Caroline’s reaction to last night’s deceptive dinner was lukewarm, though I attribute this more to the fact that her two year molars seem to be making an appearance than my cooking. Maybe I am just protecting my ego – but I sticking by my molar hypothesis. A frozen OJ Popsicle was more her speed, it was the only thing she willingly put into her mouth all night besides her hand which we thought she might swallow at one point.

Steve took the meatloaf out of the fridge when he got home from work and I had hoped that by the time I preheated the oven it would be room temp. It wasn’t and our dinner took much longer to bake than it should have. If I was to make this again I would not make it the night ahead and I would more closely read the directions. I accidentally added a cup of sauce that was supposed to be spread on top. I thankfully realized my error and removed as much as possible before mixing, but the damage was done, the loaf was on the mushy side as a result. BUMMER.

Just as I suspected, Chef Caroline really did enjoy helping me with the rice balls while the meatloaf cooked. What is NOT to love about Mommy encouraging you to smush rice between your fingers?? These were the sleeper hit. She did have a bite while we were cooking with positive results, but the teething proved to be a barrier even rice and cheese could not penetrate. Steve and I enjoyed them thoroughly. My one criticism is that they really do need to be eaten warm, but when was the last time I got Steve to eat SPINACH??? Or SWEET POTATO???

Would I call it a success? Not quite – but it was easy enough that I will try it again and I picked a few more of Jessica's recipes to try out.

Today is Caroline’s rescheduled picture day at school. Despite a certain toddler’s pleading to stay in her pajamas this morning, she was appropriately attired in a spring dress, tights, and dressy shoes. I painstakingly aligned her pigtails - who knew THIS would be one of my biggest parenting challenges. Have you ever tried to put a tiny elastic around a teeny fistful of hair while your subject's head is in continuous motion? Her poor little nose is much improved since those photos and I am doubtful they will need to do much airbrushing. What I wouldn’t give to have skin like that now.

deceptively dining

I recently came upon a deeply discounted copy of Deceptively Delicious and after reading Mary’s rave reviews decided to give it a try. Caroline is typically willing to TRY anything offered without any pleading or whining from her parents. Steve and I often share a knowing wide eyed stare when we realize she is sucking down broccoli or green beans and we always make a big deal of showing her how much we like our veggies. Most times despite her best meal intentions those poor veggies are spit back out onto her plate or into one of our hands. I never thought I would be able to tolerate half chewed foods being deposited into my hand OR that when I see her making the “no like it” face that I would be the Mom to go so far as to encourage her to spit it out, but here I am. Caroline is no stranger to vegetables, but she is far from being their biggest fan.

I flipped through the cookbook and saw some interesting recipes. I plan on offering her some of these meals with hidden veggies right alongside the non-sneaky variety. Tonight is Italian meatloaf, which I know will over my family because there is bacon involved, rice balls, and a fresh salad.

It took 20 minutes to pre-prepare the meatloaf last night before Steve and I headed upstairs. This morning after Daddy and Caro hit the door, I pureed a sweet potato and spinach for the rice balls. We’re doing a vegetarian variety minus the chicken the recipe calls for and I think that Caro is really going to dig being allowed to play with rice this afternoon while the meatloaf cooks up in the oven. Plus they include CHEESE. ohhhhh.

I’ll let you know how it all went over tomorrow! I am brazenly predicting success.

for auntie

Caroline (aka scarface) modeling one of her bike helmets from Granda. She put it on and went inside to ask Steve for a bike, with NO prompting from me whatsoever! HYSTERICAL yet awesome that she gets safety?!?


Although it is school picture day at school today, we asked Mr. Eric if we could postpone until Thursday in hopes that by then Caroline’s nose will have healed a bit. I think Steve and I agree that a photo of her in her current state is not something we would purchase or hand out to family for their wallets and fridges.

She had a little fall on Sunday while visiting a recovering Uncle Bub and my parents up in Western MA. The weather is finally nice and Caroline exemplifies zest for life; constantly racing around the yard, throwing herself to the ground to more closely examine that piece of grass, telling us “right back. stay here.” Mr. Eric says she is “wreckless” on the playground and is surprised that she hasn’t gotten hurt before now.

