Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yule In Pictures

Showing off their new WoW shirts from Dada.

Dada got Annie's Shells & Cheese! Just what he wanted!

The aftermath! Please note how Nate is crawling back under the tree looking for more.


Natey (and a groggy mama in the background)

Just before the mass opening commenced. Nate started with opening his shirt.


Yule Tree & The Haul

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blessed Yule To All

We had a truly wonderful Yule this year and have picture to prove it. They are still on the camera though and won't be up for another day or two. In the meantime, here is an explanation of Yule, the winter holiday we chose to celebrate and some of my favorite Yule or Winter Solstice images. Info courtesy of Wiki of course. Images of Bubbaboy and Supertot running amok with presents and rolling in wrapping paper are imminent (and well worth the wait.)

The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from the observers hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the event of the winter solstice occurs some time between December 20 and December 23 each year in the northern hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 23 in the southern hemisphere, during either the shortest day or the longest night of the year, which is not to be confused with the darkest day or night or the day with the earliest sunset or latest sunrise.

The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradually lengthening nights and shortening days. How cultures interpret this is varied, since it is sometimes said to astronomically mark either the beginning or middle of a hemisphere's winter. Winter is a subjective term, so there is no scientifically established beginning or middle of winter but the winter solstice itself is clearly calculated to within a second. Though the winter solstice lasts an instant, the term is also colloquially used to refer to the full 24-hour period of the day on which it occurs.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.[2]

The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yule Is Near

The boys' gingerbread houses and the winter berries jar Nate & I made with Adie & Ali. It's still growing! yay!!!

Nate's crown! I need to finish Ben's still. It looks better in person than in this pic, or maybe I just don't notice the crooked-ness of it in real life.

A bag awaiting gifting.

My favorite Yule presents to make this year. Super easy thanks to this pattern.
You may have to register with the site to see it but it's SO worth it and you don't get spam from them. So I've made 4 and have a 5th on the needles right now. They're much more vibrant up close and I can't wait to see what the receivers think of them.

Two pics because I really like them. Have I mentioned that?

Ben in front of the Yule tree.

The Yule countdown calendar from Nona.

Our Yule Altar.

Ben in front of altar.

Our sparsely decorated Yule tree - can you tell we have a toddler in the house?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Date Day

When Benny was the exclusive subject of all photos!

I'm certain I'll jinx myself by putting this out into the world but I'll say it anyway; Nate appears to be getting over his separation anxiety! Partially this is because, thanks to some miracle, Tim has realized that he can care for Nate by himself for periods of time and not jump out a window or run away from home as soon as I return. I say that with a huge dosing of love and complete empathy towards him - Nate is very attached to me and in the middle of the "Terrible Twos" which just took the whole attached thing to another level. He is fully capable of screaming his head off at decibles rarely reached by hyenas nevermind humans and is thoroughly irrational when it comes to any attempts at distraction or soothing. The fact that Tim is signing up for this assignment willingly and often makes me feel swoony for him all over again.

So, Tim's been encouraging me to go out more often and leave him with the boys so Nate gets used to me being gone a bit. This serves many purposes, mainly that I get to leave the house alone and breathe and think and just be ME not MainelyMama for a while but it also does a lot to help Nate realize that he's not totally dependent on me, or more accurately my breasts and I think it helps Tim's confidence as a father and makes the whole family unit function a bit better. So, yesterday Tim had to work for a few hours in the afternoon. Not a huge deal but for some reason (probably the ice storm that forced us to be locked up in the house for two days) the boys were wild all afternoon. Nate was just completely unruly, not even clingy or crabby, just defiant in every way possible. Not that I run a tight ship by any stretch of the imagination but he was just out to wreak as much destruction upon the house as possible while attempting to irritate his brother as often as he could as well.

While dealing with this I made an off hand comment as I'm known to do from time to time and I said, very calmly and simply as Nate dumped a box of crackers on the floor, "I'm going out all by myself for a long time once Dada gets home." I forget that Ben, unlike Nate these days, hears me pretty well and though his listening is selective his memory is not. So, the moment Tim came home - he was still standing in the mudroom taking off his shoes - Ben announced, "Mama's leaving for a while by herself." Tim and I got talking, the boys flitted in and out and I made another joke about how crazy Nate was being. Tim then forced me out of the house, in a very loving way, and insisted that I leave the house for a couple hours because I "really deserved it". (insert dumbfounded, yet grateful and giddy emoticon here)

I went out for two blissful hours and braved holiday shopping at Big Lots where I scored some decent deals on stocking stuffers and wrapping paper. Today's adventure was far superior!

