Come, Mommy

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big Brotherly Advice

I saw Liam lying next to Kieran on the floor this morning, holding his hands and telling him something with a very serious look on his face.

Liam: "Kieran? Baby Puppy? I have to tell you something."

Kieran: "Goo!"

Liam: "It's a secret. Daddy is much better than Mommy at playing ball. Daddy will also let you climb the ladder when he's trimming the bushes..."

Kieran: "Goo!"

Liam: "Yes, but, you are still so little. You need to stick by Mommy. She's the one with the milk. It's very strange and odd. Daddy has nipples, but no milk. So stick by Mommy for now, OK?"

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rat Video - My Best Friend - Starring Spooky

I was at our vet's office yesterday with (three!!) ferrets. I saw that one our vet's clients had posted a link to this video he made about his pet rat, Spooky. If this is not the sweetest rat ever, I'll eat my hat. You must see Spooky! She is guaranteed to make you smile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Months Of Brotherhood

Kieran is two months old today, and now I'm remembering how much I enjoyed the 2 to 3 month old period when Liam was a baby. We've got lots and lots of smiles from Keiran, simple games he likes to play, and he's starting to reach out and try to touch things. Here are some items from the last couple of weeks:

Actual quote: "I know, I know, Kieran, I dropped my kazoo on your head. I'm sorry. I was just trying to drop it near your head. I missed."

The train fan consults a subway map on a father-son outing to the New York Aquarium. Kevin reports that from Liam's perspective it was all about the trains. They didn't spend much time at the Aquarium after all. It didn't hold a candle to New Jersey Transit and New York City subway trains.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Kieran takes an uninterrupted nap while Liam is away.

It's a sure sign of spring - a doubly bandaged skinned knee.

Liam joins the percussion section during music class.

Kieran's getting over his cold and enjoying the fact that he can breathe again.*

Hey there, Smiley Guy!*

Gran-Gran and her guys. Usually she's behind the camera, but I managed to snatch this rare opportunity to photograph her with the kids.

So there you go - a visit with Gran-Gran, a first cold almost gone, and lots of baby smiles. A pretty happy couple of weeks at the Menagerie House.

*If you like Kieran's "Made of 100% Mama's Milk" onesie, click on over to Amy's shop and buy one for the baby in your life!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More Evidence Of Overthinking

So I saw an ad from a natural gas consortium showing scenes of wholesome daily American life (powered by natural gas, natch). The take-home lesson from the ad was that we need to conserve natural gas. Amongst the scenes in this ad was one of a mom heating up a bottle for her baby. So I thought proudly to myself, "See? I am so not wasting America's natural gas supply heating up formula for my baby. And further, formula manufacturing requires a significant energy output not only in making the formula, but in taking care of the cows, and also in raising the grain they eat. So, self, you are good person!"

Just for grins and giggles, I then calculated the carbon footprint for our family. We're a bit below the average American family in carbon emissions. Now, we'd be significantly below except for the fact that I just bought four plane tickets for us to go to Chicago in July. Air travel is not easy on the carbon emissions budget.

Now the irony of the situation is that we are going to Chicago to attend the La Leche League International Conference. All these breastfeeding advocates, a lot of whom also favor environmentally friendly lifestyles, contributing to carbon emissions by the very act of travelling to the Conference. It's bothering my overactive brain and my hyperaware conscience.

Maybe we should walk to Chicago?

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Poor Sick Baby! Now With Update!

Little babies just look so sad when they are sick...

Yup, Kieran has his first cold. Liam came down with one earlier this week and both Kieran and I woke up with it yesterday. He's not all that sick in clinical terms - he's not running a fever, but does have some off-and-on sneezing and coughing, with a schnorpy nose and congestion. However, he's not sleeping well, he's tired, and reasonably enough, he just wants to be held. Hopefully with some TLC he can shake this off soon, and it'll be our last cold for the season. Famous last words, I know...

Updated 5/22/07: Thanks for all the get-well wishes, guys. Kieran's doing better. He's not as congested and not coughing quite as much. It seems his first cold is going to end up being a mild one. He's just trying to catch up on sleep he lost over the last couple of days. It would really help if every time he tried to nap, his brother did not run over, poke him, and yell, "Mommy! We have eyes!! Kieran's AWAKE!!!"

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Which Baby Is Which??

More of the look-alike brothers...

This is Liam at 10 weeks...

Was he ever really this tiny? I guess he was!

And down here we have Kieran at eight weeks.

Now can someone explain how he got to be eight weeks old already???


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Brain Is Oozing Out Of My Ears. Truly.

4:00 this afternoon. Liam and I are both tired and cross, and it's pouring outside...

Liam: "Why is the rain falling down off the gutters?"

Me: "Because gravity pulls it towards the ground."

Liam: "Why does it not go down the waterspout instead?"

Me: "Well, some of it does. But some of it runs over the top of the gutters."

Liam: "Why does the rain not all go in either the waterspout or over the top of the gutters?"

Me: "Well, I guess it's raining too hard for all the rain to fit in one place or the other."

Liam: "Why is it raining too hard?"

Me: "Because there's a lot of water in the clouds?"

Liam; "Why is there a lot of water in the clouds?"

Me (getting tired): "I don't know."

Liam: "What?"

Me: "I don't know."

Liam (bursting into tears): "You DO know, Mommy, you DO!!!"

Me: "Uuummm...."

Liam: "You have to know! I have to learn!"

Me (too myself, but obviously too loudly): "This conversation is really pushing my buttons."

Liam: "It's not, Mommy. It's NOT! You don't have any buttons!"

