Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tres

Last night LP had a 3-year-old sized freak out because I put toilet paper in the toilet. Coupled with her pretending to play "kindergarten" with her sister the other day and the fact that she keeps telling me she is going to preschool (at day care she will be leaving the toddler room and going to the next room up starting Monday), it appears that my baby girl is really growing up.

I don't know how this happened. It seems as if LP has made dramatic changes since turning two, let alone from when she was born. I am in awe that the Hoos and I actually created this walking, talking, project making little wonder.

Sure, the tantrums get old, but I don't think I will ever tire of seeing LP as she turns into her own little person.
Photos courtesy of JM (1 y.o. LP) and MLH (3 y.o. LP)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Good Wife

When my dad retired in 2004, 4 years before my mother, he kept himself busy doing all sorts of tasks (in addition to teaching education at a local college). My mother would comment, "He makes a great wife."

He did the laundry, the dishes, the random errands...pretty much everything except the cooking. He will readily admit that he is not and will never be a chef. And my mom is okay with that, as she is an excellent cook.

The other day at a Memorial Day celebration a friend commented that her husband also was a "good wife." I believe this was mostly in reference to the fact that he did most of the cooking, but I am sure he helps out in lots of other ways.

The Hoos is a great husband (and fantastic daddy, but that goes without saying). He brings home (most of) the family bacon, is an attentive father, shares dish and bath duty and plays an active role in all parenting (natch). He also handles day care drop off duty and the morning routine.

I would venture to say that the Hoos would say that I am a good wife. Probably because I do a lot of the day-to-day management of our home (bills, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.) but, to be honest, this is more a function of time. I work part-time and pick the girls up from day care a couple of hours before he arrives home. This is likely the reason that my dad was a good wife. Now that my mom is also retired, he is probably still a great husband, but not necessary as a good wife.

Given the opportunity, I still don't think the Hoos would want to be a good wife. Sure he would want more time in his life (and especially less time at work), and I doubt he would shirk the title because of the feminine connotation (I bet he would look smoking in a frilly apron), but because being a good wife is a lot of work.

That being said, I could use a few good wives.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time Flies

Last year
This Year


You Light Up My Life

My daughters are my sunshine. They truly bring light into my life. But those who giveth, also taketh away.

See little LP over on the right? Apparently she really likes playing with the light switches in my car. Because when I got into my car this morning...dead as a door nail.

She had turned the light on at some point and no one noticed. The car spent all weekend in the garage, slowly dying.
This morning I was supposed to get into the office a bit late anyway since the Hoos had to get to work on time - 9am. Which, if you know the Hoos, is pretty impossible considering he drops the girls off around 5 of 9 every day. I stuck around until 7:30, getting the girls up and dressed while he got ready in an effort to jump start his day. .

Little did I know that I would be the one needing the jump start.

Literally.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mine! All Mine!

Yesterday the Hoos took the day off to start the long weekend with a day of fishing with his eldest brother. Not to be outdone, I decided to send both girls to day care and take some time for myself. We agreed that it would be easier if neither of us felt guilty.

I had to do some work - including an hour long conference call in the morning - but from 10:30 until 3 I was more or less on my own. I got my first manicure and pedicure since August. Unfortunately this took over an hour - what the heck! I had other things to do! Whatever, I still had three hours after getting out of there at noon. I grocery shopped by myself and ran a few other errands, finished a book, tried out a new recipe for Mediterranean lentil salad, and just enjoyed a day of not having to plan around little munchkin schedules.

During this time I also realized that for the first time in almost 20 months, my body is mine and mine alone. Last year at this time I had a nice, big, round belly. This year I have a smaller, flabbier, empty belly. Even more importantly, my boobs. They are no longer at anyone else's beck and call! AK now takes a bottle before bed - on the changing table where she gets dressed after the bath in fact! - so my nursing bras will be burned to a crisp as soon as we have a firepit this summer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Tough Lesson

The past two mornings, LP has woken up while I am getting ready in the morning calling out, "MOMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!". The Hoos tries to shush her, both for fear of her waking up AK, who miraculously continues to sleep through the night, and because he wants a few more minutes of peace before his day is invaded.

