Monday, August 31, 2009

Please Put Me in Time Out

I am just back from a long weekend in Vermont and all I can say is that I need a vacation. The girls had fun with their cousins, LP enjoyed catching "pickle fish," as her cousin Y calls them, from the row boat with her daddy, and AK liked searching the house we stayed in for her favorite animal - ducks.

When I returned I had an offer in my inbox for free tickets to a Connecticut Suns game. The Suns are the WNBA team that plays up at Mohegan Sun. Considering the Hoos and I haven't been anywhere near a casino since having the girls, I thought it might be a good time. In fact, the tickets are for the entire family. It never occurred to me that there was family fun to be had at a casino, but I will check it out and report back.

We saw the Globetrotters back in the winter and I think it would be nice for my daughters to see that girls can be athletic and competitive too. Plus, we are bringing my parents so maybe there will be an opportunity for the Hoos and me to sneak off during half time and put some quarters in the slots.

If anyone else is interested in checking out the Suns, my ticket came with an offer for my loyal readers: $18 seats for $10; $22 seats for $18; $27 seats for $23. Just go to this site and enter special promo code: WNBABLOG. If you go, let me know how it is!

As I type I am listening to AK scream from her crib. I guess those peaceful nap times are a thing of the past. Boo! Hiss!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Passing the Buck

This morning in his rush to get the girls out of the house, the Hoos forgot to change LP out of her pajama shirt. He didn't notice until they walked into the day care. When he started to laugh, LP looked at him quizzically and asked why he was laughing. He tried to downplay it so she wouldn't notice, but, as you may have guessed, LP is a pretty smart kid*. She looked down and figured out the joke.

"No worries," the Hoos told her, "I am sure you have an extra shirt in your bin." Except apparently she didn't.

When he called to recount the story to me, the Hoos added, "So, you should probably check that out. There aren't any shorts either, just long pants and a shirt that looks like it would fit AK." He is right, there aren't many clothes in the bin. A few weeks ago when LP got some water on her shorts she insisted on changing. She ended up wearing size 18 month pants. They were more like hot pants.

HOWEVER, I interrupted him. "Okay, so take note of that and bring more clothes next week." He started sputtering, "But that is why I am telling you. Because really only one of us should be responsible for that, you know so we don't get confused."

"Excellent!" I responded, "We have talked it out and we are straight, you will take care of LP's bin. I don't have to be in charge of everything."

Wanna bet who ends up sending in new clothes next week.

*Case in point: Last night, post-tantrum, LP and AK and I were watching Animal Planet. There was a big cat on the screen and I asked LP if it was a leopard or a cheetah (as the Hoos will tell you I can't keep any of the big cats beyond a tiger and a lion straight). She told me that it was a cheetah and two seconds later the narrator confirmed. She then went on to tell me that the gazelles they were hunting"...look like deer! No goats! No, I know! They are cantaloupes!"

When the cheetah finally caught the "cantaloupe" she said, "Mommy! The cheetah is killing the cantaloupe! What should we do?" I responded that it was important because the cheetah was hungry and the gazelle was its dinner. "We don't eat cantaloupes! We don't eat animals!" I started to explain about how chickens, etc. were animals, but I just figured it was better to smile and laugh. I like cantaloupe, anyway.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Embarassment of Riches

Today after work I had an optometrist appointment to get my contact lense prescription updated. This meant that I got to day care later than usual - around 6 instead of 5:15.

I got the girls and we immediately went to the playground. Which was fine for about 10 minutes. And then LP started to have a tantrum. "I'm still hungry!" after many many pieces of Pirate Booty and "I don't want to go!" after standing on the side and eating or yelling and not doing any playing.

She then proceeded to lay down and cry. It was awesome.

One of LP's friends kept trying to cheer her up, "Come and play, LP!" and gave solid advice, "You shouldn't lay down, your hair will get dirty. When I cry I stand up and walk around."

At a few points AK also chimed in for a symphony of whining. I felt like such a rockstar mom.

