Musings, Thoughts and Creations

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Losing it

We are having a problem with whining and demanding crying.

She only whines when she is hungry, tired, bored, not being payed attention to, frustrated, or when something is taken away or I say no and stop her from an activity. Did I say only? Yeah, she whines/cries a lot right now. If I could anticipate her every need, feed her the second she is hungry, and never let the plate get empty, let her do whatever she wants, and play with her all the time, I don’t think she would whine. I think I could even tell her no, if I cheerfully and patiently redirected the activity. Problem is, the dishes need to get done, food needs to be prepared, and I don’t want to sit on the floor playing all day.

Yesterday it sort of reached a crescendo and I lost it. It was a morning of almost constant whining. Maybe she was out of sorts, or maybe I was busy and not paying enough attention to her, but every diaper was a crying wrestling match, all she wanted to do were things I had to tell her no and take away, and any time I tried to do something in the kitchen, crying and whining. At one point I’m doing dishes on the verge of tears of frustration, Lily is crying and I’m yelling at her, “Stop crying!” Cause that works well. Nothing calms a sad, frustrated preverbal toddler like yelling at them. All it succeeded in doing was making me feel like the worst person in the world and that I was sucking at being a mom.

In retrospect I could have done many things. I could have attempted to set her up with an activity. I could have put her on my back in the carrier while I did the dishes and cleaned up. I could have left the mess and just sat with her. I could have called Rob in for some help and a break. I was clearly not on my A game, as none of these occurred to me. I just thought if I could get the kitchen done, I wouldn’t be looking at a mess, which is calming. Then we would go outside and everyone would be happier and more relaxed. Rob came down, probably alerted by the noise that I was at the breaking point, and helped me take Lily outside on the blanket. I was all ready to be calm and try to relax and enjoy my Lily, and the first thing she does is try to take all the wipes out of the wipe bag. It was then that I told Rob I needed 15 minutes and went upstairs and read Jason Good’s 365 blog. And after 15 minutes, I was better. I could hug her without resentment, and be relaxed and everyone was happier. Then it was nap time and I got a big break and after that everyone was much, much happier.

This morning I read the section on whining in the What to Expect: The Toddler Years book and it was all pretty common sense. But I need a good reminder of common sense so that when I get to that crazy point again, I will have something that is immediately available to try, instead of futilely yelling at a baby which is horrible and pointless.

Goals for today.  Pay more attention to Lily, and then if she is occupied sneak away to do computer stuff.  When it is getting close to nap/meal times and the whining ratchets up – put her in the carrier and soldier on. And she’s awake from her nap.  So here we go.  : )

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Planet Money

I love this podcast.  It’s a show on NPR, but I never listen to it live.  I subscribe to the podcast. Like a lot of public radio programs, they are informative while still being entertaining. And I need all the help I can get when it comes to understanding matters of finance, money, and the economy.

They provide a look at all things having to do with the economy and explain it in human terms. They tackled the mortgage and banking crises, the global economy, China’s economy, Europe’s issues, and little/fun stuff too, like whatever happened to the dollar coin, or why a NY taxi medallion sold for 1 million dollars.

There have been so, so many podcasts I’ve loved, but I’ve especially loved their recent series on money in politics and a live show they did on how to fix the broken part of America.  The premise of the show was that there are two Americas.  There is one America who is educated and will be fine, they will continue to live The American Dream.  But there is another America, made up of people with a high school diploma or less, that are not going to be fine unless changes are made.  As factory jobs dry up, there is less and less of a demand for an unskilled workforce. So they put forth a three step plan to improve this segment of America, and therefore the country as a whole.

Step 1: Fix our nation’s education system.

Step 2: Fix government finances.

Step 3: Fix our nation’s healthcare system.

Simple right?

No, that all sounds incredibly daunting. These three areas seem broken beyond repair. But what I love about this show is that they put forth three achievable ways to do this. #1 Education – Provide preschool to all children. #2 Finances – Quit the partisan infighting and reduce debt by cutting government spending, raising taxes, and closing loopholes. #3 Healthcare – Pick any other system besides employer based health insurance (single payer where the government provides, a market driven system where we can all buy our own insurance) and costs will decrease dramatically.

Our problems are solvable.  The trouble is, they’re being solved by intelligent people on podcasts, instead of by the people in charge.  But maybe if we start demanding these types of solutions, our elected officials will start providing them.

If you’d like to listen to the show, you can download it or listen to it on the internet here:

They actually did an entire show on why providing preschool would be so beneficial, so if you’d just like to listen to that (it’s basically the same as in the live podcast) here is the link to that show.

Why can’t smart people like this run our country?


Double space

When I learned to type I learned to double space after a period. I think that was a holdover from when people typed on a typewriter. But now with basically all typing done on the computer and new fonts, etc. it is no longer necessary to double space after a period, and most people and publications don’t. Rob has told me this several times. And I want to stop. Why waste the time and space with that extra tap? But it is really hard. I think my thumb has muscle memory that it cannot overcome and it must tap twice. (I’ve done it for every single sentence I’ve written). So now I have to make three taps. The two that I cannot control and do automatically, and one delete to erase the extra space. (getting better, two sentences in a row I have not double tapped for). I’m 30, not 80. I’m adaptable. I can do this.