She cried for more than 30 minutes straight on Sunday after she fell on the pavement scraping her knee, her elbow, and severely skinning her nose. I walked her around the entire block and neither song nor flying birdies could distract her from the terribleness of her little injuries. When I had thoroughly sweat though my shirt, exhausted myself from carrying her bulk, and adequately covered my shoulders in baby girl snots I was considering packing it up and heading out. I sat in the grass with her in one last attempt to calm her down & she fell asleep. I would need a nap too if I cried that hard for that long! It wasn’t long before she was showing Nana how to pop bubbles on Mommy’s iPhone and racing all over the place again. She’s resilient and also forgetful.

After all the sun and fun and unseasonable HEAT, we thought a short shower with me might cool her down and help her to sleep better. She had picked at her dinner and refused water for most of the afternoon. At 4:30 we got a wake up call from a feverish toddler who declared “Downstairs, TV.” Boy, does she know the sick in the middle of the night routine or what? She drank a sippy of ice cold water and asked for more and after just that one dose of Motrin her fever vanished, never to return again. Caroline was clingy for most of the day, napping with me midmorning, and then again later in the afternoon. By the time Steve got home from work she was playing outside at her sand and water table, totally her adorable little self.

Universe, I have heard you. I understand fully that my daughter, much like her father, is a not a fan of heat. I get that she does not quite grasp the concept of “taking it easy” on hot days. She has but one speed; maximum. I know now that if need be, I must force ice cold liquids and frozen juice treats into her body or she will quickly become dehydrated. Caroline had all the signs and lord knows whatever liquids she had in her body were cried out post fall.

The wreckless one is at school today, her brightly smiling self returned. She is ready to take on the week, just not a photo.

Feeling a bit better

Appetite back, ability to sit alone returned, fever at bay without
meds, but still looking like she went a couple rounds after her fall
Sunday. We may even go outside!

1, 2, 3

We’re counting, not all the time, especially NOT when asked to, but counting nonetheless. There is just one problem…

“1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10”

What happened to 4 and 6??

Even when I repeat it, emphasizing the missing numerals, Caroline repeats is back sans 4 and 6. What does she have against poor 4 and 6?

It’s time for more mischievous monkeys to jump on the bed. I am even breaking out the very Un PC “Ten Little Indians."

recent languarge perplexions

“How about (pause) this one?”
while deciding which puzzle to take out

Sandra Boynton’s Opposites book

“make coffee? with ice? Ann, want some?”
while sitting out with our marvelous neighbors, she served it in the tiny flower pots from her sand and water table

“mmmmm hummus”
self explanatory

“cover me!”
while laying on the floor with her butt up in the air, Caro style

“wawa all gone?!”
after pulling the plug on the water table

after weeks of slowing down to show her the llamas on the way home only to have her immediately ask for “ducks!” she found the little llama farm on the way home while I was illegally chatting away with Steve on my cell

“push Bailey” (which sort of sounded like push button)
this one deserves a bigger explanation

At pick up yesterday I walked in to find my daughter in time out. She raced towards me, tears streaming down her face, burying her head into my shoulder (but kindly wiping away the pools of wet from my shirt – good girl). The new afternoon girl Katie shared that Caroline had just been put in time out for pushing Bailey to the ground. Poor Bailey. Caroline was so upset and when I looked at her face I saw not anger or scorn, but regret. We waited for Bailey to finish getting a clean diaper and Caroline apologized to her with a hug. She spent the rest of the way home telling me that she “push Bailey.” When Steve arrived home she gleefully whipped the front door open full of smiles, only to race away and hide her face when he walked in. Her first words to him were sad and apologetic, “push Bailey.” We never get reports of her acting out like this and she was clearly not comfortable with her new role as aggressor. I reminded her just as Katie did that we do not push our friends. She knew what she had done was wrong, now was the time to comfort her. I told her that it was okay because I knew she was a good girl and it was an accident. Sometimes accidents happen.

The foot of a 26 year old

Feeling spoiled on the tenth anniversary of my legal drinking age.
Steve, you spoil me so...

Parental VIP

I’d say it is pretty normal for two year olds to have clearly defined preferences. Caroline likes “Lion” better than “Mouse,” prefers her bath doll, and would rather stay in jimmies all day than get dressed (I am with her on that one!). Things I have read recently state that it is normal for her to even prefer one parent and lately that parent is Mommy. If I am being truthful, there has always been a slight preference for me. For a long time I chalked it up to nursing and my being home with her two days. Mommy is the one she goes to the park with, the one who takes her to the fun music class. Mommy is the one who snuggles with her and reads books in the afternoon while we wait for Daddy to get home from work.

