Friday, August 29, 2008

Whipped and Wiped

Yesterday I basically spent the entire day alone with my daughters. From the time they woke up until the time they went to sleep it was just me and them. I was so tired last night I thought that perhaps a truck had run me over when I wasn't looking.

It didn't help that i had planned a very ambitious day. We spent the morning at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, looking at all of the animals on their working farm (plus an otter and some "exotics"). The kids were free, so for $8 we could walk the grounds, play on the playground and enjoy the morning. Since LP mostly likes animals from a distance, I carried her a bit while pushing Dee in the stroller. Fortunately, by the end of the excursion she was walking more and even trying to talk to the animals. Although Dee slept most of the time, she did wake up right around the time we approached the car to leave. So we found a bench and sat examining pine cones while I nursed. The only meltdown came when we had to leave.

The last Thursday of every month, from 5-8, the Stepping Stones Children's Museum here in Norwalk is free. I have been meaning to go for ages and just never remembered. I decided yesterday was the day to follow through on my plans. First we spent some time at the large playground adjacent to the museum (any opportunity to expend toddler energy should be taken advantage of). We than went to check out the museum. It was very nice, although probably a little old for LP. She loved the waterplay room and the outdoor bubble display. I was able to give Dee a bottle while LP played. Be forewarned, you are not allowed to bring strollers to all of the exhibits, so a Bjorn might be the way to go if you have an infant.

All in all a good day. I am really starting to be thankful that school starts again next week for my little ones. even if I will miss them horribly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Following Up

A few months ago I wrote a guest blog posting for OnParenting, a blog on The gist of the article was how unprepared I was for my second child. I reread the article recently and here is my follow up.

On June 1st, an hour and a half before her due date and two and a half hours after my first contraction, our Dee forced her way into the world. The Hoos and I were surprised both by the swiftness of her arrival and the contrast in her demeanor and coloring.

LP had white blond hair and pale, sensitive skin at birth and Dee is a brunette with olive skin. In fact, we thought they were going to tell us, "It's a boy!" since we couldn't comprehend having a little girl that looked nothing like her big sister.

To be honest, it is a bit of a relief to have another girl. I still am not quite sure what one does with boy parts during diaper changes.

In response to my last guest posting, someone wrote in about how I would feel guilty for neglecting my older child while focusing on the newborn. I have actually found just the opposite to be true. I constantly feel bad for ignoring Dee. While she is adorable and sweet and has the most fantastic, pleasant demeanor, she doesn't exactly demand attention the way 2-year old LP can.

I can remember reading out loud and singing and doing all sorts of goofy things to entertain my LP during my maternity leave two years ago. This leave is much easier in terms of taking care of the baby; but I find I am more easily bored. I am not as infatuated with the idea of motherhood as I was upon welcoming my eldest. Don't get me wrong: I love being a mother and I love both of my daughters equally and enormously.

With experience also comes wisdom. I am more tolerant of crying when trying to complete a task; I am more likely to put the baby down when she is sleeping instead of holding her; and I really do cherish the middle-of-the-night feedings. Seeing my two girls together is wonderful and amazing and even better than I could have imagined. And I can't really believe that my maternity leave is ending very shortly and this stage and these feelings will pass and be forgotten in no time at all.

And so the ride continues...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm a Survivor

Seriously, I just lived through LP's worst ever tantrum. She found a ball at the playground and wanted it, didn't want it, didn't want to look at it, but didn't want to leave it, didn't want it in the car, didn't want anyone else to have it...sweet lord, why do children have so much energy to focus on negativity?

My strategy was to ignore her. Not sure if that is what is recommended, but it worked. She was ready for lunch after 45 minutes and only cried for 2 minutes before passing out into her nap.

On the bright side - Dee has started rolling over! She goes from her back to her belly repeatedly and even manages to get her hand out from underneath her and raise her head up. My precocious little one did well at school this morning, "She is so sweet" according to the note from her teacher. So far she has not shown any problems taking the bottle or adapting to the new environment. I am guessing that the infant room seems downright quiet after outlasting an LP tantrum.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Update: Orientation

LP and I brought Dee to her orientation today. She looked so small. Especially since the two boys in her class are huge. Thomas was no train - he was more like Thomas the Tank! Adorable, but quite healthy!

Miss Louise, her main teacher, seems really nice. She is an older woman with quite a bit of experience. Hopefully with Dee being such a good girl she won't be ignored and will be given lots of love and attention.

