Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"But I don't like to use my imagination!"

This is what Dillon declared when I declined to buy her a very noisy wooly mammoth toy at BJ's one day. I explained that I don't like noisy toys because 1)they make the same sound over and over which I find incredibly irritating and 2) I think toys should be for helping you use your imagination.

Fast forward to that evening. She found a hummingbird feeder that I've never managed to find a home for until we actually have hummingbirds again in the spring. She spent a solid hour pretending to be a hummingbird- first she was an egg hatching, then she'd fly to the door and want to come in, then used her wings to hold the feeder still so she could eat out of it- on and on. Last night, she found a pair of Dave's socks and spent about the next half hour pretending she was a dog with broken legs and they were her casts. She figured out all kinds of ways to do things with 2 broken legs.

It really is unfortunate she doesn't like to use her imagination. I wonder what she'd come up with if she did?!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Feeding the birds

Our neighbor gave us some sunflower seeds. Not wanting to deal with scattering the seeds for the birds, this was Dillon's solution:

This is the back step, immediately outside the back door. For some reason, the birds just aren't jumping up to eat it from this spot. Couldn't be because of the dog going past that spot several times per day. I suppose it's the thought that counts.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here we are Thanksgiving evening. We had a great day, cooking and hanging out. I took Dillon & Peaches for a walk in the woods. We found several dens of hibernating animals that I sucessfully kept both Dillon and Peaches out of. Dillon was sure that every one of them was for a bear, even though they were all far too small for a bear to get into. Our neighbors across the street saw one in our driveway a couple of years ago & Dillon has never forgotten it. Otherwise, she made creative use of any and every downed branch by turning them all into horses. We had to pet the horses, she rode them, we fed them, and groomed them. Peaches, for her part, ran and ran and ran. Only once did she stay gone long enough to make me worry a little. But return, she did and slept well when we came back in.

So, we explained Thanksgiving as a special day that we think and talk about the things that we are glad we have in our lives. We checked out a book on Thanksgiving from the library, which she's enjoyed. Dave & I said we were thankful for our families, our friends, for the new baby coming, for Peaches and for getting to spend the day together. Dillon said she was thankful for Dimetredon ( one of her toy dinosaurs). What about mom and dad, we said? Yes, she's thankful for us. What about Peaches? Yes, her too. What about grandparents? Yes them, too. But mostly Dimetredon.

I guess it's good to know where you rank.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What happens when you don't like your hair brushed

It gets cut shorter. She inherited my touch-me-not-ness when it comes to hair. She does not like it touched, put behind her ears, put up in any kind of holder, brushed or washed. Ever. Without exception. And has no problem telling anyone that makes the mistake of touching her hair that she doesn't like it "messed with." The only way to brush the rats nest of tangles that mulitply before your eyes is to sit her in front of a movie. Therefore, as the person that has to fight this battle, I decided long ago that once she is old enough to take care of her own hair, she can have any length of hair she wants. Until then, it's going to be shorter.

The haircut was surprisingly easy. She was watching a movie, I had scissors ready and simply said "Here's what we're going to do." She went for it and even wanted her bangs cut. She liked it right away and has reveled in the many compliments she has gotten on it. Dave didn't like it at first, but has grown to since then. I think it looks really cute, even if it is a little uneven in the back.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dental floss

Yesterday morning while I was in the shower, with Dillon and Peaches waiting oh-so-patiently for me to finish
D: "Momma! Mumble, mumble"
W: Honey, you know I can't really understand you when I'm in the shower."
D: "But, Mumble, mumble"
Something about her voice made me think I should look out to see what was going on.

What did I see? Dillon with a length of dental floss, looking at Peaches, and Peaches gazing contentedly back at her.

What was her question? "How do you floss a dog's teeth?"

Poor Peaches- the indiginities you have to suffer at the hands of a very curious 3 1/2 year old.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Getting ready for baby sister Jab

No, her name is not really going to be Jab. And to answer the obvious next question, no we don't have a name yet. We're talking about a few, but haven't settled on one yet. I'm 31 weeks along, so we still have time. Besides, I don't think any baby has been traumatized by not having a name at birth, should that be the case.

