Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deep Thoughts....

Here is Ethan, sharing what, from his enthusiasm I can only assume is the meaning of life, via his own cryptic dialect of Screetchese.

Untitled from tekiedude and Vimeo.

Monday, August 27, 2007

He Walks!

Ethan's First Steps.

And for the love of God, please focus on the cuteness that is my son and ignore the mess behind him. I cannot believe that with the whole house to roam, he chooses to walk right in front of (honestly) the messiest part of it. sigh....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oh, hi there...

I'm that blogger. Sorry.

The child walks now. In that herky, jerky Frankenstein kind of way that I can never quite get on video because he's still so unpredictable and when he starts actually walking, you have to hold your breath and hold very, very still or he will plop to his butt. Any sign of mama dashing to get the camera will break the concentration and that's the end of that until the next time the camera is in the drawer (where it has to be to avoid being thrown across the room) and tucked away. But I assure you, it is the most adorable walk and he is most proud of himself at this new accomplishment. He is also a bit perturbed that he's gotten so good at crawling and now it's time to kiss that goodbye and move on to something that is going to take so much more practice. He's been moody lately; the boy is like his mama--not a fan of change.

And he points to his nose. At his one year appointment the pediatrician said that at 15 months, he'd be looking to see if Ethan could identify certain body parts, say, perhaps, his nose. So of course, Husband and I have been showing Ethan his nose, our noses and the noses on just about every other living thing we've come in contact with over the course of the past three months. Finally this week, when I off-handedly asked, "Ethan, where's your nose?", the clouds parted, the Jesus rays rained down and the angels trumpeted with joy as Ethan lifted his finger and stuck his finger....up his nose. Good enough for mama!

Speaking of anatomy lessons, I have managed to make an aerobic workout of "head, shoulders, knees & toes" these days. While I was apparently smoking crack one day a few weeks ago, I purchased one of those Elmo books that has music programmed into it--this one plays Camptown Races, Skip to my Loo, and Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes. Ethan only hits the button that places the body part song because he LOOOOOVES to see Mama jump to attention and proceed to act out the song over and over again until she is sweaty, light-headed and gasping for air. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but I have spent up to 15 minutes at a time amusing him by pointing out my "...eyes and ears and mouth and nose; head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes."

That's basically all the past two weeks have held for us. I have spent much of my time trying to catch evidence of Ethan's walking on film, to no avail; but I figured I should catch you up on what's going on in our world, internet, lest you be all fickle and decide to stop coming to visit me. You know how I love validation.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shhhhhh, do NOT tell my mother....

I met with my OB today. To see about having another bebe. To see if we would be totally out of our gourds to think about it considering the first time and all that bedrest and the "uterus o' tissue paper" c-section and all that drama. Feel free to peruse posts January-May of '05 for a recap if you have either forgotten or weren't here for the fun. Good times. There was a cerclage at 19 weeks (that's essentially fishing wire holding your cervix closed. Par-tay!), then there was 2 weeks in the hospital weeks 26-28, a fun bout with gestational diabetes, complete with nightly insulin shots, and who could forget the 9 hours of oh-so-peaceful labor followed by an hour of frantic surgery and "I need more suction. I need more suction" ringing in my ears as they tried to sew me up again, apparently with a faulty suction thingy.

So needless to say, Husband & I have been a bit hesitant to let our minds wander to the "what if"s of trying again. Especially considering the fact that as soon as the OB got me sewn back up I distinctly recall him saying, "Don't do this again!" Um. Okay. How about you just take out my uterus now, Dr. Big Mean Joy-Killer and be done with it? Oh yeah, and write me a prescription 'cuz now I'm depressed.

Today Dr. Big Mean Joy-Killer turned into Dr. Nu-uh, I Never Said That; You Can Have Another Baby Anytime. My jaw is still lingering somewhere around the stirrups of his exam table. Huh? But what about the uterus o' tissue paper? What about the risk of uterine rupture? What about "Don't do this again!"?

On further reviewing of his notes, he clarified that the "don't do this again" was in reference to laboring for nine hours before opting for the knife. Basically, I am not a candidate for VBAC. Well, duh. Believe me, after hearing the unflattering things they had to say about my uterus during the surgery (like I wasn't even there! sheesh!), the last thing I would ever want to do is put the thing through labor again--you don't put an '84 GMC Pacer on the Autobahn, do you?

After going through my extensive list of questions (can you say "neurotic"?), it seems as though there is a very good possibility that another pregnancy could be exactly the same as the first one. BUT, since I would be having the cerclage so many weeks sooner in the pregnancy, it is actually a possibility that I would only be on modified bedrest through most of the second trimester, going to full bedrest only in the third trimester, mostly due to blood pressure concerns, considering every major system in my body likes to show up for the party.

Soooooo, what does it all mean? And why can't you tell my mother? Well, it means that Husband & I have some talking to do. Do we want to take on those months of pregnancy that mean so much more work for one of us and leaves the other one essentially a baby-baking machine with limited other abilities? How will those months impact Ethan, considering I wouldn't be able to pick him up or do many of the things that I love doing with him now? How will having another child change our relationship with each other and with Ethan? How will I recover from a c-section with a newborn and a toddler to care for? My head hurts from just those questions & there are like a billion more to consider, too.

