Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh oh what I want to know how does the song go

Sung at full voice:
Grab your backpack
Let's go

Jump in

You can lead the wedding!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Finding our way

Lauren has been doing a concerted job of acting out lately. It seems to center around making gargantuan messes with some sticky substance on her window. Three times with Chapstick, twice with toothpaste. She's also started a nervous habit of picking at her lip until it bleeds...which ought to clarify the accessability, anyway, of Chapstick in our house. It's pretty easy to remember to put Chapstick on one's own lips. They're chapped. They hurt. But it's harder to remember to do it for someone else. Having a few tubes lying around jogs my memory. But now they've become weapons with which to inflict Lauren's unique brand of sibling jealousy in her adjustment from only child to oldest child.

It hasn't helped that we've had company particularly interested in seeing Lindsay lately. Most of my husband's family was in town last week - his mom, grandfather, and uncle all were here for their annual visit. Lauren's acting out extends to being particularly sassy to other adults giving instruction. While her initial reaction to me might be to say "No, I am not going to do x", she usually will back off to "I don't want to do x" but she will do it anyway. I don't argue with that. There's plenty of stuff I don't want to do, and I too have to do it anyway. She's certainly allowed her opinion, even if it is annoying.

I am trying to get beyond my sleep deprivation to spend some chunks of "Lauren Time" to ease her adjustment. It seems to be working. I mean, not only was this morning window art-free, but she actually slept until 9:15. Today, when we had a visitor - I had a friend stop by to see the baby, and she started being sort of mouthy and petulent, when I suggested they play a game together, she became focused on her task and was remarkably well-behaved the rest of his stay.

Well, no one said this Mom stuff was going to be easy, right? Off to McDonalds as promised so we can finish our Cars collection...

Oh, and you Jersey moms and dads out there - does Loew's do Mommy Cinema here in the 'burbs? I'd really like to take Lauren to see Cars...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dazed by paparazzi

I can think of no other caption for this strange picture taken by Alec's stepbrother. Maybe it's the sunglasses inside? Or the black tunic I'm wearing? Even I am surprised by the hair and make up.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lindsay at 5 weeks

I just can't believe how big she's getting!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Baby tomato

Our garden yields its first fruit...

Learning to brake

Lauren's old bike had no brake so that she could learn the mechanics of pedaling. Her new Dora bike has a foot brake, so she is learning how to use it. When I am walking behind her, I often must stop short as she practices.

A great way to start a story

"One day, when I was sitting on the potty trying to make a poop..."

Knock knock

Tutu: "Who's there?"

Lauren: "Boo."

Tutu and Daddy: "Boo who?"

Lauren: "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Didn't anyone invite him?

My husband's grandfather turned 90 in March. This weekend his longtime friends are having a party to celebrate. They've been planning the festivities for a little over 2 years at this it ought to be a nice party. Unfortunately, Lindsay and I have to miss it since she's not allowed in crowded places for another month.

Anyway, Lauren will be attending with her dad. She has been asking me throughout the day about the guest list. She asked if Daddy was going, her grandmother, her great uncle, etc.

"Is Grampie Fisher going to be there?"

"No, sweetie. I'm sorry. He won't be."

She made a face that could only convey the abject stupidity of the hostess. "Well, it won't be a very good party then."

"Well, Grampie Fisher doesn't know anyone there."

"So? He's funny."

"Your daddy is funny."

"Only daddy thinks so."

Tree says what?

While waiting in the drive thru line at McDonalds, Lauren sings:
Old MacDonald had a farm
And on his farm he had a tree

With a talk talk here
and a talk talk there
Here a talk
There a talk
Everywhere a talk talk...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Since Santa Claus is jealous

"Wow, Mom. That is a HUGE belly on you." Lauren commented through a mouth full of toothpaste as I got out of the shower.

"Harumph," I grunted wrapping a towel around me.

"Is that big belly from my little baby sister Lindsay?"

"It's shrinking," I replied tersely.

"Um. Ok." she said as she rinsed and spit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lindsay and Elmo

Lindsay discusses her afternoon agenda with her friend Elmo.

The girls

Thing you never thought you'd say #387

"We draw on paper with crayons. NOT on the windows with Chapstick."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

If you haven't seen it, definitely check out the very touching Nike commercial compiled as Tiger Wood's tribute to his dad who passed away last month.
My talents (and sometimes "talents") as a kid were not so singularly focused as Tiger. My dad was the one behind the video camera capturing plays (including a great one called Return to Oz when I was about 9, where we walked around in a circle for about 45 minutes), dance recitals (and boy, was I an uncoordinated little tap dancer), soccer games, and concerts (I played classical guitar, violin, viola, and piano so there were A LOT of these). In Tiger's childhood videos, his dad is beaming from the sidelines, which is something that you can't see in mine...but you can definitely hear it in Dad's voice. Well, you kind of have to do the aural equivalent of squint for the soccer footage, Dad was an enthusiastic parent on the sidelines. As a preteen girl I'll admit I secretly hoped Dad would be stricken with laryngitis on game day, but since he had significant vocal training as a radio announcer, I was SOL on that one.

