Friday, April 30, 2010


Miles is crawling. Not the goofy crawl he's been doing since Saturday, where he moves his knees forward and then goes flat on his tummy, then starts all over. No, Miles is actually crawling - moving hands and knees across the floor at a rapid pace. He kinda looks like a spaz, but I figure it will become more graceful with time. Or he'll take after me, and will always look like a spaz.

Either way, he's mobile! Watch out, World!

Dear Miles,

Dear Miles,

I love you, my perfect, handsome son. You amaze me day by day, and your smile brightens my world. When you are sad, my heart breaks, and when you are happy, I am filled with such joy as I have never known. In the past seven months, you have brought me more happiness than I could have thought possible.

You are getting so big. And so strong! When you want something, you go for it, even if I am holding you three feet off of the ground. Sometimes, when you struggle, I have to sit down or risk dropping you. You are so determined to get what you want, and now you're beginning to have the strength to back it up.

You have inherited your mother's stubborn streak. When you set your mind to something, you will fight until either you get what you want, or you fall asleep from sheer exhaustion. I foresee many epic battles of will between the two of us, and I know I will find this characteristic of yours trying at times. If I were to be entirely honest, I already do find it trying at times. Yet, when I have a quiet moment to contemplate it, like now, I realize that I love this about you. You are going to be a person who will fight for what you want, never stopping until you've achieved your objective. And I trust, with time, you will learn to temper that with an understanding of what is worth fighting for, and what is better left alone. For now, though, I am just happy to have a child who is so determined.

This determination also shows up in your desire to make people happy. Anytime that someone seems unhappy in any way, you study them, and I can see you thinking. After a few seconds, you catch their attention, and flash them a huge smile. Or you blow a raspberry and laugh. Or you just reach out, and pat their hand with your tiny fingers as if to say, "It's ok. I'm here." Regardless, no one can resist your wide blue eyes, and before long, they are smiling. People at the office actually take breaks throughout the day to come and play with you, and Maestro continues to call you the "bright spot in our world." When you are happy, the world is happy.

My dear, sweet little man; I love you, more than I could ever say. I look forward to each day that I get to spend with you, and I thank God every night that He sent you to me. And I know that whatever else I may do in this life, nothing will ever be better than you. You are my little dinosaur, my monster, my son. I love you.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I feel like I'm always talking about sleep. How long Miles slept. How many times he woke up overnight. How many naps he's had. And always, how little sleep I am getting.

When I was a child, I fought sleep. Like crazy. I know this is where Miles gets it. I remember being 6 or 7 years old. It was summer, and my mother had sent my sister and I to our rooms to take a nap. Looking back, I'm sure she simply needed a moment to herself, to regroup and remember exactly why she loved us. I'm sure we had been a handful all morning, and she needed time to recover before another round in the afternoon. I remember, very clearly, going into my room and pulling my frilly pink comforter up to my chin. I remember laying there, staring at the ceiling, and the window, and my toys sitting across the room. I got up and went back out to the living room.

Mom: "I told you to take a nap. Go back to bed."

Me: "I did. It was a really short one. I'm up now! Can I go play?"

Mom: "No. Go back to bed. You have to sleep for at least half an hour."

Mom had that look in her eye that warned me not to argue, so I slunk back to bed, dejected. I pulled my frilly pink comforter up to my chin, again, and closed my eyes. No dice. I wasn't the least bit tired. I rolled over and tried again. Still not tired. I stretched all the way out and counted my breaths. I didn't even get to ten before I lost track. So I rolled back to my back and stared at the ceiling.

I started thinking about school, and what we'd learned recently. In math, we had been talking about minutes and seconds and hours. Sixty seconds was one minute. Thirty minutes was a half hour. If I counted to sixty, that would be one minute. If I did that thirty times, I could get up from my nap!*

I started counting. I kept track of the sixties on my fingers. One sixty. One minute. Two minutes. Eventually, I got to ten, and ran out of fingers. I stopped, stumped for the moment. Well, I knew I had ten minutes, so I could start the fingers over at eleven, and then later at twenty-one. Off I went.

Eventually, I got to thirty minutes. I immediately jumped out of bed and ran into the living room.

Mom: "I told you to go back to bed. Half an hour, remember?"

Me: "Yep! I counted! It's been thirty minutes."

Mom: "It's been five minutes. Go back to bed. I will come and get you when it's time to get up. I promise. Go."

