in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

i swear he put himself in there

how my child entertains himself. i promise it wasn't locked.
last night was one of the funniest nights we've ever spent with john. i'm not sure what it is, but he had more energy than i have ever seen, and he was running. nonstop running. ok, he did stop running, but only to spin until he was too dizzy, then fall down.

then he got back up to run some more.

and he has a stuffy nose, so he was panting the whole time like the little puppy dog he is.

did i mention that most of that time, he was naked but for his diaper?

i have never laughed so hard. no wonder he is so damn skinny and sleeps so well at night.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

development

from the grin on his face, you'd never know
he hasn't figured out how to move forward.

only backward. which makes mommy laugh.
i am truly baffled sometimes at the development of this little human being who lives in our house with us. and even more baffling is that there are thousands - millions - of little human beings like him, all over the world, becoming their own people, every day.

this morning, john was in a fabulous mood. when his daddy changed his first diaper of the day, he decided to hang out and be naked on the changing table. then he picked up his sneakers, looked at daddy, and said, "shoes?"

seriously. my kid is talking. how did that happen?

but the best part of the morning was him riding around on his little scooter bike while i got ready. he has figured out how to climb onto it, and he loves to ride it around ... but he can't propel himself forward. so he rides BACKWARDS around the house. bumps into walls. laughs. gets off, turns it around, and backs across the room again.

it is physically impossible to be in a bad mood when that is the backdrop for your morning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

banana naturel

note to self: next time i need a mohawk,
try rubbing banana in my hair. the staying
power and height are remarkable.

this morning, john, his daddy, and i were eating breakfast together. john had nearly finished his banana when i got up to rinse out a glass at the sink. and in the split second that i wasn't actively watching, john decided to give himself a skin and hair treatment using smashed banana. awesomeness, no?

so if you encounter my son today and he's oddly sticky and smells slightly sweet ... or if his crusty mohawk just WON'T flatten out ... rest assured he's advertising his very own line of product:

banana naturel (by john heid)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

moms say the damnedest things


montage of an adorable morning, enhanced by accidental matchy-matchy-ness of frog and shirt.
 somewhere around middle school, i heard a joke that was so funny to me, i couldn't even tell without bursting into fits of giggles. it went something like this:

what do you do when you're driving
through the desert and the
doorknob falls off
your tornado?

it doesn't matter, there's not enough
pancakes to cover the doghouse anyway!

lest you think i am using this blog as a showcase for my series of cornball jokes (and if you know me, you know they are myriad), i do have a point. how on earth did the 11-year-old girl who couldn't make it past the word "pancakes" without laughing aloud ever become the woman who could say this with a straight face:

john, please don't put your goldfish
in the laundry basket. you can put
them in the bathtub if you must
put them somewhere.

never fear, i've not lost my sense of humor. it's just that something about bringing a child into this world seems to erase the ludicrousness of all things odd. surreal is the new real.

i suppose it is because little ones are just discovering the world, and to them, there's no reason NOT to put a goldfish cracker in the laundry basket. or take the cereal boxes out of the recycling. or move a coke can from the fridge to the stepstool. or give a yogurt puff to the dog.

and i suppose that as a mama, i get so used to those crazy explorations of his world that i sometimes say crazy things and don't notice. like "it's not an uhoh if you let the dog drink your juice." or "do you want to get out of that box and eat some oranges?" or "which bucket do you want mama to put on her head - the yellow one with a four or the blue one with a two? it's a funny hat!"

so here is my pledge: i want to notice these silly things i say more often. i want to laugh even more with my silly little bug. i want to giggle over the pancakes on the doghouse, and watch my son learn to laugh at the more surreal aspects of the world around him. and my reward will be the silly laughs he gives me with light in his sweet blue eyes.

and i can't wait to tell him this one. (you may need to read it aloud if you haven't heard it before):

what do you call a fish with no eyes?

fssssssshhhhhhhh! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

we're baaaack ...

recently, my imaginary friend cjane kendrick wrote a blog entry that inspired me.

let me back up a half-step to offer some clarity. cjane is not imaginary - she is a very real mommy, concert organizer, and blogger extraordinaire. the imaginary part is our friendship. i've never met her, and she probably doesn't even know i exist. but if i lived in utah, i like to pretend cjane and i would be besties. along with her cool blogging sister nienie. (are you listening, fabulous sisters? if you ever find yourself in baton rouge i will happily treat you to beignets and cafe au lait or whatever local delicacy tickles your fancy.)

do i sound a little like a creeper? read their blogs. you'll be imaginery bffs with them too.

but i digress. cjane's blog was about her son, who is a "little barometer" who informs her through her actions when he needs something - particulary her love and attention. that blog rang so true to me. and i thought how special it was that she was documenting this parenting discovery, and i thought, wow, i wish i documented more of that stuff as john grows up.

and then i thought ... wait a minute, didn't i have a blog once upon a time?

john remembers when mom used to blog and post cute
pics of him every single day. now he has to wave a
brightly colored dinosaur around for mom to pay attention.
ok, not really. but isn't he cute?

but if i am going to blog, i thought, i will have to remind myself to take note of the great stories! which means, i will have to truly be present with him, and attentive to him. which is awesome. "too bad," i thought, "this morning is going so smoothly i won't have a story to tell."

never think that. ever.

because then buddy the dog accidentally tackled john the very small walking peanut and face was introduced to tile quite emphatically. and the poor kiddo didn't even yelp or scream, just sat up, looked at me with a wobbly lip, and started crying ... as blood poured out of his mouth. (sorry for that graphic image. it will never ever leave my head. ever.)

