Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Bath Toys!

If you've ever labored and birthed in a hospital, you might have been given one of these bottles:

Lucky me -- I came home with two of them.

But, since I no longer need 'em, I gave them both to Zander to play with in the bath. He loves them, but it's a little strange.

Don't quite get this post? That's okay, don't ask.

* * * * * *

P.S. I promise I'll stop posting about labor and birth (as if I am the only woman who has done it) soon. There's just one or two more. I swear.

P.P.S. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Baby Burrito and the Evil Lord Voldemort

You can barely tell in the baby burrito photo above, but Cassie has some "stork bites" on her forehead and under her nose). A week or so after the birth, Brad and I had this conversation:

Me: "Did you notice how when she cries her stork bites really come out?"

Brad: "Yes and also when Voldemort is nearby."

Even in my post-partum, sleepless haze I laughed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hypocrisy?

Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself and instead call it "ambivalence." Meh, I have to look up the spelling for both anyway.

Cassandra's cord stump fell off a few days ago and when I figured out what the heck it was, I made an involuntary, audible sad moan. Our little baby -- our newborn baby -- is just a tad less newborn now. As hard as these last two weeks or so have been for me, I realize that this time is fleeting and special.

Yeah, I know. Try living with me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random Moments from Labor and Birth

Random moment #1:

OB would come in and turn up the pitocin (or direct someone to do so).

Nurse would watch the monitor and see the contractions coming every minute or so and then turn it down.

* * * * * *

Repeat above for random moments #2 and #3.

* * * * * *

Random moment #4 (while discussing whether or not I wanted -- and if there was still time for -- an epidural):

The OB: "Jill -- now is not the time to dawdle."

Me: "Dr. [insert name here]...If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice." [Cue to me thinking I was incredibly clever quoting the lyrics of a very old Rush song somewhere between seven and nine centimeters dilated.]

The OB: [Blank stare.]

Me: "I have to push...NOW!"

* * * * * *

P.S. Happy holidays. ;)

Party of Two: Your Pitocin* is Ready!

* Pitocin, a synthetic version of oxytocin. is used to start or speed up labor.

When we showed up at the hospital for an induction of labor (more on why below) on Cassandra's due date, we checked in at "admissions" and were given one of these:

Not sure if you can tell from the photo or not, but it's one of those things that you get when you walk into a restaurant and they tell you how long you have to wait. It then (eventually) blinks and buzzes when your table is ready.

Having never been in quite this circumstance before (checking into a hospital at 6:30am), I was amused. Additionally amusing -- as far as I could tell -- I was the only person in the waiting area (Brad was parking the car)!

For the record, I was induced because my OB felt strongly that he didn't want this baby to get too large. Zander had a complication at his birth called shoulder dystocia, where his shoulder got 'stuck' on the way out. Luckily, the doctor was able to dislodge it and Zander had no lasting negative effects. However, having had one birth with a shoulder dystocia complication made me much more likely to have another. The OB thought that one way of preventing it was by inducing labor early.

Brad and I thought long and hard and spent many, many hours discussing the pros, cons, and risks of both inducing and waiting. And I'm not even going to mention the countless hours on the phone with friends discussing the same (that's you Lisa and Laura). We held the doctor off for a week and half, but decided to go ahead with the induction at 40 weeks.

Also for the record, Cassie's shoulder came out without any problems (even though a team of neonatologists were on hand in case something did occur). And contrary to what a sonogram estimated, she was a tad smaller than Zander (8 pounds exactly whereas Z was 8 pounds, four ounces.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adjusting to two children

I feel like I need to clarify the "Dear Zander" post -- for the record. That was the first -- maybe the second -- time he even hinted verbally at not wanting the baby here. And I was proud of him for doing so too because there is so much pressure on him to be a perfect big brother. But, truth be told, it's me who is having a harder time adjusting to two children in this house -- not Z.

See, I miss him desperately. I'm used to spending significant amounts of time with him each day, especially on the weekends and I just haven't been able to do that while nursing a newborn and being up all hours of the night. Whereas we used to do things as a family, we are now under pediatrician's advisement to avoid crowds and public places for four to six weeks if newborn is in tow, so I'm at home for the most part and Brad is taking Zander to holiday gatherings, concerts, and play dates.

