Sunday, December 30, 2012

Daddy Talk: New Year

New Year and new things. Everyday I look forward to waking up and seeing what that kid does. He jumps by leaps and bounds, sometimes it's nothing, sometimes so much. It's funny how I don't notice things unless I look back on pictures and try to remember that this little guy was once so little and wasn't as accomplished as he is today. I look back on pictures from last Christmas and see how much he changed over this last year and I'm astonished. Everyday he changes and I lose track of how different he is from day to day.

It's exciting to see the changes, mostly I look forward to what happens to us next. I really look forward to the new things he will do. It's exciting, especially when I think about how it's new for him just like it's new to me.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Daddy Talk: My Son

After what happened Friday in Connecticut, I haven't really had much of anything else running through my mind. I look at my son and still can't imagine something like that happening to our little family.  It's brought up so many feelings, emotions and thoughts that I don't know if I will ever square them with what happened. I'm glad that I don't have to explain this to Milo right now. If he was old enough to ask questions about this, what is a reasonable response?

In memory:
Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Rachel Davino
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Dawn Hochsprung
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Chase Kowalski
Nancy Lanza
Jesse Lewis
James Mattioli
Grace McDonnell
Anne Marie Murphy
Emilie Parker
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison N. Wyatt

20 months

Dear Milo,

Another month has passed -- another month closer to your second birthday. Time really does fly when you're having fun. And you are so much fun. You think you can read and count already, saying "I, o, i, o" or "Nine, nine, nine" when you see letters or numbers. It's quite cute and makes me feel proud, even if you're not actually reading or counting. Your vocabulary seems to expand daily, and you often say things we didn't know you knew. The other day you said, "Penguin" -- to our surprise.

We spent Thanksgiving with your Great-Aunt Dianna. We took you to the zoo there on a breezy day. You enjoyed it but didn't want us to carry you, despite the rough ground and your lack of coordination that day. Some days you seem so sure-footed while other days you seem to fall over for no reason at all. That day at the zoo, you were Mr. Clumsy but acted like you thought you were a little mountain goat. You have more will than skill some days and that can make me really nervous. I do not want to make another trip to the ER.

We also went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo here at home for a stroller safari -- a behind-the-scenes adventure. We got up close and personal with the resident moose. We even got to feed him crackers. You were a little timid about the moose's mouth, and I can't blame you.

Look at that nose!
We're fast approaching your second Christmas. We took you to cut a tree. You were fascinated by the alpacas at the tree farm and wanted to play in the dirt. The trees, however, didn't really keep your attention. You tried to help Daddy hang lights, and the hand-made ornaments from your grandma drew your attention.

I feel like I have to mention the shooting in a Connecticut elementary school that happened earlier this week. A man walked into a school and killed many people. It was a senseless act perpetrated by a sick individual. I don't want to dwell on it, but I mention it because it makes me want to hold you close and never let you go. It also makes me realize that no matter what I do and how much I want to protect you, I can't always be there. I hope that nothing like this ever happens to us -- or that you ever have to be a witness to such evil. But that's all I can really do -- wish and hope for the best for you. Always.

I love you, little man. You make every day better.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Daddy Talk: Getting Beat Up

For the first time as an adult I tried to pick a fight. The guy threw his lip balm and hit me in the head while I was watching a movie, I calmly went to the parking lot of the movie theater to return it to him. Nothing happened and I'm glad it didn't, I guess. I probably would have gotten stabbed or something by his fat girlfriend.

So how do I spin that for the boy? Maybe that some people do deserve to get punched in the face when their fat girlfriends aren't around. That sounds almost sage like but not exactly the image I want to present to the boy. I think that he should not be afraid to confront somebody after he has been wronged especially when they are only willing to do so when your back is turned.

