Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm going to have a daughter.

 You.. are.. a.. GIRL. And I am still in shock. I mean, I knew the odds - 50/50. But in my mind, I was 100% mentally prepared for a boy. In my gut, however, I knew you were a girl. From the very beginning, it was this very strong, scary, intuition. Which, I know, sounds sort of ridiculous, given the equal odds - but it was truly a gut feeling. One that I didn't like to admit out loud, because.. I don't know why. Because I didn't want to jinx things? Not, of course, that a precious little boy would be less favorable, but because the thought of a girl just kind of made me giddy. For all the reasons that they do make us giddy.

At the ultrasound appointment, I was pretty wound up. I hadn't had time to really get nervous, up until that long endless wait in the waiting room. In doctors waiting rooms, I typically like to power through as many celebrity gossip magazines as possible, but that day, I just stared. At the walls, the chairs.. who even knows. My mind was going at warp speed at how very much our lives were about to change. The endless differences between a boy and girl, our futures, the planning.. everything. We were (FINALLY) called back and the ultrasound began. She told us, after measuring different things, that all looked right on target. Praise the LORD, for this was most certainly the main source of my nauesous anticipation. All looked perfect, and that was music to my ears. At that point, my adrenaline kicked in and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I literally put my hand on my chest to feel it, it was beating that hard and fast. She pointed to 'the goods' - and said that we were looking at a little girl. And my rapidly beating heart went to my throat, and my eyes watered, and I looked at Pablo in complete shock and grabbed his hand and held on for dear life. Minutes later, I finally let go and only then realized how hard I was squeezing it. Sorry! I was/am in shock.

Afterward, we went out to lunch, and just looked at each other with these stupid grins, and would say 'A lot!' - referring to how much our lives just changed. We know it's still a baby. She will still require endless diaper changes and there will still be endless sleepless nights. Still the same 'first's - smiles, clapping, words, food, tantrums, dancing...  But. She will be OUR DAUGHTER. We have never been the parents of a GIRL. I know this all sounds so dumb, as if we are the first people to ever have a girl - but this is the first girl, to us, and we are still a little bit awed by that prospect.

After lunch, we went (where do you think??!) girl! clothes! shopping!!!! It was just so darn fun. The market for baby clothes has definitely given the girls-side the edge. There's so much out there. Every cute outfit Pablo saw, he would hold up to show me, practically squealing over the immense cuteness. I still used some store-coupons, and only bought what was on sale. But still. He's going to need a raise and a promotion, and soon.

And this post is delayed because we wanted to wait to tell immediate family all in one room, on Christmas morning. We thought that us finding out 9 days prior to Christmas was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. BOY was I stupid. It has taken all the strength I possess to not blow this little secret, with just about everyone I know. At least people I don't know have been getting the good news, without them even asking (and caring, probably!). Neighbors we hardly speak with.. retail store employees.. hairdressers.. oh yes, they all have heard the news, because I HAVE to tell someone. I have literally dreamt almost every night of standing on a rooftop, or somesuch other tall building, and screaming 'We're Having A GIIIIIRL!'.

So, internets, WE'RE HAVING A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First letter to you

Tomorrow we have our big 20 week ultrasound, that's main purpose is a full anatomy once-over, detecting all the potential scary things it can. That's my technical description at least. A cherry on top is a peek betweem the legs, and we find out girl or boy! Entire wedding or rehearsal dinner! I can't say that I am not worried about this ultrasound, simply because of the many many things they could tell me is wrong, but I think I'll choose to focus on how excited I am to find out if you are a little lady or a little man. And since I don't yet know, I wanted to cover both bases, writing to you from both perspectives.

If you are a boy, I hope:
~that you are an excellent little brother to Andrew. He is not the kind of kid who would push you back down, if you picked a fight with him, so in some ways I do hope you end up teaching him a healthy sense of self-defense. But more than that, I hope you go easy on him.
~that you enjoy second-hand clothes, because kid, that's just about all you'll get if you are a boy! And why not, when there are a dozen storage bins full of baby boy clothes just waiting for you. I promise they're all pretty damn cute. And your bro was/is not the type to go digging for diamonds in the yard, so they're in pristine condition!
~that you go easy on me. People have said that I'll be getting a polar opposite of Andrew, and that terrifies me because Andrew is a pretty chill little dude. I think raising a couch-diver could bring me some hard-earned life experience, but really, I am as scared of head injury as the next mom.

~that you potty-train at a reasonable age. It's rumored that girls are much easier to train than boys, and I completely lucked out with Andrew, so my hope is that you go just as smoothly. Don't worry, I've dealt with endless poop-filled underwear episodes, I have a very tough stomach by now.
~that you catch on quickly that I am not a mom who is ok with touching reptiles or insects. Sure, if it's you & dad flying solo, go to town! But when it's just me, as it often will be, there will be much distraction and redirection.
~that years from now, you don't ever spend too much time investing in a romantic relationship with someone who doesn't treat you right. Life is just too short.
~that even though 99% of people I know are telling me they are hoping it's a girl, because that's apparently just what you do when someone already has one boy, you are exactly what I prayed for. 

If you are a girl, I hope:
~that you are an excellent little sister to Andrew. As sassy as you might turn out (genetics), I hope that you remember that he's your only big brother and that he loves you very much. Don't verbally abuse him too much, he's a sensitive soul.
~that you try to remember, when you are a teen, that I BIRTHED YOU. Don't forget the 10 months (plus years of getting back to square one) of sacrificing my body (and mind), either. I know you will inevitably hate me, for no other reason than I am your mother, but I pray that you remember this time, before you were born!
~that we can someday be best friends. I had that bond with my mother, and as complicated as it was on some days, it was something so amazing I can't even describe it. If I told someone I wanted a girl, it's not because of the outfits and bows, it's because of the potential for this relationship someday.
~that you try to rise above the girl-drama of your later years. There will be many many girls who try to bring you down and make you feel less-than, and I urge you to go the other way.
~that you understand that as of right now, I have no clue how to dress a little girl. I see baby girl leggings sold, but I have no idea what the purpose of them is. As a pants replacement? No clue. We can learn all this together. It'll be ok.
~that you know right now, your first car will not, under any circumstances, be a mini-van.
~that you try your hardest to not get caught up in the food/weight obsession. I hope you enjoy good food and enjoy a good sweat, don't hold yourself up to any standard but your own.
~that you treat boys kindly, when you start dating. I wasn't always so great at this, but I never had a brother for a different kind of male perspective either, so I hope you can use yours to better yourself.
~that, if you are ever treated poorly by a boy, you remember that they're like buses. A new one every 10 minutes or so. And please don't misinterpret that. 
~that you know that, even though the thought of a girl actually kind of petrifies me a little, for complicated-girl-reasons, you are exactly what I prayed for.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

