Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy Mother's March!

When Connor was born, Ed and I went through this very intense phase of sleep deprivation. Ed could no longer see things right in front of him, and I could no longer form words. Conversations would go something like this.

Me: "Could you get me the...the thing? You know, that you make tea in?"
Ed: "The teapot? Yes. Where is it?"
Me: "It's in the...the place. That has doors. In the room we cook in."
Ed: "You mean, the kitchen cupboard? OK."
Ed...staring straight at the teapot. "No, it's not there. I can't find it." and then I would go up and point out to him that it was approximately 10 inches from his nose.

In the middle of all this, I decided one day that a cup of tea was just what I needed. Yes, a cup of hot tea would make everything better. I would make the tea, go downstairs and hang out in front of the TV watching Oprah, with Connor resting nearby, and everything would somehow be right in the world again. Well...I got to the part about putting water in the tea kettle, and the part about going downstairs, and the next thing I knew, Ed was turning the stove off. Every drop of water in the teapot had boiled off, and the once shiny copper kettle was now completely black.

Being a bit on the emotional side at the time, I suspect I cried. Not so much because my beloved teapot had been destroyed by my sleepy, careless hands, but because it was surely a sign that things would never be the way they used to be. I would never be able to function among other adults. My life, as I knew it, was over. And what's more, the life I was entering was over my head. I was in deep, and that teapot symbolized just how dark things might get.

Ed consoled me, and then he scrubbed that teapot so hard that it was almost copper again. Though in a weakened state, no doubt. But I was so happy to see even a little sign that things could be right again, I embraced by battle scarred teapot, and continued to use it.

Earlier this year, Connor decided my teapot was very cool. He decided he needed it for some very important kitchen project. I foolishly left it within his grasp. And then, a few minutes after I had left the kitchen, Ed and I heard the sound of something metal hitting the ground. It was the SPOUT. Yes, somehow, Connor had managed to free the spout from the pot. I'm not sure whether I should be frightened or impressed, but clearly the teapot was officially dead.

It was then that I told Connor it was all his fault that my teapot died and I would like a new one for Mother's Day.

Yesterday, a package arrived. As soon as I came home, Connor requested "scissors" so we could "open...present". I had been warned that Ed had ordered some things for my birthday, our anniversary, and Mother's Day, so I told Connor he and Daddy could open it when Daddy came home. Connor forgot about the box until he saw it this morning.

But when he noticed it, he called downstairs for Ed and insisted that Ed get scissors so they could open the present right away. I went into another room, and Connor and Ed dug in. As soon as Connor got the to the box with the teapot in it, he brought it to me, completely excited. Only I didn't want to ruin the surprise, so I closed my eyes. Connor bumped into me with box and I told him that I wasn't looking. Unexpectedly, he went from being the most excited toddler on the planet to bursting into tears. So I opened my eyes. And you know what, Mother's Day in March is just as great as Mother's Day in May. And that lovely brass tea kettle, still covered in laquer and super shiny? That's how I feel about life now.

Thanks, Connor. For the lovely brass tea kettle.


PS: I realize the photos have absolutely nothing to do with the post, but I know some readers (ahem, Ed) only look at the blog for the photos - so a long-winded post from me is surely not appreciated without at least a couple shots showing that despite the morning chaos, all is well with Connor too.

PPS: My friend Thérèse read this post and sent me this link. I am not the only mom whose teapot fell victim to the early days of motherhood

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Because sometimes, having one old man in the house

just isn't enough.

Lately, Connor has taken to going outside and sitting on the porch, just watching the world go by. I presume by next weekend, Ed will have him reading a newspaper too, to complete the look.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Taking a ride!

Last weekend was the big semi-annual consignment sale I have not missed since Connor's birth. Among other purchases, I scored this little stroller - which Connor has had great fun pushing up and down the street. He also enjoys a ride every now and then, much to the chagrin of Ed's and my aging backs!

Wishing he had more stylish parents

Lately, Connor has taken to playing dress-up with Ed’s and my clothes. Ed’s shirts my be a little too big, but at least he’s not bothered by sleeves that don’t completely cover his wrists - a cause of great concern two days ago when I put him in a (gasp!) ¾ sleeve length shirt.

