Thursday, April 28, 2011

A song

Last week I was faced with what felt like a huge decision. There are a few people in my life who took the time to listen to me drone on and on (and on) about this and really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. (Bless your hearts for dealing with my flip-flopping!) Anyways, I felt like you all might as well have formed a choir and performed this song just for me....

Thank you for being my "brothers." :)

By Mumford & Sons

Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
Hold your hand

And you are the mother
The mother of your baby child
The one to whom you gave life
And you have your choices
And these are what make man great
His ladder to the stars

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
Hold your hand

But I will tell the night
And Whisper, "Lose your sight"
But I can move the mountains for you

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Frickin, Frickin

We were exiting the library the other day, and out of the blue Simon said, "frickin frickin." He just kind of looked at me then, as if mildly curious about whether he was going to get a reaction or not (though he didn't really care either way).

I calmly told him we don't say that. He responded with, "I need a frickin frickin toy in the car." I put my bad mom hat on and just started laughing. What was I supposed to do? I know he heard it from me. I can't really expect him to know what words are okay for me to use, but not for him to use. I should have censored myself better a long time ago, but alas, I shall start a little late.

I wonder what that elderly man right behind us thought of this whole exchange.

This has nothing to do with anything except it was cute. Simon and his cousin were pretending that the wagon was a boat and the golf clubs were paddles. While we were walking they were yelling (in unison) "paddle, paddle, paddle!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Lost Boy?

This outfit (above and below) totally reminded me of one of the lost boys from the Peter Pan cartoon movie. It's fitting since he dresses like he has no parents half the time :)
He had 30 eggs to find at Grandma Mory's 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt. He did a very good job, but needed some prodding to keep looking rather than just stopping to open each egg he came across. Momma was cold so dilly-dallying was highly discouraged....and highly ignored.
We colored eggs at home and he was so proud of his work that for the next few days he would go in the fridge and get out his eggs just to look at them. To me, colored eggs aren't all that cool. I guess 30 years will do that to a person, but he's only 3 and nothing could have captivated him more than this carton of multi-colored eggs:

Friday, April 22, 2011

A day in the life

He's all kinds of ready to go biking for butterflies.
Yes, he is a princess here. Luckly, his 2 year old boy cousin was upstairs sleeping in a pink Justin Bieber shirt so I didn't feel so...what's a good word here...concerned? Thank you, Jackson :)

My friend was buying this cute dress for her daughter, but Simon wanted to test it out for her first. It kept him quiet in Target for a little longer so I was all for it. Oh the blackmailing ahead of us...

I just thought this was funny. Notice the boots are on the wrong feet so he looks like his legs are misshapen. This is a VERY common look in our house. Boots and jammies. Sounds like a country song.

This was taken right before his first tumbling class at the Y last week. I will be sad if they take it away before the class is over because it provides a lot of pre and post class entertainment for him. He looks like a natural fisherman :)  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Almost 30. I know, I know...hard to believe

Lately I've been thinking about the fact that I am almost three decades old. I don't officially take the leap until August, but it's close enough. We all have visions of what "thirty somethings" are like and I must say, I don't know if I'm living up to my own expectations.

I figured that by the time I was 30 I would certainly....
-drink wine with dinner (or have acquired a taste for liquor beyond wine coolers)
-have mastered the art of keeping my house clean and well organized
-wear clothes that don't have the word "sweat" in the description (can't say this happens much)
-rely on more than a ponytail holder to style my hair every day
-not feel compelled to finish every book in the Young Adult section at the library and ignore all the rest
-care more about politics than celebrity news (I just can't get enough of the Kardashians)
-drive a mini-van, not a cool SUV

