Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Family Book

On our recent trip to the library, we picked up The Family Book, by Todd Parr.  It a great little book that looks at all the different kinds of families out there.  It has simple and colorful graphics, and a straightforward message: familes come in all shapes and sizes and they love and take care of each other.  The babe has fallen hard for this book and wants to read it at nap time AND bed time.  She makes the same comments on the same pages at every reading.

I have tried to explain what stepbrothers and stepsisters are and have had to explain that she has one Mama and one Papa, and will never have two Mamas and/or two Papas (as discussed in The Family Book).  But she really seems to want two Mamas and/or two Papas.  I have tried to reassure her that her Grandparents are also like parents because they are her parents, parents.  Apparently that doesn't do it for her. 

I'm glad she thinks it's cool and I am happy to expose her to all the wonderful variations of family we see in this world. She is learning that it takes all kinds and that there's no right or wrong way to be a family.  It's all about the love! 

Friday, July 30, 2010

The New Tradition

Over the years, when I have wanted a special treat, I have always made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (based on the recipe for Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies).  They are shared with my husband on Friday and Saturday nights as we chill out and watch TV.  It has become a special tradition.

Today I decided I wanted some of those cookies.  I figured with all the vegetables we've been eating from our awesome garden, we were due for a sweet treat.  But I wanted the babe and her brother to be able to enjoy this special tradition with us.  I can't believe it took me so long to try this, but this afternoon the babe and I put on our aprons and altered my recipe into a non-dairy, non-egg version, and it worked out really well (although it was hard to shape the cookies as the batter wasn't really sticky).

I wanted to share my new version of an old favorite with you:

1 cup (2 sticks) of softened non-dairy Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 mushed up banana
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Dash of salt
3 cups of old fashioned uncooked oats
1 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1. Heat oven to 350 F
2. Beat together melted buttery sticks and sugars until creamy
3. Add mashed up banana and vanilla; beat well
4. Add COMBINED flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well
5. Stir in oats and chocolate chips; mix well
6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookies sheet
7. Bake for 11 minutes
8. Cool 1 minute and move to plate or wire rack

The great thing about this recipe is you can load up 12 cookies for immediate use, and divide the rest of the batter into 2 separate bags for the freezer for future indulgence.  It's reassuring knowing you've got another 24 cookies just waiting for you.  When the last bag is done, time to start all over again.

After years of buying allergy friendly Cherrybrook Kitchen chocolate chip cookies (which are great), I think I'll be making more of an effort to make the kids cookies from scratch.  It just feels (and tastes) right.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


It is the sweetest sound when my son learns a new word.  This week it was "Nana."  My Mom decided to call herself Nana when the babe was born.  She didn't like the sound of Grandma.

We were speaking to her on speakerphone the other day when I asked the kids to say hi to her.  The little guy was really excited and kept yelling "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" into the phone.  I asked him to say "Nana" expecting him to keep saying "Hi," but he surprised us all and actually did it.  We were all so psyched to hear his proper pronunciation of this very important name.  He kept repeating "Nana" to prove he had this word down pat. 

I wish I could have seen my Mom's face.  I'm assuming her smile was as big as mine, if not bigger.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

I wanted to share some photos from our trip to the zoo today, but the computer is giving me grief.

On top of the zoo, we made it to the library after nap time.

It was another successful non-school day.

I think the trick to having both kids at home all day every day is to plan activities and get out of the house.  It makes the time fly by and tires us all out.   

As such, I'm off to bed.  Good night!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Driving Home Minding Our Own Business

*****WARNING: This is a rather disturbing post which discusses Anti-Choice Activists*****

Despite the fact I have a graduate degree in political science, I am not one to get into political arguments.  I figure people will believe what they believe and there's no point in me wasting my time trying to convince them that I am right and they are wrong.  Too each their own unless it hurts me or my family.

That is part of the reason I was SO DISGUSTED today as we drove by a large truck with HUGE photos of aborted fetuses all over it.  It was obviously carrying the anti-abortion message, but in an excruciatingly graphic manner.  I just don't think this kind of thing is necessary and I found it very offensive.

The reason I got so upset is because the babe pointed at the truck as I tried to speed by it and started asking questions about it.  "Mama, did you see that truck?" she said.  "What was that?"  As she was talking, I realized the truck was only the beginning.  There were about 15 people on the side of the road with very large posters of aborted fetuses at various stages of development.  The light ahead turned red and I was stuck.

