I've always heard about how when a child is going through a big transition in their life, making large steps forward in their learning or social sophistication or whathaveyou, that they can often be difficult to live with during that time. But I've never really seen it with my own children. Maybe I'm just dense and don't notice things. Or maybe it's always been pretty subtle. I'm really seeing it now with Harper.
Ever since Irina came along, Harper's had to make some pretty big adjustments. Actually, starting before Irina even came out into the world. Last year at about this time, Harper still nursed very occasionally, but being pregnant made my nipples quite sore, so it pretty much tapered off to never. She used to always sleep with me and she had to be snuggled right up next to me until she fell asleep or she couldn't go to sleep. Last night she slept out on the couch. Plus, she's just not the baby anymore. She's not the smallest.
Lately she's come out of her shell in a big way. Whenever we'd go out she used to stick by me mostly and not really ever play with other kids. She'd go off and play by herself or with me or Pat, but if any other kids came by, she'd kind of freak out and get away from them as soon as possible. Within the past few weeks, this has completely changed. Now she's making friends and playing with them and enjoying it. Other kids playing near her don't bother her as much. She and Saren have started playing with two neighborhood girls too and so she's becoming really comfortable with that social situation. But she has her limits. The other day, the park we went to was overrun with kids because the school had the day off and it's really starting to heat up (this was a water play park). That day she spent most of the time with me. So there's also some regression going on if the situation seems to be too overwhelming to her.
There's also been some regression in unexpected areas. She's generally been pretty easy-going when it comes to her emotions. But lately if she gets mad, she really gets mad. If we're out and the other kids don't wait for her they don't want to do what she wants to do, she screams. In that case, she's learning a lot in a short time of what another kid might have figured out gradually from a younger age. So, some more immature behavior is to be expected, I think. She also is more explosive at home. She often screams when frustrated with Saren lately (which is especially irritating when Irina is sleeping) and she does that whole foot stomping, "UUNNHHH!!!!" thing when she's mad. I'm trying very hard to remember that it's times like these that she's needs more attention and understanding, not less. That a hug to help her calm down is far more effective than getting angry back and not letting her own her own emotions. (Which, again, is harder to do when Irina has finally fallen asleep and a well-placed scream from Harper wakes her right back up.) Two steps forward, one step back.
When Harper was born and was about three weeks old, Saren had bad nightmares for 4 or 5 nights in a row. But there wasn't anything as obvious as this.
On the other hand, Irina has really been starting to engage with us. She looks at our faces and smiles and laughs and is generally the cutest baby in the world. So, she's going through some transitions too. Moving out of the newborn stage and into the smiling happy baby stage. She woke up early this morning and while I sat here at the computer, she lay there in her bouncy seat kind of sleepily looking at me. I could tell she was ready to fall back asleep, but every time I'd look at her she'd get excited and smile and laugh. Last night as we were eating, she was getting grumpy while Pat was holding her in his lap. But when she noticed Saren sitting adjacent to her, she started smiling at laughing at her. She has the most adorable, screamy little laugh.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
That's not a rat!
My mom's cat had a kitten. That's right, just one! She didn't even know that the cat was pregnant. Innit cute? I need a kitten. It's eyes weren't even open. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.
And on a completely different note, am I the only person who obsessively worries that people don't like her?
And you know what's even worse? Worrying that people don't like my children. What if nobody likes my kids but they're too polite to say anything. But then, what's not to like? They're perfect.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Yesterday I took a bunch of pictures while we were out at a water park, but it turns out that in all the pictures of Harper, her head is down, making it difficult to see just how short her bangs are. Thus, this is the best Harper's bangs picture I have so far.
I am frequently amused by marquees that I see around town. The last one I saw was at Las Vegas Day School (a private school where they all wear adorable navy blue uniforms, and by "adorable" I mean "sickeningly conformist"). It said, "Learn as if you were to live forever." ........ What? I took a few minutes to think about that. My first thought was that if I were going to live forever, I would most likely learn at the same rate as I always do because really, what difference would it make? Then I thought well, maybe if I knew I was going to live forever and I wanted to learn how to repair cars or make a quilt, maybe I would just keep putting it off and putting it off and putting it off because I would know that I had all the time in the world to get to it. Do you think that's what they meant? But really, when it comes right down to it I think my first thought was closer to the truth of it because you live, you learn. You become interested in something and you learn about it, you need to find out how to do something for whatever reason, and you do it. It doesn't have anything to do with how long you're going to live. I even tried to make it make sense with a school's view of what learning means and... it still doesn't make sense!
