Thankful in 2011

There are so many things to be grateful for this year.  Now that the meal has been prepared, eaten and cleaned up, the rest of the family is watching football and I’ve got some time to reflect.  Here’s my Thankful List for 2011.
  • Yogi.  I fall more deeply in love with this tiny person every minute.  I have no idea how my heart will bear it, but I trust that it has the stretching capacity that is required.
  • My wife.  My beautiful, patient wife who continues to amaze me with how very deeply she sees me. She just gets me in a way that helps me understand myself.  No small gift. 
  • Monkey.  What a blessing this little guys already is.  It will be hard to wait until May to meet her, but those are the rules.  😉
  • My family.  The ones I have chosen and the ones that have been around from the beginning.  I have certainly been blessed in the family department.
  • This community.  I had no idea when I started writing here more than two years ago that I would find a space like this one.  In 2006 I had been writing about my wedding and in the course of that I met this lady who is the person who told me that I should write a TTC blog.  I had planned to stop writing bc I had been blogging to keep up with people I know and I wasn’t interested in sharing the TTC journey with them.  It was literally this one person who led me to all of you.  If she hadn’t said “What do you mean, you’re going to stop writing?” I’m sure I wouldn’t have done it.  So, I am grateful to Deseray and I am grateful to each and every one of you.  Thank you for reading and sharing your own stories and being a part of my world.  It’s a better one because of you.
  • Crossing the finish line this morning with my son in the jogger ahead of me.  Yogi was likely the only person who crossed the finish line twice.  He went through the first time with his Mommy and then they backtracked to me and I was able to push him through for the second time.  How cool is that?  It was the perfect way to start the day.
  • The opportunity I have been given to stay home with Yogi.  Grateful, grateful, grateful.  Sharing this time with him is precious and devoting myself primarily to the care of my family is beyond precious.  

I might have to come back and add some more later, but for now I must go.  Pumpkin pie is being sliced!

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It Begins

My alarm is set for 5am.  Happy Holidays!!!!
We’ve done baby on the plane and tomorrow morning we will be doing toddler on the plane.  Pray for me…..
Actually, I think we’re ready.  As ready as we can be.  The dog is boarded, the bags are packed, I know what I will be contributing to the holiday meal and my wife has rented the car seat.  As far as I can tell, we’ve done everything we can do.  
We will be making the trip with two checked bags, one carry-on toy bag and the Ergo.  That’s it.  No stroller, no high chair, no diaper bag.  Hopefully we can do it.  I’m having a hard time imagining Yogi sitting happily on our laps for two hours,  but I’m believing that it is possible.  He’s a trooper, right?
This time tomorrow we will be in the great state of Texas.  Austin here we come! 
Happy It’s Almost Thanksgiving!

Funk Fighter

I love this picture.  My Dad got it during his birthday party back in August. 

The boy loves to make goofy faces.  The best part of a goofy face is that it always cracks him up and the whole thing dissolves in giggles. 

This is one of the very fabulous side benefits of having kids.  It may rain for five days straight and you may be preparing to travel (by plane) when you would much rather just stay at home and you might have plowed through most of a tube of Gingerbread cookie dough without once turning on your oven, but how can you let any of that get to you when you get to hang out with this guy all day?

You can’t.  It’s just impossible.

But…. of course he does go to bed and the whirlwind playing/diapering/clothing/feeding/cooking/errand-running/dog-wrangling/dish-washing ceases for another day.  And when that happens there’s always the chance that the funk can creep in and nobody wants the funk. 

Unfortunately, hanging around with a really cute baby isn’t the kind of funk-fighting strategy that you can use forever.  He will of course grow up and then there’s also the fact that bolstering my mental health is hardly his responsibility.  So, what to do?  Many of the strategies I’ve always relied on (pretending nothing is wrong, drinking lots of wine, watching WAY too much television) are just no good.  Although I was pretty successful with telling myself that these things were no big deal in my 20’s, they are seeming like a bigger deal now.  I mean, I should be learning and growing, right? and I do need to be a role model.

So…. it’s November, it’s pitch black at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and the funk is knocking on my front door.  Any tips?  What works (or doesn’t work – that’s useful too) for you?  And don’t tell me that you haven’t dealt with the funk.  It is (of course) perfectly fine (and great for you) if you haven’t, but just don’t tell me about it.  Maybe later, just not now.  😉

National Whining Day

It’s raining, it’s the last weekend we have at home before the whirlwind of holiday travel and Yogi has declared today National Whining Day.

