Wednesday, May 31


You guys are getting an extra long post today because it's going to have to hold you over an extra week. I'm on vacation next week at a magical place with no Internet connections! Whoo hoo! The blog will return at its regularly scheduled time on June 14.

Improving with Age

So my mind may be slowing, but my body is speeding up! I ran the Portsmouth Red Hook/Runner's Alley 5k last Sunday, and I kicked butt! About four and a half years ago, Adam and I ran a 10k together. I thought I did awesome then! Well, now that I'm practically 38, I broke my personal record:

535 (out of 1529)
42 out of 262 in my gender/age division
total time: 25:57
pace: 8:22 minutes a mile.

In just two short years, I'm in a new age division (and a "master's" runner. Yuck!), which means I might actually start to really kick some ass. Right now, my age division is 30 to 39, so I'm competing against those youngsters. When I'm running in the 40 to 49 year olds, I'll be the young 'un!

My half marathon is this weekend. I have a terrible time pacing myself on longer races--I tend to go out too hard and then sputter out at the end. I haven't quite figured out what my pace should be, although for 13.1 miles, I'm hoping to average a 9:45 to 10 minute a mile pace. Wish me luck!


We're now entering that phase that's so wonderful when Doodles's communication is getting to the point where he can really express himself and tell stories and let us know what's going on in his world. It was really exciting for me the day I walked into his day care and he said, "Come see the chrysalis!" and he brought me over to a net cage. He said, "We had caterpillars. They're now chrysalis." His teacher prompted him, "What will they be?" Doodles said, "Butterflies!" His teacher asked, "What kind?" Doodles said excitedly, "Painted lady!"

Sometimes he tugs at my heart strings. We're still having issues with Sweetie's sleep (will it ever end?) and the other day, I put her down. I was home alone with Doodles, so I was intermittently patting/walking/nursing Sweetie and then running back to take care of Doodles who also needed to get ready for bed. At one point, he stopped eating and he looked at me. "Sweetie is crying," he said to me. "I know, honey," I told him. "Can you make her feel better?" he asked me. Ugh! Don't I wish!

But there are also the really fun moments. Like last night. We were looking at his book, Things That Go, and I was pointing to different parts of a car, not sure which words he knew. Especially because of day care, I find that his vocabulary always surprises me, and he knows words I never would have expected him to know. So I pointed to different things and asked questions:

Me: What is this?
Doodles: A car!
Me: What color car?
Doodles: Blue!
Me: [pointing to the headlights] What are these?
Doodles: Headlights!
Me: That's very good! I didn't know you knew what those are. [now pointing to the side-view mirrors] And do you know what these are?
Doodles: [no hesitation] Ear lights!

Yeah! Does it get more fun than this?

The Poopy Chronicles

Doodles is now alternately fascinated by and willing to ignore, um, bodily waste. It's a charming phase he's going through. I'm trying to parlay it into some potty training, but to no avail.

Me: Doodles, you pooped. Time to change your diaper.
Doodles: I don't want my diaper changed.
Me: Too bad. You stink.
Doodles: No, no, no! I don't want my diaper changed! [runs screaming from the room]
Me: [yelling after him and chasing] If you don't like your diaper changed, all you need to do is use the potty! [catching him, wrestling him down, yanking his disgusting diaper off] Ewww! Big poop!
Doodles: I want to see! I want to see the poop! Can I see the poop?
Me: If you want to see the poop, you have to poop in the potty. The diaper poop gets tossed right out.
Doodles: I want to seeeeeeeee it! I want to seeeeeeee my pooooooooop!

