Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Half Birthday to QT!

Have six months really gone by since the birth of Little Boy Bean? Here a couple pics of the big guy. I would like to say that he really does wake up this happy every morning. It's the hours preceeding it that are suspect.


All Smiles

Here are a few more recent pics. Yesterday was the Christmas Concert at the Lady's school. It was everything you would expect from a group of 3's and 4's. A lot of off key, super cute caroling.

Getting ready to perform

The Ladies hugging post performance

The Three Beans


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where am I? What day is it? Did I miss Christmas?

I have been in a fugue state for the last couple of weeks just trying to stay caffeinated enough to get out the door before collapsing in my bed (with QT) at the end of another long day.

Did I mention my husband has been out of town since December 2nd and that all the stress and unpredictability that comes along with it manifested itself into a hideous canker sore inside my lower lip that hung out for like a week and made it painful to talk and smile. I somehow found the strength to still eat a ton of unhealthy stuff including bacon wrapped dates and an Italian combo, but I digress.

I think I handled it okay this year. Work actually helped. It gave me a bit of distance from the kids so that when I got home I was able to actually give them the attention they deserved, while still trying to clothe, bathe (not consistently) and feed them (they love pasta--having it every night is not a form of child abuse).

I mean it wasn't great on those nights that QT refused to string together more than an hour and a half of sleep and I would wake up right before the alarm was set to go off, hoping that it was hours earlier and I could go back to bed, before realizing that I had slept for the last hour and a half on about six inches of mattress space, while my almost 6-month-old apparently took up the rest of Lionel, my spacious king-sized bed.

It also wasn't great when I lost it on my neighbor over a pumpkin. Long story, but the essence of it was that the "principal" of not throwing things into adjoining yards was being violated. I guess throwing a ginormous pumpkin covered in non-toxic paint (hand crafted by the Ladies), over the side of a fence into the embankment owned by the state that leads up to an interstate is somehow tantamount to just carelessly lofting it into your neighbors flower patch. I mean there are like rusted metal things and bodies buried over there. I certainly wouldn't throw trash back there, but a biodegradable pumpkin that has been providing nourishment to "Squirrley-Squirrel" our friendly neighborhood squirrel isn't going to open the flood gates to illegal dumping on the interstate side of the fence. I mean did making my dad go back over the side of the fence to pick it up and put it in our garbage can really make any difference in the scheme of things? Now that giant, colorful squash is rotting away in some dump, while Squirrley-Squirrel has to forage for food in the cold New England winter, forced to gnaw his little rodent teeth on rusted metal parts and our Christmas Tree from last year.

Granted, I might have been a little over emotional and clearly, there was no need to get my Irish up over something as trivial as a pumpkin, but I was "living in a powder keg" and she was "giving off sparks" and sometimes life isn't as pretty as that giant, colorful pumpkin, and sometimes you throw a temper tantrum at age 35.

Moving on. . .

We have managed to keep busy over the last couple of weeks although we haven't done one bit of Christmas decorating or shopping and I am not sure when any of it will actually get done. Here are a few pics from our many adventures.

Oh, and as of the writing of this blog post, my husband is in the airport at SFO and soon to be boarding his plane home. My plan is to hand him QT as he walks in the door, jump into Lionel, pull those covers up tight and try to get a little rest.

The Wild Woman and QT

The Lady and the Wild Man make a gingerbread house

The Lady, Wild Woman, Wild Man, The Little Lady, and QT with their Aunt and Uncle enjoying some fro yo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Try to Sell Your Home with Diaper Cream on the Lampshade

Step 1: Buy a 2 bedroom condo at the height of the housing market as an almost married couple.

Step 2: Be impressed by the bells and whistles (Hardwood floors! Granite counter tops! Stainless steel appliances!)

Step 3: Pump out three kids (on average one every 22 months).

Step 4: Watch the bubble burst.

Step 5: Start thinking about moving when you find out you are pregnant with your 3rd kid (let's say around October 2010).

Step 6: Do nothing for almost a year, despite living at the beach the entire summer--an ideal time to put the house on the market so that it can be shown without said three kids wreaking havoc and questioning why you are moving, organizing or storing any of their things.

Step 7: Start to wonder why every time you get into bed you smell A&D ointment. What we call in our house "moonie cream."

Step 8: Realize that not only had a certain Little Lady used it in some artwork she made for you, but had actually emptied the entire container on your bedside table and rubbed it into the lampshade.

Step 9: Turn lampshade to face wall.

Step 10: Finally contact a Realtor, spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning your stainless steel refrigerator so it screams, "I am stainless--please buy this house!"

Step 11: Shove as many things as you possibly can into drawers, cabinets and closets.

Step 12: Try to coordinate an 11 am Realtor open house, while leaving at 7:45 am, after having to watch your husband dismantle your 5-month-old's bed to open up the room, all the while hoping that things will still be in some sort of order after all three of the kids wake up.

Step 13: Profusely thank your mother and your amazing Tues/Thursday sitter for removing your children from their home with the hopes that these Realtors will come in, look past the still toy cluttered "master" suite currently occupied by two ladies and try to sell the place to another young couple with the promise of hardwood floors! granite counter tops! stainless steel appliances!

