Monday, December 08, 2008

Memories of slumbers past

I remember when I used to love my bed. Dan and I bought it when we moved in together and at the time it seemed so luxurious, so big, so cozy. We picked out the queen-sized double-pillow-top mattress and box spring together, taking our time to choose the perfect set. We invested in the extra mattress pad and Dan bought us super soft new sheets. It was our martial bed and we spent many happy hours together enjoying its comfort.

If the tone of that previous paragraph is a tad nostalgic it is because lately I have been feeling wistful for those days. Because while that very bed is still in our room and still covered with those sheets, it has lost its proverbial shine. We got married. We got bigger. We had children. And now our precious island of sanity becomes a mini refugee camp in the wee hours of every morning. Two adults, two children and usually a cat, snoring, sucking thumbs, purring. When Rachel feels crowded she announces that she's "too tight" and flips over, placing her feet in our faces. Anna's elbows happen to be the approximate sharpness of a carving knife and she is not afraid to use them to get a little space. And for some reason I am often the only resident of this odd nest who finds the environment a difficult one in which to sleep.

Luckily the children don't start arriving until after midnight - usually around 3 am - so I have a few hours to enjoy the bed every night and reminisce about the old days. And fantasize about a king sized mattress.

The title of Rachel's future autobiography

Rachel just announced, "I'm beautiful because I'm bad."

Monday, December 01, 2008


I find myself completely stunned to be the mother of a four-year-old. It's been four whole years since I closed my eyes in that operating room and listened in an exhausted semi-conscious state for my baby's cry. Four years since I first heard the whinnying cry I compared to a baby piglet.

Last night Dan and I were looking at pictures of little baby Anna, reminiscing about her bald head and serious face and curious eyes. Remembering what a total nightmare she was to feed those first few months and how surprised we were that two dark-haired, dark-eyed parents produced this incredible blue-eyed, redheaded porcelain doll.

Needless to say, the surprises haven't stopped. Every single day this exquisite, infinitely complicated creature makes me pause, blink, take a breath, smile. Anna likes to ask me why I was given two girls. And my answer is that I got the children I was supposed to have.


Happy birthday Muffin.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fear of aging

Last night I was getting Rachel excited for her birthday. "You're going to be THREE," I reminded her. She responded with similar delight. "YEEEEAAAAYYYY I going to be three!" Then suddenly she looked worried. She became serious as she looked into my eyes to voice her concern. "Can I still be Rachel?"

Oh sweetness. You couldn't be anything else.

Happy birthday Dumpling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At least I won't be able to say I wasn't warned

Me: Anna, why did you draw your name and pictures all over your arms and legs with purple marker?

Anna: I never saw anyone do that before.

Me: Is that a good thing to do or a naughty thing to do?

Anna: Naughty.

Me: So are you going to do that again?

Anna: Not today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ode to Rachel

Rachel has this bizarre need at bedtime - no, not Scooby Doo, who by the way is still in the picture and even came on vacation with us but that's a whole separate post - she needs to go potty in the upstairs bathroom, the one right across from her bedroom. Even if we make her go potty downstairs before bed, she will do so and then march right upstairs (usually chanting her mantra, "I do it myself!" along the way) and immediately go potty in that bathroom. And she will still have some pee for that potty because that's just how she is. The child is a force of nature, something to be reckoned with and I think I'm only just now realizing how much control she really has in this family.

From the very start Rachel was a sweet baby. So good-natured that she once patiently sucked on a bottle that had a clogged nipple for a good ten minutes before I noticed that the bottle didn't seem to be getting any emptier. During her whole first year she took all of Anna's poking and prodding with nothing but smiles and giggles. Most of this past year she spent a lot of time harmlessly imitating Anna. I always assumed she would be the mellow one. Even typing that last sentence now makes me shake my head at my own misjudgment. Sometime about eight months or so ago I realized that I was having to reprimand Rachel more than I did Anna. More recently Rachel has been honing her manipulation skills.

Case in point: we were headed up for bath time one night last week and Dan had just gotten home from work. Seeing how tired he was I jokingly mentioned that he should come up and help with the baths. After he declined the offer Rachel threw herself on top of him and pleaded her case. "Please Daddy, we can be a family - all together like a FAMILY! Pleeaaaaase?" I've also more than once come rushing to soothe her as she cried over a boo-boo only to have her crack up lauging once I try to see where it hurts. And then go back to the fake crying just for... practice maybe? (Yes, I said more than once. The girl can act.)

One thing that I love about Rachel is the way she talks. She often repeats Anna (or me) but when expressing herself, she is pure Rachel. Lately she's come up with some gems.

Anna hid behind a wall and jumped out at Rachel, who screamed, "I got a little scared!"

After stubbing her toe she announced, "I have pain!"

Upon falling into the toilet she yelled "I tried to be careful!"

"I'm so frustrated!" (Apply to pretty much any situation that pops up during a normal day)

My personal favorite - "I need to be alone! I need some space." Then she crawls under the dining room table and plants her head into the carpet. Facing away from us, of course.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Overheard in my bathroom

Our girls like to announce when they are going to use the bathroom. Sometimes they do so in excessive detail - I have had to speak to Anna more than once about telling her preschool teacher that she has to go poopy. Each time I make her repeat the phrase "I have to use the bathroom." Because I'm mean like that. Tonight I was upstairs when I heard Rachel tell Dan that she had to go potty. A few minutes later I hear her call for him.

"Daddy! DADDYDADDY! Daaaaaaaaaaaah-deeeeeeeeeeeee!"
"Yes Rachel?"

Friday, September 19, 2008


I have a huge update that I am working on (yeah I know, try to control your excitement) but in the meantime I had to share THIS because it just gave me a much-needed laugh. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This one's for Shey

On Tuesday we came across a bunch of gorgeous flowers the day after a wedding at our synagogue. Mostly white roses tied up with ivory ribbon and I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of them before they started to wilt. At any rate, as I was sorting through them today the girls ended up with a handful of the roses. I let them play so I could steal a few minutes to clean up the kitchen without any "help." When I was finished with that task I walked into the family room to find Rachel snuggled into the couch with her blankey in one hand and a single rose in the other. Turning the corner I find Anna curled on her side on the floor, eyes closed, peaceful expression on her face. Surrounding her in a circle are the rest of the white roses. Not that she has a dramatic streak or anything.

Monday, September 08, 2008


One recent Sunday morning my darling husband decided to bring in breakfast from our favorite fast-food coffee and donut shop. The girls anxiously awaited his return from the family room window. When Anna spotted him, she shouted: "Daddy! FOOD! DONUTS!" Just like that: Delight! EXCITEMENT! EUPHORIA!