I walked back to bed, never able to figure out where I had gone wrong. I had counted. A lot. It should have worked, and it didn't. I turned it over and over in my head as I laid down, and pulled up the frilly pink comforter one more time. I still hadn't figured it out when I finally fell asleep from pure exhaustion of thought.

I know exactly where Miles gets it. :)

* Please note that it didn't occur to me that I had lost count of my breaths at less than ten. I was determined to count to sixty. Thirty times.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend Part 2

After the quick, but action-packed trip to Wichita, we found ourselves returning home very early Sunday morning (I think it was about 2:00 am when I finally found my bed). Because bright and early the next morning, we had Things to Do.

Patrick has family that lives out in Colorado - two aunts, an uncle, two cousins, and a Grandmother. One of the aunts has had a bit of a rough time over the past year. First, she lost her husband, rather suddenly. Then, within a matter of months, she found out that her company was closing down their Denver branch. She had the choice of losing her job, or transferring to one of several other branches around the country. However, transferring meant taking a pay cut, unless she moved here. So, she packed up 22 years worth of her life and moved to a new state.

Sunday, we spent the day helping Aunt Ninell move into her new apartment. Patrick's Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Mike had come along to help, and movers had been hired to do the heavy lifting, so much of the day was spent in unpacking and kibbitzing.*

Along the way, I was regaled with tales of Patrick as a child, screaming with his hands over his head when asked "How does Aunt Ninell sound in the car?" and stories of Patrick's father as a child, trying to kill his two sisters, as siblings are wont to do. I learned that Patrick's Grandpa Bud was actually named Walter, and that he had once been scared back to life by a vision of an ancestor when he'd had a heart attack. We talked of a cell phone for the elderly, which Patrick's Grandmother LaDean now wears around her neck, in case of emergency.

At the end of the day, we shared platters of barbequed meats, fried okra, baked beans, fried cheese, and sweet tea. We laughed as Miles nommed on pickles and sweet potato fries. We talked of family, Festival, and the fun of raising children. We got caught up on the latest family news, and told them of the latest happenings around here. And we laughed. A lot.

Finally, though, it came time to say our good-nights to Aunt Ninell, and our good-byes to Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Mike, as final kisses and hugs were given, and the baby was snuggled one last time. Invitations to visit were exchanged, and tentative plans were made. And we went our separate ways, filled with memories of a lovely day shared with delightful family.

*Two things that I'm told are essential for moving. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend Part 1

What a crazy, busy weekend we've had. Even more so, if you include Friday, when we purchased a new minivan (yep, I'm officially a Mom, now), went fabric shopping with the girls for our Festival costumes, and drove to our hometown for a visit in our new van.

We had to drive down Friday because Saturday morning was their Renaissance Festival! Patrick and I dressed in our courtly best, wrangled Miles into a pair of tights* and a tabbard, and walked elegantly about the Festival.**

We checked in with Patrick's family, who are major Movers and Shakers at that Festival, and they cooed over their adorable grandbaby as much as they could, while still attending to their duties. We said hello to the pack of traveling gypsies that came down from our Festival to perform.**** And then Miles was baby-napped by Patrick's sister while we went to flag down my mother, who came to take Miles for the rest of the day. I'm sure it absolutely broke her heart to have to baby-sit. :)

And Patrick and I got the opportunity to do something we've never done before - play husband and wife at a Festival. We walked in their parade, waving and shouting, gathering children to join us. We were presented to the King and Queen,^ who bestowed gifts of jewelry to us. We walked about the Festival, greeting patrons, and generally just enjoying ourselves. And I recruited for our Festival every step of the way. :)

And then we were honored to witness a very special ceremony. This particular Festival is based around the SCA, in which certain honors can be earned. In this instance, we watched as Patrick's mother was knighted. It was raining, his father teared up halfway through, and Patrick had to finish his letter for him, but it was a beautifully moving little ceremony. And I can't think of another person in the world who deserved it more.

And then we received the phone call from my mother. After weeks of trying, Miles had crawled for the very first time. I wanted to cry for the joy for him, and for sorrow that I missed it. Luckily, my mom caught the whole thing on video, quite accidentally. And it was only a 'step' or two.^* Hopefully, I will get to see more of it soon. :)

The Festival being over early, due to rain, we all went to dinner, picking up my mother, Miles, and Patrick's grandmother along the way. We talked and ate and laughed and looked on in joy as Miles did one adorable thing after another. And as the evening drew to a close, we stood around our new van, reluctant to miss a moment with these wonderful people we call family.

But in the end, we had to get on the road back home. Because Sunday was bringing a whole new adventure.

