Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One Year pictures...

So here they are--Ethan's official "I'm 1 year old!" pictures. We took him to get them done yesterday, but two minutes before our appointment, the stumblebutt took a nose dive into a table and gave himself a big old red mark above his right eye. I swear, I am going to include a "today's boo boo" update daily in the blog from now on--I am fairly certain he is going to give me plenty to write about in that department.

Fortunately the mark didn't morph into a shiner and today there no facial blemish to be seen (he still has that vampiric quality babies have where they heal almost before your very eyes). So off to the photo studio we went. And here are the results. Ethan's first serious crush must be on this photographer--this is our 3rd set of pictures from her and each time he sees her, even though it's been 3 months since the last time, he lights up and giggles and practically begs her to adopt him and take him home with her. Hmmmmm....not sure how much I like that, but at least he smiles for her and makes some fabulous pictures.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Chicks Dig Scars....

This is a good thing for my little man. It has been the weekend of the boo boos in the land of Ethan. It seems that the child needs to be in a bubble to protect him from kitty claws and table edges and boxes to topple off of. And, if we could remove his teeth while he's awake, that would be good, too.

See, Ethan enjoys climbing now. And why not?! What a wonderful change in perspective to be 4 inches higher than he was five seconds ago? It's like a whole new world. The problem is that he is not yet so good at staying on top of whatever he scrambles up onto. This would apparently be no big deal, if he didn't have teeth. His head is like concrete (I know because he likes to head butt me around 2am), so I don't worry that a 4 inch drop is going to do to much damage to the old noggin, you know?

What does cause some silent hysterical crying (you know the type--the mouth is open, the face is red, but there is no sound coming out.....until....."WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"), is when he falls off of something and lands with his top two teeth stuck in his bottom lip. Oh yeah. That'll rev things up a bit.

Today, Ethan face planted off one of his toys' boxes and gave himself the aforementioned bite, which resulted in a gushing bloody and swollen lip. Again, much screaming. Much crying.

Finally a popsicle fixed the situation and we have a happy, smiling, giggling, fat-lipped little boy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Kitty 1, Ethan 0

Yeah, so today was not a banner day in the Little E household, thanks to one curious almost-toddler and one cranky old lady kitty.

It started off like any other Saturday--happy little waking up noises from Ethan, followed by a fabulous trip to Starbucks to flirt with everyone in sight (Ethan, not me--my flirting days are long over. Have you seen the size of my ass lately? I can't, in good conscience, flirt while toting that thing around). I had my cinnamon dolce latte and Husband had his tall no-foam and Ethan ate his madeliene cookie. Then we returned home, to the scene of the impending catastrophe.

See--here's my dilemma and the root cause of the aforementioned impending catastrophe. Baby gates are up. Our home is fairly Ethan-proofed, so I tend not to follow him from room to room, helicopter style. Also, considering we live in a shoebox, I can hear just about every breath Ethan takes regarldless of where he is in the house. So I tend to let him roam at will, chasing balls and throwing toys and...ooops, tormenting kitties.

Up to this point, Abby & Penny have been saint-like patient with this child. He loves to squeal, "Kitty!" and try to love on them (which is generally in the form of a full-force swat). He seems confused when they run away from him. Go figure, little man, cats aren't so much with the face smacking and whisker pulling.

Today, apparently Penny kitty had had enough. While Ethan was off exploring the kitchen, husband and I relaxed a bit in the livingroom--clearly mistake #1. There was general baby-generated noise from around the corner; Farmer Tad on the fridge was telling us what pigs sound like and all that good stuff.

Next thing I know, I hear a quiet whimper. Odd. Ethan is not a whimperer. If it's worth complaining about, it's worth a scream, damn it. No fear, mama! Before I can get off my fat ass and into the kitch, the whimper has turned into full on panic scream. Mommy pulse starts racing. It is not a good sound.

I turn the corner to see my son and cat on the floor, facing each other, my cat's claw IN. MY. SON'S. FOREHEAD. Yes. You read that right. In his forehead. In the skin. Stuck. She swatted him and got her claw stuck in his skin. It was not a pretty sight. I don't know what he did to her (that would be because I was relaxing like a delinquent in the other room), but she had clearly had enough.

There was much screaming (Ethan & me) and cursing (me) and trying as gently as possible to extricate the cat's claw from my son's head (me) and throwing the cat down the stairs, also as gently as possible (me) and crying (Ethan & me).

There was some bleeding. There was some puffing up of skin. We slathered neosporin on his forehead and did some serious cuddling. The crying stopped and he commenced with the eye-rubbies that mean a nap is not far behind. Now, from the quiet above, I can tell he is sleeping soundly, perhaps dreaming of his revenge on the kitty.

I suppose I should have known this confrontation was inevitable. How could I miss the "just you wait" in this picture?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bye, Bye Birdie...

I mean, boobie.

