Thursday, August 30, 2007


I interrupt my "me me me" to bring you some "Dash Dash Dash."

A switch or something has been flipped in Dash's leetle melon recently and there's been this eruption of cognition that is astounding us with some regularity.

He used to respond to hugs by just kinda holding still and waiting to be let go. Starting two nights ago, you say "hug" and he opens his little arms as wide as they go and folds you into an embrace. Listen: until you have been made to fit into the arms of a one-year-old you haven't lived.

We have a book of safari animals and their corresponding sounds (you push the colored button that matches the page and hear the sound that animal makes). He learned pretty quickly the names and sounds of about four of the animals, and that was certainly enough for me to get on the phone to Mensa. But last night, when we got to the page with the chimp that he always called "monkey," and that I always called "good enough," he said "chimp." Chimp! How? Then we turned the page, he said "el-e-tant," so I passed out.

He can say what he wants, then he can go and get it. He can pull his socks off (which might seem less than amazing but we've been working on this for many months). He can eat spaghetti with a fork (it's not pretty, but it happens).

Things seemed to slow down a bit over the summer. Words were learned and inches were acquired, but it all happened at a pace that was more of a mosey than a sprint. He's sprinting now. I hope I can keep up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

25 Days, 5

I have been obsessed with the idea of an honest-to-goodness family vacation since before I even became pregnant. The whole packing up the wagon and playing I Spy and stopping at truckstop diners appeals to every part of me as a parent and as a human. So, despite some pretty serious terror about TWO WHOLE NIGHTS AWAY FROM HOME WITH A ONE-YEAR-OLD, we're pulling the trigger on our first family vacation to a small town a few hours north of us.

But almost more importantly, I get to make a list. I love lists the way only a fellow-compulsive can understand. I've been (and I should be ashamed but I'm not) Googling "family+vacation+packing+checklists" for ideas about making a better list. When I have a spare moment at the office I daydream about how I will group Dash's toys, and which bags will go in the trunk vs. up front with me. I have written out a separate list of what snacks we'll pack in the cooler.

We don't leave for Cambria until Saturday morning, but my vacation started a week ago, when I started making lists.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

25 Days, 4

We recently inherited some shelves for our office/playroom from Josh's parents. They were built-in to their office, so they aren't a perfect fit here. Mainly, there was one side that fit against their wall so was left unfinished. Here, there are about three feet between where the shelves end and the window seat begins. I thought that three feet could make a lovely reading nook for Smalls (in like, what, 3 years? when do they read?), but I hated the look of bare particleboard.

So lookit what I did:

I cut down some cork tiles to fit and adhered them with foam stickers and upholstery studs. Then I tacked ribbons onto the center of each tile and hung Dash's art from clothespins on each ribbon. Later, when he can be trusted, Dash can use thumbtacks to tack up whatever he pleases. Whole shebang cost less than $30 and took 2 hours, tops.

25 Days, 3

I buy ridiculous things. They bring me more than a reasonable amount of pleasure. I know that I am blessed to have a husband who allows me not only to own these things, but to keep them on display.

25 Days, 2

The first thing we do every single morning is make the bed. I think it's nice to greet the day with a small gesture of order. Except on Sundays. Sunday is don't-make-the-bed-day. It's a little, silly thing we do to pretend we're not quite grown-ups. And I think it'll be a nice Sunday tradition for Dash when he gets older and, you know, owns a bed and bedding and stuff.

Oh my God, though, I hate it so much. Walking into the bedroom on Sunday, I never fail to be jarred by the sight of pillows everywhere, the quilt rumpled at the foot of the bed. I honestly just try to stay out of there as much as I can.

The only exception to the Sunday rule is if we're expecting company. Anyone. My best friend, my mother, the babysitter. I don't discriminate. If you're not a resident and you're coming over, the bed will be made in your honor and I will silently thank you and enjoy your visit just a mite extra because you permitted me to make the bed on a Sunday.

25 Days, 1

It's easy, as a working parent, to get bogged down in the details of keeping the train on the tracks. It becomes increasingly simple to stop paying attention to the small joys that fill every day and only see the to-do list. So I will use the next 25 posts to acknowledge where I get my pleasure.

Before we had Dash I was fairly religious about pedicures. Nothing fancy, but about every two weeks I would head into a nearby nail salon and get a $12 pedi.

So then, you know what happens. I run out of time and steam and money and the last thing that occurs to me is to have my toenails painted. That $12 is almost enough for a pack of diapers or a board book. But, you know, even though I'm a mommy I'm still a girl. So every now and again I'll find myself home alone, the laundry washed and folded and put away. The dishes done and the floors mopped. Every object in the house has been dusted and every bill paid. No reason not to pull out the old
polish bucket and get working on whoring up the old toes.

(what I lack in skill I make up for with enthusiasm and pumice)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summer '07

Just as we're starting to find our Summer rhythm I can feel it winding down. Wisps of Fall's scent blow by and the sky is changing color. But we still have a few weeks left for this:

going in


endlessly fascinating hose




I always tell Josh that one of the things I'm proudest of as a homemaker is that visitors can drop by unannounced at any time of day or night and never guess by looking that we even have a child*:


rally monkey

mansie's chair





*in Oppositeland

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Big v. Little

So I'm ordering an organic cotton mattress liner on Target's website yesterday and they have a "buy two baby gear items and get free shipping" deal and I am, after all, a Jew, so I figure, what the hell? I'm sure there's something else I can use here. It didn't hit me until half an hour later what I had done. I had ordered this thing:

However: I DO NOT WANT. I am not ready to start this. Despite the fact that I am almost not strong enough to restrain him on the changing table when he really puts his back into the fight. Despite the fact that this thing holds the promise of my never having to leave a restaurant to change a diaper in the front seat of my car. Despite the fact that there could be a time in the future when I don't have to touch human feces on a daily basis. Despite all of those things, I DO NOT WANT.

It's not that I want to keep him a baby. I honestly do delight in watching him develop into a little man. Every new thing learned fills me with glee and is noted for proud reports to Godmother and Grandparents. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too eager to see him grow. A little too excited to share with him trips to Disneyland and family vacations. I have plotted out in my head the garden that we will plant together, and have started collecting chocolate chip cookie recipes so we can, one day, spill flour all over the kitchen. I almost can't wait for him to get just a teeny bit bigger so we can really get started on the business of having a good time. So it's not that I want to keep him a baby. It really isn't.

But there are some things I'm not ready to give up yet. I am not ready to give up diaper changes. Or shoe tying. Or the crib. Or the calling everything "apple" so each item in the fridge must be pulled out and presented until we get to yes. Those are the things that make me Mommy and not Mom. The things that mean that I am the love of his life and not the pain in the ass he must negotiate in order to break curfew.

So, when the big, red, plastic loo arrives I'll just throw it in the trash. Call it the shipping charge for the other thing.

Q & A

Q: Did you have fun at school today?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Did you play with Nathan & Nikki?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Did you see bigfoot?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Did you climb Mount Everest?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Do you know pi to 36 places?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Are you best friends with the Queen of England?
A: Yeeaaah

Q: Are you ready to make a nonnie*?
A: No!