Half An Elephant’s Gestational Period.

Nine months. That’s how long it has been since I was posting regularly.

Nine whole months!

Hmmm, which means that Ollie was only 17 months old when I stopped. Do you realize how much can happen with a kid in that time frame? MInd-boggling growth!! He went from a teetering, tentative toddler, who could recall the name of a few people and objects, to a full blown couch diving, running full speed ahead, “I want to tackle, Daddy!” boy!

And the language on this kid! Talk about being skipper of the S.S. Pottymouth! Just kidding; that isn’t actually true, although we have had some pretty funny incidents when he has repeated some phrases that he probably shouldn’t say. LIke the time Jeremy stated firmly, “This is BULLSHIT!” about something that wasn’t working the way he wanted, only to have Ollie start marching up and down the stairs chanting, “BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT,” the whole time. Or the time when I jammed my finger on his car seat and shortly after heard his sweet voice say, “Son of bitsh, mommy!” (In case you are wondering, yes, we did laugh our asses off…silently and out of view. Jeremy was able to keep it together in front of Ollie, but as we know from my lack of a “that’s not funny face,” I had to leave the room.)

Alright, I am just going to come out and say what I am sure every parent thinks about their child.

My kid is a goddamn genius.

He “reads” aloud (I am pretty sure it is just from memory at the moment) “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Eric Carle, “The Little Engine That Could!” by Watty Piper, and “Bears,” by Maurice Sendak. CUTEST. THING. EVER!! I have it on video and as soon as I can upload it to my computer I will post it here for you. I am telling you, you will want to lay down a tarp first because your heart is going to melt all over your feet.

You know the best part about a kid who is wanting to learn new words and phrases? You can get them to repeat the funniest shit! No, I am not talking about the profanity. As funny as I said that would be, I didn’t actually want him to do it at such a young age. Do I care if Oliver swears? Not really, I just want him to understand that there is a time and a place for it. Anyways, what I am talking about are phrases that you WANT him to repeat.

Here are some of the family favorites:

“Hey! What the deuce?!”
“Douchebag”
“Hey sucka! You gotta big fat floop flo!”

I may just have to upgrade my wordpress account so that I can start posting the audio clips I have of all of these. He has the most darling little voice!

In addition to his new language skills, he can identify every letter of the alphabet in both the lower and upper case forms. He can also identify numbers 0 – 10, and he can count to 17 on his own and higher, if coaxed. He knows every color of the rainbow and more. And on top of all that, he can point out a circle, triangle, square, diamond, oval, crescent, octagon, rectangle, and star. When we are out running errands he likes to point these out as we come across them. A trip to the store would not be complete without hearing, “Mommy, wook! A byyooo stah!” or “Hey, mommy, wook! A lellow soh-cle!”

When you repeat back what he said, “Oh you saw a yellow circle?!”, he nods his little head and says, “Oh. Wight.”

Oh but guess what?! There is an added bonus that comes with all this new found language. Something in the fine print that they don’t tell you about, up front.

Tantrums. Screaming, flailing, seeming to never end, tantrums.

It’s funny how five minutes can feel like hours when the phrase, “MOMMY, NO!” is being repeated at the top of a two year old’s lungs.

Let’s be clear on one thing, though. I will not tolerate anyone saying my son is in “the terrible twos.” I hate that phrase. I hate the message it sends. Even during the times when he is in full blown meltdown, it’s not terrible. I know and understand the multiple reasons why he is doing this. On one hand it has got to be a pain in the ass to want to communicate so badly and to have everyone tell you they can’t understand what you are saying. I would get pissed, too. That in no way means that I condone this behavior at all, and he is disciplined when he is rude or belligerent to myself or Jeremy. I am just saying, I get it. I also get that he is figuring out his boundaries and pushing us to see what he can get away with, to see where the line has been drawn. Again, fine, but you step too far over that line and there are consequences.

But, truth be told, it sucks. I know it is just a phase and one that I hope is over, quickly. I hate getting mad at this face. Breaks my heart.

Back in Business

After much deliberation with myself and my other self, I have decided to start blogging, again. Will people care? Who knows? I wish I could say, “Who cares?” but I would just be kidding myself. I kept saying that the reason I stopped blogging was because I got tired of feeling like I had to write for everyone else. Truthfully a small part of me does want to write for the masses. I want your feedback. I want to share my experiences with you. Otherwise I would just dig out my New Kids on the Block diary, bust open the lock whose key is now long gone, and start pouring my heart out on the pages remaining untouched since 7th grade.

