alexeia_drae: (caress)
Miss G turns 2 on Weds (though I feel the event has come and gone three times over as she became mentally 2 in December). Today while getting ready to pick B up I got finished getting ready earlier than planned and had 10 minutes to kill. I didn't want to start any big project because I hate interrupting myself once I get into the flow, so I pulled up Youtube with G. Sick of the same old Disney cartoons and Broadway performances, I pulled up the Slayers openings and...

G really liked it! I had to coax her a bit to be amenable to picking up brother. So now I'm wondering if 2 is too young for Slayers or not. I seem to remember the original VHS tapes being labeled for 3 and up which my sister and I always laughed at.
Read more... )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Was watching "The Force Awakens" trailer with Miss G and at the end of it she grinned and started clapping! Oh, love this little geekling so much! And if this flops my wrath will be horrible to behold!

Today she's just been making me proud, from dancing to Irish music at breakfast, to cleaning up after herself, to getting so enthusiastic about the Star Wars trailer.

more. )
alexeia_drae: (carpet)
I have no problems bragging. I feel like a parenting expert. I was the first grandchild on both sides of the family and was trained as a babysitter by the Red Cross when I was 13 and then trained to babysit children with special needs by Campfire. My mom taught parenting classes for a time and there were times I'd sit in on her classes. On and on. I read on the topic a lot. When I had B I felt prepared. However, as the years go on he finds ways to confound me.

more. )
alexeia_drae: (butterfly)
The more I observe B and how he develops, the more I'm noticing a concerning tendency towards perfectionism. This week I met with his teacher, speech therapist, and a host of specialists who work with him or have observed him, and the one thing everyone agrees on is that he is capable of a lot more speech than he is doing. We've also had times where he'll say something to us that we don't catch, and if we ask him to repeat himself he just shuts down.

More. )
alexeia_drae: (fire)
Work is rough, dealing with clients who really don't want to be there and are extremely resistant. Even more so than usual. Wherever I go to next it will not be with compulsory clients.

Monday Andy and I got a little cake for G to celebrate her birthday. As we were cutting it, our dog pooped on the floor. She's getting old for a German Shepherd (we got her from a shelter when she was an adult, so we don't know how old precisely, but that was 7 years ago, so she's likely around 8-9, and that's about the lifespan of a German Shepherd), and I'm wondering if she's starting to show signs of senility because that's not a problem we've had with her. She did it again the following morning, but as for the rest of the week she seems to have gotten it out of her system, thank goodness! Needless to say, as we were cleaning, we did not get any pics of G with her cake. And then B decided to help with the cleaning. To distract him, I got out one of G's new toys, a huge block structure thing. B was distracted by it so Andy could clean, and G loved it. It's big enough that both can play with it at the same time, however, as soon as B saw G playing with it, he picked it up and walked away with it (he's strong). This left G in a flood of tears and I had a hard time consoling her even after I got it back from B. First birthday misfire.

more. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
On Monday, my sweet little baby girl turns a year old. And with Easter being Easter, she will enter her first year with two Easters under her belt instead of one. She's been one of those babies that you dream of having, and if it weren't for the fact that pregnancy is so hard on me, I'd be all for having a few more. Which is a completely different sentiment from where I was with B when he was this age and I wasn't sure still if I could go through all of it a second time. When people tell me boys are easier than girls I just have to give them a blank stare of confusion.

Though, considering I grew up hearing about my sister who screamed throughout her first year no matter what anyone did to comfort her, I also think it likely varies on the temperament of the baby. I honestly thought B was an easy baby because he never cried, so long as I held him. This was emotionally draining. It wasn't until I had G who I could set down for periods of time that it struck me that just how often I had to hold B was not usual. One thing I have found to be consistent, though, is the stages I like.

Long, rambly thoughts. )
alexeia_drae: (little leaf)
Title: Unconditional Parenting
Author: Alfie Kohn
Rating: 2 of 5
Briefly: Everything about how people parent is wrong. Plus a few chapters of theory about how to parent instead.

The first thing that struck me about this book, as someone who has taught parenting, is that people who spank or rely heavily on punishment are not going to get through the first 7 chapters. The first five chapters are devoted to why everything about how we parent in America is wrong. I was looking forward to chapter 6, where it looked like unconditional parenting techniques would be discussed, but there was still a lot of time devoted to everything wrong with rewards and punishment. The last two chapters were the best, but people who rely on rewards and punishments aren't going to sit through 7 chapters of everything they are doing wrong. People get defensive.

more. )
alexeia_drae: (butterfly)
One thing we've been working with B a lot on is making requests and choices. He has a hard time telling us what food he wants, what he wants to watch, and the way he tells me what books he wants to read is by throwing the book he doesn't want to read across the room.

