aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Before - w/Ringlets So this was Tai, yesterday evening. His hair was slightly damp, and it was curly and adorable. But it was also hanging in his eyes most of the time and it was hard for him to see. I've been debating what to do about it for weeks. More. Leave it long? Cut it? I went back and forth, back and forth. Finally I made a decision.

After - a Real Boy How the hell did he go from baby to Boy in 3.2 seconds?   I cannot even believe it.  I have been looking at him all day today and wondering where time went.  Of course, a big part of that is because he starts preschool tomorrow morning.   I cut his hair for school - I didn't think he could see with it the way it was.  Clips didn't stay in his hair, it didn't stay behind his ear... it just hung over his eyes and he didn't really even push it away much.  

This morning I asked him - 'do you want to get your hair cut, or do you want to leave it long?'  I didn't put the cut second, because sometimes toddlers just default to the second choice.  He said he wanted it cut.  So we went out to Kids Cuts and he picked out a car to sit in and watched Thomas the Train and after less than half an hour it was done.  I got teary, but he didn't even seem to notice.  

I did save a couple of his locks of hair.

Also - I got back on Parlodel today.  It's time to think about a second baby, so it's also time to get the prolactin under control.  Change is in the air.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Dear Tai,

I am so far behind on my letters to you.  I hope that you know that I love you, more than these letters can tell you.  After all, it's better to be spending time together than just writing about it, right?  

We have been having some fabulous days together lately.  You are talking up a storm.  After a period of some weeks where the big question was 'what's that', even when you knew exactly 'what that' was, you're into the 'why's.  Sometimes we get into an endless string of 'why' wherein I try to answer until I run out of answers, try asking what you think, then you just ask me again.  Daddy reminds you that it's always good to ask questions, because that's how one learns.  And you are learning things faster than I would ever believe.  Daddy keeps pointing out that you are a sieve (meaning, of course, sponge - but Daddy gets confused), and this is true.  I have to keep my language cleaned up!

You were visiting Etienne and Angela a week ago, and Angela says you and Etienne had a whole conversation together, just the two of you.  You were playing with playdough, and talking about what you were doing.  I think this may be the first time that you had a whole conversation with another kid your age without any input from a parent.

You process everything.  You've been pretending to fall down and cry, then get a kiss and hug from me, and when I suggested that you don't need to be hurt for a kiss and a hug from me, you repeated what I said slowly, as you thought about it.  Today you came running in to me in the kitchen and asked for a hug and kiss.  I was more than happy to give you one.  The other week you were at Ba's house (We finally realized this came from how you say 'grandma' which is 'bahma'.  So yes, 'ba'.) and you both were talking about Daddy and his job.  You'd just visited his office in Cupertino.  Ba asked if you knew where he worked, and you said 'Apple'.  Then you said, "I eat apples".  Ba said yes, but this is a different Apple.  At this Apple, they make iPods and iPhones and iPads.  You considered, then said 'Some apples make ipods and some apples make iphones..." 

You are learning about feelings.  When you knock over and throw around all of my freshly folded laundry and I scowl and get angry you ask whether I'm happy.  You apologize and then ask again whether I'm happy.  When we are drawing on the chalk board, and I draw a sad face, you erase the mouth and ask me to 'make him happy'.  When you are falling asleep in your bed, you say that you're going to hold Hey Bun Bun in case you get lonely.  (Then follow up by pointing out that coming to my bed will keep you from being lonely too.  That I keep you company in bed and Daddy keeps me company.  Yes, that we do.)

You've been having a harder time staying in your big boy bed lately.  You sleep alone until around 2am, then come to bed with Daddy and me.  I don't mind so much because you just curl up and fall asleep.  You like to share my pillow, wanting me close to you.  You also like to sleep on the outside of the bed, rather than the middle, which means you've fallen out of bed a couple of times.  However, this doesn't keep you from sleeping there again later.

In the last week, you've been wearing underwear all day, every day.  You've had 7 days of dryness in a row!  I am so proud of you.  Last Friday we were at the bookstore and you asked to go potty, right in the middle of looking at books.  The next day you chose underwear instead of a diaper and we haven't looked back.  

Your favorite books in the past few weeks are: Green Eggs and Ham, where you always close your eyes and turn your head when the narrator is about to try the green eggs and ham, just before he says he likes it; Moo Who?, about a cow named Hilda Mae Heifer who gets hit in the noggin with a cow pie and loses her moo, which you already know some of the words; Tadpoles, about a little girl who gets a baby brother and would rather have a frog - and learns about frogs growing up as her baby brother grows up too - you love to see the frogs; Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton - which you love me to sing, but not to kiss you at the kiss parts; and Wrapped in my Love - about a puppy named Snoozer, who hears strange noises in the night and is afraid until his parents reassure him, and you already know most of this book by heart.

I want to say here that there have been some tough patches lately, and I've been a little more short-tempered, a little less patient, and a little less available for you than I have been.  I'm sorry about that.  I want you to know that is not your fault.  I'm going to do better.  It never means I don't love you.

I do love you, with my whole entire being.  You are my favorite big boy.

Love always,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Lest readers start thinking that it's nothing other than sickness, tantrums, anxiety and whining around here, I figured I'd better offer a Tai update that doesn't center around his (and my) hardest times.

