Plomin Family Bragablog

July 1, 2009

Mac ‘n’ Cheese & A Hot Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:59 pm
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When I asked Karol what she wanted to eat for breakfast this morning, this was her distinct reply, “Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a hot dog.”  She said this as clear as day, despite that she’d just woken up, and had a pacifier still teetering between her teeth.  I talked her into eggs and Cheerios.  “Mac ‘n’ Cheese” has become her autopilot response to the ‘what to eat’ question!

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June 29, 2009

Second Week Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 1:39 am
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Eight weeks left with the NYC – DC commute for Matt.  I just sent him packing back to the Big Apple for another week a couple of hours ago.  We were lucky enough to have him home again this weekend. 

Ironically, I haven’t posted much about what happens during the week, and that’s because, well, nothing much happens.  Sure, Karol’s vocab is out of this world, and Patrick is chatting so much now he could have his own radio show, but for the most part we three just sit around here waiting for Matt to come back.  On occasion I’ll try to take the kids on some sort of outing – anything to get out of the apartment – but it generally just ends in tears (theirs or mine; it’s a toss-up) and a ruined bedtime routine.  The best days are the ones where we get home from work/play, eat dinner, have some free play and then read stories until bed.  Occasionally I’ll have the energy to stay up and do some housecleaning, but generally I go to sleep when they do.

The weekends are the exciting time for us.  Not only because that’s when Daddy’s home (although that’s at least 70% of it) but because we can plan activities in reasonable blocks of time.  This weekend we had a great Saturday: pancakes for breakfast, then out for a walk to the market and a picnic with lots of other kids and parents in the afternoon! 

Sunday we actually made it to Mass ON TIME.  We sat in what’s called “The Upper Room.”  It’s kind of like the cry room because it’s sealed off and the Mass is piped in on speakers, but it’s on the 2nd floor and is basically just overflow space.  It overlooks the entire congregation and the alter, like having a balcony seat to the Mass.  Karol behaved marvelously today, and really enjoyed watching the Mass from above.  Patrick slept for most of it, so I got to cuddle and squeeze him the whole time.  I actually got to hear the whole homily!  The rest of the day we spent pretty much in the apartment chilling out.

Here I am trying to catch a pic of Patty's new tooth.  It's barely a nub on the bottom front right.

Here I am trying to catch a pic of Patty's new tooth. It's barely a nub on the bottom front right.

In other news, Patrick is officially cutting teeth, and not thrilled about it.  I can tell it’s pretty uncomfortable and I just feel terrible for him.  He was struggling with it all day, and (stupid mommy) it wasn’t until tonight that I thought to give him any Tylenol to relieve it!  Finally though, after lots of feeding, a pacifier, getting wrapped tight, and turning on the ocean sound machine, he’s out.

Karol had the honor of licking the beater!  Well, Mommy helped...

Karol had the honor of licking the beater! Well, Mommy helped...

 

 

Karol and I had a wonderful time today baking up cupcakes for Matt to take to his office in NYC (don’t ask…or ask Matt, not me!)  Karol certainly likes to be a part of the action, and with my mediocre cooking skills, there’s very little chance she’ll make it any worse!  Actually we whipped up some awesome Irish coffee cake turned into cupcakes.  There was a fair amount of batter left over that pretty much became my dinner.  I feel pretty icky, so I’m regretting that now, however.  And yes, I had to thoroughly mop the floor tonight.

June 24, 2009

Patrick The Charmer

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:20 pm

It’s gotta be rough being number two.  But my little guy is a trooper.  Take bedtime for example.  Bedtime with Karol has been a struggle recently due to lack of consistency with Matt being away, then back, then away and back again.  As you can imagine, a lot of my attention is taken up with the task of reading stories, saying prayers, fetching milk or juice, and then usually rocking Karol for a while to get her calmed down.  

Patrick, meanwhile, is usually in his exersaucer or jungle gym, analyzing the toys in front of him and waiting several long minutes for a new diaper and dinner.  And yet, when I finally get to pay attention to him, no matter how long it’s been or how much he really wants to eat, I’m always greeted with the biggest ‘I love you’ smile.  Last night was a perfect example:

 

Here's Patty letting me know he doesn't hate me for ignoring him for a while.

Here's Patty letting me know he doesn't hate me for ignoring him for a while.

June 23, 2009

Self-Medicating

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

With chocolate, that is.  I had two handfuls of peanut M&Ms and a Snicker’s today – and a giant Coke (I asked for a medium but I didn’t realize today’s ‘medium’ is yesterday’s ‘large’).  I’ve gone off the deep end!  

