Thursday, January 31, 2008


Sorry, I have been remiss. I didn't mean to let so many days go by. But I have some updates. Let's see...

The sitter. Lexi. She is great. The first day she worked, she came with me to pick up Gareth from school. Then she took both boys to the coffeeshop, took G to piano, then J to the park, picked 'em both back up and got them home for dinner. I managed to get two big boxes cleaned out from the garage. (Yea! Baby steps.) The amazing thing here is that Jonas was willing to go with her. And actually, he was more willing at first than Gareth. But they both pretty much loved her instantly. Since then... she has come over two other days. On Wednesday she put G to sleep while I hung out with Jonas. That was Gareth's choice. Also on Wednesday (in the morning) she came over to watch Jonas. We tried to get him to go to the park or something with her, but if he left the house, he wanted to be with me. But as long as he was at home, it was okay that I left (so I went on a short run/walk). Again, the amazing thing was that Jonas was okay with me leaving. Her name, btw, is Lexi. She has an interesting past... born in England, live in SF for 7 years, graduated high school locally, and really has very little accent. She is taking classes at Cabrillo, but is looking at biology/premed (so she's smart) and she is an amazing (and avid) surfer. As in, she competes and has been at least a finalist in reasonably-known competitions. I think it will be great when it warms up; she is very open to taking Gareth to the pool and helping him with swimming. Also, she has a younger (half) brother who is in first grade. I think it would be great if he met up with Gareth sometime. In all, I am pleased.

What else... well... Jonas started music class again this week. It would be great, if only we had the same teacher. Jonas just wanted to go home go home go home because it was a different teacher. My boys just do NOT like change. With a passion. I am going to see whether the other teacher has any openings, but I'm doubtful. So, I am going to try class again next week. Probably force him to sit through two classes. By then, I think he'll be enjoying it again. It'll just be painful in the process. And if only the classroom was not like an icebox. Ugh.

Today I tried to sign up the boys for gymnastics. I got Gareth signed up for the all-boys class that he tried and loved. I tried to sign up Jonas, but the class they let us try out is all full. Wha??? So he's on the wait list. But she said turn over is pretty quick (as the kids get older and move on to other classes).

Gareth brought home a reader from school and has been reading quite about "The Pet Poodle." It's really quite amazing. I think he's reading really well.

I think that's a good update. We have two birthday parties this weekend. And I have to change the dentist appointments that I just made for the boys. But they will be having teeth cleanings soon. It will be Jonas' first visit.

That's all. Happy Friday (by the time you read this, it will be)

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Oh the joy.... I have hired a sitter. She start tomorrow. Probably 10 hours a week or so. Initially, when she is with Jonas, we'll all be at home and I will just try to get stuff done (like sorting out the insanely full garage so some day we can park in it). But eventually, I will be able to do things on my own. Joyful things like, see the podiatrist (I need orthopedic inserts) and the dermatologist (I really should get my moles checked) and the dentist (oh joy) and my annual femal exam (overdue) and the chiropracter and regular doc (for my back/sciatica/whatever it is that has been killing me for months). And our new sitter (Lexi) has a younger brother in first grade; though she is in school at Cabrillo. I am so so so looking forward to a little time. And the idea of having someone to hang with the boys while I make dinner sounds divine. I hate having to shove them in front of the tv for an hour, but it's the end of the day, and they are usually overtired and totally wound up and if I leave them to their own devices they can truly destroy the house.


In all my excitement about skating last Thursday, I forgot to mention gymnastics. Both boys went to new gymnastics classes. Jonas's was more free form than the one he had tried previously, and he loved it. It helped, I'm sure, that our neighbor and her daughter (Sarah) were there too. We will definitely sign up.
Gareth went to a new class too. It was all boys. There were only three boys, so it was almost like a private lesson. He really likes gymnastics, though he's been on a break from it for a few months. He really liked the class. They climbed a rope, did some very simple climbing on parallel bars, a lot of work on cartwheels, and, at the end, they got to go in the foam pit—a big pit filled with foam blocks. That, of course, was his favorite part. We are going to try one other class at a different facility. He can't do the all-boys class there yet; he has to be 6. But the classes are small, which is good for Gareth. He will then decide which he wants to do.
I think it's great that he likes it so much. Maybe it will motivate me to do more stretching... yeah, right.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

stop the presses...

