The holidays in rewind

**hello**  (((((((echo)))))

I know, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated over here.  Once again, I’ve been neglectful.  Alas, it’s a new year, which basically means I’m going to reshift my priorities again and TRY AGAIN to do what’s important to me, too.
All this mothering and pleasing other people crap is weighing me down, and quite honestly, has me in a funk.  Then again, so is the whole getting dark at 4pm stuff…

My new favorite ornament

So, yes, since I left you, we were gearing up for the holidays.  Oh, I had so many stories I wanted to share…if there was only more time in the day and less tantrums to extinguish—mine, not the kid’s!

I know all of you have had your decorations and trees put away for weeks, so bear with me on sharing a few of these stories so late. It’s almost Easter and all…and I’m just now getting around to talking about Christmas. haha. Story of my life.

Christmas, my most favorite time of year, flashed before our eyes and was done just like *that.*  But what a magical Christmas it was.

At this stage in the game, actually, within the past 2 months Jack has become so imaginative and verbal.  And when I say verbal, it’s beyond the one word sentences and repitition.  He caught on to all the holiday buzz words, like Sansa (Santa), Chrimmas (Christmas) and anything resembling a Christmas Tree was, of course, a Sansa Tree.  He’d see a wreath and say, “oooh a Sansa Tree!”  And in NYC, every where we went, there was some kind of Sansa Tree or Sansa himself.  It was glorious!

This year’s trip to Macy’s was amazing.  As usual, we went the first thing in the morning in mid-December and braved the crowds.  Thankfully, we were in and out of there in less than an hour!  We enjoyed Santaland and the trains and the beautiful decorations while we waited in line.
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Seriously, the line moved so fast and efficiently this year, we almost didn’t have time to stop and gawk at the billion different things to see in Santaland.  Jack adored the massive train displays as much as Sansa himself.  Seeing Santa at the Macy’s in Herald Square is one of my most favorite family Christmas traditions, and I’m so glad we’re able to “give” Jack such fun experiences.

The rest of the days and short weeks leading up to the holidays were spent working on NKT and attending various events.  By the end, I was so braindead and Jack, poor Jack, he was bored and ready to play as always!

The day before we left for Va. for the holidays, I insisted on taking Jack to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  Because it’s easier to go during the day rather than at night, we didn’t get the full effect, but we did enjoy the massive tree and breathtaking sights around us.  The celebration on TV for the treelighting really doesn’t do it enough justice.  Christmas in the City is pretty awesome and Rockefeller Center is the epicenter of it all.

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And then the next day, we packed our bags into the car, amidst the snow piles and headed south…

I’ll have to do a photo essay thing on Christmas with the folks, so more on that crazy fun later.

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I think I tweeted something about having so many emotions about this past trip home for Christmas, which is probably an understatement.  With our families so firmly planted in Va., I realized that if Jack is ever going to have strong relationships with them, then it’s mostly on us.

It’s our choice to live here to expand our horizons, but unfortunately, the visits will be scarce.  What will that mean?  It could mean, not as many trips to Va so we can maybe focus on OUR family for a change?  The same amount of visits so we can continue spending money that we could be saving for a house, so we can move out before we kill each other in this tiny space?  Or how about just wallow in guilt because we can’t make everyone happy, including Jack?

We’ve stopped asking people to visit because well, everyone has work, life and everything else going on.  Besides, I hear it’s expensive to visit NYC and small spaces are undesirable ;)
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I couldn’t get out of Va. fast enough after I finished college, so it’s kind of ironic that our kid constantly asks to go to Yoyo’s house.  and Papa’s house.  and to see Uncle John.  All the live-long day this kid rips my heart out with this cadence of asking to go to Va.

My life’s conflict is like a shapeshifter—like, now it’s in a stranglehold by a toddler who knows just what he wants.

And right now, it’s 350 miles away at Yoyo’s house.

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Rocking out in between the tantrums

It’s kind of crazy how Christmas completely snuck up on me this year.  I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, but this year, I’m so not ready.

No, really, I just put away our light-up pumpkins yesterday.  Per usual, I’m always on the ball.

You’d think with the lack of blogging and no updates over here, I’d get some of that stuff accomplished!

