Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Desperate times

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Today I actually found myself trying to teach A how to suck her thumb at age 2.

Mommy: "You know, when I was your age I sucked my thumb. Like this. Suck, suck. It helped me sleep. Maybe you should try it..."

A: "Ulgh mommy. Thumb yucky."

Mommy: "Sigh. I suppose, but just think about it in the middle of the night, OK? Suck, suck."

Our dentist would just flip if he heard that conversation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

This is what I get for trying to be efficient

Instead of hauling both kids, soccer gear, and the other necessary items for a day at the park out to the car all at once, I decided this morning that I would shlep all of the gear out long before it was actually time to go. In theory, I could then just walk out the door dragging two children behind without also struggling with bags and sippys and soccer balls. Except in one of the bags were my keys. And when I tossed the bag into the trunk, the car alarm got set off. Locking the car doors. With my keys in the car.

Somewhere in this house there is another set of car keys, I swear. But the time I am going to spend trying to find them (because why would we keep the spare keys on the KEY RACK?) is going to far outweigh the extra time it would have taken to just get everything and everyone out the door at once. That's karma for you.

In the middle of the night

The middle of the night seems to be my favorite time to have a panic attack. When no one is awake to distract me, and I don't want to wake M because we get so little sleep as it is thanks to dear A's nighttime antics. Plus, I know he doesn't quite get it, and gets frustrated by his inability to do anything to help. Last night was a particularly horrid night. It took many hours to get A to bed, then she woke up screaming at 1 or 2 am and couldn't be calmed easily. I lost my temper, and went back to bed leaving her in her room while I calmed down instead. After many interventions, she finally went back to bed, but by this point I was pissed and wide awake.

Then my left shoulder started burning and I thought "That's it, I'm having a heart attack." And I lay there fretting about it, which of course made my shoulder hurt even more. I tried all the various mantras therapists have given me at one point or another. I tried the deep breathing from Lamaze, but couldn't quite remember it and just ended up hyperventilating. I tried reciting Goodnight Moon and Moo, Baa, La La La. Nothing really work and I just lay in bed silently freaking out until my shoulder finally stopped hurting and I could fall back asleep.

Logically I know that at 34, especially after having every heart test possible short of an angiogram because of my palpitations, the likelihood of actually having angina or a heart attack is almost impossible. But in the middle of the night, the little voice in my head latches onto the "almost" and reminds me of all the horror stories one reads in women's magazines about young mothers having undiagnosed heart disease, or cancer, or whatever the deadly disease du jour might be. Logically, I know I fixate on heart disease because I saw my father-in-law have a heart attack, flatline, and get shocked back to life less than 24 hours before A was born (thanks postpartum hormones). But I don't know why I can't let go of the fear like almost everyone else in the world is able to do.

During the day, I can now shrug off most of my panic attacks by keeping busy, taking the kids out to the park, the grocery store, or calling a friend. But once the rest of the world is asleep it is just me and my fear. I wish I could send it to the moon with A's Trader Joe's balloons, or vanquish it with a monster spray. But somehow, the tricks that work with small children don't quite work as a grownup. So in the middle of the night I am forced to take on my fears alone and at the moment they seem to have the upper hand.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Last night, I dreamt I was having a huge BBQ. And guess who was there??? No, come one, guess! All of you! It was actually a grand party. Her Bad Mother brought the koolaid (Really! I swear!) Phantom brought the chocolate, Lisel and Little Duck rode bikes with A and C. Kristen was there in a very cute outfit, Jennifer and Beachmama inspected my garden and jo(e)'s kids supplied us with music. Kristy, Rebecca and Gina hung out near the grill and supervised the making of hot dogs and kabobs (thank you ladies, you did a wonderful job!). Kdubs showed off her adorable pregnant belly by the picnic table, and Suzanne and Landismom discussed my bookcase contents on the sun porch. Steph supervised the girls in dress up activities (somehow I had acquired a whole wardrobe of princess costumes...) and Barbara was in charge of the potato sack races.

