Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring break!

As I pushed my cart around the grocery story today trying not to accidentally bash Jack in the temple (again) while making a blind turn to avoid a lingering solo-shopper and repeatedly asking Harry to stop clinging to the basket, two things occurred to me simultaneously.  First of all, damn it hurts when Cooper yanks fistfuls of hair loose from my french braid and tries to hoist himself out of the Ergo and toward my face, using my locks as a frizzy rope.  Second, today was my first time taking all 3 of them to the grocery store by myself.  Not because I am one of those annoying people who is overwhelmed by the thought of handling all of my own offspring by myself but because I have never had to shop with them and without Ben.  And really?  I didn't have to today considering the ingredients for brownie sundaes topped my list and nobody needs those.  But thanks to early dismissal for spring break, I found myself wrangling 100 pounds of kids on an early Friday afternoon.  Ben is home by 1:30 on Fridays, but I wanted to hit the store before he got home so we could make the 2:45 showing of Mirror, Mirror that I promised Harry and Jack. I am an old pro at shopping with 2, but that extra kid really makes the whole experience more than a third more harrowing.

Spring break.  Ben had his all by himself a couple weeks ago, but the kids and I are off together, meaning I am on my own with no magical all-day kindergarten for a half a day Monday and Friday and a whole day Wednesday.  Wish me luck!

Actually wish the kids luck.  Not only did I run into Jack with my cart, but I set Cooper down to play in the plastic cabinet (for the first time--  a milestone!), turned around to wash a cookie sheet, and heard him scream when he face-palnted into the bottom shelf.  He may have a black eye.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

While Harry was at school: the iPhone version

Cooper was clingy.  Jack was cute.  My bangs were long.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Working on his forward roll

Finally a fairly reliable sitter.

You know what would make those circles under his eyes go away?  Sleeping past 4 am.  His new trick is to NOT sleep past 4 am.  Cute.

Jack needed to fix Cooper's bowtie.


We've been playing so much Jenga.

He's so tough

They both are

The first year Jack manned up and got in the picture.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I am a little annoyed with peas right now

I have not been able to find fresh organic peas to puree for my special snowflake, so I finally bought frozens at Whole Foods.  I made 7 little containers of them-- and fed him one for breakfast which he enjoyed especially when mixed with prunes-- before I noticed that WF adds SALT to their frozen peas.  WTF, WF?  WTF, indeed.  I decided to toss out the whole batch.

Another baby food annoyance?  I can't find organic prunes, plums, or dried plums anywhere either, so I have been buying jarred prunes.  Target was out of 2 brands of organic prunes on Saturday (so I am clearly not the only food conscious mom noticing the fresh shortage whose baby needs prunes to crap effectively now that he's on food besides just breastmilk), so I picked up the Gerber brand (Gerber- never touch that processed stuff), and the organic food line is FULL of added garbage.  I ended up with some Gerber conventional prunes (GASP!) because the only ingredients are prunes and water. Moral:  don't buy Gerber organic.

Anyway, I made and froze a ton of purees on Friday:  green beans, zucchini, apples, peaches, and mango.  I am going to Trader Joe's to find a salt-free pea replacement, and I might as well whip up some carrots, too, since I have a whole other freezer tray to fill.  Making baby food is a blast.

Cooper loves yogurt, bananas and pears in the mesh feeder, and most purees.  He tolerates (sort of) avocado mixed with milk and hidden underneath banana.  He has also been trying to drink from a sippy cup-- no success yet, but lots of fun poking himself in the eye.

He's also still up for a good stroller nap.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good thing he's so cute

I have a zit directly on the center of the end of my nose in the precise place a wart would be if I were a witch.