He is growing by leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally.  I can barely keep up with him.  It's amazing. 
Read more... )


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tai's social smile

Dear Tai,

At this moment, I hear you calling me from upstairs where you should still be sleeping.  I'm pretending that somehow writing this letter makes up for sending your Daddy up to you so I can finish my post Sing-It-Yourself Messiah eggnog.  This is the difference between life as an infant and life as a toddler.  I wouldn't have done that even 10 months ago.  I would have been up the stairs in a flash.  Now your Daddy and I trade stink-eyes until one of us gets up.  Not that we don't love you - we are just greedy for every moment of solitude.  You have a toddler's energy and we are getting old.  Also, Mommy likes to use the bathroom all by her lonesome.  Weird, I know!

I can't believe you are almost two.  And at the same time, I certainly can believe it.  You are talking up a storm - though sometimes I don't understand you no matter how many times you repeat it.  You can form three and four word sentences - especially imperative sentences.  You are still the director of your world, at least as much as the pain-in-the-butt adults will allow you to be.  You want to do everything yourself (woe betide the person who doesn't let you buckle your seatbelt or jump off the curb in the parking lot!) and you love to help - especially getting mail and doing the laundry.  Folding and unfolding - one and the same thing for Tai!

We just got back from a trip to San Diego and the desert.  You got to visit your Pawpaw, Des, and your Daddy's grandpa, Pop in San Diego.  You impressed them with your ability to entertain yourself for at least twenty minutes just going out the dog door and letting yourself back in the back door.  You visited with your Uncle Q and your Granddad in the desert.  You're starting to have a preference for hanging out with other guys... when you had a choice of playing with Grandma or Granddad, you picked Granddad.  (Which prompted your Daddy and I to wonder how we ended up with such a man's man.)  You spent a lot of time improving your kicking abilities, and started to learn how to hold a golf club.  You take after your Mommy - you're quite the water baby!  Even though it wasn't above 50 degrees on our last day down south, you still wanted to swim.

It's almost Christmas and we've started decorating the house.  You love your model train that runs around our tree, and you know what snow men look like (even if it's fortunately far to warm to make a real one).  You sat on Santa's lap for the first time and we managed to get a good photo before you decided that sitting on strange guys laps is not for you.  I can't wait to share the magic of this season with you.  It's one of my favorites, and it's going to be even better now that I can make it magic for someone else, too.

I can't even count how many words you say.  You still say 'oleoleo' for cereal.  You say 'Da-dad' for Granddad, 'bahbin' for mountain, 'Howmeen' for Halloween, 'disniss' for Christmas, 'ay-oh' for radio, 'Peber' for Peter, 'nineese' for Chinese (as in food).  You still call Grandma 'Bah'.  You still love to order the dogs around.  Cocoa is 'Doh-doh'.

Even if I listed everything you can do (climb up the climbing-web on the playground), everything you love (balls, trucks, drawing, playing piano), everything you can say ('Dad-dad, sit down floor please), it still wouldn't encompass why I love you.  I love the way you say 'please' and 'thank you' for everything.  I love the way you say 'You, Tai' and crack up after I sing the 'I love you a bushel and a peck' song.  I love your laugh. I love the scrunchy face you make now when I tell you to smile for a picture.  I love how much you love experiencing the world.  

Tonight I was at the Mission Dolores Basilica with Bah, singing the Messiah and at intermission we went to see Mary's shrine.  Standing there in front of her I offered my thanks again - that I was lucky enough to be blessed with you.  

Love you times a million,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai practices his 'grin on command'  Dear Tai,

Going back and reading a couple of your letters, I discovered that you were sick just two months ago.  Poor kidlet, you're sick again.  Everyone tells me that this will give you a good immune system, but it's just so sad to see you feeling not yourself.  I miss your smile!  You woke up late last night with a fever and you spent the day on the couch with Daddy.  You slept a lot, barely ate, barely played.  We're hoping you don't have the Hamthrax.  It's possible you are having a reaction from the vaccines you had over the week.

We went to meet a new doctor this week - Dr. Breder.  Even though we love Dr. Treece, I was looking for a practice that didn't feel quite so rushed.  So we were behind on your Well Baby visits and on your vaccines.  You're growing like a Magic Beanstalk!  You are 35 3/4 inches tall - almost three whole feet.  You weigh 34 pounds and 12 oz.  Your head is 20 1/4 inches.  You're in the 97th percentile for weight and head size and the 95th for height.  You're going to take after your Daddy and be tall.  I think you liked the new doctor, though she wasn't as funny as Dr. Treece.

You're almost two years old.  You're getting to be such a real person, an individual.  Your Grandma says she really likes the video of you dancing at the Bernal Fiesta on the Hill this year, because the way you move, the way you hold your hands shows some of who you are becoming.  It's not me, or Tom - it's you.  I am enjoying getting to see more of that.  You are a social animal - you party late into the night, you love to hang out with other kids.  When we were at the aquarium last week Matteus (one of the other kids from the Mom's Group) was running and tripped and fell.  You were chasing him, and when he fell, you copied him.  Erika and I cracked up, and from that time on you set out to impress us by your falling skills.  You looked like a little Break Dancer.  Later, you held Matteus's hand as you walked through the museum.  You love to play with all of the kids in the Mom's Group, but Dottie is still your favorite.  When you see her on the street you call out to her "Dottie!"  and then you copy each other, and flirt and laugh.

I'm looking to find a good preschool for you, because you need more stimulation and socialization than I can give you with visits to the playground and our every-couple-of-weeks Mom's Group.  We've gone to two, so far.  One tour, one open house.  Both times you were quite content to explore the classrooms and play with their toys.  You watched the other kids, and joined them.  While you did include me in your play a few times, I think you're going to enjoy the experience.  I'm looking forward to watching you make new friends, learn new things, and join more of the world on your own.

