Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Miles,

Dear Miles,

I don't know how to begin this letter. I hate to always start with "I can't believe how big you're getting," but it's true. I can't. You are six months old. It has been six entire months since I met you. I look back on pictures of you in the hospital, and I cannot fathom how that tiny baby has become the big boy I see today.

This month has been an exciting one for us. You learned to sit up, all by yourself. You are beginning to become frustrated that you cannot move on your own, yet. You began pulling yourself up into a standing position. Some days, I am certain you will walk before you crawl. Other days, you are playing on the floor, and I can see that you are so close to crawling. Whatever happens, it won't be long before you are on the move. And I'm not sure if I'm ready for that, yet. I thought I'd have plenty of time to baby-proof our apartment, and then one day, I looked up and realized that I have to do it soon. Tables will have to be cleared. Outlets will have to be covered. Dangerous objects will have to be put up high, or in drawers or cabinets with baby locks. How is it that my tiny, helpless newborn is already starting to pull things off of the counters when he's held too close?

This month has also been a busy one for us. Monday nights, we usually go to dinner with our Festival family. Tuesdays we spend gaming with friends. Wednesdays are rehearsals. Thursdays are for Shakespeare. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays we sometimes get to spend at home with Daddy, but not always. And three or four days a week, we go to work. It's a whirlwind life that we lead, and you hardly ever complain. In fact, you seem to enjoy being on the go, and are often happier when we are busy than when we stay at home.

Day by day, I am getting to know you, learning more and more about your personality. And day by day, I am proud of what I see. You truly love everyone you meet. You will happily go play with anyone, and you have a special smile that you reserve for your favorite people. You smile at your Daddy, and stare at him with wide eyes when he talks to you. You get excited and jump up and down when Stacey walks in the door. You have a soft smile and a warm cuddle ready when you see Portia. You laugh hysterically when your Papo plays with you at the office. You know exactly how to make each person happy. Papo describes you as the bright spot in our world, and though our world is pretty wonderful, he is right. You are the bright spot. You are the one who brings sunshine into the rainiest of days.

My wonderful, dear little monster. I love you, more than you know. You have changed my world in so many ways. And even though I am sometimes overwhelmed by our crazy, whirlwind life, I would never change a second of it, because I get to be with you. You are the best thing I've ever done in my entire life.

I love you, Stink.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, noes!!!

I thought about writing a post about the Return of the Snotmonster, since Miles has another cold. And is teething. But seriously, that would end up being a lot of whining about the fact that my kid is whining. Not terribly interesting.

Instead, I shall offer you yet more evidence that I am a Bad Mommy. Can you guess why?

It's a doozy. Think you can handle it?

I haven't started planning his first birthday party, yet! It's ok. I'll wait while you scream in horror at my lack of parenting skills.

I follow a forum board of other mommies with babies about the same age as Miles. Sometimes, it's full of drama. Other times, I learn things. Most of the time, it's very filled with The Drama. Which, I have to confess, is fun to watch when I'm bored.*

Today, The Drama is all about who is behind on choosing the theme for the child's first birthday party! Would you believe that there are a few moms out there with 6 month old babies who still haven't planned out their wee one's first birthday bash? Who haven't bought all of the matching paper plates and napkins? Who haven't rented out the zoo, or the carousel, or some such yet? I mean, seriously, they've only got six months to plan! And their baby will only turn one once!**

So, apparently, I am once again a Bad Mommy. Because I haven't really even thought about Miles' first birthday party. And honestly? It will probably be cake and presents at dinner one week, and maybe a birthday party around Halloween for family. Because I work for a Renaissance Festival. One that runs September 4 through October 11 this year, and keeps all of my weekends during that time entirely full.

Will my poor baby boy be crushed? Will he need therapy for the rest of his life because his Mama put off his birthday party? Or because she didn't plan it for six whole months?

Probably not. Because, let's face it, he won't remember it. Don't get me wrong, I want to celebrate the day he came into the world. And I will. But I don't think it will kill him if I fail to rent an Elephant for it.

*Kinda like a bad reality TV show. . .only better.

**In case you missed that the first time around, go back and read that entire last paragraph in sarcasm font.

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Post Brought to You By: Sleep Deprivation

Ok, so it's been 3 days since I wrote anything, so I guess I should. Just warning you, though, I'm tired, and I have nothing interesting to say.

Instead, I'll just show off this amazing little guy.

Yes, he's standing (admittedly, with a lot of help from that railing for balance). And yes, he's blurry. Because he was bouncing, too. My son is a genius. Seriously.

We're off work for a couple of days, since all of the cool kids we know went to Arizona without us. Jerks.

Ok, so we were invited and declined. Whatever. 24 hours on a bus with a 6-month-old* seemed like a bad idea. Besides, who wants to spend that long on a bus just to dance their tail off in the Arizona sun?**

In all seriousness, I hope their trip is going well. And I know for a fact that they are going to blow Arizona out of the water.***

I will just take comfort in the fact that I get to stay home with this instead:

*Ohmygoodness, he's almost 6 months old! Ahhhh!

