Thursday, April 30, 2009


Look! Look! Look! I won a contest! On Swistle's site! She asked her readers to guess why she had purchased a mini-deodorant and I automatically assumed she was going to visit her new niece, because she is so cute! Who wouldn't want to visit her?

Yesterday, my prize arrived and OH MY GOODNESS, I couldn't believe my eyes! Look at this loot!

Do you see those bags of cookies? Those are SERIOUSLY the best chocolate chip cookies I think I have ever eaten! Yum yum yum yum yum. I am definitely not going to lose my last few pounds with cookies like those in this house. I cannot stop eating them, and last night I shared the other batch of cookies, I think they are butterscotch, but I wouldn't share the chocolate chip ones. Everyone has their limits, I say. I love my family, but not enough to share chocolate. Yum!

But seriously, Swistle is the QUEEN of care packages! I don't think you can adequately see the details in these pictures!

There are adorable post-it notes, bookmarks, notebooks (especially that adorable cupcake notebook that I'd been coveting on her site and even went to multiple Targets to find, and now it's mine!), little pots with seeds, stationary, pencils, invitations, cloth napkins, cloth napkin rings, decorative paper napkins, earrings, an adorable strawberry mug with matching plate, a super funny wallet, a big bag to carry all of my loot, an initial paperweight for my desk, plus these cutie patootie chicks that have been a HUGE hit in my house.

Everyone in my family is fighting over these chicks. Gabe wants to sleep with them, Josh wants them to hang out in the kitchen and oversee the cooking of dinner, even Murray stole one and gave him, umm, let's call it a bath for Gabe's sake. The poor little chick is looking a little worse for the wear today. I may have to take them on a little outing to cheer them up later.

Besides the cookies, and the cupcake notebook, and the strawberry mug, I have to show you my favorite treat in the box. This wallet made me laugh out loud, and I need to find a couple more to send to my law school girlfriends because it is just too much.

I've always said that I just want one opportunity to prove that money won't make me happy.

Thank you Swistle! I am still enjoying all the little pieces of my package, and I hid the cookies deep in the freezer and I've been sneaking them out when no one is looking. Queen of care packages, I tell you! Wooohoooo!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

chatty and delicious

In the last week Gabe's speech and personality have exploded. He's always funny, but I've laughed so much this week I've cried. He's said the following things to Josh or me over the last few days:

(After leaving the Sheep Shearing Festival this weekend)
Gabe: Mommy! I had a good day.
Me: What?
Gabe: I had a good day today, Mommy. I had a good day with sheeps.

(After getting him dressed in the morning)
Me: Here is your dino t-shirt!
Gabe: Yeah! Mommy! Look at me! I'm so cute!

(Looking out the window at the setting sun)
Gabe: I see the moon, Mommy.
Me: I see it too.
Gabe: Mommy, the squirrel went noni, noni (our word for going to sleep).
Me: Oh really?
Gabe: The squirrel went noni, noni because... it's dark outside. He went to sleep in tree because it's dark out there.

(Grabbing Josie's hands)
Gabe: Josie! Don't put your fingers in your mouth, they're dirty dirty.
Josie: Blargh.

(Leaving the pediatrician's office, we encountered a woman pushing a double stroller. Gabe ran up to her side to talk to her)
Gabe: Hi! You need some help?

(Watching television with Josh)
Gabe: Daddy, first you hit the baseball, then you run around and around the bases.
Josh: You run around the bases?
Gabe: I hit baseball and then run around and around the bases. I run so, so fast, Daddy!

(Pulling the tubing off of my breast pump and holding it over his shoulders)
Gabe: I jump jump jump with this.
Me: What?
Gabe: I jump rope, I use this.
Me: That's my breast pump, I use that to take out my milk.
Gabe: I take out milk too. I jump jump with this and I take out milk.

(Trying to feed Josie carrots)
Me: Please don't feed Josie carrots. She doesn't eat carrots.
Gabe: Josie doesn't eat food, she only drinks milk. She only drinks breast milk.
Me: (I didn't even know he knew what breast milk was!!!) Do you drink breast milk?
Gabe: (wrinkling nose) Nooooooo. Only regular milk. Josie drinks breast milk.

