Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jumping Conor

Btw, he's saying "I jump!" after each jump.

Conor Spots Santa

The child has eagle eyes, I'm telling you. He was sitting 20 feet away and could still tell us about the smallest wooden truck he saw under the tree.

A couple of thoughts. First, it's a good thing they didn't do that story about being frugal parents this year.

Second, if it says Melissa & Doug on it, I'll buy it. Talk about a successful marketing scheme. It's appealing to the same thing in us that the cage free nest eggs do, even if we're not really sure how happy the chickens are.

ETA: I have no idea why the last couple of pictures are so humongo when you click on them. Blogger is not even letting me edit normally, so I don't know if it's me or something they have done. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Conor's First Real Haircut

We did it about a month ago. Here we are at the start.

This is about the middle, when we could see how long his hair is!

This is at that awkward stage of curly hair cutting.

And here is is at the end, just a little worse for the wear.
I have to say that like getting my hair cut, it looked much cuter after coming home and letting us wash and "style" it. And last night, I had to snip a few curls off the sides because they were too long and giving him a Bozo-the-clown-poofs-over-his-ears appearance.
I'm not sure how long we'll let it go, or even if at some point we'll cut it very, very short to see what happens. As curly as it is, it's not all that thick, so I don't know what would happen if we did cut it short. But we'll leave it like this for now. I do think we'll try a short one this summer, although the boy loves his curls. I think he would be sad to see them go. And me?! I might just sob.

Predicting Bad Fortune

Last night in bed, reading The Week: "Wow! Did you know Gerald Ford is the oldest President? He's 120 days older than Reagan was when he died. And did you know that John Adams was 90 years old when he died? That's old for back then."

This morning, after hearing the news on new MP3 player while on my run: "Guess who died last night?"

"No way! You made that happen."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa Claus

You may wonder why I haven't been posting so much since school is out and clearly I should be just be twirling around in my holly decorated Christmas apron eating warm cookies right out of the oven. Right?????

Tell that to the tenure committee. I've been working my booty off this month. I'm turning in a manuscript tomorrow and have a book chapter due by the end of the year. Then I have 3 papers due for a conference in January, two of which I haven't even started yet.


Yes, I'm maniacally shouting out HA! HA! HA! instead of HO! HO! HO! (like the transition?)

Fortunately, my life as Scrooge is not affecting (much) my own little star of Bethlehem. He is very excited about Christmas this year and has taken to walking around the house saying "Santa is coming to MY house!" (Everything is emphasized with a strong statement of MY! When I pick him up at daycare he turns to the rest of the class and emphatically says MY Mommy!!)

But back to Santa. Last night, we explained to him how we were going to leave some cookies and milk so Santa could have a snack while he was would be working so hard on Christmas eve. You could see the little cogs turning in his head as he processes this information. It's a LOT OF FUN to lie to your children and get them to believe in it!

Cookies and milk, however, have NOTHING on seeing the real (a real?) Santa come by school this week. Of course, his first reaction was to put his head down in the lap of his favorite care giver and sob. But then he recovered enough to be the only child in his class to go sit on Santa's lap and get his present. I choose to think of this as an act of courage and not of greed. Conor doesn't quite get the whole present thing still but he has been very obsessed with Santa's general being. (And can I just add a BIG thank you to the volunteers who provided this year's amazing gifts to the children. Wow.) So yeah. I'll get to see the picture of Conor and Santa this afternoon when I go pick him up. It's got to be pretty adorable.

Ok. Back to work. I'm getting cranky.

Soon, I must tell you on my new thoughts of IVF, something I had ruled out before, but now has surprisingly started to sound appealing. First, though, I must discuss this with my husband. Details.....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Update on the Zoo

Well, I have to be honest with you: we don't miss Simba. (too much) I have to write that in small letters because I feel so guilty admitting it. But minus one tiny but ferocious kitty, we are having a much easier time of it.

Mom and Dad love Simba and she is settling in as Queen of the Realm. So, it assuages our guilt a bit that she is happy and my parents are happy with her.

And I start to feel even less guilty when we are reaching a new World Record in No Inappropriate Pee Since We Met Simba. I'm telling you, it's amazing: we can leave laundry out on the floor in front of the laundry closet, my new bathroom rug has gone two whole days without being peed on, AND the gym bag has remained pee free for over a week. My LORD, that makes life a lot easier.

