Thursday, December 31, 2009

MMX

Reflecting back over the past 12 months I can't point to any monumental changes. But life has changed. My girls are growing - so fast! - and every minute of every day are becoming distinct people with unique personalities.

Some highlights
  1. Celebrating LP being diaper free all day - and all of the night

  2. Stopping nursing!

  3. Sleeping through the night

  4. Throwing LP her first "real" birthday party

  5. Enjoying our first vacation as a family of four

  6. Signing LP up for ballet

  7. Seeing my girls become best friends

  8. Spending a night away from my children for the first time in a long time

  9. Watching time fly

  10. Loving motherhood, family, friends and getting by the best way I can - with a smile

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Brink

Now that Christmas is over, things are settling back down. LP will finally return to Stew's in the daytime, now that Santa Claus has moved back on to the North Pole. So, of course, we have started focusing on the next holiday - New Years!

The Hoos and I have been struggling to explain the concept of the New Year to LP. "Well, right now it is 2009 and on Friday it will be 2010." Her blank stare and questioning shrug pretty much say, "So what?"

My new tack is to tell her all of the things that will happen in 2010. For example, "You know what happens in the New Year? You turn 4!" This she gets. "Yay! I will be four! And then the next year I will be five and then I will go to kindergarten!"

Then I get nauseous. Seriously, kid, hold your horses. You turn four in MAY. And you don't start kindergarten until September of 2011. Then I think, oh. my. goodness. How is it even possible that kindergarten is that close!! This is my baby. Okay, not my baby, my big girl. But she isn't big. She is three and a half. Deep breaths, deep breaths. She is three and a half. And nothing is going to change come Friday, January 1, 2010...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Old Enough, Young Enough

The Hoos and I are avid watchers of a few television shows. We enjoy Lost, Glee, Psych, How I Met Your Mother and a handful of others every week. Then there are"filler shows," those that we have set up on the DVR to watch when our regularly scheduled shows are on hiatus. Monk is one of those shows (so is CSI Miami, but we watch that more for comic relief).

I realize that the viewing audience of Monk tends to skew "mature," so while I might be immature, I guess I am getting OLD. Oh, and we have stopped DVR'ing Miami because, well, Men of a Certain Age is on at the same time. Have I mentioned that I am OLD?

Anyway, we have been catching up on the final season of Monk and last night we finally caught up. We watched Part I of the two part finale. And then realized that either the DVR didn't tape, or we had accidentally deleted, the series finale.

Fortunately, I am young enough to have heard of this thing that all the kids use to watch TV - Hulu. You can watch most already aired television shows for free - with minimal commercials (maybe 3-4 15-second commercials scattered throughout). Even better, I had my laptop at home. So, while the Hoos got ready for bed, I tracked down the missing show and got it set up on the laptop. We hunkered down into bed and snuggled up with my computer to catch up.

This is the first time I have watched a television show on my laptop. Well, if you don't count watching Dr. Horrible, which was more of a mini-Internet-only TV show with the double awesomeness of Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion (who is in Castle, the other show that I watch at 10 on Mondays, ergo, the bumping of Miami). Regardless, I don't plan on making a habit of it. But it is nice to have a back-up plan...and two hoodlums to keep me young.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Setting the Record Straight

Some responses to questions and comments non-Christian people tend to get this time of year (more than you think!).

"Merry Christmas!" "Merry Christmas!" I accept and respond to this salutation in the spirit it was intended, as a tiding of good cheer. No need to dampen any one's enthusiasm.

"Don't you feel like you are missing out?" Umm...no. Do you feel like you are missing out on Rosh Hashana or Ramadan?

"Don't you celebrate Christmas even a little bit?" Again, no. We don't put up lights or a Christmas tree, we don't give our kids Christmas gifts. We might attend a friend's Christmas party or send out holiday cards and we participate in gift exchanges, etc., but we don't celebrate Christmas.

"That will change when your kids get bigger." No, it won't. You don't celebrate holidays to accommodate your children or fit in. Christmas is not our holiday. My kids already know they are Jewish and while I am sure there will be times where they will be "Christmas-curious," they love and value our traditions and celebrations and are proud to be Jewish.

"But I know Jewish people that celebrate Christmas." Just because they do, doesn't mean that every Jewish person does or should.

"But Christmas isn't even really a religious holiday anymore." It doesn't really matter what the holiday is intended to represent or has evolved to represent, it still isn't my holiday.

"What are you going to do on Christmas Day?" Typically? Pretty much nothing. This year we are going to an event at a local Jewish Community Center. They have activities (bounce houses, art projects, etc.) set up for the kids so we all don't go stir crazy.

Happy holidays everyone! No matter what you do or do not celebrate - I hope you get to sleep late.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Logistical Nightmare and Sweet Dreams

The other night LP woke up at 1:45 am for no apparent reason. She wasn't crying, she didn't claim to have a nightmare, she was just awake. She showed up at our bedside four times in 15 minutes. Each time the Hoos and I would patiently walk her back her room and coax her to return to the warmth of her bed. It was not until the Hoos' final trip that she actually stayed put.
Yesterday, at a more decent hour, I asked him what he had said to get her to agree to go back to sleep. "I told her that she wasn't being fair and that Mommy and Daddy needed sleep too." Really? He was using logic with a 3.5 year old? And it worked?

On the sweet side, AK continues to transform into one of the cutest little people you have ever seen. The other night she and LP were playing so nicely together all I wanted to do was watch instead of using the opportunity to accomplish things. AK would call out, "Night-night, Didi!" and LP would lay down on the floor with her head on a couch cushion. AK would then cover her gently with a blanket, taking several attempts to cover her completely - AK is a bit of a perfectionist. Little sister would than bend down over her big sister and rub her back, singing "Night-night, Didi."

Yesterday the Hoos had two silly stories to share from his adventures in getting the girls to school. First, he was so impressed that AK was pointing to her head and saying "head." She really does know all of her body parts. So much so that when the Hoos clapped and told her she was doing a good job, she pointed a bit lower and cried out, "Boobies!" He tried to convince her that she meant "belly" and moved her hands a bit lower, but she was having none of it, "Boobies!" I guess she is learning from her sister after all.

Once they arrived at school, AK continued to show the Hoos what a strategist she is. She ran to the open side of her classroom that was devoid of children. She immediately grabbed three baby dolls and clutched them to her chest before a teacher nabbed her and brought her over to the side with the rest of the children. She then positioned herself in a corner, holding the babies tightly as her friends began circling. One at a time they would reach out a hand to try to requisition the babies and were waved (and screeched) off by my tiny munchkin. She was having none of it, having obviously learned how to fend for herself against LP.

Which leads me to my last "story" of the post, pick up time. When AK and I entered LP's classroom, the students were sitting on the floor in a circle playing a matching game. LP wasn't really interested in leaving. AK didn't mind hanging out. She thinks she belongs in LP's classroom anyway. LP called AK over and the little peanut slowly backed herself up and sat in LP's lap. LP was so proud, calling out, "Hey! Look at [AK]! Look at [AK]!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Learned it by Watching YOU, Dad!

