Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Ten Current Commandments

Dear Ian,

Little boy. These are the current standing ground rules in this house, and as long as you live under my roof... blah, blah, blah, I know. But here they are anyway:

1. Thou shalt not pull the toilet paper off the roll. I'm not really sure when you discovered that you could unravel foot after foot of Charmin, but here we are.
2. Thou shalt not chew on shoelaces. EWW Son! I know where those have been! Gross! And while we're on that vein, please cease trying to eat my flip flops. Also Ewww!!
3. Remember that Daddy's lap top is sacred and keep it holy. I know how much you want to be like him, but please remember that he is writing code for international users, and your gibberish typing doesn't really help him out.
4. Thou shalt not pull on the poor dog's ears. He's old. You're young. The two of you really don't have much to talk about, and he's not wild about your method of communication as it is.
5. Honor your mother's wake-up time. As of late, it's been awfully early and tends to make mommy a little grumpy.
6. Thou shalt not play with outlets. They are all covered, yet you are determined. Please, son. Yes we are Southern, but we don't want you deep fried.
7. Thou shalt not pull hair. Mommy's hair, Daddy's chest or leg hair, the hair on other babies... If it's hairy, leave it alone, please.
8. Thou shalt not pull the moss out of the base of our fake ficus tree. It makes an unholy mess, and contrary to what you may think, it does NOT taste good.
9. Thou shalt not blow raspberries with a mouth-full of blueberries. What a mess it makes, and when I don't get it all cleaned off of myself and then go out in public, people think I have escaped from an insane asylum. Or haven't learned to feed myself...
10. Thou shalt not, quite literally, pull the rug out from under Mommy's feet while I cook dinner. Just today you moved the rug that is usually in front of the stove, and I caught the edge of it and nearly slipped and fell. You thought my shriek was quite funny and sat there giggling while I tried to get my heart-rate back to normal. Please try not to kill me too often. I don't know if my poor heart can take it.

Sigh. All of that sounds like you have nothing fun to do while we are at home. Thankfully, we do have a ton of fun all day, and it's just these things that push my buttons from time to time. I know you are just exploring your surroundings and testing boundaries and my resolve, and that's ok. It's your job. And my job as Mommy is to help you in that exploration in a safe and secure setting. It's a hectic job, but I love it. Just as much as I love you.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet, Quirky, Loveable You.

Dear Ian,

Yesterday was your ninth month-day, and although EVERYONE told me that it would go by fast, I can't get past the speed in which the past nine months have gone by. It almost makes my heart hurt. But then I think of all of the wonderful times and experiences to come, and I'm almost ok with it.

During the past 270 or so days, I have gotten to know a funny, happy, lovable little person. As more and more days go by and your personality emerges even more, you show me bits and pieces of the person that you will grow into. I decided to write this post now to record some of your little habits and quirks that have already become apparent, and it will be neat to look back and see how they have grown or changed as you have grown and changed.

Even as of now, you have a funny little sense of humor. You LOVE to laugh and you smile a lot. It just takes a bit of effort to do these things. To you, things are only funny once during a time period. For example, if we blow raspberries on your belly, you will laugh at if for the first couple of times, but then you're done. It's not funny anymore, and you will refuse to laugh! This cracks me and your Daddy up! Oh, it will be funny again tomorrow, or maybe even in a couple of hours, but once you're done, you're done.

You also like to have "Ian Time." Every now and then during playtime, you will sometimes get a little overwhelmed and just need to step away. At first, I didn't quite recognize your signals for this, and I ended up with a grumpy baby on my hands, but after a while, we got to understand each other. Now, you will put your hands over your eyes and make a particular (often whiny) sound, and I know that's your signal for a break. Sometimes I just sit on the couch and you do your own thing while I watch. Other times I will put you in your crib with a couple of books and you will sit a read for a few minutes. When you are ready to play again, you either climb up on my legs or call out to me. It's neat to see your independence and confidence to play alone growing. You are such a little individual, even this young, and I am proud of your ability to recognize that you need a break. I still have trouble with this skill.

