Friday, December 31, 2010

The Allegory of the Oregano

I have really been thinking about this for awhile and glad I finally have the time to write it down. Thanks to my sleeping boys, I have the time.
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This past spring, I decided I wanted to be one of those super, do everything moms. After a trip to a farmer's market, I decided I needed to grow and use my own herbs. That lead me to keeping oregano, rosemary, and cilantro on my kitchen counter. I loved the idea of having green plants on colorful Fiesta Ware plates basking in the sun each morning.

This was not the life for rosemary. Within a month, she committed suicide. Any effort to revive her (including over watering, pruning, and wishing) failed. This left me with Cilantro and Oregano. They proceeded to become high maintenance. The more I tried to save them, the farther they plummeted to the brink of distinction. Every other day I had to move the kitchen cart they called home to sweep out all the leaves they shed. I read they instruction cards and googled maintaining plants. Nothing helped. Finally, I had to admit defeat. By this point, Liam was mobile and finding any dead leaves that hit on the floor. These two plants were becoming a part time job. Not wanting to toss them, I put them on a table in our unheated sun room. "Look what you're giving up," I wanted to say to them. "Fine. Stay here. You're going to live or die trying.' This went against everything on their instruction card. No direct sunlight anymore. No 68 degree temperatures. No daily checks of water. Here, they get water maybe once a week if they're lucky.

Low and behold, they're flourishing! It's been over three months that they have been on that cold table and they've never looked better.

I look and them several times a day as I go in and out of the house, realizing there is some sort of a lesson there. This lead me to think about many of my relationships. Once in awhile, when Liam is extremely fussy, I sort of give up, put him on the floor, and let him play alone. It usually turns out that that is all he wants. Mike and I often prefer doing things solo. Apparently, Liam feels the same way. Daycare has told me that although he is very social, he will sometimes play alone for up to an hour. This also made me think about my students as well. Sometimes, I think the best thing I can do for then is let them struggle. I need to remember the lesson of my herbs when it comes to raising Liam. Sometimes, he, too, needs to struggle and maybe even fail.
Now, my point to all of this is not that I may someday lock Liam out of the house on the sun room. Maybe I am over thinking my plants, but it seems they were telling me that I sometimes need to let nature take care of itself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The First Noel

Last year at this time, Mike and I were scrambling to complete last minute Christmas and baby to dos and making plans to enjoy our last vacation as a family of two. We went out to buy a fake tree, realizing that we'd have an almost eleven month old the following year. The concept of having said baby seemed unfathomable at the time. Fast forward through a year of hellos and goodbyes, floods, staying at home and going back to work. We look back and wonder if we did too much or not enough. We will only have a baby for five more weeks. Did I snuggle enough? Did I make a mental note of all of the important moments? Did I take enough pictures? Should I have bought a video camera? Should I have taken him for professional pictures more? Did he really need all those toys?

Here is a quick glimpse of our getting ready for Santa:
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My failed attempt to do his Christmas pictures. Within two minutes, Liam was trying to eat the ornament and pretending the tree was a car. Everything becomes a car to Liam. He even makes "brrrrroooooom" noises.

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Mike trying to put together a fake tree for the first time in his life.
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Liam really not understanding what Dad is trying to do.
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He is, however, a big fan of lights.
We just brought some of the gifts up last night. I'll get pictures of the tree later. So far, Liam hasn't expressed any interest in messing with the tree. If I had known that, I would have set it up sooner.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It is hard to believe that this little baby will officially be a toddler in
seven weeks.
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I originally liked the idea of a "Winter ONE-derland" party but since Mike wasnever really on board and it seems like everyoneis doing that theme, I decided to do "Rookie of the year." Mike loves it. Liam's party will be the day before the Super Bowl. I just ordered a bunch of supplies from Oriental Trading Co. We have a good excuse to make and eat a bunch of tailgating food.
But, really, almost a toddler? Where did time go?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Best Zoo Visit Ever!

