Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When books meet reality

Connor is totally into trains these days. We spent a good deal of time combining some of our trains with some blocks to build tunnels and bridges for the trains to go beneath. When we asked Connor if the train could get through the tunnel Connor said "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" - a line from my least favorite children's book - which naturally, Connor loves.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Connor was stirring, just like a mouse.

He got out of bed - three times so far
Ed and I chased him back from afar.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Mom wanted to threaten that Santa would never get there.

Eventually the children were nestled snug in a bed;
And Mom said "do not hit you sister with your head!".

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
Dad sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the sitting room he flew like a flash,
Connor sensed weakness and made one last dash.

The tree all lit up with one bright glow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

Helen slept through it all, and stayed in her bed.
Look at her there, with her cute little head.

When, what to Ed's wondering eyes should appear,
But Ed's brother Mike, offering him a beer.

Elaine called her parents back in the Midwest
To let them know, they should get some rest.

You see, she told them, her au pair's visa was blocked
So she might need more child care than she originally thought.

We'll deal with this on Wednesday when the office opens.
For now, someone else will come, we are hopin'.

In the morning, none of this news will matter
Because we're gonna leave the room in a tatter.

With all of the presents that are under the tree
Connor will be opening them until he turns three.

But once the thrill of the gifts has died down
We'll have a big meal with family from out-of-town.

And we'll all take a moment when we stop and think
And raise a glass to have a drink.

To toast all the good things that have come to us this year
And remember the people that we hold so dear.

Connor and Helen, you fill our days with light.
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

So you're more man than me, eh?

Ed and I decided that Connor should get the flu shot, merely because we don't want Helen to get the flu and, being a toddler and all, he's extremely adept at bringing bugs home. On the morning of Helen's 2 month well child visit, I broke the news to Connor.

"Connor, we're going to the doctor today."
"Will I get a shot?" (It has been since Connor was 18 months that he last got a shot, so I took this to mean he had some strong memories of the event.)
"Yes, but only one."
"Will it hurt."
"Probably a little, but I'll give you some gummy bears when it's all over."
"I don't like shots."
At the appointment, the nurse started going toward Connor with the needle. I moved myself as far away as possible, leaving Ed to be the comfort person because I'm tired of being the one associated with shots. I looked over my shoulder to see the nurse give Connor his shot, and the little dude didn't even flinch. He totally acted like nothing had happened. For the record, this is way better than my reaction to the flu shot this year.


Happy 2 months

Dear Helen,

Two days ago, you turned two months old. I can't say as you have a load of tricks, but you're holding your own. You can pick up your head and rotate it from side to side, which is good because it makes me feel a lot less guilty about letting you sleep on your tummy. Yes, internet, I'm aware of the "back to sleep" campaign. It might be the reason Connor was such a terrible sleeper as a baby because I would never even think of allowing him to lie in a room by himself on his tummy. He wasn't even allowed a pillow until his very loving nanny (and mother of a bazillion kids) convinced me it would be OK. But you, Helen, you get to sleep on your tummy on a pillow - and you sleep great, though now that I really do think the worst of the reflux is behind us, I'm going to ditch your pillow.

We went to your 2 month well child visit yesterday and again, my darling, you are ON the weight charts! You maintain a solid hold on the 10th percentile line. You are at the 50th percentile for height and your head is in the 25th percentile. This, of course, makes your dad and I think you are quite chubby (in a good way, I swear), because we are used to seeing your brother with a 95th percentile head on a not on the growth charts weight. I was able to reaffirm I like your doctor because when he told me you were in the 50th percentile for height I said "Wow, she's average" and he said "only in height. Exceptional in every other way." You finally passed your hearing test in one ear, and my friend Sarah who is an audiologist told me that was very good news as it is quite unlikely that you have hearing loss in one ear and not the other. Guess we should start watching what we say around you.

Like your brother at this age, you are not particularly fond of the carseat. You pretty much scream whenever you get in and will only let up if you fall asleep. But don't worry, I'm an expert at driving through barely red lights, speeding, and cutting through neighborhood streets to hasten our trips. I did it two years ago on a regular basis.

