Saturday, May 31, 2008

On my eighth twenty-first birthday...

Ryan has declared the whole weekend my birthday and is making it really memorable. This morning we went out for brunch at a neat place downtown that has a great buffet. There are no pictures because I was busy eating enough French toast and migas (and sausage and banana nut muffins and potatoes, oh my!) to feed all three of us for a week (Bravo says "Nom nom nom delicious French toast nom nom").

THEN we went canoing (I changed my clothes in public again, ding ding ding that's THREE!). Charlie had a blast. He met some ducks right at eye level and saw turtles and fish. His favorite part was the swimming dogs. He also did some not-exactly-safe hanging over the side of the canoe to trail his fingers in the water but I had a good grip on the back of his puffy life jacket (which, really, I don't even know if he'd get wet if he fell in while wearing this thing it had so much foam in it).

"Je suis the river version of Jacques Cousteau. Je study zee turtles and zee ducks but I am mostly interested in zee golden retrievers, BIEN SUR! HA HA HA!"

Looks like somebody got into the SPF 50. Good heavens.

Ryan just left for the grocery store asking if I preferred Funfetti or chocolate icing.

And next up for me is TA DA!!!


I'm going with a mom friend (by ourselves! woo hoo no tote bags!!) and we're going an hour early because it is completely sold out (and also because we are eating dinner there...mmm....more food, cheese and tomato sandwich to be specific).

UPDATE: OH MY GOSH. I had already teared up twice before the opening sequence was over (Brady has gotten so BIG! And also, "My friends! How I've missed you!"). I got there an hour early and the line to get in was already out the door. Everyone was in good spirits (and most were drinking some good spirits). The audience clapped and cheered when the pink HBO logo came up on the screen and applauded at the end. I've been reliving it all day. It was wonderful. I'm listening to the soundtrack right now (there was an iTunes card in my card this morning from Ryan and Charlie) and get a little vaclempt when Mairi Campbell's 'Auld Lang Syne' comes on. There aren't many movies that I am truly glad I saw in the theater instead of waiting for the rental and this is one of them. Watching it with a room full of women (and it was nearly all women... there was one man in front of us who texted through the entire movie) who were all as excited about it as me was so much fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some things you only appreciate when they are gone.

Like the "R" gear in my car.

That is not a metaphor, my car will not go into reverse.

I discovered this at the most inopportune time--in a hot car with my barely functioning air conditioner set to Category 5, stranded in a nose-in, downhill street parking space across from the library downtown.

It took all of my somewhat limited upper body strength and about twenty-five tries to get it to back up.

Thankfully our driveway is downhill towards the street because when I tried again, hoping my car had magically fixed itself during the ten minute drive home, no amount of pushing, pulling, clutch pumping or prayer could get it to go into reverse. It's like the gear is not even there and the car is just sitting there blowing hot air on me saying "Reverse? I don't remember having a reverse...maybe you're thinking of first? Second? No, we have always gone forward. Only forward." IT'S MOCKING ME!

I'm not sure what I am going to do if the park we have plans to visit this afternoon doesn't have pull-through spots but it will probably involve driving on grass.

UPDATE: Ryan fixed it! Car now goes in reverse. All it needed was a little canola oil and lots of swearing (funny, I tried lots of swearing and all it did was sit there blowing ninety degree air at me). Tomorrow he's going to look at the air conditioning because I think he finally realized I wasn't just chit chatting when I suggested I go find us a new car while he's at work. And by find I mean purchase. And by car I mean first station wagon I find with an iPod port.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Must find a way to become upper middle class

Yesterday I was getting Charlie's shoes on so we could go outside and wait for Ryan to come home when the sky turned dark and the house filled with this loud mechanical noise. The noise was getting louder and louder. Whatever it was was getting closer fast. I was sitting on the floor with Charlie in my lap so I could only see out one of the windows and I couldn't see what was making the noise. I was a little freaked out but tried not to show it. Rossby was all "TRIPODS!! IN THE FRONT YARD!! ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE!!" Charlie refused to let go of my leg and demanded "Book! Book! Book! Book!" until I found Goodnight Moon.

