Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gettin' Old

You know you're getting old when you... the national news every night. Even the media know it's an old person activity: all of the advertisements are pushing medications on the elderly.

...wash out, dry and reuse ziploc bags.

...get mad about having dog poop in your front yard.*

...listen to talk radio.*

...can name the price of milk at three different grocery stores.

...scan the obituaries looking at the ages of the deceased.

...go to Hooter's just because you like the wings. In fact, you no longer find the waitresses cute enough to excuse the bad service.*

...begin looking at the amount of fiber listed on food labels.

...use the phrase, "When I was your age...."

...get really annoyed at the teenager life guards not because they did anything wrong, but just because they're teenagers.

* These are attributed to someone other than myself. You don't think I'd actually go to Hooter's, do you?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Double the Fun

The downside to having children whose birthdays are only two days apart is that you are forced to do the whole party thing twice in a row. Fortunately, our youngest celebrant doesn't give a hoot about having his own party (yet), so we doubled up and had a joint party for Sydney and Evan yesterday. The rain put a damper on our plans to put out the sprinkler and baby pool, but we still had a good time. Ryan barbecued some ribs, chicken and sausage and I whipped up some potato salad and beans to go along with the pile of meat. And as always, I have pictures to share! My apologies if you've already seen them on Facebook.

Evan had a good time:


And then he decided that he didn't want to feed himself the cold, gooey ice cream:


Once he was done eating, his hat became his source of entertainment:


Sydney had a good time hamming it up for the camera:


She didn't mind showing off her first non-hand-me-down bike, either:


Evan had a good time opening his presents:


Liam had a good time, too. He didn't even really care that he had to watch the other two open presents. He had (and is still having) lots of fun playing with the musical cards the other two got. Here he is enjoying their cakes (with his hat backwards):


Thanks to the lovely economy, Ryan and I pulled in the reins on how much we spent on the party which translates into our making the cakes rather than buying them from semi-professional grocery store bakery people. Ryan had fun making Evan's ice cream baseball cake:


It sure was yummy, especially since it was chocolate inside!

And Sydney helped me make her fluorescent pink princess cake:


The rain ran us inside, but we had fun showing the grandparents how to play Wii Fit. We couldn't quite convince them to do the Hula Hoop or Step Aerobics, but my parents did play a little Wii golf.

It was a quiet party, but it was just our style. Not a lot of people, not a lot of chaos or hoopla, but plenty of good food and cake. Perfect.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Well, nuts. I was all set to share the happy news that I was going to get to go with Ryan to NYC next month while he's on business. For an entire week. Without children.

I had such big plans. I was going to spend an entire day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The last time I was there, I was four months pregnant and still suffering from all-day "morning" sickness. I also had a whiny four year old with me and my choice to wear semi-fashionable shoes over comfortable ones pretty much made me want to amputate my own feet by the end of the visit. I didn't get to see everything I wanted to see and I'd planned to take it all in this time.

Even though I'm not a fan of the genre, I was going to get a ticket to Wicked just to see how someone could turn that book into a musical. I was going to ride the train by myself to go see our friends and their new(ish) baby in Bronx. I was going to read a book in Central Park and enjoy the sound of silence. Well, as much silence as is possible in Central Park. And Ryan and I were going to eat several dinners in a row at nice restaurants where no one asked us to cut up their meat or threw sippy cups full of milk across the table.

But, alas, I will be at home changing diapers and refereeing arguments between my two older children. Sigh. I suppose I will live to play Carrie Bradshaw another day.


Speaking of nuts (well, not really, but it is the title of this post so I'm going to use it as my segue), Evan is thankfully not allergic to peanuts. Or walnuts. Or dairy. Or soy. His blood work does indicate that he could have a slight reaction to egg whites, so we'll keep an eye on that, but thank goodness he doesn't have a peanut allergy. I honestly don't know how Ryan and I Sydney and Liam would react to having to give up peanut butter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Good News/Bad News Check-up

Evan had his 12 month well baby check up yesterday. Since we don't own a scale, I've only been guessing that Evan was close to the all important 20 pound mark. Turns out the boy weighs a whopping 21 wonder I feel like my arm is about to fall off after holding him for more than ten minutes! He gained four pounds in three months and is a good three pounds heavier than Liam was at his 12 month check up. Big boy!!

