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kooky haberdashery for the rich
30 September 2011 @ 07:21 pm
I took the kids to a nature preserve this morning. Leaves are changing and it's shaping up to be a beautiful Wisconsin fall, but there were actually still some caterpillars hanging around in the (now open to the sky) butterfly house from the summer. We noticed a monarch caterpillar hanging from a doorframe, and then to our amazement it started turning into a chrysalis. We were able to watch the whole process, which only took a matter of minutes, and it was incredible. Then something went wrong, it sort of dropped down the length of what looked like a shed caterpillar skin, then let go and went SPLAT on the bottom part of the door and oozed green goo. Pretty much the worst metaphorical experience ever.

Freya is finally crawling competently, which is greatly aiding her in her mission to FIND ALL THE DUST BUNNIES AND EAT THEM.

And she pooped in the potty today! There was much applause.
kooky haberdashery for the rich
22 September 2011 @ 03:57 pm
My phone just rang and the actual Caller ID read, "Phone Scam". 

I was too busy figuring out why the washer was spewing water all over the basement floor to talk anyway.
kooky haberdashery for the rich
18 September 2011 @ 09:40 pm
There's been an entry sitting here half-written for a week, becoming obsolete, so now I have to re-write it.

My  internet life has been seriously ailing. I''m not keeping up with LJ at all because I am just not at my computer as much as I used to be. I guess this is a good thing. I'm mostly keeping up with facebook, probably because people send me a whole lot more messages there and it sucks me in. 

Finn has put in a couple of weeks of school now. For the most part it seems to be going well. There has been a little social drama; he bonded fast with one little boy, who a few days later said he didn't want to be friends with him anymore, and even though the boy apologized and things seemed to blow over quickly at school, there was a lot of emotional fallout and acting out at home afterwards, plus bad dreams and night terrors (?) and I just feel like it's been a stressful transition for him. I have some history with school bullying, so I was tweaked in a major way myself. He won't talk to me about school, although he will sometimes talk to Hans. He will tell me what they  had for snack and sometimes what they read... so, basically, less than I can find out from reading the whiteboard outside the classroom. Tonight he said he wished he didn't have to go to school, because he doesn't want to be away from me (and his dad too). I'm sorry he is still missing us but I don't think it's a big issue most of the time when he's there. I think he's getting a lot more out of the school activities than he has been hanging out with his tired old mom. 

Freya has been working on communication the last couple of weeks. She's waving and saying hi ("ahhhh") and bye ("ahhhhh") and sometimes signing "milk" and "more" and "all done" and my mother is positive that she says "ba-ba-ba" for "baby" and I'm almost sure she's right. She occasionally looks at books without trying to gnaw them to pieces right away. She has been in the same just-about-to-crawl place for a really long time now, and while she can pivot and push herself backwards around the floor, the hardwood seems to have her a bit stumped as far as real crawling.

She has finally started taking actual naps with some regularity, which is welcome. It does result in earlier mornings, though.

My parents were here this past week and she is totally in love with them (as is Finn) and I am halfway sure that my parents could drive off with the two of them and they'd never look back.

All right, there's plenty more missing information but if I don't get on with it, this will never get posted.


kooky haberdashery for the rich
06 September 2011 @ 01:51 pm
I arrived to pick Finn up from school, and the kids were out on the playground. I spotted Finn, he spotted me and smiled and yelled, "Hi, Mom!" Then another little boy said "I'm going to chase you!" and Finn ran the opposite direction from me. 

Doesn't get much more reassuring than that. 
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
kooky haberdashery for the rich
06 September 2011 @ 10:57 am
Finn is at his first full day of school. Despite his great orientation the other day, he was clearly anxious this morning. When we got there, I saw that all the other kids had stuffed animals with them. I somehow missed that memo at orientation. MASSIVE MOMMY FAILURE. He cried, I cried (but I'm hoping he didn't notice, because I mostly kept it together until I was outside) and it was altogether wrenching. I did look in on him about 20 minutes later when I had to go back inside the school for something I forgot to do, and he wasn't crying anymore, but looking subdued, on a teaching assistant's lap, reading a book. So it's good that he's getting a little extra attention, I guess...

Now I'm on a  hunt for the school paperwork I was supposed to return today. How can I be so bad at this?
Current Mood: sadsad
kooky haberdashery for the rich
04 September 2011 @ 01:46 pm
Me (after Freya's fever, my back spasm, and Hans's shoulder injury, surrounded by kitchen clutter): We're a wreck.
Finn: Who's a wreck?
Me: This family is a collective wreck.
Finn: Yeah! I collect rocks!
kooky haberdashery for the rich
01 September 2011 @ 09:23 pm
Every time I get a couple of weeks behind on postings, I get really intimidated about starting again, feeling like I'll have to cram every single thing that's happened into a post, which is ridiculous because even when I post regularly I don't post about every single thing that happened.

I've been moving from Enormous Thing to Enormous Thing in life this summer, and I feel like I get eaten whole by each Enormous Thing that comes along. First it was Trip To Illinois for my brother's wedding. After that was the LLL Thrift Sale At My House. Then it was Finn's Fourth Birthday. Following that we got ready for the Trip To the Lake (a get-together with Hans's parents, siblings and their families on Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota). We returned from there last week, and finally, today, Finn Started School.

This summer has been largely about Finn, now that I think about it. He was the major player in the trip to the lake, LOVED playing with his cousins and all that time in the sand and water. Hans and I are not beach people, but Finn played in the sand longer, harder, happier, and better than I've ever seen him play in our house, our yard or even in a park. What was challenging about the trip was keeping him sane on a different sleep schedule than he has at home, but he did pretty well.

