Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Connor has a way of remembering things that don't make a big impression on anyone else. A couple of days ago, when my parents were visiting, he wanted to go play golf with them. On the way to the mini golf course, he told me "Connor goin' to have the tiger ball!", and indeed, when we played mini golf with my family in Missouri last month, he did have a tiger striped ball. Sadly, no such balls existed at our local course.

He's also been employing his memory in the recall of songs and stories. A couple of months ago we checked out Goldilocks from the library. It was a particularly bad version (poor grammar, hideous illustrations) but regularly, Connor tries to bring it home again. I keep putting it back on the shelf before we leave because I can't stand the thought of it being in my house again. But alas, Connor has enlisted his nanny in the fight to bring Goldilocks back by telling her he needed it from the library, which prompted her to tell me, and for the last few days he's requested it. This afternoon, we will go to the library and hopefully find a version we can both live with. He'll also start singing "Da wheels on da bus" and he has two books that if you push a button, a song plays, so he'll open those up, push the button, and start chanting the words.

This morning though, he looked at me and said "gamma and gampa fly home on de big airplane"..."gamma goin to send Connor candy in da mail". My mom mentioned this one day when he had a pack of Smarties, and clearly the boy has not forgotten.

I think it's safe to say his memory already exceeds his daddy's, and it won't be long until it exceeds his mommy's as well.


PS: Sorry about the lack of photos. I failed to take out my camera this weekend - and on Sunday night, I set my laptop on top of a high shelf and moments later, watched it plunge to its death. Thankfully, a friend browbeat Ed and I into purchasing the super-deluxe warranty package, so in two weeks time I will have a new laptop. Even more thankfully, Ed backed up the computer a few weeks ago, so even if there is damage to my hard drive, I won't lose that much.

Friday, July 20, 2007

He's fine...

We went to the pediatrician yesterday. I arrived late, which meant no wait (bonus!) and my pediatrician was super nice. She was much more worried about the excessive milk consumption of the past few weeks, months? I can hardly remember how long it's been, than she was about the sudden drop. She was worried that he might have anemia from all the milk, but he passed the test - woohoo! His iron levels are on the low side of normal - but higher than when he was last tested. Connor liked the band-aid that had a pussy cat on it. She also warned that at some point, he might decide he would only eat one food item for an entire week, and while this would be equally alarming, unless I felt he was sick, I shouldn't let it bother me. Being a very brave soul, she looked inside his mouth and as it turns out, Connor has 4 more teeth coming in.

Because it was the end of the day, and there were no other patients around, I got to chat with my pediatrician a bit while Connor busied himself with playing in the play area and we were waiting for the results of the iron test. It was really nice - and definitely made me happy about switching to her as Connor's primary pediatrician. We had a laid back conversation about diet, and discipline, and home births, and health care in general. Inspired by the movie SICKO and the fact that house calls are a regular part of a doctor's world in France (who she strongly believes has a superior health care system than we do here in the US) she said she would love to come to my home to visit the baby when she arrives, rather than having me bring her into the office. Typically, pediatricians made rounds at the hospital for new clients, but I had to bring Connor into the office when he was 3 days old, and back again when he was 1 week old since we were never in the hospital. Only possible glitch in the plan is that my pediatrician only works 1.5 days per week. She said she would talk to Dr. G (my former pediatrician) and see if she could convince him to do a house call if he was on duty. So now, besides desperately hoping this baby arrives early and makes the school cut-off of September 30, I'm also hoping she comes on Friday - which means my new target birth date is September 28. That's not asking too much, is it?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Milk Strike

Up until two days ago, Connor was the champion of milk drinkers. He may not eat, but the boy can drink (taking after his father, I might add, who can be the champion of drinking other things that come in a bottle). Connor was going through more than 2 gallons of whole milk - in a week. For reference, a bottle for Connor is 4-6 ounces. Two gallons of milk is 256 ounces, or about 36 ounces per milk, per day. For a while, I was getting really concerned about all the milk consumption, but Ed and I both figured that it's high fat (a good thing for our skinny child), so as long as we make sure what little food he does eat has iron in it, he's probably going to get everything he needs. And hey, it probably is the most efficient way for him to get the necessary calories - at least until he has more teeth. And don't think for a minute we were the source of all this milk drinking. We never offered Connor a bottle, instead, we waited for him to ask for one.

But two days ago Connor went on a milk strike. On Monday, he refused to drink his bottle at bedtime. Instead, he acted like he was drinking it, demanded a second bottle, but the first hadn't been touched. Thinking something was wrong with the milk or bottle, I tested both, and didn't notice anything obvious. I got him another bottle from the refrigerator, poured from a different milk container - just in case the gallon I had poured the first from was somehow "off-tasting" to Connor. It didn't help. He had an enormous amount of milk earlier in the day so I didn't think much of it.