I’m just a ray of sunshine.

Right now he’s napping (and yes I AM watching 30 Rock, not even public shaming has motivated me) and I’m hoping that he will magically morph back into himself while he sleeps.  Maybe…..

For now I am wallowing in my first round of winter doldrums.  To chronicle both my lack of genuine productivity and my love for Trader Joe’s I have made a collage.  Why?  Because making a collage is the perfect activity to accompany endless episodes of 30 Rock. 

Anyone else obsessed with Trader Joe’s?  What are your favorite things?  I don’t want to miss anything.

A Cute, Funny Wall but a Wall All the Same

Remember how November was going to be all about writing?

Yeah. me too.
It even was for the first twelve days.

I was on FIRE and I managed to write a little more than 16,000 words on a story that I really think is worth writing,  I had done all sorts of planning and preparation and getting to know my characters ahead of time and I was ready for go-time.  I also decided to go for a post a day on the blog because, you know, if you’re going to do it you might as well just do it, right?

Then there was the long weekend and the family togetherness and the technological snafus and somehow….. I lost my momentum.

I started doing things like cleaning the house and cooking dishes that I’ve never tried before and watching 30 Rock during nap time.  (Aside – How did I miss this show?  I’m aware enough to know that Tina Fey is a pretty big deal these days, but I had no idea she was that funny.  I kinda wish I hadn’t found out.)  Not writing.  That’s the point.

Instead of writing I am watching television shows about writers.  I’ve hit the wall.

Dr. Wonderful’s Chair Take Two

After a small amount of coaxing I talked Yogi into sitting in the chair long enough to snap a picture.  He looks so much bigger than he did when he first sat in this chair during his six month check-up.  Check out the even littler dude here.


So all of this means that we had a 15 Month Well Baby visit this morning and Yogi was so eager to get back to Dr. Wonderful that he knocked on the window.  Hi guys it’s Yogi.  Are you ready for me?

When he actually got back to the room he was less enthusiastic, but we made it.  Mommy met us at the office and he got to sit on her lap during the entire exam, so how bad could it have been?  Dr. Wonderful gave him the stamp of healthy baby approval and we were on our way to Whole Foods.  Tonight Monkey has requested beef stew.

Here are the details:

Height: 31″ (50th percentile)
Weight: 21 lbs and 7 ozs (15th percentile)
Head Circumference: 18″ (15th percentile)

Library Love

My library love has a long history.  
I can remember the excitement I felt as a child when I found out that my town was building a brand new library even closer to my house.  I counted down the days to it’s opening and according to my Mother voiced relief that since the new space looked so big I probably wouldn’t run out of books after all. 
Getting a library card is at the top of my moving into a new city to-do list.  In fact, it comes WAY before going to the DMV.
  
Although this has more to do with my own whack-a-doodleness and less to do with libraries, I spent a number of years during my childhood convinced that I had only a finite number of books allotted to me, after which I would be struck blind.  This was a fear that was both persistent and real and I only wish, for the sake of my crazy little kid self, that audiobooks had been around in the 90’s.  What a relief that would have been (and maybe still is?)
I was the clueless, nerdy graduate student who went to a HUGE public university and was SHOCKED to find that they closed the library on football game days.  Wha???
In spite of this long, colorful past, the love I had for libraries as a non-parent is NOTHING compared with the library love I have now.   
Enjoying the library with Yogi is my very most favorite thing to do and it only gets better.  
On this cold, rainy morning we were cozy warm inside the downtown library and thanks to the parking garage, we didn’t even get wet!  Although we talk about where we’re going ahead of time, it is only clear that Yogi knows where we’re headed when we pull into the garage and he starts clapping.  Now that he’s a big boy, he likes to walk in all by himself and go directly to the desk of his friend (it is always the same woman) who validates our parking ticket.  He does a little flirting and when he’s properly embarrassed himself (he always gets shy after a big flirt-fest) I pick him up and we head towards the Children’s library.  
Once inside he wants to walk again and unless we’re running late, we spend some time playing in the play area which houses tiny tables and puppets and a few toys of the variety pictured above.  Since we almost always go around Story Time, there are always other kids to play with and Yogi loves that.  He likes to bop in and out of small gatherings of kids (usually just watching them and then giving a big grin on the exit) and walk around and around the stacks.  He loves to run his hands along the spines of the books on each and every aisle.
 
