Thursday, September 23, 2010

How To Host a Play Date

1. Eat a healthy breakfast and clean up after yourself.

(Wiping the tray is the punk's favorite part of breakfast. Weirdo.)

2. Let your friend play basketball while you play with trains. Never desire the same toy. If you do, disaster will occur. Best to play in the same room while avoiding any type of cooperation.

3. Share a banana.

4. Make faces at your friend when he is not looking.

5. When your friend shows an interest in your pet rabbit, steal said rabbit and back into a corner to protect it.

6. Kiss the rabbit on the lips.

7. When your friend finally retrieves the rabbit, go play with a truck. Best to let your friend win sometimes.

(What is up with kids and this dang rabbit?)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Have Fun!

One thing that seems to help with the "morning" (read: evening) sickness is taking a walk. Since my man was relaxing after a long day of working for the man, I took the punk on a walk alone. After all, I couldn't resist the beautiful, almost cool, fall evening. As I was leaving, I thought, "I should bring my phone, just in case I get stranded, or have an urgent need to check the Facebook status updates I'll miss in the next half hour." But I left it at home because I acknowledge that sometimes, it's best to give the punk my undivided attention, without the distraction of a cellular device. I'm glad I did because we had a very entertaining conversation that I may have missed if I had had my eyes and attention glued to the time sucker.

The punk and I discussed the many things we passed, beautiful and mundane. Flowers, flags, trees with long leaves, trees with sharp leaves, basketball hoops, a blue boat, puddles... I tried to explain the existence of the lovely orange sky on the horizon, but the punk seemed to be confused as to why I was pointing straight west instead of straight up when describing the sky. My favorite part of our discussion was actually a conversation between, not the punk and his mama, but the punk and the (mostly inanimate) objects we passed. While waving, he exclaimed:

"Bye pine needles! Have fun!"
"Bye letter U! Have fun!"
"Bye doggies! Have fun!"
"Bye leaves! Have fun!"
"Bye yellow flowers! Have fun!"

The kid never ceases to amuse me.

Fair Weather Friends

Last week, the punk and I joined some friends for a fun-filled morning at the Utah State Fair. We had a wonderful time!

The kids visited a charming exhibit called Little Hands on the Farm where they were given an apron and a basket...

... and they gathered items from the farm, like eggs, milk, wool, and fresh produce.

Then at the end, they "sold" their goods to the "market," and received "money," which they then used to buy a small treat. The punk chose fruit snacks.

Yes, I ate an entire foot-long corn dog. The fetus is a bit of a health nut!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn

Willow Creek Country Club. July 2010.

We were playing with blocks. He asked me for a dance. So he hugged my shoulder while we swayed to Yesterday by the Beatles. He took a moment to lift up his head and grin at me, just to make my heart melt. Then Nat King Cole came on the scene with Nature Boy. He giggled as we continued our interpretive dance, turning slowly with the soothing sounds of Mr. Cole and quickly with the violins, which made him throw his head back to laugh. At these moments, I quickly moved in for my favorite treat: a nibble on his soft neck, his most ticklish spot.

Mr. Cole sang:
The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved in return.

I was overwhelmed with happiness. The tears rolled down my cheeks (but I tried to hide them from the punk because I didn't want him to think I was sad). And the thought hit me. How am I ever going to love another one as much as I love the giggling punk in my arms?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Size of a Fig

A few weeks ago, I inadvertently became the object of concern of some of you by announcing that I haven't quite been myself and I've been preoccupied with some stuff. Not to worry! Everything is fine. I just have a parasite inside my uterus. Oh, ahem... I mean fetus. Is that a more maternal way to say it? How about organism that will become a baby? Tiny angel? Darling creature from the heavens?

Yes, I am 12 weeks pregnant and feeling much better than I was a few weeks ago. Here's what's been going on during the last 3 months:

I've thrown up in a garbage can in front of my grocery store, over the side of a speed boat at Lake Powell, and in the lilac bushes in my backyard, as well as countless times in the usual place.

The punk has started making gagging noises whenever I start to change his messy diaper. What is that phrase? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

One time when I was puking after changing a particularly fragrant diaper, the punk came in and put his little hand on my back. When I was done, he asked, "Ok?" and gave me a hug. Sweet boy.

The other day, I threw up after cleaning my own hair out of the shower drain. What was a little icky before has become an unbearable chore.

I've been having odd, vivid, sometimes scary, sometimes... steamy... dreams. This happened last time I was pregnant too. One recent dream involved a vampire with a blond ponytail. It wasn't scary. It was... the other thing. I don't know why the ponytail was present.

Some of you may be aware that pregnant women can be a teensy weensy bit moody. One morning, I went a tiny bit over the top in my irritability with the man who knocked me up, and when he reached in to take my sweet punk from my lap (because he was afraid I was going to throw him across the room in my fit of rage?), I gently pushed him out of the way with my running-shoe-clad foot. He thinks I kicked him. He is totally exaggerating, as husbands of pregnant women tend to do.

