Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Few Happenings with the Three Beans

I found this link about answering the top most common questions kids ask. I still think my answers work better though!

I am pretty sure that if the Lady ever asks me how much the earth weighs and I answer her by saying,

"Earth has a mass of 5.97 × 10^24 kilograms — the equivalent of one hundred million billion Titanics." 

that it is only going to open the door up to more questions.

Questions I will definitely not be able to answer because I never even saw Titanic. What? The boat sinks, he dies, she lives, why waste three hours of my life for that?

Anyway, I thought I would share just in case the whole magic/Jesus thing isn't working for you and you were looking for some "easy" answers.

Since there hasn't been too much going on in the last few days to warrant a stand alone post. I will give you a quick synopsis of a few things that happened in and around my house (which is still currently for sale and at times, if only for a few moments, so breathtakingly clean it astounds me, even though I don't know where half our stuff is and am fully aware that nothing else can fit in the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink).

First of all, I got some quality time with two of my lovely Loyola Ladies on Saturday night. We were missing one more due to the snow but I am super excited to try and plan our annual get together a little bit early this year because of the arrival of baby number three for my Brooklyn momma. Here's to hoping that six women, with 15 kids (and one on the way) between us, will be able to coordinate schedules and meet up for a weekend of relaxation, mindless magazine reading and a little recharging.

The Little Lady

The Little Lady is up to her old tricks again. The other evening while QT dozed on his father's chest,  the Lady took a few moments to do some math on the iPad and I tried to get dinner on the table, the Little Lady had some free play in her room.

Now usually, I can track the Ladies when they are in their room, neither is light of foot and you can hear where they are and what they are doing just by listening to their footsteps clomp loudly, scurry across the floor. When things get quiet there is usually trouble.

So after a couple of minutes of not hearing any movement above me, I took a quick trip up the stairs. I was about halfway up when I heard "No mommy, don't see me, go downstairs." When I rounded the corner I saw the Little Lady sitting in her pretty pink, personalized, Pottery Barn club chair, covered in pretty pink nail polish. When I say covered, I mean painted. She had it all over her feet, her legs and her belly. Clearly, the Lady's "salon" had been raided.

Luckily, it was the non-toxic "piggy paint" nail polish Santa found at Buy Buy Baby. I am sure it is still chock-full o'chemicals but at least it wasn't dark red and it hadn't found its way onto her chair.  I will say it came off fairly easily in the bath, so at least there is that.

The Lady

The Lady is really into art and she makes like 100 art projects a day. I know this because at the end of the week they all come home in her school bag. Well not all of them, the teachers told me at her conference that they keep a lot of the "good stuff" for the end of the year binder. This nugget of information has allowed me to bring myself to actually throw out some of these creations (mostly the ones with glitter), but only in the dead of night after the Lady is sleeping, because if she sees anything of hers in the garbage it is not good. She will pepper you with questions about why and how her art ended up in the trash. I, in turn, usually feign surprise about how this art injustice could have occurred, wipe off any stray bits of debris from said piece of glittery artwork and remove it from the trash.

The other day the Lady made a picture with only three people in it, me, her, and my husband. She informed me that it was a picture of us "before the Little Lady and QT were born." I am not sure if this means she looking for a little more attention from her parents or if she only had room to paint three bodies, either way she and I are in for some one on one time, just as soon as I fish out a few more pieces of her artwork from the trash.


QT has been battling an ear infection and RSV. He is also teething. All three of these factors have led to him refusing to take a bottle (also I changed the nipples on him to a faster flow--this probably didn't help, but the old ones were getting gross and he is 7 months old!) so let's make it four factors.

Did I mention he also refuses to nurse off the milk dud? That's right, not only is he not taking a bottle, but he is only nursing off of one boob. He also hates taking medicine and the fact that Seal and Heidi Klum's marriage broke up (well I might be reaching a bit on that last thing, but QT is all for "making it work").

