Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Connor and Ed are no longer allowed in the kitchen together!

Last week, Ed decided we should have pizza for dinner. Typically, I would've made the dough, but instead I delegated the task to the men. I gave them the bread machine to do it in, so it wasn't as if actual skill was involved.

At one point, I looked in on the two of them as I was preparing for work, after hearing something like "oh no" come out of Ed's mouth and "need de vacuum" out of Connor's. Definitely not good signs. But, Connor was quick to reassure that the situation was totally under control.

This was not, however, the case. Do not be fooled by Connor's innocent smile. Not only was the kitchen about destroyed, but something went awry in the measuring step as when I came home, I had a gooey glob of dough that Connor and I had to work about 2 cups of flour into just to be able to use it - which was fine with Connor, because that meant he could throw more flour around.

So now there's a new rule in the house. Ed and Connor are not allowed near the bread machine unsupervised, even if it means we have to rely on store bought dough occasionally!


Monday, May 28, 2007

Morning Play Date

We spent Memorial Day destroying someone else's house, rather than our own. And actually, the mom who invited us over was smart enough to shuffle everyone outside to a park near her house. Brilliant, I tell you.

While there, Connor took Teo on an airplane ride:

And apparently Teo was not impressed with Connor's navigation skills, because despite the fact that Connor was ready to take him on a drive in the red car that wobbles,

Teo preferred to keep his feet on the ground for this trip and gave Connor the OK from below.

However, after Teo had given Connor the green light, he was able to con sweet Miss Esther into his car. She gave him the once over, and they were off.

It was really fun to see Connor actually playing with a few of the other kids - though we could've done without the bruiser "Tristan". This was the most giant 2 year old I had ever seen (seriously, the kid could've knocked me down if he wanted) and he didn't mind throwing his weight around and at one point decided to follow Connor for a few minutes, shoving my little guy out of the way. His mom kept looking at me pleading "he really does understand sharing and taking turns" but I kept thinking - apparently not, but instead said "maybe he's having a tough morning". I was secretly glad, as I'm sure Connor was, when the bruiser left because that left mostly kids from the mom's group there - and they're a pretty peaceful group.

Based on some e-mails with friends in my mom's group, I'd been counting the number of words Connor uses when he talks to try and see if the notion that 5 words at a time is the max Connor could comprehend. Interestingly, Connor does give most of his commands in 5 or fewer words "Mommy, get the panda" - sometimes with a coerced "peas" at the end - particularly if I wait a few moments to respond or if I tell him "no". But when he's really excited about something, he'll string two or three sentences together with up to 12 words per sentence. For example, "Connor and Mommy are going in the maroon car to see Esther! Daddy stay home. ...". Wow! I had no idea until I started listening. And while Connor seems to be getting some sense of verb tenses, pronouns are not even close. When he wants to be carried, he still looks at me and says "Carry you" and sometimes it's pretty tricky because he'll refer to me as "me" instead of "you" so I forget and think he's wanting to do something himself. Most of the time, he still refers to himself as Connor. While Bob Dole-esque in nature, at least it's clear.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007


When I was in college, I used to think I wanted to be a politician - but those thoughts have long since faded, though Ed does vote for me whenever he has a chance to vote for Sheriff! (Thank you for your support.) One reason why I would not make a good politician is because I am horrible at remembering names. I used to blame it on the booze, but these past 2.5 years, I can't say there's been much of that - between being pregnant, nursing, and then pregnant again.

But Connor may just have a chance. On Sunday, we met some friends at a new playground. After swinging for longer than I have ever seen Connor swing, he decided to explore the play structure. As is often the case, Connor was reporting the events, as they happened. And I was amazed to see that even after only hearing the other kid's names a couple of times (once, in some cases) he was able to stand at the top of the structure and say "Elizabeth coming up, Eamon coming up, Zoe coming up, Scott coming up, Teo coming up..." identifying each child and sometimes their parent as they either began to ascend the stairs or stood close enough that Connor thought they might be coming up. Sometimes, I think he sucked my memory right out of me while I was breastfeeding him, a theory first introduced to me when I saw Sarah McLachlan in concert. Apparently it was put to good use, at least, so while I am left with a sieve for a memory, Connor's is quite fine tuned.

The other reason Connor could make a good politician is because, like my dad, he clearly knows how to fit in with "Joe Everyman", as seen below.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Standing in the shoes of Tony Gonzalez

I have always been amazed by the way professional football players can stand with their toes firmly planted in bounds, less than a centimeter from being out of bounds. They catch the ball and then fall, often on their faces, with their bodies completely straight, cradling the ball. They do not drop the ball. I don't quite understand how they train themselves to not take another step and avoid falling. I guess when you make a bazillion dollars staying in bounds, you figure it out. As a petite woman, I never thought I would have the chance to experience anything similar to this, and although it's a bummer I did have the opportunity, I guess it answered one of those questions that hang around in the back of my brain.

