Sunday, October 25, 2009
There were signs it was coming. Like asking me to lift her over my head like Lily, or tickle her like Lily. Also her obsessions have been getting worse; everything has to be about sea creatures, fish, and Shamu. And then there's comments such as "I don't feel like listening to Lily crying" (she got that one from me) Plus she has been having small random meltdowns all week over insignificant things, so we suspected that there was more than meets the eye going on. But she never complained or even seems to notice when I pay more attention to Lily, and I was starting to think her indifference was maybe a PDD thing.
No doubt Lily is taking up a lot of our time. It seems like all I ever say is, "in a minute Corinne, I need to feed Lily" or "...as soon as I get Lily to bed". Lily is 8 months old and very "typical", which has actually been a big adjustment for Pete and I. We're not use to a baby that is into everything, endlessly curious, and fearless. She just started crawling last week, and is really gaining confidence, speed, and a devilish gleam in her eye. She's already pulling up onto everything, and the only thing that stands between her and walking is balance. She's got the strength, she's got the technique, and she certainly has the desire. She is a lot of fun, but, like any baby, she is also very demanding. I've been so focused on treating her the same way we did Corinne as an infant and avoiding the "second child complacency" that I think I've been overlooking my first baby.
So I think it started because Pete had to leave this afternoon, on a Sunday, to go to New Jersey for work for a couple days. Corinne picked right upon the change in routine: "Why you have to go to work now, dadda? Will you be home for dinner? Why you have to work so much, dadda? (I swear I didn't put her up to it!) She seemed sad that he left, and then she decided she wanted to go inside (it was a beautiful day and I was trying to get some yard winterizing done, so while we were outside together, I was not giving her my undivided attention) I told her a couple times that we would go inside in a little while, but she just wouldn't let it go and then the tears came. She said she was tired, which has been her thing lately. She says she just wants to lay on the couch, which is what we did a few weeks ago when she was sick, and now I think it's her ruse to cuddle with me. I told her that maybe she should take a nap if she's so tired, but then it became all about reading a book first and we just weren't getting anywhere. Finally I sat her down and told her that I noticed she'd been getting upset a lot lately, and asked her if something was bothering her and out it came: "I want to have just Momma time with no Lily. I never get just momma and dadda time anymore. I don't really like Lily". There was something so... I don't know... big girl... mature, about her tears. She was trying to keep herself under control and failing, and when I told her that Momma and Dadda still loved her very much and how I knew it was a big change and how hard it was, she cried even harder. It broke my heart. I must admit that as a fellow first born, I distinctly remember feeling jealous and resentful of my sister. I had so been hoping to prevent this with my kids. My heart wants to be supermom, and be all things to both kids, to give both of them all the attention they want/need/ deserve. I want to do crafts with Corinne, teach her things, take her places. I want to entertain Lily, help her along with her milestones, stimulate her mind. But in reality I am so very tired. I just don't have the energy. Frankly, there are times I can't wait to put them both to bed so I can just have a couple hours to myself. There are days when I count the minutes. And there are many nights when I go to bed feeling guilty, inadequate, impatient, selfish; worrying about how my actions today will impact them down the road.
I don't mean to complain. I love my kids, I love my husband, I have a wonderful life. I just never dreamed it could be so draining, physically and emotionally. This parenthood thing got exponentially harder with the addition of a second kid. I remind myself of the most important lesson I learned with Corinne: this too shall pass. No matter how dark things seem when you're in the thick of it, when it seemed like the issue du jour would never be resolved, when you weren't sure how you'd possibly get through another day or week or even another minute of it, in reality most things were just a phase that eventually ended. A few months later looking back on it, you barely remembered how bad it was. I know Corinne will adjust to being a big sister, that eventually Lily will become fun, that we will be able to do things as a family instead of the "divide and conquer" approach we have adopted as of late. I know I'll find the groove and find a balance between the two, that we'll all become increasingly independent. As for today, we both had a good cry, skipped the nap and played a game, did a puzzle, read a book. Corinne seemed no worse for the wear and I've convinced myself that she won't become a convicted felon because I can't play sea creatures all day long with her. Now both kids are asleep in bed, I've got a glass of wine and a bunch of episodes of "ER" and "Bridezilla" on DVR. Until tomorrow morning, it's all about me. This too shall pass... this too shall pass.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This one is Lily. See how she made her smaller, and with just a little clump of hair on top. She kind of looks like Stewie Griffin.
And Seven. I think those are supposed to be her ears sprouting out of the eyes.
This one is Papa. He doesn't wear glasses, but he does have a mustache (although not like Hitler's)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
And of course rainbow cake (made by my friend Meghan)
and rainbow cupcakes
The last two rainbow cookies
(I can't talk about Corinne's rainbow party without mentioning Marc, Emma's daddy, who perhaps had one too many rainbow cookies. This was taken just before Marc passed out at the base of the slide. The girls had tons of fun sliding repeatedly onto his head.)
The problem began when I only bought one package of jello, which ended up making only 4 fish bowls. Too lazy to go back out to the store, I thought I'd improvise (the demise of so many of my cooking adventures, yet I never learn) and make my own jello using blue gatorade and gelatin. Well, gatorade doesn't quite have enough flavor to carry itself in jello form, it turns out, but I forged on anyway. And then just to make it look as bad as it tasted, I decided to be clever and add sprinkles to it, you know, to make a little layer of aquarium gravel. Except that sprinkles float. And dissolve. So all it did was make really cloudy, water flavored jello with mystery things floating in it. The swedish fish were cute, though. *
Never one to learn from past mistakes, I decided once again to dabble in the medium of jello. This time I wanted to make rainbow layered jello. I think that would have been OK but, as always, I had to take it up a notch. Our friend Karen makes a great layered jello salad at Christmas. It has these delicious white "inter-layers" that are firm, yet creamy. Kind of cheesecake textured. I remembered that she said these layers were sour cream based, so I went on line and found what I believed to be the recipe. I started my jello a day ahead of time to give the layers plenty of time to set (rushing and cutting corners time-wise is another of my oft repeated cooking mishaps). The purple layer came out great, but the white cream layer wasn't quite right. It contained gelatin, so it took on a jello-like texture. I managed to get it onto the purple layer more or less OK, and then set to work on the blue layer. By the time the blue layer had hardened, the white cream stuff was also hard. I figured I'd just beat it with my mixer (this seems to work with cream cheese frosting, so why not here?) Well, it didn't. At this point anyone with any sense would have simply aborted the mission but oh no, not this chick. I proceeded with the next two layers and just globbed that white mess on in between. Somewhere around the yellow layer I decided that this just wasn't working, and finished off the orange and red minus the white. The problem with this was the last layers were too clear, and you could see the globules lurking beneath the surface. See:
Again, normal people would have thrown in the towel and said "who really likes jello, anyway?" Or they would have just started over again, maybe minus the white layers (or would have called Karen for the recipe, which is what I should have done in the first place) But I was afraid I didn't have enough time left, and damn it, I paid all of 99 cents per box of jello**. I just threw some whipped cream on top to cover it up and, well, I think the picture really speaks for itself: Yeah. You know you want it. By now so much time and effort had gone into it I had to put it out, even if no one in their right mind would find it the least bit appetizing. I explained to those who politely inquired that the white stuff was not curdled cream, as it may appear, and even convinced a couple people to have some (and they said it tasted pretty good, as long as you didn't look at it.) See; I even have pictures to prove it:
Saturday, September 12, 2009
June 5- In just 3 more hours both of my kids are heading up to Maine to stay at Grandma's for the whole weekend, so Pete and I can enjoy our 7th (!) wedding anniversary. Yay for us! No plans, just relaxing, sleeping in, enjoying having it be all about us for a change.
June 6- Andrea is listening to music at an excessively high volume and NOT watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
June 7- Andrea has thoroughly enjoyed a weekend of eating (japanese steak house, brunch, cheesecake and all you can eat sushi buffet- not necessarily in that order), sleeping in, movie watching (Land of the Lost, sadly, a big thumbs down), dog walking, and wedding day nostalgia
June 11- Andrea just got back from Corinne's end-of-the-year preschool party. Can't believe how far she's come this year, and how big she's gotten. My baby's all growed up :(
June 15- Andrea is back home after attending the wedding of forever bachelor Mark F, in lovely Ithaca. Then a couple days in Toga with mom and dad (who so graciously took Thing 1 for the weekend. Thing 2 came with us) Had a great time.
June 16- Andrea really wishes she didn't have kids, just for today, so she could go stand in line at Whole Foods in Cambridge for 8 hours to meet and get a signed bottle of wine from the normally reclusive Maynard James Keenan (wine maker and singer for all-time favorite band, Tool)
June 16- Andrea is jealous... Pete went and got two bottles signed, and only had to wait an hour for his 8 seconds with Maynard.
June 19- Yay! I just got us tickets to see Tool in August, thereby making this the BEST summer of music EVER!! Now all that's left is to go see Blue Man Group, right Mark?!
June 20- Andrea woke up at 8:30 this morning to the strangest thing: no rain and a still sleeping baby. I thought I was dreaming. Or the end of the world is upon us. Or hell has frozen over.
June 22- Andrea is wondering if it's wrong of me to enjoy that my baby is sick with a cold. She's just so sweet and cuddly. And she sleeps a lot.
June 25- Andrea is very tired and cranky. Lily was up every single hour, on the hour, last night for no apparent reason. Until 4, that is. Then she was crying every 15 minutes.
June 25- So remember when I thought my baby was sweet and cuddly when she's sick? Yeah. Not so much anymore.
June 29- Andrea just got back from a rainy, rainy weekend up in Maine with Pete's family. Then it was sunny and hot here in Maynard when we got home. Doesn't it just figure. Had a great time nonetheless. Vic- give Seven a kiss for us and tell her to have fun at Camp Vicky.
June 30- Andrea managed to squeeze in mowing the lawn, raking, seeding and beetle killing this afternoon. It's amazing what you can accomplish when your baby finally tales a long nap again (and it stops raining for more than an hour).
July 2- Andrea is wondering if the suicide rate is higher this month from all this F-ing rain. Or the murder rate...
July 3- Andrea is installing a linoleum floor in her kitchen all by herself. Go me. I am woman, hear me roar!
July 7- Andrea's cat just puked in his own water bowl. How stupid does one have to be to willingly foul one's own food/ water supply?
July 13- Andrea just got home from the Morgan Family Reunion. Had a great time swimming, drinking, s'more making, ice cream eating, parade go-er harassing, carnival attending. But we now need the proverbial vacation to recover from the vacation. Oh, and Seven's got fleas. Sorry people-Who's-House-We-Were-Staying-At-As-A-Favor-Who-We-Don't-Even-Know!
July 26- Andrea is enjoying an afternoon to herself. Pete took the girls for a hike/ flower picking/ ice cream so I can get some stuff done. On my list: sanding/ priming wood for a sign, designing said sign, sketches for pending truck mural and hopefully updating my blog. So what am I doing? facebooking, of course!
July 28- Andrea wants to know why Miss Lil' pill is sleeping for shorter periods at night instead of longer? If she wasn't so damn cute and smiley, I think I'd strangle her (just kidding- don't anyone report me to DCFS. If I were going to kill a baby, it surely would have been Corinne, who was so cute, but not so damn smiley)
July 31- Andrea was quite surprised to come home to find that one of the trees in our yard has fallen. No wind, completely alive, just lying on the ground. Fortunately, it could not have fallen at a better angle, so house, deck, swingset and fence were spared. I suspect the ground hog who has turned our yard into a labyrinth of tunnels. I'm gonna have to get all Bill Murray from Caddyshack on it's ass.
Aug 2- Tool concert tonight! Hope they play "Prison Sex" :)
Aug 3- People I had on my bedroom wall when I was growing up:
Duran Duran, The Outsiders, Van Halen, A Ha, Han Solo
Aug 5- Andrea just finished sorting through all of Corinne's school work and art work from the past year. I threw a lot away, which breaks my heart, but we are being overrun with paper bag turkeys, paper plate crafts, glitter glue and macaroni art, mural sized finger paintings, coloring book pages and drawings.
Aug 6- Andrea is pretty bummed out to see that John Hughes died. I was kind of hoping he'd make another masterpiece like The Breakfast Club someday. Sigh. My youth is truly gone.
Aug 9- Andrea is OD'd on rainbows.
Aug 11- Andrea could just cry right now. After my 6 month battle with thrush, failed breast feeding, the inconvenience of pumping every 3-5 hours, and my slowly depleting milk supply, I have just discovered that the 20 or so bags of frozen breast milk that I had stored in my freezer that were supposed to take us through the next couple of months have all gone sour.
Aug 12- Andrea is heading off tot he Bolton Fair for some vestibular stimulation.
Aug 13- Today Corinne asked me where skin comes from. We've entered the realm of the complicated questions. We've already covered "where do babies come from?", "what is God?" and "what does dead mean?" Of course, there are also still plenty of questions like "mama, am I wearing pants?"
Aug 18- Andrea is trying to enjoy Pete being home from work for a whole week, despite the fact that it has already been dubbed "worst vacation ever"
Aug 20- Andrea is so very tired. Day two of "Ferberizing" Lily. it ultimately worked with Corinne, but God does the process suck.
Aug 24- Andrea hates bugs! So far this morning I put my hand onto some kind of big, mushy insect exoskeleton-type-thing and then proceeded to walk through a huge spider web with a huge, fat, ugly spider in it. Thank God it didn't get onto my face or anything, I would have had a heart attack right there on the spot and my poor kids would grow up motherless. YUCK!
Aug 26- After netting only 3 ounces of milk in an average day, I am officially finished with pumping. These babies are all wrung out. I feel liberated, but also disappointed that my body failed me again at the 6 month mark.
Aug 27- Corinne's a celebrity! At least here in M-- (even if they did spell her name wrong)... Not only is she featured in this story in our local paper, she also happened to get her picture taken for a completely unrelated story. If only we could have somehow worked in a plug for Bouncing Off the Walls...
Aug 27- So I asked Corinne if she thought the doctor that gave her her physical was nice (he was not her usual pediatrician). She said, and I quote: "yes, but he wasn't much to look at." I'm still laughing about it. I have NO idea where she came up with that one. it's not anything Pete or I have said. It's like she was just waiting for the opportunity to use the line.
Aug 28- Andrea is spending the evening with Pete, celebrating her body being her own again!
Aug 30- It's good to be back :)
Sept 2- Andrea's name anagram is: MAN DEAR GROAN. Corinne is IGNORANCE NORM and Lily is ROLLING ANIMAL. Hmm, maybe that is why she keeps rolling to her tummy a million times a night, requiring someone to come and roll her back over to make the screaming stop.
Sept 10- Why will Lily happily shove fistful after fistful of beach sand or soap suds into her mouth, but when it comes to baby food she gags and acts like I'm feeding her, well, beach sand and soap suds?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Next up was Prodigy, which took place at the same club. This time Pete and I got smart and didn't get there right when the doors opened at seven, like we did for Crystal Method (note to self: if the doors open before your preschooler is even in bed, chances are the headline act is not really starting at that time, and to think so just shows how terribly un-hip and out of touch you are with the cool people).
Prodigy is also electronic based, although they are much more "band-like" than Crystal Method, and have a more hardcore/ punk/ industrial/ rave kind of sound. The two singing guys, Keith Flint and Maxim Reality, are truly a couple of freaks (and I mean that in the most affectionate of ways), and they never stopped moving, screaming, and arm flailing (kind of like Lily). It was a really good show. Pete and I pushed our way onto the floor even though we had seats; the shows are just so much better when you're right in the middle of the insanity. But it did make me painfully aware of how, well, not young I am. Here I am, 37 years old, jumping up and down and getting stepped on, shoved, fondled and just generally having my personal space invaded by a bunch of punk-ass kids while screaming along with a band who's best known song is called "Smack My Bitch Up". There were glow sticks a-flying and people slam dancing (is that even what they call it anymore?) and a couple chicks crowd surfing and all I could think of was, "please be careful of my lactating boobies! I need to be able to go home and feed my precious angel!" It was just striking to me how different my maternal lifestyle is from this one. Eventually I had to step out of the pit and get some air and get away from all the sweaty, stinky bodies pressed up against me (ewww). If only you could have a little bubble of, say, 6 inches of air conditioned personal space with piped in fresh air to wear around you, then it would be OK. Like a Disney character suit or something. So I lamed out, but I did make it through most of the show. Pete, on the other hand, took full advantage of my leaving to push his way right up the the front for the last two songs (talk about opposite lifestyles. This is a man who manages 27 or so people and is considered to be a bit of a curmudgeon (I love that word) among his employees.)
(Super Freak Keith Flint of The Prodigy)
Last up was Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction. This one was at a real concert amphitheater, as opposed to a club. We ended up going with my cousin Shaun, which is really random because he lives in San Diego. He happened to be in the area for training and when he heard we were going, he got himself a ticket, too. The totally unfair thing was that we'd bought our tickets months ago and got crappy seats. He bought his the day of the show and was in, like, the third row. Not kidding. Dave Navarro (guitar player for Jane's) was practically sweating on the him. Shaun's seats were so good that he used up all of his phone's power taking dozens of photos. Because of this, his phone died and we spent an hour trying to find him after the show. We were planning on leaving without him, assuming that his incredible Cali-luck and close proximity to the bands had gotten him backstage (and even closer to Trent, Perry and Dave). Damn you Shaun!
So NIN was a little disappointing in that they only played 4 or 5 songs that I recognized. We're not die-hard fans, but we do own several of their albums, including what I thought was the most recent one, so I don't know where they pulled all these obscure songs from, or why. Jane's more than made up for it, though. They could not have been better. They were still very tight as a band, had a ton of energy, sounded great, and played all their hits. They opened with our favorite song, "3 Days", and I was worried that after that the rest would be anticlimactic, but the whole show was amazing. The highlight for me was the first encore, which was "Summer Time Rolls". It's a song that has a lot of personal sentiment for Pete and I. For our wedding reception we had picked out seven favorite, meaningful songs to be played throughout the night. Whenever one of those songs played, we stopped what we were doing long enough to look around and take it all in and enjoy the moment (knowing that the whole evening would fly by in a blur). "Summer Time Rolls" was one of those songs. It was very timely, the concert being 5 days before our seventh wedding anniversary. It was the perfect end to the perfect music trifecta.
- I was going to end this post here, but I felt like something was missing, like I hadn't quite captured what these shows meant to me or how they felt. I realized what I didn't mention, what was missing... the best part, really, which was the time spent reconnecting with my honey. Life gets so busy with kids and work and errands and house projects, and while you don't necessarily forget about why you fell in love with this person, you do maybe get a little bit distracted from it. It was nice to go out and do the things we did when it was just about the two of us. When we were allowed to be selfish and self indulgent. I'm proud of us for taking this time for us, and for going out and not acting our ages. Much like those seven songs at our wedding, it made me stop and look around and appreciate it all. I am still madly in love with the man that I married. We are still connected after seven years. We still share the same sense of humor, taste in music, and appreciation for the absurd and ironic. We are still best friends, first and foremost. We've still got it, Baby. Happy Anniversary.
Monday, May 18, 2009
My dad's birthday was this past week, so I drove to my parents' in upstate New York for the weekend, just the girls and I, to surprise him. This is a three hour drive under the best of circumstances (i.e. no traffic, no stopping). It's an eternity when you have a fussy baby. Corinne was OK. It was Miss Lily, who took a nice nap for the first half and then screamed intermittently for the second half. Both there and back. Two hours. It wouldn't be so bad if she just cried continuously. It's the starting and stopping that makes it like the Chinese water torture. Here's a break down of the return trip:
12:15-- Both kids crying as we leave Mimmie and Poppa's. Lily is overtired. Corinne is devastated because I wouldn't let her help me pack the car, and I snapped at her. Already I am tense and tired (did I mention that Lily was up every hour the night before? Yeah.)
12:30-1:30-- Sleeping baby, happily reading preschooler. Ahhhh. This is kind of nice.
1:45-- Corinne has to pee. Really? Can you hold it? Please? Lily is sleeping...
2:00--Stop at a rest stop to pee. Why did we want her potty trained?
2:20-- Lily is not happy to be returning to her car seat. She begins to fuss in half-assed manner.
2:30-- Whimpers becoming more urgent and angry.
2:35-- Crying stops. Maybe she's asleep?
2:40-- Crying resumes with more intensity. She's not asleep. I put on new age music to soothe us all. Can barely hear it over crying and it just annoys me anyway. Change it to "Tool"- loud and angry music. Perfect.
2:45-- All out screaming, she's royally pissed off. Please God, let there be no traffic, just this once.
2:50-- Stop again at next available rest stop. Attempt to feed Lily the bottle in parking lot. She's not interested.
2:55-- Plop pacifier in and hit the highway again.
2:56-- Spits pacifier out. I do the reach-behind again, crawling all over her body with my fingers searching for missing pacifier. I can feel every square inch of her body and the car seat. No sign of pacifier. It has somehow disappeared off the face of the earth.
3:10-- Crying tapers off. Maybe she's worn herself out?
3:12-- Crying resumes. Corinne begins speculating as to what Lily might want: I think she's hungry. I think she's tired. I think she doesn't like her car seat. I think she doesn't like her coat. I think she doesn't like pink. I think she's tired... I acknowledge the first few times, then try to ignore her. She proceeds to repeat each thing over and over until I acknowledge. I finally snap "I don't know what her problem is, Corinne! She's just miserable, OK? Let's not talk about it anymore. Let's never speak of it again!"
3:15-- Screaming bloody murder resumes. I fantasize about driving off the road. Pete would never really know what happened, but would probably be suspicious with the lack of skid marks.
3:30-- Do the reach around again, this time to hold the bottle in desperate attempt to get her to feed. Shoulder practically dislocated. Very difficult to coordinate angle of bottle using rearview mirror in conjunction with baby-view mirror. She still doesn't want it.
3:40-- Start muttering about how Dadda is SO taking the two of you off my hands when we get home. And about how I'm never driving more than 15 minutes in the car with either of them again.
3:50-- Screaming tapers to crying, then to whimpering, then silence.
4:00-- Both kids asleep.
4:15-- Arrive home. Dump kids on Dadda and take a nap.
Friday, May 1, 2009
I mention it only because it was a pretty significant thing during my pregnancy that I only told a few people about because, as per my logic here, the more people you tell the more of a big deal it becomes and the more you worry. In hindsight I do wish I had shared our concerns, because it turns out it's pretty common and not that big of a deal. Maybe we would have spent less time worrying that it was the result of something much more sinister going on in her little body, or that she would die hours after being born, or that it was because I ate uncooked lunch meat.
The Big Sister
Last but not least, it's worth mentioning how wonderful Corinne has been about being a big sister. She really seems to like Lily, even when she's fussy and when I have to put Corinne temporarily on the back burner to deal with Lily's more pressing (or at least harder to ignore) needs. We've put a lot of focus on the things Corinne can do that Lily can't do and the differences between being a big girl and being a baby, so I think that makes her feel important. I also think she sees Lily as more like a pet or a new toy than as another kid. Surprisingly we have not (yet!) seen any jealousy or resentment at having to share our attention and affection. Once again when we expect the worst with Corinne she surprises us. She's also been very helpful, handing me things that I can't reach when I'm feeding Lily or pumping, and giving Lily her Boobah or holding the bottle for her. She likes to be my "Great Big Helper Girl". Last night during book time she even suddenly looked at Lily, who was practicing standing next to her in the bed, and said with such feeling "Oh, she's so cute. I love her". It was unbelievably sweet.
So that's been our lives the past 10 weeks or so. We're all adjusting and settling into a routine and enjoying being a family of four. It's all good!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My mother said she'd kill me if I posted this picture but really, how could I resist?!
It Would Have Been a Nice Picture...