Wednesday, November 14, 2007

yes sir, yes sir - three bags full

The latest is that the boy talks. He's extremely expressive and very clear in his message. The problem that I didn't anticipate is that I don't understand him because he does all this with one word - ba. "Uh-ba-ba-baaa-ba-ba-b-ba." Imagine this with lots of tone inflection and very dramatic facial expressions.

The result of all this is that my son tells me very precisely (and expressively, as noted) what he believes he lacks. I, however, am inadequate in my response because I don't speak "ba." He then repeats his appeal in an even more dramatic and appealing manner. I generally try a few things that I think he might be referring to, and his frustration increases because he's obviously been saddled with a mother who doesn't know her head from a hole in the ground.

Another unfortunate characteristic of this whole procedure is that, some time between the first pleadings and my accidentally stumbling across the solution to the issue at hand, it will inevitablly become first adorable and then funny to me. Not the fact that there's a problem; I'm not sadistic. However, watching a beautiful child giving an Oscar-worthy performance using just "ba" is a pretty entertaining undertaking. Full points to him for performance - really, I cannot do it justice in words, especially given that I'm deficient in translation skills. Already the boy recognizes when people are laughing at him rather than with him (how is this possible at 8 months? Another day...), so I do my best not to laugh. Sometimes I succeed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A lot can happen in three weeks


In the last three weeks, the boy has gone from beginning to try foods to eating actual foods sitting in his high chair like a big boy. He's gone from sitting in his Bumbo seat to crawling out of it and crawling generally. He's got a cool technique that I hadn't seen before but his teacher says is fairly common, in which he kind of drags one leg behind him straight-ish. He's pulled up to standing, and two days ago he actually Stood Up. He Stood Up! He'll be 8 months old on Tuesday, and I have a feeling the days of the non-baby-proofed house are gone. Much work to do. He has four teeth and loves, loves, loves to bite things with them. It's a whole new world at our house in the last three weeks.

My husband is at an entirely different job now - he started a new gig on Monday. Very exciting. Much to do.

My little business has gone from merely a dream to signing its first customer today. We're official!! I have a partner and two employees, which makes me very nervous and also very excited. I don't mind putting my own earnings on the line, but I take seriously putting others' there. However, it seems as though the pieces are coming together, and coming together pretty quickly. Very exciting. Much to do.

Are you noticing a theme here?

If you know a way either to add more hours to a day or become even more ultra-efficient than usual, would you fill me in? In fact, perhaps I should bag my current business plan and work on that, because if I were able to solve that, any financial worries would dissolve immediately! I'll put that on the list - one more thing to do. Very exciting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

fun in a bottle

What's a good time? Riding bikes - ask any kid, right? I haven't had my own bike in decades (yes, decades). I've had roller blades (ended badly; broke my tailbone, and I'd like to point out that when people say they're going to put your butt in a sling, they're fibbing - there is no butt sling or butt cast. You just suck it up until it heals), but not my own bike. Until now!

I believe I've mentioned before here a bicycle that was delivered to my dad's house. We thought it had come anonymously from an eccentric family friend. Well, it turns out that it wasn't from the family friend--it was a delivery error by Schwinn. At an auction my dad found one of those carts that you pull behind your bike with your kid in it (he's been very quick to point out that it will hold two children - it will hold two, no mistake), but it was missing a few parts. Dad ordered these from Schwinn for me.

Apparently, someone at Schwinn got a little zealous with the address labels, and voila - bike at Dad's house coincidental with the time that he'd mentioned to a friend that I was looking for a bike. When Schwinn called and said that they'd made the error, my dad (who could, I'm convinced, get an eskimo to think he needed more ice) explained that he'd already assembled it for me and that he didn't want to have to take it back. He talked them into giving him the bike. Free bike after all!

Yesterday was our maiden voyage. Dad brought his own bike over, and I got to try my new one. It's true - I could still ride, though I wasn't as good as I once was (I'll get it back - don't you worry). Then we attached the cart with Little Man in the center (though, once again I'd like to point out that it will hold two children. I'm not sure why I keep pointing this out, other than because everyone else keeps pointing it out to me). We went for a little trip, I on my shiny new Schwinn with the cart, and Dad on his Schwinn, too. What a truly fun time! It was a short trip, but the wind on my face just like I remember, and on a perfect fall day, too. I can hardly wait to ride/tow over to the park with a blanket and play, maybe blow bubbles, and then ride back. I'm really excited to have another excuse to play outside! Oh, and the boy really seemed to like it, too.

