Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Not a single photo of Arlo opening Christmas presents. Not one snap of the shutter to capture the cat eating curling ribbon, or Arlo eating fig newtons and Christmas cookies for dinner on Christmas Eve. No video footage of Arlo playing with his new rhythm sticks from West Music--nor a single digital file to represent his first Christmas-stocking-unstuffing.
Maybe, deep down inside, I am depressed because I did not get a new digital camera for Christmas. Maybe I was subconsciously protesting the old camera by refusing to use it.
I don't know how this happened... but I promise, I will be vigilant on New Year's Eve. I will take pictures as if they are going out of style--and I'll prod all of my camera-wielding friends to take pictures of me, like, constantly. And it's going to be fun, too--we're throwing a party at our house (in part to solve the problem of trying to find a babysitter--Arlo will sleep through anything) and I just found out that I am NOT pregnant yet, so I have two more weeks to party with reckless abandon before trying again.
Woo hoo! The one reason I can be happy about a negative pregancy test!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Shortly preceding this photo shoot, Arlo went looking for Ella. When he found her, he scooped her up and carried her to the rocking recliner in the living room.* As always, she went limp in his arms and completely submitted to his machinations.
After leaving Ella on the chair (where she willingly stayed, possibly just to satisfy her curiosity), Arlo then went to get a book from the case under the TV. Returning with the book, he struggled to get Ella positioned on his lap with the book in a suitable reading position.
Yes, he wanted to read Ella a story. A story about a fire truck.
Ella was my first "baby," the first living creature in my life for whom I am solely responsible. I got her as a kitten in 1997, so she's a senior kitty--which makes it all the more remarkable to me that she has adjusted so well to the addition of a little one into our household. I think she turned out okay.
It also warms my heart to see how Arlo has grown into such a gentle, creative and loving little person. Just last night we had our friends Joel and Sandie over, with their new baby, Adsila, and little boy, Piers, who is one of Arlo's best friends.
When it came time to say goodnight, Arlo gave Piers a hug and said "I love you, Piers." Then he planted a kiss right on Piers's lips. What a sweet boy! Of course, right after that, he went back to jumping on the new furniture--but one must have the yin AND the yang.
*30-year-old La-Z-Boy rocker-recliner handed down from my grandpa's house has finally been replaced by new furniture! Woo hoo! (Pictures on my flickr page.)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Yes, that's a much-doted-upon three-year-old named Arlo. And his mom's name is Jen. And there is a video here of that Arlo lip-synching and dancing to Queen's "We Will Rock You." And it's...
I didn't go looking for this. I did not--I repeat--DID NOT Google "Arlo" and "Jen" to see if there were other pairings out there like me and my boy. I was reading Mighty Girl's blog, and there was this post pointing to Arlo's "We Will Rock You" video. It's also linked on Dooce's blog--which is about the Best Blog of All Time.
I'm alarmed. And I have to tell you, I'm feeling a little bit threatened right now. I'm having a tiny little freak out, a wee identity crisis. Granted, the Other Jen and Arlo live far, far away (Providence, RI) and--thank Gawd--the daddy's name is NOT Ted (it's Jeff) , but all of a sudden I'm feeling a little less unique.
And okay. Here it comes. I feel like the other Jen-and-Arlo are doing the Jen-and-Arlo bit a little cooler than I am. I don't blame my Arlo for this-- obviously, I think he's gotta be ten times the kid that Other Arlo is, but now I feel like I'm just not promoting Arlo well enough. Arlo doesn't have an Uncle Liam, after all, and no relatives who are professional-grade video producers. Plus, he's two and this Other Arlo is three, so there's that.
Maybe she doesn't work full-time outside the home. Maybe she's some kind of professional blogger, and therefore has all kinds of time to take pictures and videos of her dear boy and design her very own web site and have a very hip short-banged-bob haircut. She probably drives a VW Beetle.
How am I going to keep up?
Should I e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org? What in the world would I say?