My clothes, on the other hand, are perfect for hiding under and running around the house. He can’t quite see where he’s going, so he bounces off the walls down the hallway like a pinball.

But shoes…now those are the best! And actually, he prefers my black, knee high boots, but he needs assistance getting into those.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

'Uh oh' is not

walking over to a bucket of water left out on the deck, splashing to your heart's desire, and then looking up as if it were an accident. But boy is it fun when Dad comes home and he'll actually listen to your command of "on" in reference to the hose.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy 19 Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

Today, you turned 19 months old. This month’s theme, much like last month’s theme, was talking. You can say almost anything, and many of your words can be understood even out of context. We’ve finally gotten a little bit of insight on the random functioning of your brain – and Connor, I think I understand why you don’t sleep more than you do. You’ve got a lot going on. For example, we’ll be sitting at the dinner table, talking about food and all of a sudden, you’ll turn your head around, look at the birdcage and say “bird!”, as if it’s the most logical think to be thinking about. You frequently give a running commentary on your activities, letting us know you’re running “run, Connor”, or walking “walk, walk, walk”, or when you get to the edge of the bleachers, “be careful”. I’m glad our words are starting to sink in. But, my most favorite thing of all is when you say something in complete gibberish, stare at me as if I’m supposed to respond, and when I don’t, you have actually said the gibberish slower AND louder – as if that will help! You will make a perfect Parisian traveler some day when you don’t know French and wonder why everybody pretends to not understand your English when you know they do.

For your first birthday, your dad and I had intended to get you a sand and water table because you seemed to enjoy it so much at your cousin’s house. By the time we made it to the toy store and figured out which one we wanted, they were no longer for sale. So, this past weekend, you finally received your first b-day present. It did not disappoint, though it did nearly make my head pop off. I got a glimpse into my dad of many years ago. You see, when I was a kid, there weren’t fancy “sand and water tables”, complete with shade umbrellas and covers so the kids stay out of the sun and the sand never gets dirty with rain water, bird droppings, or become the home of random critters – like spiders, which I detest. No, Connor, when I was a little girl, your grandpa got a giant tire, threw it out back, and poured sand in it. From the day the tire arrived until the day my dad finally got rid of it, my dad was constantly cautioning us to “keep the sand in the sandbox” - because he claimed it killed the grass. Well, Connor, that keeping the sand in the sandbox is presumably a very important rule, because your grandpa doesn’t have a lot of arbitrary rules – and this was a multi-year crusade on his part, so I felt obligated to pass it along. You, much like me, felt no compulsion to follow that rule. After all, dumping the sand on the deck is so fun! The most aggravating thing is that you clearly understand I am trying to impart an important rule because on your second day with the sand and water table (which, I might as well add, we were not foolish enough to put water in so it could become a mud table), you told me “sand” followed by “no, no, no”. But just when I thought you were going to comply with my request, you filled your little bucket up and dumped the sand on the deck. My friends tell me this goes on for about a year and then the concept sinks in. I have decided to embrace this phase of life and purchase stock in a play sand company.

You also received a bubble mower from your grandma. While we were on vacation, she gave me money to purchase you one so she wouldn't have to mess with shipping. Well, Connor, she gave me too much money - so I purchased the mother of all containers of bubbles to go with the mower. This is very cool. Though almost all of your toys are primary colored, the mower is pink. I suspect the store only had pink ones left, because everyone knows that mowing the lawn is NOT woman's work, so the target audience just wasn't buying the pink mower. I'm all for equality, but I do not mow the lawn. A few years ago, our neighbor's girlfriend mowed his lawn and I immediately told him he should never let her do that again because it was clearly man's work. That, and I didn't want your dad to realize that there is not some genetic reason why I refuse to mow the lawn. You seem to enjoy the pink mower, as I suspect all the other lawn mowing boys in training will when they get their pink mowers.

Your grandma also had the audacity to send you an Easter-themed Arthur book. For the most part, I have steered clear of this new book so it is not yet making me want to beat my forehead on the wall. I suspect by the time I write your 20 month note, there will be a flat spot on my head. But, I will get your grandma back. I will be sure to include it among our books when we travel to see her this summer.

