"I ready"

btf: sea world?

** part of a series "Baby Talk Fridays," to read more about this series see this post. **

January 20, 2009

It's difficult to be optimistic when we realized that that hormonal rhythm we thought we had found months ago was hardly a regular beat, more like the clang of the cymbal. Before we got too down on ourselves we looked back and realized (thanks to this little post/journal thing I have going here) that it has only been two months on this dosage and that we need to give it a bit more time before we throw up our hands and beg for Clomid. As we get ready to turn the page on another month in the present, we mentally turn the page forward to November as well. With a very large gulp. I had a little heart to heart with Colleen. She is by far the most understanding and supportive bride ever because she cares little if I am akin to Shamu or nurturing a tiny newborn on 01/02/2010. Right now I am just hoping that one of those two scenarios plays itself out, though neither seems ideal, but who said life was ever ideal.


Anonymity brings courage apparently. Amanda must not be the only one who cannot look Steve in the eye and declare that they believe he is going to be Daddy to two little girls. Keep the votes coming!

In the time since I wrote yesterday’s post about baby sister, Caroline has mysteriously switched to referring to the baby in her belly as her baby brother.

On the way home from school yesterday:

“No Mommy, you no have baby brother, I have baby brother, Ok?”

Um, ok, kid.

In my head:

“This discussion is cute now, but I don’t want to be having it again for at least 20 years, OK?”

I pilfered some really cute shots from Kiki and Auntie K from last weekend. They will be in our picasa later today, but until then here is my favorite of the batch.
Caroline, you truly are the sweetest thing I ever did see.

"baby in my belly"

I officially reserve the right to change my mind at the very last minute, but it appears next Tuesday morning may result in Macadamia’s big gender reveal. I have personally wrestled with this decision. Caroline’s pregnancy placed me firmly in the “find out” camp, while Steve explained the virtues of surprises, appealed to my emotions, encouraged me that it would be so worth the wait. He was right!! Imagine my shock when upon learning we were expecting, all that sweet surprise stuff was tossed to the wind. He is desperate to find out. I am unsure if this is to prepare himself for another girl, to relish in the "I will have a son" glow, or because he just needs to know. He feels very strongly that this baby is a sister, not a brother. I'll keep my guess to myself for now. Ultimately the goal is a happy healthy baby, boy or girl. While a large part of me could stand my ground and pass on the opportunity to find out what we are having, a larger part of me is considering my daughter and how this experience will both change and enrich her life.

Caroline is big on the baby sister wagon lately and it would be infinitely easier to try to explain/break it to her that she is having a brother now (if that is the case) rather than wait until the baby’s birthday. I can almost see the enormous meltdown bedside at the hospital in my mind because "she was having a baby sister, NOT a baby brother." She knows the baby is coming, but she is confused about the details, the biggest of which is who is carrying the baby. Mommy seems to think that she is given the kicks, expanding waistline, and slow digestion. Caroline is adamant that she is and keeps telling us, “baby sister in my belly,” lifting her shirt to reveal her adorable tummy. If you tell her the baby is in Mommy’s belly she gets upset and even more adamant. If I ask her who is in my belly, she ignores me completely hiding behind her hands. Clearly, I am having this baby for my lovely Caroline’s amusement right?

This recent spark of baby interest has further demonstrated that it would be best for us to prepare her with as much specific information about her sibling as possible. Not that this means I will be pushing all my own intentions to the side because let’s face it; I’m intrigued too. This time around our decision is more in tune with doing what is best for our family, rather than debating each parent’s prerogative. Right now that means cracking open the secret of Macadamia’s gender. If little Mac goes along with the plan and shows the goods, we’ll be sharing the news, but do not go tempting my husband with talk of names. We won’t be sharing that very important detail until Macadamia arrives. Let’s be patient about SOMETHING! =)

So internet, your thoughts? Which sweater will Macadamia be wearing home from the hospital? I placed a poll over there on the right per Amanda's request for all you want to be anonymous people.

pink polka dotted sox hat

Back when Caroline was still in my belly a friend scared the bejesus out of us by sending an email about “Cash” someday turning into a Yankee sympathizer. It was terrifying to consider.

(from a post dated August 23, 2006)

What if you do have a boy, and you do live in CT and you do have a RedSox mural on his wall. When he's young he will identify and maybe even grow to love the redsox (let's leave the fact that they are heartbreaking enough as is out of this for the moment) and see them as a wonderful buffer to son-dad bonding time. He gets older and starts school in CT with a bunch of CT/NY friends. He plays at their house in their rooms with their Yankee murals on their walls and the seeds of doubt begin. "who are the yankees?" "why don't I have that mural?" "are they judging me?" "am I wrong" and the doubt begins. All his life he is forced to hide the true feelings within him, fearing the judgment and wrath of others. A part of his soul will close distancing him from those around him he doesn't trust enough with his deepest secret. Girls will throw themselves at him for his dashing good looks and intelligence and he will be afraid to open up, afraid of what they will do when they find out.

do you really want to do to your son?

