Come, Mommy

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Good And Bad Of Parenting...

...set to Pachelbel's Canon in D...

As seen at Karen's place.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

22 Weeks Of Brotherhood

I'm late once again, no news there. Without further adieu, I give you the latest set of brotherhood pictures...

The first couple of photos are not the kids (!!!). We took a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo, and I got a couple of interesting shots while there. This is the view from the Zooballoon, a giant helium balloon that takes passengers 450 feet above the Zoo. This is the view of the Philadelphia skyline with the Schuylkill River in the foreground. Liam and I went up together, and he was most impressed by a) the crew teams rowing on the river, and b) the trainyard.

This Galapagos tortoise has a bad leg, so the Zoo keepers and vets managed to rig up a big roller skate for his belly. Definitely an example of low-tech being the clever solution to a problem.

Because Robbie and Gran-Gran asked, here's a picture of Kieran and me at the Zoo.

Kieran is still all about spoons as toys. Also, he's starting to eye our food. Solids will on the menu soon, I think.

I love this picture because it's a great shot of both Liam and Kevin, and then you look at Kieran and he's clearly questioning how he came to be related to these two.

Look at this! An arboreal Leaping Lemur!

Nanny nanny boo boo!
I stick my tongue out at you!

Two brothers! Yes, Kieran is really as big as he looks in this photo. He's just shy of 18 pounds at the moment, which makes him 1/2 the weight of The Lemur. Wow.

That is the photo roundup for now. Coming soon - The Goodyear Blimp Stops Mr. 3's Tantrum In Mid-Screech!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Three Is Hard

One day earlier this summer Liam and I were up the street at the farm buying some veggies for dinner. While we were there we met another neighborhood mom (I'll call her Maggie) who was there with her twin boys, age 2, and her four-month old baby. We saw them there a couple more times, and she and I thought it would be fun to have a playdate. On Friday, they came over.

When I told Liam of the plan that morning he told me he didn't want them to come over, but couldn't give me a reason why. Thinking that he would change his mind once the boys arrived, as has happened previously with other playdates, I didn't give it any more thought.

I should have.

The family arrived at the door and Liam started screaming. In a matter of seconds the whole thing escalated to a purple-faced tantrum in which he kept sobbing and yelling that he wanted them to leave. He grabbed Maggie's hand and tried to pull her back out of the door.

I had no idea what to do other than take him into another room and try to calm him down. I told him I would talk to Maggie and see what we could do. Maggie and I agreed to give it ten minutes and see what happened. We attempted some small talk. Periodically Liam would scream out, "Are they gone yet?" Once he ran in to retrieve some especially important toys. Maggie asked him what would help him feel better.

He answered, "I want my Mommy to myself, and I want you and your children to leave."


After remarking on how well he speaks, and admitting to being a bit worried about having three-year-old twins on her hands, Maggie and her kids left. I felt bad, especially since they walked over in the heat. And a bit embarrassed. And a bit mad, since I had been looking forward to some adult conversation. And confused, since Liam's only had a tantrum of this magnitude once before, and that was the day after Kieran was born.

I spent the remainder of Friday and a lot of Saturday thinking things like "He's going to be a tantruming 3-year-old forever" and "I'll never be able to have anyone over again" and "I have to teach him to behave and soon!" Then this essay by Anna Quindlen was serendipitously sent to me by a friend.

In it, Anna Quindlen talks about how important it is to enjoy our children at each stage, because they grow quickly and soon all we have are memories and photos. So I got to thinking - what is a 3-year-old?

3 is a lot of baby wrapped up in a mercurial shell that looks an awful lot like a big boy, especially when you've got a baby brother in the house.

3 is easily provoked, and 3 doesn't yet have the skills to manage anger.

3 is realizing you have power, and learning how to use it.

3 is being a bit scared of that power.

3 is a lot of pressure. Adults expect you to go to school and use a potty, and maybe, just maybe, you don't want to.

3 is not having the choices you wish you had.

3 is sometimes way too big a job for such a small and inexperienced person.

3 isn't always bad, though,

3 is fun because you can teach your baby brother to sign "I love you!"

3 is exciting because on your next birthday you will be four! years! old! and will have a red fire engine cake!

3 is telling your Mommy, "The best thing about loving you is hugging you."

And 3 is almost over. November brings Birthday Number 4, and probably a whole new set of challenges.

(And maybe, just maybe, fewer tantrums.)

