Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring has sprung

...or at least we thought it had.

Yesterday's weather was perfect. Lucas, John and I played outside for what felt like all day. In reality, it was about an hour and a half. It was so nice to be out in the sunshine, and it wiped Lucas out enough that he took a decent nap in the car on the way to my Mom's physical therapy appointment.

Here are some highlights from our day:
Like most mornings, we have to "watch the guys". 

Not digging the trike, yet. I need a lower/smaller version. 

Pow-Pow-Power Wheels! 


Laughing at Daddy's stall/pause tactics on the swings.

Big boy on his slide

Daddy showing him how...

Kid is a natural - Daddy's proud smile!

I had such a blast with my boys. Yesterday was one of those days that helps you find your center, and know that everything in life is just as it is supposed to be in that moment. I've found that I have a lot more of those moments since meeting John, and especially since Lucas was born. Hopefully this upward trend will continue! 

...except that now it is snowing in good 'ole Massachusetts. 

Road Work

 I recently posted a photo of Lucas checking out the road work that woke us up, while wearing a Santa hat. Well, the road work is still not done. I believe we're on day 3 or 4. The first two days weren't so bad, digging all day, filling with loose soil and cover with metal plates... Today has been awful. I can usually block out most noise, but this is outrageous. First they hit a pipe this morning, luckily it was capped off and not connected to anything, but it shook the whole house. Then they had to remove that pipe, and they are replacing the gas lines.

I'm beyond excited to hear that we will have a repaved road next year, as it will certainly help property values. I'm also very happy that Lucas is loving all the big trucks and noise. Seeing him watch the trucks is too cute. The workers are extremely nice, also. This morning they brought Lucas a little digger toy to the front door when he appeared to watch (for the 4th day in a row). He was so excited. They also took extra caution to wipe their feet when they had to come in the house a couple times to see where our gas/water lines came in. They've had to move giant machines about 23948029834 times for us to get in and out of the driveway, and have always been extremely nice about it. In fact, I think they feel awful that they are so loud and intrusive, when in fact they are just doing their jobs.

I'm not happy about the noise though. It seriously sounds like my house may fall down, I can see it shaking. My neighbor even called N-Star to talk to them about possible damage to his home from all the vibrations. It's just so loud.

Lucas still took a nap. He's going on two hours right now. My brain feels like it's going to rattle out of my head, but he is sound asleep upstairs. He slept through two hours of road work this morning too. Such a good little sleeper, he is.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I never thought I'd say...

I became very aware of the ridiculous things that I have to say to Lucas, sometimes yelling from across the house.

Here's a brief sample of my favorites:

"Don't lick the dog!!"

"Hey, get your thumb out of the cat's butt!"

"Ooooh, don't squeeze those so hard! You're going to hurt yourself!" (I'll let you guess what he was squeezing at diaper time)

"Ahhhh stop peeing in your mouth!" (another diaper classic)

"Shoes go on your feet, not in your mouth! Don't lick the soles of your shoes..."

"You can't jump on Daddy's crotch. You hurt him. He can't move now."

"You can't pull the cat's paw off, Luke"

"Please don't put *that* in your *mouth, ear, nose*... (You can choose just about any object/orifice combination)

"Lucas, Scooby (or Spooky depending on the day) is a doggie, not a horse. You can't ride her"

"I'm sick of watching your girlfriend on TV (the Verizon FIOS help channel host)."

"No, you can't sit on my lap while I'm going potty. It's weird... Ok fine."

(also, please be aware that all of these things are said in a very loving, caring manner. I never lose my patience, and I never yell. I never go off the deep end, and sarcasm is totally lost on me )

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo post

Finally, right??
There is never a dull moment in the Romiglio house. These are the little details that make the biggest differences.

One of Mama's boots, a dump truck & a magnadoodle. Sounds like a plan.

Snack Time with Daddy - yes they sit the same way.
Santa hat in March? Well of course, what would you wear to watch construction vehicles digging up your street at 8 am?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Word Association

So, I wrote about a year ago about how I deleted twitter. Well, in true addict form, I back on twitter. I'm not a very active tweeter, but I'm slowly morphing into one. Tonight I was scrolling through celebrity twitter accounts, and I came across the page for the Ting Tings, and immediately got a flash of pain in my baby- maker.

