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!

Friday, June 29, 2012

drop the baby


as all parents do, we have a set of invented games that we play with john. some are ones that our parents played with us as kids - "up in the sky" means propping him up on our feet while we're lying on our backs so he's soaring in the air; "wake up and play" means pretending to go to sleep and then getting up and being silly while saying (surprise) "wake up and play!" 

some are our own (or john's) inventions: we still play "funny hat" with anything under the sun; "kleenex head" was a favorite when he was younger, and he invented that with his grammie.

but here is my secret confession: there is one game that we play frequently that has me desperately worried. not for john, but for fear that he'll talk about this game in public and be misunderstood.

this game, you see, is called "drop the baby." more recently, as john has become a big boy, he calls it simply "drop john."

you understand my fear?

of course, the game itself is innocent enough: i carry john through the house saying, "uh oh ... uh oh ... uh oh!" and when we reach my bed, i "drop" him on the bed, usually shouting "oh no, i dropped the baby!" and john giggles with glee at the feeling of being dropped, and landing safe and sound on the mattress.

it wouldn't sound so innocent though, would it, if you were a childcare provider and heard this adorable little towheaded blue eyed boy say, "mommy drop the baby! mommy drop john!"

i can almost see child protective services at my doorstep now.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

appetite

portrait of a dinner
i am constantly amazed by how much food my little son can put into his body. i really think he eats nearly as much as me. can you SEE how much food is on that plate in that picture? a cheeseburger, lots of peas, and some goldfish for good measure. and that was AFTER the applesauce snack about 45 minutes before. and that cup is full of milk that he will drink down with his meal too.

my theory: he burns 86 bajillion calories with his non-stop lifestyle, so he needs to consume 86 bajillion plus whatever he needs to exist and grow. (yes, that's a scientific formula.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

sing about

video

i so hope that that video works for you ... john's been singing a lot lately, so yesterday i asked him to sing for me, and this is what ensued.

quickly becoming our favorite game: i tell john to sing me a song about something. he sings it for me.

for example, i might say, "john, sing me a song about breakfast!"

and john would respond, "doo doo doo doo doo breakfast!"

it never gets old!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

looking forward

it's hard to snap a good pic at a stop
light - but can you see that grin?
i think i mentioned this, but just last week we finally turned john's carseat to be forward-facing*. and it's done two things for our car rides:

first and most obvious, they're WAY more interactive! john can see me, so he talks to me the whole time. we discuss the upcoming day at school, what we did the day before, and what we see around us. (favorite topics are trees, cars, trucks, and if we're so lucky, tractors. the occasional airplane, helicopter, or motorcycle make it in there as well.) he was already very talky in the car, but now that he can directly interact with us he's even gigglier and more fun than he was before.

second, he's made me SO much more cognizant. i try to be a very aware and cautious driver - obvious things like no texting while driving, and less obvious efforts to constantly be aware of what the vehicles around me are doing. but with john watching me, i know i am already setting an example for him even though he's years and years from driving. so i've cut way down on the phone conversations, and i would never think of entering anything into the navigation system or anything like that. it's amazing how that little grinning face back there keeps me more honest with myself.

and that's sort of the moral of the story, i think - it's amazing how strongly i feel compelled to be a better person, because i know a better mom helps john be a better john. and man, that kid deserves the best.

*back in april of 2011, the aap (american academy of pediatrics) issued new guidelines recommending that kids stay rear-facing in the car seats until at least age two. as that came shortly before john's first birthday, we decided that especially since he's sort of a little butt, we'd go ahead and keep him facing backward til his second birthday. theoretically, i think we could have even kept him rear-facing until he met the weight limit on his seat for rear-facing - 35 lbs, i believe, which he's nowhere near. {warning: soapbox} and the statistics are pretty compelling - something like children under two are 75% less likely to die or be seriously injured in a car crash if they are rear-facing. i think that's a stat and a set of recommendations that not a lot of parents have encountered yet. i certainly understand that every parent makes their own decisions based on their specific circumstances - but i would ask all parents of little bits to consider researching these guidelines and make an educated decision. no matter how safe you are, not everyone out there is. protect your wee ones the best you can! {end soapbox}

Monday, June 25, 2012

birthday continued

girls v. boys: hope daintily munches a
cookie while john gobbles a cupcake.
john's birthday festivities have been unofficial but neverending this year! on saturday, we adventured to the audubon zoo with john's friend hope and her family. we started with a picnic in the parking lot thanks to hope's mom, and wrapped up lunch with cupcakes i'd held aside from john's birthday batch last week.

