Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well, poor Fintan has been sick since Monday. Cold. Fever. Now an ear infection. So far Coen is still well (knocking SO hard on wood), but with his up-down-up routine Pat and I have been playing musical babies all evening. I'd post more, but like Mom always said, if you can't post something nice, don't post anything at all.....or something like that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

He's a biggun'...

Coen had his four month well-visit this morning. He is 16 lbs 4 1/2 oz. and is 26 inches tall. Fintan was 16 lbs. 6 oz. and 24 1/2 inches tall at his four month well visit. So it looks like Coen is shaping up to be a regular giant. Maybe we'll nickname him Hagrid and start draping him in furs. And I guess we'll stop working on "gay rights" and move on to "fee fi fo fum--I need more milk in my tum tum!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

The scene just a moment ago:

Fintan, in his booster seat, held out slimy, post-lunch hands to his baby brother who was sitting on my lap and said sweetly, "C'mere, Coen".

Beating a dead horse

I just can't leave it alone. I always tell myself I won't bring it up anymore. I won't bore people with my obsession. I won't ask "How do your kids sleep?" after the first handshake when I meet someone new. But I can't help myself.

Do any of you know that old folk tale where the hero has a naked old man with a long white beard riding his shoulders and he can't get him off? The old man drives him on and on mercilessly. He has no control over his own life and is driven to exhaustion. Leah, Tara? What's that story called? Anyway, sometimes I feel like I have two not-so-old men on my shoulders cracking the whip.

I've kept this blog positive and complaint free so far and I want to keep it that way. But I also want to document a bit of what life is like right now so that later I can look back on this and thank GOD that things (and by things I mostly mean sleep) will (hopefully) have drastically improved. I also plan to dust this information off when the boys are both teenagers and have hormones raging like every other boy. I'll use this post to scare them straight. Teenagers should simply NEVER EVER have kids. Teenagers should be required to shadow a mom of an infant for a month, 24-7, as a part of their sex education. And not just watch her but mimic her every move day and night. Seriously. Anyone with me?

Last night, Fintan fell asleep at around 8:30 which is pretty good for him. Coen was up and down and up and down and up and down (the downs lasted approximately 5 minutes each and the ups about a half hour) until 10:30. He then woke up to nurse several times throughout the night (2 times? 3?) and then Fintan was up before six and Coen by 6:30. Ouch. But that's fairly normal. Their naps are usually very short or don't happen at all and very rarely overlap. My life is not my own by any stretch. Have I scared you straight, yet, teenagers of the future? Have I mentioned shadowing a new mom 24-7? I may just set that up for you, teenagers of the future, if you give me any reason! Do you hear me up there? Have I mentioned how little sleep you will get if you have babies? Have I mentioned the sleep thing yet?!

Honestly, if sleep were something that people left lying carelessly around in locked cars or kept in gleaming piles in bank vaults I would acquire a jimmy and a ski mask and go on a crime spree.

Now please excuse me, teenagers of the future, while I go tend to the two not-so-old men on my shoulders.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The preparation paradox

With a toddler there is a fine line between too much preparation for a new activity and too little. For example if you tell your toddler that you're going to do something fun, say, in a few hours, you can expect gnashing of teeth and floods of tears that it's not happening RIGHT NOW! But if you DON'T explain the new activity carefully enough before you get there, then you may end up with a very confused and nervous toddler who gnashes his teeth and produces floods of tears.....and the new and fun activity won't end up being quite as fun as you'd hoped. It's a paradox.

Yesterday at 3:15 I told Fintan we were going to a Halloween parade at a nursing home. "Won't that be fun?" I asked. "Yes!" Fintan said, "I want to put my costume on RIGHT NOW!"

So I put his costume on RIGHT NOW and I put Coen's costume on RIGHT NOW and I was patting myself on the back that I was going to make it on time. I shoved my camera in my back pocket and we headed out the door.

We pulled into the parking lot five minutes early and I wrapped Coen onto me and we walked inside along with the other early birds. Fintan looked at the other costumes with appreciation at first and seemed happy enough. More people were showing up. The entrance became quite crowded with little Spidermen and fairy princesses. Then a man walked by, threading his through the crowd in a white jacket. Fintan's eyes widened and I could see his little brain working: "Wait a second, what exactly IS a Halloween parade?"

