Thursday, August 23, 2012


I recently came across this great Erma Bombeck quote from The Ties That Bind...And Gag.

I thought it was worth sharing with you:

"The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."

This quote reminds me of growing up one of three kids in my family and helps me envision what my "new" family will look like in the years to come.

It's been happening before my eyes.  My kids are now starting to experience the same challenges and joys of growing up that I did.  Their relationship as siblings is blossoming and their reliance on each other is increasing.  I hope theirs is a bond they will maintain well into the future.      

As the babe prepares to start Kindergarten on Monday, I am dwelling on the fact that my little family's grand adventure has been flowing by at what sometimes feels like warp speed, and at others, like molasses going up a hill.  Joy and pain, hand in hand.

Before I send my first born off to her first day of elementary school, I just wanted to share how blessed I feel to trudge through this life with my extended family.  Love to you all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

I've always had a special place in my heart for the tooth fairy.  There's just nothing bad about her.  She is magic and she makes kids happy.  I may have trouble lying about Santa, but a big part of me still believes in the good 'oll tooth fairy.

And last night she paid my family a visit for the very first time.

The babe has been playing with her first lose tooth for the past three months.  She has asked me countless times when it will come out.  I have replied that I can't really tell her when it will happen because it's up to her body.  I did, however, offer to tie a piece of string to her tooth, attach the string to a door knob and slam the door for her, but for some reason she wasn't down with that.

Last night as she watched a pre-bath episode of Max and Ruby, she managed to yank the cute little tooth out.  She ran into the kitchen bursting with excitement and waving her tooth around in a state of shock.  She was sporting a noticeable gap in the front lower section of her sweet smile.  I picked her up and twirled her around for a few minutes sharing in her absolute joy.  It was really cool to be a part of the experience and I was so glad I was with her when her first tooth came out.

I have kept my childhood tooth fairy pillow all these years.  I had it stowed away safely for my first born child.  But a few months ago I took it out to show the babe and after that it was swallowed into the abyss of our home.  Guess what we couldn't find last night?  That's right; the pillow I have safely kept for over 20 years.

No worries.  We set out the babe's original hand knit (by my Mom) baby blanket and placed the tooth in a little plastic container for safe keeping.  We set everything up neatly on her bed side table.  My husband, who was working late, packed up his stuff and came home as soon as we called him with the good news.  He made it back in time to share in the excitement of our daughter's first lost tooth.  Good Papa.

In the end, the tooth fairy left out a US dollar bill, a US quarter, a US dime, a US nickel, a US penny AND a Canadian (CDN) loonie, a CDN quarter, a CDN dime, a CDN nickel and a CDN penny.

I awoke to the sound of the babe dumping out her tooth fairy stash on our bed.  The kid was seriously thrilled.  For a moment, I believed right along with her that the tooth fairy had dropped by while we were all sleeping.

She has another lose tooth, so we may be having some more chats about fairies and international currency soon.    

Monday, August 20, 2012


I have a question for you: is it possible to go on "vacation" with children and not come back needing another vacation (without children)?

On Friday afternoon my family returned home from a week at the beach in Lewes, Delaware.  It was our "summer vacation" and involved all the typical trips to the beach, the park, the ice cream shop, back to the beach, back to the park, and back to the ice cream shop.

On Friday night, after recovering from the drive, catching up on a week of Facebook posts (I had been offline all week) and consuming a few glasses of wine, I managed to pull off an epic 12.5 hour sleep.  I was THAT tired.

Don't get me wrong.  I love getting out of DC, especially in muggy August.  I love being on "vacation" and the sense of adventure I feel packing up our car and driving hours away from the safety and predictability of my home.  I LOVE being by the ocean and listening to the sound of the peaceful waves.

I think it's important to change your routine every once in a while.  And I think it's critical my kids see the "world" that we're able to access right now (eventually we'll get them to India, Australia and Europe, but for now this is about as much as we can pull off).

I can honestly say there were many awesome moments with my kids that have already become cherished memories.  

But man oh man, family vacations are SO much work.  I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself, "there is NO way I'm ever doing this again."  And the funny thing is, I said the exact thing to myself during our first "family beach vacation" last year.  I do tend to be a bit overly dramatic while under duress, and beach vacations can sure bring out some duress.  But for some reason, I still have this crazy expectation that I will get a chance to relax and chill out a bit.  Silly Mama.

My husband stayed back in DC working for the first part of our trip which meant I was the only one coordinating the kids lives for numerous days.  My lovely girlfriend from NYC, her husband and their darling and extremely well behaved 7 month old daughter were brave enough to be sharing the house with us.  I frequently felt lousy that my kids didn't seem to respect the fact that my friends were also trying to have a "family vacation."

When you rent a place instead of committing to an all-inclusive resort or cruise, you still need to plan and cook meals, do laundry, clean up, and think of things to entertain little people for about 14 hours a day. And while we were in a sweet beach town, there are only so many hours you can spend at the actual beach with a 5 and 3 year old.

The word "vacation" simply doesn't go hand in hand with "break" anymore.  In fact, it is tougher than being home because you're out of your element and having to make due with the limited supplies and activities you drag along with you.  By the time the kids are in bed and the adults are fed, the adults are too tired to relax because they need to try and clock 7 hours of sleep before the kids rise with the sun.

I must return to my original question:  is it possible to go on "vacation" with children and not come back needing another vacation (without children)?  If so, how do you make it happen?  Please feel free to share your secrets and experiences with me!    

And in case you're wondering, yes, I am planning on doing it all again next year.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

14 Days and Other Things

It's official.  We have made it to the other side.  This side is a beautiful place to be.  This side includes no diapers, only underwear.  After 5.5 years of diapers, we are done.  I can say this because it's been 14 days since the little guy wore a day time diaper and 2 nights since he wore a night time diaper.  The freedom is setting in.

Some of the awesome benefits of having NO kids in diapers:

  • We will have more money 
  • I will not need to carry as much stuff around (back-up underwear is lighter and smaller)
  • I will  not have to clean stinky, mushy, poopy diapers anymore
  • I will no longer be polluting mother earth with my kids disgusting diapers (I was really feeling guilty about that)
  • My son's garbage can/room won't stink like stale pee diapers
  • I can finally get rid of those nasty Diaper Genies 
  • We will have more closet space as I will no longer be buying boxes of diapers at Costco
  • Can I still carry around a diaper bag?  They fit a lot of stuff and come in really handy.  I have a secret obsession with diaper bags and don't think I'm ready to move on.

It is safe to say my little man has grown up a lot this summer.  First he was the "ring boy" at my brother's amazing wedding at the end of May (an awesome responsibility for any 3-year-old).  Next he moved from his toddler bed into a big boy twin bed (we now preface everything with "big boy").  More recently he quit his pacifier cold turkey.  And as of 2 weeks ago, the little man is diaper-free.  Wow!  I hate to say it, but my kid is growing up fast!

Sometimes I just want to document the amazing progress of my offspring on this blog because I'm afraid I will forget when all these milestones happened.  I am amazed at how much child-rearing related information I have already managed to blank out on, but I take a certain amount of comfort from the fact that I will always have this blog to look back on and remember the crazy ride that has been raising my children.

So that's it, consider all the little guy's "summer 2012" progress officially documented.