When I go into her room to see what the problem is, she insists that today should be her birthday. You see, she knows the actual date of her birthday, even if she doesn't know today's date. Which makes things difficult when you try to explain that today is the 21st and her birthday is the 28th, "Baby, there are seven days between now and your birthday." She gives me the "Whatever" look and continues whining about today being her birthday.

What will be even better is that her actual birthday is on a Thursday and her party is three days later on Sunday. It will be a lot of fun to try to explain that she is going to school - and bringing mini-cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles as per her request - and not the zoo.

Tonight the Hoos is going to make a paper chain with her so that she can tear off a link every day leading up to her birthday, in hopes that this gives her a better concept of time and timing. I doubt it will actually work, but if it buys me an extra half hour of sleep during the long holiday weekend, it will be worth it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Laundry Factory

Some places manufacture clothes, others make beauty products, Xavier Roberts makes Cabbage Patch Kids down in Babyland...

My house - we make laundry.

Unless I am actually putting up the laundry while every member of my family is naked (highly, highly unlikely I assure you), there will always be more. Not to mention the fact that I SWEAR it procreates. Clothes that I thought were clean? Nope, dirty! And somehow slinking their way back to the laundry pile.

Exacerbated by the fact that I am THE ONLY ONE in my family of four that actually empties the laundry baskets (one clean, which goes into the drawers; one dirty, which goes into the washer) there is often confusion about what each basket actually includes.

Adding insult to injury, AK has decided that her favorite past time is pulling nicely folded laundry out of the basket and decorating the floor with it. While the 15 second rule doesn't apply to clothing, the five day rule might, at which point no ones remembers what is in need of a bath and what isn't.

I am not really sure when it happened that laundry took such a large role in my life. Was it when I got married? When LP was born?

Regardless, it is pretty clear that laundry would be an accurate addition to Ben Franklin's list of certainties, perhaps even usurping "death" as the first on the list!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spilling the Beans

This morning AK woke up at 5:45. The Hoos and I ignored her for a while and eventually he went in and gave her a paci. That worked for a few minutes, but she was still yelling when I got out of bed. I didn't hear her while showering, but that is because the water was loud and not that she was quiet. Finally, after dressing, I scooped her up and brought her downstairs with me.

Poor munchkin had tears streaming down her face and red eyebrows from crying her head off. I am pretty sure she is finally teething.

Figuring I was being smart, I grabbed a blanket and threw it over my shoulder to hopefully keep my work clothes from getting snot trails. AK was having none of it and tossed the blanket away angrily to ensure she had as much skin-to-skin and snot-to-clothes contact as possible.

I lay down on the couch with her on me, watching Sesame Street and trying to get her to relax. I guess I was successful because shortly after 7 she was out like a light. I transitioned her onto the blanket she had tossed away a few minutes before and proceeded to continue getting ready for work. When the Hoos came down after his early and abbreviated morning routine he was not too pleased to see her snoring away. But she was so cute with her little tush up in the air, he smiled anyway.

A bit off my game, I forgot to grab breakfast on the way out of the house, requiring a stop at the bagel store. A little caffeine wouldn't hurt either. Except that it did, when I accidentally poured some on my crotch as I got in to the car. Fortunately I am wearing brown pants, so no stain is obvious, but I am wondering if it might have seeped through my pants and stained my undergarments.

Won't that be something for LP to figure out if she ignore my request for privacy and visits me in the bathroom later today! Oh the questions!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Unintended Consequences

For some unknown, but much appreciated, reason, AK started sleeping through the night last week. The Hoos likes to argue that 6am does not signify "morning" in his book, but, for all intents and purposes she is indeed sleeping through the night.

His point is one of the unintended consequences. Sure, I am not getting up to comfort AK in the middle of the night, but I am dragging my sorry butt out of bed a little after 6 - this morning it was a quarter to 7 and I thought that was much more acceptable.

I guess it wouldn't be so bad if the Hoos and I actually went to bed when AK did - at 8. But that isn't going to happen for a lot of reasons, the least of which is that LP doesn't go to bed until closer to 9 (much to our chagrin).

Since I have been trying to bottle feed AK before bed (a work in progress) my plan is to increase the amount of milk she drinks in hopes that she will sleep longer. Because when she wakes up she is both soaking wet and hungry.