So, what HAVE I been doing?  Let’s see…besides negotiating my sanity while prying a sometimes-tempermental two-year old off of the ground and catching Evil Kneivel before he leaps off of the couch HEAD FIRST, I haven’t been doing much.

Who has the time or energy to do anything after all of that?

Certainly not me.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been in a slump.  Now that we’re knee-deep with being Two, things have been tricky.

I know I’m not the first or last to endure the “Terrible Twos,” but it’s tough.  (By the way, I freaking hate the term as much as the phase itself.)

Thank goodness the good moments outnumber all the temper tantrums and mischief.  It’s really not ALL that bad, but Mondays are so much more difficult, especially since we’re still reeling from being spoiled after being in Va. for two weeks. (Thank you, Lola!!)  After being together non-stop all weekend and then going back to just the two of us, Jack acts out at times, perhaps because he misses his dad.

In reality, things COULD be worse, but man, I’m exhausted both physically and mentally.  Two is kicking my ass.

Thank goodness for quiet time with ice cream and my computer.

*little rocker wanna be

When he isn’t busy driving me to the crazy house, Jack is so much fun.  As usual, we spend our days singing, dancing and playing music.  Remember how I mentioned he was spoiled while in Va?  Well, Uncle John caved into Jack’s current obsession with guitars and gave him his Christmas present early.  Since John works in the warehouse at Guitar Center, he took advantage of his discount and got Jack a real guitar, the Laguna Little Brat.

So, yes, when we watch our shows now, we’ve added his acoustic guitar accompaniment.  It’s hysterical!

I know he’s only two, but this kid really has a penchant for music.  Yeah, he loves trains and cars, but nothing quite compares to music.  Of all of his toys, his keyboard, bongos and guitar get the most wear and tear.  As we’re learning our alphabets and numbers, I’m compelled to start teaching him music theory, too.  (So I say…)

It was funny, over Thanksgiving, a few relatives came over to mom’s house and noticed Jack rocking out on one of his guitars there. My mom was explaining Jack’s love for music, and how she remembered him dancing crazily to Tchaikovsky‘s Waltz of the Flowers on HBO’s Classical Baby before he could even crawl.  Mom went on to tell our relatives that she thinks Jack’s love for music has grown even more after attending various live shows.

I’m so excited to see his love for music flourish.  I have a lot of friends that are all into putting their kids into sports as soon as they can, but me, I’ll take the kid to as many kiddie rock shows as I possibly can.

I guess this is when I start brushing up on my piano playing and You Tube a few guitar tutorials for myself?

Of course, as soon as we grow out of the uncontrollable tantrums, provided I don’t go crazy before then :)

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Up, up and away

We have so much to give thanks for this year, but instead of naming material possessions or hell, even noteworthy accomplishments, quite simply, I’m most thankful for our family.  Our big, often dysfunctional, but full of love family.

We’re not perfect, but whose is?

This Thanksgiving reminded me of how much I appreciate each and every one of these individuals who are to blame for my neurosis and my penchant for drinking too much.  But if it wasn’t for all of them, yep, you guessed it, I wouldn’t be who I am today. More on that later…

This holiday started out like any holiday with me procrastinating to pack and clean to prepare for our trip home to Virginia.  Except this year, I pushed the envelope even further.  After reading on Twitter that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation started at 3, I announced to the masses on Facebook that I was going to head into the city with Jack.

I thought, we’re forging ahead with trying to move to the suburbs, my chances of being spontaneous and heading into the city are starting to diminish altogether.  *sob*  Since we did the balloon inflation last year, and Jack was just barely 1, I wanted him to see and experience things a bit more now that he’s a year older.

I allotted two hours at the most for commuting and viewing the balloons.  The traffic crushed that agenda.  The bus and subway were all packed, but thankfully, Jack did great with the public transit.  He’s been known to meltdown when traffic takes a bit too long…but we made it.

Once we made it all the way up to the Upper West Side—which, by the way, is a total pain in the ass to do in the drizzling rain AND insane Thanksgiving traffic—Jack was fast asleep since it was his naptime.  The crowds were bearable (for me) since it was Thanksgiving in NYC., but add a sleepy Jack and the rain?  Oh boy.

