Wednesday, August 27, 2014

countdown to the cape

We're leaving for the Cape in just a few days, and the excitement is building!  We made a paper chain to count down our days, and on each link wrote something we are looking forward to.

The boys are looking forward to:
Playing at Great Pond
Walks with Papa Nick to get the newspaper in the morning
Donuts for breakfast
Seeing Aunt Elana
Going to the ocean beach
Learning to fish?
Breakfast on the deck

I am looking forward to:
Ice cream
Going for runs with my sister
Watching my kids play together
Eating my annual lobster
Spending time together as a family without the pressures of work, play dates, etc.
and all of the things the boys listed as well.

Every morning Asher reminds me it is time to take a link off of our paper chain.  It thrills me that he remembers and values our traditions- he is very much my little boy in that way.

This will be a wonderful end to our summer.  Which I can't believe is ending, but that is another post for another day.

Friday, August 22, 2014

this week

Here is our past week, without flourish or transition.

Asher told me that he loves my kisses and the smell of my breath.

Benjamin said he wanted to go to Trader Joe's so he could pick out some flowers for Meema.

We went to Target, and while flipping through the women's clearance rack, mumbled that a certain shirt wouldn't work because it was "maternity."  Asher said, "What's maternity, Mommy?" and I said, "Clothing for pregnant ladies."  He said, "Well, YOU'RE pregnant, Mommy!" I got very indignant and said, "I am not!" and Benjamin smoothed everything over by saying, "You get smaller everyday, Mommy."

We had gone to Target to "save money" on pull-ups, since the Target brand is cheaper and I had an additional 5% off.  Then I proceeded to spend over $100 on clothing for myself and Charlotte, including a pair of sparkly Hello Kitty ballet flats (for Charlotte) that I decided she absolutely must have.  They're truly hideous, and we both love them.

Charlotte started saying "Yeah!" for yes.  She says, "Bye!" and is doing a lot more nonsensical "talking."

She also started saying, when asked her name, "Mia!"  The boys think this is possibly the funniest joke they have ever heard, so any time we are all in the car together, they spend the entire ride saying, "Charlotte, what's your name?" and when she says "Mia!" they laugh hysterically until they can breathe again, and then start all over.

I ironed for the first time in a year. I ironed my really summery things (white skirt) that I now have 2 weeks left to wear. Then I wore my freshly ironed clothes to work and got nonstop compliments.  I guess my clients were tired of the 3 dresses I was rotating through.

I went for a jog with the boys' former teacher, and when we walked in the door after our jog the boys came to the top of the stairs and told me they'd been putting their laundry away.  I was so proud!

The boys received their new class assignments.  One of the teachers for 4 year-olds (Miss T) is a little bit older and very overweight.  The boys aren't in her class.  I said to the boys' former teacher, "I wonder if the boys are in the other teacher's class because Miss T can't keep up with them." and the boys' former teacher said, "Well... did you hear Miss T had a heart attack last weekend?"  It's probably a good thing my boys aren't in her class.

I got sick AGAIN on Monday. I thought it was strep, but it wasn't.  It did, however, respond to antibiotics.  I feel really out of shape from skipping running every time I get sick.  Luckily, my mom was able to come over and take care of the kids all morning so I could go to urgent care and then sleep for 2 hours.

Asher picky-pants, who won't eat fresh fruit and gags around foods he doesn't like, tried hummus.  And decided he loves it.

We went to the zoo with our friends who have a higher level of membership and get on to all the extras, like a camel ride, a pony ride, the carousel, etc.  Asher said to me, "How did I get so lucky, to get to go on all these rides?!?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2 days, no kids

Last week I was childless for two days.  Almost three.  I left Eric with the kids in Maine and came home to work.

Initially, I was anxious about separating them (to put it mildly).  I had never been away from Charlotte for a night; she's been my little buddy since birth, and has gone everywhere but work with me.  In my head, I was getting all sentimental, as if I were sending them off to a foreign country with nothing, possibly never to see them again, rather than simply leaving them with 3 capable adults who love them and reuniting with them a few days later.

I panicked about leaving Charlotte behind, and called my mom (who babysits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) to see if she was free to babysit so I could bring Charlotte home with me.  Her response?  "No. I have plans."  So that was it- I was leaving my baby behind.