I am not much of a yeller, instead choosing to talk quietly, asking why she was acting like this and what she actually wanted (not that I thought she actually knew). When I eventually got LP into the car she chided me, "I had a bad day because you were running late."

The Hoos just called to tell me he has a flat tire. Looks like tonight is just getting better.

Teaching Tact

Saturday night we went on a family date. My little family of four went over to the home of another little family of four for pizza and make your own sundaes. Our kids are exactly the same age and for the most part get along splendidly. In fact, I think the littlest buggers - AK and WMK - are in love, although AK is coy about it, because she smiled but didn't kiss back when her boyfriend smooched her.

Anyway, Chlo-Chlo is all about princesses and dress up. LP was in heaven. Within a minute of us entering their pristine home, both girls had stripped down to their skivvies and were pulling costumes out of the playroom with great fanfare. Apparently, both chose ballet outfits for the first act.

LP walks out with a huge smile in a tutued leotard on backwards. The low cut v that was supposed to be in the back? Was in the front practically exposing her ninnies and navel. She was like the toddler J. Lo. Very fashion forward.

Lesson 400, "Now that you know how to dress yourself, make sure you do it right." Crucial because the Hoos couldn't tell that the leotard was backwards and would have dressed LP that way himself!

Being visually tacky is only one half of the equation. LP is also very direct, like most toddlers.

Yesterday as we took a family walk she announced, "Jules has a birthmark. It will go away when she gets big." Jules is the little sister of a boy in the older class at preschool. That is, he is not even in LP's class. Apparently Jules came in to drop off her big brother and LP got all inquisitive and in-your-face asking questions. Cute for a three-year old, but exponentially less cute as she gets older.

I guess it is time to start the "asking appropriate questions" and "keeping things to yourself" training. Mommy could probably use some help in those areas as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A New Thing (But Not Necessarily MY Thing)

You know how when you do sometihng once and all of a sudden it becomes "your thing." Even though it was something you only did once and it isn't necessarily your thing?

After hearing a news story on the radio, I decided to DVR (this is a verb, not sure if that is appropriate or common, but it is) a new show, "The Mighty Boosh." A British comedy, I knew it could either be really funny or really awful. Coupled with the fact that the Hoos and I often have a horrible time with heavy accents (we had to turn off Gosford Park after five minutes because neither of us could understand a WORD being said), there was a potent potential for disaster.

On Monday night at 9:30 after getting the girls to bed, I knew I wasn't up for an hour-long show and I thought The Mighty Boosh might be a good way to pass a half hour. Bizarre doesn't even begin to describe this show. BUT, to be honest, there is really no way to describe it. For someone who writes for a living, I feel I am at a loss to appropriately describe it. The episode we saw involved eels, a man with a life saver-like thing over his eye and a lot of urine, and a cross-dresser with a lot of money. There was also a side story about an odd collection of characters riding a magic carpet.

After watching it and laughing out loud a few times, gasping in horror and confusion a few other times, the Hoos looked at me and just gaped. I wasn't sure what to think. It took me a few days to determine that I might as well DVR the next episode.

Last night the Hoos saw a commercial for the show and called out, "Aim! Your show is on!" I am not sure if this is exactly what I would consider my show. Kind of like the time the Hoos recommended Nip/Tuck to some friends and then was horrified when the next episode aired and he realized exactly what he "had done" (made us look like pervs).

So, not that I am recommending it, but if you want to try to help me describe it, either check out The Mighty Boosh on YouTube or check it out at 1am on Mondays during Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. Mom, don't even bother, it isn't for you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This morning as the Hoos, the girls and I got into the car after walking through some shops and a farmer's market, I noticed LP playing with something. "It's broken, mama," she said as she handed me a cheap, plastic Halloween themed bracelet/watch.

"Where did you get this?" I inquired. "Did you take it from that store?"