(Tango barking)
Gabe: Tango! No barking! Be quiet!

(Playing with trains this weekend)
Gabe: Where's Emily the train?
Me: I don't know. Where's Emily?
Gabe: Emily is downstairs. She's crying.
Me: Why is she crying?
Gabe: She's crying, but I open door and hold her.

(At the beach this weekend)
Gabe: Mommy, please make water hotter? It's too cold.

This whole parenthood thing just keeps getting better and better, huh?

Friday, April 24, 2009

four months and lots of milk

My sweet little squawky girl is 4 months old. Four months! Can you believe it? We had her well-baby visit yesterday and she weighs a whopping 15 pounds, 2 and a half ounces. This adequately explains the rolls on the legs and the triple chins she is sporting under those delicious cheeks. And delicious she is, these days. I finally decided to stop posting about the screaming she was doing, because in the end I worry it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean, if all I talk about is how fussy she is and how much more she cries than her brother did, then inevitably I feel she will continue to cry and be fussy. Now when people ask if she is a good baby, I say yes definitely, because she is a good and sweet and wonderful baby. She is also exceedingly high-maintenance for such a pint-sized little squirt, but that's okay, we still love her to death.

Like everyone, she has her good and bad days, but on the whole things are much much better. She doesn't have screaming fits anymore, although she has developed a high-pitched shriek that she will use if she is disatisfied with us in any way. For example, I tried a pair of sunglasses on her and she did not appreciate it, so she shrieked like a cat whose legs were being torn off slowly. I quickly took the sunglasses off her because everyone in the store was looking in our direction to see where the random dying cat was located. As I went to place the sunglasses back on the rack, they passed through her line of vision and she immediately began the shrieking again. She was shrieking just from the THREAT of those sunglasses coming near her face. I didn't even know a baby could do that at 3 months.

The same thing happens if you approach her with a pacifier or a bottle. She is all about the totally-natural nipples- no substitutions. That is another post for another day, of course, because I will have to get it down in writing that I have been unable to leave her side for longer than about an hour and a half in the last 4 months. I'd just like to remember so I can remind her when she is a teenager. I am also going to record the yowling dying cat sound so I can play it for her future boyfriends as a warning to NOT HAVE SEX, LEST YOU HAVE A BABY JUST LIKE HER. Should go over well, no?

The smiles, though, oh my goodness, the smiles are just too much. She smiles with her whole body these days. You say hi to her, and she bunches up her arms and legs and vibrates with excitement and her mouth opens and her tongue sticks out and her eyes bunch up with happiness. Those smiles make me want to get out of bed every morning. She is cooing also, and talks to herself and everyone else all the time. This has to be a girl thing, because Gabe never talked this much. I'm a little afraid of toddlerhood, I have to admit.

The sleeping was good, then wasn't good on vacation, and since returning to our small abode has been steadily improving. I am reserving judgment until we are back in the swing of life. She is generally a good sleeper although it takes me a long time to get her to actually fall asleep. She will nap about 3 times a day, once for an hour, once for 2 hours, once for 30 minutes or so. The 2 hour nap has been consistently falling within the same time frame as Gabe's nap, and those are some of the most wonderful 2 hours of my life. I sit on the couch and watch dvred shows and eat cookies. All of this explains why I haven't lost the last few pounds, but who cares! 2 hour naps! Yay!

I almost forgot to tell you about one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and definitely the worst moment of the whole vacation. Even though Josie won't take any bottles, I continue to pump in the morning and at nighttime because I am confident that someday she will. Maybe it'll be in a sippy cup, maybe it'll be mixed into cereal, but darn it, she'll drink that milk. In Florida, I'd pumped about 45-50 ounces and packaged them up into bags and frozen them for the trip home. I was planning on putting them in a small cooler with tons of ice and bringing them back to our freezer here, where I'd add them to our stash. Anyway, in my sleep deprived and foggy state (see previous post), I took the bag of frozen breast milk out of the freezer to add the last pumped bit of milk and get it ready for the flight the next morning, and then, I can't even type this, I (SOB) left it out on the counter. All that milk. Left on the counter to spoil. By the time I got up in the morning, even just a few hours later, it was all defrosted and some was warm. I had to throw it all down the drain. Or at least I made my mother in law throw it all down the drain because I couldn't bring myself to do it. I know it's just milk, but so much WORK goes into that milk, and hours of sitting up late at night hooked up to that instrument of torture. Oh, it pains me to think about it. Thank goodness the boobs keep making more, or I'd really be crying.

