Monday, January 31, 2011

Bad Mommy Mondays

At the request of my husband, I have decided to start a list of all of the reasons that I am a Bad Mommy.*  I will only list things if someone has actually been judgmental about it - either to me, or about me, or said in my presence.  I will post a few every Monday, and post the complete running list on a tab at the top.  When appropriate, I will try to link to the appropriate story.

Reasons I Am a Bad Mommy
  1. I chose not to nurse my son.  Because I didn't want to.  If that's not enough of an explanation, let's talk.  Because I totally enjoy discussing my breasts with complete strangers.
  2. Instead, I fed him formula, which apparently, is like feeding him toxic waste.
  3. I did not fight the c-section.  In fact, I kinda welcomed it.  Oh, and I got the epidural as soon as possible.
  4. From early on, I have followed my child's lead.  I trust he knows what he needs. (Like, no socks. . .)
  5. I allow my child to watch television, even though it is obviously of the devil.  Just another of my selfish choices so that I can eat occasionally.
  6. I feed my child juice, even though it is obviously going to make him fat.  It would be better for him to drink nothing at all, because juice is as bad as soda.
  7. I don't jump and run every time my child falls over.  Which is often.  Apparently, that makes me lazy.  Even if he's not actually hurt.  The correct (and societally-acceptable) move would be to hover over him, never allowing him the space to learn anything for himself.
  8. I don't always order my kid his own meal.  Most times, in fact, he eats off of my plate.  Apparently, I am a terrible mother who wishes to starve her child. (Interesting factoid: this happened when Miles was 7 months old, and barely eating table food at all.)
  9. I use a harness and leash on my son when we are out in public.  Apparently, this means I think of him as a pet, rather than as a rambunctious child who would run into a crowd without thinking.
  10. As a family, we have incorporated Miles into our lives, we have not changed everything about our lives to fit him.  Apparently, we are being selfish by 'dragging' him along.  His obvious joy at leading this life is apparently only because he doesn't know any better.

*Please know that I do not think I am a Bad Mommy.  I think I am a Mommy who does her best, just like every other Mommy on the planet.  This list is meant to be funny.  So laugh.  Now. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cuteness Update

Newest cute things that Miles is doing:
  • Praying.  Before lunch on Thursday, he folded his hands and bowed his head, and said a little gibberish prayer.  Talk about a proud mommy moment.
  • Blowing on things.  He purses his lips and blows air out his bottom lip.  Most of the air goes up his nose and ruffles his hair, but he is so proud of himself. :)
  • Saying, "bananananana" for the first time.  Once he gets going, he forgets to stop, though.  :)
  • Giving hugs to the other young children at open gym.
  • Wrestling with the dog.  They both lay down on the couch and roll around, Dominic licking Miles' face and arms, Miles giggling uncontrollably.
  • Using phrases, particularly, "I want this." (Usually in regards to something he can't have, but hey, it's cute.)
  • Showing his "cheese face" when asking please.  You can tell that he totally knows he's adorable, and he's milking it for all it's worth.
  • Doubling over in pretend laughter whenever someone else laughs.  He even does this if a TV show has a laugh track.  It's so obviously fake that everyone around him laughs, too.
  • Starting every string of gibberish with, "Ummmm . . ." and a sigh.  Like he's bringing up a difficult subject.
  • Miles has a plastic dinosaur named Charlie.  Charlie has started nomming on people's legs when Miles needs attention.
  • Using his toy keys to try to lock the front door.
  • Sitting in his little chair that he inherited from Daddy's childhood.
  • Using every appropriately-sized card like a debit card.
  • Paying the cashier at every store.
  • Trying to put on shoes.  His are too difficult to put on by himself, but Aunt B's are really easy.  Walking in them is not so easy, though . . .

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Battles & Blessings

How can it be Saturday already?  This week has flown.  (Not that I'm complaining.  Just surprised.)


  • My teeth.  I started off the week with a sore mouth.  In the end, I had two cavities filled and a wisdom tooth removed.  Yay me.
  • Icky sickies.  I don't know if I'm still trying to catch a cold, or if my head-congestion-y stuff is just a result of the trauma my mouth has undergone this week.
  • Miles' teeth.  As in, he's getting more.  Again.  Can we just be done with teeth for a little while?  Please?
  • Exhaustion.  When I'm in pain, I just want to sleep.  When Miles is in pain, he apparently wants to climb the walls.
  • Stupid judgmental people on online forum boards.  I blow raspberries at the lot of them.

  • Patrick.  He really should just stay at the top of my list of blessings.  This week, he has really taken up the (vast amounts) of slack due to my exhaustion and pain-induced laziness.  How he continues to do all that he does, I will never understand.
  • Dominic.  When Mommy just doesn't have the energy to race around the living room with Miles, Dominic takes over.  They started playing a chase game this week that makes them both happy, and is hysterical to watch.
  • New recipe ideas.  Because not only do I get an opportunity to cook (something I truly enjoy), but I get to introduce Miles to new and exciting foods (that he likes!).
  • My sister-in-law, who will be visiting and baby-sitting, so that Patrick and I can have a date night tonight.  I love it when people insist on baby-sitting.  It means I don't feel bad about asking. :)
  • But more than anything, my son.  Though he has been teething, and therefore in pain, for much of the week, he also seems to know that I don't feel well.  When I am really down, he always does something to make me smile.  Everything about him brings joy to my heart.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Photos!

