Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why I hate Dora (and Diego)

I took French in High School.

For those of you familiar with Dora the Explorer and Diego that statement may be enough to explain my dislike for the little characters. But I will explain anyway.

I really have nothing against the cartoons themselves. They keep the kids quiet for a period time which means it is a little miracle worker in my book. It's what happens when they are not watching that drives me crazy.

First, there are the book. Books that have words in Spanish with no direction on how to pronounce those words. I remember a little Spanish from Sesame Street. But these books go beyond the basic "Hello", "Goodbye" and "Water". I means, come on, do you really expect me to know how to pronounce "bat" or "snake" in Spanish? When I try Meghan laughs at me telling me I am doing it wrong. Like I need that.

And then sometimes she comes up to me and says what I think is just a nonsense word. And she says "That is Spanish for ____ (insert word here)." And all I an say is okay. That's great sweetie. Because I HAVE NO IDEA. She could be right. She could be testing my stupidity.

I do doubt that those words are actually Spanish because she thinks some words she does not understand are Spanish. Example:

We are in the car on the way to Sean's doctor appointment. This doctor's office happens to be at the hospital.

Meghan: Can I have some juice?
Me: When we get to the hospital you can have some.
Meghan: Is hospital Spanish for doctor?
Me: Um, it could be???

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Watching

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Tuesday, right? Right?

I've been trying out some new scheduling tools this week. This stay at home mom thing is messing with my head schedule-wise. I have to think twice (or three or four times) just to remember what day it is. And then try to remember what we are supposed to do on that day.

This is really not a new problem I suppose. At work I lived by my Outlook Calendar. If a reminder did not pop-up and tell me I needed to be somewhere then forget it. It did not matter if I had the same meeting every Tuesday at 10:00. Or even if it was my meeting. I needed that reminder to get me there. Birthdays? In the calendar. Doctor's appointments? In the calendar. Task lists? In the calendar.

So now here I am at home without my trusty calendar. Every day I fear that I am missing something. Getting through the summer was not too bad. I just had to remember that the cleaning people come every other week. And then I depended on other people to call and remind me about doctor appointments. I would then repeat it to myself for the next day so I would not forget. Not the best system.

Now that I have more things to remember, you know, like dropping Meghan off to school, or dance class, or final days for fundraisers, on top of the doctors and other things, I needed to find a solution.

This weekend I set up Google Calendar. I also registered at Remember the Milk and linked it to Google Calendar. Then I signed up for Gmail and forwarded my other account to that one. So now I am all connected. Appointments and tasks have been scheduled. I have reminders sent to email and my phone. And I feel much better about it.

We will see how well this works. I'd like to schedule in some things I need to get done around the house. And I may get all crazy and try and plan out the days better so I am not wasting time surfing the web. And perhaps I should add a reminder to shower. It might help.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Everyone is still alive

Ryan is back home and the kids did not kill me. I'd call that a success.

Ryan got to learn first hand how ANNOYING it it to hear the toys bang, bang, bang all the way down the stairs. So now I know it was not just be going crazy here.

I had planned to do a few things last week while he was gone but I found myself sucked back into Facebook. I have the little linky thing there on the left so you can join my blog network. I've spent time tending to my Sea Garden and sending Philly Goods. But, for the most part, I have been glued to the Mesmo TV Make Me a Celebrity game. Have you tried this? ADDICTING! Basically you build up your celebrity status and hotness by playing games and working "gigs" for money that you can then use to buy up crazy status symbols which increase your hotness. Oh, and then you have to build an entourage by going to clubs and finding other players who will help build up your status. It is very time-consuming. And, I have new found respect for Paris Hilton. Keeping up appearances is hard y'all.

Now we are back to our regularly scheduled life. Except this Saturday we are celebrating Meghan's birthday. Four years old. I cannot believe it.

This year we are not throwing any sort of big bash. Just a simple party with our family. I figure next year she will want a party with her friends. This year she is still just happy to have cake and balloons. That I can do.

Meghan has, however, put in a few requests for birthday presents. It seems this year she really understands what that means and has been asking for thing. So yes, she has been contributing things to her Amazon wish list.

