Friday, February 26, 2010

This is the Day that Never Ends

Sine the Rice Krispie Treat activity we have:

  • Done two loads of laundry - 15 minutes
  • Played with snow inside - 15 minutes
  • Played in the snow outside (Mommy pulling 60 pounds of children on a sled) - 15 minutes suiting up, 20 minutes outside
  • Eaten lunch - 30 minutes
  • Eaten at least three snacks - 2 minutes/ea - 6 minutes total
  • Made hot/warm chocolate - 10 minutes
  • Watched too much television - 45 minutes
  • Attempted to "be lazy and watch TV in Mommy's bed" - 5 minutes
  • Listened to AK cry from her crib while laying on the couch snuggling with LP - 24 minutes

190 minutes real time = two days in mommy time

amended to add: I left off one of the most exciting items - giving AK a bath to wash PEANUT BUTTER out of her hair. Awesome. Worse than the cottage cheese from a few months ago. Where does she come up with these ideas?

Snow and Marshmallows

Post-Christmas purchase at Walgreens - $1.50
Leftover candy (most consumed before 11am) - $0.25.

Potential for all day sugar high?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Dog Ate My Homework

In the past two weeks I have had meetings cancelled by colleagues for lame excuses.

One call, which was a last ditch effort to get feedback on a document I ghost wrote in DECEMBER, was ditched because, "I am sorry to report that I have lost my voice. So I will look at your document shortly and send email comments."

Shockingly, still no comments. Voice and hand are very closely connected, natch.

Yesterday, about an hour before meeting time with another Vice President, I got the following urgent email, "Am in dentist office to pull infected wisdom tooth- let's reschedule- please advise if this works Tx!"

I am looking forward to others bowing out of this afternoon's conference calls on account of impending (but not yet arrived at my office or home) snow.

Tomorrow, when I am actually snowbound with my girls, don't count on me participating in any conference calls.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Alert

No one likes when the phone rings at 2:30am. It is probably worse when you have teenagers.

Ring!!! Ring!!

Me, sitting bolt upright: Hoos! Get the phone!
Hoos, sitting upright, looking confused: What is that? Where? What?

Hoos, FINALLY getting the phone: Hello? Yes? Yes. It is?
Me, realizing, thankfully, that it is not the worst kind of call to get at that time, but not the best kind either (a wrong number): Yes! Do you hear that ringing? The alarm?!

Hoos, handing me the phone: Talk to the alarm company while I check it out.
Me: Hi. Yes, it is raining here...

the phone cuts out

Me, not thinking happy thoughts, getting out of bed and walking down the stairs to another phone: The phone died.

Hoos, calling up from the basement: IS THAT YOU ON THE STAIRS?!
Me: YES! The phone died.
Hoos: It's nothing. I don't see anything.
Me: Okay, good, maybe because of the rain...

Ring! Ring! {it doesn't sound quite as loud this time around - thank goodness!}

Alarm Lady: I was just about to say that the phone would die when he shut off the alarm. Is everything okay?
Me: Yes, thank you.
Hoos: You scared me when I heard the stairs. The footsteps sounded really heavy...sorry...but they did.


As I crawl back up to bed, I know the Hoos is wired. An hour later I am almost comfortable and sleeping again. Just in time for LP to arrive without an explanation, but with a need for assistance returning to bed.

I fell back into a solid sleep just in time for my alarm clock to go off.

What a night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Out of Control

I wish I could say that I could control my children, but I can't. I can:
  • attempt to diffuse a situation;
  • redirect their attention;
  • reason with them
  • threaten them;
  • make them cry;
  • carry them, drag them, restrain them or in some other physical manner force them to do/not do something;
  • teach them positive behavior;
  • and beg, cry, or yell.

And yet, only occasionally can get I them to comply.

Both of my girls are fiercely independent. They are their own people. They react to things in their own way. Not necessarily the way I taught them or the way the Hoos or I would.

They are growing up, but still babies. They have no filter. They say things that mortify me. They do things that mortify me. They don't know better.

There are physical and emotional benefits to being a child. Things don't hurt as much. A hard crack to my nose with the back of their head? Hurts me. A lot. They don't even notice. A hurtful comment from a friend? Sad for about three seconds until something else comes along. LP relayed a story to me yesterday that made me sad for her. She didn't even realize she could or should be sad.