On the other hand, I do....
-steer clear of the Junior's section at Kohl's (unless I want to go for the ever-popular muffin top look)
-obsess over Chai Tea Lattes
-use a "set" of products on my face every day because my skin is looking dangerously like that of an actual 30 year olds
-listen to NPR and books on cd (if I'm actually listening to them on my iPhone does that make it cooler?)
-cook often and rarely have to consult a recipe book for dinner
-love my book club
-drink coffee every morning (okay, so it doesn't really taste like coffee by the time I'm done with it, but still...)
-get seriously annoyed with teenagers because not everything is either a) funny or b) a ridiculously big deal (OMG!)
-have a 3 year old and a husband of 7 years...stats that definitely validate my advanced age

It's no real secret that I've always been 30 (okay, okay....40) at heart, but it's just a little crazy to actually be it. I'm really looking forward to the years ahead, though. I just hope my metabolism doesn't take off with my twenties. You hear about that, you know :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Star Search

So I really think I might have to get my son an agent. That pitch perfect voice of his might just be my ticket to a retirement home in Florida and the chance to mingle with the cast of Glee at the Grammys one day (he'd bring his mom, right?). The Biebs better watch out...

(Disclaimer: I realize the camera-work on this video is quite terrible, but in my defense it was taken with an iPhone.)

Click here to view this video

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Will he be "that kid?" Part 2

Today was Simon's first soccer class. I couldn't go because I had to work, which initially I was a little bummed about. In hindsight, I'm quite glad that I couldn't go as it was Bryan - not me - that got to be known as the parent of "that kid." HA! :)

Part way through the class, I started getting text message updates from Bryan. Our conversation was as follows:

Simon is not participating.
It is a good thing we're doing this before preschool.
They are playing Simon Says and he is a little confused.


He is such a bad listener.
Coach to kid ratio is really bad, though.

What is it?

15 to 1

Yikes. Did he ever get his act together?

This says it all:

The picture had me completely laughing out loud. Not soon after it was taken, Bryan pulled Simon out of class a little early stating that "he cannot handle this class right now." I found this whole thing highly amusing, largely due to the fact that I didn't have to actually endure the stares from fellow parents and annoyed coaches. While this child of mine may not always be predictable, he is consistent with at least one thing: making his momma laugh every single day. I heard a great quote about having small kids and it seems appropriate here: "If having small children doesn't make you laugh, then you're doing it wrong." I love that. It makes me feel like I'm doing it right :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grandma Wivian

Most weekday mornings, Simon and I wake up and head off to spend a few hours with my Grandma Vivian (or "Wivian" if you ask the boy). Now before you think I'm this wonderful person, I feel obligated to say that this is actually a paid gig. Grandma Vivian (GV) suffered a stroke many years ago which caused major short term memory loss. Ask her about her childhood and she'll tell you all about it with relative accuracy as far as I can tell, but ask what she ate for breakfast and she'll probably have no idea. To complicate matters, she is diabetic. This is where I come in. In short, she needs someone to remind her to check her blood sugars and to make sure she gets the right amount of insulin and eats appropriately. Before me there was a company that was hired to do this job, hence, it is a paid gig. Okay, NOW you can think about how wonderful I am :)


Sometimes we venture out into the world between breakfast and lunch, and since I had a 30% off (yay!) at Kohl's it seemed like the perfect place for our destination de jour. It started out fine, but Simon insisted on walking rather than riding in the cart. I explained that he had to stay next to me otherwise in the cart he would go. Immediately he wandered off...not off to a good start. I decided to explain the rules one more time in the spirit of second chances. We walked over to the shoe section, but he was too distracted by the character sneakers to cooperatively try on the boring clearance skater shoes I had my eye on. A meltdown was imminent.

As I'm desperately trying to reason with him to keep his act together, I hear two women talking in the aisle over. From their conversation, I could discern that their kids were going to be in the same preschool class that Simon will be in next year. Great! Time to put on my friendly hat and introduce myself....

Simon had other plans.

He was literally laying on the floor shoeless, writhing and starting to cry (why, I really have no idea). No, now was not the time to let these unassuming mothers know that a freaking nut job was going to be disrupting their perfect little child's class in a few short months.