Step 14: Pray that people actually come to look at the place.

Step 15: Pray that it isn't in the middle of nap time.

Step 16: Pray the Little Lady doesn't find the new container of moonie cream under the bathroom sink.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pump it up

Dear Other Pumping Mom,

We have only crossed paths a couple of times, those times when I couldn't get away from my desk and my every three hour routine had been disrupted. When I rounded the corner to find the door to the lactation room closed, the "in use" sign engaged and heard that steady grind of the pump through the closed door. Luckily, I could take advantage of the empty room next door and on those few occasions when I heard you leaving the adjacent room, I was tempted, for a moment, to peek my head out the door and say something like "Hey, I stuff my nips in hard plastic and hook them up to a vacuum too."

When I first got here I wondered if there was anyone else using the room, I checked the mini fridge to see if someone was storing their milk in there, took into consideration if the chair was moved, the door left open or propped up against that "Caution Biological Materials" bucket. Eventually, I started seeing signs of you, a discarded paper towel or two in the garbage can. (Aren't there are a lot of paper towels available there? I wonder if you too, ever took a few extra because you had run out at home and knew you wouldn't have time to stop on the way back, and I mean hey, there are stacks and stacks of them there and clearly there aren't a hundred people using the room and someone is taking the time to restock them, so really aren't they asking you to throw a few in your bag as you close the door behind you?)

I have often thought about leaving a little note on one of those paper towels. I read a book called "Nursing Mother, Working Mother" where all the women at IBM who were using the same room to pump would write little notes back and forth to each other about pumping and working and trying to stay sane. While this book was enjoyable, I decided that my time is best spent checking facebook and playing Bejeweled on my iPhone.

I wonder OPM, what you do while you sit in that chair for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, a couple times a day. Are you one of those moms who slipped a photo in the appropriate plastic covered area on your pump so that you could look at a picture of your child, personalize the experience, help to let your milk down? Or are you like me, who tries to make a few phone calls, even though the reception in the room is terrible, and the constant drone of the pump has a tendency to drown out whoever you are talking to? Do you check your e-mail? Try to read a two-week-old US Magazine that you have folded up and stuffed into that boxy, black bag? (Although magazine reading isn't that doable in there, because the counter is higher than the chair and if you try to put it on your lap it just gets tangled up in the pump tubes.)

Do you lean back and wonder if it is possible to nap in a chair that only goes to mid-back, while you attach your breasts to plastic suction cups and hope that you are producing enough milk? Maybe you are one of those uber-milk moms, where it only takes you five minutes to get five ounces, or maybe you are like me, walking around with your left boob a full cup size or two larger than the "milk dud" on the right, hoping that you pump enough for a full bottle because the baby is 15lbs 14oz and is eying table food with his big blue eyes and you know that it doesn't matter, where, when or what he eats as long as he gets something, but you, like me, would prefer it to be breast milk.

Is this your first child or your third? Have you always worked here so you are accustomed to the lactation room, taking for granted the fact that it is in an actual medical center, is clean, has a door that locks, a fridge, a pillow for your back, a working sink? Or have you pumped in conference rooms hoping no one knocks on a door to tell you a meeting is supposed to start in there in two minutes? With the battery attachment in the back seat of your car? Or in the handicapped bathroom that had just enough of an ick factor to skeeve you out, but had a lock on the door? Have you forgotten your pump yet and had to turn around in rush hour traffic to retrieve it? Or worse yet, gotten to work and realized you forgot the plug, a membrane (it will not work without that little white piece), or even just an ice pack for the cooler?

Are you pumping yourself full of fenugreek and oatmeal cookies? Are you sipping mother's milk tea and gallons of water? Are you wondering why there is so much hair in the garbage can in the lactation room? It is because I am shedding like a dog. (Also, I have been finding some grays. Not cool. The last thing I need to be doing, is putting on plastic gloves and trying to dye my hair over the tub.)

Are you hoping that this is all worth it? That the more you pump means the longer you can feel connected, knowing that your baby is still getting something of you, even though you aren't even in the room with him?

OPM are you as tired as me? Do you find yourself singing "Pump up the Jam" by Technotronics, because lack of sleep and the whomb-whomb sound of the pump have made you insane?

Pump up the jam
Pump it up
While your feet are stompin'
And the jam is pumpin'
Look at here the crowd is jumpin'

Because I am.

I am also grateful that somewhere in this big building there is another mother pumping away and I am not alone.

OPM, perhaps one day I will pass you in the hallway, our black bags a telltale sign of the connection we share. Perhaps I will give you a knowing grin, maybe we will nod heads in awknowledgement of our shared experience but until then, if you get a chance, leave me a note, there are plenty of paper towels in the lactation room if you are looking for something to write on.

Yours in all things boob related,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Fat Pity Party

So this is going to be a bit of a pity party--be prepared. . .

How did I get to be a full-time employee in a Corporate (with a capital C) company? How did I go from poo foot and puke on my sweatpants to PowerPoint and ID badges? And how do I deal with the overwhelming and crushing guilt that keeps me up at night?

