Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A whole new world........

That is the title of the theme song from Disney's movie Aladdin and Fiona's number two favorite movie (trivia, The Little Mermaid is numero uno). How do we know this? She asks to watch it every day, she quotes lines from the movie, she often describes scenes from the movie, and knows all the character's names by heart. My sister Donna got her the figurines from Aladdin for Christmas and they have been very popular. Fiona acts out the movie using the little figurines--last night the main characters Aladdin and Princess Jasmine were dancing together. This morning she had them facing one another and then I heard smooching noises. Yes, my two year old was making them K I S S. That just is NOT something I am prepared for yet. Don't grow up, little girl.

You think thats cute? Oh, it gets better.

We went to the mall today and Fiona was playing in the indoor park, which was very crowded. She was in the canoe along with a little East Indian boy smaller than she is. I was watching her increased affection for the little lad--first it was a tap on the head, then a tap on the back, then an arm around the shoulder, and lastly a full on hug. I was giggling watching her, even though my heart was sinking a little. When asked if Fiona knew the little boy's name she quickly replied "Aladdin". I guess he did look like him and she noticed that. Of course she took it back and called him Genie afterwards.

A sad side note, when we returned home Fiona was very distraught to find her Princess Jasmine figurine half eaten by Casey. She ran up to me saying "Oh no, Momma, oh no Princess Jasmine's head is gone". I guess there isn't going to be any more smooching for her....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Picture catch up

I have a bit of a random spread of pictures of our girls from the past week or so that aren't Christmas-related and thought I would share. I happen to have a couple of minutes while Nora naps, Fiona is engrossed in her dress up clothes, and Jim makes dinner--why not blog?!
Nora had her 2 month appointment a week ago. I dragged Jim with me because I always find the first set of immunizations slightly traumatic and dread doing it alone. I was happy to have him there because Nora hated the exam, let alone the 4 shots she needed. Blech! She was content enough once she was home and fed. The stats: our beloved girl is 14lbs 2oz (98th percentile) and 22 3/4 inches long (97 percentile)...she just keeps growing! It is amazing, Fiona had just about fallen off the growth chart at this age and Nora is just about over it. Genetics are amazing.
I HAD to take pictures of her wounds.
Take a look at the silver BandAids and
adorable chubby thighs.
We had two huge snow storms here last week, just in time for Christmas. Fiona was thrilled to see it and finally get a chance to play in the powder. Last year at daycare she had to be coaxed into going outside and wouldn't stay longer than a few minutes. This year, she would live out there if she could.
Here she is getting dressed up for the first
romp in the snow:

Making snow angels with her Daddy
(Random fact, the door you see in this picture
in my parents new place. That is 13 steps from
our front door. Talk about convenience!)


A happy moment with the girls. I can't wait to
see them grow up together.

And last, but not least, Fiona's dinnertime artwork.
She decided to make a face with her food one night.
Where does she get this stuff from?!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas pictures

As promised, here are some pictures of our Christmas in Chicago festivities.

Fiona telling her Nonnie that Santa was coming



Miss Nora on Christmas Eve

Fiona ensuring the Santa spread was perfect

Christmas morning, Fiona about to get her
first present

Gotta love a happy girl

Nora slept through most of the gift opening,
here she is with one of her presents

Christmas night headed to Debbie and Pat's house
for dinner
The Boldischar family on Christmas

Our two blue-eyed presents

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Quick, before the holiday is over and the hoopla ends--Merry Christmas!

This was our first year where Fiona really was into and understood Christmas and it was tons of fun. We've been talking about all things Christmas for a month now and she was so excited it finally came. Of course there were presents, but she was just happy to have a reason to celebrate. Our girl likes to party, if you recall, so any time she can wear a fancy dress, dance around, and eat sugary sweets she is a happy camper. Christmas is her cup of tea. I was proud that she also enjoyed giving gifts today, there were no displays of greed at all, which is refreshing in a preschooler. At one point Fiona "shared" a special toy Santa brought her with Nora--that was a warm and fuzzy moment for me.

Santa was good to all of us. Fiona's loot included a train set, bongos, baby dolls, Disney DVDs, paint, books, and a tool set to name a few. Nora hit the jackpot with pacifiers, slippers, plush toys, and a blanket. Santa is treating Jim and I to a weekend in downtown Chicago next year sans children. Not bad, not bad at all.

We are just about to tuck the youngest of our blue-eyed presents into bed now. We wish all our friends and family a warm and fuzzy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even...

