Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hey! It's play all day day!

I particularly relish the weekends, not only because we finally get to spend a couple of days with the man I married, but because it's an opportunity to hear all of my daughter's material tried out on another adult. Usually by Friday, her routine has gotten a little stale for she also appreciates being funny again instead of having her attempts at humor met with Mommy's sighs.

They decided they were going to go out together and tackle mowing the lawn and watering the garden. I'm sure my husband will tell me later there were at least a half dozen other things that needed taking care of outside...Babe, this is how I feel about you not being able to see toothpaste stains on the sink and dust on the furniture...

On the way out, my daughter chimed, "Hey! I've got to get my video phone."

My husband has perfected the not laughing response, so I hear a little wheeze. "We can't talk on the phone once I start the lawn mower. You won't be able to hear anything," he reasons.

"Yeah, but I might get an important call..." (echoing: reasons we have to find Mommy's cell phone before going on a walk)

"From whom?"

"Oh, you know. Blue. Nanny."

"Oh, right..." my husband replied. "You'd better go get it."

Friday, April 28, 2006


If you arrive at Donaldson Park after 5:20 PM, there are no children or parents to be found except the kids at t-ball practice. I had noticed that every mom on the playground this week had a 5 minute call around a quarter after five, but I'd just assumed that if we hung around another group of kids would show. Nope. We spend a couple minutes excited that we didn't have to wait for the big girl swing or the twisty and tunnel slides, but the novelty wore off quickly and we headed home to try out the new scented bubbles we bought at Target.

Since those days back in the blue room at Battery Park City Day Nursery, any time my daughter passes gas, she claims "There's an alligator in my butt". Droll, really. The first dozen or so times even. After a year and a half of "tushie music", it's getting a little old.

Anyway, it turns out the exact amount of time a parent can discuss how an alligator (albeit a very tiny one) might find its way into a small child's bowel is approximately 35 seconds. Then, the parent in question starts to feel pretty uncomfortable, particularly when the child in this scenerio asks, "But what about the alligator's prickles?" Prickles?! Ouch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Practicing her elephant

Last night, my husband and I were watching House. Suddenly, there was a very loud hornking sound from upstairs.

Now, since I've already told you about Shannon the Cat's problem, I turned to my husband and asked, "Cat?"

He shook his head. "She was just here. I think it was kid." He got up and ran upstairs.

A few minutes later, he returned shaking his head.

"Is she ok?"

"Yeah. She said she was practicing her elephant."

I started laughing, "Whaaat?"

"Well, she's bored up there. So she decided she didn't want to forget how to make elephant noises," he said, with his left arm up in front of his face to simulate a trunk and making a trombone noise through his pursed lips.

"I can see why this might be a concern," I replied while unpausing the television.

"Yeah. She might have to repeat that class."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Deep thoughts

"My little sister can sleep in my bed," my daughter announced today in the tub.

"Well," I said, "Someday you and your sister can sleep in a bed together, but not right away because when she gets here, she will be too small to sleep in a bed and..."

"And I am too big to sleep in a crib," she said sadly, pushing out her lower lip and shaking her head.

"Yes. But your sister will get bigger, and be big enough to sleep in a bed before you know it."

"Okay, Mom."

"Maybe you want to talk about sharing a room first...we could put two beds in a room when your sister is a little bigger if you both want."

"Well, I would like that..."

"Okay, well, you will need to talk about it together..."

"She will do it because I want it..."

"Well, honey, it doesn't work that way," I said. "Ben doesn't always agree with Mommy even though he's younger."

"Because he's bigger than you?"

"He's his own person. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we don't. But we still love each other and we get to share parents," I smiled.

"Lindsay and I will get to share parents!" she said sounding excited.

"Yep, that is very special. Even when she's bigger than you and tells you 'No'."

She looked thoughtful. "She won't tell me 'No'."

Well, many points can you make in one conversation.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hip Hop Cowboy

Let me preface this by saying, I have no idea what a Hip Hop Cowboy is. Or what my daughter thinks one is.

