Christmas Toys

mark got a great toy from Grandma. So great that Danielle has claimed it for her own. It is fun to see her show Mark how to use his toy for 30 minutes. He laughs and watches. It is cute. After they had been playing for a long time I decided to tape it.


Christmas Eve

We read the books my mom sent us Christmas Eve. We read the story about baby Jesus. We put the kids to bed. So I thought it would go well... My parents were always tired on Christmas Day but I thought we would be able to sleep.
We finished getting ready for Christmas. I can't believe we are having Christmas as a family! I am excited.
Danielle was still high from Benadryl. She had hives and we gave her some but it makes her SUPER hyper. She couldn't sleep. She watched a movie in her room on her player and then finally fell asleep.
Mark woke up. He was hungry. Then he went back down.
Danielle woke up because she was excited about Santa coming. She had a dream about it.
She fell back asleep after thinking happy thoughts in her room for about an hour.
Mark woke up. He ate. He vomited.
I took a shower
I did Laundry.
We made our bed.
mark Ate
We watched Colbert Report.
mark Ate
Mark fell asleep.
We went to sleep.
the dogs woke up.
John took the dogs out.
After going to sleep at 5:00 A.M. we are up again.
I guess the Christmas nap starts this year.

Merry Christmas everyone! I wonder when Danielle will wake up...


Family Pictures

Rachelle visited us this week- for the Holidays. It was nice to see her. I kept trying to arrange pictures for Christmas but it didn't work- my phone actually stopped working for a day and I finally gave up.
then I realized Rachelle takes pictures. I did what anyone would do- went out in the 20 degree weather and got our photo taken. Danielle didn't really cooperate but I thought I looked OK in some of the photos. and I love the picture of John and Mark.

here I am with my signature squint eye making its appearance.

you can't even tell we were freezing to death.
I love my shoes in this photo. This is the only one where you can actually see them- I guess you shouldn't base your whole outfit on shoes because it probably won't work out.
here's my cute little baby. Danielle was convinced she should take her coat off. She was cold after that so she put it back on. The whole photo session lasted about 30 minutes. I don't Danielle could have made it any longer. Then we went out to lunch.
I made Christmas cards out of the pictures. So if you want one send me your address. Unless you already did. Thanks Rachelle!



Well we finally gave in and switched the lock around on Danielle's door three days ago. I couldn't take it any more that Danielle was sleeping 8 hours a day. She defeated the child lock and all sorts of other contraptions. Three days of bliss- where she actually had quiet time and went to sleep when we noticed she was tired and put her to bed.

Today she got out.

Like any decent human being, I drowned my sorrows in eating.
I feel much better now.



We are putting up holiday lights and I couldn't be more excited. Check out our CANDY CANES! I love all white lights on a house and candy canes. I've already broken two of the stakes though. Do they sell replacement stakes? Danielle keeps reminding me they are broken. Thanks for the reminder Danielle. One of the instances where a stake broke was me taking the kids on a walk in the double stroller. It gets cold but you can bundle them up and Danielle likes going on a ride in the exciting new stroller. I hope that will last a long time. After the snow storm our cute little trees on the steps fell down. One of them fell into the snow. You see that odd white spot on the tree? If you can't see it well enough in the whole house picture you probably need a closer view. I guess the snow froze into a great cube. Most of the snow is gone but now we have lots of ice.

Still to do?

  • put up lights on the top part of house
  • surround the post with lights
  • put lights on the tree with the ornaments
  • put lights on the wreaths in the window
  • put out christmas welcome mat
  • but 10,000 lighted deer lawn ornaments for our front lawn.
  • buy that fantastic blow up santa Danielle asks for every time we see it at the store.


Sunday Thoughts

photos of my first haircuts.

hair. everywhere. There are still little bits on the floor of the bathroom. Those of you who know me should know that I am not entirely for cutting your kids' hair. It drives me crazy that people just shave their husbands heads at the same length all over so they look like great fuzzballs. Many children also look afflicted with a great infection on their heads.
Unfortunately Danielle has fallen into this category. I have no delusions about being a hairdresser. Once I cut someone's hair but they were coming from a very bad place so it couldn't really get any worse. When Danielle was born I tried to pay others to cut her hair. Her sleep movement patterns still create a great fuzzball but they don't eliminate all her hair anymore. It is challenging to have a girl with a semi bald head. I thought a professional could help make something from her hair.
Sometimes I was right. More often than not I was incorrect. Danielle hates to sit still. She hates getting her haircut. She is very impatient. Once she looked fantastic. All the other times she looked either mediocre or TERRIBLE.
I decided that if her hair was going to look horrible I could do it. I am confident in my ability to produce an ugly haircut. so we went to Target and bought a hair cutting kit.
We have already recouped the initial cost and my family is happy with their very amateur haircuts. Today- in what was one of the most frightening experiences of my marriage- I gave John a haircut. Giving an adult a haircut makes me want to poo my pants. The only person who had more fear than I did was John. Rude.
Maybe if he doesn't pay attention I will give him a mullet. Danielle could get a mullet too, if only she would grow hair in the back.



