Thursday, January 28, 2010

testing, testing

We got back from Philadelphia last night. I had to take the next part of the medical licensing test, the one that costs $1200 and involves actors as patients, a la Kramer. [life is resembling Seinfeld lately, I guess]

There were 24 people taking the test at the same time, which meant that we needed to be herded around quite a bit. Doctors! they would announce, much as Dylan's preschool teachers address the children. Doctors! line up along the wall, in order, and file into the hallway. We don't eat until we're all sitting down, do we doctors? We don't discuss test content now, right doctors? You know we MONITOR THE INTERNET for such discussion. I love the idea of MONITORING THE INTERNET. It sounds like such tasks as scouring the ocean or walking home from school with Dylan the day she insisted every step must be taken in a snowbank. That is, painful, and possibly fruitless. Well, we did ultimately arrive home the snowbank day, but I thought for a while that we would expire right there, stubbornly standing in a snowbank.

I brought my whole entourage and we made a weekend of it. Ollie seized the moment to stay up most of the night, but I have actually learned to function, albeit grumpily, on no sleep. I estimate that we have been out of town for about a third of his nine weeks of life, but as long as he doesn't have much of a schedule, we might as well not sleep on the road as at home. Actually he does have the vaguest outlines of a schedule, but it involves staying up until 1-2am, so I don't mind if we mess with it. He made up for it by sleeping about 10 of the 12 hours in the car, and remaining pleasant for at least another half hour of car time.

We visited Tommy at College as long as we were in town. That was good because Dylan keeps hearing about College but has no idea what that means. Now she knows: it is a place with a cool swing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday notes, not that the day of the week impacts my life that much

The last three weeks are the first time I have ever routinely watched late night television because Ollie thinks sleeping time is from midnight to noon. Odd that it should coincide with has got to be the most self-absorbed three weeks in television history.


Ollie has had some kind of developmental leap, the result of which is that he is now doing that "whoa, man, check out my hand" baby thing.

He has also taken to latching on when he shoves his head in my elbow. So now if he's not crying, I am. Ask to see my new hickeys!


Note to Snuffy: In the future, let's file "Distracting the Service Dog under Tempting, But Unaccepatble."

Sounds like a Seinfeld episode to me.

brown on brown

Thursday, January 21, 2010

welcome to my day

"Dylan. You are a contrarian."

"No I'm NOT!"

mostly ollie

1) A few weeks ago I got out the lion for Ollie. I won't even link to the old posts because we all remember it, no? Due to the searing into our brains? There was an immediate collective howl from Dylan (It's MINE) and Aaron (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO). Hence the new poll on the sidebar. Vote away.

2) We got one of those babies that needs to yell themselves to sleep. It is hilarious. He starts hollering, goes for 5-10 minutes, then OUT. Dylan (our on-the-ground Ollie Status Reporter; except when she was layering him in blankets, then she tried to convince me he was fine and could continue to be her plaything long after he was hysterical) always pipes up that he's sleeping and I never believe her because it's so sudden. He also prefers to have his little face smashed into something, usually my elbow. So I pace around the living room with this squished up howling creature.

3) Through trial and error (oh, the error) I have thus far determined that Ollie is sensitive (= gassy to the point it prevents him from sleeping for 5-hour stretches) to: eggs, tofu, broccoli, tomatoes, and Indian buffet. I am a vegetarian! That's like 3/4 of my diet! Come on, kid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


There has been much discussion about who Ollie looks like because he doesn't seem to look quite like any of us. This is what I think:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

mostly dylan

Dylan did really well at the play. She sat there for 2.5 hours without a peep, came home, and asked to watch it again. We explained the unfortunate difference between reality and video. She still wants to go live there. I would take her to see it again, but we're going out of town this weekend and then it will be gone.

The skating was also great. She was really gliding around by the end and can't wait to go again. It's like we live in a real city, with this cool skating rink in the middle of downtown.


Have I mentioned the Preschool Teacher persona? She is strict, but loose with the stickers. She's also with us more hours of the day than not. It's fun because she re-creates school to the smallest detail in the living room, then bosses all her friends (real names, other children not present) around for hours. This requires little supervision or participation from us. She is incapable of reading a book at this point without showing the whole room the pictures and licking a finger to turn the page. The down side is she disciplines us right back when we talk to her. It is...irritating, to say the least.

