Thursday, August 26, 2010

Strollin', strollin', strollin'

I picked up an awesome double stroller on craigslist. It's kind of odd how I so often end up knowing or having some connection to the anonymous poster, and in this case I did. The stroller was a screaming deal, and I've been taking the kiddos out for walks after work.
I figure I need to post some pics tonight, because it's Big Man's last night of work, and then he has a week off, so we will be like an actual married couple, having dinner together and spending time together next week, so don't expect much from me.

Here's Little Hoss. She's huuuuuuuuuge. She's got her 4 month doctors visit in a couple of weeks (late because the doc's on vacation) and I'm sure she's going to far outweigh Dani--she's definitely as long, but I am not sure she's too much longer. She's busting out of 6 months clothes--built like a little fire plug, she is.

Dani had her weekly playdate today, and I came home to the cutest hairdo!

That's all for now. The 3 long weeks Big Man works kill me. I'm tired and lonely. And, I try to leave work early so he can get more sleep (somehow trying to justify the opening of my own practice--I can bring work home and you can get another half-hour of sleep.) Thus, I plan to enjoy next week immensely.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fantasy time!

It's that time of year again! Football season! I know that back before I became a mom, I used to be way more interesting. I've given up a lot of things, but football ain't one of them! Big Man and I are in our 5th year of competing together in a fantasy football league. It's on, Big Man.

Our draft was Sunday. My team looks pretty decent. My QBs aren't going to light the world on fire, but it's otherwise okay:
Quarterbacks: Jay Cutler (CHI) and Kyle Orton (DEN). Hopefully Cutler won't lead the league in interceptions this year. I've got a soft spot for former Chicago Bear, Orton.
Running Backs: Cedric Benson (CIN), Tim Hightower (ARI), Frank Gore (SF) and Felix Jones (DAL). Another former Bear, Benson was kind of a failure in Chicago, but seems to have found his way in Cincy.
Wide Receivers: Orginially I had Larry Fitzgerald (ARI), Santonio Holmes (NYJ) and Chris Chambers (KC). Holmes is suspended for a bunch of games so I dropped him and picked up Earl Bennett (CHI) because he's Cutler's favorite receiver.
Tight Ends: Jason Witten (DAL) and John Carlson (SEA). I hate, hate, hate the Seahawks, but there's only busters left, so I'm stuck with Carlson.
Kicker: Originally I had Stephen Gostkowski (NE). He was my kicker last year, and I got bored watching him only score extra points. I dropped him for Robbie Gould of the Bears. Big Man's going to be bummed--I am sure he would have picked up Gould but I beat him to the punch!
Defense/Special Teams--Pittsburgh Steelers.

It could be better, or worse, but there is only one objective in Fantasy Football--to beat Big Man.

I bought Dani the cutest Bears cheerleader outfit from Ebay. Stay tuned for some adorable opening day pics!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Compliments of Big Man.

It's a rare day when Big Man fires up the camera. I'm always urging him to do it, but he claims I already take more pictures than necessary. But every once in a while, like tonight, when he and the kids are asleep, I turn on the camera just to see if there are any surprises. Tonight, there were some good ones.

Tori looks like a deer in headlights. Now that Dani understands how cameras work and that she can make faces and pose and then see herself, she gets even more excited about taking pictures--but she's harder to keep still to pose. I am afraid it is time to rename McScreamy. Sure, she's fussy from time to time, but now she mostly smiles and chirps. She literally wakes up smiling. For now, she shall be known as McSmiley.
And, now that McSmiley is showing a bit of personality, Dani is much more interested in her. She talks to her and calls out "Tori" regularly. If you leave Tori alone for a minute, you will return to Dani sitting with her. If Tori starts to fuss, Dani will leave the room and return with a bib or a swaddle blanket, or will tell us to get "baby milk". She does not, however want Tori to have anything to play with.

