Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things

This tag is running rampant on Facebook right now. And, I was also recently tagged by my friend Ama out here is blogosphere. I am not going to tag anyone in particular - but, if you read this and feel so inclined, please do one, too. I would love to read some random facts about you.

My 25 things
As a kid, I was kicked out of ballet, was cut from the softball team, didn’t make the grade school cheerleading squad and quit Blue Birds and tennis - but, as an adult, I consider myself a very strong team player.

I took guitar lessons. Twice.

I quit guitar the first time because I didn’t like the teacher. I quit the second time because I liked the teacher too much.

I traveled along the East African coast in 1990, as a Junior in college.

While in Kenya - Namibia gained independence and Nelson Mandela was freed. It was pretty amazing to be in Africa during that time.

I was mugged in Nairobi and - out of all the things they stole off of my person that night - I was most bummed about losing my last packs of Camels Lights and Big Red Gum.

I smoked for over ten years.

I quit smoking at the age of twenty-six.

I am allergic to horses. And cats. And Penicillin.

Before I had a dog, I was a dog person who owned only cats. What was I thinking?

I used to hate the beach. Now I love it.

I love documentaries.

I am fascinated by polygamy.

My sister is my best friend. Even though she still likes New Kids on the Block.

My favorite, all time musician is Paul Simon.

I will always have a place in my heart for Billy Joel - pre Christie Brinkley.

Traveling is a true passion of mine, but feel I haven’t done nearly enough of it since kids and I want to change that.

I traveled to Siberia with my friend Deb Brush when she adopted her beautiful daughter Annie. Through a series of chaotic events and mountains of red tape, we were stuck in Russia for twenty-eight days. It was one of the best adventure-filled months of my life.

I was held up at gunpoint in Philadelphia - in the parking lot of the North Star Bar - where I waited tables for several years. They didn’t get anything, as it was pre-shift.

I delivered Luca a week early, after 23 hours of labor and I delivered Matteo a week and a half late, after two hours and four minutes of labor.

Both births were natural / non-medicated.

I used to collect the original Fisher Price Little People.

My three and a half year old son now plays with my collection of vintage Fisher Price Little People.

I broke my collarbone jumping off of the sofa at the age of two and it took my parents two days to figure it out. Nice.

I am a major night owl.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Love this.

Okay. This was also stolen from my SIL Sally's facebook page. I LOVE this video!

Mama and the boys...

Early Sunday morning, watching home renovation shows.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Heard Around the Castle...

One knight to another - "Oh yeah?! Well, you're a whiny face!"

And later - "Hi, Prince."
"Hi, Knight."
"Do you want a hug?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good friends... your dishes and give your kid a bath when you need it most.

Sunday Jaunt

After two whole weeks of only going to the doc's or other baby and post-pregnancy related appointments, I took a leap back into reality today. We had promised Luca that he could use some of his piggy bank money to buy himself something at the local toy shop, so we (along with my visiting mother) all took an afternoon jaunt downtown.

Luca hopped on his Skuut, we popped Matteo into the pouch (where he fell asleep immediately) and we were on our way.

Even though we were only going out for a bit, I forced Debbie to don the diaper bag. What with being a shut-in for the last two weeks and all, I guess I forgot that supplies and reinforcements are not necessarily needed for a short pleasure walk.

Luca practiced bicycle balance and stopped to enjoy the sites along the way.

We finally made it to the toy shop where Luca perused a vast array of knights in shining armor - his latest interest.

He had only taken ten dollars out of his piggy bank - so we actually wound up spotting him an extra four plus change. He was still psyched to hand over his own money to the guy behind the counter.

He was very happy with his purchase.

After the toy shop, we went to our favorite coffee spot. As usual, Luca convinced Debbie to allow him to skim most of the foam from her coffee.

Meanwhile, Matteo continued to sleep in the security of the sling.

The walk, fresh air and sunshine did all of us some good. It was a very nice day.

I stole this from my SIL's Facebook page.

Thanks, Sally!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Building Zone

Luca loves to build. Anything. From towers of blocks to buildings of toilet paper and soaps - if they are stackable, they are fair game. Things that line-up in an organized fashion are also fair game. He's anal like that.

We have a bunch of different blocks and building sets in different rooms around the house. He ignores some of them much of the time - but, every once in awhile, he'll get an itch to use a certain set and he will play with it for days and days on end.

