Wednesday, August 25

Birthday Wrap Up

the dreaded cupcakeThat child had three--count 'em three--opportunities to eat cake and he refused all of them. And it was three different varieties of cake (chocolate with vanilla frosting, vanilla with rainbow frosting, and ice cream cake), so it's not like he just didn't like vanilla or something. Not that I'm trying to force food on him, especially sweet food, but... oh, hell, yes I am.

The birthday weekend (which went from Sunday through Tuesday) was a busy one, but it was a happy one. Doodles had no idea all the festivities were for him. The Saturday party was forced indoors because of lousy weather, but other than that, everything ran smoothly. No baby meltdowns, no Mommy meltdowns, and enough food. That, for me, is a good party these days.

On Monday I brought cupcakes to Doodles's day care. I went by at 1:20, and Doodles was asleep; I was told he fell asleep at 12:45. "Come back in an hour," the teacher suggested. So at a bit after 2 I returned. That child--who never sleeps more than an hour for me--slept for two hours and fifteen minutes. I had to sit around the infant room with all the other awake babies until mine decided to peer up from his crib (yes, I was tempted to wake him, but what kind of mother wakes her child from a nap on his birthday of all days?). I set him up with a cupcake... and he was furious until the Goldfish came out. All the cupcakes were eaten; just none by my child.

must reach duckies!Finally on Tuesday we had a playgroup birthday party for Doodles and his playmate J., who turned one a few days before Doodles. The hit of the party was a tub filled with water and plastic duckies (a hard plastic). duckie hoardingWhile all the other kids splashed in the water and poked at the ducks, Doodles grabbed a duck, shoved it into his mouth, realized it wasn't rubber and yanked it out, and then one by one took the duckies out of the tub and placed them at his feet. If he couldn't eat the duckies, then, dammit, no one else was going to either! Needless to say, he refused all offers of ice cream cake and screamed until I found some Goldfish in my bag. The upside is this is I'm going to get to eat his free ice cream from the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club.

Basically it was a four-day celebration of the fact that Adam and I survived the first year of parenthood (and we appropriately toasted that fact on Monday night). Doodles is alive and healthy, we're still married, and no one has yet been committed.

And now onto the toddler years...

A Picture Is Worth...

Sorry 'bout updating the photos a bit late this month. The weekend got the better of me. Now that we've passed the one-year milestone, I don't think it makes sense to update monthly anymore. So I'll update when I have a good group of photos and put in the upper left-hand nav here when new photos have been posted.

I Was Thinking of a Lion Outfit

I'm a liberal person. I believe people should be free to do pretty much whatever they want to do. However, there is something so horribly wrong and so horribly irresponsible about this that I don't even know where to begin. Who allows their child to dress in a costume like this? Doodles will be some animal, preferably a cuddly one, this year. And we'll be steering clear of families that dress their kids in this. (Hey, I should send Doodles trick or treating this year! Think of all the candy I'd get!)

Wednesday, August 18

This Is the Last Time...

...I post that Doodles is still drinking formula. It's the last time I post that he's not allowed to eat strawberries and honey. It's the last time I post that he's required to be in a rear-facing car seat (although we've decided to keep him rear-facing for another six months at least because it's safer; our car seat can be rear facing to 33 pounds). It's the last time I post that he'll still be an infant. a big boy hair cutBecause this time next week, my baby will be drinking whole milk, free from the danger from SIDS, and a full-fledged toddler. That's right, a year ago next Monday, Doodles entered our lives. It blows my mind that it's been a year. I look back at our videos and photos of the past year, it amazes me how much he's grown (need the passwords? drop me a line). Such a big boy now. So big that he just had his first hair cut (well that was because I got tired of people referring to him as a "she"). Of course, last August 23 feels like yesterday and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. My sweet little Doodles, turning into a little boy. Excuse me while I go get misty-eyed.

Christmas in August

I'm a sucker for a catalog. Even if they are mistakenly sent to my house. I can look at them with Doodles and not care at all if he rips them up before I finish it. Just last week a Personal Creation catalog was misdirected to our house. And a few things stood out. Like this lovely ornament. It's a Star of David ornament. For a Christmas tree. Anyone else think there's something a little off there? And I'm wondering which rabbinical organization certified the Enchanted Hanukah Cottage (a.k.a. a gingerbread house) kosher. And does anyone else think it's weird that Baby's 1st Christmas Romper comes in a 24-month size? Think about that one.

Be-boppin' Away

Never thought I'd say this but Ben Rudnick is better live. Our town has free concerts at the library during the summer (odd, isn't it? The only place they shush you is the place where they blare music). Ben Rudnick played and Doodles loved it. I mean he was so into the crowd, loved crawling on strangers' strollers, and when the music started, he bobbed his body up and down and wiggled his head around. My only regret is that there aren't more free, easily reached, kid concerts around. He seemed to groove in actual rhythm to the music. Maybe the tone deafness/lack of rhythm thing skips a generation. (And did you know that there's a sequel to "Sally Salamander" on the new album? How great can life be?)

Food for Eating

Doodles is still having food issues. He loves his Veggie Booty, Cheerios, Goldfish, graham crackers, fruit puffs, and animal crackers. Notice something about these foods? They all crunch. I tried to give him a piece of bread at lunch today while we were out. It was good bread. Normally he wouldn't deign to even pick it up, but he was looking at the couple at the next table, and he grabbed a handful of Booty. The bread was hiding admist the Booty and he shoved it all into his mouth without paying attention. Now, this was a pretty small piece of bread. And the boy can chew well. He's got six full teeth and two that are just starting to jut out. But when he detected the foreign object in his mouth, he began to gag and make a face as if I'd fed him his own poop--which--I should add--on occasion he has tried to put in his own mouth (as well as wood chips, sand, and plugs). He could barely choke that piece of bread down.

This past weekend we went to the birthday party of a friend of his. The friend's mother asked if Doodles could have cake. Once upon a time, I had these lovely ideals about what Doodles would eat. "All organic," I would have insisted. "No sugar at all. Lots of fruits and vegetables. No jarred meats." Ah, the days of my romantic food notions. Now, I'm so desperate for Doodles to eat anything that anyone who wants to take a go at it is welcome to feed my child scraps of pretty much anything. There's something hardwired in moms, I think, that they are convinced that they're the ones who can fix any problem. I know I feel that way sometimes when I hear about a baby who won't sleep--"Oh, I know how to make a baby sleep!"--which is complete bulls*** because every baby is different and there's no way I could get someone other than Doodles to sleep. But it doesn't stop me from thinking I can. So inevitably some mom will say to me, "I'm feeding JoJo some pasta. Can I give some to Doodles?" Or "My Monkey is eating green beans. Would Doodles like one?" And I always say sure. And the other mother will try to cajole, trick, or sweettalk Doodles into eating and every time, Doodles purses his lips, turns his head, and pushes said food away. And the mother will say, "Well, that's odd! He really won't eat!" Um, duh. Didn't I say that?

So at this party this weekend I gave the go-ahead for my friend to feed Doodles cake. Evil? Perhaps. But I feel like if he tasted more foods he'd realize they're actually good! So she brought over a luscious piece of Rosie's Bakery chocolate cake. Adam and I distracted Doodles and my friend stuck a finger with frosting in Doodles's mouth. Doodles's little face screwed up into such a pout, he let out an angry scream, and didn't let any of us near him again with any food. Which means he's not my child because as anyone who's known me for more than five minutes knows, I live for frosting. Give me a tub of vanilla frosting and a spoon, and I'm in heaven.

Of course, he's not Adam's child either. I now offer Doodles a piece of everything I eat. And fourteen out of fifteen times, it's something relatively healthy. But today we were out shopping and I picked up an iced coffee (no, I didn't give him any of that, although he sure tried to get at it) and a couple of Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. I offered him his very own Munchkin. He took it. He looked at it. And then he chucked it. Definitely not the product of Adam's loins. (Which brings up the pertinent question, "Whose child is he?" Beats us!)

Oh, and another nifty little food-related quirk: when he was done eating, Doodles would signal it by picking up whatever was on the tray and one-by-one drop the pieces of food over the edge of the high chair. But after enough "No throwing food," he stopped. I was pretty impressed. Until I realized what he does now when he's done is pick up the food in his fist, slide his fist next to him in his high chair, and drop the food into his seat next to his leg. When I go to take him out of his chair, the food just rains out. And every time I catch him doing it, all I can do is laugh. It's so cute! Such a clever little Doodles.

Wednesday, August 11

One, Two, Tie His Shoes

Yes, I find shoes ridiculous. But I acknowledge they are a necessary evil. Which is why I own a few pairs. trying on shoesAnd now that my little monkey is getting ready to make the transition from the Infant Room to the Tiny Tot Room at day care, he needs shoes as well. Even though he's not walking, everyone else in the room is, so his little feet are vulnerable to being stepped on. Plus Doodles is cruising, which means his little feetsies need to be protected from the wood chips and garbage in the park. I asked the day care teacher what kind of shoe she suggested, and she said, "Stride Rite." So this past weekend, we all made a trip to the mall so my son could get some tiny little leather things to cover his size 3 extra wide feet.

shoesies!Do you have any idea how much a pair of Stride Rites cost? Forty friggin' dollars! For a couple of inches of leather and a tiny little sole. Why didn't I go into baby shoes ages ago? I've never heard of anything so outrageous. I can't remember the last time I spent $40 on a pair of shoes and it takes more to cover my feet. And the best part? In two to three months, he'll need a new pair. Let me tell you, for that next pair, my little Doodles precious tootsies will be going into Payless shoes. Forty bucks. Sheesh!

