Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm definitely a mom now.

Friday night, my hubby and I actually went on a date! We went out to dinner and to see a Jazz Orchestra performance. It was a wonderful evening of laughter and fun, and really great music to boot. Thanks to my husband's boss, we had a gift certificate to a pretty nice restaurant near our house - a little treat, and we used it to celebrate Valentine's Day.

We were eating our appetizer, a three-cheese chicken gratin with peppered pita wedges (not pickled pepper pita wedges - that would be silly), and it was really nice. The waiter came over and asked how we were enjoying our appetizer, and I looked at him and said, "It's nummy-nummy!" I actually said it aloud to a waiter in a restaurant--with gusto. Hubby and I looked at each other dumbfounded. At least the waiter probably took it back to the kitchen for a good laugh. I suppose you can take the girl away from the baby, but you can't take the baby away from the girl.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

how do you know that?

Connections - that's the theme at our house right now. In the last week, I've seen Aidan do the following: grab brushes from under the sink and "brush" my and his hair. Hold a play or real phone up to his ear. Play at lying down on pillows to sleep. Use his toothbrush the way a toothbrush is meant to be used. Drink from a straw on the first try. Throw a ball to play catch. Put lids on and off jars and tubes of things. Walk toward something he's not allowed to touch and shake his head, "no." Be ready for his first pair of "real" shoes (and flirt shamelessly with the salesgirl.)

While I'm certain that all of this didn't really happen in a week, that it just seems so, it sure does seem so. My little tiny love is walking, and he notices. He notices just about everything. His love for games is getting more interactive and pronounced. In fact, my friend Lesley wrote the other day and said, "Congratulations - you've got a mobile toddler!" Toddler? I'd love to disagree, but it really does seem so. Is it time for that yet? Are you sure?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

it's official

Aidan's a kid, not a baby anymore.

Okay, I know he's a baby, just eleven months yesterday, but he seems so grown up sometimes. The kicker for me is that this week he tried Spaghetti-O's and loved them! Liked them the first time, but couldn't get enough and really loved them last night. Loved them so much we had to go directly from the high chair to the bath, giggling all the way. (Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.)

Growing up I believe that they were a food group to me - did I want Spgahetti-O's (sometimes w/franks or meatballs) for lunch or anything else? If I'm not mistaken, my other favorites were of course, mac & cheese or a couple of sandwiches: egg salad, bologna and mayo, PB&B (I didn't like jelly, so I had PB & butter - I know; I wouldn't do it now) or grilled cheese w/Velveeta. Between those and how much Kool-Aid I went through every day (does anyone else remember putting two full scoops of sugar in every pitcher full?), it's obvious to me that I ate mostly processed food. It's a wonder I didn't turn out to be a big chemical, though as I think of it, perhaps that's why I'm so remarkably preserved and youthful looking now.

My husband said he rarely had that type of food as a kid - he was allowed only non-sugar cereals (whereas my favorites were fruit loops & Cap'n Crunch), and had home-made pasta, not from a can. I'm wondering now whether I should be worried. While he is younger than me, this may be outweighed by the fact that he has significantly fewer preservatives in his system keeping him youthful looking; surely one of these years he will pass me by. He will anyway if there's any chivalry left.

Anyway, I'm doing my best to avoid high fructose corn syrup (for Aidan and us) and other processed and artificial items. His cheese is not Velveeta, for example. The expense of the better/good-for-you food aside, I feel good about the fact that he likes many things that are good for him. Loves fruit and veggies, and even prune juice. A kid's got to have his guilty pleasures, though, and I believe his will be Spaghetti-O's. Join the club, Kid, and welcome to a huge part of my childhood!

Friday, February 8, 2008

perhaps i shouldn't have been so quick to thank my stylist.

Today I had a leisurely morning with my son (we'll start calling him Aidan, primarily because that's his name) and then had my hair done before going to work this afternoon. This, incidentally, felt like a little treat after a week when a sick son needed lots of extra attention and I still had to try to fit in work wherever I could.

