The longest week

busy momNaBloPoMo – Day 16

This week was one of the longest weeks ever, primarily because Jody has been out of town the. entire. week. Once again, I have a restored appreciation for all that he does to help out around here and a slight understanding of how challenging it is to be a single parent.

Of course, both of the kids had a cold this week – well, it’s mostly just a cough. A really nasty, barky, lingering cough. Ava has it much worse than Julian and she hasn’t been sleeping very well, which means mommy hasn’t been sleeping very well either. And with all of the teething and new milestone (walking) business, Julian has decided to up the amount of nursing he does at night (which was already a lot), and choose an hour around 4 a.m. last night to just be awake and chatter. Pardon me if I nod off in the middle of this post. I got a caffe mocha from Starbucks yesterday, but am doing today sans caffeine.

Ava only had school yesterday since Thanksgiving vacation began today and I admit I was bummed to miss out on a day of downtime, but c’est la vie. She had a potluck (just for the kids) there yesterday, so the day before she and I made pizzas using a dough recipe from The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook (which I recently dusted off and have been thoroughly enjoying). We made one pizza for dinner that night with kale, spinach, zucchini and corn on it and another cheese pizza for her to take to school the next day. Apparently it was a hit. Ava said, “Everyone said, ‘We want more pizza.'” :)

While this week without Jody has honestly not been as bad as it could’ve been (we’re all still alive and relatively happy), I do feel like my patience was worn very thin on more than one occasion. It didn’t help that Ava was/is sick and not feeling up to snuff and that Julian has a tooth breaking through. There were times I really felt like I needed a break and I had to work hard at calming myself down. Hell, there were times I lost my temper and yelled and then had to calm myself back down. It’s hard doing it all alone. Very hard. But I did the best that I could.

The only thing left to say is thank God it’s Friday! Jody gets home late tonight, after the kids will be asleep, but the important part is that he will be here in the morning and I already have plans to secure the bed to myself to catch up on a little shuteye. Wish me luck. Then it’s a weekend full of cleaning in preparation for my parents arriving from MI on Monday to celebrate Thanksgiving, my Dad’s birthday and Julian’s first birthday all next week.

One more note: I’m still working on my version of a holiday gift guide too and there will be more giveaways coming up as well! If you haven’t yet entered my latest giveaways, please check the right sidebar for links. :)

Oh me, oh my!

NaBloPoMo – Day 15 (15 days down, 15 days to go!)

There are a lot of reasons why I love that Ava is going to a Waldorf-inspired preschool, but one that jumps out at me lately is how polite she’s been. Don’t get me wrong, she’s always been pretty good with her pleases and thank yous, but now she’s also starting to use the word “may.” “May I have a treat please?” “I may do _____ now.” “You may take a turn.” Etc.

Ava making a “cake” - 10/30/07Another thing she’s been saying that I love is “Oh me, oh my!” :) Since neither Jody nor I use that expression, I had a sneaking suspicion I knew where she picked it up. I asked her if her teacher Miss G says it and she said no, but I knew better. At the Halloween party we attended at school, on a few occasions I heard Miss G utter “Oh me, oh my” or “Oh my, oh me.” :) It’s a lot better than “Oh crap,” so you won’t hear me complaining.

And actually, that reminds me. My sister (Aunt Carrie) was at our house a few days ago and she accidentally let an “Oh crap” out in front of Ava. And Ava replied, “Why did you say ‘oh crud‘?” I wonder if that’s the product of preschool as well, because as much as I hate to admit it, “crap” is one of the words I haven’t been able to stop saying.

Ava with silly hair - 11/6/07In addition to the cute little things that come out of Ava’s mouth, I love that her class is so small (only three other kids) and she has such a great relationship with the other kids as well as her teacher. She often plays “school” at home and pretends to be one of the kids in her class or her teacher or she asks me to be her teacher and Julian is one of the other kids, etc. She has such a wonderful imagination and I love that she’s getting to explore it so fully in Waldorf school. I also love that she is nurtured, respected and loved there. I don’t have to question the care she is receiving.

