Friday, September 30, 2011

Passing it Down

I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan (football for those of you who are unaware) and I'm proud of it (although so far this season I'm a little less proud than last season).  I've been a Philly fan for as long as I've been watching football (I grew up outside of Philadelphia) and can't even imagine rooting for another team.  I am such a fan (as most Philadelphia fans are... we're an all or nothing sort of crew) that I tell Brian I bleed green.

And since my blood is green and since my children shared my blood for almost 40 weeks, then it goes without saying that my children are and will be Philadelphia Eagles fans as well (this is not a democracy).  To make this point, for Christmas one year my brother bought Evan an Eagles hat and this past Christmas he bought Evan a shirt:

(Even this couldn't help the Eagles beat the Giants last weekend)

He wore his hat for almost a good 10 minutes before it came off (this was a miracle) but this time, when he took it off, he decided to share it with someone:

I know, take a minute and just let the cuteness sink in.  Clearly she had no idea what to make of this hat thing but it only stopped her for a second.

And then she continued on her business of exploring her exersaucer.

Tell me she isn't the cutest thing you ever saw (and if you tell me I won't believe you for a second... unless you have children and then I might believe you think your children are cuter... but only might).

But in this football house (and we are a football house) we have a divide... only 3 of us are Eagles fans (as you may have seen in an earlier photo).  Brian is a New England Patriots fan.  Most of the time this is no big deal (the Eagles and the Patties are not in the same conference) but they play each other every 4 years and they met in a Super Bowl in 2005 (Eagles first in a really long time) so sometimes we have to choose sides.  And I think things could go bad:

Not the most flattering picture... but notice Brian is wearing an Patties jersey and Chloe is wearing Eagles green... is this a foreshadow of future Sundays?

I know, the same picture, but I couldn't decide which one was cuter so you get both.

And now for my soapbox moment (and fair warning to those in my family):
  1. Chloe is not a cheerleader, therefore she does not need an Eagles cheerleading outfit.  If you choose to buy her something to show that she is an Eagles fan then a shirt, onesie, hat, or bib would be appropriate. 
  2. The Eagles official colors are midnight green and white.  Their throwback colors are kelly green, silver, and white.  There is no pink in this list so therefore it would be completely inappropriate to purchase her something pink with the Eagles logo on it.  I don't understand how her vagina dictates the color of my fan shirt... the team colors should dictate that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Video Where My Children Refuse To Perform

Chloe's hierarchy in the world is very simple:

1. Daddy (I call this "dadoration"... if he is in the room she is typically looking at him smiling, whether or not he is looking at her).
2. Evan
3. Boob
4. Chew toy
5. Cats (she just recently noticed that we have 4 living here)
6. Blanket toy
7. Mirror
8. Half of a Brobee toy (I don't know where the other half is and if you don't know who Brobee is then you either don't have young children or you don't allow them to watch TV)
9. Pacifier (which we've FINALLY convinced her is a good thing and my breasts thank her for that)
10. Mommy

And, I'm okay with my place.  I know now, from my experience with Evan, that as Chloe becomes more sentient I will rise in the list.  Although I don't think I'll ever beat out Daddy or Evan.

So, when I shared this list with my mother the only thing that surprised her was my claim that Chloe adores Evan.  Seriously, that was the ONLY thing (and even more seriously, I never shared this list with her but that was pretty funny... however she is truly skeptical of Chloe liking Evan).  So, I have proof, or sort of proof.

Last night I was doing the dishes when I heard a commotion in the TV area of our great room.  Brian told me that Evan was bouncing Chloe's exersaucer and that she was laughing hysterically.  So of course I got out my video camera to capture the magic and of course my children refused to perform:

Here is what I think... that at some point I'm going to turn on the camera, could be 1 week from now, could be 5 years from now and the two of them are going to look at me and reenact all these scenes for me... it's a dream really... a far away and unrealistic dream.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rocker Dude

Remember that for Evan's birthday Brian and I got him a drum pad?  Well... he loves it.  And he spends a lot of time rockin' out on it.  So I figured I would try and get some video of him doing it.

And of course he completely refused to comply with my wishes and played the drums half-a**ed.  So I tried again.

Still to no avail.  I swore I would give it one more attempt before I gave up. 

Then I gave up.  But I thought it would still be entertaining for you. 

