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I'm moving!

flower1
2009 is time for a change.

I am moving my blog.

You can find me at
www.suburbangoats.blogspot.com

I will keep up with you fine LJ folk!

Happy New Year!

Dec. 30th, 2008

flower1

Neil's guzzling away here, forcing me to type with one hand.  Babies.

I babysat for a ten month old today.  Oh my selective memory! That sweet boy sits up, crawls all over, pulls up on furniture, hides, finds small objects under chairs, and crawls off mid diaper change.  Holy cow, Neil will be doing all that in a couple months.  I so easily forget how the attention a child requires only increases with age. 

This winter holiday is awesome.  Eliza has been home from school since the18th.  It's grand.  The only kink in my days has revolved around David returning to work yesterday.  The girls were squirrelly and contentious.  Adele had a pukey bug on the weekend. Now I know she's feeling better because she was so whiny yesterday. (Sick=lethargic and quiet!) I did get our days back to our normal lunch and nap routine which is gratifying. I am forecasting our homeschool days and they look good.  If E never went back to school I think we'd all like it.

We are reading Charlotte's Web at bedtime and whenever she can trap me.  I waffle between reading several chapters at once or parcelling it out over a couple weeks.  We both enjoy it so much. Eliza greeted David with "Salutations" this evening.  Tonight we kept repeating Charlotte's line "I can't stand hysterics" to each other and laughing. I suspect I will hear that out of  E's mouth the next time Adele has a meltdown.

Eliza got a camera for Christmas.  Here are some of her gems:



 some camera shake...





Ok, she's no Diane Arbus. She is incredibly enthusiastic. I know there are better photos not yet downloaded.  And you should see the two minute video she took of Adele coloring. Captivating.  I may have to youtube it. (Is that a verb? Maybe I should google it.  Ha h ha.)

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Holiday recap

flower1
It was all good.  We did not get to take our trip as we had planned because the weather was so bad.  But it was great to have all that extra time as a family, cozy and safe at home.  The girls got the full Santa experience.

 
 
Erecting a route too large for the table.  Eliza has grand ambitions.

It was good. I'd like to say more about it but presently I am wrapped up in some serious discontent because when I downloaded the photos, I saw that there was not a single one of me and my kids on Christmas day.  None, zip, zilch, nada.

Maybe this is no big deal for some people, but it really gets to me.

photos

flower1



Being negligent and putting my child on the table.


Wipe the drool, please.
 Adele is getting cuter and cuter.


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Christmas time's a comin'

flower1
Ho Ho Ho.

The holiday spirit must be manifesting itself here at our house because Eliza, and to a less extent, Adele, has been in a very creative, generous mood.  Each day she has made a present for someone, or a Christmas card, or been very helpful.  She wanted to mop the floor yesterday.  Not one to miss an opportunity like that, I set her up. (Don't worry, I didn't give her a bucket with toxic cleaner in it. I don't run a sweatshop here.)  There were a couple stubborn spots that wouldn't clean up.  She delegated hands and knees mopping to Adele.  Adele did it. 

What can I say, I'm richly blessed! Now if they will do this when they are teenagers....

My boy!! My boy is a delight.  He is getting attached to me.   I am becoming the beacon of all good things to him.  I passed him over to David last night and the tears! The collapsing, distraught face! I feel flattered and well loved.  I also feel the great burden of motherhood, as his fixation is going to grow and grow.  I wonder if he, like the girls, will eventually abandon me for the for more amusing, tickle prone Papa.  Time will tell.

Took the girls to my parenting group's holiday party the other day.  Bunch of fun despite the showers of loose glitter at the craft table.  Four or five containers of glitter, all with huge holes for pouring it out---I nearly had a panic attack over it, and it wasn't even my house. Actually it was a public space but the sight of all that glitter stirred great anxiety in me. Surely we'll be told never to come back.   I kept trying to sweep up the excess into a spare ziploc bag.  This obsession helped curb further mess, I thought, until I looked over and saw Eliza's hand  in the bag grabbing handfuls of my personal shiny Hell.   Glitter glue, people.  It's a great mess-free invention.