But I can't really blame her. They are really, really good donuts.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One track mind

One of Anna's favorite toys is her magna doodle, which she calls her Game. Rachel loves her Game too but it's hard to tell if that love is genuine or if she's just copying her big sister. Anna has become quite an impressive little artist, drawing people, whales, elephants, mermaids, unicorns as well as regular horses. She can watch us draw something once and then instantly copy it. We signed her up for a drawing class over the summer and she learned to draw ice cream sundaes, lobsters and a dinner plate complete with burger, corn and watermelon, not to mention the silverware.

With all of those items and the rest of the universe to chose from as the subject of her art, Anna's favorite is - can you guess it, can you, can you - mermaids. So every session of Magna Doodle Madness begins with Anna calling to me, "Mommy, do you want to see me draw a beauuuuutiful mermaid?" Exactly the same question every single time, phrased exactly the same way. Rachel responds by offering up her most complicated trick: "Mommy, you want to see me draw, um, a circle?"

So tonight I was encouraging Rachel to expand on her circle. I explained that she could make a circle that looks like a face. Or a circle that looks like a pizza. Or a circle that looked like a cookie. Anna pipes in, in all seriousness: "How about a circle that looks like a beauuuuutiful mermaid?" No one can say the child isn't focused.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Could you maybe not mention that to the Rabbi?

A few months ago Anna decided her life's dream was to drive. Once she understood that there was an age rule for that particular luxury, she started asking other kids no matter what age they looked, "Are you sixteen?" She'd see other drivers on the road and ask me if they were sixteen. She'd tell total strangers how much she wanted to drive but that she couldn't yet because she's only three but when she turns sixteen she was definitely going to drive. I think that was the first time she truly grasped the idea of getting to do new things as she gets older. Prior to this epiphany she just thought that grownup/adult things were just things she couldn't have/do.

Since that time she enjoys talking about all the things she can do when she grows up. Obviously these conversations are often spurred by things she's watching us do. Last week she saw me putting knives away from the dishwasher and she told me that knives are dangerous and can give her a boo-boo so she can't have one until she grows up. Sure, no problem agreeing with that statement. Such a reasonable child!

Flash forward to earlier this week in the car on the way to the preschool open house. The preschool where no one has yet met my darling precocious daughters. The preschool that is located in a synagogue. The open house that the Rabbi will be attending. I am driving along sipping my diet coke which in Anna-speak is soda-that-I-can't-have-until-I'm-grown-up. As I pull into the synagogue parking lot Anna pipes up from the backseat: "Mommy, someday I will grow up and drink wine and beer and have a knife!"

As I clear the diet coke from my nostrils I send up a quick prayer that she fails to mention this dream to her new teachers.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I have this awesome friend Holly. She is one of those friends who just totally gets me, whether I'm bragging about my kids or crying over some random drama. Best of all, she understands that there is simply no moment in life that does not call for a glass of wine.

Which is why I knew I could share with her the hideousness of my last big wine-related mistake. Over the phone I gave her all the gory details - spent the whole day in the sun, took some unfamiliar medication, did not drink water, drank some wine that was poured out into large plastic cups, yadda yadda yadda, passed out in our vacation hotel room, waking only to vomit profusely. (And that, dear readers, is all I will ever write about last Saturday night, period.) During this phone conversation I express my horror over the whole incident, as it is the first time in my life that I have ever thrown up as a result of alcohol consumption.

Holly's response? A sincerely joyful I am so proud of you! This is exactly why we are friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

My 89-year-old grandparents live in a condo about ten minutes from us so I try to take the girls over as often as possible. Of all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the girls and I are the only ones living in the state and so we reap the benefits. My grandma takes an obscene amount of joy from feeding my kids chocolate pudding and ice cream; Anna has learned to call grandpa over to dispense the whipped cream that always ends up on top of whatever sweet she has in front of her. Usually after an hour all parties involved are ready for a nap.

Today's visit was chugging along right on schedule - the grands got their kisses, the girls went running for the M&M dispenser my grandpa keeps near his desk, my grandma's flowers and plants got watered. Then as the girls were feasting on plates heaped with their favorite foods, Anna noticed a picture of my grandpa that was taken approximately sixty years ago. After asking and finding out that the man in the Navy uniform was her great-grandpa, she turned to him and asked, "Why did you have a different face?"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Being mocked by a two-year-old? Hilarious!

Rachel has been engaging in some very reckless behavior lately. Stunts like trying to climb up onto the edge of the wet bathtub while also wet herself, then trying to jump down. Running up the stairs backwards. Jumping down the stairs. Also backwards. She has also become increasingly sneaky about trying these things. One day I was innocently emptying my bladder when Rachel's smiling face came around the corner. She continued to smile as she shut the door and I heard her bare feet not-so-lightly patter up the hallway. The girl loves to lead a chase. She also loves to respond to a reprimand by making a mock-serious face, waving her arms around and going "ooooooooooooohhhh!" And then laughing.

All of this is being described not so much to entertain as to try to explain why on one particularly crazy day, Rachel got swatted on her tushy. Just once, with clothing on. And you can save your scolding remarks because I am getting plenty of guilt from the child herself. For the past few days whenever she is being naughty and sees me coming, she widens her eyes, throws up her hands and says "don't hurt me!" I used to be proud that she spoke so clearly. Now I'm avoiding disapproving glares in public.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pillow talk

One night last week I let Anna fall asleep in my bed. It's not something she asks for frequently but that day had been a long one for both of us and she seemed to need some extra cuddle time. We lay there exhausted and I knew she was close to sleep when the chatter gave way to the sound of her thumb sucking. I enjoyed the relative quiet and the way she curled her body into mine even as she claimed her own pillow. I was on the verge of falling asleep myself when suddenly thumb popped from mouth and Anna turned her head so her face was inches from mine. Her expression was serious.


She always waits for me to answer before proceeding.

"Yes, sweetheart?"

"I keep growing up."

I thought my heart was going to explode right there.

Just as she waits for me to answer her call of Mommy, she always waits for my reaction to her statement.

"Yes you do."

With that she treated me to an especially sweet smile and went back to her thumb and her own pillow and within minutes she sleeping deeply enough for me to take her to her room. But I didn't. By then I was the one who needed extra cuddling.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The flip side of potty training

One dinner at a family-style Italian restaurant with the in-laws and some family friends. Approximately three sips of water per child. Did you have any idea that this equals six trips to the potty during dinner? And that was just for Rachel. The kid can take a two-plus hour car trip without having to stop - she gets out of the swimming pool to tell me she has to go for goodness sakes - but she can't let me finish a piece of garlic bread without having a public potty adventure.