Now, of course, Brian is concerned that Monkey has dreams of being a drummer in a rock 'n roll band (and secretly I would love for that to happen... but don't tell Brian).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Chloe

I don’t do scrapbooks (although I save all the things I deem important – like “welcome to the world” cards – in the hopes that someday I will make a scrapbook), I never got my stuff together enough to do baby books, but I’m good with words so I’ve created this blog. These words and these pictures are my love letter to you and Evan. But sometimes you need something that is all yours so I’m writing this directly to you to let you.

First off Chloe-Bear (this is the name your father gave you to balance Evan’s nickname but as you have grown into a sweet, round, cuddle baby you kind of remind me of a teddy bear so it makes sense) you must now I love you more than you will ever understand (until and if you have a child of your own). But you should also know that this love thing didn’t come as easily as you would think.

I am not a mother who gives birth and feels an overwhelming love for her child. Maybe it’s the drugs from my c-sections or maybe it’s just my personality. But, so far (and that would be 2 times) when I give birth I feel protective but not yet “loving” of the child. With your brother it took a couple of weeks for me to feel that overwhelming love. For you it took a little while longer… and I want to explain this.

When I got pregnant with you, your father and I were surprised… even though I was on drugs to ovulate, even though I was tracking my ovulation through pee sticks, even though we had no protection, and even though we were supposedly intelligent people. It was surprising because it took us 18 months to get pregnant with your brother and one night for you… yes, one night. We honestly didn’t think it would happen so quickly… Evan was just turning 1. And I also think we weren’t quite ready to be pregnant. We were building a house, living in a small apartment, and just getting in the groove with Evan… and then I was pregnant.

But we were very happy and your father practically giggled when the ultrasound technician told us you were a girl. You were definitely wanted.

Once you were born I had my usual protective nature and just assumed it would change to a loving feeling in a few weeks. But it didn’t. And weeks continued to pass and it still didn’t. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with you. I know I already had a child but he pretty much raised himself… all except changing his diaper. He was the easiest baby in the world. And even though you were an easy baby you weren’t the easiest. I didn’t know why you cried so much (turned out you had really bad gas – sorry about that), why you wouldn’t sleep in your bed (turned out you had reflux – sorry about that), and why you had your nights and days mixed up. I felt pretty helpless on how to nurture you, nurture Evan, and recover from my c-section. I had a lot of guilt about not spending as much time with Evan, and a lot of confusion about how to raise a little girl, and a lot of exhaustion from sleeping during the day and not at night.

And, I had a lot of time to do nothing but stare at you. So many people came to help me (which was must appreciated) and there was even a nanny for Evan for some weeks. But, after about 4 weeks with you, I felt really good and really useless. And I began to get annoyed that I couldn’t get back to my life. And some of my annoyance may have rubbed off on you (sorry about that too).

But then you were 3 months old. I had been a mother with two kids doing it by myself (with Daddy’s help) for about 4 weeks at that time. Evan was taking a nap and I was holding you. I looked down at you, you were looking at me and you smiled. And it happened. I immediately felt an overwhelming gush of love for you. At that moment I knew I would not only kill for you but I would die for you as well.

It’s been that way for the last month or so. I love waking you up in the morning, how you stretch for a few minutes before your eyes adjust but once you see me (and Evan) it’s all big smiles. I love how you watch your brother with such adoration in your eyes. I love when you smile and your eyes disappear or the fact that you only giggle when I pretend to eat your ears. I love how I have to pay special attention to wash your neck to make sure I get everything out of the many folds and I love the way your hair sticks straight up in the air. I even love that when you pass gas you can hear it from 3 rooms away. I love everything about you (except the whole not sleeping through the night thing… that I don’t love) and I hope that you will always feel that from me.

I wrote you this letter to let you know that even though I may not have had an immediate connection with you the connection I now have with you is overwhelming. Every day I look forward to spending time with you and I can’t wait to grow with you as you become a woman (egads… you’re going to be a woman). I can only hope that one day you and I can have the same relationship I have with my mother (the relationship I have now, not the one we had when I was in high school… that didn’t go so well) and that you will always know I love you.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cooking Dinner

My mom always refers to the time between 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM as the bewitching hour for children.  It's when they are restless for dinner and you have to cook it.  Add to this that for some reason Chloe's afternoon nap isn't so fabulous and I have a cranky baby and a restless toddler to contend with in my kitchen.  I put on Barney, I put on Yo Gabba Gabba, I even put on Bob the Builder (or just "Bob" as Evan calls it), but he still ends up in my kitchen.  And since the little girl spends almost the entire time moaning (it's really whining but I've been told it's not nice to refer to my child as whining... but she was) I got dinner in the oven and allowed them in to the kitchen.  As always, I was overwhelmed by their cuteness and had to get my camera.

