Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Noah at 2 and 3/4 years is charming my pants off.

I love how, without fail, he always insists "Mommy, I not tired at all. I want wake up," exactly 90 seconds before he falls asleep.

I chuckle when he calls me Wonder Woman when we're out in public. And I have to call him Superman. And he calls his big brother Batman.

Wonder Woman and Superman doing what they do best - take selfies

And his dad is, wait for it, wait for it...the Incredible Hulk.

Only to a 2-year-old could a man of average height and very low BMI be the Incredible Hulk.

Yesterday before bed we read the story of how Joseph did not take revenge on his 11 brothers but instead forgave their treachery as a foreshadowing of how Christ would forgive all of humanity. I was pretty sure it went way over Noah's little head.

But this morning Judah was annoying Noah in the car and refusing to be nice or to apologize, and out of the mouth of that sweet babe came this:

Judah, you make me sad, Judah. But I not revenge you. Like Jesus not revenge us.

Oh. My. Heart.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Brother Report

Having and raising Judah, my first baby, was such a traumatic and exhausting experience, I never ever ever wanted to have another kid again.

But when Judah was around 10 months old, I realized he needed a sibling. The guy wanted CONSTANT people-interaction. He didn't care for toys and do-dads, he wanted human friends, of the high-interaction kind.

And so Noah was born.

Judah was almost 2.5 when Noah came into the picture and we were kind of kicking ourselves at the time. Judah had just become so much easier, but here we were, "blessed" again with another cycle of high-dependency and constant neediness.

But now that Noah himself is 2.5, our lives have gotten to the golden tipping point once again. And this time around? Much much better.

These two boys are everything we hoped and dreamed they'd be for each other. Mentors, comrades, partners, plotters, and the best of friends. Watching their daily interactions is the highlight of my days.

Some moments from last week:

Noah was feeling extra cranky one day so Judah made him a "paws"-itive slip - in the shape of a paw, cute right? Judah gets these at school for good behavior. I guess Judah thought it would also elicit good behavior too. He's always doing stuff to make Noah feel special and loved, awwwww.

The kids found some old ninja costumes. I died of cuteness.

Judah used up an entire roll of tape to make a pirate ship. Please excuse the pantless-ness. It was hot last week!

The kids can play for almost an hour building stuff - legos, bristle blocks, magnetic tiles. I'm in heaven.

Every night is full of kisses and hugs and Noah digging for gold.

It's just like Wrigley's gum says - double your pleasure, double your fun!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Love Hurts

This week Noah started his pre-school (five half-days a week).

The whole ordeal of finding a pre-school for Noah could in fact occupy an entire (very lengthy) blog post in and of itself, but I'll just boil it down to 2 words - unicorn search.

Apparently I look for pre-schools like wealthy handsome bachelors look for life-long mates - never satisfied with the options at hand. I kid you not, this search started 6 months ago and resulted in no less than 5 pre-school tours.

Is it SO hard to find a school that's nearby, with cheerful, energetic, loving teachers, that teaches Mandarin a little, has decent facilities, and is reasonably priced? Yes. Yes it is. Learn from my failings - it doesn't exist. Just like the unicorn.

Anyway, I settled for a school that had all the things I wanted EXCEPT it is freaking far away and pretty darn pricey. Oh well.

The upside is I get to spend a lot of car time with both kids, listening to Judah boost Noah's morale and get him pumped up for pre-school.

Brothers and school-boys and best buds.

Judah: You're going to have so much fun Noah! Are you excited?

Noah: No, I'm sad. I don't have any friends.

Judah: It's okay, it's easy to make friends. Just say "Hi, my name is Noah. Want to play?"

Noah: No, I'm shy.

Judah: Yeah, I'm shy too. When I started pre-school I didn't have a friend for a long time. But then I made lots of friends in the end and I loved it! It just takes time.

It's pretty amazing how often Judah will repeat to Noah almost verbatim all the things I've said to him in the past. That last sentence he uttered is a prime example. Parenting your oldest kid really is like a buy-one-get-one free deal. He just passes it right along to the younger one!

Of course, when Judah and I actually had to leave Noah at drop-off, he totally lost it and cried. Funny enough, he cried more and more each successive day. As a parent, I knew Noah would stop as soon as Judah and I left the room, but poor Judah was racked with grief and sympathy for his brother.

Oh no mommy! I hope Noah is going to be okay! Oh, it makes me so sad to see him cry! When I see him again I'm going to give him the BIGGEST hug. I'm going to squeeze all his guts out!

Judah was so distressed sometimes, I would suggest he pray.

Dear God, please don't let Noah be sad or scared. Please let him have a really fun day and not forget his teachers' names. Amen.

I always love seeing how truly empathetic and sensitive Judah is to other people's feelings. I swear I spent way more time and effort comforting Judah than Noah!

It reminds me of this pic taken when Noah was getting shots when he was only 3 months old. Judah cried much longer and harder than his little brother too.

Oh the sympathy pains!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Me - losing, Judah - winning

This was Judah's first full week of kindergarten and he's off to a great start.