Lately, the Mommycentricness has increased to a point where I feel it might be a bit out of control. I won’t even pretend that there isn’t a part of me that feels reassured by my little girl’s attention, but when I watch her reach her arms out and strain to free herself from her father’s grip for mine – it makes my heart ache a bit.

At my father’s birthday brunch over the weekend, I was told she did not handle my absence to gather up another plate of Belgian waffles well. And there were many trips for waffles, they were SO SO good! When I walked away she was turning around in her seat asking where I had gone. As I stood contemplating which salad to try I heard my mother “Mommy went to get you some fruit, she will be right back.” I had been gone for only a moment.

On the weekends when we all snuggle together in bed watching Mickey or Manny, she lets me envelop her in my arms and press my cheek to hers all while pushing her father’s kisses and hugs away. I suggest to him that his scruffy face might be the cause but I also think she might like the sad reaction this warrants – cause and effect is pretty fun for her right now.

She will comply when I say “tell Daddy you love him” but will ignore his requests to parrot anything. She says “Stop it, Steve” when he is doing something she doesn’t like and in the very next moment will say “excuse me” for him if a rogue belch escapes his lips. She's a selective listener where he is concerned.

We also appear to have just entered another separation anxiety phase. Recently the morning drop offs have been challenging. It is the one time that she clings to Steve and does not want him to let her go. Tuesdays are the toughest; she’s been home with us for four days and I know that as much as she loves school, it is hard to readjust back to the craziness of her classroom.

I know that like all things this phase will pass by. I know that in ten years time she will be confiding in her father and asking him why her mother is so oblivious to her tween angst? “Daddy, why is she so cold and heartless?” I know Steve will be well-equipped to handle all that when the time comes, but right now, I don’t know how to handle my preferred status, particularly because it is clearly hurting my husband.

Last night we sat on the floor in her room and Steve wrestled her into her pjs. With her between us I said, "Don't you love it when she just looks at you and touches your face like this?" while putting my hand against his cheek softly. She immediately mimicked my actions; gently rubbing his cheek with her hand in a simple loving way. The look that swept over his face told me that this was all he needed to know she loves him. It was the look of love.

diamond anniversary

My father, known here as Granda, was born six decades ago this very day. He hardly looks his age, which I am sure can be attributed to his non-stop work around the house, his attention to every tiny detail, and his incredible work ethic. Granda likes his house tidy and he has great difficulty relaxing. I am my father’s only daughter and I have great memories of times spent with him… him tossing us (my brother and our two neighbors) high into the air, high enough that I thought I might touch the leaves of the big tree out back… building snowmen and protecting those snowmen from the neighborhood hooligans… him fending off that giant attack dog with a night stick he kept in the garage… building a table from scratch with him and Brett … watching him paint in the basement (let's just graze right over the unfortunate oil painting on the floor incident shall we?), raking fall leaves… the smell summer dinners of shish kebab on the charcoal grill… Red Rose pizza reheated the next day… Sunday afternoon golf… Friday night Red Sox… him feeding us useless information to use against unsuspecting educators (do YOU know what a hemidemisemiquaver is??)... hours long conversations about every single thing at the kitchen table…

I used to love to get dressed up for a special occasion and walk down the steps to find him in the kitchen (waiting for my mother to finish getting ready no doubt). I loved it because he always turned to look at me and told me that I looked beautiful. Sometimes he threw in a “wow!” if it was a particularly good look. He always made me feel special. He still does that.

When I met Steve in 2001, I met someone who treated me like gold, a good listener, protector, someone who would always believe in me. I met a man who sees our relationship as a partnership and who views fatherhood as an active role, not just a physical presence. He might not have the clean gene, but heck, I’ve got enough of that for both of us. In meeting Steve, I met someone who exemplified the very best qualities of my own father. I hope that someday my little Caroline will look deep into the soul of her chosen mate and find those same amazing qualities. She'd be finding a diamond in the rough.

60th anniversaries are diamond anniversaries & you certainly are.

Happy Birthday....

friday forecast

The weather is looking exceptionally beautiful for Friday. With most of this nasty cold behind me and a little voice in my head reminding me “don’t scratch, don’t scratch” I am ready to really whoop it up with Caro on the warmest day of the spring thus far. We’ve been frequenting the little playground up the street since the snow melted, but it might be time to tackle the beach playground or the one we refer to as “where she got locked in the car” as a special treat.