Sometimes I like to make things when I am stressed. One of the greatest ways to eliminate stress is to just clean and eliminate what you are stressed about. Or to finish projects. Last week was one of the worst days I've had in a long time- including no sleeping. I tried a few different designs and ruined a few snaps as I was making the dishcloths. I used interfacing to attach a happy circle of fabric to these cheesecloth towels. Sara gave me the idea to attach a snap so you could put the cloth on a drawer handle or the oven door handle.
I can't decide if I like having the snap on the side of the circle or the center.
the day didn't get any better- but useless questions are a good distraction.
As are about 6 cupcakes.


Happy Christmas

My mom was always good at getting us Hallmark Ornaments. I like Hallmark ornaments- so I felt guilty when I admitted to my sister that I also really liked glass ball ornaments. So now I have both. Since Danielle steals the Hallmark ornaments and breaks them they aren't on the tree yet this year. (although two of them got broken before I made the decision not to put it up.)
I tried to make the tree match the room this year- and our "grown up room" has orange and green and a little pink. It is still a work in progress though- for example there are no pictures in the stocking holders I got SUPER cheap at the pottery barn outlet. Happiness is a silver photo holding stocking holder for really cheap at the pottery barn outlet.
Happiness is also having a bunch of pink Christmas Tree ornaments- I am still open to receiving more, since we only have enough to cover one part of the tree. I have a really happy orange storage ottoman in this room-currently it is the home of the my little pony collection. The room is still in development so wait until I finish painting and decorating and post about it. Actually probably wait a long time- nothing is as fast these days.


Dear Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,
Thank you for being our only friendly neighbors. I was just wondering if you would be willing to share a cookie. From the tin I was going to give to you. I really like you guys so I was going to go all out and get you the most fantastic present I could think of. Our neighbors used to give us a HUGE tin every Christmas. They were Romanian and also great at building things and fixing cars. So pretty much everything you could ever ask for in a neighbor. I guess just this yearly gift qualified them as everything I ever wanted in a neighbor though.
Is it still a present if I've eaten all the sugar coated pretzel cookies? How about just five of them?


Photo Shoot with Children.

I am somehow unable to organize a photo shoot for my family. John usually shouldn't come home until seven o'clock and it is dark by then.
so sometimes I bribe Danielle to sit on the couch with Mark.- OK I guess threaten is a more accurate term. She looked cute on Monday and so did Mark. But the photo shoot didn't go perfectly...

Mark was trying to fall asleep so he did his flailing arm and overexcited routine before falling asleep.

Danielle didn't want to look at the camera, and don't even think about smiling.

why does this look so bad- I am clearly not a professional photographer and the brown couch might have looked better than the poorly draped blanket over the brown couch.

mark isn't actually making any noise in this photo. and Danielle is trying to hug him. Why is this photo the funniest thing I've seen in a long time?

This is the best one we got- the shadow hides the tears in Danielle's eyes and seconds later Mark's hat covered his eyes.


Etsy Baby Shower- Cute Hat!

I love Etsy. Twice a year they have a baby shower for new or expecting moms. You can participate if you adopted a baby as well. Normally I donate to some mom. They started a blog for the baby shower and you should definately check it out. This time I signed up and Mark got lots of super cute baby items. One of the shops was Spinklewithsugar from etsy. they make knitted hats and cupcakes and even iphone holders. I LOVE the hat that they gave me. I love how etsy tries to get people involved and support each other.

Here is Sprinklewithsugar's Etsy Profile:
"So glad that you have dropped by for a visit! While I love staying home taking care of my three children, it is clear I have a problem. I can't stop knitting. It began in University and I have never looked back. I adore creating things for babies and feel it is so special that parents choose my creations for someone so precious. There are not enough hours in the day to create all the stuff swimming around in my brain.
Etsy has given me so much more then a place to showcase my work. I love meeting the amazing people that come on here and chatting with them. My Chemo Cap has also led me to meeting some very brave women who I think about often. I feel very blessed to have found Etsy and I hope my shop continues to grow...."

