Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hard Day's Night

At 3am Nate woke up (for the second time) and he had just fallen asleep when Nick woke up, catapulted out of his bed, and danced in front of me waving arms crying "up! up!" He's begun waking up crying in the middle of the night. Twice I have taken him into bed with me so that we could all get sleep, and that's why this is my fault.

I rocked him. I rubbed his back. I covered his eyes with my hand so he would close them and counted to a thousand. But every time I got up to leave he would cry, stand up, and wail "room! room!" I thought about it, but decided it would be better to kick this habit as soon as we could.

It was 4:16am. Nick cried and cried and cried. He screamed and screamed and screamed. I took Nate out of the room. I told Nick I loved him. I gave him a billion stuffed animals, I gave him books to read, I gave him water. He screamed. I closed the door to his room. He banged on the door, or the wall. I had to check on him because it sounded like The Crazy Maniac was hacking him to tiny bits, and there I was, pillow over my head, just trying to sleep. What would the headlines be on THAT one? "Mother Thought Murder was Tantrum." He would stop for fifteen or twenty seconds, and then scream loudly and high enough to shatter glass. The cats reacted by running up and down the stairs very loudly and scratching the furniture in the dining room. The dog shuffled and scratched himself and whimpered. I threw some unidentified object at the dog so he would stop moving. At 5:30am Nick finally stopped crying.

Of course Nate was up just before 6am. And despite the fact that he was awake screaming, Nick woke up before 6:30. He was smiling, happy, and didn't look tired AT ALL.

This morning I was so out of it I made a huge, huge pot of coffee so that I could make it through the morning... and didn't realize I had made decaf until well into my second cup.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

No Respect

When I read to Nicholas I sometimes let him "read" some of the words to me. Obviously he's not reading, but if I say something like "I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, I do not like them... " he will say "Sam I Am." Or at least "Am AM" which is pretty darn close. If I say "then the baby bird saw a..." and there's a picture of a dog on the page, he will say "Dog." He's pretty smart that way. Plus, we've read these books so many times that he could probably recite them from memory if he had the vocabulary.

The name of the book is "Are You My Mother?" In case you don't know it, or have no imagination whatsoever, it's about a baby bird looking for his mother.

"What is this Snort going to do to me?" said the baby bird. "Where is it taking me? I want to go home! I WANT MY...?"

Nick takes his sip cup out of his mouth just long enough to say "Dada."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Baby Steps

I haven't wanted to post any updates about Nick sleeping in his big bed. Every time I would think about doing it he seemed to take one giant step backwards, and I really didn't want to jinx myself. But I can now report that, most of the time, he goes to bed at night without issue, and I usually have to return to his room and tuck him in three or four times before he settles down for a nap each afternoon. The point is, he DOES finally NAP there.

I am of the opinion that I shouldn't ask too much of my kids. By that I mean, that I want to make sure Nate is comfortable sleeping in the crib before letting him put himself to sleep there, and that Nick is comfortable in his bog boy bed before putting both boys to sleep there at the same time... OH, and that Nick is comfotable with his transition to big boy bed before starting in in the potty training.

I have an issue with potty training. That issue is: impatience. Not Nick's. Mine. I hate things taking a long time. I am famous for my undercooked pasta. I planted seeds two days ago and I'm already upset that nothing's happening. I truly have no idea how I am going to deal with the issue of potty training. But now that Nick is almost 2, given the fact that he is prone to getting rashes, and the fact that he is now learning to undress himself, likes to flush the toilet, and is constantly pointing out his penis, I think it is about time.

I have started this off by giving him a small potty seat for Christmas, and he sometimes sits on it for as much as 10 seconds before begging for paper so he can flush it down. The other day I purchased Bob th Builder pull up pants. I HATE the idea of pull up pants, and I swore over and over I would never use them. But then I became a parent and realized I needed to get Nick excited about potty training SOMEHOW.

So far the biggest roadblock on our trip to diaper-less nirvana is Nick. All the books, the pediatricians, the specialists, EVERYONE, says to wait until the child is ready and willing. But if you ask NIck if he wants to sit onthe potty, he always says NO. He says NO to EVERYTHING, though, including chocolate and playing outside. Then if you don't give it to him anyway, he pitches a fit. So how am I supposed to know if No means No, or if No means "I'm not really listening and I felt like saying something and No seemed like a good thing to say at the time."

And I know that successful potty training depends on Nick's cooperation, understanding, and... well, it's HIS accomplishment, not mine. I think I'm in trouble.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A weighty issue?

Why don't they make clothing that just fits?

It's not just me. I have a really hard time trying to find clothing that fits Nick. Pants come in either 18 or 24 months. The 18 month size stops well above his ankles, giving him a Steve Urkle look. But if I try to put him in the 24 month pants I have to roll the cuffs. They keep falling down anyway because they are too big around the waist. His shirts are either too big, or they make him look like he's auditioning for "A Chorus Line." If both top and bottoms fit, they are probably not going to match.

