Friday, November 30, 2007

When a Blog isn't Your Own...

I was talking to my best friend today about the idea of blogging, sharing with the anonymous world of the internet every little thought that breezes through your brain, and recording the experiences you share with the people in your much smaller, immediate world with the faceless blogosphere.

We were discussing how people create their own boundaries in this space and how they come to those decisions; I have seen blogs where you can learn everything there is to know about a person aside from their exact home address just by reading their profile. I have read blogs where mothers give nicknames to their children (my favorites are Manhattan Mama's "Rabbit" and Yummy London Mummy's "First Born" and "Small(er) One"--both of Mothers on the Verge) rather than sharing their given names with random strangers.

And it made me think about my own blog and the boundaries (or lack thereof) I've become comfortable with. It made me wonder just how long I will be able to maintain those particular boundaries before I am (if not already) infringing on the privacy of the little man Husband and I are raising.

When I started the blog, it was about ME. Even though I was pregnant and all of the drama that ensued in my pregnancy was about keeping Ethan healthy and safe, the blog itself was all about ME. And I was comfortable sharing a certain amount with the blogging universe. I have no problem talking about my cervix, or transvaginal ultrasounds or the emotional paralysis of post-partum depression. Because, if you know me, you know I'm a sharer. I am, I can admit it (and admitting it is half the battle, right?) an over-sharer. So it doesn't bother me if friends or strangers or family or professional colleagues read my blog--I decided long ago not to censor myself based on who may or may not tune in on any given day. I share because sometimes it just makes me feel better to get it out. And when I was sharing about just ME, that was entirely my prerogative.

But now I'm not sharing just about myself. I am constantly parading Ethan over the "pages" of this blog because I adore him to pieces and I want to plaster that adoration, through words and images, on every surface in the world. But I wonder, in 10 or 15 years, is this little blog of mine going to be a source of entertainment for my son or a source of embarrassment? I mean, I have posted naked pictures of him (just his "fresh out of the oven" shot, but still...) and discussed his bowel movements. I have gone on and on about breastfeeding and recorded his first kiss. These are not things that a teenage boy wants his mother sharing with people. Any people. And here I am, sharing them with ALL the people (at least all the people who stumble across this blog).

And, for the sake of argument, let's say I keep at this blog for years to come (thereby proving that I truly have no life whatsoever)? At what point do I decide to leave Ethan out of it? When is he old enough that, as a mother, I have to step back and say "Now I have to respect his privacy".

I mean, now I can blog about both the good and the bad as they happen, whether it be his struggles to gain weight or the look of pride and delight on his face when he learns something new. But when he's fifteen, he's going to be horrified if I'm always sitting down at the end of the day to post pictures of him in his soccer uniform and brag about his grades, and I certainly can't blog about finding cigarettes in his jacket or about not liking the girl he's taking to the sophomore formal (somebody watches too many After-School Specials...). That would be a huge violation of his privacy and I'd go from being the adoring and doting mom to the intrusive, overbearing mother he can't wait to escape from after graduation.

So what do I do? At what point do I say "enough" and move on from the blogging world? Or at least this particular blog? Do I start to censor myself with thoughts of what the future Ethan is going to think about me sharing this or that? Or do I continue to write what I want, those moments that I want to remember forever, as I want, hoping that one day, future Ethan will realize, embarrassing stories and all, this is the place where I come to gush about the light of my life, and sometimes there simply aren't any boundaries that can contain a Mama's love?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Close, but no cigar...

Well, I blew it. No perfect record for NaBlogPoMo for me. Oh well.

Last night was ladies night out in my world, and when I got home at 10:30, I really just wanted to crawl into bed and let the wine do it's thing. I realized about a nanosecond before I fell asleep that I hadn't blogged, but I was too comfy and cozy to care. And so here I am, a NaBloPoMo failure. I only needed to get through 3 more days. Alas, I suck.

Oh, and to anyone who read the comments on my last post, let us take a moment to appreciate the irony that I was making jokes about what a bad parent I am for letting my child watch DVDs and eat crap at Cracker Barrel when all along, the actual reason I am a bad parent is because his car seat straps aren't configured correctly. Go figure.

I will have to go back to the manual and see how to fix that because when I put him in there today, the straps are right at his shoulders and the next space down for them are 1/2 way down his back. Are they supposed to be 1/2 way down his back and then come up and over his shoulders? Car seats are an enigma to me. We read the manual, we think we're following all the instructions, he's still rear-facing, and yet we're still doing it wrong. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some Thanksgiving Highlights

Well, sort of. You won't find anything Norman Rockwellian here. These are just random pictures I got over the course of our weekend. I didn't really pull out our camera a ton. Instead I used my parent's archaic digital (okay, we bought it for them 2.5 years ago, but it is crap) for most of the time we were in South Carolina, but I haven't seen those pictures yet.

Mmmm, tasty Cracker Barrel half and half.

Practicing his kissing technique with daddy. This would apparently come in handy only days later, on a real girl...

Ethan pauses "Thomas the Train" long enough to take an important call...

Now, back to the show...

Ethan channels his inner Jedi at CVS..."May the roll of cheap metallic wrapping paper be with you, young Skywalker..."

The next three pictures were taken in North Carolina, when we visited my cousin Kim and her family. They live on a gazillion acres and Ethan was in toddler Utopia with all the ride-on toys. He scowled at us the whole way home, knowing we were bringing him back to the postage-stamp sized plot we call a yard.

Trying to counteract the damage done by Cracker Barrel biscuits and pancakes, Ethan enjoys an apple on the ride home.

Yes, I see it, too. All the bad parenting going on in these pictures. Eating at a restaurant which specializes in serving lard, the pacifier sticking out my 18-month old's mouth all. the. time. The DVD player in the car to stave off the inevitable "we've been in the car for 9 hours already!!" meltdown. The eating (albeit healthy stuff) in the carseat.

Ugh. Call Child Protective Services. I know. These are not things I'm necessarily proud of. But, on a 10 hour road trip, you do what you've got to do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Happens at Music Together, Stays at Music Together

I thought I had until at least 7th grade to prepare for this moment. Maybe at an awkward school dance, or maybe like me, Ethan would have his first kiss at his first co-ed birthday party, in the few moments when the adult chaperon left the room to get more "pizza rolls" out of the toaster oven. Granted, Van Halen's "Jump" probably wouldn't be playing on the cassette player and I'm kind of hoping it's not with a guy named Randy who buys him a pretty purse at the mall, but still...

I thought I had more time to mentally prepare myself for the idea of someone kissing my son. But that time ran out today.

One of the girls from our play group is also in our Music Together class and she is the sweetest little thing. She has always been a big hugger; she looooves to come up and give a big squeeze to Ethan. Up until recently, he has totally taken the "Ew. Girls have cooties" route and rebuffed her advances. I figured today there would be a similar, "Ugh, Lilly, you stinky girl, get away!!!!" response, as usual.