I’m not sure how far we will continue doing the Waldorf thing. That’s still up in the air, but for now I’m very happy with it and think the money we spend to send her two days a week is well worth it – not only for the experience for her, but for the break for mommy. Let’s face it, as much as I love being a SAHM – oh me, oh my – I need my breaks too. ;) Balance is a good thing.

I Love You More – book review and giveaway

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway has been concluded. 

NaBloPoMo – Day 14

I love you more

There’s nothing else in the world quite like the love between a mother and child. The book “I Love You More,” written by Laura Duksta and illustrated by Karen Keesler, depicts the tender relationship between a mother and her son, and if you flip the book around, between the son and his mother. That’s right – this unique book can be read from either direction, each way offering a different perspective of love.

The art is beautiful and the prose is rhythmic, creative and sweet. It is a wonderful book that will no doubt be enjoyed through countless readings.

Win it!

If you’d like to win your own copy of “I Love You More,” simply leave a comment below stating who you would give this book to if you won. A link back to this contest would be appreciated, but is not necessary to enter. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Nov. 20. A winner will be selected that day using and posted on the 20th as well.

Up to my ears

PushedI’m up to my ears in books that I want to read. The priority is going to “Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care” because I’m picking that one up from the library today and will only have three weeks until it is due back. It’s been on hold for me since Friday, but I haven’t been able to get over there to get it yet. Well, that’s not entirely true. The kids and I went to the library yesterday to return some books and hang out, but found it closed for Veteran’s Day. Shucks. Anyway, I can’t wait to get my hands on that book. You can be sure it will work it’s way into a future blog post.

The other two books I bought and have waiting for me are “Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear” – which came highly recommended by a friend, and “Mothers and Daughters: Loving and Letting Go” – recommended by a different friend. Both of which look like they will be helpful in my relationships with my children as well as with helping me deal with some issues from my own childhood. It’s amazing how much baggage we can carry with us from our own childhoods into parenting our children. There are so many things that I thought I’d swept under the rug and forgotten about that have resurfaced since I had kids of my own. Hopefully these books will facilitate the healing process.

It seems there are so many good books out there that I’d like to read, and never enough time to do it. I need to find a way to set aside regular time for reading or else find a way to download the information from the books directly into my brain. Wouldn’t that be something? :)

Christmas came a little early

NaBloPoMo – Day 13

Artificial Christmas treeTwo weekends ago I managed to score a pretty sweet find off of Freecycle – a six-feet pre-lit artificial Christmas tree! The tree is about five years old and in great shape.

I’d been wanting to buy a larger tree for us since we moved into this house. The tree Jody and I bought in our early days together was a narrow one because we were renting such a tiny house and that was all we had room for. After our move here with a bigger living room, I thought it’d be fun to have a bigger tree and the pre-lit part was just an added bonus because now I won’t have to worry about stringing lights. :)

Of course the day we got it we set it up to make sure all of the pieces were there and the lights worked, etc. Then we got the flu and didn’t feel up to disassembling it, so the tree remained up in our living room for a few days. Ava was actually disappointed when Jody took it down, but was satisfied with the knowledge that we’d be setting it back up again in a few weeks.

We figured we would just Freecycle our old tree, but then the woman who gave us her’s mentioned to Jody that she was looking for a skinnier tree to fit into her house. He told me about it, so I emailed her back to see if she would like to have ours and she picked it up this weekend. We couldn’t have planned that better if we’d tried! :)

If you have an old artificial tree or other decorations that you are no longer using, think about Freecycling them or donating them to a charitable organization. It will no doubt make someone else happy and is good for the environment too!

And if you choose to get a real tree this holiday, be sure to recycle it. “With over 33 million real Christmas trees sold in North America every year, Christmas tree recycling is an important way to give a renewable, recyclable resource back to the environment.” Check out Earth 911 for a Christmas tree drop-off site in your area.