The majority of the time, Zander says and does the sweetest things in relation to Cassandra, including:

  • when he first gets home he sometimes runs around trying to find wherever she is sleeping;

  • he sings her songs;

  • he picked out, gave her, and brings her a Taggies blanket (although she is too young to sleep with it yet);

  • he sometimes affectionately calls her "Cashew;"

  • he likes to softly pet her head and cheek;

  • when I said I was going to put her in the Moby Wrap, he said, "No!" I asked, "Why not?" and he said, "because then only you get her."

Like I said, just thought I'd clarify how it is -- at least as of this moment in time. Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Zander:

Last night at bedtime you cried, "I don't ever want to have a baby again." And I wanted to cry in return, "Me neither!" Instead I gave Cassie to your dad, followed you into your room and rubbed your back.

Not that I don't love this little girl and I know you will come to love her too. Just that I realize what a shock this all is to you and how much we have disrupted your (or my?) precious routine.

I also know that this very disruption is good for both of us -- that it will make us stronger and more adaptable -- once we get to the other side of it. But, knowing this doesn't make the 'now' part any easier.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Things I've heard in the last week that I never thought I would

From our labor and delivery nurse while trying to check my cervix for dilation/effacement:
"I can't reach. But, don't worry -- we'll get the nurse with long fingers."
(Gulp.)

From a post-partum recovery nurse:
"Not a hemorrhoid in sight!"
(Note from JCB: What a job those folks have.)

From a lactation consultant:
"You have pendulous breasts."
(Note from JCB: Pendulous? I'm pretty sure this was not a compliment.)

From same lactation consultant:
"You have flexible nipples."
(Alrighty then.)

From different lactation consultant:
"You have great breasts for breastfeeding."
(Cue to me -- beaming -- since I tried so hard to make them that way!?? Although it begs the question...WHY am I meeting with a lactation consultant?)

Zander (referring to Cassie's umbilical cord stump):
"I don't like her cord."

Zander (to me while simultaneously moving a few feet away during bedtime book reading):
"You smell like my baby's poop."
(He refers to Cassie as his baby.)

And here's a picture of our little girl looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It was probably 4:00am at the time, but who is paying attention:


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick Update

Not really sure what to say, but want to respond to the comments, well-wishes, and offers to help. I/we really appreciate them. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel most of the time -- like this morning when I was able to read Zander a book before school -- little things like I used to take such joy in. It has, after all, only been a week as of this afternoon. So, I'm feeling a bit like a drama queen.

Zander seems to be adjusting remarkably well to the new addition. Knock on something -- fast. I keep expecting the worst and I know something will come eventually, but right now, he is as sweet as can be. Brad has managed to keep life pretty normal for him, so I'm sure that's helping.

I've got all sorts of pent up blogging in my bones, but it doesn't seem appropriate to jump right in. But, then again, appropriateness might have disappeared from this here blog when I posted things like this. So, on that front, expect some "odd/funny moments from labor and birth" coming soon...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

.

I am hoping that by posting this, I get some kind of relief. And if Dooce can do it, maybe I can too.

Everyone says how wonderful these first few weeks are – well, some people say that at least. And I’m sure that it’s true for them. For me, not so much. And that’s probably the last little bit of humor you’ll get from me in this post.

Just like I experienced after Zander’s birth, I have the most intense anxiety and emotions that I have ever had in my life. Coupled with an inability to sleep, they are far beyond what is considered normal post-birth. We know that. Last time, I muscled it out for six weeks until my first postpartum checkup when my OB said something along the lines of, “This isn’t just the baby blues. You need help.” This time, we took precautions and I started medication the day after Cassie was born. And it can’t kick in fast enough. Thing is, it hasn’t yet. Or maybe it has and life would be so much harder without it.

