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;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Leaps and Bounds

It is hard to believe it has been three years since we attended my company picnic at Rye Playland. Last time around, in 2007, LP was a new walker and not really interested/scared to death of most rides. Oh, how things have changed!

Last night, despite the threatening weather, the Hoos picked up the girls and met me at the amusement park for not-so-great food but lots of fun. Fortunately, we had wristbands which qualified us for unlimited ride, because LP could not get enough. She was pleased as punch that she could be independent on most rides in "Kiddyland" and ran off of one ride and on to the next. Because of the overcast skies (which fortunately did not turn into rain while we were there) the park was mostly deserted and many times she was the only kid on the the ride.

AK was pretty adventurous, but, alas, she did not meet the height requirements for most rides and there were only a handful she could go on with an adult. I was that adult. Most of the rides in Kiddyland that could accommodate me were spinny rides. Let's just say it was a good thing the food wasn't so great and I didn't eat much.

Next time the Hoos gets the unlimited ride bracelet and I get the spectator one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mommy's Big Girl(s)

It seems that I no longer have just one big girl - I have two. AK insists that she is four and LP, well, LP IS four.

Last night LP proactively provided assistance as I attempted to pack the girls' suitcase for vacation. She ran around picking out clothes and kept wanting to shove them in the bag. I had to remind her that it was important to make sure that we had everything and in the right quantities before we started packing it away. If she had her way she would only be wearing dresses and bathing suits - undergarments were seen as unnecessary until I intervened.

AK on the other hand was busy being a general nuisance:
  • pulling my shirt up and attempting to apply the deodorant she had pilfered from my dresser;
  • pulling herself up onto the vanity in the bathroom to rescue her toothpaste from the medicine cabinet (stashed there so she couldn't get her hands on it and EAT the entire tube); and
  • climbing INTO her crib - when the rail is down, she pulls the nursing stool over from the glider still in her bedroom, puts her feet on the mattress and them dives headfirst into the crib.

LP thought hanging out in the crib was a good idea and quickly joined AK. Fortunately I was able to impress upon both of them that they could not climb out of the crib - they had to ask me for help. LP could climb out - especially with the rail down but I don't want her giving AK any ideas. I am not ready to have both of my babies in beds. Never mind that LP was in a bed already when she was AK's age.

That being said, the vacation house we rented has several bedrooms - two of which have twin beds. My plan was to bring a bed rail and have AK sleep in a bed. I am just hoping that traipsing on the beach and eating ice cream all day will wear the girls out and they will each pass out in their respective beds without another thought. Wishful thinking? Should I just make sure there is room in the car for the pack and play?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Clowning Around

We had a fantastic and busy weekend.

Friday morning the girls and I hurried the technician servicing our air condition along so that we could catch the 10:30 am ferry from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson. We made it just in the nick of time and the Hoos waved us off from his office window (his office has a sweet view of Bridgeport Harbor and the Harbor Yard baseball stadium - too bad it is in Bridgeport). It was warm on the shores - but gorgeous on the water. LP enjoyed spotting jellyfish thanks to a recent infestation and AK loved following her sister around as they watched older kids play the arcade games so conveniently provided on the back deck of the boat.

We arrived in Pt. Jeff at 11:45 and were greeted by my parents. I helped them shuttle the girls to their car and then jumped back on to the same ferry to make the 12pm return trip to start my mini-vacation. I took advantage of the quiet time and got a manicure and a pedicure, did some grocery shopping and enjoyed dinner out with the Hoos.

After running errands Saturday morning we met the girls and my parents in Stamford to see the Big Apple Circus. It was their first circus and knowing how they weren't too keen on loud noises, we were a bit concerned as to how they would react - but the girls LOVED it. They were both transfixed and extremely well behaved.

Sunday the whole house slept until 8:15. Everyone was well-rested and happy when we packed up to got to a co-worker's house to enjoy her fabulous pool. The girls had looked forward to swimming all week - to the point that AK would chant "Julie's house! Julie's house! Pool!" on a daily basis. Too bad my colleague's name is Judy and the BBQ party was on Sunday...

AK continues to be fiercely independent insisting "I DO IT! I DO IT!" when I tried to catch her as she jumped into the pool. She is two. Don't they spend the first couple weeks of swimming lessons trying to get kids in to the pool? Isn't jumping a major accomplishment?

LP is not quite as brave as her little sister. She likes to be safe and secure and surrounded by grown-ups. She is one smart cookie.

