Category Archives: Miscellany

Evading cabin fever

I had the best intentions to blog yesterday, but it didn’t work out.  It shouldn’t really be working out today, either, but I’ve bought Simon’s silence with an oatmeal cookie (we baked them this morning.  Pecans, dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries. Yum!)

So here we are.  Better make this quick!

Our weekend was pretty darn close to perfect.  On Saturday we went up to Cleveland to check out West Side Market (I had SUCH a fun time there last fall with Megan and Marin, and wanted to share it with Jeff) and play tourists for a while.

I love that place; it’s well worth the drive!  Of course, it’s completely different on a Saturday morning than it is during the middle of the week (DUH), and crowds are, err…not our favorite thing.  But Simon was snug in the Tula, so Jeff and I dodged the crowds and bought all the pastries our canvas bag would hold:

And fancy olives.  And dolmas.  YUM.

So crowded.  So neat!

Then we walked over to Great Lakes Brewing for lunch.  I had fish and chips; Jeff had a ridiculously good beer, one of their brewery exclusives (I had a few sips) and a really good brat with pierogis (he alleges.  Like hell I’m touching a flesh-stuffed intestinal tube.)  Simon made do with scraps from home, like usual. Poor baby.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to Akron after lunch, so we decided to check out Cleveland’s natural history museum.

And there we saw OMG DUCKS!

Pretty sure this was the highlight of Simon’s little life; he was absolutely captivated.  And chilling there with his sleepy eyes in his little stroller, it was more than a little reminiscent of an old man sitting at a nursing home (and would’ve been sorta sad if it hadn’t been so cute :-P).

We eventually dragged him away, though, and he quickly resumed his ornery toddler-y ways:

Little stinker. He’s my favorite.

As one might expect, he conked out on the drive home and was OK with a quiet evening with Mama Daddy.  On Sunday we just hung out around the house and did some chores; pretty quiet.

Yesterday was “challenging”.  Someone was in full-on Toddler Mode all day, and it wasn’t necessarily the person you’d expect.  By 5:00 I was ready to scream, so we escaped to the post office and the grocery store (exciting!), then picked up Jeff from work.  Jeff made the very wise decision to entertain Simon almost all evening, leaving me free to unwind (you know…do dishes and laundry. :-\)  It was actually a pretty good time for everyone.

He determined earlier today that sleep is for babies and since he is a big boy, naps are completely unnecessary.  See how well that worked out:

We worked on a nap for 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission in which I took a nice long shower while he stood at the baby gate and talked to me.  I warned him that his days of endless pacifier boob are numbered, but to no avail.  Toddlers are not well known for their foresight or appreciation.

So, bedtime tonight should be interesting. I predict he’ll either  go down in 5 minutes, or 75.  Who wants to take bets?

I’m starting to feel guilty about parking my butt in front of the computer for so long, so I’d best be off.  Simon and I have been reading “Where Is Your Nose?” off and on as I write.  He can now consistently identify his eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, hair, tum, hands, knees, and feet.  Even when the book isn’t in front of him.  Big smart boy!  Tomorrow we start calculus.

The rejuvenating power of cuddles

Simon and I are both wearing our crankypants today.  Simon because he’s been prodded and messed with all afternoon, me because I’ve spent all day in happyfun smiley nurturing mode (y’all know how I mean), and all I really want is to just be left the fuck alone for 5 minutes.  I think this blogging counts towards those 5 minutes (Simon is conked out upstairs for the moment) so I should probably quit my bitching and get on with it.

 

 

So anyway.  We had a pretty mellow weekend.  Sarah came over and watched Simon while I went to a happy hour with Jeff and his co-workers on Friday night.  It’s always so nice to get out for an hour or two, even if it’s just to drink Diet Coke and eat pub popcorn shrimp.  Sarah actually came early enough that I could sneak upstairs and sew for a bit, which was nice.  Who would have thought it’s easier to be productive when one isn’t constantly being interrupted to play baby fetch or applaud another round of shape-sorting?

