Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Popping the bubble

As a mom, my job is to protect my kids. Keep them safe. Make sure they don't run into the street, or go in the snow with bare feet, or stick things into electrical sockets.

Or eat things that could hurt them.

This last one is the culprit of serious stress. For months and years you take care to be sure their food is cut small enough. And is soft enough. And cooked through enough. And that they don't eat anything they are allergic to...if they are allergic. And how do you find out if they are allergic? Well, you give them whatever the "test" food is and wait and see. Seriously. WTF. Hate it. Wait and see?

This morning was a big test for Annie -- Peanut butter. So after 10 months of protecting our daughter from everything, we handed her something that could cause her serious harm and basically sat and waited to see what would happen. And she gobbled it up...just like her mama. Thank goodness. No reaction.

I am completely serious that I think kids should try these potentially serious allergens at the doctor's office for the first time. What would we really have done if there had been a reaction? Thrown her in the car (sans car seat in this case since I wouldn't be able to snap those straps with my shaking hands) and frantically driven to the hospital? Called 911 and hoped they arrived in time? Hate to think about it. Really hate to.

Also, peanuts are not nuts (they're legumes). So we still have the nut allergy to contend with. Maybe next year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Second Kid

The second kid gets shafted. Completely. I was just looking back through my blog, and saw I didn't post anything about Thanksgiving. It was Annie's first turkey day, so I should have photos...right? Well, no. Luckily Auntie took a few and posted them to Facebook. With John, I had an entire Snapfish update for the holiday.
Now people are asking what the kids are getting for Christmas. John's got an entire list. Annie...well...her list consists of things like "dishes my brother hasn't slobbered on"...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy. This year, I would really love a new guitar (since I played mine so much that it broke into pieces), a play kitchen (like the ones at school and that my cousins have), some trucks to dig in the dirt, and a vacuum.
Also, my sister has been pretty good. You could bring her something, too. But she always steals my toys, so please bring her something good that I can "share."


Thursday, December 2, 2010

At Work

I don't know how working moms survived before cell phones. Honestly. I communicate with my nanny constantly.

How are the kids?
How's the coughing?
Any poops?
Did they nap well?
How was class?

And the quick, easy pictures she sends to me help so much.

Class was good...Johnny loves jumping into the pit...
All good. Making Jell-O Jigglers!

No poops, but she's happy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flight IN CAPS

Goodness gracious.

Took Annie on a trip. She's a CHAMP and even managed to win over the SUPER stick in the mud businessman sitting next to us on the return trip who didn't even ACKNOWLEDGE Annie until we landed...at which point he turned to her and said, "Annie, I'll sit next to you anytime." (and yes, I did nurse next to him). Not hard to believe she got to him -- I mean look at this lady!
BUT I AM NOT HAPPY WITH UNITED (or maybe airlines in general) for three reasons:
1. Why do you no longer let people with small children pre-board? Do you think somehow babies now take less time to get organized? Do you think moms are less frazzled today? Let me tell you -- we are not. I promise.

2. What is the deal with keeping the *potential* need for an INF boarding pass a secret? OK...you say a baby can sit on a parent's lap until they are 1 and do not need a ticket...but you leave out that they may need a BOARDING PASS to get through security?? Come on. (But this one is tricky since only 1 of the 2 TSA people asked me for it...love consistency.)

3. THIS IS THE BIG ONE -- WTF is UP with removing the CHANGING TABLES from the airplanes??? You realize this leaves the very gross options of (1) changing the baby at the seat and ignoring the fact that you are COMPLETELY invading the air space of the person next to you, (2) changing the baby on the floor next to the bathroom and hoping no one steps on you/her, (3) changing the baby on the closed SUPER stanky toilet seat and HOPING she doesn't touch ANYTHING or fall on the floor, or (4) letting her sit in poop.

