Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What they're really thinking

"Look deep into my eyes: I am verrrry adorable, and not at all sleepy."

"Here, Henry, let me show you how to play with this thing."

"Oh, if only I could crawl away."

"Mom, we're going to be such trouble together... you just wait!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Distracted

Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets on the computer with the goal of competing a simple task like looking up directions or checking the hours a store is open but then I end up burning time reading blogs, checking e-mail and messing around on facebook. Now I'm even blogging about wasting time when I was just trying to check the hours and location of the nearest FedEx/Kinkos. Bah!

Updated
The universe did not want me to get my project laminated today! I got the boys in the car and they fell asleep immediately. I took them to what I thought was the closest FedEx Office (with lamination station) but alas it was just a shipping pick up/drop off. Trying to get in and out the door at the store I now actually have scratches because the door was so heavy and cumbersome I barely got me through let alone the stroller... don't even get me started on the ADA accessibility issue. So back in the car we head on down the road and the turn we're supposed to make is blocked by police because the traffic lights are out and they're redirecting flow. We finally get to FedEx and get laminatin'. Then we wander over to the Petco, which saved the trip for Jack because he got to see cats, rats, turtles and fish. So despite the there and back again nature of what should have been a quick trip we still managed to find the fun. Here's to you, Petco, you're the busy mom version of a Zoo trip.

Those shades get around.

Henry loves to borrow big brother Jack's cool-guy shades. I imagine he's thinking: "I make this look good."

And those shades are great for a motorcycle ride.
I was very excited for Jack to see Uncle Tom's motorcycle because he loves them when seen driving around but I was not expecting him to be afraid of it. See Matt's shadow there? Jack was so scared of the motorcycle that he wouldn't even come near it, let alone get on it, without Daddy 'assistance'. Secretly, as a mommy, that makes me kinda happy- not gonna lie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What to do... What to do...

Have you ever found your kid, husband, cat doing something hilariously dangerous and you though to yourself "Do I have time to go get the camera or should I just help them?" Remember this?


video

Sometimes it pays to grab the camera first. I'm just sayin'.


Here's that painting I was working on. It felt so good to have something tangible to do during naps and breaks. I might need to do more, but I'm going to run out of walls soon, so I'm either going to start giving paintings away or I'm going to have to take up another craft medium... or both.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Glasses

He loves glasses. Move over Elton John.These are also women's glasses.I was psyched to find these aviators at Old Navy yesterday. He's so Tom Cruise in Top Gun, back when he was a hottie; before he went all crazy.


I put the boys in their monogram shirts from Miss Lindsey yesterday. They were, of course, AH-dorable.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not That I'm Complaining

The Husband cooks. It's awesome.

But the thing is I'm still in charge of the shopping and the meal planning. And that makes things awkward. Sometimes I forget to buy an ingredient or he's forgotten to tell me he needs it. I'm supposed to come up with interesting new dishes for him to prepare. This is hard for 2 reasons: 1. I'm not that creative. 2. I feel weird "telling" him to make me some fancy new dish when I should just feel grateful for the fact that he's willing to make home-cooked, healthy dinners practically every night.

So I'm sending out an SOS- I need some suggestions for meals. What are your go-to dishes?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Steps Forward

The thing with kids, well at least this seems to be true with my kids is when there's progress in one area there's a setback in another. I'm sure they do this just to keep us guessing. Jack is now almost entirely accident free (even at night). I thought this potty training would be a long process, and I guess since we've actually been putting him on the potty since he was 6 months old, it was a long process... I have to say, building time in to sit on the potty was a life saver for the cloth diapering because the less poop in cloth, the better!



It appears that Jack is giving up his nap. I have dreaded this day because it marks the loss of my freedom (for an hour or two each afternoon). Jack has never been a good sleeper. He's been more maintenance at night than Henry for the last month or so. But now that he's in 'school' and has been too excited to take his nap I'm noticing 2 things: 1. he's easier to put to bed when he doesn't get a nap. 2. he sleeps all through the night instead of needing us, 1, 2, 3 or even 4 times. I must face the truth, we have moved from 'naptime' to 'play quietly in your room' time. Lets hope we can successfully have 'play quietly in your room' time.

Henry continues to be a good sleeper. ::whew:: He's also now clasping his hands together and reaching for his feet.

I think the passage of time experienced by second-time parents is different from when I experienced it as a first-time parent- it's like the twilight zone. Henry seems to be doing things so much faster than Jack, but really he's probably doing them about when Jack did, give or take a week. Everything seems to be happening much faster.

