Friday, October 28, 2011

Flat head?

Harry and Jack always rejoice on sheet changing day. Because it's really BED JUMPING DAY, and what could be more fun than that??

I'll tell you: staring mindlessly at your VERY UNSAFE crib bumpers

Don't worry-- he doesn't actually sleep in that crib-- it is purely for show. He sleeps in a Fisher Price Newborn Rock-n-Play Sleeper, and it gets amazing online reviews from people like me who can't believe that their tiny babies sleep through the night. BUT some people blame it for their babies' flat heads because it has hard plastic under the headrest. Ben and I don't think it feels any harder than a Pack n Play mattress, but now I am super paranoid and might buy a Boppy Noggin Nest to slip under the cover. What do you think? Did your baby get a flat head if he slept on his back? Coop already has bald patch, and the sleeper (and his carseat where he rarely is because he HATES it-- he might also hate Kohls, too.) are covered with his little tiny hairs.

Today was a looooooong day. I forgot how hard it is to deal with both Harry and Jack all day. H did not have school, and nether did J, and so the 4 of us were together all day. It's not that Harry is any trouble by himself; it's just that the 2 of them together SUCK. They play happily to a point, but then it's flapping and whining and tattling and general non compliance. When Ben came home, Jack actually tattled on me, saying "Her scream at us when we not clean up our toys." Well, um, yeah. Pretty much.

But we also did art! As you can see, Harry is cutting, and Jack is drinking the Halloween sprinkles they glued on their pictures:

First they made pumpkins

Then I realized that only took like 15 minutes, and we still had HOURS TO GO, so they made spiders.

Then they picked out books to read quietly on the mat while I vacuumed up sprinkles. As long as it looks like a preschool in there, they might as well act like preschoolers, right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We have all gotten fatter since I ran out of cooking spray and started rubbing everything with butter

It's not the food prep that has always stopped me from cooking complex meals. It's the clean up. Before dinner everyone's happy, but after? In that interminable cluster before bath? Everyone loses his shit. Which is why tonight I am going to spend my "me" time after Cooper is asleep and before I shower cleaning the floor. Clean up takes longer now, too, because while Ben has corralled all 3 in the basement, I run around doing little stuff I didn't have free hands to do all day-- wipe toothpaste out of sinks and off of vanity drawer fronts, lay out tomorrow's school clothes, make sure Harry's homework folder is empty, stuff small gloves and mittens into tomorrow's coat pockets, rehome shoes scattered on the laundry room floor, put away yesterday's pacifiers and pump parts from the drying rack, wash today's pump after bagging today's milk, roam the house collecting today's pacifiers and washing them. Tonight I also got to clean pee off the floor in the downstairs bathroom and roasted tomato pieces off the oven rack, door, and walls in addition to the usual counter and table wiping, dishwasher loading, lunch packing, dish washing, and taking out an island full of recycling. But I still have a better time than Ben, who has to deal with 3 crabby kids. Which is why tonight, we realized everything would be more fun when the entire 5 and under crowd went the $%*& to sleep. The old, caffeinated me would have powered through clean up at the expense of a crying baby, frazzled husband and squabbling brothers because I lived my life at the edge of a slippery slope, and if I have to wash the floor tonight after the baby goes to bed THEN I WILL NEVER HAVE FREE TIME AGAIN EVER IN MY LIFE WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY LOVE ME? During my pregnancy, we hated cleaning up dinner during arsenic hour so much that we half-assed our diners all summer. We ate a cut of meat that could be grilled, salad straight from a bag, berries or melon, and a vegetable every night unless we went out (lots) or ordered in (too messy). No sauces, no frills, no crumbs, usually only messy under Jack's chair. I don't actually know why we have decided to complicate things with new recipes (we made this tonight and it was delicious). Pinterest, probably, and the delightful return of sweater weather.

Seriously, you guys, the caffeine thing? Unbelievable. I rode up to my office the other day in an elevator and wasn't even hesitant about it. A couple months ago, I made a hospital security guard unlock some emergency stairs and escort me up to Jack's ENT appointment after climbing out of the parking garage because I refused to get in the elevator. Even now, the baby is grunting and popping his eyes open and spitting out hi pacifier only to cry for me to put it back in and just generally NOT going to sleep, and I am not a bit anxious even though-- get ready to clutch your pearls-- my kitchen floor is a mess. Even this poem that always used to make me roll my eyes:

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby lullaby loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

makes total sense this time around. Is it that we know with certainty that Cooper is our last? Or is it the decaf?

The only thing I want to rush is the damn weight loss.

Oh! Harry's school celebrated crazy hair day today:

I am proud to report his coif looked exactly like that after school, despite wearing a hat outside for 2 recesses. I am a master hair sprayer. I didn't live through the 80s for nothing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Pumpkins

Because I am no longer drinking caffeine, I was able to chill the hell out and tell myself that someday I would cook meals again and someday I would wear workout clothes because I was working out. Thankfully, those days have come. (Although I still wear workout clothes just because, too, because despite your advice, I cannot/will not buy big jeans. I did buy a bunch of dresses and leggings, though.)

I have been buying good spices from Penzey's (which is a freaking awesome store, by the way), and we have been actually purchasing oil at the oil and scotch store my brother manages. We've been planning meals and clipping recipes from magazines. It's been fun and delicious. Tonight we had spicy chicken curry in the slow cooker from Family Circle, and tomorrow we're doing a sausage and pasta from Real Simple. Last week, I made chicken soup from scratch for the first time, and we had a really easy chicken parmesan casserole. Clearly, we like chicken. We're having it again on Thursday, but by Friday, we're branching out to pork for some apricot mustard glazed chops.