I can't control them. But I can love them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Deep Impact

Having children obviously changes your perspective on life. It impacts you physically, emotionally, mentally and financially.

Which is why last night, I was crying hysterically at a movie. Deep Impact. A sci-fi movie about the world ending. One with an unbelievable premise - I mean it has a black president, c'mon, how realistic was that when it came out?!

Before LP and AK I probably would have teared up, because, well, I can't help it. But I was pathetic last night, watching movie people let their children go or make hard decisions. It wasn't exactly Sophie's Choice, but I was blubbering.

Boy so I feel lucky that my little buggers help me feel these emotions. They sort of counter the frustration I feel when trying to convince them to do something they have to do on a daily basis.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Change of Plan

Scene: my living room, 1:30 pm, a new bag of chips, two loads of laundry to fold, and Project Runway on the DVR

Sound: Unhappy AK, sounding off from her crib interrupted by ringing telephone

"This is Miss Louise. We have a situation. We went to the bathroom before naptime like always, and LP refused to put her underwear back on. She is pitching a serious fit. What would you like me to do?"

"Well, can you see if she is willing to put her lollipops (the "panties" you wear under a skirt or dress to keep your real undies hidden) on under her tights instead of her underwear?"

"She is right here, you want to talk to her"

NOT REALLY. But as I am not really given a choice..."Hi, LP. What's the problem?"

"I wa..wa..wa..want to c..c..c..come home."

"Well, I want you to put your panties on. You know you have to wear them."

"I wi..wi..wi..will put on, b..b..b..but I wa..wa..want to c..c..come h..h..home."

Lucky for her AK was still not napping and I am still a total sucker.

I am now...
  • not eating chips
  • watching Caillou
  • re-folding laundry multiple times because someone keeps unfolding it (AK!!!!!!)
  • also, on Twitter. Don't get excited for frequency, I don't do it from my cell, only from the net, and most things link back here, but in case you are addicted to me (hi mom!)...check it out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Perhaps It's French?

LP's preschool class has a pet fish. It is a rather large, ugly catfish that they have had for quite some time. Apparently they decided to give the previously unnamed fish a name yesterday. Ideas were solicited from the class and voted on.

LP's contribution?



Yes, I am spelling it correctly. And it was the literate teacher that wrote it on the board, so it is probably pretty accurate to how LP portrayed it.

I have no idea how to say it. LP's friend Glam Cam was trying to help me with the pronunciation, but to no avail.

Amazingly, this entry got the NINE votes. The second highest number of votes (I am guessing they were all allowed to vote multiple times).

Fortunately, "Kisser," proposed by the fabulous and girly MK, won with 10 votes.

My child is so random.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Notes from the Home Office

Last night after school, LP went into our home office, shut the door and called out, "I'm working! Don't open the door! And if the phone rings, don't answers it! It's for me!"

Alrighty then. We now know 1. who is running the show and 2. how a working mom does impact her children. This never happens when she watches daddy work from home.

At some point I picked up the phone to call my mother and let her know that LP was expecting her call. LP saw me on the phone and reprimanded me, "I told you not to answer the phone!" She didn't accept my protests that I hadn't answered the phone, rather I had made an outgoing call.

My mom called back and she and LP had a long conversation about all of the work LP had to do and how she had lists and lists of people she needed to call. The discussion was only interrupted when she lost her writing implement, "Grandma, I dropped my pen. Hold on. Don't hang up."

Later on my grandmother, nicknamed "GG" (for great-grandma) called and she had a similar lengthy conversation. LP explained all about our snow and asked GG about her weather. When GG explained that the sun was out in Florida LP implored, "GG, does it ever snow at your house?" Very cute. Until she was done talking and just handed me the phone and walked away mid-conversation.

We still have some office etiquette to work on, but it looks like I may have a future working mom on my hands.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lots of Togetherness

Friday night: Date with my lady friends. Woo-hoo! Nice to be out on the town without children and not really worried about said children (sorry Dads). The downside: we closed down the restaurant and it was only a little after 10. We have been known to stay out past midnight.

Saturday: Not much doing. Highlight was the lack of naps. Oh, and taking the girls to CVS to get the Hoos a Valentine's Day Card. LP was adamant that he have a card that made noise. Not sure that "Every girl can be a princess" was the right choice, but he loved it.

