Monthly Archives: December 2010

by the way…

Two years ago today, we learned we were pregnant. Little BG was not even Egghead yet, but he was big enough to turn a digital pregnancy test positive. What a happy, hopeful day that was, and it’s so beautiful to celebrate that with my wife AND our beautiful boy today.

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out with the old, in with the new

I am slowly recovering from this stomach bug my family has been trapped under for the past several days. It’s brutal! I will be happy to leave it and all of the other illnesses my family has endured right here in 2010. I declare 2011 the beginning of our healthy years, free of aches and chills, fevers and sniffles.

It really has been a challenging year for us in so many ways, illnesses aside. From job issues to relationship matters, looking for a new place to live with no success, and just traveling the road of parenting a toddler–we’re ready to move forward from this year, ready to welcome in some positivity.

I won’t say that this year with our son hasn’t been positive. He’s been the bright spot of every moment. Our baby boy genius makes us smile and laugh and love like we never have before, and for that, my wife and I are so grateful and even awed. It’s really spectacular being this boy’s parent, and I know it will just get better.

So leaving this year behind means leaving behind a lot of ick, but it also means leaving behind a lot of really amazing memories of our family coming into its own. 2010 will forever be the year of our first trip as a family to Humboldt, our first time taking our son to the beach, our time dipping baby toes in the pool, his first tastes of cherries and watermelon, and our first times hearing “Mama” and “Mom-Mom” in our son’s voice. These are the things I want to remember about 2010. I want to look back on a year when despite tough times, we muddled through and even lived pretty well despite our problems.

And next year–well, next year will bring a whole slough of newness, won’t it? 

  • We will finally make our move to our preferred town because the right place for our family, felines and all, will come up soon. It won’t be easy, but what we find will be ours, and it will have a space for our son to run around (and he will run–and maybe even walk–this coming year).
  • We will finally learn to leave our son with a trusted babysitter. We will go on dates, partake in adult activities, and focus more on ourselves as a couple.
  • We will continue to grow our community of friends locally.
  • We will have a garden again and teach BG about growing our own food.
  • I will go back to teaching.
  • I will, however, also begin pursuing a new career path…something I am excited to write about here, something that I’m not quite ready to say out loud, something really special.

With so much to look back on and so much to look forward to, I find myself feeling very blessed in this moment. We will celebrate tomorrow evening with a miniature bottle of champagne. I may even eat more than a potato or saltines. Yes, there is much to celebrate as the wheel of the year keeps turning.

Happy New Year to all of you out there. May all of your biggest wishes come true in the coming year.



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I have contracted my wife and son’s stomach bug, and I am not pleased. I have been pukey and chilled and achey for the past twenty-four hours. I am so glad my wife is home to help care for BG because I can hardly lift him I’m so weak. My food consumption today consisted of water, saltines, and a quarter cup of yogurt. This is not fun.

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and now that i’ve gotten that out

Holiday Highlights:

  • Solstice morning as BG insisted on returning gifts to their proper receptacles.
  • Feeding BG his first Christmas cookie (he even helped us decorate) and his insistence on calling all things sweet and delicious “Mmmmmmm!” (which really means “muffin” to him).
  • Watching BG suddenly understand how unwrapping gifts works.
  • Enjoying the surprise on his face when he saw a gift he loved.
  • Holding my four-month-old nephew and soaking in his squishy baby-ness, even though I had to hide from the super-jealous BG to do so.
  • Snuggling with my two-year-old niece as she wound down for the evening on Christmas.
  • Watching BG and his cousin hugging over and over again.
  • Two days later, seeing the three cousins with their adorable seven-month-old twin second cousins. It was babies galore that evening!
  • Seeing our boy marvel at the cuteness of babies.
  • Watching my son saddle up on his new rocking moose that Santa brought him and insisting that the stuffed moose Grandma gave him sit on his lap for the ride.
  • Spying BG shredding wrapping paper with his Mama to put into a wooden bowl when he got overstimulated. Good coping skills, my son!
  • Learning that my step-dad was indeed the person who taught BG to stick out his tongue to catch raindrops.
  • Watching my son walk all by himself (unbeknownst to him) pushing his new airplane push toy.
  • Seeing my kid surrounded in a pile of new books, flipping through each one of them.
  • Taking a drive with my mom, J, and BG to admire Christmas lights.
  • Meeting my wife after her last day of grading conferences at our town square for impromptu shopping, lunch, and toddler swinging.
  • Watching kids dance in the golden leaves that were falling like snow that day on the town square.
  • Taking BG to meet Santa at a town center, only to find they had moved him to a small corner of a nearby Bas.kin Ro.bbins and then seeing BG’s dubious look when the strange man in the red suit offered to hold him. Yeah right, Dude. Hands off, his face read.
  • Having time–real time–with my wife and son on a daily basis. There is nothing in the world so precious as this, no gift greater. 


