Monday, May 31, 2010

3 Things: The Memorial Day Weekend Edition

1. We had a party! There was food. There was drink. There were friends. There were children running about hopped up on sugar. Good times were had by all.
A friend of ours brought this piece of art. Here's the kicker: he doesn't even have kids. Ry said it reminded him of this classic internet rant. Ding ding!

We played bean bags.

F was suspiciously happy. He sat and played with toys or was happily passed from (female) friend to friend. It makes me happy to see him content with someone other than me.

I got to hold a wee tiny bebe. He's 5 weeks old. Isn't he precious? I heard T in the other room ask Ry, "Did mommy get another baby?"

2. I got to spend a whole morning with this here boy.
This morning Ry was a bit, erm, under the weather after last night's party. T and I took off to Sesame Place and left Ry and F to their own devices. We had terrific fun. I forget what a fun and interesting kid he is when he's not acting out to try and get my attention. We've decided to split the boys up on a more regular basis.

Because Ry got to spend the morning with this beautiful boy. He had a nap, he ate some lunch, he even took a few ounces of breastmilk from a sippy cup (yeah!). And then this afternoon, my beautiful baby boy cut his very first tooth. I was like "Holy crap, what is that?" You may or may not remember that T didn't have teeth until he was a year old. F is 4 days shy of 7 months.

3. I realized what a ridiculous summer we have planned. It looks a little something like this:

June - Ry is gone for a weekend for his college buddy's bachelor party, then he's in DC for a week, then we're going to Niagra Falls for 5 days.

July - My 3 week intensive class starts on the 12th. Ry's mother and sister will be here watching the boys for the entire time (yeah!)

August - The boys and I are going to New Mexico for a week to visit my mom, aunt and grandmother. Then, we are all going to IL for the aforementioned college buddy's wedding. The week we get home, the boys start at daycare and the week following that, I start nursing school.

Right, so I'm going to blink and it'll be fall. At least it won't be boring.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Et Voila

New blog layout is done. Pretty cute, right? We had a great time taking pictures in the grass. Here are some more from our photo shoot. Geez but I have cute kids.Here's the other feet shot. I just love baby feet. There is something so delicious about fat little baby feet and sturdy little boy feet. Nom nom nom.

T is a sweet little man. This is how hugs with F often start. I'm starting to learn, however, that it doesn't take long for a sweet little hug to turn dark. Small doses.

Really freaking cute, right?

This is one of the most genuine smiles I've gotten from T in a while. If you look closely, you'll see he has handfuls of grass in his hands. Nothing like destroying stuff to make a happy 3 year old.

I can't get over what a *boy* he looks like in this picture. There's just no baby left. Sniffle.

And here's where all our photo shoots end up. Could I really expect anything different?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quite a day

Today we planned on renewing my passport and getting one for F because we are joining my Dad and Lala for a trip to Niagra Falls in June.

We also had to go to Kohls to get coffee filters and so that was our first stop of the morning. Right after we left, T started getting searing abdominal pains on his right side. They were coming in waves and seemed to be getting worse, so we called his pediatrician, who recommended we bring him in right away. Since I was putting F down for a nap, Ry took T and hurried to the doctor's office.

She said that there was a 90% chance that he just had bad gas, and a 10% chance that he had intussesception. Intussesception means a trip to the children's hospital in Philadelphia, since our local hospital can't treat it. We were instructed to keep an eye on him for the next 2 hours and if it didn't get better to head to Philly. Fortunately, about 90 minutes later, T had a BM and immediately felt better. We breathed a big sigh of relief and called the doctor back, who said that we could now rest easy.

