Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Love (the 2010 Edition)

  1. Seeing my girls hold hands.
  2. Family snuggle time on weekend mornings.
  3. Being challenged at work everyday.
  4. Eating breakfast with my three favorite people every day.
  5. How seriously LP takes her job as big sister.
  6. Watching both girls be independent.
  7. The ability to leave the girls alone in the shower.
  8. Sleeping until 8:15 on the weekends.
  9. Alone time with the Hoos - I think we had 3-4 date nights in the last 3 months; it might be a new record since having LP.
  10. Looking forward to even more personal, family, and professional adventures in 2011.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Something New and Different

I am concerned that LP and AK are not related.

Last night I made the girls pasta for dinner and chicken, rice and broccoli for the Hoos and me. Yes, i still make different meals for us. It is easier for a lot of reasons - the girls eat an hour or so before the grown-ups, LP pretty much only eats pasta as a main dish...

When I put the plate with pasta in front of AK you would have thought it was a plate of worms, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want pasta! I want rice! And chicken with orange sauce! And broccoli!"

See what I mean?

Also, after a few days housebound due to holidays and snow, I am also seeing other differences:
  • AK is a couch spud. She will sit in front of the television watching Nick Jr. On Demand ALL DAY given the option.
  • LP is a project queen. Give her scissors, markers and some paper and she is content for at least an hour. If you add paint to the mix you might get two hours.
  • LP is a camel. She pees maybe twice a day. AK goes every half hour.

I am also trying something new and different. For the past few months I have been feeling really not so great about my appearance.

My new job is great, but I work in a tiny office, on a main road. While there is certainly no exercise in my day, now there is not even any walking as part of my day to make me at least feel semi-active. In October I started getting up at 6 to walk for 45 minutes before starting the day, but now that it is below 20 degrees in the morning, getting out of bed is just not happening.

So, since it appears I will not be integrating exercise into my routine any time soon, I decided to do something about my diet. I have never been on a diet before. And not that I am on a diet now. I am just TRYING to modify some things to see if it has an impact on my weight or at least my Gretal sense of fitness. On Friday I decided to pilot a program to cut most carbs and sugar out of my diet. So when we had Chinese on Christmas Even, I didn't eat rice and I didn't put sugar in my tea. I also didn't snack on junk all day.

I am just "trying something." I am committed to trying and seeing how it goes. So far I have been able to stick to it for the most part, the only sugar I have had is on the dried cranberries I added to salad. I know it isn't going to be easy to maintain, and I am not expecting instant results, but I am at least feeling good about the fact that I am doing something.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Little Things


The other night AK decided to bring about 15 million stuffed animals into bed with her. One of which was the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Dog. It is cute, but it makes noise. I was definitely concerned about her ability to actually sleep when she had such a fun distraction at her finger tips.

My concern grew while laying in bed with her because every time she sat up to get her book from the foot of the bed, the dog would say "Hug me!" and she would respond, "Just a minute, doggy," put the book back down, hug and comfort the dog, and then sit up to retrieve the book again. The dog would then say, "Hug me, again!" Apparently it is programmed to say something if you leave it alone for too long - just like a real, live toddler! Anyway, after repeating this inefficient process for longer than I would have preferred, I remembered to turn the dog off. Good, mommy! {pat, pat}

The Hoos

Last night the Hoos called at 6:15 to say he had just sent something out and would be leaving the office in 15 minutes. When he walked in the door at 9, I was disappointed. Yes, I have been handling the girls on my own for a month and I really don't mind it. But he had gotten my hopes up (I even made dinner for the first time in weeks) and I was irritated. It wasn't his fault, but, well, I am ready to have him back.


On Tuesday LP asked me if it was winter. I assured her that, yes, it was the first day of winter and my brother's birthday to boot. "Yippeee!" I hadn't really expected that response, so I asked why she was so excited. "Because winter is Christmas. And I love Christmas."

She then hung dirty socks to our coffee table with tape. And wrapped up some books and toys and put a card on it, addressed to her sister and signed with love.

Just when I started to get concerned that Christmas envy was going to be a problem - she announced, "This is a present for AK's birthday!" She then sang Happy Birthday, and handed her super excited little sibling the gift.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things that Go Bump in the Night

The Hoos continues to work crazy long hours. We miss him and he misses us more.

Considering how much togetherness we have had lately, LP and AK have been very good. As expected, bedtime is the hardest time for everyone. Fortunately, we have gotten into a routine that works (for the most part).

After the girls get into their pjs in AK's room, LP retires to her bedroom to work in her writing workbook (a Chanukah present that she loves that is basically a school book teaching her how to write properly). AK turns off her bedroom light, turns on the closet light, grabs a book and joins me in her bed. When the book is done, I turn off the light, tell AK I will be back (usually never to return) and go check on LP.

Tonight as I was helping LP finish up her lesson, I thought I heard some noises from AK's room. Knowing it was too dangerous to investigate, I ignored it. Once LP was done, I turned off the light and went downstairs to make their lunches and grab my Kindle for some quiet reading in bed.

When I entered AK's room (a good 45 minutes after leaving) to check on her, I heard, "Ice cream pajamas?" Confused, I amiably turned on her closet light to retrieve the requested items. AK appeared baffled, "What you doing?" she asked, pointing to herself.

Apparently all the earlier noise was AK getting out of bed, turning on the light?, locating the ice cream pajamas, removing her tree pjs, putting them in her dresser, putting on the ice cream pjs, turning off the light, and getting back into bed!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Reason for the Season

The other night, LP asked me, "Mom? Do Christmas and winter go together?"

I responded, "Yes. Christmas is always in winter. That is because Christmas is celebrating some one's birthday."

To which LP replied, "I know whose birthday!"

I was surprised, because while we talk about Christmas and Santa, we don't talk too much about the religious aspects of the holidays.


Miss Jamie is her teacher, who must be around 20 and who has been talking about her birthday, which does indeed fall on December 25th, non stop.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Setting Expectations

The Hoos has been working lots of long hours. I am sure he is suffering more than I am, but it does mean that I am spending lots of quality time with my two lovelies. I love them, they are fabulous (really!) but I am tired. And, to be honest, as much as we miss the Hoos' physical presence, it is easier to have him working in his office as opposed to at home. If he was at home I would have unspoken expectations of assistance, and this way I just take care of things on my own, in my own way.

Today the girls joined me on a day of errands. The treat in the middle was lunch at Bertucci's. Both LP and AK were actually very well behaved and relatively quiet, considering they were hungry and had spent their morning going in and out of the car for stops at LL Bean, DSW, and Target.

After we had ordered but before lunch had arrived an older couple sat down behind us. At the same time they sat down, LP and AK were in the middle of laughing and singing and AK let out a silly, happy BURP. The lady looked over her shoulder at me, then glanced at the girls and said, "Santa is watching..." LP looked at me with a "Whaaa?" look and AK didn't even hear her. She repeated herself and said to me, "I don't think that one [pointing at AK] even heard. Do they understand what I mean?"

First of all, if I was a kid and someone said that to me, I would be totally creeped out. I mean, does he watch you in the bathroom? I responded, "Well, she is probably thinking, Chanukah is already over and I got all my presents."

The next time I turned around someone else was being seated. I guess I offended her or we were too loud. I guess her expectations for the lunch crowd at Bertucci's was a bit different than my reality.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

Today I had brief formal meetings with both LP's and AK's teachers. They really try to emphasize that day care is a learning situation and not just glorified baby-sitting (which makes me personally feel a bit less guilty).

