1. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 8/20/14

    August 20, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    No wedding needed for these monkeys to make the most of an outdoor party tent (note that Nicholas, true to form, is seconds away from taste-testing a discarded ball of aluminum foil).


  2. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 8/13/14

    August 13, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    Lorelei’s guiding philosophy: When life offers you props, useĀ all the props.


    Photo courtesy Stacy Cusack

  3. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 8/6/14

    August 6, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    Our little cocktail-shaker koala.


  4. Life With an Almost-2-Year-Old

    August 3, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    Jerry Seinfeld once said, in his usual hilariously understated way, that “A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”

    Having chuckled about this and mulled it over for a while, I have to conclude that a two-year-old is more like a basket of puppies: Ridiculously cute and exuberant but also loud, incontinent, and wildly hard to contain. A blender without a top has an extensive yet finite range of destructive reach; not so for the puppies or the two-year-old.

    Yesterday, whatever room Nicholas was in seemed to strike him as the wrong one, for reasons unknown to us. As soon as he stopped moving, a lightbulb would go on and he’d remember something crucial that needed to be thrown, chewed on, or dismantled in a different part of the house.

    His newest move is tossing things – both large and small, light and heavy – with careless abandon over his shoulder. The rest of the family (including Brodie, the cat) has acquired a vigilant style of crab-walking around the house with one arm thrown up in defensive position to protect our faces. This is a fairly good strategy most of the time but leaves Eric’s crotch perilously exposed, as he’s discovered to painful effect more than once.

    When Nicholas tires of the over-the-shoulder move, he seamlessly shifts into his alternate persona: Mr.-Cause-and-Effect. This is when he finds an object (usually something we mistakenly thought was safely out of his reach) and drops it from a height directly in front of him to see how many pieces it will shatter into when it lands.

    This game has the added fun of creating a shard-filled minefield for the rest of us to step in and curse about; Nicholas’s own feet are usually well-protected by either his Elmo swim shoes or his sister’s Cinderella slippers, which she graciously lets him wear in order to spare us all an ear-piercing tantrum.

    He fights sleep, diaper changes, and unwanted anything like an enraged tiger. His vehement rallying cry for everything, from a slavering beast to a fire hydrant to a distant star, is “I touch it!” Yet he gives the warmest cuddles and kisses when he’s in the right mood, punctuated by the world’s sweetest smile.

    It’s a good thing he’s such a cute little blender without a top.


    Photo credit Auntie Stacy – also the provider of the “doo-nut” Nicholas is eating here.

  5. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 7/30/14

    July 30, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    Nicholas (and Elmo) perusing the cookbooks. I guess they’re in charge of dinner tonight.


  6. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 7/23/14

    July 23, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    The princess and the pirate. Thanks, Papa!


  7. My Weird Kids

    July 22, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen


    Eric and I are blessed to have such wonderful, healthy kids – who, it must be said, are off-the-wall nuts. In the past 48 hours we have experienced all of the following:

    1. The little guy’s new favorite thing is not fire trucks, but fireĀ hydrants. He greets them like old friends and always bids them a fond farewell as we walk away.

    2. I had to detain Lorelei in the bathroom yesterday and refuse to let her come out until she peed – it had been nearly a full 24 hours since she’d gone, though she kept protesting that she didn’t have to go. When the pee finally came, to quote her during an earlier bathroom session, it came out “Whoosh! Like a volcano.”

    3. Nicholas has started pressing my right breast like a doorbell whenever I pick him up. “Button? Button?” he asks. I don’t know what he’s expecting that button to do.

    4. Lorelei is now using the small 10-inch space between our washer and dryer as her “dressing room.” Unsurprisingly, given that Lorelei is bigger than many college freshmen, this doesn’t give her a lot of room to maneuver. There is much banging and contortionism.

    5. Nicholas has recently started clasping Eric’s cheeks and talking directly into his mouth, like he’s ordering a burger and fries from a plastic clown head at a drive-through. He does this, for reasons unknown, only to Eric.

    6. Lorelei decided to play restaurant with Eric the other night, the theme of which seemed to be “service with a scowl.” Eric’s meal consisted of a bunch of plastic grapes and comments including, “I said good day, sir!” and “You’ll eat it and you’ll like it.”

    7. Nicholas loves to retrieve Lorelei’s dolls from the toybox and forcibly remove their clothes. We can’t tell if this is a normal little boy thing to do or signs of real issues with women down the road.

    8. Lorelei met a little girl at the playground yesterday named Artemis, whom Lorelei insisted, over numerous protests, upon calling “Arsenal.” On the way home, Lorelei declared that she just thought “Arsenal” was a prettier name than “Artemis.”

    9. Lorelei also sat down on the swings yesterday next to a little boy and his genteel European mother, both of whom looked slightly alarmed when Lorelei started repeatedly shouting at the top of her lungs “BABY ON A SWING LA LA LA LA!’” They eventually came around to her odd charms, but it was touch and go for a while.

    10. We brought both kids to a minor-league baseball game on Sunday, and to keep Nicholas occupied I walked him around the stadium for a while. I eventually hoisted him atop a trash can so he could see what was going on. He immediately channeled his inner Elsa-on-a-balcony and broke into a chorus of Let It Go, complete with dramatic arm motions.

    Eric and are are living in a perpetual state of amusement – and a bit of apprehension – as to what tomorrow will bring. We also fully accept that our kids are nuts (via nature or nuture) because we are, too.

  8. Mommy Tries Featured on Classroom Comedy Site

    July 17, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    If you attended Gilford Elementary School back in the 1980s, or even if you didn’t, you may enjoy this short write-up of an interview I recently did with Dressler Parsons of Student-Tutor.com:

    You Can’t Fight City Hall

    (And Doug, wherever you are, I’m truly sorry – what kind of teacher encourages a 5th grader to impeach a classmate??)

  9. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 7/16/14

    July 16, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

    Nicholas, Thomas, and the friend he calls “Let It Go.”


  10. A Mother’s Ode to William Carlos Williams

    July 15, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen


    I have eaten
    the chocolate-covered Oreos
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    I ostensibly
    for the children

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold
    and you were at daycare