Believe it or not Evan was in mid-smile for this picture, he isn't scowling.  And yes, she is in her Bumbo... on the kitchen counter.  Because, you know, I'm all concerned about safety and stuff so I felt that was the perfect place for the Bumbo... on the kitchen counter... next to a glass of wine... next to an electronic device.

And as I took this picture I wondered what each of my children could be thinking.  And, of course, I have some ideas.

Let's start with Mr. Monkey Pants:

And now for Miss Thang:

And then Evan got bored and Chloe got cranky and this was the final picture:

(Notice that Chloe was able to resist the wine... good girl)

And if you want to see what I cooked for dinner then look over here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just a Reminder

That if you are looking for some new meal ideas and want something that has already been tested by an honest family then you can check out my newest blog:

Sorry if you were following it... it accidentally got deleted for a few days (but I explain that).


PS - You can always leave a comment if there is a specific recipe you are looking for... I'm sure I know where it is on the Internet.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Random Funny Things

Last Sunday, the first Sunday of football, Comcast gave us free access to "The Red Zone."  It's a channel where Comcast shows you all the scoring (or attempts at scoring) plays for every football game.  This is new for us because we used to have DirectTV and we got the NFL ticket so we could watch every football game.  So Brian's reaction to the channel (and this is word for word): "I like this.  It's like flipping without all the work."  (You know... all the work of hitting "channel" button on the remote)

My son is obsessed with Q-tips... I'm not sure why nor can I even speculate.  So being the cautious mother that I am and always on the lookout for danger I of course let him play with a few now and then.  The other day I gave him two Q-tips and he disappeared.  I completely forgot I had given them to him until he walked out of his room with a giant grin on his face and a Q-tip sticking out of each ear.

A couple nights ago Evan decided he didn't want to sleep so he just kept screaming.  After about 30 minutes I finally went up to see what the problem was.  I had him all tucked back in his bed and leaned over to ask if everything was okay.  He took out his pacifier (still at night... don't judge) and whispered to me "poopy."  So of course I leaned down and smelled the area.  I said, "You don't have a poopy."  And he looked at me, smiled, and giggled.  No lie.

Tonight, once Evans swiped my oven mitts off the kitchen counter, he was seen walking around the house wearing them.  I caught him coloring with one hand holding a crayon and the other one wearing an oven mitt.

This afternoon as we were getting ready to run to the grocery store and Chloe was moaning (she wanted to go to sleep), Evan was running around looking for his shoes and mine, and I was yelling at Brian to turn the TV off so we could get going, Brian stood up, sighed, and said, "There is entirely too much personality in this house."

Here is some of the personality:

And that folks... is my life... which is as good as it gets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Being the Primary Caretaker

Ever since I've started this blog I've been committed to telling the truth.  I've posted pictures of me in a bathing suit, me not showered, and I hope I've talked candidly about the difficulties I've had about being a mother.  And now I'm here to share something else with you... if you are the primary care taker of a child less than 18 months old OR if you don't yet have kids... there is a secret being kept from you and I feel the need to share it.

It all started once Evan turned 18 months - or thereabout.  We stopped going out to restaurants because he had become too unruly.  However, one time Brian took Evan out to breakfast on his own and came back with glowing reports so we figured we would try to go as a family the following weekend.  All 3 of us went (I was still pregnant at the time) and Evan screamed, cried, tried to get in and out of his high chair, threw food, etc.  It was awful - no fun for anyone involved.  So, I told this story to my mother and she said, "Of course... you were there."

Huh?  What'cha talkin' 'bout Willis?  Of course I was there... we went as a family.  But, turns out, what my mom meant is that my wonderful angelic boy would save almost all of his disobedience and "testing" for me since I'm his primary caretaker.  He would see how far he could push me but for others he would remain the sweet helpful child he had always been.