And it’s a misnomer to say that “*I* muscled through it,” because Brad was right there by my side, just as he is this time, doing everything humanly possible to help. He’s here with me, home from work, up at night, changing diapers, guiding me on the best latch, carrying Cassie in a Moby Wrap, and taking care of Zander at the same time. So, basically he’s doing triple duty – Cassie, Zander, and me.

Overall, things should be great. The labor and birth, although not exactly what I would have wanted, went relatively well. We have a full-term, healthy baby who is thriving. In fact, she had her first check-up and is gaining weight nicely. Lots of wet and dirty diapers, etc. (For those of you who read this blog and do not have children, those are one of a handful of ways that you can tell a new baby is thriving. It’s not that I have penchant for reporting TMI here. Not at all.)

So there you have it. I sit here with this beautiful, sleeping baby wrapped up close to me and I just can’t stop crying and worrying and most of all, I can’t sleep.

Yes, she has a name...

Cassandra! (Cassie for short.)

Zander and his Uncle Kevin (who was kind enough to drive down from Pennsylvania to help out when we came home from the hospital) penned this little ditty about her:

Cassie O'lassie...
She doesn't do much right now,
but when she gets older,
she'll learn how to say moo like cow.

Her hair is brown.
Her eyes are blue.
Cassie -- I love you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This IS our baby...

...with her big brother:


Born on December 11, 2008.
8 pounds, 20 inches.

More info to follow soon. First, sleep. And nurse. And sleep. And nurse.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This is not our baby:

Nor is this our baby:

And this, well this better not be our baby:

Our baby is still snuggled up, warm and cozy in my 3,000 pound belly!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Testing out our new camera...

...on four-and-half-year-old boy energy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cirque du Soleil

We went to Cirque du Soleil on Saturday in hopes that just watching the contortionists would somehow jump start my body into labor, but alas, it did not. The show (called Kooza) was fantastic though. Photos and video were not allowed, so here's a YouTube promo which shows it better than I ever could have done anyway.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh, say, can you see?

My mom was in town visiting and we took Zander to the National Museum of American History for the day yesterday. (I've started a modified maternity leave of sorts --working from home, dropping into the office as needed, etc.). The museum was closed for two years and just re-opened this Thanksgiving. There were lots of hands-on activities for children -- in addition to be able to see Dorothy's Ruby Slippers (worn in the Wizard of Oz) and The Star-Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired the song).

This photo is from the "cafe" (the cafeteria is still closed for remodeling), where Zander got an American flag cookie for dessert. Yummmm.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I got nothin'

Nothing, but "no baby yet." And we don't anticipate one anytime soon, as much as we'd like the little one to make an appearance. Zander came the day beofre his due date -- actually just a few hours before, so nothing suggests that this baby will come earlier than that.

Related, I think 'due dates' in general are somewhat hooey and that babies are like fruit -- they all ripen at different times. (I did not come up with that, but read it somewhere.) Go ahead and try to tell that to my OB though!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Waving "Hello?"

I can't believe I am posting this.

This is a video of my ginormous belly in three parts. (Not my belly in three parts, silly -- the video is in three parts.) The first is in regular speed. The second is slowed down to half speed and the third is sped up to double. Humor me and ignore (or tell me you ignored) everything but the shadow on the right side. Is it a foot? An elbow? A hand, waving "hello?"

Almost every woman who has been this far along in a pregnancy has gotten to the point where she can see her little one moving and this video is likely not a big deal. For others, it might freak you out a bit. Mostly, Brad and I want to record this magical (and excruciatingly slow) period of waiting. I love that this little baby is safe inside me, but I am so, so ready to meet her and have her safely outside.

Wise friends, books, and even a professional here and there told me *not* to tell people the real "due date." They suggested instead that I say two weeks after the due date so friends and family wouldn't be continually asking me, "You still here? That baby's NOT cooked yet?" etc. etc. Yet, silly me blabs the real date and then goes and posts a countdown on our blog. What was I thinking? Time has slowed down. Hours seem to take days and days seem to drag on for weeks.

