Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"Mommy, what's for dinner tonight?"

"Gnocchi, but you can have yours plain, without sauce."

"Why we are eating Pinnochio for dinner? Why he is plain?"

Monday, December 13, 2010

the exact moment I knew Disney was a different experience for Aidan

We were in Orlando last week. I thought it would be fun to watch him, as the line between reality and imagination is so incredibly blurry right now. I had no idea.

There's a Buzz Lightyear ride, which was bound to be popular. He loves, loves Buzz. You ride through, shoot lasers at targets and eliminate the evil emperor Zerg. He was so happy that he was bouncing up and down. He took a nap right after the ride, and we had a few minutes to kill. I asked him whether he wanted to ride again, and he kind of shrugged and said, "No." I asked him why and he said, "At the end of the ride, Buzz told me I did a great job and he took the evil emperor Zerg to jail. We're done."

Monday, November 15, 2010

funniest quotes from this weekend

We were at Addison's birthday party on Saturday. He got as excited as she was about one particular present, yelling, "You got my favorite color--pink!"

Looking up after his soccer "practice" Saturday, Aidan asked, "Mommy, did I do a great job?" He sat by the edge of the field for part of it and didn't participate for a good portion, so I called out, "You didn't do a great job, but you didn't do terrible." (Not one of my stellar Mom moments, but a history of swim lessons explains my answer a little.) No one heard that, though - they heard his next question. Everyone heard it. "Mommy, did I do terrible?" Like I run around having "terrible" be his measure for everything. Ugh.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steel trap

The kid doesn't forget anything. We were in Chicago over Labor Day weekend, and he must've noticed the skyline. This week we carpooled with Daddy because his Jeep was in the shop. Looking up at Daddy's tall building through the sunroof, he said, "Wow! That building is very, very tall. It's almost like Chicago!"

Last week he was talking about his love of strawberries and generally all things pink. I asked him if he wanted to have a strawberry cake for his birthday next year, and he said he did. Then he said, "BB likes pink strawberry cake, but Uncle Brett likes cheesecake." That doesn't sound like much, but what it means is that he remembers the desserts my siblings had for their birthday dinner, which was in April, seven months ago.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Thought it was just a legend, but it's real

Aidan lives in a very black and white world, which is hilarious at times, especially during Funk Breaks (see earlier post). For Aidan, though, whatever dance we first do for a particular song is what you must always do for that song (black and white world).

At our house "All the Single Ladies" (a Beyonce song - he learned it at school, believe it or not) is called by its name, but Michael Jackson's "Shake your Body (Down to the Ground)" is called The Pointing Song because we did a pointing-type groovy dance to it the first time; other songs have similar titles. MJ's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," it turns out, is the Batman hula dance. Go ahead - try to picture that. I dare ya. It involves Aidan's wearing his Batman mask/cape that he's going to wear for Halloween, and then running through the house (so his cape flies up in the air), hands on hips and moving his hips in circles as he runs. It's maybe the funniest/best dance EVER.

I have to get video of it, because he'll never believe when he's older that he came up with this when he was little! What an awesome kid.

Most delusional?

Saturday was Aidan's first soccer experience. Coach Sam started out the class by going around and asking everyone's names. They all had name stickers already, but I think he was trying to get them comfortable interacting with him. Aidan's back was to me, so I couldn't hear him, but I could hear the Coach - this is what I got: What's your name? Jane? That's a nice name. What's your name? Phillip? Nice to meet you. What's your name? Nora? Glad to have you on the team. What's your name? Gee, I don't see a Batman here on my list. Could you be listed here under something else?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

should I get the frequent buyer card?

We were at a sporting goods store this evening, and that's not a place I frequent. However, we needed shin guards and soccer socks for a certain someone. He's very excited, and luckily, soccer's not a very expensive sport to undertake, especially for a three-year-old.

As I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I had a frequent buyer card, and I said that I didn't have one because I don't do a lot of sports-like things. I got to thinking that probably I'll be needing more and more sports paraphenalia here soon. I may become a frequent buyer. Oh dear. The boy may soon figure out how unprepared I am (literally, not figuratively) for the world of sports. Piano lessons? Got you covered! Theater or choir? Ready to help! Language? Sure. Sports? I've got nothing. Been flying under the radar with that to date, but for how much longer?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

as one battle ends,

My son eats maybe two foods, and to get him to eat anything else is a struggle at best. Used to be able to count on mac & cheese, but now he won't eat it and cheese is out altogether. He'll eat breakfast foods, but at other times of the day, about all you can get down him peaceably is fruit, maybe a veggie if he's in a good mood, yogurt, plain hamburger ketchup only, corndog (but maybe not the hot dog inside), and maybe some nuggets.

We've tried about everything, and it's clear that we've erred in waiting 3 1/2 years to try and get him to eat the same thing we do. I see the error of my ways, but it seems too late. We now are trying something new in which he gets a small serving of what we eat and must have some of that before he can have what he'd like to have. It's kind of working except that it takes about an hour and a half for dinner. By the time I'm finished beg, borrow and stealing to get him to try something (not liver and onions or something - last night it was homemade spaghetti sauce), I've about had it. I keep thinking it has to get easier, though.

At my biggest client, several people have kids about Aidan's age. It appears that none of them eats without coersion, which is a little bit comforting. However, I'll feel much better when this stage passes.

no, not Lightyear

Aidan's hair twirling has finally gotten to the point that we fear his hair may not grow back. He's always done it, but it seems that his thin area's getting bigger and bigger lately. We've tried other routes, from talking to him about pulling his hair and pulling it out to wearing a cap to bed to try and keep him from pulling it. Conceptually he's with us, but the habit's been too hard for him to break, not to mention the times that he's told me he's very sneaky and puts his fingers under the cap to pull his hair.

Fear of lifelong baldness in a very odd pattern, namely most of the front of his head, has caused us to take action. Thursday we took him to Cookie Cutters and got him a buzz cut. I was worried that I'd be upset, but honestly, once I got over how big the actual thin spot was, he looks adorable. His eyes look huge. Well, they are huge, but it really shows with short hair.