Today was my midwife appointment & I finally got to meet the third midwife. I really liked her, as I did the other two. I could have any one of the the three of them at the birth, just depending on who is on call at that time.

After the appointment Dillon & I walked over to the hospital and took a tour of the birthing center. They weren't busy at all and the nurse was wonderful in explaining to Dillon what everything was. Something came up that the nurse had to attend to, but we were able to stay in one of the rooms, which gave Dillon the opportunity to ask questions (of course...). Her questions were all good and she said that she liked seeing where baby sister Jab would be born.

On an altogether different and much less happy note, we got a call today that a friend's husband had died. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer around a year ago, then in spring it was found to have spread to his lung. It was the father of one of Dave's med school classmates, but his mother and I have gotten to be good friends. This loss, as well as the recent far-too-early loss of an uncle, really brings home the concept of the circle of life- a loss in their lives, an upcoming gain in ours, but right now I feel really sad for them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hair= food?

Yesterday we went to our homeschool club meeting. It was a science fair day, so I wasn't sure how much there would be of interest to Dillon, but we went anyway. There was a presentation on rockets that she was really drawn to in spite of there being loud aspects to it. She's now saying she wants a rocket like one of the ones we saw there but couldn't launch because we were indoors. It was otherwise too crowded and noisy there for her taste, so we left to take recycling in to the recycling center.

From there we stopped at a horse farm close by and asked if we could visit the horses. They were really nice and spent a few minutes telling us about the horses and such- as well as which fences not to touch since they were electrified. We found a gate that was not electrified and a friendly horse that came right up to us. We stayed for a little while feeding grass and petting the horse until it decided that Dillon's hair looked like a good snack and gave it a little nibble. No permanent damage done, it just scared her a little. To her credit, she went back to petting the horse afterward. On the way out there was a friendly barn cat wandering around that we stayed a few more minutes to pet. She spent the whole way home telling me all about how the cat kept the mice out of the barn and probably had mice in it's tummy. She later woke up from her nap asking why the horse nibbled her hair, though it was a little funnier to her then.

What else is going on?
The ongoing conversation about what it means to be a good pet owner.
Dave is now sick on the day we were going to have a friend and her month old baby over, so we've had lots of conversations about why it isn't a good idea for a baby that young to be around someone sick.
We played with the flashlight (thanks Mimi!) in a dark room for a little while this morning and talked about why shadows looked different depending on close you were to the light.

Now it's time to try to convince her that breakfast really is a good thing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Education where you find it....

It's no big secret that we plan on homeschooling. I've done hours of reading on the subject- reasons, methods, opinions, resources- you name it. We have several friends that are homeschooling, so I've spent a great deal of time both in the company of homeschooling parents and homeschooled kids. Dave & I are both convinced that it is the right choice for us. The reactions of others is often interesting, running the gamut from incredulous to completely supportive.

As Dillon has reached and is in the midst of typical preschool age, I thought I'd start documenting some of the educational stuff we do. We feel like life alone provides an immense amount of education and don't really- at this point anyway- subscribe to any kind of formal plan. So, we don't work on ABC's or numbers or anything that typical preschools do. This isn't to say that we don't talk about those things, we just don't do it in any kind of organized- "let's learn about ABC's" kind of thing. We feel like we have a house and environment full of interesting books, toys, things, conversation, friends, and opportunities and that it provides an incredible amount of education.

One day last week, Dillon asked me why space shuttles had wings. The general rule around our house is that questions about flying objects are best answered by Daddy. So, yesterday morning, Dillon again pulled out the coffee table book we have on Space, crawled in Dave's lap and asked again. They spent about the next half hour talking about rockets, satelites and shuttles. Today we were reading about sea creatures and read a page on plankton and how lots of sea animals small and big ate plankton. She started telling me that it was what balleen whales ate, but not toothed whales like killer whales and sperm whales- they eat meat. It went on to Narwhal whales which aren't really toothed or baleen and what they eat (it's meat, by the way- we looked it up).

