Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

Spring Break 2014 (NoVa/Washington DC)

Monday, April 21st, 2014

This was not “Spring Break woo-hoo!” I don’t think I’ve ever been on a woo-hoo kind of Spring Break and I am definitely too old for it now. Plus my pregnant belly would totally get in the way during drunk limbo contests.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t have a wild and crazy trip to visit my parents in Virginia. Going to DC during cherry blossom season? AND while everyone is out of school? AND not bringing a stroller?? I live dangerously.

Before our trip into the city, we tried to make the best of some pretty bad spring weather. Our neighborhood is full of paved paths, playscapes and little creeks, so I had the bright idea to go play outside even though it was raining. I patted myself on the back for packing boots and raincoats, even though patting myself on the back never, ever ends well. After about 5 minutes poking rocks with sticks and looking for frogs it went from sort-of-drizzly to torrential-downpour. It was pretty clear our trickly little creek wasn’t going to stay cute and shallow for long, so we booked it home for some dry clothes and Disney movies.

spring break 2014

spring break 2014-3

spring break 2014-4

spring break 2014-7

spring break 2014-8

The rain cleared out overnight but the sun came with lots of cold wind. I tried to keep the kids entertained inside but they were way too crazy. Bouncing off the furniture crazy. Tantrums over nothing crazy. Make me want to run away and leave them there forever crazy. So we bundled up and walked to the elementary school playground for them to burn off some of the crazy.

spring break 2014-12

spring break 2014-14

spring break 2014-16

 

And that brings us to Thursday. THURSDAY. The day I realized just how much my oldest child is like me when it comes to crowds, being hungry, being tired and did I mention crowds? I hate crowds. HATE. And if crowds were bad enough, it was crowds of field trips, big families and strollers. So many strollers.

Personally, I am greatly enjoying having children at an age where we don’t HAVE to have a stroller. No diapers = no diaper bag = purse I can fit enough stuff in but it’s too heavy to carry all day + children who have seemingly endless energy = a math problem that defies all logic but means I didn’t bring a stroller into DC. I’m doomed to rejoin the Stroller Mafia in a few months and I still love/adore/worship/etc my Baby Jogger, but NOT dragging a stroller around makes me want to throw my arms in the air and shout “FREEEEDOOOOOOOOM!” It also makes me instantly intolerant of people with strollers who block aisles and hallways and walking paths and generally get in my damn way. It’s just one of the many ways I am not a very good person.

Luckily we planned our trip pretty well, catching a post-commuter-rush-but-still-early Metro into the city so we got to the Natural History Museum 30 minutes after they opened. All the good exhibits were crowded but not so crowded I couldn’t stand it. The kids got annoyed and hungry pretty fast though, so we went for lunch early. It was an excellent (lucky) choice, since when we LEFT the cafeteria the line to get it went all the way to the back entrance of the museum.

I do owe an apology and possibly an explanation for my child’s behavior during lunch to anyone who happened to be in the Natural History Museum last Thursday. I promise I did not actually beat Evan, spank Evan, hit Evan or torture him in any way. I did not tell him I hated him or he was an accident. I MAY have threatened to leave him with DC police after 20 straight minutes of crying, but at that point it wasn’t so much a threat as something I was actually considering. What caused such a huge disturbance in the force, you may ask? I didn’t let him carry his very own cafeteria tray.

Trust me, that was NOT a hill I was prepared to die on, and if I had known he really wanted a tray he could have had a damn tray. He just didn’t NEED a tray, so when we went through the line I said “No, we can share” and then breezed in to grab our food. By the time I realized he was sobbing silently behind me it was too late to go back for a tray and mine was too full to let him carry it on his own. TRAGEDY.

I made him stand in a corner for a while, but the judgey looks from other people got to me so I planted him in a seat at our table and eventually he calmed down enough that he actually ate most of his food, drank some Cherry Coke (DESPERATE MOTHER IS DESPERATE) and ate a dinosaur cookie. SHOCKINGLY, once he was no long hungry he perked right up and we enjoyed the rest of our visit. The crowds eventually got too bad to fight and the kids kept needing to sit down for breaks, so we left the museum to walk on the mall.

