Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Updates galore

I feel like it's been a while, but I think it has just been a busy week. So, what's new?

Joris has mostly been sleeping better and is easier to put down. He falls asleep in his bed without being held, although he does sometimes still wants his back rubbed. We still can't leave his room to let him fall asleep on his own, which is something that really needs to change. I've been working on creating a "how big boys go to sleep" photo book on iphoto since he is pretty aware of the difference between a baby and a big boy and I'm hoping to exploit that. I have the text written and some pictures are in place, but I'm having trouble finding enough good resolution pictures because apparently everything on the internet is slashed to minimal pixelage. Though progress is slowly being made on the going to bed front, Joris makes sure to throw in the occasional let's-all-be-awake-from-midnight-to-almost-two-for-no-apparent-reason, just to keep us on our toes.

We've been to the zoo four times this past week. The weather has been gorgeous and we just always have a good time. In fact, I feel like I'm having a kind of love affair with the zoo. Where else can your kid be so entertained AND you get see otters frolic in the water and ocelot kittens clamber up and down branches? Joris loves animals and I fully credit our visits to the Woodland Park Zoo for his ability to differentiate between a lion, tiger, jaguar, snow leopard and ocelot and having the knowledge that an ostrich is a "bii vogel" (big bird). The exhibits are mostly all designed so that the animals can move away from the public, if they don't feel like being stared at, and they have taken great effort to replicate the animals' natural habitats. (There are some exceptions; the main one, for me, being the tiger enclosure, which is this horrible concrete relic from the '50s, but it seems that they update one or two exhibits each year, which is nice.) Plus, habitat and conservation information is always available and the staff and volunteers are super friendly. It is my fervent hope that Joris will not end up blurting out statements like "That poor monkey. He just wants to be back in Africa." while looking at a female orangutan, like the high school student standing next to us did.

Last week, I took Joris and Madeline to the store to pick out some vegetable seed packets for the seed starting kit that's been stashed upstairs for the last few years. Joris was very excited about the tomato and pepper seeds and agreed we should try our hand at broccoli as well, but he kept tossing the bag of zucchini seeds on the floor. We got them anyway. At home, I had Maddy and Joris help me put the dirt in the trays, poke holes for the seeds, put the seeds in and cover them with more dirt. But the best part by far, in their opinion, was pouring water over the seeds. There were also a couple of incidents of handfuls of dirt with seeds already planted in them being transferred from one tray to the next, so I'm pretty sure there will be some broccoli living among the bell peppers. Seeds from the cherry tomatoes have already started sprouting up, which is exciting.

Maddy's parents have given me two weeks notice. Maddy had been on a waiting list for a daycare to which they did not expect to get in until at least this summer or later, but a spot opened up and with their situation changing as well, it was the best option for them. So I'm trying to decide what to do. I've applied for a couple of part-time non-profit jobs that I would be excited about if they hired me and I'm looking through the childcare ads again. With our situation, there just doesn't really seem to be the perfect solution - or at lest, I haven't thought of it yet.

Something that has really tickled me pink this week has been getting in touch with some of my and Jacob's former students from Jaluit. In addition to finally joining the world of Facebook a month or two ago, I now have an account on Bebo, which is like Facebook's ugly, white trash cousin, but for some unknown reason, the social network of choice in the Pacific Islands. I'm now in touch with about 14 former students and even live chatted online with one of our drama club kids, who is now studying in the Philippines! It's impossible to accurately describe the joy and wonder I felt at that.

Joris has fully entered the "me do it!" phase, which is both cute and annoying at times. It's great because we can pretend to try to eat a bite of his food and he'll immediately yell "Dootah doen!" and often actually try the food himself. It's not so great when you are trying to get ready to go and he insists to be the one to turn off the lights, etc.

While we're on the subject of food, Joris has had a great week eating. He enjoys burritos now and has recently been on a bit of a veggie kick; broccoli is being eaten instead of ignored, seconds are requested for bell peppers again and this afternoon, while doing our grocery shopping for the week he just HAD TO, ABSOLUTELY eat some tomato. He was really whiny about it at first and I kept telling him that he could have some tomato when we get home because we have to pay for it first. The whining continued "Tomaat, Mama, tomaat!" until he suddenly stopped, looked me in the eyes and said "ahs-beef" (asjeblieft - please) in the nicest voice. And so, I disregarded all parenting advice and got the boy some slices of tomato from the deli because, really, it wasn't like he was asking for a snickers bar and most moms would probably be thrilled to have their toddlers demand a nutritious fruit snack like that. Right? Yeah...

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