Five More Days

In five days Liam will be five years old.

It’s hard to believe that five years ago I was sitting in a different house, on different furniture, going to bed each night in a different bed and wondering if those pseudo-contractions I was having were ever going to turn into the real thing. So much has happened in five years and yet it also feels like it’s flown past.

I don’t know why it sticks in my mind in this way but five marks the end of the toddler years to me. Five is the age when he starts school. It’s when he gives up having his parents be his whole world and begins to experience the wider world in a more independent way. Instead of needing us to care for his physical needs so intensely, he’ll need us in different, more intangible ways.

In short, he’s growing up.

I remember looking at him when he was a baby and wondering who he was going to be. Over the last five years he’s proven to be funny, smart, loving, crazy, and obsessed with all things Star Wars. I love watching his personality shine through. I love watching the person he’s becoming.

The next year promises to be full of a lot of big firsts – the biggest of which is starting kindergarten. He’s been talking about it for months now and I’m sure that when the big day finally arrives he’s going to be giddy with excitement. He can’t wait to ride the bus to school with the big kids!

I’ll be that Mom watching him go with love and pride.

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Adventures In Photography

Jamie’s first birthday is coming up in a little over a month and in celebration we are having a minuscule party for him. Today I was trying to get a decent photo of him that I could slap on the invitations. Yes, I am a sucker for the photo invites. Sue me.

Anyway, I got the lovely experience of the Jekyll and Hyde baby as we tried to have a quick photo shoot. It seems that the party hat I had purchased for him to wear in the photo as a festive nod to the occasion was the elixir of change.

No hat=Dr. Jekyll:

Hat=Mr. Hyde:


Yes, I took a picture of my kid screaming.

Scot wanted to send out the invites with the screaming photo. Given the small group of people we’re inviting, they would have gotten the joke and found it hilarious but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I went back and checked the photos I took for Liam’s first birthday invitation and he’s smiling in every single one of them and wearing that party hat like it’s the best thing since cab tractors. Apparently Jamie is not one to accessorize.

Notes From The Playground

It was a semi-decent day here today as far as the weather was concerned and Liam was going stir-crazy in the house so I took him to the local park so he could run his beans out on the play equipment. Obviously I was not the only parent to think of doing this so while the place wasn’t overrun there were other kids there, too.

It’s always amusing to people watch in these sorts of situations and today I came away with two gems.

First, Liam was going down some slides over and over as he usually does and I’m always careful to make sure he goes down the slide, circles to the stairs, and comes back up the stairs so he can go down the slide again. Another bunch of kids came over and started climbing up the slides Liam had been using while their Mom sort of sauntered after them. When Liam came to the top of the slides I said “Honey, you’re going to have to wait a second because these kids are coming up the wrong way.”

What does the Mom do?

Kicks her kids off the slides by saying “Kids, let’s go over here. I don’t want you playing around people like that.”

Ooo-kay then.

The second thing I saw was a little girl, who could not have been more than 6 years old, wearing enough blue eyeshadow to put a drag queen in Vegas to shame. I wish I could have snapped a picture but it would have been way too obvious.

Let The Games Begin!

Last night after I fed the kids dinner we were sitting around in the family room and Jamie was doing his usual extended cruise along the furniture. He’s been getting more and more adventurous with letting go of things and standing freely but he has been really reluctant to take a step without holding on to something.

So, we’re hanging out and I’m not really paying close attention when Scot says “He just walked.”

Yes.

He took two steps between the couch and the coffee table. Did he run a marathon? Of course not, but he did take his first steps.

They say that every baby is different but so far Jamie has hit big milestones almost exactly the same time that Liam did. I could recite the litany but that would get boring. The point here is that they both walked at around 10 months (I can’t remember exactly with Liam) and Jamie is 10.5 months. So, I guess it was just about time for it.

If I can get video of him repeating the feat, I will be sure to share it.

Life is bound to get interesting now!

An Open Letter To The Neighbors

Dear Neighbor Family:

I write to you on behalf of your neighbors many of whom have the same issue that we do but don’t want to rock the boat to speak to you about it. We have become fed up with the situation, though, and I have taken the step of writing you this letter.

I am writing in regards to your lack of care for your pets.

