(not just a) MommyBlog (dot com)


March 31st, 2009


I have been sitting at the computer for over an hour now, and I have managed to download a hundred pictures, make a shutterfly book for my grandma’s birthday and add some shots to my facebook page.   Now, with my face sliding off my skull in fatigue, I wonder if just posting a bunch of pictures from the weekend counts as doing a blog post.

Pictures are a tricky thing on blogs.   I know that the relatives love them, but I wonder if anyone else does.   I mean, technically a “mommyblog” is at once an online babybook, a journal, an advice column and free psychotherapy, right?   So uploading a bunch of pictures certainly fills the babybook genre.   But then I think about the blogs I read and I think that the posts I enjoy the most are the ones about something.   Honestly, I  sometimes skim over other people’s  pictures.   So there: I solved my own dilemma.   I should actually venture to write something worthwhile and save the excessive pictures for the grannies.

Then we get to the “something worthwhile” quandary.   When the clock ticks closer and closer to the midnight hour, it is very tempting to fall into a litany of “what we did today.”   This can be either entertaining, or just plain drivel, I think.   Then I wonder if I am entertaining.   Obviously, I need to stop this internal conversation and write a post, for goodness sakes!

But then, what  is left of  a mommy’s brain at the end of the day??   On the floor with the scattered Cheerios?   In the pile of mismatched socks by the dryer?   Already asleep?

Shoot,   I may be better off posting pictures.   Is it Wordless Wednesday, yet?  


Take two.

No, really.   We’ve had a whirlwind few days.   Friday night Casey and I celebrated our anniversary.   My sister and her family came to spend the night and babysit for us.   (Yay!   Thank you Kimmie!!)    Saturday morning we had piles of pancakes and bacon and Kenny was in heaven playing with his cousins.   After they left, we were unable to cope with the rainy day outside and drove into the city to the local children’s museum.   Along with every other family in a fifty mile radius!   It was a madhouse and we barely lasted two hours.   But the boys had a blast:




We returned home exhausted and settled in for a family movie night with Horton Hears a Who!   Great movie.   Kenny was a little lost at times because he has the book memorized and kept up a constant critique, pointing out all the moments that were not in the book and asking about parts of the book that were left out.  

Monday Kenny and I dropped Cooper off with a friend and went to the dentist to  have matching teeth fixed: a cavity for him and a cracked tooth for me.   We borrowed a portable DVD player and he watched a movie through the procedure.   It couldn’t have gone better.   Until we got home and his tongue stayed too numb to eat, but the novacaine around his tooth wore off and the pain began.   He was mid-sentence when he dropped to his knees and burst into tears.   I ran over to him and he sobbed, “My tooth hurts!!!”   I started crying with him, because darn-it if mine wasn’t throbbing, too, and then Cooper joined in the game, wailing alongside us in commiseration.


Today was non-stop.   We left the house at 8 and didn’t get home until 5.   We packed in Cooper’s nine-month check-up (he is just shy of 22 pounds!), watching  a friend’s baby for a few hours, Kenny’s gymnastic’s class, lunch at McDonald’s, then finished up at another friend’s house to coach their high school son for his upcoming forensics competition.   By the time we got home we were all so tired that we popped at pizza in the oven and Kenny said, “I don’t need a bath tonight.   I really want to go to bed.”   Amen, son.

The Big Five

March 26th, 2009

Tomorrow Casey and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary!   It seems like just yesterday, and a while lifetime, all at once.   Casey is the man of my dreams!!   (I love you, sweetie!)

 Here’ s a flashback, just for fun:


This was taken halfway through our honeymoon.   I can hardly believe how young we both look… I was just shy of 30 and Casey was the age I am now.   We went to Bali (Indonesia) and it was the trip of a lifetime.   At the end of it, we vowed to go back for our five-year anniversary, but now the thought of leaving Kenny and Cooper while we fly literally around the wold seems impossible.   Maybe for our tenth??


These are the times…

March 25th, 2009

… that try a Mama’s soul.  

Kenny.   Oh boy.   I love him and  yet  he is beginning a new era in driving me insane.   It seems that no matter how much time I spend with him – completely one on one, or in conjunction with Cooper (with Kenny of course being the center of attention and sweet Cooper just happy to be there), he demands more.   More as in, “Mama?   Why don’t you want to play with me??” with giant crocodile tears streaming down his cheeks.   (This after telling him to entertain himself for half a second while I’m trying to get Cooper down for a nap so I can play with him, darnit.)

