Monday, January 30, 2012

Of Toys and Men Update

I am very grateful for the feedback and the shopping advice. I am happy to report that I didn't have to resort to buying the kid pink plastic play ware. I wasn't sure I had the patience to wait for the Amazon gods to deliver, so I visited three local stores and finally found some luck, and a sale! So, we spent our weekend cooking and cleaning.

With a father and a husband who both know their way around the kitchen, and neither one afraid to pick up a mop or a sponge, it seemed fair that I raise my young man to know a domestic thing or two. I am just glad we're starting young!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What We Learned: 15 months

I wrote last week that Bennett was learning and growing on his own timeline. It left me a little worried that I wouldn't have enough leftover to brag on for his monthly update. He proved me wrong.

Bennett learned to say "this" and "that."

I learned that he may not be know how to say many words, he knows the meaning of what I say.

Bennett learned not only where his belly button is, but his ears, his nose and his socks.

I learned that my belly button can still make the kid break out laughing.

Bennett learned to hug Atticus.

I learned that watching Bennett give Grandma and Mary and Atticus hugs is almost as good as getting one yourself.

Bennett learned to stir, and saute and put a lid on it.

I learned that sauted cheerios are quite tasty.

Bennett learned about the love of shoes, but that they still don't taste very good.

We learned that he loves to laugh, he loves to make us laugh, and he loves to learn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

High Five, Low Five: Sick Baby Edition

High Five

Calls from Bennett's teachers to check in and give advice.

Long walks in the sunshine.

The ick brings out the cuddles. And the kisses.

Discovering his love for hiding under the table, bring on the fort building!

Bennett figured out where his own belly button is!

Low Five

Sick days are eating up my time off.

There are two more months of cold and flu season.

Getting bonked in the head with the spoon. Repeatedly.

A showdown over a banana.

Temperature entirely too cold to be baring your midriff to the mailman.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Of Toys and Men

Bennett's favorite toy in the world really isn't a toy, it's books.  His second favorite toy in the world isn't a toy either, it's kitchenware.  He loves to go into the kitchen, grab a pot and a spoon and have at it.  He isn't so much mimicking the act of cooking, but collecting trinkets for his pot from around the house and banging things together.  He also has a new-found affection for the salt and pepper shaker, the glass salt and pepper shaker.  Thankfully, they are industrial-strength and have yet to break, but the salt and pepper itself is causing quite a mess.  Genius mommy that I am, I set out to find Bennett a toy kitchen set.  I figured it's better he bang up the play pots rather than dragging around our adult culinary equipment.  

I ventured to Target to solve my little dilemma, as I often do.  I was thrilled to find a toy kitchen set that included a salt and pepper shaker.  But it was pink.  There was also a blender, pots and pans, spoons, dishes and even a grocery cart (or as they say here in the South, a buggy).  But even with several options to choose from, they were all pink or pastel.  I know I am not the first parent to promote busting gender stereotypes, so I cannot understand why the buyers at Target and the Chinese corporations that manufacture these plastic bits could not keep an open mind too.

Bennett's dad is rather progressive himself.  After all, he is responsible for most of the meals in our family.  But even he has (so far) vetoed baby dolls.  I didn't want to press my luck and fill our already plastic-filled house with pastels.  But  I have to stand up for my sons right to chose to be present in the kitchen.  Target just won't be making it easy on me.  Any advice for this open-minded momma?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tricks Are For Kids

