Friday, February 27, 2009


This week has been a bit of a challenge for me, and I've been channeling my inner superglue to hold everything together. DH has continued to work insane hours, he doesn't get home before 10 pm, and he'll have to work on Saturday too. Obviously I'm glad to snuggle up next to him at the end of the day as opposed to when he's gone entirely on a business trip, but there is so much that needs to get done at home (mainly to prep for Bean's birthday party) and it's not happening. Meanwhile, my Mom was hit with an unfortunate attack of something horrid -- vicious vertigo or an inner ear infection, the docs aren't sure -- and has been laid up in the hospital all week. She's home now but still far from okay. Which means they had to cancel their plane tickets to come out to Seattle tomorrow and stay for Bean's birthday and party. Boo hoo!
Other than that:
The house is a mess. I would say it looks like a tornado hit, but as we don't have tornadoes in Seattle, I'll say it looks like we had an earthquake followed by gale force winds. Put simply, the house is an utter mess. But it's totally not my fault, and I have proof:

Look at that grin, he has no remorse! If only there were a "reverse" switch on the Bean, he could help me clean the place instead of searching for the next thing to destroy. Don't ask me how the house is going to be presentable within a week so we can host our very first party ever.

With DH gone so much, my television viewing has suffered greatly because I'm waiting to watch our shows together. Only our DVR knows who won Top Chef or what happened on the season finales of Monk and Psych. Shhh! No spoilers please! So I have been limited to watching chick 'flix and American Idol. (I am surprised to find myself totally digging Adam Lambert. Not usually my type, but something about him...) And thanks to Sam, I am now hooked on a new romance author, Kresley Cole. And by hooked, I mean I want to liquefy her novels and put them in an IV so I can have them steadily dripped into my bloodstream all day long. I now use my library card so frequently that it has ended up in the front of my wallet. The other day I was at the grocery store repeatedly trying to swipe my store card until the unamused clerk raised an eyebrow at me and remarked, "That's your library card." Well, I thought it was funny.
Yesterday Bean and I enjoyed a fun day out. A friend of mine that I've had since I was Bean's age was visiting Seattle for the day with several of her friends from Michigan. We all met up at Pike Place Market and had lunch and walked through the market. (Okay, so I also learned at the original Starbucks location that they have discontinued the salt for their salted caramel signature hot chocolate. They have lost a customer. But let's focus on the positive!) It was perfect timing, I really needed to see a friendly face, someone who knew me before I had a 20-lb appendage on my hip. Their Midwestern accents made my heart smile. Oh, and Bean also had his first kid's meal! Grilled cheese and fries. Another thrilling milestone I have to remember to add to his baby book. Because I'm sure he'll really care about this stuff when he's 35.
I will now spend the next 8 days preparing for the birthday party. Seeing as DH and my parents won't be around to help after all, I guess I'll have to actually do something. I have already practiced making the giant cupcake cake that I drooled over when my friend A's son had his first birthday party. They live in St. Louis, so I just saw it in pictures, but it was obviously just adorable! I sent it to work with DH so his coworkers could test it for me. (I already gained back the 2 lbs I lost from doing hot yoga, and I have no room to spare in my jeans.) DH said it got quite a few laughs, I'm sure they meant it in a good way.

Despite all the chaos of this past week, Bean has been a constant source of happiness for me. He is teething, which means I have to deal with more than a bit of the grumpies, but it makes him so cuddly! He has fallen asleep on me several times, just like he did when he was a newborn. That kid just loves his mama... and his mama loves him. Infinity plus one.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hairy situation

The theme of this past weekend was definitely Hair. No, we weren't dancing around naked singing hippie tribal love songs. It was off to the salon for all four of us. But before I get to that, I wanted to follow up on the hot yoga post. I ended up going twice last week -- before DH was thrust into a 14-hour-workday schedule which puts him home around 9:30 pm, effectively causing me to miss the 8:15 pm class. But imagine my surprise to step on my scale and find that I had actually lost two pounds. Yep, one pound per class, this is totally why people go! Near instant results! DH read that hot yoga can burn 300-1200 calories per session, which explains it. Of course, both lbs have returned to their cozy residence on my belly because I had to console myself for being homebound again with some chocolate ice cream. But the promise is there... maybe someday. And those of you who are The Biggest Loser fans may be interested to hear that Suzy Preston, who was the runner-up in season two and married the winner, was at the class too.

