Monday, August 31, 2009

Good Mommy Cake/Good Daddy Handywork

Sunday was BabyGirl's birthday bash. I figure she's my last first birthday party, so why not blow it out, right? The pool was open, the BBQ was on, the company was awesome and the cake? Well, see what I did? (with thanks to BFF for the help)

I also have to give props to my super handy husband for building a fantastic overhang. I was told by another friend that the correct term is "pergola." Whatever you call it, he did amazing work. It helped keep our guests nice and cool:

He finished it literally minutes before the guests arrived. Everyone was appropriately impressed, as was I. He's dreamed of this thing since before we moved in. I can only imagine what he'll dream up next. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be equally awesome.

We partied from noon until about 7:30 when just about everyone was ready to drop. It was fun, but I'm always glad when these things are behind me. We are birthday partied out until January. Whew!

Friday, August 28, 2009

They know so much and yet so little

From Curly, upon not discovering any Cheerleader Halloween costumes to her liking:

"Mom, can't you just type in"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My BabyGirl... one year old today.

One year ago she was born with premature lungs. One year ago the pediatrician came in and said he thought it best if she go to another with a NICU. And I stayed behind.

It was awful. And sad. And difficult. And all the things you would expect when your newborn is taken out of your care and out of your line of vision. It was not an option for me to leave. I had dangerously high blood pressure and needed care myself. I cried a lot.

It was a rocky start. Eight days in the NICU. One day we came to visit and they said "You can take her home!" I didn't have her going home outfit so we ran to the mall while they gave her her "car seat test" to make sure she could sit and breathe well in a car seat for an hour. She passed and we brought her home to an excited and curious and busy household of siblings.

She was and is a beautiful baby. Our very last child is even tempered yet strong willed, chubby in that cute baby chub way, yet not particularly big. She's happy yet dramatic, particular but easy going and loves to explore. Her eyes are a gorgeous blue (that makes 4 for 4 with two brown eyed parents. Weird!) She has 4 teeth and likes to wrinkle her nose up and breathe in a way that reminds me of the Lamaze breathing I did in labor. She can clap her hands and is never happy being fenced into the family room. She'd much rather crawl all around and, although we don't let her, she is capable of climbing up the stairs. Her hair is straight and wispy on top and in the front, but pretty curly in the nape of her neck. She says "nah-nah-nah" but no mama or dada yet. She is goofy like her sisters and brother and seems to have a great sense of humor. She brings the funny and giggles when someone else is being silly. She loves music and will shake her head and "dance". She is absolute perfection in baby form.

It's bittersweet for me that my baby is one now. I know we are quickly leaving babydom behind us and toddlerhood is around the corner. I'm not ready for my last baby to not be a baby. I know we have many exciting adventures ahead of us. I know we have only just begun to discover her and her personality. It's been an amazing year. I know the coming years will be just as wonderful.

Happy Birthday BabyGirl. Mommy loves you more than I could ever say in words. Thanks for joining our family. You made us complete.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good Mommy Lunches

Good Mommy has been packing lunches for four school days now and has strived every day to pack something fun for Curly.

So far the biggest hit are her Funtainers, which have kept yogurt and applesauce cold and today kept mac n cheese nice and warm. She also gets chocolate milk in her tall Funtainer, which comes out much cheaper than a juice box every day.

She's also had butterfly shaped sandwiches, Hershey's kisses, granola bars, cherry tomatoes, grapes, baggies of Cocoa Puffs, raspberries, and grapes. I've packed little notes in her lunchbox too.

But my absolute favorite thing I've packed so far were these:

Hard boiled eggs in cute shapes! Sweet right? And Curly LOVES hard boiled eggs, so how great of a lunch is that? An egg or two, some fresh fruit, some crackers and a treat. Perfect!

Except Curly came home and said they aren't allowed to have eggs because someone in her grade (not her class) is allergic and if she brings them again she has to sit alone at the end of the table to eat her lunch.

Now I have an egg allergy kid, and I've never been told that egg allergies are that dangerous. And I don't think, at six years old, this other child is going to lean over and lick my kid's lunch. But I don't want Curly to sit alone and I certainly don't want to cause anyone any health issues. So I won't pack them anymore. And it makes me sad. I thought they were really fun and a great thing to pack. I bought $20 worth of molds too.

Guess I'll have to find another way to keep being Good at the fun lunch game.

Anyone wanna buy some egg molds?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


If you were in my house right now I would tell you to be quiet and listen.

And you wouldn't hear a thing.