I was so excited about the prospects of turning him around in the car (with the standard "Twenty pounds AND one year old" requirement) until the pediatrician informed me that the AAP now recommends that a child weigh 20 pounds and be TWO years old before being turned around. What?!?

Did anyone else know this?

We haven't decided what to do. The other kids did fine being turned around at one and frankly, I think the poor kid is pretty tired of staring at the back of the seat. Wouldn't you be tired of not being able to see anything in the car?

Anyway, the poor guy got four shots and had to have his blood drawn to check his iron and lead levels. There is nothing worse than trying to hold a screaming, writhing one year old while a cruel phlebotomist pokes around for and then inserts a needle into a vein. Just for kicks, the pediatrician had them draw an extra vial of blood (hurray - even more screaming) to check him for nut allergies. I gave him his first taste of peanut butter last week and he got a huge rash around his mouth so she wants to check for an allergy. I don't know what we'll do if he's allergic to peanut butter....we go through a jar a week around here.

The best news of all, though, has to do with his speech. The pediatrician (who is a tad anal when it comes to speech) seemed disappointed when I told her that he wasn't saying any words. Assuring her that I just have late talking kids, she gave me the standard, "Be sure to talk slowly, repeat things and read to him every day" speech. Umm, duh.

But then, as she was leaving, Liam (who had been cowering in the corner afraid that he was going to be next in the poking and prodding torture), dropped his toy and clear as day, Evan said, "Uh-oh." The pediatrician looked at me and said, "He just said uh-oh! That counts as a word....I'm writing it in his chart right now." Evan went on to repeat it all day (in appropriate situations most of the time).

AND after I pointed to a picture of a dog on the wall and said, "Doggy says 'Woof, woof'", Evan repeated, "Oof, oof." So my baby said his first TWO words yesterday. Hurray!

He may be allergic to peanuts, but he's talking. So that's something!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Big One!

My baby, Evan, turns one today! It's a bittersweet day for me: I'm happy that he's growing and changing, but I'm sad because he's my last baby. So, without further ado, a quick photo synopsis of the last year:

Newborn in May 2008:

3 months old in August 2008:

6 months old in November 2008:

9 months old in February 2009:

One year old in May 2009:

Happy Birthday, little guy! You are a light in our lives and joy to be around. We love you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

She's Six!

Six years ago today, she looked like this:


And here's what she looks like now:


I blinked and she grew up.

Happy Birthday, Sydney. We love you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ummmm, Sorry Ryan

Let me just state that I rarely win anything. I've entered contests and giveaways and won a couple of DVDs from Mommy Daisy (which we love - thank you, Mommy Daisy!), but for the most part, I'm just not lucky enough to be a winner most of the time.

Until yesterday.

I entered the "Worst Mother's Day Contest" on Milk and Cookies and I won an Amazon gift certificate.

Of course, to enter such a contest, one has to expose the gift giver and their lack of gift giving skills. I would like to go on record and say in Ryan's defense that the Mother's Day gifts I've received ever since "the incident" have been wonderful. I wear the pearl earrings he got me for Mother's Day 2004 all the time and the past couple of years have been heavenly since he has granted me my one, totally selfish Mother's Day wish: to have the house to myself for an entire afternoon. He's taken all the kids to his mother's house for the day leaving me with four or five hours of blissful silence in which to read a good book or take a luxurious nap. Yes, I said luxurious when describing a nap because although I need them and love them, I rarely get to take one.

So, without further ado, the winning entry:

Our first child was due the day after Mother’s Day 2003 so I was VERY pregnant that particular Mother’s Day. My husband looked quite confused when MY mother gave me a card and gift that day. He claimed that he didn’t have to get me anything because “technically” I wasn’t a mother yet. 39 weeks, 6 days pregnant and “technically” not a mother yet….sheesh.

I am certain that I won only by random number selection because some of the other entries made my jaw drop: cheese grater, deep fryer, dust buster, Dear John letter. Reading the other entries made me grateful for my sweet husband, that's for sure.

