Tag Archives: babies

2 Years Old: A Parenting Retrospective

Well, we made it to two years. As with every milestone so far, and I’m sure every milestone yet to come, Drew and I are baffled at where the last two years have gone. What happened to that bitty newborn? To the baby we used to have to prop up against things? To the toddler who had to trick or treat holding on to Drew’s hands because he couldn’t quite walk all by himself?

Instead of a baby, we now have this little roommate. He may be only three feet tall, but he’s powerful. He’s incessantly curious, constantly demanding, smiley, stubborn, energetic, pushy, inquisitive. In the course of minutes I can go from being out of my mind frustrated to out of my mind in love. Parenting is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and also the weirdest thing. If any of my friends treated me the way he sometimes treats me, I would definitely tell them off or get rid of them. But with him it usually just makes me laugh.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last couple years. Some things are just the things that probably any parent of a toddler learns: a reserve of patience, strength of will previously uncovered, a tolerance for someone else’s bodily fluids. Other things are interesting and more specific: Like, although I love my own, I don’t think I’m a “kid person” in general. I’ve also realized what a beautiful word “normal” is – who needs extraordinary? And this whole experience has made me love Drew more than ever every single day.

I know I will look back at this some day and shake my head. Silly me, I’ll think, two years was just the tip of the iceberg. Back then I could barely fathom the fact that B could climb into his own car seat, and now he’s driving (or off to college, or getting married, or having his own babies). But come on, future me, cut me a break. The last two years have been the longest and shortest years of my life. I know you understand.

One more thing: when we found out I was pregnant, almost 3 years ago, Drew started reading the Harry Potter books to me (and eventually to B). As B got older, the going got slower…because while I would definitely sit still for a chapter a night, a toddler doesn’t always have the same interests. We’ve been chipping away at the seventh book for over a year now, and three months ago we made the pledge to ourselves that we would finish by his birthday. Drew has been a total trouper about reading at night no matter how tired he is, and this weekend he really ramped it up. Yesterday he started reading over dinner, and then for the rest of the evening we sort of followed B around from bedroom to living room to bath, reading to him. YOU GUYS. WE FINISHED THE ENTIRE HARRY POTTER SERIES LAST NIGHT, Sunday, September 28, 2014. (And that epilogue is still just as bad as I remember it.)

So today we celebrate B’s second birthday, with balloons and a family dinner and a homemade ice cream cake (a la Frozen, of course). Since every day brings a new lesson, a new joke, a new challenge, I can’t wait to see what this one has in store! Happy second birthday, my love! May you have many, many more!

photo (27)

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Filed under Awesome, Children, Dreams, Drew, Holidays, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment

All 617 Tiny Little Pieces

I wouldn’t say I’m a neat freak. But I do like things to be organized. And complete.

That said, B has a variety of toys. Many of these toys come in sets. Like a set of 8 stacking cups, or 12 books…or 75 plastic food items. (I saw that at Target for $10 and had to get it for him.)

Sometimes we do a quick clean-up at night, and just kind of collect everything in his toy drawer unit. But sometimes I have to sit down and put things back into their actual sets (and sometime their actual boxes) and see if all the pieces are, in fact, there.

I do this with varying success.

photo (10)1. From the top…the 75-piece food set. Once we got it open, we realized how much, shall we say, brand influence there was on this set. There’s some Hamburger Helper and a Betty Crocker cake mix and some Progresso soup. I still really like this set though, although the last couple days when B has pulled this out and looked at me hopefully, I’ve surveyed the soup of other small toy pieces on the living room floor…and redirected his attention.

2. Wooden alphabet blocks. I love them so much. Although do NOT step on one, it is SO painful. I’m not even sure how many there are in the set, but I counted 40 back in the bag, which sounds right.

3. Noah’s Ark set. This isn’t even fair because they don’t all fit into the ark. So it’s tricky.

4. Disney baby animal books. As soon as B sees any of them in the box they come in, he has to dump them out. But he loves these books. I don’t know when was the last time I saw all 12 books together.

