Monday, June 29, 2009

ready, set,...

Today Smootch and I discussed what she would like to do over the summer. Without hesitation, Smootch generated an eight point list of things she'd like to do and learn:
-learn how to read
-do yoga with a video and mama
-read more books, more often
-have treats more often
-learn to sew with a stitch witch
-go to fun places like museums
-go to rec center for playtimes and to swim
-learn a musical instrument
Everything on Smootch's list is more or less do-able. What struck me, though, most about the list is how balanced it is. She's covered music, motion, nutrition, intellect, and spirit. This is me learning to trust Smootch's judgement, trusting that she knows best about her own self. It's an unfamilar leap from popular parenting philosophy, which is about micromanaging and hothousing children's intellectual growth. Smootch's plans feel calmer. More balanced. And it includes more treats. I'm in!

Friday, June 26, 2009

sad face/happy face

On monday I went caffeine free for the first time since I was, what? Eight, nine years old? I was hoping that avoiding caffeine will help me get a grip on some of my moodiness (don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about). I have previously stopped eating cocoa and chocolate and have been much more even steven since. With the caffeine withdrawal, I expected the headache and some sleepiness. But caffeine detox is so terribly much more. Here is my cautionary tale.

Often my moods are reflected in the children, and theirs mirrored back on me. We tend to spiral up or down together. When I withdrawal from caffeine, the children feel it too. Monday's headache was bad, but tuesday was brutal with nausea, vomiting (no, not pregnant, thanks), and achy joints. I slept. I set Smootch up with a video and went for a nap with Birdie Boy. I felt like I was walking underwater under the influence of heavy sedatives. Smootch was drawing like mad all over the furniture (neglect and boredom, I suppose.) Here's a little example of her unhappiness.

Note all the unhappy, almost deranged expressions. Ahem.

By wednesday I lost the abilility to bend over to pick up the baby. My hips and legs were both numb and achy. I was stumbling! The going was rough enough at that point that I thought maybe I actually was coincidently coming down with the flu or some nerve destroying disease and mistakenly believing that I was being crippled by caffeine withdrawal.

To test my theory, I had a cup of tea - just tea - at about 3:00 in the afternoon. By 3:15 I was dancing - no joint pain, no numb hips - and by 3:30 I was shaking. Weird. But we all perked up and had the energy to smile once again.

Thursday I decided to have two cups of tea, one in the morning with breakfast, and one early afternoon. It was truly a fantastic day. Mind you this is significantly less than my regular 2 cups of coffee and 2 or 3 cups a tea a day, though compared to many it is laughably minor caffeine consumption.

Here's my little mood mirror, checking out her happy face:

With my little caffeine/mood experiment I learnt several things. First, the things I eat and drink everyday are sometimes more powerful than I think and their consumption should be questioned more thoughfully. No more autopilot for me with the coffee. Second, unnecessary suffering is unnecessary suffering. There is a balance with all things, and my job is to find the middle path between gluttony and starvation. Three: do not play with psychotropic drugs (caffeine and cocoa) while two small children are in my exclusive care. All of us here are on this crazy ride together, whether good or bad.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NCF 2009

I'm back. In more ways than one. Not wanting to bother you with my where to blog dithering, we'll just go on from here.

And we're back from the North Country Fair, which was fantastic, thanks for asking. I've got hoards of pics for you.

Birdie Boy in the car before we embarked on our 6 hour journey.

Smootch sharing her fruit pop with Birdie Boy. His screen handle is quite suiting. Camp was set up in a field of dandelion puff balls. Yet, our hayfever sufferers remained healthy.
Camp also came with an extremely convient fence, handy for climbing, jumping, performing, and time outs.Down by the river the dragon flies were shucking their nymph skins and taking their maiden flights.To save them from the clompy sandled feet trouping down to the river to cool off, Smootch and her gang of friends were picking up the new flyers on sticks and carrying them around while their wings dried and were ready for flight.(yes, he's naked under there. Some of us don't wait until after dark to go skinny dipping.)
You are wondering if there actually was 5 or 6 thousand other people there sharing 3 days of music. NCF has 4 stages going most of the time. This year the family stage was all supped up, with new playground equipment and a fully stocked children's tent.
Both kids were very much into the music, dancing and general festival atmosphere. Birdie boy still wasn't into the sheer loudness of some of the bands. Delhi to Dublin gave us some inspiration to save Biride Boy's ears and allow him to enjoy the show.

So, it was a lovely weekend. Nature, music, hippies, sword play.
All good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

repeat after me: change is good!

Hi folks.

Have you noticed how the world is beginning to become crowded with poor abandoned blogs? Sadly, this one is about to become an orphan as well.

I'm feeling all pulled apart lately, so I've decided to collate all the different blogs into one. Head on over to for more Smootch and Birdie boy pics and stories. I blog there now every week day, so you'd better bookmark it :D

See you there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

right now

The Boy. He doesn't sleep. The world is too amazing to close his eyes on for one minute. Oh, my coffee pot for a little cynicism!