Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One of Those Days

Today began at approximately 2:30am. That's right, I said AM. The bro and sleep weren't really getting along last night, which I believe is a direct result of the love affair they had the night before. I checked on him twice to make sure he was breathing! But by last night, they had broken up. Add to that, the four year old that snuck into my bed while I was gently consoling her brother and sleep was pretty much done for me. I didn't even bother to get back into my bed, instead I headed out to the couch in hopes that I could make it until at least 6am without baby tears or little feet kicking me. Such grand dreams...the bro didn't feel it fair that I should sleep if he couldn't.

Consequently, Natalie was up and out of bed at 6:14am. This is NOT normal. But today we are having a birthday party in the backyard, and much like a child Christmas morning, she could not contain her excitement any longer. In fact, she was so excited she couldn't even eat breakfast. If I were not already completely exhausted, I would revel in how adorable that is.

So bright and early, we were all up and out of bed. I made my coffee, which I actually NEEDED this morning, poured a drop of milk in it to find...the milk had turned. Clearly, I have pissed some god off. I don't know who the god of milk and coffee is, but he/she is not happy with me. What could I do? I looked in the freezer to find that we had some vanilla ice cream, from Thanksgiving? Christmas? Whichever, I was not in a position to be picky. Of course, this did not taste nearly as good as one would like an ice cream/coffee combo would. Again, I was not in a position to be picky.

Around 8am, the bro seemed ready for a nap, which I thought for sure would be significant since he had been up for roughly six hours already. During this time, Natalie and her birthday party exuberance bounded through the halls (hall really) in our house, I tried to iron a white shirt and the iron stained it, and at 8:30 the bro was back up. Seriously? Seriously.

I packed them up and we headed out to the grocery store to purchase new milk as there will be ten small children in my backyard this afternoon, and they may want to drink milk. And I can assure you there is more coffee in my future today. While we are out I figure, it is hot, I am cranky, iced coffee will make it better. And it would have but there was a fifteen car back up at the drive through and with two small children to get in and out of the car I was not in the mood to go inside. I growled and proceeded to exit the parking lot which would have happened much more quickly if it were for the two men who thought the middle a parking lot was a nice place to take a leisurely stroll and stop for a chat. Not only had a pissed off Coffee god, but I angered Pet Peeve god along the way as well.

It is only 10:50 now. Er.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

The second cup of coffee in the morning...letting Joey talk himself back to sleep...Hersey's Extra Dark with dried blueberries, cranberries and almonds that mysteriously finds its way into the shopping cart...having someone else paint my toes......going out to a nice dinner with just Dan...an overpriced bottle of wine...new white t-shirts every season...watching my children sleep...locking myself in the bathroom under false pretenses to read a chapter of whatever I am reading at the moment...

Friday, July 24, 2009


I am not a wearer of jewelry; I never really have been other than my engagement ring and wedding band, and now with Joey Grabby Hands I wouldn't even attempt to wear anything. But I feel that this blog enables me to spread some love, if you will. If you are a jewelry wearer, please check out this site. Natasha and I went to high school together and were reconnected through, what else, Facebook, and I think that her artistry is really beautiful.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Back in May, we spent a week in Disney World. (Dis-a-ney as Natalie likes to call it) There is not really all that much the I can get from Disney-- the trip, for me, was really about her and her amazement. The only thing that I did want as a souvenir was a cut out silhouette. Dan, being the doting husband that he is, said, "Whatever you want, Love." So, on the last day of our trip, Natalie sat very still for all of three minutes as the artist cut her portrait. At first I thought I would just have Nat sit there, but the second child in me came out, and the man was happy to cut the bro's portrait as well.

They are so perfect in their intricate simplicity. I know that is totally an oxymoron, but they are just that. Simple black on white but their features are intricately captured- Natalie's insanely long eyelashes and wavy pony tail and the bro's little mouth that is always open, waiting for something new to put in it.

I have hung them directly across from my side of the bed and I find myself taking moments to just sit and stare at them. My two babies forever captured at these wonderful ages.

My curious, intelligent little girl and my tiny lover boy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Boys and Girls

Back when I was preggers with the bro bro, a few friends of ours who had boys told us we were in for an awakening. I have to be honest, I disregarded this forewarning, believing that it was their parenting that made their little boys unruly (which in my own defense is partially true for some of them) I mean, I already had a child who was well mannered and well behaved, really how different could they be?

