Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flying solo.

Big Man had to fly home to Chicago, as his brother is gravely ill. I've been on my own with the kiddos since Friday evening. How tiring!

We started today with a trip to the grocery store--just to pick up a thing or to because my friend Kristen and her daughter Mary were coming over--needed to get some kiddie lunch materials.

Kristen and I were pregnant together and Mary is about 3 weeks older than Dani. The day started great--both kids were fascinated with each other and playing and being cute. They kept giving each other "huggies" and jumping up and down.

As naptime drew closer, it became an all-out tantrum fest. Anything Mary picked up, Dani wanted, so Dani would grab it and Mary would shriek. Dani doesn't have much experience with other kids, and has no concept of personal space, and kept trying to pat Mary on the tummy, which she hated. The day culminated with a huge fight over Dr. Seuss' "The Nose Book". It was actually quite cute to watch the insanity, and Kristen and I laughed it off as the kids just wailed--they are silly babies that need to learn how to share. Dani has clearly mastered the art of taking what she wants, but not sharing--she was even upset to see Mary pick up a toy that was in the other room, even though Dani didn't want to play with it.

At the end of the playdate, they kissed and made up--here's Mary leaning in to plant one on Dani.

Dani was sound asleep about 14 seconds after they left. Of course, then Tori woke up, so there was no nap for mommy, although I was desperate for one. (Now I feel Big Man's weekday pain--they really don't sleep at the same times!) I spent the rest of the day just being silly with Dani.

Dani was asking to go upstairs all day to get Daddy (who is usually sleeping), and couldn't figure out where he was, despite my best efforts to distract her. We colored, played with a million toys, and watched way too much TV. Once I got Dani upstairs, Tori was ready to play--she's getting so big--and cute! They are looking less and less alike each day, with Dani definitely favoring my side of the family and Tori favoring Big Man's.
Tomorrow Grandma Deb is coming over to lend a hand so I can shop and get a few things done before Big Man rolls in around midnight.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Dani sleeps past 6am tomorrow, which was her wake up time today. She usually ranges from about 6 to 7:30am for her wakeup--and often will go back to sleep if it's on the earlier side, but of course, not this morning. And Tori slept so much today, that I'm hoping I am not in for a night of wide awake fussing, because I am dragging!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to the grind.

We are still working on getting back into the swing of things with Big Man working. It's like trying to squeeze a million things into the brief moments you have a parent-helper. But, it's fun. It seems like every day I come home from work, Dani has learned something new.

And, when I get home, Tori is usually all snuggly and cute for daddy. And I SWEAR, the second he closes the bedroom door to go to sleep, she becomes McScreamy! Curses!

Once again Blogger is being a pain about uploading video. I only managed to get this one on before I got a million error messages. Just a quick video Dani playing "naken" yesterday.
video

That's the haps. Hoping to post more video to facebook tonight as I'm done monkeying with blogger for the evening.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finding our way.

This was our first week with Big Man working since we had Tori. Wow. The working opposite shifts baby swap is much harder with two. Do-able but much harder. Nice to have Big Man home last night.


Dani has decided she prefers to be "naken". (without clothes)
Tori is at her smiley best on the changing table. Even if she screams her head off getting there.

Big Man was home all day--he got up with Dani this morning so I got to sleep until 9:26am. Yes, I remember the exact minute that I woke up because it was hours later than I have been able to sleep in a long time. Anyway, it was a great day--from the family breakfast that I made to the grilled steaky goodness Big Man mastered tonight--we definitely made up for the lack of family time we have all week today. Big Man goes back to work tomorrow night, but it was nice to see him for a little bit!

Things on the horizon--under consideration:
Anniversary trip to Hickory NC and seeing Bears-Panthers in Charlotte. Hoping we can make it work.

I've been trying to upload a video for about an hour with no luck...have great footage from this weekend, will keep trying! For now, headed to bed!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reconnecting.

