Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Wrong Start and a Kvetch (or Rant)

The Wrong Start.

Back in November, we got a gift card for a store called "The Right Start." I am a big fan of gift cards, but I like to use them immediately because if you lose them or who knows -- the economy tanks or something -- well then, they're gone. Sure enough...we held on to this one because we thought we'd need something post-birth. Now the company has filed Chapter 11. Of course, I did not know this and schlepped out to the closest store with the baby the day after that particular location closed for good. Bummer for me. Then I went to use the gift card online but everything was listed as "out of stock." Next, I called the one local store that remains open and they said they are not accepting gift cards anymore and we're SOL. Aargh. So annoying. (Now the online site is working again, but you still can't use gift cards).


A Kvetch / Rant.
I sent a check to the DC government following some specific online instructions for two copies of Cassandra's birth certificate. I got a letter back saying that after January 1, 2009 their rules had changed and that I needed to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with my request. Hello, didn't you just mail me a letter to tell me that? And why didn't you update your website to reflect that?

But wait! It gets BETTER! I did as instructed and sent them a self-addressed stamped enveloped. We got the birth certificates in the mail a few days ago. First, it took me a minute to realize why I was getting a letter addressed to me in my own handwriting -- started to think I was *really* losing it. Anyway, MY MAIDEN NAME WAS MISSPELLED. Oddly, my maiden name is the same as my current name and the certificate had that correctly written in the appropriate slot. Sigh. I sent it back again, with another self-addressed stamped envelope, and anxiously await the next installment of frustration.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nephew and President

I have become one of those parents...

...who drives their baby around to get him or her to sleep. The good news is that it worked. The bad news is that soon after the car stops, she wakes up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Z's memory has always amazed us, but you hear this kind of thing from parents all the time. Who knows why children recall the things they do, but an incident worth noting occurred last week.

First, some background. At Zander's first daycare (which we moved him from as soon as he turned two) he was somehow able to know and indicate to us which parent belonged to which child in his 'class.' Fine, no big deal. We thought it was interesting though when he could indicate which car that parent drove. Seriously.

And here's the recent one from last week at preschool. A piece of tape ripped. Zander noted in passing that the tape looked like the state of Oklahoma. His teacher did some research and sure enough -- Oklahoma!

Now if he could only remember to sit still at the dinner table for more than three minutes or to put the seat down on the toilet or to use his 'big boy' voice...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quack. Quack.

Zander went duckpin bowling for the first time at his friend Jake's 5th birthday party this weekend. Actually, it was his first time bowling ever -- not just duckpin style. (I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even know that any other of bowling existed. So, like Zander, I kind of expected bowling pins with duck-heads on them or something. The biggest difference is that the pins and balls were significantly smaller.) And after Brad explained to a forlorn Zander that it was good to get a strike in bowling (unlike in baseball), all was well.

Cassandra and I watched and pooped (Casssandra not me). And surprise -- there was not a diaper changing table in this bowling alley. But, the folks that work there kindly directed me to their Keno room to do the deed of changing her, which worked just fine (although I'm not sure the older gentlemen in the room felt the same way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I thought this part was supposed to be easier with the second

Right now I'm waiting at the dentist office trying to hold myself together (and failing) while my little baby has her first few hours at what will be her daycare when I return to work.

When I told Zander that Cassandra was going to her 'school' for a few hours today he said, "But what if she gets thirsty?!" What if she gets thirsty indeed. Of course, there will be pumped milk there for her, but I saw his question more as a metaphor. What if she is thirsty for mama?! I thought this part was supposed to be easier with the second child! It is not -- at least not today. My heart aches.

Meanwhile, the dental hygienist hands me tissues to wipe away the tears and gently tells me to floss more often.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The family that swaddles together, stays together

I'm not entirely sure how this came about, but the only person free of blame is Cassandra. For the record, we don't usually swaddle our 4.5 year old.

On and off of my high horse

Can't believe I'm going to go here, but I am...

Have you heard the ruckus about the actress Salma Hayek breastfeeding? Basically, she nursed a sick, one week old baby (who wasn't her baby). You can see it on the ABC News site after a short commercial here.

I always liked Salma Hayek and I like her more now. Mostly because she is an outspoken advocate of breastfeeding and talks about how she is still nursing her own daughter at a year. (In the circles I run nowadays, a year is a short time to nurse.) Regardless, I say, "Big deal!" Let her nurse whomever she wants. Why do we care? If a sick baby who wasn't going to get any breastmilk gets some -- and breastmilk will help that sick baby -- good for her (and for the baby)!