(For the record, we do plan to tell the boy he shouldn't start fights but we want him to defend himself if the situation arises. --Pam)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Daddy Talk: Pooping in the tub

Sometimes the easiest path is not the best path. The boy pooped in the tub while we were washing him after a messy lunch. The boy did what he normally does, except sans diaper. And it's not like we could do anything about it. Pam tried sitting him down on his potty because she could tell he was trying to go, but he was having nothing to do with it. I assume at some point it will occur. I would have really like to have a kid like Manny (from "Modern Family") who self potty trained. But that boy is fictional, and Milo is only 19 months old, I should expect a little poop in the tub -- especially if you undress him when he hasn't pooped yet.

In a way, I suppose I understand what he's doing and why he's doing it. It is what he knows. I think I poop in my own tub on a lot of occasions, so to speak. I have a tendency of picking the easier option rather than the path that offers some difficulty. I don't do a whole lot of risk/reward analysis. If it's hard, I avoid it. That seems to dictate a lot of where my life leads. I pay a lot of lip service to hard work, but it in the end I don't want to put the effort in. I thought that by this point in my life it would be easier to put the effort in. HaHa, get it?

Anyway I worry that I won't be able to instill a sense of hard work and dedication in Milo because I don't know how to do it. I was able to stick with school because somebody else was judging me. When I am by myself I can't motivate myself to keep things going.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Daddy Talk: Road Trip

Having a Thanksgiving celebration on the road can be tough on the participants involved.
Thinking about the details, you have something like a 1 in 140 chance of dying in a car accident on America's roads. Add to that a screaming baby and the whole idea of a road trip seems like a bad idea. But it wasn't.

The boy is still pretty unreasonable when he gets cranky, but mostly you know what's coming down. It's food or he needs to take a friggin' nap and won't. The nap is the killer as you can't spoon up a nap. Seeing family after driving 8 hours on the road really has its own fun and sense of relief when you reach your destination. In this case, mostly relief as the boy went to sleep. Surprisingly enough he didn't wear down quite enough and was up bright and early the next day.

Add the stress of travel to and from the location as well as cooking Thanksgiving dinner and you have the makings of at least one or two blowups. I am proud to say with all that we had only one and a really tasty turkey and a pretty good Thanksgiving celebration.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Week of Gratitude: Black Friday

Today, I am thankful that most of my Christmas shopping is already done! Be careful out there.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week of Gratitude: Thanksgiving Day

I am grateful for my wonderful Aunt Dianna. I'm also thankful my family and I get to spend this holiday with her. While no one can ever replace my mom -- or replace Milo's grandma -- Aunt D is as generous and kind as her older sister and reminds me so much of Mom. My aunt and I lost touch for a while but have seen a lot of each other since Milo was born. And for that, I am especially thankful.

Aunt D holding baby me

Aunt D holding Baby Milo
I wasn't as grateful as a baby as Milo was. Check out that smile for his Auntie!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week of Gratitude: Wednesday

I am thankful for Albert -- significant other, partner in crime, friend, companion, father of my child, winner of bread, killer of spiders and other creepy crawlies.

I don't say it often enough, but I love him and am really glad we found each other.

And we make a pretty cute damn family, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week of Gratitude: Tuesday

I am thankful for my healthy and (mostly) happy little boy. He makes me laugh every day.

Goofy faces + Mommy's slippers = Laughs

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week of Gratitude: Monday

This week many of us will travel to see family or host a holiday gathering. Many others won't, for whatever reason, do anything out of the ordinary. No matter what our situation, we all have something to be grateful for. (If you're reading this, you at least have access to technology. So there's that.)

Who isn't grateful for cheesy grins?

Today, I am grateful for the everyday things I don't normally think about -- like running water that's safe and clean, central heating that comes on automatically, access to the world at the touch of a button (whether on the TV, the computer or my phone -- how amazing is that?!), the ability to clean my clothes without getting my hands wet and many other things I take for granted. I am grateful for a roof over my head and the guys I share it with.

