Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Let no light go unnoticed..and no, I cannot move my car

This afternoon when I came home from work, Connor and I shared a muffin. He was very excited to pull a piece off and then decide whether to stick it in his own mouth or mine - or crumble it and watch it fall to the ground. He laughed and laughed when I ate the muffin bites. He also spent a good deal of time pointing out all of the lights on the ceiling "DAH!". They're up high...did you notice?

Yesterday, he bit Ed on the nose when Ed was wrestling with him and tonight he tried to bite Ed's tongue when Ed stuck it out. Serves Ed right, I figure. Also shows the boy can retaliate, in spite of Ed being much bigger than he is.

However, Ed does do his best to stick up for the little guy when it counts. Last week, Connor fell asleep in the car as I drove to an outdoor bar to meet some friends for happy hour. Because we have a very firm - NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY - (advice handed down from my mother) rule in this house, I was sitting in the car with Connor as my friends sat in the bar waiting for me. Because I am the last human on this planet without a cell phone, I couldn't call to alert them to the fact that I was a mere half-block away, but I figured they were in a bar and could be resourceful.

The spot I parked in was legal, and I parked in it correctly. The spot in front of me was half consumed by a car that decided to park in TWO spots - half of the car in each one. As I saw Ed get off the subway and head towards the bar, I waved him down and he agreed to be on baby duty so I could go get a cold frosty beverage. While Ed waited, several cars attempted to park in the half spot, but of course were unsuccessful. At one point, a woman rolled down her window and got Ed's attention to ask if he would move my car back a little, so she could squeeze into the spot (and overflow into my spot). Unfortunately, she also got Connor's attention and he woke up. Ed's answer "You just woke my baby. No, I cannot my move my car."

Isn't his little curl cute?


Is it over?

The rain has finally abated (after leaving a FOOT of water) and the basement is dry. Connor slept until 6AM. Obviously, the end of the world is very near. Gather up your favorite things, tell your friends and family you love them, and enjoy your last moments in this dimension.

See you on the other side,

Monday, June 26, 2006

Anything good under there?

Connor's curiosity about what lies beneath the furniture continues to grow. And, he has brilliantly figured out that he can go AROUND the couch to find his dad who's hiding behind it, rather than just reach fruitlessly beneath the couch to try and get him.

The rains continue to fall here in the nation's capital, and so far the basement has remained dry. All other sources of water seem to have dried up as well, so the magic appliance repairman appears to have done his job. I am still sitting on a chair on blocks...just in case.

Connor has also gotten pretty good at "hiding" beneath a blanket to play peek-a-boo. It's super cute.

The only other news around here is that Ed and I are considering starting a feud with our neighbor. Someone whose backyard abuts our backyard has decided to install a garage - which is pretty annoying on face, but it's super annoying because it's opposite my BUTTERFLY GARDEN! Yes - the garden that was installed because it was in FULL SUN, FULL DAY. And now, who knows how much sun will be blocked by this new garage? Connor - someday when you are old enough to read this, if you notice that there are NO daisies in the backyard, I give you permission to graffiti the garage that caused them to die. At present, they are about 5 feet tall and gorgeous. Not to mention the monardas, crocosmia, coneflowers, lamb's ears... . It's too bad a feud would take more energy than I have. It's going to be 1 foot from our property line. Apparently structures attached to the house have to be 6-8 feet from the property line, but detached structures need only be 1 foot away.


Putting it all in perspective, or water, water everywhere...

Our house has declared war on us, and our three person army has proven insufficient. So, I've done the drastic...I've called in reinforcements in the form of the first man who answered his phone claiming to be able to fix both an AC and a

First, Ed and I dared to go to a party on Saturday night with the little man. When we came home, I had the pleasure of stepping in a puddle of water in the middle of the kitchen floor. Apparently, I am becoming quite expert at this because the last time we had unexpected water in our kitchen (our Crystal City house), I actually slipped and landed on my hind end. This time, I managed to stay upright. I announced the disaster and continued on my mission downstairs to acquire a semi-clean pair of pajamas for Connor. When I arrived downstairs I learned that the water in my house was not confined to the kitchen floor, but instead had freed itself to run through the ceiling downstairs as well. Nice!