Getting off my high horse now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's the thought that counts

Zander continues to be sweet and loving to Cassandra. Any fall-out from adding a sibling to his world is directed more toward us -- or rather in the form of easily 'melting down' at the end of the day or waking up at night (again and again).

Here he is sharing his beloved "guys" with her. Granted, he's a bit overzealous sometimes (evidenced by the fact that you can barely make the baby out in the first photo. But that's okay -- it's the thought that counts.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seven Random Things Meme

Some time ago, I was tagged for a "seven random and weird things about yourself" meme by Kristi of "and the beat goes on." And when I say some time ago -- I mean five or six months ago. At the time, I thought it was daunting. But now that the "25 Random Things" note has done its rounds on Facebook, seven things seems easy. (If you don't know what I'm talking about regarding the "25 Random Things" note, see this piece on it in the New York Times. If you do know about it, see this funny one in the Washington Post.)

Drum roll are my seven random and weird things (in no order):

  • For reasons I am not entirely sure, when I was pregnant, I was totally addicted to the HBO show True Blood. I stayed up late to re-watch episodes, I visited the website to read summaries of episodes I had seen twice, and I trolled their fan "wiki" for spoilers. Mostly, I think I was looking for third trimester distraction. Either way, the season has ended and I would miss the show terribly if I had any time to watch television anymore.
  • Full (or even half-full) garbage cans (in my home) annoy me. I have to empty them regularly. Like daily sometimes.

  • Not necessarily a surprise and not that weird -- but I am not -- nor have I ever been been a very patient person. I would sneak peeks at Hanukkah presents growing up, etc.

  • When I was 12 or 13 years old, I had my ears 'done.' Apparently they stuck out a lot and apparently I felt strongly about it. This is embarrassing to me now. (Although I fantasize about getting a lot more than my ears done when all of this baby-making/nursing is finished. (What is it about this blog that makes me want to reveal personal things?)

  • I am sometimes often always change-averse. (Brad and Laura are probably saying, "And this is a surprise, how?" as they are two people who are patient enough to drag me kicking and screaming into new situations.) For example, I've worked at the same organization for ten years, and at the job prior to this one for seven years.

  • I was born in the Bronx, New York. I love telling people this, as they think I might be a bad-ass. Although, we never actually lived in the Bronx. We lived in New Jersey.

  • Apparently, either I can't count or I'm lazy (or both), as the above is only six.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stunt Baby

I went to a "babywearing" class on Saturday offered by a local parent through her business ( The class was really more of a demonstration of different carriers, slings, and wraps. It was helpful, although I am neither coordinated enough nor mechanically inclined to naturally figure these things out myself (hence why I took the class).

Anyway, for most of the class, the instructor used a doll to demonstrate how the different carriers work. But, at one point Cassandra was her stunt baby! I must say the child is a natural in front of crowd (of four total). She cooed, burped, even farted. I was so proud.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I went to CVS yesterday to get Zander a new toothbrush. I also bought three items from the $1.00 area (stickers, also for the boy, in case you were wondering). Why am I telling you this? Because after buying those FOUR items, I got a receipt that was over three feet long. Seriously.

The receipt included the following offers:

  • a coupon for $2.50 off "any" Aveeno skin care item (woo hoo!),
  • a coupon for $2.00 off of Tums (where was this coupon when I was pregnant, huh?),
  • a free vial of CVS brand ibuprofen (score!),
  • some "extra bucks,"
  • a $25 gift card if I transfer a prescription, and
  • a donation to the "save the trees / conserve paper" fund. (Kidding on this last one.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two Months Old

Happy two-month birthday Cassandra (as of yesterday).

Today was your 'official' two-month check-up. You weigh 11.5 pounds (65th percentile). You are 23 inches tall (or, rather 23 inches long -- since you don't stand) (80th percentile). That means you have grown three inches since you were born.

Yesterday, I put you down for some tummy time, walked away for five seconds, and returned to find you flipped over onto your back. This is the 2nd time this has happened. (The first time you were on a mat that propped you up, so I chalked the rollover up to that.)

We have the option to take you off of the baby Zantac (for the silent reflux mentioned in this post) and see what happens. Not sure what we've decided on that one yet.

