Friday, September 29, 2006
Last night, husband was home for the last night until Thanksgiving. We put the girls to bed a little earlier and went outside to what may very well be the last enjoyable night of the year. We made a fire in the firepit and grabbed a bag of marshmallows, some chocolate and Octoberfest (his was Otter Creek and Mine was Sam Adams). And there we sat for what seemed like hours (it was only 1) in peaceful tranquility. It was just us and the crickets and peep toads. We were so relaxed that you couldn't hear the cars passing by the house.
It was just so great to spend time with just the husband, alone!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
For us, we opted for a private Catholic school. It was a decision we talked about, thought about and researched for moths, and in the end, it was the right decision for us. Yes, it is expensive, but we feel justified that it is the right place for Einey.
I like the fact that she will most likely be going to school with the same kids for the next 9 years. No more needing to meet 20 new parents every year. I like knowing the teachers, meeting them and observing them before she will even be in that grade. I like knowing the principle (and apparently her knowing our child already) after only 3 weeks of school.
Although the kindergarten class size is a bit larger than the local public school (23 vs. 16), from experience, some of these kids will not return for 1st or 2nd grade.
One thing I do not like and am planning on meeting with the principle is their pick up policy. I have worked a few days in the last two weeks where I needed to have a sitter pick up Einey from school. One three different days, three different people (her grandparents, and two friends) picked her up from school. Each day, I sent in a note saying who was going to be picking her up. Each day the proper person went and Einey was released to her without any questions. No "hi can I ask who you are?", no "can you sign her out please?" No communication whatsoever between the teacher and pick-up person! When I questioned the teacher she said she had no clue to knowing who they were and as long as the child shows they now the person, they will be released to them. My thought is ask who they are. Check their ID to make sure they are the same person on the note who is supposed to be picking her up.
The other aspect which bugs me is their "No solicitation" policy. I know it is to keep people from bombarding others with their magazine/candy/wrapping paper sales. I am planning a scrapbooking fundraising event for the American Heart Association's annual Heartwalk my family and I participate in every year. I sent in a paper asking if I could have it sent home in the folders of my daughter's classmates. I was told no I couldn't. I understand that, but at the same time, we got similar flyers for girl scouts. This was also immediately after being told at the open house that they encourage community service and children can earn incentives and awards for participation in different community events. And I can't help but feel that they have this policy so that they will not have others detract from their own constant fundraising (which will be bombarded on us).
However, I still feel that this is the best place for us right now.
We went to the recent open house at Einey's school. I guess I expected to hear about all the fun and exciting things they had planned for the upcoming school year. Instead, we heard about what our "financial" obligations to the school were, what we could do for fundraising and even that we could bequest money to the school in our wills.
One funny item was that the principal of Einey's school came up to us and said "let me tell you something about your daughter". My first thought was "Oh shit, what did she do that the principal know who she is in only 3 weeks?" She then tells us "I have never seen any child eat as much as she does". She told us how cute Einey is at lunch and how she eats everything we pack for her (which IS alot for a four year old- usually ham and cheese on a spinach wrap, carrot sticks, pretzels, a piece of fruit, a pudding, juice and sometimes crackers) . She even told us that Einey sometimes misses out on recess (or at least part of it) as she is too busy finishing her lunch with the principal. And don't get me wrong, Einey is all of 37 pounds soaking wet!
One day I picked Einey up from school and as we are driving in front of the school, she points and says:
The next day, Einey comes home and says:
Saturday, September 23, 2006
My baby turns two today. As think back about that day two years ago, I realize that from the start she was not going to be overshadowed by her two big sisters. She was going to make sure we all knew she was around. Right from the start, she dared to be different.
She was breech, so we needed to try to turn her. She wouldn't budge. We were able to deliver her vaginally (thanks to a wonderful doctor who let us try as opposed to the hospital's rule of c-section only for breech babies). 45 hours later (as opposed to 8 hours and 15 minutes respectfully for the other two) she decided to enter the world. Right away, she showed us another difference from her sisters. She took to the breast without any problems. She was a champion nursery from day one! She nursed until almost 10 months old (both her sisters were done by 2 months), when teething interfered with her nursing (her sisters cut there first teeth both at six months, a full 4 months earlier than her).
