Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Family Meal

The Hoos and I have been contemplating dinner lately. We are trying to determine the point at which it becomes imperative that our entire family sits down for dinner together.

Currently the girl eat dinner together at 6. AK usually eats leftovers from the previous night's dinner; LP eats some of those if we are lucky, but more likely she eats some sort of pasta accompanied by the same side of fruits and veggies her sister is eating. After they are done and I clean them up, I prepare the grown-up dinner while they play

The Hoos gets home around 7 and we sit down to eat closer to 7:15. AK will sit in her high chair at the table with us and play, and LP with likely sit at the table with food she pilfers from our plates or some new munchie that she goes and takes from the fridge or the pantry. We do try to get LP to try our dinners to get her interested in new foods without me putting in the effort to make her an individual meal and have it tossed because she doesn't like it.

I know that many people insist that their kids eat the same meal they eat. It does not really seem feasible in our situation. Either I will have to have lots of meals premade that I can pop in when I get home with the girls at 5:30 and the Hoos and I then eat AK and LP's reheated leftovers or we eat lots of take-out.

For now the situation works for us. I am hopeful that at some point we will all be able to eat together at 6:30 sometime in the coming years. Ideally before they are fifteen and too busy with their friends and after school activities to sit with us at all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hasta La Vista

Today is AK's last day in the Firefly Room. And boy, am I glad. Sure she has gotten her diaper changed when needed and she has been fed on schedule, but she has not really gotten the love and stimulation to the level that I would like.

Obviously if I was worried about her well-being she wouldn't have been going to day care for the last 6 months. But, I just have more confidence in the teachers in the next room.

They took great care of LP when she was in the room (crying even when she transitioned out) and they just have a way of making me feel that my teeny little baby is loved and well cared for. For instance, yesterday's daily report (from the new classroom) said, "She is a wonderful baby." That makes a mommy feel good. Much better than Miss Louise asking if I have faster nipples at home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ye Olde Matron

The other day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at my office and realized, for the first first time, "My gosh! I look my age!"

I know, this sounds silly.

But I am 5 feet tall. I have always been told I looked young for my age. And I hated hearing it every.single.time. Mostly because I had to agree that those people were right.

I am not sure if it is the silver threading itself through my hair. Or the wrinkles slowly creeping out from my eyes and above my nose. Or the look of resignation in my eyes. Or the semi-permanent smudges that reside beneath them.

The realization that I would very likely NOT be carded should I attempt to buy a drink at a bar was shocking. Considering it has been more than a decade since I dragged the Hoos and his roommate, poor Kurt, out to the Red Lion at midnight to celebrate my 21st, I guess it was inevitable.

Now I just have to convince the Hoos that we should go out to a bar and buy drinks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Believe in Miracles

Last night was astounding.

AK was exhausted. She had been awake since 12:15 with only a 20 minute nap around 5pm. She would have napped longer, but LP woke her up.

When I calmed both girls down after this incident (AK was pissed at being woken up and LP was upset at being yelled at) and told LP to apologize this was our exchange:

LP to AK, "I'm sorry [AK]."
Me to LP, "For what?"
LP to AK, "For hitting you."
Me to LP, "WHAT?!"
LP, "I mean for waking you up."

Around 7:30 AK started to meltdown. While I was sitting with LP in the bathroom as she used the potty I decided to start getting an early bath ready for AK (she usually bathes around 8). LP then announced that she wanted to take a bath with AK too. Easy enough, I just added more water, figuring that after the bath LP would just hang out for a while until her usual bedtime around 8:30.

As soon as both girls were done, around 7:45, I brought AK up to her room. LP followed, refusing her usual pre-bed milk and telling the Hoos that she was ready to brush her teeth.

BOTH GIRLS WERE ASLEEP BY 8:15! LP usually makes noise until 9:15.

I guess it goes to show you, bedtime routines WORK. The girls obviously can't tell time, but they know how things are supposed to go. The Hoos and I will have to take advantage of this more often!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Keep It Coming

After so much fun on Friday and Saturday, we weren't about to let the cool weather and rain dampen our spirits - or keep us inside - on Sunday.

We decided to take a trip up to IKEA in New Haven. It is a good place to walk around and, although we didn't really need anything, we always end up buying stuff. Added bonuses, they have a cheap and convenient cafeteria for lunch and, if we timed it right, the ride home would coincide with naptime.

