Monday, February 28, 2011

What in the world was I thinking?!

The other night as I clicked publish to send the "strategic update" post into the blogosphere, I thought to myself, "I have probably jinxed something there." Sure enough, I did, although it's kind of funny because the updates would almost be reversed in their assessments if I were writing them tonight.
It has been a BIG couple of days for us - more on that later - but last night, Noah slept from about 8:00 pm all the way til 5:30 am. I went to go get his bottle then and by the time I came back upstairs, he had gone quiet and stayed quiet for another half an hour. Astounding! (to quote the Gruffalo). In the meantime, it wasn't exactly like I had enjoyed a totally relaxing amazing night's sleep, because at some point in the deep hours of the night, Blake called out and rather than have him come into our bed, I ended up falling asleep with him in his. Just a Sunday night version of sleep where you drop.
To counteract the positive feelings of Noah's giving us a break every couple of nights or so, Blake - of whom I was soooo proud for being accident-free for soooo long - had a real relapse on the potty training front and has now had two of the #2 accidents in two days. Ugh. Yesterday was a very exciting day as we celebrated Blake's birthday with the extended Lyons family, and I was willing to chalk up the early evening slip-up to being over-excited and distracted by all the hubbub around him. Tonight, however, he just sort of sauntered into the bathroom while I was giving Noah a bath, and didn't hesitate to answer "Yes!" when I asked him if he had gone in his pants. Hello - you're a year older today, not 6 months younger!! I do hope this is only temporary because I was sure getting used to not having to clean up that style of mess.
I always thought it's best sometimes not to write down or say something out loud when something is going well, as I am a firm believer in not wanting to tempt fate. This happens so often with English sports, that the commentators will remark about how well England are doing, and in the next minute they will have completely capitulated and lost the game. I have no idea what is likely to happen tonight, but given that it's already past midnight, one thing that is certain is that I won't be getting enough sleep. At least if I'm prepared for that, it makes it slightly easier to accept when it does indeed come true.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

DwL strategic initiatives

I thought I would update you on some strategic intiatives that we have been working hard on here at DwL. Ha ha, I wrote that in the style of many organizational announcements from work.
Some of you have asked, so I wondered if others might be curious about two core lifestyle improvement programs we embarked upon at the end of Q4 2010 and earlier this year.

1) Potty training for Blake: Since January 28th, 23 days after starting the training of the potty, Blake has pretty much been a diaper/nappy-less wonder, in the day that is. He still wears a pull-up at night, and I'll probably keep that up for now. In the daytime, he is an absolute star and has not had any accidents that I can recall. The next step for us is to try to wean him off the potty and get him more in the habit of actually using the toilet, as I'm starting to get a little weary of the trip to empty the contents of the plastic throne that resides in the living room. Rewards and bribery may be necessary as we enter that next phase. I am so proud of him though and think he likes feeling grown-up too.
2) Noah's sleep: Due to other priorities, a change in everyone's routine, and a general sense of household exhaustion, it is safe to say that Noah has probably taken a step backwards in the sleep department (of course, I say that metaphorically: he can't yet take a step, although he does seem close to doing so!). With my trip to the US, Noah's having a cold that has seemed to last forever, and minimal energy of the "sleep enforcement team" we are dealing with his one nighttime wake-up with a bottle, which usually seems to do the trick.
As we approach a new month, we hope for continued good progress on these and all other strategic programs and will endeavor to provide updates as appropriate. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the DwL team if you would like further clarification on these or other efforts.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The world according to Blake

I have been meaning to write on here all the funny things that Blake says, but somehow they've just been building and building and I haven't done it quite the way I wanted to. I am just going to start today, so I present the world according to Blake...

On vocal presence:
As we were getting into the car I said, "Won't it be fun when you and Noah can talk in the backseat together?"
Blake: "Noah doesn't have a real voice, Mommy."

On modern communication:
We were playing cafe this morning; I took out a play mobile phone and said I was going to order some food.
Blake: "Let's call some emails to our friends."

On getting older:
We were headed off to the birthday party of Eva, who is one of our old NW gang and who was born 2 days before Blake.
Blake: "Why do we keep having more and more and more birthdays?"
(Good question, his mother thinks as she ices the second birthday cake of the week at 11:19 pm!)

