Saturday, April 30, 2011

Almost spring

While I am grateful that we haven't experienced devastating weather like some portions of the country, I do have to tell you that our spring has been grim-- cold, rainy, muddy, windy-- very much like fall. Friday, though, was a textbook beautiful spring day-- the kind that makes the bleak winter worth it. Sunny. Breezy. 65 degrees. The kids and I celebrated big time.

First, we had lunch at my favorite dive- a place that has its menu posted on the back wall and the most expensive thing you can order is $3.25. As we waited for our grilled cheese sandwiches, the best fries I have ever had in my whole life and I am no stranger to french fries, and a giant chocolate milkshake that we all split, Harry gleefully stacked jellies.

Jack did this thing he does where he smears ice all over the table and then licks the melted puddle off his fingers. I call it "trying to get the flu."

The kids were happy to eat the best junk food lunch in town (and so was I).

We spent the next 5 hours going to the zoo park, the zoo, the zoo park again, and our favorite playground on the way home. Then the boys went to bed at 6:45 and slept until 6:45 this morning. Perfection.
Jack rediscovered the swings

And whatever this thing is

How funny is Harry's Angry Birds shirt?

Instead of walking around the zoo in a logical pattern, I let Harry and Jack go wherever the heck they wanted, so we started at the back of the zoo and zig-zagged around after that, with no kind of sense to our journey. It was great to celebrate the opening of the merry-go-round with a couple of rides

We also made sure to hit up the concession stand for the first time since last season

Even better, all of the animals were finally on exhibit after a long, cold barren winter at the zoo. We saw all the bears (Jack's faves), the rhinos (my fave), and the brand new born-in-December lion cub (Harry's fave). The giraffes were all tranquilized and groggy looking because they have been sparring with each other and need drugs to hang out in their tiny yard-- a real bummer. The tiger prowled hungrily in front of the observation glass like he always does, looking, I think, at everyone's Crocs and thinking, "Mmmmmm, fat people in rubber shoes. Delicious." Even the flamingoes were hanging out on the lawn instead of in their sad winter cage.

Today, though, it was cold and windy again, but Friday made us remember that winter doesn't last forever, even in Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Take your kids to work day doesn't work for me.

We celebrated Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day a bit early this week because the boys didn't have preschool AGAIN on Monday. Just a bonus day of spring break because we are soooooooo lucky.

I remember being all smug about how Ben and I had a kid-free spring break a few weeks ago, but I knew we'd get ours when our schools were back in session and the preschool was closed. It wasn't actually bad at all because we teach opposite days, and we could always cover each other in the classroom. BUT we both had to give up the luxury of all prep/grading/research time, and the very ass end of the semester? Not a good time to give those things up. We both ended up working like 18 hour days on our work days, meaning we were kind of crabby and useless on our home days. Just a giant sucky week, really, especially because the weather this spring has been fall-like and cold as hell. Monday was really the last straw because I had a meeting I really needed to attend, and Ben had class all day and all the other schools in town were back in session, so WTF?

WTF, indeed.

I took the kids with me to campus and held my meeting in a coffee shop, where at least they didn't offend just my colleagues like they would have if the meeting were in my office. No, they offended people from all the freak over campus. The highlight was when I engaged in a high-stakes tug-of-war with Jack over my umbrella and he punched me in the nose and then I gave him my other umbrella so he would stop the horrible screamy noise coming out of his face. At some point Harry stole my phone and took this picture, which TOTALLY sums up my feelings:

Yesterday, he stole my phone and took these selfies:

Remind me to never take them both to work at the same time again, k?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Number 3

I love Baby Gap.

As soon as we left the ultrasound room, I was ready to shop for Baby 3. I went to Super Target where nothing was cute enough to buy. I mean, it was all plenty cute and I am sure I will buy a truckload of it before he's here in September, but nothing was cute enough to celebrate finding out the baby's sex, you know? So I bought myself some pajamas and work out clothes instead and then I had to go pick up the big boys at school and go to the gym (where I learned after the fact that the childcare room has HEAD LICE, so keep your fingers crossed for us). Today, though, the boys and I went to the mall. We poked around a giant Carter's sale at Boston Store, but I couldn't buy anything because I kept losing Jack in the racks. Then we browsed Gymboree, but I feel like I have a ton of newborn rompers from there that Harry and Jack wore, and I wasn't moved by the cuteness to buy more until I sort through some tubs of crap downstairs and find out just how many pastel jungle animals my little man already has to wear. Finally we went to Baby Gap, which, really is the only place I needed to go.

Such cute stuff!

I am a sucker for black baby clothes-- they crack me up

The print is tiny little scooters

Oh! and this is too, too cute, and it's size "Up to 7 Pounds," which is a size both my other boys wore for a while

Skulls and guitars!

I cannot WAIT to hit up the boutiques for some Paul Frank and Zutano! And before you say that I have 2 boys and don't need any other clothes, 2 things: 1. Breastfed-baby poop stains like no other substance on earth 2. This is a FALL baby, and I have only had spring and summer babies, so he'll need more snuggly clothes. Duh.

