Baby, You’re a Firework!

I have an entertainer on my hands.

Davey would much rather spend the majority of his day being the class clown (yes he’s only 1) or singing and dancing to music, or finding out what makes people laugh and taking advantage of that.   He enjoys a good story from time to time, but only when it’s a one on one interaction.

Take for example Wednesdays.   Every Wednesday morning, we go to the local library for a half hour of story time and nursery rhymes followed by another half hour of free play and social interaction.   Before Davey could walk, he used to just sit in my lap and listen to the stories.   Well, let me rephrase that.   He HAD to sit in my lap because he couldn’t really go anywhere on his own.   That doesn’t mean he listened to the stories that were read or participated in any of the nursery rhymes.   Now that he’s able to walk, his mentality is “forget mama!”

As soon as he walks into the room, he seems to command everyone’s attention.   I feel a little guilty and bad about that since there are times when he seems to steal the librarian’s thunder when he treats story time as his own personal stage.   There is a part of me who wishes to stifle him just a bit and I wonder if I’m allowing him to be too free at home.   Honestly, story time makes me nervous because I’m really unsure if he’s going to upset anyone.   Plus I feel a little sad to see all the other kids cuddling up with mommy and my little bugger is dancing around the room not even giving me a second glance.

Lately, his entertaining persona has brought a smile to my face especially when he’s at home and he hears the Andy Griffith theme song or his new favorite band, Mumford & Sons.   For instance, when he hears Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait”, he immediately drops everything and gets his groove on.   And well, let’s just say Davey gets his dancing skills or lack thereof from his daddy.

He stands up, bends his knees as if he’s almost in a squat, stiffens up both arms and puts his hands out in front of him, palms open wide.   Then he’ll bounce for a couple of beats, before slowly doing a spastic version of what looks like the snake.   I can’t help but laugh as he moves his arms and heads in a squiggly motion, almost like an ocean wave rolling through his body.

After a few of these moves, he then spins a good 10 seconds or so around in circles until he gets dizzy and falls down.  He laughs it off, sees me and his daddy laughing then jumps back up and heads back into it again.

He’s my own personal little entertainment.    As a matter of fact, I think we’ll drop DIRECTV and just rely on Davey.   I can guarantee you that no show on television can warm my heart like my son and no comedy can give me the good deep down belly laugh like he does.   And even though it may sadden me at times to see how quickly he blows me off when we go to story time or anywhere else for that matter, it also makes me smile to know that he’s eager to bring some entertainment to others.   My little star!

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Mommy and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

One of Davey’s aunts in Rochester gave him a book for his birthday…Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.   Davey loves the book.   He usually hears it twice a day, once before nap time and once before bed time at night.   While reading it to him today for his nap, I started thinking about how one could be written for Mommies…Mommy and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  So, here’s my brief version.

Last night I stayed up too late to watch the Presidential debate.   It made me angry, they made me angry.  Then my mind wouldn’t shut down, so I watched Facts of Life re-runs on T.V.   My husband’s alarm went off too early, and I’d barely had any sleep, so my head was killing me.   It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

Davey woke up while I was watching a recap of the Presidential debate.   My coffee was still brewing, and he was screaming.   My husband brought him downstairs.   I cut up a banana for him for breakfast, gave him his milk, and sat down with my coffee.   Davey took his banana and smushed it between his hands.   Banana guts squirted everywhere, on the dog’s head, the carpet and the table.   Then he ran his banana hands along the sofa and the walls.   It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  

We went upstairs to get our clothes on so that we could go to story time at the library.   While I’m using the bathroom, Davey gets under the cabinets and pulls out the baby powder, which I left open.   When I come out of the bathroom, Davey, the carpet, and the floors, and yes the dog, are covered in white powder.   Davey’s laughing at me as he continues to shake the powder.   It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

While putting on his clothes, Davey reaches into the changing table basket and pulls out the diaper rash cream.  As I’m digging out a pair of socks for him, he’s opened the cream and is squeezing it out everywhere.   It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At story time, he spits milk from his mouth, grabs other babies sippy cups, steals the bear and other kids books, throws a book at a kid, pulls my hair (and nearly my sweatpants down), before taking his sippy cup and dumping out his milk on the carpeted floor of the library.   It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

