Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm reading instead of writing

And it feels so good.

  • Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues - Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Stephen Hines
  • The Happiest Toddler on the Block - Harvey Karp
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health - Toni Weschler
  • Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beans, the magical fruit

Our dried bean harvest --
Hidatsa Shield
We let them dry on the vine, then shelled them this weekend.
There isn't a person who has been able to resist
doing just what Baby Truen is doing in this picture.
They feel so nice.

Due to the pretty consistent turmoil,
I haven't gotten many pictures of the brothers together recently
But good news:
they are starting to laugh at each other and play together!!
I am so pleased.

Lil Baby Pumpkin likes to eat pumpkins, apparently --
and Diego thinks his Dada is the funniest man alive.
Speaking of hilarious, check out that Jack-o-Lantern on the left.
That would be Squeeze's;
I've been laughing every time I look at it --
I think it looks like a robo-squash just tweaked on the bum.

And finally...
I'd like to announce that
I have a great affection for David Bowie.
It's true.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September fruit

Watermelons and cantaloupe from our garden
They are the perfect size:
Small enough to avoid left-overs
Juicy and tasty
We are so proud.

The cross-section of our cantaloupe
Did I mention how delicious it is?
The book said it would show ripeness by:
Color change [check]
Pungency of aroma, particularly by the stem [check!]

Our apple harvest.
Baby Truen had a fun time in the back of the van
while I sorted the "keepers", i.e. for the root cellar,
from those that will become applesauce in the coming weeks.

I was attempting to snap
to coax a grin from the baby for the picture --
neither of us are really smiling but I like it anyway.
There is a whole 'nother box of apples behind me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Participate in the drama

I have a large egg-shaped lump on my forehead. It is probably the worst injury I've had since childhood and it was inflicted on me by a Jumbo Tinker Toy storage can and my butter-fingered 3 year old.

We were playing with Tinker Toys yesterday afternoon [a stupendous toy, btw] and Diego had just attempted to see if the storage can would fit as a hat on Baby Truen's head. "No," I said, "It won't fit. And see...it doesn't fit on my head either, or your head." I showed him and then handed the can back to him. Seconds afterward, I laid back on the floor thinking about naptime, when BAM! it hit me: right on the forehead. It was the hard metal corner of the can no less, probably dropped from 1-2 feet above my head. It definitely fell [vs. thrown], though whether it slipped out of his hand or was carelessly dropped is unknown to me.

I rolled, screaming - not even really knowing what hit me. I could hear the baby screaming in terror with me (poor thing) so I sat up and picked him up, tears streaming out of my eyes from the pain, sobbing. I felt me forehead, and sure enough - a lump not all that difference from the top of a Silly Putty egg was hot and bulging right below my hairline.

Poor Diego was stricken when he saw me crying; his little face scrunched up into a wailing mess and then I was comforting two little guys in my lap. I took a couple of pictures for photographic evidence, then we snuggled in for a nap. No time for icing! It was 3:15 and I wanted these children asleep. The first thing Diego asked me when he woke up from his nap was, "Is your owie okay?" He kept on reassuring me that it would be "awight" and that it was healing. [Healing is a concept we've been discussing recently.]

Another interesting aftershock from the Tinker Toy Debacle has been contemplating my tears. It is interesting to think about an adult crying over physical pain. Emotional pain is a given for me - but I had forgotten what it was like to get hurt and cry over it. And my goodness did it hurt.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nothing like a little Fenix Funk 5 to swerve potential disaster

I felt trouble brewing this morning, so instead of the usual, I tossed in a little Aphex Twin and a full-out dance party ensued: be-bopping on feet and knees, respectively. I was able to get my breakfast in peace [they had already had theirs].

