Monday, July 28, 2014

helping hands

This morning one of my dreams came true.

Instead of hoping that Sam would find a book to read while I made our breakfast I decided to pull a chair up to the counter and see if he could help. I brought out the carton of eggs with severe trepidation. I opened the box and asked Sam to help me pick which ones we would eat. He carefully perused the options and picked up a single, perfect brown egg. I cracked it into a bowl. He found me another one...I cracked it. When 5 had been cracked I said, "OK..all done"

He closed the carton, picked it up and turned to face the fridge across the room. I picked him up, walked over and opened the fridge. He slid the box back into the place we always keep the eggs.

I set him down and he turned to me and said, "Thank you"

And then wandered off to find his trumped (AKA the extender hose to the vacuum)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dinner recap

Yesterday as I drove home from work I had a total inspiration. Wouldn't it be fun to meet up with Sammy and the ear doctor at the little downtown area and try a new restaurant for dinner? We could spend time together talking and laughing. Sammy would probably totally enchant the entire restaurant with his adorable little laugh and ability to show where his eyes, ears and hair is. Afterward we could walk over to the ice cream place and get a couple of cones. Then we would amble over to the neighborhood park and watch our big boy go down the biggest slide...all by himself...

My, that would be fun.

So I called them up and described the idea...they were on board.

As it turned out, the ear doctor was totally on board...and Sammy was not.

From the moment we parked and I got him out of his car seat all he wanted to do was run around in parking lots and into the street. When I told him that he couldn't do that..for fear of DEATH...he started wailing. Big, loud, toddler tantrum wails. Even my emergency sticker stash did nothing to calm his mind melting frustration. The ear doctor tried desperately to salvage my idyllic vision of the evening, but I turned to him and said, "I can't handle his screaming for two more minutes...we must go home"

So we walked back to the car...starving and disappointed...and went home.

When we got home Sam was an absolute angel running around and playing in the backyard. He just wanted to do what HE wanted to do. Ugh...

15 minutes later I cut him up some leftover chicken and boiled some carrots (he won't eat them raw yet). He ate, was bathed and jammied in 15 minutes. He was in bed and fast asleep by 7:04 pm.

And we ordered pizza from Papa Johns while we watched Master Chef.

That's our life right now.  And I have to keep reminding myself that these are opportunities for me to learn how to be the cool, laid back, flexible person I've always dreamed of becoming.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June vacations

We are just coming home from two back to back family vacations.

And they couldn't have been more different.

First, we spent Memorial Day weekend in New York. Last time we went to the city was before baby. It was magic. We ate 4-5 times a day, saw museums, stayed out really late just walking the streets and getting swept up in the magic of the beehive.

This time, was not the same.

And I knew it wouldn't be. I thought I'd mentally prepared myself for what was ahead of us, but there was really no way to know what would unfurl. The flight out was stressful and Sam was screamy. Cab rides were hot and sweaty and, again, screamy because Sam wanted to explore the freedom of being in a car without a car seat. Our son who up to that point had been an angel in restaurants decided that he was physically incapable of waiting for his dinner to be served and freaked out. We experienced the "joy" that is using a stroller on the subway (torture) and we were in the hotel room every night by 9 in order to preserve our sanity.

That being said, it was still a pretty wonderful trip. The mornings spent on a playground, at the central park zoo and the cake and cheesecake in bed were heavenly. The long, lazy naps we took while the baby slept were indulgent. The upgraded hotel room spoiled us rotten. Seeing my brother and meeting his fiance were a total treat.

The second trip was a family reunion to do Disney. And it was fabulous. We all rented a huge house 15 minutes from the parks and every morning I got to cook a big breakfast for the people I love most in the whole world. And there as a pool that we all swam in every day. Sam got to play with his cousins. Meals were easy because everyone at Disney expects loud kiddos who want meals to last about 45 minutes...max. The weather was HOT, but we sent all the kids home for naps mid-day so they weren't crabby and tired at all. And at the end of the trip we went to the new Harry Potter world at Universal which was this nerdy girl's dream come true.

Things I learned for traveling with kids:

1) staying somewhere with a kitchen is a must. I may never stay in a hotel again. Being able to cook breakfast was not only a total pleasure, but a necessity for hungry kiddos
2) my baby doesn't really need anything more than a playground, some open space to wander and a pool (if possible). Any more stimulation just makes him nuts and stresses us all out

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vocab Lesson

Easter was a total success.

