Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not Quite

Me: I did my first two-miler today.

Brian: WHAT?!

Me: Brian. Walking.

Brian: Oh.

Me: Hey I thought that was pretty good considering I was out of breath after two blocks a couple weeks ago.

Brian: No, that is really good. If you were running I was going to have to give you the Katie Holmes award.

Plant Watch 2009

On Monday, after we returned from our trip, I looked sadly at my drooping hydrangea plant in it's pot and asked Brian if he could please throw it away. It wasn't so much drooping as it was shriveled up without an ounce of life left in it. I don't know what happened. I made sure to give it plenty of water before we left on Friday morning and when we returned on Sunday it was apparently too late. Are two days really too long to be away from a hydrangea plant?

That's when my husband gave it to me straight.

"Jenny," he said, "You're a wonderful cook. And writer. And you're a great mother and an awesome wife. There's a lot of things you are good at. But green thumb you are not."

He's right.

**Sniff. Sniff.**

My grandpa could grow the reddest, juiciest tomatoes you've ever eaten.

My grandma can coax even the most finicky plants to thrive with delight.

Come summertime my mom's flower boxes are overflowing with blooms.

My dad and his lawn were BFF and I'd challenge anyone to find just one dandelion or one sprout of quackgrass residing in our lot.

But somehow I didn't inherit any of these green genes.

When we first moved into our house from apartment living five years ago, the thing I was most excited about was planting flowers. Apartment living doesn't lend to that task very easily.

I went to the local nursery and spent an obnoxious amount of money on planters and soil and tools and flowers of every variety. By the end of the summer it was clear that the money spent was one big waste.

The next summer I bought only the easiest-to-grow variety of flowers. In the end, only the geraniums survived.

Now, each year when spring arrives, I buy only geraniums. I figure an alive and boring flower is better than a whole bunch of dead ones.

This pill wouldn't be so hard to swallow if it were all my fault. If I had forgotten to water them. Or if I put shade-loving flowers in brilliant sunshine and vice versa. But that's not the case at all. When I buy a flower or plant I read those tags very carefully. In the summer I water my flowers every morning as the experts say to do. But still, mother nature is working against me.

So I'm instituting Plant Watch 2009. I bought this beautiful hanging plant on Monday. This is the type of flower that will usually be dried up in a month under my care. So I'm holding myself accountable. Throughout the summer I'll post photos of this plant and if anything starts to go downhill I want you, my readers, to tell me what I'm doing wrong. But here's hoping that doesn't happen. Here's hoping it will look even more beautiful and vibrant come September. I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have You Seen This Couple?

Introducing Nana and Papa Nash!

We had way too much fun with the photo booth at the wedding this past weekend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Weekend Away

We flew to Erie, Pennsylvania for the weekend for a family wedding. It was Lucy's first flight and she did wonderfully. (Big Brother stayed home with Grandma and had much more fun digging in dirt and going for boat rides.)

Lucy got a new dress for the occasion and she was the prettiest little girl there if I do say so myself.

At the reception there was a lot of this with her birthday buddy.

While Mommy and Daddy were doing a little of this...

...and a lot of this.

While we all recovered the next day, Lucy got to meet the best baby-holder in the whole wide world, Uncle Bobby.

It was fun to get away for a few short days especially while Lucy is still in that easy, portable newborn stage. But now we're all back home and life is back to normal with two kids. I think I just might be getting the hang of this. And if not, at least it's a short 4-day week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food for my Soul

There are days like yesterday (of which I will just say nothing) and then there are moments like this when I think, "OK, I think I can do this."

Monday, May 18, 2009

After Which, I Need a Cocktail

Through my groggy, sleep-deprived eyes I'm trying to figure out what I should type on this screen. So much happened this weekend. It seems there's no rest for the postpartum. Hold please while I take a few more gulps of coffee. OK. I'm good.

Besides trying to find my daily groove in life with two we've got girls nights and birthday parties, dinosaur shows and house projects, airplane travel and house selling. And then there's the biggest time guzzler in my schedule. Toddler behavior.

Now that Baby Lucy has arrived the question I am asked most often is, "How is William doing?"

My response is always the same. William is very good with Lucy. When he remembers that she's here. But most of the time he's busy driving his trucks around the floor and making pretend play with his dinosaur. The fact that a new little life is taking up residence at our house seems to escape him for the majority of the day.

But it seems he has noticed that our attention toward him has been divided and for that his behavior has suffered slightly. Normally the easiest child to put to bed, he's now decided it's a pretty fun game to continually get up after the door's been close and the lights are out. Sometimes this goes on until the blasphemous hour of ten o'clock. Absurd for a two-year-old.

Granted, this wouldn't be so bad if he ended up sleeping a few extra hours in the morning. Ah, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it? Instead his little eyelids like to open somewhere in the outrageous six o'clock hour. Not so bad for most kids but for my little sleeper who normally wakes between 7:30 and 8:00, his little body just can't take that kind of lack of sleep.