You don't like immunizations any more than your brother did - but with being a second child comes parental experience and at least we were able to very quickly start the Tylenol to get the pain under control. When your brother had the same reaction, I couldn't even think because I had never heard him cry so much, and took me a while to sort out what was going on and give him some Tylenol.

Helen, you are a champ. Not only do you still sleep (thank you, thank you, thank you), you are an incredibly adaptable little girl. Regularly, I find myself waking you because I need to chase your brother out of the house before he destroys it and don't want to leave you alone. You open your eyes, smile, let me change your diaper, and pile in the Baby Bjorn and we're off.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy 28 months!

Dear Connor,

Two days ago, you turned 28 months old. I celebrated by going to see the movie version of Sweeney Todd, sticking your dad with bedtime with you and Helen together for the first time and you celebrated by sleeping in your room...alone...for the whole night - and I assure you, the whole house is happy about that this morning.

We spend all of our days together, Connor, and that can be both a lovely and very difficult thing. At times, I am very jealous that your dad is back at work because he can talk to adults any time during the day he likes. I, on the other hand, must answer the question "why?" about 3,000 times each day. And then, as if that's not annoying enough, at least a third of the time you correct my answer, and all I can think is that if you knew the answer in the first place, why did you bother involving me? Oh right, because you're two. Your grandma says that at your age, kids don't intentionally do things to drive people insane, but I beg to differ. In a few days, we'll be visiting her for over a week, and we'll see if her tune changes then. You spent an entire week this month trying to figure out the most efficient way to make me go nuts. The answer? Walk into your sister's room during one of her many naps and wake her. You did this exactly twice. You nearly lost your life exactly twice. See the connection?

Seriously, Connor, it's still fun to hang out with you day to day because I am constantly reminded of all the wonder in this world we inhabit. One day this month, we took a walk in the stroller. We had intended to go to the park, but you decided we would take a detour and on that detour, we ran into a holly tree. This tree was so big that we were able to climb under it and hide, looking for 'tinky 'kunks that might be there. And then...do you know what this tree offered us? It had berries. Red berries. Lots of red berries. Can we count all the red berries? Why are some berries red and some berries green? We agreed to visit again in a few weeks to see if the green berries were in the minority then as the red ones become more abundant during the passage of the season. Later on that walk, we found a small forest - just like Harold's 'mall forest and we sat and had a picnic. Only we had green beans and yogurt because I did not bother to bring 9 kinds of pie for us to enjoy.

The babies continue to follow us everywhere - and thankfully, they are adept at using public transportation. One night, we went to Target. The next day, you wanted to go back so you told me we had forgotten to bring your babies home. Luckily, I had enough sleep that night to not just get in the car and drive to Target. Instead, I told you they had to take the bus home. And, lo and behold, they made it. Phew! I'm hoping you get tired of the babies soon, though I do adore it when you nurse them. And, I appreciate that you had to pump milk for them last week because you told me you might go back to work soon and they'll need to start drinking from a bottle.

For tricks this month, you continue to memorize books - and I mean memorize - from cover to cover. Our friend Ellen was totally freaked out when you got tired of waiting for me to read a book so you sat down and "read" it yourself. She thinks you're a genius. I think it's the product of your OCD that requires that any time a new book enters the house it is read to you no less than 100 times, giving you ample opportunity to memorize it. Your daddy mentioned that he read that parents sometimes discover things about themselves when their child is diagnosed with something but I assured him, I know that I too suffer from undiagnosed OCD. What else could explain the way I nearly murdered your father when he put a banana directly on the dining room table rather than on the tray that is there for them. Did you notice too, Connor? On.The.Table. You also went to a restaurant with a friend of ours and that friend spent much of the meal saying to her daughter "Can you X like Connor?". We all know how rare this is - in fact, it's so rare that when you sat still and ate snack at our parent-child class BOTH teachers made a point of coming up to me and telling me what a wonderful time you had at snack. I didn't sell you out at the restaurant. I pretended like every meal we have with you is pleasant and that you just sit right down and gobble it up, making pleasant conversation. Yesterday, you performed a solo somersault at gymnastics, though I do wish I had been there to witness it rather than your dad.