The noise (from Charlie, Rossby, and the Tripod) reached a crescendo. My entire body was tense, unsure of whether to head for the tornado closet or call the police. One thing was sure, I was NOT going to get up and look out the window.

Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I peeked out the window by the front door just as a man on a riding lawnmower passed by.

We don't have lawn guys. These were our neighbor's lawn guys. (They were thanking us for letting them use our driveway this weekend to get their trailer closer to our neighbor's back gate)

I set Charlie up on an ottoman so he could watch and hid behind our TV armoire so the lawn guy couldn't see me because then he wouldn't know that I was home (as if the eighteen month old child standing at the window shrieking "TRUCK! TRUCK! TRUCK!" didn't give me away).

I only ventured outside when Ryan came home. I ran out onto the porch with Charlie like "OHMYGOSH THESE GUYS JUST SHOWED UP AND STARTED MOWING OUR LAWN FOR FREE ISN'T IT AWESOME?!" Ryan was shaking hands with THE OTHER LAWN GUY with the WEEDWACKER whom I hadn't seen yet and thanking him profusely (Whatever! Appropriate, adult responses to someone doing us a very nice favor are SOOOO overrated!). Then he gave them a tip, which was the right thing to do I guess but come ON that was our Sonic money!

The whole thing left us feeling kind of awkward. Ryan takes good care of our yard. We don't NEED help. And it was after six and RAINING when they finished up with the blower. I considered inviting them in for dinner because they were SO NICE. But it was bedtime for Charlie and I'm sure they had other things to do (probably with people who had more than one dusty beer in the back of their fridge).

But they did a very very nice job. I secretly admire their edging job every time I pull into the driveway (don't tell Ryan, he would be crushed). Our neighbors? Are living the freaking DREAM.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wishing I had that pizza right now

Ryan found a blackout shade in Charlie's window and pulled it down last night when he put him to bed. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised because the people who used to live here turned this place into a childproofed fortress with all the bells and whistles including outlet protectors on the outlets on top of the kitchen counters (I can't figure it out either). Anyway, I laid Charlie down for his usual 9:00 nap nearly three hours ago. I just hoped for an hour so I could get a nap too.

When I woke up at the one hour mark I hurried downstairs to make myself some peanut butter toast before he woke up.

Then I caught up on blogs real quick before he woke up.

Then I folded two loads of laundry since I seemed to have a few more minutes.

Then I switched load three over to the drier and put the fourth load in.

Then I talked to two friends on the phone.

Then I emailed Ryan to declare him a genius for finding the blackout shade.

Checked pulse and respiration at hours 1.5, 2, 2.25, 2.5, 2.75.

Spent 15 minutes Googling "African Sleeping Sickness, American suburb occurences of"

He either likes it dark or that thrilling trip to Target to buy diapers and grapes this morning really tuckered him out.

Wake up buddy, Mama doesn't want to clean the bathroom!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why does saying this make me feel a little guilty?

I love being a family. We have so much fun seeing our new city together, hanging out at home together, making pancakes together, and dancing in the living room together. We do. I wouldn't trade it for anything and I don't even remember what it was like when Ryan and Charlie weren't a part of my life. It would likely seem too quiet and boring now. I just took Charlie to a patriotic sing-along and watching him smile and dance along with the music made it so much more fun than ever before (and if you knew how excited I got about patriotic sing-alongs you would find that hard to believe). I am so lucky to have such a nice little family to share my life with.

But do you ever wish you could, just once, get the thin crust barbeque chicken pizza instead of store brand pepperoni and then eat the whole thing while you read People magazine and watch one of those movies that you have too much respect for your husband to even suggest renting for the fifth time (Rent, White Christmas, and Love Actually come to mind) ALL BY YOURSELF?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This is so much more appropriate than Rent

Did you know that THIS was redone as a CD and is available on iTunes? I can practically see the gauzy images of hippy children dancing in fields of flowers on the video we routinely checked out from the library when I was little. My favorite is "Parents are People" in which mommies are women who have children (so much nicer than dividing ourselves into work-outside-of-the-home moms and stay-at-home-moms, don't you think?) and mommies are busy with children and things that they do... there are a lot of things a lot of mommies can do (ranchers, poets, teachers, doctors, cleaners, bakers, singers, taxi drivers). A retro answer to the Mommy Wars? Love it!