Yesterday, we had an usually warm day. Mike came up with the great idea to go to the zoo. We hadn't been since August. Back then, Liam thought the zoo was a place to go to look at other kids. He would actually get a little bent out of shape that people wanted to look at animals instead of flirting with him. We were interested to see how he did now that he was a little older. The zoo hosted Cookies with Santa earlier in the day so we pretty much had the place to ourselves later in the afternoon.
We could tell things were different with the animals. When we went to the zebras, two came right up to us.
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The camels were waiting for someone to come by and say hello. The one on the left even seemed to ham it up a bit when I took out my camera.
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In the farm area, I struck up a conversation with one of the zookeepers. She explained that in the summer, the animals are stuck with people all the time. In the winter, they start to miss them. This seemed like an acceptable explanation. It was proven by the snow leopards. Usually, they stay way at the top of their rocks and try their best to ignore us. Today, they came right down and even put on a little pouncing show for our entertainment.
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As tradition, we had to take Liam's picture on the big bronze dog.
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This is a local tradition. In the list of birth rites in Rhode Island, having your picture taken on the dog at Roger William's Zoo is at the top of the list.
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Kristy and I and probably seven and eight here.
The tradition continued. We were 23 and 24 here. We gave this one to our parents that year for Christmas. They loved it.
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I have to give Mike credit for coming up with a great idea. Whenever we have a warm day, we will be at the zoo. Liam finally noticed that there are animals there. He was fascinated by the elephants. He watched on gather hey with his trunk and put it in him mouth for about ten minutes. He liked the zebras, camels, pink flamingos, and giraffes. Animals that blend into their habitat, such as bison, wolves, and the anteater, he couldn't pick out. I can't wait to see how much he enjoys the zoo as he grows older.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Toilet Paper Incident

I keep saying that I need to document these seemingly silly moments. This morning, I was washing my face while Liam was inspecting the bathroom. He loves everything about the bathroom, perhaps because it is a forbidden area. Today, I let him in there while I was washing my face instead of putting him in the Pack N Play. He immediately started trying to flush the toilet. Then, he discovered the toilet paper on top of the toilet. Mike and I had to take it off of the roll dispenser because it was just too wonderful of a toy to Liam that way. He can now reach the top of the toilet and in a matter of seconds, had the TP all over the place. Being a wonderful mother, I grabbed my camera rather than cleaning it up immediately.

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I hope when he is sixteen, he still believes that Momma not letting him play with toilet paper is the meanest thing I've ever done to him.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ten Months

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Thanks to the updates I receive from Women and Infants hospital, I realized I have only eight weeks until Liam's first birthday. I look online at first birthday parties and some just seem so over the top. While I'd like to do something nice, I understand that Liam will never remember his first birthday. We know we have about twenty-five people who absolutely need to be there. I refuse to rent a hall as that will be about our entire party budget. I want to do the theme "Winter One-derland" and just serve milk and cookies. Everyone loves milk and cookies. I'm thinking of the idea of a hot chocolate station. I'll see what I can do with that.

Daycare is like cable in the sense that you pay for it whether you use it or not. Therefore, we are sending Liam to daycare for a few hours a day during vacation. Liam loves daycare and it will give Mike a I a few hours to get things done and enjoy some times to ourselves. I've been jokingly calling it "Nooner Week." Our biggest priority is getting the basement refinished from the flooding in March. Now that Liam is going everywhere, he needs a place to play.

Since Liam is getting into everything, we're not setting the tree up until right before Christmas. It is amazing how from time to t time, a magic week will go by in which he learns so much. In the past two weeks, he has started pushing himself with a push toy and standing on his own. He has also started becoming very shy. A month ago, he's play with any adult; now he is so shy. Getting him to even hi-five Santa was a feat yesterday.

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Sometimes, I wish I could slow down time so much. I understand my days of giving bottles and napping in my arms are coming to an end. However, I love seeing the personality of my son develop. He is hilarious. He loves being chased now. He makes funny noises and wants us to imitate him. He plays with us. He tries to solve things for himself and figure out how things work. I am am zed at how much Liam is capable of doing. While I am fully aware that these are our "Good Ole Days," I wouldn't stop time for anything.