Why, you ask? Oh, well... Let me just tell you. I had my whole labor planned out. Perfect music to bring, blah blah blah, nice baby story baloney. Yeah, well. I went into labor at a town meeting, so all "plans" went out the window. So, by 2am, when I was finally officially admitted into the hospital, and in my "birthing room", I put on MTV and hunkered down for what I was told would be a long night/day of labor. I was told I was looking at a minimum of 12 more hours, probably more like 24.

Well, while watching 2+ hours of TV, with steadily strengthening contractions, and a sleeping husband across the room, I must have heard That's not my Name by The Ting Tings at least a hundred times. At least that's what it felt like to me. I vividly remember trying to wake up John around 5am when my contractions were really strong, and that song was on. I also remember that song being on when I finally got my epidural at 7:30am (after I started pushing, thanks to a "busy" anesthesiologist). I'd be lying if I said that video was on when Lucas was born, because I have no idea what was on. But nevertheless, every time I hear that song, see the band's name, or anything that reminds me of that video, I get lightening pain in my girl parts.

That song will forever remind me of that room, in that hospital, awaiting the birth of my beautiful boy, while in crazy pain!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No "right" answer

Well, so much for blogging more often. Life got in the way, again.

Let me give you a quick re-cap of the past week+ a few days.

Last Tuesday - Brought Mom to PT for her leg, followed by a quick visit to the lab with Nana for a urinalysis. Nana thinks she has a UTI, but there is major miscommunication among her children about who will bring her to lab, the reasons she needs to go, and the urgency. Just a glimpse at what's to come.

Last Wednesday - Lucas & I babysat the twins I nannied for. We had fun. This may have been the last time I see them before they go to Spain, though we didn't know it at the time.

Last Thursday - I get a frantic phone call from my mother at around 9 am, saying that Nana had severe abdominal pain and was being rushed to the ER. She asked me to bring her and Auntie Jeanne to the hospital in Norwood. Sure no problem. Arrive at hospital by about 11am. At 7 pm they decided to transfer Nana to Brigham and Women's in Boston to have surgery for a strangulated bowel caused by a hernia. Arrived at B&W's at 8pm, only to hear the Dr there say that her c-scan looked "clear" to him, and that there was no evidence of strangulation, therefor to emergent need for surgery. She was admitted to B&W's for pain management reasons. We left the hospital after 1am. Dropped Mom off around 2, and I was home at around 2:30am. I drove really fast. (Lucas was with Auntie Karla. until Daddy got out of work at 9)

Friday - Mom got a call at 7:45 am that Nana was going in for emergency surgery. She called me a little after 8, I drove her & Auntie Jeanne to the hospital. Mom was at her emotional breaking point, and tensions were high for a multitude of reasons among her siblings. Surgery began around 2pm, and was done by 6 pm. We stayed in the hospital and waited, and after seeing her in recovery around 7pm (maybe closer to 8) we left to go home. (Lucas spent the night at Auntie Karla's)

Saturday - Brought Megan prom dress shopping with Auntie Jeanne & Mom, and then went to visit Nana in B&Ws, but not without drama of course. My sister seemed to think there was some elaborate plot against her when i spoke to her that morning and denied her request to join us. There were many reasons that I said no. First of all, my mom's mental state was (and is) pretty unstable, she didn't need the stress of me & Stephanie, since we have been on the outs for the past few weeks. Second, Auntie was having a Mom-Daughter moment with Megan, she doesn't need ANOTHER unnecessary body hanging around. Mom & I did our best to stay out of the way and only interact when interacted with. That's important Mother-Daughter bonding. I prom dress shopped alone, as my mother was in the hospital at the time. Lastly, I had already had a long few days, and I just didn't have the emotional strength to deal with my sister. If you know her, you know that she takes a lot of effort. Whether on purpose or not she gets right under my skin sometimes, and I didn't want to go down that road. She sent my mother a barrage of nasty text messages, making my mother's mental state even more unstable. Lucas stayed with my cousin Amanda until we were done visiting, about 8pm. Then, since I wasn't sure what my sister was going to do, I decided to leave my car at my Mom's and have John come pick us up. We got home after 11 - and Lucas stayed awake!

