Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Update

Posting has been light (well, lighter than usual) because I have been a bit busy.  Between searching for my kid under tables, dressing him in winter garb and teaching him to drive, we've been busy. 
Oh, there you are!
It was his idea!
Who needs to reach the breaks?
Work has kept us very busy this week with fundraisers, practice group dinners, networking, reading, writing and litigating.  And meeting the Governor. 
Meeting my second favorite governor.
But last weekend, we actually participated in a social outing, with adults and cocktails and small shellfish, neither kin nor barnacles.  It was our first crawfish boil and it felt silly and Southern and a little redneck spending the afternoon in a parking lot.  But it was a lovely way to enjoy a sunny afternoon with old friends and new friends. 

As the saying goes, "a watched pot never boils."  Well, let me assure you it does, just a few hours longer than you would expect.  It gave me plenty of time to run around taking pictures for the good of the blog.  And no, I did not suck any craw fish heads, I had the boy do it for me.  All in all, it was a good week, but I am still so glad it's Friday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What We Learned: 17 Months

Seventeen doesn't seem like much of a milestone these days, does it?  It's not halfway, it isn't a banner number, it isn't even sweet.  But, for Mr. B 17 does seem monumental.  This sweet child of mine has already lived more of his life in Tennessee than he lived in Virginia.  When we moved he was just learning the art of drinking from a cup, he was just learning to pull up and wave, straws were favorite toys.  Since then...

Bennett learned to high five.

We learned that high fives are good tricks for dogs and kids.

Bennett learned to answer questions.

We learned sometimes it's better not to ask.

Bennett learned to climb on furniture.

We learned to hover.

Bennett learned to say Atticus.
We learned that practice makes perfect.

Bennett learned to say hi to every Tom, Dick and tree.

We learned that it's entirely possible to have a tan in March.

Bennett learned he likes to choose what he's wearing.

We learned that 80 degrees isn't too warm for a stocking cap (or tobagon if your from TN).

Bennett learned to blow dandelions.

We learned that weeds are good toys.

Bennett learned that dandelions don't taste very good.

Bennett learned to collect rocks, sticks, flowers and hardware.

We learned that we're raising a real boy.

Bennett learned how to do the itsy bitsy spider.

We learned we don't get to teach him everything.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Random Thursday

1. Nashville has a Fashion Week. I am not sure how I feel about that. Sure, it's not all cowboy boots and cutoffs in these parts, but it still feels a little, I don't know, out of place? Also, they should have called it Nashville Fashion Long-Weekend. At least Tim Gunn will be in town, at Kate Spade no less. How very Nashville.

2. A bird pooped on me yesterday. This must be the fourth of fifth time a bird has pooped on me in my lifetime. They say it brings you good luck. Let's hope I have some lucky news to share sometime soon because history has not proven that to be true. I should know, it's happend four of five times.

3. It's baby season again. Hooray hooray! Last fall the stork visited our circle of friends and family several times. This fall is already looking busy. Hugs and kisses and happy, healthy baby vibes!

4. It's wedding season again too. Rocky and I are taking a long weekend in California in May. My body is craving the beach and my heart is craving some time with old friends.

5. I shouldn't be allowed to watch House Hunters in DC. Even when they are shopping outside the beltway, it makes me want to move back. Is it too late?

6.  Yes, Atticus ate a whole stick of butter.  I am not sure how that could have happened, but I guess when you are making a recipe that calls for three whole sticks, you might lose track of one...

7. Last, but certainly not least. Some good friends of ours, Ben and Becca (Hi Weirs!) have a precious baby girl, Julianne. They have been in and out of the hospital for weeks and could use some prayers. If you are the praying type, send some up for Julianne as she heads back tomorrow for more tests. They are some of the most upbeat, optimistic people I know and I hate that they are going through such a trying time. Love you guys.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No Lions, 1 Tiger and No Bears, Oh my!

Last weekend, we took Bennett to the zoo for the first time.  He has been very interested in animals lately and judging his love of dogs, I thought he'd be thrilled to see the animals he's read about in books in living color.  We packed up our bags with snacks, drinks, cameras and a well-rested baby and trekked to the other side of Nashville for an afternoon of animals.

It was the first truly beautiful spring day of the season and the park was packed.  After waiting in line for ages, we made it to the monkeys.  You could tell our kid was a bit confused.  He stared at the hairy creatures swing from the branches, heard them squeak and all he could do was squint in their general direction.  I have to admit I was expecting some pointing and squealing.  Notsomuch.

Oh look, far far away, something with what appears to be a long neck!
I couldn't wait to get to the lions and tigers and bears other animals he's seen and read so much.  The layout of the zoo is perhaps too condusive to the natural habitats and not for toddler viewing.  They were football fields away and our poor kid could barely make out the fourteen foot giraffe or the two ton elephants. To top off our disappointment, there were no lions, one sleeping tiger and no bears.

The petting zoo more than made up for his lack of enthusiasm at other exhibits. He nearly tackled the goat, practiced his owl hoots, and the kangaroo was actually a Tasmanian "Bennett's Wallaby." And there was a baby, in her pocket, in her pocket!

Unfortunately, the most enthusiastic face looks like enthusiasm for umm, something else.
Another highlight of our trip was Bennett's discovery of the hoof-prints along the sidewalks.  He was so excited, that other visitors stopped to comment over the cute kid.  Granted, that does happen all the time.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bubbly Toes

And just to prove to the general public that my child isn't a total heathen, a gratuitous cute kid picture.  The other night, he stopped what he was doing, picked up my foot and gave it a kiss.  It made us all laugh and then he did it again.  And again.  I must have cuter feet than I thought.