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He woke up without much fuss and set his sights on Mickey the Sailor being inflated and immediately begged to get up!  Since our subway stop dumped us off into the midst of the balloon inflation fun, we had to follow the crowd and actually started at the second half of the sights.  Jack and I walked around and even managed to get a few pictures, in between accidentally clipping a few heels with the stroller on the way.  Oops!

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Since we arrived right at the beginning of the inflation, there were a few balloons that weren’t quite bloown up yet.  There were signs that helped  us figure out what was what, and Jack even pointed out a few.  Mickey the Sailor and Hello Kitty were two personal favorites. They’re all awesome, who am I kidding!

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I really, truly wish we had more time to see all of the balloons being inflated, but unfortunately, with the crowds and holiday traffic AND our plans to head to Va after Jeff got off, Jack and I only saw half of the balloons.  Still…I’m so glad we did; to be able to be spontaneous and expose the kid to so much fun stuff that I could only dream about when I was a kid, is a special thing.

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It’s Christmas time in the City (already!)

Just yesterday, we sat in a local restaurant and we listened to Jingle Bells.  Jack and I sang along, but it almost seemed so wrong, being so soon and all.  My goodness, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, right?

Too soon?  Who am I kidding?  We’ve been knee deep in Holiday excitement since August when we went behind the scenes at Radio City Music Hall.  Ever since then, we’ve had Christmas on the brain, but even much more last week with all the holiday-related events we attended.

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

IMG_2910On Tuesday, Jack and I had the opportunity to attend the Christmas Spectacular opening night.  Since we only had two tickets, when we were first invited, I toyed with the idea of just leaving Jack with his babysitter.  But then I realized that this would be Jack’s first Christmas where he’d somewhat understood what was going on, so I bit the bullet.  I took him to the show by myself.  Ok, so not totally by myself.  We sat next to my bloggy friends and their families.

We were seated pretty close to the front in some of the most unbelievable seats I’ve ever had to a show!  (Thanks, MSG!!)  We were so close to the orchestra and organist, it was like we were sitting WITH them.  UNREAL.

I thought for sure Jack would freak out, meltdown and do what his two year old self would normally do in a seated situation.  To my surprise, Jack sat still and was engaged for almost the entire show.  ALMOST.

Jack and I watched the Rockettes with the same child-like splendor and giggled at Santa’s playful scenes.  The biggest hit for Jack must have been the scene with the oversized toys dancing and that oh-so cute Ballerina Bear batting her eyelashes.

There were several parts of the show where the singers and dancers were performing right above us since the balcony seats were an extension of the stage.  It truly was an amazing experience, and one that I’m so grateful for.

Christmas SpectacularOrganist at the Christmas Spectacular

So, the whole night didn’t go smoothly.  When I said ALMOST, it’s like a switch went off right at the hour and a half mark, Jack got restless and bored.  He wasn’t as interested in the softer, more dramatic scenes and he made sure all the seats around him knew that.  We got up and walked to the back so we didn’t disturb anyone, but as soon as we got there, Santa was flying and there was all kinds of really great music.  At that point Jack wanted to go back to our seats…of course he did.

All in all, it was an amazing night, and one that I hope we can make a family tradition.  The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is a show that’s perfectly suited for every family member, music lover and Santa and Rockettes fan alike.

We’re so ready for Christmas, but first, bring on the turkey!!

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Thank you to MSG for giving us an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful night out with the Rockettes.

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Calm before the storm and on the move

This morning, most of our friends and family back home are cleaning up after the big November Nor’easter. Even though we’re 350 miles away, we’re cleaning up after our own storm. I know, it’s not the same, but it’s been a crazy week for everyone!
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Our weather report is saying that we’re going to get hit with the Nor’easter this weekend, and if Accuweather is correct, I’ve only got a few minutes to write this post so I can hopefully beat the storm and go walk to do a couple of loads of laundry and grab some essentials at the grocery store.

So, yes, things have been insane around here. I’ve been attending event after event, and by the time I get home, I’m so exhausted from all the stimulation that I hardly have enough energy to do the dishes or cook dinner. Everyone does this sort of balance and yes, things could be worse…But damn, I’m tired.

