Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Blizzard

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency for the entire state of New Jersey.  We headed across the street to our park to see how Daniel would deal in the crazy wind, snow and general fun.  If you remember last year's massive snowstorm, Daniel didn't know which side was up - so Matt and I were so excited to see how he would react today.  He was slightly cautious but started screaming as soon as we said "let's head home".  Guess he liked it!  Unfortunately we ended the snow excursion on a bad note:  we put Daniel on a slide (alone) that was covered in snow.  He basically shot off like a cannon ball and skidded on the snow on his flat back.  It was kind of hysterical, but not so much when he started screaming (luckily the snowsuit Mimi bought him cushioned anything that could have possibly hurt him - but the surprise launch was enough for him!

Check us out:

Daniel is amazed.  And warm in his snowsuit big enough for 2 kids!

Also, thanks to Wade Holsapple for handing down his snow boots.  Perfect fit!

Matt teaching Daniel to throw snowballs

And to eat snow (Daniel wasn't super into it)

Loving the snow - can't wait to see it when it hits 14+ inches tomorrow morning!
And, if the pictures weren't enough... here's a video.  Daniel loved it. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stroller Addict: Tales of Stroller Hell

Let's put it this way:  Matt and I bought a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI (a diesel) last fall.  I have put more time, energy, research, agony and arguing into our strollers than I did over the brand new car.

As you all know, I have one son.  He is 17 months old.

Today I bought our 5th stroller.  Yes, our 5th.

Here's how it happened (I'm writing this to come to terms with myself but to justify my reasoning as much as possible to my husband):

Stroller #1:  2009 Uppa Baby Vista.  I love this stroller.  Daniel was comfy.  I had numerous random issues (turns out Matt was closing it incorrectly causing it jam) and the amazing customer service took care of us each time.  2 problems:  it's heavy and the seat didn't go completely upright so Daniel would kind of be leaning back which became an issue when he was about a year old.

Stroller #2:  Because our Uppa is heavy, we decided to buy a lightweight stroller to take in the car, on the subway, etc.  It was between a Maclaren Triumph or the City Mini.  We went with the City Mini and basically stopped using the Uppa simply because the City Mini was pretty much perfect and lightweight.  When we were in Atlanta in September Hertz decided to "upgrade" my rental car and gave me a huge SUV.  It was so big I could barely get into my parent's garage.  I hated it.  I ran over our City Mini accidentally (I literally bumped it while reversing but the SUV was so big that it literally popped the stroller in half).  I hate that damned rental.

Stroller #3:  In Atlanta with a snapped-in-two City Mini, I ran out and, being such an Uppa Baby fan, bought their lightweight umbrella stroller, the G-Lite.  I loved it.  So light, so easy to carry, folds up into nothing.  I thought I was golden.

Stroller #4:  I knew I would end up doing this, but I recently started running (my friend Lauren Stout signed me up for a 10K) and I wanted to run with Daniel.  I bought a BOB Revolution and it honestly inspired me to run and I've loved it.  Decided it's the best stroller ever made.  Handles like a dream.  Daniel is so happy in it.  Makes me run.  ALMOST perfect.  Bad part:  so heavy and very hard to get in and out of our brownstone as the doors are narrow (will be great when our renovation is done in a few months and I have a garage).  I decide that I should have just bought the BOB to begin with.  We use this every day.

Stroller #5:  Over the last 2 months, we've realized that Daniel HATES the G-Lite.  It's actually quite small and we can't adjust the straps so Daniel doesn't fit very well.  Now that it's winter and he's in his coat, we can't even get the straps around him.  UGGGGHHH!!!  So what do I do?  Refer to Stroller #2.  I buy the Maclaren Triumph and it's perfect.

And that's where we are today.  Matt totally annoyed with me.  I'm totally annoyed with strollers.  If I get pregnant again soon and need a double stroller I'm going to take a shotgun and shoot every (empty) stroller that I see. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oops! Looks like I misplaced this data card!

I knew I had some amazing pictures from October.  Good thing I finally found them.  Reminds me that our photo storage is totally out of whack right now and we must get this fixed.

We went to a really cute farm with our friends, the Kriegsmans, and that's really when Daniel started calling all animals "Kitty" (he's not really doing that anymore, by the way).  I also love the love-fest going on with Daniel and Benjamin at the end of the day.

Also found - the Halloween pictures.  Honestly, how on earth did I let this happen? In any case, here was Halloween in all of it's rockin' cuteness.  On top of the Daniel pics, there are a few that showcase the fabulous park that we live on and it's kind of obvious why I love my neighborhood so much (future post).

Better late than never, right?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Daniel loves babies and today he finally said it!


