Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Amazing Bundle

I think the biggest adjustment I have to make to Mr. b staying home with the kids is when to feed Bundle in the morning. So far I’ve been able to sneak out of the house in the dark before anyone even gets up. I have my alarm set for extra early so I can go pick the little girl out of her crib and nurse her in bed before I start getting ready. Then I just leave her in bed with her daddy. This works even if she wakes up at 4 or 5 am, too. And then I don’t have to try to pump before I leave or when I first get to work or something else ridiculous like that.

We’re also working on a new bedtime plan. Now that Ronnie is home all day her naps are definitely being curtailed. I think she is fine on only one a day already instead of two still. She takes boobie snoozes with me in the evening when she’s nursing post-dinner. So then when her brother is in bed and she’s still not going to sleep I hand her off to her daddy. Generally I can get her down but she won’t stay down. She’ll sleep in her crib in their bedroom for maybe 30 minutes and then wake up and want more Mama. It’s a fine line but I’m starting to figure out when she’s *actually* still hungry and when she just wants to be held. Since just holding her without sticking a boob in her mouth is not an option in her mind, and I don’t want to be a pacifier, then it’s Daddy’s turn. I make myself scarce and he pat-pats her back to sleep. It’s working pretty well. And getting her used to falling asleep without a boob is good since weaning is looming ever closer.

Veronica’s definitely in a Mama Phase though. As soon as I get home from work she demands that I hold her. Doesn’t matter what she’s doing, eating or menacing, she wants me to pick her up. She race-crawls over to me if she’s not in her high chair and hauls herself up on my leg, begging to be picked up.

It’s just crazy how much she’s grown. I’ve completely failed to keep updating her new accomplishments. Maybe about three (four?) months ago we took down the changing table because we were changing her on the floor more often anyway. She sits up on her own since late September, about 6 and a half months. Just after 7 months she started crawling properly, on her knees with her belly off the ground. From there it’s been exponential. At first she’d pull herself up on furniture to her knees.


And then a week later on to her feet.

bath fun

She can now easily transfer her weight well enough that she moves along the edges of furniture or can go back and forth between the couch and ottoman or our knees and the chair or whatever. Her bottom two teeth cut through simultaneously Halloween weekend, just a week before the 8 month mark. I haven’t figured out which teeth are coming next but there’s definite movement going on in there again. It’s just been a constant stream of new developments. I don’t remember them coming this rapid-fire with Kirk. There was more of a sense of ebb and flow. He’d have a new trick and then that would last for a while. Then we’d get a slight step back to warn us something new was coming up. I don’t know if this is a girl thing or a second child thing but it’s rather amazing to witness. I had Mr. b lower the mattress in her crib so she couldn’t launch herself over the bar (I’m seriously expecting her to hoist herself into the bathtub while she’s “supervising” her brother’s bath one of these days…) but we’re already talking about getting her a big girl bed. Time to start looking for bunk beds.

I can’t decide if Ronnie is starting to pick up on sign language or not. I haven’t been using it as much with her as I did with Kirk. And I know her father isn’t using it at all. But she keeps doing certain motions with her hands that seem a bit more deliberate than just “Hey cool! These things are attached!” I also don’t remember when Kirk started obviously responding. But it seems like we’ve always been able to communicate with him so it must have been early. I guess it’s time for me to start reviewing archive posts and see how their timing really does compare.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My blender got a work out this weekend. I was on a roll making stuff out of the borderline questionable produce on the counter and in the fridge. I’ve always been pretty good about either using or freezing the overripe bananas. I want to get better at finding things to do with the other fruits and vegetables before they just have to be tossed.

First I used up the pumpkin puree I had made for the Bundle at Halloween. I’m not sure why she didn’t like it. She likes squash. She likes zucchini. But she definitely did not like pumpkin. Her brother has been getting some serious mileage out of the fact that he ate an entire pumpkin when he was on baby food his first Halloween. I had pumpkin in the freezer for ages and he ate every last bit. Anyway, I also had a bunch of baby carrots way past their prime so I made pumpkin and carrot and ginger (leftover from Mr. b’s fad diet earlier this fall) soup and it was simply divine. Definitely going into my regular rotation. Really easy and utterly delicious.

I had another giant zucchini on the counter that our neighbors gave me and unlike the first one they had passed on, I had just zero inspiration for what to do with it. So it kept sitting there. Finally I realized I had to use it so I just made puree. Ronnie liked it the last time I pureed the leftover zucchini after I made bread and I figure hey, I can always make carrot and zucchini soup, right? HA!

My aunt recently sent me this article - featuring a picture of her granddaughter, my cousin’s daughter - so I’ve been thinking about baby food for a while. I’m not really a baby food making machine. I don’t have any philosophy behind doing it. I’m not trying to control the food my child intakes. I don’t have to work around any allergies or dietary restrictions. I’m definitely not brainwashed by the hippie organic bullshit. (Because I hate the bastardization of that word. We are all carbon based life forms. Period.) I don’t necessarily think it saves *that* much money, though it certain saves some. Mostly I do it for two reasons: 1) I like to cook and so it scratches that itch if I don’t have time for a big fancy meal and 2) I can introduce Ronnie to foods that aren’t available from Gerber.

