Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Did It

This is to be sung to the Dora soundtrack:

"We flew on an airplane, the three of us, oh we did it, we did it, we did it, Yeah!"

Honestly, the trip to Ottawa was great. We had a lot of helpers along the way (the porter, the security man, the airline ticket taker, and the flight attendant). Interestingly, they were all male and I only had to tip one of them (the porter...of course). Sadly Air Canada has been moved to the reject crappy terminal at Reagan International which meant my husband had to drop us off at the curb, but it really wasn't that bad.

We had no major melt downs along the way and I was really proud of my little munchkins. Luckily the babe has this whole flying thing down and it's like she knows that she needs to be on her best behavior.

Honestly, since we've been here, we've pretty much been inside. Ottawa has been seriously chilly, and even when bundled up, you don't want to be out there for too long. The babe and I did make it out for a little adventure into the woods behind my folks place yesterday. We took out the sled and made our way through the trails...the whole time my daughter was yelling at me "Run, Mama, Run....faster, faster, faster!!!" The look on her face was priceless. I think she had a whole lot more fun than the little guy did when I dragged him shopping later in the afternoon.

Hope you're all enjoying things and eating as much sugar as I am. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Every time I think the babe is really advanced...she goes and pulls a whammy just to remind me that she is, after all, only 3 years old.

Today she walked toward me with dripping hands. I asked why her hands were wet (we were upstairs at the time). She replied that she had stuck her hands in the toilet, which, as you may have guessed, had not been flushed since the last time she had gone pee in it.

I didn't handle it to well. There were drip marks leading from the toilet and across the hall into her room. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

We also had a bit of a poop accident in the evening...of the "oops here it comes" runny variety. I am looking forward to moving beyond the pee pee, poo poo days, or as they say at the babe's school, urinate and defecate.

Enough of this nonsense...gotta get to bed as our big travel to Canada day starts in T-8 hours. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why does Santa...

The holiday season has presented many opportunities for the babe to expand on her "why" questions.

Why does Santa have hair all over his face? (Some men have hair on their face and it helps keeps them warm)

Why is Santa stuck in that thing? (Santa is overweight and got stuck in the chimney delivering presents to good children)

Why does Santa have a bum? (Everyone has a bum)

Why does Santa have all the reindeer? (They help get him around)

Why does Santa only come to good kids? (Only good kids deserve presents at Christmas)

It is (mostly) funny.

This season has also provided her an opportunity to run around singing "Feliz Navidad" all day. It is pretty cute (except when I'm trying to put the little guy to bed).

The kids and I are off to Ottawa this Friday. The 5 hour door to door experience (our DC door to my parents Ottawa door) with a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old should be something special. I always feel like I have survived a battle of epic proportions by the time I get to my folks place at around 11 am (we have a 9:00 am flight which means we have to be at the airport by 7:30 am).

Friday's expected high of 13 below (CELSIUS) is slightly daunting. Time for the cozy holidays to begin (inside!).

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Little Picasso

Tuesday night was the babe's first art show.

Yes, a 3 year old with an art gallery opening.

The babe and her classmates have been studying Picasso this semester. She has been bringing home art which I believe is pretty typical of a preschooler. It's always fun to see what she's been up to and we tape her work up on our dining room wall in our personal "gallery."

I didn't expect to see much more at Tuesday's show than the kind of work I had already been seeing. But I was amazed at the creations these kids had come up with.

When I walked up to my daughter's piece, "The Flower," I was stunned. It truly is a piece of serious art, and as cliche as this may sound, it filled my heart with both pride and joy. She really is an artist! And I really am a proud Mama.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

House House House

There were 9 other offers on the house.

We didn't get it. Not that shocking!

I suppose it's another learning experience and it just wasn't meant to be.

I'm remarkably OK with it. It really was quite a boring street and a very car dependent area. And I do love my current hood.

We have the babe's "art show" this evening at her Montessori school. They have been studying Picasso which is pretty cool. We also have her 3 year well visit at the pediatrician this afternoon. Life carries on...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Last weekend was crazy. Yesterday was crazy. Today is crazy. If you don't know me, you probably won't care to read anymore as it is really just me blabbing.

On Saturday the little guy and I got up at 6:15 am to go stand in line (in the rain) at the H1N1 vaccination clinic. My son needed a booster shot and I wasn't going to let our first dreadful H1N1 vaccination experience be for nothing. We were about 11th in line which felt really good. Everything was remarkably under control at the clinic (it helped that it was in a municipal building and not the yucky high school we were at last time). I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience and applaud the DC government for a well run operation. To find a local provider in the United States, click HERE. We were back home before 9:00 am which felt nice. So much already accomplished!

Upon our return, my husband ran off to help a friend move (the rain had turned to snow at this point).

The kids and I hung out and even ventured outside to play in the snow and build a snow man (how neat that it snowed in DC before my home town of Ottawa). The little guy got to sit in the snow for the first time. He thought it was awesome until he fell over in all his puffy gear and lost his mitten. Then it wasn't so awesome anymore. Time to go inside.

Got the kids to bed and our realtor showed up. Yes indeed, we are potentially buying our first home. We spent a chunk of time putting together an offer and felt like it was all under control. We have been battling with the fact that the house in 3 metro stops further than where we are now, but decided we were willing to make the sacrifice to be in a sweet little house near great schools (how responsible of us, eh?). Hello suburbs...good bye hipness (my father tried to console me by saying I shouldn't worry as I had lost my hipness a while ago).

We then raced off to my dear friend's house as her daughter, who was born the same day as the babe, was having her 3rd birthday party. Sugar and balloons!

Sunday had us driving around Bethesda checking out our potential neighborhood, and then darting off to meet out-of-town friends at the zoo. I must say that the National Zoo in December wasn't much to write home about. Where the heck was that giant panda, anyway??

Yesterday was crazy birthday day, and I must admit I was exhausted and slightly emotionally sloppy. Things were starting to get to me and I really needed sleep (and a chef, a cleaning lady, a driver, a hairdresser, a masseuse and a nail technician)!

And I'll wrap it up with today. I struggled to get both kids out the door (it's cold so the amount of outerwear required has multiplied dramatically), dropped the babe off, went to the post office, returned to my car to discover that it wouldn't start. This has never happened in our Honda. I called my husband, then called AAA, and before I knew it there was a lovely man helping me out and telling me my battery was done. He just happened to have a new battery to sell me and was able to install it right there. Good deal! Membership finally has it's privileges.

Rush home, change diaper and feed the little guy, then rush back to pick up the babe at school.

Get lunch sorted, get kids to nap (very difficult and involved too much yelling--the babe and I, of course).

Check email--our agent informs us there are 8 offers coming in on the house we are going after. Offers will be reviewed this evening at 7:30. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be, but this whole experience has caused so much stress and sleep loss that if it doesn't work out, I think I will be taking a break from the home hunting business.

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Babe Turns 3

Three years ago today I had my first child.

It was an unbelievable and surreal experience that resulted in a beautiful little girl. Our world changed for the better.

The babe, with her innocence, beauty and youth, has given me everything, and I in return, have tried to give her everything. Neither of us is perfect (granted she is a tad younger than me), but that's what makes it interesting. Our love and our bond is forever.

I am so very grateful to have an intelligent, beautiful, feisty daughter and although the past three years have been challenging, they have made me a better person. I am in love with my daughter and I celebrate our three years together. Here's to many, many more.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Too Much Information

You may not care to know about this (for instance, Dad, you probably won't want to continue), but it's part of being a breastfeeding Mommy.

For the past month I had been feeling a tad off (beyond the cold that never goes away). I was even starting to have some cramping and last week I found it pretty painful to feed the little guy.

What is going on? If it is what I think it is, why doesn't it just come already?

So I dragged the two kids and myself to the OB-GYN last Thursday (just to add on to all the trips to the pediatrician) and had a pelvic exam (oh joy). They took some samples to send off to the lab and I was told it was probably nothing to worry about.

Fast forward two days. Guess what showed up? After a 20 month hiatus, it's back. I suppose I should be happy I'm getting back to normal (whatever that is), but I am now stuck with this fact of life until menopause. Because if there's ever a reason for it to go on hiatus again, I won't be too happy about it!

It's just crazy that it has been a part of my life for only 6 months out of the past 3.5 years. I suppose I better get used to it now. And the fact that weaning the little guy is just around the corner.

Gobble Gobble

And so another long Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close.

I am truly grateful this year. I have an awesome family and amazing friends.

My thanks to I and D for hosting us all for the most lovely Thanksgiving meal. It was spectacular...all of it.

My thanks to my brother and "sister no law" for coming down from Toronto for a visit.

My thanks to my amazing kiddies and husband for being who they are.

The list could go on and on, but those are the immediate memories from the past few days.

Despite the fact I was sick with a cold (the one that never goes away but just gets a little worse and then a little better and so on), I had such a great weekend.