Tuesday, the milk strike continued. In total, he drank about 12 ounces. He did not have his morning bottle (which is sometimes two bottles) nor did he have any milk at the baseball game or in the car home from the baseball game (when I would've expected him to have at least 3 bottles). Wednesday, same story.

So...now it's Thursday and I'm wondering when I should panic? He has had no milk since Ed came home from work at 4:00 yesterday. Should I just be happy that Connor is getting down to the recommended amount of milk each day - even though he doesn't appear to be consuming more food? Should I be grateful that he seems to have kicked the night time bottle and goes to sleep without it? What does it mean when he asks for a bottle but then only drinks a couple of sips and asks me to get another one? We have now tried three separate containers of milk. We're getting nervous around here. (And just after I was so excited when I weighed him the other day and it seemed as if he was going to easily stay on the weight charts for his 2 year appointment next month.) I should note that Connor still looks and acts fine, though he was a bit crabby this morning and the news that we didn't have any papers to cook the muffins in made him burst into tears. Really, Connor, it's OK to put the batter directly into the pan.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happy 23 Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

Today, you turned 23 months old, which means in only one short month you will be two. Now that will be a milestone to celebrate – and we will definitely par-tay with your cousins! I’m breaking out the cotton candy machine for this event – a machine you’ve never before witnessed in action. I have hidden this machine from your cousins only because I didn’t want your Aunt and Uncle to have a heart attack when I pulled it out. But now I have an actual reason to bust out the machine, and it’s going to be great.

This month, you spent a lot of time showing your dad and me that you know all about opposites. You started out the month telling us “no” just as a matter of course, to whatever we asked. Unless we tried to get clever and reverse the sentence, as in “Do you want to stay up late?” and then you would happily reply “Connor wan’ to stay up late”. By the end of the month, you had reintroduced the word “yes” into your vocabulary and were using it quite often, but decided that you would say the opposite of everything else we said. For example, if I say “Connor, please get in the car” you will repeat back “Connor, please get out of the car” without missing a beat.

You are now officially in your “new, big room”, which was formerly the playroom. Your dad and you installed shelves in the closet (you got to run the cordless drill!) so we were able to stash many of your toys in there. We even put the whole bed together so now rather than camping out on a mattress on the floor as if you are a refugee in your own home, you look as if you’re actually planning to stay a while. You can’t quite climb up on the bed unassisted, so we pushed your toybox close enough to the bed that you don’t have to be a performer in Cirque du Soleil to climb up on it and jump to your bed. Getting off your bed poses no troubles, and on Saturday morning you tested that by going to the kitchen and calling downstairs for your daddy at 5:20 AM. The words “Daddy, Daddy” have never sounded so sweet, as it made your dad feel completely obligated to go fetch you and allowed me to stay in bed guilt-free. Normally, you come straight into my room and look me in the eye demanding a bottle, but apparently you knew you were up in the middle of the night and you figured your daddy was still down in the basement partying like he does every night after you go to bed. Your dad wisely got out of bed and took you back to your bed and tried to sleep with you until the wake-up light turned on. You hung out with him for a bit, and then came and hung out with me – and you snuggled up and really did give going back to sleep the old college try (though ultimately failed), but you didn’t get up for good until AFTER the magical light came on at 6:00, so you get points for that. Sunday, you made it in your room until after 6:00.

You took it easy on us this past weekend. Normally, naps are just a complete disaster around us. You complain about having to take one, you insist your dad or I sleep with you, and sometimes you just flat out refuse to sleep, even though you are exhausted. The only sure way to get you to sleep is to go on a car ride, but then the nap only lasts about 45 minutes, and if we try to move you from the car to your bed, you wake up and refuse to go back to sleep, on top of seeming angry that someone woke you. Two weekends ago, you took a short car nap but by 4:00 in the afternoon, it was clear you needed more sleep. But, naturally, you refused, so we decided to go swimming and cross our fingers that we could get you into bed earlier than usual. I started to drive to the swimming pool and within two blocks you were completely asleep. Two blocks, Connor. It takes most people two blocks to get comfortable in the car and you acted as if someone had just landed the final punch in a heavyweight boxing match. It was very difficult for your dad and me not to scream when this happened. But this past weekend, Connor, was totally different. On both Saturday and Sunday, you simply told us “Connor wan’ a bottle in da big, tall bed” and you promptly got in bed and fell asleep. That rocked. It allowed us to actually catch up on work around the house while you slept so we could play even more with you when you were awake. I think it was a win-win for everyone, except I did sort of miss having an excuse to take a nap.