We finally managed to get back to Picture People for our second set of photos.  Here are a few of the results.   Enjoy!


Have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who Knew Juice Would Be Such a Big Deal?

So, apparently, it had been too long since someone flat out told me I was a bad mother.

First, let me just state for the record that I should know better by now than to be entirely honest on the Mommy Forums (not my SAHM board, but others).  Someone asked the question, "What does your kid drink?"

I responded that he drinks a ton of juice, because he won't touch water.

Apparently, that was the wrong answer.  I was e-reamed by a bunch of women I've never even met, and who obviously don't know anything about me.  "Juice is as bad as soda!" one mommy wrote.  "Is this for real?" wrote another.  One flat out told me that I was ruining my child by giving him so much juice - and the AAP would back her up.

Okay, let's step back a moment.  I've done my research.  I know that the AAP is now recommending lower consumption of juice in children.  But I also know that they're doing that for two reasons: 1) the high sugar content of most juices, and 2) childhood obesity.  The sugar, frankly, doesn't bother me.  Sugar, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.  I brush his teeth.  And if I have a bouncy toddler all afternoon, that's my business.  As for the childhood obesity, all I can say is: have you seen my kid?  The poor kid is always struggling to keep his pants up.  He could stand to gain a little weight.  Childhood obesity is on the bottom of my list of worries.

And besides, other than the juice (heck, including the juice), this kid eats healthier than I ever did.  He eats a balanced diet of carbs and proteins, fruits and vegetables.  So if he wants a little juice to drink with it, so be it.  And no one but no one is going to tell me I am a Bad Mommy for this one.

Although, I may or may not have told the ladies on that forum board to 'shove it'.  So, if that type of language makes me a Bad Mommy, I'll take it. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Ask If You Don't Want the Answer

Miles and I have been working on animal sounds lately.  He knows that a dog says, "woof" and a cat says, "meow" and a duck says, "quack" (though getting him to show that he knows that is sometimes a challenge).

Yesterday, it went something like this:

Me:  "What does a dog say?"
Miles: <makes clicking noise with tongue, and pats legs - like he's calling the dog>
Me: "Close enough.  What does a kitty say?"
Miles: "Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty!"
Me:  "Okaaay, what does a duck say?"
Miles: <makes the sign for 'duck'>
Me: What does Daddy say?
Miles: <sticks his tongue out> "Baaaaah"
Me: <giggling, now> Really?  What does Mommy say?
Miles: <several minutes of gibberish, complete with hand gestures>
Me: Mommy says all that?
Miles: Ess.

I guess I shouldn't have asked . . . :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


No, I'm not calling you names, I promise. :)

Two months ago, Miles would eat anything we put in front of him.  Especially if Mommy or Daddy had a bite first.  Now?  Not so much.  He eats bananas like they're going out of style, and he'll still eat just about any variety of bread, but getting him to eat much of anything else has been a struggle.

Until we discovered the power of dip.

This kid will eat anything that he can dip in anything.  Chips and salsa?  Devoured.  Pretzels and marinara sauce?  Inhaled.  Crackers and warm peanut butter?  Demolished.  He especially like the last one.  So much, in fact, that I had to give him more crackers three different times.  He ate way more than I expected.  It was a little messy, but this kid?  He can even make messy look cute.  See?

Oh, and look, he wants to give you a hug.  Don't you just want a big peanut-buttery hug? :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toddler Gym

I have writer's block.  And a bad case of the Lazies.  So, here are some cute pictures from Toddler Gym this morning.  Enjoy.  Maybe someday I'll write something decent again. :)

Ah, the toy car.  It frustrates him, and yet he loves it.

Exploring far away from Mommy!
[He was across the gym.  I had to crop and zoom
so you could see him at all.  Bad Mommy, I know.]

Vacuuming the gym floor.  I'm so glad he's such
a neat nick.  Soon, he will clean the entire house with
his tiny broom and tiny vacuum. Mwahahahahaha!*

*Sorry.  Not much sleep last night.  Does it show?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reason #1 My House Will Never Be Clean

Exhibit #1: Living room at the end of Miles' nap. (Literally, he woke up about 2 minutes after this shot)

Exhibit #2: Living room ten minutes later.  Miles had been downstairs for less than 8 minutes.  And yes, the laundry basket is my fault, but to be fair, I was on my way downstairs with it when Miles threw a fit and made it very clear that I was not going anywhere.  Also, it is important to note that there was cereal crushed into the carpet just below the scope of the shot.  Fun times.