It's all right, Dad. My therapist's bill is in the mail...

Dad owned his own business for most of my childhood. As an adult, I have a pretty good idea how much work running 9 retail store business must've been, and yet he was home for dinner every evening. Despite having a bad back (his first surgery was at age 35, and I'm not sure even he's kept track of how many surgeries he's had since), he played nerf basketball on his knees nearly every night with Ben and I before bed. During our family vacations, he was always up for all of the rides at the amusement parks and endless rounds of mini golf.

Most of my childhood friends had split families and dads who couldn't be or chose not to be involved in their lives, so I knew even at the time that I was lucky. My friends even thought Dad was cool. No one else's Dad made Name That Tune tapes for their middle school parties.

I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

It's not as bad as it sounds, really

"We live in the depths of despair," announced Lauren.

"We do?" I asked.

"Don't worry, honey," my husband said, "It's not as bad as it sounds, really."


"No," Lauren explained. "It's just dangerous."


"And that's why we have tails instead of wings. So that we can get out of the depths of despair." Lauren said.

"Oh, ok."

"Well, we have tails - Daddy, Mom, Lindsay, and I do. But Seamus has wings."

"Poor Seamus. He can't get out of the depths of despair."

"Well, we can save him."

"Nanny and Poppy have wings." she added. "And Grampie Fisher."

"So they're all stuck in the depths of despair?"

"No, Mom. They don't live here."

"That's lucky for them."

"Yes. They don't have tails."

Friday, June 16, 2006

What's with the fascination with money?

My friend John posted recently that his son commented they could have a new car if only Daddy worked more.

The girls and I had lunch out at Pizzeria Uno yesterday. The check came, and after much card shuffling, I put lunch on my corporate Visa. I talked to a client while I was waiting for my salad...

"Where does money come from?" Lauren asked.

"Daddy and I work to make money." I replied.

"Oh," she said. "Well, I could work to make money."

"Doing what?"

"I could work on my laptop."

"That's a nice idea, honey. But right now your job is to play."

"But I want to work!"

"There's plenty of time to work. Besides, doing work isn't the hard's finding someone to pay you to do it," I said.

"Well," Lauren said thoughtfully, "you could pay me."

And then this morning, Lauren marched into the kitchen while I was making myself some coffee and pouring her some Smart Start cereal (she calls them Mommy flakes), she announced, "When I am big like you, Mommy, do you know what's going to happen?"


"Money is going to come out of my butt!" She looked excited about this.

"Uh...peanut, I'm sorry it doesn't work that way."

"Jess said that money comes out of her butt."

"Hmm..." Do I try to explain sarcasm to my 3 year old? "I think Jess was trying to be funny."

"Ok, Mommy. So money doesn't come out of your butt?"

"No, peanut. " Though sometimes I wish it did...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thank you, Sybil

I love my new sweater.


Another shout out

Here's the big bee day shout out to my husband. Happy 34th!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The girls

Out of the mouths of babes

Please call child protective services. Mommy bottle feeds me.

Lindsay Stoll

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Days like these

We actually got everything done today. Even stopped for McDonalds and made it out to the mall.

Lindsay took a very long nap in her car seat, so I finished the laundry, and even put it away.

Now we're off to get baths and do Lauren's bedtime routine.

Boy, am I tired already...

Sweet fancy Moses

I have no idea why that line completely tore me up. I never watched Seinfeld before it was in syndication (which had to do with managing restaurants during primetime tv in the mid 90s).

Lindsay likes the swing today...HURRAY!

Maybe I can actually get the laundry done.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'll take a sleeping baby with a side of cleavage

This picture was taken at a goofy angle. She's asleep on my chest while I am stuck at my desk. Every time I get up, she cries.

Oh, and she's snoring.

A very merry unbirthday

I have no idea why that scene from Alice in Wonderland struck me.

Oh right.

A little more than 10 years ago, in our hurry to obtain our marriage license from the city of Boston, my husband had his father retrieve a certified copy of his birth certificate. His dad didn't notice that the hospital made a typo. So this certified document indicated that my husband's birthdate was June 12, 1972, rather than June 15. Subsequently, our marriage license also uses this birthdate.

We moved to Green Bay a few days after we got married. Since there were now 2 official documents listing his birthdate as June 12, the state of Wisconsin followed suit.

By the time we moved back to New York, there wasn't any correcting this discrepancy. Even though we'd since obtained the original birth certificate, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles insisted on using the date on his Wisconsin license. By the time we moved to New Jersey 2 years ago, we'd given up trying to change it. As you might imagine, whenever we're asked about his birthdate, we say: "June 15...uh, no. June 12." which usually gets me some dirty looks that I can't remember my husband's birthday...but he really gets a hairy eyeball. How come you don't know your own birthday?!

Explosive baby

Poor Lindsay doesn't seem to get bathed nearly enough. We've been giving her a bath in the upstairs bathroom sink when Lauren takes a bath in the tub, however, much of the time that's pretty prime baby sleeptime. And, if you're trying to get through a 3 1/2 year old's bedtime routine, you don't do anything foolish like wake up your 3 week old infant to disrupt it.