You are incredibly close to being able to jump, and I do believe you accomplished the feat twice on Sunday while imitating the golden tamarinds at the z-o-o. (A couple of weeks ago, our friend Scott thought he was talking in code to your dad when he asked if you would be up for a trip to the z-o-o and your dad had to inform him that you can already spell zoo, so he wasn’t tricking anyone.) And that wasn’t the only exciting thing that happened in the small mammal house. We went up to the shrew cage – excuse me – the elephant shrew as you were so quick to correct me when I had called it a boring old “shrew” – and the elephant shrew charged at the glass, and this startled you, and you were not going to take any chances so you quickly put me between you and the dangerous elephant shrew. Your dad and I both told you that the elephant shrew couldn’t get you (well, actually, your dad tried to trick you into putting extra sunscreen on by saying that it kept the animals away from you, but I rolled my eyes and busted your dad for that lie and told you it only kept the sun from hurting your skin because frankly, I don’t want to relive the great elephant shrew near attack every time I pull out the sunblock, plus I don’t even think this passed the two year old laugh test for reasonable). For the remainder of your time in the small mammal house, you would walk up to an animal and then repeat “animals can’t get Connor” over and over as if you were trying to convince yourself it was true. You were definitely skeptical and kept your eyes peeled for any strange movements. But really, that excitement was nothing like last week when we met Teo at the zoo. In the large mammal house, two gorillas were having sex or “wrestling” as all the other parents kept telling their innocent children, and watching that kept your attention for quite a while.

You taught your dad and me that saying something even once is enough to imbed it into your vocabulary. When you use the potty chair, you are instructed to tuck your penis in because I do not want to be cleaning up pee all over. One night, your dad flippantly told you to tuck your wiener in, and this was terribly funny to you – so funny that you now refer to your penis as your wiener dog. Thanks, Dad. Always one to see the bright side, Daddy is looking forward to the next time he sees a wiener dog with you around and you refer to it as a penis dog.

You’re coming to realize that maybe your dad and I aren’t as funny as we think we are, but we love the laughs. On one car trip this month, you spent the whole ride in the backseat practicing your laugh. Later that day, when your dad was home, you used your new laugh. Next month, I suspect you’ll practice your belching and farting because what man can get by without those skills?

In this house, we play to our strengths, and that means your dad does the grocery shopping. You used to go with him, but ever since you realized that you can take stuff off the shelf and put it in the cart, the trip has required a bit more supervision. Sometimes, we go to a store that has a shopping cart with a two-seater car on the front – with two steering wheels, two doors that open and close, and two horns. Driving this thing is akin to driving an 18-wheeler down a bike path. Your dad gives us a limited number of items to acquire, while he runs around and does the majority of the shopping, checking in with us and filling up the cart. At each item on our list, you wait for me to stop the cart, you open the door, exit, close the door, acquire the item (and anything nearby that looks particularly good), toss it in the cart, open the door, sit down, and close the door. This is not the fastest way to get through a grocery store, but it’s the most fun! Of course, sometimes you take it a bit too far. For example, the milk and eggs are within arm’s reach of each other, but you insisted on getting back in the cart and driving to the milk rather than taking the energy to walk there – all of two steps – after we had gotten the eggs. You’re a very precious little guy, Connor, but this was a bit ridiculous for even me.

You’ve also decided that sitting in the backseat of the car is for the birds. One day, you promptly climbed right into the passenger seat and I said “dude, you need to sit in the back” and you looked up and me and said with all seriousness “dude, Connor need to sit in da front”, which at least allowed you to sit there until your dad and I stopped laughing. You buckle your own car seat belt and stroller belt, you climb up to your booster seat on your own for meals, and you try to comb your hair on your own – because, after all, you are almost two. You’re either getting taller, or stretchier, or both, because you can now acquire many items off the kitchen countertops that were previously out of reach. You also taught yourself how to unlatch the dishwasher so your dad had to explain about the lights and the hot water inside. Sometimes, you pick out your own clothes and the combinations are groovy!

You started swimming lessons and “Mama J” is actually trying to teach you some skills. So far, you have mastered safe entry and safe exit, will tolerate floating on your front with a parent’s arms supporting you but you are not about to relax on your back with a parent’s arms supporting you for very long – unless your very clever daddy puts Elmo on your tummy. I forced your dad to make a pact with me that he would never, no matter what, do that thing where the parent stands 10 feet away from the kid and asks the kid to swim to him, and then when the kid is almost there, keeps backing up and then acts all proud when the kid makes it the length of the pool. I know we’re a few years away from that, but that is my singular worst swimming memory ever and if a teacher ever tells me to do that I’m going to tell that teacher to stick it up his/her rear and I had to make sure your dad would do the same.