Two weeks ago Sunday, I was walking down the porch stairs headed to the library to get new books for Connor to drive the nanny crazy with in the upcoming week. I was in a hurry because I thought the library closed in a half hour. I scooped Connor up at the top of the stairs, and when I got to the bottom, I tripped. Only it wasn't one of those scuff your shoes and go on sort of trips, it was the real deal, falling in midair kind of trips. I realized immediately that I was not going to be able to stop the fall. I'm certain I called out for Ed - but he was at the top of the steps locking the door and had no shot to provide assistance. Instead, I fell. But somehow, as I lunged for the grass thinking that was the best place I could possibly fall (didn't quite make it), I managed to get my hand beneath Connor's head and twist my body, so that when we landed, both hands and knee got scraped up, my nose even got a tiny scratch, but other than being frightened, Connor was left unscathed. And, he wasn't even bothered that long because I guess falling down to him is so common, it probably doesn't seem all that bizarre that I would fall down too. Hopefully, the baby inside was also not jarred too much.

The only silver lining is that I think I now understand how football players do it. You don't think about minor issues affecting your own body, you just react.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Connor 2.0

Someone has taken my nearly perfect son who rarely sleeps and turned him into a nearly perfect son who sleeps. I'm trying very hard not to get used to it. If you see my old son, please let him know we're doing fine with the new version.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Month 21 Postscript

I forgot to mention - last Saturday, Ed caught sight of Connor's first molar, and I risked my fingertip to confirm its presence. Woohoo! Neither Ed nor I have any idea when it came in, but we're certainly delighted it did so.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy 21 month birthday!

Dear Connor,

Today, you turned 21 months old, your dad and I celebrated the 6th anniversary of our wedding, and tomorrow, I will turn 34 years old. Wow! That’s a lot to celebrate – and you’ve been up for it all.

For starters, on Thursday, you and your dad went to the grocery store and purchased a giant cookie inscribed “Happy Mother’s Day”. You were so excited that the first words out of your mouth when I came home from work were “Mommy, cookie!”, and while I thought there was a small chance you had come up with a new nickname for me, I was equally delighted that you had a giant cookie for me – pre-tasted, I might add! But don’t worry, Connor, you come by your desire to blab honestly. I also can’t keep secrets. On that same trip, your dad got an ice cream cake for my birthday and that was a lot of fun to eat tonight – and because the cookie was so amazing, it was actually a surprise.

On Friday night, we went to a fundraiser at the zoo. Thankfully, your Grandma on your dad’s side had sent you the most perfect safari outfit for Easter so you looked quite stylish among the other zoo kiddos. Amidst enjoying running around, playing a few games, eating some junk food, and climbing on construction equipment, you showed me the proper way to do the hula hoop. I have to tell you, Connor, this might be better than I can do, but your Aunt Linda has won hula hoop contests before. (And that, my friend, is the sole reason that she will be your guardian if something happens that your dad and I can't fulfill our role as parents.) You might consider asking her for a few tips before you attempt this feat again.

Naturally, we spent some time visiting the beloved meerkats, because no trip to the zoo is complete without that.

This month has been marked by your growing independence and continued use of complete sentences to communicate. Apparently the other day at the park, you met a 5 year old named Patrick and he and you were the best of friends. He apparently grabbed your hand and away you went to play – something you wouldn’t have considered a few months ago. Your imagination also seems to be growing. You often drop to all fours to play “little doggie” and you’re quite fast when you get going. Today, you played “rain storm” (which was actually sand storm) when another girl at the park suggested it.

You officially took over half of the basement. Your dad puchased you a very cool rug, converted an old table into a train table (my idea, but his labor), and we pulled a few other “over-flow” toys from upstairs to the new play area. Just keep your stuff on the rug, little man, and there shouldn’t be any problems. If I see you drawing beers off the tap, your toys are getting shoved back upstairs.

You also slept to at least 6 AM every day last week, which in some parent’s books might not be all that impressive, but in ours, it’s fabulous. Typically, you get us at least one morning a week – if not more, with a pre-6 AM wake-up and my friend, that is unacceptable. But, your dad purchased a “wake-up” light, and you’ve been instructed that you needn’t call for me until that light comes on. It’s on a timer, and so far, so good.