Me, not so much.

Noah's preschool doesn't start until after Labor Day so I've been running around trying to keep him happy all day and what can I say...the struggle is real.

Two and a half year olds be crazy. Totally irrational, megalomaniacal, certifiably crazy. He thinks calling people "poo-poo head" is hilarious and putting his hand down my shirt and "tickling your boobs" is the best thing ever.

And the hair-trigger anger issues. Oh. My. Goodness.

Even when everyone is doing their best to bow and scrape and cater to his every imperial whim, he capriciously melts down and puts people in time-out. That's his thing now. On a particularly grumpy day, Tyrant Noah put all the members of his family, at one point or another, in time-out in the course of an hour.

But enough of about Noah...where was I...oh yeah, Judah's first week of school.

The hardest thing for me each day is finding out what Judah's day was like.

I pepper him with questions about going potty, snack-time, recess, stories read, etc, but I always feel like there's a giant black-hole that I can't quite touch called "what you did during the rest of the 2.5 hours that wasn't covered by my too-specific questions."

But so far I've learned that he's really latched onto this guy named Anthony. Judah looks up to him. Judah tries to please him. Judah genuinely rejoiced when Anthony got a "good behavior" reward from the teacher. Judah thinks he's smart and funny, mostly it seems because Anthony taught him the "interrupting cow" joke. And Anthony is amazing on the monkey bars.

This makes me want to get close to this Anthony dude. Figure out what's his angle.

Is he a nice guy? Is he kinda manipulative? Is he a controller? What's his deal...

Too smother mother? Maybe...or maybe not...

Anyway, Judah's gotten into the habit now of "ranking" his day. So far, on a scale of 1-10, he's ranked his days a 10, 11, 9, 9, 4, 9, 9, 8.

Why the low scores of 4 and 8?

Because while Judah is winning, I am failing.

The 4-ranked day was because I forgot to give him his lunch and he was starving all day.

The 8-ranked day was because I didn't pack enough food for him and forgot his water bottle so he was mildly hungry and dying of thirst all day.

But my biggest fail thus far? I freaking missed the first school Open House. I swear I marked the date on my calendar well in advance, but it turns out I marked the wrong date. Seriously? Seriously?! I kid you not I checked THREE independent sources for this date.

My only explanation is I've finally done lost my mind. 5 years and 2 kids later, it's gone. Gone, baby, gone.

But despite his mother's incompetence, Judah is doing great. Today he was recognized in front of the entire school assembly as a positive role-model. He got the "Paws"itive slip reward which goes to one kid in each class and had to stand up while his teacher commented on the good behavior.

Judah gets recognized for vaguely "doing something for someone."

Apparently he helped some kid named Omar by sharing something with him. Seriously, that is the level of detail I had to settle for after grilling Judah for 10 minutes about what he did to get recognized. I am obviously the worst interviewer/investigative journalist ever.

But I totally remember this kind of thing from my own childhood.

I wanted SO BADLY during every assembly to get this kind of recognition all through elementary school but it never happened for me.

And there was Judah. His first week of school and he got a golden ticket.

Apparently kicking butt at elementary school is a generation-skipping trait in our family.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


I perused the cover of Self and saw the lovely Ms. Washington and this caption:

Body, baby, kickass career, "It's handled."

Uh...I love me some Kerry-fabulosity as much as the next person, but, I think we're missing some full disclosure here.

I would like to suggest a more accurate caption:

Body, baby, kickass career, "It's handled...by my giant entourage of household help that includes a personal chef, personal trainer, stylist, day-time nanny, night nanny, and weekend nanny."

Inside, Kerry reveals that she likes to start her day with "stretching and meditation."

Uh, no mother of a 5 month old starts her day with stretching and meditation. It's more like, stretching (out my arms to reach my wailing baby) and lac-tation cuz every baby I've known demands to gulp down morning milk between 5:30 and 6:30 am.

But Ms. Washington's night nanny probably doesn't clock-out until 8 am so "it's handled."

But can we just stop??

Can we just stop with the fake baby-mama celebrity glorification? (I'm looking at all you uber-wealthy moms too, ahem, Sherly Sandberg and Marissa Meyer). Can we stop giving young women a distorted expectation that bodies, careers, and life in general will get handled smoothly along with a new baby?

Can we stop making real moms who are not part of the 1% feel crappy because it's NOT all handled? And maybe it never will be ever again?

How about some reality checks like:
--the horrible statistics on failing marriages when babies come in the picture
--the real nightmare costs of quality childcare
--the complete lack of meaningful jobs that don't demand 50+ hours per week
--the severe lack of sleep that verges on CIA torture technique territory
--the body and skin elasticity that will NEVER be the same again...without ahem, some "medical procedures"
--the overwhelming, crushing, unceasing, weight of it all

Can someone PLEASE just tell it like it IS about raising young kids in this world when you don't have a fleet of helpers (paid or unpaid)? Now that's an article that would actually do society some good.

Dear media world: please handle that.