Sunday, October 31, 2010

A fall cold

little sickie red eyes

Bobby, Ben, and I are all sick with our first family cold.  Not fun.  It's awful listening to my baby barely able to breathe while he sleeps at night because his nose is so stuffed up.  He's been sleeping in our bed quite a lot because I can't bear to let him cry while he's sick.  Between teething, moving, and now sickness, we have taken a couple of big steps backward in the world of sleep.  I don't think I've had a good night's rest since the move.  I don't know how we're ever going to get back on track...

Point is, I'm sick and tired.  And uploading just these two photos was a major pain in the bum.  So, that's it for today.

little sickie snot bubble

Monday, October 25, 2010

First week on the farm

We've just completed our first week here, and everything's good for the most part.  Everything's wonderful, really, except for two things: it's freezing here and Bob has not been sleeping well.  The every-hour-wakings of our little pup have made me a little grumpy perhaps, and I may be taking my tiredness out on one person in particular named Ben and if that's so, I'm sorry, love.  The main problem seems to be another molar coming in, but I'm sure the move didn't exactly help.  I expect all will be back to "normal" soon.  The chill?  Well, maybe I should get a sweet new coat to help me get excited about that, 'cause it sure ain't going away.  (Honestly, today was quite warm.)

The upsides?  This place is gorgeous, as always.  Bob LOVES Gramps and Grandma Kay and Chubs and Bailey (the dogs) and the big house and barns to explore.  Ben and I have been able to spend lots of QT with Gramps and Kay, and we've enjoyed their hospitality and Kay's delicious cooking.  We get to ride in fun vehicles like tractors and 6-wheelers and bucket trucks.

Oh, yes, maybe I should explain where we are.  My grandfather and his wife live on a 100 acre farm and woods property near Cooperstown in upstate New York.  They are smart people and they've paid their dues, and thus they choose not to stay here for the winter.  This year they became chicken farmers.  (All but one of the roosters were killed last week, and the first two eggs were laid yesterday.)  So, while Gramps and Kay are living it up in Florida, we'll be their surrogate chicken farmers.  I am super excited to eat fresh-from-our-own-chickens eggs this winter.  Unfortunately for Ben, he won't touch an egg.  Bob and I will have to eat lots.

Most of our stuff is piled up in the hay loft.  When we take Bob up there he reaches for everything.  Today he flipped out over his jumpy-jumper until we put it back together and put him in there.

Climbing up the stairs is Bob's new all-time favorite and all-time most dangerous (this isn't your average staircase) activity.  He also likes to push a laundry basket or stool around the house.  He looks like a little old man using his walker (more-so when he uses the laundry basket -- I'll have to get a picture of that).

The internet here is killing me, so I'm afraid I'll have to skimp on the photos until I get it working a little better.  Check back in a day or two if you want to see them.  G'night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saying goodbye to our first home

This is what I wrote on Saturday night but couldn't publish because our internet was packed already.  I'm finally up and running in our new place, so here it is.

Dear Bobby,

I wanted to write this in one of my journals, but they're all packed.  Almost every single thing we own is packed.  This is the big weekend of our big move.  I'm sitting on the floor in our empty living room, with the computer in front of me and a few random items scattered around.  It's 12:45 AM -- we're leaving first thing tomorrow.  It's so strange to be almost gone from here.

I'm excited about entering our new life, but today I've mostly been weepy about leaving our current one.  We brought you -- our baby! -- home from the hospital to this place.  You love the park and the neighbors and all of their dogs.  When we left the park today on our final walk through the neighborhood, you cried.  That made me cry a little, because it seemed like you understood that we weren't coming back.  

Plus I guess I'm not too accustomed to this sort of change...  This isn't merely my first time moving -- this is the first time I've had to say goodbye to a home. My mom still lives in the same house I lived in from the day I was born until I left for college, and all of my grandparents still live in the same homes they always have.

You took everything pretty well for most of the day, considering all that was happening.  But as the day wore on, and our house was filled with more and more people and emptied of all of our belongings, you started getting very emotional.  You weren't just being tired and whiny -- someone would look at you and tears would stream from your eyes.  I joked about how you were probably pissed because everyone was stealing all of your toys, but I didn't realize at the time how close to the truth that was.

Earlier I sat on the hardwood floor in our bedroom, rocking you to sleep in the exact spot in the room where I sat nursing you in our bed when you were a newborn.  I was trying to get you to settle down, holding and rocking you and talking softly about moving.  I started to get sad and perhaps even cry a little, and you burst into tears.  I comforted you, and after you had settled back down I tried to make the conversation a little more up beat.  I was saying, "it will be lots of fun for you, and there will be dogs there," and you popped right up and spit out your sucker and said, "dog, dog!"