But that doesn’t really explain the third puree I made this weekend. We had a half a sack of bulk dried apricots (again, left over from the mister’s weird diet fad) and they weren’t really getting eaten and were taking up space in the cupboard. So even though I can buy baby food apricots, I decided this was the best thing do to with them. I boiled them up to rehydrate them and then blended them and then I fell in love. Seriously. The frickin’ best tasting thing ever to come out of that blender. I want to have puree of dried apricots in my fridge at all times. I think it could possibly be the most versatile food product of all time. It would make a great sauce for pork. It would make a great ice cream topping. It’s delicious just plain as it. It would be great in a jelly roll. Or a pin wheel. Or a tart. I can’t stop thinking of ways to use it.

And of course after all that industry I ordered pizza for supper.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Paradigm Shift

I’ve always known that I do not have the temperament to be a stay at home mom. Conversely, I’ve always known that Mr. b does have the temperament to be a stay at home dad. And now he is.

This is going to be a big change for our family but I think it’s going to be a good one. He’s over the halfway mark now with his schooling and his projects have been demanding more and more of his time. Since he has spent his days at work, this meant that he would have to go meet partners even on nights with no class, or leave early to meet before class. It was getting to be very hard on Kirk to have so little time with his daddy. It was getting to be very hard on Daddy to have so little time with his son. And Ronnie really hasn’t gotten to have much alone time with her daddy at all. As soon as she sees me it’s all mama, all the time.

Next week is the last official week of daycare. I don’t think it’s sunk it to Kirk yet. I think he thinks he’s just having a random free day where he managed to con his dad into keeping him at home today. But the way I figure it, he’ll be home with his father until he starts kindergarten in the fall. By the time Mr. b is done with school and looking for jobs, we should be back down to only one child in daycare. That will be a helluva thing.

And really, the financial part is the only con that I can see to this whole thing. Because even not paying for double daycare, that’s still not quite as much as his entire month’s wages. But once you add in the money saved in all the other little areas – from buying lunches to having someone focused on the household budget – it should be close. And hey, the whole world is fucked right now so what difference will it make?

A big difference emotionally and mentally. I’m already looking forward to not having to get three people ready in the morning. I genuinely prefer taking the bus to driving. I think Bundle will get more nurturing care with her father. I think Kirk will be more accepting of the time his dad does have to spend away if he has him around all day. I think my husband will have significantly lowered stress levels from being able to spend time with his kids, from being able to meet school partners during the day, from not having to focus any time or energy on a job that has no relevance to his chosen career. We’ve grown complacent in our lower middle class lifestyle and having someone at home all day will allow both of us to examine what can change and what needs to change. The long-term cleaning and organizing projects that never get bumped up on the To Do list from nice-to-have status will actually get done.

Mr. b has renamed his blog to Ad Dad and plans to chronicle this transition. I’m very excited that after so much discussion and “can we really do this” hemming and hawing, the day is finally here. This is going to be great.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Put Some Toilet Water On It

Sunday night Kirk killed the toilet. Daddy was at the Steely Dan concert and Mama was busy with Bundle and Kirk used about 2/3 of a roll of toilet paper. I had been talking to him down the hall, concerned something was Going On but didn’t actually put the baby down and go investigate. I told him explicitly not to use too much paper, not to take big pieces, and to flush in the middle if he thought he might need more. Kirk didn’t listen to Mama.

I attempted to plunge the toilet but couldn’t get it cleared. I figured I was a wuss. But then Mr. b tried the toilet snake yesterday morning and that didn’t work either. So I guess that explains why the plunger wasn’t good enough. After work we tried the Depot and checked out our other options. We had a longer pipe snake from the basement floor drain issues of a couple years ago. But that proved to be too flexible and would just bunch up at the clog.

Mr. b started investigating options online. Dawn: didn’t work. Shop-Vac: seemed to be helping until it stopped sucking and started blowing. Toilet water was being sprayed all over the hallway wall. At the same time the toilet started running uncontrollably and the bowl began to overflow. I tried to soak up the mess with towels but instead ran to the neighbors to borrow their wet-dry vac. The hallway was flooded and it was flowing into the bedrooms and the linen closet. It dripped down into the furnace room downstairs. As the menfolk were investigating – opening the evacuation pipe further along will entail tearing into the wall because the geniuses who refinished the already finished basement closed everything off – I tried to keep the kids away from the mess and clean up at least a little bit.

So now we still don’t have a working toilet. If we didn’t have the downstairs bathroom we’d have had to call a plumber or stay at a hotel. Kirk was sent to bed early last night. He is contrite if flippant. His biggest worry is that buying a new toilet will cut into the Christmas presents budget. We’ve been trying to impress on him that the lesson is not Don’t Use Too Much Toilet Paper but rather Always Listen To Mama. Because he didn’t and he should have.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Kirk decided early on this year that he wanted to be Superman for Halloween.

Superman and Jor-El

Naturally Mr. b then realized Jor-El would be the perfect costume for him.


I wanted to get a hot dog bunting for Bundle, because that’s hilarious, but didn’t want to spend twenty bucks when she doesn’t care yet. Thankfully we still had the baby demon costume that A3 wore last year and Kirk wore three years ago.

devil girl

I couldn’t find the horned hood thingie though but found the Santa hat to be even funnier. She was Satan Claus! I was out of inspiration and so just wore festive black and had green hair.

witch's familiar

My folks and my sister came over with A2 and A3 to trick or treat with us while my dad passed out candy.