But last night, it wasn't just that Lindsay was a bit crusty where formula and milk has settled into rolls of baby neck and creases of baby thigh, she was actually starting to smell sour.

So Alec and I decided around 11 PM last night that we had to bathe that smelly baby. He ran warm water in the sink, and I took off her jammies and brought her into the bathroom. I approached the sink, cradling the back of her head in one hand, her itty bitty baby butt in the other. And then it happened. A horror film-like explosion erupted from that tiny heiny, and my hand was full of seedy, mustard yellow baby poop. And the baby erupted again, spilling poop out of my hand into the sink. Alec hit the drain and began frantically trying to sponge off the baby poop off the porcelain. Just as he finished cleaning the sink, my hand, and Lindsay's rear, yet another explosion. It was the moment he finished cleaning that mess, and began refilling the sink, that a warm flood spilled over my hand. And with that, I began laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face.

"So much for having a clean baby." he said.

About ten minutes later, the bathroom was clean, Lindsay was bathed and smelling like baby soap.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Weekend visitors

My brother and sister-in-law came to visit this weekend. Alec grilled up some really awesome ribs for dinner. Lauren and Ben had a great time with her bubble blowing machine. He took care of popping the high bubbles for her. She let him know that Mommy's favorite bubbles are the broken ones.

We had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Alec and I time out dinner together pretty well with a kid, but this was a new experience for us with 2 kids and trying to prepare breakfast. Alec made a pot of coffee and baked the bacon. It wasn't clear to me how long that would take, so I made scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and toast. When Alec came in to finish the bacon in the microwave, bacon grease got spilled on the floor and Lauren stepped in it. While I ran the burn under cold water in the bathroom sink, Alec put out a grease fire in the oven.

We'll probably wait to have company for brunch again. At least until our timing gets better...

Anyway, here's Ben and Lindsay:
And Maria and Lauren:
And the 4 of them. Ben is feeding Lindsay a bottle. Lauren and Maria are surfing the Internet looking at pictures of bugs and counting their feet:Ben's parting words, "When we're thinking about having kids, we'll come down and spend some more time with yours. That'll scare us out of THAT idea..."

What do you say, Internet? They look pretty comfortable, don't they?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Not a comparison

I could go on and on about how Lauren looked like this, and Lindsay looks like that...but, as Warner Wolf would say let's go to the videotape...

Alright, the digital photos.
Top photo was taken 2 days ago of Lindsay, so she is 2 1/2 weeks old in the photo. The bottom photo was taken on 10/4/ Lauren is about a month old.

The other pictures of Lauren have a few more tells that you're looking at pictures of an older baby. But otherwise, even though I know what order I loaded the photos, they are hard to tell apart.

Weird, right?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Here are the girls hanging out together after dinner. Can you tell it was pizza?
Lindsay thinks pizza smells yummy and wonders if big sis is going to share.
Don't mess with Lauren's pizza, Lindsay.

Banana fana fo findsay

My husband's parents have been divorced for about 30 years. Oddly though, all his grandparents and his aunt and uncle have united in misspelling our new baby's name. Geez, did we manage to yet again choose a name to be perpetually typoed? Poor Lauren (and I believe we chose the common spelling) has suffered Loren, Lorin, and Lauryn. Lindsay received cards and presents as Lindsey, Lyndsay, and Lynsei. This, my friends, is after the birth announcement went out.

I can't really point a finger too hard though. My mother learned to spell Stoll as a present for my 5th wedding anniversary.


I knew there were certain aspects of labor I'd blocked out of memory from last time. Not that they were necessarily terribly traumatic, just that they don't merit much thinking about. I'm sure the haze of morphine helps fade it all into a warm mosaic background of...I completely understand why people become addicted to opiates.

While I remembered that a 5 minute car ride can yield a 2 hour nap if you situate the infant carrier somewhere quiet upon your return from the bank, I'd completely blocked out that a newborn child can poop up her back. While retrieving a fussy Lindsay from her carseat, I made that warm, smooshy discovery! Uh oh.

And yet earlier today, I found out for the first time that a newborn girl can spit up formula through her nose and mouth at the same time. And, yet, not really seem phased by that. Another example of Lindsay the Chill baby? You decide...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

At least there weren't any fires to put out

I have some sort of brain deficit that causes me to leave a potholder on top of a burner. Every time I fire up one of the gas burners, I risk setting it ablaze. I have no idea why it can't just live on the pegboard by the stove with the other potholders...well, yes. I do. If it's there, I forget to grab it and try to handle the cast iron skillet with my bare hand.

I turned on the wrong burner today, and killed it before the igniter took. Oops.

I managed to get up to dinner preparation, but I can't seem to actually make dinner yet. Maybe tomorrow I will get the girls to the daycare center so we can check that out. We just didn't manage to get out of the house. But on Sunday, we didn't manage to get dressed. So, I am closer to life, right?

Bah. Logistics.

Here. Look. My girls are mostly clean and definitely cute: