Monday, May 28, 2012

Giving It Up

The nook.  This is what Molly called her pacifier.  Or often, the nookie.  I sort of forced it on her as an infant to stop the incessant colicky crying, and she quickly became an addict.  Over the years, we got to a point where she was only supposed to use it to sleep in her bed.  And for the most part, she followed the rules.  But that little piece of plastic was most assuredly her most treasured comfort item in the world.

We tried to wean her off of it at several age appropriate stages, and failed miserably.  She would cry and cry and wake up all night long, and we just gave in.  Part of me felt like it wasn't hurting anything.  It was just this one little thing that made her feel comforted, and if it was a teddy bear or a blanket, we wouldn't be trying to take it away from her.  It wasn't hindering her speech (that's for sure) or damaging her teeth.  But it just always seemed like the pacifier use had gone on too long.  Eventually, there was only one nook left.  And it was the nastiest, chewed on little thing you've ever seen.  And every other night, we'd have to spend five or ten minutes looking for it while Molly claimed to have no clue where it could be hiding.  If you've ever seen a three year old look for something, you know how frustrating and futile it is.  It got pretty annoying.

And then one day last week, we couldn't find it.  I looked for a solid 45 minutes at bedtime, and it was just gone.  Molly was frantic.  But after all my chickening out, there was nothing I could do.  Bryce managed to talk her down, and she did go to bed.  She's gotten up a few times, and seems to be waking up earlier in the morning, but overall it went a lot better than I expected.  She doesn't ask for it anymore at night, and will still take a nap in the afternoon.

Yesterday though, she got upset over something, I can't even remember what.  She sat down next to me, and said "Mom, sometimes when you're bummed out, you just want a nook."  But she knew it was over.  And then I cleaned her room, and found the beloved nookie behind a box of pull-ups.  I was a little sad for her, my big girl, but in the trash it went.  Finally.  Success.

Also, some rocket shooting in the rock quarry over the long weekend.  Porter built that one himself!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Good Bye Big Red

Our sick chicken didn't make it.  I'm not sure what caused it to be sick, but she seemed miserable.  I'm relieved, it felt like a sad thing to keep her alive any longer.  The chickens aren't exactly pets to us on the level of our dog, but I am still fond of them.  And I was a little sad at the passing. 

What surprised me was how much my kids really didn't care.  I mean, they were nice about it, but definitely were not sad.  I guess when you eat a couple chickens, it sort of puts those animals in a whole separate class.  Also, they are young.  Molly told me, "when I was a chicken, I died too." 

So long Big Red. 

And then there were three.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On This Tuesday...

I have a sick chicken that is currently living in my bedroom.  I am feeding her liquids from a dropper, and I can't decide if she's got a chance and I'm helping or if I am unnecessarily prolonging her misery.  Chickens are a little hard to read.

It is Bryce's birthday!  He is not prone to getting overly excited about these things, but the kids have enough of that to go around.  I made Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes.  They look really good, but I haven't had one yet.  I'll let you know.

Porter stayed home sick from school, but he is so not very sick at all.  He's been fighting with his sisters all day.  Argh.

And we are all finally recovering from a very busy weekend, mostly involving Molly's first dance recital.  It was a lot of work and a little bit silly, but she loved, loved it.  And it really was fun seeing her up "on the dark stage mama, the dark stage!"  Not being a huge ballet person myself, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed watching all of the kids perform.  It was fun.  And beyond cute.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Wrong Battle

Molly goes to preschool two mornings a week.  She loves it.  But when I pick her up at noon, she is worn out and hungry.  I know this about her, it happens every single time.  Usually, we go straight home for lunch after I get her.  It takes us about five minutes to drive to our house, but as soon as we get in the car she asks me for a snack.  She wants one right now.  This has been driving me crazy for some reason.  We are going home for a nice lunch, and I don't want to spoil her appetite with a snack in the car.

So I explain, every single time, that we are going right home TO EAT.  Just wait five minutes baby, and you can have lunch.  And every single time she freaks the hell out.  Crying, ridiculous tantrums, refusing to let me buckle her car seat.  This continues the whole way home until I am fed up, annoyed and sometimes yelling.  She's fine soon after, but I just could not seem to get her to understand the situation.  I couldn't figure out what to do about it.  I felt like I needed to be more patient and not resort to yelling.  Because she's three and she's hungry and tired and I know it's hard.

And then finally, it came to me.  What am I doing?  Why am I fighting this battle?  I mean, really.  So I started bringing a snack in the car.  And now?  Everything is great.  And she still eats lunch.

Parenting so often feels like this battle of wills to me, where I know I can win because I'm older and wiser and Mom.  But sometimes it just isn't worth it.  At all.  I get so caught up in the details that I can't see the bigger picture, that it's okay to take a loss.  And make all of ours lives just a little bit easier.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fiddleheads and Sea Stars

Spring is finally, finally, really here in the Far North.  The first of the edible wild plants in my yard have made their appearance. Fiddleheads! 

Molly and I only picked a few, but it was enough for pizza.  This one is topped with fiddleheads, seasoned ground venison, sliced mushrooms, fresh basil and three cheeses. 

We've also had some great spring low tides (both kids are going on day long beach field trips tomorrow).  The sea stars seem limitless.

In other news, I seem completely unable to control Molly's hair.  Happy Monday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Black and White: Part Two

This is starting to become a theme with Porter, seeing the world as either one thing or another.  Black or white.  It must be the age, this inability to see the shades of gray in every situation. 

In any case, his school has lately been espousing the virtues of "going green."  Earth Day was a celebration there, and the message made a big impact on all of the kids.  The environmental message is a fantastic one, and something we strive towards at home as well.  Although in more subtle (and probably unnoticed by my kids most of the time) ways. 

His teacher talked to them about not driving your car when you could walk or ride your bike.  So he came home and really wanted me to abstain from driving for the whole next day.  He patiently explained to me how it would be good for the environment.  And he's right I suppose.  But it took me awhile to explain to him that there is no way he can ride his bike 7 miles home on a busy highway right now.  And that there is no bus that can take Molly to dance class.  And that doesn't mean we don't care about the environment, but we can certainly try harder in other areas.

Then this morning, he came down to breakfast, and told me he was "going green with his underwear."  When I raised my eyebrows, he said he had not put on the pair that I had gotten out that morning.  He was still wearing the ones from yesterday so I didn't have to waste water to wash them. 

So I guess, even if we have to drive our car pretty much every day, at least we're doing our part with dirty underwear.  Every little bit counts, right?