Monday, March 31, 2008

applesauce, octopus and Judy's car...

One of the joys of Ethanese is the fact that so many things sound exactly alike. Right now, the words "applesauce" and "octopus", if you can believe it, are almost identical in the land of Ethan-speak. And tonight, there was some debate about whether he was singing about applesauce, octopus OR Abby's shoes. Abby being our cat, who, in Ethan's mind, may or may not have shoes.

Anyhoo, one thing that is very clear is his mad obsession with cars. Click 'n Clack have nothing on this kid. Kind of. I imagine Click 'n Clack could have started out their illustrious Car Talk careers with a crazy adoration of all things Audi, VW and Nissan. Of course, Ethan doesn't actually know they are Audis, VWs and Nissans. He knows them simply as "Daddy cars", "Judy cars" and "Chloe cars".

I noticed it at first with Husband's car, parked in the drive way. Every time he gets in and out of "Mommy car", he points at the Audi circles and says, "Daddy car". I assumed it was of course, just because it was parked next to mine. But now, every time we see ANY Audi, anywhere, Ethan points and says, "Daddy car".

Then, we went to visit Grandma Judy, and parked in her driveway--a VW Jetta. Now, all VWs ( and holy hell, there are a LOT of VWs out there!) are "Judy cars". Seriously people, all day with the "Judy cars". I wonder if there are as many VWs out in the LA area--we are apparently crawling with them here, as is evidenced by the constant stream of "Judy cars. Judy cars. Judy cars" I hear from my son every time I leave the house with him. And I check to see that he's not just saying it because it sounds fun to him. There really ARE Judy cars everywhere.

The "Chloe cars" is the one that really gets me. Chloe's mom, Ethan's "other mom", drives a Nissan. Therefore, all Nissans are "Chloe cars". But, um. I drive a Nissan!! Me! His mother. The one who gave him life. I drive a Nissan, with him in it every single day. It sits in our drive way and he walks to it every morning when we leave the house. But no, all Nissans (with the exception of my individual car) are "Chloe cars". Sigh. He loves Chloe. I guess you can't fight young love.

Friday, March 28, 2008

23 month old SWM, ISO

...new play grounds
...new play group
...new digs
...copious tubes of SPF
...new friends for Mama (don't be surprised if she cries a LOT at first; she's way emotional)
please respond to Ethan McCutiepants if you live in the LOS ANGELES area...

Yeah, that's right. Los Angeles. Hold on, let me get my paper bag (it's for breathing into; I don't bother to hide the booze anymore).

Okay. Yes, Husband, man o' my dreams, bread-winner extraordinaire, love of my life had indeed been offered and has accepted a position which is either going to uproot our lives or mean one hell of a commute for him (yeah, the commuting is not so much an option--believe me, I pushed hard for it).

So in three month's time, I will living 3000 miles away from everyone I know and love. Awesome. ::breathe breathe breathe::

It's been a difficult couple of weeks in the Little E house. Much crying, wringing of hands and many sleepless nights. Much going back and forth, weighing pro's and cons. The panic attacks of "OMG, I can't do this; you can't make me do this!!" and the tiny quiet glimmers of, "Oh, but the weather would be nice."

Considering I just got out of a therapy session, I really don't want to go back into rehashing all the reasons why this makes me want to run screaming into on-coming traffic right now. Suffice it to say that we've put trying to have another baby on hold until the move is complete...talk about asking me to give up the thing I want most in the world so that we can do the thing I want LEAST. Yeah, that's about where I'm at. Good times.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for the so many nice things you posted in response to my last entry (both here and via email). It is so nice to know that people are thinking about me in my lunacy. And Amy & KMW, let me tell you--if we HAVE to move, I wish either of you had been right--Chicago or SF would be much more my speed. As it is, I have 90 days to develop an eating disorder, get fake boobs and learn the entire cast, past and present of The Hills (is it even on anymore?) if I expect to fit in at ALL where I'm going (yes, I know that is horribly closed-minded and way stereotyping and my apologies to those of you who might be reading from that area---it's just where I'm at right now; I'm sure I'll come around....)