Cash turned out to be a girl, that Red Sox wall mural is on pause for now, but I daresay that our Caroline has become quite a little Sox fan in her two and half years. We were fortunate enough to attend the Sox/Yanks game on Saturday afternoon with the whole McFam, a semi tradition that is so special. Steve and I had been building it up for weeks, reading the “Hello, Wally” book with her, watching the games at night with Daddy before bedtime. She was a little shy when we started walking up Brookline Ave, but what kid from suburban CT wouldn’t be overwhelmed when you suddenly find yourself walking down the street with hundreds of other people. She clung to me. We eventually opted for an elevator up to our seat level, but wouldn’t you know while we were waiting for the doors to open our girl glanced over, spied the field and exclaimed “RED SOX!!” I think it may have been the proudest moment of Steve’s life.

While we tried to stay cool and had a few pre game cocktails several people took Caroline out to the seats to see the “baseball players.” All it took was those two words and she was holding hands with whomever had offered this special treat, dashing towards to the seats overlooking the field. She was treated to ice cream in a sox batting helmet with sprinkles, though her mother ate most of it. Greg had the sighting of the day as he turned to leave the men’s room and almost ran into Spike Lee. To Steve moments later, “You want to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW!”

There was some trepidation on my part about how the actual game portion of the day would go for Caroline, not that she has ever given us reason to have any anxiety about taking her anywhere. You just never know, the wind could have been blowing in the wrong direction or the Moon could have been in Jupiter and then, well, all bets are off. She's two. It's all a mystery.
When I tried to take her for a potty break and cool off she was focused on one thing: “go back to red sox!” claiming she could hear “Daddy and Auntie” cheering. “Oh, you hear the fans?” I asked. “No Mommy, no fan, Daddy and Auntie.” She moved between family members, sitting on laps, standing on others, at one point laying across us. She sat still for the most part. She actually watched the game. She clapped. She cheered. She danced with us to "sweet Caroline." She had the best time.

On Sunday she told us all about how she had seen Wally (thankfully she did not, because she nearly freaked at the mere sight of a lifesize blow up of Wally at Twins), how she “had so much fun,” and how she had been to the Red Sox. In fact, all day yesterday was more of the same. Caroline loved every bit of Saturday and as we exited the park she longingly looked back at the field on the grandstand level, like an awestruck 8 year-old boy.

Any thoughts of her someday feeling like her Sox fan status is akin to a scarlet letter are long gone. Our little lady loves the Red Sox.

Here are some of auntie c’s shots of our amazing day watching the Yanks get spanked. We are so lucky!


Headed towards traffic for 84. A really wonderful weekend!

the sea

She be angry. High tide hit the bottom step of the mcfam's stairs.

so cute

Until we had to give it back

btf: cake

** part of a series "Baby Talk Fridays," to read more about this series see this post. **

January 19, 2009

We are on the brink of the second test day and as I sit and wait I cannot help but feel a sense of urgency mixed in with a good helping of pffffftttttttttthhhh (that's the air being let out of my little hope balloon). Steve and I continue to be at odds as to what ttc camp we belong to. So far he is mr. optimistic and I am debbie downer, which is quite a role reversal for us. I keep trying to protect my fragile fertility ego. Perhaps that is part of the problem here??? In the meantime, I had an epiphany in the shower this morning.

My life is so wonderful. I have so much to be thankful for. Anything else I could add to it would be frosting. I am still craving frosting, my Mom's vanilla frosting, but we can all do without frosting if we have cake. And I have great cake.

freakishly different

I twittered recently that Steve felt Macadamia kick/punch and though it was not quite as dramatic as when he first felt Caroline because let’s face it, what will ever compare with that first “oh my god, there is really a baby in there,” moment? It was just as happy for us to share, though freakishly different. I have been feeling this baby moving around for weeks. That’s a plural people. WEEKS. I am only in my 17th week. I asked my doctor at my most recent visit, when I was about 15 weeks, if I should be feeling anything yet because holy crap I was! She reassured me that since I had been through this before that I would probably feel movement sooner, but not kicks, just those flutters to start with. I swear to you, I was feeling more than flutters. I don’t think I told her that. I think I was afraid she either wouldn't believe me or that she would give me that doctor look that tells you something is amiss.

Steve first felt Caroline during my 20th week. Of course I wrote about it here. I first felt what I was absolutely certain was her during my 17th week. Look at the date on that post – August 25. Scary right? Except that I have been feeling this movement for some time now, which might be easily explained away by this being my second pregnancy. OR there might be some other crazy explanation that I mostly concoct at night in my dreams and wake up in a full panic over.

I dreamt that it was twins. I dreamt that it was a sumo baby. I dreamt that I am much further along than I am. I dreamt that Steve and I got into an increasingly frightening verbal altercation with an opposing fan at a BC Football game. I’ve been having some interesting dreams.