When the bro came home, we was as mild mannered as his sister, but for the past couple of months I have noticed distinct personality traits appearing in him. He pulls, he grabs, he slobbers, he squirms, he kicks, and he laughs at anything. It doesn't matter if it is really funny or not. For example, this morning I put the tray on his high chair and changed the position of the seat to sit upright and in his excitable little boy way, he gave me a goofy gummy smile and laughed at me. Natalie made us work much much harder for the giggles and was content with a few board book to play with. The bro on the other hand, ALWAYS needs to have something in his hands to examine, fiddle with, and ultimately taste. He is most definitely all boy in the way that our friends warned. He is in to everything. I have to be cautious of any little toy of Natalie's left out, because even if it is on the top shelf of something, if the bro sees it, he will maneuver a way to get it.

If you should run into us and want to admire his ridiculous cuteness up close, which you will, be prepared to have your hair pulled with a strength you would not expect from a seven month old baby. Much like I didn't really believe those people who warned me about the nature of boys, I warn people that he is grabby when they get close or want to hold him. They heed my warning with as much respect as I did of those parents of boys. Consider yourself warned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blueberries for Nat

Another beautiful summer day in the country is just one more excuse to pick our own fruit.

Blueberry picking season just began this week, and we were quick to get our share. It was a hot hour in the patch, but well worth. Even the bro bro tried to get in on the picking action, but he was willing to pick the greens as well as the beautiful deep blue ones, so he wasn't really all that helpful.

But Natalie had fun making her own literary references as she dropped them into her bucket, kerplink, kerplank, kerplunck. I was so proud.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lunch Date

This week I had the great fortune of dining with two of my favorite people. I have mentioned my dear friend Steve in other posts, but what is important to know is that the friendship was based originally on a quartet of Steve, Jason, Stephanie, and myself. The first of our adventures in friendship was a long night of drinking in search of girls for Steve and Jason. Fast forward six years and Stephanie moved on to the more affordable pastures of Nyschaunechtady, NY, I have two kids, Jason is married, and Steve is gay. So, needless to say, our current outings have changed a little.

Steve, Jason and I found many of our outings to be much like an episode of Seinfeld. Our most favorite example being a trip to the movies. After waiting patiently in line for my coffee, (because who doesn't drink coffee at the movies) when I finally arrived to the cashier to place my order, he look at me with his apathetic high schooler eyes and told me, "I can't sell you coffee at this register. You have to go to the other one." The three of us looked to our immediate left, where there was no cashier, as the one before me was the only one working, only to see a Green Mountain Coffee sign hanging over the register right next to where we were standing. "You mean I have to go to this register right next to you?" I asked with a furrowed brow. Teenage concession stand worker responded, "Ummm, yeah." The three of us (Steve, Jason and myself) each cocked our heads in confusion and then took a stride to the left to meet the same cashier at the "coffee" register.

It is rare that the three of us get together these days. In fact, I can't really remember the last time that this happened, but plans were in place and there were preparations on my end that needed to be made. The most important of which is, when I am going to be out in public for an extended period of time, I like to pack a bottle for the bro bro. Public nursing isn't really my thing and while it is obvious that I have boobs, I think any extra attention brought to them, might make certain parties uncomfortable. Especially if that attention is brought on by a little baby sucking on them. SO, if it isn't enough that I have a child suckle at them, I hooked myself up to a machine to suck a little more, all so the boys would be more at ease.

There we are on the Panera patio. The day is gorgeous, we are under a shady tree, Natalie is behaving herself, Steve is behaving himself, and the bro starts to get fussy. I figure that it is time to take out this bottle, liquid gold if you will. I use a drop in bottle, which is essentially a plastic bag that drops into the bottle. By pushing on the bottom of the bag, the air streams out of the tiny whole in the bottle nipple and it fills with milk. Well, as I began to do this, I had a bag blow out. My pants were covered in breast milk, and Natalie was showered with breast milk. I had to laugh so I wouldn't cry at this disaster. All of that hard work seeping into the concrete patio. In that moment, I so clearly understood why people might cry over spilled milk.

Steve and Jason had no idea what was lost in those quick moments, so what else was there to do but laugh at me? And in that moment, when I wanted to burst into tears in a very girly way, I had to smile at myself and think, of course this happened while I was with them, this is the stuff our friendship has always been made of.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am beginning to understand why television shows take a break after twenty-four episodes. It is hard coming up with new and entertaining material. I am no Tina Fey, and the material doesn't seem to just flow from my brain to the post as easily as I would like it to. Along with that, I am afraid that like a good tv show, I started out strong and people thought I was funny (which I am not), but now I feel that I need to at least attempt keep up the ruse.

