Musings About Life... After Birth



Posted by Janna on August 13, 2011

Today, our family made a construction paper *stained glass window* together. It was super easy and really fun, too!

Now, don't worry if you are not an artistically inclined individual. I certainly am not, but this is an easy little project that anyone can do. Seriously.

Here's what you need:

  • Pair of scissors
  • 4 or 5 pieces of colored construction paper (we used purple, green, blue, yellow & red)

  • 1 piece of white construction paper (I was out of white, so we used tan)
  • Glue stick

  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Wipes for cleanup

Before you get your kid involved, grab the scissors and colored pieces of paper. Cut the paper into various shapes, like this:

Once the shapes are ready, you can put the scissors away.

Gather the colored paper shapes and remaining materials and head with your child to a kid-sized table or his high chair.

Place the white paper on the table (you might want to secure the paper in place with masking tape).

Show the colored paper shapes to your child. Choose a shape and demonstrate how to glue it down on the paper. Then, invite your child to select a shape. "Tommy, which shape would you like to use now?"

Once your child selects a shape, be sure to point out the color. "Very nice, Tommy. You chose a blue shape."

Now, help him apply glue to the back of it. Then encourage him to find a spot on the paper for the shape. "Tommy, where would you like this blue shape to go?"

When he indicates a spot, help him place the shape on the paper.

Repeat this process for as long as it holds your tot's attention. For my boy, it lasted about fifteen minutes. Then pick up your child's finished work and lay it flat to dry. If you have any shapes left over, you might want to store those to use for another project.

Once you are finished with all that, use the baby wipes for clean up. I know that this is probably stating the obvious, but I am mentioning it because my husband Andrew has turned it into a little game. As a result, our Tommy likes to help wipe down his table and high chair. When Daddy cleans the tabletop he always lets Tommy take a turn and sings "Clean! Clean! Clean!" Tommy adores it and sometimes he sings along, too.

Once the glue is dry, the only thing left to do is to write your kid's name and the date on the project and display it on the fridge. Here is Tommy's *stained glass window* from today:

What do you guys think? Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this project? What about some other art ideas for tots? Please share!


Posted by Chelsea on July 15, 2008

Guess what Big Bro had for dinner tonight:

Not sure if more got into his mouth or onto his face.

I love the pasta beard he gets when he eats spaghetti:

If only Palmolive made shaving cream….

One bonus of spaghetti eating: no need to floss post-dining!

Don’t forget the back teeth…

Tags big bro


Posted by Chelsea on January 04, 2008

Here’s what was going on in my life, roughly this time last year:

My son has recently become obsessed with any and every thing that features wheels. He has eschewed all of his toys that aren’t trucks, cars or tractors, and each morning when he wakes up, he throws a fit until I open the window so he can look out onto our street and point to all of our neighbors’ cars.

The other day, I reported this to Momtourage member Linda while we were at Pottery Barn Kids together.

“I hate to tell you this, honey, but you know this means he has no shot of being gay,” she said. In my never-ending quest to steer my son towards a life in which he’ll never leave me for another woman, I removed my child from the “boy” side of the store and plunked him and Linda’s daughter, Lily, in the middle of the pretend kitchen equipment. “Look, kids - check out this pink stove!” I sang. Lily immediately started playing with the toy stove and refrigerator, while my son ignored me, making a beeline back to the other side of the store, zeroing in on a wheeled train, tipping it over and spinning its wheels.

“You need to just give it up,” Linda sighed.

“That’s easy for you to say,” I shot back. “Your kid will see nothing wrong with accompanying her mother on vacations when she’s 30.” Linda admitted I had a point.

At first, my son was calling all vehicles “tractor”, after his favorite wheeled toy.

