Friday, August 31, 2007

Day 7-The Times They Are A Changin'

(Note: When Mommy's camera is being used by theKbuzz staff, she resorts to her camera phone to capture moments throughout the day. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of this and future cameraphone Katie pics. I'll have my dig back soon enough.)
Things have changed a lot from the time when Charlotte was an infant. There are tons of new inventions for babies, lots of new toys, and even videos designed for teeny creatures. Considering Kate is most entertained by the sight of her own toes, I don't really buy into a lot of stuff.
Until, that is, Karen Kirschenblatt purchased the BUMBO as a gift for us. Yes, the BUMBO. What the heck is a bumbo, you ask? Well, I was kind of unsure myself, since they didn't make them in 2003 when Char was little. The Bumbo allows your child to sit up before sitting up is developmentally possible. I was quite skeptical about this contraption, but also quite intrigued. Today, Kate seems to really have mastered the "hold-your-head-steady" thing, and so, I promptly busted out the Bumbo.

I LOVE the Bumbo, and here's why. There's something very magical about when your child first sits up. It's like they're a real person, and not some lump of coal you have to lug around. And, while the Bumbo does not ACTUALLY mean that they are sitting, it feels like they are up and about, and able to see the world. And I think they feel it to. (At least Kate seemed totally entertained!)

So, thank you Karen Kirschenblatt! Kate loves her Bumbo, and so do I!

Day 6- A Mom's Gotta Work...



Today, (or rather, yesterday, as I was way too busy to write this on its proper day) I woke up, put on my fanciest high heels, and went to work. While it's not officially "Back To Work" time, and while I do usually work from home, Dave and I both had meetings that required morning getting-readiness, and childcare, and all that jazz.

First, let me say, that as I was getting dressed, I was thinking that I truly do have it all. I can put on my finest earrings, my hottest pumps, and kiss my kids and tell them I'll be back in a few hours. I've got it easy compared to most, right? I make my own hours, I work mostly from home, I attend meetings when I want...it seems ideal!

Well, after I kissed the kids and left, I remembered what its like to work outside of the home. First off, those hot high heels I mentioned? OUCH! And how did I used to balance in these things? Oh well, I still looked good. My meeting, of course, started late...and I immediately began calculating the amount of minutes I would be late to pick up the girls. My meeting also started with an intense round of introductions, joking, and chit chat. This is quite common in the businessworld, but for a working mommy with a 2 month old at home, you just want to get on with it. An hour into the meeting, we were still at the beginning of strategy discussions. Wait a minute....what's this?

Oh no.

A leaky boob.

Yup. Right in the middle of my meeting, I got the familiar sensation of "Uh-Oh, I'm about to burst". And then, the heavens opened, and out poured my boob milk. No one noticed, (Thank goodness for dark patterned dresses!) but of course I still found it quite embarrassing.

Two hours into the meeting that was scheduled for just one and a half hours, and i was really starting to lose it. I call my mom, who was watching the kids.

"We're out of breast milk" she says. "She's not hungry yet, but I'm not sure when she will want to eat again".

Now, I have a decision to make...do I leave the meeting, or starve my kids?

Guess which choice won out?

It's never easy. Whether you work part time, whether you stay at home, whether you are a workaholic. Every choice is hard. Every choice is judged by others. And every choice is one that the mom is not 100% sure about. Even when you work part time, the occasional leaky boob meeting pops up. Even when you work from home, or are a SAHM, you want to walk around in your Manolos once in a while. And so, today, on Day 6, I am sending big hugs to all working moms, whether they work in an office, or work as a stay at home parent. It's the hardest damn job on earth.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day 5- Time OUT!

