It’s Been A While…

Hey there! And happy new year! It’s been a long long long time since I’ve posted.

But as I sit here in our home, with all the Christmas decorations finally down, having missed the Downton Abbey premiere because of two children that just didn’t want to go to bed, finally getting around to writing a post I am almost totally unable to think of one thing to write. Because I have a million things I want to write.

In no particular order here are a few things I have on my mind:

Christmas is finally over. The boxes have all been packed and a snug away in the garage until next year. Can’t say that I’ve ever been happy to have it over with either. We started celebrating the day before Christmas Eve and went for six days straight. By the end of it we were all exhausted, crabby, sleep deprived and ill. After six Christmas parties and a birthday party that week I have over 1000 pictures (that’s including our Thanksgiving road trip which I still haven’t posted). I need to edit them and put together a recap post, but it’s a daunting task. And honestly, I don’t even know if I want to see them all again so soon either. Maybe I will conquer that by the end of the week. Maybe I’ll just throw together a few collages. What do you think? Still interested in seeing pictures of Christmas, or ready to forget all about it?

Cedella is turning 3 a week from Monday. 3!!!! WHAT?! So not only do I have a bday party on Saturday to prepare for but I have a letter to write to her and a whole “This is Cedella at 3” blog post to write. There’s so much to say about her. So much that’s new. So much that’s old. And I want to capture it all, all of her, but I can barely get her to stand still, let alone look at the camera so it will have to be very wordy. There are so many crazy silly and unique things about her. Things that I want her to be able to be reminded of when she grows up. Things I want to remember that if I don’t write then down will slip into the ever increasing cracks in my Mom Brain. And then there will have to be a birthday party recap and more pictures to edit.

Isora is growing by leaps and bounds. She started pulling herself up around Thanksgiving, started scooting around the furniture shortly thereafter and now she’s standing alone and is just moments from walking. She says sweet little words like ‘duck’ and her favorite thing to say ‘dada’. She has changed so much in the past month alone that I feel utterly neglectful for not having recorded more about her each month. It really is going by so incredibly fast. But I vow to do a proper update on the 18th. I’m scheduling it now. If you get an empty email that morning you’ll know I’ve forgotten all about it…

Now that it’s really a new year and I’ve gotten motivated to start reorganizing and cleaning it has occurred to me that we have had no schedule or preschool since Thanksgiving. The girls are staying up way past ten at this point and waking up by 8am. In short, they aren’t getting enough sleep. Time to get back into a normal schedule. Dinner before 7. Bath and bed by 8. School on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Housekeeping on Tuesday and Thursday.

Of course, throw in a week like this one, that included a day spent entirely in a hospital waiting room, and two drives to Detroit and back, and how could anyone keep a schedule?

Well at least, we kept one of our scheduled events this week. Because we’ve found a class that Cedella actually loves. Gymnastics!! She’s a natural :)

And yes by all means, it’s the beginning of the year and therefore it’s Resolution Season. But I learned from last year’s resolutions that it is lovely to have goals, but having two small children pretty much means that goals should be simple. Like “I resolve to shower more often”. Or “I resolve to not yell at my kids until after I’ve had coffee”. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t set goals that may not be accomplished this year, or ever for that matter.

So for that reason I’m joining up with Alicia at Clever Compass for a new kind of resolution. A Life List. All week long myself and other bloggers are sharing a list of things we want to do during our lifetimes. Travel. Learn. Try. Do. All of it.

And while I can’t wait to read all the other lists out there I really can’t wait to share mine, if only because it is so incredibly liberating and exciting to think about and write about all the things I want to do with my life. So stayed tuned…

And just because I couldn’t let you go without a pic or two. Here’s my future Olympian and her BFF Anna in full training mode…

And just getting a hang of things…

 

 

 

 

Wordful Wednesday: Teaching Democracy

I don’t often talk politics on my blog because that’s what my Facebook page is for, right? I only half joke. This is the space I dedicate to raising my children and nurturing my marriage. But today is different. Because today my family went protesting.