Your energy level constantly amazes your dad and me. It doesn’t seem possible that one person could find so many things so much fun. We both love it when you look up and run screaming around with excitement for no apparent reason except – you can! We’re looking forward to many more fun adventures and can’t wait to whoop it up with you next month!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Making the most of the long days

This afternoon, Connor and I went to a JW Tumbles class on a “free trial” basis. This is the third such class we’ve attended. I’m assuming at some point they’ll actually make me pay for my free trial class – but so far, so good. The class has some fun components, but it’s expensive and not really our style. For one thing, despite all this fun equipment being scattered on the sides of the room, the first 15 minutes of class are consumed with singing songs and stretching, and other random group activities. Since Connor has been asking to go to yoga with me, I told him the stretching part was like yoga and he looked at me like I was nuts to go there. Next, the leader teaches a “skill”, which in today’s case meant flipping Connor over as if he were performing a somersault, and after Connor ran back to the shoe cubby and had a few jelly beans, he enjoyed the somersault. Then it’s free play time, and that’s actually pretty fun, because you get to run around and play with whatever you want. The leaders bring out different toys to play on, and at one point they brought out a “roller coaster” which is a little car that goes down a ramp with a couple of bumps, and that was cool enough that Connor actually waited in line for his turn - twice.

Connor also tried the monkey bars, and he did manage to hang on to the first rung under his own power. Ed and I have noticed that he’s gotten a lot stronger lately, but I didn’t think he had a chance at performing this feat. When the leader told him to move one hand to the next rung, he looked at her as if she was insane, and I said "that sounds like crazy talk, doesn't it?" and thus ended his time on the monkey bars. Then we went back into a circle and the leader announced it was “separation time” and invited the parents to move out of the circle and watch their kids interact with the others. Connor is perfectly happy to explore on his own, but we don’t do “separation time”. Particularly when it means Connor goes into a little ball pit with a girl that was much bigger than him who promptly attempted to shove him out. I told “Sage” to stop pushing that it wasn’t nice. I can’t say if Sage’s mom was silently condoning the ferocity of her child or if she didn’t see the maneuver that was worthy of the WWF. In any case, she sat idly by. Ed's comment when I related the scene to him was "kids are jerks". We don't have an explanation for why Connor doesn't push back and I don't think I've ever seen him initiate a shoving match, though I have seen him try and steal a toy from another kid a few times. But every time he is shoved, he promptly comes and gets me so that there is a monitor on hand should he get shoved again. Since Connor was one of the younger ones in the class, when he did light up and go running toward a little car to ride on, some other kid got there first, which sort of bummed him out. Because, after all, if Connor wanted it, the car must be pretty cool. It was fun to go because I was exhausted, the weather was bad, and this was a nice indoor activity that Connor could participate in and get out lots of energy. He enjoyed climbing up into a little pirate ship and climbing a ladder to the “attic” and then sliding down.

Since Connor has moved his bedtime to 8:30, rather than 8:00, we had time for a stroller ride after dinner before bath. We were going to visit “the rocks”, but once he got seated, Connor decided he wanted to go to the park. So off we went. Ed revived an old favorite game of sliding Connor down some bars and Connor and I hung out on the slide.

Isn't summer fabulous?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Almost tasting victory

My dad has an amazing garden. Ed and I have a pathetic garden. This year, I thought things might be different because Connor is quite diligent at watering every night. And, for a while, things were looking pretty good. But then, Connor and I started doing other things after I got home in the afternoon, so the watering took a backseat. However, I never stopped watering the hydroponic system that holds two tomato plants. So this year, I can proudly announce that I have the FIRST of the family tomatoes that was ready to eat. I called my mom to break the news to her so that she could find a gentle way to tell my dad that this year – he is the LOSER in the first large tomato of the year contest. Sadly, by the time Ed picked the tomato later that day, it seems a bird had already decided it was time to eat that tomato. Guess this means my dad still has a chance to win the first family home-grown tomato actually eaten by the grower. Sigh.


Monday, July 2, 2007

The Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog

"Connor and I need motorized powerboats."
"You can have motorized powerboats when I get a swimming pool."

flipping through more pages

"Did you notice this? It's a remote controlled pool skimmer. ... Of course, if I were in charge, I would just get a trained seal."
"Would that go with the trained goat you want to get so you don't have to mow the lawn anymore?"

"Maybe instead we'll just stick with taking Connor to the playground / sprayground."