Friday, December 10, 2010

Abraham's words

Aside from mama and dada, Ham is starting to say other words or at least mimic sounds. It's pretty cool. Here's what we've got so far.

bah = ball
buh = bug
buh = bird
buh = anything else that he points to
guh-buh = garbage
buh-guh-buh-guh-buh = your guess is good as mine
ti-ti-ti = tickle tickle
muh, muh = meow, meow
da = down
nah, nah = nurse, or what a goat says
He also signs “more” and “all done” and makes a dog noise with his mouth closed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the season for pleasin

I am not a fan of inflatable Christmas decorations. In the day, they are unsightly, and at night, invisible. No, if you really want to warm my little heart, you've gotta have lights. I don't care what color. I don't care what size. I don't care how intricate the design. It's definitely all about the more the merry(christmas)ier. White light icicles along the roof. Windows in blue outline. Multicolored flashing bushes. Slather it on. Your house could light up the whole street and I still would not find it tacky. There's something just a little magical about cold weather and colored lights.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Ethics of Killing Bugs

We've got a bit of a bug problem. They are all over the yard, all over the outside of the house, and now creeping into the house, where my baby lives. Most people don't even think twice about killing bugs. They are annoying, sometimes harmful, and usually gross. You spray your yard and house with lots of poisons to kill them and keep them away from you. But I was thinking today, as I delicately transferred yet another from the baby's room to the toilet (that's right Anderson, I killed a bug! All by myself!), that maybe it's mean. Cruel to kill them. They are, after all, living creatures that experience pain. I don't imagine that drowning is a pleasant way to go. Or poisoning. Crushing at least is merciful, but messy.

With these bugs in particular, since they are not harmful, I started to question why I find the need to kill them. Shouldn't I treat them just as I would any other living creature, with kindness and respect? I realized that to some degree it boils down to prejudice based on outward appearance. Would I kill a ladybug that found it's way into my house? Or would I pick it up and take it outside, because it's pretty? Shouldn't I treat all bugs as though they are ladybugs?

Of course, there is also their status as invaders that impacts me. I don't routinely attack human beings, but if one invaded my home, you can bet I would. And I would feel perfectly justified and ethical doing so. Can I apply that principle to the bugs? Or does the fact that they are not quite so sentient and not at all malicious mean that I should be more understanding?

Is it less evil if I kill them using environmentally friendly products, at least?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Okay, here's what I really wanted to write about, but maybe it's weird for you to read about? Well, tough it out. Or not. You are warned and disclaimed.

So, nursing a toddler. First of all, at what age does a baby become a toddler? I say now. He is toddling around. Anyway, we're still nursing, but it's not all gummy baby sweet falling asleep nursing, with some little whines or cries to indicate hunger. It's, hey, let me stick my arm down the front of your shirt and see if those things are still there cause I kind of want them right now. It's lying in bed hoping for a moment to rest but instead get baby acrobatics all over the place. Let's see, can I stand up while I nurse? Can I climb on top of Mama? Or swing my leg over her side? Or poke her eyes? But I gotta say, I kind of love it. He's getting so independent and person-like, but still needs to come and snuggle and nurse. And while part of me is ready to be done with it, most of me is dreading the day.

I don't think that was as weird as I thought it might sound. I don't think. Just keep in mind I could have been a lot more explicit.

Next up, be impressed at all the things my baby can do when asked. Yes, all I do is ask him like I would ask a normal person! But he is just a baby! Or toddler. 13 months.

1. Put dirty clothes in the hamper.
2. Pick up toys.
3. Do things with toys (hide, stack, open, shake, etc).
4. Put trash in the garbage can.
5. Put ANYTHING in the garbage can (see previous post).
6. Find his shoes or my shoes. (Does this even when not asked, if he wants to go outside.)
7. Indicate his wants and desires.
8. Dance.
9. Bounce.
10. Kiss, hug, high five.
11. Be the best ever.

a list of things

1. Abraham threw the phone in the garbage today.

2. He is obsessed with the garbage can. See above.

3. Should I write a fantasy novel? It seems like it would be easy.

4. Next year I will do more for Halloween. Like dress up and decorate.

5. Oh clutter, my old nemesis, you return!

6. I am impressed with my baby and how he knows words like a person.

7. Getting a hair cut tomorrow, for realz. Probably more than one. Probably all of them. Short.

8. Who wants to go to the zoo?

9. Why don't you return my calls? Okay, call. And email. And FB. Doesn't that count as more than one call?

10. The end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Babies are people too

Recently I've starting giving Ham an after-bath massage with baby oil, and he LOVES it. It absolutely cracks me up the way he just lies there all relaxed, with a sleepy look on his face, while I massage him. I think part of what makes it so funny is that you don't see babies really holding still for things, but he does for this! Then last night, I decided to try a face massage and see what he thought. I kind of expected him to hate it, but he enjoyed it and started looking reeeeally sleepy. It was so sweet.

He did his first-ever actual person-like helpful thing today. My watch had fallen behind the bed, and when I pointed under the bed and asked him to get it, he crawled under there immediately, grabbed the watch, and brought it back out to me.

It's so amazing to me to watch his communication skills develop. Although he's not speaking at this point, he understands so many things, much more than we give him credit for, I think. Lately I have been testing his understanding by giving simple commands (which I normally do, but I've started including things that I don't expect him to actually know), asking him to find objects, etc. And it's incredible that he knows so much! I also love how affectionate he is, with me and his stuffed animals! He gives hugs and kisses when asked, and whenever he sees a stuffed animal, the first thing he does his hug and cuddle with it. Here he is cuddling with his cat.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Smart things a baby done today

1.  Took steps not toward a person, but toward something he wanted

2.  Heard applause on TV and started clapping

3.  While eating an apple, pointed to a picture of apples we have on the wall

Saturday, May 1, 2010

dear world, am i lazy?

So, I haven't posted in a while. But I've been thinking. About things. I've wanted to post something with substance, but I haven't had time. Something besides "omg, my baby is the bestest cutest ever" (although he is) or random thoughts about the weather and local wildlife. I've actually (in between raising a baby, cleaning the house, working, cooking, traveling, and the like) been thinking some big ol' thoughts about self and identity and community. I don't want to be one of THOSE people, but I guess being a mother has caused me to think more about my identity and who I am. Pre-baby, I was a certain person, and post-baby, I am someone a bit the same, but also very different. Obviously, being constantly responsible for the intimate well-being of another person is a big life shift. But I think also part of it is just the change of scenery. I have never been home this much. There has always been school or work (or school and work), with a bit of home on each end. Now, going to the grocery store feels like a fun outing!

But it's actually not true, the part about never being home this much. From 5th-8th grade, I was, when we homeschooled. It was different, aside from the obvious that I was a child and not raising one, because I wasn't alone. My mom and 3-4 siblings were home too. But it was a pretty sweet gig. Very earthy and self-reliant. We had a garden, ordered from the food co-op, baked bread, had various animals, climbed trees, picked wild blackberries and made tons of cobbler, wrote stories, studied whales, walked in the woods, read books and books. It was fabulous. And now that I'm home again, I want to recreate it. The funny thing is, apparently this is a trend. I've been reading about homesteading and femivores and want to laugh and get into it at the same time. I want to do some art and cook from scratch and compost. But, Lord, where is the time? By the time I start some laundry, load the dishwasher, and scrape together something to eat, the day is nearly done!

I feel as though I'm constantly working, but never getting anything done. Two steps forward, one step back. Constantly rolling a stone uphill. The usual metaphors. Which is why I sometimes do what's easy instead of what's best. Although I don't think that's entirely accurate. Sometimes what's easiest IS what's best. This ease and laze as it relates to motherhood is what I sat down here to write, but now it's late, so I'll stop and say that this is the back story. So that it seems more legit.

Another day, another dollar. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So I was surfing the web, readin up on some a them messageboards where I lurk, checkin out the threads I'm followin. I post some blogs and click some links, upload some pics and download some viruses. Then I refresh my browser, eat some cookies -- I mean, enable some cookies (to be eaten), download some applets (baby apples), wish I had java, hunt for easter eggs, and clear some folders off my desktop, cause it's lookin pretty junky. Then I go to my toolbar (aren't they all, really?), create a table, and look at the menu. But my server crashes (into the busboy), so I have to go look out some real windows.

