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Showing posts from 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly End of the Year

The last full night of 2009 was a very weird one for us. It was good. It was bad. And it was ugly.

The Good
The Pookie slept over seven hours in a row! I put him down just after 7:00 in his crib in the nursery. He made some coughing noises around 9:00 when I was going to sleep, but that was all. He didn't actually wake up and fuss until 2:20 - 2:30 (on and off fussing before I actually went in). We were absolutely amazing by this, since he hasn't slept longer than 3 hours on his own before, and usually he's up every 2 hours or less.

Although it seems incredible, don't celebrate for me yet. Keep reading...

The Bad
Around 12:30, the Pumpkin came into our room. This was a bit frustrating, because she had been pretty much sleeping through the night for the previous week. She had been waking up early, like 5:00ish, but then lying in bed quietly with us. I had hoped we were done for a while with the middle-of-the-night wakeups, but apparently not quite yet.

The good part about it…

Our Family Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas! Our first Christmas as a family of four (plus 2 pets). It was special and meaningful and fun.

The Pumpkin is at a great age for the holiday. She is really starting to understand and remember and "get" it. Leading up to Christmas, she helped Londo pick out a tree, she helped us decorate, she read books about the birth of Jesus and about Santa Claus, and she generally participated in the holiday preparations and fun.

We are also starting our own traditions for our family. On Christmas Eve before we went up for bed, we each opened a small present and then hung our stockings up near the fireplace. After putting the kids to bed, Londo and I finished wrapping the presents together down in the family room. It was neat to realize that now WE are the parents and that it's OUR responsibility to get everything taken care of the night before Christmas while OUR children are asleep in their beds with sugarplums dancing in their heads.

On Christmas mornin…

Dairy-less

Today is the first day of me giving up dairy. Again.

That's right, again. Way back when I was in college, I started having regular stomach aches and was burping a lot. More than normal. The doctor I saw was no help, but the nurse! Ah the nurse suggested a few things to try, first and foremost giving up dairy to see if it was lactose intolerance. At this time, I'd never heard of lactose intolerance, nor had any of my friends and family. And it turns out that I didn't have the common symptoms that most people associate with it nowadays. But the nurse was smart enough to suggest that my problems might be that and what I needed to do.

So I cut out dairy from my diet for two weeks. It was not easy, not just because I love ice cream, milk in my coffee and chocolate bars. The byproducts of milk, such as curds and whey, are used in so many things, from processed meats to packaged breads. Lactose is even used as a filler in many supplements (note to self: check the non-active ingred…

Question of the Week - Swiping Good Stuff

My family does Secret Santa every year for Christmas for the adults. For those who don't know, Secret Santa is where each person draws the name of another person, and that's the person for whom they buy a gift. Everyone is supposed to keep it a secret until after the presents are opened, which is on Christmas for us.

This year, my dad got me (and I got my dad). He got me a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt with the logo from where he used to work. This may sound ho hum as a present, but it was actually extremely thoughtful and very meaningful.

You see, years and years ago, my dad had a similar pair of sweatpants. It turns out that they were very comfortable. So comfortable that my sister "borrowed" them from him and didn't give them back. But one year she forgot them when she left for college. So I tried them on. And discovered just how amazingly comfortable they were! And didn't give them back!

All through college, I kept these pants. All through grad school…

Question of the Week - Holiday Songs

There are a lot of holidays this time of year, and many holidays have music associated with them. I'm Christian, and I'm sure everyone has been innundated with Christmas music this time of year. Personally, I love Christmas music. Londo worked in retail many winters, and it took him years to get over how sick he was of Christmas music. Luckily, he's finally enjoying some (and even a lot) of Christmas music over the last few years. This is good, because I could listen to it just about all day long, and throughout the year, too.

This week's Question of the Week is:
What is your favorite(s) holiday song?

It doesn't have to be Christmas music, and you can be any religion and still enjoy other holidays' music.

My favorite Christmas song is Hark, How the Bells, although I don't ever hear it with the words sung on the local station that plays Christmas music this time of year. I learned it when I was in high school chorus and have loved it ever since. My second favor…

I Can't Count Them Without Remembering

I have two children. Two wonderful, beautiful, healthy, happy children. My two little kids who bring me so much joy (and so little sleep). My first child, the Pumpkin, is 2.75 years old; my second child, the Pookie, is 6 months old.

