Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Letting Go

If you're reading this, you know me well enough to know that I like things clean. This is probably the reason that Louisa and I haven't had regular craft-time at home. But during a visit to a preschool a few weeks ago, I witnessed the shear joy that paint and messiness can bring. Lou jumped right in and got paint all over. When she was done, she held her hands up to me, nearly planting them on my jeans. I jumped back, immediately regretting my reaction. The preschool teacher said, "here Louisa, I'll hold your hand. Should we wash them?" Ugh. I felt embarrassed and vowed to loosen up.

So since then, we've done more drawing with colored pencils and playing with Play-doh. Then today, I REALLY let go and bought washable paints! Here's a video of our contained chaos. Louisa respected her boundaries well, and although it didn't tire her out well enough to cause a good, on-time nap, it was fun to watch and I'll definitely let her paint again in a few years...*

*JOKING! Maybe we'll paint again tomorrow after going down the slide at the park 30 times.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moms Love Nap Time

A few weeks ago Louisa had a hard napping week. I'd put her down too early or she'd wake up too early (and too crabby). I decided later that the problem was two-fold. First, I was out of touch with her signs of sleepiness, and second, I wasn't doing a good job tiring her out in the mornings. So the past two weeks I've been making a concerted effort to get out and do something each morning. We always try to at least take Ries for a walk in the mornings, but that, I reminded myself, was not nearly as tiring for Louisa as it was for me and Ries. 

So here are a couple photos from this week. On Monday we went to the beach in Santa Cruz. Gorgeous. 70 degrees. Lou could dig sand and fill buckets for hours. 

On Friday morning we went to the library, exchanged the books from Tuesday, then walked to Starbucks. I remembered my cup, Lou's (a Hawaii themed tumbler from my mom), and a banana from home so I wouldn't have to spend $1.00 on one when Lou saw them next to the register. Our coffee date was delightful and I learned to share Nate's love for morning buns thanks to the barista's offer to warm mine up. Thankfully Louisa is still excited enough by her own cup that I can fill it with free water instead of buying her a sweet drink. She decided that she likes morning buns too. To make sure Lou was good and tired, we went to the zoo after our mid-morning snack.

M.B. Alicia = morning bun, warmed especially for Alicia :)
Notice she ditched the sweater. Her newest  thing is to say "HOT" and take off any clothing I'll allow 
And the last picture is from our outing today. Nate mentioned that he hasn't spent much time walking around downtown Palo Alto (25 minutes northwest) so we went to browse and eat lunch. We happened upon a PlanToys store holding a "warehouse sale," so Louisa got a new set for her play kitchen. PlanToys were probably in the original list "What White People Like" alongside all the other wannabe-hipster/eco-friendly things people of my race and generation are drawn to, but oh well. That's a silly reason not to like something, right? So Lou ate her breakfast set as an appetizer while we waited for our equally trendy sliders and fancy fries to arrive.

One last thought before I leave you. Nate and I both got iPhones last summer/fall and despite my reluctance to transition to a smartphone, I'm happy with the change. BUT, one complaint I still have (and it's my own fault, absolutely) is that our "real" camera rarely leaves the house's too easy to rely on the portable, decent quality camera on my phone. So I mention that because all four pictures above were taken on my phone. I guess the thing to remember is that you take different types of photos with a digital SLR than you do with a camera on your smartphone. Even if I had the SLR with me at Starbucks or the restaurant, I wouldn't have pulled it out to take pictures of Louisa across the table. Hmmm. That was helpful. I wasn't sure where I was going with this last thought, but now I feel better and have gained respect for my iPhone camera.

In summary, our outings are working! Lou had a two hour nap every day this week and today she stretched it out to nearly three hours. Woohoo! Moms like nap time. Moms need nap time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Not So Proud Anymore

I had my second most embarrassing/regretful moment as a mom today. It all started when I didn't just accept how well things were going with two toddlers in the house and instead tried to take them to run errands and play at the park. Although baby #2 is on the way, we have not invested in a double stroller yet, so I decided to improvise and turn our single BOB into a double. I strapped Hannah in the safe way and showed Louisa how to sit in the roomy triangle on the front. All was going fine for the first four blocks or so, until Lou got curious about the ground and leaned forward...