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Not To Fundraise

Tonight at 8:22 PM we had the kids both sound asleep. The doorbell rang. Kevin and I both fell over ourselves trying to answer it before the kids woke up. A young man popped his head in the door and announced loudly, "I'm from LocalHighSchool Football Team. We're selling these cards that give you discounts at area restaurants."

Of course, that woke up both kids. Kevin announced he was planning to take money from LocalHighSchool Football Team.

At 9:15 PM, Liam was back asleep.

At 9:30, Kieran was still up and I was thinking about calling LocalHighSchool Football Team's coach and inviting him over to rock a baby for a bit.

At 9:44 PM, Kieran was asleep.

At 10:00, the phone rang. It was LocalStateUniversity looking for donations. I was not very polite to the undergrad on the other end of the phone. He did promise, "never, ever to call this late again."

I still need someone to rock the baby back to sleep.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Pun Intended

Liam was asking a string of "why" questions tonight. Kevin attempted to quell the interrogation.

Kevin: "Why, why, why, why, why. Can you say 'why, why, why, why, why' backwards?"

Liam, not missing a beat, turned himself around 180o, and shouted, "Why, why, why, why, why!"

The child is clearly brighter than either of his parents.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two Questions

Question 1:

Me: "Hey, I bought a different kind of cheese at the store this morning."

Liam: "Is it going to taste bad?"


Question 2:

Liam: "Are babies sad when they come out of their mommies' tummies?"


Anyone know how to answer these queries?


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bits And Pieces Of This And That

Breaking News: Having two kids really can get in the way of blogging. They give me lots of fodder, but by the time I actually remember that there was a cute moment I wanted to write about I can never seem to find time to post. I need to find a way to make sleep optional. Then I could have time to blog and read or knit, perhaps. Imagination is a wonderful thing, no?

In the meantime I present ya'll with another stream-of-consciousness Bits and Pieces post.


From the Department of Lemur Training we have news of complete surrender by the Lemur Parents. We outsourced Sanitary Education to a close friend of mine who teaches young autistic children. As a result of this career she has lots and lots of experience with potty learning. She managed to get Liam to decorate his potty with drawings and clean up "accidents" caused by toy animals who couldn't get to the bathroom on time. She also left us with an Elmo toy that Liam thinks is just the bees' knees.

As she left, she said, "He is one tough nut to crack. I'm not sure this can be done right now."

This morning, The Lemur pointed to his potty and declared, "You see that paper on the potty, Mommy? All of it is signs that say, 'Leaping Lemur does not have to sit on the potty!'"

However, progress was definitely made in that it seems that The Lemur is no longer afraid to at least talk about the potty. And he's all about playing with Elmo, which is good. So for now, we'll leave it at that and see where thing go if the "Lemurs do not have to sit on the potty" rule remains in effect.

Thank you for attempting this, Lisa! It's a wonderful person who will even consider potty teaching someone else's child. I owe you big time.


We took an afternoon trip to the Shore today, and on the boardwalk we happened to see this table:

It's an open casting call for Wife Swap. The families that appear on the show each get $20,000. Kevin said that wasn't enough money for him to part with me for a week. Now, how sweet is my husband????

On the other hand maybe we should have enquired further, as we have on our hands...


(cue suspenseful music)

An Unpaid For Baby!


Actually, he's paid for. It's his entrance into the world that is not. Yes indeedy-do, Large Insurance Company That Starts With A denied our appeal. Fun times, indeed.


Ah, but the plot thickens. I mentioned our plight to the neighbors who live right behind us, both of whom are lawyers. The wife is in healthcare related law and used to work for the Insurance Bureau before deciding to stay home with their daughters. She had a baby last January, and has coverage through the same Insurance Company Of Little Common Sense. In her case, the birth was covered, but the baby's pediatric care was not. And their appeal has gone nowhere, either.

She and her husband are very angry. And very well connected in the health insurance world.

I suspect thing are going to get interesting around here.


Obligatory Cute Baby Picture:

"What's with the six months of exclusive breastfeeding, you doctor dudes? Has no one informed you that books are delicious????"


For my friend Robbie, who just spent a week at Sturgis - see what the fire department was raffling off at the beach today for their fund-raiser? The Lemur assures me that this is a "very cool and likely very loud motorcycle." And he took this picture himself...


Liam tried his hand at a boardwalk game today. Apparently we are raising a very non-materialistic kiddo. When he managed to catch a fish, he was thrilled, but when presented with a prize, he burst into tears. I guess it's all about the game for him.