You continue to be a bit of an inventor. We were decorating the Christmas tree when you noticed a bib your sister received as a present lying on the floor. Never one to allow her to have things intended for her, you put it on. I asked you why you were wearing Helen's bib and you started thinking quick. You reached down and filled the little pouch intended to catch food with ornaments and told me you needed it to decorate the tree. Duh, Mommy!

Being at home has allowed me to indoctrinate you more and more, and it shows up in your speech patterns. I have heard you tell daddy "Thank you for pushing the 'ilverware drawer in so I couldn't get into it." and "Thank you for the lovely meal." and sometimes, when Helen is awake, you walk up to her and say "Well hello, bright eyes." I spend some time each day thinking of phrases I could start using just so I could hear you repeat them. I assure you, I am very thankful for the fact that you have yet to repeat a not so nice word you hear from me - though you do recognize that words like this exist. We were on the porch one day, and for no apparent reason, your dad decided to release the thing on the front door that holds it open so it could ram into my knee as I sat there innocently putting your shoe on. I was so shocked, that I should "god damnit!" and you looked right up at your dad and said "What did Mommy just say?". But heck, if your dad ever assaults you with a door, I totally accept whatever phrase you want to shout at him.

You like to take baths with your sister, report on whether she is happy or not in the car, and let me know that "HELEN IS WAKING UP!" at which point I always think - she is now, anyway. You still like to snuggle and jump on the bed and run, run, run. Always running, my friend. Perhaps that is why I'm able to ditch those maternity clothes so quickly.

You're such a charmer, Connor. I do adore you.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy St. Nicholas Day

On December 6th, St. Nicholas visits the homes of children and puts candy, coins, and nuts in their shoes - presuming they've been good all year. It took until December 8 for St. Nick to pay us a visit. Not sure if it was because he wasn't certain Connor was deserving, or because I didn't want to get Connor hopped up about getting up early in the morning and checking his shoes when Ed had to go to work the next day. In any case, Connor enjoyed the Smarties and quarters that actually came from my parents. I tossed in some lollipops from his Halloween stash and a pack of M&Ms, and the little shoes were full. Of course, his new obsession is gummy bears, so those would've gone over even better. Maybe Santa will take note of this and leave gummy bears in his stocking.


Getting a little respect

You know what's great about being the stay-at-home parent? My authority has finally transcended more than just our home. Last week, when we were out at a gym, Connor looked up at Ed and announced authoritatively "My mommy says I can keep my socks on" as in - don't harbor any illusions that you, Daddy, can tell me what to do. It was music to my ears. Now, if only he'd listen to me at home!


Monday, December 10, 2007

First Snow

Last Wednesday, we woke up to a thin coating of snow on the ground. Ed - being from the Northeast, was very excited; me, less so. I spent the day pretending it didn't exist, because I did not want to take Helen out in it - except for our already scheduled trip to gymnastics. Amazingly, even with only this light coat, traffic was a bit snarled, but we made it - and on time, to boot.

As the day wore on, the white stuff continued to fall. Connor looked out the glass door regularly, and I told him Daddy would most certainly be excited when he got home. And indeed, we rushed to get dinner on the table, and then Ed and Connor headed outside to build Connor's first snowman. The snow wasn't very sticky, but Ed did manage to fashion a little something that Connor was quite excited to tell me about for the next three days until it melted away. But don't think I was a total spoil sport with the snow. Connor and I built the tiniest snowman ever (about 5 inches tall) and we stood it on the climbing wall at his pre-school on Friday morning when we were enjoying some playground time.

Thankfully, no more white stuff has been spotted - and Saturday was so pleasant here kids could be spotted on the playground without coats. Not my kids, mind you, but other kids.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

I told you she was cute, Ellen

My friend Ellen is a total style queen when it comes to children's clothes. One of my first memories of her is sitting in a new mom's group meeting when she was telling us that her lovely daughter had spit up all over her - and then admitted it was because she had changed her daughter's outfit too soon after feeding her daughter because someone was coming over to visit. This was completely shocking to me for two reasons. First, Connor never spit up, so the thought of a kid spitting up was very icky to me. Second, I was happy at this point just to get clothes on Connor - so the thought of putting a particular outfit on for company just blew my mind.