Oh wait, it is really QT who is still keeping me up at night because I have yet to cut the cord and make sure he is put back in his bed after each feeding. I usually wake up in the morning with him wedged in my armpit, while I have contorted my body into something that resembles both the fetal position and a backbend.

I am not sure if I was mentally prepared for this big of a change in my life. I am not sure I will ever be able to adjust to the role of "working" mother, because clearly, I was barely holding it together when I was working part-time. As my sister, who has it much more together than I ever will--with two-kids, a very demanding work schedule and who is on the partner track at her law firm told me--"this is just your new normal."

I wish there was a summer vacation involved.

I wish there were mornings where I didn't have to kick QT off the boob in order to get in the shower on time, mornings where I didn't have to leave before the Ladies woke up.

I wish that I had more than two pairs of pants, two pairs of flats and three cardigans that are work appropriate. I wish that three of those things weren't right now sitting on my dresser covered in baby puke.

I wish that after I paid the sitters there was something to show for it (perhaps a new shirt, because seriously, it is getting pretty dire, I really was wearing entirely too many pairs of yoga pants and until I drop the last of the baby weight, I am not squeezing in, sausage style, to some of my sweaters.)

I wish that 10-3 was the standard work day.

I wish that the copious amounts of peanut M&M's I have consumed in the last few weeks to combat my stress didn't taste so delicious.

I wish that all the Halloween parades and playdates and school events that I will miss in the next few weeks and months and years will be worth it.


I wish that my "new normal" affords us the opportunity to grow as a family, to take advantage of the time we do have together, and for me to provide the purple room with the bunkbeds that the Lady wants and a yard for her to run and run and run.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

There is nothing more heartbreaking then your two-year-old saying "Bye Mama" on her way to the ER.

It has been one of those weeks.

The Little Lady is at the ER with her father, she has croup and her breathing has been labored and here I sit, waiting for any information to come my way and feeling like I should be there, while knowing she is in totally capable hands and that I need to be here for the Lady and QT.

It did make me feel a little better when she requested that she wear her Twinkle Toes to the hospital, but not much.

I think that what I have realized in the past few weeks is that as hard as I strive to find that balance in my life that sometimes things just suck, and in these times of imbalance, I have to figure out how to make it work anyway.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How was Your Day?

The Little Lady is always asking my husband "How was work?" or "How was your day"? She has also been known to wake up from her nap and ask, "How was my nap?"

Usually, she doesn't stick around for the answer, well Little Lady, here is the answer to your first question.

How is my day? How is my day? I am going to go pump for the second time and then go try to take a nap in the car, all the while hoping that you and your brother and sister are being well cared for by a sitter who I think might be overfeeding your brother and who is starting with another family next week so she can no longer help us out.

So Little Lady, because your dad will be away for all of next week and your grandma is holding down the fort with the Wild Ones and I am scrambling to make sure all the hours I need are covered, I will answer your question by saying this, if I knew anything about tweeting, I would tweet with the hashtag #fuckyoubacktowork.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Mobile Bean

Yea to Blogger for finally coming up with the mobile blogging app. And yea to my friend Bill over at for letting me know about it.

Clearly, mobile blogging has become a necessity because I am back to work full-time and finding myself in a constant state of anxiety, unable to access the blog at work, too tired when I get home to make the effort my readers deserve, and yet full of blog topics that need to be addressed.

I mean where else are you going to be able to read about my boob leaking or the amount of times at the office (twice) that I have cried since I have been here?

I will say typing with one finger on the iPhone isn't ideal, but it gets the job done for now.

Stay posted and as always thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Lady Turns 4!

Happy! Happy!

Today the Lady turns 4. We have already gone out and gotten our nails done, browsed through a toy store, decorated pink cupcakes for school and personalized her birthday crown.

I wish her a year of dancing, laughing and learning.

I Love you Lady, have a very Happy 4th Birthday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Ladies Need a New Pair of Shoes

Ah. . . back-to-school shopping. I am lucky that both the Ladies have birthdays in the late summer/early fall. It is nice to get some new clothes for them without actually having to take them to a store.

Shoe shopping is a different story. After spending the last three months either barefoot with the blackest of black-bottomed feet or clad in Crocs, I had no idea what size either of the Ladies would be wearing, so I knew I would have to drag them both out to be measured.

While my mom stayed home with QT, I loaded the Ladies in Minnie-Ru and headed out to the mall. I don't know if it is just denial, or if I am still pumped up with so many post-pregnancy hormones, but I am totally under the false impression that taking only two kids with me is some sort of easy outing. Clearly, I haven't been reading my own posts from the last two years.

Anyway, the Ladies and I descended on Stride-Rite with a sense of excitement, at least I felt excitement--I was out with my big girls we were doing something fun together--what the Ladies felt however, could only be explained by methamphetamine use.

These Ladies were all over the place. Sliding along the vinyl covered seats, walking into the window display to check out the Sesame Street themed shoes, banging on the toy piano they plant in the middle of the store for God knows what reason--because you know those Sales Associates probably just want to take a hammer to it, taking the socks and the hair accessories off the hooks and yes, even looking at some shoes.