Many, many others were milling about, and I think a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, A woke me up in the middle of the dream, so I didn't get to enjoy my party for all that long. But it was lovely! And fun! So please, feel free to come again. And if I disappear because of a screaming child, please talk amongst yourselves and help yourself to the contents of my fridge.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Perhaps this one is more appropriate...

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you lovable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

For M

I saw this at Phantom's and had to take the quiz for M, who is a die-hard Star Trek fan.

Your results:
You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed,
and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable.
That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first
episode you appeared in.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

I always knew I was invisible...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tree-Hugging Liberal

At the drugstore the other day I caved and bought the kids dolphin shaped water guns, called "Water Squirts."

C: "Water guns! Cool!"

Mommy :" No, no, they are not water guns, they are water squirts."

C: "Well, you can call them that if you want I suppose, but really, they are water guns mom."

They ARE. NOT. Water guns. They are WATER SQUIRTS.

I knew I should have stuck with the squirt bottles.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Of dollars and dimes, cleaning ladies and bad rhymes

It's been a while since I posted, but really nothing of note has happened, and my thoughts have been somewhat mundane. "Should I fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher? Why is it so hard to open string cheese? Will my children every eat a protein source other than dairy again?"

No one is even looking at the house, let along buying it, so we've finding that a bit hysteria provoking. I mean, NO ONE has even come through in almost two weeks, except for the nosy neighbors at the open house on Sunday. And no, my house is not being kept nearly as clean as it should. What's the point? Since we put the house on the market, not a single person has come through mid-week. It's still much cleaner than it would be if we weren't trying to sell it, but I'm not vacuuming up the cat hair four times a day anymore.

Given the fact that no one is looking at my house, I've been busy trying to figure out how to save money as clearly we will be carrying both houses for a while. I know this means I need to scale back or get rid of the wondrous woman who cleans our house and babysits once a week. While she may not be God's gift the cleaning ladies, she is by for the best babysitter I have ever had, and the kids would freak. And I might lose my sanity. But really, that is my biggest household expense outside of groceries, and as hard as I try I can't seem to scale back the grocery budget much as my kids eat more than a normal adult in a given day.

In the name of frugality, I have also refrained from enrolling the kids in any summer activities except for a week of day camp around the time that we were originally supposed to be moving. At the time, the ability to hang out all day sounded lovely, now that we are two days from the end of school for the year, I'm getting a bit concerned about our ability to occupy ourselves all day in a house that has to be kept clean. There are only so many hours one can spend at the town pool. Or are there? I guess we will soon find out.

Thankfully it has been so cold that there has been no need to turn on the AC. While I would love to just keep it off this summer, at least during the day, a friend pointed out that I actually can't do that while trying to sell as I want to show off the fact there is AC inn a three hundred+ year old home. I also suppose if I got around to potty training the clearly ready A that would both keep us occupied and save us money in diapers, but the stress of it all seems so overwhelming right now. Perhaps I should start buying lottery tickets instead....

Any other budget cutting ideas from anyone? Outside of cutting back on my wine consumption that is. While the cleaning lady/babysitter may be negotiable, my daily glass of wine is not...but perhaps I could, gulp, give two buck chuck a try again. Or not.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A language quagmire

As I was knotting strings so C could do a lacing pattern:

Mommy: "There! Go knot happy!"

C: "Are you unhappy mommy?"

Mommy: "No, I'm rather chipper today. Why?"

C: "Well, you said 'Go not happy' and that doesn't make any sense."

Mommy: "Oh, I meant knot as in tying knots, not not as in no..."

C: "Huh?"

Mommy: "Knot as is k-n-o-t not n-o-t...oh, damn the English language."

C: "Mommy, Mrs. K says damn isn't a nice word."

Mommy: "Grrr."

C: "I'm still a little confused about the k-n-o-t thing..."

Mommy: "Double grrr."