"We are made kind by being kind." Unknown

Today, my older daughter received a "time out". This is VERY unusual in our home, since she's generally a pretty good kid who responds to reasoning and calm discussion. But today, I gave her a big, fat time out. And I'm glad. Here's the story:

We had a busy day-- an early morning trip to the movies, then up to my office, then over to the pool to meet "Da" (Grandma), Aunt Susie, and Cousin Nicole. We had a lot of fun, but Charlotte got pretty pooped. THEN, Charlotte's BFF (as featured in cute pictures, and, coincidentally, daughter of Mommy BFF) came and met us at the pool. At first, it was quite lovely. Everyone played quite nicely, while I sat with Mommy BFF and Da, and nursed Kate as discreetly as I could while in a bathing suit :).

Of course, it was too good to be true, and Charlotte, in a move that was uncharacteristic of her general demeanor, began to be mean to her BFF while in the pool. Perhaps it was the dynamic of three, perhaps it is the aftermath of having a new sister, but she was REALLY mean. And since I was nursing Kate while this was going on, Mommy BFF went to tend to the situation, and help poor BFF in her time of need.

Suddenly, I see Charlotte SCREAM at Mommy BFF, "BFF can't PLAY with us if she's crying!" My angel, My SWEET ANGEL, then proceeds to SPLASH Mommy BFF. The splash, as far as I'm concerned, is the ultimate act of pool disrespect. And so, I RIPPED Kate off of my booby, handed her to Da, and in my firmest mommy voice EVER, featuring the perfect balance of volume without yell, said:

"Charlotte."
"Out."
"Of."
"The."
"Pool."

It was like time stopped. Every kid, every mommy, every lifeguard within the vicinity looked up to watch me. And, at that moment, I was fighting for every kid who had ever been picked on. As a former victim of the "I Hate Caroline Club", I was not going to let my child turn into a "Mean Girl"...Even if this were a one time only occurrence (although truth be told, I've seen this coming for a few weeks now), I was going to make sure that Charlotte knew how hurtful girl-on-girl meanness could be.

Charlotte came out of the pool. She was hysterical, and surprised that I pulled her out. I took her into the locker room, helped her calm down, and explained how important it is to be nice. I think she got it...and by the end of the day, although she was exhausted, it was a lot better. Now, she's sleeping, and she looks like the beautiful cherub I am madly in love with.

For tonight, I am Queen of the Mommy Kingdom. I am Mommus Perfectus-- the one who teaches you not to bully, and won't let you be bullied. I am Numero Uno Mami-- the one who can give a time out to her older and then go back to nursing her younger without blinking an eye. For tonight. Tomorrow, I'll be back to Messy, Mean, Mixed-up Mommy. But hey, there are four hours left until tomorrow, and eleven hours until my kids wake up again. So, for tonight, I'm kicking up my feet and celebrating. Chalk one up for Team Mommy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sisters.

video

Day 4-- School Vacation = Parenting Overdrive

Hi!

Have I mentioned that this week and next are one of the brief periods where Charlotte has no school or camp? Yes, that's right...she's home, and that means we've got to keep her busy. Now that we have two, that's a new and unusual challenge.

Dave was at our office today, preparing for Baby's First Ballgame and some other fun stuff. And so, it was up to me to entertain these nudniks, at least for most of the morning. What's a girl to do?

Well, first, one must enlist the help of her "mommy bff". You see, other mommies, ESPECIALLY mommies who are in the same situation of camp/school hiatus, understand your pain. And so, I called mommy bff Stacy, and asked if she and her daughter would like to meet us for breakfast. Here is a picture of "mommy bff":


Huh, you say? Why is this a pic of the back of her head? It's quite simple. When you have four year olds, they are not really interested in taking pictures of your face. Today, my daughter wanted pictures of everyone's hair. Alas, this is the only pic I have of mommy bff from our adventures today.

Anyhoo, we started off by going to breakfast. The girls were complete angels. (Here's the pic to prove it)


Then, we went to the playground by my house and played in the sprinklers. There, we saw one of the coolest miracles around...


We took a break for lunch. Mommy, Charlotte and Kate went home and snuggled. THEN, Daddy came home and decided to take Charlotte and Samantha (daughter of mommy bff) to play tennis at our pool, while Mommy BFF and I hung out with Kate and watched. (Thank goodness for mommy bffs....seriously, you need company when going through this crazy mommy life!) Tennis was incredibly cute, and not just because of these snazzy outfits.



