Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunburn and sandy sheets

Oh, hi there.  I'm on vacation this week. Did I mention that?  Vacation. V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.  At the beach.  THE BEACH.  It's been sunny and in the 80s everyday thus far.  Aside from the first evening, my children have been sleeping and relatively well behaved.  I've been reading books.  BOOKS.  And, trashy magazines.  And eating chocolate every day.  Miles has developed a five Popsicle a day habit.  I'm enabling him.  I'm not ashamed.

The tops of my shoulders are just a bit sunburned and I'm finding the sensation not entirely unpleasant.  There is just the smallest bit of sand in my sheets and I don't find that unpleasant at all.

We spend our mornings at the beach playing in the sand and our afternoons we spend poolside.  In the early evenings we return to the beach for a bit of kite flying and then it's back to the pool to tire our the kids for early bedtimes.  As in before 8PM and those geese are cooked.

Evenings are filled with margaritas and wine and maybe some tequila. A little poker; conversations about books; reading; sitting on the deck and enjoying the almost chilly breeze off the Atlantic ocean.  You know, our backyard.  IS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.

My kids, they are awesome.  They are racing dump trucks up and down the beach with their cousins and falling in love with hermit crabs and taking fearless plunges into the pool.  They are filled with giggles and salty hair and sandy bottoms.  Miles is as brown as a nut and Oscar's skin remains creamy and light.

My husband is funny and fun and relaxing and enjoying our children and I love him so much.

I cannot stop smiling.

So.  You know.  Vacation.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Pah-see-tow - Popsicle, as in "Pah-see-tow, pah-see-tow, pah-see-tow!"

Ah-two - Oscar, as in "Ah-two?  Ahhh-two?"

Na-na - Knock, knock, as in the jokes

Key-key - Cat, as in "KEY-KEY! KEY-KEY!"

Doda - Dora, as in the explorer

Chew-chew - Trains of any kind

Trah - Truck

Trah-tru - Tractor

Yo-doot - Yogurt, the drinks or the cups

Jew - Juice, preferable apple

Sna  - Snak, preferably crunchy

Coo-gee - Cookies, as in "Coo-gee, coo-gee, coo-gee!"

No - No, Yes, Get out of my face

Boo - Book

Ah don - All done

Dow - Down, as in I want to get.

Was at? - What's that?

Bawl - Ball

Bitch/es - Fish/ies

Apu - Apple

Row-but - Robot

Dow - Dog

Ow - Out

Dasa - "That's a..." Apu, bawl, dow, etc.

Bow-ee - Belly

Shus - Shoes

Hot - HOT!

Orge - Orange

Nanana - Banana

Whoa - Whoa

Fu-ba - Fruit bar (fruit leather)

Pew-pew - Poop (in his diaper)

Pee-pee - Pee (in his diaper)

Pa-car - Popcorn

Ay-la - Ella (his cousin)

Be-chee - Benji

Bay-bee - Baby

Reb-it, reb-it - Frog

Ton-tow - Thank you

Peas - Please

Bub-buhs - Bubbles

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RTT: First days, last days, and all the days in between

(Keely, I couldn't get the button to work, HELP!)

* We leave for vacation on Saturday.  It's all I can do do be mentally present this week.  My brain is already at the beach.

* Tomorrow is Danny's last day here.  He starts preschool next week.  I've been watching him for about 2.5 years, so we are really going to miss him.  He and Oscar played really well together yesterday, and I was so glad.  I hope they do as well again today.  Benji, Danny's little brother, will still be with us though.

* Yesterday, I was chatting with Monica about Benji, and how these days he's rocketing through milestones and has become incredibly mobile almost overnight.  He's not quite fully crawling hands-and-knees style, but he pulls himself along with his arms swift as a snake (a cute, blue-eyed, red-haired snake).  She was mentioning that they were going to be putting their baby gates back up and asked if we would be doing the same.  I told her I wasn't sure - we still have our gates up on the stairs, but took down the gates in the living room.  Oscar knows how to open them, and they became more of a hazard than a baby protection device, so we took them down last spring.  I was sort of like, Oh, Benji, he hangs around wherever I am, and Oh, I can chase ONE baby.  Well, yesterday, while I was fixing his bottle, Benji went for a swim in the dog water, completely drenching himself.  And then, when my mom left in the afternoon, Oscar and Miles both darted outside so I had to go after them.  I came back in 10 seconds later and Benji had a hexagon wheat (AKA Barbara's Shredded Multi grain Spoonfuls) in each hand and was intent on cramming them into his mouth.  INTENT.  I mean, if the kid could have shot laser beams out of his eyes, he'd have killed me dead after I pried those wheats out of his steely grip.  In short, I was all I can handle Benji and Benji was like, That's what you think, lady.