Don't get me wrong, it is all better than dealing with diapers. I am not complaining. Well, yes I am complaining but I'm allowed. I'm Mommy, dammit.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Very First Time

My friend Claire tagged me and it's my first time ever being tagged. I suddenly feel so included. Here I go!

Where were you ten years ago?
I was smack dab in the middle of law school and my social life consisted of... oh right ha ha I had none. I was working as a law clerk at a mid-sized branch of a large law firm and discovering why I never wanted to work for a large law firm.

Five items on your To-Do list today:
Maybe I should starting making those little to-do-list-thingies... hmmm, it's a thought. Here's a shot - 1. Get at least three loads of laundry done (towels and linens), 2. Make rice dish for dinner tonight at my sister-in-law's house, 3. Confirm crazy hectic schedule for Sunday, 4. Get a few more garage sale leftover items listed on craigslist, 5. Buy ingredients to make Father's Day cake.

Snacks I Enjoy
Anything involving cheese. I love cheese. I also enjoy those lime-flavored tortilla chips, especially with guacamole. Any type of party food really. If you'd put it on a table at your Super Bowl party, I'll probably eat it.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Pay off the debt of all my family, make sure everyone had a place to live and kids had college funds. Buy a few trinkets and then travel EVERYWHERE.

Places I would live:
Surprisingly, I don't really mind where I live now. Not that much. Weather can be sucky but I guess home is home. But I think I could see living in Chicago. Every time I have visited that city I have felt very comfortable. Or San Francisco, I loved the weather (and I know a couple of cool people who live there too). My family being from New York I guess I should say NYC but I'm not sure. And I always thought I could live in Israel but that was 14 years ago. I'd have to go back again and see how I felt.

Bloggers I'm passing the challenge on to: Well I don't know many people who read me on a regular basis and the ones I do know don't blog themselves. So I will just have to tag Emily because I know she's out there.

Isn't It A Little Too Soon For This Conversation?

Last night Anna was enjoying a few extra minutes with Daddy while I put Rachel to bed. I came back downstairs and Anna announced very matter-of-factly: "We eat cows." I stopped in my tracks and glanced over at my husband who was sitting on the couch looking very amused. They were both staring at me, anxiously awaiting my reaction. Co-conspirators.

I was faced with a choice. (A) I could try to do damage control and hope I don't dig the hole any deeper. (B) I could ignore the situation completely and hope Anna doesn't bring it up at some inopportune time say, Monday morning on her first day of camp. Luckily for me there is always Mommy's secret option (C) Wine.

Monday, June 09, 2008


When my girls aren't hitting, kicking, pulling hair and/or clothing, spitting (I know!), shrieking, screaming, crying, whining or thrashing they are actually quite often like this:

Probably The Dumbest Question I've Ever Asked

Why can't they just LISTEN?!

You know. Because two- and three-year-olds usually do. Deep breaths being taken.

Friday, June 06, 2008


You know what's really funny? Watching a two-year-old who refuses assistance try to put on a bathing suit over her head. Almost as funny is the way she pronounces bathing suit "babing soup." I'm just saying.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

For the last four nights Rachel has gone to bed with an empty plastic Scooby Doo soap dispenser. Allow me to explain.

Dan's best friend has two daughters who are a few years older than our girls. Which means he also has several boxes of child-related randomness in his basement and so Dan occasionally comes home with a few surprises for the girls. Four nights ago it was a sparkly Ariel mermaid doll and said Scooby Doo soap dispenser.

Anna immediately went gaga over Ariel which meant that Rachel had to do the same. I swear I sometimes can't tell if Rachel even wants the stuff she asks for because she just immediately imitates Anna. A huge fight ensued and by the time we (and by "we" I mean Dan) had them calmed down they were "taking turns" by passing the doll back and forth every few minutes. Whoever didn't have current possession of Ariel got to hold Scooby. When Anna announced she wanted to take Ariel to bed with her, Rachel grabbed Scooby and demanded that she also get to sleep with a cold hard piece of plastic.

Aside from Rachel's blankey, my girls have never insisted on taking anything to bed with them. Anna never had an "attachment" item. As long as she had her thumb and a lock of hair to twirl she was good. On occasion when they really get into one particular doll or toy I even offer to let them take it to their rooms for nap or bedtime but they always decline. So it just surprised me that each child carefully tucked their respective toy under their blankets and tenderly curled up next to them. "Deere you go Gooby Doo," whispered Rachel.

Here's to hoping they soon find softer toys to sleep with.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Recent Gems

My favorite recent quotes from the girls:

Upon hearing that Grandma was on the phone Anna instructed me to "put her on speaker."

For the past few days whenever someone (ok, ME... and sometimes Anna) reprimands Rachel, she responds by wailing "You made Rachel cry!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Proof That Anna Is Daddy's Girl

A few mornings ago at the breakfast table Rachel sneezed. Anna was sitting quite close to her and she turned her head toward her little sister with a huge smile on her face. But instead of blessing her, she mocked the sound of the sneeze and then laughed. I turned to Dan who just laughed and immediately admitted that his DNA was responsible for that moment. Rachel of course just kept smiling. That girl is pure sunshine. Interestingly enough, no one is quite sure whose DNA is responsible for THAT.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Keeping Up With Dooce

I am a little late posting this but I am going to do it anyway because I really want to share this with those of you who haven't seen it yet. ABC's Nightline did a story on Dooce, otherwise known as Heather B. Armstrong, otherwise known as my favorite blogger ever. I fear I lack the words to fully describe the Dooce experience to you so if you aren't already reading this on a daily basis, you should click the link and get on over there and read like everything Heather has ever written because seriously she is just that awesome. Also, watch Heather on Nightline here. It's a heck of a lot better than the awkwardness that was Kathie Lee Gifford's Dooce interview the week prior.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Inside My Head

I recorded Sarah Jessica Parker's recent appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio and today while the girls napped I finally got to watch it. The interview inevitably turned to Sex & The City's wardrobe and Sarah Jessica discussed the show's designer Patricia Field.

SJP: She's so ins-
Me: -ane!
SJP: -pired.
Me: Oh.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


So potty training is going well. No really. I'm surprised at how well it's going and overjoyed that even Rachel is taking to it so eagerly. It's just that I had no idea it would be so completely exhausting. These kids have been spending every waking moment in the bathroom. If one goes the other has to go and watch and then try themselves. So every trip is a two-for-one deal on pee, come on down folks!

