Monday, August 30, 2010

A Haircut and a Shiner

Last Thursday I picked up BBZ from school and there was a pink slip in his notebook.  We frequently see these pink pieces of paper that the school uses to inform parents of incidents.  Many of the ones we receive are because BBZ bit someone.  One week when he was going through a biting spell, he had one or two every single day.  Yeah, that sucked.  The best though was when we got one that reported he bit someone then the next day there was one saying he was bit.  Talk about a natural consequence!

So anyway, the one last Thursday was because he and his little friend were playing outside and managed to bump heads pretty hard.  He got the back of her head right under his eye.  They said he cried for a little while but then was just fine with some TLC.  When N picked him up on Friday there was another pink slip.  This one was because he fell on the playgroud and hit his head in the exact same place, right under his eye.  So needless to say, over the weekend he developed a bit of a shiner.

After we left the festival yesterday we stopped at one of my very favorite Mexican restaurants near our old house.  While there we ran into a friend from LLL and her family.  She has a little boy just a few months older than BBZ.  Her little boy had a haircut since the last time I saw them and looked so cute!  I've been thinking about cutting BBZ's hair again and finally got the clippers out last night.

Here's a before...I distracted him with ice cream.

Maybe he gets his concentrating face from me...

Look at those mad hair-cuttin' skills!

He did surprisingly well!

If only I had real trimmers instead of beard trimmers!

So N thinks he has graduated from Mama Anna's Barber shop and should go to a real barber soon.  I think he's probably right.  My haircuts are good enough, but I'd love for him to have a real one.  I just like how long it is on top and I'm afraid someone will shave it all off.  He looks like such a little man.  Holy cow, I sure do love this little guy :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

So much to blog about, so little time.

Holy cow have we been busy!  Let's see where to start...

BBZ is the smartest child alive.  Ok, that's an exaggeration.  But really, he amazes me with his language and his knowledge.  He knows all of his colors, can count to ten, repeats every word we ask him to but somehow refrains from repeating those words I probably shouldn't say, and says he loves his daddy and me several times a day.  Without us having to say it first!  He is so sweet, and kind, and loveable and we are having so much fun with him!  Friday was a tough day for me for some reason.  I missed him extra badly and hate the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow and be away from him.  Oh well, I'll think about that later and just enjoy today with him. (he's napping now and we have a fun day at an outdoor festival planned!)

Last weekend we had a nice cook-out with our friends Nikki and Laura and their families.  It was so fun having kids in the house, and they played so well together.  I'm so pumped about the mild temps we have had here sure is a nice break from the 100+ degrees we had there for a while.  We also went to a craft festival that I have attended each summer since I was a kid.  My parents always made a day of it and packed us girls up for the hot August festival.  I have a dough ornament from that festival for almost every year of my life beginning in 1984.  (the one from 1984 is a cute cabbage patch kid holding a birth certificate)  We didn't buy one for BBZ this year, but I did get him an art box with his name on it to keep all of his art supplies in since that is how he likes to spend most of his time now.

We also had our fantasy football draft this week.  This was the first time we did the draft online rather than at someone's house.  It was a lot better this way.  I love football season anyway, and playing fantasy football makes watching games other than the Browns and the Rams actually worth watching.  I figured since football is on the TV all day on Sundays anyway, I might as well enjoy it.

Speaking of TV, last week I started to feel like BBZ was watching way too much.  We usually let him watch it if he asked as long as he didn't ask too often.  Well he started to ask to watch a TV show anytime he asked to do anything.  We could always distract him by gong outside, but he amount he was asking to watch made me uncomfortable.  We decided this week to cut down and we surprisingly cut it out completely!  Besides Thursday evening when he wached one episode of Wonder Pets and this morning in bed with me, he hasn't watched any TV at all!  He is much better about finding fun things to do and rarely even asks anymore.  That was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  And life is lovely without having the Wonder Pets song in my head everyday.  That one seriously sucks.