**Me!me!me!me!me!me! [raises hand and bounces up and down]

***So to speak. As I recall, there's not a whole lot of water around for Arizona to be blown out of, but . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Busy, Busy Days

I always talk about the crazy life that Miles and I lead, but I realized that I have never really given you a good example. Today was a perfect one:

8:00 am - Miles wakes up, eats, and plays on the floor while I get ready for the day.
8:45 am - Miles has a breakfast of pears, then plays on my lap while I check my e-mail, Facebook, etc.
9:30 am - Miles falls asleep for his first nap of the day. I sketch out costume ideas.
10:00 am - I haven't heard from Maestro, so I call him. He asks me to go into the office and finish up some paperwork.
11:15 am - Miles and I arrive at the office after much craziness in getting ready to leave.
11:15 am - 1:00 pm - I finish up all of the paperwork, finish the costume sketches, respond to e-mails, return phone calls, feed Miles, put him down for a nap, and wish a co-worker a happy birthday.
1:00 pm - Maestro calls and asks me to meet him in Independence to trade props - I need the tripod he has, and he needs drums and tambourines from the office.
2:30 pm - After dealing with a performer who literally called as I was walking out the door, loading my car, and stopping for gas, I finally arrive in Independence. Miles has slept the entire way.
2:45 pm - We finally realize that neither Maestro nor I have eaten lunch, yet. We are standing in the Applebee's parking lot, so we go in to eat. I order applesauce as my side, so Miles has his lunch, too.
3:15 pm - We leave and head for home, stopping at Joann's and Home Fabrics to scope out possibilities for court costume fabric.
4:30 pm - We finally arrive at home. Miles eats another bottle, then plays in his bouncer.
5:00 pm - Miles and I play on the floor for awhile.
5:30 pm - Miles plays by himself again while I quickly type up a blog post.
5:40 pm - I have to stop writing, because Miles needs a diaper change. I click "Save Now"
5:50 pm - After wrestling with Miles to get a poopy diaper off, his butt finally gets clean. Then, I discover he has it on his hand, and now in his belly button. The next 5 minutes are spent cleaning out his navel, as he gets progressively angrier.
5:55 pm - I feed him the remainder of the bottle and soothe him to sleep while I finish typing this with the other hand.

When Patrick gets home in a few minutes, I will be throwing together a chocolate pie, and we will trek down the road for dinner and games with friends. :)

And you wonder why I don't have time to write everyday! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Day Without Miles :(

Today, I had to go help solve an emergency costume situation. Rather than trying to entertain Miles while we were out and about, Patrick chose to stay at home with him. I left by noon, while Miles was napping, and didn't return until 9:30pm, when he was getting ready for bed. I came home to a happy, smiling baby, and wonderful stories about games played, songs sung, and Miles trying to pull up on his toys! I got to feed him his final bottle, then held him for awhile as he fell asleep.

And I realized once more how lucky I am. Because I have a wonderful husband who is an amazing father. Because I have the freedom to go help with situations when they arise. But, mostly, because I so rarely have to be away from my son. As exhausting as he can be from time to time, I am so blessed to be able to witness his handsome smile as he wakes up every morning, and to watch his eyelashes flutter as he falls asleep every night. I love playing with him, watching him grow, and learn. I love holding him, and patting him, and even just being around him.

There will always be days when I get tired. There will be days that I need a break. But every day, I will be thankful that I am able to be with my son as much as I am. Because the alternative is heartbreaking.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Teether = Al Pacino

You weren't supposed to get an update today. I was supposed to be in Topeka visiting Tracy and her four amazing children. Unfortunately, one of them is running a fever, so we can't go. We don't want to expose Miles . . . :(

On the upside, that means that you get an update! Aren't you excited?!? You should be. :)

I offer you further proof that I am a Bad Mommy:

Yes, that is my son, teething on a dill pickle. And yes, that is my hand holding the pickle. I told you I was a Bad Mommy. First, no socks. Second, note the lack of pants. Then, I take my son out to a parade where he gets far too cold. And now, I'm letting him teethe on a pickle.

Before you know it, he's going to be talking like Al Pacino, and looking like this:

What you lookin' at?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fun with Photos

Just thought I'd share a bit of the cuteness that is Miles. Enjoy! :)

Mmmm! Yummy fingers!

Playing with my bear, Bram - a gift from Dracula!

And, flashing that world-famous smile. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ridiculous Revelation

I realized something today.

My perception of my mommy skills is entirely dependent upon Miles and his mood.

When Miles has a good day, and is a smiling, happy boy, I am Super Mom! I can do anything! I can work! And care for my own child! And keep my house (relatively) clean! And if I want, I can even bake cookies!

Today was an exclamation point sort of day. Miles played with pots and pans and wooden spoons on the kitchen floor while I made dinner. During his (two!) long naps today, I sorted through two years worth of filing that had to be done. My husband came home to a happy wife, a smiling son, a clean house and dinner coming out of the oven.

