Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I just noticed that Alec, who is only wearing a diaper and a long shirt, with his pudgy little legs and toes sticking out, is standing verrrrry still and quietly in front of the pantry. I went over to investigate and found him with an entire hand inside the bag of M&Ms. Life is good when you have two older sisters and a stocked pantry.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scout and Sweetie Dance: 2011 Edition.

Tonight is the Girl Scout's Scout and Sweetie Dance, wherein all the scouts get dressed up, their sweeties put on suits, and their moms weep at how old their little scouts are getting.
Oh, wait... that's just what happened at MY scout's house. Sigh.
Michaela looked beautiful and they were both excited about a fun night out together -dinner and dancing at a local country club.
PS- There was great debate in our house over the last few days over whether Michaela would be allowed to wear those hoops- they are much bigger than the earrings she usually wears. After much discussion, she was granted permission with the understanding that this was a special occasion.
I'm certain that this will not be the last time we debate appropriateness of clothing and accessories. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Titles That Would Sell.

The other day I was thinking of book titles for my book about life with three little ones, and I'm between two:

The Unwashed Years:
How Having Three Children Over Eight Years Ruins Your Personal Hygiene Standards
"No, I Can't Hug You While I'm Going to the Bathroom"
and Other Feeble Attempts at Setting Personal Boundaries with Your Children
And just to be clear, this book is all in my head.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Crap: "Spring" Edition.

I put Spring in quotes because, as Michaela says, air quotes means it isn't true. Today is the first full day of spring and we got two inches of slushy snow, right after we watched with great joy the biggest of the snow piles melt away over the last week or so. I've got to think that this weather makes us hardier, or at least more accepting of bitter disappointments in life.

I'm serving chicken strips, smiley fries, and broccoli for dinner tonight. I justify this to myself by pointing out that I pay more for chicken strips, not re-congealed 'nuggets' of chicken.

I set up the first meeting for Alec's speech eval today. The service coordinator- the same one we used when Jenna was eval'd back in 2006- is coming on Friday morning. I had a good time telling her what a pistol Jenna turned out to be after she turned about 4.

A plumber came by today to look at some leaky faucets. He's going to fix them on Thursday. Cross another few things off the mental To-Do list.

I got my hair done today and am the blondest I've ever been. 2011 seemed like a good year to try and put myself back together after having three babies.

Jenna announced that she would like to be called "Jenna D" from now on. It is a variation on Jenna-deeski that my dad has been calling her for years. She also has made it clear that she dislikes the nickname "Jen."

I planted the seed in the girls' heads that I want them to do some actvities this summer. Michaela agreed and Jenna immediately dug in her heels at the idea. Mimi will do the VBS program, quilt camp, and Girl Scout camp. Jenna has only agreed to visit quilt camp one day "just to watch."

Speaking of seeds, I am starting to plan out a small garden for the spring. I'd like to grow pumpkins, cukes, and peas. I am going against my natural instinct to plan enough to feed a small army and am trying to start small.

Jenna has been invited to a rash of birthday parties lately- four in the last four weeks. She enjoys them... and I enjoy chatting with the other moms during the parties.

I read a recipe for a honey bread in the newspaper recently and now am hankering to make some bread. I wish I was the kind of mom who only served their kids homemade bread, but it's just not in the cards right now. Maybe in a few years, and then I can be all casual and self-righteous about it, like, "Oh, I BAKE my own bread... doesn't EVERYONE?"

Alec has starteda new thing recently: I type on my computer standing up at my kitchen counter, and he enjoys weaseling in between the cabinets and my legs and pushing. That means I end up typing with my arms extended, slightly off balance, with him whimpering around my ankles. Sometimes I push him back and he giggles.

Dan and I (and Alec) are planning a day trip to NJ to go to an Ikea store and The Container Store. There is not a car big enough to carry back all the things I want to buy there.

Alec's obsession with SpongeBob Squarepants continues.