Thank you so much for your generosity- Mark loves his hat!


Two Children

Something tells me that Danielle has a hard time with baby Mark. She always says she loves him and she likes to cuddle him. She doesn't try to act like a baby or take his things. But she has had some hard times since he was born. One thing she has learned is that when mommy is taking care of baby Mark she can do ANYTHING!
Not good.
This week she "painted" all over my nice rug and the white carpet with yogurt while I was changing the babies diaper.
She also climbed on the counter and got in the cupboard at night while I was feeding the baby and John was taking the dog out. She ate some tylenol and "painted" all over her room with it. She can open child safe bottles better than I can. John took her to the hospital and after a few hours we learned she didn't eat enough to poison herself.
Danielle knows she can feed the dog anything when mom is feeding baby Mark.
Danielle knows I will come fast if she tries to get Mark out of his crib.
Danielle seems to only want to go potty while Mark is eating. She is having trouble with the potty thing. How do people potty train a child when they have a new baby? She says it is too hard to go poo on the potty- because she gets impatient. That doesn't stop her from trying to change her own diaper after she goes poo. YUCK. At least she doesn't go to the bathroom on the floor when I am taking care of baby Mark, which I have heard some children do.
Danielle runs into my room while I am feeding the baby and steals whatever she can get her hands on. Usually my deodorant or clothing.

Now if only I could get her to get me a burp cloth and a drink of water while I am feeding him...


Greedy Greedy

Here are some things I want for Christmas. You should buy some of them for yourself too because they are FANTASTIC. So fantastic I haven't purchased them yet. sad. My list is ridiculously long. Also I would like lots of things not on the list. The other day we went to someone's house for Thanksgiving and I brought a hostess gift because I saw a commercial on TV about hostess gifts. I guess I am susceptible to consumer suggestion. Sometimes I stop fast forwarding the DVR to see a really exciting commercial.

1. grapefruit countertop cleaner from Williams Sonoma
2. Tablecloths- 70 inch round 90 inch round - 70 by 90 and a matching floor mat. I really like having a tablecloth on the table and I love having options. I don't have any round tablecloths.
3. White frames.
4. Amenity Home floor pillows with orange in them.
5. Mint Meltaways- yum.
6. Nook. So cool. I like Barnes and Noble- they give So many points through Mypoints. I like mypoints. Every year I do most of my online shopping through them and get free gift cards. Love it.
7. Scarf.
8. Greek Key frame.
9. Illume candle in Pineapple Cilantro. they were on sale at Borders in the stores.
10. Amy Butler Rug. Rugs are such a luxury item- Although they also save your carpet which I could use. I love these rugs from Amy butler. Any Rug any size- when are rugs ever on your needs list though? Never.
11. Hartwell Sofa in Black Leather. Let me guess- you weren't planning on spending enough on me to get a sofa. Probably you weren't planning on getting me anything. This is why the sofa is on a list rather than in my home...
12. Pink Laquer tray or figurine of any kind from Jonathan Adler. Or customer designed pillows titled Janae- designing pillows is a great waste of time I think.
13. Yellow Pegboard Panels
14. Stockholm storage products in Orange. Two document boxes- two letter boxes and six magazine files. Or any of them- they are so exciting- I love the container store. I have a crush on it.
15. Japanese Echino Fabric or Japanese ribbon- you can find it on etsy. Or lots of places. I love ALL OF IT.
16. Fabric from I pretty much just love fabric.
17. A nice bracelet. I like Lois Hill jewelry. and I don't have any bracelets. It is hard to find cool bracelets- so I don't have any.
18. Stationery- I have a great love of all paper products.
19. Wall Art or letterpress cards from sweetbeets- they are great.
20. Wall hanging clock from Decoylab in lime.
21. Knobs from Anthropologie- the calico frog knob or Bazaar Aisles Knobs in the Orange Motif. I want 4-8 of both of them. I love the cute knobs at Anthropologie.
22. Dewpoint Blouse. So cute.
23. Fluevog shoes.
24. Lamb Juva Shoes. So hot and so expensive.
25. Toyata Highlander or Honda Pilot. Lovely cars.
26. To sell lots of stuff on Etsy. To have 2 hours a day to sew things.
27. For someone to organize my basement and paint the walls.
28. For a 4 hour nap one day.
29. for tile in the Kitchen rather than the linoleum. It's true.

also there is this great chair here that is white and bright pink. I want it. It costs 350.00. I will probably never have it.


