Friday, September 29, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mama's eye view

The Stoll Posse

We all have the same nose!

Mama looks tired, but happy

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jersey girl

We had yummy beef stroganoff and cauliflower au gratin with Karen, Chris, Ross, and Lars last night. Lindsay seems to have developed a large crush on Lars. Whenever you say his name, she looks at him and grins.

Karen commented last night that her boys sound Jersey. It is coming up on 2 years I've lived here,and already my ears are muting out what was a distinct regionalism when I first moved in. Ever so much more distinctly I hear my in-laws from New Yawk, my mom with the blendy-schwa goodness of a New England accent, and my sister's rapid fire language is nearly indecipherable. I know my own accent melts into the sounds around it. There are some words I say that sound distinctly Midwestern, and everytime I have a conversation with Mom both my vowels and my "r"s get a little softer.

I was thinking about it as I awoke this morning. Lauren was already up, playing library with the stuff animals in her room. She poked her head in and announced, "Ear and I are in charge of checking out the books."


The second time she walked by, this time to retrieve the bathroom stool, I sat up to see she had her great stuffed Eeyore in tow. Ohhhh. E're.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The stinkeye doctor

The eye doctor has a gorgeous office with all new furniture and carpeting and stuff. I spend a lot of my time in doctor's offices. This place was really amazingly brand spanking new and very clean. There were little flip-type coding flaps at the top of each exam room door. When we were brought to the room, the assistant flipped the pink flap over.

The doctor came in and introduced himself. A good deal younger than I thought he would be for how many people have told me how wonderful he is - probably in his mid-forties. He was very good with Lindsay, and Lauren who was in a little snit this morning.

"Hi, I'm the eye doctor. Do you like doctors, Lauren?" he asked, smiling at her.

Lauren glowered back at him. "No. I hate doctors."

He looked surprised. Clearly this is not the answer he usually gets. "Really?" He flipped around Lindsay's chart to see where the assistant noted the girls' pediatrician, but that just seemed to confuse him further.

"Yes. Doctors are mean and nasty." She folded her arms and pouted.

"Oh. Um. Well, eye doctors are fun. Everybody likes eye doctors." he said, smiling again.

Lauren looked at him doubtfully. "Yeh. Well. We'll see."

The eye doctor has this wall of animatronic animals to get kids to look a certain way while he looks at the back of their eyes. Lauren actually stared at it with her mouth agape. And then when he left the room, she spoke of him in dolce tones as though he were some sort of God.

"Did you see," she whispered, "that the pig, Godzilla, and the tiger all danced together?"

Oh my.

We were there for quite a while, because the issue with hemangiomas on the eyelid is that they can cause pressure inside the eye resulting in astigmatism, so his assistant dialated Lin's eyes. She didn't like it much, so I spent a while pacing back and forth. She fell asleep about 5 minutes before he came back in to check her.

So this will be our routine for a while, returning every 2 months for an assessment of growth and pressure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More coffee

I am very tired this morning. No, I was not up late partying. Oh you! You're so funny.

Lindsay had a reaction to the DTaP vaccination she received on Monday, which wasn't entirely a surprise. Lauren had similar reactions to them: general irritability and a low-grade fever. Lindsay was further made miserable yesterday by cold symptoms: stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing. I gave her Tylenol for the fever, and tried to keep her nose suctioned out. Treating a baby cold is always tough business. They absolutely hate to have stuff put up their little noses. She slept a lot yesterday, but when she was up and trying to eat, she was a fussy little girl.

Her fever broke around 10 PM, and she slept through the night despite Alec's rising at 4 AM to leave for the airport at 4:30 this morning. Lauren climbed in my bed around 6:30 AM and Lindsay slept until nearly 8.

She sounded pretty good when she woke up, but as she ate, she got stuffier. She culminated her first feeding by spitting up, mostly out her nose.