But that response never came. Instead, when Lilly approached Ethan to hug him, Ethan put his arms up awkwardly as well, and they found themselves in this wonky baby embrace that really had to be the toddler version of the stiff-armed 8th grade dance. "Awww, how cute," I thought, and assumed that would be the end of it.

It wasn't. Within moments of the hug, it happened. Miss Lilly puckered up, and Ethan, having recently learned to give Mama and Daddy kisses, leaned in for the prize. SMOOCH!

And, voila, that was my son's first kiss. Just shy of nineteen months, and he's already been kissed by a pretty girl. And not just once! Emboldened by the fact that he didn't eschew her hugs and her first kiss, Lilly expressed her admiration for the little man several more times during class. And lest you think she was the sole one point, she coyly walked to other side of the room and Ethan followed, arms out, looking for another smooch.

I lost count of the number of hugs and kisses they shared today. Lilly's mom and I could not stop laughing. I'm just sorry I didn't have a camera with me because really, this moment should have been documented with pictures. But since I didn't have my camera to capture the love today, here's a picture of Ethan and Miss Lilly from August, during play group.

Ethan and Lilly in more innocent days.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Official---

The holiday season has begun. How do I know, you ask? Is it the sheer volume of Christmas commercials on TV? No. The fact that the 24-hour Christmas radio station is in full-swing? No. Is it because tomorrow is "cyber-Monday", the mall-phobic's answer to Black Friday? No. Is it because five houses down from us there are four 15-foot tall inflatable snowmen swaying in the front yard? No.

I know it is officially the holiday season because I am sitting here watching "A Christmas Story" on TNT. What could possibly say, "tis the season" more than Scut Farkis' yellow eyes, Aunt Clara's pink bunny suit, a Red Ryder bb gun, and the garter-belted leg lamp?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We Got Skillz...

I realize that since Ethan turned 1, I haven't really done the monthly update letter, and I don't think I've done a great job of documenting all of his new "tricks". I am absolutely the mother who is so excited to buy the baby book--I shopped high and low for just the right one--but then fails miserably to fill it in entirely. Kind of embarrassing. I do rely on my blog for almost all major milestones. Sucks for Ethan, I guess. Most kids just have to flip to a certain page in their yellowing baby book; my kid is going to have to read through screen after screen of gibberish to find out when he started crawling or got his first tooth.

These days, Ethan has abandoned his Frankenstein walk for a full-on, although not graceful, human-like walk. He has even tested out his ability to walk backwards on several occasions and amazingly suffered no bumps and bruises during the test runs. Oh, and he runs. It's wobbly and his cheeks jiggle when he does it, but it is definitely a run.

He is also quite the dancer. We took Music Together classes last spring and he was basically content to sit on my lap or crawl around after his friend Chloe (daughter of Carlin, the "other" mother). We are taking it again this fall and he is a dancing fool. There is spinning, there is knee bending to the beat, there is rocking back and forth (channeling a bit of Ray Charles, perhaps) that can't be mistaken for anything but a pure joy of listening to music.

If he could spend all day in an elevator, pushing buttons and running in and out of it when the doors slide open, he'd want for nothing in life. Right now my biggest fear is that he's somehow going to slip into an elevator without me somewhere and I will drop dead right there from the panic of not knowing how to find him. Irrational mommy fear #130,269,479.

I never know what words are going to find their way to his lips these days, either. He started with mama and dada and graduated to some sort of pig-latin for "kitty" that sounded like "gu-ga", but was unmistakeably mean to be "kitty". Now our days are littered with "apple" and "uhoh" and "up" and "meow" and "eye" and "eat" and "ball" and "vroom" as well as signs for "more" and "eat" and "clean up" and "all done". He's not super-verbal, but each day brings a new word; he knows countless words; if I ask him to go get me the yellow ball, he will go past all other balls until he specifically finds the one I requested and will bring it right to me.

Yes, I know these are all things he "should" be doing and I know there are kids who have done these things at younger ages; but they aren't my kids. So every little new thing he does is such a treat, whether he "should" have done it at 14 months or 16 months or whatever. (Easy, Mama-bear; someone's a tad defensive, eh?)

And none of this takes into account the personality that is blooming every day. I cannot believe, sometimes as I watch him run around the playground or bounce on the trampoline in gym class, that this little man was ever not here, this brimming with character and personality. He seems to live and breathe for his daddy right now--the keys in the door at 6pm bring squeals of glee and Ethan drops whatever he's doing, squirms out of my hold or off the chair he's on and barrels full speed ahead to the back door. The other day he was so excited, he actually ran in place for a minute like a cartoon cat, trying to get traction to take off. I almost peed my pants laughing, but I was afraid he was going to pick up too much momentum and slam into a wall (also like a cartoon cat).

He can assert what he wants now, either with real words and sign language or some fierce Ethanese and gesturing. We are figuring out what to do to make him happy, but also realizing that now we're at a point where we have to draw lines and find the boundaries between making him happy and indulging his every whim. This is not a part of parenting I really enjoy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Speaking of what you gotta do; I have to close up shop now because I am blogging in a hotel room and the light of the computer and the intense curiosity of whatismamadoing is keeping Ethan awake.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Ham Sandwich...

Yes, folks. That's what my son ate for dinner last night. As the rest of us partook of the traditional turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and whatnot, Ethan whined and fussed, mashing his food together into an unrecognizable goo, clearly unable to understand that on this day of the year, you MUST eat these particular food items. It is practically law.

What do you know? Eighteen month olds don't really buy into the idea of laws. They're too zen. They just "are". And so, if a ham sandwich is what the boy wants, you know that's what the boy is going to get, Thanksgiving dinner or not.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

American Idol...

I'm not really a good singer. No one is ever going to discover me on My Space or see me on American Idol (there's a joke in there somewhere about William Hung I'm too tired to find it. I will say there's no room for me, even in the gag reels because, a.) I'm too old to audition and therefore show the world how awful I truly am, and b.) even if I fell into the age category deemed "idol-worthy", no way in hell I'm hanging out in those lines waiting to audition). In college I dated a musician who humbly requested that I NOT sing in the car (I had a tendency to whisper-sing at the time and was apt to whistle my "s"'s--it was apparently offensive to his artist's ears. Insert eye roll here). But I can't really blame him. No one would ever really deem me a "singer".

But still, I love to sing. I was in the high school choir, I excel at kareoke (with the correct amount of alcohol coursing through my system) and I am one of those people who tends to think I become invisible while driving, and I have been known to sing entire soundtracks to Broadway musicals while in my car. Once, when I still lived in my hometown, I was driving to my parents' house, listening to Les Miserables. At a traffic light on Main St., I was right in the middle of the pre-intermission medley--"Do You Hear the People Sing", and I was singing like I was right there on the stage in my rags and smudgy face (I'd have to be one of the miserables, you know) and who pulled up next to me but my dad, on his way home from work? Yup. There I am, singing at the top of my lungs, windows open and all, and I turn my head to see my dad laughing at me. Good times.

