Sunday, December 28, 2008

bumpy road

Delma has her little repertoire of comments she makes and things she likes to talk about while we're riding in the car. She likes to tell me that she sees houses ("other people's houses"); she likes to talk about puddles and says she likes going through big puddles; after we go through a traffic light and she talks about stopping and going, she says, "Let's do it again, Mom!"; when it's dark out she asks where the sun went, and says "I don't see Fletchie's house!"; and when we go over a bump in the road she says, "That's a bumpy road! I like bumpy roads!"

We had my dad and Josh's mom and step-dad over for latkes and kugel one night during Hanukkah. Delma was very well behaved and ate nicely at the table without acting like a complete maniac (though she did refuse to eat what we were all having and just had some p'sgettios -- but she ate it all with her spoon). After dinner she went into her room and pulled ALL of her toys and stuffed animals out of her toy bins and piled them on her bed.

When I went in and saw all of her toys on the bed, she said, "I made a bumpy road!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

rollercoaster

Life is feeling like a total rollercoaster lately. There are some predictable parts of our day, like Mimi going to sleep between 5:30 and 6 every evening. That works out perfectly, because we have dinner with Delma at 6 and we can eat with her and hang out with her and put her to bed without being distracted by the baby. At around 9pm we give Mimi a bottle and put her back to bed. But that's all we can count on with this baby. Some nights she sleeps til 3-4am before she needs to eat. Sometimes she's up at midnight and then again one or two more times. Some days she takes good naps. But some days, especially if I spend much time outside the house, she does not nap well -- she HATES the car and will scream like she's getting stabbed for the whole car ride, no matter how long. It's maddening.

There is also Delma's problem with waking up as early as 4am some days. We started taking away privileges, like her binkies or her Supergirl costume (which she has still wanted to wear every day since Halloween), unless she stays in bed in the morning until Josh or I comes in to get her. It finally started working, and for 4 days in a row she hung out in bed and waited patiently for us. It was great. But then today she was back to her old tricks, so who knows.

It's all really beating me down.

Then this past Saturday I had exactly the kind of day I needed. Mimi took a really long morning nap. Delma waited in bed for us, then had a nice morning. Josh took her out to play and I stayed home while Mimi napped, and I got to do some baking. It was calm and lovely. In the afternoon I went out with just Delly to buy her some new shoes. It was a nice change to be alone with her. It was all just what the doctor ordered.

Since then our days have been all wonky again of course. I'm looking forward to going back to work soon and having more structured days.

Friday, December 12, 2008

bouncing around the room

...pardon the Phish reference...

So, my calves are getting a workout this morning. We had some serious rain last night, which caused major flooding all over town. When we got up this morning we noticed some water on the floor downstairs, and literally as we stood looking at it, we could see it creeping farther across the room. The dehumidifiers are cranked up, Josh went late to work so he could wet-vac the water on the tiled and concrete areas, and I've been standing on towels and bouncing around to soak up water from the carpeting. It's almost 10am, I still haven't showered, and the baby just woke up. I'll be lucky to get out of the house by noon. TGIF!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

rice and beans

We've been relying a lot on quick-and-easy dinners lately, like pasta and frozen veggies. It's so insanely easy, just throw frozen veggies into the pot when the pasta is almost done, bring it all back to a boil then drain, toss it all with a little oil and parm and chow down. But it's not good for us to be eating so much pasta. And as vegetarians, we really need to get more protein into our diet from more than meat-alternative foods.

So when we need quick dinners I've started making brown rice stir-fries with beans. I sautee veggies and then throw in beans and cooked rice, cook it in the pan just enough to mix it all rogether and dry it out a bit and Voila! Sometimes I throw in some baby spinach, or a can of diced tomatoes (drained), or tofu. I use different beans to mix it up. Trader Joes has good, cheap bags of mixed frozen veggies. I particularly like their fire-roasted corn/peppers/onions -- The flavor is so nice that I don't need to use any additional seasoning at all. There endless combinations to try.

For rice, we're usually very lazy and we use brown boil-in-the-bag rice. It's so easy and so fast (boils for 8 minutes). Tonight I copied an idea I read about a while ago on some blog... I cooked a whole bag of regular real brown rice, and when it cooled I put about 3 cups into individual little freezer storage bags. Now when I do my quicky stir-fries I can just grab a bag from the freezer and throw it in the pan with the veggies. It ended up making 7 bags, so that will last us a few weeks.

I'm very pleased with myself. It will make those dinners even easier to prepare, and a bit healthier, and even cheaper. And we're into cheap these days, now that I'm on unpaid leave from work, and we have a little vaca booked in January, and, well, we're broke. There's a lot of rice and beans on the menu for us.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

bad morning

The Girl Days are over. This week we started sending Delma back to school fulltime. She misses her friends and is bored when she's home with me. If I'd always been home with her, I'm sure it would be different, she's be used to less running around and playing all day, but that's just not what she's used to. Now I have a couple of weeks to spend with Mimi before I go back to work. And when she's napping I'll have time to myself to get some gift crafting and baking done.

We have had some really rough mornings for the past week. Delma wakes up at about 4am and we have to turn her around and put her back to bed countless times before we finally give up at about 5:30. I'm not super-psyched about having to go to work soon, when I'll still be nursing Mimi every night and then waking up so insanely early. And I'm still off caffeine since it messes with Mimi. Oy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

rabbit rabbit

I made it through November with a post almost every single day. I was going to sign up for NaBloPoMo for December too, but I think maybe not. I will try to post more regularly, though. I was thinking December may be a good time to post daily, since there will be so much happening. Posting daily would really force me to process it and not just mindlessly slug through every day. And writing that, I think maybe I'm talking myself into doing it. Hmmm.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

birds

We had our family room painted and spruced up a bit, and we replaced the cover of our Tylosand sofa with an new orange one. I have some little decorating plans, including some of the painted fabric silhouettes that Anna Maria Horner did on Martha Stewart.

I covered 3 canvases with this Amy Butler fabric:


And now I have to pick 3 of these birds to paint on them:


One of my many many projects to tackle in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful


Mimi laughed her first real laugh on Thanksgiving. Just like with Delma's first laugh, what got her going was Josh lifting her up by her hands and kiss-attacking her neck. Such a fun and silly and beautiful sound.

We spent Thanksgiving with some of Josh's family. This is the side of his family (his step-dad's brothers) whome we pretty much only ever see when they stay in CT and host T-Giving. They're such warm, welcoming people and we love going there for the holiday. This year they also extended the invitation to my dad and his girlfriend, so they joined us too. It was a nice time, Mimi slept, ate and smiled pretty much the whole time, and Delly was very well-behaved.

Tonight we had our own little Thanksgiving at home with a Tofurkey and a bunch of left-over sides that came home with us on Thursday. While Mimi napped, Delly, Josh and I held hands and sang the Shehechiyanu to celebrate this joyful time, the health of our family. And like every Thanksgiving, we listened to Alice's Restaurant and sang along.

Mimi is a cutie-pie. Josh is the best husband and father ever. Delly is smart and funny and clever. I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

growing


This little girl is getting so big. At 2 months she's already wearing her 3-6 month clothes, just like Delly when she was a baby. She's finally starting to bat at toys and trying to touch and grab them. She still mostly keeps her fists clenched, but she's starting to stretch out her fingers sometimes. She's also grabbing a little at me while she's nursing, which is so sweet.