I hope you did too (even if you are somewhere that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Routine

  • Two doses of Amoxicillan for the ear infections (one per child)
  • One dose of eye drops for the eye infection (the babe)
  • One nebulizer treatment for the serious congestion and wheezing (the little guy)
  • Breakfast
  • Morning stuff
  • One nebulizer treatment (the little guy)
  • Nap time (the little guy)
  • Lunch time
  • Story time
  • One dose of eye drops (the babe)
  • Nap time (ideally both children)
  • Late afternoon stuff
  • One nebulizer treatment (the little guy)
  • Dinner
  • Two doses of Amoxicillan (one per child)
  • Bath time
  • One dose of eye drops (the babe)
  • Bed time
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

November Sickness

November has been a health roller coaster around here.

The babe is still coughing up a storm...but the antibiotics have taken care of the ear infection and the drops have erased the eye infection. She was back at school today and it was a lovely thing.

The little guy has sadly come down with his sister's cough (thankfully not the eye infection). Night time has been the worst with frequent wakings and many trips into his room to check that he is OK. It's hard for him to sleep when he's in such discomfort and hacking up a storm, but there is only so much I can do. We've got the humidifier running, the soft sound of waves from the sound machine, frequent feedings which result in frequent diaper changes. The night rules I had been following have been adjusted to account for the little guy's illness.

I have to admit that it is pretty exhausting after having just made it through the babe's stomach virus and ear infection drama. The past few nights have been rough on baby, Mama and Papa. So rough that I fell back asleep after feeding the little guy at 7:00 am today. I then woke to the babe walking into our room and asking to climb into the bed. I looked over at the clock and realized it was 8:30 am. Woops. We're normally getting to the front door to leave at that time. So we all hustled and managed to get to school 25 minutes late. An extra hour of sleep was well worth it!

Fast forward to this afternoon. I had a mild panic attach and was considering bringing the little guy to the ER. He was coughing in a scary way, snot running down his face, irritable, very hot, and I discovered what looked to be mucus in his poopy diaper. After calling the pediatrician at 4:55 pm (they close at 5), I was faced with a choice. The receptionist recommended we head to the Children's Hospital to have him checked out. I called my husband, and we decided to call our health insurance provider's 24 hour help line (which has come in handy in the past). The nurse recommended we talk to our pediatrician in the next 8 hours and watch him closely.

We decided a trip to the ER at rush hour on a rainy Monday night wasn't in any of our best interests. After a dose of Tylenol and a few minutes of Little Einsteins, it was clear we had made the right decision. The little guy, although still ill, was sitting and doing his new arm shaking dance move to the overly familiar theme song. It's amazing how half an hour can change things.

I will stop my rambling as I need to shower and sleep before the night time sickness routine kicks in again. I know we are not the only house dealing with this, and I take a strange comfort in that. Watching your kids fight sickness is hard on a parent. We just have to remember that this too shall pass, right?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Promises, Promises

I make a lot of promises to myself to blog more. Then I break my promises.

I have just been overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a parent.

And there are always a zillion other things I need to do. But really, I need to do this too. I love it and it makes me feel better.

That said, here's a brief update!

  • The kids were very cute for Halloween. The little guy was a cow (as the babe was two years ago) and the babe was Winnie the Pooh (as she was last year). We carved two pumpkins and went trick or treating up and down our block. The babe didn't even seem to mind that she couldn't eat most of her loot. I wonder if the food allergies will catch up with us next year?
  • I have been on a house hunt (again). This is where a lot of my designated computer time has gone lately. It is a frustrating and tedious experience, and I'm not sure what will become of it. However, we did make our first offer to buy a house last Friday (the 13th, I might add). Our offer was promptly rejected without a counter on Saturday morning. So how's that for a first experience!!! I am continuing my hunt but, as my husband suggested, I will try to be better at dividing up my computer time to various needs (such as blogging!)
  • I love preschool. BUT, I do not love all the ridiculous germs there. In the past three weeks, the babe has been inflicted with an eye infection, a stomach virus which involved vomiting and fevers, a bad cough, a constant snotty nose, and as of yesterday, an ear infection and another eye infection. She has been in school for about 7 hours total in the past 9 days and I am about to lose it. It's also tough on her to have to hang out at home all day instead of the awesomeness that is preschool. I am getting seriously sick of The Little Einsteins (her favorite show). Knock on wood though, as it can always be worse.
  • The little guy has three teeth coming in on the top. His smile is changing every day. He also started to pull himself up on the table yesterday and not just hold himself on his knees (as he's been doing for a few weeks), but is standing all the way up. We are about to enter the "cruising" phase of life. What happened to my baby? This is all happening way too fast.

They are both upstairs crying so I better sign off. So much for a quiet nap time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Beeline

Last night my husband walked in the door from work around 6:45 pm. The little guy, upon hearing his father's voice, crawled out of his play zone and speed crawled across the living room floor all the way up to his Papa in the entrance way.

The smile on both of their faces was priceless.

It was one of those moments that makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting the Vaccine

Last Thursday I stood for 3.5 hours to get the little guy his H1N1 vaccine. It was 2.5 hours outside and 1 hour inside. We were 2 people in a line of thousands. There were 1,000 doses and I didn't know if we'd manage to secure one for my little love bug.

By the time I had dropped the babe off at a friends place at 4:25 pm, found very expensive parking (no street parking left), and gotten in line, it was almost 5:00 pm (the official start time of the clinic). There were already so many people my heart sunk. I stood and tried to keep the little guy entertained with food and toys. He was a trooper and had only brief moments of annoyance. It was cold and then it got dark. This is what flu fear looks like, I thought to myself.

My husband, who had come straight from the office, managed to make it to us just before we entered the school. The three of us stood for another hour, sans stroller, snaking along the halls of a decrepit high school with hundreds of other tired and frustrated parents and children (this was only for "priority groups"). At one point I had to break down and breastfeed the little guy while standing in the line. Unbelievable, and not great for my back.

We made it past the form checkers and down to a scary room in the basement. The fluorescent light flickered and people were looking really bad at this point. The room was filled with the sounds of screaming children. It felt like a bad movie. There were 18 people giving out shots and mist, and after waiting our turn, we were ushered to a nurse in the back of the room.

She was lovely and we managed to get the little guy his shot in the left leg (we were number 614). Next to us was an EMS team with a stretcher that had been called in for a young boy. Scary.

We waited around for 10 minutes after the shot to make sure there was no reaction. He was fine.

We headed back to pick up the stroller, then pick up the car, then pick up our daughter, then get the kids bathed and in bed. We turned off the babe's light and said good night at 10:00 pm. What a day. Can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baby Einstein Refund

You may have heard about Disney removing the "brain development" angle from their Baby Einstein marketing. Turns out, they really are just for entertainment.

If you're looking to get a refund, Disney is offering $15.99 or a credit for up to 4 Baby Einstein DVD's per household.

We haven't been using ours since the babe was little, so I think I'll be sending 4 back in. You have until March 4, 2010.

For more info, click HERE.

The Flu Freakout

I normally don't jump on health scare band wagons. But the flu thing has been keeping me up at night (that is, once I've already week woken up by the little guy).

I had decided to not the get the kids the H1N1 vaccine. My pediatrician was not supporting it and the controversy made me nervous. Things seemed rushed.

I was back at the pediatrician's office this past Monday for the babe's pink eye and asked again about the H1N1 vaccine. The doctor said she had had a chance to review all the studies and material and was now supporting getting the vaccine (although they are not offering it).

At about the same time, I read an article about a 13 year old Canadian hockey player who died suddenly from the H1N1 virus. A healthy kid who was sick for only a few days. Reading his fathers comments made me almost start weeping.

I have decided to do my best to get the kids the vaccine. Seems as though there is an almost frenzied attitude towards securing a vaccine, and I am trying to keep level headed about it. But the fear of the kids getting sick is making me a tad batty. Especially as my cousin and her 2 daughters in Kingston, Ontario have recently fallen sick with H1N1.

Tonight I am dropping the babe off at a dear friend's house and will then shoot over to a DC Government sponsored vaccine clinic with the little guy. They have been hosting clinics in every Ward of DC for children and pregnant women for the past week. With a 5 pm start time, I am thinking I will need to get in line before that (in Canada I was reading about crazy wait times and being turned away after waiting for hours).

I just got off the phone with the pediatrician and have rescheduled the little guy's regular flu shot (he was booked for next week), as apparently you are supposed to have the regular flu shot within 24 hours if you are getting the H1N1 vaccine. So tomorrow morning we will have to head downtown after dropping off the babe. Yet another shot for the little guy. Yikes.

The babe unfortunately cannot get her vaccination as she is allergic to eggs and will have to wait until the allergist has both the regular flu and H1N1 vaccine in stock. They break down the doses into smaller segmenets and monitor the child over a period of several hours. It takes a long time and is a serious pain, but obviously it's not worth risking any kind of allergic reaction.

I also managed to grab my regular flu shot at the pharmacy at the grocery store yesterday morning. The pharmacist had only 2 shots left, and I am glad I managed to get one. At least one person in my family has managed to get one shot!

This is getting complex.

What are you all doing about flu shots this year?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Time Gone By

I know it's been a long time. I have written many a blog entry in my head, but have not managed to get that entry typed into the computer. I am going to try harder.

There are so many things to tell you about, but it would take more than one entry. A few developments include: the babe can zip up her own jacket now and the little guy is crawling all over the house and pulling himself up on things. We have some great days together, and we have some really bad days together. I suppose kids are like us...they can also have a bad day (or night).