Remember those Public Service Announcements? Am I dating myself?

I really think that nature and nurture strike a delicate balance in our house.

Nurture
As is typical of a Monday morning, no one in our house wanted to get out of bed. Over the weekend, LP arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at my bedside around 7:15. Today, not so much. It is like she has already joined the working world of people that dread Monday.

The Hoos snoozed for at least half an hour, finally getting up way closer to 8 than he should have. The ladies also slept in, both of them waking close to 8:30. Fortunately, day care had a two-hour delayed opening, so we didn't really need to rush. But if it had been a "normal" Monday - it would have been a real bummer.

Nature
AK loves the snow. Both girls are really enjoying the new sled they got on the last night of Chanukah (good timing, eh?). AK loves the snow so much that she refuses to keep her gloves on. All she wants to do is pick it up and eat it. Which is okay for nice, clean snow. Not so much for the snow that accumulates on the bottom of her shoes. This is NOT learned behavior.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Can't Party All the Time

Tuesday night was my department dinner for work. That left the Hoos in charge of picking up, feeding, entertaining, bathing, and getting the girls to bed. He called me as he drove to pick them up (I was still at the office) and as I went to hang up after our brief conversation he called out, "AMY!!! WAIT!!! What do I give them for dinner?!" Mommies RULE!

The dinner was fine. I wouldn't recommend the restaurant (Frankie and Johnny's Steakhouse in Rye, NY) but the company was good and it was nice to interact with folks I don't normally see too much of. There were a few odd moments - e.g., the VP of our group referencing mud wrestling in regards to two of my cute, young, female co-workers, another co-worker fawning over my dad and telling me that is was okay if LP and AK didn't visit the office as long as my dad did (EWWWWW!!!).

When I got home a little after 9, the Hoos was still upstairs putting the finishing touches on bed time. He wasn't happy about it. Apparently it had been a rough night of multiple meal choices and general debauchery. Pretty much a normal night in my book. Fortunately, the girls slept well; unfortunately, my waiter hadn't understood the difference between regular and decaf I was up and wired all night.

Last night was the Hoos' department dinner. I was a bit worried since I was already exhausted and the girls had given the Hoos such a tough time the night before. I shouldn't have worried. By 8:30 they were both nestled in bed and I was back on the couch with my late dinner.

Around 9:30 I packed myself up and headed upstairs to watch TV in bed. The Hoos arrived home shortly thereafter but I was determined to get some sleep. Too bad I ended up laying awake until after 2. I have an annoying cold (the kind where snot forgets to stop in my sinuses or where ever for some extra mucus to make it viscous and instead just drips out of my nose like water from a leaky faucet) and apparently some sort of mental block against sleep. AWESOME.

Right now I am treating myself to my first white hot chocolate of the season. Full of fat but oh so yummy. I deserve it. Then again, I also deserve SOME SLEEP (hint, hint body).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Experiential Parenting

If asked I would say that my approach to parenting is "experiential." That is, I make decisions based on what I observe, along with some intuition and instinct.

If my girls are jumping on the bed and being nutso and you ask me if they are sick, I would respond, no. That is not to say that I would not feel their keppies (Yiddish for head) to check. (Good thing I did on Sunday, too, AK ended up having a fever.)

Going further, if my kids are sleeping peacefully and I think they might have a fever, I wouldn't wake them to confirm. I think the fact that they are sleeping is a better sign than a thermometer's reading.

Yesterday the girls did have runny noses, but they also had a great time. As LP said, "This is special that I am staying home with you because I am sick mommy." I checked each of their temperatures once during the day, just for the record, and they were both in the low 99s. The fact that they ate and bounced and drank, all led to conclude that they were a-okay.

Today they are both back at day care. They are less experiential than I am, more science based. I am hoping not to get a phone call request for pick up, but I am not counting it out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

On My Own

Today I spent the day home with both my daughters. I love them, but it was a long day.

AK is usually home with me on Mondays and Fridays, plus she has a recently diagnosed ear infection that gave her an awesome fever and restless night (yay! Mommy, Daddy and AK awake from 1:30 until 3); LP has a cold, a day away from gaining and sharing germs was determined to be a good thing.

LP staying home was a last minute decision. A decision made while AK was still sleeping - she slept until 9:15. Once awake, she was jazzed to be able to spend the day tormenting and being tormented by her big sister.

I tried to get them to nap, I really did, but it wasn't happening. At 1:30 LP burst into tears, "I want to go to be-ee-ee-ddd!" I was down with that. What I wasn't down with was sitting in her room for 20 minutes while she fell asleep. I couldn't. Not with AK on the loose. And bringing AK into LP's room wasn't an option if a nap was going to happen. And since AK slept late, she wasn't about to accept being deposited in her crib while I tended to her big sister. And no one can fall asleep with an 18-month old howling bloody murder in the room next door.

So...naps didn't happen.

What did happen?


  • Lots of eating. Maybe some kids lose their appetites when they are sick, not mine. They ate pretty much non-stop.
  • Projects. But unhappy ones. LP wanted to paint and couldn't because than AK would want to paint and we can't have any of that. AK wanted Play Dough - to eat.
    Television. Sometimes. When they could agree on a show. Which was about an hour out of the entire day.
  • Dropping. LP fell asleep on the couch at 6:15 while I prepped their dinner. I got her up around 6:45 - with a lot of hard work. Even AK repeatedly pointing to LP's nose, saying "Boogies" and attempting to wipe LP's nose couldn't rouse her.
  • Creativity. Both on my part - coming up with projects is hard work! and on LP's part. She had lots of inventions - see below.
  • Mess making. OH MY GOODNESS. My house was hit by a bomb.

Some photos







Top: Playing the drums. It was LP's idea to use yarn to attach her drum to her waist

2nd: Icing cookies. Don't worry no one else is going to eat them We used store-bought cookies and chucked the tubes o' frosting. Mostly because they stopped decorating and starting mainlining sugar right from the tubes.
3rd: AK trying on her rainboots for the first (and likely only) time. I think she was inspired by LP's Chanukah gift of an umbrella.
4th: LP "egg cracker". She made it from a Super Grover lego kit and named it herself. Odd, because she doesn't even really like eggs.

Trash Talk

There once was a time when I walked past a piece of paper on the floor and kept going. Or when I saw garbage carried by the wind caught in a bush and ignored it. And then I became a homeowner. And a parent.

I used to count on MY mom or dad stopping down to clean up the detritus I left in my wake, and now it is pay back time. I can't walk from one room to another without picking something up and transporting it to its rightful spot - be it the garbage, a toy bin, the sink, the laundry pile.

Actually as I write this I am running a work camp. Both girls are home from school today with various ailments, mostly related to boogers that require mass amounts of soft tissues. LP determined half an hour ago that AK's high chair "smells di'gustin all over" and required cleaning. She then went to the closet that holds our cleaning supplies and got out a Swiffer WetJet for herself (because big sister gets the one that sprays) and a Swiffer Sweeper for AK. I am not sure they are making the house any cleaner, but it is the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chanukah in the House

Last night we had a Chanukah party. My parents and in-laws came over and spoiled the girls silly.