A tap-dancing 2yr old?

Wendy went upstairs to check on the girls and took a picture of them both dreaming of sugarplums. Notice Fiona with her fancy tap shoe? She insisted that they be in bed with her, and I said that was OK so long as she did not put them on her feet. No problem - they fit on her fist, too.

Off to sleep until Fiona wakes up at 6:20!

Merry Christmas to all.






Monday, December 22, 2008

Remember Casey?

He's our dog! It's easy for him to get lost in the shuffle with all the kids news, kid pictures, and kid videos. But today he's being honored with his very own blog posting.

Last week, we got a nice package from my sister Mary. Inside there was a loaf of her famous banana bread (which Fiona and I scarfed down in one sitting), and two stuffed animals: a teddy bear for Nora, and a FurReal Friends toy kitten. You rub this kittens back, and it purrs and meows. Well, later that day, I decided to introduce Casey to our new 'pet' kitten. You'd think that showing a dog a tiny purring kitten would induce some typical dog behavior: growling, barking, at the very least, playing? Well, Casey is no typical dog! No sir! When it comes to Casey, there's NOTHING he doesn't fear!


video

Friday, December 19, 2008

2 Fiona Stories

The Holiday Season is all about excess - lots of presents, tons of food, too much snow - so let's make this a TWO STORY blog posting!

Story 1:

One of the things Wendy and I really like about living in Illinois is the abundance of classes and activities provided by the local parks and recreation departments. (We also like the incredibly corrupt government officials!) This fall, we had Fiona enrolled in two drop-off classes (drop-off = Hallelujah), and they finished up this week. She always comes home with different arts and crafts, and this week they made a Santa with cotton balls.
The class teacher then asked every student what they wanted for Christmas, and she wrote their response at the top of their Santa artwork. As you can see, our daughter has very modest gift expectations (click the picture to open it up).



This morning Fiona picked up her Santa and was sniffing the cotton balls. She brought it over to me, "Daddy, smell this." After what happened in our last posting, I was reluctant at first. But then I gave 'Ol Saint Nick a sniff and didn't smell anything. Fiona, however, was channeling her creativity. "Do you smell the marshmallows, Daddy? The toasted marshmallows?" I asked her, "Oh, those are marshmallows?" "NO DADDY," she said, "Those are his beards!"

Story 2:

I'm not sure if we've admitted this in a posting, but we introduced Fiona to her first love at a fairly young age. Of course, I'm referring to the TV. It's a little known fact that Fiona's unofficial first words were "Go Go," as in Go Diego Go. She has since become a fan of Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, and more recently, various Disney characters (Cinderella, Nemo, etc.).

Now, I am the first to admit responsibility for her interest in TV. I grew up watching plenty of cartoons, and I think I turned out OK (insert smart ass comments here). And from what I recall, He-Man, GI Joe, and The Smurfs did NOT have any hidden Spanish lessons, so she's already better off than I was. In short, I've never really been concerned with Fiona watching "too much" TV.

The other morning, however, I was a bit concerned. Fiona likes to express affection by giving hugs and saying "I've missed you!" Mostly she does this to her dollies or stuffed animals, and on the rare occasion, her mom or dad.

As you can see below, earlier this week she cuddled up with our TV. Wendy and I heard "Oh, I've missed you!" right before I snapped this picture. It certainly was worth a laugh, but if she keeps this up I think we'll have to send her off to boarding school.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not one of those days

*****Warning: Poop story below. Don't read if you cannot laugh or cry at poop******

Today was going to be a good day. The kind of day where you accomplish a million small tasks or tackle one big one. The kind of day where at the end you sit down on the couch, put your feet up, smile, and feel all warm on the inside reflecting back.

Today was not one of those days.

Today was the kind of days where you vent, take a hundred deep breaths, cry a little, and near the end of it, sit down at the computer to blog while drinking a large glass of wine.

As a fluke I haven't taken the two girls out solo longer than 1 hour and thought today was a going-out day. All I had in mind was a post-breakfast trip to the library where I imagined Fiona playing like an angel and Nora sleeping like one, then back home for lunch, three naps, Jim coming home with roses and chocolates, then whisking the girls up to bed while I relax. Thats all.

Instead, I got harsh Momma-reality. I get both girls bundled up and in the car for our adventure. Fiona was delighted to be going out and Nora wasn't so impressed. Within seconds of starting the cold car Nora starts to whine...then cry....the sob...then scream. Oh lord. Do I turn back? Nah, I've done this before, surely she will stop once we are on the road. Oh no, she did not. Nora screamed the whole way there while Fiona sang Jingle Bells over and over again. The library part was fine since Fiona used up all their paper/tape/glue making crafts while Nora slept. The way home was the same as the way there including our musical background.