This time of year makes my heart leap. The simple act of being able to put away the winter coats and unearth the spring clothes from the attic makes me smile. I always do the seasonal switch way too soon and end up fishing through the boxes of winter stuff in the cool mornings, grumbling about Al Roker, and cursing the local guy Bob Maxon’s dang bus stop forecast.

Back in the day Friday would have been known as “skin day;” the day on campus when all the girls would wear their shortest skirts and sit out on any spot of green they could find in Boston’s urban jungle sunning themselves as if Huntington Avenue was just for that one day South Beach. I don’t think I really participated fully in skin day, but these days I am usually lucky if my legs are clean-shaven on the mysterious first really warm day of spring. My skin day no longer involves scoping out a spot of green, resting my head on a book bag, soaking in the sun. Imagining my daughter’s joyful expression when we drive to a novel playground (I am leaning towards the beach!) and she bounces in her seat with excitement is so much greater than any ol’ skin day ever could have been.

We might not be ready to break out the summer stuff yet (you know I have been fighting the urge to purge the winter stuff from her wardrobe to make way for summer time cuteness don’t you???), but the spirit of this special part of the year is alive in my daughter’s smile, in the way she throws her head back and says “weeeee” on the swings, and the way I feel watching her…a real live little person racing gleefully around a playground, knowing just where she wants to go next…looking up to be sure that I am watching her…am I seeing how high she is? Am I???

It’s going to be awesome and there might even be ice cream.

leaves of three, let it be

I know that in theory I should learn from past mistakes. In theory, I should tuck that knowledge away for the next time it might be useful. In theory, I should stay the heck out of the garden.

Last year’s mission: Remove Neglected Hosta was as complete as it could be given that the “garden” had already begun to shoot the green tell tale purple hosta blooms from the earth. I say “garden” because what had at one time surely been a lovely corner flowerbed had become a neglected, overgrown mess of twisting prickers and weeds. The weekend we moved in (nearly two years ago!) we stared at it slack jawed. Not even gloves could help us to make sense of it and weeding it was out of the question because PRICKERS! In the time between when we closed and when we moved in there were many long afternoons that I filled trimming bushes, removing the rough landscape of the backyard and I came down with my first case of poison ivy. “Look at this, what is it? It itches!!!” I’ve been cautious to a fault since.

Last spring I took to that flowerbed with a sharp edge of spade and dug as much of the mess out as I possibly could. It required muscles and a lot of screaming and I declared the mission complete when I discovered the hosta was actually planted among rocks, which in happier times must have made this bed have a stepped look to it. I am sure it was lovely, but the rocks just delayed my work and caused frustration. Recently, I approached it again, this time before the green had been given a chance to sprout up. I pulled every rock, root, and pricker from that god awful flowerbed. When I was satisfied that I had killed every living thing, I looked around the rest of the yard searching for more things to cut and remove. I pulled vines that I suspected might have been responsible for last season’s scary poison ivy invasion from several corners of the yard. I ripped the vines, coiled them up and placed them deep into the lawn bags. I showered immediately and washed all the clothing I had worn. I had learned afterall.

Wouldn’t you know that two weeks later I have poison ivy? TWO WEEKS LATER? I discovered a bump on my leg, then the next day on my right forearm, and then later on my stomach. Wha????

HOW? I had washed everything. I had worn gloves, long sleeves. I had showered IMMEDIATELY……….I had moved that damn lawn bag to the street for pick up….I had later sat with the sweater I wore that afternoon and carefully removed pills from its edges…. Edges that must have been come into contact with the poison ivy vines.

I hate poison ivy.

This year is the most important year since we moved in that the yard be safe and free of things like poison ivy. This year Caroline will explore and play and potentially touch plants in the yard. I am really looking forward to her help in the garden and perhaps growing some flowers in the previous pricker pit. I just hope that this time the lesson sticks and I take every possible poison ivy precaution, for both her and my sake.

nothing short of amazing

The Easter Bunny came and went and left behind a cute tulip basket with a gardening theme, several candy filled eggs to hunt, and many generous gifts from Kiki and Papa. As predicted our little chocolate lover enjoyed sampling all the candy, but with just a nibble or lick. I have eaten more dove almond and peanut butter cup eggs in the past 48 hours than I care to count. Caroline has turned into my own personal holiday candy pusher. She gets a gold star for this.