Ever since Bennett was a wee young thing, he's been good at keeping me paranoid and frantic.  He reaches his milestones on the edge of normal, each and every time.  He was late to grasp a toy, late to babble, late to crawl.  It is hard not to compare him to friends' babies on facebook, and even harder not to compare him to the parenting manuals' development time lines.
So, I've been hesitant to tally his do's and don'ts and words and steps on the blog.  I can't help but feel people comparing their kids to mine.  But I know Bennett is healthy and happy.  He just does things on his own sweet time and not someone else's.  Maybe it's my parental instinct to protect my young, but I think he's incredibly smart, just stubborn.  I see him observing and taking things in.  I have a feeling he likes to know he can do something well before he's ready to reveal a skill to the public.  It's almost as if he's afraid of being judged or compared.  I don't have any earthly idea where he could have learned that...
So, without further ado, Bennett's bag of tricks:
I don't know.  He shrugs his shoulders, lifts his hands and mumbles.  He's been doing this for weeks, cracks me up each and every time.  "Bennett, where's the bunny?"  "Bennett, where's Daddy?"  "Bennett, why is the sky blue?"
He knows how to turn on the tv, what to do with a remote, how to use the phone.
He's learned how to feed the dog.  After watching me do it for months, he's learned to scoop the food and put it in Atticus's bowl.  He's getting a head start on his chore list.

He knows where his head is and where to put a hat, where the airplane flies, where his nose is, where my bellybutton is (but not his own), which shoes are mommy's, and that if you want to go outside, you better bring mommy her shoes.  And when your dinner is hot, you have to blow on it first.

He's silly and cuddly and drooly.  He loves reading books and being outside.  He is a blossoming little boy.  He may be strong willed and stubborn, but he's ours!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Poor Baby

Bennett came down with a nasty cough on Friday. Like, I was afraid school had both taught him how to blow kisses and how to inhale. We gave him orange juice with dinner, plugged in the humidifier and rubbed his little chest with Vicks because that's what mom did when you were sick. We were not entirely surprised to be woken at three in the morning with a sick baby. We were, however, entirely surprised at just how sick he sounded. He sounded like a seal stuck in some slob's plastic soda bottle ring, wheezy and loud and scared.
We hightailed it to the shower where we sat in a steam bath singing show tunes and noticing our rental has white wallpaper that was slowly steaming off. We all attempted to go back to bed, but woke up to painful welps again. Giving up, I rocked the B to sleep and attempted to snooze sitting upright.
I anticipated the doctor would tell us it was the RSV again. Nope. The croup.* It is apparently the baby version of laryngitis, which can be the result of the common cold. Well, huh. Bennett survived the last round of the ick. We don't know any sick kids at school. Except, for umm, mommy. Sorry, babe. Really.
Luckily, the Friday night nightmare was a one night gig. The drugs the doctor prescribed have been helpful. He was fun, a little hack-y from time to time, but not far from his usual moody self. Don't tell anyone, but I was kind of glad I got to stay home with the "sick kid" yesterday. Let me just say, playing in the sandbox for the first time is a life changer. I think it may be why people have kids.
* I really had to resist titling this post, Croup is the Poop, because really, when you have refrained from writing posts about poop** for fourteen months, why ruin it now.
**Except for that one time. Or that other time.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Old Acquaintance Not Forgot

Happy new year!  We certainly had a happy one.  I figure we deserved it, as we have coined 2011 as "The Bittersweet Year."  There was plenty of bitter, sad goodbyes, changes and frustrations.  But there was plenty of sweet too, fulfilling a decade long dream of moving to Nashville permanently, new jobs, new friends, and a growing, happy, healthy rug rat.  Yet, we were happy to kiss 2011 goodbye and welcome 2012 with new hope and old friends.

For Rocky's Thirtieth Birthday, I surprised the old man with a trip to DC for New Years.  I'm not entirely sure how the forty-something people that were in on the surprise managed to keep it a secret for six-plus weeks, but they did.  More miraculously, I did too.

Bennett spent the weekend with Mimi and Poppa, getting his first taste of McDonald's and skipping naps.  With Bennett in caring hands and Atticus with the Skis for the weekend, we made our way to Washington just the two of us.  We saw many friendly faces.
We ate ourselves silly. The tasting menu at Graffiato made for one memorable meal. Gail was right, Pepperoni Sauce=Awesomesauce.

And now we long to go back.  Maybe we just need a weekend apartment in the city or something.  And a private jet.  That would be nice.  Maybe 2012 will be the "Spoiled Rotten Year."  Maybe it already is!