Six more things about me

A long, long time ago I promised HeatherJ a meme on six things about me. Not six weird things, just six things. Which you would think would be easier than the six weird things, but after revealing 100 things about me not so long ago, finding six more that weren't redundant or boring was a bit of a challenge. Especially since those of you who have been reading along for a while know the pseudo-interesting ones, like that I grew up on a farm or that A's insomnia can be tracked right back to me, or that I stink at arts and crafts activities. And those of you who are newer, well, I've just caught you up. But without further ado, here are six guarantees.

1) I'm addicted to Diet Coke. These days it is caffeine free Diet Coke, but I still drink several a day. I know it is supposed to give you cancer, and my MIL is convinced that it is the reason for all of my heart and other health issues, but it is the one vice I have left. Well, that and my glass (or two) of wine after the kids go to bed, but really, that's medicinal. It's either the wine or a whole bunch of tranquilizers, and hey, they claim wine is good for the heart. So I went with wine.

2) I don't relax well. I keep trying spa weekends, massages, yoga, yadda yadda yadda, but I just end up feeling antsy and making snide comments to myself as I sit there pretending to be relaxed. Like "Explain to me again why having a total stranger rub my shoulders is supposed to be relaxing?" Or "Ommmmmm, ommmmmmm, Hmmmm. All this ommmmming is a bit like drinking the koolaid, you know? Do people actually lose themselves in the 'ommmmm'?" So we come back to the glass (or two) of wine as my preferred relaxation technique.

3) I do believe in pedicures. By professionals. I don't relax when getting them, but I feel strongly that my toes must be a shade of pink or red at all times. Perhaps it is because I have huge feet and I think that the colored toes will distract from the fact that at 5'2" I wear a size 9 and 1/2. I also believe in eyebrow waxing. I've given up the manicures, however. There seemed to be no point since 20 minutes later I was inevitably digging in the dirt or scraping off grilled cheese goo and finger paint with my nails.

4) I love to bargain shop. Even when I can afford to pay full price I refuse to do so. And have frequently missed out on something I really wanted because it was sold out by the time the sales hit, but I can't help myself. I also feel the need to tell everyone about my bargains. In fact, I'll share with you my bargain of the summer, and it is not even Memorial Day! These shoes, retailing for $80 and I got them on eBay for less than $30. Because really, how many women with a size 9 and 1/2 foot shop for shoes on eBay? Aren't they cute? Incredibly comfortable too.

5) I'm looking forward to being a soccer mom. Not for the reasons one might think, but because it will be someone else's responsibility to run my kids into the ground and tire them out while I sit on the sidelines and cheer. Or try to sneak in a few pages of my book. My kids seem to need much more physical activity than I have the energy to provide in the backyard or playground. Which is why we have signed up for so many sporting activities. But since my participation is still required at most of them, it's still exhausting. And yet, they still don't sleep.

6) I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, besides being a soccer mom that is. And I don't really think that's a lucrative career. If anyone has any brilliant ideas, please feel free to share. I figure I still have a few years before A hits first grade, but I should probably start working on a plan now. If only to keep myself sane...

So there you go. Six sort of new things about me. I won't subject anyone else to a tag on this one since it took me so long to get around to it you've all probably done it, but if you haven't done it yet and you want to do some introspection, go for it!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You can take the girl out of New England

but her language stays the same....

Your Linguistic Profile::
60% Yankee
30% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bottles and Boobs

A few days ago, A and I were naming body parts and she pointed to my chest and asked "What that for?" C jumped in with "Mommy milk A! Don't you remember mommy milk?" A looked at me questioningly and I concurred with C. "Yes A, that's where you and C got milk when you were babies." She started to laugh. "Silly Mommy! Milk come in bottle. See?" And she held up her baby's bottle. I had to resist the urge to scoop up all of the play bottles in the house and throw them out. Actually, Rebecca finally talked me down. If I had been left to my own devices, the bottles would have been gone and I would have been explaining to my two year old about milk production and latch issues.

