Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's complicated

At playgroup, I commented to another mom that her son seemed so even-tempered as he sat trying to fit a ball into a much too small hole. I was thinking that by now my daughter would have screamed out in frustration, asking for immediate attention and help. The mom replied that she has read a lot about tantrum-ing so maybe that has helped, although maybe it's just his personality. Moments like these make me notice how some mothers are so confident based on what they have read - there is so much reading to be done out there! - and yet while I can tell you about the theorists and the theories, and I can rattle off suggestions and recommendations, I still don't feel like I quite have a handle on the actual moment, most of the time. When my toddler pushes her little sister flat on the floor again, and again, and again... and again... with a smile and a laugh, I know that she is testing boundaries and trying out her new found independence. And I know about distracting, and giving warnings, and emphasizing talking. But that knowledge doesn't mean I've found a solution.

Still working on it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sometimes I feel like I'm Kronk from 'The Emperor's New Groove.' He has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. They argue with each other, and with Kronk.
Most of the time I feel like the educator-me is the angel and the mommy-me is the devil(ish one). The educator-me knows how to respond to tantrums, and that I need to address the cause and not react emotionally to the behavior. The mommy-me sometimes just wants to stomp my feet and scream.

So far, for the most part, I'm able to keep the devilish one in check.

Ah well, at least Kronk is funny; and laughter is always good.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We (the generic 'we') love abbreviations, and 'we' love letters after our names. Like I feel like it adds importance and identity when I put MS Ed after my name (it does in some circles). I feel like now I should be able to add some letters - AP, BW, CS, EC, BLW, CD. After M.O.M. of course. Each one of those abbreviations stands for something that my husband and I have decided to incorporate into our parenting lives and then 'we' discovered that they actually had names and were movements of their own. We adapted each one in the way that worked the best for our family, and some of them we are still figuring out.

And now, I'm going to leave this at TBC... I mean, to be continued.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Scribble alphabet?!

I can't help but put on my educator hat when I watch my 22 month old daughter scribble. In the past week or so, I've been fascinated at how she seems to be more aware of the actual marks she is putting on the paper. Before it was pretty much about the movement of her arm, hand and fingers. And it was social - she asked us to draw things and shapes and use different colors. But now she comments on her own lines - little, big - and some labels - door, house, and so on. And, she consciously trying to fill a page with marks.

Did you know that there is an actual 'alphabet' of scribbles? Last Fall I taught a class on Art and Creativity in Young Children and we talked about Rhonda Kellogg's scribble alphabet. There are elements like 'dot,' 'single vertical line,' and 'imperfect circle.' After these simple marks, we start thinking about different combinations, and how the page is filled (or not). And this is just in the first few years of life!

I know it's universal but it's still fascinating to actually see it unfold!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Diaper guilt

When I was pregnant with my first, I thought cloth diapering was simple. Well, maybe there were more choices than when my mom cloth diapered us a few decades ago, but still, how complicated could it be. Let's just fast forward until today, my first is almost two years old. There are different brands, different materials and different styles. And even once you start being "green" by using cloth, you can still be guilted for not going organic, or using hot water for washing and a dryer instead of line-drying. And that's not even my biggest problem - it's the nighttime diapering! These girls are SO wet in the morning, even if I change the little one after a nighttime feeding. Even the big one, who doesn't nurse at night, gets so wet, she wakes up and can't fall back asleep. It's starting to affect our sanity. Right now, disposables seem our best option at night, and I really don't like that. I'm not giving up though.
I wish I could do reviews and giveaways for cloth diapers and even the covers. I've tried quite a few options and would love to try more and hear from other moms! The problem is, my blog is so new, I don't have any readers (and therefore, no commenters either)! So I'll have to work on that.. maybe a Facebook page to connect to it?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carpe Diem!

It's always nice to find a nature gem when living in the city. We bought a membership to the Mass Audubon Society earlier this year to visit the animals and pick strawberries at Drumlins Farm in Lincoln (which was great!). But we have yet to explore more of their sites. Today we took a short drive to the Habitat in Belmont and it was perfect for a short family jaunt, away from the city noises. Definitely a thumbs up! Both the girls enjoyed the wind, the brightly colored leaves, all the textures and watching the dog sniff everything. Our toddler declared that she was "happy now." Now to see if the fresh air makes them sleep!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 22, 2010


I sat down for a few minutes today and convinced my almost-two year old to look at the November 2010 issue of Parents Magazine with me. We talked about what all the kids were doing in the pictures and - her lastest interest - found 'recipes,' while I quickly skimmed the pages for anything interesting that I may or may not get back to later. And I found a comment that made me laugh (just what the doctor ordered!). In an article called 'Mommy Meltdowns' (also perfect timing for this end-of-a-very-long-week-Friday), a mom had commented that she comes home some days to find that her three lovely children have "redecorated tsunami-style."
Now that I am going to remember! My house isn't a mess. My daughter doesn't trash the place. She redecorates "tsunami-style!" Somehow, it made me take a deep breath and feel that I am not alone.