Restaurant review: Ganapati

It has been an awfully long time since we enjoyed the delightful flavours of south Indian food courtesy of Vijay's in Kilburn. Last Saturday we finally checked out a restaurant that had been recommended to me, Ganapati in Peckham. I had to book it a week in advance, and we could only get a table at 9:15pm, but when we got there we realised why that was: it's teeny tiny and the food is really good. For starters I got the chickpea + potato chaat and Matt had the mini masala dosa, which I would not have described as "mini" and probably would have been enough of a meal on its own. The flavors of south Indian food are so yummy and I would have loved to have eaten all of the fragrant parts of my thali but I was so full that I had to leave half of it. We also got some pretty strong beer so I can't really remember what Matt ordered for his main dish! Hopefully we'll get to go back soon, although it also made me really long for a trip back to Chennai Dosa in Wembley, where most things on the menu are about £2 and you can eat delicous authentic dish after dish until you are stuffed for under £10. Our "live-in babysitter" (aka Granny Karla) goes back to the US on Friday, though, so it may be a while before Matt and I get out again on a Saturday night!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thought for the day

This morning I wondered whether other species have trouble with getting their babies to sleep solidly, or whether other animals just get with the program better and this is purely a human baby thing not to sleep through the night.

I can just imagine the chat between the mother elephants - "Yeah, little one was awake all hours and Daddy was snoring so loudly I couldn't sleep anyway..."

I tried to look this up but didn't get very far so if anyone knows anything about this, I'd love to be enlightened!

Dr Doug and Annlouise have a daughter!

Congratulations to Dr Doug and lovely Annlou, who welcomed daughter Matilda to the world on Wednesday. She looks beautiful in the pictures and Joseph is no doubt going to enjoy a little girl cousin to keep him in line.

Sunday night musings

Hooray, I hear you cry, she is silent no longer! Yes, I have been quiet but I guess this is the reality of being back at work. I now have two weeks back at work under my belt (I also still have a very jiggly tummy in need of toning under my belt, but that's going to have to wait for a little while until I get a better handle on my schedule!). At any rate, I think week one was deemed a success: I made it in on time every day, nobody said to me "Who are you and what are you doing here?" when I was in the office, and Noah seemed very happy at the nursery.

Monday - my first day back at work - was, for lack of a better word, surreal. Matt was working from home so we both got the boys to the nursery, and I was only slightly tearful as I said goodbye to Noah. Fortunately I reined it in and within no time it seemed I was headed off to catch my train. It felt extremely odd to be back in the office, simultaneously feeling as if I had been gone forever, and in the next minute feeling like I had never really left. I got up and running on my laptop and then had a very liberating disposal of loads of paper and notes from years past; while my house was a mess, I felt I could try to keep a clean desk.

Walking around in the City made obvious all the things that were so different to the weekday life I’d come accustomed to. First off, everyone was dressed in dark clothes, and seemed tired, in a kind of beaten-down way as opposed to a massively-sleep-deprived-but-enjoying-it way that defines the tired mother’s expressions. Everyone moved quickly, or as quickly as possible when one is also tapping out a message into a Blackberry.

Noah’s sleep on Sunday night had been pretty bad; he woke up at 12:20 and I was able to get him back to sleep pretty quickly, but at 3:45 he woke up and was awake until about 5:15. I never really did figure out what the issue was, but I had given him milk and Calpol at some points in the hour and a half, so finally he must have decided it was time to go back to sleep.
Monday night was no better and may have even been worse: he woke at 2:30 and then 4:45, 4:45 being a particularly unpleasant time of the day to be woken up. I think at both times he may have gone right back to sleep after verifying that I was still in the house, so perhaps that was in fact easier.
By Tuesday I was feeling as if I had never spent a day out of the office. That night Noah had a pretty big dinner and all of his bottle, yet still woke before midnight. Deciding that it couldn’t possibly be hunger, we ended up letting him cry – for, all told, an hour and a half – and he did in fact eventually whimper himself off to sleep.

On Wednesday Granny Karla arrived from the US. The boys were very excited to see her, as was I. We went and did a few errands and then headed off with Jenny, Charlie and Flora to the last of the Elm Green storytimes. Blake and Charlie have pretty much been enjoying an exclusive storytime by the librarian there for the past 3 months or so; the school has finally decided that given the uptake/attendance, they are going to see if there is something else they can do for community outreach. We'll be disappointed not to have it as our Wednesday afternoon activity, but it makes sense.
The amazing thing about Wednesday and Thursday nights is that for all intents and purposes, Noah slept through the night on both occasions! On Wednesday I had to go settle him around 1:00, but he then went through til 5:45. On Thursday, I closed my eyes at 11:07 and did not open them again until 5:45 – it felt truly amazing. Of course 5:45 is not the greatest time of the day but after over 6 straight hours of sleep, it felt like I’d been to a health spa. Friday and Saturday didn’t go quite as well – but at least we know, as we’ve said before, that he can do it!

