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Showing posts from November, 2010

Let the Party Begin!

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Jude loves people and has been known to climb into the lap of anyone who happens to glance in her direction.  She greets every person we pass in a store with a boisterous "Hi!" which leads to numerous head-pats and smiles.  She loves being the center of attention so we always assumed that Jude was the party animal of our Turtle duo. 
You have probably heard the old guidance counselor bit of wisdom:  When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me?  Well, I am an ass because in the last month Ellie is all party, all the time.

For one thing, she is all about connecting with her peeps.  Ellie climbs on my desk, pokes at my laptop, and proudly demands that it is time to talk with Kai Kai.  Kai Kai is Aunt Katie, with whom we Skype on a regular basis.  Well, that is if Skyping is defined by kissing the screen and hogging the webcam. 
The love doesn't end with the computer though. When I took Jude out for some errands, Ellie was not pleased to be left behind.  Upon our return, h…

Traditions and Rituals

This past Friday we celebrated our first Shabbat as a family.  We bought some challah, lit a candle, said the blessing, and talked about what we are grateful for.  Jude and Ellie were clearly grateful for the bread.  I was happy that Vivi's earache and upset stomach from earlier in the day had subsided, and my husband was happy that we were all together.  Vivi just wanted to play with the matches.  Nonetheless, it went off without a hitch and we had a really nice dinner together.
Don't let this evening fool you.  We are not religious people.  My husband went to Hebrew school but doesn't consider himself Jewish.  (In fact, he has many negative associations with the religion.)  I was raised in a household that had no religion but I suppose that a week of free vacation bible school when I was nine would qualify me to be vaguely Christian.   It is fair to say that while we aren't exactly atheists today, we're probably pretty close.
This old time religion thing has brough…

The Many Meanings of Suck

I haven't been feeling very victorious lately.  Vivi has settled back into being hell on two legs.  I'm tired and stressed out which is really getting on my husband's nerves.  (At least that is what he reports anyway.)  And, to top it off, my pants are tight.  Today I just gave in to the misery of it all and put on yoga pants.  The same yoga pants I wore all throughout my pregnancy with the Turtles.

SHOOT. ME. NOW.
I think I know what my problem is though. I weaned Jude and Ellie.  
You see, before I took off to NC, I had managed to get the Turtles down to one nursing session a day.  It was at 5 a.m. and it was so bloody uncomfortable, I was eager to be done with the whole breastfeeding thing as soon as possible.  I wasn't crazy about the idea of forcing it by leaving town but because I wasn't really on top of getting it done beforehand, that's what had to be done. I left the state with my breast pump in my bag and hoped for the best.
Well, as it turns out, I nev…

Good Examples

I just ate a piece of chocolate bundt cake for breakfast.  It was homemade by moi and smothered in chocolate ganache.  I sat at the kitchen table and ate it right off the serving plate. (At least I didn't eat it while leaning over the sink. A woman has to have some limits.)  The worst part was that it wasn't even half as delicious as I had hoped and I still ate it.
Since I was setting a bad example for my Turtles who sat at the table with me, I decided to share my cake breakfast with them.  They seemed to think it was delicious.  So maybe the worst part was NOT eating it while leaning over the sink.
So, in a span of about ten minutes, I was able to turn a perfectly okay morning into one where I feel bad about myself, my mothering, and my complete lack of coping skills.  
It's certainly fair to say that I have had a lot of stress the last two days.  My sister had major surgery yesterday and while the operation seemed to go smoothly, this particular procedure has a high rate of…

These Wings Were Made for Flying

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Vivi and I had a great trip to North Carolina.  She was such a fantastic little traveler and I was at my mommy-best.  We had no arguments.  There were no lost-tempers and no real schedule.  Vivi thrived with all the attention and I was the most relaxed I have been in a verylong time.  Oh, and I got my first full night's sleep in nearly two years.  It was on my sister's couch and it was wonderful. (Yeah, I know, couch and wonderful aren't usually used in the same sentence.)
Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as smoothly on the home front.  The Turtles were okay for a day but once they realized I was gone, Daddy found himself with a lot of babies holding tight to his legs.  The nights were the hardest, particularly for Jude, who woke up yelling for me and could not be settled.  She tried searching the house for me in the middle of the night which left her distraught and Daddy more than a little exhausted.  That, of course, made our homecoming sweet for everyone.  
Here …

Hush Little Baby

I know I complain a lot about the sleep situation around these parts.  Well, brace yourself, because here we go again. For the most part, Jude and Ellie go down with little trouble but it's the sleeping through the night that is challenging.  I know I am not the only one with this problem.
I did what I was supposed to. I was thoughtful and consistent.  I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, a book that did help me give up the guilt when it came to "crying it out."  What it did not do, however, was help us with what to do with children who do not stay asleep.  Some nights will be fine.  Other nights, one will wake up and will NOT go back to sleep.  (I'm talking OVER AN HOUR of SCREAMING!)  Sometimes they just want to see me, other times they want to be held for a moment and then put down, and sometimes they want rocking and singing and constant contact.
So Dr. Marc Weissbluth, I am here to tell you that your theory that all kids can become good sleepers is a bunch o…

Jude

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I'm convinced that my little Jude is a genius.  
Here's how I figure it:  If children need sleep to build the neuro-pathways that allow them to remember what they experienced during the day and my Jude has several new words a day, all without sleep, then it stands to reason that there is something really special about her.
Really.  How can a kid that wakes up every %*#& hour and still be able to function NOT be some sort of genius?  It's like sleep is a hobby and not a biological necessity.

And, yet as exhausted as I am and how completely OVER the novelty of waking up twelve times a night as I am, I can't hold a grudge.  How can I when she comes up to me with arms open saying, "Mama, hug! Hug!"  And after I snuggle her in nice in tight, she plants a kiss on my lips and gently purrs,  "Niiiiiiice."
Yes Jude, you're right.  It is nice.

Terror on Two Legs

Sometimes, I could just throttle my four-year old. Make that my four-and-a-half year old-- an age which she very proudly exclaims when she is being either exceptionally annoying or exceptionally charming.  It's usually the former.
I don't know why Vivi and I butt heads but that seems to be all we do lately.  This morning when I met her in the hallway with my usual greeting, "Good Morning!  I am so happy to see you."  She responded with, "You are a gross woman."  It's true that I had not brushed my teeth nor was I wearing pants but I think I deserve a little more respect than that.
That is just one example of the nastiness.  Vivi has called me an idiot, a rat, told me that she hated me, threatened to kick me in the face, and proclaimed that she would "kill me in real life." (My mother would say that this is my comeuppance but my nastiness didn't really come out until high school which, at the very least, is expected.)
This all started around t…

October

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October seemed to come and go in one fell swoop and for the first time in a very long time, I actually know what happened.

First it started off with Vivi's fall on the neighbor's porch which led to a very loose tooth.  It only took one day and a bite out of an apple for the tooth to fall out.  From what we can surmise, she swallowed the tooth along with the apple although that didn't stop her from writing a note to the tooth fairy letting her know where she can leave the money.   Here's Vivi in all of her toothless glory and one whole dollar richer:

Seems that the same thing happened to her father at about the same age:

He only got a nickel.
Jude and Ellie are up to their usual antics-- climbing, playing, and learning to talk.  I am convinced that there is nothing better than a child between the age of 12 months and 24 months.  They are so full of curiosity and energy but not yet testing their boundaries.  They also haven't fully grasped the power of "no."  …