And even worse, every single primary caretaker I mention this to just shakes their head and smiles.  It's like they've been keeping this a secret on purpose.

What has this meant?  Well... it has meant that my most used word is now "no."  That I spend more time ignoring meltdowns than enjoying my time with him.  That I've become completely immune to the "mama" that he utters oh-so-sweetly when he wants something special.  And that I've become the main shrieking banshee person who disciplines him.

I've been told that as he gets older this behavior will become less and less (but never go away).  I can't wait.

Thankfully there are still moments of supreme cuteness that can carry me through... and then there's wine when those cute moments wear off.

Clarification: The purpose of this post is NOT to tell people they shouldn't have children... even on my lowest days I can never give that advice.  It is intended just to let you know this will happen and it is "normal" (whatever that means) so don't take it personally.  At least that is what I tell myself about 100 times a day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Aaah... Fabulous Weekends

Sometimes being a mother isn't easy.  There are times when you fondly remember your single days and wonder what the heck you were thinking.  And then you have a fabulous weekend and it all makes sense again.  At least for a few weeks.

It helps that the heat seems to have broken in Atlanta and outside is a viable option for family time.  Friday afternoon Brian came home to Evan, Chloe, and I playing outside.  We haven't been able to go outside in the afternoon since before Chloe was born.  And, it seemed like a perfect time to finally get Chloe in to the action and out of her bouncy chair:

So we put her in the baby swing... at 4 months old (you might remember Evan in a swing at 7 months old) and we think she liked it (with her it's about the absence of crying = like). 

Daddy pushed her in the swing and the main thing she didn't like was when he face hit the sunlight.

Meanwhile... Evan was bringing his scrubbing brush up to his playhouse.  Yes... I said "scrubbing brush".  How many times do I have to tell you - the boy does not play with "toys", he likes whatever "tool" you have.

And look, my new camera takes video (which is good since I haven't found the missing cord for my video camera yet):

Saturday morning started out with Evan reading to Chloe.  Do you doubt me?  Take a look:

See, he is reading her tag book to her.

And then I told him to look at the camera and ruined the entire moment... but it's still cute.

Next, on Saturday, we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (which will need its own post someday).  It was an awesome place for Evan to run around and Chloe got to ride face forward in her carrier.  In fact, she had so much fun that she was wiped out when it came time to leave:

I'm completely jealous at how easily she can sleep like this.

And, to let you know, as we walked through the Gardens someone commented that she looked like a Sumo wrestler... after seeing this picture I can't really disagree.  But a happy and peaceful Sumo wrestler.

This morning, after Brian took Evan out to breakfast so I could get some MUCH needed sleep, we took the kids to a nearby park.  I was able to catch the moment when Evan decided to run away from Daddy (but he was running towards a pond to see the fish):

(Evan is in tye-dyed orange and Daddy is in the blue shirt)

Evan just didn't understand that he could run but all Daddy had to do was walk to catch up.

Then we watched football (Eagles won thank you very much), cooked and ate dinner, and relatively peaceful bedtimes.  Weekends like these almost make me want to have a third... almost.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The "Forgotten" One

So, recently quite a few people (namely Brian) have been nagging me that my blog is Evan-heavy and Chloe-light.  After I reminded this person these people, in a polite manner of course, that recently Evan has had some pretty big milestones he they said it still didn't make up for the absence of Chloe.  I even pointed out this post to this person these people to show how Chloe-heavy it was but he they didn't care.

Therefore, instead of being my usual snarky self (well, instead of being snarky on this blog) I have given in and am doing a "Chloe" post.  And, since it is a Chloe post I thought it would be best if Chloe narrated the pictures.  So Brian people, this should satisfy you for a few posts.

Mommy just asked me to narrate this blog thing for her so I can tell y'all what I'm thinking in these photograph thing-a-ma-bobs.  Mommy always seems to be pointing some machine at me that lights up and now it all makes sense.  Mostly I don't care but sometimes it's a pain in my tooshy... you'll see.

This was the first time mommy put me in my toy that she calls an exersaucer.  It was about a month ago.  I was only 3 months old but I was getting bored... I mean b-o-r-e-d with laying on my back and staring at the wall.  Thankfully Daddy went to bat for me and told Mommy that I can hold up my head and that I love to stand so it would be good for me.  Look a me, I'm not bored anymore.