Yes, my lactating days are over. For quite some time (I'd say since the teeth turned Ethan into a biting, blood-drawing demon), we've only been nursing once or twice at night. On his first birthday, I rather unceremoniously packed up the pump and storage bottles, telling myself, "Good girl! You made it to a year!" and tossed them into a dark part of the basement, presumably never to be heard from again.

I figured we would nurse during the overnight for as long as the little man wanted. It is an incredibly easy way to convince him to go back to sleep--admittedly, I have been more of a pacifier than a source of nutrition for quite awhile. So for the past almost two months, the boobs have been a bit of Baby Ambien rather than the belly-sating milkshake of days gone by. I thought it would last for at least a few more months.

Nope. Last night Ethan, our up-all-night (or at least every hour) baby, slept from 8pm and, at present (7:05am) is still sleeping, with no late night boob snack. He's been doing the 8am-8pm sleep for quite awhile now, but it is always broken up by at least one or two quick fusses and latches, neither of which any of us really wake up for. But not last night.

There's a part of me that's thrilled--I've been wearing regular, non-nursing bras for over a month now and it's fabulous. There is something lovely and empowering about having my entire body back to myself after 1.5 years.

But's letting go of something that's been a part of my body for 1.5 years. In a tiny way, it is just one more step on Ethan's path towards independence. Again, a lovely thing and I love watching him become his own person, but a mama's gotta feel a little pang of sadness when she realizes that her baby doesn't need her the way he did just a few months ago.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Open Letter to 95% of strangers who have commented on how cute my little girl is....

Dear well-meaning but mind-numbingly stupid "oh how cute-rs" out there:

My child is a boy. Please take note of this the next time you approach me to tell me what an adorable little girl I have. Yes, I am sure. I have checked.

I know that long eye lashes tend to be a girl thing (at least after Maybelline has had their way with them), but truly, he's a boy.

And I'm fairly certain that POSSESSING a penis is more of an indication of gender than the length of one's lashes. I took 8th grade biology and I don't remember even one paragraph in my text book about boys and girls having different eye lashes, and nowhere in the whole super secret girls go to one room and boys go to another for the, "What's happening to my body?" film strips is there any mention of lashes. Therefore I feel supremely confident in my assertion that my child is, indeed, a boy.

And to the lady who actually tried to ARGUE with me about this inarguable fact ("Oh no!! She's too pretty to be a boy!!") : I invite you to change a diaper. It doesn't get any clearer than that.

So that's it. Lush lashes aside, my child is all boy! TYVM.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"I'm a Little Bit Country...."

Oh, wait. No, I'm not. At. All. I could say that, "I'm a little bit rrrock and roll," but do I have the edginess to quote Donnie Osmond? Am I that "rock & roll"? I mean, I don't even have one pair of purple socks.

Either way, last weekend, the Squirmy E family descended upon the home of country music, Nashville, TN (or Nashvegas, as I learn it is "lovingly" called by some) to visit Husband's sister & brother-in-law. What we didn't know when we got there was that we were really entering into one of those "stay free for the weekend IF you come to our no pressure time share presentation" deals.

See, Tia E is pretty keen on having us relocate. To Nashville. Keen enough that she printed out a home-for-sale listing and had it waiting for us on her coffee table, complete with pictures and specs. She referred to it as "your new house", when she handed us the listing. "Our new house" IS lovely, for sure. And disgustingly affordable. In our neck of the woods, that house with all of its glorious separate shower and sunken tub-ness would go for well over a million dollars and that my friends is a big HA HA HA for us. There, we could move into it without a discussion of "well, Ethan will just have to pay his own way through college. Oh, and buy his own groceries from now on, too. And maybe we should start selling our blood."

But. Alas. It is Nashville. And I am a Northerner. We're in a bit of a pickle, Husband and me. I am from the frozen North and he is from the tropical South. He won't move further up into the arctic tundra that is New England, and I am firmly against transplanting to anyplace without clearly defined seasons (although I guess those don't exist anywhere anymore, TYVM global warming). Thus we are stuck in the DC area. It's the south, but not every sentence uttered is finished with, "Bless yer heart" and not everyone is referred to as "Sugar". I can live with that. We still have winter here, but it's only really bad from mid-December to mid-February instead of the November to April season in New England. He can live with that.

So I fear Tia E is going to have to live with the minor disappointment that we won't be living across town from her in a giant house with 4 bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a huge backyard and a sunken bathtub in which I could carry on a Calgon-laden existence. Wait...can I reconsider? Bless yer heart, Sugar.

Anyway, we had a fabulous time. Ethan again traveled like a rock star (minus the first class seats and hotel room demolition). He loves airplanes and thankfully, his ears think they are on the ground the whole time. We are fast running out of "lap baby" time because this baby wants to be anywhere BUT the lap during most of the flight. I dread having to buy him his own seat and lugging the massive Britax along for the ride, but those days are not too far in our future.

