Thursday, January 31, 2008

Web help, anyone?

Hey, any of you readers have advice about buying a domain name and setting up the blog on it? Is there actually a right way?

Daycare Supplies

As per my New Year's resolution, I am definitely spending less than I used to. We are not in much debt, but I like it when we are totally in the black. One thing I can justify easily is play supplies for the babes. We declined to enroll Pequita in gymnastics class for a few reasons. Mostly, she is too young to really get anything out of a 'class'. The two teenage girls who were leading the class set up an obstacle course of amazingly fun equipment, and then sat and watched while the parents led their children around the course. The cost for this was $11 for 45 minutes (or $0.24 per minute, I figured out). So we'll hold off on spending $90 for 8 weeks for Pequita to frolic once a week at the gymnastics studio like she does at the local indoor playground, which is $4 for 2 hours for the same amount of fun and sometimes I can hang back and knit, if Monito is sleeping.

Since I just saved us $90 (heh heh - see how I just did that?) I could justify buying these two things. The Yukon Express 100-piece train set. Definitely not worth the original $80 price tag (to me) but the sale price of $16 it is a steal. It isn't Brio, but it is all wood pieces, comes nicely organized so we could open all the track pieces and leave in neat little ziplock bags the choking hazards (a.k.a. trees, signs, houses, etc.) We set up a circular track big enough to fit on our coffee table, and Pequita set to work dismantling it, then wanting help putting it all back together. We'll add the other bits and pieces in time - you get all this in the set.
We also bought this lovely tent and tunnel set. I'd have been happier paying $20 instead of the $30 it cost me, but all in all I think it was a good purchase for our house. With the dining room table pushed to the side a bit it fits right next to it, and welcomes in the realization that yes, our house has officially become All About the Kids. Damn. I'll just have to leave my table saw and some volumes of Proust out by the front door so the first impression visitors get is one of intelligence and industry before they are assaulted with the barrage of large primary colored toys. Fairly crappy quality, but it should last for two kids. Might need some duct tape here and there after a bit of hard play, but Pequita was immediately enchanted and lost no time diving in. Below, she is looking at Monito who I plunked down at the other end of the tunnel. She started rolling balls through it and chasing after them. Again, good purchase.Yesterday at the local kid's consignment store, we scored a ball sorter which Pequita loves, and a baby doll that she wouldn't put down the whole time browsing. And check out the little $4 vest on her and Monito's new $3 orange snowflake sweater. Both are way too big for my kids, and should fit next year too, but they don't care about fit and they are too cute to pack away.

Yeah, I know this isn't the most scintillating post, but I've not had time to write, really, what with all the playing we've been doing.

Free paper toys

I love these! Pequita is so very much not ready for these yet, but she will be, someday. And until then, I can play a little myself...

http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html

Found on http://www.sk-rt.com/, a site I'm still a little annoyed by. Their presentation is way too busy for me, but some of the links are interesting.

Little Readers

I am always looking for new interesting design blogs. I have 189 feeds on my Bloglines account, and I mostly skim to keep up with all of them. I have happened on a new one,
http://www.loveshakbaby.com/ and they are having a giveaway of a little chair for kids. Pequita loves all things miniature; I now understand why people are at least tempted to buy mini-furniture for their kids. She would love the little chair. We are very neglectful and make her sit in her booster seat on the floor - it is her throne, as far as she's concerned. A real upholstered chair would likely blow her little mind. If it made her sit still more while reading instead of continuing her laps around the house while we read to her, it would be worth the money in my mind.

http://masonandmatisse.com/index.html

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kitchen Pictures

A disclaimer - we still have to install window trim, paint the walls robin's egg blue, and install shelving on the walls for glassware and spices and the like. We are also installing French doors to the left of the plant stand that will face west and open onto the deck or stone terrace (still deciding on the budget for that one.) One step at a time.