We also told BBZ's school that he will be switching when he turms 2.  I went to an open house (for parents only) which gave me an opportunity to meet his new teachers and I really can't believe how much I love this school.  I'm not unhappy with where he is, even though they did increase his weekly tuition for the third time in less that 2 years.  It's a great place and I am so grateful for having a place I could trust when he was little.  But now that he is older, this new facility has so much more to offer him.  It's is a community center kind of like the Y, so there are all kinds of programs he can participate in.  He'll swim 2x/week in the summer and have access to all of the sports programs once he is there.  We also pay monthly instead of weekly, so we end up paying less over the year.  His teachers are great and although he will be the youngest in the class, the co-director who assigned him thinks he will do fine with the older kids.  They work hard in this room on potty training, so hopefully that will continue at home and at school.

He peed on the potty twice this week!  Once was the morning when he woke up dry and the other was that same day when he got home.  He is growing up so fast!  We think he tried to poop on the potty too, but he sat down and looked a little confused about what to do.  Baby steps.  I'll take what I can get!

I am involved in a group at work that works with young adults with disabilities.  It is an amazing group of people who have come together to try and improve our lives.  I am a co-facilitator of this group, but atthe suggestion of the facilitator I am as much of a member of the group as the others.  I am amazed by the level of honesty that has come from these young people.  I am honored that these strangers would share their feelings and their lives with me and with each other.  This is a level of honesty and support that is hard to find in groups of friends, yet these young people share and support each other in ways I have rarely seen.  I am so excited to be a part of it and can already see how my involvement has changed the way I interact with the people in my life.

We found out that one of our very favorite bands is playing in our city on New Year's Eve!  We have traveled across the country to see this band, so the idea that they are coming to our city is just awesome.  Plus it's fun to think we will actually have NYE plans.  It's been a few years since that has happened.  Now we just need to find sitters :)

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

At My Blue Shiny House

I read a blog.  Actually, I read lots of blogs.  But there is one in particular that always makes me think.  And I like to think.  This one is Stacey.  She is a writer and a mother, and insists that she could really be any mommy out there, hence the name of her blog.  Today she posted about this wonderful concept that her kids came up with.  Or maybe she did.  She's not sure either.  At my shiny house.

My shiny house is blue.  A lovely soft shade of blue.  A hue somewhere between N's eyes and the deep blueness of a cloudless sky.  It is a 2-story, 100+ year-old brick shiny house deep in my city.  The school district is the best in the country and I never, ever, ever have to climb stairs.  There are fans made of feathers that blow cooly at night.

At my blue shiny house, the floors automatically clean themselves. The animals do not shed.

At my blue shiny house there is a dietitian who plans all of my menus to make my grocery store shopping as simple as can be.  I love to cook, so I do all of my cooking in my blue shiny house.  Except for days that I don't want to, and then I don't even have to ask, the food is waiting deliciously at our place settings.

At my shiny blue house, my laundry puts itself away.  There is a sewing room with every color of fabric imaginable stacked in beautiful organized white cubical shelves.  There is also plenty of mommy time that doesn't come out of the 24-hour day or take away time from BBZ.  Time is endless and fun and beautiful at my shiny blue house.

At my blue shiny house, I only have to work 3 days a week, and only 6 hours a day.  There is a master craftsman who teaches BBZ and I an endless number of craft projects and activities.  There are no TVs.  Except when I want one.  Or when N wants one.

In the backyard of my shiny blue house is a BBQ master with Pappy's secret recipe who constantly cooks ribs and pulled chicken sandwiches.  And corn on the cob.  And sweet potato fries.

At my shiny blue house, N has a man-cave, a fridge full of budweiser and a huge music room with Jerry Garcia's ghost that will play for N whenever he requests it.

In my closet in my blue shiny house is Rachel Zoe, who picks out my rockin' outfits everyday.