He's told me several times that he needs to keep ("peek") trying to pull his hair, but he can't because it's short. He likes it; we talked it up and he agrees that he looks cool. He doesn't want it to grow back long, which is good. One fewer epic battle, that. I'm hopeful that it'll start growing back in noticeably (or unnoticeably, depending on how you look at it) by Christmastime. It could happen.

Funk Break

Funk Breaks are from college. Every Sunday night, from 10:2o to 11:00, we'd gather in a house and two guys would spin records (probably actual vinyl records, in fact, at least in part). We'd dance our patoots off and relieve a little tension from the week. We'd then be ready either to sleep really well for the week ahead or, more probably in my case, get to really studying for all of the work I had procrastinated that was due the next day.

Funk Break has expanded to my living room. I've finally joined the iTune generation, and have been very much enjoying downloading some of my favorite songs. Aidan and I put on some oldies but goodies and dance our patoots off before bedtime, getting ready to crash for the evening. Aidan's dances are pretty awesome - many involve lots of hip action, some have pointing, some have locked hands. It makes me so happy to hear him singing Michael Jackson circa Off the Wall or Shake Your Booty. I'm not sure how long it will be until such songs are very uncool, not to mention Funk Breaks not being cool, but I'll take it for as long as I can.

soccer mom

It's official. Aidan starts soccer lessons in a couple of weeks. I'm a soccer mom, but am pretty excited about it. He's very excited to be playing soccer with his friend Nora. I'm excited that he's excited and also that there's a class at a time we can go this fall.

Continuing swim lessons. After one and a half introductory Red Cross set of lessons and five (yes, five) sessions of beginning lessons at a swim facility, he has graduated to Level II. Here he'll be in Addison's class, which is also very exciting. Steven asked whether this means that if he fell into the pool he'd be able to swim back to the side to safety. Um, no. Not at all. But it does mean that he'll put his head in the water without a battle of wills, which is a great first step to not panicking should such a fall occur. I think we're on the right road.

from the ride home tonight

"Look, Mommy! The sun's going down and it doesn't bother my eyes. The moon ("meoooom") will be out soon. It will not bother my eyes because it is sooo beautiful. Also, it is not a ball of fire. The moon is a rock."

Monday, August 30, 2010

talk about a positive outlook

On the way home from school very near home there's a new house being built. As we drive by every day, we discuss the progress. Today there was a backhoe in the front yard. I asked Aidan, "Look at that backhoe--I think maybe they need to do some digging."

"I think maybe it's a present for someone who needs it." Touche.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I saw a woman on TV this morning who's written a book about being formerly. It started out being formerly hot; she thought that her angst, for lack of a better word, was about not looking the same. Essentially, she was on the subway when a guy asked her what time it was and actually was interested in the time, not her. She's concluded that it's not at all about looks; it's about being what she calls an "adult tween." Not really young, but not old either, not knowing where to fit in.

Clearly, I struggle with where and who I am. I've kind of assumed it had to do with being a new mom, focus necessarily and happily away from myself, at the same time that my body and face have started to change pretty noticeably (to me, anyway). She strikes a chord; I'm wondering whether she's not entirely off kilter.

I've ordered her book but not read it yet, so I can't say whether I agree or not. I am pondering, though, what I was that I miss, and who I might be that I've not yet discovered. It definitely feels like a time of transition, but from where to where?

Formerly interesting? Maybe not, but likely Formerly Doing more Interesting Things
Formerly pretty? Kinda.
Formerly busy? Nope; got busy covered.
Formerly into the arts? Well, I was formerly more involved myself, but now more able to afford to patronize them and with a hubby who loves it too.
Formerly getting together with friends a lot? Definitely. Working on that one.
Formerly a window shopper? Yup. Seems unfair that at the time that I might be able to afford to shop at all I don't have the time, and my body looks good in approximately nothing that I like or would've liked.
Formerly jealous? Probably more accurately, formerly more insecure. Happy to let that one go.
Formerly using different evaluation criteria? Yup - on all sorts of things.
Formerly too critical of myself and others too? Working on that one too. It stings.

Currently what?
Currently feeling in transition.
Currently working out the best way not to lose precious time.
Currently involved in the never-ending process of finding balance.
Currently very interested in being grateful and giving back. In the beginning stages here.
Currently changing the way I eat to match this new post-40 nonexistent metabolism.
Currently struggling between motivation to get in shape and trying to let go of caring about my shape to focus on health.
Currently wishing my husband didn't have to work so much, but knowing that his success leads to good things for my family and my retirement. Connundrum.
Currently enjoying a hilarious three-year-old.
Currently able to cook a little more.
Currently better at letting people be who and where they are.
Currently grateful.
Currently still me.

Future still me. Keeping several of the currentlyies and building on them.
Future more involved in the community. The beginning of today will have sprouted.
Future soccer mom. Excited to see where Aidan's interests take us.
Future traveling more where we don't have to plan around an afternoon nap.
Future at peace with my face/body. Hey - a girl can dream.
Future interesting girl again. Doing things - maybe back in ballet class, taking a cooking class, etc.

Currently grateful.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Give me a strong-willed child."

Went to orientation for Aidan's new room, and his lead teacher actually said those words. She came to me afterward and said she'd seen me react to them, and I told her, "I've got one for ya." Oh, heavens do I.

In the midst of some tough battles about whether or not Aidan needs to listen to what we say (and not hit us or shriek at us or refuse or simply pretend he can't see us) it's pretty refreshing for someone to wish for what I'm struggling with. She spoke of the wonderful qualities that a strong-willed child brings and what an asset it can be, well-guided. Interesting.

I realize that his future is not solely based upon what I say and do, but I also know that I'm responsible for so much. I want everything for him - he's beautiful, smart, creative, funny, self-assured, bright-eyed. He's so much; Steven and I keep saying that if he doesn't turn out well, it's not his fault. I want him to feel good about himself and what he can do. I want him to be the best him. I need a way for him to understand that he needs to listen for safety's, if no other, sake. I want him to be respectful both of people and of danger of all sorts. How to balance that with his still feeling good about himself and not being fearful, while also being creative, unafraid of throwing out ideas? Therein lies the challenge. I'm really excited to get to know her and get some good ideas from her.

In the meanwhile, his new teacher's got just what she's looking for.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Who is this child?