In that vein, here is a series I call "Baby brother's first role as prop in an elaborate make believe scenario."

mystical land

"Mommy, do they have Wegmans in California?"

"No, they have different grocery stores."

"Do they have pizza?"





"Yes. They have all the same things we do, just a different grocery store."

"Forks? Cookies? Cars?"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Skating: The Movie

There's music, there's dancing, there's twirling, there's speed, all...ON ICE.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First Skate

Step 1. The Entourage

Step 2. A Little Help

Step 3. A Brief Interlude

Step 4. Skate Away, Mommy. Skate AWAY.

Step 5. See Ya

Step 6. Zamboni

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

not so fast

Well, it turns out fleeing the country will not be so easy because Ollie is not the only one who needs a new passport. I will give you some hints as to who: 1) mine expires in 2018 (ahem), 2) children's passports are good for five years, and 3) Dylan is a mere three years old.

It's just as well, because this is what we've been working with for the past TEN YEARS:

This, combined with a bit of mumbling around authority figures, got Aaron whisked away for extra security on the way back from France one time. He's never actually been taken away from us since then, but we always try to look extra wholesome (via cowlicks, a little rouge on the kids' cheeks, and sing-a-longs -- oh, hi there officer, we were just finishing up a round of row row row your boat, would you like to join us?), and hide his in the middle when we go to Canada.

He doesn't look pleased, exactly, in the new one, but less likely to have recently mugged your grandmother. It should at least get us access to duty free.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Coming Out

I can't live like this anymore. I have something to tell you.


have a second head.

It serves as my conscience. It gets angry if I engage in morally questionable behavior.

Luckily for me it sleeps a lot.

I'm looking into joining the local support group chapter of 2 Heads Are Better, but in the meantime I appreciate your support and understanding. Thank you.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

hi there

Pimp My Playgym

flight risk

Ollie's sleeping habits have been responsible for my new, unwanted, intimate knowledge of late night television. Let me summarize: still on Tiger Woods, go-to jokes involve Chinese child labor and/or whatever network you are/are not on, sometimes there is good music, guests may or may not hit that mark of late night suave, all should be a half hour shorter.


Lord knows why, but a few years ago we started a tradition of visiting Toronto in March. Ah, Toronto in March. Could be a blinding blizzard, could be incessantly rainy, could be a mountain of slush. You never know! That's what we like about it, the uncertainty.

We just realized that to go this year we would need to get Ollie a passport, which takes a bunch of weeks, which means do it right now. When we got to the appointment at the post office today the clerk eyed him and said, please tell me you have the photos already. Which, of course, we did not, because the clerk I talked to yesterday when I made the appointment made no mention of a professional photographer being preferable for the really little guys. The requirements for the photo indicate that the child must be awake (reasonable, but at the moment he was not), looking at the camera, and that no disembodied hands may be in the picture. Riiiiiiight.

Actually we got it on the first try, in the one stunned moment between when we whisked him out of the car seat and when he realized the indignity of the situation and started crying. Aaron's hands remained embodied, so it all worked out. It was in fact a really cute picture. If all goes well we will be able to flee the country that much easier in 4-8 weeks.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lessons Learned, 1/6/09

Ollie cannot seem to open his mouth wide enough to express himself when smiling. He looks like a muppet. (will attempt to photograph)

This Annie business has gone too far. Dylan brought the CD into daycare and when I walked in to pick her up yesterday they were playing musical chairs to Tomorrow.

Watching scary shows while up in the middle of the night with the baby is not the best idea.

You will never feel so motivated to work out as when it is your only hour of the day outside the house without anyone else to be responsible for.

Nor will you feel so motivated to clean the house as when you spend 23 hours a day in it.

Ollie, while unendingly cheerful with me, has inherited the family blank stare, which he applies to almost everyone else.

Dylan is wiling to devote herself to entertaining Ollie for long periods of time, despite it being slightly unrewarding at this point. He likes her too.

Having a wee baby can melt the hearts of even the icy icy customers at our wegmans, who try to run pregnant women over with their shopping carts rather than let them take up too much space. No less than four people asked me Ollie's name today (and approved of it) and stopped to make faces at him.