So I've had lots of encouragement along the way, right?

Well, I'll tell you does love my singing. Ethan. The other night, from a sound sleep, the poor guy woke up, screaming. We discovered it was the result of trying to wean him off his laxative (what's a mommy-blog without at least some discussion of poop, people?) and the fact that the dose he'd received that day was not enough to, shall we say, fulfill it's purpose. Therefore Ethan was experiencing significant discomfort and let us know with a rousing rendition of "there's an alien digging its way out of my bum", otherwise known as--screaming bloody murder.

Even after the fact, there was much screaming and crying. And to counter said screaming and crying, we tried rocking and hugging and kissing. No good. More screaming and crying.

The first thing that came to mind was a Laurie Berkner song about the moon. And so I started to sing it and the most amazing thing happened. He absolutely, completely stopped crying. Immediately. And he just looked at me and listened to me sing. By the time I was done singing the song, he was asleep, the tears drying up on his flushed little cheeks as I laid him back down on the bed.

I do realize that it's possible that he stopped crying because the warbling noises coming out of my mouth confused him and demanded attention in the same way as does, say, a car accident. And perhaps falling back to sleep was his only means of escape. That is certainly a distinct possibility.

But I prefer to believe that, even if no one else wants to hear me sing (and who can blame them?), Ethan is my biggest fan.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You Gotta Be Kidding Me...

I spent 10 hours in a car with an 18 month old.  Oh, and over an hour in a Cracker Barrel on the side of I-95 waiting for, I guess it was?  

As Ethan and Husband napped in the backseat and I drove, I had an entire blog entry rolling through my head.  It was good.  It made me laugh and at one point, it gave me a big old lump in my throat.  I'm sure you would have liked it, buuuuuut I cannot remember it now.  Because my brain is fried.  What with all the traffic and the sound of Thomas the Train Engine coming from the backseat (yes, we busted out the portable DVD player for the first time ever).   I simply can't be expected to wax poetic or humorous tonight (do I ever really, though?  Actually, I do need to wax, but that's a thought for an entirely different blog).

So I am going to sleep.  I imagine I'll wake up at 4am with the same blog entry running through my head, urging me to get up and post the magic.  But I probably won't.   And when I wake tomorrow, the entry will probably be trapped somewhere in the dark recesses of my brainm never to be thought of again.   So as you're reading the fluff I post in the coming weeks and wonder why you bother to check in here (thanks, by the way), keep in mind that every once in awhile I really do have something interesting to say---it just doesn't always make it to the page. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When a Man Loves a Woman...

Or, more specifically, when a baby boy loves his mom's friend more than he does his mom...

That's right, internet. Ethan has replaced me. Not only is he going through a fierce "daddy" stage right now, where the second he hears his father's keys in the door at the end of the day, he squirms free of my apparently vile embrace, on his way to be reunited with his true love; he has also taken to rejecting me during the day, too, if my friend Carlin is anywhere to be seen.

Now, to be fair, there is a lot to love about Carlin. She took the lead role in organizing our mom's group, found a wonderful spot for our play dates, and knows all the coolest places in town to entertain the little ones. She also always has delicious snacks and brings enough to share (which is more of a draw for Ethan than it is for me, but still.) I aspire to be as on the ball as her, but I admittedly fall short--way short. I am the mom who forgets the sippy cup in the car and packs one lousy banana for a snack.

It seems that Ethan agrees with the whole "mama falling short" business, because lately, whenever we are around Carlin, he is drawn to her like a moth to the flame. This is what typically happens. He is on my lap, while we are, say, watching Mr. Skip play guitar at a local coffee shop (which Carlin found and told us about--she is Julie, my cruise director). As soon as he is somewhat acclimated to his environment, there is much squirming to get off of my lap (as though any second I could burst into flames and he ain't going down with the ship). At first, I think it is so that he can dance to the music, as right now spinning is top on his list of favorite things to do. But no. There's no dancing. No spinning. Just a hop off of mom and two steps over to Carlin. Arms go up in the universal "please please please pick me up!!" sign and, poof! Just like that, Ethan is on Carlin's lap, while mine is still warm, no less!

Today, we went to see Mr. Skip; we met Carlin and her little girl Chloe at the coffee shop and the above scene took place no fewer than 6 times. At one point, Ethan crossed the room to sit on Carlin's lap, leaving me with an empty lap and holding a half-chewed piece of grilled cheese sandwich. I think some people mistook Carlin and me for "Ethan's two moms". And I am clearly not his favorite mom in that scenario.

It's okay, I guess. We do spend a ton of time together and I suppose it makes sense that a new face and a new lap every once in awhile can add a little excitement to his day. At least it's not like he prefers EVERYONE to me; he's discriminating in who he rejects me for, so I can take some comfort in that. Right?

Monday, November 19, 2007

November is wicked long, huh?

I am running out of things to blabber about (not really, I am just a tad sleepy to blather on and on about the blood work we have to get done tomorrow, or preparing for a 10 hour car ride with an 18 month old this week). So here are some pictures we took yesterday at the National Cathedral in DC.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

In our younger, less home-owning, child-having days, Husband & I lived in the city. At one point we sublet an apartment from friends of ours who were taking off for five months to travel the world. It was in one of those neighborhoods, ubiquitous the District, where within one block, you could find a gorgeous home selling for three quarters of a million dollars and a crack house. Often times, they were row houses actually sharing a wall between them.

We lived in a cute little condo that had pretty French doors, a bay window in the kitchen, and came with two underground parking spaces. It was a dream. Except for the guns. We heard guns on the night we moved in. We heard guns at least once a month during the five months we lived there. Mostly they were at night when we were tucked safely into bed, but it was still enough to scare the bejeezus out of me. There was a part of me that thought, "hey, this is city living! You're bound to hear a gun or two when you live in the city." And another part of me thought, "girl, get your ass out of the crack house neighborhood before someone pops a cap in it!"

And so it was, after a Memorial Day shooting, this time at 5pm instead of the wee hours of the night, and while our pretty French doors were open just begging a stray bullet to whiz in and take it's best shot, Husband and I (who were then Boyfriend and I), got the hell out of dodge and moved to a less "exciting" part of town, and then later, out of the city altogether. Not because of crime, but because you have to sell organs on the black market to be able to afford a house in the city.

So I figured I was pretty much done with the days of police-involved mayhem and madness. Until this weekend. Husband, Ethan and I were leaving Panera, having finished our 1000's of hidden calories, and were debating on a swing through Trader Joes as we meandered through the crowded parking lot.