Nathan has lots of clothes that fit. Nathan's issue is that I'm trying to fit him into as many cute outfits as I can before he grows out of them completely. I can change him 3 times a day for a week and he'd still have enough clothes.

I myself just spend 45 minutes trying to find something to wear. Before getting pregnant I used to wonder where the 6 foot tall 110lb women were, since all the pants I purchased were obviously made for them - too long and tight around the middle. But then I got pregnant and the pants refused to rise above my knees. My body changed that much. And I refuse to purchase new clothing because I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY BODY WILL BE LIKE IN TWO MONTHS. Am I still loosing baby weight? Is this it? Will my body stay this way? No one knows. I have 2 pairs of jeans that fit - and "fit" is a relative term. One pair is tight around the thighs yet exposes my underwear if I kneel or bend over. (hello - I work with kids - this is unavoidable.) If both pairs are dirty, like today, I have a number of drawstring pants my mother gave me that can work, only I tend to have the same underwear-showing problem, and they are almost all capris so I'll be cold, and I can't tell you the last time I shaved my legs I'm really sorry to say it but it's true. Once I have selected pants, I need to find a shirt that is long enough to not show off a bit of my belly, which is still pretty scarred up and stretch marky. My new chest makes all my shirts two inches shorter than they used to be.

For the record, I don't mean to be complaing about weight. That's not my point. My point is that I have nothing to wear. Nothing that fits, anyway. And if it fits, it doesn't match. It really makes me not want to leave the house because I feel so patchworky and thrown together - not in a stylish way, but in a "hey, look, that color blind lady just stole an outfit from the Goodwill Bin" kind of way.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Night of a Thousand Somethings

Steve is away on a business trip this week, which really throws off our whole routine. For one thing, I can't put Nick down for a nap or to bed without hearing him ask for Dada four or five huindred times. Getting up in the morning is the same story. No matter how many times I tell him "Daddy is NOT HERE" he just doesn't get it.

Last night I ended up putting the boys to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual, just because there was no Daddy there to rush around with, to say goodnight to - or for me to talk to, for that matter. I had 30 blissful minutes of freedom where I contemplated the night I had ahead of me and the reading, the working out, the cleaning and organizing I would fill it with.

And that's when it started. Nick woke up crying. I spent 20 minutes listening to him scream, and then 45 minutes putting him back to sleep in his own bed. 20 minutes later Nathan woke up screaming. I fed him and put him back down. But by then I was so cranky I just climbed into bed. Nathan woke up once more, and then at 3am I finally took him into my bed with me - something I never would do if Steve were here because there's not enough room in the bed for the three of us - that Nate takes up more space than you'd think.

At 5am Nicholas woke up screaming and by the time I got to his room he was standing at the baby gate doing that frantic pick-me-up dance and wacing his arms. Desperate for some sleep, I picked him up and took him into my bed, also. For the next hour I tried to sleep as I nursed Nate on one side and Nicholas stared at me on the other.

At 6am when I finally gave up I realized that Nick's diaper had leaked and I needed to change my sheets and do laundry.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Genius Boy

I recently jumped on the Sudoku bandwagon. I couldn't see what the fuss was about... people writing numbers in boxes? Math? How was this fun? But then I tried one... and was immediately hooked.

Nick is fully supportive of my Sudoku phase. In fact, as you can see in this picture, he has started doing the puzzles himself. We're pretty much at the same level, except I'm better at fitting the numbers in the boxes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We took Nicholas to get a haircut this weekend. We went to FRANK'S in Salem, where Steve has gone in the past. Nick watched his dad get his hair cut, then he sat on his lap for his turn. I tried to get action photos of the actual haircut, but there was too much going on. Nick kept moving his head, and the lady swooped around constantly from one side to the other clipping the ends off Nick's curly baby hair... She even used the razor thingy over his ears.
Nick was incredibly brave. He didn't cry at all. I only cried a little.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last Week was Easter, and here are some photos. I'm a week late in getting them off my camera.

Nick isn't smiling in these pictures, but trust me when I tell you he really liked the Easter Egg Hunt we set up for him... in fact, he's still walking around with those plastic eggs and putting them in baskets, behind sofa pillows, and anywhere else the "Easter Bunny" might have thought to "hide" them. It's very cute, but I am a bit tired of picking them up and finding them in odd places, not to mention of Nick's fits when I tell him the basket of eggs has to STAY HOME.

Nate's sweater was made by my Aunt Frances - isn't it cute? He only had it on for three minutes before I yanked it off for fear he's spit up all over it...

And finally we have our family photo. It was really hard to get, because Nicholas kept squirming. He's holding a jelly bean, which was the only way we could get him not to scream. But he still wanted to be running around Gramma's house in wild circles, torturing the cat, who is as big as he is and very scary.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nicholas is changing every day. He is a constant mimic, so we have to be very careful about what we say or do. Once I was tickling Nate with my foot, and he walked up and practically stepped on his brother. When I shouted he cried, of course. But because he was confused - wasn't I just doing that very same thing?