Barflies--no, Butterflies

We are social butterflies, my son and I. Today I took him to a bar. I've always said I wouldn't be the mom who took her kids to bars, and today I took my son to a bar. In my defense, it was a gorgeous evening, and we sat outside on the patio with some friends, one of whom was back from out of town. There weren't many people, there was no smoking, and we didn't run into any too drunk people until we were leaving. The boy was a big hit, too - he had brought his cute and his flirt with him; he's irresistable when he's got all that in tow. We wore him out - I think he was sleeping before we made it out of the parking lot.

Back to being social butterflies, though. Tomorrow night we're traveling out of town with Daddy for a get-together (including lots of kids for him to play with), then home Saturday and another date for Little Man and me with some of my friends. Sunday we travel out of town again to visit Daddy's family for a few days, and you can only begin to imagine the socializing there.

Is what we're doing day to day important? No - you don't know these people (or us). However, what I think is a big step is that we're getting out and doing things. I didn't notice at first, but it's taken me awhile to get out since LM. It's not that I don't want him out, but I get so wrapped up in details that it's hard to take the time to make the phone calls, to make plans. I'm growing into my position as a mom, though, and getting better at it (hopefully I'll keep getting better at it - I'm still pretty new). I miss everyone, though, so I'm making a sincere effort - I'm normally the instigator of plans and get-togethers, so many of us have fallen out of touch since my boy's arrival, and not just me and my friends, but my friends and each other, too, which I find very sad. Recently, then, I've been making lots of plans so that we can keep the connections that are important.

I know that this being busy will make time fly even faster, which is a little hard to comprehend. Therein lies the quandry - I could try not to do much so that time would slow down, but then I'm not really taking advantage of what little time I have. On the other hand, I could try to take advantage of that time, which will make neat memories, but the time will speed up - is that possible? How does everyone else do this? Does everyone else blink and a month has passed?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Reason #952

And another thing I love about watching my Little Man as he grows and figures things out (as though there aren't enough). He's best at doing things when he doesn't know it. This proves my theory, to me at least, that he's got all the skills to crawl (and some other things) but doesn't know how to put them together. If he thinks about it and tries to crawl, no go--he just thinks about it, though you can see the wheels turning. If he doesn't think about it, well, that's a different story. Last night he was actually starting to crawl toward Daddy because he was excited to see him, but then he seemed to be aware all at once of what he was doing, and was unable to keep going. He ended up on his belly (which never makes him happy), and then sitting up again making "pick me up" noises.

In case you're wondering, his "pick me up" noises are nothing like the "pick me up" noises I've heard in various bars. His do, however, involve extra cuteness, if that's possible. He grins at you and waits for you to make eye contact. If you don't recognize his efforts, he slowly cocks his head to one side until it's parallel with the floor, and he never breaks his gaze at you, complete with hopeful grin. How do they learn the "cute" so early? I digress.

Similarly, he pulled himself up to standing twice the other day because he was in the midst of playing and didn't realize that he'd done it. All of a sudden he was standing there playing with his exersaucer from the outside of it, rather than standing in the middle. Normally, however, he can't pull up on things, or thinks he can't. I find it interesting that we can get in our own way so early.

As you can deduce, we're on the very precipice of mobility. Is the house ready? No. Do we have baby gates? No. Have we put breakables out of reach? No. Bumpers on sharp edges? Nope - not a one. There are, however, some safety gizmos in the sockets. It's a start.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

a moment

So, it's 7:54 pm, and I have a moment. My Beautiful Son is sleeping on the couch next to me, and my Dear Hubby is at work. I've washed out the bottles and gotten everything ready for school tomorrow, and I've eaten and cleaned up after it (which was crucial today, as I realized at about 5 much to my dismay that I'd forgotten lunch). Right now, there's nothing else that absolutely has to happen before tomorrow. Not One Thing.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rule #1

When I was a kid, my dad used to joke that Rule #1 was "The Dad is always right." Rule #2 was "If it appears that The Dad is wrong, refer to Rule #1." A multi-decade friend told me a great story this weekend that ended with the punchline from her 10-year-old daughter, "Mom, why do you always have to be right?" Will I always be right someday?