Don't you feel so much better about your own houses, now? :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Battles & Blessings

  • It snowed.  Again.  Ick.
  • Stuck inside with a rambunctious toddler.  Because of the snow.  Ick.
  • Fighting off the ickie-sickies all week.  Nothing yet, but I feel it.  Ick.
  • I hate snow. Ick.
  • Poo-splosions.  Ick.
  • Zero motivation.  To do anything.  Ick.
  • Have I mentioned it snowed?  And how I hate the snow?  Ick.
  • Toddler kisses, out of the blue, for no apparent reason.
  • A dog who puts up with anything.  Even toddler fingers up the nose.
  • 12 years with my amazing husband. :)
  • Working with Miles and Olivia (my boss's granddaughter) playing underfoot.
  • Stacey.  Just everything about her.  She babysat for our date night (which ended up being at home because the roads were gross), and went to the store for diapers when the roads were icky, and came to pick up Miles so I could go to an appointment.  And she does the dishes every.single.morning.  I'm starting to wonder how we ever survived without her.
  • Shakespeare nights.  Even when we never actually get around to reading Shakespeare.
  • Dear friends who have become family, and family that I am lucky enough to call friends.
  • Naps.  Miles is taking them.  Finally.  I could jump for joy at the amount of time I am getting to myself every day, now.  It's amazing.
What have your battles and blessings been this week?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Photos!

Dominic has taken to snuggling under things while he naps.
Either it's too cold, or he's hiding from Miles.

Playing with Duplos in his room.

Playing ball with the Baby in the Mirror. :)

Look at those eyelashes.  Swoon.  I love this kid. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


With Miles' incredible delight in making his own toast, I decided to try some other cooking tasks with him.  I probably should have started with snack mix or something, but silly me, I went straight for the cookies.

Monday morning, during Miles' first nap, I got out all of the ingredients, and set them out on the table with a bowl.  After lunch, we set to work.  I would measure out the ingredients, and Miles would dump them in to the bowl.  Then, I would measure the next ingredient, while Miles "stirred" the contents of the bowl with a big plastic spoon (this usually meant beating at its surface, but whatever).  When everything was in the bowl, we put the bowl into the stand mixer, and turned it on.  He watched it carefully, but didn't touch.  Eventually, we put it in the refrigerator to set.

Tuesday afternoon we set to cutting the dough into stars.  I would place the cookie cutter, and Miles would push it down.  He would do three or four, then get down and go play for awhile.  At the end of the day, we were rewarded with a full cookie jar. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Love of My Life

Twelve years ago today, I began dating the love of my life. We were high-schoolers.  I was 15, he was 16.  And we were madly in love, almost from the start.

I've known Patrick for most of my life.  For much of my childhood, he was the 'weird kid' who lived down the street from my cousins.  Once we hit middle school, I knew him as the Nerd Standard - the kid that all other nerds (myself included) were compared to.  You could be half as nerdy as Patrick, or almost as nerdy.  No one was ever more nerdy.  I have to admit, he intrigued me, even then.

Cue high school.  End of my freshman year.  I auditioned for "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and was cast as Puck.  Patrick was Egeus.  We began talking during down-times of rehearsals, and we became fast friends.  He was quiet, and yet unafraid to be loud when the occasion called for it.  We could talk on any subject, at length.  He was always polite.  And funny.  I loved spending time with him.

But I was young, and not at all certain what any of that meant.

Enter Ruth, a dear friend, with a sweet disposition, and a penchant for falling for all the wrong guys.  She always liked the Bad Boys, the guys who were going to treat her like garbage.  So, when she expressed an interest in Patrick, I did what any good friend would do: I talked him into asking her out.

Needless to say, that didn't work out.  They dated for less than a month before both came to the conclusion that they were entirely wrong for one another.  But their brief experiment was important, because it brought the beginning of something very important: Breakfast.  Each morning, when the bus had dropped us off, the three of us would eat breakfast together in the cafeteria.  It was the promise of breakfast with Patrick and Ruth that got me out of bed in the morning.

The school year came to an end, and summer began.  Patrick called a few times, and we talked for as long as our respective parents could bear the loss of their phone lines.  Before we knew it, the first day of school had arrived again.  I was still riding the bus, (Ruth had moved on to another school) and arrived nice and early, so I headed to the cafeteria.

Where Patrick was waiting for me.  I noticed for the first time how incredibly adorable he was.  And then shook off that feeling, so I could greet him without being awkward.

We ate breakfast together every morning after that, and it quickly became my favorite time of day.  Sometime late in the fall, we were talking one morning, and I looked up at him.  The sun was shining directly behind him, making him glow just a little, and he had just said something to make me laugh, his own smile lighting up his face.

I realized in that moment that I loved him.  And had for awhile.

Still, I was scared, and I wasn't about to push him, or make him uncomfortable.  I was afraid that I was going to tip this delicate balance, and our breakfasts together would stop.  I couldn't bare the thought of it, so I kept quiet, hoping that he felt the same way about me.

January 19, 1999.  Just after breakfast.  On the way out the door, he pulled me close, and whispered in my ear, "Will you be my girlfriend?"  The butterflies that my heart had become threatened to beat their way out of my chest via my throat, as I replied, simply, "Yes."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The sleeps. I need them.

And for once, it's not Miles' fault that I'm not getting them.

I have been exhausted lately.  Probably because I have slept through the night only a handful of times since the New Year.  There's always something waking me up.  Occasionally, it is the toddler, waking around 2:00 am, and crying for a moment before finding Glow Worm and going back to sleep.  More often, though, it's the dog.

