Root canal #53

OK, #53 is an exaggeration, but really, I've had more dental work done than I think my 102 year old great-grandmother has had done. I went in to my dentist this morning because my gums have been hurting in one spot and the x-ray confirmed what I had suspected: I need a root canal. You know you've had a lot of root canals when you're in a bit of discomfort and think, "Hmm...this feels like a root canal is needed." Oy vey. So I'll be on antibiotics for a week until my root canal appointment. Oh goodie. What fun. I've always had problems with my teeth, and I blame all the sugar my parents and great-grandma gave me as a kid. Root canals, wisdom teeth, crowns, bridges...I'm an expert in the dentist chair by now. My husband has never had a cavity and goes to the dentist maybe once every 10 years. Go figure. Boo loves to brush his teeth. Thank goodness for that.

Happy New Year, folks! I'll be celebrating with an infection in my gums. Oh, now that's a lovely picture, isn't it? :)


I've been tagged again

Just when I thought I wouldn't have time to blog this week, I get tagged! Never one to fail my duties, here we go with my answers to the questions... then see below for the next hit list. You may be on it!

Q)What were you doing 10 years ago?

A)Ten years ago I was getting ready to go to Los Angeles for my last semester of college. I had two internships lined up: one in the news department at KABC-TV and one in the publicity department with Geffen Records. I loved Geffen mostly because they paid me. My now-husband and I had just celebrated our third anniversary together (12 years now and counting!).

Q)What were you doing 1 year ago?

A) One year ago my husband and I were enjoying Boo's first Christmas. I was planning my businesses. We had two dogs then.

Five snacks you enjoy: chocolate truffles, strawberries in summertime, fruit tarts, Cheetos, bagels with cream cheese and lox

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics: twinkle twinkle little star, the wheels on the bus, c is for cookie, ...can you tell where i am going with this? songs on the radio, i know; songs on my son's cds, i know really well...

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
pay off our mortgage and college loans, set up a trust fund for my son, buy my parents a new house and a kick ass boat, take all of our friends and family on a big vacation to Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, enroll my husband in race car driving school and buy him a vineyard (his dreams), and then I'd invest the rest so we could make more money.

Five bad habits:
not working out, saying yes to too much, checking email a million times a day, eating out too much, being too honest

Five things you like doing: spending time with my son and husband, writing, designing, traveling, baking

Five things you would never wear, buy or get new again: everything i ever wore in the '80s...that sums it up

Five favorite toys:
a kick ass digital SLR, wireless tablet, laptop, my son's toys

So this is the plan: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot
Ms. Mama
The Diaper Pail
the state of indiana
watching me grow
from maternity to madness

Then select five people to tag:
Ready or Not
Andi Starr
CitySlicker Mom
Deputy's Wife


Post-Christmas recovery

My husband is insane. Our house looks like a ToysRUs truck slammed into it and dumped crap everywhere. And I swear that I have gained five pounds just from one night - okay two days counting the prep time - of eating nonstop.

First things first: my husband is the best dude in the world but is insane because like always he broke our limit for gift-giving to each other. I did too, but not like he did. He went nuts. He put the gifts I got him to shame. I got awesome techno geek stuff/toys that I can use for home and business and a super cool necklace. But it's not like we can really afford the uber cool fun toys. Justify them for work, yes. Afford them, no. Ah well. Then I realized last night as he was "testing" out my gifts that they're really gifts we can both use and enjoy, and I will definitely use them every day, so I feel better about that. My husband is truly better at gift-giving than I am.

As much as I wanted to avoid the commercial toy dump at Christmastime for Boo, it was unavoidable. He has been having the time of his life playing with his new trains and books. All week last week and so far this week, he's been singing nonstop. I don't think he's stopped (except at daycare, where he is so mad that he doesn't talk at all) singing softly or talking (sometimes loudly) for about eight days now. He's a pretty happy kid. And now he's started MOCKING us. Too smart and sassy for his own good, our Boo. It's pretty amusing, actually, when he mocks us.

This Christmas meal was low key - just us, my parents, one cousin and one aunt and uncle. We had dinner at our house and opened gifts. My brother, his girlfriend and their baby came over later and we stayed up talking for a while. It was a nice Christmas indeed.

I worked a lot today. This is a busy week. I am tired already, and I think my husband is getting sick again. But overall, we had a beautiful, warm, happy Christmas. I hope you all did too!