The other day he was out on the porch with Steve. Steve was talking on his cell phone. Nick was sitting in his little chair, holding a broken remote control to his ear and having an imaginary conversation.

Yesterday he took a little box full of outdated insurance cards and hotel keys into a store with me. As I was paying I caugt him leaning out of the stroller, "swiping" one of the cards against the wall, and then punching an imaginary keyboard with his index fingers.

I can't explain how I feel when I see him do these things. It's an urge to laugh and cry at the same time. I know he doesn't really know what he's doing, and that makes it funny and cute. But part of me also knows he's going to be doing these things for real someday all too soon. Even though I'm glad about that, it also fills my heart with sadness. Does he really HAVE to grow up? Can't he just sit on my lap and stay small for a few extra years? I mean... once he's out of diapers.

Friday, April 21, 2006

This morning I went to change Nick's diaper, as usual, but I noticed something odd while shoving the diaper into the diaper bin. The diaper was the wrong color.

Steve gave Nick a bath last night. Apparently he put one of Nathan's diapers on Nick. I should have known something was wrong when Nicholas wailed for an hour instead of settling down to go to bed, but it never would have occurred to me to check that he had the right diaper on.

I haven't told Steve yet, since he was in a rush to get to work this morning. I would be horrified and a little angry, but in the past two days, not only have I also tried to put one of Nate's diapers on Nick, but I have also almost put one of Nick's diaper's on Nate. We're talking about a diaper the same size as he is. I only noticed when the tabs reached just under his armpits.

I've said it before, although not on this blog: Thank Goodness for Velcro Tabs!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Whenever I see an old picture of Nicholas I am struck by what a round, bald head he had. I can't tell you how happy I am that he finally sprouted some hair. Now he has so much of it that I can't keep it combed properly. It curls up every which way. A post about a first haircut (not counting the snip I made and the extra bald spot I gave him) may be coming up soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

When Nicholas was born we ended up with a flyer called Building Block to Heathy Social / Emotional Development. It offers suggestions on how to help your kids succeed from birth to age 5. I have had it posten on my fridge, and just this morning I took the opportunity to read the "Ages 2 - 3" section, since Nick will be 2 in a little over a month.

Let me just say that most of these suggestions are good ones, but they are not always practical. For example, in the "Birth to One Year" section it states that Holding a baby will not spoil him, which is something I happen to agree with. But it doesn't tell you how to make a meatloaf while holding the baby.

In the Ages 2 - 3 section there were a couple of items that, again, I agree with, but don't seem to be working. The first is Temper tantrums are normal - stay calm. I assume by "Stay Calm" they mean "please do not place your child in the dryer or send him to play in a busy street." Great. But what would have been MORE helpful would be tricks to either avoid tantrums or end them. Nicholas has tantrums because he wants something and when he tells us we give him blank looks because we have no idea what "gada gook don" means, and obviously our guesses are far off the mark. Once he starts throwing sip cups and has melted into a puddle of goo on the floor, screaming and crying and kicking out at us, how do we figure out what it is he wants?

Another suggestion this flyer has for Nick's soon-to-be age range is "Offer your child two choices of food and clothes." I'm all over this. When we go to the grocery store and I say "Which cart should we get?" expecting him to go for the ones with the ride-in-cars, he picks the automated ones for people who need help getting around the store. When I pick two shirts and ask "Which shirt, this one, or this one?" he looks at me and says "no." "Do you want Macaroni or balogna?" his answer is "Yes." The doesn't understand the CONCEPT of choice. So for now, I go through the motions. I pick two shirts knowing he will say no and I will choose for him. I pick two books knowing he will want them both and then add three more. And I pick what we have for dinner because, let's face it, it won't matter to him.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I feel downright evil today. Like a cross between Joan Crawford and that dragon from the Lord of the Rings movie. And it's my own fault.

First off, my left leg would be in less pain if I just cut it off. I like to run on the treadmill every day. Lately it's been difficult to get Nick to sleep long enough for me to run for a full half hour. So instead of just accepting this and cutting back on my time, I stopped stretching beforehand.

I KNOW! Stupid, Stupid me. I expect no sympathy for the pain I am currently experiencing in my knee and foot.

But the REAL issue, the REAL reason I feel like every nerve in my body is exposed and I might explode any second... is that last night I did not sleep in my own bed.

It wasn't Steve. I should say right away that, although Steve and I have argued and then gone to bed, the arguments are never bad enough to banish one of us to the guest room. Or else neither one wants to give up the good mattress. The issue, of course, was Nick. Nicholas bgan crying at 11pm last night and WOULD NOT STOP unless he was resting his head on a part of my body, even if doing this meant that he had to bend his neck at a 90 degree angle from the rest of his body. After 45 minutes of his crying and my clutching my chest with the fear that he was going to wake his brother, I finally went in and crawled into bed with him, figuring there had to be something wrong.

There MIGHT have been something wrong.