Here is the shelf I brought home from a lab at my work. A motley piece of furniture, I admit. But it is a stable metal frame on wheels with plywood top and shelf. Imagine it once I've sanded the frame, painted it a matte black and installed oiled butcher block top and shelf. It will be quite gorgeous, and very functional. It has done a fine job of housing the big appliances for a while, and keeping my plants happy by the window. Below is the standard height cabinet that is too high for the window behind it. When we gutted the house, we installed new windows in the same locations as the old ones to maintain the historical architectural integrity of the structure; in 1851* they didn't care about 36" high work spaces, apparently. I'll be buying a very expensive specialty baking cabinet for this spot. It will make me very happy. We haven't exactly decided on what to use for counters in the kitchen. I prefer soapstone or making oiled wood counters from the wood that we salvaged from the interior of our house. It is almost 2 inches thick and from 18 - 24" wide. I have to see how it sands down before deciding. Homestead Mama likes the idea of granite with Adirondacks garnet in it. It is mined from very close to where she grew up. Since neither of us really want a hard cold counter like granite, as a compromise, we'll likely put the garnet granite on the baking center and something else for the rest of the surfaces.

So lots to keep me busy. I suppose starting by buying sound-muffling earphones for the babes would be a good idea, since none of this can be done without my power tools.

* It sometimes boggles my mind that our house was built when slavery was still happening. Other reference points: the U.S. was busy beating the Brits at their own game; steel begins to be mass-produced; the Origin of the Species is almost published. Remembering all that makes me happier with our uneven floors, original framing and somewhat drafty foundation.

Food

Yogurt is best enjoyed with the hands. Clearly, one cannot get the proper appreciation for blend and consistency if a spoon is used. Oh, the screaming that follows the suggestion of a utensil. Hands it is.

Young Monito has truly embraced eating. He is in love with organic apple/apricot sauce. He loves to actually chew on a peeled apple, too. But his first love is the messiest option, the teething biscuit. Gluey brown flecks affix themselves everywhere and when dried, resist the washcloth. But they are wonderful for this:
Can you see them? Two little white nubbins poking up through his lower gums? I can FEEL THEM as he figures out how to nurse around the sore skin in his mouth. Ouch. I bellow when he nails me and it scares him and he cries. Every time. Better, says I, than letting him think it is OK to mash those buggers down on my nipple. An investment in long-term nursing.

I'm Very Talented

Clever, clever girl. I put together another cabinet, and when Homestead Mama got home, asked her to help me move all of its 150 lbs into the kitchen. Guess which one of us dropped the weight of the whole thing on her foot? Ahem. That would be me, the talented agile one. Dropped it on my good foot, by the way, the one that basically allows me to do everything reliably. After some extended deep breathing, and shockingly no swearing, I soaked it in cold water in the tub until I couldn't feel it anymore, and then did the logical next step. Before the swelling and pain really hit, I made H-Mama help me finish moving it into place. We couldn't leave it in the middle of the kitchen floor! Then I elevated, iced, dosed NSAIDs, and moaned. X-ray the next day showed no break, but the bruising is going to be better than a sunset in San Francisco.

I don't do pedicures, so that is the natural state of my very wide duck-like feet. I suppose I could have moisturized for the picture. And those red things peeking out from my jeans? I felted a sweater to use the wool for projects, and these are the sleeves that I just lopped off. Lovely, felted red wool cable knit leg warmers. It has been cold here, and in my defense, no one can see them when I'm upright.

Sadly, once we got the cabinet in place, our fears were confirmed. It is too deep for the location. All standard US base cabinetry is 24" deep; we need 18" deep for this location. Wall cabinets at 12" deep don't offer enough storage. So we will do what we always do (have you wondered why it is taking us years to renovate?) we will modify the cabinet to suit our needs. We will rip the depth down by 6 inches and then install it. It will house our trash can, recycle bin, and some appliances like the rice maker and blender, and still leave a nice wide aisle through which to walk.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Welcome, Gus

Funny. I was about to change the subtitle of my blog from 'life among the ever expanding pack' to something less expansive, since we are pretty much done having babies. BUT. Welcome to Gus, the pooch we committed to adopting this afternoon. He's a Labradoodle who has had a rough first year in a Mennonite breeding kennel. He hasn't shaped up like they needed him to, either he doesn't meet the required standards for Labradoodles or, being a submissive fellow, couldn't, um, properly sow his oats with the females. Regardless, we'll have to help him learn how to play. He is already good with dogs and cats, and seems to have all the right instincts towards kids. Homestead Mama is getting over her preference for the Aussie with the wild hair up his 7 month old butt who would have been a very smart, very challenging dog. Frankly, we don't have two hours a day to spend training a challenging dog. We are both happy to be betting on Gus to be an easy and grateful addition to the household. We'll get him home in the next few days.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Whoops - Saturday Already?