I love Dominic, and honestly, I think getting him was one of the better decisions we made for our family.  Miles adores him.  He and the dog are a pair, chasing each other back and forth all day.  Miles throws things for the dog, which Dominic promptly chases with great gusto, making Miles giggle.  Many a time, I have found the two of them snuggling on the couch, or staring out the window together, or simply sitting close together while Miles plays.  Yes, Miles and Dominic are buddies, and I am happy he is here.

Until 2:00 am, that is.  Dominic has an innate ability to wake me up in the middle of the night, without even trying.  He loves to run up and down the stairs for some reason, in a crazy rush to get nowhere, the tags on his collar jangling me awake like a bad alarm clock.  So, we started taking his collar off at night.

That apparently does not stop the Sleep Stealer.  Last night, even without the collar, he woke me three times. I went to bed at 9:30 to try to battle this exhaustion (plus the sickies I feel coming on).  At 10:30, Dominic decided to try to find all of the squeaky parts of the floor in our bedroom.  I sent him out, and went back to sleep, only to be awakened at 2:20 to the sound of him peeing on something.  I don't know why.  He's housetrained, and had been out not long before, according to Patrick.  By the time the mess had been cleaned and the dog disciplined, it was 2:45, and I was wide awake.  I think I finally fell asleep around 3:15.

At 3:30, Dominic jumped on my feet and woke me again.

I'm tempted to rent a hotel room, just so I can get a full night's sleep. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Family Pictures

Family pictures make me crazy.  Seriously.

First, there was a whole debacle with trying to get an appointment with Picture People, but their website was down, and I didn't have a local number, so we decided to just try a walk-in.

Bad call.  We were told the wait time would be two hours, so we bummed around the mall.  We took Miles to visit the play area, and let him walk all over.  We stopped at Subway and had lunch (we changed his shirt first, just in case, and I kept my coat buttoned all the way to my throat).  And we meandered back.  It had only been an hour, but they'd had a cancellation, so they were able to get us in.

Unfortunately, Miles was worn out from our mall excursion.  We managed to get a couple of decent family shots, and one really good one of Patrick and Miles together.  When it came time for the pictures of Miles and Mommy, though, Miles decided he was done.  He was climbing on everything.  Running away.  Struggling.  Whining.  I could tell he was building up to a First-Class Tantrum, so I did the only reasonable thing: I ended the session early.

Miles and I will try again for Mommy and Me photos later this week.  In the meantime, here are the best shots.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Okay, so I promised an explanation.  Like a week ago.  I guess I'd better follow through.

After literally months of hemming and hawing and fence-sitting, I have finally made the decision to return to work at the Festival.  I will not, however, be returning as a performer, unfortunately.  As much as I love performing, something had to go.

It's no secret that last year was really difficult for me.  Stressful.  Frustrating.  Tear-inducing.  Overwhelming.  And those were often the good days.  Bad days ended with me curled in a ball, covered in tears and snot,* and wanting to quit everything.

Simply put, I bit off more than I could chew.  Entertainment Assistant. Director of the kids' group. Performer. Mother. Wife. Friend.  I can't do it all, much as I would love to.  Everything ended up being done in a half-assed sort of way (sorry, but there's no other way to put it).  I still have contracts from last year that were never filed.  Rehearsals for the kids' group were poorly organized.  I was rarely fully present for performance rehearsals.  I felt like a failure as a mother, as a wife, and as a friend.  It had to stop.

Some things, however, cannot and will not change.  I will always be a wife and mother.  Those things have to be priority over everything else.  And I need to be a good friend, or risk the inevitable tide of guilt whenever my amazing friends do amazing things for me, even knowing that I don't always have the time/energy/forethought to do the same for them.  It's the Festival stuff that had to change.

Directing the children's group could not go away, though.  Last year, I worked with nine amazing young people, each of whom had more talent in their little fingers than I will ever have.  Each one learned to sing, dance, and entertain a crowd of people, in a venue that's famous for being impossible to hold an audience.  Through the rehearsal process, I watched these nine children grow and mature in so many ways.  These kids are the oddballs, the ones who will never really fit in to the popular cliques in school.  Some of them are entirely okay with that.  Others feel lonely and sad.  But each of them found a place where their differences were showcased and praised at the Festival.  There is no way I could take that feeling of belonging away from them, no matter the struggles I face in my own life.  So, that was always a given.

Which only left two options: give up my job, or give up performing.  And honestly, in the end, it came down to logistics.  Performing requires tons of rehearsals, which take up my evenings and weekends.  That would leave me home with Miles all day, everyday, but leave no time to spend with my husband.  Working takes up my days, providing Miles with a safe, friendly environment in which to play, and leaves our evenings free to spend as a family.  In the end, choosing to work just made more sense.

So, there you have it: the overly-complicated, angst-ridden explanation of my decision.  Was it thrilling?  Wasn't it worth waiting for? :)

*I'm an ugly crier.  It's no secret.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


My son is a genius.

No, really, I have proof this time.

Yesterday morning, when we came downstairs, I asked if he wanted some breakfast.  He made a funny noise that started and ended with T, and had a raspberry in the middle, somehow.  Luckily, I am well-trained in Toddlerese, and I know that this translates to, "Toast".

