Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Random Things...

I don't want to forget
Liam loves "Night Night Little Pookie." He points to Pookie when we ask where he is. If we attempt to give him any other book before bed, he wiggles and refuses to pay attention. He'll even close the book front side out, as if to let us know we have the wrong book. He is even starting to memorize the book. When the part about getting kisses comes, he moves his head to us and gives us his ears to kiss goodnight.
His other favorite book is SuperHero Me. He picks it up and brings it to me to read. It's a tough and feel book. He loves feeling the pages. When we read the page about the toddler who can battle a T-rex, Liam and I roar back and forth at each other.

The Belly Button Book is Liam's least favorite book. I don't know what it is about it. I think it's adorable and wish he would let me read it to him. No clue why he dislikes it so much.

The Diaper Change Olympic Games have closed. Not only have they come to an end, Liam helps us get his shirt off when it is bath time. He even helps us a bit during diaper changes. He lifts his butt off the ground to help us get the dirty diaper off.

Liam's new obsession is baby massage. I've been doing it since he was born. During diaper and changing wars, I had given up on getting a massage in. Now, he loves it. He especially loves getting his feet rubbed. I love the moment when his foot relaxes and he uncurls his toes. It shows he is truly comfortable and trusting of me. When I try to switch from one foot to the other, he leaves the first foot up as a hint to keep going. He doesn't mind getting his arms rubbed. He doesn't seem to get why I rub his chest and tummy, but he is a baby who loves getting his legs rubbed.

Liam loves to try to figure things out. When he plays baby basketball, if he uses a smaller ball that doesn't activate the buzzer and lights, he has figured out to reach in the hoop and push the button himself. Have to respect a baby that makes sure he gets the credit he deserves.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 so far

For Liam and I, 2011 has been a pretty boring year. We were snowed in for two days the last week of December. He and I actually went five days without leaving the house because of Christmas and then a blizzard on the 27. He so excited to finally get out. The following week, Liam had an ear infection and pink eye, which meant a few more days in the house. As we are digging out from another storm, Liam and I are enjoying our second snow day of the week. The things to do list is dwindling.

Mike has been working so hard to finish the basement in time for Liam's first birthday. I have been on baby detail. It is tough work to snuggle the baby and play Little People with him while Mike tackles moulding, sheet rock, and painting. The house is upside down right now since the carpet installers will be arriving Friday. Our utility room is filled with furniture. Our dining room is filled with boxes and planes and our sunroom if silled with boxes and pictures. There is no sense in cleaning. It won't help. Since I am the only only one in the family with Monday off, I'll put the house back in order then.

We are trying to watch what we eat. I am so sick of gaining and losing the same ten pounds. If I am going to be teach Liam to be healthy, I must set the example. Therefore, there will be no baking to pass the time.

We have spent a small fortune on the basement. Liam has everything he needs. I am not going to kill time at the mall. Besides, the entire state has cabin fever; I don't have the patience to deal with large crowds.
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This leaves Liam and I in the house yet again. We have played with his toys, watched the neighbors remove snow, scribbled, practiced walking, learned to ride his firetruck, read stories, danced, snacked, snuggled, chased the dog, and perfected our "Roar!!" We ate pancakes and pot roast. We vacuum daily. We've napped together. We have done just about everything that can be done within the 928 feet of living space we call home. This left us one thing left to do: fort!
At first, Liam was happy just to crawl over it.
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He quickly learned it was quite spacious inside:
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Since Liam has no interest in actually riding zebra, his new job involved holding the roof of the south wing and being delicious.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Before I Forget

