Tuesday, May 30, 2006

CHEESE! Posted by Picasa

These adorable bony little boys are my five year old twin nephews James and Julius.  Posted by Picasa

Noah spent some much needed time with his cousins Amanda and Jessica.  Posted by Picasa

James, Noah and Mark loungin' til the next round of grilled meats hit the table.  Posted by Picasa

Noah and Aunt Jess playing a little football at Tammy's graduation party.  Posted by Picasa

Grown woman stuck in play tube

I was feeling like a super bitch all weekend and the only thing I have to pin my moodiness on is that damn stomach flu. Unfortunately Noah was still suffering a bit from diarrhea, low energy, suppressed appetite, and sleep difficulties and as a result of all of those issues a less than cheerful disposition. The biggest problem was that he was just discontent. He wanted something, but didn’t want it. He was sleepy but wouldn’t sleep. He wanted to take a walk but wanted to be carried. He wanted constant attention but was unhappy getting it. Nothing was quite good enough and the result was a lot of whining and some tears. And after a week his mood was weighing heavily on me. The result was a lot of whining and some tears. I just get so distraught when he’s not happy. But luckily yesterday and today we both seem on the upswing so I hope we’re on our way back to normal.

Yesterday we went to a picnic at Pa Joe and Oma’s place. It was great to see my brother Jim and his kids, especially since we hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving. The scorching hot weather kept us indoors for the most part, but it was nice to have my Dad back behind the grill. Despite having had an atrocious night of sleep (partying from 1 am to 5:30 am) Noah was good natured and warmed quickly to his cousins. He got a bit emotional when the kids were spraying each other with the hose (“UH OH!”) but all in all he had a great time. And it was gut wrenchingly sweet and sad to watch him run around and make comparisons to memories of how tiny he was at last year’s picnic.

This morning I took Noah to Ikea for awhile to run around in the air conditioning. (Though I finally caved and turned ours on.) Amazingly I got out of there spending less than $50, but just a tad less. It’s a damn expensive playground. I got (or should I say Noah got) some plastic storage boxes for toys and art supplies, a set of little metal play pans and a wooden train set. Then we went to the Chikfila to play in the toddler fun zone. Noah is just a tad too small to go alone up the tube ladder to the slide, but since there were no other kids in there I squeezed my fat ass in the tube to help him out. We’re all very lucky I’m not still stuck in there.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Neigh neigh

Today we took a break from our low energy schlumping, recovery and cleaning to attend the second birthday party of Noah’s neighborhood friend Louis. His parents held a lovely barbecue and their garden was awash in little people. It was nice to socialize and baby watch. But one of this afternoons events will live forever in infamy. Today was the episode with the “neigh neigh.”

Shortly after the party started Louis’s mom hung a piñata. Noah smiled and pointed. “neigh neigh” he exclaimed happily. Before it was time to cut the cake Louis’s mom fetched an aluminum broom handle so the kids could have a go at the piñata – but after just one swing Louis told his Mama to do it. Mark held Noah up to watch as she whacked at the piñata until the head broke off and candy spilled to the floor. “Neigh neigh!” Noah shrieked in a panic. “Neigh neigh!” he cried having watched a horsey being beaten with a stick. “Neigh neigh…neigh neigh” he said in mournful confusion. We all assured him it was okay. “The horse isn’t real,” we said. “It’s a game,” we said. “Have some candy,” we said. But as I took him over to show him the paper horse he started to shake. My sensitive sweet boy. After about 15 minutes we got him to spend a few moments focusing on something other than the “neigh neigh” even if only briefly, and he even had a piece of candy. But I know he’ll be fixated on this “neigh neigh” incident for quite some time and I just hope he doesn’t wake in the night crying about it. I can’t adequately relate how badly I felt for him in that moment. He was SO upset about the horse. His concern was so overwhelming. But I also can’t adequately relate how proud I am to be raising such an empathetic little man. Our world is dreadfully lacking in empathy and I hope as parents we are able to preserve Noah’s willingness to identify with the emotions of another, even if it is just a paper horse.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Very sick indeed

And now with all the gory details. Please avert your eyes if, like me, you are adverse to details of the bathroom nature.

