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Archive for the ‘birthdays’ Category

all of ’em. I’ve been frazzled, busy, having fun and doing end of school year chores and making plots and plans for summer, trying to buy a new vehicle and following election results (!!!). Me and what seems like 150 of my closest people are all in varying states of transition, which is mildly stressful (actually not mildly, how do people cross out stuff on their blogs. I don’t have that key.)

However one very major transition is all of a sudden behind us. That is to say, my three year old turned four yesterday. In celebration of the great day, he decided to handle this transitional moment with really quite a lot of good humor, grace and poise. I cannot remember him handling any other transition (including going from house to car to stop and shop) so easily since he moved from his crib to his race car bed last summer. Apparently, one good transition a year is what I should expect & so I will. I thoroughly expect him to cry and fuss later today when I attempt to get him up from nap and bring him down for a snack – but turning four? no big deal. It’s like we didn’t even feel it.

In some sense, we don’t feel it. He is “delayed” enough that he doesn’t always seem four. In other ways he is showing his age: he has many plans, enjoys more complicated play, likes to be in charge and is engaging in lots of problem solving. I’m trying to foster lots of independence by sitting on my hands as he struggles with making toys and games work the way they should. This has been dubbed by me the mommy of this house, the summer of “go play!” We will play together, separately, in pairs and even perhaps upside down, but play is the theme -as is going, especially while mom is cooking dinner or trying to get stuff done.

His new skills have been hard won for both of us. Things that once seemed impossible are becoming routine or are within easy reach to him these days. I have promised myself not to live his life for him. He would prefer that, if I sat right there interpreting and coaching him through every moment. His need for me has aged me more than the four years he has been here, but at this moment – as we sit on the very edge of the long pool of summer – I feel hope for him that he will jump in, splash around and enjoy.

And to all of you, have some cake!

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all of ’em. I’ve been frazzled, busy, having fun and doing end of school year chores and making plots and plans for summer, trying to buy a new vehicle and following election results (!!!). Me and what seems like 150 of my closest people are all in varying states of transition, which is mildly stressful (actually not mildly, how do people cross out stuff on their blogs. I don’t have that key.)

However one very major transition is all of a sudden behind us. That is to say, my three year old turned four yesterday. In celebration of the great day, he decided to handle this transitional moment with really quite a lot of good humor, grace and poise. I cannot remember him handling any other transition (including going from house to car to stop and shop) so easily since he moved from his crib to his race car bed last summer. Apparently, one good transition a year is what I should expect & so I will. I thoroughly expect him to cry and fuss later today when I attempt to get him up from nap and bring him down for a snack – but turning four? no big deal. It’s like we didn’t even feel it.

In some sense, we don’t feel it. He is “delayed” enough that he doesn’t always seem four. In other ways he is showing his age: he has many plans, enjoys more complicated play, likes to be in charge and is engaging in lots of problem solving. I’m trying to foster lots of independence by sitting on my hands as he struggles with making toys and games work the way they should. This has been dubbed by me the mommy of this house, the summer of “go play!” We will play together, separately, in pairs and even perhaps upside down, but play is the theme -as is going, especially while mom is cooking dinner or trying to get stuff done.

His new skills have been hard won for both of us. Things that once seemed impossible are becoming routine or are within easy reach to him these days. I have promised myself not to live his life for him. He would prefer that, if I sat right there interpreting and coaching him through every moment. His need for me has aged me more than the four years he has been here, but at this moment – as we sit on the very edge of the long pool of summer – I feel hope for him that he will jump in, splash around and enjoy.

And to all of you, have some cake!

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My Thinker is 9. This picture captures him in a moment of play – moments I cherish as we slowly make our way towards adolescence. Today was all happiness and light with him. A simple a joyful celebration that he belongs to and with us & that we belong to and with him.

