Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby Announcement! And One-on-One Time with the Kids

I want to announce to everyone that my good friend, MommyEm, had her baby on July 4th! Welcome to the world, little baby girl! I am certain that you will be well loved by your mom, dad and big sister (and two cats)! I can't wait to meet you!

While last weekend was a busy weekend for my friend, I actually had a pretty easy, low-key July 4th weekend.

Londo took the Pumpkin down to visit his family for the weekend. They have a big July 4th BBQ party, and he thought they'd have fun. Although I considered going to the fun party and lovely inlaws, I was in greater need of a break from at least half of my parenting responsibilities. Plus, Londo and I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to give the kids some devoted one-on-one time. So I stayed home with the Pookie.

Londo and the Pumpkin left on Friday morning, arriving at the inlaws in the afternoon--in time to pick berries and help garden in my MIL's fantastic, organic garden. Meanwhile, I dropped the Pookie off at daycare and went to work.

The Pookie and I had an easy evening, with his normal (early) dinner time and an early bedtime. He is very exhausted from being at daycare, where they have only one nap a day. So he went to sleep quickly and easily, giving a whole evening BY MYSELF! It was like a piece of heaven.

On Saturday, the Pookie and I went to the pool between his naps, stopping by the neighborhood 4th of July party and eating lunch at the pool. I struck up a conversation with a woman who lives a few houses away and has two kids, ages 2 and 3. I'm really making an effort to make friends with my neighbors, especially those with kids around my kids' ages. And this new friend and her husband invited me over for a BBQ on Sunday! I stopped by for a little while, until it was the Pookie's bedtime. I hope to do more with them soon.

What else did I do on Saturday--or heck, the rest of the weekend? I'm not even sure! Oh, I know I took a nap that afternoon while the Pookie took his second nap. In fact, I napped every day while the Pookie took one of his naps. During his other nap, I was fixing up our front room, into which we've moved the shelves and books to be the library, and the guest room, which has my desk and is going to be my slash-office! This was all set up the previous weekend, with help from Londo, his dad and my dad.

The Pookie apparently needed to catch up on his sleep all weekend. Not only was he taking two naps a day each of the three days we were home together, but the morning naps were 2 - 2.5 hours! He also went to bed early-ish each night. Even though he woke up for 1.5 hours in the middle of one of those nights (let's hear it for the 55 week fussy period/sleep regression!), he still slept a lot overall.

That gave me so much time to clean and organize the house, as well as relax and enjoy time to myself.

But more importantly, I got to spend so much quality, one-on-one time with my baby boy. Being the second child, he really doesn't get much one-on-one time from us parents. Usually, the only time I have alone with him is putting him down for a nap or for bed. That doesn't give me a chance to sit with him and see how he is developing and playing, or let me focus my attention on him while we are out doing things.

For the last two weeks (before he started at daycare, but even more since), he has been especially clingy to me. As he gets better and better at walking away from me, he comes back to me and clings tighter and tighter. That's hard to deal with while juggling a 3 year old who needs large amounts of attention in different ways. By the end of our weekend together, he really wasn't clingy much at all. Until he went back to daycare. Sigh...

It was also such a great weekend for father-daughter bonding down at my inlaws. Londo and the Pumpkin had so much fun down there and in the car trips to and from. (Anyone remember how miserable my daughter used to be in the car? It's a whole new world now, baby!) They had a lot of quality time together. Not all of it was perfect, and the Pumpkin woke up sick on Monday before heading home (and she also got sick in the car on the way home), but we don't look for perfect in the caramama family (or else I'd be in trouble!).

For those of you with two or more kids, I highly recommend splitting them up for a weekend if possible and when they are old enough. It's great to have that one-on-one time, plus it's really fun to be reunited! And after I completely wean the baby, I plan to take the Pumpkin on a trip somewhere with just me, leaving Londo and the Pookie at home.

And someday, Londo and I hope to take a weekend or even a night away together, without the kids! Can you imagine?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July DC Area Meet Up - Changing to Sunday

Sorry this is so last minute, but I need to change the meet up to be on Sunday. I have a funeral to go to on Saturday.

