Adult Swim

Summer is here and we’ve been spending a lot of time at the pool. A group of gal pals and our kids were snacking on PB&Js, carrot sticks and juice boxes during a break in the action the other day when one’s toddler asked to go back in the water. She tried to explain that it was adult swim and only the grown-ups could be in the pool right then. Someone corrected her and said the grown-ups without toddlers/pre-schoolers.

We all laughed and while sneaking bites of peanut’s pretzels I mused that my days could really use an adult swim.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone blow a whistle once an hour mandating 10 – 15 minutes of child-free time? Time to pee with the door shut, read a chapter or two of that book that’s been sitting on the nightstand for a few months gathering dust, take a power nap, simply sit with your feet up, read that article/blog post/email without dodging projectile toys or drink a cup of coffee with a section of the paper?

Maybe those are just the wistful yearnings of a mom whose child has given up nap time. But a few moments an hour of adult-only time sounds like heaven. Just like my little guy NEEDS time with me and is much better behaved when he has had that attention when we’re building blocks, reading books or playing Candy Land (again), I NEED some time without him. Not a lot of time, but a little. I know I’m better behaved when I have it.

So I’ll continue to sneak in my own adult swim time while he’s “resting,” watching a video or refusing my help in building train tracks. I suppose there are worse things than adult time accompanied by a cute little peanut and a juice box. It would just be nice if occasionally it was a cute lifeguard and a drink with an umbrella in it instead.


Florida 2009

Although our Florida trip lacked an actual shuttle launch, the whole purpose of the trip, it was filled with fun and memories. I’ll try not to bore you too much with a play-by-play recap of a 500+ miles car trip, 3am wake-up calls for no reason and the trip to Sears Sunday afternoon to replace a tire (that luckily was under warranty and therefore free) with a tear in it before we drove 500+ miles home again.

A few of the highlights:

  • Our hotel had a personal greeter Saturday morning as our mostly naked child waved and said “hello, where are you going?” to everyone walking in or out of the front door below our third floor room:
  • There was the hot, hot, hot day at Kennedy Space Center. Whew, it was hot. And I LIVE in the south. There were lots of space craft, lots of buildings that smelled like they should be in Apollo 13, and stuffed shuttles in the gift shop (just what I want to snuggle up to at night). We managed to escape without any strange souvenirs, mainly because this happened:
  • Peanut slept with us. Not romantic for a little getaway, sure, but I cherished every moment that we all snuggled together (this isn’t typical for us, we aren’t normally a family bed kind of bunch). I am very excited for peanut to have a brother and to add another munchkin to our family, but it is a little sad to think about how we won’t be a family of three much longer. Sleeping together also gave us a first hand look at what really goes on as peanut falls asleep. The stories and songs he performed were hilarious (“I’m a zero man, a zero man” – where does he get this stuff?).
  • Pumpkin really started getting active this weekend. It was a real joy to begin to feel this new little life making his presence known in such a physically strong manner.
  • Ah, the beach. Need I say more?
  • Peanut LOVED the hotel. Whenever we were out, he asked when we were going back to the hotel. He was obsessed with the elevator and pushed the buttons each time we got on (including hitting the alarm a few times and pushing the call for assistance button once – oops). He also wanted to “find” our room every time we returned – and darned if the kid didn’t get super excited every time he found it (and he found it correctly every time). He actually started a tantrum when we got home because he wanted to go back to the hotel. Who knew it would be so exciting?

Now that we’re finally getting back on track with our routines, we’re already prepping for our next trip. After surviving an 8 hour drive, the two hour flight to New England sounds like a breeze! Although we missed the actual launch (now postponed until July), I don’t regret going. It’s amazing what a change in scenery and a little ocean air can do.

Mmmmm, ocean air. *sigh* I might have to consider changing the name of this space to “Flip Flops and Beach Chairs.”

A Tale of Scrubbed Launches, Baby Parts and Grapes

It’s been a whirlwind of a ride the last few days between the trip, the ultrasound, the call to 911…

Let’s start with a quick note on the trip. I think I’ll do a separate post just on the trip later, but suffice it to say – it was a blast, even though it lacked a blast off. NASA postponed the launch again (rescheduled from Saturday to today) and it looks like it will happen sometime in July. The hubby’s still toying with the idea of going back (our launch viewing tickets are good for the mission, so it would just be getting down there again). I’m not sure I’m up for it again, but we’ll see.

The ultrasound went perfectly. We were able to see everything and measure all the appropriate parts and bodily functions. I don’t remember peanut’s ultrasound being so clear. We saw a frontal view of pumpkin’s little face and he is adorable, nose just like his big brother’s and he was opening and closing his mouth like he was trying to tell us something.

Yup. I said he. We are having another boy. No doubt about it. And I definitely did not need an explanation when we got that view on the screen – he was showing off his little boy parts quite clearly!

So we’re in for years and years of sports practices, roughhousing, bugs, dirt and potty jokes. And I am thrilled. Thrilled because he looks perfect already. Thrilled because now I know and can start getting to know this newly squirmy little fellow a little better. Thrilled to just be halfway there.

