Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things, Thanks to Facebook

First off, if you're not on Facebook, you should be. Make it a priorty. I mean, feed your children and all, but then make the next thing you do involve signing up for Facebook.

My friend Jenn hooked me into thie "25 Things" note. The premise being to post 25 not-so-well-known things about yourself. Well, either I'm pretty boring or an open book because it was hard for me to come up with 25 little obscurities about myself. Thus, it is posted here as well since so much blasted time was invested!

1. I am the youngest of my siblings and I always wanted my mother to have another baby.
2. I have seven nieces and nephews. I feel like that’s a lot.
3. I have a half sister that I’ve never met. Her name is Cheryl and she lives in Maryland. She has two sons, so if I were to count them I’d have 9 nieces and nephews.
4. I met my husband when I was 13 (he was 15). We started dating when I was 16 (he was 17).
5. We started dating on November 15, 1996, got engaged on November 15, 2002, and were married on November 15, 2003. November 15 is a big day for us!
6. I don’t like taking showers. I mean, I do it (daily!), but I hate all the time it takes for the actual shower and the subsequent lotioning, dressing, hair drying, makeup application, etc. I wish we were like The Jetsons and had one of those things that you walked through and Poof! You’re ready for the day.
7. I love my children more than life, but I miss my freakin’ freedom. A lot. Raising kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
8. I had two sons and then a daughter. I can’t stand when people say “You finally got your girl!” as if it was my mission in life to produce a female. It really, really bothers me and makes me feel like people think my boys matter less. They don’t.
9. Sometimes when the baby wakes up I pretend I’m still sleeping and hope my husband will take care of her.
10. Mason was a NICU baby and Cole was hospitalized when he was 9 months old—they are tied for the lowest points of my life.
11. Cole was an emergency c-section, and giving birth to Lila via VBAC is my proudest accomplishment (Google it if you don’t know what it is). I really had to put up a fight to avoid a c-section simply because I’d had one before. I wanted a say in happened to my body, so I fought. I wish more women would.
12. I have spent almost 10% of my life breastfeeding (and counting). That’s a lot of lactation!
13. The Number One reason I go to the gym is to get a break from my kids. Sure, I’m there for the physical fitness and health aspects, but it’s nice to be doing something alone while they’re in a safe place having fun with the nice child care ladies.
14. Having three kids is more than three times harder than having one.
15. I still plan on having a fourth.
16. My memory is like an elephant. I remember almost everything. I’m off my game a little since having kids (especially the third one) but I’ve still got some talent there.
17. I am the Queen of useless information, but it can come in handy from time to time.
18. I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life.
19. My mother is German. She moved here when she was about 18. I grew up jealous of people whose parents had accents. It never occurred to me that my mother has a very thick one.
20. Both of my mother’s parents were in Concentration Camps, although neither was Jewish. It’s a big misconception that only Jews were targeted in the Holocaust. They were Polish, and the Polish people as a whole were a pretty big target in the Holocaust.
21. My grandmother found a $20 American coin while working in the fields of a Nazi officer’s house. She kept it her whole life, even though she certainly could have used the money as it was worth way more that $20. When she died, my mother inherited it because she’s now an American, so her siblings felt it was appropriate.
22. My mother had the poorest upbringing of anyone I’ve ever known. She, her four siblings and their parents lived in a two room apartment for her entire childhood. My grandmother bought groceries for her neighbor until the day she died because the neighbor was a Holocaust victim and was too afraid to leave her home.
23. I lived in Key West for a year and hated it. Now that we’re back to living in Naples, I wouldn’t mind visiting, even though I swore I’d never go back to that rock.
24. I am a lefty. I like to think this means I’m smart, couldn’t tell you why.
25. I was never afraid of dying before I had kids. Now every time I’m on a plane I repeat a prayer continuously on takeoff and landing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Word to your mother

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulacity uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervery lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig, huh?

As the proud holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, I find this slightly disturbing.

But you know what they say about art??

It ain't no science.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dough Boys

Rey spent the day with the boys today. They started with haircuts. (See pictures below for results of that. Mason looks great, Cole looks like they used a weed whacker on him. Can no one cut blonde little boy hair well??? If anyone knows someone in Naples who can, you know where to find me!)

Next they went shopping for supplies to make pizzas. Rey thought it would be fun and they would enjoy it. Rey was right!

Step One:

Begin with impeccably clean hands. Wait in eager anticipation for daddy to haul out ingredients.