After bathtime this evening, my daughter emerged from her bedroom with ever item of clothing on backwards. That is, of the four items she'd put on: panties, undershirt, pajama top, and pajama pants, each had the tag in the front. The shirt was actually on inside out and backwards. Drawn to the sunhat on the rather large box in my room of nonmaternity clothes, she placed the straw hat on her head and began doing a little circle skipping dance while singing:
I'm the Hip Hop Cowboy
I'm the Hip Hop Cowboy
Everybody wants to be me
And really, how can you argue with that? Particularly with someone with her clothes on backwards...

Sunday, April 23, 2006


My daughter went 3 1/2 years before needing a lovey to sleep. Even through that object attachment phase around 13 months or so, she'd hug a little stuffed animal for a while (invariably one purchased by a certain friend who shares his birthday with her...who either has some baby/toddler whisperer capabilities or laces his gifts with the kiddy equivalent of catnip) but when she went to sleep, she wanted her space stuffed animal free.

In the past several weeks, she's taken to sleeping with a stuffed turtle puppet. Let me say, this is not a cute stuffed was probably purchased from the Museum of Science or one of those science-type stores they have in malls near you. For a while, Turtle was joined by Nemo, until she pulled all his stuffing out. Then she slept with Turtle and Nina (who is a little stuffed West Highland Terrier bearing resemblance to this formentioned friend's pet). Now she's settled with sleeping with Turtle and Winnie the Pooh dressed up as a dalmation (a Disney store release limited to the remake of 101 Dalmations) who has been a companion since my daughter was very small. See:
She's about 4 months old in this picture, a brand new Winnie seated next to her.

If you have kids or dogs, you can imagine what this stuffed animal looks like 3 years later having lived through learning to eat puree and then table food, getting stuffed into the bottom of diaper and travel bags, getting spit up on, going through the washing machine about a dozen times. Well, he looks pretty sad. Which is, I imagine, why my daughter is so attached.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday night date

We actually got to go on a date last night! I know, I too am shocked and amazed!

Jess (aka the best babysitter in the world) played with our daughter and they carried out their plans to have Annie's Macaroni and Cheese for dinner and watched Shark Tale.

The husband and I had dinner at Chili's where they actually have some light fare suitable for your favorite gestational diabetic...I had the "guiltless" grill pita, which is sort of like a chicken fajita.

We stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and bought a kitchen scale (for weighing food) and a bathroom scale (for weighing people). We had a pretty good laugh trying out the scales, particularly since with my tummy, I couldn't actually see the numbers on any of them. Perfect!

We took in Thank You for Smoking which was short, and fairly hilarious. All the kids who came to the Regal Commerce for their student discount at the 8:20 PM show went to see Scary Movie 4, which was cool as far as we were meant that the dozen or so old married types were quietly enjoying the movie.

We got home around 10:15 PM to find it was just bedtime, and storytime was finished, so we kissed the little one before she fell asleep. Jess and Husband enjoyed Stoli O and tonic while I took in my evening snack.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Enter Easter bunny

My daughter wears those Easter goggles into every store we go into these days. She wore them to the bridal shop where we were fitted for our dresses for my brother's wedding, to the grocery store, the pharmacy, and the Benjamin Moore dealer today where we bought paint for the nursery.

The staff at the store always say, "Oh, look! It's the Easter Bunny!"

My daughter replies, "No. No, it isn't."

"Oh," the retailer/cashier/store owner says, sounding disappointed. "But you LOOK like the Easter bunny."

"No," my daughter says, "I am just wearing sunglasses."

Advice of the week: If you're trying on your bridesmaid's dress and 8 months pregnant, don't do it among a party of tall, thin bridesmaids belonging to another party and the bored mother of the bride of yet a third party. Because, every time a bridesmaid emerges, the mom says, "Ooh, that looks divine. Is that chiffon?" or "That dress looks like it was made for you". When you stumble out of the dressing room in a dress made for someone about a foot taller than you with the dress so large on top your cleavage is spilling out, and under the empire waist the silk clings to your round belly, the mom audibly gasps. I must've shot her an annoyed look, because you could see tiny wafts of smoke coming from her ears while she struggled to come up with something nice to say to the semi-crazed looking preggo in an ill-fitting frock. "It's really a lovely color," she choked out finally.