Ok I may be a bit deranged at this point. But can you blame me really? Oh wait, I haven't told you exactly how many times we went potty today. I know the number because this morning I gave the girls charts for all of their reward stickers. I gave them one sticker for every successful trip to the potty. I know some people give two for poopy but I didn't feel like differentiating that act because it wasn't an issue for the girls. So, how many stickers ended up on each chart? Take a look:

Rachel's chart is on the right. During her eleven waking hours today she went potty nine times. Only two accidents, not bad at all.

However. Please look to the left and take in the glorious splendor that is Anna's chart. Some of the stickers are smaller and harder to see so let me do the counting for you: twenty-two. She went potty twenty-two times today. Who in god's name does that? TWENTY-TWO TIMES!

Now one could reasonably argue that twenty-two times in eleven hours really only means that Anna went on average two trips an hour and what's so crazy about that? To which I would answer, she only got a sticker for each time she successfully went potty. What isn't visible on those charts is the twenty other times we ran into the bathroom, pulled down the panties, tried but nothing came out, switched so the other sister could have her fruitless attempt, struggled back into the panties (Rachel only), tried to finagle a sticker anyway (Anna only) and then got into a screaming match over who got to turn off the bathroom light.

I honestly never intended to become capable of writing in this much detail about the potty habits of toddler girls. And through it all they are so much fun, helping and praising each other. So if you haven't yet clicked away from this page in disgust, here is your reward. A few cute things my kids did today:

Rachel told me all day that she loves her big sister. Her lisp caused it to sound like "I love my big thither!" Paired with her wide beaming smile it was one of the cutest things I've ever heard.

At one point Anna insisted on holding my hand as we walked from the bathroom to the family room . When we got to the couch she stopped, looked up at me and said "we're home!"

I often call Rachel my little monkey and the other night while she was eating meatballs I called her my meatball monkey. Today Rachel was cuddling a large couch cushion on the floor (what, where are YOUR couch cushions?) and Anna said, "Look Mommy, a pillow monkey!"

Friday, May 02, 2008

My Diaper-Free Day

I decided to go hardcore with the potty training today. It was a long time coming for Anna who can and has used the potty but only very sporadically and for the past few months has flat-out refused to go in anything other than a diaper. Seriously, the girl would have to pee so bad she was in physical pain but instead of just sitting on the potty she would lay on the floor screaming for a diaper. Being her father's daughter she seems to automatically resist whatever other people want her to do. Rachel seems to want to do (or at least try) everything Anna does, and I am afraid she will start this potty refusal act too. I was quickly tiring of this battle of the wills - my refusing to give Anna a diaper and Anna refusing to pee in the potty. So today I made the girls go cold turkey. I figured if I'm doing it with Anna I might as well at least try it with Rachel. At almost two-and-a-half she's old enough to start potty training and she loves to sit on the potty chair and pretend. So I told the girls there were no more diapers, period. All gone. Here is a summary of my day, just for fun.

8:30 am - Girls wake up and I take off their diapers and give them panties.

8:39 am - Rachel cries as she pees and poops into her panties. I do the first of what will be many "it's ok, accidents happen, Mommy isn't mad" tear-wiping talks. After each of these accidents the girls sit on the potty.

9:03 am - Anna dances around singing a made up song about her beautiful big girl panties.

9:17 am - Rachel gives me an encore with another double shot in her panties. She then spends ten minutes happily sitting on the potty with her blankie watching Nick Jr.

10:30 - 11:30 am - Anna decides to eat non-stop for a full hour.

12:10 pm - The girls talk me into putting on The Little Mermaid.

12:14 pm - Anna tells me she wants to take a nap so she can put on a diaper. I remind her that there are no more diapers. She looks a little desperate and repeats that she doesn't want to go in the potty. I tell her that's the only option other than peeing in her panties.

12:26 pm - Rachel wets her pants again.

1:04 pm - Anna starts to cry "I'm going peepee!" from her perch on a couch pillow. I sweep her onto the potty seat but it's too late, she's soaked and there's a tiny bit of poop in her panties. She's beside herself and it takes a few minutes to calm her down.

1:30 pm - Girls go for nap. I put Anna down in her panties but sneak a diaper onto Rachel after I close Anna's door.

1:33 pm - I consider doing a load of laundry but decide to wait until Anna wakes up because I will surely need to wash her bedding.

1:34 pm - I consider starting to drink early but decide that I will need energy this afternoon so I have a glass of water.

1:40 - 3:20 pm - I watch About a Boy on my DVR and I actually find it kind of a cute movie.

3:40 pm - Anna wakes up TOTALLY DRY! I am so excited that I whisk her downstairs to see if she wanted to go to the potty but the resistance is back. I reward her for being dry with a Cars sticker (her choice) and she immediately demands a snack.

4:30 pm - Rachel wakes up and I sneak off her diaper before I bring her downstairs so Anna won't see. Rachel now suddenly decides she doesn't like the potty anymore. Fan-tastic. I reconsider the idea of alcohol but come to my senses before I can act.

4:30 - 6:00 pm - This time period is a blur of wet panties and crying toddlers interspersed with my attempt to feed them some semblance of dinner. Not a drop of pee lands in the potty. Anna starts the desperate pleas for a diaper. She's holding her crotch and crying and saying she doesn't want to go potty and she doesn't want me to be "happy" (this is her way of saying she doesn't want me to get all excited by any progress she may or may not make as the attention is apparently too stressful for her). She approaches the potty, acts like she's going to pull down her undies, then backs away and cries louder. This seems to go on forever and I chat with my sister for strength.

6:12 pm - Anna sits on the potty, cries for me not to look at her and finally, sweet Jesus, pees. I try not to get too "happy." She does accept the reward of 4 mini marshmallows, 4 chocolate chips and an Ariel sticker.

6:47 pm - Anna does it again without any prompting or fuss. She gets another sticker and even allows me to hug and kiss her.

7:00 - 8:45 pm - More peeing from Rachel, none of which goes in the potty. Large load of laundry started.

8:50 pm - Dan comes home from work and Rachel sits on the potty. And then she pees! That girl knows her timing. I reward her and wash out the potty seat.

8:53 pm - Rachel yells "I did it!" and brings me the potty seat which has a little more pee in it.

8:58 pm - Rachel yells "I did it!" and brings me the potty seat which has a little more pee in it.

9:02 pm - .... you guessed it. I crack up laughing as Rachel is apparently wringing out her bladder one drop at a time. I make her sit down and stay there and she pees even more.

9:30 pm - Anna pees in the potty again. I never in my life thought I would be this happy about it all. More stickers all around and wind-down time with Daddy as the girls bask in their victories.