After complaining for a few hours of feeling queasy and me telling him he was just being paranoid, Mark threw up at 11 pm on Tuesday night. Shortly afterwards I started feeling queasy and we went to bed. At 1 am Noah woke up crying. As soon as I got up to get him I felt sick. When I got to his room I heard Mark running to the bathroom to sit on the toilet and discovered that Noah had soiled himself beyond the reaches of his diaper. Instantly I realized I was going to vomit, so I put Noah back in his crib much to his dismay and ran to the other bathroom. Between heaves I yelled out to Mark to get Noah, of course Mark was up to his own bathroom business so for a few minutes Noah was crying and unattended. When Mark finally made it down to Noah I switched positions from kneeling in front of the toilet to sitting – and then finally gathered myself and went back to Noah’s room. Mark had begun changing Noah and as soon as I got there he went running back to the bathroom to vomit. And this folks, was just the beginning. It was a long night and though the following days weren’t as flush-tastic, the dehydration took its toll and we’ve been lying around on the floors recalling what it was like to have a smidgeon of energy. I know Mark would say the vomiting was the suckiest, but for me the overall sluggish, hurting, achiness of Wednesday was far worse. And here I am on Friday still feeling like a rung out dishrag. Noah still has diarrhea and sluggishness, but the pediatrician assures me that its normal and soon enough he’ll be right as rain.

It’s a three day holiday weekend – and top on our agenda is recuperation, rest, and sanitization. Hope your plans are more exciting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chillin and illin

So it seems Noah caught some sort of stomach virus, though from whence it came I have no idea. Possibly from our short trip to the Please Touch (and Infect Me) Museum on Thursday. Yesterday I got vomit on me three times and poop once. Note to parents – when your child has a stomach virus that normally coincides with gastrointestinal discomfort, do NOT let him sit on your lap without a diaper on.

The craziest thing about Noah’s throwing up is that he seems most concerned with the mess. He’d point to his clothes and cry “Uh Oh,” then to my shirt “Uh Oh” and then to the floor “Uh Oh.” I’d say “It’s okay. We’ll get it all cleaned up. Do you want me to get you in clean clothes?” and he’d shake his head vigorously. “Uh Oh” he said to Mark when he got home to let his Daddy know he’d gotten sick. He even said once in his sleep last night. After his first vomitous attack I thought maybe his pizza just disagreed with him, he had no fever and his energy seemed to spring right back after he got all settled down and cleaned off. But when I went to put him in his booster seat for dinner he started to wretch and we were off to the races again. Sad little sicky.

But early this morning was the worst. He woke up at 1:30 crying and screaming inconsolably while writhing around for about 30 minutes. Mark and I didn’t know what to do – Noah was in such obvious agony. He kept crying for the Boppy but wouldn’t lay down on it. I felt so helpless and it was horrible to watch. After having some incredibly loud diaper action he settled enough to get excited about a Pedialyte popsicle and a promise of Sesame Street. He layed on my lap listlessly sucking down icy electrolytes and occasionally exclaiming “Telly… Bird… Bert.” Nothing beats Sesame Street at 2 am.

Today thankfully we haven’t had any more vomiting, but he’s still got diaper issues. He’s tired, listless and barely eating. He just wants to hang on me – which is more than fine. I like to snuggle. I had plans to go out with my friend Jeff for a few hours tonight, but he was incredibly understanding when I postponed. I’m sure Mark could handle Noah while I went out, but he’s so clingy with me today that I don’t want to upset him by leaving.

Monday, May 22, 2006

So much for status quo

Noah awoke from his nap and vomitted. And he's gotten sick twice since then. Poor little man.

An empty house

“Daddy? Daddy? An-Jess? An-Jess? Ah-wee?” This morning’s soundtrack has been a chorus of Noah inquiring about the whereabouts of others. With Mark home all last week with a lame eye Noah began thinking he was a permanent all day everyday fixture. And after reveling in the constant doting attention of his 11 year old Aunt Jess over the weekend, he was sadly disappointed that she wasn’t here to greet him this morning. And just a few hours of Grandma yesterday was a mere teaser. So he’s stuck with me – boring every day Mama. I took him to the park and out for pizza to alleviate some of his frustration with our population decline, but as soon as we headed home the calls for his departed comrades returned.