She picked me

me 2008 july

The other night I put Adele to bed.  Eliza stayed up a bit later. When it was time for her to go up, she knew it was Papa's turn to put her to bed, but she said "Whoever I look at the longest gets to put me to bed." She cut her eyes between David me and finally landed her eyes on me.  She picked me!  Me!!

I'm still a little giddy over it.  So nice to be wanted.

Today I am on Eliza's good side, too.  In a rare display of affection (she just isn't a cuddly person) Eliza climbed in my lap after supper.  As that was not at all comfortable, I took her to my bedroom where I have my glider.  David bought me that glider when I was pregnant with her.  I sat there with her on my lap and went back in time.  I held that child in my arms for hours when she was a baby.  Right in that chair, we sorted out all sorts of inarticulate nuances and established our mother/daughter bond. Most of that time I thought I was just sitting there feeding her. Five years later she climbs in my lap. I felt like she was brand new again. Our bodies were in sync then.  When Eliza was a newborn I woke moments before she called for me because my milk let down. I could hear her every whimper.  The first months it was as though we were still attached.  Slowly our connection has shifted.  She looks for independence. I want to help her grow.  But tonight, sitting with my big girl on my lap, I felt like we were back in Missouri.  It was just us, her in my arms, gliding.

Later she got down.  Adele horned in our cuddling and wanted on my lap.  Eliza suggested we all get cozy on the bed.  Neil started fussing, so I got him and started to nurse.  After a bit, Adele got up saying "I have to use da batroooom vahwe baaaad." I told her to wipe her own bottom because I was busy nursing. She tells me "I pooped a little."  Sadly poop is a motivator for me to abandon a child, and I left Neil to take care of Adele.
While I'm attending to her, Neil rolls over toward Eliza and reaches out to her.  "Hey, buddy, I don't have food for you! Want to see?" she says.   I looked over.  Eliza had lifted her shirt to show Neil  her non-lactating chest.  She's too funny.

Dec. 8th, 2008

flower1
Leave me a comment and I will reply with why I like you. If I don't know you, I'll either make something up or tell you why I like your LiveJournal. You must pay for the privilege by posting a message like this one on your LiveJournal.
If you don't have a blog on LJ then I suppose you can disregard that last sentence.

poem

eliza neil

Mothers

Oh mother,
here in your lap,
as good as a bowlful of clouds,
I your greedy child
am given your breast,
the sea wrapped in skin,
and your arms,
roots covered with moss
and with new shoots sticking out
to tickle the laugh out of me.
Yes, I am wedded to my teddy
but he has the smell of you
as well as the smell of me.
Your necklace that I finger
is all angel eyes.
Your rings that sparkle
are like the moon on the pond.
Your legs that bounce me up and down,
your dear nylon-covered legs,
are the horses I will ride
into eternity.

Oh mother,
after this lap of childhood
I will never go forth
into the big people's world
as an alien,
a fabrication,
or falter
when someone else
is as empty as a shoe.

--- Anne Sexton, from The Awful Rowing Toward God


Neil is five months old today.

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how'd that happen?

flower1

Here it is December 6th already. I don't know what I've been doing but it has been fun.

I'm sitting here nursing Neil. He'll be five months on Monday. He grabs at objects, hair, people, the festive tablecloth I put on the table.  The branches of the fir tree we put in the corner are relaxing and tomorrow, after the lights are untangled, the girls will help decorate it. We'll paint the salt dough decorations we made yesterday and maybe make paper chains.  I'll find some holiday music and help the girls learn 'Silver Bells' and 'The Little Drummer Boy'.

I love Christmas.

I am making a less commercial Christmas for the girls. A lot of what the are getting--and it's less this year--is handmade or second hand. We have a new Goodwill in town and their book selection is astounding.  Eliza is getting a couple chapter books from there.   Their stockings don't hold much so Santa can keep things simple there, too. Maybe an orange like Grandpa used to get.  My kids are easy; they aren't asking for anything.

