Monday, March 31, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

I could eat out everyday, for every meal. There's just something about someone else preparing my food and cleaning up after me. I also love the choices. So, it was nice to be in a hotel in Baltimore with no kitchen and countless restaurant choices nearby.

If you've never eaten at Chipotle, you must. It is a burrito bar but it goes way beyond Baja Fresh or Moe's in taste. The guacamole could be eaten with a spoon (which Adam and I did). I ate there twice. Apart from amazing food, they also have good food ethics. This was great because I just finished The Omnivore's Dilemma and am seriously considering purchasing an entire grass-fed, hormone free cow and having it slaughtered. I'm sure this paranoia will wear off a bit, but that book was startling.

Anyway, the feeding frenzy continued with two stops at a Mexican Restaurant called "La Tolteca" near Scott's sister's house. They took us there once and then I insisted on going back our last day there and ordered the exact same thing. It was called the Quesadilla Ranchera but should have been called Cheesy Wonderful Slice of Heaven. It had chicken, cheese and the most wonderful sauteed onions and peppers. I loved it so much I took a picture for posterity (or maybe I had an inclination that I might blog about it).

And yes, Joanna, we did eat at Chick-Fil-A. I hadn't eaten there since we lived in Utah. It was tasty, but the whole experience was ruined by images planted in my mind by the aforementioned book.

I still have more pictures to post from our trip. You'd think we'd gone somewhere really exotic by how I'm carrying on. Sorry. I don't get out much.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Baltimore Fun

So, except for a few family outings, Adam and I had to find ways to occupy ourselves while Scott was attending his conference. Our first evening at the hotel we all took a walk together to enjoy the nice weather (60+ degrees everyday, eat your heart out Rochester).

Scott and Adam slowly chased this duck into the bay. Right before the duck jumped this guy walked by and yelled, "Don't do it! It's not worth it!"

Adam had no trouble entertaining himself in the hotel room. We unplugged one of the phones for his exclusive use. When all else failed, he tried the laptop.

Adam and I went shopping one of the days. It's nice to see he gets something from me!

The hotel's pool was bathwater warm. Adam LOVED it. he just giggled hysterically and laughed on inhalation. We couldn't get him to jump to us from the side of the pool. Instead he just leaned slowly toward us. So unlike him to be cautious.

I have more pictures to upload. Stay tuned for pictures from the children's museum. Those of you from Rochester will be drooling when I show you where I ate, twice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cousin Fun

Scott worried that he might lose his "Favorite Uncle" status once we had Adam. He thought that devoting time to Adam would take away from having a fun time with the nieces and nephews. Luckily, bringing Rock Band helped to maintain his status.

An "adventure" in the woods didn't hurt either.

And then there was "King of the Mountain" with Scott in the starring role of "Mountain".

I think his title is safe for now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We Have Arrived

Scott has business trip in Baltimore Wednesday through Friday this week. We have family just outside of Baltimore so we decided to make a vacation of it. We were a little concerned about how Adam would do during the 7 hour car ride. Except for some fussiness at the end he did great.

He napped during his normal nap times and allowed us to entertain him with endless verses of "The Ants Go Marching" and "Old MacDonald". We stopped about halfway a McDonald's and played at a local library for an hour to let Adam get his wiggles out.

We were about 45 minutes from Scott's sister's house and we needed gas. Adam was getting fussy so we decided to let him walk around the Walgreen's next door. He loves to push grocery carts.

After about 10 minutes of that we had to get going.

But not before Adam stopped at the dairy case to admire the forbidden fruit. Poor kid doesn't know he's lactose intolerant.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"So, what do you do all day?"

I worked as an election inspector for the NY primaries in February and one of the women I worked with asked me this question when she found out I stayed home with Adam. She wasn't being sarcastic or snotty, she genuinely wanted to know. It has bothered me ever since. Not that she asked the question, but that I was unable to answer it in any sort of satisfactory way. I kind of stumbled over a few sentences about reading books and going on walks which made me sound like a woman of leisure from the Regency era. I feel like she left our conversation having had suspicions confirmed that stay-at-home moms really don't do anything.