Lately my son has been driving me nuts at night and my daughter has been driving me nuts during the day. The little guy is teething and waking many times a night screaming. We have tried everything (plugging and re-plugging the pacifier, teething tablets, Tylenol), but he can be one agitated and stubborn little dude in the wee hours of the night. Sometimes it breaks my heart and sometimes I'm just super annoyed. The exhaustion is getting to me and I hope those 2 top teeth pop all the way out soon.

The babe is in an extremely difficult stage and my husband and I are at a loss of what to do. We really don't know how to handle her and all the discipline in the world does not seem to work. We keep trying and she keeps pushing. I know she's not even 3 yet, but things feel out of control sometimes. She is home from school today due to an eye infection (oh joy) and we have already had a few good battles. I'm not talking little battles, I'm talking about battles that left me crying in the kitchen wondering if I should go back to work because I'm not able to deal with my own kid (again, the exhaustion doesn't help)!

In other news, my folks were in town last week for a visit and it was absolutely lovely. The babe actually behaved for the first 4.5 days of their visit which was a beautiful thing. I also think the little guy got used to them and felt fairly comfortable hanging out with his grandparents by the time they had to go. I also turned 34 last week. I had a smashing day (that began at 5:00 am) filled with amazing friends and family, yummy food and drink, and good vibrations. I still, at times, find it crazy that I am 34 now, married, and have 2 kids. Where did the time go? As each birthday passes I guess I realize that I am just me and will always be me....even if I'm a year older. Age is just a number.

I'd also like to mention that my very sweet husband got me a most thoughtful birthday gift: a bound copy of 24-7 Mommy (up until I took that very long 10 month break when life got a little too crazy). It is very cool to see all my writing in a book. I am glad I have a record of my time as a new Mom and I continue to hope it helps people out there. Motherhood is a blessing but it will bring you to your knees in ways you never thought possible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yucky Yuck Yuck

I guess I take smoke free environments for granted. I thought we were living in a time that state governments had gotten with the program. Apparently not so in the state of Virginia.

The little guy and I took the car into our dealer in Falls Church, Virginia to have the oil changed and the tires rotated. Good times. I usually associate a trip to the dealer with a trip to IHOP (the pancake place) as there isn't really anything to do by the highway without a car. So after dropping off the familymobile, the little guy and I puttered over to the restaurant.

We were seated in a back section and got all comfortable. I then started smelling smoke. Well that's weird, I thought to myself. I looked behind me and there was a woman in the section next to ours smoking a cigarette. I was so offended I immediately got up and asked to be moved to the furthest point from the smoking section. Isn't smoking in restaurants banned in the state of Virginia? Apparently not. It's not like the little guy and I were sitting in a bar (which would make it more understandable).

I asked the waiter about it and he said he wasn't familiar with the law. I had already ordered my breakfast so I settled into my new booth with the little guy. I ate as quickly as possible and packed up to head back to the dealership. Luckily they had been super fast so off we went to the car wash for our next car related activity.

I don't mean to be all high and mighty, but as a Mom, I have become a whole lot more concerned about things like this. My 9 month old doesn't really need to be inhaling poison with his applesauce breakfast break.

I just can't wrap my head around how the state law supports people smoking in "family friendly" restaurants? That @#% just doesn't fly here in Washington, DC.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bye Bye Baby Stuff

It seems as though turning nine months old has gone hand in hand with saying good bye to a lot of baby stuff.

Yesterday was the last day we used the infant car seat. The little guy is much too long at this point and although I have loved the snap and go lifestyle, it was time to move on up to the convertible car seat. Now the little guy and his sister each have their own convertible seat...one is facing forward and one is facing backward.

On Friday I stopped using the aquarium themed bouncy seat. I had been keeping it in our room for when I needed a safe place to put the little guy. The middle of the king size bed has not been a safe option for quite some time. I had just brought a basket of laundry down the stairs and was headed back up when I heard cries from our room. I ran in to find the little guy hanging out of the side of the seat--half on the floor and half attached to the seat. Not cool. So up to the attic it went.

Later that day I inspected the aquarium themed swing in the dining room and decided it was just too risky to be leaving the little guy in that apparatus. A tumble out of the side of it could be a tad more traumatic than our bouncy seat experience. So down to the basement it went.

Then last night the little guy was super cranky a few hours after he had been put to bed. After checking on him, I decided that perhaps he was claustrophobic. He has been sleeping in a sleep sack since we quit swaddling him at about 4.5 months. I realized that perhaps the sleep sack was on the small side and he needed more space to move (as he now knows how to sit and crawl in his crib). Luckily I had already purchased the next size up when it was on sale this past summer. So into the new and very large sack he went. He only woke once at 3am for a feeding and didn't make a peep other than that.

I know I shouldn't be attached to all this stuff, but I am. These items have many memories attached to them. The past 3 years have really been more manageable because of all this baby paraphernalia, and both my kids have spent a serious amount of time in the assorted baby items which are now being stored away. When you know it's your last time using this stuff, it just feels a tad sad to say goodbye. But deep down, I know it's just stuff...and the years ahead will be filled with a constantly revolving collection of more stuff as my kids grow up. There's just something about the baby stuff that pulls your heart stings.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nine Months

It happened just like that. For nine months I was pregnant. And on Christmas Eve my little love bug was born. It has now been nine months and we can't imagine our life without him.

I'm not sure where the time has gone, but it feels like the little guy has always been with us. I am amazed by his development and parts of me wish I could freeze time. I really do love this age and am trying to cherish all the "moments."

I think it's really cool that he is nine months old in the ninth month of 2009. Similarly, the babe turned seven months old on the seventh day of the seventh month of 2007.

To mark this special occasion, I splurged on a chocolate torte cake for tonight. My husband and I will raise a chocolate filled fork to celebrate our good fortune. We are blessed.

The First Time

This has been a week of many first times.

On Monday the little guy crawled. Not only did he crawl, but he did it on a web video call with my parents! My father got to witness his grandson crawl for the first time. Smashing!

The little guy had been scootching around and doing the commando crawl for some time but to see him up on his knees and hands moving forward was an amazing thing. Watch out, because this kid is officially on the go.

Then on Tuesday night the little guy only woke once during the whole night to eat (in addition to a few pacifier plugs). We have been on a two times a night schedule for a very long time. We had also been on a wake up at 3:30am and scream until around 4:30am (when I gave in and fed him) schedule for a few nights which was getting pretty exhausting. Looking back I think it was linked to his "just about to crawl" stage of development.

Another crazy thing happened Tuesday night. The babe came in and told my husband she had to pee. So off they went to the toilet at 11:30pm. Amazing. My hubby has been telling her that if she needs to pee at night she can always come and get him and they can go to the potty together. Guess it is starting to sink in!

Then on Wednesday afternoon the babe went poop in the potty upstairs unprompted and unassisted for the first time. She had just had a "time out" and I had gone up to open the door and get back on track with her. She said she wanted to stay in her room looking at books, so I let her. I was in the living room with the little guy when the babe came down the stairs and said "I went poo poo." My heart sank as I thought about the very messy clean up job . Then she said "in the potty." My heart then lept, despite my confusion. She has never used the potty upstairs without our involvement. So up we went, and indeed there was a poop in the potty. I was thrilled. She was thrilled. It was a beautiful thing.

Fast forward to this morning. After a relatively peaceful night, I went in to get the little guy when I heard his whimpering cries in the monitor. I walked in and TA DA...he was sitting up in his crib. Wow. How did that happen? He has never sat up in his crib. I suppose we might want to move the crib down to its lowest setting now. Before I know it he will be standing in there. Then jumping. Then trying to climb out.

The firsts will continue to happen and I will continue to cherish them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Heads Up

Last night I was exhausted and wanted to get to bed right after the kids. So, once they were both bathed and tucked in, I jumped in for a hot shower and hair wash session. I got out ready to dry my hair, and hit the sack. But the babe was still awake (we had let her have an extremely long nap in the afternoon...woops). She called me in and I obliged. I told her to lie down and I'd come in and check on her after I dried my hair. She agreed to the deal.

As you may have guessed, she was still awake when I was done, so I went in and read her the Itsy Bitsy Spider (well, I sang it). I went downstairs hoping she'd fall asleep quickly. She didn't.

I gave up and went up to bed as it was after 9pm and I really just needed to sleep. So I lay my head down while my husband went to check on the babe. Ahhhh...yummy bed, I thought to myself.

But then I heard my name. My husband called me in to the babe's room and said that she was scratching at her head and complaining her head was itchy. My heart started to beat very fast. We had just received an email from the preschool that there was one confirmed case of head lice (subject line: Heads Up on Head Lice). Oh my. Many thoughts started racing through my head. I am just not ready to deal with this yet. Gross. I am too tired. Please make this go away.

Very calmly and thoroughly, my husband and I looked through the babe's curly mane with a flash light. We spent a very solid amount of time inspecting her hair and scalp and we saw nothing. I put some cream on her head telling her it was medicine and she immediately said she felt better and fell asleep. I went back to bed but had a pretty hard time falling to sleep. Visions of lice infestation were dancing in my head.

