Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who needs toys?

We have a basket of toys that we set down on Alex's playmat for him to play with. Pretty much within 6 seconds he has all of the toys out of the basket and he just sits turning the empty basket over and over. Here is proof that we no longer need any toys for the child...just empty containers. And how do you like that "laugh" he has acquired?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Party on Wayne!

The first BBQ of the season was Saturday night. Brent and Kari had a bunch of us over for delicious food, home-brewed beer, and Michigan Rummy. Yummy and fun!

It is super convenient when we hang out over there because Alex sleeps very well there, barely wakes up for the 1 block walk home, and quickly falls back asleep when we put him in his crib. All of these factors combine their kick-ass forces to mean one thing: we don't have to go home at any specific time. Yay!

Now in past summers, these BBQ's would easily last until the wee hours of the morning. Saturday, we were home by midnight. It was like we were afraid our beautiful party clothes were going to turn to rags Cinderella-style. Not only were we home by midnight, we went straight to bed.

My thoughts were confirmed by a phone call from Kari the next morning. The sole purpose of that call was to make sure I was aware of the end time of the party. And reiterate that we are officially old. Which was further confirmed this morning when I opened the bathroom cabinet to get my hairbrush. The only hair on it? A single long gray strand just sitting atop the bristles. Clearly saying, "Good morning!...You old hag."

Getting Even

Saturday morning was just like every other morning...started at 5:30 in the AM. Alex woke up to eat, we played for a little bit and then he looked kinda tired so we snuggled up on the couch. We both fell asleep. An hour and half later, we woke up. It was then that I realized how deeply asleep we both had been. He looked more confused than me trying to pass 3rd semester Calculus in college...and I had drooled on his head. Drooled, ON HIS HEAD.

I am counting it as payback for the gazillion times he has barfed on me. Alex: 1,087,362 - Me: 1.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Part 2...of what will probably be 1 million

We had another kitchen floor and face meeting this morning. Although this one was not nearly as traumatic. This time his face met the floor from a sitting on the floor position. Less height+less velocity=less trauma. And none of this would have happened if those darn dog bowls weren't so enticing. Alex was completely content playing with his toys, until something shiny caught his eye. He is totally our kid. Easily distracted. Anyway, we have shiny silver dog dishes and their siren song was too much for the boy to resist.

Aside from the crying, the result of him giving in to the temptation was pretty darn funny. He managed to completely twist his torso around and stretch his little arm out as far as he could. The result...Alex on his stomach, completely stretched out, face mushed into the linoleum, with his little dimpled left hand just inches from the water dish. You know those dramatic pictures of people in the desert all stretched out reaching for the only oasis for hundreds of miles...that was the look.

Luckily with a little snuggle and some bouncing in rhythm with his kicking, he was right as rain...and immediately reaching for the next thing that caught his eye.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ready....GO!...or not.

This kid is so close to crawling it is killing me. I still like the fact that he is mostly immobile, but come on already.

He is now to the point that when he does manage to get his knees under himself, he immediately starts rocking. Kinda like he is a wind up race car. You know...the ones that you have to pull back a million times to wind up the wheels...and then you set it down and let 'er rip! It's kinda like that. Only there is no "let 'er rip" part. Just the winding up. Followed quickly by flattening out. MatchBox would not be impressed.

The thing that is killing me the most is how frustrated he gets. He knows he wants to move. He knows where he wants to go and what he wants to get. He just can't put all the steps together to make it happen. And wow does that piss him off. This is where my multiple issues come in.

1. I know I have to let him figure it out.
2. I know eventually he will figure it out.
3. I don't like seeing my sweet little beast boy frustrated.
4. I really don't like the noise my sweet little beast boy makes when he is frustrated. Anger mixed with sad, whimpery, incoherent pleading for someone, anyone to fix the problem. It is not a good color on him.

And so go the daily lessons in patience at the Julius House-Madison Edition.

Friday, March 19, 2010

And we still suck

Alex got to take his first trip to the dog park yesterday! It could not have gone better. The sling worked perfectly, the dog was super well behaved and the sun was shining brightly. The cool thing about the sling is that he doesn't have to lay down in it. You can have him sitting up so it just holds him on your hip without you having to hold on to him. At least that's how it worked for Travis. Once I took him, the little beast kept diving and wiggling all over the place until he got his little butt out of the sling...at which point he cackled hysterically like an evil little troll.

