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Kristen: February 2009 Archives


Active Boys

Posted by Kristen on February 26, 2009 at 7:37 AM in KristenRaising Boys
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Yesterday we went to the doctor for the yearly check up for the boys. There was some confusion before we left as to who was getting shots and in my confusion, I may have said the younger was due and the older was not. The look on Ethan's face suggested that perhaps he was slightly more happy about his younger brother getting shots than he should have been. I reminded him being excited about someone else's pain never ends well.

We arrived at the doctor's with time to spare (shock) and found ourselves in a room waiting for the doctor. And so it began.

First it started with the rearrangement of the chairs in the office. Then they attempted rearrangement of the cabinets. They moved on to the ear and eye scopes and then to the chemicals. When I say "chemicals," I mean rubbing alcohol, ect. Not necessarily the most dangerous chemicals but when your children have doused each other with Comet cleanser the week before, you know that optional uses for that rubbing alcohol just might be considered.

The doctor came in and burst into laughter. I guess not much has changed since we started coming to the practice 4 years ago. I rolled my eyes as Derek reached back and pulled one of the boys off of the 2 inch wide window sill, making music on the blinds. The other boy was repeatedly dropping a stool on the wooden floor, which was something I am sure made the people on Floor 2 delirious. Every time I would lunge for the stool, he would step right out of my range.

All in all, the older got FOUR shots, the younger got none and I managed to get out of there without going into labor. We came home to Cousin Ellen who took over mom duty and held some very fun kamikaze tricycle races down our Driveway of Death. I took a nap.

Statistical odds suggest that Baby Mason will be chill, right? Either that or what is left of my mind is about to be shredded. But I mean that in a good way.


The Trouble With Pain

Posted by Kristen on February 23, 2009 at 6:31 AM in BabiesKristen
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I'm not sure how it happened, but I live in a family where everyone is functioning with a heart on a sleeve. Not an unusual place to find my heart, I somehow thought that there would be at least one of us who would take everything in stride and not be easily flustered. No such luck. Take this weekend, for instance.

I managed to throw my back out the other night. I was lying on the couch and I guess the girth of 37 weeks worth of pregnancy was something that made my back cranky. My back is such a baby. There I was stuck on the couch yelling for help and all my men came running. Nathan was first on the scene.

Nate: (gripping my face in his chubby little hands) Mommymommymommymommy. No be sad, Mommy. Is okay, Mommy, is okay.
Ethan: DAD, Mom is hurt. Mom, you are gonna be okay. What's wrong, Mom? What's wrong? DAD, HELP MOM!!!
The Dog: (whining)
Kristen: I'm FINE. I'll be FINE. Dad will help me.

Which he did. It's amazing what can be fixed by just standing up. My heart swelled with pride that everyone was worried about me. I also realized that I'll have to be faking all this pain and childbirth thing for the next few weeks unless I want to do Tender Heart Preservation. I just love these kids.


What's in a Baby Name Wizard Name?

Posted by Kristen on February 19, 2009 at 6:28 AM in BabiesBaby NamesKristenNew Baby
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K: There is probably something I should tell you.

My husband always gives me the exact same look when I say these words. It's a combination of "oh no, what now" and "how do you get yourself into these messes."

K: I may have told PBS that they could name our Baby #3.
D: What are you talking about? Please tell me you aren't serious.
K: What's wrong with that? They just want me to talk to Laura Wattenberg from Baby Name Wizard.
D: You told PBS that they could name the baby.
K: Stadiums do it all the time.
D: So you are saying you would name the baby "Citibank" if they paid you enough.
K: AbsoLUTEly. If Citibank offered me $5 million to name the baby, that baby's name would be First Name Citi, Middle Name Bank.
D: That is wrong.
K: Since when do I call our children by the names on their birth certificates? Try never.
D: Wait. Laura Wattenberg? From Baby Name Wizard?

Sometimes my husband pulls things out that never cease to amaze me. It's not that Laura isn't wildly popular and wildly well-known. It's just that my husband is constantly living under a rock.

K: Yeah. Do you know her?
D: She does excellent data analysis. She's linked on Freakonomics.

Laura, you have absolutely no idea what a big deal it is that Dr. Snotty Economist thinks you do excellent data analysis. I mean, I thought your stuff was cool but this is high praise indeed from my husband.

So I called Laura and we talked for about a half hour about baby names. Laura was adamant that she was not in the BABY NAMING BUSINESS and that she just provided the tools to help other people come to a natural conclusion for a name that best fits their baby. She said that people often second-guess their chosen baby name after birth when the baby doesn't look like the baby they thought they would have. I let her off the hook and told her that I already knew my baby's name. We decided to chat some more before I told her, just to see what she would find when she plugged my requirements into the baby name wizard.