What are you grateful for at this time of giving thanks?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Daddy Talk: Time's running out

I am definitely in some kind of rut. I keep getting the feeling that time is running out. Knowing that, I still can't seem to break out of this routine. For many reasons I feel like I am not keeping up or getting ahead. I'm just spinning my wheels. So much to do and so little time.

I worry about the future and my career. I keep saving and saving, hoping there will be enough money for retirement and for Milo's college. Yet, even though both are at least 20 years away, I'm afraid I won't have enough saved. I want to change careers but stay where I am for some reason.

I feel like I'll blink and Milo will be 5. I blink again and he's an adult, again and he has his own kids. My fears and issues travel from one end of the spectrum to the other -- from my personal life to my work life. Unfortunately I have no clue how to bump out of it.

Despite -- or because of -- his worries, he's a great, supportive daddy. -- Pam

Friday, November 16, 2012

19 months

Dear Milo,

Am I ever going to stop being surprised by how fast time passes? Probably not. Before I know it, I'll be writing, "Dear Milo, you're 19 years old today." And I will faint at how quickly it went.

You're 19 months old today. [Fainting.] The past month has been filled with so much fun. You got to go trick or treating this year and actually sort of got what it was about. You are doing somersaults all by yourself -- even at The Little Gym where your teacher can see you doing them.

You are saying -- or trying to say -- lots of new words. You're mimicking Daddy and me a lot. Although, you still don't call me Mommy or Mama or anything, except possibly Dada sometimes. You seem to think your name is Mama. Or maybe you just think Milo and Mama are the same word. Or -- and this is not beyond the realm of possibility based on your growing sense of humor -- you're just screwing with me. One day you said Mama while babbling about the dog and Dada. You looked at me with an oops sort of grin that made me think you know exactly who Mama is. Lucky you're so damn cute.

The time change messed with your sleep schedule for a bit. Mostly it made you -- and me -- cranky. Plus, you seem to be getting all your teeth right now. Those little buggers are sure slow in coming. You've had a constantly running nose. So, along with the fun stuff this month, there have been plenty of tears. But mostly fun.

We got our family portraits done by a very nice lady, Courtney at CKE Photography. Not only was it a good time, but we got a whole bunch of really great pictures. Look out, family, you're getting pics for Christmas.

Photo by CKE Photography. Costume by Carter's. Cute by Milo.

Lately, you've been saying/singing, "Doopah doopah da." It's a little like a jazz scat, and I'm not sure where it came from. It's totally cute though, and Daddy and I sing it back to you. So much so that the other night when I checked on you before I went to bed, you said, "Doopah da" to me in your sleep. It was so freaking cute, I had to call your daddy, who was out of town, and tell him about it. In fact, you're saying it right now -- while you're supposed to be napping.

It's OK, though because you're playing happily by yourself in your crib. Even when you don't nap now, you usually have some quiet time. I really appreciate that, sweetie. I have been trying to take more time for myself and I think that helps us both. You're awesome and all, but mommies need breaks and so do little boys.

The next month is going to be another whirlwind month, with visiting Auntie for Thanksgiving and prepping for the big holiday. It'll be fun though, just like every day with you is filled with fun.

I love you, sweetness. So much.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Daddy Talk: The world still turns

Three cheers for the elections being over.  I had hoped that with the election being over the BS of people yelling over each other would end -- but nope. I have to dial back the crazy on Facebook still four days after the election. Spirited discussion is one thing but I really don't get the non-stop anger. It just keeps building and building.

This is his "No" face.

The part that is so hard to understand is the irrational, uneducated parts that you can't explain away. You can't reason with an idea that somebody started that has no basis in fact, only in opinion. It gets me angry and I have to check my attitude because I get irrational back. I think ever since I have had Milo around it has gotten better though. The angry certainly doesn't come out as easily and I find myself trying to better articulate how I feel.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In which I talk politics -- sort of

I don't like to discuss politics (or religion, for that matter) here on my blog. It is so divisive. But today, I want to say a little something about the presidential race.