A half hour after arriving, the three of us were off to the playground to reward LP for being such a good helper. Dee snoozed and LP and I surveyed the empty playground. I was on the phone with the Hoos and said, "I think there are mice on the playground! Seriously there are brown things moving around!" Turns out, they were newly hatched baby turtles from the pond in he woods behind the school. The teachers that came out shortly after us ended up collecting at least 8 turtles to return to their habitat.

Now we have to pass the rest of the day without any more excitement. Here's hoping!

What was I Thinking?

This week I am home with both of my fantastic daughters for the entire week. Quite a way to ease back into work...or maybe this will help me WANT to return to work.

At 10 Dee has orientation for day care. She goes for half an hour today, an hour and a half tomorrow, and four hours on Wednesday. I can't really believe that my little munchkin is going to be in someone else's care. At least I have the three hickeys she gave me on my shoulder to keep her close. Sniff, sniff.

Good thing I have LP to keep me busy. As I type she is "painting" her hands with markers and using her hands as stamps to decorate paper. I just looked up and her feet have joined the fracas as well. Awesome.

Friday, August 22, 2008


This morning as I crawled back in to bed around 6am after Dee's second feeding, I thought to myself, "How the hell am I going to do this when I start working in a week?" To be honest, I am thinking that adrenaline and caffeine (in moderation due to nursing) are going to be a significant part of my strategy.

When you have baby that is only a few months old you try to give them their last feeding as late as possible, so as to push off the inevitable middle-of-the-night feeding. Unfortunately, this means that I am going to bed later than usual. Before having Dee I was used to going to bed around 10 and waking up at 6:30 to get ready for work. That equates to about 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Now I am going to bed closer to 11, waking up twice in the middle of the night for at least 15 minutes, and still having to get up at 6:30. This is more like 6.5 hours of sleep.

And, now that we have two kids, even if Dee does fall around 10, I can't just go and crawl into bed. There is straightening up to do, lunches to be made, and outfits to be picked out for the next day.

Honestly, did the days get shorter this summer instead of longer? As Willie Nelson sang, "Ain't it funny how time just slips away?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're All Alright

So last night sucked. After playing on the playground with the 'tora family for a while after day care, LP requested a visit to Leonard's. When our light turned green and we proceeded to cross the intersection, some jack-hole decides to run a red light and ram into my car.

Can I tell you, worse than being in an accident is being in an accident with YOUR TWO BABIES IN THE CAR?!

Fortunately, everyone was okay. Dee started crying immediately after it happened and LP just kept wondering when we were going to go and see the sheep. We pulled in to the entrance to Stew's and I immediately climbed into the back seat to make sure my babies were okay. A crowd of onlookers also came over to make sure everyone was alright.

Last night we took the girls to the pediatrician for a double check and they both got the thumbs up. Other than a bruise on my left hand from where I hit it into something and the dent on my driver's side door (which is really tough to open and close) you wouldn't know we had been in an accident.

Oh, and except for dealing with insurance. Fortunately the other driver has insurance, and admitted fault to the police officer that showed up on the scene. And at least one witness came forward to go on record that she saw him run the light.

Good times. But thank goodness that we are okay.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Baby Dee slept from 10:30pm-6:15am!!!

Too bad munckin has a cold though...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A few years ago as I went to hang up from a phone conversation with my best friend, she said, "You know, if you have to go, you can just tell me. You don't have to pretend to do it for my sake." Upon reflection, I realized she was absolutely right; I would end every conversation saying, "I'll let you go."

I took her criticism to heart. Ever since I have tried to be straightforward and honest when I don't want to do something. I try not to project my feeling on to others when making a decision or turning down an opportunity.

Of course there still are times when the Hoos and I will purposely place blame on one another. For example if we are with his family and I don't want to do something, he will often accept responsibility or vice versa. This also works if he doesn't want to do something and he doesn't want to offend, laying blame on me. We both accept that this is sometimes the best way to keep the peace.

What I really try hard not to do is project blame on my children. If Dee needs to eat and something doesn't jibe with a scheduled activity, I will say so, but if I am not up for participating and it has nothing to do with Dee or LP, I try to act like a grown-up.

I do this in an effort to teach my girls that 1. There is a polite way to turn down an offer or provide an alternative if you aren't happy or want to influence a decision; 2. You need to speak up and take responsibility for your wants and needs; and 3. You need to be careful assigning responsibility because if everyone isn't on the same page, you can and will get caught and hurt feelings will ensue.

