Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2Y41D: Car Sick

We love to visit the Granparents.  Now that we are in CT, travel time is only 2.5 hours instead of the 5 hours it took from NY.

OK, it's supposed to take 2.5 hours.

Unless of course there is after Christmas traffic.

And McDonald's.

And a viewing of that Dora The Explorer video he recently purchased.

Each in itself would have been fine.  But mixed together:

The stopping and starting of the traffic
The full belly of greasy, high fat, fries and chicken nuggets (no judging please)
Watching a video
...Car Sick

Oh yes, half way through the video big D says "All Done," which is his way of saying "thanks I've had enough now" to just about anything he is doing/eating.  Odd since he really wanted to play/watch.

Did I mention that we were 45 minutes from Boston?  Too far to turn back and too close to stop anywhere for the night?

He coughs a bit, and has a small spit-up. Odd for him.

I take off my seatbelt to help him clean up  when he erupts.

Wave after wave after wave. 

We're talking french fry projectiles a hurricane would have been proud of.

It took everything in my power not to engage my empathetic puke response.  I was quite proud of myself.

I had that boy unlatched and leaning forward in a split second.

Relativly quickly  Brian finds a safe place to pull over ( which happened to be the on-ramp to another highway) and pulls off the road, then off into the grass.

There is no way that much...stuff, could possible have been inside that boy. 

Thankfully we had a load of dirty laundry in the back ( we were going to the grandparents after all)  so we had towels handy.  Dirty, soaked clothes were strewn all over the side of the road mingled together with baby wipes, towels, car seat parts, and a diaper.

The two of us had big D naked warpped in a blanket rocking him to calm down while both his seat and the back of the drivers seat were being wiped down.  It was...gross.

Honestly, I was surprised noone stopped to see if we were OK.  We were of course, but I suppose the says of helping thy neighbor only count if you wern't in a rush to go somewhere slowly.


With most of the major damage taken care of we loaded him back up, and cracked the windows.

You know the first thing he reached for when he sat back down? 

The remainder of his half eaten (pre-eaten) chicken nugget that was sitting on his make shift table next to the seat.

Go figure.

PS there are no pictures of this incident for obvious reasons.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2Y40D: Don't Hug a Cactus at Christmas

Daniel...No, STOP Daniel... DANIEEELLLLLLLL!!!!!


This is what you too would have heard if you were at our cousins house for Christmas Day. 

The food was great.
Seeing family was wonderful.
Getting and giving presents was a plus...

Hugging the cactus was not in the cards.

How were we to know, or even notice?  Parents of little ones know how difficult it is to go to a home that is not childproof. 

It's not the persons fault, it's our own fault for not surveying the area and looking out for potential disasters; stairs, basement doors, chemicals, low lying glass trinkets, and, now added to that list - Cacti.

Did you know to look out for them?

He went face first.

The prickers were quickly taken out, and thankfully he didn't get any in his eyes.  Just a few scratches.

The green lines point to cactus scratches:

But the moral of this tale; Don't hug a cactus boys and girls.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2Y32D: The Tree...A.D. (After Daniel) and Rainbow Cookies

From this post forward, the term "after Daniel"  will be known as "A.D,"  and "before Children" will now be known as "B.C." (clever ey?)

For example, my computer BC had all of its' keys. AD, I am now missing 1/3 of them.

Just a couple of days ago I posted on our first tree.  It was sweet, lovely, and the few ornaments  it had were nicely spread out over the entire six feet of it soft green fingers.

Today, our tree has 5 fewer shiny pieces  and a noticeably uneven dispersment. (is that a word?)

The top looks great!

The tree BC:

Then we were given some more little balls to hang:

Daniel like to lean into the tree because it tickles him, good thing the needles aren't sharp!

Today this is what it looks like:
Since he can't reach any more ornaments, he's going for the lights and the power. This is supposed to be fun, right?

Presents will show up at night more for their protection and less for aesthetics.

In other news, the cookies we made yesterday came out GREAT!!  They were easy, fun and taste deelicious!


If you're interested:

2 tsp almond extract
1 box (18.5 +/- oz) Yellow cake mix prepared according to box
1tsp red food color
1tsp yellow food color
1tsp green food color
1 jar of fresh ( if you can get it) raspberry jam (I like it with seeds -  from the farmers market) melted
1 cup (6ish oz) milk-chocolate chips ( you can  use semi sweet if you prefer)

