Thursday, September 27, 2012

18-Month Well Baby

Last night, Munch had his 18-month well baby visit--yes, my pediatrician has evening hours on Wednesdays. Love her!

Here are the stats:

Weight: 23.9 pounds, putting him nearer the 25th percentile than the 10th--yay!
Height: 32.75 inches--my tall boy!

He got two shots--pneumococcal and hep A--that he endured bravely and got two tiger-stripe Band-Aids for his trouble.

The only downside was he couldn't get the flu shot at the same time as the pneumococcal--so we go back in November, and Hubs and I will be able to get them from Dr. H as well.

Our appointment was at 7, but we didn't end up seeing her until closer to 7:30. Munch walked happily around the exam room, eating some banana and fish, exploring until about 7:20. Then he was done. It was incredibly hot in there, and he got pretty tired in a snap. So, he cried for most of the appointment, unfortunately.

Dr. H says all looks good--his ears look normal, now that they're tubeless, so fingers crossed for a good fall/winter for ears.

We talked to her about what we see as his slightly lagging speech development. She's not concerned, as he's definitely verbalizing, he says his version of a few words (ca, do, bbbb--I'll let you figure out what each of those are) and he obviously understands what we're saying. (I believe this child understands exactly everything. I say, want to take off your shoes? Touches them immediately. Want milk? Goes to the refrigerator. He knows.)

So, as with his walking, he's taking his own sweet time, practicing his long, babbly sentences, and one day, I'm sure, he'll look at me and say, "Mother, please turn on Disney Junior."

Okay, maybe, "Mama, up." I'd be satisfied.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day Care-Induced Mommy Rage

My phone rang at 10:30am: day care. My heart sinks when they call me during the day. Something is wrong. Immediately the assistant director says, "Hello, your son is perfectly fine." Me, aloud: "Okay." Me, silently: He's clearly not perfectly fine, or you wouldn't be calling me at 10:30am.

Long and short: Munch fell on the playground and scraped his "cheekbone." He was running and fell. She's looking at him now and he's not crying. It didn't bleed or break the skin. They put a little ice on it and he went back to playing. I confirmed his eye was fine. Oh yes, doesn't affect his eye at all.

So, I got through the work day with my anxiety level elevated and increasing as I imagined picking him up and trying to figure what his cheek will look like--is it a long line of a scratch like he sometimes does to himself when I neglect his nails a day too long? Or is it a "patchwork" scratch, like he got when he skinned his knee the first time?

When I pick him up, the room is chaotic because several parents have arrived at once. I immediately see the mark on Munch's face and they're right--it's not terrible. He is smiling and running for his bag as usual.

And, his mark is not nearly as horrific as the poor little girl whose mother is clutching her in the "circle time" area. This little girl has a massive what appears to be a gash-like mark vertically down her face from above her eye, over her eye, and onto her cheek. I would have FREAKED if I was her mother.

Okay. Details about Munch's "scratch" that I can assess now that I see him in person:

  • It is not on his cheekbone. There is a dime-size mark directly below his eye, on his orbital bone or whatever-the-hell.
  • There is another mark, this one a small dot of a purple bruise directly ABOVE his eye, below his eyebrow.
  • It likely did not bleed because this seems to be more of a bruise than a cut.
I can feel myself inwardly clenching. Apparently, the assistant director's powers of observation aren't up to snuff. Or, maybe she's not sure where the cheekbone is. I would not characterize this as a cheek injury; it is an eye injury (but, again, in comparison to the other kid, hardly worth noting). 

Then I turn my attention to the horribly named "incident report," where they list out a narrative of what happened and whether the kid was taken to the ER (obviously no) and the teacher signs and the parent signs. "CYA" if you will.

The incident report states that Munch attained this injury when he was sliding headfirst down the slide. 

Not running, tripped, and fell.

And, his teacher informs me, all the other teachers were "on the other side of the playground" and therefore he did this when no one was watching and apparently they were alerted when they heard him crying. 