I was panicking.  Somehow, the babe was managing to look at me and not at all these crazy people on her side of the car (I had switched to the furthest lane possible at this point).  I tried to keep her attention on my side of the car so she wouldn't clue into what was going on outside our windows. 

I wimped out and told her I hadn't noticed the truck and asked her what she had seen (I was trying to assess the damage that had been done in her little brain).  She told me she thought is was pictures of a toy bug or something.  I made the "hmmmmm" sound and said that perhaps she was right.  The light turned green and I sped off as fast as I could.

I felt like my children and I had somehow been abused.  It was just not right to have such large and disturbing images out in the open like that.  I almost rolled down my window to yell something like "I have children in the car, you freaks," but held myself back.  I didn't want to make matters worse for my innocent little babes.

I suppose this is all part of living in a free society, but this subject matter is not something I want my children exposed to right now.  I'm just grateful the situation turned out as well as it did.  The babe could have noticed a lot more and could have had a lot more questions running through her very active mind.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Buckling In

When it's time to go for a car ride, I usually open the back door by our side walk so the babe can climb into her seat while I walk around to the other side of the car with the little guy to buckle him in.  I'll admit there have been a few times when I've lost concentration and started to go to the drivers seat instead of walking back around to the babe's side to get her settled.  Don't worry, she never let's me get away with it.

As we were leaving for the park today, I was going about our routine and getting the little guy buckled in when the babe announced that I had better come back to put her in her seat properly or the police would come and put me in jail.

It's a good thing someone is paying attention.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Words

Another Sunday.  Another Sunday brunch.  The kids were already climbing the walls by the time I was making our pancakes this morning.  At one point, both kids and my husband were in the kitchen and there was a lot going on. 

The little guy was loudly babbling nonsensically when my husband told him he needs to start using words.  "You're almost 2 years old; you need to start using words, dude," said my husband.  My son walked out of the kitchen to his high chair.  He started pointing at his high chair while yelling "Eat.  Eat.  Eat."  I was shocked and drew everyone's attention to the little guy's valiant efforts at communication.  How awesome!  We were all thrilled and had him repeat his new word throughout our meal.

After dinner, and after a huge storm had lifted some of the oppressive humidity, we went for a little walk around the block.  We heard some birds and the little guy started to try and do the sign for bird (he was putting his hands by his mouth...which is close enough).  He was so excited and kept repeating the sign every time he heard another bird.  Further into our walk we heard a plane going by and the little guy stopped and pointed at the sky yelling something close to "PLAAA, PLAAAA."

In my humble opinion, I think we witnessed another language explosion.  There is hope after all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Second Hand

Why didn't I think of this before?

If you have kids, you know how quickly they grow out of their clothes.  It is so annoying to have to spend good money on clothes that you know will not last (especially as there is only so much unisex stuff I can buy the babe).  I pretty much buy the kids stuff at Target, Costco, and the occasional outlet mall, but I still find I spend more than I'd like to.  Honestly, I'd prefer to spend it on clothes for me that will last for years to come (because, as I've admitted before, I can be selfish at times).

So, when I stumbled upon a second hand store having a 50% off sale, I quickly realized how much I could be saving if I made this part of my regular shopping pattern.  The little guy and I were stranded in the way out suburbs of Northern Virginia having the oil changed and tires rotated on our car yesterday.  After grabbing an iced coffee (for me, not my son), we made our way over to a depressing and run down mini mall.  I didn't have very high expectations.  Boy, was I wrong.

We made our way into this second hand store with trepidation.  But once I got into the kids clothing section, I started grabbing stuff and piling it on top of the stroller.  I was getting brand name clothes which had barely been used for ridiculous prices like $1.25 for LL Bean snow pants, $4.00 for a fall jacket, $2.00 for Polo dress shirts.  It was crazy!  I ended up spending $27 and getting 15 items.

Second hand shopping certainly worked out for me this time.  The fact that the store benefits a shelter for victims of domestic violence made the experience even more worthwhile.  If they had a website, I'd include it.

Not sure if I can make the ridiculously long drive out to this store with any frequency, but I'll certainly be looking into what is going on closer to home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Let the Games Begin

Today was the babe's last day of school.  It is now officially summer vacation.  I'll admit it, I'm scared.  I am not good at dealing with 2 kids all day, every day.  That is part of the reason the babe has been in school 5 days a week.  But I am going to try and have a positive attitude going into this.