John's Christmas List

John gave me his Christmas list so I am posting it on my blog. It says John and Janae but he refers to it as my blog so I can too. And I always lose things. If it is here I can tell people where to find it and find it myself. My list is ridiculous. Every year I like to put a car on my Christmas list. What if I really got a car one day? And if John wants to get me a car someday he will know what type I want. Each year.
I also like to put things on my list that I will never get. That way they are still part of me. They are too fancy to actually be part of me, but that's what Santa Claus is for right?


Fail. Sunday Thoughts.

This week was full of failure. As every holiday weekend should be.
1. We failed to make it all the way through church. This week Mark had a poo accident. All over John's white shirt and my favorite tie. You know you are headed for trouble when baby saves up his poo. Last time we had to leave for him peeing on me. I still can't seem to make it through all three hours, which are right in the middle of the only time when Mark sleeps for longer than three hours- his longest sleep each day is 5-6 hours. When we are super lucky. as we were changing him Danielle decided to change her own diaper. By the time we were done with the cleanup there were ten minutes left at church.
2. I made pie. It took a long time and when I was almost done with the crust I got impatient and just smashed it all together and rolled it out. I just couldn't make it the last five minutes. Then the bananas tasted funny. Overall the pie was a fail. but I still ate it for breakfast the day after thanksgiving. the other pie I made we brought with us to visit someone and never ate it. I am a little bitter that we didn't bring it home.
3. I failed to tell our friends we weren't coming to visit. I couldn't take the drive but I kept telling myself it might happen.
4. I failed to get a family photo like my mom asked.
5. We failed to put our fence up. Although John is really sore and most of the holes are ready for posts. I understand why people charge so much now. Just watching him do the work made me tired.
6. Danielle did not get potty trained. She decided the potty is too big for her. Although once or twice a day she still tries.
7. I forgot to bring coats with us. On Thanksgiving I decided to let Danielle stay up thinking she would sleep in the next day. As it is Mark is awake until about two in the morning so I thought I would let things happen naturally. She wanted to go get toys so at midnight we drove to toys r us. the line was INCREDIBLE! I guess we showed up about four hours too late and I forgot a coat. Danielle wanted to stay but it was too cold. What kind of mom forgets to bring a coat after letting their daughter stay up past midnight. Plus the wait was over an hour so we weren't going to get the fantastic deal on a playhouse. She fell asleep on the way home and slept until seven.
8. I failed to notice when Danielle climbed in my bed. I kept telling John that the baby was sitting up in the bed and to be careful not to roll over on him. Turns out that Danielle was in the bed, not Mark. I guess I didn't consider how the baby would sit up, or how he got in the bed.
9. I failed to play a board game. sigh...
10. I failed to be appropriately thankful on THANKSGIVING. Actually I guess most of my fails were funny and not sad. Just another week full of Sunday thoughts.


Baby Mark

Let's face it- he is more popular than I am. He cuddles and just seems to rub love off on people. Since I am with him all day I captured a smile. It happens sometimes. Now I need to capture the grunt. He likes to talk a lot, I just don't know what he is saying. He sneezes and then says "ahuhmmm."
Here are some things about Mark.
1. Will not take a pacifier. We have tried several kinds. Except he bites on them sometimes. Is he old enough to be getting a tooth?
2. Has a cold. Again. If you want him to be really mad just suction out his nose.
3. Likes to be held. If he notices you put him down he wakes up and cries until you pick him up. and he never seems to stay mad long- he doesn't cry very loud and once you pick him up it ends VERY soon.
4. Makes cute cooing noises.
5. Likes to breastfeed. Will not take a bottle anymore.
6. Gets hyper when dad comes home.
7. Will wait without crying after you give him his medicine. Will wait for up to five minutes for the opportunity to spit out medicine.
8. Hates his car seat.
9. Calms down when he is swaddled.
10. Would rather stare at a light than your face.
11. Has lint traps for hands.
12. Eat too much when he is upset.
13. Needs his nails trimmed every two days.
14. Has gas.


Want Ad:

Seeking workout partner. Willing to go to the gym with me early in the morning or late at night last minute. Doesn't mention anything when the spin class instructor says I am laying a lot on the handlebars. Lies and tells me they see movement when the instructor tells us to pull in our core muscles. (Mine don't seem to move but you don't need to tell me that.) Willing to eat cookies after workout. Understands how new workout clothes can bring you to the gym for a week or two. Willing to listen to Danielle cry after leaving the gym. Likes to lift weights and do elliptical trainer. Will go hiking with children. Willing to drive 30 minutes to go to rock climbing gym. Likes dogs. Doesn't judge when I'm not good at things I am excited to do, like Yoga, Spinning and Rock Climbing. realizes that I am SUPER SLOW runner so is willing to work with that. Although I still have a goal to run a marathon someday. Willing to garden for hours and sit with me while I organize my house. I guess that is more friend than workout partner.

