Thursday, December 23, 2010


These past couple of days I've been scrambling around to get everything all set for our trip to Florida. Oliver has decided he doesn't want to go to bed anymore, and also that he must use a fork to eat everything. Even Cheerios. And apple sauce. It doesn't work out nearly as well as he pictures it in his head.

I don't know how we're going to lug all of this junk to the airport We have our suitcases, our carry on, the diaper bag, stroller, and car seat to figure out.  Plus, of course, Oliver.

He won't let us carry him. He won't ride in the stroller. He insists on walking, but his tiny legs just can't keep up with us. Worse still, he momentarily "forgets" the rule about staying close to us and chases after strangers, store displays, vending machines... It gets to be a lot of work. And as much as I hate the idea and refuse to become one of them, I'm starting to understand the people who leash their children. Just a weee tiny bit. Maybe.

Instead, I try not to think about the airport and choose to focus on the tasks at hand.

I was taking down our Christmas tree and running loads of laundry when I kept noticing a distinctly fecal odor. Oliver had a massive poop explosion this morning which had gotten on his back, legs, feet, and clothing. He was an obvious first suspect. I sniffed him, but he was clear. In a moment of paranoia, I started to sniff myself and my clothes, but I was clean. I decided it was all in my head (as is sometimes the case) and went back to my work.

After getting the last ornaments off the tree, I looked down and saw a small pine cone on the floor. I thought about it a moment, then realized... Wait a second. This tree has no pine cones.

Upon closer inspection, it was a small brown turd, forsaken in the corner under the chair. One of Oliver's favorite pooping destinations.

I asked, "Did you poop here?" Oliver violently shook his head pointed at the door and waved byebye. Like I'm supposed to believe somebody came in here last night while we were sleeping and left this neat little turd for us in the corner. Right.

Looks like Santa came early to our house.  Joy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Teaching a young dog new tricks is still pretty hard.

Recently I've realized Oliver's true pupil potential. I never really thought about it, but I can teach him a lot of stuff. He's getting very good at new words. He's getting better at commands of "bring me ___" or "show me how to ___." Yesterday I said, "Daddy forgot his keys! Go let him in!" And Oliver did.

The best thing I've taught him so far is, "Can you show me how to put this away?" Telling him to do something in the form of a question gets the best results. If I tell him to, say, stop throwing everything out of the fridge he'll ignore me. If I physically take him away, he'll scream. Instead, I ask, "Can you put this ketchup away? Will you show me where the yogurt goes?" AND HE DOES IT. It's a miracle trick.

Since we're sitting at home today doing nothing in particular, I thought I'd try to teach him something new. I want him to hug me. I decided to teach him. It was going pretty well. I could say "hug your doggie!" and sure enough, he'd hug the doggie. I got him to hug the dump truck and the ball, so I thought for sure he'd hug me. Right? I'm his favorite mom in the world!

"Oliver, hug mommy!"
"Nuh nuh nuh!" (While frantically flailing arms back and forth.)

Then he picked up the dog  ("Woof, woof!") and hugged the dog.

Oh, the cold harsh rejection of a toddler.  We'll see how he feels when it's dinner time and that stuffed dog doesn't put food on the table.

I picked Oliver up to try and hug him, but he yelled and kicked, reaching for the dog.

"Woof woof!"

Fine. Be that way. I went and got two crackers. Bribery is what puts me above dogs, right?

"Do you want a cracker?"
"(Pl) ease!"
"Then hug mommy!"
"Nuh nuh nuh!"

I gave up for a while, but when I went to put him to bed tonight I picked up his half conscious body and hugged him. Except, he wasn't unconscious enough because he still said "nuh nuh nuh!" and bit my shoulder.

This force is strong with this one. Maybe after a night behind bars, he'll change his mind and hug me in the morning. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The only hting to fear is fear itself. And Sesame Street.

Up until a few weeks ago, Oliver was completely fearless. Big dogs, strangers, climbing up high - nothing was scary to him. It was terrifying for me because, without any fear, he could and would attempt to do anything.

Lately, however, I've been noticing a little hesitance in his actions. He will not walk into the elevator anymore without holding my hand, because he's afraid of falling down the big crack. We took him out to eat at a Japanese Hibachi place, and for the first time since he's been born, he was scared of the big fire show. In a department store, he cried because there was a woman near by yelling at her children.

Last night, he was scared by a Sesame Street skit that showed Mr. Hooper in danger. He sometimes wakes up at night screaming, which makes me wonder if he isn't having bad dreams.

And while I feel bad that he's afraid, I'm actually very glad inside. The bigger he gets, the crazier the ideas he gets in his head. I want him to know to be afraid of, say, jumping off the table head first. I want him to fear fire and the stove so he doesn't burn his arm off.