Do I need to just get over it? Because right now I am completely preoccupied with my Other, and her boy Arlo. It's like the song "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants--talking about a twin you have on the opposite side of the earth ("water spirals the wrong way down the drain...") and what it's like to meet them. Or The Secret Sharer, by Joseph Conrad. Only she's in Rhode Island.
Forgive my stream of consciousness. I'm reeling. Who has problems like this? Only me, I tell you.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Honestly. If I have to see one more woman being a good mom in public, I just don't know what I'll do.
Official Disclaimer: When I have my next baby, I've got a mind to be one of those women who doesn't even try to cover up when she's breastfeeding in public... just to punish the people who are backwards enough to think that it's an obscene or otherwise not-suitable-for-public-or-children's-eyes. Please note that the above comments are posted in absolute horror, and with tongue firmly in cheek. Enjoy the alphamom article! (And thanks to Dooce for pointing it out.)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Arranged in various incarnations of spooning, across the width of our queen-sized bed lay, in order:
Presley, our tortie-point Himalayan cat;
Ella, my pewter-colored rescued farm kitty;
Arlo, snoring quietly;
and Ted, with his arm thrown over the lot of us.
So much love, so little space. Even though I woke up with a stiff shoulder and a sore back, I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Gah! It's good and evil, all wrapped up in one unflattering garment... the Swoncho!
Today I received this free knitting pattern by e-mail from Berroco, with the following description:
"A sweater that has evolved from the poncho, Wisteria is a trapeze raglan turtleneck pullover. It features a tree design composed of cables and bobbles. As opposed to sleeves, it has cuffs that join the bottom front and back hems."
I really love the color of this yarn, and the tree pattern on the front. But I'm not so sure about "cuffs that join the bottom front and back hems." And why would anyone be "opposed to sleeves?" Plus, you'd probably have to stand like this all day long in order for the shape to be flattering. And you'd have to weigh about 87 pounds.
I don't think I want ponchos to evolve.
Monday, November 13, 2006
If you know me at all, you know that I love Elvis (case in point: one of my cats is named Presley). So I have no reservations about Arlo being Elvis for Halloween. In fact, I'm thinking about dressing him as Elvis EVERY year until he is old enough to physically overpower me in favor of wearing a different costume.
But I digress. I can't, with a clear conscience, claim that Arlo was really dressed like Elvis.
Let's face it, folks. I don't think Elvis would've been caught dead in high top sneakers. But let me tell you, it is not an easy task to find blue suede shoes for a toddler. If you find a source, let me know. There's always next year!
In the mean time, you can shop for Arlo's Christmas present right here.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The first pics up are my most recent, taken in San Jose, from whence I just returned. More to come.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Arlo did remarkably well, keeping his cheerful disposition in spite of what must have been excruciating sadness on account of my absence. Okay, well, maybe not excruciating. It was a relief to hear that he was his usual happy self, the only anomaly being that his day was punctuated with the question "Where's Mommy?"
But I think he missed me.
Ted went out tonight to play pool with his league team, and I had the happy duty of giving Arlo his bath and putting him to bed. I wasn't surprised to discover that he didn't really want to go to bed--I expected that he'd resist, since he might not want to separate from me again. Plus, now that we're keeping the rail down on his crib (as a transition to the Big Boy Bed step, which is imminent), he can get out of bed with relative ease.
As expected, he climbed out after our first goodnight, and because I had also missed him desparately, I completely folded and let him sit on my lap for a while watching Dancing with the Stars on TV. After about 15 minutes, I whispered to him it was time for him to go back to bed and he whispered back, "okay." That didn't last.
I had to reach into the SuperNanny bag of tricks, sitting in his dark room, next to his crib, and putting him back to bed every time he climbed out (which was twice more). I listened to him breathing and sucking on his fingers, and worried every time that he flopped over in his crib that he was going to shimmy out of it again. Eventually, the tossing and turning subsided and I crept out, cursing the squeaky door as I exited.