As Ed and I were surveying the damage, Connor was chatting on happily about who knows what "da, da, da". We had to laugh as Connor clearly did not understand nor care about the gravity of the situation. Ed misdiagnosed the problem, thought he had it fixed, only to start the dishwasher again and reflood the kitchen and basement - at which point we decided the dishwasher had won. It was getting late and Ed now properly diagnosed the problem, but we declared a professional would need to deal with it.

On Sunday morning, the persistent problem with the AC reappeared. Ed was flushing the outtake line, and Connor and I came up behind him. Connor cheerily greeted Ed, which made Ed laugh and pour part of the pitcher of water he was using to flush the line onto the floor. Connor is nothing, if not helpful.

Then, the torrential rains came, and while I was sad about accidentally deleting some photos from my camera (they were super cute), Ed kept getting anxious about the water attempting to invade our home from the outside. The storms continued, Ed kept using the wet vac, and eventually I put all of our worldly possessions up on blocks in preparation for the flood. The shop vac gave us all it had before finally refusing to suck another drop of water - but miraculously, it was enough. Only a few drops of water made it into the house. It is possible all of the clay (which is the bane of Ed's existence) I stacked outside the door played some role in keeping the floodwaters at bay. And in spite of the fact that Connor will wake up any time the front door is opened, he can sleep soundly through a flash flood, lightening, and thunder. We are very thankful for that.

Naturally, the whole city is flooded which resulted in it taking Ed for freaking-ever to get to work and I decided to work from home to serve as the command post for the magical repairman, who did indeed arrive this morning and as of now, the dishwasher is running (and hopefully planning to stop) and he is busy getting the AC back in shape.

It actually is pretty nice to see that Connor can be so unaffected and keep laughing and chattering throughout the whole mess - unhindered by the knowledge that someday, this whole house will collapse around him.

I guess we should add "repaint basement ceiling" to the list of things we need to do in order to sell the house. I did get two more shelves entirely cleaned off in the process, and at one point Ed and I wondered if our realtor had actually broken the dishwasher as an impetus for us to clean up the area. Hmmm...

It's now pouring again, the magical man just cut the circuit to the AC, he asked if I had a dryer he could use for his clothes. I said yes, on the assumption that by clothes he means "shirt". Eeek! I'm not going anywhere near the basement.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer Solstice

And to think, Ed and I were going to let the solstice pass as if it were just any other day. Lucky for us, the little man had plans to celebrate all night long - and he did. I'm sure he'll sleep all night tonight though, right? please Connor?

We went to happy hour down at the Marina and we celebrated the Royals sweeping Pittsburgh - woohoo! It was quite exciting listening to a bad cover band and sweating it out with some friends. Tomorrow night, we'll go for the evening out at Grateful Ed's. Because we were on the waterfront, it was perfectly acceptable for Connor to practice using a cup to drink some water. He's actually getting pretty good at it - though it's not a skill to be shown off indoors yet - unless we want to see if Mims still has those lightening reflexes she had when I was a young kid with a wobbly drink cup.

Connor impressed his nanny by standing up behind this toy of his that sort of looks like a lawn mower (but because I like the LEARNING toys so much, it's actually a shape sorter) and walked across the room. It was pretty impressive. It's not nearly as wild as when he uses the walker from the exer-saucer.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Busy weekend and new jobs around the house

Last weekend, Ed's parents and brother were in town for the games against the Yanks. And, despite trying to lose two of the three games, the Nats managed to win them instead. We had tickets to the Sunday game (Father's Day), but the little man and I had to make an early exit. Despite sitting in very expensive seats and being in the shade, Connor wasn't in the mood for baseball. He had petitioned the nap committee to abstain from nap that day, and despite the committee's attempts to overrule him, he did, indeed, skip his morning nap for the most part. He caught a couple of zzz's when Ed and his brother walked to the subway with him, but that was it.