Tantrums, knock on wood, seem to have been a short-lived phenomenon. But, your dad and I consider ourselves warned, and I suppose you’re probably just waiting for something really good to protest. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for as soon as you can read the newspaper.

You used to laugh loudly when your dad would sneeze, so much so that he’ll fake sneeze just for the laugh. So, just for kicks, you learned to do this yourself. You will look at someone and say “Ahtoo”, and you always get the reaction you’re looking for. You’ve also found other ways to please a crowd. Just a couple of nights ago, we were eating dinner at a friend’s house. You insisted that your mushy green beans be placed in the little bowls meant for olive oil for bread – and at some point, you decided doing a header into the bowl and eating much like a dog would make for a great party trick. You were right – though it is always odd to clean green beans off of a forehead, nose, and chin. But hey, I’m just happy at least a portion of the beans went down, and you were pretty happy while I got to enjoy a very nice meal.

You’re becoming both more independent and more assertive. You can now play outside a bit without me right next to you, which allows me to do a little yardwork while you play. I have even dared to run inside to do a quick task like adjust the oven and both times I have done this, I have looked out the window to see you carrying random objects down the deck stairs. So far, your efforts have been successful. When we play together, you are much more likely to dictate what my role should be – “up” (pick me up) “house” (build me a house) “shovel down” (put the shovel down now, and nobody gets hurt). I have a feeling this could get old.

You continue to be such a joyful member of the family, Connor. Both your dad and I are really glad you’re here.


Thursday, March 8, 2007


As most people who know Connor already know, he has approximately 1.2 million Little People. As most people who know me already know, I do not like it when any piece of any toy is missing. Connor is like me. When we go to the library and he sees the puzzles on the table (almost all of which are short at least one piece), he must tell me approximately 100 times the piece is missing before he can even begin to think about dumping out the rest of the pieces and reassembling them. I do not think Ed suffers from our affliction, but he does support it.

Before heading to Breckenridge, Ed assisted me in a thorough counting of the LP, and much to my horror, the lion and monkey that go with the A to Z Learning Zoo were missing and the tiger that goes with the train was missing. I was horrified. While Connor does have a second lion (which goes with the other LP zoo there is no other monkey. And sure, I could interchange the remaining tiger between the other A to Z zoo and the train - but it means he and Ed can no longer play 2x2 with the animals we used to have 2 of.

When Connor's nanny showed up yesterday, I mentioned the 3 missing pieces and she said she'd look for them during the day. Much to my relief, she located the tiger. And...when Ed met Connor at 4:00 yesterday, Connor showed Ed both tigers, and said "tigerS". Ed reported that Connor could now correctly use a plural noun, but Connor wouldn't answer the question "what do you have in your hands?" so I could not see this new skill for myself. I told Ed I didn't believe him.

This morning, Connor was playing with the two tigers (which he went to sleep clutching) and when I came upstairs after my shower, Ed asked Connor "Hey Connor, what's in your hand?" and Connor smiled and said "tigerS". You should've seen the look on Ed's face. He was so proud - and so happy to prove that my instinct to not believe him was wrong. Score 1 for Connor and Ed.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Back from Breck!

We spent the last week on our annual ski vacation out West which, thanks to my retired parents who are willing to put in a week of nanny duty, has not been interrupted by the addition of Connor to the mix. Which is not to say the vacation hasn’t changed. First, Ed and I no longer try to convince his brother to go out for a drink at night, instead we play Rochambeau to see who is stuck waking up in the morning (because my little friend has not figured out that it is totally acceptable to sleep past 5:30 on vacation) – and we spend the evening trying to figure out what might be fun for Connor the next day.

Day 1 was full of travel. Drive to airport = 1 hour; wait around in airport for an hour and hook up with Ed’s brother and dad, then fly to Denver = 3.5 hours in the air; drive to Breckenridge = 2 hours. Then, my parents decided to go out to eat and while normally this is something I dread, Connor actually make it through the long wait for a table and then ate dinner, in a seated position, acting like he totally knew what to do in a restaurant. I was completely impressed, so much so that I blew his cover and told my parents that never in a million years could this feat ever be repeated.