I was too sore already (stupid pregnancy sciatica) to make it to any of the monuments, but as soon as they were out in the fresh air and sunshine the gingers got a second wind and begged to ride the carousel. Their very generous grandmother said yes that I am confident it was the highlight of their day.

Based just on our pictures you can’t tell at all that it wasn’t a super fun trip, which is basically the foundation of blogging, right?

spring break 2014-20

spring break 2014-23

We only misplaced Creepy Baby ONCE for a few minutes in the rocks & stones hall. Thank God my mom realized it and we found her quickly.

spring break 2014-24

spring break 2014-26

spring break 2014-28

spring break 2014-29

spring break 2014-30

spring break 2014-32

spring break 2014-31

spring break 2014-33

spring break 2014-34

spring break 2014-35

spring break 2014-36

spring break 2014-38

spring break 2014-41

spring break 2014-43

spring break 2014-45

spring break 2014-49

spring break 2014-51

 

We drove home Friday to discover E DIDN’T have to work all weekend, the weather in CT was at least as nice as in Virginia and that both children were totally exhausted from our trip. It was a lovely, relaxing Easter weekend with approximately 75% more sleeping and fewer tantrums. Apologies again to everyone in NoVa/DC/especially my parents.

Related posts:

My baby is now doomed to a life of faux-hawks
Mommy Boxes
7 Years And Not The Least Bit Itchy

Ridiculous Problems

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I don’t actually want to eat any more of this ice cream but I also don’t really want to get up and go put it back in the freezer. This is not the first time I have had this dilemma.

My children like being helpful so much they fight over who gets to bring me things so I always have to think of TWO things I need (a blanket and a drink, my slippers and my phone, etc) to avoid an argument.

Caroline loves school so much she never says goodbye or gives me a hug when I drop her off and it hurts my feelings.

We own way too much stuff. Too many clothes, too many toys, too many THINGS and yet I can’t figure out how to get rid of it all.

I can’t plan things that interfere with bedtime because both children recognize that it’s time for sleeping and beg to be put to bed. Caroline especially loves going to sleep at night.

The list of jobs I love that I also get paid for is getting longer (Did I mention I’m writing for TVFanatic and The Hollywood Gossip? It’s pretty cool – said in the Miley Cyrus voice) and for the first time in a long time I might actually be BUSY. So busy I need an actual day planner…and I don’t HAVE a day planner.

I read something on the internet that made me really mad and I was going to write a post about it but now I can’t remember what it was.

I have too many interesting podcasts to catch up on.

My perfectly healthy, smart, kind, handsome baby is about to turn FIVE and five is too old.

Related posts:

Foooooooooooood
A Little Man of Many Hats
I don't have the energy to come up with a title for this today

Baby #3 – 24 Weeks

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Oh hey, want to hear about my pregnancy?

It’s good! I am ready to officially say it’s good.

In fact, I have absolutely nothing unusual to report. Hurrah for a totally normal, boring baby!

This is the first time in a while I’ve felt able to write much about it, for fear of jinxing things. At my 19 week ultrasound the tech was a little concerned. My placenta was lower than they wanted to see and I had high fluid levels. Apparently that’s a soft marker for a lot of birth or genetic defects, so they wanted to get me in to a level 2 ultrasound soon. Unfortunately “soon” was a full 3 weeks later.

It wouldn’t have been quite such a nerve-wracking three weeks if the doctor hadn’t made a super casual, off-hand remark about how if something WAS tragically wrong we’d want to know sooner rather than later. 3 WEEKS IS NOT SOON. If she had just left out the part about the teeny, tiny chance of a fatal or life threatening problem I could have just complained about my heartburn and sore hips and never-ending morning nausea. Instead I lay in bed every night and thought about…possibilities.