First, it was exhausting. All the ads, all the time? Even during "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." But what was amazing about the race was the fact that we had our first black president running against our potential first Mormon president. Talk about your melting pot.

Not running for president, just running

With Barack Obama in the White House, I can easily tell my own mixed race child he can grow up to be president. If he wants to work too hard, get paid too little and be reviled by many people -- even those who elected him.

And maybe one day, he will see a woman leading our country. (We're already used to working too hard and making too little money.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

You can't change time

Time changes make me grumpy -- or grumpier than usual if you ask the S.O. I think changing our clocks twice a year is outdated and serves no real purpose. I'm sure it did once. And there are experts who will say it still does. Maybe.
"One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity. Newer studies, however, are challenging long-held reason."
Whatever the reason may be, the people who make this happen do not live with a toddler. Small people who can't tell time have their own schedules to begin with. Why would you want to screw it up just when you've either (a) gotten used to it or (b) gotten them into a schedule you can work with?

I once read that it takes us up to a week to adjust to one hour difference -- like when we travel to a different time zone. I think it takes a toddler much longer to adjust. I tried keeping Milo up to his normal bedtime last night (an hour later than the night before). He was grumpy and tired and still woke up at 5:45 a.m. instead of 6:45 a.m. He doesn't care what the clock says.

I know how you feel, buddy.

The dark mornings come so gradually, I think we're used to them by this time of year. Then we shock our systems by having the sun come up an hour earlier. Ugh. Sure we get an extra hour that day. And once upon a time, I appreciated the extra sleep. But with an 18-month-old in the house, there is no extra sleep.

Did I mention the time change makes me grumpy?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Daddy Talk: Tinkle Think

Trying to figure out the whole potty training thing is a bit confusing for me. I don't really know how to encourage my son to pee in the potty, let alone poo in it.

I think at this point he isn't quite ready, and it's mostly up to us to keep him from getting scared of it. Which so far hasn't been a problem. He sees it, sits on it and is good with it as an accessory piece. Outside of that I'm not really too worried about it.

There are plenty of books on the subject and plenty of different ideas. Our neighbors took their boy out to a farm, stripped him naked and, poof, he was done. Our experience with having our boy walk around naked has been that he pees on the carpet -- and sometimes, in the tub.

Potty training is definitely one of those things with many paths to the same endpoint. The best way seems to be anything with patience involved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween, I thought it would be extra scary to let Milo help with decorating the pumpkin. A toddler wielding a carving knife is probably the most frightening thing I can imagine, but I didn't let things get that scary. Instead, I allowed Milo to unleash the fury of finger paints -- on himself and the innocent pumpkin. (With a nod to's safety tips)

The artist at work

Deep in concentration

Proud of himself

Here's hoping your Halloween is fun and safe and full of sweet treats.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Daddy Talk: Picture Day

Man what fun. Today we spent some time with a professional photographer. At least it's with somebody who took money to take our pictures. I make light. It was very fun -- unexpectedly so.

Lots of pictures and the boy had so much fun even with all the kid wrangling. Throwing around pine cones and getting tired. That little boy of mine is so photogenic and he knows how to have fun until it's no more fun.

I really am looking forward to seeing how the pictures turned out. If she got half of what was happening, there are a lot of candid shots that will be well worth remembering.

I really miss my family album. We haven't been able to find any of the other albums that were at my parent's house. It really is unfortunate and makes me sad that I won't be able to show my son the pictures of me growing up. Luckily I have found some pictures through friends and family but it's not nearly enough. There are so many pictures of people in my life that are just gone now. I will do the best that I can and show him what I can.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

18 months

Dear Milo,

You are a year and a half old now. Can you believe it? In just the past couple of days, you have been acting like such a big boy. Maybe it's because your Great-Aunt Dianna is here to visit you. Maybe it's because you really are a big boy now. Whatever the reason, you have started surprising me by doing things like repeating words when I ask you to. You are saying new things almost daily. Just today you said "apple" and tried to say "whistle." I still can't get you to say "mommy" though.