I had been craving pancakes over the past couple of weeks, so on Saturday we went to the Lido Café at Brockwell Park, where Noah was just a doll during breakfast. There was quite a loud din in the place and he just seemed to love all the noise, the chatter, the warmth of the place and the smell of the food. He sucked on some pancakes, gnawed on the crust of some toasted bread, and generally was about as happy as a clam. So sweet.
Later that afternoon we headed over to Nunhead for the birthday party of Blake’s “best and favorite” friend from nursery, Mia. Blake was in luck as the other member of their little nursery musketeer gang, a little girl named Frankie, was also there. We were exhausted that evening and Matt and I gave up on our plans to go out to dinner.

And so, after crossing the Thames several times during the week, I then crossed the Atlantic on Sunday and headed over to a very cold Boston, where I worked for the week. Although it was very hard to say goodbye to the boys, I would be lying if I said it was all a hardship. There were definitely a lot of wonderful things about the trip: I got to sleep, uninterrupted, in a wonderfully comfortable hotel bed; I didn't have to worry about cooking, cleaning, changing nappies, commuting, or getting anyone but myself up and ready in the morning; I got to swim every morning; and I got to catch up with some colleagues and friends and generally feel a bit like that other person who is me but without children. On Sunday night I headed out to Newton to see Marisa and Kyle, Ellie and Tyler, and I had a bonus visit to Dartmouth rugby friend Mo Mac who had just given birth to a gorgeous little girl 4 days prior. Ellie and Tyler were very sweet so it was nice to catch up with them, as best you can when various people are having to tend to bathtime and storytime for the little ones (thanks, Kyle!).

The week was productive and my main accomplishment was remembering to phone home twice a day for updates and to say hello and goodnight to Blake and Noah. After day 2, Blake decided he didn't want to talk to me any more, but he was having lots of fun with the doubly powerful Team Granny (Bishy came on Tuesday and stayed through Friday) who were showering both of the boys with attention. I landed back on Friday and it was very exciting to see everyone, although Noah burst into tears when he saw me. He'd had a rough week with a bout of conjunctivitis and both boys have these pretty horrendous-sounding coughs, so I hope everyone feels better this week.

We had a nice weekend with several naps, and today is Granny Karla's birthday so we went out for a pub lunch. Bishy had bought a cake for her on Thursday and they had a little party which she seemed to love.

We have a big week ahead as it's the start of Blake's birthday celebrations. I have just been looking up how to make a dinosaur cake so stay tuned for updates on how my cake-baking aspirations no doubt won't marry up to my cake-baking abilities!

For now, goodnight. I hope I'll be able to return to some of my more creative and thoughtful posts, but for now it's just good to be back in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


That stands for, Too Tired to Blog!
All is going well so far; Noah has had 2 good days at nursery, if what is written down in his little daily journal is to be believed. And I do believe it, because I think he is going to be fine there.
So far I've made it into work on time both days, and it's a mini Friday night for me tonight since I'm off tomorrow. We are also looking forward to Granny Karla's arrival in the morning, if anything as it means we have reached the end of Blake's asking "how many more sleeps" it is til she gets here. This started over 2 weeks ago - I remember telling him "15 more sleeps", probably a bit too many for a 3-year-old to understand, and toward the end he has woken up recently saying, "I did all my 4 sleeps; is Granny Karla coming now?!" He has also heard rumors that she is bringing surprises and if history repeats itself she will probably have at least one bulging suitcase full of things for the boys.
It's early, but I was partly telling the truth with the first line of this post - I am off to bed because I am exhausted! I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 2:20 and 4:45 am wakeups and then the official start of the day at 5:50. I'll try to be back soon though and thanks for your wishes for our week to go well. I only shed one tiny tear yesterday and today Noah just smiled at me as he sat down at the little table and ate his piece of toast. Bless him.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

As much water as that famous river in London

I'm sure I've mentioned this in a previous post, but there was a period in my life several years ago - some of the first years of my time in London - where I stopped being a "crier." I have always thought of myself as someone who easily shows emotion, but perhaps it was part of my assimilation into British culture, and the need to adopt a stiff upper lip, that led me to subsconsciously "turn the tap off" in the tears department. Fortunately - I think - something changed and, while I don't think I spend too much time boo-hoo'ing for no good reason, I do have a good cry now and then.

