Plomin Family Bragablog

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.

May 26, 2009

Patrick’s Catholic!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 3:19 pm
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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 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

March 23, 2009

Sunday Night Mass

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 3:25 pm
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Today is my first day back to work – yay!  I dropped Matt off at school, dropped Karol and Patrick off at Lori’s and got into work a little bit early today to catch up on old emails and find out all the goings on since I left.  However, I thought I’d recount the much more interesting events of last night, when Matt, Karol, Patrick and I all attended the 7p.m. Mass at St. Michael’s.

We actually got there on time, and I was glad to see Fr. Daniel there (he’s pretty much our favorite), but as it turned out he wasn’t doing the homily that night; the deacon was.  So here’s a little itinerary of last night that is pretty standard for our weekly worship:

7:00- Arrive at Church; find a pew that’s completely empty so we can take up almost all of it with our babies and baby gear; set Patrick (who’s hopefully sleeping) on the pew in his car seat; kneel to pray for about 2 seconds, at which point one of us has to stop Karol from doing something; Karol makes friends with the lady sitting behind us, who she will intermittently try to talk to throughout the Mass; we stand, me holding Karol, to sing the opening hymn, Karol entertains herself with the paper program.

7:05- Karol is making too much noise with the paper program; I distract Karol and manage to hide the programs on the other side of me; I continue to use a variety of distraction methods to entertain Karol through the first two readings and responsorial, none of which I can hear or pay attention to.

7:15- Karol sees Patrick’s pacifier and takes it; replaces her own pacifier in his mouth, and his in hers; she realizes they are exactly the same, so she puts his back in his mouth; Patrick basically sleeps through most of this.

7:20- Gospel reading-time to stand; I need a break so Matt holds Karol, who is showing serious signs of tiredness; she squirms, squirms, and squirms some more; the homily-sit down again; Karol wants a drink (she signs), specifically water (a more recently acquired sign); I take Karol out the back of the Church and take her on a tour of the basement of the Church to hopefully appease her appetite for adventure and go back upstairs to the water fountain.  We spend at least 4 minutes going through this cycle- drink water, stick finger in water stream, water disappears (I stop pushing the button), I say ‘the water is for drinking, are you all done or do you want more?’; Karol signs more; repeat cycle 5 or 6 times.

7:30- I guess that the Liturgy of the Eucharist has started; at a point where everyone is standing (the Our Father, maybe?), Karol and I return to our pew and Matt takes Karol; Karol wants water again, I tell her Daddy will take her to go get more water the next time everyone stands up; Matt tries to convince Karol she wants to sleep; Karol doesn’t buy it and struggles.

7:45- Patrick is starting to stir, but stays asleep; Karol and Matt leave for more water; there is relative calm in the pew again.

7:50- Matt and Karol return just as the usher releases our pew for Communion; I carry Patrick and Matt carries Karol, both of whom behave very well for the walk down the aisle; Fr. Daniel blesses (or exorcises…?) our babies and administers Eucharist to Matt and I; we return to our seats.

7:55- Karol has reached her limit, is fighting Matt, and it looks like she’s winning; I quickly pack Patrick up in his car seat and whisper to Matt ‘I’m ready whenever you are.’ Karol turns up the volume as we sit through the announcements.

8:00- The closing hymn begins, Matt gives me the look and we struggle out of the pew with our babies and their stuff, making it to the back just before everyone else starts clogging the aisles.

As you can see, Mass is not a smooth process just yet.  We are working on a Church Kit we can bring to keep Karol occupied, but I hate to have one of those kids that crawls all over the pew with crayons and toys and food, so we’re looking for Church/God related stuff for her to do.  I may stop by the National Shrine’s book shop for some cheap Catholic kids stuff.  

Tell me, when does it get easier???

March 11, 2009

Fair Weather Friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:58 pm
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The weather here in DC has been crazy these past few days.  We went from 10 inches of snow to shorts and t-shirt weather in less than a week!  I have been anxiously awaiting the return of spring so I’m glad to see some warmth.  I’ve managed to get the kids outside for at least an hour the last several days.  On Friday, Karol, Pat and I wheeled around downtown Silver Spring in the double stroller.  Saturday, we added Matt and did the same thing, at a bit more of a leisurely pace, and stopped for Ben & Jerry’s.  Today we were supposed to ‘spring forward,’ but being from Indiana we totally forgot.  I was so excited we were going to be early for once to Mass, until I realized it was actually already half way through!  So we went to Uncle Joe and Aunt Judy’s and waited for the next Mass, which they were attending too:)

After Church we came home, changed into play clothes (I recently bought Karol a pair of new jeans which are a little big, as you will see), and went out to the little jungle gym near our apartment.  Here’s a video of Karol being very adventuresome and playing with her Dad!

On Monday we shopped for a new gym bag for Matt in downtown Silver Spring, and on Tuesday Karol went to Lori’s and Patrick and I went to Target to get some St. Patrick’s Day gear.  Today, we’re going to head down to the Blair Shops and pick up Matt’s interview suit for a big interview tomorrow!!

Tomorrow, Matt heads up to New York to interview with Deutsche Bank for a summer internship.  We’ll all be praying for him here, of course, but we have a few plans for tomorrow ourselves.

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