Saturday, July 26, 2014

day at the beach

Today we took a day trip to the beach.  We went down to Atlantic City, which is usually a fast drive, but due to rain and traffic was a little longer.  The weather cleared up shortly after we got there and we were able to have some fun in the sun.

The boys putting the sand in "sandwich."
Lunch on the go
I had a great time with the kids at the beach.  Asher and I ran in the waves and held hands and jumped.  Benjamin would join us for a little and then run back.  Charlotte got a little wet and screamed- she was scared of the waves. The boys loved playing the sand and making sand castles.
Kitty Cat also built a sand castle
Our friends tried to get their daughter to nap in the tent, and Charlotte thought that was a fun game to play.
Needless to say, no one napped.  Asher, with his hoarding tendencies, loved picking up shells (and pieces of shells).
Big boy with his shell collection
Fortunately, he was agreeable to picking out a select few to bring home.  I thought we all had a wonderful time, but when we got home, Benjamin told me he was never going to the beach again, he didn't like it, too much sand.  I said, too bad, you are going to the beach again, we go to Maine next week.

The kids took brief naps in the car on the way home, then were wide awake when we pulled up at the front door.  Eric, on the other hand, needed a nap.  So I took the kids to the playground, because after getting rained out at the beach, the weather was beautiful at home.

Kitty Cat likes the swings
We had a great time at the park, for the most part. Unfortunately, shells were not Asher's only souvenir from Atlantic City, as he had also picked up a secret treasure off the street- a razor blade with curved edges!  I found out when he dropped it out of his pocket at the playground.  You know, in front of about 4 other parents whose children were NOT carrying weapons to the park.  I panicked when I saw it, and he grabbed it and was holding it tightly in his little hand, while I panicked more that he was going to cut himself.  Then we had a little chase until I got him, got it out of his hand without any bloodshed, and dropped it in the garbage can.  Which resulted in Asher in hysterics as I had thrown away his "treasure."  I made a joke to our audience (people who will probably never let their children near us again) that that was what I get for taking the kids to Atlantic City.

I would say that, overall, it was a good day.  At dinner we recalled our favorite parts- the water, the waves, the sand castles, the shells.  I am glad we still have many beach days ahead of us this summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I have been living with a constant level of anxiety all week- Sunday evening we discovered both of our (indoor) cats had fleas!  What a nauseating feeling, to go from thinking your house is relatively clean and peaceful, to wondering what items were contaminated and how to de-contaminate them.  I couldn't sleep, I was constantly feeling as though fleas were jumping on my ankles!

Monday morning, Trouble climbed on my head while I was asleep and started meowing loudly.  At first I half-woke... then remembered the fleas and leapt out of bed!  There were several fleas on my pillow.  I ran down the stairs, shaking my head, and made Eric comb my scalp to see if there were any in there.  I am getting chills just remembering, it was awful.

We put a flea-killing liquid on their necks, and then Monday got an oral medication to make them toxic to fleas.  But all of a sudden, I was seeing flea-signs everywhere.  Of course, once I knew what flea-signs were, I realized I'd been seeing them for weeks, not knowing what they were.  Bad mommy.  We washed all our bedding, I put it back on, and right away, a flea.  So on Monday night, I couldn't sleep again.

I did load after load of laundry.  I say "I" because Eric has claimed laundry incompetence and it has become a job only I can do.  And then I rewashed things if I saw a flea come near them.

Then we borrowed my mom's cleaning lady for the day yesterday so she could do a major cleaning of our upstairs (where the cats spend most of their time, hiding from the kids).  She did a great job.  And now we have to fire our current cleaning woman so we can hire this other woman instead!

The excitement of flea sighting has become like celebrity sighting in New York City, except I'm not seeing Dennis Leary at Tao, I'm seeing a live flea on the bathroom rug.

I haven't seen any fleas today.  I still haven't slept well, and every night I hope that will change.  We haven't had anyone over all week- I would feel terrible if someone came home from our place with fleas.  The positive of all this is that several things have gotten attention and are looking cleaner and neater than before.  But not worth the stress!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charlotte's 18 month well-visit

I took my girl for her 18 month visit today.  Our pediatrics practice moved locations and lost half of its staff, which means that the doctor we'd been seeing for Charlotte since she was born isn't there anymore.  I'm inclined to just leave the practice, too, but want to stick it out a little longer and see what happens.  The doctor who started the practice, and who is still there, is a great and thorough doctor, so as long as we can continue with him it should be fine.

