Craptastic wetness

A seriously short post today because I feel kinda craptastic. Ugh.

On the bright side, the counters are being installed as I type! Steve is working from home and when I left the house just a short bit ago the final piece was going into place. Nothing this magnificent is without incident though is it... oh no how could it be? We somehow convinced the plumber we hired when we moved in to come over and help Steve dismantle the sink because Steve was having no luck whatsoever. Before he got there Tom (our favorite neighbor!) saved the day by bringing a vice grip to help remove a stuck bolt. The plumber, Crawford, showed up almost 9 pm and didn't leave until just before 11. We paid him with leftover lasagna. Seriously the nicest guy, but a bit creepy seeing as how he remembered us instantly and agreed to come over and all. I am NOT complaining. There is a bit of a leak(read HUGE!) happening back at the homestead, but the installers are helping Steve get the faucet attached which will stop the leak, we hope! They are just as mystified as to hot it is leaking when all the water in the house is off!

I am thinking of leaving a bit early, picking Caroline up, and taking another nap. I went home at lunch for nap number one and slept for 45 minutes and feel a bit better. All sickness aside, the counters are here the counters are here and they look just as magnificent as we had hoped! Now just some tile and backsplash and we will be officially DONE!

Triple Paste STAT!!

We’re having another dreary rainy day today, though we need the rain so I will try not to complain too much. My lack of complaining will surely make up for the “guy who mows our lawn’s” very loud moaning about how he JUST cut the lawn. Yesterday was so dreary that I had to force myself to venture out with Caroline on my day off.

I spent part of the morning putting away serving dishes from our little BBQ on Sunday. We were so happy to welcome the C3 family to the “neighborhood!” Ryan Alexander and his posse also came by and brought an amazing cucumber and onion salad. (Jen, I knew I loved you, you Martha fanatic you!) Nana, Granda, and Uncle Brett arrived a bit earlier in the day and helped us remove the oldest greasiest oven hood on the planet and replace it with a shiny new non-greasy version. Alleluia! The kitchen already feels so different with just this one change. I am so excited for the counters that I can barely stand it, though it does feel pretty freeing to accidentally get blue sharpie on our current tops and not lose my mind scrubbing it out. The sheer amount of cussing I am able to avoid is simply amazing. I have been enjoying the leftovers from the dinner (peppersteak and bacon cheddar burgers, dogs, delish salads) though I still feel guilty for eating the entire remains of the strawberry pie my mother brought later Sunday night. It was that good. Sharing did not even cross my mind.

We also got to see Paul and Erica on Saturday for Paul’s 30th birthday celebration. Erica is feeling and looking great as she cruises onward toward Baby B’s birthday this summer. We always have such a great time with them and hope we can see them again soon and introduce them to the C3s of course.

(Need to say that I am listening to the Line Dancers at the Center dance to “sexy eyes.” Is it just me, or is there something disturbing about this?)

Caroline is still working on getting those two teeth down. She is currently living on little more than air and what she is eating is not going through so smoothly. Let’s leave it at that, ok. I say this only because secondary to this fabulous issue is a new rash brewing. I don’t want to once again be posting rash flashes so let’s all collectively think happy thoughts that Triple Paste will get us through to the other side without stopping at “dear God, that is the worst rash I have ever seen.” Thanks in advance. If it is possible to scream in your head, I have been doing it all morning since I saw her red tushy after her second dirty dipe of the day.

Caroline sounded the alarm at 4:52 this morning, completely standing up, screaming. I retrieved her, cuddled her in bed, still in that weird place you find yourself when you are violently awoken. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to that place and my aren’t we out of practice! My mind whirred… “What if I can get her back to sleep, the alarm will be going off just after 6. It will wake her and THEN WHAT?” Or worse, “What if I cannot get her back to sleep at all?” She snuggled for a bit, then cried, and I eventually stood up, rocked her in my arms, sang completely nonsensical notes and placed her in her own room where she fussed for approximately 5 seconds before she fell back asleep until 7:15. I even managed to get back to sleep for about 30 minutes myself.

Our sassy little lady is now pointing to her nose on command all the time, leading the way to the door when we tell her it’s time to go, walking alongside me holding my hand at drop off and pick up, demanding to go outside all the time, standing on tippy toes to gaze out a window. Yesterday afternoon she pointed to her pink chair which she leapt onto it with book in hand after I took it down. I never thought I would enjoy hearing someone say, “uh oh,” especially not after the sayer has just flung her milk cup off her high chair tray, but I do.

Speaking of high chairs, she eats in a real chair at school, she’s not too big for the high chair is she? Should I be thinking of moving to a booster already? Please say no, I love the strapped in confines too much for it to be over so soon! She is constantly pulling out the dining room chairs and “asking” to be sat in them. Perhaps we might consider doing both for awhile? What do you think???

Wow – My Tuesday posts are always so long. I’ll end this one sweetly.

We did venture out, however briefly yesterday afternoon, in search of an auto shop and an oil change. When we arrived home Caroline had just fallen asleep and it was of course, pelting rain. I stripped off our coats and my shoes and attempted to put her in her crib to enjoy the rest of her nap, but she wasn’t having it. After a few attempts we instead snuggled together on the couch under her blanket.