So, to sum up: My 18-month-old son obtained a relatively innocuous eye-area injury when he, on his own and with no supervision, climbed to the top of about a 4- or 5-foot slide, went down head first, and presumably hit the ground with his face. 

Okay. Time to get out of there so I could RAGE on the phone to my husband.

I am not good at reacting "in the moment" to things like these. I absorb all the information, do not think of appropriate followup questions ("Why were all the other teachers on the other side of the playground? Are the kids often left to play unsupervised?"). I go home, stew, and plan my next day's conversation with the teacher or director. I obsess over this until I talk to someone in authority. 

And, I'm sure I'm known as "that" parent in the day care. I called immediately when I found a scratch on Munch when he was about 5 months old that he probably did himself, but how could I be sure?? When we discovered that we received another kid's bottle at the end of the day and that child happened to have a rare letter in her name in common with my son, I convinced myself that he had drunk her breastmilk, likely would be coming down with a communicable disease, and it was all day care's fault. Not that the bottle was put in the wrong bag. 

I question everything. 

However, I feel it's better to be "that parent" than the one who goes blindly along, not reacting to circumstances or her gut. When my gut says something is amiss, I listen, and I address it. Especially when my son is not old enough to tell me what actually happened, when he literally cannot speak for himself. I must speak for him. 

And these are the days that I rail and rage against the necessary evil in my life that is work, a paycheck, health insurance. I know that day care is beneficial for my son and I know he greatly enjoys his days there. But on days like these, when I have to say to myself, are these people truly watching him like I would? I hate it. 

I understand that he's a little boy and little boys will get all manner of bumps, cuts, and bruises. However, I could have gotten behind that argument when I thought he had been running along, stumbled as he is wont to do, and tripped. 

That is apparently not what happened. Someone wasn't watching him and they should have been. I understand that there will come a time when I take my eyes off him for a split second and there will suddenly be broken skin. I understand we all make mistakes.

But I entrust this most precious thing to these people and I expect that my 1-year-old will not be able to climb to the top of a freaking ladder and face-first plummet to the ground without SOMEONE having a clue until he cries out. 

And so, tigress that I am, I will stew and wait for the morning when my husband will talk to Munch's teacher at drop-off. And I will absorb what he learns then and take all my information to the director when I pick Munch up tomorrow afternoon.

And the beauty of this is: this is another "welcome to motherhood" moment. This is my life. At this writing, my mother-in-law is with her 29-year-old son who had an accident at work and needs to have surgery tomorrow. My mother reminds me of the time in 9th grade I was hit at school in the forehead by a softball and I was knocked out cold. No one at school called her, and she didn't know what happened til she saw the massive goose-egg on my forehead and rushed me to the ER. (I was fine, no concussion.)

These feelings induced by seeing our offspring damaged, in any way, will not go away as these tiny beings grow and age. This is life. This is motherhood. Seeing these marks will hurt more than if I'd banged my own eye. And all it feels like I can do is rage. And advocate until I'm hoarse.

Lord of the Rings

After a weekend of zooing and relaxing, I got a call this morning from day care that Munch had fallen while running around the playground and he has a scratch on his cheekbone. :( And I have to wait until I get home to see the damage. Apparently, it didn't bleed and he cried a bit, but settled down. Poor thing!

With that, the weekend wrapping:

