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the fish August 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 3:18 pm

I’ve noticed that she has about a 10 min limit with strangers. Recently I’ve been out to places where other people want to hold her, and when they do she is calm and happy to sit with them. For a bit. Then she politely asks to nurse, and gets passed back to me. Where she is not interested in nursing.

So far, the people who have held her have been on the ball at reading her cues and have been respectful of them. Doulas, other moms and my friend Olivia who has always treated all children like they are legit human beings. These people know when their turn is up and its all good. I’ve yet to see what happens when someone holds her and either can’t read her cues, or just ignores them.

She’s pretty easy going. She’s not Cordelia, who ddidn’tgive a shit who held her and could be happy being passed from person to person for hours, making new friends all over all the time. She’s not Blaze, who really didn’t do the being held by strangers thing and would demand to go back to her mom RIGHT NOW k thanks. she’s Thalia, my little fish who slipped out so fast, small and sleek. She’s different than both of my others and I’m looking forward to seeing in what ways as she grows up.

There’s still been a lot of talk about guinea pigs. Its going to happen, we have warmed up to the idea. But iI’m dragging it out and we are making a project of the whole thing. This morning I took all my girls to the big pet store. Cordelia brought her notebook and a pen and her backpack. We went to do “research” on guinea pigs. Cordelia sat on the floor in front of the pigs, notebook open, and we discussed what they need. She carefully made a list in her notebook. Hay, water in a bottle, food, a bowl, a house for sleeping, bedding, toys for chewing, a cage. Then we talked about money and we walked around the store writing down the prices of the things on the list. She recorded it all in her book, carefully copying out all the numbers. Theres a lot of positive things to be said about following the child’s lead on things they are interested in. In acquiring guinea pigs, we can learn about how to take care of animals, we can learn about money, we can learn about math, we can learn how to plan ahead and save up for buying something big. We can learn that you always need to do your research about a pet before bringing it home. We can learn about not making impulse buys. We can learn that $11.99 is an outrageous price to pay for a small bag of hay, and we can talk about alternatives, like sweet talking some farmers at the market to get a flake of hay instead. We can learn about how you ddon’tbuy animals at the pet store. We can learn how to use a computer to look things up like “what do guinea pigs eat?” Jim says “everything. All the vegetable scraps. that’s what they are FOR. Then we eat them.” Which made me think, of course, we can also learn about how different people in the world eat different things. Even guinea pigs.

The awesome thing about letting the child lead is that they are actually interested in what they are learning. They get so in depth, so focused on one thing, and your job is to milk it for all its worth. I worked in a daycare where the three year olds were really, deeply into eggs. Birds come from eggs! Eggs can be really big! Eggs can be really small! Eggs can be different colors! We counted eggs, we matched and sorted eggs, we built birds nests. Then I blew all their little three-year old minds by taking it in a new direction – lizards come from eggs! Omg! I remember Ibought a couple of those “you put it in a bowl of water and over time the spongy thing inside grows to a million times its size” animals from the dollar store. They were plaster eggs. Inside the plaster eggs were lizards. It took two days but the lizards absorbed water and burst out, hatching, to the absolute delight of 24 preschoolers. It was such a hit my supervising teacher had to go buy a couple more so we could do it again – but this time with gators. The kids didn’t realize they were actually working on their pre-math and writing skills, they just all though eggs were awesome for a few weeks.


its hard August 27, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 1:28 pm

Today I got up before I really wanted to, because Thalia was asleep still and I knew I needed to boogie if I wanted anything resembling breakfast.

I spread some jam on some bread and told the girls to come eat it. I spread some soft cheese on the last piece of bread and went to eat it while I nursed. I grabbed a few moments to fill the tub with hot water and bleach all the diapers. The girls got dressed, I put some pants on Thalia and we went outside. Girls played outside for two hours while Thalia napped on me. We came in around 11. I managed to get a few minutes to put the diapers in the wash. I have been running back and forth for hours, nursing and calming a baby, then putting her down for just long enough to turn over the laundry, or grab a glass of water, or to scoop out the cat litter. As soon as she realizes I’m gone she wakes up and yells. Its cruel, almost. I really want her to sleep, but if I keep leaving her to try to take care of other things she wakes up. She can’tget a good sleep if I keep interrupting her by leaving.

my mom texts me. “Did you see the email daddy sent? Did you get a chance to look at….” No, I didn’t. Theres no chance. “Did you ask jim about…” What? Who’s that guy? Oh you mean the other person who lives here and I see occasionally? He is wearing a ring on his finger that looks a bit like mine but you can’t expect we actually have time to TALK to each other, right?