In less polite circles, she would've just said, "Moooo."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

And now accepting requests...

Oh baby when you talk like that
You make a woman go mad
So be wise and keep on
Reading the signs of my body

And I'm on tonight
You know my hips don't lie
And I'm starting to feel it's right
All the attraction, the tension
Don't you see, baby, this is perfection
My husband listened to that Shakira song about a dozen or so times last night. The silly thing is still stuck in my head.

Yesterday was Passover. We went to a seder at my husband's stepmother's sister's house. It's just easier if we say we went to Aunt Sally's. My daughter returned home with 3 bags of "loot", quite a bit of Easter candy (yes, I realize there is some irony there, but really I don't think there's much inherantly Christian about jelly beans and chocolate eggs).

So, at the request of my husband, here's what happened this morning:
Stepmother-in-law gave her a box of chocolate lollipops (and also the sunglasses in the photo above, so cute that Moms on the playground asked where they came from) which I found empty when I came downstairs this morning. The empty box was on the coffee table.

"Did you eat that whole box of lollipops?" I demanded. Other than the empty box, she hadn't gotten any chocolate on herself, and she had tossed the sticks in the garbage.

"Uh, yep."

"Well, you know we don't eat candy for breakfast."

"Yes. I'm sorry, Mommy."

"It wasn't a good choice."

"I know. I am sorry. I won't do it again."

"Alright." I gave her a hug. "Is your belly ok?"


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Making it up to the cat children

Alright, they were being entirely too cute this here they are...
Every bit as unphotogenic as I'd promised. Seamus still hasn't gained back all the weight he lost when he escaped, so he's looking pretty svelte. Shannon is, of course, looking away from the camera. She's thinking, "If Mom House Ape gets any closer, I'm going to bolt". You can see that they are actually still wearing their little rainbow-colored collars with the yellow smiley faces that my daughter picked out for them. They are willing to put up with the tags with their names and my phone number.

My daughter and Jess (aka The Best Babysitter in the World) are coloring Easter eggs in the next room. The vinegary smell of Paas sure brings back childhood memories for me. They still have the punchout circles so you can set your drying eggs in them, and little plastic stickers to adorn the eggs. But we never had hats...damn, those are cute!
This evening, we're going to a seder. Hopefully I can come up with some activity to get us through the hour long pre-dinner service besides sneaking pickles, which was amusing enough last year. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Your animal fact of the day

"The scarlet mccaw likes to eat bananas," our daughter announced at dinner.
"Really?" my husband asked. "Bananas?"

"Yep," she replied. "What's yellow on the outside and white on the inside and you can peel it?"

"The cat?" suggested my husband.

She laughed loudly. "No, Daddy, a banana!"

Weekends are for playing

On Friday night, we shared a very tasty French dinner in the City with friends to celebrate Sybil's birthday. Although the sitter report time turned out to be not so well planned - I forget that the dinner and bedtime routine merits review each time, and the commute into Manhattan took the hour and fifteen minutes I'd planned, making me a good 20 minutes later than our reservation, it was a lot of fun. The birthday girl had herself some steak tartar (which looked divine). We had ourselves some nice wine. Unfortunately, because of my early morning tests, we had to excuse ourselves around 10 pm when I could no longer eat or drink, and I drove the tipsy husband home.

The glucose tolerance test on Saturday morning was not nearly as horrible as I'd imagined. I guess that if one is going to fast, a hearty French dinner along with fondant du chocolat is the way to begin. It was a small lab in New Brunswick, with no apparent staff, several signs posted about logging oneself in (including a note in all caps that said YOU MUST INFORM STAFF IF YOU NEED A TIMED TEST), though no sign-in sheet. There were about a dozen or so people waiting in the lobby already, none English speaking...and I know, well, what Dora has taught my daughter how to say in Spanish. Finally, about 15 minutes after I arrived, a phlebotomist appeared behind the counter...and I informed him that I was there for a timed test. He asked when my appointment was and rolled his eyes that I was late. Uh huh. So, anyway, despite the rough start, we shared a relatively pleasant 3 hours together, while he complimented me for "doing so well" on this "rather difficult test" and poked two veins in my left arm with ease.