C'mon, internet, make up your own words and stop stealin my grandma's.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

we still live in the city, i think

Sit back in your easy chairs and let me tell you a little story. Okay, it's not really that great of a story, but it has a super conclusion! So hang around!

I wanted my life to be good and rotten. That is, I wanted to start composting. And then start a garden and feed it deliciously rich homemade soil. So I put some veggie skins and bones in a bucket outside the back door, intending to find a good spot in the yard to start 'er up. But then I forgot. Because I have a baby (the patented go-to excuse for all my failings). And in the morning the bucket was tipped over and vegetable remains were strewn across the porch. Not a big surprise. It's a critter! I was a little more alarmed, however, when the next night I put a lid on the bucket...with a BRICK on top of it...and the critter still had his way with the fruity corpses. I thought it was a possum.

Until a few days later, a giant hole was dug under our concrete porch. This is where I should have a picture to show you, but I don't. Anyway, fast forward to today, when I casually glance out the window to see this, IN OUR OWN BACKYARD!

Scary! Anderson, who only saw the pictures, deemed it "cute." But it's an R.O.U.S., I tell you! According to the online business of looking things up online, though, it is only a groundhog. I thought they were just in the movies.

Anybody want a new, exotic pet? Wow your friends! Predict the coming of spring! Come get this out of my yard!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

rubber duckie needed

So I needed to give Abe a bath and I thought, hey! Now that he's sitting up on his own pretty well, I can let him sit up in his little tub, so that he can splash and have fun!

I'll let that sink in for a moment. Perhaps some of you more experienced moms are already chuckling.

Gotta say, folks. I did not think that one through. Man, did that kid splash. I got a bath too, and I wasn't even in the tub. The him enjoying it goal was achieve, though.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just read this article entitled "When Kids Attack!" and I have to say, although the article focuses primarily on the toddler age, Abe is in attack mode already. His nails are like talons that he digs into my tender flesh, attempting to tear it from the bone. Often when I hold him or get my face anywhere near his face, he grabs both sides of my head however he can - a wad of hair or a fist-full of cheek - and pulls me in toward his gaping, toothy maw. Then he latches on, sinking in teeth, and coating my face in drool. Oh, the hazards of the job!

He vicious!

Monday, March 8, 2010

spring may have sprung, or at least is in the process of springing

Oh my gosh, you guys. Spring may be here! The signs are good! First of all, THE WEATHER, SHE IS NICE. Oh so nice. We went to the park yesterday, which was teeming with babies all colors, shapes, and sizes, and Abe got to swing for the first time in his life! And he loooooved it! There was much grinning and shrieking to be had. And today, walking around in the backyard, I see green shoots and red buds all up on some trees. And wildflowers on the ground. And birds singing. It's pretty glorious. My ancestors clearly did not come from cold climates, nor have I evolved to enjoy them.

I think today requires another trip to the park.

Monday, February 15, 2010


When he stirs in his sleep, Abe reaches for me with both hands, as if to say, “I need you so much closer.” Whether I am a foot away or lying nose to nose, he reaches. In the middle of the night, he buries his face in my arm, curls into my chest. I nudge him away to make sure he can breathe, but he scoots his way back. And why shouldn’t he? For most of his life, we were so much closer. He didn’t have to turn to reach me. How unfair of me to change the rules and demand less than full body contact. At night is when he misses it most. So we sleep, his head on my chest, my knees curled under him, his leg on my leg. And because I miss it too, I press my face against his. Hold his hand in mine. As we breathe each other's breaths.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

baby daze

Oh, what a perfect baby I have! He really is wonderful and only gets more so by the day. His one downfall is that he loves his mama. Downfall, you ask? How can this be? Well let me recount all his perfections and how is love for me mars each one.

He will sleep – soundly and gloriously, through most of the night, through 2-hour naps. As long as I am right there, sleeping with him (or alternately, have him wrapped to my chest). If I get up so much as to go to the bathroom, he is up too.

He will play happily and contentedly in his jumperoo or playmat* as long as I am in the same room, preferably seated right there in front of him oooing and aaahing at his every move.

He rarely fusses during diaper changing, as long as I am the one changing him.

He will kindly allow me to fix dinner or do dishes, as long as he’s up on the counter watching, right next to me.