Got to the office about lunchtime and had a nice conversation with a coworker, Scott. When I went to catch up with Paul, who works for me, I felt something funny and realized that little cut pieces of hair from this morning were stuck in my lipgloss.. Luckily, I wasn't embarrassed to get them off my lips around Paul because he's going to marry my sister in September. This means that in a brotherly sort of way has to deal with things like my pulling little chards of hair out of my lipgloss (and also my sister and me discussing girlish things in front of him, which is pretty funny to watch, by the way).

A couple of things made this a little more funny to me, though. First, after having Aidan I felt pretty dumpy (no, not the funny part). It had been coming on for awhile as I no longer look 16, but for some reason after Aidan I was the essence of frumpy and kind of resigned to it. Recently, however, I've realized that if I make even a tiny effort I feel eons better about myself (nicely leveraging the effort, the accountant in me says). Therefore, I've been making a little effort lately - I even accessorize sometimes, which is completely new for me. The fact that I was even wearing lipgloss shows that I made an effort today and was feeling pretty high-falutin. That'll teach me to get even a little cocky, won't it?

Second, Scott came to find me right after I realized what had happened because he couldn't stand it anymore and had to tell me that I had something wrong with my face. He felt stuck in the middle of a Seinfeld episode and couldn't stop staring at my lips; didn't I notice while we were talking that he couldn't take his eyes off my mouth? (No, but he did seem very interested in what I had to say, which made me feel even better about myself and my day.) He said that, much like asking if someone's pregnant when you're not sure, he's learned not to question certain things about women's faces. He finally decided that we were good enough friends for him to tell me because, and I quote, "it looked like you had stitches in your lip or maybe a very strange mustache - I just couldn't figure it out." It made for a pretty good laugh once he realized that I am not growing a beard and that it was okay to laugh.

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that at some point in time, I would no longer feel like a little girl, clumsy, unsure and unkempt. I would feel confident, sophisticated, put-together, even worldly. If I remember correctly, that time would've been age 21; of course, I also saw myself married with a couple of kids by 25, so there you have it. Anyway, I no longer think so. I do, however, take much more joy now in feeling like a little girl than I did then.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

yes, indeed

He's walkin'! (He's not talkin', really.)

It was Sunday evening, and we were at friends' house for a Superbowl party. These friends have two sons, one about The Boy's age, and one 13 months older(!). They also have what was meant to be a dining room, but has been transformed into The Play Room. It's a wonderland, really.

Inspired by a number of toys not to be comprehended and a vast space like he's unused to seeing in our little house, he took off. One minute I was talking to him as he stood in front of me, and the next he was walking away from me. Walking Away From Me. Walking! I almost started to yell about it, but I didn't want to break the spell. You see, first, his daddy was in the basement with the projection screen TV, and second, we have a tendency to celebrate all kinds of things with "Yeahs" and much clapping. This was very tough to control, but the little tears rolling down my face helped.

You could see he was excited. As with his other skills, we've known he had the tools for it long before he did. With each step you could see his realization that he was actually doing it. Step, step, step, pause and look around, step, step, step, bend down and look around, think about what's happening, step, step, step, fall. Did you count 'em? I did - nine steps! I'm pretty sure that counts. Walking!

I'd like to thank my stylist, my publisher, my family....

I'm so honored that I've been chosen. I only dreamed, as a child, that this day might come for me.

Oh, alright, I didn't dream of it as a child; there were no blogs when I was a child. There were likely some massive computer prototypes, but I'd sure never heard of them. That doesn't detract from my honor at being chosen, however. Thanks to my friend at Trout Towers, I have been tagged for a meme.

