Thursday, April 29, 2010


Three days a week the Hoos is on his own with the girls in the morning. I know from experience that this can be incredibly frustrating. Constant nagging, prodding, cajoling... He has been insisting that it is impossible for him to get them to day care before 9. And he frequently calls me with the morning report already upset and on track for a not-so-great day.

Today the Hoos has jury duty and had to be in Stamford by 8:30. For those of you that don't live in Fairfield County, while the distance from Norwalk to Stamford looks like about 10 miles on a map, it can be an eternity on the highway. Suffice it to say, with day care not opening until 8, we decided that I would go in to work late and handle morning drop off.

The girls were up at 7:15 - with smiles! Dressed - in what we had picked out! - by 7:25! Done with breakfast by 7:40! Teeth were brushed, toilets were used and flushed, and we were out the door by 8!

They were the first children in their respective classrooms! Sure, AK was crying ("She doesn't do this for Daddy," explained the teacher. Thanks, that makes me feel better...), but LP was excited, "First! Miss Miller! I'm first! And [AK] was first in her room!" and didn't cling to me or follow me, yelling, out of the classroom! It was a miracle!

Or was it just the work of mom?

PS: When I told the Hoos he said to me, "And being first is a good thing?" I think he is just jealous.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


As previously suggested in blog posts and photos, LP is not the bravest of children. We have been working hard to encourage her NOT to cover her ears at the sight of a dog. The dog does not even have to bark, her hands just habitually rise on sight. It is ridiculous.

Recently we have noticed dogs while driving home from day care. I point them out to the girls and then watch in the rear view mirror. AK tries to throw herself out of the car. LP covers her ears. And then explains, "I wasn't covering my ears, I was pushing my hair behind my ears," or "I wasn't covering my ears, I was twirling my hair like [my friend] MK." Sigh.

AK on the other hand? FEARLESS. She loves our neighbor's cats. She pretty much stalks it as soon as we get home calling out "OOZZZYYY! BEEEEEEEBEEEEEEEE!" The poor things are terrified of us. LP will actually pet the cat every once in a while, but more typically she pretends that she wants to pet the cat but she doesn't succeed because the cat is uncooperative.

LP won't go near the cat without being close enough to touch me. AK will run across our lawn, leaving me in her dust, to get near the less skittish of the kitties, Ozzy, who is likely laying on her back, paws aloft, waiting to be rubbed. AK will circle the cat, laughing with glee, occasionally reaching out and touching her. The cat gets impatient for some loving and yesterday "high fived" AK in an attempt to motivate her. AK LOVED it, LP loved it. As long as it wasn't her being high-fived.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Competitive Edge

We are three weeks in to LP's soccer season and I am not sure that she is getting it.

To be fair, this is her first foray into team sports, and we have spent three years teaching her about taking turns, being gentle, and sharing, not necessarily the attributes of star athletes.

The league is for kids around 4 and some kids are closer to 5 with this being their second season playing. Those kids look like Pele compared to LP and her compatriots. LP will kick the ball once and stand still waiting for someone to kick it back; the more experienced (and way bigger looking) players will run to the ball and dribble it past her right into the goal.

At this age, the concept of "team" seems to be foreign too. There is no passing and the players more aggressive in going after the ball will steal it from whoever has it, no matter the color their jersey.

To be honest, I am just glad she is out there playing, If the coach (who is a really nice and patient guy) calls on her she runs right in. She follows direction and is really proud of herself if she scores a goal, even if it is when they are taking turns kicking it into the goal during warm ups. At this point, the fact that she is not clinging to me on the sidelines is a win. And she looks so dang adorable in her uniform I can't stand it.

The Hoos, who actually never played team sports, is way more competitive than I had imagined. It kills him to watch LP "play". He is a great dad and will cheer for her to the end, coaching her kindly on what to do from the sidelines, but I think he would rather cover his eyes than watch. One of the highlights of the last game for him was when another little boy, one of the few smaller than LP, spent his time on the field picking grass and throwing it at the other players.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

With Relish

Guess who likes getting dirty?
This was her second outfit. It had been on 15 minutes. And I thought I was so smart to put her rainboots on.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ideal Mother's Day?

