Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All Through the Night

Last night was the first Passover seder. Thirty-four of my relatives gathered at my parents' house for the reading of the Passover story and expansive traditional meal.

As usual the girls were great. LP was an awesome little helper, carrying things to the table and offering assistance to my mom as the meal progressed. AK was an amazing eater- chowing down on chopped liver, gefilte fish, matzoh ball soup, and brisket. LP saved her stomach for dessert, having several helpings of strawberry mousse.

It was a late night, and we didn't leave Long Island until after 9. The Hoos and I were hopeful that our pajama clad girls would pass out before we got onto the Expressway. Oh, how silly we are.

LP did not stop talking until we reached the Connecticut border a little after 10.

"MOMMY!! EXCUSE ME MOMMY. I HAVE A QUESTION! Mommy, why are there those barriers on the side of the road? For privacy? Like when a babysitter comes over and they go behind the wall so you can see them? I want Miss Cherine to babysit me. Then I can tell her what she can do. Like, 'Don't give [AK] oranges! They give her a bad rash.' Tomorrow, I promise to take a shower in the morning. "

Nonsensical, bizarre strings, but constant.

AK didn't last quite as long, and didn't talk at all, but her eyes were still open way longer than anticipated. Probably couldn't sleep through the chatter...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

His and Hers

Saturday, my morning to get up with the ladies:
  • 6:30 - LP and AK starting calling out simultaneously
  • 7 - LP climbs into bed with us
  • 7:15 - I feel guilty about AK being stuck in her crib and go get her
  • 7:50 - Give up and take the girls downstairs for "bikfist"
  • 9:45 - Remind the Hoos I have a haircut appointment at 10:30 and he better getting out of bed so I can shower

Sunday, the Hoos' morning to get up with the ladies

  • 6:50 - LP starts making noise (something about shark), the Hoos goes into her room and convinces her to go back to bed
  • 7:50 - AK starts fussing, the Hoos brings her into bed. She climbs on top of me and starts pointing out all of my features, "HAIW! HEAD! EAW!"
  • 7:52 - LP starts singing, "On my way to grandpa's house, grandpa's house, grandpa's house, and I saw a big, big alligator and he makes a SNAP!" [or something like that]
  • 8:00 - LP joins us, complaining, "I was singing so you would come in to my room!"
  • 8:15 - I kick the Hoos, reminding him of his obligation
  • 8:20 - The Hoos gets up, and despite AK's request for "WAFFAS!!" she refuses to go downstairs with him. He climbs back in to bed.
  • 8:50 - Barney trumps me, when the Hoos asks if AK wants to watch Barney she jumps at the chance.
  • 9:05 - I have a sudden fear that we didn't put the yogurt we purchased last night in the fridge, so I jump up and call down the stairs.
  • 9:06 - I give up and shower.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lone Wolf

Last night I went to a networking event. This happens once in a blue moon, and it requires the Hoos covering "the night shift" - i.e., day care pick up, playground time, dinner, bath, bed.

I like going to these events because it gives me an opportunity to interact with grown-ups in my field and stay on top of issues and trends (and, natch, keep my name out there in the event anything changes with my current job status). I don't like these things because it takes me out of my routine and I miss my babies. Plus, I know how hard it can be to handle the girls on your own when you are not expecting back up; it can be freeing - or disheartening.

When I got home last night, the girls were already bathed and were hanging out with the Hoos in LP's room, in the dark, quietly telling stories. When I walked in I got an awesome reception - including fantastic and repeated kisses (and not just from the thankful Hoos).

After getting them both settled down I had to go and make their lunches and then select their clothes for today. This is always a challenge. LP has been on a dress kick lately. It is a miracle if I can sneak in a pair of pants. I don't even try most days. If I do try, she rejects what I have picked out and makes the Hoos' morning miserable. This morning was no exception.

I selected a denim skirt, some tights and a long-sleeved tee. Apparently this was not acceptable. The Hoos gave her free reign to wear whatever she wanted. After a long and trying exercise (according to the Hoos) she ended up wearing the skirt. And tights. With a different shirt. Sigh.

We are raising two independent little girls. I am guessing this is what my mother wished on me many moons ago?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stages and Changes

AK's new favorite bedtime activity is to "read" Goodnight Moon and find the mouse. It is incredibly cute to hear her chant, "Mouse! Mouse! Mouse!" as I turn the page and say, "Uhh...THERE!" as she finds him, but at this point she knows where the mouse is on every page, and while it was really really adorable the first few times on the first night, by flip-through number four on night number three, it is definitely bordering on mind-numbing for me.

