Long Week

Dec. 2nd, 2010 11:55 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
t's been a tough day.  I am hoping that tomorrow is better.

Tai sickness whine )

I was talking with [info]twirlgrrl online tonight, and we got on the topic of faults.  I said that I wish I could pick mine.  Or, more accurately, trade in a fault for one I'd prefer.  The fault?  My overactive anxiety.  I almost wish I would have *any* other fault, but then decided that I could end up as 'too selfish to be a good mom'.  It's so fucking hard to be there for Tai when I am falling to pieces.  I just sat with him on the couch and while he watched Zoboomafoo, I told myself over and over that *I* am the adult, and I need to suck it up and be calm.  This is a moment of my life, it is not the rest of my days.  Tai will feel better, I will calm down.  Even if I get sick, it will pass.

I also reminded myself of something I realized in therapy last week.  I was talking with Wendy about having another kid, and how one of the main reasons I worried about having kids was because I would be more anxious about stomach flu.  What suddenly realized was that I will be anxious anyway - I could either be anxious with kids, or without.  With kids I get all of the amazing joy, without - I would miss that experience.

How could I miss this?  How could I let the phobia keep me from such love?  Even when Tai is sick, he is so sweet.  He says he loves me, and cuddles, and hugs me.  He sings "Happy Birthday" to me, because my birthday is coming soon.  (In February, heh.)  He teases me and when he smiles, it's impossible not to feel better myself.

I still feel edgy and uncomfortable, but I am going to keep it together.  I might not be able to trade away this anxiety, but I do not have to let it run my life.   Or Tai's life.  I will *not* let it hurt him.

A couple of tiny funny moments:

When I asked him about school last week, he said, "The teacher didn't tell anybody to learn anything." 

On Sunday Tom and Tai were working on a house project upstairs - rebuilding a closet upstairs.  From the livingroom, where I am writing, I hear:

Tom: "I'm going to show you how to use something.  It's called a nail gun." 
Tai:  "What's a nail gun?"

My thoughts  Nail gun + toddler = disaster.  Why show him how to use a nail gun?  At least Tom told him that he can only use it with Daddy or Mommy. 
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)
  I'm going to skip over all of the stupid mental stuff that's been twisting my brain in knots lately.  It's not worth saying the same thing over and over.  It's bad enough that I have to think it over and over.  Instead, I'm going to give a brief Tai update.

We picked out a daycare for him - he starts at the Magic Palette in September, three days a week.  It's just a few blocks away, a home-based daycare.  But I was impressed with all of the stuff they do with the kids (art, play dough, trains, planting veggies, bug hunts, reading), the house is light and clean and open.  Tai got to check it out, and on the way home he said, without prompting, "I like that school."  For the first time, I felt like we'd found a place that fit.  And we got accepted, too.  I figure Tai will stay there at least a year, maybe then transfer to a preschool instead of a daycare.

The other day someone on the Bernal Parent's list was giving away a toddler basketball hoop.  Tai and I went to pick it up on Friday and he was so excited to play basketball on his own hoop that he did a little dance.  It was the 'I love it' dance, that's what he called it.  He's pretty good - in fact, better than me.  (This is good, since he enjoys sports way more than I do.  It would stink if he had my hand-eye coordination.)

He's been needing me to do the bedtime routine lately.  If Tom tries it's a huge tantrum, and I just can't let him cry for me while I'm at home.  I lay down with him on his bed as he falls asleep.  It's too cute - lately he's been singing to himself as he drifts off.  Yesterday he was trying to sing, "All together now" by the Beatles, but he only remembered the tune and the ABCD part, so he sang the alphabet song to that tune.  Then tonight he was trying to sing the theme song to Zoboomafoo.  The only lyrics he remembered were "Zoboomafoo... little leaping lemur", so he sang, "the little leaping lemur went up the water spout" and continued on with the itsy bitsy spider song.  I just barely kept from laughing.

I am working hard to commit these moments to memory, and to fully appreciate this time together.  I love his smile, especially the one shown above - the shit eating grin.  He's going to be trouble later.

Brain Dump

Jun. 13th, 2010 11:08 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I had a shit week.  Big panic attack last monday night (prompted by Tai throwing up), and ended up spending all day Tuesday and much of the day Wednesday holding myself together by the skin of my teeth.  I'm still working to get it through my head that every parent makes mistakes, and every parent has things that are difficult to handle.  No one can be there for their kid one hundred percent of the time.  I didn't scare Tai, Tom was home and with him... but I felt (and sometimes still feel) like a completely shitty mother who is going to screw up her son either by the mistakes she makes or the genetics she passes down.  I'm getting my head back together, but it was rough.