But I am still never doing that again. For the following reasons:
- Nick keeps more small items in his bed than I have in the diaper bag, including small cars, books, sipcups, and small round bouncy balls.
- Nick does not understand the concept of giving me my own space, and sleeps with his head pressing against my neck AT ALL TIMES.
- Nick breathes in my face. Hot, I-have-a-cold breaths.
- Nick rolls over onto my hair, which hurts
- Nick wakes up at 4am and tries to play with me. When I try to go back to sleep, he helpfully points out every single mole on my arms, chest, and face. He pokes each one and says "mole?" It turns out I have a lot of moles.
- When I finally get back to sleep, Nick manages to WALK THROUGH THE WALL (or climb over the baby gate but honestly I'm hoping it was walking through the wall which would be easier to process mentally) and at 6am I wake up to the sound of his little feet runnin up and down the hallway.

I will be napping instead of working out today. I hope. As it is I have had to have a coffee just to deal with getting dressed and not packing Nick up into a box and mailing him to an orphanage when he started making those fake-cry-whiney noises this morning. I will need another cup of coffee to deal with taking the boys to the grocery store. I hope the caffeine lets me nap.

If I can't nap, the next blog post will be done from some faraway South American resort where children are NOT allowed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Easter Bunny brought Nick a lot of chocolate for such a little boy, which is amazing when you consider the number of times she had to return to the store and replace items such as choclate bunnies and peanutbutter cup eggs. That's what you get, Easter Bunny, for purchasing things way in advance and not having enough will power. Shame on the Easter Bunny!

But now, thanks to the Easter Bunny and Steve's mom, we have more chocolate in my house than in the rest of New Hampshire. Which is great... sort of. If there's one thing I've learned over the past three weeks, it's that I WILL eat chocolate if it's around. Self control will have to be practiced... oh, well.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


When I was a kid we'd celebrate Easter by dressing up in frilly dresses with petticoats and hats - well, my sisters and I would, and my brothers wore suits. Then we'd go to church - the only time we'd go to church all year long - to hear the pretty music. (Once my brother actually whined "Do we HAVE to go to church EVERY YEAR?" It doesn't matter what you do or how often you do it - children will complain.) When we got home we would have our Easter Egg Hunt, and then we'd have a fancy meal of lamb and mint jelly or duck or a roast or something.

But I will celebrate this year by telling you a SPRING STORY about... you-know-who... NICHOLAS! Who else?

Yesterday we were outside, celebrating the warmth of the season. I was working on weeding my hopeful flower bed. Steve was playing with Nick. He stopped by Nate's bassinet to say hello. Nate sneezed, and Steve said "Hey! I got your sneeze on me from all the way over here!" Then Steve lay back, staring up at the blue, blue sky... and that's when Nick walked up to him and threw up on his head.

I ususally hate throwing up. I have to clean the floor, do laundry, plus I have to immediately find a way to comfort Nick without picking him up, which is what he wants me to do. But this time I also had to deal with Steve, who kept saying "My hair... it's in my hair." I have to say, it was totally worth it to have this little incident tucked away inside my brain.

We are all fine now, and clean. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Here's the song I made up for Nate. He loves this song, especially when you grab his arms and make him dance to it. He opens his mouth really really wide and shows you that he has no teeth.

It's to the tune of "Coppacabana." (Did I spell that right? Oh well - I don't really care. I don't even really LIKE that song. It's the tune that's important.)


His name is NAto
He'a poTAto
And NAto poTAto is GREAT-o

His name is NA - TO
He's a poTA - to
NAto poTAto is GREAT-o but WAIT-o
He is NAto....
And he's my BOY!

(Practically anything can be substituted into that last line. "Mommy's in LOVE" is a big one. But I've also used. "Let's go outside," "Time for a nap," and "Sir Stinkypants.")

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We all have a cold. Yesterday night Nicholas threw a fit at being put to bed, sobbing and wailing. After an hour of listening to him, we finally went and got him, and then all sat down to watch a movie. Nick fell asleep during the movie (that was the idea) but he woke up about ten times during the night just to cry. I kept Nate in with me so he wouldn't get woken up, and so I wouldn't bother Nick going into his room for midnight feedings.

Of course, Nate woke up only once for the first time in over a week.

This morning Nick is congested. Nathan keeps sneezing. And I have one of those sinus headaches. Feeling less than 100% is completely different when you have kids. Nobody really cares. They still want their juice and their TV shows. They still want to play outside. They still expect clean utensils and clean clothes and diapers. It's fine, though. I'm looking forward to taking the boys into my bed and all having a big long nap there.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nicholas is a very friendly kid.

Yesterday we met some friends at the park. Of course, after the initial thrill of recognition, none of the kids wanted anything to do with each other, and they each headed off towards a different corner of the very huge playground, where Nicholas found the man of his dreams.

He was wearing a yellow T shirt, sunglasses, and was either a very young father or an uncle. He and two girls (years older than Nick) were playing on the slide and the bridge Nick was attempting to scale. From the moment he saw the man, Nick knew he was special. He pointed and said "Dada?"