The whole family had a great time. AK enjoyed the 99 cent veggies for lunch, LP jumped on all the beds and played with all the toys and we even found a rug for our office. And, as expected, we bought a few things we didn't need - like the fish-shaped ice cube trays. And the mini-tent.

Everyone loves the mini-tent.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


We did it! We survived the craziness of having nine drooling, cutie little infants; two adorable toddlers; eight jolly daddies; and nine amazing mommies crammed in to our cozy house. I didn't think it could withstand having 27 people (seriously, I dreamed about my house exploding and having to kick everyone out), but it did. And we even had a good time to boot.

And we have tons of leftovers. Everyone was not only nice, they were very generous contributors to our potluck.

Firefly families, it was nice to know you; AK starts transitioning to the Caterpillar room on Monday. Until we meet again.

In addition to today's adventures, last night our family of four went to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. LP was excited about it and kept asking me for her basketball glove. At least she enjoys sports, even if she does confuse them.

We were a little concerned when we got there and entered the Arena to find our seats and LP refused to climb the last step. You sort of enter very close to the floor and "Globie," the Globetrotters mascot, was entertaining the crowd in the center of the gym prior to the main event. Thankfully once I carried her up the several flights of stairs to our actual seats she calmed down and even had a good time. She learned how to yell boo and make the thumbs down motion. AK mostly enjoyed looking at the people sitting behind us. Fortunately the two teenage boys were good sports and laughed at made faces at her.

I know that LP is definitely related to me because apparently she likes salty snacks over sweet ones. Given the choice of ice cream or popcorn she was PSYCHED for a box of popcorn. The Hoos has a sweet tooth. I guess you would say I have more of a savory one.

All in all we have had a good, busy weekend. And it is only 4:30 on Saturday. We are expecting the Hoos' parents, as well as his brother and his family for "brunch for dinner."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Idiocy

I called the day care center today to speak to the Director. AK is getting ready to transition and in the information they dispersed they tell us all about the differences between Infant II and Toddler I, but nothing about the differences between Infant I (where she is now) and Infant II. And I know there are significant changes - like they don't give the kids breakfast in class.

Unfortunately, the Director is out for the rest of the week. And no one else can help. Or even knows where the file is. Or the Director's email address.

One can only hope the Director is at a writing course, because the memo the entire center received today requires it. So much so that my friend and fellow day care mom Dianna called to implore me to post about it. Here goes:

In looking on [I am from Long Island, we say stand on line as opposed to in line, so maybe I am not the best person to make fun of her use of "on" here, but still] the holiday calendar for March, I noticed there was a mistake for the April [really? on the MARCH calendar?] Professional Day. It is scheduled for April 17, 2009, which is a Saturday [that's calendar says it is a Friday]. Our April professional day is always on Good Friday (to try to schedule around as many parents being off as possible).

Therefore, the April professional day is going to be on Friday, April 10th, not the 17th. Please make the notation necessary and I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation [I particularly like this compound sentence, joining two completely unrelated concepts].

I pay a lot of money for day care. Isn't it obvious by the caliber of the personnel?

Playing the Game, Again

You know, the "who does this kid look like?" game.

As referenced in the comment on my previous post, most of my family agrees that LP looks like my side - and specifically my dad's side - of the family. As a reminder you can see a picture of my dad and my uncle here. They are pretty much the only blond folks in the family. Although, last weekend LP went to synagogue with my inlaws and a lot of their friends thought she looked like the Hoos when he was little. Those people (and the look-alike meter I did a year and a half ago) are high.

Below is AK's look-alike meter. As you can see, even the meter can't quite figure out who AK looks like.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Opposite of Adventurous

LP is a big talker. For the most part she is very outgoing and talkative, telling you all sorts of interesting things about herself and life in general. However, she is not quite as adventurous with certain things.

For instance, she loves animals. Actually, she will say that she loves them "from afar." Heaven forbid a dog get too close and she will freak out and cling to you like white on rice. She used to love to visit the animals at Stew Leonard's (as a reminder, our local "world's largest dairy store"). Last summer we would go several times a week to check them out. If a goat would so much as poke its head out of the goat barn she would fake cry and start shouting "UPPY! UPPY!"

A couple of weeks ago, I took the girls to Stew's after school to pick up a few things. It must have been on a Friday because there was a person walking around in a cow costume. The thing looks totally cartoonish and non-threatening. LP, who usually points you in the direction of all of the free samples she wishes to eat that are scattered throughout the store, started freaking out and wanted to leave immediately. We didn't. But...anytime we go to Stew's now she will ask, "Will the cow be there?" We remind her that the man that wears the cow costume doesn't work on Tuesdays/Wednesdays...