We went to Stride-Rite first because I needed the Ladies to be measured. I wasn't even sure we would be purchasing shoes there, one, because sometimes they are a little pricey and two, because the Lady was insistent on getting "Sketcher Sporty-Shortys--that light up" and I knew they didn't sell Sketchers there.

Sporty Shorty
There are things I love about the DVR and things I hate about the DVR. One thing I love is that I have access to multiple Strawberry Shortcake episodes "on the Hub." One thing I hate is that the Ladies insist on watching said episodes without me fast forwarding through the commercials. Sketchers--I commend you, you do a fantastic job of marketing your shoes to little girls. Not only are your "Sporty Shortys" very popular in our house, but we are also considering the "Twinkle Toes." Kudos to you.

Twinkle Toes
I will say that brand loyalty only goes so far and since the Lady can't read and the Sketcher's commercials are cartoons, she doesn't really have a firm grasp on what the sneakers actually look like. So, sitting there on the shelf was a pair of sneakers that looked very much like those Sporty Shorty shoes and best of all they lit up and they were on sale!

I figured if I could just corral the Ladies and get them measured all I would have to do would be to have them try those babies on and we would be out the door.

Why do people who work in stores geared towards children always seem so miserable? Granted, I would not want to measure the sweaty feet of anybody, let alone a squirmy 2-year old who may or may not still have syrup on her leg from that mornings breakfast, but come on--crack a smile or at least try to engage them a little bit. You could go a long way by telling a 4-year old you think that the shoes they picked out are cool.

Clearly, we had a sub-par Sales Associate. After she measured the Ladies, I asked her to see if they had the Stride-Rite "Sporty Shorty Shoe" in size 10 for the Lady. (She is really a 9.5--no wonder her ballet slippers don't fit, they are only a 9--thank goodness for the foresight of Santa Sheils who ordered those Lelly Kelley's in a 9.5, they still fit and she still rocks them at school.) The woman disappeared the back only to emerge later with shoes for another customer and not the Lady. In the meantime, I was trying to get the Little Lady from running out of the store in her pink socks and asked another (still kind of surly) Sales Associate for two pairs of shoes for the Little Lady. By the time she returned with the two pairs, both of which the Little Lady had zero interest in, there was still no faux-sportys for the Lady. We waited a few minutes, but waiting in a shoe store with two kids who are on some sort of shoe-fueled sugar high seems interminable.

Finally, I was able to get the attention of the second Sales Associate who promptly told me that they didn't have the shoes in the Lady's size. Ugh. We slipped the Crocs on over the socks--I know, I know, I don't want my kids looking like European tourists at Disney World either, but we were running dangerously low the amount of time it would be before someone had a meltdown or my boobs started to leak.

We made our way to Payless. No Sporty Shortys, but a lot of shoes that kind of looked like them in size 8 and 10.5. On a side note--they do have ballet slippers there if anyone ever needs them.

Then Macy's, which I thought was a long shot and it was. However, they have really cool tights there that I am going to pick up for the Lady for this winter.

I understand that malls make it virtually impossible for you to get anywhere in a straight line. They force you to take the long way around so that you have to pass every single store out there. I get it, I do. What I don't understand is why they skimp on the Directory signs. I mean come on, I just want a list of stores that sell children's shoes.

Finally. Foot Locker.

And there they were in all their pink sparkle glory, just sitting on the shelf waiting to light up not only themselves, but the very faces of the children they are marketed to. Oh Sporty Shorty! Oh Twinkle Toes! Oh dear Lord, will someone please come over here and help us? The Ladies are once again sliding on and off the bench, tossing around tissue-paper pulled from the inside of some shoe and walking through the clothing displays.

"Can I help you?"

"We will take any color/combination of Sporty Shorty or Twinkle Toes in size 7 and 10."

So what the guy comes back with is two pairs of Sporty Shortys in size 9 and 6 and then assures me that they run big.

Dude, I get that you have been way more helpful then your Stride-Rite counterparts, and maybe it is true that these shoes run big, but I am not walking out of here with two pairs of $50 light up shoes with the hope that these Ladies won't grow out of them in like two months.

I tried them on the Lady and they fit. Like, they just fit. I put on the size 6 for the Little Lady and all she said was "Ow."

So, we stuffed those ill-fitting sparkle shoes and our dreams of a successful shoe shopping outing back into those pink boxes and we left., here I come.

Some Firsts

We have been pretty busy since we returned from the beach. Gone are those days of filling up the pool and hanging out.

Since we have been back our schedule has started to fill. The Ladies both started back up at ballet. The only day that works in our schedule during the week is Sunday. So the Little Lady goes to Tiny TuTus at 9:30 and then we head back there at 12:30 for tap/ballet. It isn't ideal, but the Ladies seem to be excited about it.

I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was though, when the Lady went to switch to her ballet slippers after the tap portion of the class, they didn't fit. She just wore them in June for her recital. Stay tuned for a spirited post on shoe shopping with the Ladies. . .
Both Ladies started school this week. I was excited for the Lady to return to her school. It was a pretty smooth transistion, although we are in the afternoons this year. Scheduling around here is about to get much trickier.

