Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Talk About Navel Gaving

I think I'm bigger. You be the judge. Well, don't judge, but constructively compare.

36 weeks with Gianna:

A mere 29ish weeks with (insert name here):

I know that I feel tight as a drum by the end of the day and I definitely waddle when faster-than-strolling speeds are required.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Little Opportunist

Since I don't like to buy maternity clothes, I frequently have some, uh, girth hanging about around the latter end of things. One night while I tried to recline in the utmost of dignity after a longer day of sanctifying toil and labor for the good of the Hanson family members, Gigi could not miss the previously mentioned culmination of circumstances and seized the opportunity to do the following.

How embarrassing. (True fact: I always spell embarrassing wrong the first time. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?)

I had to grab the camera and "coax" her into another show of her talents.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Friday the 13th Nightmare

My house is messy.

January 2009

And my living room always looks like this:

January 2009

And though I don't let it bother me on a regular basis and I know that people in this house are well-fed, rested, generally happy and usually kind, this constant mess gets to me. Maybe not the mess so much as the fact that there's ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE CLEANED, SORTED, PICKED UP or THROWN OUT.

Everyone has suggestions. "Teach your children to put their toys away." They know how, but it's never the first thing on their mind. Even when they do the cleaning it's only because I'm sitting on the couch telling them exactly what to do.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Also, Winking

February 2009

We took a Sunday drive to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This was quite a departure from our usual existence. I am very happy to say that it was a pleasant experience for all. I was afraid I was going to have to convince Jamie of the merits of such a venture, but he surprised me with willing acquiesence. He did mention that we might get some rain on our way there. If there's one way to convince me of a road trip it is to threaten rain. I cannot help myself when in comes to road trips and rain. So lovely.

We had a downpour on the way there. I'm glad it didn't dampen spirits. It made for a very fragrant and colorful visit. Plants are so inviting after they've been doused.

It was a fun little adventure. And it wasn't even so bad on the disruption of people's napping. Gianna used up her napping in the car, much to my disappointment, but Stella still conked out when we got home. She didn't go to sleep until 2pm, though, which is way beyond her usual, so she was at her wits end and even bit her tongue during snack. The tears were enough to properly wear her out so that minutes after that little head hit my pillow (notice I said "my") she was gone.

Gianna, on the other had, was awake and wreaking havoc on the contents of her crib. She threw out all her Nuks and toys and opened the curtains and the blinds and was starting to seriously disturb the peace. I took pity on my husband, the fatigued drive who was passed out with ear plugs, and roused myself to hang out with Gianna. Once I revived myself with coffee it was fun to hang alone with the Geeg. As you can tell by the above photo, she can be a little character. She's trying to wink at me while I take her photo.

She spent a pleasant afternoon playing with the contents of a small bag. She would fill it with her Little People and then dump them out and line them up. She would pick each one up and examine it and kiss it and show it to me. Like I said, it's not a bad time. It's nice to be able to hang out with her alone while she plays and learns how to have her peeps talk to each other. Quite sweet.

We Get to Have Another One of These!

Every now and then I am hit with the realization that another one of these little gems is headed our way. Of course, I'm not crazy enough to forget all the disruption and activity that comes with them, but c'mon, look how cute they arrive at the Hanson house:

Gianna less than a month old

Stella a few days old

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

And We Stayed Home

One of Stella's favorite questions to ask is, "Mom, where are we going tomorrow?" And by tomorrow she frequently means today, just later in the day after whatever activity we're currently involved in ceases to be. This aggravates me to no end. It makes it painfully obvious that she is subject to boredom and, consequently, a desire for a frenzied, action-packed life. I don't have anything against activity, I quite enjoy activity. I don't enjoy activity that serves only to distract me from the futility of daily life. That does not mean that I never watch TV or surf the internet purposelessly, it means only that I try not to do those things in excess of other things.

I've realized that my education and lifetime experiences have not served to provide me with habitual quality activities in which to engage. I know how to make meals and clean house and do other chores of necessity. I also know how to go to school and succeed at the task at hand. What I am not terribly successful with is creating tasks for myself to do on a regular basis that stimulate me beyond basic entertainment.

I'm quite proficient at readings blogs and watching LOST and The Office. These are all activities that can be done inside the home. I spend a lot of time at home these days and there are times when I feel the pressure of What Am I Doing? Of course there is childcare and housework that needs to be done, but that does not regularly take up the entire day. There are moments here and there where I could sew for fifteen minutes, read a chapter of a book for twenty minutes or some other constructive activity. My natural inclination is to do something mindless, however, and that aggravates me as much as Stella's persistent question about upcoming activities.

Today we stayed home all morning. I don't have any plans to leave the house this afternoon--at least not in a vehicle. We will probably walk over to a field nearby that the girls like to play in. All morning we've each been engaged in our own activities. Sometimes those activities have overlapped but everything we've been doing has required sustained attention and relative stillness. The girls colored and painted, read books together and played with all their Little People. Stella has been acting out intense dramas and Gianna has been collecting and sorting all her little pieces throughout the morning. Meanwhile, I have cut out the pieces to a dress for Gianna and found time to record this day. It's been a good morning. Stella has still asked me her question, but I've found that staying home and requiring the girls to find things to do only increases their ability to exert their imagination and develop the ability to find something worthwhile to do with all the materials they have around them instead of always looking out beyond the borders of the home for easy fun.

This is my desire for them. I want them to develop skills and habits of concentration and creativity so that whenever they are faced with downtime they don't have an existential crisis. And if they inherit a quarter of their father's ability to concentrate and cultivate productivity they'll be ahead of me.