The day ended with Kate's bath...where she proceeded to poop all over the bath, all over me, and all over Charlotte. After we all finished laughing, we cleaned her up, put her on Charlotte's beanbag chair and took a photo to commemorate the moment.


Now, the girls are asleep. Dave is watching the Mets game. I am writing away. I would say it was a great day!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rock Star!



Remember when I wrote about giving my daughter the Hebrew Name Kochava Sela-- which, loosely translated, means Rock Star? Well here she is "in da club", partying it up at just 1.5 months old

NOTE: Dave would like me to point out that Kate was only at this party very briefly...and that we dont normlly bring our children "CLUBBIN'"-- this was a party we helped organize as a charity fundraiser, and Kate and I merely stopped by to take pics for the recap...but she actually slept through the whole experience! AMAZING!

Day 3-- The "I Hate Tummy Time" Club



Okay, so when we were kids, we slept on our stomachs.

And THEN, they come up with the "Back To Sleep" campaign to combat SIDS. Despite the theory given by my friend's hippy mom that SIDS being related to older flame retardant fabrics...(and the cover up of this is a huge government conspiracy), I comply with the doctor's orders. Kate is a "back to sleep-er".

Because she is a back to sleeper, tummy time becomes forced and a struggle. While Kate LOVES her playmat....lying on her stomach as she tries to do a push up? Not so fun. (Ah, memories of the 6th grade Ronald Reagan Presidential Fitness Test flashing before my eyes.)

She grunts. Pushes head up.

She groans. Head falls down.

She yelps. Turns head to side.

All while mommy snaps pictures and carefully watches to see when she can check off the box on the developmental chart that says "child rolls from front to back".

Anyway, here's a picture of Kate's tummy time today. She's getting much better, I think. A little less grunting, a little less groaning, a little more lifting. I guess it's just like personal training....the more you push, the more you try...the more results you see. Unfortunately, I've always hated the gym. Apparently, so does Kate.

My Brother In Law-- The Next Food Network Star!

I am so proud of my brother in law, Phil. Not only is he a genius, but he's also an amazing cook. (If only I picked up a teeny bit of this skill set...my family would be so thrilled!) Here is his audition tape for the Food Network's Next Food Network Star! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PHIL!
Phil Kerpen NFNS Audition Tape

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day 2- 13th annual PVCA Tournament

Today, the Kerpens attended the 13th annual Pool Volleyball Championship of America in Staten Island, at the home of Anna and Andy Evangelista! Unfortunately, the Kerpens, as part of team "Kerpens With Benefits", were unable to win even ONE pool volleyball game during this tournament. However, they did take home this wonderful prize:


Congratulations are in order for "The Cubs"-- Steven Evangelista, Danny Ryan, and Orna Kleinman...who took home the PVCA trophy shown here:

Kerpen Talent



This is the blog of my incredibly talented youngest brother-in-law, Dan. It's funny, my brother in law lives on the other end of the country, and we've only met a few times, so I feel like the way I know him best is through his blog. His blog is thoughtful, insightful, weird, anti-establishment, warm, familial, and very very special. I read it all the time. I used to comment on it, just to let him know that I was there. Lately, I've taken to a more voyeuristic approach-- I just read his latest stuff and smile.

Keep up the great work, FussyPucker. You've got a huge fan in your sister in law, even if she does like advertising, pop music, and driving a car.

XOXO

Happy 13th Annual PVCA tournament!



This picture was taken in 2004, at the tenth annual Pool Volleyball Championship of America, held in Staten Island at the home of Steven Evangelista's parents.

It's now three years later, and Dave and I are getting ready to compete in our third PVCA tournament together. I can't help but think back to this day in 2004. Dave was really just becoming more of a fixture in Charlotte's life. This event has always been really important to Dave, and my attendance with Charlotte in 2004 really signified that we were becoming an official family.

