Archive for April, 2007

Uncharted Waters

April 29, 2007

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Me:   Finn,  this is a fish and a shark and a penguin and a dolphin and a seal.

Captain:  That’s not a dolphin.  It’s a killer whale.

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Me:  It’s not black.  It’s blue.  It’s a dolphin.

Captain:  Look at the distinctive markings.   THAT is a killer whale.

Me:  Who would put a killer whale on a kids bath scrubbie?

Captain:  Hello… the same person that would put a shark.  With teeth.

Me:  *sigh*

Captain:  This person is definitely devious.   They positioned the penguin, the only bird in the mix,  on the middle finger. 

Please help settle the debate – Dolphin or Killer Whale? 

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Fearless Friday

April 27, 2007

To usher in Fearless Friday,  I stayed out late last night.

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This is way, way past my bedtime and especially fearless since Finn would be up in a few hours for his requisite back massage and mommy aromatherapy treatment.  [I should note that was not driving while taking this photo.  This post is about being fearless not crazy]

The reason for my late night sojourn was also pretty fearless.   I went to Philly for a clandestine gathering with other mommy bloggers.   These are women that I feel like I know because I read their blogs,  yet I had never laid eyes on them before.   Weird,  right?   As I walked into the bowling alley (because all clandestine meetings should be held in a bowling alley),  I felt like I was headed to sorority rush.   Will they like me?  Will they really, really like me?

To be honest,  I was not all that fearless.   I arranged for a wingman,  my brother, to stop by in the event that the mommy bloggers turned out to be dirty old men posing as mothers.   No need for it really,  everyone was very, very cool.   While a bit akward at first,  I think we all had an “ball”.   Sorry couldn’t help myself.

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I told the ladies I wouldn’t,  but since I am fearless now,  I posted our “Burbs” team shot anyway.   That is me,  bottom left.   Going clockwise are Meg,  Kristen, and Kelly.

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Thank you to Kristen for organizing the fete complete with prizes.  And to Jo for sporting chic pants.  And to Meg for “looking just like her picture” so I knew who she was immediately and felt at home.  To Kelly for the “are you having more kids?” conversation.  To Andi at MotherTalk and Melissa for bowling shoes,  frames, food and drink.   To Georgia, the shutterbug, – I glad I wore my weave for the photo opp.   

If you want to become fearless too,  check out Arianna Huffington’s Book, Becoming Fearless.  I have not read it yet,  but fear not I will.   

Safety Dance

April 25, 2007

Were Men without Hats singing about toddlers?   

 Ssss Aaaa Ffffff Eeeee Ttttt Yyyy Dance

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance

Finn wants to go where he wants to and leave his ‘rents behind.  He wants to go where he wants to a place they will never find.    

Since he can open doors,  the world (and the pantry, bathrooms,  and steep steps to the basement)  is his oyster.  After yet another trek to Babies-r-us for safety gear,  Finn watches closely as the Captain installs the locking mechanism on our lever doors.    He is squatting on his haunches.  He loves projects and tools.   Once he realizes what is actually happening,  the diminutive George Jefferson throws a “Weezee” fit flings his hands behind his back and stomps off to test the other doors.   How could we? 

Offline

April 23, 2007

Finn and I spent a week with the grandparents.   Since my dad is a tech geek,  we’ve had access to the information superhighway since the Prodigy days.  Does anyone remember Prodigy?   The in-laws have *gasp* dial-up.  Not that there is anything wrong with dial-up.   Except there was something wrong with the dial-up and I could not get on after the first day.   I could have lugged the laptop back and forth to my parents to post, instead I just took a break.  

So what do people do when they don’t have an Internet connection?   They talk to each other.  They read the actual newspaper.  They go for walks.  They visit friends and relatives.  They play poker.   They connect with the best entertainment available – a curious toddler. 

If Finn could drive himself to PA,  I would be obsolete.   He turned on the charm and the antics big time.   Just a few highlights:

– Unsteady toddling is a thing of the past.   Now,  he simply tucks his hands behind his back and struts like George Jefferson. 

– Doors are no longer an obstacle.   Levers or nobs,  it does not matter which, they have met their match. 

– He learned about chores like feeding the dog and giving her water. 

– He operated some heavy machinery to assist in snow removal.   With toys like this,  I will never get him to use a shovel.

– On the culinary front,  Finn enjoyed asparagus and spinach for the first time, but much to my father’s delight it was prosciutto that the little boy attacked with fervor.   

– Just to prove Mommy wrong before the critics,  he slept like a champ. 

We had a great time, but I had to get him out of there before the endless grandparent chatter about being “brilliant” and “advanced” went to his head.

Food & Drink

April 17, 2007

I brought Finn to PA to visit his snowbird grandparents who are now all home from Florida.  In honor of the returning snowbirds, it snowed the better part of 10 inches yesterday.   Apparently, no one gave mother nature the memo that it is the middle of April.   Instead, she is sending a clear message that we better start using our compact fluorescent bulbs and improve fuel efficiceny of our cars.   As I looked out the window of my parents home at the whiteout,  I worried what the planet will be like when Finn is 32.   (pics of snow to come soon)

As we flipped back and forth between the weather channel and Nick Jr,  programming was interrrupted with news of the shootings in Blacksburg.  My heart lurched for those students,  somebody else’s babies, gone in a flash.  John’s cousin was in Columbine during the shootings.   He survived, but I have never asked Uncle Dennis about that day figuring that as a parent it is something he would rather forget.   As I stared at the television,  I worried what school security and my insecurity will be like when Finn heads off to school.