Hot foods in our house right now: Fruit by the Foot, S'mores flavored Goldfish crackers, clementines, and cheese sticks.

Dan has his six-month followup appointment for his knee next week. Hard to believe it's been that long since his surgery.

We are a few weeks away from buying our new television. Dan and Michaela are the most excited.

I signed up to coach Jenna's soccer team with a few friends whose daughters are friends with Jenna. I was telling my brother about how on the form it asked whether I'd played soccer past the high school varsity level and Brian asked if there was a space to write My feet have never worn cleats. But then the crushing news came that too many parents signed up to coach (another reason why I love my town) and they wouldn't be needing us. I am hoping to buy some sporty new outfits anyway.

I was reading some old blog posts from when Jenna was two, and I had forgotten how tough she was. In one post she threw a temper tantrum and when I put her in the car to go home, she took off her shoes and threw them at me in the front seat. I told her a few stories and she just smiled.

And that's about all from here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back to Normal. Finally.

I am sooo happy to report that after a 16 day stint on the Catastrophic Loss team in Baltimore, MD, aka "Cat Duty", Dan is back home again.
(Large, long sigh of relief.)

Dan put his name on the list and his name came up two Tuesdays ago on the list. He had 24 hours to rearrange his life, pack, book his flight and rental car, wrap things up at work and mentally prepare for being away that long.

We've never been apart for more than five days since we've met. 15 years ago.

I was daunted by the idea of being a single mommy for all that time.

Thankfully, it was actually a decent time for him to go: he would miss no birthdays, no sports games, no holidays, nothing really big except for the Lip Sync. This is kind of the slow time for us before the storm of spring sports and activities.

So he packed up and left, and we held it all together while he was gone.

The girls were really wonderful; their behavior was great and Michaela was really helpful to me. And Alec did fine and was in good spirits for most of the two weeks. I got a little lonely in the evenings, but have to admit I enjoyed not making the bed every day and slacking on the full-meal-preparation-every-night thing.

It was just hard to have no one else to hand off Alec too, to give me a hand picking up messes, and hang out with on the weekend. But we did okay.

Today at a little before noon, we picked Daddy up at the airport. Alec was beside himself. I was thrilled. Dan picked up the girls at school and they gave him a warm welcome.

He's back and we're back to normal.
(Large, long sigh of relief.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lip Sync 2011!

Here it is... selected scenes from the 2011 Lip Sync! Jenna's group is first and she is the third little dalmatian out of the house (but the fourth puppy in the row as you watch them). Michaela's group did a song called "Hey Ferb" from a cartoon show. She is the dark haired girl in the yellow shirt.

The whole show was such fun, and I am so proud of my girls for doing a great job in front of that huge audience!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Quirky Boy.

Alec has started a new thing: if you going into his room to play with him, he grabs a soft blue blanket that hangs over one end of his crib and hands it to you. You then must drape the blanket over your shoulders (sort of prayer-shawl style) for the duration of the playtime. That somehow signifies that you are indeed making the commitment to play with him. And it's not just me he does this to; he has Presented The Blanket to three different people this week.

Alec's Uncle Jimmy used to greet visitors to his house by giving them one of his father's undershirts, so I'm thinking this is a Libutti-gene-influenced activity.

Also new is an obsession with the bathtub. For the first 16 months of his life, Alec has screamed bloody murder every time we put him on the tub. We tried everything that may be bothering him- hotter water, cooler water, toys in, toys out, siblings in, siblings out, standing up, sitting down- and nothing stopped the screaming. A few weeks ago Dan introduced some new bath toys to Alec, and, combined with growth and maturity, that seemed to do the trick. Now Alec stands in the tub, refusing to sit down, shivering and with wrinkled feet, and continually dumps water from a few cups into the bathwater. If you try to take him out, he screams just as loud and ferociously as he did three weeks ago if you put him in.

I'm not sure which is worse.

He's a quirky kid sometimes. But, oh, what a love he is.