 

Saturday was pretty low-key.  We had the Olympics on in the background all day, of course, and Jeff had a work brunch at an amazing cafe up in Cuyahoga Falls (spoiler: I’m about to make him take me there next weekend :-D), then we ran a couple errands.  Since Simon is all about being my sous chef lately, I decided he needed an apron to match his new role.  So I got some medium-weight denim and this pattern at JoAnn:

(The one on the far right for him; I may make the second from left for myself sometime)  It’s got an adjustable neck (where the neck and waist straps are one long piece of fabric threaded through channels on the sides of the chest) so should grow with him for a few years.

 

Yesterday we got some surprise! snow, about 5-6″ worth, so we stayed in all day.  Our Elantra just does NOT handle snow well (apparently a known issue for new Elantras), and literally every time we go on an unplowed road we’re guaranteed to get stuck.  If we end up in a wintry city then I’m sure we’ll invest in some snow tires, but for this year we just play weenie and don’t venture out until everything’s plowed.   And it only took me half a dozen times getting stuck on our own street to reach that conclusion.

 

I mentioned that Simon has had a bit of a rough day today.  We had to go to  the outpatient lab at Children’s to get some bloodwork done (our ped wants a routine hemoglobin and iron check).  When I had my hcg checks at the General hospital’s lab, both times I just walked in, waited a few minutes and was taken care of.  Easy peasy.  But when we showed up at the Children’s lab, the place was hoppin’.  We waited almost an hour just to get signed in.  By the time they actually called us back, Simon had just about used up his reserves of “good”.  Then of course there was the whole issue of stabbing his widdwe finger and extracting two tiny vials of blood.  He was NOT a happy chicken.  Even the Hot Wheels that a nurse gave us was no good.  Poor Simes.  When the nurses (it took two to get the job done, plus me holding him on my lap) were done, we retreated to the waiting room for some booby and calm-down time before heading home.   Where, of course, he conked out almost immediately: But sadly it didn’t last (so much for my 5 minutes), so here’s our present configuration:

And snuggles and human-pacifier-ing are A-OK with me right now.  It’s 5:30 and I can’t bear to wake him, which I’m sure I’ll regret at bedtime, but for now it’s great 🙂

 

Time to wake him for real, though, and go get Daddy!  That should cheer us both up. 🙂

Ahhhh

Many thanks to everyone for the comments, Facebook posts, texts and emails congratulating us on our  impending addition!  We are so stinkin’ excited to meet Garfunkel.  Based off the pancake theory of birth order, this one should be even better than Simon! (Nooooooooooo)

 

Speaking of my most favorite bigboy, I juuuuust got him down for a nap.  He’s having a very Toddler day today, complete with “tired but don’t want to sleep” fussiness, “not THAT water bottle!” pickiness, and also adorable fun at every turn.  So I’m consoling myself with an Amy’s pizza pocket and some veggie chips for lunch.

 

He’s got this new trick that I tried SO hard to get a picture of, but completely failed.  We call it the “demon imp” face.  He pulls it with no warning, and it’s the most laugh-out-loud ridiculous combination of furrowed brow, sly smile, and upcast glance.  It’s just…oh I have got to take a picture.  He did it once at dinner last night and Jeff and I both just DIED, then at breakfast he did it again.  We were Skyping with my mom this morning and he started doing it on demand, egged on by Mom and me cackling every time he pulled the face.

 

Every time I head into the kitchen to work now (even if it’s just to wipe down the counters or make a snack), Simon follows me in and pushes a kitchen chair up to the counter to help me cook.  And he won’t take no for an answer.  He helped me throw together our dinner salad the other day:

 

And yesterday we made some jam bars.  He tested them out, taking his role quite seriously, this morning:

 

He’s been a clingy sleeper lately; I’ve had trouble extricating during his naps (there was a 45-minute intermission in my post here when he roused just long enough to get me thoroughly stuck).  But it’s hard to mind too much; before long I won’t be able to nap under him all the time like this.

His little head still smells so nice.  Sweet and salty and warm.

 

Today is National Frozen Yogurt day so I think we’re going to run to Menchie’s for dessert tonight.  (I’m going to do Indian food from the TJ’s frozen section for dinner).  If you Like Menchie’s on Facebook you’ll get a coupon for 6 oz free, today only.  Sweet!  (Or tart)

 

And now I’m going to try and finish folding laundry before my helper wakes up.