You can't please everyone all the time, but at least if you are honest you can help create a solution instead of whining about the result. What say you blog readers? Projecting - a necessary evil or just evil?

10 Million Strong...and Growing

Okay, so maybe the 10M is an exaggeration, but after a long weekend seeing essentially every member of both the Hoos' and my family it sure seems like it. Over a three day span, we saw:
  • Our parents
  • My grandparents
  • All seven of our nieces and nephews at once
  • All three of our siblings and their spouses (both at the same time and separately)
  • All five sets of our collective Uncles and Aunts
  • Nine of our 12 first cousins
  • Two of our four first cousins once removed (including meeting little Mira for the first time
  • And various and sundry other related folks

Saturday was Dee's naming. She was officially given her Hebrew name (Avia Elah) and welcomed into the Jewish community by family and friends. We had a naming for LP two years ago, but this time was really special because we were able to have much more family attend. As the rabbi pointed out, it it really unusual to have four generations on hand to celebrate a new addition and having my grandparents and the Hoos' Great Aunt in attendance meant a lot to us.

Sunday was my cousin's wedding. He and his bride both looked great and the event was much fun. My daughters were invited so we got to show off how cute and well-behaved their are. And they were fabulous (so were my nieces, J&K). Because the official "wedding hotel" was in the great village of Bohemia (my hometown), my mother had some of her relatives that were in town for the wedding back to the house that evening. It was really very nice to see everyone and catch up. Dee was passed around and kissed by dozens of folks and barely made a peep.

That day was also my anniversary. And my husband ended up sleeping with another woman. Fortunately, it was LP. We spent the night in the aforementioned hotel and the Hoos slept in one bed with LP and I slept in the other with Dee. I don't think either of us got a good night's sleep, but at least the girls did (once LP stopped screaming for no apparent reason, which is very unlike her. We think she must have been over-tired and overwhelmed).

Yesterday was all about my dad's side of the family. Every member of my paternal immediate family was in Bohemia. We had a neighbor take a photo of the whole gang:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two Babies, One Boppy

I don't think LP and Dee look at all alike, what do you think?

Full-On Cuddle

For the past week or so I have been opening the gate to LP's room after nursing Dee. I try to remember to do it after her second feeding, which tends to be sometime between 5 and 6. This has been working out well because LP typically wakes up around 7:15 and this way she can come right to our room without the Hoos or me having to get up to let her out.

Yes, we have a baby gate by the door of LP's room. She does sleep in her big girl bed but if we didn't have the date it is very likely that she would wander out several times before going to sleep. In addition, we do this for her own safety. We don't want her attempting to go down the stairs when it is pitch black in the middle of the night.

Anyway, this morning I nursed Dee at 2:30 and then again at 5. Around 5:15 I put Dee back in her crib and quietly unlatched the gate. At an ungodly hour I hear the pitter patter of little feet. "Mama! Uppy!". The Hoos grumbled, "It is 6!" I passed this information on to LP and told her to go back to bed. Upon hearing this, she started crying. It worked, I pulled her into bed and begged her to try to sleep.

And sleep she eventually did. On my pillow. My half of the bed became my quarter of the bed. I have to admit, it wasn't all bad. It was pretty nice to have LP's soft, cool skin smooshed up next to me.

At 7, Dee requested to join us, slurping loudly on her hands. Obviously no one else in the bed was going to go and get her, so while I dragged my butt to her bedroom to retrieve the hungry little angel, LP made herself even more comfortable, my quarter became an 8th. That I had to share with Dee while nursing, which does not inspire the most comfortable positions.

Despite my backache and exhaustion today, I have to say the soft, rhythmic breathing of my two daughters did make me very thankful for my healthy, beautiful family.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

T-Minus a Few Weeks

It is only a few short weeks until I return back to work. All along I have been saying to anyone who asked, "It will be easier this time. LP started day care at 3 months and look how wonderfully she is doing." I am now ready to admit that I am absolutely lying through my teeth.

Yes, I am looking forward to going back to work, but no, I am not looking forward to being away from my sweet, little Dee. She is such a beautiful, well-tempered, scrumptious little angel and I will undoubtedly hate having her at day care and me in the office. Granted I will be home with her two days a week (not including the weekend), but I can't help but think that creating a cozy little spot for her in my cube might be a better alternative.

