Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hello, Makenna!

She's here...she's finally here! After what felt like 78 weeks of gestation (I know, I know, it was only 40!), Makenna Elyse arrived last Friday (June 24) at a dainty 8 lbs 11 oz.


We were stuck a few days in the hospital with her, which completely spit in the face of everything I had planned. This was baby three for us...we're old hat at this game and there's no reason we can't take her home at the first possible second, right? Right? (crickets).

But we finally did manage to get her home and we've got the rest of the summer to get to know this little heartbreaker.

Big brother Boo is adjusting to life as the "middle man" now, and while he ADORES his little sister (he calls her "Fo-kenna") and dotes on her like a little mini protector...the guy has gone from love of our lives (last week) to terror on the high seas with a mindset to destroy his father and I. I'm not sure where this animosity and badness came from (I'm sure the changes have everything to do with it) but I sure miss my little Boo. I know, I bet he misses being the baby and absorbing ALL of the attention in the house.

Between being chained to a couch during marathon feedings and general fussy baby business and trying to threaten the toddler within inches of his life if he doesn't stop pulling the cat's tail (with no ability to jump up and make good on said threats), I'm exhausted and often frustrated. Dare I admit it...cranky, even?

But this life (these lives) are gifts and we've been blessed beyond a reason why. I will never, ever, EVER let that slip my mind. God has definitely graced me with more than I'll ever deserve.

Here's to a few more sleepless nights and a lifetime of love and joy.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer of 100 Books: The Naked Mole Rat Edition

I have not fogotten! And we HAVE been reading around here!

We got a few more Mo Willem books a few weeks ago and one featured the Naked Mole Rat who loved clothes. Boo thought it was one hilarious story. So did I, actually.

38. Edwina, the dinosaur who didn't know she was extinct
39. What's Your Sound, Hound the Hound?
40. Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!
41. We Are in a Book!
42. Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
43. Moo, Baa, La La La!
44. Richard Scarry's Shapes and Opposites
45. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed the Sea
46. If You Were My Baby
47. So Many Bunnies: A Bedtime ABC and Counting
48. Alphaducks
49. Flaptastic Shapes
50. What's the Opposite, PiggyWiggy?
51. Apples, Apples
52. The Grouchy Ladybug
53. Dinosaur Roar!
54. Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo!
55. Busy Monkeys
56. Waiting for Baby
57. A Color of His Own
58. Where Is the Green Sheep?
59. Sleep
60. Smile, Maisy!
61. ABC, Baby Me!
62. Going to My Big Bed! (It was Barney, but I let that one slide because the kid has NO interest in a big boy bed yet and well, it's time...)
63.Max's New Suit
64. Happy
65. My Little People Farm

Almost there...wonder if we can hit 200 books before the beginning of the school year?!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 40

We have hit week 40 (ok, technically in a few days) and we were lucky enough to get another "glimpse" at lil' baby girl. Cute, no? All cheeks and forearms!

Any day now...


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer of 100 Books: Week Three

Another great week for books, and this week, Daddy was the guest of honor a few nights in a row.

Reading book after book after book after book...you get the picture. I'm pretty sure neither of us truly understand HOW MANY BOOKS our children really possess, plus the weekly library stash! (It's gotta be in the thousands...)

24. Harry, the Dirty Dog (the link will take you to a version read by Betty White...score!)
25. Harry, by the sea
26. Chicka, Chicka ABC
27. Busy Doggies
28. My truck book
29. Caillou's Baby Sister
30. Bow-wow's colorful life
31. The Best Mouse Cookie
32. Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling
33. Color Farm
34. The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!
35. Daddy and Me
36. No More Diapers for Ducky
37. Sounds tough! Big Noisy Machines

I need to take a second and talk Mo Willems (see # 34.) Boy Wonder did a month or two reading Willems in first grade and even got to work on similar style art projects as the kids devoured the pigeon and elephant books. I never got the chance to read any of his work until we grabbed the board book this weekend. OMG. Fantastic, creative, funny stuff.

Coupled with the fact that my awesome husband read the cantankerous Pigeon in his best surly Jersey voice? AWESOME! I found Mo Willems' website and highly recommend it and the books you can get your hands on. He even has a really creative blog called Mo Willems Doodles that I'm a new super fan of. Where has this pigeon been all my life?!?



Gardens are a form of autobiography. (~Sydney Eddison)


Friday, June 17, 2011

The light is different at 5 a.m.

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." (Marcus Aurelius)

First it was contractions at 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning. On Wednesday it was the odd sensation that I had slept until four in the afternoon somehow. (Pshaw...like that's happened in the last decade or so...)

Today, well, I dreamed that I had a tea cup poodle (apricot) named Agatha Christie. When Boo stirred in the next room over, there was no way my disappointment in NOT having a tea cup poodle named Agatha Christie was going to let me go back to sleep. (I have a dream and a mission now, by the way. Husband will come around EVENTUALLY!)

I'm getting more and more familiar with 5 a.m. lately and I've got to say, the world looks different at that "dawn" hour than it does at 7 or 8 a.m. (The photo at left was taken at 5:07 a.m. this morning. I know of what I speak!!)