Tori's teething, and the other night I gave her Dani's stuffed bunny to chew on. This is one of approximately 4700 stuffed things in the house. The look on Dani's face was first, shock. Mommy was a traitor who had clearly betrayed her first born. Then, it was pure baby rage. Dani, who literally has not played with the bunny in months, started yelling "waaaaaabbbbit" and crying and carrying on. I explained to her that Tori was playing with it and that we could get another stuffed animal for Dani. So I got a stuffed cow for Dani to hold. After a few more minutes of her loud protestations that she needed the wabbit, I told her that she could trade with Tori and that she could have the rabbit if Tori could have the cow.

I performed the swap.

Dani was still not pleased. (Truth be told, the bunny was pretty wet with Tori's slobber.) She hugged it, sniffed it and declared "baby milk" and flung it back at me. Apparently, the bunny was now tainted with the scent of formula and therefore unloveable.

A truce was made, and sealed with an episode of the Wiggles, and all was well.

Big Man managed to get a video of the in the recliner together (or "daddy's chair" as Dani calls it when I sit in it).

Good work, Big Man.

Friday, August 20, 2010

There ought to be a law, a Dani guest post

Hi everybody, Dani here. Mommy's busy with Tori, as usual, so I figured it was good time to give you all an update. Time sure flies! Did you know that I'm 20 months old? That's almost 2 years old! And, mommy tells me all the time that I'm super smart. I already knew I was super cute, but I guess it's even more important to be smart.

I haven't posted in awhile because I've been busy being a big sister. It sure is work. Mommy and daddy expect me to be a helper, and that means that I have to take Tori's diapers and put them in the garbage. Mommy and daddy have a special garbage can just for me to put the diapers in. When I do it they clap for me, and give me high fives. It's fun, enough I guess, since it is work, after all.

Tori's getting so big. When she first came here, she was just a boring, screamy baby. She has gotten so much bigger. She's still kinda screamy, and is always stealing mommy and daddy's attention, but she does neat stuff too. She smiles and screeches and waves her arms at me. And, if I make faces at her she laughs. That's kind of cute. But, mommy keeps letting Tori hold my old toys. She doesn't seem to understand that they are MINE. I might not have played with them that much lately, but that doesn't mean that Tori can just have them. It's just not fair.

Tonight, it was the worst. Mommy let Tori have tummy time on my ducky pillow. The pillow even has my name on it. Well, it has part of my name. My name's Dani, and that's D, then A, then N, then I. This pillow has D, then A, then N, then I, then E, then L, then another L, then an E. I don't know what a Danielle is, but I know that it's my pillow, and Tori drooled all over it. That's yucky.

Mommy took some video of Tori on my pillow tonight. I know mommy's a lawyer, and I am going to hope that some of her friends who read this blog are too.

Hey, mommy's lawyer friends, don't I have rights to my ducky pillow? Can I get an order of protection against Tori so she won't drool all over it? Should I get daddy's cuffs and put them on Tori? Or maybe on mommy because she took my property and gave it to Tori? I don't have that much money, but I have a piggy bank in my room--you can have it if you will help.

I give you, Dani's Video Exhibit A: mommy steals Dani's pillow (and gives it to Tori, her accomplice--does that make it a conspiracy?):

If you are willing to take my case, let me know--you can have the piggy bank, I promise. Uh, oh. Mommy's coming so I have to go. Bye bye!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slowly but surely.

We are getting the hang of this two kid thing Well, Big Man probably had the hang of it the whole time, but I'm feeling, finally, like I'm getting the hang of it..Tonight, Dani, Tori and I went to David and Gail's for a little trampoline and outside time. (It helps to have a better adult:toddler/baby ratio than me alone!). But first, Tori tried out her exersaucer. It seems to be the only baby contraption she doesn't hate. Her arms were a little short to reach the toys, but she enjoyed it, and Dani stood outside it playing with her.
I let Dani hold her own banana tonight, and surprisingly, it went pretty well. I shot a quick video of she and Tori while she ate it.

That's the haps here. Tori's sleeping pretty well at night; if I give her a bottle around 11pm, she's good until at least 6am on most nights. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family time.

It was a rare weekend--Big Man had Friday and Saturday nights off. As per the usual--he was so tired on Friday, after a six day week, that he sacked out early. But on Saturday, we actually had dinner together and watched a movie--just like real married folk!