Tonight is one of those "now and then" moments, although I've told myself that enough is probably enough. It started when I was giving Noah his bath, and as I looked at his gorgeous baby-perfect skin (well, apart from those patches of eczema on his arms and hands!), I thought to myself that this process, the letting-go of a child, is just so painful! For some mothers it has to happen sooner, and I don't envy that. For others it happens much later, when the child first goes to real school, and I probably don't envy that either (for some reason, I had a memory of reading about David Beckham shedding a tear when he left Brooklyn at school for the first time!). But at some point, it does happen, and although you know it's going to work out for the best, and that this is just the way that it has to happen in life, it still hurts like hell.

I then came down to do the dishes and with a few moments to think to myself, I started to have a little chat with the big guy upstairs. The conversation went something like, "Please let tomorrow be ok." I stopped myself there. What did I mean by that? Please, let me get the boys dropped off in enough time so that I don't have to arrive sweating and panting into the office. Please, God, don't let anyone notice that I didn't have time to get my eyebrows waxed this week. It was at this point that I decided that given that we have so many blessings in life, it was time to stop with my feeling sorry for myself and let God spend some time looking after people who really do need a bit of extra help from Him at the moment.

Still, I've been thinking about what it is that's making this time around feel so much different, and harder, than when I went back to work two years ago. Here's what I've come up with:

1) Although it was never a given, we'd hoped that we'd have two children, and that meant that in the back of my mind when I returned to work in 2009, I had hopes that it wouldn't be too long again before I was back in the land of the stay-at-home mother. To say we were blessed to have that second baby, as we were with the first, is an understatement. That will be it, though, so I feel as if I'm back at work for the Ugh.

2) This time around, I'm not just "leaving" one baby in childcare, I'm leaving two. To this, some people might say, well, you sent Blake to nursery while you were off with Noah, so is there going to be much difference? And I guess it seems like, yes, there will be! Given our lazy schedule in the morning, or my inability to force an issue when I was sleep-deprived and sometimes already at my wits' end by 7:30 am, it was often the easier option just to get Blake into nursery whenever it suited me, which was sometimes 10:00 am. Although we had some big arguments in the morning, mostly about getting dressed, it was still fun and precious time with Blake which I won't have any more. The other morning he came into my room and I asked him if I could have a cuddle. He replied, "Of course you can, Mom," (ok, he probably said "Mum"!) and he said it so sweetly that it broke my heart to fast-forward to his teenage years when he probably won't even want to be seen with me.

3) (This one could be key) When I went back to work in 2009, you may remember we had dealt with Blake's sleep through our sleep training with Lin. Going back to a commute and a day in the office when your nights are likely to be broken is not a fun prospect. Maybe Noah is going to get with the program soon enough, but I don't have much hope that it's going to be tonight (which is why I'd better wrap this post up soon and get to bed!)

4) The experience of having done it once has enlightened me to the fact that it's hard to be a "working mother." I put that in quotes because as all mothers will tell you, just because you don't go into an office, or pull a paycheck, doesn't mean that being a full-time mother is not work. Of course it's work, and it's the hardest job there is. It is also deeply rewarding, and fun. And exhausting, and mundane. It constantly spans the spectrum of enjoyment, ranging from tedious to extraordinary. Back when I returned to work after Blake, however, I didn't know what it was going to be like to share my time between a paying job outside the home and being a mother. As I remember, it's not easy to strike the right balance, and I'll probably feel like I'm not doing justice to either. This time around, I know this, which doesn't give me the chance to be under any illusion that it will be easy. Of course I'll manage - I have to - but still. The knowledge that at some point, either Blake or Noah is going to be sick with something that's going to need to keep them out of nursery, and cause me to have to put my "work life" on hold, is not something I'm looking forward to.

5) Time is up on my being a full-time mother to Noah, and I can't help but second guess whether I gave him everything I could. I know I did, but it's in my nature to wonder if I should have just played with him a little bit more, or read him a few more stories, or tried to do a few more special things with him instead of worrying about some chore or task that I probably didn't do anyway. [I'm so happy that my best friend Gill T. Conscience moved all the way down to South London with us last year! What would I do without her...?!]