Although myself, DH, and the pooch also got a trim this weekend, of course it is far more interesting to talk about Bean's first haircut. DH and I took him on Saturday after two failed nap attempts... yes, we were taking our lives in our hands with that gamble, but we couldn't wait any longer. Oh, and while you are looking at the pictures below, be sure to imagine an episode of Barney blaring loudly on a TV in the background. It helps to set the right mood.

His first reaction was, "This chair is awesome!"

Isn't he the cutest in that cape?

He tolerated it for a few minutes, but then things got a little tricky. Bean decided he was nervous, and the binky alone wasn't cutting it, so he wanted to hang out under mama's shirt. As Bean has no concern for my modesty, the stylist got some choice views of The Girls (my awesome new bra continues to earn its worth). But it got the job done.

As you can see, Bean is clearly thrilled with the results. And I'm hopeful that no one will exclaim "She is adorable!" at the grocery store today.

Because of the missed morning nap, we decided to walk on a local trail after the haircut to get us back on schedule. As we marveled at Mt. Rainier...

...Bean practiced his angsty teenage "Can we leave now?" look.

He did enjoy some string cheese when we got home, though, and even rewarded the dog for executing the "be cute" command.

And the best part of the weekend, we spent Sunday shopping at the fancy mall burning through the remainder of my birthday money. Bean did marginally well, but DH was my champion shopping partner as always. He's probably embarrassed that I say it, but I'm fairly certain that no woman with a heterosexual husband could ask for a better mall buddy in her spouse. I love you, honey!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two weeks

In a mere 14 days, my son will be ONE. As in, a YEAR old. TWELVE months. I will be the mother of a one-year-old child. I keep waiting for that to sink in, but it hasn't happened yet. I guess my dogged focus on a to-do list that can't be to-done allows me to leave that milestone firmly in the "denial" category for now. But my acceptance or no, he continues to grow and learn.
  • Growing. He looks a lot bigger to me, I am anxious to hear his height and weight at the doctor next month. On my unreliable bathroom scale, he's at least 20 pounds. If this is true, I'll be able to turn his carseat around to face front on his birthday. Although now that the time is near, I'm considering holding out. It's safer for his neck if he's rear-facing during a crash. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this either way.
  • Talking. No official first word, but he's definitely soaking up the language. I'm thinking his first intelligible utterance might be a toddler's interpretation of "Evey" or "light," as those are the objects he seems to recognize most. Although I swear today he said "mama" when he was in his high chair. But then as soon as I started celebrating, it turned into "mamamamamamamamamamamama" so maybe not. Oh, the ups and downs of motherhood.
  • Walking. He is so much steadier on his feet these days, cruising the furniture and roaming the house holding onto my fingers. He's getting braver, he'll let go of whatever is steadying him and balance for a brief moment. I doubt he'll walk on his own before his birthday, but that dreaded thrilling day is not far off...
  • Sleeping. Naps are still going well overall, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Occasionally it takes me a couple of tries to get him down, but it always happens. I have also started night weaning him. After I put him down, I don't go in to nurse/comfort him until 4 am at the earliest. He cried a bit at first, but once he realized I wasn't coming in, he'll just fuss for a minute and then go back to sleep on his own. I still wake up constantly, but I'll eventually get used to sleeping again. I'm hopeful that if I can get in at least one uninterrupted 4-hour sleep cycle each night, I might actually be able to increase my brain power to... say... 35% of what it was before giving birth.
  • Eating. We are finally starting to get the hang of eating finger foods. Hooray! No more 7 hour waffle-eating marathons. It's still a slow process, but more of the food is ending up his mouth in a steady succession. (As long as it's not a green bean.) I need to start getting creative with his meals now that I am more confident it won't entirely become dog food. Bummer.
  • Nursing. We are two weeks shy of my one-year breastfeeding goal. It's amazing to me, I couldn't imagine getting here when we first started. It was so difficult, and I'm really proud of myself for hanging in there through the tough times. As it got easier, our success really helped me get some confidence that I was sorely lacking. I'm not really sure how much longer we'll go... I'm following his lead for now. (Plus, I need to justify that wonderful nursing bra I just got from Victoria's Secret. I wonder how many months of savings on cow's milk for him would equal $44?)
  • Reaching. Bean spends 95% of his waking moments reaching for things. Mostly those things he is not supposed to have, like scissors and super glue and flame throwers. Maybe one of these days we'll finish hanging the decorations in the nursery so I can get the power drill off the floor in there.
  • Sharing. Be still my beating heart, I just melt when Bean holds out a piece of string cheese for his mommy. True, he likely held it out for the dog first, who no doubt licked it eagerly, but it's the thought that counts. Right?
  • Screeching. Apparently there is a banshee inside of my son, and it demands to be heard. This discovery is my least favorite in Bean's development so far. This kid emits the most ear-piercing screams I have ever heard in my life. If you are too close, your ears will actually pop (I'm serious!). Excitement, frustration, boredom, anger, contentment... any emotion whatsoever elicits a shriek. I try to remind myself that it's healthy for him to explore self-expression and communication, but my nerves are sometimes very raw at the end of the day. That goodness for his early bedtime, decaf coffee, and DVRed home decorating shows.

