Friday, December 29, 2006

Picture's first Chrismukkah...

It was a busy couple of weeks, so excuse me for not waxing poetic at great lengths. I know you'd rather see pictures of the kid anyway. Enjoy...

Ethan's (and mom's) first trip to pick out a "holiday shrubbery".

In the absence of a red Starbucks cup, Ethan bonds with the red bows.

"mmmm, shiny red bow, how I love youuuuuuuu."

Ethan, right before the haircut. Do you think he can tell what's coming?

"Check me out! Chicks dig my new short sassy 'do!"

"Seriously, enough with the red bows!" Ethans sans Trump-esque comb-over.

"Play that funky music, white boy!"

Ethan opens Hannukah presents at Gram & Grampy's. Not a red bow in sight. But we did find Runny Babbit...

In the event of a water landing, your mommy can be used as a flotation device.

My little man, on top of the world

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"You'll shoot yer eye out!"

Not being a true Christmas celebrant, Ralphie's epic quest for a Red Ryder b-b gun is the reason for the season as far as I'm concerned. And here I sit in my hotel suite (upgraded b/c they ran out of king sized beds before we checked in), next to Husband and my diaper-clad, raspberry-blowing, squealing son, I am settling in to watch "A Christmas Story" and wonder if there is such a thing as Xmas Eve room service.

But that's not what this entry is about. This entry is about what a champ Ethan was on his first plane flight, and how we gave him his first haircut today.

Yes, the Donald Trump-do is no more. Husband & I somehow managed to keep Squirmy E still long enough to snip the one Rapunzel-esque lock that was forever being combed over--it was getting to that freaky "wrap around" point, where the comb-over actually went waayyyyy around behind the ear; never attractive, in my opinion, but less so at 7 months. But I will get to that in a minute (after I watch Flip stick his tongue to the frozen light post during recess).

First, let's talk about my son, the phenomenal traveller. The "fussy" switch in him has apparently magically been switched to the "off" setting and a heretofore unknown "placid baby" switch has been found and is working overtime. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

In my obsessive need to pre-board before anyone else (this is a perk I plan to take full advantage of for the next several years), and considering it was one of the busiest travel days of the year, we arrived at the airport with several hours to spare. What with finding a parking space and waiting for the shuttle bus to the terminal, waiting to checking the bags, inching through the security line while wondering what technically is and isn't a liquid and is my chapstick considered a suspicious item, and the bjorning and un-bjorning of the baby, I envisioned hours of drudgery ahead of us at BWI.

There was parking. We were 6th in line to check our bags. There was NO wait at the security line. For a moment I was afraid we had slept through Xmas altogether and were travelling next week. (Then I remembered that indeed I had barely slept the night before & therefore knew that it was the day it was supposed to be). So we got through security and to our gate with two hours to spare. Yes, two hours to spare with a 7.5 month old. I anticipated melt-downs and crying jags. Instead there was some nursing and napping.

So I figured he was saving it up for the flight; that somehow he knew soon we were going to be a confined space with a bunch of cranky adults and he was gearing up to "release the hounds" at about 10,000 feet. I imagined my vocabulary whittling down to one abashedly muttered word to everyone around us for the hour long flight: "sorry". Oh and maybe, "please, please sweetie; shhhhh for mommy."

But no. More nursing and napping. Although, to be honest, I kind of wish he had screamed a little bit--just to piss off the jackass next to Husband in the aisle seat of our row. "Eh, three minutes in the air and that kid will be fast asleep." one calls my kid "that kid". Thanks, Dr. Spock, for your expert evaluation of infants and air travel. I hated that he was right.
But then there was the peace and quiet that came with it and I got over it.

Aside from the fact that my head almost exploded on the descent (I've never flown with a head cold before--there aren't enough synonymns for "agony" to sufficiently express the pain--I'm still waiting, three days later, for my left ear to equalize), it was the perfect flight.

