April 2010

Posted by Duff

I’ve probably posted this in some manner before, but it bears repeating.

There are lots of remedies for infant/toddler constipation, and unfortunately, I’ve had occasion to test many of them on my children: pear juice, Karo syrup, gratuitous rectal temperature taking, glycerin suppositories, and daily, preventative gummy laxatives.

It turns out, the surefire remedy in my house is a hot cup of coffee. For me. No sooner do I sit down with the wide-mouthed cup that reminds me of  the velvet chairs, wood floors, pleasant music and general positive atmosphere of an upscale coffee house, than the deed is done.  Those wide-mouthed cups don’t preserve heat, I can assure you.

Not a coffee drinker? Plate a delicious, hot meal.  The results are the same.

Feel free to share your home remedy tricks of the trade. I know you’ve got ’em.


Posted by Fitz

As the Bean put another of her dollies in time out the other day (Maria apparently hit Lily, and “We do not hit our friends, Maria!”), my husband looked at me with apprehension.  “Don’t you think that she’s getting a little bossy?”, he said.  “Should we be doing something about this, because I’ve never seen anything like it!”

Luckily for him, my mom just happened to be over and a witness to this entire scenario.  Upon hearing his question, she got a glimmer in her eye and suddenly left the room.  “What, Mom?”, I shouted after her, knowing that she was trying really hard to be discreet and not letting her get away with it for a second.  “What’s your story?”

We followed her into our den, where Maria was now coming out of time out, and she burst out laughing.  “Oh, I’ve seen this before, don’t you worry about it.  Fitz was just like this when she was the Bean’s age!”  My poor husband looked at me, and I threw my hands in the air.  I said, “Honey, I’m bossy NOW.  What did you expect?  Did you think our little girl would completely miss the boss gene?!”

We all started laughing at this point, recognizing that the Bean is getting to be more and more like me every day.  Some of those attributes will serve her well, and some she’ll have to learn to hamper over time.  For now, though, I crack up seeing her behavior and realizing that I used to be similar.  Somehow, it forges another connection between this little girl and I that will keep us close and help me to understand where she’s coming from.  At least until she’s 13 and I have to move out of the house for a little while.

Posted by AVM

I’m feeling blue tonight.  Not much in the mood to write a lot.  Two years ago tonight, Lovey’s godfather, my husband’s eldest nephew, was killed in an accident at work.  We received the call in the very early morning on the 26th that there had been an accident.  And just like that, Chris was gone from all of us.  There isn’t enough room here to tell you all about him, and I wouldn’t even try because it would never encompass everything he was.  Suffice it to say that we thought enough of him  – the world of him – to ask Chris to be Lovey’s godfather.  As she lost him when she was 18 months old (to the day), we try to keep Chris alive for Lovey in different ways.  We had a memory quilt made of one of Chris’s shirts and some of Lovey’s important clothes from her first year.  The quilt hangs in her room and along with photos around the house, we tell the story of who Chris was – in whatever inadequate way we can.  Most days, it’s impossible to believe he’s gone.  But yes.  He’s still gone.  On important days, like Chris’s birthday or the anniversary of his death, we try to smile and do what Chris loved to do – be around his friends and family.  Today, we made a delicious meal and laughed a lot with our good friends, because that’s what Chris would do.  And it helped a little.  Just a little.

It’s a challenge to keep someone’s memory alive when Lovey had no memory of that time to begin with because she was so young.  I know she knows him.  She knows his image, she knows the story of her quilt, and I even know she has spoken to him  after he was gone.  But he’s not here, and it’s difficult to convey every nuance.  How do you share his easy smile? How will Lovey know how he kept everyone together? How he tilted his head?  How his sense of adventure was boundless?  How can you do that?  I know many of you who lost parents or spouses or other important people in your lives are up against this.  How do you create a memory of the essence of someone who’s gone?  Someone you loved so much and who you fear your child will never fully appreciate?  I don’t have the answers.  But we’re trying.

Thinking of you tonight and always, Chris.

Posted by Duff

Recently, My Mom Genes was asked to comment on the topic of pregnancy worries for thebump.com feature, The Top Ten Pregnancy Fears (and Why You Probably Shouldn’t Worry).

Many of the more common worries were touched upon, but we wanted to ask you, our readers what YOU worried (or, currently worry) about, since we all know pregnancy is a bounty of inevitable anxiety, no matter how many facts you know or well-meaning friends or relatives you have to reassure you.

I didn’t mention this when asked, but a good friend of mine can tell you that upon seeing one of Atticus’ ultrasounds, I was worried he’d emerge a troll or a gargoyle.  Let’s just say the tech captured some interesting facial expressions which, while logically, I knew could be attributed to motion, concerned me.

