Monday, June 28, 2010

I have only one thing to say today: Ugh.

I had planned to write some tonight, but I have two more pressing issue:

1) My ceiling is leaking. In a big way. Either our air conditioner has a major leak, or the one in the apartment above us does. Either way, ugh.

2) I have to find a new home for my dog. I've had her for seven years, and I love her so much. But she growled at Miles, and now continues to do so. Until I find her a good home (without children), I'm not going to rest easy.

So, sorry. Life sucks, so no updates. Rest assured that Miles is, in fact, still cute.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Photos!

It's Friday, and you know what that means! Adorable pictures of a handsome boy who is growing too quickly. Enjoy your weekend!

Playing with a bell. He loves anything
that makes any sort of noise or music.

Being a little silly; he likes to
lean his head over and look at you

Eating a breakfast of scrambled
eggs. Yummy!

And, finally, preparing us for
the future. He's already found
the checkbook. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coming Soon: Flying Baby!

I read an article once that theorized that babies sleep a lot less when they are trying to learn something new. The article pointed out that babies are notorious for being sleepless around four months old - right around the time that they are "waking up" to the world around them. And they tend to be sleepless just before they pass each subsequent milestone.

If that's true, Miles should be learning to stand independently, walk, run, jump, climb trees, and possibly fly.

In other words, it's been a sleepless week so far. He had just started to hit a routine of sleeping all night, and taking two long naps and a short nap during the day. Yesterday, he had two naps all day long - one was twenty minutes, and the other was thirty. And last night, he didn't fall asleep until almost 1:30 in the morning. And he was awake and bright eyed at 8:00. (He did fall back asleep, around 8:45, and slept for another twenty-five minutes. . .)

Thank goodness for Patrick, who let me go to bed early (midnight-thirty) and stayed up with Miles. I don't know how he does it, but I could never do this without him. If I slept as little as he does, I wouldn't be able to function.

And honestly, I can see that Miles is so close to walking. He stands independently for a few seconds at a time, much longer if he's distracted and doesn't realize what he's doing. And he keeps trying to lift his feet and walk, but it scares him, and he sits down quickly.

Hopefully, he figures it out soon. Otherwise, this blog may be written by a zombie from now on. :)

P.S. Thanks for reading, even when I complain. As a reward, here is a cute picture of Miles! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sign Language

I was talking to someone on the internet the other day about baby sign language. She said she would never teach her kids to sign, because she found it "annoying".

I couldn't respond. For one thing, I'm not sure how communicating with your child could be considered annoying. Besides, after years working with special needs students, it seemed natural to me to sign. So, when Miles was still incredibly small - less than two months old - Patrick and I began signing "milk" to him every time we gave him a bottle.

At six months old, he was consistently telling us when he wanted "milk". And if we signed it back to him before preparing the bottle, he was far calmer than when we forgot. It was obvious to us that this communication was essential for him. Frustration and tears diminished immensely on both sides.

With the success of "milk", we began adding signs. Now, at less than nine months old, Miles tells us when his diaper needs changing ("potty"), when he wants a "cookie", and "more" (though he's less consistent on that one). And, he recognizes "drink", "food", and "play".

Then, this week, he made the next cognitive leap. He wanted something he didn't have a sign for. So, he signed at me, waving his hand crazily over his head and saying "ahhh!" I told him I didn't know what that meant. He crawled over to the stereo cabinet, pulled himself up on it, and banged on the door. "Music?" I asked. He grinned and sat down, waving his hand over his head again. I turned on the music and he danced for almost fifteen minutes straight. That night, I asked Bethany for the sign for music. Then, every time he would make his crazy sign over his head, I used the sign and said, "Music?"

This morning, he signed "music" to me, clearly and earnestly.

I've read several studies, all of which conclude that babies who can communicate through sign language before they speak tend to learn to talk earlier and more clearly, and with a larger vocabulary. Plus, they tend to score higher on intelligence tests, have higher self-confidence, and are more sophisticated in their play than babies who don't sign.

I don't know about the rest, yet, but Miles has already started to talk. He clearly says, "Hi!" when people walk in. He also says, "Dada", "Mama" (when he's not being ornery), "Dg" (dog), "kitty", "hey!", and Stacey swears he calls her "Tay". (I haven't heard it yet, though it wouldn't surprise me in the least). He's beginning to learn that things have names and he will often bring me toys or stuffed animals and look at me as if asking for the word. When I know the sign, I give him both the sign and the spoken word. Otherwise, I just give him the spoken word. More and more, he tries to repeat what I've said.