Does anyone else feel like the summer is disappearing before their eyes?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trying to Beat the Heat

It's awful hot around here. I don't know about you but heat makes me want to do nothing more than abandon my kids and hit the pool for a swim alone. It's 90+ degrees here so it's not exactly safe for me to have Henry out of the house and frankly, without a pool to jump in, I don't like Jack running around out there for very long either.

Well, I don't know about you but heat makes me SOOO unmotivated. I hardly have the motivation to eat during the day let alone be a good mom or good wife.

I have found one thing that works: Lindsey's Tea. She found the recipe online somewhere and described the ingredients and I went all mad-scientist and brewed together this concoction.
Use some ginger maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the root cut (I like to use my peeler) and drop the shavings right into a large pot of water. Boil the water with the ginger peels/slices in it.

Green Tea (3-4 bags). Put in when it gets to a boil. Turn off water.

Fresh Mint. I get mine from my back yard (it was there when we moved in). I like lots of leaves- maybe 20-25. Also put this in as soon as you add the green tea.

I also add my sugar at this point. (You can use honey as an alternative). Add 3-4 spoonfulls (big spoon not the little ones) if you like it sweet and add only 2-3 spoonfulls if you like it less sweet.


Chill.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dusting off the cobwebs

There have been some things about the format and color scheme of this blog that have been bugging me and I've been too busy/lazy/distracted to fix them. Because my HTML skills are quite limited I've been hesitant to take anything on for fear or somehow doing irreparable damage to my blog and then ending up with a screaming toddler and baby while I have a breakdown because I've broken my blog. What does this say about my priorities?

Finally, I put on my big girl panties and plunged into Google to see what I could see. I'm trying out some new things, and so far I like it, but I have lots going on with Jack's 'school' and a baby and trying to find time to work on my craftyness in the form of a painting (but more on that later.)

So bear with me if you visit the site directly or ignore me completely if you use Google reader or similar. Thanks!

Dedicated Mom or Lunatic?

It's a tough call.

Yesterday when I was picking Jack up from 'school' I put is art projects on the roof (you can see where this is going) while I got the boys in the car. Yup, I totally drove off without them. I was about a mile or two down the road when I see something pink floating in the air behind my car. I gasped.

I start saying "Oh no, Jack, I'm so sorry." I slam on the breaks and pull into some one's driveway. I flip the car around and pull over on the side of the road. It's a busy two-lane double line road. I'm pulled over on the shoulder when I jump out of the car. I wait for the cars and trucks to speed on by and I run out into the middle of the road to rescue Jack's little pink construction paper pig.

Success.

But there are still two piggy projects missing. So, I keep driving- back towards the school. I pull over again, but alas it's just a piece of trash. And again, but this time it's an old beer can. Finally I get back to the entrance to the school. Voila! Piggy #2 found in the driveway right at the entrance.

I get all the way back to my parking space and I run into Linsdey (who was picking up Cady). Piggy #3 was right there just feet from my parking space. She made fun of me for going on my crazy scavenger hunt. But then I got home and Jack's fluffy cotton ball sheep from the day before was found in the basement, eviscerated by the cat. So maybe it was good that I went a little nuts finding his projects from the day.

I wanted to have a tangible memory from Jack's 'school' experience but did I go too far? I don't think so, but I'm really weird about keeping art. Even if it's just finger painting or some scribbles on a paper. I don't keep everything, not by a long shot, but I try to keep a hand full of things so I'll be able to look back later and remember when Jack was just a tot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Farmers Market

The farmers market is great because there is all this yummy farm-fresh produce. And there's a bakery with a real French pastry chef who sells the most amazing Lemon Cookies. But if you ask Jack the best part of the farmers market he will tell you unequivocally: the fountain.



I mean, look at this thing, even I had to resist the impulse to go running through it screaming with my arms above my head. Luckily I was able to live vicariously through Jack on this one. It's totally normal and healthy for me to live through my child, right? Right!?

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of Camp

Do we look excited? Good, 'cause we are! Today is the first day of a two week long camp for the tots.

The world is our oyster! The possibilities are endless!


Oh wait... I still have this little ball of handsomeness with me during the day. Even just running errands or hanging out at home with just one of my guys is waaay easier than having two all day long.

Jack had a great time. I got there early to pick him up so I could spy on him and he was definitely having a great time. He has so much to tell me in the car on the way home.

He even came home with some artwork. We both cannot wait for tomorrow!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Jack looooves his Daddy. He talks about Daddy all day when he's at work and for about the last hour of the day any noises he hears is "Daddy coming!" Jack knows that his Daddy loves food. Jack, Henry and I are very lucky to have a Daddy who loves to cook.

