Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Panda Pics: Fifty-Four Months

If it's Shrike's birthday, it must be Peeper's half-birthday! (It'll be my turn in a couple of weeks.)

Fifty-Four Months

Dear Peeper,
You are fifty-four months - four-and-a-half years - old today!

A quick update on your cough / inhaler situation. When we went back to the doctor, he confirmed the diagnosis of cough-variant asthma and said to just use the inhaler when it starts back up, if you've been sick or something. He expected you'd need it two or three times a year. Well, as it turns out, you were four days into a cold and started coughing on the way home. We used the inhaler for a few more days and you were still cranky, but it was hard to tell what was what, because you'd been cranky about being sick in between.

Then you were fine for a couple of weeks, and started with the snot again last week, so we did two days of inhaler and stopped when you got cranky again.

Not that you're always Susie Sunshine without it, but it does seem to be having some sort of effect on your mood, so we're going to avoid it as much as necessary, and when we go back to the doctor, I'm going to ask if there's a different medication we can try next time.

So, the issue is sort of resolved?

Or, maybe, you're just being four and a half. You really do seem a lot happier without the inhaler, but you have been pulling some pretty good freak-outs even without it. We are trying to approach them with sympathy and empathy but, yeah, sometimes that gets a little hard to do. I hope we're not screwing you up too badly.

I'm also hoping that once we get through this next month and you and I are both on summer vacation, things will settle down a bit and we will have more together-time and more downtime and we can all chill out a bit.

In the meantime, let's take a look at what you've had to say this month:

Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto, let's piss the whole thing off.
Why are you laughing when I say "piss the whole thing off?"

While I was taking a little quicky nap, you decided to go play in the backyard, and somehow locked the door behind you on her way out? I'm pretty sure you weren't calling me for long before I heard you. You did get a stern talking-to about going out without permission.

You had two mint M&Ms left from what the babysitter brought, and you said you wanted to share them with me. I told you "There are only two, you can have them," but you insisted. When getting them out of the package, I dropped one, so I told you, "Here, this is the only one, you have it." Again you insisted that I take it. I explained, "That's the only one. If I eat it you won't have any," and you said, "That's what friends are for!"

You were pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf. You told me that she has a pig plant. "And you know what's going to grow on it? Pigs. I'm gonna pick 'em and eat 'em."

Two nights in a row, you woke us up at 3 am, freaking out about a toy that you felt should be in your bed. The first time, I had to take the mattress off to find the Bert thermometer that had fallen between it and the wall. At least the second night I only had to track down a panda in the kitchen.

Mama: Peeper, where are my glasses?
Peeper: They're in the sunroom, on the trampoline.
Well of course.

Arrr! Sugary timbers!

While outside in just panties, you started doing a jig.
Mama: Do you need to pee-pee? It looks like you're pee-pee dance.
Peeper: (Bending over into a downward dog position): No, I'm just dancing to get my body stronger. That's just a bear dance. (tinkle tinkle tinkle) Yes, I'm pee-peeing.

I'm starting to wonder how often the neighbors will have to see you playing outside in the hose and mud in her underwear and sub-60-degree weather before they file some sort of report on us.

Happy half-birthday, big girl. We love you!


Princess Playhouse

Between Mommy's birthday gift and her birthday lunch, Peeper and I went to see a double-feature theatrical presentation of Sleeping Beauty and the Pirate Prince and Wizard of Oz. These plays are presented each semester as the final project of the Children's Theater class at a nearby college, and this is the second time we've attended. 

As you can imagine, Peeper loved both plays, but especially the Wizard of Oz. She was thrilled to take photos with several cast members, but had no interest in pictures with either witch!

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

We gave Mommy her birthday cards and gift this morning.

And later we went to Red Robin for her free burger and ice cream sundae. Peeper took care of the sundae.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bottoms Up!

I haven't seen her sleep like this in years!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cap'n Peeper

This is the last week of classes for the semester at the college where I'm tutoring, and long story short our department had a little party for staff and some students. The theme for the semester (determined by the student activities people I think) was pirates, which has been a lot of fun to work with.