Tomorrow we are going back-to-school shopping. Liam needs boots, a raincoat, and new shoes for school. And a backpack. And a some new clothes that meet the dress code. It's the first time we've ever done school shopping. It's a milestone for all of us.

Three weeks until Liam's nursery school starts. And he was Kieran's age only three weeks ago, I swear.

Exactly who gave my kids permission to grow up???


Oh, and Liam's a bit down in the dumps that his school does not use school buses. He really wants to ride one. This is the closest we've been able to come:

He did allow as to how he might be OK with my driving him if a) he gets his music on the stereo, and b) Kieran comes along, too. Aaaaawwwww.......


That's it from these parts. Maybe one of these days I'll have an actual story or anecdote or well-constructed essay.

Hey, a girl can dream.....

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Imagination Land, 1:23 PM

Scene from a New Jersey childhood...

Liam is trying to play trains on the floor. Casey is blocking his way.

Liam: "Mommy! Make Casey move!"

Me: "Oh, is there a dog on your railway tracks?"

Liam: "No. Not really. He's not a dog. He's a big traffic jam and my trains can't go down Route 1 now. It's a problem."

Me: "Hhhmm. I think we ought to call the Department of Transportation."

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

20 Weeks Of Brotherhood

Here we go again! It's the bi-weekly photo roundup. Someone please explain to me how this baby got to be nearly five.months.old.already????

"Um, Mommy?? I like the shirt you picked, but Leaping Lemur is at it again. Would someone please help the baby and remove these glasses already?"

"On second thought, they help me project a certain beach dude attitude."

"Mommy, you can't even imagine how hot I am."

(He does look like he's steaming away, doesn't he?")

"Mommy! It almost seems like I'm driving a steam train!"

(We were having fun times with dry ice and water.)

And then disaster struck. One big kid with stomach flu..

...and the next day, Kieran woke up with a cold. This was the scene for much of yesterday. They are both feeling better today, fortunately.

Is this not a classic baby picture??

As for the Lemur Training, it was put on hold by the stomach bug. Hopefully we will have progress soon. If not, I guess he'll learn to use the bathroom eventually, perhaps even by college. Ack.

And that's the scoop from the Menagerie House. I'll be back soon, undoubtedly with further Misadventure in Parenting.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

The Power Of One...

...happy nursing couple!*

"Breastfeeding is a mother's gift to herself, her baby and the earth."

Pamela K. Wiggins, IBCLC
Breastfeeding: A Mother's Gift


Inspired by yesterday's post at Nine Texans.


Friday, August 03, 2007

A Quick Conversation... honor of World Breastfeeding Week.

Liam: "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Come, Mommy!"

Me (teasing, looking all around): "What Mommy? I don't see any Mommy!"

Liam: "You! You're the Mommy!"

Me: "I am?? How do you know that?"

Liam (all seriousness now): "Weeeeellllll, um, you have long hair."

Me: "Aha. And?"

Liam: "You carry babies and kids around all day. And sometimes ferrets."

Me: "Mmmmmmhhhhhhhmmmm, and?

Liam (triumphantly): "And!!! You have the milk! That makes you the Mommy!"

I almost broke a rib laughing when I heard that!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

18 Weeks Of Brotherhood

I was just looking at my stats page, and it seems someone found my blog with the search phrase "puddle of pee under the table." Which is apropos in that we are submerged in the world of potty training here, and well, thanks for asking, it's going so-so. I'm not going to write about it just yet because a) I'm afraid of jinxing the minor successes we've had this far, and b) my nerves have had it for tonight.

Anyway, I'm way late with the biweekly Brotherhood post, so here you go...

No Name Diesel Engine Leaping Lemur gets down and rocks with his "kintar."

Here's Kieran attempting his new trick, the roll-over.

Pets are great for kids. See how much Pippi and Liam love each other? (Ignore the fact that Pippi's eyeballs are bulging from being hugged.)

Kieran still loves his spoon!

Gran-Gran and Pop-Pop were up here for a few days before we went to Chicago. Here are Kieran and Pop-Pop enjoying a visit.

Two brothers together.

And my favorite picture, GG (Great-Grandma) and the boys. They all look so gorgeous! And thanks to Gran-Gran for all the pictures!

Coming soon (I think) Misadventures in Parenting "How to Potty Train a Lemur in Thirty-ish Days."

Imagine the bizarre search terms I'll be seeing from that title...

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