I remember a time when not knowing was the worst thing ever. I had to know, and I had to know now. It didn't really matter what the subject was - a birthday surprise or what my future career, husband, etc. would bring - none of it could happen fast enough for me. "Patience," I can hear my dad saying, and I would think, "yeah, yeah, nice for you to be patient; it's not for me." I always felt that I could be patient, if only I knew what the outcome would be someday. Not so much patient.

Right now, so much is in flux for me. I'm learning all about being a mom and a wife. My husband is changing jobs. My company has exploded (imploded?), and I'm looking at a new venture for myself. Every day at work is a challenge at best, and I haven't felt fully rested in longer than I can remember. I just don't know much right now, and I can't plan for much of it. One might think I'd be too stressed to function, or have any fun. The "old" younger me would be in quite a state.

The "new" me is taking the whole thing amazingly well. I just can't be as invested in things that I can't change or that don't really matter "in the light of eternity" (another gem from Dad). I feel pretty confident that there's an answer, even if I don't know what it is; I might as well enjoy the ride. So, off to morning cereal with the boy, some meetings and if I'm lucky, the swings at the park. The rest will wait. Great day!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

stunted growth and fanfare

I guess I don't really need to stunt our boy's growth, but slowing it down a little might be nice for Mommy. Another tooth appeared yesterday, and he is trying to crawl. He's trying hard, and getting better at it all the time. I believe that one of these days, I'll put him down to play with his toys, turn around for a moment and he'll be off! He's grown up enough now to sit up in the cart like a big boy in the store (I highly recommend those cart and highchair cushions you can get), and this morning at out to breakfast, he sat up in the high chair, too. He gets so excited - you can see that he's proud of himself. He sat there and played with toys as though he'd always been doing it. I suppose that's the way progress is in so many ways.

I remember waking up on my 30th birthday (I'm really only 29, but I pretend to know about such things) thinking, "that's it?" No fanfare, no confetti falling from the ceiling, just another day. I had the same experience when I bought my house as a single girl, which seemed like a big accomplishment to me. I went the the title company, I signed a bunch of papers, they handed me keys, and that was it. I even did it on New Year's Eve, and still nothing. No party hats even, or kazoos.

Now my son is on the same track - all of a sudden, he's doing something new, and it's as though it's always been that way. He smiles a little and sits up straighter so that I can see that he's proud, but that's it. He's eating food, he sits up, he has teeth -what will be next? I try to make as much fanfare as possible, just so he'll know I haven't missed something important. I give a bunch of "Yeahs" with singing and mighty clapping. He really likes clapping. I'm sure that as he gets older I'll be the embarrassing mom that he wishes would be quiet and stop with the fanfare, but that's not in me, I think. Too bad!

on the bright side of new beginnings

That's where I'm trying to look - on the bright side of new beginnings.

You know when people say, "I've had the worst day at work!"? They haven't. Short of an actual explosion or someone coming in with a machine gun, I've had the worst day at work - it was Friday. My company blew up, in the metaphorical sense, and became a small fraction of itself. While I'm one of the lucky ones who didn't lose a job, I am the unlucky one who got to meet with each person who did individually and explain their exit packages to him/her. Picture a single-file line out of your office door that goes on way too long of people who are a little shocked, at least a little scared, significantly impatient, likely on the verge of tears and very disappointed. To make it harder, these people knew that I was also having a hard day, and at least half tried to comfort me. Bless them. Bless them all.

I'm hoping that the blow-up of my company will allow for happy new beginnings - I have to believe that it will. Of course, I'll make sure I'm there long enough to ensure that the people who lost jobs are taken care of - that their unemployment is in place, that their COBRA is in place, that sort of thing. It's not my specialty, but I know I can help, and I hesitate to leave it to anyone who's left. If I'm lucky, I'll also be there long enough to transition to a new chapter in my work life. For me, it's likely an opportunity to gain even more flexibility in my schedule. I'm hoping to find some part-time clients where I can consult and help them out at the same time allowing myself more time with my son. This also gives me the flexibility to help my husband with some things that he does outside of his day job.

I have a grand vision that includes growing so that I have enough work to add other women who are smart and have lots to offer but don't want to work fulltime to the mix. I know lots of women (some moms, some not) in my industry who have mentioned that they'd like to work in a flexible way, which is tough to do in our field. I believe that giving them the means to do that would be wonderful for them and extra wonderful for the companies they would be helping.