I never intended to be a breastfeeding fanatic. I began my breastfeeding experience by saying "I'm just going to try it and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out." I was particularly squeamish about the nursing in public thing, and worried about my ability to be the sole source of nutrition for my child. It was just too much responsibility. But somehow between the theoretical breastfeeding class I took while pregnant with C and the traumatic weaning of A at 12 months because I had to go on some medicines incompatible with breastfeeding, I became a raving advocate.

Without the many supports I received when I was trying to establish a nursing relationship with C, I never would have made it as far as I did. I was incredibly lucky in both my inadvertent choice of obstetrician and my default selection of the only pediatrician I had a chance to interview before delivering C earlier than planned. The hospital my OB had privileges at just happened to be a teaching hospital that also trained lactation consultants along with the doctors and nurses. So in the days after C made his appearance in this world there were lactation consultants in and out of my hospital room almost as frequently as the 43 billion doctors, residents and interns. After discharge, they offered a free walk-in breastfeeding clinic and I was a repeat customer there; they sent C a first birthday card.

My first pediatrician turned out to be a devout breastfeeding advocate who insisted at every visit that I just had to keep going. He had a lactation consultant on staff, with whom I was also on a first name basis (can you tell we had some issues?). His office sponsored a nursing mom's group through which I met enough other nursing moms to feel like I wasn't the only mommy in Manhattan who didn't formula feed. Between the hospital staff, the pediatrican's office, and the knowledge that I wasn't alone, I kept going even when I wanted to quit. And I have never regretted pushing through the hard times.

Fast forward two years, and although I delivered A in the same hospital, the lactation program had been scaled back and since I was a second time mom, I didn't rank high enough to warrant any support from overextended staff. My new pediatrician, while herself a proponent of breastfeeding, did not have nurses who knew anything about the nursing process. At one point when I called with a question about A's weight gain, I was told "I don't know what to tell you if you are still nursing." When I called for support while I was trying to work out a way to temporarily transition her to formula because I had to undergo some tests that would require me to stop nursing for a week, I got better advice from my cardiologist's nurse than my pediatrican's. I frequently thought to myself, "Thank god I know what I'm doing here, but what about the women who don't?"

If I had been a first time mother, I never would have continued nursing A because I didn't get any positive support or helpful advice from the medical personel I was interacting with on a regular basis. And, in fact, I finally weaned because my doctor convinced me to to try some medicine even though my heart condition was not life-threatening and the probability of the drugs working was fairly low. But at the time I was so stressed out and hysterical over my flip-floppy heart, I was incapable of questioning the medical system, which is probably how most first time moms who are interested in nursing but give up because their doctors tell them to must feel.

As I watch A lovingly give her baby dolls bottles, I know that whether you breast or bottlefeed doesn't change how you love and cherish your child. And I would never encourage someone who was being made miserable by the experience to continue. But on the one year anniversary of weaning A, I wish that everyone who wanted the experience of nursing a child could receive the encouragement and support that they need to nurse as long as they desire.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Baby Book Entry

Four years into the game I still eagerly await my children's routine checkups. I'm not sure why, I know I'm not going to learn anything earth-shattering about their development, and I am no longer worried that the doctor is going to pick up on anything I have missed. I suppose it is just knowing that I will get affirmation from an outside, somewhat impartial, observer that my children are indeed growing well and doing age appropriate things.

Yesterday A had her two year pediatrician's appointment, and all went well. She's moved into the 25% for weight (Go A!) and dropped into the 50% for height, which is to be expected given the short stature of her parents. Although C has never dropped in height and is currently slated to hit 6'4" or so, A's chart said she should hit a more manageable 5'4".

In typical fashion, A refused to participate in any of the games Dr. S wanted to play. "A, can you jump over the tongue depressor?" A stared at her, shrugged, picked it up and handed it back. "A, throw the paper towel to me!" A looked at it, walked over to the trash can and threw it out. "A, is this a cat or a dog?" Stony silence. Dr. S finally gave up and relied on me for input. "Yes, she jumps. Yes, she throws. Yes, she knows what a cat is. Yes, she speaks in paragraphs, we have no issues with language development."