As I was getting the bread, Miles was busy climbing onto a chair that I had pushed into the corner of the kitchen - conveniently enough, directly in front of our toaster oven.  He pulled the toaster oven toward him, and opened the door.  I gave him a piece of bread, and he laid it gently in the center of the rack, closed the toaster, and tried to turn the knob.  Unfortunately, it's a little awkward, so he couldn't quite manage.  Ever the genius, however, he simply looked at me and signed, "help, please" and pointed at it.  I turned the knob, and he watched as the heating element grew more and more orange, and said, "Ha!" (Translation: "Hot!")

In an effort to distract him from trying to open the toaster oven door too soon, I asked if he wanted milk.  My distraction worked, and he held the lid to his cup and the milk carton while I poured, then placed each lid on its proper container.  By the time I had put the milk away, the toaster dinged.  Miles pointed, then jerked his hand back and said, "Ha! Osh!" [Translation: "Hot! Ouch!" - the exact words I use when warning him away from the stove while I'm cooking.]

I pulled the 'ha' toast out and put it on a plate, then helped Miles down from his perch.  He immediately began grunting and pointing at the plate.  "Do you want to carry it?" I asked, figuring that at worst, he'd be picking up a solid piece of toast from the un-vacuumed carpet and eating it anyway.  No big.*  (I promise,  it wasn't hot by the time I handed it to him.  I'm not that Bad of a Mommy).

Surprisingly, he carried the toast-laden plate all the way to the table without spilling it.  He sat it down, held the toast triumphantly over his head, and then savagely tore into it, with all the pride of a chef eating his first successfully produced meal.  A few short moments later, he was asking to help with seconds.  Which he also consumed with vigor.

He also had toast for lunch.  And dinner.  And he made a piece for Daddy when he got home from work.  I think toast is going to be very popular around here for the next few days. :)

*Bad mommy, remember?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Battles & Blessings

  • Snow.  It kept us inside for the first half of the week, which made Miles and I both cranky.
  • Eczema.  Just when I thought we were getting a handle on it, it popped back up, worse than ever.
  • Vaccine issues at the doctor.  Apparently, our old doctor missed three shots over the course of the past year (each from a different set, somehow).  And then the medical records weren't entered into the computer system correctly.  Our new pedi is working on getting everything figured out and fixed, and she gave him the vaccines that he should have gotten before.  But that means he's still behind on the two vaccines he should have gotten this month.  We'll catch them up later.  I'm just mad at the old doctor for screwing up so bad.

  • A new doctor who actually seems to be way more competent. 
  • My husband, who has been excellent about giving me a little bit of time to myself every evening.  It's been a lifesaver, even when it's only a few minutes.
  • Naps.  Miles has finally started napping better.  We've been working toward this for over 15 months, and we finally found the right combination of environment and timing to get him down without a fight.  My days have suddenly become a breeze (at least, comparatively). :) 
  • Another opportunity to perform.  We had our first rehearsal for our Alice in Wonderland tea, and it was a ton of fun.  I can't wait to really get to work on this project!

EDIT: Yeah, so I'm a dork and posted this a day early.  And didn't even realize it.  Meh.  Maybe that will mean a real post for tomorrow.  Or none.  We'll see. :)

Friday Photos!

Helping Daddy with his work.

Showing off his utensil-using skills, like a big boy.

Playing with pots and pans.  Doesn't it look like he's tasting something?

Hanging in his new tent (a Christmas gift from Aunt Katie).

Watching the snow plows clear the street.

Discussing the world with his Best Buddy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Miles' New TV Friend

So, it's no secret that I'm a Bad Mommy and let my kid watch TV from time to time.  Mostly, we watch Qubo (which is such a great channel that I really need to write an entire post on it sometime).  The shows are great, and Miles loves to watch Maisy and Boo.  But mostly, he likes this guy:

Yeah, Montel Williams* is doing one of those "Money Now!" commercials that seems to blanket daytime TV.  You know the type: "Need money to get you to payday?  We'll give you cash, and charge you interest rates that will have you paying it off for the rest of your life!"**

Every.single.time this commercial comes on, Miles runs to the TV, plops his little hiney on the floor, and says, "Hi!" in a very excited voice.  He spends the next 30 seconds in pure awe of Montel and his promises of cash.  And when the commercial changes, Miles gets  up again and returns to whatever he was doing before.

Such is the Power of Montel.

*Funny story: I didn't even realize it was Montel Williams until I went to find this picture.  I don't know if I'm just way out of touch, or if he just looks old.

**Truth in advertising, you see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cabin Fever

I hate being stuck inside.

Correction: I love being stuck inside, by myself, with an endless supply of cocoa and good books.  I hate being stuck inside with an active toddler who is easily bored.

So far, we have played with his Duplos, played in the tent, played crawling chase games and tickle wars, wrestled with his teddy bear, chased the dog, eaten breakfast, rolled and jumped on the bed, watched TV, pushed toys around in the wagon, chased the dog again, played with magnets, and loaded the dishwasher.  And he went down for his morning nap.  It's 10:00 am.  Which means I have roughly 7 more hours until Stacey gets home from work, and up to 9 hours before Patrick gets home.

