Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I found the missing sippy cup

Yesterday Henry and I were playing on the floor in the living room. I watched him as he stood up, went to the bookcase, and slid open one of the doors. He pulled out a sippy cup, took a long drink, put it back in the bookcase, slid the door shut again, and rejoined me.

a) so glad it was water, and not day(s?) old milk
b) cup was immediately taken for washing

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Willa and Mom go to the symphony

Willa and I had a "girls date" on Saturday morning. I took her to see a Grand Rapids Symphony Lollipops concert. They did Hansel and Gretel, and were joined by members of the GR Ballet. Great show for someone who is 3. Great value, and perfect duration: $5 for a ~45 minute show. They'll be doing a different story in March (details here) and if you have a preschooler (or a little older or younger) I highly recommend this.

Here's the scene:
We're in the auditorium just before the show gets under way.
"Why does...."
"What is..."
"How come..."
starts eleventy-billion questions in a not quiet voice. She's excited.

The conductor strides out in a purple shirt.
"Who is..."
"Why is he..."
He talks for a bit, introducing the different instrument families. She LOVED the tuba.

And then the lights go down and the entire symphony plays the opening note.

I feel Willa shaking next to me. She bolts out of her seat and gives me a giant bear hug, then a grin. She giggles and sits back down. I guess the excitement was too much.

It was pretty awesome.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

movin' on up

Remember way back when I was one severely deficient in vitamin D?

0-14.9 ng/ml = Severely deficient
15.0-31.9 ng/ml = Mildly deficient
32.0-100.0 ng/ml = Optimal
>100.0 ng/ml = Toxicity possible

Guess who is in the "optimal" bracket now? 42, baby!

Where I "Jam on It"

I've been staying up too late recently. There's something magical about the house when the kids are sleeping, and Jim is either sleeping or working away at his Masters class. There's silence.

And so I stay up way later than I ought to, soaking it all in. No one is pulling on my arm, or whining - yup, it's been a rough few days, and my rose-colored sunglasses are missing after Henry emptied my purse for what could be the 32nd time today.

I recently found a new blog to read during this late night me-time. Basically, it boils down to "young woman, new city, zany adventures that wouldn't have been tackled in old city, and therefore new life(ish)."

And in the spirit of her blog, I give you my own rip off of Not That Kind of Girl:

Not The Kind of Girl: dons a funky hat with spandex hot pants and midriff shirts to shimmy and shake it on MTV (if, you know, MTV actually played music videos) as a back-up dancer.

I am: shamefully out of shape, chronically sleepy, and fairly clumsy

I am not: Fly-girl material

The Scene: I'm in my living room, tightening up sneaker shoe laces as well as my own resolve. I had already had a good inward chuckle at myself in the fitness aisle of Target. I laughed again at the checkout as the "Hip Hop Cardio Workout" dvd crossed the scanner, was put into a bag and handed to me.

Me? How the heck did THIS happen?

I decided to start feeling better, and actually do something about my body. The truth is there is no reality in me getting to a gym (time and money issues - no excuses there, real roadblocks), and I detest being cold, so winter walking is out (that is, admittedly, an excuse). I had started pricing home exercising equipment and mentioned it to my mom who agreed to loan us their treadmill. It wouldn't fit in Jim's HHR - we didn't even try - and it wouldn't fit in a mini-van we travelled in during Thanksgiving (Jim needed it for work in the area). There was a quasi agreement that mom and dad would bring it to us (ye-haw!).

So I waited, and made the day the treadmill arrived in the 616 area code, my start day for a new fitness day.

...and scheduling or some other thing hasn't brought the treadmill yet.

I grew restless and guilty and took the love handles by the... handles and opted to go the dvd route. And, well, if I were going to be spending time and effort, I might as well have some fun.

So... Target, dvd.... and a moment in my day when a woman instructs me with a perky smile to "Jam-on-it."

The Verdict: "Hip Hop Cardio" is kicking my butt, and it's fun, but at about minute 4.5 I remember a moment in middle school when a group of friends decided to make up a dance to something on the pop charts. I went left when they went right, and never quite got that spin down. But, then it wasn't any fun. Now? I laugh at myself and proceed. Extra bonus: the dvd came with a kickboxing workout that is also working nicely for me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2009 Christmas Ornaments

I meant to do this last month but never got to it.
Here are Henry and Willa's special ornaments for 2009. I'm going to try to keep an annual record of the ornaments so, when the kids are old and married with their own trees, they'll know why mom and dad picked that one out for them.

