Stomach Bug = Couch Noir

Today we lost an entire couch to a stomach bug and my own stupidity. Well, perhaps a few people’s stupidity. Who sews top and bottom cushions right onto a couch so that it’s impossible to clean spills out of the side cracks??!?

Probably the same sort of people who put their tummy-achy four-year-old to lie facedown in the corner of it with no underlying tarp or accompanying puke bucket, that’s who.

That was a definite failure in my career of motherhood so far.

Goodbye, paisley brown puffy couch. You served us well for nearly six years, despite the numerous holes you developed in your upholstery and the copious cat clawings along your backside. You hid every stain so well, saw me through diaper blowouts, baby spit-up, endless hours of nursing, and countless naps. My boys loved flopping on you in a heap and snuggling up to watch their favorite shows or read books together.

Despite how often I complained that you were too large for our living space and really needed a cover, I had no idea how grateful I was for you until my son’s stomach acid irrevocably saturated your innards.

It’s been a good run. We’ll miss you.

It was too dark to take a proper photo... so, couch noir.

This is the underside of my couch.

It is very wet with rain.

–GM

 

I love my little garden!

Beautiful Grit

We had our first perfect spring day today, and, thus, a good handful of hours outside in the grit!

But this morning Eyes was still finishing up what appears to have been a 24-hour virus (fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy), so I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it out. By 11 a.m., however, his fever seemed to be gone. I figured any contagions he might still be sporting would have little impact on an outdoor play environment, so we packed into the car to run a couple simple errands (dropping off books at the library and junk at Goodwill) before snagging lunch from a drive-through (I should have made PB&J but, as is typical, lacked the discipline to economize on either cash or calories) and schlepping it to the park in the middle of town.

We picnicked on fried potatoes and chicken at a bench in the shade, which was enough to prompt Eyes’s appetite back to a semblance of normal (though still not quite; he only ate 2 nuggets instead of 3, no fruit pouch, and somewhat fewer fries than his norm). Then we clambered all over the wooden fun fort. J is making great strides in his leg strength, dexterity, and courage: he’s tackling the tire ramps all by himself, up AND down, with no help! He actually climbed on some that had no rails to hold onto today. I was very impressed–this is well outside of his comfort zone! I really feel that the dance class we did together was the kick-off point for motivating him to move and use his body in new and different ways that allow him to explore and discover his own physicality and that of the world around him. What a fabulous $30 investment! Anyway, I wish I had pictures of that, but I was too busy chasing Eyes around to think of it. I do have a few others of our playtime, though (from today mostly, but the first one is from a couple days ago when the weather was also nice, though not quite so perfect–there was a great little breeze today!):

Eyes and J on the tire swing

Climbing fun at the park!

Then we went to the lawn/garden accent shop and picked up some stepping stones for my little front garden plot. After I got them in this afternoon, they really just pulled it all together in the most pleasing way. I was so satisfied with it I had to take pictures to share:

new stepping stones!I love my little garden!

J also had a lot of fun trying to hop from stone to stone, or, more successfully, taking long steps from one stone to the other. Another great dexterity and strength exercise for him! Double win. 🙂 And after I got the stones in, I transplanted three baby strawberry plants into some planters that had previously held a pathetic experiment in growing daffodils indoors. I took out the bulbs to give to a friend; I already have plenty daffodils in my garden plot. I also transplanted an indoor amaryllis I had and replaced it with a strawberry plant. J sorta-helped by entertaining himself while I worked (I did this mostly while Eyes napped), watering some flowers and a section of porch, and carefully not spilling much dirt when he asked to help dig. We got nice and grubby.

Speaking of grubby, this account would not be complete if I didn’t relate to you how, upon our arrival home earlier, I stripped Eyes down to his diaper before setting him on a chair and washing his hands at the sink (his clothes were filthy from the park). After the hand-washing, I figured I’d just change his (wet but not dirty) diaper while he stood there and played with a bowl of water in the sink. So I took his diaper off, ran to get a few wipes to clean the dirt off his bottom (which had fallen down inside the diaper), checked on his brother (who was in the bathroom doing his own business), and came back to find the expected: pee all over the chair, kitchen cabinet, and the floor.

Really, this would not be a Gritty Momma story without bodily fluids, would it? Dirt just isn’t enough. Eyes had to make a personal contribution. I don’t have pictures of this. 🙂

Then Mimi and Papa came over for dinner this evening, and at one point the boys ended up on the couch with Mimi, all snuggled up watching a video on her phone. It was too adorable not to capture. I just love how Eyes plunked his chubby cheeks down on her tummy without a second thought.

J and Eyes snuggling with Mimi

That’s all for today! I hope everyone is having as beautifully gritty a spring as we are this week. Love,

–GM

 

Want to Change Behavior? Just Believe!

This is a great elaboration+follow-up to my previous post. ProfTomBot writes, “…So instead of laboring and wrestling your habits by slapping them each time they pop up, focus your will and mind power on believing something that will make that habit inherently something you wouldn’t do. If you dig to your core and form a personal belief about who you really are and what you really care about and what you really need to do to be your best, when that belief truly establishes you won’t have to counter anything. You’ll find it’s actually a struggle to do a former bad habit because you’ll have to do something you don’t personally believe in doing. It’s all a matter of getting into your own head, defining your own personal desires and goals, your take on the world and your role in it and how you should – and will – behave to live up to it, and then integrating this into your belief system. Once you make those brain regions physically form new neural networks to accommodate your new belief into the system, your behavioral system will follow suit naturally.”

Well put. Thank you, ProfTomBot!

Also, as an addendum to my previous post, it took me so long to try to write it that I lost track of how long it had been since J took a potty break, and he peed on the living room carpet. Really my fault… just goes to reinforce what I was saying about other priorities leading me to minimizing this blog. Heh. But he really has been doing *so* well for the past week or two! Much better than the week before that. Which I really ought to blog in detail about before too long, before I forget, because it was Epic Bodily Function week in Preschoolerville. Ah-yeah.

Anyway, go read this article! It’s good.

–GM

 

The Broad Spectrum Life

Many people in our modern world find the need to change habits and behaviors that they find for burdensome. However, it is a burden in itself to change. The burden mostly lies in a struggle of the mind over instinct, or so it feels. Well, this reveals the strategy and it’s flaw. Active thinking can’t really put a dent in deep seated, subconsciously* and/or unconsciously** manifested habituations. The only way to think your way out is if the thinking doesn’t counter the habit in situ but thinks about the source specifically. Directly struggling with the habit per case is actually one of the most indirect and insufficient methods. You must find the fundamental sources and alter these to achieve progress and dodge stress and struggle. I’ll tell you the basic logic, but the protocol for success resides in you and is drafted from your willingness and ability to self-analyze and…

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