And for the love of God, do not tell my mother---she has all but threatened to disown me, Steel Magnolia style, if I attempt to have another baby. I think it's a bit of an overreaction, but I will say on her behalf that my pregnancy was a lot of work for her, too. She temporarily moved to our area, rented an apartment and was a big city girl for a few months so she could cook & clean for us while I gathered dust in the bed upstairs. In some respects, we never had it so good. The house hasn't been as clean since and I assure you there's not nearly as much home-cooked food making an appearance in our house since she packed it up and left town when Ethan was 2 months old. I think she fears, aside from the apparently unfounded "your uterus will explode and you'll die" thing, that she's going to get sucked back into the role of housekeeper, cook AND nanny if we do this again. Please. I'd never do that to someone I loved. We'd hire some help. But I can't blame her for being wary. And so I will keep my lips zipped until we've come to a decision (or until I'm already on bedrest--she can't be mad at a girl on bedrest; that's just mean).

None of this means we're definitely GOING to try to have another baby. It just means that we get to make that decision, which is more than I've spent the last 15 months thinking was the case. To have that ownership put back into our hands is, in and of itself, enough for now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

When Babies Attack...

This is what happens when Mama tries to read blogs or answer an email during the day.

Ethan gets increasingly peeved that a.) I am not giving him my undivided attention and perhaps more importantly, b.) he is not allowed to have access to the computer, which is torture because oh. my. god. It is shiny, and has bright lights, and makes funny clicking noises when Mama hits the black buttons and I MUST HAVE IT!!!


also note our lovely paci/heat rash. Very attractive. We love it when it's 100 degrees out and our mouths are covered with moist plastic for 1/2 the day.

Have no fear, internet. After I snapped these pictures of indignant despair, I put the computer away and spent quality time with my child. Don't go getting the vision of a bon-bon eating, internet shopping couch potato plopping her child in front of Baby Einstein videos all day. Not so. But sometimes a mama's got to check her email.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Come for the sushi, stay for the babysitting...

I don't cook on Mondays. Oh, who am I kidding, I don't cook most nights. But especially not on Mondays because on Mondays the only thing you can find in the fridge is a container of YoBaby yogurt (possibly expired), a 1/4 carton of skim milk (also possibly expired) and a ziplock container of a questionable left over from the week before. So unless you want yobaby-chunky-milk-leftover casserole, Monday night is the mandatory restaurant night.

Tonight we went to our local sushi place. It is just down the street and for a neighborhood joint, it does all right with the raw fish. We've been a couple times and as is pretty much the case everywhere we go, Ethan charms the waitresses with coy smiles and giggles. He is shameless.

The first time we went, several waitresses crowded around Ethan, ooh'ing & ahh'ing and commenting on the obscene length of his lashes. Nothing new. Their enthusiasm was sweet and they giggled right along with him, like he was the first baby they had ever seen. We left there feeling all kinds of warm fuzzies. But nothing could compare to the reception we received there this evening.

Having not been there for at least a month, I was surprised when the waitress who seated us saw Ethan and said, "Oh, you came back!" Seriously? Wow. And that was nothing when, after we ordered our food, the waitress brought Ethan his own cup of miso soup loaded up with sticky rice and wait for it.....sat down and started feeding it to him.

Oh yeah. You read that right. Our sushi meal tonight came with it's own built-in babysitter. At first I thought it was so odd and intrusive that the waitress brought Ethan food we hadn't ordered for him. (Hello!! Have you not heard of food allergies, woman?! Oh...it's rice? and tofu? Oh. He can have that.) I thought it was even more bizarre and intrusive that the woman decided to try to spoon feed him without so much as asking permission from mom or dad first.

And then I took a deep breath and thought, "Wait. Does this mean I can actually eat my california roll in relative peace? Really? Ahhhhhhhh." Did you catch the part about how she sat down? Yeah, she pulled up a chair from the empty table next to ours and proceeded to feed Ethan his miso soup with a spoon, his tempura chicken and edamame with chopsticks. When one girl had to get up to seat another party or get an order (oh yeah, there were other people there), the other waitress came over and took her place.

I expected Ethan to completely rebel against this. Not that he didn't know the women feeding him, but that someone was trying to feed him at all. He started refusing spoon feeding months ago and if Husband or I try to tempt him by putting food up to his mouth, his response is most often to clamp his lips shut and shake his head back and forth quickly as if to say, "If you can manage to get that into my mouth, I'll eat it." It took a few seconds of convincing, but surely enough, the attention and the yummy miso got the better of him and Ethan became more than happy to oblige these ladies and eat whatever they tried to give him.

