Monday, December 31, 2007

I must have some of this.

And hide it from anyone (read: girlchild) in the house who'd use it all up in an hour but also become frustrated because nothing stays glued.

Instant DIY sticky notes with special repositionable glue stick.

Boo Yah. Because the boy child just delights in pulling apart the actual pads of sticky notes I buy--and the ones he can abscond with from his father's desk. Which leads to Paul wandering about the house asking where things are.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Note to Cartert

Dear Carter,
You've been 2 for two whole months now. And Mama is just getting to writing her letter to you. By the time you're old enough to really read this, you'll know that's pretty typical and A) roll your eyes, B) laugh, or C) A+B with a touch of love.

Now, I could wax poetic about how much I love you, and gush how, over the past two years, you've changed my life in ways that I never could have fathomed. I could tell you about the tears and joys you've brought to our lives. Or I could try to explain how the journey of adding a second child and first son to our lives has been such an adventure--one I never knew I'd enjoy so much.

Instead, I think I'll just tell you how cool and weird and wonderful you are. When I look back at these times, these are a few of the things I'll want to remember about you now:

  • You have the goofiest sense of humor! Your father says it's from me, and he's probably right. One of your favorite things is to completely gross out Mama with boogers. You will pick at your nose--and in no small way!--then hold it out to me and say, with this *look* in your eyes, "Bite?" You don't do this to anyone else, just me. Because it freaks me out, and you like that.
  • You're much more sensitive than your sister. Apples to apples, when Bun would get angry and pitch a fit, you become upset or have hurt feelings. You need LOTS of hugs. And boo-boo-gone kisses. You're not a wuss; you often do just get up and keep on trucking. But you're not above running to home base for some love.
  • Man are you a picky eater! I used to have myself convinced my tactic of always feeding a small child the same meal as their parents, not bribing, and not sneaking in foods was a WINNER. I mean, Bunny eats everything and other moms comment on how she will gobble escargot en brioche or even begrudgingly take her couple of bites of kale. Then came you, little man. You, who survived on willpower and milk for something like 5 weeks in early fall. This again, you get from your mother. I went on food strikes, too. I'm a foodie now, so there is hope. Until then, there is The Sneaky Chef. Yes, I now hide veggies in meatballs. *sigh* Oh how low the mighty have fallen. You're just as stubborn as me, dangit.
  • You still sleep with us. Kind of. You sleep in an adjacent futon to our queen bed, and we shuffle around as you wander over to find 'touch' with me, then I usually shift, Paul goes all the way to the far side of the futon... long story short, it is not at all uncommon for someone to end up UPSIDE DOWN in the queen bed as we accommodate you sleeping sideways, especially after your sister creeps in at about 5:30 insisting there is plenty of room. I shudder to think how we will make it so the baby can cosleep in this mess we created. I also longingly think of hte day when you and Cole will share a room and hopefully we'll get at least, say 4-5 hours just parents in the bed. But I know we'll miss having you 'nuggle' with us, too. Your Daddy has said it: we like having you guys close, as inconvenient as it is sometimes.
  • You are at the same time a poop denier and a poop "wolf cryer". Hopefully it's something leading up to the day you use a toilet and your recongition signals are haywire with the latter. Either way, we can count on you to deny having very obviously soiled yourself or declare you *have* pooped when you're not even wet. However, you do manage to have a nasty bordering on blowout diaper at the park a good 4 out of every 5 times. Way to go dude, I really appreciate that. :-/
  • You're pretty well mannered considering you're not all that verbal yet. You say please and thank you and you're welcome very reliably, which charms your adoring public to no end. Sometimes you lay it on a bit thickly, such as you thanking Bunny with much gusto for being a turd and chucking your juice at you because she was grumpy. Or was that your sense of humor again? Were you sarcastic? Hmmm. Again, that would be a wee bit from me.
  • You kick trees. Dunno why. But boy does every tree need a good kicking in your opinion.
  • You love music, but hate my singing. Which may simply mean you have good taste, as I have a 4 note range, more or less. HOWEVER, you did see Barry Manilow singing Copa Cabana on Ellen and screamed, "That's awesome!", so I am not completely sure of your taste. At least it wasn't Mandy.
Cartito, this is just a smattering of what makes you, well, YOU! Any day now you'll be a big brother. I try to forget that you'll also be the dreaded middle child. I try to couch it as that you're the older brother. I hope very much we're all able to help you with this transition and to keep you YOU. Because you're pretty awesome the way you are. Boogers and poop and all. I can't wait until we have real conversations and I can learn more about what you think about things. Except Barry Manilow. I hope you don't find him awesome very soon. Because that's just wrong.

Souper Yum

So yesterday I cooked the ~8 lb ham. Yum. I had ham and hominy and eggs twice in 24 hours, and Bunny and Paul had plain old ham steak with eggs, plus Paul has been eating ham-out-of-hand all day, and there is still a ton left. My main goal was getting the bone and ancillary meat to make split pea soup. I am so glad legumes are back on Paul's diet after years of no split pea soup, or it being seen as some major splurge (for the record, beans and legumes lower insulin resistance and the impact of both the carbs in the meal you're eating *and* the next meal, so there!).

Anyway, it was a very easy recipe. Take 2 lbs dried split peas and dump into 4 qts water, bring to boil and simmer 3 mins, then let sit covered for 1 hour. Then bring back to simmer along with about a cup each of celery, carrot, and onion. Add about 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried thyme, 4 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp pepper, some celery seed and put in the reserved ham bone and any meat you're willing to give up for the cause. Simmer about 90 mins. Depending on how thick you like it, you may want to thin it with some chicken stock. Voila.

I'm putting away some to freeze for a meal after Cole comes, and we'll nosh on more in the coming days. Tomorrow I think I will make a double batch of "Big Martha's" meatloaf and freeze one. Except I prefer oatmeal to bread in it. It's what I had growing up, and what I like. Sue me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I *heart* this idea!

Keep a list of things you swore you’d never do as a parent

This is an awesome idea. I remember way back when I had such high ideals on, oh, everything mothering. I still do have high ideals, it turns out, compared to a lot of people out there. (You really get your eyes opened once you're no longer only in the very self selecting groups of mother's clubs and co-op preschools, where ideals are pretty dang high anyway... public school, even in the area of San Jose that wants very badly to be Los Gatos makes you realize you're a rock star in comparison to some [and a schlub compared to others, oh well!]).

Anyway, along the way we all seem to make concessions to reality. We buy a Happy Meal--then we at least rationalize that one child gets apples and one gets fries; they split it and it's somehow not total junk. We buy battery operated toys--and the 40 pack of AAAs at Costco. We crank up PBS Kids and Sprout, and if it's a bad day we may even let 'em watch SpongeBob just to get dinner made while being the only adult in the house. But we do a lot of things right, too.

Anyway, this is a great idea--to revel in inadequacies we never expected to have.

Oh, and I'm still preggers. Dammit. Oh, and cranky. And nesting. Let's see, what has Muffy done today? Hmmm. 5 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, baked a ham (going to make split pea soup and freeze half tomorrow), and sorted a lot of maternity clothes for the charity pick up on Jan 4. The kids can't possibly have more clean clothes than they do, unless I start making them go naked, there is nary a dirty linen or towel in the joint, and even the trash rugs I put on the cement floor in the garage around the fridge and washer/dryer are freshly laundered. I hope this kid decides to get born before I have to paint the exterior of the house or something to use up this nesting energy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

If I were only this creative...

I am beginning to suspect I live in some alternate reality where there are TRULY less hours to my day than others have. Or maybe it's simply that I really like to sleep. If I were an insomniac, I'd get so much more done, I promise. But I love sleep. Like 6-7 hours minimum. (Don't remind me that will sound like a decadent amount soon when night feedings re-enter my life!)

Anyway, this blog is too cool and I only wish I were able to do more than look and imagine finding the time and space and keeping the kids out of the way and out of my stuff long enough to make one in ten of these projects this woman does. Though she has her share of UFOs (unfinished objects), I am sure, too.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

What a mess.

