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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

yay, egg!

what to do with messy, sticky-uppy hair?
add product and spike it more, of course!
somewhere around eight years ago, my husband and i went to zion national monument in utah for a weekend camping trip. when we lived in arizona, it was a snap to bop over to lots of places like zion - a half day's drive and we'd be in places that many people see only once in a lifetime on that family trip out west.

we went in october, so it was beautiful cool weather. we camped in the campground rather than staying in a cabin or the lodge. and surprisingly, the campground was pretty full. it was a strange little campground - flat, square, treeless campsites right next to each other, with odd ditches dug around all four sides of the site. but what the actual campsite lacked in character, it more than made up for with the view. it's nestled right into zion, and that has to be one of the single most beautiful places i've ever been.

at the campsite right next to us was a cute little boy named ethan and his parents. ethan was probably about two - probably right around john's age now. he came over to our campsite to tell us about "momus!" which was what he called thomas the tank engine. he showed us all his thomas toys, and sat at our picnic table while we chatted with his parents.

in the morning, while we were fixing our campstove oatmeal and getting ready to go hike angel's landing, we heard the most gleeful little voice i've ever heard. it was breakfast time next door, too, and ethan joyfully exclaimed, "yay, egg!" as his mom gave him a hard boiled egg to start his day. "yay, egg!" he cried again, with that unabashed excitement only a two-year-old can muster. and little ethan has stuck in my head all these years because of that exclamation.

this morning, john told me he wanted an egg for breakfast. we were running late, both of us unkempt and not ready to leave, but i thought of ethan and said, "sure, baby, let mommy scramble some egg for you."

and john climbed into his highchair, looked at me happily, and said, "yay, egg!"

ethan is probably in middle school now. but two-year-olds the world around can unite under his cry, and eat tasty protein-filled yummies for breakfast.!

* * *
epilogue: i never did have time to properly fix john's hair this morning - to get some water to wet down the crazies from the way he slept on it. so we ran with it - grabbed a little styling gunk and funked him right up. i told him he was mommy's little rockstar. and the whole way to school, i heard him chattering in the backseat - "mommy, rock. star! rockstar! rock! star! mommy, rockstar!"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

cheese!

john has a collection of dead cell phones
that he 'talks' on - now with more
"picture-taking"!
first things first - john's fever is FINALLY gone. he spiked up again on tuesday night, so we had to stay home on wednesday again, but it never came back after that so he's back to his normal self.

second things second: john's beginning to do a lot of imaginative play, and it's so much fun to watch! he's recently taken to "taking pictures" with the dead cell phones he plays with. he even says "cheese" when he holds it up to snap a quick pic of you. it's pretty freaking cute, and actually quite handy: now he understands the concept of "cheese" and i can get him to sit still long enough for a picture of him:

little man, big chair.
posed pic, no blur.
go mama!
but what's even more fun than taking pictures is the repurposing of household objects for more imaginative uses:
"rain, mommy!"
like this morning when he was digging in the cabinets and found the vegetable steamer basket thingy (what is that called?). he came running down the hallway toward me with it up over his head. i said, "son, what on earth are you doing?"

and he said, "rain, mommy!" clear as day. (worth noting, we'd already been outside and he knew it was sunny, so he was definitely just playing.)

so cute. so clever. so glad he's back to his normal sunshiny self!

Monday, April 23, 2012

sick bug

can you see that big fat tear?

i have to say that i am extremely blessed. john is one sick little kiddo right now - according to the doc, it's an undefined virus, and the only real symptom is a fever. he's taking plenty of tylenol, but as the dose wears off his temperature drifts up to 103+ and he gets pretty cranky and miserable.

so why am i so blessed? i think i'll write a list.