That's when I realized that I really hadn't prepared you well enough for the move, and I hadn't been explaining to you all that was going on all day long.  You are a smart little guy; you know so much more than we realize, I think.  And today was a crazy day for you.  You know life is changing, but you have know idea what's coming.  But if I tell you, you'll get some of it.  A lot of it, really.  You went to sleep happy tonight dreaming about dogs.

Still though, Bob, I'm sorry for not being better today, for not giving you more credit and treating you like the little person that you are.  I love you.  We're going to have a happy new life.


Now here are the pics from our goodbye to Goat Hill...

Bob waking up from a nap in his pack n play while we packed his room:

Quick photo shoot on our last walk through the neighborhood:

Last time on the swing:

Having a little snack while we cleaned the apartment on Sunday morning (big help):

Bye, front porch:


Saying goodbye to Bob's friend Courtney from two houses down:

Saying goodbye to our couch as it sits on the curb waiting for hopefully a new owner to pick it up before  the trash man does:

A nice, safe scenario:

Bob has recently taken to sticking his little tongue out.  It's so super cute.

The empty kitchen was tons of fun.

Oh, I love this happy little guy.

There's the tongue again:

Bob's shapes, which hung above our bed, were the last things to come off the wall.

Driving I-90 to our new home:

And that's it.  Now if I can ever get the internet working a little better I'll introduce our new life as chicken farmers...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nothing like a belt to shake things up a bit

First off, a side note: A long shower after three days with no hot water feels SO good.  Boy, am I refreshed.

I hardly ever wear a belt.  I don't have time for accessories.  Earrings and necklaces and bracelets just get ripped off by tiny strong hands, and belts just add extra time to getting dressed and every trip to the bathroom.

But today I wore a belt for some reason, maybe just because I was so clean and felt like getting snazzed up a bit, and Bobby couldn't stop staring at it.

Just keeping it fresh around here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My baby loves words

Bobby LOVES words.  He loves to look at them, he loves to watch lips form them, he loves to try and say them.

The consonant sounds he can make are: b, d, f, h, m, n, p, s, t.  I think that's it.  Sorry, Bob, if I'm selling you short.

Some new words he's picked up since I last wrote about it...

He calls me "mama" now!
"ah-suh" (not sure how to spell his baby talk) = outside
"dah" = star (he points out star shapes all over the place)
"tuh-tuh" = turtle (his new obsession is climbing on the tank)
he also knows duck, very similar to his sounds for dog and bird

He copies lots of other words, but those are all the ones I can think of that he says on his own.

A couple of weeks ago Bob was sitting in his high chair, finishing his food, when he started freaking out about a ball he could see.  Ben and I said to him something like, "Whose ball is that?  Is that Bobby's ball?  Can you say, 'my ball?'"  And -- very intentionally and seriously, looking me in the eye -- he said it: "ma ball!"

Bob has also started asking for his cup when he's thirsty.  "Puh, puh," he says.  I love the happy and proud look on his face when I whip out the cup and he realizes that I understood him and I'm giving him what he wants.

Just yesterday we realized that Bobby can read!  Ok, he can't read, but he is beginning to recognize written words.  I haven't had a chance to do too much testing yet, but he definitely knows "ball" and "dog" (surprise, surprise).  I set out five flash cards across the room in front of him and said, "Bobby, can you find the word ball?  Go get the word ball."  And he crawls over and grabs the correct card!  I've got it on video. Maybe I'll get that out here on the world wide interweb somehow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

HOARDERS! letters and cards edition

We're moving.  I'm trying to fight the hoarding gene.

I still have every single letter and card that I have ever received in my entire life.  When I was a baby, my mother hoarded them for me.  And once I could read and write, I started collecting them myself.

Now I'm saving Bob's cards, too.

They're spilling out of their boxes!

Am I absolutely ridiculous, or are other people as sentimental as I am?  Do normal folks just throw notes from their loved ones into the garbage?

What the heck can I do with these treasures that will make me feel less like a crazy person?

Help me out here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dear Bob, you are 11 months old (yesterday)

In honor of your eleven month birthday, here are just a few of the things I love about you:

I love how you hold up what you're playing with when I walk into the room and say "sat, sat."

I love how you still have a little trouble crawling over my leg when I'm sitting with it stretched out on the floor.

I love how you snuggle the ducklings in your touch and feel book.  I wish I could get some live ducklings for you because you seem to long for the picture in the book to be real.

I love how you "rescue" your blankie from your crib for a snuggle.

I love how you rapid-flip an object that you've just picked up over and over to check it out on all sides, you little future card shark you.

I love when you sleep with your bum sticking up in the air.

I love the look on your face when you're about to grab something you really want and know you aren't supposed to have, such as the tv remote.

I love how observant you are -- a bird in the sky, the sound of a plane, a microwave door left open, a new toy snuck into your toy basket, a football on TV, a dog's collar jingling...

I love how you say star: "dah."

I love your new favorite hobby: looking out your bedroom window.  You can just barely see over the ledge when you stand on your tiptoes.

