Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let There Be Teeth!

On the day Charlotte turned 5 months old, I was going to write a post about how she is scooting all around the house. Not crawling per se but definitely getting around. I was also going to record the fact that she started sitting in a high chair this week and had her first meal of butternut squash. But then all hell broke lose. After a slew of sleepless nights, we finally figured it out! On the fifth month, He said, "Let there be teeth!" And there were teeth...two to be exact!

Now if only He could proclaim sleep for this household! Fingers crossed!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Reason I Blog

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure why I blog. I am not trying to sell anything or make any money. I'm not trying to educate or persuade the masses. I am not on a social mission. I guess it's a creative outlet for me. I've always liked dinking around on computers. I've always liked to write and recently I've become a hobbyist of sorts when it comes to photography. I guess the blog is like a baby book since I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone when Grace ate her first bowl of prunes. And hopefully, Grace and Charlotte will look back on these entries one day when they are older and perhaps have children of their own.

From time to time, I like to take a few minutes to look back at some of the old posts I've written. As I am on the computer very rarely these day (especially since it always seems to be broken) this happens very infrequently. Today was one of those days. I am having a hard time getting motivated - I've showered but not dressed. The kids have eaten but I haven't. The dishes are in the dishwasher but I'm surrounded by chaos. Court is sleeping - trying to recover from two looong nights of frost control. So here I am, on the computer, reading - what else? but my own blog.

The widgets (that's fancy blog talk for the links below my latest post) suggested I read this. And you know what? It is darn funny and unfortunately for me, a completely accurate recap of what happened. I would likely have forgotten all the little details had I not taken the time to write them down. For many, blogging is a senseless pastime. But for me, it's a way to remember. For as all of us parents know, nothing flies by faster than a childhood. And hopefully, I'll be able to drag out remember and treasure all these little moments with Grace and Charlotte for just a little bit longer.   

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Purple Princess Tower

It's finally up!
It only took two months and some help from our friend George.

Grace loves it.
So much in fact, she runs around the house saying, 
"George, thank you. Nice guy."
It's pretty cute. I've got it on video but I'm too lazy to go through all the rigamaroo to put it up here.
And in honor of her purple princess tower, her new wardrobe consists of her purple 'dress' (one of my old shirts, purple socks AND purple shoes!
An outfit fitting for any princess!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crawling Out From Under My Rock

You hear how life changing having children is BEFORE you have children and just like a know-it-all teenager, it goes in one ear and out the other.

THEN you have your own children and you are like, OH MY GOD! THIS IS LIFE CHANGING! How come nobody told me this was going to blow my mind?

After Grace was born, I was definitely overwhelmed. By many things. Happiness. Joy. Love beyond measure! OF COURSE!

But also fear, guilt, self-consciousness and a sleep-deprived state rivaled only by crackheads.

Every decision you make regarding your new baby is HUGE because you consider the possible long-term effects. For example, if you breastfeed for an entire year like the "good" parenting books tell you, your kid will go to Harvard and if you can't breastfeed or don't do it for the baby's entire first year of life, than you might as well forgo any dreams of your child being able to tie their own shoes. Each decision is like this and you put so much time and energy into each decision - when to start solids, the bedtime routine, binkys, tummy time, jumperoos, bottles, vaccinations, and the list goes on - you start to hesitate leaving your precious, new bundle of joy with a stranger because how could anyone invest as much time, thought and energy as you - the mother. At least I did.

That's after you have the first child.

After you have your second child, you are reminded of the aforementioned sleep deprived state very quickly (because you call your husband in tears because your computer doesn't work) and your self-consciousness when glancing at your post-partum body (x2) in the mirror sends shivers down your spine because you realize that your body just may never get back to it's pre-baby status.

I remember watching Oprah years ago and her telling mothers to put themselves first. That it was ok to go get a haircut, or to workout or to sit in a dark, quiet room WITHOUT their kids. I remember watching those shows and thinking that the mothers who didn't or who couldn't put themselves first were crazy and wondering why-oh-why would Oprah dedicate so many shows to this topic. Almost two and a half years after having Grace, I realized that I was turning into one of those crazy mothers. (I think this incident drove it home and the fact that I haven't had my hair cut in six months.) Sleeplessness combined with the stress of two small children day-in and day-out requires relief in some form. Relief for a SAHM can only occur when someone other than yourself watches your children - a HUGE obstacle when you do not know a lot of people or have very little family you can count on.