On with Charlotte- she is doing great!  She weighed 27.6 lbs (93rd percentile), and measured 33.5 inches tall (97th percentile).  She has grown about 2 inches in the past 3 months! (Assuming their measurement is accurate).  Regardless, she is growing and developing and thriving.  The doctor seemed pleased with her physical abilities and noted that she is very flexible- which I had just noticed myself.  He said it wouldn't be a bad thing to get her involved in gymnastics, especially given the level of energy she was exhibiting during her appointment.

Her current vocabulary is:
kitty, dog
ball, balloon, bowl, bow, boot
more, mama
down, up, dada, done
cheese, this, that, banana ("nana," stands for all fruit)
uh-oh!, yay!, and wheeee!

He asked if I had worries about her speech and I said no... since at this age the boys had 2 words or so apiece.  He said what I described sounded right on to him, which is nice.

He asked if I had any concerns at all about her, and I said no.  I really don't!  He also commented that she seemed very good-natured, which I agree with.  She is such a charmer; while we waited for her shots she played a little in the hallway and by the time we left, everyone in the new office knew her name.

She is healthy and well- and our next appointment is in 6 months, when she turns 2!

Monday, July 7, 2014

first weeks of camp and other fun things

at the end of the first day of camp
The boys started their first week of summer camp on Monday, June 23rd.  Last year they were at camp at the JCC; this year they are in a camp at a nearby private school.  This year seems to be going much better!  To start, there were no tears at drop-off the first day, or any day since.  Asher has a very positive attitude ("I can't wait to get to camp and meet all my new friends!") which hasn't allowed Benjamin much time to mope.  Asher says he has made new friends, but he can't remember any of their names.
Asher upside down on our swing
They have swim two times a day at camp, and we are doing one private lesson each week with their assistant teacher from school, Miss Alex.  Asher is going gung ho with the swimming and practices dunking his head and blowing bubbles each time he's in the pool.  He has been wearing a little swim vest that gives him just enough buoyancy to swim on his own, and he now loves swimming all around the "big" pool (the main pool at my aunt and uncle's; not the hot tub which is the "little" pool).  Benjamin has been more cautious, but is now wearing a vest both at home and at camp to allow himself to float without anyone holding on to him.  It is my goal to have them both swimming independently by the end of the summer, but we'll see.
Photo by Asher: Benjamin with construction spoon
Benjamin on the swing
Benjamin double-spooning cake and ice cream
We went to DC the day before camp started for my grandpa Sy's memorial.  All 3 kids got impatient and were monkeying around on the coffee table in the room where the memorial was held.  Fortunately they were still quiet, but it clearly wasn't their thing.  I did like having them meet some of the family they've never met before.

We went to the aquarium, the zoo, and the Please Touch Museum on weekends and weekdays before camp started.  We've seen many friends and socialized at our house, at the pool, and around town.  We seem to be in a good stage right now.  The boys are verbal, somewhat reasonable, and good company.

I love these boys- even at their worst they are sweet and funny.  They wake up early due to the early sunrise and often play together in their room, or take an iPad and watch something until it is time to get up.  The other morning, Asher came in to complain that Benjamin was calling him a "nonsense guy."  A few minutes later, Benjamin came in to complain that Asher said he was "disgusting."  If those are the worst insults my guys know, it is evidence I have really reigned in my former potty mouth!

I certainly had more in mind when I started this post (2 weeks ago), but procrastination and fatigue have left my mind blank.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

4 years, 11 months, 13 days

That is how long my body has been used in the service of someone(s) else.  I started my IVF on July 16, 2009, and went from pregnancy to breastfeeding to pregnant to breastfeeding.  And now, it might be mine again.  Charlotte seems to be finished with breastfeeding- she asks to nurse, but then won't really latch on.  Instead she pulls off and says, "Yuck!"  I am fine with us being done- 18 months is plenty of time for both of us.

Last night, instead of nursing, we sat in her chair and read "Goodnight Moon" together.  I think she likes it because of the kittens, so we are constantly flipping back and forth to find more pictures with the kittens.  But she likes it.  Then we had a hug, a kiss, and into bed with her kitty cats.  I thought I would feel sad, but I felt good- that we can replace that special time with something else special, that we'll always have our little moments together.

There are things I'm looking forward to doing if I'm not nursing, like maybe Botox (that's not a joke), and face creams with salicylic acid.  And one day, maybe a breast lift.  All vain and self-centered, and easily put on hold while I focus on more important things.  But with no more nursing and no more pregnancy, my body will be all mine again- hard to imagine.

Here are some pictures of Charlotte from the past week:

"wearing" Mr. Potato Head's glasses

climbing on the table to eat her brother's ice cream

Wearing her new apron

Taking selfies with mommy