All in all, though, she really is an amazingly charming and sweet girl. I have to restrain myself these days, because I can't help biting her cheeks because she is so yummy. I will actually slobber all over her because I find her so scrumptious. Isn't that strange? But she really is too good to be true.

Monday, April 20, 2009

diagnose me, please

I need your opinion.

For a while now, maybe a month or so, I've been feeling a bit off. I don't know quite how to describe it, but I feel unfocused. I can't seem to concentrate on seemingly simple tasks like packing or picking up the house. It was particularly evident while I was trying to pack, first to leave Boston, then to leave California, then to leave Florida. I know what I need to do, but as I'm packing I feel like I can't wrap my head around the whole process. I feel convinced that I'm forgetting something or that I'll pack too much unnecessary stuff.

The whole lack of concentration makes me feel almost detached on some things. Maybe detached isn't the right word, but it's almost like I see what I need to do from a distance, but I can't seem to pay enough attention or bring myself into the process enough to get it done. Is this making any sense? I've been trying to figure out why I feel this way, and particularly asking myself whether this could be postpartum depression.

The thing is, I don't feel sad. Really, not at all. I do sometimes feel overwhelmed with life, but it is mostly when the house is ridiculously messy, or when both kids are screaming, or when my little engineering buddy asked me to paraphrase 4 pages of his introduction for him, and I was on vacation and needing to get everyone packed and I was alone with my mother in law and feeling anxious about keeping her house super picked up.

I am also really, amazingly, remarkably sleep deprived. I'm exhausted. Josie's sleep schedule has been something of a nightmare while we were on vacation, and on those nights when she did sleep, Gabe would wake up because his diapers had soaked through his pajamas and his whole bed was wet. When I'm at home, Josh always takes both babies on weekend mornings and lets me have a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep, but with my inlaws I didn't have that luxury and I didn't feel comfortable asking for it. In the afternoons while we were away, I would often collapse for a nap out of sheer exhaustion, but then I'd end up not being able to fall asleep at bedtime. A vicious cycle, that one.

Anyway, my question is this: what does this sound like to you? I'm not a person predisposed to depression, in fact, I've never even questioned whether I was depressed before. I asked Josh if I seem depressed to him, and he said absolutely not. I really do feel happy the vast vast vast majority of the time. Is this just exhaustion and life with 2 kids 23 months apart? I'm inclined to give myself a couple of weeks wherein I try to go to bed early, try to eat decent meals and snacks, maybe get a little bit of exercise, and stay on some semblance of a schedule now that we're home, and then see how I feel. I don't want to discount the fact that I've been in California for a week and a half, then Orlando for 4 days, then Sarasota for 5 days, and then home for 2 days. That would be unsettling for anyone, I think. Even poor Gabe woke up this morning and said, "Mommy, I'm home!" in an ecstatic tone of voice.

What do you think? Am I deluding myself or just being paranoid? Maybe a little of both?

home again, home again, jiggity jig


We're home. I think I've never loved my house more. I keep breathing a sigh of relief when I walk into my kitchen and turn on my own faucet, when I get to take a shower in my own shower, when I don't have to dig through a suitcase to find something to wear. I did have to dig through the laundry room, but at least it wasn't a jumbled suitcase with clothing belonging to 3 different people. It's an improvement.