Top: Girls with my parents, Grandma and Papa; Bottom: LP enjoying her new art center from her Saba and Safta (my in-laws) - every picture the Hoos took of her painting looks the same, she kept posing like this, it was hysterical.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Celebrating Diversity (and the Holidays)

Next week LP's class is having a cultural diversity luncheon. Since at our day care center you can't call holidays by their real names (instead of a Halloween parade, they had a Storybook parade and had to carry a book that portrayed their "character," Valentines Day is "Friendship Day) this is its way of celebrating the holiday season.

Every family is supposed to bring in a dish that represents their culture. One child is Latino, his mom is bringing empanadas (yum); another family is bringing in Irish soda bread. I am struggling. My grandfather was German and both the Hoos and I have English and Russian ancestors, and probably Polish too, but I can't say that we regularly eat any foods that might represent these backgrounds. We are Jewish, but is that "our culture"? What am I supposed to bring in? Latkes? Matzoh ball soup? If I really wanted to be sure that LP would eat whatever I send in, I would send in bagels. Oy!

On another note, holidays mean teacher gifts. Fortunately, in LP's class I know a lot of the parents and we are all going in on gift cards. The more that participate, the more cost effective and the less likely I am to appear cheap. Which brings me to AK's class. I don't really know any other parents on her side of the classroom. I want to get them something nice, but I don't really want to spend $20+ per teacher to accomplish this. What to get? Last year I got insulated lunch bags with their name's embroidered on them. Not sure how well that was received (I only got one thank you note). Insights?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Person

Have I mentioned lately what a sweetheart my AK is? Aside from the random and incredibly loud shrieks she emits on occasion, she really is a lovely little muffin. And she is truly becoming a little individual, far from the baby she was a year ago.
  • She has named her pacifier "Buhbee." She will ask me for it, especially if she sees one on the counter.
  • If she has a buhbee in her mouth and wants something else - usually food, she will throw the paci to the floor to make room for the new item.

  • She knows that she is not supposed to have her pacifier outside of her crib; if the Hoos or I bring her into our bed in the morning and we let her keep her paci in hopes of getting more rest it will only work for a short period of time. Eventually she will slide out of our bed, run to her room, put the pacifier into her crib through the slats and run back yelling "breakfast!"

  • She has started singing my name to get my attention. It sort of sounds like Tarzan "Maaaa-aaaa-meeee!"

I'll keep her.


Top: AK now (18 mos.) and at 6 mos. Bottom: For comparison purposes LP at 18 mos. - in the same PJs no less!

Unacceptable Behavior

I am not the disciplinarian on our house. I am actually pretty bad at discipline. My response to a tantrum-throwing child is to ignore them as opposed to yelling or spanking. This is not to say that I will not yell or pick up one of my daughters and put them down with emphasis.

I do not think that my children are scared of me. I also don't think that with my girls the threat of a spanking or continuous yelling (or follow through on those) will do anything other than escalate the noise level.

I don't take tantrums or screaming from my children personally. I know they love me. I know they are having "a moment."

I usually try to pick the screamer up (unless they have done something to deserve being yelled at, causing the crying). Sometimes this results in me eventually putting them down with emphasis.

Recently my strategy has been a threat of taking something away. And then follow through. Last week LP lost the opportunity to watch Tinkerbell before bed, a new book, chapstick, and lip gloss - all in one night.

Amazingly, since then she has been much better before bed. She still might not go to sleep at bedtime, but at least she doesn't scream and cry. Instead she creeps me out, by quietly walking to the top of the stairs and waiting for me to walk by and calling out in a hushed whisper, "Mom." Better for my sanity, although she has scared the bejesus out of me twice now.

Anyone have successful strategies to share?

Monday, December 7, 2009

We Have Arrived

Yay! I finally feel like we are established here in Norwalk and have a great group of local friends that have kids, similar interests, and hectic lives. It is really nice.

Several weeks ago we hosted a few families at our house. Our house isn't big, but we can squeeze everyone in and sometimes I think people are just glad to have a place to go and things to do and not have to cook and clean, so hopefully they overlook the cozy nature of the situation.

Last night another family invited us over. The same poor family that met us at a diner with their two kids and our two kids resulting in crazy noise and chaos. I am amazed they still talk to us. After last night it may be a different story.

First, their poor dog had to be locked in a bedroom, far away from LP. Poor Finn. When we left and they let him out, he knew it was because of us and he chased me to the car.

Everything started off very nicely with all of the kids (4 3-year olds; 4 1-year olds) playing nicely together. What ensued from there included a bloody nose (not one of our kids, but very likely as a result of one of our kids pushing her way out of a door), a general mess, and eventually a crying child (AK sincerely believes that every baby doll she encounters should be hers as a general rule - tears happen when you try to remind her otherwise).

This doesn't even count the booster chair that AK dragged all over the house and out from behind several of the kids that were her size. Or LP wrestling (she called it hugging) their poor, adorable, sweet as pie, 1-year old on our way out.

We only met our friends through our kids. And quite possibly our kids will get us dis-invited.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Natural Born Cynic

We were driving to Stew's this afternoon, discussing their Santa Claus.

"Mommy, Santa sees us all the time."

Immediately Santa Clause is Coming to Town springs in to my head: He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake. I am not really sure where LP would have heard this song, so I ask her to elaborate.

"We are at the store all the time, so he sees us there."

Later as we exit Stew's avoiding the Santa, LP starts freaking out a bit. I start to say, "He is just a man in a costume," the same way we explain Clover, the Stew's cow. But I have to stop myself, realizing that that could be ruining the Santa myth for kids around me. Oops.

Blog-readers, how do parents explain the fact that there is a Santa on every corner? Same guy? A representative? Just another guy pretending to be Santa? Are they all the real deal?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Trying to pinpoint the highlight of the night. Was it:
  1. Dragging the girls to ShopRite for Van's mini-chocolate chip waffles to find out they no longer sell them?
  2. The fiasco around the poop in the bathtub?
  3. The 45 minute long tantrum at bed time?
  4. The whining that followed the tantrum?
  5. Spilling my 9pm dinner of a bowl of cereal on myself?

Lord, please help me if the highlight is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full Moon Fever

Ever notice how the noise and chaos in your home reaches new heights when the moon is full? It is real? Is it imagined?

Last night LP was in rare form. Refusing to get into the bath, running sans-clothes around the house; refusing to get into bed; intermittently crying and yelling; getting out of bed and leaving her room well past her bedtime. UGH.

When I would ask what was wrong? "My legs hurt," indicated the areas behind her knee. Trying to get more specific she would say, "I am veined." WHAT? 1.) It doesn't make any sense and 2.) I don't know how she knows anything about veins.