Today I went to the drug store after dropping the babe off at the preschool and picked up the complete lice elimination kit. At $27.99, it ain't cheap, but I want to be prepared for if/when it happens. I also bought a new hair brush for myself and am no longer going to share brushes or hair elastics with the babe. Strangely enough, my husband said he and his sister never got lice in school. I however, can remember some unpleasant incidents in my home.

I suppose as a parent I will encounter some really gross things. I hate to say it, but I preferred dealing with poop in the babe's panties on Saturday to dealing with the fear of lice on Sunday!

Thanks to the babe's preschool, here's some facts about head lice

Anyone can get head lice. Lice are tiny insects the size of sesame seeds that live on the scalp and are barely visible to the human eye. They do not live on pets. Head lice can survive on the scalp for a couple of days. They lay eggs, which hatch in 7 to 10 days. Head lice are extremely contagious and are transmitted through direct contact with an infested person or contact with infected items (combs, hats, rugs, stuffed animals.) Lice can’t fly and they don’t jump, so the only way to get them is through direct contact.

The most common sign of lice infestation is itching. If you notice your child scratching his/her head frequently, you should check for head lice. Head lice may be hard to locate because they move quickly and shy away from light. Close inspection of the hair and scalp will sometimes reveal the adult lice but you are more likely to see the lice eggs, which are called nits. Nits look like small white or yellowish brown specks attached to the hair near the scalp. They are attached with a glue like substance and cannot be rinsed off or blown away from the scalp.

Infestation is easy to control if treated immediately and thoroughly with a special medicated shampoo. The medication will kill the lice and nits if used properly. All instructions on the package must be followed carefully. After use, all the dead eggs (nits) must be removed. This is a very time consuming process but it is extremely important. Some products come with a special nit comb for removal of eggs.

In addition to shampooing, the following procedures must be diligently followed:

1. Call your doctor for a recommended treatment, and follow the manufacturers instructions completely.
2. Be sure to remove all nits using a special nit comb.
3. All clothing and all bedding must be washed in hot water (desired temperature of 130 degrees and dried in a hot dryer.)
4. Combs, brushes, barrettes, headbands, or other hair ornaments should be soaked in hot water (130 degrees) for 5 to 10 minutes or sealed tightly in a plastic bag for 30 days.
5. Wash all bed linens, blankets, bedspreads, pillows, and pillow cases (if they cannot be washed put them in a hot dryer for 30 minutes or seal in plastic bag for 30 days.) Wash all coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, scarves, hoods, etc. and dry in a hot dryer.
6. Wash and dry all towels and bathroom mats.
7. Vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture, and mattresses thoroughly and discard vacuum cleaner bag.
8. Vacuum all automobile upholstery and car seats and discard the vacuum bag.
9. Place stuffed animals and cloth toys in a hot dryer for 30 minutes or seal in a plastic bag for 30 days.
10. Don’t forget about headphones, baseball caps, bicycle helmets or any other objects that may have been exposed.
11. Continue to check your child daily for 14 days to ensure that the head lice and their eggs have been eliminated. If signs of lice reappear, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment – check with your doctor.
12. Check the entire family for head lice and treat all those infected. Remember that one remaining nit that hatches will soon lay eggs and you’ll have to go through the entire procedure again.

For further information check www.headlice.org or www.headliceinfo.com

Monday, September 14, 2009


My husband is away in Boston on business. He left on Sunday morning and gets back on Tuesday night. It's only 2 nights away but it somehow feels like an eternity.

I am an independent person, and have no problem being alone. I have even lived alone, granted it was many moons ago. I just don't like the nights in this big rental house. Our place has many windows and doors and although I know I am being irrational, I have a seriously difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep. There are so many ways to get into our home that I lie in bed listening for noises I shouldn't be hearing! I have the land line phone, my cell phone, and a flashlight on my bed side table (along with the clock, a lamp, my lip balm, kleenex and 2 baby monitors).

Being responsible for the 2 kids adds a lot of pressure. Ever since the fire in the little guy's room, I am pretty freaked out about bad things happening at night. I was asleep when the fire started, and now that I know it can happen, I have trouble letting down my guard if no one else is around. Needless to say, between the little guy's rather frequent wakings (he's been really congested for a week now and still eats twice a night), and my own paranoia, there wasn't much rest going on last night.

I only have to tough it out one more night. As I sit here and write (it's a little after 9pm), I am so exhausted I just want to go have a hot shower and pass out. But the babe is still awake for some reason and I have to wait it out. I can't get ready for bed if my toddler is still in her bed singing to herself.

Anyway, here's to all the moms out there who are way tougher than I. I certainly have a few things to learn about controlling irrational night fears. It's just too hard to be strong 24-7. Bonne nuit!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Many Many Things

I just sat down with my hot lunch. It's almost 2:30 pm. I took a bite of my egg and bagel and opened up the computer.

"Mommy...I went poopy in my diaper."

I suppose I should be happy we're doing so well with the pee pee in the potty that I shouldn't complain about the fact that poop time has been moved to nap time when the babe is in a diaper. She has managed 2 poops in the potty in the past week...which isn't so bad I suppose. But hot lunch and poopy diaper don't go hand in hand.

I'm going to go bullet point to cover as much as I can:
  • My life now revolves around school. I am so excited about it. I am loving it. It's only been 4 days but I am so pro-preschool I can't even explain.
  • I can't get my timing right. I show up early for drop off and then show up early for pick up. I am so paranoid about being branded a "late parent" that I allot a ridiculous amount of time to make the very short trip. Yet I always feel as though I am running late. I suppose I will get this down to a fine science with time.
  • Last week I was having trouble sleeping. It was as if I was the one going to school. I would lie in bed at night with a kazillion school related thoughts running through my mind. I can't imagine how the babe feels as she's the one actually going to school for 3 hours a day!
  • Every time the phone rings, I am afraid it's the school calling to say the babe has had an allergic reaction. It has made me quite jumpy. I have also been asking the babe what she had at snack time and she has not been giving me much of an answer. She has also been chowing down a massive lunch after getting home from school. So on Friday I spoke with the head teacher who admitted she had been reading all the labels and being extremely cautious. It sounds like there were days when there was nothing for the babe other than juice (which she's not even used to drinking). So I offered to pack a snack for her every day. It looked as though a large heavy weight was immediately lifted off the teacher's shoulders. She agreed that was a great idea. I feel better. Head teacher feels better. And hopefully the babe feels better.
  • Every parent in my child's class now knows I am the one with the allergic kid. On the "back to school night" a week ago I informed everyone about the babe's allergies (after another parent brought up his daughter's nut allergy). We had quite a long discussion about birthday food for the class. I said I was happy to make something special for the babe to eat on those days. Another Mom mentioned a bakery that makes stuff to meet your allergy specifications. I informed everyone about my favorite "Cherrybrook Kitchen" mixes available at Whole Foods. Then someone suggested we just do fruit for birthdays. The head teacher finally indicated we should move on and a Mom sitting behind me made a unhappy snort noise indicating that she agreed. I think she felt the discussion was a waste of her time. For a second I felt like I was in high school (as in, not good). But some of the other Moms around me had already asked me a bunch of questions about how I'd discovered the babe's allergies, etc. So that had made me feel better about the amount of time we had spent discussing the issue. I'll admit we were all sitting on tiny wood chairs that were not designed for adult sized bottoms. It was also 8:15 pm. But I'm glad we talked it over...even though I'm not sure what the final decision was.
  • The babe has made it through 4 days of school with only one pee pee accident. AWESOME! The teacher even admitted they dropped the ball and had taken her to the playground outside the school without taking her to the potty first. That'll do it.
  • Germs. Little kids have lot of them. The babe had a snotty nose on Saturday and Sunday. The little guy got a snotty nose on Sunday and is still ill. We've had pretty rough nights with him the last 2 days. My husband felt off yesterday and is now complaining about a sore throat. I suppose we had better get used to the many diseases and yuckiness that we'll be exposed to now. I don't even want to talk about the swine flu.
  • And lastly, I was so tired last Thursday I tried to open my front door with the "unlock" button on my car keys. It didn't work...but wouldn't it have been cool if it had?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I have been thinking about how I need to tell you all about our week....but there have been about a zillion other things I had to do. Our phone line is down right now so last night I composed a quick email to those of you who have been in touch. Here's what I shared:

_ _ _ _ _ _
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the calls and love! Our phone lines are down completely now so we can't even get a dial tone. As such, I thought I'd send you a quick update.

The babe was very happy to be at school yesterday for the 1 hour orientation.

She was so happy at school that she threw a tantrum when it was time to go and screamed and scratched me. The head teacher took over seamlessly and calmed her down immediately. I was amazed at how good she was with the babe and felt very reassured that my feisty daughter was in good hands.

The babe was ready for school this morning and wanted to leave before we even had breakfast.We drove over and the little guy and I walked her to the building. A teacher watched the little guy while I brought the babe to her classroom. We opened the door and the babe walked in without saying good bye or looking back. I had to call her to come give me a hug. I told her I'd be back to pick her up at lunch time. And off she went! The little guy and I then went to the dermatologist to have my stitches removed (everything apparently looks good!).

