Category Archives: my hon

Birthday Parties. Meh.

Let me just start this by saying that I am a big fan of the birthday. (Mine is in just a couple of days!)  I’ve always enjoyed my own birthday.  I’ve thrown countless surprise parties for friends and family.  And even though I am older and find less hoopla in order for the day, I still demand cake.

Throwing parties for one’s kids, on the other hand, is … uh.  It is a mix of fun and uncertainty.  Take Cakie’s birthdays, for example,  we’ve always taken great joy in making him a very special cake (guitar, Diego’s head, Superman).  We’ve also always had his party at home.  They have always been fun.  This year, for the first time, we are shelling out the big bucks to have his party at a place that does everything for you.  I am not excited about the big bucks.  I am excited about the does everything for you.  But I can’t help but think that we’re still going to be going crazy the day before.  I still want to make a special cake, but I don’t really, really want to, if my ten zillion dollars includes an ice cream cake.  I don’t know who to invite.  We bought the package for twelve kids.  But most of the folks at his daycare, as a rule, don’t RSVP.  And since I have been to several of these parties at the same place with the same kids, I see that people bring siblings, even when the invitations specifically say, please do not bring siblings.  And why would that worry me?  Every extra kid is another thirty bucks on top of the ten zillion dollars.  Then this morning came the expected snafu… one of Cake’s friends at daycare has the very same birthday.  So today we got the evite for his party at the same time and the same day.  My honey didn’t seem phased, saying we could just invite kids who are not from the daycare.  But, umm, I feel like we kind of need to invite Cakie’s friends.  On the other hand, maybe thirty kids won’t show up, and we’ll get to keep our home and our car instead of handing it over to the Bouncy House place.

Trucker’s birthday was last weekend.  I aimed for the number-of-child-guests-matches-the-number-of-years-old-the-child-will-be rule.  Since he was turning 2, I ended up with four child guests.  Because I’m not so great at math.  The goal was to keep things simple.  But I went overboard anyway, and cooked up a storm.  After the fact, I realized that this was probably my last kid party to which I could have just invited my-own-aged friends.  And though some of the parents I invited are my friends (Hi, sn!) I felt like I could have made it more fun for me by inviting one other baby, and a bunch of my friends.  Though I know it is not supposed to be all about me.

This is all to say that I never realized how complicated all of this is.  And I don’t know that I am making it complicated.  I think it just is.  I’ve done my best to keep it simple.  Like I say to my students when I teach math (yeah, they let me do that, can you believe it?)  I always like to find the most efficient strategy that gets me the right answer.  Because I don’t like doing extra work.

I want to most efficient birthday party strategy that doesn’t cost me the down payment on a new house and doesn’t kill the joy and creativity of having the party in the first place.  And that would be?

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Filed under family, my hon, my second son, my son, Trucker

Unrestaurantable

We went to SN’s birthday dinner at a scrumptious Thai restaurant in Queens.  Trucker has been considered by his moms to be unrestaurantable for so long, that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Besides, we had that test run with grandma at the local diner and he did just fine.  He sat in the high chair, flirted with the servers, and generally didn’t make too much noise.  My cabin fever got the best of me and we ventured out.  It was a kid-friendly restaurant with a lovely garden and we were a three-high chair party.

Alas.  The boy… the boy remains on the U-list.  They had a lovely fountain.  I thought this would be a great distraction, if he got bored at the table, we could go over and look and play at the fountain.  It was too much of a distraction.  There was very little sitting at the table.  If he was at the table, he only sat in the high chair for a total of five minutes, where he did actually devour some dumplings.  Then it was on to my or A’s lap, where he lunged and twisted about in a concentrated effort to get back to the fountain.  Once at the fountain, he would do everything in his power to attempt to climb in to the fountain.  Yeah.  I’m not going to be that mom.  I already am the one who was letting him stick his hand in the water and get his shirt all wet.  Cakie was pretty good, though, aside from the two mad dashes to the fountain from our table, before I gave him a talking to about running in restaurants.  I hate when kids run in restaurants. That said, there was no food thrown.  No actual loud melt-downs occured, and no waitstaff sent a platter of plates flying into the fountain because of tripping over my children.  It was more about the fact that it just wasn’t entirely relaxing.

On the up side, I did actually get time to sit at the table and chat with grown-ups.  I enjoyed that quite a bit.  And I have my honey to thank, since she took longer boychick-tending shifts than I did.  I love her.

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My Smart Honey…

… suggested this morning that we each pick a weekend morning in which we let the other person sleep in.