So with three hours fewer of sleepy time something has to give and it turns out that something is his behavior.

Yesterday we were forced to attend 11 o'clock mass. We had a birthday party the night before that prevented us from going Saturday evening and William and daddy has a special outing planed for Sunday evening that prevented us from going Sunday evening.

So 11 o'clock it was. It was right before lunch and nap which means he was getting hungry and tired. It's also the most-crowded mass which means there wasn't a lot of room for him to move around within our pew. And it's the longest mass. He's two, need I say more? It was the perfect storm for a breakdown. And that's exactly what happened.

The first one (yes, there was more than one breakdown) was during the consecration. Can kids sense the most sacred part of the mass?

Brian promptly took him out of the church for a little timeout in the gathering room. Brian told me it was difficult to get his self-control lesson across to William because while he was standing in the corner trying to calm himself there were other children running willy nilly all around him. It turns out some other parents turn church-going into play hour. OK, I'm not going to judge.

Moving on.

William returned to our pew a newly-calmed toddler.

That lasted all of five minutes.

When we got up to receive communion I made the unforgivable mistake of leaving his Lightening McQueen car on our seat. William fa-REAKED out! In the communion line. For all of St. Ambrose parishioners to witness.

When we returned to our seats the tantrum continued and when I tried to use Lightning McQueen as a pawn ("Stop crying or you can't having Lightning McQueen back") that only escalated the matter. Now there was flopping on the floor and flailing of limbs.

Since it was the end of mass there was nothing left to do but ignore the matter. So that's what we did.

Brian and I stood and sang the closing song all the while pretending we had no idea who dragged in this obnoxious kid thrashing about us.

When we finally got to the blessed privacy of our own car in the parking lot I exclaimed, "And that's why we don't go to the 11 o'clock mass!"

"How many dirty looks did we get?" I asked Brian.

"Oh, I'd say about 30 to 50."


Well at least we'll never see those people again since I'm banishing our family from 11 o'clock mass until William turns 16.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Girl

I love this picture because I can pretend she was smiling at me. Even though she's not quite three weeks old and I'm pretty sure it was just the end of one of those gas smiles. It's still fun to pretend!

How Big Brothers Play With Their Little Sisters

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Fine Art of a Mother's Day Photo Op

"Sit down!"

"Get your car out of your mouth and look up at daddy."

"But you have to smile too."

"Hold on a second. The baby's crying."

"Nevermind. You can go play with your cars now."

Sally Ann

Remember this?

Baby bellies they are no more.

Sally joined her cousin Lucy in entering this great big world on Friday afternoon. The little girlfriends are just two weeks a part. At some point we're hoping to birth a Charlie and a Linus so we can have the whole Peanuts gang.

The proud papas with their girls.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Did You Hear?!

Gotta click here.

Doin' It Our Own Way

Does anybody else get annoyed with the breastfeeding Nazis?

I don't mean the people that demand you breastfeed over bottle feed. That's a separate issue.

I'm talking about the Nazis that come into play the moment you declare you're going to be exclusively breastfeeding.

The ones that demand you wake your sleeping baby every two hours to feed. Even if it means keeping that exhausted baby awake by undressing her or tickling her toes.

They also demand keeping that baby latched for a given time on each side. Even if she's not hungry. Or even if she is hungry. Or even if she just needs to satisfy that innate need to suck.

And then there's the log. Oh how I loathe the log. Writing down when you fed, which side you fed and how long you fed. Was there pee? Was there poop?

I understand that some babies are born with special circumstances that may require one to closely monitor their digestive intake and outtake. But for your average healthy baby, can't we just leave them alone and let them tell us when it's time?

I hate scheduled breastfeeding so much that I've developed a workaround to keep these breastfeeding Nazis off my back.

I lie.

And I fill out that log just the way they want to see it.

"Yep, I just fed her an hour ago."

"She ate really well for 15 minutes on each side."

"Yes, a very wet diaper. Such a good girl."

Then as soon as they leave me alone we resume our casual routine.

Right now Lucy is feeding about every three to four hours. She even goes five hours at night without eating. **Gasp!**

But don't tell those breastfeeding Nazis. Because then they are going to wonder how I got her to gain a whole pound in just one week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Paternity Leave 2009

Paternity leave has a long ways to go if it's going to look anything like maternity leave. Hence the laptop being permanently attached to Brian's, well, lap. But at least you get snuggle with your new baby girl whilst checking in with the office. Oh yeah, and the beer? Whoops. Did you see that? I guess that's just a bonus prize.

Monday, May 4, 2009

All By Ourselves

Today was our second full day with Lucy and without Daddy. I ventured outside my comfort zone and took them both to the park for the sake of the little boy who needed to burn off some steam.

Just another lazy dazy morning.

Lucy's totally diggin' her new ride.

Where's William? Can you find him?

You Know You're a Mom When...

...a trip alone to the grocery store is second only to, say, an all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii.
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