Saturday, April 30, 2011

It never goes away...

Recently I've had some friends lose family members. It's always sad when someone you love passes away, and we all deal with it differently... but one thing remains the same - while the grief and pain fade over time, it never really goes away. You never really stop missing the ones you lose, even years or decades later.

My Grandpa Vern passed away when I was a teenager. I still miss him. When he first passed I cried for days. Months afterward the pangs of grief were still fresh. Even now, many years after his passing, I still mourn the loss. He will never meet my children. He never saw me graduate. But I was able to say goodbye to him; I was able to make sure he knew how much I loved him.

On the other hand, I never got to say goodbye to my Uncle Lee. I was never able to let him know how much he meant to me... how much I loved him. I've talked a little about Lee before on the old blog and I can't remember if I've said much about him here. I don't have the time or energy to chronicle our long and complex history, but I will say this: he was as influential in my life as my parents were, and he died about a year and a half before Bryan and I got married.

So it's not like his passing is "new" but it still hurts. Some days more than others. The other day on my way to work, this song played on my iPod and I cried the whole way through. For those who don't wish to click on the link, it's Billy Joel's She's Always a Woman. It may seem like an odd song to remind one of your gay uncle, but Lee once told me that whenever he heard that song he thought of me. Which can be seen as both very complimentary and not quite so complimentary depending on how you interpret the song.

I like to think of it as a compliment. Mostly.

Regardless, the song is now forever linked in my mind with my Uncle. And when it played the other day the intensity of my grief shocked me. After all, it's been years.

The ache, the sadness, the pain - it fades. But it never disappears. After awhile, like the grief I still carry from my grandfather's passing, it becomes comforting. Which I admit sounds strange... but the memory of him, tinged with sadness, makes me both wistful and happy. Happy to have had the time I did, and happy to have loved someone so very much (and to be loved back) that even after all this time I still miss them. If he had never loved me or I had never loved him, then I wouldn't still find myself tearing up when I listen to certain songs or look at old pictures.

I'm very lucky even though right now, I'm also very sad.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Crush

DVD covers and cartoon characters aside, Penelope has recently developed her first real crush. A crush on an actual human being.

His name is Jared and he's one of my brother's best friends. I've known Jared for 7 years? 8? I have no idea. Suffice it to say it's been awhile. He and my brother are in a band together (Jared plays guitar, Nic plays drums) and he's a genuinely nice guy.

She used to be a tad afraid of him (for AGES she was wary of practically every male excepting Bryan, my Dad, and my brother) but she's gotten over that. Apparently the other day she was sitting on the couch next to him carrying on a conversation about a movie, or a picture, or something - as much as a 2 year old can converse with a guy in his mid 20s. She also didn't want to have anything to do with my Dad or my brother at that point, which is quite shocking and cemented the suspicion that she's got quite a crush on The Hammer (which is Bryan's nickname for Jared).

I really like Jared and I totally and completely approve of his being Poe's first crush. He's perfect first crush material: he's older than her, cute, listens attentively, and listens attentively. Did I mention that twice? It's because it's important. Because listening to a toddler is the key to her heart; she just wants to be noticed (and adored, she totally gets that from Bryan).

I will try and get a picture of the two of them together so I can show it to her future boyfriend/girlfriend (because you never know) one day and embarrass the heck out of her.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Move over Woody

Tarzan is in town.

Today after nap Penelope found the DVD case for Disney's Tarzan movie and then did the following.

1. Hugged the case and said "I love you Tarzan!"

2. Was jumping on her bed when the DVD hit her arm. She said "Mommy, Tarzan hit me! It's ok Tarzan, I'm sorry. Tarzan, kiss and make better?" Then she pressed the DVD to her arm and made the kissing noise... then "Thank you Tarzan!"

3. Told me that "Pah-pooh-pea and Tarzan go play outside Mommy!"

4. Ran to the far end of the driveway and said (to the DVD) "Ready Tarzan? We're racing, one, two, three, GO!" and the proceeded to run across the driveway with the DVD and said "We're fast Mommy! Tarzan and Pah-pooh-pea are fast!"

