quinn’s thirty-fourth month ~ in which quinn picks up a dandy




thanksgiving was great. with some great hippies out in the woods. it was very cool. mellow, low stress (i had to bake one pie, easy as that!) keeping my turkey in the freezer for christmas…. just nice. quinn forking the pie before we baked it, thursday morning. i got GREAT compliments, it was super yummy pie. one of my better ones.




we spent more time than usual with dada, and it went well. we seem to be able to be friends lately, and that is nice. it only works that way, i know, because we spend so little time normally, but at least then holidays can be pleasant. on black friday we drove up a river to watch coho salmon migrating upstream (saw about 20 of them, mere feet away. breathtaking! but then i work on coho salmon for a living…


so big

the best opposite-of-shopping-mall experience i could have come up with.


quinn in his grundens on salmon day (might make it a yearly thanksgiving tradition….)


on saturday quinn and i spent time with new friends

and had tons of fun. they are homeschool/unschool types, and i think i told you, there are a lot of kids. 6 to be exact. quinn started calling them “my kids” when i told him it was time to leave: “i want to stay here with my kids.” lately he is normally down and playing with whoever we meet up with, but this was different- he was venturing into other rooms on other floors of the house without me! that is a big first for him/us. at one point he wandered upstairs with three of them, and then about 15 minutes later came to check in- a big deal. it was nice to see him feel so comfortable, and i realized that also means that i get to have a new friend i feel comfortable with too (actually noticing quinn’s comfort level clued me in that my own must be pretty high! otherwise i am so unsure with new people, but he is my vibe-o-meter.)  and, they decided to give me a laptop, no strings attached. keepers for sure.



there he is with 5 of the 6 of “his” kids and their mama. just to give you the idea of the peacefulness. you can see the ocean from those windows…..


yesterday we took another hike with coparent, this time to hunt mushrooms. we gathered a bunch of chanterelles. i don’t even like to eat mushrooms (texture) but so much free food just sitting on the ground is too hard for me to pass up. i will find a way to use them.  we also saw a mountain lion!!!!! none of us had ever seen one before in person in the wild. it was a good ways off, though, which i prefer when it comes to big cats.


i think i may have mentioned this, but i LOVE it here.



oh, and dada and quinn have been building and tending bird feeders. quinn is having a blast with it.


they are building and placing them strategically so there is cover and escape routes and the neighborhood cats can’t really get good access. we have had TONS of birds already, and quinn will just sit and flip through the field guide.


quinn with kitty


kitty with her mini-me (i just love it so. he brought over his pirates’ baby kitty.)


newt! we saw 3 or 4, and each time quinn wanted to “make a house for him!” this was from the mushroom hike. quinn spent most of it in the sling, strangely. he refused to wear his coat, and only would be up on me. not sure what that was all about. he also has been having lots of trouble sleeping lately… last night i fell asleep before him again, and periodically i’d wake up and he was still awake, just rolling around the bed (sometimes right over my head) and i’d hand him his sippy cup and doze off again…. etc. i am not sure what he is up to. one night over the weekend friday night i think, he didn’t fall asleep at all, and needed to get up and play at 1 in the morning, we were up until 2… not sure what developmental leap is about to occur but i’m sure it is something!



yesterday was…. intense. quinn was AWESOME for the fish cutting party. he sat for an hour or more, screwing little caps onto little empty tubes, filling up cups full of them, and sorting them out into racks and boxes by color of cap… he was a champ. i actually got to be fairly productive for about 3.5 hours, then he crashed and burned. major meltdown, and that was right around when i could leave and had planned on leaving so it was just a matter of getting him to calm down so i COULD gather my stuff and leave. poor kiddo. he was great. he played in the car for an hour when we got home (he loves to “drive”) and i chopped firewood nearby. very productive day. then he napped and i sewed him new diapers and worked on designs, and then he went to dada’s and i got to go have a beer (actually a cider) with my lab peeps, for birthdays and andrew finishing his masters. then home for bath, to the store to buy cat food and to pick up quinn. a good day.


this is now on the blog, for posterity.

last night quinn was helping me bake pitas, (for tonight’s dinner) and he was trying to get the spoon from me so he could stir and yelling “my turn, no!” then he continued on the rant “fuck-a-muther!” doh!

it is nice to be able to be like, ok there is no food, but i have all the ingredients i need to make basically anything. (on a good day. then there are days i’m like fuck i’m missing one ingredient of each thing i could think of making! luckily i know how to fudge things a bit too.) pitas turned out to be so completely easy, they are easier time-wise to get done in an evening than regular bread since you only rise the dough once, and they only bake for like 5 minutes at a high temp. whereas loaf of bread is like rise then rise again in the pan, then cook for 35 min. so yeah they are the new bread we have on hand always now. last night we made plain for the hummus, and also some with blueberry oatmeal (leftover) in them for breakfast. plus cinnamon. heat up, put cream cheese on. yum.