And Scarlett has started to blossom for the first time in years. (Why, yes! It has been about 2 years, in fact) She is sleeping with us again, visiting Conor's room and letting him pet her, playing with toys and purring with a vibration that could serve as a massage. She even hopped up onto Simba's special pillow space over our heads and has been sleeping there. They only reason she would sleep there is that she saw Simba sleeping there and she wants to try it out. We thought Simba and Scarlett were fighting over who was low kitty, but it's clear that Scarlett was on the bottom---the Kitty has been Keeping Her Down!

Blainey-Pants if you are out there reading this, we do feel guilty, but it just seems like everything is so much better.

Big Sigh.

An Explanation

There are reasons why my son will always be a little odd.

When we get undressed at night, I say:

It's time to take your shirt off!!!


Michael Chertoff!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

While We're On the Subject of Birds

Harris Teeter has just started carrying its own brand of organic and/or free range eggs. Dave and I have been opting for the organic-ish chicken for a while now, and realized that eggs of antibiotic pumped chickens are just as bad as the chicken itself.

I say "organic-ish" because there are two brands of Smart Chicken that HT carries: Organic and Veg Fed. Both are hormone and antibiotic free, but the organic chickens get organic feed and the veg fed just get regular veggie food. Since the organic is twice as expensive as the veg fed and both are much more expensive than regular chicken, I opt for the veg fed chix: no bad drugs and vegetarian fed.

The eggs are more complicated.

There are veg fed and no hormones/antibiotics, veg fed and no hormones/antibiotics and free range (for 20 more cents) and completely organic and free range for 50 more cents. For me the choice is between the veg/no hormones and the veg/no hormones/free range.

Although the cheap mama in me wants to get the veg/no hormones, I can't do it. It's like there's this chicken clucking around in my head and if I chose the chickens who lay eggs in a cage, my choice would personally hurt some chickens. I have to support the free chickens!! I have to let the world know that it's better to let the chickens roam and lay their eggs than keep them in their oppressive cages. For less than 2 cents per egg, I just can't justify chicken torture. So I get the free range but not completely organic eggs.

The reason this is an issue is that the egg cartons all look alike. So I have to read the labels to make sure it's hormone free and free range. So now, every time I purchase eggs , I leave the refrigerator case chanting in my head: FREE THE CHICKENS!!! KEEP THE CHICKENS FREE!!!

Maybe our bird's nest is a thank you for the avian world for promoting the life and health of their own.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Birdhouse In Your Soul

We got our Christmas tree and decorated it over the weekend. I am taking it as a very good omen that there is a bird's nest in it. At the very least, it's much better than finding a bat in one's Christmas tree. Unlike spotting a bat in a tree, Dave saw it and knew immediately that we had to have this one.

Our bird's nest is tiny and very well made. It's up against the trunk of the tree and it has a neatly woven pattern. We put a tiny white ornament in it and it looks like an egg there.

The vast majority of time, I believe that unusual events are just random. Thinking about someone and the phone rings? You aren't psychic, it was just a chance event. How many times of you thought about the person and they didn't call?

Nonetheless, I've decided that this bird nest is indeed a good sign. We may not get pregnant this month, but good things are going to happen to us in the next year. We may get lucky and have another biological child. We may get lucky and adopt our next child. Whatever happens, it's going to turn out the way it's supposed to turn out and we'll think of ourselves as the luckiest family on this earth.

It would make the perfect narrative if I got pregnant this month and had a healthy little baby in 9 more months. We'd already have the nickname (Birdie!) and have a great story to share (We KNEW when we saw that bird's nest in the Christmas tree that you were going to be showing up soon!!) But I don't believe in that sort of specific luck. I'll take that this is a sign that things are going to work out, but I can't believe it means that things are going to work out Right Now.

And speaking of adoption, I keep waiting for the right time to talk about what we are doing in terms of progressing down the adoption path, but really all it has involved so far is buying a few books and crying every time I read them thinking 1) I'll never be pregnant again and 2) my child may already be out there and I am not holding him/her in my arms RIGHT NOW protecting him/her from the whatever bad things the world might try to put upon him/her. In all honesty, every month I find out I'm not pregnant again, I wonder if the biological mother of my to-be adopted child has just found out she's pregnant and doesn't know what to do. I want to tell her that it's going to be OK and I'm waiting to take my baby as soon as I possibly can.

All that emotion and I'm not even on progesterone right now.

So, yes. We have a bird's nest. It's a good sign. And it is all going to be ok.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Father and Son

I obviously write on this blog from my perspective. In my imagination, part of what that means is that when Conor gives a hoot and reads this blog as an adult or a young father he'll learn a lot about my experiences of being a new mother and what he was like as a child. For instance, unless I blog about it, I'm sure I'll forget our current nighttime ritual in which he comes out to find me before he goes to bed, gets behind me, and grabs a pocket on my jeans as I sashay into his room singing "BOOTY TRAIN! BOOTY TRAIN!!"