fortunately upon examination and cleanup, it wasn't nearly as bad as it looked. i'm still not sure if he split his lip or bit his tongue. (though as i type that i think, he has no teeth. can you bite your tongue with no teeth? and make it bleed?) but i got him mopped up, got him a bottle of milk (a special treat since he usually only has bottles right when he wakes up or right before bed), and collected myself to get him ready for daycare.

it's amazing how calm i was in the face of my bleeding baby. i got a cool rag to clean him up, i snuggled him and looked in his mouth to see how bad it was, i dosed him with some baby tylenol to help with the pain and any swelling, and packaged him off to school. once he was buckled into his carseat and i sat in the front seat to start the car, though, i noticed my hands were shaking. and i still feel a bit shook up, to be honest.

and john does too, i think. he's not a clingy boy, but at the school he didn't want to let go of me. he wouldn't even go to his teacher, who he loves - just held onto mommy's shoulder.

until the teacher got him some grits. even mommy can't compete with grits.

that's when i knew for sure he'd be fine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

uncage the beast

this morning after i had loaded my standard 427 bags into my car and crated the doggie for the day, i made a dismaying discovery. the car seat, it seemed, was not in my vehicle.

flash back lo those 12 hours, to a tired family coming home from the camp, extracting a sleeping babe from his harness and carrying him in ... leaving the carseat in situ in the wrong car.

a quick phone call to my husband later, it was confirmed: he had the carseat.

the good news? we have an extra one. the bad news? the cover was off of it and it was completely unconnected and unstrapped.

so i dragged the car seat into the middle of the kitchen where i could work on while keeping an eye on my curiously crawling kiddo. it went something like this:

(pull, tug, tuck strap.) "no, no, john, don't eat buddy's dogfood. that's for buddy." (flip the cover, hook the hook, pull the strap around the back.) "john, that's buddy's bone. please leave buddy's bone alone." (pull it tight.)(look around.) "john?"

there he was at the door to buddy's crate, letting buddy lick his fingers and giggling. "perfect," i thought, "that'll keep him occupied a moment while i finish this up!" (tug, clip, cinch.)

then i glanced up again to check on the boys, and watched john deftly reach up and undo the top latch of the kennel. "lucky guess," i thought. guess again, mom; without a moment's hesitation my 11 month old reached down to undo the second latch and knowingly opened the door.

with a few more tugs and snaps left to go before the car seat was usable, i was now surrounded by a three-ring circus the likes of which only a happy crawling baby and an 82 lb lab brother can create. slobber and fur were everywhere. giggles and pants were the soundtrack. it was a mess ... and it was adorable.

i finally got the seat rigged and ready to go, and managed to get buddy back in his crate. (thank goodness he's a good dog and responds almost instantly to "kennel up!") i returned to the car seat, ready to strap john in, when i heard a strange voice.

"babe? hello? can you hear me?"

my industrious child has now picked up my cell phone and called his father.

(ok, so he just happened to hit send and redial the last number, but still! opening a dog cage AND making his first phone call all in the same day? come on now. this kid's a genius. least his mom thinks so.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

remember us?

we've been mia for far too long. i promise something more soon, but here's a little teaser!

"i like this doggy. this is a great doggy."

"yeah, i like this doggy. i think he likes me too.
what do you think?"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

bike ride

pic of the day: passed out baby after a long bike ride.
so today, we packed john up and headed to mandeville to bike on the st. tammany trace. it's one of the many rails-to-trails projects around the country, and in our case we road 9 miles one way to the abita brew pub, had lunch, and biked back.

we rented a bike trailer for john to ride in, and he *loved* it. he cooed for a while, then just grinned like a goofball until he finally passed out and slept for much of the ride. it was such an amazingly beautiful day, and the trail is mostly shady, so it was just awesome. it's an easy ride - very flat, as you'd expect from an old railroad bed, but it's just beautiful. we got a great workout, and had an awesome time.

john was great the whole day. he met a big mastiff doggy at the brew pub, and spent most of lunch laughing hysterically at the big dog. he shared my sweet potato fries, then happily got back into the trailer to ride behind daddy all the way back to mandeville.

it was really an amazing day. couldn't ask for a whole lot more. and tomorrow's my first mother's day with a baby in my arms instead of in my belly, so i am pretty psyched about that, too!

and an update on buddy: he's currently sitting on the floor next to my husband and i while we watch a movie. still skittish, still jumpy, still submissively pees far too much ... but he's getting better and enjoying spending time with us.

Monday, May 2, 2011

rough start

pic of the day
"... and then my mommy strapped me in
my carseat and disappeared for 20
minutes while i screamed for her."

we had a great weekend with buddy. he is definitely a fearful dog - he did a fair amount of barking at my husband, as it seems that men particularly scare him. but he's made some progress, and we're ready to be patient so we can persuade him that he has, in fact, found his forever home.

never underestimate, however, the chaos associated with adding another member to your family.

at 7:30 this morning, i was very proud of myself: john was dressed and ready for school, i was dressed and ready for work, buddy had had a walk first thing, my schlew of bags was packed and ready to load into the car so we could get this monday started.

and then. (isn't there always an and then?)

as i put on my shoes, john was crawling around our bedroom and knocked over a canoe paddle propped against the wall. big boom, etc.

poor buddy peed all over the living room floor.

"oh, buddy, it's ok," i said as rubbed his chest and cleaned up the mess. really, i don't mind - it's all part of the process.

when buddy had calmed down a bit, i let him in the backyard for one more run around before he spent his first day home alone. while he was outside, i loaded my still-smiling baby boy into his carseat and loaded the bags into the car.

then i went to the open back door to call buddy inside ... and he was having none of it. he planted his butt in the grass near the back fence and made it very clear he was coming nowhere near this horrid house of loud noises.

cue screaming baby, angry to have been left in his car seat.

i got buddy's leash, figuring i could walk him around the yard and then inside. so i walked him around the yard ... for 20 minutes. (baby still screaming bloody murder. oh don't worry, i checked on him every several minutes and nothing was wrong. he was just mad to be strapped in.)