Later on while I was sitting in the chair in her bedroom while she whined from the bed she told me she didn't feel well. This time, "My whole body hurts." Again, as I pressed her for more details, "It feels cracked." Again, totally a bizarre response. My confusion remained. I blame the full moon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maybe Not

It is no secret that the Hoos would love a pet. He would settle for a reptile, but he has a soft spot for dogs (especially those that know how to clean up after themselves). AK would love it. I think any puppy that licked her on the nose might get its nose licked back. Alas, it is also no secret that LP might not be as keen of the idea.

Someone at the Hoos' office is adopting out black lab puppies. He emailed me pictures last night of the little rascals in their newspaper lined crate that I shared with LP. "Mommy, are those puppies going to grow?" I let her know that indeed the puppies would not stay small forever. Her response? "I don't want a dog that will grow. I want a kitty." Unfortunately, a cat is not an option because a.) I am not a cat person and b.) the Hoos is allergic.

When LP called the Hoos to let him know where she stood, she let it rip, "Daddy, I don't want a dog. But I would like a video of the doggies peeing on the paper."

I do not know where she gets these things. Really.

On a related note, we are supposed to go to a friends house for dinner this coming weekend. It is one of LP's best friends and she is very excited, except...

"Mommy, MK has a dog. I don't like him." I remind her that they will put the poor pup in a bedroom so he won't be in the way. "But what if I have to pee or wash my hands?" I told her that the bathroom is not in the bedroom and she should be okay, but I am not sure she believes me. We don't have a bathroom in our bedroom, so I am not really sure why she has this idea, but regardless, you can tell that she is fixated...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

27.5 Hours and Counting

It has been almost 30 hours since the Hoos and I saw the girls - very strange!

Last Chanukah my in-laws gave us a gift certificate for a resort in Westchester. It had a 12-month time limit, so we finally used it last night. We dropped the girls (and my car) off a little before noon yesterday. Our first stop was Target to do some holiday shopping followed by a bit more local shopping and lunch out (for those interested we checked out the Fairfield branch of Garden Catering - the chicken nuggets and cones were very good - and kept us pretty full most of the day). We then made a quick stop at home and headed down to Purchase, NY.

After checking in we did (surprise!) more shopping. I am actually really excited about our stop at ToysRUs in White Plains. THEY HAD A TELETUBBY DOLL! I almost cried when I saw it (an aside - I had to throw out the freecycled ones- they definitely needed to go in the washer, but since they had electronic parts and can "talk" it wasn't feasible). I grabbed it and ran over to an employee to ask where I could find more. She looked at my incredulously, "We don't carry those anymore. It must be on clearance...or a return...or something." Bummer.

Since we had such a big lunch, the Hoos and I didn't go out to dinner until 8. Really very late for us. We went to an excellent Italian Restaurant, Il Sogno, in Port Chester where we ate much food. They even gave the Hoos some biscotti for the road.

With full bellies, we needed time to digest and headed to a 9:30 movie. This is unheard of. I usually won't even start watching an hour long show from the DVR after 9:15. We saw Pirate Radio. It was really enjoyable. Funny, different, interesting - highly recommended. All-in-all, a great date night.

Today after a big breakfast (do you sense a food theme here?) we headed home to take advantage of the girls still being at my in-laws. We went grocery shopping together, the Hoos did some work around the house, I walked to Stew's, made turkey soup and biscotti, and did two loads of laundry. Not the most exciting day, but a guilt-free day where I didn't have to worry about having little kids underfoot.

We are going to pick them up soon. Which is good. Because they are cute, and I do miss them. Next year - two nights!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Too Far?

Recently AK has been obsessed with the Teletubbies. LP also enjoys them and I have two episodes saved to the DVR from a couple of years ago. This is quite fortunate because the 'Tubbies are no longer shown on TV. In fact, 'Tubby items are no longer really sold in stores either (you can pay an arm and a leg to get them online though).

Yesterday I thought I was being quite clever when I posted to Freecycle seeking All Things Teletubbies. Until I got a response and had to ask the Hoos to pick the items up.

The Hoos is not really a fan of Freecycling. When I Freecycled some kitchen gadgets earlier this week he wondered why I didn't just throw it out. "Hey," I reasoned, "If someone else is going to use it, why not? Better than going to a landfill!"

My request resulted in purple (Tinky-Winky) and yellow (La-La) Teletubby dolls. The Hoos thinks I am nuts. He thinks that if someone else's kids treat their toys the way our kids do (eating them, drooling on them, etc.) why would we possibly want them. I was going to just throw the dolls in the wash (before the girls see them, natch). If they get ruined, they get thrown out. Big deal.

What do you think? Freecycling stuffed animals icky? Or ingenious?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shake, Rattle, and Roll


More evidence that my kids are the bees knees.
Which is good, because I forget sometimes. Mostly when I am trying to feed them dinner and they keep changing their mind about what they want to eat.
For AK this means chucking whatever is on her tray. Really, is there anything worse than being pelted in the head with food while trying to pick up food previously thrown to the floor?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Polite Conversation

This morning I was responsible for getting the girls ready and off to school. I know it is always a struggle for the Hoos to wrangle them and get them out the door. It took me forever today, so I do sympathize.

After LP FINALLY finished her bagel at about 8:50, I managed to get both girls into the upstairs bathroom to brush their teeth and get LP to do her "morning pee" (have I mentioned that we have had NO accidents in the weeks since she decided to give up PullUps? Such a rockstar). AK immediately walked over to the toilet, picked up the potty ring and perched it on top of the toilet seat.

Well, LP doesn't use a potty ring, so I took this as a sign that Miss AK wanted a turn. Of course, LP insisted that she had to go first, "Because I have to go really, really bad!" So, while LP peed, AK brushed her teeth. Then AK had a turn. She sat there with a big smile and LP and I listened closely for the tell-tale "tinkle tinkle."

We weren't disappointed.

We clapped, we cheered, LP called out, "We have to call and tell Daddy!" I let her know we would call the Hoos from the car on the way to school (once we finally got into the car).

I handed LP the cellphone as I drove the mile to day care. I wasn't sure if the Hoos had made it into the office yet, so I kept asking her if it was still ringing or if she had reached his voicemail, when all of a sudden she started talking, "My little sister peed on the potty."

Apparently LP had gotten the Hoos' new secretary on the phone. Quite the introduction. Fortunately, Pat is a grandmother, so she found the whole thing funny, at least once she understood who was calling and for what.

When the Hoos arrived to the office he received a hand-written note: [LP] called re: [AK] peed on the potty.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Booty on the Brain

LP is obsessed with tushes lately. All roads seem to lead to them.

In the car earlier she said, "Let's talk about pets." I went on to talk about the pet turtle, Harvey, I had and the gerbil, Speedy, my brother had. We then talked about the Hoos' cat, Tabby, and turtle, Buddy.

That is where LP stopped me.

"His was was Butty? Like Butt?"

Then we were reading a book of nursery rhymes and similar songs. Row, Row, Row Your Boat caught her attention this time. Can you guess where?

"Life is BUTT a dream?! HAHAHAHA!" she yelled out as she patted her behind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Parent's Dilemma

As a mother, I want to protect my daughters. Always. And from everything.