I promise not to turn this into a blog o' gloom. I will be back tomorrow to tell you about Ethan's obsession with his grandma Judy's car. It's freakish and hysterical. But today, while I am feeling freakish, I'm not so much with the hysterical--at least not the funny kind.

Friday, March 21, 2008

So what's new with you, Sarah?

Let's take a break from our regularly scheduled program of Ethan-focused cuteness and spend a bit of time talking about me, shall we?? I have a funny story for you.

Due to some recent developments in our world that I am not yet at liberty to discuss (and no, I am not knocked up, so let's not even go there), I have started "seeing someone", which is a pretty little euphemism for "I'm in therapy---again". Let's just say there are some major life changes afoot in the near future and I'm having a fabulously miserable time coping. So, to avoid becoming the frizzy-haired, sweat-suit-wearing mess of a woman in the Cymbalta commercials I've been seeing so much of lately, I decided to nip things in the bud and pay someone to listen to me fret. At the very least, it will make me slap some make up on my face on Friday mornings because I don't want this woman to see what a mess I really am. God forbid your therapist know you need help, right?

If you were listening closely at 9am today, you probably heard the collective sigh of relief from many of my friends who are so glad I now have someone professional to kvetch to. I am a classic over-sharer, which makes me a therapist's dream, but a friend's nightmare. I have made a conscious effort in the past week to start conversations specifically about them, how they are doing, what's new with them, etc.; but inevitably, I end up near tears and requiring all kinds of hugs about my own life. It's not pretty. But to all my wonderful friends who have put up with me in the past week or two: now I will cry between 9-10am on Friday mornings, mkay? You're off the hook; thanks so much for putting up with me up to this point.

Okay, so today I show up to the office of said professional. She apparently works in the same building as some high-security government agency because there are a number of armed police guards outside the building. Awesome. A sad girl with burgeoning anxiety problems loves nothing more than big, stone-faced men toting fire arms when she's on her way to spill her guts for the first time. Cool atmosphere.

The first time you meet with a therapist is like a really awkward blind date. You've been given a referral by either a friend ("she's so compassionate; I really felt comfortable with her"), or the insurance company, which is like the Match.com of the referral world ("she's in your area and she's available. You interested?") I have never been very good at blind dates, either of the romantic or therapeutic kind.

So I walked over to the Starbucks next to the office before passing through the gauntlet of guns and ordered myself a massive (venti, in Stabucksese) chai latte which ended up serving as a security blanket for me through the next hour. I took about 10 sips altogether before it got cold, but having it in my hands made everything easier. (Note to self: next hour, discuss Starbucks addiction).

Throughout the hour, I rambled incessantly and relatively aimlessly about everything in my head from the current situation to having an incompetent cervix (hello, that is so two years ago!). I am not sure exactly how much she caught or how much made sense to her, but she did take copious notes and didn't once nod off (don't laugh; one of the last therapists I saw actually did doze during a session with me once. I stopped going, assuming my problems weren't really that bad if I was putting the therapist to sleep).

I realized half way through the session that she had spoken very little--only one question and one observation. I had to admit to myself that it was most likely because I wasn't really giving her a chance--I was in hyper-blab mode and I couldn't reign myself in. But I was definitely aware of how all over the place I was and on more than one occasion I apologized for rambling and perhaps not making sense. This, funnily enough, was her observation--I loooooove to apologize for things I shouldn't apologize for (which is funny because I am really bad at apologizing for things that actually require an apology).

When the hour ended, I tried my best to wrap it up, but there's no neat, crisp way to tie it up at minute :55. We settled on another appointment next week, same time, but she urged me to see if there was a time sooner than that I could come back. She said it's because the issue at hand is a time-sensitive one; I think it's because she probably wrote in her notes: "full-on lunatic," and is thinking I need a steady stream of therapy, and fast.

My suspicions about my near-manic ramblings were confirmed when I was leaving. I made a fleeting, thoughtless comment about the massive Starbucks cup in my hand and without missing a beat, she pointed to the cup, looked at me and said, "You know, you might want to try decaf."

Awesome.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Walk-a-me!"

This is the phrase Husband and I heard no fewer than eleventy billion times this weekend and apparently it is Ethanese for "I would like to go for a walk, please".