it was the hottest day in the history of mankind (ok, maybe a tiny exaggeration!) but the kiddos had a grand time. some of the highlights included:
  • acting like monkeys at the orangutan/gorilla exhibit
  • not seeing elephants at first, then seeing elephants on the way out
  • watching the white tiger "night night"
  • seeing two rhinos, and then "other one rhino!" ("rhinos mommy's fave.")
  • playing on the playground
  • a double two-year-old freakout on the carousel
  • splashing around on monkey hill's waterfalls (naked but for diapers, of course)
  • watching the white alligator get fed
but the very best part, according to john, was feeding the giraffe. the zookeepers gave everyone a piece of romaine lettuce, and you could hold it up so the giraffe would lean down and take it from your hand with it's looooong tongue. john giggled with utter glee. and he has talked about it pretty much nonstop - at random intervals, he'll say, "raff eata leaves! give raff leaves!" and he does a mean giraffe impression that involves sticking his tongue as far out as possible.

all in all, despite the heat, we had a great day. then we came home and collapsed as a family, 'cause man, did i mention it was HOT?



friends at the zoo! left - crawling through the "log tunnel." 
right - holding hands after the monkey hill adventure.
*   *   *
what a message we send to two-year-olds - his birthday continued even to the wedding shower we hosted sunday for my cousin and his fiancee. some of the family hadn't gotten to see john yet, so they brought a present along to the shower, and after the bride opened her gifts, john got to play birthday AGAIN! (he ate more cupcakes that day too. cupcakes are quickly becoming this kiddo's addiction.)

john's new truck set thanks to his cousin! and he's playing so nicely
in these pics with the bride's younger sister - good sharing on both sides!



Saturday, June 23, 2012

buddy: an update

demon dog ... ok not really. just a bad pic.
just thought i'd offer a little update on mr. buddy. he's been on xanax for a week now, and it seems to have no negative effects. it doesn't sedate him, just makes him a little calmer. we're all for a calmer, less neurotic version of our dog.

and we're still shopping for the right supercrate. for now, we've been wedging his old plastic crate in between two walls with towels and cardboard for padding so that even if he pops the door open, he can't go anywhere. and that worked great ... until yesterday morning.

as john and i were trying to leave the house, i could hear buddy continually "messing" with the door. i couldn't quite figure out what he was doing - i can't exactly see him when he's wedged in there like that - but i could tell he was fussing with it. after several abortive efforts to leave the house (since he tore the alarm panel off, the only way to set the alarm is in our bedroom, then hurry across the house to leave ... which leaves not much room to deal with the dog), i finally went to check on him. and discovered ... he had removed the gate. he bent one of the posts and it fell inside his crate. 

thank goodness, no storms scheduled for today, so buddy stayed loose in the house. and we'll figure out the long-range plan this weekend, i suppose.

overall, though, buddy's doing really well. we're committed to working with him, and he seems a little more laid back and easy to work with now that he's on some anxiety meds. his foot is healing nicely ... i've been working on acclimating him to treats (he's never been very food motivated) when he does things well ... and once we get the crate situation fully ironed out we'll start working on desensitization to thunderstorms.

of course by then, the worst of the thunderstorm season will be behind us ... but we'll be better prepared for life with buddy in the spring/summer of 2013!

Friday, June 22, 2012

a day with auntie

john checking out his crab - a.k.a. elmo -
pool he got from auntie for his birthday
one of the biggest blessings about living in baton rouge is our proximity to family. for my husband and i, that means an invaluable support network that helps IMMENSELY in our efforts to raise john well. for john, that means ... lots of spoiling! (i mean that in the best of ways. this kiddo is so loved, and that's another blessing for our whole family.)

last night, my husband and i had an event to attend right after work, so one of john's doting aunties picked him up from school. she hadn't seem him for his birthday yet, so she took him to target to shop for a birthday present. he picked out an inflatable crab pool ... whose bobbly eyes on top made john declare it an elmo pool.

so auntie set it up in the yard for john to play, and he splashed and splashed and splashed:

there's a video of this one, and he's
yelling, "i splashing! i jumping!"
and when his little naked booty (look closely at the pic below), auntie provided a cool new alligator beach towel to dry off:

uncle took part in the festivities too!
and once the play in the pool was done, auntie, uncle, and john piled into uncle's "big truck!" and went to watch a beach volleyball game where one of my cousins was playing. by all accounts, john was an awesome little fella who played nicely and watched the game and listened well ... does a momma proud, for sure.