Actually, I’ve just hit the wall of sleep deprivation.  I haven’t gotten much lately, since I haven’t gone to bed before midnight most nights (my fault) and since Patty-poo wakes me up a couple of times a night.  And last night, Karol had a night terror again, for a solid half hour, and I always stay up and feel awful that I can’t do anything to help her the whole time.  I’m having a hard time distinguishing ‘night terror’ from ‘demon possession,’ so I say a few prayers just in case.  Invariably, she woke up this morning much more pleasant than usual!  

So, all that left me feeling more than a little run-down today.  I’m planning to go to bed with the kids tonight, I think.  I’d really like to take advantage of the sun and go to the playground with them, but I don’t know if I have that kind of energy right now.

Only four days til the weekend…

June 22, 2009

One Week Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 4:13 pm
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Nine to go.  Last week was our first week with Matt away at New York.  As you can imagine, it was a little bit more of a struggle, but things went pretty well, for the most part.  Karol was noticeably missing him, though.  What’s worse is that she really can’t express her feelings yet, so it all just builds into an emotional breakdown for her.

But we got a pleasant surprise – Matt was able to come home for the Father’s Day weekend!  We were originally going to go up and visit him in NYC, but the car has been having problems, and it was tons easier (and cheaper) for Matt just to take the bus down.  We’re hoping to be able to do this most weekends.  

I can’t put into words the difference having Matt home made for Karol.  All I can say is that it was evident in her whole demeanor that she’s just not at ease without Daddy around, and she’s so contented and comfortable when he is.  

Karol and Matt on the metro.  Yes, she's totally a DC native.

Karol and Matt on the metro. Yes, she's totally a DC native.

We spent most of the weekend out and about, so next weekend I’m aiming to stay in most of the time and maybe utilize the lovely amenities at our apartment, like the pool.  That is, if Matt’s there.  I’m certainly not going to attempt to take the kids to the pool alone!

This morning was…rough.  Karol had a terrible time and was stalling leaving the house.  She wanted to cuddle and read, but not until it was time to leave, of course.  Once she got settled in at Lori’s, she was fine, but I hate seeing her so upset.  She was just terribly upset and I hate that I can’t fix it.  Maybe tomorrow morning I’ll wake her up early and try to get some extra mommy-time in and see if that helps.

So the week got off to a rocky start, to say the least.  Stay posted to find out how the rest of it goes!

June 14, 2009

New New York Digs

Filed under: Uncategorized — mplomin @ 4:00 am

After much eager anticipation, this afternoon I arrived in New York. It’s just as big as I remember, and this time I’m living right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Jillian did a great job of tolerating my driving and made it back to the kids safe and sound in record time. I think when she and the kids come to visit, they’ll take the safer and less traffic-y Amtrak but Jill will have to decide that.

Aside from missing my kids, my wife, and my posh DC apartment, all’s well.  Work starts on Monday, so I’ve got tomorrow to explore NYC and get my bearings on the neighborhood.  I’m going to mass at St. Patrick’s in the morning and then I may meet up with some other NYC-area GW MBA’s for lunch.

My place in New York is a dorm room from Marymount College.  It’s actually a “suite” with a bathroom and kitchen.  There are 3 guys in 2 rooms; I’ve met one of my roommates, but not the one I’m sharing my room with.  The rules here are the standard soul-crushing dorm fare: No candles, no halogen lamps, sign in visitors, etc.  And as much as I could use a cigar and a Cragganmore on the rocks tonight, there’s no smoking and NO ALCOHOL.

Oddly enough, the view from this tiny dorm room is breathtaking, especially at night.  You can download the full-resolution photos from my Mobile Me gallery at http://gallery.me.com/mplomin/100005.

Here are a few pics of my new place:

Yup, it's a dorm room.

Yup, it's a dorm room.

Arlington Kitchen beats New York Kitchen any day.

Arlington Kitchen beats New York Kitchen any day.

This is ACTUALLY my view.  Pretty nice, eh?

This is ACTUALLY my view. Pretty nice, eh?

June 1, 2009

‘Big Girl’

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 6:19 pm

Big Girl.  This is a term Matt and I have been using a lot recently, especially as we pull out her old baby toys or buy new ones for Patrick. “You don’t fit in your exer-saucer anymore, sweetie, it’s for Patrick.  You’re a Big Girl now!  You have Big Girl toys.”

I’m kind of hesitant to use the term ‘Big Girl,’ because I’m really not ready to accept it myself.  I honestly can NOT believe how much Karol has grown; that she’s mastered even the big curly slide at the playground; that she can take a bath using the entire tub; that she can put on her own shoes; how much she can say and understand; how she can express what’s really on her mind.