This means every night my husband comes home from work and cooks. We're not talking meals out of a box or even from a recipe book; we're talking fresh ingredients and deliciously complicated dishes. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. We're spoiled by it. But, you see, because he's a fantastic 'dinner cook' which leaves a niche for a 'dessert cook'.

This week Jack, Henry and I gladly embraced this role to provide Daddy with a Father's Day treat.


After the mixing and the pouring into the pans there was some bowl and spoon licking. Though Jack managed to stay mess-free during the actual cooking process the 'clean up' was another story entirely. This, my friends, is where I learned that red velvet cake is not the best choice of cake for a toddler activity. Next time the kids are involved in the cooking I'm going to stick to something like yellow cake.

When we pulled the cakes from the pans some structural issues emerged. Nothing a little icing couldn't fix.

Then we decorated. We were even able to include Henry, but he was there in more of a supervisory role.

Jack really liked the decorating, and had enough impulse control to keep his hands off the cake!

Jack was so excited about the cake he made for Daddy we had to eat it a few days early. Daddy certainly didn't seem to mind.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I've been told

My mom and my husband had a come to Jesus an intervention a chat with me about my formula hang up and I've decided that I'm over it. Occasional, even daily formula is no big. I'd be sad if I ended up with less and less supply, but I don't really have to make it much longer till we start adding solids anyway. According to Google, babies who are really crazy good sleepers like Henry appears to be (10 hours is average, sometimes we get 12) it's not uncommon for moms to have some minor supply issues because they feed so much all.day.long and they feed never or hardly ever at night.

In unrelated exciting news, I've found a great new (to me) laundry detergent that totally cuts bad smells out of the microfiber inserts in the cloth. Thirsties makes a pre-wash and it's ah-mazing. I can't smell that yucky ammonia smell at all after using it! I have also been having a problem with our towels smelling kinda mildewy after about a day or 2 so I'm going to try this magical stuff on them too!

Also, Jack and I made a cake for Daddy for Father's day. Jack did all the adding of ingredients (except eggs) and most of the stirring, and nearly all the post-icing decorating. I was able to turn it into a 2-day activity for him. Clearly I'm going to have to do lots of baking and eating baked goods, because it's such an educational activity for my toddler. Right. Right?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Henry Update

Henry has been enjoying his hands and feet quite a bit. He likes to wiggle his toes and the expression he gets when he's working on it is priceless. For a while Henry was very interested in putting his hands in his mouth and very disinterested in his paci. Now he seems equally ambivalent about both, but since he sleeps really well (12 hours once, 8-10 normally) I'm not complaining.

Henry is also quite enamoured with his older brother. Recently Jack was jumping on the bed and Henry could not keep his eyes off of his big brother. Jack would jump and jump and then pretend to fall down and Henry's eyes would follow him till he fell and then Henry would look at me as if to say "Who is this guy trying to kid?"

I can already tell they're going to be quite the comedic pair.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farm Fresh

Not only did we come up with a almost completely farm fresh meal but all but one ingredient was from within 100 miles of our house. I'm pretty impressed with us, because I didn't think we could eat meals from our normal repertoire and have the ingredients comply with the 100 mile diet. (We're not necessarily strictly following the diet, but we're enjoying the challenge of eating locally whenever we can.)Here I am getting the goods.The boys look skeptical.But we found everything we needed to make shepherds pie. And it was delicious!

What was the non-compliant ingredient? The Parmesan cheese the Husband put on top.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My first award!

Squee! I'm really psyched to share with you all that I've received my first blog award!

Chelsea from Adventures in Vandyland chose my blog as one of her favorite blogs and awarded me the Beautiful Blogger award! How cool is that?


Here are 7 things about me you may not know:

1. I love making lists and when I do I usually put something on them that I've already done so I can cross it off right away.

2. I took my first yoga class in high school. All high schools offer yoga as a class to complete the gym requirement, right?

3. I have a masters degree in Higher Education Administration and I use it every day. Not because my toddler reminds me of my college students but because my college students remind me of my toddler.

4. I have watched every single MTV Real World/ Road Rules challenge and will continue to do so as I am obsessed with Kenny.

5. Right now I am listening to my toddler play the xylophone while singing his ABC's and it actually sounds almost like real music. He does not get this inclination from myself or my husband.

6. I'm addicted to online window shopping. I do it with things on amazon, cute stuff on etsy, funny things on cafe press, and even homes on redfin. Thank god redfin doesn't have a cart to put things in!