The family conference forms are really by the book. While they are filled out for each child, they pull phrases from a curriculum book highlighting age-appropriate developmental goals.

For example, AK, who talks up a storm, got this note: uses simple sentences and questions with three or more words. Three or more words? Pshaw!

LP's teacher elaborated a bit more on LP's form, saying both: offers play theme and scenario under the goal "To Learn About the World" and expanding under "Favorite Activities and Special Interests": She likes playing in dramatic play, coming up with themes and acting out a scenario :).

No matter what the forms say, I know my babies are learning and growing at a rapid pace. Remember when AK looked like this and LP looked like this?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Killing Me Softly

Once again, I let the morning routine in my house get into my head.

I know logically that before I started my new job the Hoos managed to get everyone up and dressed and fed and out the door in the morning.

I just have NO IDEA HOW.

Every other Thursday is an especially difficult time. It is when our cleaning lady comes. It should be a lovely occasion, a time to celebrate the impending clean home. But it isn't.

This morning I had to attempt to remove the sheets from three beds that still had occupants. The Hoos realized it was a futile battle and got up; AK thought it was fun; LP grumbled loudly and started to scream when I removed the pillowcase.

At that point we were already 5-10 minutes behind schedule.

I finally got the girls downstairs and delivered several breakfast options for them, requiring multiple trips to and from the kitchen. I then realized the sink was full of dishes. And that the shoes I wanted to wear were missing.

After washing the dishes, I went searching for my shoes. And to grab the dirty sheets from upstairs and put them in the basement for washing. I also grabbed a bag with garbage to put it in the already overflowing garbage can at the curb before the garbage truck arrived.

In the meantime, the Hoos came downstairs, got his breakfast, and sat at the table eating quietly.

Need I say more?

Monday, November 29, 2010

105 Hours of Togetherness

Long weekends ain't what they used to be.

They used to be...quiet.

Until this morning, my last moment of alone time was my drive from work to pick the girls up from day care at 2:30 last Wednesday. The Hoos was crazy busy at work and spent most of Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and Friday afternoon in the office. And not our home office, his actual office. Which is cool - he does bring home the bacon - but it meant that I had a lot of time to kill with my two little bunnies.

Wednesday they got to watch me peel and prepare potatoes for Thanksgiving. Around 6 I was saved by my father-in-law who arrived with dinner and enjoyed watching AK spin like a top while chattering endlessly (did I mention she likes to prattle on and on?).

Thursday the girls helped me make a blueberry torte (replacing the berries with chocolate chips because, well, they wanted to ) and watched a lot of television while I cleaned and seasoned the turkey. They also spent a lot of time watching me put away the toys that they continuously took out.

Friday afternoon was looking loooooong and the girls had already watched a week's worth of television on Thursday, so we attempted to go to a playground. But it was FREEZING, so we bailed and went to the Stepping Stones Children's museum instead. The museum is fun, and the girls had a good time, but I am not sure that it is worth $12 per person.

Saturday we actually had family time! We bundled up and set out for the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, ate lunch out, and checked out the new Fairway Market in Stamford (the Hoos was dazzled by the baked goods).

Sunday was the perfect lazy day. Everyone slept late and hung out in their PJs for a while. And boy, did I need it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Really? TWO Chatterboxes?

When I was pregnant with AK, I recall a lot of people confirming through anecdotes the conventional wisdom that not only are siblings nothing alike, they are most likely polar opposites.

With me and my brother this seems to be the case, although I am sure we have a few things in common beyond our lineage. For example, we both have two daughters. And, degrees...and, well, you get the point.

I was completely prepared for AK and LP to be two completely different children. When AK was born with dark curls and scrawny limbs, it solidified the situation in my mind. And, beyond looks, they are indeed quite different. AK is fearless. LP is cautious. AK eats just about anything you put in front of her (or more likely in front of me). LP is the carb queen, enjoying pasta with reckless abandon and not much else.

One area where they are absolutely and completely IDENTICAL is in the talking department. Seriously, when they are both around you can not have a minute of peace. If one isn't talking, the other is - or more likely if one is talking, they both are.

Last night was a perfect example of the similarities and the differences.

LP came running into the kitchen to tell me that Vidia, from the Tinkerbell movie, was not being very nice and she didn't want to watch. I told her that Vidia was not a very nice person and that we like nice people. "Right. We like nice people. Like Geoff and Carina [our neighbors]. They don't litter. Now will you come watch this scary part with me?"

AK came running in shortly thereafter, "Mommy, I want some Poppy Joe. In a bowl. While I watch Tinkerbell on tele-vision." She returned to the living room with her bowl of sloppy Joe meat to protect her sister from uncomfortable scenes of Vidia not being nice to Tinkerbell.

To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Oh, except the other day when we ran into a co-worker of the Hoos' and his family. They had their adorable 8-month old son and he LOVED AK. He would smile and gurgle any time he looked at her. At some point she turned to me and said, "Mommy, the baby is black." When I ignored her she just kept repeating it louder.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tushcapades: The Final Chapter

Remember when I used to be witty and write about my kids?

Sorry, I am distracted with toilet paper.

The photo to the right is the actual toilet paper dispenser in my upstairs bathroom. Yes, it has a radio built in. And, if you look at it closely, it says that it also used to have a phone. All I can say is that the phone wasn't there when we bought the house. And we probably should have replaced the dispenser after moving in, but, well, we wouldn't want to have to paint the whole wall since it is a big honking dispenser.
Anyhoo - note that we are using the tube-less Scott's TP. On top is the roll I removed so that I could be scientific in my review.
What can I say? The new paper does its job. The dispenser spins unhindered, which was the initial concern. Would I pay extra for this TP? No. Would I buy it if it wasn't provided free to review? Maybe - as long as the price was competitive with what I normally pay.
A's Mom, HorseloverM, DM, MLH, and nallman - your TP is on its way! Let us know what you think. Or at least show us a picture of your TP holder...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tushcapades: Episode 1

Our 12 pack of Scott's Tube Free Toilet Tissue arrived today!

I have to be honest, before they contacted me to review it, I had not thought about the impact toilet paper rolls have on our nation's landfills. I have thought about the impact of lots of other things on landfills - having worked in the environmental field for quite some time - but toilet paper rolls? I figured they biodegrade at some sensible rate.

That being said, less waste still sounds like a good thing. Especially since Scott's estimates that 17 billion TP rolls are thrown out every year, the equivalent weight of one million elephants.

So far I am surprised to note that no roll appears to equate to no hole to stick your toilet paper tube holder in. LP and I figured out how to push it through and wiggle it to make it fit. We have yet to test how this works when you attempt to pull the paper off and use it.

Stay tuned.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A True Story

Me, on my daily phone call to my mom: "Mom, you know how you always complain I don't blog anymore? Well, soon I will have something to write about. I am getting toilet paper to review."
At this point, you would think that most moms would laugh, but you don't know Shel.
My mom: "Not the kind that doesn't have a roll?!"

Me, dumbfounded: "YES! How did you even know?"

My mom: "I read about it in the newspaper. They are only testing it in certain markets and selling it in certain places, like WalMart and Sam's Club. Dad and I were just talking about it - do you have to store it somewhere special so it doesn't smoosh? You will have to give me a roll when you get it."
This story has in no way been embellished. It is an excerpt of our exact conversation as I remember it. From a marketing perspective, my mom is the dream customer of Scott toilet tissue.