Wow. Even now, just the simple act of writing is bringing a sense of lightness and peace to my heart that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Interesting how I never truly realized how much doing this meant to me. So enough of the sentiments, let’s get on with the gettin’ on!

Where have I been, you ask? What have I been doing? Dude. What haven’t I been doing?!

Working, that’s what. Well in the employed sense. Believe me, being a stay at home mom is work, but incredible, life-changing, worthwhile work that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I am amazed and blown away everyday by Rocket’s accomplishments. He is becoming such a little character with a great sense of humor! For example, when something goes wrong, he now says, “What the deuce?!”

Oh by the way, he is almost 2 and a half now. I tried to pause time as long as I could, but he must have found a worm hole or something, because he is growing up a lot faster than I anticipated. My little baby as turned into a full fledged couch jumping, puddle stomping, story telling, song singing, cars loving boy.

I am going to keep this first post very brief. I just really wanted to say, “Hey. I’m here again. Do you remember me? I hope you come back to visit, again. I’d love to see your lovely faces.”

In Which I Ponder the Loss of Brain Cells

I think having a child has had an unfortunate affect (effect? see I can’t even remember which one would be the proper usage) on my brain. I can’t seem to remember shit. I used to be able to state facts and figures on a variety of topics, quote movie lines like I was reciting my ABCs, tell you the plot of the many books I had read.

Now?

I can barely remember what I said five minutes ago. Not what someone else said, mind you, but my own thoughts that came out of my own mouth.

I have started listening to NPR all the time, just to hear some adult conversation. And I hate listening to talk radio, so that should show you my level of desperation.

Is this normal? Does anyone else with kids have this problem? I tell you, it is the most irritating thing on the face of the earth. I constantly feel like I am losing my mind. I find myself getting rattled and confused when I try to have a conversation with someone. It is making me crazy? Does this go away? Is it a matter of spending hours a day with a 18 month old? What?

Listography – Because I Don’t Want to Forget

  • Oliver can now mimic the sounds for the following animals, people, or items: cow, horse, sheep, fish, shark (he sings the theme to Jaws, hilarious!), chicken, duck, car, train, clock, The Count (ah ah ah!), Cookie Monster, bird, a cowboy (YEEE HAA!!), owl, tiger, lion, monkey, various monsters, and his daddy’s butt (pppttthhh).
  • Oliver says the following words: cookie, bus, car, truck, duck, turtle, purple, mama, dada, baba, koala, and blue.
  • He has full on serious phone conversations, including hand gestures, pauses, and laughter, in a language all his own.
  • He has these same conversations with his daddy.
  • You can ask him to bring you a specific book and he can locate it and bring it to you, no matter what book it is or where it is.
  • His favorite books right now are: Sheep in a Jeep, My Big Book of Trucks, and any book featuring Grover from Sesame Street.
  • He loves big trucks and school buses.
  • He love watching Cars by Disney.
  • He can turn on my iPod Touch, locate the application he wants to play with, and start it.
  • He only has to watch someone play a game on their iPhone once before he can take total control and play it entirely on his own.
  • He knows how to turn on our PS3 so that he can watch Cars.
  • He also loves Wall-E, and now likes to carry around our little red cooler to put toys in, just like Wall-E does.
  • He can identify the following Sesame Street characters: Grover, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Little Bird, Barkley, Pairie Dawn, Cookie Monster, The Count, Zoe, Oscar the Grouch, and Telly.
  • He can find the mouse on all the pages in Goodnight Moon
  • He can catch a ball…with one hand.
  • He loves to play Ring Around the Rosie and starts to fall to his knees halfway through the song, like he can hardly wait for the ending.
  • He insists on having a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast.
  • He give kisses and huge bear hugs.
  • He loves to play in the drawer with the pots and pans.
  • He “winks”!

I Wonder How Long of a Title WordPress Will Allow Me to Create? Hmmm, So Far It Looks Like It Can Be as Long as I Want It to Be. Awesome.

Sorry about that. I was curious to see what I could get away with as far as a post title was concerned. Maybe one time, just for shits and giggles, I will publish my entire post as my title. Yeah. Probably not. But maybe I just might. You never know.

I like to keep you people on your toes.

So.