20 minutes later, i *had* to leave. i was already so late for work. so ... i dragged buddy inside.

this is probably the worst thing you can do to a fearful dog.

then i got in the car with my screaming child and cried my way to work.

here's hoping day 2 goes a little smoother.

p.s. i did go home at lunch time to check on buddy, and we're friends again. he was terrified of me when i first got there, but quickly settled back in and hung out with me while i ate my lunch. i let him in the backyard with much trepidation, but i left the back door open and he came in on his own, and kissed my hand when i left. hopefully john will be as forgiving when i pick him up this evening!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

new family member

pic of the day: the first family walk with buddy
our family got a little bit bigger today! buddy joined us today about 2:30 pm when he arrived from the long drive from nacodoches, tx. ann and another volunteer from st. francis anmal rescue over there were kind enough to take the time to bring buddy to his new home.

buddy was a little nervous at first - it is clear that he has been mistreated at some point in his life, and he is particularly wary of men's hands. but in the less than seven hours he's been here the change is already phenomenal. he follows my husband every where he goes. he's happy to lean against us and almost get in our laps. he wags his tail and is happy to see us when we walk in from the other room. in short, i don't think it will be too long before he's 100% settled in and loving his new life.

we went for our first family walk this evening. buddy definitely spooks when there are strange noises behind him, but he did well overall. he did pull a bit more than we'd like, but everything seems so new to him that i think he'll adjust to that quickly too.

but the best part? well, i bet you can guess. but don't guess. check out this picture:

this is what it's all about. i wish you could see buddy's
face. he's grinning almost as big as john is.
and only slightly more drool is involved.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

weekday date night

pic of the day
"me? up to no good? never!"
so tonight, my husband is taking me out to a lovely italian restaurant for a date night. on a wednesday night, you might ask? well, yes. hey, you take it where you can get it with a sweet little man as the (much-welcomed) third wheel on most of our "dates"!

we haven't been going out to eat lately, as a part of our efforts to get rid of debt and save towards having an emergency fund. and on friday, we're adopting a very sweet doggie who will need us to be around quite a lot in his first few days, since he will be not only adjusting to his new home but also learning to trust and love us. so the prospects of having some adult time weren't looking so hot for the next week or two.

and then, my husband had a brilliant inspiration. he won a gift card in a golf tournament a while back ... so tonight's dinner will be free or very very cheap! and since one of my favorite people in the world is willing to come sit with john on a school night, wednesday night date night is ON.

is it absolutely absurd that that makes me want to dance?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a day at the camp

pic of the day
this is clearly not buddy :) it is nola, the new puppy
belonging to our friends who came to the camp with
us for easter. but john loves nola, too.
breaking news first: buddy is coming to live with us on friday! we've passed the home test and jumped through the hurdles, and he'll be arriving friday afternoon.

easter sunday was a big day: we brought john to the camp with us for the first time! for those of you not from south louisiana, "the camp" is a very fascinating local entity. most families have a camp somewhere. they're typically in the middle of nowhere, on the water. some people have hunting camps, some people have fishing camps. ours is sort of a general recreation camp. it's a well-loved ramshackle cypress shack on a small spit of land called graveyard island. about eight feet from the back door is the belle river, with a dock where the boats are parked. about eight feet from the front door is the gravel road, then the lake, where we swim and fish. there are alligators, though they tend to steer clear from the people. there are bugs and dirt and always a wet dog or six running around. sounds awful, yeah? actually it's great. so much fun ...

(as an aside, if you've ever watched swamp people on the discovery channel, troy and his family hunt not too many miles from our family's camp on lake verret. we go out to lake verret on the boats to swim and visit the local water-access bars.)

anyway, about a million friends and family were down at the camp, and we brought a couple we're friends with. surprisingly there were only three dogs including nola, because unfortunately part of our family and their dogs were at the camp saturday and we missed them.

one of my cousins has a 13-month-old, so john and nathan had a grand time playing in the dirt. since nathan walks, john tried to mimic him a little bit by putting his feet flat on the ground and doing a downward facing dog position.

john was NOT much of a fan of his life-vest, but needless to say he had to wear it when we went out on the boat. he did fine once he settled in a little bit. he hated swimming in the lake and there was nothing mommy could do to persuade him that it wasn't a scream-worthy experience the entire time ... oh well, he'll get used to it!!

we all ate too much crawfish and easter candy (ok, john didn't get any of those), got really dirty, and generally had a great time with the family and friends. all the excitement meant john got no nap, but he slept fine that night and is back on his schedule no problem.

one of my favorite parts of being a mom is definitely watching john experience new things. as long as we're in louisiana, the camp will be a big part of our summer adventures, so i'm sure we'll watch him grow into it ... we'll have to dig out the old bamboo fishing poles us cousins used when we were kids, so the next generation can start cricket-fishing for brim on the shore. and he may even learn to kneeboard in a few years, or water ski like we did back in the day. it's crazy to think of this new generation, and it's wonderful to think of them experiencing the camp like we did. it makes me smile.