So our weekend was Jess-tastic. We drove out to Montgomery County on Friday night to see Jess perform a choreographed dance with four of her friends at her elementary school variety show. She was really energetic, knew her moves and was super cute. I was glad we went, but was a bit blindsided that the whole show took over two hours. Mark had to take Noah outside to use the playground equipment for awhile and then after they returned I violated the MCs request that people remain in their seats by chasing Noah and a ball back and forth in the rear of the cafeteria. Oh well. A happy toddler is much less disturbing and distracting than a screaming, upset toddler. For me especially.

On Saturday Jess, Noah and I went to Target and grocery shopping and after Noah’s nap we all went downtown to stroll around Rittenhouse Square and have dinner at More Than Just Ice Cream. After the boy hit bed, Jess and I were beat by Mark in a painfully prolonged round of Phase 10. On Sunday Jess and I went to Trader Joe’s and in the afternoon we all went to my cousin Tammy’s Masters Degree graduation party. Having Jess here was like a mini Mama vacation because Noah would much rather play with her than me and I just got to sit back and watch them have fun. I can’t even express to you how much I enjoy watching them bond. I get all super gushy inside.

My Mom brought a date to Tammy’s graduation party. My Mom has felt a bit worried about people perceiving her as dating “too early” after my stepfather’s death, but I’ve assured her that anyone who really knows her knows how lonely she’s been over the last five plus years and could be nothing but excited for her. After tending to my (sadly ungrateful) stepfather during his prolonged battle against terminal cancer, it’s great to see her having fun and spending time with someone who seems to think the world of her. It’s what she deserves – what we ALL deserve. In our brief interactions with her date he seemed friendly, funny and good natured – even when the wind grabbed a full plate of food off the table and threw it down his shirt. Which by the way is a slightly cruel but hysterical thing to do a person meeting the family – and an excellent way to see someone’s true colors. I recommend it to all of you interviewing the dates of your family members.

So we’re sort of back to status quo around here and it will take some time to adjust. I hope we get our routine back together before we’re hauled off screaming by the dustbunnies.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My issue

I haven't had much time to blog this week and I've been having issues posting photos via Hello, so I couldn't even give you some silly eye candy. Sorry.

I went out for two hours with friends on Tuesday night. I went to Azure for dinner while Mark watched Noah with one eye. The food was good and it was nice to get out briefly. I enjoyed seeing my former teaching coworkers and catching up with what they were doing. Unfortunately I came home sort of disgruntled that I didn't feel like they asked me many questions about what was up with me. Maybe because they think they know? Or because my life is fairly status quo while they are buying houses and having relationship issues? It's true I don't have a TON to say, but I might have something. This has been my pet peeve lately - having long conversations with people in which I ask them all sorts of questions about themselves and then walking away feeling like they didn't ask me anything and didn't really want to know. I'm sure it's probably my issue.

Mark can get around now thankfully so we went to the Please Touch Museum for an hour with Noah yesterday. Mark had never been. He SO enjoyed pushing those little grocery carts. He loves nothing more than grocery shopping. (Italics denotes sarcasm.) For the next two days Mark gets to accompany us on our playdates. Lucky man.

I've been trying to book plane tickets for my trip to Florida to see my sister Elisha and her new baby in August. I found a really great rate at the appropriate times on Monday but by the time all the parites involved got around to getting back to me (Elisha - though she's moving and pregnant so I understand she's busy) the fares were no good on the good flights. So now it's either wait for another discount fare (they have to get cheap, NOONE wants to fly to Orlando in August, right?) or book the crappy times. What do you think? I'm tired of spinning my wheels. I need help.

What we need help most with is housework, but no more help is coming. We best go get to it now that we have four functioning eyes and a napping baby.