There's one rite of passage that comes with living in the north: waiting for the "No School" announcement due to snow. When we were little, we'd sit by my mom's AM radio, shushing when the list was about to be read. There was a little jingle that sang "Operation Snowball." and the reader of the list, Salty Brine, is a local celebrity. We even named a state beach after him, which is quite ironic now that I put it all together. Anyway, we never had cancellations the night before the way they do now. We had to get up, start getting ready just in case we had school, and wait for "Operation Snowball. The list was read in alphabetical order. We lived in Warwick, one of the last districts announced. The anticipation was enough to cause frenzy. As I got older, I knew enough to realize that if districts around us closed, we may be closed as well. Cranston being closed was usually a good sign. The excitement that accompanied hearing Warwick on the list made some of the best days of the year. We were free to attack the fresh, beautiful snow!
As I grew older, we'd watch a continuous tracker at the bottom of the TV screen. By the time I began teaching, the lists we available online. This still required refreshing the update. My district just adopted a calling system. A few minutes after my sister yelled "No school," I received an automated phone message.
There are few things that I ponder and truly feel bad that Liam will never know the way I do. He'll never have to find the number for the pizza place in the White Pages. He'll have have to flip a cassette every five songs. But him never knowing the true joy that comes from hearing Salty Brine say "No school Warwick" on AM radio truly leaves me feeling that he is missing one of youth's most simple pleasures.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Mike and I decided to only have one child. We know what we can handle. We know what we have room for and what we can afford. I was so worried about being a good mother to Liam. We both worried about our marriage in the sense that we knew our "us" time would be pretty much gone. We were fairly certain of our decision but decided to wait a year just to make sure.
It has been an amazing journey this past year. We handled acid reflux, failed breasting attempts, floods, emergency trips to Florida, Mom's death, adjusting to parenthood, adjusting to my return to work, and Liam's adjustment to daycare. Mike and I make our marriage a priority, knowing that someday, Liam is going to move out and be the center of someone else's world. We share beers after he goes to sleep. In the summer, we brought the monitors out and had fires in the backyard. While we've only had a handful of dates, I feel our relationship is stronger than ever even though we have never been so busy.
Around Thanksgiving, Mike and I returned to our decision to just have one child. I'll admit that I always saw myself having two children. This was, however, before I saw how much work a baby really requires. Kristy is fifteen months younger than I am and, although I know we'd probably hate each other if we weren't sisters, she is one of the most important people in my life. I can't imagine surviving my youth without her. We decided one child works best for us. Mike made the necessary appointment. The consulation is, ironicly, on Liam's first birthday.

One child allows me to continue working. Daycare for two would eat my paycheck. I worked too hard to give up my career. I enjoy teaching. One child allows us to plan for emergencies. Need to hop on a plane and go to Florida? Ok. It made us tight but we managed. Liam needs a new coat or the Jeep needs new tires? Get it taken care of. Much of the drama in my childhood involved my parent's inability to manage money. When I was very young, my parents did a very good job of makig sure Kristy and I didn't know we were poor. As we grew, it was impossible not to notice bill collctors' phone calls. I always swore I'd never do that to my own offspring. One child allows Mike and I to focus on each other as well as the baby.

Maybe it is because Liam is about to turn one and I realize my days of snuggling him in my arms and having a baby are coming to an end. Maybe it is because there have been some stories of young men dying in their teen years and I am scared of losing the one person who calls me "Mama." Maybe it is because, with my mom gone and my dad in Florida, Kristy is the only blood relative I talk to on a regular basis. What happens if, after Mike and I are gone, Liam is alone? He will not even have cousins.

This past week, Mike and I were both on vacation. The plan was to put Liam in daycare so we could work on the basement.= and take one day to ourselves. We jokingly refered to it as "Nooner Week." Nooner Week was only supposed to go until Thursday due to my "friend." Sunday comes and Mike realized I am late. I should also add that, due to an insurance issue, I was not on the pill this month. I was not paying $120 out of pocket so we vowed to be careful. So here I am, three days late and not on the pill. It was time to go back to taking a pregnancy test and praying for a negative. On the drive to CVS, I decided to actually pray. Out loud and everything. I asked Him to do whatever He thought was right and we would accomidate His decision.