When Delma was tiny, I loved her completely. But figuring out how to be a mommy and always keeping track of when she was changed, when she'd eaten, when she'd pooped, etc was so distracting that I didn't get to just sit back and relax. It's been so different with Mimi, the details of managing an infant are not overwhelming anymore, it's given me a lot more mental space to just enjoy her. Her first few weeks, when Delly was still in daycare fulltime, I got to sit around with Mimi all day long and cuddle. I fell head-over-heels in love with her. It was great. I'm not one of those women who melts into a puddle when there's a baby in the room, but this is my baby, and she's a little slice of heaven.

But the past couple of months with Delma home with us, I haven't felt completely connected with either girl. Juggling them has been such a struggle for me that neither really gets my full attention. They're both always pulling me away from the other, and I'm just not very good at this. Even on the days when I just have Mimi, I try to cram in so many errands and chores that I want to do without having Delma around that I haven't had as much time to chill out with her.

Delma goes back to daycare fulltime on Monday -- a topic for another post -- and it'll be the Mommy and Mimi show, 7:30-4:30, M-F. I do have a lot of crafting to do in the next few weeks before Hanukkah -- another topic for another post -- and I've also got to make some time for some walking and pilates before I get back to work, but I plan to spend some nice quality time every day gazing into Mimi's eyes. Oh, that girl.

And here's some more of Delma's handiwork. She put her pajamas on Mimi like a blanket, tried to put a hat on her, put a baby doll and a Skwish toy on her Boppy, and also put some of the treasures she keeps in her pocketbook (sample sized soaps and lotions) on Mimi. It cracks me up. And Mimi's all, "WTF?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

disaster area

Josh is out of town for a few days. Handling both girls by myself is pretty tough, but not quite as bad as I was anticipating. Of course, I haven't washed any dishes or picked anything up, so the house is totally trashed. But we're all clothed and fed and Delma hasn't had too many time-outs, we've had nice mommy-delly-mimi cuddles and pig-piles on the bed... The cleaning can wait.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Slinky Cat

I am an unapologetic Cat Person. I respect and appreciate and relate to their moodiness, their being playful one minute and drawing blood the next. I think they're hilarious and I would never want to not have a cat in my house. I adore those ridiculous clip collection videos that people post on YouTube, of silly cat antics.

This is a short, silly video of an absurd cat.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

a glimpse into her brain

When Delma woke up this morning, she was crying and asking for her puppy. "I want my puppy!" She doesn't have a puppy. I can only assume this was some carry-over from a dream she was having. I asked her about it a couple of times, but she didn't tell me anything about her dream or the puppy. She's been talking a lot about monsters lately, too. Not in a fearful way, really. Sometimes she'll ask me if the monsters are coming. The other day we were playing and all of a sudden she got very quiet, told me to be quiet, then sat down on the floor and whispered to me that the monsters were coming. She just sat for a few moments, quietly waiting. It sounds creepy when I explain it, but it was actually cute and playful. When she asks me, "Mommy? Monsters coming?" I laugh and make light of it and tell her no, of course not, they're only pretend and there are no real monsters. But she really doesn't seem concerned about it or like she's looking for reassurance. It's just more conversational.

It's hard for me as a parent to not project my own fears and insecurities on my children. I was such a fearful child, I was afraid of my own shadow. I expect her to be scared by things, like monsters, but she isn't. She's fearless. And she's a performer, like Josh. She loves an audience, and it's facinating to me because I am just the opposite. She also has no regard for her personal safety at all, which is not unusual for a toddler, I know, but she really pushes it. She'll throw herself around like the world is one big pillow ready to cushion her fall. A few weeks ago at a playground, she watched a bigger girl jump off the jungle gym. She just walked over and stepped off after her, without even looking down. Luckily it wasn't a far drop, but if it had been I hate to think what would have happened. I wasn't close enough to catch her before she hit the ground, it left me completely shaken and left her oblivious as usual.

I don't want to make her afraid of the world, I want her to be a brave, bold, fearless girl and woman. But I don't want her to break her legs or worse. How do you instill a healthy dose of caution in a toddler?? Maybe we need to invest in a helmet and a bubble-wrap body-suit until she's old enough to reason with.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

pickles and ice cream

I missed 2 days of posts. Damn it! I never think about posting til night, and then I can't get to our computer where we have all of our photos because our office is currently serving as a makeshift nursery. The girls will be sharing a room, but until Mimi is sleeping through the night we have her set ip in our office so as not to mess with Delly's sleep at night. And our house has been topsy-turvy for several days while we had work being done in our family room. Gah. I've also been forgetting to pump breastmilk at night, so my little schedule is just all whacked out. Josh and I got our family room pretty much put back together today, so now I'm feeling more settled and back to normal.

Tonight we visited our good friends Greg and Adrienne and brought them pickles and ice cream to celebrate the news that they are newly pregnant. So fun and exciting. Their sone Fletcher is just a smidge younger than Delly, and they're cute little friends. I'm very happy for them, and it makes me miss all that fun of getting pregnant... Josh and I are such planners, we always were very intentional with getting pregnant, using the ovulation kits and testing as soon as possible, it was like a really fun project. I loved it every time and I miss that.

But, that's not enough to make us want to do it again. We love our daughters, we love our little Mimi, but honestly we don't love having an infant again. It's sweet and it's joyful, but it's also exhausting and frustrating and is very hard for us to re-adjust to now that Delly is so far away from those baby days. Caring for Mimi takes so much time and energy away from what we can give to and do with Delma. Now that Delly is old enough to be able to really communicate and develop personal interests, I am so excited about fostering those interests and it's tough to be distracted by Mimi and her immediate and insistant needs. Both Josh and I are very much looking forward to getting past the baby days and having fun adventures with our girls.

Though I hate to make permanant family decisions based on current finances, the fact is that Josh and I are not wealthy, and we want to be able to take our children on fun vacations, see a bit of the world, and that stuff ain't cheap. We'd have to wait til Delly is in kindergarten three years from now to have a third baby, since we can't afford to have three kids in fulltime daycare, and I can't see us wanting to go back to square one with an infant at that point.

I'm not going to run out and get my tubes tied, but I really do think we're done now and that our family is complete. There's something very comforting in knowing that. When Delma was a wee baby, as hard as it ever got, we always knew we'd at some point be doing it all over again with a second child. Now we can actually say, when we get past this phase, we won't ever have to deal with this again. It feels good. I'm very pleased with our little family, I love that we have two girls, and I love that Josh is such a good daddy to those girls -- I think it's going to be a very fun dynamic, with him as the only guy in the house. He's so great at hanging with the girls, playing dress-up and tea party and all that good stuff.

We have some really good times ahead of us. But I'm not just banking on our future, I am enjoying our family in the here and now. I am excited about how much better and better it will get, too. Oh, the paper dolls and dance lessons and camping trips and more to look forward to... Good times.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

how about some pictures?

Josh and Delma rocking out and singing "We're Not Gonna Take It."


Decal up on our living/dining room wall. I've been struggling with how to decorate this wall since we moved in, and I'm finally happy with it.




One in a long line of Delma's baby-as-art-installation pieces.




Daddy and Baby, looking very sweet.