I'll admit there are days where I feel like I've got it pretty good. Those days when Adam takes nice, long, leisurely naps and wakes refreshed. He doesn't throw his food at me or rub it in his hair. He brings me books and we read together. He doesn't scream in short, high pitched bursts to get my attention, but instead comes and lays his head in my lap. I shower, blow dry my hair and put on make-up. We go to the library and he plays contentedly for an hour while I read a good book sitting in the beanbag chair in the corner. These days do happen but they are few and far between.

I usually start the day sleep deprived because Scott and I stayed up late the night before watching a movie. My fault, right? We are still relishing the idea that after 10 months of middle of the night waking that our son sleeps for 12 HOURS STRAIGHT. Forgive us our jubilee.

Adam usually wakes before 7 a.m. I don't get to shower, eat breakfast or brush my teeth before work. It begins with a high pitched squeal as an alarm clock. For the next 2-3 hours we play, read books, change diapers, eat breakfast, throw breakfast, smash breakfast. Then Adam naps and I shower, find my living room floor beneath his toys, do the dishes, change the laundry and yes, I read blogs.

After Adam wakes up we eat lunch, change his diaper, play and usually go somewhere. While he takes his afternoon nap I make dinner. When Scott gets home we eat dinner, bathe Adam and put him to bed. Then we usually have a couple of hours to spend together before we go to bed.

So, in thinking about this over the last month I've decided that my job is "being there". While most of what I do could be done by an illiterate high schooler for minimum wage, I'm the Mom. I am there for Adam when he needs something whether it be a hug, a diaper change or a walk. While my day isn't filled with important business deals or lifesaving operations I still know that what I am doing is important.

So, my question to you is, what would you have said? If you had to make what you do sound important and meaningful to a skeptic, how would you describe it?

Owen James

My sister had her baby yesterday at 4:14 p.m. He weighed 9lbs. 6oz. and was 21 3/4 inches. He is, of course, adorable. Congratulations Emily! I love you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Festivities

Adam's birthday was a success. There were a lot of people, considering it was a one-year-old's birthday party. What can I say; the kid's popular. We had the usual birthday party foods: pizza, ice cream, soda, and Scott's favorite: cake-in-an-ice-cream-cone.

I thought that Adam would love it when we sang "Happy Birthday" since he loves music.

I was wrong.

The big hit for the little people was the big bunch of balloons.

They would each hit them frantically, creating a kind of balloon mosh pit.

Luckily there was Rock Band for the older kids and the "older kids". Thanks to all of our friends for making Adam's birthday a happy day.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

To Adam, on Your 1st Birthday

You joined our family exactly one year ago. I never could have imagined as I held you for the first time the amount of joy you would bring me. Those first few weeks were so difficult and I began to doubt my abilities as a mother. It took you a month or so to decide that you liked it here, outside the womb, and you turned into the happiest most joyful baby.

Every one comments on how happy you are. You smile at strangers at the store and win over grandmothers everywhere we go. I am so glad that you ended up with a happy disposition. I began to worry that I would never get out of the house again since you were unhappy anywhere accept the "cocoon" we created for you in our bedroom.

And then, when you were about two months old you decided you wanted to see the world, everything, right this minute. You were able to roll both ways by 4 1/2 months and by the time you were 5 months you were practicing yoga.

This was your pre-crawling pose. You would would go into a push-up and hold it as long as you could before collapsing . You started to pull yourself around the house by your arms when you were about six months old.

Once you were able to get around you had to touch, see and TASTE everything. You have an insatiable curiosity and it has been so fun to watch you discover the world and find pure joy in the most simple things.

You have started to talk and your favorite word is "ball". Anything remotely round is a ball. You don't say "Mama" or "Dada" yet in reference to Daddy or me but we know that you know us and love us.

You are such a social boy. You love playing with your friend Jack and your cousin Spencer. You will be playing and it will get so quiet that I'm sure you're up to something, but when I go to check on you you're quietly paging through a book.

You have begun to cherish your sleep in a way that was surely inherited from your Mama. You go to sleep without a peep most nights, which is a nice change of pace from your early months. At 10 months you finally began to sleep through the night without needing a bottle. You're Daddy was sure you'd do it on your own, I'm glad I listened to him and let you figure it out.