I DID keep myself from Googling though. Mostly since “high fluid levels” turns up way too many results to process, let alone freak out about.

ANYWAY. At my level 2 ultrasound the tech and the special high-risk doctor both declared my baby perfectly fine. My placenta moved up and my fluid levels are only on the high level of normal, not actually high. The baby looks healthy and my screenings came back with very low chances of a genetic issue. I am extremely relieved.

I didn’t want to talk about any of this until I was sure – or as sure as you can possibly be before the baby becomes an outside baby – that things were fine. Plus also, thinking about what MIGHT be wrong reminded me of how many things COULD go wrong and what a crazy delicate thing pregnancy can be. Tomorrow I am 24 weeks, which is viability (technically). So now I am ready to complain about all the trivial stuff.

That might take FOREVER, so let’s start with the big one.

OMG MY BUTT. Not, like, the delicate unspeakable parts. All of it, from my back down to my thighs. The internet says the horrible stabbing pain is sciatica, but I had what I thought was sciatica with previous babies. This is WAY worse. This is like the difference between a paper cut and having a finger chopped off. The other thing the internet says is that the best ways to treat it are “stretching” and “resting” and “maybe some acupuncture”. I have no time for this “resting” thing and I can’t spend my days in child’s pose, so at my next OB appointment I guess I’ll be asking about alternative treatments. I feel extremely lucky I can spend a lot of time on the couch or lying down when it gets too bad, but until the children can do the grocery shopping and errand running themselves there are going to be painful days.

I’m just hoping I don’t get SPD on top of it. That’s the one where you feel like you’ve been kicked in the crotch with a steel-toed boot. Even rolling over in bed is enough to make you cry, so THAT on top of THIS would probably land me on a motorized scooter for the next 16 weeks.

And now, some blurry, generic ultrasound photos I took pictures of with my phone!

IMG_1006 IMG_1008 IMG_1010

Based on no actual info besides those pictures, I’m currently predicting “girl”, since the profile looks just like Caroline. Both kids are on team girl but E is swearing it’s a boy. Oddly, I am not in the least bit tempted to find out anymore. I’m SUPER excited about waiting until the delivery room and being surprised along with everyone else.

Related posts:

Pain
Birthday Pool: Results
My Dad Thought of the Caption

Big Girls Don’t Cry?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

This is going to be a little more topical than I usually get, but it’s one of those rare instances where I feel strongly enough about something to risk it. Warning! Actual current events and stuff ahead! Plus opinions!

Yesterday the US women’s hockey team played Canada in the final game to determine who got gold and who got silver medals in Sochi. In the last few minutes of the game the Americans lost their 2-1 lead and ended up in overtime, where they lost. They were really, really bummed. Most of them looked upset during the (immediately-following-the-game) medal ceremony. Some of them visibly cried, wiping their eyes on their jerseys as they accepted second place. This morning there was discussion on ever morning show  I watched about whether or not these women were “poor sports” because they weren’t jumping for joy over their silver medals.

Let me answer that question in one word: No.

You know who else cries when they lose? MALE ATHLETES. Tom Brady crying has it’s own Tumblr. Peyton Manning looked sad and upset all through his (horribly played) Super Bowl game this year. And while some people may make fun of them (oh noes, men don’t cry!) they certainly don’t act like being upset over losing a sporting event is somehow unreasonable. And no one ever tells the loser of the Super Bowl “Hey, you should be THRILLED with second place!”

But in women’s sports, we often focus more on playing nice than winning. And even if you do win, don’t think about celebrating it too loudly. That’s unlady-like and you might hurt the other team’s feelings. You should just be proud of doing your best.

Excuse me, but f**k that. Being a poor sport is refusing to shake the winning team’s hand. Or walking out of the award ceremony. Or cheating, which is something that happens all the time in pro (spoken: men’s) sports. Or swearing and shouting at the other team. Being sad you lost in the minutes RIGHT AFTER your loss is human. This was the Olympic games. The LAST chance some of these women will get to play with their whole country cheering for them – or even play in a widely televised game because last time I checked the NHL didn’t include many ladies.

