Bubbles

March 25, 2008

Caroline and Katherine spent a lot of Easter afternoon blowing bubbles on the deck at Rob’s parents. For some reason, Caroline decided that she could make a wish for each bubble she was able to catch in her bubble wand. Listening to each whispered wish was such a window into her thoughts… A collection of her wishes… I wish I could have sweets all the time, I wish I could have a deck like Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, I wish Mommy would never yell. As she said the last one, she looked up at me bold and guilty. Hiding my tears, I told her that was a very important wish and that I heard her. She smiled. The next day she asked if we could have bubbles at home, “So that I can make some more important wishes.” What a humbling and yes, important lesson. I can’t wait to hear what comes with the next caught bubble.

Still here…

March 21, 2008

So you know you haven’t posted in a long time when Word Press lists your last post written as “Awhile ago”, certainly not yesterday, not even last week but awhile ago… We have been a family plagued by the flu (the fever, achey, chills, headachey kind) and it has really made us pretty dysfunctional. The scary part is that (knock on wood!!) the girls have stayed healthy- it has just been the grown-ups. Rob got it first so I lost a bunch of days taking care of him and then I got it while he did his best to take care of me while still feeling sick himself. I keep crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be better… more writing when that becomes the case…

March 2, 2008

This post is written in response to the prompt “Time Travel” at Sunday Scribblings. I was introduced to this great site and concept by a fun new friend I met in my writing class- she also has a fun blog you can find here Chefdruck.

Time Travel: This prompt reminded me of the painful experience of trying to write about smells in my wonderful Writing Motherhood class. I have heard time and time again about how smell is meant to trigger the most powerful memories. In our class, we read writings by authors consumed with this sense of smell- stories of women being taken back, time and time again to years earlier by a simple smell. I thought and thought about smells that I associated with childhood- none really came. The irony of this is how much of my life as a mother has been filled with smell- not the seeking of it but rather the avoidance. Part of Caroline’s sensory integration issues revolve around her freakishly strong sense of smell. She is so often repelled by smells that I cannot detect. I have finally learned to say not, “What smell?”- this triggers further anger, but instead, “Oh, honey, that must be one those smells that only you can smell.” We then work to figure out the smell so it can be removed. In doing this I wonder if I am creating a similarly smell-less world- I don’t wear perfume, avoid using scented products in the house, stray away from particularly fragrant foods. I wonder if one day, my daughter who has such a strong sense of smell will actually look back on her childhood wondering where all the smells were…

Playground

March 1, 2008

The girls and I went to one of those indoor playground places this week. Really and truly, minus the germs (ball pit=yuck!), it is my dream come true- Caroline is really at her happiest when spinning upside down, running or swinging- all things she finds ways to do inside if necessary so an indoor playground has been great. During warm and sunny times, we go to the “real” playground nearly every day but this New Jersey winter has been a shock to our system and our schedule. Of course, Caroline plays outdoors with little clothing on and stays perfectly warm- Katherine and I on the other hand get grumpy and frigid quickly… 

So all this brings me back to our afternoon at In the Swing. It was relatively uncrowded and the girls were relatively independent, giving me a chance to people watch. In watching and thinking (perhaps too much!), I decided that mothering styles can be pretty well summed up by your playground behavior. For the majority of the time we were there, two other families were with us. One of the moms, played the entire time with her son- he was probably three- she ran, played hide and seek, tickled and allowed him to crash into her, watching him laugh hysterically when she fell onto the cushy mat. She really seemed to be enjoying herself- one of those kid at heart people that you often hear about but rarely see. The other mom sat and read a magazine. I kept trying to make my way over to her and ask her how old her kids were- when could I come here and read a magazine. I am still pretty hands-on in these places- I’m not the hide and seek type but instead the less fun version of the over involved mom, the “watch it”, “slow down” mom. At the end of our stay, I finally saw the magazine mom with her kids- one slightly older than Caroline and hey, wait a minute- one Katherine’s age. It made me realize that if I wasn’t going to be hide and seek mom, perhaps I should stop being grumpy, overprotective mom and make the leap straight and directly to magazine mom. My mind is already racing… perhaps even book mom- is it possible- I’ll let you know!