  1. i have a job and an employer that let me work at home when i need to, so i can be here to take care of my sick little peanut
  2. i live in an era that makes working from home be pretty seamless and easy

    and probably the biggest one that never ceases to amaze me: 
  3. i have a little peanut who is SUCH a good sport when he is sick. 
he's happily watched elmo most of the day, not minding that mommy was close but not holding him. when he wants to be held, he comes over to me and politely says, "up, please." when he gets tired, he lays down on his blanket and says, "night night." when he gets to feeling his worst, he does get pretty disastrous - but his version of disastrousness is those big fat tears in the picture above.

ok, in fairness, when he wakes up, he's more of a disaster than that. he yells, and screams, and is inconsolable. but it doesn't last long, and once he settles in he's a pitiful sweet little snuggle bundle.

so all things considered, this wasn't how i planned on spending my monday ... but i'll take it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

sick day

he even said "cheese" when
i held up the camera
yesterday, i got to go on a date with my husband. we were laughing as we drove to the movie theater (we saw the hunger games ... judge if you must!) because of how different our lives are from early in our relationship. first, we went on a date at 1045am. that would never have happened 10 years ago. second, we frantically left the house after getting ready in 10 minutes after a  typically hectic morning in our house. thankfully, a very good friend of mine who john adores kept him for us, so we were able to enjoy a very nice morning date.

when we got home, i picked john up to give him a kiss, and instantly i knew something was wrong - he was HOT. i immediately guess he was running a 101-102 fever. (as an aside, i used to wonder how moms could magically tell when their kids had a fever. my brother would have a fever, and i would try to feel if he was hot, and i could never tell. apparently your magic mommy thermometer kicks in post-childbirth - my estimate of his temperature was even accurate!)

nothing else seemed to be wrong, so we gave him some tylenol and went about the day. he was maybe a little clingy, maybe a little over-dramatic, but nothing else. i hoped the fever would go away overnight but no such luck, and this morning john told me his ear was "ouch." i'm guessing we've got another ear infection, but in the meantime, i can't send him to daycare at church or normal daycare when he's running a fever ...

so today john and i have hung out in our jammies all day. and overall, considering he's not feeling great, we've had a pretty great day. occasional breakdowns, and regular doses of medicine, but he's still happy enough to cheese for the camera and play lots of basketball.

and tomorrow i will work from home - we'll get boo to the doctor as soon as we can so we can get him feeling better, but i suspect we'll watch a lot of elmo while mommy works and throw in some ample snuggling as well.

i hate that john's sick ... but i won't fight a little bonus time with the snuggliest bug in town.

ps in a preview of the level of productivity i should probably expect tomorrow, john just HAD to sit in my lap and contribute to this blog. so, without further ado, john's first-ever blog post:

]                


 iyoypggblly o88888888888888889axxxxxxxxxxxxb

h4ygg hgig kuykmsnjdjn 

Friday, April 20, 2012

short


his hair is fixed.

it's very short.

my baby is not a baby. he's a little boy. it's official now.

the dividing line? this haircut. and that he was drinking from a big boy cup right after these pictures.

::sigh:: they grow so fast ...

things i am not

i cried this morning. a lot.

it is always a little hard for me to acknowledge my failures. i am a success-oriented type of person. i do a lot of things very well, and i take pride in a job well done.

i am a great many things, and i am good at most of them.

there are some things i am not. and when i'm not, i'm REALLY not. i even fail spectacularly.

i am NOT a barber.

this poor child.

it seemed so simple. trim straight across the back of his head to get rid of the rat tail. that's all. a few straight snips.

two things i did not consider:
  1. john has never sat still for a moment of his life. of course when i try to cut his hair, he practices nodding, and looking up at the ceiling and down at the floor.
  2. i am not a barber.
i cried hard.

needless to say, we will be stopping by somewhere after work to get it fixed. and i will never - NEVER - i solemnly swear NEVER - take a scissors to my child's hair ever again. never.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

battleworn

look at this mug!
all he wanted to do this morning was
brush his little teeth. could be worse.
you may not know this about me, but like all mommies, i am a vmb. that stands for "veteran* of the morning battle." 

