Saturday, February 27, 2010

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Picture Day is next Tuesday - the day where each kid at daycare gets to sit in front of a grumpy, underpaid photographer and either slap the largest, cheesiest, most painful looking smile/grimace on their face, or cry.

I, being the sucker that I am, usually buy these pictures. Mainly because I am too lazy to arrange for a time on my own to bring the kids to a professional photographer to document their growth. In my defense, if some are truly crappy, I don't buy ALL of them, just the semi-decent poses.

And for the last round, I bought NONE. Finn's were actually quite good, but Lucy was lying on a sheet-covered boppy pillow with her dress around her waist and as much as I love her, I had to acknowledge that it was one of the worst photos I have ever seen of her. They made no effort to have her sit (she could, a little, with assistance), or even to STRAIGHTEN HER DAMN DRESS. Seriously, it was all tights and an angry round face peeking over a few inches of bunched up dress. So of course I could buy neither set, since it can't look like I love Finn more than Lucy. I made myself feel better by promising that I would take them to a photo studio and get some nice 3 year/6 month old photos done just in time for Christmas. But see above re: too lazy, etc etc.

So, yes, Tuesday. New round of pictures, new opportunity to get some painful poses of my kids to hang in all their 8X10 glory on my walls (which, of course, I have never actually done but I swear I WILL. Geez, shut up). Lucy can at least sit up like a pro now, but I'm sure she will also try her darndest to scoot away as fast as possible. And also cry. Finn will present all and sundry with his cheesy picture smile, which looks like it hurts, and then move his head 2 seconds later, likely ruining each shot. Whatever, I'll probably buy them.

Of course I bought some new clothes. Because, hey, shopping opportunity! Any chance I can get to troll the aisles and Kohls and Target (big spender, right?), I take. I let Finn pick out his own shirt, and he surprised me by selecting a polo type shirt with BUTTONS, and a COLLAR. And also a train and a lobster, so that explains that. Lucy will be wearing an overall dress thingy. You know, overalls, but they end in a skirt instead of pants. And probably a simple long-sleeved onesie underneath. Along with tights.

Which brings me to a question, and my entire purpose for writing this post. I'm new to this "Mom of Girl" thing, and some things I've been kind of winging. Like cleaning during bath time and diaper changes. Yes, I know, front to back, front to back, I'm not stupid. But there are so many folds! How many really need to be cleaned and excavated? We muster along, and there have been no issues, so I think I'm doing OK on that front. I've been doing the same with tights, but thought I would actually stop to clarify my uncertainty before I am presented with the possibility of capturing the majority of Lucy's tights for all of posterity during this picture round (though I will leave EXPLICIT instructions with the teachers to do their best to give her a little modesty this time around).

The question is... Do tights go under the onesie, or on top of it?

I usually skirt the issue (ha, ha, no pun intended) by just putting her in a dress and a pair of pants. Like a hip, long shirt outfit. But occasionally we need to go the onesie route, usually with a jumper-style dress such as the one she will wear on Picture Day. In those instances, I put the tights on over the onesie, not under it. But it has occurred to me that this might not be the accepted practice. So please, enlighten me, fellow moms of girls. Or really anyone, as each of you likely have more of a clue about this than me. Except you, Men. Dad, M., Andrew, I'm talking to you. You're off the hook on this one. Is it over, or under?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Look Who's Driving Now

I need to be better about letting this blog be a record of my kids' early lives, because there are already so many things I am forgetting! And yet here I am, more than a week since my last post, and I'm too exhausted to do more than throw a few more pictures up. Aargh. Though I will put out there the fact that Lucy is starting to pull up in her crib. Apparently we are going to skip right past crawling into walking. Who knew? And Finn is mastering the art of brushing his teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, which means lots of messy spitting. LOTS. His enthusiasm for it is both humorous and adorable. Oh, and it took me a while to notice because I was just so amazed at the sheer quantity of food and the excitement with which she can eat it, but Lucy is apparently left-handed, as evidenced by her left-handed eating. We'll have to see if this sticks around or not.

And now for the photos:

Remember those snowmen M. and Finn made at the start of Snowmaggedon? This is how they looked after the snow stopped falling.

One final picture from the hopefully never-to-be-repeated insane snowfall, taken in our neighborhood. Two weeks later we are still working on getting rid of the now-disgustingly dirty snow.