Our flight out of Florida pulled away from the gate on time, and then sat there for 2 hours when they discovered a problem with our brakes. Eventually, the maintenance crew determined that we needed a new plane, so everyone moved to another plane at a different gate. Normally I wouldn't mind, but I had Josie, Gabe, a gigantic car seat, with the wheel board that allows me to drag it through the airport, blankets, a jacket, a purse, and a large roll aboard suitcase that was full of dvd players and snacks and blankets and changes of clothes and toys. Getting on a plane is exhausting, and getting off and then back on another is even more so. But the alternative of flying on a plane with malfunctioning brakes is no alternative at all, therefore move we did.

When we landed in Boston, way past everyone's bedtime, one bag on the entire plane was lost. Guess whose bag it was? Even better, out of all the possible bags to lose, it ended up being Josie's car seat, which meant we couldn't leave the airport without it. Eventually, the airline located a loaner car seat for me, and we headed home with a screaming baby who screamed the whole way home. The whole fairly long way home, in these great hiccuping screams of indignant rage.

They did find our car seat the next day, though, thankfully with everything inside. As the last bags were rolling around the belt in the baggage area, and it became abundantly clear that our car seat was not coming out, I realized my mistake. I'd viewed the car seat box as another opportunity to shove things in- toys, the monitor, noise machine, heavy clothing- allowing me to avoid paying another bag fee. When it disappeared, however, I realized that while I had saved myself a baggage fee, if the car seat really didn't turn up, the airline would definitely (and with good reason) refuse to pay for all those other things I'd thrown into the box. I started adding up the cost of all those lost items, and the number wasn't pretty. Lesson learned. Next time, I'll pay the $15 and throw in a duffel bag.

Now I'm facing the daunting task of unpacking and getting everyone back on a reasonable schedule, but at least we're home and with no trips on the horizon. I have some serious catching up to do with everyone and can't wait to hear what I missed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

lots of catching up to do

A little unplanned bloggy vacation took place there, courtesy of my parent's DIAL-UP connection that never seemed to work. I kept thinking about all the things I wanted to blog about and then no way to connect to the Internet. Very frustrating, but I have to admit that a little bit of withdrawal isn't always such a terrible thing.

Quick update- we were in California for 2 weeks, then flew to Florida on Friday morning (at 6am, which I do NOT recommend when traveling with a 3 month old and a 2 year old) and are here in Florida until Saturday. On Saturday when I arrive home, I'm pretty sure I'm going to kiss the ground in my tiny house and savor my own bed and my own couch and separate bedrooms from my children. The separate bedrooms part may be my favorite thing of all.

I really can't complain, though, all in all it has been a good trip with a few bumps along the way. I caught a cold on the way to California, then Gabe caught it, then Josie caught it. We made the best of it, though, and tried to spend quality time with my parents and were even able to see some old high school friends while we were there. Gabe's cold converted into a hacking cough, though, that caused him to vomit at a friend's house (on her brand new white carpet), on my parent's pale gray carpet, and subsequently all over himself on the flight to Florida. Josie's cold has been keeping her up at night, but other than that, she's been fine.

My parents were able to see the kids, we enjoyed some warmish weather, and I slept and relaxed more than usual. All of that makes for a successful trip, in my book, at least.

At the airport on the way to Florida, though, I noticed that Gabe was limping. I thought it odd, but that kid trips on air, so I didn't think much of it. Saturday that limp was a little worse, and Sunday it was worse still. He's been running around with his cousins and swimming up a storm, and I wasn't worried, but a call to his pediatrician sent us to the ER because she said it wasn't impossible for a toddler to run around with a broken foot. The doctors in the ER apparently suspected some terrible things (like cancer, although they didn't tell us that until later) and ordered all kinds of tests, like x-rays, bloodwork, ivs. All traumatizing to a two year old, and his mom as well.

In the end, we didn't find anything, and the final diagnosis is a virus (that same coughing virus) that is settling in his joints and causing pain. I'll admit that my diagnosis is that he hurt his foot or ankle and hasn't been resting it, but I'm just the mom. What do I know?

For the rest of this week, we'll be enjoying the warm Florida weather and praying for no subsequent trips to the ER. We have high standards around here, as you can see. I might also throw in some sleeping through the night for myself, but I won't hold my breath.

I hope all of you great holiday celebrations, whatever those might be!