I spent about half an hour downstairs at the computer, then went back up to get to work unpacking my suitcase. After taking care to close Arlo's door, I flipped on the lights in our bedroom and went into the adjoining bath. I used the toilet and washed my hands, and started putting away my shampoo and hair gel and toothpaste and stuff from the trip.
I figured I'd better start a load of laundry, so I hoisted the suitcase from the floor, planning to sort the clean and dirty clothes on the bed. There, in the broad light of the ceiling fan fixture, Arlo slept peacefully in the middle of our bed, his head burrowed into my pillow.
So I guess maybe I'll just unpack tomorrow night.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
But not before we take a quick road trip to Santa Cruz tomorrow. The conference wraps up at 11:30, and my plane doesn't leave until 8:50 p.m.. I am following one of my new friends back to her stomping grounds in S.C., and she's gonna show me the beach. And some redwoods. Awesome.
I miss you, Arlo. I miss you, Ted. But I'm gonna see me some big trees before I come home. Here's hoping that I don't miss any connections getting back to you!
P.S. I think that some of my "buddies" here at the conference might not know my real first name. They call me "Iowa." I like the sound of that.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
This time, I asked for a haircut that would lend itself well to being styled in a pompadour, as I am going to try to dress Arlo up for Halloween as something in the realm of Elvis-to-fifties greaser/biker-to John Travolta as Danny Zucco. You know, the sensitive tough guy type. The kind who can get shot from only the waist up on national T.V., due to his wildly gyrating lower regions, but also turn around and sing "Crying in the Chapel" to the slobbering delight of schoolgirls and housewives all the world 'round.
Amy did a fantastic super awesome job on the haircut, and Arlo sat nicely in the chair, grasping his steamed milk ("coffee") from the coffee shop next door with both hands and looking very solemn.
Amy asked if I was going to shampoo his hair that night, and I said "of course!" because I definitely wanted to have Arlo's hair styled, with Product. It was awesome. He was so cute, so tough, such a good boy.
I think something happened when he saw his reflection in the mirror. He looked pretty impressed with his new bad-boy image, and though he was pretty compliant all the way home--even when we stopped at K-Mart to pick up some diapers--I'm pretty sure that he was plotting my downfall the entire time.
As soon as we walked in the door at home, He fell apart.
I can't even tell you what the trigger was. The next hour was a series of fits--screaming, crying, kicking, running away, closing himself in his own closet. We tried to put him in a time-out in his crib, but he climbed out by himself. For the first time. That actually calmed him down for a few minutes, because he was so pleased with himself. He came walking out into the hallway, where Ted and I were slumped against the wall, and said "I got down."
The evening culminated in Arlo actually attempting to climb back INto his crib, and asking me if he could "go night-night now?"
I let him go to bed, even though his hair was a helmet of Aveda Anti-humectant Pomade and Firmata hairspray. Even though his dinner consisted of a sugar cookie and some sweet steamed milk from the coffee shop. Even though he would not allow us to put pants on him. (He takes off his pants when he gets mad sometimes.)
I lifted him from his perch, clinging to the rails of his crib from the outside, and laid him down in his bed.
"Do you want your blanket on?"
"Do you want a kiss?"
"Do you want your music on?"
"Okay, then. Night night, honey."
"Mommy, go away."
Ladies and Gentlemen, I died a slow, painful death when he said that last night. I am still dying today, I think. My little boy's all grown up and he rocks a pompadour Like No Other.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I was told by a city parking enforcement person that it is legal to park scooters in city bike racks, as long as it's actually IN the rack, and not next to it.
It's appalling that some scooter drivers are not able to drive safely and courteously when parking their vehicles at the bike racks. They should be punished, but their conscientious scooter-driving peers should not.
I would like to point out, also, that it's just as common to get "nearly bowled over" by a person riding their bicycle down the sidewalk to the bike rack. Perhaps we should consider moving the bike racks or providing easier access by ramps, so that neither bikes nor mopeds have to use the pedestrian area of the sidewalk to park.
