BlogHer Reviewer

MeKate's got a new Etsy store. Gorgeous paintings!

A dear friend is selling ADORABLE handknit baby clothes. If you're in the market, have a look!

free counters

Bunny Hoarder

So you see: my kid has a bunny.  (A plush toy, not a little hoppy thing.) Someone gave it to him at a baby shower, and it was adorable, silky-soft & floppy, lots of easy-to-grab spots for baby hands, and not so huge as to be unmanageable for a little one.  So when he was old enough to need a lovey, he’d already been a big fan of Bunny for a while, and Bunny quickly became his ‘go-to’ toy when he really wanted someone to hug, and Mommy & Daddy weren’t available.

(The Boy tried to name Bunny “Rabbo-the Rabid-Rabbit” but I was having none of that.  Bunny is his name, as evidenced by the fact that Henry knows that Bunny is his name.  We have a morning routine, Henry and I, wherein I sing the Bunny Song and Henry dances Bunny around the crib. It ends in big hugs & smooches for Bunny–from me, from Henry, and even from Nellie [if she’s ambled in to see what all the noise is about and ask “is-there-anything-to-eat?” in her mellow-dog way.] Nellie covets the bunny, but while Henry is very good about sharing most of his toys, Bunny is special. Bunny is sacred. Bunny is NOT TO BE POUNCED ON BY THE DOG, lest there be tears.)

You probably think you know where this is going.  Something tragic must have happened to Bunny, eh?

Nope.  Contrary to my usual ‘catch-as-catch-can’ style of parenting, I actually realized a while back that having a back-up bunny might be a good thing.  Only problem was that I cut the scratchy tag off Bunny when he first was taken up by Henry.  So, there I was with an anonymous, much-beloved bunny, and no way (save dumb luck) to find another.

And then I got dumb-lucky.  I found another one, only it was the wrong size and the wrong color. But at least I knew the manufacturer. And using that, and the amazing powers of Detective Google, I managed to track down an appropriately sized, appropriately-colored bunny.  It arrived yesterday and I pulled it out of the box and marveled at the not-slubbed-together-with-milk-&-other-unidentifiable-goo silky-softness of its fur, the brightness of its non-scratched eyes.  Henry saw it and his face lit up (Bunny usually doesn’t leave his bedroom, because if it’s bedtime and Bunny is nowhere to be found, there is screaming, ranting hell to pay.  So not worth it. And here we were at the breakfast table and here is Bunny! Oh Joy! Oh Bliss!)  He reached for it and so I gave it to him. He clutched it to his chest, melodramatically.  Then he stared down in horror, held the new bunny out at arm’s length, and then dropped it to the ground.

And he looked at me.  No, he glared at me.”That is Not. My. Bunny.” his accusing look was obviously saying.  “You think I’m stupid just because I’m a baby and I eat lint and dog biscuits if you don’t stop me?”

Every morning we’ve been going through the same routine. He sees Imposter-Bunny at the breakfast table, swoops him up in an impossibly adorable baby-hug, then drops him like a middle-school BFF as soon as he realizes that Not-Bunny is, well, not Bunny.

Except when Nellie gets hold of Not-Bunny. Because even though Not-Bunny is not worth, you know, loving on or anything, it’s still too close a relation to Real-Bunny for the dog to be allowed to pounce it.  So here I am, no better off in the bunny department than I was a week ago, only now there’s another baby vs. Nellie bone of contention to wrangle over.

I’ve started sleeping with Not-Bunny, in an attempt to imbue it with some of that magical mommy-smell that Henry loves so much, hoping it’ll kick-start the adoption process much the same way that an airborne culture of wild yeast gets a new batch of sourdough bubbling.  And in the meantime?

In the meantime, I realized that I’m totally hoarding Bunny.  Yep, that’s me. I’m a bunny-hoarder. I’ve become one of those moms who have spare toys so their darling-dear won’t be upset in case of a bad toy-accident.  And I’m feeling so smug about it, that I’m thinking I might keep an eye open for a replacement “Cat-Cat” (Yeah, we’re really creative with names around here.)