I was on a nice high after the ultrasound and trying to plow through the mess that seems to always accumulate while we are away when peanut came to the doorway of the kitchen visibly choking on something and in quite a deal of distress. This sentence doesn’t seem to encapsulate the gasping, terror-filled face that looked at me for help and my feelings of inadequacy when my first few tries were totally fruitless at doing anything.

I quickly dialed 911 and prayed to God that they would get there in time. Thankfully, while I was on the phone with the paramedics, peanut was draped across my lap on the floor while I continued to whack him and a grape came out. He immediately started screaming, wailing and otherwise letting the emergency responder on the other end of the line know that he was in fact breathing. The guy on the phone did agree to send the paramedics out anyway to have peanut checked out.

The paramedics were stellar. Peanut was a little skittish about getting examined and hid in a big box that he calls his house. One of the paramedics got down on the floor with him and asked about his house and finally convinced him to let him get his pulse and hear him breathe (apparently he has three year old twins at home and had a few tricks up his sleeve). I should have had them examine me since as soon as they left after giving him a clean bill of health, I fell apart.

It all happened so quickly and so easily (there was a grape leftover over from morning snack on the table I wasn’t aware of). No matter how many nights I’ve been anxious over peanut having a fever or a cold or a banged head, I’ve never looked into my son’s eyes and honestly felt like if I made a wrong move I could lose him forever.

That didn’t happen and apparently I did something right since we did manage to get that grape out on my own. I’m forcing myself to not think about the what ifs, they’re entirely too frightening to contemplate. And we’re already looking into not only retaking the infant CPR class before pumpkin arrives, but a child CPR class as well. I’m not taking any chances. Neither is peanut. After it came out, between gasping sobs, peanut said “no more grapes, mommy.”

Sure thing, kid. Sure thing.


Long story short – it’s been a roller coaster of a few days and I could really use a nap. Too bad peanut doesn’t take them anymore! I’ll just look forward to another early bed time.

Let the Countdown Begin

We’re in the midst of packing up and planning our trip down to Florida this weekend for the big launch. The hubby and peanut are both extremely excited. Peanut keeps insisting that we’re not just going to see the rocket ship launch, but that we’re going into space, too…”to see the planets.” I don’t have the heart to tell him that’s impossible. I figure we can ask some poor official-looking person at Kennedy Space Center if we can go with the astronauts and let that person be the bearer of bad news. Better them than me. I seem to cause enough tantrums around here as it is. Let someone else have a turn, I say.

Strangely, the launch is also serving as a bit of a distraction. Our big 20 week ultrasound is on Tuesday, the day after we return.

I’m super eager to see this little pumpkin. The last several weeks of this pregnancy have been full of paranoia. Why aren’t I feeling it move earlier than I did with peanut? What does detecting a positive group beta strep really mean this early? What do you mean fifth disease is going around the neighborhood and I’m one of the few people who are apparently not immune?

Knowing that I’ll get to see that little one for myself, and that the pumpkin finally started to make gymnastics a routine occurrence in the last two weeks, has helped to ease this paranoia a bit. And, thankfully, the trip is serving as a wonderful distraction to obsessive counting down to that ultrasound moment.

But with the distraction comes the delayed realization that we’ll hopefully find out if it’s a boy or a girl in just a few days. I really don’t have an idea…so feel free to weigh in and guess. I won’t have time to post again before the big day, so here are some tidbits to help you decide:

  • I had all-day nausea with peanut and just spotty low-blood sugar type of nausea during this pregnancy’s first trimester.
  • I am much more emotional this time around. Lots more weepy than I was with peanut.
  • I craved junk food (like McDonald’s, pizza, ice cream) with peanut. This time, the cravings have been very different (coffee, olives, fried egg sandwiches on white bread with ketchup, fruit, hot dogs, ice cream…okay, that one isn’t different at all), and overall I’m eating better than I probably did before I was pregnant.
  • I was completely averse to the site of shrimp during my first pregnancy (have you ever noticed how many restaurant commercials include a shrimp? ALL of them, it seems). I also couldn’t stand the thought of drinking coffee. This time, no real aversions EXCEPT broccoli. Seriously, I can’t eat it. And I love broccoli, normally.
  • I am hungry all the time. Much more than with peanut. And I have to balance my protein throughout the day or I end up with killer headaches.

I didn’t admit it much when I was pregnant with peanut, but I was pretty sure he was a boy. I was not at all surprised when the technician made the announcement. This time, I’m clueless. I’ll spend a few days convinced it’s another boy than wake up in the morning “knowing” it’s a girl. I’m totally confused.

Since I haven’t got a clue, feel free to leave your comments and make a guess.

And I’ll be back next week with the verdict (hopefully – watch, I’ll have a shy baby) and some interesting stories from our shuttle experience (have I mentioned we have to be on site BY 5am? Should be an interesting day between a toddler and a woman who can’t have caffeine. Poor hubby.) and family beach time.

Have a wonderful weekend.