But every time I say my "first" and my "second," I think, "well, not exactly..."

I've already written my miscarriage story, and it helped a lot to write it and put it out there. Time has helped heal the wound of the miscarriage, though I know I'll ever completely get over it.

Still, I'm surprised by how and when it comes up in my mind. I expect it around the anniversary of the due date. But I hadn't expected to think about that baby who wasn't (which is how I think of that baby) every time I call the Pumpkin my "first" child or the Pookie my "second" child.

I was very careful never to label my pregnancies with the Pumpkin or the Pookie as my first or second, because they truly were my se…

On the Contrary

I recently mentioned some of the fun we are having with the Pumpkin being Two. Well, I'm finding the contrariness to be confusing at times.

Usually, it goes something like this:
caramama: Pumpkin, I've got to put my shirt on.
Pumpkin: No, that's not your shirt! That's Daddy's shirt!
caramama: It's my shirt. It's just a button down, like Daddy's shirts.
Pumpkin: NO! That's DADDY'S shirt!
caramama: It does look like Daddy's shirts, but it's mine.
Pumpkin: NOOOOO! IT'S DADDY'S SHIRT!
caramama: Fine. Whatever.

But the other morning, she asked for apple-flavored yogurt. I got her the yogurt out of the fridge, and she opened it and stirred it up. (I LOVE that she can do so much by herself these days!) She took a bite and the conversation that followed went like this:

Pumpkin: That's not apple. That's pear.
caramama: That's apple, honey.
Pumpkin: No, it's not apple. It's pear.
caramama: It's apple.
Pumpkin: No. It's pear…

Growing Boy

The Pookie is growing. He turned 6 months yesterday, and that's a big milestone in the life of babies. A big milestone for growing. There is a 6-month growth spurt. There is a developmental (growth) spurt around the 6-month mark. And there are teeth growing in--well about to come in anyway.

Growing, growing, growing. And growing physically requires more to eat. And growing developmentally requires comfort. And growing in teeth requires pain-easement. And in a breastfeeding relationship, all these things generally boil down to nursing for nurishment, comfort and to ease any pains.

And do you know what my baby boy loves above all else in the world even when everything is hunky dory? To NURSE! Yes, he does.

So can you guess what we are doing all. the. freaking. time? You got it. Nursing.

But remember how Mommy goes to work all day long? Yeah, it's causing some problems. The two major ones being:
1. I'm not pumping enough to cover what he is eating during the day. This means my …

Question of the Week - Don't Jinx It!

Today, the Pookie is 6 months old! I can't believe it's been half of a year since we've had him in our lives and we've been a family of four (six, if you count the animals). Happy Half-Birthday to the Pookie!

--------------------------

On Friday, I was talking on the phone with Londo. Something about the Pumpkin's sleeping came up, and Londo mentioned that since she turned two, she has mostly been sleeping through the night in her own bed. I've discussed before how she doesn't always and what our parenting stance is on that, but I'd say about 2/3s to 3/4s of her nights since she turned two have been her sleeping through on her own.

Anyway, Londo dared to say the words out loud! And added that she's been sleeping through all the time lately! I quickly said, "Don't say it! You'll jinx it!"

Londo responded, "I don't believe it'll jinx it. It's not like this is football. She's either going to sleep well or not, regar…

Night of Leonids

His snores
keep me awake.
I lie there with my eyes
open, body aching,
waiting for sleep
to fall.

My thoughts keep me
awake. Will the baby wake?
Will he need to eat? How much
time do I have
to sleep?

Outside, meteors are
streaking through the sky.
I see nothing.
I am up. I look out
windows. But I don't see
any sudden fireworks of
starlight.

I want to go out,
walk down to the lake
in the hopes of seeing
comet debris hit the Earth's
atmosphere, of seeing
falling stars to wish on.
To wish for sleep.
I lie back down.

The words keep
me awake. I debate
getting up to write them
down. My muse is so
fickle in these days of kids
and work and responsibilities--
more fickle than even
sleep.

The cat keeps me
company, happy to
be up, nocturnal. He
purrs and rubs and follows
me. The house is
silent and dark. I've
written the words. Maybe now
I can fall asleep and dream of
falling stars.