How am I ever going to entertain him?

I would take him out somewhere, but the wind chill is a toe-numbing -8 degrees.    Eek.  No way do I want him out in that.  Especially since the roads are still a little yucky from all the snow.  And the drivers around here are notorious for freaking out over even the least bit of precipitation.  No, unfortunately, it's safer all around to just stay indoors.  Again.  And try not to go completely insane.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I know some people love the snow, and are all excited about this storm that has blanketed so much of the country.  I am not one of those people.  I hate the snow.  It's cold.  And sticks to you, then melts, so you're cold and wet.  Yuck.

Which is terrible for me, because the stuff just won't stop falling from the sky.  In buckets.  Big, fat flakes, blowing in the crazy-cold wind.  The ground was covered when I let the dog out this morning.  Only three hours later, his prints are almost filled with snow again.  You almost can't tell he was out there at all.  The snow plows keep on coming, but an hour later, you can hardly tell they've been by.

The worst part is that I'm stuck inside.  I could brave the cold and snow, but to what end?  Risking a car wreck just to get out of the house irresponsible, at best.  Add in the fact that I'd have to drag Miles along, and it becomes downright stupid.

Oh, and he's cranky and tired, to boot.  Blargh.

Only ten more weeks until spring.  Only ten more weeks until spring.  Only ten more weeks until spring . . .

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Return to the Office

Friday, after Miles' first nap, we made the 20 minute trip out to have lunch with Maestro.  By the time Maestro had to go back to work, Miles was getting restless, so we returned to the office to run off some energy.

As we entered the front door, we were greeted by every.single.person who works there (granted, that's like, 5 people), all cooing over Miles and excited to see him.  Miles broke into the biggest grin I've seen in awhile, did a minor amount of pontificating in gibberish, and then ran straight to his Uncle Jim to be picked up.

Eventually, I managed to get past the foyer, so I could put my things down. :)

Miles spent the rest of the afternoon running from one office to the next, visiting each person in turn.  He sat with Karla and Ashley as they ate their lunch.  He played with Ashley's dog, Hunter.  He ran in and had random conversations with Roger.  But mostly?  He could be found in Uncle Jim's office, just hanging out.

(Meanwhile, I re-organized my office to get ready for the impending year.  But no one really cares what I did, right?)  :)

After a couple of hours of that, Miles came back to me, crawled up in my lap, and fell into a deep sleep.  What followed was the longest, most restful nap he's had in quite awhile.  I am happy to report that my office is in some semblance of order, and Maestro and I have a plan of attack for the season.  And Miles returned to his car seat without an ounce of complaint, talking the entire way home.

[In case you can't tell, I have decided to return to my position as Entertainment Assistant for the 2011 season.  To balance that, however, I have opted not to perform.  More to follow regarding that decision.]

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • I have been ridiculously tired this week.  It didn't help that I couldn't manage to get an uninterrupted night of sleep from Friday through Wednesday.  Miles still has his normal crazy energy, and for some reason, Dominic has gone entirely bonkers and needs tons of playtime.
  • We're trying a new nap routine in an effort to put an end to the screaming that generally precedes each one.  Being consistent has been difficult, especially on days when he starts falling asleep easier than usual.
  • We try to get out of the house every day, but the days this week have still seemed rather long.  I'm crazy, but I miss being just a little busier.


  • Coffee.  In large quantities.  I want to snuggle with my coffee maker.  Seriously.
  • Our return to routine has actually gone far more smoothly than I had dared to hope.
  • The nap routine seems to be working, for the most part.  Since Monday, we have only had two difficult nap times - and both resulted in a decent nap.  It's too soon (and I'm too superstitious) to believe that it's going to last, but for the first time ever, I haven't dreaded naptime this week.
  • Toddler gym.
  • Lunch with Maestro to discuss upcoming projects. :)
  • Miles' rash is finally clearing up.  We've been struggling with eczema since the week before Christmas, so this is a big deal.
  • Patrick chopped his hair off.  He is so adorable with short hair.  I had forgotten exactly how much I like his short hair. 
  • Miles has been so silly and fun this week.  And actually helpful with simple tasks (like taking laundry out of the dryer).  It's exciting.
  • Visits with friends who are family, and the promise of visits from family who are also friends.
  • Tangled.  The newest Disney movie.  Go see it.  Seriously.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Photos!

