Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Birthday

The first birthday has come and gone, and he already seems like a totally different little boy. Older, more mature, a boy with eight teeth, not the paltry seven he had last week. We waited until the weekend to do presents and celebrating.

C made his first cake. Almond-y with raspberry filling and a rich buttercream frosting.

There were (and still are, I might add) decorations.
And gifts. Wiggle's first mp3 player which he already takes with him where ever he goes.
We sang "Happy Birthday," which he loved.

I tried to show him how to blow out the candle, but...
he was much more interested in starting to eat cake.
He ate cake like an old pro.
On the anniversary of his actual birth, we went to music class.

And then to a Winter Carnival at the university's Family Resource Center. Wiggle got a green helium balloon to match his turtleneck.
All in all, a great first birthday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Birthday Gauntlet

This week, we will celebrate Wiggle's first birthday. I hate to sound cliche, but I really can't believe it's already been a year. More on that line for the actual birthday.

In the meantime, I will kvetch about my severe lack of foresight in pregnancy timing. Wiggle's, my, and C's birthdays are within 10 days of each other, and then one week later, we hit Valentine's Day. As problems go, I know this is pretty lame, but I still find it so annoying. I am not a big celebration kind of person, but I do believe in marking off important dates and holidays, because otherwise time just marches on and you never take time out to notice the marching.

Wiggle's birthday will be relatively simple since he doesn't even know what a birthday is. A special dinner, C will make a cake, we will try blowing out a candle, and one gift-gift with one or two books to unwrap. He will have a good time, we will document it with photos, there will be skyping to the various relatives. No fuss, no muss. Well, actually, there will probably be tons of "muss" as I plan to let him feed himself his cake. But nothing a bath and a vacuum can't fix.
For C's and my birthdays, things are more difficult. We traditionally cook something nice, usually fish, for dinner, have a nice bottle of wine, open presents. Nice enough, but it seems like a version of most of our nights now. We often have a pretty nice dinner (if I do say so myself), we have a glass of wine a couple of nights a week, we watch a movie, or a show we've been looking forward to, or we read or talk for a little bit. C has been working like crazy trying to get finished with his dissertation, so he usually turns in by 9:30 or 10:00, and we can't guarantee he won't do that on a birthday evening. He has less control over his sleepiness than the general population.

Maybe we'll go out to dinner for one of our birthdays? Maybe a nice dessert in addition to the cooked dinner? (We rarely make or eat dessert.)

I think part of what I'm missing is the idea that we can plan for something different or special. I mean, we can, but if we are at home, and Wiggle is having trouble sleeping, our special night suddenly becomes like every other night; I can't control that. It doesn't bother me much of the time, but sometimes the cyclical nature of my days gets to me. This is an aspect of life I had trouble with even before Wiggle. I often daydreamed about taking a time-out. Time when the rest of the world would stop, while I caught up. Most of the time this catching up wouldn't even be with actual tasks, just processing things, deciding what I wanted, etc. That's the time I would read the paper, have my morning coffee, settle in to an activity before launching into it. Of course, if I spent the time I spend daydreaming about my time-stopper actually doing things, I might not need a time-stopper.

Plus, now it looks like the gifts I ordered for Wiggle may be a day late, which smarts quite a bit. I mean, the presents aren't really that important, except as part of the ritual of the birthday. If we do the cake one day and the presents the next, the ritual has been interrupted and the presents gain importance as actual presents. I guess I can "edit" the memory with pictures. Photograph Wiggle eating cake on his birthday, opening presents the next and report it as one event. Of course, now I've told you my plan, so I willed be forced to kill you. Or I could just edit my blog post for posterity; yeah, that's probably what I'll do.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Girl Next Door

Today Wiggle had his first official playdate. Fortunately for me, a very nice woman with a 14-month-old daughter moved in downstairs a few months ago. That's right, I didn't even have to go outside to get there. I am in new(ish) mom heaven. They kissed, they hugged, they patted each other aggressively (him) and sweetly (her). They took (him) and shared (her) toys, and most importantly they tuckered each other out. Wiggle barely made it through dinner he was so tired.

