Friday, June 12, 2009

Morning Conversations Shorts

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. I'm still really in shock about the loss of our friend. I am going to write a couple of cute stories today to try and concentrate on nicer things.

The Pumpkin seems to have made a cognitive developmental leap lately. It's hard for Londo and I to pinpoint exactly what it is that's different, but we both have realized it. (I'll have to look into what's going on developmentally at this age.) What we have noticed is how she thinks about things seems slightly different, and the way she talks about things.

So here are some cute things she's said this morning and the other morning, each of which have at least something cognitively different from before this leap. I will put the pound sign (#) by things I think are new.

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The other morning when Londo was downstairs feeding the dog, the Pumpkin woke up and came into our room as always. I had been in the bathroom washing up, but I heard her, so I came out of the bathroom and smiled at her.

caramama: Good morning, Pumpkin.
Pumpkin, looking around and putting her hands up in an I-don't-know position: I loss my daddy!#
caramama, stiffle laughter: Oh, honey. You didn't lose him. He's downstairs feeding the dog.
caramama, swooping up the Pumpkin for hugs and kisses, which are returned: I love you so much.
Pumpkin: I love you too, Mommy.
Pumpkin, after a brief pause, then leaning to the side: Can I get down now?#

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We used to listen for airplanes and trucks and other outside noises and name them all the time. However, then she started arguing with me about which noise was which, and I think I dropped the game. This morning, while brushing the Pumpkin's teeth, I heard an airplane flying outside.

caramama: Do you hear that, Pumpkin? It's an airplane!
Pumpkin: No, it's not an airplane. It's a twuck!
caramama: It's not a truck. It's an airplane.
Pumpkin: No! It's a twuck!
caramama: Whatever.
There was a pause in the conversation.
Pumpkin: Hear dat, Mommy? Dat's an airplane!#
caramama: Yes! That is an airplane.
Pumpkin: No, it's a twuck.

And at that point, I dropped it again and started brushing her teeth. I just can't believe she started it up again with the correct noise-maker just to argue with me again! I'm sure she thinks it's a fun game. I'm so not in the mood for those kinds of games these days.

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This morning we were walking downstairs, and I was wearing this really pretty white, layered maternity skirt. The Pumpkin looks at my skirt trailing a bit on the stairs as we go down.

Pumpkin: Mommy, are you a pincess?#
caramama: Why, yes. I am a princess.
Pumpkin: You are a pincess!
caramama: I am Princess Mommy! Actually, that would make me the queen. So I guess I'm a queen not a princess.
Pumpkin: A qween?
caramama: Yes, queens are the mommies of princesses. So you are the princess, and I am the queen.
Pumpkin: Yes, I am a pincess. And you are a qween!#

This is the first time I've heard the Pumpkin refer to any real person as a princess, or queen for that matter. She knows who the Disney Princesses are in general, since you can't escape their faces on all toys or cups or other kid crap. I was a fan of those princesses myself when I was younger, and there is nothing wrong with pretending to be a princess. I just want to model strong, independent princesses who can rule just as well as any man. And I want to model beautiful, strong, self-assured queens who have wonderful and supportive kings to help raise their royal brood. hehe.

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I'm not going to tell this whole conversation (which was really just the Pumpkin talking to herself), but I wanted to at least make a note of this so I don't forget. The Pumpkin was playing in the mountain of pillows on my side of the bed this morning. At one point, she slammed a fist down in one of the pillows and said what I'm 95% sure was GD. But in the very next second, she was rearranging them nicely again, saying that this one goes here and where did the other one go.

Umm, oops. I hadn't said those words this morning. But she is surely modeling behavoir that she picked up from one of her parents. And it could have been either of us, unfortunately.

Londo was just saying that she is really picking up on everything we say these days and that we need to be extra careful of what we say. Indeed we do.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Spectrum of Life and Death

We are close (so very very close) to the arrive of the baby boy. (Check out the countdown I put up on the right side of the blog!) We've done so much preparing for the arrival of the new life lately, as well as preparing the toddler for his arrival. This birth and the amazing development of my little girl have been consuming my thoughts (and Londo's thoughts) pretty completely for a while now. In addition, my sister (who is currently in a far away country on business for a couple weeks) is also pregnant, so we are constantly talking about ultrasounds, movements, Braxton-Hicks contractions, infant clothes, setting up nurserys, etc.

Babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. These little beings in the beginning stages of life. The alpha stage...

In the spectrum of life and death, there is the other end. The omega stage.

Unfortunately, we have lately had to deal with that stage as well. It's much harder to talk about and blog about. It's hard to dwell on, even when that is exactly what we do. It's hard to prepare for, even when the people we love are very old and dwindling slowly but surely.

But it's especially hard when it comes suddenly--even harder when it comes suddenly to a friend who is our age (even a couple years younger).

One of Londo's good friends has died. He leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old son, as well as his family, his in-laws, his friends and his coworkers. This was a friend of Londo's and mine since our college days. Most recently, we met up with this friend and his wife who live in New Jersey when we went to Atlantic City. Prior to that, we would see this friend maybe a couple times a year. But we all know in this day and age there are so many other ways to keep in touch. And Londo and his buddies all do keep in touch pretty well since college.