I wish I had some better pictures to share, but we haven't been doing much that is picture worthy. He will be having his first haircut on Saturday, thanks to you voters and two different women on a recent outing who referred to him as a "her," so hopefully that will yield some interesting shots. In the meantime...

My little jail bird.

Bean and Evey set to the serious task of emptying the bin of baby accessories.

His new favorite face to make, scrunching his nose and breathing quickly through it (followed by giggles). Surely not a comment on my cooking.

He loves to smack the spoon out of my hand when he's had enough. Too bad he doesn't equally love to take baths.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hot mess

A lot has been written about torture in the last few years, thanks to Aru Ghraib and Guantanamo. Today I would like to talk about a different kind of torture: hot yoga. For those new to the concept, hot yoga is practiced in a room a few degrees warmer than the hottest ring of Hell. It involves finding inner peace and physical relaxation while your skin burns and melts off your body. Sound pleasant? It was great!

Those of you who know my laziness me well are probably wondering how I ended up with firsthand knowledge of hot yoga. (I myself still ponder it.) The blame rests several places, including on my depressing lack of baby-free outings and the extra poundage hovering around my midsection since said baby was pulled from it. That's why, in preschool last week, when one of the other moms mentioned that she was doing hot yoga at 8:15 pm on weeknights and would love company, I made a mental note to follow up with her. Although this would not be my ideal "mom's evening out" activity, it fit the criteria of allowing me to be social at a semi-convenient time for DH to stay home with the baby -- and yeah, I guess it would be good for me, too. She told me the name of the studio, and I set to searching the house for the yoga mat I got free with an active wear clothing purchase from Marshall Field's five years ago.

I checked the studio's web site for directions. Their site boasts, "We offer the most exciting, challenging, hardworking, effective yoga classes in the world." Questionable grammar aside (can a yoga class be hardworking?), imagine my delight at discovering that I live within driving distance of the most effective yoga class in the world. Because if I am going to expend any of my precious little energy for the purpose of physical fitness and emotional enlightenment, instead of watching Scrubs and eating ice cream like a reasonable human being would, the class better be the most effective. In the world.

I silently prayed that DH would be delayed in leaving work so I would miss the class, smugly confident that the odds were in my favor for that one. But alas, I saw his cell phone on our caller ID at 6 pm and knew me and my baby weight would be hauling ourselves to class. He arrived home, I put the baby to bed, and with nerves churning in my stomach, I resignedly left the house. I drove the insultingly low speed limit on the highway, which I usually reserve for occasions when I spot a cop, but I didn't want to get there early and wander around in confusion waiting for my friend.

I pulled into the parking lot, straight into God's cruel joke. The studio was nestled between a Cold Stone Creamery and a See's Candy shop. And what towered behind but a movie theater, playing "Twilight" nonetheless, which I had really wanted to see in the theater. *sigh* I called DH for some moral direction. "Do whatever will bring you home to me with a smile on your face," he advised. Note to self: don't call DH when in need of moral direction.

I spotted another preschool mom and her husband in the studio, thank goodness. I signed up at the reception desk (newbie special, 10 classes for $10) and sat nervously with them in the lobby. Our other friend arrived, and finally it was time to enter. My friends and I chatted about bed times and nap schedules as the room filled, occasionally shooting eye daggers when a skinny would enter sporting a toned tummy, tight shorts, and a sports bra. (Or maybe it was just me doing that.) Then the teacher introduced herself. She was probably 5 months pregnant but could still kick my butt six ways to Sunday. She laid the ground rules -- NO LEAVING THE ROOM before it's over, under penalty of death -- and we began.

