Monday, June 28, 2010

The Heat is On!

We may be the only house in the greater Philadelphia area without air conditioning.
Things have been bearable thus far this summer, mainly because we have awesome, kick ass ceiling fans.
That is until last night.
How hot was it?
So hot that Bry and I slept in separate rooms, so that we didn't have to touch.
It was so hot that Mo thought it was time to wake up for the day at... 4:50 am.
Apparently to a two year old, the pink rising skyline is code for day to begin. We kept her curtains open to hopefully let in a little breeze if any. In doing that the morning sunrise woke her up for the day. She called out "MOMMMMMEEEEE!", to which I walked, okay stammered into her room, told her in the nicest voice, "it's still sleepy time" and fell back onto the air mattress. Not five minutes later, I hear Bry, "Jac, Mo's wide awake and I think Maeve's up too".
Sure enough, I look at the clock, 5:14 am and everyone is awake. I hesitate to write "wide awake" seeing that both Bry and I were basically zombies.
As I nurse Maeve, Bry heads downstairs with the surprisingly chipper Mo to start her day. In this early morning haze, I realize that since Mo is up, unfortunately, I too am up. CRAP!
I guess the heat was too much for Mo.
Maeve, however, nursed and was back asleep in less then 45 minutes and then slept until after 8:30.
I too should have been still asleep.

Instead I stammered down the stairs and sent Bry back to bed for a few more minutes of shut eye. Mo danced in front of me asking for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse...which doesn't start until 7, not 5:45!
Thank God for On Demand, because I'll admit it, the t.v. served as babysitter while I took a 20 minute nap during an episode of Max & Ruby and then another 15 minute nap during Ni-Hao Kai Lan.
I think it was 7:30 when Bry came back down.
He too had succumbed to the heat and was up for the day. We then decided that we (Mo, Maeve, and I) would be heading to my parents house for a sleepover and so this is where I write.
Now, Bry suffers alone tonight in our sweat house, while I type away in the basement, listening to the Phillies post-game show in air conditioning! Thanks, Mom & Dad.
It's only June, so I think there may be a few more sleepovers for the girls and I at Gram & Pop's house before fall starts on September 22!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sometimes, being a grown up sucks!

Bryan's grandmother passed away early this morning and so now, we wait.
We got a call yesterday that his grandfather couldn't wake her up in the morning. They moved her to the hospital where she never regained consciousness. In essence, she fell asleep and was gone.
Sometimes, I believe in divine intervention.
This past Saturday, we were invited to a first birthday for Bry's cousin's son. The girls were a little under the weather and the forecast was for extreme heat. Bry didn't want to go, but for some reason I pushed for us to go. We sat with the girls, his grandparents, a few cousins, aunts, and uncles for a while. Mo and Maeve got to see their great grandmom one last time. She was happy and smiling and making jokes about melting in the heat.
So, now we have to get ready to say goodbye. I am unsure how much Mo will ever really remember if anything about Great Grandmom Mc, but at least I have these great photos from February.

Our girls now have one more guardian angel watching over them.
God Bless you great grandmom!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our own harshest critic

I have spent a bunch of time discussing (or maybe whining about) my own current status as a full time stay at home mama.
I apologize.
It seems like the transition to full time caregiver is hard on lots of people. My friend Tricia's hubby Jay is going through his own catharsis of sorts as he has become as stay at home dad by accident after becoming unemployed. He's writing about it on his blog and what he has said really has made me think about our own relationship and role as parents.