Step Two:

Watch while Daddy brings out baking sheets.

Step Three:

Make loud clanking noises by banging baking sheet upon granite countertops.

Step Four:

Stare at crusts.

Step Five:

Let's get saucy! We have spoons and we're not afraid to use them!

Step Six:


Step Seven:

Pepperoni. Mason chose to put his in a circle, since "pizza is a circle and pepperoni is circle shaped too". Cole chose and "all over" method.

Step Eight:

Contemplate whether you can steal a bite of unbaked pizza. Attempt it and get caught.

Step Nine:

Pose for mug shot after being busted taking a lick of raw pizza.

Step Ten:
Watch Daddy toss some jalepenos on his pizza. Don't touch 'em or your fingers will never stop burning.

Step Eleven:
Admire handiwork, watch Daddy put pizzas in the oven.
Cole's creation:

Mason's creation:

Step Twelve:
Become excited upon spotting pizzas in oven. Draw a crowd.

Step Thirteen:
Admire finished product!

Steo Fourteen:
Eat and enjoy!

Notice the dog scouring the floor for dropped crumbs. He's very good about cleaning the floor!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Princess Lilacita

Since she’s delectably adorable and doesn’t get very much face time on the ol’ blog, I’ve decided to dedicate this post entirely to Lila, who coincidentally turned 8 months old on Tuesday!

Don't ask me why, but somehow she's adopted the nickname "Princess Lilacita." The boys came up with it--they made a combo of her nicknames "Princess" (which is what I call her), "Cita" which is what Daddy calls her, and of course her actual name!

By my best estimation, she’s probably weighing in at about 14.5 lbs. these days. She’s most content to be on the floor, preferably with someone close by (Mason and Cole are frequently given the task of keeping Lila company). So far she’s not much of a girly girl as her toy of choice is always a train or Matchbox car.
She gets around pretty adeptly these days doing her own version of crawling. She’s begun to travel room to room in search of whomever she’s looking for, mainly Daddy (apparently he’s her favorite, never mind that I am her main food source, makes me feel really good!).

Below is a photo essay of what I like to call “The Lila Shuffle” as she targeted the ever intriguing chair leg:

She’s a woman on a mission when she sets her sights on something!

She was a little, shall I say, plugged up, so I was giving her some juice to move things along. I decided to try to teach her to hold a bottle.

She’ll do it, but know that she is not the least bit happy about. I don’t know if it’s P.C. to call your baby lazy, but when it comes to bottle holding she is! If it droops a little and I touch the bottle to help adjust it, she immediately drops it. Smart girl—why do all the work if someone will do it for you?
But, when you're cute, you're cute!!

And a nice shot of Li and Big Bro Cole. He's always up to get to hold her, and he's insistent upon having his picture taken while he's doing it! (Yes, he's still wearing his name tag from the gym childcare. He likes to wear is for the entire rest of the day.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All Jacked Up

It was time for this bleeding heart liberal to pull out her favorite phrase—I’m all jacked up!!

Where we you when President Obama was inaugurated?

I was in my living room, living it up with the boys!!

I decided the kids would watch the inauguration. I know, they’re 4 and 2 and 8 months, but I felt this was something they should be present for. History in the making, if you will. (Sadly, Lila missed out because she was napping!) Mason kept confusing “president” with “presents” (Sebastian, you’re not the only one!) and he thought something super great was coming in a wrapped package. The jury’s still out of whether he’s disappointed or not.

When it came time to pick out clothes for the kids today, I decided to dress them in some patriotic wear. Mason wore his shirt that says “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Cole wore his “Freedom Race” shirt.

A few comments on the event:

How cute was it that Malia was taking pictures of her father speaking!?

I wonder how George W. is feeling. It must be quite a shocking transition to go from being leader of the free world to just one of us.

What was up with the hat the George H.W. Bush was wearing? Was he unaware that half the world would see him wearing that ridiculous thing?

(Did I mention how much I love Yo-Yo Ma? To be able to create beauty like that is such a wonder.)

I watched the flags fly over the mall and the majesty of it all struck me. To see thousands of people on the mall was stunning. And to see Obama get sworn in was something I’ll never forget!

The kids watched it, of course not realizing what the big to do was. I was jumping up and down (just a little) and said, “Do you realize what this means??”

Mason nodded his head in agreement and said, “Can we grab a snack now?”

Maybe he’s a Republican. : )

Monday, January 19, 2009


This is the face of a sad little boy.

