Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was warm enough to go coatless and the city seemed to be enveloped in one large serene smile. It was a day that made me long for summer.

Today I faced suburbia for the first time with open eyes. There it was, in front of me, all around me: beautiful homes with manicured lawns, streets wide enough for parents to feel safe with their kids riding their bikes, even sidewalks filled with joggers, backyards with fruit trees and wide decks, basketball hoops at the end of cul-de-sacs. The beautiful neighborhoods were just down the street from great schools and decent daycare. Parks with strangely immaculate playgrounds were everywhere. People seemed to be smiling. I even saw a few non-Caucasions :)

Today, with the sunroof open, maps and Sunday paper in hand, Boo sleeping in his car seat, we set forth to venture to new neighborhoods in search of a new house. This is a weekend ritual we've done before in weekends past, but today was different. Today, today, today - I realized that I need to set aside my pride, my reliance on delivered dinners on lazy nights, my stupid ego, and really put Boo's needs first.

We need a bigger house. We need a better house. We need a house with a big carpeted room for Boo to roam about and throw his toys at will. We need a house in a neighborhood with wide, well-lit streets and nice, even sidewalks everywhere. We need a house built in an era that understood the need for real closets and adequate storage space throughout. We need a house in a good school district. We need a house for Boo. Our house, as beautiful as it is, as roomy as it is for A and I and the two dogs, as perfect as it is for a house in the city - it is not the right house for us plus two dogs plus Boo.

Today I saw where our future needs to be, and I realize it's probably not in the city anymore. And today, for the first time, I am ok with that. We went to an open house for a gorgeous home - 3bd, 3 ba, office with french doors, bonus room, 3 car garage, formal dining room, living room, family room, gourmet kitchen, large master bath with large walk-in closet, utility room, huge deck, large fenced yard with fruit trees and well-maintained lawn. The neighborhood was perfect. The house was about 20 minutes out of the city with just a tad bit of traffic.

If we wanted the same kind of house in the city, we would have to pay $100-$200,000 more that what this house cost. It's insane! And the neighborhood would not be so nice. And the schools would not be as good. And the house would not be in as good of shape.

Today reality bit me in the ass and made me realize my need to find a house in the city is ridiculous, and purely selfish. It's like the Sex in the City episode where Miranda finally agrees to see a house in Brooklyn though she swears she'll never leave Manhattan. But she does. And so may we.

Who knows - we may end up finding the perfect house in the city. But in the event that we do not, I think I've finally made peace with the idea of packing it up and heading to suburbia. Man, the times, they are a changing.


Brewpubs & Boo

I've written about how happy hours are different these days, being a new mom (a title I will carry, by the way, for the next 18 years). Now I get it. It's not just that they don't happen as often as they used to. It's not just that I have to plan more in advance to make them.

Where I live, in the beer capital of America, where there are more microbreweries per capita than anywhere else in the country, moms and dads are allowed to indulge in happy hour at their favorite brewpub without worrying about booking a babysitter. That's right: here we love our kick-ass beers so much that we open up the institutions that brew up the hoppy goodness to our beloved children (whom, of course, we love more than the beer). Microbreweries are smoke-free here, and unlike the pub food I have had to grudgingly endure at breweries in other parts of the country, the food at the brewpubs here is quite tasty and as innovative as many restaurants.

Happy hours are generally from 3 - 6 pm and then 9:30 to close in most bars and restaurants in town. This afternoon, we met some friends at a local brewpub that is especially known for being kid-friendly. We arrived around 4:30, ordered some cheap-o $2.50 microbrews (they have award-winning beers here, but most places in the city can boast similar statements) as well as some under-$5 burgers and fries. The scene at 4:30 is a normal Northwest beer scene. Lots of wood tables (promptly wiped clean by Type-A, newly-discovered-germ-freak mom - AKA, me). Glasses filled with beers running the pale-to-stout spectrum. Plates of garlic rosemary fries, ribs, salmon sandwiches, salads with local organic produce. Couples in their thirties with kids, older-former-hippies-turned-dot-com-money-makers, thirty-somethings without kids wanting to take advantage of the happy hour menu. In the corner, next to a big glass wall looking down upon the big beer-making vats, is a manageable-sized play area for kids.