Then came the 10 million dollar question: "How does she sleep?" Pause, maniacal laughter from me. "Sleep? Oh, that. Yeah, she doesn't." After detailing A's sleep habits, the pediatrician looked at her, shrugged, and said "Huh. I'm so sorry. Well, keep putting her back in her bed and she'll eventually figure it out." Which is precisely what I knew she would say, but I had this glimmer of hope that maybe there was some new sleeping technique that the internets hadn't stumbled upon yet. On the upside, it turns out she is getting her two year molars, and one is already partially through, so I can pretend that perhaps this has just been the longest teething episode known to man.

Dr. S wouldn't let us leave her office until we caught up on the vaccination schedule, so A finally had the dreaded MMR shot, which she disliked immensely. But she was a trooper for the blood draw; probably helped by the fact that the nurse's assistant held out a glittery orange plastic bracelet during the sticking procedure, promising A that she could put it on as soon as it was over. That bracelet is now A's prize possession, and she lovingly shows it to all she meets.

So, yet another routine appointment is over, coming to the conclusion I knew it would, that my daughter is healthy and developmentally on target. But I still feel a sense of relief in the small corner of my mind that still worries that she hasn't put on weight, even though the bags of clothes I need to donate someplace beg to differ.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The short and long of it

C: "Mommy, is your temper still short or is it a little bit long now?"

Mommy: "Well, if you put it that way it...giggle, giggle..."

C: "Maybe if we took rests, it would be even longer!"

Mommy: "I am SURE it would be longer if you and A took rests. Are you going to take a rest?"

C: "No, I was just commenting."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ha, ha ha.

C: "Mommy, come dance with us!"

Mommy: "I think I'm just going to sit and watch. It's been a really long day and I am tired."

C: "It's been a really long day for me too, but I never get tired! Never, ever tired!"

A: "Yeah. Not tired! Nedder edder tired!"

Mommy: "So I see. Dance, dance dance..."

On your mark, get set...

Start reading! I procured a copy of Biting the Dust and the first ten pages seem quite promising. I already have several things I am dying to write about. So get on over to your library or bookstore, or troll the bookcases of friends (which is actually how I found my copy if you can believe it) and get going! I am arbitrarily going to set the "meeting" date for June 19, which gives you a little over a month.

Go, read, enjoy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Two going on sixteen

A comes rushing up while we are playing outside.

A: "Mom, I need money."

Mommy: "Excuse me?"

A: "I need money."

Mommy: "Why?"

A: "Uh, because."

Mommy: "What are you going to buy with the money A? I'm not just going to hand over money without knowing how it is going to be spent!"

A: "Uh, I go to store!"

Mommy: "What are you going to get at the store?"

A: "Uh, stuff!"

I finally hand over some papers from my pocket and deem it enough money for a book. A rushes off to the pretend car and heads off to the corner of the yard that is doubling as the store today. She quickly turns around and comes back.

A: "Mom, Need more money?"

Mommy: "MORE? What did you get?"

A: "Now I need gas!"

Monday, May 08, 2006

On a park bench

As I raced through town to get C to preschool at a somewhat respectable hour this morning, I passed by several moms sitting on park benches, alone, staring into Snap-and-Go's with a look I remember all so well. The "Oh my God, what am I supposed to do with you all day," look. I so remember sitting on a similar park bench in a different city with that same look on my face, envying the moms barreling along with a preschooler and baby in tow. "THOSE women have places to go, people to chat with, things to fill their day. I can't wait until I get to THAT stage," I would whine to myself.

I am now one of the parents I envied four years ago. C has three mornings of preschool, one afternoon of swimming, one morning of gymnastics, and one morning of soccer (can you tell we're into sports here at Chez J-E?). And having activities to structure a day around wasn't the cure-all I thought it would be. In fact, I often wonder whether the stress of trying to get the kids to school and various activities looking somewhat presentable and somewhat on time is really worth the trouble. As after spending 45 minutes convincing C that one cannot wear pajamas to preschool and A that swimsuits are only to be worn in the water, and after searching for missing shoes and collecting the various equipment required for the day's activity, I'm exhausted and ready for a nice nap.