Call or comment for consideration.


Sunday Thoughts: Hot Moms.

I remember the first time that I heard the phrase "girl crush." Claire actually introduced me to the concept. It's like a girlfriend that you have a non-sexual crush on. Like the bro-mance I guess. I love it. There are just some people that never seem to make you mad. They are great.
Claire had friends at the time that she just thought were awesome. One of them is on So You Think You Can Dance now. I bet now a lot of girls have girl crushes on her. I think Claire has always had good taste in girl crushes. Also I miss having her around to poach friends from. No one is better at finding friends than Claire. People like her. She is a pretty dedicated friend too, even though I am still waiting for the blog-published Christmas list I demanded.
Here are some of mine.
1. Wendy King. It is true. Crushworthy: That woman travels A LOT. She has more friends than anyone else I know. She has lots of personality and can wear pink jeans. She is skinny and funny. Worked as a producer. Huge.
2. Jana: Crushworthy: She is the meanest mom. People who read my blog always add her button, and she can make money blogging- who does that? People actually care about if she doesn't updateAlso skinny. She has a PHD from fancy schools and is pretty funny and sarcastic. Had twins and a premature baby. HARD! Doesn't make a big deal out of it and is secretly one of the nicest people around. maybe.
3. Brit Wilkinson. We don't hang out a ton but I read her blog. Who looks like this right after they had a baby? Crushworthy: She went hiking like one week before her baby was born and also less than one month afterwards. She rock climbs. Likes mayonnaise. Colors her hair a lot and looks good with all the different options. Opinionated. Super positive. Also when she got married she got lots of stuff off of her registry. Fun.
4. Newest Girl Crush: Holly Gillis. Crushworthy: Works out seven times a week. In medical school but still bakes and watches my two kids so I can go to the gym. Loves shoes.
5. Sara Berg. Crushworthy: Has a thing with having clean floors. Runs five miles a day- WHO DOES THAT? gets perved on by creepy old men at church. and from neighbors. Had two children AT HOME. Loves organizational stuff. Shows me things that I really want to buy and wish I had found first. Good style. Acts like she isn't crafty but has some suspiciously creative looking ideas at her house. Sarcastic. Good cook too.

There are a few people I didn't include- you know who you are and I have a crush on you, but in a non-creepy way. I didn't include any of my sister in laws. I will have to periodically have a crushworthy section of my blog. And it won't always be about shoes either.


Danielle's Family

Sunday thoughts never happened on Sunday. Probably because on Saturday Danielle decided she would wear panties from then on. She loves panties and went on the potty all weekend. She went twice at church. I am thrilled about this but also sad because she doesn't like it when daddy takes her to the potty. Once she couldn't get her panties down in time and had an accident and it was so sad. The whole weekend really I was just obsessed with potty. This Sunday Mark peed on me at church. In my lap. Through his outfit and blanket and my skirt. and a trickle down my leg in to my new shoes. I had just fed him and checked his dry diaper. A generic diaper that we were trying to use up (I used them for a diaper cake before he was born and figured they shouldn't go to waste. It was my attempt to give up my brand snob ways. yet again those ways were reinforced.) and yet another week where I didn't make it through the three hours of church. Danielle also boycotted nursery. She has never done that. She wanted me to stay with her. Really it seems like her personality is drastically different. No more sleeping through the night and taking super long naps. At least she can't defeat our front screen so I don't have to worry constantly that she will run away while I'm going to the bathroom. Privacy is wonderful.

Danielle drew a picture the other day and I asked her what it was. She told me it was her family- mommy and daddy and baby Mark and Austin and Aida and Lucy and Tess. Lucy and Aida also have beds in her room and toys at our house that they share with Danielle. After I asked her she also pointed to where Ed, Maya, Sara and Mark were. They were also part of the mommy drawing. Good thing too, because I was thinking my stamp looked a little larger than the other stamps on the paper.


Congratulations Steve

So my brother in law Steve is famous. I haven't told anyone yet but he is on Dancing with the Stars. he has actually been on it for years. And in law school at the same time. He came and saw Danielle in the hospital. And here he is in his work clothes. It's a great haircut.
This last week Steve moved on to the finals with Kelly Osborne. I didn't really know if they would be in the finals but Steve deserves it. Good job Steve.