The Contrary Nature of Being Two

Ah the Twos. Each age and stage has certain characterists, good and bad, that seem to affect just about every child in the world. Each child has their own personality and interests that shapes the experiences of the age/stage. But I think we can all agree that there are many things that are simply common to an age/stage across the board.

I often think of a post that Becoming Mommy wrote when her son was one. They were at a party and she spent the whole time chasing her son around. An older girl at the party asked her mother what was wrong with Becoming Mommy's son, and the mother answered that he was just being One.

Well, my daughter is absolutely being Two these days. The contrariness, the tantrums, the unwillingness to do things that she didn't have a problem with before, the headstrong determination, the willfull disobedience... I could go on and on. But those of you who have or have had a two year old know exactly the Twoness of her behavoir. Those of you with younger kids?…

Thank Goodness His Feet Don't Smell

In theory, I've known that babies like to pull of their socks. The Pumpkin did pull of her socks sometimes. But the Pookie? That baby is CONSTANTLY pulling off his socks! I can't count the number of times in a day when I, Londo and/or the nanny put those socks back on his feet--just to watch him reach for them and pull them right back off.

It's comical, how often he does it. Lying down, sitting up, nursing, playing with toys, even sometimes being held--that boy grabs hold of the toes of the socks and yanks those suckers right off.

I probably wouldn't care so much, except it's winter and we keep the heat down in our house. When he doesn't have socks on, his feet get cold. And we can't have that. What would the grandmas say? I would certainly be blacklisted from the Good Mothers Club. So we put those socks back on his feet most of the time every single time.

Once his socks are off his feet, there are a few things he does, like try to stick his feet in his mout…

Question of the Week - Bedside Tables

I am a curious person by nature. Will you let me peek into your lives by answering this week's question of the week?

What is on your bedside table?

Since we got new bedroom furniture two year ago, I have a pretty small bedside table. All that is on it right now is my alarm clock, a box of tissues and about 3 or 4 cups of water.

I used to keep more on it, but because it's small and because my daughter loves to take things off it when she's on our bed, I have really minimized what's there. I used to keep books on it, but now I put them on a shelf next to it. At night, I also have my glasses on it, and sometimes my nightgaurd (I have TMJ). I used to keep my hand cream and lip balm on it too, but now those are in the bathroom out of the Pumpkin's reach.

How about you? Is your bedside table overflowing or minimalist? What do you need handy in the night and in the morning?

The Naming of Toys

Lately, the Pumpkin has been very into names. When you ask her what her name is, she tells you her nickname (the one we use regularly). If you ask her what is her full name, she will tell you her full first, middle and last name. She will do the same for the Pookie, Londo and me, although sometimes she says Daddy or Mommy as our first names with our middle names and last name.

I once wrote about how she named a stuffed duck toy Mr. Duck. That was the first toy that the Pumpkin named. Around that time, I asked her what her baby doll’s name was, and she said Baby. I wasn’t sure she was really naming the baby doll so much as just calling it a baby. (It turns out, she was indeed naming the doll, and that cute name has stuck.) But those names seemed pretty basic to me, like she was in a very early stage of understanding names.

Along with her recent understanding of peoples’ names, she has also started coming up with more imaginative names for her toys. A few weeks ago, she was playing with t…

Getting Girly

In the last few months, my daughter has started to become more girly. She is a highly active, spirited child who usually prefers physical play to sitting down and doing anything quiet. She would rather climb and jump and race cars around and throw and kick balls than play with dolls and have tea parties and read books.

At least, that used to be true.

In the spring, the Pumpkin discovered tea parties. She LOVES to have tea parties. We sit down with her special tea set, she pours the tea and cream and scoops in the sugar and stirs it up. When my mom got her an adorable (and handmade) toddler table and chairs, we put it in her room for her tea parties. Just about every morning these days she asks if we can have a tea party. We now always have some birthday cake (the Melissa and Doug wooden set) to go with the tea party. I'm having a blast with these, and we often give a cup to the Pookie or the dog, too.

At some point over the fall, the Pumpkin's interest in dolls took off. At a …

Question of the Week - Book Club Books

Because I'm so sick, I was not able to go to my book club last night. I'm so disappointed! This would have been my second time at the book club, and I went through a lot of trouble to finish the book--I had left it at home when we went to the inlaws, so my hubby and FIL drove 45 minutes to a nearby library to get it for me! The book was Three Junes, by Julia Glass, and it was absolutely fantastic! I was dying to talk in depth about it with other intelligent people who had read it. But I was simply too sick to venture out or be around people.

