Sunday, November 30, 2008

Columbia Gorge on a Cold Day....

I was determined to take Tessi out to see a few local sites even though she was trying to get work done via laptop while she was here. I argued Sunday should not be a work day! ;) So off we went to the Gorge!

I have taken similar pics before, so I gave my camera to Tessi so she could get them from her perspective, and here are a few. Self portrait:
Such a goofball - just give me the camera if you want me to take one! But these arms' length shots are always alot of fun. Even if the waterfall does end up behind your head LOL. Does anybody see a resemblance to Orion? I think they both have alot of the McNabb clan features.

It was Akasha's first time to the waterfalls. She was pretty chill as usual.
Multnomah Falls Bridge. If you look closely, you can see me waving from the bridge and Akasha in the carrier. Orion is next to me, but you can barely see him.
I think this is more what she wanted.
Drooly McDroolerson.... Or should that be McDroolersdaughter? Doesn't have the same ring to it!
I got the camera to do a few of Orion in his favorite trail spot.
Stillness and motion:
Tessi: Trail Fashionista
Tessi took this one and really liked it. I have to agree! The fall leaves make such a lovely foreground!

This post would not be complete without a snippet from the trail. I could not believe how busy it was on such a cold day! This is why I love the Pacific Northwest. People love the outdoors, rain or shine. See for yourself:

Peaceful Sleep

After much thinking and research and talking to doctors and friends, we decided to give melatonin a try with Orion last night. He has always had a hard time with sleep, and lately it has been getting crazy. He will often just lay there with us until 2 or even 3 in the morning. And when we try to get him up so he will have an easier time the following night, we literally can't. Just recently I posted a picture of him sleeping sitting up. We get him out of bed and he just falls back to sleep wherever we put him! It was really seeming to me like his clock was off.

We had no idea what to expect, and were definitely on alert as we had heard some kids can get nightmares or even panic attacks, but we had none of that. In fact, he fell asleep faster than he ever has in his life and seemed to have one of the most restful nights ever as well!

Here he is this morning:
Gotta love the little angel pose hands! Darn our cheapie camera for getting it blurry though. Ron said he didn't do any of his usual "burrowing" or tossing and turning. He also commented on how much more peaceful his body language looked in the morning. He said he couldn't put his finger on why, but it was easy for me to see. By morning, he has usually worked his way into some sort of position that presses his head up against something. And I have never seen him do that with his hands!

We are both really wondering how the extra sleep will affect his daytime disposition, if at all. I really feel he may have been sleep deprived for a long time now, so it may take awhile for him to get caught up. And I also have all sorts of questions floating around in my head now, mainly related to whether or not this means he actually does have some sort of melatonin shortage, and all that could imply.... Time will tell where this journey will lead.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Happened to those Leaves...?

Here they are!For my first time just throwing leaves in a phone book, they came out great! I had another picture of them laid out all over the counter that I accidentally deleted. (Grrrr!) But here is the finished product:

Orion's is on the top and mine is on the bottom.

The Narrator

Our day started out with a trip to the Saturday Market. I love to take the Max as the stop opens up right in the middle of it!

Little trainites:
Ah, the ubiquitous DS....

I was hoping to find a gift for Ron. I had something semi specific in mind, and didn't get quite what I wanted, but I did find a couple cool things I think he will like.

Later that day, Orion did something so cute. He has a site he likes to visit with animated cards. The Halloween ones are his special favorites. I noticed he was watching one while quietly narrating a little story of his own creation. I wanted to listen in but was afraid he would stop if I noticed him. To my delight, the next time around, he asked me to listen! It was almost like he was practicing! The best part? His beginning: "Once about a time..." It went on from there to pretty much follow the action in the card, but the fact that he did it was so cool to me. It showed, once again, that children are not just zoned out passive watchers when it comes to media, but instead can be inspired to creativity!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Story of Christian

Yahoo human interest stuff doesn't always suck. Every once in awhile something will catch my attention, and I am glad this did:

I could watch this a hundred times and still cry I think. OK, so the words at the end are a little corny, but that's OK. Not sure why it showed up on Yahoo so recently, but it was a great find!

Tessi was skeptical, so I looked it up on Snopes to make sure, and it is true!
If you are interested in this story, there are other clips on Youtube that have more footage.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We all lived through it with a little tag teaming! Tessi was a big help and we managed to get all the cooking done and even ate by around 4 I think. I didn't get a picture of the midday Playdough mess, but it was a doozy. We made all the traditional dishes although I will admit I took the easy route with most of them this year! I did make this yummy crockpot dessert I love that is made with peanut butter and apples, which inspired us to juice the skins we peeled off! We were surprised how much juice we got out of just skins, and then we added some carrots for good measure. It was sooooo good.

