Saturday, November 29, 2008


No, I'm not calling you names. I'm mad at me. More specifically, I'm mad at my head. It's nearly eleven a.m. and this is the first time I've sat upright today, not counting the forty seconds I got up this morning, dragging myself on Bryon's arm to the potty with my eyes closed so I wouldn't barf. Yep, that's right, another migraine.

I should expect them this time of year. Usually from about Halloween until about New Year's, I get smacked with a fair number of bad, whopper ones. They just really suck. I tend to ignore them as long as humanly possible, pretending that my head isn't about to actually crack in half and spill my brains onto the carpet. Pretty much, I find this the best strategy because otherwise, I'd miss half the season lying on the couch.

But today, I'm going to wallow; because today I'm missing the tar pits! Bryon and Collin went anyway. I wouldn't hear of them staying home with me. There's no way I could ignore this one, it was too bad. Besides, I think I'm a little hopped up on pain meds and I'm so enamored with the tar pits, what if I actually tried to jump in! You never do know, right? People do silly things.

I tell you what though, I'm GOING to Disneyland tomorrow though. Hubby is leaving Monday for a week, then the following Monday for a week, then the following Monday he starts some class that keeps him extra late at work for a week; so we need some good family time.

I did get a feel better kiss this morning though. Mr. Collin came dashing in because he missed me and as soon as he saw me, he rubbed his little face against my hand draped over the side of the bed and then kissed it. Who teaches boys this kind of stuff? Seriously, it's so heartmelting. I'm pretty sure that the narcotics aren't what made my head feel better this time, it had to be the kiss!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Collin's Day of Holiday Torture

Hooray! The Christmas tree is up! I think I was looking more forward to that part of the season than anything else this year. But, Collin however decided that ornaments are just not his thing. He did put ONE ornament on the tree.

He dug through the box, found a cardboard circle ornament that came with our copy of "National Lampoon's Christmas" and decided that this was the ornament for him. Why we still have that ornament is pretty much a mystery to me; apparently, it's in our collection just for this moment, so my son could "help" decorate the tree. Never mind that I wanted a photo-op of him putting his first Christmas ornament on the tree...which I got, of him sort of tossing it AT the tree. Nonetheless, he put the Griswald cardboard up impeccably. Kids!

He did enjoy breaking one of Daddy's classic ornaments though. So, we got the Christmas gift of Collin's first guilt trip. It was pretty precious. We told Collin how he must be careful with the ornaments because look how sad it mad Daddy that it was broken. Daddy put on a very sad face and we talked about how important that ornament was. Oh boy, you should've seen that chin quiver and neither one of us had even raised our voices. His little eyes started to brim and I felt so badly! Hey, we got the point across because he was super gentle the rest of the day but jeesh! I felt like I killed Eddie in front of him or something.

It was such a fun time though. I can't tell you how special it is to do this stuff with my son and my husband...then, I didn't have to clean any of it up! I got to go out for more Mommy Time. I know, I know, what is up with that? I'm totally spoiled lately.

I went to another movie and more shopping. No, I didn't buy anything for me. I bought presents for my hubby. Just because presents too, not even Christmas presents. Pretty snazzy of me, I thought. He deserved them. But, when I came home, he showed me up because he'd decorated the rest of the house without me and did all the rest of the holiday work. Awwww. I'm going to miss him in December. Stupid TDYs!

So, tomorrow it's the Tar Pits! Weee! If you've ever visited me here, I've dragged you there. I cannot tell you how much I love that place. Bryon thinks they are stupid. He thinks it's just visiting stinky mud. I think it's the most awsome place in the state, Disneyland aside.

Oh yeah...more emotional torture today. I conned Collin into wearing his Baby's First Christmas Santa hat from last year by promising him a snack if he'd take a picture with me. Apparently, he's learning emotional bribery. Look below for how well it went. I think it was a smooth promise!

This is the, "I really HATE this hat" picture. So, mommy had fast thinking to do.....
This is the, "I'm considering your offer, Mommy" picture.
This is the, "Post photo-session" picture. We got a good one too. But, these were just too much fun. He wore the stupid hat for like half an hour after he got the Nutri-Grain bar!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I'm Thankful For....

It's Gobble-Gobble Day. Hooray! You know what that means? It means that it's time to think of things that make me happy to be alive. So, here no particular order:

1. That I'm a fast reader...Yep, I'm DONE with "Twilight!" Hoorray. I'm BAAAAAACK to "normal." And yes, it was that good. And yes, I stayed up almost all night to finish that last 750 page monster last night. It was awesome. But, I'm glad it's over. I can breathe again. I am kinda crushing on the idea of being a vampire though. Although, I think the whole series since Saturday, is that some kind of record?

2. That I have the best husband on the planet. Who else would have allowed me to be such an absentee wife and mother for the past few days? Who else would've just brought me a sandwich while I typed this, just because he's awesome? Who else is so special to me that my heart pitter-patters sometimes when I think of him? Awwww, don't get all mushy on me now. Oh yeah, and that he's taking me to the Tar Pits tomorrow and Disneyland on Sunday (my two favorite places EVER) and letting me put the Christmas tree up on Friday. Do you think he's sucking up for something?

3. My son. Yep, okay if I had to rank, you all know where he'd be. Let's not mince words. We've all seen the pictures (even this one that makes him look like John Candy). There's no denying how great he is. Words, words, words...might as well just type blank, meaningless words because nothing else will describe him anyway, right?

4. That I live in California. I have to throw that in there, hoping that the great and powerful Air Force somehow hears me and senses that I hate the snow and cold. Please, please great and powerful Air Force, no more Ohio. Please.....(Besides, look what would happen if we move, my son would reverse age and become nine months old again!!! ACK!)

5. My Family. All of it. I have probably, the best, best, best in-laws, all of them, in the world. They even flew and drove all the way to Vegas and trashed it up for us to watch us get married at the Little White Wedding chapel a few years back. Cool, huh? They are all so special, kind and loving. And, my family is wonderful too. And, when I say family, I mean the "family" you build in the Air Force too...those friends that you build at every base that become your second family, the ones you can call on in the middle of the night when your kid has to go to the emergency room and your parents, the ones you'd normally call for just such a case, live 3,000 miles away. What would I do without that "family." I'm so thankful for them...all of them, scattered all over the country, and the world!