Now that I have Helen, I totally understand Ellen. SO when Ellen told me she was coming to visit, I quickly browsed through all of Helen's (clean) outfits and selected just the right one. But then, Helen slept the entire time Ellen was here - and I had her swaddled so I could not show off her cute outfit. But here, Ellen, is proof of just how cute she was last week when you visited.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

When Connor and Mommy Meet Zipline

Connor took a 3.5 hour nap today (I almost woke him!) so we headed out to an indoor gym to take advantage of his excess energy we figured he would have. The photo is awful, but good for a laugh or two.

Ed would like to install something like this in our basement.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Write something, every day

When Ed and I decided we were going to have a baby, I started keeping a journal. It wasn't long before I was pregnant and documenting little things that happened, my prenatal appointments, and some of Ed's and my conversations. After Connor was born, I decided to keep the journal going, in part because of a book I read while I was pregnant. The author had challenged herself to document the first year of her child's life and as part of that challenge, she wanted to write something every day. She, of course, is a professional writer. When Connor was about three months old, the journal became this blog, in large part because my mom mentioned how much her neighbor enjoyed following her great grandchildren via her granddaughter's blog. I tried to post frequently enough that my parents, and more recently, my in-laws, knew what was going on in Connor's life. Sometimes when we visit, I can see that the writing bridges some of the physical distance - though of course it's one sided since Connor is not reading about their daily lives.

Helen's birth caused the blog to morph into what you're now reading, just because I thought it would be too weird to have the blog only be titled after Connor when it would clearly now encompass both of their lives.

When The Lowe issued her (drunken) NaBloPoMo challenge, I figured it was coming at a good time for me, since Helen was so young and it would be so easy to drop this blog all together, now that I have two wee ones to keep me busy. I have to admit, it was harder than I thought it would be to write something, anything, every day. At times, I hoped The Lowe or Vickie would drop a day - because I was totally ready to drop once one of my fellow mom's group bloggers dropped. But, they didn't. Thanks, gals, for sticking with it. It's been fun, though I will now return to a more reasonable number of posts each month.

As predicted, there's been a lot of spitting (even the projectile sort), Connor has said some funny things and obsessed over others, and I miss my chocolate.


Getting comfortable

My mom is not often surprised. But when she walked in the door a couple of weeks ago, she figured she was walking into another week of Connor being not all that thrilled to have his life interrupted by new people. Like all good grandparents, she came prepared with a bribe (candy) and then she asked Connor is she could hold him. Connor shocked her when he looked right up at her and said "Yes, you can!" and then proceeded to drag her around and use her as his personal storyteller every day of her recent visit. (He did the same with my dad - and it only cost my dad a few quarters every day!)

Connor is definitely over his stranger rejection phase. Today, he even went and sat on Santa's lap - in stark contrast to his visit last year. He told Santa he would like a present. I believe his wishes will be met.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Eddie and the Boulder

Lately, Connor has been fascinated with 'reading' toy catalogs, which amounts to him flipping the pages, announcing each and every toy he owns, and asking if we could get him every toy that he does not yet own. For a while, Ed and I thought about getting him all these requested toys just because we could see that owning the entire Fisher Price catalog is totally within our reach - if you include only non-television based toys in Connor's age range. And really, who doesn't want to own the entire catalog?

One of the holes in our collection used to be Eddie and the Boulder. From the moment we spotted it in the catalog, everyone in this house was excited. And indeed, my parents spotted it as well and it has not disappointed. After two weeks, it still ranks among Connor's favorites. Connor has asked us to put just about every other toy you can imagine on his "list", even though he has no idea what this list is.

Sadly, the reflux is most definitely not under control. Helen puked enough today that there was a substantial splash when it hit the ground. Luckily, I was on a hardwood floor and not a carpet. Once Ed hit the door around 5:00, I pretty much just handed him Helen and let him know there had been a few too many tears throughout the afternoon and I had changed my own shirt a few too many times. I know this is not a nice way to come home, but it's all I could muster. Ugh! Thankfully, Connor took it easy on me by sleeping 3 hours this afternoon. Only wish I had been able to sleep for at least an hour as well!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

