Friday, May 25, 2012


Over the last couple months, my blogging has really dropped off.  I don't want any of you to feel bad.  It was nothing personal.  You see, everything in my life has dropped off.  I've been exhausted, scatter-brained, worn-out, and honestly, not feeling well at all.

I haven't just been neglecting blogging, but the house work, studying, and anything that takes any extra energy.  But there is an incredibly good reason.

I'm very excited to introduce all of you to Duck. 

More formally known at Baby #3.

I'm currently 13 weeks, just starting my second trimester.  If everything goes according to plan, Duck should make his (or her) grand entrance to the world right around Thanksgiving.

It was a fairly long road, getting baby Duck here.  And judging by how bad the fatigue and morning sickness is, the road doesn't appear to be getting any smoother and shorter any time soon.

But even though I haven't gone a day without throwing up in 8 weeks, I'm very excited about this.  And I promise there will be many, many more stories, with all sorts of details that I'm sure you are all very curious about.  But later.  Probably around the time I stop going to bed at 7 pm.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Day

My sister has moved in with us.  Her first day living with us was this week.

Granted, this is only temporary, most like a month at most, but this still represents a significant change.  For all of us.

The whole idea behind this originated when I realized that the boys would finish school a month before Hubster would be out for the summer. I looked into summer day care and summer camps, but none offered the hours we needed at a price that seems remotely reasonable. Also, the idea of my boys spending summer at day care made me very, very sad.

Thus, the whole idea of getting one of my siblings to come be a temporary nanny was born.

I decided to ask my 21 year old sister for many, many reasons.

A lot of the reasons were actually based on my perceived view of my sister. I felt that she could use some time with us.

Let me tell you a little bit about my sister, all of which would probably make her really upset should she ever read this.

My sister was born 21 years ago, with a birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Based on the severity of the defect, she was not expect to survive birth. Miraculously, she did survive (more amazing considering that survival today is around 50%).

Today, she is perfectly healthy.

However, I wouldn't say completely normal. Alright, that might be harsh. Maybe I should say not completely her age. Okay, I don't know how to say it.  So I'll just tell you some of the things going on with my sister.

She graduated high school three years ago.  To this day, she still talks about how much she misses high school.  Many of her friends are still in high school.  She often reverts to a high school mentality.

She started attending college, and actually got a nearly full scholarship due to some hearing loss she has.  However, she failed nearly all of her classes, lost her scholarship, and has now dropped out. 

Her last job was being an Easter bunny at a mall.

So I thought coming and staying with Hubster and me, being the nanny for two awesome little boys, making some money, living in a different place - I thought all of this would be a good thing (plus, I still really, really needed summer child care.)

Despite how great I thought this would be, my sister still drug her feet about making a decision.  It wasn't until almost a month before coming out here that she completely committed to coming.

Now she's here.  And I love it.  I love my sister.  I love having this time with her (although I'm working ridiculous hours, so I'm not sure how much time we really are having together.)  And I love having someone help clean my house, cook meals, and do chores with the boys.  It's still a challenge. Hubster and I are used to just doing our own thing. Not having other adults around. Factoring that in is going to be a change. But I'm still happy she's here.

I'm really looking forward to getting to know her, getting to know the girl behind the heavy make-up, sparkly clothes, and abundant jewelry.  She is a talented, beautiful, smart, passionate woman, and I'm hoping that both of us can get to know that girl better.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Last Day

It feels like we have a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts. I guess every family does.  But they seem to be coming fast and furiously over here.

Yesterday it was our nanny's last day.

You may remember all the work involved in finding a nanny for our two boys. And from the moment we first interviewed the person who would become the nanny for our boys, I felt wonderful about her.

And I was right.  It's been a wonderful year. Over the last year, the boys have come to adore the nanny. She's always playing games with them, introducing them to new snacks, doing craft projects with them. But she also makes them do their chores and does their homework with them.

Once, I came home to find Monkey, Bug, and the nanny all sitting up around the kitchen table, all three of them doing their homework (since the nanny is a college student and it was finals week.)  The scene absolutely melted my heart.

She would take silly pictures and videos of the boys doing all sorts of silly things, to share them with Hubster and I when we got home.

Hubster and I often have crazy schedules, and she was always remarkably flexible, even twice coming over on days the boys' school was unexpectedly let out several hours early.

Both boys would give her huge hugs when it was time for her to go home in the evening, occasionally whining a little that they didn't want her to leave.

I wish she didn't have to.

She had become so much part of the family, which I never expected.

But the boys will soon be out for the summer, and Hubster will be home for some of that. The after school program finally had two openings (after being on the waiting list for nearly two years). Bug and Monkey are already in the before school program and love it (so much so they still want to go to it, even if I happen to be home in the mornings), so I know they will love the after school program. Not to mention, it is going to cost us a third of what we were paying before. I know this is a good decision for the boys.

But I still will miss the nanny.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Things I Don't Tell My Kids

No matter our different our parenting techniques may be, most kids hear pretty similar things (or we heard the same things from our parents.)