Here is Orion adding carrots to the juicer: Tessi cutting carrots in half with Orion dropping them in in the background.
And then Ron came home with a huge bag of jelly beans. Not really sure what he was thinking there.... Amma was not that much of a fan, although she enjoyed playing with them. The kids also worked on some homemade juice popsicles during the day. Amma has some odd piano fingers going on in this picture. Don't remember what that was all about!
Why? Because it's there!
Sorry, I couldn't resist. C'mon, doesn't it look like she is mountain climbing? This was a funny moment as I needed to plop her down while I did something in the kitchen. Ron didn't even wake up!

And then it was time to mash the potatoes! I had a feeling Orion would be into that job, and he was! However, it turned out Amma was into it too. So I put some in a separate bowl for her and got down my pastry cutter as the next closest thing I could think of to a masher. You may notice in the pictures below that the kids have different tools in different photos. They had a very successful taking turns experience as it turns out!

You may also have noticed there was some tasting going on. :)

Tater fingers!

I swear he didn't put that masher back in the bowl.... Really, I swear.

We also cut some hands out to write what we were thankful for on them. They never got decorated as turkeys, but I guess it is the thought that counts!
Orion's odd collection of thankfulness:
I guess Ron thought about taking a picture of the roast beast a little late.
Why is it that a whole roasted turkey can look so majestic, but this just looks like carnage?

We had way too much food. Hope yours was good too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crying Through the Hurt

Well, first of all, if I am going to write about this, I guess I have to admit my Worst Parent of the Year moment. Akasha tipped over in her bouncy seat. Yes, I suck. I was doing something in the kitchen and didn't realize it could do that. I don't think she was really hurt, but I'm sure she got bonked a little and was quite scared. She was screaming, and I picked her up to comfort her, but the interesting thing was, it never occurred to me to put her on the breast. My first inclination was that she needed to express herself. I just kept telling her how sorry I was and that it must have been really scary. After she got it out of her system for a bit, I did nurse her, but it didn't seem right at first. In fact, it would have felt deeply wrong for me to stifle her cry.

Back with Orion, I'm sure I would have popped him straight on the breast. Now that I know more about the benefits of crying, and about the importance of being a caring witness for childrens' expressions of hurts, I handled it differently. And I did it without thinking it through. This got me to thinking how much my parenting has changed since Orion was little. I was just talking to my friend Lyla about how many parents starting out on a new type of parenting almost feel like they need a "script". I know I did at first! It helped to have things ready to say differently when I would have used praise. And I still struggle with certain behaviors that are triggers for my anger. If I think things through ahead of time, and imagine myself saying what I want to, it really helps when I am in an emotional state.

It is just so interesting to me to think about how much I have changed, and to think about which aspects of my parenting are automatic and deeply ingrained now, and how they got that way, and which aspects I still struggle with. Phew, that was a run on! I watch some of my other friends in amazement who are so much further down the road. One day I asked another mom how she manages to react with such calmness when her son hits her, and she said, "Years of practice!" I must admit that is one of my triggers. I feel like I *say* the right thing usually, but not really in the right tone! I am just glad to have some great models in my life and hope I will be able to get where they are some day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Red Party

I was honored tonight to be part of a menarche celebration. It is encouraging to me that there are some girls out there who are claiming this event for the meaningful and powerful rite of passage that it truly is. Several amazing women were present to welcome her into her maidenhood and share their stories and words of advice. Here is a beautiful photo of part of the altar, including a picture of her grandmother.
And here is where Akasha spent most of the time.
She had a blowout right when we got there, and I was in such a hurry to help get things ready that I just left her in her rainbow baby legs and that was it! She has taken to pushing her head under the strap of the meitei when she wants to go to sleep - very cute.

Cookie Cousins!

First item on today's schedule - making cookies! You will notice they are in two different spots with two different bowls LOL.

Here is Amma!

Yes, they are peanut butter chocolate chip! And there was much dough eating going on haha. It is the recipe that is just peanut butter, egg and sugar (I use xylitol), so it is a great one to let them go to town on!

I have a 20 year old!

Officially in a couple hours from now. Wow, I feel old.

What an amazing young woman Sarah is turning into. It has been quite a journey for her the last several years. I am sure it wasn't easy for her adapting to a new man in the house, then a new family and a move out of state. I think she always adored Orion - the age difference probably really helped with that - and she is thrilled to have a sister. But just a few years ago I would have said we have almost nothing in common besides our genes, and that has totally changed just recently. She is still not thrilled with my unshaved legs, and I still think she shouldn't stay so tanned, and there are many other things I could list on both sides! But there is much more common ground than I ever expected. She is just on the verge of what could be a really interesting career in public relations, and I am interested to see where the next few years are going to take her!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Niece is Here for a Visit!