And this whole process has taught me two things:

1) That poor lady who finds it 'annoying' is losing out on so much.

2) I need to learn more sign language!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Miles would like to say, "Aahh Dadadadadada baah pfft!" Loosely translated, it means "Happy Father's Day!"*

As for me, I would like to say the same to all of the 'fathers' in my life. I love you all!

Mostly, though, I'd like to say Happy Father's Day to my dear husband. Almost nine months ago, you became a father when this handsome little bundle joined us.

Since then, you have proven yourself to be an amazing Daddy. You play with Miles on the floor, nomming his belly, or crawling away from him so he will chase you, both of you giggling hysterically. You turn diaper-changing time into a show, your crazy faces and high-pitched voices distracting him and turning the whole (sometimes disgusting) process into a positive, bonding time. You rock him to sleep, singing softly, turning classic rock songs into lullabies. His face lights up when you walk in the door at night, already blowing raspberries at him to make him laugh with delight. You are possibly his favorite person in the entire world. And that's saying something, since this kid likes almost everyone (a trait I'm certain he inherited from you).

But more than that, you are an excellent Daddy because you take such good care of not only Miles, but his mommy. I cannot count the number of nights that you have taken the 3:00 am feeding so that I can stay in bed. Or the number of evenings that you have taken Miles and entertained him so that I can have a few moments to myself to breathe. Or the countless times you have comforted me after a bad day, and laughed with me after a wonderful day. Somehow, you work eight hours (often more) a day, and still muster** the energy to come home and work and play and take care of us. You are often the first one up, and most nights, you are the last to bed. I can never express how much you mean to both of us.

Happy Father's Day, Love.

*I think . . . We'll just go with it. :)

**Oh, dear. I've started the condiment joke strain, haven't I?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Photos!

It's Friday! Time for some shameless bragging about my son in pictures! Enjoy your weekend!

Miles works to fix the television. Apparently,
clothes are an optional and unnecessary part of
the process. :)

Showing off his rocking chair. Grandmary and Grandad York
saved this from Daddy's childhood! :)

Once again proving that I am a Bad Mommy:
I think this sad little face is too cute.

He looks so grown up!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Putting the "Home" in Stay-at-Home-Mom

I just realized, I may not have told you something relatively important.

I'm not working right now.

It's a long story, but basically, they can't afford to pay me until July. So, I'm here at home enjoying the stay-at-home part of being a stay-at-home-mom.

Again, not that I'm home all the time. In the past couple of weeks, we've taken walks around the neighborhood. We've been to the park a couple of times. We've been to the grocery store, and the fabric store.

But, really, for the most part, we've been home. A lot. And surprisingly, I LOVE it. It's so much less stressful to be at home, where I can set my own schedule. If Miles is having a rough day, it's okay to put off some of the housework. Or to not blog for a day. Or whatever.

I am really finding that housework can be very enjoyable (if not far more complicated) when there's a baby underfoot. Vacuuming has become a game where Miles will chase the vacuum across the floor. He sits in his high chair and noms on lunch while I do dishes. He climbs my legs while I wipe down counters. I'm starting to feel like we're hitting our stride together. I can finally do the things I want and need to do without ignoring him or waiting for his naps.

And I'm finding that I'm less stressed. I have few deadlines, and most of those are self-imposed. There are no phones ringing off the hook constantly. Some days, the phone never rings at all. My house is cleaner. My blood pressure is probably lower. I'm spending less money on gas and food. And I'm spending more time with my son.

I could definitely get used to this. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Court Day!

It's Court Rehearsal Day!!!

And I have no gentleman. :(

The guy who had been cast to play opposite me for the season has decided to drop out. I don't know exactly why, but I'm sure he had his reasons.

The end result: I may be flying solo for the year. Or as solo as any court female ever does. Especially one with a servant. A mute servant. You know, the more I think about it, the better this is sounding. :)

Anyhow, on another note, I get to try on my lining for my court dress tonight! Annie is amazing. I dropped off the fabric less than a week ago, and tonight, she should already have the lining all done for me to try on! I am SO excited!!! I can't wait to see how this turns out!

I'll post pictures, if I remember to get them!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Car Update

So, we drove all the way to Independence today to fix the van. Miles and I tagged along for a variety of reasons, but mostly so there would be someone to call 911, in case it was necessary.

It turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Patrick got in the van and it immediately started up without a problem. Patrick has some theories about what it might have been, but we will be taking it to the mechanic later this week to verify. In the meantime, it doesn't appear to have anything wrong with it. It just decided not to start yesterday and last night.

