Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Man - we were busy this weekend.  Back and forth to NJ for my Dad's 70th birthday party (yikes - I hope he wasn't trying to keep age a secret), parade in Rockville which makes Haddonfield's parades look like they were put on by an elementary school (at least the parades of my youth - I have no idea what today's parades look like), I went to the grocery store, then the pool, then dinner, then I went to Target and finally passed out around 10p (and the children passed out until 7:30 this morning).

And the best part of the entire weekend?  The video I'm about to show you...

I went to Target after dinner with Evan for 2 reasons: 1) a trip to the pool showed we were seriously lacking in pool toys, and 2) he was exhausted but it was too early for bed so this was his distraction.  He was very good at Target and helped me find all the thing on my list.  One of the things was a water gun that "everyone" at the pool had so Evan had to have it too.  Well, the gun was difficult to find and as we were looking for it, Evan says (in his best Jersey accent):

Oh yes, Ladies and Gentleman, he said it.  And then, because I'm mother of the year, I had him say it 2 more times so I could videotape it and share it with all of you.  You're welcome... I'm glad my parenting could bring a smile to your face.

I hope you had as much fun as we did.  Now in to survival mode until Evan's "camp" starts next week... it's only 4 days... I can do this... and we have the pool so all should survive.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How I Ended Up with this Creepy Photo

Evan got his hair cut today (only his second one... ever).  And he actually did really well (after waiting for 30 minutes because we decided to get it done this morning only because Brian decided to get it done this morning so it was all walk-in).  Chloe and I came along for moral support.  And we walked (because that is all Chloe wants to do right now).  We walked all around the inside of the Super Cuts and then 10 minutes later we needed to find more space so we went outside. 

We walked up and down the sidewalk.  At one point Evan joined us and he walked all around.  And then Brian came out too (30 minutes can be a long wait) and Chloe decided to go back in (stick with me - the story seems long but there is a point).  Then Brian and Evan came back in and Brian said the words to me that would change my morning and cement my standing in motherhood... "I tried to tell him it was closed but then 3 people walked in and he said 'It's not closed Daddy,' so I promised him that after his haircut we would go to Chuck E. Cheese.

And that is how I ended up with this photo:

This creepy creepy photo.  We went to Chuck E. Cheese and Evan got on a ride next to Mr. Cheese (who he keeps calling "Chunky" and I just can't correct him because that is too funny).  Almost as soon as he got on he started saying he didn't want to do it anymore (I think it was just too slow for him) and at some point the machine got this image.  I'm not sure why the Chuck E. Cheese people felt that making pictures look like they are from the 1900's with a giant smiling mouse in them was a good idea.  The reflection of my flash (I had to take a picture of it in order to get it on this blog) totally adds to the creepiness.  All I can think about when I look at this picture is, "I see dead people." 

Chloe spent most of her time walking all over the place and bumping into children and adults alike - she doesn't discriminate.

And, of course, at some point an odd foreigner who didn't speak English picked up my child off the floor and nuzzled her (I have nothing against foreigners,  my ancestors were foreigners, I've dated foreigners, my sister and my brother married foreigners - it's just that my children seem to attract weird ones that don't speak English... happens all the time, here, Atlanta, and in Austin).  Thankfully she handed Chloe over to me once we reached the point where she had been holding Chloe just a little too long but right before we reached the point where I grabbed Chloe out of her arms.

I'd like to say I'm never going back to that place but two things happened: 1) A birthday party started while we were there and I realized that there would probably be at least 1 birthday in my life that would be at Chuck E. Cheese and, 2) as we left, Evan said, "Come back," so I'm thinking that at some point I'll probably be there again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ugh - Again I Fall Behind

I know, I haven't been blogging.  And I promised you photos of Chloe's birthday and whatnot.  But, I can't always blog when I'm thinking and I've been thinking about a lot of things lately.  Here are the top thoughts currently circling around my head in no particular order:
  • Should I go back to work and if so, when?
  • Should we have another child?
  • Where should we live (more specifically, in which part of Rockville should we buy a home)?
  • Can we afford a house in Rockville if I don't go back to work?
  • How can I end poverty in the world?
You know, some really small things that I think about when the children are napping.  And, of course I've come to no definitive answers on these things.  Because, as you may recall, I suck at planning my life (I'm actually quite good at planning for work, like I can give you a timeline for designing an e-learning course down to the hours... it's an illness).  And all of the above things require some sort of planning because no one is going to knock on my door and say they are looking for a part time trainer / instructional designer (in classroom or e-learning)... right?  So, I think and then I forget to blog.  And the next think you know it's been two weeks since Chloe's birthday.

So here are some photos:

I gave my in-laws (who came up for the occasion) the honor of picking out the "theme."  They picked Minnnie Mouse - look how adorable the balloons look!

And I had to get Chloe a tu-tu.  This one had little bows at the waist and it was all sparkly.  You can't see here, but I also made her a onesie at CafePress that says "Chloe Bear's First Birthday."