I got home frazzled, but not beaten. I quickly fed Nora, then Fiona, then myself, changed Nora's poopy diaper, followed by Fiona's (ahem, not myself), then put Fiona down for a nap, then Nora (ahem again, not myself) and cleaned the kitchen. As I finished that Fiona woke up shouting my name and Nora did too. Alas.

We made it to when Jim should have been home, except today its snowing and he was driving a long distance. I got the dreaded phone call--will be late for dinner. Damn, I really don't like that phrase. Ugh oh, I got the second phone call--won't be home for dinner. Damn yet again. I then fed Fiona, then Nora, then myself. I settled Nora, let Fiona watch some tv, and started to clean the kitchen. Mind you, I do this three times a day and have been for all of Fiona's lifetime. I can see her and she can see me. A few minutes into cleaning dishes Fiona says "Mom, I won't put my finger in poop".

Um, I'm sorry, what was that?

I look up to see Fiona furiously wiping her hands on her shirt, my carpet, her toys, the sucker she was eating (hey, a Mom has to do what a Mom has to do), and then the tv. OH MY GOD! Keep in mind that I am a nurse and like most nurses am a bit of a germophobe. Also keep in mind my newborn is sitting a foot away from said poop trails. I couldn't have gotten to her fast enough. I firmly tell Fiona not to touch anything and then she insists on showing me all the poop she is surrounded by. I get her to the bathroom swiftly where we wash hands twice and then follow up with Purell. I change her poopy pull-up and survey the damage. It is everywhere. I give her a lecture, put her on the couch, and start disinfecting. Half way through my cleaning storm, Fiona calmly asks "Mommy, did you get all the germy germs from my poop off". I sure hope so.

It was at the point that I gave Fiona another book, put Nora on her playmat, poured myself a glass of wine, settled into a nice chair and waited for Jim to come home. Anyone that knows me know that I never drink in front of my kids and hate wine. Well, it was one of those days.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vocabulary

Fiona's vocabulary has increased in a colorful way. We have already explained how she picks up new words and actions once and immediately adopts them, this has not changed. Fiona also loves to talk (I haven't a clue where she got that from) all day long. I mean it, the only times when she isn't talking is when she is asleep and the occasional moment where her mouth if full of food. I am always amazed at not just the things Fiona will say, but how she always gets context correct too. In the car she will say "Look at that red light. Red means stop. You should stop, Mom" or when Jim is driving she will sense my tension and tell me "Daddy always drives fast, Mom, its ok". We were at a birthday party yesterday and she was waiting for a cupcake. She kept asking me when she was going to get hers and I told her to wait and be patient. She then told all the other children to be patient. When another mother heard her say that she asked Fiona if she knew what patient meant "sure", she said "it means to be patient". Well, there you have it! She can also spell and recognize her own name. She learned that in June and loves to point out F-I-O-N-A wherever she sees it. We were out to lunch once and the server was going to write her name down and asked me how to spell it, before I could answer Fiona spelled it for her. Thats a trick that comes in handy!

The other thing I should mention is that she has also adopted the language and attitude of a tweener. Its cute at first, but then gets highly annoying when you realize she is only two!

Here are a few more of Fiona's favorite phrases:

rescue mission Everything is a rescue mission lately, she saves me/Casey/Nora often from peril.

whatever This is new and I really don't like it. She says it while rolling her eyes, ugh.

so, anyways.... Here pretend conversations at the dinner table start this way.

I can't believe it This is said with lots of drama. Once she said "I can't believe that I won't stop crying". Yeah, me neither.

leave me alone This just started yesterday and came out as I was giving her a lecture. I literally had to bite my tongue to not say something I would regret. Deep breaths.

oh my gosh A overused exclamation of joy, frustration, sadness. "Oh my gosh, look at the Christmas lights!"

oh, pickles This is from a tv show, I guess, but the first time I heard it I busted out laughing because she dropped something and then said "oh, pickles".

As mature as some of her phrases are, she still pronounces words incorrectly in a youthful way and I love that. The word put is 'puk', for example. "Mom, I can puk my socks on all by myself". That warms my heart and reminds me that she is still my little F-I-O-N-A.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Every down gets an up

Eventually.

This was a long week in our house. I think that is obvious given the week's blog postings.

