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Archive for the ‘Sierra’ Category

School has started!  Last week Sam had his first days of kindergarten, which he loved, but today is the first full day.  And, my master plan of getting Sierra to nap while he’s at school (11:20-2:05) worked! I may have over an hour+ of kid-free time at home most weekdays.   Amazing.  Look at me sitting here at my computer writing, even.  Tomorrow, I may pay some bills.  It’s exciting beyond belief.   But what is even MORE exciting is that yesterday we bought a tag-along for Sam that attaches to my bike.  It’s a nice Burley that can also accept paniers to carry groceries and stuff.  Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day which also happened to be the day of Sunday Streets, where they block off roads in a neighborhood and open them up to bikes and pedestrians.  And, it happened to be in our neighborhood this year! There was music, food and lots of people out and about.   The best part was riding up and down Hilyard, normally a busy street, on our bikes with no cars in our way.

I have been pondering how to ride with my two kids for a number of months now, and considered some fancy (and super-fun) options like an electric cargo bike.  Maybe someday, but we don’t have $3000 to put into a vehicle right now.  So I finally decided a tag-along for Sam with the front seat (goes under my handlebars) for Sierra would probably work fine.  And it does!  Though I have not tried getting groceries yet.

As usual, Sam did not want to try the shiny new bike when I petaled home from Arriving by Bike with it.  He wanted to play computer.  It was scary.  We were going too fast.  It took some serious prodding (and threats of lost computer time) but eventually we talked him into taking a short ride with us.  Ben came along, riding his bike by himself.  Well, the sea change in Sam’s attitude from start to finish was hilarious.  Once he got comfortable, he couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it was.  “Mom, this is sooooo fun!”  “Mom, can we ride this everywhere now?”  “Mom, are you having fun?”  “Mom, this is terrific!!” “Mom, you want a boost now?”  It was adorable and totally made my day.  I was having fun.  When Sam decides to petal, it really helps.  When he doesn’t I can still get us around fine.  The last hill before my house (which is very steep) I get off and push the bike up but that’s fine.  Sam gets off and walks (or runs ahead to unlock the door.)  Sierra loves biking too so I’m hoping from now on most days my car will rest in the carport while we get fresh air, exercise, and to and from our errands without expelling an ounce of carbon.

Sam was very excited to go to school today once he realized we were riding the bike.  It went so fast we took an extra spin around the block just for fun and to kill time.  Compared to walking, biking to and from school is going to save us a lot of time everyday.  Which is good since kindergarten is only 2.5 hours!  Okay, I’m off to accomplish one more thing before we pop back on the bike to pick him up.  Hopefully I’ll post a picture of us on our bike later today.

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Sierra at 20 months

It occurred to me the other day that when Sam was Sierra’s age, I wrote an in-depth blog about him at least every month.  Then I wondered, have I EVER written a blog about Sierra?  It reminds me of my mom telling me years ago that most families have hundreds of photos of their first child, and then maybe one or two of the second child.  Of course that was the days before digital photos, but its possible the same ratio applies today.  I didn’t understand WHY this was, however, until I had two kids.  Is it because you love them less.  NO!  Is it because they are less cute or interesting? NO!  Is it because the novelty of every teeny tiny developmental milestone has worn off? NO!  Then why is it you fail to document every precious moment of child #2’s life?  Because you’re too frigging busy!  I will make no comments about child #3, 4, 5, etc because I can not even fathom how those amazing mothers get through the day.

Anyway, Sierra, this one’s for you baby.  Sierra Boberra (as Sam and I lovingly call her) is 20 months old and quite possibly the most adorable baby-toddler that every lived (except of course Sam at her age and all the other baby-toddlers in the world.)  She loves balls, baby dolls (preferably naked ones), cooking (play food or real), dancing, running, doing yoga (she’s mastered down-dog using her head instead of her arms), books, Pingu and Signing Time, crafts, play dough, stroller rides, sandboxes and dirt of all kinds, water, people and kids, but most of all Sam, Papa and me.  She is the cuddliest little thing I’ve ever met and if someone else would just do the cooking and cleaning I’d go ahead and hug her all day long.

