Saturday, October 24, 2009

world's longest post ever

Where does the time go? So much to catch up on...

As some of you may have deduced from the photo slideshow on the panel at right, we went to a pumpkin patch a few weeks back with the Gilpins. The girls were so freakin adorable it was ridiculous. Here's a slideshow.

... and a couple videos...
Hi Goat

Pony ride

We also have undertaken a variety of improvement projects around the house. What's new, right? One that has really made me very happy is getting both our closet and Roan's organized. Here are some photos.

You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. Here's the chaos in Roan's room while we were underway. Not for the feint of heart.
closet craziness

Here's Roan helping Daddy.
putting up Roan's new closet

Her finished closet
Roan's closet newly organized

A place for everything and everything in its place
aaah organization!

Our closet
our closet all organized

Another home project: we welded up a new gate for the side of the house. It was a great learning project for me because it had about a zillion welds, all at 90* angles (easy). I still have a ways to go before I'm a welding master, but it's been a fun project for us. We have one more bar we'd like to weld on to close in the largest square a bit, but here it is at the moment.
New gate

In other news, Roan went to a birthday party last weekend complete with ponies, face painting and balloon animals. And it was a gorgeous day for it. The only problem was, the party was scheduled smack during her naptime. We threw caution to the wind and figured skipping one nap wouldn't kill her. She did pretty well, but when pizza arrived and she laid her little head on the table next to her plate, we took that as a sign she needed some rest. She and Arwen took an impromptu nap in the shade together. Here's a slideshow.

A couple weeks back we took a trip to the zoo with Roan's friend Claire and her mom (and my friend) Jennifer. They were so cute in the wagon.
at the zoo with Claire

... which Roan commandeered to tote Baby Sarah around in.
at the zoo with Claire

True to the coming of fall and winter, Roan came down with a little cold a couple weeks back. Here she is curled up on the couch watching movies with Baby Sarah.
home sick

We were housebound for days on end while she was recouping. Her last sick day we were both feeling couped up and decided to go for a walk with Baby Sarah in her stroller. Her first time in anything other than PJs in days, she elected to put on my old Holly Hobby outfit from the 70's. (She still has her jammie pants on underneath!). Pretty dang adorable I must say.
Holly Hobby in action

Let's see... what else... We had a snow day. Roan was so excited. She was hoping we could go sledding. I didn't bother pointing out we don't actually have a sled, and instead focused on the fact that a centemeter's dusting of snow on the ground doesn't cut it for sledding. At least there was enough falling to try and catch it on our tongues. She seemed satisfied.
Did any snowflakes land IN her mouth?

Tasting snowflakes

Snowy fun

Also along the lines of seasonal fun, we decorated the pumpkin she picked out from the pumpkin patch. Rather than have her sit and watch me go to town on it with a knife, we opted for maximum toddler involvement by just poking holes in the pumkin that she could shove her Mrs. Potato Head pieces into. (Thank you K and Gramps!) She was thrilled.
Mrs. Potato Pumpkin

Here's a picture Roan took today. It's her latest portrait of Baby Sarah. I particularly enjoy the depth of field and the delicate lighting in the shot. It's got Pulitzer written all over it.
Still life with Baby Sarah

As far as me personally, I have been knitting up a storm lately. I'm in high gear getting ready for Baby Cousin, but all of that is top secret until the baby showers. On top of that I signed up to take a knitting class ONLINE to learn how to turn t-shirts into yarn, and then turn that yarn into fabulous wonderful must-have objects. Here's a shot of a lace wrap I'm working on. For ME if you can believe it!

Online knitting classes seem to have been invented precisely for the knit-a-holic with small children. I can sneak in videos and chat time whenever I can steal a few minutes, without dipping into Arwen's wind turbine time and without having to recruit a babysitter. Score!

And finally a couple videos. These are from today. Roan has recently developed a keen interest in dinosaurs. I turned on the camera while she was going on and on about her newest dinosaur (today's poo poo prize) which she named Prana.

Um Her name is Prana
Oh show me Prana. And what is she?
A girl.
A girl. And what kind of animal?
Dinosaur. She has a green eye.
What else does she have?
A green head. She has a green tail. And she wags it. And she poops out from it.
She poops out from her tail? Really? Do you have a tail?
No. I have a bottom to poop in the potty.
Oh good job.
And... and... Prana sticks out her tail in the mirror.