I call it "lemon sunshine." It starts down in our bedroom and illuminates the four walls like it's 3:30 in the afternoon with this cheery, optimistic light that you really want nothing to do with at such an early hour.

It could be the yellow curtains on our window...but when I drag my sorry carcass up the stairs, that same lemony goodness is pouring through the french doors from the back deck. It's waiting to shine on my cup of Irish Breakfast and it damn near blinds the poor bird in his cage.

(You know, Hawk...the parakeet that thinks he's a cat and meows? Yes, him. He needs sunglasses.)

There's just no way you can be sore at the world in sunshine like that. There's no way you can't think today is going to be a GREAT day because you were up at the a#$ crack of morning and got your fill of some personal sunshine and breathing space that you didn't have to share with anybody.

Have you looked around lately? Moments without chaos and noise are rare. Polar bear's melting habitat rare, is all I'm saying.

Maybe it's the body prepping me for the enduro-sport headed my way that is called life with a newborn. Maybe I'm turning into an uber, ultra morning person who can't stay awake past the evening news at 6:30. Maybe.

All I can say is that if all mornings look like these ones do, early risers know something the rest of us don't. The world belongs to a select few at such an early hour and that's kind of a good thing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
~Walt Streightiff

If I have a monument in this world, it is my children.
~Maya Angelou

Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.
~Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You say "nesting." I say "domesticating."

Right up there with the term “giving birth,” I balk at the term “nesting.”

I know, I know, it’s silly. It’s just that “giving birth” makes me think of fluids and placentas and…gasp!...pushing (while “having a baby” is just sterile enough to assist me in envisioning walking into a hospital and walking out the next day with a newborn). I told you, it’s silly. But it’s me.

Nesting, on the other hand, makes me think of hamsters. Dirty little clods of yucky sawdust and poo. Nests are not pretty, if you really think about…but I’ll stop thinking about it and get to the point. Eventually. I also dislike it because I hate it when people assume stuff about my actions with their smug little grins.

“Oh, you are so nesting.”

Oh, I am so not.

I merely spent 9 straight hours reorganizing my spice rack because I had the rational compulsion to do so. Duh.

Nomenclature aside, I’m at 38 weeks and some change and I have this unbelievable need to domesticate everything around me. Me. Our house. Our kitchen. My projects. The closets. (shudder) The garage. (vomit) They are beginning to haunt me and give me this frenetic energy for very detailed, specific tasks and periods of time. Then, of course, I need to sleep on the couch for three and a half hours and eat 2,300 calories worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. ‘Tis true.

I made jam this weekend. Not just jam, but two batches’ worth of jam. Purple jam. Red jam. I had it in my hair, under the stove’s vent hood, between my toddler’s toes. By noon it was all cleaned up.

By 4 p.m., I had the itch to bake. And when I bake, I don’t just bake. I embody this “take no prisoners” persona…this manifesto to leave no surface unsullied and no pantry door unopened and un-emptied upon said sullied surface. Hurricane-level destruction occurs when I bake, and it’s not bound to change anytime soon…it’s part of the allure of baking for me.

It’s why Boo and I are kindred spirits in the kitchen together. We are mess makers, taste tasters, and risk takers. But mostly mess makers. So by 5 p.m., we had a plate full of Strawberry Rhubarb Bars that we ate until dinner sounded like the most vile invention ever created and our fingers were dyed red for the next 48 hours.

It was the longest stretch of time I’d spent in the kitchen for the past few months (I avoid cooking whenever I can these days, where “dinner” is often a four-letter word) and at the end of it, all impulse to bake or can or eat was gone. The domesticating instinct came on like a tsunami and retreated just as quickly. I am now back to my usual habit of perusing cookbooks and food blogs, happily imagining what life would be like if I had that plate of Salpicon in front of me.

The bottom line? Nesting by any other name smells just as sweet, and makes me just as manic. I do my best to just go with it, knowing in a few short weeks (or days?), the opposite reaction will begin taking effect.

Commonly known as wallowing or drowning in infant care, the post-partum phase will be upon us with a vengeance any day now.

Who’s excited?!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer of 100 Books: Week Two

True to our word, we've been busy little readers around here. I honestly think that small little book bin of board books at the library is going to run out on us soon. That, or we're going to have to start reading the Spanish-language ones (not such a bad idea, actually).

This week, Boo met Maisy the Mouse. Boy Wonder and I used to watch Noggin on TV way back in the day and we loved Maisy. Oh, and more Jane Yolen books. I think the woman is slowly becoming a rock star in my author world. She's amazing.