So in the cart he went. Well, in the cart I forced a stiff-bodied-screaming-hot-mess. We went on the hunt for GV so we could get the hell out of dodge. We started doing laps to try to find her. Let me just say that it is a challenge to find a woman who is 4'11" on her best day and whose hair has the same old lady look as 90% of the other shoppers at Kohl's at 10:30 on a Thursday morning. Where WAS she and why won't this kid SHUT UP?! Yes, his tantrum was still in full force and was showing no signs of stopping after a good three laps. {I guess I was "that mom" who wasn't about to ditch her cart because her kid was being difficult. Seriously, how would anyone EVER finish a shopping trip if this crappy advice was strictly adhered to? No mom with a headstrong child could have come up with that gem.} After what felt like an eternity, I found both silence and GV. Hallelujah. Let's go.

Getting out of the store with GV always serves as a challenge. She gets distracted very easily and forgets that we are in something of a hurry. Simon was starting to lose himself again, but it was GV to the rescue. Having had 10 kids she knows what works on crabby toddlers. A good bribe. She promised him a "prize" when we got to the car if he was a good boy. So he was a perfect angel until we got into the car and out came a mini Milky Way from GVs pocket. He was happy. She was happy. I was happy.

I know this was a more lengthy post than usual, but these days with GV aren't going to last forever. This was just one detailed account of just one our adventures, but hopefully it will serve as a good reminder of our time with her. I wish I had a good picture of the two of them...that will by my mission for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Will he be "that kid?"

Yesterday was Simon's very first attempt at being a part of a small group of children and following directions from a teacher. It was a 45 minute class at the YMCA called Teddy Tumblers for 2 and 3 year olds.

It started out pretty much as expected. As the kids were lining up to go into the tumbling room he ran away, took a swing at the teacher and yelled that he was scared. Eventually, I was able to coax him into the room without me and my job was done (they don't want parents in there because they serve as too big of a distraction). Luckily, we could see into the room from about 50 feet away through a couple of glass windows (too hard to explain where we were beyond that). This is what we saw:

Simon running around flying like an airplane with his arms out stretched.
Simon standing there with his arms crossed.
Simon throwing his hand out in the "stop" position at the teacher several times.
Simon sitting down next to the teacher.
Simon stretching.
Simon crawling on the mat with the other kids.
Simon walking on the balance beam.
Simon high-fiving the teacher.
Simon coming out of the room hand in hand with a little red headed girl.

When I saw him sit down with the group I was flooded with relief and happiness. The teacher later explained that she told him she would blow her whistle after class if he joined the group and that was good enough for him. Here's to hoping the next class ends just as well, but with a 3 year old you just never know what you're going to get!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The "Haircut Store"

Over three years ago, when Simon was a chubby 4 month old, we went to a place called "The Barbershop" up in Appleton so he could get his first official haircut. As you can see in the pictures below, his hair was a little on the wild side. My little cousin went to the zoo and saw the baby Orangutan and told my aunt, "That looks like Baby Simon!" He was pretty much right on target. Even in the "after" photo, it's still all over the place, just a little more controlled. Before, During & After:

Some three years later, I've lost count of all the haircuts he's gotten. I think it's somewhere between 15 and 20. It always makes me wonder how long it would be if we let it grow out (or if he were a girl). Yesterday we took him to the place he's dubbed "The Haircut Store" so he could get a professional looking cut while driving in a car and watching a movie. Thankfully, the older he gets the more cooperative he gets...I felt for the two moms in there with hysterical toddlers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Turning a long awaited corner

When Simon was a tiny little peanut baby we took him out to dinner all the time. He'd stay in his car seat the entire time and request a bottle or a jiggle every now and again, but for the most part we could still have an uninterrupted, pleasant meal. Soon the very idea of dining out would fill me with a sense of dread. Actually doing it, however, really wasn't so bad. I kid. It was really that bad.