Tai is doing fine.  I think the vomiting was actually a result of Tom's overzealous tooth brushing and Tai's super-sensitive gag reflex.  He had a bit of a fever a couple of days later, but that was probably teething related.  What was really weird, was on Friday he didn't pee for almost 24 hours.  He was drinking normally, didn't have a fever or anything... just didn't pee.  On the advice of a call-in nurse and the intarwebs, we took him to the pediatric ER - where he got all checked in, then promptly peed in huge amounts - through his diaper, over the gown he was wearing, all over my leg and onto the floor.  They checked him out and he seemed to be fine, but they asked us to bring in a urine sample.  One thing I didn't like - before i knew what was going to happen, while the doctor was checking him out  he retracted Tai's foreskin.  I guess he thought the skin might have covered his urethra, but it seems like that would have been a problem before now.   On the up side, it didn't seem to hurt Tai at all.  The doctor figures he was dehydrated, but I don't know.  We'll see what the results of the urine test are.

Richard and Judy are in town and Tai is having a blast with his Mimi and Popa.  There has been a lot of playground time and general craziness.  He's going to have a hard time when they go, after four days of non-stop attention from at least two people at all times.  But every night, he's wanted me to help him go to sleep.  Not Daddy, not Mimi.  Me.  I have to say, I don't really mind, even when it takes a while.  It gives us a chance to cuddle up together and relax.

Tai is talking up a storm lately, too.  He tells us exactly what he's thinking, what he wants.  Some of his favorite things to say:

"I've got an idea."  When I ask what his idea is about, he says, "Idea's about.... trees (for example, when we were camping)."
"I'm not a monkey (or lamb, or munchkin or whatever pet term someone is using), I'm a boy."
"When I grow up up up, I'm gonna be a football man."

He sings the ABC's all by himself. 

He's mostly sleeping through the night by himself in his own big boy bed (though sometimes he comes to visit us, or needs to sleep with us if he isn't feeling well).  He does like to keep holding my boobies as he falls asleep.

He loves to play "Plants Vs. Zombies" on the iPad.

He loves to sing 'Happy Birthday" to whoever he is thinking of at the time.  Before bed, he says, "Good night sleep tight" to me and daddy and Luna and Cocoa.

He likes to write emails to Ba (my Mom) and Violetta (her dog).  The emails usually say 'happy birthday' and some various noises that are hard to spell, like the sound of a dog panting, or a raspberrying tongue.

He likes to kiss my booboos to make them feel better.

The other day, when he was a little feverish, he sat close to me on the couch and said, "I love you Mama.  I love you.  I love you lots."  Yes, I did melt.

Tai is my sweetest boy - and I am the luckiest Mom in the world to have him.

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: tai, smiling (tai)
Poor kidlet, he just doesn't have good luck with the head, apparently especially the left side.  Yesterday we were gardening in our front 'yard'.  He loves to help me lately - vacuuming, laundry (both loading and folding), feeding the dogs, microwaving the food, but especially weeding.  In the past few days, we've probably spent three hours total pulling weeds and getting the gardens ready for planting.  So I was trimming the dead heads and dead branches off the lavender while Tai pulled clover and tossed mulch onto the ground.  We were both standing in the raised bed.  I wasn't worried about him because I'd seen him climb down the step to the ground several times.  I asked a couple of times if he was ready for dinner, but he wanted to stay out and weed longer.  Finally I turned around (maybe to tell him to quit throwing the mulch onto the ground, please!) and saw him lean far over the edge of the ledge and tumble over - head over heels.  I couldn't reach him in time and he landed face-down on the concrete.

We were both freaked out.  I worried that he'd given himself brain damage - while he was more concerned with the scrape over his eyebrow, and under his eye.  Poor kid!  He cried, and I raced him inside for nursing and damage check.  After a quick 'Ask Dr. Sears' web search (where I discovered that a fall under 3 feet is usually okay, even onto hard surfaces) and a freaked out phone call to Tom and my Mom for me - and boobie for him, we were both calmer.  In about 10 minutes he was better and playing happily, so I decided to wait and watch for concussion.  

Tom's response?  'Welcome to being the mother of a boy'.  Sigh.  When Tai and I went out to weed again this evening, I asked what he was trying to do yesterday and he said, 'Reach for mulch'.  Why?  I have no clue.  Today he seems to be just fine, other than looking like he's got a black eye.  (I feel slightly lucky that he got the scrapes, though - that way it doesn't look like I punched him.)

He's such a love, though.  He's talking up a storm - even in his sleep.  In the last week or so, he's talked about Mimi and Popa, begged for bagels, told 'daddy, no' and said something about baseball.  If I could, I might stay awake just to listen to him.  

