Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone!

I hope this post finds all of you doing well and excited to spend some down time with loved ones on Thursday. If you can't be with loved ones then I hope you get some great food instead. A small consolation prize but a nice distraction anyway.

We are all doing well here in PA and basically getting last minute preparations completed before the newest arrival decides to make her entrance. As of this morning she has calmed down a whole lot, movements are small and cramped and I personally feel like I could hibernate all winter and still want more sleep.

How's big brother to be doing? I am proud to report that he is doing well with the IDEA of a baby sister (the real thing will of course be another story but that's besides the point).
Grayson has taken a liking to "checking on the baby" in the nursery which at first unnerved me (as there is no baby but just blankets and a weird little stuffed animal bug thing in the crib where he "checks") but now I find it extremely charming and sweet. He has also taken to patting my monster belly several times a day and "hugging" the baby sister. This morning was the sweetest. While I sat Indian-style on the rug folding laundry, Grayson decided the baby in Mommy's belly was bored and needed entertainment. He sat w/me patting my stomach for about 2 minutes before declaring, "Be right back Mommy." I could then hear him shuffling about in the bathroom until he surfaced 5 minutes later with his bathtub xylephone to play "the drums" for his baby sister. It was a short concert and one that ended with keys being flung toward Sadie but the sentiment was out there.

In light of the holiday we are about to celebrate, and before signing off today I wanted to list a few things that I am personally thankful for this year. These are in no particular order and certainly in no order of importance whatsoever.

I Give Thanks For

Grayson's small hands in my hair
Andy's aftershave in the morning
Sadie's sweet face and wagging bum
My parents and grandparents-every single last one of them living and already gone
My siblings who I never get to see often enough
This belly I'm toting that is holding inside of it the most precious girl I've never met
Swiffers (had to break the depth somehow)
Our military
Old friends who are dear to my heart
ALL friends who I think about more often than I contact
Coloring books and crayons
Sarah McLachlan & Pink's Duet
My girl time at 8pm twice a week w/MarniHAY!
Clementine oranges that are so easy to peel
Liberty Thrift
Contractions (means the end is near)
Therapy (self, professional, whatever works)
Christmas music in the stores
McD's vanilla iced coffee
Grayson's doctor who is so patient with both of us
Good advice
Peppermint patties
Hair clips
Target and WaWa
The last few flowers to remain after frost
Silver jewelry
My debit card (can't ever keep cash in my wallet)
Humility, growth, and curiosity
a year filled with more than I could've asked for!

Monday, November 3, 2008


A success story! Bear was found at approximately 9:00pm last night. I went to print out a picture for Uncle Alex's birthday and look at what refugee I discovered. We had to give Grayson kudos for hiding spots...when the door to the printer was closed, you'd never guess there could be a tiny stuffed animal lodged in there safe and sound. No worse for the wear, Bear is back on the couch enjoying his share of Jello pops and partially gnawed on graham crackers. Life is good. Thank you all for your concern and now we all know of another great place to look when you can't find your valuables.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

If Found...

I suppose it was bound to happen. Just last night Grayson misplaced his beloved "Bear." Though Bear is cuddly and cute, let's be clear that he is no ordinary folk. Bear is Grayson's rock, his compadre, his brother in arms. That being said, it's probably not hard to imagine our small-scale panic when we realized, come bedtime last night, that we could not find him anywhere! I was barely able to escape with the response, "Ummm, Bear is going to stay up late tonight to...ummm...to make Grayson Jello," after being asked about him for the 10th time in a row. Somehow, a sleepy toddler drifted off with warm thoughts of Bear holding a spatula over a hot pan of gelatinous goop. Since then, we've been searching every place imaginable (and unimaginable for that matter-seriously, did I really expect to SEE him in the freezer?) for him to no avail. In the meantime, I'm scouring ebay for his body double. Shhh, it's our little secret.