At 12:15 pm the little guy and I picked the babe up but she wasn't quite as happy as when I'd left. The teacher said that she had worked very hard all morning but got a bit tired and upset close to lunch time. Apparently she was missing her Mama. I must admit that made me feel wanted! She quickly rebounded and proceeded to tell me about her day (although she didn't really remember any names, she seemed happy with the amount of activity!).

The most shocking thing was that the babe was still in the clothes and undies I had sent her to school in! NO accidents for the whole morning. She made it all the way home and proceeded to pee in her shorts on the front porch while I unlocked the door, but no accidents at school! And no accidents for the rest of the day at home either. That's some big progress! I will be sleeping better tonight.

All in all the last 2 days have been very intense but very exciting. It's a new phase of life for all of us and I think it will be a welcome change.

Again, thanks for all your love and support.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Potty Update and School Countdown

The babe wore panties all day today....and only one accident. I'll admit we were the ones reminding her and bringing her to the potty, but only one accident ain't bad. Especially considering we were at a friend's place for brunch when it happened.

The babe got a fruit stick as a reward at the end of the day. She really loves those things and I have decided to use them strategically.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Wednesday, the first day of school EVER, is coming pretty darn fast! And as much as I said I was ready for her to go, I am scared to let her out of my sight. I wonder if I would feel differently if she didn't have food allergies? I have coached her to say "no thank you, I have allergies" when offered food or drink. I have also explained (a million times) that all the kids will be using the potty at school. What more can I do? She's not even 3 years old...and things need to be kept in perspective. I just want her to be safe and healthy and supported. Hopefully I chose the right school to meet these objectives. Time will tell.

Sister and Brother

I managed to get both kids down for an afternoon nap at the same time the other day. The little guy didn't last more than an hour and after hearing some stirring on the monitor, I went up to check on him. I glanced into the babe's room and noticed she wasn't in her bed. My heart stopped. Even though I logically knew that the doors to the house were locked and she had to be up there somewhere. I scanned my room and didn't see her. I quickly popped my head into the little guy's dark room and did not see her. I then checked out her room again and the bed was still empty...as was her tent (a favorite hiding place). My heart was pumping quickly at this point while the logical part of my brain was trying to keep things under control.

I went back into the little guy's room and there I found her crouching on the floor next to the little guy's crib playing with him. It was ridiculously cute and I had to break down and give her a huge hug. It scared the you know what out of me, but it also made me melt a little. These 2 are going to have their own relationship independent of me, and that is a cool thing. They really do get along most of the time and can light each other up in such a beautiful way. They are brother and sister and nothing can take that away.

I suppose I'm not always going to be in control of everything in their little worlds and will have to get used to that. And I suppose I'll be confronted with many more similar situations in the future. I'm glad they have each other, just as I am blessed to have my brother and sister. It's good to have a partner in crime, isn't it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Last Week

I am supposed to be savoring this week. I am supposed to be enjoying it and appreciating this time with the babe. It our last week together full time. It has been 2 years and 9 months of being together most of the time. And frankly, I think we're both done with it. She's tired of me and yes, I will admit that I too am at times tired of her. Sadly, I am just counting down the days until she starts preschool on the 2nd.

I suppose I wouldn't be writing this if we hadn't just spent the past few hours of the morning bickering with each other. I try to be the mature one, as I am the mother, but it is pretty difficult at times. She just knows what buttons to push and how to get me going. It's one thing after another and I am pretty frazzled. I don't know how people home school children. They must have the patience of a saint.

I am really looking forward to 5 half days of preschool a week. It will give the little guy and I time alone and time to get errands done. It will be nice to be back to 1 kid for part of the week. I've decided that 2 at home full time is just not my cup of tea. It doesn't make me particularly happy a lot of the time, so the change is coming just in time.

As you know, I sometimes love being a stay-at-home Mom, but I also sometimes seriously dislike it and question whether I am cut out to do this.

My only concern, as you know, if the crazy unsuccessful potty training. Last night we did a few hours in panties with no accidents. The babe even pulled the portable potty in front of the TV so she could use it while watching Sesame Street (unassisted and unencouraged, I might add). But this morning I encountered some resistance to sitting on the potty despite the fact she wanted to wear her princess panties. Needless to say we didn't last too long without an accident. I think I may just try and do a few hours a day and see how we go until next week. But I am expecting to be called by the school to "discuss" the situation. I am praying she will be able to continue attending as we sort this out. I have experienced such an insane amount of stress over this potty training thing I am close to tears at time. Who would have thought it would come to this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back Home

Last Sunday the 23 day trip to Canada came to a close. Driving home from the airport with my family, I was amazed at how beautiful Washington, DC is. The grass so green, the water so blue, the joggers so healthy, the beach volleyball players so fit and fun looking. I don't think I have ever been so happy to get back home. And that's what it felt like....home.

The past month has seen a lot of exciting developments. The little guy survived the arrival of his 2 bottom front teeth (about 2 weeks ago) and started to scootch backwards (the pre-crawl) a few days ago. The babe has developed a superior sense of logic and can now direct her parents to their nightly duties ("mama gives me a bath and papa can go clean the kitchen"). We went to 2 splendid weddings, visited with many, many loved ones, and witnessed the blossoming of a beautiful friendship between 2 little girls (the babe and her cousin from Montana).

Since we've been home we've been trying to get ourselves back in a routine. Sadly the little guy's night sleep is completely messed up (after sharing a room and torturing me with a kazillion wake ups a night for over a week). There has been an unfortunate amount of crying and lack of sleep at night around here. I suppose time and persistence will get us back on track.

The babe has been having trouble being alone with just her brother and I. After so many days of so many people, it is tough to come back to a quiet house. I am unable to constantly entertain her and she's not so happy with that. It has made the days long and sometimes painful. The ridiculous summer heat and humidity has not helped matters.

On Wednesday I had surgery for the removal of my 2 skin cancer problems. That has made things more challenging as little kids need moms who can move around freely and aren't in pain. It would also help the healing process if I was able to sleep at night. It's funny how things change so much when you become a Mother. Before I was a Mom, I would have just hung out in bed reading, watching movies and sleeping while I recovered from my minor surgery. But there's no rest for the 24-7 Mommy, even after you've had some chunks of cancerous skin removed. At least it's done and we can move on now (other than the 2 follow-up appointments hanging over my head).

So I will continue to try and get things back in order, get rest and keep my sanity. However, there is only a week left before it will all change again. Preschool begins September 2nd and I think I'm ready...I just hope the babe is as ready as I am. Needless to say, I am eagerly anticipating the Fall.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The 23 day trip to Canada has been moving along at a rapid pace. Last Friday the kids and I arrived at my Mother in law's house in Montreal. My husband flew in from DC that night, and my sister in law and her husband and 2 kids had arrived the day before. Needless to say we have a full house. It has been amazing to watch the babe play with her cousin who is a few months younger than her.

The babe's cousin is potty trained. I thought this would help the babe get on the potty train. I thought the train would leave the station. I am now sadly losing count of how many times I have had to clean serious amounts of poop out of her panties and training panties. She just doesn't care. She will go pee on the potty when brought to the bathroom but never indicates that she wants to go. This makes for a lot of work and "remembering potty time" for the adults around here. Luckily it has become a family affair. But after the major poop out this morning, I think I am about to poop out. Maybe she just isn't ready and I'm wasting my time. I have no more patience. I have no more positive reinforcement. I am feeling pretty done. So for now, she's off at the park in her pull ups. We'll see if I have the guts and patience to put those darn panties on again. But September 2nd is getting pretty close at this point.

In other news, the fan saga continues. I arrived at my Mother in law's, had a seat in the living room, and found myself staring at exactly the same white oscillating fan with the haunting "Super" written across its front. The fan was kindly moved to the basement by my husband and replaced with a swing for the little guy. I'm not sure if all these folks who own this nightmare of a fan should be throwing them out, or if I just don't want to see them. I suppose that as long as I tell people about my experience with the "Super" fan, then I have done my part.

As you may have guessed, there hasn't been any time to be sitting at the computer blogging or even doing basic emails. Being in a house with 9 people is a constant whirl, not to mention the many folks dropping by for a visit. Next week should be a pretty big change going back to our slower pace in DC. But it will be nice to be back in my yummy bed. And it will also be nice to start thinking about moving on past this crazy summer into a hopefully more peaceful Autumn.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sun Smarts

Last week I had 3 biopsies done. I had never been to a dermatologist before but was slightly concerned about a few odd things (a regular colored bump on my forehead and 2 reddish marks-one on my clavicle and one on my shoulder).

I expected him to have a look and tell me to put some cream on them or something.

Instead he did 3 biopsies. Yikes, I thought to myself. He told me he though they were basal cell carcinoma. That's the big "C" word you don't want to hear.

Last Tuesday, a week after my visit with the skin doc, it was confirmed. My neck and my shoulder have basal cell carcinoma and I am going to have to have them surgically removed when I get home. I was reassured by the nurse on the phone that this is the "best" kind of skin cancer to get...if you're going to get it that is.