i haven’t had a christmas tree for years, but since i got myself (and quinn) a shovel this year, and since quinn has been gaga over all the trees he has seen so far, around town (like in the sewing machine store when we picked up my machine after repair on friday) i decided we’d do it. it is a solstice/xmas tree, and it has babies. 3 trees total. we will plant them somewhere- maybe even in the yard, if the landlords want more trees, otherwise we’ll find a good home for them somewhere. quinn and i got the lights put on last night, i got them planted in pots while he was napping. he’s excited to decorate more- we’re going to paint pinecones and such things….

so we hung out with coparent this weekend again, more than usual. less than turkey day weekend but still… on saturday we brought him to ona beach, where we met up with amy and her 6 kids, so he got to meet them.



ok good news first!!!!! TIM AND NATALIE ARE PREGGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

haven’t spoken to my mom yet, will probably call her today she must be soooooooooo stoked! now she’ll have two local grandbabies! next august anwyay.




breaking eggs for carrot muffins. or something.


holding baby hope


making bread with grace




he needed to make “a red sign that says stop here!”


mr. firewood helper- he walked a long way around a corner saying “i’m going to go look for some more firewood, guys” and came back with this. what a kid. he’s at work with me and he just saw that picture and said, “there’s quinn picking up a dandy” because his dad said “that’s a dandy” when he brought it back.

quinn and i came home at noon. he finally napped at 3, still sleeping now. i hope he wakes up soon, yet i know this is my only break but damn the bedtimes have been brutal. last night was particularly bad again. not as bad as that one night, but i was yelling again. let’s just say that. he was kicking and hitting me and trying to roll over my head and stuff. and i was so ready to sleep, as i am every night. i am not sure what is going on with him, maybe i need to read up on toddler sleeping and so on….hmmm…..


quinn and the sleep…. oy. he is just having a lot of trouble falling asleep at bedtime, some nights it’s ok and other nights it is literally hours, and he already has a “late” bedtime for a toddler (10). but the only time i mind it is when he is kicking and hitting me. when i yell, he usually laughs. only very occasionally do i bark loud enough that he is startled into crying. it’s awful, either way. the first way, feels awful to just be laughed at when i am pissed, and the second way makes me feel like such a lousy person and parent. i mean i know i’m not that bad, but it’s hard in the moment. and i am at a loss for what to do differently.

i want to be mindful of not sending quinn the wrong messages. i value my connection with quinn, and leaving the room for more than a couple secondss to catch my breath and calm down, feels like abandoning him. i do leave the room, i say “i need some space because i can’t let you hurt me” or whatever “i need to calm down” and such, and then i leave and if he cries i make it extremely brief, and if not, i take a bit of time to regain composure then go back. there is so much more i feel like i need to say about this but i am just a ball of feelings right now.


i actually feel great, in general, in spite of coparent and in spite of the darkness and weather and such. i am hoping that doesn’t mean i’m just in denial or in some sort of weird dissociated state. but idon’t think so… i just think it has really gotten to be a habit of mine to stay positive, so i am glad it is sticking, even when stuff sucks more for a few days.


so in the mornings with quinn, his dad is there when he wakes up most days, and quinn cries for me, to “have milk” and tells dada to go away, go back to the shop, and if dada gets close he pushes his face, etc. coparent lately does go away out of the room, quinn apparently gets quiet, lays in bed for a while, and then when dada comes back in 20 min and knocks quinn says come in, dada comes in and quinn says “wassup dude?” which is their typical greeting. and they are fine the rest of the day, except MAYBE after nap depending on when nap is. sometimes after nap there is a similar episode. many days, nap is just ending when i get home and it’s no big deal. other days he is still asleep.


but because quinn wakes up asking for milk, his dad has suggested that maybe it is time to “take the next step” with weaning, because a. he feels it is unfair to quinn to be there and give him milk, then not be there (torture) b. he is afraid quinn is showing behaviors that coparent saw in his friend’s son, who was still nursing at 5, and coparent believes said child’s behavior problems were due to primarily not being weaned when he “should have been” so he doesn’t want quinn to be slowed down in his emotional development because he isn’t weaned “when he is supposed to be.”


we can never have this conversation though. the other day i just let coparent spew what his opinions were, without responding. that went fine. but if i have anything to say, he accuses me of stirring up debate and not communicating, not communicating well, being a b!tch, etc. he criticizes my research/knowledge of others’ weaning experiences, he criticizes everything i say on the topic, then he yells at me for not filling him in on “what the plan is.” as if i would feel safe planning anything with that type of situation going on. i said most of that last night- that i felt criticized and unsafe stating my mind.


my main point was that, coparent’s attachment to quinn needing to be strengthened, should not depend on my attachment with quinn being weakened. he hated that. he acknowledged it is true, but he also had to go on and spout how me weaning quinn doesn’t mean our attachment decreases, it just changes…. yeah somehow he has crowned himself king of breastfeeding knowledge, without ever having had a breast. (can you hear the pissed off ani mother bear in there?)


