Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Not to Prepare for Halloween

I've been living in apartments for the last six years (or so), and the same has been true for Tom. As apartment-dwellers, we didn't get a whole lot of trick-or-treaters (ToTs). Some years, we got exactly zero. In the last apartment that we lived in, I believe that we were out for the evening the first year that we lived there, though I can't remember why, and the second year, we didn't expect to get anyone, so we had nothing in the apartment but Trader Joe's cereal bars, of which we ended up giving perhaps eight away.

This year would be our first in a real house, in a real neighborhood, since we moved out of our parents' homes some years ago. I wanted to be prepared, and I reminded Tom several times before he left on his grocery trip today that he must get us Halloween candy for the neighborhood kids. I should know by now that there are times that absolute specificity is required, and this was one of them. Not only could I apparently not trust Tom to get "good stuff," I couldn't trust him to get a satisfactory amount.

He did some research- I'll grant him that. He talked to our right-hand neighbor, who reported that the Halloween traffic around here was generally "light." I would have taken that to mean perhaps 30 ToTs. Tom took that to mean less than 16. I mean, he must have, since he seemed to think that two eight-packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would be sufficient for the night. (Tom admitted to me later, however, that this same neighbor claimed to "hide out" from the ToTs, as a rule, and indeed, was one of the "dark" houses on the block that night, so there's no way he could have made an accurate judgement of what to expect...)

We ran out in the first 35 minutes, and had to first borrow some candy from our new neighbor-friends to the left of us, and then run out (well, Tom did) down the street to get some more to tide us over. The very closest place was the Latin grocer (though CVS wasn't terribly much farther, but Tom often forgets that, and perhaps he would have run into lines there, anyway). Unfortunately, Americana Grocery did not have fun-size variety packs, just full-sized bars of candy. So, Tom loaded up a bagful and rushed home just in time to relieve me as I ran out of our back-up, "borrowed," stash in the midst of a crowd of eager children.

So, we ended up being that house. You know- the one with the awesomely full-sized candy bars. Here's hoping we haven't set any expectations in the neighborhood for next year.

This probably all sounds like a terrible bash on Tom, but I don't mean it to. I'll admit to some anger, frustration, and outright panic in the couple of moments where I stood behind the door watching costumed youngsters approach and had nothing to offer them, but for the most part, I find the whole thing utterly hilarious, and will enjoy telling the story for years to come (much to Tom's chagrin, I'm sure). And it's a well-earned win, anyway. Tom is so often right about everything that I must wait for most of the year to find that one occasion that I can deem "Tom was wrong, 20__." I think that this one definitely applies.

But, on to Abby's side of the story.

I had been considering having Tom take her to just a handful of houses, but both she and Michael have come down with something in the last couple of days, and I didn't want to send her out in the cold while she was under the weather, so, when the time came, I planned not to. However, I kept Abby in the living room with me while our visitors began to appear, and I now have filed away amongst my surprise happy memories the instant in which she saw the first set of ToTs appear, and her eyes lit up in genuine excitement. It helped that the very head of the group was a little girl that she knows pretty well; half of Abby's excitement was getting to see her so unexpectedly. It was the second set that she really went wild for, however; a couple of young teenaged girls, one of whom was dressed as a bee (I've already forgotten the costume of the other). Abby squealed and jumped, and danced around my legs in glee as I opened the door to hand out candy.

After that, Abby seemed to pay less and less attention to the commotion at the front door, but she did notice her Minnie costume draped over the sofa, and, likely inspired by the other children she'd seen (and because she just loves wearing it, anyway) she asked us to put it on her. Tom slipped it on over her pink footed pajamas.

At that point, I decided that I really wanted Abby to have at least a little bit of the Halloween experience, and having been outside myself, I determined that it wasn't so cold, after all. Plus, she was all set to go now, in her costume! I had Tom carry her to the house of our left-hand neighbor friends, where she received not one, not two, but three pieces of candy, one of which was a Ghirardelli chocolate that our friend procured from his "special stash."