1- Preheat oven to 350. Stir in almond extract.
2- divide batter into three parts using one food color in each bowl
3-coat 3 separate 9 x 11 backing dishes with cooking spray, parchment paper/wax paper and again with spray.  If you dont have three, use one over and over.  We had 2 and one 9 x 9 - use what you have.
4- cook until a clean toothpick can be inserted in cake with pulling any batter out with it.  When done, pull out of oven and cool completely.
5 - Place red layer top side down in  cookie sheet/large cutting board and coat put about a half a cup melted jam in a nice thin layer ( I like a thin  layer, you can add more if you like) Put the green layer on the top side down with another shmear of jam and top it all with the yellow layer.
6-with one of the discarded papers, cover the top layer and put one of the pans on top and lightly push the layers together.  Refrigerate for about an hour.
7-Melt the chocolate ( I like a double boiler kind of melt, but be careful not to scorch it if you don't)
9-in pretty swirls coat the top of the cake of cookies.  Cut into 1 x 2 inch cookies.  Or if you're like us, you leave it in a cake and cut pieces as you go...up to you. Cover and chill until ready to serve.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

2Y31D: OOPS!!



Today was a messy day.

It was a good day, but a messy day.

We made home made play-dough, which is really quite easy:

1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Flour
opt. Food coloring.

Now, I put the optional food coloring for a reason... it's messy. Let me show you:

OOPS!  In the future, I suggest putting all the ingredients in a zip-lock and knead away. Tell me how it goes, if I don't get to it first.

We did have a great time, and the first discovery of playdough was fabulous and fun:

I mentioned the great table we got, right? We ordered it through a furniture site, and came a tad bit marred. When I called the company and showed them the pictures of the nicks they said "This is unacceptable" and promptly mailed us a new table.

They said "we don't care what you do with the old table, we're sending you a new on."

Nice. Now THAT is customer service. Lipper International: Highly recommended.

Oh, right, the reason I was telling you about the table was because it has become the arts & crafts table. We color there and, as of today, play with play-dough.

Things get a little out of hand here with crayons.

Not sure why.

But after5-10 minutes of some scribbling, some eating, it turns into some throwing and some running off and burying in/around/behind/next to his bed.

Usually I manage to collect all vestiges of ye olde crayolas (which are nothing like their predecessors.)

I must have missed one or two this time.

TADAAAH!! Wall Art.


Luckily, we learned that a little baking soda on a scouring sponge mixed with a little elbow grease gets it right off.

Somehow, both kids were asleep my 8pm tonight.

We celebrated with a large glass of wine and some cookie baking.

By the way, good friends are few a far between. Treasure the ones you have.

It truly takes a village.

Friday, December 16, 2011

2Y30D: Look Ma, I can buy things online, too!

First, it was an 888 sex hotline number.

At least we didn't get charged for that call.

Now, things have gotten a bit out of hand.

I got a Kindle Fire from my parents (awesome present), and yes, I love it.

There is a huge problem though, and I found this one out the hard way:


Oh yes boys and girls, if you own a Kindle Fire, anyone can access your Amazon account and make purchases. The only security you can add is a padlock - if set, you need a screen password. Nice feature, but not enough.

BUT, once in... there is what they call "One-Click Purchasing" Which you can turn off. However, that only means it is a 2-click purchase. For a 2 year old who presses any rectangle with a line around it...well, you can see where this is going.

Big D took my Kindle and, without help from me, turned it on, opened to videos and started watching Dora The Explorer (I didn't have it loaded).

Once the video was over, it seems there is an option to BUY the video. There is also and option to BUY THE ENTIRE SEASON!!!!

The email I got a minute later confirmed a $9.99 purchase for the entire 4th season of Dora.

Yay me, Happy Yannuchranzer!! (Yule, Channukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Winter)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2Y28D: Holiday Mash-up Family style

We've been together for almost eight years and married for 4 of it.

This is our first tree.

I never had a tree growing up, we lit the beautiful lights of the Menorah. Brian did, but never since leaving mom and dad. Together, we don't have many ornaments, but the ones we do have are sentimental. A majority were given to us by the parents of A's Godfather (who also married us!)

Big D was awed by all the trees:

So far so good, nothing has been ripped off the tree:

Our marriage combines religions, but neither of us is very religious. We have a personal relationship and belief that we respect in each other, and others.

With what we had, this is how we topped our tree:

We love it, and really, that's the only thing that matters.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2Y27D: The Computer pt 4

I'm getting used to this.

But I don't have to like it.

You would think by now that I would have learned not to leave the computer open when I walk out of the room.

Actually, I do!

The problem is that D. has learned how to open the computer. The latest attack to the computer from the little fingers looks like this:

The Solution:

Amelia's God Mother has just given me a wireless keyboard, so I can lay the keyboard atop this one and type away. Yet I still need to use the mouse from the laptop.

It's lovely.

To type, I have a rig that looks like this:

I know Santa isn't going to bring me a new computer this year, but that just means that next year the computers will be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive...well, you know the rest.

2Y28D: Activity Swap

It's not going to get any warmer outside for a few months.

As it gets colder, the odds of me taking the kids outside get slimmer and slimmer.