I love her.

Also? Griffin kept throwing the chalk-eggs (Easter basket prizes) down the driveway to see how far they rolled. But hey, at least he wasn't trying to eat them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Nights

So I have a love/hate relationship with Monday nights. Bryan has class so I have dinner/bathtime/bedtime on my own, which isn't much fun. BUT since he's gone I can watch my horrible shows or chick flicks without getting teased. Tonight I'm watching For Colored Girls, well - as much as I can because Penelope has gotten out of bed 4 times already tonight. There's a few scenes I've missed so far but I think I still have the gist. If I have to miss anymore then I'll switch over to my new vice and watch this movie later.

My new vice - what is it, you ask? It's Army Wives. Yes. Army Wives. And I will tell you this. I love it. It's predicable, it's overly melodramatic, and the dialogue was probably written by teenagers. But I love it.

You know what else I love? My crazy-ass kids. Today Penelope had a conversation with a wall. Yes, you read that right. She said "Nice to meet you!" and "How are you wall?"

She also hugged everyone today in turn and told them she loved them. Also? She loves Tarzan. And milk. And oatmeal bars. And practically everything in the world it seems.

Oh. I have pictures. Only I can't find the cord to the camera.

And so far? For Colored Girls is really good. Even though I've missed at least 4 scenes.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

One about the boy

Today Griffin walked from the living room into the hallway all by himself! He's getting better everyday although he still prefers to use his walker, but I think that's just because he can run with it. Soon, very soon, he won't need it anymore. I'm soooo looking forward to that day. I know it will be exhausting to run after him, but I'd rather chase him then lift a 26lb weight all day.

Something I am not looking forward to, at least at this point, is weaning. We're having a lot of fun nursing right now. Griffin enjoys trying to shove his fingers or his foot inside my mouth while we nurse. I try and bite whatever appendage is closest and he laughs while nursing, usually spilling milk. I'm glad that so far he is still content to nurse so I won't have to think about weaning for awhile.

I had a lot more to talk about, but I've forgotten it already. *sigh* I'll get my memory back one of these days, right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Family Pics

About a week ago I hauled my parents, brother, Bryan, and the munchkins out to McKinley park at 9am to get our pictures taken. I had a met a photographer there a few months ago who has a daughter P's age and just had a baby boy.

We were out for maybe an hour or so and here's what he came up with. I really like them. I'll post some directly once I get the CD, but for now please visit his blog and comment.

Right now I don't have a favorite, but the ones of Nic and Penny with the dandelion are wonderful. I also really like the solo Griffin ones. And... well, all of them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


For the last two days, I've spent Griffin's nap tense with anticipation of him waking up right as I start something (or am in the middle of something). This means that I've actually been putting him in his crib to nap instead of nursing him for the hour and a half period of his afternoon nap.

He's actually been doing pretty well. It used to be that I'd get 10 minutes of crib time before the nurse-a-thon commenced and now sometimes I get an hour (!!!) or even a smidge more. This is nice because I can actually get a few things done (like blog). Today I was able to prepare tonight's kabobs and stick them in the fridge, pee all by myself (this happens so rarely that it just MUST be documented), and change for work... plus this post (we'll see how far I get).

He's also been a bit better about sleeping at night. He's about where Penelope was at around 9-ish months. He goes down pretty well and is waking up about twice a night. Occasionally he needs a bottle, but more and more often he's content just to nurse. If he keeps this up (being behind P's sleep patterns by 4-5 months) then he'll be sleeping through the night at 19 months or so... which is pretty good when you think about it. I know some people who can't handle night wakings at that age and sleep train, but among my friends who do not sleep train, 19 months is good/average for the elimination of night-waking. We'll see. He could surprise us and STTN earlier (or later).

And yes, still nursing - so we made it a year! I'm really proud of us, we both worked hard to get here. Some days he's less interested in nursing than others, but he still seems to really enjoy nursing so we'll keep on keepin' on. He's become very... demonstrative when he wants to nurse. Usually I know he's ready when he starts using my chest as a drum or peeks down my shirt as if to say "hey there boobies, what's happening?"

His first plane ride is coming up in less than a month. We leave for Denver on May 17th - we'll spend a day or so in Denver and then drive up to Wyoming to see some of B's family. I'm looking forward to the trip, it's been about a year since we saw B's brother, SIL, and their kids. And G hasn't met B's Dad and Stepmom yet... neither kid has meet B's paternal grandparents so that will be a lot of fun.

Which reminds me, I need to order my iPad for the plane ride :)

Well, we're coming up on the 1hour mark of G's nap. So I'll sign of here. I bet the moment I publish this post he'll wake up.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Graduation and stats

Today I measured the babies (and I use that term very, very loosely).

Griffin is 32inches & 26.5lbs (with diaper) and Penelope is 39inches and 33.1lbs (with diaper).

So not too much growth since the last time I measured them a few months ago. G's gained some weight and is really close to P's 1 year stats. They're the same height but she outweighed him by just a smidge.

Also? I graduated Sunday. It was nice to walk, although the ceremony was... ok I guess. The guest speaker was 2007's CA Teacher of the Year and his speech was... ok I guess. Meh, whatever.

The VERY BEST part of the day was when I was shaking the hand of the University President after they announced my name. It went like this:

University President: "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tina Fey?"
Me: "I get that sometimes."
UP: "Well, you really do. Congratulations on your Masters."

Kick ass.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Griffin's 1st birthday

I don't know which is more exhausting, birthing a 9lb 1oz 22.5 inch baby boy or throwing a 1st birthday party for said baby boy.

All I know is that I'm exhausted. And happy. Today's party went well and the kids had a BLAST. Penelope loves the park, her friends, and cake so today was pretty much the perfect day for her. Griffin loves to eat, so today was also the perfect day for him.

So here are some pictures - and some video of our now toddler (yep, he's walking!) at the end.

Artwork courtesy of Uncle O-Nic

Birthday Boy!

Mommy & a sorta sleepy birthday boy

Griffin and his Aunty Liz

Mmmmm... cake

Granny K & Penelope

Walking around with Uncle O-Nic

And.... he walks!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You need to read Tina Fey's memoir

Yes, you.

Go buy it. Or borrow it from the library. Or download it on your e-reader.

But you need to read it, because it is literally the best book I have read in the last 2 days and quite possibly the best book I have read in the last 20 years. Not only did it make me laugh so hard I peed my pants (seriously. I seriously peed my pants). It made me cry in bits and was generally really freaking awesome.

She is right about nearly everything and the stuff she's not right about doesn't matter anyway.

I love her. And so you should buy her book. Like, now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A poem

I haven't written poetry in years. I used to write semi-regularly being a geek an all, and most of my poems were tolerable with a few good ones and a few not-so-good ones. But I haven't had the time to do much writing... and the longer in between poems the less I feel like writing.

Until NPR. For the last two days they had some poets on during one of the shows. Maybe it's "Talk of the Nation", but I'm not sure.

Anyway, they have inspired me to take up my pen. So in honor of Griffin's 1st birthday I give you my very first poem in over 5 years.

Be kind.

Happy Birthday Griffin

A year today my life began
In earnest, at least
And full overran
But the levies held, thank goodness

I never knew how much joy
Or frustration
Two sets of "mama" would bring
But I learned quickly

Life changes in an instant
Or nine months, or a year
And you find yourself in places unexpected
Yet exciting... or maybe terrifying is more apropos

But good
Oh so good, and wonderful, and perfect
When baby smiles turn into toddler toothy grins
And sibling laughter fills the house
And you learn to appreciate your own parents
For not selling you to Gypsies
When you threw that tantrum over vacuuming the stairs...
When you were ten

Here's to 365 days of
Life in technicolor
Where everything is vivid and bright
And you're surrounded by little people

To borrow from Dickinson -

My life grew twice before its close
It yet remains to see
If Providence unveil and third event to me

Although Providence can wait for potty training.


It feels nice to write again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In a few days...

The beast-child will be one. ONE.

As in an entire YEAR OLD. People, where has the time gone?????

I read once that in parenting, the days are long but the years are short. Which is the most perfect description of anything ever.

This year has flown by, although I will admit that there have been a fair number of days that have felt as though they lasted for eons and nights that were longer than some ice ages. I am happy to see though, that we have all survived a year with two babies 16 months apart. It was touch and go for awhile (and I'm only half joking). But we're all here, Bryan and I are still married, and we plan on staying that way for the foreseeable future. :)

I have 1,876,093 things to do to get ready for G's party. The ONLY thing I have done is reserve the space and send out invites. So yeah, I'm way behind. But I work every day this week (granted, they're only 2 hour shifts) and I have an interview Thursday at the Zoo for a summer teaching position, so it's not like I have TIME or anything.

Thursday I will attempt to get some shopping done (for the food) before or after the interview and Friday the kids and I may hit the 99cent store or Party City for party favors. Friday night after work Bonnie is coming over to help me make macaroni salad and cake (thank you Bonnie!) and my parents will have the kids, so hopefully we can get it all done. There will be wine involved. Lots of wine.

Then Saturday is the big day!

AND Sunday I graduate - which reminds me that I need to get my mom the gown & hood so she can iron it. I haven't told her I need this done. So... Mommy? Can you please iron my gown & hood for me? Pretty please? We don't own an ironing board and you know and I know (and the world now) that you are 1 BILLION times better at I am at ironing. A billion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Riding a bike

Poe got her new tricycle for her 2nd birthday, but the weather hasn't always been great so she hasn't ridden in much.

Today B broke it out of the garage and, for the very first time, Penelope was able to pedal on her own.


Link to video here

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nice to meet you!

Pen's new trick is to ask to shake your hand. She then says "Nice to meet you!" Then she has you shake Woody's hand.

Over. And over. And over again.


Tomorrow we take family pics. I'm not sure when I'll have finished products to share. We will get a CD of pictures so I'll be able to post quite a few on the blog.

Also? Molar #2 is peeking through. So we're up to 10 teeth. Neither molar is completely out, that will probably take a week or so at least. Possibly longer. Molars are the WORST (IMO) and it sucks that there's so many of them (well, for teething purposes, not for actual eating purposes).

Speaking of eating, we have discovered that Griffin loves bacon. So Penelope and I will be the vegetarians in the family and Bryan and Griffin can go on wild boar hunts or some other such nonsense.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Lately Penelope has taken to spelling and "reading" nearly everything she can. She spelled out the letters/numbers in Bryan's car's license plate and told me it said "red car".

So I took some video of her and her book today. What this video highlights isn't Penelope's reading skills (since she's not actually reading) but it does demonstrate some rather impressive pre-reading skills. She understands that letters make up words and that words describe pictures. She is also beginning to understand that letters are made up of sounds and you can put them together to make words. She may actually recognize some of the words, but I haven't tried to write them without their picture associations, so I'm not positive. I wouldn't expect for her to be able to recognize many, if any, words by sight at this age. It would be crazy-early.

She needs all of these skills before she starts to really read, and I am very happy and proud that she has them. It doesn't mean she's a genius, but it does mean that she excels in this particular area of development. She'll probably read early and then trip over her own feet the rest of her life (she still runs rather strangely). She can't be good at everything!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nap Battle

We mostly have a handle on Griffin's sleep at night. It's not great, but it's generally tolerable. Although the past two nights have been awful and I hope they're just teething related because if this is indicative of a new sleep pattern then I need to find him some baby Ambien.

Three days ago he actually slept great. Better than great, it was like magic. He went down at 8:30 and slept until 3:30. That is the longest he has slept in his ENTIRE LIFE. Then he nursed for 10 minutes, fell back asleep, and woke up for the day at 7:30ish. Glorious I tell you, GLORIOUS.

Of course, I had given him some baby Benedryl that night because he had red, puffy, watery, and itchy eyes and his nose was running like a faucet. Dollars to donuts that miraculous sleep stretch was Benedryl induced. And although I loved getting that much sleep, I'm not actually willing to continually dose him with Benedryl to get it... unless of course he has actual symptoms which the allergy meds can alleviate.