Our fix-it guy starts work on our family room today, which means we won't be able to go downstairs to hang out and play for 2-3 days. And it's super-cold and windy out, which means we can't kill time at the playground. It's going to be a hairy few days!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

well-deserved calm

Both girls are napping right now. I love that. It wasn't so easy, though... After over an hour of Mimi nodding off then waking up and wailing, and Delma refusing to sleep, I finally nursed Mimi back to sleep and threw a coat on Delma and tossed them both in the car. I knew the car would knock Delly out, so I drove around til she was asleep then came home and put her in her bed, and put Mimi in her car seat in the Snuglider I picked up yesterday.

Delma has been a great napper for quite a while now. But in the past couple of weeks she's been fighting the nap. One day last week I finally put one of those child-proof doorknob covers on the inside of her door so she can't get out of her room. She'll get up over and over asking for play-dough and her toys and wanting to play. The mornings are crazy too, sometimes she's up as early as 4am. "I want to play!" We get up over and over and tell her to get back into bed. We usually call it quits around 5:30 and let her get up and start the day -- and when I say "we," I mean Josh. Since I'm in charge of Mimi's nighttime feeding, Josh is on duty with Delma and her early-morning antics.

I'm looking forward to sleeping through the night again. Sleeping til 6 seems like a luxury. It now feels laughable that we thought we had it tough when we only had Delma to deal with. Oy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

farewell, my friend

I didn't drink coffee today, and Mimi took a great 3-hour nap this afternoon. Looks like I'll be off the sauce for a while. Not sure how I'll deal with our girl days on minimal sleep and no coffee. Ugh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

invisibelt

I need this puppy. To find pants that fit my big ol' thighs usually means a loose waist, thus the hated plumber's crack. I hope this belt will help.

Last night was rough. Mimi woke up earlier than usual to nurse, and then had trouble staying asleep after that. We have her sleeping in a cradle that we got from a friend. It's lovely, but it's not working. Mimi shimmies around a little in her sleep and works her way to the side of the cradle, which then tips over and she gets all crushed against the side. It's awful, how does this not happen to all infants that sleep in cradles?? Anyhoo, we will be moving her to the bassinet in the Pack N Play. Keeping fingers crossed that we have a better night tonight.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

pumpkin ginger bread



Yesterday evening while my soup was simmering (This super-fast and ridiculously simple and easy but tasty recipe for red lentil soup; went great with challah to dip in it. Shabbat Shalom!), I quickly whipped up the batter for the Ginger Pumpkin Bread from MS Everyday Food.

The recipe makes 2 small loaves. They're supposed to bake for 50 minutes, but I think I ended up doing 60 minutes to get the middles thoroughly baked. The bread came out moist and quite tasty, but really what made it were the chopped walnuts and dried cherries I added. I don't think I would have loved it all that much. I'd definitely make it again, probably next time with walnuts and chopped candied ginger.

In other news, Mimi is insane. She was awake ALL DAY today. She usually isn't awake for more than 2 hours at a clip, but today she would not fall asleep. She wasn't cranky for the most part, just awake and alert. She was awake the better part of 8 hours, and it was making us cuckoo, try to feed her and soothe her to sleep, but she just was not having it. She turned 8 weeks yesterday, and like clockwork she's in a new phase. Gah. The early baby days are rather maddening.

Friday, November 14, 2008

cookie fun

I bought a roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough to have some little cookie decorating fun with Delly. I cut the roll into quarters, and bagged/froze 3 of the quarters individually for future use. I thought that was very clever of me. Each quarter makes about a half-dozen cookies, which is enough.

I actually started off using a rolling pin. Hello, overkill. I ended up just squooshing it all by hand and letting Delly use cookie cutters for a few of them and then made a couple little circles by hand.

When they were cool, I let Delly decorate with some tacky, gross glitter decorating gel and little star-shaped sprinkle things. She loved it. I only gave her 2 to decorate, otherwise she would have used every last drop of gel. I told her they had to dry, and then she never even asked to eat them. She just loved cutting and decorating them so much that she seemed to forget that they were food and not just a craft project.

This was a great "baking" project with Delly, since Mimi's napping times are very unpredictable and I don't want to get caught in the middle of some real baking and have to abandon it to tend to the baby. It didn't take much time but was very fun and not too messy. Good times. Good glittery times.







ps Please note that Delma is STILL wearing her Supergirl costume!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby Huffington

Title is a little inside, sorry, only those with kids hooked on Noggin will get it...

Mimi does a lot of huffing and puffing (that's where Huffington comes in). She's a sort of noisy baby. And right now she has a cold, which has made her sleep pretty much all day today (score!) and also makes it hard for her to latch on to nurse and makes her especially huffy and puffy and schnorfle-y. Poor little bean.

So the plan was to cut out coffee/caffeine starting today, and I was thinking about curbing the sugar and dairy too since she has a cold and doesn't need all the extra crap creating even more mucous. I was up at 5am today and by 9:30 am I had had a huge coffee with milk and sugar, a Reese's peanut butter KING SIZE tree (yum!) and was toasting an english muffin topped with Muenster cheese. I am a weak, weak, woman.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

rollercoaster

Yesterday was a rough day. Today was an OK day. The only thing relatively predicatble is that Mimi is pretty much a wreck in the later afternoon/evening. I try to nurse her around 4 or 5pm so that she'll nap during dinner and while we're putting Delly to bed. D goes down at 7:30, then we get Mimi up, change her and give her a bottle, and put her down for the night. But getting her down for that last nap before dinner is usually quite an ordeal. I'm going to lay off the coffee for the next few days and see if that makes any difference at all in her temperment.

She had a few good stretches of happy awake time today, which was really nice. She looked at toys and batted at them in her little herky-jerky uncontrolled baby robot way, and cooed and was very cute.

Delly gave her lots of kisses and talked to her and tried to give her toys to hold and dance with her. I'm so glad that though she acts out quite a bit with us these days, she's still super-sweet to her baby sister.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

deer

We live in a raised ranch, and the windows in our family room downstairs sit right at ground level with our front yard. The other day I saw something out of the corner of my eye while I was down there (probably nursing Mimi and watching CSI, I do a lot of that), and looked up to see a deer eating some little weeds growing just inches from the window. We live in the woods and have deer in our yard all the time, but I've never been quite that close to one. It was beautiful.

A while later I went out to get the mail, and the deer were still there, next to the driveway. Two of them put their tails up and bounded off a bit away from me, but one of them just stayed there. She didn't even flinch, her tail didn't go up, not defensive reaction whatsoever. So I just stood there for a bit, checking her out. She started coming closer, and I put my hand out and she came even closer. She was only about 20 or 30 feet away when I realized I was holding the baby and if the deer panicked and charged me or something, that would be a very bad thing.

I don't know if she'd been handled as a baby or what, but she really was sweet and wanted to come up to me. It was so cool. I went in to grab my camera and took some pics as they continued munching away in our swamp.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lame Post

Tired, time for bed, and I have to post something... I ran away tonight after dinner, just had to get the hell out of the house. Mimi was pretty good today until the end of the day, when I picked Delly up from school and took them to the grocery store. I figured the timing would be perfect, since Mimi had a full tummy and was due for a nap. But no. She screamed the whole time in the store and during the whole ride home. It was maddening and left me completely frazzled. I had planned a simple but nice dinner with fresh vegetables, but since we had to deal with the baby we were left with almost no time to make dinner, and ended up with pasta and frozen veggies yet again. After dinner I left Josh and Delly with their Play-Dough and I went and ran some dumb time-killing errands just to be out of the house and all alone. So that was good I guess, though not particularly productive. This baby is sucking the life out of me! Oy.