Damn cute.  Sadly, I think he knows the word not from me saying it all the time, but from Elmo asking what a baby does every morning.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Teething for Real

Remember when I used to post about the fact that Daniel's teeth were taking their time coming in?  Well, my little boy is now getting his molars... all at once... and it sucks!  He is crying.  A lot.  He wakes up crying.  He wakes up in the middle of the night crying.  He cries when he eats.  He cries when he drinks.

Matt and I are heartbroken for him.  He goes from being the sweetest and happiest little boy in the world to being so sad and hurting.  He takes my hand and pushes it into his cheeks, bites his fingers and just whines.

Moms - how long is this going to take?  I cautiously stick my fingers in his mouth, feel all those teeth and I know it must feel like hell for him.  All at once?  What are the odds?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where We've Been and What's Been Up With Us

It's obvious when things are so hectically out of control that I don't even remember the last time I posted anything substantial.  I've actually felt the absence of posting to my blog but haven't been able to pull together the time to do anything about it.  So, here I am - months and months later with much too much to say for one blog post.  So, I'll begin to make up for my absence with a little catch up on what's been happening with us.

Part 1:  Daniel Bing
One word:  INCREDIBLE.
Daniel is now close to 17 months old and my little baby has transformed into a full-blown, cute-as-can-be toddler.  He's close to 25 pounds and got his 4th (yes, 4th!) haircut this morning.  He is definitely classified as a "lover" and not a "fighter".  Daniel hugs and kisses almost anything and anyone.  He is a still crazy over anything fluffy and soft.  Today we were hanging out at the Union Square holiday market with Lauren and Richie and while we were looking at some hats, Daniel literally started cuddling with a furry tablecloth.  Strange, but adorable.

Physically, Daniel acts more like a 2 year old than a 17 month old.  He skips the baby play areas and heads straight for where the older kids are playing.  He shows no fear... well, except for today when he wouldn't stand on a sewer grate (I don't blame him).  He's still very much into music and loves it when Matt plays the bass guitar at night.  He loves to dance and the moves he pulls out are quite impressive... especially while he's in his carseat... he has some serious arm moves.

He still isn't saying many words.  Only a few... kitty, uh-oh, mama (this means that he wants something), dada and he did say up and apple last week... but nothing since.  He understands everything so I think he's just being lazy.  I love being able to say "go give the baby a kiss" and watch him walk over to a baby or a toy and kiss it but I really can't wait for him to start saying more.

The big news is that he just spent 3 weeks in Atlanta with my parents (Nana Max and Papa G).   10 days of the 3 weeks were spent alone with my parents while Matt and I were in Argentina.  Daniel was spoiled beyond belief and he had an amazing time - we're so proud of him (and so beyond thankful to my parents!).  My parents had him booked up with more activities in 10 days then he does in a month in Jersey.   He picked up some very cute new things:  holding his nose and saying "pee-yew" when we change a poop, sweeping, helping with the dishes, covering his ears when the coffee maker grinds the coffee beans and, our favorite, spitting after he brushes his teeth (this really is just a pretend spit so it's really cute).  Daniel is also officially a dog lover.  While he had to defend his food at all times, he loved spending 3 weeks with my parent's crazy dog, Jake, and we can't wait to get him a puppy.  He was also allowed to have his binky and his blanket ANYTIME (something he doesn't do at home) so now we're dealing with a very attached little boy to his bink and blanket as you'll see from the piano video below.

Matt and I are, like all parents, ridiculously in love with this child.  My friend, Heather, always says that her favorite age is 18 months so I've been anxiously waiting for this time and I couldn't agree with her more.  When Daniel sees me come into a room and runs over to me and hugs me tight around the neck, it takes everything to not cry.  He is enamored by Matt and seeing my boys run around the house can keep me happily occupied forever.

Here are few recent pics and clips:

I mean, it doesn't get cuter than this
Tickling fit
The Family Pic (note that Jake is probably looking for food and Stella is trying to get out of the picture)
Security threat at Newark
Cuddling on the way to the Atlanta airport.  Already sad to say goodbye to Nana, Papa, Andi, Gabe, Stella and Jake!
This was so fun that I got in there with him
The Cantilo family got new kittens and Daniel LOVED them

Part 2:  Marni & Matt

I'll make this close... 10 days without Daniel in Argentina.  It was not easy (I know.. those of you with older kids are laughing at me now).  I think 7 days would have been fine, but 10 was simply too long.   However, the trip was amazing for us.  There were many times (in between talking about what we thought Daniel was doing) that it felt like it did before we had Daniel.  Just funny and fun and nothing to do but relax and be together.

We are incredibly lucky that we were able to go on this trip but I think we're happy to stay put for a little while.

The wonderful thing about the trip was also the timing... my best friend, Jody, gave birth to her 3rd little girl, Lila Claire, right before we came home... and 6 weeks early.  Loving on that little girl was a perfect addition to our trip and Daniel may have his first crush.