Today, Tim and I got talking again about how things go when I'm not here and suggested that I take Ben out this afternoon and have some Mama and Me time and he'd hang with Nate. Now, Nate ended up falling asleep so he slept for most of the time we were gone, but Tim woke him up from his nap without an issue.

Ben and I headed out this afternoon in the hopes of finding a couple of presents for Dada and Nate. We did all right but the real point of the afternoon was to just have some time alone with Benny. It's not to say that we haven't had time alone since Nate's been born, there's always nap time and such but it's different to be out and about with Ben without distraction and interruption.

We ventured through two stores and then stopped for hot chocolate and cookies. The day itself wasn't that exciting and honestly I thought the highlight for Ben would be the game of Spies he played with a girl his age in the first store we went to, but to my surprise he really liked just being with me alone. We got to talk at the table as we shared sweets and he didn't have to share with Nate to prevent a tantrum and I was able to carry my tea without worrying that it'd be knocked over by reaching hands. Our conversation centered mostly on trying to figure out what Tim had gotten each of us for Yule. Ben knows that Tim ordered his presents online and that I know what they are and I thought that Ben knew what Tim had ordered for me too but it turns out he doesn't. We also had a lively discussion about Zombies and why the moon is so bright tonight. When we got home he was eager to tell Tim all about our time out and he said twice tonight, without prompting of any sort, that today was really fun and he liked "being all alone with just Mama." Huuzzzzaahhh! My hear melted and I felt both triumphant for being a success in his eyes today and a bit like a loser for realizing that it's been two years since he and I have gone out and done something together without anyone else. That's a very bad combination of emotions by the way and I do not recommend it if it can be avoided.

I'm hoping to make this Mama & Me time more of a regular occurrence. I think it's really important for Ben to still have that one on one time and for he and I to bond and stay connected. I'm so happy that we have two kids and that Ben will know the joy and despair of having a sibling, but it's nice to have some time alone with him too and remember what it was like when it was just us. Our attempt next week may be a movie but with Yule falling on Sunday we may put it off another week. We're hoping to be too busy playing with our new gifts to want to leave the house.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's a Mystery

Nate has been up the last few nights and I can't figure out why. He's had a low grade fever since Sunday but no cold symptoms so my first suspicion is that we're being haunted by the infamous two year molars. I have no evidence to back this up though. I'm waiting to see what happens, my money is that it is the teeth but now that I've said it outloud I've probably just invited the plague over for a vacation at our place. blah!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Forest Fridays

We had our first Forest Fridays this past week. Thanks to our friend Alyssa who pulled this all together and got us organized and out into the woods. The idea for this came from an article in Mothering magazine about Kindergartens in Germany & Switzerland that are located outside. The entire kindergarten day is held outside no matter the weather, with free, unrestricted play. The only rules being that the children have to stay within a certain distance of the teachers and not wander off. The article is entitled Forest For A Classroom and it's in the November/December issue of Mothering. It's not online or I'd link to it for you. We're hoping to make this a regular thing so look for more pics from Forest Fridays!

Mamas and babes setting out! Big kids are already way ahead!

Nate at the head of the trail. He looks a bit confused about the whole premise.

Nate was very proud of this find.

Jaimee & Lily (hidden in the coat) and Anne & Callie!

Ben & Henning exploring a frozen puddle. All of the kids were really interested in the ice that they could see in puddles and the streams leading to the pond.

Nate playing in the same ice puddle pictured above.

Nate leading the way with Jaimee, Lily, Alyssa & Elijah.

Ben at the beginning of the trail.

Ben & Henning waiting for everyone else to catch up. They didn't have babies/toddlers to wear.

Heading back home....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Photo Post

Because I want to blog but am too tired to write so I give you pictures instead. Enjoy!

Natey-Roo on the swingadoo.

