After a looooooong stint of intense work and travel plus more houseguests than you can imagine at Tiny Apartment I’ve found myself kind of free. I flew in from Orlando on Friday morning and by Saturday night I was done with work until after the baby.
This amazing news is somewhat clouded by the fact that all the things I have pushed off until I was done working have to happen…now.
Dentist appointments, haircuts, extra coop shifts and so much house stuff. We have a half painted wall in the living room and piles of outgrown toys in every corner. We have 2 recovered chairs out of 4. There are bins of office supplies sitting in my bedroom that I need to sort and donate and I don’t really want to get started on the baby stuff situation. Asher’s 8×10 room will have to house 2 but that’s a problem for another day.
Matthew worked 8am-10pm (ish) since I got home so I have been on major Asher duty. He was home sick when I got in on Friday – my dad was here – and finally felt better on Monday but I’ve been picking him up at 2:30 all week so he can rest. Its pretty amazing how fast my life shifted from crazy 70hr a week working mom to at home mom. I went to costco on Tuesday. ALONE. I am going to relish these weeks before the baby. These weeks of productive working, food shopping, muffin making, lunch date having, errand running, tv watching, baby clothes sorting, walk taking, flower smelling time.
Asher is so happy to have me home from my trip and picking him up while its still sunny. Sometimes we even stop for a cookie because we can.
January 31st, 2013
Nothing immediately came to mind when I tried to think of what to get Asher for the holidays this year so I’ve had to do a bit of research. What I’m working with is a guy who already has and loves his scooter and bike, plays for hours a week with trains, trains and more trains and really likes to build things. He also loves any type of arts and crafts project, and I like ones that he can do alone as well as ones we can do together. He really likes doing these simple work books I found but they are either dry erase or cheap so I don’t worry too much about stocking up.
I already picked up some arts and craft stuff for hannukah, new bath toys, a building plate for his duplo, pengaloo (thanks hel!), spoon to go with chopsticks (one of his favorite books), and this a-z matching /writing game. My mom will be here a few days that week so we can give some of their gifts to round it out.
We don’t buy him much for Christmas because after those 8 crazy nights + gifts from family I think its really enough. Yes many from us are practical – replenishing art supplies, bath toys and books – and spread out over a week so even though its one sad box of crayons that would get looked over on Christmas its pretty exciting when its the only gift on the table :) I’m gonna be stretching this out for years. Feel free to call me out when you see a pic of him opening a new toothbrush on night #4 but for now its working. I picked up some astronaut ice cream, kids cooking utensils and a few odds and ends for his stocking. Since we only use it every 2 years (so…once EVER) I have no idea how big it is and how much I need to cram in there. We are still finalizing ideas here after bedtime and I need to run them past Matthew so I decided to get it all in one place and figured I’d share it for anyone that needs it, or needs a gift for any ol 3 year old. This took some work people!
Allison told me about Leapfrog Tag. It jumped to the top of Asher’s list, Of the many add-ons I think he would like the Solar System Pack and Map
Kids Camera – My dad actually thought of this as a gift from them and I thought it was brilliant. When he brought it up to me I asked him to find a camera that takes decent photos that can grow with him over the next couple of years vs a “toy” camera and this is what he came back with. Asher is going to be pretty excited and I look forward to teaching him about taking care of it properly and looking at his photos together.
Magnatiles – Asher has played with these in school for the past 2 years and I think he’d love them but we haven’t picked them up yet since they are kinda pricey. Definitely a great gift for any 2+ year old.
Dress up clothes – Chef Asher was a raging success so I thought it might be nice to have a few other professions to round out the collection.The doctor would be something he’d like or this huge set of fire chief, construction worker and train engineer because they come with tons of props. He is very into props.
Magnetic Dress-up – He plays with these at Eva’s house and he likes ipad and computer games where you change people’s clothes. Seems like it would be fun to have at home. The fireman one would be cute but he’d also like one with regular clothes.