You're talking more and more.  When I asked Grandma to tell her what Peter did when he visited our house, you said, "Peter play cars."  You love your matchbox cars, and 'play cars, Mama.  Play cars, Daddy' is a frequent refrain around the house.  You are learning to count and can get most of the way to 10 by yourself.  When I sing, you often join in on some of the words.  Your favorites are "Twinkle, twinkle" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  You also love when I sing, "I love you, a bushel and a peck", especially when I add your name to the end of the song.  That cracks you up.  Just lately you've taken to gasping in surprise when you see something interesting, like the moon or an airplane.  You like Grandma's birdies almost more than her dogs, and you love to feed Lucky and Pickle seeds.

Even on the tough days, I'm loving this adventure we're on together.  You are my boy and I am lucky to be your Mommy.



Nov. 1st, 2009 09:45 pm
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai had the most fabulous Halloween - which is good, considering how much he was looking forward to it.  He loved the decorations, the stories, the pumpkins.  Yesterday I threw a modest Halloween party for friends, Tom's coworkers and the women from my neighborhood mom's group.  It went really well - all of the kids played together, and no one got bitten.  (In fact, no one got wounded at all.  There were a couple of minor mishaps around sharing toys, but that's to be expected.)  Not only did the kids have a good time, but the adults chatted together too.  It's funny - even though I wasn't doing a lot of work during the party, it was hard to get to talk to anyone for very long!  It did feel good to have everyone having fun.  Tai seemed to love it too, even though he had to share his toys.  Fortunately Dottie came on the early side, so I got to watch her and Tai make flirty eyes at each other.

The other kids were adorable, too.  I should have taken pictures!  We had: a knight, a garbage man, a dutch girl, Nicholas from "I am a Bunny", an astronaut, a vampire (of the Dracula, not Twilight, variety), a punk rocker (who happened to be one of the quietest kids in the group), a dog, Princess Jasmine, a panda, a devil and a giraffe.  

After the party, we headed down to Cortland and did plenty of trick or treating.  Tai said 'trick or treat' to everyone, and even remembered to say thank you, with prompting.  I think it helped that he had Blue by his side for most of the adventure, so he got to see how it's done by the big boys.  He totally idolizes Blue.  I can't wait to see how they grow up together.

When we got home, he handed out candy - which he got a kick out of, though he was scared by some kids in masks.  Then he and Tom went next door and crashed our neighbor's party.  It was 9pm, but Tai joined the other kids there, who were jumping off the couch into a big mosh pit of pillows. 

Even today he was still in a good mood.  We went to the playground with Blue and Lisa, then they came over for a little hang out/ Guitar Hero time.  We're going to have to play that in a group more often.  Tonight we went to dinner with Mom and Mcgee.  The restaurant was decorated for Halloween, still.  At one point, Tai was getting restless - he was tired and we were waiting for the check.  I suggested he count the spiders on the spider web - and he counted to ten, all by himself.  I will admit to being pretty proud.
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Dear Tai,

I can't believe you are almost two years old.  This time is flying faster than I ever could have imagined.  You're so tall, just two inches short of three feet tall.  You dance and run down hills and jump and go up and down stairs.  You kick and throw balls.  You talk and sing.  You are a person already, and I can still remember when it took all of your concentration to reach out and grab a spoon from the table in front of you. Now you're using a spoon to eat lentil soup and spaghetti squash casserole (though you still have trouble getting all of the food in your mouth and not on your shirt.) You charm everyone with your smile and your flirting.

I can't even keep up with all of the words you know.  You call Grandma 'Bah', which you came up with all by yourself.  You call her dog Lasa 'las' and Little Dog is 'LD'.  Luna is 'loons'.  Cocoa is 'doh-doh'.  It cracks you up endlessly to say 'No, loons!'  'Quiet, dogs!' and 'No paw, doh-doh!' You call Dottie and Peter and Liam by name (I love the way you say 'eee-um' for Liam).

You have recently decided that showering is one of the most fun things ever.  Neither daddy nor I can shower alone in the morning anymore.  You have to come with us and you're willing to stay in the shower through both of our showers and even longer.  You'd probably stay in there all morning if we let you.

Your favorite song is "Boom boom Pow" by the Blackeyed Peas and you ask for it almost every day.  When we first started listening to it, you asked for it almost every hour.  I'm pretty sure I've heard it a hundred times now.  You've got a pretty eclectic taste in music - when we were walking down Bennington last week we heard someone listening to classical music at top volume and you danced to that too.  When we saw Breakfast with Enzo (sort of rag-time, bluegrass kids music) you danced and clapped and bopped to the beat.

Everything small is 'baby'.  A little pumpkin is a baby pumpkin.  A little stick is a baby stick.  Bigger ones are either Mommy or Daddy.

Your favorite things to do include: going to the playground, going to the dog park with Grandma and her dogs, playing with your bubble blower, drawing with markers, drawing outside with chalk, and building robots with Daddy.

Halloween is coming and you're looking forward to it.  You love to say 'pupkin' and you know that ghosts say 'boo'.  You are a little nervous about some things - like skeletons (which I think you get from Mommy, though I'm trying not to act nervous around you).  You like witches and bats.  I can't wait to dress you up and take you trick-or-treating.  The holidays are going to be especially fun this year - you'll be able to participate and remember and understand.

