Friday, March 28, 2008
When the girl finally allows hats on her head, she wants them all .
Our new secret to peaceful travel.
And this is how Homestead Mama tends to them while I am otherwise engaged at rest areas on the highway.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Our carpenter Dave has transferred the contents of the kitchen into the dining room while he levels all the cabinets & installs cherry butcher block counter tops. Next he's going to build and install shelving on the walls for our glassware. Then, hopefully, he'll move into the pantry and make all the built-ins I've been dreaming of for six years. In order to hang one shelf, he's going to have to take apart the drywall, shave down the studs and then replace the drywall, because it is that out of plumb. Super drywall job our original guys did, eh? Regardless, Dave is working magic and the kitchen is looking better than ever. The 14' stretch of counter along one wall has a 1.75" rise from one end to the other - it was very out of level, but Dave tweaked it into place. This makes it higher than standard at counter level, and renders the higher end of the counter right about boob height for Homestead Mama, who is 5'1". Since she is 5'10" or so in her mind, though, it is not a problem for her unless she tries to cook with the huge lobster pot.
At the same time, our contractor Roy is installing new windows in the house we own across the street. The original 40 year old windows are aging, and three were cracked enough to replace. He'll also do some work on our house, stuff that takes two or more folks to complete (like removing and replacing the offending lead-rich clawfoot tub upstairs). Dave cannot do that by himself.
With all this going on, and managing the design & decisions, I'm also managing to keep Monito alive, which with his new found crawling skills is no small feat. I lost him for a few minutes today, and found him under the dining room table reaching up to pull up to a stand with his hand on the utensil drawer from the kitchen. Eight hundred pounds of stainless steel with a few chopsticks thrown in for good measure. Good lord but Monito is quick. Pequita is also very active right now, but is focusing on wearing our shoes all over the house, stacking everything (I caught her today with the contents of the recycling bin stacked in a loose tower in front of her smiling broadly), and prancing up and down the staircase with reckless abandon. She has never yet fallen off the stairs, but we have just been lucky. We do have gates, but she begs to climb and then turns to us and waves her hand in front of us and says, "Baaa, Baaa." That is her telling us to 'back off' just like we do to the dogs. Nice, eh?
I start obedience classes with the new dog next Thursday, and none too soon. He is getting friskier as the weather warms up. He and Luna play very hard & aggressively together, and we need to socialize him with other dogs so he acclimates to a wide variety of play styles and personalities.
We also have house guests arriving in two weekends. The house will still be under construction, but the kitchen should be mostly back to rights. Dave is extremely conscientious and does all his sawing outside and is sweet to the kids. He and I have had some rollicking good discussions while we haul 12' slabs of butcher block around the kitchen.
All this, and I've been feeling quite bad at my job lately. The advent of Monito crawling has stretched my time and energy to such a thin wire that I am tired all the time and really doubting my ability to give each kid all that they need. PMS right now isn't helping. Pequita has always been able to absorb every last second of attention we have and still want more, and Monito is generally so easy going it is easy to let him amuse himself more of the time than I am comfortable with. Now that he is crawling, he requires a lot more attention so he doesn't hurt himself and to quell the loud distress sound he honks out when thwarted by gravity or a too-high table, or his sister takes his toys and runs away. [Do not think that Monito has been neglected, but he has received less attention than he would have if he were the first-born or a higher maintenance child, and this weighs heavily on my brain many days.] This, along with normal developmental jumps - and the usual sibling stuff - has made Pequita have a mock-regression. She now crawls instead of walking sometimes, wants to be carried all over, wants to be cradled like a baby, and has been really snuggly; none of these are her usual behavior. It is all likely quite normal, but it is a lot of change and so very demanding of me all day long. And I don't talk about it much, because who wants to hear, "Yeah, yeah, poor me. I can't get over how much time and energy my two beautiful, healthy, much-wanted babies suck from my busy and fulfilling life."
I'll post pictures when Blogger stops crashing on me mid-post (which is another reason you haven't heard from me in days. If I actually take the time to write something and the damn thing gets lost due to some programming glitch it takes me a couple days to get over my fit of pique and try to write again. This was written in an email so it was saved all along the way.)
Oh- if anyone knows a good source of info/ support for two lactating partners who are approaching night weaning, please let me know!
Friday, March 21, 2008
You can see the photo pool here: http://flickr.com/groups/632453@N23/pool/
I knew I just couldn't commit the time, and I was right. I will try for next year. There were some beautiful ones to be had!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
In the hotel room, we arrived at a peaceful solution. He had the floor level, she got the banquette in front of the window. This had the added attraction of being a good vantage point for her favorite game these days, Bus Spotting. Sadly, now that we are home there is only the one plane upon which to play. They will have to duke it out.
We left Boston on Sunday afternoon, and for the past three days we’ve been in a nice hotel in Saratoga, NY. I have logged miles and miles in my shoes. Sadly, not the shoes that are modified to make walking easier for my fused ankle, but the nice comfy slip-ons that I wear around the house. I packed perfectly to clothe, entertain and feed two babies for six days, but forgot to pack shoes for myself. Duh. The kids and I have logged many an hour in the local coffee house charming (the kids, not me) the locals and students who are hanging out too. We have seen hundreds of pounds of coffee beans get roasted because the machine is next to our favorite couch and the woman roaster has a four year old at home and was really accommodating and playful with Pequita. Despite my long hair and what I thought was a benign, pretty much completely out-of-style wardrobe, I have set off the gaydar of the lesbians in town; no fewer than six in three short days have come over and started up a conversation which usually resulted in a discussion about donors, kids and either how to do it or how great it is. Goodness knows what I'm putting out there, but it has generated a nice sense of belonging in a new town.
