Friday, September 25, 2009

Mom Purse Coming to the Rescue!

I went to the outlets last month to buy fall clothes for the Pumpkin and much needed clothes for the Pookie. I got myself underwear--nothing fun or pretty, just big panties that don't rest on my incision/scar. The one fun thing I got for myself was a purse. I found it at Nine West and picked it for it's pattern and material. It's really cute.

The issues I had were that there was only one inside pocket (and no outside pocket) and it was maybe a medium-sized purse. I usually like smaller purses, because I will fill bigger purses up with crap that I don't really need in my purse. Also, between the size and lack of pockets, I had a feeling I would lose things in it and have to search for anything I needed. Of course, those things have come true. But it might not be all bad anymore.

As I was searching for my phone in the depths of the purse the other day, I was laughing at what was in there. In addition to my necessary and unnecessary items for myself, I also have some of the Pumpkin's things. There is a to-go applesauce I stuck in there on my way out of the house for our car trip last weekend (along with a box of raisins which have already been eaten). There is a pink ponytail holder that she pulled out of her hair in the car and I didn't want to lose. And there was a slinky that she wouldn't leave behind at home one day when we were going to the car to go to pre-school the other day, but she forgot about after she got in her carseat.

When we got to her pre-school today, the teacher asked her what toy she brought in for Show and Share day. Well, she had been out the previous two Fridays (for the funeral trip and before that because she was sick) and I hadn't read the note that came home yesterday, so I had forgotten that they do Show and Share on Fridays. I looked at the teacher and said we forgot. The teacher made a that's-too-bad look but said she could go look at what the other kids brought in.

And then I remembered what was in my Mom Purse! I had her slinky! A toy she loves! So I told the teacher I had something and pulled it out of my purse. The Pumpkin looked so happy. She loves that toy, and she had something to Show and Share.

I was totally reminded of the movie One Fine Day (remember that movie with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer?) when Michelle Pfeiffer's character pulls all sorts of stuff out of her purse to dress the kids up so they could be in costumes like the other kids at the daycare. I'm not quite to Mary Poppins' carpet bag's level of holding things, but no one can compare to Mary Poppins.

Who needs Deigo's Rescue Pack when you have a Mom Purse? I'm sure I'll collect even more as the weeks and months go by, and it'll be better than Dora's Backpack. I may never get to use a small purse again, but it's totally worth it when I can save the day with what's in my big ole Mom Purse.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Question of the Week - Car Tripping

Unfortunately, the caramama family went out of town for a funeral this weekend. My husband's grandfather passed away. Though he was 94 and it was expected, it was still very difficult. Because it's been such a sad weekend, I don't want to dwell on it here.

Instead let me tell you about a first for our family: We did our first big car trip as a family of four. (It was also the kids first funeral. I brought them only to the viewing part of funeral so they could see and be seen by their extended family members on my husband's side.)

I know you are wondering how the car trip went. It was pretty crappy, thanks for asking! We left Friday about 10:30. I had thought that the Pookie would take his long morning nap in the car, while the Pumpkin watched some DVDs on the player we bring with us on car trips*. The Pumpkin no longer hates the car and does well on car trips, unlike earlier in her life. She was a bit fussy throughout the car trip, but overall did fine.

Except on our stop. I thought it would be a good idea to stop at a Cracker Barrel (I love that restaurant) because they have that country store attached and it is generally a good place for families. It was not a good idea. That country store? Full of Stuff My Child Can Get Into and Grab. Also full of Things with Peanuts. There was no good place for my girl to exercise her legs, although my husband spent time with her outside on that front porch with the rocking chairs and checkers boards that they always have. In general, it was us trying to keep the girl from getting into everything and to eat sitting at our table and trying to keep the boy from fussing while also allowing both adults to eat. It was a bad idea, and totally my idea. But I have found two different fast food places with play areas for next time (which will be Thanksgiving).

As for the baby boy... Although he does not scream bloody murder constantly when in the car, he does get fussy. He didn't take any long nap, and instead was tired and cranky. When he would start to fall asleep, the Pumpkin would start talking or fussing and wake him up. We had to stop a couple times so I could feed him, because he would NOT take the bottle of breastmilk I brought for him. I did the Magic Boobs Over the Car Seat trick for him, which helped him get through some of it. But it was a rough trip. One that is 5 hours for adults, but took us almost 8 hours with the two kids. At least we didn't have the dog with us.