* Miles is talking up a storm these days and it is terribly cute.   I'm enjoying the heck out of him, I think most especially because I kind of missed this whole stage with Oscar, as I was delirious with sleep deprivation and constantly nursing a newborn.

* Oscar starts preschool in just two weeks and one day.  Someone hold me.

* Speaking of preschool, I'm a bit worried about the pottying situation.  I mean, Oscar is potty trained, but he pretty much strips naked from the waist down every time he goes.  I've been trying to convince him to just pull his pants down to his ankles, but have had no success.  Now, he can redress himself, but it takes FOREVER and like three tries.  He prefers to have help.  I'm not sure how this is going to go over with his teachers.  I guess I'll find out in two weeks.

* Guess who I met this weekend?  Jen! She was fantastic, and we got on famously.  She kept me out until 11PM, late hours for this lady.  Jealous?  I know you are.

Alright, well my laundry is taunting me, so I'm off to give it a swift kick in the rear.  Go check out my dear, sweet, friend Keely and the rest of her random players.  Oh, and her site's got a sweet new redesign, so click through your readers and check it out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The end of days

When I returned from BlogHer a week and a half ago, Nelson informed me that he had a HUGE report due at work on August 16 and a presentation based on the report due on August 17 A gigantic piece of work, a massive project, one that was going to require all of his attentions for the next week.

I was hoping to ease back into my home routine, but clearly that was not going to happen.  Nelson did a good job keeping the boys alive and entertained and the house cleaners came while I was gone, but the laundry was frightfully behind.  Frightfully.

But, well, none of that mattered.  Nelson has been working 23 hours days (really) for the last week, and I've been working 19 to keep on top of everything around here.  I was exhausted from my trip; overwhelmed by the neediness of my boys when I returned; and doing marathon laundry all week (still nowhere near done.)

Then, on Thursday Oscar woke up telling me his tummy hurt.  By Friday, the scene was not good.  And is still not good.  Let me just say, I've had my kids' baby poop on me numerous times and I think it's pretty gross.  You know what is even more gross?  I'm not going to tell you.  You can use your imaginations.  Thankfully, I've been able to keep Oscar's illness isolated to Oscar with frequent hand washings and lots of bleach.

So, you know, I'm tired.  I mean, I'm always tired, but this week exceptionally so.

But, as evening falls around these parts tonight, Oscar is actually on the mend as evidence both by the destruction of my home and the contents of the potty.  Destruction cleaned up by my husband.  Right now my husband is upstairs bathing our two boys and putting them to bed.

I'm sitting here.  Blogging.  Reading.  Relaxing.  After dinner with my husband, where we hand an  actual conversation.  With words and stuff.

For the next four days, Nelson will be home. Puttering around the house; doing minor repairs; making pancakes; playing with our boys; sleeping for more than three consecutive hours; hanging at home with Miles when I take Oscar to playgroup; giving me the afternoon off on Friday so I can go meet this fantastic lady.

Isn't it crazy how you can miss someone when they are sitting in the same room?

I'm so glad to have my husband back.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On doughnuts and the unhelpful kindness of strangers

Two Tuesdays ago I had many, many things to do to get ready to leave my precious family for five days and go live it up in NYC with my fellow Bloggers.  I prefer to run my errands in the morning, and this is problematic because Oscar chooses to make my life exceedingly difficult in the mornings.  Nothing major, just refusing to get dressed or go to the potty; running away from me when I attempt to help him; refusing to brush his teeth; refusing to come downstairs; refusing to eat breakfast or drink anything; crying when I get frustrated; making me pull my hair out.  You know, regular three-year-old stuff.

Okay, so this particular Tuesday, I didn't really want to deal with any shit.  Normally I'll do the dance with Oscar, trying to be patient and loving and understanding and usually ending up feeling all twitchy and stabby at the end of our interaction.  This is not a good mood for errand running with two small children.