Face meets sidewalk, apparently forehead first, followed by a roll from right eye to nose. Poor dear. Her bravery continues to amaze me...she only cried for about 30 seconds. She rightfully asked to be carried for another couple minutes before asking to get back in the triangle. I probably should have said "no," but instead I coached her on how not to nose-dive off the front and let her try again. Success!

Back at home, the clean up was fairly painless and she seemed to forget that it ever happened. We then left home again - Hannah in the stroller and Louisa in the Ergo carrier on my back - to run our errands, including a much anticipated trip to the library. Lou was happy to skip the park time in order to come home and look at her new books. Nate got this picture delivered to his phone at work and was very gracious about it all, even apologizing because turning the single into a double was his idea. I would have done it anyways, although it did help me feel better about it all, since Nate also thought it a fine idea.

The dot of blood below her nose really is an insta-scab, not to be blotted up by a tissue

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Build Your Nest, Mother Bird

I'm feeling (perhaps too) proud tonight. I was just talking to my dear friend Erin yesterday, saying how I enjoy sewing so much once I actually sit down and get into it. Inspired by our conversation, I re-started a very long-forgotten quilt project that my mom and I started so many years ago (like, maybe 16). All I had left to do was add the border/binding. I combine those two terms because I still don't know the difference after clicking through quilting blogs last night. I finally came across a helpful video, even though the extra commentary made it nearly impossible to sit through (you'll see what I mean if you watch the first 5 seconds). So tonight I finished! Considering how lost I felt before finding a helpful tutorial, I'm really happy with how it turned out...

It's a baby quilt, originally intended for no one baby in particular, but in the next 7 months, a baby girl will surely be born to (in this due-date order) to Adrienne Cizek, Anne Ooms, me, Sarah Both, Sarah Goupell, Cassie Bauman, Kristie Jordan, Abbie Hampton, or Kate Jones. WHEW - that's a lot of babies! Ariyl Doran is also in this list - right after me - but they're having a boy, and this quilt is a bit too pink, I think.

Not the coolest fabrics ever, but remember, I started it in the '90s!

The mitered corners were the daunting part
Since we're on the topic of sewing, this is probably an appropriate time to share my most favorite sewing accessory EVER: a wrist pin cushion. I can't tell you how often I used to grab for my non-attachable tomato pin cushion only to find it was in the other room. I'd highly recommend the velcro/strap kind as opposed to the plastic bracelet. I love it so much that I'm still wearing it now, while typing.

The pins themselves make me pretty happy, too
And last but not least, my first intentional belly picture for the blog. I'm so eager to see updates of all my pregnant friends that I thought it was only kind to share one of Baby Bosscher #2 in ball-under-shirt form.

28.5 weeks

Thursday, January 10, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons

I'm so glad I decided to vent earlier this week. The relief I've felt from being open and honest has been awesome. Not quite as cool as your comments, advice and well-wishes, though, so thank you! I decided to decline the offer and have had no regrets. The co-founder emailed me back saying that he respected my decision and would be in touch if their financial situation changes and they are still in need of an RD. Part of saying "no" was my fear of burning bridges, and his response made that worry dissolve.

I had to laugh and read something out-loud to Nate last night.  It is from Jesus Calling, my new devotional (the same one that reminded me to pray, "Jesus, I trust you"). It went like this:

Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert my sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to me, and do things my way, ask me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead, of dashing headlong toward your goal, let me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in my presence.

Wow. Is that not a direct response to my statement, "but I wish I could have a say in WHEN I get specific guidance points?"

