Monday, August 30, 2010

Career Day

I keep hypothesizing about Miles's future careers, but haven't had the opportunity to confer Felix with completely outlandish job and trade prospects...until now. (I figured, professional smiler isn't lucrative. Unless he is a "parts" model. That mouth is pretty photogenic.)
Drum roll:


Move over Misty May-Treanor, there is a new Kinesio Kid on the block. (Hoping the masses get the association. If not, Google Misty and kinesio tape.)

Okay, so I panicked about the tort-collar and helmet that could be implied with Felix's torticollis...but I didn't know kinesio tape was an option! 

The truth is,  I'm not that bothered by the tape. Luckily, Felix isn't, either. It's meant to facilitate the loose muscles on the right side of his neck, so for the next two weeks, we slap some specially cute kinesio tape onto him.

Miles continues to throw us for professional loops, and childcare sent me some great pics.  Here he is testing out the "fireman fashionista" career. Hey, at least he is learning how to accessorize. Not sure the purse and hat "go" but I'm calling it avant garde. By the looks of his face, I'm sensing he won't be a fireman. At least not one that regularly shops at Nordstroms.
What about a Ballerina?
I cannot figure out the purple sash/shawl. More questionable accessory choices.

Finally, Felix and I are playing hookey as he heal from an ear infection, exacerbated by his top 2 teeth cutting. He's actually interested in a pacifier--as a chew toy. It's that or my chin. Temperatures of 102, swollen gums and lack of sleep make for a fussy baby.

...and I am anticipating more frequent poop that reeks of amoxicillan. Good-bye cloth diapers, and hello 'sposies for a week or two.

At least he's cute...and totally loveable.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Junior Varsity Mamarazzi

From Mamarazzi August 2010
From Mamarazzi August 2010
I'm a day off to participate in one of my favorite blog's "embrace the camera" days, so I am offering up a JV mamarazzi post.

You know the fabric of who you are has changed when you:

  1. Get excited when your receive the following text from your husband: "He pooped." (Felix likes to grace us with poop strikes. It's not constipation...he's too busy eating watermelon and being cute to be bothered. Miles, prefers to celebrate life by filling his diaper.)
  2. From Mamarazzi August 2010
  3. You let your husband take a picture of you at the end of a killer day at work when you've already stripped down to a cami, had a minor meltdown in traffic, and got a ketchup facial from your son.

But the real fun? the outtakes...french kisses and all.
From Mamarazzi August 2010
From Mamarazzi August 2010
From Mamarazzi August 2010
From Mamarazzi August 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010


From Dinner Antics and some randoms
In Miles's short 2 years, we have already predicted a number of careers for him:

Sanitation controller (trash man)
Stylist (hair dresser) Sweet! Free haircuts!
Professional harmonica player
Competitive eater
Laundromat operator
Etiquette instructor
Monster truck driver
Exhibitionist/Never nude (My brothers or anyone who was as in love with Arrested Development as we were will totally get the never nude.) You see, Miles would happily traipse around in his diaper all day and night ("NO SHIRT PLEASE!"), but the second we ask if he wants to take off his diaper, he turns into Mr. Bashful. Topic for later discussion (read: why potty training will not be initiated in this house for another couple of months.)

Recently, we are more and more inclined to think Miles may be conjuring some of that engineering blood (both grandfathers). He loves to build. And he's deliberate...methodical...skilled.
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
And he is a whiz at puzzles now. He even thinks it's funny to put the pieces in incorrectly and say "gnome" while looking at you to get a reaction (That's how he says "no." He likes to add consonants at the end of every word.) He got that game from my father.