Automoblox – He has a bunch of these and loves them. They are cars made out of blocks, he takes them apart and puts them back together. Makes gigantic long cars or super tiny cars. I’ll probably pick one up for his stocking but he can never get enough.
Color frames – more blocks, this is an interlocking wood set that will last forever
Art stuff (subscription) – Asher likes crafts but I hate thinking up things for him to do. These kits are great but I’d really love a subscription to a monthly craft box service like BabbaBox or Kiwi Crate for him. Kiwi has the cutest holiday boxes, I might just go ahead and order both the Christmas and Hannukah ones for him to work on this month.
Moon sand – Asher still plays with his trucks and gravel but it is really so messy. This might be a good replacement. Still messy but at least moon sand doesn’t roll.
Stomp Rockets – Cheaply bought, cheaply made and lots and lots of fun
I Spy Preschool Game or other I Spy things. He loves them but we don’t have any.
December 4th, 2012
Life with Asher has been pretty difficult lately. Full of ups and downs and very frustrating. He talks back every time we say anything he slightly disagrees with and its infuriating. I know 3.5 is supposed to be some kind of hell age but he really swings from being the cutest, nicest boy alive to being just plain nasty.
me: Hey Asher can you put your shoes in the bin
Asher: um…no thank you!
me: Asher put your shoes away please
Asher: NO!!!!!!!!!!! screams, stomps his foot, grunts and throws something across the room.
scene 2, waaay after bedtime:
me: Why do you want to sleep on the floor?
Asher: If I want to sleep on my floor, ill sleep on my floor. If I change my mind and want to sleep on my bed I will!
Its been utterly charming to deal with. Its especially funny when he is polite about disagreeing but it drives me nuts. Meanwhile he knows where his shoes go because they have been kept there since the day he got his first pair. Why cant he just put them in the damn blue bucket?
Now he gets a decent amount of discipline. He isn’t allowed to yell at us, talk back, stomp, throw things or even grunt. He immediately gets counted to a time out if he keeps it up. It is VERY CLEAR. it DOESN’T STOP HIM FROM TRYING. Well it does after the first time out. He has so many 2′s lately I can’t even. There has just been so much screaming on both of our parts. And just general talking back is so out of hand he always has to have the last word which is too bad because I also have to have the last word. Or I used to, I don’t really bother with him anymore because ignoring is so much more satisfying. My favorite is that he is so used to saying no that I can be offering him a cookie and he says no out of habit before he even processes what I am saying. I mean, really.
Talking to some of his friends moms I find that this is the case for a lot of them at this point in their development. We all tend to think our kid is the sassiest so its especially nice to see that other kids are exactly the same. They take turns being little obnoxious mouthpieces but someone always has a story of the day to share where I am constantly like “yup, been there” So all hail mom friends, you can never have too many people to commiserate with.
I’ve been home alone alot with him since September. Picking him up at 245 every day leaves a good 5-6 hrs of bonding time. Matthew usually works at least 1 weekend day plus he has been away the better part of the past 2 weeks. I decided around the time he went away that so many of my conversations with Asher were negative and I was exhausted and kind of sick of hearing myself say the same things over and over again.
No climbing on the table, be patient, lets clean up if we’re finished, yes you do have to take a bath tonight. Get your shoes on or no scooting to school, Please wait your turn. Share the road, stop jumping off the couch, no screaming in stores. Thats 1, Thats 2, Time out.
The thing is, he is really truly lovely so much of the time! He is thoughtful, sweet and always wants to have fun. He randomly gives me hugs and tells me he loves me. I mean, he is too cute! I know its just a phase and refuse to label him as “difficult” or whatever just because its hard for me to deal with. I really wanted to find a way to change the tone of the house so I made the decision to reward him for all the times he shows good behavior. Sometimes he hangs up his jacket without being told! Yesterday he threw his trash in the can instead of the floor! Those times are rare so I thought if I highlighted them it would remind him to do them more often. One of his favorite things is when we are proud of him so I went for it.
