February 28th, 2009

We’ve definitely entered a new Era of Zibby’s Bedtime. Once upon a time, before Zibby quit napping during the day, her bedtime (meaning, the time at which she was generally tired enough to go to sleep) was between 11 pm and 1 am. Occasionally Id attempt to manipulate this to a (much) earlier time, say, by trying to skip a nap. Occasionally for some legitimate reason (other than my own agenda) something would happen to alter her bedtime and it was always a huge mistake. She’d be crabby and difficult and it was always apparent that we needed to adapt to her bodyclock.

It was particularly hard for Buzz, since she usually went to bed hours after he did. We rarely had evening time alone, and he never had any time to himself in the evenings at all. But, when she was between 3 and 4 she quit napping and her bedtime moved on its own to 8-9 pm. I always nursed her to sleep, and because this was her body’s tired time, it took usually less than 10 minutes for her to fall asleep. I had night-weaned her during my pregnancy with Henry, so by this time, if she ever woke up during the night, it was rare, but possibly due to needing to use the bathroom or wanting a sip of water.

For the last several months (6?) we’ve been occasionally talking about falling asleep without nursing. There were rare instances of Zibby falling asleep in the car (at night, around bedtime) or watching tv, but mostly the idea was met with extreme resistance. She would not fall asleep at her regular time unless I nursed her. If I didnt, she would stay up several extra hours. I really wondered how she would fall asleep without nursing.

Well. Im here to report that it just…worked out. While on vacation, Zibby slept in a bed by herself and several evenings, after a super long and busy day, she would get into bed and I’d just say, “I’ll sit here in this chair by you until you fall asleep” , and she’d say ok and just…fall asleep. When we got home, Buzz took over bedtime and goes in with her until she is asleep. Sometimes he comes back out, sometimes he falls asleep too. I think that gradually this will go smoother and faster.

Even just a month ago, I didnt know when or how this would work. 5 years ago, I certainly didnt know. What I DID know, was that I never wanted to fight about bedtimes, or make my child lie awake by themselves for hours on end alone in a room, or make my child cry themselves to sleep. I wanted to trust my self and my child, and I did, and it worked out just the way it ought to.


INHOME and update

February 28th, 2009

Next week is the INHOME conference, where I will be participating on a panel about blogging, as well as running a workshop making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I am excited about some of the sessions and hoping mine turn out ok :)

Zibby started swimming classes today. She did GREAT! That is to say, she participated and had fun. She had so much confidence and was so proud of herself afterwards, it was really nice. She is doing Spanish, Swimming, and will be starting Tumbling soon. Plus, with the nice weather, our two homeschool groups begin Park Days where we meet up at parks around the city. Even Beach Day doesnt seem that far away….

I joined a vegetable CSA, which Ive been wanting to try for a few years. Ive taken the plunge. We’ll share it with another family who lives close by, and split the box each week. Im feeling up to the challenge of the onslaught of veggies. Cmon Veggies! I will eat you! This particular CSA seems great because it helps homeless people with job training.

Ive also been doing a chicken and egg CSA , but to be honest, I think we’ll take a break from it next session. We get one poultry share, which we split with another family, as well. But we pretty much get 2-3 whole chickens each month, and while I REALLY love and appreciate making my own chicken stock, and having my own chicken schmaltz, Im tired of being the only one eating the dark meat, and never getting any light meat, and really, a whole chicken is too much for one meal, and then I have to use up the leftovers the next day or two, and frankly, its kind of a lot of work. The meat is delicious, for sure. And I truly want to support local and humane chicken raising…but sometimes I just want a boneless, skinless chicken breast. What to do….

It’s great to be Us

February 17th, 2009

The other day, in the car, Zibby told me, “It’s great to be us!”

And it really is.

Yesterday Zibby turned 5.

Here are some things about Zibby:
she loves pink
she loves pumpkin spice cake from trader joes
she doesnt like coats
she likes to dance and sing
she loves high school musical
she loves to give gifts

zibby can write letters and numbers, though sometimes they are backwards. she knows how to spell “Zibby” and “Nancy” and knows that John starts with J and Henry starts with H. She can draw hearts and likes to draw pictures of our family. She often asks how to spell something and will write down the letters you call out. She has several songs memorized from High School Musical and knows many Elizabeth Mitchell songs. She has a large vocabulary and uses a lot of colloquiallisms and phrases that she hears. She likes to tell made up knock knock jokes (they dont really make sense, but she laughs alot)

Her favorite shows on tv are: Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, Little Bear, Backyardigans, Dora, Diego, Clifford, Little Bill, and new on the requests are Sonny with a Chance, Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls.

Zibby wants to be a rock star when she grows up, or a ballerina.
And when she is a mommy, I can be her mommy neighbor and watch her kids when she goes shopping (I was told this)

Zibby likes her gymnastics classes and could probably take or leave Spanish. We probably wont continue with Spanish after this session. For the spring Im hoping we can do swimming lessons, tumbling and finish out Spanish.