If it was my daughter on that rink I would have been crying right along with her. I want both my children to know they’re allows to feel upset or sad and that there’s no shame in expressing those emotions in reasonable ways. Throwing your helmet? Breaking your stick? Hitting people? (Alllll of which happens in football almost on a weekly basis…)  Not OK. Crying because you’re disappointed in your own performance? TOTALLY OK. The American team’s sadness has nothing to do with the Canadian team’s joy. I’ve seen or read absolutely zero interviews where any of the US women’s team talked about anything beyond their dedication to the sport and how proud they are of making it the Olympics.

This morning my daughter cried because her flashlight stopped working. I told her I understood her feelings and hugged her and told her we could look for some new batteries. I certainly didn’t ridicule her or call her a poor sport. A few minutes later I cried when a shelf in the kitchen collapsed, shattering half my dishes and scaring me out of my mind. Luckily there was no one here to tell me to suck it up because at least the other half of my dishes was OK. Emotions are complicated, sometimes unwelcome, and often impossible to control. Think about the last time you cried and whether or not you would want that broadcast worldwide for everyone to judge on the occasion’s worthiness and how sportsman-like it seems.

Good job, ladies of the US Olympic hockey team. I’m proud of you and I wish I could give you a hug.

Related posts:

Picture Post Part 2
Dreams
Smack Judgement

Complaints That Need Diagrams Do Not Make Good Posts

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

But I MADE THE DIAGRAMS ALREADY so now it is too late. SAVE YOURSELF.

Complaint #1: Caroline’s ballet class meets in what used to be an elementary school but is now a sort of run-down building they use for a zillion different things. Two classrooms down from ballet is a perpetual tag sale and on Saturdays they fill the hall with furniture and bikes and other junk. It’s not a very big hallway, so during class it’s pretty crowded with parents waiting for their tiny ballerinas. This weekend one of the classrooms farther down was being used for baseball sign-ups so there was a constant stream of traffic and people almost tripping over my feet.

HERE IS A DIAGRAM TO SHOW YOU THE SITUATION.

HALLWAY 1 The X’s are people sitting in chairs, Dance Mom is someone whose daughter is in Caroline’s class, and Friend is not MY friend, but the friend of someone joining our story in a minute. I had to bring Evan with me since E was working, but he had the iPad so 45 minutes in a hallway meant nothing to him.

Near the end of class time, the parents for the NEXT class start to show up. That class is full of tiny, adorable children in tap shoes. Most kids change shoes when they get there so everyone is sort of stumbling around trying to juggle shoes and coats and multiple children in a small hallway. On a normal day it’s kind of a mess, on a day when there’s extra traffic for Little League sign ups it’s a cluster.

5 minutes before the end of ballet, a woman with a giant sit-n-stand stroller makes her way down the hallway. There are two small children in the stroller and the tap class participant child following behind. The whole parade stops DIRECTLY in front of me and just…stays there. In the middle of the hallway.

HALLWAY 2

The red is the family blocking the hallway and the blue X’s are ALL the people trying to get past. The poor blue X’s kept saying “Excuse me, excuse me” and trying to squeeze around the stroller, which the clueless woman didn’t even TRY to move to one side or the other (not that there was enough room to unblock the hallways by doing that, but she could have tried). She just STOOD THERE saying “Where do they want me to go? There’s no room?” and her friend (“Friend” on the diagram) encouraged her by saying “I don’t know, this hallway is so crowded” and “As if saying ‘excuse me’ is going to make it wider??”

Just beyond the chairs in my diagram, I have added a red arrow. That arrow is pointing at the GIANT EMPTY SPACE where there is plenty of room for a stroller. Literally less than 10 feet down the hallway.

