Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another milestone in the bag: meeting a mall Santa.

She told him she wanted “an ice cream toy thing that comes in a box from the store.” Very specific.

Instead of candy canes, he gave her a whole-grain cereal bar. Weird.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Andy is teaching P how to play chess. #thebiscuitlife

Strangers STFU

Monday, December 15, 2014
Toddlers can be ridiculous. But worse are people who feel compelled to ask “is that child ok” while I’m dealing with an epic public meltdown.

What are they going to do?! Call the cops to save her from me? Whip out some baby-whisperer moves to calm her down? Suggest I just leave her in the parking lot and start a new childless life somewhere else?

They sure as shit NEVER offer to help while I’ve got a howling, impressively rigid 2.5 year old planking on her car seat because:
I don’t want to buckle up!
I don’t want to go home!
I don’t want to see daddy!
I don’t want a snack!
Don’t take the book (I just threw at you)!

Dear those people: You’re not helping. Step off! I got this.

On race

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
I’m feeling some kind of way about all of the news about dead black people and murderers going unpunished. I can’t quite describe it. Anger, disappointment, fear, despair. They’re all rolled up together right now. My heart aches for the tragic loss of yet another young black man who was taken in a manner that further shakes confidence in an already severely broken system of justice. The media is doing everyone involved a disservice in how they’re portraying what’s happening in Ferguson, NYC, Cleveland, Arizona, etc. But television is about entertainment, not education.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

An oddly warm day + no school because of Veterans Day = fun playing in a leaf pile at the park

Captain No Beard

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The little ballerina waits for class to begin.
Monday, October 13, 2014

The Biscuit chose this fire captain, Spider-Man, ballet slipper mashup during a bit of pre-bedtime costuming with Lulu.

Doing battle

Sunday, October 5, 2014
The Biscuit screamed for 40 minutes this morning because I wanted to put a shirt on her. A FUCKING SHIRT! The shirt she picked out. The shirt she specifically asked me to buy a few days ago even though I despise Hello Kitty.

She yelled and writhed on the floor and threw things like I’d just asked her to gouge her own eyes out. For 40 minutes. What is that? How do I diffuse that?!

When she’s in these modes all she’ll say scream is YES or NO in response to any question attempting to calm things down.

ME: Would you like a different shirt?
HER: NO! (3 seconds later… ) YES!
ME: OK, go choose the shirt you want.
HER: NOOOOOOO! (screaming and writhing continues)

I lose every time during this game so I stop playing and walk away, actively trying to ignore her. This only enrages her more, as if to say “how dare you leave while I’m admonishing you. Have you no respect, foul woman?” It’s ridiculous.

Parker has excellent communication skills with a vocabulary that rivals many 4-year-olds. She knows how to ask for exactly what she wants, how to refuse things she doesn’t and how to do both politely. That’s why it is so hard for me to understand these episodes. In desperation I plead with her: just tell me what’s wrong. That’s usually met with angry defiance. NO!

Toddlers are irrational and it’s my responsibility to remain calm but I am exhausted and upset. I’m so tired of this “terrible” two-year-old that sometimes I wish I could drop her off with one of those British super nannies from TV and retrieve her when she’s ready for kindergarten.

In the meantime, Andy sensed that she was pushing the limits of my sanity and took her out of the house for a while. Bless that man.
Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Biscuit takes a break from adventure to enjoy a lunch of cheesy wagon wheels with meatballs “in my mouth.”


Thursday, September 18, 2014
Back in July, The Biscuit and I were recruited by Long Haul Films and our favorite stroller company, UPPAbaby, to help promote the 2015 Cruz. Check it out!

Back in July, The Biscuit and I were recruited by Long Haul Films and our favorite stroller company, UPPAbaby, to help promote the 2015 Cruz.

All is well

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’ve been awake since 4am.

We arrived at Children’s Hospital at 5:45am with a lively toddler in good spirits. After registration we hung out in a small waiting room until a nurse came to show us to a pre-op holding area. She changed out of her pajamas and into a colorful hospital gown with little lavender pants. Lots of staff came by to talk to us before an anesthesiologist came through to explain again what was about to happen. At about 7:40am they brought Andy a gown and bonnet to put on for his brief trip to the operating room to deliver our brave little patient.