While I know that there is no “normal” when it comes to this particular life experience and while I accept that each pregnancy can be completely different, this seems freakishly different.

As I sit here now, digesting my lunch, Macadamia is kicking me in thanks for the deliciousness of my Thanksgiving sandwich on a hard roll, with sea salt and cracked pepper chips and a Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea. In 2007 I would have felt so guilty about this entire lunch. The sandwich is made with carved roasted turkey, but a sandwich! The salty fatty chips! The Iced Tea! It is entirely different this time around and wow, did I miss this special mama/baby connection via kicks and jabs. I missed it so much when Caroline was born.

I’m trying to think of Mac’s on the early side movement as a nice way to help us bond even more before s/he gets here. I remind myself that soon I will be able to convince my toddler to steady her hand on mommy’s tummy and feel her brother or sister kick her back. (lord knows she loves to touch my belly anyway – often even asking for it “mommy, I need your belly.”) I’m waiting for that special moment now and trying not to sweat over all the differences, the worries, the concerns, or how I look closer to my 20-week photo from Caroline than my 17.

onward and upward

There have been brief blips about Caroline’s impending move to her “BIG GIRL!” room. Steve and I exhibit such enthusiasm with Caroline about this move that I suspect she is envisioning a room with a working pony stable and curtains made of cotton candy.

After weeks of debate, months of trying to decide when the “right time” to move her would be, we’re finally getting down to business. When we get down to business the task at hand becomes all encompassing and we do not stop until we can hang a “mission completion” sign on whatever it is we are up to.

Steve’s parents (and auntie k by proxy) are allowing Caroline to use auntie k’s childhood bed. Besides saving us an awful lot of money, I love that Caroline will be sleeping in something that is a part of her family history. Actually the bedframe and dresser currently in that space are my own from when I was a girl, but for now we decided a twin bed was the way to go. I want her to have lots of extra space for playing in her room, maybe even a little table for tea parties. I also am keenly aware that those polly pockets are not far down the road & the very idea of those teeny tiny purses mingling with the new baby’s big, sturdy, non-swallowable toys makes me itchy. So we have a furniture and big girl toy plan, but we have been sort of going back and forth about when to execute the whole thing because as we came to realize… it’s a lot. Steve’s begun his search for an affordable method to get said items from point A to point B. I’ve been daydreaming about a cute little girls room, looking in catalogs for ideas to pilfer.

First we tackled bedding because I could not begin to imagine the move until I had an idea what it would actually look like. We looked at all kinds of bedding from many different places. We balked at the cost, though I swooned at the cute. I/We imagined stripping the bedding of a potty training toddler in the middle of night and the regret I would feel to have a gorgeous comforter or duvet ruined at the hands of overnight urine. Nothing like kicking the kid when she’s down like having to replace those treasured big girl items. So I made an executive decision and announced that we would find a more washer friendly quilt and sham set.

My search drove me to Homegoods over lunch one recent afternoon with no intentions of buying, just pricing for comparison, but I found the perfect quilt and some matching (without completely matching) valences for her windows. We had the beginnings of a room and the launch sequence began. Next stop, Big Girl Room.

Since then (Thursday) we’ve also found and purchased two sets of simple sheets and a waterproof mattress cover. We’ll need to find a simple warm blanket (I ask you internet, is it crazy to consider also getting a spare for those potential overnight accidents?) to put beneath the quilt for extra warmth. With summer rearing her ugly August heat wave head, I suspect we have plenty of time for that.

We spent some of Sunday’s nap going through the spare room emptying drawers, relocating sheet sets, and giggling over cards and things we’ve collected for Caroline in the past two and a half years. We made piles of things to donate and another of things to ditch. We cleared out the closet. We relocated the computer to the first level permanently. The room that was once the spare is quickly on its way to becoming our little girl’s retreat. (Sorry Uncle Marc)

At the very bottom of the basket we use for shredding, I found my long lost watch. It was a gift from Steve, full of sentimental value, and I had not been able to find it since we moved to this house over two years ago. I never gave up hope on it, but never imagined finding it there. I’ve been wearing it ever since. In all that time the battery never slowed or stopped. It was like a little present waiting for me, encouraging me to keep going, to continue on this emotional path to big kid town.

My little girl is going to love her new room. Imagining the new memories we'll create within those four walls makes my heart smile.

blogbecue part deux

Perhaps you already read about this weekend’s special event via The Littlest Loban or Momma's June Bugs? Or maybe you already happened to stumble upon the photos over on Picasa and thought to yourself, who are all these delicious looking children?

The Lobans hosted the second blogbecue this Saturday. A miracle happened and all five blogging families were available and able to attend. The adults enjoyed rare in-person banter, a lovely meal, and watching the little ones play together so amazingly well. I am not the only marveling at that am I?