 

Happy Thursday!

Now it’s official

We told our families last week and posted it on Facebook on Sunday, but it’s not official until The Blog knows:

Simon is going to be a big brother! 🙂

We’re about 16 weeks pregnant (found out on Nov. 21), which means we’re looking at a late July-ish arrival date.  So far this pregnancy is super easy like my last one, complicated only by the fact that it’s about ten times more exhausting to chase around a toddler than to sit at a desk all day.  We found a great midwife who really jives with our philosophy (which is lucky; there aren’t many home birth midwives in Ohio, much less ones who actually bring medical supplies to births and have a friendly working relationship with docs at the local hospital in the event of transfer).  Simon still doesn’t really get what’s going on, but that’s to be expected since he’s so young.  We’re reading lots of books on the topic and I’m going to get him a baby doll at Target, but I doubt he’ll really get it until Hoopling #2 (temporarily called Garfunkel, naturally) actually shows up.

So yay babies!

Our weekend was pretty good.  Friday after Simon’s ped checkup we had lunch with Jeff, then Simes and I went to Canton and got him some clothes for spring at Once Upon a Child, and a few maternity pieces for myself (most of my things from last time aren’t nursing-friendly). We went up to Cleveland on Saturday because Jeff needed some work clothes and I was out of my LUSH face wash stuff.  Definitely not our most exciting adventure, but Simes got some quality Tula Time with his Daddy and I got a change of scenery from Akron for a bit, so it’s all good.  I ran a few errands by myself on Sunday, which was LUXURY.  I missed having someone to talk to as I pushed my cart around Target, but it was nice to browse in peace and not spend my time supervising the wee one as he pushes the shopping cart or tries to wander away.  I treated myself to popcorn and a Diet Coke to make it a real escape 😀  We turned on the football game Sunday night, but we’re not really a football house so it was more about the commercials and halftime show than the stupid game.

I know it’s not quite the same, but I feel compelled to insert this here:

And I suppose that I am Moss in that scenario.  Goody.

Mr. Cuteness was in rare form yesterday morning:

He was rolling grapes all over the high chair.  Apparently it has juuuust a hint of a slant to it, so he was “racing” them, shooting them like pool balls, the whole nine yards.  I made a video but, in true toddler fashion, he stopped as soon as the camera came out:

After breakfast we actually went BACK up to Cleveland to hunt down a couple fabrics that my local JoAnn doesn’t carry, then stopped by a quilt shop in Hudson that I’d heard good things about.  I got a few half-yard lengths for my stash.  Maybe to go into Garfunkel’s quilt; maybe not.

I’d love to tell you all about what I’m working on right now, but it must remain secret for a while yet.  But it’s going to be awesome!  HINT:

And no, I promise you on my great-great-great grandmother’s grave that it has nothing to do with Garfunkel.  For serious.  (Just like last time, we’re not finding out if it’s a boy or girl)

Since driving all over northeast Ohio seems to be my hobby as of late, today we went down to Canton for some lunch and shopping with Kathy.  We went to this place called The Flower Factory, which is a closeout store sort of like a Michael’s-meets-HomeGoods.  I can’t show you any pictures of my finds yet because they’re in the car and I’m lazy (HONESTY), but I got a couple delicious candles, some seasonal decorations for next fall and winter, and a few random craft supplies.  All told, we spent about two hours wandering around just looking at everything.  That place is like a dream!  I can’t wait to go back 🙂

Here’s one pic that I grabbed in the store:

Just aisle after aisle of heavily discounted seasonal stuff, decor, craft supplies, party items, and (I wish I’d gotten a picture of this) disposable “spa thongs”.  Needless to say, I stocked up.  I hate having to re-use my spa thongs.

We enjoyed a long lunch and catch-up session at Max and Erma’s, and Simon got some quality attention that he is sooooooo desperately lacking (or so he says).  We’re so lucky to have a friend in Kathy! ❤

My little dragon also got the awesomest present ever:  his very own castle!

Kathy, he has had SO much fun playing with it, ever since he woke up from his nap!   Thank you SO SO SO MUCH.