Once I got past the weird feeling of having dinner with my waitress, it was lovely. Ethan gleefully pointed to the fish in the tank next to us and flirted with his doting dinner companions, eating more than I've seen him eat in ages, and Husband & I ate our sushi happily exchanging "Are you believing this??" glances across the table. We asked one of the waitress if she had her own kids and she said no, but she wanted kids someday. I could see the mother in her so naturally coming out as she laughed at Ethan's hand, reaching for the long shallow ceramic soup spoon.

I hate to go waxing poetic, but I couldn't help but think about the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. My biggest complaint about American parenting culture is the idea that a child must be independent and self-sufficient approximately 20 minutes after leaving the birth canal in order for parents to be considered successful. God forbid you nurse until a child weans himself or pick a child up whenever he cries, lest he be condemned to be labeled a brat by the ripe old age of six months. I have read countless articles and books about when a child should be sleeping and eating on his own and shame on you if your child does not fall into those parameters. You must be coddling, or spoiling or otherwise ruining your child.

These women didn't ask me if Ethan was sleeping through the night. They didn't ask what he did and didn't eat or marvel like other waitresses have that he can use a straw like a big boy--they simply started feeding him and appreciating the "babyness" of him. They didn't sit down and feed him to give us a break; they did it because sitting with a baby and watching him explore and enjoy a meal can be it's own reward. Because there is something so precious about the time in a child's life when you can help him with something and giggle with him over something as simple as soup or the bubbles floating up to the surface in a fish tank. In everyday life and in the race to meet those parenting milestones of independence, I sometimes forget these simple pleasures.

When we got up to leave (after leaving the most lavish tip we could without seeming absurd), each wanted to hug him goodbye. It was everything in me not to hug them. For giving Husband & I a chance to exchange those quiet glances across the table, and for reminding me to cherish how sweet my little man is in these days when he will still let me, Husband, or the occassional waitress in the neighborhood restaurant lend him a hand during dinner.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Um. Wow. It's freaking hot. It's been in the 90's for the past week here & threatens to continue to reach temperatures "surface of the sun" hot for the next several days. It is hard to overstate just how uncomfortable it is anytime you step out of an air conditioned environment.

Until further notice, Ethan and I will be spending our afternoons at the local splash park, working up the courage to let go of the big round globe sculpture and actually introducing ourselves to the spouts of water. Of course, the whole situation would be a lot more Ethan-friendly if there weren't scads of croc wearing 5 and 6 year olds throwing themselves in front of the sprays, which at once blocks access to the spout itself and sends sprays of water willy-nilly. And by willy-nilly, I of course mean, into Ethan's unsuspecting eyes. That always makes for a fun few minutes, complete with screaming and blind attempts to find Mama. And then there was the girl, clearly European, who thought the water spout was her own personal bidet and sat on the water over & over again. I couldn't help but think she should really wait a few years to try that when it could actually be of some use to her. Either way, Ethan managed to get somewhat wet, without ever really encountering the actual sprays of water.

Note my son's extensive "world travels" at the splash park

Such joy, pre-soaking

After his first encounter with a big kid spray-by. Less than thrilled.

Ooooh, Mama. Maybe this isn't so bad.

Ethan makes a daring attempt to make contact with the spout. Sadly, moments after this picture was taken, he was foiled by the arrival of "bidet girl".

Ethan's look implores me not to make a horrible pun-y comment about him being a "worldly guy", but it can't be helped. He wouldn't let go of that damn mosiac globe until it was time to go.

He's spent too much time with the cats. This is how Ethan let me know it was time to leave the park--a good head bonk to the shins, which he's apparently learned from the kitties is a clear indication that either a.) his food bowl is empty or b.) he's ready for a nap. Considering choice "a" is more of a feline concern, I'm going to go with choice "b" on this one.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Happy Anniversary to us

So while I was gushing on and on about Miss Belle the other day, I completely forgot that it was my 2nd wedding anniversary. Amazing. I spent my first anniversary in the hospital with a raging kidney infection, babbling deliriously to the under-trained nursing staff about my 3-month old forgetting he had a mother. That was fun. I spent my second anniversary trying to keep my 15-month old from tugging on Miss Belle's purple dress. Also fun.

I do think, however, the most fun ever had on a July 31st, was in 2005 at the Westin Grand in DC. Please indulge me while I take myself on a walk down memory lane

Maid of Honor and her husband getting their grooooove on...

Oh yeah, he was that guy...but we love him anyway

Dad & Husband busting a move...

Husband and me sharing a moment

Yeah, I broke my dress. The bustle, um, busted during Come on, Eileen.

There was much dancing and joy...

Right here I am starting to freak out that in a few seconds I'm going to be up on a chair, hanging on for dear life and wondering if people can see my panties...

The moment that all little Jewish girls dream of---of course, no one tells you how much you feel like you're going to fall to your death and end up showing everyone your wedding panties.

I had this stupid looking smile on my face all damn day...

WHO makes a face like this at their wedding??!! And what photographer captures it?! This is late in the night; I can only tell because I am carrying my veil in a less than gentle manner. Before the wedding, everything a bride wears is treated like delicate, fragile little eggs. After the cake is cut and the booze is flowing, all bets are off. Poor abused veil.

The dance that little girls' dreams are made of