Friday, October 22, 2010

more about Portland (and video of Z and Unkin Dave)

We had planned to go to Portland in October, but one fine Monday in September, Rachel called and said, "I need to take on a proposal for work, which I can do mostly from home. Why don't you come sooner? How about tomorrow?" So, that's just what we did. Airline miles, we salute you. We would've missed my mom by a day, so she extended her trip. As Zoralee says (but not nearly often enough), "Wee-hoo!"

This time 'round again, Z and I didn't take much time to go on outings with friends, except for twice when it involved our whole family meeting up with childhood friends we hadn't seen in decades. It seems between a new baby, an energetic toddler, a full household, and having extra family in town, there was always plenty going on. So for you Portlanders, we miss you and hope to see you sometime - really, we do! Meanwhile, we'll keep connected on blogs and facebook, which we all know to be true and accurate reflections of our deepest selves.

Our main activities were cooking, walking, going to playgrounds, watching old episodes of "Without A Trace," and keeping up with the comers and goers. I loved just hanging out with my sister and "the kids," which we say now, though they are barely plural. Bennett is SUCH a cutie pants. I want to slurp up his eyes and cheeks and skin. I got to spend extra time with him while Rachel did a short-term proposal project for work. Bennett loves loud shushing, dancing, walking, bouncing, movement. He knows if you stop. He knows if you sit down. Stand up and keep moving! But once he zonked, ahhh, I'd lay back on the couch with him and soak up the baby love, until I was jilted back to reality by Zoralee's whines of jealousy.

Luke and Heather drove over for our last weekend. They even brought dough in the trunk of their car and made us cinnamon rolls in the morning. It was great to be together, the four of us and our loves (minus Jason). Going to the Pumpkin Patch was definitely a highlight. I love for Z to spend time with her uncles and aunties, whom she continues to love and ask for and send text messages to long after trips are over. My favorite anecdote from the weekend, though I wasn't even involved, is this: In the middle of one night, Luke walked out of the bathroom into the dark hallway; he tripped his way past baby paraphernalia and bonked right into an open closet door. He then noticed David standing blinky-eyed at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for the bathroom to be available. David watched in silence as Luke ran the gauntlet, and as Luke would later recall, was standing inches from a light switch. At the exact same moment, they asked each other, "What's wrong with you?"

Watching Rachel practice Elimination Communication with Bennett was a blast! It was unexpectedly rewarding, and just plain fun. I'd been pretty in the dark practicing EC with Zoralee, because I'd never witnessed another person do it. Just went off 2 books and osmosisized inspiration out of bloggers I'd never met (like Melissa and Asheya). But I've sifted through a lot of experience/mistakes/information and have been anxious to apply the pamphlet version to our next kid. Bennett was the perfect test subject! Rachel had already been cueing him since birth, meaning that whenever she knew he was peeing or pooing, she made a "pssss" sound. (That helps a little one to keep paying attention to his bowels.) Rachel had also been making mental notes about Bennett's bodily cues just before or during pottying. When I was there, we took the next step, which was to hold him in a relaxed manner over a bowl when we suspected he was ready. Within days, Rachel was catching many of his pees and poos. It was incredible! Bennett then began to mimic Rachel's grunts when he was pooing in the bowl. I kid you not.

I am blown away by the EC practice, or rather, the practice has allowed me to be blown away by babies. I feel it's another way of shedding the insulation of technology for long enough to realize what's possible, to connect with how people for ages have done life. It inspires me! Not everybody has the time or motivation for it, I know, or maybe even the belief that it works. But for me, it has been a strengthening part of early parenthood, an experience I really treasure. Plus, it had some killer benefits, like a baby who would pee on command in parking lots and lawns across America, and who was 100% potty-trained between 17 and 18 months, including nights! And from what I gather, these results are not unusual for full time EC-ers; in fact, I even felt Z was a little behind the curve, due to my ignorance and lack of consistency at points. So, I hope that doesn't seem too plug-y for EC. I am just truly excited by it!

Portland was a lovely success.


Shana said...

Great post...I especially loved the video. I was about to say....come on Dave....your aim sucks but then he finally got it!! ha ha, just teasin' Unkin Dave!

Rachel Clear said...

This is a great little reminder of how awesome our time together was.

As for EC, I truly feel it's the best blast as a parent. I feel like I'm communicating with him on a whole different level, and I love it. It's my favorite thing right now, being that in tune with him. We never would've been able to do it so well without you.

I'm actually getting ready to post his 3-month post, in which I will also sing the praises of EC.