Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Extension?

We are in the path of the hurricane. In my upbringing, hurricanes usually mean one thing: build up and let down. We had one heading to us last year that fizzled. People panic, buy everything from Stop and Shop and Home Depot, then nothing big happens. This one seems to be different. Some school are already closed for Monday. Mike is playing video games to get his technology fix since power outages are expected.
After last year's floods, Mike and I are taking no chances. We just refinished our basement. We kept the waterlines up as a reminder. This is the only one I could get a decent picture of.
Twenty two inches of wet goodness in our finished basement. Oh, the perks of living within walking distance to the ocean. The state released a bunch of evacuation maps; we are two blocks from the evacuation line if a hurricane hits. Still love living near the ocean. Anyway, we've spent the last two days getting ready to avoid the chaos in any store that will arrive tomorrow.
Yesterday, Liam and I went to Benny's for gas cans and batteries.
We brought all of Liam's toys to behind the shed so they don't blow away int eh eighty mile and hour winds. He was excited to play this game and wanted to help.
Then he realized his toys were out of his reach and was less than thrilled.
Our shed door blew open two years ago and now usually blows open and off the hinges in any high wind. Mike solved that. Liam also wanted to help with that.
Liam was the offical screw hander to Dad.
This is not the end of summer excitement we were hoping for but at least we are prepared. The latest reports says the storm is slowing down. Here's hoping.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lesson of the afternoon

Finger painting with a toddler is much like a middle school dance; there's a good chance someone will wind up crying in the bathroom.

That is all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The L Word

Last year at this time, I was a wreck. After having spent seven months home with Liam, the thought of going back to school and transitioning to working momma terrified me. I was itching for adult conversation, a reason to get dressed, and getting out and felt so guilty for it. Mike was fantastic about helping and checking in, but there is only so much time a momma can spend alone with a baby before she climbs walls. Within a few weeks, we were all in a routine. In April, I realized Liam had been in daycare half his life.

Fast forward a year. This past summer was amazing. If the economy would allow me to take a five year career hiatus and winter never arrived, I would live on peanut butter sandwiches and stay home with the Boo in a heartbeat. I say that now but will admit that there is a part of staying home that I always feel guilty for admitting: it can get very lonely. I love Liam. I love him more than I ever imagined I could love a toddler. I love everything about him. That being said, he has a twenty word volcabulary. Poor Mike comes home and I cling to him for any touch of adult interaction. I wonder if Liam feels the same way about me. I know he loves me, but he also loves his friends. He didn't want to leave daycare yesterday. He's gone two days this summer while I have PD.

I find that the journey to motherhood has been interesting. Mike and I feared that it would alienate us from our friends. We worried that we would have no time to ourselves and our relationship would suffer. We made a point of making each other a priority. I make sure he has time for his hobbies or even time to play video games. He is always offering to watch Liam so I can go out. If anything, he and I have made a better effort regarding each other than we did before Liam's arrival. In spite of the fact that our last date out was April 2, we are not feeling too too overwhelmed.

In a lot of ways, motherhood alienated me from the rest of the world. Going out at 7:30 is no longer an option. The word "babysitter" is not in our list of possibilities. There are people who have offered that I would trust to watch him, but I feel like a bad mother asking someone to watch Liam for a few hours so Mike and I can go drink at a bar and watch a Sox game or something along those lines. He and watch games in the basement or have a drink together after Liam goes to bed. We catch up on each other. I'd rather take a walk to the park, play on the slides, read Goodnight Moon three times, and have a glass of wine with Mike after Liam goes to bed.

When Liam was first born, everyone who called, emailed, or stopped by had an opinion. To a new mother, these "helpful hints" came across as "You're doing it wrong. Your child will grow up to rob 7-11's and it will be all your fault." People have the best of intentions. They really do. I shyed away from a lot of those people whose visits had the feel of a CPS meeting where I had to defend not giving Liam cereal in his formula, not putting rum on his gums, using a Moby wrap, not having another baby, and refusing to let a one month old cry it out. When Mike's step grandmother commented,"It's ok, we all have our bad mother moments," when I refused to let her put cereal in Liam's bottle, I almost snapped. When a friend of mine told me she thought it was selfish to be induced just because of gestational diabetes, I also cried the entire ride home. I was prepared for a lot of things before Liam came. Defending your parenting choices came out of left field.