The Highlight(s):
  • The zoo on Munch's half birthday
  • Munch got so into his Melissa and Doug wooden ring tower last night! It was amazing. He sat for an hour putting the rings on the rod and taking them off and clapping for himself. He was so contented and excited!
The Good:
  • A nice visit with my dad and Patty. After the zoo, we just hung out at our house and played with Munch's basketball hoop and had Chipotle for dinner.
  • " 'nana".
  • My first trip to a Waffle House for breakfast--excellent waffles, omelet, and hashbrowns. Munch again at first refused to sit in his high chair, just stiffened up his whole body, then we had a minor victory of getting him to settle.
  • A quiet Sunday just the three of us, though Hubs had to do a lot of work.
  • Rocking Munch to sleep for his late-day nap and holding him while he slept (though he slept for too long, my fault). Read the whole time.
  • My first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.
  • Cooler weather starting Sunday.
  • Munch playing with his basketball hoop--so cute. At first he tried putting the ball up through the hoop's bottom, but he soon got the hang of it.
  • NEW iPHONES--so awesome. And back to Verizon!
The What???
  • News on Sunday that the National Zoo's newborn panda died. The article referenced the keepers hearing the mother's "distressed cry" and my heart broke.
  • Munch didn't get to sleep last night until after 11 last night--Mommy's fault, as I let him sleep from 4-6pm.
  • Never-ending housework. No matter what we do, by the end of the weekend, the kitchen is a mess and the laundry isn't done.
  • The Emmys really weren't good.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday, we went to the National Zoo during a visit with my dad, who was in for the weekend. He hadn't seen Munch since my sister's wedding over Memorial Day. At that time, Munch was still only taking a few tentative steps here and there. Now he's running all over, so it's a big change!

Munch has been to the zoo once before, on his 1st birthday. I didn't even process that it was his half birthday, so that pretty much solidifies a pattern and a tradition. He rode around in the stroller very well, eating Goldfish and just looking around. The weather was gorgeous, though a tad on the hot side as we said good-bye to summer with 85. He guzzled water every so often and seemed content. Lots of kids and babies were there, all in various states of enjoyment and outrage at their varied perceived injustices.

We got him out of the stroller to have him make a "handimal" -- put his handprint on a paper and a zoo employee paints it into an animal. We chose, of course, a monkey. This is where we shifted from content to obsessed--as soon as he was unleashed from the stroller, he wanted to push it. He screamed through his handprint, which I think under normal circumstances he'd enjoy, and then he pushed the stroller around and around in circles and then we inched along as Munch held his hand on the side as I pushed. That was nice--he clearly loved being "in control."

Hubs went with Dad and Patty into the pavilion to get us lunch, and I stayed out with Munch and the stroller. At first, he was content to push from the ground as usual, then he wanted me to hold him up at the bar and let him truly "push" the stroller. This is exhausting, to say the least. And, when Daddy arrived with the food, massive screaming ensued as we attempted to extricate Munch from his hold on the stroller.

So, off Daddy went to show Munch the vending machines and the cow at the kids' farm. After lunch, I tried in vain to get Munch to sleep, as he was then very past his naptime. Then, we had a minor victory as we wrestled him back into the stroller and got him to settle down to ride around again (usually, we never get past this step, as he refused to sit back down once he's out). And, after a bit more rolling, he finally slept for about 45 minutes.

Munch still wasn't terribly aware of the zoo animals. Once, when I thought he was smiling at two fat-bellied monkeys sitting on a ledge, I realized he was smiling at a hanging ball three feet to the right. I guess whatever floats your boat.

As a zoo experience, this was a good one, though. Among the highlights, we saw:
  • The male lion with his thick auburn mane resting in the shade
  • A swimming sea lion, among my favorites
  • A tortoise feeding demonstration, so the big boulder of a shell actually moved with the tortoise standing up and walking and extending his neck
  • A gorilla reclining back on the ground with his legs crossed up against the glass
All in all, a very good half birthday for Munch!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Half Birthday!

I have the Alice in Wonderland "A Very Merry Un-birthday" song in my head, but that's not exactly it. Munch turned 18 months old today! How the time has flown.

And, his present to me was:

During his breakfast, I brought out his customary banana. He pointed at it and said with a knowing smile,
" 'nana!"

And my heart exploded!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Prove It!

So, my 18-month-old can identify body parts. My MIL says that some 3-year-olds can't even do that. How smart little Munch is!

He's known "nose" for a while. I worked very hard on this one in the bathtub--he has a little boat with a big red nose and I pointed over and over saying "nose nose nose" then pointed to Munch's nose. Now, Munch points to it himself and almost says it--at least, "No" while he points.