I really could go on and on...this is fun!

If you feel like reading a bit more of Stacey's writing, check out this post about the space between the mom she is and the mom she wishes she could be.  It amazing stuff.  Perfect reading for a panicy and hopeless worrier like myself.  Thanks for the inspiration, Stacey!

What is at your shiny house?  What color is it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What did we do this weekend?

Is it Sunday night already?  Wow, where the heck did the weekend go?  N was out of town last week for a few days, which was his first trip away in a very long time.  Early last week I noticed that he was leaving on Wednesday evening and I had a big monthly training that I do scheduled for Thursday at work.  I didn't think much of it because while N has been in town for so long, BBZ has also gone a very long time without being sick.  Wednesday this hit me very hard and I had an intense need to get some back-up in place just in case the worse case scenario came true.  One woman at work had already been working with me to help out with the training, but she wasn't really interested in doing the presenting like I do and hoped to just do the behind the scenes planning for it.  I asked one other man who was also presenting to please be prepared to be my stand-in just in case BBZ ends up sick since I have zero babysitting options when N is out of town.  Then I stressed that there was no way that would happen because BBZ has been healthy for months and no one has that bad of timing and luck.

WellI guess you have probably guessed by now that BBZ did end up sick.  I brought him home on Wednesday and could tell how warm he was.  I took his temp and sure enough...101.5.  I called out to N to let him know and he couldn't believe it.  I gave BBZ some motrin and loaded him into the car to take N to the airport.  He was asleep by the time I got him home.  He put on his jam jams and went to bed early.  I checked in on him around 11pm before I went to bed and he was still warm, but sleeping well.  He slept all night and woke up aorund 6am.  I didn't take his temp right away because I could tell that he still had one.  I gave him some motrin and called everyone I needed to about the training and BBZ's illness.  By the time I took his temp it was 99.9.  We took it easy most of the day and I fielded (very welcomed) calls from the people conducting the training for me.  I felt like crap for having all of my responsibilities fall on co-workers like it did.  But that being said, the people who filled in for me did an amazing job!  The feedback was awesome and they had some amazing suggestions of how to improve some things.  I am so proud of them for stepping up!  BBZ woke up from his nap on Thursday and there was no fever.  It was some kind of 12-hour thing that reserved itself for the absolute worst timing ever.  Oh well, I know there is a reason for everything!

Friday was somewhat uneventful.  I worked and left early to pick BBZ up from an early release day.  We had some engaged friends in town for the Cubs/Cards series and N had a weekend planned for his bachelor party.  He is one of N's fraternity brothers, so all of the boys had big plans for a fun night of shenanigans.  His fiance is not from here, so some of us girls planned a little partying for her so she wouldn't get bored while the boys had their fun.  I set up an overnight slumber party for BBZ at N's parents house and took him there while the whole crew went to the game.  The plan was for me to meet the girls back at my house and head to the boat, which was the wish of the bachelorette.  What a surprise it was (although it really wasn't) when the bachelorette came back to my house alone.  That's right, the girls completely bailed on our little party and instead decided to stay with the boys.  How effing lame.  And pathetic, really.  That's all I am going to say about that.

While I was a little uneasy about BBZ spending the night away, it was completely worth it to hear N's mom talk about how much fun they had!  We spoke after he went to sleep and it sounded like they had an amazing time.  He slept well and ate well and tried to water the grass outside with ketchup, among other quirky things.  He has been very "mommy, mommy, mommy" lately, so a little independence couldn't hurt.  I was able to do a little shopping after I dropped him off and the woman at Kohl's who checked me out winked and told me she'd give me 30% off of my purchase!  I was kicking myself for spending a little too much as I walked to the counter, so that 30% made a huge difference!  What a kind woman she was too, just one of those nice people who can change the course of your day with their smile.  It was just what I needed at just the right time.  Again, there is a reason for everything!