Watching the big and littles interact was eye opening as we wait and wonder what it will be like to have two of our own. The moms with newborns were so laid back with their precious Jake and Addison. Ethan did.not.stop.moving making Amanda my new hero. He is such an adorable bundle of constant curiosity and exploration. Rylan learned Caroline’s name and said hello to her instantly, only to be answered with an eye blink from our suddenly shy girl. Sammy and Caroline frequented the snack table together, hanging out over the fish and pretzels. I suspect girl talk will come in time. Christian needs to teach my daughter how to pose for photos, what a HAM! And such a smartie ham at that. The babies Jake and Addison were so good, barely squawking (I didn’t hear any did you?), hanging out together in the shade. It is hard to picture them getting into trouble with the rest of the lot next year.

My pregnant self sweat right through my shirt, but I hoped my blogging friends wouldn’t mind too much. Apparently soaking wet clothing is something we mccashews don’t mind in the least, considering it took most of the afternoon to convince Caroline to remove her soaking wet dress to play in her swim shirt and swimmie diaper instead.

Though we’ve never all been together in one place before, it all seemed so natural; like old friends getting together. Even the dads seemed comfortable and relaxed.

Thanks to the Lobans for organizing and hosting. It was such a special day. I thank each and every one of your adorable sweet children for tiring out my Caroline so well that she slept until 8:30 Sunday morning.

grapefruit and avocado salad

We spent The day "poolside," scoping deals on fall clothes at kohls,
napping, making this salad together (more avocado!!!) and listening to
thunder rumble in. I'll call it a great Monday.

don't we all cook in wooden shoes?

Those were mine and they are authentic. Brought home by the 'rents
from holland when I was in preschool. She's been walking around the
house in them today.

What you cannot see here is that a) she just "washed" her hands in the
"sink" and b) the double whammy knee scrapes that made her (and ok me)
cry earlier tonight.

ask and you shall receive

auntie c was referring to this photo in her most recent comment. It was just after she outgrew her Moses Basket. She was always a "scoocher" - scooching down into her blankets. She must have scooched all the way down to the side of the crib and made the turn to head to the other side. Caroline is mighty pissed in this photo, probably because we chose to take the photo before rescuing her.

btf: way ready

** part of a series "Baby Talk Fridays," to read more about this series see this post. **

December 17, 2008

We had hopes of adding a photo into the annual grandparent Caroline calendar announcing amazing news. We couldn't help but consider how the best gift we could give our families and each other would be a growing family. The best gift instead seems to be humility for the experience that was so easy last time. We sit and watch and wait as others announce happy news wishing we could leap to our feet with an enthusiastic "me too!" We are ever hopeful, ever steadfast, ever certain that our family is ready to welcome this mythical little person into the fold of our life.

big girl quilt a hit

We might not be able to take it away from her.

the gift of the century

According to Kiki, I have it.

While shopping over my lunch today at Homegoods (what, like you don’t do that?) in search of the elusive big girl bedding (found and purchased!), I came across a small stack of baby doll sized Moses Baskets. The squeal I heard must have been my own. It also must have set off several “good find” alarms of the shoppers around me. Before too long there were several other women grabbing up a couple each. I like to talk to strangers in stores. I sometimes ask them their opinions or tell them what they are holding is adorable. Steve says this makes people uncomfortable, but I think he is wrong – Kiki’s been doing it her whole life and I don’t know anyone who would say that she makes people uncomfortable. Every woman who picked one up was saving it for Christmas for a niece or grandchild. Christmas – I could tuck this away for then!

orrrrr for our little Macadamia’s arrival...

When Caroline was a fraction of herself, cocooned in a swaddle for most of the day, she lounged almost exclusively in her Moses Basket. I carried her from room to room with me. She slept in it her very first night home between Steve and I in our bed.

Mr. anti-cosleep had a sudden change of heart when he considered that he might not be able to hear her breathing from the pack n play bassinet a mere 2 feet away. Would you look at that peanut!?

When we moved her from our room to the crib, she slept in that Moses Basket within her crib until her head and toes were touching both ends. We loved that basket. It is probably the thing I am most looking forward to unearthing from the attic for Macadamia. (I am least looking forward to getting out the pump – but I know how incredibly fortunate I am to have that miracle piece of equipment!) Now Caroline will have a Moses Basket for her baby too. When she sees mommy carrying her brother or sister, she can play right along, just like the little girl in her favorite story “Baby Dear.”

I haven’t bought a thing for this new baby… yet. I’ve made a list of things we either need or should consider purchasing, but none of them seem very "real." Of course we are ecstatic about this long awaited miracle, but a large part of us isn’t quite there with really accepting that this is truly happening. There is a difference, don’t you think? A line that you cross at some point along those ten months when suddenly everything is different?

Holding that little Moses Basket, just knowing that it is sitting in my trunk has made me giddy. It will be the first item to enter our house that somehow means a baby is coming. A baby is coming people!!! A real live teeny tiny smiles in his/her sleep bobbleheaded baby! It really does feel like the first time I am overwhelmed with happiness at the honest to god reality of the whole thing.

