Do Not Push the Big Red Button
Things I Would Have Twittered On Saturday If I Hadn't Left My Phone At Home

A Million Tiny Updates

My coffeemaker randomly overflowed AGAIN this morning, despite my remembering the inner basket and the filter and the carafe and it wasn't my fault and basically I HATE IT AND ITS ASS FACE.


The unthinkable (yet long-predicted-by-readers-of-this-blog) thing finally happened last night: Jason and I both turned to Noah -- our precious little speech-delayed child -- and begged him to please, just shut up for a goddamn minute, just be quiet, oh my God, my eardrums cannot take another second of full-volume chatter about goddamn Corduroy and his goddamn button and HERE COMES THE CAT! HERE COMES THE CAT! HERE! COMES! THE GODDAMN! CAT! and seriously, child, do you ever stop to breathe anymore?


(I assure you that last bit had a LOT fewer "goddamns" in real life.)


I went ahead and sent in our deposit to the Montessori preschool. I just don't feel -- right now, anyway -- that Noah's little quirks and "issues" and "whatevers" are enough to justify pulling him out of the mainstream. I...yes. I feel that. I'm still not totally back up to my old confidence levels regarding my decision-making skills for him, but I finally pulled my ass out of that "paralyzed by past actions into complete inaction" sinkhole I've been in for a few months now. If he succeeds at this school, he could potentially stay there through sixth grade. If it's still not the right fit, well, we've still got two more years until kindergarten to figure this shit out, and hopefully by then Ezra will be off the boob and Mama will be on the Xanax.


My dad came home from the hospital yesterday. YESTERDAY. It's been...I don't even know how long it's been. It's been a long bumpy story with no end in sight and more collapsed lungs! and pneumonia! and infections! and heart palpitations and chest pains and breathing treatments and incompetant cardiac rehab centers it okay if I just mash my fingers down on the keyboard for a bit? Yes? Okay. OSFHGOSDHFOASJDASLMAEOHRHFFOEIJDJGPS.

Thanks. I feel better now. My dad feels better to be home, I know, but...he's not really better yet. He is and he isn't. I don't know. There's a lot of medical equipment in the house and therapy and my mom is pretty scared and I haven't been talking about it because it's hard to talk about because I'm NOT THERE and haven't been able to be there and I don't feel like I have a good grasp on the situation. And MAH GOODNESS, if I could get a good grasp on one! single! fucking! situation around here I WOULD APPRECIATE VERY MUCH, UNIVERSE.

Wait. Hang on. There is one thing going ridiculously well, provided this next paragraph doesn't up and jinx everything: Ezra is sleeping through the night, allllll night. Every night. In his crib. 9 pm to 8 am, at least. Unswaddled, even. He's gotten mighty proficient at getting his thumb into his mouth (with a bare minimum of face-and-eyeball poking from bad aim), and is completely in love with Noah's old Fisher Price crib aquarium. (We also took down his mobile, which apparently was scaring the crap out him.) We bathe, we rock and sing and nurse, and he just...goes to sleep, like a perfectly reasonable person. I keep the video monitor aimed direction at him (we're getting some rollage, people, and he's developed quite a penchant for tummy sleeping) all night, but with each passing night of solid, uninterrupted sleep and waking up to a perfectly contented and alive baby, I'm relaxing about it. Ever so slightly, with maybe only ONE nightly jerking awake in confusion because OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE BABY DID I JUST KICK THE BABY OH WAIT THAT WAS THE CAT.


He's also taking predictable daytime naps -- two nice ones, the second of which often overlaps Noah's nap (which is hit-or-miss some days, but at the very least involves a decent chunk of Quiet Time In Your Room Reading Books I Do Not Care If You Sleep But By God You Will Stay In Your Room Until Mama's Eyelid Stops Twitching).

My only guess as to the cause of this belated Christmas miracle is that we've been following Ezra's lead when it comes to solid food as opposed to the books and rules and such. (Within reason, of course.) He wants solids twice a day. He wants his cereals chunky and substantial and not thinned out (the initially rejected barley cereal became a runaway hit once it spent the night in the refrigerator and got really plump and sticky). He wants to hold and gum on his own rice rusk, dagnabbit. He wants MOAR SWEET POTATOES and you BETTER be planning to share that avocado slice from your sandwich, missy.