In order for me to be able to attend these events in the city, we hired a regular babysitter whom Jack LOVES. She’s really great with him, he gets along great with her and the other little girl she watches BUT the main caveat is that she lives up in Jersey City. So, I do that walk up there by foot, even though on paper it’s 8 blocks away. It takes about half an hour each way, but on foot, with a stroller IN THE COLD RAIN, it sucks. So when I’m feeling baller, we take the $10 cab. Great childcare, even though it’s a trek, is worth it. Right?

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But aside from that whole babysitter situation, we’ve got the house hunting stuff going on. This journey is much more personal since it’s the biggest financial investment we’ve made to date. There’s so much to say about the house stuff…but I always feel that I need to tread lightly on this topic.

Let’s make this clear: I love city living. LOVE. I love being able to walk everywhere, even when I run out of babywipes at 10pm at night. I love having so much to do on any given day. I love being just minutes away and having four different public transportation options of heading into the City.

Yeah, I complain about the lack of amenities, but really, the tradeoffs make up for it tenfold. I’ll say it again, but I know many people who don’t “get” city living gasp at how we live in such a small space. EVERYONE does it here. Some people have less space, some people have more, but we’re all playing Jenga with our cars, kids’ toys, furniture and laundry baskets.

That said, when I’m told to “hang in there,” I’m like, for what? I love it here. I don’t want to leave!

I’ve GLADLY given up certain conveniences for proximity to everything. However, my personal sacrifice is much different than my husband’s. My laundry adventures aren’t as dire as the 1.5 hr parking chore that Jeff often endures every night. Yes, parking.

Sadly, we don’t have the extra $400-600/month to spare for a parking spot, so Jeff must circle around our neighborhood hundreds of times before he can find an on-street spot. And ultimately, Jeff’s parking debacle turns into a parenting debacle. All that effort spent on parking has interfered with Jeff & Jack time AND on our nighttime routine. And that, my friends, suuuucks.

So, as much as I don’t want to move, it’s clearly for the greater good. And that’s not say I wouldn’t love having a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Just right now, I love havinghouse in cedar lake all the other stuff more.  (But I’ll still complain about having to trek all that way to wash laundry!)

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I’m so sure my tune will change in time. And no, we will not be getting a damn minivan when we move to the suburbs.

And that’s where I am right now…but the actual house hunt is exciting. Last week, we checked out 9 houses in the neighborhood we ideally would like to move. On a whim, we checked out one house in a totally different neighborhood, and guess what, we liked that one the best. I won’t say we loved it, but there’s potential to love it even more. We’re at a crossroads about this house, but more than likely, we may be making an offer…

Jeff’s worked so hard on making this happen!  A huge thank you to him on that and to my parents for all of their support and encouragement.

But hello, that particular neighborhood is much more remote than we realized. There was real deer in a yard close to the house we liked. Deer!!

As we drove around that neighborhood, Jack saw this man mowing his lawn. I never realized this, but Jack has never seen someone in person mowing their lawn. I guess we’re not in VA enough in the summer to see people doing yard work, so it was hilarious for him to yell excitedly about a man mowing his lawn.

So, yes, as much as I love the city and living so close to it, I want my child to know the joy of his father yelling at him to mow the lawn on a Saturday morning. I want him to have his own space to expand his own horizons. I want him to know how wonderful it is to grow up in a great community, just like we did. But lucky Jack, he’ll (hopefully) live less than an hour away from NYC.

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And after he mows the lawn, he’ll have his momma yelling at him to get dressed so we can take the train and go to Museum Mile and enjoy adventures in the City again.

Poor kid :)

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The conversation is changing

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about motherhood in general. I mean, besides my constant complaints…

Lots of cool stuff going on today–actually all of this week. As I’ve mentioned and tweeted about frequently, as a blogger and writer, I’m often asked to attend cool events. Today’s event is a rather cool one, and one that I’ve spoken about candidly, but have treaded lightly for reasons I’ll explain below.

I have such fond memories of my whole nursing experience. Ok, so maybe I might have wanted to punish a certain snoring someone because I was exhausted from all the on-demand nursing at 3 and 4am. But overall, nursing was just one of those things that worked out for me.

And if you know me or read this blog enough to know, nothing ever quite works out the way it should…

except my whole breastfeeding experience.

Ok, I vehemently take that back.