He did get a nice nap on the subway ride home and a nice nap with me after that. Even so, something was bothering him because he didn't perk up like he normally does. Maybe he's going to impress me with a couple of additonal teeth in the next few weeks.

On Monday morning, Connor had apparently had enough excitement. I went to work early to give a presentation (on child care issues, no less) and Ed reports that Connor was playing in the living room - until Grandma came upstairs, at which time Connor crawled back to the playroom to get a little "alone time", only to discover that Uncle Mike was back there. So, back down the hallway Connor crawled and into the kitchen - but Grandpa was in there. Eventually, I guess he just had to be a little social. Before everyone got on a plane, Connor was more willing to play, but when I got home that afternoon it was the happiest he'd been in a little while. And, he was exhausted when I put him to bed. I think Ed wore him out. They clearly had a fun time playing together.

Connor has two new jobs around the house. The first is to pull all of the clothes on the lower shelf in his closet off (and I've decided to leave them there because he seems to take such great pleasure in it) and the second is to water the tomatoes. I believe Connor and I will be winning the "first tomato of the year contest", a contest that allows the winner to have bragging rights until the next year. We have TWO tomatoes that are eating size. I just need them to turn red. Ed and my dad also have tomatoes, but they are smaller than mine. Not sure if my sister has an entrant in the contest this year or not. The great thing about watering with Connor is that he has figured out he can put his hand over the end of the hose and soak us both. He takes a lot of pleasure in this.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Our crap shack

In an effort to convince us we need to move and unload our current house, our realtor gave us this list of "to do" items. Hmmm... Maybe it's easier to just stay put. She was unimpressed with Ed's home made pot rack and the little twinkle lights we put on the deck for parties. Clearly, she has no taste! I take her last comment to mean we can live in utter filth until we decide to move. Don't worry, Connor doesn't seem to mind.

1. Re-mulch front yard beds, side yard beds and backyard areas
2. Brighten and thicken grass with some kind of fertilizer. (I know you probably play with Connor on the grass, but if you could work on the front yard and keep him off it to thicken it up, I think it would help.)
3. Between your driveway and neighbors house, there is a little patch of dirt that needs to be addressed. Maybe doing some-type of planter like you did in your backyard (good job on that it looks awesome) and then some type of planting that will bring in some color.
4. Your backyard and deck area, needs to be de-cluttered and organized.( This is something you can do a week or so before you go on the market, because I am sure you use some of the stuff out there. Like the plastic light strand. I am sure that looks awesome at night, however during the day it looks like a plastic wire and should be taken down. Also, the electrical chords need to be eliminated if possible.)

1. Replace threshold on back door.
2. Repaint kitchen cabinets to brighten.
3. De-clutter kitchen, take down pot rack and other nick knacks.
4. De-clutter bookcase in dinning room.
5. Re-align dining room table under light fixture.
6. Repaint all trim work throughout the house.
7. Take fireplace screen away.
8. Stage baby’s room.
9. Stage office room (take out baby crib).
10. Fix crack on wall and repaint baby’s room.
11. Re-caulk main level bathroom.
12. Switch beds in master and lower level bedroom.
13. Repaint & patch window sill in master bedroom.
14. Organize in all closets throughout the house.
15. Organize & Declutter-
• Laundry room
• Lower levels around stairs (gets rid of some of the storage and hide stuff on shelves with fabric.)
• Family room on lower level.
• Both utility closets on lower level.
16. Set up lower level bedroom.

A week or so before we go on the market you should have the windows cleaned.

A couple of days before you go on the market you should have your house cleaned.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

10 month follow-up

Today was the big 10 month follow-up (see "good-bye growth chart") appointment with the doctor and it started like this.

Doctor "So, tell me why you're here today. Ten months is an odd time to come in for a visit."

Me "Because last month you told my husband we had to come back in a month because Connor was so skinny."

Doctor "Oh yes, now I remember..."

Not a very impressive way to start a visit. Well, Connor gained a bit of weight, and is now almost on the bottom line of the growth chart, and the doctor proclaimed he is no longer worried about Connor's growth. When he asked if we let Connor decide when to stop eating or if we limit his portions, it was VERY difficult not to stare at him blankly blinking my eyes and say "you mean we're supposed to be feeding him?"

Anyway, what the doctor FORGOT to point out to Ed last month was that Connor's head has moved up to the NINETIETH percentile and his length is in the SEVENTYFIFTH percentile - which I must say is fairly impressive. The head size must be because he is so smart!

He can now work part of the shape sorting toy that his Aunt Heather and Uncle Rick gave him for Christmas (he's had a lot of fun banging it around prior to this) and he knows that if he pulls the string on a helium balloon it will come down to his level. Genius, I tell you.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Happy Ten Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

A couple of days ago, you turned ten months old. Why didn’t I write this earlier? Well, the girl you share your nanny with decided to give you an early birthday present – a pretty wicked cold. This, after you had just beaten the previous one. But this one well, it was much better. It was accompanied by a constant runny nose and my friend, it is really, really hard for me not to reach over and wipe your nose even though it obviously annoys you. Anyway, not wanting me to miss out on any of the fun, you passed the cold to me so that we could enjoy being under the weather together. I must say though, you were a champ. Because boy did I feel terrible these past two days. I even went so far as to take cold medicine before I went to sleep which meant I had to tell your da da to keep his ears open for you in the middle of the night because I wasn’t sure I would hear you. Although your da da thinks he hears you when you wake up, he does not. He has been very impressed with your ability to sleep through the night many nights that you have, in fact, not slept through the night. The timing of this illness is rather poor because tomorrow is the big 10 month follow-up weigh-in, and I suspect you’ve been eating a little less lately than you might normally if you were feeling better. Bummer! But, in any case, I’ve lacked the energy to compose a coherent thought in the past couple of evenings.

You've discovered the refrigerator, and I don't know why it makes you laugh so much, but it does. A couple of days ago, you managed to drag a bag of apples out of it, and eventually used that one tooth of yours to get a little taste of the apple.

Locomotion continues to be the big theme of your life. You can crawl to get just about anywhere you want to get – and yesterday you were like a cat with a ball of yarn chasing a toy of yours around. You would bat it, it would roll, you would chase it. You are also tentatively cruising around the music table, toybox, the neighbor’s fence and anything else you pull up on – and will even go from one object to another if the distance is sufficiently small. Rather than pulling up with your arms, you now push up with your legs, using your arms more for balance. This means you have achieved the skill of crawling up to me and achieving a standing position. I first learned this when we were brushing our teeth one morning and all of sudden as I was leaning over spitting out toothpaste, you were patting me on the butt. Thanks. You can lower yourself ever so gently from standing to sitting which is great because you no longer risk knocking your noggin every time you decide to go from upright to sitting. You also figured out the stairs, though I really don’t know how as you rarely see them. But, one day I was getting ready to take you up them and you made a diving motion to get down and then you showed me that you could do it yourself. Only a few steps at a time before a rest period is needed, but it’s a start.

You have many projects around the house including knocking all of the bottles off the side of the bathtub and taking clothes out of baskets and papers out of bags. Mims might say I got what I deserved. Here, you're sorting socks.