Then we got a call that my great Aunt Rena was taken to the hospital.  As I listened to my cousin update me,  I worried that at ninety-one our aunt may not make it through the night.  

We were three bites into our dinner when the lights went out.  As we stared across the table at one another,  I worried anew this time about organic milk going bad and needing to cuddle Finn under piles of blankets for warmth.   My parents have lived in this house since I was six months old and I can’t remember the electricity ever going out but for flickers in electrical storms.  (Difficult to charge camera battery sans electricity – hence pics of snow coming soon)

My father-in-law and four-wheel drive rescued Finn and me.   As he packed us into the car,  my worry must have been obvious  prompting my father-in-law to say, “Don’t worry.  It will all be fine.  I have a bottle of red I am hoping you will help me with.”  Like any good Irishman,  a drink solves all problems.

My folks headed to the hospital.  From her bed, my great aunt said,  “Butchie, give me a hug.  Can I fix you something to eat?”  Like any good Italian,  food solves all problems.

The Good Son

April 15, 2007

After a full week of work and snake charming,  The Captain boarded a plane for Florida at 8PM on Friday.   He landed, ate a full course meal catered by his mother in concourse B and jumped directly into the car to drive her back north.  Within 23 hours, he was back in New Jersey.   Nana told me, “I hope Finn is as good to you as John is to me.”  I hope so too,  Nana.

Snake Charmer

April 11, 2007

Finn gets mad as a snake.  Since he first came home from the hospital,  I have been saying “St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland except for one.”  If I would stop feeding him for a burp, he would writhe and thrash about.   Not much as changed.   

Now the snake has decided that he will not be going down in the crib at night.   I may think he is completely unconscious, but as soon as a lean over that rail to set him down he writhes and hisses in protest rattling in the cage.  After several rounds,  I relent and bring him to our bed.  He coils himself around me and drifts off.   I love it, but then he starts the shimmy.   He wiggles horizontal and nudges one of us to the outer limits of the king size bed.   As we cling to the edge of the mattress,  the snake is stretched out long snoring.

Since he is clearly on to the fact that he can get his mother to do his bidding, for the last few nights his father has lulled the little reptile into submission.   The snake charmer is quite proud of his skillful methods.  I am not sure what is exactly involved and I am not asking any questions.  All is well:  the snake is resting peacefully, mommy is sprung from the glider, and the Captain enjoys the quiet time especially since “you are always hoggin’ the kid.”  

No Bunny’s Business

April 10, 2007

Finn likes jelly beans.

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He likes ’em a whole lot.

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He was a pretty good boy at mass since we met the minimum requirement of handlers.   Mommy, Daddy and Nonnie took shifts as Finn sauntered around the back of St. Gregory’s.    A cracker will get you close to him, but not too close and there was absolutely no hand holding allowed.   He strutted his stuff showing off his new saddle shoes to other  heathens holding up the back of the church.  He gazed sweetly at the statue of the Blessed Mother and patted her foot.   He played a game of connect the dots at the stained glass windows.   Other than one outburst that was met with a stare from a woman in a big beaver coat in the back row, we emerged unscathed from God’s House.

We were eager to see what he thought of the Easter Bunny at brunch since he snoozed through the entire thing last year.   To this day, the Captain is afraid of the bunny.   He claims it is the big teeth that turn him off.   Nana told me that John would dive into the round clothing racks as they approached the bunny at the Globe Store.

When the Bunny finally made his rounds,  Finn was taken up with some new cars and barely glanced in his direction.   “This is the Bunny that brings the jelly beans,  Finn”  we told him.   That got his attention.   Finn will hold Daddy’s hand next year so he won’t have to be afraid.

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Rockin’ Rabbit

April 7, 2007

Last year my cousin gave Finn one of those Hallmark singing rabbits for Easter.  He was two months old and may have opened one eye to look at it briefly before falling back to sleep.    This is how he spent all of Easter Brunch.

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When I set out the Easter decorations this year,  he quickly became obessed with Rockin’ Rabbit and could not pass the bookshelf without pointing, grunting (and ultimately crying) until he could press the bunny’s foot for a play.   The bunny sings to the tune of Rockin’ Robbin and an egg between his legs pops open to reveal the backup chick for the “cheep cheep” chorus.    

After 87  plays during dinner this week,  the Captain looked at me,  “This Bunny is going to have to be relocated to the woods or go live with a nice family that needs him on a farm.”  

The Itchy Scratchy Show

April 4, 2007

Finn has hives.  It started as a dozen or so red bumps at bath time and morphed into clumps of red welts by morning.   When I changed his diaper,  I gasped in horror.    His round bespeckled belly looked so painful, yet it did not seem to bother him nearly as much as it bothered me. 

The doc’s office said to bring him right in.  The Captain was out of town with the car so I sprinted the 8 blocks to the office with Finn clutching to his stroller for dear life.    

From across the room,  the doctor said,  “Oh Yes! Nice hives” as a nude spotty Finn stood tall and grinned on the exam table.   He flirts with her everytime until she touches him then he wails.      

We reviewed his menu from the day before and determined blueberries to be the likely culprit.   He had eaten frozen blueberries before, but these were fresh.   She said, “It may not even be the blueberries at all, but the pesticides.”   Wash your fruits like mad.    We are sent away in search of Benedryl and an oatmeal soak. 

He doesn’t really scratch.  He burrows.  He puts his head down, balls his fists and rubs his ears and head.  Then sighs a pathetic little sigh.  Damn blueberries.