When we get home from the library, he’s managed to wet his diaper which has gone all the way through to his pants.   Lovely diaper didn’t hold, which is a first.   It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

On a personal note, my head stills hurts, I have a massive zit forming on my chin, and my favorite pair of sweatpants shrunk (lengthwise, folks).   It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Blow Out Salons

When you become a mom or a parent (sometimes I forget that I have dads who read my blog), efficiency becomes your new word of the day. No wait, it’s your new word of the millennium. It’s no longer about you and the previous obstacles and hurdles you have to overcome in order to make the day work. You now have an additional challenge waiting for you…your child.

Every parent works out new ways to integrate their child into their normal daily routine. For me, this is how it went, especially when I was working. 5 am, I was up. I would shower, get ready, make coffee, and eat my breakfast. I would be completely ready to go by 6 am. At that point, I would then go wake my son, if he wasn’t already awake, feed him, clothe him and get him ready for daycare. I was out the door every morning no later than 7 am, which put me at getting to daycare by 7:10 and then back on the road to work by 7:15. I stopped to pick up a Starbucks on my way into the office and still managed to make it usually by 7:50 which is good for a work day that starts at 8.

I had my routine all set and it worked for me, but I understand for some it’s a challenge. Heck, for some of you out there, it’s a challenge to make it to work WITHOUT having a kid. I learned time-management, multi-tasking, and efficiency. Some nights I washed my hair BEFORE bed, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it in the morning. It usually shaved about 15 minutes off of my time, and in the world of a kid 15 minutes is like a pot of gold!

So, where am I going with this blog? Well, I recently read a little article in my Parenting magazine. It’s about a way to help mommies (and daddies) to become more efficient with their time, to help them out in the personal appearance arena. These places are created specifically, as the article states, to save time. They’re called Blow-Out Salons and they’re created to help Mommies and Daddies get the latest and greatest in stylish hair everyday.

When I read the article, I nearly choked. Really? Have we become this vain, people? I mean I know I blogged about my vanity while being pregnant, but when you have a kid, you’re not as concerned about the color of your eye shadow as you are about making sure that Jr. is learning all he can. I don’t think you become as concerned about the latest hair style, as you are about making sure that your hair doesn’t get covered in spit up, or jam hands (that is unless you’re a part of Hollywood or the wealthy elite).

I couldn’t help but bring myself to blog about this. First off, you’re looking at a minimum of $35 for a salon blow out at most any place, and definitely at the four Parenting Magazine chose. In this economy, don’t you all think that $35 is better spent elsewhere or even SAVED! Second, how does it really save you time? Sure, you don’t exactly have to style your own hair, but you do have to get to the salon, even AFTER taking care of all other responsibilities and duties. What about traffic? Could it be worse near the salon? What if your stylist is late? There go the time savings out the door!

These salons are offering added little perks for your children as well, such as a hair styling for your Mini-Me, mimosa breakfasts and birthday parties.

I’m not sure if Parenting Magazine was looking to fill an extra space in this month’s issue or if editor(s) believe they are only catering to the wealthy. Either way, I can’t comprehend how something like this is considered an efficient use of parental time, not to mention an efficient use of income (or lack thereof).

What about the rest of you? What are your ideas on time management and efficiencies? What little routines did you have that made life more manageable when you became a parent? Perhaps we can hit up Parenting Magazine with some actual “real life” ways to help parents out.

Your Parents Are Talentless, Kid.

Every parent wants something more for their child.    I’m pretty hard pressed to find a parent who isn’t eager to have their little Jr. or Angel become the greatest athlete of all time, or the newest prodigy in the arts.   Every parent seeks this for all of their children, that’s why we’re willing to sacrifice so much for our kids.