I think we have to take a hiatus from restaurants, which is a real bummer because in an effort to avoid cleaning the kitchen, I have been spearheading a campaign to eat at every restaurant in town.  We've had a generally nice time, and I can tell you the best spots for salads in a 15-mile radius.  Cooper, though, has started to be a terrible dining companion.  For starters, he is impossible to nurse anywhere but on the middle of my bed or on the floor (?!?) of his room.  Sometimes MAYBE he'll eat in the car under duress.  Anyplace else (even under a Bebe Au Lait nursing cover) is off limits.  SUCH A PITA.  Second, he doesn't always want to eat solids if we are at a restaurant, even if he is hungry.  What he wants to do is to go home and sit on my bed and nurse in the semi-dark with no voices or other distractions.  Third, he likes to concuss himself by smashing his forehead into the table at least once per meal.  So, if you are looking for me between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30, I'll be cleaning the kitchen (with a long "break" in the middle to do bedtime).  Blurgh.
Do not be fooled by the smile.  Also?  Do you see the huge red mark on his head?

In other news:  SWINGING is the best thing EVER.


I have breastfed for 6 months (and 11 days).  Phew!  Halfway there.  Though when I say it like that, the next 6 months loom long.  One day at a time, right?  Cooper has been my most difficult breastfeeder, mainly because he won't take a bottle.  Harry ate pumped milk and a tiny bit of formula (and nursed happily for 18 months), and Jack was all fake milk by 8 months old (note: this is not what I'd like to have happen-- I am just saying BFing is hard this time). 

Coop and I are never apart for more than 3 hours, and while this is lovely, I am sitting on 2 journal articles that I'd like to submit in the next 2 months and I have NO TIME to work on them.  My Cooperless hours are eaten up by classwork and committee meetings, and while research is not part of my job, I'd like to do it anyway.

It's not just the intensity, though.  I mean, I actually LIKE the intensity.  I LIKE my baby, and it's delightful to be with him all the time.  What really makes this the most difficult breastfeeding relationship I have experienced is the cyclical milk problems I have.  It's maddening to suddenly wake up with almost no milk or a painfully (for him) slow letdown, especially when the previous day featured textbook perfect nursing.  It really throws me for a loop.  And because it coincides with crazy hormone fluctuations, I don't handle the stress very well of not making enough milk for a baby who only likes my milk fresh from the tap.  Last week, for example, I got super pissed at Ben for not buying turkey at the deli counter and walked 6 miles home from Whole Foods.  In TOMS.  (Well, Ben picked me up 2 miles from home because I ran out of sidewalk).

Cooper is growing and gaining beautifully, though, and he is interested in solid foods more and more everyday.  His pediatrician said it was okay to let him eat YoBaby yogurt, which he loves and finds really filling.  That should help us next week when I expect another shortage.  I can also eat chocolate in reasonable quantities, and I cannot tell you how excited I am about that.  I think it may help me lose weight because I think I have been eating and eating and eating in an attempt to feel satisfied, but without chocolate I just can't.  I love sweets.

In other weight loss news: oh crap it's almost swimsuit season.  All my shorts fit like hot pants.  I'd like to lose 20 pounds.  I did crunches for the first time in over a year yesterday. Instead of a 6-pack, my stomach looks like a keg.  Waaaaaaaaaaaah.

I feel much better with all of this out of my system.

Ice cream season, at last:

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Ben and I have had an understanding since Cooper has been around:  I get up with the baby, and he gets up with Harry and Jack.  Truth be told, I have been getting the raw end of this deal because Harry and Jack almost never need anything.  The other night, though, Harry woke up vomiting at 11, right when we were going to bed.  I was happy to say, "Hope you feel better tomorrow.  Here's your dad," and go to sleep.

We hung out outside almost all day today-- Harry and Jack blew through 2 bottles of bubbles and did some magic tricks while Ben sealed the deck and fence and I jollied  very crabby (teething?) Cooper.

And now we must watch more basketball.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ben's actual birthday

 Ben says that Cooper bought him this ball, but really, Ben ordered it for himself.  Still, Cooper was glad to take the credit.
 Ben loved his coffee press and grinder and not just because he is a dirty hipster.  Our Keurig broke a couple days ago (and it was only 3 months old).  The company is sending us a new one (awesome customer service), but in the mean time-- NO COFFEE!  For me, this is not a big deal because I just have decaf, but it has been killing Ben.  No more!  He is a coffee pressing snob now.
 Sports memorabilia-- Ben's fave.
 We went to our favorite birthday bar-- the one where we always have the kids' second birthdays and where we always ring in Ben's big day.  Ben and Cooper went straight to the bar to start Ben's free birthday bottomless beer mug.  
 Harry and Jack headed to the video games.
 We even brought the cake so I wouldn't have to clean it up at home.
 Me and H-- they fight over whose turn it is to sit next to me in restaurants-- how cute is that?
 I wish I had 33 candles, but I only had 8.
Making a wish-- probably for more birthdays like this one.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ben's bDay lunch