She just continued to whine that it was broken as I insisted that she and the Hoos return it to the card store we had just left. The Hoos was more intent on fixing it before returning it.

The whole experience brought me back to a day, probably more than 25 years ago, when I liberated something from TSS. TSS was short of a precursor to KMART. Maybe a hybrid of KMART and Kohls? Anyway, there was a red halter shirt with gold trim that was originally part of an outfit worn by a Kate Jackson Charlie's Angel Barbie doll. It was just sitting on the shelf in the toy section. Separated from its owner. It looked so pretty. So perfect for my own Barbie...

As soon as my mom saw it in my hand, it was over. I was marched back into the store, made to hand it to a cashier and apologize. Obviously, this stuck with me.

According to the Hoos, when LP apologized (mostly into his shoulder), the young cashier shrugged and said thanks. I hope that a lesson was learned, because I don't want to be the one marching her back in to the store. I wonder if kids realize that events like that are just as traumatic and humiliating for a parent as for a child...

Thursday, August 20, 2009


AK idolizes her big sister. So, when LP sits on the toilet in our upstairs bathroom, AK will pull the potty up next to it and settle herself down. On occasion I will remove AK's diaper to give her the full experience. Not that she ever actually peed in the potty. Well, once she did pee next to it, does that count?

The other day she kept trying to take the potty ring and put it on top of the little potty (we have every toilet training tool you can imagine thanks to the trial and error method of toilet training we employed).

Last night as I was getting the bath ready for the girls, AK was once again nosing around the toilet. Since I already had her naked, I put the potty ring on the toilet and set her atop. She was very excited and looked like a little princess on her throne. And then I heard a plop! And a tinkle!

I called out in excitement to the Hoos and he and LP came running in. LP was exclaiming, "That is so, so great!" and clapping. AK was also grinning and clapping like crazy. She was so excited she didn't want to get off the toilet.

After things settled down the Hoos mused, "You know what that means? It means you were cutting it close. We would have had another poop in the tub."

Really? Because I thought it meant that there was the possibility that my almost 15-month old might, by some miracle, start using the toilet more regularly. But likely I am delusional. And I can't imagine they make underwear that small anyway.

Between the first time LP used the potty and her becoming fully toilet trained, it was 11 months. If AK is anywhere close we still have a long road of kowtowing at the feet of Procter and Gamble's Pampers...but a mom can hope, can't she?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

See What I Mean?

This was only a year ago!

Warp Speed

The other day I got the call at work that my replacement laptop has arrived. It seems that the lease on my existing one has expired. "But," I sputtered, "I got this one right after I came back from maternity leave!" With LP! THREE YEARS AGO!

Then, as I was driving in to work this morning listening to NPR, the commentator said something to the effect of, "In the three decades sine 1979..." and I did a double take. Where has the time gone? How is it possible that it has been 15 years since I graduated high school? A decade since the Y2K craziness?

It seems that in my focus on daily milestones - lunch time, quitting, dinner time, bath time, bed time - years have passed by without my noticing.

This year my oldest niece will be bat mitzvahed - I remember the Hoos getting the call from his brother with the news that his wife was pregnant! On Monday, my brother's oldest daughter started kindergarten! How is it possible that more than five years have passed since I awkwardly held her as a newborn?

Besides taking photos and trying to enjoy life as it comes, how is it possible to capture time? Ideas on how to slow down before LP is in kindergarten - or being bat mitzvahed?!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Peeps

Sometimes I look at my little girls, at the people they are becoming, and I am awed. I can't believe that I helped to create (not just bring in to the world, but to actually MAKE) these two perfect little individuals.

And I say "individuals" quite deliberately. Because even though I have two children of the same gender, from the same parents, they are quite different. Apparently the recipe is never quite the same.

When AK was born, the Hoos and I were quite surprised that she was a girl, mostly because she had dark hair. Silly, I know. But we knew what little girls that we made looked like - and they had white blond hair and lots of rolls. Not almost black hair and skinny arms and a tush the size of two thumbs!