I will never understand vehicles. Ugh.

Random Updates

I don't really have a lot of time to post today, so I will merely give you the quick update.

All three of us got lots of sleep this weekend. Patrick took early morning duty both Saturday and Sunday, so that I could sleep in a little. Then, when I woke up, I let him take a nap to make up for it. I feel more rested than I have in a LONG time.

Three of Miles' four teeth have come through. That fourth one is being a little stubborn, but I'm sure it will push through any day now. Though, for all I know, it may have done so already. Anytime I try to look into his mouth, he clamps it shut tighter than Fort Knox. The good news is that this round of teething has been a little better than the last. He's cranky at bedtimes (but, really, when is he not?) and he's awfully clingy during the day (I'm enjoying the cuddletime while I can). But, for the most part, that's it.

Miles is soclose to standing on his own. He's done it for a few seconds, but each time, he realizes what he's doing and plops his fuzzy little butt back to the floor. Trust me, there will be a highly excited post, probably complete with pictures, when he finally does it. I'm SO excited for him, even though I know this is one step closer to him walking - and then there will be no stopping him. Bwahahahahahaha.

His hair is getting thick enough now that it's quite obviously got a red tinge to it. Especially when it's wet. Where did I get a redhead? If he didn't look like a perfect blend between Patrick and I, I would swear he was switched in the hospital.

And, I have to go. We have a million things to do today, including driving to Independence to fix our van, which has decided to stop working. Ugh.

Have an awesome week!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sleep Rant (Seriously, you should skip this post)

I want to write a brilliant, witty post. But that sentence took me three tries to get right. Because I'm once again dealing with sleep deprivation.

Miles doesn't like to sleep. At all. He fights it and fights it until he is overtired and cranky. Last night, he was up until almost midnight, because he just didn't want to sleep. And then he woke at 6:20 am, screaming his head off. Because apparently, waking up sucks, too.

After 20 minutes of cuddling, though, he went back to sleep. So did I. Until a phone call from my mom to tell me that my step-sister is in the hospital with appendicitis. (It's ok, mom, I needed to know. I'm just whining about my lack of sleep.) I started to get up, but I was so tired. So, I went back to sleep. Until Miles woke up screaming again at 8:15.


After gallons of coffee, I'm finally awake. And Miles is napping. Welcome to Motherhood.

Honestly, this is the biggest reason that Miles will probably be an only child. I don't deal well with sleep deprivation. It makes me mean and irritable. I explode over the smallest things. Seriously, yesterday I had a crying meltdown because Miles woke up before I was done cleaning out his carseat (which was covered in graham cracker goo). And as I was sobbing on the floor, a little voice of reason in the back of my head kept repeating, "It's really not that big of a deal. You can finish cleaning it later." But I was so frustrated. And it comes from a lack of sleep.

Studies have proven that interrupting a REM cycle repeatedly can lead to full-blown crazy.* Seriously. People start hearing voices, blacking out, seeing things that don't exist. In the past eight months, I have only completed a REM cycle a handful of times. Thankfully, my only symptom is a heavy-duty case of PMS. Every morning, I am woken from a dead sleep and vivid dreams by the screaming of an unhappy baby. And yet, I cannot get to bed any earlier - most nights, I am in bed within half an hour after he falls asleep. No matter what, though, Miles is awake 6-8 hours after he fell asleep. Last night, it was six hours. And I need a minimum of eight hours of sleep to function normally. I feel like I'm beginning to lose my mind. And there's no end in sight. At eight months old, he should be sleeping closer to 10-12 hours a night. I hear stories everyday of babies who sleep up to 14 hours at a stretch. And I can't get mine to even do eight hours reliably. It's so frustrating.

This post really has no point. I'm just whining. And I know it could be worse, because honestly, I have the world's happiest baby for 99% of my day.

I just wish that happy baby came with a little side of sleep for his Mommy.

*Yes, that is the technical medical terminology.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Put Your Hands In the Air!

Can you tell that the roller coaster of my life has just plunged down that first, terrifying, sky-high hill?

Festival rehearsals started this week. After spending last week preparing for Special Olympics, and the weekend in Wichita for it, I came back to a messy house, a teething baby,* and a week full of rehearsals.