The other night we were in the living room and Blake was sitting at his little table drawing a picture. He is really into drawing at the moment, and likes to draw everything from "space missions" to cafes. We decided on this night that he was going to draw a river, and Matt asked him if he knew what the big river in London was called. "Yes, I do," came the confident reply. "What's it called?" asked Matt. "It's called....meditating." Matt and I burst out laughing; where does he get this stuff?!

So tonight, I think I've cried enough tears to fill the River Meditating and am going to turn in. I think I'll end with a salute to all the mothers out there: those who had to let go of their babies many years ago, those who are still getting up in the middle of the night with theirs, those who are probably trying to find something to wear to the office tomorrow, those who will leave their own children with others tomorrow morning to take care of mine, those who are rueing the end of a weekend, those who love their children more than is humanly possible. We do our best, ladies. Have a great week.

A reminder of what my little baby looked like on the day he was born....

And one from the other night...
Here he is at nursery about to eat his lunch...

Friday, February 04, 2011

Noah on the move

This is some footage from last Thursday (27 Jan) of Noah and his V-Tech walker. He happened to get behind the wheel of one of these at nursery that day and was all of a sudden scooting across the room. I made sure we re-enacted it that evening for Matt; you'll hear by my commentary that I was pretty impressed! The view from behind was pretty hilarious - he reminded me of a little seal sort of dragging his feet along at a sideways seemed that momentum was the key driver to the movement as opposed to his own knowledge about it!

Freedom Friday

Well, folks, that's it. My maternity leave is over, and I now face just another weekend like most everyone else whose working week ends on a Friday and begins on a Monday morning.

My two biggest fears about Monday are that I don't have anything to wear - must correct this situation in the next 48 hours! - and that there is no way possible that I am going to be able to get the boys to nursery and then get myself to work on time.

Today Noah was due to be at nursery from 9-3, so I calculated that if we left the house at 8:45 we would get do the short walk in time for me to get Blake settled in upstairs and then come back down to take Noah to the Baby Room. At 8:43, Blake was not dressed, and I had forgotten some key things to my own toilette such as deodorant and the makeup equivalent of underwear in terms of mimimum requirements - mascara. I also needed to assemble a few things for Noah to have at nursery like spare clothes. It was quite clear we weren't going to leave at 8:45. Blake was asking to watch an episode of Charlie and Lola, so I figured if I got that on right away, I could help him get dressed while he watched it and, as an episode lasts 10 minutes, we could leave at 8:53. Blake was standing on his head on the couch making life difficult for me, and then a really bad thought snuck into my head, which was this: "It really doesn't matter today if we're not there on time." We left the house at 9:10.

I remember back in 2009 when I was about to return to work, that Matt suggested we do some "practice mornings" to get ourselves ready. Now whether it's the perfectionist in me, or the procrastinator, or just the lazy slummy mummy who is not quite ready to admit the real world is reclaiming me, but I abhor this thought. I just want to relish the way in which most deadlines in my stay-at-home mother world are somewhat later than the working world (10:00 is often the start time for a morning activity), and the start times are loose at that. With the unpredictability of explosive poos just upon departure, or being unable to find a specific black Hot Wheels car that is desperately needed for the adventure at hand, or needing to watch a tv program "just once more time" (while child holds up 3 fingers - some work to be done on the counting front!), our estimated departure times were not always met. And most mothers are fine with knowing that a target meeting time is just that: a target.

When we did finally get ourselves out the door and to nursery, all was well. Noah stayed a few hours on his own but he was pretty teary at my being gone. No doubt he will get over it soon, and I'll probably have my own tears on Monday. As for my several hours of freedom...well, I didn't do a thing of interest with them! I had some lunch at home, talked to Mom on the phone, and researched party bag favors for Blake's upcoming birthday. A thrilling use of very rare free time.

Monday will come around before I know it. I may regret not doing a practice run, but really, is it necessary?! After all, it's just getting dressed and out of the house - how hard can it be?! Now, let's see if I can find myself a pair of matching socks....

Here's a pic from bathtime tonight.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Tired ramblings

The difficulty with being a mommy blogger is that things in our little world change so quickly, and if I don't write a post on the day of an idea, the moment is likely to be gone and replaced by something completely different a day later.