He arrived as a near exact replica of his father. I’ll let you take from that what you will.

So, spill it, ladies. Be honest. You’re safe here.

Posted by Fitz

You guys all know it has been a bit crazy around here of late, what with room redecorating, sleep issues and the like.  Given the amount of venting I’ve done, I feel compelled to tell you about the neatest little development that has happened in the midst of all of this: The Bean has learned how to give compliments.

Out of the blue, she’ll turn to me and tell me that I’m a good friend, that I’m beautiful, that I’m nice, that she likes my “painted toes”, or…if I’ve been very good…that she loves me.  I’ve heard a lot of these words before (some more than others), and none have ever had the impact of the ones that have come out of this little mouth.  Words cannot explain to you how much these words mean to me, although I have referred in the past to how important language is in my life.  First of all, the girl doesn’t say anything she doesn’t want to say: she MEANS what she says.  Wholeheartedly, from the bottom of her little toes, she thinks these things about her mom.  Me. 

In the daily grind that we’re all in, it amazes me that she is able to pick little opportunities to light up my life.  She is an amazing creature, for what she brings to our family and what she specifically brings to my heart.  I will forever be grateful to my Bean, and look forward to re-reading this post when she is in the throes of adolescence and not thinking about me this way at all.  Little does she know how much she teaches me every day, and how my life wouldn’t be nearly as bright without her in it.

Posted by AVM

This post has nothing to do with children or parenting. It’s all about me, myself, and I.  Feel free to tune out. On January 4th, I vowed to get healthier and lose weight.  As of tonight, Sunday, April 18, I have officially lost 32 pounds.  That is six pounds more than Lovey, my three-and-a-half-year-old, weighs.  If you count the baby weight I lost after I gave birth to CeeCee (which was really all water weight, swelling, and bloat), I am 69 pounds lighter today than I was at the end of August, 2009.  This paragraph so far sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, and in a sense, I am.  But I am hoping that anyone reading this might be inspired to jump start their goals – be it weight loss or otherwise – because if I can change, anyone can.  And I know everyone says that, but I really mean it.  You’ll just have to trust me on that.  I am simply following Weight Watchers, and I have really changed the way I think about food.  I’m not perfect, and I have my bad eating days (like today).  But I’m balancing the rest of my life out, and that’s where my progress is made.  The secret potion was there all the time, just like Dorothy’s slippers.  There is no magic, I just had to be ready.  And I was.  I am.  Here are some positive changes that have happened since my 32 pound weight loss:

  • I’m no longer winded taking stairs.  The three flights up to my office are cake.
  • My family is eating a healthy dinner together nearly every night.  Instead of fattening meals, they’re lean.  Less pasta, more chicken, and yes, we’re all surviving just fine.
  • I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in over two years.  This is a personal favorite – nothing feels better.
  • I have more energy, I’m much more happy to go to the playground with Lovey than I’ve been in the past.
  • I bought these shoes for myself as a little present for hitting the big 3-0.  They have Fitz’s stamp of approval, as I am not the fashion guru of the bunch.
  • I am still motivated to keep on to my goal, which, in January seemed insurmountable, and now, is on the distant horizon.  I am a third of the way there.  I can do this.

As it turns out, this post has everything to do with my children.  Thanks for listening, as always.

Posted by Duff

I’ve always been interested by the concept of what I’ve learned is called neurobics: activities that make your brain stronger. We’re talking something as simple as moving your watch from your left wrist to your right, taking a different route home from a place you visit frequently, or more complex, like forcing your attention in two directions at once.

I figure my brain could use a little strengthening these days, since I realized that for the memorable past (which, as we all know, with kids, might not be that long), I’ve been phoning in the concentration, the contemplation, in an attempt to just get things done because they need to be done.

So I decided to make a few changes.

You shouldn’t be impressed. They are no big deal. But by listing them in their simplicity, I thought I might inspire you to try something different, no matter how trivial, and see where it takes you. 

In the last month I’ve:

Forced myself to keep the TV off for at least an hour between the kids’ bedtime and mine.  I can do whatever I want in this time, except clean or prep for the next day. Something that I enjoy. I get less sleep. But since I started doing it, I wake up earlier than I used to, before my alarm.

I finally tried Nutella (um, YUM), Merrells (yes, I know I’m the last one on the planet. I’m glad I didn’t miss the boat. My arches are so damn happy.), and getting my jeans hemmed (to accomodate the aforementioned Merrells where standard ankle length jeans fall just short).

I told someone exactly what I needed with no expectation that I’d receive it. I just thought that person ought to know.

Feel free to share your own, or suggest something that I might try that could fill up this large melon of mine with a bit more brain power.

Whether it makes me smarter or not, I recommend the Nutella.

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