Grayson bonding with "Bear"- 4 months old (both of them)

About Bear:
Small, brown, soft as heaven with a slight grimace - Bear has been a stoic companion for Grayson for a solid and steady 25 months. He has been cried upon, force fed apple juice, squeezed relentlessly, dragged along to various sojourns, upchucked all over, shoved into washers, dryers, and probably an ill-fated destination (read: the trashcan) most recently by his own keeper's hands. Bear is not only great company, he is also a very good listener. For the past two years, Grayson wakes up, grabs Bear from beside him and talks through important issues such as Mommy whereabouts, the state of things in the crib (wet, dry, ungodly smelly), or whether or not it is a day to wear long "seeves" or short. Friends like that don't come along very often and this won't be an easy loss for the team whatsoever if Mom can't produce some serious doppleganger results and soon. I'm off to the Brookstone store online to see what I can find. In the meantime, anyone have any suggestions as to where else a two year old might hide his favorite friend? I will keep you posted. This should get interesting....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Momma Earth vs. The World Series

There's just something really comforting about a good, dark, October rain. The kind that lasts all day long and will not stop short like a summer shower in June. The kind that makes cars and their drivers forget what to do exactly. The sort of weather that makes dogs sleepy and toddlers sleepier, thus affording a guilt-free Mom's Day to unwind. This is the type of rain that is going on here right now as I type. It is sideways, cold, stomping, and if I may add: a little furious. If I think of our earth as a woman I would have to guess that she is PMS'ing and having herself a good cry over a (half eaten) box of Oreos while watching 'Dirty Jobs.' Achem, not all women need "The Notebook" to connect with their inner woes.

It certainly is not hard to sit back and relax while Momma Earth vents a few of her own sorrows. I know it's the least I can do considering the closest to giving back I've done, as of late, is to avoid taking long baths and to rinse out the many recyclables our household consumes. It's my pleasure to let her unleash a few million soggy clouds as long as she wants and to hope that somehow maybe it helps get us all back on track, just like a no-nonsense pity party is designed to do.

As the trash cans skid across the street outside (still not used to Tues. as "Trash Day"), the flowers bob happily in their beds, and the neighbor's Halloween decorations whip with angst on their hooks I will sit in my office and daydream about Mother Earth entrusting us to stay indoors, observe, and perhaps give thanks for her usual sunny disposition wherever we are in her lap. It's a good place to be and I for one am happy to witness her depth of character today, first-hand, as this rare and lengthy precip-fest wreaks havoc on downspouts, recess, and the World Series. Just like a scorned woman to have the most impeccable timing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Yikes, it's already the end of Oct. and I haven't written since the beginning. I'm sorry my devoted bloggees. I will try to be more together in the future (she says with a hint of dubious self-doubt).

First off, I have to tout the newest read. Emergency read actually if you're curious. After the kind of weekend Andy and I had, we needed parental help in the form of tantrum intervention. Grayson's tantrums, not mine. That's a whole 'nother blog baby ;) Yesiree the terrible twos started like clockwork on Oct. 9, 2008. Funny that my last blog was around then....

The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D.

I would attend this man's church if he started one. Seriously I find this author a bona-fide tried and true genius although I realize it probably took him over 15 years in practice to come to his simple recipes and formulas for taming wild toddler meltdowns. I'm just happy he decided to sell his book at Target since that seems to be the only store my van can find these days. Bad habits die hard.

I'd love to sit here and write a book but my brain is barely moving forward and my feet look like flesh colored miniature watermelons (not so mini now that I glance down at them) so I'm afraid I've got to wait until a better opportunity presents itself. However, I want to leave you with a funny story or one that I found simply delightful relating to these new Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde emotional spirals...