The scratch is almost healed. Now he has a steroid drop to decrease the corneal swelling. He's not going back to work until Monday because he's not ready to stare at a computer screen yet. Good news is that he can open his eye and get around. Oh and do the dishes.  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's hard to get a picture that properly represents the bruised, puffy, goopyness that is Mark's eye after almost three days of healing. The good news is that his good eye is doing a bit better and he can open it to navigate and do some basic tasks. The bad news is he's nowhere near being able to sit in front of a computer for a few hours at work. And sadly he isn't allowed to enjoy the experience of wearinga badass pirate patch. Apparently they breed infection. But luckily he can wear his sunglasses at night.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

About mothers and children

This post by Very Mom made me cry. And this essay by Anna Quindlen touched me too.


Crazy weekend. I’ll cut to the big dramatic event and then go back and fill in the good parts.

Saturday night I was making cookies for a Mother’s Day Picnic at my Aunt Jill’s house. While sampling a taste of the first batch, Noah was sitting on Mark’s lap while bopping away to the music on the stereo. He threw his hands in the air, threw them up like he just didn’t care – and he poked Mark in the eye. REAL HARD. Long story short – Mark went to the Emergency room at Will’s Eye Hospital and was diagnosed with a deep corneal abrasion. He can’t open his eye, the eyelid is swollen and bruised and he is in constant pain. And unfortunately the other eye isn’t dealing great with the strain either. So he’s been basically blinded temporarily. It should heal in a couple of days but in the meantime he’s out of work and hurting. He probably can’t go back to work until Thursday – which really sucks for his coworkers since they are super busy preparing for commencement – but there isn’t really anything he can do for them other than man the phone to answer questions.

As a result of Mark’s injury I decided to postpone my personal celebration of Mother’s Day for another day – on a day when I can do a little less mothering. Noah and I went to the picnic at Aunt Jill’s place while Mark laid around in the dark at home. It seemed the best thing I could do for him was to get the boy and vacate so he could get some rest. Though honestly watching Noah nurse his ailing father was so amazingly cute. He gave him kisses, held his hand and was feeding him his snack. Adorable. Almost as adorable as watching Noah dance and hug with his 3 year old cousin Aelan last night. I think he fell in love with her yesterday. Anyway – the picnic was nice and fun but sadly lacking Mark.

Back to the start of the weekend. Friday night we had friends over. I laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. Good times. I didn’t go to bed until 1 AM! My God. Saturday Mark’s cousin Coleen and her husband Atsushi came down from Central Jersey to meet Noah for the first time. They brought him the Little People Floaty Boat for the bath tub and he loves it. I didn’t know what to make them for lunch because I don’t know them well enough to know their likes and dislikes, so I made a salad assortment – a pasta salad, a tomato salad, a bean salad and a fruit salad – served with cheese, sliced meat, and rolls. It turned out really well and is now my new entertaining recommendation. After they left, we all napped and then went to the rec center playground. We had a run in with a crazy belligerent drunk neighbor, came home and then Noah poked Mark in the eye. So there you have our weekend. We had lots of laughter and quite a few tears.

Today I took Noah to the pediatrician about that weird bug bite. They didn’t quite explain what the deal with it was – but they said it was not, as I had started worrying, some weird parasite growing in his hand. Just a bit infected I guess. They gave me prescriptions for a topical cream and antibiotics. Because it’s looking a bit better today then yesterday I’m thinking I might use the topical cream for 24 hours and examine the results before I put Noah on another round of antibiotics. I’m wierded out about antibiotic overuse and since he was just on his first round of antibiotics three weeks ago for his tonsillitis, I want to make sure he needs them before I put him through that again. What do you folks think?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother by Anonymous

Your Love is like an island
In life's ocean, vast and wide,
A peaceful quiet shelter
From the wind and rain and tide.
Above it like a beacon light
Shone faith and truth and care;
And through the changing scenes of life,
I find a haven there.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Do you know how fast you were going?" Posted by Picasa

May Buddha forgive us

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with Noah’s “Da-Doe” (Pa Joe) and “Moo-Moo” (Oma). We took a walk, ate Chinese buffet and cavorted toddler style. It was a really nice visit. Da-Doe, Noah and I are planning our trip to Florida to visit my sister Elisha after she has her baby boy in early August. I’m excited to meet my new baby nephew and to have Noah spend some time with Elisha’s family (her Mom’s side – my ex- step sisters). But I’ll be sad to leave Mr. Mark behind. I don’t think I’ve spent a week away from him in 8 years. Plus isn’t the weather in Orlando area Florida absolutely deadly in August? Elisha should really be giving birth in October.