I had faith that the bad would be replaced by good, soon enough. Jim likes to call me a pessimist, he thinks I see the negative in everything. I joke and tell him that I am a realist and the truth is that negative things happen to me quite a bit. Jim is a die hard optimist, nearly every night he makes a comment that tonight is the night where Nora sleeps straight through. It has yet to happen, but god bless him for thinking it. See the balance we have in one another? We make a good pair, a great team.

This week got better with teamwork. The kids teamed up against us and we teamed up against the kids. Ok, not really. More like Jim and I worked together to get sleep and care for the cranks. Somewhere during the week Nora decided to fall in love with her swing. I mean, IN LOVE. I don't know why now she likes it, but the girl has slept in the swing for every nap. We are talking hours at a time. It is a miracle. She is much more content and dare I say, happy. Unbelievable. It allowed me to spend some time quality time with Fiona. Heck, it allowed me to eat, nap, shower, clean the house, and (gasp) pick up a book again. The swing is my new best friend. May it never break.

Here is Fiona's new smock--Dad's old tee:


I bought play doh before Nora was born for a
desperate moment. It brought pure joy to
Fiona:

Nora cooing that she now loves life itself:
Who is this happy baby?

The reason for the new found contentment in
our home. The beloved swing, best $100 we
ever spent.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ahhhhh..........

TGIF People!!! Jim and I are well rested and I have a few free moments to blog!

Our children can read. That is the only explanation I have for their recent good and likely temporary good behavior. They somehow read my recent blog posts and decided to be good to their dear ol' parents. Enter huge sigh of relief. (Look for future posts for more on the Boldischar girls good behavior)

I was not overwhelmed by the number of calls I got after my last post/ad. Thanks Auntie Debbie! Perhaps I need to work on my sales skills--no wonder why Jim won't hire me as an assistant. I might be better at being a nurse and raising kids.

To sway those of you out there who were on the fence on taking two kids, I give you the following pictures of our 7 week old Nora.

Pretty in pink


Yes, I am obsessed with her cheeks.
Sleeping angel


Tummy time ain't so bad


My Daddy is SO funny



I got you, didn't I??

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For Sale

Two kids for sale.......Two kids for sale.......

We have two kids for sale.

Who wants them??

Sure they are whiny, fussy, hyper, and too smart for their own good.

Sure they stay up for hours in the middle of the night or wake up for good at 5:30am.

Sure they coo so loudly in their crib at 6am that you would think they were opera stars.

Sure they demand to play with play doh and eat your breakfast at 7am.

BUT, they sure are cute.

Anyone??

Anyone??


I will wait for your call............

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, Fiona

I was determined to have a better day today. Jim was, too. He let me sleep, took care of the girls, worked from home for most of the day, and even took Fiona out for awhile. (Enter the sweet 'awwws' now) Fiona was in her room for a nap and I was downstairs with Nora. After several attempts, I got a fussy Nora to fall asleep. The things mothers do--I put Nora in her papasan chair, put in on the couch across from me, set it to vibrate, put in her pacifier, covered her in a warm blanket, and even put a stuffed animal on her chest. All of this to simulate her being in my arms. And...it worked. She fell asleep and I was elated. Well, I was quietly elated. Ahhhh, peace at last. You mothers out there know how crucial PEACE is in a day. I was enjoying it. And then....

Oh, Fiona.

I knew she wasn't asleep. I could hear talking, signing, banging over the monitor. I turned it off. Who cares, I told myself, she is up there, safe, content...quiet enough. She will be up there for 1 hour whether if she sleeps or not. I suppressed the urge to run up there and free her or get her to actually sleep. I had just spent all that time doing that for Nora and dammit, I am was going to enjoy a few minutes of silence. Those thoughts were broken up by Fiona screaming my name so loud that I thought the cops would meet me at the top of the stairs. I ran up there and she was crying. Poor girl had slammed her fingers in the door. She was slamming it after making a room escape. I was comforting her and she asked me if nap was over. "Well, you never slept" I replied. Then she lifted up her shirt to show me her belly. When I asked her why she whined "I am already big and strong, I don't need any more sleep". Ah, I see. Cute lucky kid. We were leaving her room when I saw white streaks on her face. As we were walking down the stairs I asked her what was on her face. "Oh, thats just bum cream, Mom" "Fiona, why is there bum cream on your face" "Its my new makeup" "Fiona, its just for your bum when you get a rash, though"
"Oh".