Out of nowhere, I hear big booming voices yelling "OUT OF THE WAY!!" and 10 cars from where we are, some hairy, lanky dude goes racing by, followed by no fewer than five police men (the ones doing the yelling). There were police cars pulling into the parking lot at breakneck speeds, actually peeling out to get around corners, so they could park, get out on foot and join the chase.

Husband, with Ethan in arms, and I froze and stood, in the middle of the parking lot, watching the scene unfold. I don't know what this guy had done, but it was definitely more than lifting a few DVDs at Best Buy. You don't get 5 cars and almost a dozen cops when it's all said and done, chasing after you.

The chase ended when the chasee made an attempt to run into the road, against traffic. It is a busy road and he busted out onto the street like it was nothing (after having torn through the parking lot without a thought as to whether or not a car was going to pummel him). But apparently, something switched on in his brain as he saw headlights coming towards him and he stopped and let them arrest him. Which they did. Quickly. And then it was over.

The whole thing lasted maybe 45 seconds. There was very little excitement beyond a few cars with lights and some guys running through a parking lot. But I kept waiting for the guns. I was thisclose to hitting the deck, right there on the pavement in front of Panera. And I would have been the only one. Everyone else just stopped and watched. Because we are so freaking desensitized to crime and criminals and men with guns racing by us.

Husband thinks I am a little overly dramatic (and most of the time I will totally give him that without an argument, because...well, if you've read 3 or 4 posts, you know), but in this particular case, I think I was justified in my freakoutedness. How hard is to believe hairy, lanky man could have whipped out a gun and started shooting? Maybe he had a whole "blaze of glory" complex going on; he certainly jumped in front of moving cars like he was looking for a showy exit.

And all of this in front of my baby. My baby. Enough to make me want to pack it all up and move to somewhere where there are more sheep than people. The side of a mountain in Vermont or something. Where there are no guns and no crazy lanky dudes with mullets (which is criminal in and of itself. I would not be surprised at all if they were charging him in connection with that hideousness) being chased by angry police men through parking lots, only feet from my baby.

I don't like living in the middle of a COPS episode. I don't live in a trailer park in Florida precisely for that reason (among about a million others, but I digress). One would think that suburbia would be somewhat safe on a Saturday afternoon, in a crowded shopping plaza. One would have to think again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just quarantine us now and be done with it...

First, I was sick. Then, Ethan got a cold, an ear infection and popped about eleventy billion teeth in a matter of days. Very pleasant. Husband came next, with a severe case of whininess and apparent rapid-onset ebola. That seemed to last for.e.ver. But it all passed and I thought we were in the clear...

Until the cat started puking. Over and over and over again. And in my "cats are family, too!!" frenzy, I proceeded to spend $600 in veterinarian bills to find out that she had a stomach bug and needs to eat bland food (which cost me another $10) and take an oral medication by syringe (which cost me another $20) for the next 5 days.

Now, before you write me off as a total loon (if you haven't already at some point during the past 2 years), you should know that this kitty, Abby, was *supposed* to die four years ago. She was diagnosed with kidney failure and I was told that daily IV drugs and/or a kidney transplant was our only hope of saving her life. Without these measures, she might have a few weeks. Considering I was living on a teacher's salary and had already spent upwards of $700 just getting the diagnosis (twice, from different doctors), I felt my hands were tied and I took my little girl home, prepared to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible and then let her go.

Days stretched into weeks and so forth until here we are at today. Not only did she not die, she continued to be her happy little kitty self--chasing toys and insisting on following me from room to room, being under foot, all the freaking time. There was no sign of any illness or weakening of her will to live or anything like that. She spent every day of my bedrest (barring the 14 days I was hospitalized in March), curled up in bed next to me, purring the ecstatic purr of a kitty who has exactly what she wants in life. So I got complacent and let myself forget that any tests had ever come back as less than perfect. After more than a decade with her, I've gotten a smidgen attached, you know?

So when she started throwing up this week, I assumed it was time. And it was worth every penny of the $600 to find out that it's not time....yet.

But jeeez! Enough with the bubble o' germs that is following my family around! I think we all just need to pack up, kitties and all, and go sit on the beach on some tropical island.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bedtime? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Bedtime...

Husband and I had a nice little evening out tonight. There was wine and mood lighting. There was hand holding and dessert. It was lovely. And we returned home to the happiest, pj-wearingest little sillypants ever, just running around with Grandma Judy's car keys.

We got home about an hour and half after his normal bedtime routine, about a half hour after he's usually actually asleep. And yet there he was, smiling and giggling and running around. For a brief second I got a sense of what Husband comes home to every evening and it was enough to make me want to go back to work (for about a second), just so I could walk through the door to that gleeful little face.

He sees me ALL. THE. TIME. I am not exciting to him. And that's okay, I guess, because what I lack in thrills, I make up for in stability; he is 100% confident in my presence and that's enough for me. But the way he lights up when Husband walks through the door at the end of the day--I wanna get me some of that!

So I really loved that fact that he was up way past his bedtime tonight. If I weren't about to fall asleep from the effects of the one measley little glass of wine I drank at dinner, I would write more. But instead, I am going to go watch more re-runs of Jay Leno and David Letterman. Because I am up way past my bedtime...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I knew this day had to come...

My son can take off his own pants.

After dinner, while I am trying to load the dishwasher (ah, the picture of pure domestic bliss...does it count if we had take out?), Husband yells, "Come here now!" and I nearly cut my legs off at the shin jumping over the dishwasher (remember, the kitchen is new, but it's tiny. If the dishwasher is open, the only way out of the room is over the dishwasher door). I go tearing into the living room, sure I am going to see blood or brains or some other form of catastrophe, such was the emphatic nature of Husband's call.

But no. Thankfully it was just Ethan, standing in the middle of the room with his pants down around his ankles, looking very pleased with himself. And Husband, laughing himself silly on the couch. We are so very NOT good at keeping a straight face when Ethan does things he shouldn't be doing. But really, people, the power of cute compels you.

So tack "disrobing" on to Ethan's illustrious list of accomplishments. Stay tuned for the next installment of this line of skill-building, which will be entitled, "There's Poop on my Walls", once Ethan learns to take off his diaper. Because you know that is coming next.

Good times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hallmark, we are not...

Remember last year, when I got this shot:

to use for our holiday cards? It was so easy to pop him into an outfit, prop him up on a chair, make some noises, or shake a toy to get a smile and POOF!!! perfect picture.

Not so much this year.

Adorable? My G-d, YES. But, they are not the pictures that holiday cards are made of, unless there is a National Bellybutton Awareness Day I don't know about. Then I could definitely use the first picture in the set.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The World's Priciest iPhone...

I've got it. It's sitting right here next to me, tucked nicely into it's little protective case, waiting for me to decide to call someone or check my text messages or maybe to see what's new on YouTube. I lurve it.