So, every night I sing Grayson to sleep or a phase so close to sleep that my shirt has little puddles of his drool on it when I walk out of his room (sorry, what's charming to me is probably disgusting for you!). To get him close to that comfy place of snuggling into his crib I sing the same four songs to him every night. After reading the above mentioned book I came to realize that this is yet another form of a "lovey" for some children. I've learned now that Grayson finds "quicky comfort" from knowing what to expect from these songs he now knows word for word. The songs usually come out in this order:

Sidewalks of New York
Teddybear Picnic
Frosty the Snowman
Jingle Bells

I know, I know, it's still a long haul until Christmas but when I'm tired all lyrics fall out of my head save Christmas carols. Hey, I know many of you have no choice but to agree with this :) Anyway, the other night Grayson was "displeased" with something I said to him and decided to throw himself into the stairwell and writhe in agony and despair over despicable Mommy comment. Instead of being a warm, caring and nurturing recipient of this tantrum I instead decided to blow off some of my own hot air and sing a Leona Lewis song-loudly. Well, this just peeled the shingles right off Grayson's roof because he began to wail louder than anything human. It took me a second to realize he was saying something through all that white noise. I stopped singing long enough to recognize his garbled message. "ShideWall! Shidewall" "Shidewall of New Yow-ok" he was screaming as loud as those little lungs would allow. Ah! There you have it. Grayson wanted me to sing one of his favorites. This poor little boy, in the midst of his laborious meltdown found it in his mind to make a request. I guess he figured if he had to listen to Mommy belt something out, he'd be happier to know the words himself. I almost cried when he then shouted, "Frosteee!" with a little smile on his impish face as if he knew damn well that would wipe out any kind of heat either of us were feeling at the same time. Who could still be mad after singing about a jolly happy soul? He's smarter than his Mommy already and he can't even read yet (or so I think!)

G'night and much love,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Opposites attract which is why Andy and I found each other. I'm an independent, he's a republican. I'm an oversized playground, he's a quiet formal dining room. I'm an animal freak, he's an avid hunter. You get the idea. Well, finding out the sex of our baby was no different. We had differing opinions on wanting to find out. I did and he didn't. It's been a crazy time since then, trying to keep this secret from him. You can imagine living with someone- sharing a couch, a pint of Ben & Jerry's, a conversation and trying to pick names, nursery colors, or even watching the baby move in my belly and NOT mentioning "he" or "she." There were plenty of times when it almost slipped and I thought I let the cat out of the bag but evidently he was still in the dark up until last night.

Last night Andy found out through an innocent comment of a very dear friend (who shall remain nameless to protect her from scrutiny). It was the biggest relief of my lifetime and I couldn't have been more tickled that he found out in an accidental way and now we can talk about it.

He's still in shock, I can tell, and really believed (as I did before the last ultrasound) that we could only make boy babies. I tell him there's room for mistake and we should still have boy names as back up but really I'm sure the Dr.s aren't off the mark on this one. This little baby is such a girl already in utero it's ridiculous. I eat ice cream, she kicks like crazy. I turn the music up, she dances a jig in my belly. I take a trip to the store and she urges me to buy pinks and purples. Okay, so maybe the last one is a stretch but the rest is true and now I get to share my girl hopes, joys, and fears with my husband who is now part of the "I KNOW!" club whether he likes it or not. My guess is that he likes it ;)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Good Tuesday to you all!

I hope this blog finds everyone doing very well. Thanks for continuing to come back and read what we've been up to, as trivial as it may be at times. I am loving your comments too so keep 'em coming when you feel like it!

This morning I thought I'd try to post a couple of Grayson's songs. Below is a link to one and I hope it works. If not, I'll be back to try to fix it later.

He astounded me this morning over banana pancakes by singing ALL of his ABCs that he learned at preschool. We sing all the time in the house but I didn't realize he knew the entire song until just this morning. It sure is humbling to realize they absorb so much from other people and places in addition to what you try to teach them yourself. Anyway, take a listen and hopefully I can post some others soon.