Throughout my life, for a number of reasons, I've lost touch with close friends. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of people that I've really cared about, who, either due to hurt feelings from a silly disagreement, or just kind of drifting away after a while, it just happened. And those few days, turned into weeks, and even into years. I often thought about them, with mixed emotion, wondering whose fault it was that we weren't talking anymore, wondering whether they missed me, or had simply forgotten. Had I become just an old friend on a page in a photo album who didn't fit into their new life, or did they think of me from time to time as I thought of them?
I suppose it is a testament to true friendship that many of these paths have crossed again. I'm not sure how, whether I reached out, or they did, but the important thing is that it happened. These friends are back in my life, and I'm glad they are. Immensely glad. And when they came back in, it was as natural as if no time had passed. A couple of them are regular readers--and I love you guys.
It happened again tonight. A few weeks ago, via facebook, I reconnected with a close friend from high school who I hadn't seen or spoken to in about six years. (He has never met Big Man, so it's at least six years.) We were close friends and academic rivals in high school, stayed in touch throughout college and our 20s. We even went to our 5 year high school reunion together. Always a sucker for an open bar, I went to his brother's wedding too. He was always like a brother to me, and we used to argue like siblings, over everything and anything. Back in the day, we'd get together every time he came in from Boston, which was at least a few times per year.

He told me he was going to be in town for the day visiting his dad, and asked if I wanted to get together. So I invited him over for pizza and to meet the family. I'm so glad I did.

Unfortunately, it was a work night for Big Man, so he was in bed when Robert came over, so they didn't get to meet. Next time, I will make sure it happens. And there will be a next time.

Over pizza and wings, McScreamy's fussing, and Dani's zany energy, we spent a few hours catching up. It was as natural as if I'd seen him last month. Welcome back, friend.

I will make every effort to not let a lapse in contact happen with anyone I care about again. It seems to me that with every new technology, we as people manage to become more distant. Cell phones constantly interrupt conversations, because people feel compelled to answer them at the dinner table and everywhere else, despite the fact that answering them interrupts an actual face to face conversation. Email means that you don't actually have to call people on the phone and talk to them, or god forbid, write an actual letter. Facebook lets you keep track of a ton more people's lives, but at a greater distance.

I'm going to make more of an effort to stay in better touch with the people I care about. In touch for real, with calls and visits. Now that Big Man is back to work, and I'm home evenings, I can make calls, or invite folks over for coffee or wine, or to play with Dani and Tori. And I will.

Just as my daughters will learn what to expect from a marriage by watching Big Man and I, they will learn about friendship, first from observing ours, and then by forging their own. I will teach my daughters to be good friends by working to be a better one to mine.

Tonight I was reminded about the importance of friendship, of making and keeping connections for a lifetime, from one of my oldest friends. For that, I am thankful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How do they do it?

Holy crap. Two kids alone is HARD WORK. How do single moms do it? How do people who have 3 or 4 or 5 or more do it?
Big Man went back to work, so I come home from the day job, say hi, he goes upstairs to sleep, and then I'm on mommy duty. So far, Tori's been amazingly fussy and mad that I am in charge, so she makes sure to scream her head off. Dani, cute as ever, just wants to go outside and play and have the attention of somebody...so it ends up being a delicate balance of songs, and snacks and playing Tori peekaboo to get Dani to settle down and not be jealous of Tori or lament the loss of daddy who is sleeping.
But holy crap she is so smart and so much fun ......And I can't figure out why McScreamy decided to become screamy again............hope it ends and is just a product of the different schedule. I snapped a pic before she went to total screamy meltdown phase.
There you go--unedited. (MILF I am not.)

But we ultimately work out the Dani time with SKYPE calls to grandma and grandpa and lots of mickey mouse vids.....

Peeps from my past life--can you believe this is me????????????

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It was good while it lasted.

