Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cold Play

Both kids have coughs that I can only explain to be smokers coughs. I've been fighting a little something that has turned my voice into what the boss described yesterday as sounding a bit too close to Carol Channing.


Their eyes are accompanied with red bags beneath them, their bodies clammy, and simple tasks seem to exhaust them. Teething? Summer colds? I'm holding out hope that this subsides and that sleep is all they need. Man we were blessed with one month of health since Luke's surgery. It was bliss. Please coughs and ickies, go away.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where is Elmo?

Luke had his follow-up appointment in Saratoga today to make sure all was well with his tubes. The appointment was scheduled for 3:20 which meant I had to take Ellie with me. It wasn't quite as bad as the trip to the beach until he refused to go in the room. I had Ellie in one arm, my enormous big red bag disguised as a diaper bag full of firetrucks and bottles slung over my other arm. He wanted the legos and had thrown himself to the floor.

Mmmkay. Thanks for helping out mom L-Train.

I told him to follow me and walked away to the room. No dice. He stayed but finally succumed to joining me and the nurse in the exam room so long as he could bring the plastic wagon that held all of the legos.

The PA only needed to peak in his ears and look up his nose. We had to bribe him with lolipops and her saving grace question: "Luke, can I peak in your ears? I think Elmo is in there?"

"Melmo ears?"

He mowed down his lolipop (seriously he pulled it off the stick and crunched it like a man), left with a clean bill of health, stickers, more pops and firmly believes that Elmo really does live in his ears.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A trip to the beach is really no walk in the park

This vacation post deserves it's own space and is too much of a gem to get lost within the all-inclusive vacation recap.

We are done having kids. If you are unsure if your family is complete there is one simple way to figure out your answer. Take the kids you have to the beach. I swear to you it will seal the deal.

Our house was about a tenth of a mile from the beach. An easy walk down a sandy path, from all of the recent rain it was riddle with potholes and the like but for the most part an easy walk to and fro. Right. Our plan was to put Luke in the umbrella stroller which would later offer a space for Ellie to sit/nap (our car was far too small to bring along the Bob Double Stroller which no doubt would have rocked the beach, but I digress) and carry Ellie in the Baby Bjorn. We also had two beach chairs, a beach bag equipped with water, Ellie bottles, snacks, magazines, and a big towel, an umbrella to keep Ellie in the shade, and a bucket of beach toys for Luke. Not too shabby.

Day 1
John's sister and I took the kids while the guys carried all the gear. Ellie was strapped to my chest as I tried to push the stroller in the sand. Not so much. It didn't bugde, so I pulled it. Heaving 38lbs of Luke and carrying Ellie was a struggle, but I managed, no biggie, we were on the beach, whatever. That was day one. I didn't realize how much of a chore it would be on days 2, 3, and 4.

Day 2.
Once again I pulled Luke, but this time John had Ellie. On the handles of the stroller were the bucket of toys and a chair, all dangling within an inch of falling off, the stroller at times tipping on it's side with Luke hanging on for fear of being face planted into the hot sand. John trailed behind wrestling the umbrella and one of the chairs that kept opening up on him, the overstuffed beach bag and Ellie, who dangled like a rag doll.

Day 2. Leaving the beach.
Luke was done. Overtired, it was time to leave. He started throwing sand just as Ellie was screaming for a bottle. The beach was packed. Families were all around us and the great beach mocked us. "Let's see you gracefully escape" it taunted at us.
I had Ellie and Luke, I need to get them home, Luke repeatedly threw his dump truck, Ellie alternated between screaming and smiling. Good times. We got Luke strapped in and Ellie's legs moved like a puppet on a string, I put what I could on the handles of the stroller and prepared for the pulling of the dead-weight. All eyes were on us. I looked back to see John wrestling the umbrella, it was a scene straight from a Chevy Chase Vacation movie. A woman looked at me and said, "oh I remember those days" as her grandchildren danced about her feet. I declared back, "this is great birth control, we've realized today that we're done, no more kids for us!" Everyone laughed. At least I made them laugh and could laugh with them.

We trudged on. I looked back to see John still trying to compose himself, the damn chair opening up on him over and over as the umbrella slid back and forth preventing him from moving quickly. I just kept laughing. The wooden ramp from the parking lot to the beach was just steps away, I was almost to a hard surface, I started counting the seconds, it was so close and yet so far away. 10, 11, 12, 13...16 seconds and were on the ramp. Phew. I took a breather and turned around. John was lagging far behind. Eyes squinting, brow furrowed, totally pissed.

The kids and I moved on, Ellie dancing, Luke muttering, our house just a few moments away. I turned around again, John was closer but still steps behind us. The chair opened up on him again and the umbrella slipped to the ground. I laughed. I couldn't stop, it was pathetically hilarious. He yelled, "Well that's just what I needed. Tomorrow we are bringing a blanket. That's it!"