Time flies. We are mostly better. Homestead Mama and I are eating regular food, and aside from some lingering fatigue and weakness, are well on the mend. She went to work on Friday, but not before grumping and sniping at me repeatedly until we were actually fighting. She did the only correct option to set the day straight, calling me from her car about 20 minutes later to apologize; we are both still irritable and out of sorts from being sick and cooped up for a whole week in a messy house with puking babies. I went to work as well, in a fashion. I took advantage of the babes being ill, quiet and very logey by playing our entire Tivo'd collection of Teletubbies (bloody brilliant show) for them. They played quietly, drifting between the dual peripheries of mummy and the TV while I swept & scrubbed the kitchen floor, cleaned the appliances, made things shine more than they have in a while. I washed the rugs, tidied, tossed a bunch of stuff, did 4 loads of laundry and got it put away (!). I was about to make a new fabric skirt for a rolling cart I have in the kitchen that houses my Kitchenaid mixer (true love) and our dusty breadmaker when I realized that I actually bought the cabinet for that spot in November. Sheesh. I planned a baking center when I designed the kitchen, a cabinet for all my equipment and supplies with a granite top for rolling out dough and making delicacies. Our less expensive line of cabinetry didn't offer a shorter specialty cabinet for baking, and I figured a regular cabinet would do fine even if I have to knead dough every day. So, with Monito watching from his seat and Pequita holding my tools I put together the cabinet & got it standing up in the right spot. And decided that I'm going to have to spring for a real, shorter baking cabinet which will stand a few inches lower and not interfere with our old fashioned low farmhouse windows. Duh. With no remorse, I'll put this nice maple 30" wide cabinet up in my craft area to start making it nice. I'm happy with the decision.

This morning we're off to meet a 7 month old Australian Shepherd who is up for adoption and will likely be too much dog for us with the babes. Tomorrow we go to meet a Labradoodle who is sounds perfect. In between, we hope to get Pequita's blood drawn again for her follow-up lead test. I'm terrified it will still be high and we'll have to get a hazmat team in here to decontaminate our house. H-Mama is just focusing on the cafeteria lunch we'll get at the hospital. She's a woman with odd tastes, assuredly.

I'll try to get a list together of words Pequita actually speaks now. She recognizes many, but has quite the repertoire. Her favorite is still MORE! MORE! MORE!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Monito's first meal

Monito has just cut his first two teeth (lower jaw.) As with Pequita, this happened around 7 months, and so as with his sister, Monito is now cleared to eat solid food. He had his first non-breast milk food a couple days ago. Since it was mere hours until he started getting the stomach flu, I'm glad it was organic chicken and matzoh ball soup that he ate. He was READY!


video

Another One Bites The Dust

Pequita  let out a cry as we laid down in bed last night, exhausted and achy, and threw up.  So much for being the one who may not get it.  It is awful to see how frightened the kids get when their bodies take over in that way.  I remember the first time I knocked the wind out of myself - thought I was dying.

Anyway, we are all on short ropes here.  The boy is so heavy and so sick all he wants is to be carried and jostled.  My back is going out - or I'm achy enough to feel like it is - and it is almost intolerable to have to care for other beings at this point.  NOW is when all those lovey ditties I made up about the babies in nicer times are coming in handy and as I sing them reminding me how much I'll love them again once I am feeling better.  Right now - well, right now I'd like to hand them over to someone trustworthy and have a day in bed.  No one fits the bill on a work day in this town.  My sister doesn't know how lucky she is to have my parents in the same neck of the woods as she is.  Sigh. I want my mommy.

Now that I've whined a bit, I'll say that the kids are doing amazingly for as sick as they are.  They are playing well, sweet to each other, and being very chipper in between bouts of discomfort.  So much better than most adults!  Homestead Mama and I are no longer sporting our usual full reservoirs of milk; we are relying on the 'fresh spring' effect of trickling in milk that the LLL woman explained.  Despite rather deflated bosoms because of our own sickness and dehydration, we are keeping all babes hydrated.  Thank goodness we have four boobs to share amongst them - neither of us could do it alone.

