Friday, December 30, 2011


When Cooper is tired, shit hits the fan.  Fast.  With no preamble.

Like this morning at breakfast.  I knew he WOULD be getting tired because he woke up an hour before normal and did NOT want to go back to sleep. Well, that's not entirely true.  He drifted off twice in bed with me a little after 6, just long enough for my own eyes to close and then woke himself (and me) up by trying to sit up and gasping with joy.  That's how I heard him at 5:47, by the way-- I heard the sharp intake of breath that precedes a huge grin and then the airy little "ehhh" sound that comes at the end of one.  I found him smiling at various fat limbs that were stuck through the bars of his crib.

Anyway, breakfast.  One minute he was sitting on my lap laughing and cooing at Harry and Jack, and the next minute he was angry screaming.  I took him into my room and put his sleep sack on him over his jammies while he tried to eat my shoulder and his own forearm, growing increasingly disgusted with the lack of milk they produced.  I tried to nurse him, but he was too tired and angry to wait for the milk to let down. I kept switching him from side, but he would only suck for maybe 10 seconds and then look at me with reproach and scream.  Finally, I stood up and bounced him while he ate (as pretty as it sounds), and he drank a little and passed out in my arms.

I don't know how long he'll stay down, so I am in a rush to frost the clock face cookies I made for tomorrow night-- Jack saw an episode of Max and Ruby where they stayed up for NYE and their grandma made cookies shaped like clocks.  We were discussing our own NYE menu, and Jack held up one small finger and said "And time cookies!" so of course I had to make them.  I couldn't find grandfather clock cookie cutters (because WTH?), so I made round ones and plan to frost them in white and draw numbers and hands in black.  They'll have to do.

I'm writing this while I wait for the frosting to return to room temperature after a long night in the fridge and so I don;t forget what a tyrant my baby is when he's tired.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Ah the joys of secular blended family Christmas.  Consumption, consumption, consumption.  It's all very patriotic.

Cooper slept well on the Christmas Eve for the first time in FOREVER (6:30-3 without a peep, a brief meal at 3 and back in his own bed until after the big kids woke up-- a dream baby, again.  Unfortunately, he was up every 20 MINUTES from 10 pm to 6 am on the 25th/26th, and last night, he was up 4 times between 11 and 1, slept from 1-4, and then came in my bed from 4-7 where he woke up every 20 minutes again.  FML).

I, however, could NOT sleep after 3 because I was so excited to see Harry and Jack's reaction to Santa. We spent all of Christmas Eve tracking his progress on my NORAD iPhone app, but they had strict instructions to stay in their beds until the clock in their room read 6-zero-zero.  The coffee pot turned on at 5:45 (we program it to warm itself up on school mornings but forgot to turn it off) and woke Ben up, so we decided to make coffee.  I went in to get H and J at 5:58, so they wouldn't wake up Coop when they bolted out of their room and found them both lying on their stomachs, chins propped on their hands, staring at the clock with giant eyes.

We all thundered downstairs with coffee and milk.  Ben made a pile of screwdrivers scissors, and batteries the night before, and my camera was charging beside my phone (the best way to capture video these days) and a pile of garbage bags just aching to be stuffed with wrap-- we were READY for the MAGIC.  So much magic.

Jack is pointing frantically to the huge dollhouse Santa seemed to have brought him.  Harry was stoked to find a barrel! of! monkeys! n one of his stockings.
What other wonders could the stocking hold?
Jack's heart's desire: the dollhouse he has been staring longingly at on the cover the the Sensational Beginnings catalog.
Harry wanted Dr. Dreadful's Zombie Lab so bad.  It's like a really messed up kitchen set-- you can make "edible" zombie boogers, brains, and barf.
The Lego castle of his dreams
Clearly Cooper has no idea what the hell is going on.
Look at Jack's little face.
Harry and Jack built Cooper this stuffed dog and then made it look gross with a Power Ranger costume
I tried to get them to eat some muffins, but instead, Harry made brains
It took us FOREVER to kind of clean up our mess and get in the car. We headed to Ben's parents for more present madness. The cousins had a ton of fun playing together, and Ben and I loved gorging ourselves on berry, berry, berry, berry (4 berry!) cheesecake from our favorite bakery (seriously, we need to stop going there-- we've been taking the kids out for breakfast and lunch and getting dessert a lot over break).
Jack has wanted this Batman cave forever
Cooper still has no clue
Harry was so excited to give the presents he made at school.
Cooper is working on sitting
With mixed results

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!!

We're making progress (slow, slow, sleepy) progress on the swaddle.  I went to bed at 8:05 last night (because I am awesome), and Cooper woke up 3 to 5 times between then and 2 am.  I went in his room and shoved his pacifier back in his face for 6 hours, and then I figured he was probably hungry by 2 because he seemed serious about waking up then-- the other times, he was just complaining with his eyes shut, so he joined me in bed until 7.  He woke us both up every 20 minutes or so by startling.  It was dreamy.  Tonight, I might help him find his fingers/thumb/fist instead of his paci and I think I am going to turn the monitor volume down a teeny bit-- maybe I don't need to go in at every prolonged grunt.

I am usually not a sleep trainer, and I always follow the baby's lead, but in the case of the swaddle, I think he needs to ditch it. It's not good for him to sleep perfectly still in one position (which is why we got him out of his Rock n Pay cradle, which was amazing while it lasted). When he's in a sleep sack or the bottom half of a Swaddle Me, he rolls from side to side (not quite over, but almost) and scootches all over the crib. I often find him at a different end of the mattress than the one he started the night at-- and all of this is good for his development, you know?