Just like grown ups, little kids love to feel smart and as if they know everything they need to know. For toddlers, like AK, they are smart enough to realize that practice makes perfect, and you can totally nail something if you do it enough times.

LP, on the other hand, has moved out of this stage. Now she really just wants to KNOW EVERYTHING. And not just in terms of knowledge (how do babies get out again?); she is a total busy body. Her teachers tell us that she is a great helper and a "problem solver." When the Hoos asked what exactly they meant by this, they explained, "If two kids are fighting she will get in between them to mediate. "

I am wondering if, kind of like AK and the mouse, this is really sweet the first few times but increasingly less desirable as the day wears on. I know I am constantly reminding LP that I am the mommy and that I am in charge of AK, not her. (Although, honestly, AK seems to think she has a handle on this without needing either of us - even if it does mean jumping off the couch).

Last night the Hoos was flipping through my 2008 blog book (not by choice, I kind of handed it to him to show him something) and he was fascinated by the photos and how much the girls had changed. "We need to make extra copies and put these in the safe deposit box to save for the girls." TALK ABOUT CHANGING! Mind you, the Hoos still hasn't read most of my blog entries ("I live it, I don't need to read about it.") but it is sweet that he is starting to realize the value of my blog as an archive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joy! and Sorrow

After I picked the girls up yesterday, we decided to take advantage of a break in the rain and enjoy the remaining puddles. We ran inside, got their boots and raincoats and I let them have it. AK in particular loves stomping. Needless to say, everyone needed a change of clothes when we were done.

With this adorable image, I now want to broach a more serious topic.

LP is obsessed with everything "from when you [the Hoos and I] were little." We need to sing the songs our parents sang to us when we were little (would be nice if I knew more than two verses of 'Side by Side'!), tell stories about it, etc. Of particular interest is our childhood pets. I don't have many about Harvey, the poor turtle I had for a summer, but the Hoos has plenty about Tabby, a cat he had for most of his formative years. He tells story after story and she never tires of hearing them.

Recently she has been asking about what ever happened to Tabby. We let her know that Tabby died a long time ago. She presses for details, but we aren't really sure what to say. Yesterday she told me, "I know what happened, Tabby went to a store with lots of tigers, and the tigers ATE HER."

Obviously, I stressed to her that this is not what happened, but I didn't exactly fill in the blanks.

We have been very fortunate not have had to explain death to the girls yet (flushing the fish doesn't count). I know a lot of friends and friends of friends that have had to struggle with tragedies and am very thankful. However, I know we should be prepared.

The Hoos has a colleague who told her daughter that someone died when they got old, now she refuses to be potty trained because to her that means she will be old.

Any pointers from the peanut gallery?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Transportation aka Going from Place to Place

For the last few weeks LP has been learning about transportation in preschool. Ask and she will tell you, "Transportation is how you get from one place to another."

One day last week they had banana boat sundaes as a special snack.

Another day a classmate READ a book about boats. Seeing "Book: Boo read Boats to the class" on LP's daily sheets made the rest of us parents wonder if we were slacking. We are still working on LP recognizing her letters - and she isn't quite ready to write from left to right yet, instead putting letters anywhere on the page they will best fit. And I am pretty sure it isn't because Boo has the book memorized. LP has books "memorized" but she makes amendments as she goes, drawing from her memory. I saw Boo read. He is advanced, we are right on par. I am okay with that.

Building on transportation, the class starting learning about "trips" and "vacation." There was a poster board on the wall with each child's name with the question, "Where have you gone on a trip?" some kids answered Disneyworld, others names states...LP? "The Fishing Store." Talk about brainwashing! The Hoos was SOOO proud.

When I picked LP up last Thursday I told her we would be taking a trip on Friday - to visit my parents in LI instead of going to school. She was psyched. Until she realized that she would be missing her class trip to Disneyworld. "It's NOT FAIR!!," she wailed. "NO! It's NOT pretend." Oh, lord. We went to my parents' house anyway. Turns out the class didn't go to the happiest place on earth physically or metaphorically anyway, their listening ears were blocked up by the sunshine and the trip was canceled.

Saturday we spent much of the GORGEOUS day outside. The Hoos was painting our garage and I was on parent patrol. I took many walks around the block with the girls. In one attempt to get them to nap I pushed them in the Sit and Stand Stroller. After pushing the 80 pounds of girls and stroller a mile, the only one that wanted a nap was me - the only one without the option!

That night both ladies slept at my in-laws. They were so excited and went to bed easily after an exhausting and nap-free day. Of course. And AK slept until LP woke her up at 8:40. The Hoos and I went out to dinner and determined we were collectively too tired from our day to make it through a movie. At least we got to sleep through the night.

Sunday the Hoos got a bit of fishing in before having to pick AK up from his parents. I went to lunch with my lovely sister-in-law (sushi and no kids - what a combination!) and LP went to see Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny with her Safta at Fairfield University's Quick Center. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch to Life, the awesome new mini-series on the Discovery Channel and woke up to the exciting news of the passing of the healthcare bill (no, I don't understand all of the details or how this will specifically impact me, but I am on board if it means that more people get help when they need it). And now I am home alone, working, typing, and chilling with my medium iced decaf. Now I just need Calgon to take me away...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Director of Procurement

In our house I wear many hats, one of which has to do with purchasing. I pretty much make sure that most of the day-to-day tangible needs of the members of my household are met. This includes buying food, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and paper goods.

For the most part, I am a value shopper. I buy things on sale and stock up, I shop at multiple stores, I try (although I am way less successful than I could/should be) to clip coupons and I buy the store brand for most items.

That being said, there are some items that I can not compromise on and will only purchase specific brand name products. For instance, we I buy:
  • Arm & Hammer laundry detergent
  • Pampers diapers
  • Bounty Paper towels
  • Scott toilet paper tissue
  • Bertoli tomato sauce
  • Only "brand name" cereal

In some worst case scenarios, I will buy one of the aforementioned items out of necessity, requiring me to - gasp!! - pay full price. It hurts, it really does.

Recently my focus on thrift caused me to make a boo-boo. I bought the preferred type of Scott TP, but the one that was least expensive per square (using those handy dandy signs grocery stores use to share price information). Apparently that was my mistake.

Last night the Hoos called out, "Why did you buy industrial, commercial size toilet paper? It doesn't fit on the holder!"

The devil is in the details, I guess.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just wanted to be able to bask in the glow for a second. I officially l have my most number of readers ever according to Feedburner.


Not sure if that includes folks that just read my blog on the page and not through a feed, but I am psyched. I have to imagine that I can't be related to all of you. If you don't mind unmasking, drop a comment and let me know who you are or how you found me or what brings you here.

Just Nod and Walk Away

AK's new thing? Instead of saying "Yes" when responding affirmatively to a question she very clearly says"Yup!"

Another new thing that she does constantly causes confusion.

Me: "Do you want some cheese?"

AK: "No."

Me, repeating, "Okay, so you don't want cheese?"

AK: "Yup."

Writing this out, I realize it is obvious that she is responding to my follow up question accurately, but in practice I get all fatumuled and then think I am supposed to give her cheese. Because most people would respond "No," to the follow up question (reinforcing their first statement), but she takes me literally.

My point? Despite her lazy speech, the kid is smart. Real smart. And I am screwed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Setting the Tone

I start today after a really crappy night's sleep and an annoying dream. Don't you hate it when your night sets the tone for your day.

The "real" things:
  • Spring is in the air. Literally. The Hoos was loudly blowing his nose in my ear around midnight. Thanks, hun.
  • "Mommy? I want to come into your bed." Umm...no. But thanks for coming to my side of the bed so I am the one that has to get up and walk you back to your bed. At least LP went right back down.
  • A cold AK. No matter how hard I try to come up with solutions to keep AK"s blankets on her, it doesn't work. Last night I tried tucking her in under a top sheet I tucked under her crib mattress. She got out. And knocked off her blankets. And around 4 requested some assistance getting resituated.

The dream:

  • My name was Stacey.
  • I was a mom to two and wife to one.
  • I called in advance and scheduled a dentist appointment for 5:20. When they called to confirm, my husband (who may or may not have been the Hoos, who may or may not have been cheating on the real me with this Stacey chick) and kids also requested appointments.
  • They fit everyone in. When we got there, the kids went first, then the husband went while I got the kids dressed (ya, you can tell it is a dream because who gets naked for the dentist).
  • My husband then had to get dressed and took a really long time. So long that I (Stacey) missed MY dentist appointment.

I know there are some kernels of truth in this dream. Something about putting yourself first? Not getting naked at the dentist? Being wary of chicks named Stacey?