She’s very talkative these days, and often I can even understand what she’s saying.  These past weeks she’s been combining more than one word.  Today, I was having some chips and hummus and she climbed on my lap and used the same chip to take four big bites of hummus.  I decided a spoon was in order.  In between spoonfuls of garbanzo garlicky goodness she mastered the sentence: “More hummus.”  Her pronunciation of the word ‘hummus’ improved significantly by the time we’d cleaned out the tub.  She still can’t say s’s, so Sam is Am and Sierra is a finger pointing at herself.  Or, she says baby and rocks her arms making the sign for baby.  Of course baby can also mean a REAL baby, or, a baby doll.  She has many and often pushes them around the house in the doll stroller.  Her imaginative play with dolls and stuffed animals is remarkable.  She is a big fan of the play moblie set we got from a friend.  Sam was always more of a lego kid, but since watching Sierra he’s learned a few things and has even attached himself to a couple stuffed toys.  Cute to see big brother learning from little sis.

She loves kisses.  Kisses everywhere, but especially on the mouth.  I don’t think I taught her this, and Sam and I never really kiss on the mouth.  She however, loves kissing her mama’s mouth with big wet kisses and I’ve come to accept this form of affection.  I’m thankful we made it this winter cold-free and that she’s not a very snotty kid!  Before bed sometimes I’ll get four or five big wet ones right in a row.   Then, a big long hug and a finger pointing to her crib.  Time for sleep!  Both kids have been going to bed easy and sleeping great.  I’m so thankful, it’s been a long time coming.  She naps exactly (pretty much you could set your watch by it) two hours every afternoon, unless we’re at a party or on an outing or something.  And, sadly, wakes up every morning at 6:15am.  It’s fine with me because I leave for yoga class at 6am, but I wish she’s sleep a little longer for her Papa and brother’s sakes.

Many days she spends a good chunk of our at-home time without a diaper on.  Sometimes at breakfast she’ll stop eating and say ‘Poop!’ in which case we fly to the bathroom and make animal noises on the potty until all the poop and pee comes out.  She loves animal noises.  What does a bird make?  “Mama, bird, bird!”  I have a whole list a bird noises (none of which are very good) but all of them make her smile.  Of course bird comes up at other times too, mainly when she catches me looking at my phone.  “Bird!  Mama, ang-y bird!”  You can guess what that means I assume.  And yes, she can play, though the birds almost always fly the opposite direction of the pigs.  Which is hilarious.  Anyway, pee sometimes goes on the potty, and often goes on the floor.  Today I spotted her with wet unders and asked where the pee had come out.  She lead me to a wet spot on the hardwood floors and pointed.  At least she got off the carpet!  The worst was the other day when she crawled behind the couch, where we throw all our extra blankets and pillows, and peed.  “Mama!  Mama!” She hollered as she was peeing.  I’ve learned what my name in that distinctive urgent tone means.  Yea, that was a pain to clean up.   But mostly she does pretty good, and it’s been a while since we had a big poop accident.  Lately she usually lets us know when the poop is coming.

That little girl gets into everything.  I’m thankful that we seem to be passing the standing-on-the-table phase.  However, her new trick is pushing a chair up to the counter and climbing up so fast it’d make your head spin.  A couple days ago I was cleaning goodwill stickers off of new purchases with rubbing alcohol (why do they use those icky gooey stickers?!?) and she was in the other room playing.  I turned away to put a few dishes in the dishwasher and when I turned back around there she was, standing on a chair at the counter, already having poured out the entire bottle of IPA!  Luckily, she poured it into a bowl and didn’t spill a drop, but still, it was scary.

The weather has finally shifted towards summer, but in Sierra’s reality the last warm season was a lifetime ago.  Her annoying/adorable thing lately has been insisting we put coats on before we leave.  And not just her, me too.  Sometimes she’ll bring me my coat and if I say, “No thanks sweetie, it’s warm out today!”  She’ll cry and scream until I either put it on or just carry her out the door.  She ALWAYS wears her coat, so far.  I wonder if she’ll wise up once it hits the 90’s?  There was a day not too far back where we got into this coat / no coat battle (Mama says no coat, Sierra insists) and I gave in and put our coats on.  It was an evening walk, and to my surprise by the end I was very happy we both had an extra layer.  It’s humbling to be out-planned by a one-year-old.  Often she’s all ready to go, socks, shoes, coat and all before I’m fully dressed and certainly before Sam has his shoes on.  Many times she brings Sam his shoes, which he is less than grateful for but I find adorable.