I can't wait to see it through your eyes.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Dear Tai,

I wish I were better when you are sick.  I take good care of you, I hold you and cuddle you.  I give you medicine if you need it, juice and water and what food you want.  I nurse you if it doesn't make you gag and you want it.  But I can't make you feel better and I wish with all of my heart that I could.  It hurts to see you feeling so poorly.  Your smile and exuberance are totally gone.  You just want to lay on the couch with me or Daddy and watch TV.  When you're healthy you don't want to sit still for even a whole episode of Sesame Street. 

Your Mimi and Popa and your Uncle Andrew visited you this past weekend.  Even though Andrew was sick, you had such a good time with him.  Unlike your Daddy and me, he loves sports and you both spent some good time watching 'ut-baw' (or foot-ball).  He couldn't even go to the bathroom without you saying 'An-doo, An-doo.'  Your Mimi loved to draw with you, and your Popa had the best time going down the slide with you.  You impressed them with your words and your running and your love of eating (especially olives).  None of them could believe how much you've grown up, just since June.  They had to search out a real 'ba-ket-baw' (basketball) for you, and you love it.  

I can't believe how much you've grown myself.  You are saying two and three word 'sentences'.  You talk about 'boo eyes' and 'boo shoes' and you can ask for juice by name.  You ask to use the drinking fountain by making slurp, slurp sounds.  You know several colors pretty well, and you can almost say 'orange'.  You love riding in the truck with Daddy, and when you both took a trip to Ikea you didn't stop saying 'tuck' until you hit Oakland.  You like to echo the last couple of words of what we're saying, and it's inspired me to start cleaning up my language.  

You have been growing impatient with Story time, but you still love to sing along and dance.  You are starting to play with other kids, like Talya and Dottie.  You have a great time running and laughing with Dottie.  Balls are still your favorite - throwing, kicking, trying to catch.  If anyone, anywhere has a ball, you want to participate.  You want to read stories every night and during potty time.  Your favorite books are about Wibbly Pig and Winnie the Pooh, though you still love your dog books.  And 'Runaway Bunny' has been a very popular potty pick as well. 

Sometimes I wish I could be a better mom - when I'm overly anxious, or short-tempered, or irritable.  I know no one is perfect, but I've been more off than usual lately and I wish that you didn't have to be a part of that.  I'm going to try to get things back to a more stable place, but I hope you'll forgive me for the mistakes I make.

I do love you.  Always.  Don't forget that.

~ Your Mommy
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
  Dear Tai,

I can't believe you are almost a year and a half old.  As I was saying to your Grandma earlier today - sometimes it feels like you've been a toddler for a long time. I can barely remember when you were an infant!  Even when you're challenging, you are also so much fun and so amazing.  You are growing up so quickly.

Lately you've been loving to sing - songs of your own (though I usually don't understand your words), and also songs that you learn from me and your Grandma.  You enjoy the Eensy Weensy Spider.  You can do most of the signs that go with the words and your favorite part is "washed the spider out".  It almost always makes you grin.  Today, for the first time, you asked me for "If you're happy and you know it" out of the blue.  You clapped and then did the 'hooray!" part and when I guessed what you wanted, you were so pleased.  

We're working together on the communication front.  You're learning more and more words, and I'm pretty good at guessing what you mean other times.  You say 'on' and 'off', 'up' and 'down', 'knee', 'eat', 'juice', 'puffs', 'moo'.  You still point, usually emphatically.  You know what you want and how you want it.  You know what a lot of animals say - dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs (you do the snorting sound), sheep, ducks, lizards (sticking out tongue), bunnies (wrinkle nose), fish (open mouth), owls (hoo hoo).  You enjoy sounds - you mimic sirens and the ring that Grandma's livingroom clock makes.

You had your first kiss just the other day.  On Friday we went down to Red HIll books to check out a story hour and happened to meet up with Mara and her daughter Dottie, from our Mom's Group.  After the story hour, Mara and I got coffee while you and Dottie raced around Progressive Grounds.  At one point Mara said, "Dottie, do you want to give Tai a kiss?"  She didn't seem to, but you headed right over and stood in front of her.  When it was clear she wasn't going to make the first move, you leaned forward and then Dottie did kiss you.  It was adorable - if only I had my camera out!  You played with her for quite a while.  I'm hoping that you two become good friends.

You are really moving now.  You run, you walk forwards and backwards, you can get a bit of air when you jump, you can really dance.

We traveled back East and to Michigan to visit family again this month.  We celebrated your Daddy's cousin's, Madison, coming of age.  You stayed up late and danced and played with my bangles and were the life of the party.  You had a fabulous time playing basketball with your uncles, Kenny, Andrew and Patrick.  You played with your Grandpa Harmon's cane and explored his garden.  You played piano with your cousin David and the guitar with Grandpa Harmon.  You even enjoyed the Smithsonian museums we went through.  You are becoming quite an adept traveller.

Daddy went to China over the past week - and for the first time you really seemed to notice he was gone.  Or at least you were better able to communicate it.  You often said, "Dada?"  And when we were going to bed at night, you'd look over at his spot and ask about him again.  When he got home on Sunday, we all lay down in bed together and you had the biggest grin in the world.  You kept saying, "Mama Dada, mama dada" and every so often while you were nursing, you'd glance over at him and smile.  

It is so good to be a family.  I am blessed.

Love always and forever,

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Here is Tai, all dressed up for the 4th of July, playing the drums with a guy we met on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate park.  He was drawn by all of the drumming, wanting to dance and participate.  It took him a few minutes to warm up to the guy with the drums enough so that he actually played - but then he would have spent the rest of the day here.  