I nodded. "Yes, he's their father," I said. Best to keep things upbeat and simple. But Nick wouldn't let it drop, He followed the man around the slide asking "Dada? Dada? Dada?" and pointing. I laughed and took his hand, leading him away. But he would always return to the man. I explained to Nicholas that this man wasn't HIS dada. I also explained that he had a perfectly good dada at home. But Nick didn't seem to care.

I should also let you know that Nicholas also fell in love with two older girls at the park. One of them was jumping on the bridge - Nick immediately began to jump on the bridge, which was only a problem because he had enough trouble walking on it. When she and her mother left Nicholas ran after them into the parking lot shouting "Bye bye! Bye bye!" The thing was, the girl had hardly given him a glance. Thsy didn't know this little boy was trying to go home with them.

On one hand it breaks my heart. Nicholas is trying to find someone to play with, and I am not very good at finding people for him. I see him reaching out for attention and wonder if I am giving him enough - after chasing him into the parking lot while holding my 3 month old in one arm and trying not to bounce too hard so his little head won't fall off... But on the OTHER hand, we came there to see two people willing to play with him, and he wouldn't have anything to do with them...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Last night Nathan decided that it wasn't worth sleeping unless he was pretending to nurse at the same time. I kept feeding him until his body went limp and he stopped sucking. Then I would oh so carefully brgin him to the crib and place him on the matress...

... and he would almost immediately begin kicking and making those "heh heh heh" sounds that exist simply to give you some time to fix the problem and avoid the real screams.

We did this four or five times before I realized that I needed sleep badly enough to qualify me as insane. I went on a mad search for the one remaining pacifier we have in the house, but it took me a while to find it, as it had fallen out of the carrier in the TV room and wedged itself under the giant football pillow. Once I gave him the pacifier I could still hear him fussing, but the screams were somewhat muffled. I had to go back in twice to replace the pacifier, but I didn't care. At least I wasn't nursing him and awake.

This happened because he slept all day yesterday. I will not be making the same mistake today. Oh no. Back to our Schedule, like it or not.

Monday, April 10, 2006

My sister Anne-E was here for a visit this past weekend.

Anne-E lives in San Francisco, and I only get to see her two or three times a year, so it's kind of a big deal when she decides to just come out for a weekend. But she loves Nick, and she had never even seen Nate in person.

I love my sister. But I have to tell you I questioned her motives while she was here. Within the first 12 hours of her visit she managed to wedge both of Nathan's legs into one pant-leg while changing his diaper, put the diaper on the baby backwards, and drop the baby on the floor. That's right, she DROPPED MY BABY!

It was an accident. The carrier the baby was in can be tricky. The handle thingy was in the wrong position, Nate wasn't strapped in, and he has this way of scootching down. When she picked it up he slipped onto the floor and started crying. He was more upset than hurt. In fact, we don't think he was hurt at all. He was fine. We told Anne-E it was fine. But she felt bad anyway.

I'm so glad she came out here. We just don't see enough of her. Our lives are very, very different, and we live on opposite sides of the country. But all that is OK. As long as she keeps making visits.

Anne-E, I promise you that we wil somehow get out there to see you before too long, OK?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tonight I am going to see Spamalot in Boston! I am very excited, not only because I love musicals, Monty Python, and this soundtrack in particular, but because we will be going out WITHOUT THE CHILDREN!

However, if I were going to be at home, this would be a TV night. We have HBO, and Steve and I are big Sopranos buffs. I also happen to be a huge fan of Big Love. Not that I could ever truly understand either the Mob or Polygamists, but there you go. It's the magic of television.

Tonight, however, there is also another show that I might watch at 8pm. The Gospel of Judas Iscariot. Not only do I find things like this intriguing, my cousin Chris is involved with the film. Find out more about Chris and his company HERE. So even though I can't watch it tonight, I recommend that you DO, and I'll catch it when it plays again, which I'm sure it will.

And now, for a photographic image of the show that is probably illegal to post here, but I'm going to do it anyway because I can't see that it's really hurting anyone:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Today we went to the Town Hall for the Town Easter Egg Hunt.

When Steve first told me about the Easter Egg Hunt I pictured it in my mind immediately. Young children rushing around in Eastery clothes, clutching baskets on one hand and pushing aside branches of trees and peering under bushes to find brightly colored Easter eggs. The sun would be shining, birds would be singing, parents would be talking, laughing, getting to know each other, and watching their children, snapping photos when they could. Everyone would be happy. Hearts would be light. Then the children would line up in an orderly fashion to meet the Easter Bunny, who would pat each smiling child on the head before moving on to the next...

Things are never the way you think they will be.

First of all, there was no sun. This is New England, so I guess I should have expected this. The sun is onely a sometimes thing up here. But it was also cold. Not crisp, not chilly, but see-your-breath and wear-your-mittens COLD. We arrived at the town hall just at 10am. The driveway was filled with parents and children tightly packed together. I kept looking for a table or a posted sign telling where the 1 to 3 age group was supposed to go. But there was none. Then this man started speaking into a megaphone and I had a very surreal feeling that I had entered a silent film. I could see him speaking. I knew his voice was supposed to be very loud. He was gesturing, so I knew what he ws saying would probably pertain to us in some way. But all I could hear was the crowd of parents and children.