When Caroline was a newborn I so wanted her to be able to sleep this way because I was dying to nap with her, but she hated laying on her belly and I hated trying to get out of bed in those early days, especially with a floppy newborn. Sometimes she just knows exactly what I need. She snuggled right up to me, steadied her breathing, and did that little “triple sigh” thing she does. She woke up about 30 minutes later smiling up at me, looking into my eyes, laughing back when I laughed, running her fingers through my hair and touching my nose. A perfect end to our “weekend” together.

Teeth and TJ

We more than made up for the pristine condition that Caroline was returned to me on Wednesday with not one, not two even, but three outdoor play sessions on Thursday. There were too many children in her room, so one of the kids had to move to another room and so it was Caroline's turn to go to another room. (I guess this should be a compliment because to go to another room requires her being flexible enough to handle it.) The really bad news about this is that she went to the room of that mean care provider. Oh you remember her, the one who snickered and laughed when one of her kids was crying saying that if she stopped crying she could go home and see her mom, yeah that terrible lady. Since then I have discovered that this woman and Michele are actually really good friends and that this woman is apparently a good care provider, but I just can't get that one moment out of my mind. Needless to say I was upset, but what could I say, it had happened, it was already too late to do anything about it. So instead of losing my mind and flipping out I wanted every detail of how her day went.

She was so dirty from all the playground time that on Friday afternoon and certainly after a good scrubbing the night before, I discovered dirt in one of her ears.

We got woken up this morning at 5am with a poor sad teething baby. We managed to get her back to sleep before 5:30 by laying her on my stomach and the next thing we knew it was 9! Poor baby. She crashed out again for 3 hours this afternoon after while giving her two teething tablets she bit me so hard that I thought she was going to break skin. We are hoping that she sleeps better this evening and feels much better on Sunday. She's got a big day with Nana, Granda, Uncle Brett, The C3 family who moved to our neck of the woods this very weekend, Ryan Alexander and his parents, and maybe even our neighbors.

The biggest and best news of the entire weekend is that Tasha and Tony welcomed their son TJ this afternoon via c-section. 8lbs 8 oz and described by an utterly exhausted but totally in love new mother as perfect. We hope to go and meet the little man and congratulate the new parents in person in the coming weeks!

Ball girl

Yesterday my pristine daughter had not a speck of playground sand on her little summer outfit at pick-up. How is this possible you ask? She prefers for God knows what reason to crawl on the sand (Sarah demonstrated that she crawls with her hand spread out in front of her so they run through the sand as she moves. The dirt in turn is deposited in her mouth when she stops moving and inserts her thumb). Despite many efforts to get her to walk over its uneven surface, she just won’t, so seeing as how she was not wearing something that covered her knees Michele and Sarah made a game time decision that her playground time would not include crawling because they didn’t want her to hurt her little knees. Somehow she still managed to get sand in her shoes, but I kind of enjoy emptying out the remains of her playtime and clacking the soles together.

We spent some time in the yard last night when we got home. Steve and I mulched the front of the house and swept off the patio in the backyard. I removed one last hosta that had somehow escaped the first round of Operation Hosta Removal. Caroline played with her big playground ball and rode around on Steve’s shoulders. It is amazing the difference fresh mulch makes. Bless you BJs for having a massive reasonably priced amount on hand for all our mulching needs.

We got some silly photos of Caroline last night during her post dinner pre tub playtime. Apparently a really fun thing to do is to take a little plastic ball and put it in your mouth, bite on it with your new teeth (found number 6 up top last night!) and then commence regular play activities. She was riding her giraffe, playing her piano, and reading books all with this ball in her mouth. If it somehow escaped her bite, she immediately retrieved it and put it right back where it belonged. I think this will be better for you when you can see the silly photos.

Just when we accepted this peculiar behavior, she shocked us by pointing out the ham on every single page of Green Eggs and Ham before bed. I would read the page and then ask her, “Caroline, where’s the ham?” and she would diligently point to the plate with the ham, or if it was big enough, the ham itself. There were a few times when she pointed to Sam, but I just called her silly and asked again and poof, ham pointing. To dispel any doubt you might have she even did the pages where the ham is placed on the left hand page (a rarity, don’t believe me, go look!). All those months of reading this book, asking her where the ham was, pointing to it, she was really following along! I have to admit that I felt kind of silly pointing out "the boat captain, and the goat, and the fox, and the mouse, and sam, and the green eggs and haaaammm," but wow, she gets it. She gets a lot more than we even realize.

Still something about this just doesn’t make sense. Enter Caroline, plastic ball in mouth, fully comprehending where the ham lives on each page in her book. A child’s mind is a mysterious thing.

Ran, Kerry, Ran


Sorry about the non-updates yesterday, I left my phone in our car, which was thoughtfully dropped off in Newton by Steve’s parents early in the morning when they dropped Kerry in Boston to catch her bus to Hopkinton. So without the phone I had no way to twitter. I kept impulsively grabbing for my phone to type a quick update, but no dice. Those of you who read her run, kerry, run site and wanted to follow along could easily have gotten her bib number to track her down. =) Maybe you did?

It seems difficult to process such a monumental achievement and I didn’t even do the running, so I cannot imagine how kerry will post about her marathon experience. Give her time, she is headed to Paris this weekend after all.

We spotted her twice, once at mile 12 on the Natick/Wellesley line and then again 50 feet from the official finish. She gave high fives and blew kisses in Wellesley, but only heard her Dad cheering just before she crossed the line.