Henry's is a bear with a duck life preserver ring. He gets/will get a bear ornament every year. The duck is significant, as his first word was duck. And we spent a heap of wonderful moments at various beaches during his first summer. Henry Bear enjoyed his toes in the wet sand, and crawling on the surf.

Willa's ornament is a girl on a dove's back. She goes back and forth between calling that girl an angel and a fairy. Three is the age of magical thinking: involved stories about talking animals and tiny human-like creatures. She believes me when I tell her about my youthful adventures with the Frog King, and we've often ended nights discussing Pipsqueak, the ladybug who lives with her family in a boot, in a field, by the side of the road. An angel/fairy on the back of dove was perfect for Willa Bird this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Never mind: cole slaw for dinner

At 2:30 Henry woke up in his crib.

Jim tried to get him back to sleep, and was successful for 20 minutes. When Henry woke the second time, I went in his room, and tried to pat and rub his back until he slept again. It didn't work. I brought him into the living room to hold him and whisper songs until he fell asleep.

It did not go well. He fought to be let go, and wandered the house sobbing. I picked him up... this goes on and on, and I'm sure you have better things to do with your lives then read about the heroic attempts I made in the line of battle.

I was reading "Goodnight Moon" at 4am. I did everything I could except my one surefire trick. He cried, I leaked. Finally, I weighed the options, and backsliding on weaning was worth an hour of sleep to me.

Sweet sleep.

He woke at 10 this morning, and we did not nurse.

Weaning is a process, not an event, I have to remind myself.

Henry has been having some terrible, awful sleep issues for about 10 days now. I took him to the doctor on Friday to rule out ear infections and the like. Looks like we're just going through a phase. A blurry, sleep deprived, grouchy phase.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One down (maybe), one to go

Hi pals.

First, my son clearly says many words including daddy, Arlo, Greta, please, thank you, bear.... know what he calls me? Bob. When he calls out to me, I pretend that he has an eternal cold, and his plugged nose is the only thing standing in the way of a correct "Mom."

So, today was a milestone in Bob-'n-Henry land. I slept on the couch to give sick Jim a little space. Henry woke up when the sun came up (which is also notable after a week of terrible sleep), Jim plucked him from the crib, changed his diaper, and let him loose. We're all organic with our free-range children at Camp Sinki.

And instead of approaching me with his baby bird gaping mouth, ready to nurse, he played with dinosaurs and Mr. Potato Head.

He never asked, and I never offered. Looks like we're weaning (at least from the morning session); which is fine by me. A few months ago, I looked deep into his eyes and realized the magic was gone. He was certainly healthy, and physically developed enough, and he took to cow milk well. He's made nursing into a game, trying to hop from one breast to the other, and then back. Taking a break to tickle his own toes (saying tick-L tick-L aloud) or to kiss my lips or blow raspberries on my belly.

At about 10 this morning, I felt the physical consequence for not nursing this morning. My breasts felt like I had lead in them. I took a pain reliever - yup, it's that uncomfortable.

After dinner, I hit the grocery store and picked up a few things, including cabbage.

Henry took his bath tonight, and nursed before going to bed. Sweet relief.

But I'm still wearing cabbage inside both bra cups as I write. It helps.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Yes and No

"Is that a good sandwich, Henry?"
"Would you like to go to the store?"
"Should we tickle daddy?"

These all get deep, slow nods from Henry. His head solemnly swears that he agrees with the question at hand. As though God himself has asked a favor. Yes, from the bottom of Henry's little heart, yes.

"He understands so much more than we think," states Jim.

I ask, "Henry, would you like snakes to gobble up your toes?" He nods.

He does disagree with one topic: sleep. Any question involving sleep, naps, or bed gets a quiet, almost kitten "meow"-sounding noooooo.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What's that saying about common sense?

A week before Christmas, Willa decided it would be a good idea to pick Henry up and carry him up the stairs. Due to the fact that Henry is too big for her to carry anywhere, let alone up stairs (and particularly when she is wearing a princess dress made of slippery fabric) the trip up the stairs was unsuccessful and ended with blood (hers) and tears (both of them).

Interviews of all parties concerned resulted in a hypothesis that Henry kind of surfed down the stairs, using Willa as a board.

