Monday, February 25, 2008

Which apple? Which tree?

No those aren't Ray Konrad's thunder thighs. They are mine.

Another photo dump

It got worse before it got better. But after two solid weeks of illness and being shut-ins, I think we are finally on the mend. Hallelujah! So this weekend I took the brood on the road to give Mark some studio time. Though what I should have done is stayed home and took control of the house - before they come and condemn it, or take the kids because we are living in squalor.

But it was a fun weekend visiting a bunch of family. The first photo is of my cousin's kids - and it is my new favorite photo. Ray is quite displeased that he can not gnaw on my camera. And of course we have the necessary photos of the first snow - our only accumulation this winter and Ray's falling face first in the snow, "hey, this sucks" experience. And we're all enjoying dress up. "We're knights. That's right."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CRAPPY weekend

As if we weren’t having enough fun with illness at our house, this weekend I came down with some sort of gut wrenching intestinal disorder that has had me writing in pain and running for the bathroom. Do you know how incredibly insane life feels when you are curled up in a fetal position whimpering, unable to attend to your own needs and wanting to shut the world out for 24 hours and yet you have two over-the-top need machines literally crawling on you, begging you to play, to cuddle, to dance? I hope you don’t. I was floundering a bit. Thankfully it was the weekend so Mark was home to lend a hand, problem is the boys want Mama. Noah’s coming off an extremely clingy, needy bent because of his illness, and Ray has hit all out separation anxiety breakdown. When Mark would just take Ray away to change his diaper he was faced with an all out bloody murder scream fest. And then they would come back to me, Ray all red, puffy and tear streaked – smiling with relief at the sight of me. MOM CAN”T GET SICK.
We have plans to visit my cousin and her kids tomorrow and then go to my Mom’s place for dinner. Unless we awake to a whole new world tomorrow, it seems like a shady plan at best.
Some day I’d like to leave my house. A girl can dream.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I love those persons

This is a shout out to Mark - whom in a previous version of this song Noah called his "hero princess." And isn't that how we all feel?

On a royal quest... for tissues.

I got Noah a box of dress up clothes for Vday. He is delighted. We’re trying to make the best out of our snotty Valentine’s Day. Noah has had a fever since Sunday and was yesterday diagnosed with a double ear infection, pink eye AND a viral rash. They prescribed Augmentin which this afternoon caused him to soil himself. He of course missed his school Valentine party but a friend was nice enough to take his Valentines to school and bring back his treats. I am coughing up phlegm and Ray is so snotty he can barely nurse. It’s all very lovely and romantic, is it not?
On the bright side Mark came home with flowers last night – one bunch from himself and one from the boys. And this morning Noah was so excited to give me the surprise jellybeans Mark bought for him. And tonight – an Indian food feast for two – delivered of course. I hope I can taste it. If the mood strikes me I might even put on a slightly less snot covered Tshirt before Mark comes home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Captain Awesome

Noah is feverish and barely able to hold his head up. He tries to sit at the kitchen table to play Play Doh and eat some lunch but he just can’t do it. So I put him on the couch and wrap him in a blanket. He immediately asks for the TV on – why else would he sit on the couch.
“You can bring me my lunch in here.”
“You think you can eat something?”
“Yes. And watch TV too…. I’m awesome.”
“Ha. You’re funny.”
“No, Mama. Awesome.”
I come back into the living room carrying Ray as well as Noah’s plate, cup and a bowl of popcorn.
“You can’t carry all that stuff and a baby too.”
“I’m miraculous.”
“Ha. You are awesome too. We are both awesome. We are a awesome team. But not Ray.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

Losin it.

I’ve been on a diet for nearly a month and have lost about 15 pounds. As a result I’ve gone from still looking pregnant to just having a prominent pot belly. Good stuff. I am now 10 pounds over what I weighed when I got pregnant with Ray, and 20 pounds over what I weighed when I got pregnant with Noah. So 10 from each of them - like a souvenir. I’m eager to lose some more weight but need to back away from the dieting for awhile before I go postal. It’s not easy to diet AND nurse a beast. Of course the nursing is why the weight dropped off so quickly. I couldn’t really go the starvation route so I was just eating VERY healthfully. Lots of produce and protein. Very few carbs and no naughty snacks or sugary stuff. What a drag.

Aside from the weight loss the other good thing to come out of the diet is that I was forced to be creative with dinner once again and return to the land of the recipe. I started making every dinner with a recipe, no matter how simple. The result was more flavor and a ton of deglazing. And I have Mark Bittman and Everyday Food to thank for a lot of new methodology.

The boys are sick once again. It seemed inevitable since every kid they had been hanging out with came down with something. Tis the season I guess. Noah missed school today and so I spent all day with two snotty, whiny boys. The best kind.