Or even better:

Visiting Tweedle Twirp: Doodles, what are you doing?
Doodles hands are behind his back.
Tweeds: Doodles, are you hands in your diaper? Oh, Doodles! You have poop on your hands!
Doodles: I have poop on my hands?
Tweeds: You have poop on your hands! Straight to the bathroom! We need to wash those hands!
Doodles: I have poop on my hands! I need to wash my hands.
Tweeds: Ugh, let's get those clean.
Me: Doodles, remember, we never put our hands into our diapers.
Doodles: Mommy, I have poop on my hands!
Me: Yes, I see that. Tweeds, wash them again, please.
Doodles: All done!
Me: Okay, Doodles, time to change that poopy diaper.
Doodles: No. I don't need a new diaper.
Me: Uh, yeah you do. You have a big poop that just got all over your hands. You need a new diaper.
Doodles: No, no new diaper. No poop! I have no poop in diaper!

And then there's always:

Me: Oh, my little Sweetie Pie! What a stinky tushie you have!
Pie: gurgle gurgle. Ba ba ba ba ba.
Me: Yes, Sweetie, let's change that diaper of yours.
[Doodles elbows his way in]

I know this is normal, but I'm still not loving this. Call me old school, but I think that poop should just be a private affair. Of course, not so private that I won't blog about it to all of you!

One for Sweetie's Therapist

I often go running early in the morning with other moms. We meet at 6:15 and usually the whole house is up well before then. But there are those very rare days where I'm the first one up. Last Friday was one of those days. Sweetie Pie had woken up at 5:30 so I nursed her and she fell back to sleep in our bed. As I got up, I tapped Adam and said, "I'm going for my run. Watch out for Pie."

I got back home just after 7 a.m. to a bustling house.

Me: Hey, how long has everyone been up.
Adam: We all got about about 6:30.
Me: Wow! That's really great!
Adam: Sweetie Pie probably would have slept longer but she woke up when she fell onto the floor.

Deep breaths. Adam tells me I'm crazy when I accuse of him of being oblivious to the world in his sleep. But if the pajama fits...

Random Thoughts on Meeting a Fellow Blogger

Am I nuts for saying I'll meet another blogger? Not just another blogger, but her entire clan? What if her kids don't like my kids? What if my kids don't like her kids? What if I don't like her? What if we have nothing to say to each other in real life? Her blog is cool; what if she's not?

Oh God, maybe she thinks my blog is cool but then won't think I'm cool? OHMYGOD, what if she thinks my blog is lame and is just meeting me out of pity or cruel fascination, like, "Hey, let's go check out that lame blog person and see if she's as pathetic in person!"

Okay, she seems really cool. Her fiance seems really cool. Their kids are definitely cool. Doodles likes them. They like Doodles. Conversation is flowing. Good, good. Wait, this story I'm telling her. Didn't I blog it already? So has she read it? Does she think I have nothing new to say that I have to repeat stories I've already blogged about? Am I a one-trick pony? I never know what to say to people who read my blog! I mean, I can't assume everyone's read everything I've written. In which case, if I don't say anything, then I seem weird, leaving out big chunks of a story, if she hasn't read it. But if she has read most of my blog, then it's simply tedious, my repeating things I've already written about and I must seem really boring, like that great-uncle everyone has who tells the same three stories a million times.

Okay, I've now known this person for an hour, but I know incredibly personal things about her life from her blog. So do I acknowledge this and ask about it? I mean, her "about me" on the front of her blog, right there up front, acknowledges that she's divorced and she went through IVF (though not in that order). Do I pretend I don't know that about her? I don't normally bring up stuff like infertility and marital relations until, oh, the third hour of knowing someone. But if I play dumb, then will she think I'm a jerk for meeting up with her without having read her blog? Did I just confess that I read her blog while I pump for Sweetie? Ewww! Brain to mouth: use the filter!

Time to head out. It was fun. Do I blog about it, knowing that she'll read it? Or do I not blog about it because I know she'll read it? Do we get together again? Do I call? Do I write? Oh, the pressure, the pressure! Life was so much easier when I was eight and I had a pen pal. I had to have stamps. And paper. And pen. And there was a nice long wait between communication--none of this anyone can read what I write crap. Although, come to think of it, I was lousy at writing back and my pen pal ultimately ended up writing vaguely threatening letters wondering why I never sent her any missives, and I guess that really wasn't any easier, so scratch that.

