The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: November 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Lesson Learned

Liam learned an important lesson today about the risks involved in requesting to have Paige sit on his shoulders.


Given his track record with learning lessons the first time he’s given the opportunity I’m sure he’ll end up with a faceful of Paige’s spit/poop/pee at least once (or twice, or thrice) more, but it’s always nice to have a visual aid with which to attempt to drive home the point.  Now we have such an aid.

Dear Neighborhood Jehovah’s Witnesses,

I completely respect your right to your own religious beliefs, your dedication to those same beliefs (I mean, man it’s nasty outside today), and the fact that you are always very polite when you come to my door — but is it possible that after the fourth time in the past three weeks that you’ve come to my door and I’ve politely said that we are going to have to agree to disagree that maybe all you’re doing is irritating me and perhaps undermining your intent just a little bit?  Just curious…

I don’t know you personally so I shouldn’t recognize your face.  I shouldn’t recognize your car as you park it in front of my house, either.  I also shouldn’t have to run and hide in my own house when I see you coming because I just don’t have it in me to smile and be calm while dealing with you one more time.

You know that sign on my doorbell that tells you not to ring it because the baby’s sleeping?  That sign and the fact you can see that my house is a complete disaster from the street should tell you that I probably don’t have time to shoot the breeze…I mean, since the many times I’ve told you that face-to-face haven’t seemed to sink in at all.  Also, knocking loudly multiple times when I don’t answer the door immediately is annoying.  I don’t like it when political canvassers do it.  I don’t like it when people who tell me that they’re “doing some work for your neighbors and wanted to offer you a free estimate on gutter replacement” do it (especially irritating since if this claim were true by now the entire neighborhood would have new gutters and I’m observant enough to confirm that this is not the case).  I really don’t like it when I’m trying to spend a relaxing day in my living room and instead I find myself hiding in my bedroom to avoid having the same conversation for the fourth time in less than as many weeks.  I’m over it.

I know that your religious beliefs call for you to witness to people.  Don’t you think it would be more fruitful if you chose DIFFERENT people to whom to witness?  Maybe work with the law of averages a little bit on this one?  I know that I’m not well-versed on your specific religious beliefs and obligations so clearly I don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.  What I do understand is that you’re not making any friends right now.

Respectfully and with a great amount of irritation,


Spencer Family Photo 2010

I have tons more pictures to post at a later date, but right now I’d like to pause to show you what happens when trying to take a picture of 8 people in a group that includes an infant, a toddler, several people who can’t keep their eyes open when the camera flashes, several people who can’t seem to smile to save their lives, and several people who have serious trouble looking at the camera at all (these groups are not mutually exclusive obviously, and at any point in time, any person in this picture could belong to any or all of these groups…I wish I were exaggerating).


I know that this isn’t the winner for Christmas picture of the year, but it’s definitely my favorite.

Dear Satan,

I see that you have once again inhabited my son’s body.  You were very clever this time when you made the choice to start the takeover at a time that had absolutely no obvious catalyst.  We even thought that he might be sick for a couple of days, but you can’t fool us forever (sleep deprivation has made us stupid, but even we aren’t that stupid).  I would; however, appreciate it if you could move on to someone else’s body before Thanksgiving.  He’s running his first race that morning and it’s going to be a long day and I don’t have time for an exorcism.  I understand that you’re not really in the business of accommodation, you are The Devil after all, but I think it became pretty clear during your last month-long stay in our son’s body after our daughter was born that it wasn’t much fun for you, either.  Rumor has it that you’re pretty self-serving, so I think you must appreciate the fact that this isn’t the vacation spot it might have been for you at some point.  Hasn’t all that time spent in time-out taught you anything, yet?  Also — you may be Beelzebub, but I’m Shannon and I’m afraid that you’re no match for me at this point in my life:  I’m feeling a little like kicking some hiney and taking some names and you’re at the top of the list.  You’ve been warned.



Miscellaneous Roundup

Let’s just dive right into the cuteness that is a lay date with Paige and Sylvie, shall we?


PJ draws them in and holds their attention well:


Sweet hand holding (or the beginning of a thumb war, we’ll never know…):





What can I say?  Sylvie knows how to work an angle…




Liam tries to relive his childhood by trying on a hat made for him, but which Paige now wears:


It may be totally adorable, but the beanie effect isn’t my favorite…


Me and my babies:





My girl:



Hanging out with Gran:




The following series beautifully proves the point that trying to get two children (and one adult) to pose for a picture at the same time is something akin to herding cats…









And finally, a keeper or two…








I’ve been trying to finish this blog post for over a week.  I’m going to end it now because I fear that if I don’t it won’t be published until Paige is a teenager.  It might seem a bit odd at that point…

Paci Fairy

A couple of weeks ago Liam had his first trip to the dentist.  It basically ended up being a very expensive professional toothbrushing experience, but the hygienist said that in her opinion it makes for better future experiences if the first time isn’t traumatic, so she showed him all the equipment and did as much as she could.  Then the dentist came in to count his teeth and check to make sure that they’re healthy.  All was well with the exception of his front teeth.  As I think I made obvious with the title of this post, this was the result of almost three years of daily pacifier use.  It’s been a while since he used his paci for anything but sleeping, but it was becoming clear that it was time to give it up.