It was the only house that Abby visited, but she was thrilled just to be able to hold her little basket and watch as gifts were laid out in it, just for her.

When she got home, she spent several minutes looking over her winnings.

Abby, apparently, is a true connoisseur of chocolate, and picked out the Ghirardelli for me to open, pleading, "Chocolate?" I was in a dilemma. I hadn't actually planned to let her eat any candy, because she gets uncontrollable on too much sugar, but I also didn't really think she'd know what it was or be that interested in it. I've decided that I will let her try it, but I wasn't brave enough to do so just before bedtime. Ultimately, we compromised. I offered her some semi-sweet chocolate chips, and she jumped at the opportunity. I've promised her the Ghirardelli as a lunchtime treat tomorrow, so we'll see how she likes it then.

This was the only picture I could get of her looking up at me, focused as she was on her basket and candy.

You can see how boogery she is. Poor little thing. Her mood hasn't seemed to suffer for it, but for the sake of my sanity, and my tissue supply, I hope that both of my monkeys get over their sniffles soon. Certainly, little Abby will be able to taste her chocolate better that way, no?

Oh, and for the record, we got about 50-60 ToTs, and gave away every single piece of our candy. I'd like to think that next year, we'll have it all planned out just right. And, of course, we'll be giving Abby the Full Experience. I know she'll be melting hearts all over town.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Purseful of Kisses

This is a little make-up bag that I've had lying around for years (I think it was, perhaps, my sister's once) that I gifted to Abby when she began to show an interest in purses and bags.

It looks so very ordinary, but it is actually very special, because it is full of kisses.

I can't remember exactly when she started doing it- perhaps a week or so ago- but Abby recently began to come up to me as I sat in my usual chair to watch over her and her brother for the day, and hold out her hand to me, saying "Kisses?" At first, it was just a game: she would get a kiss on her hand from me, giggle, and repeat the process a few more times before losing interest and moving on.

Then, one day, Abby came to me while carrying her purse, and holding her hand upright, and cupped. When I kissed into her palm, she scooped up my bestowal, and tipped it into the little leather pouch. I was stunned. I asked, "Abby, did you just put my kiss in your purse?" She giggled, pleased with herself, and requested another.

And so, as the days have gone by, her purse has been filled with more kisses than I can count.

I want to bottle up moments like these, and place them in a purse of my own.


Regarding the storm, we came through better than I could ever have expected. Though we did get a bit of water in our basement, it was in the unfinished section, and therefore of no real concern. We've had similar amounts seep in on bad rainstorms over the summer. The lights did flicker here and there as the wind began to pick up, but we never lost power.

The howling wind that began yesterday evening, however, made me feel uneasy about putting my babies up in their attic dormer bedrooms. Beyond that, they are chilly to begin with, and I feared that if we lost power, they would quickly become too cold for the children to comfortably sleep in. So, Tom and I kept Michael in the bedroom with us overnight, and we put Abby in the basement play room. We brought down her toddler bed, which, unlike either crib, could be moved in one piece. I had no idea whether I'd actually be able to get Abby to stay in it, but since Michael was occupying the Pack n' Play, and I had no other immediate ideas about where I could put Abby down to sleep, I decided to try it. Bedtime stories were read in the chair next to her bed, and I laid her down with her pink and purple blankets (both of which she must always have with her in the crib), and a furry friend. I put on her music and lights, and sat in the chair by her bed until she fell asleep, which took maybe 15 minutes, then tiptoed upstairs, flabbergasted over my unlikely success.