Please ignore that my child is chewing on an infant Tylenol bottle here, and just take note of the Pebbles-style hair that is insanely cute.

The kids just enjoyed a visit from my mom who was in town to babysit while M. and I were both out of town for work. As you can see, she was a big hit.

And finally, a little brother-sister driving fun was had tonight before dinner. Hopefully Lucy appreciates the chance to drive, I'm not sure that will be repeated often!:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Photographic Evidence

Way behind on my picture-sharing. Sorry, Mimi! I'll start first with some non-blizzard-related photos:

This goofball cracks herself up whenever she wears a hood or a hat.

We celebrated a birthday last month. Not this little girl's - don't worry, she's not growing up that fast!

Not this guy's, either, though he certainly enjoyed the cake.

Yep, M. was the Birthday Boy. Doesn't he look excited to be turning 34?

On to some photos documenting how we've been spending the last week and a half:

Before electricity was a thing of the past and cold misery had set in, M. and Finn braved the outdoors to construct these two delightful fellows. Warmth was restored with hot cocoa, and as a result I bring you...

The Hot Cocoa Unibrow!

Morning 1 without electricity. We are huddled up in the master bedroom, and I am attempting to get the wee ones to eat some sustenance, fairly unsuccessfully.

Hats were the theme of the day, though Finn kept taking his off. Here, the remaining laptop battery power was keeping him enthralled with a Tom and Jerry movie, so the hat stayed put.

A similarly behatted Lucy in good spirits

Desperate for some caffeine, M. brewed us some "cowboy coffee." It was an hour long process that only achieved success once he placed the percolator directly in the flames.

The result was a delightful if smoky brew, which did quite a lot to momentarily brighten my mood and warm my hands.

Boredom started making some of us do wacky things by late afternoon, and M. turned Finn into a...

Mummy! Except Finn kept insisting he looked like a doctor so... maybe not such a good mummy?

This photo is to give some indication of how much snow we got last weekend - it was taken after it stopped snowing on Saturday. We've since added another 10 inches or so on top of that, but it's been too windy and cold to go outside and take a new photo for proof.

I have no pictures taken during the rest of our time without power. Fingers were too stiff to operate the camera, and no one felt much like smiling. This is an "after" photo, showing you two kids very much relieved to be home and warm after our brief hotel stay.

And here is a shot from today, where we are all braving this latest storm with much better spirits because we are warm. And clean. And well-fed. The latter as evidenced by the Nutella grin Finn is sporting.

And finally, I give you two pictures I took of Lucy today, which have nothing to do with all this snow. But they have a lot to do with showing off how stinking cute she is!!:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Well THAT was fun

I pictured a lazy Saturday morning drinking coffee, surfing the internet and allowing my child to watch lots of brain-rotting TV while the snow fell. With a repeat on Sunday morning. Instead, we were awakened several times Friday night by our power flickering on and off before it went out completely at around 1 am. We were also awakened a few times by various children in need (Lucy crying due to her double ear infection, Finn declaring at 2 am that he's awake! awake!). At 5:51 am we dragged our exhausted selves out of bed in pitch darkness to attend to a crabby Lucy, and thus started THE LONGEST DAY EVER. And THE COLDEST DAY EVER. Except for Sunday morning, which was EVEN COLDER.

Power was out for about 40 hours. We hung out all day, mainly in the living room, and did our best to stay occupied and warm. We made the best of it, heating ravioli for the kids' lunches in our basement fireplace (note to self - next house, make sure the fireplace is in the living room and not the cold, dark basement) and even brewing some coffee in a camping percolator (yay for caffeine!). There was enough juice in the laptop battery to let Finn watch one DVD. Somehow, amazingly, Lucy managed to nap twice in her very cold bedroom (she refused to nap anywhere else - the girl is a creature of habit, I guess). And we watched the thermostat drop, intently. By bedtime, it read 55 degrees in the living room.