We thought ahead and made the smart decision to drive home early Monday morning. The Pike traffic on Easter weekend has been known to drive people to the brink of insanity. I think one year I spent over 3 hours on the bus back to Boston from Western MA. Articles from the Boston papers indicate that we made a very smart decision.

The ladies in the McHouse are still under the grips of this terrible "as the seasons change" cold. There is currently not a single tissue in our house. Before I left this morning I declared a tissue emergency. Luckily Steve is headed to the store at lunchtime and offered to pick up a new supply. I am very much looking forward to returning the tissue threat status back to normal levels.

Speaking of Steve. Have I told you lately how amazing, wonderful and supportive he is? I haven't?

I pushed through my day at home with Caroline yesterday – aka the day of 1000 kleenex – by engaging her in lots of sticker play, a trip to the market, and some time at the playground on the swings. I spent her nap unpacking and cleaning up both myself and the house. When Steve arrived home she was in the middle of “put mommy to sleep” and I was so comfortable there on the couch bundled under all the blankets with her that I did not want to move. Post dinner my husband ordered me to return to the sofa where I spread a blanket over myself. I was in and out a bit at first. Someone was feeding me cake and showing me cards of “Dog” and “Mouse.” “Mouse climb in tree!” Steve handled bedtime including the very brave move of attempting a solo bath. I groggily woke up to look around and saw that it was 9:30! I was ordered to go directly to bed and I don’t even remember hitting the pillow, though I must have stopped to take out my contacts because I needed my glasses to see the weather forecast this morning.

This was nothing short of amazing. I am so very lucky and feeling so incredibly rested after nearly 11 hours of sleep. 11 hours and I can almost breathe through BOTH my nostrils!

are you bathed out yet?

I cannot help myself from posting this. I just have to share the biggest news re bathtime in over a month. I know you are sick of hearing about the hair and the tears and the dual showers and tub crayons. Lord knows I am sick of talking about it.

I took my psychology and social work education & put it to good use treating my daughter like my middler year lab rat "Chalupa." I spent a quarter (yes, quarters, we NUites had 4 quarters over 12 months, not 2 semesters over 9 months like the rest of you) taking care of a lab rat and teaching him (by denying him food) various behaviors. A month into this nonsense I decided that the answer to our dilemma was operant conditioning and desensitization. Of course, it was going to be difficult to do this while still feeding her, but I wasn't willing to starve her. Starving Chalupa was a lifetime's worth of starving. I utilized both positive (praise) and negative reinforcement (the absence of the dreaded water and the forced tubs) to change my daughter's behavior by introducing familiar tub things back into tubtime slowly, painfully slowly.

Step one: Playing in empty tub fully clothed with Mommy. She refused to leave my lap, played hesitantly. Tears frequent, praise abundant, water absolutely non-existant.
Step two: Playing in empty tub in just diaper, with Mommy in bathing suit. Clingy, but was willing to stand solo to use crayons, blow bubbles. Tears less frequent, praise abundant, mention of water brings immediate begging to "take me out."
Step three: Playing in empty tub naked, Mommy in bathing suit on outside of tub, with a small basin of water. She immediately freaked at the water's presence, but when Mommy reintroduced the watering can she began filling and dumping. Then at our promting emptied it on her feet, then her knees. She took it upon herself to pour it over her head. She didn't even squirm about the ear plugs. "Do you want to get out?" "Stay in" She washed her baby, she poured water all over herself, she splashed with wreckless abandon.

Sure, she did not sit half submerged in water, but BY GOD, our Caroline is clean and this was all accomplished without a single tear, a single whimper, an exasperated sigh from a parent.

We are obviously light years from a good ol' fashioned bath, but we are getting there, with praise, with baby steps, and with patience.