What this all meant, however, was that while we all remained safe and dry through the storm, no one actually slept well. Michael slumbered peacefully until midnight, at which point Tom struggled to put him back down for nearly an hour before bringing him into bed with us. He cried for a bottle at around 4 am, received one, and fitfully finished out the morning in bed between the two of us. Though Abigail did not make a peep all night long, she was awake and sitting in my chair at 7:30 am, when Tom went downstairs with Michael, which was a good hour before she usually wakes. I wonder just how early she woke up, though, because even in wakefulness she was calm and quiet (so we have no way of knowing when she was sleeping versus not), and judging by her miserable mood in the morning, and extra-long nap in the afternoon, I'd say that she lost out on more than just one hour, somewhere along the line.

So, as initially thrilled as I was about getting her to use her toddler bed overnight, even going so far as to entertain notions of how I might start mainstreaming her to giving it some regular use, I think that last night has decided it for me. She will remain in her crib for as long as I can get away with keeping her there. It's where she really wants to be, anyway.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Big Ultrasound

Here's how mentally organized I've been lately: for the past few weeks, I've been looking forward to my big ultrasound on Tuesday, October 29th. It suddenly struck me at about 1:00 this morning that the 29th does not fall on a Tuesday, and that my appointment was thus scheduled for a mere 10 hours from that moment. Thankfully, this epiphany occurred in time for me to make it out to said appointment. Doubly thankfully, the appointment was today, rather than tomorrow, because who knows what everything is going to be looking like tomorrow...

So, here's the scoop. Little Raspberry appears to be cut from the same cloth as big sister Abigail. After an extremely long scan, the ultrasound tech gave up and told me I'd have to come back in a second time because his subject would not cooperate and show some spine. The exact same thing happened with Abby almost two years ago. Here's to having another stubborn baby!

Ultimately, the results of the scan will all have to be gone over by my doctor, who will then discuss them with me, but from what I could tell, everything looked good. Ten fingers, ten toes, cute button nose...

I stuck to my guns (for now) and did not ask to find out whether I'm having a boy or girl. Of course, thanks to Raspberry's obstinance, I will be having a second scan, and will therefore be subjected to temptation once again.

Yay for extra pictures, though! And maybe next time, if I can arrange to have someone take care of the kids, I can bring Tom along. It sucked to have to go alone this time; since there was no way we could have brought both babies into the ultrasound room, Tom stayed home to watch them.

Hello there, little Raspberry!

Stay safe, East Coasters and Great Lakes folks (and anyone else in the path of Hurricane Sandy)! If I fall off the grid for a day or two, it will be because we (predictably) lost power, but if we can get through with no more problems than that, I will consider us all to be very blessed, indeed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Raspberry: 18 Weeks

Your movements are changing; growing stronger and more fluid. I both love and hate this development, because it means that you've begun to squirm. I couldn't possibly sufficiently describe the sensation, but it always reminds me of an X-Files episode that I saw long ago, where some unfortunate victims ended up with bugs crawling beneath their skin. Not that the two experiences really compare- the X-Files situation is clearly a nightmare one, and carrying a baby is not a nightmare at all for me- on the contrary, I love having my little baby moving around inside of me. However, the physical reaction that I have (and can't seem to help) to the scooting of your body along the inside of my insides gives me the creepy-crawlies, big time. So here's a little request from your mommy: keep up the moving and shaking, but stick to pokes, kicks, punches and hiccups. I love me some of those.

Of course, once you really start to get some real strength behind your movements, I'll probably be changing my tune again. My poor, sore uterus and/or ribcage and various other internal organs will be a big influence on that, I'm sure...

Just two more days until the big ultrasound. I'm starting to get cold feet about not finding out your s.e.x.  Maybe I'll have the tech slip the info into an envelope and spend the next five months debating about whether our not to open it and take a peek. Gah! Sometimes, I hate having options.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Of Mice and Monkeys

I'm feeling too wiped out to write much tonight, but I'm happy to report that I have some Halloween pictures!

We'll start with Abby's, in her debut as...

Miss Minnie Mouse!

She was tremendously difficult to get any pictures of, as she is not fond of, or prone to, staying still much these days...

