Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life... according to my phone

I could go on and on about how much my new smart phone has changed my life, it's like when we got a DVR years ago, a whole new world opened up before my eyes.  I mean, EVERYTHING is at my fingertips, I can barely comprehend what I did without it, and it's only been a few months! 

I know, so cliche.  But seriously.  I have become one of those annoying people who is always messing with her phone.  Because it is just that awesome.  I'm sure it'll lose it's appeal a little bit as times goes, and I'll get less annoying.

Well since I finally got with the times and upgraded to said life-changing smart phone, I have pretty much stopped taking pictures with a real camera.  So the tale goes, I never have my camera with me, but always have my phone. 

Anyway, thought I'd finally get a bunch of random pictures off my phone, so I'm sharing here.  They are not great pictures, obviously, but it's fun to look back and see what we've been up to.  Lots of random, but lovely moments in life that have been captured, because of my new, awesome, life-changing cell phone. 


Ok, when I was pregnant we got a huge bin of Thomas train stuff (probably worth $500+) from my old boss, and Gus is totally into them these days, as this picture from some Saturday morning a few weeks back suggests.  Really, he's just hardcore into trains of any kind. 

Big news this week is that he has finally moved on from saying Beep Beep! when referring to his beloved trains.  The back story on that is, that I think my mom taught him Beep Beep!  The same woman who also once pointed to an animal in a book that she was reading to Gus and asked me what it was.  When, incredulously, I told her that it was an, um.... giraffe, she replied, "Oh yeah, that's right, I get those and zebras mixed up!"

Yeah, we had a good laugh about that, I love my mom.  But needless to say, sometimes she gets things wrong, and while we can chalk up the giraffe/zebra mix-up to the theory that animals may not be her strong suit, I think we can also all agree that trains, decidedly, do NOT say Beep Beep!

Anyway, like I was saying, Gus now says his own toddler-ized version of chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-CHOO CHOO!  It is, without a doubt, the most adorable thing ever, and I dare you to find something cuter.  Other moms, we'll just have to agree to disagree if you think your kid does anything cuter than mine.  ;)


We've hung out at the library a couple times during this looooooong never ending winter, and Gus just loves it, they have an amazing children's section, with loads of educational toys, puzzles, and set-ups, and of course, books.  It's fantastic, though we were there on Monday, and I don't think I'll be going on Mondays at 10:30 anymore, because it was insanely packed due to toddler story-time.  As wonderful and hilarious and cute as they are, that many young children (mainly, other people's children) in one setting, stresses me out. 

As you can see, this picture was taken pre baby's first haircut, back when my boy still had a lovely little mullet. 


This girl doesn't get a lot of blog-attention these days, but she is doing just fine.  She's as sick of winter as the rest of us, but she suffers silently.  Such a good dog, and seriously, I can't say enough how proud I am of how well she's taken to having a baby, and now a toddler take over our household.  She just loves Gus, and though she certainly gets less attention from us than she did when she was considered the baby of the house, I think she prefers this life with him in it.


Oh goodness, is there anything sweeter than a sleeping child?  Usually we stay as far away as we can from Gus's room during nap time, but that day we had to wake him up to go somewhere.  I couldn't resist snapping a photo.


At the park.  Sure doesn't look like spring does it?  Whatever, so tired of feeling cooped up. 

Bucket head

Bucket head!  Gus plays peek-a-boo wherever, whenever he can, using whatever props he has available to him.   

Snow. In march.

In our backyard, playing fetch with Bella.


His dad came home from work last Friday with cupcakes from Cupcake! Yum.  He got Gus a Banana Fluffernutter cupcake, because it had banana in the name, and bananas are Gus's absolute FAVORITE thing in the whole wide world.  I don't think Dan realized that fluffernutter implied peanut butter filling and marshmallow frosting.  We were both a bit turned off by the combination, but Gus clearly enjoyed it.


We hit up the model train museum last Saturday, and it was a huge hit. 


Gus just kept saying, over and over, WOWWWW! when a train would go by.  We had a blast, and I have to say, doing stuff like this with your very own kid is simply, really freaking awesome.  Showing them things for the first time, watching them be amazed and excited, seeing their little pint-size wheels spinning, well it's exciting and rewarding to be a part of it.