He's been having a tough time the last couple of days.  His bottom molars are coming very very slowly and I think it's hurting him.  He's drooling like crazy, chewing on his fingers, nursing a lot more than he had been, and throwing a temper tantrum at the drop of a hat.   It's not the end of the world, though, because of two mitigating factors.  1. He's pretty easily distracted after a bit, and 2. He's been having tantrums about funny stuff.

Last night I was doing some cleaning down in the basement and Tom was hanging out with Tai.  Suddenly I heard Tai start to freak out.  After a bit I went up to see what was going on.  Tom was in the kitchen cooking, and Tai was in his high-chair, crying.   Apparently Tai went into the kitchen and pointed at the fridge.  Tom asked what he wanted and Tai said something that sounded like 'broccoli'.  He hasn't said anything that complicated before, so Tom tried to figure out what he meant.  After offering several things (juice, cheese, fruit) Tom finally opened up the vegetable drawer (where Tai was pointing) and held up the broccoli.  That's what Tai wanted.  Tai cried for the ten or so minutes it took to cook the broccoli, then happily munched some down.  Must have broccoli now, Dad.

Today Tai and I went to pick up some cereal for me at the Good Life grocery store.  While I picked up some bananas, Tai found the strawberries. He clearly expressed our need for a container of berries.  (He was right.)  He could barely wait until I put them up on the cash register belt to have one.  The cashier grinned at us and said that he had the best hissy fit she'd ever seen - fruit fits.  He and I both ate a berry on the walk home and they were so sweet.

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Or, technically, 16 months and a week.  Ooops, I'm behind again.  If you're reading these, Tai, I'm sure you aren't surprised because I'm late much more often than I'm on time.  And if I am on time, I usually slide into my seat at the last minute, out of breath, with my hair all crazy.  I suppose it's possible that I might change in time, but I haven't yet.

Dear Tai,

We had your one year checkup today (I am so very behind, and Dr. Treece's office has been slammed!) and I got to see just how much you've grown.  While you aren't off the charts, you are certainly topping them.  Your head circumference is 50cm (19.7 in) and at the 97th percentile.  You weigh 31.25 pounds, which is also at the 97th percentile.  And you are 33.25 inches tall, a none-too-shabby 89th percentile.  Even though I know you have grown (you are no longer swallowed up by your crib, and when you stretch out across my lap to nurse for naps or night you barely fit), I can barely believe you are almost three feet tall already.  It looks like you'll take after your Daddy in height, which is good if you have basketball aspirations.
long letter is long )

You are my sweetest boy and these words don't do justice to that.  Every day you amaze me.

I love you with all of my heart and that will never change.

Your Momma

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm not sure what my issue is this evening.  I'm just in a bad mood.   I shouldn't be - we had a good weekend.  Even though it was hot, fun was had by all.  We took Tai out to Crissy Field after breakfast this morning.  We spent an hour playing in a little inlet off the Bay.  At first he was a bit hesitant of the water, but after just a few minutes he was happily splashing around, running in and out of the water, sitting down in the shallow part and generally having a blast.  I was wishing I'd brought my swimsuit as well.  He spent a little bit of time knocking down the sandcastles Tom built, but he preferred to be in the water.  He takes after Momma that way.

Last night I got together with twirlgrrl and we spent several hours chatting about anything and everything - totally uninterrupted by any (adorable and wonderful, but attention-hording) children.  There's nothing better than hanging out with lovely mama-friends.  She gave me things to ponder, as well as a good book suggestion.  I spent some time today reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test".  I can't believe I haven't read it before.  I am a bad bad hippie.  I'm enjoying it, especially the style of Tom Wolfe's writing.

This afternoon Tom and Tai went to the playground for a while and I headed to the coffee shop for some writing time.  Unfortunately I just couldn't get into the headspace for novel-writing.  I managed to get a (very very) little bit written, but it feels wooden and limping.  Anthony is supposed to be flirting with a woman and the dialog has come out stilted.  I think a good portion of my funk is because the writing wasn't going well at all.  It's one pre-Tai passion that I've stuck with and when it's not going well I feel like I'm a boring dork that doesn't think about anything other than parenting.

My goals for the upcoming week:  

1. Spend a portion of Tai's nap-time each day working on the novel.  Writing, brainstorming, outlining, whatever.  I just need to get back into the world.

2.  Spend more time with another adult, even if Tai is there too.  Talking to other women helps make everything better.

And - to balance out some of the whine, gratitude.

1.  Watching Tai learn - new words of the past couple of days: hot and no.
2.  Kick ass women friends both online and IRL.
3.  Parks
4.  Dogs who always love to cuddle, even when I'm bitchy and grumpy and whiny.
5.  Eddie Vedder's voice (always makes me smile)
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Playing with Einstein
Originally uploaded by Katlet
Dear Tai,

I'm sorry I missed your letter last month. I was far too busy playing with you to actually write something down. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We have had a busy month. We went down to the desert again to soak up more sun and spend even more time in the pool. This time the pool heater didn't break, so we got to swim every day, which made you happy. You take after your Pisces Momma and love to swim. You would have spent the whole day in the pool, if you could have.

The same day we got back, Melly came to meet you - all the way from the frozen north! She brought you some cool gifts, and kept your Momma busy. She also babysat you while I got a haircut and went out for dinner with Daddy. She taught you important things, like not to put food in your nose, but in your 'gobber'. She played peek-a-boo like no one else. She baked cookies and encouraged your Momma to explore places like Alcatraz and Muir Woods. You didn't want her to go - and neither did I.

