Future teacher?

she's just like mommy

We've had some successes and some accidents, but we're positively plodding along in the potty arena. Caroline is so proud of herself when she's successful. She alternates between outrage and reluctant acceptance when the timer dings to sit for another five minutes. This girl has BLADDER CONTROL. She went from just before 9am till past 4pm yesterday without peeing. I didn't think that was humanly possible and yet, she did. This morning she peed within two minutes of sitting down and if that isn't progress I don't know what is.

Caroline is at the gym with Kiki right now. I showered, made up a song for Connor, and reset the house by putting as much of the toys, blankets, burp cloths, dolls, books, and diapers in order. Connor is sleeping the morning away in his room. It's the first time I've been able to successfully nap him in his room, albeit in his bucket seat per order of Dr. Rachel. The boy we had two weeks ago would never have napped in his room. Sleeping him in his own space like a normal baby seemed impossible and yet here we are. God bless you Zantac.

As I scurried around putting this and that away and out of sight I realized she is being such a little mommy. Her dolls bibs are carefully stowed away on the handles of her baby doll's strollers. Katie has been resting on the boppy covered in her pink blanket. Even Katie's "used" diapers are rolled up, their "contents" secured safely within by the sticky tabs. She alternates between "body feeding" and bottle feeding her baby. She's quite an adept little mother. Caroline has yet to show a single ounce of resentment or anger towards her baby brother. She'll occasionally join in the chorus of tears when he gets a bit worked up, but we can tell it is because she is sad for him. Until he starts gnawing on Katie's leg I think she'll be pretty tolerant of him. Right now she could not be more loving or attentive. She gently pets his face and runs her hand along the crown of his head. She pinches his cheek just a tiny bit saying "ah goo" to get him to smile at her. She kisses him goodnight before she goes to bed and asks him in the morning "how you sleep?"

Right now she's got Katie sleeping in her shopping cart, covered sweetly by a blanket. "Mommy, look at Katie, look at her sleeping!"

and that song... I had one for Caroline too...

Wee Little Connor McSomething
he kicks his feet all day

he grows from his feet to the top of his head
we think his hair might be quite red

Wee Little Connor McSomething
Irish boy of mine

Almost ready for the bumbo

Already??

photos

have you been clicking over to photos?

if not, here's what we've been up to. Caroline asks for brother/sister photo shoots and she's totally started hamming it up for the camera.

Kids March 2010

Hell or High Water

The buyers bailed. Let's just move on. It's not worth giving anymore of my time to. We're aggressively trying to snag another buyer.

Order has been restored now that Kiki and Papa have returned from their tropical getaway. We were so happy to hear that they had a lovely time and in their week long absence the little ConMan returned to his regular old adorable baby self. In fact, he's snoozing away in his swing right now, where he has been for three hours. When he is awake he is so chill and happy. Gone are the hours long jiggle/sway sessions. He's smiling lots and doing that adorable sucking in air baby laugh. He raises his left eyebrow in a suspicious look when we try a bit too hard to make him smile or if something we think he will marvel over turns out to be far less impressive. His chunka thighs are getting a workout from constant bicycle kicks. His personality is starting to shine through all the babyness and we are so glad to have him BACK.

We have entered day 4 of the potty stand-off with Caroline. I don't care to hear that I shouldn't push her, that she will do it when she is ready, or that she must not be ready yet. Thanks to those who sent along messages with tips and support. The cold turkey method seems to be the preferred avenue and we have embraced it. This morning we used the LAST diaper and Caroline announced that she would now pee and poop in her clothes when asked where the pee and poop should go. We've got her working with a timer now in just her undies and after 45 minutes this morning caught the first of the day pee in the potty successfully. It's thrilling to watch her turn beet red and exclaim with absolute crispness, "I don't want to go potty!" She completes this sass with a hand slap to her thigh for emphasis that seriously can go away any old time now. She shows all signs of readiness and at this point I am just not giving her a choice. The potty is the new normal and I don't care if we just moved, if she just welcomed a little brother or any other excuse I could use to make me feel better about having a smartie three year old who STILL needs me to wipe her very adult poop from her behind. I'm done. The line has been drawn in the sand and come hell or high water, I am winning this war.

She's in good spirits today. Agreeable even. The afternoon looms ahead and I hope to see some progress by day's end.

the buyers

because I don't care anymore.

I've held my tongue here about them because it didn't seem right or decent to complain about them, but after the events of this week, the gloves are off. I know that people in our old neighborhood have access to this blog and might read my rambling complaints. Perhaps they might form opinions before the buyers moved in or GASP tell them about the blog so that they can read all about how terrible I thought they were. So I have held back, but after this morning, that is not the case anymore, especially since when our realtors spoke this morning theirs said they pulling out of the deal. PULLING OUT OF THE DEAL. After three weeks of negotiating and us accomodating request after request.