Okay, back to this:

Because this kid seriously needs a name. I don't even have a nickname for him-- he's just Baby 3. I was dead set on Cooper yesterday, but then I mentioned it to Harry and he screamed "Pooper!" and fell off his bed he was laughing so hard. So. Yeah. No.


Oh shit!

Since Harry was a baby and splashed his fat little hands off at parent-tot swimming lessons and dunked his own head under the water before he was a year and graduated to grown-up-less swimming lessons ahead of the curve and blasted through all the under-five levels at the Y in a year, so he'll be a ray until he's 6, I have been the smug mom at swimming lessons. The on who waves to her little fishy and gives the side-eye to helicopter moms on the pool deck coaxing their snowflakes into the water. The one who snaps another picture of her brave little guy's jump off the high dive and raises an eyebrow at the mom who lets the teachers pull her screaming child from her grasp.

Then I had Jack. We didn't do parent-child lessons with him when he was a baby because those lessons are stupid and I was fat. Last summer, he balked at parent-toddler Y lessons, so we stopped going because damn! That water is cold. We did tough it out over his whines last summer at our pool club, but those lessons were fun, and he always ended up having a good time.

As soon as he turned 3, I signed him up for Y lessons because I was so sick of him climbing all over me and the pool deck and the lane lines and the bleachers as I tried to watch Harry slithering through the water. I figured signing him up at the same time for his own parent-less lesson would be awesome.

Oh shit.

So not awesome.

He sat crying quietly on the pool deck next to his class, insisting that he didn't want to go in the water while I hovered behind him-- fully dressed-- in a puddle. His teacher made him wear a floaty belt and hold a pool noodle and catch a beach ball with the other 2 kids in his class, but she said he didn't have to go in the water. He was moderately cool with this arrangement and agreed to let a single toe dangle in the water.

Then Harry's teacher (whom we love-- he has had her in private lessons and group lessons for over a year, and she is great-- very no-nonsense and gruff, but she LOVES Harry) grabbed Jack and said he could come swim with her class, since he was wearing a float belt. He went apeshit. He dug his fingers into my fleece and screamed so hard the veins on his neck bulged out. But he floated. All by himself. He was too busy freaking out to notice-- he was so mad he bared his teeth like my old dog Einstein used to do-- but when he finally came out of the water, he was really proud of his accomplishment. "Me laughing, not crying," he said. "Only crying a little," he amended.

OMFG. I felt like shit about the whole situation, but I really do like Harry's teacher, and I think Jack should just get in the damn pool already. He claims that next week, he is excited to swim with his class, but that's the same thing he said today. Ugh. I don't know what I want to do. On the one hand, I want him to learn to swim. On the other hand, I am not looking to cause him some major trauma.

And to think, I used to judge the moms of criers. Hope #3 is another happy splasher.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Three Stooges

OMG! Baby boy #3 is on his way!

First we saw the penis, and we were all, It's a boy!

Then we saw the fetus playing with his penis, and we were all, Wow. It's REALLY a boy.

A boy.

3 boys.

We are so excited, ad we're pouring over our lists of names from the last 2 times, trying to find one that doesn't scream not-good-enough-for-your-brothers-but-okay-for-baby-three. Suggestions?

21 weeks and 3 days:

The tech said the baby weighs about a pound. The other 11 are all me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Do you like my super awesome and sexy egg dyeing outfit?

How about Harry's totally awesome egg-dyeing glasses?

Ben's egg dyeing work area?

Harry and Jack both wore super serious looks of concentration

I think this was Jack's first time. He was an old pro by the end, though.

Harry ended up with green hands for a long time.

Jack's were more tie-dyed

We would have made an even dozen, but I used 3 to make Matzo Brei

Harry left the Bunny a plate of carrots and spinach dip and a glass of chocolate milk. All were gross by morning.

The Bunny hid Harry's baskets in a couple of difficult spots. He found the first one-- in the shower--right away, which surprised us because who the heck looks in the shower first thing in the morning? The other one stumped him. He looked in the oven, the fridge.

He ran down the basement stairs

To look in the laundry room

He was starting to get frustrated when he realized one place he hadn't checked. He narrowed his eves and sprinted toward the front closet. SUCCESS!

Then I had to start opening packages and assembling crap. Thanks, Bunny.

But he brought me (and Ben) a huge box of Fannie May, so what can I say.

The Bunny also his a bunch of Fannie May eggs all over the place, and Harry loved them more than any other candy he's ever encountered. He asked if the Bunny made them himself because they were the best chocolate he's ever had. I totes agree.
Jack licked one and said, "Me hate this," then he devoured a way inferior Palmer's crunchy bunny sucker.

I made eggs and pancakes, but the kids were too high on candy to eat them. We left the dirty dishes in the sink and plastic eggs and their contents (SIlly Bandz! Stickers! Squinkies! Bakugan dragon balls!) strewn all over the floor, which was difficult for the neat freak in me to handle, and went to a children's service at our church. Once again, the Unitarians lived up to our expectations of freaking perfect. Much discussion of life and the rebirth of spring and the importance of tradition, nothing else except a really cute children's choir. After services, we had a lovely brunch and then came home to glaze a ham-- pretty much a perfect day. My favorite moment? The baby kicked like crazy at the meeting house when the choir was singing, and Harry put his hand on my belly in time to feel it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fat Friday

I have made great strides in the weight gain department.