Sean is still teething so he continues to crap all morning long. I am not even exaggerating. I'm afraid to leave the house. But, good news, the wipes arrived at the door just in time.

Now for some general bloggy bidness:

  • As mentioned above, you can link to this blog on Facebook if you so wish. Once I reach 15 readers over there the feed will publish automatically (or so they say). There will be a box over on the left that looks like this:

  • If you have not already, you can subscribe in a Reader or request an email subscription. Also over there on the left.
  • If you are on Twitter you can also follow me there. I publish the update over right.
  • Finally, I registered to go the BlogHer Boston conference next month. Anyone else going to be there?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How is MY week going????

I think they are trying to kill. Or make me kill myself. Either way, I am fighting back.

Some things are not their fault. Like Sean pooing just about every 30 minutes. Including while we are not at home or near any convenient changing facility. Or our schedule on Tuesdays where we have to zoom home and inhale lunch before flying back to make preschool in time.

But others....

Like now, where Sean is insisting in hanging over our banister no matter how many times I tell him no.

Or Meghan sucking down her juice or milk and having to pee every 5 minutes. And deciding that she needs to not only wash her hands but also brush her teeth. Every time she pees. I must have cleaned up globs of toothpaste 5 times today.

Also, Sean got his first ever timeout* today.

For doing this.

That's right, has decided to test gravity over and over and over again by throwing EVERYTHING down the stairs. This is what is pushing me over the edge today (no pun intended) .

(ARGH!!! Something else just went over the edge. Timeout number 2.)

And I realize that this is normal. The throwing of the toys that is. But some of the stuff is pretty damn heavy and breakable. And I fear for both the toy and our hardwood stairs. And the window at the bottom of them. And also the cat who was not quick enough to get out of the way.

So now I am just waiting it out until bed time. For everyone.

* I am not even really sure that timeouts work at his age. But saying no wasn't working. And the kid has a one track mind so redirection doesn't do it either. He is one determined little bugger.

Wordless Wednesday - Signs of Autumn

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Let Me Show You: Little Bear

Since you all got to meet Bunny, I thought it was only fair to introduce you to Little Bear next.

Little Bear is Sean's best friend. Just like Meghan, Sean latched on to a soft cuddly object that is a requirement for a good night's sleep. Unlike his sister's Bunny, Little Bear is one of a kind. We have no spare.

I'm pretty sure that Little Bear came attached to something else. Like he was not the main attraction of the gift. Maybe he was a gift card holder. Perhaps he was part of a gift basket. Your guess is as good as mine*.

What is very clear to me is how attached Sean is to this bear. You should see his face light up when you hand Little Bear to him. He rarely settles in his crib until he is snuggled up with Little Bear. Recently, Sean has insisted on carrying Little Bear around the house with him. Occasionally nibbling on his ear and giving big kisses. It is the cutest thing ever.

*Or maybe your guess is better than mine. Seriously, if anyone knows where I can find another one, please, let me know.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Today Ryan left for a business trip which leaves me with the kids. Outnumbered.

Which is, you know, fine. It is just very quiet here now. When I am home alone I tend to hear every creak in the house. I think I'll take advantage of the Advil PM we have tonight.

The kids were actually pretty good tonight. Sean even let me give him his inhaler without a fight. So far, so good.

The one parent/two kids week did not start out so well. But it had nothing to do with the kids. We took off for BJs right after Ryan left for the airport. Here was what I experienced:

  • Um, when did it get so humid, icky and muggy? My hair puffed up to double its normal puffy size as soon as I stepped out of the car.
  • Why, oh why do I always get the WORST CART EVER? After lifting over 50lbs worth of kids into the cart I realized that it was screeching louder than my toddler.
  • How do you get me to not over-shop? Make me push an obnoxiously loud cart.
  • How come I can never find the products they have in the coupon mailer?
  • The main thing I absolutely needed to get, the product we were out of, the reason we went shopping, was to buy soy milk. Guess what they did not have?

So, needless to say I was happy to get home. Even if it was to a house currently missing one family member.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Let Me Show You: Bunny

Meet Bunny. Bunny has been with us for about 3.5 years now. And, Bunny looks like he has been loved for at least that long. When Meghan was born she had a multitude of soft cuddly things. A parent never knows what their child will latch on to. Meghan latched onto this little guy.