The other day my friend Dana sent me this fabulous blog post about the search for good jeans. It is actually hysterical and quite informative. Go read it. I will wait.

After reading it, I determined that what I really needed was a girls trip to the outlets. And by "girls" I do not mean me and my daughters. Nor do I mean my and my boobs (although they are part of the package). I mean me and my friends. The people who will tell me if my jeans not only give me long butt but also muffin top and fat legs.

The easy part? Convincing the ladies a shopping adventure is needed. The hard part? Scheduling said trip.

So, I got to thinking...Mother's Day is coming up. What do most moms want on the holiday celebrating our awesomeness? Nothing. Seriously. What I really want is NOT TO HAVE TO PLAN THE DAY. I don't want to have to answer questions about where I want to go, what I want, what I want to do. I want to not have to think.

Or, alternatively, just have the Hoos take the kids for the day and have a guilt free day to myself.

With the kids in day care, weekends are about family time. Going to a playground, or activity, or even running errands. Together.

Would taking Mother's Day for myself and going shopping with my lady friends make me a bad mom? Never mind that I wouldn't be celebrating my mom (sorry mom, you know I love you and I know you understand shopping) but I wouldn't be letting my kids celebrate me. Or would I?

What say you ladies? Are you in?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Off Day

I was in a good mood yesterday. At least in the morning until I had an annoying call with my VP and the Chairman of our Board. But anyway, until 1:45 I was having a nice day. It was sunny, I was feeling good, I got to see my babies in the morning...

I was even trying to spread the joy, slightly lengthening the brief, polite conversations I had in the hallways. And all of it was met with awkwardness. Like people thought I was weird, condescending, creepy.. I'm not sure, can't really put my finger on it, but it wasn't what I was hoping for.

THEN when I walked to the cafeteria down the street to get a cookie and take advantage of the nice weather, I had the ultimate buzzkill.

We have a narrow sidewalk, with a road with no shoulder directly on one side and a rocky embankment on the other. I was walking on the right side, along the embankment as two women, walking next to each other, approached. As we neared, the one closest to me REFUSED TO YIELD. She walked right at me, didn't slow her gait and move behind her friend or stop or nothing. Alas, if I hadn't turned my shoulder at the last second, she would have knocked me down! As LP would say, WHAT. THE. HELL.

Why do I always have to be the one stepping down? Because I am small? NO MORE, PEOPLE! Today I am on a mission. A mission to be my usual self, but even more direct. STAND DOWN.

Okay, I am only kidding. I am direct enough. And have enough awkward convos without trying. Plus, LP needs to start learning better behavior - because yesterday was not her best day either.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A few weeks ago the girls and I were at Stew's and they had colored sugar on sale post-Easter. It was orange and yellow and super pretty. I couldn't resist and bought a couple to save for cookie or cupcake decoration.

LP is the girl who never forgets. Last Friday before leaving for day care she reminded me about the sugar and asked if we could make cookies to decorate when she got home. That was the plan, until I got a call that she hadn't behaved and had attempted to kick one of her teachers. Sigh. Very out of character for her, but nevertheless, a punishable offense, so no cookie making fun.

Yesterday she again requested that we bake after I picked her up. I then spent part of my nice, quiet day alone making and rolling cookie dough. I even cut out two trays of cookies so that all the girls would have to do was decorate and we could pop them in the oven.

As it turned out, we brought some friends home from school to help us decorate the cookies. It was very nice to have some extra helping hands (thanks D and J!), especially since AK decorated a single cookie and then proceeded to eat an entire mini cup of sugar (only about 1 teaspoon's worth, but still...).

Once the cookies were cool we added some gel icing as the finishing touch; Shockingly, AK proceeded to mainline the BRIGHT PINK tube into her mouth. The younger kids (LP and her buddy "Bubub") tried to use as much icing as possible on each cookie, and the lone big kid created beautiful pieces of edible art. They all created quite the mess.