Anyway, don't you hate it wait you wake up annoyed at your partner because of something you dreamed (or when your partner wakes up made at you because of something THEY dreamed).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Barrel of Monkeys

Old Navy had 50% off all clearance, so for less then $10, the girls now have matching footy, monkey PJs.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Quickie

Crazy storm over the weekend. Winds were close to 50 mph. Branches down in our yard, but nothing major. For us. Half of our city is without power, lots of trees still down (the parkway is open but we had to take several detours to GET to the parkway) and the public schools are closed tomorrow. Fortunately, day care will be open.

AK has been using the toilet! She will actually tell me "Pee!" or "Bathroom!" and when I bring her and sit her down she goes! She won't use the potty ring or the potty, because, you know, big sister doesn't. I am thinking of buying itty bitty pull-ups tomorrow since it is no fun to take a diaper on and off when she is standing up. Kinda crazy!

We survived the time change. Although the Hoos was a bit confused about it - which is odd for him, he must be tired. This am when AK called us at 7:45 (in adjusted time) he said, "Wow, she slept late." Umm...no, she woke up EARLIER than usual. She hung out quietly in the bed with us for awhile. Until we made eye contact. Then it was all over. "HI MOMMY! HI! BIKFIST! [breakfast]" It was Hoos' turn to get up, so it wasn't so bad...

Tomorrow will be my first day home with both girls at day care. I scheduled a whole bunch of conference calls in the morning but it will be interesting to see if I get any time to myself and how much I accomplish.

Friday, March 12, 2010

As Time Goes By

An hour and a half into nap time and there was no napping going on. Forget about napping, I don't even think there was any laying down going on. I am pretty sure she just cried and yelled from a standing up position for the entire time, save from when I was in there attempting to get her to lay down.

At 2:30 I was fed up and stopped what I was doing, put on my coat and shoes and went upstairs and plucked her from her crib. She stopped yelling, but she was confused. We walked right out the door to my car. "Jacket?" she asked. I shook my head. "Socks?" she said, pointing to her bare feet (obviously having removed her socks during non-nap time). "Shoes?" she asked incredulously.

We drove to the Dunkin Donuts drive through. I got a caramel latte and turned around to go home. She was out.

I pulled into the driveway and promptly dropped the almost full latte onto the driveway. At least she was still sleeping.

When LP was AK's age I think I let her cry for the entire naptime until she fell asleep. I don't even think I attempted to get her to settle down. I am not sure why the change. I think it might have something to do with needing some peace and quiet. And to having some general sense of routine. I like to pick LP up early on my home days - a little after 3; which requires AK napping around 1.

Starting next week I will be sending both girls to day care on Mondays. I won't be going into the office, but I will be using the time to get work done and run errands. I am sure I will feel guilty, but damned if AK doesn't go down for her nap around 12:40 whenever she is at day care! They wear her out; I drag her around.

Time changes everything.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Opportunity Costs

The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and together these things mean just one thing - playground time!

After picking the girls up from school I like to take them to the adjacent playground to expend some energy and enjoy the fresh air. It doesn't hurt that it also gives me an opportunity to socialize with some of the other parents. Alas, a lot of our conversation revolves around trying to develop the perfect exit strategy, e.g., leaving at the same time to try to make getting in to the car a game, bribery, counting down (GH's iPhone timer is cool, but it wasn't exactly as effective as we all had hoped)

Also, I have to frequently remind my girls that "the playground is for playing, not for standing on the side and eating." LP and AK are world class moochers (wonder where they get that from?) and if they see another parent with snacks they will immediately sidle over and wait with their hands extended for the parent to offer. And, even once their friends STOP eating, LP will continue to loudly insist "I'm HUUUUUUUUUUUUNGRY!" as if the world is ending and she is starving. When I offer her the option of going home to have dinner she stops - but only long enough to catch her breath. I am so lucky.

When the mass exodus does finally arrive around 6, all of the parents seem to be simultaneously shaking their heads, contemplating if the half hour of fun is worth the pain and tears when we attempt to leave.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

It all started on Sunday. We went to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center with some friends for the Center's annual Maple Festival. The weather was fantastic and all of the kids were in great spirits. Upon arrival LP was no longer my sweet little 3.5 year old, suddenly she was at least 10.

The first indication that we had entered the twilight zone was when LP pointed out to the Hoos that a man in a squirrel costume was out and about, "Daddy! Look! A squirrel! I want to give him a high five!" SAY WHAT?!