32 months

Today you are 32 months old. Yeah, that's right. No half-month posting today! Who's unnaturally on the ball... ME! Woo!
So many things..  good AND bad. Let's get the bad out of the way first, shall we? I say bad, but it's more like par for the course stage of toddler development. Annoying and highly frustrating. But not bad.  It's your mouth, child! Hoooo boy, do you have a mouth on you. I have no idea where you get that, as I am sure that I, for one, almost never smarted off or tested my parents' patience levels to the point of insanity. I certainly wasn't known for this quality. So, it's anyone's guess. Your propensity for the word NO is becoming more and more.. disturbing. You have no remorse whatsoever as you look me straight in the eye and tell it to me, when I ask you to do something - usually mundane, like put your shoes up, please. And when I respond with 'we don't talk to mommy that way' - your response is 99% of the time: 'yes, we do.' Cue the time-out chair. There is counting..  and when the counting stops (usually when a normal child is eager to be finished with time-out) you bellow from the chair 'keep counting!' The act of me choosing to do something (stop counting), prompts you to make an opposite response to my decision. I am growing leery of what older, wiser mothers have been known to say - that the terrible twos are nothing compared to the horrendous threes. I am beyond grateful for your advanced vocabulary - but I also know this will be your undoing. It should be an interesting next few years, to say the least!
You are very testy when it comes to sharing the spotlight when both your father and I are together. If I have something I want to tell him, in your presence, you will usually find some way to make yourself be heard - yelling or otherwise. We have had to teach you that when one of us is talking to the other, that you are to be patient and let us talk til we are done. This goes well maybe 40% of the time. And when it does, and you are a sweet patient quiet boy, you look at us the SECOND we wrap our conversation and say 'thank you for being so quiet.....' SO desperate for praise! Related to this need to intervene, is how you really keep me in check with my tone of voice, concerning your father. If I am trying to get a point across in a harsh tone, you will YELL at me - 'mommy, don't talk like that!' - Thanks son, now I try to save my harsh tone for when you are not around! ;)
This sharing of the spotlight thing is surely going to come into play in the spring-time, when you welcome your forever-spotlight-stealing little sibling! I'll certainly be able to empathize with you, but it'll be your new life as you know it.
You are very much into counting. Counting items, anywhere, and counting out loud before you start something. You'll perch yourself on your little indoor-scooter we have, and say 'ok mommy, I'm gonna count to three, then I'm gonna ride my scooter! ok?? ok? one.. two.. three!!' You are so into counting, that you countdown to count. That's right, you say 'I'm gonna count to five, then I'm gonna count these beads!!' - and you count out loud, before you.. count. You love to put up 1 finger on each hand and proudly say 'how many is this?' and you count your fingers to total two - and you smile like a crazy little genius. You count before I flush the toilet in public restrooms. You count cars as they pass by out front. You count rocks and sticks. You count planes as they fly by.
You crack us up with the random things you say sometimes. You went through a short phase (a few weeks) of totally randomly saying (as you pointed at us) 'mommy! you have a nipple! daddy! you have a nipple!' Strange, but funny. Or very emphatically saying 'oh mommy, you're so handsome!' You cracked yourself up over that one. And when you see a car back up in the middle of the road (doing a two point turn or something) - you will yell at it 'what is that car doing???!' laughing maniacally.
You have a definite sense of good and bad.. scary and not scary. There's very little gray in your world right now. You make bold statements of 'spiders are not good.. doodlebug are good.. ants are not good.. butterflies are good though' (*I think this stems from what you have seen me 'take care of' -kill- and what you haven't!) When your father does his dinosaur impression, which you used to love but are now scared of, you'll say that dinosaurs are not good - but monkeys are okay. You somehow picked up the word 'excellent' -so that is usually what you say now instead of good - things are either excellent or NOT excellent.
Preschool is wonderful. And not just for the time it gives me while you are there! You have made some great friends, which you talk about all the time, and you now love to do crafts and color. You sing songs out of the blue that we've never heard of, that you apparently sing at school. One of which you call 'the bible song' - and goes to the tune of 'the bible book is a gift God made me'... you repeat this line over and over. You started singing the days of the week song, which I certainly never taught you. You sing the clean-up song, which helps immensely. And one day, you told me it was November. I just looked at you, stunned. But you are used to this.
Halloween went very very well. About a trillion times better than last year, the year of the Mad Cow. Your costume was very airy and comfortable - and it represented something you were obsessed with. You got candy, something you really didn't know existed last year (and sadly, are very aware of this year!). It was a success all around.

You tell us stories now. We've been telling you stories for so long, we decided to kick back and have you attempt the story-telling. You come up with some great (and very random) plots. Always starting with 'once upon a time' and usually involving an elephant named Lulu and a dust storm and something getting splashed by a lake. You do some pretty cute hand gestures along the way, too. You raise your hand towards the sky, in increments, to convey how big something is. And the pitch of your voice gets pretty darn high, too - the more excited you make yourself.
I think you are known as the welcome-wagon on our street. No car passes by without you stopping to give it your full attention, as you wave to it. When it's passed on by, you'll turn to me and either tell me that they didn't wave or 'didja see that??! they waved!'. I've noticed quite a few cars that pass by daily around the same time, that wave to you way sooner than you do to them, as they are very used to seeing your smiling face and anticipating your friendliness.If people are on foot. you'll wave til I think your arm is going to fall off, not calling out to them. I had to teach you to say something like hello, very loudly, if they don't see you - but I've had to witness maaany way-too-cool teenagers in our neighborhood give you the cold shoulder. Five feet away. And this makes me want to say very bad things to them. I am pretty surprised I haven't, given my level of pregnancy hormones.
Summing up this novel of a post, you do something everyday that blows my mind - in awe at your sheer brilliance and sometimes in awe at your advanced manipulation skills. Either way, I am one lucky momma. Thank you for every day. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Littlest Lopez

Check the pickle baggy.
Yes, I am pregnant! I feel very very blessed and very very tired! It's already begun though - the balancing game. I want to write so many cute things my toddler-child is doing lately, but I want to devote some special time to talk about my.. uterine-child, too! I am 11 weeks (almost), and thus far NO belly pics have been taken. But I hope to sometime soon, when it looks like a belly bump and not just eye-popping bloat. See, I documented every week with pregnancy #1 with a bare-belly pic. That ain't gonna happen this time around. I don't care how much weight you lose after having a baby, your body will NEVER look as good as it does pre-pregnancy. Same holds true for your bank account and your living room. And the inside of your car, while we're at it. 
I suppose I should explain the pickle baggy, right? 
I wanted to tell Pablo in a special way - not just holding up the pee stick and squealing, though that would have been my preferred way, as it requires such little effort! But no, my sometimes-high-maintenance husband told me well in advance that it BETTER! BE! SPECIAL! So, on Friday morning (Aug 27), I took the test and there it was! The two lines... then the digital one with the life-altering word on it: pregnant. He was about to leave for work, and I really hadn't planned anything in advance...... so I took a ziploc containing a large heinous pickle that he sometimes buys from Home Depot (the vendors outside the doors) and wrote I'm Pregnant on it. Then, when he came in the kitchen I said (something I have said many many times before) that his pickle looked revolting and maybe he should think about throwing it away, to which he screamed at me in a very normal-for-him high pitched tone, 'you better not throw my pickle away!'.. and I told him to check it out anyways.. so he did. And the immediately saw it and went a little pale and ran to me..  there was much hugging.. maybe something got in his eye, too. He was very very surprised (though, he shouldn't have been, if ya know what I'm sayin') and very overjoyed.