They had their inspection on Saturday - almost a full week later than they were supposed to have it. We heard from neighbors and our realtors that they were GIDDY and so happy during the inspection. We expected a few hiccups on the report, but surely nothing big enough to end the deal. Imagine our shock when yesterday - five days after the inspection report was delivered to all parties - that this lovely couple decided that our water heater (which the inspector so wonderfully described as "failing") would need to be replaced. We already had a professional take a look and write us a quote to repair it and while it certainly needs the repair and probably only has a year left or so it doesn't NEED to be replaced. Am I wrong?

Every penny we put into the house is a loss for us, they know this, and yet they continue to ask for more and more and more. We were so furious last night that Steve almost walked, but when facing the prospect of months more paying a mortgage on a house we are not living in and essentially placing our family's life on hold for an indefinite period of time, we agreed to their demands. I told Steve, we don't want to be sitting her in September wishing we had just replaced the stupid water heater. We even gave them two options for the water heater replacement, but apparently overnight to consider a nearly 1000.00 price tag was asking for too much because yeah, they are pulling out of the deal. After we missed two potential weekends for open houses. After three weeks that the house has not been aggressively marketed. After 60 other houses have joined the market in our town in our price range.

I'm not sure what their plan is considering their assinine delay with us has placed them in a precarious position with their own housing. They are scheduled to close on the condo they currently live in mid April. Not sure what they have planned to do once that happens. Seems to me they are up shit's creek, but clearly I do not understand them or their thinking at all because their every action has been a complete mystery to us.

We are physically ill over this. We don't know what to even say anymore. We have been more than fair and they have this entitled first time homebuyer thing going on that makes me want to scream. or cry. or vomit. or all three. perhaps together.

I think it is fair to say we'll be drinking heavily this evening.

the collection

I tweeted just now that I hit the at home mom jackpot this afternoon. I am sitting here twiddling my thumbs while BOTH of my children snooze away. We had a busy day and I certainly pushed Caroline to the limits with all the mall walking she did. We needed baby wipes and after a particularly stressful day at home yesterday thanks to a certain someone who really preferred to be held all day thank you very much - yeah, we needed to get out of the house in a big way. The weather was supposed to be rainy so off we trekked to BJ's to replenish our wipe supply. While we were there I thought - hey, why not check out TJ's for an Easter outfit for Mr. Connor?

While I browsed the little girl dresses - has anyone NOT noticed that my daughter seems to wear her two tunics/"ballerinas" religiously. I literally cannot clean them fast enough for her. The navy one she has on today is so faded that you can tell just by looking at her that she loves it to DEATH. So I searched high and low for dresses dresses dresses and she has quite a collection of them for spring/summer. I can hardly wait for the weather to finally make up its mind because her closet is going to blow her mind.

So we're browsing and suddenly I pick her up and wham - poop. So out to the car we go where she bolts in front of me and I catch her hood with my pinky. The wind is blowing so furiously that carriages are careening into cars and she's screaming because she is WAY too big to be changed in the passenger seat and I'm all your head wouldn't hit the buckle like that if you POOPED ON THE POTTY. Sigh. So I strapped her into her seat, started feeding the baby and lectured her for the upteenth time about parking lot safety.

Off to "the collection" (which I cannot stop referring to) where we see the Easter Bunny keeping court and she refuses to look at him, let alone wave. "I don't want him to touch my head." um. ok. I walk her all the way to the food court for lunch. We cruise the entire new wing. We stop for Vanilla Bean Gelato that she graciously shares with me. We look at more dresses. We walk some more. and some more.

Both kids crashed in the car. I carried her into the house and she asked for a blanket to keep snoozing. I took all their spring clothes up from the basement. I hung the dresses on hangers in the closet. I cannot wait to see her face when she opens it. I cannot imagine what I will say to talk her outof wearing one. I honestly don't think I will.

The task of bringing the two of them out together is beyond challenging to wrap my head around, but today is evidence enough for me to do it more often. We are all so much better today. There were incidents of course, there always are, but the gelato and the converation we had over the gelato - yea - that was well worth my efforts and my shower sacrifice.