But when Miles has a bad day, and whines or cries all day, I am Bad Mommy. I can't seem to do anything. I can't work. I can't make my child happy. My house is a disaster. Forget cookies, I'm happy to just get in a shower.

Yesterday was that sort of day. Perhaps it was the teething. Perhaps it was just a bad day. Whatever it was, Miles literally whined for about 80% of the time that he was awake. He whined when I held him. He whined when I put him down. He whined because he was tired, and then whined to keep himself awake. He whined because he was hungry. He whined because the bottle took too long to make. He whined. And whined. And whined. My husband came home to a grouchy wife, a cranky son, a dirty house, and no dinner. In fact, he ended up having to cook while I comforted the baby.

I have tried to find the magic combination for creating an exclamation point day, but I'm sad to say, I haven't found it yet. But, then, it took me five months to realize how directly my son's mood was affecting me so heavily, so it could take awhile. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Snake Saturday

Yesterday, Miles participated in his very first parade - the Snake Saturday parade (to celebrate the day St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland).

It was about 40 degrees, and misting throughout the entire parade, so Miles' adorable little gypsy outfit was not visible under the layers of period-appropriate blankets I had wrapped around him. Which, of course, he kept trying to break out of. As we rounded one corner, there was a lady with a microphone announcing each of the sections of the parade. She noticed Miles, and said, "And that gypsy has her baby along!" With his ever-perfect timing, Miles broke out of the blankets and flashed the crowd one of his world-famous smiles. I quickly covered him, but my ham had already managed to steal yet another show. :)

As always, Miles was a trooper. He never complained once. Until we were on the last half of the last block of the parade, when he suddenly decided he had had enough of the cold, and screamed the rest of the way to the car. Once we had gotten him warmed up, though, he was back to his happy, playful self.

All the same, we skipped out on the second parade of the day, and decided to nap in the car while Daddy participated.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Was that Wizzing Sound?

It was the sound of Miles speeding through Milestones.

Apparently, sprouting two teeth more or less simultaneously is not enough for Miles. He wants to take over the world, so of course, he has to accomplish everything. Now.

His latest?

Yeah, Miles has decided that it's time to sit up. All.by.himself. And boy, is he proud of himself.

After this picture, he sat up for another 20 minutes or so, before deciding that he had other things to do. He leaned himself back, one arm on the toy to brace himself, until he was lying on his back. He immediately rolled to his belly, and started trying to figure out how to scoot or crawl.

Apparently, he still has high ambitions. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good-bye, Gummy Grin

So, yeah, I know I haven't written anything about my beautiful son for almost a week now. But, I'm a Bad Mother, so it's no surprise that I'm a Bad Blogger, too, right? :)

The biggest reason I haven't written in so long is a little white bump in Miles' gums. Yep, his first tooth finally broke through the gums on Saturday. He's still having some trouble getting it the rest of way in, but it is definitely there. If you don't believe me, allow him to chomp on your finger. :)

The funny thing is, it's still not the top one that we have felt for over a month, now. It's one of the bottom center ones. Crazy kid. Just when we think we know where to look, he bites us from the other side. :)

Luckily, he's been pretty happy in spite of the teething. He's very clingy and only wants Mommy or Daddy. When he's sleepy, he cries a lot. But really, the rest of the time, he's still the same happy boy as always. Although, now that I say that, I'm sure I'm in for a day of screaming. :)

The weird thing is, it made me a little sad to see that little white bump. I'm going to miss that gummy grin. :(

Oh, well. Time for the toothy smile! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Huzzah for Sleep!!!

So, Patrick is a genius. I'm sure you all knew that already, but seriously, he's a genius.

The night before last, Patrick put Miles to bed. On a lark, he decided to try turning off the night light we've had on for five months straight (literally, I don't think it's been turned off once). Within minutes, Miles was fast asleep, and only woke once to eat. He slept from 11:00 - 5:00 and from 5:30ish to almost 10:00.

Not wanting to jinx it, I told no one.

Last night, Patrick put him down once more. Lights off. He was asleep within minutes, and slept from midnight until 8:30 this morning. It was glorious.

I'm just hoping this trend continues. I was starting to lose my mind from lack of sleep. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick Update

We are finally getting over the cold!

Today, Miles was back to his smiling, happy, cooing self. Complete with dinosaur noises. :)

Sleep is still elusive, but what can you do?

And, my son is amazing. Today, while eating his squash, he grabbed at the spoon. Out of curiosity, I gave it to him. He put it in his mouth, and sucked the squash off of it, then gave it back to me for more. He did this twice! before realizing that Mommy could shovel faster. He dropped the spoon and opened his mouth, just waiting for me to do the work for him. Silly boy. :)

That is all for now, as I have a massive headache. Which is sad, since I have all sorts of fun stories about Miles craning his neck to watch out the car window on the way to work this morning. And making dinosaur noises while I was on the phone with one of our performers. And playing with Maestro at lunch. And several more that I will try to remember to type up when my head feels less like exploding. Good night, all!