So, after I finished getting ready that morning, I said to Oscar, "Oscar.  If you will just go potty and get dressed you can have any special treat you want."

"Any special treat?"

"Yes.  ANY special treat."

"I want a chocolate doughnut with sprinkles."

He didn't even miss a beat, you guys.  He knew what he wanted.  I immediately agreed, thinking I could get out of the house even sooner because I could feed them an awesomely healthy doughnut breakfast while we were out!  And Oscar moved faster than I've seen in move for a productive purpose in his entire little life.  He was, like, RUSHING.  It was kind of amazing.

We were packed up and out the door in no time.  I headed to Dunk*in Donuts.  There was a line nearly out the door because this particular store is right near a Metro station, so all the commuters stop in for their coffee on the way to work.  It is also a teeny, tiny store with maybe four or five tables.

I installed Oscar at a table, where he waited patiently (!!!) while I ordered a coffee and three doughnuts.

And both Oscar and Miles were so cute and so happy with their chocolate frosted, sprinkled doughnuts.  Oscar finished his in about one minuted and asked for another.  Rather and risk the shit storm a refusal guaranteed, I decided to comply.

About halfway into doughnut the second, Oscar started going a little bit bananas.  We don't really eat a lot of sugar or anything artificial around here, so it doesn't take long for it to make Oscar into a little lunatic.  He started bouncing in and out of his chair and making silly sounds, and the store was so small he was kind of colliding with people waiting in line.

"Oscar, if you don't sit down you are going to knock your doughnut on the floor, and if you knock your doughnut on the floor I have to put it in the garbage."

Cue maniacal laughter from Oscar.

Not two seconds later wouldn't you know he knocked the damn doughnut onto the floor, and I snatched it up and tossed it into the garbage.  Let me just be clear, we were in a very busy store, there was VISIBLE dirt on the floor and also people watching me, so I couldn't very well give him the floored doughnut.  The way doughnut store strangers perceive me as a parent very important to my self esteem.

Now, this is going to surprise you, but Oscar completely lost his shit when I tossed his doughnut.   Screaming, red face, gigantic tears, streaming snot.  So I bought him another one.  Maybe that was the wrong decision, but Miles was still eating and behaving nicely and the idea of hauling two kids (one tantruming), my coffee, and  a half eaten chocolate doughnut out of the store in that moment was not very appealing.

When I sat down, I said to Oscar, "Now, you need to sit down quietly and eat this doughnut.  No more bouncing around."


About halfway through doughnut the third, Oscar starts bouncing in and out of his chair again.

"Oscar, do you remember what happened the last time you bounced around?  Your doughnut fell on the floor and I had to throw it in the trash.  If it happens again, I'm not buying you another."

I think he interpreted my statement as a thrown gauntlet because SECONDS later, he knocked his doughnut to the floor.

And I tossed it out.

Obviously, Oscar completely lost it again, "BUY ME ANOTHER ONE! BUY ME ANOTHER DOUGHNUT! PLEASE! PLEEEASE!" and I just ignored his fit, scooped up Miles and said to Oscar, "Come on.  We're going."

Oscar is sobbing and crying and begging for another doughnut and I'm just very calmly saying, "Sorry, Buddy, but you had three and you dropped two.  No more doughnuts.  You've had enough anyways."

We are making our noisy way to the door and a woman who is also leaving, starts talking to Oscar, "What happened?  Did you drop your doughnut?  Was it a chocolate doughnut?"  And she begins opening her box of doughnuts.

"No," I say, "He dropped TWO doughnuts, and he ate an entire doughnut before that, so he's really had enough."

She says, "Oh, it's okay, I have more than enough."

And I say, "No, really, he doesn't need it."

And then she opens up her box of doughnuts and says to Oscar, "Would you like another doughnut?"

And he says, "Yes."

And she gave him half a fucking doughnut.

What. The. Fuck.

I think I was pretty clear that he did not need another doughnut, and also, in addition to not needing another doughnut he wasn't getting one because he had been misbehaving and no matter how sad he was, I was not going to reward misbehavior.  Well, I wasn't going to reward it twice.

And then this stranger lady just bust in on us and gives him a goddamn doughnut after I ask her not to.

"Say, thank you Oscar."

"Thank you!"

And then.  AND THEN!  She comes at Miles with a napkin, "Oh, they're all covered in chocolate.  Let me clean their faces."