But I digress. Here's the video:

video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving '08 Cousins Jam Session

Sometime after Thanksgiving dinner, an impromptu jam session broke out among cousins. In this short clip, Logan (16) is on acoustic guitar, Sam (7) is on vocals, and Zander (4.5) is shirtless on the harmonica. The song seems to be called "People 'Round the World (Like to Play)."

video

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Motto: The Nights are Long, but the Years are Short

One of my favorite quotes on parenting:

"The nights are long, but the years are short."

Especially relevant as we expect a newborn in the next few weeks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Leaves!

A lovely Autumn (winter?) afternoon jumping in the leaves thanks to our friends over at 4M. (The leaf thing is still relatively new to me, despite leaving in the DC area since, oh, 1988 or so.) Zander is in the blue jacket. His friend Champe is the red and grey jacket.

video

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trippy floating baby

As you may have noticed, I added one of those potentially creepy baby countdown widgets to the blog (see floating baby to your right). Since it's all I can pretty much think about these days, I figured why not remind anyone who comes to this blog just how close (or how far depending on which way you look at it) I am to squeezing out this puppy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last night I had the strangest dream

There was no rowboat to china or anything (a reference to this song for those who don't get it), but here's the quick version:

We went to the hospital to have this baby and then left that same day. I was kind of surprised when Brad said we were leaving because I hadn't even had time to nurse the baby yet. Odd. And the baby was really big. And I don't mean just large-sized. She was like 18 months old already -- wasn't even in an infant car seat anymore! And then part of the way home we realized that we left Zander at the hospital. So, we went back and I started screaming for him. But, the hospital appeared to be the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and I couldn't find Zander anywhere. Eventually I found him, but he looked a little different because he had gotten a haircut. And then I woke up and was mad at Brad for some reason. Go figure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What -- MORE Halloween?!

No, not really. Just taking advantage of post-Halloween costume sales for the dress-up area of our playroom. But, I hadn't expected that Zander would wear this costume on a standard trip to the grocery store in mid-November (although this day should have given me pause).

We were quite a sight -- Z in full chicken regalia making "balk balk" sounds and me, 36 weeks pregnant waddling around trying to keep up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Place your vote where it really counts...

...for our godson, Caden!

See, his parents have entered him into a local radio station's "Cutest Baby Contest" and if he wins he gets $5,000 in scholarship money.

You can look at all the competitors if you have time to scroll through a sea of cute babies here. If however, you have less idle time, and trust our opinion that Caden is in fact the cutest, simply go to this page and choose #95. The deadline is November 20th (next Thursday).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Odd Product: The Popper Stopper

So, I'm on lots of e-mail lists for pregnancy-related info and somehow stumbled across the must-have popper stopper. (I'm kidding about the "must have" part.) Apparently, all this does is cover your belly button so it isn't popping out.

In searching for a direct link to the popper stopper though, I found it available from what I thought was a belly dancing website. Not just any belly dancing website though -- a belly dancing maternity website! Turns out it is just a hip/fashionable maternity store:

http://www.bellydancematernity.com/

Related, after I posted this photo, my cousin Lisa asked, "Does your belly button really stick out like that??!!" And that was a month or so ago -- you should see it now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Shout Out' #5: Nola Jane

A special welcome to Nola Jane Gitterman
born November 11, 2008 at 3:35 am
weighing 6 lbs. 11.4 oz and measuring 20 inches.

Nola's dad was best man at our wedding and also mentioned in this post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One photo I *can* explain and one that I *cannot* explain

Below is photo of Zander pretending to be a train conductor. Yes, yes he is wearing Harry Potter glasses and pretending to be a train conductor, but who doesn't? And the photo is a tad deceiving because he looks happy as a clam, but a full-scale meltdown was soon to follow.

This one I can't explain, though it's begging for some kind of caption, dontcha think?

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Soiled Linen" and Other Hospital Signs

A few weeks ago Brad and I took a "refresher" course on labor and delivery meant for those who have already been through the labor and birth process. It was held at the hospital at which we plan on delivering baby #2.

I say "plan on" because although we intended to deliver Zander -- then known as Kuebstein, a hybrid of our last names because we did not know the gender before birth -- at GW Hospital, we ended up at a different one. See, my OB (a single practitioner with back-up physicians on call) just happened to be doing surgery at a different hospital the day my water broke and we ended doing a mapquest to get there.