the opening salvo is typically fired somewhere between 6am and 7am. it begins with a little, seemingly innocent voice. "mommy? daddy? buddy? juice? elmo shoes? basketball? bear?"

it ramps up quickly to a full-bore air-raid siren. "MOMMMMMYYYYYYYYYY!"

then the barrages come fast and furious as i shower, do my hair and makeup, make/eat breakfast, see my husband off to work. "mommy, up please. mommy, up please. mommy, up please. mommy, cheese!" (handing him some cheese.) "no! mommy cupcake!" (handing him a muffin.) "no! mommy, up please! mommy, juice!" (putting down my makeup to find the juice cup.) "no! mommy, up please!"

somehow, we survive every morning more or less intact. and by the time the juice has been consumed, the makeup is on, and we're finally united making a dash out the door to try to beat our mutual adversary, the clock, all is well. (with the occasional exception of mommy's shirt being inside out, or the banana smear on mommy's pants that she won't notice til lunchtime.)

hectic? yes. exhausting? yes. frustrating? sometimes. but when i take another look at the pic at the top of this page, i can't help thinking it won't be so long before he wants nothing to do with mommy and daddy. so we'll take a barrage of "mommy up please"s for now, and get in the hugs and squeezes while we can (around the toothbrushes, breakfasts, and blowdryers).

* this must be said: despite my silly use of the word veteran, i am in no way comparing my easy life to the tough job of the vets who actually have defended (and are currently defending) our country. i couldn't bear it if  they thought i was holding them in anything but the utmost respect and appreciation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

belated weekend

that's john sitting on his daddy's
shoulders, watching sharks and rays.

did you know it's wednesday? and did you ALSO know that i've been planning to write about our awesome weekend since sunday night? and did you FURTHER know that i've written about everything but?

so. let's pretend it's not coming up on a new weekend and talk about the one that "just" ended.

"ernie" shoes
recently, john's shoes were starting to be too small. we had retired his size four sneakers, and the only shoes that stayed on his feet were his size five boat shoes. his size five chuck taylors flopped off his feet with every step he took.

so logically thinking, i decided he needed a size 4.5. which is very difficult to find, at least when you shop at wal-mart and don't like to spend more than $10 on shoes for a growing peanut. but since his health and happiness are paramount, we went off to stride rite saturday morning to find some size 4.5 sneakers even if they cost $30.

i figured we would measure his feet, just to be on the safe side. the lovely lady at stride rite plopped his foot on the little measurer and said, "looks like he needs a six!" not sure i'd heard right, i explained the 4.5 situation. she said he has a very narrow foot so we need to find something with good padding, but that a 6M was the right size for him. (spare a moment of thought for a contrite mama who's been jamming those little toes into shoes two sizes too small ...)

fortunately, there were several 6Ms to choose from in the under-$30 category, and we tried two pairs on john. the first ones were fine - he ran around like a maniac before returning back to me. but when he came back, he pointed at the other pair and screamed with glee, "ERNIE SHOES!" and proceeded to sit down, tear off the first pair, and try to put the "ernie" shoes on.

i have no idea why these are ernie shoes. there's no ernie on them. they're not striped blue and orange. there was no ernie in the store near them. but if you were wondering, this is what ernie shoes look like:


and they've barely left john's feet since.

the aquarium/french quarter fest
ernie shoes procured and securely attached to john's feet, we headed into new orleans to go to the aquarium. we had groupon tickets for the aquarium that expire at the end of april, so we were coming down to the wire on making it there. we knew the french quarter fest was going on, but we didn't realize that it basically encompasses the entire area around the aquarium.

thanks to some quick thinking and sharp navigating by my husband, we easily parked in the hilton parking garage and walked our way through the crowd to the aquarium. as we walked inside, john just kept saying, "fish? see fish?"

and pretty quickly, he was greeted with all the fish he could possibly want. they have one of those tunnels you walk through, where the fish are all around you everywhere you look. we spent about 10 minutes just looking at everything, and as we exited the tunnel to head into the rest of the aquarium, john kept pointing back at it saying, "more fish! that way!"