From getting swine flu. From getting bitten by another child in day care. From getting their hearts broken. From mean girls. From devastating blows to their self-confidence and image of self.

As much as I know intellectually that I am not Superwoman, and that even Superwoman can't fend off hormones and teenage angst (not to mention little kids bearing their fangs), I want to be a human shield.

Instead of Superwoman, I know that my best bet will be to arm the girls with the tools and resources, and self confidence, to defend themselves. To make smart choices.

I try to think before I say or act. To put myself in their shoes. To consider how my words and actions will be received and processed by their little minds.

But I am not perfect. I, too, am human. I have a prolific vocabulary of curse words. An all-too-finite amount of patience, hopefully balanced by an infinite amount of love.

I didn't intend to write a melancholy post. I am in a good mood today. But every once in a while I consider the weight of the responsibility I have been given. I am so, so lucky to have my beautiful, healthy children. I refuse to waste this opportunity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snap Shot


Top: Before bed, AK climbed off me and on to LP. Can you say scrumptious?; Middle: AK having her own wild rumpus, wearing her Where the Wild Things are crown - her way; Bottom: Having a "radio party," LP's description of a party with music (like her big cousin's Bat Mitzvah)

A picture says 1,000 words, so hopefully these pics make up for my lack of a real post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Birds and the Bees

Last week while watching a nature show about baby animals, LP cried out, "Mom! Look! That baby zebra is coming out of the mom's tushy! That's disgusting! Isn't that disgusting?"

At which point I left the room.

I sought out the Hoos to inquire if he thought I should set her straight. He did and I did.

Flash forward to last night as we drove home from the day care center. "Mom? Want to play a game? I am going to say a letter and then you name an animal that starts with that letter that has a baby that comes out its vagina."

I started to pray, "Please let this game be over before we pull up to the drive through window at the dry cleaner."

"E," she called out. "Elephant," I responded.

"D!"

"Umm...Duck."

"MOMMY! We are naming animals that come out of their mommy's vagina! That's not right!" This kid remembers EVERYTHING. Hopefully she remembers that it is not polite to talk about these things in school.

In addition, I have decided that since I taught her how mammals get out of their mother's belly, the Hoos can be responsible for telling her how they get in. Sounds fair, right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Wild Rumpus

The Bat Mitzvah Saturday was fabulous. My niece rocked her haftorah (the longest possible), torah readings and other requirements. LP and AK both stayed in the sanctuary for two hours - including all of the most important parts, which was awesome. They were really wonderfully behaved.

The luncheon was great, full of family and friends. LP had a particularly good time, playing with M's friends and some second cousins in from NJ. She and AK both ran around like crazy kids and we were sure they would both crash and take nice long naps. Which would have been good, because later that night was part II of the celebration, a party for M and her friends.

AK napped for almost three hours. LP, exhausted and cranky, fought it the whole way. We were really worried for how she would hold up at the party - which was slated from 7-10. We had already anticipated leaving early, but with LP not napping, we thought it would be a really early night. Instead, LP rallied. And by rallied, I mean partied like a rockstar. The girl has some moves! She was great. In fact, both LP and AK were still awake when we rolled into our driveway at 11.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Life Changes

My eldest niece, the Divine Miss M, celebrated her 13th birthday yesterday. The top picture is M with her younger brother, O, at my wedding. The bottom photo is the one that accompanied her Bat Mitzvah invitation.

Seven years ago, when the first picture was taken, O was M's only brother; they have since been joined by the rambunctious and irreplaceable Y (now 6). And my two girls have also joined the family.

Back then I was called "Amy"...who am I kidding, they still call me Amy, although they also refer to the Hoos by his first name as well, and he has been their uncle the whole time. The only consolation is that in conversation with others they might refer to me as their Aunt...maybe.

Seven years ago I had a special dress picked out for the celebration, for M's special day I haven't had time to buy anything new. Well, I have tried to run out during my lunch break a few times, but have come up empty. The few dresses that I like the fit of are drab colors. At this point I am trying to find a new bright shirt to wear under a suit from my closet, but I am struggling to find one that doesn't make me look even older than I feel.

Everyone is very excited for M's Bat Mitzvah. My brother-in-law and his family (M's other uncle) arrived from Hungary last night. My girls have new dresses, the Hoos has his Torah reading down pat, and LP has been working on hers. Okay, LP doesn't really have a Torah reading at the Bat Mitzvah, but she thinks that she does and she walks around saying prayers in Hebrew in preparation. Crazy cute.

I feel really lucky. I had an awesome family to begin with and I married into a family that has welcomed me warmly. I have the best of all worlds and I am so proud of M and all of my nieces and nephews (all seven of them!) and wouldn't mind a bit if they slowed down growing up just a wee bit so Aunt Amy can catch up.

See What I Mean?

My friend JM snapped this shot of little AK on Sunday. A delicious little imp to be sure, but that devilish twinkle is hard to ignore.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Hate Being Right

When I picked my little ladies up from school yesterday, everything seemed normal. LP was riffling through my pocketbook trying to find her gum, AK was smiling because she found a paci on her car seat (she can only have it in the car and the crib - and little does she know that is only for another few weeks), then we got home.

And my little AK was a disaster. Cranky, whiny, clingy...and I knew. Coupled with her week-long runny nose, this could only mean one thing. Yet another ear infection. After the Hoos got home and I scarfed down dinner, at 7:30 I packed AK up and whisked her off to the pediatrician's office where my fears were confirmed.

I HATE going to the pediatrician's office. Especially during flu season. When they have masks in the hallway for anyone suspected of having the flu. When I have a 17-month old that does not stop moving or touching things. And this is just the beginning of cold and flu (and ear infection) season.

I was planning on waiting until AK's 18-month check up in early December to broach the topic of tubes with AK's doctor. Despite the fact that she is pretty verbal, I can't help but feel that her monthly ear infections are impacting her quality of life. I know they are impacting mine. Sigh....

This doesn't fit in this post, but I wanted to capture for posterity a random compliment I received on Monday. After picking the girls up from school we went to drop stuff in the car before going to the playground. As I approached my car I heard chatter from above. Looking up there was a large gentleman standing on the roof of the day care center, repairing the roof. "Those are the prettiest eyes I have ever seen." I turned to AK, who I was carrying, "That's you sweetie, say thank you." The roofer corrected me, "I meant her mama." NICE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Space Cadet

Last night, in the middle of the night, I suddenly jumped up out of bed.

Neither of my kids were screaming. I was not in pain. The Hoos had not just punched or kicked me. I did not hear any strange noises.

Instead, I had a dream. A dream of standing at the top of the stairs, with AK at the bottom, looking up at me, as she held a shampoo bottle upside down and aloft and slowly squeezed out its contents all over my living room floor. I was jumping up/running down the stairs to stop her.

Fortunately once out of bed I woke up and recognized my surroundings. I got back into bed, sheepish, but happy that the Hoos appeared not to have noticed that he is married to a nutcase.

In case you are wondering, yes, that is totally something AK would do. She is the cutest little munchkin with a devilish grin. Her new thing is to run at you with her mouth open in an attempt to bite you. I am trying to coach LP not to laugh at her since it encourages this behavior, but it is hard since she just looks so silly and naive, thinking it is an effective maneuver.