Okay, I'm mushing now. I should stop before I start to cry...which I never do. Bryon accuses me of having a cold, black heart about these things...Guess joke's on him when he reads this!!!

Enjoy your turkey...I will be having none because I HATE turkey! Another think to be thankful for; we're having steak too. Yumm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To Think...I used to TEACH High School

Yes, it's complete. I'm now totally addicted to this "Twilight" thing. I actually read a complete book yesterday. So now I'm on the last series of the four. These are not thin, little wafty books either. These suckers are five hundred pages at their shortest. The last one, started this morning, is six hundred something.

Can you believe me?! That means yesterday I read two thirds of the second one AND the entire third book! I started it at seven p.m. and stayed up until 1 am! Okay, I read the last hundred or so pages on the treadmill this morning; but that didn't stop me from hauling into the last one immediately. I'm sick. Sick!
Bryon thinks so too. He found it immensely amusing to take these photographs of me ignoring the former center of my universe. To be fair, he was ignoring me first! Look, he's completely amused, all by himself. What a joyful child.

Then look, he approacheth....He looks so pathetic trying to cram himself onto my lap and me, his Mother, his own flesh and blood, not letting him between me and my book!

And, yes the reason I'm sitting on the floor is because he whined that I was ignoring him too much on the couch, then on the chair, then on the other chair and he wanted me to be closer to him. I'm ashamed! Ashamed! Mommy is so cruel!

But, I think I'm making progress on the whole addiction thing. See, it's Turkey-Day eve; so, we've got a load of cooking to do. Before noon today, I made a pie, two chocolate cherry loaves and put dinner in the slow cooker. I also vacuumed the house and took Collin to play at the park. I didn't totally shirk my responsibilities to read. I'm recovering! I swear. But, I also threw him in the crib the second nap time hit...and I'm off to read.

Don't worry, the end is in sight. In about five hundred more pages or so, I'll HAVE to stop. I have no choice. It will be over. Please don't let this woman write any prequels or something. I don't think I could bear it. I have a theory that the publisher has coated the pages of these books in some sort of drug that has you craving the book. What do you think? It can't possibly just be that I'm nuts, can it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mommy's Regression

Okay, so during the course of my Super Weekend, I mentioned that I saw "Twilight," right? I also mentioned that I kinda liked it enough to swipe the books from Costco when we were there the next day. Well, I neglected to mention that I sort of talked Bryon into going to Costco because I really knew they'd have the books.

Yes, we were out of yogurt and eggs and yes, we really kind of needed to go; but, I could've waited a day. No, I didn't want to. I NEEDED to start reading the darn things. I swear to God, I've become one of those raving teenagers who waited outside Barnes and Noble to get the next installment. Thank God I didn't discover this thing until all the books are out. I think I would've gone insane waiting for them.

So, it's now Tuesday and I've already finished the first one and am a third of the way through the second one. I literally cannot put them down. My son is starving in the corner, sitting in squallor, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't know who I am anymore because I do nothing but read and push him away. Kidding. But, I'm reading every second he doesn't pay me a lick of attention. If he's got a Lego in his hand and he thinks it's as fascinating as say, lint, I read a sentence. I'm so lame!

So, I think right now, you could place my age at about what...sixteen? I'm totally swooning over this Edward Cullen guy and I can't put the darn book down. Bryon went to sleep with one of those eye patches on last night because I stayed up with the reading lamp on until 11:30 to finish the first book...AND start the next one. I am sick.

Oh yeah and for Mel who thinks there should be a picture of Mr. Hottie-Pants...nope. Yes, there are adorable pictures of him reading with Collin and no, you shall not see them because I'm too embarrassed! Now, back to reading.....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mommy's Super Weekend

Mommy leads a pretty mundane life. Normally, her life is bordered by the gate guard and the playground. Heck, she doesn't even potty alone. What Mommy with a toddler does, I ask you? But, this weekend, she partied like a rock star. Well, the rock star equivalent of a thirty-year old mommy.

It all started with Friday night. She a movie! And, wait for it...dinner! Without the husband and baby! She went out with a girlfriend. It was super fun. Since nothing else remotely interesting was showing at 7'ish, they saw Twilight with the rest of the fifteen year-old set and pretended they were teenagers. They didn't blend well since, alas, they are NOT teenagers anymore and they couldn't muster the strength to squeal when seeing the dreamy Edward Cullen appear on screen. Although, Mommy did enjoy the movie enough to dash out and buy the books. Yes, it IS that good of a story. And, yes, she IS that lame.

Collin and Daddy, abandoned at home were saddened by Mommy's absence. Daddy took this picture of Collin who dashed to the door when he realized she left. Mommy was happy when she skipped off to the car because it was the first time that she'd left her boy that he DIDN'T go into hysterics. In fact, he was so excited that he'd understood waving and "bye-bye" going with the idea of someone exiting, that he seemed quite pleased with himself...until he realized that someone leaving was his Mama. Poor little Peanut.
Awww shucks, Mama had a great time. And, since the theater is at a mall...with a J.Crew, Mama got a new sweater!!!! Mama can't resist argyle. It's like crack to her. What!? It was on sale...I know, I'm a sucker! It could be a thousand dollars, marked down from $1,001. I'd buy it if it were argyle and from J.Crew. I need help.

Then, on Saturday, as she already mentioned, Mama got the whole series of Twilight books from Costco. Is Daddy buttering Mommy up for something. Hmmmm? And, since Mommy spent all of Saturday begging Daddy to let her go back to the mall and purchase a second, yes a second, sweater from her Holy Land (J.Crew), plans were laid for Sunday.

So, Mama got to go shopping AGAIN on Sunday and have quiet Mommy time with another movie all by herself. Ahhhhh. And the sweater is so soft and pretty and expensive. What a lovely day! And this time, Daddy and Collin had super fun with chili. Daddy and Collin worked with spoons. Apparently, Collin has mastered the fine art of cutlery without Mommy's help...and an appreciation for the most disgusting of foods.