It is indeed very common and many Caucasians will have a run in with it during their life time...just not normally in their early 30s. I have been told I need to be extremely careful with the sun and need to go for regular appointments with a dermatologist. I have worn a hat in the sun for years and always wear a facial moisturizer with a built in sun screen. I have never been a sun worshipper and am not the kind of person who lies in the sun to relax. My situation is a result of a life time of sun exposure combined with very fair skin. Apparently we get approximately 80% of our sun exposure from age 0-18.

So, for all you Mamas who hang outside at the park and in the yard with your kids, put your hat on and slather on up with some strong sun screen. It is never too late to start protecting yourself. And even more important, slather up those kiddies as we Mamas are the ones responsible for their very fragile and very beautiful skin.

Potty Stories

I'll keep this one brief. Be warned that it's a little detailed if you're not interested in poop and pee pee.

While I was on my awesome one night get away with my sis and the little guy, my folks took a shot at potty training with the babe (it was my second night away from her ever!). It went well and they were thrilled. The use of gifts had indeed been a motivator. I was excited when I got back and hoped it would be different this time.

It wasn't.

Today, for the second time in my life, I cleaned poop out of my daughter's panties. But this time was a little more nasty. Once deposited in the grown up toilet, the poop managed to lodge itself and clog the whole thing. Right after having a go at plunging and attacking it with a metal coat hanger, I came out of the bathroom to find the babe standing in the living room peeing all over the floor. Nice.

So, we are obviously having some control issues here. She can do this whole thing when it suits her. She knows the deal. She can even recite the potty training books we have. But she just doesn't want to give in. The clock is ticking and September 2nd is around the corner.

Do schools send kids home if they aren't at the "80%" potty trained level they have requested? I guess I may be finding out.

The Fan

Family weddings used to involve some wine drinking, lots of catching up with people, and pulling out the moves on the dance floor. They now involve water drinking, brief moments of catching up with people while being repetitively interrupted by children, and dancing with toddlers (which is still pretty darn fun). Congratulations to my cousin and his beautiful bride. It was a lovely weekend which was well worth getting back to Canada for. We also managed to fit in a morning at a friend's lake side cottage which was a serious taste of the good life.

Since I've been home I have, however, been haunted by our burning fan. While at the cottage I was looking at pictures of our friend's new granddaughter. While gazing at the sweet little one, I recognized a white fan in the back of the photo and got a chill. It appeared to be the same version as ours, but the desk top variety. I warned our hosts and asked that they pass along the message to their son, the new Dad. While I was at it I also said they should tell him to install a smoke detector in the baby's room. I have started telling everyone I meet, especially those I am close to.

The second sighting was last night at my sister's place. She and I had just gotten back from an overnight trip with the little guy. I had decided to make a pit stop and feed my screaming son to make the rush hour trip back to my folks place a little more pleasant. I plunked down on her couch and looked next to me. It was a black oscillating fan, exactly the same as our white oscillating fan. Again, another big chill came over me. I let her know and asked her to be careful.

We have not been able to locate the company that sells this fan. It says "Super" on the front of it and I am sure it must be sold by a Canadian company (I have only seen them here). My mission while I am back is to track down the company so we can contact them to let them know about the fire and to share pictures of the melted fan with them. If anyone out there is familiar with the fan, feel free to share the info with me.

I am sure fans in general will continue to freak me out for years to come, but for now, if your fan says "Super" on the front, beware as it may not be so super.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We Made It

I managed to pack all our stuff in one suitcase for the 23 day trip to Canada. And I'm glad to say that the 3 of us made it here in one piece by 10:30 am. Not bad for international travel with 2 kids!

I'll be writing from Ottawa and Montreal for the next 3 weeks and am sure there will be some good stories.

Right now the little guy is on my lap whining so I won't give you the play by play of our travels. I'll just say that it kinda gets easier the more I do it, and that I'm relieved my husband will be joining us for the trip back in August.

Off to a family wedding in the morning. Road trip!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Steak and Fries

Today we did something crazy and new. On our way back from my husband's company summer party in Vienna, Virginia, we stopped in at an Outback Steakhouse and had dinner. That's right, the four of us actually went into a restaurant and had a meal together.

As you may know, we NEVER go out to eat as a family because of the babe's food allergies. We have always just thought it is easier to stay in. We like to feel in control.

But we threw caution to the wind and decided to pull in and give it a try. We explained the babe's food allergies to the waiter and asked for steak and fries from the children's menu. We managed to keep the little guy entertained with frequent feedings and lots of playing with the paper children's menu (which was more fun than any toys I had in my bag). The babe did some colouring and reading which helped pass the time. It also helped that we were surrounded by families with kids (it was just after 5:30 pm after all).

My husband and I were presented with our meals but the waiter explained that he had held back the babe's food when he found out the kitchen had put seasoning on her steak. A few minutes later, she was eating along with us. The manager came over to check in on everything as she had heard about the food allergies. We appreciated the concern and actually ended up having a good time (despite the fact we had the Epi pen ready and kept asking the babe to look at us and show us her mouth).

It was a big step forward for our little family, and I'm not saying it's going to become a regular thing, but it's nice to know we made it happen. Before the babe fell asleep tonight, she mumbled she wanted to go back to the restaurant again. After a life of never eating in restaurants, it was cool to see her chomping on down. Baby steps.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting it Back

It's been a while. First, thank you for all the messages, calls and emails. I have felt so loved.

Second, we're all OK. It was a tad crazy trying to get back to normal last week. My awesome Mother flew in on Monday morning and stayed with us until Thursday which allowed me to get work done. I was amazed at how our lives became so discombobulated by the fire. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was something to do. It was also tough to remain positive and focus on the fact that it all turned out OK.

We have sadly not returned to our sleeping routine which we had worked so hard to establish with the little guy. This has made life fuzzy for me. I am back to waking constantly and having to let him cry it out at times. I am not as tough as I was before and this has also made it difficult to get back on track. In addition, I am worried and find it difficult to keep my mind in check at night. We have now installed smoke detectors in each of the kids rooms as well as a fire extinguisher upstairs which has given me some comfort (I would encourage you to do the same if you have kids!).

Two days after the fire, the little guy had his 6 month check up with the pediatrician and came through with flying colours. He is 95th percentile in height which is pretty cool. The doc said she would have had no idea he had been involved in a fire a few days earlier if I had not told her. What a relief.

He also just survived a trip to the allergist yesterday. They did skin testing for the first time, and I am so darn happy to tell you that he came back negative on all 12 things they tested him for. I was so thrilled I almost started crying. I had been preparing myself for the worst and was already trying to accept that I would have 2 kids with food allergies. We're not in the clear yet, but this is a very good sign.

I had given him some peas last weekend and he had developed a rash about 4 hours later. I was convinced he was going to be an epi pen kid like his big sister. Yet they tested for peas and he came back negative which leads me to believe it could be a teething thing as he drools non stop. Anyway, relief doesn't begin to describe how I am feeling on the food allergy front!

Now back to the fire. The babe is talking about it every day. We are encouraging her to discuss it whenever she wants and she seems to be OK with it all. We have reassured her many times, and will continue to do so. Time will tell.

The little guy was definitely off his mark all last week. Between 4 immunization shots and the fire, he was not his usual pleasant self. I could tell he really just needed lots of love and comforting. He knew that some bad stuff had gone down...I have no doubt.

Anyway, as I said, we're all OK. We're working our way back to normal...although things are different now. We are seeing things in a changed way. I am trying to focus on the fact that I saved my son's life instead of on the fact that he was minutes away from the worst fate possible. I am trying to be strong, despite the exhaustion.

Thanks again for all the love and support. I am surrounded in person and spirit with amazing people (and angels, apparently).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Unbelievable

Last night I came very close to losing what I hold most dear. Shortly after 11pm, I woke to the sound of a blipping baby monitor. The audio was not working so I checked the visual monitor (we have 2 set up). It said "No Signal." After flicking the buttons off and on a few times, I decided I should get up to check the monitors in the little guy's room so I could get back to sleep. I trudged across the hall and noticed the light on from under the little guy's door. Odd, I thought to myself. Was my husband in there with him?

I opened the door expecting to see the two of them, but instead saw the oscillating fan on fire, a room full of smoke, and my son, lit by the light from the fire, screaming in his crib. I screamed downstairs to my husband, grabbed my son, ran to my daughter's room and grabbed her and ran downstairs. I plunked my daughter outside the front door, ran to get the fire extinguisher in the kitchen and called 911. I stayed outside with the kids while my husband tried to contain the fire. The extinguisher did not work and neither did a pillow. He thankfully had the smarts to use our kids' water bath buckets to get the fire out. The fire men ran into our home with a hose right after the fire was put out.

It was a blur.

We had a few fire trucks and an ambulance here. The street was blocked off. My son was checked out in the back of the ambulance after being put on an oxygen mask. We had many neighbors standing with us in solidarity on the front lawn. My friends across the street took the babe to their place so she could rest on their couch in peace.

When everyone was gone, the kids and I read some books in the living room while my husband tried to clear things up enough for us to sleep (there were traces of soot all over the second floor, and the firemen -- bless them -- and their firehoses had tracked in mud). We all snuggled together in our room, with the babe between my husband and I and the little guy back in the co-sleeper which was pulled down from the attic.