Your Daddy and I just love to sit and watch you play. You're fiercely independent and will often brush away a helping hand. Your independence has led to several injuries but you don't care, you simply get your hugs, get up, and move on to the next adventure. I love the way you like to be chased. If you hear me stomping behind you, you will squeal and toddle off as quickly as you can. I love the giggles of pure joy when I pop out from behind a door or a blanket. You're thrilled even though you knew I was there.

Thank you so much for being my baby, my sweetest boy. You've made me whole in so many ways. The greatest and most fulfilling accomplishment in my life is being your Mama.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Now Know What Christmas Eve WIll Be Like for the Next 15 Years

We managed to avoid this realization until now thanks to a lovely Caribbean cruise that we took in lieu of Christmas presents (don't worry about Adam missing his first Christmas, he would have been happy with a paper bag). Adam's Birthday is tomorrow and I just spent an hour assembling cardboard blocks. We really like to go all out. Nothing's too good for our boy. All kidding aside, they are actually really cool. When assembled they come in three different sizes and are big enough to make walls that Adam can crash through. I know he's gonna love that. Anyway, this is the task that awaited me (don't look to closely at my carpet, and if you do, don't judge me).

After the first 10 minutes I'd assembled five blocks. There's a bit of a learning curve, I assembled the other 79 in under an hour.

Here's what they looked like post-assembly. I'm leaving it up to Scott to build a fabulous tower so we can get a great picture of Adam crashing through it in the morning.

Stay tuned for birthday festivities.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Sprang

And then it was gone. We had one day of 50 degree weather and then we had an ice storm. Adam and I took advantage of the nice weather despite being plagued with the plague.

Adam is such a tactile child, he needs to touch and taste everything. He wasn't, however, too fond of the snow.

He didn't like to touch it but he enjoyed stomping on the snowballs I made.

I see my shadow. According to Punxsutawney Phil this will be the last nice day for another few weeks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Daddy's Boy

Adam hates it when Scott leaves for work in the morning.

He's really quite dramatic.

You can just hear his thoughts. "No! Don't leave me with HER again!"

Poor kid. He really is a Daddy's boy. I'm trying not to be too hurt.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

16 and Awkward

At my book club the other night we got to talking about high school/church dances and how horrible they are for everyone except a small percentage of girls. My friend Deborah implied that I was in that percentage and was surely asked to dance all the time at these functions. Um, no. When I was 16 I was already my full height of 6 feet, but weighed a whopping 120 lbs. Nobody except a super model could pull off those proportions. I was gangly to an exponential degree. Not only was I skinny and with out any female curves, but I also towered above almost every boy. I couldn't find a picture with a boy (hmmm...I wonder why), but I did find this one of my sister and me.

This is before my junior prom. I wish I had one with my date, but I don't. He was 5'8". A confident adult woman can pull that off, I slouched, and took off my shoes.

So those women who would love to be tall and think we have it so easy, now you know. Any easiness we have as adults we paid for in high school. A lot.

"Bring out your dead!"

That's right, the plague has struck. Scott had it first and I admit now that I thought he was being a bit of a wimp; and then I got it. This thing's got it all; cough, head ache, nausea, dizziness, and mucous, good heavens the mucous! I am finally getting over it and Adam is on the upswing too. We were a pretty sad sight for a couple of days. Adam doesn't understand that when you're sick you're supposed to curl up under a blanket and watch movies. He wandered around the house whimpering.

I don't know if it was the plague or my introducing mass quantities of mandarin oranges into his diet, but Adam developed a pretty bad rash on his face. The worst part is that it is completely resistant to all of my attempts to clear it up. I have had him on a bland diet for days and he is so sick of me rubbing Cetaphil and Aquaphor on it that he literally runs the other way.

Poor kid. He really didn't stand much of a chance. I had food allergy-related rashes on my face for a good portion of my toddlerhood.

Yes, that would be me looking away from the camera. All I can say is, thank goodness for digital cameras! This was probably the best of the pictures they took.