I easily convinced about 40 people to hold our “kerry on a sticks” in Wellesley and when I went to collect them more than one person said they really wanted to keep it. My schpeel, “If you are going to be around for a bit will you consider holding a sign for my sister-in-law who raised over 6 thousand dollars for Children’s Hospital, we’re incredibly proud, her name is Kerry and she looks like this.” Kerry saw many photos of herself in the hands of cheerleaders she had never met who later called the experience of spotting her and holding her face as “incredible!” She sure was!

The weather turned hot, too hot, and things got tough for her in the end, but she made the turn down Boylston and you never would have known that there was a single second that she wasn’t smiling and sprinting. She finished in about 5 hours and though I have been to many marathons and spotted many people, never have I experienced the anxiety and excitement and overwhelming pride that I felt while waiting for Kerry in front of Marathon Sports (how appropriate) on Boylston.

Extra EXTRA special thanks to Mrs. Mac and her fabulous sister for securing such a sweet spot to catch our first glimpse and to Larry for offering not only a parking spot off Clarendon just a few blocks from the finish, but inviting us into his home while we waited for Kerry to collect her belongings and make her way to the fam. The McFam is forever grateful to you all!

So she did it! We could NOT POSSIBLY be more proud of her! Photos and VIDEO forthcoming, but until then from Auntie C who finished with her…

As for Caroline… She did sleep through the Wellesley stop (and a whistling commuter rail that passed within 10 feet of her), but was WIDE AWAKE for the finish, and a complete dreamboat for the duration of the very busy emotional day. She crashed out in the car and slept until after 7 this morning. I warned daycare that she might be clingy and extra hungry today. Did I mention she is wearing capris and a tank top? Forecast today is 75 and sunny. We sent her in with sunscreen, don’t worry.

In other news, today is my 30th birthday.

I’ve had a month since Steve’s 30th to get used to the idea of hitting this milestone and while at first I dreaded it, I have completely come around to not only accepting, but actually embracing it. I looked in the mirror at my tired face this morning and thought, “even tired, you don’t look thirty.” My eyes smiled back at me and I turned away headed toward what I sincerely feel will be my best year yet.

Kerry and I are sister-in-laws, we’re family by marriage, but we haven’t always exactly seen eye to eye. My greatest achievement in my 29th year besides bringing Caroline into the fold of our life, was transforming my relationship with Kerry from merely family by marriage to what I consider to be a true sisterhood. The culmination of my efforts (and it really wasn’t effort, just an opening up of my heart!) was the runner handing me a very permanent black marker to write her name on her arms. This for me was an emotional experience and have tears now thinking how this simple gesture tore down any remaining pieces of the wall built between us. It was a perfect metaphor for an olive branch if I ever saw one, but so so much more than that, to me at least. Kiki has a photograph of the double high five at the end which I would love to print and frame and keep forever. Sitting in the way back seat of the car en route to dinner last night with the honored guest, I could not remember a time when I did not love this woman with all my heart. So congrats to you Ker! You did it! I am so incredibly proud of you and thank you for trusting me to not write an "I" at the end of your name.

In lieu of birthday comments, please instead let us know if you spotted auntie k, tracked her, or came to read today to specifically see how things went!

Countdown to run,kerry, run

Auntie k has been in Hopkinton since her bus took off from Boston at 6:15 this morning. Kiki and Steve reported that she was in good spirits, wide awake, and ready to run. She takes off in the second wave at 10:30 am and we are preparing for our own exit to our first stop; Pond Street in Wellesley, just before Wellesley College. From there we will sprint off via car to a garage downtown to watch her cross the FINISH LINE!!! There was much discussion about how exactly to get to this garage and we have come up with several contingency plans in case exits, roads, or sidewalks are closed to traffic. You can't miss our group, we'll be waving BC Gold pom poms and about 35 Auntie k on a sticks (lovingly prepared by moi!). Auntie is going to be hugging the left side of the course. She'll be meeting up with Auntie Colleen at Centre Street in Newton to finish the last six miles together. Look for Auntie Colleen too, she'll be wearing a white shirt that says "run, kerry, run" on the front and "BC '02" on the back. I will update all day via Twitter!!! Stay tuned!!!

Dresses and driving

I cleared out the camera to make room for Marathon photos! There are even some from today of Caroline in her first dress of the season, LOVE dresses!!! We got out all her spring stuff this week and she had a ball pulling things out of the box with me. I may have been a little too quick because while the weather today looks PHENOM (80 down here in these parts), the weather for next week is not looking quite as springy. Doesn't matter, Monday's weather looks pretty good for the runners, and that is all that matters! We can wear some long sleeved onesies a few more times!

Wanted to post quickly to also share that Miss Caroline took her first ride in one of those supermarket carriage cars. Saying that she loved it would be a vast underestimation of her affection for the little red car. She was jumping up and down in her seat (thankfully they come with seatbelts) and steering the wheel and looking back at me beaming ear to ear. I decided to try it because she was exhausted and the errand had to happen and I hoped it would buy me the 5 minutes I needed to dash in and out. It did, though I think she might not be into it for longer trips because by the checkout counter she wanted out. It was fun though - I sent camera photos to the fam!

It's Ok you can be honest.

The McFam was out in the yard yesterday afternoon. Caroline's been outside before, in fact, she loves being outside. Sometimes she will walk to the front door and bang on it looking back at me with a pleading little glance.