Ode to Mama Pals

Tonight, I find myself in complete awe of other mamas. Mamas all over the world whom I have met in person and online. How do you all do it? SAHM, WOHM, WAHM, two kids, three kids, one kid...I am ever so thankful whenever I meet other mamas. So THANK YOU, mama pals - the ones I have known for years, the ones I have just met once, and the ones I have only met virtually in this great blogosphere. You have ALL touched my life, and Boo's life, more than you will know.

-saying hello. Anyone who is kind enough to acknowledge my random presence is considered my mama pal. Even if you come to hate me, I still love ya :)
-listening to my venting about mindless matters and horrific tragedies that turn out to be nothing important in the end
-listening to my constant Pollyana big smiles "I love being a mom!" crap which is all true but nonetheless annoying
-reading my very random rambling blogs
-leaving nice comments on said blogs
-helping me deal with sleep issues, feeding issues, work issues, money issues, baby gear advice, etc.
-understanding that as a mother, yes, I am crazy and losing my mind
-letting me know I am not alone in being a crazy mama and losing my mind
-being brutally honest
-being a great example of the wonderful mother I hope to be
-making me feel better about having discovered poop on my shirtsleeve because you have baby vomit on your socks...from the day before
-saying I look great even though I just ate at McD's three times in a row and haven't worked out in months
-not judging me for letting Boo have fries once in a while, and understanding why sometimes it's just gotta happen
-inviting me and Boo to super fun playdates
-having kids for Boo to play with and learn from (bad grammar, so sue me)
-commiserating about how life with hubby changes after becoming parents
-commiserating about how our role in our houseshold changes after becoming mamas
-telling me about great new kid-friendly places to visit
-keeping me up-to-date on silly yet ultra important celebrity gossip
-sharing info on where you got your cool baby/kid/mama stuff
-understanding when I am running late...by 20 minutes
-understanding a last minute cancellation or get-together
-being cool with the 5-sescond (ok, 5 minute, 5 days...) rule about our kids eating stuff off the floor
-listening to my endless and annoying chatter about work
-giving me great mama advice and ideas about work
-sharing the kid-food, diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. at playdates
-being open and supportive of my parenting style (what style?) even if it doesn't completely mesh with your own
-your ability to understand things about being a mama that no one else can, not even papas, no matter what
-being so nice to me and Boo and letting us into your lives, even if just for a day or via the internet.

Thanks mamas everywhere! We shall rule the world...or perhaps we already do???!


Pre-Mama days

There once was a girl who was an overachieving rebel. She wore black all the time, listened to The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, and stayed out really late downtown with friends drinking pots of coffee like they were filled with water. She delighted in doing things she was told that she couldn't do because she was a girl, because she was Asian, or because she was already doing too many things and she was "spreading herself too thin." She had friends from all walks of life; protested wars, corporate America, and crimes against the environment; moved 3,000 miles away from everything she knew to drink a lot and smoke a little of this and a little of that; changed her hairstyle every few months; and coveted beautiful tattoos.

Flash forward about 10-15 years later, and the mirror reflects a different sort of girl. One who is no longer a girl but in her mind not really a woman. A half girl/half woman who lives in the suburbs of all suburbs, drives a gas guzzling SUV, likes to wear high heels with jeans, and who is in her comfy flannel pajamas by 7 and in bed by 11. She hasn't had a haircut in six months and hasn't had it colored (especially a bold color) since the birth of her child, has a wardrobe that is strangely full of color, and she listens to mainstream music like The Killers and John Mayer.

This morning it just hit me: where did all of my black clothes go? Did they vanish once we moved back to the burbs, or with the birth of my child? I'm dangerously close to wearing sweats outside of the house sometimes, and instead of riveting nonfiction political, historical or womens studies books, I just found myself online ordering a mindless book by the author of the Shopaholics girly girl series. I find myself longing for a facial and singing Chicken Dance Elmo songs in my head as I work. Who IS this girly girl and what has she done with the old me?

I think I will always be a little bit of a rebel, but a more tempered and thoughtful one now, if that's not an oxymoron for you. I also think I've always had a bit of the suburbanite domestic goddess wife role always in me. I still long for a tattoo, but know that a sassy little dragon will look ridiculous when I'm a grandma, and there's no way I'm getting a stupid cutsey flower or something so tiny no one can see it. I will still fight the good fight when the cause is important to me and my family, but I now know a little more about how government and business works, and know to choose my battles wisely. I still listen to Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine, but now that Boo is getting older and understanding the words, I usually just listen to them on my iPod instead of in the car. I admit to loving being a domestic goddess, but in part because it's the antithesis of what some family members expected of me, so there.

