Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Note to Self

Since Alex thinks it is so fun to feed Aiden his dinner I have been trying to keep Aiden out of the kitchen while Alex is eating. If I don't, he will feed her his entire dinner...piece by giggling piece. I do however, let her lick any leftover food off of his tray after he is done. I figure it is better than throwing it in the garbage if it isn't savable. She's like a furry little composter.

Based on the text message I just got from Travis, that little habit may have to end.

Travis: No more Alex food for Aiden....she just pooped a ravioli.

I am perfectly happy that I was not the one taking her to the dog park today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just give it to me

Alex is 1. It took this long, but I think last night I officially earned my I Am A Mom badge. I made cupcakes to take to daycare for Alex's birthday. Complete with chocolate frosting and sprinkles and "Happy Birthday Alex" spelled out in candy letters. And while I was waiting for said cupcakes to cool so I could frost them, I sat down on the couch....and clipped coupons.

I let Alex know this morning he has broken me.

Oh what a difference a year makes

At this exact time 1 year ago I was hee-hee-hooo-ing through contractions, while trying not to punch Travis. Not for any reason other than at the start of every single contraction, I would moan and he would say, without fail, "Another one?" Like he was surprised. And all I kept thinking was "Yes, ANOTHER ONE! There are going to be a lot of 'another ones'! Like every couple of minutes! If you want to be conscious for this kid's birth, I suggest you stop insinuating that you are surprised that I am going through 'another one'!"

And then at 4:19pm, after singing along with the Counting Crows for a little over an hour while trying to figure out how to get this kid out of my body, Alex was in my arms. All slimy and weird colored. With the skinniest little legs and the biggest cone head. Holy shit that kid had a cone head. My first thought was, whoooooa...dude...we have a baby. And my second thought was, "Oh well, we didn't get a cute one." He was so ugly that first day. I suppose I wouldn't look so great after being submerged for 10 months and then being treated like the slowest moving push up popsicle ever, but whatever.

But now, 12 short months later, he is the cutest miniature human. It is crazy the changes and growing a baby does in the first year. He was this weird larval alien thing that could barely move his head. And now he is 1 year old. He has personality. He knows things that he likes and things that he doesn't. He "talks" all the time.

Before he was just a baby.

Now he is Alex.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jillian sweet Jillian

I was feelin' pretty darn good about my mastery of Level One of Jillian's Day Shred. So I say to my dear friend Kari, "You sure I can do Level 2? I am scared." And she says, "You can totally do it. It's really not that bad. I actually like it better than Level 1." It's official. Kari is certifiably insane. Tighten up the straight jacket and put extra padding on the walls; I am dropping her off at the asylum to-day.

Seriously. Level 2 is craziness. I found it so difficult. I suppose it could be argued that I should have tried Level 2 a while ago instead of being happy with having my ass only mostly kicked around the room with Level 1. Whatever. There were multiple points in the workout last night I had to stop. I swore I could go on no longer. And when that muscle-y little bitch says, "I want you to feel like you're going to die." I very loudly informed her that I was not the only one that was going to meet my maker.

However, the fact that I couldn't make it through without stopping a bunch of times is more motivating than anything. I will not let her beat me. Yeah, she may have years of doing nothing but training and exercising and making exercise videos and tv shows, but I think I can take her. After I finally caught my breath and managed to stop sweating, all I could think about was doing Level 2 again. And doing it better. That muscle-y little bitch knows how to motivate.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good news, bad news

The good news is that Alex will sleep through three hours of some of the loudest thunder we have had yet this year. Not even a peep out of him.

The bad news is that the dog still hates thunderstorms...and she still hates going through them alone...for all three hours. The storm took a little break from 4am to 5am, so the dog did too. But then at 5am the thunder came back and so did the dog. At about 5:14, I sat up, had a tired frustrated wrestling match with my pillow for 20 seconds, and yelled "Just leave me ALONE!" at the dog. Which she did. For about 3-1/2 minutes. And then it was back to, "Hey...psssst...hey Mom...Did you hear that? Did you hear that thunder? It was really loud. Are you sleeping? Mom. Mom. Mom. Thunder makes me nervous. Are you awake yet?"

I gotta be honest, no amount of cute makes that tolerable. Refill on my coffee please!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alex's almost 1 party

The beast is almost a whole year old. To be very cliche, I cannot believe how fast a year flew by. It just does not seem like only a year ago that I was giantly pregnant and willing to knock over anyone that dared get between me and my drumstick. Thank god it is not a year ago.

Last Saturday, we had a party to celebrate Travis and I being able to keep a child alive for a year. There was a bounce house. It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Alex was very pleased with the turn out.

So just last week I was talking about how I can finally see how everyone thinks Alex looks just like Travis. And as Mariah pointed out, he clearly has learned his "gettin' girls" moves from his father. I give you Exhibit A:

And apparently the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree...Exhibit B:

In Alex's defense, Hazel looks much more impressed than I do. Those boys gots skillz.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mini Him

When Alex was born his resemblance to me was insane-o. Looking through my baby album was like watching him grow up...but in the late 70's...and in girl clothes, when my mom was actually able to wrestle me into clothes. It really was almost creepy. He looked exactly like me. The only thing that was Travis was his eyes. Oh my does he have Travis's eyes. Ice blue with a thin dark blue edge around the iris. I dare you to try to not fall in love with those eyes.