Friday, April 22, 2011

big

pic of the day
where did this big child come from, and what did you
do with my tiny little baby?
 i know i say this all the time. but where in the heck does time go?

leaving for work this morning, my husband was still asleep and so was the baby. (the daycare is closed for good friday so my husband stayed home with john.) when i peeked in at john sleeping, he looked like a big kid (see the picture above). not like a sweet little baby bundle, but like a big ol' boy. sure, he's still small in size. but the way he holds himself, even when he's sleeping, has more child in it than baby.

and yes, i'm waxing philosophical here a bit, but i can just tell i am going to bat my eyelashes and he'll be driving. he's coming up on a year already ... and then two ... etc. i know it's the natural way of things. i know every single mama in the world feels the same way. but i just look at this little creature that i nurtured in my body for 9 months and i think ... how did that little fluttery bump in my belly become this independent human being?

it's a miracle, no doubt.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

there & back again

pic of the day
john shares his mom's guilty pleasure of
reading trashy gossip rags

5:30 p.m. hurry to school to pick up peanut. enjoy his laughing/yelping in joy when his mama walks through the door to get him. distance traveled: 3.1 miles

5:45 p.m. hurry home so that peanut and mommy can go for a walk to the park. distance traveled: 4.1 miles

6:15 p.m. load john in the stroller and head on down to the park. should be a 1 mile round trip walk.

6:22 p.m. realize i was supposed to stop at the produce market on the way home from work. decide we can't go to the park after all. stop in my tracks and turn around. distance traveled: .65 miles

6:35 p.m. load john into his carseat. ignore his standard scream-when-you-put-me-in-a-carseat act. head to the produce market. did i mention the produce market is back near my work? distance traveled: 6.4 miles

6:55 p.m. back in the car. head to albertson's for the item or two i couldn't get at the produce market. realize it's going to be almost john's bedtime by the time we get home. did i mention the albertson's is back by the house? distance traveled: 5.8 miles

7:22 p.m. back to the house. got 30 minutes to play with the kiddo before he goes to sleep. distance traveled: .5 miles

total time spent in car: 56 minutes
total miles traveled: 20.55
time spent playing with kiddo: 45 minutes

remind me to go to the produce market on the way home next time, like i meant to today, ok? that was a lot of extra driving and lost play time, all because mommy's ding-bat brain forgot to make a stop. thank goodness my sweet kiddo sang to me the whole time we were in the car - makes it all worthwhile!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

separate.

admiral john and his ducky flotilla

a brief note on perspective: after feeling so yukky yesterday morning, i had a conversation with an amazing friend of mine. i haven't cleared with her whether i can mention her here, so we shall call her "n." "n" is seven months pregnant with her second child, a baby girl we'll call "r". unfortunately, "r" has spina bifida. and recently, "n" and her family have discovered several other complications, including a chromosonal abnormality that does not bode well for baby "r". the chances of baby "r" even coming home from the hospital are not good.

but "n" is amazing. yes, she and her family are praying for a miracle - how can you not? but she has also begun the process of making peace with this overwhelming situation. she is positive, and beautiful, and strong. she admits to crying late at night as though that were a weakness. she and her husband and their son are just taking it a day at a time, and will love baby "r" forever no matter what, and will enjoy whatever time they can have with her in this life.

and you know what else "n" is? smiling. always smiling. always hugging and lifting other people up. she's amazing, and she changed my day yesterday. she and her little angel baby "r".

***

i have heard that many babies around 9-10 months old go through some separation anxiety. they cling to their mommies, and cry when mommy leaves. so far, we've been blessed that john hasn't exhibited any of this - he's happily gone to whomever i might hand him to, and not batted an eyelash if i wasn't there.

but ... either this morning was just a clingy morning (a possibility) or the cry-when-mommy-leaves-me-at-school phase has begun. at home, i couldn't put him down for more than two or three minutes without him fussing to be picked up (with arms raised in the air - i wouldn't be surprised if his next word after mama and dada is up!). we got ready and headed to school, though. and i got a big ol' grin when i opened the door to get his carseat out when we arrived at school.

when i put him down, though, he wasn't having it. i dumped a bin of toys in his lap - usually a surefire solution. nope, still crying. paci in the mouth? still crying. teacher picked him up? a little less crying ... but still crying. i had to kiss him and walk out while he was still a bit in tears.

i'm not alone in this. i know. every mama goes through this at some point. but it's *so* hard not to run to him to pick him up and kiss him, when i know all he wants is to be in my arms! it's like the sleep training all over again.

but ... maybe it was just a bad day. maybe tomorrow he won't mind, and he'll dive into that pile of toys and play with his baby buddies and go back to not even noticing when i leave.

hey, a mom can dream.

darling

pic of the day: a quick cat nap on gigi's (great grandma's)
couch before we got on a plane to fly home on monday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a question for you

i have a question for you, dear readers.

i have reached the end of my 30-day promise to post a picture a day of the little bug. i did really well right up to the end there - i think i missed days 29 and 30.

so, please comment here (or on my facebook if you have difficulties here): should i keep posting daily pics?

is it annoying? or is it entertaining? do you think, "oh, what's the little dude doing today?" or do you click "ignore" on my facebook status? (and do be honest!)

overwhelmed.

no cute boo picture today. john's mom is feeling a little overwhelmed.

it's probably because we travelled this weekend and didn't get home until late. or because i'm fighting some sort of cold/allergy thingy that makes my left ear sound like a tunnel and makes me have no voice (like, NO voice). or because i was out of work for two days to travel and i came back and re-wrote my to-do list and feel like i'll never get it all to-done. or because by the time i work out tonight, it'll be 7:15pm before i get home today, and pretty much the same deal for one reason or another every day this week. or because i haven't gotten enough sleep. or because sometimes when we feel yukky is when my husband and i are the least good at taking care of each other. or because i'm a whiny wuss, that too - 'cause really, couldn't just about everyone, mom or not, working or not, probably claim at least an item or two off this list? so who am i to complain, when these are all such little problems in the grand scheme? (add another one to the list: or because i feel guilty for feeling crappy today when i am truly so blessed.)

oh well. i know what i need to do. suck it up, do one little thing at a time. eat the elephant one bite at a time. smile a little, hug my husband and my baby, drink some tea, talk as little as possible (to help get the voice back), maybe play my cello, throw myself into my workout tonight, focus on the home visit so we can get buddy-the-dog, and just keep on keeping on.

i'll be better tomorrow, i promise.

(humming to herself: just keep swimming, just keep swimming ...)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

pic of the day: day 29
a silly blue monkey.
and next to him, a stuffed animal.

real updates coming soon, i promise. kiddo's super cute and we have stories to tell!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

packing

pic of the day: day 28
only a rare few climbers have ever successfully summitted
mt. mommy, but john's determination pays off.
his climb was done without the aid of oxygen.

sometimes, i forget.

i forget that i can no longer pack 8 hours before i get on an airplane to go on a trip. i forget that one little carry-on bag will no longer hold everything i need for a long weekend. (i forget that i can't hit snooze 4 times and still expect to get everything done in the morning.)

i guess when you spend 29 years NOT packing for a baby, you have lots of practice not-packing-for-a-baby. so tonight, i will go home and pack ... lots of stuff. thank you, southwest airlines, for allowing me to have to free checked bags. i will need them!

we're heading to gigi and great grandpa's house in florida this weekend, for passover*. it will be tons of family jammed into a little 3-bedroom condo. and it will be fantastic! and john will have lots of people to play with. and lots of little hippos** to avoid breaking. we can't wait ...

* my mom's side of the family is jewish, and we celebrate passover whenever we can get everyone together that's close to the right time of year. we have a seder on a saturday night, regardless of what night of the week actual passover falls on. so yes, i know this trip is not technically for passover, but it's our family's passover so that's all that matters, ha!

** my grandmother (john's gigi) collects hippos of all shapes, sizes, and materials. some are breakable. but gigi is clever, so i would guess only the squishy non-breakable variety will be available to little hands.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

jailbreak



pic of the day: day 27
i wonder if he dreamed he was in jail?

after yesterday's awesome* morning, i confess i was a little nervous which baby i would pick up at school yesterday afternoon: happy-playful-crawl-everywhere baby or angry-yelling-hate-everything baby. much to my delight, a day at daycare apparently put john in a much better mood!

we didn't get to spend a ton of time together as a family - it's hard when my husband and i both go to the gym after work. john goes from school to the gym playroom, and we're all back at the house around 7:30pm, just in time for john's 8pm bedtime. but what time we did have was great, with a little sleepy snugglebug loving on his mommy and daddy and exploring the house. (it cracks me up that he will crawl the whole way across a room to get to the most breakable item in the room. i guess it makes sense - most breakable items are coincidentally shiny and pretty. and, in our house, breakable items are now in a closet or on a high shelf!)

and the biggest laugh of the day came when john had been asleep for about an hour. i went to put some laundry in his room (he sleeps right through it) and his crib looked a little funny. so i turned on the little lamp and saw feet sticking out of the slats. with my hand on my mouth so as not to laugh out loud and wake him, i ran to our bathroom to grab daddy. he begrudgingly followed me to the nursery and was glad he did. compliments to the daddy for photographing the moment, then rolling john back out of the slats without so much as a peep from the kiddo!

and now we're getting ready to go to florida to see gigi and great grandpa ... life is so busy, full, and blessed.

*by awesome, i mean not at all awesome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

bad day

pic of the day: day 26
not always sunshine and roses.

john had a very bad morning this morning.

which means, mommy had a very bad morning this morning.

nothing was right. everything made a baby cry. even snuggling with mom didn't fix it. head-butting mom and possibly giving her a black eye - nope that didn't work either. trying to go to sleep didn't fix it. eating tasty avocados for breakfast didn't fix it. crawling around the house certainly didn't fix it. watching dad clean up the dropped jar of pickles with glass and pickle juice everywhere - no go. even *milk* didn't fix it. and you know that's a rough day.

maybe he's teething? maybe he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed? maybe he's tired of his stuffy nose and runny eyes? maybe he had a bad dream? who knows. but it's bad news, let me tell you.

so here is a mama's prayer for this morning: dear lord, please take care of my wee one and let him be happy again. please don't let him be too much of a terror for the poor teachers at daycare. please let him eat and play and nap and bring my little smiling bug back. i know we all have bad days, lord, but mama prays the little bug's tears turn into giggles and belly laughs a.s.a.p.

Monday, April 11, 2011

everywhere

pic of the day: day 25
it took 29 attempts to get a picture of
john while he was sitting still

during our travels yesterday, john was SO good: he was stuck in his seat for a total of 10-11 hours, and he was such a good sport. yeah, he fussed from time to time - but so did i. he did so good just hanging out with us, i was so impressed and so proud of him. (as an aside: i don't think we'll be doing much more traveling like this again. john was great, but it is just exhausting. aside from the normal traveling wear and tear there's the constant efforts to entertain a busy kiddo, and both daddy and i were bushed.)

when we got to nacogdoches, we were greeted by john and ann at st francis animal rescue. they are amazing, passionate people who love every single doggie they encounter. they have a beautiful home and a beautiful rescue facility on 15 wooded acres tucked right in town in nacogdoches. they didn't think it was at all strange that we were willing to drive 10 hours round trip to meet a doggie; in fact, they thanked us over and over again. apparently with the economy down, adoptions are down as well, especially of the biggest dogs (which is exactly who were looking for).