Then came the hard part.

Let me preface this by saying that I have absolutely no idea why this went down the way that it did.  I honestly started the discussion with Liam with every intention of just talking about not using the paci anymore followed by a period of perhaps just taking naps without it before phasing it out completely.  Our boy was (and unfortunately, still is) very attached to his paci and this was not the best time to add any more sleep disturbances to our house than we already have.  But in having a discussion with him (this was not our first discussion about the topic, and he brought it up himself, which may be why I got all gung-ho about it) about the paci and how he is a big boy and he doesn’t need his paci anymore and that soon he was going to sleep with only his woobie I found myself telling him that he could have it at his nap that day and then that night would be his first night without it.

As anyone who has had kids (and has a similar parenting style) knows:  once you’ve laid down the law, you’ve gotta follow through.  As soon as the words left my mouth, I wished I hadn’t said it, but it was already too late.  Setting limits is especially important for Liam right now and I see part of my parenting job as being the wall that he comes up against.  When he knows the rules and the limits, he’s far better behaved (perhaps with the exception of the several weeks following Paige’s birth, but in all fairness I truly believe that he had lost his mind during that time period, and he came around to being the boy we all know and love in about a month’s time…with most rules and limits intact, I might add).

The next step (apparently) was to concoct a story about how the paci fairy was going to come and take his pacifiers and give them to babies who need them (since big boys and girls don’t need pacis, but babies do).  We started by making an envelope for the pacis and decorating it for the drop-off.






Brave face:


Honest face:


Next came the ceremonious paci pass-off (I decided — while making up everything as I was going along — that the paci fairy uses the USPS to receive her pacis for distribution).





The final step was a promised (and much anticipated by Liam…you know, for the whole 8 hours that this process lasted from conception to fruition) bubble blowing session with Dad and an impromptu romp around the yard afterwards.



















The real work began when Matt had to put him to bed that night.  There were tears.  Lots of tears.  Big old pitiful crocodile tears.  I heard the phrase:  “I’m so sad” uttered by my son just enough times to break my heart into a thousand pieces.  When Matt replied that it was okay to be sad, but that it was something that needed to happen because Liam is a big boy now and I heard Liam say “but I don’t want to be a big boy, I want to be a little boy, I want my paci” I was very glad that I was rocking Paige in the next room.  It was pretty horrible to listen to, the worst part being, of course, that I knew that I had caused him pain and I never want to cause him pain.

Nowadays he still asks about his paci in passing and often wakes up from his naps wondering aloud where his paci is, but things are going much more smoothly.

I’d love for Paige to take to the paci for soothing purposes, but if I don’t have to go through this again it will be okay by me.

Overheard At The Connolly Ranch

[Backstory:  Liam can do almost all of his potty routine by himself, but the cleaning of his bum after a certain type of pottying isn’t something we trust him to do quite yet.  I’ve found that the only way I can get him clean is to sit on the edge of the bathtub and put him over my knees.]

Liam: [Lying over my knees with his hands extended out in one direction and his legs in the other, balancing on his tummy.]  “Up, up, and away!  I’m Superman, Mama!  I can fly!”

Matt couldn’t have beamed any brighter after being told this story.  Liam has been wearing his Superman cape over his clothes daily for the past week.  Like father, like son in almost every way…


[Scene:  Liam and I are sitting at the kitchen table while he eats a snack.]

Liam:  “Mama?  Where’s Daddy?  Is he at work?  Is he working?  I miss him a lot.”

Shannon:  “I know you do, Buddy, but he’ll be home soon.”

Liam:  “Oh, that’s great!  I miss him so much.  I love my Daddy so much, Mama.”

Shannon:  “He loves you too, Liam and I’m sure that he would rather be here with you because he misses you when he’s gone, too.”

Liam:  “Mama?  I love you so much too and I miss you when you’re gone too!”

Shannon:  “Thanks Liam.  Would you like a pony for your third birthday?”


[Scene:  I’m helping Liam get out of his Pull-up after his nap so he can change into his undies for the rest of the day.]

Liam:  [Looking down at his boy bits]  “Oh No, Mama!”

Shannon:  “What’s the matter?”

Liam:  “My penis!  I have only one penis, Mama!  Where’s the other one?”

Shannon:  “You’ve always only had one penis, Buddy.  Sorry about that.”

Liam:  “No, Mama.  I have TWO penises.  I lost the other one.  I can’t find my other penis.  Where is it, Mama?  What happened to it?”

Shannon:  “I’m sure it’s every guy’s dream to have two penises, but Buddy you only get the one.”

Liam:  “Oh.  I only have one penis, Mama.  I’m sad.”


Parenting a boy is quite an experience…

Oy. Vey.

Living in this house right now is the best ad for birth control there has ever been.  I really think we could help with teen pregnancy by having an at risk teen stay at our house and witness firsthand what’s involved in caring for children.  If it didn’t involve more surgery on my lady bits I’d be running to the hospital requesting a tubal ligation.  STAT.