February 27th, 2007

got milk?

I have a confession. My daughter’s love for milk is waning. As a non-milk lover myself, I panicked recently and started offering Caroline chocolate milk with dinner. Anything to avoid the inevitable breakdown over the absence of juice from her Dora cup. I kept reminding myself that she drinks lots of milk at school, that she drinks the bottom of her cereal bowl (blech!), that I offer milk often. That reasoning helped temporarily, but now I just feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be more forceful with the milk? Milk with meals. Milk with snack. Milk. Milk. Milk. Milk. Umm, Milk?

She loves chocolate milk. She’ll agree to it enthusiasticly in place of juice any day. Perhaps it is the special big girl cup I serve it in? or the fact that it comes with a straw? that it requires stirring? or the milk bubbles she can blow into the cup that rise higher and higher in the glass? In all honestly, I’m feeling a little shame that I opened up the door to Hershey so soon.

Thing is, I myself cannot stand milk. I can only drink it quickly when it is ice cold and sometimes I even put an ice cube in the glass to ensure the complete lack of warmth.

Last night I poured myself a tall glass of milk and mixed in my own Hershey’s chocolate syrup and I drank it down happily, without squirming for one second. I actually enjoyed it. Maybe this is pregnancy? Maybe not? I might… love chocolate milk. I might even be craving a glass of it right now.

Once in high school my sweet friend Tasha and I had a “note war” over spring break. Teenage girls are expert note writers and when you are too young to drive and live almost a half hour ride from one another, even the phone gets boring. We’ll just gloss over the fact that during the “who can write the longest note over break battle” we often added to our notes while talking on the phone…to one another. Tasha declared me the winner with my 20 something page note, but I have gargantuan messy script. Her pages were covered in perfect pink and purple printing. We really should have just called it a draw. I still have hers; stapled together, complete with multiple versions of a “like meter,” recaps of cartoons she loved, details of her days lazing through the two week spring break.

She devoted almost an entire half page to this statement:

“I heart chocolate milk”

Tonight I’ll pour myself and her "niece" another tall glass of the favorite beverage of her 15th year to honor her 31st. Happy Birthday Tasha.


Mondays are errand days the McCashew house. Sunday night calls for serious time at the table with the grocery circular in order to execute an organized by grocery department list. (I wish I were making that part up, but without this level of OCD organization I am physically incapable of efficiently shopping with a two- year-old helper in tow and staying on budget.) Steve used to read the circular first, shouting out things that were on sale that he must have expected me to commit to memory? I cannot be sure of his personal motivations, but what else could it be? That was resolved by my request that if he insisted on reading it first, that he please circle things during his initial scan. Later I pour over it myself remarking “chicken nuggets are buy one get one, how did you miss that!?!” Somewhere my mother chuckles; the queen of the on paper correction.

With organized list set on the table where I cannot possibly lose it, we retire for the evening knowing that tomorrow brings a whole new wonderful day. When that day dawns and the toddler has been "toileted" and fed, I set out to convince her that visiting the dinosaur/turtle (a sculpture they have out front that she identifies the store by) is the best idea ever and doesn’t she want to get dressed and come with me. Some Mondays this is easier than others. Two sets of clean teeth, two complete outfits, two pairs of shoes, one lotioned and tinted moisturized mommy, and two freckled noses later we bound down the stairs together where snack making begins. Goldfish, graham crackers, a cup selection. I allow her to drink some juice and read Miss Spider while I fiddle with her hair. “Mommy, you do my hair.” “Mommy, you do my hair.” Two lopsided pigtails bound towards the door. “Mommy, you have your keys? You have your keys Mommy?”

Speed shopping. (That list comes in quite handy.) I tally as I go realizing I am eclipsing the budget for the week eliminating the wild caught haddock. We’ll do another chicken Caesar with the “get one” of the “buy one get one chicken tenders.” Somewhere around condiments the queen requests to be the helper and I release her reluctantly from the safety of the carriage confines with instructions that she must hold onto the carriage at all times. “Look at me, I a big girl. Look at me!”

How is there only one register open? We self-checkout $90 worth of goldfish, rib eyes, and steamfresh veggies.

The library toddler group is on summer hiatus. It is approximately the heat of the sun in our backyard. We organize the groceries, put away the cold stuff and hit the road, IKEA bound. Traffic as always at exit 42. Figures. By the time we get there it is quarter past 11. All my Mom senses say abort, but I have to make this day something for us and watching Peter Pan twice just isn’t sounding very Mom of the Year to me today.