Scooters and mopeds are a positive addition to our town, and we should not take steps to increase the difficulty of using one in Iowa City. These vehicles ease general parking congestion, reduce pollution, use less gas, cause less wear and tear to city streets, and give people mobility at a relatively low cost. Let's work on making the city friendlier and safer for people on 2-wheeled vehicles.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Why, you ask?
When was the last time you found yourself having impure thoughts inspired by the flap on a box of Wheat Thins?
"TO OPEN - SLIDE FINGER UNDER FLAP AND LOOSEN GENTLY."
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Head circumference: 97th percentile
Height (3 feet): 90th percentile
Weight (29.5 lbs.): 75th percentile
Basically, his proportions make him sort of like a bowling ball perched on top of a broomstick. Or maybe a hot dog. He's not a total stringbean, but he's definitely more tall than he is broad. Hmmmm, come to think of it, that makes him something of a Ted In Miniature. Tell me something I didn't know.
The child is apparently a shining example of health, and the only thing Dr. Thomas had to say with even a shadow of negativity was that I really need to get his blood tested for lead, seeing as how we lived in a 1920s bungalow when he was a baby, and we've never had him tested just to be sure. She's been telling me to take him in for this blood test for at least a year. So--even though it meant I had to take another hour off from work and go to a different clinic location altogether--I finally did it.
Here's what blew me away and prompted a friend to refer to Arlo as "supernatural."
Arlo didn't cry. Not even a whimper.
He sat in my lap, and I held his arm straight as he proceeded to not squirm. He watched as they tied the tourniquet around his doughy little arm. He watched as they put the needle in his vein, and he watched the blood come out of his arm, through an itty-bitty tube, and into a vial. The phlebotomist was efficient and quick, and Arlo got a blue crayon-shaped Band-aid when all was said and done. As I oohed and aaahed over what a good boy! he had been, he simply folded his hands together, and looked up earnestly at the phlebotomist who had drawn his blood.
"Sticker?" he said. "Please?"
You may send condolences to Ted at our home address because I think I died from sheer pride when he said that. Thanks for playing, all you other parents! I officially have living in my home the Greatest Kid on the Planet.
The best dollar I spent on Arlo's birthday (maybe the best dollar I spent all month, honestly) was for the bag of three punchball balloons at the Dollar Tree store. Three kids, three punchballs, one dollar: that's my kind of math! Therefore, no child actually becomes a punchball. They played together beautifully, and we were all very proud and relaxed that our children were behaving so nicely.
The adults? Not so much.
When I was younger, I never would've guessed that you could still have a rip-roaring good time, dirty jokes and all, at the birthday party of a two-year-old. But there we were, drinking responsibly and looking down each other's shirts with absolute serenity while our lovely children got on famously with the toys and each other. I'm pretty sure I have more fun now than I ever did before having Arlo. It's like I try harder. You give me the opportunity to mix motherhood with mayhem, and boy-oh-boy, I am up to the challenge. Sir, yesSIR!
We're very lucky to have a loyal tribe of good friends who are still our friends when we haven't called them in a month. Or three. We feel incredibly fortunate that people still come to our parties when we invite them, even though most of the time we are caught up in the life that we've made with our little boy and our full-time jobs and our house and our yard and the persistent and unavoidable fact that someone has to make dinner and someone has to do the dishes and the laundry. Thanks, everyone, for Arlo's best birthday yet! Check out more pictures at Mara's flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthurdawg/sets/72157594271194629/.
Friday, September 01, 2006
This toy, which we generally refer to as "Pooh" at our house, was given to Ted and me at our baby shower by our friend Beth, whose kids had loved it and outgrown it. Sometimes Arlo calls it a "lawnmower" because, you know, you walk behind it and push it just like you're mowing the lawn. Pooh spins around in place when you push it. That's all. (Well, okay, I happen to know that Beth disabled the clicking mechanism that was original to the toy, but we do not wish for more noise in the house so that's good.) Anyway,
Arlo LOVES it.
