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.



"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.

No, Really

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