Monday, June 30, 2008

Five Things I (Unexpectedly) Love About Having a Kid

Lest you think it's all doom and gloom over here in mommy-land, I give you this:

1. Hugs.
I'm not an overly huggy person. I hug my friends hello and goodbye. I hug my husband. But, you know, it's a hug. Nice, but...I'm more a fist bump person (Ron and I have been doing it long before the Obamas made it popular). But, I digress. Rolo gives out hug liberally and they are the best things ever.

2. A friendlier version of me.
I'm not very friendly. People who pass me on the street often think I'm scowling at them. I don't make small talk. One of the aspects of motherhood that I dreaded was the possibility that other mothers would flock to me for some reason, wanting to make playdates and inviting me to bake sales. I viewed people who made friends at the playground desperate for adult companionship. To my surprise, I've become much friendlier since Rolo's been born. The other women and men dropping their kids off seem really nice. Nice, friendly and not in an overly-agressive way. We say good morning, and make small talk (I know!) about the kids. I even coo over the other babies. It's a whole new me, sometimes.

3. Getting excited over the little stuff.
You know I'm proud of my accomplishments, my husband's and friends' accomplishments. But I'm really proud of Rolo in a totally different way. Could be a new trick, (like him starting to "cruise" as he is now) or it could be he being particularly well-behaved on a day when we couldn't get a nap in and I know he's tired. Similarly, when Rolo gets excited about something, like the wind or a song or a bus, I get excited to see his reaction.

4. Restored faith in humankind.
People literally trip over themselves in an effort to open doors for me when I have the stroller. Which is kind of nice and somewhat unexpected. It's not always who you would expect either. Sometimes the middle-aged dude in a suit, the one you just know have 3 kids at home, lets the door slam in your face. It warms my heart when the 19 year old, very tatooed bike messenger opens the door for you instead. I took Rolo to church for the first time by myself this weekend and would you believe that there are 3 sets of staircases and three, very heavy, doors to get into the chapel? If it hadn't been for the kindness of people holding the doors and helping carry the stroller, I'm not sure I could have done it. I'm not sure that I like being dependent of the help of others, but I'm floored that people do go out of their way to help.

5. Being the funniest person in the room.
It's widely debated whether or not I'm funny, but as far as Rolo is concerned there's no contest. That kid finds me hysterical. I didn't know I could feel such inherent satisfaction from hearing a baby laugh.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

One of the Nicest Compliments I've Ever Received

Between myself and an older gentleman who's been at The Institution forever:

Him: Well, you know, you're going to wind up being a VP somewhere.
Me: Oh, I don't think so.
Him: Definitely, you're on the fast track to being a VP. I've seen you bust balls with the best of them.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

One of the Most Delightful Mornings I've Had in Awhile

So Rolo slept until 9:15a.m. this morning. This is completely unheard of and I went into his room a few times to make sure he was still breathing. Despite my human alarm clock not going off this morning, I awoke at 7:15am, with the vague, but persistent feeling that I was late for something. Tried though I did, I could not go back to sleep. So, to recap: Rolo was sleeping late, it's Sunday and I had nowhere I had to be and I woke up at 7am anyway. I ask you: what the fuck, people?

Anyway, since I slept an hour/hour and a half later than I normally do on the weekend, I guess this counted as "sleeping in."

With Rolo and Ron still sleeping, I had the place to myself. I took a shower, started a load of laundry and made a pot of coffee. I did my stretching routine, and then drank a cup of joe while cleaning off the kitchen counters and dining room table. In short, I accomplished more in a hour and a half than I normally can in a couple of days (these days anyway).

After Rolo woke up, I handed him off to Ron and I headed to church, followed by a trip to the farmer's market. It shaped up to be a pretty fine morning.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Footwear, But Not for Me

Ever since my friend Kim sent Rolo a pair of Robeez sneakers earlier this year, I've been in love. They're cute, they have soft soles and, best of all, he can't get them off. But with the warm weather upon us and the requirement of his daycare that children wear closed-toe shoes, I ordered Rolo these a few weeks ago. I can't say they're the cutest sandals out there, but at least his feet can breathe. Because this kid? He does NOT enjoy being hot.

Anyway, I got the sandals in brown, because...well, isn't that the color that sandals usually are? The fact, though, is that Rolo wears a lot of blue, and depending on the outfit, the brown sandals look sort of funny, kind of like they don't match what he's wearing. I know, I know, doesn't brown match everything? It would seem not. So I'm actually contemplating getting the same sandals in navy blue. What do you think? Too much?

In other shoe news, I also just ordered these, because, c'mon, how could I not?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Little Green Dress?

Can we talk fashion here for a minute? Because I feel like I haven't talked fashion for awhile and, my friends, that is completely unacceptable.

So, my brother's wedding is in a few weeks, the wedding that very well may wind up being the wedding from hell, for more reasons than there is space on this blog to fill. Anyway, I've actually been considering wearing a dress I already own to this wedding. I, who have been known to buy a new dress for each wedding I've attended, even when we have like 5 in one summer. And even when all of them have been for people I've either never met, or hardly remember, including Ron's third cousins, once removed. So it strikes me as strange that I wouldn't get a new dress for a wedding of someone who shares my DNA.

I perused the Ann Taylor website, my dress go-to store of choice, and found some interesting options. Now I have to do a reading at the wedding, so I don't want anything TOO flashy, but let's pretend I don't care about it being strapless or showing my shoulders (I'd likely wear a cardigan for the ceremony).

What do you think:
Option 1 Too bold?
Option 2 Too similar to Option 1?
Option 3 I have to admit that I'm a little bit obsessed with this dress because it's not black and I do love green. That said, I'm not sure the empire waist will be flattering on me.
Option 4 This one is actually from J. Crew and it's a style that I had tried on for my friend Deidre's wedding. I know it's flattering, it is pretty, particularly in that kelly green color, but I'm not a super huge fan of chiffon and it's also...slightly boring?

Hmmm....suggestions, in addition to the selections above, are welcome.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Five Things I Unexpectedly Hate About Having a Kid

1. Fingernails.
And toenails for that matter, too. Impossible to cut. Or possible, as long as you're okay with taking the tip of your baby's finger off too. We used to be able to do it if Rolo was sleeping, but he never falls asleep while laying on us anymore, only in his crib. I try filing them down instead but he HATES it. Rarely does he throw a total coniption fit about anything, but he does about someone filing or cutting his nails. And nails grow like weeds. I'll commend myself on finally having wrestled with him and getting them filed short, and then like 2 days later they need to be done again.

2. The word "yet".
At the risk of sounding overly sensitive, the word yet is something I've grown to resent somewhat. So many people ask "Is he talking yet?" "Is he walking yet?" "Is he solving algebra problems yet?" It's annoying. Just leave off the word "yet" when asking the question.

3. Lack of Sleep.
I know, I know. You're probably thinking "What drug is she on that a lack of sleep wasn't expected?" It's not that I didn't expect. It's just that I expected it in the beginning. You know, the first few months. I am very, very lucky that Rolo started sleeping through the night, a whooping 10 or 11 hours straight, when he was 3 months old. But he'll have bouts of waking up in the middle of the night for a couple of nights in a row every once in awhile. I'm totally spoiled, but getting up in the middle of the night now irks me like nothing else.

4. Poop.
Again, what the hell am I thinking that poop is somehow unexpected? It's not. There is lots and lots of poop. In the beginning when your kid is having total blowouts and you're not so good at changing diapers, you wind up wearing more poop than you ever thought was humanly possible, but you're so tired you barely even care that you're a walking waste site. Then as the months pass your kid starts sleeping through the night, you get more rest, you start wearing clothes that match again, and despite mastering the art of diapering, you still occasionally, not often, manage to get a streak of poo on your hand. Or forearm. And it hits you: "There is another person's feces on me." You suddenly realize how very wrong this is, and regardless of the fact that it's your own kid (and despite how much hand/forearm washing you do), it becomes clear that no person should ever wear another person's poo.

5. Formula.
Seriously, for someone who never thought she'd breastfeed, you would think formula would be my best friend. But no. It's gross. It smells gross, it gets all over the counter and creates this paste that's nearly impossible to clean. It doesn't mix well with cold water. All of Rolo's dietary/allergy issues started when he started on formula. Not that that's a cause and effect thing, but it aggravated me just the same.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm So Cool

So the Born Free bottles I use are featured on Cool Mom Picks, one of my favorite websites. They tout these as having a venting system that reduces gas, but Rolo started using these when he was older and past his gas-issues, so I can't speak to that. Although, I think those gas-reducing vents, along with the Dr. Brown's version, are more or less crocks of shit. Dr. Brown's is considered the pioneer of gas reduction but while using those bottles Rolo was still as gassy as a drunk after a hard night on the town.

But I digress. I like the Born Free bottles so much that I got Rolo one of their sippy cups and it's definitely his favorite cup so far.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've Glimpsed Into My Future and It Is Filled With Many a Headache

Tuesday morning, Rolo fell off the bed, again, landing squarely (and loudly) on his face. Thinking he may have broken his nose, I took him to the emergency room. Actually, I didn't think he needed to go to the emergency room, but it was suggested by his pediatrician's office when I called and being a first time parent, I do whatever they tell me to do. So I spent the morning of my birthday in the ER, watching my son charm the pants off of virtually every person there. Seriously, the nurses were like ripping their pants off and throwing them at him.

No broken nose, not that they would do anything for a broken nose anyway, but he does look like he was in a boxing match. Just about everyone advised me that this would likely be the first of many trips to the emergency room. Awesome.

Over the last month or so, I've decided it's time to introduce discipline to Rolo, beginning to present boundries for him. Particularly, as he's able to comprehend more of what we're saying. "No, no, we don't pull hair." "No, Rolo, that's not nice. Do nice." "No, leave Pop Pop's glasses alone."

One of his favorite activities is to crawl over to the verical blinds that cover the sliding doors, I hate these blinds but they're not mine so I figure we probably shouldn't break them. Anyway, he crawls over, grabs a blind in each hand and starts waving them around wildly. I tell him, "No, leave the blinds alone." He looks at me, lets go of the blinds and smiles. And then, promptly grabs the blinds again. So the cyle continues. So I experimented with using a stern, slightly louder tone of voice, "No, Rolo. NO. Leave the blinds alone." My stern-voice, it is scary. It's not yelling. But it's STERN. And scary. Ron cowers in fear when I use it, he is such a sensitive flower.

Rolo? Rolo throws his head back and laughs the loudest belly laugh you ever did hear when I use the stern-voice.


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Ladies, Keep Your Men Away From the Book Stores

And the TV for that matter, lest they see this and get any ideas.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ten Things About Me

1. I love black jelly beans.

2. My middle name is Helene (pronounced Hell-leen), after my grandmothers who were both named Helen.

3. My favorite number is 6. Or 11.

4. I could eat guacamole every day.

5. When I was younger I thought I'd be a fashion designer.

6. I never use the dishwasher.

7. I had about 8 Cabbage Patch Kids when I was younger, including a Koosa named Marmalade.

8. It may be nostalgic, but I still say that college was the best 4 years of my life.

9. About 80% of my wardrobe consists of the colors black and pink.

10. I was born this day, thirty three years ago in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.


Monday, June 09, 2008

No One Cares What I Did This Weekend

But I went to Baltimore. It was lovely. And HOT. Like really hot. We combated the heat with buckets of beer. We stayed at the Marriott on the waterfront, the first time we had stayed at that particular hotel and had a great view of the harbor. I'd definitely recommend it. Our friends Deidre and Frank made the trip with us and the four of us had a great time.

This year, the Italian Festival was a lot smaller than usual and at first I attributed it to the heat, but at the garlic bread stand, Ron got the scoop from one of the nuns: Good ol' Fr. Mike, who had organized the event for years, was recently ousted from the Church (I'll give you one guess why) and the thing just fell apart without him.

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Forward Trajectory

And we have crawling! Time to move the breakables.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Backed Into a Corner

I never really thought this day would come: I feel sorry for Hillary Clinton. I think media and Democrats in general are backing her into a corner, trying to force her to back out before she's ready.

While it seems impossible for her to win the nomination, where's the harm in continuing to let her try? I don't know if I would vote for her if she were the nominee. Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm still somewhat suspect of Obama. I'm not entirely certain why. Too young? Lack of experience? Came out of left field? Too much idealistic rhetoric, not enough substance? I'm not sure. But a year ago, everyone would have thought Hillary would have all but cinched the normination without much of a problem. I get the feeling, though, that there was a problem. The problem was that a lot of people within her own party didn't want her to get there.

People seem to really want her to be the VP though. Kind of like a Dick Cheney of this new era.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Further Experiments With Gravity

Proving that he's becoming more mobile, Rolo crawled right off the bed this morning. Fell straight on his head. Made a terrific THUMP and everything. It happened so fast (doesn't every neglectful mother say that?) that I didn't have time to catch him. One minute he was sitting up playing with his toys in the middle of the bed, as I observed in the mirror while putting on make-up. The next second, I see that he's on his stomach reaching frantically for a book on the floor. The time it took me to get from the mirror to the bed, was the exact amount of time it took him to fall.

This happens all the time, I know. Still, I called the doctor's office and they apparently have a whole "protocol" for this type of thing and so tonight I've got to wake him up throughout the night to ensure he rouses easily. Rolo enjoys his sleep, and never rouses easily so I'm not exactly sure this is going to be a useful exercise. I anticipate that both he and I will be tired and cranky tomorrow.

I'm not so worried about a concussion, although his head did make a terrific noise when it hit the floor, at least the floor is carpeted. I'm more worried that he's hurt his neck, since the rest of his body landed on top of his head when he fell. He seems okay, so I guess time will tell.

I had to call Ron and tell him I broke the baby. He was not pleased. I'm not all that pleased either.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Month 10

Woah. We're in double digits now.

The last month seems incredibly short and maybe that's because we were away in San Fran for part of it. Six days away from Rolo. I missed him like crazy, but I also had a lot of fun. I had wondered if, in the absence of the kid, Ron and I would fall back into our pre-baby ways of happy hours and constant motion. The answer was yes. We were on the go all day long without the restriction of needing to stop for naps, feedings, diaper changes, etc. The only difference is that with every new thing we saw when exploring San Francisco, we would wonder out loud if we thought Rolo would like it too.

I think back when he was about 5 months old, I felt like Rolo spent that month on the cusp of new things. I feel the same way about the 10th month. He hadn't learned any new tricks really since...he learned to sit up. And so, he has an appointment with a physical therapist for evaluation later this month. I'm anticipating that she's just going to tell me he's lazy, but I am proponent of early intervention, so if something's wrong, I'd rather get on it right away. In typical Rolo fashion, he's waited until I start to worry to do something about it. Literally, within a day or two of me making the PT appointment, he's started making (for him) considerable strides towards deliberate motion. He's getting up on all fours, rocking. He moves his knees forward but can't quite get his arms to do the same. He's also just learned how to get into a seated position by himself from a prone position. Thank the Lord, because that kid would get pretty pissed when he decided he wanted to be sitting and no one was readily available to help him. Lastly, he'll do two new tricks: he'll play peek-a-boo with his bib (but not his hands) and he'll give you five upon request.

The peek-a-boo is pretty funny because he doesn't always cover his whole face. Sometimes he only covers one eye, but since he closes both his eyes when playing, he operates under the assumption that since he can't see you, you must not be able to see him. Ah, if only that worked with adults.


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