Seeing as though I had never done so much as a downward facing dog in my entire life, it was hard for me to keep up with the poses. As soon as I figured one out, it was on to the next. (This is power yoga, too. Did I mention that? Which means none of that holding-a-position-for-two-minutes-while-the-ocean-waves-lap-calmly-in-the-background that you see on Sunday morning TV. This stuff is fast.) On top of being new to the yoga moves, I had never previously experienced the feeling that I was going to sweat all my organs out through my pores. Having heard that everyone drips sweat the entire time, I expected the room to be stinky. But either all my nose hairs got burned off or the heat vaporized the smell, because that was never a problem. I did the best I could, taking some time-outs periodically to rest and rehydrate. That being said, I dare say that I held my own with my two friends, who had gone to the class before. After it was over, they praised how well I kept up and expressed disbelief that I had never done yoga before. I thanked them and mumbled something about not being sure I was doing it correctly, but inside I was thinking, "BOO YAH!"

I drove home, feeling lightheaded and a bit nauseated. I'm sure there's a really good reason why people do this regularly. When I looked in the bathroom mirror, I half expected to have lost five pounds of water weight -- now that would be a reason to keep going. Of course I looked exactly the same as when I left. Bummer. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to attend the class, as DH is under a tight deadline and will probably be working past 8 pm through at least this week. Ice cream and Scrubs it is!

**I know I'm overdue to post an update and some pictures of my soon-to-be one year old (gasp). I'll try to do that later this week... it's a busy one!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pushing 30

Yep, I'm 29 today. Happy birthday to me! Despite all my whining, I've enjoyed the day so far. I've gotten a lot of nice emails, thanks for thinking of me. And DH's plane didn't leave until 12:45 pm this afternoon, so we spent the morning as a family. He got me some beautiful flowers:

He made me chocolate-chip pancakes shaped like a birthday cake (please ignore the Corelle plate that my mom bought in 1986, it's industrial strength and I fully intend to use the set until they disintegrate):

And then when I got in the car for preschool, I saw that DH had put our initials in the garage door windows, an early Valentine's Day surprise:

I had been searching high and low for the scissors, turns out my sweetie had taken them upstairs to cut out the construction paper. Is he not the cutest?!
The three of us all went to preschool this morning, it was picture day. I was shocked at how efficiently the photographer was able to get a class photo of 13 one year olds. I guess if you don't do it quickly, it's not gonna happen. Bean didn't smile, but he didn't pitch a fit, either... I consider that a victory.
For my birthday, DH got me the set of kitchen cabinet pulls that I wanted. I also got a couple of boxes in the mail of gifts I ordered for myself; if you can't treat yourself to a new bra and some herbal supplements on your birthday, when can you? I'm going to be so sexy and balanced, you won't even recognize me. I also have birthday money to spend (do I sound 12?) and I can't wait to take Bean to the mall for some shopping. We both need new outfits for the family pictures we are having taken for his birthday.
Tonight, Bean and I are going to our favorite teriyaki place for dinner. I figure that the owners are the people who know me best in the area now that DH is out of town, so it's fitting to spend my birthday with them. It'll be the first time I go out to eat without DH and actually split a meal with the baby (I'm calling him that as often as possible for the next 3 weeks while I still can), so we'll see how that goes. But he can't touch my eggroll. Even mommy has her limits. Then, as the #1 man who makes my heart go pitter-patter won't be home, I will snuggle up with the #2 man who makes my heart go pitter-patter: Colin Firth. A deliciously lame romantic comedy from my friends at Netflix. Unfortunately Heather Graham is in it too, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
All in all, a good birthday, I'd say.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poll: Hair today, gone tomorrow?

Don't you totally wonder how long I sit around making up clever titles for my posts? It isn't easy my friends, let me tell you. I work hard, I hope you appreciate it. I think you do.

On to the poll, which you will see on the sidebar to the right. I have been dreading Bean's first haircut, and not for the screaming or thrashing that will likely ensue. No, I enjoy those at every bathtime anyway. But I know that as soon as those scissors come out, he won't be my baby anymore, he'll be... *sigh* a toddler. One of the benefits of being a mom is that you can generally operate your child's life under the influence of your own personal fears and neurosis, and until your son is cruelly nicknamed "Rapunzel" on the playground, you can justify pretty much anything.