transfixed by beach volleyball
and the night got even better, because when we picked john up at auntie's house, we switched his carseat to forward facing. he just giggled hysterically the whole drive home. he laughed at every car that drove by, and occasionally he'd pepper the conversation with an exclamation of "FAST daddy! daddy go fast!" he was utterly gleeful at his new point of view.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

amen

prayer hands
recently, we've been praying with john before he goes to bed. nothing too elaborate - mommy or daddy or sometimes both will lead a prayer that he repeats with us. he folds his hands like a big boy when he prays - it's very very sweet.

even this morning as we got in the car, john looked at me and said, "prayer!" i think he mostly wanted to just make prayer hands, but we said a quick prayer to start the day nonetheless.

but the best was last night. as john and i sat in his rocking chair, snuggling before bed, he looked up at me and said, "prayer, mommy?" 

so we folded our hands and bowed our heads together. i began, "dear god."

"dear god," said john.

"thank you," i said.

"thank you," john repeated.

"for a wonderful day."

"for a wonderful day," came the echo.

"and thank you," i continued, but i didn't get it out of my mouth, because john sat bolt upright in my lap and hollered, "AMEN!"

what could i do but say, "amen?"

*   *   *

john is on some albuterol cough syrup right now that gets him a little amped up. sometimes in the night his little heart gets to racing and it freaks him out a little. later that night, as daddy and i were going to bed, i heard a very upset john crying in his room. i went in to just console him, and he fairly leapt into my arms. we snuggled for a while, and then he said, "mommy, sing."

now, lately, he hasn't wanted me to sing. i have a collection of 4-5 lullabyes that i've written just for him, and he says, "no," every time i start them. so i said, "john, what do you want me to sing?"

and he said, "sweet child." 'sweet child' is one of my favorites that i've written for him.

so i sang 'sweet child.' and then i sang 'sleep baby john.' and then i sang 'hey my little love.' and then i sang 'goodnight sweet baby.' and then i sang, 'hey little peanut (night night version).' and between each song, i asked if he was ready to go to bed. and he said no. and i asked if he wanted another song, and he said yes.

i had tears in my eyes as i sang. so precious ... and eventually (after a brief sojourn to mommy and daddy's bed so he could snuggle with us both) he sleepily muttered, "night night with kitty," and snuggled down with kitty in his crib and was out like a light.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

twofer


so i wrote all about john's birthday, and how much fun he had and how he was spoiled rotten by his loved ones.

but i didn't write about how amazing it is to look back over the past two years. it's hard to believe that that tiny little peanut on my body in that picture above is the same little man that is running around my house these days. he still sleeps like that, too, with his face in the bed. 

my monkey had his two-year checkup yesterday. not surprisingly, the doc says he looks perfect. (i could have told her that!) he's 23 lbs 5 oz, and 33.5 inches tall. that's over four times his birth weight, and fourteen inches longer than his birth length.

but more amazing, and more breathtaking, is his personality and his mind. and his sense of humor. how humbled am i - are we, as i know my husband shares this - to have this little human in our home. how blessed are we to undertake to raise him to be a good man. how overwhelmed, in both wonderful and difficult ways, we are by the responsibility of teaching him.

but i really think so much of it is just already in him. i can't claim responsibility for his awesomeness. god put it there. it's our job to nurture it, to stoke the embers of his spirit and nurture them into a flame that will light rooms and lighten hearts everywhere he goes in his life. 

little peanut, my baby john, my john john ... how much you brighten the lives of your mommy and daddy every single day. you are a gift more precious than i could ever express to you. these past two years have flown by and i know the next two - or ten - or twenty - will not slow down. just keep being yourself, little man. keep up the awesome work, and we'll try hard not to slow YOU down.

two years ago today we came home from the hospital just beginning our journey as parents. i would not change a single day since. the worst day at this job is still the best job i've ever had.

birthday boy

these were supposed to be frogs. but someone pointed out that they
could be oscar the grouch. as long as they're cute, the interpretation
is really in the eye of the beholder.
on sunday night, i had one of my most mom-esque moments i've ever experienced. at midnight, i was dying icing green to make cupcakes for john to take to school the next day. and not just ANY ol' cupcakes, but cute character cupcakes. yes, for a two-year-old. yes, i realize that he didn't even notice the eyes. but i have such awesome memories of the amazing cakes my mom used to make for us. they were from a box, but always sculpted and shaped and iced in cool ways. i just want my kiddo to have those same memories!

so by 1am it was time for mama to hit the hay ... it was, after all, a big day tomorrow ...