Thank god there was still a frozen Mac and cheese. Tossed the tupperware in the microwave and had lunch for the girls. Went to nurse Thalia. Heard a big splash when someone tipped over their water. They ate and went back to play. I came back to the kitchen to find noodles everywhere, and water flooding the table and floor. I yelled until Cordelia came back to get a cloth and mop up her water. I unloaded the dishwasher like lightning before the little dumpling noticed and woke up.

Diapers are in the dryer right now. Babe is attached to my boob. I got myself a snack to eat but since Iam anchored by the boob i can’t reach it right now. I should be able to eat if she’s eating, right? If Iddon’t eat, she can’t eat. The amount of food I can pack away is amazing. It takes constant snacking to keep my breasts full.

Here’ssome things i am dreaming of doing in my pretend life:
– finishing Sondra’sshawl
– finishing my wrap
– knit Thalia a sweater for the cold weather from that gorgeous silk/wool yarn
– making a rag rug from all my scrap fabric
– making the girls beautiful quilts for their beds
– finishing my sweater quilt
– clearing off the shelves in the kitchen of junk, moving the cookbooks to those shelves, and putting toys away on the shelves the books are on right now


im not crazy August 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 11:25 am

I was at a gathering of doula buddies and one of them has a three week old baby. She is teaching him to pee in a potty. He can do it. She taught her first daughter to pee and poo in a tiny potty, or in the sink, right away, as in when she was a couple days old. And she was potty trained by 18 months. That’s remarkable.

Its not a new idea. In fact its a very, very old idea. a couple of times I thought, while dealing with leaky diapers, “you’d think, by now, that we would have invented a better system” and now i realize that we HAD a better system, then we broke it by iintroducing diapers.

I’ve heard of the idea before. Its called elimination communication, diaper free baby, or infant potty training. I don’t like the name “infant potty training” because that’s not really what you’re doing. I’m not potty training her. I’m just watching and listening to her, paying attention to her cues and her body language and being aware of timing.

Decided to check it out, read a little bit about it, and then try it out for a few days. If it was hard then whatever, the point is to make less work for me, not more. So the other day Itook her diaper off and hovered her little butt over the sink and said “sssss” and she peed. Wow! Probably that one was sheer luck. I think it has something to do with the squatting position you hold the babies in that helps them go. In theory, over time, they are conditioned to associate the sound with the act of peeing or pooing and you can cue them to do it.

The websites and the pros all claim that babies don’t want to mess tthemselves or want to sit in a wet diaper and are born ready to learn to pee on command. That sounded ridiculous. At first.

Jim thinks im crazy. And i agreed that it might be crazy, but not crazy enough to not try it out first. Today we have only used three diapers. Today she has peed in the sink about five times and pooed three times. Yesterday she peed in the sink about five times and pooed once. I miss less than I catch. And its so easy, so intuitive, that I’m blown away. It really does feel like she was born ready to do this and all Ihad to do was pay attention.


August 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 2:45 pm

– had a good breakfast. This seems to be the biggest factor in making sure I have good day.
– the fourth load of laundry is in the wash right now.
– got the girls to clean up their toys all over the living room
– cleaned out my bedroom closet. I have yet to put everything we are keeping back in, but its been rearranged and organized and some stuff isn’t going back in at all. I would like to use the floor space in the closet to put the laundry hamper.
– emailed roots of empathy
– confirmed dentist appt
– walked to the bank to deposit some cheques

Starting to slow down now as its nearly 3. I think Thalia is down for a big long nap on me in the carrier right now, which restricts me a little bit. I found a a whole bunch of forgotten half-finished sewing projects in the closet. Bags of fabric that Ihad a plan for but then forgot about. I’m looking forward to finding llittle bits of time to work on them – I definitely could use some new clothes. I’vebeen thinking about buying new underwear for such a long time, and its never happened, so i just ordered a bunch on amazon. Quick and dirty, get-er-done style.