Speaking of brave, I held myself together pretty well until after they were come. As soon as she was out of sight, I got jittery with worry. Our friend Kristin summed it up perfectly. “It’s hard to reconcile that my protective parental instincts were telling me two distinct things: That my baby was in danger going through surgery and in danger not going through surgery.”

The Biscuit never fussed and Andy said it was good thing she fell asleep quickly because the surgical team was having too much fun just hanging out with her. That’s my girl. The doctors let her take her best friend Mister Bunny in with her. He hung out on the bed by her side the whole time.

Parker is sleeping now but the surgeon – who is ALWAYS smiling – said that everything went super smoothly. His words: it couldn’t have been more uneventful.

As soon as he removed the blockage, her kidney drained immediately. Now she’s got four Disney Band-aids on her belly from the tiny laparoscopy incisions, two IVs (one is active, the other is a backup) and a catheter. The nurses say her recovery is already amazing. She’s eating, drinking, talking, smiling and – most important right now – peeing a lot. “Brushing that dirt off her shoulder like it ain’t no thing,” said our friend Nicholas.

I’ll be spending the night in the hospital with her and, as long as she keeps improving, we’ll be out of here in the morning. Thanks again for all of the thoughts, prayers, vibes, emails, text messages, Facebook comments and Twitter DMs. We love you guys.

Thanks for that image, Mr. Priester.

The Biscuit under the knife

Monday, September 15, 2014

While I was still pregnant, the doctors diagnosed Parker with a condition called hydronephrosis. You can read all about that here.

Back then, they told us that they would have to remove one of her kidneys after she was born, much to our horror. Later, as she grew normally inside of me, her condition was downgraded slightly and they said she’d after to be monitored after birth to determine kidney function. If the distended kidney didn’t work, they would remove it.

About 6 weeks after she was born she had her first of several renal scans to determine her kidney function. Thankfully, her right one (the one that is always full) works just fine. It’s just slow to drain urine into her bladder. They wouldn’t have to remove it after all. The hope was that as she and her kidneys grew, the blockage would resolve itself.

Every 6 months since, we’ve gone to Boston Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound to track whether the right kidney was still dilated. While it remained unchanged through most of those, the last checkup revealed that it was actually retaining more urine. The dilation had increased.

After June brought us TWO back-to-back kidney infections, her urologist decided to surgically correct the blockage that is keeping her kidney from draining properly.

The most common surgical procedure is pyeloplasty. This repairs the most common type of blockage that causes hydronephrosis: ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ).

Parker’s pyeloplasty will be the futuristic sounding “robot-assisted” variety. With the use of a tiny camera, surgeons operate using very thin instruments inserted into three or four small incisions. Robot-assisted pyeloplasty removes an obstructed section of the ureter and reattaches the healthy portion to the kidney’s drainage system.

Robotic surgery can offer a number of benefits as compared to traditional (open) surgery, including:
  • less discomfort after the operation
  • smaller scars on the belly
  • a shorter hospital stay—usually 24 to 48 hours
  • quicker recovery
The great news is that Boston Children’s Hospital is a nationally recognized pioneer in robotic-assisted surgery and was the first pediatric hospital to use a surgical robot. They also do more pediatric pyeloplasties than any other hospital in the country.

About 1 in 100 babies has this and the success rate is about 95 percent. Overall, we’re feeling good about what’s ahead of us.


We had a pre-op appointment today and everyone has been super nice. That hasn’t kept me from being a bit of a wreck. My baby is having surgery! Commence uncontrollable worrying and general freaking out.

Andy, as per usual, is very calm and reassuring. He’s been my rock from the beginning of this parenting journey (even during the really rough parts) and words will never be adequate to describe how grateful I am for him.

We’re scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning at 7:30am. We’ll get to comfort her as she falls asleep and I’ll be staying with her overnight in the hospital.