5. While I was assessing the various sets of toys, I spotted these blocks and went to see if all 13 were actually accounted for. Which was a mistake, because then B was like OH YEAH I LOVE THOSE BLOCKS WHY ARE THEY CONSOLIDATED IN THAT CARRYING COMPARTMENT.

6. I love this train. But I find the pieces everywhere. Lately I’ve started putting it all back together whenever I get a chance. I had finally, finally found the last pieces right before I took that picture – I was actually saying to Drew, “Hold him for a sec, just a sec, hold him back–” while I was trying to grab my phone and turn on the camera, while B was crawling maniacally playfully toward the train to reclaim the smokestack for his own.

This is just scratching the surface. If anyone ever tells you that your child will accumulate a lot of stuff…they’re not kidding. People cannot resist giving toys to kids. And I totally get it. But I think I will start looking for nice, 1-piece toys to give to my friends’ kids from now on.

On the other hand…this weekend he started picking up his Duplos from the ground and putting them BACK in the box…which could open up a whole new world for us.

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Filed under Baby, Children, Family, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment

Typography: Anne of the Island 1

I read Anne of Green Gables in middle school, but I never got around to reading any of the sequels. About two years ago, I found sequels 2 through 5 at a used bookstore for $2 each, so I bought them, but then just stashed them on the shelf. (It wasn’t the first time.) Apparently there is at least one more that I should track down.

So I’m currently reading my way through the first 5 books (I did start at the beginning with Green Gables), which is just delightful. Gilbert Blythe, I’m pleased to report, is just as much of a hottie as certain of my friends have always maintained. Anne and Gilbert getting together, although obvious from the beginning, is a welcome payoff in Anne of the Island (#3).

This quote came from a letter Anne’s mother wrote to her husband, about Anne as a baby. (Obviously I changed the pronouns.) (The font is called Dark Roast; the arrangement is mine.)
Green Gables typography color edit

From that same book, there’s another quote, longer and more complex, which I’m hoping to tackle next.

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Filed under Baby, Being a girl, Books, Love, Sentiment, Typography

Oh brave new world: Babies on the internet

I have a dilemma. And I know it will be one that people have differing opinions on. But I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it, precisely.

You (maybe) know how on your Facebook timeline, you can scroll all the way back to “born 1983,” and you have blank years between, say, 1983 and 2006, when you actually set up your account. But at some point in the not-so-distant future, there is going to be a wave of teenagers with every single year of their lives filled out, thanks to their overenthusiastic parents.

And I guess no one really knows what this is going to mean for the future. And maybe I’m giving Facebook (or whatever comes after Facebook) too much credit. But I think it’s a pretty safe guess that things aren’t going to start turning backward. Everything’s going online.

When Drew and I got married, we got into a small scuffle or two with friends over the fact that we preferred that people not post tons of pictures of the wedding, particularly if they’re, you know, sitting in the back and taking pictures on their phone. Ultimately, yes, some pictures got posted, and it didn’t really bother either of us. But the other day, I saw that a (far-flung) friend of mine had posted 300 pictures into an album called “Wedding,” and my first thought was, “Oh wow, I didn’t even know she was getting married!” and then when I looked at the pictures I realized it was just a wedding that she attended. (I don’t even think she was in it…just a guest. Which seems extreme to me.)

But at least those people are all over 18. Lately, I can’t stop worrying about the whole phenomenon of posting a million pictures of your baby on your Facebook page. Let me just admit, I don’t think I will be able to resist that, for a couple reasons.

1) How can you not show off something like that? How cute would an Instagramed baby be? Am I right?
2) I’m pretty sure that I’m still like halfway in the closet with this whole “being pregnant” thing, and if I post a couple pictures of me and Drew holding an infant, it’s going to make it a lot clearer.

(There’s also a whole other side issue of the “attention wanted” posts, versus the “for entertainment purposes” posts, versus the “for the family members” posts.)

It’s not just the possibility that one day this kid will want to be the president (ha, yeah right), and won’t want pictures of himself or herself naked in a bathtub. It’s also a safety thing. Drew pointed out there are people on Facebook, who we don’t really know in real life…but we know EVERYTHING about their (very young) children. Like, we could probably use the knowledge we have, to kidnap said children. And we would never do that, because we’re cool, but there are people out there who would totally do that.