Brody runs not just the small collection of houses on the cul-de-sac, he in fact roams all over. He has been found at the local pool in the summertime. He has been found at nearby elementary school. He has crisscrossed dangerous roads in the process. This is not safe for him and if you do not begin to keep him home he will one day be found dead on the road. I know your reaction will be to laugh it off but I am very serious.

In addition to the danger posed to Brody by cars and wildlife, he is a nuisance. He does damage to other people’s property. He poops on other people’s property. He gets into the trash left for collection on trash day. He bothers other people’s pets. It is not just Maggie I am speaking about and it extends into the houses in the nearby subdivision. It’s unacceptable.

I know your solution to this is “call me and I’ll fix it.” The problem is that we should not have to be responsible for monitoring the actions of your pet. If it were once or twice, that would be fine. But it continues to happen. The words “I’m sorry” become totally meaningless if you do nothing to change the behavior about which are apologizing.

You have already had one pet severely injured and left with a permanent disability due to your negligence. Do you wish to have another?

There are laws in our community regarding pet care and it is strictly against those laws to let your pet run like Brody does. He is supposed to be either contained on your property or on a leash at all times when off your property. Neither of these things occur and your neighbors pay the price. If Brody will not respect the invisible fencing you installed, it is up to you to either put in fencing he cannot escape or to make sure is on a leash at all times when outdoors.

Brody is a sweet dog and he doesn’t deserve to be injured or killed due to the fact that you refuse to properly contain him. Your neighbors shouldn’t have to deal with his running and destructive tendancies.

Please keep Brody home. If not for the sake of your neighbors, do it for the health and wellbeing of your pet.

Roundup Time

It’s been awhile since I did general round up post so here we go.

1. As of January 4 I have been back on the diet. I have 30 pounds of baby weight that I would like gone as of 6 months ago so I’ve started working in earnest. At last weigh in I had lost 3.6 pounds. I know, Whoop De Doo, Basil. But I’m trying. Changes have been made. I just wish they’d evidence themselves by shrinking the size of my ass. One day at a time, as they say.

2. Jamie is weaned! Yes, ladies and gents, the titty bar is closed. You don’t have to go home but ya can’t stay here. This is yet another reason for my work on the weight loss – I no longer have to eat like a horse to make milk and I don’t have to worry that I’ll jeopardize my supply by dieting. He’s doing well on regular milk and made the transition with nary a hiccup. Now that he’s fully over to milk, my next task is getting him to sleep through the night. He’s very close to that now so I’m hoping a little nudging on my part will do the trick. Oh sweet sleep, how I’ve missed you these last (long!) five years.

3. In other Jamie news, I discovered today that he understands language better than I thought he did. He’s been working on learning to use sippy cups and while he’s mastered cups that have soft spouts he can gum on to get some milk out, he’s had trouble figuring out spouts that require actual sucking. Even being on bottles hadn’t really helped all that much.

Today I gave him a sippy of the sucking variety because the other ones I had were dirty. He played with it for a bit. Chewed on the spout some while working on teeth he has coming in. But he was obviously looking to get the milk.

“Honey,” I said, “you have to suck on it like a bottle if you want the milk.”

I went back to whatever I was doing and a few minutes later turned to look at him. He was sitting on the floor with his head thrown back, the sippy spout in his mouth, sucking back milk like it was the greatest thing on earth. So. One little tip from Mommy and he figured that out.

4. Scot dug up this little gem today that has had both of us snickering. Amusingly written yet full of interesting and little known tidbits.

Four Fun Facts About Sloths

I just want to say that if I had a metabolism that didn’t store fat except for small deposits on my feet I would eat macaroni and cheese every day of the week with a Girl Scout cookie chaser.

5. Lastly, I leave you with Liam. Crazy Man with the Crazy Hair

The First Word

Jamie is fond of playing The Gravity Game. Anyone who has played with a baby knows this game. It’s the one where babies drop things on the floor so they can see adults do their evil bidding by picking up the item that has been dropped. The adult hands it back to the baby. The baby drops it again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Jamie plays this game while sitting in his highchair almost every night. Sometimes he drops food to the dog. Sometimes he drops his sippy cup over the side and then shrieks until we pick it up. This goes on until we refuse to pick up the cup or we pick up the cup and put it out of his reach.

Tonight he did a little something different. He threw the cup over the side of the highchair, it hit the floor, he turned to me, and said:

“Uh-oh!”

Yes, his first word is ‘uh-oh.’ I’m screwed, aren’t I?