Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
So I brought him cleaning at the preschool with me and my mom Saturday morning. This is a big treat for him. Plenty of toys to play with, small brooms and vacuums for helping Mama and Grammie, tricycles to ride in the hall, and getting to help Grammie squeeze the mop. What could be better?
The forbidden fruit. Liam loves this shelf of goodies and other snacks I don't buy for him, but Grammie is always sure to share...
We woke up to Fall. Crisp cool air dense with mist. It felt fantastic.
Our attempt at a family portrait. The camera thought the tree in the foreground was much more important. We didn't bother with a retake...
Friday, September 24, 2010
And then Liam discovered that he can torment the spider: spraying the web with the hose, throwing sticks at it, and swiping the web down with his hands.
The spider quivers, seeking shelter. Running from the all-too-curious toddler.
And then it rebuilds right back where it started. I hardly notice the spider's return before the web is complete once again, and the spider is framed happily in the window.
I remind Liam that this spider is special. It chose to be in his window right where he can see it. It is a special gift that we don't want to destroy. But this message seems lost on my little one who seems to take such delight in destruction.
But despite his inhospitable host, this spider keeps coming back.
I need to be more like Liam's Spider.
To contentedly rebuild the messes he delights in making. To pick myself up after he swipes away at my plans for the day. And to hold fast to my composure after he tests me again and again.
But first, let's back up to yesterday. Liam did not nap. He was in his room for 3 1/2 hours. He still did not nap.
I felt frazzled, fed up, and exhausted.
Needless to say, we ate at the taco shop for dinner.
And then today, he spent 2 hours in his room, not napping, before I went in and discovered him standing on the changing table, filling the fish tank with all of River's cloth diaper wipes, a tub of rash cream, and the rest of the fish food
I began the process of cleaning the mess, and he took that as his cue to run around the house, pulling out everything he could get his hands on
He was a tornado of destruction. A living terror on a radio flyer scoot bike
I nearly came unglued. I was debating between laying down and crying face first on the hardwood floor or calling Gabriel and telling him that I needed him to come home now! when I noticed that my neighbor Trish was home early from work
And that is how I got through the afternoon: Liam went to play with Trish while I cleaned up the mess. I think I owe her my sanity
Both kids are in bed now, and we are getting ready to watch the SEASON PREMIERE! of Grey's Anatomy with a bowl of (dairy-free) chocolate ice cream.
What a day. What a day.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to figure it out: River is allergic to dairy, which includes goat's milk.
My selfishness is shocking sometimes. I so wanted him to tolerate goat's milk because I wanted real milk, real cheese, and real yogurt.
Apparently this is the lesson I am still supposed to learn: parenting is all about self-sacrifice. Just when I think I get it, I am humbled again. So, parenting is also all about humility. Realizing just how dense I can be at times.
So, the goat's milk was fun while it lasted. We all fell in love with the farm and the goats. So, allow me to indulge in one last hurrah.
Every time we made the drive out to Leach, OK (yes, the town is apparently named after a blood-sucking parasite...), Mike the farmer was more than happy to stop whatever he was doing and let us visit with the goats.
The goats were all friendly and obviously well-loved. Liam especially enjoyed seeing the goats every week. We're all sad that we can't drink their yummy milk anymore.
Notice I said we.
Liam may be allergic to dairy as well. Last week, I was talking with a woman at our church who has two grown children with dairy allergies.
She was able to give me lots of advice, start probiotics for both kids, wait until River is at least 6 months before introducing solid foods, and she suggested that Liam's poor appetite may be an indicator that also is dairy-allergic.
Liam isn't just finicky. He doesn't eat dinner. And if he eats more than a bite or two, we are impressed.
And it would also explain his constant crankiness from infancy, regularity issues, and frequent stomach aches.
So, we've cut him off from dairy, too.
Gabriel is the lone dairy-drinker in our house now, and once he finishes the goat's milk we had already brought home, we'll all be dairy-free at home. At least for now.
We are all working on adjusting. Adjusting meals. Adjusting flavors. Adjusting expectations.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Do not get me wrong. I love Liam. Fully. Desperately. Unconditionally.
But taking care of a baby comes much more naturally to me. It's easy.
Liam is not. He is a lot of work. All of the time.
I struggle to keep up with him. The messes he makes. The path of destruction he so gleefully leaves in his wake.
In the past few days, he has pried off the wood trim from the bottom of the living room window twice with his play tools, emptied a bottle of lotion into the fish tank, and ripped up a book (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) and dunked it in the fish tank.
He whines. He yells. He refuses to eat his food.
He is a two year old.
I find myself struggling. Struggling to clean up after him all day long. Struggling to show him patience, and yet I expect it from him.
I whine. And I yell. I refuse to stop and consider that he is still learning. Still learning how to be.
Messes can be cleaned. The house can be straightened. The fish can get new water. We can start over. Again and again. Because that is what it takes to learn.
And then the day is over. We go to sleep, and then awake. Ready to do it all again. Maybe with a little more grace this time around.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
My thoughts are turning from lemonade, simple salads, and outdoor grilling to my favorite flavors of fall. Bring on the sweaters, falling leaves, and fires in the woodstove. I'll take some brisk morning air, thank you.
And there is no greater hint at the glory of the coming season than bushels and bushels of apples.
Liam especially enjoyed the treat of picking and eating his own apples.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Despite the hectic start to my week, we had a wonderful labor day weekend: camping out at New Life Ranch. The Maples invited the Francos who invited us. We are so glad they did.
Splashing in the creek with his buddy, Sage, and a friendly canine friend, Kelty.
And the pancakes.
Okay, remember the gun on the mantel?