I told Laura that we were leaning toward a name that ended in "N," if only to confuse ourselves more when we yelled at our children in public. I told her about how our sons have the middle names Lewis and Clark and how my husband was so disappointed that he wasn't going to get his little baby girl with the middle name "Sacagawea" because we were having a boy (like that EVER would have happened). I told her that we were such suckers for historic names that we were probably the only people to confess that they picked their new baby's middle name "Gray" by googling American Explorers. That's right. Google picked our baby's middle name.

Laura ran a search and guess what happened? Her "best match" for our baby name was the very same as our own...


Actually, number 1 on the list was Aaron, but with the whole historical importance in a name in our family, she said, and I quote, "Aaron Burr might be a tough one for your family to get past." LOL

I'm happy to say that the NameMapper feature made me feel better about not worrying about living on the same block as 17 Masons (which really doesn't matter since you've named your firstborn "Ethan").

So I guess what I am trying to say is that Baby #3 is going to have the name Mason Gray. There has been some concern that he will be mocked for being named so closely to Macy Gray but I maintain that anyone making that connection will be opening himself up to having that mockery returned for knowing who Macy Gray is.

Already we have gotten a little backlash from people we've told, but people are funny about baby names. It's our choice and everyone else has to have their own kids (or dogs or cats) to live out their fantasy naming. Know what I mean?

***Derek doesn't think I told you enough about what the website offers. According to him, "It has great dynamic data analysis. You type in a name and as you type it shows you the historical usage of all of the names starting with those letters."
***Snooze. Me: It's cool. Just check it out by typing in your name.***

***Disclosure: PBS never offered me money to name the baby. But I would have totally taken it if they had***


Things You Don't Say to a Pregnant Woman and Grand Prize Winners!

Posted by Kristen on February 16, 2009 at 8:37 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Normally, I would lift up my shirt and take a picture of my pregnant belly, but it seemed kinda weird to do over here and frankly, I'm a little creeped out about my outie belly button that miraculously appeared when I was 10 weeks pregnant. The Baby was like the size of a quarter at that point and I had an outie? Odd, I know.

This weekend was a busy weekend for us. We had a birthday party for the boys yesterday (more to come on that on a later day) and then I had to work a wine festival on Saturday. While a majority of my sales for my small business involves selling my tees online, my friend Wendy has opened my eyes to the world of craft fairs and shows. Opened my eyes in that if you attend a craft show or a fair, you apparently are there to spend money and if it is indoors, you are a relatively captive audience.

So there I was on Saturday in my little booth, selling away. I imagine in a perfect world at 36 weeks pregnant, I would have foregone this festival this year and waited until next year when things, I'm sure, will be SO much less complicated (hahahahaha). But thanks to this being the year that the dollar is not quite stretching as far as it used to stretch, I found myself under a mound of shirts, looking positive and cheerful and sales-y.

I had a FABULOUS day and sold out of most of my stuff. That is always good. But I had to pay for my successful day.

A kindly older gentleman stopped at my booth as I was sorting things out. With the air of an OB, he said, "You know, when you are this far along, you really should be at home in bed with your feet up on a Saturday."

My response? "If only Dominion Power would agree with you on that one rather than sending that pesky, 'we really weren't joking last month when we sent you that bill so you should pay us already' notice." We all laughed and he wandered away, enjoying his delicious looking Pinot Noir as my ankles swelled another 1/4."

His heart was in the right place and it was a lot nicer comment then the woman who stood three feet away from me and pointed me out to her friends and yelled "LOOK AT HER! SHE'S ABOUT TO POP!!!" In case you were wondering, I was NOT behind glass so I could hear her perfectly. She was (and this is lucky for her) outside of my swing range.

People mean well and we have all had a moment when our social filters are a little less effective than they should be. Share the best comment you have heard (said to you, said to a friend or, gasp, said yourself by accident). I know there is nothing to win today other than my undying love, but comment anyway.

Wasn't I cruel to make you wait for Friday's winner AND the grand prize winner announcement? HEY, I have heartburn. Cut me some slack. In the awesomeness of random number generator, our winner of the Philosophy Recipe Box was Commentor #1--Ann. Ann whose comment was thanking us for being a winner the day before. Ann, your lovely manners won you yet another something!

And the grand prize winners???? We made Jean pick the winners. We figured it was kinda like picking up your million dollar lottery winnings at the corner stop-and-rob. Everyone KNOWS you can only get your scratch off winnings THERE. You have to meet the BIG PEOPLE to get the BIG PRIZES!!!