I'm off to do another load of laundry.  I feel like the best planner in the world finally.  I bought many waterproof mattress pads in the weeks before Pequita's birth, and have spare sets of changing table covers.  After feeling as though I'd overstocked foolishly, I now know that I have just the right amount.  We made it through ONE night of flu with ONE little 18" waterproof butt pad to spare.   Phew!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Timber

Homestead Mama succumbed at midnight and moved to the guest room. I've been mostly awake since then between the two kids, nursing and comforting. Monito just returned to me, in projectile form, all the milk he borrowed in the last several hours. Then he rumbled a bit and - and - I didn't know babies could dry heave. Lesson learned.

If only Pequita can stagger her onset for a few hours from now, I'll be able to manage.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smote

I have the stomach flu that is going around. I had leftover Thai food for dinner last night and thought the spiciness was hitting me wrong until I realized OH NO this is no reaction to spice. Roundabout 3 am I realized that I needed to get myself away from the otherwise still healthy family and went to (not) sleep in the guest room. Poor Homestead Mama had to handle both babies waking up - not easy, since they both want to be snuggly and nurse themselves awake, which is impossible to do unless you remain in a push-up position above them both for way too long. (I've tried.) I had to not make any noise so the babes didn't know I was around - it is easier that way - while I went in the bathroom for various reasons every 20 minutes.

H-Mama just tossed a bag of ginger ale onto the front porch - a drive-by kind gesture - on her way to taking the kids down town for amusement. I can only suggest that you run screaming from anyone who even looks peaked. This is a doozy. I now have to pump for the first time in months because I am afraid to feed the baby.

Oh, and one tip? If you are going to be experiencing your last meal over and over again, pick something more appetizing than Panang curry.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Evidence of Shoddy Parenting

Uh huh. Do I really have to comment on this? (Except to assure you that we wash out our recycle very very well.)


video

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I Love Her

Homestead Mama knew that Monito was getting me up every 90 minutes or so last week. So on Sunday she let me sleep in, and when I forced myself awake and headed downstairs this is what I found. Pequita packed in the Ergo back carrier, Monito in full Loll in the arms of his Mama, and Otis Redding on the (crappy) stereo. We had a discussion recently about all the music our parents played over and over and that we grew to love and consider our base music. For H-Mama, Sinatra, Belafonte, show tunes, and top 40 hits from the 50's. For me, the Doors, Crosby Stills & Nash, Peter Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger and all folk from the beginning of time. If our kids are to develop a base musical sense, we figured we'd better start playing this stuff. And so, behold:
video

I remember my younger brother and I dancing like wild kids to "Build me a Woman Maker Her 10 Feet Tall" by the Doors at a very young age. We thought that was a riot, especially that Jim Morrison wanted to play ball all day with her. Of course, we also had to let the little bulbs warm up on the hi-fi stereo before the records could play.

Best Toy of Late

We got many excellent toys over the holidays. One was this wonderful school bus from 10,000 Villages. The top slides off revealing 16 little painted people who fit into seats and clatter nicely when one shuffles ones hands through a pile of them. Non-toxic paint, wooden construction. Bliss. (Choking hazard too, I know. Monito is just looking.)

Growing up, growing bored, growing in.

The growing up picture:
Pequita has developed a love for small cozy spaces, and we've made her first ever fort. Joyous times afoot.

The growing bored candidate:
Life is soooo tiresome.

The growing in candidate:
My hair. All over my head, there is the longer straight hair that valiantly refused to jump on the hormonal bandwagon and fall out. Now, poking through it like pin feathers on a baby chick, is about 1.5" of new growth hair. It looks, hmmm, I'll go with amusing. At least it is coming back. This may be just the incentive I need to chop it all off again. No complaints, to be sure!

What's Your List?

A list by Eric Zorn upon turning 50. Many gems in here. Thank goodness someone else wrote them down so I don't have to try to remember them all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bloody Hormones

Literally. I haven't had a period since September 3rd, 2006. Today it reared its ugly head. I'm still breastfeeding (more than ever, actually, thanks to a beefy boy in a growth spurt) and wasn't expecting to see the resurgence of a menstrual cycle for months yet. Damn, damn, damn.