Apparently the king needed a kiss:

In our version, the DRAGON is the master and sits on the throne:

OK well somebody is staring at me and shaking an empty snack dish my direction, so I believe I’m being summoned.  Have a great evening, everyone!

Good stuff!

We’ve had a fun past couple of days!

 

Most excitingly, Jeff came home last night.  As soon as he walked in the door Simon started bouncing up and down and screeching and giggling, and then he was stuck to Daddy for the rest of the evening.  Before Jeff even had his coat off, Simon had dragged him back to the playroom and was trying to entice him into a game of “Big Bear Eats Baby Tummies”.  Because apparently I just can’t play that right 😉

 

And for what it’s worth, Jeff insists that he didn’t sleep well in that fancy hotel bed all alone; that he really does sleep better balanced precariously on the edge of the bed with Simon’s stinky diaperbutt in his face and my icecube feet wedged between his knees.  Even though I have trouble believing it, it was nice of him to say. 😀

 

For once, I was grateful for Roxie’s alarm system yesterday afternoon; I was expecting some fluffy mail and didn’t want to let it languish out of my embrace one moment longer than necessary.  Behold!

That’s a dyed Anthracite Hemp Indio 6 (40% hemp) that I bought off the big swap on FB.  I am madly in love with the color.  This isn’t quite accurate, but it’s more or less right:

I don’t know who the dyer was; I’m at least the 4th (and final! :)) owner of this wrap.  The lady I bought it from thinks she was the third owner.  The real color is a lot more dimensional and luminous than in that braided picture. It’s deep and vibrant and doesn’t contrast a lot with the black weft.  I LOVE it.

 

Simon was positively weightless in this thing; even in a super quick’n’crappy ruck/BWCC hybrid thing (does that even have a name?).  Usually he doesn’t come running when I get out a wrap (though he’ll sit patiently and be cooperative while I get him up there), but yesterday he started hopping up and down before I even got it around his shoulders and supermanned him up.  Maybe this is his new favorite too? 😉

 

I wore him for an hour’s worth of housework and puttering around, and apart from a couple little adjustments (I had trouble getting him in a good seat), it was totally effortless babywearing.  Like a feather!

 

This is my first hemp wrap, and it’s really interesting.  I think I’m still a linen girl at heart (especially since thick smushy Nati linen is a thing), but NOTHING makes Simon feel as weightless as this hemp!  It’s a little unyielding so I know I would’ve found it frustrating as a beginner, but it’s substantial and blankety enough that it’s fairly easy to spread my passes, etc.  It sort of reminds me of my SNN, actually, only more supportive.  If my SNN is cheesecake (a little temperamental but rich and filling), then this is an oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie:  hearty and unpretentious but still sweet.

 

Sorry.  Enough wrap geekery.  I’m just happy 🙂

 

Now that Simes is really over that cold from a couple weeks ago, we decided to venture back to storytime this morning.  (ie the germ pit that infected us in the first place).

 

I LOVE seeing him interact with other kids.  When he’s just surrounded by adults and is snug on Jeff or me, Simon is flirtatious and engaging and charming (we joke that his catchphrase is, “I’m cute and I know it!” a la LMFAO).  But when we’re around other kids, he’s a lot more reserved.  Not standoffish, exactly, just a little more inclined to hang back and observe, rather than jump into the morass.  I can tell you that he’s not scared or tense, just…apart.  After a few minutes he’ll warm up, step by step, (usually checking in with me every couple moments) until he’s adjacent to the action, but he keeps the oddest look on his face: like he’s not quite sure what to make of it, these babies with their silly fumbling ways and loud noises.  He participates in parallel play and cooperates with the group for songs, dances, etc., so it’s all totally developmentally appropriate. He’s just not a social butterfly where those odd “toddler” creatures are concerned.

 

Wait, I have the perfect metaphor:

(source)

I can’t wait ’till he learns how to write field notes 😉

 

In a complete non sequitor, guess who has discovered pockets?

So nonchalant. 😛

 

(When I took his coat off him, he stuck his hands in the bib of his overalls and has been walking around like that ever since.  Like a tiny little farmer!)