Anyway, I was amused by the "refresher" class, but even more so by the hospital setting and found some signs of particular interest (below). I must apologize for the quality of the photos though -- not only did I not expect to need a camera at the class, but I thought I should be somewhat discreet in taking photos of random signs around the hospital.

******

#1) Who is the intended audience for this sign? I can see the doctors now, "Oh, so glad that sign reminded me to wash my hands before I delivered this baby!"

#2) Self-explanatory sign all over the hospital.

#3) My personal favorite. This one was in the post partum room. It reads, "Friends and Family. Please DO NOT push the button attached to the pain pump. For safety, ONLY the patient is allowed to push the button."

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Tootsie Roll

Often after Zander's bath, but before books and bedtime, we do a little dancing. It sounds odd, I realize, but these unique family rituals seem to just materialize and who are we to get in their way?

This is a short clip of Zander doing the "Tootsie Roll." I was hesitant to post it because it looks like we live in total squalor in the background. Let me just say, in our defense, that at the time this video was shot, we were in the process of going through bins of maternity clothing to see if we could find anything to fit over my ginormous belly.

video

P.S. Who knew that "ginormous" was in the dictionary?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pregnancy Hormones

I am ridiculously hormonal and extremely emotional. I voted this morning and I cried. I cried because of the democratic process and the forthcoming change (hopefully) and what it all means. I then took my parents (who were visiting from Florida for three short days) to the airport and I cried some more at the realization that the next time I see them I will have two children. And because they're my mom and dad and I'll miss them terribly. And I'm crying now just thinking about it all. None of it is bad per se, or even unexpected -- it's just a wild ride.

This cartoon is specifically dedicated to Brad, who is giving it his all trying to make things a little less roller coaster like, despite my mood swings:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An alien and a monkey walk into a bar

From left to right: Zander (the alien) and Champe (Boots the monkey from Dora).

Zander really wanted to be an alien for Halloween this year, but it *had* to be a non-scary alien (his prerequisite). So together we looked online and eventually found the costume shown on e-bay. It is actually from the movie Toy Story, but I'm not sure Zander knows that.

Then, a week before Halloween, he started talking about making a spaceship to go with the costume and was throwing out ideas like fusing together glass domes, etc. You can imagine my relief when he made one out of a cardboard box at school.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part IV: The Ghost Train

Are you tired yet? See Busy Weekend posts I, II, and III. I can't believe it's Thursday night and I'm still posting about last weekend!

*****

After the sibling tour and class, Zander and I headed off to meet some friends for lunch and then to the Ghost Train, an annual event at Burke Lake Park. (Brad was at a Baltimore Ravens game with his stepfather.) We've done the Ghost Train at least once, possibly twice before, so we thought we knew what to expect. But, I did not expect the two-hour wait to ride!

The children were able to play on a playground, ride on a carousel, and jump around in a moon bounce while another parent and I traded off holding our place in line. So, the time went pretty quickly. The ride itself was fine, although Zander said it was "too scary" more than once and kept asking that I hold him tight. So far, only one nightmare has been attributed to it.

Here's a photo from the ride of the inside of a tunnel:


And now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part III: Sibling Tour and Class


On Sunday, Z and I headed off to take a class and tour of the hospital where his baby sister is set to be born. When we first told him about the class, Zander said he didn't need it and already knew how to be a big brother, but we eventually convinced him to attend.

With detailed directions on where in the hospital the class would take place (e-mailed directly from the childbirth education folks at the hospital), we navigated our way to the room just fine. But we ended up waiting there (along with another parent and child) for the teacher, who did not show.

Quick Aside
On a set of chairs toward the front of the room, there was a line of baby dolls. Zander told the other parent and child in the room that he didn't really like playing with baby dolls very much, but that he did have one at school named Clara. He went on to say that Clara was black so that's why she "sometimes smells like chocolate." Now, let me just say that Clara *is* a scented baby doll, but I still wasn't sure how to respond and felt especially on the spot, considering the other parent and child were also black.