I didn't realize I wanted an iPhone. I am not really what one would call tech-savvy. Or tech-competent, even. Husband is a CTO, so he is uber-techie. Most of the time, much as I love him, my eyes just glass over as he's talking about computers or anything related to computers. I know he's got a cool new job, but I couldn't tell you what he does. I think my brain might crack if I tried to really understand it.

As for my own use of technology, I have to admit (and several friends who read this blog could attest to this, rather crankily) that in the past, more often than not, my cell phone hasn't even been charged. I'm one of those people who tends to think that, since we as a species managed to survive through thousands of years of civilization without being "on call" 24/7, I can probably take Ethan to the park without my cell phone and, I'm fairly certain, the world won't come to a crashing halt. I think.

But then Husband's old car lease ran out. And he needed a new car. And the dealership he goes to was...yes, giving away a free iPhone with any purchase of a new car. Husband is fairly addicted to his crackberry, so this was not a big draw for him, but considering he was most likely going to buy said new car from said dealership, I was next in line to take possession of the glorious little contraption. And then Husband told me all of the things I can do with it. Like store a grocery list (see, I'm very practical), check my email, listen to my iTunes, carry entire iPhoto albums of pictures around with me. Oh, and it's a phone, too.

It suddenly became very important to me that I have. that. phone.

I admit that when the phone came out last year, I was one of those people shaking my head, "tsk, tsk"'ing at the lines of egg-heads outside the Apple Store at midnight and hours before the store opening in the following days, salivating like hungry puppies. I thought these people were crazy. sad. possibly very lonely, and in need of a hobby. and a healthier outlet for their spending habits.

I take it back. I take it all back. Oh, iPhone gods, I apologize for offending you with my ignorance and cynicism. You are everything they said you would be. And oh so shiny. I am so glad Husband didn't want you, and now I get you all to myself. My precious.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cop Out Post...

Tomorrow, I promise to have oodles of interesting things to say (I swear, I have a list and I promise to be interesting at some point this month), but this evening Mama's got two cranberry margaritas in her and she's just plum out of stuff to talk about.

So here he is, and personally, I think looking at E beats the hell out of anything I could possibly type here anyway. Enjoy!

You couldn't put the camera down, and, I don't know, HELP me over the edge into the sandbox? Thanks, ma.

Ethan at IKEA, moments before *the tantrum*

His Royal Cuteness

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clutterama Drama

Yesterday I joked at the end of my post about needing a cleaning lady (see, if I make a joke about it first, you can't really "tsk tsk, what a mess her house is" at me, because I KNOW!) Self-effacing humor is my favorite defense mechanism. I will tell you what a tool I am, internet, before you get a chance to think you're telling me something I don't already know.

So yes, I definitely do need a cleaning lady. "But, Sarah," you say, "you are a stay at home mom," a "lady of leisure" as one of my friends once glibly pointed out to me. "Why don't you just clean your own damn house? I mean, pick yer butt up off the couch, put down the bon-bons and get to scrubbin'!"

Well, it's not that I don't want to (or it's not ALL that I don't want to). When Ethan was an infant, he was a smidge on the needy side; let's not forget the months of colic, people, and the incessant, "you MUST hold me or the world will come crashing down" crying. I spent most of his first six months bouncing or rocking or swinging my baby and the clutter multiplied around me like a pair of bunnies in love.

Since gaining some independence and a killer personality, Ethan is demanding in a whole new, exciting way. He has boundless energy that requires various outlets--parks, puppet shows, walks around the block, play group, play dates, gym class, sign language class, music together class, reading books, throwing and kicking balls, spinning in the living room, and the list goes on. Between all that, meals and naps, sometimes the baseboards just don't get wiped down. And at the end of the day, I really don't feel too badly about that. I've had too much fun to really give a rat's ass about the fact that I can see big plastic blocks underneath the chair across the room, and that there's a basket of laundry that needs to be folded.

But I know I have to find a way to balance it. It's not fair to Husband to work all day and come home to a house with an inch of dust on his gigantic TV screen, right? And how I long to have pretty little guest towels in my bathroom instead of 3 damp towels carpeting the floor. Having company requires an entire afternoon of re-arranging and shuffling the clutter that is our decor.

Don't get me wrong. I DO clean. I clean the bathroom every week and I do the dishes after dinner. I vacuum several times a week and since the remodel of the kitchen turned our house into a dust manufacturing machine, I have been dusting a couple times a week. So it's not like we live in squalor. Or anything that remotely looks like squalor. Well, my mom might think it's squalor.

When I was on bed rest during my pregnancy, my mother cleaned and cooked for us. I never had it so good, as I think I've said before. But I swore that when I got up and on my own two feet again (literally), I would become the cleaningest cleaner that ever cleaned. Yeah, that never happened.

So why not get a housekeeper? Well...I do have a reason. I can't get a housekeeper because my house is a mess!!

No, no. I assure you, I won't be one of those people who cleans my house before the house keeper shows up and leaves the woman scratching her head, wondering what the hell to do for the next hour.

No. It's just that I have a lot of clutter---magazines piled up on the coffee table, mail on the dining room table, blankets that don't belong on any particular bed and have no real home because our house is the size of a postage stamp and has just as many closets as one. Things like that. Things I just don't know what to do with. What does a cleaning lady do with all that riff-raff while she's scrubbing and cleaning? Just thinking about how embarrassing that would be for me makes my head hurt. A 36 year old woman should be able to keep her house clean, right?

I've tried. Really. I even bought a book called, "The Clutter-Busting Handbook: Clean It Up, Clear It Out, and Keep Your Life Clutter-free." Right now I believe that book is in the middle of a pile of magazines and catalogs on my coffee table. Yes, internet, the "how to de-clutter your life" book is now part of my clutter. Yes, I hang my head in shame, internet. I am a clutter addict.

SO, this is the new deal, people. I am going to start busting the clutter. This week. Tomorrow.

Several months ago I read a blog by a woman who, once a week, went through her house and threw away 57 things. Some of it was just finding the stray bottle cap here and there; some of it was serious spring cleaning type stuff-tossing. She had six kids or something mind-boggling like that. So if she could find 57 things to throw away every week, I figure I can find 30 things. So tomorrow I am going to go through this place with a trash bag and an iron will and I will start getting to the bottom of this clutter. And maybe I will be able to donate a ton of stuff we no longer need to people who do. I figure if I do this once a week for the next few weeks, it will be like living in a new home.

And then the clutter will be gone and then, at long, long last, I will get a house keeper. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Damn NaBloPoMo..I'm tired!

And I just want to go to sleep. I was on my way to bed when I realized that my entire day had been blogless. And it's NationalBlogPostingMonth...damn it! Why did I sign up for this? I have nothing interesting to say today. Feel free to hit the back button on your browser at this point. Nothing really productive will come from this particular post (does anything ever, one might ask??). Unless, of course, you are looking for a wooden toy, NOT made in China, to give to your toddler this holiday season. It is sure to be a big hit!