Monday, September 15, 2008

My babies and the schickens

Baby Truen, my little Pumpkin
This baby loves tomatoes
He signs "milk", "more", and "eat"
All subtle variations of "milk", but I know what he means

Diego, who loves "buggggzzzz"
and snakes and salamaders
He'll take anyone who is willing out for a hunt

Our "schickens", as Diego calls them
No more peeping, they are clucking like grown-ups now
They should start laying sometime in October or November

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not healed, but healing

I'm still teetering. My patience is thin, my time is non-existent, and I have been feeling rather trapped by mothering the past couple of weeks. In no way was I prepared for the KA-BOOM that would be our life once little Pumpkin started moving around and interacting. I feel like I should have known.

I mean, really. Shouldn't I have known? It is a big time of change, for Diego especially, as we all re-organize around this new little autonomous person, our big-boy baby who loves to roll things with wheels back-and-forth-back-and-forth, open-and-shut doors, climbs stairs, crinkle books, and get into whatever-his-big-brother-is-into. So sweet, but much of it invites the Wrath [AKA jealousy] of The Preschooler.

There is no relaxing during this phase of mothering, I guess. I have to be "on" at all times, to prevent catastrophe and injury - mostly that of Diego beating on his little brother, but also keeping little brother out of big brother's business, and therefore, harm's way. Kristina talked about 2 year olds turning into 3 year olds and suddenly going bezerk. Uhm, yes. I can attest to that. Another one of my friends (before things went ka-blewy for us) said that she'd take two over three any day. I can also remember a mom [a year ahead of me in the game] saying, "I finally came to the conclusion that, yes, I do need adult conversation during my day." At the time, I thought that sounded a little dramatic, but then - I had one child who was just learning to talk at the time. He napped regularly! He went to bed early! I worked PT and Squeeze stayed home with him! The clouds are starting to part and the clarity that experience provides is dawning.

I am emotionally exhausted. I am expending way more energy with my 3 year old than my 10 month old. I almost feel like I don't get to see Truen enough, if that is possible given the fact that I am with him 24 hours a day. Food prep, not to mention the act of eating itself, is almost impossible. I feel like I spend most of my day negotiating movement: "No, you can't do that - why don't you try this instead" or "If you choose to do that, then I will take it away" or "You can do this or that - you decide" or "Come here - Stop - I need you to - Please don't - Will you? - Can you? - STOP!!!!"

Needless to say, I feel like I am a vortex of negativity. I understand that positive parenting takes practice: some of my instincts are correct while others are completely awry. I've been drowning myself in parenting books and audio discs the last several days. It has been very helpful, but frustration and anger is still at a flash-point with me. I just need to simmer down.

I guess I just feel like life threw me a curve ball; and if I've learned anything about parenting, it is that change happens in a snap and it usually takes a little time to catch up with it. I flail and fuss until I realize a re-adjustment is in order. Once things are figured out, it is smooth sailing until the next quandary hits.

Big Find:
  • Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants - Parenting Styles and the Messages They Send - [an audio lecture by] Jim Fay of Love & Logic

My aunt recommended this to me in April. I had forgotten about it, but found it through the library when I did a search for "child-rearing". LOL! I've ordered every single Love & Logic CD our system has. There are lots of books, too - but I have less time for reading than listening right now.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I've just finished with a block of the worst two weeks of my life. I think we're in the clear (for the most part), but I'm still emotionally flinching. A tad dramatic, maybe - but terrible nonetheless.

Consider the following combination:
  • Transitioning back to "real life", with
  • An amped-up preschooler filled with overzealous jealousy of his newly mobile and interactive baby brother, resulting in
  • Attacks on baby brother and general unrest and upheaval, added to
  • Grappling with the reality of our current agricultural system and the [unfortunate] direct affect it has on our lives, i.e.,
  • My husband was misted by pesticides by a crop-duster [airplane] while standing near the back door of our home on a pleasant Monday evening, which leads to
  • The grievous questioning of our life and choices, like, "What are we going to do?" and "Why did we move here?" and "How could we have not known?" and "With a problem of this magnitude, what can one even do?"

It has been a tough couple of weeks, complete with zombie-like staring at 3:00 am and copious amounts of tears shed. This, my friends, is why you have heard little from me.