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Momming

What kind of mothablogger am I?

I never blog about the kids.

Trucker is 15 months old.  I thought that for a whole month, then I realized that he had only been 14 months old.  Now he really is 15 months.  I’m tired.

He has done some cute stuff lately.

I’ve mentioned before that he hasn’t picked up any baby signs yet, because he’s always looking at Cakie and never at me.  But he recently made up his own version of “eat.”  And today I came home from an emergency run to the store for milk (we really ought to invest in a cow) and my honey had taught him the sign for “more.”  Mind you, I’ve been trying to teach him this for, oh, nine months or so.  Now if he wants to, he can sign “more eat!”  Which will be so much better than his current “word” for that sentence —  AAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEuuuuhhh. I hope he’ll pick up some other signs.  It was so helpful with Cakie when he was a wee one.

I also mentioned in a previous post how he has taken to slapping me in the chest when he wants to nurse.  He has modified it to simply tapping me lightly on the chest.  Thanks, sweet boy.  It is pretty cute.

On Saturday mornings, we walk to the park for Cakie’s soccer practice.  It is at a time when many people are walking their dogs.  Trucker loves dogs.  He has a word for dog that he says every time he sees one.  The word sounds nothing like “dog” or “woof” or anything, really related to dogs.  I realized yesterday, though, that his word for dog does sound like the French word for dog.  So maybe he now knows a little ASL and a little French.

Have I mentioned my purchase of the matching toggle coats?  My honey was annoyed.  She thinks it is silly.  She thinks they look like they are ready to go to Hogwarts.  I don’t care!  Cuteness rules!

I feel like this post is boring.  Maybe that’s why I don’t blog so much about momming so many of the stories about my boys just feel like maybe they are only interesting to me.  But maybe you’ll find it more pleasurable than reading about my girly bits.

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Filed under family, my hon, my second son, my son, nothing at all, Trucker

My Honey

gypsygrrl asked

i know you do not blog about teaching ~ but i am being stubborn and asking anyway:

tell us the thing your honey did in your early dating* that made you know she was IT for you.

what is your favorite physical [rated-PG] thing about your honey?

*i know, lesbians dont date but i dont know how to phrase it otherwise – HAHA

I’ll just put this out there:  my honey prefers to not be mentioned much in this blog.

She’s a pretty private person.  She’s also a pretty person.

There was nothing in particular that made me realize she’s the one.

I remember having a long conversation about family.  About how it was important to both of us.  That made an impression.

She was my friend for a year before we got together.  So I knew her already before the honeymoon period.

And I liked her.  I went after her.  That was not my usual pattern.  I used to go out primarily with women who showed an interest in me first.  So I guess when I picked her, it meant something new and important.

I love every part of her, physically.  But I adore her face and her laugh.  She has a kick-ass laugh.

So gypsygrrl?  What was your question about teaching?

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I Am On A (Not-So) Lonely Road

Traveling, traveling,  traveling.

I spend a lot of time wishing I were traveling.  I get jealous often, in a not-mean way, of folks like travelher, who make it a priority.  I have entire summers off.  But my partner does not.  And now I have two kids.  So I could travel alone, leaving my honey with two children.  That doesn’t seem very fun, unless there were some way to do it guilt-free.  I could travel with the family for not-long periods of time.  Or I could travel less often.  All of these options kind of stink.  Though, I do remember my mother, who at over age 65 goes abroad at least once a year, all over the world.  I can do it eventually.

For now, we are taking many short trips.  I don’t love this because the part of travel I like least is the actual transit.  When you are going for the weekend, much of the trip is the actual trip.  This month we’re taking three weekend trips in a row.  This weekend we went to my cousin’s lake house.  This coming weekend we’ll be at Sesame Place and staying with my step-mom.  The weekend after, we’re trying out Rehoboth Beach.  (I hear it is very gay, yet family-oriented.  We’ll see what that means.  I’ve never been.)

Though my honey and I are not very adventurous about traveling with the kids, we have picked up a few tips from the few trips we’ve taken.  I’ll share them with you.

1) If driving for less than five hours, leave around bedtime. The kids will (read: might) sleep the whole way, leaving you bathroom-stop and puke free.  Driving back from the lake house on Sunday night, I took a wrong turn which added an hour to the trip.  There was driving rain which caused most of the cars on the highway to put on their hazard lights and slow to almost a stop.  There was lots of traffic.  That trip was much much easier than the last time we drove home from the lake house during the day, when Trucker cried for an hour, we stopped and ate my very last EVER meal at McDonald’s and Cakie had to pee four times.  I think he may have also puked.  Leave around bedtime.  It rocks.

