Thursday, May 29, 2008

The eyes have it.

"My eyebrow is stuck in my eye and it hurts SO BAD."
Noah woke up at 4 am with pink eye.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Are we in Scranton or Seattle?

I’m not a great outdoors kind of person. It’s not that I’m high maintenance. It’s just that I find the whole camping, fishing, hiking thing to be a bit boring. I like to DO STUFF. To SEE THINGS. I prefer excursions to museums, shows and restaurants on vacation. So when we planned our trip to a cottage on Lake Henry I’ll admit I wasn’t too excited. But I was looking forward to sitting outside in the sunshine, eating nice picnic meals and overlooking a lake. However when the weather forecast for our trip wasn’t looking so hot I started dreading vacation. I was very irritable about packing and I could not manage to get up the energy to get excited even a bit. You should pity poor Mark – who was genuinely excited and I was really dragging him down. The Lake House vacation was his dream and I was just being pissy.

And the weather was pretty crummy. Not as bad as it could be – not pouring rain. But cold, grey, and drizzly for the most part. But I’m happy to report we had a really good time anyway. We layered up, put on rain gear and stayed busy. Yes, busy. I don’t find “relaxing” vacations to be fun. Plus I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – vacationing with small children is not relaxing. In fact a SAHM does not really get a vacation because her every day work is still in progress. In fact it may be harder as schedules are thrown out the window and there isn’t a full arsenal of toys and art supplies. Mark said himself that it was just nice for him to not be at work and to be spending more time with the boys – but what could he do for me? So seeing things and going out is what makes it vacation for me. And as I’ve said repeatedly it’s easier for me to have the kids out doing things and seeing things than to entertain them in the house. So we went to the Steamtown Train Museum, the Electric City Trolley Museum, Nay Aug Park, Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary, and MacDade Park. We also paddle-boated, fished (mostly just fed them), kited, and hiked. It wasn’t my dream vacation from the start but I had a really nice time. We made a lot of happy vacation memories and will probably go back to Lake Henry.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Snip Snap.

On Thursday Noah graduated from his first year of preschool. Sniff sniff. They had a little ceremony where the kids got on the stage and sang songs. So cute. I can't believe how quickly the school year went. And he's grown so much. Insane.
The boys are enjoying the new minivan. Particularly their ability to crawl around in it. It's like a playhouse as far as they're concerned. Ray loves meandering around in it so much that he starts pitching a fit when I take him out or strap him in his seat.
And in the last shot Ray tries to enjoy a taste of the tequila he bought me for Mother's Day. Silly boy. Mama didn't leave one last drop.
Should be packing. Bye.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

But we don't play soccer!

It’s done. We are now the proud owners of a black 2006 Town & Country minivan. And the process went pretty well. We got more features than we were expecting to get and paid about what we were hoping to pay – so it was a bit of a bargain. And I love that. Now I just have to cross my fingers that it will serve us well. I honestly hope to not have to buy another car for ten years. By which time we should be able to get a nice hybrid.

Gas prices are astounding. I went to visit my Dad last week and figured out that the trip including gas and tolls probably cost $30. And it’s only like an hour away. I don’t know how commuters do it. We’re lucky in that we can use mass transportation, only need one car for our family, and because of proximity don’t typically have to drive that far to places we need to go. Trips to visit family are our only big gas expenses since our parents all live between an hour and hour and a half away. But the minivan can cut down on our short trips which will also help. Noah’s last day of the school year is tomorrow. However he will go there for a summer camp program in July and August on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:15 am to 12:45pm. And since my neighbor Kate’s daughter is also going, and I can fit another kid in my car we can split up the trips so that Kate takes the kids to school and I pick them up. This is incredibly handy since drop-off is smack in the middle of Ray’s nap. Oh minivan – and this is why we love you.

We were at the car dealership until 10:30 last night. The kids were amazingly well behaved considering they were exhausted and trapped there. Some of the highlights of the experience were Noah deciding we had to buy the convertible Crossfire with red leather seats (“Mama! There is a car with no roof!”), Ray eating his first lollipop (or Taffy as the true Philadelphians say) and holding on to it like a smack addict, and Noah’s wonder at the whole process (“It comes with it’s OWN KEYS!” and “There is so much room. It’s magical!”) Also I refrained from turning on the TV in the playroom until after we had been there two hours. At which point Noah became instantly enamored with the Dora DVD. He’d never seen Dora before and this morning he keeps asking me about it. “Wasn’t that Dora movie fun? Didn’t you like it?”

Next week we leave for a short vacation to the exotic hinterlands of Scranton, PA. No, I’m not applying for a job at Dunder Mifflin. We are renting a small cabin on Lake Henry for a rural getaway. I’m not too into woodland myself – probably because my Mom’s house is in the woods and as a kid I felt stifled by my inability to walk anywhere and do anything – but I know Noah will enjoy it. Plus it will be good to get away. We haven’t been anywhere since we went to the beach with my Mom last June. Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be a rainy week. I think I may have to run out and buy us all rain boots (wellies!) and ponchos.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I’ve had buyers remorse for quite some time. Last year at this time we traded in our Saturn mini-wagon for a Subaru Forrester. We couldn’t fit a second car seat in the Saturn while accommodating Mark’s extreme need for leg room. We got a Forrester because I thought we needed something just slightly bigger –without feeling like we were driving a behemoth and still easy to parallel park. Plus, though I’m not particularly vain about cars I had a penchant for the Forrester. Something about it’s design really appealed to me. And I really have loved driving it. However we might be trading it in as early as tonight.

We’re sucking up our pride and buying a minivan. The problem with the Forrester is that it only fits the four of us and occasionally that’s inconvenient. With gas prices as they are I really would like to carpool with some other mothers (to Noah’s school and on field trips) but I can’t fit one more car seat in the Subaru. We can’t pick up my teen sister (she just turned 13 yesterday!) for a visit and have our whole family in the car. We can’t take my Dad out to eat. It really is annoying. So minivan it is. We should have made that jump in the first place but I just wasn’t willing to do it yet. I guess I’m more vain about cars than I had thought.

What sucks is that we will be losing money on our Forrester. We will probably trade it in because I’ve been told the market for SUVs is pretty soft. Of course this will also affect our trade-in. Money down the drain. But I guess a year of excellent service is worth something.

After fixating for quite some time and doing a lot of online research we’re going to look at minivans tonight. I’m leaning toward a 2007 Sedona, 2005 Sienna or 2006 Town & Country. If you have any news on any of these please share.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A gift

Motherhood is a gift. I am so incredibly thankful for my two beautiful boys and the opportunity to spend each and every day watching them learn and grow. Being a mother has changed my life drastically - and I'm not referring to my inability to make plans at a moments notice, sleep in and stay out drinking until all hours. My life feels richer, warmer and more meaningful. I always wanted to be a mother and in becoming one and striving to raise happy, healthy children I truly feel that I'm fulfilling the most important part of my destiny. And I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to share the joys and trials of parenthood with Mark. Actually, forget luck. I will take full credit for that because I really could not have made a better choice - for me, for us. But thank you to the gods, the fates, and the universe for being cooperative. And of course thank you, Mom for being so loving. And now I'm passing it on. I don't give myself alot of credit and I'm sure I could do alot of things better than I do - but I do know that my kids feel incredibly loved. And will continue to do so even when they are evil teens and scoff at my silly syrupy sweet affection.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Days at play!

We're spending our days at the parks. "It's such a beautiful day," Noah says. "I want to eat all my meals outside."

Yesterday Ray went on his first carousel ride. When it started to spin he had a moment of fear which quickly turned into amazed bewilderment.

Ray is starting to make his way around the play equipment. He's so excited and adventurous. I have to walk behind him with my hands at the ready in case he starts to tumble.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

Have I mentioned that Noah can be very secretive? Whenever I ask him what he did at school or dance class he always starts by telling me he doesn’t remember. It makes me batty. I am SO desperate to know every little detail – I’d kill to spy on him. One week I was so frustrated with him being coy that I nearly started crying. I need to step back and be more patient. I know he’s trying to assert his independence. (NO! NO!) Slowly over the course of an evening, or even the week details start to trickle in. He's even more forthcoming with Mark, maybe because Mark isn't clamoring for details. Also – he has developed a nervous tick of chewing on his clothing. Often his shirt right under his chin or his shirt cuff is wet. He does it most often when he is socially anxious. I prefer it over the teeth grinding which he does occasionally but it’s still worse than the repetitive tapping of each individual finger on his thumb that he gets from his father. On the plus side he’s been sleeping really great for the last couple of weeks. He’s always been such a poor sleeper – regularly waking up at one point during the night and needing us to sit with him briefly to get back to sleep. But for weeks that has happened rarely. I’ve been too scared to talk about it for fear of jinxing it. Shhh.

A tale of intrigue, of desire, of triumph:
We finished dinner and Noah was eating his dessert. Ray was exploring the toy bins. I had to run downstairs to get a load of the boys’ laundry out of the dryer. I told Noah to keep an eye on Ray as I gated the kitchen off with the pack and play. When I came back upstairs I saw Ray had crossed the length of the kitchen and was now standing right by the pack and play. He was gurgling excitedly and smiling devilishly. “What are you up to little man?” It looked like he was eating something. “Noah, did you give Ray something to eat?” As I stuck my fingers in Ray’s mouth Noah said “Hey, where is my Hershey’s Kiss?” Noah had unwrapped it and set it on the table as he fiddled with the paper flag – at which point Ray must have made his way over to it, grabbed it surreptitiously, crossed the room with it and popped it into his mouth. And success was sweet.

A new song by Noah:
“I have a baby on my shoulder. I have a bird on my head.
I have a spider on my hand. Oh, where is my friend?”

Apropos of nothing, a vision for the future:
“Someday when we have a party I want to limbo.”