Until yesterday “outside” has consisted of being carried to and from the car, riding in her stroller, or walking around the yard in the arms of an adult. The only exception was the one time we put her into a pile of leaves for a photo op while we were raking this fall, but it doesn’t technically count because she put leaves into her mouth approximately 20 times in the 3 minutes it took to snap the photo after which we quickly concluded the fun with fall leaves photo op.

So yesterday was her first real chance to explore outside solo. The spring earth is still soft and incredibly uneven, so her toddler steps were precarious and at one point were just a never-ending circle, but she LOVED it. She loved it so much she didn’t even notice the little Red Sox hat she was sporting. She and Steve tossed a ball back and forth, he put her over his shoulder and ran around the yard with her asking “where’s Caroline? Caroline, where are you?” and I chased her in an “I’m gonna get you” kind of way both of which resulted in cascades of laughter. It won’t be long we know before she takes off running back there, truly solo, seeking out ants or lucky four leaf clovers, or playing in her sand box.

As I was finishing up Operation Remove Hosta, (they took over the yard last year in a not so nice way, so we are starting fresh) she stood on the edge of the patio and ran her hands through the freshly turned soil. At first it was a tentative poking with her pointer finger, then a smoothing out motion across the top, and then an all out dig and squeeze fest. Clearly the afternoon ended with a stop at the kitchen sink for handwashing. Lucky for us, she loves this almost as much as being outside.

Steve got her ready for bed while I cleaned up from her bath and the tired little munchkin dispelled all her remaining energy reserves laughing with Daddy. A book, some snuggling, and she was off to bed. We both snuck a peak last night when we ourselves turned in and found her lying on her back, under her blanket, her head turned slightly, pouty lip perfectly pouted and looking absolutely angelic. I love the bedtime sneak peak and head tousle.

This morning the angel turned into demanding diva, something that seems to be happening more and more (picture falling to her knees with her head on the ground). We are learning to deal with it. I find that an effective method for now is to try to ignore the drama because she seems to recover pretty quickly on her own. When she calms down we redirect her. Breakfast called for an outright refusal to put on her bib, a milk cup toss, and a total grumpus until I said, “would you like a banana?” Yes, she would. I peeled it, handed it to her, and she ravenously attacked it. I usually play with her and ask her for a bite, but this morning she was not in a sharing mood because my request and open mouth were met with head shaking and furrowed brow. She shared later, so all was forgiven. She enjoyed some TJ French Toast this morning. I decided to up the wow factor and let her try syrup. I poured some in a ramekin for her and dipped a piece lightly for her. Steve came down a bit later and discovered his daughter dipping solo, “she dips???” I don’t quite get the whole ravenous bit, she had the best dinner she has eaten all week; TJ spinach and ricotta ravioli, hummus which she ate by the spoonful from her fav toddler spoon, and fresh strawberries. Perhaps she is in a growth spurt or am I just fooling myself? I have a diva don’t I?

Fresh space and attitude

I just spent 90 minutes at home over lunch while our new countertops were “templated.” The installer Lowe’s sent out was super-friendly (we dished on our old schizophrenic clients, Scientology, and how people born in NH and MA are genetically programmed to be Sox fans) and very knowledgeable. He fully supported my wall knocking down ideas (though he asked me first if his opinion would be used as ammunition in a kitchen remodel discussion), but I know I need to show some restraint and keep in mind that this renovation is an update not a tear out.

If I could go back in time and sneak into the minds of the owners who completed the initial updating, I would beseech them to expand their family room addition the length of the house, thus creating a great room comprised of a an open kitchen/family room/dinig room, and perhaps PERHAPS even a ½ bath. Ohhh ahhhh! If they guffawed this idea because heck, it would be expensive, I would strongly urge them to knock down at least a half wall between the dining room and kitchen, creating a peninsula type space to create more counter space and a more open flow.

Clearly I cannot go back in time, so for now our update needs to remain calm and controlled. The things we are doing will greatly enhance our home and we hope when/if it comes time to sell that these improvements will really pay off. In the meantime, I know that they will greatly enhance the way we feel about the kitchen and that I will enjoy the time I spend in there more than I do currently. That is what is really the most important thing right?

So for now – here is a before shot of the kitchen. I know I know. WHY oh WHY are we changing anything – those pink counters are HOT!

But you aren’t really here to read about the kitchen are you?

Yesterday afternoon Caroline and I shared an afternoon snack of Trisquits and Trader Joe Spinach Dip. She loved it and spent most of the time bouncing up and down between bites and flapping her open mouth to show me that she was ready for "more, please." I fully support this because trying to get anything green into this baby takes skill (or magical powers). She also really likes the dried apple rings with cinnamon and sugar, but after she stuffed way too many in her mouth and gagged a bit we promptly took them away. They are a new texture and she really needs to take her time with them. We tried some chopped up apple chicken sausage yesterday too and while she LOVED the taste, she got too excited, put too many pieces in at once and gagged again. I think next time I will have to remove the skin to make it easier.

Caro was a bit strange this morning. Steve went to get her from her crib and when he walked into her room she crawled to the other side of the crib away from him. He walked away but returned shortly thereafter because she lost her noodle when she realized he was actually considering leaving. When I went to take her downstairs we stopped to visit Daddy in the shower and she wanted nothing to do with it, just kept pointing at the door. (It may be due to the soap on his face?) During breakfast when he went to kiss her goodbye she squirmed away from him. It was so strange. I told school and Michele said, “Caroline, are you being fresh today?” I laughed out loud. Have we really reached the stage where she can be fresh?