We are constantly building and talking about "demi tunnels," towers, bridges, ramps, trestles. (Pause. I continually notice the high volume of wires in the background of many of my photos. Add that to my application for parent of the year.)
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
In combination with his adoration of all kinds of trucks, I think there really is a boy in that gentle soul. One time, he decided to create some sort of toy dam in his crib.
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
What was going on his mind is beyond me, but it was pretty impressive. It's about as masculine as he gets (thank God). I'm not sure I really love the truck obsession, but I'm pretty impressed with his ability to pick out and name skid steers, diggers, rollers, graters, sprockets, monster trucks, tractors...and so on. His sentence constructions hurt for some prepositions, but I am so stunned at his memory and then ability to translate it into building and imaginative play. I think we are completely into the "you must spell the word in order to prevent Miles from hearing"--even if he is in the other room and a loud turbine fan is blowing in his ear, he will hear you say something like "snack" and run into the room asking for a snack please.

Although I predominately see Eric in Miles when I look at him (outside of that upper lip that covers his top teeth that I am still not convinced anyone has ever seen--those are hallmark Opat),
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
I can sense both Grandpa and Opat in him. No, not the traipsing in diapers...although, I think both of our fathers have spent a good deal of time without their shirts on...but the interest in architecture, critical thinking, building, and as I coin it "engineering." There is no question they are his grandfathers.

I am continually amazed and delighted to see as Miles grows glimmers of our families. It's so hard being far away from them, so I cherish "seeing" them in his personality, preferences, upper lip, deep set eyes (totally from my own Nana), and even fingernails.

All Aboard!: A True Train StoryBig Book of Things That GoThe truth is, I have no idea what Miles will choose as a career when he grows up. It's not my job to decide, but to cultivate his interests as he grows--even if it is reading The Big Book of Things That Go twenty times in one day. And we've reached that critical age when skipping pages gets noticed. And he calls us on the strategic "miss placing" of All Aboard! A True Train Story.

I'm not going to lie, though. I'm not sure I could endorse his interest in competitive eating.

Or monster truck driving

Or being a never nude.
From Dinner Antics and some randoms

  Oh, how I love my blue eyed boy...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School!

They are BAAACK! The first day of school! It's amazing how much things have changed in 2 short years.  My boys are growing so too fast.

First month 2008 (I don't think I took a picture of Miles the first day at the ELC. Back then, it was 4 baby boys in a cafeteria at Marist. I think the ratio was 3 ELC Marist moms to 4 bubbling babies. Miles was about 4+ months old.)
From First Day of School
From First Day of School

First day 2009. Last year. Miles wasn't even totally walking, yet! And Felix was still "kilometer" at about 17 z weeks or so.
From First Day of School
From First Day of School
From First Day of School

First day 2010. We didn't get a picture before school because getting 2 ready in the AM is harder than 1, and it was about getting out the door before 8am without blood or too much sweat.  But we got some pics after a fun first day. Can you tell Felix played all day? This is how I came home to him. And Miles and Daddy were just so excited to talk about all that had happened.
From First Day of School
From First Day of School
Felix rallied and got naked for saying bye to Daddy as he went to a meeting.
From First Day of School
From First Day of School

What will the pictures look like next year on the first day? I have a feeling there will be lots of changes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boo Boos

Scene: Eric is chaperoning Miles on one of his handful of dates this summer with classmate "E." Ali is going to meet them all at the local taqueria for some lunch. Eric calls Ali...

Eric: Can you bring me a new shirt?
Ali: Why do you need a new shirt?
Eric: Because mine has blood on it.
Ali: Um, why does it have blood on it?
Eric: Because Miles got blood on it.
Ali: How did he get blood on it?
Eric: He cut his head open.
Ali: How did he cut his head open?
Eric: He fell.
Ali: What happened?
Eric: He was running and tripped on a plastic shrub that decorated E's princess castle, and then fell onto the castle.

Pause. Anyone else frustrated by the dragging out of the full story here?

Dads--when relaying information like this, please just spill it all out to us Moms in one breath. I don't need to play verbal see-saw.