Soon, he learned that the word for his blue and yellow dump truck was “truck”, and began to use it as well. Recently, he picked up “car”. Unfortunately, however, he has morphed “car” and “truck” into a new word he now uses when pointing out all wheeled vehicles. This past week, he debuted this word when I took him with me to meet Momtourage member Melissa and her son for lunch. After finishing his turkey and swiss crepe, my kid pointed to a van outside and shouted “cock!”

“Did he just say what I think he said?” she asked, giggling.

He repeated it about 3 more times. It was as clear as day. “I believe so,” I groaned.

“That’s hilarious.” she laughed, then tried to get him to say “big” beforehand. I finally told her - not so nicely- to stop it.

Everywhere my husband and I took him this past weekend, he pointed out a “cock”.

“Oh my God,” I said to my husband, after my son shouted “cock” about 20 times in the middle of the toy store. “It totally sounds like he’s saying ‘cock’, right? It’s not just me?”

“Uh, it doesn’t sound like he’s saying ‘cock’,” he said, “He is.”

Perhaps there’s hope after all…..

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Posted by Chelsea on November 29, 2007

As my 5th grade teacher used to say, times flies when you’re having fun…and even when you’re not. Do you believe that it’s almost Chanukah? And Christmas is right around the corner. Damn, when did December happen?

This past weekend I realized I needed to get my butt in gear and get my holiday cards ordered already. I’m a big fan of photo cards - especially when you have kids. It’s always fun to show off how cute your kid is and when you get others’ cards, see how everyone’s kid has grown since last year.

For my son’s first holiday season, when he was only a couple of months old, I sent out photo cards (I ordered them off with this photo:

Yes, I am a clone of my father

Though my son is not named Rick Jr. after his father, when I was pregnant with him, I referred to him as “Rick Jr.” because I knew he was a boy and I thought it was funny, particularly because Jewish people don’t name for those who are alive. We think it’s bad luck or something, and instead name for someone who has passed away. Though using your deceased relative’s actual name works, of course, you can use the name’s first letter. So, if your late grandpa was Mordecai, you’re not screwed; Max (or Meredith) is sufficient. Additionally, if you are having a hard time picking an “M” name you like (or you didn’t really like your grandpa that much but your mom is going to “die a thousand deaths” if you don’t honor him), the middle name works too.

Anyway, I digress….so, I guess I referred to this baby as Rick Jr. so much that one of my mom’s good friends actually thought I was naming my son Rick Jr., and purchased this pillow for me. I included it in his nursery, thinking it was so cute and a good reminder of what I called him in utero. Well, when he came out, he WAS (and, naturally, still remains) Rick Jr.  As I’ve lamented before, he’s a clone of my husband.  Therefore, the pillow - and the card -  was all the funnier.

Last year, I sent out a GORGEOUS card from Tiny Prints with a black and white version of this photo of my son, my husband and myself (with that annoying lock of hair over my forehead Photoshopped out) from our annual Cape Cod trip:

Be careful - these Bostonians will shoot you for wearing that hat, Dad!

This year, I chose another cool card from, and I have to say, it’s my favorite holiday card yet. I’ll post it later so as to not ruin the surprise for those who will be receiving it, but I gotta tell you, it is really cute.

If you’re needing to order some holiday cards for yourself (and seriously, if you haven’t yet done it - you need to do it soon, people!), I definitely recommend checking out Not only are its cards reasonably-priced, but have it has a selection of cards designed by well-known artists/personalities like avalisa, Martha Stewart, Stacy Claire Boyd and Shirley Lee. Additionally, Kodak Gallery has all sorts of beautiful cards (and photo gifts) too. A word to the wise: before ordering your photo cards from a big-time online vendor, check the site’s homepage or for discount codes - if you order early enough, you can often get 20-30% off your order!

If you’re looking for something different, check out Simply Silhouettes. Their cards are so cool; you take a picture of your child or childrens’ profile/s, which they turn into silhouettes and then place them on a card, like this:

or this

Happy holidays (and card making!).