Today is Father's Day, and guess what, Bry made US breakfast?
That's not a typo. Bry spent his Father's day morning in the kitchen making pancakes from scratch and heating up pork roll. Where was I? Well, first I was sleeping in a little later (as I had another migraine yesterday and that coupled with Maeve nursing at 4, wiped me out!) and then I was feeding Maeve, a task Bry can't do until she's on the cup.
I remember thinking before Mo, that my relationship with Bry would not change too much with the addition of a kid. I mean, really? The baby would hopefully have the best parts of me & him, so really how much could it change us?
I underestimated the time and energy required to be a full time stay at home mom and while our relationship was different it changed as we no longer could just go. Every decision took into account three lives versus just the two of us.
That underestimation repeated itself full-on this past January when Maeve was born.
Our time as a couple is all but non-existent. It's getting better as both girls are now down for the night by 9, but half those nights I'm toast. Thank God for our front porch where we have spent a few nights drinking wine and talking. I missed those conversations.
Bry is working long hours so his time with the girls is limited. There are moments that I am jealous of him as he walks out in the morning, in his dress clothes, off to converse with adults and pee with the door shut.
But I know, these hours make him feel like a sucky father. He is not a workhorse by choice, more by necessity. There are some people that define themselves by the career they choose and Bryan, however, is not one of these people.
Family comes first with Bry, and to be honest I am forever grateful. I know he will (and has) given up opportunities to work in higher paying, more prestigious positions, which would have required more time at the office and he did this because he likes to be with us.
If you ask him, regardless of this he still describes himself as a sucky dad. I would say that "sucky" is probably the furthest choice of adjectives I would choose to describe him.
We are, however, our own harshest critics.
He doesn't really see how Mo's eyes light up when he pulls in the driveway before dinner while she yells "DAD, DAD, DAD". I think he's forgetting how much Maeve smiles when her daddy holds her. I think he just thinks about the moments he misses while slaving away at his job. I know he doesn't realize how much I truly appreciate every meal he picks up so that I don't have to worry about cooking, or that he takes Mo up every night for her bedtime routine. It's those swim classes with Mo and trips to the bagel shop after and the silly goofy faces he makes to get Maeve to giggle that are defining himself as a good dad.
I am so thankful he works at a job that he doesn't really care for, so that I can stay here full time. I am lucky to have a husband who still tells me I'm beautiful in a spit-up covered t-shirt and my hair thrown up into a ponytail.

He's critical of what he doesn't get done, whereas I am so thankful for all that he does do for Maeve, Mo, and I. He often says he doesn't do nearly enough but honestly, without him I would be a complete and utter failure as a mother. I don't think he knows how very lost I would be without him.

So this Father's Day, I thank you Bry- as my husband, as my children's father, and as my best friend.
You are still my favorite!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How we define ourselves

Yesterday I was talking to my 7 year old neighbor about school. As the school year comes to a close, I can't help but ask her a plethora of questions. How did you like first grade? Did you have a fun year? Did you like your teacher? Are you excited to be a second grader. In the midst of these questions, she caught me off guard. She asked, "Aren't you glad school is over too?"
Of course, I was a bit confused. Why would I have an opinion on the end of the school year for myself. I was happy for her and all the other kids on the block that summer vacation was just around the corner and I sympathized with the teachers who were dealing with all the end of the year b.s. that needs to be finished. But myself, was "I" glad the school year was over?
I said, "well, yes I guess." to which she responded, "Are you sad to leave your class?"
I got it then. She knew I HAD been a first grade teacher, and assumed I was still doing it.
I quickly clarified, "Well, J I haven't been a teacher this year or last year. I have been home with Mo & Maeve."
She says, "So, you'll go back next year?"
Me: "Uh, no. I resigned."
J:"Well what does that mean?"
I go through some eloquent explanation where I tell J that I have decided to stop teaching to stay home with the girls. I explain how I loved what I did, but I want to be here for the girls now that they are little. I go on and on and apparently this definition fell on deaf ears because she responds.
"Oh, so you quit!"
I am taken aback. I didn't quit!
You quit soccer because your coach is sexist (Remember when I was 8 mom & dad), you quit piano because you hate practicing, you quit field hockey in high school because frankly you suck, but you don't quit a job you loved in exchange for becoming a stay at home mom.
Resigning isn't quitting.
Resigning gives you the opportunity to keep a relationship with many of the families and co-workers you have meant over 8 years. Resigning demonstrates integrity. Resigning is professional while quitting, well, it's not.
I think for a moment about this and then I realize to a 7 year old, there is no difference.
I quit teaching to stay at home.
It's all semantics anyway.
I never regretted quitting those times above, but on some days a bit of regret comes over me in terms of quitting, errr, resigning my teaching position.
Like any kid, within in minutes I know that this conversation had left J's brain, but I know for me it's going to remain one of those defining moments where I said it out loud that I chose spending time with my kids over my job.
I guess, now you can call me a quitter. I hope my kids thank me someday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Mo is so much fun!