What he does love is finally sitting up on his own and eating the remote control.

I think that does it for what we have been up to, perhaps tonight will bring something a bit more bloggable!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kindergarten. . . Krazy

Sorry for the use of the double K's in the title. I was momentarily moved to see what my life would be like as a Kardashian, except without the buckets of makeup, the "upscale" Forever 21 wardrobe and the extreme over sharing. (What? I said extreme over sharing, you won't see any at home bikini waxes on this blog--although you might hear about them. . .) Not to worry though, I will still maintain the fat ass.

Anyway, this post has nothing to do with Reality TV mega stars (although reports say their image might be tarnishing) or alliteration.

It has to do with kindergarten, more specifically, the Lady going to kindergarten in the fall.

Last night I had to attend a kindergarten meeting. Now this wasn't any ordinary kindergarten meeting, this was a meeting at a magnet school to fill out some paperwork that would put you in a lottery, with the hopes of getting one of 100 open spots available at this particular school.

Wait there is more. . .

Students are selected based upon their lottery number and group membership according to the following order:
  1. Students residing on streets assigned to the magnet school.
  2. Students with a sibling who will be attendance in the magnet school.
  3. Students residing on streets with preferred admission status to the magnet school.
  4. Students assigned to non magnet schools that may be targeted for admission to the magnet schools.
  5. All other students. 
We are "all other students," despite living less than a mile from the school and being surrounded on all sides by streets assigned to the magnet school.

Confused yet? Me too, and yes, this is a public school.

The parking lot was packed. I had to park illegally behind the school and walk through the playground wood chips in my high heel boots in order to even get into this meeting. Then you had to wait on line to pick up the paperwork, go into the auditorium for the intro lecture from the principal, before finally breaking up into small groups to take a tour of the school. Phew.

I will say that this school is beautiful. It is a new facility only a couple of years old, it is certified "green" and is part of the International Baccalaureate school program. Everything is shiny and new and the Lady can take one of three languages starting in kindergarten. In my heart of hearts I hope she would choose Mandarin because I am such a fan of Ni Hao Kai-Lan and Chinese fire drills.

But alas, I am getting ahead of myself. It was hard not to be impressed with this school because of all the bells and whistles, and I certainly don't want to be seduced by those things again (hardwood floors! granite counter tops! stainless steel appliances!) but it is hard not to picture the Lady in an environment where she wouldn't go wanting. I mean don't we all want the best for our kids?

I will say that I would have applied to this school even when it was in its old location, which was a mere two blocks behind our house because that just seems to make sense. What doesn't make sense is why we aren't districted for the school now, even though we were just a few short years ago when I could see the kids on the field playing and I could hear the bell ringing through open windows on sunny days. I mean the school only moved about a 1/2 mile up the hill.


The worst part about it is that I think that their program has a lot of techniques that would benefit the Lady. This is a girl who had a bit of an adjustment moving from the 3's into the 4's this year and who still talks about her old classroom. At this school they loop the classes so she will go to first grade with the same kids and the same teacher. Yes, I realize that if the teacher sucks or there are some disruptive kids that might not be such a great thing, but for the Lady to take that unknown aspect out of the equation will go a long way to making sure she is comfortable and less shy.

I know that if she doesn't get in it won't be the worst thing. The school we are districted for is a good one (although it is a 15 minute car ride across town, not sure how long that will translate on a bus) and I know that I will try to be as involved in her education as I can.

I also know enough family and friends who are teachers, and who work everywhere from the NYC Public schools to an all girls private school (that costs upwards of $35,000 a year for elementary school), to know that regardless of what the building looks like or the amenities inside (amazing computer room! a separate cafeteria, gym and auditorium!) that it is really the people inside those schools who make the difference, and who will make a difference in the Lady's life.

Still . . . the playground was krazy kool.

After the quick tour we were herded back into the auditorium, I listened to the principal answer some questions then got on another long line to finally get the application stamped and submitted.