Benny on the swing, this is picture attempt #5, as you can tell by his expression. He was a patient kiddo, the camera is just old and the delay is pitifully long.

MainelyMama thinking "What? You guys want to stay out here longer?" See the furrowed brow - I was shocked that my boys wanted to stay on the freezing, windy playground but they did.

MainelyDada - sporting his new LFG hat. Anyone know what it stands for? My bet is Adventure Uncle will but that none of my friends or family will. Am I right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ch Ch Ch Changes

We're all adjusting to a new schedule here thanks to Tim's work one changing. So far it's been pretty decent, but we're only on Day 2 so I'm trying to be realistic about it. The boys both think it's "Awesome!" because they stay up later and I'm a sucker who lets them watch movies and have snacks at 11pm etc. That said, the real reason any of that happens is because I'm not adjusting to the schedule change well and I need to do whatever I can to make it to bedtime.

Soooo, my approach tonight is to let the boys stay up as late as they can. Obviously if they ask to go to bed I'll let them, there are no caffeine drips or toothpicks involved in my methodology. At the moment, it's 11pm and both boys are wide awake watching Wall-E and chilling out, but awake, remember they're awake! My hope is they will conk out by 12 and then sleep until 10am but we shall see. A mama can dream right

Last night, Night 1, Ben went to bed about an hour later than usual. Nate went to bed at 12. he then woke up at 4am and stayed up until 6. Ben woke up at 8:30 and attempted to wake up the entire house at 8:30, including Tim who had only been sleeping for a few hours. Oh, and Ben succeeded in waking Nate up and myself so I've been running on low energy all day. We did have some fun last night though and here are some pics of that adventure. the boys were dancing to the lovely tune "I Like To Move It" courtesy of Madagascar.

Dance Machine

Too tired to dance.

Boogie Brothers

They Like To Move It!

Singing Along

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm IT!

Is it totally juvenile that I'm so excited to be tagged? I've seen this around and have been waiting for someone to tag me for a little bit now. Thankfully, my SIL knows what a sucker I am for this stuff and she tagged me and made my dreams come true and provided you all with this post. :) Ok, so the way it works is I tell you all six random things about myself and then I tag six others. Thanks Auntie Kara!!!

1) I swore from the time I was 14 on that I was never having children. Funny how saying that is not an effective form of birth control. (that said, my boys are my world, no question)

2) I can't "envision" my future. I just can't see that far ahead and imagine where I'll be and where we'll be as a family. I know what I wish for though...

3) I haven't talked to my sister since my Dad died over three years ago.

4) I suck at talking on the phone - or at least think I do - but I love when people call me.

5) I had dreams about Tim before we ever met and have had vivid dreams about each of my boys at age 2 before I was even pregnant with either of them.

6) I want to move south and get away from this freaking New England winters that last 6 months but I don't want to leave our network of friends and family here. Can you all just move with me please? Commune anyone?


Adrienne - Cause this is SO something we would have done in high school if we blogged then so let's do it now!

- You're probably giving birth as I type this, or wishing you were, but in case you aren't and need something to distract you, I tag you!

- Because your stories kill me and you're one of my favoritest people in the universe. woot.

- Cause your blog is eye opening and humbling.

Tim - maybe, if you're up after work tonight and bored. lol.

Lauren - Because Yia Yia's make the world go round!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do you know what it is?

I'm looking for a Yule countdown, essentially an advent calendar that ends at the 21 not 25 day. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Last year I saw at least a dozen of them that I thought were beautiful and looked pretty easy to make but it was December 13th when I saw them and there was no way I was making it at that point. So this year, even before Thanksgiving has arrived I'm trying to find a pattern and make one so we can start using it on December 1st. SOOO, if you know what I'm talking about can you post a link in the comments, drop me a line, help me out!