Caroline refuses the carriage until I tell her that she needs to sit down if she wants to play. Positive response immediate. Yum. Swedish Meatballs, potatoes and that berry sauce with a chocolate milk to split. I always forget they don’t have straws. Halfway through meatball number five she spies the kids area of the dining area and eats one more bite proclaiming, “I big girl. I good girl. I go play!” cocking her head just slightly, doe eyes alight and wide. She plays. She waves. She smiles. We retreat when it gets too crazy with the lunch crowd buzzing to the children’s area where she leaps into every.single.toddler bed. A young woman remarks to the man she is with that seeing this chunky furniture makes her want to have a baby. She sees my pigtailed princess and swoons at the cuteness for all of two seconds until the cute blasts right past me and to the next thing 20 feet away that has caught her eye. We make our way through the marketplace maze to the exit. She’s fading fast, asking me to “hold you” and snuggling into my shoulder.

The entire ride home, “I awake.” “I awake.” Sleep will not come. She will not allow it, until I plunk her into her crib, kissing her forehead, thanking God for the central air, whispering twinkle, twinkle.

I use this time to tidy up from the morning, to slice the strawberries, to rinse the grapes, to shower, to check email, to review the 200 twitters since breakfast, to dry my hair, to reapply tinted moisturizer, to ponder that big girl bed move that looms. Quilt? From where? Would a small table fit in the room for tea parties and art projects?

We might not have hit the playground, or the beach, or the library. We may have just ran errands and shopped together with a break for lunch. We may not have done anything spectacular at all. We rarely do on Mondays, but Monday is the day for us to do the things that must be done together. It is for my helper to help, for me to show her how we say “excuse us” to people at the store when we are in their way and “thank you” to the nice butcher, things that she recently has started to say on her own which makes me so proud of the little girl she is becoming. Someday I might even teach her how to write that most efficient grocery list.


Before we hit a main road, she's already snoozing. Headed home after a
really wonderful relaxing beach weekend.

recent vids

the soap opera worthy commentary we hear many nights over the monitor at bedtime. This was during the recent "baby went poo poo" era. Here's caroline telling George to wait his turn to go poo poo because it is baby's turn. Apparently "George has poo poo, Baby has poo poo, everyone has poo poo"

From caroline month 30

our nightly post book sing-a-long
From caroline month 30

I also finally uploaded the quantity is so small it's sad photos from month 30. You can get to them the usual way through the photo link over there on the left.

first shake

choo choo

playing with thomas at the bookstore

"no tommy you don't go down the hill"

btf: putting the cart before the horse a bit

** part of a series "Baby Talk Fridays," to read more about this series see this post. **

November 14, 2008

Said screw it to the prenatals, forgot about all the extra fun that goes along with those. Thinking of who I can ask for another over the counter recommendation that will keeping the freaking out that I am asking to a minimum? (At this point, you know who you are!) Called for yet another refill of my twice daily 500 mg dose and was told that they think they should bump me again to three times daily. I accept this. I think?

Even in this economy, with a big family affair pending at the very very start of 2010, we are already debating names for a child yet to be officially on the way. As expected my top picks have already been vetoed and someone is already pressuring me to find out the gender - the same someone who was adamantly against it last time! Um, how about we get the positive test before we start the neverending back and forth?


Steve had to be in his office at the crack of dawn today so things were a little wonky with our usual morning routine, but Caroline and I more than managed. I snuggled with her for a few minutes in bed before getting myself up. With forewarning I smartly showered last night, though am I the only one who feels like I need to feel that hot water and breathe in that steamy air to really wake up for the day? It’s nearly 9:00 and I still feel like I could crawl under my desk and take a little catnap.

While I was trying to arrange my hair, a task much more challenging after an evening shower with limited blow-drying, Mickey came on and you know Caroline whooped excitedly. She waved to each character, “Hi Mickey, Hi Daisy, Hi Puppy (?), Hi Goofy!”

I’ve been feeling those Disney pangs again. I completely recognize that these pangs are because I know in my heart that with Mac joining us later this winter, a WDW visit is buzz lightyears away. (har!) It is completely unrealistic in so many ways and yet I cannot help myself from thinking of my heart widening watching my daughter meet Mickey in person. As soon as that statement rolls off my fingertips, I laugh maniacally in my head. Meeting Mickey in person would be a trauma of epic proportions. I know this. I know all of this. I am projecting again – this new baby is “taking away” my daughter’s only child/supreme ruler status and like every other mother I wonder how it will be, how she will be, if things will be ok.

I have had it in my head that we need to do something special with her before Mac’s arrival. One last something. We’ve considered Storyland, Sesame Place, a weekend at Lake George. I’ve clearly thought a lot about Disney. Fall is - let’s face it - quickly approaching, full of weekends spent enjoying football games with Kiki’s meatballs and chicken salad sandwiches. Once Thanksgiving hits there is always an all out rush to the finish with Christmas and New Years. This year we’ll be happily prepping Caroline for a petal tossing adventure down the aisle at Auntie C and Hokie’s wedding. The hourglass is running low. I’m coming to grips with the fact that none of this is going to happen and that it is really ok. It really truly is.