Of course, the party what somewhat pirate themed, so rather than finding a babysitting for our overlap time, I just had Shrike bring Peeper up to me (again) and put her in her pirate costume for the party. As you can imagine, everyone got quite a kick out of it.

The best part was when she learned a new pirate phrase from one of my students: "Sugary timbers!"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


After her bath this evening, Peeper declared that she needed to get dressed up to play soccer.

 In other news, Peeper knows nothing about soccer.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Poor Baby

Peeper's got herself yet another cold, which has kicked off her asthma cough. Again. Sigh.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Prince

"Now I have everything. I have my crown and my sword and my rope."

Friday, April 19, 2013


I thought she'd never get to sleep.


She needed the umbrella "So I don't get cold."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Panda Pals

We babysat T's girls today, and K, her almost-seven-year-old did a little panda rearranging.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Getting ready for a visit from some MOMS Club friends.

Showing off for our MOMS Club friends.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Flower Girls

Shrike and Peeper watching me leave for work this morning.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


A and little J came and hung out with Peeper when it was time for Shrike to go to work, until I got home from the MOMS Club Luncheon, around 10 pm.

I think she was pretty worn out. It didn't take much storytime for this to happen:

MOMS Road Trip

I hit the road this morning with T, A and D for a four-hour drive to the MOMS Club Northeast Region Luncheon. The theme was "Momapalooza - MOMS Club Rocks" and each club was encouraged to choose their "favorite decade" and dress appropriately.

We decided to go with an early 70s, hippy sort of thing, and I came up with the theme "Peace, Love and Motherhood," and suggested that we dress to represent each part of the theme.

Peace (D), Love (T), and (me) Motherhood (A - and little N).

Our club's display


Sample crafts

Vintage candy

Our contribution to the basket raffle

Somehow, I also managed to find myself on the program, as one of four guest speakers talking about service, particularly in light of the especially rough year that the Northeast has had. The first two speakers were members from New Jersey whose homes had been severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy. I may be mistaken, but I believe they both received grants through MOMS Club International's Mother-to-Mother fund, which helps members in crisis situations.

The next speaker donated and transported a ton of stuff into New Jersey after the storm, and started a Facebook page specifically for MOMS Club members to coordinate relief efforts.

I was recruited to speak after the regional coordinator asked on Facebook for clubs who'd done fundraising for a memorial playground in Newtown, CT, that MOMS Club is supporting, because "I want to do something with this at the luncheon." I said that we'd raised money, I'm the person in charge of our service projects, and I would be a the luncheon.

Next thing I knew, she was calling me and asking that I talk about that project and why we wanted to help Newtown, and also talk about our other service projects. In part, she wanted to give people an overview of a lot of different kinds of things that clubs can do, and encourage them to "think outside the box." Evidently, we're outside-the-box kinda gals here.

I was the last one to speak, and when I heard the others, I was getting really nervous, but I think I did okay. If I had it to do over, I probably would've come up with a better transition from the first part of the speech about our motivation to service and the Newtown project, to the second part about other specific projects that we've done, but all in all I thought it went well.

Here's my script of the speech, but of course I added a lot of details on the fly.

(Our Club) Service Projects
Northeast Region Conference 4/13/13
Thank you. 
Before I really get into my comments, I want to say that none of the projects that I’m going to talk about would have been possible without a lot of long hours, and hard work, and creative thinking from all of our board members, some of whom are here today, and I’d like just introduce them quickly: 
Our president, D; Treasurer, A and Activities coordinator – and former board member, T. Thank you, ladies.
When Nadine asked me to speak today, one of the things she wanted me to talk about was why our club wanted to raise money for the Newtown community. I really didn’t know what to say. I just thought, why wouldn’t we? 
I guess that’s just how I’m used to MOMS Club members reacting when something like this happens – whether it’s a headline-making tragedy in another state, or a sick kid in our community, or a life-threatening injury in one of our own club families – the first response is always, “What can we do? How can we help?” 
If I may share a personal story - Just a few weeks after I joined the club, we found out that my 3 month old daughter, was about to have open-heart surgery (she's fine now). I told the club about it, to say they weren't going to be seeing us at any activities for a while, and the next thing I knew, I got a call from the Sunshine Committee meal mom about setting up a plan to feed us when we got home from the hospital.  
I told her, "But, I just joined. You don't even know me," and she basically said, "That doesn't matter, you're a member, your baby's having surgery, you’re getting meals.
That should have been my first clue about the kind of club I’d just joined.

