Monday, March 23, 2009

Happiness is...

A trip to the Capilano Bridge on a warm winter day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finishing the unfinished

Recently we were hit by the plague again in the house. Not long ago I was pondering how fortunate I'd been that Peanut had only had "the flu" once, and at that it was one evening of throwing up. So the gods decided to give me the big smack down for my hubris and we were hit twice (TWICE!) in the period of one month. Seriously folks, its enough to make a girl go insane. And did I mention I had the worst cold of my life between these two periods? I'm not usually the type to complain about my colds (probably again due to my good fortune in that they usually only last three days max) but this went on for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! (Who needs the Shred when you have a two-week cold.) So, um, yeah. Remind me not to go bragging about my good fortune again any time soon. Hear that ya'll? Lesson learned!

The one thing that I did start doing while bogged down with the various plagues that have swept over the household was take stock of some of my unfinished books. Now, it's no small secret that I'm a big reader, but since Peanut was born I've found myself with a ton of unfinished books. Sometimes it is an illness or some other distraction that causes a book to languish at my bedside - during the distraction I'll perhaps read something lighter, but after the distraction is all over I end up forgetting to pick up where I left off. Often it is the occasional trips we take, where I don't want to take a half finished book with me, or the book is too large to easily carry. I'll take something else, and before you know it another book has been added to the unfinished pile. Some of it is my own impatience these days - too little time, too much to read. I get distracted by the New! Shiny! Cover! and before you know it, well, you know. As this has gone on over the last several months, the pile has grown to ridiculous levels, and I'm feeling rather guilty about the whole situation. So I've resolved to start finishing a few of these books that have been set aside. Not only are many of them good books, and I do wish to know the end of the story, but I figure that there will be a definite feeling of accomplishment as I pick them off one by one.

So here's a list (to keep me honest) of some of the books I hope to add to my finished pile over the next few weeks. Yeah, it's a party all the time around these parts.
I'm sure that there are more kicking around, but right now these are the ones I'm committing to finishing.

So I'm curious, what do others do about unfinished books? Do you leave books unfinished, and if so, why? Do you go back and finish them eventually? Do you have to start from the beginning, or do you pick up where you left off?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Taking back the night (one pony at a time)

Peanut has always been a fantastic sleeper, something for which her father and I are tremendously grateful. If we were the type, we would get down on our knees every night and thank the dear lord that of all the early parenting experiences we could have had, bad sleep has typically not been one of them.

However, we've started noticing a problem in the last little while. Particularly after an illness or some other disruption, Peanut will start waking up in the night, almost purposefully, to get us to come in to her room. The disruption itself never lasts very long, and all we have to do is go in and turn her music box on and put her blanket over her again, and she goes back to sleep, but after years of her being very efficient at putting herself back to sleep (we're talking 30 seconds of crying max before she grabs her bunny and drifts off) we're finding this regression a wee bit trying because we know that the waking up has very little to do with the needing of comfort and everything to do with the habitualness of it. (I should make it clear here that we are not talking a dirty diaper, night terror or other waking that most definitely requires comforting. We're talking the waking up, whingey half-cry that toddlers do just to get you to move. Entirely different than true nighttime neediness.)

So, we've instituted a plan here. If Peanut sleeps throught he night she gets one pony sticker (yes, those ponies.. my daughter is nothing if not a true girly girl... but that's a whole other post) to put on her chart. After three stickers she gets one of these:

(Cheap parent that I am, I picked up a couple of boxes of these on clearance and I totally opened the package so she can earn ONE of these at a time.) She's done really well so far, earning herself the first pony after the first night to get the ball rolling, and subsequently earning herself two more stitckers (although she missed one last night). She actively talks about earning her "poh-ee sticker, POH-EE STICKER!", and couple of times she woke up over the last few nights you could hear her grumbling to herself before settling down again.

Thus far our first foray into the bribery reward system appears to be working swimmingly - indeed, its been even better than we could have anticipated. What about you? Do you use rewards to influence behaviour? Have I succumbed to the dark side of parenting? If so, it seems to be nice and cozy over here - with a lot more sleep.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A little like the phoenix...

Ok, perhaps nothing so majestic as a phoenix. More like a, well, I don't know what its like. That's where the metaphor runs dry. However, it's been six months since Peanut started pre-school, and yet today is the first day I've found myself engaged in that most ubiquitous of blogger behaviour...

Blogging in the local coffee shop.

It's quite a nice feeling actually, sitting here with a piping hot tea listening to some good music. It helps that we recently purchased this little gem:

Don't get me wrong - I love my Macbook, but this thing fits inside my diaper bag.

Yes, that's fine - but where have you BEEN?

Ahem - the big white elephant in the room. A good friend of mine would say the problem is that I tend to overthink before I write, thus overwhelming myself (indeed, most of her missives to me contain the phrase "just write something and post it - don't overthink it"). There's a lot of truth in that. I've found that when I sit down to write, I need to tinker and perfect it. Since I've been under a certain amount of time constraints lately, the thought of writing with its attendant process of editing and re-writing simply became overwhelming.

The simple fact is that blogging is like any other exercise - it requires a certain amount of practice. Since I've written here very little over the last year, I've simply fallen out of the practice of preparing my thoughts for this forum (although I seem to be able to compose long essays in my head at night when I am unable to sleep. However, translating those to print seems to be where I run into problems). The more time that passed, the more difficult it seemed to be to wander back over to this little space.

That's not to say that there hasn't been a plethora of blog-worthy events over the past year - far from it. On more than one occasion I've turned to Mr Babbler or a friend or even another blogging buddy and said "that's definitely blog-worthy". Evidence? The story of the cat's $1,700 ass. Or how about the wedding that I attended during this past summer where I turned to Mr Babbler and said that I wished I had an iphone so that I could live blog it (there was between-course entertainment pieces that included interpretive dance and a groom that missed his own first dance). There have been so many moments of Peanuts life that I wish I had caught here for future memory - the twos really do whiz by don't they? And then there has been the moments where this space could have really been used therapeutically - a growing closeness with my good friends who have truly become family, a death in my own family that I really need to work through and my confusion about what happens after life as a stay-at-home mother.

So here I am, dusting off my poor abandoned blog. Bear with me - this could be a little rough!

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