Sunday: Woken up at 7am, "Happy Valentine's Day, Daddy! This is for you." Early, but sweet start. Celebrated with a family outing to IKEA. Kids ate free, both girls were totally zonked from running around and fell asleep in the car and transitioned to their beds so we got quiet time in the middle of the day. Can't recall the last time LP napped in her own bed. For real.

Monday: The Hoos had the day off! Mommy didn't! We kept both girls home. AK had her second hearing test - results not so good. Consult with the pediatrician next Monday and then likely on to the ENT. She has lots of words, so I wonder how much more she would be saying without fluid in her ears. Maybe we would better be able to interpret when she points to the fish tank filter babbling repetitively. She is saying SOMETHING, we just don't know what. Oh, and the night ended with DUEL meltdowns thanks to no naps.

Tuesday: More snow. yay. I got up at 6:30, showered and shoveled. One to three inches my arse! Maybe it is just my street, but I was pushing 3-5 inches EASY. The girls have a one hour delay, and the Hoos is taking them, begrudgingly. Which is surprising because he usually drops them off at 8:50!!!

As my colleague Dr. Menzel would say, "Better days ahead!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do No Harm

As I type this, AK is sitting on the floor next to me playing with a box of unlit candles. Not sure what the entertainment value is, but if it helps wax my floor and causes no damage, what could be bad?

This child of mine, who is really no bigger than a peanut, is absolutely silly. I can no longer give her a tissue to wipe off her own nose when she yells out "Boogies!" because she does bad things with the tissues. Bad things that could cause injury. Bad things like breaking off pieces, balling them up and stuffing them up her nose. To the point that I need tweezers to extract them from her sinuses.

She also refuses to sit in the grocery cart. Waiting until my back is turned to stand up and freak out all of the nearby shoppers.

She is also an earlier jumper. I remember that it was a developmental thing for LP to be able to get both feet off the ground while jumping. AK jumps on and off the stairs, squatting down and calling out "HAND!" if she wants some stability. Which isn't every time.

She may not have caused herself serious injury yet, but I do think she is the root of a conversation our mutual hairdresser had with the Hoos last week about my gray hair.
Notice anything strange here?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Entertainer

Yesterday we had a snow day. The girls' school was closed, the Hoos' office was closed, and Mama used her discretion to work from home.

Alas, the Hoos has some significant projects and looming deadlines, so he spent most of the day locked up in our office. I spent my day being a trampoline, a coach, a chef, an inventor, a workhorse, a referee, a housekeeper, and an editor (I have a job too!).

I have determined that it is actually worse to have your spouse work from home when everyone is there. Because you think you can depend on them for help, when in reality, they are like a ghost and you are better off being ignorant of their existence. This is no slight to the Hoos. I knew he had work. And "working from home" is supposed to mean just that. At least for one of us.

By 11:15 I had not showered, but I had walked on the treadmill with my daughters (very slowly), done two loads of laundry, constructed snowmen in the basement out of imported snow, decorated the basement with chalk, made a vat of vegetable soup and a pan of chocolate cookie bars and re-ghost-wrote a column authored by my Vice President. Too bad the day was less than half over.

I showered around 2 to avoid listening to AK cry instead of nap. Fortunately she was asleep by the time I got out. I then spent the next two hours trying to figure out how to play Tinkerbell/Pixie Hollow on the Internet with LP. We still don't know what we are doing, but her custom-designed fairy is very cute and has a cool name (Chipmunk Orangesage).

Finally we decided to face the snow. LP and I suited up and I grabbed a shovel. After clearing the driveway (with some help from our neighbor and his snow blower) and walkways, it was time for LP and me to play. We built a snowman and made snow angels and in general just enjoyed the snow.

At the point that LP wanted to go in, AK was awake and wanting to come out. The Hoos brought her out along with our sled. Which made LP want to come out again. While I pulled AK around the lawn on the sled (trudging through a foot of snow is a good workout!) the Hoos and LP suited up. And, as usual, right as LP and the Hoos were exiting the house, AK removed her gloves and insisted on going in. The Hoos and LP built a humongous snowman and had a great time too. A highlight was watching LP try to pull the Hoos on the sled and tumble heels over head.