And the surprises just keep on coming. Both of my girls are pretty outgoing, but AK is more adventurous. They both like being the center of attention, but AK is more likely to be selective in identifying the source of the attention. They both are/were good eaters as infants, but LP used to store food up in her cheeks for hours and slowly meter it out; AK scarfs down food as quickly as she can shovel it in.

Since they are both so young (three and one respectively, natch) I can't say I have their personalities all figured out. But I do continue to be amazed that not only are they different from one another but they are not even necessarily like me or the Hoos. I actively look for clues, asking my parents if I talked incessantly like LP (I did) or looking at baby pictures of the Hoos and seeing both LP's rolls (yes, really! for those of you that know the Hoos) and AK's curls.

I know that as a parent I will never have my children all figured out, but I do think I am starting to get a better handle on my parents. To think that they looked at me with stars in their eyes the way I look at my angels?! And that on some days they were also tired and struggling to not beat me and my brother down?! As Mr. Slinger, in Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse would say: Wow. Just wow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All By Myself

Yay! The weekend is over! The Hoos is back! If I never have to hear, "That isn't how Daddy's does it!" again, it will be too soon.

I did have a great time with the girls. Yes, it was nice not to have to worry about being home at a certain time or preparing dinner, but I definitely could have used more sleep and about four more showers a day (warm temperatures + clingy kids = stinky mommy).

Friday afternoon I kept the girls out of the house for as long as possible. We spent two hours on the playground (sweating profusely) and another forty minutes at Stew's. That left me with only about an hour and a half until bedtime.

Saturday we spent the morning and early afternoon with some friends at a farmer's market and playground. My plan was to run them around so they would fall asleep in the car on the way home. It was a lot of fun in the sun and it certainly wore me out. Alas, four hours in the sun is not enough for the other female members of the family and neither LP nor AK took a nap. I was literally counting down the hours until bedtime. Which couldn't come soon enough and which took way too long. Both of my over-exhausted munchkins were giggling fools. Running in and out of their bedrooms, jumping on each other and having a grand old time.

Sunday was a family brunch with the Hoos' family. He wasn't there most of the time, but at least I was not alone to entertain my children. I can usually count on my nieces to watch them. Unfortunately, my nieces are children too and at one point they were otherwise entertained (understandably). I was so bummed that I - GASP! - had to watch my own children.

I am very happy that the Hoos is home. Not only is he smart, cute, and my best friend - he is a great dad. Which reminds me of why I married him seven years ago today.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The Hoos is going away for the weekend. This is unprecedented. The most either of us have been away from our daughters is for a single night - a handful of nights when LP slept at one of our parents' houses and my single, horrible business trip.

That is not to say that we are never alone with our children individually. The Hoos gets the girls up and out of the house without me around three days a week. I spend the afternoons and early evenings with them five days a week. He has occasional week-night work events and I have the occasional event or mom date. This will just be the first time that I am on my own for two consecutive days and nights.

By virtue of being mom, I spend more time with the girls. The Hoos works more and longer hours (and brings home more of the bacon). He does yard work and housework that necessitates not having children underfoot (gardening and kids sometimes mix, but not when your kids pick EVERY green tomato or pull each petal off each flower).

So, most weekends I do take the girls out alone for a bit - to the farmer's market, to the grocery store, the playground, on walks, but in the back of my mind I know that I will get some time to myself later in the day (usually nap time when AK is down and LP is awake but slightly more subdued).

If this was any other weekend, I would likely have packed the girls up and driven down to my parents house on Long Island for the weekend. Alas, my parents are visiting my brother and his family in California.

I am now in programming mode, trying to at least have a few planned activities for each day so the girls don't drive me crazy. In addition, even thought I usually keep AK home with me on Fridays, she is off to day care so I can run errands (and maybe even fit in a pedi) and have a little bit of time for myself.