Our friend's death comes as such a shock to everyone. Londo was just talking with him about fantasy football a couple days prior to his death. We just hung out with them a couple months ago. We had hoped to see them a few months after the baby was born. The baby I was pregnant with when we saw them last. I have pictures of the friend's wife playing with the Pumpkin while the friend and Londo were doing their groomsmen things for another friend, and pictures of them doing their groomsmen things. Pictures I was just looking at a week ago. He was just here, seemingly fine. And now he's gone.

IMO, this is a harder death to reconcile than the ones we foresee coming in our families. We moved my grandmother to a nursing home two weekends ago after a hospital stay to get her stable. She was back in the hospital for a blood transfusion three days ago, but she is now back in the nursing home and seems to be doing better. Physically. But her mental stability is somewhere between senility and dementia. We hope that she at least is able to get physically strong enough to come back home to my mom's house. We all see the end is coming, has been coming. And while it's not easy, we are preparing ourselves for it. At 94 years old, she has had a long and full life.

Londo's grandparents are also in serious decline, which has recently taken a sharp turn downwards. It is very obvious to all that if one passes, the other will quickly follow. They are that couple who could not live without each other. Because they (and the rest of Londo's family) live 5 or so hours from us, we have not been able to visit since Easter. We hope that we will get the chance a few months after the boy is born.

But we also hope that the baby boy holds off on his arrival until at least Saturday. After much thought, debate, reassurance and a promise that I won't go into labor yet, Londo has agreed to go up to New Jersey for his friend's funeral. We are a family who strongly believes in the importance of funerals. In fact, when my grandmother was in the hospital and we weren't sure of how things would turn out, we discussed in great detail how I would possible go to her funeral, which will be held in Massachusettes (her home) when she does pass. We have discussed how soon after the boy's birth he and I would be able to travel either to Londo's grandparents' town and to Massachusettes. We would do all in our power to go, because that is important to us.

So naturally, Londo and I wanted him to be able to go to the funeral of his good friend. There is simply no way I can make it--everyone knows that. But as of last night, Londo decided that he would go. He will take the chance and go. It's only a 3.5 to 4 hour drive, so I'm fully confident that if I do happen to go into labor during the 30 hours he is gone, he will be able to get back and to the hospital in time. I won't eat any spicy food until he's back. I will take it easy. I'm having the nanny stay an extra hour to give me time to come home from work without eating into more of my leave time. I am having my mom come and stay the evening with me tonight to help me take care of the Pumpkin.

He is leaving soon with another friend for New Jersey. Our friend had many other friends in our area, so if Londo needs to come back early, there is surely a way. He is playing this by ear, which is not how he normally does things. Which just shows how important this is to him, to us. I wish that I could be there. I wish I could extend my sympathies, my hugs, my love in person to his wife and son. But at least Londo can.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Because I Said So

The Pumpkin does not listen well. Oh, she hears just fine. But she doesn't listen. I'm sure it's a combination of her age and her personality. I know most 2 year olds have problems with simply doing what you tell them. (Ah, The Twos are so much fun.) But my girl? Never has really done what you tell her just because you tell her.

I don't want my children to simply comply like mindless automatons. If that's what we teach them at home, I fear that is what they will do out in the world. Just follow what people tell them without thinking. I don't want that. I really want children who cooperate with us as parents. Children who are able to think through what is asked of them and what they are doing. But as their parents, I want the children to cooperate with Londo and me because we need them to do certain things to be safe, respectful and kind (hedra's awesome terms). And we are trying to teach that... Although The Twos might not be the best place to expect results, since lately the Pumpkin has taken to arguing back to me, "It is safe!" when it clearly (to adults) is not.

But sometimes, I just want her to do what I tell her. I don't want to have to use the usual techniques we have to use, such as cajoling, making it a game, asking her to help (she loves to "help" lately), or any of the other playful parenting techniques we usually have to use. Sometimes, I just want her to put on her freaking pants. Just do it. Without a big hubbub. Simply because I said it was time to put on her pants. Without big explanations or games. And OMG, can she do it without all the whining and fussy and running off pants-less? Urg!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Question of the Week - Weird Eating

A couple of nights ago, we had hot dogs for dinner. The Pumpkin enjoys a good hot dog, as do Londo and I. But we noticed the oddest thing a couple months ago in how she eats her hot dogs. She doesn't eat it in a bun. Nor does she want it cut up. She doesn't even eat it from one end to the other. Nope. She eats it like corn on the cob! I have NO idea where she picked this up! I mean, we do eat corn on the cob, and she's a champ at it. But to transfer that to the hot dog? It's just weird eating!

This week's question of the week is:

Do you eat any particular food in an odd manner?

Londo is always teasing me about how I eat chips. I eat some (okay, most) chips by licking off the flavoring first, and then I (usually) eat the chip. This is especially true of sour cream and onion chips and those deliscious Hint of Lime Tostitos, which Londo jokes I obsess over like it was crack powdering the chips! (No, I've never done crack. Who needs to when there's usually a bag of Hint of Lime in the cabinet?)

As a cute bonus, the Pumpkin now eats her chips like this too! It's a bonus because it used to be just me driving Londo crazy with that odd eating habit, but now there are two of us to drive him totally insane!

How about you? Do you lick your chips? Do you eat the edge of your peanut butter cups first? What weird eating habit(s) do you have?