A most sympathetic phone call

Helen's Social Security card arrived in the mail last week with the wrong last name. I called SSA to sort this out today, and was greeted by a very sympathetic computer.
I called while Helen was crying after eating. Here's how our conversation went.
"Please tell me your problem."
"My daughter's SS card arrived with the wrong name on it and I would like to get that fixed."
"OK. You need to fill out form X in order to change the name on a person's Social Security card. We would be happy to send that form to you. Please provide the information I ask for. Please tell me your address"
"40 [Helen screaming]"
"I'm sorry"
And I thought, it's annoying, but I didn't expect your sympathy. Helen then screamed again and the computer apologized again.
"I'm sorry"
And now I'm thinking, wow, most humans don't understand how annoying it is to have to fill out paperwork that is the result of someone else's error. But this computer is all over understanding how annoying it is. I should buy this computer a drink if I ever see it on the street.
And again, I heard the computer apologize
"I"m sorry"
And now I was thinking, oh, you must be apologizing that I have to listen to this screaming. And I felt compelled to tell the computer:
"Don't worry, it's really not that bad. She only screams right after eating because she has some tummy troubles." Because I figured, hey, computer, you're practically the only adult I've spoken to all day, so if you want to just sit there and tell me how sorry you are, I'll keep right on listening. But you may as well know the truth.
And again, the computer said:
"I'm sorry"
And the computer's apologizing kept right on going, until finally it was able to spit out "I'm sorry, I did not understand your response." Apparently, every time Helen made a sound, the computer thought I had answered its question, but of course, it wasn't expecting a scream.

The computer then offered to transfer me to a person, but I figured perhaps this transaction was meant for the internet.

And, just in case you are of the opinion that 7 week old babies don't do much, check this out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Daddy and the Little Man

Monday, Connor put in a call to Ed at work. He started off with three words. "Daddy, come home". I would've understood if we weren't having a great day, but things were actually going really well. Turns out, Connor just wanted the candy that Ed has taken to bringing Connor home at the end of the day (a recent request of Connor).

After being so delighted by 3 consecutive nights of a 6 hour stretch of sleep ending at 3:00 AM and then another stretch after eating until 7:30 AM, I was reminded of reality with a baby in the house last night when Helen woke up twice. And, she had a rough time getting settled initially. I think it was just a bad day with the reflux - possibly due to the fact that I found a fancy chocolate bar Ed gave me quite some time ago and decided to consume it. Bad choice. On top of that, Connor woke up twice and even though I was bunking in the basement with Miss Spit, I still woke up because when Connor wakes up, he doesn't do it quietly by any stretch of the imagination. Needless to say, I wasn't running on all cylinders today.

By lunch, I decided to call in reinforcements and Ed came home a bit early from work to give me time for a nap. Connor and Ed went to the nature center down the street and were playing with the stuffed snakes. At one point, Connor asked Ed to give him some mice for the snake to eat. Seeing none, Ed decided to hand Connor some imaginary mice and when he did, Connor gasped "Those are my BABIES!". Because, uh, I guess imaginary mice and babies look an awful lot alike. I'm just grateful that Connor noticed before he fed him to the snakes. I can't imagine how many times I would've heard the story about how Daddy fed the babies to the snake!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Knock on wood

I think the reflux might finally be under control. In the past few days, I can't remember any serious crying jags, only minor discomfort after meal times. Today, I was only drenched with baby goo once, and I think that was because I put her in the car after eating. I'm putting that down in the "not good things to do with Helen" list.

And...Helen has slept for 6 consecutive hours on 2 consecutive nights, and I am really feeling like the luckiest mama of a 6 week old on earth. Add that to the average ounce a day she's gained since the Monday after she was born, and you get one happy mama.

Plus, Helen can rotate her head from side to side when she's laying on her tummy. It sort of freaked me out the first time she did it a couple of days ago. I put her down facing one way, and came back with her facing the other.

Only downer is Helen has now failed her hearing screen twice. She gets one more shot next month and then she has to take a more invasive hearing test, which they sometimes sedate for. I don't really want to contemplate that.

(By request, the kiddos with my parents.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Buying a car

Our au pair arrives in January, and unless we want to strap one of the children to the top of the car when the 5 of us go someplace, we need a new car.

