Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's coming right for me!

It's been a strange sort of a week. But first, it's Cheeky Monkey in a box!

OK, anyway. No, wait ... more naptime fun!

Really now. Around midnight Saturday morning, Cheeky Monkey woke us up with a sad cry and a crib full of  vomit. We changed him and the sheets and I rocked him for a while. He didn't fall back asleep, but did lay down in his crib as long as I stayed in the room, so I dragged our featherbed onto the floor and made camp. About 30 minutes later, he threw up again. After another wardrobe and sheet change (this time for me too!), we dosed for about 45 minutes before ... yep ... again. This time, all down my back. Awesome! We had one more go-round before he was apparently empty and went to sleep.
 Saturday he seemed pretty good, aside from being less-hungry and more-sleepy that usual. We went about our business, dyeing eggs and preparing for general Easter fun.

Gummy Bear was quite proud of all his eggs.

 The boys helped Ry in the yard and got pretty dirty, as children will do.

 Sunday morning, Gummy Bear awoke to a chocolate dino egg and mini chocolate dinos. He was in chocolate heaven.

 Cheeky Monkey ... had a fever. He took his first nap around 9 am.

 And his second around 11.

 We were undeterred and the Easter Bunny arrived to hide eggs. Gummy Bear was thrilled, and Cheeky Monkey was slightly amused.

 He wasn't so amused by the family pictures, however.

Ry and Gummy Bear went off to our adopt-a-family Easter dinner and Cheeky Monkey and I held down the fort. Since he was running a fever, we played in the water table. He approved.

Silly me, I thought the rest of our family avoided the illness. This morning, Gummy Bear woke up around 5:30 complaining of a tummy ache. Ry gave him a drink and he went back to bed for a while. Around 6:45, still complaining, he sat on Ry's lap ... where he threw up. Because he doesn't get sick very often, he was really freaked out. I think he was more scared than in pain, and after a quick bath, perked up. Ry stayed home with him today, and other than the come-and-go fever and lack of appetite, he felt OK.

Tomorrow and Thursday are my last 2 days of clinical for the semester. I am praying to stay well until at least Thursday at 3 pm. I'd really hate to get to the very end of the semester and then have to make up clinical. Pray with me folks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today wasn't summer

But it sure felt like it. It was one of those perfect kind of days. I had a truly lovely day in postpartum. When I left the hospital it was sunny and warm. The boys ate for almost an hour when we arrived home. Then we headed outside to enjoy the unseasonable warmth.

I must warn you that we operate a pants-optional household here.

We filled up the water table. You would think I bought them a pool.

They got muddy.

They poured water in every container they could find.

They got wetter.

And wetter.

And wettest.

And then they got a bath. I'm getting spring fever. Thank goodness there are only 4 weeks left in my semester.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In other news

1. My semester is winding up (down?) and so posting will be light until May 17, when SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!
2. Gummy Bear has been in fine form in the past week or so. Between asking me why the wind blows and telling everyone that they "annoy" him I can't wait to see what comes out of his mouth next. I would love to crawl inside that little brain just for an hour.
3. Cheeky Monkey has officially discovered the tantrum. He threw a spectacular one the other day when he didn't want to leave the park. It included screaming, arching his back so it was hard to get him into the carseat and sticking his head under the little carseat wing repeatedly and to his great discomfort. I can tell I'm a second-time mom because I spend most of the time trying not to laugh instead of trying not to blow a gasket. So much rage for such a little person.
4. The government didn't shut down! There was much rejoicing! We're getting paid until at least September, when I'm sure the children in Congress will once again use nearly 1 million paychecks to play chicken.
5. This was funny. Ry said that Gummy Bear was playing naptime on the floor. He would spread the blanket out and put out a pillow for Cheeky Monkey to lay down on. He chose here. Five or 6 times.
 Finally, Ry took pity on Gummy Bear and moved him over where he was supposed to be napping.
 And then much cuteness ensued.  All together now ... awwwwww!
 6. I finally start my maternity rotation this week!!! I've been waiting all semester for this. This week I'll be in post-partum and next week I'll be in L&D and nursery.
7. You all rock. Yesterday, I got a donation for March of Dimes that meets my goal for this year's March for Babies. Thank you so much to everyone who made a donation. I'll be walking on April 30 and will be sure to post an update from that day. Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.
8. That's all. Have a lovely week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meatless Monday

I would say that fully half of the meals that I make are vegetarian. I'm not sure how this happened, but I find that it really helps with our grocery bill. Making sure that our family gets enough protein can be a challenge though, so we end up eating a lot of beans.