I have a strange urge to get Charlie a football and a tea set, a doll and a fishing pole.

(Funny, unrelated story: The other day in the culdesac Charlie was playing with a little girl who had a stroller and a doll. We hadn't brought any of his toys. I looked over after a few minutes and they were going for a family walk... Charlie cradling the doll and the little girl pushing the stroller with a football in it.)

We took Charlie out to breakfast and then to a farmers' market and finally to wade in the river. All the swimming dogs totally blew his little mind. And FISH! He's been sleeping for almost three hours.

Anyway, if you need me I'll be braiding flowers into Charlie's hair.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In which karma tries to bite me... and FAILS

So I was taking a little break from all the really fun LabView code untangling I've been doing to see if they had opened the ticket sales yet for the Sex and the City movie. I am working in the coffee shop today where, as you know, broadcasting sounds of any kind from your computer is a major faux pas. There are several other laptop people around me deep in thought (or tmz or espn, I don't know, they're men though so they're probably not shopping for double strollers, ahem) and being a good steward of my coffee shop table occupation privileges, I did not want to be annoying.

So anyway. I went to the website of my favorite movie theater, the one that serves microbrews and the most delicious cheese, basil, and tomato sandwiches you could ever imagine and was ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED to discover that they were hosting a midnight screening of Sex and the City complete with free cosmos and swag bags (not that I can actually drink a cosmo right now, or have ever tried one, but it sure sounded like fun). I couldn't believe my luck. I clicked on the little "tickets available" icon to buy tickets. I wondered how many I should buy. I figured I could talk at least a couple of my local friends into joining me, and if not, I KNEW I could always get my non-local friends A and Godmother to fly down here and go with me (haha, I wish, you have no idea... my friend here, who is awesome, actually LAUGHED when I suggested we dress up like our favorite character when we went to the movie, A and Godmother wouldn't do that. They would offer me a red wig so I could go as Miranda).

As the page started to load I was terror-struck when I realized that the trailer for the movie was about to start playing automatically. The volume on my computer was up REALLY REALLY loud because Charlie likes to watch "the baby" every time he sees me near my computer (it's a video of him saying "Bye" and laughing, it totally cracks him up and so I will let him watch it up to five times in a row before I realize that maybe if I set some boundaries I could actually use the computer during his waking hours without being besieged with requests for "Baby?! Baby?! Baby?!").

Panic panic panic panic furious clicking on "mute" button furious attempts to close the not responding window gah gah gah gah gah...

...and THEN, a stroke of genius. I ripped the headphones out of my iPod and plugged them into the port on my computer. GENIUS I tell you. And then I realized that the "Back" button was working just fine.

Embarrassing crisis of Sarah Jessica Parker shouting "Hello lover!" in a crowded coffee shop averted. Phew.

Maybe this is a sign I should try to stay focused while working?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Preschooler (not so) Express

Today we took the toddlers and our mom tote bags for a train ride at a park in our town. They had a really good time even though we forced them to keep their hats on and drink water every five minutes. It was like ninety-five degrees, which was OK in the shade, but when we got off the train I had a Charlie-shaped sweat mark on my shirt. I had a good time too. The train goes along a river by some nice shady trees and all the kids waved at people passing on bicycles (it's not a very fast train) and walking their dogs.

Train Ride
What I look like when I'm extremely hot. Not sure what was happening with my hair there, except maybe it's time to find a good root volumizer. Also, I am pretty sure that is not a pit stain on my shirt. Charlie spilled water on his shirt and he got me wet when I carried him to the train. Let's hope.

We were going to cool off by dipping our toes in the river after the ride but the five kids had begun some kind of group meltdown by the time we got everyone in their strollers so we decided to say goodbye.

I got back to my car to find that I had left the driver's side door wide open... again. That makes two times for this pregnancy and one time for Charlie's. We better keep the Neon if we plan on having any more kids. It seems to give off a nice "why bother" vibe to would be criminals.