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Posted by Chelsea on November 01, 2007

Thankfully, this Halloween the Kaplans avoided the costume scandal of last year. Luckily, I got it right this time by purchasing with a seriously adorable Batman getup for my son. Not the most original, I know, but is there anything cuter than a little boy in a Batman costume? I think not.

While I imagined he’d look cute in the costume, I was concerned that my son would not be into donning the best parts of it - the cape and the mask. Fortunately, however, he didn’t protest about either. Phew!

By the time we were ready to go trick or treating, Batman was WIRED. He had no nap yesterday (too much excitement, I guess) and had eaten like 3 packages of Whoppers.

Here are some photos of all the Halloween glory:

Having a few more Whoppers before going out

Batman with his weapon of choice, a plastic pumpkin

Riding his version of the Batmobile

Getting ready to go out, minus his hat

Trick or treating/saving the neighborhood with Dad

Back at home, saving the rug from fuzz balls

And kissing Mommy, the biggest superhero of all, right?

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

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Posted by Chelsea on October 30, 2007

Me: “Where is the baby?”

My kid: “In Daddy’s tummy.”

If only…

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Posted by Chelsea on October 25, 2007

The ‘08 election won’t take place for another year, but it’s never too early to start campaigning for your favorite candidate - especially when said campaigning involves purchasing new clothes. In the Thursday Styles section of today’s New York Times, there’s an article about cool campaign wear for adults. Why, though, should you stop with just dressing yourself all blue or (gasp) red? I’m all for using your kids as little political statements too.

I live in DC, so all things political are sort of the norm here. I’m a big ‘ol Democrat, so naturally, I buy things for my kid that reflect such. Here are some examples:

When my son was 4 months old, he ate his first solid food wearing this bib, which I got at Washington National airport.

I also used to outfit him in these shoes from (the ones on the left, of course). When I took him to vote with me last November, he was wearing them, and got sorts of oohs and aahs at our true-blue polling place.

There are some seriously cute - and witty - items available to show your support for your favorite ‘08 Presidential candidate. Here are some of my personal faves:

The “My Mama’s for Obama” tee from ($16-18).

I worship this “A woman for President? Has the world gone sane?”
bib from ($9.99).

Kinda diggin’  this “Bill for First Lady” onesie from too ($13.99).

And, of course, lest we leave out the Rebublicans, the Cheney/Voldemort baseball-style tee from ($22.99).


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Posted by Chelsea on October 11, 2007

Even though everything I have read says that my 2 year-old son is a bit too young to understand the fact that I am pregnant, my husband seems hell-bent on introducing him to the concept.

“Mommy has a baby in her tummy,” he said tonight as we all ate dinner together. “Do you think it’s a boy or a girl?”

“Boy,” he replied.

Maybe he does understand?

“Is Mommy a boy or a girl?” I asked.

“Boy,” he replied.

Maybe not.

“Mommy has a baby in her tummy!” my husband repeated.

My son took a minute to let this sink in. “Wanna see it!” he demanded.

My husband and I broke out in laughter.

“You can’t see it until March, honey, ” I said.


“It’s growing inside Mommy’s tummy, ” I said. Tummy, uterus, same thing.

“Mommy has a baby inside her tummy,” my husband repeated.

“A baby,” I said.

“It’s growing,” my son added.

He’s getting there…..

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Posted by Chelsea on October 01, 2007

Tickets for the January Hannah Montana (played by teen “sensation” Miley Cyrus) concert at Washington, DC’s Verizon Center sold out this past Saturday in 12 minutes, faster than the sale of tickets to the Bruce Springsteen show.

Missed the boat? Tickets to the show are currently available on ebay for around $750 (face value price for the tickets did not exceed $66).

Miley, in response to the mayhem,  was overheard asking, “Who’s the ‘boss’ now, bitch?”

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Posted by Chelsea on August 29, 2007

Seth Rogen from “Knocked Up”

My kid in Cape Cod, pre-haircut

Muuuuuuuuch better.

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