The weekend capped off with Daddy's old boss (and also our dear friend) stopping by for dinner (which I did not prepare a morsel of---Daddy and Collin made it while I was away shopping) and a visit before he deploys, which Mommy greatly enjoyed because she thinks he's a hottie-pants. And, he said she looked great, so she was all gooey about it. Daddy thinks it's funny that Mommy is so silly about Mr. Hottie-Pants and makes great fun of her for it. And Mr. Collin, who apparently takes after his Mommy (hopefully not too much) decided that Mr. Hottie-Pants was alright too because he wanted him to read him his bedtime stories and to play Lego's with him all evening. Mommy didn't enjoy Collin calling him Mom though. That was a little weird.

This is Collin in the kitchen, helping Daddy prepare our evening feast.

Anyway, that makes the count for Mommy's super weekend at: two movies, two sweaters, a set of books and numerous compliments from Mr. Hottie-Pants. Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure hubby said I looked nice too. He's the one who gave me my super weekend, so I like him best of all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Hired Help

I can't quite quit my non-paying day job as housefrau yet; but, I do now have an up and coming ally in this never ending duty of mine. I should've realized his potential for apprenticeship when he showed an abhorrence for dust. Little did I know, he'd enjoy housework of all kinds.

In this past week, he's become obsessed with helping me unload the dishwasher. At first, this was much to my dismay, as he likes to grab at ANYTHING in there, including the knives and the breakables. But, so long as I'm right there to snatch these items from him and "help the helper," we're good. The only drawback to this helping, other than the constant race to the accidental wrist-slitting or the smashing of my plates, is the misconception that the dishes in there are always clean. See, if he sees the dishwasher open, he figures it must be time to put stuff away. So, if the forks are in his reach, filled with cake bits or steak bits, he figures: "heck, I know where these go, time to put them away!" And, he does!

He's become quite the adept errand boy too. Just last night, I asked him to take some towels all the way upstairs and put them in the laundry room for me. He didn't quite make it to the laundry room; but he understood that they were dirty and he figured dirty stuff must go in the hamper. So, he put them in his room, in the hamper. Could that be any cuter? And, it was helpful...and it got him out of my way while I was chopping, even more helpful!

He can't reach the tall stuff, but he's pretty good at dragging the cloth around the coffee table and end tables and he loves the swirl pattern he makes with his little chubby fists. I just hope he doesn't learn to ask for an allowance. The only thing he fears is the Swiffer Wet Jet. I'm pretty sure it's because a few months ago, I laughed at him when he slipped on the floor when it was wet with the Swiffer juice.

Now, if he even sees me Swiffer, he gets freaked. If he comes in slightly after I've done it and the floor is still shiny with mist, he just points at it and shakes his head but still takes tentative steps, testing the waters, so to speak...then of course looses his balance and cries. I can't help but laugh. What? It's funny to see little stocking feet spread apart and then a little bottom plop on the floor? It's not like he cracks his head open and he does do it on purpose!
Now, we're adopting the habit of helping with dishes. He seems to actually enjoy it too. I think any kid likes splashing in the water. We're currently working on the idea that only Mommy and Daddy touch the knives; but he's having trouble with that. I think I've made the idea of a knife so fascinating that he can't help but show me one when he sees it. Ooooh, knife...look how sharp Mommy...see, I've impaled myself! But, see how fun it is to wash the blood away? And, no he hasn't cut himself and no I wouldn't laugh!
But doesn't washing dishes look fun if you are 19 months old? When does it stop being fun?
P.S. I know it's the same brown and green shirt...again! To be fair...I took these pictures yesterday. So, no he didnt' wear it again today! He's wearing a Hawaiian shirt today of course! It's Friday; what else would he be wearing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Tummy Update

By the way, for all those concerned about the tummy...yes the camera has made it's exit. Mommy's tummy is okay. I had to go get an X-Ray last night to make sure it wasn't stuck anywhere since we hadn't seen hide nor hare of it since I swallowed the glowing thing on Monday. No, you get no more details than that. And you're welcome for that.
The X-Ray showed us that it should be popping up pretty soon and that it's not stuck where they'd have to cut it out. So, phew. Collin and Mommy were so relieved, they danced and smiled all the next morning...until Mommy got to go potty...weeee! That made EVERYTHING better. And more smiling followed....

Until, Mommy remembered that because this camera was stuck and slow going through her belly, that means it failed in it's mission and thus, there will be yet another unpleasant tummy test on the horizon. Yuck. But, for now, we are happy over here and everyone feels good.
And, P.S. Collin does NOT wear the same shirt every day! It just looks that way because the Laundry Fairy does a heck of a lot of washing and it happens to be clean a lot! Most of his short sleeve shirts are too small on his pudgy belly and yep, it's still shorts and short sleeve shirt weather around here most days...even in November!

We're (Developmental) Checklist Ready Now

When Collin turned one, we had the typical one-year well baby visit. This appointment was preceded by an envelope that arrived in the mail about a month prior to his appointment that weighed about as much as he did at the time, which was no small bananas. This envelope contained a developmental milestone survey that needed to be completed prior to his appointment.

This darn thing caused me no end of grief, tears and stress. I was sure that my son was most probably going to be scored as a babbling baboon or they'd take him away from me because I wasn't encouraging him to put two items into a container and remove only one. Or, maybe I was a bad parent because while he excelled at his pincer grasp, he couldn't babble two consonants together while clapping in rhythm. Arrrgh!

I filled the darn thing out in pencil half a dozen times, rigging his score this way and that and then redoing it so he'd be in different categories. Mostly, I was just trying to see if he came out normal, over and over and over again. Of course, he did. The darn, sometimes/never/always answers were so vague! I mean, I was pretty sure that once I saw him throw a ball...but was it on purpose? Could I say it was and would that be a lie? Would this survey be part of his "permanent record?"

But, here's the thing with Collin...he does all the things on stupid surveys...when he feels like it. I clearly remember one of the questions being: can he stack items? Well, he had never stacked any of his toys. For weeks leading up to that darn appointment, I'd tried to get him to stack his stacking blocks, his toys, his anything. Nope. Nada. No stacking. Weeks after, the same thing. Eventually, I gave up. Shortly after, I forgot about it. I think my rationale was that I've never met an adult that couldn't stack things. Think about it: do you know anyone who's not put something atop something else? I must've figured he'd get it.