Next week is the splash park, which my friend said is better than the pool because the moms/nannies/guardians don't have to put on their swimsuits. But if it's ninety-five again I will be wearing my swimsuit and playing in the water with the kids. Or maybe just lying on the pavement under the giant whale sprinkler (apropos, no?).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking control

I have been a little overwhelmed with everything I have in front of me (AKA totally freaking the hell out over every little thing. Is so much fun for Ryan). In summary:

The obvious: Bravo, the dissertation, potty train now or wait?
The subtle: price of milk, eggs, and gas, are we saving enough for retirement.
The trivial yet frustrating: maternity clothes (adjusting to living with five shirts, four pairs of pants, and one dress), the endlessly messy house we just can't stay on top of.
The existential: Will I ever have a job? Should I have a job? I feel like a huge financial leech on our family when I'm not working and agonize over buying every bag of Oreos knowing I will eat most of them and they are not a crucial food purchase.

All of this came to a head yesterday morning when I could not find anything to wear to church that I hadn't worn a million times already and that didn't make me look ridiculously frumpy. I was exhausted, having not slept well for the fourth night in a row, and this clothing issue seemed symbolic of so much that had been frustrating me (I need clothes, but earn no money because of my dissertation, so what right do I have to spend even more money on myself? OMG MY DISSERTATION PANIC PANIC PANIC, SWEAR, THROW SHOE, CRY).

My emotional state was precarious enough, but then at church they did a slide show where they showed the pictures of the babies (who to me all looked like Charlie in early nineties baby-wear) and then the corresponding senior picture while one of the seniors sang "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. And then I was a freaking disaster. No dignified tissue dabbing here. Fat hot tears, loud sniffing, little red half moons in my palms where I dug my nails in trying not to completely lose it.

But then we got home Ryan made a nice lunch and encouraged me to go look for some maternity clothes that I felt good in. I hit the jackpot at a secondhand store and came home with three shirts, a pair of shorts, a skirt, and a dress for $50 (and brought the total of times I have changed my clothes in the car this pregnancy to TWO). I went home and took a nap and then played outside with Charlie. I started to feel a little better.

Ryan was putting Charlie to bed when I decided to check airfare prices again to see if we could fly to Philadelphia to attend my cousin's committment ceremony (which I really REALLY wanted to attend). We had already decided to skip our planned vacation to New England to visit my family this summer in the name of dissertation finishing and money saving and I didn't feel like it would be right to attend the ceremony but not visit everyone when we were so close. So I went and got Charlie's puppy calendar off the wall and outlined a nice little week-long trip, beginning with the ceremony in Philadelphia and ending in Boston a week later (unfortunately we won't have time to spend in Boston like we did last summer and promised ourselves we would do this summer in lieu of living there through, what, three Nor'easters, when we decided to move to South instead).

By the time Ryan came downstairs I had an itinerary and a surprisingly affordable budget (only about 25% of our tax return/stimulus check, which was only going into general savings anyway. The other 75% will still be saved). Ryan was enthusiastic about my plan and it felt so good to talk about something that will be so enjoyable instead of ho hum "Would you buy milk on your way home?" "Does your car need gas?" pleasantries we have settled into because I have been such a grump. He sat down at the computer and researched all the options and we finalized the itinerary, called the family, and bought our tickets.

I cannot tell you the difference this decision has made in my mood. I woke up happy, thinking about seeing my cousin's ceremony and all of my family, going to my grandparents houses, how much Charlie is going to love the beach this year now that he can walk (see below), how happy both grandmas sounded on the phone when I told them we were coming. I may be working during my vacation, but at least I'll be in a pretty place with people I love.

Does not like waves
Charlie on Cape Cod last summer. Not crazy about the waves.

It's less than a month away. I can't wait.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bravo is a...

BOY! We are both really excited... even though now I will be totally outnumbered (even Rossby is a boy) and we will have to make bi-weekly trips to Costco to buy milk and frozen pizza and Tide in bulk about ten years from now. Charlie is FUN. And I know another boy will be fun too. Brothers! How cool is that?

For now he will remain Bravo because we haven't finalized his name and for now we are keeping our top picks a secret (because there still might be people out there who think Charlie's name is Joel or Tim, the two names Ryan and I called him for months and months, and no, neither of those is in our top five this time around). If you ask me in person I will tell you that we are still choosing between Spike and Bing.

