Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oren Takes a Stand

My brilliant, bouncy baked potato of a boy, learning to stand on his own (can someone please pass me a tissue)...

Looking the Part

 After much deliberation, I opted to chop a handful of inches off my hair today. I was up to "here" (picture me standing on my tippy toes, reaching my hand waay up in the sky) with Oren pulling on my curls as he breastfed, and Emmy using my hair as a pull toy.

So I sought out my favorite hair stylist, who has always done good by me, and made sure to tell her "nothing drastic." My main goal was getting rid of the unintended dread lock that had been forming at the back of my scalp over the past number of months (or maybe years). Also, I DEFINITELY needed a cut that I could manage in under, say, 30 seconds of daily maintenance.

I thought of dying my hair really dark as well but I backed out of that plan, for fear that Oren might not recognize me and throw a fit when I went to pick him and Emmy up.

So this is it: my version of a mommy cut. It makes me simultaneously feel older (no fun boingy boingy ringlets to play with) and younger (because it makes me feel like I look like Laura Ingalls).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Explaining Death to a 3 Year Old

Three days ago, while Em and Or and I were driving around in the car, we passed by a cemetery.

 “Mama, what’s that?” Em asked.

 “You mean all those rocks?” I said, buying myself a few seconds to come up with an age-appropriate-for-a-three-year-old explanation. 

“Yeah, the rocks.” Em said.

“Well, Em, when people grow up to be very old, they go to sleep for a very, very, very long time, and they just keep dreaming forever and ever. And so those rocks are where people are sleeping for a very very long time.”

It’s the best I could come up with, honestly. I know my explanation doesn’t take into account the deaths of young people, and the whole dreaming thing is not exactly scientifically sound, but those were the words that came out of my mouth. Em listened to me and seemed to absorb this very new information I had given her about the world.

Yesterday, C and I were driving the kids to the playground, and we passed by another cemetery. 

“Do you remember what mama told you about the rocks, Em?” I asked, curious to see if she had understood any of my weird, spur-of-the-moment definition of death.

“Sleeping,” Em replied. 

And then she added, “when I grow up to be big like mama, I am going to go sleep with the rocks, too!”

She said it in that excited tone that toddlers use when they are eager to do something “grown-up”.

To which I responded by crying, rather uncontrollably. 

Granted, my hormones may have gotten the better of me, but just the thought of Emmy’s beautiful spirit EVER EVER leaving this earth made my heart break way wide open. 

Later in the evening, we learned that our neighbor across the street had just passed away. He lived a hermetic life, and I never actually met him (I only caught glimpses of him a few times). Em was in my arms as we watched police cars arrive and depart from his house throughout the evening. Em didn’t ask any questions, and I didn’t provide any information. I felt like we’d done enough talking about death and dying in 24 hours, and I’d done enough crying for one day.

So here’s my question: What words have you used to explain death to your young (and oh so curious) children?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

They Paved Paradise

Just a few miles from our home, there is a mini-amusement park called "Hoffmam's Playland," which is one of Em's favorite places to visit. Unfortunately, Hoffman's days are numbered. The owners recently sold the land, and the carousel, the choo-choo, and the balloon ride that Em so loves are going to be demolished and quickly replaced with condominiums. As a parent, the loss of this little park is devastating. We are trying to make the most of the situation by visiting Hoffman's frequently this summer. Yesterday, we met Sabi and Savtah (my folks) at the park for some fun in the sun.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Life's a Beach

This past Sunday was full-on summertime family fun day. C and I took the kids to Lake George, where we played on the beach, ate some yummy lunch, road on a big boat and took a spin on a carousel (the carousel cost $3 for one ride! I would have nixed the idea due to the crazy price, but Em had already set her eyes on a pink horsey, and I wasn't in the mood to break her heart).

Oren sporting the trendy "pooh bear sun hat" look that is so hot among babies this summer.

And the prize for best fishy face goes to...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Two Random Thoughts

Two very random thoughts came into my head today as I was driving the kiddos around, both which made me terribly sad.

The first thought: Emmy is going to be starting kindergarten in two years. Why is it that two years suddenly seems like such a SHORT amount of time? Like, WAAY too short. Seriously, I just know that on the first day of school, I am totally going to be THAT mama. You know, the one who is sobbing uncontrollably as her daughter boards the school bus for the first time. You know, the mama who wants to CHAIN herself to the bus. The mama who contemplates jumping in her car and following the bus to school, where she will then climb a tree and use binoculars to spy on her daughter's classroom, just to make sure everything is okay and nobody is being mean to her girl. I have two years left to prepare myself and to try NOT to be that mama on Em's first day of kindergarten. OR I just have two years to freak out about the whole thing.