Even though the megaphone was obviously broken, the people closest to him must have heard what he had said, because they began to move as one united mob up the driveway. Most of them moved towards a small circle of hay that had been placed on the lawn in front of the hall. Again, I could see the man with the megaphone, but couldn't hear him. I waited for him to explain the rules, to introduce himself... to do SOMETHING that would inform us as to what was going on...

Before the man could say anything, as he was begining his little announcement, the mob made its move. Suddeny parents and children alike - many obviously over the 1-3 year age group or else suffering from severe glandular disorders - began rifling through the hay. Parents pushed past young kids, shouted at their kids to "Look there! Look there!" The megaphone man was shouting "there are enough eggs for everyone" but some parents seemed to think he was fooling, and that there were not going to be enough eggs to go around. Steve had to push past a group of parents to get Nick into the chaos, and helped him look for a few eggs. Nick found 2 eggs. He was happy with what he had.

Just so you know, these were PLASTIC EGGS people. They were not golden eggs. They each contained one sticker. They did not contain lottery tickets. And once you got an egg, that was it. You got the egg. There was no prize for most eggs found. There was no winner. It was just a hunt that was supposed to be fun and lighthearted. Instead, it turned into a chaotic mess because some parents - a LOT of the parents - turned pushy. I was afraid someone would step on Nick.

We had plenty of time to discuss the insanity and the craziness of the hunt as we waited on line to see the Easter Bunny. (It was obvious which kids had pushy parents. They were the 2 year olds with 3 dozen plastic eggs in their basket. ) Nicholas smiled when he saw the Easter Bunny, but when it was our turn to go to him, he simply said "No." I picked him up and put him on the Bunny's lap, but he kept saying "No,no, no, no, no" until he could get down. If you ask me, it was the best part of the morning.

I'm glad we went. But I know I don't have to tell you how dissapointed I am. Why don't people listen? Don't they see that everyone is supposed to have fun? Why do parent think it's OK to let thei 8 year old railroad a bunch of 2 year olds to find more stickers? Why do parents think it's OK to grab an egg away from a 2 year old kid? What is WRONG with these people?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yesterday I actually purchased a double stroller.

Because I already had a child in the recent past, there was very little we needed to purchase for Nathan's arrival. Baby clothes? Check. Infant car seat? Check. I bought a bassinet so that I would have a few extra weeks to transfer Nick to his Big Boy Bed. But other than that, Nathan got nothing. From us. He was showered with gifts from family and friends.

But I knew at some point I would need a double stroller. Up until now I have either been pushing Nate and having Nick walk - carrying him half the time. Or I have been pushing Nick and carrying Nate in the Bjorn thingy, which is great, but I can't bend over or carry anything too heavy. When Nick was born I got a great stroller that weighed 50 pounds and was about the size of my Saturn. In fact, it would not fit IN my Saturn, which caused some problems. So I then had to buy a second, more portable stroller. This is a great stroller, but I now had two kids.

Yesterday was the day. I packed up the kids and headed off to Babies-R-Us, or The Huge Store I Hate. I seriously hate this store. But I can never find a place that gives me the variety of products. Except on the internet, which doesn't count, because let's face it, I want to SEE what I buy. I need to know how it will fold up so I can picture myself taking it to France and Tennessee and on my frequent trips to Hong Kong. PORTABILITY. FOLDABILITY. Will they let me check it as baggage without forcing me to treat it as an oversize item?

I really, really, really liked the Aria Twin MT for some reason. (Mom - the underlined type is a link - click on it and you will see the stroller I'm talking about.) If this stroller were a car, we'd already own it. It is that cool. It "drives" so smoothly, and folds up flat like a pancake! But it was the most expensive stroller in the place.

I ended up with the Twin Savvy Sport Stroller which is also really cool. (Mom - LINK!) This stroller cost a bit less (still more than I wanted to spend) But it is also WAY COOL! It folds DOUBLE. So you make it flat and then fold it IN HALF! OK, it's a bit heavier than the other one, but it's easier to carry, it has machine washible pads...

The other thing is, Nick loves it. Ever since we got the stroller home he has been sitting in it. He napped in it yesterday. He cried when I took him out to eat lunch. It's great! He'll just sit there while I fold laundry or make dinner, smiling. "Cha?" He asks. "Sit?"

I will post a photo of the boys in their new stroller soon, I promise.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yesterday I helped Nick decorate Easter Eggs.

This was another one of those crazy, parent driven things. Like visiting Santa. Nick would never had noticed if we hadn't done it. He doesn't understand Easter, or the eggs, or the Easter Bunny. But some part of me, the part that remembered decorating Easter Eggs as a kid, had a NEED to show Nick the joy of getting his fingers stained with artificial dye.