Today we took Charlie to a farm to pick strawberries as part of Project Magical Childhood.

He met some donkeys:

He went for a wagon ride with his buddy E:
Wagon Ride
(I'm not afraid of dirt, I found the towel in my car after Charlie refused to sit down in the wagon despite my repeated requests to "sit on your bottom." Finally he found the word he was looking for: "HOT! HOT! HOT!" Oops.)

He saw some huge dogs:
Goats and kids

He terrorized some poultry:
When he saw these chickens he yelled "Ooh! Birds!!" and chased them. Later, while Charlie enjoyed his chicken finger basket, Ryan and I reflected on how much he loves birds and how one day we are going to have a very hard conversation.

And he picked, and ate, many...
Strawberry Picking

Strawberry Eating


A nice man picked a blackberry off a vine and held it out for Charlie. Charlie ate it and then spent several minutes following the man and signing "more" and trying to steal blackberries out of his basket (note: add "Hansel and Gretel" to our nightly book line-up). He became quite sneaky after we cut him off, secretly eating berries out of our basket as Ryan carried him to the car. Classic addict behavior.

And then he and Phent shared a two hour nap:

With Ryan keeping an eye on Charlie I was free to pick three times as many strawberries as one family can eat. It is impossible to walk by a perfect, red, juicy strawberry even if your basket is full. It seemed like such a waste to leave them behind. I also picked a ton of blackberries, which Charlie loves but I can never buy fresh because they are like $3 for four berries. Ryan gently suggested that I may have gotten a little carried away with the berry picking (although he was probably just glad I had something to distract me from complaining about my sciatic nerve for an hour). I was going to make a pie with the extras, but two little birds in my kitchen (I'm looking at you Ryan and Charlie) have already eaten half our haul.

If Bravo likes fruit as much as Charlie I may need to work at a berry farm next summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Who's overreacting now?

Here in South, we see a lot of bad thunderstorms in the spring. We have been under tornado warnings multiple times in the last couple of months and I am not one to freak out because there is a rainstorm ten miles away. In fact, I used to storm chase as part of research projects at MyUniversity. Of course my feelings on the subject have changed since I have become a parent and a homeowner and I would much rather admire storms from a distance than my front porch. Or the inside of a closet under the stairs, like last night.

The weather guys interrupted SuperNanny last night to tell us that our county was under a tornado warning. I fired up the radar, and sure enough there was a nice storm to our west, close to my parents' lake house, that looked sort of capable of producing a tornado, at least on radar. I called my parents and made sure they were here and not at the lake house and settled in to watch some more SuperNanny. Then one of my weather friends called and said "Hey, have you seen the radar? I just wanted to make sure you weren't at the mall or something." We talked for a few minutes about other stuff and I said I'd keep an eye on things, but was pretty unconcerned because the storm looked to be weakening, at least on radar.

Then I flipped the TV back on and saw that while the storm didn't look great, it looked good enough, and the most dangerous part of it was headed right for us. I did a quick inventory of the pros and cons of getting Charlie into the closet under the stairs and decided that waking him up and taking the chance that he wouldn't go back to sleep for a while and looking like a crazy hormonal freak to Ryan was well worth the potential benefits of not being swept away by a tornado (I mean how idiotic would it look if those five years of studying WIND in grad school didn't move me to protect my own family?).

I laid some blankets on the floor of the closet under the stairs and turned out all the lights then went and got Charlie out of his crib. Ryan continued to calmly clean the bathtub like "Whatever, come get me when the roof flies off". I laid Charlie on the blankets in the closet, gave him a pacifier and Phent and curled up next to him, hoping he'd go back to sleep. Ten minutes later Ryan came in with Rossby and closed the door and said "The warning said that radar indicated potential for a tornado one mile southeast of (geographical landmark approximately one mile northwest of our house)" OH SUPER!! We could hear hail slamming against our windows, it sounded HUGE. I heard another loud noise which I know now was our back screen door swinging wildly in the wind (the piston and one of the hinges are bent) and our patio furniture banging against the back of the house.