By then it was 5:30. So we decided to order dinner (and make penne for the kiddos). It was nice to have guests on a weeknight, sort of made the week seem like it would a day shorter. Except, of course, with the kids being pumped up on sugar and friend-adrenaline, it did make the night time routine a bit longer. What with LP crying that she wanted to have a sleepover and all.

Of course, after the whole rigmarole, the Hoos decided that he doesn't like sugar cookies all that much. Good thing we make them more for the experience than as a dessert (although they are pretty darn good if you ask me).

Sunday, April 18, 2010


LP, holding herself: "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom"

Me, in the middle of eating dinner: "So go."

LP, more insistently: "I want you to come with me."

Me, standing up, sighing: "Let's go."

LP, stabbing me in the heart: "Mommy, when I get big, I won't need you any more."

Me, dying a bit on the inside: "Big? You mean like me?"

LP, twisting the knife: "Big. Like kindergarten."

Me, holding out hope: "Won't you still need me to drive you places?"

LP, indicating our surroundings: "But I won't need you for, like, this."

Later, still sitting in the bathroom.

Me, clipping LP's toenails: "Stop moving!"

LP: "Don't cut my skin."

Me, getting frustrated: "I won't! Hold still!"

LP, channeling the Hoos: "Don't cut my skin...dammit!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Suited Up

Rain boots? Check.
Rain coats? Check.
Hair clips? Check.
Cuteness? Without question.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Day, Sunshine!

This morning I was startled awake at 6:15 by LP who grabbed on to me calling out "Uppy!" It was a jarring way to wake up from a deep sleep and a weird dream. It took me a few minutes to stop feeling ill.

Then she pretty much pushed me out of the bed, although I am sure she will insist that she was snuggling.

I had to get up to get ready for work anyway, so I crawled into the bathroom with my puppydog at my feet. She laid on the bathroom floor when I showered and sneaked out at one point, returning with a blanket. "I got it from [AK]'s room. But I was really quiet so I didn't wake her up."

After we both got dressed we retreated downstairs for some Calliou and breakfast. But first, more conversation:

"Mommy, when my teachers go on break, they take off their [day care center] shirts so they don't get boogers on them."

To be fair, her observation is way better than the monologue I heard at Dunkin Donuts on my way in to work. The lady in front of me was chatting with no one in particular about how hard she works and for so little money, "I told my husband that if I wasn't scared of jail I would be a prostitute so I could make more money." Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pete? Repeat.

It is already the middle of April! How/when did that happen?

How is it possible that in six short weeks my babies will be turning four and two respectively?

I know it is true because LP has entered the "Why?" phase and has to know the reasons behind the universe's well as more mundane things.

For example, last night she was looking in the full length mirror in our upstairs hallway as she brushed her hair and asked, "Aren't I beautiful?" The Hoos and I were amused, and embarrassed, "Well, yes, you are, LP, but you really shouldn't be saying so."

"Why not?"

Well, because it is rude."


" can say 'thank you' if someone else says you are beautiful, you can - and should - think that you are beautiful and say it to yourself, but you shouldn't really say it out loud."


AK, on the other hand, is in the "I do it!" phase. Fortunately for us, she is not quite as persistent as her sister was at her age. She will try something a few times and if she can't seem to get it she will call out, "Need help!" and allow you to lend a hand. As long as you do it on her terms.

For example, putting on her shoes. She only likes to do this while standing up. The only assistance you can provide is helping her maintain her balance as she shoves her foot into the shoe. The only way you can help her balance is by holding her hand. You can only hold her left hand with your right hand while she puts on the right shoe and vice versa for the other shoe.

First of all, isn't is AMAZING how these developmental phases work? My post about LP doing everything herself was almost exactly two years ago.

Second, I am so screwed...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

She Hates My Guts

Sometimes, a mommy just needs some alone time. Not much, but just enough time that she can take care of business.