Cooper is taking two consistent naps and I’ve been trying to use the morning one to get myself showered and then “do things” like laundry or cleaning, having  Kenny help me, then we play with whatever time is over.   This he actually enjoys.   He loves the feather duster.   The afternoon one I divide in two parts -the first half hour I make Kenny have him “quiet time” in my room so I can have  thirty minutes to decompress (read: eat cookie dough out of  the freezer and read emails)  and the rest I play with Kenny.   We read, do puzzles, bake cookies, even go out and swing on his swing-set with the monitor wedged in the window.   Then when Cooper’s awake, we mostly play what Kenny wants and try to include Cooper as much as possible, though often it seems that The Coop is stuck chewing on a block and watching the Leader of  the Pack.

Then there’s “The Gooch.”   That’s what Kenny shrieks as his digs his fingers into unsuspecting Cooper’s armpit.

A  week  ago Jess  wrote in mentioning that her two and a half year old was starting to rough-house with her baby to get attention.   She asked for some advice.    (Sorry for not responding before now, Jess!    And check out her blog – she’s got a killer play list to listen to while you write…   Anyone who’s got the Oakridge Boys and Annie  Lennox back to back is a friend of mine.)   I thought about  what to offer, but I’m stuck myself on this one.   Kenny is getting rougher and rougher with Cooper.   He’ll start to tickle him and intentionally know him over.   Today I left the two of   them in the living room for 18 seconds so that I could tinkle and came back to find then both off the rug and on the hard wood floor, Kenny pulling Cooper by the shirt sleeve and giving him a “ride” as he spun him around in circles.   Cooper loved it, yeah, but Hello!   Danger!   Stop it!

We’ve talked about being gentle, and I’ve even showed Kenny how it feels when someone twice your size tackles you.   He got the idea, but oh how quickly he forgets.   But it’s the attention hording that has me up in arms.   It puts me in such a bad mood I want to send Kenny to  someone else’s house  for the day.   The more I give him the more he demands.   And I’m sorry, I just can’t keep completely ignoring Cooper’s need for stimulation.   I need to be reading him little books and playing games with him without Kenny barging in and taking over every single playtime situation.   We’ve tried setting a timer (Cooper time for 15 minutes, Kenny time for 15) but that goes about as well as nothing.   I’m aching for the time with Coop that I had with Kenny at this age.

What can  I do?


March 22nd, 2009

And you wonder why I do not blog more often…




Running Backwards

March 19th, 2009

Some days I feel like I’m running ahead of the game: up early, laundry in, coffee made, run with Dudley, shower, matching clothes on body, reading to kids, making cookies, catching up on my own reading, actually stringing together an entire sentence to speak.   Other days, I’m running in place: kids fed and dressed and nobody cries (too much).  

Then there are the days when I feel like I’m running backwards.   The days of, “I never did get to that, did I?”   Days when you have to run the wash machine three times on the same load because you keep forgetting there are clothes in there and by the time you open the door, they smell icky.   Days when you remember at breakfast that you forgot to buy milk, forgot to buy diapers and forgot to feed the dog… or buy dog food.   Days when someone asks you gently, “Hey – have you read that book I gave you yet? I wanted to loan it to someone else…”   Days when there’s  that volunteer project coming up that everyone is jumping on, and you know that you have to commit to do something, most specifically because people are counting on you,  but all you want to do is pretend you never saw the email.   Days when you go to bed and start wondering, did I ever even hug my husband today?   Or pet the dog?   Or   brush my teeth??

I know that these days of being home all day with tiny kids is fleeting, but sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to get my act back together…

Cry Baby

March 18th, 2009

Cooper does not whimper.   He doesn’t sniffle.   When he’s sad, mad, hungry, hurt or bored, he WAILS.   As I write, he is screeching in his bed.   I put him down nearly an hour ago to sleep, and he is awake, for whatever reason.   Last night he did this from 7PM until nearly midnight.   He has gone through these phases a few times before,   but mostly when he was sick, so I’m not sure how legit this round is, as he seems healthy!   But this has been going on for a week now, and I have got to get it to stop.

I get so frustrated.   You figure that a Mommy Work Day is typically from about 6AM until about 7 or 8, right?    And there are  no breaks, unless all involved nap for some length of time at the exact same time.   So we’re talking about a 13 to 14 hour work day, right?   And once I put these rascals in bed, I expect them to stay there!   I need them to!   I have an endless list of things to do, and sometimes, for goodness sakes, I just want to collapse on the couch and vegetate!  

The worst of it is that Kenny and Cooper share a room, and though Kenny “sleeps” through a lot of Cooper’s shenanigans, I know that it must affect the quality of his sleep, no matter how quickly I get in there to scoop  up Cooper.   Tonight Kenny is asleep in my bed for the time being, but that’s happening too frequently, too, and that’s not good sleep, either.   For some reason, when Kenny’s in the bed, Dudley seems to think that it’s a slumber party, and he wedges himself right on in there, head on my pillow and everything, right down to the paws gently caressing my shoulder.  