 Still, as scared as he was for Mr. Hooper's life, he doesn't seem that concerned about his own. Today he leaped face first off my bed.  He got a carpet burn on his forehead.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I left him in a daycare center with a stranger and he didn't even look back. When I picked him up after an hour of being gone, he was still having a great time.

This morning he hit himself in the face with a plastic hammer. When I said "ouch!" he just hit himself again and again. He thinks pain is funny.

So, all things considered, he's still a tough little guy. Next time you see him, don't mention that scary incident concerning the grease fire on Sesame Street.

Because he could totally take you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Picture Day Again.

Today was another picture day for Oliver. It went very well, and I was surprised. We woke him up twice last night to give Jared rides to and from school. He didn't get his nap in before we left. We skipped our morning Sesame Street ritual. I made him wear strange dress clothes. We rushed out the door and I didn't take the time to let him push elevator buttons and try to buckle himself in. On top of that, he's never really had his pictures taken in a studio before.

I was expecting a meltdown, but it never came.

He wore his ridiculous outfit. He was more or less open to the photographer's pose suggestions. He smiled, he danced, he played. There were many good pictures to choose from.

While pictures were being edited, we let him run around in the mall. Typically after being cut loose, he won't go back into his stroller. But today? No problems at all. He even took a tiny nap while we shopped. He woke up and ate part of a chili dog with me. We shopped a bit more and we left the mall, no tantrums to speak of.

So my question is this: Was I being negative when I assumed he would throw tantrums today? Or was I merely being a realistic parent to a toddler?

I don't want to go into things gritting my teeth and expecting the worst, but I don't want to be stupid & naive, either. On the whole, Oliver is a very agreeable little boy. He's friendly. He's outgoing. If you're willing to slow things down to his pace, he is very helpful. For being 14 months old, he's a fun guy to be around.

I want to try really hard to remember that when we set out to do things, because I just can't shake this guilty feeling I have. I feel like I was dismissing him before I even gave him a chance to be happy.  I know I've said this before, but I don't ever want my negative thoughts to pull him down. What reason has he got to be cheerful if I'm always expecting him to be grumpy?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he proved me wrong, but I would have deserved it if he hadn't.


(Some of you asked about his squeaky shoes. This is what I meant.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Post Office Conversations.

Today I had to pick up a package at the post office. Per usual, the line was long.  We waited.

In front of us was an old man talking about bunions and gall stones and peripheral artery diseases. He was talking to another old man, who, believe it or not, was a stranger he just happened to meet in line. And they talked about rupturing cysts and festering wounds like a normal person would make small talk about the weather.

"Oh, yer wouldn't believe it! This one time in Arizoner I gat bit by this big spider, whoo-ee! My skin shriveled an' fell off. And the smell! It smelt rotten! Just plain rotten!"

I tried to give the lady behind me a conspiratorial look that said, "Are you hearing what I'm hearing? Is this really happening?"

Only she wasn't having any of that. She scowled at me. And at Oliver, who just happened to be saying "Cah! Cah!" at every car driving past the window. Sorry lady, didn't mean to disturb your festering unhappiness at waiting in line.

When I got up to the window, the man looked at the clock and announced, "Cheryl! It's 15 past! Break time!" He put up a "lane closed" sign, sending me back to the front of the line.

I thought the woman behind me might knife me for reclaiming my spot in line. She whipped out her (smart) phone and started complaining about me and my kid to her friend. Like we couldn't even hear her. Like maybe that would make her wait in line any more pleasant. We weren't even doing anything!

At that point, (because I am a vengeful, rude person) I decided to take it upon myself to give her the best waiting experience possible. I put Oliver down so he could walk around with his obnoxious squeaky shoes. She loved that. Squeak squeak squeak, with every step! Delightful!

I played a game with the hood on his coat that made him squeal with laughter. Ms. Smart Phone was even more disturbed.

Some old ladies in line flirted with Oliver, which only encouraged him more. He stomped his feet to squeak as hard as he could, loudly snorting/laughing.

It was too much for Cell Lady to handle. So much that she left  in a huff without buying her stamps or whatever it was she set out to do.

Lesson of the day learned?

Yes, I will use my child as a weapon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

So festive it hurts.

We put up our first Christmas tree as a family. It is hideous.

Ever other tree I've ever put up has been beautiful. Manicured. Themed, usually. Perfect.

So how is it that this one came out so hideous? How did we ever end up this way? Here's how.

The whole thing started off well. We found the farm alright. Oliver seemed to like being pulled in the sled. The countryside was beautiful after a fresh snow fall.

The weather was fine. I wore my furry trader hat and ran around with a saw, two things that always signal a rollicking good time. We found a tree. I cut it down with no problems. The bald spots/asymmetry of it were minimal.

We got back into the car and drove home. We had fun and Christmas carols in the car.

Until Daddy took the camera away, anyway.