To Pee or Not to Pee

Back in the fall, when the deadlines for preschool applications all seemed to be looming, I thought about researching somewhere for peanut to go for the 09-10 school year. But, peanut’s got an August birthday, and, chances are, we’ll keep him from starting kindergarten for a year so he’ll be a barely six as opposed to a barely five when he starts. This is more for his social and emotional development than academic (hello, have you all read Outliers? Okay, I haven’t either, but the hubby did and I believe him!). So my reasoning was, keep him out of preschool another year and then he’ll have two years of preschool prior to kindergarten as opposed to three years.

Random logic, maybe, but seemed to work for me last fall. I was at peace with the decision.

Then we got pregnant and the reality of chasing a toddler/preschooler who needed more stimulation than I could physically handle this spring made me question this decision. A lot. I figured, though, that most of the preschools I liked would be full and all hope would be lost. As I started gaining my energy back, I tried convincing myself I could handle it. No problem. Two kids at home all day will be a breeze. Right?

Until, at happy hour, a wonderful friend mentioned the preschool her daughter attends was going to be expanding…long story short, I called, we visited, we liked, he’s in for next year. I can’t even tell you what a huge relief this has been – to know I will have a few hours on a few days a week in the latter stages of this pregnancy as well as when pumpkin arrives. Not to mention I think it will be a wonderful outlet for peanut. When we visited the school, he had a tantrum because he wanted to stay (luckily, they agreed to accept him despite the tantrum).

And then the lovely director informed me the three year old class needs to be potty trained.


I was planning on making a full-on attempt this summer anyway, but figured if it didn’t work we could shelve it until later in the fall or after pumpkin arrived. Now it’s looking like I have a firm deadline.

My friends with potty trained kids have a mixed bag of experiences. Some starts and stops. Some early and easy successes. Some who had a huge help from their day cares to make the transition a lot easier at home. I have no idea where peanut will fall on this spectrum since this kid could have the most obvious stink in his pants and deny up and down that he’s pooped.

So, I’ve been gathering up resources in the last few days. Researching books on Amazon. Quizzing friends about what’s worked and what hasn’t. Trying to get a handle on all the different tactics, approaches, reward ideas, etc, so that when our traveling show is over at the end of the month, we can hit the ground running in July and MAYBE (fingers crossed, salt over the shoulder, spit-spit, stars aligned) he’ll be out of diapers by his third birthday.

And I think he’s getting close to recognizing when he has to go. After stubbing his toe, he came crawling into my lap for some comfort. While I held him, he got very quiet, so I asked if his owie was better. He giggled.

“Mommy, I peed on you.”

Yeah. It’s going to be an interesting summer.


From what I understand, Steve Jobs is still yammering at the WWDC as I type this as the collective techie world holds its breath for another *BIG* Apple announcement.

However, unless it’s an “iTot” equivalent of the iPhone for toddlers, I’m not interested:

Not only can my kid turn it on and off (despite the “lock” feature), he can manipulate it to change alarm noises (a feature we use often at night to indicate when playtime will end and bath time will begin) and find his favorite apps. Yes, he has favorite apps.

The kid is not even three yet. I’d like to think he’s a genius for figuring it out, but I have a feeling Apple is the real winner since they’ve now locked my son in as a future customer for life.

I can almost here the Dr. Evil laugh from Silicon Valley now if I concentrate hard enough.

High Heels and Reality TV

I admit I’ve been sucked back into the drama that is Jon and Kate. I loved the show when it was focused on the difficulties raising eight kids and felt relatively real. When the product placements and trips and benefits started appearing in each episode, the show lost a bit of its luster and I tuned out.

The tabloid headlines were enough to tempt me to tune in for the season premier to see exactly how the show would handle the real life drama on a “reality” show…how real would it get?

There are plenty of things I could say, observations to make, but in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter to me and who am I to judge? It matters to those poor kids and I have to have faith that their parents will put their interests before those of the 9.8 million viewers who tuned in last week.

The one thing that did stand out that I do feel qualified to comment on…Kate’s shoes.

Anyone else notice how in episode one she goes to a children’s museum with six kids in a pair of very sassy peep toe heels? Then, last night (yes, I tuned in again), when faced with a surprise destination for her birthday, she changes out of jeans and a pull over into a silk top, blazer and hot pink heels.

That was when I knew this show was no longer based in reality. I’m sorry. But heels at a children’s museum? How do you manage the quick extrication of a child from a tussle over the moon sand shovels or referee a dispute in the mini-kitchen when squatting on a pair of heels? An unknown destination with eight kids? Chances are it’s not going to be a five star restaurant.

Maybe it’s just jealousy. I only have one child (plus a ride along) and I can’t imagine pulling out my pumps for a play date. Okay, I’d like to imagine that play date, but my reality is flats instead of the ubiquitous flip flops is considered “dressing up.”

Oh well. Who am I to deny someone the pleasure of sassing up an outfit? If I weren’t currently a walking cliche of barefoot and pregnant (and eating ice cream…again), I might be tempted to try out the heels at the next meeting of our toddler art group. But the thought of finger paint on my shoes or playground mulch peeping through my peep toes? Horrors. I’d rather wear the flip flops and call it a day.

Maybe I’ll compensate with mascara that day.