We went and got our passports squared away. F's had to be taken by a processor since he is a minor and this is his first passport. His passport pictures are beyond darling. I have to mail mine in, since it's just a renewal. And so we went to the post office, where I put all the required documents in a priority mail envelope and went to mail it with delivery confirmation. I happened to be wearing one of my Illinois shirts today. This particular shirt seems to be an invitation for people to tell me about their husband/father/sister/cousin/co-worker who went to Illinois one time. Today I had a really interesting conversation with the postal worker and a lady who said she had forgotten something in her car but seemed to be in no real hurry to go get it.

Postal worker: You went to U of I?
Me: Yes.
Postal worker: Cool
Random lady: Who went to U of I? You?
Me: Yes.
Random lady: I have some techs who are from Chicago.
Me: Oh really?
Random lady: I find that they are just the same as the people from here.
Me: How so?
Random lady: Culturally I mean. It's like you can pluck them out of Illinois and put them down here and the culture is the same.
Me: Really? I didn't have that experience at all.
Random lady: Do you think we're rude?
Me: I ... um ...
Postal worker: See? She's too polite to say that you're rude.
Random lady: Launches into a story about moving a box and how people in NJ are rude but not people from NC.
Me: Um.
Random lady: ... and I could have moved it 6 times by the time he asked me.
Me: Well, maybe people from Chicago have a more similar culture, but I find it to be pretty different.
Random lady: How do you get your teeth so white?
Me: Um. I brush them?
Postal worker: It's all the corn!

And all I was trying to do was mail a letter. Yeesh.

Stay tuned

Right, so Frank got me started playing and now I have to work on my blog layout until I get it just right. I'll finish messing about in the next couple of days. In the meantime, enjoy the changes. This photo was taken when Ry and I were dating. These are our footprints on the beach in Seaside Heights.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whatcha think?

This is my new blog design. I like it a lot. It's a lot like my life right now: messy but unbearably cute. I'm not convinced this is the final template, but I'm gonna try it on for a while. My ideal blog template would have a picture of footprints on the beach. Alas, I cannot find one.
What do you think?

Working on it

So I just realized yesterday that my blog is displaying all wonky. Apparently the image at the top of the page has been removed. Anyhow, I'll be looking for a new template and getting back to my regularly scheduled blogging soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Opening the Sesame Season

Once again, we have season passes for Sesame Place. It is still T's happy place. This year, he is also big enough to go on all the attractions, water slides included. The day we went was a bit cool and cloudy, but that didn't stop T and Ry from getting soaked on the various water slides.

F got to splash around in the wave pool. This little girl had the most darling pigtails and the most darling interest in F.

This is T's "getting into stuff" face.

Water, water, everwhere ...

Faster than the speed of light

Blackberries, redux

The child loves blackberries. He reaches out for them, arms wide to the side. Then he puts his chubby little hands together around the blackberry and stuffs them in his mouth. It's hilarious. Also, note the sticky blackberry marks on my wall. Good times.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Since I moved away, I always struggled when people asked me where I was from. I usually told them I was from Oz, but that we lived in Current Town, NJ.
In the past week, I have run into people I know in half a dozen random locations around town. They are people from my mom's group, people from T's old school, and neighbors. It's nice to feel like I'm a part of the community. I know how to get around town. We have favorite restaurants and parks. I can make recommendations on stores, services and locations.
All of a sudden it's hit me that while I think of Oz with a lot of love and fond memories I think of Current Town as home. Does this mean I'm from NJ now? Gack.

Friday, May 21, 2010


With my 3 week class less than 2 months away and nursing school less than 4 I am starting to get really anxious about putting F in daycare. While we are starting to make some progress with getting him to drink from a sippy cup, he's still ragingly unhappy whenever I'm not around. Sometimes he'll be OK with Ry, but only if he can't see me and/or I'm not around when he wakes up.
This is really unfamiliar territory for me. T never showed any stranger or separation anxiety. If anything, he seemed to enjoy being passed around.
Not F. He wants me. It's great to be wanted, but it's also exhausting. I went out for a while the other day and Ry said he cried almost the entire time I was gone. Is he going to cry for 8 hours three times a week? I don't think any school or job is worth that.
We're starting the daycare a week early, so I can go in with him while he gets to know the two women who will be caring for him. Am I being anxious for nothing? I really hope so.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Faire Day