Accusatory finger of The Doob.

We made a pit stop at my parents' house, and I realized that we don't have a tree stand. Or lights. Or ornaments.

My parents offered to lend us the use of theirs, and we accepted. We grabbed the two boxes labeled "Christmas" and headed home. Jared and I cut off a fresh stump and a few of the lower boughs before setting the tree in the stand. We went to tighten the bolts when we realized that half of the bolts were bent and couldn't be tightened.

So what did we do? We tightened the ones that would work, and settled for a crooked tree. Who would let a few bent bolts get in the way of Christmas spirit? Certainly not these people. Not in our house. We were determined.

I then cracked open the box of lights. Only colored strands, and about 50 odd replacement bulbs for sets they definitely no longer had.

Well, that isn't my style, but okay. We could deal with that. 

I plugged in a strand and it played obnoxious Christmas music, and it wouldn't stop. Also, the red bulbs didn't work. 

We vetoed that one.

The next strand was silent, but only the green and blue bulbs worked. The third strand had all working lights and colours, but was too short for our tree and could not be extended. The last set of lights had the green, blue, and red lights working. Feeling a bit like baby bear looking for the best bowl of porridge, we said, 

"Well? Green and red are the main Christmas colours, plus we get blue as a Hanukkah bonus! Good enough!"

We strung the lights on as best we could, and they looked okay. With all things considered, it looked great! Our tree was crooked and the lights were weird colours, but it would take more than a crooked tree and some funky coloured (seizure inducing & flashing) Christmas lights to slow down all of this festivity. After all, we couldn't give up at the first signs of trouble. What are we, grinches?! Certainly not.

We opened up the ornament box and realized that the only bulbs we had were red, with some sort of floral gold glitter on them. Tacky, but fine! I've seen worse! I put them on the tree.

 Underneath the bulbs were compartment after compartment of home made Christmas ornaments. Some of these handmade gems were molded with the help of an ashtray. Others were made from construction paper and Elmer's. Still more were festooned with glitter glue and tinsel garland. 

Every one of them featured a tiny, fading, red tinted picture of the kids who made it. Jared and I  strung them up, guessing which face belonged to which of my sisters. Each year I'd looked at those ornaments, but they were never hung. The trees I decorated always had themes - silver and red, blue and white, or candy cane stripes. I never used the hand made ornaments because they just couldn't fit in with the perfect, factory made beauties.

But this year (partially because we had no alternatives) I busted them out. 

Every. Single. One.

I put them all on, each one assigned a prominent spot to shine in garish glory. It felt right. It felt like us -  a family tradition that is a little bit embarrassing, a lot bit tacky, but well intentioned.

We stepped back, and took in the whole blinking, glittering, crooked hot mess of a Christmas tree.

We put up our first Christmas tree. It is hideous. And it is perfect.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Evil Genius.

I think I can say this without prejudice.

Oliver is smart.

It's hard. Very hard for me, anyway. I feel like I am always trying to run 2 steps ahead of him so that I can diffuse his next offensive. And, while you may be thinking, he's a baby! How hard can it be?

Very hard.

As some of you know, we recently purchased a little dining table and chairs. Those chairs will be my downfall. He dragged them down the hall and stood on them to open the pantry door. By the time I found him, he had his head stuck in a Cheerios box.

On several different occasions, he has climbed up onto the chairs then onto the table so that he can take the pictures off the wall.  Yesterday I caught him trying to climb over the gate with the assistance of one of those chairs.

Today he had me halfway convinced I was crazy. I looked over, saw him in his high chair and thought... oops! Forgot about him eating breakfast. Better go get him down.

Then, mysteriously, twenty minutes later he was back in the chair. I thought.. oops! Could've sworn I already got him down.

By the third time I realized he was climbing onto a chair and the climbing over his tray and sitting down in his highchair. Sneaky, sneaky boy.

Even without the chairs he's still a force to be reckon with. He's used his little broom to knock things off of ledges he can't reach. He turns the TV on for himself while I'm not looking. Sometimes I forget that he isn't supposed to be watching, so he gets to watch a whole show before I realize what he's done. He's learned to knock on the wall, making me run to the door like a stupid dog barking at the doorbell on TV.

My baby is outsmarting me, and he's not even one and a half years old.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Over the last couple months, Oliver has really made strides in the language department. Most of his words are (to me, at least) pretty useless but he has them nonetheless. But something I don't get, is how he comes up with his words.

Why does he say "poop" and "burp" but not "up" or "mommy" ? He says "my, my, my!" but not "eat", "food",  or "hungry."  The words I try hardest to teach him are the words he has no interest in saying. I get the feeling that most of his conversations are going to center around bathroom humor. (Which, unfortunately, I get enough of from his dad.)

Very rarely does he use the actual noun for what he means to say.