one problem is, all of my great examples of successful child-led weaning (i dislike the term but that is another topic, but it is the going phrase for what quinn and i are doing i suppose) and have really awesome kids and are really awesome people, who i use as my “models,” are my rad mamas. one whose daughter weaned at 4, and the story is just beautiful. and another mama’s son is 3.5 and is still nursing at night to go to bed. it’s just that their approach is SO MUCH IN LINE with all the rest of how i parent- that quinn gets a choice, that he is a real person, that his feelings matter, that our attachment is paramount and that we are free to choose how we do this.


i told coparent i don’t think that will solve the problem he’s having with quinn in the morning, i think that is about their attachment to each other, not mine and his.


to be fair, i guess i am lacking in solutions to offer but there is only so much i can do, i only play a support role in their relationship with each other and am at a loss for suggestions… (and i did admit to coparent that yes i do think he’s right that the time they spent apart when i left was detrimental to their bond- he said it angrily and i validated well yes of course being away from each other hurt things…. but then we both realized that is the past we have to deal with the present, and there isn’t anything we can do to change what happened…. so that was actually a positive moment i thought.)

whew…. now i am starting to feel lighter……..



quinn and coparent get along great, is the thing, at all other times. i always try to talk to quinn at night about just saying “wassup dude” to dada instead of telling him to go away, and i try to make sure he’s prepared for who he will see in the morning so he knows what to expect but it has been going on for so long i think it is just habit for him now to tell dada to go away. and in general, his dad approaches most stuff like i do- quinn has a say in what they do, he plays on the floor with him a lot, reads him 10000 books at nap time, they go fishing, they do all kinds of stuff that quinn likes. honestly, i think my only constructive advice to coparent is he needs to think positively about his relationship with quinn, and not be so bummed about this morning habit thing. probably hard to do, and in the moment i think he SHOULD let quinn know how it hurts his feelings and be real with quinn about that, but also to proclaim to me and the rest of the world that he and his son have a great relationship- even if it is fake it till you make it… i don’t even think it is “fake it”. quinn doesn’t understand how his words make his dad feel, and dad should know that. that is what i think.

i think if i weaned him now, he’d only cry more for me in the morning. because then not only would he miss me, but he and i would have a shaky relationship (because i don’t believe it is the right thing to do so i don’t see how i could pull it off without it hurting our mama quinn relationship) and i am not willing to risk that. i think yeah he wants “dada to go away” because i am not there, not because he dislikes his dad. but i don’t even think it is milk that is the big deal, it is simply me he is missing, not just my boobs.

today quinn and i are going to hang out with elizabeth and wyland and cole. should be fun. hoping for fun, relaxing weekend, then i only have two more days of work before a long break!!!!!!! yippeee!!!!! (i go back jan 4th.)




we have a solstice party tonight, same people as thanksgiving. it should be cool.

pictures of what i did with some of my chocolate-orange sauce: cheesecake for the solstice party. elizabeth and i made the sauce together, it was a recipe she came across from some french preserving book. there are actual slices of orange in there. the cheesecake was good, but honestly my favorite thing i did with it so far was make hot cocoa. elizabeth made me a latte/mocha with it and that was very good, too.

as for christmas, we’ll do a nice breakfast and open presents. that kind of thing. mellow.


last night went fine. cool party. at another person’s house (terry and anne) up on the hill where lee and kate (of thanksgiving) live. so amazingly pretty out there. last night we walked about 1/4 mile from where we parked up to the house, in the dark, with the moon and stars and the forest, and on the way back to the car we realized that even though it’s like 10 miles out into forest, you can hear the ocean at night. wow…. i already wanted to live out there but that just topped it off for me. and terry’s house was awesome with funky little hobbit-like shaped rooms (octagons and stuff) and glass front that looks like it traps lots of sunlight for heat, and wood stove, and just very very cozy and nice. i like it a lot. kate’s house is fun too, very cabin-like, but more roomy less hobbit like. pretty much a rectangle, unlike this one last night. oh and terry’s has the exposed beams and stuff, i love.
i made yummy cheesecake. quinn ate pizza and stuck by me, but at the end of the night anne and annie (both awesome, annie is partners with dude named dominique who does the farmers market in newport with me) the two of them sat down at the piano and badly played and sang xmas carols, and annie let quinn use her jingly bracelet to jingle along to the tunes, and he danced too, and at one point was “singing” just kind of umming along with them. it was so cute.
this morning he woke up crying before i left and was telling me “i need my raincoat! i need my raincoat!!!” ? i have no idea why. i was like yes i know sweetie, i’ll get it, let’s just have some milk first. but i made sure it is there for when he wakes up. maybe he has plans to go out in the rain today with dada?

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