Personally, my favorite Easter Eggs as a kid were the ones I decorated with Larissa. Her mother is originally Ukranian, and they had the whole set up beeswax and strang dyes... making an egg would take hours - days. But it was fun, and it was worth it. Compared to that, dumping your egg in "the blue cup" and then having a plain blue egg is just not the same thing.

But since Nick is just 22 months old, I figured regular old easter egg dye would be fine.

It was a fiasco.

First of all, I needed to phone my mother to ask her about the eggs - would they go bad in the fridge if I hard boiled them now? Then I had to look up how to hard boil and egg in The Joy of Cooking. I did have the presence of mind to boil the eggs ahead of time and let them cool.

Then the FUN began. I let Nick watch as I put vinegar and lemon juice in with the tablets of fizzy dye. I poured water in the cups. Nick wanted to drink them. I took out an egg and placed it in one of the cups. Nick wanted to hold an egg. "Bird?" he kept saying. I showed him how the egg was a little colored. I gave him stickers to put on the eggs. He would get so excited he would smash the egg he was holding agains the table. He wanted to put all the ggs inside the cups at the same time and stir with the egg dipper thingy. All in all, it was me decorating a few less than 2 dozen easter eggs while trying to keep Nick from smashing them all on the table.

He had a good time with it, which is what counts. But it was the most stressful fifteen minutes I had experienced in a long while. I would have taken pictures to go with this post, but until I hire a full time photographer to follow me around and document my life, there is no way I am ever going to capture most of these moments. My hands are full LIVING them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I feel and look like I just spent the entire night beating my face against a brick wall.

I tend to brag about my kids being good sleepers. I do this because I compare each night to the first eight months I spent with Nicholas, where I was up three or four times every single night feeding him. I had to stop breastfeeding him and start giving him a bottle for him to start waking only once a night. And eventually he began sleeping all the way through, from 7pm to 6am. Just in time for me to get massively pregnant and need the sleep.

Nathan seemed like a magical baby. He started off sleeping for four or five hours at a time, and I had to wake him to feed him, which I think is insane, but I was afraid because he was jaundiced and I was supposed to be feeding him a lot. Eventually, though, his color improved and he would wake only once a night, and then he'd be up very early in the morning (5am-ish). I was ecstatic. I knew things were going really, really well. I even started giving up my nap in the afternoons to work out or do chores.

Well, for the past four nights Nathan has been waking up every two hours. I get tired and resentful going in there to feed him so much. I know many people would let him cry it out, but I feel he's still very young, and he may honestly need to be fed. Also, HE SHARES A ROOM WITH NICK which causes all sorts of trouble.

Last night I had to change Nate's sleeper because of a leaky diaper. But the outrage this little baby projects at not being fed RIGHT AWAY is amazing. He screams as though I'm pricking him with pins and lfails his little body around making it very difficult to change him quickly in the dark, especially as I am still half asleep. His screams wake Nick, who sits up in bed, crying, and then just sits quietly and watches as I finally feed his brother and put him back to bed. I then kiss Nick and rush back to my own bed. But thirty minutes later Nick begins to cry. I am afraid he will wake Nate, so I rush back to the room to comfort him. Nick clings to me and points to the Rocker. "Cha?" he says. He wants to be held and rocked. He is asking me to do my favorite thing in all the world.... but at 3:30am.

It breaks my heart because I know he is so little and can't understand why I feed and hold Nathan twelve times a night but insist he stay in bed by himself. I held him in the chair for five minutes, then told him he had to go back to sleep. He screamed. I ended up having to take Nathan into my room - which I'm sure Nick doesn't understand in the least. I could hear him at the baby gate, speaking into the dark. "Mom? Bye bye?" and then just sobbing.

I am hoping tonight goes a bit mre smoothly. If I need to start giving Nathan a bottle before bed, or even at mindnight, then I will do that. Even if it has to be formula. But I can not have too many more nights like this.

By the way, if anyone was wondering where Steve was in all this, he was sleeping. Really. He woke once when Nick started to cry, but then fell back asleep. If there is anything more irritating than listening to your child cry at 3am, it's listening to your child cry at 3am while your spouse snores into your other ear.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A few words about SPAM... and I'm not talking about the pre-pckaged "meat product" you would find at the grocery store.

I received my first SPAM comment yesterday. Up until now, I had been confused about the concept. I visit blogs where you have to do a words verification to leave a comment. These random letters appear and they look like they havebeen twisted by a funhouse mirror, and you have to retype them to prove that you can read them. Somehow this prevents the blog from getting SPAM comments.

I have yet to turn this word verification do-hicky on for this blog for a few reasons. The first is my mother - she already can't figure out how to leave a comment. Adding this extra step might keep her from EVER BEING ABLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT EVER! Plus it's just a pain. But the second, and more important reason, is that I just hadn't been getting SPAM comments AT ALL!

This all changed yesterday, when I got my first request to visit a website and find out more about becoming a mystery shopper. Needless to say, the comment was deleted. Alhough I haven't turned on this word verification yet, I might end up doing it is other evil mystery shopper hunters start leaving me comments. So please consider this a warning.

