Archive for January, 2012

A Momentous 24 Hours!

The last 24 hours have been incredible.

1. J went 24 hours without a temper tantrum. His tantrums are epic. People whisper about them in museums, libraries, and family functions. He feels things very deeply and has trouble filtering sometimes, so that’s just the way he is.

I’ve been making an extreme effort to be a “Yes Mom,” and let him try to do almost everything himself that he wants to, and rely on natural consequences much more. AND not push any food no matter how much I think he can eat it.

There was one tantrum today, but it was small. And to be fair, I did wake him up from a deep, sound sleep only minutes before. I’d probably throw a tantrum, too.

2. I had a wonderful play date with two good friends.

3. Jason started teaching an evening class, making me the sole parent on duty from 7:20am-10pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’d forgotten what long days those are.

I just need to work on that whole dinner thing. Maybe tons of mobile snacks? Cereal and oatmeal or cheesy bread and soup every Tuesday and Thursday? I don’t know, but I think for sanity’s sake that I’m going to be standardizing my meal plan into a 4-week plan that repeats for the next 5 months.

4. There’s a light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel. I signed up for some intense volunteer work a few months ago. It ended up being much, much more intense that I anticipated. So I asked for help and, like magic, caring people jumped in. Looks like some problems will be ironed out within the next month.

5. The Green Car’s alternator went kapooey. I had to cut the on-site volunteer work short tonight so that Jason could run to the parts store before it closed, buy an alternator, and he is now outside, at 9:46pm, working on the car.

Did I mention that it’s 23 degrees?

23 degrees.

I can’t even comprehend how cold that feels while lying still on the bare ground. While recovering from a cold. I love him more than I love dark chocolate.

Did I mention that it’s 23 degrees?

6. Did I mention that he epoxied my shattered cell phone last week and now it works perfectly. I was so hoping it was broken and I could finally go without a cell. But no.

He’s a magic man! (name those lyrics!) I love him more than I love vacation in tropical paradises with no laundry or vacuums or styrofoam peanuts.

7. J looked the hand mixer dead-on, ran away, but then came back and blended the cream cheese. We made cream cheese brownies. He was so brave. He’s never before stayed in the room when I mixed something because it’s loud and he’s terrified of loud noises (which actually end up causing most of the major tantrums).

Not only did he come back in while it was running, but he held it, completely took over, and did a great job.

I’m so proud of him.

8. I went back to cloth diapers after a 2 month break. Disposable is so easy.

Too easy.

9. P said “milk.” And laughed hysterically when I told her she was going to have a bath. I have to get that on video.

Oh, and she may have eaten part of a styrofoam peanut. I think I’ve accounted for most of it, but I just can’t tell if any tiny pieces are missing.

She started kissing me on the mouth just yesterday. And at dinner tonight she insisted on feeding me her mashed potatoes, yelling “Aaaaa” to get me to open my mouth.

10. I donated some beautiful books to the library, quite a few clothes, shoes and housewares to Goodwill, a large bag of maternity clothing to a friend of a friend who is pregnant and close to my size and shape, and gave away coupons, a broken SLR camera, a bag of baby clothes and some baby blankets on freecycle. So nice to de-clutter in a way that benefits others!

Whew! What a day.

J’s Morning Art Time

J likes art.

Loves art. LOVES. ART.

Almost every morning after breakfast, he runs and gets his art tote and some paper and sits across from me at the table, creating a new masterpiece.

What I didn’t anticipate are the great conversations we’re having while he does art, and the fun stories he tells me while he’s drawing.

Today, he decided he wanted one of his dry erase books. I hit an incredible deal at Hooked on Phonics (this from the proponent of letting kids find their way into reading and writing naturally, but man! these books have been great entertainment on car and plane trips!), and bought a dry erase picture dictionary and a Spanish words dictionary. Most of the time he just scribbles on the pages. Cool with me. He’s having fun, I’m having fun.

Today, however, he sat still for half an hour tracing each letter on each page, one by one, A to Z.

I have never seen such focus.

Or such cute blond curls.Image

Quick Review: Take the Fight Out of Food

This comes as no shock to those of you who know me well, but I worry about nutrition. I also worry about the chemicals used in producing our food and the healthiness of the animals who produce our meat, eggs and diary.

But the health of my children and husband–I probably give nothing else save laundry more thought. Sometimes I just want to burn that laundry pile! So I’m reading some parenting and nutrition books this month which serve as pretty valuable reminders, and often reinforce that I’m doing about as well as I can.

Take the Fight Out of Food by Donna Fish discussed the power struggles and food fights parents can have. As the parent of a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, I’m having many of the ones she outlines in her book. This was a quick read and had lots of pretty simple things to implement in order to get your kids to “eat for life,” by which she means eat healthily for life.

I found the parts about getting kids not to fixate on treats and sugar particularly helpful! In fact, we’re already implementing some of the strategies with J. In all, a solid book if your child is refusing to eat vegetables, fixating on sugary treats, or simply refusing to eat at all.