Jeez, and I thought that once I was married I'd get to stop dating. Who knew?

Wednesday, May 24

Out to Get Me

When I lived in Seattle, I was addicted to this cable access show called Kurt Cobain Was Murdered. I was hooked on the way the guy would say, "The WIDOW Cobain." It was all conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy.

I'm not really a conspiracy kind of person. At least... I wasn't. Now, well, now I see conspiracies everywhere. Especially in my house. At the foot of the bed. In the Pack N Play. That child. And her older brother. They. Are. Trying. To. Kill. Me.

Normally nights are rough. Sweetie cries. Doodles tosses and turns. I deal with Pie, Adam takes care of Doodles. Adam had to go to California for work. So I was alone. With the two little devils masquerading as my children.

On Monday night, I put Sweetie down for bed. And she cried. And screamed. And wailed. I put Doodles's food on his plate. And ran upstairs to stroke Sweetie. And then ran back downstairs to get his water. And then ran upstairs to walk Sweetie. I ran to start Doodles's bath. Then ran up to sing Sweetie a song. She. Cried. For. Over. One. Hour.

Finally, she's asleep. Doodles has had his bath, his teeth were brushed, his three books read, his two songs sung, and his prayers said. He's asleep. She's asleep. I had a ton of work to do so I worked until I couldn't see the page anymore (which admittedly wasn't long) and went to sleep. Until 12:30. When I heard, "Mommmmmmyyyyyyy! I want my mommmmmyyyy!" I plod into Doodles's room, where he's sitting in bed, finger in mouth, clutching one of his three Georges. "I want to sleep in your room," he tells me. Which is all I need with Pie in the Pack N Play and no bed rails on my bed. So I tell him no and he says, "Mommy sleep in here." So I lay down with him for the twenty minutes it took for me to ensure he was completely asleep.

So I slipped back into my room. Where at exactly 2:35, little missy started her wailing. One twenty-minute breastfeed later, and she's back asleep. Until 3:30. Another twenty-minute breastfeed. But at least I'm done for the night. Well, until 4:30 when I hear, "Mommmmmmyyyy! Mommmmmyyy! I need my mommmmmyyyy!" So back into Doodles's room. Where I gave in this time and crawled into his bed to sleep. Except that sleeping with Doodles in his twin bed really isn't sleeping. And he was up. At 5:30. For the day. Luckily I convinced him to let me lie there until almost 6.

I am so tired my eyeballs hurt.

And where is Adam now? At the Red Sox game.

Conspiracies. I believe.

Wednesday, May 17


I am popular. Oh, am I popular. I have been granted most-favored nation status by the one and only Doodles. Doodles likes me... and only me. The most common refrain heard these days, next to "Nowwwww!" is "Mommy do it!" Adam always did Doodles's night-time routine, but now it's "Mommy tuck me in!" Adam takes Doodles to day care, only now it's "Mommy take me to school!" Adam tries to get Doodles's dressed. "Mommy put my shoes on!"

Don't worry about Adam, though. He does have a place in Doodles's heart. Today, when Adam dropped Doodles off at day care, Doodles turned to him and said, "Thank you, bus driver!"

Now that's love.

Fitting in with the First Timers

Sweetie Pie and I have one day a week that's just the two of us. Doodles is in day care three days a week and Pie just two so that I can give her just a smidgen of the alone time that Doodles had in my never-ending quest to alleviate the guilt I feel about not giving Pie the quality time she needs. So, in my quest, I signed us up for a Gymboree class. But the thing is, in class, I feel like a big fat fraud.

Why is that? Because everyone else taking a class with just a six- to ten-month-old child obviously just has one child, because few people have the luxury of having a place to stash their older children. So while everyone else is oohing and ahhing over their children's milestones, I'm the voice of doom.