Horses? They're neigh neighs. Dogs are woof woofs. Ducks are quack quacks. Babies are mamas. Cars are sometimes cars, but more often vroom vrooms. Cold is Brr!

Since I caught on to that pattern, I've been trying harder to say the noun more often than the sound effect. Still, he seems to have no interest in nouns. For now, that's okay with me. At least it's something.

New words are always exciting. We've been working very hard on saying "please" instead of just shouting "more!" It was slow going for a while, but today he decided to make please his own.

He wanted Cheerios, so he pointed up and yelled "ease!" It worked. I got him Cheerios. He wanted a bite of my sandwich, so he pulled on my arm and said, "ease!" It worked again. Later I walked into the kitchen and closed the gate behind me. He reached through the bars and said "ease!" but I ignored him. When I started walking away, he only yelled "ease, Ease, EASE!" more. Later this afternoon, he climbed up onto the table via a stray chair. He was joyfully pulling the picture frames off the wall when I plucked him off the table and carried him to the couch. All the while he screamed, "EASE, EASE, EASE!"

Suddenly, the magic word "ease" lost its magic. If you can't use it to stand on top of the dining table, what good is it? WHY EVEN BOTHER TO HAVE THE WORD IF IT DOESN'T OPEN THE BABY GATE INTO THE KITCHEN!?

While we were flipping through family pictures, he tried to say his name for (as far as I'm aware) the first time. He called himself Allah. Great. People are going to love that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Sorry I was gone so long! Holidays, a new baby being born, visitors... we've been busy!

My friend's baby was born completely healthy. This is Lily.

I was there when she was born, taking photos. I stayed over there for a few days to help out, and I'll probably be heading back that way again soon. But the strange thing? I thought I'd see this new pink baby and it'd make my ovaries ache for more. But it didn't. It just made me appreciate how much Oliver can do. I like that he sleeps (usually) all night long. I like that I can leave him in the care of others. I like that I don't have to carry him everywhere. I like that he can (sort of) tell me what he wants. It's nice that takes care of himself when I don't feel like watching him.

Jared's mom came to visit Oliver and have Thanksgiving dinner with us. We kept it low key and made a Honey Baked Ham. The ham was good and it was nice that we didn't have to travel and wrangle Oliver in a strange place. The following Saturday we visited with my brother and sister and parents. We played a lot of Kinect. It was fun! Haven't had fun at a family gathering for some time.

Other news... Hmm... We got a new TV stand that isn't a death threat to our baby. There was a huge ice storm that tried to kill us all on the way home from dinner one night. Some of our Christmas cards are trickling to our friends and family. I'm starting to paint our living room. Oliver is back to his 100% and he's been sleeping through the night and being his cheerful self.

But the big news? Oliver loves the snow. He loves to go outside. (After a half hour of putting on layers and coats and mittens and a hat.) We walk outside and he yells, "Brr!" Then he flounders around in the snow and pats it with his mittened flipper hands. It isn't like he can build snowmen or throw snowballs, but for some reason the snow delights him anyway.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dance off.


I've been away because I've been terribly busy and stressed out. My friend is most likely to be induced tomorrow evening. Ive been back and forth visiting her and very busy taking care of little Doobie. Since he's gotten sick, he's slept through the night ONCE. He woke up at least once every night, but on some nights four or 5 times. And the worst part? He didn't want to go back to bed. He didn't want me to change him. He didn't want me to hold him. He wanted to scream.

My patience and energy was at an all time low.

There were so many times when I wanted to scream at him. I didn't, but I feel incredibly guilty because I even thought about screaming. I wanted him to go away for a while because I was WAY too tired to be dealing with that.

I couldn't grocery shop without him screaming and climbing out of the cart. I couldn't take him on walks without him crawling out of the stroller. Foods he typically loves were thrown on the floor. He hit me. He bit me. He kicked and thrashed every time I tried to change his diaper.

Since being sick, he was a royal pain. I called him a jerk. I felt terrible, but it still happened. He hit me and I told him he was a jerk. It made me cry. Jared was incredibly busy with projects in school, so from morning to night I was with that volatile, cranky baby.

Normally when I start to get tired, I let my parents babysit for a while. This was my plan last Friday, but when I buckled him into the car? He screamed. I pulled out into traffic? Still screaming. I offered him toys? Screamed. After 15 minutes of screaming, I just couldn't take it anymore and I turned around and went home. I don't think I would've made it the full 45 minutes to my parents' house without completely flipping on him.

I dropped him in the bath (a crowd pleaser here) and waited for 7 o clock to come around so I could put him into bed. I put him down early - at six - and sat down just completely feeling like a failure. Jared was at school without his phone. There was no food, since I couldn't grocery shop with him. There was no laundry, since I didn't get it done. The house was generally a big mess.

