Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Nathan got so many awesome gifts this year for Christmas. Adorable outfits, great books and a Magna Doodle he hasn't put down since it came out of the box. Most importantly, he didn't get one single gift that makes noise or requires batteries!! (Thanks for reading Mama and Dada's letter, Santa!!)

But the best gift might just be the smallest one. Stuck inside Nathan's stocking was a new ornament, that just so happened to look exactly like him! My sister's talented friend makes these. All you do is send her a photo of your loved one and she makes you a unique, one of a kind ornament you can treasure forever.

Our tree looked pretty good already, but with this little guy hanging on it now, it's even better.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The other day while I was changing Nathan's "messy" diaper, he managed to reach into the diaper bag, grab a banana, peel it and start eating it.

Brings whole new meaning to the expression "In one end, out the other".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy Brain

After nearly 10 years of walking everywhere in the city (Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor gloom of night"), it's not only nice to have a car again but having an underground attached garage to park it in?? That's just icing on the cake.

But between watching Nathan all day, freelancing on the weekends, going to school and doing homework at night, and trying to finish my Christmas shopping somewhere in between... I have had a major case of Mommy Brain. I can't believe how many times I have gathered my stuff, sometimes a diaper bag, a purse, a duffel bag AND a baby.... all the way down to the garage to remember that I actually parked out on the street. Tonight when I got home from class, there was a spot right at my front door which is technically closer to my apt then my garage spot, so I grabbed it. But I know tomorrow morning when Nathan and I are rushing out the door, I will automatically head for the garage.

Enter: Mommy Brain Post It Notes. This is my life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Help a brother out

One of our daily struggles is getting Nathan to brush his teeth. I sometimes wonder which is more damaging:  letting him go without, or pinning him to the ground while he screams and I brush.

We needed a new plan. Nathan loves to do anything we do - brush his hair, put on his shoes, apply deodorant :) So when he sees us brush our teeth, naturally, he wants to brush his too. So every morning and and every night, either Will or I, get our own toothbrush and start brushing. The second we hand Nathan his brush, he starts brushing his. Of course, he tends to just suck off all the toothpaste and not focus so much on the brushing but my genius husband has come up with new approach that works like a charm. "You brush mine and I'll brush yours."

As long as we let him brush our teeth, he happily opens up and lets us brush away, assuring his pearly whites get nice and clean. This has made life so much easier and I can't help but laugh every time I walk in on my favorite two men brushing each other's teeth - gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nathan's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My poor little munchkin had a rough day this week. We had to take him to the dentist for a cleaning which involved lying him down on my legs with his head in the dentist's lap. I then had to hold his arms down and Will had to hold his legs so he wouldn't kick or hit the dentist while he was thrashing with every ounce of strength his 24 pound body had in it.  As if that wasn't traumatizing enough, the doctor then inserted a Silence of the Lambs looking clamp into his mouth so he couldn't shut it, allowing her to reach all this teeth and thoroughly clean them. I think I cried more than he did. His eyes were the size of dinner plates and the whole time he was looking at me, it was like I could read his mind and his mind was saying "Why are you letting her do this to me???" In reality, this probably lasted about 5 minutes but it felt like an eternity. Once we were finished there, he got a balloon and all was well again.

Until we took him down the hall to had blood taken. We recently gave him peanut butter for the first time and he broke out into a rash so our pediatrician advised us to have a blood test done to confirm an allergy. Again, I had to hold him with his arms pinned down and his feet tucked between my legs. The doctor couldn't find a vein and I had to watch her dig around inside his tiny little spaghetti arm and eventually switch to the second arm. This time he had his back to me so I couldn't see his face, I don't know if that was better or worse. When they were done and had put a band-aid on both arms I let him down onto the floor and I've never seen anyone run faster than he ran, right out of the office and into the waiting room.

Having survived two terrifying experiences we decided to treat him to a popsicle so we stopped at a deli, got a him a frozen banana pop and headed over to a bench across the street from Lincoln Center. About 5 licks in, he dropped it on the ground. The poor kid.... he just couldn't catch a break that day.

Picking up the car and heading home after an exhausting (physically and mentally) afternoon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Nathan's been counting up a storm the past few days. He can count from 1-10 in English and Chinese! We've been trying to get it on video and partially succeeded. Here's a shot of his English version, still trying to get his Mandarin on video.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Double trouble

For a long time after Nathan was born, I really believed he would be an only child. I just didn't think I could handle more than one child. As time went by, and Nathan got older, I found my way back to my old mentality, of wanting 2 or 3 kids. We would love, someday, for Nathan to have siblings. Today, I watched my friend's daughter and for almost 7 hours, I got a sneak peek at what it's like to have more than one child. In a word... it's EXHAUSTING!!!

For the most part, it was fine. The kids entertained each other, often leaving me more free time than when I'm alone with Nathan. But there were moments when both kids were crying, both kids wanted to be held, both kids wanted to be fed, and the most overwhelming moment, when I took them outside to get some fresh air and both kids immediately ran in two complete different directions.

And when it was time to head home, and one child kept wandering toward the street, and the other kept stopping to touch every single leaf on the sidewalk, I scooped them both up and carried them back. Carrying Nathan on my hip is tiring at times. Carrying him on one hip, and another kid on the other hip... good god!

We all survived and while it certainly felt much calmer at the end of our babysitting duties, it also felt very quiet. I grew up in a house with 4 kids so there was always something going on and always someone to play with. Our house was always full of laughing, crying, playing, and screaming. I want that same craziness for Nathan...someday. Until them, I will savor my free arm and especially, my free hip!

Some of the ways we kept busy were:

Looking for ducks in the stream

Throwing leaves down the sewer grate, which is probably frowned upon

Pretending we were on Little House on the Prairie

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Identity Crisis

Most days, I am Mama and I carry a diaper bag.
On rare occasions, I get to be Karen and carry a purse.

Two nights a week, I am in class and on those nights, people talk to me about things other than Nathan. (As much as I love him, I love other things too!) I get to talk about books, current events, TV shows.... anything!
So I very much look forward to those two nights.

My classes don't begin until 7:00 and they last more than 2 hours so it goes without saying I need a coffee to get through them. So last night, on my way to class, I stopped into the Dunkin Donuts on campus and waited patiently in line. Very much looking forward to my Skim Cappuccino, I reached down into my purse and found... nothing. It was at that moment I realized my wallet wasn't in my purse. It was at home, inside my diaper bag.

Looks like Mama wasn't letting Karen have any caffeine that night.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Nathan's newest word is Please. Of course, it sounds more like Peas when he says it. We work very hard to teach our boy manners. He often says Thank You unprompted and there's a 50% chance he'll say Bless You if he hears someone sneeze.

There's nothing cuter than a toddler being polite but my little munchkin is definitely using this newest word to his advantage. The other day we found him climbing up onto the ottoman and jumping head first onto the couch. When we told him to stop doing it, and moved the ottoman further away, he grabbed my hand, pulled me towards it, threw his head back and shouted PEAS!!!! When it comes to his safety, I won't give in, but if he utters that adorable phrase next time he wants a cookie, I may just find myself caving in. Can you blame me??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I really, really wanted to make Nathan a homemade costume this year, like any "good mom" would. But this good mom barely has enough time to do laundry and cook dinner so sewing just wasn't happening. Instead I bought a costume (a dog costume, but whatever) and made some minor adjustments. The finished product looked liked this:

Pacifier required due to immediate meltdown upon putting costume on.

My thought was that we could do a fun, family costume. Nathan would be a hot dog of course, since anytime someone asks us why we chose the name Nathan, Will replies with "We really like the hot dogs." And Mama and Dada could be Ketchup and Mustard.... cute, right?? Nathan was not having it.

He wore it to our playdate on Thursday and then I ran to Target that same night and searched frantically through the desolate racks. Luckily I found an adorable replacement....

We took him to the town center Friday afternoon where they had blocked off Main Street and all the local businesses were giving out candy. When it came time to put on the Superman costume he loved it. What he did not love were all the other costumes.... in fact he was terrified of them!