We didn't have time to feel lonely though, because Mimi and Popa arrived even before Melly departed. After two weeks of non-stop attention, you were a bit disappointed to have only me around once everyone went home. Fortunately PawPaw and Grandpa Des came up from San Diego last weekend.

You keep growing at unbelievable speed. You can walk backwards, turn in a circle, slide down the slide all by yourself. You're pretty close to running and have nearly mastered going up and down hills. You don't like crawling on stairs much - you really want to walk like the big kids. You can drink through a straw and have mastered the sippy cup.  You love to dance - bouncing up and down and shaking your arms.  You really want to jump, though you can't quite get your feet off the ground.

You both nod yes and shake your head no, though sometimes you get them backwards. You know the sign for 'more', 'potty' and 'all done'. (Though sometimes you sign 'more' when you're really done.) You're learning the sign for 'eat', though 'drink' is still eluding you. You're learning words, as well - Daddy and I just need to learn to understand you!

You say 'moe' for 'more'. You say 'ba' for bye (and wave as well). You can say 'du' for duck. You sometimes say 'da da' for Daddy and 'ma' for me. Sometimes you're willing to copy what someone else says - Popa taught you to say 'earthquake', though you didn't repeat it every time he asked. Tonight, when I was rocking you to sleep, I showed you the moon out your bedroom window and you pointed to it and said, 'Mn.'

You are still a champion eater. Tomatoes are a new favorite - you like them best when we're visiting Grandma in the desert. Mimi bought you some here, and before she even gave them to you, you saw them on the counter and signed 'nurse', 'more' and pointed at them. Meaning "I want tomatoes" of course. You like pasta and beans and lentils and sandwiches. Crackers and cereal and milk and yogurt and cheese. Watermelon. Strawberries are another favorite. You don't like green beans unless they're hidden in soup. You like spinach if it's in an omelet. You like potatoes and pizza. Mostly, you like whatever someone else is eating. When we went out to eat with Grandpa Des, you preferred to pick off his plate - he was kind enough to not mind.

At Grandma's urging, I started putting you on the potty when you're starting to poop, and you have learned to poop on the toilet like a big boy. We go when you wake up in the morning, when you wake up from your nap and whenever else you sign 'potty'. (You've learned to sign 'potty' when I'm trying to rock you to sleep so you can get up again.)

Dogs are still one of your favorite animals. You are playing with Einstein in this picture - you played tug of war with him and his Frisbee for quite some time.

I love watching you learn more every day. You amaze me.

Love always,
Your Momma
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
This is one of my favorite books of all time.  I know it's a bit simplistic, a bit obvious in what is 'right' and what is 'wrong', but that doesn't bother me.  Maybe because the first time I read it, I was still in high school.  Or maybe because I agree with so much of Starhawk's vision of utopia.  

Book babble here )Now Tai is crying, so time for sleep.  (In other, less high-falutin' news - he learned to pick his nose!)

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
I am beyond tired tonight.  I haven't been napping with Tai lately because his nap is often a couple of hours long, and sometimes he drops the morning nap entirely - and when the naps are longer I actually feel like I have time to complete a thought.  I don't want to waste that time on something insignificant, like sleep!  Unfortunately his night-sleeps aren't going very well.  He wakes up a lot and wants to nurse for long periods of time.  I'm pretty sure he's teething.  I just wish the teeth would come through already!  I'm starting to consider night weaning, or at least sleeping in the guest bed so Tom can have a turn at waking up.

In more fun, less brain-dead news - Tai is walking really really well now.  On Friday evening we were visiting John and Kendra and their kids and Tai randomly started walking backward.  I don't think I've seen him do that before. 

Yesterday Tom and I took him to a Vietnamese restaurant in the Mission for lunch and the (really kind) waiter brought him a plastic cup of water with a straw and Tom taught him how to drink from the straw.  I was pretty proud of him (as usual).

Tai's also getting into dancing.  Instead of just bobbing a bit, he's getting into it, bouncing and waving his arms.  We were in the car and a song from Riverdance (hush, I know I'm lame) came on and Tai started dancing in his car seat.  He thought it was totally hilarious when I 'danced' along with him.   He also thinks it's funny when I smell his feet and make a 'pee-eww' sound.  He keeps sticking his feet in my face so I do it over and over.

It seems like there's more to report, but apparently every thought has fled my brain.  Tonight - bed, early.  Hopefully more intelligent post tomorrow.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
Dear Tai,

I'm sorry that I'm almost a week late with this letter, but I'm holding on to the 'better late than never' attitude, and I hope you will too.  Every day you get a little bit taller, a little bit older, a little bit more of who you will be.  I love watching you every day.  (Even when I'm Grumpy Momma, and even when you're Fussy Tai.)

Today you said your first (relatively) clear, repeated word.  We were walking down the street this evening, heading for Holly Park and you were pointing at everything (as you always do) and I was offering names of what you pointed to (as I always do).  We found trees, cars, leaves, plants, dog poo, trucks, birds and flowers.  And when we were almost at the end of our street you pointed at the ground under one tree.  

"Dirt," I said.  "That's dirt."

"Drt," you said back.  

"Yes, dirt."

"Drt."  We went around like this a couple of times.  Then, on our way back up the street after the park, you pointed to that same patch of ground and said, "Drt."  You remembered what we'd said, and you repeated it.  You even showed off your new skill to Daddy, when he got home, though you didn't say it quite so loudly.  Were you being a bit shy, since I was so proud?  Or were you getting tired of saying 'dirt' over and over?  The world may never know.