She then ran through the Center seeking out other folks in costumes. The Bobcat, Beaver (who was actually kind of creepy looking) and Dog all received similar treatment. For the record, AK kept saying that she wanted to high-five the creatures, but would balk when we got near.

We met up with a friend a few minutes later who warned us that the goats were out of their enclosures. She knows LP's track record, having taken this photo of LP from her class trip to a local farm. Imagine our surprise when LP ran to greet Scuzz and patted his woolly coat gently.

Yesterday was the icing on the cake - LP's first dentist appointment. She was very excited about it, and the Hoos has been preparing her for months, but I have heard horror stories about how kids actually react when the dental tools come out, so I was only cautiously optimistic. Instead, I almost cried I was so proud.

When we entered the room for her cleaning, the hygienist stepped out quickly to get me a chair; while she was gone, LP hopped into the dental chair, put her head back and opened her mouth widely, waiting. She proceeded to follow instructions fantastically, saying "Yum!" after the hygienist used the specially selected strawberry toothpaste. I got a bit nervous when the hygienist pulled out the trays for the fluoride treatment, but LP was more focused on the bubble gum flavored "tooth medicine" than anything else. She sat with the trays in for the requisite minute, being careful not to swallow and breathing nicely through her nose (I recall the trays triggering my gag reflex and loathing dentist appointments as a result).

LP left the office with a huge smile, a Sponge Bob toothbrush, some dental floss, a few stickers, and a temporary tattoo. I left with a feeling that no matter how fast the last four years went, the next four are going to be gone before I have a chance to blink.

Friday, March 5, 2010


AK and LP are both females, both the same astrological sign, all of the nurture elements are the same, the "recipe," so to speak was the same, and yet I am astounded by how little they have in common.

Back in the day (3.5 years ago!) LP would nurse for hours at a time. When I asked the lactation consultant a month in if it was normal for her to spend 45 minutes on each side her response was an incredulous, emphatic "NO!!"

Despite the fact that AK hasn't nursed in almost a year (WOW!!) I clearly recall her eating for less than 10 minutes total. Instead of being concerned about her getting too much, I worried she wasn't getting enough.

LP used to be a good eater, enjoying almost all of my cooking, but not necessarily adventurous. These days she eats little more more than pasta and other carbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese and yogurt, and certain fruit. Anything kind-of warm is too hot for her and she won't eat or drink it until it is stone cold.

AK will eat anything. Today she tried to drink the dregs of my latte, stole my sample of lobster bisque at Stew's, and snarfed down a sample of a hot dog about two seconds after blowing on it to make sure it wasn't hot.

Up until 2.5, LP was a champion napper. As an infant I could count on two solid naps a day, even if it was painful to get her down sometimes.

AK has never been a napper. We were lucky to get one nap as an infant and as a toddler she will nap at school - but barely ever at home.

Yessiree, make no mistake about it, I have two completely different, deliciously wonderful, daughters

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Him, Momm-o

It is once again that time of year when I need to collect the blog postings of yester-year and create the hard-copy version of Views to save for posterity. The first year I attempted this effort, it was a long and painful process of trial-and-error. Last year I had it down to a science, although it was certainly time-consuming to manually cut and paste each entry's text and accompanying photos in backwards chronological order. Alas, I still yearn for access to the Blogger database to make this an easier activity.

This year, I took the easy way out. I used the new service Blog2Print, which apparently does have access to the Blogger database.

They automate the process and in a few short minutes have a previewable book of your blog. You can customize the cover and some basic layout and text, as well as the postings the book will contain, but your options pretty much end there.

Unfortunately, it isn't cheap to actually get a hard or soft cover version of your blog. You pay by the page, and since their template automatically includes a non-deletable table of contents (mine ran 10 pages!) and some other auto-text it could cost a pretty penny for those bloggers that are more prolific. Also, if it matters to you, all books are 8.5x11 (I had been creating 8.5x5.5 which was more "book" and less "report" size).

I ended up paying around $7 (using a handy-dandy 15% off coupon code: bloggerb2p) to get a pdf of my book as opposed to a hard copy. Since I have access to Adobe Acrobat at work, I was able to pretty significantly edit my book - removing the ToC, adding in a background on every page (which were just a standard, boring white before), and moving some things around.

Alas, once I removed the ToC I had to go in and edit the text to remove the page numbers, which were now both inaccurate and useless. I also removed the annoying text at the end of each entry that said who posted the entry (cuz it was me every time!) and when. It took up space and was unnecessary for me.