We scattered plastic eggs all over the house while the ear doctor read him a book for distraction. When he saw the eggs and basket he had no idea what to do. The ear doctor patiently crouched down and showed him that the game was to pick them up and put them in the basket. Before long he had about a quarter of the eggs carefully nestled in his basket. Then, he squeezed one and it popped open to show one perfectly blue cadbury mini egg.

Curiously, he bent over and scooped it up to investigate. He inspected and then popped it in his mouth.

3 seconds later he was furiously digging through the basket cracking open plastic eggs like a mad man. He had so much candy jammed in his mouth that his little lips couldn't totally close and sticky brown chocolate drool dribbled out of his mount and down his shirt.


And the best part is that he learned a new word that morning.


Thursday, April 10, 2014


The ear doctor got to go to Boston for a conference. I was a bit nervous about working and getting Sam up to daycare everyday. I'm sure I could have handled it on my own...but it was a bit of a daunting task. Usually the ear doctor takes drop him off on his way to the exact opposite direction of my commute.

Anyway, I asked my mom to come for a visit to watch the baby.

It was glorious.

Every day she took him on two meandering walks. They watched the gardener aerate the neighbor's lawn. They learned where the most friendly dogs live. But the coolest thing is that she taught him is first color.

He can now successfully point to purple flowers and say purple. Without any prompting. It's great.

Although I'm not sure if he thinks the word means flower or a color...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


There is a classic picture of my hanging on my mother's wall. I'm almost 2 years old. I'm leaning up against they yellow siding of our house grinning up at the camera like a maniac..entire face just COVERED in mud.

What I like most about this picture is that it was taken with REAL film and a REAL camera. Meaning my full-time working mother had to find her toddler, outside by herself, playing in a soupy muddy mess, eating mud and leave her alone to go find the camera.

Yesterday my mom was home with Sam all day. I got a text mid morning that made me just erupt with laughter. I was informed that my almost 18 month old son found a fresh steaming pile of dog turds in the back yard and was gleefully squishing the mound as hard with both hands. He was squeezing to feel how it smooged between his chubby little fingers.

And I couldn't help but be thrilled.

The major reason, obviously, was because I wasn't the one there who had to clean up the mess.

But also because I reveled in the idea that he is getting to experience all of these wonderful visceral experiences we get as humans on this earth. Wind in our hair...toes in warm sticky mud...the smell of cookies in the oven...the sight of spring flowers after winter...the sound of breezes rippling through trees. The truly amazing simplicity that makes living such a joy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An education

We're pretty sure that Sam is pretty lactose intolerant.

We are hoping he grows out of it, but for now we are avoiding lactose like the plague. You only have to see one little blistered bum to turn you a little gun shy.

However, the doctor said it was really important for him to get the fats and calcium from dairy. Lucky for me, I have a food scientist sister who informed me that when cheese is made most of the lactose gets thrown out with the whey and the curd (or cheese part) has very little lactose.

So we give Sammy cheese...lots and lots of it.

And he LOVES it.

The other day I was shredding some cheese for dinner and he saw the tell tale big orange Tillamook block. He looked up and me and said "cheess...peess" and made the baby sign language for more.

Translation: "Mother, you are the most wonderful woman in the world and I would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly spare me just a little piece of that wonderful orange stuff that I absolutely love. Thank you very much."

I ALMOST DIED it was so cute.

Here are all the types of cheese he has tried so far...they are all his favorites:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pi day

On Friday we had a pi day party.

43 people filled my 700 square feet of entertaining space to the gills...and it was awesome.

I've been hearing a lot about the power of introverts and trying to decide what I am. From the very cursory "research" I've done (watching a TED talk) I gather that and extrovert is supposed to be energized by large groups of people, while and introvert is supposed to be exhausted by them.

Well, during the party I was on cloud many many people to talk to and laugh many bellies to fill with food and love...

And even after everyone went home I was buzzing thinking about how everyone seemed to have a wonderful I think everyone felt included and happy...and how the ear doctor and I were able to facilitate a good time had by all...

...but then the next day I was totally wasted. I just wanted to crawl in bed, read and tickle Sammy boy's little chubby toes.

I'm starting to think that the balance between extrovert and introvert is much more a spectrum than a binary measurement. And if I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum how can I really own that?

On a totally different topic, I was invited (again) to a book club. I love reading, but don't really like book clubs. I don't want to feel pressured to read by a deadline, and I expressed those feelings to the person who invited me. I suggested instead that we have a podcast club where we all listen to the same podcast and then get together to talk about it. Less time commitment and guilt, still all the fun of getting together and dicussing ideas. Sounds great in my book.

Or, even better, a kind of moth/storytelling club where you get a topic and then come to the meeting with a story from your life about that topic to share with the group. That'd be pretty cool too...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

morning breaks

Daylight savings.  Wow. It is simultaneously horrible and awesome.

