Rocks in MY Dryer

Monday, April 30, 2007 No comments
It's official...Chloe IS a toddler through and through. I washed her clothes last night and heard the worst racket coming from the washer. Inside the pockets of her clothing she had stashed - a book (still a mystery as to where that was hiding & how it got in the washer), a stretchy frog she received at a birthday party, my old cell phone she carries around in a pocket (its no stranger to the washer - it died because it was accidentally washed before), and 7 rocks. I didn't get all the rocks out of the washer and only discovered the others when they were in the dryer.
So, from now on I will have to begin the pocket search through Chloe's clothes before washing.

Plumb Tired

Friday, April 27, 2007 No comments

I am worn out with our plumbing issues in our house. Back in February
we received a hefty bill to re-plumb our kitchen to prevent it from backing up. Well, while I was making dinner last night guess what our kitchen sink did again? It overflowed because it wasn't draining AGAIN!!

I immediately called our plumbers who came out early this morning. First thing they told me is that their work is covered for 30 days, since the work was completed in over 30 days ago, they would bill me again. I am usually an extremely passive person, but something inside me could not remain passive anymore. I flipped! I realize we have 80 year old pipes and you get problems more regularly. But, did I pay them a lot of money to tear out a wall and re-plumb my kitchen to avoid this very problem? After tinkering in the kitchen sink for an hour, I was told they were going to put in a call to the experts. EXPERTS--what are you? (I flipped again). After another hour, the expert showed up--Mr. Rooter. (Mr. Rooter is the expert?) I could feel a blood vessel in my head bulging and ready to snap.

Mr. Rooter, rooted around in the sink and after a few expletives told me this wasn't going to be easy. After an expletive back, "NO SH*@!", he set out to tell me that the blockage is somewhere deep in the pipe, somewhere in the basement. And, when our basement was finished, they covered the clean out drain and he has no idea where it is. Clean out drain!? I have an idea. Our plumbers (the non-experts) sheet-rocked over it when they "fixed" this problem the first time. So, out goes the wall, again. The expert keeps going up and down the basement stairs telling me "this is really a mystery! It would probably be easier if your basement weren't finished". Not the reassuring words I expect from "the expert".

If we weren't having to pay out the nose for all this work, I would just laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Well, the expert can laugh all the way to the bank as I just cut another check for an obscenely ridiculous amount. We are only missing half a wall in our basement now and it is still a mystery where our kitchen sink drains. The expert tried to reassure me with, "well, at least we know it drains to the main line. Don't worry too much, everything in your town is old. Everybody has problems like this." Somehow, that statement didn't help. I don't feel better knowing that all my neighbors have to add "plumbing" into their monthly expenses like we now do. All that statement told me is that plumbers make a killing in this area.

Chloe Potty Trains Mommy

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 No comments
Since this site is "All About Chloe" I must brag on our child to declare that she is out of pull-ups and into underwear! Yes, I can admit that I finally bit the bullet and admitted that it was I who was holding back my child's potty training success. Perhaps I wanted to hold on to the "infant" stage just a little longer or perhaps I am incredibly lazy and found running errands with a child in a pull-up was easier than leaving the shopping cart of groceries in the middle of the store to seek out the toilet. Perhaps it is a bit of both.

I am happy to say that I came to this realization this weekend after reading an article on potty training in "Toddler" magazine and after a conversation with Chloe that went something like this:

Chloe: "Mommy I am so proud of you!"
Me: "Why are you proud of me Chloe?"
Chloe: "Because you wear big girl panties and use the potty like Claire."

Claire is a 3-year old friend of Chloe's. Hmmm, I thought, she's ready, stop being a slack mom and put her in the underwear. So, Monday Chloe picked out a pair of panties and off we went. Only one accident while playing in the backyard. But, today was the true test. Tuesdays are busy in and out days for us. We have Mommy & Me and Pre-school.

I am slowly realizing that I can very easily become one of those helicopter mother's hovering above her child, the one's who worry about everything and fear their child cannot succeed without them butting into every aspect of their life. I know those mom's want the best for their child, and hey I want what's best for Chloe too. So, perhaps that is why I had the fear that she would have an accident in class today and be forever traumatized. I was simply neurotic in hovering above my child asking every 5 minutes, "Do you need to go potty?". Lucky for Chloe our Mommy & Me instructor had an intervention reassuring me that Chloe would be ok and to lighten up. She told me all kids have accidents, Chloe is not yet 3 and if she has an accident, oh well, she'll clean it up and we will change Chloe's pants. No big deal. And it wasn't a big deal to Chloe. I stopped bugging her and she did just fine. No accidents.