We're getting into a bit of a routine the last couple of days, where you take a very short morning nap (or skip it altogether) and then do a very long afternoon nap. I have to admit, I love this.  We've been going to the park in the morning, and doing something else in the late afternoon.  We've been exploring together, on foot.  You are so good at walking already - sometimes you can even approach a run.  Hills are still a bit of a challenge, both going up and down, but if you're holding my hand it usually works out.

You love to check everything out.  When we're walking you pick everything up - sticks, leaves, mulch, dirt, flowers - and then you offer it to me.  You want to know what it is.  I try to discourage you from touching some things - cigarette butts, orange peels, dog poo.  But as long as stuff is safe and not too disgusting I let you experience it.  You dig in the sand and feel it trickle through your fingers.  You pour your juice and water onto your highchair tray and play with the puddles. 

When we go to the park, you want to try whatever other kids are doing.  You don't always need my help.  You climb up the play structure, and you can almost slide down the slide by yourself.  You can ride the teeter-totter, you can push the merry-go-round.   You kick your ball and chase it around and look out the fence.  You do your own thing.

You like to meet other people, especially men.  You show them your ball, the sticks you pick up, your book.  Most of the time you aren't shy - not even with big, bearded, Harley riding guys eating lunch at the taqueria.  You flirt with them and they flirt back.  No one can resist your charm.  When we went down to the desert, you wanted to spend most of your time with Granddad, even if he was trying to cook dinner.  You loved it when he stood you in the sink.  And you thought Uncle Quin was just the best thing since sliced bread.  You also enjoy meeting other kids, and also playing with whatever they're playing with.  You love dogs - all dogs, no matter how big or small.  You aren't put off by slobbery dog kisses, and will kiss back.

It seems to me you're going to be a sports-loving kid.  Not only do you enjoy watching football with Grandma (especially doing 'touchdown'), but you are entranced by basketball, both on TV and people doing pick up games in the park.  If I hadn't stopped you, you would have wandered onto the court and joined in.  You also like to kick your playground ball like it's a soccer ball and have better control than I do.   Your Daddy and I are going to have to cultivate an appreciation of sports just for you.

Of course, you still love reading.  Your favorite books at the moment are: Who's hiding in the garden;  Brown bear, brown bear; the Dog book; the Quiet Cricket; How big is a pig; and Goodnight Moon.   Sometimes you prefer to read the book yourself, sitting on the floor and turning pages.

When we were down in Palm Desert, we went to the Living Desert and you saw all sorts of animals.  Your favorite, though, were the butterflies and the hummingbirds.  You loved seeing the butterflies so close up, and checking out all of the plants and flowers.  I think you're going to be as much of a nature lover as I am.

I can't wait to go on more adventures with you.  Watching you discover the world around you is helping me to appreciate it more than I ever have.

Love always,
Your Momma

At One Year

Feb. 7th, 2009 10:47 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)

I'm 1 today
Originally uploaded by Katlet
Dear Tai,

Happy Birthday, little dude! As of 12:17pm today, you are one whole year old. I cannot believe it! Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that you joined the family, other times it feels like I've known you forever. I still remember how thrilled I was to see you the first time, and that hasn't faded.

I've been going back through pictures and videos from the last year and watching you change and grow. I am amazed to see who you are becoming. You've learned so much already - you can reach for what you want (and grab it and put it into your mouth and spit it out if you don't like it). You can push up and roll over and sit up. You can crawl and stand and in the past couple of weeks you've learned to walk! You're getting more and more comfortable moving on two legs.

You understand way more than I give you credit for, and you're always taking things in.

You love to eat - you still breastfeed, though it's so hard for you to sit still long enough to do so unless you're going to sleep. You also enjoy burritos, pasta, soup, cheerios, pickles, tofu, yogurt. Never a fan of jarred baby-food (unless it's fruit related, and sometimes carrots or sweet potatoes) you far prefer some of whatever we're having.

You always want to be a part of things. When your Grandma and I are laughing about something in the front of the car, we've started hearing your laughter along with ours, even if you're sometimes faking it.

Even though you sometimes feel a little shy in the beginning, once you warm up you are still quite the social guy. You love to be in the middle of things, either participating or just watching. You watch the bigger kids around you, storing up information on what you'll be doing later. And you don't let anyone run over the top of you.

You love to crawl up and down stairs.

When you want something other than what we're offering, you have a tendency to make your displeasure clear. You've had a few full-out tantrums of the screaming, arching your back and sliding to the floor and then crying because you're on the floor variety. But unless you're completely exhausted, you tend to cheer up pretty quickly.

You love to give kisses, especially to the dogs (which Cocoa will not allow, Luna will return, Lasa will permit, Little Dog will offer, and Violetta will both offer and return, including ear nibbles). And when you wake up in the morning, you like to play a game where you kiss Dad, then you kiss me, then Dad, then me for quite some rounds.

You like to raspberry my belly and bite my toes and fingers. You love it when I tickle you - especially your feet, belly and the back of your neck. You love to play catch either with a football or a round ball. You love to throw your hands in the air while Grandma calls 'touchdown'! You love watching Sesame Street with Dad in the morning. You love to talk on the phone - real phone only, please. You like to empty drawers and bags.

You don't say words really, yet - though that could be because you're so good at just pointing and having me read your mind. You still sign for nursing, but the same sign seems to mean, "I want" in general.

You think it's funny when you watch someone go downstairs, when you hear us laugh, and when Dad pretends you kick him while swinging.

