Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

Does the Nugget understand Christmas yet?  Not really.  But he knows how to rip open a present, grin at assorted relatives, and eat cookies, so he was more festive this year than he was at his first Christmas when he mostly just spit-up.

Last year, I was pretty busy with my gift basket business but it didn't really matter, because the Nugget couldn't sit up yet, much less enjoy seasonal fun.  This year, we wanted to start some Christmas traditions for our boy, so we...
-Picked out a potted tree together.  We decorated it like a cut tree, but will plant it outside when the ground thaws.
-Visited a farm for pony rides.  The "ponies" were actually quarter horses, so the Nugget had to do the splits on Pretty Girl, and I had run on tiptoe, holding him under the armpits to keep him on Pretty Girl as she walked around the arena.  He sure did love that horseback ride!  Luckily, he was satisfied with one ride, or more specifically we did not explain that additional rides were available, because there was no way I could have repeated that stunt.  Ah, the joys of having a 1.5 year old - he still accepts what you offer and rarely begs for more.
-Went downtown for our (FREE) picture with Santa and some Christmas treats from the local chocolate factory.
-Drove to a Christmas light display at a botanical garden.  They had ice sculptures, a gingerbread village, a model train, and live music.  The Nugget liked the live music (folk singers) the best and clapped after each song.
-Hosted a family party for my moms' meetup group.
-Went to Grammy and Grandpa's for a week, where he pulled in quite a bit of Christmas loot, terrorized their kitty, went to the zoo, mugged for the camera, set off Grammy's animatronic snowmen about a zillion times, terrified his aunt and uncle with drool, begged extra cookies off gullible relatives, and generally had a wonderful time.  The Nugget loves everyone, and especially adores his Grandpa, who has a way with young children and animals.  My sister claims it's the pitch of his voice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 - Newborn

Top 10 Memories of the Newborn Days:
10.  All day napping extravangzas - for both of us.
9.  Your ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime - the louder the better.
8.  The smell, ah that newborn smell...
7.  The pastel clothes with chubby neckless animals.  Now all your shirts are navy and practically yell (in yellow and red letters) - DIRT!  NOISE!  BOY!  TROUBLE!  VEHICLES!  Gosh, how I miss the giraffe and hippo who quietly murmured, "We are jungle animal friends".
6.  On that note, the hats and hoods with bear ears.
5.  The lack of expectation for new parents - Dirty laundry piling up?  Bathroom mirror caked in scum?  Nothing in the fridge but ketchup?  But you were our first newborn, the ultimate excuse!
4.  We set you down in one spot...when we came back, you were still in that spot.  Now when I leave you momentarily unsupervised to use the bathroom, I return to find that you have deleted several files on the computer, jimmied open the baby lock on the entertainment center to skip past an unfavorable song on your Sandra Boynton cd, have stolen the dog's bone and used it to knock books off the shelf, and are now chewing the bone while jumping on the couch.  Impressive.
3.  The utter astonishment of us rookies at EVERYTHING you did - he held his head up! Looked right at me!  Made a noise!  Filled his diaper!  Sneezed!  Incredible!  He must be a genius.
2.  This is going to sound mean, but you used to beam yourself right in the head, then look at us in shock, as if to say, "Who hit me in the head?"
1.  The cuddles - you were one sweet snuggle bug.  I tried so hard to enjoy even the middle of the night feeding cuddles because I knew they'd be gone in a flash.

Top 10 Trials of the Newborn Days:
10.  Sponge baths
9.  Your freakishly long umbilical cord (the doctor left you a good 6 inches) - we were so afraid that it would snag on a shirt and you would bleed to death.
8.  The sleepless nights - what a cliche, but cliches are true.
7.  Your lack of neck muscles (aka floppy headed baby).
6.  Those snap-up pajamas - Carter's cruel joke on visually impaired, sleep deprived mommies.
5.  The binky falling out of your mouth while you lay there helpless like a slug, albeit a screaming slug.
4.  The awkward stage when you were too large to carry yet not strong enough to sit up in the grocery cart.  I'd desperately prop you up between milk cartons while old ladies tsk-tsk'ed at me.
3.  The endless preparation and washing of bottles.
2.  The SIDS risk age, when Daddy would check on you every 10 minutes to ensure you were still breathing.  We couldn't co-sleep, because before we even tried it, Daddy would wake up with nightmares that you were suffocating in the covers, rip them all off the bed in a fit of terror, yelling for you.  He would invariably wake me up (during my turn to sleep of course) and occasionally wake you up from your peaceful slumber in your own crib.  This happened at least 6 times.  Sweet and protective, yes...but he's lucky I wasn't armed.
1.  We used to carry 3, count'em 3, diaper bags for a single hour-long excursion.  One was for the normal baby stuff - diapers, wipes, bottles.  The second held nothing but bibs, because you could soak one to saturation in about 30 seconds.  You are going to think I'm exaggerating but your auntie Lynden timed it, so ask her if you doubt!  The third held burp cloths and back-up outfits due to your undiagnosed acid reflux.  Your Grammy had to make special extra-large flannel burp cloths, and I have wiped up more of your vomit than I care to discuss.  Let's just say, when you make it big, you owe me a really nice handbag for Mother's Day.

Proud moments

To start off, I should explain that although the Nugget has not yet uttered the title of this Blog (Mom, are you watching me?), we are just counting down the days until it becomes his mantra.  His personality in a single word: charming.  He sucks up attention like a sponge, and of course we are only too happy to oblige.  He can win anyone over with his big smile and goofy ways.  While I would never want to pigeonhole him or pressure him toward any career path, let me just say that I would not be at all surprised if he wanted to be some sort of entertainer or salesman, because the Nugget can work a crowd.  When the Nugget finally meets his baby brother or sister, it's going to be simultaneously the best and worst thing for him - he will have to share his spotlight, but he will also gain a little admirer.  Let's hope he teaches lil sib his cute dance moves and not the launching-self-off-furniture moves.
One of my favorite things the Nugget does is look up at us proudly when he does something he deems noteworthy.  It is an open mouth smile (with a ribbon of drool), eyes wide, as if to say, "Are you SEEING this?!"  On a good day, I get "the look" about a dozen times.  Currently, "the look" revolves around lifting his shirt and discovering his belly button.  It's like a wonderful surprise to him, that it's there, just lurking under his shirt, waiting to be proudly shown to anyone within a 12 foot radius.  I'm hoping there will be some aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents willing to admire the Nugget's navel this Christmas.  Because he'll keep showing it off until someone confirms that, "Yes, that's your belly button!" 

New to the blogging scene

I have finally succumbed to peer pressure and am joining the blogosphere.  My hesitation was a trifecta of concerns:
1.  That I would type something that would traumatize my child and be ever available online for the world to see.
2.  That because I love writing, I would want each post to be hilarious, insightful, and poignant, while in reality, they won't be up to the standards in my head.
3.  That between email, Myspace, Facebook, my Yahoo groups, and Meetup, did I really want to add another computer-related time-suck?

So what convinced me?  Well, besides the arm-twisting of multiple far-away friends and family, I looked at my son today and he is 17 months old.  A toddler.  And to be honest, I'm not really sure how that happened.  I have pictures up the wazoo, a full baby book, totes of outgrown clothes, and vaguely fuzzy memories tinged with sleep deprivation.  I'm afraid I'm missing it.  That I'm here, intensely busy in the everyday stuff of parenting, taking time to marvel in each tiny discovery the Nugget makes, but that I will forget how he is IN THIS MOMENT.

So I'm starting my journal.  This is for me but also for the Nugget.  I love you, boo-boo.