We started our search a few weeks ago and today, we purchased a Mazda 5. For the record...this is NOT a minivan. It is a station wagon. I am not a suburban, minivan driving mama of two, I swear.

Connor went on the test drive with me, and fell asleep instantly. Then, we spent naptime with Ed watching Connor sleep in the car, holding Helen outside (it was another gorgeous day here) and me haggling with the sales dude. And...they may have gotten my money for the car, but on the way out, I realized Ed had my wallet in the baby bag, which meant I could not get on the toll road home, and because I am an idiot with directions (even though the new car has a GPS system), I asked the salesman how I could get home without taking the toll road. And, taking pity on my directionless self, he handed me 5 quarters so I could pay the toll. Obviously, I am a born negotiator.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Golf Champion for the Off-Season

Ed and I have probably played over 30 rounds of miniature golf since we met. Prior to having Connor, we played a normal amount of this sport - maybe twice a year on vacation or when we were particularly bored - but this year, Connor discovered and fell in love with the game. We played a lot of golf. And every time, there was always one thing that stayed the same. I won, Ed lost. Connor was above keeping score. Until last week.

We headed out to the golf course with my parents to enjoy the warm weather they brought with them, and Connor actually played almost all of the holes in traditional fashion. He still spent quite a bit of time in the hazards - but they're much less attractive now that the water is no longer beckoning him as it trickles over the rocks.

I got two holes-in-one last weekend when we played, but still, Ed won - by a lot. We figured it was the last game of the season, particularly since this weekend is closing weekend. Ed was certainly delighted that he would be holding the household championship for the off-season. But today, we decided to head out again because it didn't seem right to deny Connor his favorite activity the last weekend it would be open.

I'd like to be able to show some photos from today, because we were all quite bundled up, but I didn't bring my camera. I'd also like to say the score was close, but it wasn't. Ed has decided I must be a fair-weathered golfer because today, it was very cold, and my score was very high, compared to his score. And thus, Ed is the off-season household champion. Connor did a bit of what we have decided must be a victory roll in honor of Ed last week. We did tell the little man that gloating on hole number 16 may not be the appropriate place for a victory celebration.



Friday, November 23, 2007

Things I am thankful for

This post should have been made yesterday, but with all the hoopla of getting to enjoy Ed's wonderful Thanksgiving meal outside (pecan encrusted salmon, potatoes Anna, sage and orzo stuffing and green beans almondine) just before the cold front swept in, I failed to gather my thoughts in time to post this.

So...here goes.

I am thankful for Ed, for the many ridiculous things he says and does, the way he parents our children, and most of all, for the partnership we have formed. I wouldn't want to do this with anyone else. I am thankful for Connor's curly hair - and the way it sticks straight up in the morning, his never ending chatter, his genuinely nice disposition, and the way he runs everywhere when he's excited. I am thankful for the moments when Helen's eyes lock with mine, her sleep, and all of the girly clothes she's brought into my life. I am thankful for the Neil Young concert and my parents who babysat while Ed and I went to the show. I don't think we'll have the opportunity to see him perform in such a small venue - if at all - again. I am thankful for all the laundry, yardwork, and miscellaneous tasks my parents took on over the past week, the morning shifts they took, and the early Christmas they brought Connor. I am thankful for Vickie who freed some video from my video camera, the Milk Moms for all the parenting support, and Ellen's approach to life. I am thankful for warm days in November, respite from the heat in August, and puddles and piles of leaves that are both fun to run through. I am thankful for good-tasting desserts, meals that Connor sits reasonably still for, and every meal that Helen keeps down without writhing in pain. But most of all, I think I am at this moment thankful that Nablopomo is almost over, and I can go back to a reasonable number of posts each month!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kicking our asses at bedtime

Connor has mastered the bedtime delaying techniques. He requests more books and stories from Ed, just one more song from me, and is up and down until he realizes Ed or I are about to blow a gasket. And then, his finale move is to dart across the hall and jump into my bed. He's clever enough to scrunch himself up against the far wall so that Ed has the maximum amount of difficulty tossing Connor back into his own bed.

All I can say is, good thing your cute, buster, because you're wearing our patience thin some nights.

And Helen, the vomit...when will it stop?!?