It seems it normally works out that the weekend of the Irish Festival is during the State Fair. For two years running, we've made it into a family weekend-o-fun. Last year, we added Picnic With Pops; this year we added an out-of-town graduation and zoo. Both years very tiring, but also very fun, despite the fact that it appears we took a different child each time.
The Irish Festival has a Wee Ones area full of SuperGames - big, blow-up slides, climbing walls, mazes, bouncing houses, etc. Last year we bought him the wrist band, but he wouldn't go on anything. Not anything. At all. Not even just jumping in a bouncy house. Shrieked. Just really shrieked. It wasn't pretty. The Fair, of course, has fair rides. Last year we did the fair prior to the festival. Had to beg, borrow and plead to get him on the baby train ride, and even then had to ride with him. Finally got him on a little water ride too. He said he wanted to ride a pony, but when we put him up on the little guy, more shrieking. Lots and lots of shrieking. Outlook for this year, not so hot.

One year does a lot.

This year, our child, though at times skeptical, turns out to be a complete daredevil. Festival first this year, and he was so excited in the Wee area that he was jumping straight up and down and running into things on purpose - it was his own little mosh pit. Couldn't help himself; couldn't stand still. He even, and I still can't believe it, got on this contraption that was bungee cords and a trampoline, basically. He was too small to ride the thing, but so passionate about it that the guy let him on. He was amazing. At the fair, same story - rode kiddie rides, but still - a roller coaster, flying swings, flying other stuff, giant slide, bumper boats, etc. LOVED the pony ride; kept yelling, "YEEE-HAW!" which was amusing for everyone in earshot, a pretty far distance.
Really amazing weekend. Really amazing. Wow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Didn't miss 'em

When I was young I went through times of numerous nightmares. Depending on what I was going through and how old I was they would vary, but normally centered around someone trying to kill my dad or attack the house with my sibs inside. Between the time when my mother left and I was 18 and could fight for the kids in court, they were nearly daily. They tormented me.

I can't say when it happened, but at some point I noticed that I wasn't really having nightmares anymore; pretty great revelation. When we got engaged, I would dream that I was awful to Steven and he had to leave me. Not cool, but not really frightening, especially when he was often so near that I could see it wasn't real. When I was pregnant, I had very vivid dreams, in many of which I was screwing up either with the yet-unknown Aidan or with Steven. I remember one in which I was bad to Steven and so he left me with a blonde, unattractive little girl. Woe is me. There was another in which I had the baby (a girl - always a girl) but would forget and leave her in her carseat in different places. I couldn't figure out what to feed her and tried french fries, and when someone asked me her name, I had no idea. Terrible mother. Not really frightening or scary, though. Kind of funny, even in the half-asleep moment.

In the couple of weeks I've been up two full nights with nightmares. We saw a story about a high school coach who was clearly a wonderful man and family man. The short version is that after teaching 35+ years, a former student who was schizophrenic walked up during practice, shot him in the head and killed him. That night, I had vivid nightmares of someone walking up and shooting Steven in the head, the same nightmare with the same images again and again as I woke and fell back to sleep. I won't go through the details, but I held him and watched him go.

I knew that my dear friend Joe's passing was hitting close to home, but didn't realize how close until I was up all night with nightmares last night that Steven was dying.

Both times, he was right next to me in bed, and I could see that he was fine. However, I couldn't shake them. I have no idea what's bringing these back, but I can't help that think it's because I have so much to lose now. My boys are the most beautiful thing in the world, and it turns out that losing them is, quite literally, my worst nightmare.

It's finally happened

My son has proven that he can be a demon child. I'd seen glimpses of it before, but now I've seen it full out. On the bright side, his shenanigans prove that he's a quick problem solver; not sure there isn't an easier way for him to show me that.

His latest is that he doesn't want to go to bed, and if he does, not in his own bed. Not at all. Not. At. All. He discovered at my mom's about a week and a half ago that, since his potty training, a great way to get out of bed is to have to go potty. Between this, asking for things, asking questions and such, he gets up every 2-5 minutes for one to two hours each night when we put him down. No amount to beg, borrow or steal will get him to stay in the bed; he just walks out and comes down the stairs as quietly as possible so as to get far before he's discovered.

It's not like it works. Consistently, every single time, we put him back in bed and talk to him about staying in bed. He's got his dad's persistence, though, certainly.

Steven was out of town at the end of last week, and it lasted 1 1/2 hours one evening and 2 hours the next. I'd wake up in the morning, and he'd be laying next to me. I asked him, "Aidan - how'd you get in my bed?" "I just crawled in." He learned that if he waits until I go to sleep and then doesn't ask, I can't say no. Daddy came home Friday night, and so the other side of the bed was taken.

After my two-hour battle to get him down, we kissed him goodnight as we went to bed. A couple of times in the night I woke up because a little man was standing next to the bed asking to get in. I'd tell him no and put him back in bed. Woke up again and thought I was losing my mind. I could swear I heard him breathing, but he was nowhere to be seen. I got up and looked, and he was curled up under a blanket on the rug at the foot of our bed. Sweet, but no go. Same routine - put him back in, kissed him and talked about staying in bed. Woke up in the morning, back on the floor in our room. Come. On.

Talked about it in the car on the way to school, and told him it was important he stayed in his own bed tonight. He said, "No, I won't." I told him that he needed to, and that I'd put him back in bed if he got out. "You won't know, Mommy - you'll be asleep." The little stinker knows exactly what he's doing.

It's been a battle (of course, not for my parents - he stayed at their house Saturday night and was "angelic"), but last night he slept in his own bed. However, we may have a new challenge: Steven was reading to him before bed tonight, and it was taking much longer than usual. I went upstairs to check on them, and the two of them are curled up together in Aidan's single bed, sleeping like angels. Wish I could take a picture, but I know it would wake them up. I love those boys.

"I'm very handsome in those pictures."

So, to be fair, the kid was right. Humble? Not so much.

We and the Brookes (I refer to my sibs' families that way - the Bretts & the Brookes) took Aidan and Audrey to the Jazz & Ribs Fest last weekend, which was lots of fun. Our fave Columbus Jazz Orchestra closed the show. He was so proud to be able to help her sit up and take care of her; you can see how much he loves her.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

justice, my ass

My sense of justice in the universe is out of whack. A good friend and good man passed away yesterday, a great husband and amazing dad to three kids under 5 years old, not all of which will even remember him. He heard about this in September (see "grateful" entry in Sept 09), and he fought bravely. I will miss Joe.