I was told about by someone who used it herself to find childcare - albeit in a giant city - but I was desperate after an all-out search where I contacted every human being I'd ever become acquainted with in my little part of the world...or at least whose phone number or email address I had stored in my phone - to find a babysitter. My attempt at networking turned up a few hopefuls (thank you friends!) but in the end, the candidates didn't work out because of scheduling conflicts, etc. My network depleted, I signed up for - a site that unites mothers and babysitters/nannies.

It took over a month to find a handful of potential babysitters. I scoured their profiles, checked their backgrounds, interviewed them on the phone, met with them at Starbucks and eventually invited a few to my home to meet my girls. It's not ideal leaving your young children with a stranger but luckily this is a small world and in a round-about-kind-of-way, we had family acquaintances with some of the references and that helped put my mind and fragile heart at ease. Finally, I got it narrowed down to two candidates and last week we hired a very sweet girl to watch Grace and Charlotte. (For her privacy, I will not mention her here.)

After a brief test run last week where I left the girls for just an hour or two to make sure things went ok, today was the first time in...hmm, a VERY long time where I left the house without a child, a baby bag, a stroller and a shirt free of spit-up. It felt surreal. There was that mother's guilt of course hanging over my head. I'm a SAHM...what gives me the right to take a break? What if Charlotte won't take a bottle? What if Grace cries for three solid hours? What if ... But after jumping in the car and actually getting to listen to a handful of songs on the radio that didn't have anything to do with princesses, the ABC's or the wheels on a bus, I started feeling pretty darn good. It's been quite awhile since I'd had a sing-along session in the car to something other than Beauty and the Beast.

In the few hours I had to myself, I got lots done! I hit the dry cleaners, signed up for a gym membership (something I've craved for the last three years), checked out a pilates studio, went to Costco and browsed   the book section and finally finished up at the grocery store for all those things you don't need in bulk quantity. Not a 100% me-time but a great start nonetheless! So watch out friends in a 50 mile radius - I'm sans ninos and ready to mingle!  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Eye Never...

I'm working through some computer problems. 
15,000+/- photos = new software to manage said photos
New software requires new plug-ins in order to operate said software

Don't we love technology? It makes our lives sooo much easier, right?

So I am testing all the aforementioned gizmos and gadgets by posting this 'Back to the Future' photo of Grace after a recent eye appointment....funny story.

Court and I scheduled back-to-back eye appointments so that one of could be with the kids while the other had his/her eyes checked out. When I called the Doctor's office, I explained to them that we were new patients, coming with our two kids and traveling over an hour JUST to see this supposedly fantastic doctor.

No problem I was told.
Court was scheduled for 3. Me at 3:30.
We check-in. On time. Kids are asleep in the car upon arrival so we tag team the check-in. All parties at the front desk are well aware of our situation because you can CLEARLY see the 'Burban (and our munchkins) through the window in front of the receptionist desk.

Court heads back to see the doctor.
I head out to the car to make sure Beauty and the Beast is keyed up.

Fast forward one hour.
Both kids are awake. They are calm but definitely antsy and my legs feel like they are cramping up.
So into the waiting room we go - hoping that the front desk staff and nurses will see us and hurry up checking Court's eyes so as to avoid a meltdown of epic proportions.

Fast forward 30 minutes.
I'm still in the waiting room with both kids. Court is no where to be seen.
I finally get a text from Court saying they are still working on his eyes and to reschedule because he doubts they'll be able to get to me before the office closes. (He sends me his available times so that I may do this - granted the options are limited because he has to work, duh.)
The receptionist - Ms. Cold-Hearted-Snake herself - tells me they are completely booked...apparently for eternity because she makes no apology for this mix-up (or the fact that me and my kids have been pacing her office like caged animals for no apparent reason) nor does she try to accommodate my schedule.
I'm upset. fuming. pissed off.
Court finally gets out of his appointment - blind - because his eyes have just been dilated. A procedure they do for all new patients.
Meaning had I gotten into see the doctor in a timely fashion, I too would've been blind because of the dilation therefore neither of us would've been able to drive home. 
My anger level sky rocketed to somewhere above pissed off on the scales but below homicidal range. It was somewhere in the general area of "I'm going to write a letter!"