Mason got in trouble today at the gym for being naughty, which resulted in the revocation of his TV watching for the day, which resulted in this face.

He and his 6-year-old cousin Carson were rambunctious, rowdy, unruly kids today at the gym. It was a recipe for disaster really. There's no school today and there were no joke at least 20 kids in there under the care of two women (who really do a great job, I might add). It was like monkeys hanging from the ceiling--kids if all ages were everywhere. Mason and Carson are generally troublemakers when they're together, especially when I'm not around to lay down the iron fist of justice. Not to make excuses for Mason though, because he's old enough to choose good behavior over bad.

So, no TV until tomorrow. Which trust me, hurts me as much as it hurts him!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just when you think it's going well...

In the beginning, there was Mason. In retrospect, he was a really, really good baby. If you would have asked me at the time, I would have lamented about how hard it was to have a baby. I have come to understand this is a typical feeling of a first timer, no matter how “easy” of a baby she has. At eight weeks of age, Mason was sleeping 12 hour stretches at night. I remember the first morning I woke up after he slept through all night—I immediately rushed to the basinet in a panic to ensure the boy was breathing. Then I pep talked myself that this sleeping all night business might be a fluke and not to get spoiled by it—it wasn’t. Mason was, and is, the Champion of Sleep. In the four years that have passed since that first night that he slept through, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been up in the middle of the night with him. I love that boy!

I decided I was really good at this motherhood thing. Look at what a wonderful baby I have! He sleeps! He eats! He’s on such a wonderful schedule! I could have literally hurt myself from patting myself on the back. Why waste such wonderful talent? We should have another baby.

Along came Cole. And did that boy ever put me in my place. From the day he was born until he was six months old, he was up every two hours. I tried everything—more frequent day time feedings, swaddling, moving him to his own room (perhaps he was a light sleeper and our movements were the waking culprit?)… I was beginning to think he’d go to college with “frequent nightwakings” as the pediatrician labeled it. And then it came to me: What if I tried a bedtime routine? So we instituted a routine, and lo and behold, his sleeping improved, the waking lessened and soon ceased. Now this could have been merely coincidence that he started sleeping through the night at the same time I came up with this ingenious “routine” plan, but I liked to take all the credit. After all, when you’ve worked so hard at something, you can’t possibly be convinced that in the end, it just happened all on its own.

Which brings us to Lila. I hoped and prayed that I had paid my dues with Cole and now I would be rewarded! Lila wasn’t as bad as Cole—she’d sleep four hour stretches at night and sometimes even grant me the gift of five. I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset that she wasn’t sleeping through until she was six months old—the age Cole was when he finally granted me mercy. She turned five months and POOF! She started sleeping from 8pm until 7am. I labeled it a miracle (I no longer take credit [or blame] for the sleeping patterns of these children. I’ve finally given in to the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do with it). Here’s the kicker—I've come to realize that if you mess with her schedule even a little bit, she will pay you back in the middle of the night, and her wakings are brutal. Yesterday we went to the Duck Race and she wasn’t home and in her crib for her afternoon nap. She seemed fine enough, not too upset by the variation of routine. But as we were going to sleep, I predicted she would be up at some point. And she was! Problem is I’m so inexperienced with children who wake up in the middle of the night for not apparent reason! I have no clue what to do with her, so I feed her, change her, rock her, etc. until one of my tricks works or I bore her to sleep, not sure which is the case, but the end result is that I get to go back to bed.

The nature versus nurture debate could rage on for eternity, but we have three children who we’re raising very much the same and are all so very, very different. Logic would assume that the more years I log as a mother and the more children I have, the more skill I would have gained along the way and the “better” I would be. The truth is, I often feel as new at this as the day Mason was born. The only thing I know for sure is the more kids I have, the less I know!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Very Own Annie Leibovitz

After the gym today, I went to take a quick shower, leaving the boys unattended. I put Bob the Builder on the occupy them, which usually does the trick. Today however, they had other plans. Mason got ahold of my camera and took over 100 pictures! Here are a few snippets:

First, he took a self portrait.

Next, he took a picture of Cole.

Then he took a picture of his chair,

followed by a picture of Cole in his chair.

His rocket ship...

Lila's basket of toys...

Then he took an interesting series that I like to call "Pictures of Pictures."

And my personal favorite, a picture of Cole getting into a ton of trouble. Here he is standing on my laptop to retrieve pens from the top of the computer armoire. He then used said pens to color on about a million different Post-it notes (that is my best estimation.)

When mama's away, the boys will play!