Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Letters from my past

I know I'm mentioned before that I am a pack rat. Capital P, capital R, card carrying member of the Pack Rat nation. Unfortunately I happen to live in a very small house- just over 1000 sq ft. When it was just myself it wasn't too bad. But now there's a toddler running around with all the necessary toddler stuffs. Plus I work primarily from home, so there's a big computer desk in the livingroom and piles of work materials. I'm starting to drown in clutter. And you know if a pack rat thinks it's cluttered, then things have gotten BAD.

So I've resolved myself to clearing things out. Last night I thought I would start with an easy task- a hatbox full of old letters and cards. It turned out to be much easier to toss the majority of them in the recycle bin than I had anticipated but what a trip down memory lane! Amid all the old Christmas and birthday cards, there were several gems. Here are some of the things I found (of which I did keep a few):

- postcards my grandparents sent me when I was as young as 6
- the note from a friend who had just "stolen" my 8th grade boyfriend, begging me to still be her friend (I was one of her "most cherished" friends but, apparently, she never considered just not going out with Josh)
- letters my mother sent me- one every day- when I was away at camp for the first time
- a letter my sister sent me at camp which is just plain hilarious (I think she was about 10 at the time)
- notes sent back and forth during middle school where my friend Melissa and I did our best to think up crazy, intricate folds
- quite a lot of letters from the Australian students we hosted for a week each year in high school
- several letters from the boy I have, not so secretly, been in love with since I was about 13 (yes, a good part of me is still in love with him, but I think he's getting married this weekend)
- the first letter my mom wrote me after dropping me off at college freshman year and the letter my dad wrote me after driving me to college the following year (both of those made me cry)

I guess being a pack rat does have it's upside now and again.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Confessions of a lax parent

Anyone who knew me in real life, pre-Isa, (including myself) would have sworn that I was going to be a very uptight, type-A, generally frantic parent.

In some areas, I have exceeded my own expectations. I will fully admit to being a top-of-the-line "hoverer". I rarely let Isa out of my sight in the first months, even for a few minutes. I got all nervous and edgy when my sister carried her away at a family wedding. I knew she was safe, but still.... We didn't spend a single night apart until this spring, more than a year after she had come home. I'm working on this particular fault, but it's a tough habit to break.

And so, I was shocked to discover that when I compared it to others, the totality of my parenting is actually quite lax. I submit the following:

- Isa is a pacifier kid. So much so that early on, I bought a clip and have kept it attached to her nearly constantly. She drug that thing around, clipped to her chest, I'm sure picking up loads of germs. (I like to pretend now that her iron-clad immune system is due to this particular lazy behavior of mine.) We have ZERO plans to eliminate the paci anytime soon.

- I didn't discontinue pre-sleeping bottles until last month and only then by accident. Admittedly, I was planning to do it this month, just squeaking in under the 2 year mark.

- I hadn't planned to co-sleep, however we did just that for well over six months simply because it was easier for me to throw her in my bed when she woke up at 2 a.m. than try to get her back to sleep in her crib. It wasn't an attachment thing- it just garnered me more sleep. She even rolled out of my bed twice (landing reasonably softly on a suitcase by the bed both times) because I never put up a bedrail.

- I think I made a total of 2 baby food meals ever. The rest came from jars. And it wasn't even always organic.

- On that note, I think she first tried french fries at the tender age of 10 months. Isa would probably tell you that her current favorite foods are quesadillas (we eat a lot of those, and yes, she can say it) and pizza (which we don't actually eat often but Isa has become fixated on). We love carbs.

- I've never even considered getting her own seat on any of our many flights despite all the safety stats. In the beginning, I knew that she'd prefer being held and now I'm just too cheap. Sadly, only one more flight left before I'm forced by law to ante-up.

- She watches TV. Probably too much TV. But there is no other way that I can survive getting up at 6 a.m. everyday. Thank God that Sesame Street comes on at 7!!

- I still have a baby gate up in the house because it's easier than baby-proofing the bedrooms, bathroom, and hallway. Getting very tired of stepping over that, though, so I may be forced to stop being so lazy on this particular point.

- She doesn't always brush her teeth each day. I'm trying to work this into the bedtime routine, but I find I sometimes forget it.

- Her carseat is still rear-facing. I can pretend that this is because it is so much safer, but a big reason is that I really don't relish having to wrestle the Britax into the forward facing position.

And finally, photographic evidence of my laxity. A photo taken a few weeks ago. You can clearly see that she is chewing on a small plastic wand (almost certainly made in China and thus toxic), pacifier clipped on, and it's hard to see, but those are Halloween jammies in the middle of June.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


A random mix from the last couple weeks:

in her loverly princess crown
Super Isa!! (the towel cape goes so well with her fabulous morning hair)
loves, loves, loves to swim

Here's a pic of my very first attempt at braids. Very, very, very simple since I am completely inept at hairstyling. Isa loved them. A couple times she grabbed them and pulled herself around like they were handles. It also allows you to see just how LONG her hair is when the curls are pulled straight. We'll do this 'do several more times, then maybe I'll attempt multiple braids in the ponies and move from there. Not sure she'll sit still long enough for much more than that at the moment.

Several years ago I saw a cartoon of a mom looking in on her sleeping children. She was telling her husband "I wish I could think of them as sleeping and not just recharging." Well, ever so often Isa wakes up from her nap FULLY RECHARGED. She bounced around like this for at least 45 minutes the other day. She doesn't want out of her crib, she just wants to play like a maniac in there.