Sunday- We went for breakfast with John's dad, and then headed to his Mom's house. Lucas was under the weather. He just wasn't himself. Tired, cranky, runny nose, cough. A mess. But I put my best foot forward. John was in the garage helping Tom with his mother's car, so I sat and visited with his Mom, and tended to a cranky little boy. Car repairs took way longer than expected, so Lucas had to nap without Monkey & Baby (I forgot to pack them...stupid). We headed home when he woke up.

Monday - Lucas and I hung around at home, I think. It's a bit of a blur, really.

Tuesday - I brought Mom to PT , and followed that with a visit to Nana. The case worker told us she may be discharged, which began a shit storm of arguments among my mom's siblings. We got back to Mom's around 4pm (I made her stop a few places for portrait outfits with me). I helped her sort through email and we tried to make a plan about what to do with Nana. There was a possibility that Mom & I would have to go back in on the following day to try to meet with her case worker or something.

Wednesday - We slept in, and were woken up by John's Mom calling to tell us she was 20 mins away, and was dropping her dog off. (I forgot we were dog sitting... ) We woke up Lucas, only to discover he was plastered with boogers from chin to hairline, and his eyes were and red as could be. I called the pediatrician and made him an appointment, but I made it for 2pm because I had to bring my mom to her counselor from noon-1, and I knew she needed to talk some things out. Rescheduling was just not an option. Well, she accompanied me to his appointment, so that I wouldn't be late, and we found out that the poor kid has double ear infections and conjunctivitis.

Now, how guilty do I feel? I've been shipping him off from this house to the next in order to deal with matter of life and death (not an exaggeration). Undoubtedly I made the right decision in helping my mother and Nana. However, I feel terrible. Like I somehow caused Lucas to be in pain. Does this mother's guilt stuff never end? I mean seriously?

Apparently it does not because my mother constantly feels guilty for asking for my help. I guess I understand why, now. The way I look at it, I'm paying it forward. She got me to this point in my life, and now it's my turn to help her when I can. That need will likely increase as time goes on, and she ages. Hopefully by doing so, Lucas will learn by example and do the same for John and I. Just as I (and John) have done for our parents. We're continuing a legacy, right?

Growing up kinda sucks. There is no "right" answer all the time. I guess I have to go with my gut, and hope that it all works out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good kids do bad things...

Sometimes kids do naughty things. Like, eat a Knights of Colombus postcard with JFK's face on it. But when they look this cute while being naughty, it's tough to get mad.

Childcare providers

I was laid off in December. So technically, I'm no longer a "nanny". However, having been in the childcare field in varying degrees for more than ten years, this blog post really hit home for me.

I've been a babysitter, an after-school teacher, a summer camp counselor, a daycare assistant, a preschool teacher and a nanny. I've pretty much run the gamut of child care responsibilities, ending with becoming a parent myself. I am always disappointed by parents from a caretakers perspective.

I realize that it is tough to leave your children in someone else's care all day. The guilt is unreal, I know. I felt guilty when I was working, and I was leaving Lucas at home with my husband!!! It's a hard concept, to leave your child. It's even harder to leave your child to take care of someone else's. Talk about a conflict of interest. But, Mommy had to help pay the bills, so off to work I went.

Now being a nanny is hard work. I think it's even harder than any of the other jobs I had. You are incredibly close to your nannykids. I treated them as I would treat my own. I was stern, but fun. I was strict with the rules, but tried to have unrealistic rules. However, I felt like I was extremely under appreciated. At some points I definitely felt like I was a pawn in my nannyfamily's game. Let's see just how much we can get her to do, with no incentive. I mean, I went way above and beyond my job description.

I wonder if parents really stop to think about the people that take care of their children. I mean, we are people with feelings. We, as a general rule, genuinely care about your children. And I'm not talking about we care about their day to day safety and what we're "paid to care about". We think about their development, and their future. We worry, right along with you about their health, growth and quality of life. And just as Luna said in the post linked above, we reap none of the rewards of parenthood. When your child learns a new skill set, you get to beam with pride, while we have to silently celebrate so as not to offend you. We teeter on a very fine line. If we are too involved, it's inappropriate. If we are not involved enough we are not doing our jobs well. It's nearly impossible to juggle, and it is exhausting.