He's known "belly" for even longer, thanks to Lisa, who taught him to slap his Pooh Bear's belly. He now does it to Monkey, himself, and Daddy if prompted.

Lately, he's been very into eyes. We were looking at a book and came upon the letter I and I said, "I!" Munch immediately pointed to his eye. It's amazing to me that he knows these things already.

So last night Munch was in the bath and I said to Hubs how impressed I am that Munch knows his body parts. "You need to be able to do that when you enter kindergarten!" I know that because the one body part I missed in my kindergarten entrance exam was "jaw." (It speaks to my history of academic perfectionism that I'm not even forgiving with that less-than-100% effort.)

Hubs said, skeptically, "He knows nose and hair, but not much else." Me: "He knows mouth and ear too." Hubs: "He knows his mouth?"

I looked at Munch, sitting in his suds, and said, "Where's your mouth?" And held my breath. I've never "tested" him in such a way, in a "prove it" way.

And boy that kid came through--he immediately opened his mouth wide, stuck his tongue out, and pointed. Triumph! It was so cute, and I got the, "boy what a smart kid we have" feeling.

Reflecting on this, I feel myriad jumbled feelings.

1) George Carlin has a bit where he talks about how excited we parents get when our kids POOP! I'm sure he would lump knowing where one's mouth is and being able to point to it on cue as not placing one in the "genius" category. However, George Carlin never saw a kid as cute as MINE, I'm sure.

2) No, there is a wonder in watching what started as a microscopic cell learn the art of, well, living. I understand that billions of kids before mine have rolled over and smiled and eaten a puff and clicked their tongues and stood on their own. But MY kid has a first time for these things. And though you know these milestones are coming and though the novelty wears off and soon they're just walking like most other bipedal creatures, there is something so joyful in watching them learn to do it. The excitement of those first few steps Munch took, for us and for him, are quite nearly unmatched. When he was first walking on his own for about 10 steps, it struck me as so odd to get excited about so commonplace a thing as walking. But it was wondrous.

3) I've said before that I don't want Munch to be the top of his class. I know that sounds so weird from a mother's mouth. But what I wish for him is average. For so long in my family, "average" in school or work equates to "mediocre." What I mean is, I don't want him to feel that he's a complete failure if he tries his best and gets a B. I don't want him to feel like he has to be the BEST at everything. I want him to enjoy life, and find what he is naturally BEST at, whether that's music or tennis or math or science. I don't want him to be a slacker; and I hope he doesn't struggle in school. I want him to be a solid B student. That may be weird, but that's how I feel.

However, was my innocuous question, "Where's your mouth?" the shot across the bow for the "show me how smart you are" trap we parents all somehow seem to fall into? If Munch had simply stared at me or leaned forward and put his face in the water or eaten more bubbles instead of triumphantly finding his mouth, what would that have felt like? Would I have been disappointed that he wasn't further along, that he couldn't "prove" to his father his anatomical knowledge? Did I get too much satisfaction from him knowing the right answer?

I hope not. I hope I felt pure joy that my little man learned another new thing. Because the joy is in the learning. And, as toddlers are wont to do, maybe he's forgotten where is mouth is by now. But the joy, the triumph, I think I take in his body part identification is the progress. He's growing! He's understanding that everything has a name. And he's learning to name it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Any Time in Gettysburg Is a Good Time

Weekend wrapping up on Tuesday again. An at-home weekend with some visiting thrown in.

The Highlight:
  • Saturday evening, Hubs, Munch, and I went to Gettysburg to enjoy the beautiful air and get Munch some 18 month pants and long sleeves. The colder weather, especially in the mornings, crept up on us. We split up and I did some clothes shopping for myself (also much-needed) and Hubs first pushed Munch in the stroller, then I took Munch to the center of the outlets and let him push the stroller around the gazebo and sit in the rocking chairs. After Hubs was done at Game Stop, he came back and we both walked as Munch sat in my arms "pushing" the stroller around and around. He loved it.