This is because today in my home state of Michigan some divisive legislation was passed which is being called ‘Right to Work’. The home of the UAW and bedrock of the organized union movement has just passed a law giving workers the right to opt out of paying union dues, though they still benefit from the bargaining that the union does on their behalf.

Now we are not union members but many family, friends and acquaintances of ours happen to be proud union members. But as much as we disagree with this legislation it is the democratic process that had us bundling up our children and walking to the Capitol on this gray and snowy afternoon.

We’ve all seen the old Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill” right? (Has it been a minute, watch it HERE.)

Well that is what we have been taught about making laws.

That they include a lot of discussion and debate. That there are votes by our elected officials after they consult with their constituents and decide what is best for their district. That once out of committee and voted upon there is often compromise and give and take and then the final result is a law that a majority of the lawmakers agree upon.

Sure, that’s an idealistic way of approaching the polarized and ugly nature of politics today. But that is where I want to begin teaching Ella and Izzie about laws, politics and our lawmakers.

Throughout the election season we talked about who President Obama is, who Mitt Romney is and what they were arguing about (she didn’t think they were talking very nicely to each other during one of the debates). She went with us to vote, and was quite excited about it. And now, when asked who the President is she says Mrs. Obama. Apparently my daughter is quite the feminist (and loves Michelle’s fancy dresses).

So when there is something regarding politics, usually something Michael and I are discussing, that makes Cedella say “What are you talking about guys?” if it can be easily broken down and explained I will try to explain it to her.

And now there’s the Right-to-Work battle happening and it struck me.

This is a teachable moment.

Maybe even more so than going to the polls.

Because voting is quite natural and easy and fast.

Standing up for justice and truth is not always easy and is certainly not fast.

Because justice and rule of law was clearly subverted in our state this past week.

A law was introduced on the house floor, without debate, without committee hearings and without public input or forum. And it was passed without allowing the opposing lawmakers to debate or to negotiate the finer points of the law.

Hell, they didn’t even have a copy of the law until just before they were asked to vote.

The protestors who were at Capitol last Thursday, teachers and nurses and plumbers and auto workers, were kept out of the chambers by lobbyists who filled the public seats. And some were even pepper sprayed.

This is not democracy and this is not the way that laws are made in a transparent and open society.

In fact I would call it secrecy and lies. Or worse. Bullying.

And that is where the teachable moment lies. In the First Amendment.

“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Because the bottom line is that if we don’t like what our government is doing we have, written into the first amendment of the Bill of Rights the provision to peacefully protest and air our grievances.

So what better way to teach that than to attend one of the largest rallies in Michigan’s history?

I was awoken this morning by the sounds of helicopters circling overhead and muffled shouts and chanting. Turns out, as the state Congress convened to vote these on the bills, over 10,000 amassed on the Capitol lawns.

So Michael and I decided it was absolutely necessary for us to go and bring the girls. We want them to see that we don’t just complain or argue about things we don’t like, we work to change them.

And we want them to know that they can stand up for what they believe in. Even if it’s not the majority way of thinking. And that they can stand up with others that need a voice, to protect and defend justice.

We want our little radicals to be informed and active citizens, not ones that sit idly by while our rights and values are trampled on.

They are becoming quite the little protestors. This is Cedella’s 3rd protest. Isora’s 1st…at 8 months old. And neither cried or complained the entire time we were there.

We witnessed history today. Who else can say they saw this many troopers and police on the lawn of their state Capitol?

And thankfully we weren’t in this crowd when the pepper spray started flowing again today. Or when some protestors tore down a tent erected by the pro-right-to-work camp.

We even met Lansing’s mayor (and defeated gubernatorial candidate) Virg Bernero. Who was all smiles and handshakes when he saw the lady with the babies.

Perhaps in spite of all my pointed (though brief) discussions about what was happening with Ella she was still able to find something magical and exciting about the protest. Mounted police. Nothing like horses to get a little princess all swoony.