This afternoon Ms. Frannie will be spending a few hours with us while her Mom does some work for an event. Noah’s looking forward to seeing “Nee-Nee.” We’ve actually just started a busy two week period – good busy, mostly socializing and fun. Which of course means though I might have some more interesting stuff to blog about, I might not have the time to do it. And so it goes.

By now you know that Noah is a fairly sensitive boy. Small things often make big impacts on him. I have a few more examples:

Our house is being systematically monitored by an angry bird. Over the weekend some whack bird started periodically squawking at our house like she’d gone off her meds. If I didn’t know better I’d assume we’d ransacked her nest and stolen her babies. When our cat Parker is staring out the window she takes pleasure in taunting him – flying straight toward the window and daring him to take a flying leap. As a result of her crazy antics Mark and I kept talking about the “angry bird.” It was no time before Noah started imitating her squawking and referencing the “angry… bird… angry… bird.”

The other day Noah was playing with a small plastic Buddha figurine we had on a book case in the living room. It’s the kind of thing you get in Chinatown for two bucks and because it’s hard plastic I thought it was indestructible. Wrong. Noah flung it to the floor and the head fell off. And despite both Mark and I assuring Noah that it was okay – he was really distressed. He whimpered, whined and kept saying “Buddha” and gesturing at his head. Possibly fifty times during the course of the evening. And a handful more every day for the last three days. I guess he’s a tad sheepish about causing injury to the enlightened one.

On Tuesday night I went out for a few hours and a few beers with Patrice and Jen Mc. I left when Mark got home and had to be back before Noah’s bedtime. It was short but sweet. While I was out the boys were living it up testosterone style. Shortly before I got home Mark was “sitting” on Noah’s plastic riding car, legs akimbo when he pretended to fall off, landing with a big “UH-OH.” Noah cried. Mark had to reassure him that all was well, he wasn’t hurt. Noah was SO worried about Mark’s fall. When I got home and repeatedly since he’s said “Daddy… car… Uh Oh.”

Oh- and the bug bite. The doc said that I should keep Neosporin on it and as long as it didn’t grow bigger or get pussy that all was well. Later gators.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Car... vroom... sand. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Whistle while you work

It was a workhorse weekend. We originally had plans to have my sister Jessica spend the weekend with us, but that was postponed at the last minute. As a result we had time on our hands and a lot of chores waiting to eat it up. Luckily the weather was beautiful and we were able to spend some time outside so it made the work feel invigorating and not so tedious.

On Friday night I was wiped out after watching both Noah and his little friend Frannie most of the day. On Saturday Mark, Noah and I went to the Hancock Recreation Center so that I could help move dirt around in the Children’s Garden being organized by our friend Marita, the president of our Kensington South neighborhood organization. Mark chased Noah around the playground until it was time for him to drop off our recycling. When we got home we set up Noah’s new sandbox, Mark swept out our “yard” (concrete slab), and I cleaned the kitchen. The excitement continued on Sunday as Mark cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed while I straightened the first floor and put the finishing touches on the kitchen (a day later and it’s already a mess). My Mom came by in the afternoon and she, Noah and Mark went for a walk while I made dinner. You still reading this scintillating account of our weekend? I know it sounds pedestrian and boring but it was in fact a nice weekend and it felt good to have a few productive days for a change.

Random Noah tidbits:
- He’s LOVING the sandbox. Particularly burying things and then having us unearth them with the sifting pan.
- For some odd reason he’s pronouncing Grandma as “Ah-wee.” Don’t know why, but it makes me chuckle.
- He’s been having Grandma withdrawal since our vacation. He’s probably wondering why she no longer lives next door. Every morning as I get him dressed after breakfast he asks “Daddy?” and I tell him Mark went to work and then “Ah-wee?” and I explain she’s at home with her doggies.
- He’s gotten really good at holding hands while taking a walk – and he ALWAYS wants to take a walk. He also wants to climb up the steps in front of every house.
- As is our custom, one afternoon at the resort I was running behind Noah saying “Chase! Chase!” when a keenly observant guest said “No wonder you named him Chase.”
- The other night I assured Noah his bath water wasn’t hot, that it was in fact “nice.” Now everything is “NICE.” He said it today when I was hugging him and it almost made me cry.
- Almost two weeks after our vacation Noah still has the bug bites he got in Jamaica. In fact the one on his hand has me worried – it’s all bubbly, puffy and pink. I’m considering having his doctor look at it. Can bug bites get infected?
- He loves to climb in and out of his stroller. He could easily spend a half an hour doing it.
- Today I retired his high chair. My giant boy sits in his booster seat now.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Like sand in the hour glass

