Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's been forevah...

At the risk of falling into a cliche, it's a new year and I have some... intentions for the year. I did pretty well with my intentions last year, except for the one about writing in my blog more often. But what I did do was track all of our finances for an entire year, where in the past I'd tracked a month here or there, only to trail off and not enter anything for months at a time. I kept my office... well... it's not the disaster area it once was. I mostly stuck to my grocery budget. Not bad.

So 2011, here's what I'm thinking:

#1 combat my anxiety. Yep, the old anxiety has really been a bitch lately. I'm vowing to kick its ass in 2011 with whatever means necessary.

#2 get a piece of writing published. Just one piece, as I don't want to be too lofty here. Preferably for some $.

#3 continue decluttering the house.

That's it. It feels like a lot, and it's making me a wee bit anxious (see intention #1) so I'm off to pop a rescue remedy pastille.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stil Here...

I've got about five minutes before the boys come home from swimmin', and I should probably use it to pick away at the thick level of filth on the floors/kitchen counter/bathroom sink, but eff it.

Lot's been going on-- workin', Maxin', playdates and spending time with my parents. The days are flying by like nobody's business. Max can walk now but mostly still chooses to scoot around like a cute little crab because it's faster. He's also started dancing and he has several fancy moves-- his old standby, the arm sweep, the bum wag, and the lean and fold. He also occasionally busts into some old school breakdance moves to mix things up a bit. He even points to the iPod to demand that appropriate music be played to accomodate said dancing.

Other favorites include playing Pattycake--a few mornings last week he began the day by climing onto my stomach and clapping his hands expectantly-- his way of imploring that Pattycake be played.

Well, that's about it for now. Hopefully-- more soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


So I've been sleeping a little. Finally. We've tried gripe water and kinesiologists, extreme elimination diets and bacon. Osteopathy and homeopathy and cry-it-outopathy. We've tried big dinners and stinky t-shirts that smell like mama in the crib. For the past few days, Bunky has been going to sleep in his crib with just a few minutes of fussing (okay, let's call it what it is-- screamin'), staying in his crib until somewhere between 11pm and 1am, at which point Papa Bear (did I seriously just call Scott Papa Bear?!?) goes in and brings him to bed, whilst I slumber downstairs in the guest room until somewhere between 3 and 5a.m. when Max demands milk. We sort of stumbled onto this arrangement, which, while far from perfect or a long-term solution to our sleep woes, is working for the moment, and bringing me some much overdue sleep. We weren't really even planning on night weaning-- it just sort of happened.

I've been thinking a lot lately about "mothering in the middle." I got pretty wrapped up in the idea of "attachment parenting" and I still believe strongly in a lot of it-- wearing your baby, breastfeeding on demand, meeting their needs, etc. What's not so black and white is that my baby is now becoming a toddler and what used to be his needs-- frequent nursing, sleeping in bed with us all night, being carried like a kangaroo bebe, etc.-- are now more like wants. Whereas I need to be getting more than two hours of consecutive sleep. It's been an interesting learning process, with a lot of guilt, comparisons and chats with other mamas. What I'm finding is that most of us are always going to be somewhere in the middle of whatever continuum we're on, whether it's parenting or finances or even politics. There will always be someone more attachmenty than I, and someone more unattachmenty. (Yeah, I've been sleeping more but I think the vocabulary portion of my brain may still be recovering!) And there's some comfort in that.

Shoutout to my friend Megan who wrote a great article on the ebbs and flows of attachment parenting here.

I was really beating myself over even considering letting the babe cry at night. I frequent these message boards at that are great in a lot of ways but also make me feel guilty. The tipping point for me, besides 13 months of very little consecutive sleep, was running into three moms within less than a week who all are very compassionate, attachmenty mamas, and all had to let their babies do some crying. That and my therapist who has been trying to talk me into this for months. So, we're part way there-- instead of laying in bed with Max for an hour while he sits up and down and up and down and crawls over us and yells "nigh-nigh-ni-ni-ni-ni-ni" and moans and pokes us in the eyes and finally goes to sleep, the little one goes in his crib, we leave, he cries for a few minutes and then he's out. It's pretty sweet.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Examination Station

So I'm trying another little experiment. That's how I convince myself I've not leapt over the deep end into crazy housewife land, by saying "it's just an experiment." I'm trying writing for the Examiner, which actually seems like a somewhat cool, well, experiment. I figure it's another way to keep me writing, make a few cents on the side (I've already made 20 cents, watch out purple piggy bank!) and gather up some clips for any future writing endeavors. So I'm now a Portland Healthy Living Examiner. Let me know if you have any ideas for little articles~ healthy living could include quite a bit. Of course my first article was about savin' money. Check 'er out here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Time Flies...

Yep, it does. I can (still) hardly believe my kiddo is a year old. Time is draining away in a blur of diaper changes, couponin' crazes, blogging, and my most recent expedition, mystery shopping.