Later in the evening, during the news, Cedella kept saying “Look, that’s the parade we went to”. And I know that in some small way she gets it.

Today we were a part of something. And though the outcome may not be the one we’d like we were heard. And we will keep fighting to stand up for our rights. Because over time she may not remember today, but she won’t forget that protesting is just a normal part of being a citizen.

So that’s my political rant for the day. Thanks for reading 😉

 

 


Week in My Life: Tuesday

Welcome back to the Week in My Life meme!!

Here I am, thinking about what I did today and feeling exhausted only to realize that not only did I not leave the house for most of the day, but I didn’t even have to cook dinner. Feels like today was busy. Maybe I tried to do too much today…

This morning started out very similar to yesterday morning with me and my Izzie Biz sleeping in.

I can’t be alone on the not-getting-out-of-bed-until-the-baby-wakes-up camp, am I? Sure I’d be able to shower every morning, quiet and alone. If I was so inclined I may even be able to squeeze in a workout or some yoga. Or I could clean the kitchen.

But I don’t, cause I’d rather be lazy and wait for this face when she finally wakes up.

Yep, this kid is perpetually smiling.

By the time I was up, Sesame Street was on and Michael was rushing out of the door for work. Cedella says “Somebody didn’t get a hug and kiss” if he leaves without the proper amount of affection shown. And now we all say it.

After he left for work I settled in with breakfast to watch The Street with my girls. Breakfast? Toast with homemade Pumpkin Butter and creamy coffee. It was delicious.

Ella has been obsessed with the remote for my camera since I busted it out Sunday. She took about 20 photos of us watching TV together. Not the most flattering picture, but hey, keeping it real this week, right? (*This one is for Kelli @ Momma Needs a Beer who posted a lovely post-shower/pre-make-up shot)

As soon as Daniel Tiger was over Izzie was fast asleep and it was time for Ella to go to ‘school’.

Our school is held in our playroom and pajamas are perfectly acceptable school wear. Today’s lesson coincided with the theme on Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger…Friends. First we made a list of all of Cedella’s friends.

It was adorable because at first she said her only friends were Anna and Tulu. Anna is legitimately her BFF. She loves her some Anna.

But Tulu? Yea, he’s imaginary. Sometimes he’s a squirrel, an ant or a pink rabbit. Ella insists that she Tulu is her only other friend. I guess. Don’t want to discourage her imagination but Tulu is a real troublemaker.

I think after Anna her first response of a real person was our cousin Talia. Talia is in her 20’s and very much NOT a little kid. But their love of each other is so incredible and sweet. It may have something to do with the fact that Talia is also Cedella’s personal manicurist. Seriously. She won’t let me touch her nails to polish them.

She also said her Teta and her TeTe and her Grandma were her friends. Her Mommy? Nope. Not a friend just a Mom.

Next we picked three books to read about friendship. And she actually sat through all of Corduroy for the first time ever. It was my favorite as a kid so it warms my heart to share it with her.

She loves to read. And I am just so absolutely proud of that fact.

Then I set up everything we needed to make some simple beaded bracelets for Cedella’s closest buddies. Except that all the was interested in doing was cutting the yarn into teeny tiny pieces.

So I made a couple of bracelets in hopes that she would take interest in the project. And…she didn’t. So I made a few bracelets and she cut some yarn into pieces.

When Izzie got up from her nap she was soaked (gotta remember to put a thicker diaper on at nap time!) so I stripped her down and put her on the playroom floor while I grabbed another diaper and some clean clothes. OOPS! I came back to this…

That had been a full cup of coffee. Stupidly left in the middle of the floor because in my haste to get her clothes off I completely forgot all about my coffee. :(

Then I got the diapers in the wash. And found some money. Must have been a tip for the Laundry Fairy.