I opted for #3. Happy to report Annie survived. Sad to say Tigger got stranger pee on him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Candy and coffee

Halloween was a great success :) Except for the fact that Tom was sent to Korea and had to leave Halloween morning at 4am, so he missed all the fun. He was really bummed to miss Annie's first Halloween, and to be part of all the trick or treating festivities. But, we did send him pictures and have LOADS of candy for him to share in when he gets back.
One of the best part of Halloween was our early morning trip to the fire station. Since Tom was out of town, I wanted to do something special with John and Annie (really more for John). (And honestly, since Tom was out of town and I was solo for the morning, I needed an activity to keep us occupied). John had decided to be a fireman for Halloween (we talked him into fireman...originally he wanted to be a fire engine. After figuring out how to make a fire engine costume -- which would entail him wearing a cardboard box attached to him by suspenders -- we went to plan B.) So on Halloween, we got him into his costume right after breakfast and headed out to the fire station to meet some real firemen! We showed up at the fire station, and the firemen were prepared for us -- it was 8am and they already had a big bowl of candy waiting (I guess preparation is part of being a fireman...). John was SO excited when we got there, and I think the firemen gave him special treatment since he was dressed up so perfectly!!
They let him go in 3 fire trucks, walk on 1, and go in the ambulance (front of the ambulance, mind you), and spray a mini-fire hose (and 1 fireman in the process).
It was PERFECT! On our way back home, John munched a lollipop, Annie snugged, and I stopped for a yummy latte. (Question to Starbucks: Why are you the ONLY store on all of Central Ave that has a step to the front door? Really not helpful for the stroller-rolling crowd, which is pretty much your entire business on weekend mornings.)

Monday, November 1, 2010


Dear Person Who Threw An Egg At Our Window,

I know it was Halloween. But really? I had 10 lbs of candy inside. If you had simply rung the doorbell, you would have been rewarded generously. However, I now am inclined to get finger prints off those egg shells you so nicely left on our window sill.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trash Can

We live in the country now. And in the country, people steal trash cans. Apparently, it's the thing to do. Leave your kids' toys out -- no problem. Leave out gardening tools -- they're safe. Leave your nasty big trash can in the alley (where it is supposed to be) -- gone. Order another -- gone. Learn your lesson and make your trash can as lovely and personalized as possible -- victory!!
Ah, the life of a suburban mom.
(And yes, I am knocking on wood to be sure our toys and tools are not missing...)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Girls in Pink

Annie proudly participated in her first 5K race on September 25, 2010. It was the Susan G. Komen race for the cure, and she was on our friend Laura Egglestone's team. Laura is our very strong, very loving friend who beat breast cancer (actually, she basically kicked its ass).

Annie was up early, dressed and ready to go, including some very sporty pink running shoe socks...

which were quite chompable.

She did a fabulous job of entertaining everyone and loved hanging out with the girls...

especially Auntie :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Picture Day

John has picture day at school today. Amazing.
I remember my picture day in preschool. My mom dressed me in a tan colored overall dress with a red shirt underneath. I'm not quite sure how I got to be the mom of someone heading off to his own picture day...and doing it so adorably...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple Picking

It's harvest time! We set out for a Lydon family picking adventure last weekend. Of course, Annie decided to fall asleep about 1/2 a mile from the orchard, so she wasn't available for action-shots. However, our niece Claire stepped in as John's lil lady partner and did a fabulous job :).

Of course, when Annie did wake up, Claire and John still had to finish their conversation.
And then eat cake.
Apple picking is so fun...now I just need to figure out what to do with all these apples.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Boy, Little Man

John start preschool. Mama definitely is more anxious about this than he is. He's a champ.

Monday, September 13, 2010

New house

So far things are going well at the new house...but I am completely and totally stressed. I love the house. Except a few things (of course) and those things stress me out because they are what I keep focusing on. Like the damn dishwasher that is just RiDicuLous -- it has 2 drawers and is "super fancy" because you can run 2 different wash cycles at the same time (like if you made a stew and served wine with dinner so you needed to wash a pot and glasses...like we do that...) but 1 drawer is broken and the other may as well be since it doesn't wash worth a damn. And (BTW) you can't wash baby bottles in it since it has no top rack since it has 2 lower racks due to the 2 drawers. But we can't buy a new one until we sell the Oakley house (or our "city home" as I now call it).