Be back later,

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Day at the Park

When the hubby's on travel and the days are long, sometimes there's just nothing better to do than to take an afternoon trip to the park. We're so lucky to have a really great park complete w/pond that Sadie wades through within a stone's throw from our house. However, on this day "Grandma Nonie" (pictured below w/Sadie)and I drove b/c the wagon ride seemed like a hike through the Appalachians w/this ever-growing belly weighing me (us?) down.

Grayson was much more excited by the broken water fountain and Bocce Ball Court "sand" than by the slides and swings. He had a wonderful time playing w/his shadows and watching Sadie disappear into the cattails in the pond. It was a good day to have my camera.

(By the way, I'm feeling great, for those of you who've been concerned. No more repercussions from the hyperemesis that I can really notice and even the scars are fading. Doesn't mean I'm not tying up shop forever-more after this baby's born but even that I'm thinking about twice now. Wow, doesn't take very long for the amnesia to hit, does it? )

Friday, September 19, 2008

Advice Please

"I'm hungry and all my pants are too big."
I just realized you could put pics in the actual blog post. Rookie mistake I hope. I'll have to do that to save on the scrolling avenue of photos on our right...

Does anyone have any advice on a toddler who just isn't into eating? My son is either sneaking downstairs and making himself peanut butter sandwiches at night or he can quite literally survive off of pancakes (2 very little ones at that) at 7am, a few Goldfish crackers throughout the day, and about 15 oz. of apple juice/water/milk. He outright refuses much lunch, if any and almost never eats dinner. Granted, I really do suck as a cook but I've been keeping things super simple to try to appease a persnickity palate. I guess my next step is to cut back on the fluids to see if he's filling himself up that way but that just feels mean if he's not starving himself?

What say you, readers? Seriously, I'm asking even if you think it sounds obvious and even if you don't have children of your own. Anything goes.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shopping Issues

For those of you who are shoppers, more power to you. Seriously, I've always envied people who can spend lots of time and lots of money on their appearance or their home's appearance but I've never been one of them. Shopping to me is like walking around a carnival without any real desire to ride the rides. All fun to look at but you don't really know what you're doing there after a few minutes.

I have been, however, a Target fanatic through and through b/c it is a "one stop" shopping mecca. You'e in and out in less than an hour and have plenty of time to play at the park or stop off at Quizno's (there will be forever more, until Dec. at least, a food theme here on this blog-be forewarned.) Perhaps this is what they mean by the "nesting instinct" but lately I've stayed awake too late at night w/the need and desire to find the perfect whatever. Granted, we have under three months to get ready for our next little minion to arrive but that's a sorry excuse for the number of times I've been in the stores or online looking and obsessing over material goods for this little baby number two. Today I went to Gymboree and spent 45 minutes picking out at least 20 little outfits with matching beanies, blankets, and socks. Matching beanies and blankets? This coming from a woman who can't tell you what goes with off-white. Ah well, there are worse things...at least all these items were 50% off and now baby Shriver won't freeze in mid-December.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Word Play for Tracy

September 12, 2008

a rainy day between summer and fall

falling short of summering at all

chalk on the driveway

crumbs on the floor

why doesn't the maid pick up anymore?

baby's running out of space at

-L'Hotel Economie.

was there ever a time for

Victoria's Secrecy?

toddler's sleeping now

for an hour or four

mom's baking brownies -

what calorie war?

Husband's attending

a "Hail and Farewell"

wife's attending

a potty training

(not going so well).

rainbow scrawlings on the table,

juice droppings galore,

polka dotting our carpets, our walls,

and our floor.

Today is a day inside, not out

I'd give nothing to change it

although I may shout,

(cry, bargain, beg, hide far away)

This is our living,

This is today.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Lately I've been researching moonbounces for Grayson's 2nd b-day. Just last night I ran across a rental place that advertises one in particular that is "for all ages." Could this be right? Am I thinking wistfully and selfishly? Could this moonbounce really hold all one hundred and...you can guess the rest...pounds of me plus another 30 or so for the birthday boy? What about the other party guests? Will it collapse in on itself like a bad comedy if we all jump in there like pathetic older kids whose parents aren't looking? I cannot even imagine such a specimen...until....

