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Too Much Candy

October 31st, 2008


Kenny with his cousins, pre-tirck-or-treating.


Kenny politely asking his treater, “Does this have any nuts in it??”

Kenny had one of the most fun nights of his life at my sister’s church’s “Trunk or Treat” Halloween party.   Moon bounces and (somewhat unlimited) free candy.   What more does a three-year-old need??

Exceptions Prove the Rule!

October 28th, 2008

So after I wrote yesterday’s post, I put Cooper to bed at 8:30.   And he was up at 10, 1 and 6.   BUT, thanks to Crisanne, I put him down earlier for his first nap and he slept for nearly an hour and a half, thanks to the advice from __ about the waking after  30 minutes and leaving them alone!   Then I got two more 30 minute ones out of him, and he’s dozing on my shoulder as I write for a pre-bedtime snooze.   Just to prove that as soon as you figure them out, they change.

Keep the comments coming!   Both the advice and the commiseration are much appreciated.   I love reading about what other babies are doing.

Polls Aren’t Just for Politics

October 27th, 2008

Those long-time readers of this blog will remember Kenny’s baby nickname: No Nap Joe.   The kid slept through the night at 7 weeks, but never napped longer than 20 minutes (once or twice a day) from the time he was 8 weeks old until he was 14 months, at which time he settled into a “normal” nap schedule of a two-hour nap everyday after lunch.   (He has all but given up on those naps, but he is three, so I can let them go and instead revel in the wonders of “quiet time.”)

Ah.   But little brother Cooper is following in his brother’s footsteps, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through another sleepless-in-the-daytime baby.   Cooper isa little better, sometimes hitting 45 minutes of slumber here and there, but it’s usually 20 to 30 minutes and usually only in the front pack, the swing or occasionally the carseat (but only after he’s screamed mercilessly first – again, just like his big brother).   But try to put him in his bed for a nap,   and you’d think I just tried to change his diaper with a cold garden hose.

And just like Kenny, he’s great at night – he goes to bed at 8:30 (yes, I know that’s too early for an almost-4-month-old, but he’s so darn tired!) and wakes sometime between 3 and 5 for a feeding, then sleeps again until 7 or 7:30.   So he’s getting a  lot of nighttime sleep.   And I know at this age he needs an average of 14 hours a day, which he’s not quite getting.   So should I  be stressed?

It’s just that I’m so jealous of my other mommy friends with babies who take 2 two-hour naps a day!   Then I could play with Kenny!   I could blow dry my hair!   I could mop the floor!   I could fold the laundry…   (Casey actually just sat in front of tonight’s World Series game and folded four full loads while I wrote this post!)  

I’ve noticed that many of my readers have little babies at home… what kind of   schedule, (or lack of one) do you have your little one on?   Many of my friends here use Babywise, but I’m not a fan…. it’s worked for some and bombed for others.   I’m torn between just letting go of the fact that he may just be one of those babies, like Kenny, who doesn’t need as much sleep, and enforcing a more rigorous nap schedule – even employing a trial “cry it out” few days.   Let’s face it, I want him on a nap schedule for me, not necessarily because I think he’s sleep-deprived, although he does have times during the day when he’s painfully tired, just refuses to sleep.

I’m babbling.   I sound like the sleep-deprived one!   Ok, readers, let me know what works (or doesn’t!) for you!

Pumpkin Hunting

October 25th, 2008

In a desperately needed break from unpacking, we hit the pumpkin patch yesterday for some fun in the cold autumn sun!


I have received comments from many of you remarking on my seemingly un-fazed attitude over the move, then move back.   Lest I be too fake on this here true-life blog, let me assure you that I am more than a little frazzled by the recent turn of events.   We spent well over two weeks organizing and packing, and are now about to enter our second week of unpacking.   It has been stressful beyond compare; couple that with the wicked lactation hormones and you’ve got a mommy ready to crackle on your hands.   For the first time in years, chocolate is not making everything all better.

Seriously, though, it is what it is, and though it’s been a tough month, at least we are back among friends and loved ones.   And we don’t have to find a new dentist, or pediatrician, or vet, or chiropractor.   As Casey reminded me today, we are in this together, and we can beat ourselves up over how difficult it all is, or we can move on and have fun with it.

Let’s have some fun.


Real Housewives of… Are you kidding me??