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home home home

We recently taught our boy what “home” is, so any time we are out and about and we want to help him see that our activities are coming to an end, we can say, “Do you want to go home?” and he will chant “Home! Home! Home!” There have been times when he has done this without any prompting, and it warms me to hear it. Today, before leaving my parents’ house, I asked Baby Genius, “Do you want to go home?” And he beamed as if he had forgotten briefly that there was such a thing, and through his sweet smile said, “Home.”

So today we came home. We are all relieved and happy to be here.

Our holidays out of town were, in a word, chaotic. We spent the whole time at my mom and step-dad’s place beginning with Christmas Eve when we celebrated with the whole family. Our family dynamic has changed so much in the past two and a half years when my sister added the first grandchild to the mix. Now my brother, my sister, and I all have kids, and it’s a very different experience gathering together. Most of us are busy kid-wrangling, so the conversations aren’t as leisurely as they once were, and my mom, as sweet as she is, doesn’t see that we’re grown-ups who don’t need a bunch of gifts to be happy, so she overdoes it with gifts for us, and she overdoes it with gifts for the grandkids, and so much time is spent unwrapping that little time is left just for being in each other’s company.

But it is fun to see the kids together, and next year, when they’re 1, 2, and 3, it’s going to be especially joyful. BG loves his two-year-old cousin and will hug her and let her kiss him endlessly–until she gets overbearing (and she inevitably does). He loves to touch the baby’s head and call him “Behbeh.” It is so sweet to imagine these kids growing up together, yet I do wonder how it will be; all of them are being raised so differently. At the same time, staying at my mom’s with my sister and her child (as well as my sister’s new boyfriend) was not the warm family time I had hoped for. The two-year-old requires a great deal of attention, and my sister wanted to devote her attention to nearly everything else but her daughter. Tantrums and mayhem ensued. We found ourselves retreating to our room with BG on more than one occasion to listen to some quiet music and escape the chaos. By the time we left today, I know my poor parents were more than ready for an empty home, and yet my sister lingered. There is little that annoys me more than lazy parenting, and my sister is the laziest of parents who expects everyone around her to care for her child once she arrives and until she leaves. Consequently, BG gets little time with his grandparents, whom he sees far less frequently than the two-year-old does. It sucks.

Imagine my “delight” when my sister told my parents she’d be staying a third night. We were ready to get the hell out of there. Alas, that would not be our fate. We originally wanted to come home yesterday, but J caught a nasty stomach bug which laid her flat all day yesterday and last night. BG caught it late last night as well, so I spent a good many hours cleaning up vomit–off of me, off of him, off of the floor and the bathtub. At one point, I was draped in towels from head to foot as I snuggled the poor boy wrapped in a towel for a blanket. Yeah, it was that kind of night. Glamorous it was not.

Fortunately, today everyone was well enough to head home, so we trudged through the packing while the two-year-old threw tantrum after tantrum because she wasn’t getting the attention she needed. J and BG sequestered themselves in our room while my mom helped me pack the car, and we finally got out of there. I asked BG as we pulled down the driveway, “Do you want to go home, sweet boy?”

“Home! Home! Home!” was his reply.

“Let’s go home then,” J and I said.