This time around has been QUITE different, in many ways....  
I haven't been even remotely as nauseated as I was with Andrew. I have a few theories about this: *I have toughened up. Pre-Andrew, I could not be in the same room as a vomiter (and I had never been vomited ON pre-child), much less handled poop-situations, snot on my person, boogers, other various bodily fluids, and spaghetti nights. I am now completely unaffected by them, and maybe this lends to an overall more 'toughness'. Maybe? I sometimes gag over certain things, and I honestly think to myself that whatever it was that made me just gag would have CERTAINLY made me vomit with my first pregnancy. See, I've gotten tough! *I haven't the time for leisurely vomit sessions. Yeah, sure, I could vomit at will during nap-times, but I have much more fun and relaxing things to do during that time. *Maybe I am having a... girl??! God help me. But maybe there's an ounce of truth to how your body handles babies of differing genders. *And more rationally speaking, it's simply the old 'every baby and every pregnancy is different.' Not much else to say than that!
I am still absolutely exhausted. THAT has not changed from pregnancy to pregnancy. It's amazing to me how your body goes into overdrive with pregnancies and literally FORCES you to slow down and give it the rest it needs. Unfortunately, this time around, uhhh... HAHAHA! Rest and toddlers just don't go together. So, thank the Lord for preschool days. And even on those days I am usually running around getting things done or meeting friends, so I am still exhausted when I pick him up from preschool. Oh, how I envy the days of my first pregnancy, when weekends meant nonstop lounging and general sloth-like behavior. Those days are so long over.
The amount that people ask and care about how you are doing goes waaaay down with subsequent pregnancies. I suppose they figure that I know what I am doing now, or the novelty has just completely worn off. And yeah, this also applies to spouses. The pedestal I was on with my first pregnancy was a mile or two higher than where I sit now! There was a fair amount of just awed basking in how I was growing life at that very moment in time - now it's more like "can you go wipe his butt please while I back the car out and don't forget to refill his water and give him ice if he wants some and make sure we locked the back door and hurry up cuz we're already late!!"...  Life now affords no time for basking.
I have food aversions, just like last time. Though, I can't really remember what I loathed last time.. it's a great many things this time around! I have no taste for sweet things - no ice cream or cake, which is quite the blessing in disguise, no? I really don't have much taste for anything - I just want to fill my belly when it calls for it. Maybe I'll enjoy food in a few months.Perhaps a little too much.

To sum up - I am so so so excited to expand our family. I am beyond words thrilled to give Andrew the lifelong gift of a sibling. I know what a gift it is, because I have my sister who I love so much and can't imagine life without. I know there will be hair pulling and pinching and much squabling, but I know we'll get through all that. May take years, sure!, but I know Andrew will someday be as grateful as I am for a lifelong best friend. I am so thrilled to be able to give them both a live-in playmate and someone to share all their life with.

Friday, October 1, 2010

30.5 months

Oh man. It's been a while! So much happens every day that it would take up way too much time I do not have to stop and write it all down. As usual, I'll be winging it.
You really really love music these days. And your 'favorite song' changes weekly... and it's always up to me/us to know what your current 'favorite' is - because that is how you request it. PLAY MY FAVORITE! Right now, it's a song from a random cd your cool Aunt Kelly burned. Not at all a toddler song - but you dig the beat. It eventually morphs into a slow version of the song, and you are convinced that the song it OVER at this point and you always belt out 'start it over!!' and I sometimes say that it's still your favorite song, and you say NO it's not! Who's dumb enough to argue with a 2 year old anyways? This lady.
You thoroughly enjoy our evening routine of doing Rock Band with daddy, after playing outside after dinner. You get cozy on the couch and you request your fave Beatles songs - lately it's a rotation of 3 or 4: Buy me some love (Can't buy me love), In my life, Paperback Writer, and Yellow Submarine. I usually give you a pre-bedtime snack while you bop and sing (while daddy plays the guitar or drums), and if I happen to forget, you scream across the house to me (where I am usually relaxing for a rare 15 minutes) - Mommy! being me my snack pleeeease!
You currently LOVE pumpkins. Which is quite timely, given the season we are entering. You love reading this one book I had for you last year, a home-made (etsy) book about carving pumpkins, and you absolutely love the page that says VOILA! A pumpkin face! You go around saying voila all day now. And you flip whenever we see a pumpkin out and about. We plan to take you to the pumpkin patch this month, so it's safe to say your mind will be sufficiently blown then.
Speaking of fall, I ordered your Halloween costume the other day. You will be a UPS delivery-man. You live for the UPS trucks (and yes, FedEx too), so I thought this was an appropriate costume this year. But mostly, the ensemble looks comfortable, which is paramount considering our costume debacles last year. Your cow costume quickly became a Mad Cow costume, as you were not so pleased with how itchy and uncomfortable it was. Considering how highly..communicative you are and how your rages this year put last years' fits to shame, we went with comfort this time around!
We sometimes call you The Puppetmaster. This stems from your very typical toddler way of bossing us around. If a song is playing, you'll point to me and say Dance Mommy! then point to your father and say Now you dance Daddy! And just general bossiness. It's something we have to work on though, how rarely you say PLEASE right off the bat. You say it instnatly when prompted in the slightest (and very sweetly, too), but it's rare that you say it the first time around.
Preschool has been going very well. I come to pick you up right after you're woken up from your nap there, and (just like at home) you're always pretty zonked. Trying to get any details of your day is pointless because all you want to do is NOT TALK and get home. I always end up getting bits & pieces of details as the day goes on (and the days to follow). It's interesting sometimes..  I learned the last name of one of your fave friends today - you said Jaden Edwards in conversation, and then I asked you what your other friend, Dylan's, last name was... and you pondered this for a few seconds and went 'pizza!!' and you had a good chuckle about that. Silly.
You love to go look at yourself in the bathroom mirror (using a little stool we have), when you know you look funny. Specifically, when you're taking your shirt off and it gets stuck over your huge head, so it looks like a shirt-turban. You could stare and giggle and make faces at yourself in the mirror for half an hour if I let you. 
I find myself lately basking in your cuteness and toddlerhood, when I can. If we're sitting and reading together, I'll burrow my head in your thick hair and just take big whiffs... which yes, makes me sound slightly crazy, but it's just getting so ridiculous, how fast you're growing. Every damn day you do or say something that reminds me how you're on a quick path to being a BIG! KID! and it's pretty emotional for me. I am so fully aware that I will never get these days back with you, and I hope and pray that I am giving you the best toddlerhood I can, because you will never get these days back either. I hope I'm giving you as much love and memories as you are giving me. Sweets!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