I just started going to this book club last month. Even though I'm an avid reader, I've never been part of a book club before. A woman at work had invited me to her book club last year, but I was having such a tough time with my pregnancy and the winter that I couldn't do anything extra. After having the Pookie, I realized I needed to do something for myself, something just for me to enjoy myself. I asked the woman if she was s…

So Sick

We have all been very sick. Now, the Pumpkin is pretty much better, the Pookie is a lot better, but Londo and I are still struggling with this dreadful cold that is apparently going around. I have not been this sick since before I was pregnant with the Pumpkin. In fact, we left the inlaws a day early because we were so sick.

I am miserable!

I hope you all are doing better than we are.

Question of the Week - Counting Our Blessings

It's Thanksgiving week here in the US. And although it may be boring to ask, I really think it's important to think about and share what we are all thankful for--and I really want to know. But let's liven up the question a little bit.

This week's question of the week is:
What is something unusual and/or funny you are thankful for this year?

Because of course we are all thankful for our children, our partners, our family, our friends, our health, yadda yadda yadda.

I am thankful for the roof-top carrier that goes on top of the car to put luggage in. Otherwise, we would either not be able to do the trip to the inlaws with the two adults, two kids, the dog and our luggage, or we would have had to buy a minivan by now!

Oh, and I'm especially thankful for Z0loft! Here we are in mid-November, and I'm actually feeling pretty good! (The tired and sleep deprived are not from my SAD this time!) When I told my doctor that I'm so thankful for the meds, he said, "We…

I Love Being a Mom

Anyone who has read more than one of my posts knows that I don't find being a parent absolutely wonderful all of the time, or find it easy to parent babies and young kids, or that I think having kids means unicorns and rainbows and roses all of the time.

But do you know what? I love being a mom.

Not only that, I love being a mom of two.

Not just any two, I love being a mom of MY two.

I really, really do.

I love the tough times as well as the good times. I love that I'm the one teaching them life-long skills like how to use the potty, how to get dressed, good eating and health-care habits, how to talk and tell jokes. I love that I (or Londo) am the one they want when they are crying and upset, when they get hurt or sick. I am the one watching them grow and develop and learn. I'm the mom; I am their Mom, Mommy, Mama.

And then there are the moments that really make my heart swell to 10 times its size. The moments that I turn to Londo and say, THIS is why we have kids.

Last weeken…

Monsters and (Not Really) Being Scared

Over the last month or two, the Pumpkin has talked about monsters and being scared, although she never actually seems scared. It's more like she is playing with the idea of being scared. I think it's a combination of her current development stage and Halloween, and I also recently bought the book Where The Wild Things Are, which she seems to like.

We talk about monsters being scary and friendly. In fact the other morning at breakfast, she demanded asked me to be a scary monster, then a friendly monster, then a scary monster and then a friendly monster. My scary/friendly monster impression consists of me holding up hands like claws and saying in a scary/friendly voice, "I'm a scary/friendly monster." She gets a kick out of it.

When this talk of monsters first started, she used to say that we needed to watch out or hurry because a monster was coming! (She also has said this about sharks and dragons and other things which were going to "get us.") But she do…

Poetry

I used to write poetry.

I used to paint
what I saw, what I felt,
with words.

I used to ohsocarefully decide
where to make
line breaks,
where to place the words and
punctuation marks.

I used to consider my word choices
for days,
weeks,
making sure each word, each phrase,
was just so.

I used to read and analyze and discuss
poetry and literature
using BIG words to describe
deep concepts intended or
unintended
by the author.

I used to draft
write
re-write
revise
my own concepts and thoughts,
my own emotions and feelings
until I conveyed what I wanted
the way I wanted.

I used to agonize over rhyme
schemes, the rhythm of phrases, the
sounds of words,
the structure of content,
figures of speech,
poetic license.

I used to so strongly
need
to write poetry
from my heart, from
my head, from my
soul.

I used to need to express thoughts
in that manner.
In this manner.

I realize now
I still need to write poetry.