I'm not sure of the exact conclusion he came to, but it was probably something like this: Halloween parade=white jacket=doctor=shots. Floods of tears immediately made their appearance and it was too late for explanations. The Halloween Parade wasn't happening for us.

We went outside and he gnashed his teeth on a muffin instead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The more we get together

Recent Fintan funnies:

Last Friday I found Fintan sitting on his train-table singing to his shadow on the wall: "....'cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends. The more we get together the happier we'll be!" I caught a quick pic of it before he stopped.

This morning Fintan was sitting on the potty (aren't 93% of his funnies happening on the toilet lately?) and he started singing "Oh where oh where has my little boy gone? Oh where oh where can he be? He's poo-pooing on the PO--O--TTY!"

Here are some pics from this weekend:

Love this expression

Hangin' with Luna at the mulch pile:

Walking with Nini:

Happy little bunny-man

And here's a short video since Lalove asked for one. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

One in a million

My husband is the best man in the world. I can say that without the slightest bit of irony. He really is. Sometimes I don't treat him like he is, but he always treats me like I treat him like he is. And I love him. Things have been rough at the Klein house for a while now. I mentioned in my last post that we have sore backs, knees, hips, feet, etc. because Coen requires a great deal of intervention to get to sleep. Pat is never above taking over with our littlest guy as soon as he walks in the door at the end of a long workday, either. He washes his hands and immediately takes him. Every day. His nice shirts always end up smelling like baby puke, but he's not above that. And I'm not at all above allowing him to hold him for hours on end either. I should be, but I'm not. Sometimes in the middle of the night, after I nurse him, Coen won't go back to sleep. Pat gets up and takes over. He never complains. Sometimes he's in there with him for hours, jiggling him the whole time. So there are more deposits of baby puke racked up during the midnight shift. And still he leaves for work with a smile on his face and a kiss for all of us on the way out. He worries about me during the day when I'm home alone and I know he wants to be here to help. He checks up on me. He rarely goes anywhere without us because he knows how much we miss him and how the together time seems so rare and precious, even when I give him a hard time for every little thing because I'm just being me.

Yesterday was my birthday. Pat surprised me by taking the day off work. He took over most of the Coen duties except when it was time to nurse him. Fintan and I went out and picked up doughnuts and a pumpkin spice latte, and ice water, and headed to the park in the morning. Then when Fintan went down for his nap, and after I nursed Coen, I got to leave the house to do whatever I wanted. I got a haircut. And I went to the grocery store and the drug store and the library all by myself. I enjoyed every moment of it.

Then we all went to dinner as a family and Pat held Coen so I could eat and then I nursed Coen so he could eat. I had a wonderful day. I do realize how lucky I am, even if I sometimes lose sight of it and forget to let him know. I'm really going to do my best to stop being so "me" and try my darnedest to treat him like he treats me like I treat him. He so deserves it.

I love you, Pat! More than you know.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Pat made a joke recently (this morning? Yesterday? Five days ago? It's all such a blur) about Fintan and his sleep schedule. He said that maybe Fintan's going to make a really good doctor someday because he can get by on so little sleep. Or that maybe he'll start sleeping a lot when he's a teenager. Can you imagine? He asked, saying: "Fintan get out of bed you lazy sacka...don't you know what time it is?! GET UP!" He had me laughing pretty hard. And now Coen's a boy after his brother's heart. He sleeps longer when he does sleep but the process of getting him to sleep is going to be the death of his parents. Pat says we're going to take our feet, back and knee transplant costs out of his college fund. Sounds fair, no?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The milk takes the cheese

Yet another Fintan funny, from tonight after his jammies were on and it was time to read books:

Me: "I'm going to get the milk."

Fintan (singing): "We're going to get the milk! We're going to get the milk! Hi ho the derry oh, we're going to get the milk. (I start laughing so he continues) "The milk takes the cheese! The milk takes the cheese! Hi Ho the derry oh the milk takes the cheese."

Truly I think Fintan takes the cheese.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baking in the bathtub

Tonight in the bath:

Fintan: "I need three cups of water (pours it from his inverted drum into his hair-rinsing scoop) one, two, three, four! That's just enough. Now I'll stir it all up. I'm stirring it all up, Mommy!"