Zibby really really really loves her Dad. Im so glad my children have such a great father. They get along great and she is glued to him the minute he walks in the door from work and all weekend long.

For her birthday dinner I made hamburgers and tater tots and green beans. And we had pumpkin spice cake for dessert.

Ive officially been a mother for 5 years, and I have to thank Zibby for that of course. She has made me want to grow and learn and be a better person. She is such a sweet and wonderful person and I am thrilled to spend my life with her.

Happy birthday, sweet baby girl.

Bub is full of jibber jabber

February 12th, 2009

So, Sweet Baby Henry is almost 17 months old.

He walks, he runs, he tries to jump. He nearly can do a somersault on the bed. He hugs and kisses and cuddles and pulls on my leg to get me to go somewhere. 

 He makes signs for Na-na, All Done, More, Potty,He does an adorable chicken impersonation with the arms flapping and he says Bock Bock

He also does a Tarzan with chest thumping and tarzan call.

Today he did the train choo choo noise when the Thomas show came on.He also says AHHH Chooo! and some approximation of peek-a-boo and thank you.

He can say Mama, Papa, Wawa (water) Sister, Kitty, Na-na (nursing)

He still mostly eats crunchy stuff like Trader Joe cheerios, corn flakes, chips, pretzels, but hes also branched out into trying apple, meatball, and mashed potato. He likes french fries and popcorn also. He has started to drink some water from a sippy cup or sippy bottle. He has so far rejected most every other food or drink we’ve offered. Sometimes he eats corn kernals (cooked). We arent worried. He is plenty big and hitting milestones, sweet and healthy and getting all his teeth. And he nurses well.

He has all 16 of his early baby teeth in or breaking thru. The last few weeks have been tough, but luckily homeopathics work well for him at night.

He loves other children and is always in the middle of a crowd of kids. He wants to do anything Zibby does. All of my friends dote on him. He likes shoes, swords or sticks, noisy things, looking at books, petting kitty, cuddling, watching tv (HE LOVES TV!) playing music and dancing. He can occupy himself with pretty much anything and is very curious about everything. He can now open the doors to closets and such in our house. Uh oh. Gotta move everything up a few feet! He loves to run free and play outside. He likes to splash in the bath and he loves balls and playing catch.

Im trying to think of anything he really doesnt like and I cant come up with anything. Hes pretty chill. He even does the car and carseat ok. Hes a lot of laughs and we are all happy hes around.He is really a wonderful little guy!

Major Milestone

February 9th, 2009

I always knew I would breastfeed my children. I didnt give a whole lot of thought into it, it was just sort of a given.

Then I got pregnant and started reading about breastfeeding, found out about extended nursing, found out about child led weaning and found out there was even a group to help me, La Leche League. Then I gave birth to my beautiful little girl and discovered that nursing her was wonderful for both of us. I am so grateful that we overcame our initial difficulties, came thru a nursing strike that lasted over a week, and even found our way to nurse thru my pregnancy with her younger brother.

Then came tandem nursing. Thats when you are nursing more than one baby/child. I found simultaneous nursing both of them to be extremely uncomfortable, but of course, Zibby was old enough to take turns, to wait, and eventually to only nurse once a day, for bedtime.

And now, she no longer nurses to sleep. Which means that she is weaned. She will be 5 next week. Its been a really special and wonderful journey for me and I daresay for her. I am so grateful to have given her this gift. And while I am sure I am done nursing her, I do feel a bittersweet pang of longing. Its a funny thing, kids growing up.

Congratulations to me and to Zibby!

waterparking with the unschoolers

February 7th, 2009

I feel like there are a lot of things I want to blog about, but so little time and so little brain power to remember exactly all of it. 

We got home last night from Ohio, from the UWWG unschooling conference/gathering at the Kalahari Waterpark. It was a lot of fun, but really exhausting, too! The waterpark itself was really huge and had lots to do. We hung out in the kiddie pools and basketball pools, mostly. The hotel room was super nice and big and had a full kitchen. We cooked in our room for most of our meals. Zibby slept by herself in the foldout!

There was a craft room going the whole time, with toys and dressups too, for the kids, in the convention center, and I did get to go to a few sessions. Of course, it was great to hear Kelly Lovejoy talk about radical unschooling, and I really enjoyed Bethany’s Raw Foods session, complete with tastings!

I went to the teen panel (held at 10 pm! I guess thats when the teens are awake :) ) and I was a little disappointed. Two of the teens are currently studying or plan to go to college for degrees in education. One wants to be a montessori preschool teacher. One want to major in early education. I was not brave enough to ask why on earth they would want to pursue careers in education. Especially young children, it seems so strange. Although there were lots of people at all of the sessions, it was clear that not (maybe not even most) were radical unschoolers and of course, there were people there who dont unschool at all (or not yet, anyway). But, there were plenty of kindred spirits there and Chicago represented itself well with quite a few families in attendance :)

I think we will definitely plan to go again next year.