Me?  I sacrificed my career for Davey.   Truth be known, it wasn’t much of a career, but my personal dreams and aspirations were put on stand by so that I could devote all of my time and energy to raising our son.   So, that’s one thing I’m doing in the hopes of making my son be all he can be, but there’s something else that I’m a little concerned about.  It’s called talent.     

This past weekend, while my husband and I were watching the Today Show, there was a story of a 6 year old little girl who is already able to play the piano flawlessly.   There’s more to it than that, she’s also able to write her own operas.  Many in the music world and well just the world in general are calling her a prodigy.   So, I ask my husband, “how does a kid become a prodigy?   What can I do to help make my kid into a prodigy?”  And just as I’m asking these questions, we’re told that the little girl’s parents are both musicians.   My balloon quickly deflated, because really, my husband and I are pretty much talentless. 

It kinda makes me feel bad for my kid and any future kids we may have.   They’re doomed to have dull and boring parents who thereby will pass on their dull and boring genes to their offspring.   Sigh.   So, in my effort to try to find some sort of gift I could pass onto my son, I’ve been on a bit of a brainstorming mission.   And here’s what I’ve come of with….once again my husband and I have zero talent to offer our kid.

My husband played football and rugby in college.   He continued to play rugby after college up until about 5 years ago.   He claims to be average with it as well as with football.   He’s not very fast, but he is athletic.   As for the brains department, I really hope Davey gets my husband’s intelligence.   Perhaps he can take it to the next level and become a doctor and discover a cure for cancer.   It’s a dream, a possibility.  

Me?   I’ve got nothing other than perseverance, which is one of my greatest traits.   But how is perseverance going to make my child into a prodigy?   It’s not.   So, what else do I have to offer?   Again a big goose egg.  

Each day, as I watch Davey learn and grow, I’m amazed as to how far he’s come in a year’s time.   I love the fact that he’s constantly entertained by books and not the television.   I mean I have a kid who lasts maybe 30 seconds in front of a television before he’s bored.   I love the fact that he’s super analytical with everything, spending hours studying every little pore and crevice of whatever is within his reach.  

Our pediatrician says that he’s ahead of the game with motor skills, but exactly where he should be with everything else, so maybe I’m pushing too hard or expecting too much.   I’m eager to find that one talent that will carry him far in life.  I’m eager for him to be more than my husband and I ever were.   I’m eager for perhaps too much.   I should sit back and just say, “Go, Davey!   You’re rocking it, kid!”  

Unfortunately, I can’t help but fall back to the fact that my kid is doomed at least in the talent department.

My Little Daredevil

I have a little boy, so that obviously means I have a daredevil on my hands, right?  Personally, I think my son has taken his appetite for adventure a little too far these days.

As you’re all aware, Davey celebrated his first birthday a week and a half ago.   One of the gifts he got was a Power wheels four wheeler from my mom and dad.   Before any of you start going berserk about him being too young for one of these, let me just say it’s a Fisher Price four wheeler specifically made for 12-36 months.   It does not go in reverse and it has just one button to push which makes the thing go 2 mph.   It’s not very fast.

Davey picked up on the mechanics behind operating the machine pretty quickly.  As a matter of fact, he was driving it by the next day!   Of course, it’s taken some time to learn how to steer it AND drive it, but we take everything one step at a time.  

By that first afternoon, Davey was already driving the four wheeler while standing up.   He was refusing to sit down, and since he couldn’t steer it, he was running over everything that he possibly could, even the dog.    Usually after about five or ten minutes of this, he’s ready to hop off and start pushing it around the house.   We’ve quickly nixed that since we don’t want him to ruin the motor, which means we can’t just leave it sitting anywhere on the floor.  

I decided to place the four wheeler, when not in use, on the fireplace.   It keeps it within reach, so I don’t have to go into another room, but it also keeps it out of Davey’s reach, or so I thought.

Last week, I left the room long enough to take a bathroom break.   As a side note let me just say that I so miss the days of my child being immobile.   I think I’ve blogged about that in the past.   It was such a blessing to just leave him in one place and know that he wasn’t going anywhere.   I got so much more accomplished and I was actually able to breath.  On the plus side, I think I’m shedding some extra pounds by the fact that he is mobile now, since I’m running after him so much.   Anyways, let’s get on with my story. 

