Sunday, September 28, 2008

Will We Ever Dine-Out Again?






I haven't written about bedtime recently because I didn't want to jinx anything. In July we moved Norah into her own bedroom, moved bedtime to an earlier hour (as suggested by a book) and sleep-trained the kids. It worked like a charm and within one night we saw them sleeping through the night at least 90% of the time. We (actually, just I) felt guilty about the sleep training, but our pediatrician urged us to try it and I must say it worked really, really well. These days, as long as we stick to our schedule, the kids go right down to bed without any fussing. Atticus actually gets really excited about being tucked in and handed his Dino and special blanket. Norah is happy as long as she gets her bottle. I can't tell you how much of a relief this was after five months of being up for hours at a time in the middle of the night. Everyone in our house is happier - especially Atticus who I think was truly making himself sleep-deprived by being up so much.
Anyway...the schedule. If we don't stick to our schedule, if we take the kids out for dinner or try to put them to bed somewhere other than their own rooms, all hell breaks loose. When we went to Paul's family reunion last month Atticus was up pretty much all night both evenings. In all fairness, he was also getting a cold, but the experience definitely left a mark on us.
Last night, we were invited over for dinner by some neighbors and it was kind of a disaster. The kids have a tendency to get crabby in the evenings and last night was no exception. When they weren't fussing, they were wreaking havoc on the un-childproofed house. They found the computer keyboard, figured out how to turn the TV on and off, pulled a good portion of the books off the shelves, opened the kitchen cabinets, and left a messy trail of food all over the floor. I know this is par for the course with toddlers, but it was exhausting for both of us and I felt like we were awful guests. The neighbors have many kids and grandchildren of their own and were very nice about the whole thing. Still...ugh. What's the point of having dinner with someone if you have to spend the whole time chasing after your children minimizing the chaos they're creating? I don't mean to say we didn't have a good time with the neighbors and didn't enjoy their hospitality; they were wonderful and kind and went out of their way to accommodate our kids. I just feel like we should start apologizing the second we walk in someone's front door. It's exhausting going out with toddlers!
Anyway, enough ranting. I was reading an article on a parenting site the other day about how deceptive blogs can be because parents only post about the good things. I do strive to record the good moments here rather than the bad. For one thing, the good moments outweigh the challenging ones by far and I don't want to focus on the negative. Still, I know it comforts me when other parents post about the low moments of parenthood and I can see that their lives aren't perfect either. Someday I'm sure Atticus and Norah will have their own destructive toddlers and I hope it comforts them to know that they went through the same phase and eventually grew out of it.
The pictures are from our trip to the park yesterday where we fed the ducks and of Norah's crazy hair this morning.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Something He Doesn't Want to Share



We only have one book that features a tiger roaring, but somehow Atticus latched onto a toy tiger and has been making it growl at all of us. Norah would like to share in the action, but he's not willing to let her yet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's New Words

We are experiencing a language explosion here and it's awesome! I know that almost everyone's kids learn to talk and it's a totally normal event, but it blows my mind. I'm so used to talking to Atticus and Norah and not getting any type of verbal response. I still look around in shock every time one of them says something. Here are some new words:

Atticus
"Qwack! Qwack! Qwack!" (when seeing the ducks)
"Boom!" (when falling down)
"More!" (completely unprompted while standing next to the cupboard where we keep the graham crackers)
"Grrr!" (when bringing his toy tiger to me)
"Moo!" (on the last page of Who Says Moo? when the little cow finally finds other cows)
"Bapa!" (when I told them Papa would be home soon)

Norah
"Mik!" (milk)
"Meese!" (A.K.A. more please)
"Soos!" (shoes)
"No!" (uh oh, I was hoping we could put off learning that one)
"Bapa!"
"Boo!" (the sound cows make, according to Norah)

Today Atticus also learned that you can make a fountain in the bathtub by putting your hand over the faucet. Norah had her fingers nibbled on by a duck and thought it was hilarious. They both figured out how to go down the slides at the park all by themselves and Atticus even climbed to the next level and conquered the big twirly slide. I am convinced they are prodigies.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friends

We had a visitor today!

Norah showed Dinkeneh all the best toys.
Atticus showed him the best places to hide out.


Sarah Palin

Did you see this clip of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler playing Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live?

I've hesitated to post about Sarah Palin because I wanted to do it well. I don't know how to express how angry McCain's decision to choose her has made me. I used to think McCain was an acceptable candidate. I wasn't in love with him and I didn't plan to vote for him, but I didn't think it would be a complete disaster if he won the election. However, I find it so condescending and insulting that the Republican party believed that nominating a woman, any woman, would be the way to win the vote. The fact that much of America does seem to be falling for it is even more discouraging. This whole scenario is like some bad situation comedy like Kindergarten Cop where someone completely unqualified for a job ends up having to do it. I don't think this is funny.

I don't think hunting for fun qualifies you to be president. I don't believe being a mother of five children does. Living next to Russia doesn't count and neither does being the mayor of a tiny town or the governor of Alaska for two years. In addition, having a child and grandchild that weren't aborted doesn't qualify you to be president! The way her daughter and infant son have been trotted out as political pawns disgusts me. If John McCain truly thinks this woman is the best-qualified candidate to lead our nation in the event of his death, then I have lost all respect for his judgement.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two More Videos

It's been a very rainy weekend here and we've had plenty of family time indoors.

Would You Believe She's Walking on the Wall?

Norah woke up from her nap yesterday afternoon and knew how to walk! She'd been taking a few steps at a time for a while, but suddenly she seemed to grasp the whole concept and is walking everywhere. All of my videos from yesterday are sideways. I don't know why I never remember to keep the camera horizontal.

Atticus is impressed with Norah's skills. He ran to the kitchen and proceeded to give her a full-monologue about what she'll be able to do now. The entire speech consisted of "das" and "dats' and "dos", so we don't really know what he was telling her. She seemed to understand though. He also spent a good chunk of yesterday scavaging the floors for those little helicopters that fall off trees and bringing them to Paul.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spoons





Atticus and Norah practiced using their spoons to eat applesauce tonight. Atticus is getting pretty good at it! Norah has some alternative ideas. The last picture shows Norah

attempting to climb in a new way. This child will climb anything including attempting to scale the refrigerator last night.

Monday, September 8, 2008

R.I.P. Number Three

I came home this afternoon to find that one of our goldfish, Number Three, had passed on to the great aquarium in the sky. We bought the fish a couple of months before getting married to keep Paul company - so they've been with us for almost five years now. Number Three leaves behind his faithful companion Margaret and was preceded in death by our bottom feeder fish Paris Hilton. Together, Margaret and Number Three survived several moves and a criminal amount of neglect after the arrival of the dog and children. I can't help but think that his death may have occurred because I actually cleaned their tank yesterday. I think I will leave him until Paul gets home because dead fish are yucky and I think he's too big to flush down the toilet.