October 24th, 2008

Today I found myself alone in the  house with Cooper, I turned on the TV while nursing to veg out a little.   I figured that I could afford a rare  mindless moment, so I tuned in, for the first time, to one of the “Real Housewives” episodes.   Incidentally, this season it’s the Real Housewives of Atlanta, so I was more than a little curious to watch.

Ok, what part of “real” or “housewife” are these people supposed to be??   Let’s see, they are Really rich, Really bored and Really witchy.   They live in houses, though they might be more accurately described as mega-mansions.   And they are, or at some time were, wives.   But while I’m wiping baby vomit from my shoulder for the third time time in thirty minutes they are waling out their personal assistant for bringing them the wrong pair of Pradas.   Dripping with five-carat diamonds and designer frocks and drinking champagne at lunch, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a little more “real” if instead they were eating peanut butter sandwiches in Gap t-shirts and trying to teach a three-year-old what to do when the bread gets stuck to the roof of their mouth.  

You want to see a real housewife?   Come to my house and watch me try to call a plumber on the phone at the same moment Kenny yells, “Momma, I have to poop,” Cooper spits up over my shoulder onto the floor and Dudley nearly knocks me over in his  excitement to lick it up.   Or when the FedEx guy comes down the walk while I’m breastfeeding and I have to jump up, strap myself back in, bounce a screeching and very angry baby as I unlock the door, hook a leg around Dudley to keep him from making out with Mr. FedEx, and keep one finger in Kenny’s shirt collar to stop him from taking advantage of the open door as an opportunity to go out and ride his tricycle.   Did I mention that they made me sign for the package, too?   You want “real housewives?”   Watch me walk down the stairs with a load of laundry and a wiggling baby and a three-year-old stepping on the back of my heels.   Check out my respectable diamond engagement ring, a would-be sparkler, if not for the film of Desitin that I keep forgetting to scrub off.   Oh, and don’t forget those moments when I actually lock myself in the bathroom so that I can pee without having to answer 20 questions from Kenny about why he can’t have Doritos for breakfast.   All this and you can watch me make dinner, too.

Kristjana & Kristjana

October 21st, 2008


Me and Grandma Kay on her 90th birthday.  

(Thanks to my sister for finding and scanning the picture!)

Update, Part 2

October 20th, 2008

The moving van arrived last  Thursday night.   And we were so grateful, we handed the driver a wad of cash and asked him to please turn his semi around and head on back to Maryland.

Yes.   I am writing tonight’s post from our living room in Maryland.   We arrived home on Sunday morning at 1:30am, this time driving both cars and more than a little disoriented.     We had moved to Georgia for Casey to begin not only a new job, but a whole new career,  but by the close of our week there, we just, well… changed our minds.  

Though I was only gone for 8 days, it feels surreal to walk through this house, now empty, but for the furniture.   The rest of our lives is in boxes (mostly unlabeled!) in the garage,   to be slowly unpacked and sorted through.   Let’s just think of our week in Georgia as a really expensive, oddly emotional vacation.

So much has happened in the last few days, it would take hours to recount it all.   I drove Casey’s car with Cooper, and Casey drove the SUV with Kenny, Dudley and the stuff we didn’t put in the moving van.   We left Friday and drove only to my grandparent’s house in South Carolina… in a stroke of irony, we experienced the Atlanta traffic everyone warned us about: it took us an hour and a half to go the first 30 miles out of town.  

We had a great time with my mom’s parents, even getting to see my Aunt and Uncle, and my cousin and her daughter, who is four months older than Kenny.   We left their house after lunch and drove straight through to our house here.   We had to stop four times to nurse Cooper, and I calculated that in the cumulative 10 and a half  hours of our travel time, Coop screamed for about 4 of them.   Thank goodness Kenny was spared!   I just cranked up the Broadway channel on the satellite radio and had my own little show as I rolled down the highway.

So now I am sitting here, me the girl who hates clutter and abhors disorganization, in a veritable puddle of shredded packing supplies and  discombobulated knickknacks, eating ice cream off a paper plate and wondering how long it’s going to take us to find the baby bathtub  or a can opener.   I took most of Cooper’s morning naptime frantically searching for the sheets to Kenny’s bed so that he could sleep in it tonight.   And Casey spent the entire afternoon unpacking our clothes, which were none-too-gently smashed into several garment boxes, dumping them into the closet and slowly sorting, folding and hanging.