ANOTHER WORD ON SPAM... kind of. Steve is taking me to see Spamalot! in Boston on Sunday. I am very excited. This is our first real date since Nate was born.

Monday, April 03, 2006

This is my 100th post!

I can't think of anything important enough to include in a "100th Post!" so instead here is a photograph of me. Moi. Yours truly. It was taken at my friend Betsy's wedding a year ago. I am pretty sure my friend Joanna took the picture. I give her credit because I really do believe this is the best picture taken of me since my own wedding. This was just before I became pregnant again, so I had lost all the baby weight I was going to before packing on the pounds again.

Plus, I'm just about to eat cake. DO YOU SEE THE CAKE? I mean, is there a better feeling in the world than knowing you're just about to eat cake? It's better than actually eating it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A list of failed cooking / baking experiences:

- That time I was 9 and added 2 cups of water to the mix instead of 1/2 a cup because I didn't see the 1/

- That time in high school I made the bluberry muffins and ended up with a broken finger defending them.

- That time in college my singing group made a bunch of peanut butter squares and I stepped in one of the finished ones, leaving a sock imprint we ended up cutting around before serving them to our paying audience.

- That time I was showing Betsy how I made chicken stir fry and ended up dropping the whole thing one the floor just as it finished.

- Every single time I made bacon when I lived with Miranda, because I set off the smoke alarm every single time.

- The time I made Lime Chicken for Steve and he said "How can you mess up chicken" just before taking a big bite and then looking at me as if to say "By Gum, She's gone and done it!"

- This time I made cookies - the really easy kind that are already in precut cookie shapes and all you have to do is pick them up and place them on a baking sheet... only I put cooking spray on the sheet first, so they all slid around into each other during baking giving me this wonderful melting clock effect:
- This time I made the brownies and then dropped the entire pan on the floor as I was removing it from the oven. I scooped it up and ate it anyway:

- Finally, last week after the brownie incident when I tried to make a whole chicken and forgot to take it out of the freezer and eneded up microwaving it for 30 minutes trying to defrost it and take the paper sack of intestines out, but only managing to cook parts of it while the insides remained to frozen to budge, and after soaking it in warm water for 20 more mintes I decided that feeding my family drain cleaner might be safer than feedin this psrticular chicken to my family.

I have never taken a cooking class. but I do cook something at least once every single day. I'm getting better, and I'm learning. But honestly, powders and prepackaged, frozen meals are getting better and better. So many days I wonder if it's worth the effort.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Well, we've sent Nicholas packing on the last big truck that came driving through our town... just kidding. APRIL FOOL'S!

Personally, I am not a big fan of April Fool's day. Possibly because I'm not good at tricking people. It either doesn't work, or it does and I feel guilty. And when people play tricks on me I get hurt. Part of me feels that, by even recognizing this day, I will have more tricks played on me than ever. The same God owns April Fool's and Massachusettes Roads, and the one time I drove through Massachusettes and made fun of the names of the towns (DeadHAM, NeedHAM) I ended up getting horribly turned around and drove the loop from 95 North to 93 South about 3 times before I figured out what I was doing wrong.

Today was Steve's morning to get up with the kids. Miraculously, Nathan slept through the night until 4am, when he woke up soaked because his diaper leaked. He was also very offended that I decided to change him instead of feed him right away, but hey - I didn't want pee all over me. His screaming woke up everyone - Nick, Steve... various pets. After changing him I took him back into our room to sleep in his bassinet, which I still have in there. I didn't feel like changing the sheets on his crib, and thought Nick would go to sleep again if we left him alone. He did.
In fact, both boys slept very well.
Steve is always asking the boys to sleep until 6:30 on the day he gets up with them. Well, this morning Nick woke quielty and was playing by himself. I woke up at 6:20 to his shaking thebaby gate calling out "AGA! Ay AH ou?" (Gunther, where are you.) "Ama! Ay AH ou!" (Mom, where are you?) "Dada? Dada?" (Dad? Are you awake yet? Because I'm hungry.) After fifteen minutes of listening to Nick both over the monitor and down the hallway, squeezed in between Nate, who I had been feeding in bed and who was starting to fuss, and Steve, who was in the dead center of the bed, snoring and breathing on my neck, I finally caved. I got up and put on my slippers, upset that I had to get up when IT WAS NOT MY DAY!

Steve woke up while I was angrily putting on my sweatshirt, and gave me a choice between going back to bed or sleeping in tomorrow. Since I was already up (which happens after twenty minutes of pretending I don't have kids while reality is shouting in my ear) I chose to just get up. Steve expressed bewilderment that I was angry at him for sleeping! How could I be upset? He just doesn't get it. I'm not angry at him for sleeping... not really. I'm angry at him for BEING ABLE TO SLEEP THROUGH IT! Nate coughs and I wake up, tense, waiting to see if I need to go in, but Steve can somehow sleep through a circus over the baby Monitor. The buzzing made by said Monitor, though... THAT is a noise he complains about every day.