Lauren sounds a little nasal too, but she also is suffering from hayfever. Poor thing is allergic to ragweed and we're getting into the miserable weeks of itchy noses and eyes. She seems a little less drowsy for the Zyrtec therapy this morning.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If you're wondering if Lindsay looks like me

Dad and me, 1975

I haven't any idea when this picture was actually taken. But I saw it and thought, That smile looks pretty familiar.

Come to think of it, I do smell like a monkey

September 19, 1979

I'm 32 years old today. I am writing that because I am one of those people when asked how old I am, there's a long pause even though I could probably tell you how many days old Lindsay is.

When I turned 20, I really thought I had it all figured out. At 32, I feel like I am in a state of constant learning about the world around me, and even myself. I think that's pretty cool.

Monday, September 18, 2006


...weighs in at 30 pounds. She is 36 inches tall. She liked it that Nurse Michelle says she is a yard tall.

A yard!

Lauren had to have a shot today called the ProQuad which is MMR and Varicella one vaccine instead of 4. She also had to have a TB test. We have to go back for a flu shot and her second hepatitis A shot. She's going to be a mad little girl by the end of October, but at least we're done until next year.

Her doctor suggested putting her on allergy medication for 6 months to try to desensitize her of her seasonal and indoor allergies. The medication makes her a little sleepy, but it's taken at bedtime, which just means no middle of the night rousing for a while, which frankly sounds pretty nice. The doctor said that after a couple of weeks, she will tolerate the medication better and not be so sleepy.


...weighs in today at 11 pounds, 10 ounces. She's gained a half pound since her last visit to the doctor. She's 23 3/4 inches tall, so she has grown well over an inch and a half. My mom likes to say that babies can't grow in both directions at the same there you are. She got taller this month. Lindsay remains in the 10th percentile for weight and the 5th percentile for height.

The doctor said, "Oh well, your husband is short," as though my genes don't explain both of my daughters' low percentiles for height.

Although they armed me with a sheet of food introduction order, which seems to have relaxed since Lauren was 5 months old, we agreed we'd discuss it again next visit. When Lauren was a baby, food introduction was cereal: oat, rice, multi; orange vegetable and fruit in alternating order, then green vegetables. It was frankly a little like a puzzle we never quite got right, and they'd always say we should've done something else first or whatever. It didn't escape my notice that the food guideline worksheet is published by Gerber.

Unfortunately, Lindsay has thrush again. Seriously annoying. The doctor recommended buying new nipples (I assume he meant for the bottles). I pointed out that she sucks her thumb now and should I worry about her reinfecting herself. So now in addition to yet another round of nystatin for both of us, I have to wash her thumbs several times a day. I am supposed to wash with soap and dry with a hairdryer after every feeding, which just about sounds like the most comical thing ever. Seriously, did anyone else have to go through this? I don't even have any symptoms of a yeast infection...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The R School

Alec and the girls dropped me off at school for class at 9 this morning. At noon when they picked me up, Lauren noticed that this was a different place than they had brought me last time.

"Is this a different school, Mom?"

"Nope, Lauren. This is where Mommy goes to school."

"Oh. This isn't the R school?"

As I looked around campus, I noticed that many of the building doors and windows had the university logo on them, a big red R.

She noticed it too, and began to point. "This is the R school!"

"Oh, yes. This is just a different building. Rutgers has a lot of buildings."

She nodded solemnly.

Later this afternoon, Alec turned on Rutgers v Ohio. When she saw the university logo, she pointed and said, "Mommy's school's playing."

"You're supposed to say 'Go Scarlet Knights'."

"GO Scarlet Knights!!"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another photo from yesterday

They look a little amused. Lauren has a bad fake smile, and Lindsay's actually about to cry here because she really just wanted to sleep. Lauren was excited because we were going to have dinner at McDonalds. And pretty much chicken nuggets and fries will wipe away an entire afternoon of studying while Lauren picked up buttons.