*   *   *
... so we overslept. and had a CRAZY hectic morning getting out of the house. and did we eat breakfast? i don't remember. thank god the daycare feeds john first thing in the morning, otherwise i'd be a horrible neglectful mom. but at least he had his cute green cupcakes to take with him!

after work, i hurried to get john and head home so we could celebrate. and of course, the highlight was the presents. i get so much glee seeing john have fun with new stuff. and he was spoiled rotten - in addition to what mom and dad got him, he had packages from all over the country to open and explore!

sunglasses and suitcase  from grammie
his very own broom set
"sweep, mommy, sweep!"
mommy's favorite of the presents - a shiny red tricycle! john calls it his bike. 
he does NOT like to have help. but he can't quite pedal ... yet.

easel and art set from auntie, uncle, and
cousin in north carolina.
and the birthday evening was capped off with one more bag of presents from my cousin and his fiancee. she stopped by and played with john, and "colored on the ground" (sidewalk chalk) and presented him with a basket full of balls. what more could a two-year-old want?

it was a great day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

potpourri

so what if daddy's shirt is a little big?
first things first: happy birthday, john charis heid! our little bug is two today, and i can hardly believe it. in fact, as i am typing this, two years ago right now i was channeling african birthing woman to push this child into the world. what an amazing ride it has been so far, and i am sure will always be! johns mom loves him so.

after a late night with some wonderful friends friday night, saturday was one of the busiest days our family has had in a long long time. saturday morning john woke up and the first thing he said to me was, "lsu shirt?" i asked him if he wanted to wear his lsu shirt and he said, "no! daddy lsu shirt." so we put daddy's lsu shirt on despite it's oversized nature and john happily watched some elmo while mommy got ready for work.

i had to run into the mall for a little while for an event, so i decided john could tag along with me and daddy could get some much-needed rest. john cheered and played and sang the whole way there, and was awesome at the mall while we got the event squared away. we played at the play area and had a great time.

by the time we made it back home, it was really naptime ... but instead, we loaded up in the car to head to my aunt and uncle's house for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. there was lots of family in from out of town, including grandpa (my dad) and aunts and uncles and cousins galore.

i think john's favorite part was before the party, when i let him run around naked at auntie's house. there was a little pirot that would be used to hold beverages, but it hadn't been filled yet ... so of course it was the perfect place for a naked baby to hang out:

the party was wonderful - a pretty low-key garden-style party that was perfect for my grandmother, who is one downright classy lady. there were presents and toasts and general celebration, and it was awesome to spend that time with the extended family.

my husband and i had to cut it a little short, though, to go attend the wedding of one of his coworkers. my cousin and her husband were kind enough to keep the little man for us, and the wedding was very nice. but we were very excited to pretty quickly return back to the family homestead to hang out with the remaining out-of-town and in-town relatives.

saturday night made the second night in a row with an after 1am bedtime for us (of course john was down earlier) - and sunday night would make a third. more on that tomorrow!








Friday, June 15, 2012

little imp


lately, i've been telling john he's a little imp. in fact, he will occasionally tell me, "john imp! john mommy's imp!"

and yesterday morning while i was getting dressed, he demonstrated just what an imp he is. i couldn't find him anywhere in the house ... and all was silent. no sign of him anywhere. i knew the doors were locked and he didn't get out, and i didn't hear any thuds or screams, so i knew he was fine. i just couldn't find him.

finally, i went back to the laundry room, where i heard a giggle. i looked to my left ... and saw a little face peering out of the laundry hamper.

"there you are, john!" i said.

"got in here momymy!" was the reply.

"how'd you get in there, john?"

"john climb," he said.

the little imp, at his finest.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

early mornings

sleepy face smiling.
it's funny how the older john gets, and the more time spent with him is "quality time," the more my other priorities seem to shift. i guess that's probably a universal thing all mamas (all parents) go through, but it really hit home for me today.

this morning i got up at 5 - the required time to get to the gym in time to get to work on time. i almost didn't get out of bed. i was so tired, and my husband was sleeping so snug next to me. i lay there and i thought about how i could just adjust my alarm and go back to sleep, and hit the gym after work.

and then i remembered last night. last night was a good night, don't get me wrong - but by the time my husband and i had both fit in our exercise (i ran with john and buddy, husband went to the gym), it was pretty much time to put john to bed. and there we were at 8pm cooking dinner, and realizing we didn't have a key ingredient, and oh the ground beef was still frozen, so chinese takeout at 9pm passed for dinner last night.

harried, hectic, unhealthy, and where was that quality time we wanted to spend as a family?

so now, i am determined to get my workouts - and runs - in the mornings. it buys me time with my wee peanut, who won't be so wee for very long. it buys me time with my husband, whose company i truly just enjoy. and it buys us time as a family, hanging out, playing games, coloring, dancing, whatever.

and that, friends, THAT is what it's all about. bring it on, 5am.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a boy and his dog

john wouldn't leave the house today without giving buddy a hug.
then he had to go back for a kiss.

we've been struggling with the destructive habits of a member of our family lately - and it's not the two-year-old.

i can't remember how much of buddy's story i've told on here, so i'm going to start from scratch. buddy is a roughly four-year-old lab mutt. we think he might have some newfoundland in him, and there are days when he looks a little pitbull-ish, but all we know for sure is he is 75% or more lab. he weighs about 90 lbs and is the sweetest fellow you'll ever meet.

but. BUT. big ol' but. he has obviously been mistreated in his life. we have no idea what his back story is - he was found wandering down a highway with cars going in both directions around him. he is from a part of the country where dog fighting is very common, and the rescue agency we got him from surmised that he may have been in training to be a bait dog. but, instead of getting aggressive, he got very submissive and fearful. he has clearly been hit, particularly by men, and is extremely afraid of change, new people, and ... thunderstorms.

you may have noticed that we live in south louisiana. we get a lot of thunderstorms. so far in his brief year with us, buddy has broken out of not one, not two, but THREE crates. we no longer crate him at all. although he was fine in his crate most of the time, if there was a thunderstorm, all hell would break loose. so for the past 3-4 months, we haven't been crating him.

and then. (isn't there always an and then?) last week during a storm, he freaked out. in a complete panic, he trashed two doors to our house (the one to the garage and the one to the side courtyard). when i say trashed, i mean, TRASHED. he cut himself minorly - there were blood smears everywhere. and shreds of wood from the door anywhere. and he got caught in a leash hanging from a row of coat hooks, and yanked it down off the wall, tearing the sheet rock up. thank goodness he wasn't hurt, but this obviously escalated our thunderstorm concerns. who knew how bad the next one could be.

so we talked to the vet. our WONDERFUL vet - he is awesome. and he did lots of research on our options for handling thunderstorm phobia, because the short-acting drug that is their first recommendation has to be given about 30 minutes before a storm, and we're not always able to get there in time for that. 

so our options wound up being 1) a hugely expensive titanium unbreakable crate. while this would prevent him from damaging the house, he would probably be more likely to hurt himself trying to break out of the unbreakable crate. or 2) a hugely expensive consultation with a behaviorist out of new orleans. we were leaning that way, but hadn't pulled the trigger.

and then, buddy discovered the laundry room. does that sound like a bad thing? it's actually AWESOME. he began to lock himself into the laundry room. that doesn't sound like as much of a feat as it is, considering there is a door on either side of the laundry room, and he's closed them both to shut himself in.

so now, we're encouraging the laundry-room-as-safe-space plan. we put his bed in there when we're not home. every day i walk in there with him and tell him if he's scared, he should hide there. and so far, it's helped.

today will be a good test. we are supposed to have afternoon thunder showers today, and neither my husband nor i can get home to check on buddy. so wish me luck and wish buddy luck - hopefully all will be well when we get back home.

Monday, June 11, 2012

slip n slide

john did initially ask me to turn the "rain off."
but once he got used to it, we couldn't keep him
out of the slip-n-slide.
my husband and i have found a really awesome sunday school class at our church that is basically ... us. couples roughly our age with kids running around and hectic lives. apart from the obvious similarities, though, we've been really amazed to find tons in common with this great group. it's very cool to be surrounded by like-minded folk.

and saturday, surrounded we were. we gathered at one couple's home (thanks, y'all!) and had a barbecue, complete with splash pools and a slip-n-slide for the kiddos. i didn't count kids, but let's just say there were a lot of them. amazingly, they really all shared very well, and took turns, and looked out for the little guys. so us parents got to kick back a little bit and enjoy each others' company while the wee ones ran themselves into some mighty fine naps (at least john did, anyway).

the rest of the weekend was jam-packed, too - shopping for new suitcases (john was a trooper through five different stores), baking cookies, doing laundry, cleaning house. it was all good, but by sunday evening, this is about the extent of the energy level in our house:


my child really does wear pants sometimes, i promise.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the dress

the dress
yesterday, i finally found the dress i've been looking for for formal night on the cruise. i've hunted and hunted and finally found a post-prom sale that yielded the pretty blue ombre gown in the pic above. (of course my picture can't do it justice, and it actually looks even better on me than on the hanger - when does THAT happen?!?)

so when i got home last night, i decided to try it on to show my husband. john ran into the bedroom with me while i was changing, and as soon as i pulled the dress on - before i had even zipped it - john looked at me with wide eyes and a huge smile. "mommy!" he said. "show daddy mommy dress. show daddy!"

i have never in my life felt more beautiful. he had sparkles in his eyes and he just wanted me to show his daddy. what an honor it is to be the most beautiful woman in my little bug's eyes.

