Sunday, September 30, 2012

What We Learned: 23 Months

As we get closer to two, the more anxious I become of the notorious terrible twos.  While we are still a month away, I am loving this age.  It's a good thing because the last time I wrote a monthly update, I was already missing my co-parent.  It hasn't always been easy, but this age is an awesome time to have him all to myself.  B's vocabulary is exploding.  He isn't just pointing out airplanes and bugs, he's expressing details and feelings behind those things, loud, heavy, sticky, eww.  He is imaginative and silly and a storyteller.  All of these things play a huge part in his new favorite pastime, cooking in the kitchen. 

Bennett learned that it is ok to miss your dad as long he apologizes for his absence with a kid-size microwave, oven, sink and ice maker. 

We learned that there are a million and one ways to prepare a plastic piece of bacon, play block, cardboard cutout, tinker toy and a refrigeratoe magnet. 

Bennett learned his manners, peas and you gelcome. 

We learned you can almost forgive a push, a kick or an elbow if you accompany it with an "excuse me's. 

Bennett learned to walk backwards.

We learned that to drive backwards you "Don't need to know where I'm going, just need to know where I've been."

Bennett learned that that even though he might be a decade away from reaching the pedals, he can't get enough Cars.

Bennett learned to do the chicken dance.

We learned that Bennett is just as good at pretending to be an airplane as flying on an airplane.

Bennett learned how to toast.

We learned that Bennett isn't quite ready to sleep in a grown-up bed.

Bennett learned that rolling off the bed isn't worth waking up for.

We learned that waking up to that sweet face is worth any sleepless night waiting for a thump. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

M is for Mommy, E is for Embarrassing

It's a really good thing B's too young to be embarrassed by his parents just yet, because I found more photos being held hostage on RK's phone.  Taken in SoCal back in May, you can almost taste the jubilation at the prospect of babysitters and a full night's sleep.   

I suppose since I am sharing hundreds of embarrassing photos of my son, the least I can do is go down with him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Photo Dump

I am slacking on the B's baby book even worse than I'm slacking on the blog.  He's going to go to ask one day and think we didn't like him much.  In order to compensate for those blank pages, I'd like to immortalize the cute-ness on the internets forever and ever amen. 

Independence Day
Maybe parades are not too scary afterall?
All the cool kids hide in the laundry room.
The one day my child was attached to a blanky.
Where is Bennett?
One day at the grocery store, we had to drop what we were doing and read a math book, because McQueen was on the cover.  Of course!

An inherited barnyard.

With the trial entering the fourth week, maybe I should be spending more time on the baby book and less time with the Real Housewives.  As cute as a picture is, there are so many stories and memories behind each snap I hate that I'll forget the little stuff.  I suppose even a baby book would have trouble memorializing just a wonderful, happy, interesting little boy he is becoming. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tea with Kate

I have love (and hated) many of Kate Middleton's style choices. But this one is so gorgeous, I couldn't let you miss the beautiful dress she wore for tea in the Solomon Islands. The embroidery is to die for. The color is divine. The design is both timeless and chic. 

My current agenda involves carpool, plated lunches and committee meetings.  I am really wishing I had more invitations to high tea.  Man I miss high tea!
Crossing our fingers that we have more opportunities ahead of us rather than behind us.  I will have to channel my inner-Kate rather than my inner-Allison.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Star of the North

Bennett and I made our maiden voyage to Minnesota last weekend.  It was a trip I was both anticipating and dreading.  Bennett's headstrong personality made me more than a little nervous to punish poor, unsuspecting airplane passengers.  I also wasn't sure how he would handle all the new people and strange places.  When my mom volunteered to chaperone, I jumped at the opportunity for an extra set of hands and a break from my single-mom status.

I filled my bag with snacks and stickers and new toys.  We read books about airports and sitting still on airplanes.  We scheduled flights for pre-nap hours, when we were still fresh from sleep and pre-afternoon meltdown.  Thankfully, all our preparation paid off.  He was a four-star passenger, patient, quiet and just a touch curious.