Anyway, Z and I took a quick trip to the bathroom and when we returned, we noticed a tiny sign on the door (that had not been there before) saying, "Sibling Tour starts in lobby." Cue to me, fuming.

We then hustled to the lobby, but had just missed the instructor, who had already taken the rest of the class up to the postpartum area to show them a recovery room and the nursery. We ran to catch up and eventually did so. (One of the other families attending -- pregnant with their 3rd child -- knew that the class started in the lobby because they went through the same thing I did when they attended for their 2nd child. Another just happened to arrive late and stumbled upon the instructor in the lobby.)

Soon after viewing the nursery, we returned to the room we started in and each child was given one of the baby dolls on which to learn to swaddle. Zander didn't want to participate, so he sat back and watched. The instructor then read a book from circa 1952 about what happens when mommy and daddy go to the hospital: "Mommy won't have to cook or clean at all while she is in the hospital!" Good to know since I cook and clean so much at home.

Then the children colored a small booklet for their baby brother or sister, had a snack, and got a certificate of completion for the "Sibling Preparation Program." So, we're all set now. Nothing more to worry about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part II: Boo at the Zoo

On Saturday night, we went to Boo at the Zoo (at the National Zoo) for the first time. Basically, zoo officials close the zoo to the general public and then re-open it to those who have tickets. Patrons can then trick-or-treat at different booths as well as see the animals.

Let me just say that it was raining. Hard. And there was a lot of walking and a lot of public restroom usage. And I'm 33.5 weeks pregnant. (Not that I'm counting or anything.) I'll take that medal now. Joking.

Being Called A Man
On line waiting to enter, I was trying to flag down my dear friend Laura. She said, "I'm crossing the street and see the line." I said, "I'm standing on line waving." She then said, "I only see a man waving in a burgundy and grey jacket" (or something to that effect). *I* was that man!

The good news is that the children truly had a blast despite the rain, which eventually stopped. Here's a photo of Zander (SuperWhy) and Champe (monkey) taking a break to enjoy some of the treats.

Losing Champe and the Imposter Monkey
As the night went on, however, it did what nights usually do...it got dark. And for a few minutes, we lost track of Champe. You can read the details on Laura's blog here. My heart didn't start beating in overdrive right away because I thought we had spotted him in the sea of people. I ran up to him from behind, yanked off his monkey hood, and then was really surprised to find that it was NOT Champe (as was the parent of the impostor monkey who said something like, "That one's mine!"). Oops. We found the real Champe a few moments later amid tears and immense relief.

*****
Next up, Sunday morning's activity -- Zander's "sibling tour" and class, held at the hospital where we hope to deliver baby #2.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part I: Ellis Paul Concert

Another busy weekend here. Not sure anymore if I/we do these things because we like to or because I want something to blog about. I'm kidding. I think.

Our first activity on Saturday morning was a "family concert" at Jammin' Java by a folk-pop artist named Ellis Paul. Some months ago, I stumbled across his CD for children, called "Dragonfly Races" via one of those "if-you-like-so-and-so-you'll-like-so-and-so" links. Quiclky fell in love with the songs (as did Zander). I can't really explain why they move me so much. Could be pregnancy hormones, who knows. Here are some reviews (posted on the Ellis Paul website), which say it better than I ever could.

I was a tad embarrassed at the event, however, when Ellis Paul would announce the next song and Zander would pipe up from our seats, "I know this one" And then the next, "I know this one too!" Seriously, it happened at least five times. I was worried that the audience was getting annoyed. Brad says I need to stop worrying.

You can see a Quicktime video of Ellis Paul singing "Dragonfly Races" from his website.