I know, this picture is frightening, with my blurry ghost-like head in the background, and Dan's face lit up green by the sun.  But whatever, it is hilarious.  We were at Costco and, without us even realizing, Gus snatched up this unripened pear from our cart while we were shopping.  He was extremely proud of himself and after refusing to give it up, he continued to gnaw on it while we checked out, hit up the liquor store, as we got him in the car seat, and then throughout the entire drive home.  It kept him quite content actually.

Blazer 2

Ok, these are really random, but I liked my outfit that day, was excited for my new oxford shoes, and was kind of obsessed with the fact that I was wearing a wool blazer.  For some reason I felt very 80's collegiate in my blazer and wine corduroys.  Or very Jessi Spano.  I dunno.   


Blazer!  Ok,  now I'm obsessed with saying it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We just do

People ask me how I can stand it. The sleep deprivation. The every-other-hour wakings. I mean 18 months of this! How have you survived? I can’t believe he’s STILL NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!

I know they mean well, but that doesn’t help. The incredulousness, the pity, mixed with undertones of, they must be doing something wrong…

After really bad nights, I start to believe them. He’s a walking, talking, happy little toddler. Why doesn’t he sleep like he’s supposed to? Why can’t he be normal? And I hate that I let that crap in every once in a while, because really? For the most part, we’re cool with it. We joke around, we’re self-deprecating, and I suppose it comes up in conversation. Because sleep seems to be like, the most important topic when you have children. But whatever. This is our life, we roll with the punches, we love our son so much, and truly? It’s only been 18 months. Of a LIFETIME. His lifetime. Our lifetime. He was a baby for like what, a year? Not even. It was gone like that, before I even realized it, that bald head was covered in scraggly blonde hair and those squishy little sausages he had for legs were walking (running) him all over his little world, which was just getting bigger and bigger by the day.

I feel like toddlerhood is just the same, fleeting, and I’m not going to get hung up on trying to make him sleep like we want him to sleep, because I truly think it’ll happen eventually. I’m not going to waste these precious days on sleep training, and I’m not going to get so obsessed with having a perfect sleep schedule that I have to constantly refuse invitations for family gatherings where Gus so joyfully participates in trouble-making amongst his numerous cousins and aunts and uncles.

He’s been sleeping a lot better over the last few weeks, after pushing through 2 of the 4 eye-teeth he’s been working on. (His poor gums are big giant puffs of redness.) A few nights ago he only woke up once, at midnight, then afterwards slept six hours straight. Not going to lie, it was glorious.

For some reason, that night when he awoke at midnight, he was so alert and wide awake, his big blue eyes staring into mine. We snuggled together in the rocker, and he pointed at things throughout the dark room, his sweet voice, jabbering on, telling me things in his own little language that I couldn’t understand. But I insisted with him that it was nighttime, and we needed to go back to sleep. So he laid his head on my chest and spent about fifteen minutes trying to get comfortable, changing positions, turning his head. He would sit up and look at me, then reach his arms around my neck and pull me in for tiny kisses, then lay his head back down.

Oh the sweetness. I held him long after he fell asleep, his delicious little head in the crook of my neck, still smelling of bath time. It was one of those moments… where I thought… if this is wrong, well then screw them, no this is perfect.

Of course I wish he slept better, but no, I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong. I think I have a sensitive little boy who wants his mama or daddy when he wakes up all alone in the middle of the night. Sometimes he chooses to go back to sleep on his own, but most of the time, no. He wants one of us.

We have a little boy who doesn’t brush off things like teething or sickness like they’re nothing. No, he needs help. He demands help. On those nights he gets up constantly, and he wants someone near him when he wakes up in pain. I do not love it. And sometimes I drag my tired body into his room and grumble under my breath in frustration. But he’s only been alive for 18 months, and I’m not going to expect him to be able to handle those things on his own. Sure, it’d be nice if he could, but I’m not going to push him. And I’m his mom, I brought him into this world, and I just can’t let him fend for himself when he so clearly tells me that he needs me.