 

Anyway, storytime today was all well and good until the giant parachute came out and another kid bumped into him, sending Simon dramatically crashing to the floor in a most theatrical fashion.  My usual policy with that sort of thing is to take care of his emotional needs (dry the tears, y’know), but then throw him right back up onto the saddle.  I don’t want him to be one of those whiny little porcelain kids.  But for whatever reason today he refused to be thrown (metaphorically or otherwise), and every time I tried to set him down he just whimpered and pointed to the door.  So we left storytime early, got a few books, and headed home.

 

Once we got away from the other  chimps  toddlers, Simon quickly remembered that he’s a big boy and rest is for weenies.  But joke’s on him, because I have magic boobs.  So HA!

Which means  I’d better get in and figure out what I’m fixing for dinner.  Yay!

 

Have a good rest of today, y’all.

Don’t get used to it

Making good on my half-assed attempt to get back in the swing of blogging.  As promised, I’m sitting here with a sleeping Simon upstairs and a cup of tea.  And a caramel bar. (Ssh!)

 

We had a pretty quiet afternoon yesterday.  Lots of stories (Pigs to the Rescue!) and building with bristle blocks.  Nothing too big.  Oh, and of course music time 😉

(I just realized his eyes look crossed there.  I promise, they’re not.)

 

I’m lucky that Jeff doesn’t travel for work any more frequently than he does, but it still sucks when he does go.  The evenings just aren’t right without him around!  But I wanted to keep as much of our routine as we could anyway, so I cooked a quick dinner (rather than defaulting to grilled cheese or PB&J, as is my wont).  And then, because Jeff wasn’t around to go spastic about the inevitable mess, Simon and I decided to practice our fork skills:

Watching him wrangle one the size of his arm convinced me to order a kid-sized set off Amazon; it should arrive tomorrow.

 

Once I got Simon down I settled in with some mango tea and knitting and Netflix, which was nice, but I’d rather have been bitching about Jeff monopolizing the TV with MLB ’13 😉

 

As predicted, I did not sleep at ALL last night.  Not only am I quite certain there are burglars lurking about the neighborhood and squirrels with machetes in the attic, but Simon has really kicked up his night nursing.  Jeff and I are hoping to get him sleeping in his own bed before too long (our double bed is just too small for two adults and a toddler) but with him still needing the boobs every hour I’m not sure how that’s going to work out.  I don’t mind nursing him down, but I’d love it if he could settle himself during subsequent wakeups.  We shall see.

 

This morning I got up and looked around the house and thought “I cannot spend one more entire day here.  No sirree.”  So after breakfast we loaded up.  Due to it being -4* right now, all the schools are closed.  So I figured that the library, fast food playplaces and mall play areas are all probably MADHOUSES, and I really don’t want either of us to get knocked down with another cold yet, so I decided to steer clear of kid places and go to Salvation Army and Home Depot instead (lol).  So we went to SA and I got a big blanket to throw down as a fingerpainting drop cloth, and a couple kids’ books (including a paperback of The Midwife’s Apprentice.  I loved that book in 3rd-4th grade.  Do y’all remember it?)  Then in Home Depot we wandered around a bit and looked at all the big things and guys with flat trolleys full of lumber, and I’m sure it made Simon feel very grown-up and manly.  A quick run into Aldi for blueberries and then West Point Market for fancy cheese and a cup of soup (talk about grocery-shopping whiplash!), and we’re back home.  And no one got frostbite and I won’t be chasing the dog around our hedge maze with an axe.  Win-WIN-win.

 

Now I’m out of caramel bar, and Simon is still conked out.  I don’t know what was in that cookie that the bakery lady at West Point Market gave Simon (quaaludes?), but I ain’t complainin’.  To the knitting!

 

Happy Tuesday, y’all.  Stay warm!

 

 

October-January

::tap tap tap::  Is this thing on?

Wow.  This has been my longest blog hiatus to date.  Win?  No.  LOSE.  I knew it was getting bad when not only was my dad nagging me for new posts, but so were old friends who I had no idea even stalked me on here (MEGAN).  So consider this an official apology for the prolonged absence.  We’re all fine and happy; I’ve just find it increasingly hard to sit down and write anything with the 2-1/2-foot-tall tornado spinning around here.  (Jessica I have no idea how you do it with two!)