McMomma requires McDaddy to call her Awesome

Our weekend was full of weddings, wine, weather, and wide-awake rides home. How was yours?

Saturday morning we woke up at the beach to torrential downpours, thunder, lightening, and an overwhelming sense of sadness because “if this was my wedding day, how would I feel about it?” We deposited our little ball of energy with Kelly & the girls on our way to the ceremony.

We cannot THANK Kelly enough for taking an extra baby on a Saturday! We heard later that she took a three hour nap (!) and ate like a champ, which is exactly what her parents wanted to hear. Caroline was having a great time playing with the girls’ toys when we got there. Chloe whispered to me that she had made the baby laugh and then demonstrated for me. I think that Caroline will be enamored with both Chloe and Teegan for a long, long time!

Danny and Michele exited the church to beaming sunshine, blue skies, and a picture perfect day! Clearly someone was sending them a sign. Steve and I, baby free for the entire afternoon, enjoyed lingering adult conversation, some stealth tie stain hiding action, dancing, and cocktails. Congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. who are on their way to Tulum, Mexico!

Caroline took a brief mid-morning nap on Sunday and decided that sleeping in the car was not something she was interested in. Luckily for us we had wonderful Maggie with us and she was able to do more than just aim various toys at the baby. Caroline delighted in having a friend in the back seat to stare at.

Yesterday I was caught off guard by a lengthy morning nap and it was nearly noon before we headed out to complete our weekly grocery shopping. We had some extra time so we hit up Trader Joe’s in seek of new and interesting food options, not just for Caroline, but the whole damn McFam. We were shopping alongside a mother of three, one being a tiny newish baby boy. Her older sons (Sawyer and Everett) were constantly talking to Caroline, telling her to tell me to get her cheese puffs and she was laughing and flirting with them, contorting herself to keep them in constant view. We left with a pretty yellow balloon, her very first balloon. The laughter from the backseat had even me in hysterics as she pulled the ribbon towards her again and again, flapping the balloon from side to side squealing and belly laughing the whole way. It was adorable, until we got home and lost focus at lunch because the yellow balloon was far more interesting than yogurt or grapes.

Caroline had absolutely no interest in our (LOVINGLY prepared!) chicken potpie dinner, though she loved the accompanying biscuit. I dipped it into hummus for her, gave her some strawberries, refilled her milk cup and called it a day. Her teeth have been bothering her and dinner seems to be the hardest meal these days, especially dinners that include precariously placed peas. She absolutely chows at breakfast and lunch, so I try not to worry about it too much. I know if she is hungry she will eat.

Our counter installer is coming on Wednesday afternoon to template. We got the dishwasher in, though I reminded Steve about 10 times on Friday to keep in mind that I am in fact awesome for working the miracle I did with the electrician. We discovered late Thursday night that our dishwasher is hard wired. I did not even know that was possible (most are! Did you know this??)and many minutes were spent cussing about the previous owners and the 50 foot power cord to seemingly nowhere. I don’t necessarily take back all the cussing, but I will take back some, turns out they hard wired it appropriately and for that I am thankful! I managed to organize for an electrician to come and cut the power to the old dishwasher in the morning, receive the new dishwasher in the afternoon, and have the new one hooked back up to electric later that day. It really did seem like a minor miracle. Steve and I did manage to hook the new one back up to the plumbing Sunday, but once again direction reader Kerri and I’ll just wing it Steve butt heads trying to get this simple task accomplished. We learned a long time ago that we have much different ways of doing these kinds of things and it is better for everyone if we do as few of these projects as possible. (most projects result in Steve managing the task himself because "let's just get this done ALREADY" while Kerri stands with her hands over her eyes because "I can't watch, the directions didn't mention this part!") The dishwasher made it through a successful dry run later that night and now sits with its seemingly cavernous trays quite full waiting for its first official run tonight. New dishwashers have so much more room! The change in the kitchen with just this one new appliance is amazing. Sadly, with all home improvement projects there are already a few things creeping out of the woodwork and no I don’t mean the creepy kind with multiple legs. I mean the also hardwired garbage disposal, the white plastic kick plates around the whole room that we need to remove and replace with what exactly?, the mystery awaiting us behind the laminate backsplash, organizing for a plumber to come uninstall the sink and reinstall the new one, and also wondering out loud several times a day how the heck we will make it through this renovation without losing our minds. We know it will so worth it in the end and we will actually enjoy being in our kitchen when this is all over. Sometimes I get crazy and think statements that begin with “While we are at it...” These are dangerous statements, but while we are it, I am seriously considering making a case for cutting that pass through to the living room. Just please don’t tell my husband, I think he would lose his grapes.

Up our butts

Caroline was a bit of a cranky pants this morning. Yesterday at school she napped for only 45 minutes (!!!) and she barely got through The Lorax at bedtime. (as a side note, since Earth Day is coming up, we’ve been reading an awful lot about The Lorax and how unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.) She was rolling around when I jumped in the shower this morning and Steve got her just after 7 as I was drying my hair. He dressed her and placed her feet down on the floor of our bedroom and I watched her in the mirror while I applied mascara standing solidly on her own. She eventually lost her balance and fell forward onto her hands, dashing across the room on her hands and knees for the hair dryer and the brush. She seemed like she was in a fine mood, until I think I took too long preparing her breakfast. We skipped the banana this morning and just brought it with us to school.

