Wednesday, March 29

A Preview of What's to Come

Our little Doodles has suddenly morphed into a teenager. Truly. Note the various conversations we've all had with him lately, shades of the conversations we'll be having ad nausem for the next fifteen and a half years:

At 7:57 a.m.
Me: Doodles, it's time to get ready for school.
Doodles: I don't want to go to school!
Me: Doodles, you have to go to school. Now, is Mommy going to get your jacket on or do you want to put your jacket on?
Doodles: I don't want to go to school! LEAVE ME ALONE!

In the bathroom
Adam: Okay, Doodles, let me help you get your pants off. Do you want me to read you a book while you're on the potty?
Doodles: I need PRIVACY!

In the car after a disastrous departure from a friend's house.
Me: Doodles, that was not okay. When Mommy says it's time to leave, we have to leave.
Doodles, silent in the back seat, looking out the window.
Me: Doodles, do you hear me? When Mommy says we need to leave, we have to leave. If this continues, we won't be able to go back to Grape's house anymore.
Doodles, still silent in the back seat, looking out the window.
Me: Doodles, do you hear me?
Doodles: I don't want to talk.

Oh, joy. And I'm looking forward to when Sweetie Pie can talk? What am I, crazy?

Peter Piper Picked a Birthday

My father, Peter, who celebrates his double-Larry Bird birthday today, is now twice the age of Adam, who is only a single-Larry Bird old (I just checked my blog to see if I have the original reference to the Larry Bird birthday, but this is actually something that occurred in my pre-blog days! I didn't realize I had a life pre-blog, but there you go! Apparently I didn't just pop into existence four and a half years ago). As Peter said, Adam may be half his age at this moment, but from here on out the gap narrows and Adam will start to catch up with him. Of course, it's been nine years since I was half the age of my father (you do the math), so it's really all been there done that. Oh well. Happy birthday anyway, Peter.

Muffin Recipe for Floosen (and Anyone Else Who Wants It)

Zucchini Yogurt Multigrain Muffins
This originally came from but I’ve made enough alterations on it that I think I can pretty much call it my own. I’m still playing with the amounts of sugar, trying to get it down more (original recipe called for one cup of just white sugar and 3/4 cup honey; it also uses oat flour instead of oat bran and oatmeal). It’s a very forgiving recipe so you can actually change a lot. These freeze really well.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Ready In: 55 Minutes
Yields: 24 servings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup (or more) oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
[Note: I add in different things as I’ve had them around. I’ve added with success on different occasions a mashed banana, dried cranberries, a little pumpkin]
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 24 muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the zucchini, carrots, pecans, and raisins. Scoop into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 22

No Rest for the Weary

We're all done Ferberizing Sweetie Pie, but not in a "my baby sleeps through the night now" kind of way, but in the "my baby has proven herself to be utterly un-Ferberizable" kind of way. Whereas it took Doodles a whopping three days to start sleeping through the night, Sweetie Pie, after a week and a half of trying, finally wore me down at 4 a.m. after she'd been crying for two and a half hours with no signs of stopping for air. We tried calming her--it only agitated her. We tried giving her a bottle of water--it only agitated her. We tried walking her--which prompted her to fall asleep on us only to become agitated when we then lay her down.

She's done it. She's beaten us. Round the clock feedings for my HUGE Sweetie Pie until she goes to college. (And yes, she is huge; she had a doctor's appointment last week and was 19 lbs 13 oz, which is 75th percentile, and 26 3/4 inches, which is 95th percentile! How did that happen? Didn't anyone tell her that her parents are short?)

Too Busy Eating to Sleep

It's official: the diet of my not-quite-seven-month-old daughter now stratosphericly eclipses the diet of my now-over-two-and-a-half-year-old son. Let's examine:

Sweetie Pie: loves her mashed avocados
Doodles: loves his Veggie Booty
Sweetie Pie: can't get enough of her mashed bananas
Doodles: can't get enough of his Veggie Booty
Sweetie Pie: gets giddy when she's gnawing on a pear in her baby safe feeder
Doodles: gets giddy when he's allowed to have Veggie Booty for breakfast
Sweetie Pie: devours baby food peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, apricots, rice cereal, and oatmeal.
Doodles: devours Veggie Booty (and never did take to that baby food)
Sweetie Pie: eats bread! She really eats bread! We were at a restaurant with her and I didn't have food for her, so I fed her pieces of my bread and SHE ATE IT!
Doodles: eats Veggie Booty. We were at a restaurant with him and I didn't have food for him, so I ransacked my car till I found an old pack of Goldfish and I bribed him to stay seated while we ate with promises of a cookie after.