Just as we left Mommy & Me to go home and have lunch I realized that Chloe would be without me during pre-school. What would she do? Could she tell her teacher she had to go potty? Oh no! As the fear and worry began to possess me once again, I told myself to let it go and not to worry. Whatever happens would happen and it's not a big deal. So, I took Chloe to pre-school where she promptly entered and told her pal Claire that she was a big girl too. I guess her sense of being a big girl has also given her a new sense of empowerment as she also told a little boy in class that she didn't like him kissing her (I wish she would have also told him that her mom didn't like him wiping his boogers on her either). You go girl! After telling her teacher that she was in panties, I left only to return some two hours later eager to see if she was in the same pants. And you know what? She was!

So, I am making a vow to stop hovering and go with the flow (figuratively and perhaps literally).

Spring Has Sprung!!

Monday, April 23, 2007 No comments
Finally! I thought our winter coats would never be put away. Spring decided to make a glorious appearance this weekend and has decided to stay around. The sun is bright, the birds are chirping and the sounds of children playing in the yard can be heard all over.

Chloe is one of those kids out in the yard. The lid has come off the sand box and she is running throughout the backyard with Lizzie the dog. We took full advantage of the beautiful weather to clean up the yard on Saturday and then to enjoy Matt's Porsche autocross on Sunday. Chloe and I brought a picnic to the event and sat in the back of the SUV watching the cars. I got a little sun too!

Today promises to reach the high 80s so Chloe and I have been in the back yard once again. She has spent most of the morning chasing bugs. I have added a video of her, I thought it was cute even though she is getting a little grouchy because her nap time was approaching.

Sand Box

Sand Box, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

It's so beautiful out today and Chloe loves to play in her sand box.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We All Scream for Ice Cream, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

This photo was taken Sunday after we returned from getting ice cream. Looks like Chloe enjoyed her chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

HAZMAT suit needed

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 1 comment

In the pre-Chloe days I was employed as a middle school history teacher. People would always bestow blessings on me when they learned my occupation and tell me what a "tough age" I taught. Well, I am here to say that I will gladly take a room of 30 8th graders over a room of 6 pre-schoolers any day!

Today was my day to be the co-oping mom at pre-school. This wasn't my first day in the classroom, it was just my first day as the co-oping parent during allergy season. I spent the majority of my time wiping runny noses or wiping the streaky snot off a three-year olds face or repeatedly saying, "don't pick your nose". And, I had boogers wiped on me 3 different times by the same child. I won't sit by him again during circle time and will carry a nose suction next time. I feel as though I am covered in mucus and serving as a petri dish for every known germ.

I co-op again in two weeks and am possibly considering a HAZMAT suit for the assignment. I say bless you to all the pre-school teachers out there, what a tough age!

One Year in the Garden State

Saturday, April 14, 2007 1 comment
Today marks one year that we have officially resided in the Garden State (our brief stay in the Jersey City Marriott certainly DOESN'T count).

Below are some highlights and accomplishments as residents of Jersey:
  • Matt is well-versed in communting by bus, train or car in NYC.
  • Chloe started pre-school and we participate in a weekly Mommy & Me class.
  • Shannon joined our local Newcomer's group and will serve on the Board for the next year.
  • Shannon transferred her membership to the local Junior League and will begin active status in the fall.
  • Matt got a new hobby car, his 1987 Porsche.
  • Matt's company continues to grow and build clients in NYC.
  • We only have to drive a short distance to find ourselves in Boston, Philadelphia, the shore, and NYC. (If you drive a long distance in Texas, you still find yourself in Texas.)
  • Have the heat on for 7 months out of the year instead of air conditioning (like Texas).

Of course, a lot more has happened since moving to Jersey, those are things just off the top of my head. I think our 1st year is well-documented on this blog.

Here's to the 2nd year in Jersey!

A Birthday Wish

Friday, April 13, 2007 No comments
Why can't a child have a live monkey for her birthday? Here's a conversation Chloe and I had today.

Chloe: "When's my birthday?"
Me: "In June. It's April now. You have to get through the rest of this month and then May before it is June."
Chloe: "My birthday is June. I get to blow out candles and get presents."
Me: "Indeed. What present do you want for your birthday?"
Chloe: "A monkey."
Me: "A stuffed animal monkey? You have two already."
Chloe: "NO! A monkey that will give me licks for kisses."
Me: "A real monkey?"
Chloe: "Yes, silly."
Me: "I don't think Mommy & Daddy are allowed to give you a real monkey."
Chloe: "Why not a real monkey?"
Me: "Because."
Chloe: "Oh."