The next few days we left the umbrella home and used a towel to shade Ellie in the stroller (which also did have a shade cover too, we were extra cautious), Luke held some of his digger trucks and we figured out a better way to put the chairs on the stroller. We still were the variety show leaving the beach, but it was a little better each day, learning a new trick to the game. I am impressed with families of more than 2 kids. I really don't know how we would have done it with 3.

I really think Chevy Chase could have written those 15 minutes of daily hilarious hell. I need to go ask my mom how they did it so seemingly perfect when were kids.

Vacation: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

A week on Cape Cod with John's family proved to be both relaxing and a whole lotta work. We went into it with low expectations. Our kids thrive on their schedules and sleep best at home, they travel well (in the car that is) but pretty much are total failures at sleeping in strange places and regulating themselves to new situations. We carry on though, teaching them new things and exposing them to a world oustide of Glens Falls.

The Good.
Luke was awesome at the beach. Digging in sand is his forte and he full on succeeded at shoveling and keeping himself entertained which was a 360 from last year's beach trip where we chased him every which way. He understood boundries, didn't steal toys from strangers and asked for help when it came time to refill his pail of water. He was thankfully, for us, very intimitated by the ocean, a good kind of fear for a 2 year old I think.

Being around family and watching all five cousins play and interact. It was at times also ugly. Read on!

Finding out that Luke loves Fish and Chips.

Our morning neighborhood walk that preceeded our 3 hours of beach loafing.

Stolen kid free moments enjoying coffee and a snack at Buckie's Bakery.

An anniversary dinner (four years) in Chatham, Ma.

The Sundae School. OMG best sundae on the planet.

Luke repeating all kinds of words. Which had an ugly moment too.

Actually getting to read magazines from cover to cover.

Exploring Old Sturbridge Village on our way home, can't wait until they are old enough to really appreciate and enjoy it. We watched one of the reanactors prepare a meal, the woman was making a mixture that would eventually lead to a loaf of bread. Luke yells out "Pizza!"

Realizing that I crave our scheduled life as much as the kids do.

The Bad
The fact that the kids were up around 5am nearly every day and 6:30 was considered sleeping in.

The Ugly
Luke pushing and punching his 6 month younger cousin multiple times throughout the week. We were shocked. He was in time out repeatedly, this was not my kid. By Thursday night though they were sharing a snack in the recliner, phew. Thankfully Leo didn't take it all too personally, but man it's disheartening to watch.

Luke hearing me say "God" in an expletive way and repeating it about 5 times in the same manor. We are now biting our potty mouthed tongues.

Ellie throwing up mutliple times throughout the week. Dealing with a bad diaper rash and teething craziness kept us homebound and sleepless for all of Thursday. Not cool.

The fact that I took 2 trips to the laundry mat and still came home with a mound of dirty laundry is leaving me speechless.

The time on the highway when we were going 75mph at 10:30pm, I was sitting between the kids in the backseat and I unbuckled Luke's carseat instead of my seatbelt. Good Times.

The camera broke on our third day there. Pictures hopefully will follow soon.

It really was a wonderful week away from our monotous scheduled life, and while it was worth it to be together as a family, extended and nuclear, it was also good to come home. The break renewed our spirits and while we may still just be exhausted parents, we're also refreshed with new perspectives and appreciation for the life we live.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Welcome to two

This photo was taken around 11pm Sunday night. Good times. I tried being tough but man he cracks me up, I couldn't stop laughing at him trying to be like his dad sporting some specs.

Today at the sitter while he was supposed to be napping he found within reach of his pack 'n play some Carmex medicated lip balm which apparently he thought was hair gel.

I'm curious to see how things play out when Ellie is mobil as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Riding in cars

I opened my email a few days ago and found a little note from my dear friend Tracey. It included a little memory of her parents, a nod to her father on Father's Day and while I read it and thought it was sweet it didn't hit me until later that day how appropriate it is to my life now, one as a mother. Her small personal note about the joy of riding in the car with her parents touched me more than I thought.

I very clearly remember those drives with my parents, whether short or long it was always secure. My dad would goof off to the oldies, pat my mom on the knee and say how lucky he was to have her as his wife and me as his daughter. I would roll my eyes thinking he was dorky but inside I loved it. I never doubted a thing, he put his love all out on the table and my mom twinkled at the sight of him.

This morning as John and I drove the kids to the sitter as we do everyday, he appeased me by turning the radio to the country music station and I started singing. He smiled at me, winked a little and leaned in close. I heard Luke trying to sing along and turned around to see him bopping his head with the music and when our eyes met he smiled so big his eyes squinted. It was in that moment when I realized yet again that I'm a parent. I'm now my mom sitting in the front seat twinkling at my silly, loving husband enjoying the security of my life and cherishing every moment for fear it could be the last.