Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bennett was a good little monkey

And always curious!
Let me preface this deluge of personal photos by saying that my child loves George.  Loves.  Like if he has 100 books, he gravitates to the old ratty Curious George from my childhood.  Like, if you want him to eat his vegetables, turn on PBS and he will not only eat his peas, he will let you comb his hair and brush his teeth.  There really wasn't any doubt how we'd celebrate my big boy turning 2...
...with a really ridiculous cake compensating for the fact that no bakery supports copywrighted images!

And for the second year in a row, we had balloon drama.  Poor B had no 'boons!  At least his mom got fake crafty.

Who wouldn't make a whirlwind day trip for a kid that won't remember who was there?

At least I allowed a couple kids to help party!

A 'tar, for writing more original lyrics like his breakout hit, Mommadad mommadad...

He tried so hard to blow out that candle.

Good thing the cake serves dozens because all he wants is the frosting.
His real birthday was yesterday.  I took the day off because I make a big deal about my own birthday and now I can spend my energy on someone who really deserves it.  I tortured him with a trip to get a bicycle helmet and a trip to the mall to get another kid a present.  But we did get to practice riding our new bike and have a nice lunch just the two of us. 
Last year, his birthday felt like it was as much my party as his.  I was proud to celebrate 365 days of surviving bad sleep, nursing, pumping, and unpredictable mood swings.  While our sleep has moderately improved, his favorite food is now frosting, and the mood swings are still pervasive, he is now his own person and not just an extension of my body.  However, he will always be an extension of my heart. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

What We Learned: 24 Months

My baby boy is two!  But if you ask him, he's not a baby, he is a big boy.  And it is true, at two he is no longer a baby.  He runs.  He jumps.  He yells and giggles and tells stories.  He fixes the roof and digs a hole and climbs the fence.  He is fearless and funny.  When the doctor announced we were having a boy, this is exactly the little person I dreamed of.  But two years ago I could never have imagined this day would arrive so soon.
Bennett learned he can do it.
We learned not to question it.
Bennett learned about emotions.
I learned he can learn an emotion and apply it to characters in a book, Curious George on tv and momma in the mornings.
Bennett learned to walk sideways.
We learned that he can fix it.
Bennett learned that his name isn't "me."
We learned that he thinks is name is "kid."
Bennett learned how to use a zipper.
We learned that it is his job.
Bennett learned that happy birthday to you typically ends with cake.
We learned that the song either ends with eating cake or screaming "cake!"
Bennett learned that on your birthday you turn six.
We learned that if two arrived this fast, six will be here soon enough as it is.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Obligatory Post About that Time We Went to the Pumpkin Patch

Mom+Blog+October=Pumpkin Post
I believe this might be the reason why many parents have more than one child, to save themselves from these kinds of photo situations.

I strongly encourage you to embiggen this picture so you can see the hilarity of that face.  THAT FACE!
City kid pumpkin patches also have million dollar model trains.

Scarecrows with hair almost as scary as momma's. 
It was a city kid pumpkin patch, meaning they only had perfectly shaped pumpkins for sale. Of course my child chose the one that looked like it would be left behind, exclaiming, "it heaby." He then named it mommy pumpkin. Thanks kid.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live from The Catbird Seat

So September brought us a stressful trial, weeks of single-parenting, and scant blog posts. October brought us a credit card bill full of emotional shopping, catching up on sleep, even fewer blog posts, and a dinner reservation I had been anticipating for months. 

The Catbird Seat is a twenty seat restaurant with a quirky reservation process. Reservations open exactly thirty days in advance at midnight. Because they serve a very limited audience every night and close shop Sunday-Tuesday, reservations are a hot commodity. I tried in vain in February because they had just been nominated for a James Beard Award. I tried in vain in June when our visitors had one request, TCS. I tried in vain in August for my birthday. No dice. I finally got reservations last week only to discover I was double booked. Praise the epicurean gods when the hostess took pity on me and moved our reservation one day later. 

My friends who had already beat the system weren't all that impressed. They felt that the chefs were not successful at yukking it up with the diners gathered around the tiny kitchen. Sure, the food was better than you would find in most Nashville establishments, but the lack of a dress code at the hottest establishment in town killed the mood.  I didn't want their negativity to color my opinion and thankfully it didn't.

We arrived on time, choosing the wine pairings and let the menu unfold. Thank goodness we didn't get a preview or a chance to make requests because 90% of the meal were dishes I never would have ordered if I had had my druthers, including but not limited to: langostine, fennel, kimchi and custard served in a shell far too closely resembling a raw chicken egg. 

It was far and away the best meal I have ever had.  Dishes ranged from a simple cracker jack to a porcini mushroom oreo cookie to tender filet of wagyu beef.  The mussel with edible shell was one of the single best bites I have ever tasted.  I would easily order the cod as my last dying meal. 

I am an adventurous eater and have eaten in my fair share of the country's top chef restaurants, Michel Richard, Wolfgang Puck, Mike Isabella, Brian Voltaggio, Mario Batalli, Jose Andres, Cathal Anderson. Perhaps it was simply because I was able to try things I wouldn't normally otherwise and the chefs were putting forward their best. Perhaps it was the adult beverages.  Perhaps it was the country star seated at the end of the bar. Perhaps it was because we were seated at Josh Habiger's station and I was allowed to chat and ask questions. Perhaps it was because Josh lived in New Brighton once upon a bad break-up. 

Whatever it is, I will be trying to game the quirky reservation system again and again. Now I just need some more excuses to do so. Bring on the visitors. Bring on the promotions.  Just please don't bring on another six week trial. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

More baby pictures (Not mine)

I am having some deep existential thoughts about all these babies being born lately amongst friends and families and neighbors.  While I process all the cuteness, let's adore some stranger's babies.  Mmkay? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Update

My husband is home! He (THANK GOD) played on the winning team. After nearly six weeks of trial preparation and the trial itself, he's home (THANK GOD). Now we have approximately 4-5 months until the next one (HEAVEN HELP US).
Less than 48 hours later, we were back in the car travelling to an out-of-town wedding.  We turned B's seat forward to hopefully prevent the last hour crazies.  It worked (THANK GOD).  The kid was so entertaining.  He loved being a part of our pack, singing songs, telling stories and playing games.  He was balancing a book on his head, fighting the nap.  "Ready, set, go"  Giggles. "I funny."
Even when he woke, two hours shy of his regular nap, he was content and giggly.  Why in heaven's name hadn't we tried this ages ago?  I'm ready to throw caution to the wind and start breaking all the American Academy of Pediatrics rules.  I'm starting to think the experts aren't parents.
Fall arrived just in time to cancel the outdoor festivites, but the wedding was beautiful regardless.  Bennett was such a treat.  Again, with the singing and the dancing and the game playing.  Despite an outburst during the ceremony "All done," he was the perfect guest.  Oh, and the spilled snacks, and the stealing of decorations, and the leaving early. I'd still bring him as my date anytime!