Here are the rules:
  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
  • Share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.
  • Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

Now, five facts about myself:

  1. My dad is the most fun Show and Tell item you've ever seen. Topics he can speak on with first-hand knowledge include treasure hunting, flying trapeze, the Peace Corps, riding a motorcycle while standing upright on its seat, hang gliding, and Panamanian prison. Honest. When I was a little girl, I would play a game with him in which I'd dream up things that he'd never done - rarely won that game. I, in fact, have taken him to Show and Tell.
  2. In a one-year span I held both of these jobs: water treatment system salesperson, which required me to give two-hour in-home sales presentations, and amusement park game hostess, which required me to call out to get people to play my game and also avoid the darts that wretches would throw at my legs purposely instead of into the balloons to win prizes (I was happy to do this for only $2.35 per hour?). I was 16 that year.
  3. I just love surprises - good surprises, that is. I'll go to great lengths to pull one off, and am giddy when someone takes the time to do it for me. Big or small, doesn't matter.
  4. My family took a vacation once in which we drove from the midwest down Acapulco. Chevy Chase should've made that into a movie, and yes, Acapulco, Mexico. If you can be in a van with your family for two and a half weeks and not kill any of them, I believe you're good to go. It's okay to think about killing them.
  5. I can move one eye and keep the other still. Sounds innocent, but is freaky to watch. I used to use it as a party trick. Also, if you're ever being hit on by someone you'd wish would go away, this is quite effective. Look right at him, smile widely, and start moving one eye. 100% successful.

Five places on my "want to see or want to see again" list is harder than it might seem for me. I have an overdeveloped sense of wanderlust, quelled only by money and circumstance. At any given moment, in fact, if I'm engaged in something even slightly less than engrossing, I'm likely dreaming about traveling somewhere. I will try to limit myself to five. I don't like cheaters; I'm a girl who likes to play by the rules. (Now you have six random facts about me.)

  1. I'd like to go back to visit my friends who don't live near me. I realize that this is about a bazillion places, but I choose to count them as one. My blog, my rules. I'm chipping away at that one at an alarmingly slow pace, unfortunately, but the good news is that there are plenty of places left on the list.
  2. Europe, especially Spain and Greece, two countries I have not seen. My hubby's never been overseas, and I know he'd love it (recently discovered wanderlust on his part, not lifelong like my own). It's dorky, but we dream about trips with the boy for which we plan ahead for a year or so. During that year, we learn at least a few usable phrases and each do research on art, culture, architecture, etc. When we get there, we get to revel in seeing in person some of the things we've learned about; hopefully this imparts the wanderlust to the boy.
  3. Any beach. Any warm beach, that is. Any day.
  4. Australia.
  5. Thailand.

Because I only know two bloggers, one of which has now tagged me, I will tag only one. I reserve the right to tag four more in the future, after I've gotten better at this whole thing. Mary, you're it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

dreaming (not of california today)

My friend Suzi (now Susan) has a wonderful blog ( It makes my day to read it. Her latest is that she's taking ballet classes as an adult after taking them as a kid. I did that, and I'm SO excited for her!

When I was 27 (which now isn't yesterday) I went back and took ballet lessons after 17 years. I loved, loved, LOVED it! Even when my muscles remembered what to do, my limbs didn't react in the same way they used to, but it was just wonderful to Be There, to have the piano playing the same types of tunes and flit around the room.

There were two things that really made it worthwhile for me, though. First, I had lots of flashes of being 5 years old. Anytime you can flash back to an actual second of five-year-oldness is wonderful, isn't it? mmmmmm. Second, I would have split seconds of being graceful (a piroutte right on center or holding a scale just a little extra because center is whole). If I had one such moment in a class, the whole class was wonderful to me.

I danced again for several years, and then quit in my early 30s. Before I left, my teacher even took a friend and me to buy pointe shoes! She had said if we worked really hard she would give us little pointe lessons at the end of class. When I had quit as a kid, I was too young for pointe (ten), so this was a dream come true!

I'm definitely putting that on my list of things to do (again). Just thinking about it makes me happy!