I remember loving summer vacation as a kid.  The feeling of freedom was awesome.  Playing outside was awesome.  Not going to school was awesome.  But when it comes down to it, I think the babe loves school.  She gets to play with her friends, play outside, and learn all these cool things.  My task is to make home as cool as school.

I don't have much of a plan other than to write a list of activities that we can do every day.  I am thinking a "schedule" of sorts will be helpful.  If we can get out of the house every day by 9am, there's a good chance we will still be sane by lunch time.  I am going to stick to a daily nap time for both of them, and think of arts/crafts related activities to get us from nap time to dinner.

As tempting as it is, I MUST NOT let them watch an insane amount of TV every day.  To do this, I am going to have to let a few things around the house slide, but it's only for about 5 weeks.

This is my time to test my Mama skills.  This is my time to shine.  Can you hear me psyching myself up?  I can do this.   

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Joys of a Good Read

A few times this past week, I have caught the little guy sitting on the floor with a book in hand.  He has been turning the pages and doing his usual baby babble thing.  I try to be very quiet so he isn't interrupted.  He is so concentrated and you can tell that he really believes he is "reading" the book.  I am going to take it as a good sign.  Regardless, it really is the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They Swim Among Us

In my former life as a professional, I crossed paths with some pretty important people.  I'm not saying this to brag, I just wanted to get it out there before I tell you my story about swimming class this week.

In my current life as a Mom, I don't really cross paths with anyone of "note."  But this week was different.  The babe, the little guy and I were the first ones by the pool for swimming lessons.  We were standing there and counting the stars and stripes on the big American flag over-hanging the pool when a few men, an older woman, a medium aged woman, and a girl walked by.  We all nodded and said hello as they walked past us. I didn't really think much of it.  Obviously the girl was just having a private swimming lesson.  And perhaps the others were with the swim club.  Anyway...

The babe's classmates arrived and they all got in the pool.  The other parents and I went back up to the lobby level to watch the class.  That's when the Mom next to me questioned why those other folks got to stay down by the pool.  "Just because she's the daughter of the President," the Mom said.  Holy Cow!!!!  "Did I hear her right?" I thought to myself.  And indeed, after taking off my Mommy Goggles, and upon further inspection, I realized that it was Sasha Obama and her Grandmother, along with several undercover secret service agents.

When I told the babe who she had had a swim class next to, she couldn't really have cared less and moved onto the next subject.  I suppose I was the only one who thought it was super cool that my daughter "kinda" took swimming lessons with the President's daughter (even though Sasha was in the bigger pool next to ours.)  I suppose I chose a good swim school after all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Turning the World Around

Last night was a rough one.  Therefore today was a rough one.  The babe was up half way through the night and then she went back to sleep.  Then her brother woke up, and didn't go back to sleep.  I was in and out of his bedroom constantly for half the night and couldn't sort out what his problem was.

He didn't have a fever.  He didn't have a nasty diaper.  I gave him water, so he wasn't thirsty.  He didn't have a hair stuck around his toes.  Ultimately, I think it was his tummy.  He let out a few farts but I think there was a lot more stuck in there.  I felt bad for him but he wouldn't let me comfort him.  But he also didn't want me to leave his room.  I finally fell back to sleep in my own bed at 6:00 am.  It was like having a newborn.

Needless to say, we didn't quite make it to music class this morning.  I just didn't have it in me.  Instead we picked up a mocha, a few groceries, and chilled out at home until it was time for an early nap.  The thing that made everything all right was listening to Raffi.

Have you heard of him?  If you're Canadian, you probably grew up with his music.  If you're from somewhere else and have not heard him, I encourage you to check his children's music out.  He has great lyrics, wonderful messages, and music which can be both calming and upbeat. 

Check out the lyrics to Turn This World Around (2000, Homeland Publishing).  You'll see what I mean:

"We heard it from Mandela, turn this world around

For the children – turn this world around.
He’s done it once before, and now we hear his call
For the children, turn this world around.

The dreams of our young ones born into this world
Need respect and love to come alive.
Honouring the children is what we’re here to do
Now is the hour and we’ve got the power to

Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.
Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.

If every nation’s leaders put their children first
Care and provide for every child
Each and every household could sing a song of joy
All round this planet, a new light within it could

Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.
Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.