Our creepy freaking shelf elf went home today, and before he returned to the North Pole, he left us a big bag of Christmas Eve presents-- jammies for the whole fam, a 2011 ornament with all of our names on it, the entire Star Wars saga on blue ray (which the little dorks are already watching), and a no-bake gingerbread kit (which the little dorks have already made.)
The doughy limbs!  The rubber band wrists!
The dimpled elbows!
The concentration!
In honor of Toofy's departure, here are his greatest hiding spots this season:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookies! Also, where did my good sleeper go?

The baby.  He sleeps with me.
Last night, swaddle-free, he woke 5 times between 6:30 and 10. At 10, I scooped him up and went to bed. We slept with our arms flung around each other until 6:15, waking once for a quick snack at 3:40. He slept great and gave me an open-mouthed, gummy expression of delight when he woke us both up with a stretch and a yawn. I slept like shit, though, because I kept waking up at his slightest grunt or shimmy and because I stayed perfectly still on my side all night long. I have a limp today. He fought us like crazy for his morning nap, but when I finally put him in a Swaddle Me blanket with his arms out, he slept for an hour. He fell asleep in the car on the way home from lunch (when Ben and are both home and Harry is at school we almost always take Jack out for lunch, which is exactly what Harry is afraid of), so I am letting him continue to nap in the carseat, flat head be damned.

Question: If your babies slept on their backs, how did they NOT get a flat spot?

Yesterday, I spent about 7 hours making about 90 cookies.
They are delicious. I credit my new mixer.
How have I lived 33 years and 6 months without that thing? It's incredible. My butter cream frosting? The best ever. Could be the heavy whipping cream I used instead of milk, could be that the mixer beat the hell out if it. The cookies? Perfection. I ate my face off yesterday but today I have only had 1 2 3.
I got majorly sick of the project after only applying one bag of green and half a bag of red frosting, but I persevered.
Jack licked the frosting bowl
I made a little decorating station for Harry to man after school
He turned out a whole plate of cookies for the fat man
Speaking of fat: What the hell? Why am I still? Why are my stomach muscles not magically tightening themselves like they did after the other boys, and why is breastfeeding not the miracle diet it has always been before? Is it because I am so damn old?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I know-- I haven't blogged in FOREVER.  I've just been busy doing real life stuff.  Like wrapping a mound of presents.  Which is what I need to do RIGHT NOW because I sent Ben out to buy cookie ingredients for tomorrow's bake fest because I couldn't possibly go myself because I am too busy wrapping!

Also, the baby has been a total PITA lately-- too old to just fall asleep wherever the hell he is and too little to take good naps.  Blurgh.  Today, we were home all day, and his little special snowflake self took 3 pretty okay ones.  But we can't be home all day everyday, so he is going to have to go with the flow, man.  He's just been so damn cranky between the hours of 4 and 6:30-- it's distracting us, and I end up working out after the kids go to bed which has destroyed my blogging time.  Also?  He is starting to hate the swaddle, but he can't sleep without it because these bastard arms keep flying up and smacking him in the face and stealing his pacifier.  He has no idea where they're coming from or how to stop them.

Phew-- this was a total ice breaker post.  Now I can come back more often.  More wrapping.  See ya.

Monday, December 12, 2011


When the clock flashed eight-zero-zero tonight, Harry put down his Legos and scampered into the bathroom to brush his teeth and pee. I was browsing our book collection for a book he could read to me before bedtime when he sprung out of the bathroom screaming, "Mama!  Dada!  I know what a fart is!"

"What?" I asked.

"A fart," he said proudly, "Is air that stinks."

"Who told you that?"  I asked.

"No one!" he exclaimed.  "I just wanted to know, so I farted on my fingers."

In unrelated news, we are having fun with the juxtaposition of our Little People nativity and Hanukkah dinner sets.
Mary, Joseph, and their donkey adore the Hanukkah baby.  You know, just like in the Torah.

Jesus' bris

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December rain forest

We had an unexpectedly lovely time today.  Instead of hanging around the house in our pajamas until we turned on each other from boredom, we were dressed and out of the house by 10:35.  Unfortunately we only got as far as the Starbucks drive thru line before the kids started screaming that they were hungry. Instead of stuffing them full of chocolate milk and pastries, we got out of line and drove across the street to Jack's favorite restaurant in the world Panera.  Cooper slept the whole time, and Harry and Jack were reasonbly well behaved.  Coop woke up at the end of the meal, but he agreeably allowed himself to be loaded into the car, and we drove a cheery, XM-radio-Christmas-station-filled 20 minutes to the Holiday Express model train exhibit at the local botanical gardens.

We had heard good things about this exhibit, but we've never been.  I was surprised that it was just a tiny little room filled with bird houses, train tracks, and poinsettias with 2 model trains zooming around.  The boys, though, were thrilled and happily stood at the fence screaming joyously at the trains for half an hour.  Whatev.  Kids are weird.

 After the kids had their fill of yelling"Where's the train? Here comes the train!  Woot!" we wandered through the conservatory.  I have GOT to remember to go to that place this winter when I am sick of being so damn cold.  Our camera fogged up-- that's how deliciously muggy it was.

 The lady in the red shirt was a tour guide, and she helped us find a couple items on our scavenger hunt list-- the cacao tree which Harry knew all about.  She asked him how he knew so much, and he said, "Well, you know, I HAVE seen Dora."  Jack, by the way, was way disappointed in the chicle tree. It does not, in fact, look like a gumball.