The baby has now inherited some of Luca's old sets. Not that the he will be playing with them anytime soon, but I have put a few things around Matteo's room for when he's ready. Lately, I will find Luca in there, playing with those baby blocks - stacking them into small towers - playing with things he hasn't seen in over a year or more and may not even remember as his own.

He's been playing with his Duplos A LOT lately. When my sister was here, she took him to the store to buy a second add-on set because he seemed to be falling short of bricks as his creations became more elaborate. Most recently, he's been building things that include parking spaces and front porches, bedrooms and swimming pools. He is also suddenly into rocket ships and we've seen our fair share of those in the last few weeks.

With some post-baby behavior issues cropping up around here, it's nice to see Luca fall into the Building Zone - a few moments (or many more) where he is peaceful, happy, creative and proud of his work.


My dad left today. Lots of errands were completed while he was here. I think we sent him to the store about fifty-seven times in the four days he visited. He left us with a full fridge, stamps for the duration and enough baby supplies to last the winter. Now there's really no reason to leave the house. Just kidding. In fact, I am hoping for a decent day this weekend to take my first walk downtown. Luca took ten dollars out of his piggy bank for a promised trip to the nearby toy store, which is conveniently located just across the way from my favorite little coffee shop. Let there be sun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Matteo Yesterday-o

Did I wash my hair today?

I haven't worn a bra for the better part of two weeks. I have only gotten dressed to go to the pediatrician/midwife/lactation consultant. I sleep in one to three hour intervals. I couldn't tell you the date. And I am VERY behind on pretty much everything.

It's COLD Outside

I am proud to be a northerner.

I hate the heat.

I often make fun of my good friends - here in the south - who complain of being too cold on days I consider temperate and refreshing.

But, today - today was cold.

A mere twenty-nine degrees when Luca left for school this morning.

And, tomorrow it's going to be even colder. Maybe I need an intervention?

The Babysitter's Here

Kristin has been coming to help out with Luca a couple of days a week since just before Matteo was born. She's a nanny for a good friend / school mate of Luca's and she has some extra hours available these days, so we've been more than happy to keep her busy during those times.

In a word, she is wonderful. She's young and full of energy (necessary for endless hours of legos, memory games, adventures in the arts and chase), and she has an innate sense of what works when it comes to little kids. She also has a ton of patience - lucky for us AND for the three and a half year old that we happen to room with.

Kristin has been sitting for Luca for almost a year now. She used to come in the evenings only, when we were out of the house - but we'd see her out and about at the park and at play dates. Now that she has a bit more availability, and now that the concept of "date night" is pretty much ONLY a concept - most of their time spent together has been during the day. As well, some of that time together has been in and around the house when Debbie and I are also at home. And, unfortunately - Luca gives Kristin a much harder time when his moms are nearby. When they are on their own - whether at the house or out on an adventure - Luca apparently does very well. He listens to Kristin, plays nicely, maintains a decent mood, etc. But, when they are in the house and we are around - Luca gets all Edward Hyde on her. I don't know if this sort of thing is typical - kids acting up with the sitter or another adult when the parents are around - but, it's been stressing me out quite a bit. We have her there so that he is insured some one-on-one attention and so that we have some help in tending to his needs. But, lately, he's been much more of a handful and has given Kristin a really hard time - so that Debbie and I, despite our best intentions, wind up intervening. I get aggravated at Luca and, at the same time, I feel sad for him. When he acts out for our attention, I feel like I am being neglectful. That I shouldn't be passing him off to the sitter, but - instead - I should be trying to engage him and care for his new brother at the same time. The reality, though, is that I can't. Not yet, anyway - at least not until I am feeing good again and this baby isn't so darn-spanking new anymore. And - the whole reason we have Kristin here is to insure Luca's well-being and his fun.

After having a difficult Monday, we came up with a plan for Tuesday - have them stay outside as much as possible. When we are out of his sight, we are pretty much out of his mind. The weather was great in the beginning of the week, so this wasn't a problem at all.



And other random outdoor adventures...

Luca has a day off from school on Friday, so Kristin is taking him away from the house for a play date. But, we'll have a day or two next week when we will all be around the house together again. I know that we can think of a few more "out of the house" activities, but I am hoping that we can also think of some ways to make the "all of us at home" situation a little easier for everyone.