Well, that’s enough for tonight, but I’ll finish with a few photos, and by saying… I sure love you Sierra!  So glad you’re still my baby.

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welcome fall!

I promised myself if I ever got a good night’s sleep, I would write.  Well, it happened.  Did my beautiful little almost-one-year-old finally settle in for a full night’s slumber, you may ask?  Hahahaha!  Um, no.  But I decided it was time to close the all night diner.  To reassure myself that my baby girl would not starve or suffer horribly by a night without boobies I wrote down every time she ate food or drunk milk the day before.  She eats pretty much every hour from waking to bedtime, it turns out, with the exception that day of one two-hour nap.  So I think she will not starve.

I’m too much a softy to let her cry it out, and too much a flake to follow through with all the consistent patient steps (and routines) needed for the Elizabeth Pantley way.  So, I came up with my own plan.  It can be summed up simply as: Run away! Hide! Sleep!  I set up our little backpacking tent in the backyard and the past two nights Sam and I have snugged up in there while Papa and Sierra have had nighttime “father daughter bonding time.”  They are both taking it pretty well, considering.   Maybe tonight they will even get some sleep!?

Regardless of success or failure with our current Sierra Sleep scheme, I am relishing these precious nighttime off-duty hours.  And savoring the much needed Mama-Sam time.  He loves sleeping in the tent with me.  I love that we chat about silly things while lying there together until the conversation pauses and we (or just he) drifts off to sleep.  Sleeping in the tent on the equinox turned out to be a powerful way to honor the shift into the dark time.  Last night the clouds blew in and I enjoyed having only a piece of (waterproof) fabric between me and the first autumn rain.

Our Mabon ritual this year did not include candles or songs, but I did feel the roots of some family traditions beginning to take hold.   A giant douglas fir tree to the south of us shades the garden once the sun drops below a certain angle, and I have learned that tomatoes don’t much ripen past the equinox.   This year Sam and I gathered every last tomato, from big red to tiny green, into the harvest basket.  Then I cut down the plants and pulled up the root balls.  Sam was a great help beating the dirt out of the roots before putting the plants into the compost pile.  Then we weeded and smoothed the beds, ready to plant the winter cover crop.  With Sierra snoozed, Papa at work, the computer off, and my phone in the house- we were able to stay present with each other and the task at hand.  It’s amazing how many teachable moments occur while gardening with a four-year-old.

Later that day he was sitting on the pot and I was clipping my nails and he asks, “Mom, why do Papa and Sam have penises and Mama and Sierra have yonis?”  It took me a moment to get my bearings, but then it lead to a discussion about procreation, the differences between children and adults, men and women, and babies.  After I had done my best to answer he got very thoughtful for a moment then said, “When I grow up I’m going to be a science teacher, and I’m going to have a baby.”  He said it with so little doubt that I’m almost inclined to believe him!

That same day, Sierra did her first without-a-doubt sign.  More!  Ah, our favorite sign.  She did it so proudly.  Got herself a whole extra handful of olives at dinner, I was so tickled by it.  She gives me so much joy, that smiley little daughter of mine.  So cuddly.  So determined.  So ready to be a kid and run around with her big brother!  They pay games together now.  Simple ones, the favorite being: blow raspberries on Mama’s belly!  This game is common in the morning, or anytime I try to lay on the floor to do yoga.  I don’t totally love getting covered in baby drool, but they both find it so hilarious that I usually don’t protest much.  They also play a game that could be described as simple hide and seek / peek-a-boo.  He is getting more gentle with her.  She crawled up and gave him five hugs in a row the other day, which just about melted my heart.

It didn’t happen until the next day, but when the crimson clover seed finally entered the garden beds it did so from all four of our hands.  We all reached into the bag, felt smooth seeds between our fingers, thanked the earth for its bounty, and then sprinkled them about!  We didn’t water because I knew the rains were coming.  I figured the seeds would rather be awoken by the first sweet drops of fall rain.  Today it poured!  The topsoil is wet.  Grow little seeds, grow!

Right now life is good.  Filled with nature, children, love and for these miraculous days… sleep!  I have thoughts.  Ideas, even.  About things.  Other than my sweet babies.  Perhaps I will write them here soon.

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