So, I have decided to start a toddler activity swap. Mainly here in CT, but we can do it at a distance if everyone involved is willing to shoulder shipping costs.

Depending on how many families are involved will depend on how many groups of 10 we'll have.

Below is the letter I send out to families:

Dearest Moms, Dads, and caregivers of young ones,

I have an idea that you might be interested in. Now this might be over the top and kind of farfetched, but it just might work if we give it enough time.

As the winter approaches, there will be fewer and fewer chances to take the kids outside. We'll need activities to do at home...lots of them.

Here's where my idea comes into play. If we can get a bunch of interested parties each to make a self contained, age appropriate activity (say 18mo - 3yrs ) +/- that fits in a gallon zip-lock bag, then trade bags of activities with all parties. We'll each walk away a box of new activities!!

For instance, if 10 families participate, each family makes 10 copies of a fully contained low-cost activity and brings/mails them to our to per-determined place. We exchange activities. Then, when we leave, we will each have 10 ready-to-go activities!

Local families can meet here in New Haven, but out of town-ers can mail your activities to me and we can figure out how best to get the new sets back to you.

Sound good??

I'd love some feedback.

Feel free to forward this to any families you know. I'd like to set a get together date for this sometime in Mid-January.

Please email me: or reply to this thread. If you do not want to receive emails about this please message me and I'll do my best to get your address off the thread.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2Y25D: STUCK!! ( in a book)

It's passed his bedtime.

By almost 3 hours.

He sits on his daddy's lap, reading one of his favorite truck books.

Daddy is frustrated. Mommy is frustrated.

He pulls the board book right up to his face so his nose is right in the crack...

...and starts to cry.

He cries louder.

Mommy: "Daniel Bubba, are you stuck?"

Daddy: "You think he's stuck?"

Mommy: "Yes, HE thinks he's stuck"

Daniel: continues to cry...

Daddy: Gently pulls the book back off his face. "Were you stuck? All better! I found you!"

Daniel: Stops crying.

Truly, we are all tired. But Damn, that was adorable and funny at the same time.

2D24D: To Sleep or Not To Sleep?

Now THAT is the question!

To sleep, or not to sleep, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The pains and tears of outrageous teething,
Or to take a nap against a night of troubles,
And by opposing let them sleep: to nap, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the tears surely to come an hour before bedtime
Those screams is akin to? 'Tis a frustration
Devoutly to be wished. To nap to sleep,
To stay awake, perchance to Dream; Ay, there's the rub.

Staying up late when he naps is harder on me then on him. If he naps, he won't go don until almost eleven. Then wants to sleep in until almost 9am.

If he doesn't nap he melts down around 4:30 - 5:00 and aches to go to sleep. If I push him he'll fall asleep at 7-7:30 and then awaken at 3am wanting to play.

Then he'll sleep in, take a long nap, and not sleep until much later.

I can't win.

I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2Y23D: Best sugar Cookie Recipe!

Though not too cold today, it rained.

All day.


Being cooped up on a mild but rainy day can yield one of two things: 1) a lethargic, rain induced coma like state or 2) A wound up, chaotic frenzy day replete with wall bouncing, and couch hurtling.

Guess which one happened at our house?

Trying to keep focus, we played some games and ultimately attempted to make cookies.

It was, all in all, a pretty successful time:

Just after we put the dough in the fridge to cool, he decided he was going to pretend to go to sleep...

I find that fingerprints make the cookies taste better:

...and once they are cool we will ice them.

Then clean-up time:

And finally, bath time.

All said and done, these were the best Sugar cookies ever!!!! Perfect for cut-outs.

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
8 Min
Ready In:
3 Hrs


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Almond extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for rolling and dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, almond, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Roll out cold dough on powdered sugar surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper covered cookie's easier!
Bake 7 to 9 minutes in preheated oven until just slightly darkened on the edges. Cool completely.

Try not to break too many so you'll "just have to eat them"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2Y22D: L..M....N.....O......Q.....R.....

What's missing from this string of letters?


The Pee, you say?

That's right.

The Pee.

It's missing from the alphabet because it is ON MY CARPET!!!

Oh yes, this was going to be a post about toddler activities, but it was magically transformed into a fast burst affirming our need to potty train.

...or at least put him in overalls every day so he cant take his pants and diaper off.

Like I said, this is going to be a fun year.

2Y21D: A love-hate relationship.

It was a long day, but aren't they all?

OK, perhaps if I were on a warm sanded beach with foo-froo drinks in bottomless coconut shells always at my side, the day may have gone quicker.

Let's start at the beginning; as I hear tell, it's a very good place to start...