He will then allow me to eat said dinner in peace, as long as I have him in one arm.

He even occasionally lets me check email, if he can bang on the keys too.

Basically, he is most contented when I am RIGHT IN HIS FACE. Anything less is unacceptable.

*All these made-up words, my God!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

it's a bird, it's a plane

Why, yes, baby and I DID recently take a trip. On an airplane. Alone. And, oh, it was quite the adventure! It began early in the morning when I realized that OMG BABY, why do I need to pack so much stuff? This was a 6 day trip and normally I would have taken a carry-on and a backpack, but with a baby suddenly I was checking a car seat, stroller, jungle gym, playpen, crib, and ten suitcases.* My BFF, having no idea what she was getting herself into, drove us to the airport and helped to roll all our stuff inside. Thank you, Sleepy Wrap, for allowing me to be hands-free! And then Abe fell asleep as we walked to our gate, which was, of course, at the other end of the universe. He slept through security and getting a snack, and gate checking the stroller, and woke up just in time to board the plane. Yikes!

And because a baby makes things take forever, I was one of the last people to board. And because Southwest doesn’t assign seats, there were only middle seats left. Crap. I was so nervous about being THAT WOMAN with the crying baby that everybody on the plane would hate. But luckily, I sat between a reasonably friendly but uninterested woman and a very friendly, on her way to visit her grandbaby woman who chatted Abe up the whole flight. Luckily too, my baby is awesome and did not cry much. Mid-flight, though, he decided it was lunchtime and I nursed him! Awkwardly! In between two strangers! His custom as of late is to also empty his bowels during mealtime, and I was literally praying that this would not happen. But then I felt the rumblings. And my sweet, darling, precious son proceeded to have the longest, loudest poop known to man. My prayer quickly changed to just PLEASE let it all stay in his diaper. But no dice. I pick him up only to find a yellow crescent on my jeans. And because there was turbulence, I couldn’t get up to change him. For the rest of the flight. So there we are, sitting between two strangers, covered in poop, for the next hour. Hooray!

Then we had to change planes, which was fine. I had our schedule all planned out: after the immediate changing, feed me, play, feed him, put him to sleep. Just in time for the next flight! Which was then delayed! Luckily, he slept through most of it anyway, until the descent when he woke up crying probably due to ear pressure. I glanced anxiously around, hoping no one was giving me an evil stare. Instead, they gave me advice! Rub his ears! Give him a pacifier! Yay for nice strangers!

The trip back was somewhat better because 1) I knew what to expect and 2) there was a stop, but we didn’t have to change planes. But the poop escapade repeated itself (seriously, baby?), except we got to use the changing table in the tiny, gross bathroom. Which really wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be. The table was very sturdy. Then later, when the crying began, a flight attendant took him and walked him around the plane! Walking and being held are his two favorite things, so this worked out quite well. She even sang to him! It was pretty great, I have to say. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it also takes a flight crew.

*Warning! This post contains a slight amount of exaggeration.

Monday, January 25, 2010

a chilling tale

Finally, the madness has ended. The beast, once garrulous and thrashing, now lies in repose, snugly curled in his Baby Bjorn. We sigh and smile with relief, feeling freedom trickle down our spines. We laugh and jest around the fire, secure that the hour is ours. Suddenly, amidst the merriment, I am struck--frozen in my tracks at the sight of a single eye peering ominously from the shadows. The beast, though still motionless, has awakened and prepares to take back what is his...our lives.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

apparently I like sports now

Whoo hoo! First Super Bowl ever for them Saints! Is Super-Bowl hyphenated? All one word? Or did I do it right the first time? Also, what is a halfback?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

rain, shower, and tears

This baby has been pooping all morning. I'm serious! It's like a game. Like Double Dare, where one contestant has to fill a cup up with kool-aid using a water gun while perched on top of a ladder while his opponents throw cream pies at him. Except in this scenario, the cup is a diaper, the kool-aid is poop, and the cream pies are also poop. This is probably the cause of his major grumpy pants today, as well as my own larger pair of grumpy pants that I started wearing in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep even though el bebe was zonked out.

