Here are some photos from the co-op Preschool I do with my friends Sarah Berry and Kathryn Farmer. Sarah is Emily's mom, and Kathryn is Owen's mom. These photos are post-lesson, during "crazy time", what some real preschools call "free play". We each lead a lesson about once a month. This lesson was about night time. Clark wore his pajamas. He is getting opinionated about his clothing and loves the many pairs of spiderman pajamas he has.
We drove up to New York last weekend to stay with Uncle Ray and Aunt Karla. They live in Long Beach, Long Island. It took about 6 hours with stops and both kids did excellently. It was a trial trip for driving down to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, and again this March.
The trip happened over the 9/11 weekend, so we stayed in Long Beach and didn't venture into the city. We hung around Ray and Karla's house. We went to the beach. Here are some photos.
There was a sailing regatta AND a Quicksilver surfing competition this weekend. Ray and Tom went out to surf (not in the competition, just in the ocean). I think two of these surfers might be them.
The kiddies played in the sand. Iris mostly ate it. I built castles and Clark would smash them. We found 2 sand crabs.
Iris had fun exploring their house and playing with their doggies! Both of the kids loved playing with the dogs' toys!
We did a lot of standing around and talking. We also did some sitting and talking.
Tom's cousin Paul came out from Brooklyn and visited with us. He brought his girlfriend, Stephanie, who is in midwifery school. We had a lot to talk about. ;-)
And one last photo demonstrating the incredible height of Uncle Ray, and the incredible adorableness of Iris.
We signed up for soccer lessons this fall. Clark is taking these classes with his friend Will, whose parents are Katie and Brian. Will is just 4 days younger than Clark. Here is a photo of Clark in his soccer clothes with his new soccer ball and shin guards. He is holding a car he got for pooping on the potty yesterday. He's getting so big!
Here's a video of the most organized part of the soccer lesson. They were kicking the balls into the cones to knock them over. Clark got the message about knocking them over all right! He's in a navy blue hoodie. The boy in the second part is Will. He is with his dad, Brian.
- This is my complainy post. There are also kid updates below. No photos this time, sorry, just rambley words.
Its soooooo rainy. I think we have the entrails of some Tropical Storm (Lee)? peeing all over us. It has been raining since this weekend. I feel so bad for Texas and their drought.
In addition to the rain, I've been sick this week and Clark and Iris have had runny noses, and Clark has a little cough. That means we have been stuck indoors for 3 whole days. To some people this may sound fine. Those people do not have a wild and crazy Clark on their hands.
Sometimes I wonder if he is going to have ADD or ADHD or some other hyperactive child disorder. Then I remember that he is a child and his natural curiosity is what is helping him learn so much about the natural world, and test the boundaries of his imagination and physical limits. That said, he is pretty wild and crazy. Most days we plan something to do in the morning and it usually involves other kids his age, or the outdoors or using a ton of energy. We usually spend one day at home each week and that's a day for laundry. That day usually also involves a trip to the playground or playing in the back yard and porch for a few hours.
So we were trapped, no playground, no friends to communicate illness too, no indoor play places to spread illness, no nothing. So what did we do this week?
On Tuesday I felt the most yucky so we watched TV pretty much all day. I know, a shining moment of parenthood right there. Well, I wish I could take a sick day and lay in bed and nap and eat chicken soup and drink orange juice, but I can't. So we watch TV. We must have done some other things, but I don't remember. I think we made smoothies. The smoothie recipe comes from the Janzens. Daron told me it is 5 things: strawberries, banana, flax, orange juice and yogurt. We used yummy greek yogurt.
On Wednesday, I begged my best friend in the whole wide world, Liz Barturen, to come down from Hagerstown, MD to keep me company and play with the children. She did. I love her. She wanted to go to this giant new Whole Foods they built down here. We trooped over to Whole Foods in torrential downpour, found a garage and parked the car. We rode the elevator down and found out we were in the wrong garage and we had to move the car. We found another garage and mazed our way to the elevators to Whole Foods and mazed our way into the giant store. It took probably 45 minutes to get from the first garage into the store. Liz said it was our adventure for the day. The kids were happy, I was happy.
We shopped the whole store. I bought5 items for $50, big surprise, right? The things I bought were the yummiest whole food staples though: Golden yellow butter from pastured cows, Coconut oil, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil hand soap (the only cure for my Dumbledore eczema hand), gluten free pasta noodles. I did buy a few pounds of butter, that increased my debt to WF.
What did we do then? We brought the kids home. We hung out a little while longer. I love that Liz is up here living with her dad again. I hope she lives here as long as we do. It is so wonderful to have her here. I think its good because she knew me before I was a mom and I'm still a person to her, who happens to have a husband and kids. She loves the kids. She's their Aunt Liz. It is really cool.
On Thursday, we had smoothies again, but we also used a grapefruit, which was a lovely addition to the smoothie. I also used Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is delicious and the fats in it are some of the best fats on the planet to eat. They help you fight viruses and bacteria and fungus and anything else. They are awesome for your heart and brain! I hope they cure my cold, right?!?
Today I decided I was feeling well enough to go out in public with other children. We went to the Mall. Clark played and Iris crawled all over the indoor playspace.
On the way home, GASP!, they both fell asleep at the same time. Then they both napped back at the house at the same time. God was kind to me. I had a very lovely break from parenting for a few hours. I worked on my business stuff.
Business Stuff: I went to my first birth a week ago. It was long and difficult, exhausting and inspiring. I'm so glad I was able to be a doula for this couple. I can't wait to do it again.