So we walked. Around the block, numerous times; home from the kebab place about a mile from our house; the length of the mall on Sunday morning, because it was raining outside; around in circles in the park.

Whenever he wasn't walking, he was saying, "Walk-a-me! Walk-a-me!" In his car seat, in a high chair, in the tub, in a shopping cart, this was his mantra.

Often in the English language, it takes decades for a word to evolve from one form of speech into another. Ethan used these words so often in the past 3 days, he figured out that he could create a whole new part of speech simply by adding an "s" to the end of the phrase, making it "walk-a-me's!" And voila! "Walk-a-me" the verb (and command), became "walk-a-me's" the noun, as in, "Let's go for a walk-a-me".

This morning, barely out of pj's, Ethan climbed up onto his little IKEA chair at the window, gazed longingly out the window and told me over and over again how desperately he needed walk-a-me's. Of course, the second I whipped out the camera, he decided he needed mucho prompting to say his newly coined phrase, but we got it eventually. After a bit of something that sounds like "Mom, stop taking pictures of Ethan (which he still calls himself adoringly)!"


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Monday, March 10, 2008

Reason 1,547,902 why I shoulnd't go out in public...

Last Thursday, Ethan and I took a walk down to our neighborhood Barnes & Noble to kill some time at the Thomas the Train table. Well, Ethan was going to kill some time at the table; I was going to kill some time trying to cram my ass into their child-sized adirondack chairs.

You can't slide into the suckers--they're too narrow at the front. I learned this the hard way, giving myself a bruise on the hips and an even bigger one to the ego. But if you hover over the chair, twist your hips a bit and lower yourself into it, you can park it quite nicely and even straighten yourself out once it's your knees trying to clear the front of the chair.

Initially I just thought it was because my ass was comparable in size to the side of a semi, but thankfully I have seen skinny little moms have the same issue, so it is clearly not just a problem for the chubby girl. Thank god. I actually watched in unconcealed delight on Thursday as another mom, in her skinny jeans, had to go through the same riggamaroll to get into the chair on the other side of the Thomas table. I'm not proud of it, people, but it was nice to see.

Anyway, karma got me for that guilty pleasure because as the aforementioned skinny mom and I started chatting, I casually looked down to pull a piece of fuzz off of my wrist and made a horrifying discovery.

I was wearing one of those thermal-weave shirts (this in and of itself is mortifying--at what point did it become acceptable in my mind to leave the house in what basically amounts to long johns? Who AM I?!), and I noticed that the stitching at my wrist was awfully pronounced; kind of like what the inside of the shirt would have looked like...only it was on the outside. Awesome.

So then, as calmly as possible, while still chatting merrily along with this woman, I started to look at my shoulders...stitching. My other wrist...stitching.

Yeah. My shirt is totally on inside out. Good for me; that's awesome.

You know when you realize something like that and your face gets hot and red and you want to laugh, but you're also mortified and you're not sure if admitting that your shirt is on inside out would make the situation better and funny or just so much worse, and you want to crawl under the Thomas table, but you can't because there are two toddler boys under there bonking their heads on the underside of the table and laughing?

That's how I felt.

In my defense, I hadn't really intended to take my sweatshirt off when I first put the top on that morning. I figured it was chilly enough outside that I'd just keep it on and that would be that. I hadn't counted on Barnes & Noble having their heat cranked. By the time we got up to the children's section, it was either take off the sweatshirt or end up sweating like a pig. And even when I made the discovery of my wardrobe malfunction, I couldn't bear the thought of putting the sweatshirt back on. I wish I were more of a slave to fashion, but the embarrassment wasn't enough to lead me back into complete sweaty discomfort.

Realizing I had no options, I just took some deep breaths and kept chatting. Thankfully her child started melting down before Ethan did, so they took off first and I never had to stand up and show off my shirt in all it's on-inside-out glory, so I suppose it's possible she never noticed.

Anyway, I think it's time to invest in a full-length mirror and dedicate a bit more time to making sure Mama is presentable before she leaves the house. Otherwise, I am looking at a future of embarrassment for both me and my kid. I can just hear it now, "Dude, what is your mom wearing??!!"

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dear Inventor of Daylight Savings...

