Come, Mommy

Monday, April 30, 2007

Real Mom Story

I've been tagged for the Real Moms meme by Amy and Camille. As near as I can tell this game was started by Kristen at The Mom Trap. The basic idea is talk about something Real Moms do, follow up with the tag line, "Real Moms. Making...", and provide a picture. But several people have changed the rules, so I may do that myself. Heh.

Here's my Real Mom Story - I mowed the back yard on Sunday. Not that mowing a lawn is anything unusual in suburban USA, but the part of it that only another mom would get is that I did it to get a break from parenting for a bit, and also to help Kevin out. But mostly it was to get some time to myself.

Yes, it's true. I spent 45 minutes pushing a very loud mower 'round and 'round the backyard just so I cold escape the screaming of the Mighty and Powerful Leonard. He wasn't screaming in despair, or frustration, but apparently only to test his ability to sound like "a fire engine or an ambeebeelance." And the sound was about to break the last nerve in my nervous system.

So I got some alone time outside on a gorgeous Spring afternoon. Sure it was loud, and I accidentally sent a lone tulip to its death, but no one was sitting on me, leaking on me, or asking ten-umpty-thousand "Why???" questions. It was great. And Kevin was even impressed with my mighty mower skills.

Anyone need some yard work taken care of? Have mower, will travel.

Real Moms - Finding alone time in very strange places.....

And with this, I tag Chichimama, Rebecca, Steph, Kate, and Jennifer. Have fun, ladies!


Friday, April 27, 2007

Bits and Pieces of Mommy's First Week Alone With Two Kids

Well, well, well, I managed to get both kids to sleep at the same time. Since we know it's not safe to let a young sibling co-sleep alone with a newborn, I'll have to sit here beside them with my laptop and make use of unexpected blogging time keep an eagle eye on the kids.

It's our first week without either Gran-Gran or Kevin at home with us, and we've managed to survive quite well. It's helped that Kieran likes to sleep for large parts of the morning so I can give Leonard some well-deserved one-on-one time. We've played a lot of train games, bathed all of the ferrets, cleaned out the ferrets' house, weeded a flower bed, played trains, read some books, played trains, filled the bird feeders, played get the idea. So we're settling in well, I think.

Leonard had a lot of tantrums the last few weeks of my pregnancy and right after Kieran was born, but they largely died away this week, so I think it was as much the disruption in everyday life as anything else that gave rise to them. And I'm glad thinkgs have settled out so well - I was pretty worried about my ability to cope with two. So far, so good!

The two sleeping boys. Actually, Leonard has informed me that he is still a Big Doggie Who Goes Woof and Kieran is a Baby Puppy, so in truth I guess this is a picture of two sleeping canines.

Kieran had his first Waldorf School experience this morning. He came along with us to Liam's Parent-Child class, where he hung out collecting admiring fans, nursing, and sleeping. You'll notice he is wearing a hand-knitted sweater, and he looks absolutely adorable in it. In Waldorf schools, all the kids learn to knit in the lower grades. That means there is a community appreciation for the hard work that goes into handmade garments, and the sweater was a big hit. Thank you so much for making it, Chichimama! I just wish I could fit into it, it's so soft and fuzzy!

I haven't been to school with Liam in several weeks now, and he's starting to really play with the big kids - previously, he had been hanging out with me for most of the morning. We have him registered for the nursery next fall, and Kevin and I had both been concerned he woldn't be ready to make the separation from me for the morning, but I think that's no longer an issue. He's clearly ready for more active play with small people who have a chance of keeping up with him!

Here's a shot of Kieran wrangling the Great Doggler...

We had Casey to the vet this week for his annual check-up and shots. It turns out he's got a low grade fungal infection in his ears, so we get the fun of cleaning them every day with a special wash. It's not as bad as one might expect - the Great Doggler groans and generally loves us massaging the goop into his ear canals. Evidently this infection is itchy, although he never gave us any signs of discomfort.

Of course, Leonard the Great Big Doggie has decided that he has "dirt and fungus and mushrooms" in his ears, so here he is lined up waiting for me to clean his ears, too. And evidently his ears are itchy, too, as he has asked me to "clean" his ears three times already today!

This is actually from last week, but it's a milestone, so I'm throwing it in...

Liam went to school last week with Gran-Gran, and brought home his first craft project. He picked out the colors and everything "because yellow is the best color." So now it's hanging up in our room - the first art project from our first baby!

And that's the run-down from this week. Now that I've managed my first week of solo parenting, hopefully I'll be able to refine my skills a bit and actually do some blogging next week. That's the plan, anyway!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Busy Baby

It's me, Kieran. I am four weeks old today, and am confronted with a fine how-do-you-do. Mommy and Leonard and Gran-Gran have nasty colds and the most they can do to entertain me is lie there and cough. I have decided that I am now old enough to seek out entertainment for myself...

Here we have a fine specimen of the New Jersey Wild Dog. I will wrestle him into submission...

Almost there...gosh this guy is slippery...


Whoa! Lookit me! I have tamed my first wild animal. I think it is now time to tame The Great Doggler. But I must find Mommy first. It takes a lot of milk to keep an animal wrangler going. Have great weekend, Y'all!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Irreverent TV Critic

Liam doesn't watch much TV, so it affects him more than most kids his age when he does see it. This morning Kieran, Liam, and I were all lying in bed when Liam spied our new TV remote and asked to play with it. I told him he could. He managed to turn on the TV, and then, by random accident, found a channel that was playing a Toddlerstock Wiggles video. He stared in horror at the screen for a couple of minutes.

Liam: "Mommy? Those guys?"

Me: "They're called The Wiggles."

Liam: "Um? Those Wiggle Guys? Why are they so scary?"

Liam pauses in thought...

"Mommy? I think we should turn off the TV. Kieran's scared, too."

More thought...

"I guess The Wiggles generally aren't good for little kids to watch."

Somehow I don't think this is quite the reaction the Disney folks were going for with their morning line-up.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Penny, 2003-2007

We adopted Penny from a local ferret shelter last August. She was a sweetheart of a ferret who had been placed at the shelter along with her brothers, Jeff and Pippi, because their owners were expecting a human baby and "couldn't keep" the ferrets. Well, then, who better to adopt the three than a family with one toddler and another baby on the way? And who already had two ferrets and a dog?

Yeah, we thought we were a prefect match, too.

Along the way it became clear that Penny, like many ferrets, had some fairly serious health problems, so we loved her as hard as we could and tried to keep in mind that her time with us might be short. Last week she and Jeff came down with a GI bug. Although Jeff is recovering, Penny did not, and she passed away last night.

We miss you, sweet ferret, as do Jeff, Pippi, Houdini, and Stormy. Thank you for spnding what time you could with us, and safe travels across the Rainbow Bridge.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where's The Video Camera When I Need It?

Liam and Kieran were lying next to each other on a blanket. Liam turned his head to kiss his brother. Rooting reflex triggered, Kieran latched onto Liam's nose. And didn't let go.

Liam: "Mommy! Mommy! Make him stop! He's eating me to death! Tell him I'm not milk! I am not milk! I am Leonard! HEEELP!"

Really, truly, I'm not laughing at you, Leonard...

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Improving Moods

Things are vastly better around the Menagerie House this weekend. We've had no meltdowns by either parents or children, we got the grocery shopping done, and we had sit down dinners two nights in a row. Things are indeed much better. YAY!

Now, I just need to work on the idea that photographing two kids at once means I have to move fast and just click the button already....


Friday, April 06, 2007

Bits 'n' Pieces of Post-Partum Randomness...

It's been a week since I posted?? How did that happen? Oh, yeah, now I remember, there's an extra kid in the mix now. I have an extreme dearth of blogging time, and an even more extreme lack of coherent thought. From what I hear, that's about right for this stage in my parenting career. Still, though, things are happening here. To wit:


Poor Leonard. Gran-Gran left on Thursday, and between having had her to himself for a month and the fact that I am not instantly available to him 24/7, it's been a very hard last couple of days. This sweet little boy who had previously thrown maybe five tantrums in his life has been melting down every half-hour or so. I feel so bad for the kid, but with wacky post-partum guilt hormones, I'm not handling the meltdowns well. My reactions range from wanting to give him the world as an apology for ending life as he knew it all the way to wanting to tell him he's a big kid and the whininess is killing me so deal with life already...


It bothers me when people make a big deal out of the baby while discounting the presence of his very cute older brother. Not that the baby isn't a big deal, but doesn't his brother count anymore? Poor Leonard's had a few encounters with folks who pretty much blew him off this week, and the big brother gig is wearing a bit thin. I suspect those of you with more than one child have seen this in action, but here's a typical scenario:

At Friendly's, we were mobbed by a bunch of biddies:

Biddies: "Oh, oh, oh, look at the baby! How CUTE!! How old is he?"

Me: "He's two weeks old."

Biddies (spying Liam): "Oh, oh, oh, and this must be the lucky Big Brother!!"

Liam: "No."

Biddies: "Oh, you've got it made with such a cute baby. How much fun is it to be the Big Brother??"

Liam: "No, I'm not-"

Biddies: "Is the baby a boy or a girl?? So, so cute! Cute! Aren't you happy to be the big brother?"


So at least I'm not the only cranky member of the family. Sigh.


But Gran-Gran is coming back next week. There is hope. And lookie the Easter eggs she and Leonard made this week:

And? Since when do they stamp expiration dates right on the eggs? Look between the sticker and the "Mommy," and there's an expiration date.


Thought we were through with various tummy bugs? Nope. Now the ferrets have GI issues. There's nothing like a couple of ferrets with diarrhea to create quite the mess, I tell you. Thankfully our vet was able to phone in some Bactrim to the pharmacy, so we didn't have to take five ferrets, a newborn, and a cranky 3-year-old to the vet's office.


How's Kieran, you ask? He's doing incredibly well. So well, in fact, that he managed to gain 12 ounces in his first 10 days on Earth. The baby is a natural-born nurser. And he sleeps at night. Both of which are wonderful things, truly, but in the perverse world of post-partum hormones, it's only adding to my guilt at my parenting of Liam. Liam was not a natural born nurser, and we spent the first six weeks of his life trying to get him to nurse enough to gain any weight at all. He cried a lot, and slept little. As did Kevin and I. Now that we've got Kieran around, I'm realizing how hungry Liam was in his first weeks. And I feel bad.

But, gosh, Kieran's a cutie:


What's this? Snow for Easter?



On a non-whiny note, lots of you have sent cards and gifts, made dinner, and phoned with congratulations. I fully intend to get Thank You notes out sometime before the first college tuition payment falls due, but in the meantime, know that we appreciate all of your help, good wishes, and generosity. Thank you!


And Thank You for sticking out the post this far. I hope to be back soon in a less cranky/less exhausted frame of mind. In the meantime, Leonard wants to know:

"Gran-Gran? Will you come back soon? I miss you and Mommy and Daddy are tired and cranky and Kieran isn't but he doesn't play trains, either."

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