I love the park we take Aiden to because there is a lake for her to play in, wooded areas for her to "hunt" little critters (read: leaves), and wide open spaces for her to run to her heart's content. And run she did. It was really cool to watch Alex though. Every time Aiden would come back into sight, he would start kicking his little legs and squeal with delight. He loves that dog. And it is no secret that she loves him. Even now that he can poke her in the eye and pull on her ears. She either just gets up and walks away, or scoots over and licks his face. I do think she is also relishing in the last moments of him not being mobile.

I would post some pictures of how cute the whole fam damily was at the park...but alas, I still have not learned to stop the lack of documentation. No camera. Shocking right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

He might be Irish

Alex had his first Irish meal last night. A sampling of an Irish meal anyway. We went out for Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner. He sat on Trav's lap and ate anything Trav was willing to share. He tried everything except the bread. He loved everything...corned beef, carrots, cabbage, potatoes.

I am not sure how to get this trait of eating EVERYTHING we give him to stick. Do I need to promise my soul to someone nasty? Done and done. It would make me a very happy person to not have to hear, "I don't like that" before he tries something. If he doesn't like it after trying...fair enough. Although thus far that has not been the case. Could a love of most things edible possibly be an inherited gene? Can you pass on being a foodie?

I also realized we are positively terrible about documenting anything with pictures/video. A normal parent would have brought a camera along when she knew her baby was going to be eating his first Irish dinner. I didn't even think to bring a single toy along much less a camera. Apparently "normal" is not an adjective that would be in my parent-bio.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go Baby Go!

I think we maybe perhaps might be getting closer to crawling. I cannot believe I am still saying this, but thems the facts. He is still not crawling. He is flipping and flopping from front to back all over the place and spinning in circles to get places when he is on his stomach, but no crawling. What makes me think we might be closer? The backwards scooting has started. And it has got some speed to it.

This morning I plopped him down on his play mat with an array of toys just like every other morning and went to the bathroom to make myself presentable for work. He was just out of eyesight, but I could hear him lecturing his toys. And then I realized, the lecture seemed to be a bit closer. So I peeked out and yes indeed, he was definitely not where I left him. And very proud of that fact I might add.

In a quick scan I found the closest thing to keep him contained. A laundry basket. I threw in a couple toys and Voila! Instant playpen. Kinda. He was amused for about 2.7 minutes. The point of all this? I am either going to have to drastically amend my morning routine or hope he really likes his jumperoo in the morning!

All this changing and growing and developing new skills is just down right nutty. I know this will be shocking, but I have got some conflicting emotions goin' on. On the one hand it is so cool to witness a human growing and learning. It seems like every day he has a new trick to amuse us with. But on the other hand is that nasty change thing. I want to just stop him right here. No more growing. Problem is I seem to say that with each new stage. Maybe I am growing! I mean aside from my ass. Maybe I am learning to deal with and accept change! Wouldn't that be nice?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sun Shining, Birds Chirping!

We are sneaking up on spring, and I cannot wait. Trav and I took both beasts for walk after I got home from work yesterday. Be-a-utiful. Not only was the weather great, but we realized something about our neighborhood. It totally comes alive at the first hint of warm weather. It's a different sort of alive than we get all winter. It's mostly what we ended up naming "Crackhead Alive" in the winter. When it's freezing outside you only see the crazies out and about...and people walking dogs. But the dog walkers are too bundled and cold to be happy.

But then the snow melts, the sun comes out, the temperature rises, and lo and behold! We have nice, normal people living all around us! People with dogs and kids and smiles that don't scare me. It is more than refreshing to see the not crazies. We have slightly more than our fair share of nutballs in our neighborhood, and over the winter I was starting to think they were taking over. After our walk I am feeling reassured that us "normal" people still have the upper hand around these parts.

Anyway, the other exciting thing about the walk was this: No car seat/carrier thingy in the stroller. Just the beast boy sitting up in the stroller like a big kid. He looked soooooo old. And sooooo cute. He absolutely loved it. His little feet barely made it to the edge of the seat part, but they were sticking out and kicking the whole time. When we would go for walks with the carrier in the stroller, he was almost completely reclined, and facing me. So he only got to see sky, tree tops and my lovely mug. This time, he kept turning around and looking up at me and then looking back out in front. Kinda like he was saying, "Do you see this? I get to look at all this stuff? Not just your face?!?!" Pretty sure he likes the new set up better.

Monday, March 15, 2010


The weekend was great all around!