This is the sort of thing that I’ve seen over and over from our members. It’s just the nature of our club – and, I’m sure, of yours, as well - to help those in need, whether it’s one member inviting another out to coffee when she’s having a rough time, or providing meals to a member who has a new baby or is dealing with an illness, or raising money for a family in need.

While I, and my club, are honored that I’ve been invited to speak today about some of our service projects, I know that none of us do them for any sort of recognition, but simply because we want to help.

It’s what moms do; somebody has a boo-boo and we want to kiss it and make it all better. While we usually can’t make things “all better” for the beneficiaries of our service projects, maybe we can make things a little bit better or a little bit easier, and we can certainly make a difference. And I think it’s that urge to “fix things” or at least to “make a difference” that motivates us all, especially in a situation like the Newtown tragedy, which left the entire nation feeling so powerless. 
When that happened, by the next day, we were starting to talk about how we could raise money for whatever it was that the local community needed, and by the end of the weekend, we’d decided to hold a “10% night” fundraiser at our local Red Robin restaurant. We put up flyers, put it on Facebook, advertised it in the newspaper and through the local school district, and between the actual Red Robin proceeds and additional direct donations, we were able to send $450 to the memorial playground fund. 
It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it will make a difference. 
Several of our projects have been put together pretty quickly like that when a need has suddenly arisen, others are annual events that are on the calendar months in advance.  Some of our projects are pretty simple and others have been quite involved and labor-intensive.
In the three years I’ve been on the board, some of our annual projects have included:
·        School supply drive for the local women’s shelter
·        Adopting families through the Salvation Army, providing Christmas dinner and gifts
·        Collecting winter wear for Coats for Kids
·        Making and delivering Valentines cards and candy at a local retirement home
·        Basket Raffle at annual Motherhood Luncheon, to benefit the Mother to Mother Fund

Some other projects that we’ve done are:
·        Three events – Red Robin night, Spaghetti Dinner and helping with a chicken dinner – to benefit a member’s family when her firefighter husband was seriously injured
·        Two yard sales, one to benefit a family with two terminally ill children, and the other for a family whose mom was undergoing cancer treatment
·        Worked with a neighboring club to chalk welcoming and encouraging messages on the sidewalks outside all the schools in our district the night before school started
·        Started a “Tag, You’re It” Kindness Project, doing “random acts of kindness” and leaving cards asking others to pass it on.
·        Cooked a meal for families staying at a nearby Ronald McDonald House
·        Collected donations for: Local Toiletry Bank, food drive, and library book sale
·        Put together “Family Fun” baskets for a family whose father was undergoing cancer treatment, and a member family whose disabled son was recovering from an injury, and a family with a critically ill child
·        Hosted a Home Business Expo to benefit a local Therapeutic Riding Center.
·        Other “dine and donate” events to benefit a family with a disabled child, and a MOMS Club family from Delaware, where one of our former presidents has moved, who’d been in a serious auto accident.
·        Car show and Chicken BBQ to benefit a local family with a child who was undergoing a stem cell transplant. 
Our newest big project this year is one that we totally stole from the Brockport, NY MOMS Club – Where’s Brockport? – A Holiday Giftaway. We collected new and “gently used” gifts, as well as cash to purchase several more new gifts. We then provided free holiday shopping for local Head Start families. The turnout just blew us away;  we distributed over 1500 gifts to 250 children – 190 of whom came through in the first hour. 
As we were getting close to the end of that first hour, I saw a little boy who must have been about seven or eight years old, holding the toy he’d chosen. I heard him say to his mother, “Mama, I thought you said you couldn’t get me anything for Christmas. Did you change your mind?” 
I knelt down and whispered to him, “When Santa dropped these things off, he told me to make sure you got something really good.” 
He just looked at me and said, “Are you Santa?” 
“No,” I said, “But he’s a really good friend of mine.” 
And that. I think that is why we all do service projects.