We had friends over at the time and weren't paying very close attention. I'm still kicking myself and Jim and I are haunted by the "what ifs" that follow any accident.

Willa took some stair treads to the nose and mouth, and had a scab that unfortunately earned her the brief nickname of Rudolf at Christmas time. After I knew she was all right, and was icing her wounds, I'm going to confess to you folks: I thought of all of the Christmas photos that were to come, and gave up any thought of still catching a moment for a holiday card photo.

Childhood comes with a certain amount of bumps and scrapes, and frankly, I'm putting it in the win column that we haven't had an ER visit yet.

A few nights ago, I was up early with Henry (still going through holiday-related sleep disruption). I was watching a news show while he nursed. There was a story about a mom who was angry - like"feel my wrath and see my veins bulging" angry - because her daughter has had to have two unplanned hair trims since Christmas. It seems the young Miss cuddled her zhu zhu pet too closely, and her locks got swept up but the motorized wheels. Mom was demanding a recall. The newscaster managed to get the phrase "when the maker of zhu zhu pets were contacted, their statement was parents should instruct their children on the proper use of this toy." I've even read that there is a warning label on the packaging. And here's how I know this mom is a real thinker: the first haircut came the morning after her daughter slept with her new toy. The second haircut? The next morning when her daughter slept with it - again.

Willa proudly told the stranger in the Kohls bathroom, "I protected my brother when we fell down the stairs," when the stranger asked, "what happened to your pretty face?"* Because it was her actions that caused the accident, I wouldn't let her collect any medal of bravery. On the other hand, I take equal blame because I wasn't aware of what was going on.

So, the next time I see my daughter pick up her brother near stairs? I'll stop her. And I probably won't call the local news to come broadcast how my own lack of common sense caused injury to my children.

*hey, if you don't know a kid, don't ask them about an injury. Willa was in tears one night because people she didn't know kept asking her.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Got the itch

I was so distracted by holiday preparations that I forgot to aim any energy at my nemesis, Winter. The cookies are shared (and our reserve is nearly gone), the presents are given and received, the tree was packed up two days ago. And yesterday it suddenly hit me. A growling, impatient, tangible dislike of this season.

Thanks to a prank (thoughtful as it was) by my mom, I am on the mailing list for just about every gardening/landscaping catalog. They've started to arrive. I've started to drool.

Due to the nation-wide tomato blight, we'll have to move our crop for the year. The fungus may still be active, so... We'll have tomatoes in the side garden. We'll put the cucumber and squash in the tomato bed.

I harvested a bunch of seeds in the fall. Did you see me picking the head off of a dying red snapdragon flower in public? I think I'll have to sit on my hands for several more weeks. And then, I'll rip open seed packets and sit on the floor, enjoying the smell of potting soil. Mmmmm...

I just explored the Sinki archives and found this post. It looks like early January is my tipping point.

Gardening pals, got any plans yet?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunday family adventure

On Sunday morning, the Sinkis were running in slow motion. We got up, and dressed for church. We left the house for our 8 minute drive, 5 minutes after the service started. Taking into account parking downtown and getting Willa settled in her classroom... well, the Sinkis looked very nice driving about town trying to find something to do at 11 am. Nothing opens until noon, we found. So, back home we went, to change and put Henry down for his nap.
After he woke up, two Sinkis went ice skating while the other two watched. Check out Willa in her new skates:

I was so, so proud of both Willa and Jim. Even though she and I talked about the realities of skating (you ARE going to fall. But then you just get up...) ahead of time, she was not enjoying the first experience. Until daddy took her out on the ice and tried, and tried and tried... and tried. He was so patient. And finally, they went around the rink - her not ready to let go of the crutch - and they were both smiling.

I have a video to share. But before I invest too much time and pass my cursing quota of the day, do any pals out there have a quick and easy video sharing/posting suggestion?

Right from the rink, we went to the Gardens:

Monday, January 04, 2010

...not even a mouse

I know I've been quiet here.

Jim had two whole weeks off of work and we've simply had a wonderful Christmastime.
Also, I was insanely domestic. In December I made:
- 8 tutus for some little girls I like a bunch.
- 12 different kinds of Christmas cookies and candy. Note to self: never set that goal again.
- a table runner for my mom's gift.

I need a break from creaming butter and sugar and tying tulle to ribbon. And my sewing machine and I aren't speaking right now.