Monito Milestones - 7 months

My little potato is coming along famously. He cannot stop looking around; nursing is a series of fits and starts as he has a little swig then is compelled to stop and admire the (fill in the blank - mobile, wall, cat, sister, etc.) His world is revolving around me at this point, and Homestead Mama and I are working hard to get him happier at being with her. Pequita wasn't ever quite this bad at 7 months, having been in daycare for three months already.

His mobility is at an in-between place, and he's not quite satisfied to simply sit up on his own but shows little inclination to crawl or stand up; this can't be entirely his fault, as he is always in fleece and that acts like Velcro on the carpets. He flops over now onto his belly with a adept kick of the leg to reach for toys, and is pretty happy to remain on his belly doing press ups for a long time. He is definitely no longer reliable to leave on furniture unattended. He loves being thrown in the air, and chortles when held above our heads. He is completely in love with the remote control and the telephone, watching the lit buttons is apparently an unbeatable experience. He has some object permanence as well as definite ideas about what he wants. If someone, say (hypothetically) his sister were to snatch a toy from his grasp a loud screeching wail will be offered up by Monito. This is helping Pequita learn to share with him, and she is starting to approach him with a toy to trade for the one she is about to swipe from him. He isn't that easy to fool.

He is chatty and loves to giggle. He can pull a blanket over his head and then off again, and peekaboo is a favorite.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pequita milestones

Today she stacked her special set of cups instead of merely bashing them down, and she clapped with great relish during the Teletubbies theme song. I need to write an encapsulation of her development. I need to make the time, by gum. (And while I'm at it, how about a couple birth stories, eh?)

She's also very into hiding these days. She has a few favorite spots which we pretend to not know about, but if we see her scurrying off, we can be sure that she's tucked herself into the corner of the pantry or behind the MBR toilet. She will hover there, poised and quivering with excitement, for a very long time waiting for us to find her. Most delightful.

Walk score

We love the Homestead. We wanted land around us, and we got our house (which needed to be gutted and lovingly put back together) and 10 acres of land for about the cost of two nice cars, so our appreciation has been significant.

However, our Walk Score is zero.

The second choice of homes would have been downtown in a very urban but neighborhood-rich area with, I'm sure, Walk scores topping the 80s. Most days I'm happy with our decision, but with the snowstorm we are in, not so much today.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pooch-a-rama

As I mentioned (in mind-numbing detail, I imagine) one of our dogs is terminally ill and we are looking to find another to keep our remaining dog company. We just went to the SPCA for a family outing and found an excellent prospect. This 5 year old 45 lb female was very smart, energetic, and would have been a great match for us. An old couple were just in the process of adopting her. They are clearly couch potatoes and bordering on elderly. What business they have to adopt a vibrant dog who loves to run and can jump 6' in the air I do not know. We left our names in case they bring her back because she is too much for them.

We aren't in a hurry, exactly, to get a new dog. Goodness knows we are busy enough with the babies. I sure do hate to see bad placements happen, though. No dog should have to live as a 'yard dog' chained to a tree outside, which is all I can see this couple doing. I'll get over it. Sigh.

NY isn't so bad

I am lucky. Homestead Mama and I are in the midst of second-parent adoptions of each of our children. While this will cost us $2000+ for each child (for a right that I believe should inherently be ours) we are lucky that we should encounter little difficulty in each becoming the legal parent of our non-biological child. My lesbian friends in Massachusetts, even though legally allowed to marry in their state, are still advised to go through the invasive and expensive second-parent adoption process with any children they have after marriage in case they encounter difficulty while traveling in other states or countries. As awful as it would be to have a legal-in-Massachusetts marriage/parentage not recognized in other countries, I can understand that countries vary their laws. It boggles my mind that other states could choose to disregard Massachusetts laws about parenthood. Not allowing your own residents to do something is one thing; completely disregarding another state's rights is another.

Chicory, another lesbian blogger, is not so lucky. Utah is a state I won't even drive through, let alone live in, for its homophobic laws. Here is a draft of a letter to her representative about her situation. Makes my heart cry even as my blood is boiling. I wish her the best of luck, and will continue to vote in ways that will do the most good.