And getting home, seeing his face light up as he saw that we were headed up our stairs, hearing him chant, “Home, home, home” as we neared the door, made all of that chaos melt away. Nothing feels quite so good as coming home after being away–except for seeing that through one’s child’s eyes as well. We may not love this apartment or this town, but it is home, and it’s damn good to be here.


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happy holidays!

After posting nearly every day in November, a post per week this month just seems abysmal. Oh well, it is the holidays after all.

We celebrated Solstice on Tuesday and exchanged gifts then. It was a lovely day full of lots of smiles and love and laughter. BG still doesn’t quite get the gift thing, but he does love himself a shiny red bow.

This weekend, we’ll be visiting family for the Christmas holiday and we’ll see babies galore. It should be a wild time, and my hope is that BG finds it managable. He’s gone into another clingy phase in the past few days, and we’re fairly certain it revolves around the beginning to walk thing. He’s still only taken a few steps total and has only stood up on his own (without holding onto anything) once or twice. He’s definitely working at it, but I think it’s freaking him out a bit, and he needs to feel like he can still be our baby too.

Anyway, we’re outta here for a few, but I hope to do some good writing upon our return. I have some interesting things to discuss (and no, I’m not pregnant, nor are we trying–or even thinking about it–but I wouldn’t be surprised if my sister-in-law and brother have another announcement this Christmas.)

Happy Holidays, everyone!



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virgo emerging

My son is a Virgo, as am I. While I am not  one to place much weight on the various stereotypes associated with astrological signs, I can’t deny that there are some very Virgo-esque traits that we see him developing, primarily in the neat and tidy realm.


Clean laundry belongs in laundry baskets. Laundry that has been folded and placed in piles belongs back in the laundry basket. He is not satisfied until every last piece is in the basket (and he chants, “In! In! In!” as he does this). Unfortunately, because he has yet to master the art of keeping clothes folded, this means clothes/diapers/towels go back into the laundry baskets  in whichever state he is able to get them there–translation: unfolded.

Cabinet doors must be closed. If a cabinet door is left open, it must be closed immediately. Baby Genius will always take care of this.

Similarly, I have a water bottle with a pop-up lid. That lid should be closed. If found open, Baby Genius will close it.

When bath time is taking place, certain toys are played with in certain quadrants of the bathtub. Near the end of bathtime, the little bath puppet crocodile must be placed back on the faucet, and the stacking cups must be neatly stacked.

On a more personal note, when Baby Genius switches sides while nursing, the other side must be completely tucked away when he continues on the new side. He will stop nursing and work to cover me up if he finds that I haven’t done so in a timely manner.

And perhaps our very favorite practice of our tidy boy:

Toys belong in the toy baskets. When Baby Genius is finished playing with his toys, he has begun placing every last one back in his toy basket. This is a new and beautiful development. We can only hope it will continue.

As you can see, we either have an emerging Super-Virgo neat freak or an emerging case of OCD. Either way, how can you not love this kid?


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one of those days

Some days with a toddler are just hard.

BG was super whiney and clingy today, but he was crabby too. I would give him food only for him to throw it on the floor or smack it out of my hand. Picking him up helped, but if I had to put him down for any reason, he flipped out. Diaper changes were crazed, arched-back fits. And then after nearly every diaper change, he would remove his diaper inside of his clothes.

Meanwhile, he wanted to nurse what seemed like every five minutes, but he has also bit me on both sides recently, so I’m in some pain, and I don’t feel like being constantly available today for nursing.

But of course you know where this is headed. During one of these diaper changes, as he was crying with his mouth wide open, I took a look at his gums. I knew one molar was on its way, but it seems one has broken through where I hadn’t seen even a speck of a bump, and its mate has created this insanely huge bump where the tooth has not yet emerged. The poor boy. I hope this thing pokes through soon. Between the biting and the crying and the clinging and the overall toddlerness, I’m at my wit’s end, and I’m guessing he is too.

Fortunately, I have a fabulous wife, who despite having oodles of end-of-semester grading to do has given me break after break today and put smiles on our boy’s face to boot.

Tomorrow is another day. It will be better. It will.


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