Dear Mayonnaise

Dear Mayonnaise,
I just wanted to leave a quick note to say that I love you. The other day when I had one of the best BLT sandwiches I've ever had I realized how Mayonnaise should really be in the name of that sandwich. BLTMayonnaise doesn't sound quite as catchy, but without you soaking into the tomato it just wouldn't have been quite as good. I love chicken salad and tuna fish when you are there.
I am so sorry about those silly friends that won't eat you. And the ones who like mustard. At times I have strayed. I cheated on you with Miracle whip. It has a sometimes pleasant zip I must admit but miracle whip will never live in my fridge the same way you do. I always come back to you. It has always been about you. I will even support you in your light format. My daughter has never had a sandwich without you (except peanut butter and jelly for obvious reasons.) My baby will eat you someday.
You make me feel good inside, and I think you should know I really appreciate that.


Sunday Thoughts

Today we blessed Mark. It was really nice to see the people that visited us from Souderton. I can't believe how far people drove to see our baby. It made me feel special. Right before the blessing Mark was acting a little hungry and I realized I forgot his medicine. I decided to go home after sacrament and give it to him. He threw up on me right as I was going to feed him. His blessing outfit didn't even last two hours before it was soaking wet. I was glad I was at home because it's easier to change your entire outfit when you get thrown up on from home but I was sad to miss church. You don't meet people you don't see because you are at your nice house with your fantastic washer and dryer. At least I made it for some time.
Mark and Sara helped us rearrange our furniture. They clearly have skills because I love it. And they make awesome sandwiches. After everyone left Danielle said she was sad because Lucy went home. All her friends were gone- especially Lucy. Danielle has actually named her bed Lucy's bed because we set it up for Lucy and Aida and Maya before Danielle ever slept in it. After comforting her about her friends I sat in my newly organized room by the fire and talked to John. Sara took some pictures from the day of the blessing and here are some of them- I saved the best ones for Sara but included a rare Janae photo. I tend to hate all photos that I am in but here it is with the first outfit of three I wore today.


Happy Memories

Baby Mark slept six hours last night. I don't know if it will ever happen again anytime soon but I was pretty happy that it happened. I feel like the second child is nice because when they are newborn and never sleep you know it will end. I remember with Danielle being so overwhelmed and thinking- when does this get better? Now I keep telling myself it will get better- because I know it will. that knowledge is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
Mark is so different from Danielle. He loves to be held and loves to watch his daddy. I don't remember it being so fuzzy and happy with Danielle. Should I feel guilty for being confused about why this baby seems so much nicer? I love Danielle, but there is something wonderful about having a baby that you planned and not gaining as much weight and having a baby just rest his head against you and fall asleep. His labor was shorter and easier. My recovery was faster. His cry is quieter. His skin isn't as sensitive. He cuddles more. He won't eat if I seem upset. He doesn't like baths or getting his nails trimmed, but his crying doesn't last long and is only half hearted. He has reflux, but not as bad as Danielle. He has never vomited or pooed across the room. (although he does both, they just don't have as much force.)
I don't know how people manage two children- and I love both of them, but it's hard not to compare. My mom used to tell us that she prayed for easier children after her first three and got them. I know my mom loves me and I hope Danielle will always know I love her.
I remember with Danielle I struggled a lot with Post Partum depression. I was crying over three hours a day and I just didn't feel very alive anymore. It took a long time to get treatment. This time I was more prepared. Last time I didn't breastfeed Danielle- I ended up pumping the whole time. People were very quick to give me advice about latching and how to do things "right." There were lots of reasons it didn't work- Danielle has a bound tongue, her jaw was bruised from forcepts, I have sensitive skin, she had thrush, she had reflux so she didn't want to eat and I was bleeding so bad and it it scary when your baby starts vomiting lots of blood. etc etc there were lots of problems but I felt like they were excuses. The lactation specialists and le Leche league people I visited couldn't figure it out. I just pumped and fed it to her but I felt like I failed. So did a lot of women who told me I just couldn't make it past the pain. It wasn't until my sister was talking about not breastfeeding and called me a hard core leLeche lady that I realized maybe I hadn't failed.
This time after a week I was ready to quit and happy to start pumping. Then I read a story about a woman who couldn't take the initial pain and then tried again after a while. I decided to do it at three weeks. Mark had a cold. It worked. I don't know what happened. With Danielle all the training only made things worse- with Mark things got better. I still can't believe it worked. Some things make parenting nice- like when your first baby finally learns to smile and you realize they really don't hate you just because they cry at you all day long. Or having your hard work finally pay off, even though it wasn't important to anyone but you.


