Saturday, October 31, 2009

Emmett'sTrick or Treating Experience

We got such a kick out of Emmett tonight while we walked the neighborhood, that I thought I'd share. In the creation phase, he got a little tired of the Elmo outfit he fell in love with and selected for himself. He said it was 'scratchy' and 'I not wear it!' Thankfully, there were a few furry suit-free days, and when he saw his big brother and sister getting decked out he was ready to try it again. He was full of excitement when we started and was running with Clara to each door and letting the "Trick or Treat!" greeting ring out clearly. Before too long, we heard him add something. At first I thought he said, 'Me, too!' Listening more carefully as he spoke to the next friendly neighbor, I realized he was actually asking for, "Two!" So we had a suppressed chuckle over that, and then realized he was consistent about his... request and so we had a little chat about how he should just smile and say, "Thank you!" but shouldn't ask for two. His response was, "OK, need three!"

Thankfully he's cute enough to get away with greediness until we can get the message across :).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Story: Isabel

by Clara Seltzer, 7 years old

(if you click on it, the page will expand to legible dimensions)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Noticing an unwillingness to accept...

Lately I am getting back into yoga and meditation at the start of my day, thanks to inspiration from my sis. There truly is something nurturing and calming about paying attention to the breath (life itself) and simply being and noticing it.

In some respects, my life situation is taking its sweet time sorting itself out peacefully and productively in the wake of Mom's passing. In other ways, it marches on right on schedule. Some changes this journey brings are most unwelcome. It has been eye-opening to learn about myself how difficult it can be to accept life as it comes. Logically, what can be done besides accepting what is? Somehow within me there is a lot of strong refusal to accept certain aspects of reality. It is a curious thing to observe.

Here's what I read about that in Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living:
"If you are mindful as emotional storms occur, perhaps you will see in yourself an unwillingness to accept things as they already are, whether you like them or not. Perhaps that part of you that does see this has, in one way or another, already come to terms with what has happened or with your situation. Perhaps, at the same time, it recognizes that your feelings still need to play themselves out, that they are not ready to accept or to calm down, and that this is all right."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Minor Tragedy

Recently Eliana decided she wanted to do a living biology experiment. With her allowance one week she bought a small female betta fish and put it in the vase with her large male crown betta fish, Ringo (our spazzy fast swimmer). Her hope was that maybe baby fish would eventually be the result of this pairing. We cautioned her that Scarlet may not survive the experiment, but that we thought the aggression usually happened between two males with their fancy fins to intimidate one another, so sweet, teeny little Scarlet might be okay.

Well, Ringo was about 5 times the size of little Scarlet, and swam after her in such a way that made her feel pursued and frightened with it. To escape from the monster, she buried herself under the glass marbles at the base of their environment, and got trapped. Several times. We put her back in her original container until we could get her set up in her own little home, thinking she would be much happier without feeling like prey.

Before we could get her settled, to welcome Elli and her friends home from school the next day, Scarlet started to emit a cloudy white substance all around her head. And very soon after, died :(. The girls prayed about it, and felt very sad that she didn't survive. The next morning the kids held a funeral for Scarlet and though there was discussion about cryogenically freezing the dearly departed until spring when she could be placed in her final resting place, she was instead sent to a watery grave. Sadly, after a few days Ringo got the white fuzzy stuff too, which after researching I now believe was flexibacter infection. He died too.

The sad part is, Elli is the one who was so excited to bring fish to live with us, and she is the one who feeds them and spurs us to change their water. She even sometimes just sits with the vase watching the movements and speaking to the fish. Initially she said she didn't want a replacement, but now she is ready to get a new one.

Ah, the ebb and flow of life is a mysterious thing, and difficult to come to terms with.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Diaper Developments and Cabin Fever

I am pleased to report that Emmett has outgrown the self de-nappying phase. Attempting to potty train with him cured him of that pretty quickly. We bought him a brightly colored, brand new froggy training potty, and every time we asked him to sit on it he cried. Big, fat tears. Froggy is apparently scary! So in order to avoid being asked to use the frog, he no longer pulls his trousers and diaper off. Yay!

We're in the deep freeze in Minnesota these days, cabin fever is encroaching. Spring will be very sweet this year. Bittersweet too, since it will be the first Mother's Day without Mom. I can picture the flowers at the Minnesota arboretum, and how good it will be to see the colors, smell the fragrance and feel the sun and the warm breeze on my face. Click the photo below if you should want to invite cabin fever too by looking at photos I took last Mother's Day at the arboretum.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First post in the new year...

It doesn't matter that we are halfway through January, it still counts. Regular blogging seems to be yet another of those things that requires habitual behavior, or the D word (discipline). Those patterns somehow are elusive to me. But I really love to write, and it's cool when that writing spurs comment or thought in friends and family.

So here goes. This morning's topic is (as it quite often is) the baby. We refer to him as 'the baby' more often than by his given name, Emmett. In fact, he refers to himself as, 'Beebee'.

has developed a little habit lately that causes a flurry of activity in everyone nearby. I'm sure he must feel powerful as his actions cause people to stop whatever they were about, and react immediately. He has even been known to laugh at us while he goes about his task. There is definitely an impish aspect to his actions, and it appears he plots to strike at the most opportune moment.

What does BeeBee do? He removes his pants and his diaper at every possible juncture. With contents, without contents... Resolve upholstery cleaner and I have become well acquainted. At first he waited until he was alone so he could get completely unfettered before discovery took place. Now he boldly begins the process in the middle of a crowded room. Grandpa used to delight in having Emmett in his shopping cart as he made his way around the store, but the last time I suggested he do that Grandpa declined the opportunity. He was worried Emmett might start getting nekked in the middle of Target!

You may think Emmett is giving us clear signals that he is ready to potty train, and I agree. I started the process this week. To say BeeBee is resistant to the idea is putting it mildly. He cooperates fairly well when it is time to run to the potty, celebrates with me when we do a check and find him dry, clearly already has the skill of pulling his pants up and down... He just has no intention of giving up his new found ability. He can make us all scramble just by getting that determined look and touching his waist band. And really, who would readily give up that kind of power?