Behold, the MULA...

So colorful!

So biodegradable. So NOT made in China!

Who loves the MULA?

I love the MULA!

(Note to self: Please call maid service on Monday morning. You clearly cannot be trusted to clean your own home and it is time you admitted that sad truth to yourself.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh, it is ON....

This was fun. Ethan had his first temper tantrum today. His first bona fide, kicking, screaming, make everyone in the place look sideways at your mama, for real temper tantrum. What a delight.

I took the little man to IKEA (le I love you, IKEA) to check out play table and chair sets for him for Hanukkah because he is constantly trying to climb onto chairs now. When we go to see Mr. Skip at the coffee shop, he spends most of his time running to the back of the shop to the little plastic IKEA table and chair set. I firmly believe one of the cutest sights in the world is watching a little toddler climb into a chair and sit at a table. Go ahead and try to prove me wrong. You can't.

He did fine through all the oooh'ing and ahhh'ing we did over the model rooms they have arranged there on their showroom floor. It's all so lovely and it's tempting to say, "I will buy that whole room, please," until you realize that YOU and your significant other are going to end up putting all that shit together, with wordlless picture instructions and one allen-wrench to share between you. Marriaged have ended over less, people.

But when we got to the childrens' section of the store and I made the colossal error in judgment of letting him out of the cart, it was ON. There was much adorable climbing onto chairs and playing at tables (and I decided which set we are going to get him--mission accomplished). If I had even one tiny brain cell bouncing around in my head, I would have scooped him up right then, put him back in the cart and moseyed back to the car and headed home for naptime.

Apparently though, I am lacking that one bouncing brain cell, and I let him wander. Right to what should be just another toy in the long line of toys he has loved and left. Ethan's not known for being utterly loyal to any one toy. He has no lovey to speak of (unless you count my boobs, but that's for another entry, I'm thinking), and he's still got the attention span of, well, an 18 month old. But this toy---the MULA push toy (if I were even remotely tech savvy, there'd be a picture from the IKEA online catalog right here) became his immediate bff.
It looks like the old fashioned ball-popper push toy, only it's wooden and it has silly little wooden pegs that come out of the base instead of popping around inside it. As you roll the thing, the pegs go in on one side and come out the other. It makes an ungodly amount of noise, which is always a plus, right? Where's my Advil??

He walked with it everywhere; there was much laughing and general "where have you been all my life?" bonding with the MULA. And dear god, when it was time to go, I committed the ultimate crime against humanity, I tried to take it away from him.

In his first act of outward and obvious defiance, he yanked it back from me! Seriously??!! This child was born of the two least confrontational people ever to walk the earth and there he goes, getting all in my face about it??!! The child cannot even say "NO!" yet, but he definitely let me know his thoughts on giving up the MULA. And then he tried to run away with it, crying.

Lesson One of the Temper Tantrum: Fight the urge to laugh at the unbelievable cuteness that is an 18 month old boy trying run away with his first true love, in IKEA. First, it sends a mixed message to the child. Second, people do not like to see a mother laughing at her crying child. They give you pissy looks.

Lesson Two of Temper Tantrum: Be prepared for the three secret weapons of the toddler. Weapon 1: The scream. Oh dear god, I might have Tinnitus. Weapon 2: The "stiff as a board" routine. When I tried to put Ethan back in the cart seat, he went all rigid (while screaming and turning the shiniest shade of red) and refused to bend his legs to be seated. Smart little man. I am sure I looked utterly ridiculous trying to fold my son back into the cart seat. Weapon 3: The "rubber band" routine. The opposite, but equally effective cousin of "stiff as a board", this is when they go all limp as you try to pick them up and they slip right out of your grasp like a fistful of jello pudding.

Poor thing. He wailed most of the way through the rest of the store. And so of course, what did I do?

I bought him the damn MULA push-toy. I am so whipped.

But tonight I am settling down with a glass of wine, Dr. Harvey Karp and Dr. William Sears (well, their books at least) and hopefully they will tell me something, anything, about how to deal with the joy that is toddler defiance. I don't regret buying this particular toy for him; it's something I would have gotten for him anyway, and the look on his face when he saw it after waking up from his nap was priceless. BUT, I'd like to have some tricks up my sleeve (aside from the overwhelming urge to giggle) the next time it happens. And of course there's going to be a next time. Because, my friends, I think the race to the "terrible 2s" is on...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Where Do I Begin?

or, The One Where I BITCH Endlessly About My Old Pediatrician...

I didn't realize even remotely how much I hated my old pediatrician until I took Ethan to his new pediatrician today. Don't get me wrong, I knew I didn't like him. I knew I didn't like the practice in general. I knew it when the first doctor we saw in the practice (before the delusion, I referred to him here as young hot Jewish doctor) told us it was time to stop co-sleeping and let Ethan cry it out when he wasn't yet six months old and he was still nursing constantly to catch up from his 4lbs, 13oz birth weight. I knew it when the second doctor we saw all but patted me on the head and *reassured* me with, "Don't fret, it's not like he's dying" when he handed me a prescription for an appetite stimulant, to be administered three times daily, as a means of addressing my son's stagnant weight-gain.

But I did not realize that my fiery hot loathing of them could extend to the depth it is tonight. Seriously--the burning intensity of a million white hot suns about sums it up. Where shall I begin?

How about I start with the story about trying to get a hold of Ethan's medical records? I requested them, paid $25 for them and then waited for them to call me to come and get them. The next day they called the house to let us know they were available and offered to email Husband a.pdf file of the records. Great. So I spent last Friday night squinting at my computer screen, scrolling through 86 pages of Ethan's medical history.

Considering how many times they've poo-poo'd my questions about Ethan's weight and how slowly he gains, and considering they NEVEREVEREVER used the term while we were in their office, you wouldn't expect the diagnosis, "failure to thrive" to be on every other page of his medical records, would you? But, there it was, page after page after page: "Failure to Thrive". My friends, when I tell you I saw double and saw red and lost a good 4 years off of my life from the stress of the anger I felt, don't think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. What kind of pediatrician writes that in a medical chart, but doesn't tell a parent? What kind of pediatrician writes that in a medical chart for months without addressing it (this goes back to early summer, shortly after his first birthday)? Oh, yeah, I guess the type of pediatrician who prescribes an appetite stimulant to a 17 month old without exploring any cause for his inability to gain weight. Der.

So, that alone is enough to make any parent want to spit nails, I'm sure. But then I had the added fun of actually trying to go and pick up the records themselves, to give to the new pediatrician. See, they didn't have them.

Yeah, they wanted to tell me that the .pdf file counted as giving me his medical records. Um. No, it doesn't. It counts as emailing me a .pdf file of the records that you are GOING to give me when I come back to your godforsaken office to pick them up. Otherwise, what am I paying you $25 for, because I KNOW it isn't to open a new email, hit "attach file", scroll to correct file, hit "attach" and then hit "send". If the going rate for that is $25, I needs to get me a job in that thar office! I assumed the $25 fee was to compensate them for their time, printer ink and paper (which is still a massive racket, but whatever).