After visiting with friends and family, we realized that our son's hair was just beyond explanation at this point. Something must be done to the original hair left on his head. You've seen it; the "flock of seagulls" lock that months ago served as a hip faux mohawk. It has been the highlight of more than one pic on this blog. But it has, as of late, become unmanageable and absurd. It was time for it to go. And Husband and I thought it was appropriate that last of E's original hair was the bit that we should save in an envelope in his baby book. So Husband ran down to the front desk of the lobby (because who travels with envelopes?) and returned with one bearing the name and address of the hotel (extra sappy sentimental points!) and we snip-snipped that first little lock, stuffed it in the envelope and sealed it up.

It is bizarre to say, but E looks like a totally different little boy without that pesky lock. I don't really miss it because he is so handsome and grownup looking without it. But it's one of those things--another "first" that we'll never get back. A lock of hair that came into this world with our son is now in an envelope and that means all the hair on his head is brand-new. Good lord, someone get me a drink and tell me to get a freaking grip.

I have pictures. And I'll share them tomorrow without any consternation because I am on Husband's computer and I know how to make the pictures work on this one. But right now I have to curl up with Husband and Ethan, watch Ralphie beat the snot out of that Farkis kid with the yellow eyes and do some research on Xmas Eve room service. My Xmas wish is some sort of ice cream.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I want to show you pictures....

But I can't.

I have pictures of Ethan sitting up on his play mat, all "hell, I've been sitting for ages and ages!" and I have pictures of Ethan being totally ho-hum as we light the menorah (right in front of tree). I have pictures of Ethan doing all kinds of adorable Ethan things. But alas, I cannot show them to you.

Husband, generous and loving soul that he is, got me a MacBook for Hannukah and as fabulous as it is supposed to be for blogs and pictures and all that, I cannot figure out how to find my pictures. I know, I know *hanging head in shame*. It is embarrassing to admit and I am only admitting it because it is almost 1am & I'm only partially aware that I'm even writing this post.

Tomorrow we leave for the frozen north for almost a week of running around visiting family & friends. My head is swimming with lists of things to pack, things to do and things to remember between now and when we leave. Whatever part of my brain isn't entirely occupied with this part-time OCD is stressing about how Ethan's going to deal with the flight. We are all sick right now; Husband and I fighting some funky sore throat/ear ache thing. It's fab. Ethan has an on again, off again fever and no other symptoms but the uber-fuss. I'm hoping it's teething--good god, I need some proof that there are indeed teeth in that child's head! With my luck, its a double ear infection and I am going to lose my place in line for "mother of the year" for not having rushed him to the pedi this week. In my defense, I have done that several times over the course of the past 7 months and each time they send me away with a pat on the head and a roll of the eyes. He's never sick. *shrug* I just don't know.

So wish us luck that the little man's ears don't explode on the plane and that he is happy just to nurse and snooze for the hour of the flight. And hopefully I won't get kicked off of any planes for breastfeeding. I will try not to offend any skittish flight attendents with my boobs. I promise.

And when we return, I will have pictures and the knowledge of how to freaking use them.

Happy Holidays, Internet!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ravings of a sleep-deprived Mama...

My son. He does not sleep. EVER.

Well, sometimes he does. But more often than not he is simply "resting his eyes", waiting for the first opportunity to squint up his face, spit out his paci and wail. Seriously. It's getting old. I'M getting old.

Daytime is fine; we nap together which feels indulgent and frivolous, but that's one of the joys of staying at home, isn't it? Why not take advantage of it? I spent the first 6 months of his life obsessing about the laundry, the dishes, the dusting, blah blah. I threw that towel in and decided that snoozing with the little man was way more important. And it is. And I enjoy it. And somehow, all the other stuff still finds a way to get done. Or maybe I've lowered my standards. Either way, it works out and no one's complaining.

Nighttime is an entirely different story and it's wearing on us big. time.