This is news. Today we went to a birthday party (a Gareth friend) at the roller rink. Now, we have been to many a party at the roller rink. But Gareth has not even wanted to look at a roller skate, much less put one on. But Gareth still likes to go to the party knowing that he won't skate. Well, today we got there, and neither Carew boy was interested in skates. I had brought some markers and paper (for Jonas mostly). They ate some snacks, did a bit of socializing. And then out of the blue, Jonas says he is ready to try skating. And Gareth promptly piped up the affirmative as well. I nearly fell over. We did have to wait, though, as the cake was about to be served. But after the cake, all three of us put on skates. But we all three put on skates that had not been tightened. Fine for me. But too rolly for the boys. But I didn't realize this at first. So Jonas made it half way around the rink with me holding both hands. Then I carried him back to the seats. (The workers were not pleased with me carrying Jonas while skating.) Gareth made it all the way around, partly with me and mostly hugging the wall. Then I clued in that we could have his skates tightened. And he spent the next 20 minutes out on the floor with friends without me having a pretty good time. It was monumentous! Of course because they never want to skate, I didn't bother bringing my camera. So I have no photographic evidence. You'll have to take my word for it. And I suspect there will be more photo ops to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Now don't fall over... but here are some pictures.

First the boys just got haircuts

Next, some of the cookies we made (granted, quite a few had already been consumed).

And this was some indoor painting fun the week after Christmas.

If you want to see all my pics, you can go here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

taking things literally

Gareth is at an age... an age that is annoying. But one that Isaiah says is payback for me. He takes everything (or everything that he wants to) literally. Last week, I asked him to pick up some paper off the dining room floor. He picked it up and promptly let it go (where it fell right back on to the floor). He insisted that I only told him to pick it up. On Monday (our at-home-inside day), I let them take the cushions off the couch to build a fort. Later, I asked him to put the cushions back on. So he piled them on. He then pointed out that I didn't ask him to put them on the right way. Testing testing... yes, it's what he's supposed to do... test. And for now, I can see the (slight) humor in it. But one of these days I think I may reach my limit with this particular test.

unclear on the concept

Ok, so I realize this was not my best parenting moment. But... YOU try staying at home, inside all day, with two young boys and see if you don't say some things maybe you shouldn't. Anyway... The boys were bouncing super bouncy balls downstairs yesterday. I told them they could roll them but not bounce them (because when they bounce, they can easily knock stuff down). Anyway... I said if they bounced I was going to put all the balls in the trash (ok... that was my bad moment). Well, here is where Jonas is unclear on the concept. He was not worried that the balls would go away. No, he said, "No. Then balls get dirty." Yes, he is more concerned about the neatness of the balls. Can you tell he's related to Isaiah?

Anway... what did do yesterday that was fun was bake and ice cookies. Pictures to come. Yes, I've said that before. But my goal is to take pics this week. Sorry!

Friday, January 18, 2008

single parenting

Sorry for the lapse in posting. Isaiah has been out of town this week, so my nights have been a bit more precious as to what I can/want to do. Anyway... Wednesday was good day for the most part. The best (most endearing?) part was when we were leaving the park (for Wednesday is park day, you know), and Gareth and Flora had a great big hug, at Flora's instigation. Flora has been Gareth's best friend for a couple of years now. But now they go to different schools and do not see each other regularly. I know that Gareth still thinks of Flora and misses her. And I often wonder whether Flora is the same. So I was happy to see her parting hug (at her own initiation). Very heartfelt and definitely warmed this mother's heart.