My Sammy has always been an early riser. And it's probably my fault...when I was pregnant in August I would wake up at 5 in the morning, sneak out onto our back deck and read for a solid hour with just the stillness of the day and my baby's furtive kicks to keep me company.

And so now when he is up at the crack of dawn I try not to be annoyed at him.

This morning when it was pitch dark in our room and I roused to the sounds of his happy sing songs from the crib in the next room I have to fight to avoid having my first thought of the day be "NOOOOO"...but when i look at the clock and see that I got to sleep in until 6:30 I think "YESSSSS"

Because there have only been a handful of days in the past 16 months that I have actually been able to sleep that late.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trying to be like...

Church was rough yesterday.

I decided to sit front and center with Sam hoping that the fewer other children distractions around him would help him be calm. This was a great idea...he was a perfect angle for most of the meeting.

The one time he lost his cool he was trying to crawl out from under the bench in front of us and make a break for it. I grabbed him before he could scoot out of my reach and he let out a deafening wail. I tried to take a breath, remain calm and remember that everyone around me is patient and it doesn't seem nearly as loud to other people. But the speaker in front of the whole congregation focused her entire talk on how to best teach little children to learn the gospel and understand what they should be doing at church.


Then, during the second speaker I took my eyes off Sam for 5 seconds and he pitched himself backward and fell, cracking his head on the pew in front of us. I scooped him up and tried to get out the door during that scary 3 second inhale before the scream really took hold, but wasn't fast enough. His wails echoed off the chapel walls as I heard the other speaker make some kind of remark (I didn't hear) and the whole congregation erupted in laughter at my expense.

Not my favorite day at church...but not the worst either...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

help meet

Here is a realization I've had in the last year.

My husband can only help me deal with all the plates that I've got spinning atop these poles if he knows about them.

And if I actually just TELL him how I'm feeling things get a million times better.

Even if it seems silly to vocalize, "I'm feeling grouchy" or "I'm feeling overwhelmed" just saying it out it a name...helps.

Who knew?

Oh...wait...EVERYONE knows that...

but there is a difference between intellectually knowing something and then putting it in I am finding out...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just in time for Valentines day

Sammy has finally...FINALLY...started really giving me hugs and kisses. This morning I was laying on the bed looking up and him and he very carefully stepped over to me, bent in half and gave me the sweetest little smooch right on my lips. Smacking sound and all. I felt so lucky I almost DIED.

My first adolescent kiss from a boy was NOTHING as special as this first little peck that Sammy boy decided to give me this morning.

And yesterday at the end of church my boy ran to me and threw both chubby little hands around my neck and SQUEEZED so tight. A REAL hug.

Up to this point his hugs have been more full-body-leans. And his kisses...tiny little face smashes.

I love this little critter so much.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


In the morning after getting his first sippy cup and the requisite diaper change the first thing the baby wants to do is great Babo.

Babo = Sam's word for Roscoe...our boxer.

He awkwardly toddler runs over to the dog bed with both hands flapping in the air and flops on top of our poor sleeping canine. I feel so bad for the dog because I know with *perfect* clarity that waking up at your own chosen time is one of life's great pleasures. And Sam pretty much always robs me of this luxury these days, so I feel bad that not even Roscoe can escape Sam's early morning sphere of influence.

I want to protect my poor pup and at least let him sleep in until he wants to get up...instead of being covered by very slobbery baby kisses and then promptly kicked out of his own bed. SOMEONE in the house should be enjoying bed as long as they want...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

For posterity

Right now, every morning when I go to get the baby from his crib to start the day we play a really sweet, special game.

He sticks a corner of his blanket through the bars, I pull the rest of it through and then I toss it back over the top rail into his bed.

We do it over and over...maybe 10 times while he beams and me and his ear to ear smile pokes out from behind the edges of his pacifier.

And I just wanted to write that down so I didn't forget.

Monday, January 06, 2014

It begins

Our kitchen cupboards are getting so full!

I never realized the space that melamine plates and sippy cups would occupy. It means that everything has had the squeeze in and move to the top shelves. As a result, over the weekend I opened a door and was showered with cups, straws, waterbottles and thermoses. The sad casualty was the plate to my cake safe. Such a bummer because I actually use it every time I bake!

The carnage continued when I left the baby alone for 10 minutes today to blow dry my hair and he ripped two flaps out of his beloved lift-the-flap books!

Up to this point I felt like I was doing alright keeping the kid related stuff and destruction to a minimum in my house, but we've reached a tipping point. The war begins...