IF I find one, or just make one on my own, I'll post some pics! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

big ole sigh

Last week was crazy, in a great way, but just full to the brim of stuff to do and places to go and not enough time to do get all of it accomplished. The LLL of ME & NH Conference was on Saturday and for some insane reason, still unbeknown to me, my friend Alyssa who runs the whole shinding asked me to be her AACS. AACS stands for Associate Area Conference Supervisor (she's the ACS) or as I've renamed it Able to Accomodate Crazy Shit - cause that's what happens the last few days before the conference. lol. I say this without anger, it's just the way it is with anything like this and it's bound to happen so you just have to roll with it and figure out how to deal. It all went really well and we've gotten some great feedback which is encouraging and helpful for next year. In the meantime, this week I've decided to take a breath and just chill out with the boys. We're keeping our schedule clear and doing what the boys want and relaxing. Although we do have a LLL Toddler meeting on Thursday. ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Funny Friday

This is an older video and most people have already seen it but it still makes me laugh so hard and today, I need as many laughs as I can get!

See more Will Ferrell videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Ok, my brain is turning into freaking mush here. The LLL conference is this weekend and I'm SOOO beyond excited and proud to be as involved as I am this year, but in my head is a constant to do list. I tell you this to defend my lack of blogging for a wee bit. I know after this weekend I'll have plenty more to share and my brain will actually be functioning again. In the meantime here are some halloweeny pics to keep you all happy. You know, all like 3 of you that read my blog. ;)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Funny Friday! Freaky Form

In honor of Halloween I share with you a clip from my favorite show:

If you want to see the whole episode you can go to here. Funny tales about our Halloween and trick or treating expeditions along with pictures will be up soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why Are The Funny Ones Gay and Living in Paris and Too Old For Me?


“I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention? To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it? To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."

- Author David Sedaris, on undecided voters

Man, I've loved Mr. Sedaris for a long time. Thanks to my brother, I give credit where it's due, who introduced me to Sedaris via Naked and I've read all of his books since. I'm currently making Tim listen to Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy via Audio Book the last few weekends while he works on Ben's costume and I attempt making more pants for Nate. Sedaris is damned funny, it's that simple. I could write pages but I'd just be repeating myself over and over and over. If you've never read his stuff go get something, anything of his now. If you can, get a copy of "Dress" or "Live at Carnegie Hall" and listen to the "Six to Eight Black Men" story. Kills me everytime and has forever changed our yuletide celebrations. Or watch this

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WTF Wednesday

I learned this week, thanks to being up in the middle of the night and myspace and facebook that a couple (not that there are many) of my exes have recently gotten married. I think this is great, let me just say that upfront. I don't wish to be back with either of them and never have, honest. Tim never reads my blog so for those thinking I'm just covering my ass I don't need to. Consider yourself mooned. Anyway, I'm happy for them and yet there's a strangeness to it. I think it's simply the fact that now years (we're talking 11 years in one case, high school) later I'm seeing these images of the biggest day of someone's life and this someone is a guy that I used to kiss in the hall of my high school and hope to get notes from and haven't talked to since graduation. weird.

Anyway, this spring would be our ten year high school reunion. Our school, for some unknown reason doesn't do alumni relations. Though they should since they are semi-private. So we have to organize our own reunion if we want one and I just don't think that's going to happen. I don't know that I would go or not and I don't have to decide so it's not a big deal but there's a weird head trip that happens when you see wedding pics of your highschool boyfriend, or learn that you're childhood friend who walked home with you everday just had her second baby, that one friend is writing screenplays in LA, etc. It's hard to pull these faces out of these old memories and fit them into what you know to be actual now.

Again, I'm really happy for these people, as I'm happy that my life is what it is now. As much as I had some great memories in high school and was blessed with incredible friends I have no desire to relive it. I thoroughly believe that the best times are now and in the future and I refuse to let my kids limit themselves to thinking that high school is as good as it gets. With any luck they'll still think high school at home is awesome but I want them to realize how much more there is to life. I think that's why these wedding pics surprised me so much, not that I never realized we'd all grow up and have famlies and spouses and careers but that at 17 it was a relatively abstract thought and today it's our reality.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Natural Parenting Toolbox

It's 3:45am and I'm up with Nate watching Dora and running the humidifier and hoping that his Zyrtec kicks in he's able to breathe better soon which will lead to being able to nurse which I hope to Gaia will lead to sleeping. In an attempt to prevent myself from being super cranky, not fun, mean, loud, crabby mama tomorrow I found this list via Mothering and am posting it here as a reminder to myself to be patient with the world and most especially my children when Ben wakes me up for the day in about 3 hours.