On her way from here to there.
Temporarily held in place by Daddy.
Caught off-guard in the middle of exploration.

Michael, thankfully, was much more cooperative (and conveniently distracted by a nearby stray balloon).

My littlest Monkey (not counting Raspberry, anyway).

Unfortunately, the hat was not a good fit, and the little slippers were off within minutes of the completion of my photo-taking. However, having anticipated both of those occurrences, and out of concern that the monkey suit would become too hot or burdensome for Michael, I dressed him in a faux tuxedo underneath. That's the costume that he ended up spending most of the party wearing, in the end, and I joked that he was a little 007. I didn't get any pictures of him in that, though I still vow to soon, before he outgrows it. He's a handsome little guy no matter what he wears, but he really looks great in a suit and tie, even if the tie is printed on his shirt.

Friday, October 26, 2012

December 2011

Well, I hope y'all like pictures, because this post is going to have a lot. (Keep in mind that as overboard as I went this time, there were many more pictures that I didn't use..)

Of course, December is always quite the busy month, and 2011 was no exception. It was also a very stressful time for me, thanks to a pre-term labor scare at 32 weeks pregnant that had me hospitalized overnight on December 6th, made me the cringing benefactor of not one, but two steroid shots, and required me to take one week of pretty strict bed rest, followed by several more of a more modified nature. The first week was difficult, painful, and scary. I couldn't do much of anything without setting off all kinds of contractions, but ultimately they did not lead to active labor, and my uterine irritation began to decrease once I was forced to start taking things much easier (no small feat with a feisty toddler at home). Ultimately, a lot of responsibility was passed on to Tom, who took it on graciously. And in the end, the issue appeared to be not actual pre-term labor, but rather, prodromal labor, which is a long, slow progression toward the "real thing." I endured no fewer than two contractions an hour (some hardly noticeable, others quite painful) until Michael was born, but I did not actually start dilating (past one cm, which is as far as I got during the pre-term labor scare) or progressing until 36 weeks.

Thanks to my total ineptitude at writing things down as Abby grew, I don't have a written record anywhere, but if memory serves correctly, as of her one-year wellness exam my little monkey was standing about 32 inches tall, and weighed 28 lbs.

And gaining in mischief-making capacity with each passing day.

"Finally! I got Mommy's phone!"

December was tough on Abby, as well, however. She began cutting her one-year molars, and picked up pretty quickly on the fact that I was suddenly much less involved in her day-to-day care, due to the fact that I could not pick her up or carry her anywhere and was trying to limit my own movement as much as possible.

Much to my delight, in response, she became a total cuddlebug overnight.

Mind you, this was a child that, for many months previous to this, could not be bothered holding still for long enough to snuggle with me.

Later that day, I had Tom attempt to take some more pictures of Abby in the outfit that she's wearing above, because it was (and is) one of my favorites, and was a recent gift from her Great-Aunt Irene. She would not cooperate and stand up for us, however, and this was the best that we could get.

And, the last pre-Christmas highlights of the month: Abby's first experience with a "real" cup...

...and more teething/missing Mommy-induced cuddles.

These next three were the pictures that we had taken of us at my parents', and ultimately used for our Christmas card that year.

(The very best group shot we could get on a timer, with a wiggly toddler in our midst.)

This one is one of my all-time favorites, though we realized after-the-fact that the background color was less than ideal. My mother actually photo-shopped a copy for us, making the sofa color more of a a maroon, and we have that picture framed and in our dining room now. Sadly, Flickr's photo editor did not have appear to have a function that could do that for this copy.