We will survive (perhaps barely), I will be stronger for the experience. And, as my friend MLH says, I am banking points for a ladies day at the outlets. Then again, why do I need to bank time? Who decides what goes where on the balance sheet? Is it really equal in the first place?

I Got Lucky!

So did the Hoos.

Not like that you pervs! My grandma reads this!

My little AK is just the smiliest, happiest little munchkin of a baby you have ever seen. She is almost always grinning, showing off her four front teeth. She goes down to bed super easily and since hitting the 11 month mark has slept peacefully through the night (okay, until 7:30 or so). Apparently her top two molars are breaking through. I wouldn't have known without the doctor telling me, because she certainly doesn't complain about it. How many little kids get excited about chomping on a piece of broccoli as they stroll through the grocery store? She is certainly one a kind - the best kind.
And my big girl? Well, she is a unique peach. A talker, a charmer, a sweetheart and the most wonderful pain in the arse. She would rather read a book than watch TV. After requesting that our visiting rabbit hop around, she stands on a chair and cheers as he hops around far below. Little pieces of paper become projects to be brought in to my office for decoration. Discussing "when mommy was little like me" and watching videos from "when she was a baby" provide hours of entertainment. She still sleeps with her nappies (baby blankets) even while gleefully acknowledging that she is "too big and they don't work anymore. And, best of all, she has hugs and love for everyone - from the open arms she sports when greeting her friends on the playground, to the "hard kisses" she gives when trying to prolong bedtime.

My little love bugs are fabulous. There, I said it. I know, I say it all the time, but I don't think I say it nearly enough.

Yes, indeed, Mama got lucky.

thanks to MLH for the photo of us in our inadvertently matching outfits

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The List

Last night my brother-in-law and his family came over for dinner. Sitting around the table talking we got on the subject of grocery shopping and lists.

LP, wanting to be included in what was a silly conversation, stopped chomping on her gingerbread cookie and announced, "Miss Miller has a list." Miss Miller is her preschool teacher.

When I asked what was on Miss Miller's list she said, "My name, sometimes."

Of course, I asked why her name would be on the list, "For when I'm bad."

Points for honesty.

Until my follow up question asking if her name was on the list today.

"Yes. And I got a sticker."

Not that I think she is lying, I just thing her little brain moves so fast it blurs things together.

Like last week when she came home with a rubber ducky for "...using my listening ears and pushing Jacob and Miss Miller chasing me around the room and catching me with her legs."

I have no idea what happened with Miss Miller (and when I asked she gave me an absolute blank stare, Miss Miller isn't exactly the chasing type) but the rest seems plausible if not mixed up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


In general, LP loves animals. From afar. She waves at them, points them out and runs from window to window in our house when a dog walks by. She insists on visiting the animals at Stew Leonard's but then jumps into my arms if one actually moves toward her.

The Hoos is also a friend of animals. Given the opportunity he would add a four- or no-legged friend to our house. If only he could actually get LP to ask for one. He even takes her to pet stores and prompts her, "Would you like a [bearded dragon]?" and her answer is always a resounding no and emphatic shake of the head.

This week we are testing LP's resolve.

My brother-in-law and his family are on vacation. And so is Coco, their pet rabbit. Except they are in Florida and Coco is at our house.

Oddly enough, LP has really taken to Coco. She has even asked me to open his cage so she can pet him, but not - heaven forbid - let him out. She also asks to feed him salad and reminds me to clean his "glitter box."AK, my brave daughter, is much less of a fan. Any sudden movements from Coco drive her screaming from the room.

Last night the Hoos and I sat in the office where we have Coco's cage and let him out for some exercise. The poor thing has been cooped up since Friday. Not exactly how the Hoos and I wanted to spend our quiet time, but a necessary task.

Suffice it to say, I don't think we will be getting a pet anytime soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

If Only...

...I didn't have such horrible bedhead.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wipe Out

The sun was out, there was a breeze, it wasn't too was the perfect night for a post-school playground visit.

As I shuttled LP, AK, and their various lunch boxes, bags and linens out to the playground, I waved to some friends, and was eager to relax on a bench and catch up.