Claire and Jeffrey's wedding was fantastic. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and the reception was a blast. We danced like maniacs and had a great time. I am just so happy for them.

My shoes...not so much. They are super cute, but are now known only as torture devices. I am keeping them in hopes of figuring out how to make them bearable. And/or as a punishment for anyone that is mean to me.

The beast had a great weekend as well. Julie and Jason and their boys did a stellar job of keeping him entertained and happy the whole time. There was even a little photo shoot...to show off his 2 new outfits of course. It was only when I was unpacking that I also realized he came home with a new toy. Spoiled much?

It was so awesome to see how happy he is with them. It was also so awesome to see how excited he was to see Travis and me when he got home. Although I think he may be getting a little sick of me snuggling him. Can't be helped. He is the cutest baby on the planet and I missed him. Don't get me wrong, having a weekend-long play date with our friends made me positively giddy...but it is good to have the little stink butt home again.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Luck

It's a big weekend this weekend.

Jeffrey and Claire are getting married! Yay! I am so excited! Exclamation points everywhere!!! Not only is it incredibly exciting that two of our great friends are getting married, there is added excitement because Travis and I are both in the wedding. I am really looking forward to standing with our friends and supporting them as they take this step together. I've been humming "Goin' to the chapel" for about a solid week now.

It's a big weekend for the beast child as well. He is having his first weekend getaway without us. My brother- and sister-in-law are taking him. For the WHOLE weekend. Julie is coming to pick him up around 3pm today. And taking him with her. Without me. The range of emotions going on in this little head of mine is just about twenty seven feet beyond ridiculous.

On the one hand I am as excited panda with fresh bamboo that I do not have to be responsible for keeping the child fed, clean and breathing. So excited. I may even get to sleep in past 5am. 5am. That by the way, is the new wake up time this beast of mine has decided on. This morning he even pushed the envelope a little further and was in there WIDE AWAKE talking to himself at 4:45. Not even the stupid Cheeseburger bird was awake yet. He and I will have words. Not that it will do any good, but words will be spoken on this matter.

Anywho, sleeping in is on the schedule if at all possible. Also, going out and being social. Without vomit on my shirt and a nuk in my pocket. Does it get any better than that? No. No it does not.

But then the mom part of me gets all sad. Last night I didn't want to put him to bed after his bottle because I realized that was going to be the last time for two nights that I get to have that time with him. It's one of my favorite times with him. You want to have your heart melt? Feed an 8&1/2 month old his bottle before bed. He holds my finger with one hand and the blanket with the other. Every time he looks up at me, I get a big milk-dribbling smile from behind the bottle. Oh and the contented sighs! Kills me every time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Alex is a complete mystery to me. I swore up and down he was on the verge of crawling almost a month ago. We got nothin'. He will spin in circles to get some where when he is on his stomach, but no attempt to get his knees under him. He is, however, flipping over onto his stomach quite often on his own. I am taking that as a good sign. But as soon as I get the slightest bit concerned about him not crawling I quickly remember to relish in the fact that he is hardly mobile right now. My morning routine is going to have to drastically change once he figures it all out. And we all know how I feel about change. It is a scary, snarley haired, snaggle toothed monster that should stay hidden in the shadows forever and ever amen.

I have to say he seems to much prefer standing. I think this preference is only because the sitting and/or laying positions do not provide the jumping option. He can kick while laying down or sitting, but where there is no jumping there is no joy apparently. He LOVES to jump. In the jumperoo, on my stomach, on my lap, it doesn't matter. Just hold him in a standing position and get ready...May the jumping begin! And with the jumping...giant smiles, laughing, and the more than occasional squeal/screech combo. And don't forget the pauses to make sure anyone available is watching the jumping. What's the point of putting on such a magnificent show with no audience?

Monday, March 8, 2010


We have become lame. To its fullest extent. Lame lame lame-o's.

Example: Friday night.

Travis had the day off and accomplished quite a bit. Including installing a new light switch/outlet combo in Alex's room to facilitate the use of a proper nightlight. I got home from work at the end of that project. We cleaned up, fed Alex, immediately bathed Alex to remove the complete sweet potato suit he had created during his mad feeding, and put the beast to bed. We made and ate dinner. After cleaning up I looked up at the clock and sighed. Trav just looked at me and said, "I know, right!?! It's only 8:15. We can't serisously go to bed...can we?" I was so tempted to say Yes, yes we can. But it was Friday night!