Late Saturday afternoon, we visited Karen and Chris while our daughter and their 2 sons did a remarkable job of taking out every toy stored in their playroom. After sharing some pretty fabulous barbeque, the kids retired to the living room and movies while much alcohol was consumed including Kleiner Feigling. I can only say that the fig vodka smelled really yummy, and it must've been pretty good because my husband must've had 3 glasses. We made plans for Sunday afternoon to take the kids to see Ice Age 2 which was cute, and the kids enjoyed. We even got to share a Weird NJ moment, and met at Mary Ellis' grave in the middle of Loew's parking lot. Karen even brought daffodils. Her sons scaled the 6 foot retaining wall to place them graveside.

I missed playing. It was so great to see everyone this weekend! We must do it again soon.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fast facts

While we were waiting for the ultrasound today, my daughter and I played Crazy Eights. When she dropped a card under the chair between us we were using as a table, she wiggled on her belly on the floor to get underneath it. She looked up at the Pakistani man sitting next to her and said, "Look, I'm an anaconda! I live in the Amazon."

During the ultrasound itself, she argued with the intern technician when she told my daughter that we were looking at her little sister's belly. "No, that's her shoulder." A few minutes later, the intern was corrected by her technician that she was looking at a posterior view. Then, the technician listened to a heartbeat.

"That's Mommy's heart," she said.

"Oh, I think they are listening to the baby's heart," I said.

"Nope," she said.

The technician interjected, "Actually, she's right. It is your heartbeat...we're assessing the bloodflow to your ovary."

Wow. Snap, as the kids say...

This evening, after her bath, my daughter cuddled in her towel with me on my bed while I dried her off before we put on her jammies. She took one of my pillows, and put it on her back. "I'm a turtle," she said. She folded her arms and legs under the pillow. "Turtles hide inside their protective shell when scary animals are on the prowl."

Seriously. I am not making this up. I don't even know where she's getting all these factoids...maybe Diego the animal rescuer tells her about the anaconda and turtle, but I defy you to point out a cartoon about ultrasound interpretation for the preschool set.

Honey...maybe we ought to reassess how we're investing that 529 money. Maybe it doesn't matter? Don't radiologists make good money?

30 weeks 4 days

At 30 1/2 weeks, our little fetus is weighing in at a very average 3 pounds 5 ounces. She has her Mommy's nose and her Daddy's lips! So beautiful.
We can't wait to meet you, little one...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm a Bad Cat Mommy

My first 2 kids are of the feline variety. We adopted Seamus from a very chic Back Bay pet store a few months before we got married, and Shannon was adopted a year later from an Ashwaubenon farm. We (only somewhat) jokingly told our friends at the time that we had cats to practice our parenting skills. Our cats would be entirely neurotic, but our kids would turn out normal.

They aren't terribly photogenic, as you can see below. Seamus is on the left. He's a big 10-year-old cat, part Maine Coon, with a clubbed tail. Shannon, who will be 9-years-old in a couple of weeks, is on the right. You can see she's quite a bit smaller than her catmate with silkier black fur. And, yes, for you estute blog readers, that IS the carpet of our Yonkers apartment, so you know this picture is at least a couple years old.
I've already posted that Seamus is an aspiring hockey star. I didn't mention his almost pathological obsession with Michael Jackson. As a young black kitten, we often caught him wearing his red leather zipper coat and sequins-studded glove. We had to make sure not to turn on the news during the trial, and most recently, after the sale of Neverland. Shannon, unfortunately, under the great pressure of the mainstream media towards middle-aged female cats (the Desperate Housecats culture), suffers from an eating disorder. Although we've spent some couch time discussing body image, she still has difficulty with mirrors and photographs...which explains why at the last second, she most often turns her face away from the camera.