So after some retail therapy, a great BBQ with friends, a wonderful night spent sitting around and gossiping with girls, and a lazy Sunday, the weekend is coming to an end.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waaay back When-sday!

This is BBZ back in 2008, watching the television and obviously extremely excited about football season.  He sure is a part of the Z family!

Here he was this past weekend also super-stoked about pre-season starting!!!  Fantasy Football will be here before we know it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Magic Housh!

My sister and nephew were in town this weekend and we had so much fun!  Saturday we relaxed in the morning and went to the third of the six 2-year-old birthdays from the 2008 pregnant crew.  They have a pool so we all got in and refreshed from the midwest heat, ate some pizza and cake and had a great time!  We stopped by my grandparent's house and visited with them before heading home and crashing...we were exhausted!  Sunday we headed to The Magic House (aka Magic Housh in BBZ language).  We went with G-ma and G-pa Z, my sister and nephew and N's sister and niece.

I guess this one needs some explanation.  BBZ was very excited about the slide, so he tried to go down head (or face) first and his legs went right up and over his head!  Like a backwards summersault!  I can't believe N was quick enough to catch it!

Row, Row, Row your boat...

Drawing with G-ma.

So serious when digging in the gravel.

A group effort!

Track-tor Mommy, Track-tor!!!

BBZ in the middle!  My nephew on the left and N's niece on the right.  They all had so much fun playing together!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Is he still nursing?

I kind of stole, but was actually more inspired to write my story from, this story.  Yes, I am still nursing BBZ.  Still.  As we approach his second birthday, I cannot help but feel some doubt about our continuing nursing relationship.  He's almost 2, shouldn't he be able to go to sleep without nursing?  He's almost 2, shouldn't he no longer need to nurse at all?  Questions like this flood my mind, all too often, when I am nursing him to sleep each night.  Shouldn't he...?  But what am I basing that on?  My baby is who he is, and I know no different.  Can he go to sleep without nursing?  Yes he can.  Does he when at daycare and when we have a babysitter?  Yes he does.  Is something wrong with us?  No, there isn't.

There is nothing worse than feeling doubt about my decisions as a mother.  Should I do this, should I do that, am I damaging him?  What will happen to him if I do this?

Am I making a mistake?

These thoughts plague my mind as a mother.  I like to think I am making the best decisions for my son and for our family, but doubt certainly sneaks into our household none the less.  What I can say of our continued nursing relationship is that it doesn't feel like I am doing anything wrong.  Should he be able to put himself to sleep at night?  Perhaps, but who is writing the rules on what children should and should not be able to do?  And I don't know about you, but I feel much more at ease at the end of a long day when I have someone who loves me close by when I drift off to sleep.  I imagine it is no different for BBZ, whose little body snuggles in close to mine each night before bedtime.  He is growing more independent in every way!  Even at bedtime he has begun to ask to go to sleep.  It sounds more like "nigh-night pease mommy, nigh-night pease" as he snuggles his face into his silky "diety" (aka blanket).  He asks for a drink of water from the sink and prefers to be the one who turns on his fan.  He will sometimes ask for a book, but often asks for "ma-mai", his word for nursing.  I think of these other tasks he adds to his routine as small pieces he is setting up which will eventually replace his need to nurse to sleep.  But for now, he still relies on nursing.

The issue has more to do with me than with him.  He cares very little what others think about him and his need to nurse.  It is what he knows, what he wants, and what makes his life predictable and comfortable.  Am I damaging him by extending his nursing?  I don't think I am.  But I do think that if I stopped today and said no more, that I would certainly do some damage.  Imagine if you were able to kiss your husband good night every single night only for him to one day say that you are too grown up for that and you should be able to go to sleep without that kiss.  How confused would you be?  Would you not kick and scream and protest in disagreement?  Would you think something was wrong with you to be denied something that showed such love?  I cannot imagine denying BBZ the love and tenderness associated with nursing.  He nurses first thing in the morning and to sleep at night.  On weekends he nurses to sleep at naptime and during the week he occasionally asks to nurse when he comes home, but that is becoming a rarity.

