Wednesday, September 28, 2011


How I went on vacation and then never posted again?

Well, we have been a little distracted around here


our beloved Mommo (Brian’s Mama)


is in town and we are busy lovin’ on her and showing her a good time.


I will be back on Monday-ish when I once again have to decide “How do I do this again?”


(PS: This is where Isaac gets his curls)


Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello, New Jersey



Do you ever come home from vacation, and you suddenly realize that your house has a smell to it that has become unfamiliar?

And you see things in a fresh light and you suddenly notice that-‘hey when did someone color on the (rented) refrigerator?’

And your kids think- ‘wait, aren’t we sleeping in the same room now?’ and are up for hours in the night.

And they are up and asking questions (“What kind of things can we do in the fall?” “What colors of pumpkins are there? Purple?”  “Do leaves ever turn BLACK?”) by 5 am because they think it is 9 am?

And you have more laundry than you have ever faced before staring at you as soon as you open your eyes?

And you are happy to start back up your routine. but that means your husband has to rejoin the work force and it makes you feel a bit abandoned?

And your kids are testing you and retesting their at-home boundaries, so you are having to be Alpha-Mommy-I’m-The-Boss and say things like “Well then your lollipop is going in the trash” and mean it?

And you are SO GLAD to be home, but when did the floor get to be so sticky and has Isaac always made such a horrific mess at mealtime?

And you are putting away some laundry that you have finally managed to wash and fold and you are thanking Bob the Builder for keeping your children so nice and occupied, only to find that it was actually an egg carton (with eggs in it)(not anymore) that was entertaining Isaac for you?

And it is 7 am, but feels like noon, and you are still just trying to rub the vacation out of your eyes so that you can see your real life clearly and figure out

how in the world do I do this again?

Well, that’s where I am.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Things that my little guy said today


Because he was in rare form:

“Mama, you are my sweet boy!”



(As I am huffing it down the subway stairs carrying Isaac and the stroller and trying to figure out which way to go, Joseph spots a small blue poster down the hallway) “Mama!  Look your favorite color!  Loook!  Loooooooooook Mama!  IT’S YOUR FAVOORITE!  AHHHHHH!  YOUR FAVORITE!”



As we were going down the cathedral stairs a man told Joseph “Way to go Batman”  Joseph asked me: “Why did he call me Batman?”  Me: “Because you are wearing your Batman shirt”  Joseph (yelling up the stairs as loud as he can) “THANK YOU!! THAT MAKES ME HAPPY!”



This week I have been teaching him to hold doors for me (with a stroller it is just plain helpful) and today when he held it for someone else as well he said, “That’s because I am being a gentleman.  Batman is AAAAALWAYS a gentleman.”



As Brian started walking ahead of me to catch up with Isaac:  “Dada!  Wait for Mama!  She is MARRIED to you!”



When we finally all got caught up and were walking together: “Look Mama!  1,2,3,4!  Four friends!”



Wrestling tonight with Brian:  “Wrestle gentle with me, Dada.  But HARD with Isaac!”



As we were walking through the hotel lobby he stopped, put his hands on his hips, and said loudly, “Mama?  Why do girls always stand like this?”

London- That’s all she wrote!


Well folks, my last day in London is now over- we leave bright and early in the morning to take a train to Scotland! 

As I told Brian- my sightseeing is over, but my VACATION has begun!


Thank you for all of your opinions on the last post, we went ahead and headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral this morning.


It was spectacular.





It also had a huge courtyard area where the boys could run free and jump off of stairs. 


Which is always a bonus





We also had our second ever experience with PAY toilets! (our first was at the Tower of London)  50 pence per person!  (about $1!!)




(Isn’t Isaac looking old?)


It was quite a lot of hullabaloo to get wheelchair access to bring my stroller inside the cathedral to the stroller checkpoint- I had to sign a sheet and give them my address, and get a special elevator-key, but we had come this far!  We were going in!


(not sure why he was plugging his ears as nothing was happening)


As I was getting the stroller situated to drop it off and getting my backpack on for Isaac, he came inches- INCHES!- away from blowing out the prayer candles that people had lit!

And then when I grabbed him and stuck him on my back he started crying and screaming right in the cathedral hall! 

But, quick thinking saved the day and I had a binkie in my pocket (I found 3 more by the way! whew!) that did the trick!