 

Actually…

Even though all is well for me, an online friend is having a really hard time.  Melanie over at In Vitro Veritas suffered a pregnancy loss, and could really use a few nods of understanding.  If you have a free moment, give her a bit o’ support?

Tooth #7 is Here!

I’m very happy to report that tooth number seven made its appearance this morning. Also happy to report that this morning’s nap was textbook easy. Waiting on tooth #8 since I’m sure it’s not far behind since they do seem to come in pairs before I really breathe easily, but yeah, excited for the respite.

And the sleep…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

Full Mobility (OMG!) and a Return to Babbling

So two days ago, Henry decided he’d had enough of the inglorious commando crawl and that this back&forthing big-boy crawl couldn’t be that difficult–(plus it would let him get into rooms where the high threshold and his tummy were not compatible.)  So he picked himself up off the floor and crawled across it.

In, like, 3 seconds.

And all of a sudden I really appreciate the difference between having a creeper and having a crawler.  Holy lord, the kid is fast.  And into everything. Three days ago, if I put him down in one room, I could turn my back to take a dish to the sink and he’d still be in that one room – possibly in the middle instead of at the edge, but still pretty much where I left him.  Yesterday I lost track of the baby for the first time.  Put him down in one room, walked to the next room, turned around and where is he? He was happily playing on his back–in a different room.  Made me happy I did the outlet check a couple of weeks ago, though I think all our DVDs and books on low shelves need to get moved, and it’s time to move up that handyman appointment.  Bookshelves need to be anchored into the wall NOW.

Because along with the crawling, Henry’s taken to standing up in his crib when he’s ready to get up.  Cool! Because I have developed a supreme dislike of picking up a 25# baby from only a few inches off the floor (Damn our IKEA crib!  I love it, but does it have to be so low?) But, of course, not so cool when you consider that he doesn’t know how to lie back down yet, and so requires assistance a few times a night when he wakes up with no idea how he came to be standing in a dark room, wide awake…

The unmitigated good side to all this is that the day he first figured out The Crawl, The Babbling came back with a vengeance.  He’s still not mixing up too many consonant/vowel combinations, but he’s chatting to himself and to anyone within range almost all day long now.  Baby’s not a multi-tasker, but he’s pretty determined and dogged in his attempts to make sense of the world.

And since I just looked over and he’s pulling himself up the kitchen staircase, I think I need to close some doors and baby gates now.  And have another cup of coffee.  He just found the route to the great outdoors…

(gulp!)

 

Books, Pictures, and the Concept of the Abstract

So far, one of the coolest things about bringing up Baby has been watching him grow a brain.  I mean, really, newborns are sort of like grubs.  Cute (and very demanding!) grubs, but still basically squirmy pale little things who flinch and wiggle but don’t interact much with the world, all said.

And as the months pass, you get to watch this little creature turn into a human person before your eyes, and it’s miraculous and wonderful and enough to make you religious (if you’re so inclined) or appreciate the science you learned once upon a time (if you’re so inclined).

And so I’m watching Henry hit some milestones dead on schedule, and perhaps lag a bit in others (Babbling.  Dear lord, I want this kid to string some consonant-vowel sounds together in an example of ‘canonical babbling’ so I can relax on this issue!) He’s been concentrating on physical stuff like pulling himself up to a stand recently, so I’m not super worried, especially when I see how much better his brain is working than it did even a few weeks ago.  He sits enraptured through almost a half-hour of Baby Signing Time, now, and when we read books – which he even initiates sometimes – he’s really paying attention, trying to figure out connections.

