Friday, July 16, 2010

I must be doing something right.

My daughter, Amy, is a famously picky eater. Most of the time I let it slide, try to make sure there is at least one thing in our dinner she will eat, and if she chooses not to she has to wait until the next meal or snack time. Occasionally, though, we butt heads and though I know intellectually I will never win, my ego has me digging in my heels in a battle of wills with my six year old. Ridiculous, but true.

Yesterday I made a delicious pork tenderloin with grilled veggies served on a bed of spinach. I knew she wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, so I made chicken quesadillas for the kids. Whole wheat tortilla, a bit of pizza sauce (nice and bland), some shredded chicken, and mozzarella cheese. These are the exact same ingredients as her all-time favourite dinner, tortilla cheese pizza, except for the addition of chicken and the fact that it was folded in half. She whined, turned up her nose at it, nibbled a corner like it was made of lead laced with rat poison, and declared she wouldn't be eating dinner. I responded that I was not going to make her anything else, she could pick out the chicken if she didn't like it, and that she didn't have to like it in order to eat it. Line drawn in sand.

Trevor ate his up. Gavin ate his dinner. Since the grandparents were over, I got a little ice cream cone for Gavin knowing how cute it is when he tries to feed himself. Trevor said, "Can I have some ice cream?" I said, "Sure." Amy said, "Can I have some ice cream?" I said, "Sure, after you finish your quesadilla." (I know, I know you're not supposed to withhold dessert, but this child would live on ice cream and cookies given the speck of a chance). Trevor looked at her, knowing full well she was not going to let that quesadilla pass her lips. Then he turned to me and said, "That's ok, I don't want any ice cream. Amy won't get any and it will make her sad."

What do you know, I guess I am doing something right after all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Job

Being a teacher, I have always loved having my summers off. I do not , however, love not getting paid in the summer and having to either pay for childcare that I don't need and/or spending all day with my kids. Every day. 24 hours a day.

This year is the first year we've had to pay for childcare over the summer. My nanny is totally worth it because she is WONDERFUL, but it sure puts a dent in my wallet, especially coming off mat leave. So I decided that since I have her around anyway, why not get out of the house and make a little extra money this summer. No one was more surprised than me to find out that I actually really like getting out of the house to do something different. And to get paid for it, as opposed to parenting (which may actually cost me my sanity).

I have two jobs this year. Job #1 is working at a concession stand at the Vancouver Whitecaps games. It's decent money and super-easy (if busy) work, the shifts are not too long and it's usually when Dave is home anyway. When I told Amy and Trevor about it, they thought it sounded like I get to work in paradise! Popcorn! Candy! Chocolate bars! Ice cream! Pop! Slushies! Chips! They can't wait to come and visit me while I work!
Job#2 is putting to good use all those years of education - I'm doing some tutoring. Right now I have two students I work with. It's so different than teaching a large group, I'm enjoying being able to work one-on-one with kids and can already see what a difference it is making for them.
I think I'm just tired of being home...all those years working 0.5 interspersed with various maternity leaves...I'm just feeling like I've been wanting more, and now I'm in a childcare situation that allows me to do more. For that I am grateful, and a happy me makes for a better mom.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Adventures in Sleeping

My favourite topic: sleep. Or lack of it.

My once perfectly perfect sleeping baby has fallen apart. First there was the separation anxiety episode of November/December. We weathered that and eventually got back on track. Then the teeth started to come along and we've been off the rails ever since. Gavin is up pretty much every night at around 2:00. I don't think he's hungry because he isn't nursing voraciously, just pacifiying, really. Actually, I think he just wants to visit with me. I've tried cuddling with him to settle him back down but he flops around like he's trying to get comfortable and can't. Or he does drift off but wakes up as soon as I try to put him back in the crib. If I bring him into our bed he just flops around in there keeping both Dave and I awake.

My latest strategy involves grumpily telling him that it's time for sleep and hustling him off downstairs (to the basement) where he settles down in the playpen. And settle he does! Maybe two squawks and it's off to dreamland. But I hate doing that because it's so far away from our bedroom floor and I don't think it's really promoting good sleep habits for him. Plus I end up on the couch so I'm not so far away from him and now my neck is sore.

At least at our house we have a buffer floor between the squawking and the sleeping. Last night we stayed in Birch Bay. My f-i-l's house has paper thin walls and the other Schweitzers were down here, too, so I was particularly sensitive to Gavin's noise level. He absolutely wouldn't settle down in the play pen after 2:00 am, so I brought him to bed with me. Amy had also crawled into bed with me, so of course he headbutted her in all his flopping around and then I had two crying kids at 3:00 am. Fun times.

Dave, having to work this morning, wisely decided to go home to sleep and avoid all this chaos. Smart guy.