Friday, September 21, 2012

A Bit About the Blog

You know, I hate it when people who "blog" don't do so very frequently and then, when they do get around to writing a post, they apologize for not blogging more often, promise to do it more often, and then, lo, the cycle repeats itself. So I'm not going to apologize for not blogging more often than I do these days. But I will let you all in on a bit of a secret:

I'm enjoying other things. And breaking a bad habit.

I think that living overseas takes the negative things about social media and exacerbates them even more than when you're in your home country. You feel so disconnected from friends and family that you cling to anything you can get, and often, while it's "enjoyable," it doesn't really help things. You envy things you can't have, places you can't visit, foods you can't eat, and so on. You idolize America (or wherever home is for you) and think that life would just be better if. But it's all a lie.

   Lane's learned how to draw faces. I love it.

Then, to top it off, there's the addicting desire to see what everyone's up to. To compare your life to theirs. To look at photos of where they've been, what their kids are doing, what their newest toy is, etc. So you log into Facebook, or Twitter, or Blogger, or wherever, a million times a day (or, let's face it, you don't ever even log out). Information overload is only a click away.

So, I've been trying to check myself a bit on my time spent engaging in social media. I usually check my blog subscriptions and Facebook in the morning, and I'm trying my hardest to not look at them again until after my girls are in bed in the evening. I tell myself, "You don't need to check Facebook. It will still be there later." Eventually my goal is to only check once per day, and to not feel like I'm missing out if I miss checking it that time.

I also think that social media is stealing our my time. What does it communicate to my girls when I pop my computer lid up to check Facebook or my blog subscriptions when I'm supposed to be playing with them? It communicates that I don't desire to focus on them, to engage them, to be with them. And while it's so easy to do...I'm trying hard to stop it from becoming a bad habit. This is also one reason that I'm infinitely glad I do not have a smart phone. And as much as I'd love some of the features that they have...I think I'm going to avoid getting one at all costs, at least for awhile. I know myself too well.

   Hungry? Get a croissant, slice up some leftover spiced chicken, and add some cheese. Layer and
   warm in the oven until the cheese melts. Add sliced tomatoes. Drool.

All that being said, I've been a) packing up our household, b) moving to temporary housing, c) studying language, d) reading real books, and e) engaging my kids. And while I miss blogging a bit, honestly, most of what I miss about it stems from what I want people to think of me, and not from my actually missing the blogging part of it. I like reading my old posts because it's like a journal of a kind (and I don't actually journal at all), so I will continue to post when I have make time and want to remember something specific (like my girls' milestones each month), but as far as "fluff" just to make someone want to read my blog...

I'm sorry. I'll be enjoying my children. Or my hubby. Or a good book. Just like before social media ever existed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

9 Months Old

Dear Noel,

A couple days ago you turned nine months old. This has been a really fun month for you. You've become very adept at crawling and it is now your preferred way of getting around. You also started cruising along the furniture, and you can stand on your own for a few seconds, although you don't do it often. And you also learned how to drop to your bottom when you're tired of standing up, for which I am very grateful. All of this newfound mobility has opened up a world of things for you to do, and you have a great time getting into everything. You especially love getting into anything that Lane is doing, and her favorite new phrase is, "No, Noel." She tells you "no" about everything, even if you're not actually getting into anything she's doing, she's still telling you "no." It's hilarious. But she also loves to play with you, tickling you and giving you zerberts on your belly. I'm very excited to watch the two of you play together in the near will surely be the best of friends.

What you can't see here is who you're smiling at: Lane's on the couch playing with you.

This month you got a new tooth! The top right one finally came through after what seemed like forever (but was probably actually only a week) of bothering you. You didn't sleep well and woke up at least once, if not twice, a night wanting snuggles and some medicine. It's finally through, though, and now there are two more on their way. They don't seem to be bothering you nearly as much, though.

Feeling a tail on the "Tails" book.

Cute things you're doing this month: when we go anywhere, you start screeching, "Ah! Ah! Ah!" and Lane usually echoes you, and sometimes the rest of us join in. You started babbling "dadadada" and "mamamama," and although you don't know what they mean yet, it sure is fun to hear you say them. You also have figured out how to softly exhale on purpose and do it when nursing quite a bit. And you like to make funny noises with your mouth, popping it open and closed. You like to stick your fingers in my mouth when I sing to you, just like your sister did when she was your age.

Cruisin' along!

You are fascinated with cords and we're having to tell you "no" now, which you don't like too much. You like to look at toys for .03 seconds before you drop them and go for the next one. And you love to watch television with Lane. I tried really hard to keep you from watching it so early, but now that you're mobile I can't really keep you out of the room that she's in. So, watch, you do.

We're finally settling into somewhat of a routine, as well. You wake up between 6:00 and 7:00 most days and eat. Around 9:00 or 9:30 you nap for 1 1/2 hours. Then you eat again. You nap at 1:30 or 2:00 again for 1 1/2 or 2 hours and then eat again. And then you nurse and are into bed at 7:00 or so. Every now and then you need a third, short nap, but most of the time this is what your day looks like.

Eating: your favorite pastime.

You're still a good eater and are getting really good at shoving Cheerios into your mouth. This month you tried some wheat products (pancakes and toast), some meat, cream cheese, broccoli, plums, watermelon, and cantaloupe. It's been a pretty boring month for you as far as food goes because we've been packing up and I just haven't had much time to dedicate to introducing you to new things. I've started letting you try our table food, though, and while you turn your nose up at it most of the time, every now and then you decide you like something (like celery out of soup, or pancakes). I'm looking forward to making some more things that you can try, as you certainly still are a big fan of food! We're also still nursing four times a day and while I'm so ready to wean you (you are a lazy nurser, girl, and it gives me clogged ducts all. the. time.), I also know that this is what's best for you and that we can make it three more months. You're learning how to drink water from a regular cup, though, and we'll introduce you to cow's milk in two or so months, and I'm glad you'll be able to get it from a cup instead of a bottle.

Noel, this has been such a fun month to watch you grow and develop and learn. It's so different this time around, watching you interact with Lane and not get to be the center of attention all the time like she was. I feel like you make our family a family. I'm not saying we weren't a family before, just that it's like you were meant to be a part of it, and now you are and it's just right. Life is a lot more work now, no doubt. But it's more fun, too. And you're totally worth it.

I love you,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have I Mentioned...

That we're moving again?

So, yeah...our apartment looks like this:

We have no chairs. No couches.

No refrigerator.

No wardrobes or drawers.

No tables or desks. We've got air mattresses on the floor, a cooler, a hot water kettle, a French press, and our oven/stove (which just hasn't been picked up yet). A few clothes lying around. And that's about it.

We're camping out a bit.

I'll let you know later how that's going.