Me: "Good job! You're doing a great job stirring, sweetie."

Fintan: "Just a little more water. There now it's full, Mommy. Now I stir it all up. Stir it all up."

Me: "Oh, that looks really good, Fintan! What are you making?"

Fintan: "Toast."

Friday, October 10, 2008

An itsy bitsy bit stuck

Today's funnies:

Fintan: "Mommy's drying the shower walls."

Me: "Yes, Mommy is drying the shower walls."

Fintan: "Cool."

Later from Fintan while sitting on the toilet, complete with appropriate hand motions:

"The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout,
down came the rain and washed the spider out!
out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
down came the rain and washed the spider out!
out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
down came the rain..."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hear ye

Coen, for the first time in his young life, fell asleep in his infant seat in the car while driving home this evening. He is still in his seat, not screaming, but sleeping. Let me say that again: sleeping.

Holy canoli.

Natural mommy?

I admit it. Being the mommy of an infant does not come naturally to me. I try hard. I do. But I only have two real weapons in my arsenal (see, does that turn of phrase sound like it came from a natural nurturer to you?) the boob and the clean diaper. If those don't work then I'm out. I bounce, I sway, I sing, but Coen feels my head spinning loose from my neck and it just doesn't work. Pat can manage to soothe him with bouncing, but even for him it's difficult. I've heard him chanting "you are killing daddy's back, you are killing daddy's back... but do I go and relieve him? No because the boob and diaper didn't work and like I said, I'm out of ideas.

Today I took the boys to Fintan's storytime. Coen was already tired when we got there, but he wouldn't sleep on me. I tried bouncing, swaying, the boob, nothing was working. I was managing to keep it down to mild fussing, but couldn't get to silence and came nowhere near contentment. After storytime Fintan went to play with the toys as usual and after a few minutes of bouncing with my head spinning loose I told Fintan we had five more minutes, the countdown went fairly quickly and when I got to one more minute I asked a friend of mine if she could hold Coen for a minute so I could get Fintan's jacket on him. I apologized for the fact that he was fussing and she totally brushed it off. Now this particular friend has been trying for baby number two for some time now and has been having fertility treatments. I know she wants a baby more than anything and her eyes lit up when she took him from me. It was so sweet. And almost with the same breath Coen stopped fussing. He breathed in her mommyness and was peaceful.

Was I jealous? Maybe a tiny bit. But more than anything I was just in awe of it. Sure she's soft and warm and smells good (as his own mommy often doesn't), but more than anything I really believe that some people are just naturals with babies. and babies sense it. I wish I could bottle some of what she has and take it home with me.

Now I'm not saying I'm not cut out to be a mom completely. Raising a toddler comes much more naturally to me than tending to a baby does. But I think my ideal mommy range is going to fall between the ages of 6-12. And I think the teen years will come easier for me than the first year does. Teen angst is a fairly sharp memory for me. Just like my friend calming Coen at the library by her presence I've always seemed to have a strange cosmic affinity for kids between about six and 10. I can't even tell you how many times I've been taken by the hand soon after meeting a child and invited into a clubhouse that I'm way too big for but crammed myself into anyway. Or led into a darkened bathroom to play lite brite, etc. I've actually always found it a bit unnerving even as it's fun because I don't know exactly what I did right and I'm afraid to mess it up! But there really is something there. So I look forward to those years even as I enjoy these more challenging ones.

Do you have an age range that you think will be your natural one as a mommy? Does it all come naturally to you? Don't be afraid to share. Even if its all easy for you. I won't throw stones at you...pebbles maybe, but no stones.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tintan like fish

This morning we went to an indoor playground near our house. Fintan made a new friend. As usual he wasn't interested in making friends with other toddlers, he usually likes to choose a big guy or barring that an older woman to befriend, and then he likes to show off for them.

Today it was a grandmother who had brought her two grandkids to play. Fintan was showing off like mad for her, not allowing her to pay attention to anyone but him. He ran across the room and came back with a ball and said "here's a purple ball" then he ran and picked up another one. "Here's a blue ball" he said. Then he pulled a piece of his playfood out of his pocket. "Here's a yellow french fry".