And what do $40 get us? Something that Doodles tries his best to get off his feet as fast as he can.

Wednesday, August 4

Yup, That's Us

A Sick Little Cow

Doodles was sick last week. A fever and a sore throat. The doctor diagnosed him with coxsackie virus (which I don't think it was because he never got the blisters and healed really quickly), better known as hand, foot, mouth disease. Much to my disappointment, it has nothing to do with hoof and mouth disease. But he was still my sick little cow.

A Not-So Bare Bear Butt

bear butt

A World in Crisis

The world is a cruel place. And I know that as a mother I now need to learn how to help my child through some of life's rougher moments. The Boston Globe understands this, and to help beleaguered parents, there was a front page story on Monday on how to deal with the newest, harshest loss that has come to pass. They consulted with a child psychologist so that good parents everywhere can guide their young ones:
"Rather than saying this is the way things go and there will be someone else, say, 'I see you're upset. I know this is upsetting. Do you want to talk about it? Because I'm upset, too,'" [Dr. Carolyn Newberger, a Brookline child psychologist] said....

"The reality is awful," she said. "But this is a reality that will help the children understand a little more how the world works."

I hope that you will show the same sensitivity, the same kindness, the same empathy in talking to your children about this very important issue. Because with everything going on in the world today, everyone knows that what really is hurting children today is ... the freakin' trade of Nomar to the Cubs!

Ohmygod, people, get over yourselves!!! Front page coverage? Child psychologists? Of course, as the Globe reports, "Garciaparra's trade to the Chicago Cubs arguably has been hardest on his youngest fans -- 5-, 6-, and 7-year-olds -- who don't understand contract disputes, free agency, or soured employer-employee relationships."

Look, I love my husband and I support him completely in his passions, but puh-lease! If these kids want to be Red Sox fans they're going to have to learn to deal with heartache and disappointment! If the parents were truly smart, they'd say, "Toughen up, sweetie. Welcome to the fellowship of the miserable." Welcome to the real world, kid. Life sucks, and then the Yankees win.

No Good Reads Here

I'm normally loathe to clean out my books, but they're multiplying at too rapid a pace to keep up with. And, I have to face it, I own a lot of crap. So any book that I'm not going to read again, don't think is good enough to lend out, or that I'll honestly never read has to go. Out of the hundreds of books I own, I could find about seven to get rid of. Not the most thorough of cleanings. I can't help it. I just find I become attached to books. I was able to get rid of the Kathy Acker books I have because an ex-boyfriend raved about them. I'll never get through them. And I now have a suspicious hunch he never read them either but thought it was cool to be po-mo. That boyfriend is gone, and now so are my Kathy Acker books. I also own a lot of books I haven't read from my Amazon days. A magical shelf lived in a corner of editorial called the free shelf. When editors were done with their review copies, they migrated to this shelf for the rest of us to pick over. Oh how I miss the free shelf.

With the exception of the Acker books, the books are certified trash in that it's not even worth it to sell them used on Amazon. For instance, there's Amy and Isabelle : A novel by Elizabeth Strout, which I bought for a book club. It's selling for a penny. This was a horrendous book I wouldn't inflict on friends so into the donation pile it goes. Along with other winners such as Honeymoon: A Novel by Amy Jenkins, selling for 34 cents, which seemed like it would be a better read when I picked it off Brookline Booksmith's remainders table (their remainders are usually so good!); After Life by Rhian Ellis selling for a penny, another book club book; and Amanda's Wedding: A Novel by Jenny Colgan, going for 78 cents, which I came from the free shelf. If only I had a free shelf now to put these back on. Maybe one of these days I'll make an actual dent in my cleaning out. Then again, maybe not.

Negative Options

I got a letter from Citicards saying my card was being upgraded to whatever it is they upgrade you to. I wasn't to do anything; they'll just send me my new card. However, it required getting a new account, which I didn't want to do. So I called to decline the new card.

"That's fine," the customer service rep said, "but this card has a negative option, meaning if you don't take the new card, we'll close your account when your card expires."

"Okay," I said.

The rep seemed surprised. "You understand that we'll cancel your account?"

"I understand that," I said.

"If you don't accept the new card," she repeated, "when you're card expires, your account will be closed."

"That's fine," I said.

"May I ask why?"

"My card doesn't expire for another two years. So I can keep my account number for two years. And if you really think that within the next two years, Citibank isn't going to send me at least 110 offers to upgrade/change/modify my account, then you haven't been working for Citibank for very long. Like Citibank is going to let a customer escape."

Negative option my... Well, I was going to write "my a*ss," but I'm trying to clean things up for the wee one, so I'll just write, Negative option, my tushie. These companies and their little machinations are just annoying.