Let's say it again for emphasis. Steve and I, we make a pretty good team.

mommy caro night

Steve had a fancy pants dinner out with his colleague, boss and boss’ boss last night. It was a local dinner, but he still suspected he would be out past Caroline’s bedtime, so I planned a little girl’s night for us. Caroline decided she wanted Mac and Cheese for dinner, so I put two easy Annies into a big glass microwave safe bowl, and tada dinner. While it spun around and around “cooking” I sliced into a grapefruit and was astonished to find that Caroline could not get enough of it. She sprinkled a healthy helping of sugar of top of the segments I had sliced in the way my Dad always sliced for me. You know, the cut in half, and then cut all the way around the flesh and between each segment so you can eat it right out of the peel method? Yeah, that one. Even better than the fleshy insides was the drinking of the juice, which was by far her favorite part. She enjoyed that so much that she looked at the other half sitting there on the cutting board and asked for “more, please.” Together we ate the entire grapefruit, but it was hardly a fair share, I think I had 4 bites. I laughed energetically when she asked me if she could “drink?” the second one too, which she did with not one speck of help from her Mommy. I spooned mac and cheese into bowls for each of us and it wasn’t long before she was licking her spoon asking again for “more, please!” Three slices of cantaloupe later, I cut her off, promising dessert with Nemo (thin mint girl scout cookie ice cream).

There we sat, all cuddled up, me reading Dooce’s book (it’s good!) and Caroline laughing at Nemo. Though she could have used a tub I wasn’t in the mood to tackle that one solo last night, especially when I got a text from Steve at 7pm that they hadn’t even sat to eat yet and were still enjoying cocktails in the bar. Normally I would have been up for more than a movie on a night alone with Caroline, but I was ready for bed as soon as the dinner dishes were cleaned and her lunch for today was packed. It was a gorgeous night, the kind that makes you feel guilty sitting inside, but I just didn’t have it in me to anything more strenuous than set up the DVD.

I took my time getting her ready for bed. “My naked!” I hugged her little body close and kissed her neck, playfully pretended to eat the super ticklish spot on her side; the one that makes her belly laugh and gasp for air. She read me three books and before I could even close the last one to signify that it was really truly bedtime, she threw herself dramatically face first onto the sofa away from my grip. If I could only determine where the dramatics come from??? =) She played quietly in her crib until just before 9, when Steve arrived home.

I stayed up to see him, but I should have gone right to bed. I woke up at 3am, thinking it was nearly 6, wide awake, with that dry getting sick lump in my throat and cursed the world. I willed myself back to sleep, but I am clearly getting sicker as the day goes on here. Seriously – I am way outside of my comfort zone with this lack of sleep thing Sunday night/Monday morning. How did I ever live like that – Ann? How are you doing it??? Combine that awful night with a little girl who enjoys wiping her drippy nose on my shoulder, cheek, mouth, hands and you get a recipe for disaster. Sorry to be so woe is me, but yuck. I have been short with Steve, lazy with Caroline, and just very “unme” this week. TGITh.


cookies and milk with caroline

From Caroline Month 27

iPhone chicken and ABCs - I am in very big trouble, but I am so impressed with my two year old's iPhone adeptness that I downloaded several other new "games" for her to try

From Caroline Month 27

Opening Day "hit the ball!"

From Caroline Month 27

a ruse to watch "Lion?" I think not

I am having trouble keeping my eyes open today. Caroline woke up Monday morning just after 3, coughing herself awake. I changed her diaper and realized she was not bring difficult, but was shaking and burning up. I took her upstairs to our room and Steve held her tightly while the shakes went away. We realized she was up for good when her cough became well, a bit more productive. Steve changed my pillowcase while I took her downstairs to watch “Lion.” She watched it twice, all the way through both times. Her fever went away with some Motrin and I closed my eyes in an attempt to rest my body. I had ordered Steve back to bed because he was working and I knew I could catch a catnap myself at naptime, which I hoped in vain would be longer than usual. It wasn’t, but an angel named Steve brought me cheddar broccoli soup for lunch. Her fever came and went throughout the day, but her sprits were high. We even hit the market for some missing dinner ingredients and I let her walk “like a big girl.” A mistake I will not be duplicating anytime soon, though it did produce a few cute stories. (heading directly for Daddy’s Favorite Granny Smith apples because we always get those first, pressing her face against the bakery case going “ummmmm” over and over at the sweets lined up in rows) We had a very lazy day yesterday and when Steve came home to a ready to hit the table meal, he asked me how I was still awake. It had to be pure adrenalin because no sooner than my daughter went to bed did I leap under the covers myself.

My working hypothesis is that we were just dealing with a little change of season sickness. Bright and sunny and then cold and rainy and on and on. That cough is pretty standard around here when she is feeling a bit under the weather. Today the cough remains, but she appears well in all other respects.

Last year she was sick for Easter, so sick that we really should have stayed home. Funny how cyclical sickness can be.