Even better, her mom knits and has already been going regularly to the knitting group it has taken me 5 years to get to. We are going to carpool next week.

Also, music class started up again this week. We decided to move to a later time slot (4:45 instead of 3:45) because the group entering after us always seemed much more lively than our class. Wednesday afternoon as it got later and later, I began to doubt my decision. He has been only taking one nap a day as of late, and he was seeming a little punky by 4:00. After we got to class though, I knew it was the right decision. The kids are all closer to his age, and the parents are really involved, singing and dancing as, if not more, enthusiastically than the kids. He had an awesome time. He did, however, have trouble sleeping last night. I think going from quiet afternoons with me to crazy noise-making was a little too much at first, but he'll get back into the routine soon enough. Plus, it might be teeth that are interrupting his sleep. He could be cutting dreaded molars.

Tomorrow's Friday, which means I've almost made it through our first week back. Woohoo!

We have a date-night scheduled, but it's an "in" night, not an "out" night. Any ideas for dates at home?

Monday, January 11, 2010


The holidays have come and gone, and we are already into a new year. We spent most of the last month in Dallas and Kansas City visiting our families, celebrating the holidays, and being floored by illness. That's right we had the flu - twice. We also managed to take out my entire family and leave C's down for the count with perhaps an even different flu on our way back. The positive of getting the flu the second time was that we were with family, which meant we had help with Wiggle, who was fine by the time C and I were waylaid. My mom kept us in gatorade, saltines, and toilet paper, while we spent time examining in great detail the grout on her bathroom floors. My sister whisked in and took Wiggle for an entire Saturday. When she brought him back that evening after a day at the sculpture museum, she had washed our laundry, his boppy, his stroller cover, and even mended some of our clothes. Yes, she is crazy awesome, and no, she cannot be your sister too. What did we give her in return, you ask? Why, our sickness, of course. That's right, within 24 hours, she, B, and the X-man were all out of commission. Our coming over with groceries and playing Wii all afternoon with the X-man doesn't seem like a trade in-kind.

I will hopefully post pictures at some point, of the visit, not our illnesses, but I am waiting on some pics from a certain, ahem, brother, ahem. I'm just kidding M, take your time; I know you've got school work and such.

In terms of the new year, I've decided to make some changes. Normally, I don't make resolutions, and I still haven't made a list per se, but I do have some ideas in mind, some very specific and some fairly general. One change I am making is to post my resolutions. One of the reasons I don't normally make resolutions is that I am basically a coward. I don't mean that in a beat-myself-up, whoa-is-me way, but I, like most people, am afraid of failure, and one way to avoid failing is to avoid trying. Having a baby can really shake up how you see the world, and one thing it has shaken up for me, is that I am sick of not trying. I want Wiggle to know me as the person I want to be, doing the things I want to do, and not just hear me talk about them. So the first thing on my list for 2010? OK, here it goes.

I am going to run a marathon this year.

Whew! That was kind of scary just to type. I can't say which marathon I'm going to run because I don't know where we will be living next fall, and I would prefer to run one locally. This is even crazier because I don't really want to run a marathon, but I do want a long-term fitness goal that I can work toward every day, and I would like to be able to run, not a distance, but at all. And I think it's pretty reasonable to run a marathon. First, I will train for a 5K. I just left typing this to find one and sign-up for it. March 14th. I paid the registration fee and put it on the calendar. This is it. Now to actually train.

There are going to be other changes too. I'm still working on specifics. Another change - not needing to do everything all at once. So what if it's January 11th? I can still make resolutions. And I will/am. Now I am going to spend some quality time with my calendar, and then to bed. I have to keep myself rested with all of this change on the horizon.