Now that I'm a mother, I can sympathize with parents, but I still don't agree with how most parents treat their child's care providers. I'll never understand why most child care providers are so underpaid. I have to say that I made a decent paycheck as a nanny. But I was fortunate to find a family that could afford to pay me as they did. It certainly had it's downsides - such as no health insurance or benefits at all. When I worked in a corporate childcare setting, I made just over minimum wage. What this tells me, is that Americans value the preparation of their fast food as much as they value their child care provider. They also, judging on pay rate, value athletes and celebrities more than their child care provider. It baffles me. If you can't pay us well, at least take care of us. Health insurance, for one, would be nice. We can't really take care of your kids if we have unresolved health issues.

Also, I think parents need to have realistic expectations of their child care providers. In every single child care job I've ever had, a parent has dropped a child off in my care that was either sick, or mid tantrum, and expected me to just "fix" the problem, usually with no information. I can't help calm, nurture or comfort your child if I have no idea what's wrong. Also, if you couldn't solve the problem yourself, (ie your kid is screaming and wont stop) what makes you think that I can?? While I understand that tantrums are inevitable at some point with kids, don't expect me to bail your ass out of every tantrum because you can't figure out how. (pet peeve, sorry).

I also don't like that parents often play "good cop bad cop" with their child's teacher, sitter or nanny. I have often heard parents say "Miss Nicole doesn't like when you do x, y z,". Well, kids, what you don't realize is that your parent makes 90% of these rules, but since I get to enforce them, I'm an easy scapegoat. I was designed for the role of bad cop. My psyche really loves it. Making kids upset is, like, #1 on my favorite things.

People, be good to your child care provider. It tends to come back to you ten fold.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I'm sure that all mothers do this, but I spend a lot of time thinking about who Lucas will grow up to be. Little pieces of his personality are already shining through. He really loves to make people laugh. He is a people-pleaser. He's very affectionate and sweet. He's also a creature of habit. He likes certain things to be very routine. He really enjoys being startled. He gets a big kick out of it. I also suspect that he might be a bit of a thrill seeker. He likes to push himself outside of his comfort zone, and I love watching his though process through his facial expressions. It's hilarious.

I'm sure people are going to assume that we have "pushed" Lucas to skateboard, and they couldn't be further from wrong. While there are skateboards around him constantly, we've never stood him on the skateboard without him leading us to it first. He, since he was able to focus his little eyes, has always loves watching kids skate at the park. He has really shown a great interested in actually skating the past few weeks. He's incapable of being in a room with a skateboard without standing on it. He even knows enough to bend his knees and make a jumping motion on the skateboard, though he can't even successfully jump on flat ground yet. It amazes me that he is so interested in it.

But then it got me thinking. Lucas seems to "like" things that interest his parents, and I wonder if he is genuinely interested in these things or if he's more interested in sharing experiences with us that he knows we enjoy. For example, Lucas knows that John enjoys playing his Batman video game for a little while before he goes to work, so Lucas gets really excited when he gets to snuggle in and watch Daddy play. Now does Lucas genuinely like watching this Batman video game? I doubt it, but he likes spending that snuggle time with John. He's also been known to sit with me while I do things on the computer. There is no way he likes watching me type e-mail replies, or browse craigslist job posts, but he gets super excited when I pick up the laptop. Same thing when I pick up my camera, he comes running over and either says "cheese" or "me" and wants to try. Now he really does seem to like taking photos. He likes pointing the lens, "focusing" (aimlessly spinning the lens) and pressing the button and then checking it out after on the view screen.

So my concern is whether I'll be able to tell if he's picking up habits or hobbies. I know that he's not even two and he has no hobbies. I just don't want to push him in any direction. I don't want him to feel like he has to skateboard because we own a skatepark. I don't want him to feel like he has to be a musician because Mommy and Daddy both play instruments and love music. I don't want him to feel like he has to like anything that we like.