I called my (almost) mother-in-law and cried about my baby being a jerk.

Finally Jared came home and we ordered in pizza. Since it was a weekend, I thought I'd be able to drop him off at my parents' the next morning, but then... Bam! Snowstorm. 7 inches of snow. We were stuck with cranky pants face for the weekend.

His attitude improved on Saturday and Sunday, and by the time my parents came and picked him up on Monday I would've rated him at a 2 on the scale between "Grumpy" and "I'm ready to start strangling kittens with my bare hands."

He even slept through the night last night, so maybe, just maybe, he's all done with this grumpy sicky phase.

Tonight I got home from my parents' and put Oliver to bed. He went down without any fight.  Then I turned on music and had my own personal dance off. It was kind of fun, and I feel better.

(And, by the way, I am a terrible dancer.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I want to be like this lady.  On the 26th, she will turn 107 years old, making her the oldest surviving victim of the Holocaust.

I am a huge believer that happiness is a choice, even if I sometimes forget that. Alice is a great reminder.

I have every reason in the world to be happy, so I will be.

(This is the trailer for a documentary about Alice, titled Alice Dancing Under the Gallows which, I think, will be released next year.)

Monday, November 8, 2010


Oliver has pneumonia. He had a runny nose for probably a week, and then Sunday I finally said, "Well, looks like you're all better!"

Turns out, he wasn't.

He woke up in the middle of the night with a raging fever. As the day wore on and his fever got higher and he got tireder, we started thinking something was wrong. Then he started grunting with each breath, so we took him into the ER. They did chest xrays, and declared he has pneumonia.

He went from this:

To this:

In less than 24 hours.

For most of today he seemed better, but as the day wore on his fever started creeping back. For the most part, though, he was in a decent mood. Decent enough, anyway, to watch The Cat in the Hat from his favorite spot up on the couch.

TV induced zombie stare.

He even let me hold him on my lap while we watched an hour of TV. What a nice boy.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Now Oliver thinks that he can just walk up to anyone's door and bang on it for candy.

He was just about the cutest trick-or-treater ever, because he would bang on their doors and they'd open it up, look around and then look down and see the small boy smiling at them for candy. Then he'd gladly accept whatever they gave him before waving byebye to them.

Best mime ever, even if he wouldn't let us paint his face.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Dear BFF,

I know you're supposed to pop out a baby sometime soon. I think this is cool. I'm excited for you. Right before Oliver was due, I was terrified. I didn't know anyone my age with a baby that wasn't a complete ghetto baby momma. I also didn't particularly like kids, and I really wasn't thrilled about being pregnant. I was convinced I was doomed.

But this is what I want you to know: You're not doomed. You'll be a great mom, even if (like me) you didn't plan this. I wish a peer had said that to me while I was pregnant, and maybe it wouldn't have made the whole ordeal so scary. So, consider this your peer saying it to you:

You will be a good mom. You're going to rock the shit out of motherhood.

First off, I would like to get this out of the way: Childbirth sucks. It does suck. It really sucks. It's a lot of work and it hurts and it might be the worst pain of your life. BUT you get over it. You do it anyway. Somehow the primal hormonal cavewoman in you comes out and you just pop a baby out of you - blood, gore, and all. And while you're doing it, you just do it. That's it. Nike should sponsor childbirthing, because really all that you need to know is to just. do. it.

All of that breathing stuff? Don't worry if you don't know it. It doesn't matter. The nurses will make you do what you've gotta do, and that isn't too much. Packing your hospital bag? Don't worry if you haven't. Hospitals aren't as bad as everyone makes them seem, and they will have everything you need. And if they don't? Somebody will be ready and willing to run and get whatever that may be for you. Even if you feel like you're alone, there are always people who will help you. (And remember, I will always be on the top of that list!)

Second, DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE UNLESS YOU WANT TO. Everyone will be up in your business. Everyone will claim to know the best technique for this or that. Everyone will seem like they're judging you. Most people are genuinely trying to help, but the ones who aren't? Screw them. Ignore them, because you'll come across those people forever and they want only to make you feel insecure. Don't let them.

Even though you might not feel like it now, you will know your daughter best, and you will do the best you can for her. That will always be good enough.

And when (when, not if!) things don't go the way you planned, RELAX. Nothing can be improved through worry or anger. Your life with a baby will be complicated and difficult and heartbreaking, it's true, but your life will also be unbelievably wonderful. Above all, it will always be your life and that will always mean that your happiness is in your own hands. There will always be reason to smile, if you will it so.

And lastly, no matter how hard you try, you just can't do it all. Ask for help. There is never any shame in that. There are more people than you realize out there who want to help you.  It isn't selfish. It doesn't mean you've failed at anything. It is not a sign of weakness. If anything, having the humility to ask for help makes you the stronger person. It will make you feel less alone, and it will make the people around you feel good. Everyone wins.