Then it’s time for the main attraction – Story Time.  We have been going to Story Time since Yogi was a few months old.  In the early days we never made it through the whole thing (it’s 30 minutes), but I felt good about getting him out and hey – it meant I got to go to the library.  Now, we not only make it through the whole thing easily, but he’s so familiar with it (or maybe he’s just crazy extroverted?) that he’s begun mingling before the show starts.  Truly.  This is what he’s doing.  We get inside the theater and find a spot and I usually open a book for him bc that’s what we used to do before the show started, but lately as soon as I sit down and open up to the first page, he’s off.  It’s not a frantic, running kind of thing but an ambling, making his way around the room kind of stroll.  Just to check things out I guess.  He pauses in front of each parent/child grouping taking them all in with a rather serious expression and then just before he makes his way to the next group he flashes a huge grin.
 
I love this new development and it makes me so curious about what is going on his head while he’s doing it.  He’s interacting with everyone, but not in a physical way.  There’s no reaching out and grabbing for a sippy cup or anything like that.  He just stands there taking it all in for quite awhile considering the fact that he’s a 1 year old (2 minutes maybe?) and then as if saying “thanks for letting me stare at you and not think it’s creepy” he awards the starees with a melt-your-heart smile.  Then it’s on to the next folks.  He’s like the Story Time welcome wagon.  
 
I love it.
 
What’s next?

Fifteen Months

Today my baby is fifteen months. F.I.F.T.E.E.N months.  My oh my.
Every day this kid gets more fun.  More aware, more connected, more himself.  And lots funnier.
Here are some of the highlights of Yogi at 15 months.
  • The Lonely Firefly is his very most favorite book.  Unlike any other book, when he gets to the end he wants to read it again.  He also likes to walk around carrying it, which is funny bc it’s not small.
  • He finally graduated from the sleep sack a few weeks ago.  He of course didn’t even seem to notice the shift, but my wife continues to worry that he’s cold.  Such is the way of things.
  • Stacking and putting one thing inside of another thing is thrilling
  • Pretending to sneeze is hilarious.  We have played the “Aaaaaa – Choooooo” game for minutes on end.  This is a long time in toddler-world.
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is his favorite song and he prefers it be sung a minimum of three times in a row.
  • We bought him size 4 diapers, but when we got them on they looked pretty big.  Thinking his still a 3.
  • He loves school and he gets very excited about walking back to his room.
  • If we allowed it he would eat nothing but tofu with graham cracker breading, mozzarella cheese and bananas.
  • Grandpa (my wife’s Dad) is something of an obsession.  I made him a little book with pictures of his family inside and he only wants to look at pages that include Grandpa.  He points and points at his picture and he smiles when we say “Grandpa”.
  • Every time he gets close to something that he knows he has been told is “not a toy”, he looks at us as if asking for confirmation.  When we confirm that it’s a “no”, he happily moves along to something else.  I so hope this lasts….
  • Diaper changes are getting harder and harder.  He DOES NOT want to lie on his back when he could be sitting up or even better, walking around.
  • He loves to snuggle.  That’s my boy!  🙂

Not Even his Bones

There is something about being a parent that makes you painfully aware of how fleeting it all is.  Probably having to do with the fact of having front row seats to the blink that every stage of development seems to be.  We snap pictures and jot things down and if you’re my wife and I you even break down and buy a Flip camera (we kept telling ourselves it was one more thing that we just really didn’t need), but none of that really changes anything at all.

Still it goes by way too fast.

My father-in-law was watching Yogi zoom Fro Sheep around the living room in a tiny truck this morning and he said, “Just think, there are probably only a few cells somewhere in his brain that will even still be there in a few years.  Not even his bones will be the same.”  I hadn’t made it to my second cup of coffee when he came out with that.  And good morning to you too, Grandpa!

The day has moved along, but that observation has hung around, ringing in my ears.  Yogi is napping, my wife is running in the woods somewhere and all I can think is, Not even his bones will be the same.  I haven’t decided if I find this radically liberating or soul-crushingly sad or both.  Probably both, but it’s still too early to tell.  It’s hasn’t really settled in yet, I’ve got some more marinading to do.