Alas, things they are a-changin'.

Now every single time I take Alex somewhere and we run into someone we know, within the first two minutes they say, without fail, "Wow! You look like your dad!" And I have to admit, aside from those eyes...I don't see it. Most the time. This morning, I totally saw it.

After snuggling on the couch for a whopping 4oz bottle, Alex was off and cruising around the living room. His cruising landed him right next to the weed whacker charger thingy. The little LED lights were apparently too much to resist. Anywho, as he reached his chubby little hand for the charger, I said, "Hey...whadda you think you're doin'?" And with his arm still extended toward the charger, he turned and looked at me with a giant smile, a twinkle in his naughty little eye I swear you could see from Mars, all topped off with a look like "Me? Am I doing something wrong?"

And at that exact moment it hit me..."Wow, you look like your father."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This morning Alex was a sleepy sleepy baby. He slept until I woke him up at 6:20. I got to get everything I needed ready for the day without having to corral a crazed baby. It was fantastic. I didn't have to hold the bathroom cabinet closed with my knee while trying to brush my teeth. I didn't have to set up the gates for a makeshift playpen while keeping little baby sausage fingers out of them so they don't get pinched. I got to use both hands to put cream cheese on my bagel. Ahhhh.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Just swept the kitchen and found no less than 8 cheerios. Ah the joys of having a self feeding toddler and a dog that has the weakest sense of smell this side of the Mississippi.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drum away kiddo!

I never thought I would say this, but Thank Everything Sweet and Glorious in the World for drum sets.

Mornings have been a bit of a challenge this week. A patience, arm strength and balancing act challenge. Alex has decided every morning this week that he wants to be held. For the entire morning. Which, you know, isn't a problem..except for the little thing called getting ready for work. And the fact that I cannot physically hold him in one arm for that amount of time. And the fact that it is really difficult to put cream cheese on a bagel with one hand while trying to hold and deflect a baby away from said cream cheese and bagel.

When we were in California, my lovely mom bought Alex a little drum. A drum that opens up to store the drumsticks, maracas, jingle bell loop thingy, tambourine and some clappy hand thing thankfully Alex hasn't figured out yet. I had this little gem out on the porch for a while. And I remembered it this morning. And Alex hadn't seen it for a while.

Thank you drum set makers and thank you Grandma for being naughty and bestowing this apparatus upon our house. It gave me close to 15 minutes of not baby holding time to get ready. It was fantastic.

Jillian claims another victim

~~30 Day Shred music starting in the backgroud~~

Me: You ready?
Travis: Do your legs EVER STOP HURTING?!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome to my world

So Travis decided he is going to start doing the 30 day shred with me. Two days ago was his first workout. Yesterday he was wishing for a taller car because his legs hurt getting in and out of our Camry. Last night was the second workout. This conversation happened before bed:

Travis: Oh, I think tomorrow might be worse than today.
Me: Ahhh, you must embrace Jillian.
Travis: Oh she's gonna be embraced with my foot up her ass!...I mean as soon as I can extend my leg that far again.

Best Friends

Alex and Aiden have become much better friends since Alex started feeding himself. First it started with Aiden being our own furry little vacuum cleaner under Alex's chair. But now...

I know you are probably grossed out that I let him put his hand in his mouth after the dog licked it, but that's the way we roll in our house. I do love the fact that he was more than willing to share his ravioli, but when he got a piece of chicken in his hand...sorry dog, you are S.O.L.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Power

It never ceases to amaze me how an 11 month old child has complete and total control over my emotions. That may speak to my lack of control of my own emotions, but I am choosing to believe he has the ability to achieve a Vulcan Mind Melt if necessary, so clearly he controls my emotions.

Alex spent the weekend in Platteville with his uncle, aunt and three cousins. He really really likes it there. He gets undivided attention from three boys, and the aunt and uncle don't exactly ignore him. He gets new toys and new clothes, and gets told how cute he is approximately every 0.4 seconds. So, it's kinda like going to Grandma and Grandpa's. Which shockingly, he also loves. Anyway, this past weekend was no different. I called to check in Friday after I left. I could barely hear the assurances that everything was going great due to the excited baby screeching and belly laughing in the background. K, I am getting to the emotional control finally....

When I dropped him off, he could have cared less that I was leaving. He was sitting in the middle of the living room floor surrounded by his cousins. Mommy who? It made me a little sad, but I was happy he was going to be happy for the weekend. But then...then Sunday came and he came home. I went to greet them outside at the gate. Julie was carrying Alex. When I saw him, he kinda smiled. And when I reached for him? When his mother reached for him?...He buried his face in Julie's shoulder. Mommy's world...successfully shattered.