Michele was sitting in the rocker when I arrived watching Luke play on the carpet (he sits up by himself now) and listening for the newest addition, Baby Paige, who was swinging silently with a blanket up over her face. Paige is new this week and I still haven’t seen her face. Odd.

While I unpacked Caroline’s lunch I asked Michele what Caroline has been up to at school. I try not to ask all the time. I try to be respectful of their time and mornings aren’t usually ideal for tell me all about my kid conversations, but this morning seemed so laid back and calm in T-5 that I said what the heck. I know if I were Michele or Sara I would want to tear my hair out if some parent was constantly asking me to detail their child’s every move. So I respectfully ask occasionally and the information they give is always enough to last a few weeks.

Michele reported that Caroline loved playing outside yesterday. (I know she did, I used about half a bottle of Spray Action Shout on her pants last night!) She was walking on the asphalt, but she loved the sand. She said that she was surprised because Caroline is very wary of new textures (!!! – seriously she knows my kid!) but that she kept rubbing her hands in the sand, picking it up and letting it run through her fingers and just loved it. (the previous owners of our house left a sand box and I was worried that we wouldn’t use it because hi, texture, but now I cannot wait to pick up a pail and shovel!) She said they have been trying coloring/scribbling. She said try because Caroline is very independent at school, “not up our butts like Sonny.” (also, HA!) According to Michele, she will spend hours reading books sitting on the little couch and that she will bring them books to read to her. (I love it when she does this!) They love how she points to things and says "ah da" and they name them for her reinforcing words. When she wakes up from her 45 minute nap they sit her between them at the table and play together, just the three of them. This all makes me very happy, but what made me beam was when she said that they love her and wouldn’t trade her for anything. “She is such a good girl.”

What more could you want to hear as a parent?

As if we ever doubted her...

It is with great pride (and appreciation!!!) that I share that our Auntie k did it!!!!

She surpassed the 6K mark in her fundraising efforts! Though her donate page does not show this fantastical achievement, rest assured that Auntie k has been wearing her accountant hat and yes, she has in fact raised enough scratch to be a “Children’s Champion!” Thanks from the bottom of the McFamily's heart to those who were able to contribute to her worthy cause!

It doesn't end there though folks, there is still one more very important "giving" opportunity and this time I mean of yourselves.

Should you happen to find yourself along the Marathon route on the 21st, consider keeping a watchful eye (and perhaps an orange slice or an ice cold sponge?) out for our Auntie k running 26.2 miles for Jalya and Children’s Hospital.

You are looking for a woman who looks like this:

And when you find her, scream your head off, toss confetti, shower her with compliments, and remind her to


Walk, NO RUN, for magic pajamas

Steve's home! We waited by the front window yesterday for his car to pull into the driveway. I kept telling Caroline to look for Daddy and before I knew it she was all "da da da" ing. He got home just in time for bath time in the big girl bath. I am really glad that he changed his flight so that he was able to see her. Steve was thrilled to see his baby girl, but even more thrilled to see all her big girl steps.

Caroline is walking more than crawling these days, sometimes still relying on furniture, but getting braver by the minute. She spends a lot of time pushing a stool around the house and when she drops something she bends down to pick it up without sitting down. It isn't uncommon to watch her stand up and take off to the other side of the room and make it all the way to her destination without falling down. It is amazing to watch our independent Caroline, but even more amazing to offer my hand to her and have her grab onto it and walk together. I love that.

Caroline is brushing her teeth (with some assistance from Mommy) using a big girl toothbrush! I brushed my own teeth and handed her a shiny new toddler toothbrush and she went to town copying me, tentatively pushing the soft bristles into her mouth. There was definitely more chewing than brushing tonight. I told her, "Are you sure you want to do this - you're going to have to do it a few times a day everyday for the rest of your life?"

Rash Flash

Everytime I think we have it beaten, it pulls us back in! We have made some serious headway on the rash. Most importantly, it is far less painful for Caroline. We continue our treatment and I feel like it is different at each diaper change; one looking not so good, another looking almost gone, and another creeping back up on us. We'll just continue to be as vigilant as possible and hopefully the rash flash updates will suddenly vanish - just like we hope her rash will!

Cute Caroline Chronicle

Secondary to the various ointment applications and some discomfort before bed, what with being chilly and uncomfortable because of the yucky cream, I have developed a silly routine involving magical pajamas. I first did this while Steve was away because MAN, to be the sole parent and not have the luxury of a distractor was making it very challenging to get her gooped up and suited up for bed without a steady stream of tears. Tears like that just don't have the nice calming effect I look for in a bedime routine. Enter magical pajamas. I thought it might be too abstract for her to grasp and maybe it is and she just enjoys it because it seems silly, but whatever it is, I fully intend on keeping these pjs around. I pick up her sleeper, wave my fingers and say "magic pajamas" and then I pretend that the pjs are freaking out and I can barely contain them. She LOVES this. It gets especially giggly when I strain to get them onto her feet and continues when the arms keep sneaking out of my grip. I have never seen hysterics like this from Caroline and it is a very welcome change from the tears. I highly suggest every parent invest in a pair of magical pajamas.