first day of preschool

Yesterday (Tues) was your very first day of preschool. It was a surreal day for me, one that lived in the farthest corner of my mind, I knew the day would come.. but really, I never truly believed it would. I thought you'd stay some form of baby for all time, and leaving you with strangers and other kids who might bite or steal your toys would never be a worry! HA!
Your preschool happens to be the church we go to weekly (most of the time), so you were 100% used to the classroom and all the things in it. You had a meet-the-teacher last week, and you seemed to really dig your teachers, one in particular, who was the younger of the two ladies. This might be your first crush.
So, yesterday morning, we go about our morning as usual, and I don't say too much about it being your first day of preschool - because if I have learned one thing about you (and toddlers all round the world), it's that they are UNPREDICTABLE. As sure as you are wanting to endlessly discuss the joys of preschool one minute, you will show fiery hatred towards the thought of it the next. So I didn't even chance it! At one point you said 'mmmm... don't wanna go to preschool, wanna stay home instead'... and I actively ignored that statement altogether!
I took some pics of you about 30 minutes before we left, as I didn't want to wait til right before we left - lest I piss you off with endless picture taking. It was pouring rain outside, so we couldn't do any cute outdoor pictures. The damp garage had to do. Your backpack and lunchbag just happened to beautifully coordinate with your first-day outfit. I didn't even plan that! And yes yes, your hair is sticking straight up. But this is it's WAY. And fighting it is futile. We're in an in-between stage of growing out the top so it will lay more flat, so in the meantime, I take passive-aggressive comments from other mothers about the importance of haircuts and just smile.
We left and got there early (surprise surprise) and you lounged in the church couches and chairs for a while. One of our friends came, and I chatted with them, then it was time to sign in..  so we went over, and you were SO impatient to go in. It wasn't quite time yet, but you kept asking me 'wanna go in the room!'...  Eventually it was time, and I dropped your lunchbag/nap mat/backpack off in your own little laundry baskets and you went in. I had to say 'hey, where's my hug and kiss??!' and you came back like a sweet little boy and indulged me with a kiss. :)  Then you went off to your favorite area, the puzzle corner. I saw one of the teacher's 11 year old daughter come over to play with you - then I left. Ok, not really..  I hovered at the door, careful for you to not spot me, but yes, I hovered. Then I realized that you probably had no clue that this was not ACTUALLY church, and were quite content with playing like you always do, til I come back in an hour to get you!

I then had a wonderfully full day (5 hours) to myself. I grocery shopped - I practically skipped through the aisles - and when the register broke when I went to check out, I was all cool as a cucumber, because child, who I love and adore and cherish, you were not there to let it be known what an inconvenience to you this was! I made oatmeal raisin cookies, so you could have a special snack when I picked you up. I had to go back to the store because I forgot something on the list (not a tragedy at ALL when you are unencumbered!). I bought Gizmo's special food at Petsmart - which is probably the only time this year I've gone to Petmsart without you. It was weird. I did laundry. I washed dishes. I washed and dried my hair - which was seriously pleasant, as I was not forced to sing songs while you sat on the toilet, belting out song requests. I read in my book and some trashy gossip magazine. I watched a few minutes of The View. It was quite blissful!
At 1:50 I went to pick you up and got the surprise of my life when I saw you conked out in your nap mat, by the door. There were kids awake and talking, and things going on, but you were still out like a light! I think my jaw hit the floor because I literally did NOT expect you to nap. You had been having various sleep problems lately, add to the fact that you have never slept around other kids before - much less 11 of them - and I was flabbergasted. She said you slept the entire naptime.
So I kneel by you, and you sleepily open your eyes and see me, and you say 'mommy gonna come pick you up...' I can imagine this was your mantra that day. :)
The teacher said you did so fantastic - she said she would have bet that this was not your first year of preschool. She seemed quite impressed with how well you did! I never had a doubt.
We left and you wolfed down your cookie in the car and told me how you popped bubbles and that Mrs Larkin is preeetty!
I am so very grateful your first day wasn't a traumatic one. I won't get cocky and expect every preschool day to be seamless. I know the novelty might wear off and you might cry and go through phases of this and that. In fact, just today I asked you if you were excited about preschool again tomorrow, and you said 'no, it makes me angry!!' - what the heck??! Each day is a crapshoot. But for now, I will be very grateful that your very first day was a huge success. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

29.5 months

A few notables for the moment.......

* Sometimes, I will be here on the computer for a minute or two (very true, no more than this or you go NUTS wanting to get on with me) and sometimes during those times, you will build large and small lego towers and bring them to me and ask me to kiss them. You'll ask for LOTS of BIG kisses for the big towers, and leeeeetle kisses for the little towers. One time, I gave the tower a few kisses and then you went to go, but turned and stopped and said 'now how bout some for Andrew?' O, you know I gave you BIG kisses!

* On our way to Grandpa's house one day, your father was trying to remember a funny story from earlier that day - he was saying "so, I asked him if his favorite animal was an elephant, and he said no.. it was a...  and I totally forget what he said, but it was so funny!!!" and you piped in loudly with "Daddy, I said lobster!!!" And we all got a good laugh.

* One day, when we returned home from errands, I had a few bags to bring in so I told you to go on in and wait for me inside. You stood there in the open garage door, VERY impatient-like, and yelled at me 'come on Mommy! You're letting all the flies in!'  I wonder where you heard that??! Surely not ME, every day, at least 12 times a day..........

* You are quite conscientious of clean versus dirty underwear. Sometimes when you'll use the potty, and then go to put your undies back on, you'll see the faintest of skid marks (yes, it all started when you were two!) and you'll hold them out and say 'oh no!!! there's poop in em!!!' And you'll scamper off for fresh clean ones. One day, hopefully more than 2 decades from now, you likely won't even care about the slightest of skid marks...

* Every night we play Rock Band (well, you and your father do, mostly, while I relax for two songs) and you LOVE the Beatles ones. You recognize Beatles songs on the radio now...  the other day Hello Goodbye was on, and you perked up and went 'heeeey, I like this song!'. Your all-time faves are Yellow Submarine, Paperback Writer, and Can't Buy Me Love. However, you call it 'Buy Me Some Love'. So cute.

* We went and rode the mini-train. You looooved riding the train/seeing the train/hearing the train/talking about the train. Though, when we do ride it, cute photo opps are at a premium because you go into a very zen-like trance. Every time we would go over a bridge, or see one, you'd gasp so loud and say 'we're gonna go over a bridge!!!!' It takes so little. And you also looked around and asked 'maybe we will see aunt Kelly...!!!' because last time you rode it, you sat with her. :( That was the highlight of your year!

* We talk about how Jesus is always with you - and things like that. Well, one day, close to naptime (and you had been having some naptime anxiety lately), you randomly said, 'Jesus is always with you...' and I said you are RIGHT! You know why? And you said 'because Jesus lives in your heart!'....  talk about a sweet smart boy!

* You now ride a trike with wild abandon. With a helmet, because you took a spill - so we now enforce it 100% of the time. You love to go fast, and you always announce before you take a turn on a sidewalk that 'there's a biiig turn coming up!' And, you always throw your legs out to stop yourself before you go flying into thr street at the end of a sidewalk. Which is a good thing because sometimes we aren't as fast as you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

29 month update

You are a few days past 29 months, but I haven't updated in a while. Or, rather, it feels that I haven't because life gets more funny and interesting every day with you - it's so hard to keep up! If I did like I used to, in the early days, and jotted down notables on a post-it note, I'd need an entire stack of them for one day's worth of funnies. There is no time!
So I will just wing it as I go.....

* I think you once heard us marveling over you out loud, saying how time flies and how you're growing so fast, and all that...  now, at random times (maybe when we have that emotional glassy-eyed expression?) you'll stop and stand up and say 'I'm growing up!!' OY! It makes me want to cry just thinking about it!

* You absolutely LOVE to be chased around the house. And more than that, you go ape over us making various animal noises while we chase you. You call out what you'd like to be chased with - "be a chicken!... be a gorilla!"..  I can say that my monkey (not a gorilla, there is a distinct difference!) is pretty good - but nothing beats Daddy's chicken - and you know this!

* Related to being chased - you will prompt me to do so in the cutest way imaginable. Sometimes (to get things going) I'll sniff at the air and say 'mmm... I smell delicious toddler belly (or other body part)!!..right before I tear after you...  so now, if I am not doing something (a rare pleasant time of any day), you'll give me a cheeky smile and say 'I smell DELIIIICIOUS toddler booty!' and then run off shrieking. And then how can I not just drop everything? You completely know your cuteness is the most effective tool of manipulation.

* You love to show your numbers using your fingers now. I think you might have been on the later end of mastering this, but it isn't for lack of effort on our behalf! You simply had no desire to manipulate those little fingers into number representation! But, now that you are officially obsessed with all numbers, you came to realize that showing numbers w/fingers is just about as amazing as it gets. I remember the first time you did it - at the dinner table - totally random - you pried your two fingers out of your clenched fist to make a number 2, and your eyes almost popped out of your head. I truly don't think I've ever heard your father laugh so hard. It was like we witnessed a miracle, through your eyes!!! Now, you LOVE to show us different numbers w/your hands. You especially love FOUR. I think (aside from 1) it requires the least effort, so this is why you do it most often. ;)

* You are SO VERY vocal with your little toddler impatience. When we are about to leave the house, and like usual, I have to run back to the kitchen/wherever to retrieve 'one last thing' - you impatiently stand by the door with your hand on the doorknob, saying 'cooome on Mommy....let's gooooo!' The annoyance in your voice is not subtle at all. 

* As of last night after dinner, you now ride a tricycle! It took a good while to get you to actually put forth some leg muscles to propel yourself - but you finally caught on, and now you loooove to go as fast as you can. Now we just need to get you a helmet, because if there's one thing your father can't stand it kids/adults not wearing proper safety gear!

* And as we near the start of preschool in 3 weeks (hold me!), you are sort of mentally preparing yourself by constantly (usually during mealtimes) requesting me to talk about preschool. So I do. I go through it step by step, from start to finish - what to expect. I think you are getting pretty excited, but I know you will probably be timid about it. This is just your way though, you approach things with an air of caution. You acclimate slowly, and when you finally get comfortable, watch out! Your confidence is impressive, but it does take you more time to get to that point. But, of course, I wouldn't have you ANY other way!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

28.5 months old

A few things you are saying and doing that I just have to record for memory's sake - they are precious and I want to remember them forever.

* You take a handful of items, say, some blocks, and you come up to me (or your father) and say 'what mommy like? a blue one or a black one?' and then I respond, and you very cheekily hand over the one I said I liked best. Or, in the same fashion, you recite letters or numbers, going 'what mommy like? 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10?' (YES CHILD, you breathlessly say all the numbers through 10! And knowing how high you can count, I am grateful you haven't thought to do this to a higher number yet!) And I'll say what number I like.. and then you'll say 'hmm.. I like 10!' (or whatever number or letter you happen to like most in that moment!)

* You picked up the use of the word 'nevermind'. I am not sure how, because I never prompted you to say it in any appropriate situation.. you just say it yourself now! I remember the first time I heard you say it - we were in the car driving, and we were going down this one road that we sometimes take to go to a park we call Johnson Road Park. All of a sudden you poke your index fingers up and say 'Nevermind! I thought I saw Johnson Road Park!'... I laughed so hard! Now you say it for random things at least a few times a day.

* Yesterday, you saw your breakfast sausage (which is the same veggie sausage you get almost every morning) and it was cut in half instead of cut into large pieces. You gasped and said 'that's the biggest sausage in the whoooooole world!' HA!

* When we take walks outside or go on your tricycle (which you are veeery slowly mastering), and we turn the corner and lose sight of our house, you stop & turn to our house and wave and say 'goodbye home! goodbye grass! goodbye (random thing in our yard)! See ya lata alligator! See ya lata crocodile!' It is quite cute.

* You sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame from start to finish all by yourself, which is as indescribably cute as it sounds. And for someone who truly loathes baseball as much as I do, this is saying a lot. We sing it as a family almost every night before bedtime, either that or your ABCs - you always pick one or the other.

* You love to use the phrase 'in just a minute' - some mornings you wake up before your monkey alarm clock does (HA! ok, most mornings..) and you usually go over to him and say 'he's still asleep... but he be awake in just a minute!'...  or when Daddy goes off to work, you say 'he be home in just a minute!'

* Lately, you have LOVED to run circles around the coffee-table at warp speed. But more than that, you go nuts over either me or both me AND daddy running circles with you. You'll say 'mommy run too??' and as we're running you spout off orders of exactly how to run: 'run faster ALL the way around (as if there's any other way!)' or 'walk slow... now run!' or 'be a gorilla!!!' Who needs a gym membership anymore, I ask??! And Daddy does this one crazy move around the coffee table that I can only describe as one of those flying-monkey-Wheeler things from Return to Oz. You call it the 'funny crawl'..  There's no way I have the energy for that though!

* You also sometimes say that you're 'impwessed' (impressed). I guess I sometimes say that to you when you do or say something pretty remarkable - so now, when you do or say something funny or smart - you'll beat me to the punch and say 'I'm so impwessed!'  :) 

* And just today as we're pulling up to a stop sign, you go 'is that an octagon???!' And it took me a half second to realize you were referring to the stop sign. Child, you have 1 or 2 books that talk about the octagon shape and now you have it nailed! I am slightly certain it took me til middle school for this concept.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

we like to potty

 The time was upon us for potty training. You were telling us more and more when you had peed and pooped - wanting to get changed. You were showing an IMMENSE interest in the act itself, when others were doing it, hence our open-door-policy of bathroom business at home. When I'd start to pee, your face would light up as if I just did this most awesome amazing thing. You'd grab toilet paper for me. And aside from the potty-specific things, I knew you could tackle it. You could carry out multiple directions/tasks at one time, and you're just damn smart.