Do you like dinosaurs Roan?
Yeah. I like this dinosaur. He's nice.
I thought it was a she, not a he. Is it a girl or a boy?
A girl.
Oh a girl dinosaur. So she's nice.
He is. She is.
She's not grumpy?
She's not grumpty. She's nice.
Are some dinosaurs grumpy?
Yeah. She doos... And when... When some dinosarus are grumpy they say ROAR!
What do they say?
They say ROAR!
Is that so funny? And this one.. and she stands all by herself. See!

Ok... that's all folks!

Monday, October 12, 2009

a few thoughts

More pictures soon, I promise, but I thought I should post this blog entry from this past Monday that's already getting old.

Today was my "off" day with Roan. I can't help but use those annoying air quotes every time I say that because inevitably I am completely exhausted and on the edge of demoralization by the end of my so-called off days with Roan. How stay at home moms (or dads) do it is utterly beyond my comprehension.

It's not that I don't enjoy spending time with my little girl. I do. She's the best. She cracks me up, melts my heart, and suprises me, sometimes all in the same sentence. Like the other night when I served us penne with homemade spagetti sauce. She doesn't usually like spagetti sauce but it's a darn convenient vehicle for slipping stealth vegetables to her, so I've been trying to get her to come around to it. She looked up at one point and declared, "I like this. I really like this. Thanks guys for making such a good dinner." Thanks guys? Is she 2 or 22? Or the other night when Arwen was drawing her bath. He asked if she needed the water a little warmer. "No, I'm good." You're good? Really? Mastering context and idiom at the ripe old age of 2-1/2. Ok. Or tonight after Jen and Micah stopped by and shared dinner with us. When they were heading out she said nonchalantly, "Nice to see you guys." She apparently has better manners than we do.

I'm not sure what it is. I've spent the past two years trying to put my finger on it. Why, at the end of a day "off" do I feel as fried as an earthworm that's been baking on the sidewalk all day? There's no doubt it's gotten much easier than when she was an infant. The nonstop puking, pooping, peeing, and screaming was a wonder to behold. Thank goodness that's behind us. I don't think it's really dealing with her that makes me frazzled. I mean sure, we have 2-3 temper tantrums each day. No, we can't go to the library until you put on something BESIDES underwear. Or I'm sorry sweetie, I don't know what hot ice is. If I did I would give you some. Or I'm sorry, we can't wear a wet pullup all day. It's not good for your bottom.

But that's all manageable. Formulaic really.
Step 1: Offer two choices, niether of which she's really interested in;
Step 2: When she (predictably) demurs (that's putting it mildly) hold your ground firmly; Step 2, version A: Naughty step. Step 2, Version B: "Quiet time" in her room;
Step 3: Stay strong. This is when you tell yourself (over deafening shrieks to the contrary) that you're doing the right thing, you're not a sadist, boundaries are important, you're not inflicting pointless torture upon an innocent child, wait it out. Wait. It. Out.
Step 4: Reconciliation. This is when she finally agrees to put clothes on or take off that disgusting diaper or do whatever perfectly reasonable thing you requested 20 minutes ago. She also usually makes one humble request: "Snuggles Mama. Need some snuggles," as she buries her snotty nose into your shirt. And you're just so glad (exhausted?) to finally be at this point you don't even bother to ask her or God or whatever omnicient diety you happen to belive it WHY, FOR THE SAKE OF PETE, COULD WE NOT HAVE SHORT-CIRCUITED THIS POINTLESS EXERCISE SOMEHOW?!?!

But that is really no big deal. I mean, I will take a tantrum (or three) over sleepless nights and runny poop any day. Outside of those very small incidents it is so much fun being together, doing things, whether we're just doing crappy made up crafts I'm trying to fool her with around the house, or whether we're going to fancy music classes or specially arranged playgroups. I mean, I think we have so much fun piling washcloths on babies (still her favorite activity, 1.5 years running) sometimes I wish we could just keep on doing that stuff forever.

I think it's all the other stuff that crowds in that's the problem. Whether it's berating myself for not having enough "enrichment" activities (not already working on sight reading? LOSER!) or noticing the tumbleweeds of dusty doghair rolling through my living room (put DOWN the dolly and pick up a BROOM for God's sake!) or wondering when in the past decade was the last time Sasha got walked or feeling a slave to the "to do" list (If we don't get 17 loads of laundry, this week's grocery shopping and a week's worth of pre-cooking done today, then when will we?) I just feel like I am falling down on the job constantly.

But maybe if I can work on silencing my inner critic and feeling good about whatever I do manage to get done, however modest, then maybe at the end of a long day I will feel content. I guess I just need more practice.