You can take kids almost anywhere in this city, and some of my friends who have never been here blink twice and furrow brows when I tell them we take Boo to brewpubs often. Yet it's a part of life here, and one of the reasons we find it hard to think of moving elsewhere sometimes (really, no offense to any other cities, but our beer -both in selection and in quality - kicks your beer's ass by far).

By 5:30, however, the place is packed. Swarming with people, most armed with a tot under age 10. Even we parents get overwhelmed by all of the babies and kids after a while. It's loud, and Boo's chatter or sudden shrieks blend right in with the general buzz of the place.

We don't go to see-and-be-seen bars for happy hour anymore, and we don't go to happy hours at our favorite higher end restaurants anymore either. As well-behaved as Boo is when we go out, there are still some inappropriate circumstances. But I love that the city has found a way for parents to still feel like somewhat hip and not-so-old people by keeping the numerous brewpubs low key, casual, and family-friendly. A place we can dish about politics, fashion, movies, relationships and work with our kids by our sides. Where we can feed baby a bottle with one hand and sip a refreshing locally-brewed amber ale in the other.


Ha ha ha

When do we begin to monitor our laugh-o-meter? At what age do we start carefully measuring how much laughter escapes from our lips after assessing the appropriateness of said reaction?

Today, Boo suddenly just laughed out loud - the greatest laugh in the world - after watching our youngest dog chase after her chew toy that she kept dropping on the floor. Boo had been intently watching the dog's circus-like antics and just suddenly let out a wonderful whole hearted bellowing laugh. It was the best part of my day. I play that moment over and over in my mind, and I am in heaven.

This wasn't the first time he had done that. He laughs all day long at funny faces, peek-a-boo, silly noises. He loves to smile and giggles with his whole body. For some reason, that moment today just filled my heart more than ever before, and I really realized how lucky we are to have each other and to enjoy each other's laughter whenever possible.

Children laugh all the time. Even when we boring adults deem the situation inappropriate for laughter. We don't laugh nearly as much as I am sure we all used to. At work, we monitor our laughter to make sure it doesn't carry or disturb others. Who the hell cares?! I LOVE laughing! And I hope we provide Boo an environment in which he feels comfortable laughing out loud whenever, and wherever, he can.

I love Boo's laugh. It is the greatest sound in the whole world (Oh, along with when he looks at me and he says "Mm-moom...mom...mama." I love that!!!). Let us all laugh out loud as much as possible.


My boys

I love my boys. A and Boo. What an amazing life, to have two wonderful, loving, fun, adventurous, silly silly boys in my life.

This sleep training stuff is awesome. Boo has been going to bed so well since we really started getting serious about a solid routine. He's so sweet - he just rolls over after we put him in his crib, hugs Ducky, and drifts to sleep within a few minutes. Even just now, the dogs started barking at something outside. When I checked on Boo, he was laying there with his eyes open, and when I left the room, he let out a single cry, and I haven't heard a peep since.

Tonight A is hanging out with The Boys for poker night. I am glad he has poker night with the guys. Deep down, I've always been a bit of a loner, and I truly value my alone time. I need my alone time. I love my husband more than the world, but alone time helps me refocus, I think. It's good for A too. I'm glad he has a fun night out with the guys.

A and I spend all of our time together almost. We love just hanging out. We've been together for just over 11 years now, and best friend/husband/wife doesn't even begin to describe our relationship. I think part of the reason it works so well (besides that we love each other to the moon and back and spend 80% of our time together just being silly) is that we also each understand the value and importance of having our own time too. It's a wonderful feeling of respect and understanding that we share. I feel very, very lucky. Two of the best boys in the world, and they're mine :)


No Damn Dime Day/I'm Damn Old Day

I made it! Well...almost...in a way...ok, not really. I failed you, my fellow anti-Bush pals. I came very close though. I didn't spend a damn dime in protest all day. That is, until around 9pm. But that's midnight on the East Coast, so as I handed over my card to pay for gas (damn bells and neon refuel lights shouting "REFUEL!"), I rationalized that in a way, I made it all day in protest. But then I needed to buy formula, and while I was there realized we needed a few other items. And then I needed to buy dinner. I left work at 8 pm and I left hungry.