then they introduced us to buddy. buddy was mistreated at some point in his past - he is very shy, meets new people with his tail tucked down and his ears low. men and their hands, especially, freak him out. loud noises make him jump. he's beautiful but timid.

then john saw buddy. and john squealed and laughed. and buddy walked right up to the baby, sniffed his face, and kissed his nose. more baby giggles. so john and buddy were fast friends. buddy warmed up pretty quickly to me, as well, even going so far as to give me a little tail wag.

and then the key: daddy and buddy. buddy is scared of daddy, daddy might be allergic to buddy. but after some cautious introductions and some warm up time, two huge discoveries: 1) buddy will let my husband walk him and over a few minutes the tail comes out from between the legs and he starts to enjoy the walk and 2) buddy can lick my husband and he doesn't break out.

so buddy will most likely be coming to live with us. we still have to "pass" a home inspection, but i don't think that should be a problem. and we're ecstatic about giving this big ol' boy a home where he can learn that he is safe and loved, that he can warm up to everybody and come into his true happy lab/newfie nature.

***

i was a little worried about how yesterday's adventures would impact john's sleep last night. we didn't even get home until after 9, when john is normal in bed a little after 8. and no doubt, it was hard to get him to go to sleep - although he was exhausted, he fought it every step of the way. but then he slept great, waking up around 4 to eat, then sleeping until about 645 again.

and his mood was certainly not hurt: john was the happiest kiddo you ever met this morning. he was EVERYWHERE. his little scooty-booty crawl has developed into a full-fledged on-all-fours-crawl, and he's discovered that drawer handles appear to be a FINE place to pull up to work on standing. he wouldn't even eat breakfast this morning, because he was too busy running around the house.

we have the best kid ever. and i can't wait for him to have a big goofy brother to run around with, practice pulling up on, and love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

long drive


pic of the day: day 25
buddy


ok. i cheated a little ... that's clearly not john. it is, however, buddy, who will soon be our newest family member if all goes according to plan!


we left the house at 8am today to drive to nacogdoches, tx, to visit with buddy at a rescue shelter there. he's a 92 lb lab/newfoundland mix, and he's an awesome dog. we're really looking forward to him moving to baton rouge soon to be john's new big brother!


i could write a whole story about our journey, but the truth is it's 10:12pm on a school night, john's fussing in his crib, and daddy and i are ready to crash for the night. for now, i'll leave you with this, which is probably more accurately pic 24 of the john-pic-of-the-day series:
john at the little mexican restaurant
where we grabbed lunch before heading
back to baton rouge.






Saturday, April 9, 2011

busy day nap fail


pic of the day: day 24
nap fail

i think the only way today's pic of the day could be funnier would be if it could have been shot with an infrared camera while i was not in john's room with him. he took a GREAT nap for daddy earlier in the day while mom was at work (more on that in a sec) but when i tried to put him down for his second nap, he faked me out. he fell asleep in my arms, plopped right into bed with bear and was quiet for about 20 minutes. then i heard noises and peeked in the room to see him ... and this is what i found. a little crawling creature talking to himself as he explored the crib, pulled every blanket down, and played happily. oh well, naps are over-rated anyway, right? no. but that's ok.

the reason i had to work today on a saturday was two-fold - we hosted a set of three financial education seminars for kids between the ages of 5 and 15 this morning. it was a bit like herding cats - what youth-related event isn't - but i think some great information was shared and hopefully some futures brightened at least a teensy tiny bit.

but the fun part of the day was over at celtic studios where our new friends at launch media helped us film our new tv commercials. and let me tell you - if you want a tv commercial done in the greater baton rouge area, call them. they are visionaries. i am not exaggerating. we had a pretty great idea for our tv commercials but they are bringing it to life in a way far cooler than i ever imagined. 

which is really fun in and of itself. but perhaps even more exciting to me is that i am realizing a dream of mine, that i've always had: to create really amazing tv commercials that do a great job of representing a company and its brand. this is only one project, and who knows if/when we will do another round of ads. but it is so awesome to be a part of the team putting this together, and i am totally in love with my job right now.

then i came home and got to be totally in love with my family. not such a bad day in the life.

Friday, April 8, 2011

baby godzilla


pic of the day: day 24
baby godzilla wreaks havoc on the changing table
 


it is truly phenomenal how much a 16+ lb baby boy can get into in a brief period of time ... especially considering his little scooty-booty version of crawling doesn't allow him to move very fast. but in the two hours he was awake before we left the house this morning, he found and tried to eat or drum with the following:
  1. daddy's running shoes (drumming)
  2. daddy's shoe insoles (eating then drumming)
  3. the diaper wipes, diapers, pacifier, and nose bulb on his changing table (alternately eating and drumming) (see above)
  4. a gossip magazine (tearing to shreds)
  5. another gossip magazine (tearing to shreds and eating) (fyi: for some mysterious reason i have a subscription to "ok" magazine that i'm pretty sure i never paid for. i've had it for almost a year now. i wouldn't pay for it ... but if it comes to my mailbox free i can guiltily indulge. so if you sent it to me, thanks. and if not, well ... still a mystery.)
  6. mommy's shoes
  7. a rubber dog bone (leftover from gunter)
  8. the bathroom (see below) (don't worry germaphobes, i sanitized him well after this adventure)
after destroying the changing table, baby godzilla moved on to the water closet.
his path of destruction is unstoppable.
roar.

stay tuned this weekend for possible doggie-related updates. there's a lovely boy named buddy in nacogdoches, tx, who we will be paying a visit to see if he's the perfect brother for baby john!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ambivalence

pic of the day: day 23
mommy don't go
my boss has a saying that she shares frequently when we discuss the challenges of being a mom who works out of the home. she says, "wherever you are, be there 100%."