Just a few days before Christmas, on the 22nd, I hosted my first play date. Only a couple of moms (with their babies) were in attendance, but Abby had an amazing time, not least because I removed all of the barriers that we normally had up on either side of the living room to provide more space for our guests to move around in. The most memorable part of that day, however, was the breakthrough that Abby made in her progression toward walking. Up to that point, she had been walking here and there, but still relied greatly on crawling as a means to get around. Once she saw the open expanse before her, however, she realized that space is made for walking in. And she did not merely walk, she ran. Round, and round, and round the apartment she went. Tom and I were so tickled by her delight that we left the barriers down for a few days more, until Tom tired of chasing her to-and-fro. Even once the barriers were put back up, however, Abby never looked back. I rarely saw her crawl again.

And now we come to Christmas day. Christmas was spent with my parents that year, as they lived only 25 minutes away, and I could not possibly have traveled up to New Jersey in my condition. It all worked out, though, because Tom and I had spent the Christmas before with his family, so it was only fitting that my family get a turn on the day of, too.

Abby still didn't really understand the concept of ripping paper off of presents, but she sure did enjoy playing with them once we unwrapped them for her.

One of my own presents was my little Panasonic Lumix, and I had a grand time that day testing out some of the bells and whistles as I recorded Abby's second Christmas morning.

(Dynamic Black & White)

At some point, all of the excitement became too much for Abby, and Mima's arms were more than ready for a cuddle and nap.

No worries, though. There was still much more fun to be had that evening.

The next morning, I attempted to re-create Abby's posed shot in her pretty red dress, this time with pillows to break up all the redness. I was pretty excited about the prospect, especially since I had a chance to do it over with a brand new camera.  Unfortunately, Abby wasn't particularly cooperative. (And I wasn't very good at using the camera yet, anyway.)

By that evening, we were back home, and getting mighty comfortable.

As it turned out, though, we'd had a visitor. Some creature had chewed through the ceiling of our pantry, leaving a mess of insulation and spilled, half-eaten food. My first thought was a mouse, but the hole was pretty large, and the damage pretty impressive, for such a small animal. However, I was left to speculate until the next day.

Our uninvited house guest made his appearance in the afternoon, when Tom entered our bedroom, which had been closed shut all morning. A squirrel, which had been climbing the window shade when Tom opened the door, leaped out at him and sent Tom backing swiftly out the way he came in. The look on his face was priceless.

Needless to say, we had more visitors later that day, namely, Animal Control. The man that they sent was capable and fast, though Mr. Squirrel nearly made his way back out of the net as the officer ran through our living room and out of our front door.

However, the best parts of that day involved the visit from Nana and Papa, who came all the way down from New Jersey just to spend some brief but lovely time with us, and brought presents...

...colorful bows...

...and even a rainbow!

A couple of days, and a couple of Abby cuddles, later...

...Uncle James also came down to visit, and stayed for a few days.

As for this picture, I don't think I need to provide any explanation as to why I had to include it.

Though I dearly love this one, too. There's so much baby in her face, here, while now she is so much more "little girl" than "baby."

As big as I thought she was then, she looks so little, compared to now.

And little Michael, well- he hadn't even yet come out to play!

It's amazing how time flies, isn't it? So much of it seems like only yesterday, and here we are, just two months away from celebrating Christmas again. Abby's third (could it really be?!), and Michael's very first.


P.S. Amazingly, I am ranked 101 on Top Baby Blogs! I never imagined that I'd even get close to the top 100, but now that I'm just below it, you wanna help get me there? Just click on the button right below this post. Thanks a bunch!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Trouble With Two

Another day, another play date. It seemed to go as well as any other had- Abby sat in her pile of books, wandering out occasionally to investigate random happenings and scavenge for food, and Michael let a whole nap cycle (and 1/4 of a scheduled bottle) pass him by without incident, fixated as he was on all of the new people and surroundings. Unlike at the last play date, Michael really got around this time. More than once I looked up from my conversation to find that he had completely escaped my view. I'm definitely entering a new phase in my life, now.

