Saturday, March 20, 2010

Moving day!

We took some things over yesterday (and I got started setting up my new kitchen--yay!). [Editor's note (in other words, a note for the other editors out there): The em dash isn't working for some reason, hence the double dash. Don't think less of me.]

Today is the big moving day; the movers should be here in about 10, but I wanted to share a couple quick moving tips from the pros:

  • Don't move in spring in Colorado. And if your moving week happens to be packed with 70-degree days, don't make note of it. If you do, the two days of your move will be 30 degrees and snowing. 
  • The absolute last things you should pack are the first-aid kit and the plunger. Pack them too soon and the gods will take note and punish your hubris.
  • Send the kids to grandma's for as much of the move as possible. Amount of time in our first house before the first sibling-inflicted injury (and subsequent high-decibel timeout: approximately 50 minutes). The kids are now at Grandma's, and I think it's safe to say everyone is happier and safer.

Okay, back to moving. Wish us luck! I'll share some photos soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Whadda Wednesday

Big day, full of emotion. Greg and I spent the day in closings—selling our current house, buying our new one. The guy moving into our place seemed nice, which is important, because I just might have walked out of the closing if I hadn't approved. I held it together for the most part, but at the end I cried. Tried really hard not to, but I just couldn't hold it in. We then did a walk-through on the new house, and I'm getting excited about it. It was 70 degrees today, and I could just imagine our spring and summer there. The backyard is a blank slate at the moment, and I'm having lots of fun planning our garden and resolving not to kill it (for once). Lots of possibility ahead …

Adding to the emotion of the day: Today is St. Patrick's Day, which is the day we said goodbye to my mother 14 years ago. She actually died a little after midnight on the 18th, but in my mind St. Patrick's Day and my mother's last day will always be linked. Which is sort of appropriate, because it was such an meaningful day for her during her life. Both her parents were Irish immigrants, and she was passionate about Irish politics, culture, politics, music—and did I mention politics? On St. Paddy's Day she'd take us into New York City for the parade, and later to the annual party at my aunt-once-removed Maggie's house, where there would be bagpipes, wonderful food, and lots of family and friends. Good memories.

Earlier this week, I had the most fantastic dream. I dreamt I saw my mother again. I can't remember whether the dream was that I learned she hadn't died, or just that I got a little extra time with her (dreams are magical that way, aren't they?), but either way we hugged for a good long time. That was it. I saw her, and we held each other, and it felt so perfectly real—exactly how I remember it felt to be held by her, but with far more visceral detail than I can recall in consciousness. The next day I tried to hug my kids as much as they'd let me; I so hope to be able to pass on to my children that comfort, that love, that feeling of home that was baked into every one of my mother's embraces. Isn't it incredible that 14 years later, I can still "feel" it like it was yesterday?

The day after that dream I also put a note on my to-do list: Schedule skin cancer screening. Because as good a mom's hugs can be in your subconscience, they sure are better in real life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lest we forget

If you ever catch me romanticizing this whole parenting thing, please remind me about tonight—or, really, any night from the past few (or 20) months. It's 10:45, and Greg and I have been trying for three and a half hours to get Nora to sleep. I finally gave up and left her to cry after she started pointing at the floor next to her crib (where there's a camping pad, which I've been sleeping on for at least part of the night for the past several weeks) and said, "Lie down. Mommy, lie down."

I guess we know who's calling the shots around here.

She's now in her crib, crying out with just about every request she can think of—ranging from, "Downstairs!" to "Cheerios!" to "All fall down!" (as in "Ring Around the Rosie").

My friend Sujata likes to point out that all this awake time gives Nora more time to learn, and that argument seems to have some merit. Last week as I was eating my breakfast, I heard a sweet little voice saying, "One, two, three …" all the way up to eight. I had absolutely no idea she had a concept of numbers, but there she was, at 7 in the morning, counting bottles of wine. That's my girl.

A couple of days later, as I was changing her diaper, she said, "Friday, Saturday, Sunday!" Again, the focus on the weekend makes me sure she's mine.

Another post will be dedicated to how the older of our children is going about reminding us that parenting is not for the meek, but I have a ThermaRest (and a stubborn little girl) calling my name.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One-step behavior solution

Does your child have a behavior that needs fixing? Here's an innovative, high-tech plan for changing it:
  1. Blog about it.
That's it. That's the whole strategy, and it works. The day after the carnication post, Sidamo declared that he's over it. "What I am is tired of turkey!" is actually how he said it. (If you've read Bread and Jam for Frances, you'll get the reference.)

Unfortunately this strategy turns good behaviors around too, so think about that before bragging online about things like your 20-month-old using the potty.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homage to meat

I think it's fair to say Sidamo is no longer just experimenting with the idea of eating meat; he's jumping into the big old meat pile with mouth wide open. The other day, for instance, he asked to make a collage. We gave him paper, scissors, glue, and a stack of newspaper. Above is what he came up with.

A few weeks ago I took him to the aquarium on a special mommy-Damo date. On the car ride home, he was uncharacteristically quiet. I asked what he thought of the fish. He answered, "I'm wondering why we never get to eat them." That week I bought some salmon and we all ate it for dinner. (As an aside, I think Nora will not be far behind Sidamo on the meat train: She devoured her little bit of salmon and then ate all of mine. I've never seen her eat so much, so quickly, so enthusiastically.)

Since Friday, Sidamo has asked for a turkey sandwich for lunch every day. Greg is a little addicted to the turkey sandwich, so we always have sliced turkey in the fridge. I have obliged Sidamo's requests. The first day, he only finished about 3/4 of his sandwich before he was ready for his nap. He begged me not to throw it away. "I'll have it for snack," he said. "And if Daddy comes home before I wake up, don't let him eat it. You have to pretect [that's how he pronounces "protect"] my meat from Daddy!"

Today, as he was eating his turkey sandwich, he asked if I'd buy him some chicken so he could have chicken-turkey sandwiches. Because four days in, one kind of poultry just isn't cutting it anymore.

So despite the fact that I can't honestly say whether he really understands the animal-meat connection, I'm letting him take this in whatever direction he wants. And that direction seems to be a beeline toward the meat aisle.

Such great heights

I guess the orange chair was no longer adequate. Anyone know of a good helmet distributor?

Sunday, March 7, 2010


(That's Nora's name for her Grandpa). Here's Danpa on his birthday with three of his four grandkiddos. Not a bad looking bunch.


Happy birthday, Danpa!

Mad hatters