Highlights from the rest of the day-
-We picked up a pomegranite at the grocery store since we'd been looking at one on a CD case a few days ago and had talked about what they were. I noticed it & pointed it out, she asked to get it so we could see & taste the seeds.
-We also came home with Clementine oranges. Dillon wanted to make juice out of them, so we got out the little hand juicer thingy & she had a ball- and made some pretty decent orange juice.
-Dave came home early & she wanted him to build her a glider from a box of those balsa wood airplanes that have been around for years. They spent a few minutes talking about how aglider worked.

Am I bragging? Sure, a little. Mostly I just want to have something in writing for future's sake. She amazes me in her ability to absorb things that are interesting to her and I think it'll be fun to look back one day to see what her interests were at this age.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A revelation

There's a commercial on up here about Prince Edward Island. In it, a man is at the airport looking forlornly at the empty baggage carrier for his luggage, which is nowhere to be found. Various people come up and offer him items of clothing, which he accepts. The whole idea of the commercial was that if everyone had been to PEI, we's all be that nice. Sure. What's funny about the commercial is that Dillon said- "That man had the same thing happen to him that happened to you!" Me: "You mean the lost luggage?" D: "Yeah!!" Me: "Did I look that sad about it?" D: "Yeah, you did."

I think US Airways may have lost Dillon as a future customer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Life, Love and Friends

Here's a picture from last week of Dillon doing one of her favorite activites as of late- loving on baby sister. The baby gets more hugs than I do. She constantly wants to talk to the baby and feel her move and love on her. She still offers names, though they are all of the functional item variety- Tweezer, Soap, Castle- things like that. I'm 29 weeks along in this picture.

We went yesterday to a friend's house, where several other friends were there as well. I was sharing some of my worries about having a second child- how Dillon would really handle it after the new wore off, how I would handle all her questions during those early sleep deprived weeks, etc. I was also sharing some of my concerns about the logisitics of the labor and delivery part. Based on her reactions to my recent trips to the ER, my feeling is that she will want to come with us when it's time for us to head to the hospital to have the baby. I've talked with the midwives about it and they are comfortable with a sibling there, but request that someone be with her. I'm also fine with it, but most of our friends have young children as well, so it makes it a little harder to accomodate an unpredictable event like labor and delivery. As I was talking about this with my friends yesterday, everyone was sharing their experiences with having children at deliveries & offering suggestions and help. While I've always felt that it would all work out and all be OK, I have a more definite plan in mind now and feel like that piece of getting ready for the baby is settled. I have a place close by that she can go to- complete with someone who can pick her up, a house full of interesting toys AND lots of kids around, as well as 2 different friends without small children who can be available evening and night to be with Dillon in the hospital. I'm thankful to have a group of friends with whom I could share my thoughts and in return get such great support from. It is undoubtedly what I will have the most difficulty leaving behind when we move from here.

As for the life part of this- I just have to say-germs, germ, germs. We are a germ factory around here. Dillon is anyway. Tuesday it was a pretty short lived GI bug with her spending several hours vomiting. Last night she started running fever. I gave her meds for it, then she was back to running fever at 3:00 this morning. Gave her more meds, then spent the next 2 hours with her trying to settle back to sleep- "Momma rub my back, rub my foot, rub my arm, hold my hand, I need a drink, I'm out of water, I can't get comfortable..." She finally went back to sleep a little after 5:00 and is still asleep now. How on earth will I ever do this with 2 of them?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


A couple of recent pictures. The first was of our pumpkin that we carved for Halloween. The second is Halloween night. The dragon costume is from her birthday and I recently made her a horse costume mostly just because she likes pretending she's a horse so much of the time. At 6:00 pm Halloween night, after vacilating between not dressing up, being a horse and being a dragon, the dragon won. So, here we are at the city's Halloween event. There wasn't much to it, so we walked down the street to a friend's house. They were getting ready to go trick or treating, so we joined them. Here's Dillon & Abby:

Abby would march right up to someone's door and loudly say "Trick or Treat," where Dillon wanted no part of it, even though there was candy involved. So, we only joined them for 2 houses and were done. Last night, she must've been thinking about it because she said "What's that you're supposed to say to get candy from people?" We talked about it again, but explained that Halloween only happens once per year. We had to sympathize with how difficult it must be to figure out the complexities of social norms. She did enjoy the 2 pieces of candy that she got nonetheless.