And because I am frankly, fresh out of Fretting, we go with it.

(I still have a really good supply of Hovering, of course, ready to whip out at the first sign of gagging or choking or...uh, allergy-ing. Although mostly I Hover to prevent sibling grilled-cheese-related plate swipings, because HOLY CRAP, this baby likes food.)

He still lovvvves nursing, even though I do miss the exclusive closeness we had before, even though my head sometimes spins by how quickly it's all happening this time.

He is still such a darling lump of baby, though, with insane little thighs and cheeks and funny squawks and faces, whose needs are uncomplicated and whose happiness is infectious, whose whole face lights up everytime I simply walk into the room. It's been a long winter, and I cannot even imagine what these past few months would have been like without the wonderful ray of sunshine that is This Boy.


(And that goes for this crazy monkey, too.)




You have the eyelid twitch too?! Mine developed when I was first pregnant, nearly *seven* years ago, and it still acts up whenever I get a particular combination of tired and stressed.

Parsing Nonsense

So sorry to hear about your dad. It's miserable when parents you adore are struggling medically! I hope he rallies and comes out of this strong and healthy.

Yay for you picking the Montessori! It sounds like it a great decision, I hope Noah thrives there!

Ezra sounds like a delightful, ambitious young fellow. If I were him, I'd be attacking the sweet potatoes too!

Parsing Nonsense

Oh, and the coffee maker? Sometimes the spring (at the bottom of the filter) that controls the flow of coffee out of the filter gets jammed or broken. Maybe try screwing with it a bit?


A child who eats - how novel! I'm so glad your pop is home, even if he isn't better yet. I know how hard a drawn-out hospital stay can be on the primary caretaker. Maybe it will be what they both need? HUGS


so, i rarely ever comment here, but i read all the time. i have a brilliant reason for never commenting though: i'm 24 and what the hell do i know about having a kid. i spend all of my spare cash on booze, highlights and ridiculously expensive purses. RIGHT. moving on.

i am so very excited that Noah is going to be at a montessori school! i went to college for early childhood ed (and now work in real estate. go figure) and taught in a montessori school for three years. it was the most amazing, wonderful, fucking awesome experience of my life and if i could go back and get paid more than $10 an hour? i'd be there in a heart beat.

i had MANY kids (maybe 5 out of 20?) with different developmental issues in my class and we treated them no differently. sure it was hard for them and us in the beginning, but it ended up being so amazingly worthwhile for the child and for us!

the basis of montessori (you probably know this) is to group kids together so that they learn from and help each other. there is an hour or hour and a half of "exploring" in the morning where they choose what they do. and the activities? AMAZING. cutting, serving kids snacks, pouring your their own juice, art, picking your own snack... all of these things. SO AMAZING.

also, one of the things that i learned in montessori was that kids aren't talked to like babies. we were taught to talk to them like the people that they were, not babies. which might really work wonders for noah!

and it's QUIET in the classes and they transition when they are ready to go to another activity on THEIR schedule! weeee!

sorry. i know this is probably the most long winded comment about absolutely nothing EVER, but wow. i'm so excited for you and for Noah. he's going to do so amazing.

Miss Grace

I hope the Montessori school works out for you guys.


How did I not show you my tassimo when you were her last week? Best invention of the 20th century 2nd to the DVR and the iphone. It makes coffee without measuring and liquid and grounds. It is awesome.

You have to get one and no I do not work for them.


Sleeps from 9 pm to 8 am?!? My DOG doesn't sleep that long!


Glad to hear your dad is home if not completely better. And good for you going with your gut on the montessori school. Now to fix the coffee maker!


Isn't it awesome how just a few small things like a good night's sleep, or less worry about eating/speech delays can make all the difference in the world?
I'm right there with you.