But four years ago, as I sat on the park bench, friendless and bored silly staring into the Snap-n Go, I thought that I would meet lots of interesting people and have lots of stimulating conversations at all of the enriching activities in which we would someday be enrolled. Instead, I discovered that everyone is in a rush to get an errand done, grab a moment of silence, or tend to the needs of a younger sibling. So while there is some idle chit chat while waiting for your child to emerge from the pool or classroom, activities are not the instant parent-bonding mecca I once thought they would be when C was a baby.

But although the hustle and bustle of life with a toddler and preschooler is not quite what I imagined while sitting on that park bench, there are many things that I didn't realize four years ago that I wish I had stopped to share with those moms. Like the fact that in just a few short months they will get a smile, then a laugh, then a hug and kiss from the dozing blob they are staring at. I wish I had told them that those smiles and giggles will go a long way towards making the long days seem shorter. And not only because they will spend hours trying to figure out the exact combination of funny faces, funny voices, and silly outfits that might garner that smile, laugh, and kiss.

I wish I had stopped to tell them that really, they should really keep a book or a copy of the New York Times under that Snap-and Go like my friend Karen, who would stop and sit on the nearest object resembling a seat the instant her baby fell asleep and start reading. Because a year from now, they'll never quite be able to find the time to read.

I wish I had pointed out that if they just got up the nerve to walk two benches over and introduce themselves to the other new parent sitting there, they might just find the first of a string of mommy friends. But most of all, I wish I had told them that in four years, they would be racing around looking at the new parents wondering where the time went.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I scared

A: "Mommy! I scared! I scared!"

Mommy: "A, It's bedtime. What are you scared of?

A" I scared of monsters. I scared of monsters."

Mommy: "Excuse me?"

A: "I scared of monsters. There! Monster there!"

Mommy stands there perplexed as A starts crying hysterically and cowering in the corner of her bed.

Mommy: "Monsters? Really? "

A: "Monsters! There! Turn light on!"

Mommy: "OK, OK. See, no monsters!"

After 15 minutes or so, I finally got her settled down, but I remain perplexed. I'm unclear how she learned she should be afraid of monsters. We haven't watched and shows about monsters except Sesame, and while Elmo may be scary to me, he's not exactly the stuff children's nightmares are made of. We haven't read any books featuring scary monsters. This seems to have come out of the blue.

C has never had a scared of the dark or monsters phase, so I am a little unclear how to proceed here. Any thoughts from been there done that parents?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Overheard at bedtime

C: "Mommy, I think we need to have a little talk."

Mommy: "OK, what do we need to talk about?"

C: "We need to have a little talk about my behavior at playgroup this afternoon."

Mommy: "Ok, what do you want to say?"

C: I think you should go first."

Mommy: "When I told you no more snacks because it was dinnertime and we were leaving, and then you shoved food into your mouth and yelled at me, it made me mad. Snacks are lovely and yummy, but not necessarily healthy and good for us like dinner. And when I tell you not to do something, I expect you to listen to me."

C: "I'm sorry. I was mad at you."

Mommy: "I know you were. I was mad at you too. You weren't listening very well."

C: "You weren't listening to me either."

Mommy: "I was listening to you C, but sometimes I can't let you do what you want to do. Sometimes it is my job to say no."

C: "Sometimes it is my job to disobey you."

Mommy: (stifling a laugh): "I suppose you could look at it that way, but did you have a good time this afternoon?"

C: "No, not really."

Mommy: "Me neither. Maybe next time we could talk like this instead of yelling."

C (doubtful): "I suppose, but I think we will probably yell. But even when I yell at you, I love you."

Mommy: "I love you too C."

C: "Tomorrow, I will try to listen better. I think we're done with our talk now. Can we read my book?"