    Then, as I shopped at Carter's, Munch ran in and out of the store with Daddy following behind. He interacted with a little girl who said, "What is that baby saying?" in response to Munch's intricate babbles. I was like, honey, we have no idea.

    Munch is definitely in the toddler "I want what I want now and I'm going to scream if I have to stop" phase. When he had to stop pushing the stroller, screamed. When it was 8:15 and time to leave and I picked him up, screamed. And, we made the mistake of buying a Melissa and Doug Trunki because we thought it would be SO CUTE for Munch to have his own luggage for Disney.

    Trunki claims that there will be No More Tears! in the airport, now that your toddler can have HIS OWN suitcase that he can RIDE ON WHEN HIS LEGS ARE TIRED. What say you, marketing gurus, when said miracle Trunki induces crying because my one-track-minded toddler wants ONLY to ride or push the Trunki when it's time to, say, get in the car or stow the beloved Trunki in the, um, trunk? So, Trunki has been hiding in the front seat of Daddy's car since purchase, and we're considering whether this particular toy/luggage will be waiting until Munch is perhaps older.
The Good:
  • Barnes and Noble Friday night. Also, awesome chicken.
  • A good day of playing on Saturday, with lots of dancing and I even took Munch out into the backyard after I mowed the jungle-lawn.
  • Football! with dear friends and Red Robin, whose tagline now is, "It's good to enjoy a burger every now and now." Yep.
The What???
  • Croup and breathing troubles.
  • So much snot from Munch's continuously runny nose.
  • Teething, oh teething.
  • Munch ate exactly 6 bites of cereal and goldfish all day Sunday.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Parental Panic

We've all been there: In that moment when something goes wrong with our children and our stomachs seize and our chests tighten and our minds go blank and then race: "Please let nothing be really wrong."

Luckily, knock on wood and all that, my moments of parental panic during these first nearly 18 months have been momentary and not truly panic-worthy. But don't they all feel like the world is crashing around us?

Last night, I had my most recent moment, and the most serious one since Munch was very little--when he had bronchialitis at 4 months old and he needed to be nebulized in the doctor's office; when he'd gotten a bruise in the middle of his tiny 5-month-old forehead when a day care buddy threw his bottle and hit Munch in the head.

Last night, at 11:45, Munch's cries rang out through the monitor. They sounded different, dry somehow. I went in to find him on his back, gasping with each intake of breath. He, it seemed, couldn't breathe. I cried out for my husband, rushing into our bedroom as Munch continued to try to cry silently and gasp on the inhale. My heart was pounding and my mouth dry, my own breath coming quickly. What will I do, I thought, if he just stops breathing? I felt sure, in my white-panic brain, that he was dying in my arms as I watched, and there was nothing I could do.

It wasn't like he had sucked a Trix into his throat as I did at 9 years old and couldn't breathe for a REASON. He had been asleep, soundly, and now he was struggling for breath. I saw fear on my husband's face and that more than anything terrified me.

And then, it was over. He had hardly even opened his eyes. It must have only been 30 seconds. And he was again sleeping soundly, breathing normally, chest rising and falling regularly, in my arms.

Munch slept. I cried. Hubs examined. I had him call our pediatrician, the first late-night phone call since before Munch  turned a year old, the first since before he was 9 months old. The verdict: Croup. Not serious. Common. Often don't know your kid has it. Yes, in fact, he has sounded hoarse when he cried the past few days.

Remedies: Keep him calm. (Um, so, running through the house yelling for my husband while my own heart races ISN'T the best way to help my son? Got it.) Nebulize him. Try a steam room (read: bathroom with hot shower) if he continues to have trouble. If all else fails: ER.

He was fine the rest of the night and chipper this morning. These moments of parental panic seem so silly when they're over and when you realize nothing big truly was at stake. Nothing tragic was imminent, nothing even really bad. The time I scooped peanut butter out of the jar with my finger, then gave Munch his pacifier with the same hand, only to realize I had PB under my nail (this was when Munch was about 6 months old and still hadn't tried PB). I stood over him and watched for anaphylactic shock to seize him.