We were also lucky to have my cousin and her husband offer their new digs as our temporary homebase.  With all the excitement and new surroundings, Bennett didn't want to nap. At home, that's a recipe for disaster for a kid who prefers twelve hours of sleep at night and at least three hours of mid-day napping. Even without the typical sleep, he did great as I schlept him North, South, East and West, introducing him to aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and new babies. My friends and family introduced him to the Vikings, Kube, pets both large enough and gentle enough to confuse for a pet horse, and a true O'Rourke tradition, "cheers!" 
We were quite the pair, spending a great deal of the trip just the two of us.  To reward him for his unexpected flexibility, his ability to overcome bedtime meltdowns with cookies, and surviving a near tragedy at the playground, we enjoyed a date at the zoo. We didn't get the chance to explore my other favorite Minnesota attractions like the Twins, Lake Calhoun, Eagles Nest, Paul Bunyon, so at least we got to cross off this Minnesota Must.
I think he liked the bronzed animals as much as the living.  Unless we are talking about the giraffes.  This kid loves giraffes.  "They tall!"

More than the monkeys or the moose or the other amamals, more time with Grandma June was a must.  We got lots of quality time together with suitcases, flash lights, and hammas.  Of course, I neglected to take any pictures until it was time to start saying our goodbyes.  Bennett was so excited to have grandma put on his socks, I had to take a picture.  Thank goodness I did because it might have been the closest I got to a smile.

When we tried to take a real picture, he wouldn't sit still.  He wanted to be the one capturing the moment. 
Say cheese! 
Too bad he was taking the picture with a transistor radio; it was definitely a trip worth documenting.  Now, we'll just have to hope he cooperates again next year.  It was such a success, we are hoping to make it an annual tradition.  I feel so lucky to have friends and family that might have to wait months and years to visit, but still feel like not a minute has passed.  Even hundreds of miles away, I know just how blessed I am to have them in my life, and now Bennett's too. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alive and Mooing

Sheesh, things are like crickets around here again.  Sure, I may have some extra alone(ly) time every night when the boy goes to sleep, but after the cooking and the cleaning and the child-rearing, I am too exhausted to do anything that involves more effort than a spoon and a carton of ice cream.  However, just to prove to the internets that my child is alive and well, some photo documentation of said child-rearing. 

Picture it, Nashville, Tennessee, Two-Thousand Twelve.  A wee child with a penchant for Cars and Farm Amamals receives some mis-directed junk mail hawking farm equipment. 
Isn't it too early for holiday catalogues?  Because hoo-doggie you would have thought the Toys R Us Christmas Spectacular Circular just landed on our front door step.

Sure, honey child those sweet baby calves are just hiding and not locked in some deadly holding contraption intended to keep them immobilized.

I'm wishing I had the sound effects to accompany that face.  It was somewhere between a squeel, a shriek and a MOO when he saw not one, not two, but three cows on the same page.
Good thing he's easily entertained because we have a few more weeks before the trial is over.  Heaven and the mail man help us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Single Momming It

 I would make a terrible single parent.  I should know, since I've had a glimpse into the life for going on a week now.  Rocky has been preparing for trial that begins today.  I would be driving there to drag him back home any moment now if he didn't seem to be loving his work, fifteen hour days and all.

Bennett would probably appreciate a dad around the house if only because:

He kept saying pants, pants.  I praised him for correctly identifying his article of clothing, when what he really meant was: "You put two legs in one pant you incompetent woman!"
I sent him to school in his pajama pants.  He wouldn't take them off even when he sat in a puddle.
I force him to attend educational outings to puppet shows and take silly pictures to commemorate the event.
In a mere three hours, I was able to single-handedly assemble his new kitchen.  Too bad, I don't have the skills to build a cupboard door to stay closed. 
A simple supper requires two trips to the grocery store, one in the rain, and he still won't eat it.

On the bright side, I have time to read a book, schedule long-overdue phone dates with friends and watch two entire seasons of Downton Abbey.  I think the boy still loves me, but I know he still misses his dad.