We did have a great weekend up until that point. Caroline enjoyed some time with her Kiki and Papa. The McFam spent some time with the C3s and Marc including a late dinner out with the two kids at her favorite restaurant, PF Changs. The kids did great and Uncle Marc spoiled them both with attention and affection. Got to reconnect with Amy and Erin at Kelly’s surprise bridal shower. You’d think an afternoon AWAY from the children would allow us some space to talk about other things, but of course the kids dominated our conversation and we all enjoyed sharing our war stories, giving and seeking advice. Hope Erin was taking notes, she and Brian are expecting their first in September!

comfy cozy

I am odd man out in my house. Both Steve and Caroline are such hot bods that at times the highlight of my evening is getting into bed and smooshing my ice cold feet up against Steve. He is not a very big fan of this, but who can fall asleep with freezing toes and how else can I accurately explain to him just how cold I am? I spend most of the winter bundled under blankets on the couch asking Steve repeatedly, “aren’t you freezing?” We returned home from a weekend away recently to discover that someone had not turned the heat down, but had instead turned it off completely. 54 degrees! I seemed to be the only one to notice that our house had become an igloo.

Imagine my absolute delight when I learned I had won this amazing battery operated HEATED vest?! My "Polartec Heat" arrived recently and I have given it a few test runs both outside with Caro and inside the icehouse. Thumbs up does not do it justice. With the heat at just medium I went from shivering to so warm I didn’t know what to do with myself in a matter of moments.

I don’t want to wish the summer away, but yeehaw! Come October when I am wondering how many layers I can possibly fit under my winter coat at the next BC Football game, I am going to laugh out loud that I am lucky enough to have this amazing article of clothing.

In the meantime, I fully plan on testing the battery longevity in the car this weekend. Take that Mr. must have the A/C constantly on even in the winter! Finally! F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!

the many hats of motherhood

When people ask me what it is I do for a living, you know at one of those bothersome lavish cocktail receptions we are constantly attending (ha!), my reply is always that I am a social worker. Yesterday my colleagues were discussing one of their daughters. She is about my age (I am the youngest employee here by at least 20 years) and she called her mother, my colleague, completely overwhelmed at her new responsibilities since becoming a mother a few months ago. I stopped to chat and started naming the many hats I wear daily and I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed at the realization that so many things rest on my shoulders too.

My best estimate is that I am a caregiver, private chef, housekeeper, pet care technician, laundress, organization guru, seamstress, interior decorator, driver, nurse, apparel manager, data archivist, and grounds keeper.

I enjoy most of these jobs, but seeing them put together in this way – who has time for social work???

inch by inch

Caroline had the most wonderful bath last night. We lit candles and dimmed the lights, floated magnolia blooms and she sat in the tub for so long that her fingers were pruned beyond recognition. When we asked her after nearly an hour if she wanted to get out, she sweetly and demurely replied, “no thank you, Mommy.” The water must have been getting chilly because not long thereafter she asked politely for her “towel, please.”

Of course, it is April Fools Day so that is not what happened at all. In fact, imagine the complete opposite of that scenario and that was how bathtime went. It was fast & furious, full of tears, desperate pleas to “take me out!” with nary a please to be found. I went back to jumping in with her in a bathing suit and we still had to forcibly and with great authority press her body into a seated position between my knees. Eventually she calmed down enough to ask for a tub crayon, “blue, please.” No sooner than she was handed the crayon did she spy the cup we use to rinse her off floating on the surface of the water and Steve describes her face as complete and utter terror. Over a cup. I shouted obscenities in my head at my idiocy to allow the cup to float in the water. The cup she previously LOVED. Stupid cup.

More googling ensued. I am assured that this will eventually pass, will suck every ounce of patience from my body, and that the bath is non-negotiable. I need to at least pretend to maintain some small amount of control here. There are many suggestions out there on the interwebs and I plan to try them all. We won’t be taking a bath again until Thursday evening or Friday morning, so I have lots of time to strategize a new method. My latest plan will involve her sitting in the bath with no water at all, but with all the fun amusements. We’ll go back to the days of the sponge bath and I am not sure yet how I will quickly pull off the hair washing, but it will get done. I will desensitize her to the water slowly, inch by inch if need be, until we can get past this madness.

Remind me that there will come a time in her life that we will all laugh together about this. I reserve the right to point at her while laughing so hard I cry, although at that age I am sure I am more likely to be wetting myself than crying from laughter.