Saturday, August 29, 2009

A week

It has now been over a week since I stopped nursing Thea, and really, it has been surprisingly easy - not something anyone who has read this blog more than once knows I often say about my little bundle of attitude.

Other than a couple rough bedtimes, she has mostly accepted this new development with ease - further evidence that she was emotionally ready. She has been very Mom-centric this week. I'm the only one she wants as an attendant and Matt's attempt to brush her teeth the other night resulted in a purple-faced choking session (her face, not his) that reminded me of the plane ride spazz-out. We've also done a lot of cuddling. But one great development is her interest in bedtime stories has increased exponentially. We've gone from one book once in a while to 3-4 books every night. That's an excellent trade, I'd say.

I've been trying to ease into some sort of a work-out regime as a result because 1. I need to get outside more 2. I don't want to put on 15-20 pounds like I did after weaning Liam and 3. I can't afford to buy new clothes if I did put on weight, so it's a win-win, as exercise always is. It's been a little slow-going. My cardio capacity has dwindled to non-existent and my leg muscles, though improved from extensive walking in Victoria, leave much to be desired. But I'll push through. I'm also excited about getting involved in the fire department again - hoping now I can reclaim some of my interests that have been shelved for 3 years now since I got preggo. And hockey! Bring on the hockey!

Liam made it through his first week of school relatively unscathed, but not without incident. There were tears the first few days, though he never let on (I got secret notes in his pockets from his teacher.) And then, on Tuesday he rode the bus home the first time. That worked out great, but on Wednesday, the bus driver let him off the bus before I got there. So I pulled up in the parking lot of the Methodist Church to find Liam peeing on the lawn, tears streaming down his face because I hadn't been there when he got off the bus. Poor little guy. He rebounded and all went better the next two days, but wow. That's a memory I won't soon forget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day

Today was Liam's first day at school. Perhaps the most telling part of the day came when Matt woke Liam up at 6:20 in the morning. "Time to get up," said Matt. "Are you sure," asked Liam.

Getting to school on time is the greatest challenge of these new days of school. McNeil Canyon is a 40 minute drive away, and starts at 7:50 a.m. I wanted to be there a few minutes early for the first day, so we set out at 6:50 a.m. It turned out not to take us quite as long as I thought. We were the second or third ones there.

Liam was fine with the whole thing - to the untrained eye. He marched right in the door, gave the principal a high five, and his new teacher, Mrs. Dee, a big hug. He went into the gym with Mo and played a game, never even glancing back. But I saw the fidgitty stuff of a nervous guy.

Even so, Matt and Thea and I headed out, and I was back in town long before anyone shows up at the library to let me in. Good stuff. I did a couple of freelance projects at two sisters, then headed to work.

At the end of the day, I went to pick Liam up. Mo said he'd had a bit of a rollercoaster of a day - a few tears, but nothing too dramatic. I wasn't surprised, every new encounter seems to be that way for Liam. I'll bet by the end of the week he's in love with the whole scene.

So of course I asked him on the ride home how his day was. After we got through the nuts and bolts, he told me the following story.

"But one part of the day was NOT good. There was another boy named Liam, and he thought his name was my name, so he just pushed me out of the way and grabbed my name tag and flipped it around. The boy did not like me. He thought I was stupid. I could tell because of the way he closed his eyes and walked right past me and pushed me."

"Wow, did you tell anyone?"

"I did and Mrs. Dee said she saw the whole thing but she was just waiting to see what would happen," he said. "She and I went right down to the principal's office and called his mother and his mother came and got him and then he went to dinner and didn't have any supper."

"Hmm, Liam, is this a real story or something you imagined?"

"It was real ....." pause ...." well, maybe not. Maybe it was something I dreamed last night before I went to school."


And yet, I'm pretty sure there was something in there somewhere that was true, but possibly not at McNeil Canyon. There was another Liam at Kachemak Kids, one that our Liam said was never friendly to him. So maybe there was anxiety brewing about similar situations at this school. Who knows. But he sure had me going for a while there. Yikes!

Long and short of it, Liam knows 9 of the 18 kids in his class, and it sounds like they had a pretty good time, although I can only imagine how tricky it would be as a preschool teacher to have a whole group of kids who know each other and try to actually get a word in edgewise.

One day down, a zillion more to go. And tomorrow, Liam says, he wants to ride on the bus. Yikes!

Thea hasn't nursed in 3 days. I think we are in the home stretch. Bring on the Coffee Crisps.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


OK, perhaps I will regret this post later in the week, but tonight is official 48 hours since Thea has nursed, and tonight, I navigated the most difficult of all feats - I put her to bed without nursing her and without her flipping out. Very exciting.

And a little bittersweet.

When I nursed her two nights ago, I suspected it might be the last time. We were down to one nurse a day, and that was really just because of routine. So when I nursed her, I took my time, savored the moment. I'm glad I did. It's not like I can't offer her the same tenderness in other ways, but somehow, it is a major milestone for both of us. I do not plan to have any more children, so that is the end of a phase of my life.

Meanwhile - another phase is starting. Tomorrow, Liam heads to his first day of kindergarten. Matt got home just in time to witness the event after a month in Fairbanks. And it sounds like he will be leaving again just as soon, probably to Canada.
Liam is pretty ready, it would seem. His backpack is overflowing with gear. He has tissue and hand cleaner and a binder and a tape and all the good stuff a person could need on a first day.

I'm not sure who is more excited - him or me?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Victoria views

Ah, traveling with kids. There is nothing like it to make me want to clean manically. Which is what I just spent the past hour doing. And I almost feel better.

Thea and Liam and I are in Victoria, enjoying some nice days with the grandparents. Both children are reveling in warm weather (with matching skinned knees, no less), the parks, and two weeks of solid swimming.

I signed Liam up in swimming lessons days after we got here, and we've had one week of them and what a difference. Liam puts his whole face in the water now, and is floating around like nobody's business. While he takes his lessons, Thea and I splash around in the nearby pool. She's so hard to keep upright, it's like trying to hold a blob of jello afloat.

Otherwise, the kids have been having fun tormenting their grandparents. Liam and Charley have escaped the chaos on several occasions on the local bike trails, while Thea and I have gone on several jaunts into town. It's a little more challenging this year to get out because both kids don't fit very well in the stroller. But I make it work in a pinch.

Tomorrow, Anika and her crew get here, which will be a welcome respite from trying to entertain the kiddos - four kids should form somewhat of a pack, I would imagine. If I don't finish this post, it will never go up. It's late and the pauses between words are getting longer and longer.... zzzz.