I’m definitely digging my heels into the ground with Patrick.  He’s developing so

Patrick in Karol's old exersaucer.

Patrick in Karol's old exersaucer.

differently from Karol, it’s really fun to watch him grow.  We thought that since we had one baby already we knew pretty much how it was going to go, but Patrick has really changed it up, and I’m glad he did.  He is very much his own little person.  But, he’s physically developing very fast.  I think he will crawl much sooner than Karol.  And since he’s been ‘big’ since he was born, it’s going to be harder to keep him my little baby forever. 

 

Matt and I are trying to drink in as much of the youth as possible, and this weekend was no exception.  We had a great time going to the farmer’s market, the playground, Joe & Judy’s, Church, and strolling around Clarendon for most of Sunday.  We didn’t waste any of the beautiful weather.  In fact, we’re probably going to spend some time this afternoon on the roof of our building where there’s a pool and an amazing view of DC.

May 26, 2009

Patrick’s Catholic!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 3:19 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Yay!  I’m always so happy when the baptism is done.  My excitement over the awesomeness of the upcoming dedication is always overshadowed by the anxiety I feel that for some reason they will tell me ‘I’m sorry, we’re not doing baptisms today, you flew out here for no reason.’  You see, I went in March to fill out the paperwork to have Patrick baptized, and asked if they would for sure be having the baptism on Memorial Day weekend.  I pretty much just got a blank stare in response.  The same thing happened with Karol, who was baptized the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  

Anyway, Patrick did indeed get baptized.  Yay!  

 

Patrick in His Baptismal Gown

Patrick in His Baptismal Gown

 

 

We also got to spend a nice long weekend with the Plomin side of the family.  We are working on getting Karol to say “Grandma,” but R’s are really hard for her.  My Mom, who was originally going to be ‘Granny’ has ended up ‘Gee Gee.’  And the best we’ve gotten so far for Matt’s mom is ‘Mimu!’  That came from a conversation that went kind of like this:

Jill: “Karol, who’s that?” (pointing to Carol Plomin)

Karol: Blank stare.

Jill:  “Karol, can you say ‘Grandma?'”

Karol: Blank stare.

Jill:  “How about ‘Mamaw?’ Can you say ‘Mamaw?”

Karol: “….Mi…mu!”

I think what will end up happening is that Karol’s Great-Grandma Ammerman will end up being “Grandma.”  Since Matt, Abby and I all call her that, whenever I say something like “Oh, go show Grandma!” Karol runs after who we call Grandma!

Despite the remodel changing things up a bit, Karol still feels right at home at Grandma & Grandpa Plomin’s.  And there’s so much room to run around!  Patrick got a lot of much needed face time with both Grandma and Grandpa and I anticipate he’ll be crawling through the house after Karol by the time we come back in August.

Speaking of which, we are getting SO excited for Aunt Abby and Uncle Colin’s wedding in August!  Karol will be serving as flower girl.  Poor Aunt Abby didn’t get a moment’s rest this weekend, because she’s Karol’s favorite playmate!  We were so, so thrilled that she could be with us, though, and had bunches of fun treasure hunting at Abby & Colin’s pirate-theme Gourmet Club bridal shower!

Gosh, we did a lot this weekend!  Now it’s time to get busy with the work of preparing for Matt to leave for NYC.  I’m working on a very, very long honey-do list, as we’re still not really fully set up at the new apartment, and Matt’s absorbing as much quality time with the kids as possible.  I’m kind of dreading him being gone.  10% because I will miss him sharing the parenting work, and 90% just because we will miss him so much.  Hopefully we’ll get to see each other often.  I guess we’ll see!  Please keep us in your prayers for the next 12 weeks or so as we push through the summer apart.

Patrick's Family

Patrick's Family

May 20, 2009

Army ATX

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 10:34 pm
Tags: , ,

I haven’t posted in a while because I was at my Annual Training Exercise (ATX) for the Army Reserves.  Since Matt is in Turkey, I asked my mom to fly out and watch the babies for me.  It was a great opportunity for her to get to spend time with them, especially Patrick, who she hasn’t really had a chance to bond with until now.

Typically, ATXes are not as strenuous as this one was.  And really, it was for no reason.  Just poor planning, I guess.  I’ll spare you the details, but in retrospect, it was a really dumb idea for me to try to attend at all.  I could have told them months ago that it just wasn’t logistically feasible and I’d make it up at Ft. Meade, but I wanted to be Army Strong, I wanted to fulfill my duty, blah, blah, blah.  It was just stupid to put myself (and my kids) through all that.  Hindsight is 20/20 though.