Oh, Fiona.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two

That number is a theme in my life right now. I have two children, two arms to hold them with, two hips to carry them on, two diapers to change, two cups/bottles of milk to prepare and clean, twice the amount of laundry, two overnight feedings, two sets of (eerily similar) blue eyes staring at me constantly, and a child who is experiencing the terrible/trying twos. All of that keeps me on two toes.

I got a day out yesterday sans mentioned beautiful children. I planned it out nicely and looked forward to it all week. In fact, to "earn" my outing even more I cleaned the house like a mad woman on Saturday. I spent my day doing some Christmas shopping, running errands, a trip to my friend Starbucks, had a lovely lunch with my Mom, and then ended with a 50 minute massage at a spa nearby. When I go out, I go out big. The way I see it, make the most of your time and enjoy.

What a difference the day makes. Today was a hard one. There were the usual overnight Nora feedings--this time the 4am one went a little long and I got back into bed at 5:15am. Fiona woke me up with by turning on the lights and whining in my ear at 6:15am. Oh lord, it was too early for a tantrum. Jim had to hit the office early, so it me and the cranks, oh sorry, kids. Fiona is deep into drama lately, a lot of tantrums, whining, screaming, kicking, hitting, and thus time outs. Today was no exception. Nora, meanwhile, is quite a fussy baby who finds life very unsatisfying for some strange reason. She requires to be held and soothed, pretty much constantly. Those two tornadoes don't always collide, but today they did. The peak moment was when I struggled to get Fiona to take a nap, got her asleep finally, went to soothe Nora to do the same and after 1.5 hours of FUSS, Nora fell asleep as Fiona woke up. Argh!

As Jim told me, tomorrow is another day. Lets just hope its more like Sunday, than Monday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Making progress--6 weeks

A great friend of mine (here is the shout out for Missy!!) once told me after Fiona was born that babies get better at 6 weeks. I can still hear her say "just hang on, its 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and then the jackpot at 10 weeks". Missy has become a guru of sorts for me both as a mother and as a nurse, so when she speaks, I listen. She was right then about Fiona--she smiled at us at 6 weeks, slept in long spurts at 8 weeks, and at 10 weeks we were sleeping through the night and on a schedule. COME ON BIG MONEY is what I am shouting now with Nora! We just hit 6 weeks yesterday and although she was already smiling at us last week, we are remaining hopeful that the next few weeks will change our lives in a great way.
Who would have thought that at the same time I am praying for Nora to sleep better my golden standard of a sleeper Fiona would waver. She started hating sleep and sleeptime last week much to my dismay. It is now a chore and at times battle to get her to take a nap or even go up to bed. This has never happened in her 2.5 years and I am still in shock. I knew that I was living on borrowed time with a midday two hour nap (hell, it got me through my pregnancy), but this is no nap strike. Fiona now comes out of her room and wanders around looking for, well, trouble. She comes out to tell us all sorts of things that are more important than sleep--reports of owies, questions of a random nature, or to ask for a laundry list of comfort items. Jim found her in Nora's room attempting to wake her up. I found her in her bathroom looking for her toothbrush. As if life with a newborn wasn't complicated enough! Alas, they are our children and we love them. We also cannot wait to tease them about this when they are much, much older.

Here are the girls looking adorable. As I often to say to my husband and daughters, you are lucky you are so cute.
Fiona straining to see the tv around me:



Fiona's version of a cheesy smile:


Hi. I am Nora. I weigh 12lbs and am 6 weeks old,
yet I don't feel the need to go longer than a
few hours between feedings. Remember, I'm cute:

Monday, December 1, 2008

We are Thankful

A little late on the Thanksgiving blog posting, but here it is anyway.

Jim and I are thankful for our two beautiful and healthy girls. We are also thankful for Jim's good job in this shady economy. We are thankful that we sold our house and no longer have that stress. We are thankful for our families. We are thankful for the two dates we had this week and for my Mom who plays the role of Nanny very well.

Here are the pictures I got on Thanksgiving. I had the day all planned and included many pictures, but forgot to take them! The girls wore matching dresses to dinner and then changed into matching footed sleepers afterwards. Did I get those pictures? No. Alas. I got a very sleepy Nora from the morning and two separate shots of the girls in their dresses. Not half bad.

Doesn't everyone wish they had this life:


A close up so you can see the snuggled bliss.

Fiona at Thanksgiving dinner.
(Thats our friend Morgan, her dog Jack, and my niece Lauren)

A grumpy Nora being held by her Nonnie