I told him I had a jar, and when he fills up the jar with pom poms he can choose a new train. He was very excited to learn how to earn pom poms! I keep it right on the shelf beside the TV so he remembers what its for and I made it very clear that the following things earn pom poms:
-getting himself dressed or undressed. Also putting dirty clothes in hamper
-hanging up coat and putting away shoes when we get home
-getting into the bath/brushing teeth with no drama
-getting out of the bath with no drama. uh-huh, he is super ridiculous about transitions.
-Leaving the house when its time…he always says “but I JUST have to…”
-good listening when we are outside, especially to/from school
I dunno, basically doing all the things that he is expected to do! I am going to sit with Matthew this weekend and make a list so its even more clear but believe me he gets it. He is smart enough to know the difference between good and bad behavior and I’m trying this experiment as a way to empower him to choose good behavior when he wants to.
He also earns random pom poms for anything I feel like it. I talk to him at the end of the day and we try to think of pom pom worth events together. Like, Matthew rewarded him last week for looking both ways before crossing the path in the park.
I’ll say “You played so nicely with Eva!” or he’ll say “I listened to my teachers in the Big yard!” or “I helped Charlie find a chair” I say things like “Wow, that was really nice, I’m so proud of you!” It makes him feel really good, he usually dances around the room.
Now I know its a form of bribery but isn’t any kind of allowance for chores? He is earning pom poms that will buy him a train. I really feel like if focusing on the good helps remove some of the bad a $10 train at the end of the month is worth it. Now if he starts being TOO good, I’ll have to get rid of those larger sized pom poms from the bag next time around, he figured that one out pretty quick.
November 30th, 2012
ok, ok so I took a lil break during Novemblaaaagh but it was either blogging or Thanksgiving. Apparently solo parenting, planning a 10 person dinner party + houseguests AAAAAND working part time was a bit too much for me. Really not to place blame but its totally the baby’s fault. I think if I didn’t have the baby-tireds I could have handled it but just try getting up with Asher at 630, running around like crazy to all parts of Brooklyn or cleaning the apt between conference calls then picking him up, making dinner and keeping your eyes open past 7 when YOU are pregnant.
I mean the good news is that we had a great thanksgiving! We also got a new dining room table, recovered some of our dining room chairs, got all of my non-maternity clothes organized and sent to storage and actually managed to fit 10 people in this apartment for dinner.
Matthews dad and sister Jaime came for thanksgiving as they often do and we had a great time. Once Thursday came it was actually pretty calm. Matthew came home from LA on wednesday and we continued prep so when they got here Weds night we were pretty much ready to go.
We hung out thanksgiving morning, making pies and watching the parade over brunch. We ended up with a lot more people than expected so we picked up a ham with the turkey and wow a ham is a crowd pleaser! Everyone was pretty stoked about the ham, which we just had to pop in the oven (thanks Niman Ranch!) The turkey was great too, especially after Matthews 24hr brine and crazy cooking skills.
He really did an amazing job fairly effortlessly. I did all the shopping and what prep I could (I peeled all of those carrots while watching buffy reruns) he did all the cooking. Fair as fair can be. The best part is that the leftovers led to very interesting endeavors. Turkey was made into stock then turkey soup using up the leftover green beans and carrots and the ham was turned into split pea soup. We saved more leftover green beans to throw into the next batch of minestrone. Basically we are super set for soup, thanks to our new freezer. All completed and put away by Sunday when Matthew left to go back to LA.
This week is dealing with the aftermath between Asher stuff and work then I begin prepping for the next round. Matthew gets home Friday night then we have a week before my mom comes and Hannukah festivities start. Who has time to think about Christmas yet? Not me!