Today was the Little Lady's first day of school. Yes, the photo below is the best one of her. She clearly does not have the modeling/posing thing down like her sister. She is doing "side of the eye" here. You have to love her though, she is off to school in her pretty pink dress, her owl backpack, her Cars and Toy Story tatoos and a Buzz Lightyear sippy cup.

Here is the Little Lady right before going into class. She insisted on the sunglasses. I am class mom for her program and since it is primarily parent run, we have had some glitches in communication. We left her seemingly content with the teachers, but I had to return to drop off an updated class list and the Little Lady saw me. Tears ensued, hers and mine.

I am picking her up in a few, swinging back home to feed the Ladies and QT and then dropping off the Lady at her school. In the meantime I am starting to fill with crazy amounts of anxiety because I got a full-time job and have to find someone who can do all of this for me. Guilty-mom posts to follow. Ugh!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Pampers and Other Lines from the Little Lady

Dear Pampers,

Please provide more Ernie diapers in your packages. I understand that Elmo is like crack-cocaine to the under three crowd, but for some reason my daughter has a preference for that funny, duck-wielding roommate of Burt and for some reason for every four Elmo or Cookie Monster diapers, there is only one Ernie.

Pampers, I can no longer tolerate opening new packages of diapers to find the one Ernie lost in a haystack of Grovers and even Big Birds--really Pampers? Big Bird? Granted he is a Sesame Street icon, and Follow That Bird, was cinema gold, but come on, Ernie is clearly more marketable.

I know that the Little Lady will be hopefully transitioning to full-time undie wearing in the next few months, but until then, for mother's everywhere who are dealing with this daily disaster, please, please give me more Ernie.

Thank you in advance,



Speaking of the Little Lady, she has the uncanny ability to be both funny and terribly naughty at the same time.

Me: Why is QT screaming?
LL: I bite him.
Me: You bit him?
LL: No, I bite him.

I guess that in her desire to make sure that I heard her correctly, she completley disregards the fact that she actually bit her brother.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby Gave Me Back

So, there is nothing like staring through your legs at your fat ass in a wall length mirror at the end of a Zumba class, which you got roped into and are clearly not coordinated enough to do, listening to the instructor who is wearing a t-shirt that says "Hello, I love you" and has made reference to, in earnest, about three times in the class, to kick off your foray back into fitness.

I just wanted a little treadmill time but instead spent 40 minutes avoiding looking into said mirror with hopes that I wouldn't catch a glimpse of my ample bosom or my belly shaking. Ugh. It must be almost September, another kid, another attempt to gain some self-respect.

I guess when you are forced to view your own muffin top, which has supersized itself into a McMuffintop, while bouncing on a giant orange ball, you really can't talk yourself into thinking that the black on black yoga pants/t-shirt combination is working for you.

Although looking at yourself clothed in a mirror is much better than having to see your stretch-marked stomach, covered in mosquito bites (from the dinosaur park that the Ladies love, but is filled with mosquitoes who only bite me and will do it through my clothes), while trying to shove on a pair of jeans.

Ah, so it begins again, armed with my Weight Watchers mobile app and about 20 extra points for breastfeeding, I hope to drop all this baby weight and more, now if only QT would nap without being held or snuggled in his super swing, maybe I would have a chance to get out of the house.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Little Lady Turns Two!

Happy! Happy! Little Lady!

We celebrated the Little Lady's 2nd birthday today. We went all out with the Buzz and Woody Theme. She was super excited.

To top it off we found Toy Story 3 on Starz tonight and are watching it before bed. A perfect ending to a Toy Story themed day.

To the Little Lady, I will say that you have in your two years brought me such joy. You are a smart, incredibly funny and beautiful little girl and I love you.

Here is a little look back:

The Little Lady, Day 1

Celebrating her 1st Birthday!
Terrific at Two

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Few Pics from Deep Creek

I am still recovering from last weekend away and this weekend has already come and gone with more driving and more cousins and friends. I can't believe it is August already.

As promised a few pics from our annual Loyola College (now University) get-away weekend. I lost track of how many kids we have now.

Dance Party

All the kids. I am pretty sure this is the best one I have. At least everyone is represented, although QT is pretty hard to see in his car seat and that guy in the background is a complete stranger.

2007 Kids
The same kids (different order--look at the Lady on the left!) their first Loyola get-away

Since it didn't get dark until about an hour or so later than it does in CT, we moved the Glo-Stick Dance Party indoors

This is what I call dedication! Not only is she an amazing teacher and friend, the girl can tye-dye.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We're Back

For all of those who were concerned we made it to Maryland (and back) with a few minor meltdowns, a unusually high request for the Ladies to use public restrooms and with a van packed with entirely too many things that we didn't actually need.

Despite 14 plus hours in travel time we had a great weekend with amazing friends. I have to thank my husband for doing all the driving, my children for limiting their breakdowns and the Dunkin Donuts in Chambersburg, PA for being there in every way possible for me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day Two: On The Road, Part Two

It is 12:30. We are in the parking lot at Target.

Things are not going well.