There is nothing better in my life than having you curled up on my lap as you fall asleep. I love holding you and cuddling you and rocking with you. Sometimes I still sing the songs I sang to you when you were just a few weeks old (It's time for Tai to go to sleep...).

Just having you in my life has changed me, helped me to grow in ways I never expected. I am so lucky you are here. I am blessed, and that's not something I say very often.

One year ago - my heart grew three sizes that day.

Love always and forever,
Your Momma

All over

Jan. 24th, 2009 10:59 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Today was a big day. After an anxious night wherein Tai got sick (on my arm and his jammies: yummy), I was hoping he'd take good naps. No such luck. He had the normal morning nap, but he absolutely refused to take an afternoon nap, no matter how long I rocked or nursed.

Since Tom was working on the house, I had no break if Tai skipped his nap. I was fit to be tied. Finally Tom offered to take a break and give me an hour. While I waited for him to clean up, I tried to interest Tai in a game other than stand at the gate and whine for Daddy.

Sitting a few feet from the gate, I called Tai. He turned to look at me and let go of the gate, standing on his own. I called again and he walked three steps to me! I cheered, then backed up a bit and he did it again. I was thrilled!

I told Tom he'd walked and Tom hurried in to see. We sat a little way from each other and Tai walked between us, to much cheering. (I think he was just glad to have momma stop clenching her teeth and grumping at daddy.)

He walked and walked until he could barely keep his balance, he was so tired; then we made him do it for Grandma.

I called dad to share the news and he said, "it's all over now - he's all over now."

Enjoy a video! 


Posted via


Jan. 13th, 2009 09:37 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I love this weather.  Sure, it might be the harbinger of the End of the World As We Know It, but I'm all about the short-term gratification.  I think I might have a bit of a seasonal affective disorder or something, because when the sun comes out and it starts to get warm, everything starts to feel possible.  Finishing the novel, even with an incipient toddler - no problem!  Getting it published afterwords - of course, why not?  All is right in the world.  Needless to say, I prefer this mood to the yuck of earlier.  San Francisco weather cracks me up, though.  It feels like it just got to be autumn (what with leaves turning and falling at the end of last month and early this month) and now spring seems to be on its way.  We're not in Maryland anymore, Toto.

The inspector called us yesterday; the results of the tests were already in.  Apparently the only hot spot he found was the entry way, right by the front door.  He figures we have been tracking in lead dust from outside, possibly from the front steps and that's where Tai got it.  He's mailing us the information and we may have to replace the front steps (which we needed to do anyway, considering they are falling apart and leaking into the basement).  He suggested we seriously clean inside the front door and then make sure we (and everyone else) take off our shoes before coming inside.  Considering the relatively simple fix, I'm quite relieved.

This week has been good to me so far.  Yesterday Tai and I got together with Marne and Eliana.  We went to a park and had a picnic in the sun.  The kids did their best to prove their moms to be liars - Marne said Eliana was in a bad mood, but Eliana flirted with me more than she ever has.  Tai finally showed his true colors to Marne by having a fit when we left the playground after only a few minutes of swinging.  

Today Tai and I went to Holly Park, since I promised him yesterday that we'd go to the playground to make up for leaving so soon.  He had a great time, played on everything and practiced walking while holding my hand.  (When we left he had another fit, screaming like I was torturing him and arching his back and sliding out of the stroller.  Fun times!)  Then we went for a walk in MacLaren Park with mom and her dogs this afternoon.  

I'm pretty sure Tai is saying a couple of things, starting in the last few days.  He might be saying "that", which sounds like, "dat" - done most often while pointing at something.  I don't think it's a random babble, but it could be.  He also might be saying either "out" or "up", which sounds like "ut" - done most often when he wants to get out of his stroller.  I am looking forward to him talking more than anything else.  I can't wait to hear what's going on in his mind.

In fandom random: Neil Patrick Harris was on Sesame Street today.  He was the shoe fairy.  And he cracked me up.  I am way behind - I need to see Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  And I am so enjoying the Buffy comics.  (There's a statement I never thought I'd make, not being a comics person, usually.)  Oh Joss, I can't quit you.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Feel free to skip this entry, considering I'm going to whine and be self-pitying.  Fortunately I've (mostly) contained that attitude to my brain and here.  I did snap at Tom a couple of times, but hopefully not too much.  I just need a little outlet, so this is the place for it.

cut to spare your brain... )
After Dr. Treece called me on Tuesday, he called the city to alert them about Tai's exposure to lead.  On Wednesday an inspector from the city called me.  They needed to check out the house.  He offered an appointment on Thursday morning.  Of course I agreed.  We want to find out what's causing the exposure as soon as possible.  So he came out and took a bunch of samples around the house.  Unfortunately I couldn't follow him around to see what he was doing because Tai was awake and wanting to be entertained.  He said he'll get the results in 5-7 days (hopefully not business days), which means we could know as early as Tuesday.  Then he'll call and we can figure out what needs to be done to get everything fixed.

In the meantime, Tai and I have been spending most of our time out of the house.  At the inspector's request.  He said Tai shouldn't be crawling around in the house and Tai isn't so much of a fan of just sitting on my lap anymore.  He's a boy on the move, let me tell you.  He's been spending more time standing without holding on to anything.  And he's even taken a step or two in between two things (like the coffee table and either me or Tom), though he's really cautious about doing so and prefers to speed-crawl everywhere.

As a placeholder - I want to write about the following in the next couple of days: 1) Further thoughts on my sexuality, and 2) the question someone asked me today, "Is it hard being a mother?" 

I'm too tired to do them justice tonight.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

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