Come, Mommy

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Days Like This Are Why I'm Home With My Son

Today was one of those days where everything seems to work perfectly. Liam's Gran-Gran is back in town for a couple of days, and we had a playdate with Gran-Gran, Liam's friend I, and I's mom. Liam and I made ginger-maple muffins this morning, and shortly after they were finished baking, all of our guests arrived. We stuffed the boys with muffins, and then adjourned to the back deck with a gallon of bubble solution, some bubble wands, and a large dog who likes to chase bubbles.

It was gorgeous today - sunny and warm, without a trace of humidity in the air. The dogwoods are in bloom, and the azaleas, too. The adults got to visit, the boys got to play, and the dog? He's a bit sticky with bubble solution, but he had a great time, too.

I'm (almost) always glad I'm home with Liam, but today was one of those days where I feel like the luckiest person in the world. My resume hasn't grown much, and I don't contribute much in the way of income to our family. But I still think this mom gig is a pretty good deal. After all, in what other job would I get to watch children grow, dogs play, and flowers bloom?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

From Babyhood to Boyhood

I've got an honest-to-peanuts little boy on my hands. Despite the fact that he still refers to himself as Baby, or Baby Duck, Liam is clearly all boy. He's asleep beside me, and I'm admiring the muddy knees, the dirt under the fingernails, and the...what the heck is that? Oh, it's his eye. Swollen shut.

Liam was bitten by one of those annoying horseflies - you know, the kind that if you dive underwater to escape, will wait for you to resurface. That was Sunday night. Last night his eye started swelling and swelling. Benadryl was administered. This morning, he couldn't open his eye, it was so red and angry. And itchy. I'm not one to freak out about medical issues, but his eye looked so bad that I called his pediatrician this morning. It seems to be just a bug bite, no infection, no allergic reaction, so she suggested keeping up the Benadryl for a few more days. One the way home we stopped at the park, where Liam accumulated all the dirt I'm seeing on him.

Yup, it's yet another transition in his life. He's still got a lot of baby cuddliness left in him, but he's also a whole lot little boy these days. He's got the dirt and injuries to prove it. Why oh why do children have to grow up so fast?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Because They Are Just So Cute!

No, these cuties are not our ferrets, although the cinnamon fuzzy on the left looks just like Jeremy. A kind friend sent the picture to me, and I thought I'd share the cuteness. Thank you, Linnea!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Springtime Blahs...

Is there such a thing as Spring Blahs? Because if there's not, then I'm pretty sure I've discovered a new pathology characterized by sleepiness and general irritation. I'm tired. I'm cranky. It seems to be spreading too; we're enduring Day 3 of cranky Baby Duck. By the way, Baby Duck is the toddler formerly known as Scooter Pie. He changed his name this week. Calling him Scooter Pie is now a sure path to Tantrum City.

I took him to the park yesterday, where I discovered three of the four little kids there have been struck down by this malady. After fifteen minutes, all of them were running around yelling, "No swing! No climb! Go Home!"

As further evidence of the seriousness of this situation, all of my parenting boards and many of the blogs I follow have been quiet this week. I've sent some e-mails out this week, and most of them have gone unanswered, as if the recipient never even got them. Perhaps the bitstream is blahhed out as well.

I think some levity is in order...

I found this spoof of flu vaccine policy on a parenting board several days ago, and it's fairly amusing. Thanks for the link, Lisa!

I've been hesitating to post it since I have friends who span the spectrum from "vaccinate the kids on time, every time" to "doctors and vaccine companies are out to create a permanent population of patients and make big bucks" in their views on this topic. I'm so not trying to start a ruckus here, and the way my week has been going, well, I'm just not up for that. So don't take the link seriously, just take it for what it is - a spoof.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Beau 6/3/1998 - 4/18/2006

Bobo was our fourth ferret. He was given to Kevin in the winter of 1998 when the little guy was about six months old. An old friend of ours who breeds ferrets in Pennsylvania had a jill who had given birth to an unusually small litter of two wee male kits, Beau and his brother. The brother passed away shortly after birth, leaving Bobo as a single kit. For some reason there were no takers for Beau, so the breeder gave him to us. After all, he was born on Kevin's birthday, so he seemed a perfect match.

Bobo lived up the stereoptype of male ferrets - he was a cuddly marshmallow who loved to play hard and then sit in someone's lap to be petted. As he got older, he became even cuddlier. He was mellow enough to put up with the sometimes less-than-gentle petting of a toddler. I love all my ferrets, of course, but there always been a special place in my heart for Bobo. He was such a gentle soul, and he was a wonderful friends through many years of ups and downs.