I didn't go to bed. But I did put on comfy clothes/pajamas. We stayed up, played video games, and then watched some tv. Until midnight! And then, when we were both trying our hardest to pretend we weren't falling asleep, we gave in. In bed by 12:30...on a Friday night. Beat that old life! Oh wait...our old life Friday's were waaaaay more exciting. That's right. We use to not be lame.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bi-Polar baby

This kid is nuts. Like certifiable I think.

He has the ability to go from completely upset to crazed laughing in .2 seconds. And when I say upset, I am talking crying with no noise upset. Bright face, open mouth, tears streaming, no noise for about 5 seconds and then unleashing the fury of Medusa...yeah, that type of crying. And then in the very next breath, laughing...If you can figure out something to do real quick like to amuse him.

Last night was a perfect example. He was tired. Very tired. Way too tired to go the dinner fundraiser thingy Mariah's work was putting on. But I wanted a schmorgishborg of food for dinner, and the fundraiser was offering just that. Tacos, chicken and squash curry, spring rolls, spanikopita, baklava. Yeah baby. Anyway, the beast was beyond tired. He wasn't hungry though. I thought enough to take care of that before we left. And holy shit did he eat. Five ice cubes worth of various food I had in the freezer AND an entire jar of baby food, which was immediately opened when I realzied I had run out of food in the freezer for him. Hungry? No. Tired? Yes. A million times yes.

The first instance of the emotional roller coaster this kid rides was when he first saw Mariah. She smiled, he giggled. She tickled him, he screamed. She smiled and laughed at him right away, he smiled and giggled right back. All within 4 seconds. No joke. Then we got some food and sat down. He started freaking out. So I calmly left the room in an attempt to not disrupt an entire cafeteria of people eating. Screaming, flailing, crying. I tossed him up in the air. Crazy laughing.

I think I should have gotten a Psych degree before he was born.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Once again, he proves me wrong. I swear it's like he has a weird sixth sense. He knows when I talk about him. This time though, the proving me wrong worked out all sorts of fabulous for me.

After all my bitching about the sleeping, he slept like an angel last night. He was a complete spaz-o-matic right up until the final bell, but with a little calm rocking and a bottle, he went right to sleep when I laid him down. He woke up once around 2am, fussed for about a minute and a half...just enough to get me awake and pondering how long the fight was going to be...and then got himself right back to sleep until 6:23 this morning. I once again tasted the sweet sweet glory of a full night's sleep. For the first time in a long time I had that weird worry thing when he wasn't awake yet when I woke up. It's been a while since he has slept longer than I in the morning.

I am going with last night being a one time thing for now. Last week when this happened I got all excited only to have my hopes of nights filled with blissful sleep smashed like the fragile gems they are. So there is no hoping for tonight. Just really low expectations. Do you hear that Alex?! I totally think you are going to sleep horribly tonight. I wonder if reverse psychology works on his sixth sense?

The spaz-o-matic thing is no joke by the way. He has acquired a maniacal laugh that I can only describe as a hyena shrieking while blowing a referee whistle. I tried getting it on video this morning to no avail. It is insane. Aunt Nicki's response when she heard it through the phone, "Holy cow! Is that seriously him?!" He only busts it out when he is really excited. But that seems to happen more often than not, so we pretty much have a very vocal hyena-monkey hybrid living with us. Very exotic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hell no! He won't go!

I feel like my life has become a horrible record that is stuck on repeat. The sleep strike continues. I am starting to become suspicious of the origin of this child. There is no way he belongs to Travis and I with how much he apparently hates sleeping. I love sleeping. Travis loves sleeping. The dog loves sleeping. Alex? Not so much. He will actually shake his head back and forth when he feels himself falling asleep in a last ditch effort to stay awake. It's like he thinks he's a trucker pulling an over night drive. Must. Stay. Awake.

It wouldn't make me so batty if the lack of sleep didn't make him sooooo whiny. That and the screaming when I can't take it anymore and leave him in there to deal with himself. But damn he is a defiant little bugger. He will cry and scream for what seems like eternity...quiet down for a fraction of a millisecond...and then literally yell at us. Like a lot. I am ecstatic that we cannot understand the words he is yelling because I am quite positive he is calling us some pretty nasty names.

Last night he was really good about going down and only woke up once. That wake up was horrendous for about 45 minutes, but at least it was only once. Slowly but surely we will get this kid to sleep through the night again. Just in the nick of time for him to get sick or grow another tooth I am sure.