Which makes me wonder if when she was nursing she wasn't getting enough to eat and drink during the day and therefore would wake up hungry in the middle of the night? Oh well, no use worrying over spilt (or expressed) milk! We will keep hoping for longer and quieter nights.

I can't believe it took 11.5 months to get 7 solid hours of sleep. I feel almost like a new woman.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mommy the Moocher

The weather has been improving everyday here in New England and I must say that I am thrilled to pieces. It stays lighter outside longer and the warm weather means time on the playground for the girls to expend energy and for me to catch up with my friends.

Unfortunately for my friends, three days a week I pick the girls up straight from work. And as much of a planner as I claim to be, I never have snacks in my car. Two other moms - the fabulous DM and Di - always always have snacks. They come prepared. Usually, I am just happy to show up.

LP is not shy about requisitioning favors and food from others. She will actually spend more time at the playground standing on the side rifling through other people snack caches than actually playing. Yesterday she ate an ice pop, half a bag of mini-rice cakes, and tried to make off with some juice. Seriously, she has gotten so brazen as to ask for items she wants but doesn't see. It is embarrassing. Painfully so at times.

This morning I stashed bags of goldfish in car just to have on hand. Of course, it is raining.

In addition to mooching tangible goods off of other folks, we also mooch services. In this case "we" is really "me". And in terms of services, I depend on other folks to help me keep on eye on my kid (and obviously I, like everyone else, try to keep an eye on ALL of the kids). But, since I am usually holding AK , a child not really able to play by herself in the wood-chipped playground, I have to ask for assistance a little more than most. Other parents have to help me get LP on and off of the swings, hold AK while I comfort LP in case of an incident...there is always something that would be much easier for someone with two free hands to accomplish.

Once again, LP has outdone herself in that now the attention of her mom is not enough. She often calls out "Greg! Come see this!" or "Dana! Will you push me on the swing?" despite the fact that I am right there and perfectly capable. The other day after she fell down I swear she ran to Di for comfort before me. And, yesterday she determined that she wanted to go home with Amy. Not me "the other Amy! Chlo-Chlo's mom!"

I guess it really does take a village.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lazy Mom Games

LP has become quite excited about playing games. The good news is, games are less messy than "projects." Projects involve glue and glitter and paint and often tears. Games involve imagination,and movement and using up energy so your kids sleep really well.

After an hour and a half on the playground yesterday, it was still only 4:30 when I got home with the girls. Lots of time to enjoy until bedtime. Especially since: 1. LP hadn't taken a nap; and 2. AK had only napped from 11:40-1; and the Hoos had a work event and wouldn't be home until both of my lovely ladies were fast asleep.

Amazingly we didn't turn the TV on once! How did we pass the time?
  • Stripping the girls' beds and changing their sheets. This involved jumping up and down and climbing on the mattresses. 2 energy units expended per child.
  • Eating dinner, including throwing food on the floor. 1 energy unit expended and 1 energy unit gained per child, therefore, a wash.
  • Playing "duck, duck goose". Or some related game where Mommy sat in the middle of the floor and LP circled her yelling out "duck" (or "peanut butter" or "cow" or "chicken") until Mommy reached out and grabbed her yelling out the opposite. This was awesome in that I didn't have to move and LP LOVED it. 4 energy units expended for LP. 2 energy units expended for AK who just kept trying to avoid being stepped on.
  • "Visiting" with Grandma and Papa on Skype. My parents enjoyed watching the craziness in my house and it kept the girls occupied for 15 minutes, even if no energy was expended.
  • Bath time. A good time was had by all, splashing and creating a general mess in the bathroom.
  • Bed time. FINALLY. AK down by 8:05 and LP quiet by 8:40.

After making their lunches, I sat down on the couch before 9 and ate dinner. Another successful day, chilling with two of my favorite people with a minimal amount of tears.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dum-Da-Dum-Dum-DONE

Today is Monday. I am at work. This in itself is unusual (but unfortunately necessary). What makes today exceptional is what I did not do.

As I prepared to leave the house this morning, I put my house and car keys in my left jacket pocket, I slung my purse over my right shoulder and then my laptop bag. I grabbed the bag of garbage left by the kitchen door, opened the garage door, disarmed the alarm and left the house.

After putting the trash in the garbage can inside the garage, I got into the driver seat, throwing my laptop bag and purse onto the passenger seat beside me.