So this week's question is:
What tricks to you have to get your family through long car trips? Or what did your family growing up do for long car trips?

We learned with the Pumpkin that the best time to travel with her--and now we know with the Pookie--is if we leave right around bedtime. When she was a baby, I would have to nurse her to sleep, slip her into the already packed car while asleep and then take off as quickly and quietly as possible. She would sleep the whole way there and usually be transferred pretty easily in the middle of the night.

On the way home this weekend, we decided to try that trick. We left at 7:00 on Monday night. The Pookie has fallen asleep in the car before, so I didn't have to nurse him to sleep first. In fact, he fell asleep for the night about 7:30. The Pumpkin watched some DVDs and fell asleep about 9:15. It was bliss! Until we got all the way to the Beltway (about 30 minutes left to go till we would be home) and discovered that I-495 was indeed closed completely in spurts. We got on about four cars back from where they had stopped everyone. We had to wait about 20 minutes or so, and after 5, the Pookie woke up. He does that when we aren't moving. And he let his unhappiness at being woken up known. Which of course woke the Pumpkin. Who was really upset at still being in the car and now awake.

It. Was. Miserable! They were both crying as loud as they could, sometimes at the exact same time in the exact same melody (if you can call it that)--that was actually pretty funny to hear. Then when one would quiet, the other would cry and then it would start all over again. The whole time we were waiting, and then the whole rest of the way back home. The Pumpkin was so upset by the time we reached home that she was shivering while she cried. It broke my heart to hear my children so upset.

But other than that, the leaving at bedtime seems to be the way to go for us. We are always exhausted and can't do it often because it's hard to drive so late these days because we get so tired. But it works for the kids for now.

How about you? What do you guys do to get to far away places when stuck in a car? Are your kids as miserable as mine are? Or do they just love the car? And if so, maybe go brag to someone else, mkay? ;-)

*I was totally against bringing a DVD player on car trips at first. We never watched TV on our long car trips growing up! Surely our kids wouldn't need it! Then, I had the girl who hated the car seat and being in the car. Once DVDs would distract her, we totally used them and it was the best thing ever. I totally take back anything I said before about not thinking they were a good idea.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Caro Figlio - My Smile Guy

Caro Mio Bello Bambino,

Last week, you officially turned 3 months old.

You are a big boy, with very round features. A round head, round eyes, round nose and big, round cheeks. You are absolutely adorable and highly kissable. You are a little broad in width and really solid, like a little football player. Your eyes are the same deep, bright blue with yellowish-brown flecks in the middle as your sister's were. your hair seems to have a reddish tint to the light brown, but there isn't a whole lot there to really be able to tell.

Mostly, you are very very smiley. Your daddy pointed out the other day that I call you "smile guy." I didn't really realize that I called you that, or maybe I didn't realize how much I call you that. But you are always giving me this huge, toothless, wide-mouthed smile. You crinkle your nose and open your mouth as big as it'll go. The crinkles reach your eyes. It's as if your whole face just lights up with joy!

You also giggle a lot and makes those adorable "ooooo" sounds. Lately, you've been sucking in your lower lip, which is so cute. You are reaching and pulling things, and you are watching everything going on around you.

I almost positive that the other day as you were watching the Pumpkin run around the room climbing and spinning, you started laughing at her. You were sitting in my lap facing outwards to watch her, and I swear you were laughing at her! It was a wonderful moment to be a part of as a mother. As the mother to you two children.

You love to face out and watch everything. I've been using the Moby wrap with great success lately because I put you facing out and you are so happy like that (and I was happy to have my arms and hands free).

You make lots of little grunting noises (as I am hearing now on the monitor), and you are very kicky. You still wakes up a lot at night, but you usually fall back asleep pretty easily cuddled up to me and usually nursing.

Perhaps the most amazing thing I've discovered lately is that I'm associating a specific smell to my children. I never really thought about that. I guess I knew that there was that generic baby smell, but I didn't realize that each of my children would have a certain smell that I find delicious and can't get enough of. your sister has a kind of fresh smell. You have this tangy smell. I can't really describe the smells better than that, but I can bring it up in my memory in a heartbeat.

I am just amazed by you. You are truly beautiful and growing so fast! I can't wait to watch you grow into a little kid, like your sister is. And then to watch you grow up and see the person you become. And I want to treasure every moment and every smile along the way.

Ti amo,
Mama