As much as he'll be missed, though, my heart is absolutely broken for his wife and kids, young enough to be scared and not old enough really to understand. Hell, it seems that I'm not old enough to understand. It's unthinkable.

He passed with his family sitting with him, singing to him. Bless them all. I hope they find peace in how much he knew he was loved by them and his friends, and I hope they feel held by the love that eminated from him. I'm trying to be grateful that he lived to see the birth of his son when they thought he wouldn't, and that his family did get some wonderful time together, including memories on the beach at Hilton Head. What a small consolation, but at least he got to say goodbye and hear all of his friends' goodbyes too. He knew we loved him.

It's still just unthinkable.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aidan reads to Audrey

Sometimes the cutest things happen when I'm not around.

Aidan went to Grammie & Poppie's house, and Audrey was there too. He insisted on reading to her before he went to bed, and apparently was very detailed. He read every page of several books to her (in his own way), explaining as he went. He'd read it, then hold it up in the air and say, "Look up here, Audrey!" She needed the whole experience. My understanding is that he was extremely loving, sprinkling kisses on her head as he went. Yummy boy.

Finally able to post!

For weeks I've been trying to post and unable (the one from July 8 was actually only posted today - could only get as far as a title since then). I finally looked it up in help and realized that I'm not alone. The problem is widespread, which makes me feel a little better but doesn't help me. Luckily, one solution was to go back to the "classic" editor (in the settings it lets you choose new or old - funny that the help chooses to call it classic).

'Bout time!

Gems of late

"Aidan, it's our friend Lori's birthday tomorrow." "Lori? She's juicy!" (What do you mean by juicy, Aidan? Juicy like apple juice. She was very happy to hear that she's juicy, though.)

(to the bank teller) "Wow! Look at your package! It's green like the green goblin!" (I believe he meant necktie, as the gentleman's necktie was, in fact, green. I think he's been trying to figure out what a package is, because he also told me on the way home that he hurt his finger on his package, when he meant something in or around his carseat. Things with straps or that tie, maybe?)

(on wearing some of Diego's hand-me-down jammies) "Oh, Golly! It was so, so nice of Diego to give me these racecar jammies!"

"Daddy married Amber. Mommy married Steve. (with gread sadness,) I am not married."

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So, a week to the day after the pirate incident, the director of the daycare was waiting for me at the door when I arrived (never a good sign). She said, "I swear, he wasn't crying until he knew you were here."

Walked over to see him, and he was just in pieces. I look, and he's got an icepack held to his head. His teacher, Cheryl, told me that he'd fallen and was crying, and she asked him right away where he hit, and he pointed to the same eye. By the time she could get a look at it, it was swollen again. Went down faster the second time, thankfully. I'm also thankful that the second one was at school. I'm wondering whether they'd have been concerned about me had it happened at home again.

Since then it's happened one other time, but the swelling only lasted a couple of hours. I'm hopeful that we're finished with that now.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

He actually does hear me

My boy's in an extra dorable phase of expression lately.  Some recent quotes:

"Mommy come here.  Mommy!  I need to tell you something."  I lift him up, he leans into my ear and whispers, "I love you."

"Mommy, you're my friend.  I think you're my best friend.  You're my best friend and Daddy."

"Mommy, you love me in the whole world."  (I'm guessing from "We love you more than anything in the world," or "You're my favorite boy in the whole world.") 

"Aidan, why do I love you so much?"  (Whispering, he replies) "Forever."

He hears me.

"I look like a pirate!"

This morning my beautiful boy had a fight with the tub and lost.  When we left for school this morning it was pretty swolen and he was not a happy boy:
(He normally doesn't get a bink except at night when he grinds his teeth, but as my sis said earlier, he probably could've gotten a puppy today if he'd asked.)

By the time I picked him up tonight, it was even more swollen, though obviously much perkier:

We got home, and he saw a mirror.  I was afraid he might be startled, but he thought it was cool, hence the quote.  It's now 12 hours past the incident, and he looks much better - you can see maybe half his eye.  I realize that this is a tiny injury in the light of eternity, but ugh.  Won't our July 4th pictures be adorable this year?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

stubborn, stubborn, stubborn

My husband jokes that the best way to get me to do something is to ask me not to do it.  That's not really it, but this isn't about me.  My husband also has a way in mind that things should be, and can be inflexible about other approaches.  This isn't about him either, though.

My child will not - WILL NOT - do something he doesn't want to do.  He doesn't care what the crowd's doing, what the group is doing, what the class is doing, what his friends are doing.  If it seems like a good idea to him, then fine, but if not, no go.  I think this will be a great asset when he's maybe a little less susceptible to peer pressure (though I'm not convinced it will be that way), but right now it can be a challenge.

We just spent a week in Mexico going to the pool every day.  One might think that his swimming would improve, especially in the light of recent swim lessons.  Nope.  Not even a little.  The child still won't jump into a pool, float on his back, get his head wet.  We tried everything - encouragement, cajoling, a little bit sterm, making a game of it, bribery and thinly-veiled threats.  That kid just isn't going to do something he doesn't want to do, and if you try to force it, you lose ground; you don't gain any.  Your only hope is to make him think it was his idea, but that's no easy feat either.

'Sgonna be a handful. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Character study from The Little Mermaid

"Why Ariel's daddy is not nice?"

"He's nice, Aidan. Ariel doesn't follow his rules, and he wants to keep her safe."
"Why he thinks she isn't safe?"
"He thinks it's dangerous out of the water."
"Ariel doesn't think so. He should listen to her words."

"Mommy, why Ursula is not nice?"
"Why do you think, Aidan?"
"Maybe somebody pushed her and she didn't like that."

"Ursula is not nice.  She should say sorry and listen to her mommy.  Maybe she needs to sit on the stairs."

"Why King Triton breaks Ariel's office?
She didn't listen to his rules.  She needs to follow her daddy's rules.
He shouldn't break her things, though, Mommy - that's not nice."