11. "Here Come the Pirates!"
12. "Clifford's Bedtime"
13. "Find the Puppy"
14. "Cornelius P. Mudd, Are You Ready For Bed?"
15. "Good Night, Little Bunny"
16. "How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats?" (Jane Yolen)
17. "Sad, Mad, Glad Hippos" (Jane Yolen)
18. "Maisy's Colors" (Lucy Cousins)
19. "On the Farm" (Ant Parker)
20. "My Train Book" (The Smithsonian)
21. "Time For Bed" (Mem Fox)
22. "Big Dog...Little Dog" (P.D. Eastman)
23. "Good Night, Sleep Tight!" (Barbara Cratzius)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pie and Queen Julia

My love of Julia Child and all of her DVDs continues strong as ever as I nab every one I can get my paws on from our local library. It also lives on over at the Hungry Little Blackbird with this post: Pie Crust a la Julia Child. Long live the queen!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Summer of 100 Books: Week the first...

We miss Boy Wonder around here something fierce...especially on Tuesdays, our self-appointed library days.

He had this fantastic knack of running through the aisles and blindly grabbing handfuls of books as fast as he could and tossing them at me so he could play with the chess sets and checker boards.

Since we cut our cable this month and use the library's DVD rental service, we still go every week to find new "Bear in the Big Blue House" or "Bob the Builder" dvds for Boo, but we also keep stopping at the kid's section and finding extra board books and picture books to bring home. And the funny thing is, the kid LOVES to read books.

So in honor of missing his "bubba," we decided to embark upon the "Summer of 100 Books." Because I hate hard and fast deadlines and quotas, all we have to do is finish in 10 weeks before Boy Wonder comes home and we start anew with him. Some weeks we'll hit two books. Some ten. Who knows. But we already started and here's our first week's report:

Summer of 100 Books: Week 1 Tally

1. "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" (Eileen Christelow)
2. "Pat the Beastie" (Henrick Drescher)
3. Things that Go (Richard Scarry)
4. Thomas the Tank's Big Lift and Look Book (Ben Owell, illustrator)
5. No No Yes Yes (Leslie Patricelli)
6. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (Dr. Suess)
7. Can You See What I see? (Walter Wick)
8. Tatty Ratty (Helen Cooper)
9. Lunchtime for a Purple Snake (Harriet Ziefert)
10. Click, Clack, Moo...Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin)

So our favorites this week? Well, I have been delivered back to a magical, 70's-ish place with the Richard Scarry book and am hell-bent on finding more and adding them to our permanent collection. It was like a long, lost memory how much I loved those characters and now I can't wait to force them upon Boo and MK! Woo hoo!

Boo obviously loves the jumping monkeys, but he's spent more time on the lift/flap book than any other. Oh, and he caught on to Mr. Brown's mooing pretty quick and liked being able to buzz and stomp, too.

Books rule. True story!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Like petals flying by

Time, that is.

We're nearly up to a week since our Boy Wonder left on his summer hiatus and we miss the boy like crazy. But he's having a blast, getting a tan, and drinking more salt water than he can handle at the moment and that's just what the kid should be doing.

Tomorrow (or today, I can't remember) I hit 37 weeks. Did ya get that? Full-freakin'-term. That's a bit intimidating. Exhilarating. And frightening, all at the same time. Whoa...

I was sprawled out on the couch a few moments ago as only a near-walrus-sized human can do so prettily and the thought occurred to me...what if this is the last one? Is that a normal thought/panic moment? It's very likely. We're about topped out on resources and energy and the chance is high that our brood will remain at three once M.E. arrives...and that made me sad all of a sudden.

I spent so much of this pregnancy pressing on and hurrying after kids that I didn't spend a whole lot of time relishing. Sure, I made jokes about squished bladders and gi-normous space boobs, but now that it's coming to a close sooner or later, I wonder if I took enough time to really enjoy the off-balance, mood-altering sense of wonder that accompanies this journey? And let's be honest...did I really spend enough time admiring my adult acne-free skin?! (to the mirror!)

I can't answer those big questions and most nights I don't try...but it seems like tonight the thought sailed through my mind quietly like a ship heading somewhere...

One thing that reminds me that I'm sorta okay with being done with this go-round is today's three hour glucose test. HELLO! Talk about chugging dirty Popsicle water the consistency of cough syrup! I had braced myself the best I could for the fallout of no food for 12 hours AND the syrup of hell but I was simply not prepared for how close to death the sh^% made me feel. Every five minutes I found myself moving seats in the waiting room one closer to the bathroom on the other side of the room. I walked outside. I prayed for a little relief. I wondered if this was how hot flashes felt and oh, dearlordy, how am I going to deal with those in a couple decades! AUGH!

I made it through the four pokes somehow without barfing OR biting the phlebotomist and spent the rest of the day unable to form coherent sentences or process logical thoughts. Oh, and with indigestion from the awful Mexican food I felt compelled to woof down an hour after being released from my glucose prison. Not fun. Not fun at all...

So as we scramble for any last minute necessities and my ridiculous need to wear more makeup now than I ever have in my life (true story...it's odd), we wait. And watch the petals of time drift by, on a breeze or on gale-force winds as they seem to sometimes.

Soon a baby will be here. Soon Boo will be in a big man bed. Soon Boy Wonder will be in second grade. Soon P will be done with school. Soon our lives will shift and drift and grow.

And soon it will be bedtime... and right now, that's just fine with me.