But what it also means is that Conor won't necessarily learn about all the rituals and special things that he and his father have shared growing up, including one that still warms Dave's heart--when I was in Atlanta and a horrible storm stalled over our house knocking out the power and rattling the windows and Conor was having a really hard time staying asleep until Dave asked him if he wanted to sleep in the big bed and Conor cried "YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!" and they cuddled for the rest of the night, happily and restfully sleeping.

So I shall now mention Dave and Conor's new bedtime routine, which is up there as One of Those Things You Want to Remember and You Won't If You Don't Write It Down:

After getting on his footie pajamas (because it's Winter and they are SO DAMN CUTE!), Conor stands on top of his changing table/chest of drawers and on the count of twee (One, two, tweeee!) and leaps onto Dave's chest wrapping his arms and legs around him like a little monkey. Dave supports him under his booty. They practice it several times on their own and then they call me in to watch their performance, my little monkey and his big Daddy.

So, I hope when Conor is reading this years in the future that he realizes that both of us were incredibly active in his life and that both of us have our favorite memories of him as a little boy.

End of the sappy, smoochie, baby blog post.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Romantic Than That?!

Last week was Dave and my four year anniversary. (Thank you, Brian and Arnie for babysitting so we could go out to dinner and save that odd $30 in babysitting fees!)

It's been a quick and easy 4 years. I really feel like it's not possible that Dave and I have been married that long. I know I am the luckiest woman alive to have him as my husband.

And he says the same of me, even after this year's anniversary present. This is the year of the appliance. Well, appliances are the modern gift. Fruit and flowers are the traditional gift. I have to say that I've reached the age that appliances are much more exciting to me than that odd pear and rose bouquet. Maybe the folks who decide what is appropriate for anniversary gifts figure that the bloom is off the rose by this point and you need to make sure the clothes are being efficiently washed.

So Dave bought me a cool new Motorola Razr cell phone. I have not had a cell phone for about 4 years or so (that budget thingy, dontcha know) so I am very excited to get one again.

I bought Dave a nose hair trimmer. He ASKED for it! I know, I know. That's the worst gift you'd ever give your lover. And it's not like I've noticed tufts of hair coming out of his ears or nose. And that's not because I haven't been observant; since becoming aware of such issues, I have noticed that more than a few men in my everyday world need some manscaping. It's just that he needed a new one, it was time for gift giving, and so he asked.

Ok. I'm really not that bad. I did buy something more romantic. MORE romantic? Is it possible?! (Thanks, Jennifer, for that exact quote) No, there is actually nothing more romantic than knowing your smoochie trusts you enough to 1) tell you he needs a new nose hair trimmer and 2) that you think that's perfectly normal because he's such a handsome man, how could you refuse? (I'm trying to make one of those clever points that gifted writers can make without telling you that they are trying to make it)

So in addition to the BEST NOSE HAIR TRIMMER I could find, I bought a KitchenAid Coffeemaker. And I'm here to tell you, hot well-brewed coffee bright in early in the morning, that doesn't suck. No, it's still not that romantic. But romance is a sweet, precious and sometimes less often event here in the MotherThing-with-a-toddler household. But fresh brewed coffee from a pot that doesn't leak? We can both have that every morning.

Who Knew

That there are actually quite good yoga podcasts out there for free. My SIL did one while she was here last week, and I was browsing last night and found this one, by Yogi Wade. There's no video so you have to know your poses and be able to follow verbal instructions. But it's a real yoga practice, 1 hr 30 minutes long with more than a few sun salutations.

It's a nice way for me to get a workout while Dave is at the gym. At 5:30 am. (too dang early).

I also just switched to the Blogger Beta version....I hope this wasn't a mistake!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Istanbul Not Constantinople

Can I have a show of hands for everyone who has said "not Constantinople" this week after hearing some report on the pope. It's gotten so bad that I was dreaming about it last night and was actually thinking in my dream that I absolutely HAD to post about it because whatever my dream was about was hyyyysterical (it involved Chocolate cake, a wacky malaprop, and the cable channel 31) and I repeated what I wanted to post again and again and again in several dreams (including when I made new chocolate icing for a new chocolate cake) and when I sat up this morning, I swear I felt the "joke" slip out of my head. I honestly sat in bed and said "Wow. After all that effort, that blog post just fell out of my head."

So there. I think of you all even when I sleep.

Nonetheless, the singing continues.....

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York
Was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that waaaaaaaaaaaaay