Friday, June 8, 2012

small victories

long child listening.
normally in the mornings, john only wants to "sit on the couch. watch elmo." sometimes that's exactly what we do. sometimes we don't have time. sometimes i tell him no and encourage other more active play first thing in the morning.

this morning, john wanted to go to the living room, but he made it very clear that he did NOT want to sit on the couch and watch elmo. i couldn't quite figure out what it was he wanted, until he pulled out the dining room chair and pulled himself up onto it. he pointed at the table and said, "watch predibles." 

see, last night we were testing out a portable dvd player one of my husband's coworkers was kind enough to lend us to see if we could use it for some upcoming travel. the dvd we used to test it out was the incredibles, which john translates to "the predibles." he'd sat in that chair before bed last night watching a little bit of the movie.

being the opportunistic mommy that i am, i asked john this morning if he wanted to be able to listen to the incredibles, and he said yes. so i grabbed some headphones, plugged them in, and for the first time EVER he voluntarily left them on his head so he could hear. this might not seem like much ... but we just ordered some kid-friendly headphones for him that we weren't sure he would use. and since one leg of our travels is going to be a six-hour flight to vancouver, the ability to watch the predibles with headphones on will ease the pain QUITE a lot.

and *that* is our little victory for the day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

a little fish

the cutest fish in the tub.
and yes, those are my feet.
last fall, we took john to some swim lessons at the ymca. he did pretty well - he liked the water ok, liked to splash, and his only major complaint seemed to be that he didn't like not feeling the bottom. (to be fair, that's me interpreting his actions, since you'll note he wasn't really communicating so much back then!)

since then, john has gotten more and more comfortable with water, at least in the bathtub and in kiddie pools. he has increasingly put his face in the water, blown bubbles, laid on his belly and/or his back to get his hair wet.

and just recently, he LOVES the idea of "mommy bath." which is just what it sounds like - a bath with mommy. so tonight when i told him it was bath time, he ran excitedly into his bathtub, then turned to me and said in his most commanding voice: "mommy shirt OFF!"

now from recent experience, i have learned one thing: trying to fit my slightly-more-than-svelte booty in the same tub with a wiggling, splashing, active bug is NOT the most comfortable. it's pretty much a guarantee of a split lip or busted nose - for mommy! so tonight i had a brilliant inspiration. we would bathe in the larger garden-style tub in mommy and daddy's bathroom!

at first, it was an unmitigated disaster. as the water ran, we climbed in the tub, and john stood in the far end screaming "get out! get out! rain off! get out!" (rain off is johnese for turning off the faucet.) i tried to soothe him, and finally gave up. i figured i'd have to turn the water off, wash him in a hurry, and hope to get him out and calmed down.

but as soon as i turned the water off, he jumped (not allowed - and he got a reprimand) and then sat down splat in the water. and he proceeded to play and have a grand time. daddy brought him a plastic cup to play with, and he dumped it on his face, on his hair, on his back. he sputtered and giggled and laid back and put his whole head under the water. the he got wise and started dumping the water on mommy's head. which of course was the single funniest thing that he had ever experienced. (and i admit it made me snicker as well.)

the moral of the story is twofold. 1) we need to schedule another round of swim lessons, since this little bug is actually a little fish. 2) don't EVER get in the tub with a two-year-old and think you're not going to get splashed and have buckets of water dumped on your head. prepare for the giggles of glee.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

things no one told me

here it is - a brief and totally not comprehensive list of things no one told me about being a mother.

1. the bedroom will become a parking garage. evidence here:

i'm only the surprised the mower isn't
parked in the third bay.

2. it doesn't matter what side of the bed you wake up on - it matters what side of the crib your child wakes up on.

3. no matter what the question is, the answer is no. (no, i'm not strict. the child's the one saying no.)

3a. even if the answer is yes, the answer will be no when you give your child whatever he said yes to.

4. the greatest moment of your day will come when your child asks you to sing a lullabye.

5. get used to sippy cups as a fashion accessory. you'll be bringing one into the office every day so it doesn't go bad in your car during the day, and so your child can have a drink on the drive home.

6. when you ask your child to count, it's best to specifiy, "start with 1!"