Dear Neighbor

Dear Thoughtful Neighbor,
Thanks so much for your thoughtful note on the white car. I think your penmanship with a sharpie leaves a little to be desired but I appreciate the thought behind it. So we shouldn't park the car on the street because that makes us "Sloppy." Unfortunately our driveway is currently occupied by our uninstalled fence, which you apparently don't find as sloppy as our car on the street. We would have installed it by now but no one even wants to give us a quote on how much it would cost for them to put it in. So far three people haven't shown up or called us back, not counting surveyors. I think I know part of the reason that the economy here is bad- people don't seem to want to work. Winter is fast approaching so you might have to wait until spring. You might ask why the fence can't go in the garage? It is in the garage- sorry. Big fence.
I am not sure how I feel about being called sloppy. I noticed that our next door neighbors stopped parking their car in the street so I am guessing it isn't them. On the other side the old lady hasn't ever raked up her leaves so she probably didn't write the note. Maybe though, old ladies tend to be either really nice or super complainers.
I also wanted to thank you for not commenting on the rest of our house as sloppy. I have only mowed the lawn once since having a baby and I haven't bagged our huge pile of leaves. Maybe you are really trying to tell me not to rake my leaves into the public park across the street. I wouldn't but I don't have a leaf blower like all the rest of my neighbors. Did you not notice the patch of yard where we tore out some trees but can't decide what to put in? I guess a pile of dirt and yard debris isn't sloppy to you but I might have targeted that. I was hoping to have my yard be sloppy enough that one of my sweet friendly neighbors would spontaneously clean it, but so far it is still passable.
Or maybe you actually know that our car is having electrical problems and won't start right now. Sorry, no one in this lovely town can look at it until this weekend.
If only you had left your address so I could explain why I didn't think parking on a public street would be a concern.
Thank you for bringing my property value up with your immaculate yard. And always parking your car in the driveway. Now please stop letting your dog poop in the public park and not cleaning up after them.
After reading your note I carefully folded it up and returned it to the car.


Six weeks in.

I don't know when Baby Mark went to bed. At one o'clock John said he would hold Mark and read for school. Mark is not awake yet. I am excited to get used to him sleeping so much rather than waking up in a panic.
Does this mean little baby Mark is learning to sleep through the night? I hope so. Mark frequently wakes up throughout the night lately and just wants to be held. As soon as he realizes you are there he falls asleep again. After a few days of this I realize the appeal of having your baby in or next to your bed. I just can't sleep with so much baby grunting. How can someone so small make so much noise in the night time?
I don't want to speak to soon but it seems like the kids are over their colds. We went to church though so maybe it was enough to capture some more germs. Sadly our pictures of Halloween don't really look good, although I did realize I am still baby chubby. I decided to give myself a six week break before starting to work out. Maybe I should have avoided Halloween candy too.
Every day Mark likes to throw up most of what he eats for one meal. I know it is coming because he starts gasping and frantically eating. Shortly after that he seems like he is choking and throws up. Since it isn't as bad as Danielle with her every meal throwing up I haven't thought about it. But maybe at his two month checkup I will ask if throwing up is normal. He is probably just eating too much for his little belly or eating too much over a hidden burp but I have no clue. It doesn't seem like it is painful for him to eat though. I am shocked how much easier it is to have a child who seems like he can tolerate dairy and who doesn't seem to have pain when they are eating. Poor Danielle seemed like she was always in pain. Mark is so cute with his cuddling and tiny little cry. He almost never cries but when he does it is VERY quiet. (of course later today I will regret my words as he suddenly develops lungs). This is my first cuddly baby and it sure is different. He started smiling this week. I love it when that happens.
And now he is awake.



I watched it happen. I thought about stopping it and telling her it wasn't a good idea. I made her sit on the new chair so I could take a picture. Then I made her get off the chair. I was going to save a few of them. Instead I reminded her to throw away the wrappers.
Wrappers that I threw away a few hours later.

It was totally worth a dollar.



