Monday, April 25, 2011

Party pooper

I wish I had one of those blogs where I gush about my sweet, perfect children. But that would just be a bunch of lies. So instead, I offer another awkward story from my life.

We attended a four-year-old's birthday party this weekend at the Y. The kids played basketball in the gym and enjoyed cupcakes in the party room. The festivities ended with a trip to the pool. I sat on the side holding Lena, while T took the boys in.

This particular Y has a cool baby pool with water fountains shooting up, buckets dumping, and water cannons than you can aim at unsuspecting swimmers. There is also a mini-water slide that the boys love. After a half hour or so, T took Q into the big pool to float around on a noodle. I stood up to be able to quickly grab R if he fell under the two-foot water.

He was repeatedly going down the slide, when he decided to up the ante. He jumped off the top, banging his head on the way down. "I'm OK," he assured me though I could tell his head hurt. That's what he always says when he does something bad.

I walked over to tell him firmly that you do not jump off the slide, but he had already slid down again....leaving a puddle of brown behind him.

Oh no. I hoped for a moment it was from some other kid, but no luck. It was R.

"What's that?!" the horrified girl next in line exclaimed.

I grabbed R by the arm and pulled him out of the water to confirm that his swim diaper was in fact full of poop.

Truth be told, if no one was looking, I would have just wiped away the poo shmear and let the chlorine dilute it. It wasn't much really. Most of the now water-logged poop was still trapped in his swim diaper. But that darn little girl made a scene, and then the party organizer notified the lifeguard. I dragged R toward the locker room, though he was not happy about ending play time early. I handed Lena to another party-goer and went in to wash R's bum.

Thankfully, this was at the very end of the party, so R actually helped usher everyone out of the water. Unfortunately, when this sort of thing happens, they empty both pools, not just the baby pool. So the big pool was cleared, including big kids playing basketball and lap swimmers. One guy who was clearly a serious swimmer and another who had lifted himself out of a wheelchair into the water were not very happy. I was fairly mortified.

So, that was the end of the party. When I asked R if he pooped in the pool, he said, "No, I pooped on the slide."



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not a pirate

The good news is Q will not have to wear an eye patch! His glasses apparently did the trick to even out his eyes.

The bad news is in an attempt to prepare him for the possibility of wearing a patch, we were kind of talking it up and saying how he was going to look like a pirate.

 I think he was a tad bit disappointed when the eye doctor said he was in the clear. No pint-sized pirates this year.


My little lambs

I assure you these children were not drugged before the taking of this picture....

Look! Even the lamb is smiling!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NOT a hockey mom

I am officially a soccer mom. Unfortunately, my soccer players are the one distracted by their hands at mid-field:

or ignoring specific instructions from the ref:

They don't exactly have super-athlete genes (T and I were mediocre athletes), and they probably have a future filled with participation trophies, but they're getting exercise and wearing snazzy pinneys.


Hot dog!

I love a good theme. In that spirit, I planned R's third birthdya party with the tongue-in-cheek theme of a sausage party. It was going to be almost all boys in attendance after all! So we stocked up on brats, hot dogs, and veggie dogs, and I made bowls of all the fixings. We even got Ruby a special costume for the occasion.

I wanted to make a hot dog cake of some sort, but those all the recipes I found online involved wrapping artifically-colored fondant around Twinkies. That did not sound appealing, and frankly I find food that looks like something drastically different than it tasts like is gross. So I decided to go abstract:

                                                          I made a lemon cake that was very light, tart and tasty. Then I had T roll two cartons of raspberry sherbert into a log to be our hot dog. We wrapped it in waxed paper, and let it refreeze in the freezer. When we were ready to go, I sliced the lemon cake down the middle and put the hot dog in place and a swirl of whipped cream from a can became our surreal mustard. It was really tasty.
I wanted this party to be super fun for the kids, but I did not have the energy to plan a lot of games and activities. Instead, I invited just our cousins, grandparents, and the family of our old nanny. And I rented this:

I didn't tell the boys it was coming, and it was so much fun to watch them watch the guy set it up! They had a blast jumping around in that thing and were sad to see it deflated at the end of the day.


Monday, April 11, 2011

This weekend by the numbers

What this weekend entailed: one giant giraffe bounce house, eleven small children at R's birthday party, two soccer games for three- and five- year olds, four miles run late Sunday evening trying to beat the rain, five loads of laundry, one new swing set from Grandma and Papa, eight hours spent trying to put it up (it's not there yet), a first experience with baby cereal (she liked it!), 80 degrees on Sunday ( I liked it!), one full cup of green tea spilled everywhere by R's flailed pillow, dozens of hot dogs, veggie dogs, and brats with all the fixings (it was a hot dog-themed party), one annoyed wiener dog in a wiener costume, one lemon cake with raspberry sorbet constructed to look like a hot dog (I was quite proud-pictures to come), ten gift bags, one cat left outside in the storm, one entire bottle of baby shampoo dumped in the bath, eight Ibuprofen tablets consumed, 0% of homework completed.

It was a bit hectic.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three years ago today....

Happy birthday to R! Three years ago today he came into the world and changed our lives. Now he is a little brother and a big brother. A beautiful, blue-eyed, brawling, over-active, talkative, sweet little man.