As so often happens, when our daughter arrived, the cats unwittingly became the forgotten children as our routines began to revolve around the person they referred to as Tiny House Ape. They realized she was a permanent fixture and began developing their own relationships with Tiny, who usually drank things that tasted pretty good to the feline duo. As she grew into Small, Loud House Ape, Shannon decided that it was time to stand her ground. She spits whenever Small comes too close, and spends a great deal of her time avoiding her entirely. Seamus, on the otherhand, prefers human contact, and found that while Small watches the Flashing Color Box, he can often sit next to her without being on the receiving end of one of her bone-crushing hugs.

Today, I managed to remember (okay, chose not to avoid) to bring the laundry basket from the bedroom to the basement to do some laundry when I discovered that, not only have the cats been sleeping on the white flannel duvet cover, now black and furry, but also in the top of the laundry basket on the yellow towels from the guest room. Yes, also black and furry. I grumbled at whichever one chose to say "Mom? Food..." as I tripped over him in the kitchen with the laundry basket clung to one hip. I scowled after emptying the dryer lint tray of matted black fur. Thought about what sort of effort it might take to shave them. Hey, I have plenty of Barbasol and disposable pink razors! Yep, I know. No catnip bubbles for me today. No Pounce either, even though we know it's the way you get us to eat the hairball medicine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Biker Chick

We bought my daughter a pink and purple 20-inch two-wheeler for her 3rd birthday back in September. When we first got it, her legs weren't strong enough to pedal it unless she could get some downhill momentum going. As a result, taking a bike ride meant you pushed her around the block. Even at 5 feet flat (yeah, that's wearing shoes), I always finished with a crick in my back from bending over.

Lately, she has become a very strong rider, and easily zips two houses ahead of me on the sidewalk. Thirty-weeks along today, this leaves me huffing and puffing to catch up. Suddenly, she is riding fast enough that the No Brakes model we bought so she could easily learn to pedal seems like a foolish idea, though the bike is short enough that she can extend her feet to stop it if she needs to.

Looking back at those first few snapshots we took of her first ride, it just seems so long ago. It's amazing how quickly things have changed in just 6 months.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hangin' Wid G

My daughter calls my mother G. Isn't that deliciously Gansta for a little white girl?

My mom came down to the house to spend some time with us. She's doing a great job of distracting my daughter from missing her daddy too terribly. My husband is in Las Vegas over the weekend celebrating my brother's bachelor party.

This morning, they set up a bunny village on the coffee table of little resin characters in larger resin houses with egg-shaped cars. They cut forsythia branches from the garden and adorned them with little wooden bunny and chick ornaments.

I watched them play on the chair in the living room for nearly an hour with Mr Potatohead and Mini Potatohead. This game got off to a rocky start. My mom took Mr and started putting him together upside down.

My daughter climbed off my mother's lap and walked over to me.


"Yep, honey?"

"G isn't following the directions," she reported.

"Maybe you need to tell G how you like to play with the potatoes, and where his face pieces go?"

"All right," she said. Walked over and began describing The Rules.

They played that Mr Potatohead, a construction worker, was a single dad raising his daughter, Tater. Every day, Mr Potatohead (played by mom) dropped Tater (played by my daughter) off at school where she would do lessons with her teacher Mrs Walsh (also played by mom). Mrs Walsh taught Tater addition and subtraction, and told her riddles. Whenever Tater got her lessions correct, she got a star on her hat. Mr Potatohead picked his daughter up every day, at school, and always asked her if she had a good day and noticed her star. Afterwards, they did some activity together like go to the library, or make dinner, depending on what day it was. As the game continued, my daughter offered different details after school, we're going to soccer practice...tomorrow, we have fish for dinner that we caught out of the lake. It's fascinating that my daughter's stories aren't at all based on her own experiences.

I think they both had fun this weekend, and it was certainly great to see them together.