Please keep all three of us in your thoughts. We need all of the love and positive vibes you can spare. I’ll post something either here or on social media as I have information (and energy) to share.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

An impromptu, late afternoon road trip offers low tide fun in Gloucester. #thebiscuitlife (at Good Harbor Beach)
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A trip to the Lego store is topped off with some ice cream from J.P. Licks. #summer #worldsokayestmom
Monday, August 11, 2014

Lulu sent Winnie the Pooh stickers and Parker insisted we put them on. #thebiscuitlife (at Chez Biscuit)

Learning Spanish

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Me: Mucho gusto!
Her: No me gusta!

Andy tells The Biscuit a joke

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Him: What’s brown and sticky all over?Her: Parker!

Actual punchline: A stick.

Dear parents...

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Link: Dear parents, you need to control your kids. Sincerely, non-parents - The Matt Walsh Blog

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do.”
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Biscuit and I were asked to be part of a promo video for our favorite stroller company. More details coming soon.

First trip to the dentist

Monday, July 7, 2014

We’d been told to do it at a year old but, honestly, who are these people who take little babies to the dentist?

I asked my dentist if he could check her out and he strongly recommended a “pediatric dentist.” Apparently they’re better equipped with smaller instruments and fun distractions.

He was right. We found Cambridge Children’s Dentistry and couldn’t be happier. Dr. Pedram Javedan knew exactly what a busy toddler needed to feel comfortable in a strange dental office: colorful toys and books in the waiting room, TVs on the ceiling with headphones in the examination room and an excellent chairside manner.



We’ve been sort of brushing her teeth for months, using toothbrushes that light up with flouride-free training toothpaste. She spends most of her time at the sink twice a day just chewing on the bristles. But I think it’s better to just get her into the habit instead of forcing proper technique.

She’s still talking about the “penguin sparkles” he gave her when he polished her teeth. The stickers, temporary tattoo, and oversized balloon she got at the end were also appreciated.

On the car ride home she worked on saying “dentist” without it coming out like densists. I think her next visit in six months will go smoothly too.


Toddlers, man

Thursday, July 3, 2014
Having a two-year-old around is, as this Huffington Post article spells out, like being in prison:
  • You can’t do anything without constant supervision
  • Every morning begins with someone screaming at you to wake up
  • You’re always terrified something bad will happen when you’re in the shower
  • Mealtime is fraught with tension
  • Someone’s always watching you go to the bathroom
One way having a toddler is NOT like being in prison:
  • Being placed in solitary confinement is a reward, not a punishment
The Biscuit is unpredictable sometimes and she basically has four moods: happy, hyper, brooding and screaming. I’ve gotten pretty good at managing them but curveballs always exist.

Parker was invited to a fancy tea party birthday thing. There were hats and dresses and china cups and cakes. And she was having none of it. Everything was terrible even after I let her eat two hot dogs, some pasta salad and a handful of jelly beans. We left after 45 minutes and she screamed the whole way home.

And she kept screaming after we got home. Then she vomited. Then she was sort of happy. WTF?

The next day she had a fever. The pediatrician said that a kidney infection we thought had been dealt with a few weeks ago had returned. Perhaps the bacteria was resistant to the original antibiotic. Doctors are never really sure about anything, are they? We got a new prescription and hoped for the best. Thankfully, she remained in good spirits even after a catheter to get a urine sample.

We managed the fever with ibuprofen but on the third day it spiked to 105.6. That’s seizure territory, folks. We gave her a cool bath and went to Children’s Hospital Boston.

The ER over there was surprisingly empty and we got a room right away. Nurses, doctors and techs came and went while The Biscuit got stickers and watched World Cup soccer. When the game ended she kicked back with videos of herself on Andy’s phone while we waited for the doctor to decide what to do.

Ultimately they just sent us home. We added Tylenol to the fever-management mix and, after a few days, she was back to being herself (whatever that is). It was an emotional few days, for sure. Do parents suffer from PTSD?

