Saturday, January 24, 2009

2 days in

My last day of work was Wednesday, and for 2 days now I've enjoyed being home full time. It's not much, but last time I was miserable and ready to pull my hair out on day 1. They're both at good stage s right now. Chris is really fun - communicating well, even talking enough to have a small conversation, and he likes doing anything. Alex is very portable. He likes seeing people and watching kids, and he's been a lot happier lately. Chris was the age Alex is now when John went back to work full time and I was ready to die being left alone with Chris all day. I honestly did not think I could make it a day. But Alex is a much more chill 7.5 months old. He is starting to move around, but his first goal isn't always the single worst thing in the room for him to touch. Plus, all those things are gone now anyway.

I've been looking into preschools for Chris, which is hard to believe. There's one in Hopedale that seems fine (the public one). It's about a block and a park from my house. Maybe a 5 minute walk, which is enticing. Then there's a Montessori school in Grafton on a farm. I'm very tempted. It's probably a 15 minute drive. We're going to check that out, too. http://silverspruce.org/index.html

And as for the use of this as a sort of journal to remember milestones... Chris is finallly starting to get the colors right, although sometimes still forgets. He wants to know the name and singer of every song that he hears (which is more difficult to answer than I would've thought). He loves the Indigo Girls:) - especially "Cold Beer and Remote Control," which he knows far too many words to. He also has continued his obsession with counting, and he can count to 20 in English and Spanish, and to 10 in French (almost to 20), Japanese and German, and to 5 in Vietnamese (and is limmited by how quickly John and I can memorize the cheat sheet my dad wrote out for us. Alex is starting to move around more and more. He rolls, scoots backwards, etc, and can scoot along on his bum while seated (and change direction that way). He hasn't figured out forward motion, though, which drives him nuts as he can only move away from where he istrying to go. He's also trying to be part of our conversations, but of course none of the noises sound like words just yet. He hasn't really tried to pull lup, but he can hold his weight if you balance him on his feet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What to do?

So I haven't even stopped working yet, and I'm already wondering what I'm going to do with the kids, all day, every day. I'm excited to spend more time with them, but I'm a little worried we're just going to be staring at each other and bored all the time. I think last year I didn't do much with Chris when I was pregnant and lazy. So I don't have much to fall back on. Plus, right now their nap schedule is ridiculous, so something's going to have to give. Alex naps from about 9:30 - 11, Chris from 1-4, and Alex from 2-2:45 and 4:30 - 5:30. So 9:30 - 11 and 1-5:30 is naptime. THat's basically all day. On a good day, Alex will sleep longer in the afternoon and not need the third nap. And I guess if I went somewhere after Chris's nap, Alex would fall asleep in the car. But we're going to have to do some nap consolidation or I'll be home all day long. My biggest fear right now is boredom. Now I know from last time I stayed home that I will never be bored in the sense of sitting down doing nothing. However, I'm worried about being bored in a different way... the way the creeps up on you and builds and you don't realize you're bored until you're out with adults for the first time in forever and have nothing to talk about other than the kids. DOn't get me wrong, the kids are wonderful, and I talk about them a lot, but it's nice to have another topic, too. Gardening?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eggs and nuts

The real hassle with his allergies turns out not to be about finding foods for him to eat, but about my emotional reaction when adults seem indifferent to it. Comments like "I just fed my kid everything and he/she did fine!" drive me crazy. Um.. yeah... I fed him peanuts and he blew up like a balloon and couldn't breathe, so yeah, that's not the answer. When adults who know him well help him up to a seat in front of a plate of eggs, I start fuming. They don't understand - thinking no harm, no foul I guess. The whole thing has been a series of episodes where I get angry and defensive for what seems to others like no reason at all.