So to cheer things up, here's a cute pic. Delma in her Pooh ears and Mimi in her Eyeore ears.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bye-Bye Freshy

Today we said goodbye to our cat Precious (aka Frecious aka Freshy). She did not die, she is alive and (hopefully!) well, but now living with another family. She's a beautiful, wonderful, loving cat, but there were some issues specific to her and this house that made it necessary for us to find a new home for her. It took a long time, but we found a couple who had recently lost their female cat. They have a male cat who is desperately lonely now without his companion, and since Freshy used to be very bonded with our male cat who died a couple of years ago, we're hoping that these two will hit it off. It was hard to see her go, but it's also a great relief. It's so tough wondering if we made the right decision, but we just have to trust that we did. It was not one we made lightly, it's been a very long time coming. We just wish our little Freshy all the very best and hope that she has a happy, fun and love-filled life.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Good Day

Today was a good day. We spent some time with family, celebrating my dad's 71st birthday. Mimi had some cranky periods, but also had a few long alert, happy, cute, interactive periods too. Both girls took long naps at the same time, which gave me some long overdue time to tackle a little home decor project and do some cleaning. It all just felt very normal for the first time in a long time, it was so quiet and domestic and lovely.

We also met with a highly recommended and very nice house cleaner, and decided to give her a try. I'm looking forward to cutting myself some slack in the cleaning department, and having a tidy and good-smelling house every Friday so I can comfortably invite over guests on weekends without freaking out about the state of my home.

We finally decided to hire someone to do some painting, tiling, and little random repair tid-bits. It's mostly work in our downstairs family room, which has never really looked good or complete or cohesive. I have some cute but simple and not super-expensive decorating ideas to make it look snazzy once the repairs are all done. That, along with some plans to repaint our bedroom and office, is making me feel like our little house is finally coming together and feeling like a nice place to be for the foreseeable future. Next year we'll have to start putting some time and energy into the exterior and landscaping, which we've been totally ignoring. But I can't think too much about that yet, or else I'll feel way too overwhelmed. I just have to take it one little project at a time and hope I can keep up the momentum. Slow and steady.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Supergirl

Delma has been wearing her Supergirl Halloween costume every single day and night since Halloween. When we have to take it off for a minute to chenge her into or out of pajamas, she is in a complete panic until we get her redressed and get Supergirl back on. Tonight we finally got it off of her to put it in the wash, and that did NOT go over well. The whole rest of the evening she was throwing tantrums and begging for Supergirl, and trying to use her binkies (which she only uses at night in bed). She was so desperately lost without it, but that think needed to be washed so badly. She ate a pickle several days ago and you could still smell it on that costume. Ew. Now it's hanging up drying, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the firstthing she asks for in the morning. I think it's so hilarious that she's obsessed with it, especially considering what a comic book freak Josh is. She is such a little Hatton.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Girl Days

When Mimi was born we kept Delma in daycare fulltime for a few weeks, so I could have time to figure out what the hell to do with a baby again before juggling both kids by myself. A few weeks ago we changed the schedule to Delly in daycare on Mondays and Thursdays, and home with Mimi and me on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We call them our "Girl Days."

Some days there's more TV than I'd like, and on girl days I rarely manage to get any chores done. I expected Delly to have little-to-no patience when I had to tend to Mimi's needs before her own needs or wants. And she has certainly pitched some fits, and they are getting more frequent as Mimi becomes more high-maintenance, but for the most part she's been unexpectedly good. I was braced for each day being one battle after another, being completely stressed out and was planning to have to find things to keep her busy all day just to keep her out of my hair. What I didn't expect was to really have fun. I didn't expect feeling very proud of myself on those days when I can keep both of girls mostly happy and can also get work done around the house, and get us out of the house to run errands or do fun things. It's so simple, and kajillions of other parents do this, but it still feels like such an accomplishment to me. And a wonderful product of this new arrangement is that Delly become more Mommy-centric than ever. She's generally either shown no preference for either Josh or me, or occasionally prefers her Daddy. But she almost never purposefully picked me over him. Now she does, and often when he comes home at the end of the day it takes her a while to warm up to him. I feel like such a MOM. It's very satisfying, and I love it.

Our girl days are very challenging, and usually leave me shot by the time Josh comes home, but I really am so happy to have this precious time home with my daughters. Even though the second Mimi starts screaming I start counting the minutes til I return to work. We've been going back and forth about the possibility of hiring a house cleaner. Part of me feels like, what a waste when I'm home every day. But when I have a little time when the girls are napping or occupied or when they're with Josh, the last thing I want to do is clean floors. But I'm more and more feeling like it may very well be worth the cost.

I don't want to look back at this brief period of time and regret that I didn't make more of an effort to really enjoy it. When will I ever get months of time at home again?? I don't want to waste it making myself more stressed than I need to if I can avoid it. Plus, I want time to sew more clothes for my girlies! More on that in another post...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

So, Obama won, and I'm super-psyched about that.

In other news: This afternoon Delma demanded that all her clothing, including her diaper, be removed. After a while of letting her freestyle around the house, I tried to put a diaper on her. This did not go well. She has a couple buddies who are potty-training, and I think it's making her feel left behind. Maybe this is her deciding she's ready too. Or maybe this is just a whim for today. Can we handle a borderline-colic infant and a potty-training toddler? Yes we can. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

yikes!

So excited about the election that I almost forgot to post. Baby will be waking me up in a few hours, so I'm heading to Snoozeville USA now and hope to wake up to news of Obama being our next president!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cry-baby

Miriam is 6 weeks old now, though for the life of me I can't figure out how that happened. The first 4 or 5 weeks she was sort of a breeze -- sleeping a ton, relatively easy to soothe and to get to nap. But the times, they are a-changin. Now she's more alert and is having more awake time during the day, and is turning into a major fussbudget. She doesn't transition well at all between wake and sleep, and if she's at all sleepy she just falls to pieces. And this girl screams and howls, and it seems to be getting worse every day. When she does get to sleep during the day, she has a hard time staying asleep. It's maddening, especially on the days when Delly is home with us too and I really want the baby to sleep so D and I can have fun. I can't work on any projects in the house or with D because at any moment that baby could need my full attention and pull me away. I can't pump breast-milk during the day because I don't want to get all empty and then have her wake up and need some nursing to be soothed.

All the soothing techniques that worked with Delma just make this baby angry. The swing and the car both used to make D pass right out and sleep forever. Not this one. The only way I can get her to calm down in the car when she's in her hysterics is to roll down her window for a while and blast her with all that cold air. That's going to be super-fun when it's freezing out. She likes to be rocked in her car seat on the floor, so you'd think the swing would make her happy, but no. She's like a little crazy-person.

I've been looking at the calendar to figure out when to go back to work. I was originally planning to be out 16 weeks, which would be the middle of January. But we just booked a trip to FL to accompany Josh on a work trip at the end of January so I'm going to go back to work right after New Year's in order to work a few weeks before taking off on a vacation. But now I'm actually considering going back a week or 2 earlier than that. I'm not going to make that decision just yet, but I'm going to stay open to the idea if the next month doesn't get easier or even gets worse. This is just too stressful for me, which makes me feel guilty and like a big weak loser, but I need to be honest with myself and take the best care of my family that I can. And if going back to work early makes me a better mom, then that's what I'll do.