Granted, I am better prepared for her to start day care than I was for LP. I have been pumping a couple of times once a week for my entire maternity leave a month so I should be less stressed about lactation. I also have lots of extra clothes, sheets and blankets to send to school.

Just because I have the stuff does not mean I am prepared to actually USE it. I have been attempting to go through the bins of LP's clothes that I stored away anticipating potentially having another daughter, but I did not anticipate actually needing easy access to the clothing. They are stored haphazardly, 18 month clothes mixed with newborn stuff and summer combined with winter. And did I mention LP skipped the 3 month size completely meaning Dee will be wearing too-big clothes for a while?

I am off to enjoy more time with my munchkin...soaking it up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day Care Complaint #462

Almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Dee and my due date was set for early June, I let LP's day care center know they would have a new charge come September. I was even specific in saying that "Bun" would start the day after Labor Day - the same as LP two years earlier. This was important because it was also the timeline I had provided to work for my maternity leave.

Wednesday of last week I handed in Dee's registration forms and fees at the front desk of the center and confirmed her start date. In case you are wondering, the reason for the delay was that I had to wait until her 2 month doctor's appointment to get the appropriate forms filled out.

Friday as I was picking LP up, the office manager told me that Dee couldn't start on the 2nd, "Another baby is starting on that day and we don't like to have two babies start at the same time." I was pissed and dumbfounded. What the heck kind of policy is that? And why not tell the other person to take a different day - we have an established relationship, don't you reward your best customers? She offered me the week of August 25th or September 15th.

WTF? No freaking way I am going back to work two weeks later than anticipated! And the 25th is a short week - they are closed the 28th and 29th to prepare for the start of the new school year. I don't want to have to pay for an extra week that I don't want or need and be shortchanged. In fact, we had been planning on keeping LP home that week so we could save some $ (they charge you for the full week even if they are closed).

This morning I called the office manager and told her neither date was satisfactory. I explained about our plan to keep LP home and how it defeated the purpose if Dee was going to school. She heard my concerns and told me she would talk to the director (one of my favorite people in the world) and see if they could work something out.

She called me back later and said that the director was "willing to make an exception for us." Even though it meant she had to rearrange enrollment. As for "rearranging enrollment" - I asked how many kinds would be in the room. "Eight on Dee's side and three on the other." Dunno, sounds to me like there was plenty of leeway. Gee, thanks for the favor - I hope you enjoy the $560 a week I hand over to cover caring for my two generally well-behaved and adorable children.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


This weekend was packed with stuff. Way more stuff than I think we usually do in a couple of weekends.

Friday morning Dee and I walked to Leonard's and went shoe shopping. Mama got herself a hot pair of red heels. Friday afternoon LP, Dee, and I went to the Norwalk Maritime Center (aka Aquarium) with my in-laws and our visiting Hungarian family.

Saturday LP and the Hoos got their hair cut. Of course we went as a family so that I could take care of LP while the Hoos was attended to. LP was excellent and she was rewarded with a walk to the "cookie store" while the Hoos got his turn under the scissors. That afternoon the Hungarian contingent visited and we had a quick campfire so we could make smores.

The day concluded with a Bridgeport Bluefish game. We were in the first row behind homeplate. When we sat down the Hoos said, "See, this will be good for nursing, no one in front of us!" EXCEPT, of course, for the entire fielding team. Fortunately Dee slept most of the game and when I did feed her I was able to be discrete. I can not be blamed for the Bluefish giving up a five-run lead in the 9th (we left during the 6th inning).

This morning we took a family trip to Home Depot. After picking out light fixtures for our bedrooms LP had had enough. I retired to the car with the girls while the Hoos completed the shopping. We then drove down to NJ for an afternoon pool party with the Hoos' second cousins. Despite really cruddy weather, we had a good time and LP especially enjoyed the family guinea pig. She keeps telling us "Bunny came out of cage!" She was very impressed.

Next weekend is also chock-a-block. We have Dee's naming on Saturday. All seven of my nieces and nephews will be in attendance, including our two nieces from California and my grandparents from Florida. Sunday is our 6th wedding anniversary and also my cousin's wedding on LI. We will spend that evening at a hotel on the Island (my brother and his family are taking over my parents house and even with three bathrooms, four kids under 5 and six adults might be a little much) so we can visit more with my brother and grandparents as well as my cousin and his family from Oregon.

I guess the theme of August is "family". And this post is loads better than me complaining about day care. Tomorrow I will download how pissed I am about Dee's day care situation...