No, apparently I'm expected to print out the .pdf file (all 86 pages of it) on my own computer, with my own time, my own paper, and my own ink. When I tell them that simply isn't acceptable, the magnanimously offer to burn it all to a CD for me to take to the new pediatrician so they can print it. Wow. Aren't they going to love me over there at the place, huh? "Hi, my son has an appointment. And here, could you be a dear an print out almost 100 pages of medical jabber while you're at it?"

So after having been called four days earlier and told that the records were ready, I was then asked to wait an additional 20 minutes so they could get the records ready. (insert fingers in the shape of a gun pointing to my own head and pulling the trigger here). The woman who finally gave handed them over did so with an icy glare, as though I was the unreasonable one in this scenario (and I assure you, I was so very polite my face hurt from the smiling) and AT LAST, we were done with that office forever.

Now, I'll tell you about the new pediatrician. This is where, if you want some audio/visual, you could envision the clouds parting, a chorus "awwwww'ing" and happy trumpets heralding in a new age--the age of the competent pediatrician.

Their office was baby proofed. They gave me a handout outlining 18 month milestones and actual printed information about the vaccinations given at 18 months. The first thing the pediatrician did when she came in was...gasp...sit and talk with me about Ethan and what he's up to these days. She had me hold Ethan during the entire exam (instead of insisting he be on the table for the majority of the exam). She reacted very professionally when I told her about the appetite stimulant, but I could tell, there was a flicker behind her eyes that let me know she thought that was some crazy sh*t.

Oh! And let me add to the conundrum that is how the other pediatrician office stays in business--they only sent over growth charts up to 2 months. Yeah, that's right. They gave me my 18 month old son's medical records with growth charts that only cover the months of May and June '06. Nice job, folks!

So my new doctor is going to chart his growth based on the the records they did bother to copy for us and let me know what she thinks. She did say that given his weight, strictly speaking he is considered to be "failure to thrive" and she's pretty mind-boggled as to why they'd never mention that or take steps to investigate it at the old office. She's fairly certain he's fine and just on the small side, based on her interactions with him today; but she may want to do some blood work just to see if there's something that merits further investigation.

Ugh. I need a drink.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Step Aside, Baby Spice...

So, I'm starting to think that maybe the pullout spice-rack drawer might not have been such a great idea after all. This was the scene that unfolded while I was trying to cook dinner (for the second night in a row, people!) Of course I had to stop what I was doing and whip out the camera to capture the discovery that was Ethan and the spice drawer. Dinner was, shall we say, a bit overcooked, courtesy of Mr. Cutiepants McGee.

Look at all these shaker toys! It's like Music Together, right in our kitchen, Mama!

Who's that hiding behind the Paprika?

Silly Mama, the tarragon goes up here.

Oh, great drawer of red-capped shaky things, how I love you...

This is where several of the spices found themselves: on the new, secret coffee table spice rack that I was unaware existed.

I got yer oregano right here, baby!

Oh, did you need these bay leaves for dinner? My bad.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ethan's big-boy laundry sorter...

Remember how I used to call Ethan's crib the most expensive laundry sorter ever purchased because he never spent one night or one nap in it, ever? And how a couple months ago we bought him a big-boy bed & prepared ourselves for the grand transition? And how we then decided that since we had that wedding to go to in early September and then Ethan and I were going to visit my parents at the end of September that we'd just wait until October to make the transition? And then we realized "Wait a minute. We can't do that. The cats are currently living in Ethan's room because of the kitchen remodel. We'll just have to wait until that's done with."

Now that's done with. And so, logically we should be making that transition, right? I mean, he's a year and a half, he hasn't nursed in months, so there's no convenience factor to claim. He's sleeping better at night now and would probably even sleep better if he had his own space.

So why can we not bring ourselves to introduce him to his own bed? Right now we are using the excuse of his ear infection. Who moves a baby to a cuddleless place when they don't feel well?! The horror.

I know people think we are lunatics. Well, some people. I know some people think it is a sign of weak parenting and lack of boundaries. A few years ago, I might have agreed with them. Husband grew up in a family bed, so for him it was kind of a no-brainer. For me, though, it took a bit more convincing. I never shared a bed with my parents as a little girl, and having been raised an only child, I am fiercely protective of my space. In all the years I envisioned myself as a mother, I never saw a baby in my bed. There was always an image of me lovingly placing my baby in a crib, turning down the light and then joining my dinner guests for a glass of wine in the living room. Oh silly me. Go ahead and have a good laugh over that one. And if you had a baby that let you do that, more power to you. That is the dream, right?

I don't know when I became convinced that co-sleeping was the right thing for us. I know there were times, even after we'd been co-sleeping for months, that I fought against it and tried to convince Husband that we had to make the transition "this very minute because my god I can't take it one more night". It was usually during a time when Ethan was teething or sick or dealing with some other sleep disturber, and I am a complete loon without enough sleep. Husband would logically explain to me that given the circumstances, we'd be up just as often with him if he were in his own room, only we'd be getting up and going back and forth all night instead of all being snug in bed together. I hate when he's right.

So now we come to today. I have become so used to the warmth of his little body and the sound of his breathing next to me. I cannot imagine it any other way. And so, for now, Ethan's big boy bed remains a place to sort laundry and give the cat's the impression that we did indeed get them their own bed (poor deluded fools). We'll get there. I am infinitely confident that he will be sleeping in his own bed well before college. But as I'm constantly realizing as he changes and grows by the minute, there's no need to rush anything.

Monday, November 05, 2007

First Day as a Stay at Home Mom...

I have a confession to make. For the past year and a half, I have sort of been sleeping in. See, Husband works from home and has generally been the one to get up with Ethan in the morning. I believe it started way back in the days of post-partum depression when it was a survival mechanism to keep Mama in bed as long as possible. Because Husband has been working from home for the past several years, he's set his own schedule, which has enabled him to sleep in until Ethan wakes up. Because we are *gasp* co-sleepers, there was always time for cuddling and then Husband would dress Ethan and bring him along on his daily Starbucks run.

This left about 30 minutes for me to There was take-up-the-whole-bed snoozing, there was showering in complete privacy without a baby in a bouncy seat or a toddler trying to lift the toilet seat, there were a few moments to check email and read a blog or two.

At the end of the day, around 5pm, Husband simply strolled down the stairs to a chorus of "Dada! Dada!" and gave me a rest after a day of trying to keep up with Jumpy McRunnerson.

Yes, spoiled rotten brat. I know. There aren't many stay at home moms who can claim that they do nothing until approximately 9am on most week days. I always knew I had it good, but I didn't really realize how good until this morning.