Our cooking spurt is a huge improvement over Cooper's first 2 or 3 weeks, when all we could do was make deli sandwiches, order deli sandwich delivery, or call for a pizza. I am so relieved that we could squeeze food prep into our daily routines.

And we got our elliptical, and I have used it everyday, thank goodness. Ben got me season 1 of the Gilmore Girls for Chrismukkah, and I have been watching an episode a day-- 42 minutes is the perfect workout length for me. I should be in great shape by the time I work my way through the whole series. If I can stop eating everything in the pantry. And honeycrisp apples by the bushel. Apples are healthy, I know, but the volume of my apple consumption is startling. And expensive-- I spent over $30 on apples last week. Gilmore Girls is the best of last decade rolled into one show. I forgot how much I used to love Macy Gray!

Ben's parents came over last weekend, and we had so much fun.

Playing football at the park:

Some competitive teeter tottering


Today, sick of Harry's nagging, we finally carved our damn pumpkins

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My 3 sons (one of whom is a pizza face)

Harry at 8 weeks:
Jack at 10 weeks:
Cooper at 6 weeks:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I am feeling pretty fat and gross these days. I was pretty zen about it at first and had a good time hanging out in my stretchy clothes. Then I tried to find some clothes to wear the my weekly staff meetings for the course I direct. OMG. So many strike outs. Cooper is 6 weeks old on Friday, and I am nowhere near my old jeans. I don't want to buy bigger jeans because I don't want to WEAR bigger jeans. I mean, what if I outgrew them and had to buy bigger bigger jeans? I would hate that. So, I have a couple skirts in acceptable sizes, some yoga pants, sweats, and a couple pairs of jeggings. And everything is tight. Also all of my pants are pilling in the thighs, which is not a good sign but is a sign of frequent rubbing. Ugh. I keep looking back to old blogs to see what I was wearing at this point post partum with the other kids-- lots of stretchy clothes. But I don't remember feeling so gross.

I used all available brain cells doing a work project this week, and I have to drag the baby to my office to collect 2 crucial books so I can finish it and get it in the mail and off my kitchen table, erm, desk tomorrow. This book gathering will take hours and make me sweat because of my tiny companion and my supremely shitty parking pass which cost more than a designer tote bag and entitles me to park in a garage with no spots free when I get to campus. Handy.

I am running out of things to whine about, so let's talk baby sleep. Cooper has no predictable nap pattern even though I have been tracking his sleep for a week with a cool phone app to see if a schedule is emerging. It's not. He also eats every 1-1.5 hours all day, with an unpredictable 2+ hour nap thrown in there somewhere, meaning I can never use it to my advantage because I don't know when it will happen. But all of this is fine because he has a BEDTIME! And he sleeps between 6 and 9 hours in a row at night. One feeding (sometimes none!)! BUT, it is so hard to get him to go back to sleep after that feeding. Last night, he slept from 8:50 to 3:30. Awesome! But he didn't go back down until 5. Not awesome!

Look how awake he is in the wee hours:
I have tried putting him down at 7 when the big boys start their routine, but for some reason, that makes him wake up every 3 hours all night long. So, he reads to Harry with me and cat naps in his bouncer while I shower. Around 8:30, I put him in one of those silly sleepers that are like giant shirts and swaddle him in a Miracle Blanket. He eats, rocks in his cradle, and between 9 and 9:30 conks out, meaning I am free! Ben and I are almost caught up with our DVR. Of course I am sure the 6-week growth spurt will totally knock that routine on its ass. Soon.

Speaking of Ben! He went on a field trip with Jack's class yesterday and got some cute pics:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A great baby

Okay, you guys. I am just going to say it. Cooper is an awesome baby. A dream baby. SUCH a great baby. I'd go into detail but I don't want to totally screw myself over.

He LOVES his little baby gym-- loves it!

He hung out like this almost the whole time I made and frosted a caramel apple cake that I pinned and then actually MADE (it kind of sucked, though. the apple cider icing had 8 CUPS of powdered sugar and was too, too, too sweet even for me). (note the abandoned stool-- Jack was helping. the most helpful thing he did? leave the room for a minute).
He always looks really interested in the gym, too-- the toys, the mat, the yellow circle on top-- he loves it all.
In his quest to once again be the baby, jack likes to take a turn in the baby gym. Here he is demonstrating the finer points of tummy time:

Cooper does not get to spend as much time on the floor as I'd like him to and as he would probably like to because his big brothers are SUPER FREAKING DANGEROUS around his spongy little baby head. (look at Jack)

We did some home improvements this weekend. Ben finally hung up his favorite baseball, football, basketball and hockey cards in the basement, and he has big plans to mount some autographed balls, too. We even put up (sports) pictures in the downstairs bathroom. We also rearranged some furniture in the guest room, but that was more like a home unimprovement-- it looks like hell, but now we have room for our elliptical machine to be delivered. (seriously the whole room is crammed into half the room, so we have plenty of room for the machine). I let my gym membership lapse and was reluctant to join a new one because I can't really take Cooper to the daycare during cold and flu season. So, we decided to try working out at home. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

iPhone iphoto idump

I wish I was short enough to do this-- it looks relaxing.

Jack is really into setting up elaborate scenes for his guys. He's adjusting something at Joker's house here, and you can tell from his expression that he's not messing around.
I posted most of my pumpkin patch pics on FB, but here they are enjoying a snack.
Bought a totally stupid amount of random crap at Costco yesterday and scored this gym for Cooper. He loved it!
It even has a cute little tummy time pillow.
Hated this. He noticed the mobile for the first time and HATED IT.
I think he was over stimulated-- he needed a swaddle and a pacifier ASAP.
Harry did his hair for school pictures this morning. I forgot to take a picture of him in his tie. It was epic.
Exercise is hard for a baby.