"No, that's okay, I have wet wipes in the car.  It will be easier for me to do once they are strapped in their seats."

At which point I hustled my kids out of that store and away from that intrusive stranger lady.

I strapped the kids in, cleaned them up and headed over to the grocery store, silently fuming the whole time about this stranger lady and who did she think she was giving my kid a doughnut after I said not to and I know what I'm fucking doing with my own kids, lady, I know how to discipline them and there are worse things than a kid crying in public, like a kid who is insufferable because they always get every single thing they want and I don't need strangers interfering and I understand basic hygiene and grooming so don't touch my goddamn kids with a scratchy napkin because I have a plan and I know what I'm doing WHAT THE FUCK, LADY WHAT THE FUCK!

So I pull into a parking space and slide the car into reverse because I still misjudge the turning radius on the van and I see, running down my back windshield, the caffeinated goodness of my medium light and sweet.

I left my coffee on top of the car.  Goddamn that lady.

Then, I call Nelson and tell him the whole story and he agrees the lady was out of line but thinks it's hilarious that I drove away with my coffee on the roof of my car.  I decided that instead of taking the boys into the grocery store, I'd take the car to the car wash before the cream and sugar dried on my van.

Yeah, well, Miles decided he was afraid of the car wash and screamed for the entire seven minutes (of course I want my axles washed for an extra dollar!), but we did eventually make it back to the grocery store, where they were out of the dinosaur nuggets, and Oscar had a meltdown because I wouldn't get him a cookie but at least there wasn't some stranger lady forcing a cookie down his through to shut him up and make me feel like an asshole.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On if by land, two if by sea

Oscar and Danny were playing in the pass through the other day.  Monday.  Suddenly I hear Oscar saying, "Danny, let me smell your butt," and I could just barely see them through one of the four doorways and Oscar was indeed sniffing Danny's bottom.  It seemed Danny had had a little accident and Oscar was checking for proof.  When I hollered in to see what was going on Oscar replied, "I think Danny has to poop."

This time last year I was caring for three (GAH!) small children in diapers, so I had to do the sniff test a lot since it wasn't always obvious who had done what in their pants. This is likely where Oscar has learned his technique. Also because I ask him pretty regularly to "check" to see if Miles has a dirty diaper, since Miles is mostly interested in running from me when his bum is foul and occupying whatever space Oscar is occupying. So, it works.

Anyways, this sniff test is not the first time Oscar has informed me of another child's bowel movements.  Earlier this spring, when he and Danny were playing my the lilac bushes Oscar dashed over to tell me that Danny had pooped!  Also, once in late winter, when we were at the playground and he and Danny were on the tall play structure, "Momma! Danny pooooooped!"  Oscar announced.

Just this morning, the three big boys were playing at the toy kitchen (located in the dining room) and Oscar came running into the living room, "Momma, Miles pooped in his diaper." And Miles had indeed pooped in his diaper.

Then it occurred to me: Oscar has become the Paul Revere of poopy diapers.  He is ready to ride and spread the alarm, my friends. The poopy diapers are coming! The poopy diapers are coming!  His bravery knows no bounds.  He will risk life and limb, stumbling through cars and dinosaurs and trains to alert me to the coming threat! "Prepare the wipes and changing pad, Momma!  Get ready for battle!  The poopy diapers are coming!"

He's such a hero.  I'm sure Maya Angelou is penning a poem in his honor right now.  I am so proud.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RTT: Decompressing

Oh, hello Tuesday.


*So, BlogHer.  This post is kind of all over there, but I'm still decompressing.  In brief, I will say that it was ridiculously fun; my roommates Becky and Keely, and other bloggy friends Gretchen, Casey, Mrs. Bear, and Stimey were even funnier and nicer and smarter in person and I miss them all terribly; I missed my family less than I thought; I got lost of swag (I'm enjoying my second cup of coffee from my new Sprout mug); my children and home survived; I'm still tired; I have tons of photos that look exactly like these (all respectfully borrowed from Keely, since mine would not upload (but really, mine are EXACTLY the same):
Drink in hand (with Gretchen)!

Drink in had, slightly sweaty from dancing (with Gretchen and Becky)

Smiling, looking UP sans drink (WHAT?!) (with Becky, Keely, and Gretchen)

*Highlights were MoMA, walking around NYC, Stimey's autism panel, dinner with everyone at the bull-riding bar, and those ladies you see in those photos up there.  Low points were horrific blisters I got from wearing ridiculous shoes the first night, becoming a whore for tuna, and arriving for breakfast unshowered with bed-head on Day 2.