And the children sing: help our light to shine
May we all be fed, may we all be loved.
May the elders here open up their hearts
To this song of ours, may they do their part.

May our dreams unfold, may we find our place
In a healthy world, embracing every race
May we all be free, may we live in peace –
Hear the children sing, hear us sing.

Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children

Turn this world around.
Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.

We heard it from Mandela, turn this world around
For the children – turn this world around.
He’s done it once before, and now we hear his call
For the children, turn this world around.

Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.
Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around.
Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children
Turn this world around …
For the children, turn this world around –
For the children, turn this world around."

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Tomatoes

I wanted to share a special thing.

The other day we were having a "family" dinner.  My husband and I were still eating but the babe had left the table to wash her hands.  At this point we weren't so relaxed because our family dinner hadn't gone so well (see below).

The babe came back to the table with one tomato for her Papa, one tomato for me, and one tomato for herself (the little guy doesn't like them).  These were the tomatoes she had picked from our garden and washed herself.  How incredibly SWEET is that?  I am so proud to be her Mama.

The thing that gets me is that we didn't ask for the tomatoes, she just brought them.  It's gestures like this that make me think that things are getting through to her and maybe we aren't doing such a bad job after all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Family Meals?

I may have already mentioned this to you, but I generally don't like to eat dinner with my kids.  I feed them before my husband gets home from work on week nights, and we generally feed them before we eat on the weekends as well. 

We do this for a number of reasons:
  • So we can eat
  • So we can talk
  • So we don't hear yellls, whines and screams while we try and eat
  • So we don't have food or utensils thrown at us (that would be the little guy)
  • So we don't get indigestion
That said, I do encourage a weekly Sunday brunch.  We always have the same thing: super healthy pancakes (with banana and soy milk as our substitutes), organic maple turkey sausage and fruit.  The kids always eat a ton and I am convinced it is their biggest and favorite meal of the week.  I usually make it to the table to eat about half way through and am left eating after everyone has long gone, but it's nice to do it one time a week.

This weekend was a bit different.  We actually had THREE family meals together.  They all had varrying degrees of sucess, but ultimately, the brunch was my favorite.  It reaffirmed that we don't need to have dinner with the kids.  It's just too much work, and it's too hard to eat.

I do look forward to the days when they will be able to sit with us at the table and take care of themselves.  But I'm in no rush.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Those Nasty Little Mosquitos

Sun Screen:  CHECK

UV 50 Protective Swim Wear: CHECK

Bug Spray:  WHOOPS

It was another hot and stinky one here in DC.  We decided to throw the kids in the sprinkler to burn off some steam and enjoy the great sweltering outdoors.  My husband sprayed himself with OFF and I used my "natural" deet free bug spray as we sat on the porch watching the kids.  We seemed to forget that perhaps the kids would also benefit from some bug spray.  But they were in the sprinkler....

They both got bitten extensively, but the little guy had at least 5 bites on just his face.  Poor kid was scratching his eye so much I wondered if his eye lid had gotten bitten.  The thing about 1.5 year olds is that they're not so great at swatting bugs off themselves.

Anyway, I felt negligent.  But the after sprinkler bath we had once we returned to the air conditioned bliss of the house seemed to help sooth the kids pain.  By bed time, those bites seemed forgotten.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Baby.  Bear.  Car.

These are the words the little guy seems to have picked up since YESTERDAY!  It started with "Baby" after we watched the Baby Signing Time DVD (thanks, K!).

You may recall I have had a few concerns over his slow verbal development, but it appears as though we've hit a bit of a growth period in this department.  I am pretty psyched.  It just makes me so unbelievably thrilled to hear him say these simple words.  I am bursting with joy and pride.

Mama.  Papa.  Done.  Hi.  Baa (his pacifier).  Yes.  No.  Uh Oh. 
(Plus animal sounds including: dog, lion, sheep, monkey)

These are the words he had already perfected.  I can't wait until he can say his sister's name.

All in all, it looks like our vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds!  Yay for growth!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sleep Sacks

I had a horrible headache last night and I think I was asleep before my daughter.  It's better off you didn't have to listen to me rant anyway (I wasn't in the best mood!).

Anyway, to make up for it, I wanted to share my sleep sack preferences with you.  Sleep sacks are an amazing invention and I have used many different brands over the past few years.  I'm not a huge product endorser, but I really wanted to share how much I love Sleep Huggers.  They are a Canadian company who make sleep sacks for the summer and winter, and are one of the only companies who make seriously extra large sacks.  They provide awesome customer service and their products are of exceptional quality. 