Hopefully Sunday is an even better day for people to come. It's the last day the Green Meadows Petting Farm is open this summer, so be sure to go on Saturday or Sunday if you want to catch it before next fall!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Question of the Week - Technology Gadgets

My birthday is next week (wooo hoooo! I LOVE birthdays, especially my own!), and I've been asking anyone who was considering getting me a present to get me one specific thing: gift certificates to Barnes and Noble. I'm sure you all have realized how much I love books, but I'm not going to use the gift certicates for books.

What then would I do with those gift certificates? Why, I'm hoping to get enough to purchase the gadget I've been coveting... a type of technology device that I've been badly wanting for over a year... the specific item that I've researched and compared to other types... The Nook!

When Amazon first came out with its eReader, the Kindle, I thought how fantastic it would be to have one some day. Over the years, I have kicked around the idea of purchase the Kindle, especially the Kindle 2. A coworker brought his wife's in last winter so I could see it and play with it and determine if it really was as awesome as I thought it would be.

It totally is.

It would be so much easier to bring more than one book with me on trips out of town or even to the doctor's office, easier to get books in time for book clubs, easier to read while nursing, and easier to use a booklight for nighttime reading, since it would attach to one spot and I wouldn't have to juggle pages and the light and whatever else. Yes, I would miss the feel of books in my hands and the book on my shelf to look at and the book to lend to other people. But honestly, we have completely run out of room on our shelves for new books, and I'm really liking the idea of reading the eInk that is standard on eReaders, with a ton of books right there at my finger tips!

I haven't been able to afford the Kindle. And last winter a coworker told me about the iPad that was coming out. I decided to wait and see what the iPad would be like to see if I'd want that more than an eReader.

Would you know it, I absolutely LOVE the iPad. I want one SO bad! It's better than an eReader, because I could blog from the iPad. But it doesn't make sense for me to get an iPad that just has wifi--I might as well just use my laptop in the places I can get access to wifi. The reason to get an iPad for me is for the 3G network, as well as the ability to read books in a hand-held device. But it doesn't use eInk, and I stare at backlight computer screens too much as it is. I can blog on my laptop. And most importantly, there is simply no way I could afford an iPad that includes the 3G network. Just ain't happening.

So I started thinking about the Kindle again. After considering the cost of the iPad and because the prices of eReaders are going down, it suddenly doesn't seem crazy expensive to get a regular eReader. I was about to ask for gift certificates to Amazon.

Then my sister told me about the Nook. It's really just like the Kindle, except slightly different features. I think I would love either, but I'm hoping to get the Nook. The reasons I'm picking it over the Kindle are: the touch screen to navigate and type, the ability to lend eBooks to other Nook users (and my sister bought one already!), and the fact that there is a physical location to go to for more perks and customer service. Even though I'm extremely displeased with Barnes and Noble's book return policy (it's even worse than Borders's return policy!), I think their general customer service is good.

So there you have it. I'm coveting the Nook eReader. If I don't get enough gift certificates for my birthday, I'll try holding out until I can get more for Christmas. The kids and the house are taking up all our money, so I can't just go out and buy myself one, but I really would like a little something for myself for my birthday.

And this week's question of the week is:

What technology gadget are you coveting?

I still so badly want the iPad, but I know I'll be very happy with the Nook (or a Kindle). I also have realized that I would love one of those new-fangled cell phones that connect to that interweb thingie and have useful and fun do-dads called "apps" on them, especially one with an app that works with the Nook so I could read my current eBook from my phone if I'm out and about with the Nook. This is the first time I've considered getting a cell phone for anything besides calls, text messages and pictures, all because of my lust for an eReader--oh, and to update my tweets!

What about you? What new device do you want to run out and get, if only you could afford it? What have you bought recently that was everything you dreams technology should be and do? I'd love to hear what you want and why, cause I truly am an IT geek at heart (and at work)!