Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gingerbread House Making Hell

We have this tradition of making a gingerbread house around Christmas, and then smashing it on New Year's Day.

My fantasy has this as a great family activity, happy kids, smiling parents, clean kitchen, joy all around. The reality included
  • Big fights about which music we could listen too
  • Baby peeing on the kitchen chair
  • Discovering that the whole house was devoid of baking soda
  • searching ten minutes for the darned ginger, and then discovering we were almost out of that too
  • Jane yelling that she would be nice to Kate if only Kate hadn't ruined Jane's childhood
  • Everyone fighting about the gingerbread leftovers from the house
  • Phone ringing at crazy times
  • Erik needing to eat right now, and only something that I could make
  • Sylvia hanging on to my legs, crying, if I dared to move more than two steps away from her

I am sure you get the picture. The worst thing is that this was only the baking, the contruction still has to happen. So why do I do this to myself every year? I think after a few days, the bad things kind of get forgotten, and the good memories remain. At least, that's my story and I'll stick to it :p

Aiki budoin was fun today, we did free style fighting. One in the middle, the others attacking. Wow, it was hard. I had no idea what I was doing, and would have been killed many times in a real fight like that. But it was so much fun!!!! Better than trying to roll with a sword in my hand, still haven't mastered that skill :p

Friday, December 23, 2005


Sylvia is starting to be too independent for her own good. She likes to go play outside, you know where you have to put on all the snow clothes/ boots and paraphernalia, only to have her spend two minutes outside. Then come in again saying 'brrrrrrrrr! cold!' About fifteen minutes of work, for two minutes of outside time.

She often also runs around naked in the house, puts on her boots, demands the door to be opened, and tells me 'brrrrrrrrr! cold!' and explains i'd better close that door again. Very cute.

Tonight, she was half naked and did the boots thing again, but also insisted on her snow suit. I knew it was going to be an 'open door and decide not to go outside' event, so I just kind of hung the suit on her, using the hood. She went outside, I closed the door behind her, and monitored her through the window.

She went to the stairs, I expected her to turn around. She didn't. She went down the stairs. Still didn't turn around. She went over the snow and the grass, still kept going. Now I wondered whether she maybe wanted to go to our neighbor's house, since she had played there earlier today. I slipped on some boots and followed her. She did not notice me.

She went down the driveway, didn't take the turn to the neighbor's. Walked down the street, still not noticing me. Looked like she was going for a walk. After a while, she finally noticed me, and I asked her whether she was ready to go home yet. An empathic 'No!' was her answer. Mind you, she was still half naked, with snow suit draped over her back. I decided to just follow her and see how long she lasted. But first needed to dress her more, since this was more than the one or two outside minutes I had been anticipating.

Putting on a snow suit while standing is not easy, since we couldn't sit down on the snow anywhere. But I finally did get it done, without covering us in too much snow. The walk continued. And continued. I would occasionally ask whether she wanted to go home yet, and she would vehemently deny that possibility.

We walked and we walked and we walked till she finaly decided that I could carry her now, and I could sneakily get us closer to home. What fun! It's amazing how she was going to make this walk all by herself. Too independent for her own good. Now if only she could go to the bath room all by herself too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Solstice!

Happy solstice to you all. We have a nice fire going (the one time a year we use the fire place) and the kids have been roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. They love this holiday. A friend came over with some really nice Haba blocks for Christmas present, life is good.

Even Sylvia learned how to roast marshmallows. You put them on a stick, point them in the direction of the fire, touch them, say 'Blech!' and throw them out... She preferred the chocolate for the s'mores instead :)

The kids made papers with things they want to get rid off like 'bad temper' and burned them. Although Kate made nice and sunny pictures to burn, not sure what that symbolizes. But fun was had by all.

Sylvia had a checkup yesterday, she is 24 lbs now. Exactly average, kind of unusual for my kids. The only way to weigh her was by me holding her, weighing me, and then weighing me without her. There was NO way she was going to sit or stand on any of the scales by herself. I now know that I weigh 135 lbs :)

Not much exciting going on here. We have all the christmas presents bought and wrapped, I feel very organized this year. OK, just christmas present wise, luckily it's not spilling over to any other areas of my life.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Yes, we have entered the possessive stage. If Sylvia has touched something two months ago, it is 'Mine!!!!' the moment anyone even looks at it. This morning, we had another toddler over, one who also is in the possessive stage. Which led to some amusing situations, where both of them were standing next to each other, clutching a bunch of toys and stating 'Mine!!!' to each other. Then they would put some down, wait for the other to do the same, and grab the other's toy and do the clutching / stating thing again. It was funny to watch.

She has decided that she's a big girl now, tells us when she has to pee, or just climbs on the toilet herself. She has one accident today, and that was it. Looks like this will be an early potty trainer, nice. I even take her out in public now without diapers and usually it goes fine. Apart from when we had a nice puddle on the floor of the Borders cafe...

Yet another snow storm ready to hit us. Tomorrow we'll have 4 to 8 inches of snow and ice pellets. Oh joy!

Christmas shopping is done, almost all the wrapping is done, somehow it's so much easier now that the kids are old enough to help with all that. Gone are the hours long wrapping sessions in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Four Inches and Counting

Sigh, winter is here for sure. Today we are being hit with our first significant snow storm. It's noon now, four inches so far, and still falling heavily. Why did I want to live in New England, again?

Did I mention that I have two puking kids, and one who is 'not feeling well'? On the upside, now I can't go to the homeschool support meeting, but will have to stay home and study go all day long. Too bad :)

I played in a go tournament this weekend. Yet another snow storm hit us that day, although it wasn't as heavy as this one, it still wasn't fun to drive in it. I did ok during the tournament, ended up fourth place in kyu division. My official rating now is 5k, which means I only have five stones to go to shodan (kind of black belt level) It was so nice to be out there, all by myself, without 4,000 kids interruptions. I would like to say that I played better than when I have sylvia with me at go club, but I don't think that was true, still made so many mistakes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

API Meeting

Today was the second API meeting at our house. One of my friends recently started up a local API chapter and I offered to host at our house. Figuring it wouldn't be bad to have another reason to clean up the house once in a while.

Of course, my clean up got a bit complicated by the fact that I had go club last night, and had a friend calling me for a ride late at night. But somehow I did get things accomplished. I even was going to go to bed early, like before 2am, but it was 3:30am before I noticed the time again :p

Today's topic was positive discipline, but somehow it morphed into life with a toddler and a baby. We all agreed that it just plain is hard to be caregiver of two little ones. Things never get done. Toddler- baby interactions are not always optimal. There is lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth. By the toddler too.

I told people that seven kids actually is way easier than two kids was, back then. Things just sucked for a while, the transition to two kids was incredibly hard. I also shared about the parenthood mantra 'This will pass. This will pass. This too will pass.' Yes, it all is coming back to me and I have to say I am very happy that we came out at the other side, and all still were alive.