Needless to say we did not get more than a few hours of sleep last night.

Today has been a battle to control my mind. We were minutes away from the worst fate I can imagine. I am struggling to keep a strong face for our two children (who are now, finally, fast asleep).

I will write more on this later, but for now I need to say this: if you do not have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home, go buy them. You should also consider having fire alarms in all your bedrooms. We have an alarm in the hall outside our bedrooms, but as the little guy's door was shut, the alarm did not go off because the smoke had not yet reached the hallway ceiling.

Never make assumptions about your safety. Bad things do happen to good people, and we all need to do what we can to minimize the risks in our lives, while also trying to stay sane.

We are all safe. And I am thanking the powers above. One minute can change your life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 1

Today I had a first. I cleaned a very large poop out of my daughter's panties. Not diapers...panties, because today was Day 1 of "Project Panties."

The first half of the day was pretty miserable. We had three pee pee accidents and one poop accident by 11:30 am. That is a lot of accidents for half a day (especially as we were putting her on the potty every 30/45 minutes). The running dialogue in my head wasn't very positive and we were beginning to think we had rushed things.

After a long nap, the babe stepped it up. She woke with a dry diaper and didn't have any more accidents for the rest of the day. In fact, she let us know she had to pee during her shower and got plunked on the toilet naked and soaking wet. How awesome is that? The fact she told us she had to go is what is making me smile right now.

We'll see how things go tomorrow.

In other news, we had a lovely time at the Canadian Embassy for Canada Day on July 1st, and my husband and I celebrated 4 years of marriage on the 1st and 2nd (we had 2 separate ceremonies). We even ventured out to a local Japanese restaurant for some sushi (a friend from across the street baby sat for us). It's been an action packed week which has involved lots of potty talk and lots of celebrating our love talk. Right now, my night is about to involve some eating of the chocolate torte cake talk.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer 2009: Season of the Potty

Summer camp. Swimming in my back yard pool. Outdoor concerts/festivals and frosty drinks on patios.

Summer has meant different things to me at different phases of my life. This summer feels like the summer of the potty. I am counting down the days (4) until we go hardcore: no more diapers. I keep writing about this challenge, because that's what I'm finding it to be, a challenge.

I mentioned to a friend today that I may have to go on medication just to make it through this experience. I try to remain upbeat and positive, and I try not to freak out when the babe decides to do a big, stinky poop in her diaper, but it doesn't always work. I now officially hate the term "potty" and asking "do you need to go sit on the potty?" I asked my Mom about it, and she didn't remember potty training my sister or I. Perhaps it is something best forgotten once complete.

In other news, it seemed to be baby day in my facebook account: my lovely cousin just had a healthy (and huge) son, a high school friend also had a happy, healthy son, and an old friend just let me in on his wife's pregnancy. Much congratulations and love to you all. And good luck with the potty training!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


My husband has been worried as the little guy hasn't been rolling these days. He went through a phase where he would roll from his stomach to his back. Lately he has just stopped rolling when placed down for tummy time. He does a swimming kind a move where it looks like he's going to take off. I haven't been overly concerned, but I figured we'd ask at his 6 month doc appointment in a week and a half.

I am currently trying to get the little guy to take a nap. He is exhausted and needs some quality zzz's and is unfortunately up there crying (his sister is peacefully asleep in the room next door). But here's why I'm writing: it was a little quiet up there for a second so I flipped on my video monitor and the little guy was on his stomach! That means he rolled from his back to his tummy. I know this is a good thing, but now I'm freaked out about him getting stuck in the position at night when I'm asleep. I suppose he'll let me know.

Now, if only he would take his nap....I've been on the nap mission for over an hour straight and it's been quite dramatic. Perhaps we missed a sleep window and I will be waiting a long time. All I really want to do is take a cold shower and wash my hair. Although I think I may have to go another day with gross hair so I can monitor the nap meltdown which is currently underway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So Much to Say

Where does the time go? All I can say is that neither of my kids like the computer. I'll admit I can get easily sucked into its charms. I think about blogging every day, but after briefly checking email and whatever other nonsense I deem "critical" (like online banking), there is no time left for my dear blog. As most of you are my friends and family, I know you won't hold it against me!

So, a belated Father's Day! We had a lovely Sunday which included blueberry pancakes, a trip to Rock Creek Park to visit the horse stables and Nature Center, lounging on the porch reading while both kids took a nice long nap, and some BBQ action before an early bed time for all. Thanks to my hubby and all the very awesome Daddies out there who make our world turn.

We've been tackling potty training around here, big time. We have a (free) potty training chart taped next to the toilet and we put 1 sticker up for pee pee and 2 stickers up for poop. It's going fairly well. Although some days are certainly better than others. It is an extremely trying and messy business which requires more patience than I have. But it has to be done, and I'll admit the feeling of pride I have after the babe has a nice poop on the potty is pretty hard to beat! To celebrate the Fourth of July weekend we are going all the way and will be putting the babe into real panties. No more diapers and no turning back (well, pull ups when we travel next month are acceptable). I decided on doing the big switch over the long weekend for the back-up support my husband will be able to provide as I know it's going to be intense. I will keep you posted.

In other news, the little guy is 6 months old today. I cannot believe it. I am thrilled and sad at the same time. In many ways, Christmas Eve feels like a zillion years ago and I can't imagine our life without him. In other ways I can close my eyes and easily remember when it was just the babe and I, and part of me misses that as well. Balancing between 2 kids is trickier than I imagined, but it's all worth it. The little guy continues to be scrumptious and I am so looking forward to watching him grow. Happy half year!

Friday, June 19, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Up to the Attic You Go

You'll be proud of me. I finally packed up the co-sleeper in our room. I guess I just had to be ready, which means I had to be sufficiently tired of scooting to the end of the bed to get out of it, and sick of banging my arms and legs on the side of the co-sleeper in the middle of the night.

The kids and I did a photo shoot to capture the beauty that is our co-sleeper. I then unhooked it, took off the sheets for the last time, tried to break it down and failed, and hauled it into the attic still fully assembled. It really cleared up some space and made getting out of bed way easier last night.

The funny thing is that my husband didn't even notice it was gone. We all get attached to different things, and for me it was definitely the thing that kept my new babies close to me at night.

Farewell to my beloved co-sleeper.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Broken Record

I am getting sick of the sound of my own voice. I feel like a broken record these days. If you hit play, these are some of the things you will likely hear:
  • Be careful please
  • Are your ears open? Are you doing good listening?
  • Did you hear what I said?
  • Out of your mouth
  • Soft touch please
  • No hitting
  • No, we don't do that
  • Did you hear what I said?
  • Good girl!
  • We don't play with our food, we eat our food.
  • OK, I'm going to count to 3
  • Do you want a time out?
  • Can you take it down a notch? Inside voice please.
  • Good listening monkey!
  • Do you need to do pee pee on the potty?
  • Fait nice do do (this is part of our sleep time ritual). I'll check on you soon (this is another part of our sleep time ritual). Back in your room (also part of the sleep time ritual)!
  • Please don't touch your brother that way
  • Please stop whining!
  • Can you wait just a minute/Can you give me a second?
  • I'll be right back
  • Is that how you talk to me?

And my favorite:

  • I love you SO MUCH!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Love Story

The little guy will soon be 6 months old (June 24th), and as every parent has said at one point or another, I don't know where the time has gone. He is truly delicious and I am in awe.

A few exciting developments:

He has successfully begun eating carrots (7 days with no signs of any allergies). Yesterday he successfully ate green beans for the first time (6 more days to go until he is "clear"). Maybe next week he'll have some squash. The little guy is really liking his "real" food and gets all riled up at the prospect of eating. In fact he is pretty inpatient at times. All I can say is that his new style of poop is proof that we are making dietary progress!

This morning I went to give him a bath and realized he's pretty darn big and doesn't need the infant insert anymore. So he went in his tub in an upright position and even had a duckie to play with. He seemed quite pleased with the whole experience. I was too.

His little co-sleeper is still attached to my side of the bed. For some reason I can not take it down, despite the fact it has been over 5 weeks since he slept there (although I still see him twice a night to feed him!). I guess I can't face the fact that when I take it down, it will be for good. There is no turning back, and I truly am pleased that he is in his own room. It's just that I know it's the end of an era. We will not be setting up the co-sleeper again, and that's what gets me.

On another note, the little guy continues to become increasingly interactive and is quite in love with his big sister. She has an amazing ability to make him smile/laugh. And this, in turn, makes me smile/laugh.

I could go on and on but will spare you. I fall more in love with him every day and just wanted you all to know.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Despite all the belly aching in my last post, I actually have it pretty good.

Today I did something I've never done before. The little guy and I went to a 'Baby and Mama' yoga class at my old studio in Dupont Circle. It was very cute and I really enjoyed it, despite the fact that babies like to interrupt the yoga practice quite frequently. I have gotten quite into yoga in the past, and have dropped the practice just as many times. The whole having 2 babies thing has definitely moved yoga down my list of priorities over the past 3 years, despite the fact I'd probably be a lot more sane if I kept it nearer to the top of the list.