Thankfully, she is sleeping great at night. We've got her on a little bedtime routine and by 9pm she is down for the count. She wakes up once at night, usually around 2:30, and then goes back to sleep for a few hours. Delma is up every morning at 5:30, and Mimi has been getting up just a little after that most mornings. And if the nights weren't so easy and predictable, I think these long tear-filled days would put me right over the edge for sure.

She's a little maniac, that Miriam. And she has the face of a little old man. But for those brief periods each day when she's actually happy, what a fun little old man face it is!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Resolutions revisited

I remembered today that I made some New Year's Resolutions back in January. But I couldn't even remember what they were. That's not good. Here they are, with a status update:

1. Finish organizing our utility room

Well, we did this. And then it all got trashed again and needs to be de-cluttered again. I'm thinking that this is probably something that will never end.

2. Finish our little odds-and-ends fix-up projects (tile in family room; replace all icky goldy brassy door hardware with brushed nickel; paint doors; paint office; paint family room)

I actually just started getting quotes this past week to get the bulk of this work done. Josh and I have finally realized that though these are projects we could do ourselves, we just do not have the time now that we have a baby and want to spend our weekends with our children.

3. Plant a vegetable garden

Did not happen. Not even any container vegetable plants! All I managed were a few sad little Morning Glories to climb trellises. That was a good experiment, and I'll know better next year how to get fuller coverage where I want those flowers to climb.

4. Learn how to use the fancy features on our fancy camera, so I can take better pictures

I downloaded this document that some dude wrote, all about my camera and how to make full use of the features, but I haven't read it. Hmpf.

5. Plan weekly meals, shop accordingly, try new recipes (started already, more on this soon in another post)

I started to do this, but very early in the year when my pregnancy started getting rough and I was feeling like shit every day and never knew more than 10 minutes in advance what I'd be able to stomach for dinner, this pretty much fell apart. Now that time and the budget are tighter, I've started revisiting this, so I can shop smarter and plan meals.

6. Make a quilt

I started cutting pieces for the quilt top months ago, and then forgot all about it. I have all great yellow and grey patterns that will look very cool when I finally get my act together and finish!

So... I didn't do so great, despite my very humble and achievable goals. That's disappointing. Now I feel this pressure to cram it all in before the end of December! We'll see.

In the meantime, I can celebrate the completion of a baby quilt by my girlfriend Moira, a gift for my wee Mimi:


"Why, I oughtta..."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo

So I decided to do NaBloPoMo. Maybe it'll kick me in the butt and get me in a more consistent habit of writing/posting? We'll see. At the very least I can post corny pictures of my kids and my cats!

To kick things off, here's my little Super Girl Delma:


With some of her buddies at school:


Kissing her boyfriend!


And our sleepy little Bat, Mimi -- she was a hit at our town parade:


A whole month of daily blogging, here I come!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

4 Years

Happy Bananaversary, babe! There's no one else in the world I'd share this wild ride with. xoxo

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Newest Littlest Hatton, or Back to Square One

Miriam Binah Hatton, born (9 days late! Induced! This kid would not ever have come out on her own, I'm sure of it!) September 19. Labor felt like the biggest cheat: I was induced, got an epidural, slept for a few hours, woke up and pushed for about 25 minutes. After pushing for 4 hours (!!!) with Delma, this was a walk in the park. This time around my own favorite OB was there to deliver, we had a great nurse... the whole time I was pushing, Josh, our doc and nurse were all kibitzing and chitty-chatting and swapping funny stories, they barely even noticed I was in the room squeazing out a baby. It was a genuinely fun time. Crazy. Plus, I got a fresh new little baby in the end!



This pregnancy was tougher than when I was pregnant with Delma. I was way sicker in the beginning this time, plus I didn't have the luxury of just going home after work every day and falling asleep on the couch since I had D to take care of. And that miscarriage I had last fall messed with my head and heart and left me feeling constantly, accutely terrified about losing this baby until she started moving around a lot in the 21st or 22nd week. It was maddening. I did have a comfortable 2nd trimester, but then like clockwork, the instant my 3rd tri started, the fatigue set in and kicked my ass and left me feeling like I could barely function.

My due date was Sept 10, and I stopped work at the beginning of that week, thinking that I'd be having a baby any day... But she would not budge. So I had almost 2 weeks at home, getting my head into at-home-mommy mode. I'm really glad I had that time to get work out of my head and to more easily transition from Business Analyst to Fulltime Mommy.

So far so good, though I'd forgotten how hard it is just to get out of the house with a breastfeeding newborn. She gets hungry at the most inopportune times, and then takes a massive crap that shoots straight up her back and needs a full wipe-down and wardrobe change... Oy vay. I'm finally starting to get the hang of it (again), though.

And I get to kiss this face to my heart's content.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Delma: 25 Months



Delly, this has been a very exciting month. You became a big sister! You are so sweet to the baby, always wanting to give her toys and blankets and binkies. We had no idea how you would respond to sharing our attention with a new crying baby, and had braced ourselves for the worst, but you've been great. Some more tantrums, and those that you do have are even more high-pitched than usual, but we're getting into a rhythm now.



I am just astounded by your language skills. You still use little toddler phrases, but you also aften use complete sentences that seem so advanced to me. I love having little conversations with you. You have a good sense of humor and can usually tell right away when we're joking with you and you'll laugh and tell us we're silly. You're also very aware when we're making jokes at your expense now though, and you get sensitive and feel slighted. We keep forgetting that you understand everything and you're not just our little baby plaything anymore. You're a little wonderful person with feelings that need to be respected.

Every day or two you have new toys/objects that you get obsessed with and attached to and that you bring everywhere with you. Usually they're your stuffed animals or toys, but there have been some random things, like craft projects from school. For several days it was a construction paper bear glued to a wooden stick, with googly eyes. You brought it everywhere, slept with it, had it sit next to you in its own chair at the snack table at school... That bear got the crap beaten out of it, lost an eye, and by the end of its reign as your favorite plaything it was covered with tape to keep it intact. When we were in the hospital having Mimi, Nonnie and Grandpa were with you. You were all in the car together and you tore the arm of your bear and demanded that they fix it immediately. They had to make an emergency pit-stop to buy tape and re-attach its arm STAT. Tragedy narrowly averted. Now it's still sitting in your room, but you rarely even give it a second look.