And here I'm contemplating that pink thing you see.  The side the camera sees is dirty... but the side I'm looking at is clean.  I just don't understand how that thing can be dirty and then all the sudden clean.  There's a lot about this world that is just so confusing... the womb made so much more sense... sleep, eat, poop, float... that place was good.

In this picture, as you can see, I am completely confused.  You see, I'm laying down where there is usually a soft fuzzy thing-a-ma-jig (Mommy said something about my giant poopy making it dirty... whatever) and my diaper is getting changed.  But not this time... this time she started to point that machine at me again.

And then I thought - what the heck, I'll smile for the woman, she is working really hard.  But look at my face... I wonder if this is one of those nights where Mommy had some wine.  Those are my favorite nights.

Oh my goodness, I don't even remember my Mommy taking this picture.  I'm in a Bumbo... yeah, you head me right... a Bumbo.  I usually like to sit in between my Mommy's legs but I guess she felt I needed to be independent or something.  I mean, I was only 3 months old... I'm about as dependent as anyone can be.  I can't even spit up without someone making sure it doesn't go back down.

Oh my, but I am a cutie.  In this photograph thing-a-ma-bob I'm telling Mommy how much I like this thing called a Bumbo.   But, I'm like Georgia weather... I can change quickly.

Because I am no longer having fun.  I've reached my limit.  I can tell I'm ready to just buck myself out of this little chair.

See, I told you.  I was arching my back to get out of this.  Sometimes Mommy has these ideas and puts me in these contraptions.  I'm not always a mild mannered little girl y'all.

But I settle down quickly as you can tell (I'm easily distracted by something colorful). 

Again, I'm just a looker.  This picture is from the other night.  I was put in this thing-a-ma-bob so Mommy, Daddy, and that silly boy Evan could eat dinner.  My dinner is so much better than theirs... I mean, it comes in its own carrying case and everything!  But it's odd how it's always Mommy who feeds me... whatever.

"Okay, enough with the pictures," that's what I was thinking here.  I remember that because I was getting annoyed.  I mean, I was just trying to read my book (see, I'm still grabbing it in my hands) and Daddy kept calling my name and making all these lights shine in my face.

And then I remembered that Daddy is the coolest and felt I should at least smile for him.  But there was no way I was taking my fingers out of my mouth... there is some sort of fierce pain going on in there that only feels better if I eat my fingers.  Mommy says it's "teething" but that doesn't mean sh*t to me.  Excuse my language but Mommy has kind of a potty-mouth so sometimes I pick up things I shouldn't.

And that's it y'all.  I know I'm adorable and cute and cuddly and precious and humble, but can you please lay off my Mommy now?  She does include me in every post and let's face it... I don't really do a whole lot yet so one picture of me pretty much tells the story. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday and Preschool

Today is the birthday of Rosie Perez, Jeff Foxworthy, Jane Curtin, Swoosie Kurtz, and... Nancy (my mom).  Happy birhday mom!  And in honor of her birthday I thought I'd share with you at least 10 things my mom has taught me (that I remember):

1.   You can make the choice to wallow or to be happy.
2.   My apple peeler also works to core the apple (seriously, this one has changed my life).
3.   Making the bed every morning really does make a difference.
4.   Some people are just crazy.
5.   Comet works to clean your sink, your toilet, and your bathtub.
6.   It isn't worth obsessing over but you're going to obsess anyway.
7.   Asking for help doesn't make you weak.
8.   Trying to change someone else will only make you crazy (see #4).
9.   Ocercompensating is awkward for everyone involved (you know what this one means mom).
10. There is a God no matter how I approach HIM.

I know there are millions of other things (most of them which came in the 4000 lectures we had growing up) but my brain doesn't work as well anymore.  So, I'll just thank her for everything... known and unknown.

On another note, Evan started preschool today (and I'm totally jealous, it's the coolest preschool ever - The Language Garden).  It was raining this morning so he had to take his rain coat with him (first time he has ever worn it):

Guess what... I didn't even cry.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Danger Will Rogers! Danger!

I woke up this morning because I heard Little Man calling for me.  The only problem is that he was standing right next to me when he was calling for me.  Yup, he opened his bedroom door.

I guess I should be grateful that he chose to come in to our room rather than go play in the litter.  Sigh... that was our last bastion of defense.