Then there's the lemons. My anxiety about whether or not I really want a job has also been calmed by reminders of the cool things there are to do as a stay-at-home mom. Like making lemon curd with a friend this morning or applesauce with her earlier in the fall. I want to get in a routine of checking for fallen avocados from our tree. YES! It took us five months to discover that we have an avocado tree in our yard. It's a huge tree, and we don't have a fruit picker, so it's a game of beating the squirrels to the unripe jewels so they can come inside and rest in our fruit bowl until their ready. Sarah's dog, Romeo, gets a finder's fee since he is the one that discovered the tree at Thanksgiving, bringing a half-munched avocado into the house.

Thanks to Jess for the inspiration last February in Utah!
The apple tree is past it's prime, but the lemons are marvelous
One of the last apples of the season
One of two remaining jars of applesauce
Our once plentiful source of apples
Sharing an avocado each day must keep the doctor away

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Emotional? Blame Pregnancy

A fair warning right up front: this may be another one of those diary/journal entries.  Not meant for our blog but instead for secret pages of my journal.  But for now I’ll just write because I need to...

Thank goodness Louisa decided to go down for a nap after all. I put her down at 12:30 and she just sat in her crib playing for an hour. At 1:30 I went in because she sounded distressed. Good thing I went in, because she was in a bit of a pickle. I had foolishly put two of her favorite library books on her changing table when I put her down. The books were out of reach, but the changing board (which sits upon the dresser) was not. So she slid the board and must have become nervous/angry when the board hung onto the dresser only by a corner, the book still out of reach.  The curious thing is that she found a way to get the other book, Hugs and Kisses, which was either above or below the 2nd book, Gorillita.  Interesting.  SO ANYWAYS, at 1:30 we paused the nap button and went for a walk.  She fell asleep in her stroller and is now in her crib sleeping.  Well, fingers crossed she is sleeping.

So onto the emotional stuff.  I realized around 9:30 last night that I’m a bit emotional right now. I had reached into the microwave to retrieve a cup of hot water for tea. The mug itself was not hot, but the handle – ouch!  I cried out while trying not to throw the mug back down onto the glass plate.  From the other room, Nate asked if I was okay. The normal me would have said, calmly, “no, but I’ll be fine in a few seconds.” Instead, the emotional me didn’t answer and secretly wished that Nate would stop what he was doing and come to make sure I was okay. So instead of taking a deep breath, labeling myself immature and walking in to tell him that I was fine, I started silently crying and slipped away into our bedroom to read and fall asleep for the night. So silly.

Then today, I woke up in a decent mood, showered, and gave Ries a bath.  But then I checked my email and saw an offer letter from a company I interviewed with.  I say “but” because it has really made my head spin with questions.  Long story short, it’s a start-up that can only compensate me with stock options IF they are successful.  I’ve come this far with them because their idea intrigues me and I do think I want to work, even if only for 10 hours per week. But now that it’s a real offer, I’m having major second thoughts about whether accepting the offer is selling myself, and my profession, waaaaay short.

The other work opportunities I’ve had out here have been either very part-time (4 hours per month) or very BIG (we’d like you to start a private nutrition practice within our clinic).  Oh and then there’s the cloth-diapering store that offered me a job but never responded to my very low-demand counter-offer.

So my head spins with questions, not only of whether or not to accept this no-pay, interesting opportunity, but also of my contentment with working versus being a stay-at-home-mom. I read a devotional the other day that reminded me to say “Jesus, I trust you” throughout the day, when faced with questions, big or small. So I have been doing that. And I have no doubt that He is guiding me, but I wish I could have a say in WHEN I get specific guidance points, you know?

It just struck me that this is a great time to make a list of things I’m thankful for.  Now is a good time for that because I need some positive, calming thoughts to halt the head-spin.  Things are not bad at all.  So what’s good about this moment, day, year…?

  •         Louisa is really sleeping, giving me time to reflect
  •         Louisa is an easy child…healthy, happy, great sleeper
  •         It’s 65 degrees and sunny out right now
  •         We’re renting a great house in a great location
  •         Nate likes his job
  •         Most jobs I apply to are responding to my applications
  •         Ries is clean J

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