So to cheer us both up, I decided to go for a walk. Ham LOVES walks, more so if being held, but also in the stroller. And I'm beginning to think I'm more irritable when I don't leave the house all day. So a walk was the perfect remedy. Yes, Nashvillians, it is a rainy day. But it was not raining when we embarked on our sojourn. In my haze of sleeplessness and diaper fatigue, I ignored the obvious implication that, really, IT COULD RAIN AT ANY MOMENT. I think you see where this is headed. I could have just walked up and down our street, staying close to the house, but due to aforementioned haze, I went on our regular route down a side street. I was...oh...half a mile or something from our house. (I have no concept of distance. Does half a mile sound really far? Or too short? It was somewhere in between. Let's say I was about 7 walking minutes from the house.) And it starts to sprinkle. Luckily, the stroller has a cover, but since we're walking into the wind, that really only protects Abe's face. The rain gets harder and is getting all over my baby! I start running a little, but, friends, we all know, that lasted only ten seconds or so before my body slowed down in protest. So we did a little jerky walk-jog back to the house. Luckily, it rained hard, but did not pour, and had almost stopped by the time we got back home, so we are wet, but not drenched. Interestingly enough, Abe does not seem to care a bit.

He also does not freak out when he takes a shower for the first time, as I kind of expected him to. No, water does not make him cry. The tears came during the drying portion of the story. THEN he decides to Freak Out. He just doesn't understand that his neck will stink if I don't dry under all the fatty folds. Wow, that sounds really gross now that I'm writing it, but he is still adorable and clean, I promise. It's juicy baby fat, that's all!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bananaphone: It's a phone with a-peel!

Kessel Run

Have you ever noticed that when you eat something spicy – I mean, really, painfully spicy, like the deadly but delicious salsa I made the other night – that even though it burns with the fire of a thousand dying suns and sends you frantically looking for something, anything, to put in your mouth that will stop the unholy flames leaping from your tongue, it also kind of feels good? Or is that just me? If I stop the immediate urge to quench the burning and instead just KEEP EATING the salsa, and then when I finally stop because I realize I have consumed almost a whole bag of chips, I let the spice overtake me, like some crazy hippie drug. My eyes water, my nose runs, and my whole head becomes feverish. Then there’s some sort of strange euphoric sensation that pours over my head and down my spine, making me want to roll my head around in catnip. Then the burning in my mouth stops and I’m left feeling just feverish and pleasant. I’m sure this is a real sensation that actually has a name, to describe why your body turns spicy foods into drugs. Survival mechanism?

Where There's Smoke, There's Dryer

As I’m sitting here in my kitchen busy working,* I suddenly noticed smoke right outside the kitchen window. I mean, RIGHT outside, as though the part of the house immediately below the windows was on fire. But, since I am incredibly smart and quick-thinking, instead of panicking, I immediately realized that I had just started the dryer in the basement, which vents below those windows, and since it is currently too cold to be alive, heat makes steam! Or something like that. So all is well.

…Or, I am incredibly dumb and cavalier about my family’s safety and sat writing a blog entry while the lower half of my house burned. I guess we’ll see which it is! Update tomorrow! (Still not going to check it out, in case you didn’t pick up on that.)

*playing on the internet

Monday, January 11, 2010

Most of us
knees curled to chest
comfort womb memory
from our previous life.
What do we not remember
shapes us?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

it's the most wonderful ham in the world

So, just gotta say, too cold to be alive right now.  It's 18 degrees! Yikes! I could not cut it living in some northern state that actually gets negative degrees regularly. Nooo way. Of course, I would probably have a more efficient heating system if that were the case, but still. I am so unproductive when it's cold. I want to just stay in bed all day. And eat warm things.

In other news, Christmas was good. We traveled and introduced Baby to relatives he hadn't met yet. Yesterday was Anderson's first day back at work, and thus my first day alone with lil' ham in two weeks. I see now that our culture has it all wrong with nuclear families. Extended family living is the way to go! For two weeks, wherever I went, there were other people who wanted to hold the baby, play with the baby, change the baby. I actually got to take a shower practically every day and eat a few meals with two hands and for longer than five minutes! Pretty amazing. I wonder if that's why motherhood seems to be so difficult - you're doing a job alone that really requires many hands. If you want to stay sane, anyway. Luckily I have the best baby ever.