Upcoming this fall: I'm going to teach 2 private "refresher" courses this fall, and one "long course" for first time parents starting at the end of October. This fall, I'm also going to take Ballet one evening a week. One day per week, I'm going to take Mommy and Kid yoga class. My friends and I have a "co-op" preschool where we meet once a week, so that's another thing we're doing. Once a month I run a playgroup called "Happy Healthy Playgroup" designed to support my students in their motherhood. It has been really successful so far and I really love it. Once a month we also meet with our Mom's group at church. I'm also doing a 10K, Tom is doing a Triathlon.
Wait? Did you just say that Clark gets his hyper activity from me? no. couldn't be.
He gets a few other things from me too. He says, "sure" if you ask him an affirmative question. If you ask him what he wants he says, "ummmmm" or "How 'bout...." He is starting to say that things "suck" which reminds me I need to watch my language. He loves anything with wheels and balls and sports. Clark is going to be taking a soccer class this fall. He is really excited about it. If you ask him what he is going to do today he will respond... "Soccer in two weeks!" actually, sometimes he says "basketball" which he also loves. We'll have to get him into a class this winter. We are going to take the soccer class with Will Clark, the little boy who was born 4 days after Clark Greenwell. His mom is Katie N.
ummmm... I know I'm rambling, but I've had a frustrating week so its therapeutic to help me focus on things, good and bad, that have happened recently.
Clark is really speaking in sentences and expressing his ideas pretty clearly. He does throw whiney fits a few times a day, but I attribute that more to my lack of managing him well more than anything else.
Lately Clark has this new stall technique before going to bed. When I put him in bed, he starts screaming "food food". He'll do this even if he just ate dinner, so don't worry, I'm not starving the boy. If he hasn't just had dinner, then he will usually eat a whole bunch in order to postpone bedtime. It is actually genius, he eats and then he goes to bed. He even sleeps longer in the morning because he isn't starved at 6am. His diet is pretty decent. He eats a ton of fruits and vegetables and sometimes cheese, yogurt and eggs. Occasionally he will drink a glass of milk. He mostly drinks juice, which isn't that great, but the best we feel we can do right now. He has cereal and sometimes crackers, chips or popcorn for a snack. We make him "Clarky snacks" which are raisins (sometimes other dried fruit like mango, pineapple or apricot), Chex cereal (gluten-free!) and some nuts. He eats every kind of nut he can. One of his friends is allergic to pistachios and cashews, so we have to keep that in mind when hanging out with her, but otherwise they aren't a problem.
Now Iris. Iris doesn't eat much of anything. When Clark was her age, I was anxiously shoving food in his face, having him reject it, me crying, him frustrated that I persisted, me reading books on getting your kid to eat, me worried about his weight gain and what the doctor would say. I watched his weight plummet from 90%tile to 75th to 50th to 25th to 10%tile, always feeling like I was the one who was wrong. We got his weight up because we fed him massive doses of goldfish cracker, fruit snacks, and ice cream. It wasn't logically healthy food, it was "get the kid to eat" food. I understand why America has an obesity epidemic.
I'm not worrying about feeding Iris. She sometimes grabs food off of our plates and we let her eat it. She has bits of fruits, vegetables and meats. I'm not giving her grains. Clark likes to eat the skin off of peaches and pears, so I'll cut up the rest and freeze it for her for later. The fruit is fresh and local from our CSA.
Iris can crawl, and pull up. She can babble, and does incessantly. It is wonderful. She says both "mamammama" and "dadadadada" and some other noises, maybe "yayayayya" but not "Clark". I'm sure she will soon.
She continues to be a wonderful child. She is deliciously fat, as she really only gets my fat inducing milk to eat. We call her the "baby seal" because she loves swimming, baths, water of any sort and has a nice thick layer of blubber.
Its funny how baby fat is so delicious. Everyone wants to squeeze it, pinch it, or, like me, nibble it. Its so thick and soft. I wish people would grab my tummy fat and say, "oh this is so yummy". What is wrong with us as a society? It is really a weird thing when you think about it, but it must be some evolutionary love for a baby that is going to survive because they are so fat....
Now that she is crawling, though, I know its the end of her fattening up phase. I expect in a year she'll be thin and tall like Clark. She'll be walking, running and climbing. She'll be just starting to drive me crazy.
It is amazing how fast they grow.
Anyway, I hope this rain goes away. We are driving to New York tomorrow to visit Tom's Uncle Ray and Aunt Karla in Long Island. It is 9/11 weekend so I hope nothing bad happens up there, and at the very least, the traffic isn't horrible. Wish us luck! It is our first big road trip with Clark and our first with Iris too!
We took this wonderful walk tonight when Tom came home from work. We made our way down to Rock Creek Park, slow as molasses, following the stop and go whims of Mr. Precious. When we got into the park, I carried him. We got to Rock Creek, usually far below us, with a high bank. It was swollen, maybe 4-6 feet. It was running fast. You could hear the energy in the water. We threw some seeds, sticks and leaves into the water. It started to rain again. We weren't surprised. We started home, Clark, Tom and I with umbrellas and Iris in the stroller. Clark loved having his own umbrella. He kept saying, "daddy has umbrella, mommy has umbrella, Clark has umbrella". His umbrella was leopard print. He was wearing a size 4T Firetruck shirt on his 2T body, jean shorts peaking out underneath the shirt hem. White socks with blue and red stripes pulled high above his brown rain boots. The rain hitting the trees above us was like applause. The rain on my umbrella was a tippy tappy tap dancer. The air smelled like nothing, days of rain had already removed the smell of earth and sweat from the air. Tom pushed the stroller ahead of me with his green and white umbrella. He leaned forward to try to keep Iris dry, his back was soaked. I glanced back to see Clark walking slowly, listening, looking, absorbing the life around us.