Friday, August 8, 2008


I am going to bounce all over with this post, since I don't have much to say about any one topic but lots of little tidbits.
  1. Groceries. Good lord the price has gone up! Granted, I have only been shopping one day a week instead of two, but my bill has gone up 20%! And I am buying the same things. And this does not even include diapers!
  2. Diapers. my house is being taken over by boxes of them. Target had size 2 Pampers on clearance for $19.00 normally $27.99. I have no idea why, maybe they are changing the box sizes? Anyway, I stocked up. Dee will be wearing that size soon enough.
  3. Day Care Complaint of the Month. LP HAS SENSITIVE SKIN! Do not make me take her to the doctor again and spend $25 to determine that she has prickly heat! When will they learn?
  4. Rain! Last night was the Hoos' firm's family outing at Holiday Hill in Cheshire, CT. If it wasn't raining we would have really enjoyed it. LP got to see a pony, made some sand art, and got a balloon animal from a clown. She was scared of the pony but held up amazingly well against the creepy clowns. The balloon dog lasted about two minutes before reverting back to a blown-up condom.
  5. We are a distraction. Wednesday I took Dee to my office to show her off. It was nice to see everyone again, and it is always pleasant to have people tell you that your child is cute.

Otherwise, life is good. A few more weeks of maternity leave and then I re-enter the working world. Things apparently have been a bit wacky at work lately, so I am glad I have a job to go back to; plus I am hopeful that I can work with my team to improve firmwide morale. The morale at the house has been great though!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tummy Time

For real, how many babies do you know that LIKE tummy time? Dee is amazing; when I put her on her belly she usually plays along, occasionally falling asleep.

She held up well despite her four shots yesterday and continues to grow and be healthy. She is now 11lbs, 3ozs, and 22.75 inches long. She is the cutest little peanut.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer Means...Vacation

Well, for most people summer means vacation and travel. So far we haven't gone very far. Although I am really psyched that Dee gets her shots today which will really free us up. The good news is that people are traveling to visit us!

Our 8 and 10 year old nieces flew by THEMSELVES to the U.S. from Hungary:

And my uncle attended the Gathering of the Vibes concert in Bridgeport (representing the Rex Foundation) and made a detour to Norwalk along with my parents:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Whatever's Breast for You

It is no secret that I breast feed/fed my daughters. While I am an active nurser, I am not necessarily a believer that all women should whip 'em out. In reality, I commend women who say that it isn't for them. Better to want to do it than feel forced to do it.

From the physical, e.g., sore nipples, a cringe-inducing first latch, and engorgement issues that cause your breasts to be rock hard, to the mental, e.g., the embarrassing leakage that causes you to grow instant wet spots on the front of your shirts, nursing is a commitment.

Other cons you may not realize:
  1. Your bra size continues to change.
  2. After carrying your baby and having what may seem like an alien body for nine months, your body still won't be your own until you stop nursing.
  3. Nursing doesn't mean you can't get pregnant or that you won't get your period back.
  4. Sure, you can eat things that you couldn't eat while you were knocked up (e.g., cold cuts) but you will have to limit some foods such as broccoli and beans and potentially all milk products if your baby turns out to be lactose intolerant.

It is also very stressful to nurse when you return to work. Pumping is not only time consuming but some days you just feel downright miserable praying for your boobs to just give up a little more liquid gold. You mentally goad your hooties into producing, "Righty, man, you are the big loser today. Lefty is KICKING YOUR ASS." No, shaming your girls does not help in increasing your production, but at least you feel like you are doing something about it.

On the other hand, nursing actually does help you get your original body back sooner since you burn more calories. It is also convenient, inexpensive (the original investment in a worthy pump for those that return to work plus breast milk freezer bags and nursing bags doesn't even come close to a monthly tab for formula), and an awesome experience. I love having Dee nestled next to me. I love looking down at her while she eats and knowing that I am her mommy and I am nourishing her and providing for her from my own body.

I have to also share that the Hoos loves the fact that I am nursing. It means he doesn't have to get up in the middle of the night. I am a nice wife in that I don't make him get up to change her diaper before I nurse. She usually poops while eating anyway, so this would just be a cruel example of misery loving company.

To be honest, it isn't that miserable. It is time alone with the little angel that I carried and nurtured and couldn't wait to meet. She is healthy and thriving and I like to think that, in large part, that is due to me. From my perspective breast feeding is a gift that Dee and I give each other.