I might have pumped in a storage closet/defunct kitchenette for almost a year.

photo credit:  Roboto_san

photo credit: Roboto_san

Yeah…everything went smoothly for me except that.

As a full time work outside of the home mama, where I pumped twice a day was a small detail, right?

WRONG.

Oh so wrong.

Until now, I’ve never felt that I was one to preach to the masses about breastfeeding. Quite honestly, I know it may even make some of you, my readers, my family, my friends uncomfortable. I know this.

But that’s about to change.

Today, I was invited to attend the Bravado Breastfeeding Launch Event, which is geared to be an intimate event in NYC celebrating the launch of BBIC, the information arm of Bravado Designs. The event is described as being a roundtable filled with data and commentary where the BBIC will share their research and findings based on 17 years of expertise and as told by 80,000 moms.

As a  first time mom who read books, upon books about motherhood and how to be a “great” mom, I truly didn’t know nearly enough about breastfeeding. I have often referred to Kellymom, but obviously there’s so much more to know about the topic, which is why I’m so honored to have been invited to such a groundbreaking event.

From this event, I hope to share some new-found knowledge about breastfeeding on this blog, and perhaps, in print somewhere.

Mamas, no one should ever have to pump in a supply closet, dirty restroom or anywhere else that’s unsanitary. EVAH.

Stay tuned to find out what I leared at the BBIC launch event or better yet, follow me on Twitter or along on the webcast!

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Ooooh Scarrrry!

“Oooh scarrrry, mama!” and “punkins!” were just some of the fun phrases and words Jack loved to yell as we walked down the Halloween-decorated streets of Hoboken. Almost every brownstone on every block had a “punkin” or ghost or scary creature, perhaps influenced by the enthusiastic kids that live there.
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We, of course, don’t own our building so we don’t decorate the outside. But I tell ya, we’ve enjoyed the Halloween fun all around us. This past Saturday was no exception!

I was so excited that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, particularly because I knew Jeff would be able to participate in all the festivities. On a normal day, he doesn’t get home until 8, or thereafter. So, a full day of parades, costumes and trick or treating was a perfect way to enjoy Halloween.

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At only 2 years old, our kid has not only begun flaunting his hysterical little (or should I say very big) personality! But beyond that, he has become so opinionated as well. He has has favorite shows, toys and books, but only a few of which that I can totally endorse. Most shows are annoying to me, given he loves the music/dancing aspects the best. But Yo Gabba Gabba, hands down, is a show that the 3 of us have grown to love.

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We bought the soundtrack last spring from iTunes and practically have it on repeat for all of our drives to Va.–it’s that awesome. No, really, it is. The Roots, Ting Tings and Biz Markie have a new found appreciation from me.

It was no question really what Jack was going to be for Halloween. When we first got some catalogs that had costumes, I let him flip through them. He’d name the animals, but just didn’t seem interest. But when I found some YGG costumes online, it was love…

And so, our boy was Plex the Magic Robot from YGG for Halloween. As much as I would’ve loved to make his costume myself, a homemade costume of a robot is a bit too complex for a toddler. I’m sooo glad we opted to buy his costume. It’s been such a hit!

Since Halloween fell on Saturday, I wanted to do a little something for Jeff and me. People go ALL OUT around here, but knowing how much Jeff hates Halloween, I knew I could only coerce him to do so much. So, I made some sweatshirts to look like other characters from YGG. I was Foofa, the pink blob or whatever she is and Jeff was Muno, the one-eyed monster.

We all suited up on Saturday morning and hit the streets to line up for the parade. It’s always so much fun to see the whole town—parents, grandparents, kids—to get so excited about costumes and dressing up. We saw so many fun costumes, including a few DJ Lances, more Foofas and a Plex or two.
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Jack rode in his tricycle and loved laughing and giggling at all the cool kiddie costumes we saw along the way. He absolutely loved seeing the dogs dressed up in costumes as well. Oh, it was just so much fun! I personally think all towns should have Halloween parades!
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The parade ended at the baseball field where there was a costume contest. Jack had no interest in the costume contest (which was so out of our league) but he did feel the need to run across the field that was blocked off. Oy!