7. My calves hurt so much right now because of yesterday's marathon Wii step arobics.


Here are a list of the top 3 blogs I'm newly following:
Exploits of a Military Mama she updates daily and has a hilarious and honest point of view.
Maybe If You Just Relax she updates weekly-ish and just had a successful FET!!
The Feminist Breeder sometimes I totally agree, sometimes she's more fringe than me, but she's as obsessed about her VBAC as I am, so she earns major cool points for that.

GiGi and Papa's first Skype

I wish I had a video of this one. We recently decided to try this Skype thing that everyone is talking about. Who had the most fun during our Skype experience? Papa.

I can't say I'm surprised. I mean, he's the ultimate kid-at-heart. He played nearly all the visual tricks you can play with a limited field of view. He was bigger and smaller (with voice to match). He played peek-a-boo. The only thing he might have missed was 'going downstairs'.

For me? The best part is my cranky toddler had a new focus, and a better attitude and I got a little break!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I feel guilty.

Duh. I'm a mom.

So in the last few weeks Henry has had one bottle of formula every single day. For some inane reason I feel guilty about this. Formula is awesome, it feeds babies and they grow in to healthy, strong, well-adjusted adults. Why do I feel guilty or feel like something is wrong about this? I mean LLL (La Leche League) would have a bone to pick with me, but I'm not that hardcore about my breastfeeding, so what's the rub?

Jack never ever ever successfully took a bottle. We didn't even try till he was 4 months old. So his diet was 'pure'. For me, it was the longest year of my life. I couldn't go anywhere, for a whole year. I was like peanut butter to that kid's jelly. Maybe I feel guilty about that.

Sometimes I wonder if these bottles could mess up my supply, between the bottle and Henry sleeping 10 hours at a time I bet my boobs are thinking "WTF am I supposed to be doing here?!" I mean if I'm being logical, one bottle a day is consistent, so why should that cause a supply issue?

But today was the first day in a while that Henry didn't need a bottle. I feel like Rocky, having jogged to the top of the Art Museum steps.

Mom-guilt. It's annoying and it's unavoidable.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I like cloth butts and I cannot lie...

We've kinda been potty training Jack since he was 6 months old. He's been sitting on the potty at least once a day. So as he's grown he's sat on the potty more times a day and as of a few weeks ago he was using only the potty 3 out of every 5 days or so. One of my mommy friends asked what I was waiting for (honestly, I was just waiting till we were having no accidents ever before putting him in underwear full-time.)

So I bit the bullet and made the switch. Sometimes he wears Little Beatle training pants- they're a little more bulky which means they catch accidents much better than Lightening McQueen. We've been in cloth at nap and a regular Huggies Natural at night because when he does go at night, he goes A LOT and cloth, even with extra inserts, doesn't catch it all. We've had about 4 total accidents in the last 7 days, which I think is pretty good! So this makes me think, how do you define potty trained? I wouldn't call Jack potty trained, because to me he still doesn't seem potty trained, but I don't know. I can't imagine that no accidents ever is the only way to qualify as potty trained. I mean, what about all those pregnant women who sneeze-pee? So please share your thoughts in my poll about potty training, and obviously, feel free to elaborate, or discuss anything else in 'comments'.


In addition to potty training my toddler this week I decided to bring on the cloth. You know, because I'm a sadist. This is Henry's picture of his "First Fluff". Seriously, I lurve cloth diapers. I mean, they're eco-friendly, cost effective, good for the skin and AH-dorable! We're using disposables when we go out, because the thought of washing out a cloth diaper in a public bathroom while trying to keep my toddler from touching every disgusingly dirty surface, makes my blood run cold.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fillmore's Betrayal

It's all fun and games, until Fillmore looses an eye.

Yesterday we were coming into the house from the car and Jack was carrying Fillmore. Well, there are these small trees that were planted early this spring in our neighborhood and they used to have stakes helping to hold them up. Apparently the stakes were removed earlier this week. This leaves 2 deep holes on either side of the tree.

Jack discovered that Fillmore is the exact size of the hole by dropping him in. Face up. My mind flashed back to Baby Jessica as I looked down to see Fillmore wedged right at the top of the hole. He was dropped in head-up so when I looked down at him he was looking up at me with these "please save me from this horrible fate" eyes. I reached down, as my fingertips grazed his sad little face he slipped down in to the hole so far that I couldn't see him anymore.

As I'm sure you can imagine, Jack was distraught. But of course I'm juggling Jack and Henry who was overly tired and very hungry. So we go inside, put Henry to sleep and feed Jack lunch. Then I go into the basement and grab the spade.