Arrgh. You read my mind. I have been wondering about how Ezra was sleeping, because initially he sounded so much like my son, who's just a little younger (born 11/2). We are working on "sleeping alone" (mostly for naps) and it's very up and down. The constant waking! And the resettling! It's killing me. So...really, the only thing you changed was the solid food and then all the sleep pieces fell into place? Because I am out of ideas.

Katie Bug

You know, sometimes I really think I'm alone in my fears and hovering and neuroses, and then I read your blog and feel like I'm in good company. Thank you for being as neurotic as I am. If you're ever near Edgewater (but who ever really is...unless you missed Annapolis by mistake...) give me a holler.


Your Ezra sounds like my #3. Very hungry and serious about food. He's 14months old now and still eating like a teen boy. Hope things with your fam get better. I love your blogs.


Can I babysit your kids?


Amy, I HEART you.
"(... but at the very least involves a decent chunk of Quiet Time In Your Room Reading Books I Do Not Care If You Sleep But By God You Will Stay In Your Room Until Mama's Eyelid Stops Twitching)."

SO GLAD to know it's not just me that just needs a BREAK at some point in the day. I have a 3year old and a 2month old. both boys. Big brother sure does give mama a run for her money, I tell you. Your posts always help me to be able to laugh at the hard parts.
You are teh Awesome.


P.S. was I FIRST?!?! w00t!


Liz - we started exactly like you. Start with naps, put him in the crib EVERY TIME he seemed at all sleepy. Even if he protested and I had to get him back up, I *think* it really helped to get him associating the crib with being tired. Any day I could get him to sleep for an hour in his crib was a victory.

Then the super-consistent, not-to-be-fucked-with bedtime routine got us at least one longish stretch (like 9 - 2, then 9 -4) at night. Bath, rocking, song/book, nursing.

Then I think the solids and a happy full tummy are what finally got us that last stretch in the morning, plus letting him sleep on his side where he could get at his thumb. (And Hyland's teething tablets. Oh, how I love thee.)

Don't despair! We started transitioning him to the crib at 12 weeks, like back in January. It was back and forth and up and down for us too, with good nights and bad nights and TERRIBLE NIGHTS. And I still look forward to a ton of teeth and growth-spurt related sleep regressions in the months to come.


And Mouse, yes. Totally get the eyelid twitch (which I've had since COLLEGE) from that tired/stressed combo and it drives. me. crazy.

Crazier, I guess.


Wait till you meet the psycho Montessori moms (no bashing me, I am one). We are a crazy, crazy lot.

Also, my friend told me when my oldest was about the same age as Ez that whenever she started worrying too much, she would pretend to be all "zen momma" and soon she would be. So, I tried it too and it mostly worked. I'm still a psycho control freak with major issues, but I've at least come to turns with it.


OMFG. I lurk on many blogs, post on... well, none. But I had to delurk to commiserate about the Corduroy fetish (WTH? my kid has this too, to the point where if you ask her name, she answers "Corduroy") and Here Comes the Cat. This may make your day or ruin it - go to your library and look for these old school videos by Children's Circle (Where Books Come Alive!) and believe it or not they have videos of both these stories (separate tapes) where they've animated the books. This is where we met Here Comes the Cat, which my kid bellows out at totally inopportune moments, like at the communion rail or when I'm on an important conference call working from home. You'll know the videos when you see them - part of the branding is 2 faces plastered on the front of the video box, one smiling and one frowning. Like the manufacturer knows your household will be split into these two factions once the videos insinuate themselves into your repetoire...


Hey, our newest just started sleeping through the night again (hold on, must go find some wood to knock) Okay, anyway we moved her crib into our room because she was sharing with her sisters and when she stopped sleeping well we thought the training would require lots of screaming. Nope. Apparently she's so content just being in the same room as us she decided she doesn't need two bottles in the middle of the night!
Also, because you didn't ask for advice but this is the internet, let me tell you, you need a cold brew system for your coffee. Changed. my. life.


Super. Now get your ass in the car, drive around the beltway, and use your Sleeping Superpowers on Lucy. PLEASE.


I'm sorry its been so rough with your dad's health. I really hope he improves dramatically.

Ez sounds like my kids...give me food, give it too me NOW, and I don't care if I'm too young.