Luckily there are things to distract me...like Missy being a friggin' rock star and getting ALL of our boxes unpacked and art hung during our 1st week in the house...love that Missy. So does Annie :)

Everyone seems to be adjusting to the new home. Including Sean, who was disappointed to be losing his supercool city digs, close to fabulous music events. But I think he's adapting...and seems to like the local hot dog joint where he can chat with his bro. (Oh yeah...and I think the close proximity to college girls will help as well...)
John has definitely fallen in love with his new yard. He loves being outside in the yard so much that we had to talk him into leaving to go get an ice cream cone! And he's set the house alarm off twice since he'll just decide to up and leave to go out there...we're working on "tell mommy and daddy when you want to go outside..." (we're working on that with Auntie as well...teehee...)
We've started John in local activities...taking advantage of the park district. He's continuing with Gymboree for a while since I wanted some consistency for him, and he's started gymnastics and loves all the climbing, jumping, hanging (I know -- shocker!) Now, the thing that is really stressing me out is the damn property taxes. Our taxes are INSANE. We knew it coming in. And it's a trade off -- pay higher taxes and go to good, free, public school vs. lower taxes in our old house but the need for either bullet proof vests and tutors or private school tuition. And I already have a lawyer working on lowering the taxes...but ugh. Best way to combat this stress...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Give me any amount of space or time and I can fill them up. No problem. This is a gift I was born with, but having 2 children has really contributed to my mastery of it. Case and point:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Do as I say...not as I do.

I've been running into some challenges recently with teaching John the "right" way to do things. He can see with his own two eyes that other people are getting to do things in not-quite-the-right way, so why should he have to do things correctly? Good question. Any answers?

Here are two examples:

1. Annie spits. She's 5.5 months old, and is now at the phase of discovering what her own body can do -- rolling over, reaching and grabbing objects she wants, scooching herself to try to move, and yes...making raspberries. She'll make them while she's eating, while she's resting, while she's whatevering. We've been telling John repeatedly that the only time he can spit is when brushing his teeth, and it must be into the sink. But then why is Annie allowed to spit whenever and wherever she wants? And we just laugh? Hmmmmm?????

2. The waitstaff at Ed Debevic's stand on the tables. My sister takes John on dates on Sunday afternoons, and they often times end up eating at Ed Debevic's. And she's run into this same "rule" issue...why is John not allowed to stand on the booth seat if the waitress is standing on the TABLE?? Now that's just NOT fair.
I am pretty sure that at some point in my childhood I promised I would never say this...but...I'm the mama. That's why.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Snuggle Puppy

Tom and I were getting dinner ready this weekend and he had the book Snuggle Puppy running through his head (it's a GREAT book by Sandra Boynton...one of my all time favorite authors). There's a fun song in the book, so of course I started singing it (I know many of the Boynton books by heart).
The first time I heard this book sung aloud was by my friend Leah. She gave me the book as a gift very early on in my John pregnancy. She presented it to me over lunch, at a restaurant, where she not only gave me the book but proceeded to sing it aloud to me...because that is how the book should be read. I loved it. She didn't care that we were in public. All she cared about was that I needed to hear the book properly, so I could get excited about singing it to my lil snuggle puppy when he was born.

At the time, Leah was the mama of one (Noah). Now she has 4 children, and I have 2. Amazing to think back to that first Snuggle Puppy recital, knowing now what an incredible, giving mother she is, and that she'd still sing Snuggle Puppy to me. Although now it may be interrupted by some diaper changes.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Boss" Lady

Dear Silly "Boss" Lady,

You really shouldn't ask my sister to come in to work for a quick meeting with you when she has a vacation day scheduled starting with a date with her nephew. And if you do so, you definitely shouldn't cancel the meeting immediately prior to the start time. By doing things like that, you may just lose the best employee you'd ever hope to have.

Oh wait -- you already did.

The Lil Sis

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Lady

Dear Lady Walking Down The Street,

It would be really great if, as you walk down the street with your daughter and your grandchild, you put out the joint you're smoking.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back at work...and pacing.

I'm back at work full-time. And it's been a roller coaster so far. I started back on July 1, so last Thursday. On my train ride that morning, I got a message from my dad that he was in the hospital and was getting a pace maker put in immediately. For those of you who know my dad, you know: (1) this could mean he stubbed his toe, (2) this could be very serious, and/or (3) the truth would be completely lost in translation through Stase.