Beau developed insulinoma right before Thanksgiving this year, and amazed us by living quite happily for an extended time after the diagnosis. Sadly, Beau passed away in the wee hours this morning. His grizzled face and big brown eyes will be greatly missed.

Happy travels across the Rainbow Bridge, my fuzzy friend.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A True Mommy Moment

You'd think after almost two and a half years of mommyhood, I'd feel like a mom. But lots of times I watch Liam play, and it still amazes me that he's my kid. When I was growing up I always assumed that being a mom meant one felt all grown up and such, and lots of times I don't feel all grown up. Other times, I have moments where I really do feel like a mom. Being up at night with a sick child is one of those. Breaking up a squabble between Liam and Casey is also one of those moments. I had another this morning when Liam woke up asking for "one of those cookies Mommy made."

I made a batch of my grandma's chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies yesterday. It's a recipe Grandma made, my mom made, and now I'm making it. I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've made these cookies since Liam's been here, and he was hooked instantly. You have to understand that I am not particularly renowned for my cooking or baking skills, so to have my son specifically request something I'd baked was a Big Moment, and now I understand why women cook for two days straight when their grown sons come home to visit. There's something so essentially "mom" about feeding one's child, and it sure is sweet to see those eyes light up. I think I'll make these cookies again!

If you're interested, here's the recipe, with a caution. These are in no way healthy cookies (is there such a thing?) Grandma was a Southerner, and accordingly, there's enough shortening in here to do serious damage to one's arteries. There is a shortening out now that is made without hydrogenated oils, and I did try it this time, and yes, it worked, but if your cholesterol levels are high, stay away from these cookies...

Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream together:

1 C. shortening
3/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. white sugar

To the above, add:
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Whip it for a minute or two, and then stir in:
1 3/4 C. flour
2 C. oatmeal
2 C. chocolate chips

Roll the dough into balls about one inch across and place on oiled cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the centers are set, but still soft. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Can anyone tell me why Blogger has been telling me that I'm unauthorized to view my own blog? Because I got that message from Tuesday until tonight. Hhhhmmmm...

At any rate, here are some small snippets of conversation from this week:

1. Liam and I were walking along a sidewalk when a gust of wind blew some cherry blossoms down. As they swirled around, Liam yelled, "Look, Mommy! It's snowing! And you don't have to have your jacket on!"

2. We took Jeremy to the vet this week. (He seemed a bit under the weather, but it turns out to be a passing bug, and not anything to worry about.) As we sat in the waiting room, Liam was eyeing two dogs while pretending to fix some toy cars.

As soon as the adult conversation lagged and the room was nicely quiet, my son voiced his thoughts. "Those puppies are here to be fixed!" At that point the silence became deafening.

He continued, "Those puppies have a problem. They are sick. Dr. Maria will fix them. Yeah! She'll fix them."

I'm so glad you cleared that up, kiddo.

3. Apparently the farm trip was even more thrilling than I thought. The tractors have been a big topic of conversation, but even more thrilling was feeding the animals. The farm has some converted gumball machines that dispense a handful of corn for a dime, and the only reason we left on Monday was that I ran out of coins.

Liam's been asking to go back every day since then. We were planning on visiting the farm on Sunday since they are having an Easter party for kids. To give him an idea of the timeline, I told him that one morning this weekend the Easter Bunny would come, and that day we would go back to the farm. Then Liam piped up with, "The Easter Bunny might just hop in the back door with DIMES in his basket!"

I guess we'll hear the bunny coming this year!

Every time we hit a new milestone, I always feel like we've hit the most fun part of Liam's life, and I want him to stay this way forever. It was like that when he started talking, and when he began to play imaginatively, and so on. But this time I'm sure. The full-and-complete sentence stage is the best.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Sandman Came!

Just as I was sure I was going to lose my mind, the insomnia left as mysteriously as it appeared. At any rate, I slept from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM this morning. That's ten hours of glorious sleep. YAY for sleep!

Liam and I took a trip to a local farm today. We wandered around, visited the animals, and bought some apples. Some sights from the morning:

A pair of geese came over to honk and mooch for some corn.

Tractor! Come, Mommy! Baby must drive!

But then, the high point for my feline obsessed son - a kitty came up to help hime drive.

Another view of Liam driving.

And yet another tractor. We hit the mechanical equipment jackpot.