What to do?   Allow the wails to continue as my heart is ripped out with each ragged breath?   Or go up and re-rock/snuggle/cuddle/sing/nurse every time he wakes up  until he gives in and sleeps for the rest of the night??

Looks like I’m going up there again.   I just can’t take it.     Help!

Ready, Set…

March 17th, 2009

… oops.   It looks like we need to re-baby proof the house.   Cooper is mobile!

Though he’s been “scooting” for a while now, The Crawl finally clicked and my little superman is now able to get wherever it is he wants to go.   Not very fast, mind you, but he can get there.

It happened (oh, Irony!) on Sunday afternoon when Kenny and I were on our date and Cooper and Casey had their first ever Daddy Day at home.   Figures, right?   At least Casey got those first moves on video!   Anyway, it really hit me on Monday when Kenny, Cooper and I were playing in their room.   I got up to go to the bathroom, and Kenny followed me in there a minute later to ask a question.   As we were turning back to the door to go back to their room, who should pop into the doorway but Cooper!   It seems that he decided to see where everybody went and followed us.   Time to dig up the baby gates and outlet covers again!

My little bumble is also turning into a champion eater.   He is a baby food connoisseur.   I’ve dabbled in making some homemade for him – which he definitely prefers – and his favorites are carrots, apples, plain yogurt and sweet potatoes.

He is also making his mind known in other areas.   For example, I can no longer read to Kenny while I nurse.   Cooper twists and turns and tries to sit up and see what I’m doing.   Gone, too, are the days of being able to plop him in the floor with a toy and do something engaging with Kenny (like a board game or a puzzle).   Coop wants to be in the center of it all, and he will sit right on top of whatever we’re trying to do and start shoving the pieces into his mouth.   Who new that CandyLand cards were edible?   Whether it is his way of trying to play, or his way of getting attention, it pretty much has determined that he is a Person.  

Nobody puts Baby in a corner, right??   ha ha…


Date Day

March 15th, 2009

If my original purpose for starting MommyBlog was to document my life with my boys – a sort-of virtual baby book, if you would – then today is one to recount in full, because I want to remember it!

Today after church, I took Kenny into downtown DC, to the Kennedy Center, to see the National Symphony Orchestra.   It was one of their “Concerts for Kids” and the theme was baseball.   What could be better for Kenny’s introduction to live classical music??   Kids were even encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey.   We arrived an hour early for what the NSO calls “The Petting Zoo.”   Scores of volunteers lined the walls of the lobby with instruments from the symphony for the kids to touch and play.   Rows and rows of good granny types sat behind long tables furiously sanitizing mouthpieces and reeds as young musicians showed the curious children how to play everything from a tuba to a tympani.   Kenny played the French horn, a sax, a tuba, a clarinet, a snare drum, a violin and a cello.   He was enthralled that he could actually make the instruments make sounds, and even declared to the bemused bassoonist that his instrument sounded just like a “hiney zoink.”   (That’s how we refer to passing gas around here.)

The concert itself was brilliant.   The orchestra played variations of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the National Anthem and a new arrangement of “Casey at the Bat” among others, but Kenny’s favorite was a premier arrangement of a concerto for Piccolo and Contra-Bassoon.   It was a three minute revel of hiney zoinks  and we giggled through the entire piece.   Thank goodness is was meant to be comical!   There was a guest appearance from a local Suzuki school and violinists from ages three to  nine performed, which absolutely amazed Kenny.   There were some funny spots – at one point in Casey at the Bat, during a moment of “suspenseful silence,” Kenny said quite loudly, “Is it over yet??”   There were chuckles all around, but everyone there had kids so it was all in good fun.  

After the concert ended, with cheers from Kenny and unfettered appreciation, I said, “Would you like to go out for dessert?”   He said, “Can we find a place with cake and ice cream?”   We drove around DC for a bit – I took him all over the campus of GWU, where I went to college, then we headed into the Dupont Circle area, where I lived my senior year.   We ended up at one of my favorite college haunts – Kramer Books & Afterwards – a chic, arty bookstore with a gourmet cafe and dessert bar inside.   Undaunted by the half hour wait for a table, we read books in the children’s section and then squeezed through the crowd of hip and fashionable late-Sunday-brunchers.   It’s a place where theater types and artists and writers will command tables for hours.   When I was in school, there was a $7 per person minimum to sit at a table – today it’s gone up to $12!   I squinted at our handsome server and said, “We only wanted dessert… is that ok?”   He looked at Kenny in his Oriole’s jersey, who was already diving into the complimentary muffins, and laughed, “Yeah, that’s ok.”   We ordered a piece of double chocolate cake with ice cream and a glass of milk for Kenny and coffee for me.  