So, off into the wild blue yonder. Now you may have non-little-boy-related postings to peruse as I figure out what I'm doing and how to do it. Wish me luck - I'll need it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

will, fortitude

So, how do you resist a beautiful boy who doesn't want you to leave the room? What do you do when he makes the terrible sad face and then screams full tilt? What do you do when he really turns it on and reaches for you? How do you find the strength to say no to the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen when you know he doesn't get to spend much time with you during the week and that he misses you?

I mean, really. I don't want to raise a spoiled kid who expects, who has a sense of entitlement. I want to raise a wonderful, sensitive man with strength of character, with a work ethic and consideration for others and who understands the value of a dollar to boot. Is this possible? Where will I find the will to stand up to the gorgeous? To say no to the sweetheart, to my little love? For the good of him, but also for the good of everyone he interacts with and influences for the rest of his life? He's so perfect, and all I want to do is love on him all the time. This desire doesn't coincide with my wish for those future characteristics I've listed.

So, is it possible?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

banner day

It's a big day at our house.

First, we have a tooth! One sharp little spot of a tooth on the bottom right-hand side. Wowee!

Second, he took a big-boy bath today. He sat up in the tub and splashed in the water, playing with his washcloth. Mostly the splashing is what was so wonderful, though. He had a blast! He's had showers before and he's had baths in his little tub where he was supported kind of half-sitting, but now he's so grown up that he can sit up. I've attached the bath toys to the wall - let the games begin!

Friday, September 21, 2007

wearing the letters

I'm not a very fashionable girl. I mean, I feel pretty good in a pair of khakis and a black or chocolate t-shirt, and sometimes my shoes even match the outfit, but that's normally coincidence. Simple is best for me, because it's harder to mess up. Same goes for my house - I try to keep it picked up, and it's not terrible to look at, but it's not one of those houses that you walk into and it looks pulled together, either. I just don't have "it," that thing you need to pull off scarves around your neck, casual skirts, or well put together rooms.

Today I have taken a strong step forward toward fashionableness (is that a word? See - I really don't have it). Today I brandished a quote onto the wall in my boy's room. It's a Pooh room, and the quote's from Pooh, too: "I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen." It's a focal point for the room - I see on all the TLC shows that rooms need focal points, and this is clearly the only room in my house that has one. One's a start, though, right? Check out the company where I got it made - very nifty! Maybe someday you'll see it on the site!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

maybe someday...

When will I write about something not related to the boy? As soon as I've got the material - perhaps no time soon. ;) That's okay - not complaining.

whee whee whee, all the way home

My boy's latest is that he loves games of any sort. Peekaboo's a blast, and even This Little Piggie Went to Market. The "Whee whee whee" cracks him up - he laughs out loud about it, so we do that part repeatedly. I have to admit that I've never really seen the beauty of This Little Piggie, but apparently I've been wrong the whole time. Who knew? His other favorite game? I didn't know about this one before, but its name must be something along the lines of "Grab Mommy's Hair, Pull Her Head Toward You Fullspeed and Suck on Her Nose, then Giggle Silly." Don't look at me like that - I didn't name it!

Oh, and bongo drums. I found out when I picked him up from school today that he loves the bongo drums. Obviously artistically gifted.

Monday, September 17, 2007

carrot face

Nothing like Carrot Top; be not afraid. I was getting ready to tell you that carrot face was at least as bad as green bean face. Yesterday, when I would've blogged but for the lack of battery capacity, it would've been true. Today, however, it's a new story. Breakthrough? I hesitate to get excited, but it seems promising. A new challenge, however, is that the boy is learning to blow bubbles. This dubious talent led to his projectile-spitting carrots in my face. I'm such a new mom that I actually found this funny and, dare I say?, cute. The blowing and spattering was, in fact, laugh-out-loud funny. This presented a problem because everyone knows you're not supposed to laugh out loud when kids do things you don't want them to keep doing. Yeah - good luck with that. Seriously, you try it and let me know how that goes. Maybe I'll have it down by the time he's old enough for me to be egging him on - oh, right. Too late. Anyway, the new appreciation for carrots is a step in the right direction for sure. I'll take it.


We are swingers! In the classic sense, I mean. Thursday the boy and I tried the swings at his school together. It went great! They didn't have baby swings, so he sat in my lap and I held on. We went slowly, but we went. Big smiles.

