Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Win a Copy of "News from Dead Mule Swamp" by Joan H. Young

If Joan aka Sharkbytes hadn't reminded me on Facebook, I would have totally forgotten that I turned 35 a few weeks ago -- So what? Here's what... that's midlife... not according to statistics I know, but according to the Bible (I think). I'm wondering if I should go have a midlife crisis...
Speaking of Sharkbytes, did you know that she's about to publish her own mystery? She's going to give away copies of "News from Dead Mule Swamp" (the first of hopefully many installments of Anastasia Raven mysteries) to winners of a contest she's sponsoring on one of her blogs. You can read the mechanics here. Deadline for entries is before midnight EST on November 30, 2011. I'm definitely joining, and I hope I win. I'm really excited to read it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Go to the Nearest Forest for Kindergarten

I was going to write a longer intro for this video, but it's hard to type while nursing...

School's Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten from Rona Richter on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally, a Post

I've been so flippin' busy and I know I've been horribly neglecting this poor blog. I'm still busy, so I'll just basically give you a rundown of what's been going on in my life.
- I've been breastfeeding all this time.

Okay, so that's not all I've been doing, although it certainly feels like it.

- I've been working. FULL TIME. It's been 5 years since I last did that. And I didn't have children then
- The baby blew an accidental (but solid) razzberry about two weeks ago, so now I think he might be a genius! (Moms!)
- Sometimes the baby goes mamamama when he cries or nenenene... which leads me to think that he's already talking (MAMA, obviously, and NENE, which is Taiwanese for boobs - my Taiwanese students told me, the words they choose to teach you, right?), so not only is he talking, he is a freaking polyglot... so my suspicion that he is a genius is further reinforced.
- Have you noticed how I still refer to the baby as the baby? Callhimcameronwhatswrongwithyougah!
- My first-born is officially neglected and has been acting up and therefore has been pronounced "not normal" (which is probably "evil" in their minds), but has been absolved from blame because she is just the victim of bad parenting, God, I want to get out of here!
- I cry a lot, but that has been a regular feature ever since I got pregnant with my first child.
- Speaking of which, Cameron may have a blocked tear duct since his right eye has been watery for the past couple of days.
- I had a slight cold, Marguerite had a worse version, Cameron had a runny nose one day and a crusty nose another day... I thought breastfed babies weren't supposed to catch bugs. 
- Things are more or less fine, other than the fact that I'm exhausted and guilty and resentful of some people... 
- I'm praying that God help me overcome these weaknesses... and also the hormones...

So here are my kids. I don't really want them to be "normal".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gentle Discipline, Competition, Etc.

Slight cold, trying to squelch the little buggers with, uh, overeating... I'll let you know if that works. Moving the baby's well-baby visit to the pedi to Sat because, this gal's no longer a freelancin', freewheelin' agent. Who am I kidding? When was I ever freewheeling in my life? No such pentecostal, I believe, lol...
We were doing our groceries last Sunday and Cameron began to throw the mother of all fits, and there was only one way to calm him down. The nursing station was 3 floors above, so I opted to just find a bench where I could feed the baby, but all the benches nearby were occupied, so I ended up at a Books for Less (thanks to the super nice clerks there), nursing and browsing through the parenting section (the chair was right next to that shelf). Anyway, I was thrilled to find Dr. Sears' Discipline book... As I've mentioned here ad nauseam, I'm doing gentle discipline, but my efforts kind of got derailed ever since we moved back in with my parents. It's a lame excuse, but I just don't have a thick enough hide for certain people's disapproval... So essentially, there's my naturally fiery temper and then the fact that my child's behavior is under scrutiny, so I've kind of strayed from what I believe in just to prove that I'm in control of my child (which is not what I want in the first place -- I want to be in charge, but not in control...) Anyway, with the book, I can get some support and guidance. Mark is also reading it, so at least, we could be a team about the discipline thing. In the past, he was pretty clueless about the method, but he trusted me to have chosen well and to know what I was doing (so unfair, right?)...

Also, here's an article I really like: Striking the Right Balance. I first heard this philosophy from the TV show Dharma & Greg. Dharma's dad Larry was against Dharma entering a ballroom dancing contest because he'd taught her to disapprove of competition -- what he said really struck a chord with me, something about not having to be better than others to feel good about one's self. For somebody who could be a little cut-throat, I found myself really liking the thought behind that. I was the dorky kid who had to have the highest scores, who had to win all the contests (not raffles  though as I've always sucked and continue to suck at those... more like the bees type of contests -- you know, spelling, quiz, etc.)... I know this is not a popular belief, but it's what I adhere to...

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Case of the Mermaid and the Missing Doughnut

It has certainly been a long time between posts, but look! Pictures!

Before cute kiddie pics, here's one of mine. I don't go out without my nursing cover. I made it myself. I just re-purposed an apron using corset boning. Incidentally, I also don't go out without this exhausted, drab, washed-out look. It's my signature look these days.

Here are pics taken at a dedication and birthday party at our church. I think my mom will have to go blonde soon; easier to disguise roots.

Here are pics of Marguerite trick-or-treating. She had been talking about going as a mermaid, specifically Ariel, for the longest time. I asked Mark to look around for a costume, and if he couldn't find one, I'd just make the costume myself (them's brave words -- uh, hello? Time? Sewing skills?). Anyway, it was apparent that neither of us had time to look for and buy an Ariel costume or sew one, so Mark just got the first mermaid costume he found. Thankfully, the little girl had no complaints. Cameron was supposed to go as a doughnut. I made that costume, but we never got around to putting it on him. When he was happy, we didn't want to ruin the mood, and when he was cranky, we didn't want to aggravate things, so... the thing stayed in my bag. Anyway, his socks were a little costume-y. Oh, I'm getting to be good friends with the nurse at the mall's breastfeeding station too. I was there so often that I could have started paying rent.


More Cameron... That was Marguerite's carrier-cum-stroller. Mark had to put it together in a hurry Halloween morning, so he failed to put in all the parts, like the carrier's hood and some cup holders. I think the straps have an extra fastener too. He's so over this stroller though and is talking about getting a lighter, less unwieldy one. Look at the little guy! Does he look like he's a month and half old?

We went to UP afterwards to meet up with Mark's brother's family. See the little boy? That's our nephew Matthew. This was him. How time flies. He's so big now.