A house showing of disastrous proportions

Strange voice: "Uh, there seems to be someone in the shower?"


There is a big DO NO SHOW BETWEEN 1 and 3 pm on the listing sheet. And a big CALL OWNER BEFORE SHOWING. I even had the phone in the bathroom in case someone didn't read the first part. It never occurred to be that someone wouldn't read both parts.

I may never be able to shower again. Except maybe at midnight.


I should be at the gym right now. Both my children are happily playing at their respective schools, and I am even dressed in workout clothes. But when I got to the gym, there were no parking places. I could have circled a bit, I could have parked up the street and walked back, I could have done many things. Instead I shrugged, decided that I might still have a sinus infection and that really, I should just go home, sip decaf coffee on the back stoop, and finish the book that I so desperately want to like but just can't quite get into. So I have only myself to blame when I go to put on my swimsuit in a few short weeks and groan about that still flabby two years after childbirth belly. Perhaps I should be investing in one of those miracle suits instead of a gym membership....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Advocacy run amuck

Go here, read this. Then come on back.

OK. So you know I am all for giving moms a break. Hell, I could use a day off. In fact I would love a day off. I will proclaim my undying affection for anyone who volunteers to take my children for a day so I can do something, anything, other than referee sibling battles. But under no circumstances do I think government should be wasting their time on this issue. Don't you think governors have something better to do? Like, I dunno, figure out how to lower gas prices or, gasp, work on improving health care? And besides, who is going to give the working moms a day off? And what about the stay-at-home-dads? Because really, I think they need the day off too. Fair is fair.

Still dying to email your elected officials about something? Try out these campaigns for size instead.

Book Club Beginings

Way back when, I promised y'all a book club :-). And then life got in the way. Plus, I couldn't find a book that I though would be enjoyable yet provoke debate. But thanks to Chaotic Mom, I think I have found our book. Let me know what you think. It struck me as a good idea at 6 am in the morning as I looked around my dust bunny-laden family room and wondered "And who said there was anything wrong with a few dust bunnies anyway?" But I won't be at all offended if I'm the only one interested in reading about the history of housework. It's a little odd, I know.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


An uneasy truce seems to have been reached in regards to A's sleep. I believe the nap, she is a gone. We are on day three of no nap, and A, while cranky at the end of the day, flat out refuses to have anything to do with her bed, or the hardwood floor, at nap time. She has, however, agreed to sit in her bed with the lights on and read her books. I got 45 minutes out of her today and yesterday, which in the grand scheme of things is more than I could have hoped for.

In return for not forcing the nap issue, she seems more willing to stay in her bed at bedtime. Not more willing to sleep, oh no, not that, but at least I am not being held captive in the hallway by a not quite two year old. As I type she is singing "Sunglasses at Night" almost on key. Whoops, now we've moved onto "Bad Day." I think I have a rock star in the making. American Idol, watch out.

The middle of the night is still sketchy, however. Some nights she goes right back, others take some work on my part. Last night I finally caved at 5 or so and brought her into bed because I was just too tired to do anything about it. And by 6 C was in our bed too, so it was just one big happy family bed this morning. If you had told me four years ago that we would be co-sleeping portions of each night with not one but two children, I would have laughed at you. But yet, here we are, four plus two cats crammed into a queen sized bed.

So I guess all and all, improvements have been made. And at least I know that I am getting slightly more sleep than Mrs. Fortune, who finally had her beautiful baby boy! Congrats! And may you have a good sleeper on your hands. If not, may I interest you in a library of sleep books? I can't vouch for their effectiveness personally, but other swear by them...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have a lot I want to write about, but seem to have trouble getting the words out these days. You should see the litter of unfinished posts in my Blogger dashboard. I'm not sure whether I am just being a perfectionist (I doubt it) or whether I'm just scattered (much more likely) but regardless, there is a lot out there that I haven't shared.