(no pictures were allowed inside, sadly)


I had also given Joseph a pep talk that if he was good, respectful, and only talked in whispers, that he could have candy after we left the church.

Bribery works people!  Because he was an ANGEL!

He did try to climb on the…coffin area?...of the crypt (is it called a coffin if it is above ground?), but other than that, he stayed right by me, whispering questions.  And who doesn’t want to climb on a crypt, am I right?


We didn’t make it all the way up to the dome, but we did make it to the Whisper Gallery, which is about halfway up and approximately 250 stairs each way. (Joseph and I counted, but I was pretty out of breath and I may have missed some)

250 stairs with Isaac on my back.

I deserve these chocolates that I am eating right now!

Anyway, it was gorgeous and HUGE and spectacular!

I am so glad I went!

Another thing that was cool about the cathedral was that it was in a section of London called Cheapside, which I have always heard about from Jane Austen (anybody?) and was excited to see.


It was not actually a slum, as the name suggests, but a market and the streets are all named “poultry”, “wood”,”milk” etc.


We had lunch in another courtyard behind the cathedral



(Joseph is mixing it up with some turkey/avocado)


It was so beautiful, and I heard the bells start chiming, and just as I was getting out my camera so that I could film it, a mariachi band started playing.


That’s right, a MARIACHI band! (?!)


So, we headed on out,

to the subway station with no lift, which had 128 stairs (there was a sign that had the number as a warning).

At that point I decided that I was done adventuring for this visit!

I saw lots of things that I wanted to see and I just had peace that this was the end.  The boys were done, I was done, WE were done.

I enjoyed the train ride back to the hotel a little more knowing that this was the last one, and I let Isaac “sit like a big boy” next to me, and Joseph sit “all by hisself!” in the seat in front.







We all took nice long naps, talked to my mom/mommo on the phone, and met Brian for a nice dinner.

London, complete.


PS: I am not sure how blogging will go next week- we are staying at bed and breakfasts so internet will be questionable, plus I will have Brian to keep me company, and he is much cuter than this old laptop!

Wish us luck!

He May Be Naughty…




…but he sure is a charmer!


(he is listening to me sing B-I-N-G-O, his favorite song, while we wait for Joseph to finish using the bathroom at St Paul’s cathedral)



(this is how he signs “more”, finger onto palm)



Thursday, September 8, 2011



What would you do if you had only one day left in London?

I would love to see the British Museum, but I am worried that the boys would be bored / scared of all the mummies that I would want to gawk at.

I was also thinking maybe St Paul’s Cathedral / Westminster Abbey, but I am worried that the boys would be bored / loud / enthralled with their echoes.


So much to do!  How can I decide?

Just interested in hearing what YOU would do, but who knows?  Maybe I will take your advice?



London Day 6


I am NOT going to complain about a single day that I am here         (I am not going to complain, I am not going to complain…) but Wooeee!  Today was a doozie!

I think that all of our busy days plus my week without Brian is starting to take a toll.  Mamasita is TIRED!

Also, last night as I was lying in bed I thought- wait a minute!  I only have 2 days left in London!  AHHH!  So I decided to cram a few things into today.


First of all, we went to Oxford Street, which is a famous shopping area. (Brian is horrified by this news.)

We had a to walk a 1/2 mile to a subway station and then go on a long subway ride with lots of me carrying Isaac and the stroller while Joseph “easy did it” down lots of stairs because the station didn’t have a lift.

But once we were there, it was worth it!

We only went into two stores, three if you count the cookie store

(which you should.  Seriously these things tasted like yellow cake but with the creamiest chocolate chips… wait a minute!  I have more in my stroller!  Happy day!  I’ll be right back…)

and most of my time was spent like this


(note:  Isaac is trying out some boots that we did not end up buying because they fell off 500 times.  Does anyone know of any children’s boots that will stay on?  You can be my best friend!)

but I was able to throw a few items of stripy English adorableness into my bag, as well as a couple of things for my newest niece Bianca (kiss! kiss!  Auntie loves you!) and some Spiderman pajamas for Joseph. (Yawn.  But he loves them)


From there we went to Carnaby street, a more “alternative” version of Oxford street.


By this time the boys were pretty restless, so I didn’t end up going into any stores, but we walked around the neighborhood quite a bit and it was so lovely!