Sleep however was a different story. For the first three months of her life, she would not sleep unless held in the crook of my arm. At three months, we finally had to improvise. We had her swaddled and snuggled in the boppy pillow in her bed to sleep. Of course, she was still waking up every two hours to eat. At 7 months, we finally stopped swaddling her (she liked it). By 8 1/2 months, I tried getting her to sleep longer through the night without nursing. At 10 months, she finally started to sleep through the night. Her sisters were both sleeping through the night by 2 months. After she stopped waking up at night, I finally realized how clear I could think. It was like this huge fog just lifted. And it was scary. I don't know how I functioned or survived those 10 months with little sleep.
Eating she was okay. She likes to eat anything so I cannot complain there. The only thing is, she is a non-stop eater. She will eat all day if we let her, but she isn't big. She is actually on the small side for her age. She used to be so small but have these big rolls on her thighs, it was so cute. Now she's grown out of the rolls. But she still eats constantly. I swear people think we don't feed her.
She was always an easygoing baby. She was usually very happy and generally a pleasure to be around. Now that she is bigger though, she likes to push the little babies around. We are working on it. I worry that she will be the school yard bully when she is bigger.
She is also one of the only two year old I know with a coffee addiction. It's not my fault, honestly.
When she was born, she came out with bright blue eyes, as opposed to the slate gray that her sisters had. By 6 months they were still very blue. By this age, both her sisters had brown eyes. At two, she still has very gorgeous blue eyes. Both husband and I and both our parents (and my siblings) have brown eyes. For brown-eyed parents to have a blue eyed child, it is a 1/4 chance as it is a double recessive gene. And it also means that we both have to have relatives (somewhere) on both sides. My family likes to joke that she belongs to the mailman.
And terrible twos. My other girls were not nearly as bad as she is. She can have every toy off a shelf in under 30 seconds flat. She has managed to disappear with 4 adults keeping an eye on her and walk close to a road once in under 10 seconds. She loves to pull out all the wipes in a container in under 5 seconds. She is a handful to say the least. I think it is more noticable because she was always such and easygoing child and is now a little terror. Meenie was a handful, but she was a handful right from the start. So her terrible two's were her normal everyday behavior.
She also has a great sense of humor. In the car, her sisters like to tell knock knock jokes. By 15 months, she would sit in the back seat and you would here "knock, knock". If you asked "who's there" she would smile and repeat herself.
At two, she still doesn't talk much (unlike her sisters) but she talks enough so you know what she wants. Her doctor says her speech is average for a two-year old, so at this time, there is no reason for concern. It also doesn't help that she has two other people speaking for her.
She is definitely going to make sure she is noticed and not pushed to the shadows. Happy Birthday to my little monkey! I hope you keep your independent ways no matter what other people think. You may be a handful, but we love you anyway!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I assumed that he had tossed the food in the garbage and didn't think twice about it.
However, when I came home last night, I saw a cat about ten feet down the driveway eating something. Thinking that it caught a mouse and was playing with it, I left it as that. I came home today and decided just to walk down the driveway. There I found this big pile of dogfood and milkbones. Just laying there. As if we didn't have enough problems with animals in and around the house. Arggh! So now I have to get out a shovel to properly dispose of it before any other creatures decide to make themselves home inside and on top of my home.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
A local roadside memorial
The fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks is here. The last few days, I have been filled with sadness. I haven't felt like this since the first anniversary. I want to talk to my children about it, but I know they are not old enough to understand.