I also admit to loving this life, this peaceful boring suburban life, because I am blessed with such amazing family and friends and am happier than I have ever been. Someday I will tell my son stories of the old me, pre-baby, once he's old enough to understand that mama was once a crazy kid too. He'll still probably think I am a lame old woman who wears lame old woman clothes and listens to old fogey music, because I'm his mom and I likely will by then be a lame old woman (I'm headed there already), but c'est la vie. I have my memories, for which I am grateful, but I love the new ones I'm making too.

PS-at least my husband will be going down Old Fogey lane with me. The once concert t-shirt-and-Doc-Marten-boots-wearing, chain-smoking, mosh-pit loving boy is now a J.Crew-wearing, smoke-free, stay-home-on-Saturday-nights-and-watch-tv proud papa. At least we're growing old and lame together, honey :)


Busy McBusy Boo

I realize today that in the past week, Boo and I have been to four playdates. That's a lot for us in one week, during a very busy work/holiday-crazy week at that! In a way, it's like I've traded in holiday office parties this year for playdates.

Today was a productive day. Drove hubby to work; went grocery shopping where Boo excitedly attempted to eat a mango, skin and all; went to a fun playgroup where Boo just happily played and played to his heart's content and then napped faithfully for just over two hours afterward, allowing me to take care of new orders, today's shipments, some boring but much-needed accounting matters, get some comps done for a Monday night meeting, and somehow miraculously make six more logs o' cookie dough to stash in my freezer for the holiday baking goodness that is to occur next week. I got all cocky thinking that I could squeeze in a few batches of truffles this afternoon too but that didn't happen. I think that will happen after Boo goes to bed tonight. Or maybe not until tomorrow... (Side note: does anyone have a good substitution for molasses? I can't believe we ran out, so I tried to do the substitution of sugar/water combo with more added ginger and cinnamon to the mix, but I don't know how those cookies are going to turn out...guess we'll find out!).

Boo update...amazing little Boo. He is speaking in sentences and having real conversations with us now, even though half the time we have no idea what he is saying or we only understand every other word. Today's phrase was "look mama I did it!" I had to shake my head and wanted to slap myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I heard those words come from my 18 month old son's mouth, but he said it again a little later. Unless I hallucinated twice, which is highly possible these days. His favorite phrases so far include "gotta go!" which he uses all the time now, sometimes to our embarassment if we're with friends and he decides that it's time for us to go. He also loves to say "I did it!" which is often followed by hand clapping. Sometimes he says "good job" but usually just when he's repeating us. Overall, he knows about 30+ words, although half of them he says backwards ("hat" is "tah," "up" is "puh," and "grapes" is "pags!").

He's a great little helper these days. He'll help us close doors, put his books or toys away, go get his shoes or his coat, etc. He's learning how to take his coat on and off, along with his shoes, socks and pants. Actually, he loves to take his shoes, socks and pants off and just roam free around the house, but tonight I caught him trying to put his pants back on. It was so cute, but he's just not developmentally there yet so we helped him and then of course, he clapped and said "I did it!"

Boo has been eating and sleeping more these days. I hope it's a growth spurt. Poor guy has my short genes, but hopefully his dad's taller genes will prevail in the long run!

He LOVES our dog. He hugs him all the time now. He also tries to feed him, which is not good, but it's still pretty cute.

We're having a really great, fun time with Boo right now. He's climbing all over the place, up the outside of the staircase to circumvent the gates, on top of tables and chairs, on the dog... He's seriously on the GO all day long and these days he just talks and talks all day and all night long. We're having such a crazy fun time being parents right now we can hardly contain ourselves. And he's SO cute! But of course we think that, right? :)

Someday I know there will be a bitch post in this blog about something he is doing to drive us crazy or how motherhood and work are driving me mad, but right now, he's just perfect and we're having the best time watching him grow up. How lucky we mothers and fathers are to be parents and witness these perfect little creatures become human beings.


Holy crap it's Christmas

Really, it's a little over a week away! Did you know this? It totally sneaked up on me! I've been preparing for it all year and now it's almost here. Hmm. How did that happen?