The weekend, which was Mother's Day weekend, was very relaxing. There was much SLEEPING LATE and GOING ON A DATE WITH HUSBAND, which was exciting enough to deserve all caps. There was a fabulous brunch on Sunday with MIMOSAS. There were botanical gardens and crazy OpryLand Hotels to visit. Sadly, I did not see any sign of the Kidman-Urbans, which was quite the disappointment. I did, however, see at least two statues of Elvis and one bar that had a toilet seat planter in it. Again, both ringing endorsements for the whole relocation campaign.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Excuse me, wooden Elvis, but have you seen Nicole Kidman?

Who doesn't love a giant guitar airbrushed chock full of honky tonk icons?

Yes, that IS a bar. A stained astro-turfed, terlet tank flower-planted bar.

This is why I can't move to the South. I fear the use of both the words, "howdy" AND "y'all"

I suppose I should also include some pictures of mah baby as well, no?

"The pilot has turned off the seatbelt sign. Feel free to wiggle off mommy's lap and peruse the Sky Mall magazine."
Even Ethan is taller than Tia E :-)

Tia E often confuses cameras for telescopes. Not a fan of zoom...

Truly tastier than his face is letting on.

Psssst, Ethan! Don't look now, but there is a giant metal pumpkin behind you!

The King of all things cute...

Again with the Tia E panoramic shot. We are the dots in the middle of the picture, sitting on the rocks. Actually, it's for the best as it hides the fact that I still look about 8 months pregnant.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Twelve-ish months...

Gee, did I miss the monthly update for his first birthday, or what?! Please, pass me the "good mommy award" (you'll have to rip it out of Britney Spear's crazy, head-shaving, car-pummeling, rehab-hopping hands, but still...) I have just been so busy and so (insert lame excuse here), that I never got around to it. I hang my head in shame.

This past month has been a whirlwind of activity. My baby now looks like a little boy, not the tiny little floppy infant I was so afraid of in the early days. His features are so developed and his personality is so strong, sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by just how much of a real little person he is.

I spent several late nights re-reading my blog from May 5, 05 to present in the days leading up to his first birthday and I have to say--it feels like the blink of an eye and yet I can barely remember what it felt like to have a newborn and to be so exhausted and so overwhelmed that it seemed like I simply couldn't do it. And, declining wit and writing abilities aside, I am so glad I have this record of his life and the memories that it has captured for me. For most of the entries I read, I can recall writing them and I certainly have clear recollections of the events in them.

We are a flurry of cruising and warp-speed crawling right now. There are moments when I think he is having a birthday cake sugar rush flashback because he moves at such a pace and with such enthusiasm that I can't believe he isn't training for some baby Olympics events. He cruises as far as he can, plops onto his butt and then pulls up at the next available piece of furniture. He received several walking toys for his birthday, but he has yet to get the hang of these. He is currently holding on to them and slowly falling to his belly as they move further away from him. It's like that awkward moment in high school when you and your girlfriends are trying to be cool like the cheerleaders and attempting splits. You get about half way down and realize...."I can't get any further down. Oh wait, I can't get up, either. Super cool."

So I let Ethan belly flop to the floor because I figure if I go rescue him every time, he'll think the walking toys are just fancy mommy-callers. Mama sometimes just likes to watch.

He is also pretty proud of himself because he thinks he has discovered cupboards. Like, he's the Copernicus of cupboards. If a Nobel Prize was awarded in great achievement in cupboard exploration, Ethan would be a shoe-in. He can clearly discern a cupboard from say...anything that is NOT a cupboard. He can open them; he can close them. He can rifle through the contents of the cupboard like it was his job. It's quite impressive.

And the baby-proofing begins in earnest this weekend. But I ask you, internet, how do you baby-proof the bathroom trash? Because....yuck.

My weight-challenged munchkin was just shy of 17lbs at his 1 year appointment. Big sissy, drama-queen that I am, I cried. I really wanted him to be at least 18lbs and of course I took it as a personal failure that he didn't quite make it (I am such a freaking sucker for the mommy guilt! Bring it ON!). But now, the little stinker will take his whole milk. So I have been loading him up with formula-spiked whole milk and I swear, I feel the difference already when I pick him up.

We nurse only once at night now. The teething thing, sadly, did us in. He got 4 teeth within one month and mommy's boob was his favorite teething toy. No matter what diversionary tactics I tried, he could not be deterred and so we added more whole milk and cut out the boob more and more, until we were only nursing when he was at his groggiest and least bitey. That would be about 4am. It is lovely that we still have that--you can't beat middle of the night cuddle time and as we still co-sleep, it is so easy and perfect and it can stay like this for as long as he needs or wants it. I will say, wearing non-nursing bras rocks (more mommy guilt!)

So much more to write about, but I am about 3 glasses of wine into my evening and I must curl up and sleep now.

Oh yeah, I forgot...

I have a blog.

I have an excuse, though, internet. God help me when the child actually starts walking. I have spent most of the past two weeks chasing my cruising child around and trying to keep him in one piece...

I will post more later. When, against all odds, this child actually sleep.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

One Year...

The party has come and gone. My baby is a one year old. I am still digesting this (and the cake).

I will do the 12-month round up and party pictures sometime this week...until then, you will have to make do with this: