Monday, March 26, 2007

Singing, swinging and mingling

He writes the songs that make the whole world sing!

Ms. Janette gave Noah his first trapeze lesson on Tuesday night. It's just a matter of time before he's a Cirque cast member, and also the tallest person recorded doing trapeze.

Our neighborhood playgroup sits outside observing the main event - the TRASH TRUCK! And yes, we have a neighborhood nudist.

A breath of fresh air

Last week we got a gust of some warm weather and we were determined to enjoy every minute of it. Just knowing that spring-like weather is on the horizon makes everything seem brighter and more vibrant.

Mark and Noah jump around at Penn Treaty Park.

Noah and Victor enjoy some sliding time at a playground near the Art Museum.
Noah dragon dances in the backyard, while Ella (the little one I watch on Wednesdays) leaps for joy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tip of the iceberg

I’ve been trying to load new pictures on the blog for the last week but having no luck. I adored the ease of Hello’s Bloggerbot – but now that I have to use Blogger to put my pictures up I’m having such issues. Any bloggers have suggestions?

Sunday was a great success. Everything went as smooth as silk. Noah was on his best behavior for Daddy in the car, and had a blast playing dress-up with Nana at Pop Pop’s place. I remained in fantasy land while they were away. I saw The Queen which was enjoyable, had a quick salad and then watched Pan’s Labyrinth which was STUNNING – and got home ten minutes after the boys. Easy peasy.

We have another momentous occasion on the horizon. Tomorrow night I have the amazing good fortune (and stellar mother) to go see Spamalot – and as a result Mark will be putting Noah to bed for the first time EVER. Even though it’s been ages since I nursed him to sleep at bedtime, Noah was just so accustomed to me staying with him until he fell asleep that to even suggest Daddy put him to bed would get you an earful. But he’s been warned and so far he seems okay with it. Worse comes to worse they are both still awake when I get home after 11. We’ll see what happens.

In the last month Noah has started to blossom a bit socially. He’s gotten a lot less shy with his playmates, is playing more interactively and has gotten a bit more assertive when he needs to be. Rather than just pouting and allowing another child to take a toy out of his hands, he will now say “I was playing with that” and look to an adult to intervene. Thankfully he still wouldn’t DARE grab another kid’s toy, he’s very comfortable with appropriate adult mediation and he’s very capable of sharing. He’s just becoming a little less of a doormat – which is great.

Oh and A BOY! As you know we are having another boy. The gender of a child is a 50/50 proposition (hopefully) and I would probably have been feeling both a bit excited and a bit disappointed either way. I’d been feeling a bit convinced I was having a girl since my pregnancy was feeling so different and I admit I was a bit excited (and daunted) at the idea of raising a girl, but I’m also quite excited and relieved to be having another boy. Many folks say “So now you have to try again for a girl!” And though I always thought I wanted three – I now have my doubts. And they are primarily financial. I’d like to envision us taking our kids to see plays, to do extra activities, to travel, etc. and that seems near impossible to afford with three. But who knows. The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes that’s stronger than better judgment. It saddens me so to think that this is my last pregnancy – and I’ve always thought of my self as an older woman surrounded by my BIG family – so who knows. (Did I say that already?) Maybe we’ll win the lottery or something. The baby lottery. Right now we'll concentrate on birthing and raising number two.

I have more cute and clever Noah things to report, but I need a nap. Seriously. And SOMEDAY I’ll get some new photos up. Sheesh.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Suspension of disbelief

I don’t much enjoy alone time. It’s how I’ve always been. And I’ve had plenty of it – being on my own, living on my own in the years before Mark. To me alone time is good for reading, and that’s about it. I’d much rather be with the ones I love – sharing my experiences makes them that much richer. Sometimes I feel like the years I spent alone didn’t really happen. If I’ve lost touch with the friends I’ve had at a certain time it makes me feel like that period happened to someone else because I can’t exchange the memories with a friend. My years at University of Pittsburgh, my living in London – was that me? I can barely recall it since I don’t talk with anyone that can spark the memories.

Everyone says Moms need alone time – and I understand why generally that’s true. But I also realize every Mom is different and needs different things. That being said – today I have some alone time. 6 hours of it. I’ve not had that many waking hours to myself since Noah was born – not because I couldn’t have had it but because I didn’t really want it. But today Mark took Noah to visit Nana and Pop Pop. It’s their first road trip without me – and I’m trying to hold it together. Mostly because I fear fatal car accidents more than anything else. But this trip needs to happen – because Noah and Mark need some time with just each other. A new baby is coming and with two kids dividing and conquering is a necessary method of pareanting. Noah needs to adapt to spending time alone with Dad – and Dad too. Oh, and me too.

So here I am – worrying about my boys on the road. Other than that, I know they're fine. In the past few months their bond has really flourished. Noah didn’t squawk once about leaving Mom behind, he was excited to go on a trip with his Daddy. I’m the one most at a loss. So what am I going to do with my alone time? I’m headed to the theater all by myself to see a double feature. I could have invited a friend to join me – but I didn’t want anyone judging me for feeling worried or eating too much popcorn, didn’t want to have to pick out movies with someone else, or work around anyone else’s schedule. Yet being in the movies isn’t really like being alone – it’s being wrapped up in someone else’s experience. And today I could REALLY use the distraction.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I took Noah to The Philadelphia Flower Show for a few hours this evening. Mostly I just followed him around reminding him he couldn't walk on the exhibits - but it was still a good experience. I really enjoy taking him out into the world and showing him new things. It's fun to see him wide eyed aand enthusiastic when he experiences something new. Of course he was a little disappointed at first because he thought The Flower Show would be more of a "SHOW" and less a bunch of flowers. Luckily however the theme was Ireland this year and they had an Irish dancing performance which fit the bill. It diverted him briefly from dancing around the exhibition floor doing his Chinese Lion Dance - a pose from which you see here. His favorite part of the evening however was the Subaru SUV he got to sit in and pretend to drive on the show room floor. Maybe he would have preferred going to The Car Show.

Snippets and tidbits

- As I’ve said before I’m a Stay-At-Home-Mom not a Stay-At-Home-Maid and Mark does more than his fair share of chores around the house. In fact we have things pretty much divided up evenly, though I swear sometimes he cleans more than I do. Apparently I’m not the only one. I do all the cooking at our house since Mark’s not got much experience aside from canned soup and pasta and as a result Mark does almost all of the dishes. One afternoon this week after Noah and I made brownies I was rinsing out the batter bowl in the sink. Noah asked me what I was doing and when I told him I was washing out a dish he said “Like Daddy does?” I chuckled and said “Yes. Like Daddy does. But Mama does dishes sometimes too.” To which Noah responded “That funny Mama.”

- Ever since we happened upon the Chinese lion dancing in Chinatown on Sunday, it’s all Noah can talk about. We’ve watched videos on Youtube a million times, and we just keep dancing, dancing, dancing.

- At the El’s birthday party a clown gave Noah a balloon twisted into the shape of a teddy bear. It’s actually pretty remarkable. The other day Noah picked it up upside down and pointed to the end of the balloon knot which is used for the bear’s nose and asked what it was. When I told him it was the nose he said “I thought it was his penis.”

- This weekend Mark spent an hour fashioning a Play Doh universe with Noah. The game included making spaceships and space men and then introducing the space men to all sorts of earthly Play Doh delights like ice cream, banancas and dogs. On Monday morning after breakfast Noah asked to play Play Doh again, but this time he was stuck with Mama. After many failed attempts and much hemming and hawing I had to call Mark at work to ask him to instruct me in the construction of a proper spaceship. I just wasn’t doing it RIGHT.

- As I’ve mentioned before Noah has two TV times – one every morning while I shower, and one most afternoons while I prepare dinner. He typically watches Sesame Street in the morning, with the occasional change up to Zooboomafoo. In the afternoon it’s almost always Jack’s Big Music Show – and though I think the show is great, even I’m getting sick of it. For quite some time I’ve been thinking Noah would probably like Mr. Rogers, but curiously there aren’t any episodes on On Demand, and aside from things I DVR that is the only way we watch TV. So last week I started recording Mr. Rogers, and Noah adores it. I mean how could he not – there is a trolley. But it really is right up his alley since it’s real people and puppets – and I love all the real world knowledge stuff about people in the neighborhood, jobs, feelings and whatnot. GOD does it bring back memories.