Respectfully sir, you suck. Clearly, you have no children. How do I know? Because had you been in a position to EVER desperately need your toddler to take a nap, reliably and at a set hour, you could never have schemed up such a heinous torture device like moving the clocks backwards and forwards. Parents all over the country are cursing your name right now. And they will be again tonight when their children are up until 9pm before showing the slightest hint of sleepiness. I hate you.


Sincerely,

Exhausted and Angry in DC...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ethan gets an "F" and I completely lose my mind...

Remember last week when I posted about Al Ponte? Yeah? Well, he's gone. This week, Ethan finally got his top teeth and lower lip coordinated into an "F", and Al Ponte is forever lost to us, gone the way of the newborn "sneeze-scream" and "guh-gah" (kitty). While it is amazing and wonderful to watch them grasp new concepts and clarify their language, there is something so bittersweet about saying goodbye to a word or a sound that was truly Ethan's.

We are, however, hopeful that Ethan will soon learn to form the "tr" sound so that "truck" sounds more like "truck" and a lot less like "cock". Let me tell you, there's little in this world as mortifying as letting him run through the toy section of Target yelling, "cock! cock! cock!" Today, Husband and I actually had to endure the repetition of "big cock! big cock!" as Ethan marveled at some, well, big TRUCKS. I am thinking we can't leave the house again until the "tr" sound makes it's appearance in Ethan's vocabulary. I am taking away all toys except "trains" until we can perfect "tr".

On the "I completely lose my mind" front, this week, I managed to do the one thing MORE mortifying than listening to my child yell obscenities in Target. When our fabulous baby whisperer came over yesterday morning to play with Ethan, I found myself doing my usual "oh my god, am I a bad mother for leaving my child so I can go blog and drink tea in front of a fire at Panera??!!" internal monologue. Turns out, the energy it takes for me to have this internal argument with myself leaves me with precious little awareness of what I'm blathering on about outside of my own mind.

I was simply going over with Kayla when I thought he might want a snack, based on the fact that he barely touched his breakfast (remember, "toast, toast, toast" from yesterday?), and telling her that I'd just re-introduced him to sunflower seed butter. The next thing I know, I am ...wait for it...explaining to her how to (oh god, the humiliation of it all)... how to make a sandwich!!!!

Yes, I ACTUALLY recommended that she just "put a thin layer of the sunflower butter and a thin layer of the jelly on two pieces of bread and put them together..." oh my god, did I just tell a grown woman how to make a sandwich??!!! Did I??!!! Could anything be more insulting, EVER?!! oh, my god, I'm an ass!

What the hell is WRONG with me??!! This is a woman I trust to care for my child every Friday, sometimes TWICE. Clearly I know she's capable of making sandwich. I just couldn't make my mouth stop forming words. It made my head hurt, I swear.

As a side note, I am SO not "that" mom. I don't think I micro-manage others who are with Ethan. I know that when we first started leaving him with the baby whisperers, I was confused about how much information to leave. I tried to fall somewhere between writing down a minute-by-minute itinerary of his evening for them, and just tossing Ethan to them as they came in one door and we went out the other. I *think* I've done a pretty good job of not obsessing because I am so comfortable with them and I know that Ethan loves them and is perfectly happy with them.

But apparently my brain just skipped over all that and for some reason decided to offer a mini-course in introductory sandwich making. The horror.

Next week, I plan to just say, "Hi Kayla. You know what to do. I'm going to go now before I say anything that gets me re-nominated for 'ass of the week'", and then I can have my little neurotic internal monologue in the car, where no one can be insulted by my faulty verbal filter.

Friday, March 07, 2008

This Week in the Land of E...

Yeah, I'm a blogging slacker. I am finding myself saying, "Oh, I'll have to write about that..." or "That will make a great blog entry," and then I go on to something else, like trying to convince my child that a table is NOT something we stand on. So far, he's not buying that argument.

So I end up deferring to Friday mornings, which have become my "me time". I finally bit the bullet and now my fabulous baby whisperer spends three hours with Ethan every Friday morning. He is thrilled and doesn't seem to miss me for a second (*sob sob*) and I get to do things like sit in front of the fire at Panera, sucking up free wireless and tea. Today I have a serious agenda of blogging, crossword puzzle doing & book-club book reading. It's hard work cramming that all into three hours, but somehow I manage. My only complaint is that the comfy chairs are positioned in such a way that I get a scalding glare off my screen and dear god, has my child been licking the monitor??!!!