I probably give my daughter too much freedom. For example she once again has been wearing the bug pants for several days. I ask her if she wants to wear her pretty pink sleeper and she says "no sanks". This is also the response I get when I ask her if she wants to go to bed. Danielle gets to pick her own clothes. She gets to select what to eat for dinner. Once she chose to go home from church. Danielle frequently decides to feed the dog junk food. She is very fast. For example just the other day I went upstairs to feed the baby and Danielle opened a bag of candy bars. Austin was really appreciative that Danielle didn't like them but I was a little sad to lose all my butterfingers. Despite all my attempts I haven't been able to replicate the consumption of a bag of candy in ten minutes. I wish I could say it is infrequent that Danielle gets food she shouldn't- but this is one of her recurring toddler victories. I can blame sleep deprivation I hope.

I am a little bitter right now about being sick and never sleeping. I know that eventually the baby will sleep for more than three hours at a time but it doesn't seem like the endless wakefullness will ever end. Mark can't really sleep with his baby cold.
Well I think I finally have pink eye and the cold everyone else has had for a while. Danielle is done with the medicine and Mark is halfway through. Also Danielle has an ear infection. Every sickness Danielle gets can aparently be solved with the use of a bandaid. from stomacheache to pink eye, many bandaids are used. I just hand them to her and let her figure it out. Usually if they ever make their target they are finished with their miraculous healing in ten minutes when she decides to remove them and attach them to the carpet.
Tonight Danielle was being super cute and we played in the garage all night- she was making a "puzzle" out of the rock climbing holds. I forgot that she can play with those things for hours on end. I know what we will be doing all morning tomorrow.


Parenting Wisdom: A Therapy Course with Janae

I am always offering people the John and Janae therapy program where we help troubled couples. Our therapy is based on a basic premise that feelings are bad. Once you both recognize them you can commiserate together and try to get rid of all those pesky bad ones.

Now we are also offering the John and Janae parenting therapy program. It is worth giving up precious sleep for- and money of course.

Here is a little sampling of things we like to talk about.
1. People tell you never to sleep in your bed with your baby. The le Leche League promotes co-sleeping. In reality so little sleeping actually occurs that it really doesn't matter where you are. your baby won't sleep in their crib or your bed, so get over it.
2. Some people think that supplementing with a bottle is the right answer so you can get sleep. These people have clearly never been lactating and felt the wrath of engorgement. I recently read a book called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers that claims that engorgement doesn't really happen. Pretty much everything you hear about breastfeeding and other types of feeding is a lie. And everyone you talk to is probably more than a little crazy and delusional from lack of sleep.
3. No matter how hard your baby is, your sister's baby is/was/will be harder. This can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.
4. Any time you add another person in your family you will add stress. You only have so much time in the day- so try to figure out how you will get the most sleep out of it.
5. I read in one of these books that your baby won't care about if you shower. That is disgusting- you should care about if you shower.
6. One of the best things that ever happened to motherhood? Epidurals. Second best? Antidepressants.
7. Buying things to make you feel better only lasts as long as your credit limit-or your generous friends.
8. Once you have kids you realize that pets are never like children. It's annoying when people talk about pets like children. We can complain about these horrendous people in therapy. No dog ever took over a year to learn how to walk.
9. When people comment on how cute and quiet your baby is just stop talking to them and walk away. Don't try to correct them or start crying- it's embarassing.
10. Nicely dressed children are always seen as better than other children. Even an alien headed baby looks cute in Burberry. People who tell you it doesn't matter what children wear? their children are probably dirty- and you probably think they are ill behaved. There is really nothing wrong with a well dressed baby. Suck it up and get the baby a fancy dress people.

the cost is 50 dollars a session, which can be booked over the phone.
It will blow your mind forever.



I found a perfect clock for the nursery. It is from Anthropologie, which I love.
Now where can I find the money to buy it?


Mark is one Month Old

Well Mark the baby was one month old on Sunday. I thought he was going to be one month old on Monday which probably shows how he is at that point when I am imagining things from lack of sleep. Just a few more weeks and he will start sleeping through the night. (I think it was like that- I know that crazy awakes ends sometime soon...) I have had lots of help and I feel less tired than I remember feeling with Danielle. I liked the troubled look he has on his face a lot of the time. Baby Mark is a great addition to our family and I love cuddling him.
So I really like reading this blog called Rambling Renovators about home improvement. The woman who writes it has such a cute nursery and she lives in Canada. Her blog gave away an iTouch and I won. I can't believe I won. Last year I won Christmas cards from a blog giveaway. I was so excited I almost sent them out. Instead they have joined my ever growing stack of cards that I haven't sent out. Speaking of which we have birth announcements. Send me your address and I will guarantee you one. You just might get it several years late...
Maybe also tell me if you got our last easter card.