Catching up…

February 22, 2008

Caroline has been on vacation (from her grueling pre-school schedule!) this week so I have fallen behind while adding to my list of potential posts. I will resort to the bulleted list to get myself back on track:

  • We began our week with a wonderful trip back to Richmond. We had not returned since our move and everyone seemed ready to visit with old friends. Highlights of the trip included: Caroline playing with friends she’d had since birth- they all picked up like she had never left, Katherine recognizing friends (we wondered if she would given her age), Rob and I reconnecting with people we had only been able to talk to briefly since we left if at all, Caroline sleeping through the night, every night, on an air mattress by herself!, dinners, lunches and get togethers with people we have been missing, Caroline finally acknowledging that she missed Richmond- as hard as this was- she begged not to leave- it seems to have freed her mind and allowed her to relax into her life in NJ.
  • We have had our first week off from school where Caroline has been ok with the lack of schedule. We have written a make shift schedule each day but it has been loose and flexible and she has survived.
  • We had our first drop off play date- what an ingenious idea! Caroline and her friend from school played beautifully for two hours- they even included Katherine the whole time.
  • We have received our first real snow storm of the winter- far more snow than either of the girls have ever seen… It is still falling- more to come.

A poet is born…

February 15, 2008

A few days ago Caroline wrote her first poem. It follows: Max sat on the cat. She wrote and spelled it all on her own. I am amazed at this little reader and writer that is growing in front of us. The funny part was that her first effort must have just exhausted her budding creative mind- the sequel read: At tat. Stay tuned…

Huh?

February 13, 2008

The following is excerpted from a conversation Caroline and I had while she was making her Valentine’s Day cards for school…

Caroline: Do I have to make a Valentine’s Day card for everyone in my class- even a boy who is bad?

Me: He’s bad? What does he do?

Caroline: He tries to eat Katie.

Me: Huh?

Tough one, right? I’m not so sure I would want to make a Valentine’s Day for him either!

Valentine’s Day Party

February 11, 2008

Caroline has been very worried, since our move, that she would have no friends to invite to her birthday party- in July. In the back of my mind, I kept having this nagging idea to have a Valentine’s Day Party- almost to prove to her that she did, indeed, have friends. I kept deciding that it would be too much work, our house wasn’t big enough etc. Finally, after all the insecurities and worries, I decided to go ahead and do it and I am so very glad I did. We kept things very simple- homemade invitations, only 6 guests, cookie decorating as the activity. The party was such a huge success- the girls were just a joy- they all sat and decorated cookies and bags to put them in while the moms- many who had never met- got along famously. It was one of those moments as a mom when I was so proud of our family and so pleased that in this crazy time of ours, the simplest, easiest of things can still be the most fun.

Murphy’s Law

February 7, 2008

 First: Murphy must have met my children. Second: I apologize for yet another sleep related post but read on- I think you’ll understand my need to write yet another one.

Caroline has slept until 7am for the past two days (today was 6:45 but in our world this is still pretty miraculous!). I am honestly not exaggerating if I tell you that she has slept until 7 am fewer times than I have fingers in her 4 and a half years of life.  You all can get where this is going… Katherine was up at 5:15 yesterday and 6:00 today- she usually sleeps until at least 7. So Murphy, if I have done anything to offend you, I apologize and please stop getting involved in my children’s sleep patterns!

Random things meme

January 28, 2008

It seems like memes make the rounds at jus the right times- I have really been struggling to write lately and when I read this meme Caroline’s blog, it just seemed too easy to pass up!

1. Spell my name as it sounds: Stacey- I think this is the best way to write it!

2. Am I a worrier? Yes, yes and yes but somehow less as I get older…

3. What’s my favorite CD? This question almost made me skip this whole thing because the music thing really intimidates me- I really don’t listen to all that much… The only CD that I’ve purchased recently is Josh Groban’s Christmas CD- I did love this- it actually was supposed to be for my mom but I opened it to listen to and never gave it to her!

4. Favorite colour(s)? Blue

5. Does my home have an attic? No and it really needs one!

6. Have I ever been to Canada? Yes, on an eighth grade field trip.

7. Have I ever gone fishing? Yes, with my dad when I was very, very little.

8. Have I ever seen a celebrity? My memory for these things is terrible. I know we sat next to someone at a restaurant in San Diego years ago and I can’t remember who it was. This is why Rob got me a subscription to People for Christmas- he thinks my lack of celebrity knowledge is very strange!

9. Have I ever been on a motorcycle? Yes, it was terrifying- I don’t recommend it.

10. How much money do I have on me right now? None on me, $15 in my wallet.

11. How many cars have I owned? Two.

12. How many jobs have I had? 5 counting my years as a summer camp counselor.

13. How tall am I? 5’5″.

14. Last person to call me: Rob- to switch his plans from coming home early tonight to having a late meeting tonight- bummer!

15. Last thing I yelled out loud: “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” It seems as hard as I try, we are always running late on the way to school in the morning.

16. Last person I was in a car with: Caroline

17. Last time I ate at McDonald’s: Years ago…

18. Last thing I bought: Sandwich bags at CVS because I forgot them this weekend at the grocery store and we are completely out.

19. Last person I saw: Katherine

20. Last time I cried: This weekend out of complete fatigue.  Caroline is still waking in the middle of the night and very early and Katherine is alternating between teething and having ear infections- it is not pretty around here!

21. Last time I laughed: Lunch time at Katherine.

22. What is the temperature outside?40F but it says it feels like 33F- yuck!

23. What time of the day did I get married? Late afternoon.

24. What did I do two nights ago?Went to bed early. Rob and I actually canceled a night out because we were so darned tired…, PhD

25. Who’s birthday is coming up next? Katheirn
Katherine’s

26. What time did I go to bed last night? 9:00pm

27. What was the first thing I thought this morning? Is she really crying, now…

28. What are my plans for this weekend? Go to a Newcomer’s Event with the girls at a fun indoor playground, get together with Rob’s sister’s family, attend a Service Auction at our church.

29. Lemonade or iced tea? Iced tea

30. What do I dislike at this moment? My hair.

31. What did I dream about last night? I am so sick of the sleep complaints but honestly, I didn’t dream- I don’t think I go into REM sleep anymore- my dream life is seriously lacking!

32. What’s the last TV show I watched? MSNBC with the results of the SC primary. 

33. What is my favorite piece of jewelry? Engagement ring.

34. Am I a dancer? Definitely not.

35. Have I ever cut my own hair? No!

36. What is my favorite treat? Ice cream.

37. How many piercings/tattoos do I have? Pierced ears.

38. Where’s my favorite place to be? The beach.

39. Is there someone I haven’t seen in a while and miss? Yes, Richmond  friends.

40. Who was the last text I sent to? I don’t text.

41. Do I care what strangers think about me? I’m afraid I do sometimes- I’m trying not to…

42. Last person I talked to on Instant Messenger: Don’t do this either.

43. Last person to make me cry: Caroline

44. Who can I tell anything to? Rob

45. What am I doing tomorrow?  Going to my great writing class, playing with the girls…

46. Do I have alcohol in my home? Not much- wine, beer, some vodka, gin and bourbon that have moved with us for years now and have never been opened.

47. Do I like ketchup? Yes.

48. Do I think I will be on a vacation this summer? Yes, at least once to the beach.

49. What colour is my master bathroom? Green

50. Do I wear a bikini at the beach? No- someday again soon, I hope! 

51. Have I ever been to the Grand Canyon? No.

52. What is my favorite fruit? Strawberries.

53. What did I really want to do today?Sleep- surprise, surprise!

54. Am I always cold? Not as much as I used to be. Before I got pregnant with Caroline I was always freezing- ever since, I have been much improved.

55. Does it annoy me when someone says they’ll call or text, but don’t? Yes. Rob always laughs at me because if someone doesn’t call me back nearly immediately, I am pretty offended.