To further my idiocy, I arrived at work this morning nice and early - 7:30. As I stepped out of my car I realized something was missing. My laptop. Which was sitting in my bag in my home office. 25 miles away. My boss lives about half a mile from me and fortunately she had not left for work yet and she was able to stop by and retrieve the laptop from the Hoos. Not my finest moment. And yet it is still only 8:30 so I have a whole day to try and outdo myself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunny Sunny Sunday

The weather was fantastic here in CT yesterday. The sun was shining, the temperatures were mild and, because I have two small children, yard work wasn't an option. We would not - could not - waste the day raking leaves.

In the morning we took the girls to a playground and they ran around and played. It was enough activity to tucker AK out after lunch. LP saw her chance and insisted that the Hoos take her fishing. They packed a picnic lunch, put their rods in the car, and headed over to the beach. They had a great time, enjoying each other's company and soaking in the sun.
With everyone otherwise occupied I ran around like a crazy person. Making a ziti and a salad, vacuuming, straightening up the house...I counted on AK sleeping for at least two hours, but she popped awake in about an hour and a half. Fortunately, I was able to take care of everything I need to in the time allowed and whisked AK back outside to take advantage of the weather in our own neighborhood.

As an aside, when I asked the Hoos on Saturday if he was cool with me inviting people over for dinner on Sunday he responded in the affirmative. When he discovered I had invited over five families, I think he almost fell over. One family couldn't make it (next time!), and it was cozy, but I thought it was a great way to transition into the work week. Definitely better than yard work.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Who's That Girl?

Think back to when you were in elementary school - can you remember 'the dirty girl'? You know, the one that looked unkempt, maybe wore stained clothes? At the time, and even now, you didn't know why she was that way - was it a family thing? Did she get in a tussle on the way in?

Now I have my own three year old, and I can't help wondering - is she the dirty girl?

I pick out the girls' clothes at night, but there is no guarantee that they will actually wear what I leave out for them. LP wants to wear what she likes. Sometimes she will wear jeans and other times jeans are a tool of the devil meant to constrict her innards and you can't pay her to wear them. Sometimes corduroys count as jeans and other times they are awesome. Basically, she wears what she wants and I try to provide an acceptable option.

Not only does she often pick out her clothes but she dresses herself. Heaven help you if you try to help her and she is not in the mood. Yesterday one of my friends wrote to tell me, "I was talking to LP this morning and noticed she had both shirts on backward. She proudly explained that she 'beat Daddy' getting dressed." When I asked the Hoos about it, he hadn't even noticed. He was just proud of himself that he got her hair in a ponytail. He thought her hair looked too wild.

LP's hair is another challenge. She has perfectly straight, beautiful blondish hair. She wakes up fuzzyheaded. And she isn't keen on letting you brush it. And she really really doesn't like things in her hair. Ideally, LP wouldn't have bangs. But if you want bangs to grow out you have to be able to pin them up to keep them out of your eyes. Not happening. This morning I got LP to accept putting a clip in - but SHE had to do it. Who knows what she looks like.

Finally, OxyClean is my hero. It goes in every load of laundry and I typically have something soaking in a bucket full of it. That being sad, little kids are messy. Every stain doesn't come out even with Mighty Ox. There is just no way. And, every day at day care more stains get added. Yeah, my kids have stains on their clothes, yeah clothes cost money, and no, I am not always sending them in brand new clothes that will just get ruined.

My question is, how come most of LP's and AK's friends look so well put together? I know they all have awesome moms. But I think LP's and AK's mom is okay too. What is the magic trick? Hook me up!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh, Wee Hours, How I Didn't Miss You

Last night in the wee hours, our entire family was awake on and off.

It started with AK screaming for no apparent reason. I changed her and held her for a few minutes. The downfall was when she noticed the bottle of water next to her crib. Thinking she was parched and needed a drink, I handed it to her. She didn't drink it, just clutched it close (which is tough considering she was holding a paci in each hand AND had one in her mouth). That helped me get her to lay down but she was none-to-happy when I took it back. We don't need crying children, but changing wet crib sheets at 3am is even less desirable.

Then it was LP. At least I was still awake and standing in AK's room so I didn't have to roll back out of bed. When I went to her bedside and asked what was wrong she looked right at me and said, " I don't know." Not sure if she was saying she wasn't sure what was wrong with AK or what, but it was not very helpful.

When I got back in bed the Hoos was groaning about indigestion. Not much I could do except offer him my extra pillow to prop him up.

Fortunately when the girls started grumbling simultaneously around 4, the Hoos was already up getting a glass of water, so that made my life easier.

Anyone have any thoughts on why these random changes in sleep patterns occur? Maybe the girls have colds coming on that are making them uncomfortable? Maybe they caught their daddy's indigestion? Does it have something to do with the crazy influx of ladybugs in my office?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just Another Day

I know that there are people out there (all two of you) that are just itching for new and exciting postings. I am sorry to disappoint, really, there just isn't too much happening. Or at least nothing that I can write succinctly about. Here are some snippets of life in our house over the past week or so.

Last night both girls picked out a piece of Halloween candy from the basket to have as dessert. LP chose Whoppers (three malt balls) and I gave AK a Kit-Kat. While they chowed down, I left the room to get paper towels to clean them off and shortly thereafter I heard a little squeak from AK and called out, "What's going on in there?" LP's response, "I'm just sharing AK's candy." Nice.

A bit later LP called my parents and said to my dad, "Guess who likes chocolate? Me and [AK]!" Shocking.

My grandmother sent the girls Halloween cards, one of which "sings" the Hampster Dance (they use the 'P', I know that isn't how you spell it!). AK LOVES it. She gets so disappointed when the music stops and hasn't quite figured out how to get it to restart.

AK has started shrieking to get our attention. It is awful. To make matters worse, LP mocks her and follows her lead (jealousy? attention getting?), so I occasionally have two screamers. I know that once AK has a better handle on her communication skills she will use words instead of sounds, but it really sucks and is horribly embarrassing in public. And hopefully LP will knock it off.

LP is incredibly verbal and talks up a blue streak about all sorts of things to just about anyone that will listen. One of her latest features is baby talk. I know it seems silly to say that a three-year old has regular talk and baby talk, but LP does. She usually speaks very clearly and uses good size words and sentences. When I call her on talking like a baby she insists that it is because she has something in her mouth. This kid is a piece of work and I have a feeling that as soon as her sister catches up they two of them will leave me dizzy most of the time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Cry in the Night

"Mommmyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Mommyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"

The Hoos: "What is it, LP?"

"I have a problem!"

The Hoos: "What's your problem?"

"Dadddyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Daddyyyyyyyyyyyy"

Mommy, getting up: "I'm coming, LP."

Mommy, at her bedside: "What is wrong?"

"I have a problem."

Mommy: "What's your problem?"