Don't get me wrong. I completely am head over heels in love with Maeve

and think she is the most adorable thing next to her sister, but Mo, my God, she is a ball!
Getting to see the world from the perspective of a two year old is quite a fun time. No two days, wait, two minutes are the same and that goes for mood. She has gotten quite the attitude and even though she knows a plethora of words, "No" remains her favorite. She is also quite the demanding personality. Telling people exactly how she feels or what she wants. She'll tell my dad "Pop, SIT!" and down on the couch he'll go, or "Dad, Juice" and off to fill the cup Bry runs. Damn straight, people listen. I mean, how else do you respond to a two foot high dictator?
What makes me laugh the most, however is her expanding repertoire of phrases.

The Top Ten Phrases Mo makes on any given day

10. "OOOOH, Sis"
Hey Maeve! How are you? How was your sleep? Did you have a good night/ or nap?

9. "Max", "Jack", "Wiggs", or "Kai-lan"
Get the remote and put on Max and Ruby , Jack's Big Music Show, Wiggles, or Ni-Hao Kai-Lan ASAP.

8. "Oh Dear!"
Mo's version of F--K!

7. "Shoot, Score!"
Time to cheer on the Flyers. Hopefully they win as I can't handle the excitement.

6. "Bath...u-huh!"
Mom, did you see my nails? They are so dirty I need a freaking bath. Bathe me please!

5. "Pig Head"
It's time for you to sing mom. You know the song, Pig on the Head from Laurie Berkner. When I tell you to sing, I expect you to sing, and sing loud!

4. "Ice, red, Okay?"
I want some water ice. Preferably strawberry or cherry and I want it now. If I don't get the ice, there's no way I'll sit in the stroller and the walk you want to take mom will be in the toilet. So break out that $1.75 and get ready!

3. "Marsh"
Miss Marcia - music teacher extraordinaire and role model to one Mo!

2. "Ahh, Pops"
My favorite person besides myself. I love Pops and love to play with him, mainly because he acts just like a kid like me!

1. "BEANS!"
Give me Jelly Belly jellybeans and I will do anything...ANYTHING! I'll eat peas, I'll let my mom do my pigtails again, I'll come inside, I won't, however pee or poop on the potty. Even my beloved jellybeans won't motivate me to do that yet.

Even though there are moments where I feel like I want to toss her out the window, I am having such a fabulous time raising this really cool kid!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm not sure if I should write about this, but I will, since so much of life revolves around sleep or lack there of. Maeve slept from 9:30 last night until 6:15 this morning and then nursed and went back to sleep until just after 9 a.m.
Can you freaking believe it?
I kind of feel like I may be jinxing it by writing,(First rule of sleeping through the night, there's no sleeping through the night) but honestly this kid keeps surprising me anyway, so I bet she'll be up at midnight tonight again anyway.
I think one of the reasons why she is sleeping better is because of my most recent sewing project.
No, I don't consider myself a seamstress and you won't be finding me making Christmas dresses or curtains or anything, but I can do a little hand sewing if necessary. Maeve still needs to be swaddled at night to sleep. If not she either attacks her face or startles herself awake. Either way, NOT GOOD!
We use this:
My mom thinks its looks like a torture device, but seriously, we would be lost without it. We do have a problem however, my kids are long but apparently they haven't taken after their parents in the width department. When I attempt to attach the Velcro closures to the swaddle me after I pull it as taut as possible, the Velcro cannot attach since it is pulled past the enclosure. If I attach it where I should, Maeve can easily break free.
The dilemma- how can I swaddle her tight and keep the Velcro attached?
The solution - I cut and re-attached the enclosure portion so that now I can pull it as tight and taut as I can.
As a result longer periods of sleep have been achieved!
It's a win win for everyone!