My confession: even though I knew it went against everything we had planned, I was asking God for a positive. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because the idea of another baby was rolling around in my head. God must have been listening. I got my period in the parking lot of CVS before I even took the key out of the ignition. He really does know what is best for us.

25 Days

Until Liam turns one. It seems surreal and I'm not sure where the time went. He's been sick this week and I've been taking advantage of the extra snuggles that come with a sick baby. These days are numbered.
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I took Liam downstairs after he woke up at 12:30 last night. He'd woken up the last two nights coughing and actually vomited from coughing. Clean sheet night came three times this week. Mike got seven hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. I'm not certain, but I think if I had given him a choice between seven hours of sleep or sweet lovin', he probably would have chose to sleep.
When I was little, my mom would rub my temple whenever I was sick. It would put me right to sleep. Mike even does it to me when I'm having trouble sleeping. I tried doing it to Liam when he would fuss when he was really little. He never wanted anything to do with it. Last night, in the middle of his "I'm exhausted but refuse to sleep" breakdown, I laid him down on my chest and rubbed his temple. Within five minutes, he was out. I'm glad that gift is hereditary.

This is going to be the first full year without my mom. I didn't think it would bother me quite this much. I was glad I fell asleep before the ball dropped so I would not be able to to not call mom and wish her a happy new year. (Did that make sense?) I did pretty well through Thanksgiving and Christmas. I even forgot to burn a few rolls with Christmas dinner the way she always did. Dad would put one up against a door and joke that is was our new door stopper.
My dad has his lady friend and spent the holidays with her and her family. He had been mourning Mom for awhile and could not have been a better spouse in her final months. I can not be mad at him him for moving on. Mom would not have wanted him to mope. My mom was silly about many things, but she never had a mean word to say about anyone. Therefore, I know Dad has her blessing. He did not need my permission, but I gave him my blessing as well.

I never make resolutions because I feel they set me up to fail. I guess I have a few improvements/ alterations I'd like to make this year:
1. Watch the f bombs as Liam understands language. I'm getting better but I need to improve.
2. Stop obsessing about things that don't matter and focus on the things that do matter. If anything, this past year has taught me who my real friends are.
3. Be as healthy as possible. I don't ge to the gym because I don't want to leave Liam. Cold weather makes it taught to go outside. I am now setting an example for my son. I need to stop being really good and then being really bad. I need to find a happy medium as I have been gaining and losing the same fifteen pounds for fifteen years.
4. Continue to enjoy Liam. I think I have done a good job of not worrying all the tie about him and enjoying him. He will only be little once.
5. Really reflect on my teaching. After seven years, it is easy to just go to the binder and take out the old lessons that worked. Sure, I tweak things and make improvements, but I really want to evolve and ensure my students are prepared.
6. Keep up with my reading and writing. I forgot how much I truly enjoy getting things down. I read some great books last year in genres I usually avoid. I want to continue reading for myself.
7. Simplify. I've been getting rid of a lot of my "stuff." The flood was a great wake up call to alert me of how much stuff I have that I do not need.

I think if I add anymore than that, I won't be able to follow it. It is a good start.

Sometimes, I write with not particular focus. I like to see where my words take me. This is definitely one of those posts.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Vacation Recap

Because I feel the need to summarize with tally:
Toenails broken off on a Little Tikes kitchen: 1
Inches of snow: 15
Stays spent without leaving the house: 5
Minutes I fell asleep before the ball dropped: 80 (give or take)
Steps Liam can take without falling:4-5
Mom's spinach pies Mike and I made: 2
Mom's spinach pies we threw out: 1.5 (We made way too much food)
Walls added to our basement:4
Afternoon dates with Mike: 1
Toes broken on the Pack N Play: 1
Days Liam spent in the Infant Room at daycare: 0 (He's officially in the Crawler Room)
I know I should have a lot more. This seemed like a good idea when I started. The short lists further proves what and uneventful vacation we had. the older I get, the more I prefer my vacations to be just so.