"I had a bad dream."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sisterly Love




I don't know if I should be relieved that they jump on each other instead of me... It was very cute and they had a great time, but as my mom always says, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye."
UPDATE: Here are pictures that more clearly show them loving each other...


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Freeze Frame

Same night - two years later, same costume (except AK refuses to dance in hers, it is instead discarded on the floor), same turtle, different dance moves.

video



No, Really






They both liked Halloween, I swear...we just don't have the best pictures to show it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walk Away

My "office" is a cube. A corner cube with a window, but nevertheless, an open cube.

The across the way cube is occupied by an older, more experienced woman. Okay, to be blunt she is elderly, in her mid to late 80s.

This wonderful, wise, fascinating woman was a well-regarded PhD in archaeology in her previous life. Now she does data entry for my company. She has been here a long time (20+ years) and made the dramatic career shift for personal reasons.

She has watched the world change dramatically and has worked hard to keep her skills at the necessary level. To go from being part of a typing pool for VPs to each person having their own computer was obviously a game changer to someone in her position (or really anyone working anywhere).

That being said, she is not necessarily the most tech savvy person. She is very good at her job and has all of the technical capabilities necessary for her position. But she focuses on those systems and programs that are required to accomplish her job. I just heard her on the phone for half an hour (cubes rock!) trying to give someone direction on how to get a client's email address from our database. She spent 20 minutes taking them down one path to learn that they didn't have access to the same things she did, "Okay, let's try something else. Can you go to Google? Do you know how to Google something?..."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Please Don't Be Spies

After picking the girls up from school yesterday, we went over to Stew Leonard's. We visited the animals, toured the store and grabbed some samples before paying for our items and returning to the car.

As we neared the car, AK, who was in the front basket of the cart, decided to try her hand at surfing and stood up. I was aware and grabbed her before she could do any damage, and LP quickly climbed out of the main part of the cart to take her place. None of this is safe or recommended. At this point I noticed a nice older couple sitting on a bench right in front of my car watching the fiasco. Awesome mommy moment one.

Immediately AK sees the people through the front windshield and starts making eyes at them and waving like crazy. No one can resist, so they start waving back.

In the meantime, LP is in the car making her way to her seat. I remind her to get in her carseat and start putting her straps on while I put our bags in the car. When I am done putting the bags in the car, I close the door, get in the front seat, put on my seatbelt and start the car. LP then yells out,"Mommy! My straps aren't on!"

I get out of the car, leaving it running, and making sure the doors are unlocked (that would be an awesome mommy moment, wouldn't it? Locking my kids IN the car with it running). I open LP's door and start strapping her in. She leans out and announces to the lovely couple still waving at AK, "My mommy keeps forgetting to put my straps on!"

As I shush her she makes it clear she isn't done. "Look at my gum! I have my very own gum!" she shouts as she waves a chewed stick of gum out the door so they can see.

So there you have it - a hat trick of mommy awesomeness. Start throwing squid Detroit!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shoot Me Now

Saturday after ballet I took LP for her seasonal flu shot. A few weeks ago she received her first dose of the H1N1 vaccine as a flu mist and in about 4 weeks (hopefully, if the vaccine is available) she will get her second dose. She cried a bit as she was getting the shot, but in general she handled it well and quieted down as soon as she popped the lollipop the doctor provided into her mouth.

Approximately an hour after leaving the pediatrician's office, I was back. With AK.

AK had spent the morning with the Hoos and he didn't think she looked right. They got home from a local outdoor sports store shortly after LP and me and I concurred and bundled her back into the car. We will ignore the fact that the Hoos passed the pediatrician's office on his way home from said sports store, especially since their only purchase was a pair of really cute clearance shoes for me.

Poor bunny had a fever and the snots and the start of an ear infection. They tested her for the flu (both the Flu A and B? Not sure if this is swine flu and regular?) but she was negative, despite her fever and rosy cheeks. We left with a prescription for antibiotics for her ear and the advice to give her Motrin and Tylenol to control her fever.

By Sunday morning she was on the mend and the fever was broken. But let me tell you, having a baby with 102 for a prolonged period is nerve-wracking enough, I have no desire to watch either of my children suffer with any kind of flu. This totally reinforces my decision to vaccinate the girls. I keep hoping that the H1N1 vaccine will be available for those under two soon. I always feel so helpless when wither of my babies are sick and if vaccinating them will decrease their chances of being knocked down and out for a few days - count me in!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carve It Up!

Today while AK napped LP and I prepared two of our many pumpkins for Halloween.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

NOT What a Mom Wants to Hear

"She had some diarrhea, but we think it is because she ate some paint."

Is that supposed to make me feel better? It is akin to saying, "She isn't sick, but we are obviously not prepared to pay extra attention to the tiny 16-month old addition to our classroom."

Sequential II Would Come in Handy

Let's have a round of applause for AK! She actually napped yesterday. Okay, so it was only for 45 minutes, about 20 minutes LESS than her big sister, but you have to start somewhere. She also was not crazy ravenous when I picked her up, although she did start eating dirt which ended our trip to the playground.

I am going to have to figure out how to adjust out home might-time schedule. However, this is complicated. I feel like it is one of those logic games we used to do in math class in junior high: Jenny, Susie, Mikey and Joe all want to go on a horse-drawn hay ride. Jenny and Susie want to sit next to each other. Mikey can't be next to Susie, Joe hates horses...
  1. Tue-Thur I pick the girls up around 5
  2. The girls need to be eating dinner no later than 6:15
  3. AK needs to be in bed BY 8 (as exemplified by her mini-meltdown at 8:05 last night)
  4. The Hoos gets home around 7:15
  5. Baths need to be done by 7:45
  6. The Hoos and I need to eat dinner
  7. I need to make the girls' lunch
  8. I need to digest for at least 15 minutes before walking on the treadmill
  9. I spend 20 minutes on the treadmill
  10. I should start getting ready for bed by 10:15

I know it would help if I didn't feel the need to make dinner every night. But I just can't see myself making and freezing meals on the weekend and I try to limit take-out to one night a week.

Want to plan my evening?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not Ready to Let Go

AK had her first full day in the Toddler I class yesterday. I hope that things improve.

First, the Hoos said that drop off wasn't pretty. In her old room, as long as the Hoos was doing drop off, she would wiggle out of his arms and run over to her favorite teacher, waiting to be scooped up in her arms. In this room, AK didn't want to be put down. He had to carry her as he put away her things. Then he had to hand her off to a teacher (and not one of her teachers, a fill in teacher she is familiar with; I am not clear on if her teachers were in the room but not available to/interested in taking her or just not there) as she cried.

Fortunately, when the Hoos checked back in a few minutes later she was no longer crying and was walking around playing. He got the okay sign from the teacher that had calmed her down.

I called to check in toward the end of nap time (3pm) and was told that AK was doing fine and had just woken up from "a short nap." I didn't like the sound of "short nap," especially considering last Friday she didn't take a nap at all, but I was happy she wasn't screaming. The teacher also didn't give me the details I might have liked, she was more vague, but maybe that is a function of the room? I know as the kids get older, their daily sheets become less detailed. At this point, LP's sheet is basically a photocopy given to the entire class with her name written on it and a sentence specific to her.