And today marks the 20th anniversary of my grandma Jeanne's death. It is hard to believe that she's been gone from my life longer than she was in it. I imagine this is true for a lot of people, but I feel like every few years my life undergoes a vast transformation that eclipses previous eras of my life. Right now, as I just mentioned, life is mostly about Max and frugality and making writing fun again. In other times it's been all about death, or hockey, or falling in love, or getting drunk, or theater. It feels a little like a crazy quilt, and I imagine it's partly the nature of life for things to evolve constantly, and that it's partly just my personality.

And I also think these chameleon traits, which are mostly fun and surprising, (and sometimes a little depressing in a culture that starts asking "so what do you want to be when you grow up?" far too early)are genetic. I inherited it from my mom who has enjoyed a colorful array of jobs and hobbies, and that she in turn inherited it from her mom. My grandma moved to Alaska from New York by herself as a young woman which in itself is pretty bad-ass. She slung clothes, liquor, raised two amazing, creative kids, divorced, subscribed to Playboy, volunteered, stitched costumes for the local theater, made my brother and I feel like stars and sometimes not, and she died suddenly twenty years ago today when I was fifteen.

I suspect she'd be mostly proud of the disparate seasons I've gone through. And though most days my grandma seems lifetimes away to me, because so much has changed in the last twenty years-- I can still remember the cracked lines on her feet (which alarmingly, my own feet are rapidly coming to resemble), I can remember the ruddy skin just below her collarbone, the splash of pink in the Strawberry Shortcake sheets she bought for my weekend slumber parties, and the way I felt when she'd give me a book like Little Women, or when she'd tell me we would publish my poems. I miss you, Grandma.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

First B-day

Dear Max,

We've all made it through a year. It's hard to believe an entire year has gone by-- the days flew even when many of the nights were long. I feel like you just got here and like you've always been here at the same time. And I still wonder where you were before you got here-- you are just so here that I feel like you must have existed somewhere, somehow, before.

On Saturday we had a little gathering for you. Daddy cooked up an amazing spread of baked ziti, chicken parm and a gorgeous icebox cake. Who knew he could cook like that?! Grandma and Pa, Auntie Annie and Iris, Uncle Matt and cousins Sophia and Matthew, and your godparents Hannah and Jared were all here to celebrate with us. We picked out a quality in each of them that we admire and asked them to help cultivate it in you over the years. You should be in good shape if you end up with even half of the love and positive qualities that you were surrounded with yesterday. Your other Grandma and Grandpa couldn't be with us yesterday, and we miss them as much as they miss us.

You didn't take a nap until 4p.m. yesterday after everybody left. You got some really fun gifts but you were more intently focused on ripping the tissue paper they came in into tiny shreds.

It's been quite the year, kiddo. We traversed those first hard months and they, like labor, are becoming a distant memory. When I look at pictures of you from back then, I almost don't recognize you. When I hold you, it's hard to believe that a year ago you were still hanging out in my tummy.

You have just learned to crawl and you crawl just like your cousin Sophia, a cute little crabwalky thing. One of your other new favorite pasttimes is pulling yourself up on the window sill in the dining room and babbling like a grumpy old man surveying the neighborhood. Some of your other hobbies are going for computer cords (you're actually trying to get my laptop right now), hot cups of tea, and playing mama jungle gym where you crawl all over me like a little monkey. And you're not yet too big to carry around in the Ergo~ I still put you in there to get a few things done around the house, and it seems to calm you down to be snuggled in like a koala cub. I wonder if you still remember the sound of my heartbeat from when you were inside, and that makes me a little sad. I realize that one of the hardest lessons of my life will be all the letting go I will have to do with you, and it makes me ache a little when I consider that. But for today, I'm just enjoying that you're our little big boy, our one year old. Happy birthday Maxers.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Checkin' in

Not much terribly exciting to write about, but the boys are at swim class so I wanted to check in here, since it's been a few weeks. And one of my intentions for the year was to write in here at least twice a month. So here I be.

Nothing terribly exciting is going on right now-- my life seems to largely revolve around attempting to get Max to take naps so I can take a breather. Or play with my coupons. I recently discovered that if I put him down on his tummy for naps, instead of his puny little 20 minute nap, he'll often sleep for anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour. Good, good, good stuff!

And it's been almost a year now that we've been parents. People have been asking if it feels like a year, and I say it feels like when Scott and I were first dating. (And by dating I mean living together.) It both felt like we'd known each other forever, and also like it was impossible that time was passing so quickly. And that's what it feels like with Max. Don't get me wrong-- I most certainly remember my life before him. Days of puttering around the house, sometimes reading a book a day,watching a season of TV on dvd in a weekend, going to movies with Scott... yes, I remember those things. Some days I miss them. It's not that I don't remember my life without Max, I just can't imagine it without him now. There are these amazing little jewels of moments scattered throughout days that are a little more domestic than I used to be comfortable with. Like he's waving now, and he waves with both hands at the same time, which is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. Or how he likes to be dipped upside down-- he makes this half-wry, half-delighted smile that makes him seem much older than his 11 months. Or how he kicks his legs and makes appreciative little noises when I'm feeding him something he really likes-- this week, it's baked pears with a little olive oil.

So life is pretty good. The house is somewhat tidy. I slept more than two consecutive hours last night. I'm warm and cozy on the couch with my monkey sock mug full o tea. By the time Scott and Max get back from swimming, I will have started to miss them.