You are doing things at The Little Gym that we've been trying to get you to do for a long time. All of a sudden, you are hanging from the bars. You are climbing on things and balancing. You are doing those things and others without prompting and without help. I'm so proud of you sometimes I almost cry. And not just because of what you do at The Little Gym.

You are so much fun to be around. You love getting out and doing things. You are practically fearless, and that can be scary for Mommy. Today, you climbed the jungle gym and went down the slide with almost no help at all.

There are some things that I'm not thrilled with -- you biting me the other night is one. But I do love when you grab me and give me big hugs. And I love when you kiss me. You can be so sweet. Most of the time. You're less consistent with your napping right now and sometimes you get cranky from lack of sleep. And you have a whole bunch of molars coming in, so I guess you're allowed to be a little angry once in awhile.

You can be quite demanding when you want something, including wanting Daddy and me to dance with you when a favorite song comes on. But it's worth it to see you smile and hear you laugh. Your laugh is the absolute best. I wish I could bottle it to use when I'm having a bad day.

Even when you're testing limits and my patience, you amaze me. You thrill me daily. Some days, I still can't believe I'm your mom.  I know you're not technically a baby anymore, but you'll always be my baby. You make me so happy. I love you like crazy, little man.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Flashback

A boy and his dog, then and now

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mommy cooks

Ever since Milo has been old enough to eat people food, I've experimented with recipes from "Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months". Some are not so much recipes as how-tos -- how to make pureed fruits and vegetables. Recently, though, I've tried a few of the "real meal" recipes toward the back of the book. Milo is fast approaching 18 months!

The three I've tried have been quite tasty: beef stew, macaroni and cheese, and fish fingers. And Milo has absolutely refused to try them. Scratch that, he did eat the mac and cheese but not as greedily as he eats the kind from a box. (And really, homemade is only a tiny bit more work). I know toddlers can be picky eaters. I know -- from many accounts and experts -- that it can take up to 15 attempts to get a toddler to accept a new food. But I don't really like to cook. And I don't really enjoy spending a lot of time on a recipe that is going to be rejected out of hand.

Still, the S.O. and I did enjoy the food, and the recipes weren't that complicated. At least I didn't spend all afternoon creating something just for the boy to have him scream about trying it. And at least he will eat lots of other things. I'll just have to keep trying.

The book is very informative and, as I said, the recipes are tasty. I'd recommend this book for moms-to-be and/or moms of little ones.

Now, where did I put those oven mitts?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Daddy Talk

When I was a kid it was kind of a big deal to get a gift -- a little RC car, or train or squirt gun. They cost my parents real dollars but I'm pretty sure I didn't treat them with much reverence past the first week or so.

I remember getting my first computer when I was around 12. It was an Apple compatible -- so not really an Apple -- and could do 90 percent of what other Apples could do. It just couldn't do that last bit. Anyway, it helped me through Junior high school and was actually pretty great. It also cost a good deal of money for my parents. I remember dusting it every day and generally treating it pretty well. It was portable -- in that it had a carry handle and weighed 20 pounds.

I bring this up because I see parents on a regular basis handing over these marvelous little computers to their kids, cell phones and tablet computers. Usually they come free or cost a little bit so it may not seem like much, but in some cases when you break one of these guys and have to replace them, it's a bit of a shock as the replacement cost for these phones is sometimes $400 dollars. An iPad can cost upwards of $600. It's pretty nuts when you sit and really think about. You are handing over these little dynamo computers to kids, babies even. I know. I've handed over my iPhone to my 1-year-old to watch "Timmy Time" so that the adults could talk during dinner.