I finished my 3 chapters of psychology homework. Wow, I really hope the reading isn't going to be so substantive every week, because that was really my limit. I renew my confidence that taking one class this semester was really all I could handle.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Boo boo face

Lindsay at 16 weeks, September 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006


Lauren, January 2003

Lindsay, September 2006

Lauren's first day of school

Lauren's first day of school was today. She spent the entire walk down the hallway to her classroom telling me she hates school, and the entire walk back to the car complaining that she never wants to go back. Tell me how miserable she looks...

Lauren, drawing with markers

Lauren, making her pirate hat

Circle time

Story time

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In Memory of Jeffrey Patrick Walz

Nine years earlier, Jeffrey Patrick Walz left a promising career as an electrical engineer for the US Navy to become a New York City firefighter, in the path of his father. It was with Ladder 9 Engine 33 in the City’s East Village that Jeff met Rani Lurie – the woman who would later become his wife. It was Hallowe’en, and his department was dispatched to a party she was attending. Their picture was taken together, he in his uniform, she dressed as a Dalmatian.
“The only way to describe Jeff is to say he was the most caring, gentle, kind and patient person every to enter my life.”
Rani Walz, Jeff’s wife.
Jeff and Rani lived in Tuckahoe with their 3-year-old son Bradley, who, after being told they couldn’t have children, was somewhat of a miracle to them. Every Thursday, Jeff’s day off from Ladder 9, he would do something special with his son. They went to nearby Bronx Zoo and Mets stadium, or spent the afternoon at a park. Jeff shared a passion for mountain biking with his older brother, Raymond. He often would ride his bike from his home to the firehouse, a 2-hour trip.
“The bond between brothers is an extraordinary one that can never be broken. His heroic efforts are a testament to the type of man we can all be proud of. I not only lost a terrific brother, but also my best friend.”
Raymond Walz, Jeff’s brother.
“He cherished every possible moment with his family. He was a wonderful husband and father.”
Karen Ciaccio, Jeff’s sister.
Family was tremendously important to Jeff. He cherished his wife and son. He was proud of being a firefighter.
"Jeffrey grew into a very fine young man, not just as a son, but as a brother, husband to his wife, Rani, and most of all, a wonderful father to his son, Bradley,"
Jennie and Raymond Walz, Jeff's parents.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Ladder 9 was dispatched to the World Trade Center. Jeff did not escape Tower 1 before it collapsed.

Rest in peace.

Lauren is 4

Birthday girl

Jessie, Lauren, and Jessica

It is barely believable that my itty bitty baby Lauren turned 4 today. It seems like yesterday that hollering 4 pound 3 ounce babe was placed on my chest and my life forever changed. And yet, I can barely remember what life was like before her.

September 10, 2002

You are a constantly questioning little person, and while I try to encourage your curiosity, it does get tiring answering all the whys of life. Your life has a soundtrack, and todays was "It's a Bug's World After All".
The dollhouse with rooms furnished by some of Lauren's family, complete with pictures

You and your buddies enjoyed the day. Lars, "That Guy" aka Ross, Ryan, Jack Jack, and your big friend Jessica enjoyed Daddy's barbeque, played on bikes and kicked around balls. 3 of your grandparents - G.G., Grampie Fisher, and Poppy and your 2 stepgrandparents Nanny and Grandpa Paul attended, along with Uncle Ben and Auntie Maria, Uncle Jason and soon-to-be Auntie Janet. Mom and Daddy's friends Karen and Chris, Rebecca, Jessie and Nick also celebrated with us.

Lindsay and Uncle Jason

Uncle Ben and Auntie Maria

Me, Rebecca, Chris, and Karen

G.G. and Grampie Fisher

Alec, grillside

Saturday, September 09, 2006

First words?

We all heard her say, very distinctly, "Got it."

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Girls

Lauren and Lindsay, September 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Mommy drive by

You remember my last Mommy drive by...It was, in fact, the Drive By of the Day yesterday on Mommy Drive By.