A few weeks ago, when cleaning out the garage, I turned around to find my son stacking empty paint cans as high as his little body...then climbing on top of a chair to stack them higher. Stacking, with ingenuity to boot. Where's the stupid survey now?

And, today I got out of the shower to find him in his room, having dragged the spare doggie bowls from the laundry room into his room, to create this tower. I would consider this stacking, wouldn't you? I just think it's so funny that he suddenly, out of the blue decided: "hey, stacking rocks!"
So, I've decided to quit worrying about this stuff. I know kids figure out stuff in their own time and they all do alright. Okay, not really. You know I'll freak out about the next survey, or the next developmental thing I'm supposed to watch for, whatever it's supposed to be. Please God, don't let there be one for the two-year well baby visit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When Mama's Away....

The end result of my being locked away in my room for two days was that Dada had to take care of Collin exclusively. This caused me to endlessly miss my little guy but not to fear for his safety or well-being because Dada loves him as much as I do. And, since we are going through a Mama-only stage, it was probably just as well that this happened since it gave Dada and Collin a chance to hang without me to lean on...meaning Collin wouldn't rush to my side every 1.8 milliseconds, leaving poor Dada in the abandoned dust.

So, in my emergence into the light of day, after feeling better, I find that my guys have bonded. Yes, I was showered with endless hugs and kisses from my little guy who, apparently thought he'd never see me again. By the way, that was AWESOME! But, even more awesome is seeing the slight tip in equality of attention between Mama and Dada. Yep, Collin is now willing to let Dada read him at least one out of a dozen stories and he's willing to let Dada hold his hand too. It's like he now has TWO, yes TWO parents in this household.

Amazingly, he can even play with this second parent of his. This crazy, fun-loving second parent known as Dada was entertaining enough to capture his attention during dinner preparation yesterday, something that formerly, only Mama was capable of. In fact, if Mama was making dinner, Dada could light himself on fire, dance naked in the living room and offer him ice cream and nothing could distract Collin from whatever Mama was chopping. But, yesterday Collin was all about the onion Dada was dicing. Wheee!

And, Dada invented a new game with the ear infection truck! Not that it took a lot of innovation, but it was still fun. Yes, I call it the ear infection truck...what else should I call it? He got it because he had an ear infection and asked "peeese" at the pharmacy while we got antibiotics. I think it's aptly named, don't you? Anyway, he looks like he's having a pretty fun time with Dada here.

And, we've got new names now too...Daddy and Mommy. We've graduated from Dada and Mama, I guess. I still prefer the old names. But, I guess everything changes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Bionic Woman

So, the next time I tell anyone I'm planning on spending an evening locked away from my precious baby, smack me upside the head. Apparently, the stars, the heavens, whatever, heard me and decided that they'd punish me for such an outlandish promise. Instead, they decided to take me away from my snuggle kid, my sweet smile-boy, my baby, my son for two nights and two full days. Yep, I was in torture-sick h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

See, I knew I was going to have to prep for the next of my tummy tests. That went without saying. What I didn't know was that on Saturday night, the night I was supposed to get to go out with my girlfriends to dinner and a movie, was that I'd have an attack of my tummy-itis that would require me to embarrassingly tell my ride that I was in dire need of a ride home. Yep, and that I'd be spending that ride home clutching my stomach and trying not to moan and instead, carry on a normal conversation. Gee, I hope they figure out what's wrong with my tummy. Oh yeah, and I had the makings of a migraine that the devil himself fashioned for me. You don't know embarrassment until you have made unladylike noises in a movie theater bathroom stall and THEN had to go tell your girlfriend that you need to go home before it gets even WORSE! And then, hope that you don't do it in her car!

By the time I got home, I pretty much thought I was dying. This was Saturday, tummy cleanse on the horizon for Sunday. I stayed in bed with ice packs around my temples, praying for relief of any kind, stocking my noggin with happy drugs and watching my go-to feel better DVDs...yes, it's the Golden Girls. There, now you know my secret lameness. And, I felt sorry for myself because I heard my sweet boy yelling "Mama! Mama?" He was looking everywhere for me. Occasionally, he'd punctuate his searching with "Night Night." Apparently, it'd been explained to him. Awwwwww.

Daddy brought him in on occasion for a quick kiss and a hug and I loved it. His smile lit up the room. But, it made him cry to have to leave. Me too! Me too! I can't believe how much I miss him when he's gone, even when I am physically unable to care for him!

Alas, Sunday rolled around and I had to start my liquid only diet. Weeee! That did not help with the migraine. Let me tell you! Soup broth and Jell-O do not fill you up unless you are Giselle or some other supermodel with one name. Anyway, By Sunday night, cleanse medicine time, I'm pretty sure that AC/DC was playing a concert just for me in my temple and I was ready to trade my life for just five minutes of relief. Alas, it was not to be. And, I was just getting started on the torture scale for my body. And, I didn't even get to be with Collin!

But, by Monday, I got to go pick up my camera and belt. I was told I would be swallowing this tiny capsule that contained a camera that would take pictures of my insides. It would transmit the pictures to a belt that I would wear for eight hours, that I would then return to the doctor's office. I was also told I'd be allowed to eat again four hours after swallowing the capsule. Apparently, I was wrong! No eating while the capsule is in! Only broth and Jell-O! WHAT!!!! Two days of broth and Jell-O! Are they trying to kill me!

The capsule is approximately the size of a Honda Civic but it's pretty cool looking. It's got it's own little flashlight in it that is actually on when you swallow it. It's kind of hard to swallow something that's lit up. Your brain is saying--NO! NO! NO! Don't swallow the Christmas light! But, you get it down. And the belt that I was told I'd be wearing, well, let's just say it was NOT a belt. It was connected to about a million leads strapped to my chest and stomach and on a vest/suspender contraption and to a large computer on my waist. I felt like a cross between the bionic woman and one of those guys who moves appliances.