Speaking of which - anyone else want to test out this TP with me? You too can receive a 12 pack. Just leave a comment telling me who you would most likely talk to about toilet paper. Two readers will be randomly selected to get paper shipped to them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Know, I Know

I have been so crazy busy at work - traveling weekly to beautiful Providence, RI, running numbers, strategic planning - that I have neglected you, my poor readers. Rest assured, I am still here. Life goes on. The girls are still very, very silly and incredibly adorable - most of the time.

AK is loving the big girl bed and talking up a storm. I can even understand most of it. Her new favorite word is 'actually.' As in, "Mommy, you read this. No wait! Actually, I will read it."

LP is growing so quickly. She is wicked smart and she is learning how to write and read! Over the weekend she had to create a poster for school that was all about her. She was able to be as creative as she wanted - using any medium at her disposal. She decided to mostly write in things. For example, there was a question, "Where do you live." She had me spell out Connecticut so she could write it in. Under the part that said "When I grow up I want to be..." her answer was "butterfly girl".

I started downloading some pictures off the camera and this is one of my new favorites - from Halloween.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life is its Own Reward

After school yesterday I took the girls to Stew's. We had a grand old time and in addition to getting each girl a sample of gelato, we bought some items for dinner. When we got home, LP decided she wanted to be my helper as we brought stuff into the house.

"Mommy? Look what a good helper I am," she said with my pocketbook dangling from her arm. She then proceeded to climb into the back of the car to help me get the grocery bags and several cases of soda out.

"[AK]! can you be a good helper for Mommy and take her pocketbook so I can help with the groceries?"

AK ignored her and I took my purse back and carried it and two cases of soda into the house.

When I returned, LP had punched out the carrying handles on the remaining cases of soda to help me carry them. I grabbed them and she started to make her way out of the car.

"Mommy? Can I have money? For being a good helper?"

" You should just be a good helper because it is the right thing to do, not because you want money. Who told you about money for helping?"

This time LP ignored me and hopped out of the car and grabbed the case of soda I had put down so I could close the tailgate. She actually carried it about three feet - not bad for a four year old.

When we got in the house she asked for other ideas on how she could help. She proceeded to help with dinner, garbage collection and clean up. She then recounted for the Hoos all of the ways that she had helped - and asked him for money. She got a treat from her trick-or-treat bag instead; we were kind of hoping we had a few more years until we had to start paying allowance!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deep Thoughts

LP: Mommy, G-d made everything.
Me: Right. Where did you hear that?
LP: No where. I was just thinking it.
Me: Oh, okay.
LP: Except maybe houses. Workers had to help with that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is Big

My little, bitty AK, my baby, is now {sob} in a big girl bed and {sob} pretty much toilet trained.

Not that I am complaining, or trying to jinx myself. Really, I just can't believe it.

After a week of sleeping on a mattress on the floor and staying in her bed all night, we realized that AK would never go back in the crib again. So, on Saturday, with the girls at my parents' house, the Hoos and I disassembled the crib and put it in the basement.

And, after several weeks of wearing undies and bringing home plastic bags with soggy clothes, AK started coming home in the same clothes she wore to school. At home she would randomly pop up from whatever activity she was engaged in announcing, "I have to pee! Mommy, turn on the light! Don't help me!"

Not only are these two HUGE steps in AK's like, they are potentially pretty significant for me, too. Could it be that there are no more diapers or cribs in my future?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sneak Preview

We've come a long way since Halloween 2008. Time flies like the two cutest SuperGirls ever!

Blame the Messenger

This morning at 5:25 LP appeared at my bedside, "Mommy, I had a dream that a car flipped over and someone got smooshed."

And then she started climbing into the bed.

"Uh-un, LP," I said, climbing out of the bed, "Let's go."

I stood at the side of the bed while she snuggled into the warm spot I had recently vacated.


I was in disbelief. Did she really just say 'no'?!

And then I realized I was tired. And didn't feel like escalating this into raised voices or tears.

So I shrugged and climbed back into bed.

Then the Hoos gave it a shot.

He got up and stood by the side of the bed, telling her he would stay in her room with her for a while, but she had to get up.


Eventually he gave up and climbed back into bed.

Later on the Hoos gave me a hard time, "Why did you tell her it was okay to get in our bed?"

If you note, I never told her it was okay. But, whatever.

For the record, AK slept through the night in her big girl bed. And when I woke her up, she looked at me, smiled, and said, "Mommy, lay with me." And I did. And I loved it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Changing Things Up

For about three months now AK has had a boo-boo on her nose. It started out as a scratch and stayed as a scratch. As soon as it would start to heal, the little *&%^@! peanut would pick at it again, reopening the wound.

The whole process physically pained me. I really wanted to just shake the heck out of her or tie her down to make her stop. Of course, it doesn't help to know that when she is a teenager with a scar on her nose she will blame us.

Between the liquid bandage and bandages on her nose, we finally got her to stop prying off the scab - most of the time. I recently discovered that the only time she would still futz with it was between the time I put her to bed and the time she actually fell asleep. For some reason, picking her boo-boo brought her comfort.

The Hoos shared my frustration and last week decided that we needed to do SOMETHING.

He proposed moving her to a bed. Logical, right?

If you recall we moved LP into a bed before she was 2 to make room for AK. Since we don't have the same time constraints, I had already decided that we should keep AK in the crib as long as possible. Mostly because I didn't really want two little girls creeping me out by giving me the evil eye at my bedside in the middle of the night.

And then, on Friday night, I found myself (with LP's "help") dragging the mattress off of the trundle bed in LP's room onto the floor in AK's room. Amazingly, she followed her same bedtime routine as usual and let me leave the room a little before 9.

"Hmm...not too bad," I thought to myself smugly....

Until I was woken up with cries of "Mommy! Mommy!" on Saturday morning at 5:50. On the bright side, she didn't leave her bed until the Hoos went into settle her down.

It was still the weekend so Saturday I gave it another shot. She again went down around 9 and this time I was able to leave while she was still awake, telling her the bedtime white lie, "I'm just going to put on my pajamas." Again, she didn't leave her room or call out after I left.

And Sunday morning was the best morning ever. And way better than LP's second or third morning in a bed.

1. The entire family slept through the night.
2. The first child out of bed was LP at 8:20.
3. LP let her room and pitter-pattered into her sister's room.
4. The next thing we heard was LP asking, "Mommy? Daddy? Can [AK] and I go downstairs by ourselves?" {Could you hear the 'Hell, yes!' at your house?}

This morning was pretty good too. We are going to give it some time and keep the crib in AK's room for a while (and be prepared to put the baby gate up at her bedroom door if need be), but I am mentally rearranging AK's bedroom furniture.

Oh, and speaking of changing, if you don't count the weekends, AK is rocking toilet training. Every day last week she wore the same clothes all day! I think she just likes to pee in her undies when I am around.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Last night the Hoos came down from putting LP to bed and was very disturbed.

As they lay in bed, LP said to him, "I don't like myself. I'm not skinny enough."

He was dumbfounded.

"[AK]'s is skinny. And you're skinny. And mommy's skinny. I'm not skinny."


This is not something we would ever say. We wouldn't use the word "skinny" to describe anyone. We call AK 'peanut' but we don't say that in relation to LP!

