Wednesday, August 4, 2010


IS NOT A TIME TO WAKE UP. It is a time to roll over, look at the clock and go. back. to. bed. It makes me hella grumpy to make eggs and toast at this unearthly hour when none of my friends are up because their awesome toddlers sleep until 8, or 10 even (though the friend who's son does that is about 20 months pregnant and she may or may not be in for a rude awakening). Oliver insists that it is indeed the time to wake up. He is wrong, but there is no talking to the child. I long for day light savings.

Henley has been going through what all babies go through when they hit about 4 months old and is waking up every hour or so. It is completely unfair that parenting books tell you at 4 months children should be able to only wake once. Yea, I guess they should be able to, except for the fact that this is the time that they 1. Learn to roll over 2. Learn that there is an outside world that is interesting 3. Need to take in the biggest amount of breastmilk that they will ever need. I really wish that they would include that, because without fail, women with children this age decide that this night waking is happening to only them and it must mean that 1. They are deficient 2. The baby is ready for solids 3. To let the baby cry cause it is being needy and manipulative.

I wish they would just suffer through it like I am having to do and stop reading parenting books. Parenting books for new moms are like fashion magazines for teenagers. They will only make you feel ugly. No matter what you are doing or how good you have it, you will never ever ever have the perfect baby they seem to think you should have. I am very much a fan of books that talk about child rearing philosophy but not so much on those that talk about specifics. How to books are for car mechanics, not mothers.

Henley is an amazing child. She talks so much, laughs often and is so interactive which is half the issue. Seems the child doesn't want to stop cooing for long enough to fall asleep. I never really understood that whole "mothering is so rewarding" thing with Oliver. He was so serious, he never laughed and rarely smiled so after a while I just gave up. After reading Nurture Shock I am pretty convinced that my lack of responsiveness was what lagged his language so far behind. I love both my kids of course, but, as a wise woman once said, "You should just throw the first baby out, like the first batch of biscuits." In otherwords, the first time around you are going to screw up and freak out about 100 times a day. By the second, it is down to about 50. You will ruin the experience with worry and fear that the child will never eat, never sleep and will never walk. I am trying very very hard not to do that this time.

Henley on the other hand, is a much more expressive child. Her cries even sound like "mooommy, daaaaddy!" and even though it is frustrating, it is still super cute to listen to. Thank god, for now she takes really good and long naps. Two hours in the morning, 2-3 in the afternoon and one hour at around 4pm. This is, of course, only true if I never leave the house and put her down exactly one and a half hours after she woke up. I miss my friends, my playdates and the inside of my car. I know this won't last forever, and I should take this downtime to reconnect with Ollie and catch up with my reading, so I will just let it be for now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Cluster of Caterpillars

Thanks to an interwebz friend of mine, I was able to grow some terrific looking sunflowers this year. Terrific, that was, until they were eaten in their entirety. At first glance it looks like the sun just got to these flowers, too much of a good thing perhaps. However, at second glance you may get the heeby-jeebies. An army of caterpillars - side note: I have grown to really enjoy what a group of things are called: An destruction of wild cats, a battery of barracudas, a congregation of alligators, you get the picture - has taken over my once vibrant plants. These are mean looking suckers! They have spines on their backs.

In my never ending quest obsession to teach my kids about nature lately, I am thinking what a wonderful way to teach Oliver about the metamorphosis of a butterfly. I really hoped it was a butterfly and not some icky moth, those things freak me out just a little. I think it is their lack of shame. Butterflies are pretty and they don't like to be caught, moths get tangled in your hair if you are standing too close to a lightbulb. Stupid moths, clearly the cocker spaniels of the insect kingdom.

So, not having an expert friend to call, I google it and come to find out, we have our selves a coven of "Painted Ladies" butterflies. All the information I could find on them were how to get rid of the little buggers. I guess they are a real problem for sunflower seed farmers across America. Darn butterflies, taking the seeds right out of the mouths of sunflower seed addicted people in this nation, what else would my sister nosh on during long car trips or while drinking lots of beer at the farm? Anyway, for my purposes, the caterpillars are welcome to stay, as they are not disturbing my other crops and they are getting fatter by the day.