I can’t claim to be particularly good at staying anonymous – I’m sure that I’ve accidentally let slip too many details here. Things that I didn’t mean to say, but “oops” happens.

And even if I can resist putting a bunch of pictures – there are still all these other people running around with cameras and phones and wanting to post stuff.

I can be kind of private about some things. And delivery is going to be one of those things. I’m good having our parents in and out during labor, and hanging out…but when it comes down to business, it’s really important to me that it’s me and Drew (and I guess some doctors or something). It fits with our whole “we’re a team” thing.

So I’m going to be pretty bummed if I come home two days later and find out that it’s already on Facebook, because someone jumped the gun – purely out of excitement, I’m sure. But how do you put that out there, without sounding like a total bitch? It’s just gotten too hard to put restrictions on things like that.

Friend anecdotes: one friend was very strict about things early on. She didn’t want her kid posted anywhere linked with his name, or with the names of her or her husband. I think she was thinking about safety. But eventually she’s posted more and more pictures and videos of him on her Facebook, which I’m sure has the highest security settings.

Another friend has been strict the whole time, and her kid is 3 years old. She’s also told family members to take things down because she doesn’t want them just floating out there. She also told us a story about a relative posting a video online with the caption, “[Name]’s first steps!!” And all the family members were commenting and loving it, and she had to say, “Hey, listen, she had her first steps a week ago and her father and I were there you can’t just take that away from us.”

I guess that’s my fear. My long-winded fear. I just don’t want this to get away from us. I want the two of us – Drew and me – to be the keepers of the milestones and the reveals. That’s all. I guess. Luckily, none of our parents are really into Facebook, so they won’t go crazy. Other friends and relatives…might be harder to rein in.

Silver lining, which I keep reminding myself: I am so grateful that this kid is arriving into a world of people excited and happy to meet him or her.

PS. He or she has been kicking the whole time I’ve been writing this – perhaps as if to say, “Moooo-oom, you’re embarrassing me” ?

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Filed under "Other people", Beginnings, Being a girl, Children, Drew, Family, Fashion, Friends, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents, Pregnancy

Masterful suspense

My bff Liz, who is 19 weeks pregnant, is currently in the doctor’s office finding out whether she’s having a boy or a girl. All day long I’ve been getting texts and emails from her, saying “We find out today!!!” “3 more hours!!!” “An hour and 45 minutes!!!” etc.

My excitement is growing, even though technically whether she has a boy or a girl doesn’t affect me. Knowing that she is literally in the appointment right now is very suspenseful. She promised to call me immediately afterward, but I don’t know when that will be exactly…it could be in 10 minutes, it could be in 40 minutes. Appointments are weird.

She told me this morning to “call it” – to guess whether it’s a boy or a girl. I had to admit that I’ve been picturing her with a boy, although I don’t know why that is. A few months ago I was thinking that a girl would be more fun to shop for, but after spending time in baby stores and on baby websites, I now feel confident that there are adorable gifts to be had for babies of either sex.

I know that really, every parent just wants a healthy baby, and whether it’s a boy or a girl is of little consequence. I wonder though – if you really want a boy and it turns out to be a girl, is there more potential for (slight) disappointment in an ultrasound situation, as opposed to a delivery room reveal?

I guess this also leads me to think about loving your baby – when that shift happens. But that’s probably a completely different post.

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, Children, Friends, Love

Drawing A Baby

Today we went to a friend’s baby shower – both Drew’s and my first baby shower. One of the games was to put a paper plate on top of your head, and then draw a baby – no looking at the plate!

This used to be kind of my thing. I used to draw pictures of my high school best friends all the time, without looking at the paper. I recently found some of those drawings, which I would love to scan and insert here, but they are back in a box somewhere and that is very labor-intensive.

But here’s the plate with baby that won me the game (well, I tied with another guy) and the Jamba Juice gift card!

That’s not an earring – it’s a rattle. I just missed the hand.

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