We didn’t stay for the costume contest and so, we went to Washington St. (the main drag) to trick or treat at all the store fronts with all the other kids. Wow! It was the most crowded I’ve seen in a long time. I’m assuming people from neighboring towns came down to enjoy the festivities as well. We hit a few blocks of stores and then decided it was nappy nap time and headed home.

Once we were all refreshed from our naps, it was time for round 2! After the sun went down, we hit a few neighboring streets of private brownstone homes (read: the awesome houses). These streets, just a few blocks away from us, go all out and hand out candy to all the kids. It’s always fun to see the older couples and young professionals hand out candy, and to interact with our neighbors in general.

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I was most surprised when a few houses handed out whole candy bars to the kids. Full size Nestle bars…to hundreds of kids! It’s all in good fun, but I was so amazed! Jack did a wonderful job and held his bag himself, and even said “Treeeeaat!” a few times. Guess he couldn’t be bothered with the “Trick” part.

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He loved going house to house, admiring all the pumpkins and scarrrrry decorations. Though, if there was a scary person all dressed up, oh no, all bets were off. He was brave for the most part and would laugh after he realized the costumes were fake, but that was after daddy would have to pick him up :) We came to one house that had a scary cat and strobe light that he wanted nothing to do with…but it was the house that had a man dressed up as Batman that did it in for him.

It was such a fun day and a perfect age for us to enjoy. I’m so going to miss the fun traditions we’ve made here, but truly hope that whatever town we move to exceeds our fun standards. Actually, our fun standard should be the deciding factor! It would only make sense.

I’m so looking forward to the next holiday’s “punkins” and “ooh scarrrry, mama!” But for now, I’m totally enjoying Jack dressing up in his Plex costume every day…what a great investment!

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Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA

Has anyone seen that commercial with baby Stewie from the Family Guy where he’s reptitvely saying, “Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA?!!!!!?”

Well, we decided that Baby Stewie is channeling a whole lot of Jack in that commercial. And Lois is so me.

It cracks me up that Jack can barely string together sentences yet, but he’s got that repetitive kid chant-thing down.

And when he’s not driving me crazy with chanting mama or another word over and over and over and OVER, Jack is otherwise as cute as ever. His verbal skills and vocabulary continue to flourish, which is a constant reminder that I really do need to stop dropping the Fbombs.

Old habits die hard.

A few of the cutest things he says though are “Patsy” which means pizza, the way he answers “yeah” to every question you ask and especially the way he says “thankyouyourwelcome” after you give him something. haha.

Thankyouyourwelcome is THE greatest. He understands that ‘thank you’ and ‘your welcome’ go hand in hand, but he gets confused because I say them to him all the time. Though he gets “it,” I guess I never really clarified when he’s supposed to say what and when. He’s cute nonetheless.

He’s become so much more adept with our electronics. He can swipe the ipod with ease and point and touch his little games when we let him play for a few minutes at a time. When did he become such a geek like us!?

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As usual, I’ve been neglecting Babyrific. Truth is, life has been chaotic to say the least. Every week, I’ve had at least 2-3 blogger events in the City. Sometimes, I’m invited to more, but I tend to decline the events that don’t fit the scope of Nextkidthing.com or this blog. It’s been exciting to gain more and more momentum, but sadly, I’ve also become so overwhelmed at times. But regardless of how overwhelmed I get, I count my blessings for being able to fulfill my creative desires and spend as much time with Jack as possible.

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Because I go into the city quite a bit again, often times, I’ll need a babysitter. We found a lovely college student to watch Jack for a few hours at a time at our house, but her availability doesn’t always work with the times I need. Jack loves her and has even mentioned his older cousin Ashley whenever he sees this babysitter. The babysitter is right about Ashley’s age, and I think it’s so cute how much he loves his older cousin that he sees similarities between the two.

On the days where I need help in the mornings, I had to find somebody more consistent. Through one of our community message boards, I found a really nice woman who does childcare out of her home. In Hoboken, babysitters and au pairs are more commonplace than in home daycares, so I found this lady up in JC Heights, which is the town right up the hill from us. The location, though close, isn’t the most convenient since I have to walk 8-10 blocks to get there. But after Jack’s first day there today, I’m crossing my fingers and saying that it’s worth it.
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We’re still super tired from an emotional weekend of traveling and saying good bye to one of our best friend’s father. Since we all went to school together and grew up together, our longtime friends ARE a part of our family. A kind and funny man that Jeff idolized for his wry sense of humor, Mr. Bill Stead helped raise 3 wonderful daughters, and one whom Jeff and I would walk to the end of the Earth for.