It's far too early to know how it all happened, but by now there are probably 3 people in the Western World and beyond who don't know a young man was killed at the SF Zoo and that two others were badly injured on Christmas. A lot of evidence points to the tiger having been provoked somehow to escape ( Again, while it's still being investigated, this sounds pretty likely, as zoo tigers are not in 'sparring shape' and even if the moat is not as tall as current standards (seems it's off by 4 feet), it's still quite a leap for a flabby 'kept tiger' to leap. Anyway, we're keeping our membership, as we love the SF Zoo and I'm sad to see that this gorgeous creature is dead.
We went to the zoo on Veteran's Day and I got a little clip of Tatiana in her enclosure. Yes, she was huge! But you can see how great a leap she had to make. While I am sorry for the families affected, this reeks of Darwinian justice. My 2 yr old would know better than to taunt a tiger.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Carter Skywalker

Carter Skywalker, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

We had a very merry Christmas and are now in the hangover stage, where the toys are fun, but the natives are also restless.

Carter made out very well, getting a teeny bike, a lot of Jay Jay and Thomas stuff, a light saber (darn that Santa putting that in the stocking), a pedal-free trike with wagon, about 20 Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars, and some nummy candy, plus some other things I am sure I'm omitting.

Bunny got her first two wheel with NO training wheels, a real digital camera (better in MPs than Mama's!), a very soft Steiff bear, a pottery wheel, 3 or 4 books, the much coveted Littlest Pet Shop ranch set, plus a few other new 'pets', and of course candy.

Oh, and of course a light saber, too. She and Carter have waged many a battle with them, and even took them to the park today. Both nights I have had to confiscate the sabers and put them away once the kids seemed to be turning to the Dark Side in temperament. ;)

I'm still large and in charge here. Today we met up with Heidi and her kids at the park and she laughed out loud at how huge I had gotten just since Saturday when last she saw me. From my view point (mainly above) it doesn't look much different, but apparently I'm really dropping, haha. I will say it's damn near impossible to keep up any but the one pair of cropped jeans (PERFECT in cold Dec weather, p'shaw) because I am not shaped anything like a normal human, well anything like a non-ready-to-pop human.

Paul said he considers the real Christmas to be whenever Cole's born, and he feels like he's in suspended animation until then. He really can't wait to hold the little guy. I'm excited to see him, but I think, seeing as I feel him all the time, it's not the same for me as him. Yes, I want to hold him, but I *have* been holding him. He's all mine now; Paul wants to have his baby in his arms. Which, since I got the sling washed and ready, he will get a lot of, fear not. Paul does the screeching baby routine much more sanely than me. It drives me up the wall when babies cry with no resolution available. Paul, however is so good at remaining calm despite the pissed-off-for-no-discernible-reason mass of humanity. Which is why the person who made slings large enough for men is a saint (though probably, they're really just for larger sized women--whatever, it works for me). Paul gets his baby time, and I get my free time, ya know, to make dinner or some other comparatively relaxing thing in the evening. ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Carter's Beloved Rock

Carter's Beloved Rock, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Behold the Rock. No, not the wrestler cum actor who's really named Dwayne I think. :) This is Carter's Rock. It's small enough for his palm, flat, and both water and increasingly careworn. It also fits nicely in his pocket. Most rocks do not see much action beyond what happens near their resting spot, but this one gets around. It (He?) goes to school, to stores, to watch Bunny sing songs with her class, pretty much everywhere but the park (Mama says it stays in the car then, because she's pretty sure it'd get lost *there*). Carter proudly shows it off to all who appear to be attentive, thrusting it in their faces saying, "Rock!" Kids are cute.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How big is Kristianna? Soooo Big!

I think I look like I'm dropping? This is not a full profile, which would be even more impressive, probably. I find myself spending a lot of time gawking at my bigness in the mirror lately. Amazing there is yet another human about to emerge pretty much whenever he's ready to get on the daylight side of things. I personally need a couple more days to get presents finished and wrapped/shipped, and I want to be sure to see Bunny's class do their Christmas program Wednesday. After that, bring it on, I say... well, until like the 24th thru the 25th. The 26th? Again, bring it on. ;)

Why, oh why do I do this?