I can't easily cite specific examples of Simon's restaurant behavior because like any traumatic experience, you naturally block out the details. I can vaguely remember the essence of those dinners, though.

Simon was grabby.
Anything he could get his grubby little paws on he wanted. Sometimes he would literally appear frantic when trying to grab things before we could move them out of reach (he particularly liked salt because so much comes out so fast when you tip the shaker upside down).

Simon was loud.
He has yet to master the concept of "inside voices" no matter where we are. At a friend's with a sleeping baby? WHO CARES. At the library? WHISPERING IS FOR SUCKERS. At a restaurant? GOOD LUCK.

Simon was squirmy.
The chair was never a place he wanted to be. It was always better to be (attempting) to stand on the chair, crawl under the table, examine other restaurant patrons nearby up close and personal or simply try to run away.

Simon was "reasoned" with.
"If you throw one more breadstick, you're not getting any more food" ... "You have until the count of three to sit down or we're buckling you into that high chair" ... "You have to let Mommy hold the overfilled, lidless cup of milk the thoughtful waitress brought or you won't get any at all."

Luckily, we really are turning a corner. He's not so grabby, loud or squirmy and we don't have to try to reason with him over something every 8 seconds...he's just been GOOD all on his own. In fact, the last several times we've gone out he's been an angel and it's been wonderful. I know we'll have our bad days still, but it's great to know that they are going to be fewer and farther between from here on out (I'd go into the details about lunch at McDonald's with his 3 cousins today, but in the spirit of optimism I'm choosing to block it out instead...I don't want to remember him throwing a bag of apples at his baby cousin's face).

(These pics have nothing to do with anything...they are just because.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crack the code

I promise I will not blog often about my infertility woes, but I wanted to share a special language that I know from doing so much "research." A friend once said she wanted to know a cool secret language too...I laughed and said she could have it! It was a great spin on something that's not always a barrel o' fun. Anyways, I want to read this one day and have NO IDEA what any of it means anymore, although something tells me it will always be in my brain somewhere...


That's all I can think I will get back to fun stories about the child I DO have :)

Tina Fey is pregnant

Now, I'm sure the news that Tina Fey is pregnant again is high on the list of things you care deeply about. Maybe saying you care "deeply" is a bit of an overstatement. Saying I care deeply is an overstatement too, but the news does mean a small something to me.

If you know this blog exists AND you are taking the time to read it, there's a good chance you know that I have a little something called secondary infertility. That just means I got one helluva kid, but he was a helluva fluke and it's unlikely we'll get so lucky again (for the optimists out there, I'm using the word "unlikely" instead "impossible" here). Yes, there is always adoption for when we win the lottery and find ourselves with an extra 25 to 40 grand in our pockets, but in the meantime we're a family of three.

Having an only child is something I've worked very hard over the past few years to accept and be happy about. One fun thing that I always told myself was that celebrities had only children all the time. We were going to be chic and trendy by only having one. I could just see myself walking the streets of New York in my oversized bag, skinny jeans and heels with my one precious boy wearing his long hair and a backpack (very realistic imagery, I know). Look at Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Holmes, Courtney Cox (Arquette?), Celine Dion, Kate Hudson and Tina Fey! They're all with me! But then boom, boom, boom, adios SJP, Celine, Kate and now Tina. Only Mrs. Cruise and Monica Gellar have stuck by my side on this one.

I know to an outsider this probably seems absurd, ridiculous, silly, etc. to have even thought about this in the first place. I can see your IS all of those things. I'm a little hesitant to even post about this because I don't want to give the impression that I'm actually upset about Tina Fey's growing fetus (admittedly, there was a time when the news may have sent me off the deep end, but THANK GOD those days are behind me). I'm just checking her off the list is all. "Our" club just got a little more elite, and that's how I'm going to see it :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So predictable

Simon had a hole in the foot of his jammies yesterday. I asked him 17 times if he wanted to change. Nope. I said to Bryan, "Mark my words. About 20 minutes after he's gone to bed he's going to get bothered by that toe sticking out and he'll insist on different jammies." Sure enough, almost like clockwork.