My little Moon Pie. She can really pack it in!

Shameless Vote Mongering

I need a favor from you, my somewhat loyal readers. Kodak Gallery is having a contest to win a family reunion, and I entered the picture I posted in my blog of me, Doodles, and a brand-new Sweetie Pie. But the thing is, I need votes! So kindly vote for my picture at the family reunion contest. Search for the photo through my e-mail, jbrown68 @ (obviously no spaces). You can vote once a day (although you will have to log in to their site), so vote early and often! Much obliged.

A Consumer Is Born

I make these fabulous muffins. Really, truly yummy. I found the recipe on All Recipes and then modified it to make it my very own. It's made with oatmeal, zucchini, carrots, applesauce, oat bran, yogurt (and, okay, a buttload of sugar). They taste fabulous. You wouldn't know you were getting vitamins in it. Doodles, occasionally, will eat one of these muffins.

The other day, I asked Doodles, "Doodles, would you like a muffin?"

"Yes," he answered.

"Get in your chair," I ordered as I went to the freezer to pull out one of these delicious muffins. I nuked it for 45 seconds and then it was good to go. I put it on a plate and placed it in front of Doodles.

Doodles looked at the muffin. He looked at me. He looked back at the muffin. He looked back at me. Slowly, ever so slowly, his face began to crumple into that old familiar look of utter despair and anger. Tears began to pour from his eyes as he wailed, "Starbucks muffin! I wanted a muffin from Starbucks!"

Good God, boy, just eat your damn muffin.

He is not only his father's child, he is his grandfather's grandson. Oy.

Wednesday, March 15

A Lot of Potty Talk

Tonight's my night to blog, but really, all I feel like writing is blah blah blah blah blah. Not because anything bad is going on, but the same old same old is going on. Many of our highlights from the past week involve the toilet, so if this isn't your thing, just check back in next week:

  • Doodles watched his father, um, relieve himself. Doodles said, "Daddy's making juice!" Uh, no, not quite. Which is right up there with his comment after doing his own thing in his potty: "We don't eat poop!" While that's true, I'm not sure where he got this and why it needs to be verbalized.
  • Purim was last Monday and we had a Purim-filled weekend from my co-leading the Tot Shabbat on Saturday to the Purim carnival on Sunday to the megillah reading on Monday. I took Doodles with me to the reading, as it's a huge party. We dressed up in costume and headed to synagogue. I wasn't sure how he'd do with the costumes: at Halloween we went to a party at Adam's office and there was a Spider-Man and a Big Bird there and they totally freaked him out. But he seemed okay. Very curious. A little clingy--wanted to be held, which was fine with me in that crowd and also because it was my special time with my not-so-little Doodles and it's fun to hold him when Sweetie Pie isn't also demanding attention. There was a costume parade, musical acts, mask decorating, all sorts of fun. I also worried that Doodles would be frightened by the noise, because it's traditional that every time the villain's name, Haman, is mentioned, people use noisemakers and shout to drown out his name. But Doodles loved it and adored sounding his noisemaker! However, we didn't get to stay very long. After the first group performed, a special guest was announced. Music played as we eyed the crowd, looking for the special guest. "I recognize this music!" I thought, humming along, trying to place it. I'm humming it to Doodles. It hit me at the same time that the doors opened and out trotted the "special guest." The one, the only... Spider-Man. Yup. That was the end of it for Doodles, even after Spider-Man removed his mask and showed him that he was just our normal, friendly rabbi. We made a quick exit after that. We'll try again next year.
  • Our child is still light years away from potty training, yet the potty seems to occupy much of our time. When J. and Grape come over, there generally tends to be a group potty session. This past week, J. and Doodles sat on the potty. The two started grunting. "I'm trying to get the poop out!" J. told Doodles. Doodles replied, "I'm trying to get the poop out, too!"
  • Ferber isn't doing his thing for Sweetie Pie. With Doodles, it took three whopping nights. For Sweetie Pie... well, I don't know. It still hasn't taken and it's been a week and a half. It's killing all of us.
  • My new favorite activity: On Saturday and Sunday nights, one of our local college station has a program called The Playground, which is kids' music, but lots of cool kids' music, including music from my youth, TV theme songs, songs from movies and theater, plus of course a bit of Wiggles and whatnot. When Doodles hears it come on, he comes running into the living room and yells, "Dance party!" He loves it. The two of us get down with our bad selves and dance ourselves silly until it's his bathtime and I'm ready to collapse. The kid sings along with the music (whether he knows the words or not) and mimics everything I do, which is not a good thing, as those who know me, know I am incapable of finding a beat. I taught him all my best moves (stir the pot, raise the roof, the sprinkler--hey, I told you I'm a lousy dancer) and we work up a serious sweat together. Man, that kid rocks!
  • I'm getting used to the Ocean Mist atrocity. It's actually a pretty good drive. I still think the dashboard sucks, though.

