Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wanted: a Nap

Today I crowned myself an official "Mom".  And that's only because I spent the entire night last with my head in the toilet after a suspicious dinner and yet I don't get to call in sick today.  Instead I am chasing after an extremely willful ten month old baby who doesn't understand that he can't eat the dog food or chew on his crib railing and who is refusing to nap.   All the while I'm trying not to pass out from exhaustion and nausea.   So here I am, an official "Mom" who is officially tired.

And, no, I am NOT pregnant, definitely not.  Wouldn't that just be a kick in the ass, though?  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ten Months

Dear Noah,

Dude.  You are BUSY.  There is so much to do and see, so many places to go and people to talk to.  I can hardly hold you still because you know there is something much more fun happening right around the corner.  I knew this was inevitable, the moving and grooving, but I was slightly unprepared for it.  I had myself all worked up that you were never going to crawl and BAM!  You just one day up and did it and you haven't stopped moving since.  You're pulling yourself up on anything you come across...the ottoman, the couch, the chairs, me, Daddy, the dog (and I wouldn't do that again if you know what's good for you).  You haven't yet figured out how to stand in your crib but it's only a matter of time.  And I've cursed myself by saying that.

This past month has been a steady as (s)he goes kind of month.  Everyday you become less of a baby and more of a toddler who doesn't quite toddle.  You have set ideas on what needs to happen and when and you're quite vocal about it all.  Especially about the injustices of the world like bath time or pajama time or god forbid, bed time.  Woe is you when it comes to bed time!  You turn into this screaming, wriggling, biting monkey type creature who protests the whole bed time routine (unless we open your dinosaur book and then you're content to sit for 3.4 minutes) and when we finally put you in your crib you look at us like we were holding out on you.  So what is it, buddy?  You scream because you WANT to go to sleep?  Curious.  I tell you, we're like newbies over here every. stinking. day.   But once you're in your crib you grab at your blankie, kiss Elmo and drift off peacefully like the past ten minutes never happened.   We'll get it together soon, I promise.

You've started to figure out our route to the park and when it comes into view you start to grunt in excitement.  A quick swing and all is right in your world.  I've begun to say "bye bye park, see you tomorrow" when we leave because you tend to arch your back and try to throw yourself to the ground when I remove you from the swing to go home.  And if we say bye bye, you wave and then you're happy.  Because waving bye bye (or hi, for that matter, it's all the same to you) is the best thing in the entire world.  You'll wave at me when I put you to sleep, you wave at the dog when she's sitting under your highchair hoovering up your fallen food, you wave at the leaves blowing across the deck, you wave at Daddy when he leaves the room, I could go on and on.  Except you won't wave on demand when we're actually saying goodbye to a friend.  About 5 minutes later you're in your car seat or stroller and you start waving...and it never fails to make me laugh.

Baby boy, you're turning into a pretty sweet little kid, but it's breaking my heart a little that we're already planning your first birthday party because that means you're growing up.  And I demand that you stop it this instant.  Right now.  I mean it.  Stay little forever, yet keep growing.  It's a mother's constant refrain.  I love you my darling baby.  


Friday, May 15, 2009

I better take more photos before his 10 month letter...

Oh my gosh! I just realized that you haven't seen pictures of the baby in SUCH A LONG TIME! You don't come here for my drivel. You come here for baby pictures. I am so sorry I have bored you to tears lately. Your patience is well rewarded...right now.

Note: I did not edit or enhance any of these photos because a) I am lazy today and b) I am trying to make a point to my husband that he has to install Photoshop on my computer as it is doing no good in the box and I'm sorry but Photoshop Express just isn't cutting it anymore.  So my apologies for the poor lighting and semi-craptastic photos.  At least the subject is cute.

 Oh look!  He can STAND.  And he who stands, does not sit.  Ever.

It is quite the conundrum picking out a toy.  Which shall it be?

Ah!  The one at the BOTTOM of the toy box.  (And please excuse my messy, messy family room.)

Victory!  Also, this is his usual toybox stance...legs spread wide and arms outflung.  It's really kind of hilarious.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm owed 602 hours of "time off"

Paraphrased from Parenting mag:

Excuse from a mom for not taking time off: "I stay home and my husband works hard all week, so I feel bad taking a day to myself".

Answer: Well, you work hard all week, too, if you're taking care of kids--some would say harder, given the zillions of details you keep track of and all the needs you must satisfy.  There are labor laws in this country and you can decide if they apply to you, too.  For every eight hours you work, you're entitled to a half-hour lunch and two 20-minute breaks.  If you're a stay at home mom with no help, you work about 16 hours a day.  That means you have 14 hours a week coming to you.

Let's discuss.  I read this to Tim this morning and his response was "Do those 14 hours count for sleeping?"  Oh, ha.  Ha.  NO.  Isn't he funny?  He really should take his act on the road.  Literally.  But this article got me thinking a lot about staying home all day and how I feel about taking time to myself.  It's difficult for me to compare the work I do at home to the work Tim does out of the house, or in our case, out of his office in the basement.  What I do at home is definitely work...making sure Noah is taken care of and entertained, cleaning the house, laundry, shopping, bills, house maintenance and upkeep (damn straight I mulched the backyard all by myself) among numerous other things.  And it's HARD work, believe me, I know.  But I signed up for this, right?  When we decided that I would stay home, I knew what that entailed and all the responsibilities that would (most likely) be mine alone.  So I have a hard time saying to Tim at the end of a day "Here, Honey, take the baby, bathe him, put him to bed, then could you pretty please unload the dishwasher, put away the clean dishes, reload it with dirty ones, then fold the clean laundry from the dryer, transfer a load, and start a fresh one in the washer? Oh, and then scrub the toilets because they really won't clean themselves.  Thanks!" while I sit on the couch painting my toenails or run off to the bookstore for quiet time.