Today, I walked Lauren to daycare with Lindsay in the snugli. We haven't gotten to walk there in what seems like weeks because of the constant rain here in Jersey. It's about a 5 minute actually takes me longer to drive because of the slow light on Raritan and Third Ave and trying to park.

On the way back, I had to stop in at Century 21 to confirm that we are participating in the townwide yard sale on Saturday and to pick up our signs and maps. So I was standing at a light. Lindsay, who holds her head up well now, was front facing and looking around.

An older woman, probably in her 60s smiled at Lindsay.

I smiled back and said hi.

"Boy or girl?" she asked.


"Hard to tell when she's not wearing pink."

"Yep, well. Can't wear pink all the time."

"How old is your baby?"

"About 4 months." I replied.

The woman chuckled, I assume because Lindsay gave her huge grin with raised eyebrows.

Now, although the neighborhoods in Highland Park have huge trees, Raritan Ave is pretty devoid of vegetation, so it was suddenly quite sunny.

"She really needs a hat if you're going to have her out in the sun."

"Uh..." I stammered. Thinking, why no, I didn't grab the hat. It wasn't this sunny a minute ago.

"Well, I hope you're taking her right back to the car..."

"Ah..." I was suddenly walking very fast away from her.

Y'know, I really must look clueless alone with Lindsay. I didn't receive nearly this much parenting advice with Lauren...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Laughing wild

Yes. Samuel Beckett is a little heavy first thing in the morning, particularly after a 3-day weekend.
Moody madness laughing wild amidst severest woe.
Lindsay sat patiently in her bouncy seat while I ate my cereal and drank my coffee. Once I finished the last sip of coffee, she whined loudly. I scooped her up to discover she needed a diaper change.

Newborn Lindsay hated having her diaper off. Currently, she will fuss until her wet or soiled diaper is off, and then as soon as the fresh, new diaper is under her, she smiles as if to say, "Oh you! That's exactly what I wanted."

Today, we waited for Lauren to fetch a clean diaper. Lindsay looked up at me and laughed loudly. A big belly laugh, "Ha ha ha!" I laughed back. She squealed, kicked her feet, and laughed louder, which made me laugh even louder.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The neighbors

Our neighbors across the street are a very tight-knit family. Ed is retired, a former marine. He attacks his suburban life with military efficiency, from placing little gnomes and animals around his garden, to strategically arranging the 4 cars in his driveway to maximize coverage during snowstorms, to decorating precisely 30 days before every holiday. His wife Dotsy is a heavyset woman, also probably in her late fiftees, with long dark hair. His 2 daughters, Heidi and Holly are both grown, finished with school, yet still living at home. They are probably 3 or 4 years apart. I find them a little hard to tell apart - both slender and pretty, with long dark hair.

Whenever anyone leaves the house, everyone remaining in the house comes to the front porch to call out, "I'll see you later! I love you!"

It's sort of sweet the first few times. Once you realize it happens about 5 times a day, it becomes a little comical to the point that if we see anyone leave their house, Alec and I call in falsetto voices, "I loooove you!"

While it is very endearing to see how devoted those girls are to their parents, I hope our girls won't be still living at home in their 20s...

Saturday, September 02, 2006


We had to go out to get Alec's contact lenses "fitted" today, which really meant we had to have the sample the eye doctor gave him last week replaced. They determined he needed "extended fitting" and charged another $50.

The good news is that my glasses were in, so I picked them up. They look cute, but the stronger prescription, the first change I've had since I was 18, is a big adjustment. I was trying to explain to Alec that it makes me feel very short. He says it's probably been a while since I've seen the ground clearly...

Friday, September 01, 2006

No bragging

Because whenever I brag about my girls sleeping, they stop.

Last night, of course, was another sleep strike. Lauren demanded her stuffies at 11:30 PM, a drink of water, and then had to go to the potty. After I finally got her down after midnight, Lindsay woke up and had to eat. She was up again at 4.

Alec returned on the red-eye from Scottsdale at 7, and woke up Lauren as he came upstairs.

Not so much loving this.