All I want for whatever is my second top tooth

Please join me in a moment of silence for my key tags. That would be the ring of many MANY savings tags I tote around with exactly three keys. I discovered that savings tags are an excellent baby toy and much less dangerous that the actual keys. I let Caroline play with them at Home Depot last weekend while we were getting an estimate. We must not have realized she had thrown them (and while I desperately want to somehow make this not my fault and blame it on Steve, it just wouldn’t be fair, though I will admit that initially I did!) and they are gone, not even in Lost and Found. I called. I was most annoyed that not only did I miss out on an awesome coupon at CVS ($25 gift card with new RX) & have to pay full price for “on sale” diapers that I had planned on getting for free with the gift card, BUT now I have to replace every stinking card too. The reason I ask for the moment of silence is because after I had some time to settle down and relax I realized really it’s not the inconvenience of replacing them that upset me most, but that this ring held the only remaining pieces of our everyday life from MA. You know – Barbers, Loehmanns, and my Minute Man Library System card. After changing our address, our licenses, I still had those cards. While Steve certainly DID pick on me for keeping my Barber’s card, I really believed that I needed to keep it because I would use it again someday if/when we move back. Now the only way I can get that card is to move home… So a moment of silence for the last remaining silly piece of our life in MA. Also, should I worry about some crazy person taking out lots of books and movies from the Natick library and never returning them?

Steve is on his way home and it comes not a moment too soon. My baby girl is now sporting two top teeth and I am sure you can see where this is headed. I was up from midnight to almost two with her, comforting her, trying to get her back to sleep. I used her wake up as a might as well change your diaper moment too because if she’s up, she’s up and if she is already upset, what’s the harm in upsetting her a tiny bit more right? Good thing I did! Even though she was sporting new Size 4’s, she clearly could not have made it through with that diaper. I think I need a new plan for evening beverages. Perhaps when she gets home I should offer her the sippy instead of at 6 ish with dinner? She woke up this morning with a full diaper still even after our midnight change!

So I changed her, I calmed her with some crazy dancing and woot wooting and basically anything highly embarrassing that I could do to get her attention from that blasted tooth. I took her up to our room after what felt like an eternity of Hush Little Caro and Caroline I love you songs that weren’t quite working their magic, I sat up with her, rested her against me supported by a pillow, and she snuggled right in. The magic you see is allowing her to touch the skin on your back and as soon as she had found that, the thumb sucking commenced and she was history. Except that she wasn’t. I tried 4 times to put her back in her crib and each and every time she was immediately up and screaming again. I tried my ten minute rule and still nothing, not an eye rub in sight. So we retreated again to the solace of the bedroom, where she continued snuggling and I decided that as long as I was up, what was on the tube? Score, Jon and Kate MARATHON, which always reminds me that things could always ALWAYS be much worse. Except times weren’t so bad. Sure, I was dead asleep when she woke up. Sure, I was dead tired. Sure, my fingers were now sticky from Baby Motrin. Sure, I was going to be exhausted today. Sure, I wanted to snuggle back to sleep, but this moment was actually quite beautiful. I carefully laid her next to me, stared at her little nose and her adorable chin, felt her sweet breath from her perfect little mouth, and smiled when she suddenly out of nowhere laughed in some faraway dream.

I woke up this morning just before the alarm at 6:09. She was laying beside me, barricaded in by pillows on one side and me on the other. I scooped her up and put her into her crib so I could hop into the shower before she woke up, but I not until after I lay down beside her again smelled all her clean baby goodness and gently kissed her eyelids.

Oh yeah, life goes on

I jetted out of work yesterday with a mission to pick up Caroline’s RX for her new anti-fungal from CVS and get gas en route. It was a perfect plan, CVS and the gas station are next to one another with easy access to the highway that leads to daycare. Perfect plans don’t seem to work out so well do they?

We are fortunate to have a drive thru pharmacy at our CVS and I happily pulled in behind one waiting car. SCORE! 10 minutes and approximately 3 traffic reports later, I found myself in Park with the engine off (trying to do my part to conserve resources!), muttering my annoyances to no one, and thoroughly annoyed. The car in front of me had in fact paid for a prescription. I had seen the transaction. I had also seen the bag in the tech’s hands, but yet I was still waiting to GET to the window. I did the complete unthinkable and got out of the car, approached the driver’s window and asked how long she expected to be. Who am I?! She was totally caught off guard and relayed that she had already paid. My response was “I know I saw that 10 freakin’ minutes ago.” I stomped off, threw my hands up in the air at the car behind me, and jetted off to go handle this inside the store.

While I do adore the drive thru, often when a prescription isn’t quite ready the drive thru can be a fatal error. I don’t know why they feel pressured to make that one up right then and there because oh my god the owner is here to claim it. Seriously, you don’t have it yet, say “come back in 10 minutes,” is that so difficult?

Inside proved to be worse, the pharmacy line was at least 8 people deep and there was no hope that I would be getting my baby’s anti-fungal anytime soon. So I said Screw It knowing that I still have the coveted Vusion sample at home which would beat the snot out of this anti-fungal anyway. Ten minutes of my life I will never get back and wow I am clearly still angry about it. ahem.

My parents surprised us with a little visit last night. It was nice to have some adult companionship and conversation & the extra hands to help me finish packing up Caroline’s lunch and get the dinner dishes washed didn't hurt. I had someone to gab about American Idol with and laugh at train wreck Paula with. My mom helped at bathtime (We are in the big tub and it's not going so well). Caroline & I had a great time and we hope that we can do little random visits like this one more often!

The skies were angry last night. Not long after my parents left the wind was howling, the rain was pouring down in sheets, the thunder threatened to wake the baby, and the lightening had me cowering by the window. My parents fortunately avoided most of the weather on their way home. I even called them to tell them to come back it was so bad. There were tornado watches in northern NJ. Tornado watches. The weather is scary this year. I may or may not have contemplated where I would take Caroline for safety if the television started flashing tornado warnings (front hall closet, the lowest interior closet in the house, though precariously placed by the door).

Rash Flash

IMPROVEMENT! Think less pissed off you scorned me fire engine red. Think less bumpy and splotchy. Think a lot less painful. Think good thoughts that it keeps up!

Early Morning Call From Sin City

Imagine yourself sleeping underneath your luxurious new bedspread, spread out yet still on your own side, though no one occupies the other half of the bed. Now imagine your phone ringing at 1:45AM. Envision yourself stumbling to the phone see your spouse calling from Vegas. What would you say to him? (I stammered, “Why are you calling me so late?”) But you can’t hear anything because he can’t hear you because HE is listening to John Cougar aka John Mellencamp aka John Cougar Mellencamp LIVE at his global sales conference singing Jack and Diane. You finally hear your spouse, screaming the words into the phone. (erin – you can imagine how that went!) “Thanks for waking up, I love you.” Click. I’d imagine that you would go back to sleep smiling just like I did.

growing pangs

You would never imagine that watching your child eat would bring such a feeling of pride or an equally overwhelming sense of "when did my baby grow up?" Over the weekend I spontaneously quit slicing up Caroline’s banana and just handed it to her half peeled. It was one of those random "today we are biting the bullet" decisions. Her expression turned quite serious and she took huge hungry independent bites, allowing me to help her peel it further down. Another letting go moment. I never expected that I would feel a little pang that she can feed herself a banana, but I kind of do.

She still needs supervision and some minimal assistance, but she LOVES to feed herself. She loves to feed herself so much that she constantly points at the bananas in the kitchen, stands up on her toes under the fruit bowl begging, and gets upset when I redirect her. I think one entire banana is entirely enough banana for one day, don’t you? She knows what a banana is too because in the morning when I ask her if she wants a banana she gets all excited and points right to it before I even go near the fruit. So smart. So big. So scary.

Last night I heated up some shepherd’s pie I made a few days ago and put some in a ramekin for her, hoping she would at least try a bite before I heated up chicken nuggets or a turkeyball for her. I plopped in a toddler spoon from Kiki and she was off and eating SOLO. She scooped massive spoons of mashed potatoes and turkey into her mouth and was so delighted with herself that she ate the entire portion. I was stunned and again, the pangs. Why?

This morning when we put on her socks and shoes, she held her feet up while watching me closely and wanted to do the Velcro herself. She expertly removed both shoes and one sock on the car ride to school and was so proud of herself that she was laughing in her big girl carseat waving the empty Reeboks. It’s just a matter of time before her new friend Matthew teaches her how to unscrew a sippy cup lid (which he learned to do in the car en route to our museum trip on Friday spilling all over himself!) and then what will I do?

I should be reveling in Caroline’s growth, sharing her accomplishments with pride, and I am, it’s just that does she have to be growing up so darn fast?

Rash Flash

We are seeing modest improvements this morning after an overnight with Triple Paste. Started the morning off with Vusion cream sample given at pedi. School updated on new procedure of alternating anti-fungal with Triple Paste and we once again reiterated the no juice whilst recovering from yeast infection policy. It looked a bit better, but with a whole 3 days of school ahead, I am already sick to my stomach imagining the condition of her poor diaper area this evening. I sense another late afternoon in the kitchen tinkling on the kitchen floor, her not me.

Cute Caroline Chronicle

We were in Target yesterday looking at simple valances for the kitchen and bathroom. (PS we found one and seriously if a valance can transform a room, this one totally did. I need to get back to pick up one more for the window above the sink!) This trip may or may not have been after a curtainless visit to Homegoods (do they really not have curtains?), where we may or may not have found an amazing deal on a new comforter set for the master. Just part of what I like to do while Steve is away; change the decor, reorganize furniture, clean every closet, and throw away his old t-shirts. Nothing says welcome home like look everything is different!


Caroline was in the shopping cart, strapped in of course. I bent down to look at some curtains for the spare bedroom (jury still out because there is no hardware up in the room to put them on yet) and when I stood up 30 seconds later she was turned completely around in the seat, kneeling, clapping her hands, beaming ear to ear showing off that adorable front tooth.

I think my million-dollar mommy invention is a way to seat your child facing the direction you are headed. My child is always contorting, struggling, whining, to face forward and see where she is going. I call dibs though I have absolutely no idea how it could possibly be done. Oh look, someone beat me to it already! Figures, though his design requires a whole new shopping cart and that just seems way too complicated. I just want some sort of turning around apparatus. I wouldn’t even care if it took up some of the cart room, but then I am sure she would be turning purple and frustrated that she cannot see me. So maybe what we really need is one that spins and has a water gun attached to spray passerby or a steering wheel that actually turns it... or wow... getting a bit ahead of my imagination.