After my shopping was (temporarily) satisfied, I hailed a cab (I feel so awesome every time I do this by the way) and we headed to the Science Museum!


Joseph was in Heaven!



If you look closely, you may ask, why is Isaac’s arm in his sleeve?


That’s why. (“Come ON, Isaac!”)


Notice that my kids are the only ones not wearing the aprons. 


American brats! 

Joseph got told by a staff member that “an apron is the rule!” so he decided to pass on the water table.

Isaac, however, was allowed to go naked and played here for quite some time.


He also loved the noodle things.


Joseph got a kick out of wearing a hard hat and directing some construction play.  It was so funny to hear him trying to communicate with the English kids with their word/accent differences.  They got their points across though!


I didn’t take many pictures because it was so crowded and both kids were dashing in opposite directions- rather stressful.

After about an hour I dragged (drug?) the kids away, screaming and crying, for some refreshment.


(Isaac approves of the English strawberries and cream)


(blueberry frozen yogurt heaven)


(Joseph’s chocolate ice cream had “gum balls in it!” –maltballs)


My plan now was to walk around the rest of the museum for a while so that Isaac could fall asleep in the stroller, and that then we could return to the children’s area and let Joseph play some more.



(Isaac is so big and strong that he can walk the stroller where he wants it to go)


So no nap for Isaac.


I repeat- No. Nap!


We went back to the children’s center anyway (I’m a glutton for punishment) and played for another hour or so until my legs threatened to give out and I dragged (drug?) the kids away, screaming and crying, to start our trek home.

At this point I thought, ‘Joseph?  Why in the world are you sooo flushed and cranky and crying about everything?  Oh, is it because you have had no nap for days, and Mommy only fed you COOKIES and ICE CREAM for lunch??’

Mom fail.


My poor little lamb, he perked up after riding on the back of our stroller’s buggy board (more about the board in another post. It’s a lifesaver!) and had some peanut butter crackers.


So then we started our 45 minute subway ride home, plus more stairs, and a trip to the grocery store to get a few fruits to supplement our peanut butter and honey dinner in the hotel room (Joseph’s 4th night in a row.  He doesn’t like new food.)


Here comes the kicker of the day- are you ready for it?


After we returned to the hotel, took off our clothes (I am trying to conserve laundry you know), and ate dinner, I logged on to the laptop really quick to watch some videos of my dear friend’s new baby.

I was engrossed in the fresh baby adorableness and the boys were being so good and laughing and wrestling beside me on Joseph’s bed-on-the-ground…

until I looked up and realized that they weren’t just wrestling, home fries, they were MUD wrestling.

Except, you know, we have no mud.

I said a quick prayer (“Please, Lord, let that be peanut butter”) and ran over to investigate.

and…well… it wasn’t peanut butter.

I shrieked and grabbed Isaac and sent Joseph to go wash his hands (yes it was on his hands) (I hadn’t noticed yet that it was on his feet and arm)

I grabbed the packet of wipes and went to town on Isaac- his diaper had shifted somehow and he had “not-peanut butter” everywhere!

Joseph came out to watch the proceedings, and I finally got Isaac passably clean and set him down to clear away the diaper/wipes when he ran over

(I screamed- SCREAMED – “NOOOOOOOOOOOO” and ran in slow motion)

and he took a giant leap with a giggle and flung himself onto the “not-peanut butter” slip and slide.

He slipped.

He slid.

I grabbed him again and held him at arms length.

Joseph and I looked at each other-frozen with mouths wide open.

Then we burst out laughing and laughed and laughed.

(Do you notice that a lot of my life involves laughing at ridiculous circumstances?  It’s a coping mechanisms that I developed.  Also a lot of times my life is just plain funny.)

We laughed all the way to the bath tub where I scrubbed every inch of their poopy little bodies.

And I laughed when I sent Isaac to bed at 6:30 and Joseph to bed at 7.


Now tell me- what do I do with the…ahem… soiled comforter?

Because right now it is folded up under the desk that I am sitting at.

Do I call down right now and have them take it?

Do I leave a note for housekeeping? “Beware of comforter!”?


They didn’t cover this in any parenting class.

Also, well, I didn’t take any.

(see: no lunch but cookies and ice cream)