Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Think I've Lost the Love

I admit it. I have been a TV addict for my entire life. In the early years it was Romper Room and the Magic Garden. Followed by a very intense period of The Brady Brunch and Little House on the Prairie. My school years were defined by the evening sitcoms including Kate and Allie, the Cosby Show and Family Ties. Even in college, my suitemates and I made it a point to arrange our busy busy important schedules around the Thursday night line up so as not to miss a single episode of Friends.

At the beginning of this season, I was faithfully watching Brothers and Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice. Of course, that was supplemented by my CNN, TLC and FOOD TV shows. Yes, I even admit to watching Jon and Kate Plus Eight because, well, I am amazed that Kate makes it through each and every episode.

So, here's the problem. I've tried watching Brothers and Sisters and Grey's Anatomy since the strike ended and I think I've lost the love. There are nights that I don't even put the TV on anymore. Notice that I said nights. Noggin, PBS and Playhouse Disney are alive and well in my home, thank you very much.

I'd like to say I'm more productive but really I'm just spending more time online and less time knitting in front of the TV than I was. I've just transferred the obsession.

So, what about you? Are you enjoying the new episodes of your favorite shows? Is there a new (to me) show that I should try?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Second Child Syndrome

In the routine (read: chaos) of our daily lives, there is not a lot of time of extra activities. When my first daughter was 8 months old I had her enrolled in swimming lessons (I do not recommend that in the winter with a baby, by the way), music lessons and she was in daycare part time.

My second daughter does nothing. She is enrolled in nothing. Worse than that, I don't do as much with her as I did with my first child. The Who (the baby) is an easy baby and happy to amuse herself which is good since we spend most of the day in the car, or so it seems. Maybe now that gas has hit $3.79 for regular that will change.

Anyway, by the end of the day it is all that I can do to nurse the Who, sing a quick song and, run from the nursery. However, tonight I was feeling pretty comfortable in the glider so I picked up a book and started to read. Holy crap, that kid was excited. She started kicking her legs and belly laughing at the little rabbit in the story. She turned the pages and kept looking up at me like,"Really? We're really doing this? Praise the Lord, I've been waiting for you to read to me for like 8 months now."

So, Little Who, I am asking the internet to hold me responsible for my new resolution. I'm tickled that you enjoy reading like your mom, dad and big sister and I will make it a part of the daily routine.

Just don't go expecting kids at your birthday party or anything because you poor thing, you don't even know that kids under 3 exist, do you? Better go hide the pictures from older child's first birthday party before The Who catches on that her sister had tons of baby friends while we are raising her to be a loner.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4 Years and 2 Days Later

Since this blog is just months old and each birthday and anniversary has a story to tell, I thought I was going to share my oldest daughter's birth story with you this week as it is her birthday and all.

Once upon a time I was pregnant. The baby was a week late. I cried until the doctor agreed to induce me. Things were not smooth during my labor and delivery. I didn't know if the baby was a boy or girl. I have a beautiful and healthy daughter. The end.

Moving on.

What I've decided to focus on instead is the day I brought her home from the hospital. I'm still not sure the hospital made a wise decision letting us leave with the baby and no qualified personnel. I mean, we had tried to adopt a dog from the shelter a year before and we were turned down but the baby - sure, go ahead, take her. (Oh, and before you get all nervous, we love animals and our dog is alive, well and I think pretty damn happy. Screw those shelter people.)

I remember waking up that morning in the hospital and realizing that I needed to actually get both of dressed and out of there by 11 am. The task seemed insurmountable. Huh. That was kind of how I felt this morning trying to get out of the house. Clearly, not much has changed and this whole parenting thing is best done in pajamas. But I digress...

We did finally get dressed and even managed to get the baby buckled in to the carseat (with help from the nurse). I sat in the backseat with the baby while my husband drove us home. The baby slept peacefully the whole way. I thought this was going to be easy.

We went home and introduced the baby to our dog who immediately fell in love. We opened presents, visited with family and played around in the nursery. It was a wonderful, magical kind of day. The baby slept most of the day. She nursed well enough.

Then the sun went down, the visitors left and those baby eyes opened. She wailed. All. Night. Long. She did not nurse. She didn't do anything but cry. Neither did I.