You love to pet the neighbor’s cats, Katrina and Piccolo, and we often visit them in the afternoon after I get home from work. I have a rather unnatural fear of cats, but I am trying to be brave because I can see the pleasure it gives you. Your pats usually end up with a handful of fur, and so far the cat hasn’t seemed to mind. Its owner continues to reassure me that the cat is very nice, but I’m still nervous. You also love dogs and one day this month, your da da took you to the dog park and that was very exciting. I’m not sure if it was more or less exciting than the petting zoo we took you to last weekend. The thing about the petting zoo is that one of those awful geese walked right up to me and TOUCHED my leg which did not make me happy, though you didn’t seem to mind. I needed your Mims’ golf club to get that thing away from me, but I didn’t have it. Because you are getting heavier each day, your da da had the pleasure of being the primary baby holder, but that left me as the primary goat feeder, which meant I ended up with goat spit all over my hand. Yuck! When you can walk, your ma ma is going to stay home and avoid that mess.

You now clearly seem to know who da da and ma ma are, and these are back to being your favorite syllables. On occasion, you say something else, but I can’t say as it’s understandable to me yet.

You have also reaffirmed my belief that you are a brute! You have one of those toys where you push a button and a character pops up. Despite the fact that I keep showing you that pushing the button is how you get the guys to pop up, you look at me quizzically when I do this and then show me how you can also just pry each container that the guys are in open and the guys will pop out. Whatever works, I guess.

We're trying to fatten you up for the big weigh-in tomorrow, which included a few bite of my veggie cheeseburger. Yum!

It’s been another great month, Connor. Your grandpa, grandma, and Uncle Mike will be here on Saturday. I’m certain that they will be amazed by you.

ma ma ma ma ma

Monday, June 5, 2006

Bite Me!

OK – that’s not a nice thing for a Mommy to say to her very precious baby, but it seems appropriate tonight. On Saturday, Connor did something that may be rather ordinary in many families, but in my family it’s nothing short of extraordinary. He got a bottom tooth! True, many babies get their first tooth around 6 months, some babies are even born with a tooth. But I did not accomplish this feat until I was 15 months old – and I never got a whole set of the pearly whites. Instead, my parents forked over enough money to end hunger in a small country so that I could have a full set of teeth. In particular, my family seems to have trouble getting those bottom teeth that are usually the first to come in for most children. In fact, when my dad asked which tooth Connor got I said “you know, the bottom one on the right side of center that comes in first” and he said “I assure you, I don’t know anything about that”. In general, the tooth is a very private thing. He doesn’t just let ANYONE see it! But he has been working on keeping it clean.

I also have an excellent excuse for not blogging this weekend. My friends Kellee and Jim returned from China! They came over on Friday and Saturday night, and it was great to see them. Jim entertained Connor by playing the with giant yoga ball, along with Ed,
and Kellee played a little chess with my little man. It’s going to be a busy few weeks trying to keep up with them as they prepare for their next Foreign Service post. Hopefully we’ll get to spend lots of time with them! One of the bonuses of them coming back from China, is that it is fairly cheap to have clothes tailored there. So, while my little guy may not have the girth needed to hold pants up in the US – Kellee was kind enough to have some pants tailored for him. I can’t wait to take him out in his fancy linen pants with matching shirts. It’ll be a nice way to keep cool and protected from the sun.

And this afternoon, well – it was one of those afternoons you dream about as a parent. Connor woke up from his nap around 4:30 (which meant I had enough time to pick crabs for our crab salad dinner after I arrived home). Then, he nursed a bit and went back to sleep with me for another hour – and then, man was he in a good mood. We walked around the neighborhood playing with other people’s doggies (thank you neighbors) and enjoyed sitting in front of the daisies that are starting to bloom.

Unfortunately, the day did not end on such a high note. The pediatrician’s baby manual says that during this phase, children may have separation anxiety when they go to bed and it could be difficult to get them to go to sleep. Well, Connor, it would be terrible to miss a milestone like this, I suppose, and you did not disappoint. The book warns that you may be getting up several times in the middle of the night to make sure we are still here. We are.