Thursday, December 28, 2006

We love cats

(Good boy, Lester)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Vocabulary at 17 months and a predispositioned love for Cheerios...?

Starbeans' vocabulary at 17 months:

  • Bird (brr)
  • Ball (bao)
  • Bus (buh)
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Grandpa (Bumpa)
  • Up
  • Down (dao)
  • Squirrel (Qrrl)
  • Yes
  • No
  • All done (ao doh) [he signs this too]
  • More (moh) [he signs this too]
  • Hot (haaaat)
  • Cold (cohl)
  • Corduroy (coydoydoydoydoy) [he knows this from the book, Corduroy's Day]
  • Kitty-cat (miaaaow)

I can now give him a choice - "Do you want more or are you all done?" and he tells me what he wants! It is an amazing thing at this point in our lives. This evening, we actually communicated about eating Cheerios: he wanted more, more, more, then he was all done. We're on a roll now!

Incidentally, I bought a box of Cheerios a couple of weeks ago because I couldn't get them out of my mind after half-starving during our rotavirus plague. We don't usually have cereal around the house because 1) Squeeze has weaned himself from it due to his lactose intolerance, and 2) I don't care for it much (aside from my Cheerios cravings, of course). But when we gave Starbeans a handful of Cheerios, it was Love at First Munch. He actually squeals when we get the box down for him.

Now that my brain is clacking into motion, Cheerios was my main obsession during the early-middle days of pregnancy. It was all I wanted; literally, for weeks. I'd wake up in the middle of the night gagging with hunger pains and down a bowl (or 3) of Cheerios. I wonder if the oaty-goodness left its mark in little Starbeans' taste for food?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Exclamation Point!

Once, on a bus, I overheard a dumpy-looking white woman say, "I nearly starved when my can opener broke - there was just nothing to eat!" She then went on to talk about Chef Boyardee, canned ravioli, weak wrists, and all of her weight-related health problems.

Reading Fat Land is causing all sorts of click-click-clicking in my brain. The pieces are connecting. Presidential Fitness Awards, fast food availability in high school cafeterias, Coke and Pepsi sponsorships at high school athletic events, canned, boxed, over-processed, why my mom didn't let us eat white bread, etc. etc. etc.

Eating well in the US is a learned habit. I don't think it comes naturally to us; or at least, in the last few generations. Big is normal. Most people seem to just expect it. We guzzle soda, slurp canned soups, and chow on frozen pizza and expect to live normal, healthy lives. It has been giving me the down-right creeps. The other day, I watched a girl around my age with angry red gums downing a bottle of Mountain Dew: all I could think about was her poor, sore gums. Sugar is not what that girl's mouth needed. But it is normal to live like that!

Just within the last few months, I have been looking around and thinking, "What the heck is wrong with all these people??" Why are we living like this? a. borealis has had an awakening: now that I am responsible for a little growing body, I want to ensure that he (and we) are getting balanced and proper nutritional intake. I'm not going to be satisfied with Happy Meals and American Cheese. Or [the Enemy]: high-fructose corn syrup.

I have always eaten what is considered "healthy", but I don't think I was anywhere near the nutso path I'm headed on right now. I'm glad, though. I want to get a little nutty. Eating well requires training - knowing how to cook; understanding the role that proteins, fats, and carbohydrates play; eating more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis; knowing what the body needs to function. I'd like to train my offspring to eat wholesomely; so much so, that they won't even know what a Handi Snack or Ore Ida french fries are.

I'd like them to be cultural outsiders in the realm of American eating habits. Weirdos. Unless, of course, everyone else is eating like that too. Then I wouldn't mind fitting in with the masses. But I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The A-List

Here's a list of the most common searches that land people on my blog:

  • Tight Pants (uh-oh)
  • Svenska Flicka
  • Pumpkin-Apple [bread, muffins...most recently, loaf]
  • Sinus Infection Remedies
  • Peeing Babies

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I'm in no mood for Christmas this year, with all its festivities.

Perhaps it is because:
  1. Christmas is over-marketed
  2. My family has been stuck down by the rotavirus for over a week
  3. My toddler is teething all 4 molars at once
  4. I thought I was going to be able to quit my job, but now I can't
  5. My wonky upper left wisdom tooth is crowding my teeth and creating massive havoc
  6. There is absolutely no snow outside - everything is varying shades of brown and gray
  7. Our neighbors' dogs bark freely and frequently right outside our very thin side windows

Seriously - it has been nothing but despair and the dumps in my neck of the woods. Squeeze has lost 15 pounds since last week; he pooped nothing but water (10-15 times a day) for 5 days. The rotavirus also steals anything remotely related to an appetite. Starbeans is ultra-clingy and extremely touchy because of his smarting and swollen red gums, and I've reached wraith-status by losing another 5 pounds, down to 130; again, thanks to the rotavirus. I'm 5'9.

One lesson learned: Now that we have an active toddler, I need to be extra-diligent and anal about washing that tyke's hands when we are out in public; particularly if we are going to be at a children's event, like we were on Sunday the 10th (bloody rotavirus).

On a happier note, I am scheduled to have my nasty wisdom tooth extracted on January 2nd. I am literally counting down the days!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

And...she's down!