Wednesday, March 8

I Spy with My Little Eyes...

How is it if you ask my son to pick up the toy that is lying on the floor, that one, right there! No, the one right in front of your face. Doodles, look straight down. No not to the left. No, not on the ceiling. Doodles, please pick up the toy that is directly in front of you, right there, right on the floor, your foot is touching it--

Sigh. This toy, Doodles. This is the toy I wanted you to pick up. The one I just picked up.

Yet we walk into a Target and I go to get him a bathing suit because we'll be going to Miami soon and he's nearly grown out of his and I pick up an, admittedly rather unappealing, bathing suit in his size and ask, "Doodles, do you like this one?" he replies, "No" and proceeds to walk straight to the opposite side of the display, sticks his hand out, picks out the bathing suit that is three deep, and holds it up and says, "I want this one!" which, not coincidentally, is not only the ugliest bathing suit I've ever seen, but it's the only Thomas the Train bathing suit in the whole display and it's of course not quite in his size. What should I expect? His father has selective hearing. Doodles has selective vision... and, it should be noted, a size 2T Thomas the Train bathing suit.

To Sleep Perchance to Dream, Round 2

Almost exactly two years ago, we Ferberized Doodles. This time around, I promised myself that we wouldn't make the same sleep mistakes with Sweetie, that this time I would be firmer about her cosleeping in the cosleeper rather than inbetween Adam and myself, that this time around we would not have to Ferberize my poor sweet innocent little Moon Pie.

Needless to say, we're now Ferberizing Sweetie Pie. It's horrible. It's always horrible and it doesn't get any easier. I fell into the same trap with Miss Pie that I had with my little Doodlebug: cosleeping lead to all-night nursing. I'm not exagerating. Sweetie Pie was unable to soothe herself to sleep, so she'd wake up once an hour and need to pacify herself on my br*east in order to fall asleep. I've been a zombie for months. And yet I don't want to kick her out of bed. She's my little Sweetie Pie and I love waking up to her sweet little coos and the soft milky breath as she greets the day. But I reached my breaking point and it was time to remove the little br*east monger from my bed.

Unfortunately, we did not want to Ferberize in her own crib, as she'll be sharing a room with her big brother. So we detached the cosleeper and made it into a crib at the end of the room where she can't see us. And we started. Oh, did we start. It was horrible. She'd do this, "Waa waa waa" thing and just as I was to go in and comfort her, she'd go, "gasp gasp gasp" and I'd hear sleep breathing and feel relieved. Except that within two minutes, she'd start with the crying again. The second night was much, much better and last night was just okay. Of course last night, I told Adam I was going to bed at 8:30 because I was so darn tired. So I crawled into bed, just in time for Sweetie to start her little cycle of waa waa. I listened to her cry on and off for about an hour and fifteen minutes. And then she fell asleep. So, I blissfully, drifted off myself...for five minutes. Which is when child number 1 decided that for the first time in five months, he wasn't going to sleep through the night. I went in to soothe him, wondering where the heck Adam was. I got back into bed only to have Doodles call out again. Too tired to do anything else, I simply brought him back to our room and stuck him into bed with me. Apparently I am incapable of not having a child in bed, but at least this one doesn't lunge for my chest on an hourly basis. I finally got to sleep at about 11. And where was my charming husband who is basically in charge of child number 1? I found out later that he fell asleep in the armchair downstairs mid-spreadsheet, his laptop open on his lap, his arm propping his head up. At least he got his when both children woke at 4:40 this morning and he had to take them while I slept for two hours more.