We always host Christmas meal over at our house, while my parents traditionally host Thanksgiving at theirs. This year, we ended up having Thanksgiving at ours, but we're still hosting Christmas. About two weeks ago I would have had the menu set, most of the items purchased for the meal, and cookie dough wrapped and waiting to thaw and bake in our freezer. Um, not this year. The funny thing about it is that really, I don't care. I mean, I care a LOT about Christmas and spending that special time with family and friends, but I am not worried about the meal. Maybe we'll do our traditional lobster and corn chowder with a rack of lamb. Maybe we won't. Maybe we'll make a crapload of Christmas cookies like we normally do, maybe we won't (ok, I admit I have ONE lonely log of cookie dough in the freezer). Maybe we'll just have Spam sandwiches. Just kidding. I don't know why, but I feel like it's just not a big deal this year.

Hmm. But now I am hungry and now I am thinking about the meal. Maybe I just needed to blog about it to get the culinary juices flowing and help get my ass in gear. Christmas is, after all, the following Sunday. WOOHOO! Suddenly, I am SOOO excited!!!! I LOVE Christmas!!!


Little Angel on Date Night

Tonight my husband and I treated ourselves to a fabulous dinner out by ourselves, the first we have had in what feels like years but is really just a few months. Our dear friend ASR babysat Boo, which we weren't sure how it was going to work out since Boo hasn't spent much time with her lately and he had never been alone with anyone but us, my parents, my brother and T, or his daycare. To our delight, the night went swimmingly for all. He was a little angel all night! He played and laughed, told her a bunch of his new words, ate his dinner and read, and followed ASR's directions when she asked him to lay down for a diaper change. He seemed to feel comfortable with her right away, which was a great sign. He's really a pretty fun kid to hang out with, and it sounds like they both had fun tonight. We are so proud of little Boo, and so very grateful to ASR for babysitting tonight!

Dinner was incredible. We ate at a somewhat new restaurant in town, which has gotten rave reviews from several foodie mags as well as being noted as one of the country's best new restaurants in the Nov issue of Esquire magazine. I had lobster pot pie while hubby had steak frites, both of which were absolutely delicious and which we enjoyed with a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. For dessert? molten chocolate cake. YUM. Our waitress was the best we have had in a looong time (can anyone else see the decline of customer service in the US these days? Tonight's service was MUCH appreciated). It was so nice to splurge and enjoy a few hours full of lively conversation with my favorite grownup in the world, my hubby. It's really important for us to have time to reconnect, just us, without threat of toddler interrupting. We've been together for 12 years now, and I really do love him more and more as time passes. He is an awesome husband, father, and friend. To have a child with him is the most amazing thing in the world.

We had such a great time that we're nabbing the grandparents in a couple of weeks and having another date night - two in one month! At the next we will probably not spend as much cha-ching, though...damn, we had forgotten how expensive a really nice dinner can be!


Boo's Excellent Adventure

Boo's new favorite word as of this morning: Dude.

He would just play around us exclaiming, "Dude! Duuude. DUDE! DuDe. DuuuUUUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!"

I love this age:)


DVDs and signing

I find it amazing that people are still commenting to a post I wrote back in July entitled "I know who the Doodlebops are..." What's interesting to me is that, if you read the post, it's really NOT about the Doodlebops. It's just a general post about how the world of parenting changes you. Yet read the comments - somehow readers have taken what I thought was a rather benign rambling post into a Pro- or Anti-Doodlebops, Pro or Anti-Wiggles, etc. commenting ground. Very odd, people.

Of course, shortly after writing that post, the Disney Channel changed their morning line up, so we haven't watched the Doodlebops in a while. We have instead watched DVDs like the Baby Einstein DVDs (Boo LOVEs these - the little puppets are his friends - it's so cute) and the Signing Times DVD. If you want to teach your child to sign I highly recommend these DVDs. They were recommended to me by mama pal MML. Boo has versions 1 - 3; they start with the basics and then bring in more words as the series progresses. His signing really blossomed after watching these DVDs.

It's funny to think that teaching babies sign language is still a relatively new idea in everyday parenting. Every mom I know in town has taught their kid at least some signs or has at least attempted to; it's almost a given where I live. They sign with the kids in all of the daycares we looked at. For our family, teaching Boo sign language has really helped our communication with him. He can sign for what he wants instead of throwing a fit. Oh sure, he still gets fussy and frustrated, but not very much. We noticed that once he learned to both sign and speak more words, his tantrums almost stopped. Once he learned the sign for "sleep" he could just walk up to me, use the sign, and I'd know it was time for his nap. Whereas before, I wasn't sure if he was fussy because he was tired, or hungry, or what. He gets a huge smile on his face when he signs something and then we say the word for what he is signing, as if he is sooo happy that we finally understand him. As he learns to speak more words, he just uses the sign and says the word at the same time. It's really cute.