Tuesday was our first court rehearsal, where I got to meet all of the wonderful new court members. I may just love this court - they're all kinda awesome. Last night was Apprentice meeting - a required rehearsal for all first through third year performers. It was also awesome. In fact, based on the people I saw last night, I know this is going to be an amazing year. And tonight is Kancheskera rehearsal. It's time to start putting together a gypsy kids' show! :)

Meanwhile, I've been spending my days with Miles at home, helping him to return to some semblance of routine while I wait for word from on high that I can finally start getting paid for my job. It's probably best that I haven't been at the office, because seriously, this kid has been sleeping like crazy. And in between his 2-hour-long naps, he wants to sit on the couch next to me, nomming on cereal and occasionally laying his head on me. Putting him on the floor is acceptable for a few minutes at a time, but goodness forbid that I walk out of the room.

It really could be much worse, acutally. Having four teeth coming in simultaneously would turn most babies in to those shrieking monkeys that you can always hear from outside the zoo. Miles is quiet, and really hasn't cried much at all. He just wants to be close to Patrick or me, cuddling close for a bit of comfort. And sleeping. A lot. Which should equal more regular blog updates, but I'm trying to spend that time returning my house to some semblance of order, and preparing for each night of rehearsals as they come.

Speaking of which, I have dishes to do, a character survey to write, and lesson planning to do for tonight's rehearsal. So, adieu, until I find five minutes to post again! :)

*Seriously. Four at once. What is with this kid? He doesn't do anything by half. . .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Obligatory Post . . .

So, I know I owe you a nice long post about where I've been lately. But you're not getting one. I'm too tired, and I really ought to be cleaning my house instead of blogging. Instead you get a list, because I like lists. Enjoy.

Reasons I Haven't Blogged Lately:
  • Special Olympics. I promise a post about this someday when I've had a little more sleep.
  • 4 days in Wichita. Went down for Special Olympics and spend every spare moment with family. It was wonderful, except for:
  • Miles hasn't slept through the night since Thursday. He had to sleep on the bed between us while we were there, and that resulted in zero sleep for him, which meant:
  • I haven't slept through the night since Thursday. Ugh.
  • Miles is teething. Times four. Yep, four new teeth trying to come through on the top. Two of them have surfaced, but we're still waiting for the other two.
  • Miles has stopped napping. Between teething and being overtired from not sleeping well at night, he has had one two hour nap in the past four days - and that was in the car. Everything else has been cat naps.
  • My house is a disaster. Crawling babies plus awesomely random gifts from grandparents equals toys covering my floor. Literally. Constantly.
  • Heroes. Yep, the TV show. I'm finally watching it, and goodness gracious, but it's addicting. I'm only a few episodes into the first season, and it's taking everything in me to turn it off after one episode a day.
  • Work. It's crazy. End of story.
  • And, last but not least, I haven't really felt like it. Don't know why.
So, that's it. I'll be back eventually. Really, I will . . .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bad Mommy

It's well established by now that I am a Bad Mommy. And, just in case you weren't convinced by my choice of teethers, my lack of planning skills, or the fact that I still rock my kid to sleep, I now offer you photographic evidence:

Yes, that's my child. In the dryer. And yes, that's me, laughing at it on the side.

Go ahead and flog me.

I have no defense, except to say that he was curious about it, so I put him in to explore for a moment. And boy did he explore. He banged on the drum. He stared at himself in the shiny silver thing on the back (what is that anyway?). He cooed and squealed, listening to the echoes. And, he had fun.

I know, I know, it's not a toy. And I know it could be dangerous. But I was right there the whole time (so was Patrick, obviously, since I'm in the picture). And I know that makes me a Bad Mommy.

But, hey, at least I didn't turn it on. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


As you may have guessed from yesterday's photo, we finally managed to take Miles to the swimming pool. He looked so cute in his little swimsuit, with his hair spiked up like a mad scientist because of the sunscreen I had to put on his head. So, of course, we took a ton of pictures before he even got in.

Then came the Moment of Truth. I got into the pool, and Patrick handed him down to me.

For a long while, we just stood there, staring at the expanse of water. He clung to me as if anxious about this new experience, but his eyes were wide, and his eyebrows were knit in concentration. He was intrigued. Slowly, tentatively, he splashed at the water, still uncertain.

Then, Patrick joined us in the pool. Miles reached for his Daddy, and I passed him off, helping him to float through the water to him. He grabbed Daddy, but then immediately turned and began splashing. Patrick held him under the arms, allowing him to dangle in the water, and pulled him around the pool slowly. Within minutes, Miles was kicking and laughing, showing off for the two women sitting on the side of the pool.

We spent the next twenty minutes playing in the water, all three of us laughing constantly. But, eventually, it was time to get out of the pool and go home. As we walked home, dripping and smiling, Miles stared back at the pool, as if ready to go back already.