Then on Saturday I took him to the park with some friends, and he went on the baby swing all by himself. By Himself! He hung in the front because he's so small compared to the swing, but he liked it--giggling all the way. Sunday, we went to a park closer to home with Daddy/Dear Hubby. Fun all over again, but Daddy was smarter than me. Instead of hanging from the front of the swing, he tried actually sitting Little Boy toward the back to hang on. I didn't try this because, I'm ashamed to say, I didn't think he had it in him, but that'll teach me for next time. Let the kid try it (whatever it is); he can probably do it. He can at least try! (Easily said - we'll see how that goes when it's actually Next Time.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

I live for Fridays

I really do. Right now (and for as long as I can pull it off) I have Fridays off work, and I get to spend them with my son--sometimes even with my hubby too (when he can pull it off). They're more than worth whatever it takes to make them happen. Today I've had the wonderful pleasure of being able to hang out with my son as he wakes up at a leisurely pace (and I do too), instead of having to hurry to get ready for work/school. I've also had the pleasure of playing with him during his happy morning time and of feeding him cereal. (Cereal face is so much better than green bean face. He actually seems to like the cereal.) We took a nap together - him sleeping on me, and me gazing at him and rubbing his back while he sleeps, sneaking in cheek kisses when I could. Dear Hubby came home and we all went out to lunch together, sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine.

It's not so much the specifics of the day that make it special to me, though--for me it's really about getting to spend time, unfocused time. Seeing what the day has to promise. On work days, it's a few minutes in the morning, and then I pick him up by six. By the time we get home and eat something, he's probably down for the night, though Hubby and I usually let him sleep on us in the evening instead of putting him in his crib right away. I don't get to see the day-to-day changes, like how much better he is at sitting up or how much more interactive he is. I know I could get that on the weekends, but those two days just aren't enough. By the time the shopping's done, laundry's done, or any chores, the weekend's gone and you're back where you started. I don't want just to prop him in his exersaucer to keep him busy - I want to read with him, interact with him, sing with him, walk with him, learn with him and such.

I know I'm not alone. Aside from the billions and billions of articles on this topic that I've seen over the years, I met another Mommy from school the other day, and she was talking about the Exact Same Thing. She doesn't get Fridays off, though, so I didn't mention that I do--gloating isn't becoming. She's a teacher, though, so she gets the entire summer to play with her little girl. Wouldn't that be yummy?

Does one day solve all my angst about time with my son? No, but it sure beats no days and it sure helps!! It's my spoil-myself-life-of-luxury-time-to-spend-do-things-for-fun day. Mmmmm.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Elton John

My son is six months old today - very Grown Up! Last night he was giving quite an impassioned piano solo, then a vocal rendition (of something). Obviously artistically gifted. He was so moved by the music that we ran out of time for trying grean beans again, and he didn't get to sleep until 8:45, which is late by Little Man standards. Green beans will still be there tonight.

The piano solos are just wonderful. He leans way in, right over the keys and really gets into it, sometimes with one key at a time, and sometimes whole-handedly giving it all he's got (sometimes even with both hands), sort of Elton John style, I like to think. Early Elton John--you know, standing at the piano, maybe throwing in a foot here and there.

At Grandma & Grandpa's, if someone plays along with him, he'll wait as he sits next to them on the bench until they're finished, putting his hand on their arm, and then give his portion when they pause. My brother says the hand means something on the order of, "um, okay, I'm playing now, and perhaps you should pause to let the maestro continue," but my mom thinks that it's just his way of connecting with what you're doing and giving you his full attention. Either way it's pretty adorable. When I play with him, though, he doesn't seem to mind; he just plays right along with me. I'm not sure whether I'm no threat and he feels that he can play right over me or whether he thinks we are great as a four-handed duet. I'm going with the latter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

green bean face

Today was the first day that my son, six months old on Thursday, tried food that wasn't breastmilk, formula, or (newly) cereal. Today was green beans. Bless his little heart, he's so excited about eating food. When we eat, he's watching our every move, wants to grab for our food - he really wants to eat like we do. He's been excited all through rice cereal, oatmeal and barley cereal. Really excited. Now green beans, a big milestone. So excited, grinning from ear to ear, eagerly grabbing for the spoon and leaning into it. However, with each bite, he made worse and worse faces. Let the contortions begin! The last bite was the last one because the face he made was so hideous that I didn't have the heart to give him anymore, though I think he would've done it. It's going to take a lot to erase green bean face from my mental archives. If Dear Hubby had been home, I'd have had him film it, but no such luck, and I couldn't hold spoon and camera at the same time. Shame.

Thanks to Suzi

for being generally wonderful, but specifically for encouraging me to start a blog.