His birthday is admittedly pretty crappy because I am at work and school, and T is out of town. But the real celebration is this weekend.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Last night was ridiculous. Just absolutely ridiculous. I had to laugh by the end of the night.

First, let's back up a bit. T went out of town at 5:30 a.m. Our nanny had to pick the boys up early because her husband was going out of town. So, I was rushing the kids around before 7:00 a.m. That actually went OK, and everyone was out the door on time.

During lunch, I had a small window to go vote. I drove to my polling location feeling all civically responsible, but as I started to walk to the door, I realized I didn't have my change-of-address form and proof of residency. Back to the car. Speed back to our training room. Grab paperwork. Speed back to voting location. Vote for all the right people. Speed to a sandwich place to grab lunch to go. And coffee. Speed to training room. Whew.

My parents came over last night as well to help with swim lessons and because our nanny is out of town today. Why do these things always happen at the same time? So I was trying to feed Lena, let the dog out, and get the boys changed into their suits.

I adore my dad, but he is like a big kid himself, and does not actually help me manage the situation, but rather adds to the craziness of it. At one point, Ruby escaped and nearly got hit by a car as the kids played in the driveway. My dad honestly had to step out in front of the car waving his arms. Then R took off down the sidewalk on his big wheel dragging a wagon full of pine cones behind him. We somehow managed to get everyone in the car despite tears and complaining and many bags and kid paraphernalia.

On to the Y, where R ran like a wild man ten feet in front of my dad. (My dad was taking the boys in the water so I could feed Lena and watch the boys from outside the pool). Everyone went in to the locker room and emerged in their suits, but they were still bone dry. Back into the locker room for a shower. Back out to track down their classes. Q happily paddled off in his solo class, but my dad was still trying to wrestle R. At one point I watched while my dad let R jump in. R stayed under for a full sickening two seconds, before my dad pulled him back above the water sputtering and coughing. I was just shaking my head from the sidelines.

After the lessons, it was back to the shower, in which my dad slipped and fell. I could hear them all squealing out in the hall as they splashed and used the soap dispenser on the wall liberally.

This is perhaps when the true low light of the evening occurred. Lena was cooing and smiling at passersby. I was hugging her and enjoying our time together. I lifted her up over my head as she laughed, and guessed it....she spit up all over my face. And in my mouth. It was so gross. I used my nursing cover to wipe off my hair and shirt and neck and face. But I had that sour, barf taste in my mouth, like I had done the vomiting. It was a very strange, and disgusting sensation. And one I hope never to experience again.

So the madness continues. I always tell T (and remind myself) that some day our house will be quiet and no one will be calling for us from their cribs or demanding juice or showing us what they built or drew. Someday we will look back fondly on this chaos and long for it.


Sunday, April 3, 2011


I was thisclose to the breaking point this week. I just had too much on my plate, and I didn't feel like I could handle it. I still feel swamped, but I am a bit more in control.
My projects at work are mounting. It is just impossible to get the amount of work done expected of me in regular eight-hour days. I will be spending a couple hours working tonight. That's just how it is. I don't love that, but it's a reality. I know it's a demanding job, but this week, so much else was piled on top that I felt sick with stress.

We were training a new version of our software, and I was with a particular co-trainer for the first time. I had to take my extra-long breaks for pumping as usual, but this time someone was in the mother's room and the nearest handicap bathroom. I was sprint-walking through the halls with my pump bag slung over my shoulder trying to find a place to lift my shirt.

Thursday night I had an impossibly hard Economics exam. Studying for it was making my head hurt. On Wednesday night, I was falling asleep as I was studying, so I decided instead to wake up at 4:00 the next morning to study, walk on the treadmill, and tend to Lena. I went to bed at the same time as the boys that night and actually felt fairly rested. I may have managed a B on the exam and having it behind me took a great deal of stress off my mind.

Still this upcoming week is ridiculously busy. I have to be in to work tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. to mentor a new hire. I am teaching a new class tomorrow and Tuesday for which I am not yet prepared (hence the working several hours today). R's birthday party is this Saturday, and the boys both start soccer this Sunday. (A funny side note: somehow T is the coach for both teams. I can not imagine three-year-olds are highly competitive. It's going to be like herding cats!)

As I was driving to class and my exam on Thursday, I called my mom. She and my dad are coming over to help me on Wednesday this week, because our nanny is taking the day off.

"I just feel like I have too much on my plate," I told her. My throat was aching a bit from held-off tears.

"That's because you do."

I know I do, but I don't know what to do about it at this point. And right now I feel like I am just surviving. Lena is almost six months old, and I want to enjoy her instead of seeing her as another task to take care of.

My standards for myself are impossibly high, and I feel like I set myself up for failure. I feel like anything less than nursing Lena for a year is letting her down. If I don't do this for her, aren't I just being selfish? If I get an AB in my class, isn't that the same as flunking? I have this constant anxiety of not doing enough. My rampant perfectionism causes me to be high-achieving but also rarely satisfied.

So something's got to giveI clearly can't go on juggling all of this. But I just don't know what  to give up.