On Sunday we went to our local Renaissance Faire. We had a fun morning watching jousts, fencing, horses, dancing and eating tasty fair food. I think we'll take the boys to the permanent faire in Pennsylvania next year. T should really get a kick out of it.This year, we got him a very nifty cap. It took him a good 20 minutes to decide between this one, a Robin Hood hat, wizard hat or princess hat. Much to Ry's relief, he picked this one.

He also won a gold ring and candy bracelet at one from one of the games. Looks like royalty, doesn't he?

And F? Well, F looked around and slept. He also snagged a french fry. Don't tell anyone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meanwhile, at the mulch festival

We spent most of the weekend weeding and mulching and watering and planting. We ordered 7 yards of mulch. It was a little overkill, but we won't have to mulch next year. Yesterday, T told us he wanted to spend the day at the mulch festival in our back yard. We aren't done for the season, so we'll probably spend another weekend at the mulch festival.
We actually let T stay up through his nap because he was so into helping plant the garden. We probably won't do that again, as his selective attention becomes really pronounced when he's not at least had a rest. He had a blast though.

He's a very aggressive waterer. It's a good thing most plants are pretty hardy.

Even F got in on the fun.

I'm pleased with the results. This year, we planted 4 tomato plants, basil, 2 zucchinis, some round cucumbers and watermelon. The watermelon is an experiment. Hopefully it'll be a tasty one.

And the yard is freshly mulched. There's nothing quite like a freshly mulched yard to make you feel like you've accomplished something.

I need something to put in this bed. I have tulips there, which haven't been doing so hot. Any suggestions? The bed is shaded most of the day and the soil is pretty heavy on roots from the tree. I don't really do annuals, but I'd like something that flowers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


T: Can I have a snack please?
Me: Well, we're about to go to a festival, you can have a snack there.
T: A tractor festival?
Ry: No, it's a Renaissance Faire, which means you get to see horses and knights.
T: Oh.
Me: And princesses and people in costumes.
T: Oh.
Ry: And wenches.
T: WENCHES?!?!?!?! I'm so excited! WENCHES?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fee Fi Fo Fum

Where did these giant genes come from?

Today F had his 6 month check up. He weighs 20 pounds, 14 ounces and is 27 inches long. For those of you playing along, that puts him in the 95 percentile for weight and off the chart for height. His head is in the 85 percentile. All around, F is a giant guy. I have no idea where these giant genes are coming from. Ry and I are not tall people, and for the most part, we don't come from tall stock (sorry grandparents). Round? Round we have in spades.

F is also able to sit by himself, roll over both ways and is starting the most delightful babbling. He's also learned a not-nearly-as-delightful shrieking noise that I think is his excited sound. His smile lights up the room. He's eating table food quite well. Aside from adding baby cereal for it's iron and other nutrient fortifications, the pediatrician said I never had to feed him baby food, if I didn't want to. So far, he's had sweet potato, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, green beans (not a great plan, that), bread, yogurt, broccoli, banana, pear, apple, kiwi, melon, blackberries, and, ahem, banana muffin.

Temperamentally, he's about as different from his big brother as he could get. He's pretty laid back and happy to sit and play with his toys, as long as I'm with him. He is still showing a lot of stranger anxiety, but seems to be OK with the people he sees a lot (Ry, T, my friends). This, along with his refusal to take a bottle are making me pretty nervous about starting school in the fall. I'm going to try and get him to start taking a sippy cup, since I think the window for the bottle is probably shut. We have 2 months before my 3 week course in July and 4 months until I start school in September, so I'm crossing my fingers that we'll have him drinking out of some cup-like container soon.