The weekend made me think in depth about our friends and family and feel thankful for so much– even those things that we can’t change or control.

Even the non-stop barrage of Momma, mama, moooommmmm, Mama.

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These are the days

Yesterday morning, before opening his eyes, Jack was already clapping his hands and requesting his favorite (but my not-so-favorite) show.

The kid wasn’t even AWAKE yet, and he’s all about Twist, Shout, Kiki and Marina. What the hell?

In case you’re not familiar, this particular show showcases some of the hottest moves for preschoolers. It even has Jeff dancing and singing about some damn “Loco Legs.”

;)

You guessed it; our sick boy is back to normal. It took 4 visits to the dr., 2 antibiotic shots, LOTS of tears and lost sleep, but he’s back to normal. And by normal, I mean he’s dancing and singing, screaming and jumping, too!

It’s good to have this craziness back.

For about a week, I had to cancel plans and dump our regular schedule of visiting the park for a few hours each day. No social interaction for a week—not including the nurses, doctors and people in the doctor’s office—makes for a loooong week. I guess I had a refresher of what the long winter indoors will be like. Let’s hope we find ways to keep busy with our local friends when it gets all cold again.

**

Speaking of busy, last Friday was my one year anniversary of quitting my job. As I said on FB, what a year it’s been. One year ago, I never envisioned myself to be ___here___. Perhaps, I had totally different expectations, but I never visualized myself becoming totally immersed in social media and the blogosphere. It’s been an interesting transition, but a great one. I’ll have to devote a whole post to it later, but I love where I am. Love.

I love all the friends I’ve made, all the contacts I’ve met, all the events I’ve attended, all the cool experiences to speak of, but especially, getting to witness the little things with Jack each and every day.

Don’t get me wrong, some days with him obviously suck the life out of me, but the other days that are filled will kisses, hugs and snuggling, yeah, those are the days that justify all that doubt about me quitting my job and letting go of that chapter. Those days are the ones that make me forget about not being able to get those overpriced boots or declining that fun soiree that no longer fits in the budget. Those are the days where I want *maybe* 3 more Jacks.

These are the days that make me love this job so, so, much.

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Ear infections, figure fours and no sleep for the weary

So, we’re working on a week now…

A week of what you might ask?

A week of non-stop “mama, mama, mama, mama, mama.” A week of “no like, mama.” A week of holding my strong little boy in the Figure Four position, wrestling him down to force feed him spoonfuls of Amoxicillin. A week of being quarantined all in the name of his first ear infection.

This isn’t really a milestone, but hey, we’ve been ear infection-free for 2 years. I guess we lucked out in that department. Let’s hope we won’t have to deal with this much longer or at all in the near future!

Our poor guy has been miserable. I mean, look at that face! Quite the difference from just two weeks ago at his well visit!

Sick boy24m well baby

Ok, so, miserable doesn’t even do it justice. He’s a hot mess quite literally. There have been a few days in a row now where his temperature has been as high as 104ish and hasn’t been below 102. When all I hear and read about is the H1N1 virus, it’s hard not to be worrisome.

So, we haven’t slept much. He hasn’t moved out of my lap much either. But the last part isn’t so bad.

Except when it’s 4am.

We’ve been to the dr. WAY too much this past week, with today’s 2 hour wait/visit/debacle involving a throat culture, hysterical little boy and punctuated with an antibiotic shot to the no longer chubby thigh.

But, good news! After sleeping off some of his exhaustion (and canceling my plans to attend a Cupcake Crawl!!) my buddy, popped up from his nap and squealed with glee! No, really. He did!

He laughed a little, whined a little, laughed a little more and then still insisted on crawling onto my lap a few times. His fever isn’t as crazy as it’s been, which is good. He’s not wailing over the pain from his ears that much either. I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like we’re on the mend! Cross your fingers, everyone. I’m ready to have a healthy boy and a little social interaction besides the nurses at the dr’s office!

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