Then I started to fantasize. I dreamed that my time at home would be plenty of free time, sleeping in, maybe even a girls' night out, it was pretty much my normal routine.  My body is accustomed to waking up early, so I was up at 7 both mornings.  I had so much to do (clean, run errands, go to work, exercise) that I didn't even have time to relax.  On top of it, I caught a "killer cold" and felt completely run down and lousy.

I missed my kids, but not as much as I thought I would.  I was very excited to see them when they arrived Thursday evening, but probably could have managed another day or two on my own.  When I saw them on Thursday, they were happy to see me- but after a quick hug and kiss, they were back to their usual activity.  No harm done to any of them, it seemed.

It did seem to bring a complete end to breastfeeding.  Charlotte was still nursing once or twice a day, for short periods of time.  Friday morning she nursed, but she hasn't really nursed since.  It certainly hasn't helped that we were both sick, and in desperation, I took a decongestant on Saturday.  It seems to really be over.  She keeps asking, and I will sit down with her to nurse, but she is immediately distracted by something more interesting.  It's time, though- she is almost 20 months old and I had said I didn't want to nurse until she was 2 like I did with the boys.  And I would absolutely rather it come to a natural waning and end, rather than a date I arbitrarily pick and force on her.

The days apart were great preparation for October, when I go away for a week with my mom and sister.  Before these few days away, I was bitching and moaning about "how am I going to leave my bayyyy-beees?", but now I know everyone will be just fine.  I'm very lucky that Eric is a great dad, and involved in every aspect of their day and care, so no one will suffer when I'm gone.  In fact, they'll probably love it because it will be more TV and more treats from Papa Nick. In the end, I'm glad my mom lay down the law and gave me the opportunity to separate from my kids.  I'm not as important as I thought I was!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Maine 2014

I'm home from Maine. I left my husband and babies up there while I came back early to go to work.  I was there for 4 full days, and we really packed them full!  Friday we went to the beach, Saturday to Portland and the Children's Museum there, Sunday to Story Land in New Hampshire, and Monday to play at Eric's grandparents' camp on a pond.
Friday:
Kitty, Charlotte, and Mommy

Charlotte's kitties working on their tans. This was before the tide came in and they went swimming.

Super-handsome husband and super-buff Asher

Benjamin is a turkey sandwich walrus

First Shaker Pond ice cream of the visit.  Yum!
Saturday:
Benjamin as a fire man

Shoveling in wild Maine blueberries at lunch

eating every last blueberry
Sunday:
I got up early and went for an 8.5 mile jog with a friend of Eric's from college before we left for Story Land.
A candid of me.  I'm talking. But I love the scenery and that I look fit

End of the jog. 8.5 miles, 9:32/mile

cows having breakfast while we ran

the 6 cousins (and me) at Story Land

Charlotte is a tiger (ROAR!) and I'm Little Sambo

Asher and me riding the flying whales

Twirling Turtles. Charlotte is SCREAMING.

Mommy and Charlotte on the choo-choo train

Taylor drove her cousins in the antique car
Monday:
Eric took all 3 kids out in a paddle boat on the pond
Unfortunately, I missed many moments. I didn't get a good picture of the kids with their great-grandparents, or even with their grandparents, for that matter!  We forgot our good camera (surprise, surprise).

Fortunately, they are still in Maine having fun.  And Eric's mom is coming back with them, so we will have other moments of beauty and fun.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

day at the beach

Today we took a day trip to the beach.  We went down to Atlantic City, which is usually a fast drive, but due to rain and traffic was a little longer.  The weather cleared up shortly after we got there and we were able to have some fun in the sun.


The boys putting the sand in "sandwich."
Lunch on the go
I had a great time with the kids at the beach.  Asher and I ran in the waves and held hands and jumped.  Benjamin would join us for a little and then run back.  Charlotte got a little wet and screamed- she was scared of the waves. The boys loved playing the sand and making sand castles.
Kitty Cat also built a sand castle
Our friends tried to get their daughter to nap in the tent, and Charlotte thought that was a fun game to play.
Needless to say, no one napped.  Asher, with his hoarding tendencies, loved picking up shells (and pieces of shells).
Big boy with his shell collection
Fortunately, he was agreeable to picking out a select few to bring home.  I thought we all had a wonderful time, but when we got home, Benjamin told me he was never going to the beach again, he didn't like it, too much sand.  I said, too bad, you are going to the beach again, we go to Maine next week.

The kids took brief naps in the car on the way home, then were wide awake when we pulled up at the front door.  Eric, on the other hand, needed a nap.  So I took the kids to the playground, because after getting rained out at the beach, the weather was beautiful at home.