He’s been kissing the photographs in an ABC book for a while now – pictures of babies always get kissed, as do mirrors; and the white polar bear in a book we read every day (that I’m pretty sure he thinks is Nellie –white fur, black eyes & nose) gets smooched every time.  But yesterday, reading a lovely book called ‘Mama do you love me’ which is one of my favorites, but to which he’s taken some time to warm up to–in part, I think, because the illustrations are so abstract, he started kissing every animal in there – polar bears, musk oxen, wolves.  And he was being very careful to kiss just the animals, making sure his mouth was in exactly the right place on the page.  Cute?  Let’s just say my heart is still in a little puddle around my socks.

He made the cognitive leap about ducklings a few weeks ago–that photos of ducklings in books (and there sure are a lot of those, what gives with the duckling fascination?) are the same as drawings of ducklings, are the same as rubber ducks (who have always gotten kisses when they pretend to peck his face).  But to make the leap that somewhat abstract illustrations of musk-oxen and walruses reresent animals too, just like polar bears (and hence, like Nellie) and are therefore worthy of baby kisses?  Dang, I was blown away.

And it makes me think I shouldn’t worry so much about the lack of lalalalas in his vocabulary just yet.  Kid’s growing himself a fine little empathetic brain, and if he is going to be slow to develop verbally, I’m pretty happy that kisses seem to be a preferred way to express himself in the meantime.

Days of Grace 1-6-11

1.  Oh my lord.  Teething.  This is what they mean by teething.  Why that first tooth was so – relatively – easy is beyond me, but we’re paying for it now.  Henry is cranky.  And fussy.  And it’s not helping that he’s a bit snotty, too; or that I think he’s fending off his very first case of diaper rash (what’s up with all of a sudden one of my boxes of pampers is scented?  I’m sure that’s the difference, and if he’s anything like me or his dad, enough to make his skin itch & break out.  Don’t want my baby’s butt smelling like plastic flowers, thank you very much…)  But the tooth seems to be making noticeable progress, and it didn’t interfere too much with Henry enjoying his big sister’s company.  They cooed (and occasionally roared!) at each other for a few hours last night and this morning, and I think he’s looking forward to seeing her on Monday at least as much as she is.  I think they’re going to be close their whole lives, and I’m so happy – despite the big difference in their ages – that he’ll have a real ‘big sister’ who thinks of him as a brother & not as a baby she wishes was hers.

2.  Bertucci’s pizza.  And rolls.  Because ricotta on a pizza?  Yum.

3.  Henry’s response to kisses is to open his mouth wide.  I think he likes the way a big ‘smack’ sounds with his mouth as an echoing chamber?  It’s funny, for whatever reason he’s doing it!  Awfully cute, in a drooly baby kind of way!

4.  We’re buying a printer today so I can print out shipping labels so I can get rid of all the books I’ve stacked on the floor of the library.  Assuming the Cranky One allows me so much time away from the all-consuming job of holding him.

5.  It’s de-lurking week.  What say you’all give me a thrill and leave a comment to introduce yourself?  It’d make my day, and if you do (or even if you don’t, I suppose), then you can look at this:

Days of Grace 12-17-10

1.  After a day of good, long (enforced!) naps yesterday, Henry rewarded me by being the smiliest, laughingest baby ever for about 4 hours last night.  Of course, he didn’t want to stop even at midnight, when I’d had enough smiling & laughing (having given those activities over for non-stop yawning) and he wanted to continue the fun at about 2am, but still – smiley laughing baby?  For hours on end?  Muy fun.

2.  The dog hasn’t left the house for days.  Squirrels bore her when it’s 25* out there.  This is only a good thing because mornings are so hectic that having a dog who’s frantic for a walk is just one more thing to get done, so it’s nice to get a break, since I know she’ll be nuts for her ‘Ws’ again in another few months.

3.  It looks like we were blessed with another easy milestone.  Henry cut his first tooth last night, and I’d really expected it to be an ordeal – I think he’s so interested in his ‘new’ hands & his new rolling mobility, that the discomfort from teeth coming in has just been subsumed by the general levels of excitement.  Now, off to buy him a teething ring!