Thinker is not exactly laid back, but some maturity has been settling into him – he is becoming very grounded in the realities of life. Homework on his birthday was no big deal, as was a quick toy pick-up to help mom out before company arrived. The simplicity of things not phasing him is a new aspect of Thinker to cherish. He is a great big gigantic complicated soul, my introvert/extrovert, silly/serious, bright/spacey, sensitive/strong willed boy, all that and more. He is so clearly, cleary ours.

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Baby Story

There was a time when Little Bear was a baby, see? Born at 9lb 3 oz, he wasn’t ever little for along and stopped looking like a newborn fairly early. (a babe in his great-grandmother’s arms at mother’s day.)

He has an April birthday and by early summer this was fairly characteristic. (yes, I’m here, right over here. I’d like to go play, please.)

Soon after that babyhood kicked in; by November there was lots more personality than hair.

(keeping up with much big brothers in a pretend airplane at the Museum of Play)

And what baby doesn’t bloom at the holidays?

Well, this led to that and we turned around to find ourselves a one year old who liked cake:
(almost exactly two months after this, he took his first independent steps towards his brother’s birthday cake.)

Sometimes that year one and year two bleed together and your toddler can look just like a baby in the right sort of light.
(16 months, some sort of threshold that is behind you.)

At other times you can see the boy who is about to become your child.
(where are you going?)

Winter is always a blur and the holidays fly by. Under all those layers, he is growing.
(nice hat!)

And then, suddenly, two, very, very two.(nice presents)

This little person brings a big heart and lots of laughs to our whole family. He is quirky, adorable, wordy and very, very ours. The 6th was his big day, so this post is long overdue, but he was doubly celebrated with friends and family last week. His babyhood is behind us in almost every way. At the doctor on Tuesday he weighed in at nearly 30lbs and was a whopping 37 inches tall. This makes him taller than 60% of 3 year olds and the doctor remarked “look at those huge quadriceps!” A few weeks back his speech was mostly sing, song sentences with very few recognizable words. Alarmingly now he is a chatter box, littering his little intonations with more than occasional nouns, verbs and adjectives and whatever part of speech “now” is (is that an adverb, Bea?) None of what I’ve said captures him, but this does:

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Here’s an article about childbirth and epidurals that just made me have to take a few deep breaths. That’s okay, both sides had their say, so I am cool with running the story as is – except for the following:

Why do major media outlets put information about childbirth under the style section??? This happens repeatedly. It’s starting to make me crazy! Childbirth, while normal, is not an accessory. I hesitate to call it a medical event, because I do not believe it is an illness, but I take my children for wellness visits each year and I’d shudder to put information about those in the style section. It makes all the decisions women making during the childbearing year seem trivial and superficial, like they don’t really matter. Even worse, is that women are often portrayed as being high-maintenance and fussy about the whole thing no matter which “course” they take. Some are dubbed too fearful of the birth process others too demanding for wanting a medical-free birth. There is no win when we discuss health and wellness issues in the context of style. Childbirth decisions should really be made in the context of benefits and risks – let’s put articles about childbirth in the financial pages next month!

Speaking of finances, one small thing about the times article bugged me – here’s the quote:
“Natural childbirth has become a multimillion-dollar industry. The fear of epidurals is promoted by those who discourage their use – and who have a vested interest in doing so.Enjoy your labor: A new approach to pain relief for childbirth, by Dr Gilbert Grant.
Um, okay, I guess? All I’m saying is that the hospitals around these parts are making a pretty big bundle off the baby business. The hospitals I am local to push epidurals pretty hard and they aren’t giving them away for free, so, anyway, you take my point.

