Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Neither do I bungee jump

While we were driving up to Maine, The Husband and I spotted a flying contraption. Yes, contraption. "Merlin's pants!*" I exclaimed, pointing at the contraption. "What the heck is that?" There seemed to be one person in the "cockpit" which was not enclosed in any way, and, to my untrained eye, appeared to be powered by pedals a la Leonardo da Vinci. The Husband, however, was familiar with the flying contraption in question and told me it was called an "ultralight trike" or something, and that it was a perfectly legitimate air vehicle**.

"Legitimate nothing!" I cried. "You would not catch me in one of those things! It's completely open! It doesn't have an INSIDE! I require an inside on any vehicle that will be transporting me through the air."

"Oh, come on," replied The Husband. "It's no worse than a hang glider."

A hang glider. Right. Good argument, The Husband. Because, of course, hang gliding is a perfectly reasonable pastime. I go hang gliding all the time. Why, I was just out hang gliding this morning.

Look, I'm sure that both hang gliding and the ultralight trike are thrilling. I bet it feels just like you're flying on your own without mechanical assistance. The sights, the sounds, the feel of the wind in your face... all wonderful I am sure. But that is only if you can get yourself past the blind terror of knowing that there is nothing but a few straps and buckles preventing you from experiencing the sights, sounds, and wind in your face caused by plummeting one thousand feet to the earth. And, given that I am the chicken who refused to go down a water slide for about five years after that one time when I was seven and I accidentally turned around backwards en route, I think that I will pass on the flying contraptions.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to put the training wheels back on my bike.

*The Husband and I are trying to clean up our language before Jack is old enough to start repeating things back to us, and I'm attempting to replace my naughty phrases with wizarding curses. The funny looks will all be worth it if we can get Jack to imitate these phrases.

**Apparently, this is one of those products that emits guy particles.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

These eyes!*

I don’t post pictures of Jack on this blog. This is because the internet, while fantastic, is full of scary, freaky people, and I have no way of filtering those people out. The unfortunate result of this is that you, my friendly blog audience don’t get to see how adorable Jack is, and I, your friendly blog author, don’t get to read all of the comments from you telling me how adorable Jack is.

So I have decided to share with you Jack’s best feature. Why, yes, I do get a lot of comments on his eyes! In fact, it has gotten to the point that if we meet someone new and that person does not admire his eyes, I feel vaguely insulted.

Wouldn’t you?

In other news, I am considering moving my blog to Wordpress. I either want to do that, or figure out how to change my Blogger template from this boring, standard one, but I have no idea how to do that. What do you guys think? Are there Blogger and Wordpress users out there? Has anyone used both? Which do you prefer? Also, if you have a Blogger account but use your own template, can you tell me how you did that?

*Shout out to The Doktah. THESE EYEEEES!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The boy (or mom) who cried, "Tooth!"

Remember those teeth I claimed were coming in? Twice? No sign of them yet. Unless, that is, you count crankiness, neediness, a slight fever, and very bad sleeping habits a sign of teeth. And maybe they are! I certainly hope they are. But the very best sign of teeth I could have right now would be an actual tooth, because I would be immensely relieved if there were a clear reason for the recent behavior. Especially for the poor sleeping behavior.

I have an easy, easy baby. I realize this. In fact, I often find myself thinking, "Man, I'm glad Jack doesn't do that," when I hear or read the horror stories moms tell about their crying, screaming, tantrum-throwing babies. Unfortunately, my comfortable smugness never lasts long, because I always follow up that thought with, "Moron! You mean you're glad Jack doesn't do that yet." It is true; Jack does not throw toys at my head, scream, "NO!" and fling himself on the floor, kicking and wailing. But he is only 9 months old. He doesn't yet have the coordination to throw toys at my head, scream, "NO!" or fling himself on the floor, kicking and wailing. He does have the wailing part down, though. He's been practicing.

So these past three or four days have been my first real wake-up call that Jack is not going to stay relaxed and easy forever and ever. We're going to have some tough times. I understand that molars won't come in till he's one? At any rate, today I am in a funk. I'm having one of those days where I'm lonely but I don't want to talk to anyone, it's too hot to go for a walk, Harry Potter is all done, and there are ninety more minutes till The Husband gets home to keep me company. I have therefore decided that instead of cleaning up the kitchen from lunch, I am going to make a list of the top ten things that are impressive, but only if a baby does them.

