Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

It doesn't feel much like Easter, what with the freezing temperatures and the constant threat of snow flurries.  Still, it has been nice to have some time off.  I realized late last night that I hadn't quite established what our Easter Bunny tradition was...and Matt said he didn't really think that he'd ever had any idea that the Easter Bunny came to visit in the same way Santa does.  So I left the boys their Hot Wheels chocolate eggs on the sofa this morning and they didn't seem to question that they came from anyone other than me!  I think both the boys have colds which is kind of a shame, but hopefully they'll get to recover with some time off school and nursery. 
We all then went to church - even Matt, for perhaps the first time since Noah's baptism - and then it was home for a lazy day.  I had spent a while trying to craft these Easter bonnets for the boys; you can see that they didn't go over all that well!  Anyway, hope you had a nice Easter wherever you are.  A day to be thankful for all the things we have in our lives!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Good cause #1

A few weekends ago, we were at Elizabeth's celebrating Blake's birthday with the family, and on Sunday I went out to get some milk and the Sunday paper.  I picked the Times, and in the magazine was an article about a Dorset family who had lost their teenage son (David, who went by "DD") to brain cancer.  I recognized the name of the mother (Sacha Langton-Gilks) as someone who our friend Mel had shared some Facebook posts about, in her efforts to increase the awareness of early signs of brain tumors through the HeadSmart campaign.  The boy's father teaches music at a prison, and when his prisoner students found out that the reason he'd been away was that he was spending time with his son during DD's last days, they decided they wanted to record a song in his memory.  The story reduced me to a bubbling tear factory, and it also made me want to help spread the word and help their campaign in memory of DD. 
The song is really lovely and since I've bought it (here, at or here for iTunes - go on, it's not a lot of money and will go a long way toward getting the message out, hopefully saving lives in the future if people can identify the cancer early), I've listened to it every now and again and it hasn't failed to move me.  It causes me to think about all the ways that mothers and fathers love their children, and about how fragile life is and how we must hug our loves one tightly and be thankful for every day and every moment.  It's also inspired me to think about the way social networking has changed the way messages are shared across the world, across groups of people who have never met but have common links and purposes, and across communities.  It's pretty amazing.  As are people who campaign tirelessly, overcoming grief and sadness to try to turn tragedy into something positive.  I admire the Langton-Gilks family and hope that "Song for DD" gets the coverage that it deserves.  Feel free to help spread the message by liking the "Song for DD" and Sacha Langton-Gilks pages on Facebook. 

The dawn of sesames

Have you ever wondered about the origin of sesame seeds?  I think you'll find that Noah has the answer in this song...and it's very simple!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I write

On Monday when I picked Noah up at nursery, I got a little talk about how they think he is ready for potty training.  It was about this time in Blake's life (about a month before his 3rd birthday) that we did potty training, so I think that they are probably right about Noah being ready.  He hasn't shown a great deal of interest in it, so far, but then again, neither did Blake.  Their main reason for thinking that it's probably worth doing is that he's dry much of the day when they go to change him.  That just caused me to think, "I wonder if he's dehydrated?" whereas they see it as that he's able to hold in his bladder and not just wet himself.  They're probably right.

So in that sense, he's probably ready.  Where he does also seem ready is in his awareness about when he needs to do a #2, and the privacy that he seeks when that moment arrives.  This weekend he actually went into some bushes in a pub garden when he needed to do a poo, protesting for me to "Go away, Mommy!" while he tended to his business.  Tonight he didn't want to try to sit on the toilet or the potty, but he did go to this little space between the living room door and the sofa, which was the cue that someone would have to change a stinky diaper in the immediate future.  However, what I remember from Blake is that there's a big difference between the *awareness* of needing a poo, and what happens when all that stinky stuff doesn't get contained in that ginormous diaper, and how messy that disconnect can be.

Blake and I had some fun tonight re-reading my blog posts about his potty training.  Some of the stories made him laugh which was one of the best feelings I've ever had about maintaining this blog.  It took us back to that moment, it allowed me to review what was going on at the time and how I handled it, and it proved - very importantly - that what was probably a very difficult time was equally something now that we don't sweat over much.  This, too, shall pass, as my mother says. 

I also discovered tonight that potty training Noah should perhaps be easier than it was for Blake, due to a self-nominated Potty Training Assistantship role that Blake will be performing.  He very quickly set about creating Noah's sticker chart - setting up 9 days across the top of a blank white piece of paper, by the end of which Noah *surely* will have mastered this all!  He then very kindly read to Noah while N lounged on his luxury potty chair.  Nothing came of it, but he did earn 2 stickers for trying.  I'm not expecting any miracles with this one whatsoever, but I guess it is good to start trying. In the meantime I think I'm going to make sure he's getting enough to drink during the day to fill up that potty when he's ready. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Has anyone seen Spring?

Sooner or later, when you're in the sort of gluttonous, couldn't care less relationship that I am in with all foodstuffs that are bad for me (chocolate, toast with butter and jam, mini M&Ms leftover from Christmas, imported Snickers Almond smuggled from the US since you can't buy them in the UK, strawberry PopTarts bought for the ramp of the monster truck cake), I was bound to ask THE question.  No, not that one!  (Am I pregnant?!) Definitely not that one!  But...I wonder if I have a tapeworm?  The answer is, of course not!  But it always seems a semi-logical thing to wonder about when you get to the point where you think, I'm probably taking it a bit too far now in terms of my utter lack of dietary discretion. 

Here's the deal.  Today is March 11; the location is London.  Daffodils are everywhere, and the late afternoons resemble less the middle of night as they do in January.  Surely spring is here?!  Surely not, Mother Nature replies with an evil cackle! Today we had temperatures of minus something (still can't figure out Celsius) and snow.  It was absolutely freezing!  The wind is rattling the trees outside, the drafts are creeping all around the house, I have a fleece and a scarf on inside, and I think those extra few mini M&Ms I just had might give me that little boost of energy I need to make it through the evening. 

Life continues on at the pace that leaves me simultaneously praying that the weekend will come quickly, and then immediately asking the question on Monday morning - Wait, is it over already?  I feel like a lot has happened that I haven't reported on...I'm going to work on that.  But for now, I might just have to have a small cup of hot chocolate and tighten my scarf a little tighter.  Spring isn't here just yet, and once it gets a bit warmer, I've got an exercise routine to get back on and a few wintery pounds to shed.  Wonder what other Christmas candy I have left over....