So the doubt will likely continue as long as I am a mother, so I am learning to cope with it.  But be sensitive next time you ask if someone is "still" doing anything, one is likely filled with enough self-doubt without having to defend themselves to outsiders.

One last story.  At the recent wedding in Colorado, BBZ and I stood back and enjoyed the outdoor wedding from afar (in other words he was too chatty to sit still during the ceremony) and while he dug in the dirt near the lake, another little boy and his mom approached us as he was apparently also a bit too chatty for the ceremony.  We said hello and introduced ourselves and our sons.  I asked how old he was and she said that his 3rd birthday was this very same day.  I said happy birthday to him, a sweet blonde boy who had a pacifier in his mouth, and the next words out of her mouth were a long speech about how she knows the pacifier is bad but he loves it and she knows he's 3 and she should really take it away and on and on she went.  I felt awful for this mother who clearly felt the need to explain her son's use of a pacifier to me, a perfect stranger.  I smiled and said that I am still nursing him, which is considered controversial, but as moms we do what we have to do to get by.  She smiled and said that she wished she could have nursed her son longer, but they only made it 8 months.  I shared that there were many days (and nights) that I wished BBZ would take a pacifier, but he refused.  So the thing we each thought had to be explained was the wish of the other.  How funny.  And how sad that we both felt pressured by what others would think to have to explain and defend our decisions as mothers.  While I am often comfortable sharing that I still nurse him to strangers, I am concerned about how loved ones view my choice to continue.  But actually to me, it doesn't really feel like a choice.  I feel as though I am providing something for my son and to deny him of it would be what would damage him.

BBZ is loving, tender, happy, well adjusted, seeks love and affirmation from others, smiles all the time, says please and thank you, knows how much his mommy and daddy love him, is secure, is bright, is empathetic, and is the light of my life.

So the answer is yes, he is still nursing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our trip to Colorado! And other updates.

So this blog was much longer, but blogger lost it.  I am a little pissy and will re do it another time.  I worked on this for over an hour!!!!  Grrr.

Ok, so I think I only blogged 2-3 times in July.  That's just crazy!  I can't believe how busy we have been.  I have terribly neglected my blog and my emotional outlet.  I have lots to catch up on!  I think I might actually have to look at a calendar to remind myself of what we have done!

My parents came in town a few weekends ago.  It was so wonderful to have them here!  I was spoiled having my mom here for those 2 weeks around when we moved, and then my dad was finally able to get away from work so they turned around and drove back together!  It's a 13-hour drive to the far north, so they were pooped after a short weekend and a long drive!  BBZ just loves his Papa and Meme.  The monday he went to school he woke up around 5am and asked for them.  I told him that they went home and he went back to sleep for a little while.  When he woke up for the day we went to school as usual, but he did not say bye-bye as usual...he cried when I left him!  He has never, ever cried when I dropped him off at school.  It was terrible.  I called at about 9:30am hoping to find out when he stopped and they said he was STILL CRYING!!!  That's about an hour and a half.  I aske dif they thought I should come back and get him and she said that he just now finally calmed down and stopped, while I was on the phone.  I imagine they finally really tried when I called, which pisses me off all over again since I haven't thought about it since that day.  Grrr.  Tuesday of that week he did the same thing when I dropped him off, but this time I stood outside of the door and listened until I thought he stopped.  It was mch easier and by Wednesday he was fine.  I don't know what that was all about, but maybe he was upset that Meme and Papa were there when he went to bed and not there when he woke up.  Whatever the reason, thank goodness it was short-lived.  I don't know how moms do it with kiddos who have spearation anxiety and cry every time they get dropped off.  That would suck!