Preferred Redo:

Eric: Can you bring me a shirt? Miles tripped on E's princess castle and the spire cut his head open. When I picked him up, I got blood all over my white shirt. He is totally fine; was a real trooper and is playing fine, now. E's Daddy and I stopped the bleeding, gave him a snack, and he recovered brilliantly. I don't think it needs stitches, but my shirt is a mess.

Ali: Oh dear! So glad he is okay. Will be there with a clean shirt soon.

End of scene.

But instead, with each trickle of information, I got more and more in a panic. Somehow, the delay signals to me that it is more serious than it really is. It's like when I was giving Felix a bath after Eric took him to his 6 month appointment and he made an off hand comment about how he did well with the lazy eye test. Oh? They did one? Huh. And over the course of a few more see-saws of information, I find out that the test involved an electrode-y kinda hat with wires coming out and they sat Felix in front of a screen and tracked his eyes. Eric didn't tell me all the details when he first came home because he was afraid I couldn't "handle" it. So he offers me little bites of information...enough so that I continue to ask questions and have to pry out additional details. Again, the prolonging incites panic.

Am I that much of a basket case?

Whoah. Wait. I had 2 difficult pregnancies. Delivered 2 babies without pain medication. Dealt with a 1 year old with a broken leg, high lead, a hubby with cancer, months of sleep deprivation...what's a little lazy eye test?

Back to the princess castle. The situation seemed to rest after I saw Miles and it appeared he had a little nick at his hair line. The bigger drama is that my husband thinks I am a wuss.

And then I gave Miles a bath a few days later...pause... he gets a bath every night, but hair wash night is every 3 nights. Resume...I gave Miles a bath a few days later on hair wash night, and saw this:
From Dinner Antics and some randoms

No one saw the 2 inch wound that the princess castle "knighted" my son with; could it have needed stitches? At this point, does it matter? And the truth is, for as timid, cautious, and dramatic as Miles is (people, he cries over the thought of falling), I am kind of glad he soldiered through this experience with a brave face and courage.

The past few months our lives have been focused on boo boos. The first year it's all about poop. And then the focus changes to boo boos once the little ones become more mobile. Miles pretends like his arm is completely incapacitated when he has a band aid on his finger. And as I've mentioned before, Scotch tape exists on many of his toys to serve as band aids for all of the "boo boos" that happen.

Today he threw a ball at his tent, and then had to kiss it all up and down to heal the boo boos.

And don't forget about all of my moles. I guess they need tending to as well. I get kisses on them routinely. And I take advantage of his willingness to kiss boo boos when I want a kiss. "Mommy's lips have a boo boo." Works every time.

And the best yet? Mile identified Mahna's spider veins (sorry for the reveal Mom) and immediately gave them his signature "boo boo kiss."
From Dinner Antics and some randoms

It's so interesting how children at this age start to understand how other people and things are starting to "feel."

And the other day, it almost made my heart weep. I'm not sure why, but this "vignette" is now burned into my memory: Miles was in his crib playing with his wooden tools. Felix was getting a bottle from my Mom in the chair next to the crib. I was getting ready for work, but came into the room and was watching Miles enjoy playing with his tools. UNTIL...he started throwing them. I hate this throwing thing. And the kid has an arm. He's impulsive. But knows he is doing something wrong. He just cannot help himself. And then the blue wrench goes FLYING through the air and clocks Felix in the face. Cue intense crying from the baby. Did he mean to hit Felix? I don't know. But I immediately picked Miles up and put him on the quiet pillow and told him that he hurt his brother. I was stern and serious. Felix continued to cry, and Miles looked straight in my eyes and said, "Beebix kigh-ing!"

And then his own bottom lip began to quiver.

He was hurt. Worried. Concerned...and I think kind of confused about what was happening. Did I just hurt my brother? What's going on?

Miles almost lost it himself. His face was something I will never forget. And then my heart just, well, hurt.