On a fun note, I spent the day arranging Kenny’s room to now be a shared room for him and Cooper (Cooper has been in a bassinet by our bed until now), setting up Cooper’s crib (thank you Casey!) and buying a new crib set to go with Kenny’s current color scheme.   And it is convenient, though terribly un-ecological, to use plastic forks, paper plates and ready-to-heat food.   I suppose we’ll find the dishware and frying pans at some point.

Casey is happy to have realized the vocation he is meant to pursue.   Kenny is happy to be home.  Cooper is happy as long as he gets his milk.   And Dudley is thrilled to have his herons to talk to once again.   Me?   I’m ready for bed, and secretly hoping that we don’t find  the vacuum anytime soon.


October 15th, 2008

So here we are in Georgia.   And our moving van, along with all our worldly belongings, is no where to be found.   Last we heard, it may even still be in Maryland.   I think the moving crew was more than a little ticked off that we didn’t feed them much while they were packing.   But seriously, I am hoping that we aren’t soon to be part of a Dateline exclusive on moving company fraud.

So here we are in Georgia, and here I am in Starbucks with Casey’s laptop (as the home computer is on said moving van), and I am already broaching past the hour I promised to be home within.

All is not awful, inspite of missing our things.   We have been treating life like a vacation, living out of our suitcases as we are.   We checked out the Atlanta Zoo on Saturday, have been out to eat nearly every night, and have been exploring the local parks and shopping centers.   So we’re having fun, but it sure is hard to feel settled.

On a more somber note, I lost my dear Grandma Kay two nights ago.   She was my namesake, Kristjana, and turned 96 in June.   A native of Iceland, she was without a doubt, the most joyful woman I ever met.   She was a mom to three boys, three grandkids, and four great-grands, and an urban working girl in downtown San Francisco long past her retirement age.   She was loved by all who met her, an infectious personality, sweet and always ladylike.   In fact, she never wore a pair of pants until recently, and then under great restraint.   She once did a day’s secretarial work for Ty Cobb,  but refused payment, stating that it was her honor to work for him.   He eventually repaid her with a very chic powder set from an expensive department store.   Sweet Grandma Kay never even took it out of the box, claiming that it was too expensive to use.   She used to call our house every Sunday after church, announcing herself, “This is Grandma Kay, from San Francisco!”   I never saw her get angry, though she was not shy about sharing her righteous indignation over a lack of manners or an injustice.   She buried two husbands and a son in her 96 years, and outlived most of her friends.   My Dad will be hosting a party to celebrate her life in her downtown townhouse, 7 blocks from the ocean and 3 blocks from the San Francisco Zoo, where she lived for as long as I can remember, and then even before that.   Kenny and I went to visit her when he was 7 months old, and when I put him down for a nap after lunch, she said, “I believe that it would be wise if we all laid down for a nap, don’t you think?”   And when the clock in her dining room announced that it was five o’clock, she would be the first to offer cocktails, or perhaps a Sprite “with a kick.”   I visited her right around her 90th birthday, and together her and I walked up to the cross on Mount Davidson, which you can see from her kitchen window.   I have to admit, I really thought she might outlive me, she was that zesty.

I will miss you, Grandma Kay!


October 7th, 2008

The movers come tomorrow morning.   So much still to do!  


Kenny is antsy.   I think he’ll be relieved when we actually have a normal day sometime in the (hopefully very near) future.   I got his room packed today – my dad came over for a few hours to play with Cooper and Kenny went with Casey to run errands, so I finally got in there and got organized.   The sweet little guy didn’t even try to unpack anything when he got home.   He kind-of understands that he’ll see all his toys again in a few days.   And we did keep a little bag of books and favorite toys out to have over the next few days before we fly out, and then until we can unpack his boxes.


Cooper is handling everything pretty well.   Aside from two days of non-stop nursing (my stress? his growth spurt?) he is hanging in there, considering that Mommy has had no sleep and is consuming slightly more caffeine that the recommended daily allowance for a nursing mother.


Dudley is a little nervous, but I think he knows that whatever is going on, we’re in it together, as he supervised the packing of his extra dog bowls and fetch paraphenalia.


Casey is a bundle of excited energy, a little frazzled with the latest market news in the midst of trying to buy and sell housing, but he’s like a machine tonight, getting the last bits organized and ready for the movers.


Me?   Hm.   Excited, nervous, tired, ok actually totally wiped out,  sleepless and jittery, but pretty darn jazzed, too.  

Chilly Morning

October 3rd, 2008



Who looks too cute in hats?

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