So while I’m in the bathroom (just doing number 1, folks), I hear the sound of the four wheeler.   I pause for just a second.   After all, there’s no way it could be moving, right?   I had to have imagined it, because the sound only happened for just a split second.   My imagination, I laughed, but then I heard it again and it wouldn’t stop! 

Quickly, I pulled up my pants, jumped over the baby gate and rounded the corner only to see my little angel (insert sarcasm) standing up on the four wheeler which is on the fire place and trying to get it to drive over the padding that we’ve installed on the edges of the fireplace to protect his noggin should he fall.   I yelled at him to stop and as I’m running to him, my little bundle of joy (again insert sarcasm) turns around while still pushing the button on the four wheeler, and laughs at me! 

Needless to say, the four wheeler is now in another room.   Sigh!

Sharing his life

I watched an interesting news story on the Today Show this morning.   Well, I don’t know that it’s actually considered news, but Willie Giest did an interview with a young woman who has made a career out of blogging about parents who “over share” pictures and events in their children’s lives.   While, I haven’t read the blog, it has gotten me to thinking…do I over share?

I think it’s a pretty fair question to ask myself.   And if I’m going to ask it, shouldn’t I be honest?   So, yeah, I do think I’m a parent guilty of over sharing, but am I worried about the impact it’s having on the lives of my friends who are forced to deal with the daily tweets, status updates, and overly adorable pictures of my one and only? Absolutely not!

Personally, I believe sharing or even “over sharing” is a rite of passage once you become a parent.   Not all parents take part in it, but those who do don’t feel even slightly ashamed by it and why should they?   I love checking my Facebook on a regular basis (sometimes I am guilty of over-checking, perhaps there should be a blog on those people) and seeing hilarious anecdotes from my friends about what their little angels, or in some cases monsters, have done during the day.   I love seeing the pictures of Jr. dressed up like a mini-daddy or Angel donning mommy’s way too big high heels.

Of course this also leads to the parents who take over sharing to a whole new level.  So, let’s break it down…There are at least 3 levels of sharers and I like to think that I fit into the second level.

  1.  Typical Sharer:  these are the parents who only share when asked by others.   They may also post a random picture on Facebook or Twitter, but never post status updates.   This would be my husband.
  2. Over-Sharer:  these are the parents who are constantly posting pictures and status updates.   These parents will post a minimum of 3 pictures a day and at least 2 comments or status updates associated with their little bundle of joy.   These parents try to be conscious of just how often they’re sharing the goings on of their little honey pot with the world.
  3. Obscene Sharer:  these parents aren’t necessarily posting obscene pictures or status updates.   Remember, obscene doesn’t have to mean smutty or salacious, it can represent a huge amount.   So, these parents are sharing some of the most shocking things about their kids and sometimes much too often.  It can be everything from little Sammy’s first poop in the toilet, to 56 pictures about little Susie trying to stand up (for the umpteenth time).   These parents do not wait to be asked to share, and are more than willing to not really censor themselves either.   The world of social media was created specifically for this set of parents, or so they’ve convinced themselves in order to maintain their levels of denial about being an obscene over-sharer.

Out of the three “Sharers” listed above, I’m curious as to where other mommies and parents feel they fall.   Regardless of which level, parents should never be ashamed of sharing the exciting times of their child’s life.   It’s only natural to be over-joyed when little Johnny hits his first ever home run, and if my Davey does that, you’d better bet your Aunt Ruthie’s house I’m going to share it with everyone.   And if Davey makes the honor roll?  Yep, you’ll all know about it, either via Facebook, Twitter, or this blog.   When Davey uses the toilet for the first time?   Maybe not so much sharing going on there.   While it will be a proud moment in this house, I just don’t think the rest of the world will see it that way.

Let’s Play a Game of Memory

I’m completely amazed at how quickly my son learns.   I’m shocked and in awe over how much he grows every day, even though I may push him a bit too hard.   His brain is a sponge these days, and he seems to be able to soak up more than I thought possible.