This is a recipe for Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas. I slightly adapted the original recipe because I was concerned it would be too spicy for the boys. Also, I thought the butter and oil to be completely unnecessary. Frankly, I didn't think they would eat it at all. Imagine my surprise when they both ate it like it was pizza. Even Gummy Bear thought it was tasty.



  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag of frozen corn, dethawed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided


  1. Spray non-stick cooking spray into a sauce pan. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar and salsa; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place a tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with cheese, then top with some of the bean mixture. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Makes about 6 quesadillas (or 4 plus extra bean mixture to eat on tortilla chips later).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let the hunting begin!

Every year, some friends of ours invite us over for a little pre-Easter egg hunt with their family. We told the boys that the Easter Bunny had to have a practice day. I don't know if they bought it, but the hunting was enthusiastic.

Cheeky Monkey really got in on the fun. He only got a few eggs, but he thoroughly enjoyed opening the eggs, dumping out the contents, and putting them back on the ground.

Gummy Bear shared some of his eggs. Before you think he was being altruistic, he was really just looking for more room in his own basket.

Then, when we got home, the boys had a few pieces of chocolate. This is what two little Crunch eggs looks like. He kept taking them out of his mouth, looking at them, and putting them back in.

And Ry thinks I'm terribly cruel, but tell me Cheeky Monkey doesn't look a little like Augustus Gloop here.

Friday, April 08, 2011

On the shut down

It's looking increasingly likely that tonight at midnight, our Federal government will shut down. Since we'll be one of those 800,000 government workers affected by the shutdown, I thought I'd address a few of the things I've been hearing/reading.

Government workers make too much money!

Government employees do make, on average, more than the average US taxpayer. That is because most government workers are professionals (lawyers, engineers, scientists) who make more money in general. If you compare private and public sector, job title for job title, government workers earn less.

We make a conscious decision for Ry to work for the government. He went to a good school, works hard, and is good at what he does. For that, he makes about 80% of what a private sector employee would make. He also gets to come home at a reasonable hour in the evenings and has only had to work on a weekend a few times during his nearly 9 years in this role. I like having him around, and the kids do too. It's worth the smaller salary for Ry to have some work-life balance.

But what about those benefits?

While I can't speak to the benefits that everyone gets, we pay 30% of our health care insurance premiums. It's not a small $ amount every month and the insurance plan isn't great. I paid far less, for much better insurance before I quit my job to be a stay at home mom.
My husband also has a Thrift Savings Plan, which is nearly identical to a private sector 401K. He pays in, the government matches a little, and we hope that its value increases over time. In fact, his TSP is not even as good as a 401K in the great state of New Jersey. NJ taxes contributions rather than allowing tax-free contributions like they do for 401Ks.

And all that paid time off?

Ry has about as much vacation time as other folks in his profession and with his experience. He gets about 4 weeks a year. It's nice, but not outrageous. While he does earn a fair amount of sick time each year, his sick time is also his disability pay. If he gets sick, has to have surgery or becomes disabled, his sick leave is it.

Shouldn't we all share the pain?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, Ry will not be getting raises for at least the next 2 years, since President Obama has frozen pay increases. He'd like to freeze them for the next 5 years. Frankly, if they had come and said Ry had to take furlough days or a wage cut, it would have sucked, but I would have understood. After all, we're trying to balance a budget, here.

But that's not really the point, is it?

The point is that next week, Ry is likely to have to go to work. Because of what he does and the way he is funded, he'll likely be working as long as the government is shut down. Of course, he won't get paid until the government is up and running again. If this shutdown lasts 27 days like the one in 1995 did, we'll be using a good amount of our savings to continue paying our bills and feeding our kids. A furlough that lasts a whole bunch longer than that will really start to hurt.

We're the lucky ones, though. At least Ry will (probably) be paid when this is all over. There are hundreds of thousands of "non-essential" employees who may not be paid at all. Consider for a moment what an unexpected 10% (or 15% or 20%) pay cut would mean to your family. Especially consider that the cut comes all at one time, not spread out over a year. How long would you be able to pay your mortgage?