Anyway, I wanted to upload a few pictures since it’s been a few days.  Here’s me, at the range, after qualifying with the M-16.  This was probably the one positive part of the ATX for me.

 Jill on the range

And here’s Patrick and Karol.  This is pretty much how they looked when I left in the morning and how they looked when I got back at night.

Karol SleepingPat sleeping

May 12, 2009

My Mother’s Day Angels

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 12:34 pm
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Karol and Patrick were perfect angels for me for most of the Mass at what will probably be our new Church, St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington.  I really liked the atmosphere, as there were plenty of families with children Karol’s age.  I got there a little late and the place was standing room only – 9am is a popular Mass time apparently.  

I saw there was a cry room so I made a beeline for it.  I’m usually anti-cry room, but with no Matt and an unpredictable toddler, I thought I’d rather be safe than sorry.  The cry room is at the back of the Church with huge windows.  You can see straight in and straight out.  To my surprise, the children in there were actually very well behaved.  There were some sitting on laps and others quietly playing with toys.  

Then I realized why they were so behaved — the windows.  Just because the people outside can’t hear your children, they can still see them, so parents still had to be accountable.  Matt and I hated the cry room at St. Michael’s because if there were other kids in there the parents just let them loose and ignored them.  Not cool.

After Mass I wanted to do something extra special with my kids, since it was Mother’s Day and all.  So we went to Georgetown.  At first I almost turned around and went home because of course there was zero parking available, but then I remembered a tucked away spot a couple blocks toward the river I’d found out about while making a video for work.  Yay, free parking and there’s one spot open!  

So I wrestled the monster double stroller out of the trunk and the three of us went on a walk on the boardwalk along the Potomac.  It was beautiful!  Here are an example to show you what I mean.

 STP80077

We walked all the way up to the Washington Harbor, halfway back, and then over to Georgetown.  I thought I would want to “shop,” but there was no way I was going to maneuver that massive stroller in and out of those tiny doorways, especially since I was only half-hearted about buying anything anyway.  I spotted a Ben & Jerry’s and thought that would be a treat for all of us!  So Karol and I got some ice cream and went back to the Potomac to eat it.  

 

STP80090

After that we walked down the River again and back to the car.  This time, Karol walked.  And boy did she throw a royal fit when she realized we weren’t staying – but before that, I got this super sweet picture of her watching the water.

 Karol Water

Patrick was like this the entire trip:

 Pat Sleeping

So we headed home, had lunch, and a half hour nap – that’s right, too many catnaps in the car and stroller, none of which is really quality sleep – and read a few books.  Then we went for a walk around our neighborhood – Karol on foot and Patrick on the Bjorn.  Karol was getting tired and whiny until she saw the playground.  All of a sudden it went from whine, whine, to “SLIDES!!”  And she took off running!  Well, Karol running is just a brisk walk for me, but you get the idea.  

So we spent a full hour at the playground.  Karol did a lot of new stuff.  I’m really amazed at how much she’s capable of, physically and mentally.  She was climbing stairs, climbing up the slides without help.  She even went down the big curly slide all by herself!  That took more bravery on my part.  It’s very hard for me to stand back and just let her play, but as I get more comfortable with the surroundings, and more confident in her abilities, I’m starting to let her run free a little bit.  

Oh, I should note for Matt’s sake – she saw a lovely pink and purple bike with training wheels that she now desperately wants.  I told her that would be Daddy’s department and she needed to talk to him.  So there you go Matt.

After about an hour, Karol voluntarily (after I suggested watching Elmo and taking a bath – 2 of Karol’s favorite activities) left the park.  THAT’S how tired she was!  By 6:30, she was asleep on the couch. 

It didn’t last long though, she still needed to eat dinner and go through the bedtime rituals.  She really went to sleep around 8:30.  Patrick was out around 8, but I kept holding him because he’s just so cuddly and sweet.  After writing an email to Matt, I had to call it a night by 10.

I know it sounds stressful taking care of two babies under two years old all by myself – and it is – but I just loved spending the whole weekend with them.  I can’t imagine a better Mother’s Day. 

We are getting into a rhythm as ‘the three of us’ for now.  I will be so happy when Matt comes home though.  I don’t even want to think about how hard it will be – emotionally, that is – while he’s away.  This weekend aside, the days kind of drag without him here.  And though Karol hasn’t shown any signs of distress, she had a little trouble sleeping last night, and I just wonder if that’s because of the adjustment. 

Ah, well, on that note, I’ll leave you with this:

STP80107

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