Today was the first day of school (a one-hour orientation day). For the longest time he expressed a lot of anxiety about being away from me and Hans at school, but recently he's seemed more positive about it, while allowing from time to time as how he is kind of nervous. He has had a lot of "stomachaches" lately, too, which haven't really been related to any illness or apparent gastric upset.

Last night he woke up in the middle of the night screaming about a stomachache and then was crying that his legs hurt. He woke me up from a sound sleep (and I've been sick, so I was sleeping hard) and there was something ringing fake about the whole thing, so I didn't know whether to treat it as an anxiety episode, insist that he keep his voice down so as not to wake Freya/threaten to kick him out of the bedroom for being disruptive, or take him to the emergency room, so I wound up mixing all three approaches, completely disastrously. I called for Hans, who was able to prevail with a cooler head and eventually get Finn to talk about how he was nervous about starting school. Then the whole thing happened AGAIN a few hours later.

So I was a little worried this morning, but Finn's attitude seemed perfectly upbeat, though he did comment that he was a little nervous...

and things went perfectly. He was fine when I left him in the classroom, and when I came back for him afterward, he was FINE, and said "I love school a lot, Mommy!" I'm indescribably grateful for this good start. I know we could see more drama next week, but this was just such a great sign that he's ready. He's one of the youngest in the class, and for a very long time he was the clingiest kid in his age group... but he isn't anymore. I'm glad I let him cling when he needed to. He's so outgoing now.

Happy sigh.
kooky haberdashery for the rich
09 August 2011 @ 09:04 am
Finn: Mom, someday can  I have a cheetah?

Me: No, cheetahs don't make good pets. They need to live in the wild, where they can run.

Finn: No, the other kind of cheetah. The kind we eat.

Me: We don't eat cheetahs.... do you mean a different kind of animal?

Finn: NO, not an animal. It's a kind of chip!!

Me: Oh.... Cheetos??!!. Uh, yeah. I don't really like them, so we don't keep them in the house, but I'm sure someday you'll get to try Cheetos.
kooky haberdashery for the rich
31 July 2011 @ 08:14 am
Finn has of late begun declaring that he loves us "as far as the sun", "as far as the moon", etc. This morning he announced to Hans, "I love you as far as Uranus."
kooky haberdashery for the rich
Insert requisite disclaimer about how I was all set to do a post but LJ was down so I couldn't (this is true).

My life has been eaten by the LLL benefit thrift sale for about the past week. My mom and dad came in the middle of last week to help out while I got ready for the Saturday sale, which was at my house. We had volunteers to help set up on Friday and to man the table on Saturday, and one of my co-leaders was around for much of those two days, but it was still a huge time suck. It was nice, though, because people brought their kids over and Finn loved that (not to mention having first dibs to preshop thrift sale toys). Saturday a storm blew up really suddenly in the middle of the morning just when it had been getting busy. There was a strong wind that started blowing brochures everywhere, a rack fell over onto Finn's head (and another kid's), and my friend's huge tent canopy started blowing away. So I snatched Finn up in one arm and was clutching one leg of the canopy thing with another while he howled. Finally I said, "If I put you down, can you go inside?" and he bolted. One of the thrift sale customers actually had to ring my doorbell to get someone else to come out and help us because they had no idea what was happening, so then my mom started yelling for Hans to come upstairs, come quick, and he finally appeared very peevish because he'd been... busy... in the bathroom. Heh. It was all very dramatic and Finn talked about it for days.

So anyway the storm sort of interrupted our thrift sale mojo, and we netted about $225 for the day but we were hoping for more, plus we had tons of stuff left, so I opened up AGAIN on Thursday (yesterday), which is a big thrifting day in Eau Claire. That day it was cloudy and muggy and there were more gnats out than I've ever seen. I had enough volunteers in the morning to take Finn to a park for an hour, and the gnats were even worse there. I  knew I got a few bites (didn't even know gnats could bite) but I really noticed them today. There is a patch of five or six bites all together on the back of one of my arms and it's all swollen and red and hot. It took me all day to find my Benadryl cream. It helps the itching but it's still hot and oozing clear fluid. I saw on my FL that one of you took your daughter to the doctor for a similar reaction and I don't have to do that unless it gets really terrible, right?

I sort of wanted to get my house cleaner for the thrift sale, since volunteers would be going in and out of it, and I succeeded insofar as my mom got some work done in my kitchen and swept my floor last week (thanks mom). I wanted to get some more done for Thursday's re-opening and I swear, I spent all of Wednesday busting my butt and ignoring my children for the end result of two unfolded loads of laundry and a clean kitchen counter... not so much worth it. I just cannot get that much done with nobody napping (Freya does take a midday nap sometimes, but not consistently). So today I vowed to be more engaged. We went to the museum, baked elephant ears (this did entail leaving Freya howling indignantly at us from the exersaucer for a bit) and roughhoused for a long time (both Finn AND Freya love this). A good day.
Now I'm getting ready for Finn's birthday party next Saturday. He's having a Spiderman theme, which I jumped on because at one time he wanted Spongebob Squarepants. I got him a few Lego Hero Factory guys, which is what he really wants, and a science kit, and a real microscope that I got at a garage sale for $5, but which I still have to check to make sure it works and doesn't need a new bulb, but how cool is that?

I was looking at some pictures of when Freya was born and can't believe the difference in Finn. In her newborn shots Finn is all round-faced and toddler-looking, and he's so lean and sharp now in comparison. He's still wearing the same pajamas but now his arms and legs hang out of them.

Here was our best exchange of the day, aside from a number of declarations of love "all the way to Bluto".

Me: We made four elephant ears, and we took away two and ate them. How many are left?

Finn: Two.  Mommy, if I ate ALL the donuts in the donut bag, how many would be left?

Me: Zero.

Finn: That's right! Mommy, you are good at math!