That stamp struck the paper, like a judges gavel, leaving its red mark behind and I walked out into the cold, dark night, my heels clicking on the sidewalk before sinking slowly into the dirt beneath my feet as I made my way past the smart classrooms and beneath the shadows of the playground equipment looming above, hoping that maybe tonight, maybe this year, maybe. . . it will all work out all right.  

So here's to hoping this lottery doesn't turn out like Shirley Jackson's and that the Lady will love to learn wherever she goes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Missing Pump Pieces? No Problem. . .

So I was all set to pump it up yesterday morning. I got to the lactation room, opened up my black case o' nipple squeezer and . . .

Oh shit.

The breast shields and attached "membranes"were no where to be found because they were sitting on the side of my sink at home.

Can I just say that membrane is one of my top three least favorite words.

The others? Moist and slacks.

Ugh. What was I going to do? It would take me over an hour to get home and back, not to mention actually pump and I just didn't feel like I could disappear from the office for that long.

So what is a resourceful, money-saving mom to do?

Well, I tried to MacGyver it. (Yes, I realize this is my second MacGyver reference in the last few blogs, but when the reference works, roll with it.) I Jerry-rigged this little beauty with a plastic cup from the water cooler, a pair of scissors and a roll of tape. 

Is anybody surprised that this didn't work?

I figured it was worth the try.

So my advice to you would be that if you for some reason forget any piece of the pump and have access to a Target or a Babies R Us, you should really pony up the cash and buy a handheld pump that you can stash in your desk in order to save yourself a little time, some severely uncomfortable breasts and your sanity. 

Your boobs (and baby) will thank you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Catching Up With the Little Lady

The Little Lady

The Lady, my Little Sister, and the Little Lady with a barrette up her nose.

Yesterday morning, as I lazed a bit in bed on my day off, I heard the Lady say "Why are you in the sink?"

Since both QT and my husband were in bed with me, I could only assume she was talking to the Little Lady.

She was.

I found the Little Lady sitting inside our bathroom sink. Since all the stools were put away for a showing over the weekend, I can only deduce that she used her ninja skills to climb up onto the counter. 

She was wearing only pajama pants and had opened the medicine counter. 
Surprise, surprise, she had surrounded herself with moonie cream, a spray container of Neosporin, children's cough medicine and an opened bottle of infant acetaminophen, the red cherry version, which she had clearly dipped into. 

Now, I am not sure how she opened the container, it probably wasn't shut tightly, but after doing a quick breath test it was clear that she didn't actually ingest any of the medicine, although she had found a way to get it on the floor, the bath mats, the sink, and all over her hands. 

She at once delights and confounds me.

She has also stopped sleeping in the crib at night, which is fine, except she is now sleeping on either a cushion or her crib mattress on the floor next to the Lady. This creates a few problems:

1. She is mobile
2. She has access to the light switch
3. She is keeping the Lady awake 
4. She is constantly coming down stairs with some problem or another to be addressed, such as "it is spooky upstairs," "my purple ponytail holder fell out again," or "my bed is wet." The bed is wet because she spilled her milk on the mattress. She is insistent that she doesn't want a sheet, so it is easy enough to wipe down, but apparently too damp for her to sleep on. 

She then climbs up on my bedside table, climbs over me and QT and situates herself in the middle of our bed where she proceeds to chat about whatever comes to mind, or in the case of last night asks to smell the birthmark on my husband's face, because if it is called a "strawberry mark" logic has it that it must smell like one too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

But Why? Or How to Answer Your Toddler's Pressing Questions Without Banging Your Head Against a Wall

The other morning the Lady asked me if I was saving for college. She followed it up by asking if I was using the Gerber Life College Plan.

This interaction made me realize three things:
1. The Lady is watching too much TV
2. I am not saving enough for College; and
3. My kids ask entirely too many questions.