Which I will share with you tomorrow! :)

* Because not enough people think he looks like a girl, yet. The eyelashes just aren't doing it, anymore. :)

** Well, as elegantly as you can while still wrestling an almost-seven-month-old baby.***

*** Oh, goodness. Seven months. I'm hyperventilating. Get me a paper bag! :)

**** And they were amazing. Or so I hear. I couldn't manage to get a spot where I could see anything because the crowd was so thick. :)

^ Who I've known forever. Only, I used to know them as the Captain and First Officer of the Star Trek club I grew up in. Yeah, I had the Best Parents Ever. :)

^* I know it's not a step, but what do you call it when he completes one complete cycle of crawling? He moved both hands and both knees, and managed to scoot the distance of a few inches. Is there a word for a unit of crawling? If not, there should be. ^*^

^*^ I really need to draw to a close. My footnote symbols are beginning to look like emoticons. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Moving On Up!

My little boy is growing up. :(

I know, I know. I'm always saying that. But seriously? This is a major milestone.

He's moving into his own room.

Yep. Tonight will be his very first night sleeping in his own bedroom all by himself! Like a big boy! I thought putting the crib up was bad, but moving him out of our bedroom seems like a huge step in his journey away from that soft cuddly newborn he was not so long ago. And while I'm sad to see him moving away from me, figurative step by (soon) literal step, I am so excited for him. Because this means that he is growing like he should be. That he is healthy. Normal. And while I hear moms say all the time that they wish their baby "could stay little forever," I know in my heart that I am glad he's growing. I know that I wouldn't want to limit him to being little forever. I am excited to see each new thing that he learns, because it brings him one step closer to being the person he will become someday.

And perhaps I'm making too big a deal out of this. I mean, it's not like he's moving to the next state. He's simply moving into the next room - literally a dozen steps further than he has been. And I know it's time. When I roll over in my sleep, I hear Miles stir, just a little. When Patrick comes to bed late, Miles sometimes wakes enough to need to be comforted back to sleep. When Lilo, our dog, moves across the room to find a more comfortable spot, it sometimes wakes Miles completely. All of the little noises that come with sharing a room are interrupting his sleep. So, we are making the obvious and practical choice, and moving him to his own room.

And yet, the thought of him being so far away brings tears to my eyes. Because it means my baby is growing up. And that is the most bittersweet thing I have ever experienced.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Always the Individual . . .

Um, so I realized something the other day, and it's a little strange. For a variety of reasons. Mostly, though, because I just realized it the other day. (Which probably makes me a Bad Mommy, but what's new there?)

My son may be a redhead.

I was looking at his eyebrows, and realized they are very red. So, I examined his hair in the sunlight, and while it is definitely not tomato red, by any means, there is a definite strawberry tint to his blond tresses.

In my defense, he is just starting to get enough hair that you can see what color it is. It doesn't even really show up in pictures, yet. But trust me, once you see it, it is unmistakably a strawberry blond.

Which I find strange, considering that there is no red hair (that I know of) on either side. I know it's one of those things that just shows up sometimes, but in most cases, there is a redhead somewhere in the family. I now have the urge to interrogate every member of our family for four generations and find out where this strawberry tint comes from. Mostly because I'm neurotic like that, but also because it would be neat to be able to tell Miles that he has red hair just like great-aunt so-and-so.

I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, though. Miles is, as always, one unique little boy. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friday Photos

So, I think you've heard enough about the drama that is my job, lately. And let's face it: that's not why you're here. You came to see this guy:

Are you speaking to me?

Daddy, why am I wearing your clothes again?

I am already training for my future
as a rocket scientist.

See how cool I am, standing up?

Bow down before the power of
my awesomeness!

Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Thoughts

After the incredibly negative post from Monday, I thought I should probably refocus on the positive. Because, let's face it, I lead an awesome life. And I am very happy, overall. A few things that make me happy:

  1. I have a new minivan! Ok, so it's not actually in my possession, yet, but it's mine! I get to pick it up tomorrow!
  2. I have the most amazingest husband ever, who has hardly slept this week so that he could help me out. I am the luckiest woman alive to have him.
  3. Miles is learning to sign!!! He has correctly used the signs for "milk" and "all done" now, though he is still really inconsistent about using them when he's upset. I never dreamed he would pick it up so soon! More proof that my son is a genius. :)
  4. I get to go visit another Festival this weekend, and I get to see my family while I'm there!
  5. I have the bestest group of friends ever. They are all wonderful people who make me smile. Love you all! :)
And with those happy little thoughts, this Pollyanna is off to slumber. Good-night, World. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

We Have a Cast List!