Shopped out

Cure for cabin fever

Gelato at 'the collection'

lately

Zantac, you’re amazing. Connor has been taking twice daily squirts of Zantac from a syringe for four days and he is back to his old snuggly impish self. That is to say – he is spending far less time screaming and our legs and backs are far more rested thanks to our being able to sit. It’s a beautiful thing to wrap him in a blanket and lay him in the papasan seat to snooze for a bit. We’re back to slapping each other on the back for creating the most perfect little creature, second to Caroline of course.

We won’t be sharing any of the nighttime specifics because as soon as I shout them out on the internet our world will completely flip flop and the woe!

I’m having trouble carving out time to blog. We had such a concrete routine at home that posting was just a regular part of my everyday. Not only do we not yet have a routine, but I am now juggling the needs of two kids, one of whom cannot yet sit up on his own. If I could learn to type with just one hand while listening to someone snore in my ear there would be updates everyday, but that just isn’t the case. When I have a break in my day the blog just isn’t the first place I am getting to. I’m putting my feet up. I’m eating lunch or sometimes second lunch. I’m searching for jobs. I’m wringing my hands about the housing market up here. There are BIDDING WARS. Things are going on the first day they come onto the market. It’s a great sign for the economy, but it’s a little nerve-wracking as a buyer. The moment you walk into a house around these parts you’ve got to be thinking, could I live here? Do I love it enough to put in an offer RIGHT NOW? For all the stress it’s causing Steve, I am very much enjoying looking at all the options out there. The nosy lady in me loves to peek behind the closed doors of strangers' family life.

We got through our inspection on the house in CT and hope to get the Purchase and Sale signed later this week. The buyers are a young couple just starting out and there is something really nice about imagining them starting their life together in our house, filling it up with new memories.

... and a little Caro moment because lately she is a total crack up. She looks at me and does this sucking in her breath laughy thing and tells me how funny she is. She relays her day with amazing detail and she's even started repeating things we would rather she not say, but that is another post entirely.

We went to Five Guys for lunch yesterday and I made the error of reading aloud the Easter Bunny sign at a local mall. Caroline was simultaneously ecstatic and scared out of her everliving mind that the Easter Bunny is coming. His saving grace is that he will be bringing candy and this has created such a situation in our Caroline's mind because - a 6 foot tall scary bunny - who will leave a basket of candy. From the backseat, “Mommy, you go tell the Easter Bunny that Caroline wants to talk to him so he doesn’t touch me?” Her vocab has SKYROCKETED since we got here. Its more than sentences, its stories these days. I relish the moments I have to spend focused JUST on her, listening to her latest tall tale. We got her a library card and she’s been reading/memorizing goodies like "If you give a moose a muffin." I’ve happily read The Giving Tree no less than 567 times. Things here –they are so much better than just good.

Changed

Connor has had his first three doses if a pretty good dose of zantac.
Our son slept four hours at a time last night. He slept in until 9. He
has not cried yet today. At all. He laughed. He's feeling better and
so am I. We know we aren't out of the weeds yet, that this might not
stick, but we know it's possible for his life to be more than just
doing the jiggle sway and that feels amazing.

Coed bathtime

Caroline was in the tub and there was a "situation" that warranted the
first sibling coed bath. We'll be doing this again!

The mcfam's Irish meal

Previously known as sad baby

Pulling her share at kiki and papa's

Happy!

frustration

Things have taken a somewhat nasty turn. Our previously happy and amazing sleeper has done a complete and total 180 in the last week. We went from taking nice long naps in the papasan seat or the swing to only sleeping on people. The wee hours of the night feedings that used to end in a content and full baby returning to his crib have now become wide awake hours long stretches of singing, shhing, and bouncing, typically from 1-3am. The end result the last few days has been a baby in our bed snuggled in my arms. While the end result is a sleeping baby and a sleeping mommy – we aren't big believers in co-sleeping. In fact, I would much prefer that our bed be just that.

It isn't just the nights. During the day he is unsettled, unhappy, and requiring constant attention and jiggling. If Kiki were not here to take him I think I might already have lost my mind. It's hard watching him scream and fuss. I just want him to be ok. I just don't know how to make this better.

Last week I noticed some reddish streaks in his diaper that I can only assume were blood. I phoned the pedi immediately and they suggested I watch it, that perhaps it was a fissure of some kind. I was instructed to call back if I noticed CLUMPS of blood. A little research revealed that this kind of thing sometimes happens with oversupply – so we went BACK to the one side regimen AGAIN and since then no blood and things in the diaper arena seem to have returned to normal. Connor seemed happier too, but only for a short time.

