Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Love (the 2010 Edition)

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

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Something New and Different

I am concerned that LP and AK are not related.

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

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

See what I mean?

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Little Things


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

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

The Hoos

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things that Go Bump in the Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Reason for the Season

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Setting Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Killing Me Softly

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

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

I just have NO IDEA HOW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need I say more?