We are pretty sure that she didn't actually mean that she didn't like herself - that was said for effect. But the fact that she even knows the concept (although hopefully doesn't understand) of weight impacting a girl's self-confidence is shocking.

I know I can't protect her forever, but I thought I could protect her from this.

I know she didn't hear it from me or the Hoos. And I know she didn't hear it from a teacher (her teacher was quite stunned when I relayed the story this am). We don't watch any of the tweener shows on TV (Umizoomi and Sesame Street are not exactly worrisome). Maybe from a friend? But I know most of her friends - and their parents - and I don't see any of them saying anything like this either.

For now we (me, the Hoos, her teachers) are going to listen closely and focus on building confidence and reinforcing positives.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Yesterday I posed the alternative of me sleeping for an extra 20 minutes and the Hoos getting up first. Then, I would shower in peace while he got the girls up and dressed.

This morning was my reality check on this scenario.

The Hoos had an early meeting so he asked if I would bring the girls to school. In return he would get up first.

At 6:20 (about 20 minutes before my alarm) AK started calling from her crib.

Around 6:55 the Hoos got out of bed and went into AK's room and whispered something. Next thing I know, AK is laying on top of me and the Hoos has slipped out of the room to shower.

So much for an extra 20 minutes of sleep.

When I tried to slip quietly from the bed and make my way into the shower, AK sat upright. And then she ended up joining me in the shower.

So much for showering in peace.

The Hoos did get LP up and dressed, which is really quite the feat, but we all ended up going downstairs together. In fact, I think I ended up going downstairs with AK first and getting everyone breakfast...

So much for option B.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Choice Words

This morning when I dragged myself out of bed after only one snooze, the Hoos pulled the covers over his head. When I returned to the room after showering he asked me, "How do you get out of bed in the morning?"

"I have to," I responded, "I have no choice."

He snorted and replied, "There are always choices."

Upon reflection I should have told him that the other choice was the I kick him out of bed first so I can sleep an extra few minutes while he showers. And then I can shower in peace and quiet while he gets the kids up and dressed and eating.

Speaking of getting the girls moving in the morning...

The other day, during a particularly painful wake-up call with LP, the Hoos said, "This is the difference between boys and girls."

I was confused and asked him to clarify.

"The crankiness. Boys don't have it."

In addition to pointing out that when he was in high school he used to ask his mother not to talk to him in the morning, I am asking all of you with boys to help me refute this statement. Please tell me boys can be moody.

Not that it matters. But it would be some solace.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Squeaky Wheel

Actually, I have more than one squeaky wheel, I now have two, very adorable, but indeed quite squeaky, little wheels.

LP, when she is supposed to be in bed: I need something to snuggle with.
The Hoos: How about a cuddly friend?
LP: Something REAL.
The Hoos: You want one of our goldfish?
LP: Nooo, Daddy! Then I will just have a dead fish in my bed!
AK, when she is supposed to be in bed: I have to pee.
Me: Okay, let's go to the bathroom.
AK: Noooo, Mommy! You wait here! In my room!
Me: Let me just turn on the light.
After I turn on the light, she walks me back to her room and returns to the bathroom.
AK toddles off again and I follow her, watching in a mirror as she climbs up onto the toilet.
She then spots me, and starts climbing back down. I retreat into my bedroom and watch as she swishes past me, pull-up and pants at her ankles.
LP, sitting in the main part of the grocery start with AK in the basket: Mommy, you should get pregnant again.
Me: Oh yeah? Why is that?
LP: So that [AK] can sit in here with me and the baby can sit in the front part.

Because filling up the grocery cart with kids is exactly the right reason to have another child. Especially since one more child would mean there would never, ever be silence again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Just Here for the Food

In our house, I am the sports fan. The Hoos is more of a sportsman than a sports fan.

I was raised cheering for the Giants, Yankees and Rangers and I am bringing up the girls in this same tradition. Granted, they get confused and cheer "Go Giants!" when we are watching baseball, but at least they have the basics down.

The Hoos (and the girls) need to be enticed to sit and watch a game with me. Typically this involves food. And it needs to be good food, because otherwise my loud cheering at an inanimate object will scare them away.

Fortunately, it doesn't take much to keep them munching. Tostitos have proven to be an effective tool. And the "Scoops" which have a contoured bowl make it easier for AK who pretty much uses the chip more as a vehicle for getting dip into her mouth.

Which means she is eating A LOT of dip. Which therefore means that I can't have her shoveling in bajillion calorie, high sodium (but delicious) Italian Seasoning and sour cream by the bowlful. As little as she is (although she is growing) I try not to put out hummus or guacamole too often either, because while it is high in protein, it is also high in fat, and I may as well rub it on my hips, because AK didn't learn how to eat massive amounts of dip from day care - she learned it by watching mama.

The folks from Frito-Lay have stepped into the void by offering up a healthy dip (and healthier chips). I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good. I would recommend carmelizing extra onions to put on your burger, or your chicken sandwich, or just about anything - because carmelized onions are really, really good.

Caramelized Onion Dip

Serves: 12; Serving Size: 3 oz


2 tablespoons olive oil
5 small to medium onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons salt-free garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sugar and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 40 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

While the onions are cooking, mix together the yogurt, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. When the onions are room temperature, add ¾ of them to the yogurt mixture, transfer to a bowl, and top with the remaining onions.

Nutrition Information (per 3-oz serving):

68 calories, 4 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g fat, 0 sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 56 mg sodium

As you have likely guessed, this is a sponsored post. BUT I didn't do it for me. I did it for one of you. Frito-Lay is offering a giveaway package for one of my readers. Fritos Scoops!, Tostitos Scoops!, and a really cute stadium chip and dip bowl.

Leave a comment, making sure I can track you back through a url or email address, with the food that brings your boys (and girls) to the yard (or television) to be entered to win.

To be clear, I don't get the cute tray for my parties, so you will have to invite me over to use it at your party. I can bring the chips though - since Frito-Lay is sending me some Tostitos in exchange for this post. But make your party soon, because AK, LP and the Hoos will need to be rooting for the Yankees with me during the AL Championship Series and it might take a lot of salty goodness to distract them.

Barking at the Bark

The leaves are turning red, the days are getting shorter - you know what that means...

Flu season!

Fortunately, we have not encountered this first hand. And hopefully we won't - thanks to the all-magical flu shot.

The Hoos got his at work last week and I made an appointment for the girls to get theirs on Saturday. Friday I told them they would be going to the doctor. LP immediately started freaking out, "I don't want a flu shot! No flu shot!"

AK just looked at her like she was crazy, "No crying, [LP]."

To make matters worse, my friend MLH reminded me that LP also needed to get a Hep A vaccination - a new state requirement.

Saturday we tried to ease the girls into the process by taking them to WalMart so they could see me get my flu shot. It was easy and actually quite painless. They even gave the girls stickers. I thought we were in good shape.

But then LP "cried" on the way back to the car. And into the pediatrician's waiting room. And into the exam room. And while she was getting weighed (40 lbs on the button). And while she was getting her temp taken. And while we waited for the doctor. And again while we waited for the nurse to administer her shot.

I had to physically restrain LP for her flu shot. I think the nurse (who was having a rough morning full of screaming, squirming children) was even more disappointed than LP when I reminded her that LP needed a second shot.

While the nurse went out to get the HepA vaccine, LP stopped crying, held her fingers very, very close together and told me, "It only hurt a little teeny bit," and then proceeded to go through the whole dramatization again for the second shot.