The big kids are at school. The little girls are asleep. The dryer just stopped and the breadmaker hasn't warmed up enough to kick on the mix cycle quite yet.

It's so quiet.

It's awesome.

The first day of school went well. Curly went happily to her desk and was excited to start her day as a big first grader. StinkyMan isn't super sure about this 4 days of Pre-K thing. He's not convinced that's not too many days. He'll adjust. He loves school...he just forget how much he loves it until he is there.

Peanut was equally unconvinced about her nap. I convinced her. I'm tricky like that.

BabyGirl should be up soon. She's loud in that cute way that babies are loud, so I don't mind.

You know what else I won't mind?

The noise. The noise that comes when everyone is awake and everyone is home and everyone is talking and laughing and screeching and hollering and playing.

I've been saying for a while that I was ready for school to begin again. And I was. I love it.

But I like after school a whole lot too. It's pretty great having all those cute little people here with me, under my feet, around my legs, at my table, and wherever I look.

I love my kids. They are the best kids ever. You can disagree if you want, but I'm quite sure I'm right.

But right now, I'm enjoying my peace.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mommy/Curly Time

Today was the last day of Curly's summer break. She had 2 play dates today, including spending time at the pool, and then I picked her up for some Mommy/Curly time.

It is our tradition (can you call it that if it's only the second year?) to go get pedicures together before school begins. We stood together and agonized over which colors to choose. I vetoed her choices of green and neon orange before she settled on a bright pink perfect for a 6 year old girl. I got a color called California Raspberry.

Side by side we sat, getting pampered. We talked about school and friends and what she wants to be when she grows up (a toenail lady of course!) and what I did before I was a Mommy. She told me all about what she wants to wear to school next week since this week has already been planned and how she'd like me to do her hair and she wondered aloud about what music class might be like and would they get to sing on stage.

It was good to spend some time with my biggest girl. Sometimes I think she gets swept under the rug a little bit because she is the oldest and her needs are not always as immediate as a crying baby or a smelly toddler.

But today she had my undivided attention. It was nice for both of us. And our toes look beautiful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Late night visitor

I have mentioned before that it is usually Curly who is up in the middle of the night. She is now and has always been a terrible sleeper. The other night she was wide awake for 3 straight hours, just unable to sleep. Which meant I was awake too. I don't think a 6 year old she be left alone in her non sleeping misery.

But last night, around 1AM I felt someone climbing into my bed. This is not Curly's usual MO. I opened one eyeball to discover it was StinkyMan, who immediately settled himself into me by backing up until we were in a spoon type situation. Never saying a word, he just cozied in.

And tossed.

And turned.

And wiggled.

After about 20 minutes I said "Do you want to go back to your bed?"

"Will you snuggle wif me?"

"Of course."

So off to his bed we went. Again with the spoon, again with the tossing and turning and wiggling.

He doesn't usually like to share his bed so after a while I asked "Do you want me to stay or do you want me to go to my own bed?"

"You can go to your own bed."

I kissed him and went back to my room, certain I'd seen the last of my usually awesome sleeper.

20 minutes later he was back in my bed. This time I think he meant business because he brought his pillow.

More spooning.

Then feet on my head.

Then head in my back.

Then a giant sneeze that woke up Husband.

Finally, laying across the top of both our pillows, essentially sleeping on both our heads, my StinkyMan fell sound asleep.

I don't know what that was all about, but I'm glad my baby boy feels like he can come in an snuggle when he needs to. As a mama, I must be doing something right.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hurdles number 1 and 2

We have seen the posting of teachers for Curly's school and are absolutely thrilled with our teacher assignment. Although requests are not allowed, we got exactly who I was hoping for. Also wonderful is that she has a friend in class with her. A play date for the 2 girls has been arranged before school begins so they may become reacquainted and we are going to organize meeting in front of the school on the first day so they can go in together as well.

Hurdles number 1 and 2 successfully cleared. Tomorrow StinkyMan heads back to school and Thursday is Curly's big day.

It's hard to know who is more excited and nervous, them or me. If I were a betting woman I'd say me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The things they think about

From Curly:

Mommy, can I ask you something?

Me: You can ask me anything.

Curly: Just because I am beautiful on the outside, does that mean I am ugly on the inside?

Me: No, Baby. A person can be beautiful on the inside and the outside.

Curly: Oh.

Me: Do you know what it means to be beautiful on the inside?

Curly: uh-uh.

Me: It means you are a good person. You are kind and sweet and loving and caring and thoughtful and nice to others. And you are. So you are beautiful on the inside.

Curly: And the outside. I'm beautiful on the outside too, right?