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A picture's worth a thousand words

We went to the zoo today. Connor was a bit more fascinated with all the things he could climb on that the animals. Because...after all, they're building a new space for the elephants, which means there are DIGGER TRUCKS!! at the zoo. And, have you ever noticed this panda grotto that you can climb in?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

He's got a shoulder boulder!

Yesterday, Connor faked Grandpa - a man who had brain surgery in 1998 - out pretty good. He went in for the hug, but at the last minute, decided to head butt my dad instead. Why?!? Because I guess I only explicitly told Connor that head to head contact was not allowed with Helen. I guess guests in our home are fair game. So consider yourself warned.

Connor did take Grandpa's telling him that he did not want to be head butted to heart though, because later, I heard Connor say sweetly to my mom "Can I head butt you Grandma?"

The answer...

"I guess you can, if you do it softly", because I guess my mom just wanted to really cement in Connor's mind that she would never tell her grandchildren no.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Some folks in my office have started reading this...

We think the connection between my office and Ed's office is a bit strong (we're guessing it's someone whose name starts and ends with the same letter and a vowel in between). While folks at my office have known about this blog for quite some time, Ed's been keeping it on the down low. He thinks his discovery will mean that I won't mock him anymore, but frankly, it just makes it even more likely that he will be appearing in these pages. After all, he spent a decent amount of time defending his telephone pole climbing this evening. Only trouble is, my dad totally understood his burning desire to climb a telephone pole, which just led to the two of them talking about all of their childhood dreams of seeing the city from up high. Now I'm wondering if I should keep track of my dad tomorrow since Ed has alerted him to the fact that the poles in our neighborhood are scalable by mere mortals.

Ed has announced he may have the last laugh on this one. As house Webmaster, he has threatened to unplug the internet. He's willing to go so far as to climb the pole and pull the wire. And strangely, I believe him.


PS: Therese - I was playing bridge with my folks this evening and almost neglected to post! But...in under the wire I am with this - so let Nablopomo continue!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big Bday Bash!

Today Connor celebrated turning two (what is this, the 4th time?) with the kids from my mom's group. He started out by downing a box of juice.

At some point, one of the moms decided to herd everyone (minus Theodore who left early) over to the couch for a photo.

The lucky little man came home the proud owner of a new tent (which was tested with bedtime books tonight), a backpack filled with camping gear, some paint (remind me to invite Esther - the gift-giver over to enjoy this!), cookie cutters, and a weed eater. We guarantee Esther won't be looking this clean when she leaves our house! Many thanks! We were thrilled to be the beneficiary of Ellen's thrift store habit. I am forever grateful that I do not live close to this famous thrift store because I do believe we would have to purchase a storage shed for Connor's toys. This week's project is clearly to take advantage of my parent's babysitting and sort and organize the lot of toys. Surely doing this will magically create some room.

The update on my little gal is that the spit continues - despite an increased dosage of meds. But, it's confined almost exculsively to nighttime - which is a bit of improvement. She also slept for 5 consecutive hours (from 3AM to 8AM) last night. It was quite a party before that, so at least we all got a bit of respite at some point. Thankfully, Connor slept in a bit and then my mom convinced him to read about 300 books with her. Of course, Connor only slept in because he stayed up until past 9:00 entertaining us over the monitor.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Running the grandparents ragged

Connor hasn't gotten any slower on his bike since my parents last saw him. If anything, he's gotten even faster. But my mom was up for the challenge of running beside Connor. He ran her all over the basketball court - and even did a bit of off-roading just to keep her on her toes. Only trouble is, sometimes he takes sharp turns, and one must be pretty quick on their feet to avoid getting their heels clipped.

My mom survived - but barely.

Connor then drug my mom up the very scary climbing structure that I refuse to climb up - but even my mom who's pretty much game for anything didn't make it down the terrifying slide. Instead, Connor went down that solo and then took my mom on the much more modest slide.

He let my mom have a break after taking her on a trip around the perimeter of the park.

From all this action, you'd think my mom would be begging for mercy, but it was Connor who requested to be allowed to nap without eating lunch on the way out of the park.