In the last week Ray has gone from luggage that I had to just carry around and reposition while trying to entertain Noah to another boy that needs to be entertained. Or else he might crawl away in search for power cords and dustbunnies. It’s crazy. I have TWO CHILDREN. Ack. And I have to keep the occupied and interested. Unfortunately they are not at all interested in the same things yet. I can not wait until they can play TOGETHER.

And Ray has started squealing. Loudly and shrilly. It’s a happy sound but maybe not for all who hear it. I also keep meaning to mention that Ray loves to take a bath. Seemingly more than anything else in the world. He can be at his most tired and miserable, but then bath time comes and he is instantly rejuvenated. And he doesn’t care if you dump water over his head while his eyes are open. He hardly seems to notice. He’s naked and he’s wet and what more could he possibly ask for aside from a washcloth to chew on. At his age I think we bathed Noah 2 or 3 times a week because they really just don’t require more. But Ray gets a bath every night – for FUN.

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and talking about Noah and schooling lately. He won’t start kindergarten for 2.5 years but the hunt for where is already haunting me. But we’re also thinking about what sort of preschool option would be best for him for the upcoming school year. I’ve been really happy with the program he’s in at the moment, but I think next year he might benefit from more. More time and more teaching. So we’re considering a preschool program that he could attend for three 6 hour days – (Oh how I wish I could find something that offered 4 hour days, but I can’t!) and one with more structure and education. It would be a big change for him but I think he’d adjust maybe better than I would. The big change however is the cost. Though it will 4.5 times as many hours the new program would be 8 times the cost. Can we afford it? Yes and no. It all depends on how worth it we think it is. Another perk of possibly more school for Noah is that I would have some alone time with Ray. And I think he and I deserve it. We’ll see how it pans out.

This weekend we hung out with Patrice, Sean and Ms. Bella. Noah had such a blast playing with Bella. They were just running, giggling, pretending. It was really a joy to watch. And a joy not to be the one entertaining him. I am amazed how social he can be with some children and in some surroundings and how introverted in others. As a rule he’s better one on one with another child than in a group. I’ve tried to pin his social anxiety on Mark but as Mark pointed out he’s more nervous interpersonally. It turns out I am the one who is shy with groups. I can remember countless preschool and kindergarten reports saying that I made one close friend and clung to them for dear life. And that’s still how I am. I quake at the thought of going to anything without a “wingman.”

My mom complained that I’ve been favoring Ray lately in photos and videos so I’ll have to do something to correct that soon. It’s just that I’m noticing the most change in him at the moment. Soon enough I’ll have to get another one of Noah’s performances up for all to enjoy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

On the move

Watch out world. He's comin at ya!

It's on like Donkey Kong

Batten down the hatches - he’s on the move. At 6.5 months. Sheesh. And even crazier yet, he’d obviously rather be walking. As soon as he gets a little better at pulling himself up we are in REAL trouble. Especially since I think I have to actually babyproof for this baby. From across the room he can spot a small piece of tissue left on the floor from Noah “making it snow,” wriggle over to it with serious purpose because he can sense it is off limits and quickly toss it in his mouth. YUM. Love those choking hazards.

And as for the fact that I now constantly have audio for Curious George in the background of my videos – it’s now Noah’s favorite show (with Backyardigans a close second) and when he’s watching it is the only time I can get things done. Including videoing Ray Kon. As kids shows go I really like it. Fun and engaging but also educational with the science and math bent. And the online games are great too. Noah has been obsessed with playing games on all this week. We don’t watch Calliou (too annoying, not educational enough IMO) but the online games for it are great. Now that he’s mastering the mouse (what a pain in the ass that is) he wants to play online all the time. It’s hard to know how much is good and how much is too much. He's already waking up in the morning and asking immediately to play on the computer. Even at 4 am.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


On Saturday we went to Patrice’s house to experience the magnificentness of her recently purchased Wii. Though I have to admit I didn’t really play because I’m ridiculously sheepish about learning new things in that sort of public forum, especially when they are physical. A fan of gym class I was not. Anywho – Noah was interested in playing so everyone was helping him create his Mii – which is the physical representation of himself in the game. I had Ray on my lap and had just been in the diaper bag fetching and administering his Reflux meds while were all going back and forth on the exact shape of Noah’s eyebrows. Suddenly I looked down and realized that not only had Ray hauled Noah’s snack bag out, but that he’d gotten into it and selected a Twizzler for his personal enjoyment. No wonder he was so quiet – happily munching on all that licoricey goodness. Mmmm. I wish I had some right now.


Ray was introduced to the zwieback this evening. That’s not earth-shattering news of course. But I’m posting this series of photos because his range of facial expressions cracks me up. And the last photo is the first one I have taken that really captures his full-on smile – the one that melts my heart and I hope to remember even on days when he drives me insane.

Friday, February 01, 2008