I'm so glad I asked Bryon to stay home that day to help with Collin because there's no way I would've been able to deal with him with that thing. It never would've survived roving toddler hands, pulling the wires out from under my shirt. Besides, migraine plus two days of no food equals near fainting from pain. By the time I turned in the computer at four p.m. on Monday, I could barely stand. I ate an entire roll of rice cakes on the way home. I figured crackers would be the best first thing since they were mild.

But, today I get to be with Collin again. He's my little helper today. Supposedly, I'm supposed to "see" the camera capsule today. I doubt I will but we'll see. If it doesn't come out today, I'm supposed to call the doctor and they'll order an X-Ray to make sure it's not stuck somewhere in inner-space. Won't that be fun? I'm so excited for someone to go exploring for it. It's not as gross as it sounds, it'd be surgery...even less fun. But still. And, no I'm not making him help me look for the camera!

All in all though, all I can say is that this whole thing has made me fantastically in love with my husband who has brought me all of my medicine spot on time, brought me soup and made me Jell-O. He hooked a walkie-talkie to his belt so I could ask him for refills of water and ginger-ale without having to shout from upstairs, or I could even ask him to come switch the DVDs without getting out of bed! It has made me realize how much I adore my son because in two days of seeing him for seconds at a time, I missed him so much that it physically hurt. And, I love my friends because they didn't laugh at me when I had to leave the theater and instead felt sorry for me for having to be uncomfortable. I have a pretty great life, even if it seems to be located in the pooper every once in a while.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I'm Locking Myself In the Bathroom Tomorrow

I declare tomorrow night "Mommy Depression Day." My son has decided he's a "big boy." It's my fault really. I'm the one always trying to tell him, "Yaaay!" and "You're such a big boy!" for doing various things, like coming to me when I ask to put his shoes on, or putting his own clothes int he hamper. Most of the time, when he does these things, he gives himself his own standing ovation, very un-big boy like.

Anyway, having to telling someone they are a big boy is pretty baby-ish so I'm kind of okay with letting him think he's a big boy, so long as I'm the one having to provide him with that information, right? I guess that makes sense in my own screwed up logic way. Hey, I'm a Mom and he's my baby, the reasons why this is so, don't have to make sense to anyone but me, okay! But, he went and screwed the whole thing up the other day.

We went to the Getty Center in L.A. In case anyone has never been there, it's pretty awesome and you have to ride a tram up the mountain to get there. It's gorgeous. But, I digress. I thought, of course Collin would want to sit on my lap to be able to see out the windows of the tram. Nope. Laps are for babies, of course!
He squirmed and arched and even yelled! My sweet, quiet, calm man yelled! He plopped his little tooshie on a seat and clapped and then babbled what very clearly sounded like, "big boy!" then craned to see out the window across the aisle. Apparently, that's what he is: A BIG BOY! Waaaaa! Waaaaa! Waaaaa! When did that happen! I did not say that was allowed.

I blame Disneyland! He sits by himself next to us on all the rides. We don't put him on our laps and I think that's the culprit in all this. Darn that big boy encouragement. We even let him ride all the "scary" rides that the other parents tell us are too much, like supposedly "Snow White" and "Pinocchio." Mr. Collin gets off and signs "more! more!" Big Boy! Big Boy!

So, I officially declare tomorrow Mommy Sad Day for all this. Okay, since Mommy has another one of her "special" tummy tests on Monday, so she officially has to spend Sunday night in the bathroom "preparing" for her test, it is a sad day anyway!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Should I Buy Stock in Aquanet?

I know I've joked about Collin loving to help Mommy with her lotion and how he sort of likes to imitate me with the hairdryer. And, I know I just recently put up pictures of his cute little curls adorned with barrettes. I stopped short of allowing him to leave the house like that even though he said he wanted to, insomuch as he can say such things. When I asked if he wanted to wear them to the park, he said "yesh." Considering when 99 times out of 100 times I ask him anything he says "no," I took that as a pretty strong opinion.

Still, I decided that I ought to put my foot down on the whole girl versus boy thing and take the darn adornments out and explain that he's a boy and those are girl things. So, out they came and thankfully, he didn't cry about it. Off we went. But, lately, he's been pulling my headbands right off my head and insisting that he wear them.

I don't make a big deal out of it because why bother? Most of the time he doesn't get them ON his head, he wraps them around his neck or dangles them from his chin, beard-style. Or, he drags them to me and signs "help," because he knows he's doing it wrong. So, I help a brother out and plop them where they belong. I help him check his look in the mirror and we get on with our lives.

Well, it's making Daddy a little uncomfortable. I figure he's going to get over it. I figure it's a phase. I figure that it's just a boy who spends most of his day with Mommy doing what kids do: imitate grownups. Since I don't spend my day scratching myself and shaving, he's going to do what I do instead. He's going to wear headbands and lip gloss. It's pretty cute, really.

Besides, he doesn't exactly look girly. He looks a bit more like a eighties hair band wannabe with one of those skinny leather hairbands instead of a bandanna. Besides, Bryon says that even if Collin decided to become a dancing girl in a Vegas show, he'd love him just as much as if he wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or whatever. So, who knows...dancing girl maybe?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shhh...Mommy's Sleeping

Okay, she's not; but she could be. She should be. We all should be at six thirty. Mom really doesn't sleep at six thirty. This mom gets her butt out of bed and rolls it onto the treadmill to work out before her peanut gets up. She likes to have that "her time" before her life's joy graces her with his presence every day. Not sure why she needs any personal space, but whatever.

Anyway, she's grumpy the last few days because little peanut has decided because either due to his cold this week or because of daylight savings time, to get his adorable butt up at six thirty a.m. So, we have a number of options now:

1. Move and leave the kid to fend for himself, allowing him to get up at whatever time he pleases

2. Purchase blackout curtains so he has no clue that the sun is rising and thus he should STAY in bed

3. Move Mommy's get-up time back to five thirty...wait that's INSANE. Let's revisit option one

4. Move baby into a bubble to avoid any more germs allowing invasion into his system

I think a combination of options two and four might be in order since I think abandonment laws come into play and bubbles are impractical. Oh yeah, and I do love my kid, thus making it terrible impossible to leave him and terribly horrible to envision having to touch him through plastic Ziploc baggies.

Anyway, I sound disjointed, don't I...maybe that's because I also have the hacking cough that he's got and the half sleep that comes with it. Gee, combine that with the fact that he's eliminating my last few hours of sleep in the morning and I can become almost drunk. They do say that lack of sleep is equivalent to being drunk on the road. No wonder I ran over that elk today on the 405. I think it was an elk anyway; either that or an emu. Okay, it was probably an In-N-Out cup.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Hit Parade

Collin has a new hobby. I wish it were a cool one, like crochet or Wilton cake decorating. Okay, it could be slightly less gay; maybe he could take up soapbox derby cars or starting fires with sticks. Boys do that kind of crap, right?

Well, instead he's taken up an all too familiar and equally boy-like hobby: hitting. It's his fave! He hits me. He hits Daddy. He's hitting his visiting grandma. He hits poor, defenseless, wussy Eddie. He hits his monkey. Poor monkey just sits there and takes it. What's he going to do really; he's stuffed!

We're putting him in time out more times a day than I can count. It's pitiful. We do the microwave timer to let him know when he can come out. But, we have to strap him into his booster seat to make him stay anyway. The whole thing is really quite pitiful. He waits for the beep and tries to create it himself. To hear your kid wailing, then pausing to say "beep, beep," in this meek, miniature voice, it's almost a heart breaker. Then, when it does go off and he beeps back at it, you pretty much forget that he almost gave you a black eye with the truck he whacked you with a second ago.

He's spending three quarters of his day there right now. Kidding, but it feels that way. Yesterday, I picked him up after three time outs in a row and felt particularly bad because he was sucking wind from crying so hard and I said, "I love you, buddy." He looked right into my eyes and said, "I wuv wu," Awwwwwww. Then, he socked me in the eye. Do you KNOW how hard that next time out was for Mommy? Seriously, I spent it wrapped up in Daddy's arms almost sobbing.

I'm wondering when this stage will end. He's sick right now, so I'm blaming the smack down on his invading toxins. Mostly, I'm doing this because I can't believe that my sweet boy could actually be doing something so vile for so many days in a row of his own free will. He must be being controlled by some vile force. That must be it. It simply must be. I'm ready for it to be over now. When will the timer for this stage go "beep beep."

And no, this isn't me, imagining him in prison for violent crime or domestic abuse, years down the line should this behavior continue. This is just Mommy, admiring her gorgeous son, and realizing that he's pretty special anyway, even if he does spend a lot of his day these days, in "the chair." And okay, maybe I'm being's been three days of hitting. I wuv wu too, Peanut.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sick! Sick! Sick!

Mr. Peanut had his first (well, second if you count the fact that his parents are morons and took him there his first night home from the hospital) trip to the E.R. last night. He had a cold yesterday and the poor little man woke up from his nap the equivalent temperature of an Easter Ham. He was also as snuggly as my cat who thinks my lap is his own personal lounge chair and pretty much pushes me down regularly on the insistence that I should be in a recline position for his sleeping pleasure. Considering that Collin is your typical on-the-go toddler, this was unusual to say the least.

When the thermometer reaches 103 and he wants, actually wants to not only sit on my lap, but lay on my lap, I am not only concerned but FREAKED out. He didn't whine, complain or cry, but just laid on me like a dishtowel that had been boiled. So, I called the doctor, who was pretty much unconcerned but said, sure go to the hospital. Wheee! Permission! Anyone with Tricare knows my feelings. Alas, urgent care was closed by now, so E.R. here we come. Too bad we didn't know urgent care was closed...a fact we learned as we pulled up to the door. Pooh!
So we went to the E.R. where we sat behind no less than three other babies with scalding hot foreheads. Apparently, we weren't the only parents freaking out that day. The best part of our visit was the gender-ambiguous triage nurse who gave Collin his first dose of Tylenol and took his vitals. I'm so used to talking to Collin about what other people are doing or saying to him, like "Oh look, she's putting a magic bracelet on your ankle," or, "Be still while she measures your super temperature. Yeah!" You know how stupid we are when we talk to our kids, right, trying to make everything sound fun so they are still and cooperative.

Well, filling in those gender identifiers, like she/he became very sticky. I kept switching between she and he and feeling very embarrassed. After the first time, I thought I'd better not say anything again that forced me to refer to this she-he's sex. But blast if I didn't keep doing it. It was so freaking obvious. I felt like such a boob. So much so, that I kept looking at she-he's entire personage for ANY clear sign, including she-he's boobage area for that sign. But darn if she-he wasn't probably wearing the best smush-down sports bra ever if she even had boobs. Grrr.

Bryon saw her later and he insists that it was indeed a her. Where was he during the whole triage thing! Oh yeah, parking the car. Thanks, Dada. Alas, we were in and out quick thanks to our friend Pat the ambiguously gendered triage nurse who "fast-tracked" us to a special area for sniffly kids.

Ear infection. Thanks Collin, for making it totally unclear what was wrong with you by not pulling your ear or screaming in pain, just for nearly boiling your brain and freaking your mother out to the point that she ate about thirty Maalox last night by the time she went to bed. Hope you enjoy your two weeks of antibiotics. He feels better now, tylenol, motrin and the first dose of antibiotics will do that for kids. They are like magic, aren't they?

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Love You Too!! I Really, Really Do!!

A marker of verbal apraxia is that kids who have it can suddenly, seemingly randomly say things that they could never say before and with perfect clarity. It's maddening because they won't be able to repeat it and these are moments of clarity that are spontaneous and out of the blue. They are usually when the kid least expects it too, when they aren't stressed or being asked to say something or repeat, but just relaxed and at ease, when their brain isn't "trying" to talk.

This morning, I was taking a shower and, as per usual, Collin was chilling in the bathroom waiting for me to get out. He has many activities that keep him entertained while I take a shower. He likes to dump out all the Q-tips and take them one by one to Eddie's bed, thereby annoying the dog; he likes to play with my hair accessories and ask me to do his hair for later (hee hee); he likes to play with his barrel of monkeys; and most, recently, he likes to open the shower door and play peek-a-boo.

So, today the game got more interesting because he's getting taller and he can almost climb into the tub, something he's strangely eager to do. It was so cute to watch him try that I just blurted out "I love you!" to him while watching him do it. It was probably the twentieth time I said it already that morning because he does a million things a day that elicit that response from me. But this one was different apparently because he looked up at me and said, "I love you too."

It was plain as day, clear as a bell. Oh, how it melted me, just wrecked me. I'm glad he couldn't say it again because I was home alone and I would've been rendered incapable of function for the rest of the day, as I would've turned to a puddle of goo and goo can't care for a child. It almost made me feel guilty for taking the incriminating photos of him below.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Tasty Tot

OUCH!! Boo Boo Mama!
Is there something I'm doing wrong here as a mother? Is there some cosmic secret of parenting that somehow prevents your child from being bitten? We go to the same park every day, play with the same kids every day, see the same slides, the same swings, the same sand, every day. Yet, my kid is the one who seems to incite biting in the other children.
P.S. I know the pictures aren't great; but, you try to take a picture of a squirmy toddler's arm without putting it in a vice. I tried that, but it left worse marks than the bite.

I keep racking my brain and trying to pretend that he's not my sweet, innocent boy to see it from another angle. Maybe he's mean. Maybe he's a shovel stealer, a sand-in-the-eye-thrower, a shover, a kicks-in-the-shins-kid. But, he's really not. Sure, he has his moments. But, what 19-month old kid doesn't? On the whole though, he's pretty mellow and easy going.

So, why did he get bitten again today? At least this time, it wasn't by Damien. Which on one hand is comforting, but the other is slightly alarming. That means he's found to be tasty by yet another child. This one is one who's never bitten anyone, ever. So, Collin is turning them, slowly to the dark side with his delicious morsel-ness appearance.

His mama was awesome though. The biter apologized and was whisked home in tears, kicking and screaming for not being allowed to play anymore. But, he didn't play nice with his friends, and she followed through with his punishment, so hooray. I got some snuggle hugs and saw some big tears that broke my heart. Grace was terrified by the incident, as she is by seeing Damien these days. The mere sight of him sends her into hysterics akin to seeing a Disney Princess hanging in effigy from the swing set.

The weird thing about these bites is that these kids never seem to be having any kind of disagreement before they happen. They are just hanging out, playing and BAM Collin is screaming and scarred for life. Okay, not scarred for life, just bumped a bit. But, it's totally unexpected and seemingly unpreventable. I'm not about to hover over him and shoo away kids like flies off dog doo. I want him to be free to explore and socialize with kids, learn the rules and ropes of friendship, supervising but not interfering unless I have to. But, it's kind of hard to sit a few feet away, when he keeps getting chunks of flesh ripped of like this!

So, I send this plea to toddlers everywhere who see my boy: stop biting him. I don't know what the deal is, but knock it off. He doesn't like it. I don't like it. We don't get it. He doesn't taste like whatever you think he tastes like and we don't really think it's so much fun. Thanks!

He seems to be okay now though.....Mama is still a little shaken; but, she's a wuss about her baby getting hurt. I'd better get over that, huh? Everyone is still telling us he's going to be a football player and they get hurt a lot. I think that's just their nice way of saying that he's fat. If he were underweight, would we be told he was going to be a figure skater?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When Dada's Away...the Midweek Report

I attempted to do something that no sane, thinking person really should. I did Disneyland with a toddler...alone. Yeah, these annual passes are awesome and burning a hole in my pocket and Daddy's not here and Collin's just sitting there looking cute and free through the gate. And, it's so, so, so, so much fun to take him. So, I figured why the heck not?

Here's the reasons: one person has to carry the stroller, the bags the baby and the everything else on the tram off the tram and to and from the car; one person has to take the kiddo in and out of the stroller all day; oh yeah, and one person has full responsibility for the that same kiddo all day. One person gets all the fun, sure; but one person gets all the diapers, all the food (hey I didn't even THINK of how I would carry the tray, push the stroller and get a straw, a highchair and all that stuff at the SAME TIME!...leave my baby at table while I did that...uh, nope).

Okay, I must admit that it was totally fun though. I had this idea that I wanted one of those horribly overpriced pictures that the vest-guys are taking of you when you come through the gate. You know, a "Collin and Mommy's Special Day Out" picture? So, I walk in, pull him out of the stroller and march up to the vest-guy with my best, "Yes, I'm willing to give you $20 for a single photo face" and he totally ignores me and turns to the gaggle of 300-lb girls celebrating a birthday and proceeds to take about six pictures of them, making me feel like a stalker waiting behind him to. I felt like I was begging him to take my money, like pretty woman without the pretty part in that scene where she gets denied service at the snotty boutique. What? Collin's not as cute as the girls! We got our photo, don't worry. But, he didn't offer to gay it up like he did for them, asking me to put out my hand for an imaginary Tinkerbell that would be superimposed later. Apparently, Collin didn't look the Tinkerbell type.

We had a fabulous time after that hiccup. Don't tell too many people but this is a great time to go. We actually walked right onto all the rides and rode most of them twice in the hours we were there. We didn't even stay all day. All Collin could talk about was boats. So, we rode all the boat rides twice. Then, we rode traffic home because I'm an idiot and left at five o'clock. Der!

But, Collin's decided that this week is the Kill-Mama-Week. He's kept me up all night last night and the night before. Last night, he actually wanted to sleep with me. I know, crazy. But, he didn't so much want to sleep as he wanted to crawl as close to me as humanly possible, then closer. If he could've, he would've invaded my skin. Once he had reshaped my face by smushing against it, he was pretty comfy. Then, he insisted that I hum and rub his back, constantly. While this was actually pretty lovely and cozy, except for the face reshaping part, it was also 2 am and he wouldn't let me stop humming. In fact, if I stopped, even for a second, he'd pull his cute little face away and sign "music" to me with vehemence usually reserved for Nazi kill orders. So, by about 2:30, I told him he had to go back to his own bed, a devastating decision for this Mama because she loves nothing more than those snuggle moments that are so rare for her baby. But, it had to be done. So, he's been exhausted, exhausting me and has learned to yell louder than ever. Through breakfast he screamed "MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!" endlessly just for the heck of it and found himself to be hysterical. He shoved and hit Grace more times today than I can count and he threw everything he could find at her. He made me hold him all through our lunch preparation today and he actually cried, CRIED the whole time he ate. He's never been this way. I'm thinking two skipped naps this week are what's done it. I refuse to believe it's possible that terrible twos are on the horizon. Either way, even his beloved Monkey is taking up drinking to deal with the situation. (actually, Collin insisted that Monkey have his own drink at breakfast yesterday...cute, no?)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Collin's First REAL babysitters

So, Dada is away...again. Not big news on our front actually. But, he's actually been around a lot lately, so I won't complain. This made for a BUSY day for us. We had a zillion errands to do today, plus a doctor's appointment to check for "silent ear infections." What the heck does that mean?

