friday we spent with Fordham and Pinckney at the SC Aquarium (our very first visit there) and hanging out at their house for naps. I got to bond with Caroline and we sort of caught up on things between chasing kids, changing diapers, and answering questions. Mario and I enjoyed 2 take out dates in our suite while the kids slept in the adjoining room. I spent 45 minutes wandering around Whole Foods without kids on Friday night in the state of pure foody bliss. And I took the kids to the Farmer's Market this morning complete with a few jumps in the jump castles and a tortured screaming attempt at a $2 pony ride.
So why did it feel so hard? I think it goes with the entire theme of the past week: the spirited two year old. When I think of our trip I my thoughts go more like this...Clare threw a tantrum and flailed her arms and legs out of the stroller so violently she would have fallen out of the stroller had the strap not held her in. The screaming fit lasted for three blocks walking down Meeting Street.
Two hours later exiting the Aquarium Clare decided right in front of the parking booth that she would sit down, start screaming, and demand a pen from the diaper bag. Wesley was strapped to my chest in the Ergo, 2 cars waited patiently behind us, and the parking collection woman stared during this sit in that ended with her being forced into the stroller.
This morning she laid down in the Embassy Suites lobby kicking and screaming (and I don't even remember what this one was about) as tons of the 1967 Citadel class reunion gang tried to enter and exit the breakfast room. And then I couldn't get her out of the jump castle. Or get her to put her shoes on. Or do anything that really needed to be done. Sadly, that's what I remember most about our trip. And it exhausts me.
The more I reflect I seem to see everything in terms of a previous explosion or the potential for an explosion. I refuse to live our lives just in the boundaries of our home and expect that she should behave in a reasonable manner when we are out and about. I want to take her places. I want to do things with her. I want to expose her to as much fun stuff as I can.
So when we got home the first thing I did after nursing Wesley was to head to the library to check out The Spirited Child (and about 4 vegan cookbooks) to read. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
I've also resolved to myself to start trying to think more about the positive things that we do together and experience rather than just the outbursts. That shift should help make things seem less weary (I hope). And it finally dawned on me (thanks Stacy!) that maybe she's jealous of Wesley. Clare and I were pretty tight before he arrived. We went to Starbucks, did fun art projects, played in cardboard boxes, went on outings...and now we don't get much alone time together. So tomorrow morning I have a date planned. Just us. Just girls.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
As I type she is in her room throwing the tantrum of the century and I wonder how on earth I can 1. be a reasonable responsible parent, 2. ensure that she makes it past two, and 3. stay sane.
Today I am looking for patience, divine intervention, stronger coffee, and plane tickets to somewhere far far away.