So far the Terrible Twos are actually not so bad (knock on wood!). When it's bad, it's really bad, but the good times are really really great. You're so fun and you're such a great little person. The first night I was in the hospital with Mimi, Daddy went home to stay with you so that he could be with you when you woke up and keep your routine as normal as possible. I've loved Mimi since the moment she was conceived, and as I lay there in the hospital all alone with her I loved her with the instictive mama-lion love that parents feel for children. But still, it was so hard to be with her instead of you... That baby was a virtual stranger to me. My love for you is this complicated tangle of pure unconditional love mixed with the comfort of knowing you and knowing what to expect from you, and having our routines etc. So much of my life is filled wih little bits and pieces of you, my days are colored by you and your moods and your antics. That night my heart literally ached for you. It made me realize how much of my time with you recently had been spent just trying to deal with and manage you, instead of relaxing and enjoying you. It was a good lesson for me and has completely changed the way I spend my time with you. I think you've responded to that too, and it's made our time together much more fun and playful. We're having more fun than ever, and it just keeps getting better and better!

love,
mommy

Monday, September 1, 2008

24 months

Happy Birthday, Delly! The fact that you are now TWO completely messes with my head. It makes sense for us to be expecting your little sister any day now, we like babies, and our first baby is all big and old now. You really are a little girl, with an amazing vocabulary, speaking full sentences, following complex directions (when you feel like it), and expressing OPINIONS. That's definitely something we're not prepared for. You want different toys in bed with you every night, you pick different toys to take with you in the car on your way to school every day, and there are some clothes that you outright refuse to wear. It's all very strange to us, and Daddy and I just look at each other like, Who IS this person???

This month you went back to your original daycare. They closed this past winter and we had to put you in a different place. Then the first one re-opened under new ownership but with the same administrator, whom we adore, and so back you went. Oh, what a blessing! Logistically it's easier for us, closer to home and convenient for both Daddy and me so either of us could easily drop off/pick up. But more than that, you are at home there and they lay down the law and teach you little humans how to behave like civilised people. Unlike that other place that let you all run around like feral beasts -- within a week or 2 of starting at that other joint, you developed the most charming habit of hitting. Like, every time you got angry, every day. There were lots of time-outs at home. The way they'd punish you at school was to put you in your high chair, a place you associate with food and comfort, and give you crayons to color with. Oh, the humanity! Now that you're back at the well-run, wonderfully strict and loving place, you have not hit at all. Daddy pointed it out last week, and when I thought about it, I was really amazed. You need structure and rules and discipline, and of course also lots of fun and games and love. And you get it all there, Thank God.

This month you started sleeping in your big-girl bed. We set it up in your room a couple of months ago, and at first you were very interested in it and wanted to play on it, but that soon dissipated and you totally ignored it. We'd mention it once in a while and hoped that you'd spontaneously insist on sleeping in it, but no. You were content with your crib, and we didn't want to force the issue. Then one night at bedtime I suggested in earnest that you sleep there to see how you'd react, and you were just like OK, and that was that. You were ready, you were cool with it, and you've been in it ever since. We wanted to make sure that your attachment to your crib is pretty well broken before the baby starts sleeping in it, and I think you will do just fine.

We did have a little set-back for a couple of weeks where you started waking up at 5, then 4:30, then 4 and then 3:30 (OMG!!!) and you were AWAKE and wanted to get UP and PLAY and WATCH TV, and we stupidly let you. I talked to your doctor about it at your 2-yr check-up, and she was all, Yeah, that's too early to get up. You need to stop that now. Which, coming from an outsider, makes perfect sense. Yet somehow that hadn't occurred to us?? And that's weird, because when it comes to the structure and the sleeping, we are quite militant. It's why you've been such a great sleeper for the majority of your life. So we did the whole Ferber thing, one Saturday morning I got up when you did, at around 3 or so, and every time you got up I just put you back in your bed no matter how much you fought it, and I did that approximately 500 times that morning until you finally wore yourself out at around 5:30 and slept for a good hour. That's pretty much all it took, and now you're mostly sleeping til 5:30 or 6 again every day, which is early but manageable.

This month is a big one. Your baby sister will be born any day now, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out, how the sister dynamics form. I'm terrified and excited. When I ask you, "Are you my baby girl or my big girl?" you say happily "Big girl!" And you are, you're my big girl and it just shatters my heart with every possible emotion. You're 2 now, and you're every bit as challenging as a 2-yr-old typically is, but you are also clearly demonstrating the fact that you're a loving, compassionate, kind, smart, and very funny person. Love you, rabbit.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, August 22, 2008

23 Months

[posting very late, in fact days before your 2nd birthday, and also without photos due to an office mis-hap...]

Delly,
I had such high hopes for this summer... Last summer we really couldn't do any fun outside things with you, because everything went into your mouth -- grass, dirt, sand, rocks -- and it was such a battle to keep you from shoveling things in that we ended up spending most of the summer inside. This summer is definitely better, with lots of time at playgrounds, and time wandering around on the town Green visiting with all the dogs that get walked there. I was hoping for more beach time, but our schedules and the weather haven't been entirely cooperative. Still, we have gotten to spend at least some time at our town lake, where you fearlessly walk right into the water and run around and watch kids splash and play. You fall down and in your regular fashion you are completely unphased by a face full of water and a body covered with sand. We are constantly in awe of your courage and your ability to just shake things off. You'll get hurt, order us to kiss your boo-boos, and then you want to just move on. For the most part you have no patience or interest in extended cuddles and hugs and kisses, you just want to get back to playing. I don't know how you could possibly be so well-adjusted, surely we can't take credit for it.

You were going through a funny little phase for a couple of weeks this month where at almost every meal you would take some food, mash it between your hands, and say, "I'm making pizza!" We have no idea where you got this, but it cracked us up, so of course you kept doing it.

We decided to take a little long weekend road trip down to the Arlington/ DC area for a last ditch effort at a Family of 3 Vacation before the baby comes. We dreaded the long drive, but with the help of a portable DVD player and your favorite Pixar movies, it was fine. But while we were down there, you had little interest in anything much other than staying in our hotel room and watching cartoons. You played with the safe in the closet, putting your rocks in the safe, taking them out, and repeating ad nauseum. And on our 3rd day down there, the forecast was for rain all day long, and since that meant we couldn't even take you to walk around the Mall or go to any playgrounds, we decided to just pack it in a day early and head home. I would not call it a successful vacation, but it also wasn't a total failure. We did get to see some of the National Zoo. That's better than nothing I guess, even though all the pandas were asleep.

I have to keep reminding myself that this time is temporary, that you'll continue to be more and more portable and mobile and that we'll be able to have family vacations one day. And it will be such a joy to show you more of our town, our state, our country, the world, and watch you bravely explore it all.

love,
mommy

Thursday, July 17, 2008

21 and 22 Months

Delly,
You are now 22 months old, and once again I skipped a month in your little blog letters. I really need to get my act together.

We've started keeping you up later, til 8pm, to try to get you to sleep til at least 6am. It It works sometimes, but there are still days when you're up well before 6. And when you're up, you are UP and ready to go. You no longer hang out in your crib and play at all, you just want OUT. Your napping hasn't changed, you still sleep for about 2 hours every afternoon, but I guess you're just not needing as much sleep at night now. We do, though, so cut the crap. And while you are OK staying up til 8, most days for that last 30-60 minutes you are a certifiable maniac. You get so silly and turn into such a little animal. But when we put you down you are DONE and you don't make a peep after we shut your door.

You are wanting to do more and more things yourself now, and we hear a lot of "MY do it!" and "MY hold it!" etc from you. We have to try to find ways to trick you into thinking you're doing things yourself while we actually do it, like pushing the grocery cart in stores. It's quite a challenge. Sometimes it's enough for you to just feel like you're participating or helping out with certain activities, but sometimes you really want to go it alone. It can slow us down quite a bit and we're finally learning to follow your lead and your pace instead of making you keep up with us. We can't always do that, like when we have to get out the door in the morning, but I often have to stop and ask myself if it really matters if we spend the next 15 minutes putting Buzz Lightyear in your car seat and buckling him in and unbuckling over and over? In the afternoon when I pick you up we usually have more time to kill with your little adventures and shenanigans, and I'm trying very hard to give you the time and space to explore to your heart's content. But I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best at it.