Soon we shall have a bumper crop of chrysalises and then BUTTERFLIES!!! I am showing Oliver each step, but to be honest, even with the help of Eric Carle, I am not sure he is really grasping the concept. I sure am geeking out though, this is something I have wanted to do since I was a little feller and my grandmama tied a stocking on a stick and went butterfly catching. We never caught one, but at least we looked silly!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I hesitate to even write about this because I didn't get any video or photo footage of the event, and apparently some people who read my blog skip any post with out photos, which, quite frankly, hurts my feelers just a bit. However, the reason I started this blog is so that people could keep up with us as a family, even though they live far away and so that I could document the lives of my children. So in that spirit, it would be a shame NOT to post.

This weekend has been one of blankets on the grass, grease dripping down your arm, mosquitoes nipping at your nose and the discovery of stars. On Friday, we met some friends at an outdoor production of Annie in a local (not so local to the burbs) downtown park. Now, those of you who know us know that sleep is sacred to the Goss family and schedule is the idol at whose feet we worship. Dinner at 5, bath at 7, sleep at 8. The play started at 8:30pm. In an effort to make summer a magical, fun, exploratory time, we broke the schedule and went anyway. Luckily, Oliver slept from 2-5pm for his nap, so it threw the schedule off just enough to be workable.

A sea of bodies all perched on the side of a hill greeted us as we weaved in and out of the crowd to find our blanket. Thank god we have friends who went earlier and reserved a spot earlier in the day, we had nearly front row seats! As soon as the sun dropped below the merciful trees, the show began. I was nervous about how Oliver would sit still for a performance that was not animated, but he was transfixed to the stage! I caught him singing along to songs he has never even heard before out of pure joy and a need to feel a part of the action in front of him. He delighted at the dog (who was less than professional) who played Sandy, and even the baby was quietly happy during the performance. Side note, it is nearly impossible to nurse on the side of a hill. There is absolutely no good way to comfortably do it.

During a lull in the singing and choreography, Oliver looked up into the night sky. He gasped! "STARS!!! Mommy, daddy, LOOK STARS!!" Yes, there were stars, just starting to appear. I turned my attention back to the stage, but he kept looking up. I didn't get it until this morning that this was the first time in over 6 months that he has seen stars. Thanks to my stringent schedule, my son missed the stars. This is a lesson, never allow sleep to get in the way of enjoying the night and understanding the world. We all left that night tired and happy...except for the baby who screamed at such a fevered pitch the entire way home I thought she was being stabbed by goblins. Car seat goblins are terrible this time of year. She resolved her screaming into a rumbling growl by the time we got home, which sorta made us smile. She was too tired to scream, but by god she was still pissed.

The next day, Saturday, we headed out to the family farm for some downtime and running around hiking time with the kiddos. We had planned on mowing the lawn and doing other tasks for upkeep, but secretly I had plans of a hammock, me and a book. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be as one of my cousins had planned a "bachelor weekend" and all his friends were there playing poker and drinking (and mowing, thanks guys!). Side note, when going to the farm, you should NOT bring a 50" big screen TV. The whole point is to be outside, playing games and getting back to nature...TV will be there when you get back home.

So, we took the lunch that we had bought at the best sausage place in the entire world (love you Southside!!) and packed up the kids and went into the woods to enjoy our picnic. Oliver found the perfect place to have our picnic. We lay our blanket over the soft pine needles and thanked the trees for providing the perfect amount of shade. We ate our lunch, drank some beer leftover from the night before and talked. I will never forget the site of CT peeing on a tree and Oliver standing beside him with his hands behind his back, extremely serious looking, learning how to do the same. "You gotta lean back, son!" Oliver nods. I laughed and cursed myself for not bringing my camera. On the way back to the car, we see a gigantic spider, once again, I am angry we didn't bring the camera, and then even angrier I didn't see the barbed wire that afixed itself to my leg until it ripped into my calf. The spider was worth it though, especially since Oliver's favorite book right now is "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle.

Yea we were hot about 90% of this weekend. Sweat dripped into our eyes and the kids were both sticky, smelly and dirty. We got mosquito bites and chigger bites and I probably have tetanus. But there were smiles on our faces, lessons about growing up and parenting buzzing in our heads and for the first time in a long time, we got to say hello to the stars.