Anyway, my eyes have still not been given the once over. One of these days.
Instead, I'll keep staring at my computer screen in order  to work through the glitches I keep running into in order to post these little tidbits.
No need to thank me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

I was that kid who wore two different colored shoes to school - one pink converse and one black. My dad called it "daring to be different." (Daring to be chased home from school was what it was.) It looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

Punky Brewster? 
Sarah Jessica Parker?
Just Grace.
All Grace.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


First things first - I can't post pictures. Something is wrong with my computer. Again. (Or with the user - not sure which.) So there will be no posts with photos or videos breaking up my ramblings and rants any time soon. I apologize. As soon as I am back up and running, pictures will be posted to go along with this post.

Anyway, we do have some firsts to report as I haven't been on top of my blogging game lately.

Drum roll please. Charlotte has:

  • mastered the art of rolling over! In fact, she's been doing it for over a month now! Her tummy time has turned into quite the little act and I am pretty sure she'll be crawling well before I'm ready to have two mobile children.
  • been promoted to big girl baths - WITH big sister! While Charlotte hasn't mastered sitting up yet, she rests gently in her bath sling which combines her two favorite things so far in this world - warm water and her big sister! You've never heard squeals like the ones Charlotte makes when watching Grace jump or talk or show her any attention. It is remarkable watching Grace embrace the role of big sister. Grace literally does it with grace!
  • moved upstairs (yes, we finally decided Charlotte's room was going upstairs) into a crib. It has been an interesting transition. Some nights, she wakes only once and other nights she is up more than I am able to count in a sleep deprived condition. Climbing the stairs 4 or 5 times a night is. not. fun. Operation Butterball goes on - even in my sleep! (Now if only my ass would start to get that message!)                                                                                                                              Charlotte still sleeps in a tight (I'm talking TIGHT - like Hannibal Lecter-psych-patient-tight) swaddle which causes me some anxiety. She can roll over so I am waiting to wake up and find her "stuck" on her belly. I'm also worried she's "addicted" to the swaddle. Do I bite the bullet and have the sleepless nights now to wean her off of it or do I let her "outgrow" the swaddle? I never swaddled Grace so I am new to this AND the one arm in and one arm out thing doesn't seem to work (plus I think that is just cruel). Any ideas thrown my way would be appreciated!
  • discovered the jumperoo - the BEST invention after The Epidural AND Charlotte started rice cereal.                                                                                                                                                  
For some reason, I was able to add this picture but not any of the others I wanted to share.
Obviously, the malfunction is clearly user error.
    • Bottle feedings are going better but we still aren't confident in her abilities. I did buy these new bottles that are made specifically to help transition from breast to bottle feedings and they have helped A LOT.

    Now to Grace...

    Grace can now count to TWENTY all by herself and is learning new words at an astounding speed! She is very polite - saying please and thank you at all the right times but hasn't quite got the concept of 'no, thank you'. She's got 'no' down for sure! "Grace, do you like pancakes?" I'll ask as she gobbles them up. "No!" she'll reply. She still eats like a bird and we have resorted to bribery in some instances. While in Hawaii, she'd eat fish by the fork load if we'd give her a french fry (GASP! The forbidden fruit - a french fry! Yes, I said it. I bribe my kid with french fries! Don't judge.). Grace has also found comfort in - shall we say, fashion? Some kids cling to their blankies while Grace seems to cling to her "piiiiiiiink.' Grace's 'piiiiiiiiiink' is one of three things - a pink swim suit cover-up that was nearly destroyed because of so much wear in Hawaii, a red Hello Kitty night gown (why she calls it 'piiiiiiink' is beyond me) and a pink v-neck shirt of mine that looks like something J LO might wear on the red carpet when "skinny- mcgee-Grace" puts it on. Grace wears her 'piiiiiiiiiink ALL DAY LONG and sleeps in it too. I can usually convince her to wear something else when we leave the house but the moment we are back home it's 'PIIIIIINK PIIIIIIIIINK PIIIIIIINK!' It's hysterical really! That is, until it's time to take the piiiiink off. I will post of a picture of Grace's 'piiiiink soon!' It's not to be missed!!

    In other's February. How did that happen?!