Well, it's a week into the New Year, and I'm just getting a year in review posted.  Each of these photos was published on this blog during the month listed.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Since my brain is still too confuzzled this early morn to write anything more than one coherent sentence, here is a list of current cute things that Miles does to melt the hearts of the world.*

  • He's starting to point out body parts - particularly facial features.  The other day, he successfully pointed to my eyes and nose when asked, but when I asked where my mouth was, he pointed to his own.  "That's Miles' mouth," I said.  "Where's Mommy's mouth?"  He grinned, leaned forward, and kissed me on the mouth.  I apparently had a good reaction to it, because this is now standard practice for showing me where Mommy's mouth is. :)
  • He blows kisses.  And he's stopped putting them in his ear afterward. :)
  • He likes to steal my chair.  Which is hysterical because he cannot climb into it without help.  So, he asks me for help to steal my chair.  Once he's in and seated, he grins and spreads out over the chair so I can't sit down without sitting on him.  Which I pretend to do, much to his delight.**
  • For months, he's been waving his entire arm to wave bye-bye.  Now, he opens and closes his little hands.  Most times, it's facing backward, making it look like he's waving bye-bye to himself. :)
  • He loves to 'help'.  He will happily throw away trash, take some item from one parent to another, carry a small object around, put things in drawers (or cabinets, or bins, etc.), and will even help get the laundry into and out of the dryer.  Often, his 'helping' results in more work, but it makes him happy, and he's trying. :)
  • When he climbs the stairs (with an adult behind him), he pauses about halfway up to look out at the world from that height.  He delights in being as tall - or taller than - any adult left standing on the ground floor.
  • He has developed a sudden fascination with our friend Shelby, and will run to him, sit in his lap, and talk to him (very seriously) in gibberish for minutes on end.  
  • He has become really good at stringing his signs together to convey more complex questions and requests.  Yesterday, at the Gym, he looked around until he made eye-contact with me (I'd just sat down, a few feet away), pointed at the bouncy house, and signed, "More up, please." (Indicating that he needed help to get up the stairs and into the contraption).
  • When Daddy comes home in the evening, Miles regales him with tales from the day.  Last night, he took over my chair and spoke at length.  Within the litany of gibberish, we were able to make out the words, "I bounce!" over and over again.  When we repeated the words back to him, he smiled hugely, bounced in the chair, and said, "I bounce!"
He's doing a million more cute things, lately, but he has just awoken.  Off to more cuteness!  Happy Thursday!

*Holy run-on sentence, Bat Man!

** Yet more proof that parents are weird.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Toddler Gym

So, in my quest to find something, anything to keep Miles occupied and get us out of the house, I stumbled across this wonderful thing:

Toddler Open Gym.

Our local community center (which is literally a 2 min drive away) opens up their gym for two hours twice a week just for kids under 5 to come play.  Even better, they then fill that gym with ride-on toys, push toys, balls of varying sizes, and a massive bounce house.

Having no idea that it would be so cool, but desperately trying to avoid being stuck at home, I took Miles for the first time today.  He ran from one corner of the room to the other, trying out dozens of toys and balls, and crawling in and out of the bounce house.  He interacted with other children,* pushed cars, pulled wagons, bounced balls, put toys away, pulled them back out, and generally just wore himself out.

After an hour and ten minutes, he came to me, waved bye-bye, and laid his head on my chest, utterly exhausted.  Less than ten minutes later, he was yawning as we walked up the stairs at home.  When we sat down to rock, he buried his head in my shirt and was snoring before I had a chance to put him down - and then slept for the next hour and a half.

I'd call that a success.  Totally worth the dollar I spent on it. :)

*Usually long enough to stare at them, hoping they would drop the toy they had so he could play with it.  It's scary how many times it worked.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year

Yeah, I realize I'm off by a couple of days, but honestly?  I think it's close enough to still talk about the New Year.  And since I have nothing terribly interesting to tell you about our exciting year so far (we stayed in all weekend, organizing our house and taking turns being lazy), I thought I'd bore you with my New Year's Resolutions.

Let me just state for the record that I think the term "New Year's Resolution" is way overused - most times, when someone asks for your resolutions, you list off a litany of old stand-bys, with no real intention of following through.  I know.  I've done it.

And then, two years ago, I chose to use the new year as an opportunity to really look at myself and evaluate what I liked and didn't like about myself.  For the most part, I make no excuses, and refuse to feel guilty about the choices I make, because I know that they were the best decisions I could have made at the time, with the information I had available to me.  Two years ago, however, when I took that hard look at myself, I found that I had become . . . a Bitch.

Now, not all the time.  And certainly not as terrible as I could have been.  But I had always prided myself on being nice to people, and giving them the benefit of the doubt as often as possible.  And I wasn't doing that anymore.  I tended to see faults before I saw the value in a person.  I had become very judgmental about a lot of things.  And honestly?  I wasn't being nice.  At all.

So, I made my first New Year's Resolution of my adult life.*  I resolved to be nice for an entire year.

Apparently, however, God has a sense of humor, because a month after I had made that resolution, I found out I was pregnant.  What ensued was one of the craziest years of my life - I assistant-directed a musical for community theater, while still assistant-directing the Festival.  I had rehearsals five nights a week, and often on Saturdays.  Saturday evenings were a myriad of events - all of which I was obligated to attend.  Sundays turned into opportunities to promote our Festival, or the musical.  And I was still working 40+ hours a week at the office.  That summer, I also attended impromptu weddings for both my mother (in June) and my sister (in August), along with pre-planned weddings for two different sets of friends.

And through it all, I was hormonal and pregnant.  And trying desperately to be nice, when all I really wanted was ice cream, and a few minutes peace, followed by an opportunity to beat almost everyone upside the head.

Did I mention God has a sense of humor?