*My kids really missed me.  Which is nice, except for the part where they've been trying to climb inside of me and physically hanging off of my pants for the past two days.  Though, I did talk to a teary Oscar Sunday morning, and he sobbed, "I love you so, so much!  I miss you!" and it nearly killed me dead.

*My roommates Keely and Becky were exactly as I imagined them to be, and we got along really well and made good roommates.  The room was a little tight, but we made it work, and it was fun.  

* I met the Bloggess and Anymommy and both were funny, gracious, and very, very sweet.

*I'm not quite sure what else to add, but if you have any questions, let me know.  And, I met some other awesome bloggers that I plan to add to my reader expound upon at some point this week.

*That's all.  Did I mention I'm still tired?  I'm still tired.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

All by myself

A three and a half hour train ride of blissful, near silence.

A 10 minute cab ride, with a drive that neither talk to me, screamed at someone in a foreign language on his phone, or played horribly music.

An hour in my friend Amy's empty apartment spent in total quiet.

A stroll through her New York neighborhood with no one to push in a stroller, or demand to be carried.

Lunch with only myself for company and no little fingers picking food off of my plate for the first time in years.

A bag that I keep checking inside of because it feels so light, not weighed down my countless matchbox cars and lovies and sippy cups.

Three more hours where I do not have to speak to a soul; I don't have to answer any questions or wipe any bottoms or break up any fights.  There may even be a nap in my future.

Dinner tonight with adults, where I can have more than one glass of wine.  More than two, even.

Hello, me time.  I've missed you.

(Full Disclosure: I've called home to check up on the guys no less than five times. So there's that.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Obligatory pre-BlogHer post

Today has been a crazy busy morning.  I leave for New York on Wednesday morning, and I need to start making lists.  I need to make a list of things to pack, a list of important phone numbers, a list of meals for Nelson and the boys while I'm gone.  Lists!

I'm not sure that I've mentioned this, but my trip will be the very first time I've ever left Miles William, the first time I've been away from Oscar for more than a couple of nights, and the first time that Nelson has been all alone with the boys for more than a few hours.  So while I'm nervous about going to a strange city, rooming with people I've never met, and mingling with 1,000+ strangers, I'm far more nervous about what is going to be going on at home while I'm gone.

Now, Nelson is a perfectly competent parent.  I know this.  I also know how squirrelly the boys get when he goes out of town for a few days.  Since I am the disciplinarian and the rule master in our home I can only imagine they are going to be even more squirrelly while I am gone.  I'm worried for him.  I'm also worried for me.

Last night both boys ended up in the bed and the morning I was woken by small boys giggling and throwing their bodies against me and smothering me with kisses and I was was thinking, "I can't even imagine what it will feel like to get a wake up call from a phone as opposed to little boy's body slam and sloppy kisses." And then I realized I didn't know if I couldn't imagine it because the though of a real, grown-up-style wake up call was amazing or awful.  Because as much as I feel annoyed by those no-so-tiny feet and torsos slamming into me at 6:30AM and I also kind of love it.

Yes, I am desperate for a break.  I'm desperate for some grown up time.  Dinner that does not involve food in nugget form.  No dirty diapers.  Multiple glasses of wine or beer or cocktail (oh, my!) without worrying about how I'll wake up with one of the boys needs me. Wearing clothes not stained by snot or yogurt and are not made exclusively of jersey.  Conversations that do not involve me asking someone the same question 47 times and getting absolutely no response.

But the truth is I just love these boys.  I love my life.  I love being home with them all day; I love spending time with my husband once the kids are in bed; I love the outings we go on as a family to parks and zoos and even to Costco.  I love little boys in my lap and whispers in my ear.  I love sloppy kisses and over enthusiastic hugs.  I love the (rare) mornings when Nelson and I lie in bed listening to the sound of Oscar and Miles laughing and playing at the foot of the bed or in the next room.  I love all four of us piled onto our bed for story time in the evenings.  Love it.

I'm sure I will have a great time in New York.  I know I will make new friends and see new things and have new experiences.  I'm also pretty sure I'll be anxious to get back home from the moment I arrive, because I already miss my guys and I haven't even started packing.