Let me make it more clear:

HALLWAY 3 After the longest 5 minutes ever of just staring in awe at this whole disaster, I decided it wasn’t going to resolve itself so I very, very politely said “Perhaps you could try moving the stroller over there along the wall? Our kids *gestures to chairs full of parents* are about to come out of class and it’s only going to get more crowded.” She and her friend looked at me like I had two heads, but she FINALLY moved down the hallway just in time for the door to open and everyone’s preschoolers to come streaming out in a giant mass.

I made eye-rolly eye contact with a few of the other parents who seemed as totally puzzled as I was with the whole thing. I mean, I sort of get it. There have been plenty of times when I was facing a problem with 2 small children in tow and I’ve been TOTALLY OVERWHELMED by things like “walking” and “polite behavior” and “awareness” all colliding at once. Maybe her awkwardness meter runs on coffee and she hadn’t had any yet that morning. But I can safely say that after the second “excuse me” I would have walked to the opposite side of the building if it meant not being in the way.

I realize writing a complaint about someone in my real life is risky, but I feel SO JUSTIFIED in my UNDENIABLE RIGHTNESS that I don’t even care. It is not often I am SO RIGHT, which brings me to complain #2

Complaint #2: Caroline’s school sent home a little note that said there had been some “close calls” in the parking lot and we (the school parents) needed to be more careful because other people (church attendees) use the building during the day.

I KNOW the note was about me. Me personally. ME AND MY MINIVAN AND A SPECIFIC INSTANCE. Which is embarrassing, you know? Everyone who got that note is now thinking “Ugh, what kind of jerk parent doesn’t obey the stop sign in the parking lot?” I have gotten ragey plenty of times about the stupid parental behavior in the pick-up/drop-off line but in this case, since it was about me, I would like to CLEAR THINGS UP.

Here is the driveway situation:

DRIVEWAY 1

 

Both preschool drives are one way, so ALL the parents coming to pick up their kids turn before they get to the exit driveway and during the 30 minute pick-up/drop-off window 99.999% of cars will turn there.

Last week after I picked up Caroline I was STOPPED at the stop sign – completely stopped – when a car turned into the church drive. It had JUST turned and so I pulled out, assuming it would pull into the pick-up line. Unfortunately, they were headed up to the church so technically I had turned “in front of them”. That was literally the first time I have ever seen anyone go straight there, so it was an honest mistake.

DRIVEWAY 2

 

(You didn’t really need a diagram for that, but I MADE ONE, so look at it. LOOK.)

It still would NOT HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM if they had been driving at an appropriate preschool-driveway speed. I had PLENTY of time to be out of their way before they got anywhere near me, except they were going at least 40 mph. I STILL made it out of the way before they were in any danger of hitting me  so all that happened was the guy gave me an angry look and a rude gesture (NICE JOB, CHURCH GOER. Just what Jesus would have done). Until I got the note in Caroline’s backpack.

This is one of those cases where I WASN’T entirely right. If we had been in a crash it would have been my fault, unless someone wanted to cite him for speeding on a road that is private property so it doesn’t actually have a speed limit. I learned my lesson and will be sure to wait until there are no cars on the driveway at all before turning, just in case one other person in the next two years decides to go straight. (Honestly, as much as I love the actual school, I will NOT be sad to be done with the pick-up/drop-off line forever when Caroline goes to real school next year.) This is a case where I can’t flaunt my RIGHTNESS at all, but I can flaunt my indignation that not only did that guy have the nerve to flip me off in a church parking lot, he was SO OFFENDED he had to slow down a little bit that he reported my terrible driving to the headmistress.

I think the fact that I took the time to document both incidents with diagrams instead of just letting it go like a normal, functional human being has something to do with my heightening pregnancy rage, in which case I apologize in advance to everyone I have to interact with for the next 21 weeks.

 

Related posts:

I don't wanna be an oven
The Nursing Mother Has Two Faces
Bonus Sunday Post
Clickin' Moms
Get Adobe Flash player