Friday, March 11, 2011

On Being Woken Up.

So I woke up this morning as I do every morning, waiting for Alec to wake up and start crying. I got him, grabbed his morning bottle, settled in on the couch and flicked on the TV. All the video was just starting to pour in about the horrible earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunami. It's just heartbreaking, seeing all of that debris and know that people's precious belongings are being washed away, that people are probably trapped under buildings, and the overwhelming feeling of not even knowing where to start to clean it all up.

As MSNBC (I'm a rabid "morning joe" watcher... I love me some Joe Scarborough in the morning. And Willie Geist! Ohhh! LOOOOVE him! Mika I am sort of attached to, mostly because I love hearing her Scarsdale-influenced, unendingly self-righteous attitude. And for all her moaning and groaning about women in the workplace and fairness, her legs, which are gorgeous, are quite prominently figured in all of the bumper pictures as they come and go to commercial. You'd think she'd be screaming about sexism and being treated like an object and all that. But I digress.) and CNN start airing their BREAKING NEWS crawls and synopses on the bottom of the screen, one in particular struck me as funny. Every station I watched had a reporter or anchor very solemly-whispering, almost- stating that "President Obama was awoken at 4am to be told of this disaster," like his sleep being inturrupted only underscored the seriousness of this event.

Sure, hundreds of people have been killed or are missing, a city is all but destroyed, but we had to WAKE THE PRESIDENT. This is BIG TIME.

And let me tell you, I have spent the better part of the last nine YEARS being woken up at four in the morning, and many times it involved having to clean up copious amounts of puke or pee.

That's a crisis.
That's having to spring to life and do something unpleasant.

And no one's whispering THAT on the morning news.

Mrs. Libutti was awoken at 4am this morning to the news that her daughter had puked on her sheets, comforter and the floor. Details are still sketchy; we do believe that the sheets were changed, but we are waiting confirmation on this. Hopefully we will have raw video on the air within the hour. If you have information on this disaster, send us your photos or video via email. Or post your information about the vomit and subsequent cleanup efforts on our Facebook page or twitter.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Jenna and her fellow puppies and one of the puppies' older sister, who indeed let the dogs out,
at last week's dress rehearsal

Jenna and her good friend Hallie

Getting ready backstage

Our school's Lip Sync Concert is this coming Thursday evening, and we all couldn't be more happy: the girls are thrilled to perform their songs in front of a live audience, and all the moms in our school are happy that it will soon be over.

It takes a fair amount of planning, coordinating, rehearsals, costume designing and choreography to put together a decent Lip Sync performance. And let me be clear: no one is actually Lip Sync-ing anything. This is a dance recital. It's ALL about the dancing.
A girl in Michaela's group is a competitive dancer, and when her mom, who is new to the Lip Sync scene, saw the dress rehearsal, she said to me,"Did you know that it was like this? This is more involved that the dance competitions we go to with Shauna."

Yes, I did know it was like this and yet I signed up to have not one, but two girls involved.
But it turned out that Michaela and her friends were totally self-sufficient; they designed their costumes, developed the choreography, and even arranged their rehearsals independently. Jenna's group, being made up of kindergartners, needed a little more help and I volunteered to help with costumes. She's lip-sync-ing "Who Let the Dogs Out?" with four of her classmates and they are all outfitted with dalmatian costumes. Our main goal was to have them look SOOOO CUTE that if they completely forgot their dance moves no one would notice because they are so busy ooohing and ahhhing over them.

Thankfully the other moms in the group were all a joy to work with, so no angst ever arose.
It is also a joy to have an event at the school that is so well-supported and the kids are all so excited about; it's a great community-builder within the school.
We're looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


On Sunday, we had family friends over for dinner and then I had four other girlfriends of mine come over for a few hours to oogle the Oscar dresses on the red carpet.
I was telling Jenna on the way to church that morning what we were doing.
Jenna's response: "You're having too many playdates today."