Archive for November, 2007

Babysitting

November 30, 2007

Finding babysitters in a new town is really hard. I have tried lots of different angles with mixed success. When I was reading a favorite site of mine, MotherTalk, and saw that their partner, Mom Central, was looking for people to try out a new site called care.com, I jumped at the chance. I have been using sittercity.com and have found the good, the bad and the ugly. By paying a small fee, I have been able to browse the site, sort by location, availability and experience and do my best to locate child care. I have found one wonderful college girl, a woman who allowed my children to watch three straight hours of tv (yuck!) and a social worker who babysits and is fantastic but expensive. The service at care.com seems similiar- pay a small fee, sort, rule out, rule in. Unfortunately, there are few sitters in my area. So few, that I really was unable to use the service. I have my fingers crossed that my next avenue might be the winner. I am going to be working with a mom who has also recently moved- I met her in my fantastic Writing Motherhood writing class- to start up a babysitting co-op. The other mom was in a co-op before she moved that had been around for 25 years and required sponsorhip to join. Seems like it was a pretty successful operation. Given the hit and miss luck I have been having, coupled with the crazy expense, I am looking forward to having another mom, who I know and trust, to come and sit for my girls. Of course, this also involves doing some babysitting myself… Interesting trade offs- I’ll keep you informed…

Yeah Me!

November 28, 2007

Yeah!! I had to share my exciting news. A while back I participated in a reader panel for Wondertime Magazine- they periodically send out e-mails to people who sign up to be on their “readers panel”. The question I responded to was ‘How do your children keep in touch with far flung relatives?’ I responded with the story below. I just got an e-mail that they are going to publish my response in the February issue!!!! This will be my first “publication!”

My four year old daughter loves yellow. As a result, her grandmother gave her yellow envelopes and yellow stationary for Christmas last year. To another child, this might seem to be a desperately dull gift but it was yellow so Caroline loved it. A few times a week, Caroline will approach me, yellow envelopes in hand, with requests for stamps and addresses. The envelopes are always slightly damp and wrinkled, already filled and sealed. The best part of this correspondence, of course, is what is inside. I have had relatives and friends call to thank us for blank pieces of paper, scraps and even nothing. More than once, an empty envelope has been mailed. Fortunately, between a return address and the yellow color, the receiver always seems to know from where their envelope has come.

Imagination

November 25, 2007

We had an extended play date today with Rob’s sister and her family. This includes their five and two and a half year old little boys. It was fun to hear lots of laughter and watch the cousins play throughout the day. Somehow, it was a real old fashion kind of play day- complete with swinging, sliding, kite making, leaf raking followed by leaf jumping and even fort building. The icing on the cake came when the kids wanted to take a toy out of a tupperware they found in our basement- I put away a lot of toys to only keep a few in rotation… We told the kids they couldn’t take out the car- it was stuck behind lots of heavy stuff and we really didn’t want to make a  big production out of it. After a few moments on moping on everyone’s part, Caroline snapped out of it and said to her cousin, “It’s ok. We can just use our imagination and find something else to do.” Out of the mouths of babes….

No Way!

November 19, 2007

So, for those of you who know us or have been reading long enough to make some inferences, Katherine is our laid back baby. She goes with the flow, laughs at nothing and everything and has been known to sleep for long stretches of time. I have often wondered how she is going to hold up next to her slightly more spirited big sister. I now know that she will be fine. The girls and I were at a neighbors house last week for a playdate. The family has a little girl just slightly older that Caroline and a three year old boy. The tv was on when we arrived and Katherine spotted a duck- her most favorite of all the animals. A little while later, she pointed to the now turned off tv and said her approximation of duck. She trotted over to the tv, ready to bring back her friend the duck. Much to her chagrin, the little boy of the family decided he would rather be the one to turn back on the tv. Next thing I knew, the little boy was flat on the ground, with a rather perplexed look on his face. Katherine had leveled him. After placing Katherine in her first ever time out, I had the chance to think about my mixed feelings- shock, embarrassment, but most of all relief- this little girl is going to be able to stand up for herself after-all.

Why lie?

November 13, 2007

When we were in RI this weekend, I took the girls to a fantastic playground near Mom’s house. As I chased Katherine on equipment far too large for her and tried to keep an eye on a high climbing Caroline, I engaged in an interesting conversaion with another mom. She was frantically chasing around two young boys, clearly twins. I asked her how old the boys were and learned that they were twenty one months old, only 18 months older than their three month old sister who was at home. I asked her how she was managing and she said, “Oh fine, it really isn’t that bad at all.” Now, why? Why lie? It was maybe 40 degrees outside and she was sweating trying to keep up with twins. I refuse to believe that when you add a newborn to this mix that it really isn’t bad at all. Sure, there are moments of happiness, love, joy. But I am also positive that there are moments of hell. Why not admit that? I know I am a stranger and she is not going to go into details of her life, but why do so many moms present such an unrealistic picture of motherhood? Maybe if more people admitted how hard it is, we wouldn’t find it so hard. Maybe then we could feel supported, appreciated, loved by the people who wear our shoes instead of wondering why caring for two girls, nearly three years apart was pretty hard, a lot of the time….

Home

November 12, 2007

The girls and I returned today from our first solo trip to RI. Rob is taking the Series 7 exam on Tuesday so we left him alone for three days to study. I am tired and will write more tomorrow. Yawn….

Last Names

November 5, 2007

Caroline asked me today what Gran’Dad’s last name used to be. Fortunately or unfortunately, we drive by a cemetary on the way to school which almost inevitably leads to conversations about my dad. She was pretty confused when I explained that his last name was Ingraham- “But that’s your middle name?” she says. I went through the process of explaining how some women choose to change their last names when they get married and will often, then, use their maiden name as their middle name. I then gave her the example, though, of Rob’s sister who kept her maiden name. Caroline’s response was, “Well yeah… k___, c_____ doesn’t really sound right together anyway.” Just in case you are thinking that she didn’t fully grasp the whole feminist underpinnings of this whole converstation, she did go on to explain to me that, Tyler, her pretend husband, took her last name as his when they got married- go Tyler!

Daylight Savings

November 4, 2007

I am so excited! Daylight savings has always been an absolute nightmare for our non-sleeping family and we have survived this year- relatively intact. Caroline woke at 5:22 new time and Katherine at 6:45 new time. This is the first year that we haven’t seen 4s on the clock on this day- maybe we are making it to the other side! Rob and I are feeling especially happy about it today because we were actually up until midnight last night- for those of you who know us well, you know how crazy this is! We are slowly adjusting to the social scene here and are getting better at staying out until grown up times. Last night was the Newcomers Progressive Dinner. We had never been to a function like this and it was super fun- 200 people, 3 cocktail houses, tons of dinner houses (only 4 couples at each) and then one dessert house. We talked with lots of people we had already met and many new people as well. Quite a lot of fun!