The entire Borealis family is out for the count.

I didn't even know what day it was today; one or the other of us has been sick for one full week now. To say the very least, it has been the complete pits...complete with vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, body aches, and massive acid reflux.

(The joy.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It doesn't end

Now Squeeze is sick. (It is coming out of both ends - poor guy.) I'd better not succumb, or this ship is going down. I'm going to get out the juicer tomorrow and pump my loved ones full of apple-kale-ginger juice. That ought to do sumpin'.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Aunt Flow and more barfing tales

I am going on 7 (seven!!) days of having my period. The flow has been extremely heavy, which is very unusual for me. It has left me wondering about the first period after childbirth. Can other mothers share their experience(s) with me? It makes sense that the flow would be heavier, as the uterus hasn't sloughed for quite some time (almost a year and a half), but I'd like to have a little back-up in the Sista' Dept.

The Keeper (before-birth size) is working well for me, aside from the heavy flow. Emptying it once a day in the shower was sufficient enough before pregnancy and childbirth, but I've had to empty it several times a day to keep up. I'll give it a few more cycles before I make my move. I might be able to stick with the old girl, which would be very nice.

Starbeans was acting a bit more like himself this evening. He puked a few times today, but not since this afternoon. I'm hoping the worst is over with...? The first night, he threw up every hour or so. He also had terribly stinky diarrhea last night (the poor little guy), but today his poop has been as inoffensive as it was pre-solids. He hasn't had anything aside from milk and water since Sunday night and has been pooping like he did as a newborn - with every pee. I think the virus is slowly being worked out of his system. Thank goodness! It is terrible to watch him suffer like he has. Especially since this was his first time barfing ever. Throwing up is a miserable feeling. He has been whimpering a lot and laying his head on my shoulder while I hold him. It feels very good to know that I can comfort him; that he feels secure and calmed in my arms: it send a rushing current of motherly love into the depths of my heart - kind of like a river.

This sickness has also given me another boost in my appreciation for co-sleeping. Because he is so close to me, I have been able to detect his pre-barf behavior and make a run to the bathroom in time for almost every puke. He threw up in the bed 3 times, but that isn't bad compared to the 10-15 times of night-time barfing he had the last couple of nights, and 2 out of the 3 were the first 2 times. Poor thing. He'd start rolling around and moaning, which was my signal to pick the kid up and RUN; we made it to the tub on time every time.

Poor little Monkey.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Brother Barf, Sister Puke

Ack! I've been cleaning up (and covered in) vomit since last night; and comforting a whimpering vomity baby. Poor thing.

Think of me...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Surfing the Crimson Tide

I discovered this morning what has been causing my undisclosed angst these past few menstral cycle. I got my period for the first time in two years! I find that to be an amazing fact. I'm still nursing, too - but things have obviously slowed down a bit. Starbeans is 16 months.

I've enjoyed my break, but it is nice to have the old girl back.

Yep: you read that right. I was starting to worry about the ins and outs of conception with the absence of my monthly cycle: not that we're trying, but it's nice to know that I don't need to read about it when the time comes.

I'm back with The Keeper. It took awhile to find it! I am going to see how it holds up (things seem to be going well so far), as the post-birth size is recommended for women who have had children. I don't want to rush out and buy a new one if the old one works just as well. I'll keep(er) you posted.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I'm parched

I haven't been blogging much recently: I've found that when I'm stressed, the words just don't flow. I can't even think of anything to say (aside from complaining, which nobody wants to hear).

So instead, I'll post a picture of Starbeans with a chicken at my parents' house.

We had a very good visit. My parents and siblings enjoyed him so much; and this time, he was able to consciously enjoy them as well. He learned how to say "haaaaaat" (to their wood stove) and a cheery "hiiiiiii" as he walked into whatever room we were in. He learned how to go down stairs backwards, jump on a trampoline (kind of), and tried his hand at picking up cats.

The highlight of our 2-week stay was the amazing snowstorm on Sunday and Monday the 26th and 27th. The northern part of Western WA was covered with a foot of snow. So much snow, in fact, that the trees were bent under the weight: any time outside was accompanied by the grand cracking of tree limbs ripping off and falling to the ground. A sad event, but a terrific crashing noise. My parents had two trees - a dogwood and a pretty little coral maple - that split in half under the weight. We were especially sad about that.

This picture was taken the first night of the storm.

But the most exciting part is that my parents were out of electricity for 5 days. Because they heat with a wood stove and have a gas oven range, we were cozy and well-fed. We brought in bags and bowls of snow to keep the refrigerator cold and put all the frozen goods outside in coolers. Amazingly enough, my mother had a HUGE back-stock of candles. So our evenings were spent in front of the wood stove reading to each other in the candle-light. It was absolutely, positively, gloriously lovely. I'm still reveling in it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

All smiles

My current most favorite thing about Starbeans is the sweet 8-toothed grins he gives me while we are snuggling right before bed. Oh, and the precious closed-mouthed sleepy smiles he gives me while we are snuggling in the morning right after we wake up.

It's just so cute.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My big boy

Weren't you just a baby?