I am convinced that the reason pregnant women's teeth become weaker is not because all the calcium is going to the baby or because of the crazy hormone party inside her body, but because she can only brush her teeth for about 7 seconds before her overactive gag reflex kicks in.

And here is the most shocking thing of all: I haven't craved chocolate in months!

I am due March 30th. Let the stranger-tummy-touching and questions like, "Are you soooo excited???" begin!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Solo Outing

About 6 years ago, I discovered the surprising yet encompassing bliss that is the Solo Outing. My man was out of town on business... on a weekend! What was I to do? I was not yet a mama, so my expectations for Friday night were high. (Boy, did the punk do a number to my weekends when he came along!) I suddenly had a dangerous idea. I would go see a movie. Alone. Dun! Dun! Dunnnnn!

That night, I arrived solo at the movie theater. I bought myself a popcorn and a Coke. (The man never splurges on treats during a movie, so I was walking on the wild side.) I sat on the end of a row, and proceeded to enjoy a life-changing experience. I don't remember now which movie I saw, but I know it was something my man wouldn't have watched with me. I laughed, I cried, I smirked, but I didn't have to worry what anyone else thought of the movie. It was all for me. All for my own personal enjoyment. And enjoy I did. Immensely.

Today my wonderful and kind brother David gave me a priceless gift: two and a half hours to myself! He came over to play with the punk and put him down for his nap while I left. To go anywhere I wanted! For one hundred and fifty minutes. As I was driving away, I actually said out loud, "I'm free!"

I enjoyed a solo lunch at Citrus Grill. As I ate my sourdough turkey sandwich, I perused my fat book entitled 501 Must-Read Books. I skimmed the synopses in the Classic Fiction and Modern Fiction sections, and checked off the books I've already read. After lunch, I took my reference book to Barnes & Noble, where I spent the next hour and a half sipping a Starbucks hot chocolate (WITH whipped cream) and reading about these must-read books and marking the books I want to read now. (I am in a desperate book drought. I am in the middle of a novel that I am just not interested in finishing. That does not happen to me very often; in fact, I feel incredible guilt whenever I think about the very few books that I've chosen not to finish. Add this one to the list of shame.) After deciding on 4 prospects, I went on a search and discovered that 3 of the 4 books were not on the shelves. Not to worry. I found 2 others on a table marked Reading Group Favorites, and bought them instead, along with a membership to B&N. It's my go-to gift stop; I might as well be a member.

All in all, the perfect afternoon.

Why is the solo outing a social oddity anyway? Have you been fortunate enough to discover its merits?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Great Parenting Dilemma

The punk has discovered his one true calling (besides cars, trucks, trains, books, and balls): Climbing! My man and I knew he could scale the first tier of this cinderblock wall, into the empty space in the garden where the cilantro used to be before I pulled it out because it started flowering and exploded into a mutant version of cilantro. Mutant plants are scary.

But then one day, the punk appeared on top of the second tier, and we weren't sure if he had descended the first tier, walked around the garden, and climbed the stairs, or if he had actually climbed the taller, second tier. We soon discovered that our son is a daredevil, and that yes indeed, he had climbed all the way up on his own.

This is the great parenting dilemma: when to set (and enforce) boundaries, and when to let your child do something that makes you as a parent a tiny bit uncomfortable. For example:
  • Do I teach the punk that it is impolite to consume only the juice from an orange slice and spit the half-masticated, dehydrated pulp onto his plate, or do I find comfort by telling myself it's only a phase, and that he will not do this on his first date? (Answer: let him remove the sad little orange slices from his mouth. For now.)
  • Do I let the punk run around on his grandparents' trampoline, even though I nearly have a heart attack every time he teeters close to the edge, which is every 3 seconds? (Answer: yes. He hasn't fallen off yet.)
  • Do I allow the punk to stand on our couch because he is still small, and his tiny feet can't do much damage to the sturdy leather? (Answer: no. "Knees or bum please!")
So, I have decided to set aside my own fears and allow the little daredevil to climb. If he falls, the jalapeƱos will catch him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Conversation with a Toddler

While enjoying our breakfast of sugary cereal (the punk) and hot chocolate with buttered and toasted demi-baguette (mama), we had the following conversation:

Punk: "Wockit."
Mama: "What did you say?"
Punk: "Wockit."
Mama: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you."
Punk: "Wockit."
Mama: "Can you say it a different way?"
Punk: "Wockit."
Mama: "Why don't you show me?"
Punk: "Huh?"
Mama: "Show me what you mean."
Punk: "Hmmm?"
Mama: (laughing hysterically...)
Punk: (looking puzzled, then amused...) "Mama funny."

At least we can communicate through music. Here is the punk at his first Kindermusik class:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For Your Entertainment

Here are some punk-isms in video ("diddle-o") form. Enjoy.

"wack-a-diddly" = wet and dirty

What does a kitty say?

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