How do you handle this?  I WANT, nay, NEED time off just like everyone.  But I have trouble throwing my very hard working husband under the bus so I can get that time off.  I constantly remind myself that all the work he does, especially the "after hours" work and weekend work is for the benefit of our family so I really should stop complaining about having to do another load of laundry.  On the flip side, he's as much a part of this family and a parent as I am so he's just as responsible for the baby, the house, the cleaning, etc.   I could say that because he works at a job outside (ish) the home, he really isn't as responsible for those things.  But I don't whole-heartedly agree with that.  I know I would feel different about the 50/50 split if we both held paying jobs and HAD to split up these repsonsibilities.  But since I AM home, I CAN do these things.  

Hmmm.  This whole post looks like a brain dump without too much organization.  In summary, and because I am not going to review this before I post it, how do YOU handle this?  How do you split up the home/parenting responsibilites?  How do you handle the necessary "time off" for both of you?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I WAS going to put up a rant-y type post about baby classes and preschool prep classes (!!!  I KNOW.  WTF?) and how I am entirely fed up with all the talk about said classes amongst my moms' group.  Instead, I waited.  And I complained to my mother and my neighbor and my friend and then I erased said post because it wasn't coming out the way I wanted it to and I sounded like an ass.  This is why this blog is so perfect for me.  I can write it all out, get it on "paper" and then hit delete, and bam!  Gone.  And even though the words are gone, I feel so much better having spewed my brain on the page.

So instead of that rant, I am going to try this whole Being Positive thing.  There are plenty of things to complain about and I seem to be particularly excellent at it...the complaining, that is.  However, I want to tell you about my first Mother's Day which was spectacular.  No, there may not have been fireworks or diamonds or anything one may consider spectacular, but my husband and my family made it pretty special.  Tim and Noah gifted me with a beautiful charm engraved with Noah's initials and birthdate as well as a trip to the garden center to pick out my flowers for the season.  I have always enjoyed planting flowers with my mother right around Mother's Day so this was something I wanted to continue in my own backyard.  On Sunday, we spent the morning at the Network of Strength's Walk to Empower in Chicago's Grant Park benefitting breast cancer research (pics to come).  I had planned to do this walk with my friend and then recruited my mother, my sister, my brother, my cousin and Tim and Noah.  It was an amazing experience being there with over 45,000 other walkers/runners as well as my family and friend.  And Tim didn't complain once.  A minor miracle I tell you.  (Damn, there is that negativity again!)  It was truly inspiring to see the survivors and the names of those that the disease claimed far too early listed on so many shirts.  The walk will definitely be a tradition for all future Mother's Days.  The day ended with a lunch spent with our extended family and watching Noah crawl all over the room.  

Thanks to my husband, my son, my family and friends, this first Mother's Day was everything I had hoped for and more.  Especially because of my son, my baby, my heart.  Noah is becoming such a wonderful little boy, more and more so each day that I am beginning to mourn his babyhood.  It's so very fleeting.  When you're in the thick of it, it seems neverending but as soon as you start to see the other side, the "big kid" side, you realize how quickly time goes by.  My boy who is finally crawling, so close to walking, and starting to "talk" to us.  It was a Mother's Day to remember.

To those of my readers who are moms, I hope you had a fantastic day full of love.  And to those of you celebrating your mothers, I hope you showed her how special she is.  Being a mother is no small feat and one that should be celebrated daily.  And by celebrated, I mean with a glass of wine and a piece, or three, of chocolate. 

Friday, May 8, 2009


I received this via email this morning from my darling friend, T, and was completely floored.  If you want to make a mama's Mother's Day, send this on.  It's fun, it's cheeky, and it makes it's recipient feel pretty special.  Who doesn't love to see their name in lights?

Thanks so much, T!  I love it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Now where did those pesky outlet covers go?

I feel like there has been a rainy, gray cloud sitting over my head for the past few months (and I don't mean literally).  But today it lifted.  You know why?  Because Noah crawled for the first time.  Not creeped on his belly, not got up on his knees only to plop to the ground, but actually crawled forward, his arms and legs in perfect unison.  And I was there to witness it.  

I've been so worried about him lately to the point that I actually thought he might never crawl.  And of course I have been hearing many stories of babies who never crawled and turned out just fine.  It was just that little nagging voice in the back of my head that was saying "he broke his leg and that was your fault and now he may not crawl and is it because of the broken leg?  IS IT?" I don't think that anymore.  I now think that this little guy is on his own schedule and doing what he wants when he wants to do it.  But damn if I'm not pleased to pieces that he's finally crawling.  There may have been tears from both Tim and I when he did it...but I won't confirm that.

I hope to get it on video tomorrow.  I'll be the voice cheering him on:  Go, baby, go!  Remind me how much I wanted this in a month when I am complaining about how he's into everything and the word "no!" is super hilarious to him.