Some of the moms took one look at Sweetie, up on all fours, rocking back and forth, trying like heck to move forward and occasionally sliding backwards, and they all exclaimed, "Oh wow! Look at her go! Any second now, she'll be crawling!" to which I can only respond, "Oh, good God, I hope not! Please, stay immobile!" (Or at least as immobile as she is--that girl can cover ground in no time by just rolling.) The moms look at me like I'm crazy.

And then there's "parent sharing." One part of the class, the teacher asks a question and we all go around the room and ask. The first class I attended, the question was, "What are you reading your child?" Every mother gushed, "Oh, Goodnight Moon!" or "Guess How Much I Love You" (and you all remember how I feel about that book!) or something similar. When they got to me, I had to really wrack my brain. "Um..." I scanned back to the last three books Pie was read. Thomas the Tank Engine: Diesel 10 Means Trouble (worst book EVER written!), All Aboard Trains, and The Little Engine That Could (do you see a theme here?). Damn, I know I've read books just to Sweetie! And then I remembered the batch of Sandra Boynton books I had read to her a few days ago. "Oh, we read lots of books like Barnyard Dance and Hey, Wake Up!" I said. And then I made a mental note to read more baby books to Pie (in all fairness, I do read her a few books at bedtime, but I couldn't think of a single one at the time. They're mostly the touch and feel books, which are her favorites).

Last class our parent sharing question was, "What has your baby done that surprised you?" Everyone else had comments about how her baby suddenly had teeth or how the first laugh was surprising. What surprised me? I am in awe of Sweetie Pie. Every little thing she does is amazing to me. I watch her with true wonder. But the truth is, nothing is surprising. Well, maybe that when she has a P.O.M. (pee on mom) it really is more like a P.O.C.P. (pee on changing pad) because her pee doesn't arc, it's more of a low fountain. But somehow that didn't seem to be the answer they were looking for. I finally came up with a lame, "That she's just so darn active!"

On the plus side, I'm more adventurous with Pie in class, willing to put her on new equipment and trusting her abilities. It's easier for me to relax about little things like spit up and runny noses. And I'm definitely the one mom in class who's not rushing her baby on to the next stage. Well, that's not completely true. I am pining for the sleeping stage. Some things just don't change.

Wednesday, May 10

The Coconut Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

Want to know why I'm so, um, quirky? Meet my mother. Poor Sweetie Pie. She doesn't know yet what's gonna hit her (its more domininant in females; I think Doodles is safe).

Girl Power!

I just want you all to know that I live in fear--absolute and complete terror--of the day Sweetie Pie becomes truly mobile. Don't let anyone fool you with that demure girl bullsh*t. Sweetie Pie is 13,768,439.72 times louder, busier, and more active than Doodles was at this age. I think we've got a real spitfire on our hands. I don't know whether to be proud... or to run for cover.

The Sleep Saga Continues

I've had it up to here (you can't see it but my hand is at stratospheric heights) with Sweetie's sleep. As you know, we'd given up on Ferberizing. Many suggested we try again at nine months. I kind of figured, "Hey, we're not having another baby, she goes down in her crib for a few hours at night so I get some time with Adam, what the hell, let's just keep cosleeping with her."

And then Sweetie decided that she's on the verge of crawling. She scoots backwards. She rolls prolifically. She gets on her hands and knees and rocks and rocks. But apparently she wasn't getting enough of time to do this during the day. So she started waking at 2 a.m. To practice. In our bed. For one and a half to two hours. A night.

On night five of this, I simply couldn't take it anymore. "Get her back to her crib!" I decreed to Adam. There was much crying involved. Some of it even came from Sweetie.

So what to do? She couldn't sleep with us, she couldn't sleep without us. But I figured once I started down this road, there was no turning back. Sweetie is now in her crib. And every night there's been crying involved. So much crying, in fact, that twice now she's woken Doodles, who we then take into our room because it doesn't seem fair to him to have to listen to Sweetie.