Anyway, my parents decided to test the limits of LP's sense of adventure this weekend. They took her to see Sesame Street Live at MSG. When I asked her what her favorite part of the day was, she replied, "Not Elmo!" This is as close as she would get, note all of the empty seats around them. Apparently the ushers kept trying to get them to move up and LP was adamant in her opposition:

The trip also involved a train ride to Manhattan from Ronkonkoma - a pretty long ride. She did loved the train. Note how much she looks like my dad:)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thank Goodness for Cuteness

Really, we haven't slept in weeks...thank goodness they are cute.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Potty Party Pics

Here are some pics, thanks to the multi-talented dad JM, from the fabulous Potty Party.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If You're Happy and You Know It

AK has started clapping! It is really very cute. LP and I have been sporadically trying to teach her for a few weeks, but I think they have really been making more of an effort at school. I am thrilled to see her happy little face as she clap, clap, claps with joy.

AK is still teething! It is less cute to see her at 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. I am guessing the teething wakes her up? Even if we don't go into her room to give her the paci or apply orajel, we are still awake because we hear her. It is miserable. For all of us.

LP has her days! Yesterday morning the Hoos called me in a very cheerful mood. "As awful as LP can be is how good she was this morning!" We love good days so much better than bad days. Last night was even pretty decent with LP in bed by 9. Woo-hoo!

Free stuff! I got word this morning from the Fairfield County Child blog that I won a family four pack of tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters at Harbor Yard. At the very least it should be entertaining. Even if we do have to bail after half an hour.

Free night! LP is spending tomorrow night with my parents so she can go and see Sesame Street Live with them Saturday morning. Sure, we still have AK, but at least she predictably goes to sleep around 8:30 without much fuss. AND Saturday night we will spend on LI at my parents house. My parents will watch both girls so the Hoos and I can go to dinner with friends. Coincidentally it is Valentine's Day, but we aren't looking for romance we are looking for quiet...and grown-ups!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Witching Hour

So it seems that sometime between brushing her teeth and going on the potty for the last time before bed, LP suffers some sort of transformation a la Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

She becomes a screaming, crying, frustrating little mass. A little mass I have no desire to reckon with. Mostly for lack of energy, but also for lack of desire to be puked on (again).

Last night for no apparent reason she once again began contorting and thrashing. As if putting on her pull-up was a form of torture. For twenty minutes she clung to the portable baby swing situated in our upstairs bathroom, bottomless. Eventually the Hoos was able to get her into bed and she fell asleep by 9:45, but we are at our wits end.

We have no idea what brings on these meltdowns. We can't pin it on a change of routine or big event in our life. February 9th was a full moon, but I am not sure if we can really blame the waning moon for these horrific happenings. The Hoos hypothesizes that after all the attention bestowed on AK after her recent injury, perhaps LP is jealous. But why it would only take form at night as we get her ready for bed, I have no idea.

Tonight we are going to try to get LP to bed earlier. Perhaps it is exhaustion that is causing her to act out. I don't know how we will really get her to bed earlier, based on our schedule, but we will do our best. At least if she does have a tantrum she will hopefully wear herself out BEFORE my bedtime...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last night had some good parts.

LP built a "house" in our living room and then invited her sister in to play. She even brought in toys for each of them to play with. It was incredibly sweet and gratifying to see them playing so nicely together.

Some bad parts.

AK is teething. She made noise at 3:30 and the Hoos went in and gave her the paci. She woke up at 4:30 and I went in and applied some Orajel to her gums. When she woke up at 5:30 I went in and nursed her. Reading between the lines we were up from 3ish until 6ish.

And some ugly parts.

Last night LP wasn't being very good getting ready for bed. The Hoos came downstairs and asked me to take over because he was getting frustrated. I went up to find LP having a bit of a meltdown. She was practically hyperventilating which was making her gag which caused her to spit up some mucus on me. As I brought her into the bathroom to clean up that mess she spit up more than mucus on me and the floor of the bathroom. Sweetness. The good news is that I got her to "spit up" into the toilet more than on the floor. It still wasn't pretty but at least she eventually calmed down (for the record, this was not illness related, but rather caused by a worked up child).

I finally changed her cleaned her up and got her into bed around 9:30. The Hoos proceeded to clean up the bathroom. At 10:00 LP called out to me, "Mommmyyyyyy, my room smells like spit up." Awesome.