So! After several months (who am I kidding, the better part of a year) of my own research and asking around, I decided that this method was the best fit for you. - - And it so was. I had stockpiled many toys/items to use for the weekend (and onwards) for rewards.. I blocked out a weekend, which is never an easy thing to do. We laid bedsheets down everywhere. Bought tons (36 pairs!) of cheap undies.

I had been talking for a few weeks about how one day we were going to throw ALL the diapers away because we'd wear BIG BOY underwear - and you thought that was super cool. You'd sometimes go around the house saying it (weeks before we dove in), 'gonna throw the diapers away because we go peepee in the potty!!' - and you'd throw your arms up at the word potty, so excitedly! You were about as mentally prepared as any toddler can be. I don't think I would ever be completely mentally prepared though.

The morning of Day 1, you woke up and I said that today was the day! We went to your nursery (where your diapers are) and put them ALL in a trash sack (to be put in the car, to later be brought back in for donating), You said goodbye to them, then I put you in a pair of Nemo underwear - which I assumed would be your fave. The premise of the method we used was to trash ALL diapers and do just undies for a long weekend...  and constantly remind you to TELL US if you had to go pee/poop. Like, over and over. Like, nonstop. Like, you were noticeably tired of this after the the first few hours. You sounded MUCH like a highly annoyed teen after Day 1 - you literally went "okay okay okaaaaay!" after I'd remind you to tell me you had to go.
We would do 'dry checks' - where we'd have you grab your crotch (so to speak) and make sure it was still dry. We verbally praised for staying dry - even if for 15 minutes. When you'd start to pee, we would say 'look! you're peeing! that means it's time to potty!' and we'd rush you to the potty. If you got the smallest dribble of pee in the potty, there was bigtime praise/rewards. Yes, we used m&m's and gummy life-savers and all sorts of edibles that the parent books tell you not to use. Pride of accomplishement is supposedly enough of a reward.. I say that's pretty lame. Bring on the candy!
Anyways, you had about 10-11 accidents on Day 1, though you got MUCH pee in the potty after the first few times. You never once had a floor-soaker accident. You were pretty aware every time. I am sure that if we hadn't had bedsheets all over the place, there would have been a few floor-soakers. ;)
And you also pooped! You always go right after lunch, no fail. So around that time we sat you down (which goes against the 'method', but whatever) and you went! You were almost as shocked as we were... you looked down and pointed and said THAT'S POOP! That got huuuge rewards and a brand new puzzle.

Day 2 went very well. You started the day off by actually telling us you had to potty - and you went! We were so so sooo proud. The rest of the day was pretty good. You had maybe 5 small accidents and you told us the rest of the time when you had to go. You also pooped in the potty - no problem whatsoever. We spent the day(s) playing and you loooved the 1 on 1 attention that you sadly aren't used to getting ALL day long. The dishes and laundry definitely suffered.

Day 3 and on - very good! You now (at 3 weeks post-Day 1) tell us every single time you have to pee - and you (just started this 4 days ago) even go on your own - without telling us. You just strip from the waist down no matter where you stand and run off to pee! You come get me when you're done to ask me to come see - and to empty it into the big potty. You tell us out in public, too. We put a little potty in each trunk of both our cars, and if we're out and you tell us (and we're near the car) - we simply go to the car, pop the trunk, drop your trousers and there ya go! I also bought a folding potty seat thing - to prevent you from falling in to the HUGE public potties, and you've gone on that a few times as well.

We modified the method a tad, as it calls for ditching diapers/pull-ups for sleeptimes, too, and making a bed for the parents at night (next to the child's bed) to remind them to go every few hours. I think I developed a hernia from laughing so hard upon reading that. So we used pull-ups. And ya know what? You keep them dry. We call them 'sleepytime underwear' and that we are to keep them dry too - and you so do. We're still leary to put you in undies at night, but those pull-ups (right now) are staying dry!

I won't say too much about the pooping though, because I want to focus on the positives!!! And the pooping is not coming along at such a lightning fast speed as the peeing did. Those first two days when you pooped without issue were just teasing us, apparently. It's ok, I won't rush you. I am fairly certain you won't be pooping your pants when you start Kindergarten.

Overall, I am beyond pleased with how well it's gone. I do not expect perfection either though. I know there will be maaany accidents in the weeks/months/years to come, and this is ok. It's a lot like sleep-training. The more you talk about it when it's good, the more you screw yourself (and annoy others!), so I'll just wrap things up now. ;) 

Potty on!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

some recent cuteness

Lately, more and more silly things are happening round these parts...  I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried.

* I opened a package from your Aunt Kelly recently, which was 2 new summer outfits, and before I could even say a word about them, I pulled one out and you went 'oooh, that's cute!' - no my love, that is cute. :)

* When we're in the backyard, the first thing you want to do is use the watering can. But you are very much an equal opportunity waterer. You water the potted plants, of course, but then you proceed to water all your large rocks you've collected and keep on the porch. And then you water the activity table and your slide.

* You finish my thoughts/sentences more and more. I suppose, given the fact that our routine is somewhat solid day in and out, I say some of the same 'scripted lines' about certain things. For example: I'll sprinkle some parmesan cheese on your food and you'll say 'that's all ya need!'... or, you'll want to get up on the computer to do some preschool-type games or watch some videos of yourself... and when you ask and I pause because you ask SO sweetly but there are other things to do, you'll say 'juuust for a minute!'

* Lately I have been letting you play alone in the backyard, if I need to do things in the kitchen where I can clearly see you  - I leave the screen door open so I can hear you, too. You would prefer to play in the front (where the action is), but I simply tell you that I have chores to do and I can't see you in the front. The other day you were playing in the back, and all of a sudden you stop and yell in to me, 'I can't see you from the front!'... :) 

* The little add-ons you have started saying..  you'll randomly add on 'or something' to something you've just said. Or you'll add on 'and stuff'. But the real kicker proves how you are definitely a southern woman's child by adding on 'right quick'.

* You made the insanely smart connection the other day that your grandpa was my dad. I've never spent any time saying 'now, grandpa is my father and uncle don is your dad's brother...' because come on!! You're two! But the other day, I picked up the phone and called my dad, and said 'hey dad!' and you piped in with 'that's grandpa!!'...  smarty britches!!!

* Sometimes when I need to get you out the door STAT and you're being a tad slow, I'll say something to the effect of 'if you don't go to the little gym today, you'll make Rachel and Daisy very sad....' (people we see there) or something like that. And you'll hop to and get ready because you don't want to make anyone sad! Well, headed to Sprouts today, you were being a little slow (and we were meeting people, so we had to hustle!) so you completely anticipated my 'method' and went 'gonna make the eggs and bananas veeery sad!' - which is something I have NEVER said before.. but child, you went and gave inanimate objects feelings. I love it.