Question of the Week - Instrumental

We are a musical family. I have numerous posts in which I describe songs we sing, ones we'vemade up and ones to calm the Pumpkin down. We also sing songs to get the Pumpkin to do things she would otherwise balk at, like cleaning up toys, brushing her teeth or whatever we come up with words for doing.

I guess I thought it was normal to live in a musical. However, over the last few months, I've had a few people comment on how much we sing and how much the Pumpkin sings. She really does sing all the time, and like her parents, she often makes up words and even music. I remember my parents singing all the time, too, although my mom was one of the people who pointed out that the Pumpkin sings all the time, so maybe we didn't sing quite this much when I was a kid.

The Pumpkin also likes to play the various toy instruments we have, including piano/keyboards, one piano with xylophone, drums and maracas. Londo and I both played instruments when we were growing up, and we've alwa…

On the Extrovert/Introvert Scale

For those of you who know the Myers-Brigg personality test, I'm an ENFP. E stands for Extrovert, as opposed to Introvert. It's about where you get your energy and what you need to feel refreshed, and it should not to be confused with outgoing versus shy. Though I am on the E side of the scale, I'm so close to the middle that I'm probably an X (the Myers-Brigg designation for when you are right in the middle).

Years and years agow, when I told my sister that I was an ENFP, she expressed surprise that I'm an E. I told her, "Just because you are WAY over on one side of the E on the scale does not mean that I'm slightly more of an extrovert than I am an introvert." She laughed, because it's true. She is extremely extroverted. (We are both very friendly, outgoing people.)

My daughter, the Pumpkin, is not only super outgoing but she is most definitely an extrovert. The extreme kind like my sister. I realize that I never shared a story about her that I'…

Apparently It DOES Need All the Parts

Last night, I went to bed without doing any dishes. That means that I didn't even wash the parts for my pump, which I used every day (twice a day) at work. Which means that I would have to wash them in the morning, while I'm hurrying around getting myself, the Pumpkin and the Pookie ready for our day. This is not an unusual scenario, and I bring it up only to point out that I was in a hurry this morning. Also, I'm not especially great about cleaning my pump parts.

So this morning, I quickly washed up all the little and big parts that need to be washed for the pump. I noticed that there was some gunk in the crevise of one of those parts (the connector piece, for those who care, which connects the bottle, tubing, shield and valve). So I took the nipple cleaner piece from the bottle sponge (you know what I'm talking about, right?) and tried to dig the gunk out. It was in pretty good--it had probably been there a while. I finally was getting it out when... Snap!

I broke a p…

Question of the Week - We Love to Laugh

I call my baby boy Smile Guy because he smiles so much. He also laughs a lot, and we're finding more and more ways to make him laugh every day. It was really easy to make the Pumpkin smile and laugh, too. We love to make these kids laugh. There is just something about the sound of kids and babies laughter that can make everything feel right with the world.

This week's question of the week is:

What do you do to make your kids laugh?

Still being a baby, the Pookie laughs at physical sensations. You'll surely get a chuckle from him if you put your hand on his belly and jiggle side to side. He cackles when you tickle the back of this thighs or kiss his jawline. He laughs with gusto if you lift him in the air and lower his face to your for kisses. Heck, sometimes he even giggles if you just look at him and smile!

We make the Pumpkin laugh mostly with silly songs or silly faces. She doesn't yet get jokes, but she does love it when we use the wrong words in songs. She also laughs…

Clarifying Sleep, Not Sleeping and the Family Bed

I'm going to clarify a few things about the sleep situation in my house.

Yes, I probably do complain about sleep a lot. However, I doubt anyone has noticed when months go by when I don't even mention sleep. That is because the sleep is really good at those times. I'm not normally supersticious, but I am about this because it feels like the few times I've mentioned good sleep happening, it's gone right out the window (it would probably happen anyway, but just in case it's karma...). So you should all know that if I'm not talking about sleep, than the Pumpkin is sleeping through the night in her own bed consistently, the Pookie is getting sleeps in reasonable chunks and Londo and I are well rested. (It happens! I swear! It's happened all this week, except for the hour early wake ups because of the time change!)