As always, I am particularly dumb when sleep deprived. It's like I'm in the kitchen asking why I went in this room in the first place, anyway, but with the rest of the day also.

Monday, January 04, 2010

update on operation make the house habitable

We have now, 20 hours later, been upgraded from Persistently Chilly to Room Temperature. It took us a while to realize the house was warming up at 2-3 degrees an hour rather than 20 degrees as we had assumed while we were at Wegmans. At least we haven't had any trouble thinking of New Year's Resolutions -- replace batteries in thermostat more than once a decade. I like my goals feasible.


I forgot that 6 weeks = I can go to the Y by myself. I will not, however, take advantage of this today because a lab test to follow up on the gestational diabetes made me delirious up until about an hour ago. Between having to get up on 3 hours sleep to get there in time, a 12-hour fast, 15 degree temperatures (outside, this time), and not leaving myself enough time to feed Ollie before we left (= constant screaming all the way to, from, and while at the lab), this morning felt like a reality show that strives to combine medical testing, newborns, and winter to see how much contestants can take before they break down weeping into the arms of the phlebotomist. Which I totally did not do.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

35 Degrees; 6 Weeks

That first one was the temperature of our house when we got back this afternoon. I walked in and thought to myself, "Kate, something is not quite right here." It felt somehow more echoing and creaky, but I failed to identify the frigid temperature as the source. With the assistance of the thermometer I was able to put my finger on it. "Aha," I thought, "the inside of the fridge feels the same as the kitchen, possibly warmer. That is a clue. At least there will be no rush to put new groceries away." My inner monologue is enthralling.

The thermostat had run out of batteries, so it was at least easy to fix. We promptly retreated to Wegmans for dinner and pantry restocking while the furnace did its thing. Four hours later we're up to 50 degrees. Ollie is hanging out in his bear suit and hasn't noticed a thing. Dylan has noticed but doesn't care because sleeping in a hat and a big pile of blankets seems like an adventure. Aaron is composed of molten lava, so it's nothing to him, so it's really just me that is uncomfortable. I can't maintain my body temperature under the best of circumstances (okay, I can while pregnant, but NOT AT ALL otherwise), so I am freezing, and I can't use my usual trick of a warm shower to warm up because we're afraid to turn on the water until the pipes warm up a bit. We also can't use a lot of the extra blankets in the house due to: mice (nor wash them right now, see above). They have revealed their explorations slowly, via little pockets of dog food that tumble out of various items in the basement. Surprise!

Speaking of creepy, The Vanishing, Dutch version, 1988. AAAAAAAAAAAAH.


The second one of course refers to young Oliver and his age. I've been following along in the archives when Dylan was the same as as Ollie. It's hard to read because I was SO FOCUSED on everything that was happening and because I recorded it all in painful detail. Not the way to let things slide off one's back. I felt at the time like we were being so laid back with her. In retrospect: we weren't. I wasn't worried that we were doing things wrong per se, but I always felt like I could solve whatever sleep or eating issue there was if I just changed what I was doing. With Ollie everything just doesn't seem as urgent, but the main difference is that I know there's a certain amount of irritating baby stuff I can't change.

Nonetheless, my new, enlightened attitude has not stopped me from keeping score. Dylan was already refusing the bottle at not very much older than Ollie is now, and she never fell asleep in the car seat except under great duress. Two points for Ollie. On the other hand, I'm sure he knows who I am already and is easier for me -- not a good sign for being laid back about other people taking care of him. Also: refluxy. So I would say he's two for four thus far. He's also obviously got a very different personality, although it's hard to say exactly how because communication with six-week-olds is sort of in the eye of the handler. I would still bet he sleeps more than average, although he's kept me up until 1-3am for the past week or so.

Yours in frostbite,

Saturday, January 02, 2010

self improvement

Remember Yoga With Ann?

Annie has continued on as Dylan's guru by providing her with a yoga mat and video this year. I didn't know Aaron had started it and I walked in to find Dylan all folded in half and doing it on her own. The video is cute, although just a mite creepy.

Friday, January 01, 2010


[photos by aaron]