I think Noah will thrive in Montessori.

Catherine S

Damn, 11 straight hours of sleep. Our 6 month old is still only doing 9 in the crib but then into our bed for another 2 hours in the am. Still my favorite time of the day:)


You had me at the Guffman quote. I just saw that again last week (it is one of my favorites), and I had your quote as well as the "Remains of the Day" lunchbox sales pitch in my head for days.

SO GLAD your dad is doing better. Long road ahead, but being at home is such a good place to be. I'll be sending good thoughts to you and your family.


I so have the eye-twitch, even without kids.

I got one of these for Christmas, I heart it, it has no carafe!:

Mary @ Holy Mackerel

Your kiddies are absolutely adorable. I think eyelid twitches come with mom territory. I've had one for many years now.

Hope dad gets better soon!


You do realize you could pass for their teenaged babysitter in the 2nd picture right?


I've TOTALLY kicked the cat in the night and freaked out thinking it was the baby, only to realize he's sleeping in his crib like he has been for weeks (YAY!). Although not for so long at a stretch. He's a couple months younger than Ezra, though, there's hope yet.


I'm so glad to hear about your dad. It must be a relief to know he's home.

And I'm about 100% jealous about Ezra. The twins (4.5 months) are not doing that. And I had to stop swaddleing them for fear they would strangle themselves, so my guess is they won't sleep again ever. And the whole solid food thing? I can't wait to start, but I have no idea when to do it. The ped basically said anytime between now and 6 months--have fun. Not helpful.


So, you've been thru way too much this winter Amy, but have handled it well (as much as we can tell).

Yay for Noah talking too much :) Yay for you for following your gut with Montessori. Boo that your poor dad is still so sick, I'm so sorry.

and Yay for the beauty that is your bebes :)


It's great that you are finally in a mode where you can at least move forward in some way on a school...even if it may or may not fit, at least it's something you'll be able to mark off the list as "we tried" ( worked!) whichever, but better than nothing. Right?

Sorry to hear your dad is still having issues.

Know what I think? You need a vacation.


Love that Ezra has found his groove and Noah is still the cutest little boy ever!


OMG!!! Sleeping 11 hours a night AND two naps a day?!? I so want to be a baby again. I'm Jealous!


Good for you following Ezra's lead on solids. I did the same w/#2 and she's a champion eater, while big sis is as picky as can be. I think we can be such nervous nellies as first time moms (or at least I was for sure!) that we over-protect, I probably didn't start Sydney on solids until she was 7 months or so. So glad Ezra's such a good eater, you need a little sunshine after the winter you've had. He's absolutely adorable, but then again, so is Noah. Sending all sorts of good thoughts for Noah and the Montessori school and your dad's health.


Amy -- I work in Museum Education and during my days and weeks I see a varity of kids with different situations from different schools. I just wanted to let you know that 99 percent of the groups we get from Montessori schools are wonderful. When there are kids with (a range of) special needs they seem to do so so so much better than their counter parts in other learning environments. I just wanted to give you some positive hope that this might work out for the best for the cutest big brother EVAR!

die Frau

My own mother just reminded me that when we were little she used to get exasperated and say she was changing her name from "Mommy" to something else and she wasn't going to tell us what that new name was.


From another eye twitching lurker - please keep saying positive s#@$ about babies who sleep and eat well even if it stops being true now and then because I need HELP - tell me more about how putting the cereal in the 'fridge makes it tasty. I need inspiration to make a not strong baby into a strong eater, if she'll go along with that plan . . .


I can't even begin to tell you how much a relief it feels to finally pen my three-year-old into her room for her "nap," then sit down at the computer and read a post by someone else who seems to be feeling the same way about her own 3 yr old. I love mine to pieces, but good god, she takes waaay more energy and patience than I can muster some days.

I also just signed mine up for Montessori preschool this week. I really love the idea of mixed-age classrooms and each kid being allowed to move at his/her own pace. I hope Noah loves it.


