Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mama's Boy

Mick said his first word - MAMA. I couldn't be happier. For the girls, mama was way down the list of early words. I had to wait until Sarah was 18 months. She said dog before mama - we don't even own a dog. It turns out, I am "top dog" for Mick - mama is definitely his first word.

As great as hearing his first word - the back story is even better. For weeks the girls have called me mama instead of mommy. We live in the South - I didn't think much of it. A few days ago, I asked Jaley why mama instead of mommy. She said, "it's a secret, but I'm going to tell you anyhow." Jaley then explained that Sarah wanted Mick to learn mama. Sarah felt the best way to teach Mick was by example. In a secret pack together, Sarah and Jaley started calling me mama to teach Mick. Not only did their plan work, I never caught on. Don't tell Jaley and Sarah that I know their secret, but that story was just too kind and sweet not to share. It is the kind of thing that assures me I have the best kids in the world.

Mick wasn't the only one getting educated this week. Sarah and I are back to school. Sarah is a big-kid first grader now. She is had a great start to the new year and loves her new teacher. I had a chance to meet Mrs. Burr last week. I agree with Sarah, she seems great.

After two semesters of a 45 minute commute, terrible parking, and an early start, I am very much enjoying my online class. It is go at your own pace and I work right from home. I could definitely get used to this online school thing - though this is a one time deal. The rest of my classes will be hands on - which is definitely a good thing for nursing.

With summer winding down, we are trying to get in the last of our playtime. We went to the beach last weekend. It was a great time thanks to the Olivas, our terrific hosts. We even caught a few crabs from the docks. For Labor Day, we are off to the mountains. Simply stated, things are pretty darn good around here.

That is life stroller lane.

Monday, August 16, 2010

11-Months Old

Mick turned 11 months yesterday. He is in the final days of his first year. I can't believe it. As his days of being a baby wind down, he is on a mission to prove he is fully ready for the toddler stage.
  • Walking - Check - Mastered that this month, though he really hates wearing shoes and prefers to be barefoot (which is no problem with the record heat this year).
  • Climbing - Check - The stairs are his personal favorite - anything with an riser, step, or incline is fine. As the mom, I'm trying to have him avoid this one.
  • Trouble - Check - Mick gets to everything and does it fast. His preference is for all things dirty, disgusting or dangerous. He tends to ignore all the soft, safe toys which I (of course) prefer.
  • Temper - Check - Just try to take anything away from him and you can see this first hand. His temper is proof of those Irish & Italian roots.
All systems for toddlerhood are a Go. All Mick needs to make it official is his first birthday. If this month goes as fast as the past 11 - that will be in the blink of an eye.

That is life in the stroller lane.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Momnesia (mom-nee-zhuh) - noun: Mothers who forget child and baby stages between the rearing of subsequent children.
I am definitely suffering from some serious Momnesia. Jaley is only four. Since her transition from baby to toddler to child, I have completely forgotten about all sorts of details and idiosyncrasies about raising little ones. For example, I completely forget:
  • How hard it is to change a toddler's diaper. Mick squirms, kicks, and tries to reach right into his dirty diaper to help.
  • How messy dinner time can be. One piece in Mick's mouth, one piece on his shirt (the bib never catches anything), one piece on the floor. The cats scrounge around for snacks, but I still have to sweep the kitchen 5 times a day.
  • How fast a toddler can get into trouble. Just one moment with my back turned and Mick dumped the entire garbage can on the floor. How he ever got it out of the cabinet and lifted it out of its holder - I'll never know.
  • How difficult it is to figure out just what a toddler wants. Mick has a definite opinion on what he wants. With a vocabulary of zero words, I'm forever trying to guess just what that want is. At least, we are getting better with the non-verbal clues. When he is thirsty he goes to the cabinet and pulls out ALL the bottles. Next, he tries and drink out of them. Then, I know it's time for some formula (since, I happily gave up breast feeding a couple of months ago).
I know lots of other moms suffer from this syndrome as well. I'll mention things about Mick to friends with older kids and I see that look on their face. That look that says "oh yes, now, I remember that stage." That look that says, "oh I had forgotten all about that, and boy am I glad that stage is over."

Moms may not actively admit that they forget things about their children. In fact, we pride ourselves on remembering every detail. It turns out, Momneesia is selective. We mommies remember all the good stuff - every kiss, hug, and cuddle. Instead, Momneesia only strikes on the challenging parts. And in the long-run, it may not matter if we forget that stuff.

That is life in the stroller lane.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Teething - Stage 2

All my recent teething stories have been about Mick. As you know teething is a two-step process. Sarah officially entered Stage 2. She lost her first baby tooth this week. It happened at camp during lunch. The fateful tooth was consumed along with her peanut butter sandwich.

Good News! The Tooth Fairy pays up even if the tooth is lost. I had no desire to search for that tooth upon its exit. I have enough dealings with stinky messes via Mick's dirty diapers!

It has been a busy and fun-filled week. Scott returned with wonderful tales from St. Lucia. Emily's wedding was wonderful. Sarah was at a YMCA camp this week while I finished up classes. They hosted a family fitness fun night complete with obstacle courses and a fun "triathlon." The family ran, biked, and finished with a ride down the water slide. We were soaking wet and had lots of fun. Next up was Jaley's birthday party. Our Friday night was hopping good fun at Jump Zone.

It is a good thing that there was lots of fun, because life got a little less playful. Mick is sick with some type of nasty stomach virus. All he has had for the past three days is saltines, apple sauce, and apple juice. Rumor at the day care is to expect a week of this - yuck!

Scott is missing all the germs. He left yesterday for China. He is in China for 5 days (plus 3 days of travel) going to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and another city I can't pronounce. No Great Wall or Forbidden City for him - just airports, hotels, and customer visits. He called a few minutes ago to let me know he had arrived. He asked just one question - Gucci or Coach? Apparently you can get knock-offs at the airport. If I'm lucky, he will arrive home with a "Couch" purse. My gift for solo parenting most of the past month.

That is life in the stroller lane.