10:00 pm - I start to take Rachel up to bed and she notices the potty and announces she has to go again. She sits down and lo and behold she's got more. I take her upstairs and put a diaper on for the night.

10:10 pm - Anna goes to bed with big girl panties, although they are the extra padded kind and we told her they are night time panties for big girls. Whatever, she went to bed happy.

If you've gotten this far you are clearly a glutton for punishment. Or the parent of a toddler. As if there's a difference.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Anna has long been obsessed with mermaids and most things ocean-related. She gets very excited whenever she sees whales, dolphins, fish - anything connected with life under the sea. Ariel herself is a semi-deity in our household. Even outside the house a spotting of the red haired mermaid on any item from a hair accessory to a box of fruit snacks is worthy of an oooh-aaah moment.

Rachel loves anything Anna does of course but she is definitely partial to Dora. Both of the girls have always enjoyed this show, but the very first note of Dora's theme song sends Rachel into throes of excitement and she gleefully shouts the name of every character as they appear. I've always thought it says so much about Rachel that her favorite character on that series is the mischievous Swiper the Fox.

Well two worlds collided recently and lo and behold Dora had an hour-long episode where she had to save the mermaids. At a certain point Dora actually transforms INTO a mermaid, with an actual TAIL and everything, Mommy, look look LOOK! To top it all off she gets to wear a CROWN like a PRINCESS! The sight of this transformation causes a flood of sighs and gasps to come forth from my children and it is this dramatic even upon the 87th viewing. The only way it could get any better for Anna is if there was chocolate involved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm Just Saying

We've been spending a lot of time at playgrounds lately, enjoying the long-overdue beautiful weather. This is where the girls found themselves this afternoon and for a brief moment all I could think was we could really use one of these at home.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Joys of Toddlerhood

Rachel has apparently decided to make a splash with her second year. Really explore all of those stereotypes of two-year-olds. She now has her tantrum routine down pat. It's kind of funny because it's the same every single time. First she expresses her general displeasure with an emphatic "hoh no!" This comes simultaneously with her pouty face and a downward glance. Then she collapses to the floor on her knees and bends forward so that her face is covered by her hair. Next she mashes her face into whatever flooring happens to be there before she flips over to her back and starts wailing. Like clockwork.

Luckily these episodes don't last very long but I have noticed that they have been getting louder. She also becomes hysterical much more easily than she used to. She woke up from a nap the other day with the back of her earring in her hand and the screaming that came from her crib had me concerned that one of the cats had gotten into her room and was making an attempt on her life. Food dropped onto clothing - or, god forbid, her actual skin - will also cause immediate shrieking to commence.

This is a little bit new for us because Anna was not much of a tantrum thrower. While she definitely had her moments with the yelling and thrashing, she preferred to whine us to death. I know for a fact that this is payback from my own childhood because when I was a toddler my mother's best friend called me Tammy Whinette. And not because I could sing. No, Anna likes to communicate her negative emotions by screaming at a pitch that could literally peel paint off of walls.

What is really funny is when Rachel is crying about something and Anna tells me "I want Rachel to be quiet." I am not entirely sure if this is because she wants her little sister to be happy or if she's just tired of the noise. But what I want to say in reply is, WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

In all seriousness Anna does do things to try to cheer Rachel up when she is upset and that is the sweetest thing ever. Whether it's giving her a toy she wanted or sharing her snack it never fails to move me when Anna comes over with hugs and a treat and tells Rachel that everything is ok. Makes me think I must be doing something right in between pulling out handfuls of my hair and stuffing cotton into my ears.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Hark what is this I see? Warm weather and sunshine?

To celebrate this very late arrival of spring we took the girls for a walk on a nature trail at a local park. Needless to say they were more than happy to be in the wild.

A passing mother with her own gaggle of children gasped when she spotted us coming and asked me how on earth we tell them apart. I am never exactly sure what to say to the many strangers who think our girls are twins. Should I effectively lie (and answer the million questions Anna will have as soon as we get into the car: Mommy, what is twins? Are Rachel and Anna twins? et cetera, ad nauseum) or should I give people an answer that so often implies a little too much information about our sex life and birth control failures? Seriously, I've had people make comments. But that is a whole different post.

In the end, when I get the "how do you tell them apart" question I often just answer that Anna is taller and Rachel has more hair.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Cooperative Parenting

The following exchange occurred earlier tonight. I think it is an accurate and touching portrayal of both my husband's twisted and sometimes abusive sense of humor, and the sophisticated method we use to divide parenting duties.

Me: Honey the girls need a B-A-T-H tonight.
Dan: So?
Me: So H-E-L-P me.
Dan: F-C-K Y-O-U
Me: (icy stare)
Dan: ...H-A-H-A-H-A...

I don't recommend using our method in your home.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Princess Fishstick and Lady Applesauce receiving a message from the mothership.

Haircuts And Vomit And Fevers Oh My

Yes I just seriously just put the word "vomit" in a post title and I don't even care. Motherhood, as they say, is not for whimps and it sometimes involves vomit.

It's been an eventful week. I was really looking forward to Tuesday, when I took the girls to get their very first haircuts ever. Anna was starting to just look messy all the time with her thin wispy red waves falling into an uneven mullet. Rachel's auburn curls were getting bushy and needed some evening out. And Mommy, well Mommy was just a hot mess. A hot graying mess. So we all needed some attention.

Here is a nice "before" shot, taken a few minutes before we left the house that day.

The girls did really well at the salon. I thought Anna would be the one to freak when the scissors came out but she did not. Here she is after the cut.

Rachel on the other hand was not at all pleased.

And here she is after her unbearable three and a half minutes of torture.

Yes I know it's not that different. The picture doesn't really do it justice either because the curls look much better after the trim. And I know I should have had it cut into some sort of cute little bob but I guess I'm not ready to give up that gorgeous mop of spiral curls just yet. Sue me.

Anyway I haven't even gotten to the good part yet. On the way home Anna, who had eaten nothing more than a bag of fruit snacks and a few pieces of haircut-bribery candy since early morning, suddenly just puked. All over herself and her car seat and her grandma, who was lucky enough to be sitting next to her. And then she woke up Wednesday morning with a fever. And then Thursday morning she woke up burning so hot that her cheeks were just bright red circles beneath glazed blue eyes and the bottoms of her feet radiated heat. She spent the morning clinging to me with all four limbs and sweating all over me while watching Rachel play by herself. Which, now that I think of it, did not bother Rachel in the least.