I was very niave about a lot of things about motherhood. I pretty much skipped over the C-section parts of pregnancy books assuming I didn't have to be familiar with them. I was right about that but it was close towards the end of my pregnancy. I assumed that breastfeeding would be natural to me because I was determined to do it. No such luck thanks to a thyroid issue. Poor Mike had to keep watching Liam and I cry as I tried to get him to latch to get nothing.

I have a few people I can talk to and make plans to go out with. I get out without Liam maybe once every six to eight weeks. Sometimes, I feel like the world has moved on while I was changing diapers. I don't expect the world to stop because Mike and I decided to have a child, but I feel like I have such a hard time finding my place in the rest of the world. Like other aspects of motherhood, I was very niave about the loneliness. When we do get together in social situations, I feel like I have very little to contribute to conversations. My life revolves around teaching and being part of a family.

I love my life and know I am beyond blessed. Mike is the best friend and husband a wife would wish for. I know this is the only time I will ever be the mother of a toddler and cherish every moment of it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thrity Day Dropout

I stink! I spend so much time with Liam that I never get to this. I think I'd have better luck if I was working and sat at the computer a little more.
We had our yard sale Saturday and played on Sunday. Monday was VJ Day here in Rhode Island, also known as Victory Over Japan Day. Yes, we celebrate dropping a bomb to get a three day weekend in August. We took Liam down to Mystic. Mystic has always been our little place to get away for a day. While Liam napped, Mike adn I stopped to get a coffee and sat in the cemetary, watched the water, and learned about one of the founding families in Mystic.
We had to get Liam a Del's Lemonade.
I am down to my last two weeks of vacation. I am so lucky to spend my summer with Liam. We've had a ball. I've started trying to get materials together. I know what I'm doing for nine, ten, and eleven. Eighth grade will be short stories for the first few weeks. I am getting nervous about adjusting back to being a wokring mom. A part of me is looking forward to seeing my stduents and getting back in the swing of things. There's always the nervousness about getting back to not having all the time in the day top get things done. I enjoy taking care of the house so when Mike comes home we have family time. Liam will have to adjust his sleep schedule back. We've been sleeping an hour later in the morning, which sets him an hour later for the rest of the day. He'll go back to the next room in daycare.
For the next two weeks, I get to do as much as I can with him. We can go to the zoo, the library, or just fingerpaint in the backyard. We can read books and go for walks. How lucky we are.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aug 4-5

I am getting bad at this. I have always been of the belief that Liam is only going to be little once. Fun with him always comes first. And fun we had. Blueberry picking in the morning.
He was a natural. In the afternoon, Liam had his 18 month appointment. He is right where he should be. That evening, Mike and I did our annual recreation of our first date. Six years flies by. Anyway, on with the challenge:
August 4 – Guilty Pleasure
This summer, my guilty pleasure has been badminton. Mike and I play it almost every night and are almost getting good at. What's not to love? It's enough of a workout to make me kinda sweat. The birdie thing is called a "shuttlecock" and that sounds dirty. Liam plays in the yard or grabs his racket and tries to join us.
There are certain things that just seem to be a part of who Mike and I are.
Badmintion is now one of those things.
To remember our summer of badmiton, Mike got me the Pandora badminton bead.

August 5 – I really should get rid of…
Do be honest, there isn't a lot I should get rid of. I go through the house several times a year and purge anything we haven't used in awhile. The flood last year forced me to get rid of old lessons, books, and other things I probably should've gone through but never did. I've been saving Liam's baby stuff as he outgrows things. What I haven't passed on to pregnant friends, I'm going to sell at my first attempt at a yard sale tomorrow. Hopefully, it goes well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3

August 3 – What do you love most about yourself
Growing older made me much more comfortable in my body. Months ago, I wrote in my journal an analogy about growing into my own using my hair. I keep saying I need to type it out. Otherwise try to make it into something is isn't. When I entered my thirties, I let my hair be what it was meant to be. It is more than half grey. I do dye it, but I no longer spent hours and a small fortune putting blond highlights in it. I no longer try to fry it into straight submission. Here is a picture of my sister and I on her thirtieth birthday. That hair took forever, lots of product, and a flatiron to achieve.
My hair has always been a great feature. Much like the rest of me, when I stopped trying to make it something it wasn't, it flourished. It is healthier than it's even been. It is easier than it's even been and found its own way of doing things.
Here's my hair over the winter.
Not glamorous. Simple. Content. Me.

One of my favorite things about me is my hair. It is as telling as a journal. I just looked to see if I had any of my big hair middle school pictures of half buzzed pictures from high school. Luckily for everyone, I don't.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Little Mimic

Of all the things Liam could learn from me, he has learned to spit. Teeth brushing is a big event in our house. He sits on the toilet because this is a treat and it keeps him from trying to run after the dog with a toothbrush in his mouth. When we are finished, he watches me rinse my mouth. Since I spit, he leans over and makes a "pphhhuuu" sound. This is cute in and of itself but my little Booba had to take it a step further and fake spit every time he is at the sink. After yesterday's brave finger painting episode, we went to the sink to wash up. After I turned off the water, he had to lean over the sink and "ppphhhuu."

Mike often says I need to make things as difficult as possible for myself. Liam is following me. He is up to about twenty words, most of which are not very useful. He says sea"shell," "picture," and "button." He yells "button" and "books" whenever we enter the library. Books for obvious reasons and button for the elevator. And, yes, he yells these words out in the library entryway. When we get to the children's library, he runs off calling out "fish." How excited am I that my kid already knows his way around the library? He's trying to work together sentences. "Where's dog?" and "Hi moma/dad." are his two right now. He won't say "cup" or and food items, but he can say "Jeep." He can say "more," but prefers to sign it. I love when we don't see him do it or immediately jump to get him whatever it is he wants and he signs it faster, almost as if yelling.

In taking after Mike and I, he is an independent player. At Babies and Books, he prefers to play with the beach ball or the wall hangings himself. He isn't antisocial; he just likes to figure things out himself there. He was very comfortable with his friends in daycare so these other new kids will take some getting used to. If he wasn't such a social butterfly at daycare, I'd be worried. Mike and I have both always preferred solitary past times. I read, write, and play with my camera. Mike makes his models. Liam will play outside for a little bit by himself then make it clear that he wants us. He is much better about playing alone outside. In his defense, we don't really ask him to play alone. We like playing with him. I guess this is just one of my few "One and done" worries.

Liam's best friend is Jake. His first word beside moma and dad was dog. When he wakes up, his first word every morning is dog. On the one morning Jake had gone downstairs, Liam looked everywhere, looked at me lovingly, and asked "Where's dog?" There was some confusion for a bit that every dog was a Jake so we are trying to teach Liam names. He calls our neighbors' dog "Jakedog." They get along like siblings. Jake has the patience of a saint and lets Liam love him a lot. He will stay a few feet ahead of Liam to tease him and play tag. He instinctively knows not to take food from Liam, even when Liam picks up one of Jake's treats and tries to give it to him.
We used to take Jake everywhere and, as new parents do, we have been neglectful of our first parental responsibility. We took Jake with us to the park Sunday afternoon.
Like a true old man, Jake pretends to be crochity. He is such a good "big brother" to Liam.

Aug 1-2

August 1 – Your 3 favorite blogs
August 2 – Which lesson did you learn the hard way?

I lasted a week on the challenge. Life can get in the way sometimes. I am taking advantage of a sleeping Booba to catch up.
Favorite Blogs:
Aug 1
I love reading Bri and Kim's blogs. Bri's son is only a little older than Liam so I like getting a sneak peak of what is to come with my little guy. Kim is just amazing and I amthankful that being with Mike led me to know her. I love watching her and her family's adventures and seeing the kids grow up. Beyond that, I have a bunch that I follow. There are a few cooking ones that I get great ideass from to try.

Aug 2 Which lesson did you learn the hard way?
Lots. Like everyone else in this world, I had to struggle at times. It made me a better person in the end. I learned that anything worth having is worth fighting for. I worked my butt off when I decided to go back to school. It was worth every bit of hard work. I've learned how be in an adult relationship. I've learned how to be a mother. I don't really think a lesson sticks unless you learn it the hard way.