More Cards, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Here are our friends and family cards for this year... well three of them. :)

I got the idea from the December edition of Family Fun magazine (good magazine if you're a mom with older than baby kids and are ready to slit your wrists at the idea of ONE MORE article about baby skin issues or developmental stages for the first year... they really just regurgitate all the topics year after year, I swear). Anyway, Family Fun has things to do and make and stuff like that which if you're a wee bit craftsy like we are, is a wonderful find (a doctor's office find, no less!).

These are a family of reindeer, one print per member who can breathe air outside my womb (Bunny suggested a teeny print for Cole, but it feels jinxy to me). I did mine first, then basically played amateur fingerprint taker for the kids and Paul, bless his impatient heart, sucked it up for 3-5 mins to appease me and put his thumb to paper about 40 times. I glued on the eyes and Bunny put on the noses, fretting much about who to make 'Rudolph' on each card (strangely, she seems to be Rudy a LOT, hmmmmmm!). Then I let it all dry and now I am putting on antlers (varying sizes, of course, since a fawn of Carter's size would only have weeny beginner antlers and Paul's are obviously more developed--yes, I spend time and brain energy thinking about these things). Since they're homemade, I have to actually write in them, so that's the slow going part, as Carter likes to crawl onto me and scream "I draw!" and grab at things every time I think I have a moment to do a card. Then I spend time figuring something he *can* draw and somehow I only get one or two finished a day. Where does the time go? Oh yeah... kids.

I love home made cards, since it seems everyone else is more wise to the expedience of photo cards (which are great, too), but they just are not as nice on the mantle as the real deal cards. Then I can enclose a photo of the kids for those who'd actually appreciate one and those who really could give a crap about owning some strange child's photo has a real card to enjoy.

But this is time consuming, I tell you. I always think something will be so much simpler than it is and bite off too much. It would take me a day to make these were it not for, oh, those kids and being a million weeks pregnant. ;)

Feeling the Power of the Light Side

Verdict is in: our kids love Star Wars. Thankfully it's On Demand, as the 'live' showing started at 7 last night, and no way were the kids staying up until after 9, no matter how cool Yoda is. :) Plus Bunny can watch and ask her 1,000,000 questions clarifying who exactly is bad and not. Weird thing is, while we all found out Darth Vader was Luke's father way back whenever (1980??) Bunny already knew it, since to her the series runs in a different order than it does to me and every child of the 70s (or their elders). Carter? He just likes the action and seems to believe he's watching himself whenever Luke is onscreen. Took us a while to figure out why he kept hollering "Cartert!" at the screen and then became upset when Luke was not in the scene.

Anyway... finally something we all like and not just something the adults merely find un-terrible. ;) Since they could not stay up to watch the second half, and it's yucky weather this weekend, I foresee much 'force feeling' in the immediate future.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Inconvenient Possibility

2007SantaPhoto, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Sometimes it's easy to forget the girlchild in this photo above (cute Santa photo, no?) is only 5. And a half, she'd have me say, of course, since that 'a half' is a big half.

Bunny has such an advanced vocabulary that you forget it's still very 5 yr old sensibilities inside, no matter how well spoken she is.

For example: I'm talking to my dad today and he jokes about how would we deal if I were to go into labor on the 24th or 25th. The 25th would be better, since it'd probably mean even if I were uncomfy, I'd be able to see Christmas morning, whereas the 24th would make me miss that, and as much as having a baby would be the perfect salve for such a thing, I'd still be very bummed to not see their eyes, hear them on that morning--ya know.

Then my dad tells me that he talked with Bunny about what she thought about if that were to happen. She said, "That would be very inconvenient for me and I would not like it at all." Then she went on about the general worries a child has about how the man in red can find a child who's not at home on Christmas morning.

All sounds so rational, and like she'd be better at dealing than me in the end were that to happen! But at the same time, Bun has been spending a WHOLE lot of time observing the different chimneys in our neighborhood, marvelling at how Santa can fit down them, once she realized the 'circle part' (flue) is really the part that is the chimney itself and the bricks are not how wide a chimney actually is. She also noticed a lot of people have covers (spark arrestors) on top. How then does Santa get down?? Magic, I say, over and over (and over). Note to self: thank Norbert for that tip: Magic is the answer to all Santa questions. It works.

So, she's not growing up too fast after all. She just talks a good talk.


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