Day Two: On The Road

I am making this post quick. I am actually hoping to shower and get out of the hotel in the next half hour. My husband took the Ladies down to breakfast and QT has fallen back asleep.

To say that the Ladies were excited to get here would be an understatement. I have never seen so much exuberance over a hotel room. We didn't get here until 11:35 and they both woke up, ran around the room, smelled all the soap and shampoo and jumped on the bed. We put them on the pull out couch together, which was at first a tangle of feet and nonnies but at some point after 12:30 they must of fallen asleep. This was of course after the Little Lady once again insisted she had to go to the bathroom when in fact, she did not.

QT slept until a little after 3, so at least I was able to string over two-hours of sleep together. We still have a few stops to make (first stop: Dunkies) and then we will once again be on our way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still on the road. . .

It is now 9:43. We just passed by Dorney Park after making a pit stop at Wendy's so my hubby and I could scarf down a burger and I could feed QT,who made it abundantly clear that he was ready to eat.

I have to say it really wasn't that uncomfortable to feed him in the back of the van while my husband shuttled both the Ladies to the potty, the Little Lady insisted that she had to go, and my husband brought her in two separate times only to have her return with no pants on and having not gone at all.

We are probably about two hours from our hotel room for the night but considering my hubby is manning the wheel I am sure there might be a minute orvtwo shaved off of that estimate. I am super psyched though because I googled Dunkies in the area and there is one down the road! I am hopeful that I will be adequately caffeinated for the rest of the ride tomorrow.

For now QT and the Little Lady are sleeping. The Lady passed out around 7:50 but woke up right before we stopped and is now watching Strawberry Shortcake for the eight millionth time and is singing one of the songs at the top of her lungs.

We really have no musical talent in this van.

On The Road

It is 7:24 and we are about ten minutes into our two-day, seven plus hour road trip to somewhere in the depths of Western Maryland. I am thinking Blair Witch territory but I am not 100 percent sure. I am just going to allow my husband to drive and hope we don't hit too much traffic on the way.

I am going to try to keep you updated as we go because I am sure driving in Minnie-Ru with the Ladies and QT will be totally drama free.

If worse comes to worse I am made to feel better knowing that there are like six dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in arms reach.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's In My Bag?

Many of you know of my US Magazine addiction. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is a half hour of brain candy that gives me a bit of a break during the week.

One of their "articles" is called "What's In My Bag?" (Click on the link to see what is in your favorite celebrity's gazillion dollar handbag) Basically, it is product placement in a fancy bag.

For the last few weeks we have been living at the beach. We have moved in as much as we can, but it seems that my handbag has become a catch all for anything and everything. I am about to share with you what is in "my bag."

Here is a photo of my super trendy LL Bean, medium sized tote bag with extra long handles so I can toss it over my shoulder.

As you can tell it is pretty packed. While the stars in US Magazine have $200 sunglasses and Chanel nail polish, I have the following:
  • My "Plan Ahead" address book that has not been opened since QT was born.
  •  (1) Princess Ariel hairbrush
  • House keys to our condo
  • (2) size 1 Pampers, one with Elmo, one with Cookie
  • (1) Conair hairbrush (this one is mine and I have had it for quite a few years)
  • A random envelope with a grocery list from the first week we were at the beach on the back, stuffed with outdated coupons
  • A handful of bills that I should probably pay
  • State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Parent Notice with all of QT's info for the birth certificate (I guess I should go pick up the actual birth certificate at the Town Clerk)
  • Random coupons to Babies R Us and Carters
  • A receipt for QT's first visit to the doctor
  • A receipt for QT's one month visit to the doctor (did I tell you there was a fire alarm right after the doctor left the room? Thank goodness he sent the nurse in to give him the second Hep-B shot so I didn't have to go and wait in the parking lot until the alarm stopped)
  • A $25 gift card to Babies R Us. I am planning on using this towards an actual diaper bag, since this tote also plays that role
  • My tax bill for the condo
  • A direct mail piece from Weight Watchers with Jennifer Hudson looking all kinds of good on the front, offering  membership for $1 until August 6th.
  • A baptism card for my godson (more on that adventure later) that I haven't sent yet
  • My wallet
  • A sticker with all the info for my prenatal vitamins that I have to refill
  • Two checkbooks
  • QT's Tri-Vi-Sol vitamins (which reminds me I should give him these when he wakes up)
  • A small change purse that has no change in it at all, but is full of partially used gift cards and a random photo of my best friend's kids
  • A pair of the Lady's sunglasses
  • QT's comb (it appears he is losing his hair and that male pattern baldness is setting in so I am not sure if I will actually need this)
  • A receipt for Stop&Shop from June 29th
  • A receipt from CVS for shampoo from June 9th
  • A Ziploc bag with breast shields and a nipple guard
  • Part of a Star Wars Light saber toy from McDonald's that belongs to the Wild Man and somehow made its way into my bag
  • A pair of QT's monkey socks
  • Concealer
  • Lip gloss that belongs to my sister and I am pretty sure we both used for my cousin's wedding in June
  • My running watch that has never been used because I am waiting for the OK from the Dr. to start working out again
  • (5) Books of stamps that I bought in advance of QT's birth to use for announcements that I have yet to make since I don't have a photo of all three kids together
  • (6) hair bands of various sizes and colors and (2) flower barrettes
  • A reorder form for my checkbook
  • (5) pens
  • (1) tube of Chapstick
  • (1) black Sharpie
  • (5 1/2) Crayola crayons, (1) sky blue, (1) silver, (1) melon, (1) midnight blue, (1) spring green and (1/2) thistle
  • A phone number and e-mail for a cleaning woman that I have never used but that I really should
  • A post-it note with the number of the Stamford Department of Health so that I can call them when I see workers from the market in front our house cutting vegetables with what can best be described as a machete on a piece of plywood outside of the store
  • An empty straw wrapper from Dunkies
  • (1) paper clip
  • A Pampers gifts to grow sticker
  • (4) Dunkin Donuts receipts totalling $23.02
  • $1.09 in assorted change
Not quite the celebrity bag full of imported mints and Swarovski encrusted smart phones, but this little exercise just got my bag cleared out and I think that Dunkies, Crayola, Sharpie, Weight Watchers and Pampers should expect a little bump up in sales from all the free publicity I just generated!