We're leaving Saratoga today as soon as H-Mama's training is completed. It is a nice town for kids, and for walking. It reminds me a lot of Northampton. I have had full easy access to a children's museum (with a mock fire engine - see below), a park, many nice shops, and a main drag that is full of babies to meet and dogs to pet. We met a 200 lb Newfoundland dog - Pequita was about as tall as his elbow. He looked like a bear. Sweet, though. His owner whipped out a towel and swabbed off his muzzle when I asked if he was friendly, and the pooch proceeded to slurp Monito's face and Pequita's cookie. They were enchanted. I think Pequita was asking to ride it, but I can't be sure what her unusual hand gesture was. Saratoga also has one of the best stocked kid's stores I've seen, with the requisite train table in the back of which we made full use. If the fantastic children's section of the public library is any indication, the locals here pay pretty steep taxes. We spent hours playing with the $1500 worth of wooden animals (they sell them in the aforementioned children’s store and I estimated), the Lego table, the ride-on toys and the carpeted mini-amphitheater. And they had books, too. I’ll be happy to get home tonight. I miss our friends, dogs, house, and having more than one room in which to entertain the kids.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I just folded the laundry, and as a reward, I took time to do this. Damn - I WAS paying attention back in 8th grade.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I am oddly giddy and excited. It feels like Jason is really present right now. The reason we're traveling to Boston this weekend is to see his best friend who is visiting from Switzerland. I haven't seen him in years, and am really excited and all emotional about it; it is rare these days to have Jason's spirit really come alive for me. With his friend visiting, his ex showing up on TV, well, it feels great.
Jen was always my favorite girlfriend of Jason's. She is adorable and didn't take any shit, smart enough to give him a run for his money. It will be a treat to watch her on the show.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
First, slide one half of the mirrored closet door open and move all the clothes Mommy just unpacked into the dresser drawers into the bottom of the closet. Then, after housekeeping leaves the room door open for a few moments accidentally, slide the other side of the closet door open and hide quietly until your mommy finishes running up and down the hallway yelling your name trying to find you - then jump out and giggle. Pat her gently while she pants with relief.
Take this opportunity to discover the beautiful effects that a pink crayon can make on textured wallpaper. Don't limit yourself to just the one wall - other walls may be different, so try them all.
Trust me. From a distance, this is harder than it looks.
Mommy will certainly want to know how many wipes she has left so as not to run out at an inopportune time. Make sure the package is almost impossible to reload through its tiny hole, it is the only pack Mommy packed, and that it is a brand not sold anywhere near the hotel.
Teach Your Bubba to Stand
Keep laughing and lure him over to the hearth, then push his diapered butt up so he can stand. Keep doing this each time he gets distracted or falls down. Don't laugh when Bubba gets his first real war wound & bloody nose from his efforts. Wave hello to concerned hotel staff who flock to the lounge at the persistant and loud screams that Bubba offers. (Hi, Jorge and Manuel!)
Mommy will hide it in each lounge open to the public, including the gym, and you find it over and over again.
Have a Snack.
The first company to make a foul-tasting bitter but still non-toxic crayon will make a fast million.
Sing a Song.
Sing an ode to Mommy's ever-so-upstate-clearly-not-cityfolk Birkenstocks. This is endlessly amusing.
Fondle the bowling balls. Make sure to insist Mommy lets you keep poking her teeth because they glow blue in the black light. Pretend not to notice the other patrons laughing at her.
Enjoy the Arcade
Insist that Mommy pay fifty cents for you to ride the Incredible Hulk toddler ride, then freak out and refuse to finish the gentle swaying back and forth while a crazy green man pretends to eat your brains from behind you. Make sure you are dressed to the nines in leopard print. A low-class venue is no excuse to go slumming with your fashion choices.
Note that complete and utter overstimulation and horrifying volumes results in comatose infants. Toddlers? Not so much.
Take a Nap.
While you wait for Mama to return, have a little rest. Sleep is optional, but some rejuvination is in order.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
It might be the nice new screen cleaner found here: http://www.chalnet.net/swf/screenclean.swf
You know, it has always been tough getting the inside of the screen clean. No longer.
Homestead Mama went off to her training at 8am, and we can smell the scent of a buffet breakfast down the hall, so are about to get dressed and zip down there for sustenance. The hotel is next to a huge entertainment center, with arcades, bowling, go carts and movie theaters. I suspect that we can exhaust all of us just by running around in that area for a little while until both kids drop into a nap.
Since the wireless is clearly working, I'll post more later. The babies are entranced with the room, the sliding mirrored doors to the closet, the kitchenette. This leaves me with time to blog!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
And there are more tests here, if this Sunday finds you bored and with time on your hands (or your Monday needs a little easing into at work.)
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Right on. Almost back on track. And I got a nice Chinese food lunch out of it.