Our days evened out from there and although she never went back to breastfeeding, we found our rhythym. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't change a thing. That wonderful first day home with her was worth the horror of the first night. Yet, I'm glad we don't have to do it again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Happens at a Passover Seder? Or at Least at Our Seders.

So, here's what happened in my own words.

Seder 1: Timeline

3:30 pm: We arrive at my parents house.
5 pm: Everyone else arrives at my parents house.
5:45 pm: I manage to get everyone sitting down at the table for the seder.
5:50 pm: My 4 year old joins her grandmother in the blessing over the candles. Everyone is very pleased - especially her father and I who are paying for that Jewish preschool.
5:51: Auntie's stomach hurts - and there is one less at the seder.
5:55 pm: Baby starts to indicate that it is time for some of that nice warm mommy's milk and bed.
6 pm: I start to beg my father to get on with this whole leaving Egypt thing.
6:01 pm: Both children hungry. Wasn't the whole point to move out of Egypt QUICKLY?
6:02 pm: I do the 4 questions.
6:13 pm: We start the festive meal
6:15 pm: Festive meal is over for me and begins for the baby. I nurse her in the bedroom and she falls asleep.
6:45 pm: I make my husband and older daughter stop eating and we all leave.
6:50 pm: We listen to a Passover CD in the car and pretend it is the second part of the seder.

Seder 2: Timeline

3:00 pm: We arrive at my inlaws
3:30 pm: We sit down for Seder. There is assigned seating. My husband is seated with his father and his brother at the opposite end of a 26 person table from me and his daughters. I get to sit between my girls.
3:50 pm: My 4 year old asks the 4 questions in Hebrew with her cousin. Cute.
4-5 pm: Seder and LOOONG conversation about how there was no stick margarine available for Passover this year. PLEASE Mother's Margarine people...for the love of G-d, MAKE THE DAMN MARGARINE NEXT YEAR.
5-6 pm: Festive Meal. 4 year old can't eat...too much socializing to do.
6 pm: We clear table. 4 year old is hungry.
6:15 pm: I go to nurse baby in the other room.
6:17 pm: Apparently that would be the room where the afikomen is so mad children start banging on the door.
6:23 pm: Baby says in her almost 8 month old language "Fuck this. Milk is so not worth it. Hand me a cookie and let's call it a night"
6:24 pm: Afikomen found. My daughter's 86 year old uncle asks her what she wants for an afikomen present. My daughter answers without hesitation, "A disco ball." No one had one handy.
6:27 pm: We sing happy birthday to my daughter who would turn 4 the next day. Everyone asks how old she is. She insists that she is 3 and she is right. It is not until we ask how old she will be the next day that she will say 4.
6:30 pm: Dessert and finish the seder service.
7 pm: In the car!
7:10-7:17 pm: Baby and Mommy sleep.
7:17 pm: 3- not yet 4- year old decides enough of that and begins to wail. I want a bath. I want a book. I want my dog. Over and over and over again. If you were on the Tappan Zee Bridge Sunday night, I'm sorry. That loud noise was us. Same goes for Westchester and much of Connecticut.
9 pm: We get home with everyone still wide awake.
9:02 pm: Older daughter asleep.
10ish pm: Baby asleep.

And this is why the holiday won't happen again for a year.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What Is In That Big Bag?

I am joining in the What's in Your Bag fun. Thanks Maggie

My most favorite Petunia Picklebottom Diaper Bag:

Some dirty socks and dirty spoons:

Oh, look there is a diaper (yes, just one) in there and some wipes:

Too many books for a 7 month old, a change of clothes that no longer fits and is not weather appropriate, my wallet and a toy:

Now let's talk about what's missing. I took these pictures Wednesday night after I took both kids on a day trip. Where are the snacks? Where is the change of clothes for the older child who is too stubborn to use the potty as she should? Sunscreen? Sippy cups? I'm going to repack right now in case we do this blog confessional thing again - um, I mean so that we can go out this afternoon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

10 Things I Love About Motherhood

I promised this post a while ago...