* Your vision is absolutely amazing. You can spot a FedEx or UPS truck from 5 miles off, it seems. I know this for a fact because you squeal 'It's a FedEx truck!!!' and I scan the horizon and lo and behold there is one, but just BARELY within spotting distance. And just the other day, a huge 18-wheeler Kroger truck went by, and without me saying anything you said 'A Kroger truck!'... and I sort of stared at you like how in the heeell did you know that???! Then I realized you see a Kroger sign almost daily about a mile from our house (where they are building one) - so you obviously made that connection.

* And lastly, you are just SUCH a boy!!! For mealtimes, you'll randomly take some food that shouldn't be dipped in ketchup (or bbq sauce) and you'll say something like, 'don't dip your strawberry in ketchup... ewwww!!!' It just slays you everytime. Naturally, I mirror your disgust with this prospect, which totally encourages it.

You're sweet and I lova ya!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost 27 months

I can now totally nod my head to Bill Cosby's tv show, Kids Say the Darndest Things.. or something like that.. because it is TRUE.
Here are a few recent ones:

* In the car, I told him we were headed to Walmart.. but upon seeing the packed parking lot, I went the other way instead and told him 'we're going to go to Target instead'.. and I hear "Walmart is bwoken"...  HA!

* We have THIS clock in his room, to help him know when it's ok to get up and when he should stay in bed. It's worked pretty well, but lately he has gotten up before the monkey is set to open his eyes. So, when he gets up and I turn the lights on, he immediately goes to the monkey and shakes it a bit and says 'WAKE UP MONKEY!'.

* When we're just horsing around, and I say 'I'm going to tickle your back!' - which is super duper sensitive (always has been), he giggles all high pitched out of suspense and then gets really serious and says 'need some love instead'...  Distraction!

* He tries to Jedi-Mind-Trick me sometimes. When he asks for something in an impatient or not-nice way, I prompt him to ask the correct way, so he'll sweetly go "please Mommy... ok!".. the last "ok" is the kicker part, because he literally tells himself OK to whatever he just asked for! I can just picture his intentions in his little toddler brain.. you will say ok! you will say ok!

* Last night, when he climbed into the bathtub, he very comfortably sat down and went, 'mmm.. nice and warm!'

* At the pool, on the sides there are the depths marked. He is standing by one, and spells it out-loud "2-F-T-0-I-N spells POOL!"  How could I correct that???! Yes, that spells pool, my smart little man!

* The word 'difficult' is used sometimes in place of the word 'hard'. I guess I say it instead of 'hard', so it's been picked up on. It's very cute to hear "it's too difficult" coming out of a 2 yr old's mouth.

* When Gizmo is running around crazy, playing with a toy ball or something, he'll pick up on that emotion and very loudly tell me "Gizmo is HAPPY!!!"

....more to come later...

Monday, May 31, 2010


I have always wanted to go to New York City. Always. I knew when we had the opportunity to go, that I would really regret it if we didn't go, based on the fact that life with 1 kid is (I'm guessing) tons easier than life with 2! Going with a toddler in tow was not exactly what I had always pictured as my first trip there, but I am so glad we were optimisitc. One person I know has even described the notion of NYC with a toddler as "miserable", but I happen to know for a fact that this person can make any situation pretty miserable, all on their own! But you know what? I can't imagine a first trip without my little man. He provided endless dialogue on everything he saw and was just in a constant state of awe with everything. Yes, we could have gone out for romantic late night dinners and been able to navigate the streets minus 30+ pounds, but it just would not have been the same. I am so grateful for having experienced NYC for the first time at the same time as my boy. Isn't that what being a parent is about anyways? Putting the world at your child's fingertips and seeing them light up..  it's great.
A (long) rundown of our trip!

I sat in first class going there, so I wasn't too nauseated (I only get airsick in coach! haha! but true.) to take some pics as we descended. This was not NYC, but I really thought it was.. I was disappointed for a few minutes, to say the least!

When we arrived, we were met by a man holding a sign with our last name. It took all the composure I possess to not take a picture of him holding our name-sign. When he found us, he ripped up the sign and threw it away.. and I cried inside because I wanted to keep it! He was not very friendly, as I later learned when I rolled my window down in our Towncar. I was on the verge of puking (NYC drivers, like none other) so I needed A/C and the wind... well, he only allowed one or the other, despite Pablo anticipating this and asking him to crank the air. I should have had Pablo tell him the story about me puking in our wedding limo, just to let him know I was not effing around. He had no idea that I have been puking in vehicles for decades, and his was very close to becoming another victim on my list.

 Anyways! We arrived at our hotel - Doubletree Suites in Times Square. Andrew was beyond excited to get to ride in an elevator - and this one required you to ride in TWO elevators before you got to your room, so he was very pleased. If we had only known that the elevators were the most thrilling part of this trip for him, we could have saved a few bucks and just took him to the mall at home instead.

We unloaded our stuff in the room and off we went! I wasn't about to spend more time than I had to in the hotel room.. and first stop was PIZZA. We didn't have a set plan for our first place to try, so we got a referral from the concierge, who recommended Mariella's, 5 or 6 blocks away. So we found it, and yes, it was GOOD. Very good. There was a sign on the wall (should've taken a pic) that said Gayle and Oprah voted it Best Pizza in the World. Seriously. And I very much trust those two when it comes to food recommendations.

I must pause to mention our most awesome baby arrier. I will talk to a complete stranger about the awesome-ness of this product, this is how much I LURVE it. The Ergo. We used it when he was a baby, and packed it away about 7 or so months ago when we thought he was just too on-the-go to want anything to do with it anymore, but on a whim I got it back out and discovered it can be fashioned as a TODDLER-holding-BACKPACK. It. Ruled. The big city just is not that stroller friendly, in our opinion. Just too many people whizzing past in a hurry, too much maneuvering through crowds...  so this little gem was so awesome. As you can see in the pic, however, we weren't too focused on getting him in there picture-perfect straight. He didn't seem to care at all, though! He sat it in and stroked Pablo's hair the entire time..  ahhh.. soothing times for all. :)
After pizza, we made our way to Central Park, just a few blocks up. We stopped to buy a pineapple popsicle, at a bargain rate of $4... and yes, the entire time I thought to myself how I could buy an entire BOX of popsicles at home for less than that. Very much the suburban housewife now..  sigh. Let it also be noted that I brought a handy dandy popsicle-drip-catcher holder with me, ever the prepared former Girl Scout am I.
So we made our way into the park and found a huge playground area. There was a monstrosity of a rock to climb up, so I let them have at it. He later told me that I would have very likely freaked out at the level of steepness of some areas. Good thing I was in charge of taking pictures and guarding the $4 popsicle.