What is the strangest thing you are carrying in your bag? It would be nice to know that I am not the only one out there walking around with baby vitamins and enough stamps to make the Post Office proud.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Busy at the Beach

I can't believe how quickly the past few weeks have gone by. Tomorrow QT will be one month old! A photo shoot will be forthcoming.

We have been busy at the beach. Here are a few pics of our most recent adventures.

This is the actual Fourth of July. Note that the Lady is missing. She had passed out in the car on the way to the BBQ and was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom, while the Little Lady and the Big Man enjoyed some mini-cupcake topped parfaits. This photo doesn't do the parfaits any justice, they were delicious and very pretty to look at, but I just had to include it to show the Little Lady's face and her little brothers apparent lack of interest.

QT just hanging out on the couch. He does have a bit of baby acne, but I am not going to stress over it.

Sailfest fireworks. This was the only time these kids sat still. They barely even watched the fireworks, they basically ran around and whipped each other with the glow sticks.

I am loving being within walking distance of the beach and being able to take little walks in the evening with everyone. Granted, QT is usually crying by the end but the Ladies are able to ride the carousel and have some ice cream.

The Ladies. About three hours after this photo was taken the Lady woke up from her bed with a high fever and then proceeded to puke all over the couch and her Dora blanket. I will give serious props to my husband for cleaning it up.

QT chillin' in his stroller.

It was super hot at the beginning of the week here. There is only one AC unit and it happens to be in the bedroom that my sister is in. We were lucky to be heading home for a night so that my hubby could play softball (yes, his injury is healed enough to continue to play) and so that we could cut our drive to LI the following day in half.

I will say that there are four things I miss about our home.

1. Central Air
2. Washer/Dryer on the main floor
3. Water pressure in our shower
4. Lionel--there really is nothing like a king-sized bed

However, after spending about 15 minutes in our kitchen/living room with three kids and a ton of stuff, I would have gladly given them all up (well maybe not Lionel--he is super soft and supportive) for a bit more room.

The next day we headed out to Long Island to visit my college roommates and have a bit of a playdate. To say that there were a few kids there would be an understatement. . . 

We are back now and today I even made it to the beach! We are waiting for the Wild Ones to arrive this evening for more fireworks and fun.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Parenting vs. Pedicures

I have to keep reminding myself that I have a 3-week old baby.

This is especially hard when you are spending your summer steps from the beach and have two very active, slightly demanding older children who aren't used to having their mother perpetually seated on a couch with a baby attached to her boob.

This is also hard when you feel like you should be starting to get more active, get out of the house and be more involved in all the activities that are going on around you.

So, when my cousin and I made plans to hit up the Nail Spa II, a fabulous little nail place where they basically give you a spa pedicure that includes paraffin and a hot stone back massage for the price of a basic pedi, I was excited to get out of the house and have a little time for myself.

Why is it that these things always turn from a relaxing little hour escape into a two-plus hour anxiety fueled stress fest?

The plan was to pick up my cousin at 3, but her husband was running late to watch her kids so at about 3:30 we left to pick her up from her place. He still wasn't home, but after waiting another 10 minutes or so he returned and we were on our way.

I had left the Ladies and QT in the capable hands of their father, who was suffering with a softball related leg injury (yes, he drove home mid-week specifically for a softball game but was thankfully back by 8:30 am the next morning, coffee in hand), that required some soaking in a bucket of ice water but did not limit his ability to parent. Besides both QT and the Little Lady were sleeping and I figured that we would be back in about an hour.

We got to Nail Spa II around ten to 4 and were surprised to find that all 12 pedicure chairs were filled and that there were 4 people in front of us on line. We were told it might be a little wait but to choose our colors and take a seat.

I decided on a dark blue called "Ski Teal You Drop" and the three of us settled in.