Alternately Titled: Things Not to Say to the Assistant Director

After four LONG days of auditions and callbacks, we have cast our show for the year.

Don't worry. If you missed out, there's still time to audition next month.

For the rest of us, though, it's time to party and breathe massive sighs of relief. Because Jim was crazy enough to cast us for one more year. I, for one, am ecstatic.

Scratch that. Was ecstatic. Right up until reality set in.

At dinner tonight, I was approached by three separate people who helped to ruin my good mood.

Situation 1:
Person 1: "I was really hoping to get Part X so I could play opposite my boyfriend. Who I've been dating for all of two whole months. Feel sorry for me while I cry. Real tears, even. At least I have the decency to pretend to try to hold them back as I tell you how sad I am that I have to go 'all day without him!'"

Me: "Shut it. This is my third year of Festival. Know how many times I've been cast opposite my husband of 3 years? Zero. So, deal."*

Situation 2:
Person 2: "I hate absolutely every suggestion you have about this part, and not only that, I'm going to be bitchy and make sure you know how stupid I think you are."

Me: "Shut it. You don't have to use my suggestions. I apologize for helping. I will never do it again. Remember that when you need me to fix a mistake on your paycheck."**

Situation 3:
Person 3: "It must be nice to be you. You didn't have to earn your part, you just got to write in whatever part you wanted. You have zero talent."***

Me: "Shut it. I went through the same audition process as you, and I worked my ass off for this part. I earned it. You, on the other hand, got your part because I convinced Jim that you could stop being a bitch. I guess I was wrong there."

Ecstatic feeling = gone. :(

*I should point out that this is the gist of the conversation I had, not the actual words used. I do have the ability to use tact. Really.

**I would never really do that. I just feel like it, sometimes.

***I should probably also point out that this is how the person's remarks made me feel. It's not necessarily what they meant.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What a Difference Four Months Makes. . .

So, anybody remember this adorable shot of Miles? He was about six weeks old, and absolutely annoyed at his Mommy for thinking this sort of picture was so cute.

Here he is in that same basket at six and a half months old. He was playing with it the other day, and I couldn't resist getting a couple of 'then and now' shots in it. Although, I have to say, he was far less annoyed with me this time around. :)

And for pure comparison's sake, here's a shot from above - just like the original . I can't believe how big he's gotten! (Sorry it's blurry. He thought it was weird to look up at me, and this is the best one I got.)

There's no denying it. My little guy is growing up, right before my eyes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ahh, Springtime!

I love that spring is finally here. The winter this year seemed to drag on forever, and was so incredibly cold. I spent so many days just waiting for warmer weather.

Now that it has finally arrived, Miles and I are making the best of it. (And, if it's a weekend, we drag Patrick along, too!) :)

We are spending every spare moment we can find outside, enjoying the sunshine. Most days, it looks something like this:

We pack Miles up in the car, complete with shades* and a paci.**

And we head off to the park, to play in the swings. This happened to be one of the days that Patrick came along, and the two of them had enormous amounts of fun playing together.

Or, we head off for a walk along the paths around the park.

Or, we simply spread out a blanket and enjoy the sunshine while lounging in the grass.

Regardless, though, this is usually the scene in the car by the time we get back home:

We hope you are enjoying the gorgeous weather as much as we are!

*Which he pulled off two seconds after this picture. And threw at me. He leaves no room for misunderstanding when he has an Opinion.

**Which he spit at me about five seconds after throwing his shades at me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo Fun

To get your Friday started off right, here are a few shots of everyone's favorite little boy. Enjoy!

Enjoying a yummy breakfast of cherrios! :)

My blue jean baby.

"Helping" Mommy at work.

Have an excellent weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Can I be entirely honest for a moment?

The last few weeks have been rough. Miles has teeth coming in - I can see them under the gums, but they just won't push through. They've been like that for almost three weeks. As a result, my happy-go-lucky boy is often fussy at the best of times, and flat out screams for hours at the worst. And I am afraid that I'm not handling it well. After bouts of crying that last for more than fifteen minutes, I find myself putting him in the crib and closing the door, while I lay curled up, sobbing, on the couch with my hands over my ears until he finally wears himself out and falls asleep.

Yes, the last few weeks have been rough.

With that being said, I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Miles has finally started sleeping for longer stretches again - seven hours, the last three nights - which means that I am finally getting sleep, too. And his naps are beginning to improve. He's currently out for his second nap of the day - it's been an hour, and I haven't heard a peep.