Luckily the fever reducers are helping and Anna's been in pretty good spirits considering how yucky she has felt. Now I guess we can start taking bets on whether Rachel is going to get the bug next.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Family Entertainment

It is unusual for my husband to get three whole days in a row off from work but it has happened this weekend. The girls are of course ecstatic and so I am but increased time at home always highlights our different parenting styles. Dan is generally more laid back than I am which I think is a good thing most of the time. I like to think that he is better at picking which battles to fight while I am better at picking up the mess after the fight. Meanwhile I tend to be more attentive - sometimes overly so - to the details. Like meal preparation, the children's personal hygiene, and television programming.

This morning Dan found the movie Donnie Darko on cable. I actually really like this movie, just maybe not on Saturday morning with toddlers in the room. It was a pretty innocuous scene which provided Dan the opportunity to point out that the girls weren't even paying attention. Still, I couldn't keep myself from suggesting that perhaps something on Nick Jr. might be more appropriate.

Of course once we are tuned into the Nick Jr. channel the girls are delighted to see that Yo Gabba Gabba is on. This is a show that I avoided when it first came on because the commercials themselves sort of weirded out me in a way that I can't explain. The black and green creature in particular turned me off. But the girls of course liked it and once I watched a few minutes it seemed kind of cheery and fun and the girls danced while they watched it. So I let them watch it now and then. Dan watched about two minutes of it and then declared that Donnie Darko would have been less disturbing.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rachel Versus Blueberry Bagel

Rachel's eating has long been stuff of family legend. As a baby she ate far more than her older sister ever did and once she was introduced to solids she never looked back. One of my favorite mental images is 18-month-old Rachel using her index finger to push more food into her already stuffed mouth. I actually used to cut her off because she'd be sitting in her highchair with her adorable little belly all full and tight, still eating and I was afraid she'd make herself sick. She finally slowed down around the two year mark and now she usually just eats like a normal human being.

Yesterday we had bagels for breakfast and the girls got to have their favorite - blueberry. This was kind of a treat because I used to get the girls a blueberry bagel every morning to eat in the car on the way to the babysitter's house but we don't get them very often anymore. Rachel was clearly excited. She perched on Dan's lap with a smile and feasted on a piece that had, as she noted aloud "lots of blueberries!"

At one point she got a bite that was too big. Instead of taking it out of her mouth she simply went to work on it. This is classic Rachel and so Dan and I looked on in wonder as she started breathing heavily through her nose and closed her eyes in concentration as her mouth worked that chunk of bagel until she could finally swallow it. Which she did, with a big sigh - through her mouth - and an even bigger smile. "That's good!" she announced happily.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I am in the kitchen on a phone call while the girls are playing in the family room. I end the call and hear Anna ask me, "Mommy, you not angry?" A little confused, I answer, "No, I'm not angry."

Now her voice has a little hint of anticipation in it. "You not angry about the milk?" Huh? I close my eyes and take a deep breath to prepare myself for what I may find in the family room. She continues: "It's like the puddles!"

I turn the corner, open my eyes and see Anna sitting on the floor shaking her sippy cup upside down so that milk drips out and soaks into the carpet. There are five "puddles" in a semi circle around her.

Rachel is standing by the television with a huge smile on her face, probably because she's realized that she is not the one getting in trouble for the moment. And given her behavior the last week or so, that actually is a small victory for her.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Latest Creation

One of my favorite ways to pass time and play with pictures of my girls is digital scrapbooking. I knew I had gotten way too into it when I started mentally photoshopping poor innocent strangers walking down the street. Those of you who do the photoshop thing know what I am talking about. There is no point in trying to explain it to the rest of you. There is a link on the right side of this page to my scrapbook gallery if you are interested in seeing some of my layouts. But I wanted to share this one with you because, well, I kind of love it.

Proclamation From Princess Anna

I've been trying really hard to keep these girls stimulated since I've been home with them but it is such a challenge. I have (very) informal music and singing times with them, we take walks when weather permits, we do art time which has recently been enhanced by an old very conveniently two-sided easel we had in the basement from Dan's childhood. While it may seem like there is always Noggin or some movie playing I try really hard not to make that our main activity every day. Which is hard in Ohio where the weather regularly sabotages good intentions and oh wait also I am sort of in between cars right now. I am searching for a preschool program for the fall but right now I'm it and wow am I overwhelmed sometimes. But I do the best I can.

Which is why it stung just a little tiny bit this morning when right in the middle of some artistic creation or another Anna threw down a wad of play doh and announced: "Mommy I am NOT having fun anymore!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Not Child Related

I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately. To mixed results of course because I have the world's pickiest eater for a husband and a three-year-old who so often tries to be just like him. At any rate my creative well has run dry this past week for a variety of reasons and so I thought I'd share what I've been doing.

I made Cincinnati-style chili and it was a huge hit with Dan. We ate it over spaghetti one night and had chili dogs the next. I used this recipe but I did not have all-spice and I did not use the unsweetened chocolate. It came out really well and was a nice change of pace from the more traditional chili with beans.

My kitchen is always hiding some little goody about to go bad and a few weeks ago it was a small bag of gala apples that had been hidden behind a stack of dish towels. I found a recipe for an apple banana cake that I altered a little bit and it was the most moist delicious cake I've ever made. Here's what I did:

Mix dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 tablespoon salt; set aside.

Peel, core and chop about 5 ripe apples into very small pieces. Mix with other wet ingredients: 2 mashed bananas (the riper the better), 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Bake in 9 x 13 inch pan at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes. I like to sprinkle a cinnamon-sugar mix on top when it comes out of the oven.

Note: I have had to stop making this cake because I tend to eat it all day and all night until it's gone and my sweatpants start to feel tight.

I don't know if other mothers can relate but I have a sort of internal struggle regarding sweets. On the one hand I want my children to be healthy and develop good eating habits for life. On the other hand, I want to be that cool mom that always has cookies in the cookie jar. I occasionally indulge the cookie jar fantasy by making chocolate chip cookies from a dry mix by Great Harvest Bread Company. These cookies are insanely insanely good. I have tried to recreate them to no avail. I don't know what the magic is exactly but the mix includes oatmeal and a lot of brown sugar and they don't last very long in our house.