The amount of pondering on The Little Mermaid is pretty impressive.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I don't want to get big

"I don't want to get big.  When I get big, I can't be little anymore."  This was a topic on my boy's mind a lot today; we had to talk about it several times.  I'm not sure what's behind it; all I could think was to reassure him that he'd always be my boy and that Daddy and I would love him whether he was big or little or medium.  He would always be our boy, and he'll be able to do fun things when he gets bigger.  No reassurance.  We finally agreed that he'd stay little, just to keep him from being upset.  Would I love it if he stayed little maybe twice as long as usual.  Sure!  But I won't feed him coffee or anything.  Probably.

So close, and yet so far

The potty:  our friend and foe.

Two days ago a certain little man went potty five times.  Five times in one day.  Five Spidey stickers, five candies, five times.  Five!  Yesterday we went out and got some big-boy underwear that he picked out and is super excited about.  Awesome.  Progress!  He even wore them for awhile with no dipe or pull-up, knowing that meant he couldn't go unless he went in the potty.  He did it.  Dry overnight, again.

Today, not once.  Not one time.  Nada. 


Swim lessons

We're making headway; he's doing great in swim lessons, and has made lots of progress.  He finished his first set of Red Cross lessons doing most things, but not putting his head in the water yet.  We started his second set of lessons last week (second one was today), and today he put his face in the water repeatedly blowing bubbles. 

His only problem is that he marches so much to the beat of his own drummer that he has trouble listening at times.  If he doesn't want to try something, "I'm not ready."  If he's having fun, no amount of reminds from an instructor (or me) will get him to stop taking off with his noodle across the pool.

However, the reason that I'm going to have to embarrass him as a teenager happened after class:  We were going to visit a friend and her new baby after class, so to hasten our changing after class, instead of taking him to the lockerroom, I had him hold his towel around him while I changed him.  Don't be worried - there were maybe two people in the whole facility, and neither of them was paying a lick of attention to us.  Good thing.  Just as I was about to replace his diaper, he very theatrically (don't know where he gets that) threw his arms (and towel) open, yelling, "Surprise!......Happy Birthday!" at the top of his lungs.  In all his glory.

A poem of yesterday

I like boys.  I like girls.
I like mermaids.  I like vikings.
I kind of like dragons.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

yes, I painted his toenails...

"My pink toes will find the Hobgoblin and the Green Goblin and their pumpkins!"

He is, as I type, standing on an exercise bike that I should be riding giving a diatribe about a myriad of subjects.  They are, as you can see, both interesting and varied.  That might be my favorite quote of the whole thing, though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Message received - got it.

This busy season's been tough on our family, and we're really missing Steven.  A little man doesn't understand very well why he doesn't get to see Daddy.  In fact, today he popped out with, "Someday he's going to come home, but not today."  Ooh.

The other day when we were riding bikes, Aidan was asking what Daddy does at work.  After a little struggle of explaining a tax accountant to a person who really doesn't understand even what money is, I landed on, "He helps people with their money."  He liked that; being very into heroes, it struck a chord with him.  He told his grandma on the phone, "Daddy helps people - he helps with their money."  Perfect.

Today at school we were talking to one of the teachers about what her daddy does (policeman - very cool).  I asked Aidan to tell her what his daddy does.  "Everything."  I asked again.  "Everything."  I knew he had "helps people with their money" in his pocket, so I asked one more time.  "Everything.  Everything!  Are you hearing my words?  Everything." 

Swim lessons

The first lesson was Monday and was somewhat successful.  There are three tadpoles and two guppies (next class up), and those classes go at the same time.  He tried all of the things they wanted him to, even if tentatively.  He jumped in, as long as his face didn't go in the water, he kicked his legs, he made ice cream scoops with his hands - he was in it.  However, he did not react well when other children were kicking and he'd get splashed in the face.  Patience, his instructor who is clearly named in onomatopoeia, was great about distracting him with something new when he'd get upset and suggested that we bring his swim goggles to Wednesday's lessons. 

So we did.  Last night we went to the second lesson, Spidey goggles in hand (they work fashionably for many occasions).  Lesson is a half hour long.  It took my child 15 minutes to join the class.  He didn't want to.  He wanted to watch his friends.  Ugh.  Got a little better throughout the lesson, and by the end he didn't want to leave.  Figures.  It does make me glad, though, that we're doing these lessons - obviously, they're needed. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

"I think it means riding bikes!"

This weekend we were at the grocery store and saw the magic doors, the ones that open automatically.  We noticed them, and I asked whether he'd like to make them open.  "Sure!"  He said, "I think we need to use some magic words."  I told him that was a great idea and asked which ones we should use.  "Abre!"  My child asked the doors to open in Spanish?  He officially knows more Spanish than his dad, who took four years of it in high school.

Then yesterday, as I was pedaling him home from the park pulling his chariot behind me (even he calls it that now), he was talking to his grandma on my cell phone.  Out of nowhere I hear, "Oh my gosh!"  I've never heard him say that before, and it kind of struck me funny.  Sadly, I was terribly out of breath pedaling after a weekend of working in the garden and couldn't really laugh like I wanted to.  I digress.  Over the next several blocks, I heard him say it several more times.  Odd.  Then I heard, "Mommy, what does, 'Oh my gosh' mean?"  I asked him, "What do you think it means?"  "I think it means riding bikes."  I told him it was more like, "Wow!"  "Oh."  Back to conversation with Grandma as though it never happened.

This morning, as we drove to school, Aidan yelled to no one in particular, "Oh my gosh!"  Again, "Mommy, what does, 'Oh my gosh' mean?"  Again, "What do you think it means?"  "I think it means, 'Oh, what a beautiful morning!'"  I told him it could mean that, but it was really a little more like a Wow!  "No, Mommy; it means, 'Oh, what a beautiful morning!'"  Seriously?  Oh, what a beautiful morning?  I was thrown enough at the, "Oh my gosh!" much less the "Oh, what a beautiful morning!" 

Who is this kid?  Is this how we roll now?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

five days....we can do it!

It's only five days until busy season's over, and we miss our Daddy something fierce.  He's working until midnight more often than not, late on weekends too.  There are only five days left until April 15, though, well, six - we really get him back April 16.  We can make it.