I'm also starting to understand where all of the other moms are coming from when they keep commenting on how babies are so much easier at his age (because they stay put). I still say that they've merely forgotten all of the other challenges typical of the stage of life that he's in that balance out that one perk. A perk, which, by the way, is only really a perk if Baby is not only still, but happy. A baby who sits in place and fusses is not a baby that I can get a minute free from. Plus, it's been made clear to me today that that one perk has now been lost to me, forever.

Then it came time to head for home, and cue Abby's very first tantrum brought on by the prospect of leaving a place that I had taken her to. It was a doozy. Not for the first time did the thought occur to me how much more easily I might have managed the whole thing if Abby was the only child I had in my guardianship at the time. A toddler who has thrown herself to the floor in protest can always be picked up and carried forcibly away, after all. That is, if you have two free arms to carry her with. I not only had another baby to take out the door with me, I had a purse and a diaper bag to manage, as well.

So, the dance began. Here are the basics.

Step One: pick up the bags and sling them over my shoulder, Step Two: scoop up Michael, Step Three: reach for Abby's hand. Abby responds by wailing and lunging to the floor, and refusing to stand up again. Down go the bags and the baby as I crouch to Abby's level to coax her upright again. Proceed to Step One and repeat two or three times.

I don't even remember how I managed to finally get Abby to walk with me. I know that throughout the process, I was trying to remind her of how much she loves to ride in the car and listen to the music on the radio. Perhaps all of that finally sunk in. She was reluctant, but she walked with me to the front door, and walked through it on her own.

She suddenly pulled out of her stormy mood on the walk to the car, and my friend, who I was walking out and chatting with, commented, "Well, she recovered quickly!" I agreed, and mentally wiped my brow with relief.  I thought the worst was over.

Then, I reached the van, which was parked just a few feet closer to the house we'd just left than my friend's van was. I let go of Abby's hand so that I could open the car door, and she was suddenly off in the direction of my friend, who had continued ahead. Only, she wasn't really headed for her, she just started off going that way, and before I could properly react, I realized that she was running loose from me in the middle of a street.

Thankfully, it was a street in the middle of a town home community, so it wasn't exactly busy. But it was a street, all the same, and my terror grew as the seconds ticked by and my chase was not getting me sufficiently close behind her to stop her progress. I was, of course, slowed by the 20+ pounds of baby that I had in one arm, and the extra weight that I still had slung over my opposite shoulder in the form of two bags. I did eventually reach Abby, and in probably far less time than it felt like it took, but I was shaken.

Incidents like that one make me never want to leave the house with two children again. No matter how worthwhile the experiences I have once I get there, it's never simple getting the both of them moved from one place to the next.

Realistically, I know that I just need to plan better next time. One purchase that I've realized I can't put off any longer is a new baby carrier (I've had my sights set on the ErgoBaby for awhile, now). Michael doesn't have much patience for the K'tan anymore, and since I got mine a little too big, the stretchiness of it makes carrying him in it a far less comfortable prospect for him, and for me. But I need to find something that will work for the both of us, and allow me to keep my hands free. Because one thing is for certain: I am never letting go of my little girl's hand in the street, ever again. Not even for a second.

I don't think that my heart will ever fully recover from that moment, though I am thankful beyond belief that it all turned out okay, in the end.


And now, as a post-script, I'll add a Cute Abby Moment, before I forget to write it down, and because I always prefer to end upbeat, if I can:

Tom has been taking over bedtime story reading lately, and as he guides Abby up the steps to her bedroom, he always encourages, "Say night-night to Mommy!" She complies maybe 25% of the time.

Last night, however, after his prompt, she looked up and over at me and said, "I love you!" before bounding up the stairs.

Heart. Officially. Melted.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Happenings

I've finally picked out a Halloween costume for Abby. It's been tougher than I ever would have thought- trying to come up with something- and then, when I suddenly happened upon an idea I loved, it turned out that it just wasn't doable. Last year, before I'd even really taken the time to think about it, Abby received a costume as a gift. So, Tinkerbell it was. And she made a cute one, in my biased opinion.