Alternatives to Punishment

  • Use positive reinforcement.
  • Create a positive environment.
  • Say yes as much as possible.
  • Save no for the important things.
  • Use natural consequences.
  • Use logical consequences.
  • Use restitution.
  • Leave it up to your child.
  • Compromise.
  • State your expectations, and get out of the way.
  • Give specific instructions.
  • Give a reason.
  • Offer help.
  • Give a choice.
  • Redirect your child.
  • Remove your child.
  • Make positive statements.
  • Give in occasionally.
  • Give your child time to agree.
  • Simply insist.
  • Make rules.
  • Ignore some behavior.
  • Avoid nagging and threats.
  • Distract your child.
  • Use humor.
  • Make it a game.
  • Be willing to admit your mistakes.
  • Stop and think before you act.
  • Don't make a big fuss over little things.
  • Stick to routines.
  • Don't hurry your children too much.
  • Get to the root of the problem.
  • Correct one behavior at a time.
  • Give yourselves time.
  • Use the golden rule.
  • Model appropriate behavior.
  • Think of your child as an equal.
  • Always keep your love for your child in mind.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

WTF Wednesday

Ok, I know it's Thursday but I meant to post this yesterday and then Roco's departure trumped any other posts. So, there's been lots of "talk" (I call it bullshit) about the new cover of W which features Angelina Jolie "apparently" breastfeeding one of her infants. I saw "apparently" because this is how I see it phrased whenever I've read about it. There's a baby with his/her head close to her breast and her shirt is opened but we can't be sure she's breastfeeding. Anyone else think apparently sounds like "allegedly" in this case? It's like they want to sound like they're giving her the benefit of the doubt - as if she's doing something else entirely like rocking the baby and her shirt just fell open that way. The hilarious and irritating thing about this is that you can hardly tell she is breastfeeding she really just looks like a happy mama enjoying a cuddle with her babe who happens to be nursing (although you can't see it in the pic) so IF you're one of those people who is saying how disgusting it is - get a reality check! I've seen more of countless other celeb's breasts selling magazines by featuring their breasts as accessories not showcasing their real purpose in the beautiful, natural way that Jolie does. Although, I realize we're not all lucky enough to have it be NATURAL for Brad Pitt to be taking the pic of us nursing.

I'm not going to rant and rave about this too much tonight - breath a sigh of relief or groan of disappointment here. I've got a lot to do for our local LLL conference (Please join us!!!) and the best way to be a Lactivist is to educate and empower and actually do something about improving the public image of breastfeeding in this culture, not just by blogging. So I'm off to be constructive. In the meantime here's the cover for you all. Comment away please! I will revisit this topic, I promise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We just found a new home for Roco Meowazaki. We're all bummed. It's that simple. Nate is seriously allergic. I had my suspicions about it last week but yesterday when Ben rubbed Roco on Nate's face and his eyes swelled up within 5 minutes and we had to go to our doctor, I knew it was true. The doc gave Nate Zyrtec and it certainly helped but he still doesn't look good and I had no doubt that it was because of the kitty. So...I posted to all of the playgroups we go to and got two great responses. My friend C came and adopted the kitty just 30 minutes ago. She surprised her son with him, who had been saving his money to buy a kitten. He was sooo happy and thankful to have Roco as his own and as grateful as I am that Roco is going to a good home all of two miles away from us, I'm also heartbroken at having to watch my son's reaction to losing his first real pet.

I know it had to be done. There was no way that I'd medicate Nate indefinetely just to keep a cat but it still sucks. hard. I think in a few days Ben will be totally all right about it and not really care too much but tonight, watching him cry and now seeing him curled up on the couch with Tim just reminds me of how fragile we are all. How easily bruised our hearts can be no matter what our age is.

Blue Job-Picture Post

Family foliage shot

Nate slept 2/3rds of the way up the mountain. So I carried him on my back, that's why he looks kind of mumified in the pic.

From the top of Blue Job.

Another top shot.

Benny on the way back down. I love the light in this shot.

Nate stayed awake on the way down. He also kept patting my back....guess I'm part horse.

Ben on the rocks. I love this picture. It almost doesn't look real.