While we waited for our order to come up, we hit the restrooms, which were up three flights of winding stairs above the towering bookshelves.   “This is fun, Mama!” Kenny chortled on the endless climb.   We did our business and headed down to our table.   Kenny’s milk glass was taller than he is and he dove in.   We chatted about the concert and our cake arrived.   It was enormous with at least a half pint of ice cream on top.   Kenny didn’t even look up as he shoved a giant spoonful into his mouth.   “Mama!   This is even better than the cakes we make!” he crowed.   We didn’t hold back as we chomped on the decadent tower before us.   About halfway into it, Kenny shouted, “Mama!   I have to POOP!”   Shocked glances all around from the crowed cafe, but I couldn’t stop laughing.   We caught the waiter and asked for a to-go box, then trundled back up the three flights of stairs to the bathroom.   Kenny sat there for an eternity, made all the more hilarious by the fact that everytime a nugget plopped, the automatic flusher went off, sending him into a fit of giggles even as he tried to finish.

We left Kramer Books and hopped through the pouring rainn back to our car and drove home, talking and laughing all the way.   We even got caught in traffic and it took us over an hour to get home, but the time flew by.   Casey and Cooper were happy to see us when we rolled in at dinner time, I know, and Kenny was eager to share all about his day with his beloved Daddy.   When I tucked him in tonight, he asked, “Mama?   How fun was your day?”   I said, “Kenny, it was the best day ever.   How fun was your day?”   He whispered, “It was my best day ever, too” and he covered my face with kisses.

The best day ever.

Wordless Wednesday

March 11th, 2009



March 10th, 2009

Or at least, crawling back into the  rhythym of daily life.

Before I start really writing, I have a question for my readers who have “mommy blogs” of their own: do you ever sit down to write – at the end of the day, at naptime, or whenever  – and think, “I just finally got a moment free from the little buggers, and now I’m supposed to think of something poignant/witty/meaningful to write about them??  Please.   Someone shake me a martini and give me another hobby!”   Sorry.   I don’t mean that.   But anytime I take time off from writing on this blog, it takes me a while to get back into the groove.

So what have I been doing these last two weeks?   We went to Florida last week.   Kenny, Cooper and I flew down (by ourselves) and met Casey at his parent’s house.   The flight couldn’t have gone better.   I’ve flown “alone” with them before, so I was well-prepared, but Kenny outdid himself with his maturity, charm and good nature.   We barely made our flight – in spite of arriving at the airport two hours early – due to a glitch in the airline’s computers, and I ended up having to run (full tilt) from security to the gate with Cooper in the hiking backpack (cackling wildly at the ride) and Kenny in the jogging stroller holding all our carry-ons in his lap and trying to get his shoes back on by himself.   Yee haw.

Made it we did, and had a really terrific time in sunny (if slightly uncharacteristically chilly) Florida.   I ran every morning, went on four dates with Casey and read a novel just for fun.   I played with my kids one-on-one, chased Kenny in the sand and didn’t have to stress over the everyday mundane chores of life at home.   Photo evidence of our joy:






Casey was only able to stay for half the trip, heading off to a convention in Vegas, so Kenny, Cooper and I ventured home to Maryland “alone”  on Friday.   It went nearly as well, and Casey walked in the door at home about two hours after we did.   The weekend here in Maryland was gorgeous – even warmer than Florida, and Casey and I were inspired to unpack some of the boxes that have been sitting in our garage since the move to Atlanta.   We got through six big ones, and then started on the books last night.      No more empty bookshelves.   It’s about time, right??

So what else is new?   Cooper is about to cut tooth number two.   Kenny daily refines his talent of debate and negotiation.   Casey is working hard at the new job and doing great.   Dudley is wondering what happened to the dog that come with our house-sitter to play with him for the week and moping a little at finding himself back at the bottom of the family totem pole.   Me?   I’m actually trying to listen to my weekly Bible study lesson for tomorrow (Beth Moore – she rocks!) while I write and catch up on emails.  

I’m also contemplating the conundrum of fashion in the life of a stay at home mom.   I really need some new clothes, but then wonder, why?   To get strained carrots all over?   To add ironing to my Things To Do?   And who exactly am I going to look mod for?   Well, Casey, duh, but Kenny and Cooper probably prefer me in my pajamas.   How many days a week do I go out and about to anywhere other than the grocery store or a friend’s house?   I can hardy justify a whole new wardrobe for my weekly trek to church, eh?     Then I start to think, “I need to get out more.”   Then I start to think, “So not worth messing up Cooper’s nap schedule.”   Waaa.



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