All-in-all a great weekend that balanced relaxation, requirements and adventures.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feeling Lucky

This morning on my way to work I got pulled over.

First time ever.


I merge from one main road (the Hutch) on to a service road (Westchester Ave.) and then have to cut across two lanes of traffic to get on to another main road (287). It is a tough merge. Since our office move it is the path of least resistance to the new digs. It usually works out great if you speed up - except when you cut off a cop to do it.

Fortunately, I had a nice, attractive young cop who could tell I was a bit unnerved. I have never been pulled over before. I had a tough time identifying my registration (it was in the car, I just wasn't sure what it looked like).

He took my documents and returned to his car. And I waited. And then he brought my back my items, told me to be careful, and let me off with a warning.

From now on I will be the reallllllly cautious driver at every merge. You don't have to tell me twice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Miss Independent

At four, LP is completely independent and loves to show off. At two, AK thinks she is completely independent.

For example, on Saturday I took the girls to a birthday party at Pump It Up. As soon as they opened the doors, LP was off and running with her friends. AK was a bit clingy. About an hour into the party AK found her bounce legs and climbed up a ladder to a large slide followed by her big sister. When they got to the top, LP tried to convince AK to go down with her. AK was not enthused, but LP was not to be deterred - she just started down the slide and grabbed her sister's foot as she passed, dragging her along.

At the bottom, AK cried and I figured she was done with the slide for the duration. Instead she stopped crying, pulled herself up and returned to the ladder. Apparently it was not the slide that made her cry, but her sister. I stood in awe with a few other parents as my little peanut tumbled down the slide three or four times, determined to show that she didn't need help to have fun.

Later on in the weekend when my mother-in-law asked AK how old she was she confidently replied, "Four!" holding out five fingers.

Unfortunately independence is on the same gene as stubbornness and bossiness.

Yesterday marked AK's return to day care after a week-long absence. According to the Hoos, she was less than thrilled.

When they got to day care, she insisted they drop off LP first - a change from the normal routine. After he peeled LP off his leg they walked back down the hall to AK's class, she revealed her master plan, "Okay, [AK] home."

Nice try mini-muffin!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If You Say So

Last night as I was relaxing on the couch, a voice called out from the top of the stairs, "Mommyyyyyy. I'm scared."

I met LP at the top of the stairs with a cup of water and directed her back to bed. When I asked why she was scared she was non-committal; most likely because she couldn't think of the right words to eloquently say "I'm scared that I am missing something fun by going to bed."

I tucked her back in and tried to make a quick exit saying I had to go and take care of some stuff. "You mean the baseball game you are watching?" I am sure in writing that sounds really harsh, but it is actually comical because I WAS NOT WATCHING A BASEBALL GAME. I rarely watch baseball. And, besides, the Yankees were on the west coast and it was only 9pm so the game hadn't started.

Regardless, I nodded that yes, baseball was on my priority list and made my way out of her room. As I reached the stairs she called out, "Mommy? Are the jokers at your mom's house?"

This definitely caught my attention.


"The jokers? Are they at grandma's house?"

Now I have no idea what she is talking about. I didn't even think she knew the word "jokers". She is four, we don't play cards. And only really twisted people would use the word "jokers" in place of "clowns" in order to stimulate a fear of evil clowns without allowing a child to watch Poltergeist under the age of 10 (this may or may not have happened to me).

If anyone has a clue as to what is going on in LP's head, please advise. I am lost. Thanks in advance for your help.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Counting Chickens

When I went to the pediatrician the other day, the Doctor told me that croup usually lasts 3-5 days and that day 3 was usually the worst. Since AK's fever had started Sunday and it was Tuesday, I figured I was in for a rough night. But AK slept through the night. "Woo-hoo! AK is so strong and resilient and that steroid is the bee's knees," I thought smugly.

I was so wrong.

Tuesday was likely DAY 1 of the croup. It was the first day she had croup-specific symptoms. That would make last night, Thursday, Day 3.

Worst. Night. Ever.

Actually, I guess I can't say ever, but my memory is short due to complete exhaustion and I have blacked out some of AK's and LP's newborn nights. But, I was up every hour on the hour. Her breathing was a little jagged, but she wasn't gasping. She was just needy. As in needing to see me three or four or five or SIX times overnight.

So, if yesterday was day 3 and if AK was up all night, today should be a really mellow day at home. "Lord, I hope I am right this time," she thinks, not smug at all.