AK, meanwhile, was totally cool. She didn't like being holed up in the exam room, but otherwise, she (27.6 lbs) was very chill. When they gave her the shot, she didn't even flinch, just looked at the nurse and waited patiently for the process to be done. And then requested a shot on the other shoulder so she could have a matching bandage.

This picture shows that sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Elephant in the Room

LP: Mommy, nipples are the same thing as boobies. When you have a baby in your belly, your boobies get milk.

Me: You don't get babies in your belly until after you get married.

LP: How does G-d know when you are married so you get a baby in your belly? Does it have something to do with when a mommy and a daddy smoosh together...

Me, yelling out the door: Honey! We're ready for you!

Later on the Hoos admonished me for putting the thought of smooshing into her head. Never mind that I did it SEVEN MONTHS AGO. Under extreme duress.

Seriously, why do I always get stuck having these conversations. And holding them for their flu shots (that will be this Saturday) or taking them to the dentist. Although, admittedly, taking LP to the dentist is a pleasure. We went this morning and she rocked it. No complaints, no noises, nothing. And at least she can't ask me any questions with the hygienist's hands in her mouth.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Party On, Wayne!

This weekend AK had her first birthday party.

Well, not HER first birthday party. She is two and all.

What I mean is, she got invited to celebrate someone else's birthday for the first time. Well, that's not exactly right either. She has been to other parties, but mostly as LP's little sister, not as a friend of the birthday boy or girl. And to confuse things even more, she was invited to TWO parties - one Saturday and one Sunday.

Being a glutton for punishment, I RSVP'd in the affirmative for both.

I have a hard time believing that my baby is big enough to have friends having "real" birthday parties. While it is true that she is on the young end of her class - having just turned two while a bunch of the kids are turning three and transitioning to the next room - she still does her best to keep up. And she for sure knows from parties. On Saturday as soon as she finished her slice of pizza she called out, "CAKE! I WANT CAKE!" Making mama proud.

Sunday we were a bit rushed getting to the second party. The original plan was that the Hoos would chill with LP at home or elsewhere while I took AK. Instead, as it turned out, the Hoos and LP drove AK and me to the party. And, when I went to take AK out of the car, LP unbuckled herself from her booster and dashed out of the car announcing, "I want to come to the party too!"


I told her she could stand on the side and watch with me. That worked, right?

Fortunately, the hosting family was very gracious and encouraged LP to participate - and eat pizza and cake. We drew the line at letting her take a goodie bag.

I see this being an ongoing challenge. It was one thing when I dragged one year old AK to LP's friends' parties. She didn't eat much, she couldn't participate and she certainly did not need a goodie bag. Plus, LP's friends' parents are my friends, so I don't mind imposing on them (thanks ladies!).

Should be interesting as AK gets invited to more parties. I am still exhausted from the weekend and can't think about it anymore. Just makes me want to take a nap.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sleep Furlough

Many, many months ago I thought I had moved on from frequent, infrequent sleep. That is, nights punctuated by crying babies and whiny toddlers.

Alas, I was wrong.

First, LP took FOREVER to go to bed. She kept crying out, "Mommyyyyyy. I want companyyyy." I offered to find her a cuddly friend, or give her my pillow, but none of those options was sufficient to suppress the whining. At 9:45 she gave in and fell asleep.

At 2am, AK apparently decided that she was done resting for the night. TWO A.M.

Between two and four the Hoos and I had a grand old time.

I begged.
I shusshed.
I cajoled.
I almost cried.
I tried ambesol.
I tried giving her a sippy cup of water.
I changed her sheets and clothes after she decided to douse both with said water.

I ultimately put the pillow over my head.

The Hoos gave her tylenol and laid on the floor next to the crib until she fell asleep.

This morning is gray. And rainy. Really rainy. And boy does that ever reflect my mood.
Good thing it is Friday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy Bees

Things continue on.

We won't talk about AK's nose or LP's foot.

We can talk about LP's swimming lessons. She isn't learning to swim per say, but she is learning about water safety and being comfortable in the water. The other day she told me "Three whistles mean an em-ur-gency."

AK's toilet training is also not perfect - she will use the toilet at school like a champ, but home, not so much. This morning she did look at me and say, clear as day, "Mommy, I want to wear undies too." Looking forward to not needing to buy diapers in the long-run; in the short-run, not looking forward to carrying around extra changes of clothes.

Last month I discovered a community farm on my way to work and we have been making a weekly sojourn. The girls love Ambler Farm. There isn't much there but a few animals and open fields (and a farm stand) but they just enjoy the open space. I love that my babies don't need THINGS to be entertained. They only request a pint of tomatoes from the farm stand to munch on and the freedom to run around. It is great.

We also got a weekend visit from some cousins - both real and pretend.

My actual cousin was passing through CT and stopped by with his wife and two daughters. The girls had a great time dressing up, playing games and being generally silly. My girls liked hugging the baby; the baby probably like it less.

The mail delivered "Flat Julie," the paper iteration of one of my nieces from California. LP and AK loved the idea and couldn't wait to take Flat Julie to Stew's to show her the highlights. A good times was had by all.
I know, not my best ever blog post, but at least you got some pictures!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In a Flash

Hard to believe how quickly the year has flown by! The Jewish holidays have come and (almost) gone. While the last 12 months have been full of excitement, intrigue, and craziness, it seems that the past few weeks have really upped the ante. In addition to my professional life changes, some other mind-blowing occurrences:
  1. LP moved into the pre-K room at day care. While I won't miss the tuition, I am finding it hard to believe that it has already been FOUR YEARS since I dropped her off in the Firefly room for the first time.

  2. On Friday at pick-up, AK's daily sheet shared that she peed on the toilet all day! And her teacher requested I bring in undies!!! My baby?! Toilet-trained?!

  3. I turned 34. THIRTY-FOUR. And discovered that I am older than more than half of the people in my 10 person office.

  4. The Hoos and I celebrated out eight-year wedding anniversary. Columbus Day weekend will mark 15 years together. Again, impossible to imagine that I lead the established life of a grown-up.
Now that I am working full-time I feel like I don't even have time to breathe. Life is flying by at a faster pace everyday. Good thing I still ahve my lovelies to remind me to stop and smell the roses.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Root of the Problem

Previously, I left the house before the Hoos and the girls got out of bed. And every day at 9 I would get a call from the Hoos, "Sigh...I am just leaving day care now." I felt so bad that he was so late getting into work. Especially because I knew that would mean he wouldn't head home until at least 6:30.

Once I had the opportunity to help get everyone up in the morning, I decided I was going to be proactive to keep everyone on schedule.

I get up first - at 6:40 - and get showered and dressed. I encourage the Hoos to get in the shower by 7:15 and wake up the girls at the same time. I get the girls up, dressed, and fed. Sometimes all of this is done before the Hoos even emerges from the bathroom.

Around 7:50 I leave the house to start my 15 minute, backroads-only, commute. The Hoos drops the girls off sometime thereafter - usually around 8:45 (I think).

Are you starting to see a clear picture emerging?

This morning was the worst. The Hoos had an 8:30 meeting and asked that I drop the girls off. Just about everything was the same as above. Which is to say, the Hoos was totally, and completely NOT HELPFUL. Not only did I do all the cajoling out of bed, dressing, feeding, tush wiping (AK pooped on the toilet - YAY!!) and shoe- (and shoo-) ing, but I also had to do drop off. To be fair (although not equal) the Hoos did help AK brush her teeth.