So anyway...this week with Ethan. There was lots of whining, very little sleeping and a whole cornucopia of creative word play. And by creative word play, I mean trying to figure out what the frick this child is trying to say and MYGOODGODCHILD,WHATDOYOUWANT?!. But more about that later...

Lots of whining and very little sleeping seem to go hand in hand. Husband and I are hoping it is a sign of impending eye-teeth, but holy moly, can this kid whine. Becca (I don't know how to make her name a clickable link because I suck, but she's Academomia) already made a list this week of things that make her Charlie cry---I won't copy her work, but if you'd like to see a pretty complete list of the things that have made Ethan cry this week, click on her blog and just scroll down a bit. It's all there.

Sleeping has become a sadistic joke. We will think he's asleep, we will tip toe to the door, we will step on a creaky floor board and SCREAMS!!!! Not crying, people. Not merely minor complaining. No. "I'M ON FIRE! I'M ON FIRE!!" type screams rip through the air and do not subside until you give up your entire evening to lying next to him, staring into the dark, wondering if the el monstro has finally passed out.

The nights that I have slept in his room with him, he has literally needed to be ON me. ON, people. That's cool when you're an 8 lb three-month old. When you're an almost 20lb almost two year old, not so much. I'm exhausted.

Obviously, those types of nights lead to days of serious discontent. There has been much pouting and whining in our world this week. Ethan's been cranky, too.

As for the word play?! Ethan is so in love with words right now that trying to communicate with him is an exercise in futility. He simply says words he wants to say, as he wants to say them, without any context or connection to what you're trying to get out of him. A conversation this morning went like this:

Mama: "Ethan, don't you want your pancakes?"

Ethan: "Dada, shoes!"

Mama: "Yes, those are daddy's shoes. Do you want your pancakes?" (Mama takes bite of said pancakes to demonstrate their yummy goodness. Gee, why is Mama toting around an extra 20?!)

Ethan: "Mama, shoes!"

Mama: "Yup, Mama has shoes, too. Do you want some banana?"

Ethan: (shaking head no) "Nana!"

Mama: "Okay, no nana. Would you like some toast?"

Ethan: "Toast. Toast. Toast. Toast. Toast"

So, I took that as a sign that perhaps he'd like some toast toast toast toast, and made him a piece.

Nope. He just likes the sound of the word "toast". Sigh.

Hopefully the baby whisperer can find something he wants to eat because Mama could not interpret the Ethanese this morning.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I could listen to him ramble on all day (and do so, happily) with his words. His voice is my favorite sound in the world--I still find myself catching my breath that I had a hand in creating him and that he changes every day and is absorbing the world around him at such lightening speeds. It's hard to believe, when I see other moms and their other babies, that we all have such deep and intense capacities for love. Surely I love my child with a love that is unprecedented; it's so powerful, how can we all exist feeling this without just exploding into big gooey messes of adoration?

But then I realize that we DO all have this capacity and it is part of all of our realities (with the exception of some sad, sick mamas out there who have turned their back on it). When I realize this, no matter what other horrible things are going on in the world, my faith in humanity is restored, even if just a little bit.

Sigh. Even a craptastic week of whining and sleep deprivation has me waxing poetic (or idiotic, if you so desire) about how fabulous my child is. I'm either delusional, or he's pretty great.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yummy

So this video is old (you think? hello, christmas tree), but I had to test Sarah's tip that I can now upload video straight to blogger from my computer. Indeed, she is right!

Anyway, enjoy one of Ethan's former favorite words. A few months ago, everything was "Yum-may!" Now he reserves that accolade for water (seriously??!) and chocolate (I concur).

Excuse the poor lighting, and the creepy dark eye socket look on Ethan. Oh, and the clutter in the background. This video was taken before Pam saved us from the clutter that was eating our house. That red bag in the upper right corner? Yeah, that's full of left-over decorations from Ethan's birthday. Ethan's birthday, for those who either weren't there, or don't know, is in May. Awesome.


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