November 28th, 2012
It is high time to talk about this pregnancy! I’m not trying to keep anything secret but the truth is that it isn’t nearly as exiting/thrilling/etc as last time and I’m not finding much to write home about. My mother even commented on my utter lack of complaints. I mean she doesn’t live with me or anything so I don’t know if Matthew would say the same thing but it’s just not such a big deal in the scheme of things these days. Not to say we aren’t EXCITED/THRILLED/ETC about having a baby but the pregnancy is just not something I think about much. I have to actually make an effort to remind myself that I am pregnant most of the time. I often think about the fact that I’m having a baby and how it will relate to our life but until about a week ago I had days where I forgot I was pregnant until I saw my pre-natal pills on my nightstand, even this close to my 3rd trimester. Its funny how the memories of my thoughts and feelings during my last pregnancy are so vivid almost 4 years later. In an odd way it sort of highlights the differences between someone that doesn’t have little kids (ME! c2008) and someone that does because omg my brain is so cluttered with daily life stuffs that I FORGET I’M PREGNANT. Believe me, that doesn’t happen to people the 1st time. Check my archives of Jan-July 2009.
Things are going well and the pregnancy has been fairly uneventful but the effects of being pregnant with a 3yo around are kind of huge. I spent most of my first trimester working and traveling for work but since labor day I’ve picked Asher up every day at 230 so we have spent tons of time alone together running around town causing trouble. We usually go on playdates every damn day and as much as I love that he gets to hang out with friends it is basically 1000x more exhausting than work was. I can’t really lift him anymore and after spending so many years hefting his solid body mass around I’m so much achier this time. I don’t remember being achey until the end when I was pregnant with Asher but even at the beginning of this pregnancy my hips would hurt at the end of a long day. The last time I lifted Asher my back hurt for 2 straight days. Even though I didn’t get a single cold the 1st time I’m already on my 3rd or maybe 4th, who’s counting, its just been a long string of coughing and blowing my nose since September sometime. That’s not really much of a surprise being around multiple 3 year olds so much over the past 3 months but boy is it debilitating when you can’t take any kind of medication or pain relief. (I stand with previous statements that tylenol is a placebo unless you have a fever) I had zero of these little bumps the last time – its all so fresh and new!
One nice change is that I wasn’t as nauseous this time, way fewer days than with Asher but the days I was sick I was sicker. It was still better. At my last appt a few weeks ago I still hadn’t gained any weight which is awesome because I still have all the weight I got for Asher so why would I need much more for this baby? That’s basically my philosophy this time around – use what you got. I’m definitely trying not to get too much new stuff, excess weight included. Baby clothes EXCLUDED. I am accepting any and all girl clothes, toys, and really anything kind of girly to offset the tremendous amount of blue this little lady will be wearing. Speaking of clothes, this week I think I officially transitioned to maternity clothes which is a blessing and a curse. Its nice not to have my button hitting me right on the baby’s head every time I sit down but oh my, its hard to find a pair of pants that stay up. Ive been wearing regular (non-maternity) yoga pants around the house and I now understand why pregnant people just phone it in with the yoga pants. Seriously the pants issue is the biggest deal of my pregnancy right now. I can’t walk in maternity pants and I can’t sit in regular pants. I have to plan my pants according to my activities.
So its nice, not thinking about being pregnant every minute of every day. It just is. I can definitely enjoy that fact since last time I was super crazy reading books and blogs and all kinds of things. Now I’m just mostly concerned with organizing the kids crap so we can cram into Tiny Apartment since we have no plans to move. Once that’s done I’ll be able to concentrate a bit more on the fun stuff. In the meantime, every time poor Asher turns around something is gone. Matthew better watch out cause I’m coming for him next!
November 19th, 2012
Matthew flew out to LA today and Asher asked to call him 3 times. We kept really busy at a 1st birthday party in NJ most of the day but got to do a little facetime when we got home. Happy guy, Happy daddy too.
November 18th, 2012
One fun side effect from school is Asher’s new found friendship with Charlie who lives across the street. I met Charlie’s mom Sarah when they were babies but Charlie is a few months younger and we never really ended up hanging out. Charlie has been in day care for the past couple of years so we really never saw them very much during the day. They were stop in the street when we bumped into each other kind of friends but not really anything more than that.