We got our holiday photo taken today--no one cried! The kids are superstars and we well we look like parents which is to say not as cute as they do. It did essentially take half the day which was draining. We got up late, had to bathe the girls, clear some snow, and spent an hour and a half at Penney's.  After we went out for lunch. Came home, put Adele down for a nap and there it was, my day stitched right up.

Eliza and I are entering (I hope) a good phase.  Sometimes I feel terrible for her; she gets the overwhelmed, inexperienced mom.  The mom who doesn't know about five year olds.  The mom who still wants her baby to be a baby even while the baby reads and subtracts double digits.  I am working on feeling active compassion for the both of us.  Neither of us have been in this place before so we need to just experience it.  It's good.

As a family we've been having bedtime frustrations.  I made a decision to fix the problem.  The problem is that both girls are all 'Papa, Papa' at bedtime, wanting him to put her to bed. This hurts my feelings and more importantly eats up what little time David and I could have together. So I made a chart of who puts who to bed alternating between kids. I laid down the law (in my sweet way) and so far the static isn't generating sparks. I pump myself up to the lucky girl extolling my tremendous storytelling skills and vast reserves of hugs and kisses.  The result is that I get quality quiet time with Eliza. When I get to spend time alone with her our relationship is wonderful.  I listen to her and she knows it.  She tells me things she learns at school.  She shares her thoughts.  She asks me questions about life and sometimes even about me.  I love having such feelings of closeness with her.  I can't believe it has been five years and 8 months since she was born.  Tonight she asked me as we cuddled in her bed if I was going to have any more babies.  No, I told her, probably not.  Why, she asks.  I tell her that sometimes mamas get to where they can't have more babies.  And some mamas decide that the babies they have are enough.  The more babies a mama has, the less she has with each of them, I told her.  And I want to have more time with her. 

And I do.

Adele is now three

beach
Gimme some cake.  NOW!

Much better now, thanks.

I'm falling down on my job here in blogland.  This real-life gig takes a lot out of me.
So, fancy pants had a birthday, and it was fun.  We went to Happy Joe's for pizza.  She ate only olives. Not cheese, sauce, or crust--just olives.  That's my kid, holding out for the good stuff.  We had birthday cake before bed.  (It didn't get her sugared up at all.  Really.) The next day I had a little party with some of her little friends and that was bunches of fun, too.  As usual Adele was all about the eating and less about the playing.  I don't know why she's like that.

I've had a cold or something for the last two weeks.  I am starting to wonder if I have some chronic illness or maybe this is just Wisconsin kicking my ass earlier than usual.  It snowed already twice (ok, the first time doesn't count because it lasted about four hours).   I may have mentioned previously that I hate snow.  If you didn't hear it before I shall repeat, I hate snow.  I want to move to a place that rarely gets snow and does not have big bugs, either.  I should not be surprised but the first snow of the season always stuns me. I actively deny that snow is in my future so when it shows up I get all indignant and annoyed, as if it is a personal affront. The other day I forgot to set my alarm and when Eliza got up she ran into my room "MAMA IT SNOOOOOOWED!"  I  tempered my discontent so as to not pee on her parade.  This year I have an easy out (Neil) and won't have to be out there playing with them.
 
Neil is getting big.  Probably 16 pounds now.  Sleeping better.  I need and want him to sleep all night long (10-6 would be awesome!) but I am just fooling myself.  My kids don't sleep all night long until they are about eighteen months old. The best I can hope for is 10-4 and that has only happened a couple times so far.  I am resigned to my fate.

Anniversary--8 years---celebrated it! We had a sitter for all three kids (Neil did great) and went out for dinner to a fancy restaurant.  Delish food.  I had two glasses of wine and felt wonderful.  I have to say the last eight years have been the best of my life. It was a bit of a nightmare before I met Dave.  Well, maybe not a nightmare, but let's just say my enjoyment of life is greater now.  Plus I gained like 10 pounds after I met him because he fed me.  That's some love, baby. When I knew I wanted to 'settle down' get married and have a family I asked God to find me a mate keeping in mind six particular characteristics.  (I think God likes specifics.  I do.)  He came through with five of the six and I can't remember what the sixth one was now so it doesn't matter. 

That's all I know for now.

Oh, and this:
 




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