See, coinciding with the switch back to Standard Time, Husband started a new job. A job that requires him to get up early, leave the house, drive to work and stay there all day long. And seeing as we live in the DC Metro area, driving to an office 5 miles from one's home can take an hour. So in the blink of an eye, my *shift* went from a 9-5 gig to a 12-hour mommy marathon.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a bad thing; I can honestly think of nothing I'd rather do with my time than spend it watching Ethan explore the world (although a beach-front, hot stone massage on a tropical island, followed by fruity drinks in the cabana does come in a close second). Ethan and I cuddled a bunch, had breakfast together and spent our day going from music class to park to musical performer at the local coffee shop.

But I can tell you that by the end of the day, he and I were both staring at each other like, "Where is that guy??!" Ethan is smack dab in the middle of a fierce Daddy-phase and he was so over me by 5:30. I don't take it personally; I totally get where he's coming from. By 5:30 or so, I am seriously in need of 10 minutes completely alone. We both get bit ornery with each other at that hour, but what with me being the adult and all, I try to power through by pulling yet another book out or pushing one more truck across the floor.

Husband rescued us from each other sometime between 6 and 6:30. There was much rejoicing. And my hats are off to the stay at home moms who have been doing those 12 hours (or more) a day, all on their own, since day one. I knew I had it good, but I had no idea.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Standard Time Blues...

There is no way anyone can convince me that there was only ONE extra hour in the day today. Please tell me I am not alone in feeling like this day has taken forEVER to wind its way down. I recall my "set your clock back"'s of the past with such loving fondness. That extra hour to sleep. To dream. To stay cozy and warm underneath covers and then lounge the day away, delighted that there was one extra hour separating me from the work week, thinking, "Hey, I might even have time to do my nails tonight." The first Monday of standard time almost alway found me with freshly painted nails and a smile on my face, what with all the extra energy you can accumulate from an extra hour of sleep and the subsequent lounging.

Yeah. That was then. This year, switching to standard time has been kicking my ass since about 6:30 this morning. Ethan, of course, thought it was 7:30 and therefore time to wake up. Someone needs to find a way to explain this whole "standard time" thing to a toddler. Seriously, that could change the course of mankind. If I could change one little teensy thing about my little man it would be that he would love sleep as much as his Mama does.

Fortunately, Husband knows that a Sarah who wakes up at 6:30 in the morning is a miserable Sarah all. day. long & so he did me the favor of getting up with our little standard-time challenged child. And I got to sleep a bit longer. And that should have been enough, because it's not as though I sleep until noon like a hung-over college student (anymore). But for some reason, I have found myself watching the clock all day today, willing the hours to go by so I can crawl back into bed.

There is comfort in numbers, though. I noticed an inordinate number of haggard looking parents and their fully-rested and energeized toddlers at Starbucks this morning. Some of them seemed to have been awake even longer than us, and it occurred to me that we're kind of spoiled that E often sleeps until almost 8am. DearGod, if he was used to waking up at 6am, he'd have been up at 5am this morning and I would have had to throw myself screaming from the window.

Perhaps had I been doing something fun, like shopping, getting a massage, or playing with Ethan and Husband, I wouldn't have been so keen for the day to be over. But I wasn't. I was pouring over boxes and bags of kitchen stuff that have been packed up in our living room and dining room for the past six weeks. What had come out, had to go back in; only into entirely new spaces. I spent a lot of time sitting on the kitchen floor (the pretty, pretty tile floor) trying to figure out how to unpack the old kitchen into the new one. Several times I contemplated walking outside, putting an "Open House" sign up on our lawn and just selling the whole damn house while Husband and Ethan were out. It seemed like a less daunting task.

Six bags of trash and three boxes for Goodwill later, everything left over is snugly in its new home. There are no cardboard boxes in my living room. I can actually see the festive fall centerpiece on my dining room table (let me tell you, this is the first year I have even attempted to get my Martha on by making a seasonal centerpiece, and I was none too pleased to have it covered up for half of autumn).

Husband reported to me when he and Ethan returned from visiting Grandma that Ethan had only napped for about 30 minutes, at 10am. So no luck pushing that nap any later in the hopes that tonight would go easily for us. We had to have dinner at 5:30 to keep Ethan from melting down (even after many tasty snacks). We had to bathe him at 6 and put him to bed at 6:30. Last year, none of this mattered. He wasn't on a schedule yet and bedtime was simply the beginning of his longest nap in a 24 hour stretch. This year, it was almost as though the clock in his body was setting off alarms and we were not going to be allowed to ignore them.

Apparently, I will be getting up at 6:30am tomorrow, so perhaps I should stop this aimless rambling and go to bed. But first, I think I'll do my nails...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Heart of Darkness, be gone...

You may recall this summer, I posted about our plans to renovate our kitchen. And you might recall that at the end of September I posted about Ethan & I visiting my parents in South Carolina while the contractor ripped our kitchen to shreds. There may have even been a post in there showing some of the progress (which looked perhaps more like a war-zone than anything else) mid-renovation.

After six weeks of eating at restaurants breakfast, noon and night, of dusting every single day when the workers left (Ethan's first year of college turned into a six week supply of Swiffer duster re-fills) and of washing sippy cups in the bathroom sink, I am pleased to say, we have a new kitchen.

Now before I unveil the pretty, pretty kitchen (that I realize is WAY more exciting to me than it is to you), let's take a stroll down memory lane.

Here's the room the previous owners passed off as a "kitchen":

Well, it has a sink and a stove. It must be a kitchen. Right? Right?

So ugly. So sad.

The refrigerator that ate the kitchen.

Hello, hole in the wall and unfinished ceiling. You're looking mighty ghetto today.

Who said a door frame should be symmetrical?! What a silly idea. This is much, much better.

You know, looking back on those pictures, it really, really begs the question: What kind of crack were Husband and I smoking when we thought, "Hey, let's put an offer on that house!" Actually, when we put the offer in on the house, we were planning our wedding and I got pregnant mere nanoseconds after saying, "I do", so the "we'll renovate the kitchen right away" mantra we used to soothe ourselves with everytime one of us bumped into that damn door frame kind of ended up going by the wayside until, well, now...

Hello, pretty little addition. Hello, pretty tile flooring and butter yellow walls.

Hello, pretty view looking into the kitchen from what used to be the outside. Hello, pretty birthday flowers.

Mmmmm, pretty glass cabinets and under-cabinet lighting.

Hello, recessed lighting and above cabinet shelves. And wait a minute, is that a whole ceiling? Sigh....

Hello brand new entry way from the dining room to the kitchen. I love you the most. Thanks for being so perfectly freaking symmetrical and all. And hello, smaller refrigerator that doesn't give me nightmares.

Hello pretty counter top. I love you.

Initially we were of the mindset "we have to renovate so we can sell this dump some day." Now I kind of want to get my Betty Crocker groove on in this room and maybe actually cook something in it.