On that note, we had two kids' birthday parties this weekend. Chris loves parties (because he loves people), but it's always a struggle with the food. I feel like I have to watch him to make sure he doesn't get his little mitts on anything he's allergic to (which at this point is just eggs, peanuts and hazelnuts). And then there's the birthday cake. Of course he can't eat it, and if I were a good mother I'd remember to bring something he can eat as a treat, but half the time I forget, and then I spend the whole party trying to figure out the best way to handle it. I hate to tell him no cake when all the other kids are eating it, and he loves it, just because I forgot to bring something for him.

Anyway, we had 2 parties this weekend, and, to my surprise, both made cupcakes that Chris could eat. It never occurred to me how happy this would make me, and just as I have seen others not understand why I'm upset with the lack of concern for his allergies, I have a feeling the parents who made the egg-free cupcakes don't really understand how grateful I am that they did. The idea that he can go to a party and eat what everyone else is eating makes me feel so lucky, in a very strange way. Of course he's so young I don't think any of this has mattered to him for better or worse. But the fact that they both thought that much about his well being, for their party, and I didn't have to bake myself and remember to bring anything, makes me really grateful.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Service?

I just heard through an email to the faculty from another teacher that Obama has called on Americans to make Martin Luther King Day a national day of service. I can't find information about it anywhere, and I had no idea. So now I feel like an idiot for 2 reasons. First, that I didn't even know, and second, that I can't figure out what I should do to do my part. I'd like to do something, but with the boys being so young I get stuck in neutral. I decide that it's important for them to be a part of it from the start, but then I decide I could get more done without them. Maybe we can do something really simple. There's a bunch of trash in the woods across the street from our house... would cleaning that up count? I'm so excited for the Obama administration, but part of me really wishes it happened a few years ago when I had more time and opportunity to get involved. I guess in some ways I have more time now. I don't know. I do know that I'm pretty excited that this is the first president either of my boys will ever be able to remember, and that the impact this administration has on our country will shape the country of my boys' childhood.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Computer Improvements?

So my laptop died the other day. The harddrive seems fine, but it won't start up. Instead of the happy apple, I get a "not" symbol, like the one over a cigarette in a no smoking sign. Anyway, I was able (or John was) to get all my documents and settings off it, but it's done. So we came up with a brilliant? new solution. I don't really need a laptop, just some sort of computer access. So I thought it'd be a better and cheaper idea to get a computer instead, especially since we have a monitor, keyboard and mouse with a dead computer in the basement. John took my idea and ran with it. Why hook up a monitor, when we can connect it to the TV? That way we can watch all the instant netflix stuff, any sports online, etc, right through the computer/TV connection. All sounded great.. I guess I just didn't quite think it through. So now I'm typing on the TV in the middle of the house. Weird. We'll see how it works out. I"m not sure how I feel about checking my email and typing documents, etc where everyone can watch. Plus, the size is a little weird. The screen is so far away that I have to zoom way in to see it. We'll see. It's either a brilliant way to kill 2 birds with one stone, or it's a terrible way to make sure neither one works the way we'd like.

Meanwhile, for some unknown reason, I keep checking job postings. I want to stay home for a while, spend some more time with the kids, getting the house stuff in order, etc. So why do I keep looking for a job?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What next?

So I've been working part time since August, and my job ends in a couple weeks. I enjoyed teaching, but I'm ready to be done with it. When I started, I wanted to work full time, and now I'm ready to take a break and stay home with the kids. I kind of think I avoided some of the worst of the 2 under 2 time. Chris is doing great these days, and Alex, now almost 7 months, is more fun all the time. I'm excited to spend more time with them. I'm also afraid I might go crazy again, though. But I think I need to try being a stay at home mom while not pregnant with an out of control 1 year old who can't talk.

I'm thinking of other things to do. Marie and I submitted a proposal to present our work from this semester at the NCTE conference. We'll see how that goes. I've considered trying to volunteer at the school, but only if I can come up with some job to do for them that I want to do and will look good on my resume. Other than that, I'm planning to focus on the family, planning a bigger garden, preserving more food during the summer, cooking from scratch, etc. We'll see how long that lasts.