he also loved watching the jellyfish and we spent quite some time checking out the collection of frogs. we were only in the aquarium for maybe two hours, but that was about john's limit! but a good time was had by all.

then we ventured out into the french quarter fest where we had a little family picnic, listened to some good music, then fought through a CRAZY crowd by the main stage before heading back to the car.

the birthday party
my uncle's 50th birthday party was scheduled for 5pm at a friend's house in uptown new orleans. we headed that direction, but we knew we had about an hour of time to kill. fortunately, iphone's are pretty amazing ... and we found the creole creamery for a little ice cream before the party. (john's review: "YUMMMM!!!!!!!")

finally we made our way to the party, and visited with family and friends who came from all over the country to celebrate with my uncle. there was way too much food, more than a little to drink, and great company. a fine time was had by all ... and john's tired family made their way back home around midnight to fall fast asleep ...

a nap-free zone
and it's a good thing we slept, because john tried his hardest to declare sunday a nap-free zone. we made the mistake of taking john to church for late service instead of early, so by the time he and daddy came home john had been replaced by disaster baby. and disaster baby would NOT go to sleep. he laid in his crib and cried, then talked, then cried, then screamed, then cried for about an hour and half.

finally, he drifted off to sleep ... for three hours! see john, when mama says you need a nap, you need a nap ...

and i leave you with one more even-more-belated image - snapped at the camp on easter weekend. my cousin's girlfriend has the new-fangled version of a polaroid camera, and she was kind enough to snap this pic of a too-happy mom being climbed by a mischievous monkey:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

on being two

all these tantrums make me sleepy!
officially, john is 22 months old tomorrow (the 18th). but he's been sending one message, loud and clear. if you listen VERY carefully through the screams, the flopping on the floor, and the occasional bite, you will hear this:
i'm two! 

and there are certainly plenty of reasons why they call it the terrible twos. he's headstrong: his way or the highway. he's frustrated: he can't quite communicate what he's thinking. he's loud: he has no concept of inside voices. he's aggressive: he hits, he head butts, and then there are the aforementioned bites. he's angry: he lashes out at all of the above and doesn't yet know how to productively express his ire.

our first effort is always to communicate with him. we encourage him to use his (rapidly expanding) vocabulary to tell us what he needs. we let him know that if he doesn't listen, there will be consequences.

and when that doesn't work, we spank. please don't send me hate mail about that - we have made the conscious parenting decision that for john, that is a disciplinary technique that works. and i have to say that we do see results; despite the twos phase, he is mostly a well-behaved boy who really listens quite well for his age.

sometimes he really pushes it, and the spanking doesn't seem to curb his acting out. so he screams and cries and those big, fat, tears roll down his cheeks.

but eventually, he looks up at us with those big blue eyes and says, "'orry, mommy." (sorry, mommy.)

and then my reward is the 15 minutes of snuggling before night night, when john tells me all about his day, and says night night to the dog, his bed, his juice, his basketball, his ernie shoes (more on that later), and whatever he might think of.

*   *   *
i have been thinking a lot about the twos, and what makes them so "terrible." i'm sure the inspiration for tantrums is drastically different from child to child, but i think the biggest factor for john lies in an inability to express himself. when he can't find a word for what he wants, he frantically points, "this! this!" or pulls you toward it, yelling "that way! that way!"

and when he DOES have the word but we can't understand it, he gets on the "no" train. every parent as been there. the answer to every question is no. he'll say, "cheese please!" and i'll say, "you want some cheese?" and he'll say "NO!"

and when he gets himself all spun up, and the only thing that will come out of his mouth are indistinct moans and snuffles, i can see the frustration on his face. i can see that he wants his noises to be words. i can see in his eyes that he knows exactly what he wants and needs, but just. can't. quite. get. it. out.