- Art class continues to be a big hit. This week they worked with curvy lines. The coolest of these projects had the kids painting with marbles. We put a sheet of paper in these plastic bins, and then the kids were given a paper plate of paint on which they could roll marbles and then put them on the paper and roll them around. Noah took it to another level when he poured the entire plate of paint directly into the plastic bin – I couldn’t stop laughing. And though the paper was soaking wet with paint, and may have never dried properly, by the end the design looked incredibly cool. He’s a visionary.

- On Monday night we went to Target to pick up a few things, which of course turned into a few million things. When we were leaving the store and the automatic door opened we were greeted by a rather hostile wind. It took my 8 pack of papertowels and threw them off the cart. And Noah, who HATES wind, started screaming bloody murder and crying, since obviously we were all going to die. I hustled him into the car quickly and then went to collecting all our stuff up. While I was stepping away from the car Noah cried out desperately “Mama! Get the paper towels!”

- Noah continues to be a very musical boy. He’s always singing, sometimes real songs and also just singing his words and making stuff up. We’ve been spending a great deal of time recently listening to the Big Band & Swing channel on Music Choice – it’s really fun upbeat listening for us both. And Noah has become familiar with a few of the bigger hits – most notably “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” He likes it so much I had Mark download a version by Glenn Miller. Every once in awhile I’ll catch him singing “Til I come marching home.” My other favorite little song tidbit that keeps popping up is courtesy of his Dad. Noah was playing with his plastic dinosaurs on a plastic illustrated backdrop to which he referred to as the jungle. Which of course led Mark to sing a bit of “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses – and now quite often I catch Noah singing about being in the jungle, very much in keeping with Axl.

- As the weeks go by Noah gets more interested and invested in the idea of the baby in Mama’s belly. Since I recently explained to him that the baby eats what Mama eats, he will occasionally hand me something like a grape and say “The baby wants a grape, Mama.” And I nearly cried last night when he was talking to the baby and in addition to his normal “Nice to meet you baby. I love you. When are you coming out?” he added “Be safe for me!”

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What? Me?

So I’ve been kind up until now and haven’t mentioned the headaches. The migraines. The ones I’m getting almost every day – and even when I don’t have a full blown one I still have a knot of pressure behind my right eye that feels like someone deposited some buckshot in there. Luckily I’m not the vomiting migraine sort. Just the blinding blurry vision, splitting pain and sensitivity to light sort. So not SO bad. Sources have been consulted and yes, these are a pregnancy symptom though I did not experience them last time. Fun. However I can try to avoid common trigger foods that may or may not be contributing to my headaches – peanut butter, dairy, yeast, beans, bananas, avocados, and chocolate. Um… right. Oh and today I overextended myself and hurt my pelvis muscles, so severely at first that I cried because I was worried it was going to cause a serious problem. I’m way better now, but that was scary. Need to knock that off. This pregnancy as a whole seems more difficult than the last, which aside from being voraciously hungry and having some mood swings was pretty pleasant. But maybe I’m just about to turn a corner.

As you know I have an advanced degree in worry. Last time I worried about being inexperienced at caring for a baby, being ill suited for it, going batty being at home and being apt to forget I had a baby and leave it in public places and in harms way. Luckily those fears are resolved, mostly. Now I can concentrate on other things like how hard it would be to raise a girl in our over-sexed society, how we’re poisoning our children with plastics, how I’m going to make these two the bestest and most closest siblings ever, how to make them not hate me and how I’m ever going to balance the needs of two children and ever get any sleep EVER. So ain’t no big thang.

Despite all the time I’ve needed to ferret out for the headaches and the worrying, we’ve actually had a really pleasant weekend. We had the in-laws and Janette, Perry and Jules over for take-out Indian food on Friday night. Yesterday we took a jaunt over to West Philly to visit with the family Juliloquy for a short playdate, had a frolic at Liberty Lands playground before nap and then had Grandma come by to watch Noah for an hour and treat us to dinner at Isla Ibiza. Today we were whisked downtown by the El on it’s 100th birthday – where we happened upon some Chinese lion dancing in Chinatown and then hung at the Septa celebration for the El’s big day. After a sparse, long and sad February – March is more than welcome respite.