surprisingly, that's not the part of being a working mom that i struggle with. when i am at work, i am focused on my work, in part because i love what i do and i love where i work. and of course when i am at home, i love being home with my family. i am blessed to have a challenging job that i don't have to take home with me, mentally or physically.

no, the difficult time for me are the transitions. that, friends, is when the ambivalent feelings rear their heads. as i get ready to get out the door on the way to work, i want to go to work, but i don't want to let go of my little bug. towards the end of my work day, i can't wait to get home to john and his daddy, but i don't want to stop working on whatever project i am engrossed in.

that is my personaly tight rope. that is the razor's edge that i walk each morning and each evening, trying to balance the two biggest sections of my life. (can i whip out one more silly cliche to explain it all? maybe if i try REALLY hard ...) of course it's true to a smaller degree for any of the less-prominent roles i play in my life.

and i guess at the end of the day (had to get that last cliche in!) these feelings will never go away. so i will pluck that extra kiss from john's lips and that extra hug from my husband. i will allow myself five more minutes buried in the task at hand. i will be where i am, 100%. and i will look forward to being 100% somewhere else when that time comes as well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

on the go

pic of the day: day 22
my baby is a mobile toy-seeking device.

i knew it was coming.

i've been watching john learn to crawl for weeks now.

but i think i can officially say: the era of the stationary baby is OVER. kaput. no longer. it is an ex-era. (kudos to you if you got my lame monty python reference.)

he has a funny little crawl, where he tucks one leg under him and sorta drags it along with him. but he moves surprisingly fast, and is quite agile. he has figured out how to pull over his toy basket and take out whatever he likes. (and worth noting: last night he put a toy BACK in the basket when he was done. is it possible he might be a better housekeeper than mama? only time will tell.)

we had a wake up at 3:30 this morning. and i found him sitting upright in bed again, this time in the middle of the bed. apparently he can sit up without the assistance of the crib rails now!

so. on mom's to-do list:
1) replace any missing outlet covers
2) hide any visible electric cords (he loves them)
3) get childproof brackets for the cabinets
4) hit the gym hardcore so she stands a chance at keeping up!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

knock on wood

pic of the day: day 21
mommy's two favorite boys
and
one attempted sock escape

i should know better than to even say this aloud. maybe i'll whisper? (how do you whisper in a blog?) i'm scared to jinx myself but ...

i think we're getting better at leaving the house on time.

i've made light of the fact that i'm never on time these days. i joke about it because, frankly ... i hate it! i don't like being late. i hate keeping people waiting. to our credit, we're not usually WAY late - a minute or 5 here and there, but it's still not how i aspire to be.

but today makes three days in a row that we've actually left the house when we intended. we were EARLY for church on sunday - woohoo! and i've made it to work when i'm supposed to the past two days, and the mornings have been pretty low-key and not too stressful. maybe we're finally figuring out the routine?

or maybe tomorrow will be meltdown wednesday and i'll eat my words. either way, i guess we'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, April 4, 2011

kleenex head

pic of the day: day 20
john plays kleenex head all by himself.

when john's grammy (my mom) was in town in january, they made up a lot of games together. great, simple baby games. in one game, you bang on a table, then look at john and say "baby," which makes him utterly crack up. but far and away his favorite is kleenex head.

much as the name might imply, you play kleenex head by tickling his forhead, face, and scalp with a kleenex. he giggles and grins. you can do this over and over again for ages. i think he likes the way the wispy kleenex feels - he seems to be a very tactile baby who loves different textures, etc.

well, little kleenex head is growing up. this morning, he crawled across the bed, grabbed his own kleenex out of the box, and played kleenex head all by himself. and then, he went to school ... where he's not in the littlest baby class anymore. as of today, he's in the next class up, with big ol' babies who walk and talk and love little john.

the mama's of the two other little boys in john's old class came and found us this morning to say how sad they were the three amigos had been broken up. never fear mamas. they grow REALLY fast. the three amigos will be riding tricylces around the back lot before we even know it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

another full day

pic of the day: day 19
little man banging his "drum," all
dressed up for church.

 this morning our little family got up early and made it to church for the first time in a while. it's funny - there are so many old jokes about people who don't go to church until they have kids, but there's some truth to it. i've never felt compelled to attend church - i feel comfortable in my spirituality and my relationship with god whether i am in a certain building or not - but i find myself wanting to get more involved now, so that baby john can have that community of faith around him.

after church we took a (failed) nap, then picked up a good friend of ours to go to the lsu baseball game. baby john's first game at alex box!

baby tiger cheering for the big boys
on the diamond
it turns out, it was FAR too hot and sunny in our seats for the little man. he did great for two innings, but then we gave up and went to walk ons to watch the rest of the game. 

home again for another failed nap (seems to be the theme today ...) and an evening of family time hanging out and recovering from the sun.

what a great weekend ...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

best day ever

pic of the day: pic 18
popeye the baby boy checks out mom and
dad's big ol' bathtub.


last night we went to live after five - you probably saw the picture of kookoo in his baby brees ear protection. it's funny, i could have been carrying him upside down by one ankle, but with his ear protectors on, and people would have still stopped me in the crowd to say "attaboy mom!" i have some other great pictures of the boy playing with a budweiser/bud light cup (empty - what do you take me for!) that i'll put up one of these days.

today was a really full day, too, but a really good one. the family slept in a bit (go sleepy baby go!) and the john came to the gym with me. it's been embarrassingly long since i've been to the gym, so the ladies in the daycare were like, "oh, look how BIG he's gotten!" i am sure they don't mean to guilt trip me, but man, it works.

when we got home, john took a 45 minute nap then we went for a walk down to the park at the end of our street. john talked to me the whole way there - telling me when he heard dogs barking, and laughing hysterically at a man in a ditch with a weed-whacker. at the park, john had a blast swinging ... and i have evidence in video format. as soon as it decides to arrive on blogger from the text i sent 25 minutes ago, i'll update with said evidence. ha!

we also went down the slide together, swung on the big-kid swing together, and ran around like sillies with the breeze in our hair. is there anything better than fun with a baby at the park???

the rest of the day was hanging out with daddy, another nap, some errands, some crawling around the living room floor, a bath in the big-boy bathtub (no little baby tub for THIS kid) and a successful night-night. now daddy and mommy are watching the final four, contemplating bed, and just generally enjoying life.

best. day. ever.