*   *   *
and then there are the times when he knows damn well what he should do, and he willfully chooses otherwise. you can read that on his face too. those times are most likely to lead to a spanking. and i hate the spanking ...

but i'll tell you a secret. i really sort of love that he's pushing his boundaries. i think that's his job right now, his whole mission in life: to push, to press, to expand. how else can he figure out what's allowed, what's approved, and what's awesome? how else can he learn the difference between right, wrong, and superlative?

and i think OUR job right now is to show him where those boundaries are. and to let him play in the grey areas a little bit, even if it leads to some bumps and bruises and ultimately some tantrums. but to draw the lines where they should be so that we can raise a knowledgeable little fellow who's not afraid to push the limits, but knows what the limits are.

Monday, April 16, 2012

crossed paths

a baby on a mission.

it is so easy to have my blinders on as i go about my day. i look only forward, at the goal ahead. it doesn't matter what that goal is - get john to school by 8:30 so he can eat breakfast; finish this report so i can turn it in on time; hurry to the bank so i can get back to work - i am in a tunnel, walking straight forward toward whatever light is ahead, just moving through the task with no glimpse at what's around me.

but lately, i feel like i am being nudged to look around.

the jogger
when i worked at the credit union, i had to be at work at 8am. now that i work at the mall, our office doesn't open until 9am. on those days that i don't go to the gym, it feels like quite a luxury to be heading to work at that hour. so when i see a man about my age, out for a run at 8:45am, i find myself thinking, "must be nice."

i think, "i sure would love to be able to go for a run this late in the morning." i think, "must be a nice life, not having any responsibility keeping you from running whenever you want." i think, "must be nice, setting your own schedule and not worrying about making it to work at a specific time."

i don't like this "must be nice" part of me. when i hear her voice in my mind, it is a flag to examine what i am thinking, to find the fallacy, and to change my mindset. 

so i think back not so many years, to a time when my husband would have had the "freedom" to go for a run at 845 am. and that was because he had been downsized and didn't have a job. that was because he had no way to make a livelihood, and so he felt small and worthless because he couldn't provide for his family. that was because he didn't have anything else to do, at the moment, but wait for the phone to ring.

"must be nice" lady shut up pretty quick. instead, i looked at the jogging man, and i thought, "enjoy your run, sir. i hope it's nice to be able to run at this time. and if it's not, i hope you have something to keep you from this run soon."

the drinker
that same day after i dropped john off at daycare, i decided to make a stop at circle k for some caffeine. the man ahead of me in line was purchasing two big cans of beer in paper bags and a pack of smokes. at 8:45am.

another kind of voice spoke up this time. "what on earth are you doing with your life, that your morning convenience store stop isn't for coffee or soda, or twinkies and donuts. but for booze and cancer sticks?"

but i don't really like that judgy voice, either. it's none of my business what his purchases are. and for all i know he works nights, is just finishing up his shift, and is looking forward to a relaxing "evening" after work. i don't know his story, so i won't assume. i just mentally wish him well and hope he's not opening those brown-bagged beers until he gets home.

the giver
this morning, i made another caffeine-searching stop at circle k. (i really don't do that often, despite what these stories would tell you to the contrary.) as i approached the counter, a well-dressed older fellow was in line ahead of me. he waved me up to the counter, saying, "go ahead, i've already paid for mine!" as he held up his matching ginormous coke for $0.75 including tax.

so i stepped forward, my "purse change" rattling in my hand as i look to the cashier. the gentleman at the counter said to me, "as a matter of fact, i'm going to pay for yours as well!" and handed his pocket change to the cashier.

at first i demurred. "oh, you don't need to do that!" i said with a smile.

but he insisted. "no no, it's a small blessing. you can't receive blessings if you don't give them. be blessed today!"

and i smiled. i said, "well, thank you, i am blessed. and i will pass it forward, i assure you. thank you."

and i got back in my car to hustle back through my "tunnel" to hurry to back to work.

thinking
these chance encounters have been rolling around in my brain. i've been thinking how as we go about our lives, these people cross our paths for just a moment. our lives intersect for the 30 seconds or so that we occupy the same space. i may never encounter any of those men again, but for a brief moment in time our lives were the same.

