Friday, October 28, 2011

My Schwoopie

Ah, my wee little Nell... (yes, 'schwoopie' was referring to Nell, my 10-month old...) I found out yesterday-- after visiting a new mama with a 5-day old, 6 lb baby-- that Nell isn't exactly so 'wee' anymore. I can't fool myself any longer. She's out of the womb-like behavior, doing some speed crawling, even starting to wrestle with her need for some independence from Mama-- a seriously hard thing for me to swallow.
I'm kind of joking, but we're definitely at a transition point with our kiddos. Up until now, my physical attention has been all on Nell, while my daily life, outings, schedule have revolved around Big Brother. When we went out, she was popped into the wrap or Ergo, and there she stayed: through the walks, the parks, the cafes, the playdates. She wanted me, and wanted me close, and everything else revolved around Dennis' wants. Suddenly she's bursting with life, energy, laughter, and opinions. It's so refreshing and wonderful, yet challenging to suddenly realize that we need to revolve our outings around Nell also, on where she can play and crawl, taking into account that she doesn't want to stay squished close to Mama for hours on end, nor is she entertained by the music in the car for long stretches like somebody else we know.
And then preschool entered our lives. Ah, yes, the warmly-welcomed preschool. I was ambivalent about sending D anywhere, until I found The Preschool. The most wonderful, beautiful little preschool, that is a perfect fit for our lives and our parenting philosophy. It's totally play-based, emergent curriculum (emergent meaning that which emerges naturally from a child... activities that the child would naturally be interested in and learn on their own). Very 'hands-off' on the teachers part, staying small in the room and yard, except during guitar-time or when a child seems to need some snuggling. The teachers are super intentional about the way they speak to the children and letting the children problem-solve on their own as much as possible, giving them words to use when they can't find their own. All of it is just so intentional, which is exactly what I (didn't know I) was looking for.
I'm just so pleased with where we're at, how each stage floats fairly gently into the next. As Nell transitions into a new life stage, so does Dennis. Granted, it doesn't feel like that every day, as we have many incidents of sibling tackling (I'm sure you can guess who does the tackling) and crying fits. Sometimes I can't go to the bathroom without N chasing me, crying for MaaaMaaa, or wanting to stick her hand in the toilet. D has some serious pizazz that isn't always easy to channel in the right direction...But my kids, oh my kids. They give me so much life, and teach me so much about the world. I tell myself I'm teaching them, but I know deep down it's the opposite, and I'm cool with that.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Back Again

I thought the blog had been all but abandoned, and yet I find myself unusually inspired on this sleepy Saturday. Unusually inspired to reflect and share my life... even if just with myself. I just finished catching up on a great friends blog--a great friend that lived a few doors from us in Montreal-- and I'm feeling all gushy and emotional as I ponder our move from Montreal to Huntington Beach, unsure whether the gratitude or mourning is winning in their little game of tug-of-war.
Ah, parenting. I don't have to say much more, I suppose. We made a huge transition, going from a very flexible schedule (essentially both of us working part-time) to me being a full-time momma and Denny jumping back into a full load of teaching. Some days I marvel at the ease of it all; others... I don't quite match up to my standards. It is a transition.
Back to that good friend's blog... sigh. We lived down the street from a wonderful couple and their daughter and they were the greatest models of parenting for us. It was all that we were (and are!) striving for, lived out. But really, I miss them. I miss having peers that I connect with on so many levels and whose parenting truly reflects all they believe and practice spiritually. It's beautiful, and it was nice to reconnect with that through their blog. I have to remind myself that it exists here, I just haven't found it yet. And further, I'm not going to find them here, just as I can't recreate Montreal here. Darn. I'm not too good at coming to grips with those facts nor do I want to just yet...
How about a little joyful update to follow the mourning?
Nell: my sweet, sweet Nellie. She is such a light. She's crawling like crazy, wanting to stand anywhere and everywhere, and loves to scrunch up her nose and laugh. So cute. I still love snuggling her at night, even if it means those extra wake-ups.
Dennis is his same, spunky self. He's got some serious pizazz, as I like to call it. He's still rockin' out on his guitar, keyboard, and harmonica (prefers the guitar), and is as chatty as can be from the second he's up to the second he's down. Social through and through, though he loooves him a video at 'Ganya's'.
That's enough. More will follow...someday.