I still remember that day and everything that happened. Where I was, what I was doing and conversations I had. I woke up late that morning, as I didn't have to work. It was around 9:15 am that I got up and turned the computer on (back then it was a mere 10 feet from my bedroom). I notice a link about 2 planes hitting the World Trade Center. I try the link, out of curiosity, but they don't load. I also notice that I cannot get onto any of the news sites to check the news (local and national). A few minutes later, husband calls from work and asks if I am sitting down. He proceeds to tell me what happened (all I can think is Oh My God). He also wants me to swing by his parents house and see if I can find them Sept. 11 is their wedding anniversary and they had talked about getting up early and catching a plane into NYC to visit the WTC and Statue of Liberty. He couldn't reach them. He then tells me he will call back later. My thoughts were of my unborn child (I was six months along) and of my husband. I was scared for him. I wanted him home with me. I was finally able to reach his parents, they slept in late and were just getting up. Unable to stand being alone, and not knowing when I would talk to my husband or knowing when he would be coming home (he works in a location that was top of the target list and therefore locked down), I packed up and headed to my parents house. There, I remember, just sitting there all day, glued to the TV set with my two sisters and my mom. We answered the phone whenever any one called: "did you hear what happened", "have you heard from your husband?", and cried. It was one of those days where few words were spoken. They didn't have to be. I don't think anyone ate. At one point, one of my sisters left to get my niece. They went to find her husband (he was in the National Guards and pulled for active duty immediately - stationed at the local barracks, awaiting further instructions). Finally, husband called and said he was coming home. They were able to work out a system to get replacements in. I went home and stayed in husband's arms the rest of the day. It was a day of uncertainty. And a day I will never forget, as long as I am alive.
One thing I remember thinking about was my unborn child and how unfair it was to bring her into a world like this. I wanted my unborn child to know the world I grew up in, where it was okay to be out after dark. Where there was no fear of strangers. Where things like this just didn't happen here. I didn't want to bring a child into this world. I kept thinking how selfish I was for thinking like that.
First anniversary. Einey age 9 1/2 months.
Second anniversary. Einey age 1 1/2 years.
Living under 2 hours from the city, I never got to visit the WTC or the Statue of Liberty. It was one of those things that there was no rush to do, it would always be there. I regret not taking that field trip in school and experiencing that.
God Bless America!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I started my job this week, and was more than a little nervous. I haven't worked since Einey was 6 months old, so I was more than a little rusty. But I got a great job working as a substitute instructional assistant for the public school system in town. Which means virtually no commute and I only have to spend about 45 minutes less with Einey a day. The downside, I am away from Meenie and Moe for 7 hours! The good side. I am only doing it 2 maybe 3 times a week. And mostly when dad is home to watch them (or grandma). Occasionally, they will be spending time at a good friends house, playing with their friends. The day I worked this week went by fast, I barely had time to miss them. When I rushed over there, I asked Moe is she missed me, with her clinging to my lap and a huge smile on her face, she turns to me and says "no, while shaking her head". Then giggled! The babysitter survived my two tornados and said they were great. She also survived bringing Einey to school and picking her up without much difficultly (although I am still a little miffed they didn't ask for any I.D . when she picked her up).
We went to the park that night to catch some frog's and then I realized it was soccer night. Oops, so we had to hurry home and eat to make it to soccer on time (we were late)!
Friday was a hectic day! Einey found out that "Curious George" is on PBS at 8:00 am. By 8:15 she still wasn't dressed for school (we have to be there by 8:25). I grabbed the closest clothes I could out of the laundry basket - a wrinkled skirt and equally wrinkled polo shirt - and literally dressed her and combed her hair. We made it to school before the "late" warning - just as the last bus was arriving. As I dropped her off at the door, the secretary asked me what pre-school class she belonged in. After telling her she was in the kindergarten class, I was on my way. I had to hurry home to clean the warzone before a meeting an hour later. After the end of the meeting, I dropped Meenie off at a playdate and came home to enjoy the next 2 hours in solitude. Minus the phone calls I had to make, of course. Then it was off to school to pick up Einey and then to pick up Meenie. Whew!
And today is our first soccer game. Ten 3-5 year olds chasing one ball around a field for an hour!