I turned on the little black and white TV we keep in the storm closet. The weather was on and they were showing a radar image of our storm. It had become significantly more organized in the last twenty minutes since I had looked at it. The hook (where the tornado would likely form if there was one) was well defined and RIGHT OVER OUR NEIGHBORHOOD (I talked to Dr. Advisor, who was out chasing in the area, later and he called the hook "meaty" and the storm "a beast." Words that formerly made me really excited but now make me a feel a little sick, like when we realized where Hurricane Katrina was going to make landfall and suddenly the science was irrelevant and all you could say was "no no no no no no"). The reporter said over and over "If you are in this neighborhood you need to take tornado precautions right now." We stared, riveted, at the radar image as the most dangerous part of the storm passed right over our heads.

The storm finally passed without producing a tornado, thank goodness, and Charlie went back to bed easily, thank goodness.

Aside from the broken screen door and displaced patio furniture, the wind blew our back gate open and, not realizing it, when we let our dog out this morning he got out. I don't know where he is and I hope someone nice finds him and brings him home. If you saw a crazy pregnant woman running down the street with a stroller yelling "Rossby! Come here Rossby!" this morning around 7:45, then we are probably neighbors.

UPDATE: Rossby has been recovered! I was driving to meet a friend for lunch and he was in someone's yard a few blocks away. I opened the passenger door of my car and he jumped right in. He's really dirty and smelly but he's OK. What a relief!

UPDATE 2: I've asked around and most people in my neighborhood woke their kids up and hid under their stairs from the storm (except for the guy across the street from us who was playing Guitar Hero the whole time, aside: we both need to get some blinds). One of my neighbors was in there with her husband, two kids, two large golden retrievers, a cat, and all of their Christmas decorations. I have been validated!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm not sure what this means

I was in the living room talking with a friend on the phone this afternoon when Charlie toddled over carrying a book. He said to me "Book? Up?" so I pulled him into my lap where he produced a copy of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Best Yard Sale Find Ever

Charlie made out like a bandit at a nearby community garage sale. He got two pairs of sneakers (7s and 8s because he's growing out of his 6s, yikes! Also, $2 for two pairs of barely used kids' shoes? Score! They light up, which I didn't know until I got them home) some shirts, a science picture book (to suppliment My Family of Planets, which he and Ryan read every night. Now he can learn some Earth science, biology, and chemistry along with astronomy), and THIS!

There is going to be a toddler fight in the culdesac on Monday! (Although maybe Charlie will finally leave the kid with the shopping cart full of chalk alone. That would be super). He knows how to put his feet on the pedals now, but we are still working on learning to push (and also how to steer. Many many tears were shed when he reached dead ends in our living room).

After training for the Tour de France we went back inside where Charlie found his new shoes, exclaimed "SHOES!", then sat down and took his shoes off so he could try on the new ones. He's sleeping in them now. Charlie's a little nuts about shoes. If I don't have any shoes on he will go find a pair of mine somewhere in the house, bring them to me, and insist I put them on right then. I think it's blowing his mind that he has THREE PAIRS all to himself now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother of the Year Application Essay 2.0

Know what I'm doing right now? I'm sitting at my desk pretending the pounding noise I am hearing is three hot, shirtless contractors framing out the new bathroom spa addition Ryan decided to get me for Mothers' Day (in my fantasy, of course).

I'm picturing the pretty mosaic tile they would be using for the tub-surround, the super powerful shower head they would be installing, the wonderful slate floor they would laying piece by piece, leaving no detail unaddressed, no expense spared.

Because that is much more fun than picturing Charlie using one of his shoes to hack his way out of his crib, Shawshank Redemption style.

Cruel Mommy that I am, I put him down for his afternoon nap a smidge early so we could go to the pool this afternoon with our friends (because it is supposed to be ninety freaking degrees and if I took Charlie to the playground he would fry like a piece of bacon the second his chubby little legs got near one of the slides). But this is not a concept easily conveyed to a one-year old (who, despite repeatedly laying his head down on the floor while I was reading him books is now decidedly NOT TIRED).

UPDATE: Ummm, oops? Had not considered the possibility that he had pooped five minutes after I put him down? That would make me a little cranky too. I guess that's what four pieces of pizza and half a cup of macaroni salad will do to a tiny digestive system. Mwahahaha kids under two are free; obviously they've never seen Charlie eat. Mwahahahaha!