Fortunately she didn't spit up in bed, she just wasn't cleaned up as well as she might have liked. Of course she then required more thorough cleaning. At 10:30 she and I were resting comfortably in her bed when I really started to fall asleep. "Baby girl, it is way past your bed time. So far past that it is past Mommy's bed time. Good night."

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Money Shot

Which of these would you say is "the money shot"?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Needed: A Head Examination

When LP was an infant the Hoos and I were unsure of how to develop relationships with the other families in her day care class. We recognized people, and in some cases even knew their names, but basically our interactions were limited to a "hi" and "bye" at drop-off and pick-up. We felt that it would be important both for our social lives and the social life of LP to build some sort of network with her friends and their parents.

Fortunately, several of the other parents in the class were not as new to the whole parenthood thing as they had older children. They recognized our need, and stepped up and offered to hold a brunch at their home for the "Firefly Class" families. It was really nice and two years later I am now friends with a few of them, going on mom dates, swapping stories and advice, and chilling on the playground in the spring and summer.

Alas, the time has come for me to be the seasoned mom. The parents in AK's class have been emailing and dancing around the whole idea of getting together. They all appeared to be casting furtive glances at the group through email suggestions, but no one was willing to take the plunge and offer up their home for a brunch. So, of course, I did. And now I am wondering what the heck I was thinking.

For some reason the email list (from our "parent representative") is not complete, with only nine families in on the conversation. Of these nine, five responded within seconds of me extending the invitation that they would love to come to the brunch. So far that is 10 people and five babies, not including us.

One of the other moms suggested, to me only and not the entire email list (thank goodness) that perhaps we should put up a sign in the infant classroom about the brunch. I quickly shot that idea down. I am not trying to be mean and exclusive, but there are 16 kids in AK's class. If you do that math there is the potential for 48 people to attend this little shin dig. Our home, while lovely, is quite cozy. I don't mind shoe-horning people in, but there is no way that 48 people could fit into it. As it is I am petrified of the potential for 27 people.

Regardless, it will be very nice to forge relationships with a new set of parents. The other moms seem very excited at the prospect as well and they are going to be bringing over a boatload of food. I am sure LP will enjoy being the big cheese, overseeing a group of mostly immobile munchkins (with my luck half of them will learn how to crawl over the next couple of weeks).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Had to Share

On occasion I check out the site stats for this blog. While I am pleased that I am getting slightly more popular - in high school I would still be a nerd, but perhaps a nerd with an equally nerdy boyfriend? - I find it hysterical that some people actually come to this blog looking for useful information.

Here are the some searches that brought folks to my blog over the past week:
  • my 8 year old girl still wears pull-ups to bed [I can't help you here. But this sucks.]
  • les zombies et les loup-garous [This brings people here at least 3 times a week! Look in the liner notes!]
  • "potty party" [I have a cardboard cut out of a toilet if you want to borrow it!]
  • spank her tush [hopefully referring to a child...]
  • snotty kids [aren't they all this time of year?]
  • "animated dancing bear" teletubbies [I'm sorry I am not the only parent subjected to this]
  • cute little hoos [he is, isn't he?]

Back to Normal

Woo-hoo! The orthopedist removed the splint yesterday! He said that AK's leg was healing nicely and while not 100% yet, it should be perfect in a couple more weeks. Since she doesn't put weight on the leg anyway and the cast was starting to slip, it just made sense to remove it.

AK was so happy that she played with the toes on her left leg while I nursed her last night. She was psyched to be able to lift the leg over her head and wiggle her cute little toes around unobstructed. It was wonderful.

In other news, AK slept through until 4am last night (from 8pm) without making a peep. I got up at 4 because LP was actually squeaking. She was cold, having kicked her covers off, and too lazy to pull them back up. I wonder when they outgrow that?

Shortly thereafter AK made some peeps and appeared to be WIDE awake. I sat with her in the glider in her room and while I dozed, she stared at me. After a few minutes of that, I decided to put her down and just leave; it wasn't like she really needed anything, she just wanted company. I just wanted sleep. Note that I did not nurse her. In fact, I have not nursed AK in the middle of the night in several weeks. We have made it over the hump and hope to make it totally through the night noise free very shortly.

To put things in perspective, I recently reread my post from February 6, 2007 - when LP was AK's age. Apparently, while I have since deluded myself into thinking LP was sleeping through the night at 5 months, apparently she was still waking up periodically for a visit with Mommy and Daddy when she was 8 months old.