Or, when he was even littler, 2 months little, when he was asleep in my arms and then started breathing in quick bursts, huh-huh, as if he'd been crying very hard . He did this for about 20 minutes; I had another night of watching him like a hawk. Our pediatrician told us that babies drive their parents crazy with their little breathing quirks and likely Munch was DREAMING that he'd been crying and his body was reacting as if he really had been.

I am calmer post-croup, but my doubts linger. "I hope this is croup. And not something more serious like, say, congestive heart failure." This is where my mind goes. Jumps pneumonia and straight to the ICU.

And now, I watch. And even though this was "nothing" (*hopefully* knock on wood and all that again) these moments remind us of what is at stake when we have these little people, with pumping hearts and firing synapses and lungs that need to fill every few seconds. Everything. Everything is at stake when you become a parent. And I'm better about the things that could lead to a panic moment than I was when he was born--for instance, he barrel-rolled off a hardwood step in our living room yesterday and I cuddled him, ran my hands over him, and set him off to play again.

But sometimes--sometimes, I am reminded. A breath away.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Good in Bed": What a Narrator

I've been following Jennifer Weiner on Twitter and thought for sure I'd like her books. I picked her debut to start, and I have several complaints, not the least of which is how convenient it is the Cannie ends up meeting a gazillionaire right around the same time she's going to become a single mother. Nevermind Cannie having to figure out how to really live, she has a sugar-mama now. That's an exaggeration, but not much, considering that she sold her screenplay and made a ton of money through this connection.

I am a Former Fat Girl and I found serious contradictions in Cannie's character. (I acknowledge that experiences are not universal, and mine may not speak for every fat girl, but here are my impressions.) Like Cannie, I grew up heavy, was heavy all of my teen years and into my 20s. Unlike Cannie, I never had a boyfriend or even a first kiss because I so lacked confidence in myself. If Cannie really feels that she is unlovable to the extent she claims, there's no way she would have a relationship with Bruce wherein she teaches him the art of lovemaking. She doesn't seem particularly self-conscious as she makes jokes and snide comments about every thing and person she sees. It's like Cannie is supposed to be both: a fat woman with crippling self-esteem problems AND the fat woman who can get a guy and have awesome rock star friends and not let her size hold her back.

I also was so horrified by Cannie's treatment of her mother's partner. I was especially appalled by the conversation she and her siblings have at a holiday where she does so many impressions of Tanya. As someone who so desperately wants to be loved, she shows an astonishing lack of awareness that her mother also deserves to love and be loved as well.

And, is it just me or is the way she thinks she'll be viewed as a single mother straight out of the 1950s? This is the 21st century, after all, with women choosing their own paths to motherhood that do not all involve a man. It was weird.

The more I think about it, the more I hate Cannie!
And I listened to the audio version and detested the reader.

All in all, 2 stars.

5 Things About This Week

Things have been busy, but good this week. I've also been scattered and not able to really focus on writing a post every day. So, here's sort of a weekly wrap up.

1) Munch is cutting another molar, on his right side this time. I think last night we hit the "writhing" place again and I'm sure it's either cut through now or it's close. Poor thing, we gave him Advil and he slept pretty well. I also feel like he's grown another 2 inches. He can now reach things on the edge of the counter, as I realized just in time as he reached for a knife I used to chop onion. Yikes. He also is waving for real now. A very deliberate twisting back and forth of the wrist. It's like he's practically disdainful as he looks at you  while doing it, but it's just him concentrating and getting the hang of it. So cute.

2) My MIL sent me an article about "the last time" things happen with your baby--the last time he crawled more than walked, the last time he wasn't bald, the last time he didn't have teeth. This post caused my mother to write her own ode to "last times" and my older sister to call me in paroxysms of sobs. I have somehow been able to keep the emotion at arm's length and look at it pragmatically: We all need the reminder that childhood is fleeting; these are the days we'll long for when our babies are sullen teens or beaming graduates. My mother in law once told me that parenthood is a series of letting gos and I could not agree more, and this article summed that up. It's sort of a pessimistic way of looking at things, but it's a hard truth we all need to acknowledge--it's the quintessential "live for the moment" lesson. Life, too, is fleeting. Don't look too far ahead or lament your current state.