And we drove to Columbia County to attend the Columbia-Greene Humane Society Paw Picnic at the Waldorf Farm. A client of mine in Columbia County is a big benefactor--and invited us to join her and her friends and family.

Dani really didn't want to sit still at the table....not while there were so many things to see!
She did agree to pose for a quick family photo before she took off to see the farm and all the horsies. (of course we can't show Big Man's face on the world wide web!)

She ran and ran all over the grounds.

She followed horsies, and teen girls, and babies in strollers. She was so bold. She saw a group of three teen girls sitting under a tree texting, walked up, said hi, and started yelling "horsies", "hi", and my favorite, "wiggles" while dancing! The teens just laughed and smiled.
She had a blast. From the stable hands to the families with strollers, Dani wouldn't sit still and had to smile at, and run after everyone, saying "hi'. So flippin' cute.

This cuteness was prompted by a stable hand who asked Dani if she was trying to climb the tree or if she was hiding behind a tree. That made Dani grab the trunk and lift her legs to try to climb it! End result was cute pics. She also ran around looking for "horsies" which were everywhere, in stables and the grounds...there was one instance where I had to stop her from charging the legs of a horse walking by!

It was a nice day out--but hard. Big Man sat in the tent with our friends and Tori, and I ran around outside with Dani. Once she had eaten, she refused to go back into the tent. Since we were at the reserved table at the front of the auction, I knew I couldn't make a big scene. I tried to carry Dani in to see daddy and Tori--and was met with screamy/squirmy and laying flat on the ground--we left so that the auction could continue without Dani's disruption!

I'm having an awful time trying to get a video to upload, so I'm calling it a night. Cute video to follow at some point.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mommy can't compete.

with the Wiggles, that is.
Yes, me, the woman who made sure to tell Big Man no less than 1,000 times while I was pregnant with Dani that the American Academy of Pediatrics says no television until a baby is 2, and made him promise not to let her watch TV.
I must confess, I know most of their songs. I rather like them, particularly the hunky blue Wiggle. The Wiggles have helped me to manage two babies, so Dani doesn't get too upset when Tori needs to be fed and held, etc.
She's so verbal now, that everything is an attempted sing-a-long, or she is shouting out colors and letters and numbers or counting. It's a blast.
She's also reached a point where her moods change like the wind. It must be her way. Now. Or there will be crying and fussing. Fortunately, she is easily distracted, and never fusses for more than a minute or three or four.
Cutest thing though is that when she's upset, she yells for "Boo Bunny", which is the little plastic ice cube in the freezer that you put inside a bunny for when she gets a boo boo. She apparently equates emotional pain with physical. Similarly, when she's upset, she will say "home" even if she's, well, home. And, if we are out, she will often wave and say "hi" to strangers. But, if someone approaches her and says hello, she will put her hand up and say "bye bye". It's such an interesting thing to watch how that little brain works.
So these are shots of Dani tonight--I needed to feed Tori, but had just gotten home from work, and Dani wanted my attention too. Enter the Wiggles.

She was being so adorable on the couch--but it was hard to get good candid shots because she couldn't decide whether she loved the Wiggles or the camera more. So she kept climbing off the couch and heading toward me when I picked up the camera. But I got a few good ones.

As you can see, there's not a lot of mommy-Dani eye contact going on, because I'm way less interesting than Jeff, Dani's favorite Wiggle. He's the purple one. (If anyone from the religious right is reading this, then clearly have determined that the purple Wiggle is clearly gay like Pat Robertson's purple teletubby, and that my child is a clearly a product of some left wing conspiracy to indocrinate toddlers into tolerance and love.)

I can't complain though. Dani can identify nearly every letter of the alphabet by sight. She even does things like flip a capital E and then tell me "M". She knows all the colors--even pink, and purple, and the hard ones like that. She can count to ten, identify the numbers by sight to ten, and what she knows, says and understands never ceases to amaze me.

And, that other kid, Tori. Superstar slept from 10:45pm last night to 7:00am this morning. When she woke up this morning I told her that she had achieved "most favored baby"status. She just smiled. She's so alert and interactive and darn cute. It's amazing how much more lovable a baby is when she isn't screaming.