On Friday I had thought of a post called "Breakthroughs" - as there were two significant ones to celebrate in the house. The first was an exciting one for Blake, as he finally did, 23 days into potty training, a poo poo on the toilet. It was in the evening, afer dinner, and was celebrated with much whooping and clapping, spirited high-fives, dancing and singing, and the reward of a not-forgotten Halloween chocolate Jack-o-Lantern lollipop which had been being referenced for about 10 days as the ultimate reward for such a big boy milestone. The other event was for Noah, more literally, as his top right tooth broke through the gum. I was very pleased to see that it had officially arrived; the downside is that there are 16 more to come, and Noah has suffered from teething much more than I remember Blake ever doing. I am contemplating one of those amber necklaces for him and wondering if he is macho enough to pull it off (the Italian chef at the nursery kept calling him "she" today before I corrected him; the poor guy was pretty embarassed and blamed it on his Italian!).

I had also thought to write a post about senses, and that my sense of smell is the one which might be most called into play during the settling-in period at nursery. For 10 months, I have been the one closest to Noah at most points throughout the day; he has always smelled mainly like himself, which is to say that he probably smelled like a mix of my laundry detergent du jour, his and Blake's bubble bath or soap, remnants of what he last consumed - milk, or breadsticks, or yogurt, or spaghetti sauce - and whatever it is that makes a baby's scent his or her own. On Thursday when I brought him home from his hour of settling-in at nursery, I was struck that he all of a sudden smelled different; he smelled like the soap or lotion of one of the carers who had held him at nursery, and he smelled a lot like a fabric softener that they use on the little cloth bibs the kids wear for meals. It made me so sad to think of coming to pick him up and having him smell like a different little person.

As it was, neither of these posts got written up until now, as I'm siting upstairs at the nursery while Noah spends the first of his hours here without me. I was here this time last year settling Blake, and this time around I industriously decided to bring my laptop to try to use my time a bit more wisely (nb: I typed that sentence and then had to go comfort Noah who had woken up from a nap and wondered where the hell I'd gone. Now it's 12:40 am - so much for daytime industriousness....!)

I start work on Monday, and this time around my return to the office and leaving Noah in the care of people who aren't me is hitting me rather hard. Fortunately Matt is very good at rationalizing things and was able to stem the flow of my tears this evening as I thought about what life is going to be like come next week and I have to part company every morning with my baby. I was so sure about going the nursery route when we chose childcare for Blake nearly 2.5 years ago: I liked the idea of multiple carers (and ergo no single point of failure), I told myself of course that he would like the stimulation of other children, and it seemed a lot easier to pick a nursery than to find a good childminder. This time, although I am really happy with the nursery and know that Blake loves it and thrives there, I felt less certain about it for Noah. Not for fears that they won't look after him, take excellent care of him, entertain him, feed him nutritious meals made onsite, and help him become just the little boy he is destined to be; they will do all those things. I guess it just seemed that he is still so small in the grand scheme of things, and I imagined what a shock the nursery environment would be for him after the relative quiet of our house and lots of time spent with me. Again, it's a good thing that Matt and I don't always think alike, so he reassured me that he didn't think Noah would really be fazed by any of it and would probably just get on with it and have a good time.
I think I'm just exceptionally hormonal and emotional in general, as I started to tell Matt about Blake's day - he had to go down to the toddler room as a sort of punishment because he hit another boy, David. The pre-school carers are trying to teach Blake about sharing and playing nicely with the other children in small groups. Suddenly an image of the little David's face popped into my head and that set me off; I really felt so sad for him and thought how he might be at his home at that very moment telling his mom and dad that "Blake hit me." Then I thought of how Blake says so often, "I love Noah, and I love my Daddy, and I love you, Mommy!" and was sad at how he just must not be able to control his frustration at the moment, because he is a really sweet little boy. Anyway, finally I'd had enough crying and that was that, but it was all kind of tiring to think about.

One of the weird things about my return to work date - the 7th of February - is the power of the "out of sight, out of mind" phrase. If you happen, like I do, to have a wall calendar that displays a monthly view, you may be especially familiar with the fact that January had 5 Mondays this year, and that meant that I could never really see without turning the page into February that the 7th is just next week. I just sort of kept thinking, well, it's still January, so I'm not going to peek too far into next month. And BAM - it's now 5 days away.

After all that, this post doesn't have the conciseness of the two thoughts I mention above, but well, I'm still sleep-deprived and very emotional to boot (and no, Mom, I am not pregnant!). We get a break from the settling-in until Friday, and I'm going to hug that little Noah as much as I can. I'll probably hug Blake while I'm at it. Next time I see that little David I'll probably want to hug him too, but hopefully he won't need it because Blake will be nicer to him. I may have to find another Halloween lollipop as bribery....