3) I've been blowing it up on Twitter, I think. I have very much enjoyed connecting with other moms, especially other working moms, and I've gotten a couple of follows. It's a little absurd how happy this makes me.

4) I went to our building's gym TWICE. It was only for 20 minutes apiece, but I sweated a lot, and I told myself that 20 minutes are better than no minutes. I felt much better about myself.

5) I've been feeling quite light-hearted. This is not a natural feeling for me, and it's one that I regard with great wariness and suspicion. Sadly, whenever I feel quite good and light-hearted, I'm watching up ahead for the Thing That Will Tear Me Down. I'm trying to concentrate on just enjoying the feeling. This is what it's like when my hormones are even and I'm able to "control my mind."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daddy Time and Good Screaming

This weekend was another great one, with Munch being in a good mood for most of it. My mom, sisters, and grandma were in for my cousin's baby shower on Saturday, so Daddy spent a good deal of alone time with Munch.

The Highlight:
  • The Saturday night visit, during which Munch was in such a good mood. He seemed a bit shy when they came in, pulling slightly back into Daddy, but quickly warmed and spent the evening screaming for us all to imitate him, playing with the origin star from Carlisle, which now hangs on my doorknob, knocking blocks over, and having us sing "Wheels."
The Good:
  • 2.5 cupcakes on Saturday. (This is both good and bad.) BW3's on Friday (again, good and bad).
  • Seeing a new and quaint part of Baltimore, near the "Fells Point" area. Gorgeous area right on the Bay, lots of sailboats and massive Navy ships.
  • Spending so much time with my younger sister, whom I've missed a lot since she moved to Pittsburgh. Spending quality one-on-one time with my older sister as well, and enjoying some good-natured ribbing.
  • Nursery rhyme worksheets at the shower, which resulted in a $15 Starbucks card.
  • Munch running up and down the length of the living room, screaming and smiling and delighting as I screamed back.
  • The continuous "star search." We've discovered stars on several more toys. Munch also stared at a quilt with a large starburst in the middle, thinking, I could see, that it could possibly be a star, but it's unlike those he normally likes.
  • Football!
  • The glorious fall-like weather after the storm on Saturday, walking around the lake at the Rio with Hubs and Munch on Sunday.
  • Got my new bathing suit and I think it'll be cute for Disney.
  • Chipotle twice.
  • Finished A Study in Scarlet and started an awesome mommy memoir.
The What???
  • 75 minutes on hold with Verizon Fios.
  • Teething--another molar coming in, and some discomfort at night.
  • Another "mommy fail": I let Munch play on the kitchen counter last night and he was playing with the Keurig and toaster. Of course, it went a little too far and he started putting his finger inside the Keurig, where the little needle is that pokes the hole in the top of the K-cup, so that ended that, and he screamed and obsessed and wouldn't get over it until Daddy finally just took him to bed. He fell asleep immediately, so he was clearly overtired, but once again, he was so upset because I let him do something, then had to abruptly stop him from doing it, and he can't understand why. He doesn't have the capacity. I need to remember that when he wants to do something that he shouldn't but that seems okay on the surface. I am the mommy and need to be stronger in this regard.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stars: The Obession Continues

My little man continues his total fascination with the star shape. He finds them everywhere, even places we've been looking for many months of his life. It's like stars have opened a whole new world. Suddenly, he'll point to something and be so excited and I won't even realize why until I see the star. It's like his own personal game of Where's Waldo or I Spy.