While you're asserting your independance daily now, you're also more affectionate than ever with us and demand our company more than ever. You give us lots of hugs and kisses, and have learned to use them as a stalling tactic when we're trying to get you dressed or undressed or are trying to brush your hair or something. You'll demand "Hand!" to get us to take your little hand in ours, and then say "Come on, Mommy!/Daddy!" while you lead us around to wherever you want to take us. Sometimes you lead us somewhere where you need our help, like turning on a movie for you or reading you a book, but sometimes you just take us across the room and then stop, and start occupying yourself with something else on your own. If you're sitting down, you'll pat the couch or the ground next to you and say "Sit!"

We talk to you a little bit about your baby sister in my tummy. If we ask you where the baby is, you say "Tummy!" and poke my belly. But who knows what you really understand. In just about 8 weeks this new kid is going to show up and we're all going to be in for a very rude awakening. I honestly don't know if we're any more prepared for it than you are!

love,
mommy

Sunday, June 29, 2008

chair and gifts

I've finally gotten some sewing done in the last couple of weeks. I am WAY overdue with some baby gifts and some swaps. The biggest accomplishment was finally making some covers for a glider we got as a hand-me-down about 2 years ago, before Delma was even born. It had a nondescript blue denim cover that I wanted to replace and just kept putting off and putting off. I finally got some fabric at Ikea and spent a day on it a few weeks ago.

It needs some tweaking, the back cover could be a little more snug, and I need to sew in some vecro on the seat and back covers to keep them closed. For the back and seat, I removed the fabric to use as a template, so these covers are right over the foam. A lining would be a good idea and would add some stability, but it's not like I'll realistically ever get around to doing that. For the ottoman, I just made a little slipcover like a fitted sheet with elastic around it and put it right over the original fabric. I was going to staple it on like upholstery, but I really wanted all the covers to be able to be removed for washing.

Some more photo album and tissue cover sets for some swaps:


Some photo album and burp cloth sets for some newish babies and their mommies:



And a new project for a baby gift that was really easy and came out pretty cute. A burp cloth and a little onesie dress from this tutorial:

I'll definitely make more of these for baby girl gifts and for my own new baby girl. It would look cute with a little applique on the shirt part and maybe some ribbon or ric-rac along the hem. Lots of possibilities.

Monday, June 23, 2008

toddlers are liars

When we were in the car yesterday, and Delly was in the back blurting out all her funny stream-of-consciousness nonsense, at one point it sounded like she said "Puppy!" So I asked her if she saw a puppy and she said yes. Was it a purple puppy? Yes! Was it a a purple puppy with pink polka-dots? Yes! All the while, Josh was saying things like "Oh really!" to her, and then wispering under his breath to me, "She's lying, babe. Flat-out lying. She's a big fat liar." :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shiksa no more!

Last week I converted to Judaism. It's been a long time coming, I think I first approached our Rabbi about it when Delma was a few months old. So all told, it's been maybe a year and a half? And in that time I've done some reading, I took a course in the basics of Judaism, including some history and explanations of rituals and holidays and differences between Orthodox and Conservative and Reform. I've met with my Rabbi to ask him if it's a requirement to believe in God, and why my husband who was never raised Jewish but because he was born Jewish can just walk into the Temple and be accepted as a Jew, but I have to work hard and jump through hoops to be Jewish? But more than anything, I've essentially been living life as a Jew this whole time, regularly attending services, actively participating as a mamber of our Temple, and trying to create a Jewish home where our children will never question that we are a Jewish family.

It's been such a long (well not really, but it feels that way) process, and in my mind and my heart I made the committment to Judaism so long ago now, that the actual conversion felt a bit anticlimactic. More than anything, I was just happy to have it over with, so I can get on with my life. It's sort of like a wedding, or like childbirth... They're a big deal but they're really very quick, and then you get on with the business of marriage or parenthood, or in this case being a Jewish wife and mother and woman.

Last Tuesday I met with the Bet Dihn (3 Rabbis), who are supposed to ask you questions and ascertain whether you are prepared and sufficiently committed to become a Jew. It's really a formality, the Rabbi you study with would never bring you before the Bet Dihn until it was really clear that you're ready. Why waste everyone's time? I expected lots of soul-searching questions, but it was really very quick and easy. I think it makes a difference that I am already married to a Jew, that we're raising a Jewish child and are active Temple members. My committment is clear and proven. I'm not doing this just so I can have a Jewish wedding to keep my in-laws happy or something, there's no question of my motive. Then I had to immerse myself in the Mikvah and say some prayers. My girlfriend Katie was my witness (she herself converted just last year, so she knew the routine and was the most obvious and perfect choice for a witness), and the door was open just enough so that Josh and the Rabbis could hear me say the prayers but could not see me in there. It was pretty cool doing that while pregnant, having this baby there with me for such an important experience. Then I got dressed and we all held hands while my Rabbi said a blessing, we all hugged and that was it! I was Jewish. Ta-dah!

The hard part was on Friday during the Shabbat service when I had to go up to the Bimah and read some prayers, and answer some questions in a public ceremony before our congregation. That was absolutely nerve-wracking and I was just beside myself with anxiety. I had repeatedly warned the Rabbi that I may very well pass out up there, but amazingly I didn't. I think he might have actually been disappointed that I didn't deliver the drama I'd promised. I also did not go into premature labor, though apparently it looked like I was going to to since I was clutching my stomach for something to do with my free hand (other hand was holding the papers I had to read from), and at one point the Rabbi leaned in and told me that I was doing great and that I was NOT ALLOWED to give birth right there.

The worst part, as I knew it would be, was the crying. I am not a graceful cryer. I'm not one of those fancy soap opera ladies who can give a monologue with tears streaming down their face. No, at the first sign of anything remotely resembling an emotional display of any sort, my throat closes up and I can't breathe evenly and I can barely squeak out a word. So I would manage to say maybe 3 words (NOT exaggerating!), then stop and take some deep breaths and try to relax my face so I didn't look like one of those theater Tragedy masks, then say a few more words, and repeat, etc. It all took about 5 times longer than it needed to because of how hard it was for me to just physically be able to speak. And it set off this whole involuntary empathetic domino effect that had almost everyone there that night crying too. It was like CryFest '08. I think most everyone shared my great sense of relief when it was over.

Afterward everyone was so lovely and I got lots of hugs and kisses and congratulations from friends and family and also from lots of complete strangers. The nicest thing I heard was from a younger guy, maybe 20 years old, who came over and told me that his mother converted before he was born and he was so happy that she did. He was telling me that it was a beautiful thing that I did for my family. And really, that is why I did it. I want my children to feel 100% Jewish, and I don't know how to give them that gift without both Josh and me being Jews. And now we are. I'm still amazed.