Kitty Cat likes the swings
We had a great time at the park, for the most part. Unfortunately, shells were not Asher's only souvenir from Atlantic City, as he had also picked up a secret treasure off the street- a razor blade with curved edges!  I found out when he dropped it out of his pocket at the playground.  You know, in front of about 4 other parents whose children were NOT carrying weapons to the park.  I panicked when I saw it, and he grabbed it and was holding it tightly in his little hand, while I panicked more that he was going to cut himself.  Then we had a little chase until I got him, got it out of his hand without any bloodshed, and dropped it in the garbage can.  Which resulted in Asher in hysterics as I had thrown away his "treasure."  I made a joke to our audience (people who will probably never let their children near us again) that that was what I get for taking the kids to Atlantic City.

I would say that, overall, it was a good day.  At dinner we recalled our favorite parts- the water, the waves, the sand castles, the shells.  I am glad we still have many beach days ahead of us this summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FLEAS!

I have been living with a constant level of anxiety all week- Sunday evening we discovered both of our (indoor) cats had fleas!  What a nauseating feeling, to go from thinking your house is relatively clean and peaceful, to wondering what items were contaminated and how to de-contaminate them.  I couldn't sleep, I was constantly feeling as though fleas were jumping on my ankles!

Monday morning, Trouble climbed on my head while I was asleep and started meowing loudly.  At first I half-woke... then remembered the fleas and leapt out of bed!  There were several fleas on my pillow.  I ran down the stairs, shaking my head, and made Eric comb my scalp to see if there were any in there.  I am getting chills just remembering, it was awful.

We put a flea-killing liquid on their necks, and then Monday got an oral medication to make them toxic to fleas.  But all of a sudden, I was seeing flea-signs everywhere.  Of course, once I knew what flea-signs were, I realized I'd been seeing them for weeks, not knowing what they were.  Bad mommy.  We washed all our bedding, I put it back on, and right away, a flea.  So on Monday night, I couldn't sleep again.

I did load after load of laundry.  I say "I" because Eric has claimed laundry incompetence and it has become a job only I can do.  And then I rewashed things if I saw a flea come near them.

Then we borrowed my mom's cleaning lady for the day yesterday so she could do a major cleaning of our upstairs (where the cats spend most of their time, hiding from the kids).  She did a great job.  And now we have to fire our current cleaning woman so we can hire this other woman instead!

The excitement of flea sighting has become like celebrity sighting in New York City, except I'm not seeing Dennis Leary at Tao, I'm seeing a live flea on the bathroom rug.

I haven't seen any fleas today.  I still haven't slept well, and every night I hope that will change.  We haven't had anyone over all week- I would feel terrible if someone came home from our place with fleas.  The positive of all this is that several things have gotten attention and are looking cleaner and neater than before.  But not worth the stress!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charlotte's 18 month well-visit


I took my girl for her 18 month visit today.  Our pediatrics practice moved locations and lost half of its staff, which means that the doctor we'd been seeing for Charlotte since she was born isn't there anymore.  I'm inclined to just leave the practice, too, but want to stick it out a little longer and see what happens.  The doctor who started the practice, and who is still there, is a great and thorough doctor, so as long as we can continue with him it should be fine.

On with Charlotte- she is doing great!  She weighed 27.6 lbs (93rd percentile), and measured 33.5 inches tall (97th percentile).  She has grown about 2 inches in the past 3 months! (Assuming their measurement is accurate).  Regardless, she is growing and developing and thriving.  The doctor seemed pleased with her physical abilities and noted that she is very flexible- which I had just noticed myself.  He said it wouldn't be a bad thing to get her involved in gymnastics, especially given the level of energy she was exhibiting during her appointment.

Her current vocabulary is:
kitty, dog
ball, balloon, bowl, bow, boot
more, mama
down, up, dada, done
cheese, this, that, banana ("nana," stands for all fruit)
uh-oh!, yay!, and wheeee!

He asked if I had worries about her speech and I said no... since at this age the boys had 2 words or so apiece.  He said what I described sounded right on to him, which is nice.

He asked if I had any concerns at all about her, and I said no.  I really don't!  He also commented that she seemed very good-natured, which I agree with.  She is such a charmer; while we waited for her shots she played a little in the hallway and by the time we left, everyone in the new office knew her name.

She is healthy and well- and our next appointment is in 6 months, when she turns 2!