This mommy has little to no privacy. Most of my trips to the bathroom include company. And, if I announce my intentions to use the facilities, I have to wait my turn, because two certain little people coincidentally feel the need to go at the exact same time. Almost every time. I have been bombarded with "Uppy!" requests while seated on the pot. Not exactly hygienic or relaxing.

Yesterday was supposed to be my home alone day. I was looking forward to the quiet time. And having the bathroom all to myself. Alas, it didn't happen. Poor AK and her ear infection.

Last night, both girls were sleeping and I thought I had found my window.

As soon as I dropped my drawers, AK started crying out.

The Hoos raced up the stairs to comfort her, but she insistently cried out for Mommy. Obviously, the call of my child is stronger than the call of nature.

I have decided that as much as AK loves me, she hates my guts.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Three Months...and Poof!

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging about the pediatrician lately. Is it because I was tired of blogging about it? NO! it was because my girls have been relatively healthy! In part because of the nicer weather and in large part due to AK's nightly regimen of Claritin, things were on an upswing. Until yesterday.

Yesterday LP woke up barking like a seal. And while running errands I noticed that AK seemed pretty warm. Fortunately we were near a Harmon discount drug store and I ran in and grabbed some children's Motrin. She took it no problem and was in great spirits, so we continued on with the rest of our errands and grabbed some lunch at Bertucci's. Both girls ate well, laughed, and generally goofed around, you would never know anything was wrong.

Regardless, on the way home we figured we would drop in at the pediatrician to be safe and since fevers are so rare in our house. In truth the Hoos and I both knew the diagnosis. AK has an ear infection.

Last night before bed she got her antibiotic and a dose of Motrin. When I went to bed around 10, she still felt really hot. However, she was sleeping. Rather than wake her up to dose her up, we decided to let her try to sleep it off. At 12 she needed some comforting. At 2 she needed more Motrin. At 5 she needed comforting. At 5:30 the Hoos gave her Tylenol. At 5:35 I gave her comforting. And now, at 10, she is still sleeping. Poor baby.

I don't miss these freaking ear infections! We are going back to the ENT to do her recheck in a couple of weeks. Not that I am pushing tubes, but those three months without a doctor visit were awesome. I would like to make it 6 months next time!

(For the record, LP is just fine, they listened to her lungs and they sounded fine and she hadn't really barked since waking up. She barked again this am, so we are keeping an eye on it).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Total Nutters

Tonight we picked up LP's uniform for her first organized sport activity - soccer. She couldn't wait to try it on. Of course, once AK saw LP all dressed up, she HAD to get in on the action. Luckily mommy is inventive...

Over the Hills and Far Away

This time of year many parents of school age children struggle to come up with inventive, and cost-effective, ways to keep their kids occupied during the summer months.

Alas, even though school is out, work is not, and most parents have to work during July and August without the option of taking an annual sabbatical to watch their kids. The good news for me, for the time being, is that day care is year round. The bad news, LP starts school in 2011.

What did our parents do when we were kids? I know some of my friends had pools and spent the summer lounging around. I guess they must have had a stay-at-home parent? Some went to day camp, but not many. I guess I have no clue.

Growing up, I went to camp. Despite the fact that both of my parents were teachers and had the summers off, it was not their deepest desire to spend the summer entertaining me and my brother. From ages 5-8 I went to day camp and at nine I made the switch to the associated sleepaway camp in New Hampshire. I remember the first time I got onto the coach bus for the seven hour drive to New Hampshire, looking out the window at my mom crying hysterically.

Only now do I know how strong my mom must have been. Strong to not climb onto the bus and come with me.

Camp was a great experience. Most of the time. Ten girls living in a bunk together for eight weeks certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster (and a horror movie). But we survived, became independent and emotional, learned how to barter food from our care packages, shave, play tennis, swim the 12 laps so we could take out sailboats and canoes...