Friday, April 1, 2011

live after five

  
pic of the day: day 17
john kicks it at the v.i.p. tent at live after five.
and a good time was had by all!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

good news bad news

i have amazing news. john maneuvered from laying down to sitting up all by himself for the first time!

the bad news: he did it at 9:30 pm in his crib when he was supposed to be sleeping. i had put him down to bed at a little before 9. about 15 minutes later i went to put something away in his room, and he was quiet but awake, rolling around in his crib. he started crying a little bit later, which is unlike him - he usually cries as soon as he hits the bed, if at all, then passes out and is down for the count. waking up to cry so soon after going to bed is unheard of. unless, of course, you want to announce to the house that you've sat up for the first time.

that's a kid for you, i suppose! i am anxious to see if he sleeps at all tonight, or if he just plans on practicing his new skill for the evening. we shall see!

leap of faith

pic of the day: day 16
step 1: happy baby playing
on mom & dad's bed

step 2: happy baby sees something
he wants and launches himself
off the bed to get it. (don't worry,
mom was prepared to catch him)

 
step 3: happy baby educates
himself on the mechanics of
smart financial decision making.

this morning, john took a terrifying dive off of our bed. fortunately, i was waiting to catch him, knowing full well he was about to commando crawl himself off the edge of the bed. he had caught sight of something he wanted, and when he wants something, nothing gets in my baby's way - not even a two-foot drop off the bed.

i am going to have to watch this child. carefully. he is afraid of nothing. i have visions of swinging from chandeliers and ceiling fans when mom and dad turn their backs for even a moment. look out, world, john is all boy!

interestingly, the item that was worth diving off the bed to reach was a book. specifically, dave ramsey's "financial peace university." at least john's willing to take a leap of faith to better himself ... (insert rim shot here.)

john says, "bad joke, mom."

mom says, "get used to it, kiddo, those are mom's favorite kind." 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

torn

pic of the day: day 15
commando-crawling may not be as efficient as regular
crawling. but it's much more effective for sneaking up
on your target: mom's shoes (just out of frame)

fyi: if you have the natalie imbruglia song "torn" on your itunes, it would be appropriate to play it right now as you read this post.

as john commando-crawled across the floor to try to get my shoes this morning, i found my self full of very ambivalent feelings.

pride. i am so proud of my little man, learning so much so fast and being so curious and engaged in the world.

excitement. he's crawling now, he'll be walking soon, he'll be talking soon, i'll get to know him even better as he devlops!

trepidation. our house really isn't a safe enough place for him yet. there's so much to do before he can just wander around without uncessarily hurting himself.

understanding. he IS going to hurt himself. it's just my job to help minimize the damage.

amazement. this is that little kicking critter that rode around in my belly for 9 months, continuing the inevitable march to autonomy.

sadness. this is one tiny step towards john not being my "baby" anymore. he already has so many characteristics that are more toddler than baby. i will miss that little helpless snuggleworm nestled against me ...

happiness. we have so many fun activities ahead of us, so much life to live together, this little man just fills my heart so.

i'm sure john's daddy could add even more words, too. we're so overwhelmed every day at this little human being who shares our lives now. he is so alive, so vibrant, so perfect. (no, he's not really perfect, but he is so ... unsullied? unscarred? undamaged?)

i say this so often it has become trite. but i will say it again nonetheless:
i have been blessed with the opportunity to do many awesome things in my life. i have gone to very cool places and had incredible experiences. but the most amazing thing - the most fulfilling thing - the most mind-boggling thing - i have ever done is becoming a parent.
and just think: we're only 9 months in to a lifelong ride.

ps. a note to my husband, who would never say so but i bet sometimes feels less important because i'm so in love with the little man: thank you so very much for helping me create our son, and for molding and raising him with me. you're a great husband, a great daddy, a great friend, a great partner. it ain't always easy, for sure, but it is always always worth it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

short & sweet

pic of the day: day 14
after wearing this shirt periodically over the past 6 months,
john discovered that the leg of the octopus is a tag.
this was a FASCINATING discovery.
note monogrammed prep-baby shorts.

i have noticed a disturbing trend in baby clothing. many octopi seem to actually be pentapi. at least this one has a fancy leg that is a tag for john to play with.

what are we teaching children these days????

Monday, March 28, 2011

the verdict


pic of the day: day 13
smiling and styling with a big boy hairdo.
(not that you can tell, but it's combed to the side!)

and the verdict is: crawl first! john took his first hesitant crawling "steps" this weekend. he's not very adept at it yet, but he's practicing hard and i'll be chasing him around soon, no doubt.

he's been simultaneously working on his commando crawl. he's quite good at that one - can inch the whole way across the nursery and grab mommy's cell phone no problem! fortunately he's pretty slow, so we have time to prevent him from getting anywhere he shouldn't.

they grow so fast ...