So, I am not very good at even a simple act of protest as No Damn Dime Day. I really tried! Bush spent a little bit more than I did, though, attending 10 different black tie affairs tonight. Bastard. Locally, there were three main organized protests, all pretty large, and they were pretty damn peaceful. It was interesting.

On another note, a 16-pound baby was just on TV. Sound normal? This baby was just two days old! Oy vey, that poor mother. They say God makes babies to fit their mommies, but is there really a woman who is physically suitable to give birth to a 16-pound baby?

So back to No Damn Dime Day. Tonight also made it I'm Damn Old Day. Driving home from work I felt like it was SO late. It wasn't really, but I felt a weird sense of exhiliration being out driving around at 9, like it was a wild and crazy idea or something. I am SO old.

Then I remembered that after Boo was born A and I used to be out driving around late at night - in hopes of getting him to stop crying. We'd be out at 10 pm, sometimes 12:30 am, sometimes 2 or 3 am. I think we only did that a handful of times, but how did we make it at work the following day? Oh that's right - we were both off work during that period. Don't know if I could do it now. Well, I guess I'd have to.

It's 10 p.m. I'm so tired. I'm so old.


Shop, Shop, Shop

Shop, shop, shop. I love shopping. There's no fighting it, this mama loves a good deal. Sometimes I think that on the long list of reasons to keep my job is to help me selfishly afford pretty things. I just love pretty things. Handbags, shoes, cards, sweaters, necklaces, photo albums, journals, paper. I am a pretty paper fiend. Having a baby has definitely not curbed my shopping habit. At least I have an aversion to buying things full price; this mama is a deal finder. The exception: baby items (other than clothing - we won't spend a lot on his clothes). We pay full price for gear if we need it instead of going for just what's on sale. With Boo's stuff, we don't compromise.

January sales are like no other. This is the time to buy, ladies. And buy, I shall. In fact, I just bought an awesome red croc overnight bag I've had my eye on since it was first released in November. I am excited to break it in on an upcoming trip to San Fran. It's beautiful. And it was half off. Even more lovely.

Shoes are another issue. I have been searching for new shoes for the past five months. No kidding. Brown boots, brown and sky blue cute pumps, ribbon pumps, sassy pink boots. Every time I find a pair I love, I find out they no longer have my size or they are completely out of stock of that style. Go figure. I really want new shoes. Do I need them? Mmm...yes. I think I do :-) Sometimes my rationale is that I work in a creative atmosphere where I am surrounded by people who really are pretty put together and we tend to talk about clothes and shoes and handbags a lot at work...so I need to be put together for work, right? I'm representing a lot of people, so....I think that means new shoes are a necessity!

Now to be fair, I love spending money on Boo even more than on myself. Shoe shopping for babies is just as fun. Love the Robeez. If anyone has a new pair of red monkey Robeez in 12-18 months, please let me know. They're never in stock in any of the stores, and we just keep putting off buying them online. The lions are cute too. He has the puppies in light blue.

Shopping for gifts is fun as well. Many birthdays to celebrate this month - eight total within our group of friends and family. It's getting harder to shop for some friends though. I wish everyone would create online wish lists and keep them updated year-round. My immediately family does, and a few of my friends do, and it's so helpful. Although all I personally want this year are gift certificates to my fave paper stores. I've been to three different paper stores about 6 times in the past week or so. Granted, I am working on some wedding invitations for a few folks, but I also seem to buy fun extras while I am there...

Shop, shop, shop. I love pretty things. I'm not afraid to admit it: I am a consumer in this consumer world. Baby or no baby, I budget for those fun little items that just make me happy. I don't always buy, mind you. I like to look a lot, but items go through a strict mental and emotional checklist before I actually shell out the bucks to buy. And I'm not afraid to return items that suddenly don't meet that checklist once I get them home.

