Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eliciting help to keep them out of trouble


Because Troy and I have been so busy lately, I've been taking the girls grocery shopping on my own. Usually, I prefer going by myself over and above taking the girls with me. One of the stores I frequent, Sunflower Farmer's Market, is where I purchase Troy's fair trade whole bean, bulk coffee. Up to today, Isabella would FREAK OUT around activated machines, including a coffee grinder. She freaked out so much that employees would volunteer to help grind the beans for me. I had spotted these little shopping carts at Sunflower for some time, but I was afraid to let Isabella try it. What if she ran off and didn't follow me, and I had to chase after her with Victoria in tow and had to purchase necessary groceries from that store for the week. But I realized that Isabella pushing her own cart could potentially kill two birds with one stone: develop an affinity for that store and get rid of some of that energy she has. And viola, it worked. Since then, she's always eager to go grocery shopping there. Here's my cutie, helping me shop. Shh, don't tell Troy everything in the cart, because some of the contents are for his stocking.

When people think merely entertaining more than two is unwelcomed

A couple of DISCLAIMERS before I start: 1. I am not pregnant, and 2. neither do we have any specific plans to add another member to the family in the immediate future.

My life is still craziness, the multiple hats I wear, none of which brings any tangible pocket money into our home: changing diapers, potty training, molding and shaping the character of little ones, being a cook, functioning as a housekeeper, buying groceries, paying the bills, being a supportive wife, trying to live a life intentionally following the Lord, going back to school - all on a really tight budget. Any number of these jobs is often a paid full-time position: taking care of children (nannying, day-care services, etc.), cooking (there are plenty of paid chefs), keeping our home tidy (hell0, paid house cleaners). But, no, I am the woman for all those jobs in our home, for the love of our family and not for pay.

There is the financial creativity I have to use. Don't get me wrong. The Lord is amazing and blesses us. But, with a philosopher's wages supporting four of us, who are we kidding? It's not like the wages of someone who has a Doctorate in business or something like that. The wages we get is more like those who have to raise support in missions work. Seriously. There are grade school teachers, without PhDs, who make more than we do. So, yes, I recognize the financial strain at stake. I'm reminded of that everyday, as I figure out how to creatively cut down our grocery bills and anything else that can decrease expenses.

I also feel the emotional and psychological weariness of raising little children (the littlest one, 19 months is SCREAMING as I write this). Picking up Cheerios off the grounds gets old after awhile. Cleaning poop off of underpants over and over and over again is frustrating. You get the idea.

Still, I have a strong, internal desire to have more children. Oh yes, and I haven't forgotten or overlooked the havoc pregnancy and nursing has had on my body for having done that non-stop since December 2005. Perhaps two more (at most) children, I think. But saying that is like cussing or doing something worse. Having up to two total children is rarely ever questioned. But having more than two children is an unspoken (I've heard in some cases it's been explicit) no-no. Somehow we're being completely blind and imprudent with our ability to make decisions for our family. Perhaps we're being globally irresponsible. Yadda, yadda. My most recent hair dresser said that since they've expanded their family, to include three children, they really haven't been invited to anyone's homes. Or, people start to wonder whether we're aware of how to implement birth control properly.

This certainly doesn't seem like a good time for us to expand our family. We're on a super tight budget. I'm back in school (I already have a PhD in Philosophy, but I'm going back to school to become a licensed professional counselor). I'm fully supporting my husband, on the home and family front, as he moves towards tenure in his job. My older daughter is still in potty training mode, six months later. I'm still nursing the younger one. I'm plenty aware of the difficulties currently. Yet, I am also 34 years old, not getting any younger. . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Victoria at 19 months old


Victoria rung in her 19 months by asking to nurse off and on, all day long.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Her sister's influence, on steroids?

Isabella's been carting around Henry, since Christmas 2007-ish, when I had to replace a monkey that couldn't easily be replaced if lost. From that time, she has only grown closer to him. Henry's not just a bed mate; he is her constant companion in various activities.


Well, Victoria's been a careful study of her sister and really looks up to her. Yes, already, at this young an age. Have I told you about how Victoria will sit with her during time out? Anyhoo, in recent times, Victoria has decided that she absolutely must sleep with a dog, too, especially the one on the far right hand side of the picture. All three of these dogs came from Grandma Karen. They are Bai Gou (pronounced Bye-Go, which means "white dog"), Christine, and Aaron, from left to right. I'm not sure where Grandma Karen got the far right dog. I know it's a Webkins, but that's all I know. We've got to find another duplicate, soon, just in case. . . Help!

Nighty night.

Victoria's 18 month check up


Took Victoria to her 18 month check up yesterday, never mind, ahem that she is 18 and a half months old now. I will not entertain the mere possibility of taking two children, on my own, to a pediatricians' office. Holy cow, taking one little runner and adventure taker is plenty. They had me fill out this 18-month questionnaire, of which made me so tiresome. Questions included, what I considered really complicated and perhaps unreasonable tasks, like if you draw a squiggly line, does your child do some acceptable copy of that? Are you kidding? She's pretty adept to talking for her age, but to ask her to copy and draw a line in a specific way?

In other news, Victoria is FINALLY over 20 pounds. Troy laughed at me when I told him that. What? A lot of little ones her age reached 20 pounds months ago. So, that now moves her from 6% to 15% of people in her age group.

I was asked a bunch of questions, one I wasn't prepared for was the pediatrician, upon finding out (and encouraging me) that I'm still breastfeeding whether I make enough. I was stumped. I wasn't counting on breast milk, at this stage of her life, making a meal or even being a complete snack. Dude, we offer her cow's milk and water. I'm not sure what sort of response I offered him, other than there are times she uses me as her personal pacifier. In hindsight, I might have said "yes, I'm making some sort of decent supply." She still throws up breast milk from time to time. Still, the question of whether I make enough still stumps me. Make enough for what? A Christmas party? A snack? An appetizer? I'm not mad or frustrated or upset, just stumped and humored.

My baby, my youngest baby, is already over 18 months old.