What's that you say? Asking questions is one of the ways that children learn about their environment? That a interested, engaged child who is curious about what is going on around them will become an interesting, engaged adult who will contribute positively to society? (Ok, I kind of made that second thing up, but it sounds like something you would read on an online parenting site or some judgmental mom's blog.)

Well, I say that these questions are becoming too frequent and too hard to answer. One day the Lady asked me what Chemistry was. I almost told her it was a class that I took in High School that I was clearly not smart enough for, because people in that class actually went on to become real Scientists and I am blogging about poop and cracked nipples.

Instead, I formulated some half-assed response that only led to more questions and more inaccurate answers that involved everything from the use of plastics to Sid the Science Kid.

The worst part is that her father and I told her that "because" wasn't a good enough answer to a question. Talk about biting yourself in the ass. Now I can't even use that answer because she will just say, "because isn't a good enough answer." Ugh.

I have since decided that any difficult or hard to explain answer to any of her questions will be either, magic or Jesus.

The funny thing is that last night as I was cleaning up from Quesadilla Night and formulating the beginnings of this blog post in my head, my husband used magic as an answer to one of the Lady's questions about how some plastic thing worked that you turn inside out and then it pops up into the air (and yes, lands in sour cream--thanks for asking) that she thought was very fun to play with and not in the least bit annoying.

What struck me were three things:
1. My husband and I are clearly on some sort of cosmic wavelength, which would explain why we kick ass in things like Pictionary and Taboo (although no one holds a candle to the teaming of my sister and I in these games. Dead cat on a lawn = Rigormortis, we are that good).
2. Sour cream is delicious.
3. Magic is a perfectly good answer to many questions.

Ah. . .the simplicity of it all. This is going to save me some serious explaining.

I mean these kids believe in Santa (magic), they are being educated at church-run nursery schools (Jesus and guilt both work in this scenario), it is perfect.

Why is the sky blue? Magic

Why do I have to go to bed? Jesus

How did you and daddy make QT? Magic, sweet, sweet magic

Why do you have a tattoo? Jesus

(In the most whiny voice possible)


Because Jesus said she could use the magic iPad.

I mean hours of your day might become available for other things. I might actually be able to get back to the gym. This may become a parenting revolution. I might write books to rival Dr. Sears.

Really my readers, where else are you going to find such simple answers to their endless questions? It isn't like there is some machine out there that you can just type questions into and it spits out thousands of comprehensive (though at times possibly incorrect) answers to appease these little children and their insatiable hunger for knowledge.

I mean something like that would have to be real magic and endorsed by Jesus (or Tim Tebow).


For any of you religious folks out there upset by my use of Jesus in this post, I want to let you know that I may or may not be referring to Our Lord and Saviour, but perhaps to Jesus (Hey-zeus) a local Hispanic man with McGuyver-like skills and resources.

For any of you fans of magic (I am talking to you Neil Patrick Harris) that I might have offended, I may or may not be speaking of the art of illusion, but of Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson. I mean he kind of beat AIDS, which is pretty impressive.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Art of the Group Shot, Or How Not to Try and Take a Family Photo

The above album is from Christmas Eve. 

This debunks the myth that taking a ton of photos in a row of your kids will eventually yield at least one good one.

Clearly, this is not the case. 

Also, another fun photo tip is to NOT give your 2-year-old one of the carrots you are putting out for Santa's reindeer right before whipping out the camera. The best case scenario for this is an orange smile. 

I apologize for the amount of photos, but I am trying to make a point.
I am thinking about using this one for the Christmas card next year.

Memories people. Memories.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

The best thing about 2011 came out of my vagina in mid June.

If the world does end at the end of 2012, I am hoping that I go out on top.

Here is wishing for more time to spend with the kids, more time for me to spend on myself, more time for my husband and I to spend together.

Here is hoping for a quick sell of the condo, a new home with new memories, a year where I am fit-- financially and physically--and a year where I can share it all with you.

I hope that 2012 brings you health and happiness. Thank you, as always, for reading.

love, Bean