But this year, well, she's not old enough to really understand the concept or take an interest, so it was up to me. On a trip to Target last week, I happened upon a monkey costume that I thought would look just dandy on Michael, so I grabbed it, and- DONE! It wasn't so easy for me with Abby. I find most princess costumes to be so cliche and gaudy-looking, and many of the other options seemed silly, or downright inappropriate. And I can't even tell you how many costumes I saw that I might have given consideration to if it weren't for the overly-sexy pose that the toddler on the packaging picture was modeling it in; that image ruined it for me every time.

Desperate, and somewhat curious as to what response I might encourage, I finally asked Abby what she wanted to be for Halloween. Her answer? "Dress!" Clearly, she wants to dress up all pretty-like. I'm still not sold on the whole princess thing, though. If she specifically asks for it when she's older I'm not going to say no, but at this point in time I still have some measure of control without having to force it. So, I left Target with only one costume in hand, but hopeful that I might find something online.

Last weekend, when I finally sat down to search Amazon, I had an epiphany. Madeline! Abby adores the books, and it fit her only qualification, which was that the costume have a dress. However, just looking at the picture revealed how cheaply it was made, and the reviews that I found confirmed my initial suspicions. I had a brief thought that I might make Abby my own version of the costume, but I don't own a sewing machine, and I'm not sure where I would find a little straw hat to fit her head in the short time left that I have available to me.

My last, best, chance to find something was the party store down the street from our house, where we made a quick stop after my OB appointment this morning. I didn't find anything that I loved, but I picked out something that I think will work nicely, and Abby has given it an enthusiastic stamp of approval. Tom wants me to keep it a secret for now, but you'll surely be seeing pictures next week after Abby wears it to her second annual Halloween play date.

Regarding that appointment- Raspberry is well, and has made a clear indication of costume choice for this year: Ninja. The little bugger tried his or her best to hide from the doppler, and it took quite some time for my doctor to isolate a heartbeat. Thankfully, I was able to keep myself calm during that time by recalling the most recent bit of movement, which was just that morning. I couldn't help getting a little nervous until I could hear that familiar rhythm, though. Once again, Abby got to turn on the controller, an experience which she excitedly recounted for me this afternoon. And the BPMs? In the 150s. My mommy instinct still tells me "girl," though. Only time will tell if I am right...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Hands With Big Plans

Normally, when it's lunchtime, we all go upstairs together. Tom and I run around getting Abby's lunch together as quickly as possible, in the hopes that we can get her settled and get our own lunches eaten before Michael gets tired of sitting in the high chair.

Today, however, Abby got it in her head that she wanted lunch "right now," as Tom was going upstairs for some other quick task, so he let her through the gate to join him in his ascent. I elected to stay downstairs with Michael for a bit longer, since he was playing happily. I also had the mad thought that if I perhaps gave Tom a head start in getting everything ready for all of us, I could bring Michael up at the last minute and have a good shot at enjoying my lunch at a decent pace, without either enduring Michael's banging and whining in my ear, or pulling his grabby self onto my lap as I attempted to get in those last few bites.

As most plans like this often do, it backfired. Two things I've learned about my son in his nine short months: he lives for commotion, activity, and the presence of people, and he detests being left behind. He made a beeline for the gate when he saw his daddy and sister leaving, and pulled himself to standing, staring forlornly out through the confining bars.

When he heard me come around behind him, he perked up a little and gave me a half-smile, as if to say, "Check me out, Mom! I'm standing!"

But then he quickly returned his attentions to figuring out a means of escape. Look how intensely focused he is.

And, I swear, he appears to be checking for structural deficiencies in this shot.

He's a sweet little guy, though, and I just can't deny him.

I took that one last shot, then put down the camera and grabbed up my little cuddlebug. Sure, he filled my all-too-brief lunchtime moments with noise and commotion, but what kind of lunch would it really be without a little chaos, after all?