Pants all clean, time to swim, no nap, thank you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

18 months and the hat totally still fits

Charlie turned 18 months old on the second and today he had his checkup. I took him out for a breakfast taco (he gets egg and cheese) before the appointment hoping a full tummy might keep him calm for the doctor, especially now that he has teeth. Turns out he loves the doctor but is completely terrified of his nurse, which makes sense because she is the one who pins him to the exam table and gives him shots.

Charlie has seemed awfully huge lately to both me and Ryan. He is starting to look a little crowded in his crib and I can rest my hand on his head when we are both standing up (a good steering mechanism actually). Recently I haven't been able to carry him as far, but I thought it was because of the pregnancy and because Charlie starts kicking and squirming around when he is tired of being held. So I was looking forward to putting him up on the official scale. Turns out he weighs a sciatic nerve crushing twenty-eight pounds and is nearly thirty-three inches tall. Which means in the last three months he's gained two pounds and grown two inches.

The doctor was impressed with Charlie's thirty-five word vocabulary, although it's actually thirty-six because I didn't tell him Charlie can correctly identify tater tots. And knows they come from Sonic.

I did tell the doctor that Charlie helps himself to grapes out of the vegetable drawer and loves to read Goodnight Moon (which he calls "Bye Bye").

Here are some pictures of my giant toddler-baby on Day 1 and out on the swing today wearing his hospital issue pom pom hat that still fits on his 95th percentile head (barely). That was twelve inches and twenty pounds ago and even though he now occasionally screams "NO!" at me and drops to a puddle of misery on the floor in public we are having more fun than ever.

Hi Charlie!

18 months

Thursday, May 1, 2008

You've got to be kidding me

When I was pregnant with Charlie I had cravings for JUNK. I remember the first one so clearly. I was at home in my pajamas watching something awesome like Law and Order while Ryan spent a few extra hours in the lab. And that's when I knew. I HAD to have cheese fries. With bacon. And ranch dressing. Nothing else would do. I called Ryan and in twenty minutes we were sitting at a sports bar near the university tucking into the biggest plate of cheesy, baconey goodness you've ever seen.

Later it was spicy food. Again I called Ryan, this time crying in the marinade section of the grocery store because I couldn't find anything spicy enough. He took me out for wings and I ate until my eyes started watering.

So what was my first craving this time? The one thing I just could not stop thinking about? The thing I HAD to HAVE or I would just not feel right the rest of the evening?

Romaine freaking lettuce. With balsamic vinaigrette.

The family on Wifeswap (again with the quality TV) was having a huge bowl of salad and it looked so yummy. Eating cool, crunchy lettuce was all I could think about. I started to feel vaguely sick when I thought about eating anything else--even the slice of apple pie I had waiting for me in the kitchen.

In particular the Cesar greens with balsamic vinaigrette from the Macaroni Grill was what I wanted. Ryan offered to go get it for me, a trip that would have taken about an hour round trip, but instead I ate nearly five cups of lettuce from the fridge with the last of a bottle of Paul Newman's Family Recipe Italian dressing. At 9:00 at night. AS A SNACK.

I don't even recognize myself.

In other news, Ryan thought it might be good to have Charlie's potty out in the house so he could become familiar with it before we start potty training (I have no idea when that will be), so I set it up in the kitchen. We've been making a big production of taking him with us to the bathroom and saying enthusiastically "Charlie! Mama is going POTTY!" and when we change his diaper we say "Ooh! You went POTTY!" Last night we showed him his throne and told him it was HIS POTTY and Ryan sat him down on it with his clothes on. Charlie beamed and shrieked "POH-TEEEE"!

Ryan thought he might like something to read and I snapped this for the high school graduation slide show.

Becoming acquainted with the potty
(Here he is pointing to a picture of the Pope and saying "Papa!", which is AWESOME because I didn't even know he could speak Spanish, let alone name world religious leaders from pictures in a magazine)

This morning he asked to get down from his high chair and as soon as I put him down he headed for his potty to finish his juice in private.

Later he realized its potential as a huge 3-D puzzle.

Charlie thinks his potty is a giant puzzle

I don't think using the potty as a giant cup holder is a sign of readiness, do you?