Regardless, I lived through the year.  I worked until three days before Miles was born.  And then we were back to performing by the time he was nine days old.  And through it all, I held tight to that resolution.  And I made it.

But after twelve months of being as nice as possible, I decided to take a year off.  I made zero resolutions at the beginning of 2010.  And it felt good. :)

However, 2011 is now here, and I feel I'm ready for a new challenge.  So, after far too much adieu, here are my resolutions for 2011:

  • Get organized.  I am so tired of not being able to find a darn thing.  And I'm ready for things to move more smoothly.  I will get organized this year, if it kills me. :)
  • Find balance.  Life is a juggling act - work is one baton, marriage another, housekeeping yet another, and on and on.  When Miles was born, I expected him to add a few batons to the mix.  It was more like a million.  And I lost my carefully choreographed routine.  I have spent a year diving to catch the batons I've dropped, each time dropping several more in the process.  It is time to find a way to keep all of those batons in the air - even if that means letting go of a few of the batons I have held on to so stubbornly.  Things will be changing this year, and I will find a new balance that works for all of us.

So, what about you?  What are your resolutions for the year?  Or do you think resolutions are dumb?  What changes are you hoping to see in 2011?

*I have to specify that, because I made all sorts of resolutions as a kid.  Most of them were about writing in my journal daily.  And we all know how that turned out. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Routine - 15 months old

I'm using this post for me, today, so read on, if you want, but know that it's nothing interesting. :)

Looking back over the past year, I've realized that I don't have a very clear picture of how far we've come, routine-wise.  I know all of the milestones that Miles has hit, and when, and I have a great collection of photos from the entire year.  What I don't have is any idea what his routine was like at 3 months, 6 months, etc.  So, Future Self, here is Miles' current schedule, in a nutshell.  Note the crazy. :)

Somewhere between 7:15-7:30am -- Miles wakes for the day.  Usually upset, though he's starting to figure out that he can play quietly in his crib until I come get him, so he doesn't start everyday screaming, anymore.  Once he's awake, I get him out of bed, change him, and sometimes even get him dressed for the day, but that entirely depends upon his mood.  We play in his room for a few minutes until he's fully with it.

7:45ish -- Downstairs for breakfast.  I'm a Bad Mommy, so it's usually something like banana slices or toast in the living room.  Even odds as to whether or not the TV is on so I can finish my cup of coffee before the day really gets going.

8:30-10:00am -- Try to get out of the house - specifically, somewhere he can run off some energy.  If we stay at home, I spend this time on the floor with him, trying to wear him out.

10:00-11:00/11:30am -- Return to his room to play with the radio on.  Goal is to get him wound down for his first nap of the day.

11:00/11:30ish -- He goes down for his morning nap.  If I'm lucky, he'll go down without screaming.  I'm not lucky very often.

1:00ish -- Miles wakes from his nap, and we have lunch.

1:30ish -- More playing on the floor.  I try to get out some fun activity for him to do - bucket of beans to play in, collapsible tunnel to crawl through, etc.  This is the other time I try to get him out of the house, if we didn't go out in the morning.  If he's playing by himself, I try to do some housework.

3:00ish -- Snack time.  Again, it's usually in the living room, and taken in spurts as he plays.

3:30/4:00ish -- Whenever Miles starts winding down (or asks for "uhstares"), we go back up to his room to play.

4:00ish -- Miles goes down for his second nap of the day.  Screaming often ensues before sleeping.

5:00ish -- Miles wakes up and we go downstairs.  He plays in the kitchen or watches "Jane and the Dragon" while I make supper.

5:30ish -- Supper, followed by playtime with Daddy.  Mommy sits in her chair, staring at the wall, and gibbering.  Grape throwing could commence and she would never notice.*

Evening is comprised of playing in the living room.  Occasionally, we will all go out somewhere, and twice a week, we have people over.  He usually snacks at some point.

8:30pm -- Bedtime.  This is the one time he usually goes to sleep without much of a fight, provided he has Glow Worm.

And then, we start the whole thing over again.  Note that all times are "-ish", because this kid is nothing if inconsistent.  Seriously, some days he only takes one long nap in the middle of the day, and others, he takes 3 catnaps.  My right eye twitches when I think about his schedule (or lack thereof).  :)

*Please tell me you've seen Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel. . .

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Traveling with a 15-month-old.  Enough said.
  • Screaming tantrums preceding naps on Thursday.
  • Getting back into the swing of things, and trying to restore a schedule.

  • Spending a ton of time with family we don't get to see nearly often enough.
  • Having Patrick home almost all week.
  • Time to read.  Heaven.
  • Realizing just how well-behaved Dominic is, again.  He's awesome.
  • A 65 degree day in late December, resulting in an early morning thunderstorm the next day.  Love.
  • Having a son whose worst habit is a resistance to sleep.  Honestly, it could be worse on so many levels.  I just need to remember that.
  • Cookie monster backpacks to carry Miles' supplies - just when the diaper bag was starting to wear thin. (Pictures to follow.  Promise.)
  • Friends who know us well enough to invite themselves over on New Year's Eve.
  • Time to clean and organize.  One day soon, our house may be in order.
  • That babbling toddler who just woke up. :)