Carrie wins the Graco SweetPeace (from her comment on Feb. 4 at 10:10 on the post Sing Me the Wintertime Blues) and Jess wins the HP Wireless Printer (from her comment on February 9 at 10:27 on the SuperWhy Super Giveaway post).

Thanks so much for everyone's participation. Don't ditch us because rumor on the street is that we are going to have a BIGGER giveaway right around the corner. Seriously. Trust me on this one.


Birthdays gone wrong

Posted by Kristen on February 12, 2009 at 8:06 AM in Giveaway
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nathanbirthday.jpgSee this little face? This is the face of my trouble. Bless his heart, yesterday was Nathan's birthday. He was very confused because we took cupcakes to school the day before to celebrate his birthday. This birthday thing with kids is very complicated. He didn't go to school on his birthday. So for two days he was very confused about the whole thing.

He wasn't confused enough to turn down a random cupcake here and there. In fact, he kept telling everyone else "Happy Birthday" for two days. I think he was thinking it was some sort of new holiday that we were celebrating with cake at every meal.

His brother, however, was ONLY on the cake plan and not necessarily on the birthday plan. Ethan's birthday is on Sunday but he has already gotten into the swing of the week long birthday celebration. So much so that he decided to help himself to cake today when I was lying down. Then he helped himself to the container of frosting. Next up, a cake mix. I know. Did anyone see that coming? A half of a bag of chocolate chips later and I finally realized what was happening.

He was on such a sugar high that when I yelled at him (oh, you know I did), he began to scream. Really, really loud. It was really, really ugly. Suddenly Nathan's happy birthday was not so happy anymore. I felt horrible because it was my fault for leaving him alone in the living room while I took I nap. I know, I know. Sometimes you just need a nap and who ever thinks their child will eat a powder cake mix during nap time? When we picked Derek up at the train station, I was crying, Ethan was crying and Nathan was singing Twinkle, Twinkle at the top of his lungs.

It is funny. Nathan wasn't upset and his special day wasn't ruined. He turned 2. He never noticed that we took his special dinner to go and brought it home and he never noticed that his birthday "cake" was a leftover cupcake from his party the day before. He never noticed that his older brother lost his mind on sugar. All of my expectations for the day were slightly wilted but Nathan didn't care. Look at this face. How many times do you think we as parents let our expectations get in the way when our kids could not care less? I'm guessing more often than I would care to admit.

Cyberchase DVDs, Activity Kit and Cards.jpg
Sagwa_JayJay_Combo DVDs.jpg
Share your birthday "FAIL" with us and you'll get a chance to win one of two Cyberchase DVDs or a Jay Jay or Sagway DVD (along with some fun other things). And remember that every day you leave a comment you get a chance to win that awesome Graco Sweetpeace or the HP Wireless Printer.

Kudos to Leticia for winning the ABC Activity Card set yesterday!!


SuperWhy Super Giveaway and Being Sick

Posted by Kristen on February 9, 2009 at 8:23 AM in GiveawayKristen
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A couple of nights ago I asked Derek if he wanted to give Ethan the cold medicine before he went to bed. Please don't look at me that way. I know the recalls and the warnings and the fact that the back of the box says "NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S CONSENT." He turns 4 in a week and he has had the most horrific runny nose and chest cough for the last six days. It's so bad that the skin on his upper lip is so raw from wiping that I think he might need a skin graft. I know they normally take skin graphs from your backside but the child has no backside. I figured we were going to have to fix this thing pretty quickly because we clearly don't have the normal solutions to these grave problems.

I've tried the traditional methods of fixing this. I am forcing large amounts of liquids down him at a rapid pace. The trouble is, I have been gone most of the week working and even when you tell people, "he really needs to drink this entire gallon of watered-down juice before I get back," you still come home to it 3/4's of the way filled. I have given him soda (SPRITE, GASP!!) in my attempts to encourage him to participate in flushing this out of his system.

I have the vaporizer going in his room. The trouble is, if you have a child that insists on keeping the door OPEN all night, it sort of negates the success rate of the vaporizer. Forty-five minute long hot showers in steamy bathrooms? Check. The child has traded in his snuggly bear at night for a roll of toilet paper to wipe his nose. He honestly has been cuddling a roll of toilet paper. I feel awful.

So two nights ago I gave him some medicine to dry him out. It felt slightly like handing him a pack of cigarettes. In case anyone was wondering, it didn't make him sleep better and it didn't hype him up. So there goes THAT remedy for long plane rides. It did, however, seem to dry him out a little bit. I was hoping for instant and complete success that would make it seem worth going against the tide of public opinion, but something is better than nothing. He seems to be back to his cranky nearly 4-year-old self. The nose is still running but I think we are on the back end of this illness.