It's a fail-safe approach to getting him out the door to walk to day care in the morning, and a sure-fire way to not have to carry him all the way there. Arlo zooms along, pushing Pooh, stops and squats to look for cars before crossing the street (see Appendix to post below) and pushes Pooh right up to the spot in Tata's driveway where she parks the stroller. He parks Pooh, and wiggles up the steps to the door.
Yesterday, when we reached the top of the stairs, I opened the door and put my hand on the top of his head to guide him through it. Breathlessly, he reached up and pushed my hand away, and backed up a few steps to the threshold at the top of the front steps. He grabbed on to the rail, leeeeeeeaned out over the top step, and yelled "BYE, POOH!" while frantically waving his hand at the toy on the driveway.
And then--only then-- he was ready to start his day.
Appendix: When I first started talking to Arlo about looking both ways for cars before crossing the street, I would squat next to where he was standing, to get down on his level while we looked for cars together. The idea, of course, was that he would remain standing. How naive of me! Of COURSE he's gonna squat. And point. Because that's how Mommy does it, duh!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm not sure why I am only inspired this week to share with the world The Things I Want. I don't even have a birthday coming up, it's nowhere near Christmas, and none of these will make appropriate gifts for Arlo's 2nd birthday, which is coming up this Saturday. However...
Okay. One duck is actually saying to the other, "Let me kiss you, sweetie!"
I mean, I don't speak French-- only enough to know that to say "duck in Francais, you say "conard" without pronouncing the 'd.' And I only know that because of Baby Einstein. By the way, in Espanol, it's "pato."
But that's the translation offered at the totally radical, totally adorable site where I found this lovely tote bag, fredflare.com.
I cannot begin to tell you how many items there are on this site would elicit squals of joy and undying devotion if someone purchased them and wrapped them up for me in tissue paper in a polka-dotted box for no reason at all. And yes, every item on this site deserves a polka-dotted box.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Okay, but in actuality, it's NOT about being addicted to cheesy fantasy films from the mid-1980s. It's more like:
...an inflammation or dysfunction of the vestibular labyrinth (a system of intercommunicating cavities and canals in the inner ear). The syndrome is defined by the acute onset of vertigo, commonly associated with head or body movement. Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or malaise.
The good news is, I have no malaise at this point. And I have not hurled. I've just been intermittently dizzy for days on end, with no other symptoms to speak of. If I'm lucky it's being caused by a virus and will go away in a few days.
If I'm even luckier, I've just found myself a new babysitter:
Monday, August 21, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Yes, I know it's possible to ride a moped in the rain, but I'm not inclined to do so, for more than one reason. Vanity is not the number-one reason. Eyesight is. If I go bare-faced, no matter how lightly it's raining, I get raindrops in my eyes. And not like, you know... ahhhhh, gentle summer rain ... but more like AAAAAAHHHHHH rain coming at my eyeballs at thirty miles per hour WAAAAHHHH!
And, on the flipside, if I wear my sunglasses to keep the rain out... well you can see how foolish that looks. "Duuuude, take of your sunglasses! It's, like, cloudy." Plus, sunglasses do not have windshield wipers. Or a reservoir of cleaning fluid at the ready to swipe off the grime when you're driving along behind a minivan owned by people who live on a gravel road. And no, I do not wish to wear ski goggles or pay my local eye clinic $200 for a pair of sport goggles. (Even $200 googles do not come with wipers, by the way.)
Oh, and I hate people who don't turn on their headlights when it's raining. Because, Duh.
I was not proud of myself when I mentally stepped outside of my car and watched myself flipping my car lights off and on at drivers who did not have their lights on. My mouth set in a stern line, a look of righteous consternation on my face, I (in my mind's eye, catching myself doing it) was a mean old lady with an unnatural need for People To Follow The Rules. It wasn't pretty.
But still! Turn your lights on when it rains!
Oh, and sun? Could you come back, please? It's almost the weekend! I made you a mojito!