Isn't he delicious?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lesson learned

When the nurse suggests getting your Heb B vaccine and PPD test in your left arm because you are right-handed, this will sound like a really good idea. It's not. Your left arm is the one you use to lug around your 20 pound 6 month old.

Jersey Wars


Jersey Wars - The Barnes & Noble Review

Monday, May 10, 2010

Comment turned post

Here is my response to jp's comments on this post about breastfeeding in public. I started to post it in the comments section, but it simply got too long and unwieldy to do so.

Well I object that you believe that a part of the body that is associated with sexuality and titillation cannot be exposed even when it's in the context of breastfeeding. While I personally don't find anything at all upsetting about breasts (quite the contrary), if you take your breast out, regardless of intent or purpose, there is a chance that there could be a scene or the reaction may not be positive. As you are certainly aware of we live in a highly religious society, much of which has huge objections to nudity if it isn't on television.

If people don’t want to be exposed to partially exposed breasts, my advice for them is to stay at home. There are a lot of women running around flashing way more boob in their clothes than they’ll ever see when I breastfeed my child. There are lots of things that various religions object to. That’s the joy of living here. You get to see 17 year old girls with “juicy” written across their bum, people of all shapes and sizes with their butt cracks hanging out and women in outfits that would better be left in the bedroom. You get to see homosexual couples, people in various religious attire and mixed-race couples. All of these are offensive to someone. That doesn’t mean we ask them to go somewhere else.

Also, some women do flop out their breast in a showy manner at times. Morgan and I were walking down Canal street heading to the Subway one day and I just happened to look left at a woman sitting on the other side of the glass, not breastfeeding, no child at her tit anymore and boob just out for all walking by in New York. Did I point, stare, or go in and tell her to cover up? Of course not. Did I think that her decision to give everyone walking by on Canal street an extended show was a strong choice, yes.

There are always going to be people on the extremes. What you saw was an anomaly, not the norm. That being said, she still had every right to nurse her child as she saw fit. Was it a statement? Perhaps. Does it matter? No.

The great majority of women aren’t out to make a statement or flaunt their rocking nursing boobs. They’re out to feed their children. I do my best to do it in a manner that is discreet as possible, but the bottom line is, I’m going to feed my baby. As I mentioned before, most people are completely oblivious to the fact that I’m nursing, thinking that the baby is just sleeping. You’ll find that in the great majority of situations, this is the case.

I think that it is great that there are laws on the books in most states (something like 40+) to ensure that breastfeeding is allowed and something like half the states in the country exempt it from public indecency laws. But saying that people should just get over it is short-sighted and narrow minded of you. Not that you don't know this, but people have a very, very wide range of beliefs on sexuality and the human body, and seeing a breast even in the context of feeding a child certainly makes some people uncomfortable.

And I’m uncomfortable when people use profanity around my children. If I object to their language, I can exercise my rights and walk away. Personally, I’d rather my kids be exposed to breastfeeding mothers any day than people who swear like it’s going out of style.

The thing that really got to me about this particular story was that the objections were voiced by other mothers of small children in a play space designed for small children. If you don’t expect to see breastfeeding there, where would you?

And all that said, lots of things are natural and lots of things are lawfully protected and some of either or both of those things are going to raise a stink if you do them. I can drop my pants and naturally take a shit anywhere, but I don't and I think that most people are happy about that.

I hate hate hate when people say this. It’s disingenuous and designed only to get a rise out of people. You know as well as I do that breastfeeding a child and defecating in public are completely separate issues. For one, you are making the space unhygienic, dirty, and smelly.

I'm not attempting to be obnoxious about it, but not everyone can just turn off their association of breast with sex when a woman is breastfeeding, so it becomes an unusually touchy subject for some.

Ah, but you are trying to be obnoxious, by your very choice of language and tone, you’ve made that abundantly clear.

I also have another question to expand on the original post. The time that you were asked to use another room, based off the two posts it seems that this was a time you were not attempting any cover, were the "teenagers" both gender?

