*&%$#@ Allergies

We just learned yesterday that baby Rose has food allergies.

She is officially allergic to….drum roll please….eggs…milk…peanuts…and tree nuts! An impressive list, huh?

Given I’m nursing, I’ll be avoiding these items as well and to be honest, the list of what we can’t eat is long and I have no idea what we CAN eat. Rose’s diet as an 8 month old is pretty limited already especially when we pumped the breaks on introducing new foods until we figured out more about her reactions. Now we’ll continue to introduce some new things, the poor girl will get sick of sweet potatoes at some point! As for my diet, that feels like it will be a tad tricky but since getting the news, I’ve found some basics (black rice, bananas, and oatmeal) that don’t have the offending ingredients and I can already tell this will be a diet that will help me get back to my pre-baby weight (that my friends, is what we call a silver lining).  

I started the effort of sorting through our fridge and pantry to get rid of what we can’t have and that task seems daunting alone. I’d say I’m 10% through and already have 3 full bags to give away. And I’m looking forward to spending a good couple of hours at Whole Foods this weekend to find some products that are safe for us (lots of fruits and veggies!). Right now, I am totally overwhelmed by it all. But…I know I’ll learn a lot over the next week and we’ll figure it all out but I must say, it is surprising how many foods have milk and eggs in them. Boo.

I’ll be cruising the allergy blogs to get some tips but if you happen to have any suggestions….please let me know, I could use all the help I can get!



Bad Cop

I am the bad cop.  I really like routine and structure, ergo I am the bad cop.  If I don’t play my role, my wonderfully structured life turns to chaos.  If I don’t tell Kiki at 7 that it’s time to head upstairs for her bath, then she won’t be asleep by 8.  She might not be asleep til 8:30.  Like I said, chaos.

I’m definitely the bad cop between me and Hubby.  He starts tickle fights before bedtime and I’m the one that says, “alright, alright.  That’s enough.”  He surprises her with candy and I tell her she can’t have any until after she eats her dinner.  He lets her watch more tv than I do and lets her play more iPad games than I do.  The two of them have even developed this whole schtick where if they’re left alone and I ask them what they did while I was gone, they both get big innocent-looking eyes and respond, “nothin’.  Nothin’.”

Hubby at least has his bad cop moments.  He tells Kiki no.  He is fully supportive of a reasonable bedtime for her.  And he sees no reason for her to have every toy she asks for.  But when we’re with the grandparents, it’s a totally different story.

Grandparents don’t do bad cop.  We live far away from the grandparents and they only see Kiki every couple of months.  So I get it.  They shouldn’t have to do bad cop.  Instead, they do over-indulgent cop (they sail way past good cop).

We just spent 11 days in The South and Kiki was spoiled by all of her grandparents.  She ate cupcakes twice a day, had chocolate milk with every meal, stayed up til 9 o’clock every night, and received loads of presents.  I had to constantly remind myself that it was ok to ease up on the reins and just let Kiki and the grandparents have their fun.

I really don’t mind being the enforcer most of the time.  I was a teacher for 7 years, so I’m used to setting limits.  But it does start to get to me when it’s repeatedly pointed out that I’m the one raining on my daughter’s parade.

“Kiki, do you want to have ice cream?  Oh, wait.  You better ask your mom first.”

“Sorry girls, we can’t play tag right now.  It’s too close to bedtime and we got in trouble with Moms over there last night.”

“Well I would say you could watch another movie, but it’s up to your mom.”

Those are a few actual quotes from the grandparents during our trip.  Not surprisingly when our trip was coming to an end, Kiki declared, “Mommy, I’m done with New England.  I want to stay here.”

Well sorry about your luck baby girl, but that’s not going to happen.  You’re stuck with vegetables, sunscreen, sensible bedtimes, limits, and me (the bad cop).

It’s Official

It’s Official. We are moving on Sunday 9/8. After a long and frustrating search, we found tenants for our current home the day before the deadline for our mortgage. They are a lovely couple with two girls about the same as my kids and also a small well trained dog. We have been packing every chance we get. We have replaced our nightly “sit on the couch watching a show” to “packing + a short twenty minute show”. I have mother’s helper and a sitter lined up so I can pack, get random things done and make phone calls. My awesome in-laws are coming Thursday afternoon to Monday evening to help with the move. It is a stressful and exciting time.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to go with the house renovation show. The timing just doesn’t work as they need to film us at our current home mostly unpacked two days before we move. Ah well… it’s just not meant to be.


Are You Ready For Some Football?!?

So it’s that time of year again. That time when I indulge one of my personal obsessions and pore over statistics, strength of schedules, coaching changes, and list after list of players… It’s football season! This year I am playing in three leagues.

Right now it’s the middle of Draft time. For each league I will sit at my computer and pick my team with the other league members and this process takes several hours per draft. Because I’m a dad who takes the family into consideration, I’ve managed to schedule all three drafts after the kids are asleep.

Draft time is like Christmas morning for me. It’s magical and exciting, before the games start and your guys get injured and you lose by one point because somebody got tackled on the one yard line without getting into the end zone. A couple days ago before my first draft, I was sitting next to Red getting psyched up in preparation. I turned and asked her if she was as excited as me. “No.” she replied, “I hate football season. It sucks.”