Tonight I was spared Ferber as I had a girls' dinner out. Adam's on duty and so far, he hasn't fallen asleep on his post yet. I do see a light at the end of the sleep tunnel, but it's a very faint light and I fear if I look too closely, it'll end up being the headlight of an oncoming train. (And no, Doodles, not a Thomas train).

Rachel Made Me Do It

Rachel is the coolest mom I know (Jennifer, don't worry you're the second coolest mom I know) (everyone else: Jennifer is so not the second coolest mom I know, but she did make my blog her home page, so I feel obligated to throw her a bone here). And yet, Rachel went and done it. She bought a minivan just last week. And she lives in San Francisco where I thought it was pretty much illegal to own a vehicle with more than two wheels.

Which meant it was time for me to make the plunge. Time for me to turn in my pretty dashboard and to gracefully accept the title "Soccer Mom." Time to buy the minivan.

And so we did. I opted for no DVD player (I refuse to have hear on every trip to the grocery store, "Dora! I want to watch Dora now!") but I did opt for the ipod integration, which again, makes the statement, "Yes, I am a soccer mom, but one who is still cool enough to listen to the Killers even if I didn't know who Fergie was just a couple of weeks ago!"

Buying the van was absolutely painful. Service was sloooow and because we'd already test driven, we brought the kids with us to make the final purchase. I think my favorite part was sitting in the finance office with Sweetie (while Adam tried to wrangle Doodles) and the totally cliche Boston car salesman is trying to sell me every single add-on known to man. "Uh huh. Uh huh," I reply bored. "I get the point. I don't want any of it." He gives me a look and Sweetie starts to fuss. "Mind if I feed her?" I ask just to be polite, because I have every intention of feeding her no matter what he says. "Oh sure, go ahead," he says. But somehow from the shocked look on his face, I don't think he was expecting me to whip out what I did whip out. I'm guessing in his day, feedings came from a bottle. The good thing, though, is he focused on the task at hand with a renewed vigor.

Anyway, Rachel owns a minivan and now I do, too. Which leads me to one of two conclusions: 1) Maybe Rachel's not as cool as I thought she was or 2) (my preferred conclusion) Minivans are now cool!! Yes, that's the story I'm telling myself and I'm sticking to it. It's the only happy way to explain the Ocean Mist atrocity sitting in my driveway.

Wednesday, March 1

You Wanna a Medal for That?

Words you really don't want to hear from your underwear-wearing son who is playing in his playroom: "I made a puddle! I made a puddle!"

Why I'd Never Make It as a Single Mom

The plan: Adam's in London for a couple of nights for business. As bedtime can be tricky, my in-laws came to help out for the first night (to basically hold Sweetie Pie, since Doodles's bath time is her fussy hour). The bath is pretty firmly ingrained in Doodles's routine and getting him to skip it can be a challenge. The second night I decide to resort some basic bribery to get him to do so. I'll tell him that if he goes straight to pajamas and doesn't take a bath, he can watch an extra show before bed. A simple plan.