My dad said a funny thing that night. He said he felt like he was giving me away, even more than he felt at my wedding. I don't know that I really understand what he meant by that, but I think he feels like Josh and I are starting out on some journey that in some ways will leave him behind. We are, that's true, that's just a fact when your children start their own families. But this whole process has served to just further reinforce how important our family is to us, and what lengths we will go to with the hopes and intentions of creating a strong immediate and extended family.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mommy

Josh tried very hard to get Delma to say "Happy Mommy Day," but the most she could manage was "Happy Mommy." Close enough for me. We had such a lovely, lazy day... Went out for breakfast, went for a nice drive and ended up having a great impromptu visit with an old friend of Josh's and her family, whom I have never met. The weather was great and in the afternoon I got to plant a few little seeds and then while Josh mowed the lawn Delma and I went to a local playground and then did some shopping. In the evening Josh had arranged for a sitter so he could take me to dinner in New Haven. Delma was a mostly in a good mood and fun all day, and it was just a great low-key Mother's Day. Perfect.

My loves at breakfast:


My girl at the playground, running around and climbing like a real honest-to-goodness kid. Notice her going down the slide clutching a rock. She's obsessed with them, walks around with fistsful of them and will not put them down when she's playing. When she goes down the slide on her tummy, you can hear the rocks scraping all the way down:



And then I gave Delma a Twix. And then I got really excited when Nirvana came on the radio, and I might have maybe turned up the music just a wee bit too loud? I heard "Mommy!" from the back seat, and when I turned around I saw her all chocolatey and plugging her ears. Had to pull over and snap a pic:


The other big news for the weekend was taking Del's binky away from her. I've been wanting to ween her off of it, but have been putting it off. Then I found out she's the only kid in her group at school who still uses one, and I knew it was time. Started on Saturday morning and it did NOT go well. Major melt-down. I thought it was going to be awful for days, but really after that first freak-out she was pretty OK with it. She's asked for it and cried for it, but we just keep telling her that she can only use it in bed, and she's done really surprisingly well. Of course, when it's time to go to bed now she wants no books or anything, she just wants to get into bed and get that binky in her face. I can handle that, if it means not having to see her with that plug in her face anymore, talking with it in her mouth, etc. Not sure how well she'll deal at school today when she sees the babies in the next room with their binkies. I wanted to start it on a weekend so she'd have a head start before school on Monday, and I do feel bad that they have to deal with it, but I guess that's what we're paying them (a lot!) for.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

annoying day

It was beautiful out today. Zero enjoyed the sunshine:


I spent the day stuck inside the house juggling work and this:


Girly is home with pink-eye. Several kids at school have it. You'd think they would have informed parents, but no. $60 on eye drops that the doctor says she doesn't actually need, but that the school won't let her back in without having had. So. That was my day. Argh.

I do get work done at home with her, especially now that she can sit for longish stretches with TV or a movie or just puttering around and playing, but not as much as I would without her. And I can't take my laptop outside with me to work, because our deck is not childproofed. Just an annoying way to spend my day, feeling constantly torn -- I could/should be doing MORE work, I could/should be paying MORE attention to Delly. It's an impossible situation, and both tasks inevitably suffer. Deep breaths... Take a bath and read after Del goes to bed... Get a good night's sleep... Let Josh fight the good fight tomorrow while I escape to the office...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

19 and 20 Months

Delly, you are 20 months old. I completely missed month 19 and am late in writing this too. So lame of me, sorry. And you have so many new tricks up your sleeve, there's no way I'll remember it all...



You have been saying Yes and No for a long time, but you were actually saying Ya instead of Yes, and one day it occurred to us that we should remedy that. It only took one or two corrections for you to get it, and your little Yeses with your toddle slur that make it sound like Yesh are so precious. You've also just recently started saying OK! after we tell you something or after we ask you to do something. It's this amazing new development, this acknowledgement that you give us to let you know you've heard and understood us. You say it so easily and appropriately, like we're just having a normal conversation. It's great. And just this morning, after you'd been downstairs with Daddy for a little while and he told you it was time to go upstairs, you said "Really?" And he said "Yes" and you said "OK!" I think that might be the first exchange that could actually qualify as an honest-to-goodness conversation.

When you were very young we just refered to all three of our cats as "Kitty" with you. Since we've started teaching you all their names, for some reason the only one you've had any interest in addressing by name is Precious. You still chase Blau and Zero too, and like to see them and pet them, but Precious (aka Preshy aka Freshious aka Freshy) is the one you really like to speak directly to and talk about. She does hang around you more, walks into your room and sniffs things when she's doing her rounds, and lets you chase her. You two seem to have your own little special connection. I'm really happy about that, because I think it's so important for children to bond with animals, and, in all honestly, she's our youngest and healthiest cat and is the least likely one to force you to learn about death anytime soon. Knock on wood.

Last month you finally learned how to correctly use a spoon. It just clicked for you, you finally got a little bit of a handle on gravity I guess. One night we gave you a veggie dog and ketchup for dinner, and you ended up using a spoon to eat nothing but ketchup for dinner. The next night you'd been snacking late in the day so for dinner I gave you apple slices and peanut butter to dip them in. You ate the little bowl of peanut butter with your spoon, and nothing else. The night after that, Daddy was out of town and I took you out for a nice unhealthy dinner so I could have an excuse to eat grilled cheese. You only ate the things on your plate that you could eat with a spoon: apple sauce, the bowl of marinara sauce that came with your fried mozzerella, and chocolate ice cream. It was such a mess, but you had a blast. The next day it occurred to me that we could give you FOOD with some NUTRITIONAL value in it that you could eat with a spoon. I'm not always the brightest bulb. Now you're eating yogurt and soups and things like that, and while you still love eating with a spoon, the novelty has finally somewhat worn off and you will eat non-spoon food again too.

You've been going through a phase lately where you cry very easily. You can be completely content, then realize that you're thirsty, and go into full-on hysterics because you want your cup of water. No amount of us trying to explain to you that all you have to do is ask us for things, or for help, or whatever it is you want/need, will convince you that any approach other than a complete freak-out is the way to go. It is thoroughly exhausting for us, obviously. And it is clearly very distressing for you too, though we don't seem to be able to help you find any way of stopping yourself from getting so worked up. Speaking with some other parents, apparently this is not unusual. I just hope this phase is short-lived.

In addition to becoming waaaaay more aggressive since starting your new daycare at the beginning of March (don't even get me started), another new sub-charming bit you've picked up is claiming anything and everything as your own. "Mine!" Constantly, with everything. It is nerve-wracking. This morning Daddy was getting you dressed, and pulled out a cute new shirt for you to wear. You grabbed it and would not let up with the Mine! thing. We try every angle with you... "Yes, it's yours" (when it really is)... "No, that's not yours. But you can hold it..." or whatever, but it never seems to get through to you or calm you at all. Finally Daddy wrestled the shirt out of your paws and onto your body and you again yelled Mine! Out of frustration with the obviousness of the fact that the shirt you were now wearing was indeed yours, he replied with "Duh!" And you said "My duh!" Yes, rabbit. Your duh.



Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oldie but goodie

This is one of my favorite segments from Free To Be You and Me:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

2008 Resolution

One of my New Year's resolutions that I didn't mention yet was my goal to gain 25-30 pounds this year. I'll have a good excuse to use my Dairy Queen Frequent Blizzard card this summer.

Who have we here?

Yesterday morning this was not outside my door, and then a few hours later it was.



Well, hello! Little Crocus, you are most welcome here. Invite all your friends, too, because all the gray and blah outside is a serious downer.

And here's someone who got mad that she wasn't allowed outside for the photo shoot in the sunshine.