The little guy had grown out of his Aden and Anais sleep sack and I wanted a new lightweight sack for him.  As he is 95% percentile for height, I had trouble finding many options.  But we love his Sleep Huggers winter sack and I decided to try the lightweight option.

It's super long, comfy, and my husband thinks it looks like a dress, but the little guy loves it and so do I.  So if you're looking, I'd highly recommend them.  It's worth the price tag!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mean Girls

We were at the park this afternoon after school.  I was doing my best to keep an eye on both kids, although that has definitely become increasingly difficult as the little guy has gotten older and is running around and climbing on everything he sees.

At one point I switched my gaze from the babe (who was doing her thing on the monkey bars) to the little guy.  I caught him waving to a little girl by the small plastic house he loves to play inside.  The little girl proceeded to push him.  My son looked a bit surprised but continued giving his beautiful smile and his sweet wave.  She didn't seem to care about his obvious charms.  "That is definitely not the kind of girl I want my son hanging out with," I thought to myself.

It made me realize he is growing up fast and I won't always be able to be hovering above him.  That said, he's still my sweet, sweet, little boy and I will always be there to watch his back.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I had another (short) conversation with the babe's new teacher today.  She asked me if I know what my daughter wants to be when she grows up.  I replied that I thought she wanted to be an astronaut (she keeps talking about going up in a rocket).  The teacher shook her head and told me that today the babe announced she wants to be a lawyer.  Yikes.  I laughed and did a fake shudder.  Why would a 3.5 year old want to be a lawyer and where is she learning about this stuff?  No doubt, she'd be an awesome lawyer.

I told my husband the story and he asked the babe if she knows what a lawyer does.  She replied that lawyers are people who tell you what you can and cannot do.  It's amazing how smart kids are these days.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Old Soul

I had a little chat with the babe's new teacher on Friday at pick up (the babe was finishing up her sports program at the time).  We spoke about how the babe is doing so much better these days and that her outlandish behavior of a few weeks ago was probably just a result of changing classrooms and having a new teacher.  It was a huge relief!

The babe's teacher continued on and told me a few stories about some recent conversations with the babe.  Apparently even my daughter's teacher forgets she's speaking with a 3.5 year old sometimes because the babe is so verbal and has such a high level of comprehension.  I was also told that my daughter can be a drama queen (no surprise there), and that she is an old soul.

It is that last comment that makes me feel reassured.  The babe has so many amazing qualities, but for a 3.5 year old to be an old soul...well that's just cool.

PS-I realize I dropped the ball yesterday and didn't post.  I just didn't have it in me, and I decided that was OK.  I figured you wouldn't hold it against me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"You and Your Heart"

I know I mentioned that the babe has been quite good company lately, but that doesn't mean she's any less bossy.  Sometimes I forget she's only 3.5 with the way she can order me around.  Luckily most of those orders are coming my way in the car when she's telling me which song she wants to listen to.

The babe is OBSESSED with Jack Johnson these days.  I bought his new album, To The Sea and have been playing it in the car lately.  But all she wants to hear is the first track, "You and Your Heart."  She wants to hear it over and over and over again.  Slightly obsessive behavior.

Anyway, last weekend my husband was in the car with us and the babe requested her favorite tune.  My husband obliged and cranked it when she asked him to turn it up.  The kids proceeded to laugh and bop along to the song while my husband looked back at them also bopping his head with a huge grin on his face.  It was definitely a moment.  Only trouble is, the babe is constantly trying to recreate that moment.

I don't mind listening to the song, but I have to tell you I am pretty sick of it.  I'm also not willing to crank it every morning on the way to school.  But when I do play it relatively loud, and take a quick look back at them, they are both bopping their heads to the beat and making each other laugh.  It is so freakin' cute.

Jack will be coming to DC this month, and I know the babe would get a huge kick out of seeing him in concert, but she may get annoyed when he wants to play more than just her favorite song.