The Hoos also went to sleepaway camp, and we both are pretty sure that we want for the girls to have the same experience when the time comes. LP is only three, but I know how time flies. And, to be honest, the thought of her climbing onto a bus to spend an entire summer away from me is making me tear up already.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Since the bizarre, but needed, ousting of the previous director, the girls' day care has been implementing a whole host of new programs and introducing new staff. Last week they started Spanish and music classes and today students from a local school for dental hygiene came in to teach them about taking good care of their pearly whites. According to LP there were "lots and lots of girl dentists."

All of the kids received new toothbrushes and mini tubes of toothpaste. Based on LP's trip to the dentist last month and the way AK runs to the upstairs bathroom when I announce that it is time to brush her teeth, it is not a surprise that my girls loved the "goody bags."

One of the best parts was the exam sheet that we received. AK's student hygienist was apparently very earnest.

If you can't read it, it says:
4 molars are missing, lower canine (left) missing. Good patient.

In different handwriting someone, either the hygienist's teacher or AK's teacher, wrote in a reassuring, "Teeth are still growing in :)"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Funny How Time Just Slips Away

For the last month or so I have been flying blind. My watch died.

At first, it was horrible. I never quite knew what time it was and had to rely on others to help me out. This meant lots of extra time spent on the playground because I meant to live before 6 and time slipped away. I know, extra time on the playground sounds awful doesn't it?

I kept meaning to get the battery replaced, but I never seemed to have the watch on me when I was alone and passing a jewelry store.

Yesterday I finally remembered. And, after taking some time to track down my watch which was misplaced in the house, I lumbered over to a local jeweler. $25 later I have not just one working watch, but TWO working watches.

If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it is that I should take a note from AK and chill out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just in Case...

If the vision of me and the girls on a camel at the Bronx Zoo wasn't enough - check LP out on a HORSE at a party this weekend.

At first she didn't want to.

All the other kids were reneging also.
But as soon as the birthday girl put on her helmet and climbed aboard...LP found the courage, cut the line, grabbed a helmet, and found her groove.
AK loved the "hat," and the concept. Not the horse.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hold on to Your Hat!

LP really really wanted to ride the camel at the Bronx Zoo today. How could I resist?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Same Old, Same Old

No posts since I don't have anything too exciting to report.

AK continues to use the bathroom when I ask if she has to go. On occasion she will actually request to use it, but typically, if not asked, the diaper is good enough. She won't use the potty or potty ring, which makes it a bit more challenging considering her tush is the size of the palm of my hand, but it is very cute to see her perched on the toilet.

LP is maturing by the second. She can be the sweetest, most grown up little muffin at times. The other day Miss Stacey told me that LP finished her sentence when she forgot a word. "LP, what a great job, I am so..." "Impressed?" Yesterday she told my friend MLH that dinosaurs are all dead and asked me how babies get into your belly. The former was adorable, the latter was ignored and the subject was changed.

We are spending a lot of time with family this week and the girls love their cousins. At least most of the time. The cousins try to help AK and LP a lot - picking them up, cutting up their food, etc. LP actually loves the attention and let her cousins give her a bath the other night. AK, Miss Independent, not so much.

I have given up making sure the girls keep Kosher for Passover (no flour, corn, rice, etc.). AK is easier because she eats lots of protein - she took leftover brisket for lunch the last couple of days. LP, the pasta queen, never had a chance. Today she has a bagel. I feel guilty, but hopefully next year they will understand the significance and accept fruits, veggies and yogurt as a total lunch. Every day. For a week. (Can you tell I am missing my carbs?)

On the scheduling front:
  • tomorrow we are off to the Bronx Zoo. I haven't been since I was a kid and I am hopeful that the animals will be out and basking in the gorgeous weather so we can enjoy them. If you go - purchase your tix online through AAA - significant discount!
  • At the end of the month we will be heading down to our old stomping grounds, DC, for the first time since having AK. We are very exciting to see old friends and enjoy all the city has to offer.
  • And, finally, we have settled on a home for our summer vacation. We will be heading to Ogunquit, Maine for a week sometime this summer as an alternative to the Cape. If anyone has ever been and has thoughts on not-to-miss, kid-friendly activities, ice cream parlours or restaurants, let me know!