Two Fish...Three Fish

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 No comments
Blame me. I take full responsibility. I assumed I had the knowledge to keep my child’s Betta fish alive and healthy. I don’t, but I am learning. You see I kept a 30 gallon tank with the SAME fish for 6 years, in fact one still resides in that tank at my parents, going on year 7. But, that doesn’t mean I know Bettas.

After returning from Texas, I checked in on Bingo II and Bob II (ok, it’s time I admit that Bob I, given to us by our neighbor who no longer wanted to care for him, passed on a month ago. Chloe was so attached to him at that point that I replaced him with a look-alike, Bob II). They appeared to be doing well. I changed their water and fed them. All was right in Bingo II and Bob II land – so I thought. Yesterday morning, Bingo II did not tap on his tank to greet me when I got Chloe out of bed as is customary. Instead, he just slowly swam in one spot, lethargic. Oh, no. I added a drop of Betta medicine to his bowl hoping it would pick him up.

Well, after pre-school I went to put Chloe down for her nap and low and behold, Bob II was deceased. What! He appeared totally normal that morning. It was Bingo II that had concerned me. Poor Bob II had suffered from a quick onset of fin rot, which Bingo II also had. Since, Bingo II acted lethargic in the a.m., he got the medicine and was still alive, barely.

Not thinking I could pass Bob II as “asleep” for too much longer, after Chloe’s nap we went to Petco and picked up two new Bettas, one red (the new Bingo III) and one blue (he new Bob III). I was pre-emptive in purchasing Bingo III believing Bingo II was not long for this world.

So, we now have 3 Bettas. Two Bingos and one Bob. How is Bingo II? After another dose of Betta meds he appears to be making a recovery though he is now playing the role of Spike, Bingo's cousin, who is visiting (as he still may make an exit).

Gone To Texas...

I was so looking forward to the warm weather of Texas for our Easter Break. Of course, it seems the cold winds of the NE followed us south. Chloe and I experienced one day of warm weather before it turned chilly.

We had a great time though it seemed a little rushed and we weren’t able to fit in all the stops we wanted on this trip. Chloe was able to spend some quality playtime with her cousins Bryn & Gemma on Friday and Saturday. Chloe and I were also able to visit PaPaw’s farm and Chloe was able to see some chickens, guinea fowl & ride on the tractor. We also managed to find the perfect spot for the obligatory Texas springtime photo in the bluebonnets.

Easter day was a bit chilly and we didn’t even dress Chloe in her Easter outfit. We visited our friends Bryan & Sue and had a late afternoon Easter meal & egg hunt with Shannon’s parents.

We returned home Monday to the chilly spring weather and still dreaming of warmth.

I May Not Have Been Born in Texas, but I Got Here as Soon as I Could...

IMG_1498, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Every spring parents pull to the side of the road to take photos of their little ones in a field of bluebonnets. I am so happy that Chloe got her photo taken in the state flower. It is a right of passage for a Texan.

Springtime in Texas

IMG_1502, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe doing her goofy smile in the Bluebonnets and Indian Paints.

Down on the farm

IMG_1480, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe riding the tractor with Papaw through the mud. This was big thrill for her and she keeps talking about the muddy mud on "her" farm.


IMG_1510, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

We went to the Dallas World Aquarium on Friday with Ashley, Bryn & Gemma. Chloe was so excited to see her cousins that she broke out into a giant hive all over her body!

Easter Egg Hunt

IMG_1519, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe and Matt hunting Easter eggs. Matt is wearing his brother's sweater because we expected it to be a little warmer than it was and we came a little unprepared for the 50 degree temperature.

I Wanna be a Cowgirl

IMG_1521, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

We found Chloe's pink cowgirl hat amongst the piles of other stuff left behind at my parent's house from our move. Chloe wouldn't wear this hat when we first bought it nearly a year ago. Now, she loves it. You can also see the spontaneous rash that Chloe broke out with off and on during our trip on her face.

At the Car Wash

Monday, April 02, 2007 No comments

IMG_1462, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe assisted Matt in washing his car on Sunday. She used a paper towel to wash and was completely soaked from playing in the water.

Take Care of It Now...

IMG_1464, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

it's going to be yours someday!