You and Your Heart from To The Sea
Jack Johnson, 2010

"I’ll watch you when you say
What you are
And when you blame
Everyone, you broken king

I’ll watch you change the frame
I’ll watch you
when you take your aim
At the sum of everything

You and your heart
Shouldn’t feel so far apart
You can’t choose what you take
Why you gotta break and
\Make it feel so hard

You lay there in the street
Like broken glass
Reflecting pieces of the sun
You’re not the flame

You cut the people passing by
Because you know what you don’t like
It’s just so easy

It’s just so easy

You and your heart
Shouldn’t feel so far apart
You can’t choose
What you take
Why you gotta break and
Make it feel so hard
You and your heart
Shouldn’t feel so far apart
You can’t choose
What you take
Why you gotta break and
Make it feel so hard

You draw so many lines in the sand
Lost the fingernails on your hands
How you gonna scratch any backs
Better hope the tide
Will take our lines away
Take all our lines and….

Hope the tide will take our lines a…
Hope the tide will take our lines away
Take all our lines away"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

18 Months

The little guy had his 18 month doctors appointment/check up today.  I am pleased to announce that it went very well and I have a healthy and thriving son.

He is:
  • 26 pounds (50-75th percentile)
  • 35 inches (95th percentile)
  • with a head circumference of 18.5 inches (50th percentile)
While I was concerned about his language development (or lack thereof), my mind was put at rest after my conversation with the pediatrician.  Boys develop slower than girls.  The little guy has a high level of comprehension and will respond when spoken too.  He is a very physical boy, which may partly explain why his verbal skills haven't exploded like his physical development.  He also has a sister who speaks all the time, which could also play a role.

Regardless, I will sleep well tonight.  And once again, I count my blessings.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Two Things

Last night, after his bath, the little guy was experimenting with his body.  By that, I mean he was sticking his fingers down his throat and gagging himself as I got him ready for bed.  I have been through this before with the babe and know that it will pass.  But I was still slightly disturbed by my son's determination. 

I had managed to get his diaper rash cream and diaper on when I must have looked away for a second.  He managed to stick his fingers back down his throat and threw up all over his clean little body.  He was surprised but not really bothered by this experience.  I, however, was bothered.

We managed to contain the vomit to the towel he had been lying on and dumped him back in the bath for a full wash down.  I had to pick pieces of my son's dinner out of his hair and my husband had to clean up all the food chunks that landed on the bathroom floor when I took off the little guy's towel (thanks, honey).  Yuck.  The thing that bothered barf boy was having his hair washed (he's not a big fan), so I'm hoping he will associate self inflicted vomiting with hair washing (for now, anyway). 

On another note, the babe has been quite lovely of late.  This morning she walked into her quiet and studious classroom and announced to everyone (quite loudly), "I'm wearing a dress today."  The little guy then ran in after her yelling "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii."  My kids sure know how to make an entrance. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Anniversary of Another Kind

A year ago today my Mom arrived from Ottawa.  She had flown down with a day's notice because I needed her.  We had just experienced one of the most frightening nights of our lives and my Mom knew it.  I didn't have to ask her for help.  She just offered to come, and I accepted.

On the 4th of July, 2009, I walked into the little guy's room to find an oscillating fan on fire, a room filled with noxious smoke, and my screaming 6 month old baby boy stuck in his crib.  It is an image I will never forget.  I can not believe a year has gone by since that day. I really tried my best not to dwell on it over this past weekend, but a one year anniversary of something so disturbing can not be forgotten.

My husband said we should take the opportunity to be thankful on the 4th because the little guy made it out of that room OK and the fire didn't spread to the rest of our house.  I agree that we should celebrate our good fortune, but I also find myself asking, "what if."  I try not to go there in my head, but sometimes I can't help it.

I wanted to share a few photos with you.  It's not that I think you aren't following proper safety protocol in your home, it's that I want everyone to remember that bad things can happen and we need to be as aware and alert as possible when it comes to our kids and their safety.

I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again:

Please install a smoke detector IN your child's bedroom.

Do not fully close your young child's bedroom door.

Have a working fire extinguisher on EVERY floor of your home.

As parents we do our best.  But it helps to learn from other's mistakes, and this is a mistake I don't want anyone else to make.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swimming Lessons?

We pretty much planned our afternoon around the babe's new swimming class.  I have signed her up for 5 weeks of classes at the Curl Burke Swim Club at American University (AU).  It is the "beginner" class and she is supposed to learn how to put her head in water and blow bubbles, doggy paddle, and float.  These are all awesome things to be able to do and will help build her confidence around water.  So, needless to say we were all pretty excited to head to class after nap time.