Now, all this being said, I am not going to spend a dime tomorrow for No Damn Dime Day. The protestors, on the other hand, are already plotting to take over our city streets from about 2pm until about 5pm. I may need to get more gas tomorrow in order to make it from work to home since I anticipate the protestors will stop traffic for a while, as usual. That's ok with me. I was once out there on the streets chanting as well (during Bush Sr. days). Tomorrow may just give me a chance to window shop while in traffic... shop, shop, shop :-)


Crawling toward...crawling

I've found myself lately succumbing to the dreaded baby comparing game. The "Jimmy started crawling at 6 months, why isn't Boo?" He's so close. He wants to crawl. You can see it in his eyes when he lunges for a toy just a little bit out of reach. You can see the excitement in his face as he leans forward from the sitting position and tentatively thrusts his body forward putting pressure on his hands. He's just not there yet. I know he has time. Lots of it. Yet I can't help but be a bit overanxious for him to crawl. And talk. What's wrong with me? I know these days don't last forever, yet here I am hoping he'll move on to the next phase. I'm a hypocrite...I want these phases to last forever, but I can't wait until the next phase starts. Or maybe I'm just a normal neurotic new first time mom.

I'm feeling the same way about his teeth. He's been teething now for, oh, just about...four freakin' months! Every week, A and I say "it's gotta be soon." And here we are, four months later, smiling back at the gummy toothless big ol' grin from our Boo. Boo, who has been drooling uncontrollably and feeling around his gums -sometimes in brief pain, poor baby - for what feels like four months too long. I know it's normal for babies to get teeth anytime between now and even a year, but good lord.

Boo seems to have way too many toys these days. Thanks, in part, to Grandma J. Whenever she comes over, A calls it "New Clothes Day" at our house. Lately, it has been "New Toy Day." Today, she came over with three toys. All very cute, very fun, and very educational. He especially loves this snakey, colorful dog toy, and a soft plastic holey ball (forgive my horrible descriptions). I'm secretly hoping the ball will help him crawl because it rolls away from him and he tries to get it... Bad, bad mama. I know. Oh well.

He's really big on tags now, like most babies I guess. He has this blanket that has different colored tags all around the edges, and that goes everywhere with us these days. He loves it! His baby friends at the baby group love it to. He's okay with sharing the tags.

We've started putting Ducky in Boo's crib at night when he goes to sleep. It seems to comfort him and also help him sleep. I know anything besides the baby in the crib is a SIDS hazard, but when does that risk go away? He's been rolling over and all that for a while now so I guess the risk lessens once they are more mobile. He loves Ducky. We've also started giving him Ducky for naps, which seems to help.

So we've really started focusing and trying to be more consistent with our nighttime routine. It seems to help. The past few nights, he has slept from either 7 or 8pm until 5am. We're talking straight, good sleep, too, not the normal sometimes restless sleep babies have. Not a peep until he gets up and starts babbling toward the moniter ("Hello! Dada and mama! I'm awake...wide awake...and I'm ready to play! I'll just keep talking until someone comes in here... Hello?"). Then he goes back to sleep after eating at 5 and gets up again around 7 or so. It's been great for us! We're thinking now that those sleep routine advocates aren't just talking jibberish... of course, all this can change tonight... and then change back the next night.

Babies are awesome. Right now he is rolling around on his floor mat. Just rolling around and around, after sitting up for a long time and taking turns playing with the different toys around him. He's awesome. Must go play now!


Talk Politics

I know some people may be tired of my talking politics. It's not appropriate conversation for work, the dinner table, or the first time meeting the in-laws (luckily my in-laws seem to enjoy talking politics which is great). Ba-hooey, I say. Yes, I said Ba-hooey. My random word of the day for baloney. Bullshit. Politics is everything. It affects who we are, who we become, what we eat, how we spend our money, how much money we have, where we sleep, what we can and cannot do... If we cannot talk about politics, then I say we shouldn't talk at all. Ok, maybe I don't agree with talking politics at work, but that's just because there are legal ramifications involved. To me, talking politics is an important part of child-rearing, an important part of being a family, an important part of being a good citizen.

Idiot's Inauguration Day is Thursday. Everyone under the sun with any brains whatsoever is calling for a retreat from the pompous arrogant billion dollar planned inaugural display out of respect for all the world has had to endure this past year. These past four years, for those of us living in the US. 2004 was a doozy on Planet Earth. The Iraq War. Florida Hurricanes. Asian Tsunami. Mid-West Wild Weather. California Mudslides. Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart. Dubya's re-election. Death, destruction, and utter absurdity. These are reasons to celebrate Dubya's inauguration?