We all left the house at the same time at 8:15. I had to have teachers pry my children off of me. Do I feel bad about that part? No? Do I feel bad that I am the one getting up early and doing most of the legwork? Yes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Spin Cycle

I know, I know...I haven't been around in a while.

It isn't that I don't think about you.

AK's nose still isn't healed. It was almost healed and than she had at it and had a new bloody scab this morning. It has become her habit to scratch at it when she falls asleep. It continues to frustrate me to no end. The liquid bandage is our first line of defense, but she scratches it off and keeps going.

LP has started swimming lessons. She loves it. She was already good at putting her head in the water and blowing bubbles and hopefully soon she will jump in without holding on to the instructor's hands. Poor AK has to sit on the bleachers and watch when all she really wants to do is jump in. Fortunately friend Di has an iPhone that she lets AK play with and 2. AK likes to shower in the locker room with LP after swimming, so at least she has something to look forward to.

My job continues to be really busy, although, I am starting to feel like I am getting into a groove. I am launching a program next week that I am super-psyched about and feel like I am gaining some traction within the organization. I am still not used to being in a leadership role and need to figure out how to better balance invitations to make office and client visits and attend events with my desire to go home and hang with my babies. Oh, and the Hoos' job has been crazy too.

I am starting to really enjoy my blackberry. I have always been addicted to email and this plays into my habit. I do still know when to put it down and have to hide my typing on it more from the Hoos than from the girls.

And, finally, I had a really nice 34th birthday. Can't quite believe I am 34. It sounds like a real age - a grown up age - and that throws me.

Otherwise, life is good, busy and flying by. Hopefully I will have more time to blog, but I hate to tell you not to count on it...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Nugget

Last night as I was putting AK to bed, the oven started beeping - the brownies were done.

I put her in her crib, promising to return after taking care of business in the kitchen.

When I got back she looked at me sweetly, "Mommy, I'm picking my nose."


What she meant was, "Mommy, I am picking the scab on my nose that you have been yelling at me not to touch for a month."

I asked if she wanted to put a Band-Aid on it. "No!"

I tried a new tack, "Okay, how about Mommy puts a Band-Aid on your nose and you put a Band-Aid on Mommy's nose?"

She was all in. And the Band-Aid stayed on my nose for about a minute. Which was 15 seconds longer than it was on her nose.

And she went back to taunting me by picking at the scab. No matter how I tried to distract her, cajole her, forcibly restrain her...nothing worked.

Exasperated, I yelled out, "AK! If you don't stop I am going to leave!"

The response?

"Mommy, leave. Leave, Mommy."

And I left.

This morning the Hoos busted out the liquid bandage. Lord, I hope it works.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Vibrations

Life is good. Work is busy. LP is back on her feet, AK continues to be a devilish imp.

Some silly stuff:
  • LP calls AK "bella." As in "Do you need help with that, bella?" The Hoos thought she was saying brother, but apparently someone she has encountered uses Italian for beautiful as a term of endearment. Very sweet.
  • AK is a pincher. My cute little monkey likes to squeeze. And it hurts. And LP is often the target of her pinches. And she won't defend herself, instead she just cries out and takes it. We are working on teaching her some self-defense techniques.
  • LP likes the cold side of the pillow. She told me so this morning. I think this might come from her Papa. Then again, who doesn't like the cold side of the pillow?
  • We are going to Disneyworld! In the Spring. Which is a long time away. Not that the girls care. LP has already come up with her plan, "I am going to wake up in the morning and go outside in my pajamas and see if Ariel has feet." AK likes to March in place and tell people "Mickey Mouse." She is confusing the month of March with the verb of march. Adorable.
  • AK has had a month long scratch on the bridge of her nose. Just when we think it is healing she scratches the scab off again. We are lucky it hasn't gotten infected and try to put bandages on it while she sleeps since I think that is when she most often plucks at it. She refuses to wear a band-aid during the day but at least let's me put Neosporin on it. Ideas?
  • I got myself a BlackBerry. Still only have a limited idea of how to use it, but I think I like the concept. My plan is to not learn how to use it so I don't become addicted. So far this seems to be working.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's All a Blur

Here I am!

While I know most of you didn't actively miss me, I would like to think you were at least curious as to my whereabouts.

I haven't really been much of anywhere. Home, work, New Jersey, tomorrow is Rhode Island...

I am learning that as under-utilized as I thought I was at my previous job, I should multiply it by 10. Nowadays, I am pretty much working from 8:15 until 5:15, without time - or more importantly INTEREST - in surfing the web and fooling around.

I am really enjoying the fact that I get to see the girls every morning. AK has taken to waking up right around the time my alarm goes off and joining me in the shower. While I would prefer to shower alone (especially when she points at my nether-regions and asks if I am pooping), it is nice to see her smiling face. I am pretty sure both AK and LP look at "mommy in the morning time" as off-setting "less mommy in the afternoon."

We are kind of, sort of starting to settle into a routine, except that I had to go to NJ for the day on Tuesday and my meeting ran about and hour and a half long and I had to call the Hoos to pick up the girls since I would be cutting it close. So, if you exclude that - and the fact that I am taking a painfully early 7am train to Providence, RI in the morning and worked out sending the girls to my parents for two nights - then we have a routine (she says tongue in cheek).

Next week is a really short week, bordered by Labor Day on Monday and Rosh Hashana on Thursday and Friday. I think a short week is just what the doctor ordered...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back in the Game

I don't really want to type this, because that will be a total jinx, but I think life is returning to normal.

LP started walking again - on her own two feet - last night. After an awful four and a half days of doctor's visits, carrots, and sticks, she shuffled her way into Sunny Daes in Westport and enjoyed some mint chocolate chip with rainbow sprinkles in a Yankee hat.

We still don't know if the injury was real, imagined or exaggerated, but the Hoos and I do know that the whole ordeal left us spent. Yesterday I was mentally and physically exhausted when I returned from visiting the pediatrician's office. All I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and cry. And I did. For about 20 seconds. But then I pulled myself up.

Because I am the mom.

And, sometimes, being the mom SUCKS.

Yes, a lot of times it is awesome. Which is good, because the kisses and hugs and learning and teaching moments cause momnesia*. Especially when accompanied by a stiff drink. Too bad I don't drink...

*I think I made this up. Did I make this up? Basically it is amnesia for moms to forget labor pain, whining, and all of the other things that would make us question our sanity when we decided to take the dive into motherhood.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cutting Through

As previously mentioned, on Tuesday we got a call from day care that LP had hurt her foot. There wasn't any redness, swelling, or obvious indication of injury. The Hoos left work early and picked her up to be safe. After a long time at the pediatrician the x-rays appeared to come back clear. The radiologist was still going to review (he or she only looks on Tuesdays and Thursdays apparently) but the general sense was that she was just fine.

Well, telling a 4 year old she is just fine and having it be so - two totally different things.

It is Thursday. LP has yet to stand on her foot. We don't know if 1. she is just scared to even try because it did hurt at some point, 2. it does really still hurt and there is something hidden wrong with it, or 3. she is just trying to kill us softly with whining.

Yesterday day care came up with a solution to basically babysit her for the day - sitting her in one spot and keeping her busy with independent activities. For that I am so appreciative (A big change from the response I would have gotten before the great director mutiny).