Have I mentioned that I had to order new pump parts for my breast pump and that instead of doing this before QT was actually born, I just did it this week? Oh, well there was no milk for the little guy and I had last fed him at around 2:30. If he was a bit older or formula fed and on any sort of a schedule I might have felt a little bit better about the minutes on the clock ticking by, but he is a strictly boob on demand kind of guy and I started to get a bit antsy.

Still, things seemed like they were moving and we were finally moved into our respective pedicure chairs. I turned up the massage function and tried to relax. More time passed and we wondered why they couldn't even put the water on for our feet to soak. (On a side note, my feet were filthy, between the bottom of the flippies I have been wearing and spending the majority of the day barefoot on wood floors that are cleaned regularly but attract so much dirt it looked like I had been living in the slums of Mumbai or some other equally dirty cityscape where people walk around barefoot and don't have regular access to running water.)

Anyway, Nail Spa II employs a lot of male nail technicians and finally one of them comes over, turns on our water and begins to give my cousin her pedicure. Another nail-male starts the pedi on my sister while I sat there, feet soaking and clock watching.

Eventually my guy comes over. My cousin is already on the paraffin wrap of her feet and the clock now says 5 o'clock. I have been sending periodic texts to my husband to make sure that all is going well at home, but the level of anxiety I am feeling is directly affecting my enjoyment of the foot rubbing I am (finally) getting.

To make matters worse, I am pretty sure while he was scrubbing my feet my guy said something about how dirty/roughly callused they were to the nail-male doing my sisters french pedi and then her guy asked her if I was her mom. Ugh.

It seems like this guy was either really taking his time or was totally Johnny Inexperienced. All the relaxation I was feeling between the massage chair and the foot rub was quickly exiting my body and I could feel my shoulders tensing up. Both my sister and my cousin had now moved to the "drying" area and has been given a nice shoulder massage by their respective nail technicians. At 5:15 my guy finally goes for the "Ski Teal You Drop."

Normally, the actual polishing takes the least amount of time during a pedicure. However, either not many people have chosen "Ski Teal You Drop" and the bottle was old or old Johnny Inexperienced wasn't well versed in the application of toenail polish. He finally put a few drops of nail polish remover in the bottle and was able to finish the second coat.

At 5:23 I get a text from my husband saying "He's awake and the Little Lady is smacking me. . . get home soon."

I am in full-on panic mode, my boobs are starting to hurt and I am worried that I will be walking into pure chaos when I finally get home.

At 5:30 I finally get out of the chair and move over to the "drying area" the guy comes over with the hot stone and I have to refuse him. I hand him my credit card and then watch him try to actually ring up the transaction. This takes entirely too long, but it does give my now very blue toes a chance to dry.

I tip him, tear off the toe separators and we all head for the door. By the time I drop my cousin off and we pull into the house it is almost 6 o'clock. I can hear QT through the open windows and I break into what constitutes me sprinting at this stage post-pregnancy.

Luckily, he had only been crying for a couple minutes, but any bit of rejuvenation or recharging that I had hoped to gain from an hour or so out of the house had completely vanished. Granted, once I start pumping it will be easier to go out without feeling such overwhelming guilt and without being so preoccupied with what is going on at home, but still can't a girl get a few minutes for some foot rubbing and a little chatting with her fam without having to stifle panic attacks?

I guess there will always be that feeling of trying to make sure that my children are taken care of while at the same time trying to make sure that I am taking care of myself. I know it will get easier as they get older and once again I will remind myself that I have a three-week old and that for now he is completely dependant on me. It all goes back to the balance I seem to be ever searching for in my life.

So now my toes are polished but my feet are once again pretty dirty. All the kids are sleeping (for now)--check that I think I just heard QT upstairs so off I go. . .

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogging from the Beach


What day is it?

Have more than two whole weeks passed since I have last updated this blog? Let's see a few things have happened since then. . .

We brought home little QT, not sure how excited he was to leave with us!

We went to the Lady's first dance recital

And we celebrated Father's Day

We moved to the beach and the Lady started "college" with her cousin

The Little Lady spent some time eating yogurt and playing in the pool

We headed to a sock hop and the Little Ladies posed for the camera

Ice cream at the sock hop, before everyone headed out to fireworks

We got together with our cousins, we are missing a few here, the Lady had just woken up from a nap and QT wasn't quite big enough to be held by the older kids

We got decked out in our Fourth of July gear

And QT took his first real bath

Phew. It has been a crazy couple of weeks.

More beach blogging to come. . . 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Little Boy Bean

Finally. . .

After 16 posts I get a day off from blogging to deliver a beautiful baby boy. It was a long day but well worth the wait.

I am thinking of calling him QT on this blog, first of all because those are his initials and second of all because he is a cutie.

The Ladies already love him, although the Lady, like her mother was very surprised that he was a boy. I am glad to say that her response to "What will will do if it is a boy?" which was "I won't like it" doesn't appear to be the case. And the Little Lady, well all the Little Lady wants to do is hold "her baby." We will see how this all works out once we actually get home.

Here are a few pics.

Before the boy was born


Just hanging out

The Little Lady and her baby

The Lady, her dad and her baby brother
Note there are no photos of me. There were some taken, but my face is so swollen it just looks sad!