Sunday, the day of rest

Monito went down with Motrin quite well. Up again within the hour. In tears at the thought of another awful night, I gave him 1/3 of a dose of Benedryl when we went to sleep, and that did the trick. He still woke up a few times, but less than the night before and he went back to sleep quickly. H-Mama was up with Pequita and Monito by 8 am, and I slept until 10:30. I feel human again. We'll see what tonight brings, but at least I have a system of last resort if I need it again.
Thanks for the supportive comments. As always, it means a lot to know someone else is out there sending empathy my way.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

So tired

Monito is going through something. I don't know what. It doesn't really matter, I guess, but it is awful. He is restlessly sleeping all the time. Eight minute naps. Waking us all up every hour or so at night with his loud discomfort. I don't know if it is pain from gas or teething, or bad dreams, or - as a friend just read in an article - he's working on an 'emotional project'. Whatever. If Pequita didn't exist, I'd likely let him fuss more at night, but since she's precariously sleeping at this point, and I jump to at the first whimper. Last night found me going to bed early - in bed by 9:30! Then up at 10:30, then again at 11:06. This last time he was harder to comfort, so I dosed him with Motrin and set us up on the window seat in our master bathroom. Propped up on pillows on the boob he quickly fell back asleep, and I read the bulk of a lovely vampire murder novel. I know, sounds awful, but my sister sent it to H-Mama and it was funny and delightful. Also an easy read, which was important since I was barely functional. I was up with the boy at 7 am again, and finished the book. H-Mama relieved me at 9:30 so I could take a nap. The day was shot. I hope this is a little remedied by Monday. I'm not holding my breath.
The bright side? My sister is sending me more books from the series, and says Anna Paquin is to star in the movie.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Peekaboo

I actually hate that delurking logo. Gross. I was flashed 3 times by 3 different perverts when I was living in Geneva, Switzerland as a kid. The city was a very safe one, generally. The Swiss so love order! It was a fairly benign occurances, but as a 10 year old, I was still freaked out. Instead, I offer you a better peekaboo picture from April '07.

Delurking Day

Apparently it is delurking day once again. Do you check in on my little blog once in a while? Read it religiously? (or would if I posted religiously?) Let me know! Leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Travel IQ

Oh, lordy, I have actually lost IQ points since delivering a baby.  I was within 90 km of Bern, Switzerland, but I totally messed up Tasmania and NZ.  Who forgets that Tas is closer to Australia than NZ, I ask you?  I blame the hormones.  I did very well on the Axis of Evil, though.

Enjoy.

http://www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Year Off

I struggle, like everyone, with keeping life simple. It is hard to separate want and need sometimes, and too easy to buy something on sale that you may not actually need. One of my resolutions was to tread lightly on the shopping & acquiring front this year. We are down to one salary, we have many many mounds of crap to get out of our house, and yet the lure of organic cotton pajamas at Garnet Hill for only $6, when we have enough pjs right now, is a siren song for me.

I used to read a blog called In The Trenches of Motherhood. All of a sudden, at the turn of the new year, she changed her blog title and focus; it became 'A Year Off''. I am jumping on the no-buying bandwagon. I'll try to also jump on the handmade gifts for this year - with enough forethought I certainly can find time to make birthday and Christmas presents. It will feel great to slow the flow of stuff into the house, and increase the purging until we are down to a manageable amount of belongings.

I already know that the no-buying rule will be relaxed for daycare supplies - Pequita needs something to climb on in our house. She is not a sit-down-and-quietly-draw/ read/ *anything* child. She is an active physical kid who has to be moving when I read to her - if I stop a book early, she runs over to get me back on the right page. She IS listening, just not sitting next to me. As I write this, we have her slide set up in the living room and she started playing on it at 7:45 this morning. So I'll be buying, or making if I can't find what I want affordably, a set of heavy step stools with rubber bases for her to push together and climb over, push up against the couch to climb up, and use a a basis for a fort. I'll let you know how I do. It ought to be something I come smack up against frequently, as one of my backup kid entertainment activities is wandering around Target for an hour and leaving with the one bottle of infant Tylenol I went in for. The lure of the myriad items I don't need but could easily enjoy buying is strong.

How much could you save this year?

Fessing Up

We may have mailed out all the cards, and I wanted the joy of that post to stand alone. However, full honesty makes me admit that there is a typo in the text of the card. I still mailed them all out, though it nigh killed me. I HATE letting errors go by. I was far more attentive to this B.T-S.K. (Before Time-Sucking Kids).