I'm so glad that you choose the Montessori school for Noah. My 4 1/2 year old son is in his second year in a Montessori program and I could not be happier. The teachers are trained to observe each child and introduce materials based on that individual child's readiness, regardless of age. I knew very little about the approach when we started and feel so lucky to have found a program that focuses on the whole child. I really hope that things work out there for Noah.

Sarah @

Good luck with the new preschool. If you think it's right for him to stay in the mainstream, I'm sure you're probably right. Who knows a kid best? The parents? Or some stranger?


I didn't want to comment when you mentioned the Montessori preschool before, but as a montessori preschool teacher I hope this brings you some much needed sanity and less, um, bitchy preschool teacher hovering? Too many people overanalyze children and label them and scare the living shit out of their parents and honestly, most children need a little TIME AND SPACE; god forbid a preschooler act, um, preschool-aged? Anyway, good luck, and thanks for your honesty about the whole pregnancy/parenting ride.


I really hope (and also think) that the Montessori school will be a good fit for Noah. My son is autistic has MAJOR sensory issues and not much speech and if it weren't for the fact that he was (ha, ha) a SECURITY RISK, we were hoping to put him in a Montessori school and have the therapists come to him. As it is, he is in a developmental preschool (with LOCKS on the doors to prevent him from JAMMING!) and he has peer mentors and it's pretty close to a typical preschool. I really hope it works out for you, I am impressed (and not a little jealous) of all that speech!


Oh! Your babies! Are so *incredibly* munchable. My 3-year-old is still munchable, though prone to saying, "Don't eat me! Don't eat me!" while I nibble on his neck and ears.

And I'm glad for the update on your dad; glad he's home, and hoping the issues he's facing get better.


This - (which is hit-or-miss some days, but at the very least involves a decent chunk of Quiet Time In Your Room Reading Books I Do Not Care If You Sleep But By God You Will Stay In Your Room Until Mama's Eyelid Stops Twitching) - totally had me laughing and gasping for a solid minute. Because oh, how similar the naps are in our households. :)

Jen L.

Y'know, I thought I loved you as much as I could possibly love you. And then you made a WAITING FOR GUFFMAN reference. Oh, Amalah.

Will be keeping your family in my prayers.

Want to chomp Ezra's thighs.


I just loved reading how smoothly things are going with Ezra. Maybe he can fix your coffee maker?


I've been reading for quite some time, but have never commented, but I just need to tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy your blog.

I'm a grandma now, but I just love reading you because you bring back all of my lovely memories of that time in my life. You have a way of tweeking my memory....the pure love of your babies, the challanges, the breast feeding, the fat cheeks, the squeezy kind of love....all of it.

Just wanted you to know that this grandma appreciates and enjoys you. Keep being honest. It shows and makes this blog very endearing.

aka alice

I'm so sorry about your dad. My mom is recovering (euphemistically) from having part of her lung removed due to lung cancer, and the part where you wrote about NOT BEING THERE and NOT HAVING A HANDLE on the whole situation explained my life exactly...It just sucks to have sick parents...I have no enlightening other words to say, I wish I did...just hang in there.

BTW...I had two kids (now 11 and 13) in a Montessori pre-school, and if I could have kept them there until 6th, I would have in a heartbeat. I hope it works for Noah. My money says it will.

aka alice

I'm so sorry to read about your dad Amy. As I write, I'm hanging out with my mother, who is recovering from lung surgery, having had part of her lung removed due to lung cancer. The part where you wrote about "I'm NOT THERE and haven't been able to be there and I don't feel like I have a good grasp on the situation..." captured my life completely. I don't have anything else to share, just that it completely sucks to have a sick parent...I hope your dad continues to recover and gets better. Hang in there.

BTW, I my two kids (now 11 and 13) went to a Montessori pre-school and if I could have kept them there until 6th grade, I would have in a heartbeat.


Oh, the jerking awake. Does it ever go away? My daughter has been sleeping through the night for three months and I still wake up freaking out because my stupid pillow just won't latch on properly. Or because my stupid pillow is under me, and I think it's the baby and I've killed her. And we never even coslept, so I don't know what that's about.


Love firstborns. But, the second born rocks in the food dept. My precious 3yo girl is happy to eat waffles and goldfish every meal if I let her. But, my son. Oh, he loves all food and at the very least tries all food.