Get used to more frequent blog posts...Big Man is returning to work tonight. He and Dani are upstairs sleeping right now and Tori's in the swing, so mommy has some free time! It's going to be quite an adjustment for the both of us--we are both going back to being sleep deprived in our own ways, and spending much less time together.And, I will look on the bright side and say that I get a king sized bed to myself all night, instead of lamenting sleeping alone. The cats will be pretty happy to have room to get back on the bed again.

I also told Big Man that he needs to take more pictures--I am always the one with the camera in my hands, and have very few pictures of me and the kiddos!

Tori is quickly earning the right not to be called McScreamy anymore; we may have to change it to McSmiley.

We've introduced Dani to crayons, and have a budding Jackson Pollack on our hands. She totally favors her right hand for drawing; I was hoping she'd be a lefty like me.

I need to take a minute and tell you how totally amazing little Dani is. She can identify the colors: red, blue, yellow, green, purple, pink, black, and orange and say them by name. She can visually identify and say by name about half of the letters of the alphabet (a random assortment of those easier to identify, and all of the letters in Bears Football as Daddy is always wearing something that says Bears). She will walk up to something and point at the letter and say "B" or whatever the letter is. She can visually identify about half of the single digit numbers, say them, and can count to three. She can also make most animal noises and is using multi-word phrases. She also knows most body parts, from hair to toes, and can point to them and say them.

She loves her books, and her current obsession is Mickey Mouse. She loves when I sing to her, or tell her rhymes, and she tries to say them or sing them along with me.

Every day, I think it can't get more fun, and it does.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Last day.

Tonight is Big Man's last night of paternity leave--he goes back to work tomorrow night. It's been awesome having him home. Life gets exponentially harder now that we are each going to be tired and flying solo most of the time. At least he still has 3 weeks of vacation or so remaining for the balance of the year. I'm hoping we will take a road trip to NC in October for our anniversary...and the Bears play the Panthers that weekend, and grandma and grandpa will be thrilled to babysit while we go!

How cute is my little Tori? She's wearing 6 month clothes already, and she's 10 weeks... crazy.And a video from my folks' visit--I miss them. Dani now knows that we can talk to grandma and grandpa on the computer, so she is always demanding that we do so!
video

Stormy and loud here--hoping Dani sleeps through it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My summer so far, a Dani guest post.

Hi everybody, Dani here. Mommy said I could write to tell you about my summer. So far, it's been pretty fun. My grandma and grandpa came to visit me but they had to go back to North Carolina. I miss them They are way more fun than mommy and daddy. They make everything so fun, even the boring stuff like sitting in my high chair and eating lunch.

And they taught me lots of stuff. Did you know that I know a bunch of my colors, and numbers and letters, and I can say them and read them too? I am totally a baby genius.
Grandma showed me how to walk up the slide! But, I miss them. Tonight mommy took me outside to go on my swing, and I just kept saying grandpa to her because he pushes me better than she does. I hope they come back soon.
Now that my baby sister is getting bigger, I decided that she could play with some of my old toys. Mommy and daddy got out my exercise mat, but before I would let Tori on it, I needed to make sure it was safe. That's kind of the big sister's job, you know.

I even help out mommy and daddy by holding Tori and giving her kisses. She's not so bad, you know, especially now that she doesn't cry all the time anymore.
She seems to like my old toys. This is her playing. She's kind of cute, huh? Well, she's cute when she's not fussy.
video

Lots of other stuff is going on too. Daddy has to go back to work soon. He's been home taking care of us since Tori was born. Starting Sunday, he has to go back to his other job at the police department. But he will still be home with us during the day, just more tired. And that means that mommy will be home with me and Tori at night--I've been talking to Tori about sleeping all night, because mommy needs her sleep.

Mommy got a big box in the mail yesterday, and she let me play with it. I made a playhouse and it even had doors and windows!

video

I'm moving into a new bedroom this weekend, and am getting new furniture tomorrow! I can't wait. Anyway, mommy says I have to go to bed now. Bye!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Two Month Stats.