One of your little quirks that I love involves your bedtime routine. Lovey, in particular. I first introduced Lovey to you when we weaned your pacifier. (That was a trying three days, but we made it!) I wanted to help you through that tough time by offering a comfort item that you could have to soothe yourself instead of a pacifier. You and Lovey hit it off right away. Now when I put you to bed, you grab Lovey, grin from ear to ear and snuggle it. Then when you start to get sleepy, you put Lovey in your mouth and chew it to bits! :) You typically only have Lovey when it's time to sleep, but I wonder how long Lovey will be with us. Sometimes I'm reminded of Linus from the Peanuts cartoon, who carried his blanket around everywhere. You and Lovey, I think, have a long future ahead of you.

You love the water, watching the Weather Channel and fish. As a matter of fact, Daddy and I are considering getting you a fish tank this weekend. You don't mind having your fingernails cut, and your favorite finger food as of now is cut up grapes. You love to play with my hair while you have a bottle, and Daddy is still your favorite person on the planet. Books thrill you, especially your Little Scholastic Colors book and Blankie, and for some reason I cannot fathom, you LOVE to play with our coasters.

Such a funny little guy you are, and I am so lucky that you are part of our family. When we first started telling people that we were pregnant, the second nugget of wisdom that people dished out, after "it goes by so fast" was "you'll forget what life was like without him." Well, actually, we do remember life before Ian; a life of sleeping until noon, randomly going places without having to pack a diaper bag or worry about nap schedules and the like. So with that part, people were wrong. What they should have said is more like, "sweet baby, since you came into our lives you have made us whole, and we can't imagine our future without you."

I love you, idiosyncrasies and all,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Your new girlfriend, Sarah

Dear Ian,

Last night you had your very first evening with a babysitter that wasn't a family member. Miss Sarah, a daughter of one of the attorneys at Grandma Davis' work, came to stay with you while I went to teach baton twirling. She is a super sweet girl, and I think the two of you really got on well together. Yes, I could have asked a Grandma to come and stay with you, and I'm sure they would have broken land speed records to get here, but I thought it was a good time for you to have exposure to other grown-ups and authority figures. Being the easy baby that you are, you didn't seemed fazed in the slightest by her arrival or my departure.

On one hand, I'm really glad that you took to this new arrangement so well. I hate to see you upset, and I'm sure it made things easier for Sarah to not have you get upset, too. But, on the other hand, I was apprehensive about leaving my baby, and I hope, in a small way, that you missed me, too. By the time I got home, Sarah was gone because Daddy had come home, and he had already put you to bed. I sure missed my night-time routine with you and those last snuggles of the day. I was a little sad, I'll be honest. But, this was good for all of us; you, Sarah, Daddy and me. I was able to go have me time and do something that I absolutely love. I just love you more, so I can't say I was completely at ease.

I am proud of myself, though. I only called once, and then I talked to Daddy a couple of times after Sarah left to get his opinion on how things went and to check up on you. I was confident in the decision to "hire" Sarah because I know her family and their back-ground, and because she came over to play and had a sort of interview before your stay with her. I think she fell in love with you that afternoon. However, you usually charm most people you meet, so it wasn't hard to convince her to come play with you.

So, we've done it. I've made that weird leap from being a baby-sitter to needing one, and you have won the heart of yet another person. She's going to come again tomorrow, as I have one more day of twirling camp to teach. Most likely, if I start teaching regular classes, she will be your consistent baby-sitter for that day. Don't worry, though; we'll reassure the Grandmas that they always get first dibs.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Family Traditions

Dear Ian,
Happy Belated 4th of July! As usual for our family, we spent the holiday at the cabin at Lake Seminole. And as usual, we ate too much, stayed up too late, and goofed off the entire time. We did all of the same things we do pretty much every year, and despite that repetitiveness, we still had just as much fun as usual. We played midnight Monopoly, ate S'mores, rode in the boat and sat on the water to watch the fireworks, and played Putt Putt in the park. It even rained on us again. The weekend got me thinking of all of the neat, funny and sometimes off-the-wall family traditions we have for holidays.