On the face of it, I worry about the kid chucking it out the window and having to replace it, but on the other hand, I really worry about when my kid gets old enough to appreciate or not appreciate things. Will it matter to him or will he be like a lot of kids who just have them replaced regardless of what happens? I suppose that depends on us and how we deal with him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Flashback

Two years ago (almost to the day), I was pondering and worrying about prenatal tests I was offering as a pregnant lady of advanced maternal age.

In the end, I declined the invasive tests. Obviously, it all worked out. Thank goodness I worried about it.

No test would have told me how cute this kid would be.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Play date bounce time

Plus a review


My very good friend Lisa, over at Grandma's Briefs, recently invited Milo, me and a couple other friends to her house for a review of an indoor bounce house. That's right, an indoor (also outdoor, if you're into that kind of thing) bounce house. Seems Lisa has this whole blogging thing down and actually gets real-live products from real-live companies like One Step Ahead to review (and give away!).

Milo had a great time in the Bounce-A-Round inflatable jumper. He wasn't too sure about it at first when it was just him and the grown ups. He tentatively checked it out but he was definitely more interested in munching the animal crackers Lisa set out for a snack. But once his buddy, Caden (who is a couple years older than Milo) showed up, Milo was ready to dive in and had such fun.

As Lisa points out in her full review (which you can read here), there were a few things we might like to change, like adding a flap or some sort of door and including a cover so you can create a fort. But all in all, the bounce house was a success and hanging out with an older kid was very cool for Milo.

Head over to Grandma's Briefs to read the review and enter to win your own bouncy house from One Step Ahead. (Even though I want to win it myself, I'm giving you the link because Lisa is so awesome and more people should visit her blog.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Flashback

Trying to sit in the recliner last September:


And now:

And making Mommy nervous by showing how fearless he is:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

17 Months

Dear Milo,

Another month has zipped by and like every month since you joined our family, it was awesome. You are becoming quite the little boy.

You continue to test your independence, which usually involves you climbing on something you shouldn't be on or running somewhere you don't need to be. But you still need my help for plenty of things.
Like getting dressed and putting on shoes and socks
That means you try to communicate more to let me know what you need. Your sign language skills are improving (you have started saying "thank you" and "help" in the past couple of weeks) and you are working on saying new words all the time.

You know animal sounds, like cow, sheep, dog and monkey. And just tonight when I asked you what a train says, you said, "Choo choo." I have to admit though, I'm not thrilled with the fact that when asked, "Where's Mama?" you point to yourself.

Such fun!
You've become very expressive. And you just started blowing kisses this week, and it's the cutest thing ever. It's hard to believe you can continue to get cuter and cuter ever single day.

Being cute with Daddy
We've been trying to get out more with you. We've gone hiking and to the park and just today we went to the apple orchard with you. You love getting out and exploring.

Yummy apple
It amazes me that I can continue to be amazed by you. Every day with you gets better and better. I love you more today than the day you were born. If someone had told me that day I could love you more, I would have said it wasn't possible; my heart would surely burst. But I do love you more. And I'll love you more tomorrow. One day you will probably be embarrassed by my displays of affection and my expressions of love. But I'm not going to stop. So get used to it.

I love you so much my beautiful boy.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Flashback

Two years ago, in one of my first posts on this blog, I wrote:
"The most frustrating thing of all, though, is the extreme drop in my energy level. Before I became pregnant, I was working out five or six days a week. I alternated kickboxing workouts with Boot Camp. I was doing all kinds of crazy moves, like push-ups with my toes on a stability ball. I'd crank out 12 or 15 reps, while the 20-somethings around me just gawked. Now, I'm lucky to do about 10 kneeling push-ups at a time. Still, I tell myself it's a good thing. I was in probably the best shape of my life before the pregnancy, so now my surplus energy is going to Nubbins. That way the nubs can become actual arms and legs and the tiny little brain stem can grow into a full-fledged brain."
Look at those nubs now!

Size 6 shoes!
Totally worth it.