P.S. I promise not to post these types of stats often. ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two items for the "duh" category

Yesterday evening something was making a vibration noise in our kitchen. We couldn't figure out what it was. Sounded like it was coming from the wall and we were starting to get worried. We nudged the piece of furniture near the wall, but the sound was still there. Some heating issue? Something else systemic to the house? Further investigation revealed it was just the baby's bouncy seat on a vibration setting. Duh!

* * * * * *

Me [trying to convince Zander to brush his teeth for a more extended period of time]: "Some people sing the ABC song or the happy birthday song to themselves to be sure that they are brushing for long enough."

Zander: "Or they could just use a timer." Duh!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby Toys

If you asked Zander what the best part of having a baby sister is, he might say it is the influx of colorful toys. (Okay, so he probably wouldn't use the word "influx.")

But, I am not exaggerating when I say that he can play with baby toys for an hour or so. Be it a box of rattles, teethers, and crinkly things or a mini-gym for babies to lay under, he'll make up some story to go along with them and play by himself for a good clip.

Here he is using the gymini (a thing for babies to look up at) and the couch cushions to make a tent:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Hike to the Potomac River

Mother nature has been somewhat undecided lately. On Tuesday, it was 17 degrees (not including the wind chill). Today it was warm and sunny and at least 50 degrees. Some photos below from a hike (by Brad and Zander and one of Z's friends) to the Potomac River.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I was filling in some of the blanks in Cassandra's baby book which prompted Zander to look at his baby book at the same time. He saw a page with empty spots for annual photos, which went all the way until his 18th birthday...

Zander: "I get NO 19th birthday? I'll die when I'm 18?!"

We did our best to explain that he wasn't going to die at 18, but instead that I will not be maintaining a baby book for him at 19 years old.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Advances in Baby Gear or "Goodbye Poo Finger"

These are all things our parents and their parents lived without. In addition, they either weren't around when Zander was born in 2004, have been significantly improved since then, or we just didn't know about them. So, for us they are considered advances in baby gear.

1) The Amby Baby Hammock. This is not new, just new to us. Some good friends swore by the Amby and some other friends lent us theirs. So far, it works great and that's where Cassandra sleeps most of the time instead of a bassinet or crib.

2) The Swaddle Me blanket by Kiddopotamus. Basically, who needs to learn how to swaddle when you can just wrap your baby in this? We had something similar when Zander was born, but he would just kick himself right out of it. This thing is like a straight jacket. Worth every cent. You can see a picture of Cassandra wrapped in one in this post.

3) Diapers with a stripe down the middle that change colors when wet or dirty. When Z was in diapers, we would sometimes just peek in the diaper around the leg opening to see if he needed to be changed. This unfortunately often resulted in something we called "Poo finger." (Use your imagination.) Now, Pampers brand has diapers with a stripe that changes color from yellow to green when it is soiled. Goodbye Poo finger! Hello worrying about the potentially dangerous chemicals that make up said stripe being up against Cassandra's baby bottom.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Bitten on the ass by a small, but agile dog"

As some readers know, my sister's job as a paralegal has taken her to St. Croix for a few months. Got this e-mail from her yesterday and thought it was too good not to share:

Today I was bitten on the ass by a small, but agile dog as we were returning from court. It's only a matter of time before I begin frothing at the mouth. When I return I intend to create a 5K to cure rabies (just like in the show "The Office.") Seriously, this Boston Terrier broke the skin and it really hurt!

I asked the owner (the manager of this bed and breakfast) to show me her records confirming the dog's shots. She was difficult about the whole thing and denied the dog bit me, although she and three other people witnessed it. Anyway, the manager later apologized profusely claiming that the dog may have been abused. (BULL, she bought it as a puppy from a breeder!) and is afraid of luggage. (I was dragging a box.) This could pose a problem considering she runs a bed and breakfast.

As for my injured butt, it continues to get bigger due to sitting in court all day w/no exercise.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Some Recent Photos

So, as one might have expected, I'm ending up with a little less time to blog these days. Seems two children is just a tad more work than one. Not to mention that -- all of a sudden -- Cassandra is almost two months old and I can see the end of my maternity leave somewhere ahead of me.

In the meantime, below are some photos from the last few days. Most were taken with phones, so pardon the lower resolution. (Sidenote: sometimes I am still amazed that we are taking pictures with phones.)