It's a really nice memory for me, and not just because you can really see in this picture how quickly Dave fell in love with Charlotte. It's also a nice memory because I have absolutely no skill in anything that requires coordination...EXCEPT for pool volleyball. And I discovered this talent on a steaming hot day in Staten Island-- August 2004.I mean, just look at this shot!

To check out the PVCA's website, click here

And look for pics from 2007's tourney on the blog soon.

The Count Von Kerpen- The Story as She Knows It.

Click on this link to watch a video featuring the Story of Count Von Kerpen, as told by Dave's mother, Rayni Joan.


Dave's college friends used to crack up laughing when Dave told the story of "Count Von Kerpen". I think it was just fun to say..."COUNT VON KERRRRRPEN". When Dave's mom came to visit us from Santa Monica, she mentioned the story, and I asked if we could record it. The story itself is probably inaccurate (we'll have to ask Grandma Mimi, who probably has a bit of a different version, though similarly off)...but I thought it was really neat to watch a grandma recount a story to her children and her grandchildren. There have been plenty of times in our family where we've heard completely different versions of the same story. In the end, isn't that what makes story telling (and memories)so beautiful? It's the ability to insert and share individual perspectives on experience. I hope you enjoy this story by the lovely Rayni Joan.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My two babies

Here is Charlotte on her two month birthday:

This is Kate at 8 weeks old-- about a week before she turns two months:

Welcome Kochava Sela

Kate had her baby naming last weekend. A baby naming is a Jewish ritual similar to a baptism-- a welcoming of the child into the Jewish religion. We gave her the name Kochava Sela. In the Jewish religion, you pick names that begin with the first initials of someone in your family who has passed-- and so we picked K for Dave's Grandpa, and S for my Great Grandma. We picked these particular names, however, because of their meaning. Kochava means STAR, and Sela means ROCK. Kate is our little Rock Star. (Charlotte is Haviva Bluma-- meaning Beautiful Flower.) Here's a quick story about the naming-- we had a moment of silent prayer and meditation. As I held her in my arms, I was praying for the health and happiness of everyone I knew. At that moment, I look down, and Kate Rebecca smiled her biggest smile yet...you know, like the first NON GAS super smile that all mommies wait for? It was the closest thing to a religious experience I've ever had. Then, of course, she proceeded to poop all over everything. Alas, maybe it was gas....but who the heck cares? A smile by any other name still seems as sweet...

Here is a pic from the baby naming featuring my smiling daughter (thanks Karen!)


And, just for fun, here is a pic of Charlotte at her baby naming, over four years ago. That's the Rabbi on my left and "DA" (my mom) on my right, holding Char.

Day 1- Big Sister, Little Sister!




Welcome to the Kerpen blog!

As opposed to our Kblog, this is a personal blog designed to update friends, family and anyone else who cares about the Kerpens. Designed to chronicle our first year as a family of four, I hope I can keep it updated with lots of pictures and good stories.

I've posted a picture of big sister Charlotte and Little Sister Kate. Today was a nice day for the girls. I took a bunch of pictures of them snuggling today, and they were nice enough to put as part of the layout of this blog.

Do you ever wonder if a baby's temperament is indicative of their personality as a toddler/kid/adult? Kate is so calm, and so very sweet. I really hate the term "old soul", but I wonder what's going on in that relaxed little mind of hers. Goodness knows her parents are highly energetic, and would rarely be described as "calm". Her sister is certainly a ball of energy, and I'm pretty sure (although memories fade quickly-- and thus, the need for blogs is born) she was that way from the time she was born. Kate, however, is different. She seems like a totally chill, relaxed person. Is it strange to say that an 8 week old seems kind? I can't explain it, but she does. It's so fascinating to see kids grow up and watch them turn into people with real personality traits. Only time will tell...hope you stay with me for the journey!

The Kerpens Summer Video

So, recently I have been playing with YouTube and Windows Video Maker a lot...and it has been a ton of fun. Here's my latest one-- Kate and Charlotte's first summer as sisters!