And finally, we met some very friendly sheep. The lens cover stuck when I took the picture, but I kind of like the effect.

It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do for one's energy level and outlook on life!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sleep Deprivation Stinks

I've been hit by a bought of insomnia. I've been getting four-five hours of sleep a night since last week sometime. I'm pretty sure my brain is oozing out of my ears. I've got things to post, but I can't make any of the posts read well. I can't even type right. Hopefully tonight will be the charm, I'll get some sleep, and rediscover my brain. Crossing fingers...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ducks in the Snow

These two dapper ducks made their way to our yard two days ago. This happens every April as the ducks from the pond down the street start looking for nesting sites.

And then they were joined by this lady. There is a spot of longish grass amidst some trees in our side yard. The ducks spent much of yesterday exploring it, and I think the idea of ducks raising a family in our yard is fun.

I was trying for a third photo here, which would have shown the ducks waddling about in this morning's snow. Alas, by the time enough snow accumulated to make a good photo, the ducks had moved on. I do hope they come back!

For those of you who, like me, were caught outside unaware during this morning's snowstorm, I just wanted you to know this snow may in fact be my fault. A couple of days ago I had an e-mail conversation with a friend in which I mentioned that I was thinking of laundering the winter coats in order to put them away for the summer. And, yup, I washed the darn things, and LOOK, it's SNOWING! Sorry, guys...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Proof Positive that TV is Dangerous for Children

Liam was sitting in the living room pretending to eat cookies like Cookie Monster. I heard him trying to teach his trains to do the same thing.

Liam (fingers scrabbling across his face): "Like this, Mr. Train, ARRGGGGHHH!"

Liam: "Go, Mr. Train. Pretend be Cookie Monster!"

Liam: "No?? Okey-dokey. Baby show Mr. Train how. Again."

I heard an "Argh" from the living room. It stopped abruptly and was replaced by, "Mommy! Baby hurt! Baby did bite self!"

It took me a minute to figure out what happened, but I finally realized Liam bit himself during an overzealous imitation of Cookie Monster. He must have gotten a finger in his mouth whilst scrabbling.

Liam has only seen Sesame Street two or three times, and already he's injured! Now, I know the media critics insist that TV promotes destructive behavior in children, but somehow, I don't think this is quite what they were worried about.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mr. Butterfly

Today at the park Liam spotted a butterfly. He was chasing the butterfly around and was quite perturbed that the insect wouldn't wait for him.

Liam: "Mr. Butterfly! Come!"

(frantic chasing)

Liam: "Mr. Butterfly! Wait! But wait! Can I hold you? Please?"

(the butterfly departs)

Liam (greatly dejected): "Mommy, come. Mr. Butterfly won't stop for Liam. Mr. Butterfly faster than friendly wooms."

I told him that one day he'd be able to hold a butterfly, and he gave the idea due consideration. "Oh, Mommy. Baby grow big. And fast. Then he can hold butterfly!"

Someday, sweetie, you will grow big and fast. In the meantime, the Friendly Worms will wait for you.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ah, Spring!

I apologize for for my blogging absence. After his initial upturn in health last week, Liam reentered the world of coughing and hacking once again. Since he had, as of mid-week, been sick for fourteen days, his pediatrician prescribed some antibiotics. This is the first time Liam's ever been on antibiotics, or any medicine beyond Motrin. Hey, Rebecca, since there's no spot for "first antibiotic prescription" in the baby book, does this qualify as a ministone?

Today he really laughed for the first time since becoming ill, and it is so nice to have my Happy Guy back. I missed you, sweetie! But next time, please don't share your germs with Daddy if at all possible, got it? (Yup, the final member of the family has succumbed to the croupy crud.)

Still, the last few days haven't been all bad. You see, Spring has sprung, and we have been outside taking advantage of the weather. My grandmother always swore there's nothing like fresh air for perking up a sick kid, and I think she was a wise woman. Liam helped me plant some Irish moss around the stepping stones in our side yard, and he discovered earthworms. The poor kid was initially freaked, but after a couple of days of asking me to pick them up, this afternoon he progressed to touching, and then handling the worms. He has declared them to be "nice, friendly wooms. Wiggly wooms." Trees are in bloom, and so are some crocuses and daffodils. Also, we had a thundershower this afternoon.

With that, I am choosing to be optimistic about health and the weather. Therefore, I am declaring winter to be officially over, along with cold and flu season. Be gone, germs! Bring on the warm weather!