The actuality:
5:25 p.m. We've been playing at N.'s house with J. and Grape for about an hour and a half. Give Doodles a five-minute warning that its time to leave N.'s house, as J. and Grape's mom are doing to their kids.
5:29 p.m. Give Doodles a one-minute warning and ask if he wants to go home and watch his TV shows. He says no. I say if we don't leave right then, there will be no time for TV shows.
5:30 p.m. Get Sweetie into her fleece one-piece and put her in the car seat. Tell Doodles it's time to go.
5:31 p.m. "I don't want to go home. I want to stay here." Repeat 12 times. Add screaming, tears, throwing body upon floor, kicking, more tears, and yet more screams. Add some hyperbreathing in there for added effect.
5:33 p.m. Sweetie decides to join in on the crying.
5:34 p.m. "Doodles, if we don't leave right now there will be no time for TV before dinner tonight."
5:35 p.m. "Doodles, I'm not kidding. No TV when we get home unless we're out the door right now."
5:37 p.m. "Okay, Doodles, no TV!" [Oh shit! What am I going to do with no TV for Doodles?]
5:42 p.m. Look at N.'s mom with utter helplessness as I try for the umpteenth time to shoe and jacket my temper-tantruming child. N.'s mother shrugs and says, "Just let him scream." N.'s mom tries, with no success, to soothe Sweetie.
5:47 p.m. Carry Doodles with no jacket or shoes on--in 19 degree weather--to the car.
5:48 p.m. Bring Sweetie, still screaming, to car.
5:49 p.m. Sweetie Pie falls asleep in car.
5:50 p.m. Doodles asks nicely, "Mommy? Where are my shoes? Mommy? Where is my jacket?"
5:53 p.m. Arrive home. Doodles demands, "TV!"
5:54 to 6:11 p.m. Back and forth, "No, Doodles, no TV. I told you at N.'s house that unless we left right away, there would be no time for TV. Do you want to pick out your dinner or should Mommy pick out your dinner?" Whining, "I want Dora! I want Dora! I want to watch TV! TV, please! TeeeeeeeeeeeVeeeeeeeeeee!" "Doodles, who is picking your dinner? Mommy or you?" "Doooooooooooooooooora!"
6:12 p.m. Now what do I do? TV was my ace in the hole to get out of bathtime. Do I go back on this? Do I suffer through bathtime? I rationalize by telling myself that I had said, "There would be no time for TV before dinner."
6:14 p.m. "Doodles, if you sit down and eat right this second, and you get into your pajamas right after dinner, you can watch a television show instead of taking a bath."
6:15 p.m. Whining immediately ceases. Doodles runs to sit down for dinner.
6:30 p.m. Pajamas on, Doodles watches on episode of Dora.
7:03 p.m. I take Doodles upstairs to put to bed, which involves three books, two songs, his good-night prayer, and lots of smooches.
7:04 p.m. Sweetie Pie wakes up with a vengeance.
7:06 p.m. Try to read stories to Doodles while a squirming, wriggling, bucking-bronco Sweetie goes crazy one leg and snuggle-in-closer Doodles just wants to cuddle on the other. Sweetie screams; I try to just read louder.
7:35 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. Bring Sweetie to my bed. Coo and giggle with her.
8:25 p.m. Nurse Sweetie to sleep
11:03 p.m. Nurse Sweetie back to sleep
12:46 a.m. Nurse Sweetie sleep again
2:21 a.m. Nurse Sweetie again, just for the hell of it.
4 a.m. Doodles wakes up, sits up in bed, and calls out, "Where's my mommy?" I enter the room. "Doodles, honey, it's too early for you to be awake." Doodles just sits there staring at me. "Okay, Doodles, you can lie in bed with us, but you need to go back to sleep because it's too early to be awake." I take Doodles into bed and lie inbetween him and Sweetie.
4 to 4:28 a.m. For about one blissful half hour, my two children are sandwiched around me and I actually doze off.
4:29 a.m. Sweetie wakes up crying. Nurse her back to sleep. Whooops, that's it! Doodles is fully awake. I pretend to be asleep. Sweetie is asleep. But only as long as my br*east is in her mouth. Doodles lies nicely next to me, stroking me.
4:49 a.m. Doodles: "I want my special treat milk." Me: "It's still too early Doodles."
4:52 a.m. Doodles: "I want my special treat milk." Me: "Too early!"
5:00 a.m. I flip Sweetie to the other side of me to nurse her on the other breast. Doodles immediately curls up with her for a cuddle. Sweetie Pie, as six month olds are wont to do, grabs at him. Doodles: "Sweetie Pie, I don't like that! I don't like that, Sweetie Pie!"
5:02 a.m. I'm trying to ignore both of them and will myself back to sleep. I notice, though, that Doodles is holding Sweetie's hand, and I'm worried he might be too rough with it, so I try to hold on too to see what he's up to. Doodles: "Mommy, I'm using that!" I let go of her hand.
5:04 a.m. Doodles is awake. Sweetie Pie is awake. It's time for me throw in the towel and try to force myself awake. "Mommy? Milk!" I peek an eye at him. "Pleeeease!"
5:10 a.m. Doodles: "I want to pick my special treat milk." I hand him the box. He looks in and throws a hissy fit. "Strawberry special treat milk! Strawberry!" Only we're out of strawberry. You can guess how well he took that news.
5:25 a.m. Doodles: "Waaah!" Sweetie Pie: "Waaah!" Me: "Waaah!"
And all I can think is, "Fourteen more hours till I can pawn them off on Adam. Just have to get through fourteen more hours..."