Today Grayson and I went to a place called, "Bouncetown." I had been hyping this place up since I decided we'd go there last night so Grayson and Mom were equally excited about the prospect of a place where running, jumping, and bouncing to our heart's delight is not only allowed but encouraged! So we pull up one hour before close (I'm excited, not crazy-it was close to his nap time) After an impromptu meltdown (one could ask, "aren't they all impromptu?" to which I would reply "no because there are definite times a young one has sent many signals of distress that the meltdown is imminent but not yet decided upon.") This one was different- and it was all Kellogg's fault. If they didn't make such delicious Nutri-Grain bars we would've glided right into the property without a second glance. And I'll take the other half of the blame for pulling the Mom Card at the wrong time. There I was, not wanting to make a bad impression on the Bouncetown staff (b/c we're all joining a Book Club together? having late tea? becoming pen pals? don't ask me, it's a thing about the "public personae" I'd have to guess.) I told Grayson he couldn't bring his beloved Apple Nutri-Grain bar with him into the building. I may as well have unzipped my son from himself because this unexpected announcement caused him to become 100% unglued. In the parking lot. In front of the huge bay windows where all the parents sat. Thank goodness for those windows in retrospect as they were my only shot at distraction. A few stolen peeks at other toddlers galavanting around and Grayson was mute with awe and renewed expectation. So we check in, pay our 8 dollars, put our shoes in those cute little cubbies and...
there they were - in all their primary color glory-about three GIGANTIC bounce houses that could IN FACT hold adults as well as children! The woman behind the counter actually used the words, "Please feel free to bounce too!" Grayson was overwhelmed, I was overjoyed and together we walked aimlessly around in our socks trying to get the lay of the land. Just when we spotted an opening into one of the beautiful pillowy havens and I lift my son into this rainbow land of fun, Grayson decides to go monkey-boy on me and clutch onto my hair, face, and shoulders like I'm going to drop him into a pit of hungry hedgehogs (they're much scarier than they sound.) Drat my luck...this is my ONE chance to return to my youth and let my limbs fly where they may but I am once again reminded of my adulthood and motherly responsibilities.

About ten minutes later and after much gentle coaxing, I help Grayson find the fun out of climbing into one of the inflatable giants. This one happened to be a combination slide that reached maybe 12 feet high (okay NOW I can appreciate my little boy's initial shock and terror) and we spent a good solid five minutes somersaulting around and generally giggling like idiots. "Good", I thought to myself, "now he's probably ready for the big guns," and we make our way to the front climbing section. Being the good sport that he is, my son follows his mommy to this insanely tall "staircase" if you will and just looks up at me as if to say, "Aren't there any see-saws or baby swings available at the park today?" But no, I don't cave, I press on in my attempt to climb these stairs with toddler in tow. It must have been the lure of a ridiculously fun fall or the high from the extra oxygen being pumped into this room but my sane brain had left me for a short holiday. Luckily, before we made our ascent, another mom busied me with conversation about potty training, military moves, and her not-so-secret distaste for Sarah Palin and Grayson never had to make the treacherous climb up to the top of Mt. Scarier than Hellimanjoro. I bet she was an angel toddler saver who made it her immortal duty to rescue little tykes from the near catastrophic decisions of their adventure-deprived mothers. Thank God for you Miss Angel of Bouncetown. We both made it out of those billowing pretend buildings and safely back into the lobby where Grayson spent 30 minutes in a coin-operated space shuttle. This miniature aircraft gently rocked back and forth like a warm bubble bath while playing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." The smile on his face said it all and my heart couldn't have been more humbled. My goodness will he ever survive me??