I don't know how to explain what that moment was like for me, but it ended with me swooping Miles up after the requisite 2 minutes on the pillow, and telling him I loved him--but throwing is NOT okay. It almost makes me cry now thinking of the face Miles gave me when he realized he hurt Felix. Here I am, more affected by Miles's reaction to Felix's crying. Is that bizarre?

Maybe Eric is right. Maybe I am a wuss. I don't know.

What I do know is that this is just the advent of my boys' boo boos. Both real fake, moles, veins, bloody, teary...and that it won't be the last time my heart hurts seeing my kids in pain.

Motherhood can be a beast. But I'll be stealing boo boo kisses on my lips for as long as I can.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cukes. It's what's for dinner.

From Dinner Antics and some randoms
This kid cannot get enough cucumber. He despises the spoon...and all fruit. Give him some avocado (okay, technically a fruit), a cucumber wheel, and a camera to document.
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
From Dinner Antics and some randoms

Honestly, how many 7 month old babies pose?

From Dinner Antics and some randoms
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
From Dinner Antics and some randoms
And Miles finally crafted his "CHEESE!" face. I cannot wait for first grade photos. Let's hope he at least doesn't demand to be bare chested.

This post is brought to you by nothing but a proud Mommy moment. No real literature to chew on...just the most recent pictures of my sons that hugged my heart. I just love these boys so intensely. Seeing fragments of me and Eric in them every day astounds me. I know every Mommy says this about her own children, but damn these kids are cute.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The summer of boxes

Why do parents bother getting loads of toys? Over the past months, I have realized a few things:
  1. Kids prefer to play with non-toy items
  2. From August 2010
  3. Most of those non-toy items can be find in your recycling bin
  4. Parents need to learn to accept that their house will be littered with trash that magically turns into toys. If you think your child is exempt from this phenomenon, you're a fool. I am now suspect of any house I walk into with a child over the age of 1 that is perfectly clean and doesn't have trash re-purposed into car ramps, oat container musical instruments, or things like toilet paper roll kaleidoscope. Hey Type A, OCDers--I was you once. But for the sake of your children's creativity...just let it go and indulge your children's imagination!
  5. Boxes rock.
The summer of boxes consisted of Miles figuring out a way to use all sorts of boxes for play. Currently, we have a cut up tissue box that serves as the roof for our "giraffe house." Or, on occasion, a car ramp.  The most recent box was used as his truck garage.

This is how we found him.
From August 2010

Insert laugh.

Sometimes he is nice enough to invite "Bee-bix" in. (And by invite, I mean he demands "BEE-BIX IN!!!" And then he grabs his hand and tries to hold it. The look on Felix's face is priceless. I call it shock and awe.)
From August 2010
 Another kind of box was "created" at our house this summer--built by two big boys. Daddy and Opat.
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
We are now the proud owner's of a handmade 6x10 sandbox in our backyard. Or as Miles calls it, the "san-duh-box."

It came with a lot of hemming and hawing.

Somebody, who will remain nameless, was quite resistant to the potential loss of real estate with the dimensions.

Somebody, shot laser eyes and furrowed eyebrows my way when Mahna and I even suggested going 8x10.

...but Somebody, came through...and with the help of Opat, built the king of all san-duh-boxes. It was a huge labor of love that took countless hours, gallons of Gatorade, 3500 lbs (yes, really) of masonry sand, and lots of hard work. And a little more cash than I think we had anticipated. I hope someday Eric can build a sandbox with Miles and Felix for their children. Unless Apple comes up with some virtual iBox.

Miles prefers the role of san-duh-box conductor. He sits in the corner, and demands we make two turtles, or bury his feet. He's serious about his sand (and apparently mismatching).
From August 2010
Felix isn't quite as enthralled with the boxes. He's more interested in eating people. (Please...can this third tooth erupt already?)
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010

Who, ME???
From August 2010

And just because I'm really struggling to put together words tonight due to exhaustion, some box outtakes. I feel like tonight I need some extra smiles. And a bowl of ice cream.
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010
From August 2010

Full album here.