The next weekend we celebrated 2 birthdays!  My friend, Nikki's little girl turned 5.  5???  I can't believe it has been 5 years sine she was born.  She was the first child in our group by about 2 years, so she is kind of everyone's baby, nd I can hardly believe it.  The other birthday was the 2nd of the six 2-year-old birthdays from the 2008 pregnant crew.  It was crazy hot, but it was a pool party, which was perfect!  My friend Kelli was at the 5-year-old party Sunday and was literally in active labor!  She was 9 days overdue and was scheduled to be induced Sunday night, so having the contractions was when she hoped for, but she lasted through almost the whole party!  She is such a trooper.  And her little man is just gorgeous!

We had just 2 days last week because we went on vacation!  N and I took 252 photos in 5 days.  That's a lot!  I'll try to just post some of my favorites that tell the vacation story...

We flew in to Denver early Wednesdya morning.  Because of the time change, we landed around 8:30am.  We picked up our rental car and headed north toward Fort Collins.  BBZ took a nice nap in the car and was ready to do some exploring.  We found an awesome part of town where we parked and walked and just enjoyed the small city.  This fountain was pretty cool.

N printed out some fun, family attractions for us to choose from and one was a Fossil Park.  We were expecting an amusement pakr of sorts, but it was really just a big park with a dinasour theme.  Either way, it was great fun for a little boy who had spent all morning in either a car or an airplane, which he thought was awesome, by the way.

He is so adventurous!

We were able to check into our hotel a little early, but not early enough for BBZ to take a much needed nap.  We had tickets to a tour of the New Belgium Brewery at 4:05pm, but headed over there a bit early since he was ansy and a little cranky.  It probably wasn't the best idea to expect him to stay entertained at a place that really isn't for kids, but he did find this fun water fountain to play in!

I have no idea what prompted this pose, but he held it for plenty of time for me to grab the camera.  It is so cute to me!

That is not beer, it's a seltzer water or somehting, according to N.

So there is a big story about this one.  See that sling he is in?  That was the best and worst idea to have with me.  He doesn't even try to get down when he is in it, compared to him fighting and pulling and "get down"-ing that he does most of the time when he is held.  But this time it caused some serious sh*t (pun definitely intended).  I started to feel something damp and said to N that I thought he was wet.  We were knee deep in the tour and not able to leave and find the group again.  I felt the wetness again and realized what I feared.  It was poop.  All over him.  And all over me.  We had a break to use the bathroom so I went in and discovered that not only was it all over us, but I didn't bring any shorts on the tour with us.  I changed his diaper (while he laid on the sling on the floor since there are no changing tables at the New Belgium Brewery.  I put his dirty shorts back in him and stuck him back in the sling.  The nuce thing about the ring sling is that there is plenty of extra fabric to cover us up, so that's what we did.  So this picutre is of a very pooped little boy and his giggling mama.

As we left Fort Collins on Thursday morning, we stopped by this awesome zoo that was really just a guy's trailer park with metal scuptures all over the place.  Some of these were really, really awesome.  This is where we took a lot of the 252 photos, but I will just post a few.

This is such a typical picture of me.  That super rickity bridge looks scary to me, so I am standing back trying to allow my adventurous little boy explore while holding back my urge to say "NO!  Don't do it, you could fall!"  And resist the urge I did, as he scampered across the bridge with no problem.

The next day we drove into the mountains to Estes Park.  This is our cabin.

We drove up into the mountains and tried to go higher than this, but there was terrible traffic that we later found out was road construction, and a huge rain storm came through, which basically forced us back down the mountain.  On the way down we stopped here and climbed some rocks.  I snapped this picture, which I absolutely love.  We are at about 9,000 feet above sea level here.

Our first family vacation!

The next day we tried the mountain again and made it much farther.  Another storm was moving in, but we managed to catch a few shots at about 10,000 feet.

We kept driving and got to about 12,000 feet, which we thought was as high as we could go.