On day 2, Connor howled when we left, because apparently he didn’t realize that my dad has an infinite capacity to reread “Artur” books over, and over, and over – something I eventually told Connor I was done doing. On the bright side, he took a 3 hour nap which is pretty much unheard of, though quite welcome. My mom also read books to him and plied him with cookies. Turns out, he prefers Snickerdoodles over frosted cookies. Guess it’s good my mom comes prepared!

Day 3 was a bit easier in the departure department. I quit skiing earlier than the others – because it turns out, I’m a total wimp when it comes to cold, windy days. I stopped by the Children’s Museum on the off chance that the crew was there and indeed, my dad and Connor were busy performing engineering feats with the various building materials. They were learning about magnets and fishing, and physics, and all sorts of other good stuff. Connor pretty much had the run of the place, which is always nice.

Day 4 was an off day for skiing, which in retrospect turned out to be a bad idea because the sun came out. We started out at the indoor ice arena where my father-in-law was able to strap on a pair of skates and acted like he knew what he was doing, something my mom, Ed, and I were unable to do. Connor thought seeing Grandpa skating around was super great. I was next on the ice, and once Connor saw that, he knew this was as good as he suspected.

He walked to the ice entrance and told Ed “Connor ice, Connor ice” and it was unmistakable what he wanted. So, I went back to the front desk, rented the smallest pair of skates they had and a helmet, connected Connor to a walker for the ice, and handed him over to his grandpa. He actually skated a bit, but would’ve face planted absent the assistance of an adult. I went around with him a bit, and eventually he was exhausted, though I do believe he enjoyed it. And hey, sometimes you’ve got to try things that seem impossible and decide if there’s a way to make them possible. I appreciate that spirit in Connor and most other kids his age. My dad might refer to this as a lack of common sense, but I prefer to think of it as a zest for life.

After nap, we headed to the rec center which had been recommended by a co-worker who used to live in CO, and it did not disappoint. My dad had sat out the morning activity but was more than happy to barrel into the water with Connor, which is a good thing because Connor decided to show us that he knew what “under” was as he said “under” then took a step and bobbed his head. Quite scary for a parent, but also thrilling. He’s also somehow figured out how to hold his breath because even when he slipped and went under, he didn’t cough at all when Ed and I fished him out (unnoticed by the 10 year old lifeguard, I might add).

Later that evening, Ed sent Connor out to me to get him ready for a bath, and no sooner had Connor told me “clothes” had he noticed that I was eating a bowl of ice cream – which obviously was intended for him. Ed waited for a bit before coming out to find us both covered in ice cream. Yum!

Day 5 Ed, his dad, and I headed to Keystone for the day while my parents hunkered down with Connor enjoying a book marathon, a little Elmo tickling, and naturally, some sweeping. Connor’s love for the broom probably endears him to my mom. She appreciates a clean place, after all.

Day 6 was back to Breck, cold and windy.

Day 7 the boys headed back to the slopes, but my mom and I went t-shirt and candy shopping while my dad and Connor took a nap. We tried to hook up with them at lunch but missed each other, but it gave Connor a chance to ride a Gondola, which I have to admit didn’t seem to impress him much until he looked out the window and spotted a dog. Then Connor and I headed out to a nifty toy store my mom and I had discovered while we were out earlier in the day. Connor has never been fond of rocking horses – but rocking dogs, that’s totally different.

That evening, we went on a sleigh ride – pulled by HORSES, much to Connor’s delight. It was cold. Just ask my parents. Afterwards, there was a little skit while dinner was prepared, and Connor felt totally comfortable joining right in.

Day 8 was a reverse travel day and thankfully, Connor was once again a total champ about all this travel. It really made the trip bearable. It was super nice having Ed’s dad and brother in the airport because it meant there was someone else to chase Connor around and play with him. They also made for great entertainment on the plane as Connor would pop his head up and peek over the seats at them.

On Sunday, Ed let me sleep in while he took Connor to the zoo. I did get up and manage to get the laundry well underway and the ski gear back in the attic – a task made much easier when Connor is not around wanting to climb up there.

Phew! I’m ready to go back to work for a break!