Then several minutes after that, Simon yelled from upstairs that he had to go potty. He was calling for me, but I sent Bryan instead. Bryan said, "But he's calling for you." I tried to pretend that didn't matter. Bryan got up there and Simon said, "My mommy can put me on the potty and take me off the potty. She does that job." (WHAT?!) He proceeded to pick up his monitor and talk into it walky-talky style calling for me until I appeared.

At least we've come to know what to expect from the kid (his actions, not so much his words), but all this blogging is making me notice just how much he is running the show. I'll have to mull that one over....

(This picture is just because.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Painful Laughter

Last night Simon made me laugh harder than I think he's ever made me laugh before. I had the full on hunched over, painful, teary eyed, snort-filled laugh that I used to get all the time when I was younger. Now being 29, I still give a chuckle and a giggle at something every day, but intense laughing fits don't come around all that often anymore.

When Simon was supposed to hopping into bed, I went downstairs to get something. He decided to follow and I yelled for Bryan to grab him to keep him upstairs. Simon was too quick, though, and he caught right up to me before Bryan was half way down the stairs. All the while, Bryan is telling Simon in a stern voice that he better come upstairs. Eventually Bryan told Simon that he had to the count of three to get upstairs or he was getting a spanking.

**Side Note: Now I know everyone has their own ideas on the usefulness of spanking. In our house, it is used minimally as a last ditch effort or when the seriousness of his offense merits a little sting on the cheeks. Bryan's way of spanking, however, is to lightly pat him a few times on the butt over his clothes so that it feels more like a love tap and is subsequently not an effective disciplinary method.**

Since Simon knows that Daddy's spankings are actually more like a tickle, he laughed in the face of danger and yelled to me, "I WILL STOP HIM!" He said this with all the confidence and gumption of a soldier ready for action. He then ran into the kitchen where Bryan had appeared and yelled at the top of his lungs "BADAAAAAAA!" with his hand out in front of him in the "stop" position (Simon later told me that "bada" is what Diego says to stop the animals). He yelled this over and over and I seriously fell apart.

I know reading about (or even hearing about it) really doesn't do it justice, but trust me, it was comedy at its finest :) I WISH I had my video camera on for it last night, but I wasn't that lucky. Instead, for your viewing pleasure, here is Simon rocking out at State Fair last summer:

Friday, April 1, 2011


Today I lost it. I lost my cool and I definitely lost the battle.

Preceding EVERY nap time and night time, we have to go through a few charades to actually get Simon in bed and sleeping. At nap time he always needs jammies and a book. At night, he needs jammies, 3 books, a sip of water, water on the dresser and to be properly tucked in among other things. The routine gets very old so any B.S. (yes, "BULL SHIT") that lengthens the process can be frustrating.

Today I was frustrated.

Instead of picking out his jammies, he played in his tent. Thus, I picked them out on his behalf. Unfortunately, they were not footie jammies. HE! WANTED! FOOTIE! JAMMIES! He was going to scream until he was wearing footie jammies. I explained that I picked out his jammies because he chose not to and he'd have to live with that choice. I know that logic sounds easy enough, but for some reason the screaming continued. (Dear Love and Logic, You don't work.)

There was a lot of back and forth between us over the next 30 minutes. Mostly he screamed and I tried to not scream back (key word: "tried"). Eventually I caved and let him wear the damn footie jammies. Was now the time to teach him about the consequences of his actions? Who knows. Sometimes I just need to take a step back and remind myself that not all battles have to be picked and he'll still turn out alright....I hope.

(These jammies were the cause of our dispute.)