I think the sleeping all night thing happened with my son once he got really into the solids, maybe 3 months after we started them. Still, he only slept 9 hours. Ezra must be really happy to have a full tummy and that thumb must be yummy, too!


so glad to hear your dad is home.

also, a big thank you for the guffman reference. best movie ever.


I'm so glad you chose a Montessori preschool! I've wanted to post for a while, always thinking that Montessori might work for your family. I was a Montessori preschool teacher for 10 years and was always astounded how the philosophy worked for EVERY child, no matter their abilities (not always for every family, but...). I am now an elementary Montessori teacher and have been able to see the wonderful outcomes for these children through the 6th grade. I look forward to reading about your journey! Yay for you guys!


Not to give you assvice, but Montessori or not, please, please, please follow up on additional testing and services.

You seem to go back and forth on whether he needs them, and then an issue (pointed out by the harsh teacher or by your own observations) smacks you back into reality.

Please cover all angles or you might be just as disappointed ayr. from now, and it will be a year later in Noah's development.


My eyelid twitch started about 18 months ago during a stint as the room mother for my daughter's first grade class (totally by default--I was the only one crazy enough to check that box on the PTA form). I was also finishing my last two classes of grad school and dealing with my then 3-year-old who sounds a LOT like Noah. And now, like clockwork, any time I approach a particular level of crazy-tired-annoyed-stressed, it starts up again. I can't tell you how relieved I am to read that you and several other commenters have the same thing. I thought it was a precursor to some dread disease.


K - We are. Noah is receiving speech/social skills therapy and we are still going to have the school district evaluate him. I might very well be out a Montessori deposit after that, but we had to have SOMETHING lined up for him next fall that felt like an improvement on the current situation.

Plano Mom

Congratulations, in spite of your yelling and your worries, you are doing a fantastic job. It will get better, and my own 10 year old doesn't sleep that long! I'm still keeping Dad in my thoughts, sending "heal dammit" vibes up north.


Ah, so THAT'S where my stupid eyelid twitching came from!

I've heard such wonderful things about Montessori schools--I'll be Noah will absolutely thrive.

Doncha just love it when they begin to sleep through the night? Almost makes you feel like you a human being again, huh?

I'm glad you're dad is home--I know it's been a loooooong road and I understand how hard it is to be in another place when your parent is sick. Hang in there.

BTW, my unicorn has had several, uh, "accidents" in the house. Know a good way to remove unicorn pee from rugs?


I'm glad that your dad is at least home even if he still has a ways to go before you can say he's recovered.

I also hope that the Montessori school works out for Noah. For what it's worth, I've never personally heard bad things about the schools.

Woohoo for Ezra sleeping through the night! We're working on getting our seven month old into the crib and the most we've gotten is a 5.5 hour stretch, 1 hour seems to be the standard. We'll keep working at it and I hope to have as much luck as you with it!


Yes, we spend so much time trying to teach our kiddos to talk and then once they start we're all WTH! Why won't you just be quiet for 5 minutes.

Parents, never satisfied.

Oh, and I'm passing onto you this nifty award that I got but since I have no idea how to post a link in a comment and so you'll have to go to my blog to get it. Or not. Either way.


One quick fyi: when I was a baby, I couldn't get enough Sweet Potatoes, Yams, carrots, etc etc...and well, it turned my skin yellow. And my Mom panicked because she thought I had jaundice. No...she just had to feed me more green food. So ya know, if Ezra is really into the yellow food and starts turning yellow, that's probably don't freak out about that.


Alright, give it up. How in the WORLD did you get Ez to sleep like that?! Tell me there's a magic trick! 4 months of nightwaking it starting to take it's toll...

Also, unswaddled? How did you start that process? I'm afraid to start that process..but feel we will need to. You know, so that at 16 I'm not walking into his room at midnight to re-swaddle...


glad to hear your dad is home, I hope his recovery goes faster there.

also glad you were able to amke a decision about the school! so hard, but it sounds like you made the right one!

i am also happy you have that little baby too!

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