The card reads, among other things, "[Monito] finds the world around around him so exciting..."
Bloody spellcheck limitations.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Monito's Maracas

Monito has...I believe the kids today call them 'mad skilz'. Just look at what he can do with a maraca. He clearly has a future in films. I shudder to think what kind, though.



Yes, I dress the boy in orange and fuchsia. He looks marvelous, and perks up an otherwise grey day. Pequita also is cheery in her special snowsuit. Sadly, she cannot right herself once she falls after bending over to eat snow. Bad mommy, bad, for stopping to snap a photo before picking her up.

Holy Cow. We Did It!


Eighty-two holiday cards are off to our extended friends and family list. 82! As I dropped them by the handful into the mail slot at the post office, I wondered if all the photos we put in some of them would make them cost more than the regular stamp we affixed to the envelopes? Oy. Some of you will get one of these gems - you'll have to let me know if the postal carrier demands an extra dime from you. What a lovely holiday gesture that would make. (Apologies in advance if this happens.)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Monito's Six Month Stats

The boy is recovering from a grueling two vaccinations (the bad ones, DTP and the pneumococcal one) not to mention a naked 40 minute total wait for docs & nurses. He is healthy, and as a seasoned parent who has been through all this before (yes, laugh here) I had no questions for the doc. My only question in the whole visit was how do I keep my 14.5 month old savant occupied (= not screaming) for FORTY MINUTES while you make us wait when she's already seen the toys in the waiting room?

He is now 21 lbs and 28.5 inches long. He is on back on the charts for the first time since shortly after birth, at the equivalent of the 95th percentile in length and the 90th in weight. He jumps up and down in his high chair by thrusting his legs, he stands with assistance, he walks with help (if I walk behind him kicking his feet gently forward with each step) and he follows the sound of my voice as if his life depended on it. He has begun to cry when choice toys are removed from his grasp prematurely; his sister is learning this alarm sound he makes and hides with her booty if it was ripped loudly from his grip. His most favored possession? The cable remote control. How do children innately know what household totems equal power?

New Year's Eve

Yes, I know it is now January 4th, but better late than never, eh?

Once the New Year babies were put to sleep, here's what our rocking New Year's eve celebration looked like:


So happy. Of course, little Monito in his authentic Baby New Year cloth diaper wet through onto my expensive couch. I used to lovingly call him Piss-Boy until my dad mentioned that it wasn't kind. I still think it sometimes, though. Man, that boy can PEE.

Hands-on Love

I used to love to touch my grandmother's hands. They were so thin, the skin was papery and I could see her veins clearly. They were so soft; I would caress them and move the skin through my fingers. Grandma would take off her rings and let me try them on over and over. She was very tolerant of me, and I think knew that it was a loving gesture.

My mother's hands are looking older now, and she wears my grandmother's rings. I am moved by how they fill me with love and a longing to freeze a piece of time so that I can always have them with me. I waited a long time to have kids for various reasons, and Homestead Mama and I have concerns that our kids will have less time with their grandparents than we did.* This saddens me a great deal. Having a yearly portrait of my parent's hands on the babes is one way I pad my memories.
*Sorry, Mom and Dad, for the morbid thoughts. Um, have you been to the gym today? Just a thought.

C'est moi

My dad took a picture of me in my element when he was here - bopping around with the babes in the stroller decked out in snowsuits & sipping hot liquids.

My girl, she is learning

She brought her Schleich moose down with her from the nursery this morning. I plunked her down in her high chair and was making her a sippy cup full of water when she grabbed a piece of holiday loaf from my plate*. (Pumpkin spice bread with walnuts and chocolate chips. Breakfast of champions when toasted and buttered. Thanks, Mom!) I sat back down at the island and Pequita offered me the moose to make him 'go'. This means make him do what he does in nature, like bellow, trot, graze, etc. along with all the requisite sounds. I trotted him around the table for a while, then headed him over to my daughter. She quickly grabbed the pieces of holiday loaf off the table and held them up over her head so he couldn't eat them. Smart girl - save the good stuff.

*Yeah, not her normal morning fare. They were both up frequently through the night. I am decidedly off my game today. Coffee is absorbing while I write.