He's found them:
  • In his own piece of artwork hanging on the refrigerator. It's one of the first things he ever brought home from day care, a stamped picture of "At the Beach." And across the center are four star-shaped stickers.
  • On his "house" toy, a two-sided thing that has the outside on one side and the inside on the other. At the top is a wheel you can spin from "day" (sun, blue sky) to "night" (moon and, of course, stars).
  • In other toys, like his shape ball, which has a star piece.
  • In books, on random pages, like "That's Not my Monster."
Most troubling for our household, last night was OPENING NIGHT for the 2012 football season, and the inaugural game was played by the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are much-maligned under my roof, as they have beaten Hubbaland's beloved and tragic Buffalo Bills in the playoffs. And, Texas is the source of my husband's one prejudice, he just dislikes the state, its collective philosophy, and everything that has come out of it (except the Dillon Panthers).

So, last night, as the game was revving up, Munch walked by the TV, and something familiar and cherished caught his eye. The Cowboys' star logo, emblazoned on dozens of helmets and jerseys. Hubs was quite distressed! I feel like Munch CHOSE them as his team, that we should get him a Cowboys shirt. Beyond that, I feel like he'll be a Dallas Stars hockey fan--and then, God forbid--a Texan through and through, a citizen of the Lonestar State.

Hubs said if I encourage this, he will push the Pittsburgh Penguins on Munch hard (which would enrage this Detroit Red Wings fan).

But it was so cute.

I hope this is how Munch will go through life. Finding stars in the mundane, in the everyday, in the familiar, and the well-known. I hope he will find the bright spot in everything.

And, he's teaching me to open my eyes and really see. Not to miss the star right before my eyes.

Labor Day Away

I realize I'm doing my weekend wrapup on Thursday, but if I don't do it, this will be second missed week in a row and that's not acceptable! This is also my first post of September!

I came back to work after the long weekend with a lot on my plate and also in the midst of an emotional time that caused me not to be able to focus, so here it is a few days after the weekend, which was largely great.

The Highlight:
  • The first "vacation" Hubs, Munch, and I have taken just the three of us. It wasn't anything elaborate or long, but it was wonderful! We went to a Hampton Inn in Front Royal, VA, just about 1.5 hours from home and at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park.

    Basically, our one requirement was a pool for Munch. He went swimming three times, each for about 20 minutes before he started shivering and turning blue--literally blue-lipped. We took him straight to a warm bath afterwards. There were some other kids in the pool, and he watched them and splashed when they splashed. He "swam" in my arms and "jumped" off the side of the pool.

    (Having grown up a bigger kid with quite a bit of padding, this quick-chill for my skinny baby is foreign to me! He loves to swim and he cried so hard when we had to leave. But it's not like he'll sit wrapped in a towel until he warms up. This makes me wonder what he'll be like in Disney.)

    It was a relaxing weekend during which Munch slept fantastically--on Friday from 11pm to 7am in the crib and then in the king-size bed until 9am, then from 7:15pm for nearly 12 hours on Saturday. He enjoyed eating breakfast down in the common area, which served hot breakfast for FREE every morning. We timed our drive of Skyline Drive through the national park during Munch's nap, and that worked out pretty well.

    Front Royal is not nearly as pretty as it sounds, in fact, it was rather hole-ish, rather than being a beautiful, quaint small town. The hotel shared a McDonald's parking lot, and I indulged in two filets-o-fish, and man, were they insanely good.
The Good:
  • Having 3 days with Munch!
  • Getting home on Sunday so we had Monday to relax.
  • Seeing Tony and Myrna for dinner on Sunday.
  • Munch's crying evolved to something so cute and heart-wrenching at the same time. Instead of just crying--for instance when he is put down and doesn't want to be, when he feels thwarted in anything, for any real reason--he started wailing, "Mama, MAMA, mama." Over and over.
The What???
  • Hubs getting a massive sinus infection (probably from Munch) on Friday night, causing him to be ill most of the weekend.
  • Having to give Munch his antibiotic, which resulted in a horrible screaming fit twice a day.
  • Munch biting my wrist so that I think he burst a capillary or something, causing a huge bruise to form on the ball of my thumb, and a resulting hypochondriacial reaction about blood clots.