A lot of the folks there were first time parents. I found myself telling one woman struggling with going back to work that I didn't regret quitting my job 2 1/2 years ago. I was actually blabbing on about how rewarding it is to be your baby's primary care giver full time. It's a good thing she wasn't hanging out with me yesterday.

I was struck by another funny thing. First time parents are really slow at diaper changing. I was amazed at the sweet way in which they dealt with the process. I am definitely at the down and dirty stage of my diaper changing career.

Anyway, I may actually do the class again. Perhaps it is equivalent to watching TV and eating bon bons. The fact that it's in my old neighborhood is also a bonus. It ends up being an expensive outing when you factor in our marvelous babysitter for the babe, but I figure it's a well deserved treat for the little guy and I. After all, it's best to start 'em young with good habits!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stress a Good Thing?

They say a little stress is a good thing. But how much, I wonder? Over time, my definition of stress has changed dramatically. Beyond the things we all worry about, such as food, shelter, health and bills, I now worry about feeding my kids (and my husband and I), keeping my kids safe, potty training, sleep training, nap time, doing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen, ensuring our house doesn't stink like dirty diapers, etc. etc. Like most things, you can't know what it's like until you experience it for your self.

Some folks think stay-at-home moms have a pretty good deal. We get to make our own schedule and rules, do what we want, go where we want, all while clocking quality hours in front of the TV eating bon bons (of course). Others, such as a lovely construction worker man who let me load the kids and the gear into the car today before returning to his loud side walk work, think that my job is harder than his. I told him I miss the office. He replied that was cause for concern.

It really depends what time of day you catch me at, because at some moments, I am so happy to be home with my wonderful and beautiful children, at others I am barely holding it together and wishing I could just disappear. I am told this is normal. My main goal is to try and ensure there is more bliss than stress. This, however, is hard to remember when you have a toddler sitting on the potty whining at you and a baby in a bouncy chair full on crying at you. There's a reason they say patience is a virtue. But we soldier on...because that what Mamas do.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Little Towers

The little guy is now at the age where he can sit in his bumbo chair, watch his sister build Lego towers, watch the Lego towers fall down, and burst into little giggles. It is the cutest thing in the world and makes me one proud Mama. It really is cool to watch their relationship grow, despite the fact that the babe is still randomly hitting and throwing things at the little guy. She also gives him lots of kisses and hugs, and that's what counts!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strawberries and Mochas

It's been a bit intense with the lack of sleep around here. The babe is not a fan of thunderstorms and has been up constantly for the past 2 nights. She seems to think she is allowed to sleep with us if there's thunder. We don't agree. So we take turns bringing her back to her room and signing to her. The little guy is not a fan of the hours between 2 and 3:30 am and has been left to "scream it out" in his crib. It kills me to leave him in there but it's for the best. He continues to wake at around 11:15 pm and 4:00 am to eat. Sleep training, which has been going on for a whole month now, is a work in progress, I suppose. We must be headed for some yummy pay-back sleepy time somewhere in the near future, but for now, I'm running on a broken 4.5 hours per night. My brain is swimming.

Anyway, my blog does not exist to only publish my random complaints. It exists to tell you about getting it together and dragging the kids to the farm to pick strawberries with our play group friends. This morning we threw our disheveled selves in the car and drove out to the country. It was a beautiful drive and the scenery (and real estate) was smashing. The picking was good and the babe seemed to enjoy the process of finding the "really red ones." Luckily the little guy slept in his car seat in the field (fresh air combined with exhaustion does the trick).

On the way home I did a selfish "me" thing. I pulled into a suburban strip mall to drag our dirty and tired selves into Starbucks for a venti (yes, venti) mocha with whip cream and a bagel with cream cheese. The sweet buzz I got on the ride home made up for the screaming in the back seat and the sitting on the road stuck in construction. Sometimes I wish I had a taxi cab with the window separating me from the back seat chaos. Alas. I am the referee and I must take my job seriously. And this referee was happy to have pulled off a good day. Strawberry shortcake, anyone?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I just returned from a bulk shopping trip to Costco with the little guy. Our awesome new babysitter was with the babe at the park, so I was free to do my thing. I've only made it out there once since the little guy was born as it's a 40 minute drive and I just can't handle 2 kids there. So I have been making a HUGE shopping list (in my head) for a few months. Today was the day to make it all happen.

While I was there I spoke with 2 other Mamas. One was struggling to get a baby in a car seat into the top portion of the cart and I asked if the carts were difficult to use with the car seats as I was about to do the same thing. We briefly chatted about our babies and she then informed me she had 3 more kids in the car to deal with. Wow. And I can't handle going shopping with 2! I saw her later getting juice samples for 2 of the 4 kids and it looked a little crazy. I don't know how she could manage to shop and keep an eye on all of them. Madness, I say!

The next Mama was in front of me in the check out. She had a 10 week old and a 2 year old. I told her she was stronger than I as I had left my 2 1/2 year old behind. She then told me she had 2 other kids at home and shopping with just 2 was a treat. Yikes. A treat indeed.

So, I guess what my morning shopping trip taught me is that I need to keep things in perspective. Although having 2 kids is a constant challenge for me, it could be way worse!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Memories

Another long weekend has come and gone. Is time passing ridiculously fast these days, or is it just me? The days can seem so long, but the weeks and months are zooming by. The little guy turned 5 months old on the 24th and I am wondering where my little baby has gone? He's growing bigger and smarter every day. It is awesome to watch and as excited as I am for him to be more capable, I am saddened by the fact that he is changing so fast and we will never have a little baby again.

So, to kick off the long weekend, we decided to move into "sleep training part 2." This involved losing the swaddle blanket and no scratch mittens, and stopping our kazillion trips a night to put the pacifier back in the little guy's mouth. It hasn't been all that bad. We had to let him cry for 30 minutes on Friday night when we put him down to sleep. On Saturday night he actually slept an 8 hour stretch (I got 4 hours of that, but whatever). Sadly last night we had to let him scream from 3-4 am. I knew he'd stop if I just gave in and fed him, but I stuck it out. It was also in the middle of a serious torrential downpour/storm so we just listened to the screaming baby and pounding rain waiting for it all to pass. Two steps forward, one step back, right?

The babe continues to be a serious challenge and I am desperate for a new way of dealing with her. I hate that I have such a short fuse and know that I have to work on my patience with her. I do have high expectations of her and have to stop and remind myself that she's only 2 1/2. I also have to learn to pick my battles as I can't always be fighting. Life is too short.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The main female character in the book I am reading, Meri, is pregnant. She is not enjoying the experience and is very apprehensive about motherhood. It is a negativity you don't usually see in a happily married and relatively successful fictional character.

I read a chapter in bed last night (which was delicious). Meri explained that she had never had the need to wear a bra and was now, in her pregnant state, having to wear a bra all the time. She said she thought having cleavage was only good for catching sweat and crumbs. I laughed when I read this as she obviously has no idea what she is in for.

Earlier this week I went to pick up the little guy from his Bumbo chair in the kitchen (where I place him for brief moments when I need to do/get something quickly). As I hoisted him into the air, he managed to produce a huge spit up which spilled directly into the front of my shirt. It quickly pooled in the cleavage of my nursing bra. Nice. I wiped it up with a paper towel and headed outside with the babe and the little guy as planned. As my husband said later that evening when I told him the story, "Hard core Mommy."

Anyway, my very dear friend wrote a great post on her blog about how you have to surrender to motherhood. I've been thinking about the idea of surrendering since reading her entry and I think it has a lot to do with just accepting that you have spit up in your bra.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Testing Me

The babe is challenging me constantly. And not in a good way. I am very ready for her to go to school in September. Despite the fact she may one day read this, I have to admit I am loving my time with the little guy, and enduring the time with the babe. Some people love the toddler stage, whereas I am quickly realizing that I do not have the patience required. I know I need to try harder, be more calm, and try to be a bit more creative with her, but most of the time I'm just trying to get through the day without losing it on her.

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday night and while we sat at the table eating, the babe (who was supposed to be watching "educational" cartoons) took a crayon and drew on the living room wall and then on the front door. Last week she hit her brother (still a baby) on the head 3 times. Yesterday morning she hit me. The day before she tried to bite me. She has kicked me countless times (intentionally I might add) while I am changing her diaper (which I am very sick of doing). She can also be abusive with her little friends. Last week she bludgeoned a worm to death with a stick. That can't be a good sign, can it?

One of her new favorites is, "No, YOU don't talk to me that way." I have replied that I can talk to her any way I want because I am her mother. She replies, "No, you're NOT my mother."

When asked why she did something (always a naughty something), she will usually reply, "Because I DO THAT sometimes."

What happened to my sweet little baby girl? Is this going to happen to the little guy as well, or is this just the babe's personality coming out in full force? No one told me having a baby was easier than having a toddler (except for the continued sleep deprivation). Does that mean it's just going to keep getting harder and harder?

She makes me want to run back to the land of the employed (gasp)...but that would mean I couldn't be with the little guy, and I can not even ponder that possibility. I suppose I must soldier on until school begins. I think we will all be ready when it does.

But it's not all bad. The babe can be really sweet to me at times and she is really cute when she's sleeping. Count my blessings, right?