And then Atticus ate a stick of butter.  The end.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brothers and Sisters

I believe I have started and stopped and deleted and drafted at least a half-dozen a light-hearted but heavy-handed post about more babies.  It’s understandably a tough subject.  First, more babies are not always a decision you get to make; sometimes the decision is made for you.  Second, there are many pros and cons to siblings in general, but then you get into the question of spacing and timing and financials and personalities.  Third, everyone has an opinion and what works for one family doesn’t always work for another.  But around the time Bennett turned one, parents and cousins and strangers alike started inquiring about a baby brother or sister.  I never have a good answer.

When Bennett was approximately 72 hours old, Rocky and I looked at one another from across the room and agreed we needed to do this again.  The newborn euphoria was enough to make us believe that despite how hard this was and how hard it could get, it was worth it.  “Please Lord, fill our house with millions of babies.  We’ll happily take whatever you send our way”.  Fast forward a few months later and friends that had babies around the time Bennett was born started announcing they were expecting again.  I was excited for them because I knew that had always been their plan, but I couldn’t help but think, “better them than me!” 
Bennett is what a polite mother would call “spirited” or “strong willed.”  He knows what he wants and he wants it right now.  Lately, that means he wants cheese for dinner and would prefer to eat all meals standing up.  And don’t you dare try to bring him to a restaurant.   Our morning routine looks like man to man combat, requiring two helmet-clad parents to change and dress a screaming toddler.  Come to think of it, the toddler might require a helmet too since his patented move is to throw himself on the floor. 
During a recent morning battle, I looked at Rocky and said that we had already ruined one child; perhaps this was the end of the line.  Toddlers screech in public.  Children refuse to eat the meal you prepared and throw it on the floor.  Kids get sick and you miss too much work.  You worry that you are doing something wrong and that each parenting choice is going to ruin them for life.  I can blog silly anecdotes about my toddler and gloss over the day-to-day grind because it’s frustratingly hard to be a parent.  So, why do it again?
Because it is incredibly rewarding too.  Last night, Bennett heard music playing and started dancing in circles.  He mumbled a few indecipherable phrases and then spouted off “orange,” clear as day.  He bumped his head during a tantrum, but then stumbled to his mom and wanted his head rubbed.  His face lights up when he sees an airplane in the sky or a bubble pop.  Watching him learn something new is one my favorite parts about being his mom.  He will grow tall and smart and hopefully kind.  The little things won’t impress him much one day.  The idea that that I might only get to witness that once is heartbreaking.  There is no doubt that must play a part in the decision to repeat parenting mistakes.
And the decision for more isn’t only a decision for parents.  A boy needs a playmate.  It’s more than sharing toys or sharing a bathroom.  It’s growing up and getting old with someone who shares your history, your family, your grandma’s recipes.  When I was pregnant with Bennett, I saw a little girl at a pool alone.  My heart hurt for her as she threw a ball back and forth to herself and watched other kids swimming together.  One day, Bennett may find himself playing alone on vacation too because the choice isn’t always ours to make.   It’s hard for me to imagine because I never had to worry about being lonely on vacation or bored on the weekend.  As I get older and my parents get older it is comforting to know that I have someone to share family responsibilities.  It was a decision that my parents made for me and for themselves.  They just didn’t have as difficult a choice because they were blessed with a perfect kid.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Man's Best Friend's Best Friend

Flipping through the channels one night last week we noticed that Atticus was paying attention to the television. He started growling at the hippopotamuses lumbering across the screen.  Then he decided he needed a closer look. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In Like a Lion

To put it mildly, we've had quite the week.  There was no debating whether we welcomed March with a roar or with the bababa like a lamb.  The media sufficiently hyped the impending storm Friday morning.  Schools started announcing closings six hours before the estimated time of arrival. There was a buzz about town-Nashville was positioned to be at the eye of the storm.    We packed up the dog, the baby, snacks, toys and pj's and headed to Gramma and Grampa Skis to wait it out. 

It blew in quickly and left just as fast.  It was cloudy with a chance of meatball-sized hail, and pomegranite and grapefruit-sized.  While we survived practically unscathed, our cars did not.  Up and down the parking lot, cars were peppered with dents and some even lost their windshields.  A rental car and a hefty-deductable later, I'm sure they'll be as good as new in no time.

We enjoyed a relatively quiet weekend at home, other than a wee Bennett-sized cough.  We barely noticed, and it didn't bother him in the slightest.  It certainly didn't interfere with his new trickster ways.  He now not only can ride and push his train, he can proudly stand on it too.  No, there is not photographic evidence of his impending tight-rope walking skills.  We needed all the hands we could get to make sure he didn't toppel over and bust his noggin.  I can't help but think remembering his proud little smile may have been worth it. 

However, Sunday night Bennett was up several times with a lion-sized cough.  He survived RSV with nary a wimper.  He fought the croup and he won.  But the common cold knocked my man down.  Hard. 
His already pathetic appetite is all but non-existent.  He isn't thirsty and all he wants to do is cuddle and read books.  If it didn't scare the crap out of me, I'd be eating it up.  This kid rarely sits still, so I am trying to look at the bright-side of the cold-side.   He would take a break or two from the listless laziness to build a tower or stand in a pot before succumbing to my lap again. 

Six days later, his roaring cough seems to be improving.  He may actually go back to shool tomorrow and I might actually get to put in a full day at the office.  I am hoping the saying is true, because a whole month of roaring skies and roaring coughs might just do me in.