I love her, I really, really do. And because of that I am really struggling with how to respond. It is getting more difficult to be sympathetic. Of course if there is really something wrong I will feel super guilty for ever doubting her. AND with it being my first week at my new job, I am distracted and exhausted and my patience is spread thin.

ACK! Motherhood! If only Calgon could just take me away.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Settling In

I know it has been a while since I blogged. And to be honest, I think I at least have a pretty decent excuse.

Today is only Tuesday and I am flat out exhausted. All of the mental and emotional distractions that I avoided or ignored or displaced or just didn't seem to have last week - have hit in full force.

My new job is all it promised to be - challenging and stimulating and a big step up in terms of role and responsibility. I think the last time the "first two days" of anything were so busy was when I had LP. Before that maybe when I started college.

I think the transition to full time work is having more of an impacted than I anticipated. Not on the girls really - they are really excited that I am home in the morning to help get them up and ready for school - more on the Hoos and I. Previously, I was the one with flexibility and long-term stability in my work environment. I was the first call day care made if the girls were sick or had an incident or accident and I was able to drop everything and rush to the rescue when needed. For the next few weeks, the Hoos has to take on that responsibility.

And, of course, while they were 100% fine last week when I was home and available, today at 1 - when I was about to call someone to postpone a conference call to jump into an impromptu meeting with an out-of-town visitor, my cell phone rang. LP landed funny when jumping (or falling) off something in the playground. She was complaining about foot pain and insisting on being carried everywhere. There was no swelling and any injury wasn't obvious beyond what she said or did, but her complaints were consistent and persistent.

We worked it out that the Hoos picked her up to take her to the pediatrician around 4. Two and a half hours, an x-ray and an ace bandage later, we are no closer to uncovering the cause of her wincing. Although, for perhaps the first time the Hoos got to spend the afternoon at the doctor's office. With an uncomfortable whiny child. It sucked. Not that I know this because he told me - he took it like a champ and is totally my hero - but because I have been there.

Bedtime wasn't a dream, but again the Hoos bore the brunt. I am totally appreciative of him picking up the slack - and accepting the lackluster dinner I put on the table.

So, while the new job is busy as all get out, I am still happy to have made the move. I got invited to the company's management team meeting next week - not as an agenda item or observer - but as a participant. That is pretty awesome. I know that after the short term adjustment and some minor hiccups and foot injuries we will be back on track. And hopefully I will be back to blogging more frequently.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


There are some great benefits to working for the same company for a long time - like knowing your way around, having friends, earning respect and flexibility...

There are also some negatives - one of the most prominent is baggage.

I have written before about how I believe I have changed quite significantly in the last eight years. In addition to getting married, buying a house, having kids, I also matured as a person. At 25 I had different priorities, at almost 34 I have a different life. And I can honestly say that I am way more comfortable in my own skin now than I was then. My now former-co-workers witnessed my evolution. They could recall (or at least in my hypercritical head I imagine they could) silly mistakes I made - from poor clothing choices to unfortunate professional decisions.

As I prepare to start my new job next week, as scary as it is to enter a whole new world, it is also a bit freeing. It is an opportunity to reinvent myself. Not that I am walking in trying to be someone I'm not; rather, I am walking in as the person I am today. The confident, sassy, newly highlighted woman with two awesome little girls and a supportive husband.

So, instead of focusing on the scary surrounding starting some place new and different, I am focusing on the opportunity. Not just the actual position, which really is great for me professionally, but the opportunity to have a clean slate.

The only baggage they will see is the neatly packed little briefcase I will carry in on my shoulder.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long Time Coming

Eight years ago today, I became a missus. In a Jewish wedding there aren't any vows, no grand "I do" at the end. Instead there is the loud "pop" of breaking glass at the conclusion of the ceremony. I didn't need to say "I do" because I had known for seven years that I did.

The Hoos doesn't believe me, but when he stopped, extending a bag of Rainbow Chips Deluxe to me as I sat on one of the benches outside Crawford Hall, I had an epiphany. I had seen him before. He was the guy with the ponytail and the fish hook on his hat. The one who spoke to our professor, Buck, after class about fishing. But in the moment he asked for my phone number so we could study together for a statistics exam, I knew. A few minutes later when I returned to my room and was talking to my mom on the phone, I blurted out "I just met a guy I'm going," catching myself just barely at the end. But knowing.

I thought I was pretty smart at nineteen. And fifteen years after our first study date, eight years after I promised that I was my beloved's and my beloved was mine (ani le-dodi, ve-dodi li), I guess I really was.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't You Just Want to Put Me in Your Pocket?

Recently I received an offer from Kodak Gallery to get 50 free photo business cards. "Perfect!" I thought, "Just the thing to put my contact info on and hand out to my soon-to-be-former-colleagues."

They arrived yesterday and are CUTE. I was a little concerned that it was a bit tacky to be handing out personal calling cards, but the reception has been very positive. I think mostly because I put a picture of the family on one side as opposed to just my mug.

I continue to be overwhelmed by the love I have been receiving from the folks at my current job. Everyone is very supportive and excited for me as I ride off into the sunset. Even my VP.

I was a bit concerned he (the VP) would write me off as soon as he heard I was leaving - but just the opposite has happened. He is trying to use every last second of my time on a big project. The good news is that the project has required that I reach out to internal management and external contacts, giving me a good opportunity to let them know I am leaving the company. My LinkedIn network is growing rapidly - which is fantastic.

Leading me to my second piece of advice (first was to get yourself some free personal business cards - duh!): Get yourself on LinkedIn and keep your profile current. That was how the headhunter found me for my new endeavor and it was also how I was able to keep my relationships current so that I could reach out to folks from my past for references.

My last piece of advice for today - McDonald's frozen mocha and mocha frappe - a yummy alternative to laxatives. Drink with caution - or reckless abandon depending on your needs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


At 5:30 this morning LP was at my bedside, "Mommy? I'm sad."

Really?! Because I'M SLEEPING.

Last week she showed up in the middle of one night THREE times. Each time expressing a different emotion.

"Mommy? I'm sad."

"Mommy? I'm mad."

"Mommy? I'm [something]." (I don't remember what she said, but it was not time appropriate.)

I am not sure if she is learning about feelings at day care or just trying to come up with what she thinks is a good excuse for waking me from my slumber. I wish she would learn that there isn't really a good excuse...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

This past weekend was all about family.

When we weren't sitting in traffic on Saturday we were at my parents house for a family BBQ. My grandparents were visiting from Florida and since we have yet to get the girls on a plane, we take advantage of any trips they make to this neck of the woods. In addition to two other Aunts and an Uncle, my cousin, who recently relocated to NJ from Oregon, was in attendance with his two adorable daughters, Mira and VG. LP loved being the ringleader for the merry troop and AK was infatuated with 5-month old VG. The capper on the day was LP, AK, and Mira taking a shower together. Adorable.

Sunday we were back in CT and spending time with the Hoos' family. His brother's family is in for a few weeks from Budapest and we try to spend as much time with them as possible on their twice yearly visits. We took a short walk in the woods with both of the Hoos' brothers and their families (13 people!) and than spent the afternoon noshing with more cousins, aunts and uncles. Both girls were wound up and loving all of the attention. AK spent at least a half an hour pretending to do ballet and spinning until she made herself dizzy and LP, once again, enjoyed ordering her cousins around (even though these are her OLDER cousins they still let her take advantage of them).