and as i drive around, and look at each car that drives past me, at each house i pass, at each workplace and church and theater and gas station and pool hall and bar and donut shop, i am utterly dumbfounded by the enormity of the lives around me. 

each person has a path they are traveling, a whole LIFE they are living. mine is just one drop in a bucket full of lives, overtopping its brim with LIVES. with stories. with journeys. we live in a spaghetti of intersecting paths, entangled amidst one another. and that's somehow humbling, inspiring, exciting and terrifying to me, all at once.

thank you, my momentary friend at circle k. your $0.75 purchased a blessing for my heart, some perspective for my mind, and a great deal of food for thought.

Friday, April 13, 2012

oh man

"oh, man. this fruit cup won't stay on
the arm of the chair!"

on the drive to school today, john suddenly exclaimed, "oh, man!"

and he said it in exactly the right tone of voice.

"what's wrong, love," i asked. "why, oh man?"

"oh, man!" he reiterated. "oh, man - the MOWER!"

i wracked my brains. the mower? what about the mower? 

and then i remembered - on the way to the car, we were discussing how john has a little lawn mower and daddy has a big lawn mower. so i said, "oh, man, you want daddy's big mower?"

and he said, "oh, man! the BIG mower."

and pointed out the window at a tractor driving by.

oh, man!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

day brighteners

i have yet to take a picture of this
child that is not blurry on an least
one of his extremities.
he never sits still!
i have often joked that it is impossible to have a bad day when you have a child like john in your life, always ready for a smile.

and nearly every day of my life, i realize even more how true that is. today wasn't trying to be a bad day, don't get me wrong - i feel a little funky but i'm ok. 

but when i woke him up (10 mins before we needed to leave the house) and he hugged me so tight and wouldn't let go. then he kissed my cheek and said, "love you, mama."

and then when we were leaving, i told him to tell daddy to have a nice day. and he looked at daddy with sweet blue eyes and said "nice ... day ... daddy?"

life is good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

odyssey of the mind

trumpet, hat, drink ...
and so much more!

when i was in middle and high school, i had the privilege to take part in a really cool program encouraging creative thought and innovation in kids. it's called odyssey of the mind, and it really shaped a lot of the way my brain works and my problem-solving skills.

the competitions for odyssey of the mind included a long-term project - anything from technical problems like building a contraption(s) to propel tennis balls across a gymnasium with precision and speed to dramatic problems like writing and performing a seven minute skit portraying a folk tale and including famous quotes in the dialogue - and a short-term project, called the spontaneous problem.

for spontaneous problems, they might give you seven minutes to construct a bridge of tape and toothpicks to support the weight of as many nails as possible. or build a tower of safety pins and chopsticks that goes as high as possible but resists the torque of twisted rubber bands. but my personal favorites were the ones where they gave you one simple object, and you passed it around the group for seven minutes offering as many creative uses for that object as you possibly could.

this morning, john did his own little spontaneous problem in our kitchen while i packed my lunch. at first i hardly noticed he was there, just saw him dressed only in his diaper, playing with his little blue cup with a number three on the side. but then i listened to what he was doing:

"shoe!" and he put it on his foot.

"hat!" and he put it on his head.

"doot doot doot dooooo!" and he played it like a trumpet.

"juice!" and he took a "sip" out of it.

"football!" as he threw it up in the air.

"goldfish?" as he looked inside for a snack and pretended to put it in his mouth. (and he gets bonus points for his pronunciation of goldfish, which sounds like "dogfish" and makes me smile every time.)

proud mama of a future om'er right here.