Go to sleep.  Eat your vegetables.  Clean your room.  Share. Listen.  Follow the rules. Look both ways.  Don't run with scissors. Dogs aren't for riding.

Most of these axioms are familiar because they just make sense. They are all things we want our children to do in order to be responsible, healthy, and kind.

But there are things I've heard kids told just as frequently, that I don't tell my kids.

What I don't say: Don't talk to strangers. 
My children are shy children. Telling them to not talk to strangers would be pointless, since they don't talk to anyone. However, while I understand the concept behind this, I disagree with the principle. I'm okay with my children talking to strangers.  I want them to make new friends.  I want them to wave back to the cashier at the grocery store.  I want them to ask questions of the fireman and policemen at the safety fair. I want them to chat with random people as we shop or walk.  Not talking to strangers doesn't keep kids safe. In fact, if a child is hurt or lost or in danger, sometimes the only person who may be able to help them is a stranger. And I let them know that.
What I do say:  Never take anything from someone you don't know without checking with your parents.  Don't go into anyone's car/house/etc unless I say it's okay.   Don't let someone you don't know into the house. We spend a lot of time going through specific scenarios. (If you haven't, watch these Dateline clips.)

What I don't say:  Don't play with your food.
While I try to give our kids a balanced diet, my boys tend to be picky eaters. If playing with their food gets them to eat it, I'm fine with that. They can pretend that the broccoli are trees, they can build landscapes from their salad, they can build up lakes of gravy behind dams of mashed potatoes. I'm fine if their fingers get used a little too frequently. (Well, kind of fine.) I just want them to eat their food.
What I do say: Eat your dinner. Don't whine about the food. Chew with your mouth closed. Have good table manners (minus the whole eating-with-your-fingers thing.)

What I don't say: Come in out of the rain.
We've all heard the saying about learning to dance in the rain. Well, I take that quite literally. A little rain never hurt anyone. In fact, splashing in puddles, getting drenched to your skin, that can all be quite wonderful.
What I do say: Come inside when you're cold.

What I don't say: No rough housing.
We've spent years refining the concept of child-proof.  And while our house is not perfect (and I've gotten braver with putting out pretty things as the boys grow), for the most part our home is a place for kids to play. And when I say play, I mean it. Go ahead and wrestle.  Go ahead and pillow fight. Go ahead and slide down the stairs. Go ahead and see how far you can slide across the floor in your stockinged feet. I often will chase the boys around the house in a game of tag. We're a family of young boys, and I think we should act like it.
What I do say: No baseball in the house. Stay off the top of the furniture. Bikes are for outside.

I also have a list of things I wish I didn't tell my kids:
Wait a minute.  Not right now. Mommy's too busy. 

I'm working on those.  Hopefully, I'll come up with great alternatives to those, too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Should Have

I know there should have been a Mother's Day post. 

I know I should tell you all about the book Monkey made for me at school, where he drew a picture of me asleep on the couch in front of the TV, and said I like to listen to "Dynamite" and that I make really good macaroni and cheese out of a box.

I know I should tell you how much I love my boys and how wonderful Hubster is and how much I like being a mom. 

No, not like.  How much I love being a mom.

But like everything else, it crept up on me too fast.

In fact, I may have missed it altogether, forgotten it completely,  had it not been for the roses on the table and the huge bear hugs Sunday morning.

There should have been a Mother's Day post, and thanks to my boys, there is.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Change and Maintain

Things are changing 'round these parts.  Changing pretty quickly.

Spring has flown by.  All the new flowers, the quiet little violets and graceful lilies have wilted.

They have given way to the strong blooms of early summer.

The school year is almost over. Monkey will be done with kindergarten.  Bug will be done with fourth grade.

Our nanny will be leaving us.  I'm completely broken up about this.  She has become nearly a member of the family. I almost want to pull the boys out of their (much more affordable) after school program just so that the nanny can stick around.

My little sister is moving in with us. In just over a week actually. We still haven't cleaned out the extra bedroom for her.  That means packing up all my books. Although that is a small sacrifice to have my sister here to help out (and hopefully be helped out.)

Hubster is nearly done with his first year of dental school.  Obviously, he's gotten amazing grades in all his courses so far.  I never expected less.  Next year comes with more strenuous studies.

I'm just about to start my last year of residency.  I'm starting to act as a senior resident.  I'd say I was stressed about this, but then you'd have to ask, "What's new?"

Things are changing.

Just as fast as the trees shook off their frail blossoms and gave way to heavy loads of summer leaves.

Throughout this, my focus has been on maintaining.  Maintaining my sanity, our family dinners, story time, health.

Breath in.  Breath out.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Catching Butterflies

With warm days and flowers - bushes, trees, shrubs, hedges, fields full of flowers - come the butterflies.

And with the butterflies, come two little boys with butterfly nets and tireless legs.

 Countless butterflies were caught, examined, exclaimed over, and then let free.

I wish every day could be filled with warmth, sunshine, and butterfly nets.