The author of the book and the Times articles suggest that routine pain relief is being withheld on the biblical grounds. I’m not sure that lots of people in the natural childbirth business are quoting the Bible to say women should suffer in childbirth. I don’t and I don’t know anyone who does. No professional I know wants women to suffer. Penny Simkin, author, doula, childbirth educator and birth counselor, goes to great lengths to train doulas and care providers to differentiate between labor pain and labor suffering and to go to any length (including epidurals) to relieve suffering at all stages of labor. Women are strong and often cope well with pain – some all the way through labor and delivery and some cope very well up til a point and want medical pain relief. Suffering includes emotional pain as well. Anyone who has helped a survivor give birth knows this to be true. Epidurals solve some problems, not all – and create some problems, but not all. It’s a calculated benefit/risk scenario. I am really comfortable leaving that decision in the hands of women, who always have a good reason for making the choices they make.
I’m not 100% sure what a good interpretation of Genesis 3:16 would be, but that’s not the only passage of the Bible that makes me wonder what it’s all about. I will say this motherhood is full of sorrows. We all know this. Women who are trying to bear a child no this when they experience disappointment and loss. Women who birth healthy children know this when they weep in the shower for the full 6 weeks of their postpartum recovery, taking breaks to breastfeed, sooth and attempt to find their hot tea they abandoned half an hour ago. Women who mother children through the first skinned knee, bad grade, horrible neighbor child, the cancelled sleepover, the time you were late to pick them up, the time they were mean to their sibling and instantly regretted it, the time you lost your temper, regretted it and did it again five minutes later. If I know one thing about the Bible it is that its complicated and our translations fail us. It is literal less often than we think – translate it pain, sorrow or suffering – there is way more to motherhood then birth & way more to the grief it brings than any anesthesiologist can offer.
Still, if you want an epidural, have one. I won’t stop you. I don’t think the Bible does either. I found my two labors that were without pitocin to be highly manageable. I didn’t do nothing for pain, just things that were not an epidural. I didn’t suffer in that context, but I have in others. All I’m saying is that some of the pain of motherhood is unavoidable. I tend to dose my pain with good chocolate, hot tea, yoga and the Colbert Report. Sometimes I mix it all up and go for wine, learning to knit or reading all your blogs (which I have missed greatly while swimming through the fake spring month of March, which brought multiple headcolds upon our house, as well as my husband working way. too. much overtime – like overnight overtime, Sage can you coin a word for that?). There are plenty of sweet spots along the way. As I move onto to a new relationship with the birth community, as a professional, no longer a consumer of services, I reflect on all the decisions of the childbearing year – how unequipped I felt to do it well & yet I did. It’s hard to realize I will no longer be making those decisions, just supporting those who do, with respect, kindness and compassion. My youngest baby it turning two next week – and my oldest 9 in one month. Motherhood is a long journey & people tend to only make jewelry about the first year or so. No, I don’t want a prize, either for having drug free labors or for learning all the new math. I just want it moved out of the style section.

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Happy Birthdays Jen and Heather – Here endeth the holiday season of my family of origin.

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Welcome to my birthday party.

Please help yourself to cake. We have been iced in all day, but my husband is making a pizza/beer run despite the very cold temperatures in our parts. Look at our yard.That was actually on Friday after the snow storm when the temperature was reasonable for people to step outside. Today’s storm was ice. Little children do not get to go out in the ice. Instead they are making friends with our tree, whose branches are relaxing. Just you wait til I write my blog post about Christmas tree lighting with Matt here in the house of needs new batteries. Think artistic perfectionist views tree as living canvas. Yep, you’re there.

Today I opened my presents. I’m glad I waited. I got lots of fun book and some cozy sweaters! Also a new ipod – mine was shockingly stolen out of my car this summer! Yikes! My husband and father actually took care of that one together. So, it’s nice to have music back, even if I always listen to the same thing and have to beg my friends for new music. (thanks friends, for keeping me interesting!)

In other news an updates, Julie wanted to be kept posted on my Jewish heritage from my post on loss. This isn’t much of an update, but I made more of an effort this year than in the past few and it was well received by the small people in our house.Check out those curls!

Also, I was inspired my Catherine to share a little follow up on previous discussions of gendered toys. He doesn’t mind the sling, but his preferred carrier is the baby backpack because of the weight distribution for activities like hiking.Well, my pizza and beer have arrived. Thanks for coming by – have a balloon!

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