All four of us piled in the car to make the short trip to AU.  We left plenty of time to make sure we could find it and wouldn't be late for our first class.  The directions and instructions were very specific and we didn't want to mess around with these people.

We managed to find our way to the pool and waited where the pamphlet with all the class information had instructed us to.  The University was pretty deserted, as you would expect the day after Independence Day.  A few other families showed up and we all continued waiting.  Class time came and went and we were still waiting.

My husband and I realized that no instructor was going to be joining us.  We are pretty sure they thought today was a Holiday and just didn't show.  However, the pamphlet clearly states that classes begin on July 5th.  I called the number of the swim school and left a message explaining that there was no instructor and that I expected a call back.  I am still waiting.

The babe proceeded to cry all the way to the car and half way home.  We were all disappointed, annoyed, and hot.  It's unfortunate we got the babe so psyched for class and they couldn't deliver.  In my 3.5 years of taking children's classes, I have never been stood up.  I will be expecting some sort of compensation from the swim school.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Some Pictures

This is our chocolate torte anniversary cake which we polished off last night.

This is the little guy (bottom right) watching a plane come in for a landing yesterday afternoon.

These are our first 2 cucumbers and a tomato that were picked by the babe from our garden yesterday!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Food, Planes, Food

Last night was a beautiful night out.  The weather was perfect.  Georgetown, where we first lived together as a newly engaged couple, was action packed with all the pretty people.  We managed to have a drink by the water/people watch and make it to our dinner reservation, no problem.  It was 4.5 hours of bliss (although we did eat a rather large amount of food a little too late).  To not have the diaper bag was a real feeling of freedom, even if we were only a 10 minute cab ride from home.  We should do it more....famous last words.

Today had a wonderful second half.  We drove out to the park by Reagan National Airport and watched the planes coming in to land.  The little guy got the biggest kick out of it.  He would point at the planes flying just overhead and start yelling and jabbering in his special language that only he understands.  The babe was a big grumpy pants, but we managed to ignore it enough that it didn't ruin the experience. 

We then took a chance and did something crazy.  As we were already in Virginia, we decided to pop over to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner (despite the fact we went to a "real" steak house last night).  We thought it would be cool to do something special with the kids as it was just Canada Day, our Anniversary, and it's Independence Day tomorrow.  This restaurant welcomes families, has booths, serves your food fast, and is good at dealing with food allergies (in our rather limited experience).  I have to say it was about as successful as I could expect, even though we constantly felt like we were one step away from chaos.  I managed to scarf my pasta down while trying to get the kids to eat their steak and chicken.  They basically ate the snacks I had in my bag already.  We didn't break any dishes or glasses which felt pretty good (at one point we had 9 glasses of various liquids on the table!).  A very different experience from our dinner the night before!

Anyway, it's the long weekend so the good times will continue.  Hope you're all having fun out there.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Veggies and Dates

This is our garden!  How cool is that?

We picked our first tomato today, and while I haven't tasted it yet, it is an amazing feeling.  When the babe gets home from school this afternoon we're going to let her pick the first cucumber. 

Good times!

We've decided that when we buy a house we are going to put in a serious garden.  It feels good and makes sense.

Today is Day 2 of our Anniversary celebrations.  My husband surprised me by taking the day off and we took the babe to school together.  We also hit the park with the little guy which was nice.  So good to see him playing at the park with his Papa.

We actually have a sitter coming tonight and are headed out for a dinner date in Georgetown.  We never do this kind of thing so I'm excited.  A cocktail by the water and a steak dinner, hopefully in a quiet romantic booth.   

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day/Happy Anniversary to Us!

What a day!  The babe went back to school today and life returned to "normal."

Normal was a bit crazy, though:

-Drop off the babe at school
-go to grocery store and drug store
-pick up framed photograph of my husband and I on our (Hindu) wedding day (July 2, 2005)
-go to other grocery store for 5 year anniversary cake (we celebrate both July 1 when we were legally married and July 2)
-head to Canadian Embassy with the little guy to celebrate our home and native land
-get home and put little guy to sleep
-pick up the babe at school
-put some time in at the park
-head to friend's house for more Canada Day celebrations (thanks, R!)
-back home and get kids to bed (a little late)
-drink wine and watch my husband clean up the kitchen (what a man)
-open super sweet gift (a compilation of our first few emails after we met in 2003)
-do this blog entry
-eat cake and celebrate 5th anniversary with amazing husband

Gotta go!