I don't care if he wants to skate, sing, play drums, juggle, ride a unicycle, dance ballet, play sports, play chess, read, write, or fold paper. I don't care what he does for a hobby as long as it makes him happy, and he gets something out of it. Whether he gets to express himself creatively, or release a little stress. Whether he gets a tangible product, or some spiritual experience. As long as he is happy, and he feels that his life is fulfilling then I will be happy.

I hope that I do a good job of showing him how I feel as he grows up. I want him to know that it's ok to be yourself, and that I will love every single bit of him. I may not always agree with his decisions and choices, but I will always love him. All of him.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Poor neglected blog...

I have been away from the blog for a while. I'd like to say I have good reason, like life got super busy, but that's not really the case. Life is pretty much the same. Don't get me wrong, it's busy. But it's not any busier than it was a few months ago. I just haven't felt like writing. I've been in a funk of sorts. I'm not sure how to explain it, because life has given us a ton of wonderful things in the past couple months.

January brought... well... not a whole lot. Lots of physical therapy appointments with Mom, which led to a lot of time to crochet. I have a blanket about half done at the moment, which I think is pretty impressive. Considering I've spent maybe 3-4 hours a week, I think I've put a pretty good dent in it. I'm a beginner, I'd imagine I'll get quicker with time.

February brought Dustin's 2nd birthday, Eva's birth (on the same day!) and Rose's birth. Lots of smiles, and happy tears in those first couple weeks of February. John went away for a week, starting Valentine's night. It was the first time I was really alone with Lucas. Actually, it might have been the first time I'd been alone since we got married. It was scary, I won't lie. I'm a baby and I don't like being home alone overnight. I stayed at my Mom's a couple nights. But I did much better than I thought I would. I thought I'd be very emotional about missing John. I missed him, but I didn't break down about it (which I did when he went to CA when we first moved in together). I was glad he was getting some time to enjoy himself, and do something for himself. He deserves that.

March has brought summer vacation plans. While the planning process has been less than smooth, and actually quite disappointing, I'm looking forward to a wonderful family vacation. I can't wait. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait until the summer! I'm also slightly concerned that someone else attending may have a lapse in judgement and post the dates we are going to be away. The whole family is going, and I don't want the internet world knowing that all of our houses will be empty. Hopefully everyone heeds the warning of my father in law. I think we will actually have someone staying at our house while we're away to care for the dog, so I don't need to be as nervous.

Lucas is... I don't even know how to describe him. He's perfect. He's hilarious. I'm really enjoying spending so much time with him. He's really into communicating now. He isn't talking much yet, aside from the words I've already posted, with a few new ones. But he is very persistent when it comes to getting his point across. He loves to sing and dance. He still loves skateboards. We are amazed how much he loves them. He has to step on one if he sees it. He's figured out how to balance on one, and he's attempting to push around a little, but that will come easier when we get him a skateboard of his own, in his size. His laugh is infectious. He has his favorite books, his favorite movies, his favorite shows, his favorite songs, his favorite toys... he has lots of favorites. He's just like his Daddy in so many ways. He's just like me in so many ways.

He has pooped on the potty once, about a month ago. He has shown no interest since. This may be TMI, but whatever. That's what the internet is for, right? Sharing too much... Since Lucas was able to move I have always gone to the bathroom with an open door policy. Lucas knows that the bathroom is private for others, but that it's ok to come in when Mommy's in there (for now. This will obviously change). Well, I've recently started being a little dramatic while going potty, so that he understand what I'm "doing". Well, the other day he came in while I was letting out a #2, so I turned on the dramatics. Grunts and "toddler poop face", the whole nine. Well, I'll tell you that it backfired. BIG TIME. I'll be damned if he didn't take a cue from me, and start pushing away. He did a massive poop right then and there. The point was that I would SEE him do this and put him on the potty and hoot and holler and celebrate when he finished the deed on the toilet. Well, that doesn't work out when I'm mid-poop when he decides to go. So now, he goes in the bathroom to poop. But still no interest in going ON the toilet. Oops - Mommy-fail.

Well hopefully I'll update more regularly again. I'm planning to take lots of photos now that the weather is warming up a little bit.