Finding his bedtime requires serious detective work. Was that eye-rub legit or did he get an eyelash in his eye? Is that fussing about being tired or hungry? Why, after almost eight months is it so tough to figure this out? Then, when he does go to sleep, it is a micro-nap of 20 minutes. There is much shuffling up and down the stairs, rocking and ssssh'ing, turning on the white noise machine; turning up the white noise machine; checking for fever; checking his diaper; checking my sanity. Yeah, that's just about gone at this point.

And when we get him back to sleep? It starts again 20 minutes later. We've had some lucky stretches of 2-3 hours of sleep in between the theatrics, but those are few & far between. And we've learned not to trust them or count on them.

Perhaps a phase? We are still waiting for that first tooth. Could this be it? These are the slowest freaking teeth in the history of mankind.

Ugh. This blog entry has no logical end. It's just time to try to get a little catnap before the incredible sleepless wonder pops awake for another round.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ladies Man...

Have I talked about how much of a flirt my son is? Have I mentioned how he sticks his tongue out between smiling lips as he's looking at another baby, or another mom, or a daddy, or one of the cats? Have I described how his whole body jiggles with excitement when he makes someone else smile? And how as soon as he gets that smile, he turns and buries his head in my shoulder?

Have I mentioned that? Because it is too freaking cute. Last week, at the coffee shop, Ethan flirted endlessly with Lily. This week, he & Kate pulled on eachother's socks while Kate's mom and I talked over lattes. At yoga class, he smiles across the mats at Katherine until she's rolling over to him (okay, so the real lure might be the fact that Ethan has the same toy as Katherine and she's thinking he's taken it from her; but I like to think it's because he's totally irresistable) I swear, this boy is such a player.

It's cute now. It probably won't be too cute when he's 13 & the phone starts ringing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seven Months & Some Change...

Last Tuesday you were 7 whole months old, if you can wrap your head around that one, little man. This is the first month that I have started looking back and realizing how far we've come. Gone are the nights when we used to run downstairs in a state of semi-consciousness to warm up a bottle for you and then spend vast expanses of time rocking you back to sleep. Now we just sit up for a few minutes, nurse and head back to dream land. Mommy no longer finds herself fishing around in the dark for sweatpants before the crack of dawn because you've decided that 5:15am is a perfectly acceptable time to wake up. Now you sleep until at least 7am every morning and either accompany daddy to Starbucks in the morning at a reasonable hour or cuddle with mommy in the warmth of our blankets.

But then, naps and bedtime are no longer what they once were, either. Gone are the days when you simply rubbed your eyes once and zonked out in my arms 3-4 times a day for over an hour at a time. Ah, good times. Gone, too, are the nights when you'd pass out in daddy's arms on the couch while we watched TV and stay asleep until your "every three hour" internal alarm clock went off as your belly's tank hit empty. Now, things are a little more work intensive--there's much to do with the exact timing of sleepy cues and white noise and precise light-levels and optimal motion, and...sigh, the list goes on and on and even the perfect combination of all factors does not ensure more than 10-15 minutes of shut-eye on your part. If you'd only catch on that sleep is indeed one of the great pleasures of life, we'd all be a lot happier. But as I type this, I hear you upstairs babbling to daddy when you should be napping. You were the one rubbing your eyes and crying 20 minutes ago, right?

So, you sleep with us and often you end up in one of our sets of arms for some part of the night. All the books say this is a big fat no-no, but considering the human race has been raising babies since the dawn of the caveman without the help of Ferber & Weissbluth and we've managed to survive as a species, I'm going to lighten up a bit about it. I'm fairly certain you'll be sleeping through the night and in your own bed before you leave for college.

Aside from sleep, this month has been a whirlwind of activity for you (which might be why you didn't sleep, huh?!)