So when we went shopping today, and I asked him if he wanted Cheerios or poptarts for breakie for the week I was shocked when he said, "I don't want either."

What never ceases to stun me is how he'll say something so clearly one day, and then it'll be weeks before I hear him say another sentence. At any rate, I asked him what he wanted and he looked at the boxes of chocolate Lucky Charms. Internally I groaned. I figured if I never exposed him to those super sugary cereals he'd never want them (unbeknownst to me until I got home, Andy had gotten some at some point and given him a bowl). I told him he was going to have to point otherwise I wouldn't know what to get (which helps when he's choosing a snack) and he pointed. So I ended up getting the box. Reinforcing the whole letting his needs be known thing and giving him diabetes in the process.

Parenting stuff. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Antibiotics are wonderful, and I'm now in that phase where after having been bedbound for a few days I'm feeling so well I want to do something crazy like take off to South Padre Island. On the whole, I really did not need to be sick this week. There's never a good time, but there are better times than others. Considering I'm working to get a brand new group off the ground at work, I really can't afford to be absent, but I was. Grr.

The other bit of devastating news that hit this week is that the daycare we've been taking B to for the past two years is closing next week. Andy told me when I was on my worst day of being sick, and he was very upset but I was too ill to take it in and just wanted to sleep. Now that I'm feeling better there's an impending sense of dread. It is so hard to find a good daycare! Especially one that accommodates something as little as two days a week or who will let us drop both kids off in the event that my dad can't make it even if it's not an every day thing (B goes to daycare regularly for the socialization, G is too young for that yet).

Read more... )

In other news, B was talking to himself in his room after we put him to bed, and after commenting on how cute it was to Andy I said, "Well, if he starts saying something like 'you're my best friend' it would be a little creepy."

Andy: We'll, I'm Catholic so I'd assume he was talking to a saint or Jesus.

Me:...Glurge.
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Took the kiddos to the mall this morning. B. is just getting more and more grown up. He played well in the play area, took turns, didn't make a fuss when I told him it was time to leave, walked by my side even when I knew he would much rather be doing something else, like throwing dirt into the fountain.

Was he always this way? No. Used to be he'd throw a fit if I took him away from that damn fountain but now he just quietly walks with me when I announce it's time to go. More below. )

I've been having a bit of an existential crisis lately, mostly because my work schedule and home schedule are not mixing anymore. I'm going back part time next week, but I'm not sure how long it's going to last and I'm starting to put out feelers. While at the mall I went to the cookie shop and a couple with about a half dozen kids let me in front of them because they weren't ready yet. Suddenly the woman shrieked, "OMG, Ms. R, you had a baby!"

more below. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Book: The Mama's Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Son's Close Makes Them Stronger
Author: Kate Stone Lombardi
Rating: 4 of 5
Briefly: This book fires back at folks who claim that mother ruin their sons by being active in their lives. Not only did this help me resolve some issues I have with being married to a mama's boy, but it gave me a lot of wonderful things to look forward to as my son gets older.

The sooner psychology moves away from Freud the better. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
On Mondays my dad takes B to see his parents and then takes him to and picks him up from pre-k to give me a break. I was mortified when he got home and told me that the teacher said B had bitten another kid hard enough that they had to have ice put on it. Yesterday as I was picking him up I was told he bit again, and was mystified that the teacher didn't seem more concerned. Today when I dropped him off I had a moment to talk to the teacher who explained that the child B was biting was the classroom bully and that he was taking toys away from B and B was defending himself. Before he wouldn't defend himself and let other kids walk over him, and the teacher says that it's been good to see him fight back.

I have mixed feelings. Biting isn't a good way to handle bullies. In fact, the problem with bullies is that we've yet to find a good way to deal with them. It also raises fears because I was badly bullied throughout elementary school and I don't want the same thing to happen to him, granted, after thinking about it for awhile I was relieved that B was not the class bully!

Someone rambley thoughts below. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Hiking with Two Kids on Tuesday: It was a dream come true! For the first time, B. picked flowers and gave them to me and took an interest in the rolly pollies and was actually interested in nature rather than running as fast as he could through the trails. G. slept comfortably in the Ergo baby carrier. Images of checking out library books to identify all of the plants, animals and birds we find in another year or so flickered through my mind. When I told him we had to turn around and go home he wasn't happy, but understood. It went so flawlessly.