And then, today, we played on the bed for 45 minutes. I tickled him and nommed on his belly. He giggled for all he was worth. And suddenly, the last few weeks began to melt away. As though they never happened.

I know that I have many more battles ahead of me on this roller coaster called parenthood. But, I think I can honestly say that I am winning this one against my own frustration. And it's all to see this beautiful smile.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I had planned to write earlier, but well, crying baby happened. In a big way. For two hours straight. For no apparent reason.

I blame teething. Stupid teeth.

Anyhow, this is not about me whining about my kid whining, 'cuz that's just ridiculous, ya know?*

The point is: I'm incredibly lucky.

I know, I know. Those last few lines just seem kinda contradictory, don't they? But they're not. And I'm going to tell you why, right now, instead of rambling on like I have been thus far.**

I'm incredibly lucky because in the midst of this crying spree, at my wit's end, I finally accessed one of my favorite resources: a forum board of other mommies. Nice ones - not the poopy-faced ones that gripe at each other all day. I only go to that board when I'm bored. Anyhow, I tell them what's going on, and within minutes, I have 5 responses. Most of them reassure me it's probably just teething, and there's not much to be done. But they offer me e-hugs, and support, and a voice of experience to say "It won't last forever." Blessing number one.

I'm incredibly lucky because when the forum boards had little to offer other than sympathy, I sent a text message to my husband, expressing my frustration. Partially because I needed to vent, and partially looking for suggestions that I may have forgotten in the mind-numbing white noise of endless crying. Fifteen minutes later, he walked in the door, took Miles, and told me to go get ice cream. Blessing number two.

I'm incredibly lucky because when I was getting my things together to go get ice cream, Stacey showed up at the door, as if on cue. She listened to me ramble as I drove to Dairy Queen, and continually reassured me that I was not a terrible mother, and that everyone has bad days. She sat in the sunlight and ate ice cream with me. And when the time was right, she gently guided the conversation away from Miles so that I could stop stressing for a few minutes. Blessing number three.

When we returned, Miles was sleeping soundly, and the three of us sat around kibbitzing for a little while before going to dinner. Miles woke up in a better mood, and our evening went smoothly, and all was well.

And I'm incredibly lucky because the day is over, and I can sleep now. Blessing number four.

*Apparently, I've been reading too many other blogs and their 'voice' is rubbing off. I'm in such need of sleep that I'm taking on the e-personality of random individuals I've never met. Great.

**And then I'm going to bed. Wow, I need the sleep.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hang On for the Ride!

I feel like we are at the top of the first hill of an outrageous roller coaster ride called the Festival. This week, we began the audition and casting process, and from here on out, it's going to be a crazy ride.

And all the while, Miles is right there in the middle of it, smiling and keeping the rest of us from screaming. :)

Yesterday, we had a meeting to discuss the course of our Festival this year. In most places I've worked, the word "meeting" has made me groan in disgust. Festival meetings, however, are actually kinda fun. We met at 10:00, and Carrie, my wonderful boss, had prepared a little "nosh" for us - scrambled egg cups, fruit, scones, donuts. We sat on couches, and ate and talked, while Miles played on his blanket on the floor. We talked business, but since our business is fun, it was really not bad at all.

Most important for me, though, was that last night was the audition for the children's group I am directing this year. I spent the entire day feeling like I was going to throw up from anxiety. I've never been the one who had to make casting decisions, so I had no idea how stressful it is.

But, all is well. I have a cast list!

And it's time for work! Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Update on Mr. Snotmonster

There's no infection. Miles is fine. Apparently, Thursday was just a bad day. So sayeth the doctor.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Random Thoughts on the Week

It's been a whirlwind sort of week.

Miles and I spent Wednesday and Thursday at the office, trying to get things ready for an audition workshop this weekend. Wednesday evening, we had dance rehearsal. Last night was Shakespeare. And through it all, Miles whined.

The doctor said on Monday that he thought Miles just had a cold. Nothing terrible. He did say that his right ear looked a little pink, but he thought that it was probably just from being rubbed or laid on. He didn't think it was an infection.

After 4 days of whining and crying from a child who usually smiles through anything (including teething), I think it's an ear infection.

So, we go back to the doctor this afternoon. I'm sure he thinks I'm one of those paranoid moms who takes her kid to the doctor every time he sneezes. I'm not. At least, I don't think I am. I just know there's something wrong. Miles never cries this much.

I will update after the appointment.