All in all, we survived. We had a nice day with limited TV time. I didn't have to pull out any of the store-bought special projects I have hidden around the house in case of emergency, and I love my family. Oh, and we determined that we have awesome neighbors. Really generous people who just decided to come and shovel/snow blow our driveway because they didn't think we were home. We were home, just lazy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nice to Know You

Our friend, JM, is pretty handy with a camera. He brings it everywhere and we are fortunate that we sometimes go places with them. Here are some recent photos I snagged from him.

Note that in the picture of AK, she put the helmet on herself and she has never even seen an episode of C.H.I.P.S. Also note that there is a dog in the picture of her and she is not freaking out. Note that LP is nowhere to be seen. The bottom picture proves that he doesn't only take bad pictures of me. Because there are some that will never see the light of day...

Like I Needed Another Reason to Love Stew's

I write about Stew Leonard's, the world's largest dairy store and community asset, a lot. Even before I lived in Norwalk, home of the original Stew's, my parents used to drive from Long Island to Norwalk to go to there. Don't believe me? Go here and type in my maiden name in the search box.

Stew's is now about 2 minutes from my house. We go there at least twice a week, both for the experience - which includes animitronic farm animals and lots of free samples - and to buy milk (which is fresher and less expensive than at the "regular" grocery store).

Yesterday I took the girls there after school for an impromptu visit. I was going to wait until today, but wanted to avoid the "storm crowds" that will likely be lining the aisles tonight. As the cashier finished checking out my $12 purchase, I searched in my very messy pocketbook for my wallet. It wasn't there. While thinking "Crap!" and hoping that it was in the car, I explained to the cashier that I didn't have my wallet, but I knew my credit card number and asked if I could pay that way. Understandably, she couldn't authorize this and so a manager came over to help.

I followed him to customer service while he checked in with the security guy to see what he thought. Alas, it was a no go. HOWEVER, rather than taking my groceries, they offered my store credit, taking my name and contact information using the only ID I had on me (A UCONN photo ID from my lapsed attempts at getting my MBA). Granted, it wasn't exactly a spending spree, but it was really nice to know that they had a process in place. Very customer-friendly and oriented.

The icing on the cake? My wallet was in my car! I quickly returned to the store to pay off my debt. On the way out the security guy that had met us at customer service saw my sense of relief and offered us tokens for free ice cream. The girls were in heaven. Even if they were frozen from eating ice cream in the parking lot in the 30-degree weather.

PS: Anyone have any recommendations for magic lotions or potions for alleviating biscuit feet? For some reason (perhaps my three showers a day?) my feet and heels are dry as the desert.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm Melting

The only thing worse than your child having a meltdown is your child having a meltdown in public. The only thing worse? Your child having a meltdown in public in front of people you know.


We missed the mega-snow storm of 2010, but we had our very own emotional tornado.

We celebrated the lack of crazy, nasty weather by putting our family pass to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center to the test with the 'Molala' Family. There is a funky exhibit with animated garbage that the kids (big and small) really enjoyed.

Since it was mid-day and everyone was hungry, we decided to grab lunch. And that is when the fireworks began. Four kids, early wake-ups (6:30 for LP! Earlier for the Molalas!), too long a wait, and the promise of post-lunch cupcakes was obviously too much. AK was her nutty self, which is normally not too bad as long as she is the only kid trying to walk on the table, but LP was in rare form. Apparently she was possessed. I am not sure by whom, but I can tell you it was by someone I didn't like very much.

Needless to say, there were no cupcakes harmed - or consumed - in the course of our tantrum-filled afternoon.

Today was better. Most days are better.

The Molalas are even still talking to us.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some Things Aren't Optional

Yesterday LP came home without underwear on. She didn't have an accident. And yes, she went to school with underwear on.

Her reasoning for removing them? "I was hot."

That's logical. NOT.

Also not logical? AK waking up at 1 am - AGAIN - for no apparent reason repeating "Mommy." Loudly.

After trying to get her to go back to sleep for 15 minutes, I gave up. The Hoos was on deck and, even better, he decided that if I went in it would be just giving AK what she wanted. Can you say guilt free and off the hook? Not that I could really sleep with her yelling, but at least I could stay snug in bed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Fine Line

A fine line exists between:

  • Appearing like a mom disciplining her child and an insane mom with out of control kids that don't listen to her
  • My children loving me and wanting to be with me all the time and hating me and wanting to be with me all the time - especially at 6am or in the shower
  • A patient parent and a permissive parent - like allowing my one's 1.5 year old to walk around the day care bathroom sans diaper and pants because she wants to pee on the potty like her big sister
  • Knowing enough and knowing too much - like the information a cyber-stalker may send you about a person you commonly don't like to publicize their (less than professional, incredibly icky, but still not-my-business) personal life

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Learning From Life

Last night the ladies were in rare form. It took us way too long to get out of the day care center and I had to physically force both girls into their carseats so that we could get home.