My favorite leftover recipe is chicken salad inspired by someone I cannot name who got it from a source (s)he cannot name. Real top secret stuff we are dealing with here and when you see the incredibly complex and exotic process below you will understand why. This is also one of those dishes I make without ever measuring anything so it's not very easy to share with others but I love to use leftover chicken for this. I don't know why, it just tastes better. I add the typical celery but I also use a chopped up apple (granny smiths seem to be best), toasted sliced almonds, currants that I have soaked in hot water so they aren't overly dried or chewy, red onion and mayo that has already had kosher salt and pepper mixed into it. Really nice texture and flavor to this version of chicken salad. And as you have now seen, incredibly complex and exotic.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Guilt Trip

Anna loves to remember things lately. "Mommy, 'member when I rode the pony? 'Member that?" Or maybe: "Mommy, 'member when I didn't listen and I went to time out?" Yeah, fun times. She actually shows a lot more insight into some of these incidents than I expect sometimes. "Mommy, I'm going to be a good girl and listen today so I don't go to time out."

Last night Anna had the type of meltdown only a toddler can summon. We still don't know what precipitated such a foul mood but she was whining and shrieking and throwing toys. After several warnings I had to reprimand her for the toy throwing, which of course escalated her fit into full-fledged tears.

This morning during breakfast Anna asked me, "Mommy? 'Member yesterday when you made me cry?"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Random Memories

A close friend recently brought home a new baby and this has jogged my memory back to bringing-home-baby times. The way a new baby turns your life, your household and your brain upside down cannot be overstated. I remember how the slightest sound coming over the video monitor we had in Anna's room would wake me immediately, how I would fill with a million different and conflicting emotions every time she woke up. The thought yeay, my baby is awake and I get to hold her again and smell the top of her sweet little head would float around my mind at the same time as dammit I can't believe she won't let me sleep for two straight hours why can't she just be quiet for twenty more minutes? Love, joy, anticipation, dread, guilt - they all mixed together in the soup that had become my brain.

One night maybe a week or less after Anna came home I vividly remember laying in my dark bedroom hearing her cry and looking at the monitor only to see her sleeping soundly. It took me several long minutes to figure out which sense was dreaming and which was awake. I had to ask Dan to confirm that the crying was only in my head.

When Rachel came home we were in a slightly different situation. We had a not-even-one-year-old to take care of as well as a newborn who had decided to arrive so early we didn't yet have a crib for her. Rachel slept alternately in my arms and in her bassinet (one guess as to which she preferred). One night after Dan was done with work he picked us up from my mom's house and when we got home he helped the three of us into the house before going out to put the car in the garage. About four hours later - midnight! - everyone was actually asleep when the doorbell rang. Being closest to the door - asleep on the couch next to the bassinet - I peered outside and saw a man standing on our porch. I cracked the door and realized it was our neighbor from across the street looking very worried. It seems Dan and I forgot that the car was still in the driveway running. Heat blasting, headlights and radio on, the whole shebang.

I know there are some readers out there who can share a story from their experiences. If you are out there, post yours.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ever The Protective Big Sister

Anna's been coming into her own as a true big sister lately. A few days ago I asked Rachel to tell Daddy something and when she didn't answer Anna stepped in, explaining very matter-of-factly, "She's tired." And this morning I was reprimanding Rachel when Anna told me, "Don't yell at her." It's actually very sweet. Especially when it's not directed at me.

Before I even got a chance to publish this post I got another glimpse of Big Sister Anna. The story actually serves two purposes; in addition to demonstrating the sweetness of my oldest child it is also being added to my ever-growing list of fun mommy survival stories. You know, the kind that so often involve an adventurous child receiving an injury just serious enough to cause a parent's heart to stop beating but not serious enough to necessitate a trip to the hospital.

I gave the girls their bath while Dan was at work (the experience of bathing these two wild toddler beasts on my own being its own separate post of course). I had Rachel dried off, lotioned, diapered, clothed and brushed and was about to go to work on Anna when Rachel fell. More specifically she climbed onto the toilet (top down), got herself into her usual seated position and then proceeded to fall backwards between the wall and the commode. She of course screamed immediately and I picked her up thinking at first that she was just mad but after she took a gulp of air and screamed again I saw blood. Filling her mouth. Running down the front of her yellow pajamas. I ran for the linen closet and grabbed a clean washcloth and started dabbing to see where the blood was coming from. Anna starts wailing as I finally see that Rachel's lower lip has two deep cuts which were quite obviously caused by her two top front teeth. She lets me hold her as I get the blood to stop but she is still crying bitterly and Anna is standing next to me, pressed up against me, still naked and damp and just beside herself that her sister is hurt. "Help her, Mommy!" she tells me over and over again. "I don't want Rachel to have a boo-boo."

Twenty hectic minutes later my heart slows to a normal rhythm and Rachel asks me for a banana. Not much comes between that girl and her food. Anna leads Rachel over to the chair and tells her to go sit by the pillows. Rachel puts down her banana, climbs up and gets settled under Anna's watchful eye. Anna hands her the banana and tucks a blanket around her little sister. Then she kisses her and says, "there you go Rachel." Rachel thanks her: "Tink you Ina." I watch this scene from the hallway and have to catch my breath again.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sweet Sophie

This beautiful happy little girl is Sophie. She turns 10 months old today and is celebrating with her brand new - and equally happy - parents, whom she met four days ago. Congratulations Sophie and have a safe trip home from China. I can't wait to meet you, sweet girl.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just Another Monday Night At Our House

Have I mentioned that potty training hasn't been going according to plan?

Everyone's A Critic

Last night with my girls asleep in their rooms and my husband happily snoring away on the couch I decided to tidy up the family room. This means I spent thirty minutes crawling around on my hands and knees collecting a gazillion little toys and blocks and puzzle pieces and books and putting them in their respective containers, finding a disturbing number of discarded snacks along the way. Afterward I looked around, satisfied that I could wait to run the vacuum until the household was awake again.

This morning I pointed out to the girls that Mommy had picked up their toys for them, didn't it look clean? Anna's answer: "No, there are still lots of yucky things on the carpet. See Mommy?"

Sigh. Yes, I see.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Play Time

Mr. Potato Head gave Rachel fits today. She doesn't push the parts in hard enough to be secure and her response when it falls to pieces is typical two-year-old - she shrieks with outrage at the toy's brazen refusal to bend to her will. Well what would you do?

Anna's toddler-related control behavior is slightly different although now that I think about it, there is also shrieking involved. My sweet cuddly three-year-old has lately demonstrated a distinct gift for giving orders. Instead of building a fort she will stand on the chair and demand that I place the pillows and blankets just so. If her vision is not fully realized she emits a sound that has seriously caused wallpaper to peel to the floor. That actually happened. Ok fine, the cat did that, but the screaming did not help.