We have some very fun things planned here right quick, to spend time together as a family, so if we can just make it a few days more, all will be well.

Monday, March 29, 2010

pool day #1

We've signed up for another set of swim lessons - these are Red Cross certified, and Aidan will be a tadpole.  They go April 12 - May 12, and the other go May 2 - May 29 under another system.  I did the Red Cross classes when I was little and had a blast.  We need to have him comfortable enough to hold on to the edge of the pool by himself without my supporting him before April 12 so that he can be a tadpole.  Eeeee!

We started tonight.  We went to the pool tonight, just the two of us.  We played, baby steps to get ready for lessons.  He will easily jump in the pool to me from sitting, and a little less frequently jump in from standing.  If I support him, he'll lean on a kickboard and kick, though his forward progression isn't quick.  He was very excited, wanting to try different games and different equipment to see how they worked.  We went in the shallow end for the most part, but I kicked him on a little boat from one end to the other.  We made waves and splashes, and we had a blast!  I'm hoping that it's enough that we're ready in time for his class to start.  We'll be going to the pool as much as we can fit in between now and go-time.  Can't wait!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

It was that week.....was

There's an inch or two of snow on top of my blooming daffodils (asteraceae narcissus pseudo narcissus - the last thing I remember from plant taxonomy in college) and other bulbs.  (sigh.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

swim lessons!

I can't wait!  We're a little late (too old - Aidan, not me) for parent-child lessons, it seems, but he'll start swim lessons in May.  I'm so excited - it's been on my list of things that hasn't gotten done for a long time, but we're going now.  I can't wait to report back.  He'll start his lessons before our next beach vacation, so I'm hoping it helps him feel comfortable right off the bat.  We'll keep taking them when we get back, too, but I'm just so happy.  It's more of my doing phase, in which I try to accomplish.  Oh, and have fun!  Time is slipping, slipping, slipping; no time to lose.

Birthday inspiration

Directly after writing the last post, I took Aidan to another birthday party, for his friend Phillip.  Phillip's mom is a genius.  She told P to pick his four closest friends, and then she got some helium-filled balloons and cleared out the dining room to make room for a giant play date.  She served chicken nuggets, bananas and grapes, with goldfish crackers as an appetizer and cupcakes for dessert.  The kids had a complete blast, her house wasn't ripped to shreds, and it didn't seem stressful.  She is an inspiration.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


One result of Aidan's birthday party last weekend was that I learned about cool toys that I didn't even know existed.  Aidan got lots of superhero, building and outside toys, as well as some games I didn't know about.  He also got a space station from Fisher Price's Imaginext line.  I hadn't seen any of those before, but it's really neat, and it came with a DVD that tells a little story about the place. 

Well, Nona got a ToysRUs gift card, so we went, armed, yesterday to find some toy in existence that he didn't already have.  Quite a challenge!  We found the section with Imaginext, and heavens!  What a find!  There are sets that have to do with a pirate ship, the jungle, the Batcave, and a castle with knights.  After much deliberation, we came home with a fabulous castle, a big dragon, and a griffin.  I'm really excited about these playsets, as is Aidan; took us at least 1/2 hour to choose.  Seems fun that there are inexpensive accessories that can go with all of the sets, too.  So, we're now a house full of knights, armor, dragons.  It's a magical place in my living room, even more than ususal.

Regarding birthdays, I have mixed feelings about a party such as we did at Magic Mountain.  I grew up with parties at home, often outside (September birthday), but in our little house in the wintertime, a party at home for more than one or two kids is difficult at best.  Magic Mountain seemed like the perfect solution - they even had a Spiderman-themed party, and Spiderman ("my hero") is a trump card sure to make any venture a success.  However, when we got there, the "room" we'd rented was actually one row of a larger room that was very crowded.  There was hardly room for parents to help their toddlers eat lunch.  They were also very much a "turn and burn" operation, where we were informed even before the start of our party that we had less than an hour to vacate our "room."  That said, the kids all seemed to have a great time, and they did a decent job of assisting with passing out food, making wrapping paper disappear and such.  As a hostess, I was a little harried and frazzled throughout, but I kept thinking, "thank heaven this isn't happening in my house."  We're hoping to have a bigger house by Aidan's fourth birthday, in which case I'll likely be braver and do a "normal" party at home.  Or maybe I'll find a place that's a little less crazy to have it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It was that week

Last week was that week; the week when the weather warms up and you know that it's going to be warm again before we all die.  I wait and wait for that week every year.  I was outside as much as possible, walking farther than normal for lunch, sneaking in a trip to the park, leaving my coat at home.  Mmmm.   Unfortunately, it's normally followed by this week, in which Mother Nature takes back winter.  It's okay; she can be a tease; I know she'll give in in the end.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The clothes in size 3T do not look like clothes for a tiny little man; they're clothes for a full-fledged little boy.  Boy.  Not baby, not really toddler.  Boy.  Similarly, the shoes in size 9 are also not for toddlers; they're for boys.  I was explaining the wrongness of this to a friend today, and she said, "You don't have a baby; you have a boy."  I'm not proud, but I may have cursed at her.*  I'm taking refuge in the fact that 3T is a tad bit long, and that I need adjustable waistlines, as my skinny-patooted little boy will lose his drawers otherwise.  He's definitely too tall for 2T, though.  (sigh)

*She knows I love her.

It's perfect!

"Hey, do you know any little boys who are getting three birthday parties this weekend?"


"Aidan?  Three birthday parties?  That's crazy!"

"That's not crazy, Mommy - it's perfect!"

(Let it be known that it's really one party and two tangents - one at school and one with family.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

"I keep growing and growing;

I'm getting like a giant, I think."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Audrey the gorgeous

Meet Audrey Ellen, my niece!  I've never been an aunt before, but two weeks in (today), it's fabulous (as is she)!!
As you can tell from this photo, she's tiny - 5 lbs 4 oz, and 18.5" long.  She's perfect.  This humongous outfit she's wearing is newborn size.  It wasn't my fault that I had to run right out to the store and get a couple of preemie-sized outfits.  Not my fault!  Someone had to help out a potentially-naked child!

Honestly, it's amazing to see my baby sister as a mom and see her fall into it so naturally.  What a gift!