So, sorry Ryan. I honestly didn't think I'd win and put you in the spotlight as a terrible gift giver. After all, you've given me the best Mother's Day gifts ever: Sydney, Liam and Evan.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kiddo Updates

It's been a while since I've written about what the kids are up to these days. I'm constantly amazed at how quickly they learn and how fun it is to watch them grow as tiny individuals.

Sydney has turned into such a big girl. She is reading non-stop these days. She finished her study bible and is now obsessed with the book we got her for Easter, Where the Sidewalk Ends and we read it and giggle every night. I have a feeling that her reading will really blossom this summer. She loves writing, too. Just this week she wrote out a list of things for her American Girl doll that Ryan can get her the next time he's in NYC. And she doesn't know it yet, but she's getting a brand new bike for her birthday (up til now she's only had hand-me-downs) and we're excited to teach her how to ride it. Overall, she is quite independent and I'm convinced that once she learns how to tie her shoes, there's no stopping her.

Liam is one rambunctious little guy. He climbs on everything. He runs everywhere. He is into everything. He is still a sweet boy, climbing into bed with us on Saturday mornings for a little cuddle and he is definitely a daddy's boy, asking where Ryan is every morning when he wakes up. He is slowly talking more and more. Much of it is still unintelligible to anyone but me and Ryan, but he's getting better. He is a little parrot and called me "dude" the other day after hearing me call him a "cool dude" with his sunglasses on. He plays with Evan more and more and he is the class clown at his MDO. He is mischievous, but he is sweet, too. I have a feeling that we will be getting a lot of calls from his teachers in the coming years. And some calls from the parents of some little girls, too.

Evan is a mama's boy and that is just fine with me. :) He is constantly burrowing his little head into my chest and gives me kisses all the time. He points to the fan, to the door, to pictures in books, to everything really. He started clapping last week and today he started giving me high-fives. Peek-a-boo is his favorite game, even if he doesn't quite get his eyes covered during the "hiding" part. With his three little teeth, he eats everything that we eat and is down to three bottles a day now that he's gotten the hang of the sippy cup. He loves walking with his little walking toys and his latest feat is standing on his own for a few seconds at a time. He babbles all day long and I swear I've heard him try to repeat things I've said to him. He's going through a bit of separation anxiety and cries when I leave him in the church nursery, but warms up to the workers after a few minutes and they actually fight over who gets to hold him because he's so sweet. I still can't believe that he turns one next week. :(

I'm sure I've thoroughly bored you, but I feel like I've fallen behind on my blogging lately and taken the easy way out by posting lots of pictures. And despite the cliche of a picture being worth a thousand words, one snapshot in time cannot possibly convey the wonders of watching three unique personalities grow and develop.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Too Good to be True

Ahhh.....the potty training. It worked. For four days.

Liam did great over the weekend and on Monday, but then he went to Mother's Day Out and.....

He's back in diapers.


I should add the following to my list of potty training tips:

10. Do not bother trying to potty train if your child's pre-school/mother's day out/daycare teachers won't work with you.

I took him to school on Tuesday and he proudly showed his teacher (the one he likes) his big boy underpants. She gushed and declared how proud she was of him. The other teacher? The one who is eighty years old and should probably retire? She shot looks of disapproval at me from across the room and noticeably pursed her lips in silence (and this woman always has something to say). When I picked him up, he was in a diaper. The teachers declared that they "didn't have the time" to sit him on the potty every 30 minutes and they asked that I bring him to school in a pull-up from now on.

When we got home, Liam kept having accidents and Wednesday was just terrible. So I just gave up and put diapers back on him. There's no point trying to "re-train" him every other day. Sigh.

I'm so disappointed and I'm upset with his teachers. When another mother who saw Liam showing off his underpants commented that her son would be the last one in diapers, the older teacher said, "Oh, don't worry about it. In fact, PLEASE keep him's much easier for us." Don't you think that people who choose to teach two year olds ought to be prepared to help parents with potty training?

So we'll just wait until summer to try again. Perhaps I'll just let him run around naked in the back yard all summer.

And, on a more amusing note, I have another tip to add to my list:

11. Cream colored couches and carpet are probably not the best idea when potty training a toddler. I don't think any explanation is needed for this one. :)