Secondly, we were in New Jersey for a week, which is a very long time. So long, in fact, that when Dan arrived on Saturday I had re-acquired my Jersey accent. My non-descript New England accent has taken years to perfect - it is neither Boston nor New Hampshire, but I what think is a perfect blend of the two. But after a week of hearing, "Do you want a cup of cawfee?" and "Where is the dawg?" it was bound to happen that I would tell my husband to keep it under the awning. That is pronounced AWning rather than AHning. It was at that moment that I knew it really was time for us to return home.

So here I am, back from the break, with a new resolve to tawk about the goings on in the life of K. Rabs.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Natalie's Mom

Today is Natalie's fourth birthday.

To say that Natalie is a surprise would be unfair, after all, we are adults, and we know how the whole "thing" works. Regardless, I was not prepared to be pregnant. It was not at all how I planned it, and when I think back now, I believe after she was born, was the last time I was really upset that life didn't go according to my plan.  Dan would probably disagree with that last statement, but it truly was the moment I realized I don't actually control everything, if anything.

Like all moms, I remember very clearly every minute of the day she was born.  From start to finish the day was actually twelve hours, but only four of them were difficult.  The minute the nurse put her in my arms, I became Natalie's mom.  As Dan puts it, he watched me "melt."

Natalie is my greatest joy and frustration all at once, and in rare moments of calm, I wish I could freeze her age: her sponge-like mind and equal enthusiasm for things which are actually exciting as well as those mundane.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

18 Years

Eighteen years is a long time, long enough to go from just an infant to officially becoming an adult, long enough to get married, have children and change jobs multiple times, and certainly a long time to go in between visits.

Eighteen years is the amount of time that had passed from the last time I saw Carolyn. She and I went to grammar school together (when people still called it grammar school, it is all elementary school now). But there we were today, on Newbury St., drinking iced coffee, and catching up on the past eighteen years of our lives.

I usually have a lot of nervous energy when catching up with people from my past. I am not completely sure why this is, but I am going to blame part of it on my exorbitant caffeine consumption. Just to be on the safe side, I only had half a cup before I drove into the city. I tried no to make any assumptions before we caught up, but I did have running through my head, she lives in Manhattan, she and her boyfriend are not yet bound by parenthood, she has a job with Allure Magazine, which, to me, seems pretty fabulous. And here I am...an ex-teacher, suburban housewife.

It is really amazing how much and how little changed in eighteen years. Obviously, we are women now whereas the last time I saw her we were in seventh grade and were probably playing the "sleeping bag game" at a slumber party. She looked the same, only grown up. And whatever assumptions I didn't make on the way there, were all quickly put to rest as we sat and chatted for two hours. It all seemed perfectly normal, like we do it all the time. It truly was a wonderful reunion.

On my way home, I smiled to myself thinking about some of the more vivid memories I have of Carolyn. The one that stood out strongest, which I don't know if she even remembers, was playing "recording studio" in her bedroom to "Eternal Flame." As I drove, I continued to think, I hope we don't wait another eighteen years....

Thanks for the great afternoon, Carolyn!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The End of the Beginning

I don't deal well with change; I'm very Type A that way. I love new experiences and get bored rather easily, but there are some things that I find comfort in when they remain the same.

Tuesday was Natalie's last day at Bright Horizon's. It might sound familiar because Brad and Angelina send their kids....but seriously, it was her last day.

I remember so very clearly dropping her off for the first time, which wasn't even for a full day, but what they refer to as "transition days." At thirteen months, she was so excited to be with other kids that she didn't even realize that I had left her there. While I was happy that my child was able to adjust so quickly, this was the first time in thirteen months that I had left her with someone who wasn't family.

Bright Horizon's quickly became a home away from home for both Natalie and myself. I new the teachers, the other kid's names, many of their parents, the director. When I picked Natalie up each day there was Chase's dad, Oliva's mom, Peter's mom...you get the idea. But the time had come and Dan and I needed to make a choice regarding Natalie's education and this place I had grown so familiar with-- Natalie had OUTgrown.

And so in September I will start over at Oak Meadow, learning the teacher's names, the director, the kid's names, their parents, but I find solace in the fact that she may be there until she is fourteen. And the idea of fourteen is a WHOLE other blog!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Barbie Adendum

An old friend of mine, Carolyn, works at Allure, and they have included this piece on Barbie's 50th birthday. Since she shared with me, I thought I would share with you.

FYI: So far two out of, I don't know, ten readers now, say Barbie isn't bad.

Thanks for the feedback!