This brings us to this morning. He loves me again! My "littlest piggy cried weeeweeweeweewee all the way home" made him giggle and drool out his morning bottle. He didn't cry while I was changing his diaper and clothes. As a matter of fact, he actually was "talking" to me the whole time. He snuggled me when I picked him up out of his crib. And we had a wonderful conversation the whole way to daycare. Cloud 9.

And then he cried and was reaching for me when I left daycare. In a fraction of a second, cloud 9 disappeared. But hopefully this means he will be excited to see me this afternoon!

Added note after re-reading:
The reason I was knocked off cloud 9 when leaving daycare is that I feel guilty when he is sad when I am leaving.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's this? Can I put it in my mouth?

Alex is now very efficient at putting things in his mouth. Which is very handy during snack/meal time. Not so handy during ALL OTHER TIMES. I have become very used to not having to worry about him putting random things in his mouth because for the better part of 11 months he did not put random things in his mouth. Oh how times have changed.

Yesterday he was sitting on the floor reading/demolishing my latest issue of Cooking Light Magazine. This is one of his favorite activities. He can amuse himself for quite a long time with a single magazine. But now? Now I can't let him sit with a magazine and try to get something else done. Now, he will rip pieces of the pages off and cram them in his mouth. Yum-o.

We were outside the other day and he was sitting on the sidewalk, happy as a little clam. I was talking to Travis. All of a sudden Alex starts coughing and sputtering and pretty much choking. He was trying to cough something up that was making him gag and almost throw up. Pretty much like a cat and a fur ball. I tried to get my fingers in his mouth to get whatever it was out, but to no avail since I was struggling enough with trying to hold onto this kid that had transformed into a clawing, coughing, gagging, velociraptor that did not want to be held in the downward facing dog position. Luckily Travis came over and fished out the cause of the choking. A leaf.

A side note of that afternoon outside...Alex found a stick and was waving it around like a flag on the Fourth of July. Aiden totally did a drive by stick stealing. It was awesome. She didn't even break stride. Just ran by him and snatched the stick right out of his fat little hand. He thinks everything that dog does is funny, so he just sat there and giggled.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Splish Splash

When we had Alex, the entire hospital staff was fantastic. Except for one nurse's aide. She was generally nice, but her bedside manner was...lacking. For instance, we took our sweet time naming Alex, so for the first day and a half or so, we were calling him "LJ". My dad had been calling him LaDanian the whole time I was pregnant, so LJ (LaDanian Julius) worked as a nickname to call the little sucker until we could make up our minds about his permanent name. Back to the nurse's aide. She could not remember what we were calling him. Even though it was written on his bassinet. Even when repeating it 72 seconds after telling her. It went something like this:

Nurse's aide: "What's him name again?"
Travis/Jackie: "For now it's LJ."
Nurse's aide: "TJ?"
Travis/Jackie: "No...LJ."
~Fast forward about two minutes~
Nurse's aide: "So when was the last time you changed little MJ's diaper."

It drove me crazy.

But the bigger problem occurred when she was showing us how to give our tiny 5lb-9oz fragile, breakable, head squishable monster baby a sponge bath. I was in a state of ouchy hoo-ha, so I laid in bed and watched her show Travis. We had no idea what we were doing, so naturally Travis was nervous. He did his best and I thought he did just fine. But she scolded him more than once and at one point told him if he did it his way, he was going to suffocate our child. Nice.

Since that day, Travis has been completely petrified to give Alex a bath. And has not done so. The only real problem I had with that is Alex loves taking a bath and it is a fun time to spend with him. And because of this nurse's aide-instilled fear, Travis was missing out on a really fun time with our kid.

But then last night happened. I had a hair appointment after work so I was not scheduled to get home until after the beast was asleep. When I got home I discovered Travis had accomplished a million and one things during his day off. Then he told me that we needed to cut Alex's fingernails. Which is a task that takes two people and can only be attempted when that child is asleep. So I go in his room to get him. He has a haircut, which is super cute, and is freshly bathed. Not only did Travis manage to cut his hair, but he did it! He triumphed! He gave Alex a bath!

It was a big day in the Julius house yesterday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nom Nom Nom

Hot on the tail of getting his bottle in his mouth, the boy actually figured out how to put food in his mouth! Finally! It is not pretty, but he does it. It started with this ring thing that has a small mesh bag attached to it, that fruit or anything mush-able goes into and he can chew on it and get the stuff through the mesh without choking. The first time I tried that with him, I held it, he chewed on it...with his hands just sitting on his little tray. But, after a brief hiatus from trying, I gave it another shot. And low and behold, he grabbed it, shoved it in his mouth and chomped away. Getting raspberry juice all down the front of his shirt. Minus one point for me for not thinking about the mess a raspberry filled mesh pouch would make. So we kept up with that for a couple days...minus a shirt. The red juice running down his chest is a bit horror movie-esque though...perhaps a waterproof bib with a catch trough would be a better route.

Anyway, the mesh thingy must have made the hand crammed full of food goes in mouth connection in his little brain, because now he grabs food and jams it in his mouth. About half the time he ends up gagging himself because all of his fingers are in there with the food, but I am assuming with some practice that little problem will correct itself.