7. when you ask your child to sing the abcs, don't be surprised when it comes out to the tune of itsy bitsy spider and the lyrics are "abc abc abc j!"

8. do not, under any circumstances, jokingly mention ice cream and cake. these are not to be mentioned unless they are forthcoming. EVER.

8a. after ice cream and cake, expect to hear about "happy birthday cupcakes" for a week. do not acknowledge - see 8.

9. all moms are bilingual. in my case, i speak johnese.

10. despite your earlier protestations to the contrary, the sight of your child happily watching television on the couch will lighten your heart - especially when the alternative is your child throwing bananas at the dog. evidence below:


just kickin' it with some milk,
watchin' some elmo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a study in contrasts

this pic is actually from when we woke
up before the rest of the house at my friend's
house in maryland last week. sweet baby
 boy checking out the big back yard.

i made mention that yesterday morning was not such a good morning for john and i. i thought maybe i'd elaborate just a bit. yesterday = demon. today = angel.

waking up
  • demon child: screaming, crying, yelling, throwing stuffed animals out of the bed, with no solace from mama when she walks in the room.
  • angel child: playing sweetly in his crib, giggling and jumping in bed when mama walks into the room
diaper change
  • demon child: wriggling, jumping, screaming "no!", kicking the diapers off the counter and insisting "no diaper!!!"
  • angel child: giggling, wiggling, and laughing as he says, "diaper on! diaper on! good job mommy!"
mommy getting ready
  • demon child: clinging to mommy's ankle, yelling "up! up! outside! outside please!" and crying hysterically when mommy insists she has to get ready for work
  • angel child: drinking milk happily and saying, "mommy pretty" as mommy puts her makeup on. saying, "up please!" to give mommy a kiss before running into the other room to play.
daddy
  • demon child: screaming for daddy despite being repeatedly told that daddy's at the gym. yelling "NO!" when mommy informs him that daddy will be home in a little while.
  • angel child: giggling gleefully as he runs into the bedroom to "find" daddy, sweetly crying "daddddyyyyy!" on his way in
food
  • demon child: screaming for cheese. throwing cheese across the room yelling "no" when mommy gives him cheese. screaming for milk. yelling "no, juice!" when mommy hands him milk. yelling, "no, milk!" when mommy hands him juice.
  • angel child: giggling gleefully as he runs into the bedroom to "find" daddy, sweetly crying "daddddyyyyy!" on his way in.
getting in the car
  • demon child: jumping out of mommy's arms and running back to the door of the house. insisting, "inside!" when we are outside, and "outside!" when we are inside. flopping to the floor of the garage to protest getting into his car seat.
  • angel child: climbing agile-ly into his car seat all by himself, all the while explaining, "mommy's truck! john school in mommy truck."
arriving at school
  • demon child: climbing up mommy's legs, clinging to mommy's shoulder, crying, "no" and refusing to sit down at the table, turning his head away from his teacher when she tries to greet him.
  • angel child: clinging to mommy and not wanting her to leave, but then sitting at the table to eat his breakfast and play with the other kids.
oh, oh, what a difference a day makes. what a difference a day makes.

*   *   *

here are the last few pics from our memorial day travels. these were taken on the observation deck at bwi airport, where they have a plane "fuselage" for the kids to play in (and drive) and some baggage trucks for them to climb and drive as well. anytime john gets his hands on a steering wheel, he's "driving a tractor!"

there were some other kids around playing with us as well, and john had a fantastic time killing several hours before our flight.





Monday, June 4, 2012

one last story


left: nothing like a good, solid, freak-the-heck-out first thing in the morning
middle: a close-up of the puffy sad face
right: daddy makes it all alright with a little bit of banana/peanut butter shake

it was another monday this morning for sure. up at 5am to get ready for the gym, packing a bag and almost ready. then john woke up at 545am and FREAKED THE HELL OUT. for an hour. awesome. needless to say we did NOT make it to the gym. we barely made it to work and school. thank god daddy came home from the gym and whipped up a a banana/peanut butter/protein shake, which john promptly dubbed "milk" and ate half of. but it cheered him up, so i am endlessly indebted to the daddy. (again.)