***

cute spring outfit courtesy of aunty drew.
john's attitude was not so spring-y,
but it soon improved!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

::sniffle::

and for once, i'm not sniffling over my child, aren't you proud of me? it's actually my allergies, which i've suddenly developed after 31 years on this planet, and MAN are they terrible! it's a good thing we don't have to type like we talk, because you would barely be able to hear my scratchy nasally voice.

but you didn't come here to hear about my problems. you came here to see this naked booty:
friday, since my husband didn't have to work and john's daycare was closed, the two of them got to spend a day together. in the afternoon, a great friend of ours kept the little monkey for a couple hours so dad could go to the gym. when i got their, john was helping her repot a plant and was coated head to toe in potting soil. she tried to apologize, and of course i assured her that that was exactly how a little boy SHOULD be! (she rightly added, a little girl too, but since mine's all boy we'll stick with that for now!)

after a dip in the kiddie pool, we let john run around the yard naked to dry off. so that's the little garden nymph in all his glory!

***

we spent saturday and sunday at the camp with all of the extended family - and a fine time was had by all. john loved pointing at the water and the boats and he even got to take a boat ride, which he thought was pretty cool (though he didn't love the wind and buried his face in mama). but as soon as we got off, all he could say was, "boat! ride boat! boat!" so i guess it was all good.

playing with some dirty thing or another
at the camp. dirt is the best part - john
loves not having to bathe!

mom looking her most glamours camp best.
good thing that kid is so cute you don't
notice the grownup!

if i look a little haggard in that pic it's with good reason - we were up til 1:30 am with the cousins - a combination of beer pong (!! i'm so old !!) and hanging out. and john woke up at 3:30 absolutely convinced it was morning time. he woke up saying, "mommy? daddy? buddy? boat? basketball?"

so i pulled him into my bed, so that he would hopefully go back to sleep and not wake up everyone sleeping in the room with us (my pregnant cousin, her husband and their two-year-old son, plus my husband). to no avail, though, because john proceeded to play peekaboo, "i gotchoo" (i got you), "eh play!" (wake up and play), and discuss a full day of events with me ("boat. ride boat. mommy boat. daddy boat. car. daddy car. boat. car. basketball? buddy. nay-nay!") (my cousin's son is nathan, but the best john can do is nay-nay.)

finally, FINALLY, he was just dropping off to sleep. he was playing with my hair and i was rubbing his back and we were both drifting off so sweetly, when john yelled, "MOMMY!" 

i peeled my eyes open and said, "shhh, yes baby?" and he whispered, "hair!" 

"yes, john, hair. night night."

"night night mommy."

and we finally slept ...

for an hour.

so i gave up and we got up to walk to the dog, say hi to the boats and the men going fishing, and generally explore the day. 

happy belated easter, everyone!




Thursday, April 5, 2012

abercrombie needs a new face

 at the end of any given day, john's hair is a disaster zone. between its tendency to stick a million directions but down, the fact that he probably has put banana or apple sauce or cereal in it, and his inability to sit still long enough to brush it, it becomes the world's cutest mop.
last night, though, i noticed something else: it is almost starting to look like an intentional mop. a sort of rakish teenage boy with locks everywhere mussy look, instead of a mom-i-need-a-haircut look.

so i decided to try to document it. 567 blurry photos later, this was the best i could do.



freaking cute? sure. but you can't quite tell just how smashingly fashionable my little bug looked last night!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

we don't need no stinkin' sleep

"dang, son. mama ran hard this
afternoon. thanks for coming with me."
"didn't look so hard to me, mama. i think
you could have gone faster and we'd have
made it home to my juice sooner."
yesterday i managed to get a good run in after work, before the storms showed up. but i guess it's thunderstorm season. and this season, they seem to be coming all at night. 

used to be i loved a good night-time thunderstorm. sure, it might wake me up, but i'd listen to the thunder and see the lightning play through the curtains, and i'd hear the rain on the roof, and i'd sleep peacefully. occasionally another big boom would startle me, but only for a moment.

nowadays all that has changed. not because of john - he slept like the proverbial baby through the whole thing.