Bunny was a present from Meghan's first daycare provider. Once I saw that Bunny was here to stay I quickly went out and bought a spare. So now we have Bunny (pictured above) and Spare Bunny. Spare Bunny only makes an appearance when Bunny is dirty or has been misplaced at bedtime. Meghan will reluctantly sleep with Spare bunny, if she must. But, Bunny (or Real Bunny as she sometimes calls him) better be there when she wakes.

One should note that although Bunny has lovely pink satin, he is a boy. He is occasionally referred to as Mr. Bunny.

Bunny has seen better days. The satin in his ears is no longer pink. His fur has turned from from a lovely white to a dingy gray. Bunny has also had his head surgically reattached.

I searched in vain trying to find yet another replacement for Bunny. No other bunny will do. Google, EBay, Amazon. The Internet has failed me. So we need to keep a very close eye on this little guy. It will be a dark, dark day if Bunny ever goes missing for longer than a nap.


Let Me Show you will be a new feature here where I introduce you to the things that make up our world. The idea is to take a peek at simple everyday objects that have some particular importance to our family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Suckage: Facebook

That's right I said 'Time Suckage". Why do I spend so much time on Facebook? I HAVE NO IDEA.

I've signed up for other networking sites in the past. MySpace, Friendster, LinkedIn..I'm on them all. But Facebook is the one that stuck.

What do I do there?

Well, I read what everyone else is doing. And I've linked it up to my Twitter account so the totally random things I type in Twitter get posted to Facebook. So know both stranger AND my friends can read the random things that pop into my head.

I search for people that I know. And then, stare at them awhile to determine if I should add them as a friend. How long has it been? Would that be too weird? I have not added anyone from high school...yet. At this point that sits firmly in the "too weird" category for me.

I add and send Flair. Just because.

I've just started adding some pictures. Because everyone else is doing it.

And I've created a Blog Network for this blog. And, yes, you too can join my Blog Network. There is a little Facebook linky thing over there on the left. See it? great. Just click and you are in.

So why am I on Facebook? I don't know. It started out as peer pressure. So I signed up. Then I only had like 2 friends, which was pathetic. So, added more. And now I am here. And I understand why some call it "Crackbook".

Why are you there? And if you're not, why not? You know you wanna join. Come on. All the cool kids are doing it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seaside 2008

Here is the Seaside Recap. I should really write these things while I am there. Because, at this point, I am ready to just post some pictures and videos and be done with it. I've already posted a few pictures here , here , here and here.

Last week we made our way to Seaside Heights once again. We could not have possible fit anything else in the car.

But we did manage to find room for the kids.

This year we went a lot later than usual. We arrived for Labor Day weekend. There were a lot of people there as to be expected. But, come Tuesday, the place was like a ghost town. Beaches were empty, streets were quiet, some of the rides and some of the games on the boardwalk shut down. It was nice to be there when it was so quiet. However, because things shut down, Meghan and Sean were not able to do some of the things we wanted them to.

Both kids loved the beach this time. There was no complaining about the sand.

Seaside - Kids on Beach from Dorene on Vimeo.

We had the same issue with Sean as we did in Turks & Caicos. The kid refuses to sleep on the beach. He would fall asleep in his stroller after a walk on the boardwalk but it would only last so long.

Meghan was her made sure she stayed stylish even though she was on vacation.

Both kids LOVED the Carousel. It was really the only ride that remained open so they rode it twice. We have video below.

WARNING: The video below may not be suitable for those who are prone to motion sickness. Please take caution while viewing. It is not advisable to watch 1-2 hours after eating or while eating. Having a barf bag within reach is advisable. You have been warned.

Seaside - This will make you dizzy from Dorene on Vimeo.

Overall, great trip. Everyone had a blast. We are not sure we would go back this same time next year. It is better to have everything open for the kids. Now I have to go finish unpacking (yes, still not done), but, I will leave you with even more Seaside images and video just in case you did not get enough.

Seaside Heights 2008

Seaside - Empty Beach
Seaside - Checking out the ocean

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Stand Back!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Meghan's Big Day

Today Meghan had a very busy day. After a summer of not doing much at all she had both dance class AND her first day of preschool today.