Top Ten Things That Are Impressive If Done By A Baby

1. Using hand gestures to reveal the fact that that thing up there, that ceiling fan thing? It goes 'round and 'round.

2. Using a similar hand gesture to explain that the washer and dryer also go 'round and 'round.

3. Possibly using a similar hand gesture to say goodbye, but then again, maybe just waving your arm around at random.

4. Asking for a book by pointing.

5. After five minutes of playing with a completely different toy, remembering that there is a decorative bird hanging from the china closet when someone says, "Tweet tweet!"

6. Snuggling your face into a blanket.

7. Drinking from a cup.*

8. Self-serve breastfeeding.

9. Rolling a plastic circle across the floor.

10. Discovering the Grand Unification Theory.**

*This would be even more impressive if it happened more than once.

**Technically, this would be impressive if done by anyone.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Done and done

Attention, Internet:

I have finished the book. You may commence discussion.

What? You mean people have already been discussing it? But I told you not to!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


At least, that's the spell I'd like to use on myself until I get a chance to finish HP7. The Husband and I got to go see Order of the Phoenix last Monday night*, and during the movie I realized that I have forgotten many things and must re-read HP6 before I can read HP7. I'm only a quarter of the way through it. (If I could hold it open with one hand, I'd be much farther along because I'd be able to read it while nursing, but such is life.)

So I'm asking the internet as a whole to please refrain from posting anything about the last book before I have time to finish it. That would be great, thanks.

*At first we couldn't find a babysitter, but then Father-in-law volunteered to drive to our house after work and sit for free while The Husband and I went to the movies with Leah Lar and D and then went for ice cream afterwards. Jack was awake when we left, asleep when we got home, and stayed asleep until 6 the next morning. It was AWESOME.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Things to look forward to

So as you are aware, or at least should be aware, I have a lot of nieces and nephews. (Jack, however, has no nieces or nephews, despite recent reports to the contrary.) And as you should be equally aware, they are pretty darn adorable. For example, while in Maine, I discovered that Elfin Nephew, 3.5 years old, has taken to channeling a Jewish mother. "Mama," he said at the table, "I am very hungry, but this corn is so hot!" Turns out he wanted some of those corn-on-the-cob shaped corn holders. At the next meal, he was heard to say, "Mama, do you see how low I am?" He wanted to sit in the old-fashioned high chair, you see.

His little sister, the two-year-old Spitfire, was doing some channeling of her own, but in her case she was copying her own mother. "Elfin Nephew, stop whining," she said.

"Spitfire," said her mom, "you mind your own business. You are not the boss of Elfin Nephew. If you tell him to stop whining again, you're going to get a time-out." Meanwhile, Elfin Nephew continued to whine.

"Mama, I just want to tell him, 'It's OK, Elfin Nephew, it's OK.' Can I just tell him it's OK?" asked The Spitfire. She got permission, and then turned to Elfin Nephew. "Elfin Nephew, stop whining." Into time-out she went.

I will leave you with another heart-melter. The five-year-old Charmer said to his mother yesterday, "Mommy, sometimes I feel like you love me so much, I get heart bubbles."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Non sequitur

This is a bit out of left field, but I just felt the need to tell the world that I cannot believe that "bling" has become an acceptable word for non-ironic use. It reminds me of how I used to jokingly give people a thumbs-up which slowly transitioned from being an ironic hand gesture into a way for me to genuinely tell people I thought something was well done. It had just become a habit! And while an ironic thumbs-up does not detract from a person's cool quotient, an earnest one most certainly does.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vacation, had to get away!

A couple of months ago, I signed up for weekly newsletters from BabyCenter.com. They often provide helpful quick tips targeted for moms with babies exactly Jack's age. Just yesterday, in fact, I learned that eight-month-olds like to play tug of war, and it turns out they are right! Since that is not a game I would have thought to play, I have to hand it to BabyCenter.com.

Nevertheless, sometimes BabyCenter.com thinks I am a complete moron. For example, at the start of the summer travel season, there was an article on "Seven secrets to successful travel with a young child." Seeing as how The Husband and I were planning a trip to Maine, I clicked on the link to learn these seven mysterious secrets that would make my life easier. Except as it turned out, they weren't particularly mysterious after all. Take secret number 2: "Pick a family-friendly destination." Really? A family-friendly destination? Not a couples' resort? Not a hike through the rain forest? You don't say.