 Can't you imagine that horse and that smoke airbrushed on a t-shirt?
 We rang in Ben's birthday at Medieval Times, which was really fucking weird.  We saw some old friends from college,which was of course fun, and we enjoyed eating with our hands and watching a really strange show about jousting for a princess.  Harry and Jack were all about the princess.  We got to stand next to her when we got there for a group picture, and today at lunch, they were talking to each other about how good she smelled.  There was a falconer, too.  Not at lunch today-- at the show.  Because a falconer at the show was weird, but a falconer in our kitchen would be batshit- like this clip.
After the show, we all stood in the lobby holding our souvenirs and to-go boxes, and Ben looked for a bench to put some stuff on so he could pee.  We made our way to one in a corner, wondering why it was empty in the crowded lobby.  We found out why when Jack tripped and fell down in a hue puddle of vomit.
We had to pitch his clothes, so he wore Ben's sweater home.
 He didn't seem to mind.
 Cooper continues to keep it real and try new things.
 Like blueberries.
And sitting up in the shopping cart.

We're just sitting around waiting to catch the stomach flu, you know from the vomit bath.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 09, 2012

6 Months Old!

 Cooper is 6  months old today.  Six whole months.  Half of a year.
 I know I am getting older-- and it's not just the wrinkly skin on my chest and the aggressive gray hairs shooting silver through my bangs. It's that the days are long, and the weeks speed by, and I hear myself telling the boys it will be pool season before they know it-- because it will.  A blink and Memorial Day is upon us; another and the pool closes, boys shuffle up a grade, Cooper smashes a cake; another and we'll have our Christmas tree.
 Cooper might be teething.  He splashes puddles of drool on the floor in front of him and shoves anything he can grab in his mouth, pressing it against his gums.  You see that 6 month sticker on his shirt?  He ate the middle right out of it.  I salvaged the sides for his baby book.
 He loves Harry and Jack, watches them with wide eyes and a sharp face, quiets when they talk to him, beams that gummy grin that lights his face when Harry comes home from school.
 Today, he fussed while I cleaned up breakfast (at 10:30, 4 hours after we ATE breakfast), and Jack read hm an Eric Carle book, talking through the pictures and holding the pages for Cooper to touch.
 We celebrated 6 months by opening a few of Cooper's Christmas presents that we've had stuck in storage for months because he couldn't really use them.  We'll get them out when he can sit up, we said.
 I love how supremely grossed out he looks here.

And how snuggly he is here, napping through dinner at our favorite taco place.  He woke up with a wheezing smile at the meal's end.

In a few minutes, I am going to slip into his dark room and gather his warm slumbering body from his crib to feed him before I go to bed-- dream feeding this is called-- in the hopes that he'll give me 5 or 6 uninterrupted hours.  He'll make snuffling noises and breathe a contented sigh when I lie him back down on his back.  When he wakes for food somewhere close to dawn, I will find him on his tummy, smashed into a corner, and his room will smell sweet and milky like sleep.

In the morning, I will pretend to eat his tummy, his toes, to wear him on my head like a hat and then that I can't find him up there, looking all around and calling his name while he laughs.  He'll eat some more, puke in my hair, have cereal with apples and prunes for breakfast, watch the big boys eat their bagels.  He'll nap, suck on things, chew his hands, nurse, fall asleep smashed up against Ben's side, doze off in his car seat, try to crawl, roll himself around the house, poop.  He has a busy day ahead, in other words

We're back to normal, you know.  A little more wrinkled and worse for the wear, a little more tired, sure.  Nowhere near getting a babysitter for all 3 of them.  But Cooper is easy now, a part  of us, so bound up in our routine, we can't remember how we ever lived without him. Life before Cooper was so long ago, a lifetime, really, that passed in slow days and fast weeks all of them steeped in baby, delicious baby.