Above all, remember that I'm here for you, your bff 4eva. When your boobs are leaking and you're about ready to strangle somebody, you can call me day or night. I can't wait to meet your little girl.

Love you always!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Almost forgot to tell y'all about our birthday dinner. We went out to a popular restaurant in uptown to eat guinea pig. They ended up not being able to get our pig through customs from Colombia, so we had to eat normal food.

The good part, though, was that they comped half of our meal for our inconvenience. And I had a drink in a coconut.

Look! It says Happy Birthday to me on my menu! And my coconut!

We ordered fried ice cream for dessert. We didn't expect it to look like this.

Jared and I tried our hardest to get a good photo fo the two of us, but it wasn't happening. We're not very photogenic. Here is just a (very very) small sampling of our failed attempts.

I like this one because it's probably the creepiest picture ever of Jared.

We look this beautiful naturally.

These have made me realize two things. 1.) Jared REALLY needs a haircut and 2.) We should probably have our pictures professionally done. And possibly 3.) It might help if we didn't have any drinks beforehand.

Cool kids.

Jared and I have never really been "cool kids." So, it really shouldn't come as a shock when I tell y'all that we're even less cool now that we're Mommy and Daddy.

Literally the only words I said to Jared this morning before he left for school were:
"Was it a poop?"
"No, just a big ol' pee pee."

And with that I rolled over and went back to sleep. Usually some sort of pop culture reference comes up and that's when we really feel... old, I guess.  The popular song Like A G6 comes on the radio and we always ask, "What's a G6?" We've made a few speculations. I guessed a souped up sports car. Jared wondered if it wasn't some sort of swanky government rank. (It's a cool airplane, apparently.)

Yesterday we saw on satellite radio that one of the songs we like is by MGMT. We both confessed that we didn't know how to pronounce the band's name. (M. G. M. T.? Management? Megmet?) Cool people our age name drop bands like crazy, and my only response to them is to cock my head to the side like a confused puppy. We are so not cool.

And the saddest thing? I used to laugh at my own parents for that kind of stuff. My dad would tell me to go shopping in Hollinger's (Hollister) and pick up juh-eye-rows (gyros) for dinner, and that cracked me up.

People have told me that there would be a moment of revelation in every parent's life in which she realizes she is becoming her own parents. My revelation came to me today, when Jared sent me this secret Facebook message:

"It's em-gee-em-tee. :) "

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It was really cold and rainy out, but we were stylin' it up anyway.

I'm pissed that I didn't focus the camera for this one, but the content is rock solid.

(Of course, those of you who receive emails will have to go to the blog to see this video.)

Friday, October 22, 2010


Apparently Jared is tired, too.

He stayed up all night last night trying to finish a project for his midterms. After eating a piece of pizza, he passed out on the couch. He's now drooling, half on the couch, half off.

I tried to wake him up to tell him to go to bed, but his eyes didn't open. I was slightly worried he was in a coma or something so I shook him harder - he still didn't wake up. Then I did what any respectable, loving fiance would do... I kicked him a few times.

He said, "Ow." I guess that means he's not dying or anything.

Next I'm going to attempt to literally drag him off the couch, down the hall, to our bed. I don't want him complaining of a crick in his neck tomorrow on my birthday, after all.


I'm still tired. I tried to take a nap today with Oliver but it wasn't happening. Last night I ate something outside of my recent healthy diet range and it made my tummy hurt. Also, I accidentally ate two of these (really delicious) prunes, multiple pieces of 12 grain toast and a pear. That didn't help matters.

Jared was finally able to come home this evening. Of course, I couldn't talk to him because he went straight to bed. Oliver bit me on the arm when I took away an empty bottle from him. For the last hour I've been trying to set up our wireless router with no success. (Now that I type this, I remember that last year we had to call Linksys and they helped us go around something sneaky Comcast did to try and make us pay for professional install. Sneaky, sneaky Comcast... You are no good to us!)

I was feeling too lazy to make real dinner so I ordered Jared a pizza. I answered the door in a really old shirt with, guess what! Milk stains over my boobs. I don't know how that shirt ended up in my drawer but I think it's time for it to go in the trash.

Tomorrow is my birthday but I'm not really excited about it. I'm never really a festive person, but now that I feel like an oldster I'll probably only get excited if there is either A.) a cookie/ice cream cake or B.) a laser light show.

For some crazy reason I looked into job options today and realized that there is a definite paucity of marketable skills in my bag o' tricks. I don't know why I even looked at jobs because it's not like it would make sense for me to get a job right now anyway. Any job I'd get wouldn't cover the costs of childcare. I could have my parents watch him, but they're far away and I don't want to leave Oliver, anyway.