Random ramblings

Can I just say that I LOVE my job!!!! Read more about it at my other blog. Now on to mommy madness...

It's been all about the holidays here, as I am sure it is in many of your households. We decorated our lawn with cute lighted trees and will string more lights up this weekend. We decorated our fireplace mantle and have our presents all wrapped and put high above the prying hands of our curious babe. I strung lights along with garland (which Boo now loves to say "gaaaarland!") along our staircase, but now I think our living room is just a tad too lit. Those lights may have to go, but the garland will stay. We got our tree from our neighbors just down the street on Saturday - they have a U-Cut Tree Farm. It's a beautiful tree, which we have decorated with last year's decorations, but I'm just not in the mood, nor can I justify, spending $$ to buy new ones. Next year we'll switch color schemes. Here's a pic of it so far, with little Boo standing next to it. We'll add more crap to it this weekend.

Today Boo has fluctuated between being stuffed up and having a massive runny nose of the waterfall variety. Lovely. But this balloon that we picked up from lunch today made him smile for a long time. That's our dog getting in front of the picture, as usual.

Saturday night I met some awesome new moms in the area at a really cool wine bar. About half of us were strangers, so I brought my mama pal ER for moral support. I don't know what it is, but I can attend a million work functions and talk to every stranger in the room with no problem, but if it's a personal social event I get all nervous like I'm going on a first date or something. Meeting new moms is fun, but sometimes scary - what if you don't get along or have completely different ideologies about parenting? What if you love chocolate and the other moms shun all forms of sugar? OK, that last thought was really scary... Anyway, it turned out to be a fabulous time, and what a great group of amazing women! If you are in the Portland area, check out the urbanMamas blog, where most of them blog. I truly, truly enjoyed meeting every single mama there. Mamas of the world, unite!

Other ramblings...Boo has started this sudden obsession with lining things up in an orderly fashion. Perhaps it's the Swiss German in him :). He lines his trucks up like they are forming a train, or he lines them up side by side, in a perfectly neat and tidy row. I'll walk around the house and find little collections of this odd habit. It's very weird, but fascinating. Then last night, he started picking out all of the legos that were squares and lined them up, leaving the singles and big long legos. He's figuring out how to match things!!! It's such a cool mental development that only a mama or papa could almost cry over. Here's a pic of him lining up the legos.

Enough random ramblings for tonight. I am actually going to spend the next 15 minutes just watching TV! Or at least, that's my plan. Hope everyone is surviving holiday mania out there!


Love new babies!

My little nephew is here! He was born last night, and my brother and T are just glowing. Little baby K is adorable and SOOOOO TINY!! I just held onto that adorable little new baby and didn't want to let go! He weighes two ounces more than Boo did at birth and is half an inch shorter but I honestly cannot remember Boo ever being that small. It's so weird to think him being that tiny. I love, love, love, love, love babies. I couldn't be happier for my brother and T. They're going to be great parents. I'm so proud of my little bro. He's already a great papa--a very proud, very nervous, very excited and over-caffeinated papa.

How can I do any sort of work with all of this excitement happening? Good thing all of our Christmas shopping is done. That's right, you read that correctly: our shopping list is done, folks! Most of it was done before Thanksgiving and I spent the day after wrapping everything.

Congratulations to my baby bro and the lovely miss T. I am so proud of you both. Remember that you are great parents and to just do what your heart tells you is right. Read the books and then burn them. Nod and smile politely at advice from friends and relatives and then toss it out the other ear if you don't agree. Never by shy to ask for help. Never be shy to gloat and beam about your baby's latest milestone -- it's your parental right. Never make excuses about the way you two decide to parent -- believe in yourselves and your decisions. Know that you will make some mistakes but baby K will still grow up to be a fabulous, well-adjusted, happy and healthy human being as long as you do everything with love and his best interests at heart. Know that we all love you - all three of you - dearly, and will always be here for you, anytime, for any reason.

Damn. Look at that newborn. Dontcha just LOVE babies?!!!!