But this whole thing is just hard. Being outnumbered. Two to my one. I love that Big Man and I are doing this basically solo--no structured day care or anything. And, I know that it's only going to get easier, but right now, it's downright hard. I miss my husband. Right now he's working 3 weeks of 6 days and then one week off--for the rest of the year. The week off is great--but the 6 days on--to the extent that they overlap with my 5 day week, are hard. We have about 20 minutes together in the morning, and less in the evening....I know it will only get easier. But I miss my loveable, snuggly Big Man. I miss seeing him play with the kids, because we are both playing, just at different times. I love that Dani's so advanced--and he's to thank for that, and she loves him so much. Seriously--she will run across the room to give daddy a kiss and when I practically beg for one she laughs and says no. I love that we are, for the most part (duly acknowledging help from local friends ad family) raising our kids all by ourselves, instead of needing formal care. So, I know we are doing the right thing for our children and our marriage, even if it's hard. And it's harder for Big Man, because on top of it all, he's soooo sleep deprived.

Hard or no, I wouldn't trade it.

I suppose that, if this is the hardest our lives will be (until they are teenagers!), then I have only to be thankful. I've been doing enough matrimonial and family court work to know that I'm extremely lucky.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm worried about Dani, a Tori guest post.

Psst. Tori, here. I'm a little worried about Dani. In case you didn't notice from mommy's posts I've gotten bigger and much cuter. I'm fun too. I don't cry as much as I used to.

But Dani seems to be taking it pretty hard. She can say my name now, and even calls me Tori. It really sounds more like To-WEE, but who am I to judge, I can't even talk yet. But yesterday, in the back yard, I got worried. She turned the squirt gun on herself.

She must have hit rock bottom to be drinking from the squirt gun. I think she might even have them stashed around the house and mommy and daddy don't know. What's a baby sister to do?
In other news, mommy and daddy are trying to make me try new stuff. I have had some rice cereal in my bottle, and on Sunday, mommy gave me some sweet potatoes. I pretty much spit them back out. She kept scooping the spitted out parts off my chin and putting them back in my mouth, but she failed. I just don't want to work that hard, yet--all that sitting up and paying attention, instead of being cuddled and bottle fed. Screw that, bring me the bottle.
Daddy's pretty obsessed with giving me tummy time. Dani told me that she hated it so much that she could flip over when she was only 2 months old. I don't really mind it too much, though. I like sleeping on my tummy; I don't get mad, I just give in. Don't believe me when they call me McScreamy. As you can see, I'm just chill.

I have to go now; we have to wake up Daddy so he can go to work. Bye bye.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Riding in cars with boys.

Today one of my oldest and dearest friends was in town. Janine Nelsen (nee West). I brought Dani and Tori to her mom and dad's house this morning, and it was a blast. Janine's got 3 little ones, her sister has two, (and there were dogs!) and my two meant that there was, shrieking, bubble blowing, pogo stick jumping and everything fun you can imagine.

AND, a car. A big, red car. With the letters "mustang" on the side, which Dani was happy to spell out, before she got to ride in it. At first, she just watched all the other kids drive and ride in it. When the car was close, she would run up to it and yell "red" and try to push the buttons on the dash.

Imagine her excitement when she was able to ride in it! Charlie Susi was happy to be the driver. But, first he made sure Dani's seat belt was fastened, and then they started zipping around the driveway.

Dani also rode with Janine's youngest, Clara Bea, who is 3. (It's funny because Dani at 20 months is as big as Clara at 3 years!) Dani ultimately refused to get out of the car, and encouraged all of the older kids to drive her around, saying "more" and "again". Janine's oldest, Ella, also gave Dani a ride!

It's so fun to see Dani with other kids and Tori too. Tori didn't make a peep, despite being held by everyone.

Last night we found a cute, little beret that I don't think Dani ever wore. Tori loved it, and was super-smiley at daddy.

And, a quick video clip of the car ride.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hi, we're cute.

And mommy's enjoying daddy's week off.So be patient, lots to come.