no, this is the culprit:
why yes, this IS a new thundershirt.
thanks for noticing.
poor wussy buddy. he did much better last night than in previous stormy nights, in part because of the thunder shirt and in part because of the benadryl i slipped him when i knew it was going to get stormy. but he still spent the night going between quaking at my bedside and hiding between my blanket chest and my nightstand in the corner of the room.

thank goodness for the thundershirt ... if you have a dog who is nervous about anything, i can't recommend it any more strongly. it makes a huge difference. and he DOES look sharp wearing it doesn't he?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

dichotomy

refueling the mower. complete with "glug glug" sounds.

yesterday i found myself in a bit of a funk. nothing was wrong that i could identify.  i didn't even feel sad, exactly. i just felt sort of perpetually on the verge of tears. when i find myself off balance like that, i think it's important to examine it, to push on the bruise a little, to taste those tears and see from whence they spring.

so examine i did, and i found at the root of it all my ever-present dichotomy: john's mom works.

i am not sure why this is such a sticky wicket for me. i love my job - both what i do, and the organization and people for whom i do it. i love the opportunities to be creative. i have chosen the right career path, because i find my work truly fulfilling and satisfying and - dare i say it - fun.

but from time to time, i have a spell of wishing i could stay home with john. it makes me sad to think of other people spending so much more time with him than i do. i long to play and teach and learn and run and dance and sing with him all day. i ache to snuggle him down to a nap so i can go take care of other household things. 

and i know it's not pc to say that, and some will say that i should worry that my employer is reading this blog. but the reality is, i AM a mom who works out of the home. we've made a conscious, intentional, directed decision that it's in our family's best interest for me to work. and i'm wholly on-board with that decision, and all that it means for our family today and in the future.

but nothing worth doing is ever easy. so today ... well. i'd rather be home playing basketball with the bug.

Monday, April 2, 2012

a weekend with nana

yes, that is, in fact, final four basketball on the tv in the background.
and yes, i am watching john instead. that's dedication!

recently, john has been pretty fixated on basketball. anytime he sees a basketball hoop in someone's driveway, he goes into a gleeful conniption, yelling "basketball!" excitedly. so imagine how overwhelmed with joy he was when nana (my husband's mother) bought him his very own basketball net!

nana was in town for the weekend, and john had an awesome time playing with (and being spoiled by) his "neena." we went to an easter egg hunt on saturday morning:
i think this goat is tickling john.
or maybe he's just tickled at the idea of a goat.
either way, love that smile.

we went to dinner with family, we played more basketball (and also pushed the mower around that nana bought for him), and we went to church on sunday:
grown boy in a bunny outfit.
and we generally had a wonderful time.

except.

i think the terrible twos have arrived ahead of schedule. john was one mini-tantrum after another, all weekend long. he doesn't cling to them, but there have been some doozies. the "best" was probably saturday night, after nana got him the basketball net. he played basketball for about an hour, and then i told him it was time to say night night to the basketball. and he fell out.

he screamed and kicked and yelled "basketball!" he cried and shrieked, "no!" finally his daddy picked him up to carry him back to his room, and john bit daddy hard on the shoulder - and didn't let go. needless to say daddy flipped him right over in his arms and issued a solid spanking.

that definitely got john's attention, and he slowly calmed down. eventually we got him to relax enough that john and i could sit in his rocking chair and snuggle and get ready for sleep. john started telling me all about his day, and it went something like this:

"nana basketball! daddy basketball nana! basketball mower daddy nana mommy! basketball! basketball!"

and then, there was a little hitch in his voice. he looked at me with tears brimming in his eyes, and he said, "bite daddy." (sniff)

i said, "yeah, you bit daddy. that wasn't good, baby."

he said, (sniff) "bit daddy. bit daddy. bite bit daddy. 'orry, daddy." (sniff) "'orry, daddy." (sniff)

so i guess he probably won't bite anymore. and he is learning to apologized for his actions, and so all in all, i'm very proud of him. i'm sure we've plenty more tantrums to go ... but we'll get through them and always end the day with snuggles and a list of reasons why we're proud of our little bug.