He's big on finding 'matches', ever since he got some Memory games for his birthday.  He matches colors and patterns.

When Tom got back from China, we were all laying in bed trying to get Tai to nap.  Tai was more interested in counting Daddy's eyes, nose, ears, etc.  He pointed out both of Tom's earrings, then said to me, "I talking to Daddy about earrings."

Over the past week or so, I've been rediscovering how lucky I am.  Tai is fabulous, and I am blessed.

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: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm doing my best to indoctrinate Tai into the festivities that are Halloween.  We started watching 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".  We decorated the house with pumpkins, ghosts, witches and bats in the beginning of the month.  We've gone to pumpkin patches, we've checked out decorated houses, we baked pumpkin pie with real pumpkin.  We picked out a costume for him (maybe I'll sew one next year.  When I can actually use a sewing machine for more than hemming a pair of pants).  We're planning a party.

Once in a while he's a little taken aback by something he sees.  Sometimes skeletons freak him out - which I can relate to.  I'm not easily scared by Halloween stuff, but something about skeletons, ones that look realistic, make my skin crawl.  I got a pair of long skeleton earrings when I was a kid - they were plastic, but looked real.  I couldn't wear them.  When mom would get them out for the season, I'd stick them in the back of a drawer and try not to imagine them dancing out of the drawer, bones rattling.  *shudder*  I have tried not to pass the heebie jeebies on to him, but maybe I did, who knows.  He also got freaked out when Steve, on Blue's Clues, dressed up with a green alien hat with tentacles on his fingers.  Personally, I have nothing against tentacles, so that's not my fault.

On the other hand, he *loves* pumpkins, bats, cats, witches, ghosts.  When he sees a ghost, he says, 'boo!'  When he says witch, it sounds more like 'bitch'.  Hee!  Every time he sees a pumpkin he says, 'punkin!  Halweeeen!'

I'm excited for the first holiday that he can really look forward to, and experience.  We'll see what he thinks of everyone in costume.  And trick or treating!
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)
Apparently I didn't avoid Tai's cold after all.  I'm sore-throat, mucus girl this evening.  And I'm tired - though that could be from the rough sleep night last night.  I need to remember to give Tai tylenol before bed since he's still working on his bottom molars.  So, instead of working on my novel pages that are due tomorrow, I'm posting the bits and pieces I've been thinking about for the past few days.

Tai has started saying two words together once in a while.  The other day Tom slept in the guest room (he'd been out drinking and if he comes home late and beer-full he tends to wake me up with insane levels of snoring).  When Tai woke up he wondered where Tom was.  I said we should go find him and called 'Where are you?'  After a minute, Tai echoed me - 'Are you?  Are you?'  Complete with sing-song tone and shrug.  I thought he just copied me, but today he was looking for me and he said, "Mama?  Are you?"  And then I died of the kyute.

He's singing more, and the other day when he started to play with his Little People farm he sang 'e-i-e-i-o' (of Old MacDonald) all of his own volition.

We've been going to Story Time at Red Hill books pretty regularly.  It helps to push his one nap to around midafternoon so neither of us loses our mind before Tom gets home.  And it's fun for him to hang out with other kids and sing songs.  It's hard though - he's so exuberant.  He likes to go right up to the person who is doing the story time and touch their legs or just be close.  He tends to vocalize his excitement and to race back to me, sometimes barreling right through other kids.  On the one hand, I want to teach him appropriate behavior (whatever that is) but I don't want to stifle his enthusiasm or make him feel like he can't be himself.  I want him to have fun, to express his enjoyment.  It is a story hour for kids his age, and usually the people who are leading seem to enjoy his pleasure.  I've spent so much of my life worrying about doing the right thing, acting the right way, fitting in... I don't want him to be stuck with all of that fear.  But I also don't want people to dislike being around him.  I know this push/pull is only going to get more obvious as he gets older and goes to preschool.   

I've also been reading a book about being fat in America, and one of the short essays is about the author who was told she was fat ever since she was three and four.  It stuck with her, the memory of being considered fat and therefore inferior, even from such a young age.  I am not saying Tai is fat - I don't believe he is.  But people often comment about how big he is.  Sure, he's sturdy.  I never worry about him getting run over when he's in a crowd of toddlers.  I do, however, want to avoid too much body commentary, even in ways that seem harmless now.  For example - so many people say 'he's so big!  He's going to be a football player!'  This sounds good enough - but what if he grows up to be average, or smaller than average?  Will he feel like he's not as good because he doesn't have that build?

I want to be aware as I bring Tai up.  I want to help him to feel comfortable in his skin.  It's not a feeling that's easy to come by in our culture.  
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)
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)

July 2011

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