To understand some of our parenting decisions around sleep, you have to understand where Londo and I are coming from with some childhood history.

ca…

The Girls Go Trick-or-Treating

The rain doesn't bother me. I hardely ever even use an umbrella. I rarely do anything with my hair, and I have plenty of hoods and hats that work to keep the rain off my face. I don't mind getting a little wet, especially when I'm dressed in casual clothes.

I think this is a hold over from my childhood, because I've found that usually uninfluenced kids aren't bothered by the rain. Of course, I'm sure that's not true for every kid, and how often are kids uninfluenced by mom and dad who don't want to get wet. But my girl? She does not seem to mind the rain, especially a light drizzle. She has no issues (at least right now) wearing a coat and hood, and she loves to hold her umbrella (it's Winnie the Pooh and super cute).

On Halloween, it rained. Luckily, it started raining after our neighborhood's pre-trick-or-treating block party. We met up with the Pumpkin's two friends she used to play with every day when she was home with the nanny. She had…

Did Your Kids Get the Memo?

My kids did not get the memo about the time change. Or maybe they got the memo, but since they can't read or, you know, understand the concept of time, they didn't pay it any attention.

The Pumpkin, who will often lie quietly and wait until 7:00, made it until 5:40 this morning. Her body thought it was 6:40, that would have been pretty good prior to the time change. The killer this morning was that Londo got out of bed to get ready to go to work at that time, so she figured it was time to get up.

And Pookie? He heard his sister up and he is very used to getting up with me about 6 or 6:30, so he craned his neck to look at me and give me his big I'm-awake-aren't-I-cute smile with eyes wide open. I turned my head to the other side, and the Pumpkin was leaning over smiling at me. And that was the end of that.

I might have been able to drift back off to sleep for a while with one awake and the help of the TV, but no way with two awake and looking at me with their adorable l…

Question of the Week - Kids Shows You Like

Over the last 2+ years, I've had the opportunity to enjoy (and really NOT enjoy) many different kids shows. When turn on a show for the Pumpkin, we generally put it on Noggin, which is now Nick Jr., and sometimes Sprout. Back in my day, there was Saturday morning cartoons and some on after school, but that was it. There were 4-6 channels (depending on the TV getting in Fox and/or UPN in addition to the networks and PBS), and you were lucky to get Sesame Street AND Mr. Rogers!

With all the variety out there, plus On Demand offering up so many shows with a push of a button, we really can pick out the shows we like and want the Pumpkin to watch, rather than just settling for whatever is on.

So this week's question of the week is:

What kids show do you actually enjoy watching?

I think my favorites are Backyardigans and Wonder Pets. I was not into Wonder Pets at first, but once I saw a couple episodes, I have really started to get a kick out of them. And Backyardigans is so well done…

The Pumpkin Confirms What We Thought

We try to use positive reinforcement in our parenting toolbox, especially for things we want the Pumpkin to do but don't want to force for whatever reason. When she sleeps through the night in her own bed by herself, as she did last night, we always praise her for it.

This morning after the Pumpkin woke up, I was in her room with her and we had the following conversation (as best as I can recall), which was very enlightening:

Pumpkin: I did a good job sleeping! I slept in my bed all night. But I lost my daddy [he lies with her until she falls asleep and then comes back into our room]. He went in Mommy and Daddy's room. And Mommy is in Mommy and Daddy's room.
caramama: Daddy went back into Mommy and Daddy's room to sleep in his own bed, right? Like you sleep in your bed?
Pumpkin: Yeah. Daddy sleeps in his bed and Mommy sleeps in his bed [she still confuses her male/female pronouns]. And then I come in to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed, too! And then we all sleep in y…

Question of the Week - Costumes for Halloween

Things are crazy busy for me right now, but since I love Halloween so much I had to post the question again.

This week's question of the week is:

What are your kids (and/or yourself) dressing up as for Halloween?

The Pumpkin received a Disney Belle doll recently, and she completely loves it! And before the doll, she kept saying she wanted to be a queen for Halloween. So I bought her a Belle costume. It's just the dress, so I'll have to figure something out to put over her sneakers and a necklace. I'm going to let her wear the tiara I wore at my wedding as her crown.

For the Pookie, we have this outfit that looks like a little vasity jacket with pants. I'm going to put that on, leave it open and put on a onesie that says "Captain Adorable" on underneath. I''m really excited that I came up with this idea, and I can't wait to see if it looks as cute as I think it will!