Me: Yes you are. You are beautiful in all ways.

Curly: Well I was pretty sure I was beautiful on the outside, but I didn't know about the inside part.

Me: Well now you know, right?

Curly: Yeah. I am beautiful inside and outside.

Me: That's right!

I hope she always thinks so.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My baby boy...

...can be the sweetest kid in the world.

Today I was sitting on an ottoman, helping him put on a pair of pajamas he just couldn't get his head through, when he turned around and gave me a big snuggly hug.

"I wish we could live here forever." He said.

"In our house?" I asked, perplexed.

"No. In your hug!"

All together now: Awwwwwwwwwww!

Secretly, sometimes, I wish that too.


I just got a box of pasta and some garlic bread for $.40 out of my pocket and then they gave me $2 in store money for next time. They basically PAID me $1.60 to take that stuff out of the store.



It's something I know little about. I have, in the last 6.5 years, had almost no personal relationship with sleep. Curly was the WORST sleeper ever. Still is, actually. I can guarantee you I will see her face in the middle of the night at least once per week.

With StinkyMan and Peanut I did something right. They LOVE sleep. I mean seriously love it. They know their limits and when they are done, they are done. They will ask to go to bed at night. It is not uncommon to find StinkyMan out like a light in a self imposed nap. Nor is it unusual for Peanut to come find me and say "I find my baby. I go night-night." I once wowed a friend who was here when I said to Peanut "You wanna go night-night?" and she jumped up and down, clapped her hands and said "YAY!" and ran to her room. My friend thought I was some kind of kid sleep training guru.

I am not, as is evidenced once again by BabyGirl. That kid is up a million times a night. At almost one (*sob*) she has recently regressed from getting up once or twice per night to every 2.5 to 3 hours ALL NIGHT LONG. Still nursing, she thankfully goes back to sleep right away for the most part, but I am more of a Zombie Mommy than usual.

Last night she was in bed an hour before she started wailing. Seriously, an hour? In the words of Shaggy from Scooby Doo "Like, no way!" So I went in and nursed her. She wouldn't go back to bed. Very unusual. I gave her some Tylenol for her sprouting top teeth and nursed a little more. Still no luck. The minute I headed back toward the crib she was screaming. Then the light bulb came on in my head: The kid was hungry.

She's started table food and I don't think she's been eating enough. We went downstairs and she inhaled an entire jar of Oatmeal with bananas and apples. Then, in a genius move, I gave her a bottle of formula. It's not something she usually drinks, but she'd nursed so much I was running empty. She sucked down nearly 8 ounces and went I put her in bed she sighed contentedly, stuck her thumb in her mouth and went to sleep.

I went to bed, hoping for a good 4 hour stretch before I would be summoned to her crib.

It is now 9am and she is still snoring away. She's gone 10 hours without a peep.

But don't worry. I'm still Zombie Mommy. Curly was up at 3am with a nightmare about a cow.

I'm never going to sleep a full night again.

Friday, August 7, 2009

There is almost nothing worse

than knowing a friend is hurting and not being able to fix it.

I'm sorry C. I love you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I have been initiated...

...into the Bad Mommy Club.

It was never my intention, but I forget that not everyone feels the same as me. Here's how it went down at the baby shower I was attending:

Neighbor Lady: Hey! How are you?

Me: I'm doing well. How are you?

Neighbor Lady: Great. We're really in the swing of summer. We're squeezing in the last few things before school starts.

Me: I'm so ready for school to start.

Neighbor Lady (as she picks her eyeballs up off the floor after they bugged right out of her head): Oh really? I love summer!

Me: Uh, yeah. Sure. Me too.

Neighbor Lady: OK, well, I'm going to go talk to the mama to be (as she sprints away, lest I be contagious)

And I stood alone contemplating that she might well be telling all the other "good" mommies that I am a summer hater and thereby putting me in the Bad Mommy Club.

It's not true. I don't hate summer. But I am

It's not just me. The kids are ready too. Sure we go swimming and have play dates and have long lazy days and that's nice...for a while. But it's been weeks and they are bored silly.

We live a pretty structured life during the school year. Get up, have breakfast, get dressed, go to school, come home, have lunch, do homework, relax, play, have dinner, watch TV, put on Pj's, night time routine and in bed, lights out by 7:30 at the latest.

But summer is more relaxed and laid back and quite frankly, we are so over it.

In just 14 days StinkyMan will start back, Curly goes back in 17 days.

And my name is Tracy, and I am a Bad Mommy. And I am OK with that.

Further proof...

...that my no picture policy is right on: