Monthly Archives: February 2015

prayer in c

Seriously.  I love this song.  I don’t know or care what she’s saying, but that melody in the background is so beautiful.  I wonder if it’s original?

J is on a four-day business trip, and my parents are visiting.  It is so sweet the way my mom especially interacts with L.  I am so so glad they come out to visit as often as they do.  I really enjoy their visits a lot more now that we have a bigger place.  With J working from home, we were really bursting at the seams when visitors came to our old house.  Now, there is plenty of room for all, and we are very comfortable.

B had her six-month appointment today.  I was waiting with bated breath for her weight (low – 13 pounds 13 ounces – but acceptably so, according to the doctor).  Other than some recurrent eczema which does not appear to be bothering her, all is well.  She is a happy little girl, and she is zooming through her milestones.  She rolls like L never did, babbles, wants to eat (or at least suck on) all the things, and is generally just a very happy baby.   We started solids a few days ago, and she is much more enthusiastic about it than L was at this age.

Last but not least, we were accepted to the outdoor preschool that was our number one choice, so finally, the preschool saga is over.  We were not accepted to our first choice days, which I believe is why it took them a while to notify us.  In any event, I’m very pleased and I’m hopeful L will thrive there.

preschool #6

We went to see preschool #6 this morning.  Yes, #6.  Let’s review.  We loved preschool #1.  They had a lottery last week, and I have not heard anything which I think is a Very Bad Sign.  Preschool #2 was great, but we decided it was too expensive at $12,000 per year for age three. (The application deadline has now passed.) I was not impressed with Preschools #3 and #4.  Preschool #5 was great, and we are number 5 on the waiting list; it’s unlikely we’ll get in.

Preschool #6 is an entirely outdoor preschool based on a farm about twenty-five minutes from where we live.  That distance is the reason it hasn’t been high on my list.  Well, we really liked it.  The farm itself was small but cute and featured a very fat turkey, ducks and a variety of unusual  chickens wandering around as well as two pigs.  There may have been other animals as well that I did not see.  After some twenty minutes of milling around, we set off on a tour of the property.  For those keeping track, it’s now been an hour since we left home and nearly an hour and half since I last nursed B.  Note that I do not pump and babies need to be fed every two to three hours.  Off we went, anyway.  On our traverse of the property, we stopped to roast vegan marshmallows on an open fire – I kid you not.  Then onto walking on a giant fallen log.  L, unlike the other kids, declined to either roast a mallow or walk on the log, though she was willing to eat a marshmallow H roasted for her.  We stopped at a slowly moving river.  We continued onwards with a couple more river stops, and a foray on the shore during which buckets were distributed to all the kids so that they might build sand castles.  We also stopped at their gardening spot, where the preschoolers and teachers apparently grow vegetables.  It was quite impressive.  The spot is truly lovely.  (I have to say, though, that the forty minute walking tour, which left me with no idea how to get back to the car, was a bit much.  B was very cranky by the time we were done, and I was ready to hit the road.)  The problem is that the twenty-five minute drive was over quite a long distance featuring high traffic freeway driving.  So, we shall see.  I’d love to send L here, but I’m not sure spending hours in the car every week is a good choice.

L’s party went very well, but she was not so sure about blowing out the candles:

B is six months old as of a couple of days ago.  We will start solids as soon as I can find some rice cereal to feed her.  Also, our high chair is on back order, something I was unaware of when I ordered it.  (Our old Ikea one turned out not to be quite as good a deal as I previously thought when the paint began to come off all over its occupant.)


I was woken up five times last night before 1 am.  At that point, I asked H to take over L’s wake-ups while I dealt with B.  L woke him up an additional two or three times.  Seriously.  Why can’t my 3-year-old sleep through the night?  I recently finished reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers, and we implemented everything we thought might be helpful, including the majority of the recommendations.  It’s been about a month, and it’s not working.  Most of these ideas are for getting her to sleep in the first place, and she goes down both at night and for her naps like a champ.  But staying asleep is just not happening.  Maybe the worst of it is that she wakes us with this wailing and screaming.  I have the white noise blasting for B, so it’s hard to hear, and when I’m listening to try and tell if she’s building up a wail / scream (she starts at low volume and gets louder), my heart starts racing, and my feet and legs start tingling.  Basically, I just have this all-over anxiety reaction.  It’s a terrible way to be woken up.  (When B wakes me up by stirring, then fussing, then crying depending on how quickly I respond, it’s completely different – so much better.)

Anyway, I just ordered the Ferber book.  He is famous for cry-it-out methods.  I hope to God he has something to say that will help, because I feel like this sleep problem is ruining our lives.  I am tired and can barely function during the day, H is tired, and L is tired and cranky.


B slept so much better last night.  She only woke up twice, though I had a devil of a time getting her back down after the second wake-up.  (Before the recent regression, she woke up once or twice a night, and often one of the wake-ups was conveniently about at the time I went to bed.)

I’m looking into replacing the drapes in our bedroom with blackouts.  I found that really helped with getting L to sleep later in the mornings.  Does anyone have any recommendations as to where to shop for drapes?  I have found some very nice options at Pottery Barn and Restoration hardware, but they are very expensive.  Is there a cheaper non-name brand option?  Last time I bought blackouts, at our old house, I just went to Target, but honestly, I wasn’t wild about what I ended up with.

From Pottery Barn, I like the white drapes with vertical blue stripes:

View in Room

However, it only comes in 50 inch width.  My window is 95 inches wide, and you’re generally advised to buy drapes twice the width of your window.  I don’t need the drapes to be beautiful when closed, but I do need them to be fully functional in terms of blocking the sun, so this is probably not a good option.