And here is a photo from the concert:

Next up, a post about Saturday night's activity -- our first excursion to Boo at the Zoo in a torrential downpour (including being told I look like a man by one of my closest friends AND losing one the children we went with -- for maybe a minute or two, but still scary).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Sprinkler Room

We passed this door after dinner the other night. Zander asked, "Is that where they put sprinkles on cakes?" (or something to that effect -- I did not write it down, so I'm not 100% sure, but you get the gist of his question). Brought back images of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which I loved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disney Princesses

They are what I stay up at night worrying about these days. Okay, they are only *one* of the things I worry about. And, I know that just by posting it here, karma dictates that this little girl we will meet in the next two months or so will be enthralled with Disney Princesses. Our house will be inundated with them, just as it is with Thomas trains. But, try as I might, I cannot find as many things inherently wrong with the Thomas craze when compared to the Disney Princess phenomena.

I mean no offense or judgement if you are already immersed in the princess culture. Before I had children, I actually thought things like "I would never do that with my kids." But now, I know better. Heck, I even sometimes think, "We'll see...that might work just perfect with my kids." But, as someone who has struggled with body image issues most of her life, I want to avoid that for our daughter, and I see the princess culture as one of many pervasive and often blatant messages in our culture that girls have to look (and be) a certain way in order to be accepted.

Note: This video, part of the "Target Women" series, is a satirical look at Disney Princesses, and truth be told -- gives me hope. Target Women is a recurring segment on Current TV's weekly television show, infoMania. In each episode, Sarah Haskins takes a look at the often-ridiculous way the media reaches out to women. For more episodes of Target Women, see this link.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a little boy in a costume two weeks before Halloween!

On Sunday, Zander spent the entire day in his SuperWhy costume (one of two Halloween costumes this year -- long story). The day included a trip to 7-Eleven (to satisfy pregnancy-related slurpee obsession mentioned here), to a bagel shop, a playground, out for an Italian dinner, and finally to a WalMart.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Little Hula Hooper...Not Quite Yet

Quick video (taken by a friend) of Zander trying his hand at hula hooping while at the Claude Moore Market Fair over the weekend.


This is what my family does for fun these days

They put big balls under their shirts and walk around pretending to be me. Ha ha.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Sunday was a beautiful day for carving pumpkins.

Here is Brad and Zander's finished product:

And here is mine:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeping Up

We accompanied some friends to our first Renaissance Festival on Saturday. It was pretty darn cool. However, soon after Brad did this...

...I felt compelled to keep up and did this:

Little did I know that it would require me to walk around the festival (attended by thousands of people) for over an hour belly exposed to allow the henna tattoo to dry. I seriously haven't gotten that much attention in years.

P.S. Must give credit where credit it due -- to Kirsten and Maritta -- two younger, much more hip women who had gotten henna tattoos before I did. They stayed with me, cheered me on, and documented the occasion for the blog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Deer!

This guy and two of his friends came to visit us early morning the day before yesterday...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hamming it up on Yom Kippur

Get it -- "hamming it up?" Yom Kippur is the most solemn of the Jewish high holy days. Many fast all day...and most certainly do not eat ham! I crack myself up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Diagonal, Horizontal, and Vertical

While looking at the mezuzah on the doorpost of his bedroom:

Zander: "Why is the mezuzah tilted? Why is it diagonal and not horizontal or vertical?"

The answer (compliments of Wikipedia): "Ashkenazi Jews and Spanish and Portuguese Jews tilt the mezuzah so that the top slants toward the room into which the door opens. This is done to accommodate the variant opinions of the medieval Rabbis Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam as to whether it should be placed horizontally or vertically, and also to imply that God and the Torah (which the mezuzah symbolizes) are entering the room. Most Sephardim and other non-Ashkenazi Jews affix the mezuzah vertically." More info on how and where to affix a mezuzah can be found here.

What I said: "Time for bed!"

P.S. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Brad did the research and put up the mezuzahs in our home.

P.P.S. The photo at the top is NOT of the mezuzah on Zander's doorpost.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G

Last night Zander spelled out this sentence:

I l-o-v-e D-a-d a-n-d M-o-m a-n-d b-a-b-y.

Why he spelled it instead of saying it, I'm not sure. But, sweet any way you look at it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Photo Collage...

...from an excursion to Burke Nursery's Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground this weekend:




Only drawback was the porta-potties. I am not a fan of them. Is anyone really? But, especially not a fan of them when pregnant.