No, I was certainly not “attempting any cover.” Perhaps you and Morgan will have a different experience with M, but both of my boys tolerated a nursing wrap exactly until they were strong enough to pull it off of their heads. In this case, I asked my friend before I started feeding F if she had a preference as to where I nursed him. The teenagers were of both genders.

Sorry, one more thing about this that I think may be a bit related (maybe not) that may explain occasional parental tunnel vision. As a parent some things just become almost anti-sexual when its related to your child, at least thats been my experience. When Morgan is breastfeeding or pumping I can honestly say that during those times her breasts are completely uninteresting to me. Shockingly so. I think that I'm completely desensitized to them during those periods.

And you’ve made my point for me. Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. I don’t think it takes any special parental tunnel vision for breastfeeding to be construed in a non sexual way.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

On Mother's Day

I originally posted this when T was about 5 months old. It seems an appropriate thing to post today. I've added a few new items (in blue).

Becoming a mom ...

Has given me a new sense of humor. I have laughed more in the past 5 months about poo than in the entirety of the rest of my life.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught be about patience ... and frustration. Only when your child is crying for the 45th straight minute can you understand how both emotions can co-exist.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me about love. I love my husband in knowledge. I can explain all the reasons I love him. I love my son almost without knowledge. All I know about this love is that it fills my heart every time I see or think of him.

Becoming a mom ...

Has given me a mother's heart. Now when I see a child cry or hurt, I want to scoop them up, pet their hair and soothe them. Hearing my own child cry hurts in a place I didn't know existed.

Becoming a mom ...

Helps me to understand my own mother. I now understand why she cried through every school event, why she gets so angry when she feels I've been poorly treated, why she still calls me her baby.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me that sometimes doing the right thing for your child means that they might cry and

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me that listening to those cries still hurts.

Becoming a mom ...

Makes you the world's best multi-tasker.

Becoming a mom ...

Makes it a lot easier to ignore the dirt and clutter. After all, your kids will remember the playtime, not the fact that they always had cat hair on their clothes.

Becoming a mom ...

Means having to prove that you are more stubborn. Every. Single. Day.

Becoming a mom ...

Means falling completely in love with your second baby. Even when you secretly wondered if you could love anyone as much as your first.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me to value my own parents. And be thankful that they didn't sell me to the gypsies.

Becoming a mom ...

Makes me grateful. Grateful to God for blessing our family with such a tremendous gift. Grateful to my husband for being such a loving man and supporting our family. Grateful to my parents for teaching me right from wrong and how not to be a brat. Grateful that every morning I get to look into the eyes of my son and see trust and love shining from them.

Becoming a mom ...

Is my greatest accomplishment.

Happy Mother's Day!

For all the love you've given me, I will one day pay your nursing home bill

Friday, May 07, 2010

What is wrong with people?

This story breaks my heart. What is wrong with people? Why is it OK for people to walk around with their butt stuffed out the tops of their pants, but breastfeeding a child is not? I have personally never had anyone say anything to me, but I've gotten the looks and had someone ask me to use another room because there were "teenagers around." Do you really think a child is going to be traumatized by seeing a breast? If so, T is already in trouble.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Is that what I sound like to you?

Lately, T has been doing a lot of pretend play. Most of the time, it's your garden-variety invisible friend stuff. He and "Mr. Car" drive places together, jump over pillows, decide to go to his bedroom and open his doors. Every once in a while though, Mr. Car apparently needs some discipline. Then I hear a conversation that goes a little something like this:

T: Stop it, Mr. Car. I said stop it! 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... Ok, go to the corner!

There's nothing quite like hearing yourself parroted by a 3 year old.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

#15 - Flash Mobs

Call me cheesy. Call me a hopeless theatre geek. Call me a crazy lazy. But I love flash mobs! I can't help but smile the biggest goofy grin and get teary eyed at the end. I love seeing people have such a good time. The people dancing have that "gotcha" face and these probably make the day of the people caught unawares (I know it would for me). It's refreshing to see a bunch of people come together for something wholesome for no other reason than it's fun.