Next up? Lunch. Pretty typical except for one thing. Ella decided that she wanted ketchup on her peanut butter & jelly sandwich. GROSS. She even dipped her apples in the ketchup. And she ate every single bite of her lunch. She’s so weird sometimes.

After lunch Izzie gave me some crazy cute baby smiles and kisses. And then passed out. She’s amazing that way.

And miracle upon miracle my big girl went down without a fight and both girls slept for 2+ hours.

While they napped I had more than a few things to accomplish. Namely this hot mess of a kitchen. Here’s the kitchen after lunch and cleaning out the fridge:


I guess this is the drawback for cooking most meals at home. Thankfully after about 40 minutes I was done with nearly everything. Having a clean kitchen to cook in is priceless!

After the kitchen and receiving some much needed good news from a friend on the phone, it was time to work on our Halloween costumes.

Izzie’s is just about done, it just needs some fiberfill and velcro.

Mine? Is getting there. I was able to pin together all four ‘strips’ and it will probably take me longer to thread my machine than finish this costume!

Can’t wait to show you all the finished product on Friday 😉

After the girls woke up we got ready to go to Jiddo and Teta’s house for dinner. I say “got ready” loosely because it was like herding cats. Cedella wanted to do her own thing and didn’t want to get ready. So made her watch her sister while I got ready.

Getting us ready should be an Olympic sport. I have not one but three outfits (sometimes four if my dear husband is feeling uninspired) to pick out. Diapers to pack, pajamas to find, shoes to put on, hair to brush and diaper bags to be packed. All in what always turns out to be an incredibly narrow span of time.

That leaves little to no time for actually get ready myself. I really need to wash my hair sometime soon.

But we made it, without incident, and arrived at my in-laws house for dinner and visiting. And right off the bat Izzie Bizzie Boo Boo got Teta to climb down to her level and play peek-a-boo.

I am so incredibly sad to say that I forgot to take pictures of dinner. It was delicious. Grilled Salmon and Perch. Arugula salad with tomato and onion. Grilled asparagus. Fresh hummus and pita bread. It was to die for.

But there’s a great reason I didn’t get a picture. My charming 2 year old was acting like a sullen teenager and refused to sit at the table to eat her dinner because she didn’t want dinner, she wanted fruit snacks. Then a power struggle ensued. Finally Jiddo gave her a plum to eat (mind you this is AFTER we’re all done eating) and suddenly she was eating a little bit of fish and some hummus sandwiches. And after pears and grapes, she finally got her fruit snacks.

After dinner we all watched Dancing with the Stars, talked and played. The girls got some extra Jiddo & Teta snuggle time.

Then we came home. And rushed the girls to bed (since it was around 9:30) and here I am. Watching Parenthood, then the news, then Jimmy Kimmel and….oh boy. I have to go to bed!

But first: Some funny snippets of Cedella Talk from today:

Cedella: I’m a grown-up now Mommy.

Me: Oh yea? What makes you a grown-up?

Cedella: I can cut things now. (Showing off her scissors)

 

Cedella: You can listen to the news first but then I get to listen to the Muppets for the rest of the day. Is that a good idea?

 

Cedella: Let’s talk about the prince and Cinderella Mommy

Me: Ok. tell me about them.

Cedella: Well the Prince fell down in the smoke and Cinderella rescued him and lost her shoe and then they got married.

Me: Wow. That’s quite a story. Cinderella rescued the Prince?

Cedella: Yea cause he tripped over his feet. And now they are happy after all.

Me: Like me and Daddy?

Cedella: No. You’re not married.

Me: Yes we are. Remember the picture I showed you?

Cedella: That wasn’t you, it was the Prince and Cinderella.

Me: Ummm, ok. But they’re happy?

Cedella: Yep, they’re happy after all.

 

I couldn’t make up how random and silly these conversations can get. More tomorrow… I promise.

 

Thanks for visiting today whether it’s from Wordless/Wordful Wednesday or Week in My Life!

Leave me a comment if you’ve stopped by today so I can return the favor!!