For New Year's Eve, we throw a great party for our friends and family. Typically, we turn on the pool heater to 104 degrees, and people come and eat and swim and count down the approach of the new year. There's tons of people in and out of the house all night, an amazing amount of food and drink, and it usually lasts until about 2am. We even managed to throw one of our New Year's Bashes the year you were born. You were just two months old, but somehow we pulled it of, and you were a trooper through all of it.

Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day are smaller holidays as far as our celebrations go, but we still have some fun with them. For Valentine's Day, I make a heart-shaped meatloaf. Daddy and I sometimes go out on a date, but I still make our meatloaf. I also have absolved Daddy from ever buying me roses on Valentine's Day after I bought them for him one year and realized just how expensive they were. Whoa! Unfortunately small son, you will most likely have to buy roses for your Valentine when you are older, but hopefully she will come to the same realization as I did. Back to holidays. St. Patrick's Day for us is celebrated with wearing green, of course, but I also make scalloped potatoes and ham for dinner this night.

As I write this, I realize how much a part food plays in our holiday celebrations! Oh well... back to our point. Easter is celebrated by church, an egg hunt and of course, food. Our meal of choice for this holiday is your Great-Grandpa Colombrito's leg of lamb. Yum. It's one of my favorites. The egg hunts I remember growing up were so much fun. We would be at Grandma and Grandpa Colombrito's and they would hide plastic eggs all over the yard. The "silent eggs" were the most desired, as they usually had dollar bills in them :) You had a couple of these eggs in your first egg hunt. We eat our lamb and then go and visit your Grandmas and Grandpas. This past year, Grandma and Grandpa Davis celebrated with us, and then we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Brooks.

We've already discussed the 4th of July holiday, so on to Halloween. We don't really have much of a family tradition for this, but we do put up decorations, dress up and trick or treat. When I was growing up, we didn't have neighbors, so we never got trick-or-treaters. Our first Halloween after getting married was a blast for me; I got to pass out candy to the kiddies, and now I am SO looking forward to taking you around our neighborhood to trick or treat. We have a great neighborhood for it.

Thanksgiving, of course, revolves around food again. It's a typical Thanksgiving in that we have turkey, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole, cranberries and stuffing. Holy cow this post is making me hungry. And getting long. Thankfully, just one holiday to go. Sometimes we go to each set of your grandparents for Thanksgiving. Sometimes they come to us. Either way, we eat WAY too much. I also LOVE to watch the Macy's Parade and football.

Last but not least is Christmas, and this is the holiday that we have the most number of traditions. Five days before Christmas, we start the movies. First is Lupin the Third and the Castle of Cagliostro. It's an anime film that your Daddy and I LOVE! Around now I also start baking your Great-Grandma Davis' famous cookie recipe. I make about 700 cookies. It's a job, but I love it. Day 4 before Christmas is National Lampoon's Christmas vacation and the gift wrapping marathon. Day 3 is Frosty the Snowman and driving around looking at Christmas lights. Day 2 is How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Grandma Davis' famous meatball subs. Christmas Eve, we go to Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house for their annual Christmas Eve get-together. Here's where your Daddy and Uncle Ryan play Christmas carol duets on the piano. It's funny :) And they sound great. We also watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and drive around looking at Christmas lights. Finally, it's Christmas Day. We get up and MAKE THE BED!! Presents cannot and will not be opened before the beds are made. This way, you have some place to put your gifts after they are unwrapped. Actually, I think Grandma and Grandpa Davis made us do this to get a couple more minutes of sleep. Until we started getting up and making our beds at 5am. Anyway. After opening presents, we eat baked ziti and then go visiting family.

Whew. All written out, we do a lot of great stuff to make our holiday's something special. I hope I didn't leave anything out, and I cant wait to see how our holiday family traditions adapt and grow as you grow up. I hope that they help you form lasting memories of special times spent with your families, and I hope that you can pass them on to your family.