I'll have to admit to being a little bitter than this one was staged at The Ohio State University, but it's super fun.

This is the Oprah one. It's probably the biggest flash mob ever. Seriously, what an undertaking and what joy!

Flash mobs: AWESOME!!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

#14 - Playing in the sprinkler

There's nothing quite like turning on the sprinkler on a hot summer day. The shock of the cold water as it lands on your body is deliciously refreshing. You run and run until you have numb fingers and toes and your lips are blue. Still, it's one of the great joys of childhood.Until this summer, T waffled between scared and indifferent to the sprinkler. This summer he decided it's pretty darn cool.

He's not quite brave enough to jump over the sprinkler, but he has thought about it really hard.

Great, great fun!

Playing in the sprinkler: AWESOME!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Green flashing toilet

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, our toilet? We only have the one, so being without it is somewhat panic inducing. It's been a trusty little thing for the past 5 years. And then, somehow, mysteriously, T's green flashing toothbrush disappeared. And then our toilet started functioning at about 30%. Well crap.We (and by we, I mean my husband) tried everything: plunger, coat hanger, scary-looking toilet snake, wet-vac. For a few flushes, everything would run smoothly, until someone used toilet paper. Or ... well ... you get it.

And so dear friends, we (and again, by we I mean Ry) embarked on a new and perilous adventure: toilet removal. First he removed the basin. Behind it was a fascinating archaeological show entitled "All the paint colors that have been on the bathroom walls."

Success! Apparently, it's pretty common to break a toilet when you remove it. My extremely talented husband took that toilet off the tile like it was nothing. We could hear the toothbrush rattling around in the twisty trails leading to the sewer pipe. Ry did a little toilet tango and ....

Voila! Green toothbrush!

Still flashing.
There's a lesson to be learned here folks. I'm not sure what it is, but there is definitely a lesson. My takeaway? Thank God for my husband.


We decided to sell the high chair you see featured below. It's huge-mongous and F sits up well enough to use the booster-chair thingie that attaches to the dining room chairs. We figured that if we do decide to have another child we'll likely wait to start giving him/her solid foods until close to 6 months like F, and they'll be able to sit up just fine too. Getting rid of the stupid thing clears about 4 square feet of room in my kitchen. If you've been in my kitchen, you know that's a lot.

So anyhow, I cleaned it up and posted pictures on craigslist. I asked for $20. It's about a $120 high chair brandy new. Frankly, I mostly just want it out of my house. A woman called me this morning and asked if she could come by in an hour to take a look at it. Sure! We were just hanging out in the back yard, starting the annual cleaning of the outdoor toys. Three hours later she called to see if we were still at home and could she drop by. I had given up on her, but since I just put F down for a nap, wasn't going anywhere.

Twenty minutes later, up pulls a Mercedes. Out comes a well-dressed man to take a look at the high chair. He checked it out, asked how old it was and asked us if we'd take less. Sure, how about $15? Hmmm, eerrrr, well it's pretty old. Yep, I told you that. And the cushion is pretty faded. Yeppers, but in great condition. Would you take $12? Well, there's an identical one at the consignment shop up the road for $40, so ... no.

Here's the thing. If he had pulled up in a beat up car with a load of kids, I'd have just given it to him. Hell, if he hadn't have been so condescending I'd have taken $12. But seriously? You show up 2 hours late to my house in a Mercedes and quibble over $3?

So he said he couldn't go any higher than $12 because blah blah blah it's old. And I very politely told him no thanks. At which time he went back to his car, sent his wife up to look at it and then came up and gave me $15. His parting line? "This isn't going to fall apart on me, is it?" I'm not sure. It might just crumble under the weight of your huge ego.
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