Last night Mark, Noah and I went to Toys R’ Us. I’ve been meaning to get Noah a good booster seat for over a month now, but I was putting it off because I knew if I went to Toys R’ Us I’d spend a bunch of money we didn’t have on things we didn’t really need. Last night I suggested we go to the toy store to buy a sandbox. Amazingly we came home with out the full wooden train table that Noah fell in love with but we did end up with a pool, a car ramp, some new Playdoh, a small helicopter, sand, a sandbox and some sand toys – but NO booster seat. Moron. Add to that the fact that the car ramp we got doesn’t fit Noah’s Matchbox cars because we bought it in the Toddler toys section rather than in the Matchbox section – and I feel like a major brainiac. Luckily he’s still enjoying playing with it using the two little cars that came with it and doesn’t seem too concerned when the Matchbox cars get stuck.

Noah had his 18 month checkup this morning. After his screaming and writhing at the doctor’s office in Jamaica I was a tad concerned how he was going to do at his checkup. It turns out I had nothing to worry about though because he was an angel. Doc Bidi was impressed with his behavior as she said most 18 month olds hate the doctor. But I must confess that I had a little help with his behavior. On Monday afternoon I made a doc appointment because I’ve been having sore, itchy ears. Five years ago I woke up one morning unable to move due to an inner ear infection and horrible vertigo and as a result I now take my ears very seriously. The short story on the appointment is that I have allergies. Who knew? I’ve never had many issues with them in the past, but I’ve been told it’s a really bad year for them. Or maybe they’re just Noah’s fault. Since his birth I’ve become a chocoholic who gets motion sickness – neither of which were an issue before. Anywho – I had to take Noah with me to the doctor and he watched me get weighed, and have my ears, eyes, temperature, blood pressure and throat checked. I made sure he saw me being a good patient and told him that’s how we act at the doctor’s office. After the appointment he kept saying “Mama…. Doctor… Ears.” And this morning he was even looking forward to his appointment - he nodded happily when I reminded him that today the doctor would check his ears. So modeling… it works.

Noah measures up at 24 pounds and 33.5 inches – so 25% for weight and 85% for height. Doc Bidi said he was “perfect” - good health and on track developmentally. When I told her he’s just about to start using two words together (at the park he kept talking about the “broke… swing… broke… swing) she said that was great because they don’t expect that until two years – which means as well as being amazingly adorable, Bella is a linguistic genius.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Cookie Monster touched my hand." Posted by Picasa

Sunny day

Illness aside there were many moments of Noah joy in Jamaica and I’d like to share a few of them with you.

Half the time I think Noah thought he was on Walkabout. Even when he was feeling miserably ill, he’d want to amble around the resort walkways and bridges with us in tow. But it wasn’t enough just to wander around. Undoubtedly the excursion would result in him creating some sort of pattern whereby he would walk up two steps, across a platform, down two steps, step on a drain, squat, and then go back up the steps – and then repeat. But not alone. No – if you were with him you’d have to do the exact same thing. He’d say “Mama” and point to the step to let me know it was my turn to follow. And if I stopped or didn’t squat on that drain he’d let me know about it. On more than one occasion Mark, my Mom and I were all following his orders. It must have been quite a picture to see the three of us following him around, stopping to squat on that drain.