I didn't think I'd be so excited about having a good time at Disney on Ice.  However, this means a possible trip in December! 

Aidan has been horribly afraid of any type of mascot or costume for quite some time now.  My sister is convinced that it's her fault due to an unfortunate costume store excursion and his continuing questions about whether they have to go back to the costume store, but I understand that it's very common at this age.  I think to excrusion was a coincidence. 

We had a slight turning point when, a few weeks ago, Brutus the Buckeye showed up at his gym class.  At the beginning, Aidan was extremely wary and not at all interested in interacting.  He told Daddy that "I don't like  Brutus; he's not a nice guy."  However, after watching Brutus stand on his head, play with other kids and be all-around charming, he had an epiphany.  About three minutes before Brutus left, Aidan yelled, "I like him now!  He is a nice guy!"  Ever since, he's been talking about Brutus.

Yesterday, at Disney on Ice, Aidan was not at all scared.  He didn't try to run from the room (as he did at Sesame Street Live), and he didn't cry or hide his face.  In fact, he was excited about it, clapping, singing, waving at the characters, and asking whether we could skate with Mickey.  I hate to get my hopes up, but I believe this may mean we're turning the corner.  Fingers crossed....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Taking action

I feel the winds shifting, and I know things are changing.  Hopefully what's changing is me taking action; that's what I think it is.  I feel myself being moved toward action, and it's taking a couple of different forms.

I'm planning.  I'm planning a trip and things I want to accomplish, as well as planning little projects and such with my boy.  I'm planning get-togethers with friends instead of wondering when I might see them.  I'm starting to be able to give more, of myself.  I'm beginning to work on a committee for a new venture related to the United Way in my city.  I believe I'll be able to start volunteering at the local children's hospital soon, if only I can pass the FBI background check.  Fingers crossed.

I'm not sure what brings this on, but maybe it's something to do with the restoration of balance.  I would love to spend every second with my boy(s), but I'm starting to be able to back up a little and do things for me too, or someone else.  I've been able to cook for my sister to help out, when not too long ago cooking at all seemed a distant reach.  I've been reading much more for fun, and am starting a book club with a neighbor.

It's a little of everything.  It's good.  I recognize this, and it's good.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

delightful read

Just devoured The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; some great reading for book club this year!  I really had trouble putting it down.  The last book I read that was in the form of letters was years ago, Dangerous Liaisons, another one of my favorites.  I think it would be tough to convey a narrative that way, but when it's done well, amazing!  I love the sense of characters in the Society, as well as the sense of history.  We really are lucky and spoiled never to have lived through such a war on our home land, and spoiled to live as we do generally.  Stories about German occupation during WWII and about concentration camps are so horrible and so humbling.  I love that this book was able to convey what it did without being preachy and while still making me unable to put it down.  If it were twice as long, I'd still be reading it now.  I wish I were.

I also just read The Wednesday Sisters, another book club book.  I love book club!  The sense of true friendship shown there, through thick, thin and growth is wonderful.  It shows the best in friendships among women, even when we're not exactly at our best.  Can't wait to read the next couple of books.  It's February 14, and I'm ready to start the June book.  Hee hee!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Look, Mommy - I'm swinging with a hooker!

I know that you shouldn't lead with the punchline, but honestly, who can resist that one?

Any Spidey devotee knows that web swinging is an essential skill.  My little superhero swings through the house often.  Today he found a new gizmo to help him in lieu of "real" webs, a pink (his favorite color) plastic hanger.  A hanger has a hook on it....

Friday, February 5, 2010

I really want to tell me who are you?

So many women I know struggle with identity throughout their lives.  It's silly; a waste of time, and I don't just mean them - it's me, too. 

I've been thinking about how weight is such a struggle in one way or another.  Aside from pregnancy, on my adult frame my weight has ranged from about 95 to about 145, and at very few points anywhere on that scale have I been happy with my body.  Okay, at none.  That's asinine!  I've seen photos where I can see now that I looked dang near perfect - how could that not have been enough for me?  Why am I still, in my forties, struggling with what I look like?  More importantly, who cares what I look like?  Honestly, who does?  Who cares if I'm a couple of pounds heavy (which is what I've thought I was at all of those 50-pound range of weights)?  Nobody.  Why can't I drop it?  It's one step forward, not two back, but maybe one back.  Slow progress.

Along those lines, what's with changing faces?  I think that I look at least a couple of years younger than I am, but even if I didn't - who cares?  Who cares whether I look 20 or 60?  Why do I care?  Why should I? 

Men.  Through many years of being single, I made what I thought were good choices along the way, but looking back it's clear that I tried time and time again to force square pegs into round holes, and/or trying to change myself to be acceptable.  Tried to be perfect, interesting, and assumed that if something didn't go right, it must be something wrong with me, not just not a fit.  Square pegs don't go in round holes - they just don't! 

And then, as a mother, so many women seem to struggle, aside from all these other issues, with losing their own identities in a way that doesn't seem to affect men.  Our whole being changes when we become mothers - our bodies are unrecognizable, and our priorities are so different.  I'm happy to have different priorities - I love these priorities, and I'm grateful for them.  When I think about things that happened a decade ago, it seems like another lifetime or someone else's experience.  It's not that I don't like who I am, it's that I don't really recongize myself.  Is there such thing as a happy struggle?  I want to be the best version of myself, but I don't always hold up to it.   Keep trying.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Black cloud

There appears to be a black cloud over the electronics in our house. I'm not sure what the message behind that is, but I don't dig it.

First, our "nice" TV - the one that, instead of getting a flatscreen, we built into a wall so as not to take up as much space - is on the fritz.  My brilliant husband has figured out that, if you unplug it overnight, it will work for a period of time the next day.  This is extremely handy.

Second, as I mentioned before, our brand new Wii died.  Naturally, you can't just take a new, dead Wii back and get a new one - you must send it out for repairs.  Got it back, and guess what?  Same issue.  They were unable to find anything wrong with it, but magically, at our house, no go.  Luckily, I've found a way around its "feature."  Cool feature, too - the screen goes blank white at random times with no discernable pattern.

Finally, as noted in my vindication of Sucker Punch, I bought my son a new CD player.  Never mind that the old one died; the new one also isn't quite right.  Seriously?  How much more simple can electronics be than a CD player?