Tell me. Illicit low dosage cough medicine for extreme situations or no? You can flame me out if you want. My feelings won't be hurt. The Valentine's Supersisters giveaway of the day is SuperWhy DVD's for FIVE (you read that right) people who comment today by 8 p.m. Remember that every day you comment is another chance to win one of those fabulous grand prizes: the Graco SweetPeace or the HP Wireless Printer.

Our winners of the flash drive bracelets from Saturday go to everyone who commented on Saturday. YAY, you for checking out Supersisters on the weekend!!


All You Need is Love (and lots of liquids)

Posted by Kristen on February 5, 2009 at 7:00 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Both of my kids are sick. It started out with the little one and a chest cough that makes him sound like Mickey Rourke the morning after a particularly difficult night out. I kept him out of preschool on Tuesday because I felt bad.

This was particularly magnanimous of me since I should probably admit that a very large part of me just wanted to send him to school. He only goes to preschool twice a week. Keeping him home means that my already slim me time gets cut in half. He was chipper enough, with no fever. But bless his heart, he was sick. We walked past his class to drop of his brother and Nathan's teacher was surprised I was taking him back home. Surprised but clearly pleased with my good mothering. And pleasing Nathan's veteran preschool teacher is no small feat.

I remember how I used to feel about those snotty-nosed kids I saw out in public before I had kids. How dare those mothers take those poor children out when they were clearly ill. It only took me about 20 seconds of motherhood to realize that it is possible to be stuck in your house for a good six months in winter if you are waiting for a day when your child's nose isn't running like a faucet. Schools have those fever/green snot/diarrhea rules for a reason. Anything less and the schools would be empty.

My first born woke up this morning with the same hacking cough. Today wasn't a school day so I had no moral dilemma. Nathan spent the entire day hacking up a lung and jumping off the top of the futon couch while his brother asked me to make him a "comfy fire in the fireplace" and snuggle him on the couch. Somehow I think I'll be dropping off one and bringing the other home with me again tomorrow. That "me" time? It's only a matter of time before they are grown up and I'm wondering where the time went. I'll just keep telling myself that.

OK, let me off the hook. Share that one time in your memory that you just may have taken that slightly sick baby out or dropped that slightly too snotty preschooler at school because Mama just needed a break. We have these awesome snuggle-able Grover and Elmo (along with stickers and other good stuff) to send to two lucky people who leave comments. And don't forget that leaving a comment enters you into our kicking grand prize drawing for a Graco SweetPeace or an HP Wireless Printer.

Oh. And our winners from yesterday? Jenny, Dana Fontaine, Susan F., Amber, Carrie, The Bearded Lady, Nancy, Leticia, Libby, and Ann get the SteveSongs CD! YAY!!! Thanks so much for sharing all your cheesy songs!


Sid the Science Kid Journal and Magnifying Kit and Becoming an Expert

Posted by Kristen on February 2, 2009 at 6:33 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Sid the Science Kid Kit_2-1.JPGEthan has taken to questioning everyone's qualifications on everything lately. He has learned the word "expert" from one of his shows (I'm not pointing any fingers but I may be nodding in your direction, Martha Speaks. Or would that be Word Girl?). Either way, he wants to know exactly where you stand on all information you share with him.

Ethan: Did you know that Dad is an expert? He is an expert about using tools.

Yeah, Dad is an expert in a Tim, the Tool Man kinda way. OK, so he is pretty good with the tools but I don't think Bob Vela is calling him any time soon to stand in for him.

Ethan: You are an expert too.
K: What makes me an expert, Ethan?
Ethan: I don't know. But I know that me and Harrison are experts too.
K: You boys are experts of what?
Ethan: We're just experts.

I'm thinking they are both experts at negotiating favorable dinner choices, at negotiating later bed times and experts at asking questions--if expertise is measured by sheer volume of questions.

So now here is your question of the day. Share with us what kind of expert your child (or niece or nephew or grandchild or your even what kind of expert you were growing up) to enter into our random drawing for one of these great Sid the Science Kid Journal sets during our fabulous Valentine's Giveaway. Please don't tell Ethan that they exist because he'll be trying to figure out how to enter himself. I am not quite ready for him to be a computer expert just yet. And remember that every day you comment, you are giving yourself another shot at the brand new HP Wireless Printer and the Graco SweetPeace grand prizes we will give away on Valentine's Day!!

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