But after "the miracle" we've had a night where he woke up for the day at 5:30am and then last night where he woke up at 3:30 and was up for an hour and half before finally falling back asleep. Terrible, awful, no-good, and very bad. I was exhausted. And really flipping annoyed.

So we'll see what tonight brings. We cannot do CIO, for many reasons, the #1 reason being that it will wake up Penelope and I absolutely, positively cannot have two children wide awake at 2am. Cannot.

But this post isn't about night time. It's about naps.

And the fact that G takes one nap a day.

Which only lasts an hour.

Unless, of course, he's nursing.

Those of you who have children of G's age, or remember what the 1 year stage was like, will understand how this is not acceptable. In any way, shape, or form. Babies this age NEED more daytime sleep than that. And mommies of babies this age NEED more downtime than that. I can get the extra downtime if I leave him attached to me, but I can't get anything done that way.

I honestly don't know what to do... I mean, when I have him, we nurse. But when my Dad has him he can't do that and so G only takes an hour nap. He's then super clingy/needy and just plain tired the rest of the day (G, not my Dad... although I'm sure Dad is pretty darn tired as well).

So I'm soliciting suggestions. Again, CIO is not possible. The last thing Dad or I need is two children who won't nap.

And yes, when Griffin is a teenager and refuses to wake up in the mornings or sleeps until noon, I will show him these posts and demand an apology. Or something.

Also? Does someone want our 5 year old dog? She's getting on my very last nerve. She's actually a sweet dog, but she tends to be very loud just when I'm getting Griffin to sleep. Daily. It is SO damn annoying.

He's Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep is a claymation cartoon that competes with Kipper (another show of British origins) for Penelope's heart. Post-bathtime is cartoon time and she watches anywhere from 30-45 minutes of a show before bed. We used to be an exclusive Kipper household until Kim and Orson introduced us to Shaun. Good thing too, we're (meaning Bryan and I) are rather tired of Kipper and his slipper. Due to the Orson association, Penelope actually calls Shaun the Sheep "the Orson show" and calls Shaun "Orson".

So often she will exclaim "Look mama, Orson is silly!" or "Oh, silly Orson!" or "Orson dancing!"

Busy actually owns some Shaun the Sheep merchandise, so this past weekend when we were over Poe walked around with the smaller stuffed Shaun. She had a death grip on the poor thing and would hug it and call it "Orson".

I think we need to get her one.

Although she has a ridiculous amount of toys. She really doesn't need anymore.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dear Son,

5:30am is not an acceptable wake-up time unless you're spending the night with Granny & Grandpa. Please make note of this.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

More teeth!

So I was right, Griffin is getting molars. One of his top molars is peeking through. So that explains some of the snot of the past few days. The top teeth always seem to bring more mucous than the bottom. Probably something to do with some sort of connection between the nasal cavity and the maxilla (yeah, I looked that up).

So now he has nine teeth even though #9 isn't all the way through.

He is also waving hello and goodbye and trying to repeat words. My parents swear he said "flower" the other day.

He's also getting closer to walking but isn't quite there yet. Maybe by his birthday, maybe not. I know he'll be very happy when he's mobile, right now I bring his push-walker almost everywhere so he can explore.

Poe-potamous has been... defiant lately. That has not been enjoyable. About half the time she's her normal self and the other half she's "no, no, NO!" No fun.

So we've done our fair share of time outs and they work for awhile, but it's not like this can be "fixed" - it's a phase. It will just take a lot of consistency in discipline.

I actually had a long post planned, but I cannot remember it. You would think that after finishing my Masters I would get my brain back, but no. In fact, this weekend I took the kids to their friend Busy's 2nd birthday party a day before the actual party. I was soooo embarrassed. Luckily Holly & Ryan are lovely and let us stay and play for awhile. Penelope was happy to get to play with Busy two days in a row, so it worked out. But I still can't believe I mixed it up, usually I'm great with days.

Mommy brain I guess. Or post-Masters fog. Or I'm just getting too close to 30.

Popular Posts

Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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