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alone Time

Everyone can appreciate a little alone time and I'm no different. Just last night I ordered myself some sushi (sin of all pregnant lady sins! Well okay, calling it sushi is being dramatic b/c it was a California roll) and left the house ALONE to pick up my luxurious meal. Since we live in Skippack, PA there is no such thing as "rush hour" and an eight car line would be considered "backup." Last night I was in our version of traffic and had to slow my roll to a maximum speed of 11 mph. In most circumstances, this would infuriate any normal driver. For me, however, I rolled down my windows, felt the 6pm breeze blow my hair to smithereens, and cranked a Pat Benetar song on the radio.

Glancing around from driver to driver I realized none of us were in the process of gesticulating, cursing, or otherwise throwing an adult-size tantrum. It was a good time to be alone for the lot of us. I imagined the gentleman in front of me as a single father who had just dropped off his son at a soccer game (soccer's big here) and was going to get a beer before heading back to practice to retrieve his son. Granted, this does not make him Father-of the-Year by any stretch, but he had that stale Malboro Man look about him and as long as the game took a couple of hours there's no harm in a small libation to pass the time. Regardless, this gentleman simply rolled his windows down as well and tapped his cigarette to the time of his Def Leopard jam. The woman behind me? She and what probably was her mother (they had the same high cheekbones) were engaged in a light-hearted conversation that brought smiles to both of them at different times. I love my rear-view mirrors.

So, a few minutes passed before any of us even realized we weren't moving and an impatient motorcyclist turned himself around awkardly and went back the way we came. Good riddence, you don't belong here with us Loners of the Open Road, Patient Timbers of this Asphalt Wood, Introspective Minds of Route 113. We, the people stuck behind a broken light, are happy to be here going zero miles an hour up the street for an undetermined length of time with nothing but the sun freckling through the trees to entertain us. Well that and "Finding Nemo," which was still playing on my son's DVD player in the back seat. So much for an unadulterated trip away from myself. The sushi was all mine though, in honor of my fellow Skippackian Traffikians.

War Paint

So it happened, our little boy-genius covered himself in his own excrement before I could yank him out of the crib yesterday. All parents must be initiated through experience and I should've expected nothing different. Still I was surprised when upon hearing the angelic, "Mommy?" that greets me each morning, I walk in to find my little warrior had liberally applied his own poop to his face, hair, stuffed animal tenants, and crib rails. The worst part? It was already hardened and stiff which would lead one to believe self-painting had been going on for some time. Not a pleasant picture, I agree. If this is the beginning of things to come I'm going to have no choice but to tuck him into the bathtub every night so we can just cut to the chase the coming morning....to be cont'd...unfortunately.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Embrace Change?

Because I'm obsessed with expounding on the mundane I thought I'd write them down here for future perusement or perhaps maybe others would like to chime in? Please feel free...

Chapter 1
Pre-Preschool Woes:
I may as well be in pre-preschool along w/my little boy. Sometimes it's scary to see how the mature, sophisticated, intelligent woman I believed I was before giving birth has been whittled down to nubbins, leaving me an exposed bundle of unlevel-headed raw Momma Bear nerve endings. Mom's probably right, it must have been the nursing...

Here's the scoop:
So for most of us change is the undeniable backbone of our lives. For me, however, it's the Dark Knight threatening to teeter my totter and make sense fall down. How can I expect my little 22 month old to embrace the never-ending cycle of rhymes and reasons when his own mother is jostled to the core by his new class schedule. What do you mean he's going to have a new teacher? He (read: I) just bonded with Miss Lovely Face and now he (again read: we) is expected to simply run into the arms of another? There has to be some kind of weaning process for this, no? "Okay," the Director of preschool humors me, "we can drag our feet on this one and take baby steps." Somehow I truly feel this comment was meant more for me than my well-adjusted toddler. What happened to me over the last two years? When did I become the adult who needed to take "baby steps?" Mom's right, it must have been the co-sleeping. :)

One-Sided Momma

Good Morning!

This is the debut blog in my new venture. Hope you enjoy...