I'm almost resigned to the fact that I'll transfer to some tech school because getting a four year degree in horticulture sounds pretty pointless. There is nothing I could do with that. I can't even think of a job taht I'd enjoy that requires a schooling degree, so I'll probably just pick something I think I could do well with minimum lifestyle interference and get whatever degree necessary for that. I'm pretty sure I can take a job I'm more or less ambivalent about and still be happy with my life. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at making the best of things. After all, there would probably be people with which I could commiserate, and there are always the weekends.

Let's play a game. I'll list things that bring me pleasure, and you'll tell me what career path I should choose. Winner gets brownies from my kitchen and the weight on his shoulders of knowing that he's either made or broken my life forever. (Ha! Kidding. I mean, unless you do somehow ruin my life then shame on you.)

Things that make me happy:

1. Typing perfectly without making any mistakes.
2. Bargain shopping.
3. Driving with music on.
4. Watching nature and/or Discovery channels.
5. Crossword puzzles.
6. Watching ridiculous speeders get pulled over by the cops.
7. Organizing other people's cupboards.
8. Various arts and crafts.
9. Acquiring and using new housewares.
10.  Talking to really old people in grocery stores.

Talents I have:
1. I make a good pot pie.
2. I can read and remember things. Usually.
3. I am really good at assembling things and following instructions.
4. My general direction senses are pretty good, and when they aren't I'm excellent with a map. (I even excelled at orienteering. No lies.)
5. I can make a nice fire with a flint.
6. Bring me a stain, I'll get it out. Probably.
7. My graph and chart reading skills are unparalleled.
8. I'm a master problem solving creative thinker.
9. I am a pretty good driver.
10. Flexibility.
11. Taking care of other people.

Things I'm bad at:
1. Killing spiders.
2. Math. And chemistry.
3. Self defense.
4. Waking up early.
5. Fashion.
6. Penmanship.
7. Overreacting. I typically err on the side of underreacting.
8. Acting.
9. Trivial pursuit.
10. Remembering numbers, names, and faces.

So there you go! When you come back, could you please have my life planned out for me?


Thursday, October 21, 2010


This is our birthday week. Jared and I have celebrated together in some way since we were thirteen. Last year we were so busy with Oliver and school and life in general that we didn't do much. We still probably won't do much this year, but I'm looking forward to going out. I'm looking forward to spending some time together.

I've been so uncharacteristically tired this week. It could be that I've never recovered from a trip to my sister's farm and my friend's house 2 hours away. Somebody decided to smash a pumpkin on the van's windshield, so my stay was longer than I'd expected. I had fun, but all of the driving and insurance claiming and police reporting and couch sleeping and baby missing was tiring.

It would be pretty if it didn't cost $400 to fix.
I started thinking about being away from Oliver and it made me feel really sad. Two/three days seems like forever to be apart from him. When I picked him up from my parents' house he had changed. He now exclaims, "My, My, My!" when something surprising happens. He walks more often. He says "cat" and "meow" to the neighborhood felines. In the time space of 2 days, he changed.

And although I know he's well cared for and he ENJOYS being away from me, I feel like I shouldn't ever let him go. I feel like I miss things when I let him leave. I feel so sad for Jared because Jared hasn't seen Oliver since these momentous first steps a week ago:

Jared feels horrible that he's missing all of this, but what can he do? He wakes up, catches the bus to school, and starts class before Oliver even stirs in the morning. Classes are over and he gets home after 6:30, and Oliver is already in bed. He might come home for a quick lunch or dinner, but the time he gets to spend with Oliver on weekdays is minimal. I know it's hard on him. It's hard on us too. Even though we know he's working hard for us, it is still lonely at home without him. We miss him.

Just before Oliver was born, I went through a couple of weeks where I was really, really scared. I felt like parenting was going to be an impossible task. I was convinced my life was over.  I remember that Jared said, "Why are you scared? It'll be you and me and the baby, and we'll kick ass and go on adventures."

The way he said it, so seriously, so matter-of-fact, made me smile.

Today is day 394 of kicking ass and going on adventures.

We love you, Daddy. Happy Birthday.
Our adventures wouldn't be the same without you.


I have the internet back now. It is so glorious. I am going to watch TV on the internet. I can post all of my blogs that I'd written but couldn't publish. I AM GOING TO GOOGLE THINGS.

It is currently freezing in our aparment because all the doors and windows are open, but I cannot be dragged away from this internetting to put on socks. Or at least close the windows.

I'll do that later. Right now I'm too busy looking at hipster puppies.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dentist Can See You Now.

Today I noticed a tiny white speck on the grotesque looking burl in the back of his mouth. His molar is arriving! Think of the foods he can eat once that baby pops through. He could mash up raw apple! He could eat chips without cutting his mouth to shreds! And of course, he'll start requesting baby sized steaks!