Caroline is very unlikely to remember life without a sibling. It is clear that anything above and beyond we do to celebrate life as us three will be just photos on a page for Steve and I to recall the details of while she wonders if any of it really happened. “Ah, yes, see that Mickey Bar you’re holding? We got that for you after we met Mickey and you were a screaming mess of tears. Boy did you make quite the scene! I think Mickey might have even cried you were so upset!” Anything we did would really be for us, not for Caroline. That would be the complete opposite of why I wanted to do something in the first place.

It isn't what we do, but how we do it. So I will savor. I’ll savor every quiet moment with Caroline. I’ll breathe in every laugh. I’ll slurp up all her cuteness. I’ll use this time I have with her to prepare her for the new baby, to involve her in anyway I can, to make her feel like a big sister before she even becomes one. I’ll get her so excited about her very special “birthday gift” that when Mac does arrive, she’ll say “Mickey who?”

in the morning

I am always surprised at the reaction to some of my posts, public and/or private. Several people have emailed me today to let me know that they too must cast their own driving plans aside when they chauffeur their hubbies around town or that they receive such constant criticism while behind the wheel that they'd really prefer to hand over the driving reins to their spouse permanently. Ladies. It’s an epidemic! I’m not calling you out – I just wanted you to know that you are far from alone. Reading your messages made me feel so much better. So thanks.

Caroline has been saying this odd thing to me at night before bed. The kid is so regimented when we are at home for wake ups and bedtimes that I sometimes wonder if she needs me there at all. After her three books have been read she now busts into song; usually Patty Cake. If anyone/Steve isn’t participating she stops, “C’Mon Da-ee!” and then finishes the song with everyone clapping and rolling and patting along with her. She loves to be the leader. We need to get the singing on video because the cute is too intense.

We take turns bringing her up to bed, which I know will help immensely come Jan/Feb. In fact, we take turns with most things these days. Da-ee is good like that. We are a well oiled cog - so why not throw some rust on it and slow it the heck down with a new family member right? ha, right? RIGHT? I know I am lucky to have a partner who helps clean the dinner mess, empty the dishwasher, make Caroline's lunch, pile up blankets that have been used to put every single doll in sight to sleep.

When it’s my turn to take her up for the night I sing her another song, rehash her day, or tell her what she'll be doing tomorrow. This week she started saying something new.

“I wake up in the morning?”

“Yes, baby girl, of course you’ll wake up in the morning (EEEEEKKKK!) and we’ll get dressed and watch einsteins and get ready for school and it will all be wonderful.”

She says it again, “I wake up in the morning?”

I try to convince myself that she is just prompting me to tell her about the morning again. She's stalling in our last embrace of the day, her head tightly on my shoulder and her hand gently rubbing my belly. I cannot help but completely pull that statement apart and fear for the day when she REALLY might be asking me if she will in fact really honest to god for sure wake up tomorrow. and I don’t know what I will say.

a tale of four rock tourists

Those pictures down below that you probably cocked your head to the side looking at and said, “wha??” That is how we spent our Saturday this past weekend. My parents got up super early to drive down to CT for the day and happily took over toddler duties. I didn’t warn them ahead of time that those duties entailed the wonderfulness of a toddler who had just ingested two watermelon pedialax tabs earlier that morning. They were real troopers! With Caroline safely entrusted to two of her biggest fans we headed to NYC with Marc & Kelly of 80’s rock wedding fame.

After some debate (and a coupon for $14 theatre district parking) we hit the road, or to be more precise – 95S. There was great discussion earlier in the week about which route to take, but that part is really only fun later in the story. We arrived without incident, parked, took that magical NYC parking garage elevator ride up to the city and there we were, in the middle of Times Square. What are four tourists to do while they wait for their noon reservation at Carmine’s and try to work up a Carmine appropriate appetite? Why, shop for chocolate of course; M&M’s and Hershey to be specific. When I talk about chocolate, I am always specific.

We stuffed ourselves silly at lunch. We rinsed our mouths with complimentary restroom mouthwash. We made our way to the theatre for the Rock of Ages matinee performance. People, you have never in your life seen two boys more excited to be on Broadway. They handed us Rock of Ages branded “lighter” flashlights (a much more suitable souvenir than the $30 “Hooray for Boobies” shirt), the performance allowed beverages inside the theatre, there were beer merchants walking between rows selling Coors Light cans in the theatre DURING the performance. All around us; a symphony of can lids popping. We took photos of the set. The boys drank covered cups of Jack and Ginger. It was not yet 2pm.

The show was great; a cute love story for the ladies, great music, lots and lots of laughs, and just like the actual 80’s there were plenty of gratuitous scantily clan women roaming the stage in underwear I wouldn’t even wear in the privacy of my own home. It was a win all around and by the end we were on our feet singing right along with Journey. The boys’ only complaint was that the audience wasn’t rocking out at a level they deemed appropriate. I reminded them no less than 5 times that is was a 2pm show. Declarations have already been made about a nighttime front row round two IF it comes to Boston. I don’t doubt for one second that they won’t follow through on that little promise, though it might mean flying a certain san franciscan in for the show.