He started having trouble getting back to his crib in the last few weeks after the late late/early early meal between 4 and 5 am. If he fussed I brought him into bed with us because too much fussing would wake Caroline up. Then slowly more often than not he was having trouble getting back to bed for the last stretch of the night and then it became a regular thing. He phased it out and then he phased out the middle of the night back to bed at around 1am. I literally place him on his back and he is WIDE awake. In fact, anytime I try to place him on his back he is unhappy and awake. Oddly enough his favorite place in the world is the changing table. Try to make sense out of that little mystery? I've tried putting him on his side, nothing seems to help him stay down. This is surely why he is not taking to crib naps during the day.

Since Saturday he has been a miserable sad boy more often than not. It is impossible to even guess what his day will be like. I know it would be astounding for him to be on a schedule at this point, but I should at least have a little map in my head of what his day will be like; when he might be getting tired after such and such a time. I have no idea. Each day is a mystery.

Of course as I sit here typing my frustrations he is wrapped in a blanket sleeping contentedly in his papasan seat. (45 minute snooze) Connor gives us occasional sunny moments when he'll kick his feet with vigor, smile, say ahgoo, and his eyes twinkle with such happiness that I can hardly remember how unhappy he was just moments ago. Caroline has her three year doctor's appointment today. I'm hoping I bring the unsettled version of Connor with me to see what the doctor suggests. Could it be reflux? Could those omnipresent hiccups be a sign of something? What's a mom to do?

Baldwin

It’s been awhile since you’ve seen more than a sentence fragment, but it’s really for good reason. Things have been so wonderfully busy for us as we continue to settle into our new routine.
The biggest news of the week is that we have reached an agreement with a buyer for the house in CT. It is an ongoing process, one that we are relieved to be involved in. Plans to pack up the furniture and everything else remaining in the house are underway and we hadn’t anticipated that happening quite so soon.

We attended a BC Hockey game the very first weekend we were here. All day Caroline talked about Baldwin the Eagle and how she couldn’t wait to give him a high five. She was so excited that when we got there and discovered that it was Spring Break and Baldwin might not be coming as he was probably lazing about in Cancun in a tequila induced slumber I panicked, just a little. Stories were concocted. He and the band might have a terrible cold and they needed to rest, they might not make it to the game. Imagine our surprise and delight when he emerged right beside our section and made his way into the stands. I pointed him out with such gusto that I nearly smacked the woman seated in front of me right upside the head, but surely she would have understood. Baldwin was HERE! Caroline kept saying she saw him, nodding away with a forced smile on her face, but I knew she had no idea where to look… until he appeared suddenly at our row and made his way to our seats to say hello to her. She was ecstatic right? Fistpumpingly delighted right? Smile ear to ear for days right? Oh No. She was terrified, clutching to Steve for dear life, scared to even look in Baldwin’s direction, and she outright refused the high five. I raised Connor up and helped him give Baldwin a high five. Oh I didn’t mention that Connor, our 7 week old baby, was there too? Yeah. We’re clearly BC fanatics. Later on Baldwin was walking around near our section again and Caroline was brave enough to give a very forced high five. To hear her tell the tale is priceless because she can fully express her experience from initial fear to triumphant success. It should come as no surprise that that she told Steve as we left the arena, “that was so fun, I want to do it again.” It really was. She loved how into the game she was and I loved the many opportunities to hammer home not hitting as the players made their way to “time out” for hitting.

On Thursday Caroline had her first parks and rec toddler class. It was so nice to see her run wild, smile brightly, and sing along to some of her favorite finger plays. Mommy met a couple people too, which was a nice bonus. She enjoyed it so much that before anyone even said time to go she screamed, “I don’t want to go.” It’s nice to have this time set aside for her each week. I know she will enjoy it.

Friday we attended Auntie k’s book reading at the Newtonville Whole Foods. They will be reading there for the next few weeks at 10AM and locals should try to stop by. We read books, enjoyed some gluten free cookies with juice and did some coloring. The balloon was a bonus.

Yesterday Steve and I traveled with Connor down to CT to organize and bring more stuff north. Looking around Kiki and Steve’s basement I cannot imagine that there is anything left in our house, but there is still a tiny bit more. Garages and basements – they are the black holes of the house. Connor slept both ways, but was very unsettled while his two parents raced around trying to get done quickly to avoid driving through the monsoon. All that sleep left him bright eyed and smiley at 2AM and well, pretty much the rest of the night. So not only did Mother Nature take an hour of sleep away from us, but Connor took a few too. Somehow I pulled the ace and got the go ahead to sleep in, but don’t feel too badly for Steve. Despite repeatedly mentioning to him that he might want to take a nap, he’s happily sitting in the basement watching the Celtics.