At yesterday’s doctor’s appointment, we were told he’s ahead of the game developmental especially with his motor skills.   As for everything else, he’s on schedule with where he needs to be, which encourages me to try harder.    So, I’ve decided to turn our days and routines into a game.   I’ve found that my son wants to learn, he’s eager to know as much as possible.    It’s rather obvious when he’s more content with spending his time in the floor surrounded by books, than watching television.

One thing I’ve started doing is a tweaked version of the old memory game I played as a child.   For those of you unaware of the game, it is a set of cards with pictures on one side.   For each card with a picture, there is a matching card to go along with it.  You take the cards; flip them over on the table so that you’re unable to see the object on the other side.   Then you start picking cards, flipping them over one at a time and trying to find the mate.    It’s a fun game, one that I’ve modified a bit for Davey.

Instead of actually using the cards and trying to match up generic objects, I’m trying to use pictures of people important in his life, pictures of our family.

Since my husband is from Western New York, we don’t get to see his family as much as we do my family.   I’m worried that Davey won’t recognize them, or that it may take a little bit of time for him to remember them, plus I’m anxious to get him to start talking more.    So, I’ve taken 4 x 6 individual close up pictures of my husband’s family, and then I’ve written their names on a 4 x 6 index card.   I know he can’t read yet, but having their names written on the card that we can then match up with their picture just encourages his continued absorption in his brain.    It can’t really hurt, right?

We haven’t gotten far with this game especially since I just started the game two days ago.    I love to watch Davey’s eyes light up.    He knows the faces especially right now since his Grammy and Aunt Dee Dee were in town to visit all last week.   He still tries to say Dee Dee which is a good sign (and he even says Sissy these days for our dog Dixie.)

Every day I’m trying to find new and fun ways for Davey to learn.    I want him to be more than me.   I want him to have more than me.

I’m curious as to what methods other moms out there use when it comes to aiding in the developmental growth of their children.

A Look Back

His first birthday is officially in the history books and has been for at least 3 days now, but I seem to wake up sad about it.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that the actually celebration is over or if it’s the fact that he’s growing older each day.   We can’t go back…there’s only 1 first birthday.

Saturday morning, I found myself curled up in the recliner, a hot cup of coffee in my hand, and all of Davey’s birthday cards from the night before.   During all the excitement of his birthday and opening packages, I never really had the opportunity to read the cards, and my husband can attest to this….I LOVE cards.

After Davey woke up on Saturday, we pretty much spent a lazy day of playing with all of his toys.   I was in complete awe as I watched the wheels turning in my son’s brain.   He would go from one toy to the next, easily picking it up and playing with it, at times twisting it over and over in his hands as if to inspect each tiny little crevice.

He’s become a huge fan of music, so most of his toys have some sort of musical capability to them, including the new toys.    I laughed as he would bring one to me, push a button and then show me his jazz hands while turning around in a circle to the music.    And as I watched him, I thought back to how quickly a year has rolled by.

A year ago today, Davey was 3 days old.   It was officially our first day home from the hospital and while it felt good to sleep in my own bed, I still wasn’t prepared for the every 2 hour wake up call for a feeding.   I can remember for the first time in my life not caring one iota as to what my physical appearance was like.    All I cared about was having my beautiful baby boy for every second of the day.

A year ago, I was already looking into the future and panicking about how I would be able to go back to work and leave my son in the hands of some stranger.    A year ago, I was experiencing a new love, a complete love, one that I’d never had before.   A year ago, I was embracing my new role with a new level of insecurity and even fear.   A year ago, I was basking in the limelight of being a mommy.

Today, I’m spending a cold, rainy Monday curled up on the couch with my precocious little 1 year old (still feels odd saying that) and watching Bambi while eating goldfish.    Today, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, I’m content, and I’m blessed.

A year ago, I was unsure of what to expect.   At times my fears of the unknown were crippling and debilitating, but I survived a year…we all did.   We grew, we loved, we learned, and we became a stronger family.

Can’t wait to see what the second year has in store.