Pottery Barn also sells plain linen blackouts.  I like the blue.  (B’s favorite colors are blue and green – conveniently the same as mine.)  They don’t have the same cache as the stripes, I don’t think.  But perhaps simpler is better.  I’m always attracted to showy patterns, but I don’t trust my decorating instincts.

Alternate View

I also looked at drapes at Restoration Hardware.  Like most of the stuff on that site, they are beautiful but wildly expensive – beyond what I consider.  Their drapes come in “spruce” which looks blueish.

Googling “drapes” brings up all manner of options.  I looked through JC Penney, Macy’s, Kohl’s and West Elm, but I didn’t really see anything that grabbed me.

one kind of happiness

I dated a lot of people through the years.  I cared deeply about several of them, and just had mad crushes on others.  I had my heart broken more than once, more than twice.  I wondered, What is wrong with me? a million times when it seemed all the world was part of a happy couple or at least dating – especially on this day of the year.  But now, all I can think is thank God it all worked out as it did.  Of course, many of the boys and men I dated were lovely, and I’m sure they make great husbands and fathers.  However, I just feel so blessed that I ended up with H.  When I pick my head up from the daily grind and look around, I feel we really are in a place of bliss.  It’s so hard to remember that sometimes, but really, I am.  We are.

Tonight, we’re sleeping apart.  B started some kind of sleep regression three days ago and has been waking up every one to two hours for the last three nights.  Last night, I got one two hour stretch, and the rest of the night, she was up every hour or so, meaning I was getting thirty minutes to an hour of sleep at a go.  (B took her in the morning, giving me a second solid two hour stretch.)  This too shall pass.  Tonight, I’ll try to remember how lucky I am to be holding my little bundle of joy if she wakes me up all night again.

We didn’t go out tonight.  I’m still nursing and not pumping, and it just didn’t seem worth it.  But the thirty minutes we sat on the couch chatting, giving each other a hard time, watching some TV, and a lovely hug and kiss good night was good in its own way.  We’ll go out again soon.  I’m just trying to savor our life right now the way it is.  Sometimes I succeed.  Sometimes, I don’t.  Right now, I feel happy.  Ask me how I feel at 5 am, and you may get a different answer.


L and I were talking about doctors this morning.  Doctors are by far L’s favorite topic of conversation, especially her doctor.  We talk about doctors all the time.  Anyway, this morning we were discussing different types of doctors – pediatricians of course, and cardiologists, opthamologists, and so on.  We got to podiatrists, and L says, “What does a foot doctor do?”  I told her a foot doctor takes care of you if your feet hurt.  L, “Just like that poor man in Madeline.”  (Remember him?  “And sometimes, they were very sad.”)  L ponders podiatrists a little bit more, and then starts considering rabbits, her other favorite doctor.  “What does a rabbit foot doctor do?”

It is just amazing how curious she is about everything.

preschool #5

Our nanny canceled at 8:30 this morning.  That left me to cancel on the dentist and preschool at the last minute, as the latter requests you not bring your kids on tours.  I sent the preschool an e-mail explaining the situation, and the said to bring the kids.  Here’s the sequence of events:

830 – N cancels

837 – E-mail preschool

946 – Hear back from preschool to bring kids

1030 – See email from preschool  and nurse B and get her and L out of the house as fast as humanly possible with much suppressed cursing on my part.  I’m trying to clean up my language.  So far, I’m not doing a great job.

1045 – Scheduled visit start time

11 – Leave Newcastle

1115 – Arrive at preschool

They were quite snarky with me upon my arrival for being late, which I can understand to some extent, but on the other hand, I didn’t expect them to tell me to come anyway with the kids since the website explicitly states this is not OK, and so I wasn’t checking my email all that frequently.  Getting two kids, one age 5 months and needing to be fed, out of the house in 30 minutes is a minor miracle.  I turned on all my limited charm and buttered up the lady, who gave me a tour.  The preschool turned out to be great.  I loved it.  However, they told me the place has a waiting list already.

I left with the registration form.  Because I really like the preschool, I decided that I should fill it out on the spot.  I discovered I didn’t have a pen, but I didn’t want to brave the preschool again so I drove to a grocery store a few minutes away and hauled the kids in and out to buy pens.  (I also picked up a few other items, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.)  I drove back to the preschool and hauled the kids out of the car again to drop off the form.  When I got home, I e-mailed the head of the preschool who told me it was “unlikely” we’d get in from position #5 on the waiting list.  I’m so annoyed at myself for not being more on top of things and visiting sooner!  Arghh!

In short, if we’d gotten in here, I’d just sit back and see how the lottery turned out with preschool #1 and then make a decision.  Instead, I feel like I need to go visit more preschools until I find one that still has spots that I actually want to send L to.  B had to go over to the university today and got home late, and right now I’m just feeling exhausted.  In fact, this blog entry is procrastination from changing the sheets on my bed that I found (baby) poop on a few hours ago.

I’m beginning to understand why a huge gap exists by the time kids start school.  I am generally pretty on top of things, though I’m a little off my game thanks to having a baby, and I’m still struggling to find the best thing for L.   I’m guessing a lot of kids don’t have a parent running around to five different preschools trying to find the perfect situation for them.  Of course, lots of kids – like me – don’t even attend preschool, so it’s certainly not essential.  However, I know that when I started kindergarten, I was significantly behind both socially and academically.  I caught up, thanks in part to my mom reading HeidiStuart Little, The Borrowers and others end to end while I was in first grade, but I guess some kids just get farther and farther behind.