A view to die for in Bariloche
Our little rental car in Bariloche.  The scenic drives were absolutely unreal
Perito Mereno Glacier in El Calafate.  We hiked on this glacier for 4 hours and it was amazing!
Eolo Hotel in Calafate - view from a hike we did.  This place was heaven.
Another view of Perito Mereno
Matt, my glacier man
Me and baby Lila.  She's a peanut and we love her!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last Will & Testament

Matt and I signed our wills today.   Quite the intense morning.

The actual signing wasn't intense or stressful.  In fact, it's always a pleasure to hang out with our lawyer.  He's hysterical and happens to be the president of our synagogue so I actually feel a little more Jewish after spending time with him.

The rest of the day was fairly intense, though.  We had to get these wills signed because we are going on a very long trip without Daniel.  Signing them was a last minute "G-d forbid" action that we've been meaning to do for 15 months now and those papers have now made the whole "what would happen" so real.

I'm feeling excited, yet incredibly nervous/guilty about going on this trip.  10 days in Argentina without our little man.  My friends all say that this is good for all of us.  While I've been on business trips (max = 4 days), Matt and I have only been apart from Daniel at the same time for 2 days.  I've been working so much and traveling so much that any free time I have I want to spend with him.  So, you can understand the guilt.  BUT, Matt and I need this trip and I know that Daniel will be in good hands (with my parents in Atlanta probably mixing Gin & Tonics by the time we return).  So, we find ourselves signing wills.

Anyone who has gone through this understands what a mind trip it is.  We're not going to die on this trip... but we could... but we won't... but we could.  But really we'll just be eating delicious steak and hiking on glaciers and Daniel will be spoiled rotten by my parents.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday, Daddy (Papa!)

Today is my father's 70th birthday.  OMG!  70th!!!

I've always been a daddy's girl and today is just another amazing reason to tell the world why I love him so much (and why Daniel loves his Papa so much):

1.  My dad puts his girls (me, my sister and my mom) before anything in the world... especially himself.
2.  My dad has treated Matt like his own son since the day I introduced them (my dad likes to tell the story of Matt skating up to a bar on his skateboard).
3.  My dad gives the best infant massage.  This started with Julia Guiness when she was one day old and still holds true today.
4.  My dad tells ridiculously bad jokes.  Mind you, he thinks they are hysterical (and, sometimes they are pretty funny) but most of the time my sister and I tell him they are lame and he laughs anyway and says, "I know".
5.  My dad fixes everything.  Nowadays it might take him a little longer to complete (cue my mom to complain that he's not finishing everything on time) but the man has put more energy into making his home up to date than anyone else who doesn't remodel homes for a living. 
6.  My dad works harder than most people I know, even though the outcome isn't as lucrative as he probably hopes.  My dad is a contractor and, at 70, still does a lot of manual labor.  He deserves to win the lottery but still takes pride in helping people out every single day.  His can-do spirit is absolutely inspiring.
7.  I learned the following important life lessons from my dad:
- How to drive offensively, not defensively (and how to stop short)
- Talk to strangers and be super nice to everyone - whether they are paying your paycheck or bagging your groceries
- Love your family and tell them that you love them every day (I learned this from my mom & Dad, but being a Daddy's Girl, I'll give credit to Dad today)
- Love food and don't feel guilty about it (I could also blame him for the 20 extra pounds I have right now, but I won't.. or did I just do that?)
- Never say "shut up" to your mother.  Ever.
- Drink whiskey to get rid of a sore throat
8.  My dad is an INCREDIBLE grandfather.  His eyes light up when he sees Daniel and watching them together melts my heart.
9.  My dad is an INCREDIBLE husband and he still opens the car door for my mom and buys her flowers.
10.  My dad is the MOST INCREDIBLE father of all time and I love him with all of my heart and soul. 

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amazing Acts of Stillness

While my blogging may be way behind lately, Daniel is still 15 months old.  He is incredibly active and rarely stops for more than a minute or two which is why the events of this evening are blogworthy.

Tonight, we tried to video chat with my parents.  A comedy in itself and I never expect Daniel to last for more than 2 seconds.  Every time we try to video chat with my parents, they can't get their computer to work or whatever "high speed" network they're on doesn't really let them video chat as they are always sitting on their couch and just stuck on the screen.  They can see us perfectly fine so they continue to talk and blow kisses, but Daniel and I are just kind of sitting there looking at a blurry face stuck on the screen (I really can't do the humor justice).

Anyhow... tonight, Daniel sat on my lap in front of the computer for about 10 or 15 minutes while we tried to video chat (Tried is the key word here.  It never really happened and seeing my parents faces blurry and stuck on a screen is weird enough for me - I have to believe that it totally freaks out Daniel).  It was incredible.  He didn't wiggle and he didn't try to attack the keyboard.  He just sat on my lap playing with a couple of blocks and hung out.  Super sweet.