The second thought: I am probably done having babies. I mean, it's not an ABSOLUTE that we won't have a third kid, but the chances are very very slim. Especially since, when I mentioned to C that (ha ha) I saw a tiny newborn baby the other day and (ha ha) I was thinking that it would be so nice to be pregnant again just (ha ha) EIGHT months after giving birth, C gave me THE LOOK. Yeah, it's probably not going to happen. But while I should be CELEBRATING being back to my pre-Oren weight, and ENJOYING life in an un-pregnant body, I am actually truly sad that my baby-making chapter is probably officially over. Ah well. I can always stuff a pillow under my shirt and pretend to be pregnant, like Emmy always does.

Splish Splash

Photos courtesy of our favorite friend, Courtney.

This afternoon the kids and I met our beloved Courtney for fun at the pool. There are no words for how much Courtney means to me... she is an amazing human being, and an unbelievable friend. My children love Courtney as much as I do - love that is mountains high and oceans wide, you know?

So Courtney and I took the kids in the pool and had lots of fun splishing and splashing and trying not to drown. It was a beautiful time.

In the pool I realized that life would be a lot easier if we lived in water, because I would be able to carry my children with much greater ease. Look at Oren! He's a big, bouncy, baked potato of a boy (who weighs 23 pounds already). In the water, it felt like he weighed 23 ounces. It was amazing. Oren did SO well in the pool - he was unafraid and eager to play and just generally totally into it.

On the way out of the locker room, Emmy stopped to have a conversation with herself in the mirror. Then she started kissing herself. Then she started making totally silly noises at her reflection. I love watching Em act like such a kid - so blissfully unaware of the world around her. I know the ability to do this is fleeting, which makes me appreciate it that much more.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August Rain

There is something about a warm August rain. You can take your shoes off and just walk around - on the gravel, in the grass, in the mud - it's all good. Em LOVES splashing in the puddles. She stayed outside for an extra twenty minutes after Oren and I came inside to towel off. Part of me wanted to let her stay outside for as long as she wanted, but the mommy part of me knew that her fingers and toes were slowly but surely turning into raisins.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Living La Vida Local

So, to state the obvious, I don't have much time to blog these days. Between diaper changes and trips to the potty, breast feedings and snack times, my daytime hours are fully booked. And by the time evening rolls around, I'm pretty useless (I have just enough brain power to watch The Bachelorette, which requires VERY LITTLE brain power).

So I've decided that while I wait for that moment when I have enough mental energy to write a deep, thoughtful post about this full-time parenting gig, I should probably at least use this blog to catalog my many adventures with the kiddos. I'll aim to post a picture and a brief note EACH DAY, to capture the essence of what us three musketeers together. And when that doesn't work out, I'll aim to post a picture and a brief note at least once or twice a week.

Today the kids and I attended the Grand RE-Opening of our local co-op, which just moved to a much bigger (and much more "official" seeming) location. While I will miss the quaintness of the old Honest Weight Food Co-op, I won't miss risking life and limb every time I try to squeeze our car into a teeny tiny parking space in the old parking lot. Another huge perk of the new incarnation? They have those mini shopping carts that make shopping a super fun adventure for my daughter.

Try to imagine a small town co-op/natural food store marrying Whole Foods and having a baby. That baby would be Honest Weight. Honest Weight has a cheese section that is to die for, with people who really KNOW cheese manning the counter. It is also a mecca for any Capital Region resident following a gluten-free, macrobiotic and/or vegan diet. AND they make a mock chicken salad that I think is super delicious (with tempeh and a whole bunch of other good-for-you ingredients). Despite its new "chic warehouse" appearance, it still maintains the friendly, "where everybody knows your name" feel.

So here are pics from the Grand Opening celebration. There was a man dressed like a banana. There were smoothies being made using a blender that was attached to a bicycle (which, by the way, is a brilliant way of getting your exercise WHILE making breakfast). There were some pretty amazing local bands. And a whole lot more...

Emmy checking out the scene, with a set of kaleidoscopes.

Oren lives the good life, strolling down the bulk aisle.

Emmy loves her shopping cart. She nearly ran over at least a dozen people.

Banana MAN!!!

Blender bicycle (and sleeping baby).