Here’s the fun part. I am very deeply against driving with Steve as my passenger. I just don't do it as a rule if I can help it. Kelly and Marc have already endured one trip home from Billy with Steve as passenger and they knowingly arranged the seating accordingly. I love him with all my heart, but hate driving him places. All squared away? When you add in that I would be hyperventilating driving us through the insane city I fear driving through even as a passenger, well, that is one of my own personal circles of hell right there. I had secretly hoped I wouldn’t be the driver, but it was not to be. For the record, I just need to say that I was and am glad he had a great time and really enjoyed himself – that is what the day was all about!

So there we were, on the Henry Hudson Parkway, trying to decide which way to go home – the Merritt or 95N - and I made a critical error. Steve is anti-Merritt, I am anti-95. The predicament was this; if I went the route I wanted to go and there was even a moment of traffic, it would forever ruin any chance I had of ever taking that route to/from the city again, so I veered off towards 95 and LO, the traffic. 45 minutes of mind numbing traffic. 45 sad minutes for Steve as I reminded him repeatedly that taking 95 was such an awesome idea. I should have followed my own gut, endured whatever ridicule could come from our brief pause on the parkways and we would have been home 45 minutes earlier. I don’t think it is genetically possible for me to NOT be a martyr and I affirm that this is why I chose poorly and went the wrong way. That’s right Steve, THE WRONG WAY. =)

It took a great deal of time to get back home, despite the fact that I was really cooking once we got past the dreaded traffic. By the time we were close, this preggo had just about had it. She was tired. She was grumpy. And that was when we ran out of propane on the gas grill for our end of the day cookout. The End.

Special thanks of course to my parents for taking on the awesome responsibility of Caro watching on a brutally hot day. From what we heard she had a really great day with you. Without your help and patience we could not have managed to have such a great day with friends. THANK YOU.

In the pregnancy arena – today was my monthly visit. We are already 15 weeks. This pregnancy is flying by. I reluctantly stepped on the scale, peeking through tightly closed eyes at a number that I expected to be lower than my last visit. I was absolutely certain that my inability to eat animal carcass for the past month surely would grant me a lovely chat about healthy eating and pregnancy. Thankfully my weight held steady, though it did invoke a bit of a nonchalant chat with the doc about finding other proteins. “But Doctor, my baby only wants carbs – carbs and Mexican food!”

We scheduled our next visit and perhaps gender revealing sonogram for right after Labor Day. I am still on the fence, not sure if I want to know, smiling nefariously inside that keeping it a secret will torture everyone just a little bit, and also wondering exactly what sort of reward I can garnish if I do crumble and agree to find out. Like I said, this time around, everything is different.

I am beginning to feel the “quickening.” Doctor confirmed that I know what it feels like and that she wouldn’t be surprised if I am already feeling it a bit. Yipee!

Heartbeat remains wonderfully healthy in the 150 range.

Little Mac is eating America’s Test Kitchen Chicken Pot Pie tonight. Protein, vegetables AND carbs.

how to eat a sandwich like a toddler

dissect it by ingredient, lick each to decide if worthy of ingestion, refer to lettuce as "salad for you mommy," eat all cheese, request lemonade "like you, mommy."

sweet cherry pie

We're ready to rock

thinking of you caro

baby's sad situation

A Saturday post? Unprecedented! This little nugget just needs to be published somewhere before I up and forget that it ever happened.

Caroline stood on her helper chair in the kitchen helping me prepare a simultaneous attempt at chicken Caesar salad and chicken salad for sandwiches from a cooled rotisserie chicken. At some point she tired of the boring ripping meat from bone enterprise we were actively engaged in and turned her attention to Baby, who just happened to be sitting on the counter.

She suddenly and frantically reached out for me:

Caro: “Oh No, Mommy! Baby crying!” (crying sounds more like cry-in)
Mommy: “Oh no, is your Baby crying?”
Caro: “she sounds like – insert whiney cry noise”
I was stunned momentarily. She knows babies cry, but she had never imitated a baby crying before and it stopped me. It floored me actually.
Mommy: “Oh, poor baby, what’s wrong?”
Caro: “What’s wrong baby, what’s wrong?”
Mommy: “Does your baby need a hug?”
Caro: “It’s ok baby, don’t cry. Your mommy will be here in no time.”

Um… for emphasis. “Your mommy will be here in no time.” And then I pretended that it was onions that were making me tear up and I stood with my hands on the counter supporting all of my weight. I wrestled with the unsettling image of my baby girl crying for us at school, but in the end decided that telling the children that their mothers are coming to get them in no time was more than an acceptable response.

This image is much more dear than the one I got last night when she told me in the car on the way home to “SHUSH, that’s enough talking!” I had white knuckles and a bone to pick when I heard that morsel of evil!

Don’t you just hate that? Those moments where you need to silently evaluate your own everyday vernacular to see if these little ditties were picked up from you or school? Sometimes I am not sure, but these two were definitely not from me.