To begin with, you had your first holidays. You got Thanksgiving twice this year--once with Grammy & Grampy and once at Grandma Judy's. The ride to Grammy & Grampy's was your first looooong car ride and it might have been the 6 month shots you had the day prior to the drive, but you were a real trouper! Hardly any crying, so mommy and daddy didn't need to drink heavily upon arrival in South Carolina. Greatly appreciated, little man. We took you to the beach and you played in your jumperoo while we ate turkey. At Grandma Judy's, I feel like I hardly saw you! There were so many people there who wanted to hold you and smooch you; you spent most of your time in the bjorn on either Tia Emi or Tio Pete. Maybe given the practice they got with you, you'll get a cousin out of the deal at some point in the not too distant future.

You started sitting up unassisted & now your favorite spot in the house is your crib, as long as you're sitting up and facing your aquarium toy--you love to spin the toys on the bottom and turn the music on and off. You giggle & shake your fists when I sit you down in there. It's like you might explode with glee from the very prospect of watching the plastic fishies inside swim up & down at your command. it's too cute.

You've also started rocking on your hands & knees. To our joy AND trepidation, daddy & I know you'll be crawling soon. It is mind-boggling.

Still no teeth. Lots of drool. Lots of cramming everything within reach into your mouth. Lots of "ma, my gums hurt!" fussing, but no teeth.

Hair? Well, I am debating when to do that first "lock of hair" haircut. You still have that Trump-esque comb-over to some degree, although every day it gets thinner and thinner as new hair takes over. I can't decide whether to cut that off and save it, as it is the hair you were born with, or wait for your first real necessary haircut for my keepsake lock. Ah, these are the decisions a mother frets over.

That, and what to do about your butt. You like solids, but they don't like you. Carrots, check. Squash, check. Peas, check. Pears, check. Peaches, check. Applesauce, check. Prunes, check. Constipation, check...
Seriously, it doesn't matter what food I put in your belly, anything other than the mama-milk shake makes your whole system stop. There's really nothing like listening to you in your jumperoo grunting and straining. Poor thing. So we're cutting back on the real food and keeping you mostly on a liquid diet for a bit.

You've been having lots of fun on Wednesdays & Thursdays, in our yoga class and our little mom & baby group. We've been meetng up with a bunch of other mommies and their babies at Starbucks on Thursdays and you are getting to the point where you really want to interact with the other babies; it's so fun to watch you flirt and giggle with the girls. Last week you and Lily cracked each other up so excessively we thought for sure you were going to run away and get hitched before our coffee cups were empty. It is incredible to watch you interact with the world around you.

Now, as this post is dayyyyyyyys late and people are starting to give me a hard time, I will post this and move on. I promise to get your 8 month review out on time. And, kiddo, slow down!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Venti Breast Milk, Please...

Remember that anti-drug commercial in the 80's where the dad confronts the son after finding a box of pot in his room? When the dad presses him to explain how he learned about smoking up, the kid melodramatically bursts out with, "You! I learned it from watching you!" And we all learned a valuable lesson in how kids watch and imitate the behavior of their parents. Very heavy stuff.

Well, you would think that Husband and I would have expected this, given that effective ad campaign. But alas, we did not. No, we didn't find Ethan in his crib taking a hit off a bong or smoking a big old doobie. What we've discovered is that after watching us for 7 months make our daily trek to the yuppy coffee Mecca our son is already jonesing for the Starbucks.

Exibit A...

Don't be alarmed; it's empty. But it's red. Red seems to be Mr. E's most favoritest color in the whole wide world these days. If it's red, he wants to touch it. He must taste it. He wants to "love it, and hug it and name it George." And the holiday Starbucks cups? They are red. Therefore, he must have it.

This Starbucks cup holds an auspicious place in the life of litte Mr. Ethan J. C. It is the first "toy" that, when taken away from him, resulted in whining, grasping and tears. Yes, the left over refuse from daddy's tall no-foam latte has been the most loved and prized possession of our son's first 7 months. That, my friend, is $3.50 well-spent.