That’s another way to go I guess. I understand her point of view. I obsess, stare at my phone too much.. Way too much. Get angry. Yell at the TV.. You know, the usual. Unfortunately I gotta go. I have more research to do… Two drafts down and one to go. And yes, my teams look awesome so far. Thanks for asking.


I’m not generally a cup half full kind of girl. I am usually skeptical and sarcastic and jaded. That’s partly my personality and partly due to the life events I’ve endured. However I’ve taken a long, hard look at my life over the past week because someone very close to me was going through her own personal hell. And what I realized (something I’ve always known but something that’s hard for a person like me to focus on) is that I’m damn lucky.

Thank you, universe. I know there were times when I pounded my fists on the floor in a fit of rage and sadness and snot and tears and screamed “why?” I get it now. I had to go through that to get to this. Damn, I’m lucky.

I Don’t Like You

We are in NJ visiting the grandparents, Hubby’s parents en route to my parents.  Little Miss and I have been at odds this week so you may think that I was approaching this week with gratitude and relief, which is true.  True, also, is the fact that LM doesn’t hear the word no for 9 days in a row and this does little to mitigate much of the behavior that put us at odds this week to begin with.

We are one day in and I’m happy to report that while LM hasn’t heard the word no except to, “Can I go play on that playground in someone else’s backyard?” it has been nothing but lovely to be here.  This clearly indicates growth on my part as our interactions today can be summed up with this one anecdote:

As a whole family we went to Nutshell playground about a mile from Co-Co and Pop-pop’s house.  General fun ensued – a spinny toy, a bouncy toy, a bumpy slide and swings.  I have definitely given LM her space for most of the day as there are plenty of others to happily interact with and I know I’m not the preferred company.  As we head home we split up into two cars and LM’s disappointment that she will be separated from her grandparents for 30 seconds is palpable.  Hubby straps LM into her car seat as I strap her little sister into the other.  I look at my darling, sun kissed, messy haired, sticky handed child whom I love with a vastness that can be compared only to the ocean.   She opens her mouth to say to me, with a dead pan stare and not one blink of her eyes, “I don’t like you.”

This made me laugh more than anything as I know that what she is really saying is “I’m having a lot of fun.  I love getting treats, attention and cartoons to my heart’s content.  You represent boundaries in my life and that is not something I want right now, or ever really.”

No child thanks you for boundaries, limits and consistency.  No preschooler appreciates the healthy lifestyle habits I am trying to instill from an early age.  This constant role is exhausting for me and while I wish I could give the world to her on a platter I know that won’t serve any good purpose but I sure am glad she has a Co-Co and a Pop-pop for that.    

The Ugly Stepsisters

“If only [my stepsisters] each had a husband as nice as you,” said Cinderella.  “Then they would be as happy as I am.”

Bleeeeeck.  This is an actual quote from a book that I, regrettably, just read to my daughter.  I sometimes change the words in books I read to Kiki if I don’t like something the book says.  But I didn’t even know where to start with this book.

Cinderella then devises a plan to throw a surprise ball for her stepsisters and invite all the eligible men in the kingdom in hopes of making love connections for her poor single stepsisters.  Her stepsisters find out that Cinderella is planning a party, but they don’t realize that it is for them. So they try to sabotage the party in lots of silly ways and their ultimate revenge is to show up to the party in ridiculous-looking gowns so that they will embarrass Cinderella.

“[The men] cried out in horror because the stepsisters were so ugly.  All at once, the men, young and old, ran for the door.  They hurried to get away.”

Come on Disney.  What is a mom supposed to do with this?

You need a man to make you happy.  Your looks are the most important quality when it comes to attracting that man.  These are not things I want to be teaching my daughter.

It had been a really long time since I had watched any of the Disney classic movies.  Now that Snow White and Cinderella have made their way into Kiki’s movie rotation, I find myself faced with leading ladies designed in a different era.  The old school Disney princesses are not exactly heralding women’s equality.  Instead they sing all about waiting for their princes to come (in painfully flighty sounding voices, I must add).

The Disney princesses have certainly progressed over the years.  Belle is an avid reader and a dreamer who isn’t at all drawn to the chauvinistic Gaston.  Rapunzel dares to venture far outside of her comfort zone to discover who she really is.  Tiana is a strong businesswoman who has been working hard to make her dream come true.  All of these princesses are strong and independent women who happen to fall in love with handsome princes along the way (except Belle – is it just me or was Belle’s beau more attractive as the Beast than he was after he turned into the prince?).

Kiki loves her DIsney princesses.  Sparkly dresses and crowns – you can’t really blame her.  Not to mention the fact that Disney markets the crap out of those princesses, so you just can’t avoid them.  Even if I don’t agree with the stereotypes of the classic princess movies, I have to indulge her in the whole gamut.  I try to steer her towards the more current princess movies, but sometimes she just really wants to watch Snow White.  So I just try to keep my eye rolls under wraps when I hear Snow White’s squeaky little voice.

But I tell you one thing.  That Ugly Stepsisters book is finding its way to the book donation box outside the library.  Immediately.