Sunday, September 25, 2011

Late bloomers

You know those moms who brag about how their kids were potty-trained at 18 months, walking at 10 months, and reading at the age of 2? I am not one of those moms. Mostly because I don't have those kind of kids. My kids don't tend to do things early. They don't even tend to do them on time.

Q was born six weeks late, so he has a bit of a pass, but he didn't crawl till he was about 14 months and finally started to walk when he was 19 months.

R was full term, so he doesn't have any excuses. He walked at 15 months.

I thought Lena might be the exception, but here she is, almost one, and not even crawling. She is however scooting to her chosen destinations on her bottom. Who needs crawling when you can do an awkward bum scooch to get where you need to go? I assume she will walk when she's good and ready, sometime between now and her second birthday.

 One thing my kids do seem to take to at an early age is talking. Lena already says a couple words like "doggie" and "uh-oh." R regularly makes up detailed songs in the car, and Q never seems to stop talking. This all results in a kind of constant din everywhere we go.

I am holding out hope that Lena will be an early potty trainer. The other two sure weren't.

So it must be something we are doing. Maybe they get procrastinating from us? Maybe we don't push them enough or maybe we are pushovers ourselves? Maybe we are just modern parents letting them grown at their own pace?

Whatever it is, my late bloomers seem just right to me, and I'd rather stay out of those overachiever mommy discussions anyway.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eight years

T and I have been married eight years. We sealed the deal on August 23, 2003, at what now seems like the very young ages of 24 and 25. Much has happened since then: three states, three kids, three pets, several jobs, a few houses, some ups and a few downs. Our lives are so utterly interwoven now, I don't think either of us can completely remember what life was like before we met in 2001.

We're lucky to have each other. To whom would I send i-phone pictures of my cat? Who else would laugh at my badly-told jokes and silly dances? I'm lucky to have him, but I make sure is frequently reminded that he is lucky to have me.

You get a mountain of advice around the time of your wedding, to much of which we nodded politely. We did get some good words of wisdom that we have lived by. My hairstylist told me to always value and celebrate your anniversary and to do something to mark its importance. She and her husband switched off years of planning something to do. T and I took that approach right from the start, and now I plan all even years and he takes the odds.

Pre-children, we enjoyed romantic weekends away. Some day I want to plan trips to Hawaii or Bora Bora. This year was my time to plan, and with Bora Bora off the table, I looked for something a little closer to home, but still fun. I like to plan it as a surprise to make it a little more memorable. We went to lunch in downtown Milwaukee, out for coffee by Lake Michigan, and then to great seats at the Brewers game. Perhaps not your average eighth-anniversary tradition, but just what we needed to take a breather from the chaos of workschoolkidshomepetsyardworkbills and remember how good we have it.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School days

The nights are growing longer, the mornings have a chill to them, Labor Day is behind us, and now most of the household is back in school. Some of us are more excited then others.

Q started full-day Kindergarten this year, and R is in half-day preschool two days a week. Last week they donned their first-day-of-school outfits and pulled on their back packs and were ready for class. Q is taking the bus and R is getting dropped off by his childcare provider. T and I took the morning off and accompanied them both the first day. Both boys were a bit tentative and a bit excited. It was a strange feeling to have a child in elementary school. I plan to go to the PTO meetings and love the idea of being part of a school! Though I am still convinced I am too young to be at this stage in my life already. R is excited about everything from his markers to his three teachers. I think it will be good for him to have some independence and friends of his very own. So far he has been glued to Q for all his activities.

Both boys have been taking two-hour naps every afternoon, but those will be cut short or even eliminated now that they are school boys. A fortunate side effect; they are now exhausted by bedtime and it is less of a battle than usual.

I am back in class as well as of tonight. It feels like my two months of summer were over before they started. I enjoyed seeing my classmates tonight and listening to an engaging professor and soaking in new bits of knowledge. But a big part of me felt like I did when I was going back to school in tenth grade and would have rather laid on the couch in front of the TV. Just 21 more months to go....


Monday, September 5, 2011

August Favorites

1. Essie Ballet Slippers Nail Polish

This is the perfect fingernail color. I tend to switch between bright and pale hues, and this is the ideal pale choice. It is clean and natural and forgiving for chips between polishes. When I used to pay for manicures, I would often get french manicures and this comes close to that look. You can even get it at Target!

2. HBO Documentaries

 I love movies, but the times we make it to a movie theater these days are few and far between. So I get my theatrical fix On Demand, often while folding laundry. One of my favorite sources is HBO Documentaries. They are so well done and so thought-provoking. A few favorites of late: I Think We're Alone Now, Hot Coffee, 
There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane, and Love Crimes of Kabul. 

I always learn something, and it makes the laundry folding a little less painful.

3. Kashi Go-Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax

 I eat this cereal almost every morning. In the summer I dump a bunch of blueberries on top of it. In winter I slice bananas or just have it plain. It is healthy and filling and tasty as well, and that trifecta is not easy to come by. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it.

4. Adele and Florence and the Machine

I can't get enough of these two female singers. They dominate my iPhone. From Adele "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You," and from Florence "Cosmic Love" and "Heavy in Your Arms" are addicting tracks. I find myself belting them out in my car and around the house, much to the annoyance of my eye-rolling husband.

5. Genuine Kids from Oshkosh at Target

One of the many things I love about having a little girl is the wealth of cuteness in which I can dress her. It's a little tougher to seek out cute boys clothes amongst the plethora of sports and cartoon character apparel lining the racks. And while I love outfitting her in ruffles and bows, I don't want to break the bank buying clothes she will wear for a few months. I love the Oshkosh baby clothes at Target. They are adorable and well-made and reasonably-priced, especially if you can find them on the sale rack. Many come with precious matching bloomers. I love it! I bought stacks of summer dresses including the one above (disregard the creepiness of the photo).