Friday, September 08, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
But that all changed one day a little over 2 1/2 years ago. See that fateful February 2004, I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. Einey had just turned 2 and Meenie was just over 6 months old. Moe was a completely surprise which after the denial was past, would soon be a joyful and welcome addition to our close and hectic family.
Pregnancy disrupts even the most organized person's life. The biggest problem I had was extreme fatigue. All the time. To counteract that, I started drinking coffee. And not just regular coffee, but a Large Caramel Lattee. And sometimes I would stop twice a day. This very quickly became an addiction.
After Moe was born, I still stopped to get my daily coffee, even while nursing her. Not every day, but most days.
And that's where the problem starts.
Moe LOVES coffee. She will go out of her way to try to drink anyone's coffee. She will pull empty coffee containers out of the garbage, she will try to pilfer other moms coffee's at playdates. At swimming lessons, every time I would turn around, she would be up on the picnic table trying to drink someone's coffee. She isn't picky as long as it's coffee. We had a friend who had Dunkin Donuts Christmas Ornaments on her tree last year. What does Moe do? She pulled off every single one she could reach and tried to drink from it. Whenever we went to the park this summer and I got an ice coffee, she would lean out of her stroller as I was buckling her and try to drink from the straw of my coffee that was sitting in the van. If I try to balance her and a coffee, the coffee will inadvertently end up in her mouth.
I have a two year old addicted to coffee. I can't win!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
They are back. As sure as Autumn follow Summer, these vermin will return. For the last three years, we have had problems with them nesting in our solar system on the roof. This morning around 4:30 am, as I was about to step out the door to switch vehicles with husband so he could go to work, we heard a thud. Follow by the shape of a raccoon shimming up the post of the deck onto the roof. It's like a curse. They climb up there and pull of the side panels on the solar system and have babies up there. It must be nice and warm up there.
How they can tell that there is a nice warm nesting area up there from three stories down in the back yard is beyond my comprehension. It must be marked. Maybe if I search hard enough, I'll find a trail of peanut-butter pawprints. Or maybe there is a big red "X" on the back of the house that is only visible at night. Or maybe the spirits of the last raccoons we had trapped have returned from the afterlife and are leading new raccoons to the Mecca of all things nocturnal. Whatever it is, it has to stop! The odd thing this year is it decided not to take the normal raccoon path up the waterspout and instead went to the other side of the house to climb the porch.
And unfortunately, it is illegal in our state to catch and release raccoons on anything but your property. So if we were to try and save it's life, we would only be able to bring it a half acre away from the starting point. It probably travels further than that on it's nightly food hunt. So that leave the only other option. Call our exterminator. That's right, we have an exterminator who we are pretty much on a first name basis with! Of course, that would cost $$$ just to come put the traps down and then an additional $$ per coon. Not fun when we already have looming medical bills from Meenies recent hospitalization.
And as much as I hate killing animals, it has to be done. The first time it happened, I hated it. Especially since there were babies that essentially had to starve to death on the roof as they could not be reached. And I know there are babies again. I heard them mewling last night shortly after mom made her jaunt up the house.
And what does our part Rottie dog do while these vermin are invading her space? She doesn't even bat an eyelid as she continues to lay snoring at the foot of my bed, a mere 10 feet away from where the intruder is prowling outside our bedroom window. Maybe this is the reason she won't go outside lately, as there is a strange scent in the air. Whatever the reason, she seems content to let them stay.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Everyday when we pick her up, we have to slowly elicit information from her. The first day, she didn't want to talk about much. By today she was freely sharing information without much fishing on our behalf.
Einey: And I didn't have time-out today.
Me: Um, wait what? This is as opposed to the other two days?
Einey: Yes. I had one yesterday and two the yesterday before that.
Me: Why did you need a time-out?
Einey: I didn't sit in my seat when the teacher told me too. And I tried to take some paper when the teacher told me to wait. I didn't wait. So I had to put my head down on my table.
So I guess now I need to request an end-of-the-week note home from her teacher on how well Einey listens.