Apparently, the doctor claims that because my child is such an amazing angel who never complains, he's concerned that he might have been having secret, stealthy ear infections all this time when he has had colds in the past and he wants to be certain that he hasn't been slipping them by under the radar, causing damage to his ears and thus surreptitiously causing his speech delay, or helping it along anyway. So, he made me promise to bring him in about five days after the next time he had a cold. Well, remember Daddy brought us one, oh about a week ago? Alas, to add to the errands, a doctor's appointment smack dab in the middle of the nap time. So, kiddo didn't get a nap!

A good preparation for his first real babysitters. I did it. I broke down and called real babysitters, the kind you have to pay because they don't have any DNA in common with you, except that they are also homosapiens. Because it was last minute, owing to the fact that my dear hubby decided to spring this TDY on me last minute (not that it is his fault or anything of course), I had to run down the list of babysitters in the back of the handy-dandy spouses club phone book pretty quickly.

No one wanted the job at first. It's a school night, and I was planning on being out past nine. Gasp! All the kids are about 12 or 13, which FREAKED ME THE HECK OUT at first. Bryon convinced me that was old enough, especially since they are all certified through the Red Cross Training Course and that I babysat at that age. Finally, I landed on a pair of sisters who like to come together and I figured two for the price of one and a tag-team couldn't be half bad.

And, they are home schooled, so they can stay out as late as they want because they catch up on their lessons whenever. Normally, I am kind of weirded out by home schooled kids or the idea of it. Shoot me if you disagree, but whatever. That's my opinion and I'm going to stick with it. But, these kids were GREAT! I love them. I want them back! They came in with a zillion questions about how I wanted things done. They knew how to care for kids and it showed. Experience dripped out of their pores. And they carried themselves like they were twenty, not twelve and thirteen and it wasn't just their overdeveloped, too-much-hormones-in-their milk-bodies-saying that. They were actually mature, well-spoken girls.

I felt totally confident leaving them with my kid, who by the way screamed for Mama at the door. Does that ever get easier? Will he scream at the door of his college dorm room? I hope so. Or wait, that will just be me with the car window down hanging out and wailing, humiliating him as I screech his name and that he'd better write...EVERY DAY!!!...oh yeah, and CALL!...EVERY NIGHT!!!...and that I LOVE HIM!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! This is Halloween!

In case anyone missed it. It was pretty awesome. Collin was a monkey; or a bear, or a mouse if you listen to any of the number of sort of dumb people who said "oh what a cute (fill in the blank of wrong costume choice)" that we encountered on our first walking trick or treating adventure. I say he looks like a monkey...when's the last time you saw a bear with a banana on his paw...or a mouse for that matter!
It was great because it followed our speech therapy evaluation this afternoon...his second. We learned a bit more from this gal than from the UCLA doctor. Our new therapist, Amber with a last name that no parent, let alone a kid with a speech problem could pronounce, so we'll just call her Amber, which then makes her sound kind of like a high school cheerleader who maybe can't be an expert in anything except gum snapping---sorry to diss the high school cheerleaders.
Anyway, she says she thinks that based on his feeding problems in infancy, the fact that he has that "word a day thing" where he will suddenly say words totally clearly but then never say them again, and a handful of other signs, like having words and dropping them, etc, he is likely suffering from a condition called verbal aproxyia (I have no idea if I'm spelling that right). This means that the muscles in his mouth are not actually responding to the signals that his little brain is sending him. So it's a connection problem between the two systems.

Luckily, she said it's very treatable and correctable (and won't have any lasting learning effects) with therapy and she said his receptive language is totally on target, if not above (agreeing with the UCLA doctor). She was wowed by it actually. Mr. Collin was a star with all her questions, giving her little bear a drink and putting him right to bed, handing her a cup, a shoe and block instantly, even driving her little car in circles around the room. Oh, and pointing at pictures in her little book, forget about it. He's an ace! Just don't ask him to TALK about any of it. He'd be a perfect mobster. The whole assessment pooped him out though!
But, back to the effect of all of this on HALLOWEEN! The point is, he kind of hears himself repeating things okay, even if he's totally wrong. So, when we told him to say "trick or treat," he decided that "gabba gabba gee" was definitely the way to go. He said exactly that every single time. Wrong, but could anything be cuter than that? Once, and only once at a house about a block away, we got it right exactly, but that's it. Other than that, "gabba gabba gee." Yes, there's a video and it's painfully cute, especially since, he enjoyed trading candy with me back and forth once he realized that's what you are supposed to do after saying "gabba gabba gee." And, he promptly put the wrapped candy in his mouth. Yumm!

And of course, he was adorable in his monkey suit and didn't really want to take it off! I'm pretty shocked about that part, especially since after a few hours, I could see the sweaty hair plastered to his head. I finally took the head off and let him cool down a bit. You know what? He smelled really bad! For the first time ever, I didn't want to snuggle him! He smelled THAT BAD!
But, this morning, it was back to snuggle as usual and apparently yesterday's hat business has stuck, partially because of Miss Grace because he saw this hat in a pile of clothes given to us by a neighbor and he kept repeating "Tace! Tace!" (his word for Grace) and wanting to wear it. Grace wears a hat all the time to the park, and for all 19 months of Mr. Collin's life, hats have been a battle. Voila, a girl he loves does it and it's a miracle, hats are Kosher. Apparently, monkey head plus Grace wearing hat equals hats are cool. All in all a good day!