FDR opted out of the parades for his inauguration as the world was in the midst of WWII. We're in the midst of the For No Good Reason War as well as Mother Nature's Pissed As All Hell global warming trend (If Idiot's administration needs further proof of the damaging effects of global warming, then they really are all idiots; and if they aren't doing anything about it because they don't care, then they really are the true Axis of Evil). The country needs to heal, and we need our politicians to actually deal. Deal with the issues. Heal this country. Get off your arrogant whiny unintelligent mother f*&#in rich ass and actually do something for the people, instead of for your administration and your daddy's friends. Make decisions for those of us who do not make more than $500,000 a year. For those of us who have lost loved ones in a war they didn't even understand. For those of us who are struggling to make ends meet, struggling to find jobs in this still horrible economy, those of us living every day for our families.

Screw it - I'm talking politics at the dinner table with Boo. I'm taking him to the rallies. I'm bringing him to lectures and we're going to discuss politics because it is one of the most important conversations we can have as a family. Maybe he'll grow up to disagree with my views and my husband's views, but I hope he grows up having views. Strong views. Views that aren't based on petty details and soundbite half-truths, but on research and his own quest for the truth. Views that are also flexible enough to change as he grows, that aren't tied to just a party but rather to his own heart, his own conscience.

I guess I sound pretty pissed off. I don't really know why I am so passionate about this issue today. I had a great day, which maybe I'll write about in another blog later. But regardless of what your views are, I encourage you all to talk politics. With your kids, your S.O., your friends, your family, your pets, your politicians.

Oh, and on another great mom blog, I saw a great idea on how to make your voice heard this Thursday: http://theothermother.typepad.com/

Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq and since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose the war, Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending. During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan - a way to come home. There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing.

You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed. For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Please share this email with as many people as possible. Commercial speech must not be the only free speech in America!

I borrowed this from her blog, which is awesome to read too, by the way, if you click the link above. Hope she doesn't mind! I thought it was most excellent and needed to be shared.


I'll Take Pajama Day over Cosmos

There was a time when I was Happy Hour Queen and I didn't turn down a good free party. I loved that 4-6 time when I'd meet friends downtown for some cheap appetizers and half price well drinks. It was the perfect way to end a stressful day at work. Cosmos were my favorite. Apple martinis rocked. The tangy yumminess of Lemon Drops tickled my tongue. Drinks with the Girls, and sometimes the Boys too. My work would often involve networking parties complete with tasty catering and cocktails too.

This weekend a huge ice storm hit our area and we were iced in. Yesterday was PJ day - no showers, no make up, no stepping outside whatsoever. It was heaven. And every day is more like PJ Day in my life. I haven't gone to happy hour in months. I haven't had a cocktail in ages. My friend gave me distilled pineapple vodka for Christmas and it's likely going to continue sitting in our bar going unsipped for a long time. I've turned down a lot of evening invites with friends with no regrets. With work, I've been picky about the evening and weekend events I have to attend, making sure they are ones I have to attend, even if they do give me a chance to dress up, meet interesting people, and enjoy a yummy free meal.

These days I am more Lounge Around Queen, changing into my comfy pajamas and taking off my makeup as soon as I get home from work and then just hanging out with my boys - Buddy Boo and A. And our two dogs. They are the most interesting people (and animals) to me. Every night is a different and exciting adventure. I LOVE IT.

Every moment with Boo is a moment I want to be present in with no other obligations. I love snuggling him, talking with him, playing blocks or peek-a-boo, singing ABCs with him. A jumps right in, and when the three of us are together, nothing else in the world exists. We're seriously in our pajamas at least 80% of the time we are at home. If you were to come by our house at 6:30 on a Wednesday night, I'd open the door in some flannel pjs, wearing my glasses and likely toting a hyper little Boo who would promptly greet you with a loud "Abadadabada!"

I don't miss the cosmos or the appletinis. I don't miss the money I used to spend on happy hours and expensive dinners. I know I would miss PJ days and nights, though. I know this time is limited, and I wouldn't miss any of it for the world.



When Buddy Boo was born, one of the best pieces of unsolicited advice I was given by doctors, lactation consultants, moms and non-moms alike, was to not set a long-range goal for breastfeeding. Take it one week, one day at a time. As I have stated in previous posts, there is enough guilt and pressure associated with breastfeeding these days, that self-imposed pressure is absolutely unnecessary. It's also, quite frankly, impossible to avoid.