I went all out and made her two types of cupcakes: 1) Chocolate cream cheese cupcakes with chocolate ganache, and 2) Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese icing.  The strawberry ones were killer - the chocolate ones just okay (and I think most people agreed with me since the strawberry ones were gone by the end of the day with chocolate leftover).

These were Chloe's cupcakes (and thankfully someone at the party had a lighter because she almost didn't have anything to blow out).  An yes, I did make her little heart strawberries - they were too cute.

And here is Chloe eating her cupcake. Daddy only had to feed her once because after the first taste she was eating the cupcake without any prodding.

And here is the reason I had 2 cupcakes on Chloe's plate.  I was pretty sure Evan wasn't going to let her have all the attention.  He had to be part of the candle blowing out and the cupcake eating.  I think sugar was his main food group that day.

I still haven't decided if this is eagerness on her face or pure confusion. 

All the lovely ladies (my nieces and Chloe).

It got a little obscene with all the gifts but Chloe LOVES all of her presents.  I think she really likes having her own toys and not having to play with all of Evan's.

And here she is playing in one of her birthday presents.  She took to it right away (even though it took Daddy some frustration and cursing to get the thing put together... poor Daddy - Christmases aren't going to be fun for him). 

Overall I think she had a fabulous birthday.  I still can't believe she is 1.

Oh, and have I told you yet, she is walking.  She's spent the last month holding on to everything (including me) to walk.  And then on Friday she let go.  Each day she's done a little more.  And she is super cute doing it.  We'll see how well Evan takes this new milestone.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

12 Month Visit

Yes, Chloe had a birthday on Sunday.  And as soon as I've fully accepted that my little girl is no longer a baby I'll share all the excitement with you.  Until then you will have to settle for this picture of Chloe and Evan eating Chloe's birthday cupcake (strawberry cupcake with strawberry cream cheese icing):

But I will discuss with you Chloe's 12-month pediatrician's appointment.  Here are the stats:

Weight: 22lbs 8oz (75%)
Height: 28&3/4 inches (45%)
Head: 18&1/4 inches (85%)

Basically, she is still short and round.  And even though the pediatrician assured me this isn't indicative of how she will be when she grows up... come on... she comes from short and round.

Speaking of,  because I'm a child of the 80s and because my mind is sick and twisted, whenever I think of Chloe being short and round I automatically think of Short Round from the move "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom":

There is absolutely no resemblance except in my mind.  Seriously, this is what I see every time.

Some other highlights:
  • No more formula - we are done bottles in the Castrucci household
  • She was a trooper with her shots - lots of yelling that ended quickly
  • Pediatrician couldn't hear a murmur so maybe it's all gone now
  • She is 100% healthy
I promise to share with you all her birthday at the latest by this weekend.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Always Looking Out for My Kids

Supposedly there is this connection between mother and child.  As far as I can tell it sounds like some sort of "spidey" sense.  Mothers are supposed to know the hidden meanings behind their child's cry (as in - "that's his tied cry", or "that's his hungry cry") and they are supposed to sense when their children are in danger. I guess these connections came in handy a long long time ago when mother's were the only reasons children survived (you know, or dinosaurs ate the babies). But I think that with feeding schedules, suburbs, and iPhones (yes, I'm blaming the iPhone because even though I have one I think it's too crafty to be trusted) we mothers (or at least me) have lost some of these primal instincts.

For instance, yesterday Chloe was being super cranky.  And, this is very unlike her.  So at first I assumed she was hungry (even though she had already had breakfast, snack, and a bottle) so I gave her some yogurt drops.  That didn't make the cranky stop.  Then I decided that she needed a walk and I knew Evan needed a walk (mostly because he kept telling me he needed to go outside - I heart verbal communication) so off we went.

Well, it turns out that Chloe wasn't trying to communicate that she needed fresh air.  Instead she was telling me she needed to sleep:

Poor little girl completely passed out in the stroller.  And once Evan saw me taking a picture of her he decided he needed some attention as well so I had to take a picture of him as well:

But see how mischievous he looks... it's because he decided he apparently still wasn't getting enough attention so he started to kick Chloe and screamed, "Chlo Chlo wake up."

Thankfully the little girl has figured out how to handle him.  Not only did she stay asleep but she moved so he couldn't reach her when he kicked her:

She never even opened her eyes.

And then there is the whole idea that mother's will do anything to keep their children safe.  Me, I encourage my child to play with stray animals while I stand safely behind a screen door.  Or at least I did that today when Evan went outside (for the first time all by himself... lasted about 20 minutes and I swear I danced a jig) and a neighborhood cat came up to him (and I say "neighborhood" because I've seen him around the neighborhood but that is all I know about him):

Here he is looking at me (through the screen door) and I'm telling him it's okay to pet this stray cat.

And then the cat decided to take matters into his own hands and approached Evan.  I, of course, assured Evan it was okay.

And this was after the first pet.  Then Evan followed the cat around our back yard.  At one point that cat jumped up to sit on a fence so Evan got his little chair and sat down near the cat.  They were in some sort of deep conversation so I didn't want to distract them by taking a picture.

Sometimes I feel like I should get the mother of the year award.