What's going on around here?

Who can explain motivation?

We got a Wii for Christmas, and I got a FitPlus and the Biggest Loser game to go with it.  I've got a few extra pounds that I'd love to say are baby weight, but when he's nearly three, one must be honest with herself....  Two days in, I was very excited; the games are fun, and it seemed like something I could keep up with it.  That evening, I was showing it to Steven and it died.  Figures.

Got it back at the end of last week, and, once I got it set up again, I'm having lots of fun with it.  Steven can't understand why I'm motivated by Bob Harper (Biggest Loser trainer) when we had an exercise bike in the basement the whole time.  I can't either, but I am.  Wasn't even a little bit tempted by that bike.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


It's not often that you hear the good news. Bad news - it's everywhere, though. That's why I try my best to pass along compliments. I don't even think about it anymore, but on an elevator, if I see a smart jacket or a great haircut, I dole out the requisite compliment whether I know the person or not. You can see people perk up when you say it, especially if they can tell it's sincere. I love that. I believe that's coming full circle, because this week I've received two really nice compliments.

The first is from a group of instructors who worked for me until December. I have been the lead instructor for a CPA Exam review course for over 5 years. It's been really fun, and I very much enjoyed it as well as teaching. I have done many speaking engagements to promote the profession in my career, and many to promote the profession and the review course (and review courses in general) in that role. I love connecting with the students, and I love watching the lights come on, so to speak.

Over the last year, it's become clear to me that teaching evenings and weekends is tough with a family, especially with a husband who works a lot and has a not-very-flexible schedule. Reluctantly, I resigned. I got a note from my sucessor that one of my instructors wanted to put together a thank-you dinner. Knowing why I resigned, and knowing that these people also have families they'd rather be home with, I was amazed when I got there and every one of them was there. The marketing guru that I've worked with for the last three years was also there, thank-you gift in hand.

It was wonderful to see everyone, but what a compliment that they thought enough of me to get together, buy me dinner, and say thank you. I really was very touched.

The second is somewhat related. Through the CPA Exam review course I began teaching the CPA-related parts of a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Exam review course several years ago.* I taught that course last year at a nearby university, not as University faculty, but for the course itself. Several of those students, unbeknownst to me, went to the chair of their department and asked him to hire me to teach for the university. Wow. Anyway, I found out about it when I got an e-mail asking me to teach financial statement analysis this spring. Wow. I would really love to teach college students - it's kind of a dream of mine.

I don't think I'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity right now; the time required to prepare for 10 original, three-hour classes with midterm and final, and probably some projects and papers, is a little much for me right now, given said husband's busy season right now. I'm really hoping that I'm able to do something like this when I "retire" and Aidan's a little bit older. Then I could teach during the day and devote the kind of time students deserve. The review courses that I teach have prepared material - I probably spend 6-10 hours preparing for each 3-4 hour session, so I can only imagine the time needed for original material. Especially given that it'd be my first time through; that 6-10 hours turns into 1 or so to review when I've taught that particular session before, but this would be a maiden voyage.

Still, what an incredible compliment. I feel very lucky.

*I know - you're wondering why I have all the fun and you don't. Honestly, you're welcome to sit in anytime. I'm still teaching a few CFA review sessions each year.

Sucker Punch, revisited

You may remember, from Sucker Punch a few months ago, that someone asked whether I was my soon-to-be niece or nephew's grandmother. I am less than pleased to say that it wasn't the last time.

On Saturday my sister and I went to BabiesRUs to register for her upcoming shower, and the woman helping her looked at me and said, "You're the grandmother, of course." I said, with what my sister says was a horrified look, "No, I'm her sister." This wasn't enough to deter the woman from further comment - "How many years are there between you two anyway?" was her next incredulous question. "Ten." Okay, enough for now, but not for long. A few minutes later, she commented that, of course my kids would all be grown and gone by now as she spoke of some new gadget that I wouldn't know about. I said, "No, he's two." "Really?" Yes, really.

My lovely sister just kept muttering under her breath, "I'm so sorry." Later she claimed that the woman was clearly developmentally challenged based on a couple criteria that I can't argue with too vehemently:
  1. Having clearly shaken me, she did not know to change the subject.
  2. Being in the service industry, she didn't have the foresight to butter up the customer. (What mother, whether plausible or not, wouldn't love to be asked if she were a sister?)

I should point out that the resemblance between us really is striking. People must know we're related. I should also point out that my sister could probably pass for about 20. She still finds this annoying, especially now that people glare at her belly thinking that she's way too young (not that it would be up to them), but I've told her repeatedly that it's a blessing.

Could I have a 20-year-old daughter? Sure. Could my son be my grandson? Sure. Could I have a 31-year-old daughter? Um, no. Ew.

I've had very slight vindication. Tuesday I stopped, on my way to book club, to pick up a new CD player for his majesty (someone I know is becoming more demanding), who likes to listen to music as he goes to sleep. As the gentleman was checking my ID with my credit card, he started to pull it away to see it. This gentleman was easily 15 years older than me, so I said, "Yes - once you turn 40, you need more light and longer arms, right?" Another woman, probably a little younger than me, got kind of salty. She said, "What do you know about it? What are you - 32?" I told her that she had no idea what she'd just done for me and that, in return, I would refrain from kissing her. I did, but just barely.

Monday, January 25, 2010

giveth; taketh away

Today, unprovoked and completely out of the blue, Aidan said, "Mommy, you're the best mommy." (Ahh) Don't worry; I won't let it go to my head. Yesterday he screamed at me (not words, just screaming) inches from my face, hit me and refused to listen to pretty much anything I said. It was worth it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

parental challenges

Last night Aidan had yogurt (banilla - banana & vanilla, light-colored) with his dinner. I looked at him, and he was spreading the stuff all over his cheeks. "I'm a clown!" he said. Great. As I was reaching for something to wipe his face, he took a whole spoonful and put it on his chin. Huge grin on his face, "Ho ho ho! I Santa Claus!" Seriously - are we really expected to keep a straight face after that?

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm not tired yet

"I'm not tired yet. I'm just yawning and getting cozy. But I'm not tired."