We celebrated our one week anniversary of nursing success. Then one month. Then three months. Then six months. As I prepare to celebrate our eight month mark coming up at the end of this month, I realize that the end may be sooner rather than later. And I realize that in my mind, I have always had a secret goal of making it to one year.

The madness of pumping at work ended for me at the beginning of this month. Boo now has formula during the day while I am at work. It wasn't as hard to say goodbye to pumping. I feared pain or leaking from engorgement, but thankfully experienced neither. I feared my supply would completely diminish, but so far it seems I can still produce enough to nurse Boo in the morning, in the evening, those days I work from home, and on weekends.

As we slowly go through the long process of weaning, I also realize that I am not ready. I don't think Boo is either. As soon as I get home, even if he just had a full bottle an hour earlier, he wants to nurse. As soon as he wakes up, he wants to nurse. It is the wonderful bonding experience everyone speaks of - that intimate, special mom and baby time. Yet it's much more than that. Weaning is just one of the many goodbyes we will have to face through the years. Of all of the phases we've had to say goodbye to so far to make room for new phases, this is the most emotional of all for me. It's not quick like the others.

It is The Long Goodbye.

How long will it continue? One more month, perhaps two, but if we are lucky, we'll make it to that year mark. Maybe by then I will be ready to say goodbye to nursing, but I don't think any amount of time will make it easier. What makes it so hard to say goodbye to nursing? It will mean the beginning of my baby not needing me, not relying on me, for comfort and sustenance. It will mean he really is growing up fast.


toys are taking over

We need a bigger house. The toys have taken over. We have no space. The gear is everywhere. I never think of us as people who have a lot of stuff. We hate trinkets, collectibles, extras we don't need. Yet here we are, with the walls closing in and being toppled by toys, books, clothes, gear everywhere we walk.


I've been very bad about blogging lately. Life has been a big thrill ride of a blur. 2005 is hoppin' and I'm liking how it's going so far. So many topics in my head to write about but no time to organize. Today it's a hodgepodge.

Boo is back to his sleep schedule, as predicted. We went back to playing the For Crying Out Loud CD - he loves the waves #8. Highly recommend this CD for anyone with a new baby. It saved us during his second month.

We bought the next car seat, the Britax Roundabout. I know the Britax Marathon is the best, but the Roundabout is awesome and hey, we saved $50. Still can't believe how expensive baby gear can be sometimes, but $200 for a car seat is nothing when it comes to his safety. At least this one will last longer than 6 months! Bye bye, infant car seat...

With the convertible car seat comes more challenges. Trips are different. Can't just keep him in the car seat and place the seat in the shopping cart or in a booth at a restaurant. He is too small in my opinion to sit in the shopping cart and the ones that come with the little seats attached kind of freak us out. He sat in a highchair at a restaurant for the first time, and that was fine. He moves so much though that highchairs even freak me out a bit. And it's bye bye to letting him continue his nap in his car seat when we go anywhere. He wakes up as soon as we unbuckle the seat. I do miss that...

He's starting to interact even more at baby group. When a baby crawled up to him and tried to take his toy, he held on to it tightly, pulled it back and started chewing on it while staring at the baby. It was funny, but he's really starting to get attached to things and get excited about certain toys. He's also really starting to talk. His babble includes inflections and facial expressions; it's almost as if we are having conversations. So fun!

Boo is the happiest, giggliest, smiling baby on the planet. He's so sweet and incredibly loving. A and I just love morning snuggle time with Boo. He just wakes up with a huge smile on his face, ready to laugh and play. It's a great way to start the day. I wish everyone in the world could start each day with this much love and happiness. It's incredible.

You moms know what I am talking about.

Who knew? Who knew indeed.


Textbook babes - beware the 6-8 month night wakings

Buddy Boo has been, for the most part, a textbook baby. He's been reaching developmental milestones right when I read he's supposed to. He has reflux and eczema, but othat than those two things he's been following the books to the tee.