Yeah, he needs me a lot at night. But in the morning, he is an exuberant, independent, and ferociously funny little boy. He is a blur in almost every picture I take. He climbs up on coffee tables and dances and cackles until you drag him off. He jabbers on and on, tells us jokes and long stories about trucks. Dan will draw him little pictures and he tells us what they are. Bus! Stop! Aaaps (Apple)! Ask him where something is in a book, and he points, “There it is!” He dances and jumps all over the house. He laughs and laughs as you sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and then pounces and attacks you in a fit of giggles when you put your arms up in the air singing, “Out came the sun and…”. (Sometimes we do not know why he does the things he does.)

Gus wagon

He is a normal 18 month old. And maybe there are a lot of normal 18 month olds out there who don’t sleep very well, like our little guy. Maybe people just don’t talk about it? Maybe they all cry themselves to sleep? I don’t know. Whatever. He’s happy, growing, learning, and constantly changing.  And so are we.  We’re not just “surviving”, like I think people sometimes believe. We don't deserve a "medal". We’re living and laughing and smiling and having adventures every day.  And at this point, we're quite used to doing it all on little sleep!

Gus Horsie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On my ineptitude in the kitchen

Our refrigerator is barren… and in that I don’t mean that it can’t get pregnant. I’m talking about the other kind of barren. It is desolate, bleak, and deserted (according to my thesaurus). Really, we are in desperate need of a trip to the market, but that has proven to be an impossible task this week. Between a lovely late-March snowstorm and fitting in a long-overdue oil change on our car Tuesday… it just hasn’t happened. Maybe tonight? Oh if there were only a few more hours in each day.

I hate getting home after work at 6:00 and scrambling to get something on the table by 6:30. HATE. I think it probably goes without saying, but a pretty big part of having children means you’re in charge of feeding them, and it just feels inappropriate to have cereal or ice cream for dinner. At least until Gus is a little older. So anyway, poor me, it is the cross I bear.

On days that Dan’s not around, I am so that mom who runs around putting together a balanced meal for her 18 month-old that includes multiple fresh fruits/veggies, a form of protein, and some sort of whole grain, and then sits down and eats an orange and a bag of microwave popcorn whilst he feasts.

Yeah, I know. That’s not going to fly for much longer, as Gus gets older I think he may start to revolt against a system that involves broccoli for him, and Starburst jelly beans for me.

So we try to eat meals as a family as much as possible, preferably most of the same things, and especially at dinnertime. But yeah on those three nights a week after which I’ve worked 9 hours (especially after a busy weekend that did not involve grocery shopping)? Blergh.

I must say, after this loooooong winter, (right? it has seemed exceptionally long hasn’t it?), Gus has become quite the little connoisseur of take-out. Granted, (disclaimer!) we always supplement these meals with fresh fruits and veggies from our refrigerator, but seriously the child could eat his weight in chow mein, vegetable fried rice, chicken curry gyros, saffron rice, cilantro lime rice with black beans, and mostaccioli.

I am not proud.

On the other hand, he will turn his nose up at pizza, or anything that resembles a chicken nugget or fast-food sandwich. Go figure. But I can’t really take credit for that. Toddlers are weird and they have their own ideas about pretty much everything, don’t they?

Sooooo even though I have no idea what we are going to eat with it, I will take this opportunity to brag a little that I had the where-with-all to defrost a pork roast earlier this week, and actually threw it in the crockpot (slow-cooker?) before I left for work. I had to put my cell phone on top of the crockpot last night to make sure I would actually remember to do it this morning, and that did the trick.

And it has been lovely going about my day without that sense of DREAD about what we will make for dinner. It has been decided! The crockpot is a wonderful thing isn’t it? I should really take advantage of its awesomeness much more often, but again that would involve some foresight and meal planning, which you may have gathered by now is not really how I roll.

I fear the poor dog has felt tortured all day, with the smell of onions and peppers and meat wafting throughout the house. Don’t pity her too much, though, I’m sure she’ll get her share tonight during dinner, via the tiny hands of her favorite little toddler. Oh I can’t wait to kiss his cheeks, just a few more hours…