We continue to settle in and I am hoping that with that settling in will come more opportunities to keep up with my writing here. I’ve had distractions at naptime like househunting, closing attorney calling, the job hunt, and completing various things to get my license back to good standing. Details.

Connor continues to open his eyes to the world and Caroline continues to want to show him every little thing. Moms of two – you’re right. Watching them together is the most heartmeltingly amazing part.

smiles, stats, sunday

This week has flown by so quickly. We are working on getting into a routine and getting rid of a pesky cold that seems to be attacking the family one by one. Caroline is drippy, Connor is stuffy, and my throat is sore, but we are in such good spirits. I twittered yesterday that Connor smiled. It wasn't a gaping wide gummy grin, more of a corners upturned with a look of skeptism and utter embarrassment that his entire family (mom, dad, and even big sister) were oohing and ahhing over such a cute little social smile. The time has flown, my baby is almost 7 weeks old.

We met the new pediatrician yesterday. Connor weighs 11 pounds even (56%) and is 23 ½ inches long (50%). Despite his statistics, she agreed that he is anything but average. She noted his exceptional lung capacity and ability to turn beet red as he literally screamed through the entire examination. I have no idea how I managed to keep my cool, but I just swayed and bounced and answered questions listening as best as one can when a tiny person is screeching in their ear. The practice seems to be really well run and I was definitely satisfied with the doctor. She provided education as she completed the exam and offered some really good suggestions about a variety of things. What impressed me most was her willingness to discuss Caroline's upcoming 3-year appointment. She suggested that we make the visit fun and push the blood work and vaccines off a couple weeks to help ease her transition to the new practice. I am sure for that reason alone Caroline will like her as much as I do.

The hardest thing to wrap my head around right now is that we are in MA with very few solid plans for the weekend. I don't really know what to DO with that kind of weekend. Sure, there will be a dinner out, a hockey game with multiple opportunities for a Baldwin sighting, and probably some grocery shopping. Without box packing, show ready house cleaning, and most importantly – that long drive home on Sunday afternoon I feel sort of lost. Any suggestions?

home

There is so much to write and so little time to write it. We packed. We scrambled. We moved. We left the life we created nearly four years ago in the rearview. I had anticipated some nostalgic moments; the last day home with Connor, last day home with both kids, the last meal in the house, the last night sleeping in our beds within the walls that have sheltered our little family through these past few years' many real and figurative storms. We got rushed out a bit at the end by an unanticipated showing and as I slid my key into the lock to close the door it all hit me; the time we've spent here, the good memories, the friends we'll miss, the life we built when we set out just us two to tackle the world. I sobbed into Steve's shoulder. Because I am Kerri. Because I can't help but be Miss Emotional. Because as much as it never really felt like home, Connecticut represented to Steve and I what we were capable of accomplishing.

When we drove down to CT at the start of the summer of 2006 we drove ourselves in two separate cars. My only companion on that long ride was Reese complaining non-stop at the injustice of being forced into a carrier. In 2010 on the cusp of winter and spring we again drove two separate cars, minus one cat. My car contained two new people. Two entirely new people! I looked into the mirror to keep watch on my son's due to end any moment now nap. I handed snacks and movies into the backseat for my three year old baby girl. Life has changed so much and yet when we arrived here in MA, it felt like we really had just pressed play to bring ourselves back to present time. Everything fast forwarded. Some of the players had changed, but life had barely hiccupped. It was like it always was. It just felt right. It still feels right.

We've completely overwhelmed my in-laws with the massive amounts of boxes now stacked high in their basement. They have been incredibly accommodating and I don't just mean with their personal space. We are so aware of how fortunate we are.

So we're settling in. Life keeps moving along. We celebrated Steve's 32nd birthday with amazing crockpot jambalaya, if I do say so myself. We're hopeful that we might get a serious bite on our house soon. This morning we toured an amazing daycare center that has wide open spaces to encourage gross motor, a covered outdoor playspace to ensure that even on the crappy days the kids get some air, and a room just for dramatic play. Caroline spent time in the room she could potentially join and not only is it 3 times the size of the space her old school room occupied, but it has it's very own bathroom. I sent off the paperwork and application fee this afternoon to get my license to practice reinstated. Caroline is signed up for a parks and rec tumble time on Thursdays. We're starting the next chapter and it holds such amazing promise.

On the ride over to Auntie C and Hokie's new house the other day I looked at Steve and said, "I feel like I can breathe again." After all the challenges the last 12 months have brought and the incredible stress of the most recent 2, we realized we've been holding our collective breath. We can finally exhale.

"movie star!"

We've arrived and so has our little starlet. I'm hopeful to get a post
up soon about our newest chapter.