Me: "Well, that's true. And you are very funny!"

It's hard to stay mad at this kid....

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Make Christmas Come Back, Mommy!

It's like this...Liam and I were a bit bored, and Kieran was napping, so I suggested we mop the floor.

Liam put on his "special unslippy clogs" and helped me mop the downstairs. Then we went outside to enjoy a Spring morning. We clipped some azalea and lilac branches, brought them in, and made bouquets.

Then Liam burst into tears....
"Mommy? I miss Christmas! It's not Christmas now because, see, flowers!!! We need trees for Christmas. Can you make Christmas come back??"

(The mood swings of 3-year-olds are as huge as they are unpredictable!)

Desperately, I suggested making gingerbread cut-outs...

And, yay for Mommy, the magic of the tree and star gingerbread cookies worked to calm down Liam...he was all back to the smiles again.

Um, Mommy? I fell asleep in this position and, um, Liam's screaming woke me up and, well, my neck is stuck. Can ya help me out here???

Ah, to have the physical and emotional flexibility of youngsters....

Monday, May 07, 2007

6 Weeks Of Brotherhood

Liam and Kieran have been brothers for six weeks now, and things are going well. Some photos from Week 6:

I found some of my funky lab safety glasses in the basement. It seems Liam is considering a career as a chemist!

Can you tell some of us are all about the trains and the fire engines?

Liam climbs a tree at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Kieran got left at home with Mommy while the big boys went to the zoo. He doesn't look too upset about it, though.

Ha! Fooled ya! This is not Kieran. It's Liam, only he was about 10 weeks old at the time this picture was taken. Note the family resemblance. Also? Liam may be all about trains, but Mommy is all about hand-me-downs.

Mommy? This whole Tummy Time thing is overrated. How 'bout another ride in that Peanut Shell gizmo?

"Mommy? Can I hold Kieran?"

"Absolutely, Son!"

I just hope this all this loving togetherness lasts!


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Just Call Me The Bird Shepherd

I just had this amazing thing happen, and I had to post it especially for Steph's amusement...

I was lying on the bed nursing Kieran when I saw something fly overhead out of the corner of my eye. It really didn't register until the second time this happened that things should not be flying through the house unless thrown by a little boy. Said little boy is at the zoo with Daddy this afternoon, so I thought, "Eh?"

Figuring my eyes must be playing tricks on me, I kept an eye on the part of the room where I had last seen the thing fly. I was not disappointed when I saw a small wren flying back and forth from our bathroom to our skylight to our closet. He looked pretty freaked out and was banging himself into the skylight trying to escape. I grabbed a towel thinking maybe I could catch him gently and set him outside. Then I realized the bathroom window is missing a screen, so he might be able to exit under his own power.

I waited until he flew back into the bathroom, and then came in behind him, closed the door, and threw open the window. In about 30 seconds the little guy figured out that the glass was gone, and he flew out as if under jet power.

Ten minutes later, he's still singing loudly in our cherry tree. He looks quite happy. And I have done my good deed for the day!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Now I Remember Why I'm Not A Shop-A-Holic

Lots of women regard shopping as an exercise in stress relief, or as a favorite pastime. I'm not one of them. I tend more towards the surgical strike method of shopping: make a list, go in the store, get exactly what I need, pay, and leave. I'm not a big fan of trying on lots of different clothes, or scouting out the new shoe styles, or walking about a mall just to see what's there. I don't know why this is, but it's the way I am, so there you go.

However, Monday was beautiful here, so I decided to head into Local College Town, which, being a college town, houses a lot of quaint shops and has a sweet downtown area. There is an excellent consignment shop for kids' clothing that was the intended destination as both boys need summer clothes. I love the shop because I love being able to support a local business and at the same time reduce our footprint by buying quality used clothing that has a lot of life left in it. Unfortunately, I forgot the store is closed on Mondays, so the kids and I (the whole plural use of the words "kid" and "child" still throws me for a bit of a loop) meandered about downtown, doing some window shopping.

We saw the usual college town/touristy types of things - logo T-shirt shops, coffee shops, body-piercing places, and gift shops, so we saw all kinds of items out for display. Two items, however, made my head spin. We saw this at a coffee shop:

It's a map of our shrinking landscape called a "Global Warming Mug." Apparently one puts one's (presumably organic and fair trade) hot coffee in the mug and is treated to the sight of the world's shorelines disappearing under water. Eh?

I'm all for crunchy environmentalism. Global warming is real and needs to be addressed, as far as I'm concerned. But I gotta ask how much energy is used in the manufacture and transport of these mugs. And the packaging? How much carbon does all this contribute to our atmosphere?

Is it just me, or does this product seem a bit ironic?

I was wondering how someone came up with the idea for this mug when I spied a package of these:

Organic Oreos. OK, so I buy a lot of organic food, but really, when it comes to Oreos, does it matter if the white sugar and flour that comprise them is organic? Nah, I didn't think so either, at least not in terms of nutrition, or, in this case, the lack thereof. I guess I could make a case for the introduction of organic foods to the general population, but if all that happens is that junk food becomes organic junk food, then the sad state of nutrition is this country will remain unchanged. I'm not sure I can even make a case for the environmental benefits of organic junk food.

What we have here is evidence that I think too much. I can't even go on a leisurely window-shopping stroll without considering the implications of consumerism to the downfall of the planet. Maybe I should learn to let window-shopping be window-shopping, and just do my part by not buying anything?

Would that save the planet and keep my kids amused at the same time? I don't know for sure, but one thing I do know - at least not liking to shop is easier on the wallet.