Then when she started oohing and ahhing over his abilities (she said her three year old grandson didn't know all of that) he started getting really into it. He ran to the light that cast a glow on the carpet and pointed to the shape it made and said "this is a diamond". Then he ran to the other one and said "this is a diamond, too!" Then he started doing crazy tricks and counting and singing songs and just laughing his head off. It was adorable.

When she asked him what his name was he said "Tintan Patrick". She called him Vincent the rest of the time but he didn't mind at all.

When we were driving home afterwards I asked "What is your name, sweetie?" Of course, he didn't answer me because he's suspicious of direct questions, even from mommy, and only likes to talk on his own terms, no coercion allowed. But I continued, "Can you say Fintan like "fish", sweetie? With an "f" sound?

And for once Fintan decided to humor me. "Tintan like fish", he said.

Pics from the weekend

We had a busy weekend. Saturday we went to the pumpkin patch:

Where Fintan milked a cow:

And rode a pony:

And drove the cool cars with Zayden:

Sunday we had fun at the park:

And bought a very used truck to replace the Land Rover we sold last week:

This is what it says on the side:

Pat says we should remove the "an" to better illustrate the quality of our work. Wanna hire us?

Friday, October 3, 2008

A two way tie

Well, the finger crossing worked! Thanks all. Coen is now officially the sleep champion of the world in the 3 month old division. Hooray! The night before last he had two good stretches of about 5 and 4 hours and then last night he slept, amazingly, from 6:30 pm until 4:45 am. Then he was up until about 5:45 when he fell back asleep until 8:40. I KNOW! I didn't believe babies existed that could do this and I would never believe in a million years that I was a person who could produce one. Especially given Fintan's track record.

But, here's the deal, for once in their young lives, rather than conspiring against me, my boys conspired for me and BOTH took it into their heads to sleep well. Fintan slept from 8pm, until 8 am last night! This is the kid who has rarely gotten more than 10 hours of sleep in a whole day in his entire life. So even with losing a few points for going without a nap today, Fintan is officially the 2 year old sleep champion of the world. He deserves it.

Yay for my boys!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ode to an ice cube tray

There is not a single item in my kitchen that comes in more handy, when it comes to feeding my toddler, than an ice cube tray. Really. These are the trays that I have. They're sturdy and the lid fits very securely. I originally bought them to freeze pureed fruits and veggies for Fintan when he first began eating solid foods, but as he grew I just kept finding more and more uses for them.

One thing I use them for is to freeze leftovers like casseroles and soups, so that rather than having a big solid chunk of something that you'd have to defrost all together to serve it, you can just pull a few cubes out of a freezer bag for a toddler meal and maybe even a few more cubes for your own lunch.

In addition to leftovers, I also use ice cube trays to freeze things like homemade cheese sauce and spaghetti sauce for fast and easy pasta lunches (cheese sauce also makes a good dip for whole grain crackers and breads, too). And I don't just use them for homemade sauces. They're also great for freezing toddler-sized portions of our favorite store-bought sauces. Pasta sauce is a good bet for most toddlers--I often melt two cubes for Fintan to dip his ravioli in. But I'll also freeze more unusual ones like Tikka Masala sauce for example. Then, since I have a handy stock of little toddler-sized portions of frozen chicken strips (as I described my previous food post) I can just pop a packet in the microwave for 30 seconds, poach the chicken in a bit of water in a frying pan for a few minutes over medium heat, remove any leftover water when fully-cooked, and add a defrosted cube of Tikka Masala sauce to the pan. Yum.

I've definitely found it easier to broaden my little one's food horizons on a regular basis having these trays handy. The possibilities really are endless with a good ice cube tray!

I'd love to hear your toddler-feeding tips if you have any. Or ideas of other things to freeze in ice cube trays. I still have lots of freezer bags to fill...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A night of sleep

Well, I have to commemorate a certain event. Coen did a big thing last night. He slept for almost 10 hours straight. He has come nowhere near that amount before. He doesn't often get that much sleep in one day. I am almost certain we will not have a repeat performance any time soon, so I want this date to go down in history.

If you're the finger-crossing type, please cross a few for us.