Now, mind you, this isn't "leave her along and let her cry" crying. This is "pat her on the back, whisper soothing words, nurse her a little more" crying. But it is crying nonetheless. Basically, she goes to bed at 6 p.m. or so, depending on what time we get home. She's definitely ready for sleep and she fights it, but we're at the point where after about five minutes of crying, she'll drift off. She then sleeps until 10 or 11. And then she wakes with a vengeance. I nurse her. She's obviously exhausted, but she does sleep... eventually. It takes her about a half hour to calm down. Then, like clockwork, up at 3 a.m. Last night for the first time I was able to nurse her and she fell back asleep within three minutes instead of the half hour of fussing.

Improvement, right? Nursing just twice a night instead of hourly. Only when we were cosleeping, I could pretty much sleep through those hourly nursings. Now I have to get up, go to her room, get her out of the crib, go into the next room to sit in the glider, nurse her, put her back in her crib, and return to my bed. I'm waaaaaay more tired than I ever was before. Honestly, I don't know how all the non-cosleeping parents out there do it!

I did pick up The No-Cry Sleep Solution and it does have some interesting ideas... none of which had any effect on Sweetie. All these sleeping books forget to take into account older siblings. The book says something to the effect of, "The hour before your baby goes to sleep, keep things calm and quiet. Try taking her for a walk or relaxing with her in bed." Um, yeah. What about the kid running circles around the table while you're trying to feed the baby a nice quiet meal. What about the kid jumping up and down screaming, "I'm hopping like a frog! I'm hopping like a frog!" while you're trying to give the baby a soothing massage. What about the kid who picks up the baby's hand and puts it to his ear, leans down to the top of her head, and then yells, "It's a Sweetie Telephone! I'm talking in the Sweetie Telephone" while you're trying to find a clean pair of pajamas. What about when you give in, put the kid in front of the television, and just as you finish nursing, starts screaming, "Little Einsteins is over! I want another show!"

The books don't seem to cover that. Maybe it's time for some new books to be written.

Still Here...

I haven't forgotten you people... you'll have to give till the morning, though. (I'll postdate so don't be confused).

Wednesday, May 3

Remember Me to Herald Square

The saying is if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. I disagree. What the saying should be is, If you can make it in New York with two kids, you can make it anywhere.

Let me tell you, there are few things that feel as uncool as driving down the FDR in... a minivan. The minivan was critical for the trip--when Pie freaked out, there was enough room for Adam to sit between the two kids and keep them happy--but boy did I feel bridge-and-tunnel driving that thing in the city.

Did we survive the trip? Barely. It was alternately very, very fun and very, very bad. Adam and I actually got a night out--the Nana and the Peter stayed in our hotel room with the wee ones--and I got to see high school folks I haven't seen in decades. I got to drink alcoholic drinks, which happen to be my favorite kind of drinks. I had conversations with adults and I felt like I was someone other than a mother for once. (The odd part, though, was going out in New York in daylight. In my youth, I lived in the East Village, and it never would have occurred to me that daylight hours were for anything other than going to the office or catching up on my sleep. No self-respecting New Yorker would consider venturing out in daylight hours. They melt or something.)

But then there were the other moments. Like when Doodles, who requested to nap in Sweetie Pie's crib, decided he wasn't going to nap. He was going to play. And no matter how overtired he was (very) or how angry I was getting (very, very), he was not going to sleep (not at all). The highlight came when I turned to Adam and said, "This is no fun. Let's go back to Boston now," and Doodles latched on to this. He stood up in the crib, big fat tears streaming down his face, screaming, "I want to go back to Boston. I WANT TO GO BACK TO BOSTON NOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!" He did finally--two hours later--conk out in the bed once I lay next to him and closed my own eyes. Something about my pretending to sleep always puts Doodles to sleep.

Sweetie Pie's sleep was not a success, but luckily that was mostly the Nana and the Peter's problem as I was out enjoying said alcoholic drinks.

Will we go back? Eventually. But there better be a hell of a lot of those alcoholic drinks waiting for me.