Recently seen movies: Nausicaa and Smoke Signals. Nausicaa was really good as are all of Miyazaki's films, but I had some sort of insight about them while I was watching and I've completely forgotten what it was! Smoke Signals was good too. It's based on Sherman Alexie's short stories and it's been awhile since I've read any of his stuff. I think I may do that soon.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Whoops! I cut Harper's bangs too short. WAY too short! However, both she and Saren are of the opinion that she looks "sooooooo cute," so I'm trying not to let it bother me. Normally I'm not a person that screws up bang-cutting (not since I was 10 and started doing my own, anyway), so here's how that happened. She had her head down because she was nervous. I thought I'd just let her keep it down so she wouldn't freak out and I'd compensate. Didn't work.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
That picture is old! Like two months old. Which, in a baby's life of course, makes a lot of difference. Anyway, those are the garments made by Cindy. And she also made a blankie that isn't pictured. Cute! And they still fit. She's growing like a potato [/idon'tknow], but she still fits best in her 0-3 mo. clothes. She's a small one.
I haven't blogged in forever. This is mainly because I always feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off. Since I signed the girls up for those classes, I managed to make it so that every single weekday has something planned for it. Sometimes they're just short things, but it still is like the entire day is centered around it. And I just can't seem to get my shit together. I go through the whole day feeling like I've got a million things that are hovering over my head that need to get done and I spend all my time doing the things that don't end. Things that have no discernible "I'm done now." Like I can comfort and feed and change the baby all the live long day but there isn't a result. Well, of course, it results in a content, well-fed, dry, sleeping baby! But it's not something you just do once, or even once a day. You do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And over. And in between that, I'm trying to make meals for Saren and Harper, and occasionally spend some time with them, and have a minimal amount of clean dishes to eat from and clean clothes to wear. I feel like I'm running after my life, trying to grasp something, anything so that I'm not left behind in the dust. And so when I get online and it's not to pay bills or do something else, I feel more like reading than composing.
In other news, I recently watched The Phantom of the Opera from Netflix and I loved it. I think it was good enough that I would like to buy the DVD one day. I'd like to see the special futures on the other disc that netflix doesn't send out. I watched it 3 and 3/4 times and I cried the first two times. :-P
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Yeah, but where's the hat?
God, talk about procrastination. Also there are comments on my last entry that I just now remembered I needed to respond to. Sometimes I'm a real shit blogger, you know that?
The title is two-fold. A while back Pat and I had a date and went to see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I liked it pretty well while I was watching it (say 3 Netflix stars or so), but when we got home I read a scathing review of it and started liking it less. Why the hell do I do that anyway? The best part to me though, was the song. That song just made me feel so pleased with life.
And today we went with our unschooling group to see the dolphins at the Mirage and Siegfried (I'm not good with either 'ie' combos or looking up how to spell something with 'ie' combos) and Roy's Secret Garden, which features an elephant, some tigers, some lions, and a black panther. The whole thing started out terribly stressful for me because Irina just really has a problem with outings lately. She would not settle down. I nursed her and bounced her and carried her and she was having none of it. She finally fell asleep and I felt like I could enjoy myself a little bit more, but then everybody else left and Harper started in bigtime on the whining and wanting to go home so we only stayed a bit longer and then left. I love watching the dolphins. They're so beautiful and just fascinating to watch. I also like that the dolphin habitat is an educational center (I think that's what they called it), so they don't have the dolphins doing shows or anything like at Sea World. They just have a couple of pools where the trainers interact and you can sit up really close as long as you want and see them do all kinds of jumps and cute dolphin stuff. Dude, next to monkeys, dolphins totally rule.
Today I broke down and bought a cell phone. I've always resisted because I couldn't really see the use of one in our particular lives. I just don't talk on the phone all that often and well... we've gotten along this long in life without ever having one. Then today I was driving along and realized I hadn't made any arrangements with Pat for either driving him home or having him take the bus and I thought that having a cell phone at that moment would have been useful. And it was one more time thinking that on top of several others, so I said what the hell. However I bought the prepaid kind and I bought the absolute cheapest model that Target had. Here's hoping it's functional.