1. Goodnight kisses.
2. The way the baby smells right after a bath.
3. The excitement that a flower or rainbow sprinkles can add to the day.
4. Baby giggles.
5. Listening to an almost 4 year old voice singing songs with some of the words right. I am still trying to figure out why she thinks the word Walgreens is in the Miss Spider theme song...
6. Reliving some of my favorite childhood memories. We've been singing lots of songs about Pharaohs and Frogs with Pasover coming up this weekend.
7. Learning more about myself and how it really is possible to love my girls equally and yet, so differently.
8. Baby clothes - we're being honest here right?
9. Nuggles - also known as snuggles or cuddles. There is nothing in this whole world better than nuggling with my girls.
10. Reading with my girls. I love watching them learn.

Stay tuned for exciting things like exactly what is in my diaper bag and a proposed blogging merger...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


While we were driving home this afternoon my daughter called me Dad. Then she said, "Oops. Sorry, I made a mistake. Mistakes happen. No big deal." Of course, I quickly agreed with her and repeated, "Mistakes happen. No big deal." Meanwhile, my head was screaming that every mistake matters and mistakes are never a big deal.

What is wrong with me? I don't like mistakes and I don't like losing. I'm also not so great on seeing the middle ground. If my daughter has a no potty accidents all day then she must be fully trained. If my baby drinks a little bit of water from a sippy cup then she must be ready for 8 oz of milk from one. I realized, on our long trip home today, that in my mind there is no room for my girls to develop a skill gradually. Once they show that they can do something I expect it from them 100% of the time.

I expect the same from myself. If I can stay up writing until 11 pm one night then I should be able to do it every single night.

Maybe it's the warm spring air that is telling me to relax a little bit. Maybe it's the old friend whom I spent a lovely day with today, miss terribly and only get to see twice a year. I don't know and I don't really care.

What I do know is that I am going to try and calm down a little bit and spend a little more time enjoying my girls - mistakes (mostly mine) and all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coming Home Again

I lived away from my home town for 13 years. I moved away to go to college in upstate New York right after graduating from high school. I choose the University of Rochester for a lot of reasons. One of which was that it was a 6 hour car ride from my home town. At 18, I wanted to start over. At 22, I decided to go to law school in Boston. I was closer to home but I wasn't going to run into people in the supermarket, if you know what I mean. I stayed in the Boston area for 9 years.

When my older daughter was 13 months old, my husband and I moved our family back to my home town. I missed my parents and I wanted them to be a bigger part of our daughter's life. I didn't know it then but I missed my old friends too. Part of the reason that I didn't go to college closer to home or return home for the 9 years after college was, I thought, because I wanted to start over. I didn't.

I love having some of my friends from elementary - high school back in my life. I love the memories that we share and the trust that I have in them. If I need a doctor referral or someone to watch my girls then I know who to call without a second thought. I enjoy watching their children grow up and I am grateful that our children are friends.

I guess, when I think about, that it is not a surprise that I am friends with these old school friends again. We were friends for a reason way back when.

What I find interesting is how connected I feel with other people from the area. There's a shared history here. I'm comfortable. Today, I was talking to a friend I met about a year ago. She is not from this area but, it turns out that her mother is from this area. And her mom grew up with my mom and they were great friends. Now we are and so are our kids.

All of this - the family, the old friends and the new friends - were worth coming home for.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

How To Have A GREAT Birthday Party for Your 4 Year Old

Those whole post can be summed up in 6 words: Don't Have It At Your House.

This is the first party we've had for one of our kids that has not been at our home. It cost me less money. I had (almost) no stress (keep reading). I didn't have to clean my house or entertain 15 four year olds. I spent time this weekend playing with my daughters instead of yelling at them while I struggled to get ready for the party. I spent the birthday party watching my daughter and her friends enjoy themselves and not painting or serving food. I can't think of one single downside.

That said, I don't regret having her first three parties at my house. I enjoyed thinking about the crafts we'd do and making fun invitations and themed goody bags. I am looking forward to doing the same for her sister.

Oh - and that little bit of stress I hinted at earlier would not have been avoided if the party at been at our house. This morning my darling daughter woke up and told me today was her birthday party and that it was going to be a "fancy dress up pirate party". Well, she had not mentioned that before so it wasn't a "fancy dress up pirate party" and when I told her that her eyes filled up with tears. She didn't have a tantrum that I could easily say no to. She was simply sad. So, her grandmother picked up some pirate paper goods and we added a "fancy dress up pirate" element to her party.

The Mote's actual birthday isn't until April 21 - so be prepared for some reflections, birth stories etc. in the coming days.