But as I was scheduling haircuts for myself and the pooch, I caught a glimpse of Bean's one-year-old photo session noted on the calendar for March 1. Putting the two together, I took a big *gulp* and wondered if it was time to bite the bullet and get the little man his first hair cut before the pictures. I need your help to decide. I took some pictures today to show you his hair from multiple angles. (Please ignore the fact that his hair needs to be washed and refer to paragraph above re: bathtime.) I think it looks fine from the front, and as he'll be facing the camera anyway, maybe I'm safe... What do you think?

And just for fun...

Thanks for voting!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not what you'd call a good weekend

In the midst of an already disappointing weekend, we got the sad news that DH's grandmother passed away on Saturday night. I can only describe her as the quintessential Grandma: kind, nurturing, gentle, loving, and happy. She was always quick with a smile and a hug, interested to hear how life was treating you. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that her heart was made of pure sugar, that's how sweet she was. DH's grandfather passed away more than 20 years ago, and our consolation is that they are together again, peaceful and content in Heaven.

DH is leaving for the funeral in Michigan on Wednesday -- my birthday -- and will return on Saturday afternoon. After serious consideration, we decided it would be best for me and Bean to stay here. So not only will I not get to pay my last respects to Grandma, but it will just be me, the baby, and the pooch celebrating the last year of my 20s. I can't wait to see what they have planned. As I had already expected to mope around on my birthday due to Other Stuff weighing on me (which I won't go into here because it seems tacky after mentioning the loss of Grandma), the situation is really working out toward that end. If anyone wants to come to my pity party, the invite is open!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Boob tube

I saw this on Sam's blog and thought it would be fun to try. It's the list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows ever, as judged by British magazine Empire. How many have you seen?

A. Bold the shows you watch/used to watch.
B. Italic the shows you’ve seen at least one episode of.
C. Post your answers.

50. Quantum Leap
49. Prison Break
48. Veronica Mars
47. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
46. Sex & The City
45. Farscape
44. Cracker
43. Star Trek
42. Only Fools and Horses
41. Band of Brothers
40. Life on Mars
39. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
38. Curb Your Enthusiasm
37. Star Trek: The Next Generation
36. Father Ted
35. Alias
34. Frasier
33. CSI: Las Vegas
32. Babylon 5
31. Deadwood
30. Dexter
29. ER
28. Fawlty Towers
27. Six Feet Under
26. Red Dwarf
25. Futurama
24. Twin Peaks (but it's in my Netflix queue)
23. The Office (the U.S. version; the U.K. version is also in my Netflix queue)
22. The Shield
21. Angel
20. Blackadder
19. Scrubs
18. Arrested Development
17. South Park
16. Doctor Who
15. Heroes
14. Firefly
13. Battlestar Galactica
12. Family Guy
11. Seinfeld
10. Spaced (Thanks to Netflix again!)
09. The X-Files
08. The Wire
07. Friends
06. 24
05. Lost
04. The West Wing
03. The Sopranos
02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
01. The Simpsons

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wet and (not so) wild

Backing up to last Wednesday, the kiddos enjoyed water day in the play room at preschool. Although for Bean, the word "enjoyed" might be a bit strong. Between teething and missing his morning nap, he was not overly enthusiastic about the experience. And when water splashed up into his face, he had enough. Fortunately, a hug from mommy makes it all better.

Bean surveys the water table with thinly veiled disinterest delight.

A man on a mission. A mission of smacka smacka.

As you can see, Bean is far cuter than his classmates.

He is such a people watcher, this is his typical preschool face.

The pooch has no news to report. She continues to lounge comfortably around the house while the rest of us bustle around her.

Although sometimes she loses her toys to teething infants. DH saw this picture and asked, "How long had he been chewing on that?"

One of the other moms at preschool knitted Bean a new hat. When I put it on him in class, he screamed bloody murder and furiously ripped it off his head. Embarrassed, all I could respond was: "Bean says thank you so much!" Luckily he tolerated it at home, so I could email her some pictures of him wearing and eating it.

Other than that, not much is going on in our household these days. DH is working crazy hours to finish a project, he sometimes doesn't get home until 9 or 10 pm, plus he had to work on Saturday. I've been consumed with the normal stuff, trying to keep the household going by myself as Bean tries to dismantle it. DH and I have both been tired and distracted lately, as evidenced by my leaving our portable GPS in the lease car I turned in, and DH bringing home a gallon of milk that was almost expired. "I usually check the expiration date on the milk to make sure we can get a full week out of it," I gently reminded him. "I actually did check the date," he admitted sheepishly, "I just didn't know what day it was today." That about sums it up.