I guess living with a toddler is more like going to an amusement park:
  • It costs a fortune
  • You’ve never been more sticky
  • The roller coaster rides are intense
  • There’s a better than average chance someone is going to throw up
  • You’re amazed more people don’t get seriously injured
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

#TheBiscuit got an awesome new raincoat. She’s been wearing it for an hour even though it’s dry, sunny and warm outside.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My daughter is obsessed with dental floss. #thebiscuitlife

2 years

Friday, May 23, 2014

A brief exchange:
ME: I’m writing your two-year blog post. Is there anything you want to say?
HER: No.
ME: How old are you?
HER: Two … three, four, five.

Current stats: 35.5 inches tall; 27 pounds, 15 ounces

Tooth count: The last check was 16 but I don’t dare put my fingers anywhere near those super-sharp things.

New tricks: counting to 15, 3 to 5-word sentences, conjugating verbs, running, singing the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

New words: We’ve honestly stopped keeping track. Her vocabulary is really advanced and we think she has about 150 words.

The most recent additions: please, thank you, right now, bugaboo, outside, orange, Alex (our babysitter’s name), penguin, upside down, potty, Parker, myself, stroller, cake, bubbles, piano

New sentences:
“Mama, what you doing in kitchen?”
After fake falling down: “Is Biscuit ok?”
“More chocolate?” or “Have chocolate for dinner?”

THE LATESTParker didn’t seem to enjoy her birthday party. At one point, I discovered her in her room alone reading books. I think she was just overwhelmed by the people, the excitement and everything. She did enjoy her cake.


And, overall, we had a nice day with lots of new and old friends.

So, here we are, two years into this parenting thing. It feels like it’s getting a little easier. She’s getting better at expressing exactly what she wants. I’ve found that giving her choices is working to curb the meltdowns. It usually goes like this:

ME: Time to get dressed.
ME: Do you want to wear the green shirt or the gray shirt?
HER: Green shirt.
Shirt goes on without incident. Then I repeat that process for pants and shoes.

The Biscuit’s been almost totally healthy since her ear infection at the beginning of the year. On the recommendation of an experienced mom, I’ve been giving her half a teaspoon of black elderberry syrup every day for immune system support. It’s made a huge difference in how many colds and the duration of the colds she had this winter.

Since introducing the potty, it’s been up and down. We’ve had about half a dozen “successes:” putting pee in the potty. For this she’s been rewarded with stickers and a Hershey’s Kiss. The pediatrician says this is the only good time to use bribery. We’ll see about that.

If we can get her to sit on it first thing in the morning, she goes right away. If I try during the day, she’ll sit on her potty chair for 45 minutes, reading books, with no success. Then she stands up to get a fresh diaper and pees on the floor. I’m glad we still have a ton of those cloth diapers we used when she was spitting up constantly as an infant.

Sometimes she says, “Go potty right now.” But she doesn’t have to go. She just wants to sit there. She’s not that into it, I think.

My second mother suggested a DVD called “Potty Power.” Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds but she really likes watching it. Since we have to watch it at least 5 times a day, I’m thankful that it’s only 20 minutes long. There is a fair amount of baby shaming in it (“Are you a baby or a big kid?” “Babies where diapers. Big kids use the potty.”) but I think it’s empowering for her. She imitates what the kids in the video do and say so maybe she’s just not ready to be potty trained. We’ll keep trying when she’s open to it but, for now at least, we’re playing it cool.

This article about a dad’s experience with his son is HILARIOUS.
Saturday, May 17, 2014

Miss Parker Violet is 2 years old. A more lengthy post is coming but here are a few pictures from her party.

Her beautiful cake.

Mama forgot to get candles so some sparklers from the last fourth of July came in handy.

Andy often says that Parker and I make the same facial expressions. Here's proof, I guess.
Sunday, May 11, 2014

This little lady made me a mother. #thebiscuit #mothersday2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lunch al fresco at Chez Biscuit.
Thursday, May 1, 2014

These headphones are not connected to anything. She just likes wearing them around the house. #thebiscuitlife
Friday, April 25, 2014

Sometimes breakfast is so extreme it requires a headlamp.

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