Like the post about divorce. A casual acquaintance is getting divorced, and it seems so odd to me. Which, given the fact that my parents are divorced, is odd in of itself. But she is the first contemporary I know who is getting divorced, and it make me step back and realize that at my age my parents were in the midst of their marital woes. And it makes me wonder who else will eventually get divorced, as I'm sure it will happen.

Or there is the post about religion. You see, I was baptized Easter weekend, and the whole experience has been weighing on me. Not necessarily in a bad way, but more in a "how did I get here" way. I don't believe or disbelieve in God any more than I did when I was in college and spent hours arguing with my Catholic best friend about how Jesus had to be an oops baby, but yet here I am able to take communion and all of a sudden belonging where I never belonged before. Just because of a little water.

While we are on the topic of my Catholic best friend, there is a post going about her too. We had a falling out right after I got married, and it has been years since I have seen or spoken to her. But I still miss her, and often wonder what she is doing, or how she would advise me in a given situation. A close friend of both of ours is getting married in June, and I am so hopeful that she will be at the wedding. But yet I have been afraid to ask.

So you see, I am in fact having thoughts beyond the weather, and my daughter's sleep issues, and my apparent lack of qualifications to join the PTA. And someday, you just might hear those thoughts. But for now, you get to hear that A now sings Happy Birthday to everyone she knows before falling asleep. Thankfully she is a second child so she actually doesn't have that many friends yet. And if your birthday is coming up, drop me a line and I can get her to sing to you too...

Is it just me?

Or is spring taking its own sweet time in coming this year? I feel like by May I'm usually in capris and tees most days, but this year I'm still in a fleece jacket and cajoling the kids to put theirs on as well. M claims I say this every year, but I swear, this year it seems colder than usual. Or maybe I'm just getting old...

I'm not sure why I pay such attention to the seasons, except for the fact that in spring and summer I feel like a different person. I'm almost chipper. On the days I can actually gets both children resting at the same time I sit on the back stoop with a book and soak up the sun. Getting the kids dressed is less of a hassle, well, except for the sunblock factor. And once summer hits we always have the local pool as an afternoon activity.

In the spring and summer we can have picnics in the backyard, fingerpainting can take place on the patio instead of the kitchen floor, and bug hunts become a staple of our daily routine. Each morning we take a tour of the flower gardens to see which plants are popping up and which ones are getting ready to bloom. Armed with watering cans the kids make the rounds, bestowing water on the plants they deem worthy of a little extra care. The cats laze around on the picnic table, soaking up the sun, and stop whining at the door for me to let them in and out on a hourly basis.

Yes, this is my favorite time of year. No wonder I am spending hours pouring over weather maps, trying to determine when spring has finally arrived for good. Hopefully it will be soon. For now I'm off to let the cat in, as he's decided that spring has not yet sprung.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Don't ever dare tell me she is dumb

You can say many, many things about my youngest child. Stubborn and strong-willed come quickly to mind. But the one thing you can never ever say is that she is dumb.

Day two of Operation A Must Sleep was a success. She napped for two and a half hours, went to bed in under half an hour, woke up once, and slept until seven. Day three, however, was less than successful. You see, she figured out the system. I was actually surprised it took her a full 24 hours.

Yesterday, every time I came into the room to put her back in bed, she climbed back in before I could get there. Or she slammed the door on me and told me to go away, she would do it herself. But as soon as she was in bed and I left the room, she climbed back out. There was no nap, and bedtime dragged on for over an hour and a half again until she finally fell asleep on the floor by her door. She woke up twice last night, and both times ended up falling asleep on the floor before agreeing to lie down in bed. We're back to where we were before except I'm getting a workout in instead of a nice snooze on A's bed or the floor.

I'm just waiting for the pediatrician's reaction when she hears the answer to her standard "And where does A sleep?" question. I know she expects to hear "In a big girl bed, in a crib, or in bed with us." I doubt that she hears "On the hardwood floor," very frequently. Sigh.

We're going to keep going with this in hopes that if we are consistent she'll eventually give in, but I'm not holding my breath.