Remember when I offered Liam up to a good home for free?  At this point I’d pay someone to take Paige.  I don’t even know what kind of personality she has because what we’ve seen is sleep and screaming for the most part.

How is it fair that I gave birth to a gigantic baby who won’t give us a long stretch of sleep?  It’s a cruel, cruel joke.  I slept for a total of four hours last night, broken into two sections.  Matt has spent at least 3 hours of his day trying to put an exhausted child down to sleep.  Liam is crying out for attention.  The only reason we didn’t lose it today is because Gillian came by to help and I got to take a nap this afternoon.

I know that this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like this stage of life.  Very young babies are really cute if you get to give them back to their parents at night, not so much if you can’t.  I love the stage that Liam’s in right now.  He’s fully communicative.  He still naps (most days).  He’s potty trained (knock wood for expressing it publicly).  He wants to be a helper (most of the time).  He can entertain himself.  He’s easy to take on errands.  He doesn’t need to feed every five minutes.  Today he put the letters EYN in his fridge letter game and proclaimed “Ean!  It spells Ean!”  I wish I could keep him this age forever and fast forward Paige to catch up with him.

I just hope she makes it to two without any major fallout.

A Tiny Glimpse Of Heaven

After hours and hours and hours of trying Matt got Paige to fall asleep around midnight.  I slept until 6 when she made a noise that wasn’t loud enough to wake her, but was enough for me.  She slept until 7, drank 6 oz., and was back down before 8.  Those are numbers I can live with.

Fingers crossed that as we get more Prevacid in her, she feels better and better, sleeps better and better, and smiles more and more.  Because right now I’m living for a couple of consecutive hours of sleep and some good baby smiles.

Parenthood is a crazy, crazy roller coaster but unfortunately life isn’t quite as much fun as Six Flags right now…

Straight From The Bowels Of Hell

I’m at my breaking point.  I can’t string two words together and have them make sense.  When I try to talk I either burst into tears or get ridiculously angry.  The following things are the reasons for this:

-Paige hasn’t slept for more than 45 minutes at a stretch all day (and that was only once, the rest of the time it’s been 15 minute increments, if that).
-If she’s not asleep or has a bottle in her mouth she’s screaming.
-She’s completely exhausted and we had just started to turn a corner with getting her sleep under control when whatever is happening right now started happening.
-Sleep begets sleep and she hasn’t slept for any period of time in 24 hours so you do the math.
-I’ve spent the better part of the day on the phone with the doctor’s office and the pharmacy trying to get a prescription filled that we think may help her to feel better (and hopefully stop screaming).
-This particular prescription apparently requires “prior authorization” from the insurance company which takes 3-5 days to acquire.
-I CANNOT listen to this child scream for another 5-7 days (3-5 to get the authorization and 2 more for the medicine to take effect).
-I finally cut a deal with the pharmacy, got the prescription partially filled, and ended up paying $31 for a 5-day supply of the med with the hope that the “prior authorization” comes through before that (and that doing a partial fill on the prescription doesn’t screw up the process and make it so I have to start over from square-one tomorrow which I won’t know until the morning because, of course, all of this was happening up until the point where the pediatrician’s office closed for the day).
-When I finally got the golden pills I was supposed to cut one in half and dissolve it in liquid to give it to Paige.  It broke into thousands of tiny dissolveable parts all over the plate where I cut it and then I ended up spilling it again (on the counter this time) before I completely botched mixing it up properly and dribbled it into my child’s mouth.  I have no way of knowing if she got what she needed to get from that dose so I don’t know if it’s working and we’re out more than $3 just for the attempt.
-I drank a cup of coffee and ate a bagel at 10am (well, I started eating it at 10 and finally finished at around 11) and I didn’t get to eat or drink anything else until 8pm because I was either helping Liam go to the bathroom, putting Liam down for a nap, bathing Liam, holding Paige, attempting to feed Paige, changing Paige’s diaper, talking on the phone to nurse at the doctor’s office, talking on the phone to the pharmacist at the Walgreens, digging through three years of bills and paperwork trying to find the proof that we paid the deductible in 2007 when Liam was born and that we don’t owe Dekalb Medical Center one red dime for services rendered ALMOST THREE YEARS AGO, or weeping (and cursing) on the phone with my mom.
-I am so weary and my eyes are foggy and my back and feet ache in unbelievable ways.
-My child cannot or will not be soothed by me holding her.
-The idea of going back to staying up all night on the couch holding a baby who won’t even sleep on me is almost unbearable.

I want to run away.  I want to have a manageable life again.  I want to be able to get to find out who my daughter is instead of willing her to shut up.  I want to have time to spend with my sweet boy who is craving attention and gives me hugs while saying “Oh Mama, I’ll give you a big hug and that will make you feel better” (and it does, momentarily…).  I want to have the energy to exercise (for both my mental health and my waistline).  I want for me and Matt to have the chance to be rested at the same time.  I want to have the opportunity to do ANYTHING that’s just for me.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

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