Why have I been so neglectful of this blog? Several reasons, but the biggest and most important reason is that I have been spending quality time with Rocket. Time is moving at a RAPID pace when it comes to my little guy (Ok, not so little. He has moved right out of babyhood and dived head first into toddler) and I fear that before I know it he will be driving away with his panties in a wad (my husband is yelling in his mind, “BOYS DON’T WEAR PANTIES!!”) because I made him stay home and eat dinner with the family instead of going to the movies with his friends.

Yes, I will be that kind of mom. The mom who wants to instill in her kids that family comes first no matter what. The mom who believes in the importance of family dinners, of spending time together playing games and going on trips (no, I am not talking about week long trips to Disneyland, I am talking about the last minute camping trips to a locale a mere 10 miles from your home or even in your own backyard). The mom who goes to all the parent teacher conferences and knows how her child is doing in school. The mom who yells, “I LOVE YOU!!!” out the car window to her embarrassed teenager in the hopes that, even though he is humiliated, deep down he knows and feels the same way.

My parents did an OUTSTANDING job when it came to instilling these values in their kids. My best friends are my sisters and brother and my parents. My parents were very young when they were married and had all of us. Because of this we basically grew up together (to put it in perspective, my mom and dad are 53, my older sister is 34, I am 32, my brother is 30 and my sister is 29), and this resulted in a closeness that I have never witnessed in any other family. We still get together weekly or more to have dinner or to just hang out. (Well most of us. I hate that my youngest sister, Jenn, lives clear across the US. Do you hear that Jennifer Jennifer Crotch Crotch? Move closer!!)

I don’t know if I have said this on my blog before, but I LOVE being a mom. I love it more than I can say. I love it to the point of heartbreak, if that makes any sense. I find myself brought to tears on many occasions from the joy and miraculous wonder that Oliver is. I gives thanks daily for being blessed with such an incredible little boy.

I have been painting. Not alot, but I have finished four paintings in the past few months.

It’s a start that I am quite proud of and hope to continue. We hung a series of twenty paintings that I did a couple years ago, in our livingroom, and I hope that this will keep me inspired to continue painting.

I have also been working on project Brain Work, although it is not going as quickly as I thought it would. I am a little behind on my schedule to read all those books in three years. I just finished “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” by James M. Cain. It wasn’t bad. I am not really sure why it was in the top 100 books of fiction, and I am pretty sure this won’t be the last time I feel this way. I do think the title was very clever as a way of saying that you will get what’s coming to you.

So next up is “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” by James Joyce. Another update to come!

Remember When…?

Remember when I said that I hoped to pass my love of reading onto Rocket? I think my dream has already come true! He LOVES being read to. He will actually dig a book out from the bottom of his toy box, crawl over to where you are, and hold the book in your face as he is climbing onto your lap. Then he will sit there, forever, while you read book after book after book to him. Sometimes when he is playing by himself, he will grab a few books and look through them over and over. If the book is upside down, he will even correct its orientation so that he is reading it the right way. How funny is that!

Remember when Oliver had two teeth? He now has twice that amount. A third came in on the bottom and recently a top tooth has made its entrance into the world. He likes to click his bottom teeth against his top tooth, and his face is so damn cute when he does it.

Remember when I said I stopped using that bullshit Babywise method? Well, for the past month or so, I have been doing pretty much everything that that book said we should absolutely not do. Like feeding your baby to sleep, and going into their room to comfort them everytime they fussed, etc. etc. And you know what? It’s fucking working!! For the past week Rocket hasn’t cried at all when we have put him to bed for the night. AAAAANNNNDDD for the past three days he has slept from about 8PM straight through until 7AM. (I believe!! Halelujiah!!) So if anyone ever hands you this book and tells you it worked wonders for them, calmly take it from their hands and then SLAP THEM REPEATEDLY IN THE FACE WITH IT. Babywise, my ass.

My Child? Stubborn? Please. I Wrote the Book on Stubborn.

After about an hour of fighting with Rocket to go to sleep, laying him down in his crib, letting him cry for increasingly longer periods each time, we decided that the only option left was to let him cry it out for as long as it took. We knew he was tired. We could hear him stop to yawn in the middle of his crying. We would see him, as we looked up at his room from the kitchen, standing half asleep with his head resting on the rail of his crib. Finally after about twenty minutes there was quiet.

Jeremy crept upstairs to make sure he was ok, then steps out of Rocket’s room and, with a whispered laugh, says, “Sus, you have to come see this. Bring your camera.”

We both tried to muffle our giggles as I took a picture of this.