My niece, Tessi, is here from Ashland with her 2 year old daughter, Amma, so Orion is having to share his space for the first time since Carter was here. It was a rocky first night! The interesting thing is that he isn't really having an issue about toys or even being too rough with her, but he was just in super high energy crazy mode. It was almost like he was showing off. He was doing things he never does, like knocking Kona's water dish over. Ron's take on it was that he had all this extra stimulation and no idea what to do with it, which seemed like a pretty good analysis. It should be an interesting week...! I am glad to have her here though. We have alot in common, and she is even hoping to become a La Leche League leader. She is still nursing Amma and practices attachment parenting, so there shouldn't be any of that icky relative stress you get when you are totally on a different page. I look at this as practice for Orion for when Akasha is a little older haha! Amma will be visiting her dad alot, so she will only be here part of the time. I am going to try to plan some activities to keep them occupied, which will hopefully help minimize conflicts!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Amazing Little Bear

I have always loved how often there is a pagan vibe to this show, but the episode I saw today truly knocked my socks off! In the beginning, LB's mother tells him about a charm she lost when she was a little girl. Then he goes to sleep and has a dream in which he finds out where it is! He actually meets his mother as a little girl in the dream. It is set on the day she loses the charm, and he sees where she puts it. When he wakes up, he tells her he knows where it is and goes right to it! Wow, just wow.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Betsy Rose Benefit Concert

The amazing Betsy Rose was in Portland tonight. She was doing a benefit for a little Iraqi boy who was injured by our military. The family was there and talked to the audience through an interpreter, which was really touching. The night was quite uplifting, with several singalong type numbers. I didn't get a picture during the show, but I took this at the end because I thought this piece of art was so gorgeous!

Morning Light

This is the scene around our house on alot of mornings. Akasha hangs out on my lap while I check my email and Orion snuggles up to my side.Except if you look closely you will see that Orion is asleep. Usually this is how we wake him up, by carrying him out to the couch, but lately he has been having a harder and harder time getting to sleep at night and an even harder time waking up in the morning. So here he is sitting up and fast back asleep. We are really wanting to let him set his own sleep schedule, but there are some practical problems with that since he started on a cycle of staying up a little later every night. Now we are trying to gradually move him back the other way, but that doesn't seem to be working either!

Friday, November 21, 2008

New "Princess" Toy

We are working on putting pictures on our toy bins for organization and I decided on a Playmobil picture for all the castle stuff. I couldn't find a picture of the stuff he already had, so I picked something similar and of course he has been wanting the stuff in the picture ever since I put it on! It was a little set with a cannon, and we found something like it to buy with a gift card I just received. Now I can't find a picture of the exact thing I bought, but the two characters that came with it look alot like the one above, except they both have little circlet crowns. So Orion has decided they are princesses! At first I thought it was awesome he thinks it is totally normal for princesses to be running around with bows and arrows and swords, but then I realized he thinks they are princesses just because they have long hair! Hmmm, how do they internalize these things? So many of our male friends have long hair. Oh well, it is still cool that he we are now playing daily with our warrior princesses!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Boxer

Just a funny picture in uncle Andy's gloves.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Little Buckaroo

Akasha has a new nickname. :) Who else is a fan of the best bad movie ever made? Or who else will admit it anyway? Akasha loves to stare at her hand. The first time I noticed it, one of my favorite Buckaroo moments popped into my head, and I said, "Buckaroo, it's your hand!" (OK, for the uninitiated I will explain. Buckaroo has a secret formula on his hand. He takes it to his doctor friend and holds it up and asks, "Doctor, what is this?" To which he answers.... Yeah, so you get it now.) Now I have taken to calling her Buckaroo as one of her many nicknames.

Here she is in action:
I also think this is a funny picture because it looks like she only has four fingers.

I have been trying to get a picture of this for awhile now and finally succeeded. Here is some of the cuteness that happened in the process.

A New Type of TV Show...?

Orion got interested in "real TV" today for the first time. Namely Dirty Jobs at first with Ron and then we started watching something called How It's Made. It was perfect because there was a segment on MegaBlocks, so he was totally sucked in! Now this type of stuff I will be happy to watch with him! I hope it is the start of a trend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Little Artist

So how crazy is it that all this developmental stuff is being piled into just a few days?! I got him this little chalkboard at a garage sale recently, and he was all of a sudden very taken with it today. He started drawing on his own, and I came it to find this!
Hair and everything! Orion has never shown much interest in art or drawing. He has made faces before with a bit of "coaching", but this is the first time he has done spontaneous drawing like this. Usually when he uses a crayon, he just scribbles back and forth. I wonder if there was something about the novelty of the new chalkboard that inspired him. It is like he has had the ability but not the desire in the past. He also was really enjoying the ability to erase and start over so easily it seemed. And it was really important for him that all his drawings had a friend, which I thought was interesting considering our recent conversation about wanting to meet friends.

First it was naked pumpkin carving and now naked chalkboard art. This seems to be a theme around our place.
Is it just me, or do other people see a boob on the right?
I was way off though. I asked Orion if the lines on the guy on the right were legs, and he said, "No, he is a tree person, and the other one is a mountain person." Neat.