Maybe I need to set up a fun routine – blogging when he goes down for his naps, maybe make a cup of tea.  Yes.  That’s the ticket!

We’ve been going a little stir crazy lately what with Polar Vortex I and II sweeping through Akron (the low tonight is supposed to be -10.  BRR!).  But we got about 8″ of snow on Saturday, so we decided to take advantage of it and play outside for a bit.  Look at my little icicle!

I lurve him 🙂

Last week it was less cold and snowy, so we bundled up for a walk.  I hate using a stroller in this neighborhood since the sidewalks are uneven (big trees and roots everywhere), so we hadn’t been going out as much since it turned cold, and Simon is getting a bit too big to wear on my front.  Then I had the brilliant idea to see if Jeff’s windbreaker was big enough to cover both of us.  It was!  So I wrapped Simon onto my back, zipped us up in Jeff’s coat, and we were off 🙂

It worked so well that I think we’ll walk down to the library this afternoon, before it gets any colder (I think we’re going to be housebound tomorrow).

Jeff left for Cincinnati this morning and doesn’t get back until Wednesday evening, so I’ve got to find ways to fill our time while he’s gone.  I think we’ll probably bust out the finger paints Grandma and Grandpa gave Simon for Christmas, and after he goes to bed I’ll try to make some serious progress on Jeff’s belated Christmas socks.  If the weather cooperates, I think Kathy and I are going to try and meet up for lunch in Canton on Wednesday.  I haven’t seen her since, what, October?  We’re long overdue for a catch-up!  I may also load Simon up and go to West Point Market for some of their fancy soup or something at some point.  (MY LIFE IS SO EXCITING)

(Aside – this blogging thing isn’t working out too well right now.  Someone keeps thrusting “Let’s Dance, Little Pookie” at me and whining.)

Why don’t I wrap up with a couple pictures from our holiday trip to St. Louis and KC?

Olivia always asks to “hold the baby”, even though he’s not terribly compliant and hold-able anymore (at least, not for an 8-year-old!):

Cuddles with Aunt Laura, who we got to see on our way back to Akron:

We went to see Grandmother and Granddad, and Aunt Linda and Uncle Jeremy, when we were in KC.  Grandmother invoked Great-Grandparent Privileges and stuffed Simon’s little face with cookies:

Clearly he didn’t really mind 😀

They were also really nice to us at lunch in the retirement community’s dining room (better than last time).  My arch enemy is still working there, but Mom and I gave her shifty glares.  BECAUSE WE CAN.  Our server that day was just tickled to have a baby in her section, and when I asked if I could get a cup of fruit or something for him, she came back with a fruit cup, applesauce, a banana, pudding, animal crackers, graham crackers, and I don’t even know what else.  She even delighted in putting some water in his sippy cup for him!  Too sweet 🙂

Lots of stories with Granddad, too, while we were, in Great-Grandmother’s apartment:

I have seriously never met a child who likes stories as well as this little one.  I think I’ve mentioned before that we can read for at least an hour at a go, and that hasn’t changed.  He’ll crawl up on my lap (the ottoman is our designated story-reading spot) and we’ll go through all his board books, most of them multiple times.  Last week Jeff put together one of those $18 particle-board bookcases from Target and I started moving the non-board-book kids’ books into the living room too (they had been on the shelves in the playroom).  Now Simon will go over and choose just the story he wants to hear, then patiently sit through the whole thing – even the long ones!  He’d rather read stories than do just about anything else, I’d guess.

Which is also why I am CONSTANTLY buying books.  We go to the library a lot, but when I can always find good kids’ books for like $0.50-$1 at consignment shops, why not just go ahead and buy them?  (Ask me if I regret this decision when it’s time to pack up and move again in 8 months…)  After food, love, and sleep, I really can’t think of anything better for a baby’s development than lots of reading.  I’m so glad Simon agrees!

And now I really must be off.  I’ve missed y’all, and hope it won’t be another 3 months before I can drag my lazy butt over to WordPress again!