I am pretty happy with how it came out and I was able to create my book in a couple of hours instead of over several weeks. I will take it to FedExOffice (formerly known as Kinkos) to get it spiral-bound, which should cost me under $10. It is not the ideal solution, but it was a time-saver. If you decide to go this route and have questions, let me know. I am not an expert, but I play one on the Internet.

Out of the Blue

  • LP, on the phone with my mom: "I am going to hang up because I don't want you bothering my mom." Meanwhile, my hand was out, trying to get the phone.

  • LP, on the phone with my mom: "[AK] is being a nuisance." Okay, that is my word. I call them that all the time. I think it is innocuous. Am I wrong?

  • LP, to AK: "Don't do that, dammit." When I told the Hoos this one he just shrugged and said "That's me." When I expressed surprise at his response? "It could have been worse." Like he hasn't taught them worse words?

  • AK, while making hand motions, "Rabbit. Bop. Gooo." We have been working on Little Rabbit Foo-Foo. Also known as Little Bunny Foo-Foo depending on who is doing the singing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Can Handle This

When I picked the girls up last night, LP specifically said to me, "I had a good day today."

Excellent. Who doesn't love to hear that?

Upon further contemplation, I am not sure I like to hear that. Because it seems that having a good day up until 5, makes a kid feel like they get waaaay more leeway after 5.

So we start the downhill roll.

I ended up carrying/dragging a coatless LP out to the car (with little mini-me clinging to my coat). The reasons were typical, she wanted water, she couldn't have water, she wasn't listening, she was pulling her friends into not listening...

As I struggled to get LP into her carseat, AK sang "Baa Baa BlackSheep" quietly to herself from her perch. She kept at it as LP called, "MAAAAMAAA! I want my MAAAMAAA!" I reminded her that, unfortunately, I was her MAAAMAAA and she was stuck with me. "DAAADDDYYY! I want my DADDDYYYY!"

I gently dialed his number into my cell, handed her the phone and told her to push the green button if she wanted to call him. And she did. And he did a masterful job at calming her down. Until he had to hang up.

About two minutes after we got into the house, LP was a changed child again. A little angel, floating around, asking AK, "Do you want to play with big sister? Yeah? Want to do a puzzle with big sister? Can you give big sister a hug?"

I live with three Geminis. Will the rest of my life be like this?

Unrelated, at 4am AK called out. When I went in to her room she was lying down with all of her blankets pushed off. As I covered her she exclaimed loudly and with absolutely no trace of tiredness, "Hi Mommy!" She didn't even really look at me, not even raising her head. After I left she went right back to sleep (or at least didn't make another peep). Weird.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Secrets

As the Hoos and I watch AK develop and grow, we struggle to remember LP achieving the same milestones. Without the evidence of my blog, I think we would swear that LP was born talking. She is a sponge, using words I didn't realize she knew and sharing facts and information at opportune and inopportune times.

For example, yesterday, she had lengthy phone conversations (from the pot, natch) with both the Hoos and my parents. Fortunately, our household secrets were not part of the equation - for once.

"Leo asks me to sit next to him. And I say 'okay, Leo, but you can't hit me or push me or pinch me' and he says that he won't, but THEN HE DOES! Every morning Leo's mom says to him, 'Leo, be a good boy today.' But it doesn't work!"

For the record, AK also talks incessantly. We do not always understand her, but she definitely thinks she is saying something that I should understand, as she will repeat phrases until I figure out what she means. Part of the challenge is that we continue to try to compare LP's and AK's development. I know we shouldn't, especially with our awful memories, but it is the only hands-on kid knowledge that we have. With AK's history of ear infections, we are not sure if it is impacting her speech as her pronunciation is far from perfect - is it a development thing or a delay? (ACK! Too much thinking!) Who know?

Yesterday, we went to the ENT to discuss the possibility of getting tubes for AK. At this point we can continue to wait and see if she will need them and not worry about any permanent damage to her speech and hearing. A reasonable approach since we have had a decent amount of time since her last infection and her nightly Claritin regimen seems to be keeping infections at bay.

Alas, tubes or any other solution won't impact her volume control. It is just a toddler thing. A horrible, unpleasant toddler thing. No one likes hearing "MOMMMMYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!" screeched at the top of their kid's lungs. Even if she does do it to the tune of Tarzan's "Ahhhhhhhh-ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-aaahhhhhhhhh" call. Hoping that will go away when I can understand her better...