And why is this all happening? Because the Congress can't act like grown ups and come to an agreement over a budget that has been in continuing resolution since last September. It's not even going to save any money! The furlough in 1995 cost $1.4 billion.

So anyway, I'm sorta grrr today. I'm grrr that our politicians would rather play politics than do their jobs. I'm grrr at all the people who think that we live in some kind of government employee bubble. And I'm grr at the fact that we'll be hurting for as long as this furlough lasts. So, we won't be eating out at all. We'll be taking our lunches. We're looking at our expenses and seeing what we can do without. And we're praying that this comes to a quick resolution so we can keep on being the bill-paying, tax-paying, society-contributing citizens our politicians say they want.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

You go, new Doctor!

Nursing school is making me a little bit neurotic. Apparently, it's a common phenomenon. Every time we learn about a new disease process, I start to wonder if I have it. My legs are falling asleep ... I must have peripheral vascular disease!

So anyway, to combat my ensuing craziness, I decided to make an appointment for a physical. I met my new primary care Doctor yesterday. She was very nice and did a thorough assessment.  She also gave me a lab slip for the battery of blood work. Then, as we were wrapping up, she said something that surprised me.

You know, for your height, you may be a little overweight.

This is not really news to me. I've been overweight since Gummy Bear was born. I have also been to several different doctors (with several different specialties) in the 4 years since that happened. No one has ever mentioned my weight. I wonder how many of them thought it was easier to let it go. After all, no one loves to be reminded that they are overweight, and I'm only a little overweight. I'm sure lots of people get really defensive if you dare to mention that they could stand to lose a few pounds.

Still, new Doctor had the guts to have the discussion with me. She looked up my BMI, and said that if I could lose 10 pounds, I'd be right in the middle of "average" weight for my height. She went on to remind me that a healthy weight sets me up for a healthy life.

So, bravo, new Doctor! Way to have an uncomfortable conversation for the sake of, you know, health. In honor of new Doctor, I'm going to work on getting off that last 10 pounds. Thanks for the kick in the rear!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Things I Learned: The Parenting Edition

1. Kids' heads are unhappy without a bump, bruise or scrape, as evidenced by the fact that every time one goes away, they make a new one.
2. At the start of every season, I buy 18 pair of matching socks for Gummy Bear and 18 pairs of matching socks for Cheeky Monkey. The boys' socks do not match each other. This way, Ry and I both know which socks belong to which boy as we're groping around in the dark, uncaffeinated and groggy.  I know, 18 seems like a lot, but by the end of the season, I am doing a load of socks the night before school more often than I'd like to admit. The sock gnomes are especially fertile in this part of the country.
3. The night you go to Happy Hour with some of your husband's colleagues is inevitably the night your 4-year-old will both talk about his penis and take his pants (and underwear) down because "something's not right!"
4. The same 4-year-old will then give you his Raffe to "squeeze really tight" when you are cleaning the thumb you just sliced open making his lunch for the next day.
5. Then he'll ask for Raffe back, because it's time to go to bed.
6. And give you his dinosaur, because "I don't use that dino anymore."

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ry turns 31

Ry and I are the same age again, for the next 7 months, anyhow. Both of our birthday were kind of anti-climactic this year, but we had a lovely day, all the same. I can't begin to say how much I love this husband of mine. He's the best kind of father: loving and fun, but still boundary-setting. He's the best kind of husband: loving and providing and uplifting and laid back. He's just the best man I know. Happy Birthday, my love. You are my tiny ball of light.

And now, some gratuitous kiddo and cake pictures:

Saturday, April 02, 2011


I waited until today to post this so no one would think it was an April Fool's Day joke. My Mom and Stepfather are moving to New Jersey (or right across the border in PA)! Hurrah! Joy!

The only thing I really dislike about being out here is our distinct lack of family. I cannot even begin to explain how psyched I am to have my Mom out here. I'm excited to have our boys see (some of ) their grandparents all the time. I'm excited to be able to call my Mom and ask her to lunch, or coffee, or dinner, or a party and then see her in 30 minutes. I'm excited to have Sunday dinners, and evening movies, and Grandparent Day at the school. I'm excited to have a shoulder to cry on and my mommy to make me chicken noodle soup when I'm sick. I'm excited to watch our boys prefer Neena and G-Pa's house. I'm excited to share our non-traveling holidays with our family. Mostly, I'm just excited to have people that I love so very close to me.

So, when are the rest of you moving here?
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