One minute Ben and I were marveling because I am carrying differently than I did in my previous pregnancies and at the 1/2-way point I had only gained 8 or 9 pounds. Then BAM! Two chins, a fat nose, upper-arm bat-wings and the big 12-pound mark. At 21 weeks. I still have 2 pairs of regular jeans that fit, and my maternity pants are way too big and slither down the minute I put them on, but my control-top tights almost killed me yesterday and NOT IN THE STOMACH.

I have gained 6 pounds since I saw the doctor in March, and I don't go back until May when I could experience the dread double-digit between-appointment gain. (I actually like how infrequently I have had to see the doctor so far. He said I would normally have had an April appointment, but since I have a 21-week ultrasound on Tuesday, he figured I didn't need to also wait around for a half an hour to be seen for 7.5 minutes this month. Love that. He also said if I felt uncomfortable about ANYTHING between appointments, I could call his direct line and get right in. Love that, too.)

I definitely have less heartburn than I ever have had while pregnant, but I think this probably has more to do with the baby's position than with its head of hair, even though the old wives tale says this one is a baldy because heartburn=hair.

I can still sleep comfortably on my stomach, and I finally look more pregnant than fat, although the recent arm-weight gain is screwing with that.

I have been trying to lay off the hotdogs, but I have been slurping down the Sonic limeades and fun-size Butterfingers, and I ate all the Easter candy yesterday. Before Easter.

H and J are on spring break this week, and yesterday, Ben busted out his inner Martha and made cookies with them all morning, then took a trip to the craft store to stock up on sock-puppet supplies in the afternoon. On Wednesday, I spent most of my time with the children scrubbing the floor and yelling at them to stay off of it while frantically trying to write in the slim windows of time allotted to me by the TV babysitter. Magical moments. (Although, to be fair, I get to be with them EVERY Wednesday, and Ben's days with them were a special treat.)

So, Tuesday. The big ultrasound. Boy or girl. Any guesses?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peer Pressure

Jack had his 3-year well-check yesterday, and we found that he is totally normal but has really big tonsils and probably huge adenoids which would explain why he snores like an old man, which is cute, but also warranted a referral to a pediatric ENT. I asked if he'd have to have anything removed (unlikely, unless the snoring is caused by apnea), and on the way home, Harry told Jack very seriously that the only way his tonsils would come out was if the doctor cut off his head. As you might imagine, Jack was a little concerned. He was also really pissed off because I told him no shots at the 3-year appointment but he actually needed a booster. Harry was jubilant. Jack ate a sucker during the injection and did not cry until we ran to Target afterwards, and he didn't get a toy for his pain. ("But me had shot! Me need toy! I give up," he said before bursting into tears.)

Our regular nurse, the nurse who asks all of the developmental questions, and the pediatrician asked Jack if he was potty trained. Jack shrugged and told them all "Sometimes, sometimes not," which is sort of accurate given that he will generally pee on he potty when prompted and has pooped on it, too. When we got home, he demanded underpants. Then he peed himself 5 times throughout the afternoon before telling me around 4:30, "Mama, me need diaper. Me have poop." Well, okay, then. Better than than crapping his pants.

I actually could care less if he wants to wear a Pull-Up for the foreseeable future or if he'd like to maybe think about using the toilet. Whatev-- it's totally up to him. I just think it's funny that he felt pressured into ditching the Pull Up for the afternoon. He went through a potty phase about a year ago when he requested tons of ladies underwear, but he's pretty much over it for now. I had a brief fantasy yesterday that we might have a few months without any kids in diapers, but alas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Jack: The Party

We had a birthday lunch where Jack tore through gifts from his aunt and uncle and grandparents

Baby Jacob will stop whatever he is doing to pose for pictures-- how cute is that?

Harry got a couple of things, too

After lunch, we adjourned to Pump It Up for some serious bounce house action-- it was way fun. The grownups bounced and slid down the huge slides, too. I didn't get any good pictures of Harry because he was never holding still, and his cheeks were so red they were almost magenta. The birthday boy was hesitant at first and only wanted to ride in cars, but he perked up.

He loved sitting on the blow-up throne

So did Harry

Flashing the double thumbs-up after he blew out his candle


Harry started to lose his mind from all the jumping and the sugar. He looks reasonably okay in this picture,

But here you can see I have to hold him on the freaking bench because he was starting to tweak

After all the little guests and our kids selected balloons from the bunches in the party room, Ben opted not to wrestle the rest into the car, and we left them at Pump It Up. Then, loading Harry and Jack into the car, I accidentally let Harry's balloon escape. Instant hysterical tears. Ben was a total dick to me about it, but he went back in and grabbed another balloon and POPPED IT when he shut the trunk-- ha! Balloon number 3 made it home safe and sound, but Harry was traumatized anyway.

Jack maintained his good spirits until bed time. When Ben read him his stories tonight, Jack said, "Dada, me a big boy now. Me three."