We're learning that having a textbook baby is not all fun and games. At his age, it's supposed to be normal for most babies who have been known to sleep through the night to start night wakings again. There's so much they are learning that they want to stay up and practice. Their minds are racing with all of the excitement this stage brings. Well, our little Boo is right on track. His normal 7:30pm - 4:30am/5:30am-7:00am sleep time has been disrupted the past two nights with frequent wakings. He's usually able to go right back to sleep if he finds his pacifier, but last night he woke up at around 2:30 wide awake and ready to eat. Then he woke up at his normal 7am ready to play.

I used to be able to run at 110% on just four hours of sleep. Those days seem a very distant memory now. I'm tired all the time. There's tired, and then there's Mommy Tired, and this is more than new mom tired. My shoulders ache with each pound he gains. My back aches with each breastfeeding session. With all of the madness that goes on getting everyone ready in the mornings, I am no longer a "Hey, what a great new day! Let's get going!" morning person (actually, I believe this ended during pregnancy when I learned what pregnancy tired really meant). I was doing just fine with his normal sleep schedule. The past two nights I've gone past Mommy Tired to Zombie Tired.

I know Boo will go back to sleeping through the night because that's what the books say, and he's pretty predictable that way. Even though it's only been a couple of nights of restless sleep, it feels like an eternity in my mind (and my body). I know he's really excited about all of the new developments in this stage - the sitting up, learning to crawl, focusing on and grasping objects with precision, the babble that somewhat makes sense. It's all very exciting to us too. We're having so much fun these days!

But we're tired. Have I mentioned this yet?


Life/The Tsunami

2004 was the best year of my life. I say this almost every year, but of course none can compare to the year in which one’s first child was born. A and I spent much of the holidays reflecting on the beauty, joy, love, excitement Buddy Boo has brought into our lives.

So how could a year so full of wonder and blessed beauty end in a tragedy beyond comprehension?

Nearly 150,000 are estimated to have been killed by the tsunamis that hit several Asian countries the day after Christmas. You all know this, by now. Now is my first attempt to write a blog since it happened. Not a single word nor a flurry of them strung together could appropriately describe the horrific magnitude of Mother Nature’s latest unleashing.

At first, I was in a state of shock when the early reports of the dead numbered 12,000. They quickly rose to 55,000. 77,000 a few days later. 120,000. 150,000 and counting.

The numbers are numbing. One person dies, and there is a name, a face, a full life history to remember, mourn, celebrate the life that was. We as strangers pay mental respects to that person, and go back to our lives. A dozen die, and we get maybe the names and hometowns. A train derails and we get numbers of the casualties, numbers of the injured and two or, if we are lucky, three personal stories.

150,000 die. How can one appropriately give respects when each and every life deserves to be celebrated, remembered and properly laid to rest? Each of those victims deserves individual prayer/thought/homage.

Many times in my life, I have heard men and women state their decision to not have children was based on the principle that to do so would be unfair to the child. They have either seen such horror in their lives that they don’t want to expose another innocent soul to such suffering. They don’t want to bring a child into a world so rampant with murder, rape, poverty, AIDS, cancer, unexpected loss, because they don’t feel anyone should live in such a horrible, unpredictable world.

I live in that world. We all do. I also live in a world where I believe happiness, love, friendship, beauty, adventure, laughter, growth, exploration and wonder overrun all of the negative possibilities life may bring. I brought my son into this world to show him life’s abundant beauty, and to hopefully raise a son who will choose to see the beauty over the darkness of life. I cannot protect him from all pain or loss, but I can do what I can to help him learn to find his strength when he needs - and others need- it the most.

At times like these, I truly believe children can help us understand what life is all about. Each child is a symbol of the possibility of life, of happiness, of love. My son, in his simple presence, reminds me every day that we are here to LIVE. However long that life may be, we are here to strive to become ourselves so we may contribute to the beauty of the world as best we can, for as long as we can. We all are born with the possibility of a well-lived existence, and from the very beginning, we have already touched at least one soul – that of our mother’s. And because of that, we should also celebrate every single life when a soul passes on. We all have a story to tell, and we all deserve to be remembered. I am positive that each of those men, women and children whose lives were lost this last week, contributed in some positive way to at least one other person on this earth.

To all of you who have lost loved ones or even casual acquaintances in this latest devastation, my heart and my soul are with you. No matter who you are, no matter who they were - I celebrate each and every one of their lives with you tonight, and always.

Peace to all,