Big Man took Tori to her two month doctor's visit today. (And yes, my parents went home today, but I'm feeling a little too emotional to write about that today.) She's 23 inches long, and 11 pounds 8 ounces.

That makes her one-half inch shorter than Dani was at two months, but 4 ounces heavier!
She is really starting to develop a sweet little personality, and to sleep well at night.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pool, a Dani guest post.

Hi everybody, Dani here. My grandma and grandpa are visiting from North Carolina, and I'm having so much fun. Today, grandpa filled up my pool, and we all went outside. Grandma and grandpa had a water gun fight; it was funny to watch.

I have a pool and a Hello Kitty sprinkler, which is like a water fountain. I was trying to get a drink while grandma and grandpa were playing. They are so silly!
Grandma sat in the pool with me. Mommy was playing with us too. She said something about a sun burn. She looks all pink now, and I'm not sure why. I know that she put sunscreen on me, but I think she might have forgot to put some on her!
Here's grandma trying to get my squirt gun. I tried my best but she still got it away from me.
Then she squirted me over and over! I loved it!

I squirted her back though! It was lots of fun.
Anyway, grandpa's going to take me out to swing now so I have to go. Oh, and one other thing. I heard Tori tried to write to all of you, and even posted to mommy's blog the other day. Good work, my spies. Tori's just a little baby and thinks you can keep a secret, but you're all on my side. I'm changing mommy's password so Tori can't steal my thunder and post anymore. Bye for now--gotta swing on my swing!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Family reunion.

We went to a family reunion today. Technically, the family was one by marriage, but family that we love and hold dear nonetheless.

Tori started the day snoozing.
Dani went in a hammock for the first time. She and grandma had a blast in it.


I managed to grab her for a quick second for a picture.
Grandma and grandpa and Tori had a blast!Dani also got to bounce on a trampoline. She loved it.

video
And Shannon and Angela were good sports. I'm sure they would have preferred to bounce much higher, but once Dani got on she didn't want to get off!
It's so much fun having my folks here. I so wish they lived closer!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Don't tell Dani, a Tori guest post.

Pssst. Pssst. Down here. Shhh. Be very quiet because I don't want my big sister Dani to know I'm writing to you.

I'm Tori. But, I get called lots of things. I hear mommy call me McScreamy, and daddy calls me the angry whopper. But most importantly, I'm Dani's little sister. I think you know Dani. She's my big sister. She sometimes posts here. She really likes to be the center of attention, so I don't want her to get mad that I'm posting today. I mean look at that scowl, I don't want to mess with her...at least until I'm bigger.


But, I'm 9 weeks old and I figured it was time that I introduced myself. And, I have exciting news! I met my grandma and grandpa today, and they are so awesome! But before I tell you about them, I wanted to show you a picture of my daddy. He's such a good snuggler.

So, anyway, my grandma and grandpa came to visit from North Carolina today. They are lots of fun. My grandpa is so silly. When we went outside, he wore my sun hat!

And grandma took me for a walk and we sat outside on the porch while Dani got to swing. When I get a little bigger, grandma says I can go on the swing too.


So far, it's not so bad being a little sister. Dani is pretty nice to me, but she only calls me "baby". I wish I could tell her that my name is Tori, but I can't talk yet. Sometimes it seems like she gets mad when mommy holds me. She's always running around the house laughing and playing, and I'm stuck in some dumb swing because I can't even crawl yet. But I'm working really hard at it. I can push myself up on my hands, and can almost turn over. Pretty soon I'm going to get to play too. I have to hurry because grandma and grandpa brought a little bear and blankie for me but Dani took it when they weren't looking.
Anyway, grandma and grandpa are going to be here for a while so I am sure we will have lots of fun.
Don't tell Dani you met me. I don't think she can read yet, so she won't know that I wrote to you. Anyway, I hope I get to talk to you again soon. Love, Tori.