The weekend was definitely full. But in a good way. The Hoos and I know we are both so fortunate to have such a large and loving family. After so much family time, it does make me sad that we don't get to see my brother very often but it also reminds me that the girls know and love their family no matter the distance or time between visits.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yes, This Post is Cranky

I have infinite patience during the day. I am loving and supportive and I hardly ever yell or get angry. Bedtime is a whole 'nother story.

By the end of the day, I can understand my kids being cranky and tired. I am too. Which is why I just want them to brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, take a shower and go to bed. It would be so much better for all of us if we just accepted our fate. But we don't.

They insist on resisting my efforts, I insist on them getting in the G.D. shower and everything goes downhill from there. All of this is exacerbated when I am on my own and have deferred my dinner until after they are asleep.

Last night was a disaster. Highlights include:
  • LP yelling that she is "very, very upset."
  • AK crying when I yell at her for wiping half a jar of Vick's vaporub on her chest and neck
  • LP howling that her one, single, tiny, mosquito bite hurts
  • My dinner of cheezits and apple sauce to the sweet sounds of screaming children from upstairs
  • LP questioning me when I crawl out of her bed at 10 to turn off the TV downstairs and put on my PJs
  • The Hoos getting home about 20 seconds after I turn off the TV
  • Going to bed incredibly cranky AND with unbrushed teeth and an unwashed face
  • Getting woken up in the middle of the night by LP for who knows what reason
  • Sleeping for what I swear was a total of two hours, despite my total exhaustion

Tonight will be the night I go to bed early. Too bad we are going to a Bluefish game and our routine will be shot before we even get started...

Yes, this post is cranky. Like me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Last night I was on my own with the girls since the Hoos had a work event. After chilling on the playground until 6:15 we headed home for dinner. The girls never made it into the house.

Upon arriving at home, LP looked at the bucket full of seashells she had collected at the beach and directed me to "get paper and glue so that we can do a little project." Returning with paper and playdough (I couldn't find the glue and we have an overabundance of bleh colored playdough thanks to the girls' love of mixing), I told them to yell if they needed me and left the door open as I went inside to take care of things in the kitchen.

LP went in and out of the house a few times, getting paint brushes and water colors and other stuff to maximize the fun. At some point they decided to turn on the hose and wash each other's hands - and tushies (having stripped down after deciding it would be fun to be naked). I checked in frequently and brought vittles out several times to make sure they didn't skip dinner and then refuse to go to bed out of hunger.

As I washed dishes, I started to wonder if I should be outside with them. I wasn't concerned for their well-being - they were safe in the yard - but I felt guilty that I was not participating in their fun. And then I realized - they didn't need me. They had each other.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Just a post to capture how much I love my little buggers.

AK's nightly routine is constantly evolving. However there are two standard elements - after reading her book(s) she insists on leaving the room, explaining, "Night daddy, [LP]! Kiss. Hug." I know she is finally ready to settle down after she climbs into her crib and repeats "Goodnight. I luff you." The sweetness is sticky. And awesome.

LP is becoming such a little girl. She is totally aware of everything around her. We had the carpets cleaned recently and I established a new rule of not eating anywhere in the living room and especially on the couch (which was so disgusting and water stained before I had it cleaned that I had it covered with a blanket out of shame). Now, anytime someone walks on the rug in shoes she chases them, admonishing, "No shoes on the rug!"

Building on this, yesterday I had the house professionally cleaned for the first time in months. When she walked in the house she inhaled the cleanser scent and concluded, "The house smells yummy."

Are they angels all the time? No. Do they get along perfectly all of the time? No. Do I love them more than I can possible express? Without a doubt.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taking a Leap

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much lately.

It's not because there isn't a lot going on - there is - but most of it has to do with me, and this blog is really about my kids.

In a nutshell, I am leaving the company I have been with for eight years and taking a leap.

I have accepted an exciting new job. It is a big step up for me. Not a step I can't handle (because after a rigorous interview process I have convinced the company's executives and myself that I can do this) but a reach, a challenge. Something my current job has never really been. It will give me professional opportunities that I would never get at my current organization and the location will give our family new opportunities.

This whole process has been very emotional. While I am very excited for my job - and totally stoked to be kissing off my commute - I am really sad to say goodbye to my friends. I started this job a month before the Hoos and I got married. To say my life is a bit different now than it was in 2002 is an understatement. I have grown and changed alongside an incredible group of women. Women that are so awesome that they are focusing on all of the positive impacts this job will have of my life and not the downside.

When I left my last job, I was angry and unhappy. I wanted my exit to have a lasting impact - to hurt. It didn't. This time around, I want my absence to have no negative impact. I guess I have learned something.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Last night we met my in-laws and sister-in-law and niece and nephews for dinner at the beach. The girls were thrilled to pieces because 1. they love the beach and 2. they haven't seen their cousins in almost a month.

We got there and Oh! My! Word! My thirteen year old niece was there in a bikini. Oh! My! Word! She is gorgeous. And wonderful. And smart. And talented. And I love her to pieces. And I am buying a shotgun. And I am right now vowing not to go on a beach vacation once the girls hit puberty.

Back to real time - LP is still four. She recently told me that she doesn't want to wear "squirts." Not sure why she finds skorts offensive, but we have banished them. She also announced that next year she will be going to kindergarten at "public" school. She doesn't know what that means but she picked it up somewhere and is insistent. For her September 2011 can't come soon enough. Me, I can wait.

AK started in the older toddler classroom this week. When I called on the first day to see how she was doing, her teacher asked me, "Does she use the toilet at home? Because most of the other kids are older and potty trained and when we lined up to use the in-classroom bathroom, she got on line and told us she had to go too. We figured we would humor her. But she peed! We couldn't believe it! We have never had a kid go on their first day!"

I am so proud of both of my babies. Of course, all of this also means that they are growing up and will soon be long-legged and tan and fabulous on the beach.

Excuse me while I go and hurl.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back from Away

We are back from our fabulous vacation in Ogunquit, Maine.

We ate ice cream and spent at least part of every day on the beach.
We went north to Portland to look for harbor seals on the wharf (no luck) and south to Portsmith, NH and ate in a great restaurant (the Portsmith Brewery) and had the trip's best ice cream (Annabelle's).

We ate lobsters, high-fived lobsters, and saw signs of them everywhere. Alas, we did not see any moose (LP's great expectation).

We flew kites, hunted for snails in the cracks of rocks near the iconic Nubble Light, and spent way too much time in traffic on Route 1.

We relaxed in our home away from home, enjoying the screened in porch for breakfast and the occasional lunch and dinner. The house was a short walk into town and the beach - although it was uphill all the way home. Not so much fun when you are pushing strollers, but it definitely made me more comfortable with how my tush looked in my bathing suit!

We learned that AK still really loves sleeping in a crib, so much so that she did not really fall asleep well on her mattress on the floor. We spent many nights driving her to sleep.

Ogunquit Beach is beautiful - powdery sand that washes away easily - and cold with a water temperature of 61 degrees. You get used to it though. Especially since I wasn't really dunking, more just walking in the surf. We also enjoyed the beaches along the Marginal Way. Horsehoe-shaped beaches between large rock formations, they cleared out when the tide was low and they were the perfect size to manage two little girls who liked digging in the sand and climbing on rocks (much to the detriment of their poor mama's heart).

A solid week of togetherness was great. But by the end of the trip the Hoos and I both confirmed that being a stay-at-home parent was not in the cards. Not that going back to work was easy, but sending the girls off to day care wasn't too bad;)