The final "secret" was to take practice trips; that is to say, start out with a short one or two night trip to see how your kid travels before you head across the country for three weeks. Once again, this seemed obvious to me, and is actually what we were already planning. My sister had invited us up to her family beach cottage in Maine, and we went for one night. This past Sunday night, in fact. We had been slightly anxious about how Jack would do sleeping in a strange place, but we needed to get the heck out of our house for a while, and a beach house complete with free babysitters in the form of cousins seemed perfect to us.

Our plan was to drive up during Jack's morning nap, but of course we couldn't pack everything he needed until Sunday morning because he was still using a lot of it on Saturday night. This meant that we had to use Jack's two hours between his getting up and his going down for his first nap to feed him, dress him, pack all his stuff, and get all the stuff to the car. Oh, and The Husband also had to go to Home Depot to buy brackets or some such for the new porch railings we had to put in on the downstairs apartment. (These railings need to be painted, by the by. Someone kill me.)

Do you realize how much stuff babies need? Even for one night? The Husband and I had one suitcase between us; Jack had a suitcase of clothes and diapers, a suitcase of blankets, toys, and books, a Pack 'n' Play, a booster seat, and a bag of groceries. And we still managed to forget some stuff.

Happily, the trip was fun. Not as relaxing as a trip without a baby, but Jack napped just fine in the afternoon and went to bed without complaint. He did wake up again when The Husband and I went to bed four hours later and he naturally had a leak. That was when we discovered that we forgot to bring extra overnight stuffers for our diapers and we that had only brought one pair of pj's. But eventually he went back to sleep and we did well until morning.

Unhappily, Jack woke up at 5:00, the worst possible time for a baby to wake up. At 5:00, the baby has had lots of sleep, so he is less tired and takes longer to go back to sleep, if he ever does. You know what doesn't help matters? Moronic parents. Because a travel tip that BabyCenter.com left out was that if your normally contented baby is crying and fussing after 6 hours in the same diaper, his diaper just might need to be changed. I tried to get Jack back to sleep for an hour, and The Husband and simply I could not understand what could be wrong! "What is the matter, Jack?" we kept saying. "Just go to sleep! Why won't you go to sleep? We can see you are tired! What could possibly be making you uncomfortable? WHAT COULD IT BE?" Eventually, The Husband got up to take Jack away somewhere and give me another twenty minutes or so, and lo and behold, he had leaked through again. And was also poopy.

But still, Jack - and therefore we - had a great time. The weather cleared for an hour or two on Monday, allowing us to go to the beach. Although we put Jack in his retro bathing suit for the sheer adorableness of it, neither The Husband nor I wore our bathing suits. This is because the water in Maine is cold. Very very cold. Bone-chillingly, painfully cold, and we are getting older. Besides, we figured we would only be able to stay at the beach for an hour or so before Jack got hungry for lunch.

Of course, I neglected to consider that Jack would try to eat sand for lunch. And then, after tasting it the first time, try to keep eating it. In fact, we spent a lot of time this weekend fishing foreign items out of Jack's mouth. One in particular that he was loathe to relinquish turned out to be a mysterious black slimy thing that we didn't even want to think about until someone realized it must have been a piece of Oreo dropped by his two-year-old niece. Hey, I would also be mad if someone held me down and took the Oreo out of my mouth.

But all in all, it was a successful "practice trip." We now know that Jack will sleep in the Pack 'n' Play in a strange house and that we should always bring extra pajamas. We know that sand and Oreos are equally delicious and that it is not possible to stay clean at the beach with a mobile infant.

Oh, and we know that sometimes, he needs his diaper changed.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Signs you're getting older

1. Bridal shower gifts are no longer dull; in fact, you sort of covet those hand towels.
2. You know what wainscoting is.
3. You care what wainscoting is.
4. You really wish you had wainscoting in your kitchen.
5. Conversations about mulch are now interesting.
6. As are conversations about wainscoting.
7. After falling down the stairs and skinning your knee, you find that your entire body is sore and achy, not just your knee.
8. You think staying up till 11:00 is crazy.
9. Kids you used to babysit are getting married.
10. Married, people! You remember when they were BORN.
11. You no longer want to go swimming if the water is too cold.
12. Although you can still sit on the floor with your legs bent under you, you really really wish you hadn't when you try to stand up.
13. All you ask for in life - besides wainscoting - is to get your hardwood floors refinished.
14. And to get the rest of your woodwork painted.
15. And your yard landscaped.
16. With mulch.