*    *    *
but that's not why i am here today. today, i am here to tell one last story from our trip home from maryland. (yes, a week ago. but this one's a doozy and i had to let it marinate for a little while.)

oh sure, i could tell stories about how john saw an elephant-shaped river on the flight up to maryland, so he looked out the window the whole trip home saying, "elephant, where are you??" or how he was so well-behaved on the plane, and even patient with a delay before take off. or how when we flew over lake pontchartrain on the way back into new orleans, he looked down at the water and said, "fishies? where are you fish!?"

but instead, i will tell you about ... the family restroom. (insert "dun dun DUN!" sound effect here.)

at bwi, i needed to use the bathroom and john needed a diaper change, so we headed to the restroom in the terminal. i was thrilled to see they had a family restroom - a little more room for john to move around while i do my business, and a contained area so he can't climb under the partitions to another stall, etc.

i pulled the door open and was a little perplexed by the hydraulic device that seemed to operate the door - once you swung it open, it opened VERY slowly, and it had to open all the way before you could close it ... equally slowly. probably a protection for little fingers, i thought, and let it go at that.

so i locked the door, and looked around - a HUGE family restroom. probably something like 15 feet from the toilet to the door. empty space with very little for john to touch - just my speed.

i sat down on the toilet while the whirling dervish did his best to circumnavigate the room 20 times in 20 seconds. and just as he reached the far side of the room ... someone outside opened the door. it slowly swung open ... revealing a man in a business suit. guess he wanted to take advantage of the extra space for his luggage.

and ... guess the lock didn't work.

so the door did it's slow open-all-the-way-before-you-can-close it act. and i, in my infinite wisdom, yelled to my not-quite-two-year-old, "john, close the door for mommy!" while trying to keep myself covered. as people walked by in the hallway toward the main restroom. and that's when john tried to run out the door.

i don't know who was more mortified, that poor business man or myself. he was trying to look the other direction while fumbling to pull the door closed for me. and he sort of ... shuffled john back in the door, right as i leaped up and sneakily pulled my pants up, hoping to preserve some modicum of dignity. (who am i kidding, that was LONG gone.)

the door did finally close. with john inside with me. we were safe. we were ... decent.

i took my sweet time finishing up and then changing john's diaper, dreading the moment of facing anyone outside of the restroom. surely, i thought, SURELY, my business man friend was kind enough to have left. and gone ... anywhere else. maybe even booked another flight for tomorrow, just in case we were on the same plane?

when john and i finally exited, red-faced, he was nowhere to be seen. no one seemed any the wiser to our predicament - they were either very kind or very unaware. john and i beat a hasty retreat to meet up with my husband, and thank the good lord that business man was not sitting next to us on the plane.

i can hear that dialog now. "why hello, ma'am. what a cute child you have. and may i add, you are a pretty good mother even with your pants around your knees. you conducted yourself with aplomb."

or blatant, abject mortification, take your pick.

Friday, June 1, 2012

whirlwind part iii

somehow i took zero pictures on monday.
not even of john playing with livvy.
so here's john eating "cake" for breakfast
on tuesday. more on that later!
monday morning john woke up at the slightly more normal hour of 7:30am. the rest of the house wasn't too far behind, so we were soon watching as grandpa made delicious pancakes on his fancy electric griddle. (by fancy, i mean $20 at walmart. but it really was pretty awesome.)

my child ate two smallish pancakes, two pieces of bacon, and still had room for grapes. i don't know where he puts it.

then, because we clearly hadn't eaten enough for the weekend, we packed up our bags to go meet grammie for a quick lunch before she went to work and we headed out of town. in a bit of happy circumstance, one of my best friends, whose birthday it was that day, happened to be shopping near where we were meeting for lunch, so we invited to join her for a little birthday celebration.

when we got to the restaurant, my mom was just walking outside to meet us. in my arms, john fairly leapt. "GRAMMIE!" he shouted as he giggled. "go get grammie." he said to me more quietly before lunging towards her. i'm pretty sure i saw a tear or two in grammie's eyes as she was greeted with the type of aplomb only a two year old can muster.

after stuffing ourselves with chipotle burritos, it was back in the car for the drive to visit another set of friends - the college crowd. our gracious host was one of my college besties, and she has a beautiful two-year-old daughter who john quickly became friends with. they were such good little sharers - taking turns riding a rocking horse, each saying it was the other's turn when they climbed off. they even groomed the horse together, one brushing the tail and the other the mane. they ran around the house in circles, colored together, blew bubbles together, and even did a little basic potty-training work together. (that amounted to each of them taking turns saying "mommy, potty!" and then doing nothing in the bathroom, but oh well!)

that night several of our other college friends came over for dinner, and we all sat around chit-chatting and catching up and it was awesome. my hostess and i then stayed up FAR too late discussing our babies, our lives, our plans, our histories ... basically it was like a night at our dorm a million years ago, but with babies sleeping nestled upstairs.

all in all, a pretty awesome monday.