At the meet and greet last spring we were like “hey cool, they are in the same class” and since Sarah is on maternity leave for her 2nd kid right now we’ve been walking home from school together every day.
And sometimes to school, and usually to the playground, and occasionally to Charlie’s house and once in a while our house. Asher asks to see Charlie pretty much every day. “Where is Charlie?” “What is Charlie doing?” just constantly. “I want to go to Charlie’s house” I mean you have no idea.
Their teachers have mentioned how well they get along in school and whenever I ask Asher who he played with in the yard he ALWAYS says Charlie. Asher told me he calls him “Charlie Brown” because he has brown hair.
And its so cute when we walk into class and Charlie shouts “ASHER!!” because he is pretty excited to see his friend too.
November 17th, 2012
Sandy coverage is still everywhere all the time and when I saw this yesterday it was the nicest break. A hurricane related post that made me laugh out loud. Good to see New Yorkers can still have a sense of humor amidst devastation but its true. You should really click through to see all the pics.
President Obama And Mayor Bloomberg’s Forehead Hold A Press Conference
New York City’s Lilliputian leader struggles to peer over the president’s shoulder in Staten Island today
Seriously the funniest series of pictures I have seen in ages
November 16th, 2012
Asher started full time school in September and it has been great. He transitioned surprisingly well from 2 school mornings to 3 camp mornings to 3 weeks at home then right into 5 full days of 830-245.
(Asher’s is the red/white checkered on the left)
They do all the adorable things he did last year like a music teacher once a week and creative movement instead of yoga. A Spanish teacher comes in on Friday mornings to do immersion and on Tuesdays they cook lunch for themselves. Since the campus is divided into 7-8 different buildings they walk to the school’s “big yard” every day which is 6 blocks away and sometimes I accidentally run into them and have to hide. They have a walking trip in the neighborhood once a week to places like the puppet theater, library and fire house.
This month they are talking about gratitude and having a “sharing feast” the Wednesday before thanksgiving. We are bringing broccoli because Matthew is away the whole week and its about all I can handle.
“During November, the children will be learning about friends, family, and being thankful. We will continue the theme of gratitude when we round out the end of the month learning about the helpers in our community!”
We walk there and back but Asher usually scoots. Its just over half a mile and can take between 15-45 minutes depending on just how many roses he stops to smell.
Rain or shine!
All in all its been great and I can’t believe 2 months have passed already. Its so weird not having him around during the day but he has only had about 1 full week of school so far. Soon my work will pick up and he’ll start staying until 5 every day. We’ve booked him afterschool starting in November so he’s tried it out a few times and loves it. Of course he does.
November 15th, 2012
Didn’t get a post up yesterday since I fell asleep 30 seconds after Asher. Novemblaaaagh streak be damned. After a day starting with an 8:30 drop off, post office, recycling and garbage sorting and schlepping, laundry switching and folding, 3hr coop shift, coop shopping, wrangling a new freezer into the apt by moving the washing machine (!!) putting away groceries, then going to get Asher and dragging him home in a tantrum I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Today I woke up to find 2 fun things friends wrote about on the internet that I thought I’d share. Lots of friends are often published, guest starring in TV shows and written about in the times for some reason or another but I thought it was kind of a fun thing to see when I logged onto my computer this morning. Go friends!
First is a nice piece by Lisa, Enna’s mom, for Parenting Magazine. I think it’ll really hit home for some moms. Especially ones like me that spend more time hanging with their kids than cleaning their house. I am grateful for all the time I get to spend with Asher, as much as I complain about it too.
Giving Thanks Like Only A Parent Could
The other is by Kate who used to sit next to me at work back when we both worked at an office. Now I’m at home working part time and she’s at home (in LA) interviewing celebrities. We both have girls due the same week in March so I am super sad she moved from Brooklyn last year but she is having so much fun I am also really happy for her.
The 10 Things I’ll Miss Most About Twilight
November 14th, 2012