Friday, April 11, 2008

One Big Game of Luck

Do you ever feel like your parenting style is one big game of luck? I've read "the" books, I've followed advice from other moms whom I respect, and I've gone with my gut.
Yet, none of things have worked as well as plain old luck for me.

For example, my 7 1/2 month old is still hit and miss about night time sleeping. However, she sleeps much better if she's holding this:

Go figure. We obviously didn't say, hey, kid want to take the crab in the crib and see if that makes you sleep? We've tried substituting the crab for other sea life of similar proportions.

She won't have them. This, of course makes me dread what happens when said crab gets too disgusting to use or gets lost.

Then there is her sister who is 10 days shy of four years old. I will admit that we didn't fight over her hair for the first 18 months of her life. She had no hair. The past 2 1/2 years have been a different story. She battles with me every single morning about brushing her hair - never mind pigtails or a bow! However, if she can stand between Emily and Madison for dance pictures then she is willing to let me do this:

I wonder if Emily and Madison would pose for pictures with her before school every morning?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Alternate Title: This Time I was Outsmarted by My Older Daughter

Maybe I should just start each post by telling you which child I was outdone by because these days it seems to be one or the other.

Here is my conversation with the soon to be 4 year old this morning.

Me: You are going on a special adventure with Nona (grandmother) this afternoon.
Her: What time do I have to be home?
Me: Around 6.
Her: I want to stay out later.
Me: It's a school night. You'll have dinner with Nona and then come home for bath and bed.
Her: I want to stay out until 10 o'clock.
Me: No.
Her: I want to stay out until zero o'clock.
Me: Giggles. Ok. (clearly I think I've won this battle)
Her: Great...the only o'clock that has a zero is 10. The rest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 do not. So, you said I can stay out until 10 o'clock.
Me: Stares at her and silently damns the preschool and all their fancy counting stuff.

And this is our conversation when she is about to be 4. I live in dread of our conversation when she is about to be 14.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Share Your Favorite Blog Day

Since what is clearly lacking in my life is spending time on the computer, I am always looking for fun new blogs to read. I've shared some of my favorite life / parenting blogs with you on the right and my knitting blog has some of my favorite knitting reads.

I'd love to check out some of yours. Come on, feed my procrastintion instinct. I promise to read them and I promise I will still vacuum so that the baby is not rolling in dirt.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

And Now I have to Vacuum (Oh, how I hate that)

So, the baby is now 7 months old. This week she has discovered that she can get wherever she needs to go by either rolling or slithering like a snake on her belly. That little old receiving blanket that I could put her on last Monday is just a joke now. She's off it before I stand back up.

In an effort to keep her clean I put a big blanket down on the rug. Ok, it was a little bit of an effort to keep her clean and a big effort to protect my rug from her spit up.

It didn't work.

First, she wrapped herself up in the blanket.

Then, she ended up on the rug anyway as the dog settled down for a long nap on the blanket.

I guess cleaning is the only option left.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Technologically Challenged

That's me.

I tried to subscribe to a whole bunch of RSS feeds on Wednesday. I admit I was slightly suspicious when even my MSNBC news feed wasn't updated in 48 hours. So, I checked the blogs and I missed a whole bunch of posts yesterday.

What am I missing? Seriously, I don't get it. Is it worth trying to figure out or should I just scroll through all of my blogs a few times a day like I do now?

Of course, now it feels like a challenge. It's me against these damn "REALLY Simple" Syndication feeds. Somewhere, someone is laughing about me not being able to figure out the REALLY SIMPLE YOU DUMB ASS computer function. I WILL figure this out (oh, and any and all assistance would be MUCH appreciated). Thanks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Love Is In the Art

When I picked The Mote up from school yesterday there were several masterpieces in her mailbox. I'd like to share two special ones with you.


No longer will we use the age old "my dog ate my homework" excuse. Since, The Mote's little sister actually took a bite out of her artwork. It wasn't my fault Actually, it was all my fault. I was chatting with a parent and holding the baby and the artwork in my hand. When we got to the car The Who was covered in marker.


A love letter? A ransom note? Any guesses?

The Mote was absent last Thursday and Friday. We came back this week to lots of love notes and other stuff some of her friends made for her. We loved them all including this one! The Mote has made some very special friends.