Jack and I go outside to rescue poor Fillmore. The ground was hard and dried and filled with rocks. It's seriously amazing that Maryland farmers manage to grow anything. Finally 30 minutes, several scrapes and dirty fingernails later we save Fillmore from his fate.

So when I say: "These boys keep me elbow deep in dirt." Sometimes I mean that literally.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I forgot to tell you about the turtle

At my parents house one (early) morning my mom found a turtle in the pond. She insisted that my dad rescue it. I agreed, because it might be a fun experience for Jack. I was right, it was.

Jack learned how to make the turtle play peek-a-boo.

Tired of being watched like a hawk by my toddler, the turtle decided to skip town.
Thank you for visiting, little turtle, and thank you for letting my toddler touch your shell and talk about your 'arms' and 'legs' and 'tail'.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Forgotten Camera

I cannot believe I forgot my camera.

Ok, so yesterday morning moms group got together; Melanie's not on bed rest anymore- YAY! Brenna was gracious brave enough to have us all over. Our children are all about 4 weeks apart they're is lots of mayhem because they've all discovered possessiveness and tempers; but they've also discovered how to play together- which is so stinkin' cute!!

So at one point Jack tumbles out of the riding car and I'm of course trying to breastfeed when this happens. He's crying and he's got a cut on his hand. I give him an all-powerful mommy hug and he carries on, my wayward son.

Later he decides that he absolutely MUST have some toy that's inside. Well since we're all outside and Brenna, being the smart mommy that she is, has designated certain toys for outside and others for inside so as not to carry the dirt back into the house. He's just beside himself, he tries begging me, and every other mommy there to please, please let him have the "tractor trailer- inside."

I am of course feeding Henry again while all this is unfolding. Finally I don't hear him screaming anymore, I breathe a sigh of relief, assuming he's calmed down, but just to be sure I attempt visual confirmation. I don't see him by the play set, or the sandbox, hmmm.... I don't see him on the deck...

Oh, wait, there he is shimmying into the house through the cat door. Emily scrambles for her camera but he's too quick; he's inside in an instant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm a liar.

Jack carried this DVD case over to me yesterday morning and said, "What's this?"

I lied. I told him it's a stick. Is it wrong of me to teach him the wrong term because I don't want the word "gun" to be part of his vernacular?

Why is it that I don't have a problem teaching him "penis" or "nipples" but the word "gun" makes me cringe?


At least if I lied to my toddler yesterday I didn't have to lie to the pediatrician. Henry had his 2 month well-baby visit. They did not ask me if he's sleeping on his back (which they often do ask) so I didn't have to lie. But they did tell me my baby is huge. 13lbs 3oz and 24 3/4 inches tall! How big was Jack at 2 months?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Air Show

I have two boys. This means there will be lots of car, air and other things-that-go shows in my future. This is one air show I can get behind. Note my beach wear, beach water and beach chair. Also, you know, the beach.

See, I might be amused by planes flying in the air but not because I know what kid of plane or even the aeronautical principals that allow it to be in the air despite its massive size. I accept these things at face value. What I love about planes, trains and automobiles is the look on Jack's face when he sees them, I love what he has to say about them and I love the way his imagination explodes because of them.


Jack enjoyed lunch during our show.

It was super hot, the kind of hot that comes with news broadcasters telling the elderly and the very young to stay indoors all day. I wasn't too worried about Jack because one new sentence he's been saying lately is "I'm thirsty." Henry was another story. We packed a spray bottle, a bottle of formula and I fed him formula and breast milk as often as he would take it. It was breezy on the beach and we kept him under the umbrella the entire time. He did really well. The spray bottle with cool water was key, I think.



Coast Guard Helicopter which was apparently part of a rescue demonstration.



SMJ-2 Texans (according to my husband), but I call this "the 6 planes who flew in cool formations and did cool tricks" part of the Air Show. The Husband keeps talking about going to the air show at Andrews AFB, but it's on a huge tarmac. I remember going as a kid and it was SO HOT that we had to sit under the planes displayed in the tarmac, in the stade to escape the heat.

I can remember that day as a kid and I can remember thinking "I wish we were at the pool, or I wish there was a pool here." Did I mention my aquatic obsession? Seriously, I have a long-standing addiction to water. My Great Aunt Hazel is allergic to water, weird, right?


Overall, the vacation was a total hit! I had major help from my parents during the week that the Husband was back here working Pa-Pa played endless games of "Igachoo (I got you)" a.k.a tag with Jack and GiGi was always available to snuggle Henry so I could catch 5 minutes to myself to, you know, feed my internet addiction. I'm really psyched for our next one!