We have learned though, that an 11 AM nap is not a good nap for Connor, so we decided to start Christmas early. Helen opened some soft blocks which Connor was delighted she was willing to share with him and Connor opened a golf set that made for much fun until lunch was ready.

And look...at the end of the day, Helen smiled!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Going out!

The grandparents are here, ready to babysit the crew for the night. Ed and I are off to see Neil Young. Hopefully Connor is in bed by the time we return. Of course, I suspect he'll go right to bed and not ask for "just one more story" and "just one more song" and "just a little bit more milk" and "just a few more Cheerios" and "lay down with more for just a few minutes" and all the other things he asks us for nightly. But then again, maybe he'll be pleasantly surprised if he tries since he's likely to get lots of yesses!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome Grandma and Grandpa!

Connor wasted no time settling in with the grandparents. He asked my dad for the “1 2 3 quarters” he had been promised the night before and acquired a bag of candy from my mom. He then presented my mom with a stack of books that needed to be read “right now”.

My dad took charge of the sleeping baby.

Ed was delighted to hear that I had stored a guitar – that I never learned to play – at my parent’s home for the past few decades. And now, due to Connor newfound interest in Mrs. Patricia’s guitar, my guitar and I have once again been reunited. It’ll need to get a tune up, as two of the strings are broken and the thing is dreadfully out of tune. Luckily, it still “plays loud”, which is all Connor cares about.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy 27 Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

Yesterday, you turned 27 months old. It is the first month of your life that you have been able to spend every single day with both your dad and me. You're one tough little dude to keep up with. I hope we haven't bored you too much. We've certainly tried to keep things interesting.

The biggest change this month, of course, is that our three person family grew by one with the birth of your sister. And much to my delight, though not surprise, you have been incredibly kind and welcoming to her. This is not to say you haven't taken advantage of the situation. For the first few days after Helen was born, it seemed like you could sense when your dad and I needed to discuss something important because you would walk up and say sweetly "Can I have another piece of candy" and of course, we allowed it because we didn't want to deal with an upset toddler when we were trying to figure out what to do with an infant. In the scheme of things, this doesn't seem too bad.

Since the birth of Helen, you have birthed no fewer than 6 babies of your own. A couple had to go back in your tummy at first, but I believe they are all on the outside now for good. Due largely to the fact that we talked about Helen being yellow, I believe, your babies are a rainbow of colors - though I tend to hear about the red baby the most. These babies come everywhere with us. This morning, your dad had to do some fast thinking when we were a few blocks from the house and you discovered you had left them at home. He looked at me and announced that I had them, and that seemed to appease you. Lest anyone think you're toting around a bunch of dolls, I should be clear that each of these babies are completely imaginary. This fact has led to some awkward moments - like when they get sat on occasionally, or someone steps on them. They are great fun to toss in the air and catch, and the only problem with them seems to be that they're a little bit "pitty".

Which brings me to an update of your language skills. It has come to my attention that the color formerly known as "geen" in this house has turned into green. Truth be told, I sort of miss geen. Now, I think the only pronunciation oddity I'm left with is that you don't pronounce a leading "s", so Helen 'pits up, we read a book about 'nakes, you insisted on sleeping with a 'pounge last week, and coming home from 'chool one day, you wanted to 'top at the 'tore. Try not to correct these things too quickly, Connor. I sort of like 'em.

You have become noticeably more polite in conversation. For example, after you finished eating the cupcake Daddy gave you tonight, you brought him your dirty plate and said (with no prompting) "Thank you for the yummy cupcake, Daddy", and this is not unusual. It totally warms my heart.

You've also begun to play by yourself regularly, which allows your dad and I to clean up on occasion, which is a nice thing. Sometimes, you even read to yourself. It strikes your dad and I as pretty amazing that you can memorize most books brought into this house as fast - or faster - than we can. You've even read a book or two to your sister.

The phrase we have probably heard the most in the past month is "can I hold Helen?". After a few seconds, you announce that it's now my turn to hold Helen, because I guess you are a very busy toddler and just can't be pinned down by someone so little. But then, just when Helen and I get settled, you ask again "can I hold Helen?". It is wonderful and maddening at the same time.

A friend of mine made this video and Connor, it sums up perfectly the reason you have a sister. I hope you keep enjoying her.