CCOrdelia has her heart set on getting a guinea pig. Its a good animal for us as the cats can’t kill it and it can’t fit under the couch. I’venever had guinea pigs but they seem hardy and able to withstand the lovin’ of kkindergartners better than the smaller pets. But I suspect that bringing a pair of pigs into the home won’t be happening any time soon.


August 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 7:39 pm

successes today:

– had a decent, though very late breakfast. quickly tossed together the worlds fastest breakfast before thalia realized i had left ther side.
– made smoothies, which i turned into popsicles for the girls. coco drank all the leftover smoothie that didn’t fit in the popsicle molds. this means that she consumed some secret vegetables today. that, by itself, is a success.
– made banana and raspberry muffins from the bag of $1 discount, very brown bananas. the only raeson i was able to do this was because jim took thalia for a walk in the carrier to the bank.
– put away all the clean laundry. only because she had her morning nap on me in the carrier. seriously, my life can function because i have a selection of carriers.
– cleaned the kitchen while jim did bedtime, and thalia napped on him in the carrier.

that really doesn’t feel like a lot of stuff. i used to be able to keep going all day, get all my things done, keep up on everything. that was ages ago now.

she is trying her darnedest to learn to smile. it looks like it takes a lot of effort. i can practically see her neurons joining together.


successes August 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 4:45 pm

– Ate a good breakfast
– Took little fish in the bath so we could both get clean
– Got all the girls out on time so jim could tutor online. Online tutoring is shitty for me, because Ineed to take everybody out of the house so tthere’s no naked, screaming children in the background of the “classroom”. Aka our living room. (Jim is on webcam so he wears a fancy button down work shirt because the students can see his top half. He wears boxers because the students can’t see his bottom half.
– When we went out, we got blaze a new backpack for school
– I even remembered to bring our gift cards so it was a free backpack
– decided on a whim to go to the eye drs and get cocos eyes checked. She has been having trouble with fine print words, claiming she can’t see them.
– filled out eye Dr paperwork while nursing and keeping the other girls under control all at the same time.

Two things recently: Iam frequently stopping during the day and mentally taking a step back to see what is going on. Its CRAZY that iI was nursing, filling out paperwork and keeping half my attention on the girls and trying to get them to stop jumping up and down on the padded bench and stop crashing into each other, all together. With three girls, all of a sudden I find myself generally doing things, or probably like 8 things, simultaneously, and vaguely thinking “how did I get here…?”

I’malso getting real good at quitting ahead of time. We have been out for nearly three hours, we got new backpacks, we killed time looking at everything (literally, everything) in the toy store and we wrnt to eye drs. we could go to the library or we could go home. I’m doing fine right now, the girls are in a great mood and thalia is sleeping, i still have enough diapers. but will we all be this pleasant in 40 min? Would it be wise to call it a day and go home now? Yes. Very wise. Do that.


August 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 2:29 pm

If someone else would just hold the baby for a little bit, Iwould love to:

Go buy new underwear
Go through all my clothes and sort and purge
Get new clothes
FInish my cedar chest
Finish my sewing projects
Bake something

When Ido have a free moment, i need to use it to clean something. My life right now is long stretches of baby care mixed with super fast, very short periods of desperately trying to keep up with all the chores. I ddon’thave the time to do any sort of self-care, i can daydream about such luxuries as having the free time to buy new underwear. In reality I barely have the time to unload the dishwasher.

There’sa trap here. Feeling like my needs are not important. Living with the delusion that everybody else is more deserving and I should meekly live on the black burner in order to enable everyone else to get the attention and care they need. I can’t go buy new underwear because its more important that jim gets to his classes on time and Ihold the household down so he can get his work done.I am protecting everyone else’s priorities and making sure the people around me are keeping up and doing well. Nobody is making sure Iam being taken care of.