Learning objective: Learning how to resist the urge to follow our friends and instead LISTEN TO OUR MOMMY.

Fortunately by the time we got home the tears were over - at least briefly. AK had what I guess was a tantrum for no apparent reason. I didn't yell or force anything on her and she just flipped out. Wanted to be in her chair. Didn't want to be in her chair. Wanted to eat. Didn't want to eat. Wanted this fork. Wanted that fork. Wanted to carry her bowl into the dining room. Wanted her bowl to disappear.

Learning objective: Using our words to convey our emotions instead of our bodies.

I managed to convince the girls that it would be SUPER FUN to change their sheets. Actually, this wasn't too hard, they like the concept. Especially jumping on the mattresses.

Learning objective: Making work fun makes it more bearable. (Good luck applying that in the office.)

In the meantime, AK was wandering around sans bottoms (this followed a diaper change and was right before a bath so I didn't want to waste a diaper). LP decided to follow suit, removing her panties. AK decided to put on said panties. I then spent the next half hour neurotically asking AK if she had to pee. She didn't end up peeing in the panties, which is good. But she also didn't pee on the potty.

Learning objective: Not peeing around the house is cool. Peeing on the potty is cooler. Sharing underwear, less cool.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

On most Mondays LP's teacher asks the class during circle time what they did over the weekend. She writes the children's responses on a large sheet so that they can see what it looks like in writing. I love the idea and I also love reading what LP has to share.

For example, a few weeks ago it said, "I went out to lunch with Grandma and Papa and I ate chicken nuggets." Cute, right? Except that my parents were on vacation in Mexico. And when we saw them the weekend before, she had mac and cheese. And refused to eat it.

Yesterday's response was frightening. It was illegible. It was written by the support teacher - not the lead teacher that runs the activity and the classroom.

"I went to bela with dady."

I looked at LP, "What did you do with Daddy this weekend?"

The support teacher, obviously embarrassed, comes running over, "Oh, she didn't finish telling me. What did you do?"

LP: "I want to ballet with Daddy."

Needless to say, it is NOT my concern that Daddy brought her to ballet exactly once, about three weeks ago...

Quick and Dirty

Too lazy to write full sentences, so a brief recap of the last few days.

  • Saturday am: We gave LP's friend Daisy a lift to ballet. She got dropped off at our house early and came home for a bit afterward. It was a nice little playdate.
  • Saturday pm: AK's friend "Monah" and his family came over for dinner. He is a really sweet little boy and my girls ran him ragged. AK is not the gentlest sort, having a big sister and all, and she would push poor Monah around to get him to where she wanted him.
  • Sunday am: We wanted to get out of the house and instead of going to IKEA or the mall and spending money, we put the $ toward admission at the Maritime Center (aka aquarium). It is only about five minutes from the house and this was the first time we have gone alone as a family. Usually we go with my family or the Hoos' family. It was really nice to be able to enjoy concentrated family time and just focus. We decided NOT to bring the stroller and it worked out really well. AK walked the entire time and it left me free to chase her or hold her hand and not worry about leaving a stroller behind.
  • Sunday pm: Yay! No naps! And crazy day care drama. On a Sunday. Bonus - while I was doing something in the kitchen, AK climbed up on a chair and pulled herself onto the changing table, laid down, put her feet in the air and called out "Poop!" Now I just have to teach her to tell me BEFORE she actually goes. Potty training here we come!
  • Monday am: Both girls to school so mama could get some "me" time. Not tied to the fact that LP asked me if a mole on my neck was a nipple.
  • Monday pm: Picked the girls up early and responded to LP's request to do "something what's special" by initiating an "organizing project." I put both girls to work finding and straightening up all of their craft supplies and putting them into a single location. It won't last, but I am happy to at least have made this initial effort. AND I was able to create the craft center by repurposing things we already had (a shelf on wheels, some file folder, an extra silverware organizer). And it kept the girls from eating for an hour. Well, except for the tip of a magic marker...