The Beaches resort we went to in Negril is especially for families. They have a water park, X box rooms, and family friendly entertainment as well as nannies and a Kids Kamp to keep the kiddies busy if the parents want to hang out at the pool bar. The setup is ideal for families with older kids than Noah or at least for mothers who are less clingy than my co-dependent ass. They also have a deal with Sesame Street whereby they not only do some shows featuring the characters but also have meet and greet moments with the kids – Baking with Cookie Monster, Dancing with Zoe, the Letter of the Day with Bert, etc. Though Noah has a Hokey Pokey Elmo and had seen a few passing moments of Sesame Street, it wasn’t really his thing so I was unsure how interested in it he would be. In our first few moments at the resort I was walking around carrying Noah when Cookie Monster was headed right for us, on his way to a cooking demonstration. Noah squealed, pointed and smiled. Not because he recognized him but because there was this fuzzy, happy blue monster headed our way. But then Cookie Monster touched Noah – to say Hello (they don’t speak unless they play a recorded soundtrack) and Noah began crying. I kept walking while trying to pacify him and before he even stopped crying he was signing for “more.” Cookie Monster had him overwhelmed and hungering for more. When we got back to Mom and Mark, Noah was pointing emphatically at the spot on his arm where Cookie Monster touched him. I explained “Cookie Monster touched his arm.” In those first moments I had no idea how many times we’d have that interaction. It became the running joke of our vacation as Noah pointed to his arm about 50 times a day to recount the story – and then just as a way to sign Cookie Monster. It’s how he asked me to watch Sesame Street just this morning – because of course now he’s a big fan. Though a love of Cookie Monster is a dangerous thing – the poor guy doesn’t get much air time these days. Noah can sign for him up to wazoo – but I can barely find a glimpse of him. The sick Noah picture I posted below captures the sign, and I think I’ll post another one just so you get the full effect.

Two of the nights we were at the resort the nightly entertainment featured a short Sesame Street Live presentation followed by some Baby Disco type action. And Noah was in HEAVEN. Not only did he see Cookie Monster sing “The Itsty Bitsy Spider” but afterwards he got to DANCE. And he was a dancing machine. Our shy boy kept going out in the middle of an empty dance floor and strutting his stuff, and he even got on stage.

And Noah is indeed shy. On a daily basis people would attempt to interact with Noah – waving, smiling, saying “Hello,” asking him questions, and in some instances staff members just scooped him up in their arms. And every time Noah stared wide eyed and didn’t utter a peep. If they were lucky (and a woman) they might get a smile and a wave after they walked away. I found myself explaining countless times “He’s a little shy with strangers.” On one hand I’m a little sad that the rest of the world doesn’t see our chatty, smiling, exuberant boy – but on the other I feel like we’re privy to a hidden treasure. Of course I feel that way about his Dad too.

Noah not only did really well with the traveling, he really seemed to enjoy it. He was excited to be on the bus and ride in the plane. “Fly! Fly!” He’d say. He had no problems with take off or landing, and he slept on both flights. He really was a model little passenger with one brief exception. On the way home he had a bad 40 minutes where he was trying to nurse to sleep but was too overstimulated, warm and cramped to relax and he let out a few cries. I panicked when people started shooting me looks while my giant son was crying and demanding to nurse. As I sat there trying to calm Noah my Mom started talking to me calmly and reassuringly and actually started petting my head. And my over-agitated response was to snip “MOM – I’M NOT A BABY.” But I know now as a mother that’s not true. I’ll always be her baby as Noah will always be mine. I just hope he’s not demanding to nurse when he’s 31.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Finally - maxin' and relaxin'!  Posted by Picasa

Here's a picture of Noah as a very sick sicky. Notice the snotty nose, sweaty head and pink cheeks. What is he pointing at on his hand, you ask? THAT'S a story for another day.  Posted by Picasa

You see, I'm making a sand fortress for these here livestock. They'll have a moat and a four car garage.  Posted by Picasa

Check out that sand, surf and sky! Posted by Picasa

Our room with a view. Posted by Picasa

Sometimes I'm a Jamaican Jerk

We returned late Friday night from a week in Negril, Jamaica. The weather was sunny and beautiful. The sand was fine and white. The ocean was crystalline blue, calm and warm. The pools had bars, water slides and a lazy river. The food was overflowing and without end. All of these are ingredients for quite a luxurious and relaxing tropical beach week – and while we did enjoy these elements I’m very sorry to say that there is more to tell about our trip and the details aren’t that sweet.