From here on out, I will end all my sentences with three taps and one space.


Riverdog Farms

We have been wanting to subscribe to a weekly box of produce for a while.  My cousin has been getting one in Amsterdam, and it looks like so much fun.  I like how it sort of forces you to try new things, and of course, it’s wonderful to support local farmers, to eat fresh, organic produce, and to add healthy veggies to our diet.  Rob looked into it and we decided to get our box from Riverdog Farms.  We also liked Shooting Star CSA, but it was slightly more expensive and limited, so we thought we’d try Riverdog Farms first.  I think it was also their pictures of chickens scratching around in the fields that swayed me into picking them.

There’s so, so much that I love about all this.  Okay, first off, health.  I don’t think anyone is surprised that eating vegetables is good for you, but with Rob attending lectures and reading all these studies about cancer and heart disease, we just get that message over and over again.  Vegetable, exercise.  Vegetable, exercise.  Not only will eating your leafy greens decrease cancer risks, and improve heart health, it will also allow you to punch burly villains named Bluto through a wall.  We’re paying for this box, so by god we’re going to eat it.  And we’re going to be reeeeeeallllllly realllly healthy as a result.

Second thing that I love is the farm itself.  They have the crops, but they also have chickens and pigs.  The chickens eat the insects and grubs that would harm the crops, and the pigs eat the scraps of food that aren’t sellable.  Then we eat the chickens and pigs.  You’d think with all that free food around the farm, they would cost less, but apparently such well raised animals cost more.  I’m going to guess because they are so delicious and good for you.  We will have to test this theory one day (but not every week or we will no longer be able to afford iPhones. Priorities.).

And finally, I love how fun it is.  Some might be skeptical that a box of vegetables could be fun, and maybe it’s just my own quirk, but it feels like getting a present.  One that I pay for and pick up myself, but exciting nonetheless.

Looking forward to the first fruits of summer in the box and saving up for that $25 chicken (heads and feet still attached – bonus!).

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Fever Series

A few weeks ago I began reading the first book of the Fever Series called Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.  It was recommended to me by a mom in my book club with a warning that it was pretty deeply fantasy, so you have to have an open mind.  It had similarities to the Sookie Stackhouse series (vampire fiction) with a perky blonde protagonist that has special powers and gets wrapped up in a world of handsome and deadly monsters.  But fortunately, it was better than that.  I liked the Sookie Stackhouse books at first, but after a while, they just got repetitive.  In the Fever series the main character changes, evolves.  By the fifth and final book, she is no longer the perky blonde, but more of an angry badass of dubious morality.  If I had started with the final book, Dreamfever, I don’t think I would have kept reading.  But I got sucked in with the lighter book, and got hooked on the story, so as it got weirder and darker, I kept going.  I’m glad I did.

The basic plotline is that Mac goes to Dublin to investigate the death of her sister and entangles herself in a war to save the world from the dark fae.  I loved the mythology and intricacies of that world that the author creates.  I suppose that’s why people love Tolkein and his books, because they get wrapped up in the world he creates.  I’m not sure I’ll ever read Lord of the Rings, because the movies just ruined it for me, but I can understand the appeal.  I used to be very anti-fantasy, but reading the Harry Potter and Twilight series was sort of my gateway drug into books about mythical and fantastical creatures.  On the fantasy scale, if Twilight is a 1 and Lord of the Rings is a 10, I would say these books rank around a 7.

If you like fantasy books with a strong female protagonist, I would recommend this series to you.  Oh, and as a bonus they’re all pretty sexy.

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Hello world!

This is the title of the default first post WordPress creates for you.  I kind of like it.  It’s like Hello world!  I’m here and I have something to tell you.

That’s kind of the point to this blog.  I DO have something to say.  Several things actually.

I started another blog when I got pregnant to chronicle that new part of my life.  Now that my daughter is a year old, the blog is 95% about her.  It’s a way for my friends and family to keep up with her antics from afar.  It seems like no matter how banal the story or long and boring the video my family loves them and asks for more.  I am happy to oblige.  But the blog is really for other people.  I want this blog to be for me.

Why not just keep a journal?  This is the question I ask myself.  If I’m writing for myself, then why would I post it publicly?  For a couple of reasons.  First of all, I have never been very successful writing in a journal daily.  I’ll write for a few weeks and then never return.  (kind of like exercise)  I don’t know why it’s so hard to stick with something that I have every intention of doing.  I guess I get busy doing other things and I just never go back to it.   I’m hoping that by posting to a blog, and possibly having people read and comment, it will encourage me to keep writing every day.  They say if you want to be a writer, you have to write.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be a writer, but I’ve always had that dream, and life is long, you never know.  At least if I write in the blog, I’m keeping my options open.  And finally, when you write something that only you will read, you can get pretty self indulgent.  If I write and make it public, I edit myself, hopefully in a good way.

So stay tuned for all my thoughts opinions on motherhood, books, movies, politics, and life.  And maybe even some things I haven’t thought of yet.  ; )