Dance class was first today. We went shopping yesterday for her dance outfit. She looked so adorable today.

I was a bit worried about how she would do considering how little she participated in soccer last year. At first she just stood there watching everyone. But the teacher was great. After about 10 minutes or so Meghan was dancing around with the other girls. She had a blast.

I was able to watch from the other room and take a few videos. I heard her telling a knock, knock joke to the class. She was following direction very well. Toward the end of the class she stopped dancing and told the teacher she was tired. She needed to rest.

Dance Class - 2 from Dorene on Vimeo.

(I'm sure that instructor has been using the pizza example for years. But, no, my daughter must make it peanut butter and jelly.)

More videos here and here.

After dance class we had to rush home, grab lunch and head out to preschool. She even had homework she had to do over the summer and bring to class today. Her assignment was to decorate a beetle however she wanted and put her name in it. Here is her work of art:

Today was a preview day. Just an hour long and I stayed with her. She had some listening issues (surprise, surprise) but overall she was good. I'm not sure how she will do tomorrow for her full day without me there with her. I'm sure she will be fine but she keeps asking why no one in her family is going to stay with her tomorrow. I'm sure she is just being her normal dramatic precious little self.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sean: Eighteen Month Stats

Now that we have returned home from vacation we have also returned to our weekly visit (or so it seems) to the doctor.

Today's visit was a normal, run of the mill, stick him with needles, eighteen month checkup. He did great, as always. I swear this child is just used to people poking and prodding him. He got some immunization. The doctor checked out his slightly odd foot position and walk*. She was not worried for now. He does walk with his feet turned out a bit but we are going to go with wearing supportive shoes and wait and see.

As for his you go:

Weight: 20.8 lbs.
Height: 33.5 inches.

So he gained a bit more than a pound in about three months. Good, not great. The good news is he is gaining weight and following along his normal curve. The not great is that his normal curve is not even on the chart. But look, he did get almost 3 inches taller. That's something, right?

We have to go back in 3 months for a weight check. But that is nothing. He has at least 2 more appointments with other doctors between now and then.....

Hey look, an actual vacation picture!

I know, I know. I'll get to that post eventually.....

* I don't think I've mentioned the foot thing here. His one foot kinda turns over. It looks like he is standing on his ankle.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Meme: Quirky Quirks

I've been tagged to do a meme by Channah over at Get a Grip, Mom. And since I have not gotten around to uploading all my vacation photos I thought I would give this one a go.

It's called Quirky Quirks and here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag six other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

Hmm, 6 Quirks:

  1. I don't like eating food if I know someone else touched it. Even family. I watch those cooking shows and see them mush their hands in the food while making it and just think about having to eat it. Silly, I know. I realize that I eat food touched by someone everyday. I just can't see it happen. One exception, my kids and Ryan. I may eat something they touched. Exception to the exception, if there has been any snotty activity lately then all bets are off.
  2. I cannot stand the sound of someone else clipping their nails. It makes me cringe.
  3. I always need to sleep with a blanket or sheet on. Even in the summer.
  4. I hate cleaning the food scraps out of the drain. It's worse than poo diapers.
  5. I do not like drinking milk or beer. I will tolerate them if they are very, very cold. If they start to move towards room temperature forget about it. One exception: Chocolate in the milk. That's just yummy.
  6. I rotate the kids clothes in their drawers. Counter-clockwise. They both have such cute clothes that I am afraid that if I put the clean ones in the front, on top, that they will never wear them all. So each time I put away clean clothes I rotate the ones already there.

This is the part where I am supposed to tag someone. However, I am not going to this time. I am so behind in reading blogs that I fear this meme has already made the rounds. If you want to join in the fun, feel free.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chillin' in Jersey

My six readers may have noticed that posting has been a bit lighter this week. We are in the middle of our annual pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore. I'll have a recap once we return and I work my way through the mountain of laundry. Until then, here is an example of the type of excitement we are experiencing.

Wait, perhaps you did not notice the very informative label they posted on the glass, I'll blow it up for you.

There you go. Try and beat that one.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Carousel