Thursday, however, was a bit more trying. Not because of Gareth, but Jonas. Oy! The Boy! So we were at the park (just Jonas and me and a couple of Jonas-aged friends). Jonas had a poop. I had to change it. I told him so. I gave him some time to come to terms with it. But he was having none of it. However it was time to go. So I had to forcibly hold him down with my legs (oh such fun) and change. And when it was all done, Jonas was YELLING at me, "Me want poopy diaper back on NOW!" I managed to keep calm. And I managed not to laugh. But oy, the yelling, the tantrum. Gareth was not like this. I think it is a combination of Jonas' stubbornness (can't imagine where he gets that from) and from the age (testing testing testing). We got home from picking up Gareth and ... well... everyone knows when they come in their house if they take off their shoes they go in their bin in the closet. Everyone has their own bin. Jonas refused to put his shoes in his bin. So I would not give him his dinosaurs. This went on for half an hour. He wasn't overly tantrum-y. I think he was more tired than anything. But eventually he did it. Battle of wills!

And for anyone awaiting an update on the school situation, Jonas is definitely not going. And this past week we interviewed three potential sitters. We have three more coming on Monday. I will be happy to have help around the house just getting things done.

And today we are in the Bay Area. We spent the day at the Exploratorium. Gareth LOVED it. LOVED it. I think he would like to move in. And so tonight we are spending the night with Tracy and Ben. The guys are probably tired but enjoying it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

parental moment

So, I had one of those really parental moments yesterday. Normally, Gareth LOVES going to piano lessons. Well, he was tired and didn't want to go. However, I knew he should. So I pushed him to go. And we did. That was the "parental moment". And in the end he was fine. And I'm glad he went, and I think he is too. It's the whole 'follow through on what you sign up to do' thing. And we did. This time.

Of course, this morning, I took Jonas to a trial gymnastics class. And we left halfway through. He just was SO NOT into it. Ugh. It's hard when your children are just so opposite of yourself. My guys are just not joiners. They are loners. I am not. It's hard for me to cope.

That is all.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

heart crayons

We made heart crayons today. I swear I will take a picture. Gareth and I sorted out the nubs of crayons that we had. I peeled the paper off them as needed. We chopped them in the Cuisinart. And yes, although I will try to clean it, I may resort to simply buying a new bowl. Then we put the pieces into a silicone heart mold and melted them. They turned out pretty cool. We have to make three more sets. We are making them for Gareth's valentines at school. I have to get a head start because I'm going to try to get him to write his name on each card and he probably won't want to write more than a couple each day. I'm hoping to buy the paper tomorrow. Pictures, pictures... yes... soon!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

by the way

While this blog will be largely about the kids, it will also have tidbits of life from the rest of the family... meaning Isaiah and me. So, you may learn more about me than you thought you would or that you thought you wanted to. You can easily skip over these posts. =)
Anyway... Isaiah and I went to a movie last night, Sweeney Todd. Very good. Very disturbing. But, what I was getting to is that you can really tell we live in a smallish town. We both drove cars (because we started in two different places), but then drove one home. The other was parked in a parking garage downtown. Well, when I picked it up today, the "all day" fee was $5. I laughed it was so cheap. Not that I'm complaining. Just thought it was funny.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not ready to grow up...

This would be Jonas. He's been going to pre-preschool since before Halloween. And every time he screams. And it's not gotten any better. It was the same with Gareth. I really thought Jonas would be easier. Anyway, I think I've decided to pull him out. However I still desperately need some sanity time. I am posting an ad at Cabrillo for a helper. They have an awesome ECE program. And in the summer Jonas will start at Common Threads. Gareth will go with Jonas for the first summer session before he (Gareth) heads to a new school. I think them going together will help with that transition.

Growing Up

This week we took the back off of Gareth's booster seat. It fits so much better. He was obviously ready (in terms of height). Of course he was not ready for the change... He is never ready for any change! But after a few minutes of reminding him that this was the safer way to go, he was willing to give it a go. He'll still use the seat for a couple of more years.

I'm Back

Okay... I've decided to give it a go one more time. I am blogging in a way that will make it MUCH easier for me to post, so hopefully I will post more. Here it is.