Hiking with Two Kids on Weds: G. started fussing, and since I worry about her overheating and since B. also has pre-k in the afternoon, I don't like being out past 10AM, which it was getting close to. Considering that B. is used to hiking trips lasting between 2-4 hours, I guess these repeated trips lasting under 2 hours were getting to be a big disappointment, and he threw a massive tantrum. Now before I could easily pick him up and carry him home, but I had an infant strapped to my chest, complicating things. Not fun, and Weds as a whole turned out to be one of those days when things just don't work out. But I got the three of us home in one piece.

Yesterday it rained. Today is pretty enough but would be rather muddy, and I don't want to have to give B a bath before taking him to pre-k. So I guess we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

The most dangerous thing Ive done in about a month. I live such an exciting life! /sarcasm. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Some days, everything goes smoothly and things are wonderful. Other days are hard. For the most part G. is a good baby. We can actually put her in her swing and crib and she won't cry! B. was good as long as he was held and nursed constantly, but I swear I couldn't set him down for more than a minute until he started to crawl. Andy and I still can't get over the fact that we can swaddle her up, put her in her swing, and she'll be happy for an hour or so. It's amazing!

More. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
I have one of those randomized wallpaper deals on my desktop. It went to a Deep Space Nine photo, and B. recognizes the show from Andy watching reruns on Netflicks so he started pointing at it.

Me: Yes, Deep Space Nine, best of the Treks!

Andy: After Voyager that is (Andy likes annoying me about Voyager).

Brent: No!

Ha! This is a sign that I am raising him well in the ways of the geek! Winning the Geek war! B. knows what the best Star Trek is!
alexeia_drae: (caress)
I'm a strong believer in play based learning and following your children's intrinsic interests. Children naturally learn through play, and one thing I want for my children is for them to grow into adulthood and retain their love of learning and not have it drilled out of them through flashcards, standardized testing, etc. At any rate, today I've seen big payoffs in this philosophy with B.

Fun times with math! )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Irish Festival is today, and I'm not sure if we're going or not yet. I wasn't feeling great yesterday and haven't discuss it with Andy, so waiting for him to wake up because today I'm feeling up for it. But I did get B. a "Pint Sized Irish" shirt, and today he insisted that he wear it. And when I told him he was Irish he loudly and proudly started to proclaim "I'm Irish!"

Considering until then he'd been quite the leprechaun, messing with the dog and whining because we'd run out of his favorite breakfast food and making a mess of whatever he could, all the morning frustration evaporated and turned to pride!
alexeia_drae: (caress)
The decision to breastfeed B. was a no-brainer. The decision to do the same for G. was harder. Nursing B. for 11 months made me skeptical of the breast is best stuff going around. I also fell into the category that I think most women who attempt to breastfeed find themselves in but no one talks about, the ones who got the hang of the process down rather easily but found it to be long, tedious work rather than the end all and be all of bonding experiences (and while I think that there are women who find it to be the second coming, I think they are also a minority).

Before people are quick to bash me for being a selfish millennial, reading historical accounts of other women's lives has led me to believe that throughout history it was regarded as an exhausting and time consuming task. It's only with the glorification of all things natural that we have in modern times that it became so hyped.

More snarky observations below the cut. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
And the Christmas stuff is up. I really wasn't sure about putting it up this year, but I eventually figured that B. is old enough that he can actually understand and enjoy this year, and now I am glad I did because he loves the tree. That said, keeping the tree safe from our toddler we've dubbed Wreck-It will be a chore.

We do have some experience in this area. Between our 70 lb German Shepherd and our medium sized tuxedo cat, tree protection is an art form for us. And it's much easier now in our house than it was in the apartment we had when we were first married. We have a tiny front room that we can close off and keep the pets (and toddler) out.

B. clings to me pretty closely. He follows me from room to room so he was there when Andy and I assembled the tree. Andy wondered if he should distract him while I decorate, but I decided that he is going to have to learn how to be around the tree without breaking anything or destroying much. I tried to teach him to put an ornament on, but he wanted to hoard them (he hoards things. We find stashes of pens, (clean) diapers, and toys behind beds, the tv stand, etc. We can't explain it).

Christmas and parenting. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
For the first time B. is running a fever over 101. I am chanting the mantra of fevers are a good thing, it's the bodies' way of fighting off infection, don't worry until it gets to 102, and ear thermometers read high anyway. I know from my own experience that it's best to just let the fever run it's course in one night. But it's so hard not to freak out and panic and resist the urge to run to the ER!

We've been very lucky. During his first year check up his pediatrician commented how he never saw babies make it through their first year without going to the doctor/ER at least one time, but not him. No panicked first year trips to the doctor, only his monthly check ups. He has gotten sick since, mostly ear infections, but he didn't get fevers with his ear infections and what clued me in was the fluids leaking from his ears when he had them. He's had a few stomach bugs, but never any fever.

More, maybe slightly TMI stuff below. )

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