There are three activities that my girls can agree on. Play-Doh has lately become Mommy's Little Helper. (Other items that have previously held this title are the Fisher Price Baby Papasan swing, Baby Einstein's Baby Galileo video, and wine. For Mommy, not for baby.) Their latest set came with super dull plastic scissors and Anna pretty much thinks that's the coolest thing ever. She smashes up whatever pretty color suits her fancy and then spends twenty minutes cutting this massive blob into thousands of tiny pieces that then find a semi-permanent home in our carpet. Rachel tries very hard to recreate the little bears that Daddy made the first night we opened up the kit.

Stickers are another favorite. Totally random, any stickers with any pictures on them will keep these kids busy until there is no more functioning adhesive in the room. They will stick them to paper, cards, clothing and body parts. For some reason this is just endlessly amusing.

And finally, my girls enthusiastically participate in the super exciting game of Questioning Mommy. So many questions. All beginning with the word "Mommy." Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, what are you talking about? Mommy, what's that smell? You get the picture. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Psychedelic Play-Doh Bears

We got the girls a huge Play-Doh set for Valentine's Day. Dan - who doesn't get to do this very often (read: has a full time job) - enjoyed himself immensely.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Am Not Even Exaggerating

Rachel's latest response to my singing for any reason is a look of horror and a loud outraged scream. "Be quiet Mommy!" she commands, then remembers to add: "Please."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another Reason Dan Is Not Sorry He Has Girls

Yesterday when Dan walked into the family room Rachel rushed to him and wrapped herself around his jean-clad leg. "Dah-Dee heesim!" Dan looked to me for a quick translation. Daddy handsome.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Anna's Whale Picture

Lately Anna has taken to drawing the same picture - with the occasional variation - over and over again on her Dora magna-doodle-thingy. For the record she refers to this toy as her Game. Rachel being the second child has a smaller, cheaper, lesser version that is shaped like a heart and is not adorned with a Nick Jr. character. That one is Rachel's Game. But I digress. Anna's picture involves a whale, an ocean for the whale and a sun. I enjoy this drawing because she never asked anyone to draw a whale for her, she just up and did it herself one day and I love the smile she gets on her face when she is proud of herself.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sometimes I Think She Really Is A Princess

Anna is obsessed with all things princess. Anything pink, frilly, or shiny is of endless interest to her. The sight of a dancer on a tv competition show for instance, or a bride, will cause Anna to stop whatever she is doing and gasp with reverence and announce to everyone in the room that "she's a princess!" Sometimes when she is acting up we have an exchange similar to the following:

Me: Anna, please stop jumping on the couch.
Anna: But Mommy, I'm a princess.

Last night she surveyed an assortment of crackers arranged on a plate before her and excitedly chose a multi-grain seeded one. Because, she explained, it had sparkles.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Well We DO Live in Ohio

Like many other toddlers, my girls love their Disney movies. They can't get enough of their princesses, Cinderella being the ultimate capital-P-princess. They also love the Pixar movies, especially Cars. Mater pretty much cracks Rachel up. Anna proclaims the character's silliness at regular intervals. We have watched this modern classic approximately six and a half gazillion times.

A few days ago Rachel woke up from her nap earlier than Anna so we had some quiet time together downstairs. With a giggle she batted her eyelashes and repeated something to me that I could not understand. This is rare anymore because she speaks very clearly these days. It sounded like something ending in "-ing" and I took a few guesses but she just patiently repeated herself, smiling wider. I finally realized what it was - her favorite Mater line: "Aw dang." She confirmed with a belly laugh and then repeated it three more times just to amuse herself.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Change of Schedule

My typical weekday schedule when I was a working mother:

7:00 am: Wake up, spend half an hour getting myself ready
7:30 am: Get girls up, changed, dressed and out the door
7:50 am: Spend 60-75 minutes on commute, including stop at Tim Horton's for the girls' required blueberry bagels
9:00 am: Drop girls at sitters and get to office
5:00 pm: Leave office, pick up girls
5:15 pm: Spend 60-75 minutes on commute home
6:30 pm: Arrive home, make dinner while being nagged by children who are putting on spectacularly dramatic display of hunger
7:30 pm: Kid time - play, read, sing, dance, cuddle with children; bathe them if necessary, get them ready for bed
9:30 pm: Kids hopefully now alseep; do load of laundry and clean up kitchen
10:30 pm: Watch tv, read, take shower
11:00 pm: Bed time

This is my typical schedule now that I am at home:

9:00 am (-ish): Wake up, take 2 minutes getting myself ready
9:15 am (-ish): Hear Anna calling "Mommy, come get me!"
Side note: I do realize how lucky I am to have a three-year-old who not only loves her crib and has never asked for a big girl bed (although she has slept in them elsewhere), but also waits for me to come and get her in the morning. While I am counting my blessings, I also realize how lucky I am to have children who sleep this late.
9:16 am: Let Anna open the door as we go to get Rachel who is waiting for us with a beaming smile. "I get up!" she announces.
The remainder of the morning is spent eating breakfast, cleaning up after breakfast, starting dinner if necessary, emptying the dishwasher, starting laundry and usually some Disney movie featuring a princess.
Late morning is when errands are run if any are needed. Otherwise we do a non-tv related activity - taking a walk if weather permits, playing with play-dough, coloring, reading
1:00 pm: Lunch
2:00 pm: Nap time, baby. I have the best kids.
2:00 - 5:00: Mommy time. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, yes but also internet usage, bad tv on DVR, the occasional nap. This is also when I normally shower.
5:00 -9:30 pm: More toddler time including dinner, play, bath and usually another Disney movie. Preferably with a princess.

I always felt frazzled when I was working. I always felt strained for time. I was always exhausted. And I was always in my damn car.

I do not miss the needy clients, the office politics or the heinous commute. But I will admit to sometimes missing the eight straight hours per day someone wasn't calling me Mommy, the Friday lunch time discussions of Grey's Anatomy, the excuse to wear cute uncomfortable shoes.

I don't feel guilty about occasionally fantasizing about those days, because all in all I am pleased with the trade off.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Still Here

Wow. The blog is still here. I'm still here. I can't believe that the last time I posted Rachel was just starting to growl. Now she's a whirling dervish of a two-year-old, uttering entire sentences while flashing a smile capable of stopping me in my tracks. Meanwhile Anna is a tall leggy three-year-old who not only reminds me daily that she is a fairy princess but also uses that status as the reason why household rules simply do not apply to her.

For the past six weeks I have been a stay at home mother. It is much much harder than I imagined it to be, even with two relatively well-behaved girls who still nap pretty much like clockwork. I want to start writing more. I guess that's one of those statements that mean nothing anymore, a New Year's resolution type declaration: I want to start eating better. I want to get to the gym more often. We shall see if the next post comes within the next year and a half.