Perhaps Mama's memory would be improved if she had more sleep? two years I will still think my girls were (and are!) perfect from the moment they arrived.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away

Yesterday was yet another opportunity for the snow to ruin a perfectly productive day. The girls are back to being mostly healthy, I was finally back at work for a full day...

and then my phone rang at 11am...

"Hi, Amy. This is Louise. I am calling to let you know that we are closing at 12:30 due to the weather."

The weather? Yes, it is snowing, but it isn't sticking! Arggghhhhh!

After discussions with the Hoos, it is decided that I will leave early and pick up the girls. Since I had planned on leaving early on Wednesday to take AK to her follow-up with the orthopedist, the Hoos will instead take on that activity so I can work a little later.

Of course as I drive to get the girls, the roads are clear and empty. Whatever.

When I get to the day care, the parents are all in a frenzy and the Director is trying her darndest to get teachers to clock out the minute that they are no longer needed. If I was a nice person I would say that this was because they were concerned about the teachers' safety, but I am not a nice person. Especially when it comes to the Director. Instead, I imagine she wants them to clock out so that she can stop paying them.

You see, the teachers are paid by the hour. The sooner they clock out, the more money day care stands to make. Financially, it behooves the day care center to close early and negatively impacts the parents and the teachers. On snow days, the center is making money hand over fist since we pay by the week. And don't even imagine any sort of rebate. And since I am not at work, I am not really getting paid either.

Unless you think it is payment enough to spend the afternoon with my two little angels. Which it is. Sometimes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feeling the Luv

Taking Stock

I am a pretty risk averse person. Despite this fact, I actually own an online trading account. The account was set up by my employer, an online trading company, as a depository for shares purchased as part of the employee stock purchase plan.

If I was a smart women I would have paid attention and sold the stock when it was around $25/share. Now it languishes around $1.50. No matter, we are fortunate to not need the money right now and I know there are a lot of people really impacted by the stock market.

For those people, as a mother, I have stock picks.
  1. Purchase stock in paper goods companies. Do you know how many napkins and paper towels households with children go through in one day?
  2. Invest in those that sell diapers and wipes. AK is 8 months old and already likes pulling wipes out of the container by the handful. Just like her big sister before her.
  3. Buy in to General Mills. All kids love Cheerios. I thought LP was over them and then I started buying them for AK, now we go through at least a box a month. Most of them end up on the floor.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Feminine Mystique

Now that LP is potty trained, all sorts of questions are raised. More probing questions than "Where is the bathroom in Trader Joes? Stop and Shop? Target?"

From the Hoos, "Hey Aim? Is LP doing something wrong? Why does pee always end up on the backs of her thighs and tush when she pees?"

As if the male laser pointer was a precision instrument!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me

Seriously, I'm done with 2009. And today is only February 1st.

Thursday I had to pick AK up at day care early because she had a fever. Nothing to do with her poor little leg, it was low enough that we thought it had to do with her teething (which is awesome by the way). But no. That night, AK woke up with 103.5. Many cold compresses, a dose of Motrin an an hour later her fever came down and she dozed off. Mercifully sleeping from 2am until 8am.

Friday obviously meant another visit to the pediatrician. Despite the fact that AK had just finished her latest round of antibiotic on Wednesday, I knew what the diagnosis would be. Yet another ear infection. My fears confirmed we started poor munchkin on yet another round of antibiotics and initiated an appointment with the ENT to start talking about tubes. This is her fifth ear infection since Thanksgiving.

Friday night was no better, with baby girl spiking another fever at 9:30 - this one was over 104. Motrin and cold compresses were once again employed and fortunately the fever was under control by 10:30. Once again she took a nice long sleep from 10:30 until 6.

Saturday finally brought some relief - and a visit from my parents. AK didn't have a fever over 102 all day. Oh, except I got thrown up on while getting AK ready for bed. First time that has ever happened. You know it isn't a good night when you are literally on your hands and knees collecting peas, corns, and bits of cheese stick. I guess it could have been worse.

Did I mention AK's sleep patterns are out of whack? I got up at 3 and then again at 6 with her. You can't really continue sleep training when your poor bunny has a horrible ear infection, is teething and has a splint on her "lower left extremity".

Today was a drug free day (aside from her dose of antibiotics)! Woo-hoo! I have high hopes for tonight. Both girls are in great spirits and ate nice big dinners. C'mon February, throw mama a bone!