When it was time  to go to sleep, I asked Daniel to get me his favorite book (this was an experiment... I had no idea what he was going to do).  So, he went into his house and starting leafing through "Caps for Sale" (his father's favorite).  I scooped him and the book up and we sat on his chair and read the ENTIRE book!  People... the entire book (and not a picture book).  This was big.  Again, no squirming, no pauses, just the entire snuggly time of reading the book together. 

Two amazing acts of stillness! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Unsuccessfully Playing Catch-Up

I asked my husband tonight if I was feeling sad because I’m so tired or because I am so overwhelmed with playing catch-up.  He didn’t know I was sad.  To be honest, I didn’t know either until 7:45pm when I started to think about all of the things I had to do, yet had no energy to do.  Guess that answers the question!

Daniel is 15 months old.  He’s walking, running, has a bunch of teeth (finally), is super tall (90th percentile) so he looks like all of the 18 month old kids on the playground and he’s incredibly physically active. He’s hysterical.  Makes us laugh all of the time and he is still calling most animals “kitty” (in fact, we went to a farm today and he ran up to a sheep yelling “kitty”).  His hair grows so fast that he's on haircut #3.  I have amazing photos and videos from all the way back to our Cape Cod vacation with the Bahats in August, Jewish holidays in Atlanta (including a baby gorilla from the Atlanta Zoo which is insanely cute), visits in Philly and with his great grandparents AND one amazing essay from his cousin Lizzie.  Lots to post.
I’ve been traveling nearly every other week since the beginning of this year for work.  I can’t really say that it’s “starting” to take its toll as it’s a struggle each and every time.  But, something is different now and I feel like all of the time away from both Daniel and Matt has caught up with me.  Not only am I missing my boys all the time, but my every day to-dos get swept under the rug.
Living in a semi-gutted house is also starting to take its toll and I often start screaming while cooking begging for my kitchen to be done already!
Because of the half-gutted house, we don’t have a lot of space and have to use a storage unit.  I now have a massive pile in my room made up of things that need to go to storage.  Please someone set fire to this pile so I don’t have to look at it anymore! (that’s a joke just in case someone from the fire department is reading this)
I haven’t spoken to my dear friend, Heather, since she moved back home to Minneapolis and I miss her dearly
I missed my friend, Jennifer Geiger’s birthday (and probably a slew of others)
Oh yeah, I have a full time job that is more demanding than any job I could ever imagine.  Thankful as I am for the job… it’s still, once again, more demanding than I could have ever imagined.
I used to talk to my parents nearly every day.  I think I last spoke to them last week.   

This blog’s primary function is to chronicle Daniel’s life but as most of you know, I’ve barely been doing that over the last few months and putting all of the things that are overwhelming me down in writing is actually helping me realize that I’m actually not sad… I’m just fucking busy!  Pity party is OVER!

Monday, October 4, 2010

An Ode to Poop (the cat)!

Matt's (our) cat turned 16 years old today.  I'd like to dedicate this blog post to him.

Poop is one of the strangest, scariest and most beautiful cats I've ever known.  When I first started dating Matt I immediately tried to cuddle with Poop and get him to love me by loving him... mistake.  I quickly learned that Poop is not a "cuddly" cat and if he wants any sort of attention, he wants it from Matt.  Period.  I was warned that he was "homicidal" and quite a few friends of Matt's asked me if I wanted to hire a hit man to "take him out".  Yikes.

The bottom line is that Poop would much prefer to track down a small (or large) mammal, kill it and eat it in our living room than he would like to have a long pet on the couch. 

I spent a year or so slowly trying to earn Poop's trust (I was, after all, taking away his roommate and best friend).  I mean, this was a serious project.  Eventually Poop would sleep next to me and let me pet him or brush him (for about a minute at a time) but he would never come to me when I wanted him to and deep down I knew that the attention he was giving me was simply a product of his boredom with my saying his name over and over again.

Meanwhile, 5 years later, I love Poop and I know he loves me even though he still follows Matt around and leaves me in a split second when Matt walks in the room. 
We were a bit scared when we brought Daniel home because we didn't know how Poop would react (he left our friend's Pit Bull bleeding in a corner once) and there have been some moments when we've held our breath, but it's been pretty good. 

Nowadays, Poop pretty much ignores Daniel (that's a good thing) and Poop happens to be one of Daniel's most favorite playthings (umm, not always good).  In fact, Daniel now calls pretty much everything, "Kitty!" in a really high pitched, excited voice.  A bird in a tree?  "Kitty!".  A cute dog?  "Kitty!"  Certain kids in the playground? "Kitty!"  It's damn cute.  Check out this video (also great footage of our little walking monster):

So, Happy Birthday to our friend, Poop.  We love you and thank you for not killing any of us (yet).