And then my heel got caught.

And I went down.

Holding AK.

Fortunately I was able to cradle AK and no part of her body actually hit the ground. This was confirmed by another mom that actually watched me fall, helpless. AK did cry, but from the fear of watching the pavement rapidly approach as we fell as opposed to any injury.

Of course, since protecting my baby was my number one priority me knees and other body parts were not so fortunate. My ego and pride were also injured in the accident. Further exacerbated by LP checking in with me from the slide every two minutes, "Mom, are you okay?'

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rocker Girl

Good Love

Tonight AK said something that sounded close to "da-da" but it wasn't. She already says da-da. The Hoos figured out that she was saying LP's name. When I asked AK "Where is Di-dee?" she pointed at LP. It was awesome.

I already knew she loved her big sister. But now she has an actual name for her.

Tonight also included a change to AK's bedtime routine. Up until tonight her final bottle was consumed in my arms in the glider in her bedroom. When she was done I would pop her into bed. Now that she has teeth, I knew that I really needed to start brushing them. So, I held her in my arms downstairs with the rest of the family until she finished her bottle. I then put her down and told her to give Daddy and LP kisses. She went right over to the Hoos, mouth open wide making the "kiss" sound. When she was done with him she walked over to LP in the same position and bent down to give her a kiss.

I think I am in love. If only I could steal one of those kisses...

The Art of Subtlety

Last night when the Hoos walked into the house, he greeted the girls, looked at me and asked, "Did you wear those shoes to work?"

I was wearing green Crocs with my work clothes. I stated that I had to run out to the car to get something I had forgotten (his dry cleaning!) and they were easier to slip on than my brown heels.

"Oh, okay, because there is something weird with them and your pants. Your pants are too long or something." I pointed out that my pants were the right length when worn with the aforementioned heels.

"No, it isn't that. They are weird on your butt. Can I throw them out?"

Awesome. I wore pants all day that my husband thinks make my butt look funky in a bad way. Talk about a shot to the confidence. And he wasn't done.

"Where did you get that shirt?" I looked down at it. It was a new shirt I had bought over the weekend. It was kind of sheer so I wore a tank underneath. I liked both - having just spent actual money on them.

"Better yet, why?" At this point I am sure he could sense that perhaps it wasn't the conversation I was hoping to have with him.

"It is just that you are so pretty..."

I am going to look at the bright side - Looks like mama just won herself a shopping spree.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crying for Attention

Yesterday as I rushed the girls out of the house, AK fell on the walkway between the house and garage. As usual, she was not deterred and pulled herself up and kept walking in an effort to prove that she was a walker and a "big girl" like her older sister. When she reached the car, I quickly scooped her up, strapped her into her car seat and ran around to the other side of the car to inspect LP's straps (as a big girl she now insists on strapping herself in; thankfully she has gotten more proficient and it actually saves time) .

When we got to our destination and I went to liberate AK from her car seat I noticed her knee, already a bit scabby, was a bit bloody and had new scrapes on top of her healing ones. This is so different from LP. Not LP when she was one, but LP now.

I love her, she is adorable and beautiful and entertaining, but she loves to lay on the drama. If she is feeling attention starved, any teeny tiny bump is a boo-boo requiring surgery, or at least a bandage (preferable one with Dora or a princess), any small tumble is like a fall from a building, requiring being immediately picked up and carted around for the next half hour (especially if doing something Mommy specifically told you not to do and yelled at you for doing), each time her sister accidentally scratches or pushes back while being attacked is cause for tears that would make Sarah Bernhardt proud.

My hope is that the little sister will pass the lesson to suck it up on to the big sister.

Except that yesterday AK was feeding herself and her finger slipped into her nose by accident. Her cousins and I responded with laughter. This meant that she repeatedly stuck her finger up her nose while cracking up. Not a lesson LP needs to learn (the nose is a fascinating orifice after all).