So, my first day back, I turned around and left work and headed to the hospital. My dad was very scared. And it was very serious -- his pulse was 12 when he arrived in the ER, and dropped down to 0...which oddly was lucky because since that happened in the ER, they were able to diagnose the issue right away and get him in for a pace maker without the need for a halter monitor.

The procedure went well and he was released from the hospital the next day. And now I'm trying to decipher what the follow up is supposed to be. Again, for those of you who know my dad, you will not be surprised to know that:

1. He told him they popped his heart out of his chest, hooked up the pace maker, and put his heart back into his chest. When I told him that's not how it was done, but instead the surgeon threaded the leads into his heart, my dad said he had spoken with the doctor and that's what he was told. I asked my dad if he had a big incision down his chest and he said no. I again told him that I spoke with his surgeon and they did not crack his chest open.
2. My dad asked my sister-in-law (an RN) if he'd be able to play racquetball again. She said yes, and then told me she didn't know he played racquetball. He did -- when he was married to my mom, 40 years ago.
3. He has no discharge papers. Claims he didn't get them. I am sure he did and will be calling the hospital so they can send me copies.
4. He told me they didn't give him pain medication prescriptions. I was shocked and asked what they did give him. He said he got 2 prescriptions -- one generic and one brand name for the same drug and insurance wouldn't cover both. I asked if the 2 drugs were indeed pain medications. He said he didn't know. So either he has 2 prescriptions or 0. I'm betting on 2.
5. He says it's really scary to be looking at your pulse monitor and see it drop down to 0. Really? He saw it drop down to 0? Amazing. Most people would pass out.

I'm not trying to make light of this. I know it's serious. I love my dad. But it's really like taking care of another child. But this child is big and I can't pick him up and convince him that the medicine tastes good.

On the flip side, the super mean train conductor recognized me and welcomed me back and asked how my baby is doing (guess he's not that mean after all...)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big baby

Someday Annie will look back on this and be really angry with me for sharing...but there is a very limited amount of time when I am in complete control...and I'm taking full advantage.
She's really not that big...about 50th percentile...but quite the hefty one at this angle...love it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Doing His Own Thing

Three of these kids belong together

Three of these kids are kind of the same

But one of these kids is doing his own thing

Now it's time to play our game

It's time to play our game.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I realized something about myself today...I'm obsessed with feet. I took a picture, went to save it, tried to title it "Feet", but that was used...so I tried "Feet2"...used again...and it went on from there...

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Mother's Progression Toward Father's Day

There may be a few of you who remember my previous Father's Day posts...

...the stress of my 1st Father's Day with John, when I MADE THE SALESMAN'S DAY by arriving at Wolf Camera with a sleeping John in tow...and proceeded to buy EVERYTHING the salesman suggested in order to speed the process along and get out of the store before John woke up and realized he was strapped into his car seat (aka "jail" in his 2 month old mind).

...then last year when I decided to make it easy on myself and gave Tom a card which told him he could go pick out some new golf clubs...(which, as I'm sure a few of you expected, he has not yet done...)...which made me seem like a fabulous wife, when really I was simply buying him off.

...so now we're onto year #3, child #2 (child #3 for Tom), and we've progressed even further...Tom's getting a picture...maybe this one...

If he's lucky, it may be in a frame.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Half Full: Annie slept from 7:30pm til 5am! That's 9.5 hours, people!

Half Empty: I burnt my hand so couldn't sleep. Honestly, it hurt more than giving birth. Seriously. And it was 100% self-inflicted. Eff.

Luckily, I'm a glass-half-full type of person...GO ANNIE!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm back at work, in the office, part time. I'm here (yep, in the office right now...) from 11am til 4pm M-F. This is day #2. So far it seems to be working out ok...I still get to see the kids in the mornings and hang out with them for a couple hours, then head into the office for the day, and then I'm home by John's dinner time. I think I could work part time permanently.

But I'm not sure about full time...
I like my job.
I like our nanny.
I went to school to get a job like the one I have.

But then there's this face wondering why I'm leaving:

And fun stuff that I miss...
And so many changes that happen in a day...

I am far from the first working mom to grapple with this decision. And I hate it as much as each of those moms did.