As we made our way back, we ran into some broke college kids making their living...  Andrew was not very sure about Pooh, as we don't have many Pooh toys/books at home, but he was pretty confident around his fave Sesame Street monster, Elmo.

 Then we later went out to dinner at a nice little Italian place called Bella Vita. It was pretty empty, which is never a good sign for a NYC restaurant, but always appreciated when you have a loose-hair toddler with you! And despite the fact that I shun whatever the trendiest technology of the day happens to be, I have to give a big salute to Pablo's iphone. It saved us on many occasion on this trip. Most especially at restaurants when we had to wait for our food. He has several preschool game apps, and Andrew was a whiz at them all. Kid was learning and momma got to relax and eat bread.. all was right in the world.

I snapped this lovely pic of Pablo - I really like it. He's mah love.

That night in the hotel room, Andrew discovered his first full-length mirror reflection. Instant friends!
He was also pretty pooped and fit in some lazy tv-watching. He doesn't get to just lay around and watch tv too much at home, so he lived it up.

That next morning, we set out for breakfast, which was decided upon with much research and thought... in the form of last-minute iphone googling in bed that morning upon waking up. It was pretty cold and VERY windy, which made this little diner in the West Village all the more warm. As soon as we walked in, my first thought was how very much my father would HATE a place like this. It just screamed grubby diner. Which, to me, also screams DELISHUS FOOD!

 We ordered our breakfast, and as we waited (and played educational iphone games), I noted clippings on the wall showing all the famous peeps who love this place. Ethan Hawke and Molly Shannon being the only two I remember.

I didn't have the forethought to take a pic of my amazing french toast & bacon before I devoured it, but it was awesome. And the place was so small that other patrons helped us out when we asked the owner where the nearest grocery was. It felt so homey!

We then made our way to the Childrens Museum, which was still closed when we arrived. It was chilly, so we made a game of staying warm by encouraging Andrew to run as fast as he could up and down the handicap ramp. He had much fun doing that.

 He even stopped to pose! What a good boy!

Once we made it inside and paid the $30 fee, which I thought was nuts, we soon realized that it would be a very well spent $30. There was EVERYTHING for a toddler to discover and play with. So much to do! I could post probably 50 pictures of different activities, but I'll narrow it down to a few.....

Oh yes, this is also where we really saw how many people (mainly dads) use the Ergo carrier, like us. We saw a few here and there throughout the city, just on the streets, but in the Childrens Museum they were abundant! Definitely the sign of an involved, kickass dad. :)

Afterwards, we were off to a Mothers Day lunch! We both love Greek food, so we made our way to a recommended Greek restaurant.. Nikos.

Yup, you know you're a parent when you have no remorse whatsoever when ordering the chicken strips and french fries without even looking at the menu, just to keep the kid happy. His response was an adamant NO when I asked him to try my souvlaki.. imagine that!

For naptime, it was my 'me-time' to go out solo and do whatever I wanted to do, while Pablo manned the hotel room while Andrew slept. I had NO idea what I wanted to do, so I took a last minute tip and asked my cabbie to take me to Canal Street, where I heard the shopping was good. Bad idea. I got out and snapped a few pics... then very quickly tucked my veyr expensive camera back into it's bag, and crossed it messenger style for extra security. This place just wasn't what I had in mind, at all. I walked and avoided eye contact and finally meandered far enough where I felt safe enough to use Pablo's iphone (it admittedly took me 5 minutes to figure out how to make a call). I immediately called my sis.. because I was scared.. and that is what I do. She got on google maps and I told her where I was, and she guided me around the block to a cute little bakery (sidenote: how crazy it is - this day and time of ours - to be walking somewhere and someone literally across the entire country can see on a satellite feed exactly where you

So I ended up here - Once Upon a Tart! A cute little bakery, where I got the most dense, most amazering coconut macaroon EVA. And a coffee. I ate it on a bench outside and people-watched. It was nice. :)

I then used my me-time to clothes shop for my child. Wow. I am lame. I justify this lame-ness by pointing out that I love love love H&M toddler clothes, and we do not have one anywhere near us.. so that's what I did. I bought inexpensive but good quality toddler clothes. Including a bright green windbreaker for him that will be seen in the coming pictures. I also got a pretzel, just to see what all the fuss was about. I enjoyed the charcoal-y smell far more than I enjoyed the teeth-breaking taste.
I did decide to let the little one have a crack at it..  baby teeth.. not as strong as you'd think!

After naptime/me-time was over, we walked a block up the the M&M world store. And for anyone who doesn't just love M&Ms.. well, it was pretty stupid. The M&M paraphernalia? Insane. Who wants a matching M&M hand towel and oven mitt set, really? But Andrew enjoyed seeing his jacket match a large M&M. And so I suppose it was not a wasted visit.
We ate at a place called John's pizza that night. On every waiter's shirt was 'NO SLICES!' in very large print. Yes, I so wanted to be that guy and ask them if they do slices.. but I resisted.

Evenings before bedtime were spent street-gazing, mostly. He pointed out every little thing he saw.

The next morning at breakfast was definitely the least successful mealtime of our trip. The kid was getting a little homesick or just straight up acting his age. Good thing there was no one around us and we were sitting in the back!

We then made our way to FAO Schwarz, right when they opened. (the perks of traveling w/a child - no sleeping in means no crowded stores because you get everywhere when they open!) We had to wait outside for a bit, but at least everyone was warm and cozy.
We walked through a hallway of perfectly placed stuffed animals, that was just BEGGING to be destroyed. Our child was the first kid who had the privilege to knock a few down.

We found the book area, which was SO so neat, and sadly very empty. All the kids there were woefully uninterested in this section of the store.. but not Andrew! He loved it.

And when he saw one of his fave books of all time?? Shock and dismay! WOW!
Then we got to be somewhat cliche, an ode to the great Tom Hanks movie, and run along a little mini keyboard. Burned much energy. :)

Our fave part was the wall of muppets. How great is that??!

For lunch later, we went to the famous Carnegie Deli. There were framed pics of famous patrons covering every square inch of the wall space.
I don't think he even knew I was there, what with the way awesome preschool iphone games...

The BLT that Pablo ordered. We basically paid $23 to take this picture, because it SO did not get $23 worth of it eaten.

Then Pablo had his me-time during the next day's naptime. He did much more respectable things, as far as being a tourist goes. Not that eating a macaroon and shopping isn't respectable, but he got to see a lot more than I did during my me-time!
When he woke up, we hit the Central Park zoo! It was cute and small - just the way I like my zoos! :)
And our last night there we went to our 3rd (or 4th?) pizza place- Patsy's. It was in a very nice neighborhood -near Park Ave- where I informed Pablo that we'd live if we ever get to live in NYC. Oh, and we'd also have a driver named Alfred.. whether his real name is Alfred or not. 

Last morning there...  he is wisely soaking up every last it of tv-watching he can! 

All in all - a FABULOUS trip. We made many many memories and I am a very grateful & blessed woman!