We had our party this year, so hubby and I both dressed up for that. Londo was The…

Caro Figlio- Working on Your Skillz

My little smile guy, you are 19 weeks old... 4.5 months old. I honestly cannot believe it. Time truly does fly. (Or as I like to say, the days pass quickly even though the nights last so long.)

We can all see just how badly you want to start doing things. Physical things! Verbal things! You are almost ready to start doing so much. It is frustrating for you, but you keep at them. Even when you are upset and fussing, you keep trying. But so often you have a look of concentration on your face as you try. Very cute.

All that work is starting to pay off. Just yesterday, you rolled over! I had you lying on your tummy in the cosleeper while I washed up. I heard you grunting and looked over to find you on your back! That wasn't how I left you! So I put you back on your tummy and watched as you did it again! Very cute.

You are so close to rolling from your back to your stomach, too. You are really close. You get all the way over, except one arm is under you and it keeps getting in the way. Yo…

Pre-School is Pretty Cool

The Pumpkin has been going to pre-school for almost two months now, and things are going really well! She seems to love the environment, the activity, the other kids and the teachers. Drop-offs did indeed get easier, and now she just calls out, "Bye, Mommy!" as she goes off to play and I leave.

(Of course now I've totally jinxed it, just like I did when I wrote about how the Pookie was doing pretty well with sleep... RIGHT BEFORE THE FOUR MONTH SLEEP REGRESSIONS!! What was I thinking? It's all a mess now, and I'm exhausted again still.)

Over the last week or two, I've been working to refine our morning routines. Ideally, I need to wake up at 6:30 to start getting ready hopefully before the kiddos wake up. Unfortunately, the Pookie is in a sleep regression (see paragraph above) and I'm not able to get up at 6:30. I generally get up when the Pumpkin comes in the room in the morning, generally after 7:00. In fact, if it's before 7:00, I tell her she has to…

Question of the Week - Driving You Crazy

The DC area is notorious for its traffic. It's horrible, and there is no time of day or night that you can be assured of no traffic. Sunday late afternoon, we ran into traffic on the Beltway after going to the Redskins game. (A whole day that Londo and I went out without any kids! That was the first time since the Pookie was born! It was awesome... except that the Redskins suck.)

But it's not even the traffic jams that drive me crazy. I can deal with city driving, highway driving and when parkways turn into parking lots. It's really the crappy drivers in the neighborhoods that make me want to road rage (don't worry, I don't actually road rage).

This week's question of the week is:
What is it about driving/drivers/cars on the road that drives you crazy?

For me, it's the crappy drivers who have this sense of entitlement. They are somewhere between selfish and oblivious. You know the ones. The ones who always assume they have the right of way, even if they don…

Cute Things She Says Shorts

I love all the cute things my girl says. She's 2.5 years old now, and I've missed recording so many of the adorable ways she says things. So I'm going to do some snippets of things she's said recently and some from way back.

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I read a lot of books child development and communication. A few of the communication books mentioned that when a child wants something, sometimes you can just acknowledge the want by saying that you wish they could have/do that, and that is enough to satisfy them.

I like this technique and have used it a bit. For example, if she says she wants a cupcake, I'll say, "I wish you could have a cupcake! But we don't have any in the house. I want one too." Or something like that.

So the other morning, this was the conversation:
caramama: Oh, Pumpkin, we still have to brush your teeth.
Pumpkin: I'll do it all by myself!
caramama: Well, Mommy has to do it.
(I have to at least "take a turn" or else s…

And I Thought Some Parents Were Lying

As I'm sure you all well know, the Pumpkin was and is not a good sleeper. I have gone on and on about it. It's a central theme in my life, and has been for 2.5 years. There are more and more nights when she sleeps through the night, in her own bed, by herself (minus the sick nights we had over the last week). And lately, with her lack of napping at pre-school, she is not taking long to put to bed. My experience with putting my child to bed and her sleeping at night has probably jaded me in my opinions about kids and sleep.

But today, my post isn't about the Pumpkin. I just started it that way to give the frame of reference.

Today, on the Pookie's four-month birthday (can you believe he's four months already? I can't!), I'm going to tell you how the nights had been going, and then tell you about this crazy thing that's happening over the past few nights. And yes, I know that I'm going to completely jinx myself. I figure we're about to start in on…