The four of us slept up in the master bedroom, typically the sauna of the house as it's on the top floor, but in this case maybe a degree or two warmer than Fargo in January. The power flickered back on at 8:15 pm for about 5 seconds and then... nothing. All night long. No pleasant sound of the furnace whooshing on, no blinking clocks or beeping fire alarms. We finally caved at 8 am on Sunday (today) and headed for a hotel, after shivering all night long despite 4 blankets. And that was those of us larger people that actually use blankets. Poor Lucy was dressed up in a long sleeved onesie, tights, socks, fleece pajamas and her leg warmers, with 3-4 blankets in her pack n play in an attempt that one of them might actually cover her. Each time we picked her up (of the many, many times she cried last night), her hands were ice cold. It was miserable. When we checked, as we furiously threw things together into bags and M. worked mightily to finish freeing one of our cars (a two day project), the thermostat read 43 degrees. FORTY THREE DEGREES. Inside my house. I'm just flabbergasted. How do homeless people do it? Dude, if I'm ever homeless, I'm going to Miami or some other warm, blizzardless place.

We found a Holiday Inn willing to hold one of its last two rooms for us. Once there, it was like heaven. Heaven. Showers! TV! Hot food! Warm air blowing out of a ventlike apparatus in the corner of the room!

And then, 7 hours later, our power came back on. And we went back home. Perhaps one might say, then, what was the point of going to a hotel? You did not sleep there? Couldn't you have just toughed it out for those 7 hours? No, no we could not have. We were, quite simply, done with living through a chapter of The Long Winter. I argue it was the best 70 bucks we ever spent (see above re: showers, TV, etc). And we didn't even know it would be that cheap. We didn't ask the price when we checked in, the rate could have been $200 and I would STILL say it was worth it.

Next up with be completely restocking our fridge and freezer, which somehow managed to defrost despite the cold temperatures INSIDE the house. Go figure.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some Are Calling It The Snowpocalypse

So, it's snowing here in the mid-Atlantic. Maybe you've heard.

A couple of the local channels are pre-empting the typical scintillating Friday night programming for continuous Storm Coverage. In case any of my fellow Marylanders were worried, apparently the Ghost Whisperer WILL be aired, sometime around 12:37 am tonight. I know, right, BIG sigh of relief.

FOX is calling it "The Blizzard of 2010." The Weather Channel is calling it "The Winter Powerhouse." M. thinks that one sounds like a sandwich, by the way. CBS is going with a slightly more sly "Super Storm." Because of, you know, the "Super Bowl" being this weekend and all. I'm guessing the weather guy Topper (true name) had something to do with that cutesy play on words.

I'm calling it the "OMFG My Baby Has A Double Ear Infection Storm." Because she does. As we found out after getting increasinly panicky calls from daycare today that went something like this:

Call #1: Daycare (12:00): Um, it's snowing, so we're going to close at 3.
Me: OK, we'll be there around 3.

Call #2: Daycare (1:00): Um, Lucy has a fever of 100.5, and, you know, we're closing at 3, so...
Me: and...well, OK, we're coming soon... and, she's teething, and that's practically a resting temperature for a baby... but I GUESS I can call the doctor's office and see if they suggest seeing her, what with all the snow that is imminent and all. [Thinking: Fuck, fuck, this will be my third time to the pediatricians's office this week, probably another wasted copay. Fuck.]

Call #3: Daycare (2:00): Um, Lucy's fever is 101.5, and she's super fussy.
Me: [Thinkng: Fuck fuck fuck, called Dr.'s office and they are closed. FOREVER. Well, or at least until Monday. Due to the not-yet-here-but-imminent snow. Wimps. Fuck.] Okaaaay, coming to get Lucy now. Was planning to anyway, but will drive with more urgency and recklessness due to panic over need to find a doctor.

That was the end of the calls from daycare, but upon reaching Lucy, M. was informed that she had recently thrown up. And would only nap with someone holding her. And was terribly cranky. So, yes, clearly, this is not just teething. And the doctor's office was CLOSED. Panic.

Off to an urgent care center (love that those places exist) for M. and Lucy, where it took about 3 seconds to determine that Lucy had a double ear infection. And then another hour or so to fill her prescription. As Finn and I camped out at home, watching the snow fall harder and actually start to amount to something, and I worried they would never make it home.

But, it all ends well. Lucy and M. made it home, with antibiotics. A nap, some Motrin, and some dinner did Lucy a world of good, and she went to sleep happy. Finn and M. got a chance to romp around outside in the snow before it got dark, and made two snowmen (will upload pics tomorrow). We have power and heat (for now and hopefully for the future), lots of food, and lots of wine. We have nothing better to do than watch the 20-30 inches we're expected to get fall over the next day or so. Should be a fun blizzard. Or winter powerhouse. Or super storm. Whatever you want to call it.