Have you spotted the difference yet? I bet not. You would only notice if you have ever seen me walking to my car on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon looking like a pack horse. Lugging all of the same stuff PLUS my Medela PumpInStyle!

As of last Thursday, I am no longer a cow. I am D-O-N-E pumping. Not quite done nursing, still doing the last before bed feeding, but a whole heck of a lot closer to having a fully weaned baby.

I realize this is not the most exciting post for any readers out there. But, at essence this blog is a journal to help me chronicle funny stories, significant milestones and my daily existence as a mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Stand Corrected

As Lori MacBlogger pointed out in yesterday's comments, someone does like an entire post dedicated to my boobs - AK!

She woke up at 5 this morning and was pretty much inconsolable unless I was holding her. No amount of Orajel, Tylenol (okay, SAFE amount) or back rubbing was going to put this munchkin back to sleep. When I got into the shower at 6:45 the Hoos took her downstairs to try and feed her without much success.

Only when I came down around 7 and offered some smoke from my "baby crack pipe" did she settle down. So much so that after a few pulls she looked up at me with an angelic smile and pulled herself up to give me a big kiss. WHAT A STINKER.

The Hoos keeps asking me if she has an ear infection. To be honest, I don't think so. Sleeping from 8pm until 5am, no fever, and no reaction when we pull on her ears, seems to say clear ears to me.

My new hypothesis is that the rain is to blame (Milli Vanilli anyone?). All over Facebook and on the playground moms are complaining about cranky children waking up at odd and unfortunate hours.

I believe in the power of jinxes, so we will not discuss the upcoming weather, but I will ask for prayers that the rain go to where it is needed and stay the heck away from here for a while!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Post Not About Sleep

Instead of writing what I really want to talk about for fear of jinxing anything (read between the lines here folks), here is a weaning update, with links to how it went the last time around, more as a reference for me than for any of you. I am sure reading about my boobs is not the highlight of any one's day.
  • I am down to only pumping once a day while in the office.
  • AK seems to have no problem drinking the whole milk and it does not appear to have impacted her digestive system in any way.
  • Tuesday through Thursday I only nurse AK before bed and I have not nursed her during the night in a week or so (and for a few nights suffered with her awake for more than an hour as a result).
  • AK would prefer to nurse than drink from a cup or bottle when with me, but we are working on that (and soon she may have no choice). As LP said to me last night when AK was crying and refusing her milk cup, "No! She wants milk from your boobie, Mama."

Even at school, AK does this weird thing where she will drink a few sips from her cup and swallow them just fine and then decide that it is more fun to play with her milk; she sucks it in and than spits it out, letting it flood down her chin. Messy AND annoying! I will soon be doing the same thing I did with LP, forcing her to go cold turkey. If she is thirsty, she will drink. It is not as if she gets all of her nutrition from milk anymore.

Also, we think AK may finally be teething. She was 11 months old on the 1st and still does not have a single tooth. She has been quite cranky. Yesterday morning she was yelling while the Hoos was trying to get her dressed. As he shushed her, LP walked in to the room and said, "Daddy, put her in the [time out] chair until she calms down."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mini Mommy

AK is a climbing fiend! She loves climbing up the stairs. We now have a gate at the bottom of them, but when I want to wear her out, I open it up and we do laps up and down the stairs. Earlier today she climbed up on a stool to look out the window. Below is what happened when her big sister joined her.

Evidence of Sleep Deprivation

Saturday morning I distinctly recall hearing LP ask the Hoos, "Daddy, does this match?" and he responded, "Perfect!"

Imagine my surprise when I got out of the shower and was met by this smiling face.

Not sure if I have to work on the concept of matching with LP or the Hoos or both!

Just so you can readjust your eyes after the fabulousness of the polka dots - here is a new picture of AK. We were painting with baby food.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Savor the Sweet

Yesterday as I prepared to leave for work, LP gave me a kiss. Then she gave me another and told me, "Put it in your pocket and save it for later." She also requested a kiss from me to save for later.

AK has also started kissing. All I have to say is "Give mommy a kiss," and, if she is in the mood, she will oblige. They are open-mouthed, but without tongue and just WONDERFUL.

This is why the sleepless nights are worth it.