The pediatrician told us to take him to the dentist now, but what would the dentist do? Oliver has a hard time opening his mouth to get his teeth brushed. I can't imagine what it'd be like if the dentist wanted to take xrays or something. I am pretty sure the only way a dentist could even get a peek at those chompers would be to dangle a cube of cheese in front of him.

So, I asked the dentist and the dentist said, "Uh.. Yeah. We don't usually see kids 'til they're starting school. And we don't really do too much for them. Don't give your kid juice or soda." So I decided we can wait.

Know what else I decided today? Many things, including but not limited to:

1. I will give in and start buying the tiny portioned ice creams, because they are like forced serving size control. EVEN IF THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE.
2.  Delta's credit card is stupid and too complicated. All I wanted was some free checked bags.
3.  Reading the developmental guidelines for babies/toddlers is even stupider than Delta's credit card policy.

Number three is the biggie. I know that every mommy blogger ever in existence has written a story trying to warn people that baby books are dumb, so I'll just throw in my two cents.

Baby books are dumb.

That was the condensed version. If you're a veteran mom, you can just stop there. Because you already  know I'm going to say that the books will drive you to insanity.

Don't get what I'm saying? Let me explain.

 Say, for instance, you have an adorable baby. You've never taken care of a baby before. You think, "Hey! Somebody must have written down an instruction manual for this, right?" Right. You find one. You crack it open. The book tells you to never leave your baby unattended and to cover up your electrical sockets. So far, so good.

Then you flip to the milestones pages and it's all fire and brimstone. If your baby is 7 weeks old but the book says she was supposed to start grabbing things in a fist at 6 weeks? Or, say that your baby is 7.25 months old and she was supposed to be able to use the pincer grip at 7 months?

Well, I'm sorry to say it, but your baby is doomed. She is probably autistic. Or she has cancer. Or else she has that one rare genetic disorder that causes all of her hand muscles to atrophy into Jell-O.  That birth mark on her back is probably actually all that remains of the identical twin she absorbed in utero. You should call your pediatrician and start an intervention for her immediately.

Of course, there IS a disclaimer  (in a teeny tiny font!) saying that all babies grow and develop differently. But do you know where that disclaimer is? At the very end - after the book already told you how your child will never be able to lead a normal life and will probably grow up to be an LSD addicted stripper.

So, if your kid happens to be a little bit slower, you start to worry.  A lot. Then you call the pediatrician. They all try not to laugh at you as they explain that your child is not dying. You'll call in 10 more times before you realize that your baby just started doing x on an appropriate timeline. You decide baby books are stupid. You throw them in the trash.

And if your baby is on a bit of a fast track? You get a complex.

What if your kid is only 1.5 months old, but he already has the neck control of a giraffe? What if your 5 month old can support his weight and say dada to you?

At first it's no big deal. But then you start to brag at play dates. And then you mentally begin signing your baby up for a gifted preschool program. Before you know it, your kid is predetermined to greatness. He will be enrolled in violin and piano lessons at age two. He will speak a minimum of 4 different languages, at least one of them being Mandarin or Arabic. He will probably be the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel. And it's all because you had him listening to NPR while he was gestating. And also you fed him exclusively organic food, too.... Right?

That's all good and dandy, until one day you realize.. Wait a second. This is his 9 month birthday and he isn't walking yet! You're crestfallen. You're convinced that you just haven't been coaching enough. You work and work and work to get that baby to walk, but despite your best efforts nary a step taken!

You give up and resign your baby back into a life of normalcy. You realize that while you were so anxious for X to occur, you didn't notice that your baby was mastering the different traits of Y & Z. After you stop pressuring her, your baby does whatever minuscule thing you were so worried about and you curse your baby book for giving you such high expectations. You decide baby books are stupid. You throw them in the trash.

Either camp your baby falls into, you throw them in the trash. Stupid baby books.

This photo was left behind yesterday, but I thought it needed recognition. Note how baby and goat have the same expression.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dinner this evening.

Dear Universe,

Somehow I've ended up with 3 potato mashers and 3 heart shaped pans, but you know what I don't have? A  pie tin. I wish I could make pot pies that didn't look like this:

But anyway, I'll accept my lack of pie tins because I found TWO pairs of jeans today. And they were on sale. That was pretty nice.

Next time I go to the mall, Universe, I'd like it if you could help me find a couple new bras. Then  I'd be set.



Today we went to a kitschy little farm to enjoy some fall festivities. Oliver ate his first mini donuts. He got to see his favorite animals from his story books in real life. We had a good time.

There were also ducks and cows and sheep, but they were less photogenic.

He picked out this pumpkin and would not let it go. It had to be that one. So we let him have it.

I couldn't find my camera before we left, so I had to use my old camera. I offer my apologies because the quality suffered, but I did find this hidden gem on the memory card. Who knows how old he is here?