You've also figured out how to climb up onto your stool (which was my stool when I was a wee one), and that makes it all the better.

I love how your feet get caught up in the legs of your footy pajamas.

I love your scrunchy face.

I love your "whoa" face.

Here you are exactly eleven months after you were born:

I love you, buddy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving on

We're moving.  We'll talk about the whys and wheres later, but the point is, moving sucks.  Please pardon the "s" word.  Let's step back a minute.

I have never moved in my life.  From the day I was born 'til the day I went to college I lived in the same house.  I've done college moves, where you cram as much stuff as you can fit into your and/or your parents' cars and then unload it into a pile on the floor of your bedroom or your dorm room, but that's not the same.  The last place Ben and I lived was a big house with lots of other people, and most of our belongings were in one room.  We moved less than a mile away and took everything in our cars in just a couple of trips.

But this time... we've been living in our apartment for over three years -- we have furniture and dishes and lots of stuff, we're moving almost five hours away, we have to rent a truck, we have to actually pack, we have to figure out whether or not to change our residency from Massachusetts... oh, and we have a baby to make it all just a little bit trickier.

Packing is a pain, yes, but the worst part about it for me is that we can't just enjoy our final weeks here in this place we love.  Instead we have to strip our photographs from the walls, load our books into boxes, try to sell the only washer and dryer that have ever cleaned our baby's clothes, and busy ourselves with moving tasks instead of simply living.  I'm quite a sentimental person I guess (as if it's not glaringly obvious from this blog), so none of this is easy for me.

On top of all that, I have some serious hoarders in my bloodline and thus I've been battling the hoarding gene hard as I decide what to pack and what to throw away or donate.  Maybe that's a topic for another day.

PS.  I think snails have got a good system going.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The five boys and a baby next door

Actually they're not next door.  They're two houses down.  Five boys and one baby girl, Courtney, who's two months younger than Bob.

Bobby LOVES the neighbor boys, and Courtney too.  I intentionally take him out when I hear them outside because it makes him so happy.  That's what we do -- we take walks to stalk the neighbors and their dogs.  Playing with other people's dogs is so much cheaper than having your own dog.

Three of the boys are little -- 3, 6, and 7, I think -- and I love their interactions with Bob.  They all seem to think Bobby is amazing because A) their baby sister is a girl, but he is a BOY, and B) he's two months older than their baby sister so he can always do more than she can.

A couple of weeks ago before supper we played in front of their house for a while.  I was letting Bobby stand against this rock on the steep hill, pretending with the boys that he was going to climb the mountain.  He sure did try, and he looked like he just might.  They were all super impressed that he could stand.  They could hardly believe it.  "I have never seen a baby STAND before!"  When one of the boys looked away I moved Bob up on top of the rock, and when he looked back he couldn't believe his eyes: "Wow, he climbed up there!?  Let me see him do it!"

Some of my other favorite quotes:

"Boooooooooooob!" (ok that looks like "boob" but it was supposed to be pronounced "bob" in a kid yell from a boy who's running down the hill toward us)

"Is he really a boy?"

"I have a baby.  My baby's a girl.  Her name's Courtney."

"Can he walk?"  No.  "Then why does he have shoes?"  Not a bad point.

"Come on, Bob, we gotta put the tractor in the shed."

That was Ty, who loves to give Bob rides on all his toys.

Also, one of them referred to a set of hedge clippers as "giant tweezers."

One thing is clear: life with my boy is going to get more and more fun as we go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our first fight

(This was September 13.  It wasn't really a fight.  He's just a baby, after all.)

Dear Bob,
A little while ago I yelled at you for the first time.  You will not lay still for a diaper change.  Sometimes (rarely) it's fun: I tickle and roll you and exclaim "get back over here!" while we both laugh.  Sometimes, like today, it is not fun because you smear your poo everywhere.  Today you happened to be wearing one of my very favorite outfits which happens to be lime green and white striped and not so resistant to poo stains.  And so when you squirmed and squished your mushy poo all up your back, I yelled.  Well, maybe yell isn't even the right word.  I raised my voice.  "That's it.  Sit still, you little poo smearer!"  You started crying.  "Cry.  I don't even care, because I'm mad at you!  Why can't you just be still for 60 seconds so that I can use just two wipes instead of 45 and I don't have to finagle a poopy one piece outfit over your head?  You are ruining your cutest garment."  You cried harder, and you started moaning "na-na-na-na" which I am beginning to understand to mean "nurse-nurse" or "night-night" aka "I really want to go to sleep now."  You skipped your morning nap today.  And my angry voice put you over the top.  So then I started feeling bad.  I hugged you and kissed you and said nice sweet things.  You kept crying and whining "na-na" until my boob was in your mouth for your pre-nap nursing.  Don't worry, buddy, I wasn't really mad at you.  I was just frustrated.  I won't raise my voice again.  It doesn't help.
With so much love,
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