Much to my chagrin, when I picked AK up and actually saw her daily sheet, a "short nap" didn't begin to describe it. She slept from 12:30 - 1:15! Nap time STARTS at 1. And I called at 3 and was told she was just waking up. "I was mistaken, I meant to just say that she was awake." NOT inspiring confidence here.

Baby girl was also a bit out of sorts. As we walked to the playground to enjoy the gorgeous weather she was kind of pulling at me and she nodded emphatically when I asked if she was hungry. Fortunately I had a "juice box" of milk in the car and a container of applesauce. She drank half the milk in one continuous suck. She has a water cup in class and her sheet said that she ate all of the offered snacks (Kix for am snack, cheese and crackers for 3pm snack and Cheerios for 5 pm snack), but who knows? Likely they were just setting up the 5pm snack and had prefilled in the sheet.

In general, last night was fine, although AK definitely was tired. She didn't eat much dinner, preferring to decorate the floor with it (why, oh, why did I try to serve her rice?!). At 7 she walked to the bathroom door and pointed at the tub, ready for her bedtime ritual to begin. After the bath and some playtime with her big sister, she was walking toward the stairs, indicating that she wanted to brush her teeth. By 8 she was asleep.

I don't mind the early bed part, but I am definitely missing my relationship with her Infant Room II teachers. I hope that we all adjust to the new room and schedule soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Left in the Dust

Apparently my girls celebrated birthdays or at least jumped ahead a few years in terms of their development and forgot to tell me.

After reneging on wearing underwear to bed Thursday night, LP has been wearing it every night since! And as she will tell you, "I don't pee in the middle of the night and I stay dry!" HOORAY!

She has also become a gum chewing expert (I know, she shouldn't really have it, but it is the ultimate inexpensive bribery tool for her), she hasn't swallowed it or gotten it in her hair - yet.

We also finally picked out her Halloween costume. Shockingly, she will be Tinkerbell. Before buying it for her I made her understand and repeat that she will have to wear a shirt and pants under the pretty, light-weight dress (it was in the 30s here this weekend!!!). I think what really sold her on it were the cheap plastic clip-on earrings that came with it,"Mommy, do they stick in my ears? No, they do on like hair clips? Oh? Can I get real earrings? Not till I'm big? But Isabella has them and she is three like me."

Not to be outdone, AK has enjoyed sneaking sips from my iced coffee (LP took one taste when she was little and spit it out, never to try to drink from my cups again, AK is apparently a decaffeine fiend). She also has this awesome new thing of telling us when she is ready for bed, climbing out of my arms, sidling up to the crib, and pointing.

AK is also eagerly attempting to repeat words. One of her new favorites is, "Yesssssh!" Which is much better than "No". Actually, I am not sure that she uses "No" yet, not that I am complaining. There will be plenty of time for her to use that word - just ask LP...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mama?

Monday night I decided to DVR Aladdin which was playing on the Disney Channel. While we continue to sloooowly plow through Snow White (skipping any remotely scary scenes) I figured this might be a nice alternative to Tinkerbell (apparently there is a straight-to-DVD Tinkerbell movie coming out later this month, I may have to be first in line).

Once again, I was shocked, but not surprised to realize that once again, a Disney movie has an absent mother. Yes, I have seen Aladdin before (I think as a camp counselor it was a rainy day trip, although I am not and was never above going to animated movies without this type of incentive), but I guess I just forgot.

Then I went through my mental list of Disney movies:
  • Cinderella - no mom, just evil stepmom
  • Snow White - see above
  • Beauty and the Beast - no mention
  • Aladdin - see above
  • The Little Mermaid - see above
  • Bambi - killed pretty early
  • Finding Nemo - see above
  • Dumbo - torn away from her child (the most positive role model of the Disney moms, although violence is not the answer)

Of course this list is not comprehensive and there are dozens of Disney animated classics, but, dude, cut a mom a break...Daddies are cool and all, but little princesses need their mommies too!

One More PullUp

For the last couple of weeks LP has been waking up dry. Yes, despite the fat that she has been toilet trained - without barely an accident - since last December, she continues to wear pullups to bed, so waking up dry is a big deal. Several times over the last few months I have tried to accelerate the wearing of underwear to bed with not so great results. Instead, I just go out and buy more pullups.

Tuesday morning LP once again woke up dry and told the Hoos, "Daddy, just two more pullups!" despite the fact that she actually had a huge stack of them in her special princess pullup box. Yesterday she woke up dry again and she insisted on calling me at work to tell me, "Mommy, just one for pullup!" she yelled from the back seat of the car into his cell phone. We have no idea how or why she set this deadline, but heck yeah, I am all for reducing my diaper bill.

Now if only we can convince her to pee as soon as she wakes up. The Hoos has been struggling to get her to take a "morning pee" for months. Especially since she refuses at home and then as soon as they walk into day care she insists on using the bathrooms there.

Tonight should be interesting. I am hopeful that her track record for dryness has boosted her confidence and bladder capacity and life (and sleep) should be uninterrupted.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Trip, Her Trap, No Naps

Yesterday was LP's first school trip. I was not able to go - a girl has to work sometimes, you know - but I was fortunate that 1. several of my friends chaperoned and 2. LP is quite talkative. Between the reports from my friends, their pictures, and LP's perspective, it was almost like I was there.

From DM: It was fun, the farm is nice & the field trip is pretty well organized. WE got there & hopped right onto a hay/tractor ride & went through the apple orchards, then we got to pick a pumpkin & run around a little, then is was onto the petting zoo & snack time. I thought [LP] was going to feed the animals a few times, she got close to the deer, but she faked me out & just threw the food at them!

From MLH: My fave [LP] moment was when she was walking around covering her ears b/c she didn't like peacocks!? Are peacocks noisy?

From LP's friend CS: I rode on a tractor

LP on the drive: I drove with [DM]. We had Pirate Booty in the car in case we got hungry.

LP on the farm: I almost fed a deer. But the lady said 'don't feed the buffalo.' They can get...sad because no one feeds them, but you can't feed them.

And more insight from LP from back in the classroom: When we were eating pumpkin pie and Miss Miller was putting more water in the fish tank, I said 'POOP! POOP! I smell poop!' And it was [so-and-so]. He pooped in his pants.

And reflecting on the trip to the Hoos: Daddy, it would have been nice if you came on my field trip. It would be fun to drive in your car to the farm. [NOTE: I might have cried if she said this to me]

After all of this hoopla you would have thought that LP would have been exhausted and napped like a superstar. Alas, no nap was enjoyed. Even better, when I picked up AK she had decided that napping was beneath her as well. SHE IS 16 MONTHS OLD! SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE UP NAPS.

Proving that miracles do happen, even without naps, and with the Hoos working a bit late - there were NO meltdowns in our house last night. The girls ate dinner and played and enjoyed each other. I did put AK down at 7:30 - half an hour earlier than usual - and she went right down. It was actually a pretty drama-free night - dare I say, better than some others that include naps?