Because they were up so late last night, the boys slept in (yes those are snowman sheets (thanks mom)):

Once up for the day, Mr. IrefuseToEatAnythingThatIsntACarb refused to eat anything and everything I offered for breakfast, I surrendered and gave him more milk. (his favorite food/beverage)

Just a few minutes later he helped himself to a bagel. (surprise, surprise) Now it's not like the bagels were readily available, they were in a tied bag on the table. Nonchalantly he waltzed into the living room with his own breakfast and helped himself to my new, awesome Kindle Fire (thanks mom) Notice a trend here?

When he was done with his bagel, he left it for the elves to clean up:

And now, with a full belly, the children played. OK, so after pulling D off Amelia several times he finally decided to show her his airplanes, it was very sweet while it lasted...

I love to take pictures of my children, as you must have noticed. Since A is so young, the moments they are together are few.

The excersaucer is becoming more of a problem than I thought. D really wants to play in it at the same time A. is in it. Today, I thought they were doing well together.

I took a few pictures.

Things went downhill fast.

I didn't stage this last photo, it all happened so fast.

Perhaps it needs a BAM or BOOM or SLAP in a big Batman bubble star.


OK, A. was only stunned, not hurt...

...this time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2Y20D: I..Caaan't...HeeeeaaR Yooooou!

There are times when I wish I could tune the kids out:

Too much crying all at the same time added to that sweaty feeling you get when you are 10 minutes passed the danger point of having to go to the bathroom, added to the 5 seconds after the kettle on the stove is done, the four loud beeps telling you that the microwave is done, and of course, the phone that is quiet all day suddenly rings. All of that heaped on top of a large portion of Barney (which if you ask me is just as bad as any of the above on its own.)

All at the same time.

Makes me want to cry and scream and laugh all at once.

How is it that I'm not allowed to shut it all out, but the little human can?

And, once he shuts me out, why does that nasty purple dinosaur still haunt me?

At least he has pants on.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2Y19D: SEX Hotline...only $1.99/min.

I though he would be at least 12, maybe 13 before he called his first sex hotline number. I never would have guessed he would have been two.

Here's how the conversation went:

Brian: "Hey! What? Gimme that!"

Daniel: Runs away waving the phone; jumps and face plants onto our bed.

Brian: "Hey, Rach..."

Me: "ummm yeah?"

Brian: "Daniel just called a sex hotline number!"

Me: "How did he get the number?"

Brian: " Wait, it wasn't like a speed dial number, he just leaned on the 8 key and dialed"

Me: "Are you sure?"

Brian: "I gave the phone to him so he could watch airplanes when I heard a woman's voice. I took the phone as she was saying 'only $1.99/min then 7.99/min for hot one-on-one'... well I hung up the phone so fast. I think I really need to lock the phone."

Daniel: Snatches the phone once again yelling "Aiiiiirplane...aiiiiiirplane!!!!"

Me: " Ummmm Brian?"

Brian:"Yeah yeah.....I'm on it."

The moral of the story boys and girls, is that if you're going to call a sex hotline, make sure your parents are not within earshot of the phone.

2Y18D: Laying round

Nothing is off limits for Big D if he can reach it.

And he can reach everything.

I see other kids his age in homes that are far less toddler proof, and do they have issues like we do? Oh no the don't.

They don't have to attach bookshelves, cabinets and TV's to the wall. They leave tables with lamps around without fear of damage, they can leave pet food on the floor without anyone eating it or trying to feed it to their 3 month old siblings.

Yeah, nothing in our house can be high enough.


He can now climb up on chairs and onto the table.

There are no baby safe locks that keep chairs tucked under the table.

He can climb up on the stereo cabinet (as seen above).

How do I prevent this?

I've been to friends homes who have much less...stuff than we have, and it seems like the thing to do. Purge everything.

Throw it all away.

But you know, it's inevitable, the day after, or even the week after you were so proud of yourself for throwing lots of stuff away, you go looking for that same object.

Tell me I'm wrong...

I can use some tips on how to toddler proof a home for a very active little boy (and soon to be for very active children.)

Also, he has a saline tube in his mouth (that I use to help clear stuffy noses) that he used to "write" all over the cabinet he then wiped up with his body.

Did I mention that I am tired?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

2Y17D: Tree lighting ceremony

Tonight was the annual tree lighting ceremony on the Green, the rather large park/green space in the city.

There was a petting zoo with goats, llamas, a camel and a pony.

There were bunnies.

There was an occupy tent city.

There was a dancing frosty the snowman.

And there were hundreds and hundreds of people.

No pictures? You say.

How pretty was the tree? You ask.

To these questions, I say, no...and I dont know.

But why?

Ah yes, first of all big D. Didn't take a nap today. By the time we got out he was already cranky.

By 5 he was in tears.

By 5:30 he was asleep.

Did I mention that it was cold? Or that i was wrangling both kids alone?

So now, at 9pm I should go to sleep knowing he'll be up at 2am for a few hours.

We'll go see the tree this weekend when there will be four of us.

Or not.

I think I'll have some halloween candy

And a drink.

Or two