Despite it taking 11 hours for us to get from our home to our hotel in Jamaica, Noah was a prince. He enjoyed the walkways in the airport, had no problems with take off or landing, happily stayed seated drawing and playing during the flight and took two naps (one on the plane, one on the bus). Once we arrived at the resort we ate, walked around, spent some time in the water and went to bed exhausted at 8:30 pm because of our 4 am start time that morning. At 3:30 am on Sunday morning Noah woke up on fire. He had a fever and it was a scorcher. You could feel the heat emanating from his little feet. We took him to nurse Lillymay in the morning and while we pinned down our distraught and screaming little man she said Noah had a fever of a 103.3 and she called in the doctor. The polish doctor diagnosed him with the beginnings of an ear infection and acute tonsillitis and prescribed him antibiotics. He said the runny nose and drooling Noah had for a few days prior to the vacation were early symptoms of his cold and sore throat – though we’d blamed them both on teething. Noah had never been on antibiotics and never even been to the doctor for a sick visit so it was really rotten luck to have his first real illness while on vacation. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Noah was pretty ill. He was lethargic, grumpy and sad. Even when the ibuprofen would break his fever for a few hours his energy and mood were too low for him to be adventurous. He didn’t want to be in the pool, on the sand, in the ocean. The only things he seemed to enjoy were exploring the resort by walking in circles, looking for lizards, spotting an occasional Sesame Street character, and the attentions of his doting Grandmother. Oh and nursing. Endless, endless nursing. And since our eternal eater wasn’t eating any solid foods and barely drinking any juicy water, I obliged when he asked until I couldn’t do it any more and then he screamed and cried. Between my putting premature ends on his intended three hour nursing sessions and us having to pin him down for the doctor and to take his medicine, he was more than happy to turn his attentions to Grandma. And that of course was one of her reasons for the trip – so Noah and Grandma quality time were indeed a success.

And because Noah felt poorly, I felt poorly. I was so distraught about him not feeling well, about him not enjoying the vacation, about feeling sad while we were in tropical paradise that I was pretty miserable to deal with. I was just as moody and teary as Noah. Though it isn’t necessarily in my nature to be optimistic, I make a constant effort to always look on the bright side and to put any small discomforts or concerns I have in check with the dark reality that others have to face. And when I’m having a low patch and I’m not able to keep my focus on the positive, I get pretty disgusted with myself. Which of course doesn’t do much to alleviate the situation. I kept thinking “Yes my boy’s a little sick, but it’s nothing very serious, and I’m in JAMAICA for God’s sake! Stop whining!” And I’d put it aside for a little while and then Noah would have a teary episode and I’d be depressed again. I owe both my Mom and Mark a big apology and thank you for their tolerance and support. I can say with certainty that as sad as I was at seeing Noah not feeling well – it made my Mom and Mark sad to see me not feeling well. We all took part in a love-induced sadness downward spiral.

But then there was Wednesday! Noah felt good. He was eating. He was happy. We played in the sand, in the surf, in the pool. We smiled and cheered. Wednesday was a dreamy, perfect vacation day. Thursday was some more of the same, though honestly the sleep deprivation of the earlier part of the week had caught up with me and I felt like I was barely capable of dragging myself around. Plus we knew it was our last day and were disappointed that we’d just begun really enjoying ourselves. And Friday we headed home.

So illness, tiredness, sad bouts aside – there were some really great, memorable moments to share. And I’ll be sharing them this week as I have time to recount them. Mark and I have to send out a huge thanks to my Mom for taking us to Jamaica. I’m so very sorry that the trip didn’t turn out exactly as she had hoped, but I’m pretty sure she enjoyed spending lots of time with Noah despite his sickness. And I know he enjoyed spending the time with her – he’s been asking for her endlessly and seems confused that she’s no longer living in the room next door.

Hope everyone had a good week in the blogosphere. It’s going to take me a while to catch up on reading and commenting, but please bear with me. I’ll post a few pictures from our trip now, but then I have to get ready to go to the doctor’s office. I’m sorry to say that my throat and ears are bothering me. Keep your fingers crossed that I’m just a paranoid, hypochondriac freak.