Wednesday, July 31, 2013

End of Summer

Summer is almost over and I've finally entered my 2nd Trimester. I've had many days with my niece and nephew and we've been going over school work to help them get a little ahead before the new school year begins in 3 weeks. My niece and I are covering some interesting human anatomy videos in regards to nutrition. It is so interesting and worth the time to listen. Here is the first video by the late Barry Groves called Homo Carnivorus. And the second video I'm going to have her watch is by Zoe Harcombe from the Wise Traditions convention in London called The Obesity Epidemic.

My nephew is happily practicing his handwriting skills up in the kitchen. At the beginning of the summer he told me it was insulting that I was having them practice their penmanship. Then I introduced him to a fountain pen and a well of ink and his mom is hard pressed to get him to put them down so he can go home with her a few hours later. I'll have to remember this trick when my boys are at the stage of learning to write. Something is so cool about an ink well and a pen that needs to be dipped in it.

I found out just last week that my parents are getting air conditioning in their home. This is a revolution! My mom has been begging my dad for an air conditioner for decades. All the years of growing up we only ever had a swamp cooler. Which is fine if the temp doesn't go over 90 degrees and it's not humid. In June we had bizarre weather where it got really cold, rained a lot, then went to over 100 degrees in the space of 5 days. It was not at all cool. The swamp cooler did nothing to cool the house down. So, my dad finally relented and is getting air put in this coming weekend. I'm so excited for them.

Mid month I go to book club but have yet to read the book. We're going to read Orson Scott Card's book Ender's Game. My mom said it was really good and hopefully I'll get to it before book club starts.

At the very end of the month we are taking a vacation to Bodega Bay. This is going to be a big challenge for me. The first half of the trip we will be roughing it by camping. It's not very appealing to me since I'll be almost half done with my pregnancy. I hate trying to get off the floor from an air mattress when I'm not pregnant. Add to that, I'll have two little boys on hand to keep busy and make sure naps happen. The second half of the trip will be at my husband's great-aunt's beach house in Bodega Bay. We go there every year and have figured out how to make everything work for the most part. We won't get into the beach house for a few days because my husband's family will be joining us and some of the family have already claimed the beach house. So, we are camping for three days.

Two days after our return from our camping trip I'm having a bridal shower at my house for my soon to be sister-in-law, on my husband's side. She's very sweet and I've promised to have a cake and places for everyone to sit. I hope I have enough chairs.

There is much more on my plate but that is what is coming up this next month and I'm tired just thinking about it. I hope the end of summer is not as hectic for everyone else.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Peer Pressure

Last week I was talking with my niece. She's a very sweet girl but there are times I worry about how she'll handle her high school and college years with the party atmosphere. Her parents love parties and drinking alcohol. They are passionate about having fun and letting go of their inhibitions. Me, not so much. 

Somehow, we started talking about the topic of drinking alcohol and parties. I talked a bit about how I have never enjoyed alcohol like my friends or brothers. I don't like the taste or the effects. The feeling of disorientation makes me nauseated and irritated. I'm constantly on guard in case my brothers pop out and tackle me (although they wouldn't do that now, the feeling is still there). So, I let my niece know how to have fun without compromising if she chose not to drink. 

There is always that person who is needed as a chaperone. Someone who will make sure the intoxicated will make it home safe and help if the person drank too much and needs help with a bucket, water, and aspirin. I was always that person. I felt like I had a better control over myself and that I could ward off unwanted attention easier. I was much more concerned with my own protection than letting my hair down. 

I had fun in my own way.  I was able to listen to silly conversations, laugh with everyone else over some stupid act of innebriation, and be with friends. Thankfully, my friends never pushed me to drink when I said I didn't want to. They had trust in me to help them home and never trespassed on my generosity. 

A few years later, when that chaperone was not needed because we weren't going somewhere, I felt awkward. I had different friends by then and I gave in to some drinking, but I never had the fun of my chaperone years. I felt like I was compromising something important, like I was giving up my dignity. That was a hard time in my life. I wish I could take those moments of stubbornness back and hold onto my shroud of self protection. No one ever took advantage of my lack of self control but it could have been easy to do so and I shudder at my vulnerability. 

I'm hoping my niece will understand that there is much she can do to have fun without compromising herself. Peer pressure is difficult and for many a vulnerability. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Little Toddler

Time flies. He's getting so big. In the picture with the bandaged knee I feel like he looks so tall and long.

You may wonder what happened to that little knee. He was investigating the doggie door at my parent's house and managed to crawl out. The deck is old and in need of a replacement and unfortunately as a consequence when he crawled around he got some redwood splinters in that knee. We took him to the pediatrician to get them out. He did well and only cried a little. Poor little guy. I love that face.

Sweet Bunny

A few months ago I bought a sweet little felt bunny kit from Rosy Little Things. After a few weeks of starting and stopping I finally finished it. 

I wish I had more in progress pictures but the final result was beautiful. I think the beauty of the little creature came more from a good pattern than good sewing and embroidery skills. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who wanted to try it. It is well laid out, simple to put together, and the finished product is sweet.

If I have a little girl, I plan on giving it to her as a favorite toy. Otherwise I may have to find someone who will appreciate the time and skill I've invested in it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Potty training

What a difficult thing it can be. Our oldest has never cared if he had a dirty diaper. It didn't bother him one bit to be wet or poopy. We used cloth all the time, rarely using disposables. A common benefit of cloth diapers is earlier potty training because the child can feel when he's wet. 

When our second child came along when he was 18 months old, I thought it would be a good idea to start potty training. We took it pretty easy and he would use the potty on an infrequent basis. Rarely would he say anything about needing to go and asking if he needed to go potty resulted in, "no".

At the beginning of this year we got into a regular schedule of him going potty just before going to bed at night. He got carob chips for successes and loved it. We also started getting him to use the potty in the mornings, occasionally, and before taking his afternoon nap. However, we were still getting poopy diapers and wet diapers. I was getting frustrated and stopped cloth diapering almost altogether. 

It's been over a year now so I've decided to change tactics on potty training. We are trying the naked method. It's hot enough here that it's no problem to keep him bare all day long. The first day he had one accident but managed the rest of the time to make it to the potty. We diapered him for a nap and after the nap when I took the diaper off he threw a huge temper tantrum, telling me over and over again, "Diaper On!" He screamed and cried and threw himself on the floor. He was very mad he couldn't wear his diaper. I took it as an excellent sign that it might work. He cared. 

Yesterday, I noticed he was needing to go to the potty. He didn't want to go and was holding it in. I pretty much had to carry him to the bathroom. Once on the potty he started getting really mad that he had to pee and even tried to stop it from happening. But, that's not how the body works as I'm sure he'll find out if he ever tries to stop breathing or stop blinking. 

This is his fourth day and we're doing alright. He's gotten used to not wearing a diaper during the day and is responding to our questions of needing to go to the potty. I'm hoping that by the end of summer we can have him in underwear for most of the day without accident.