2) Books on tape, get one. If you are driving at night, your whole family might just conk out on you.  We stopped by the public library and borrowed this gem the day before we left this weekend.  It made the driving fly by.

3) Bring a bag of surprises. This is not a new idea, but it is a good one, especially if you’ll be traveling by plane with layovers.  I got it from my crafty and ingenious momtourage friend, Kris.  Fill a small backpack with new toys from the dollar store.  Bring the toys out slowly, building to the big guns (you may not like electronics, but big guns in my family means the portable DVD player.  Other people upload photos onto their ipods or games onto their ithings.)  Kris suggests new race cars for the time waiting in the airport.  M&Ms for the time before take-off.  They are small and keep the little mouths busy.  Even if you are a no-sugar kind of parent, this is a special treat.  Then the rest of the toys slowly, only take out a new toy when the old toy has lost its appeal.

4) Pack lightly. Ha ha ha!  Just kidding.  I once went to South America for a month carrying only a bookbag-sized backpack.  Those days are gone.  But my honey and I spend a lot of time thinking about and organizing baby gear for trips.  We try to get as much of the stuff to be already there as possible.  When we go to Florida, my mom is going to borrow a friend’s car that already has a carseat in it.  We will carry only one car seat with us.  This does make for a terrifying-but-legal cab ride to the airport with Cakie riding with only a seatbelt.  The other option is to drive and park, leaving the other car seat in the car.  We bought this nifty carseat instead of a booster for Cakie when Trucker was born. It is heavy, but it folds flat, so we just bungee it onto a luggage roller for the airport.  We like it better than our Britax, and it is just as highly rated for safety.  Ask if the place you are visiting already has a pack and play, booster seat, etc.  I even usually ask the grands to pick up a box of diapers for us, so we don’t have to carry too many with us.  Though I do always carry more than we need for the flight, in case it gets cancelled.

5) Make the journey the destination. So I said I hate the transit part.  But I try to be zen and make the travel the fun part, too.  If the trip is really long, break it into two parts.  If your car trip is longer than five hours, stop at a zoo or a park in the middle for a picnic and a frisbee toss.  (Or, perhaps if your child has Cakie’s travel sickness, a cookie toss.)  Have a long meal at a restaurant in the middle and let the kids run around outside for a bit.  I try to keep my spirits up during the travel and remember the funny things that happen.  When we went to New Mexico back when I was pregnant with Trucker and before Cake was potty-trained, he announced to the whole plane “I made a poop!  I pooped! I made a poop in my diaper,” as folks were deplaning.  I think people may have even walked off the plane a little faster than usual.  🙂

I’d love to hear what other folks do to ease travel.  For those of you with very small babies, take heart.  They eventually develop what I call the car trance.  Cakie zones out and must be meditating or something whenever we’re in the car for more than ten minutes.  Trucker is just beginning to develop his car trance skills as well.  Since they are not staring at a tv, I’m hoping the car trance is a good thing.

What do you guys do to ease travel with wee ones?

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Filed under baby gear, my hon, my second son, my son, Trucker

Last Year Today

I blogged twice.

I lost my mucus plug.

My honey had put me on her own honey-imposed bed rest. Because my feet had turned into sausages the night before.

The day before I had written a draft of how I’d hoped my birth would go.

All week, as I’ve been running around planning Trucker’s first birthday party, I’ve also been thinking: last year today I...  Because I will never let go of this week last year.  And you guys were sitting here in my dining nook with me as I blogged away with my belly tight and my feet up on a chair, wondering how it would all play out.

Now I have a hefty little man walking — yes, WALKING (sometimes running) — around my house.  I have sons — brothers.  Two boys that we made and this relationship they are creating on their own.  I do not have two blog posts in one day.  I’m too busy running back to the store to exchange some of the board books I bought as party favors because I realized that most of the kids coming are actually siblings, including two or three sets of twins, and they don’t need several copies of the same book in the house. (Deep, I know.) And wondering if it is ok to make the cupcakes two days ahead of time and frost them that morning.  Or will they be stale?  I don’t think you guys necessarily need to read about the brainless ramblings of what is essentially a housewife.   Not that all housewive’s ramblings are brainless.  Just mine.  See?

I keep checking my blog, thinking there will be more comments.  But I haven’t written any more posts.  I have some in my head.  I’ll try to get them out to you.  Because I love my invisible friends.  Muuuwah!

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Filed under Labor & Birth, my hon, my second son, Third Trimester!?!, Trucker