Then Monday, when actual Halloween day finally rolled around and it was time to go to to another party, Nathan's reaction to the Superman costume (that he absolutely loved just 48 hours ago) was tears, kicking, screaming, and outright refusal to put it on. Nothing a few minutes of Sesame Street and a banana couldn't fix though. As soon as he was calm, I casually started putting his costume on as if this were a perfectly ordinary thing to do. He didn't seem to notice. So we managed to have a Happy Halloween and Nathan got to go trick or treating and even hand out some candy at Nana and Papa's. Luckily he doesn't understand the concept of candy and Mama got to eat a few of his pieces too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm officially a Mom

Last night I stayed up past midnight working on a Halloween costume.

Torn between the ideal of making him a homemade costume and the reality of having no time whatsoever to do that, Nathan will be wearing a store bought costume with some homemade revisions. He already wore it today to a Halloween playdate we hosted, although he managed to rip it off within 5 minutes. Looks like I'll be up again tonight making some more "secure" alterations.

We're taking him downtown tomorrow where all the local businesses will hand out candy and again on Monday when our apartment complex hosts a Halloween parade. And who knows, maybe I'll have him wear it to family dinner on Sunday so all his aunts and uncles can see him dressed up too. He's not going to be very happy with me, I'm sure once he managed to get out of it today he thought he was done with it. Silly Nathan, don't you know Halloween is when parents torture their kids by stuffing them into adorable, but usually uncomfortable, costumes??

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekend recap

Our weekend was full of a few of my favorite things:

Road trip
Old friends
Sleeping in
Chai tea lattes
Thin crust pizza
Pumpkin beer
Soup dumplings
Madison square park
Fall foliage
Mommy friends
Hell's Kitchen
Pregnant friends
College friends
Old roommates
Walking 80 blocks
Magnolia cupcakes
A trip to Target
High school friends
Nathan laughing
Pinot grigio
9th avenue

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall fun

The weather is cool and the leaves are's my favorite time of year, Fall! We kicked off the season with a Pumpkin festival on Saturday and apple picking on Sunday. We had so much fun with friends and family and are looking forward to more fun in the next few weeks with Halloween and Thanksgiving on the way!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mr Potato Head

We got Nathan a Mr. Potato Head recently and he loves him!!

He loves his teeth.

He loves his mustache.

And he even loves his tongue.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lessons learned

As a mother, I have learned a lot of wonderful lessons from my child. I have learned that a heart can double in size.  I have learned how to find joy in simple things. I have learned to slow down and enjoy the moment.

But I have also learned a few not so wonderful things....

  • What it feels like to be truly sleep deprived. Nothing can ever prepare someone for having a baby who wants to nurse every 2 hours, around the clock, 24 hours a day, for 6 months!!

  • That I will never ever be on time again. (And this is a hard pill for me to swallow since I HATE being late for things) Getting out the door in the morning typically consists of the following routine: 

Get myself dressed.
Change Nathan's diaper and get him dressed.
Try to put his shoes on... beg him to let me put his shoes on... let him try to put them on himself then plop him down into my lap and put them on as fast as I can before he protests.
Feed Nathan breakfast.
Try to eat a few bites myself.
Change Nathan's diaper again.
Brush my teeth.
Brush Nathan's teeth.
Glance in the mirror and quickly attempt to do something with my hair and put on a little makeup so I don't look so exhausted.
Make sure the diaper back is packed with diapers and wipes.
Pack a snack and sippy cup for Nathan
Look for keys that Nathan was playing with 5 minutes ago.
Make sure I have a sweatshirt for Nathan in case it's cold out.
Pry my cell phone out of his hands and hope he didn't prank call anyone.
Gather purse, diaper bag, stroller, and Nathan and head for the door.
Turn back because Nathan needs his diaper changed again!

  • I like things to be clean and organized, and in their place. I HATE CLUTTER. Since having a child I have unfortunately learned that more often than not, each and every day, my home will look like a tornado just blew through.

    • I have learned that if a child can reach it, a child can break it. All of our pretty little chachkies (souvenirs from Africa, framed photos, vases, etc) have either been moved to the highest shelf of the bookcases or packed away.
    • That every single electronic device (cell phone, remote control, computer, etc) will become a toy. And that we will hide these things from our children and then not be able to remember where we hid them.
    • I have learned that children's shoes, which are worn for 2-3 months on average before they are outgrown are ridiculously expensive.....but they are SO CUTE!!!!

    The biggest lesson Nathan has taught me though is that even if he has been cranky all day or screaming just for fun or refusing to eat the grapes I just cut in half for him or spitting out the dinner I just cooked for him.... he can melt my heart into a pile of mush with as little as a laugh or smile and all is immediately forgiven. And even though my house is messy and I have bags under my eyes and I never have any time to myself, I wouldn't give up this crazy chaos for a million billion dollars!!!

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Mixed Messages

    Everyday we, as parents, try to teach our children valuable life lessons.

    Eat your vegetables.
    It's not ok to hit.
    Brush your teeth.

    Right now in our home, the lesson we're focusing on is sharing. Nathan has suddenly become very territorial which has lead to many awkward encounters with other kids at the playground, at the library, or on a playdate. God forbid another child comes within a 6 inch radius of a toy he's playing with and all hell breaks loose! Will and I have been telling him over and over "You need to share with your friends.", "Let someone else have a turn", "Why don't you play with that together?", etc.

    Recently while playing with one of his best friends here in Boston, her mother and I noticed the kids kept offering one another their sippy cups. Our initial reaction was to be proud of them but instead of encouraging them and telling them how good they were sharing, we immediately started telling them "No, that's not yours."

    I guess the real lesson we should be teaching them is You can share toys but you can't share cups."

    Man, it must be confusing to be a toddler.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    No, we weren't robbed. Nathan just went through his daily ritual of emptying our computer desk drawers. I wish he could find what he's looking for so we could be done with this!

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Monkey see, monkey do

    One of Nathan's favorite toys right now is my hair dryer. He walks around with it, holding it to his head, moving it back and forth.

    He watches me put my makeup on in the morning and sometimes I catch him "applying" lipstick with a crayon.

    And the other day, I found him doing this.

    Are we spending too much time together???

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    The end of an era

    I am all about baby "firsts". I melted when Nathan gave me his first smile. I think I cried when I heard this first laugh. I eagerly anticipated his first tooth, his first word, and let's not forget the first time he slept through the night.... since for a while there I didn't know if the day would ever come!!!

    But sadly, this weekend we experienced a first I have been dreading.... his first haircut. There are no words to explain Nathan's hair. It's like one of the world's natural wonders, you just have to see it in person to fully appreciate it. But it eventually crossed a line and we knew something had to be done so we anxiously booked him an appointment on Saturday.

    Nathan did great. He alternated from playing with Elmo to swatting the stylist's hands away. He cried a little, but nothing too traumatizing. The stylist gave him a comb to play with and for the most part he happily styled Elmo's fur.  We didn't go for a drastic cut, we just wanted it cleaned up a little. I mean, how could we cut those curls away??? In the end, Will and I were very happy with it.

    We went from this:

    to this:

    I didn't know it was possible but somehow he's even more handsome now!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Growing up

    Our To Do list this weekend had one very important task on it - get Nathan a new pair of shoes. We drove out to the Stride Rite outlet and ended up with an adorable pair of navy and orange sneakers. As cute as they are, I couldn't help but feel a little sad when we tried them on. What happened to my baby who used to roll around on the floor in onesies and socks? Who is this boy, wearing jeans and sneakers??

    At almost a year and a half, I find myself referring to Nathan as my "toddler" more and more often. But deep inside, I miss my baby. I miss the toothless smiles. And the bonding time we shared when I nursed and bottle fed him all his meals. I miss having a sleeping baby lying across my chest. And anytime I see a mom walking down the street with a tiny baby, feet dangling, in a carrier, I am overcome with nostalgia.

    Of course, now that he's a toddler, he's SO much more fun and interactive. We knock down towers of blocks and he laughs and yells "Oh no!!!". We sing songs and read books together. He can tell me what he wants, (in a language probably only Will and I understand but that's good enough for now).

    But I do miss having a tiny little baby. Before we left the outlets I stopped in at Carter's and found an adorable cardigan on their clearance rack. The size was 24 months.... the last Baby size before entering the Toddler sizes. It's grey with brown edging and a sweet little brown bear at the chest. I scooped it up knowing it might be one of the last "baby" items of clothes I'll buy for him. You can only pull off a teddy bear sweater for so long...