4.  Package for my folks’ xmas is packed & ready to be mailed.  Whew.  Might even make it there by xmas…

5.  Every day, I continue to marvel at the fact that this is my life now.  I get to stay here all day and watch/help my baby grow up.  I get to play with him and comfort him and cook for my husband and play with my dog.  I got used to being so unhappy at my job, trying so desperately to have a baby, and now that I’m here?  Every moment feels blissful & almost unreal, like it’s some kind of perfect world that I’ll wake up from and it’ll be gone.  But it’s not – it’s my life, and I’m loving every minute of it – even the hard minutes.  I am so blessed.

Days of Grace 12-14-10

1.  Although we haven’t yet decorated the tree, it’s dominating the living room (the Boy likes really tall trees!) and making the house smell joyous and wintery.  Love Christmas trees!

2.  Snow!  Woke up to a good inch on the ground!  It’s mostly melted, but it was here!

3.  Henry’s fingernails are finally substantial enough that I can clip them instead of filing them.  His poor scratched up face will thank me, as will the outer regions of my boob.

4.  Henry slept without his swaddle last night.  Hurrah!  It makes it so much easier for him to stay sleepy when we don’t have to go through the burrito-ing ritual first!

5.  Got most of my xmas cards addressed, and all of my gifts wrapped which have already arrived.  Waiting on a few, but I’m mostly – well, except for the baking – done.  Hurrah!

Days of Grace 12-12-10

1. Happy smiling baby haranguing Blinky Star as I type. Oooops. Shouldn’t have said that. Cranky, whiny baby demanding to rescued from evil Blinky Star now sitting on my lap & having breakfast. Ah well. “baby” is the key word in this item anyway.

2. He was great during yesterday’s great adventure to the Realm of Pain. He smiled at the right people & hid his face from the princess. Always knew the kid was a genius.

3. Rain today, which sort of bolluxes up the plan to get a Christmas tree today, but does make indoors feel doubly appealing, which is always nice.

4. Henry, I think, is left handed. He uses his right had as a bludgeoning tool to express displeasure or frustration, but not for detail work. I don’t know why it delights me so to realize he has a favorite hand, but it does. My kid’s left-handed!

5. And, a video that had me rolling around and laughing last night, via Aisha’s twitter amalgamation:

I don’t know if anyone out there is a writer, but oh my, this guy rings true. And therefore hilarious. I’ve been in more workshops & writer groups than I can count, and there’s always someone convinced he is a genius and the exception to all rules…

Days of Grace 12-9-10

1.  In buying my WW membership yesterday, I recalled that my insurance offered discounts for some gym memberships, etc.  Went to the site & sure enough, $10 off a 3-month WW membership.   Not only that, but I saved a $65 shipping charge on the Boy’s big Christmas present by shopping around til I found an online coupon.  Frugality, thy new name is ‘Sprogblogger’!

2.  Trying my first loaf of ‘Bread in 5 minutes a Day’ bread.  Am very excited.  Will let you know how it turns out.

3.  In keeping with my stated goal of letting this become more of an ‘all-around me’ blog, rather than just the IF me blog it’s been to date, I found a widget for keeping track of books that I’m reading on the blog.  And if you want to buy my husband’s books (S.C. Butler), I’d be happy to get him to sign them for you!

4.  Every year, my father-in-law gives me one of those 6-months-of-flower-bulbs subscriptions.  My first month just came and is sitting on the kitchen table, making me happy every time I see it.  Something about watching a new crop of flowers grow every month that it’s cold out just cheers me up immensely.  Thanks, FIL!

5.  The Boy is really wonderful about taking over from me when I get exasperated.  The Wee One was at his most imperious yesterday, fussing unless he was being walked.  Not just held, but walked.  I got tired.  The kid weighs about 17 pounds right now, and he’s a serious armful for me.  Especially when a hard day follows a rough night.  But the Boy came through and dandled him for a couple of hours so I could walk the dog (I was more excited to be out in the cold than she was) and cook dinner leisurely.  Love.  This.  Man.