You received your first professional haircut and it went so smoothly, I’m almost sorry I didn’t take you sooner. Since then, it’s been a little humid and your hair has been curlier than ever. Your dad asked me today if I thought you would have curly hair forever and I had to remind him that it’s one of few features of yours that can be attributed to me, so I better not see him pulling out the straightening gel anytime soon.

You’ve become a bit more obsessive about neatness – and in general, I fully support this. But at times, it’s really inconvenient. I have finally convinced you (I think) that when you drop popcorn on the ground you don’t have to pick up every kernel because the birds like to eat it too. A few nights ago, you dropped your bottle at the dinner table and the meal had to come to a complete stop while I lunged for the wipe to “clean it up!” immediately. You were mesmerized and couldn’t even think about eating another bite until the offending drops of milk had been cleansed from the floor.

You also started eating a few meals each week, which is really helping your dad and I remain sane, for the most part. Two nights ago, you had trout, tomatoes, green beans, bread, and part of that giant cookie. I even followed this book’s advice by setting out the cookie with the meal and it worked! You ate it first, but then moved on to the rest of your food. Of course, I nearly had a hernia today when you decided that food was for the weak and I swear didn’t eat more than 5 bites after breakfast. Your dad reminded me that “super zen mommy”, my new feeding persona, wouldn’t be bothered by this behavior, so I let it go.

The belly button is clearly an impressive body part, and sometimes, we have to put you in a "man suit" just to protect the poor thing. Tonight though, you had a very good idea. We've been talking about how there's a very tiny baby in my tummy, and you peered very closely at my belly button and asked if you could see the baby. It's a good idea but no, you cannot see the baby through my belly button. Sorry. Just like everyone else, you'll have to wait a good number of months to see that little one. You believe it is a girl, like mommy, not a boy like you and daddy. I believe you are correct. Your dad has his doubts.

I'm a little worried that you're going to start losing faith in your dad's and my ability to solve all problems because on occasion, you've demanded "fix it" and we have really dropped the ball. For example, we were planting periwinkle one afternoon and you decided to pinch a worm in half. You gave me both pieces and requested "fix it" but I had to tell you that once a worm was in two pieces, there was nothing to be done about making it one piece again. Luckily, when you break the play-dough, your dad can magically put it back together.

And thanks to you, Connor, your dad and I now own a cellular telephone. We purchased it because we started to feel that though we are almost always reachable, it is possible that something will happen when we are at a concert and you - I mean, your babysitter - will need to get in touch with us. Woohoo! Go technology! Now we just have to remember to bring it with us and turn it on, which are not the simple feats you might imagine them to be.

Along with all the joy you bring me, you also bring me many dandelions each day, and I do believe you understand that they are the ONLY flowers that can be picked by your little hands.


Friday, May 11, 2007

First professional haircut

A couple of weeks ago, it became obvious to me that Connor needed to get a haircut. Not so much because I mind long-haired boys, but because the back was truly getting difficult to comb, which meant Connor was becoming less and less cooperative since he knew he might get a hair tug in the process. Then, I bathed him one night (usually Ed's job), and when his hair was wet, it became truly obvious how long his hair had become.

Connor's hair had gotten long enough, and tangled enough, that I knew it was time to call in a professional. I polled the playground ladies who had boys with curly hair to see where they got their sons' hair cut, and as it turns out, they all go to the same person - so I decided I would take Connor there too. I decided that the best chance I had of making this adventure successful was to hope Connor agreed to it, so for several days, I would come home and ask "Do you want to get your hair cut today?" and each time, Connor would respond "No, another day". Finally, on Monday, I decided it was time - so I tossed Connor in the car and drove over to the barber shop. Annie was just finishing up another guy, which ended up being a good thing because we could read books and check out the place for a few minutes. As soon as the guy got down from the chair, Connor sprung up from where he was seated and shouted "Connor's turn" and indeed, it was. He hopped on my lap, positioned himself so he could look out the window, and we proceeded to count the red cars, the buses, the birds, and pretty much anything else we saw more than one of while Annie worked her magic. $12 later - with no scary moments - Annie was done. Connor turned around to admire himself and noticed the popcorn machine. He promptly informed Annie "Connor want some popcorn", and Annie happily gave him a scoop. If you ask Connor if he got his hair cut, he will likely tell you about the popcorn. Thank you, Annie!

That night, Connor was determined to get the bubble pig that no longer blew bubbles to work. After several minutes of diligently turning it on and off (a feat I didn't actually know he could do since I've been doing it for him), bubbles emerged from the pig and laughter emerged from Connor. And to think, Ed and I were just going to toss it when Connor wasn't looking.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Two wishes...

If Connor could have two wishes, I'm quite certain he would wish for a bottle of milk, and easy access to his beloved belly button.

And if he could squeeze in a third, it would be a pony.