Thursday, March 31, 2011

Critical Mass

Johnny's hair is... well, blonde and stick-straight. And it has reached critical mass. It doesn't have any cute little curls in it that keep it away from his face. Instead, it grows straight down and into his eyes and so quickly! At only 15 months of age, the kid has already had three haircuts and has needed another one for a good two months.

My kid's hair looks a little like Justin Bieber's. Shameful.
If we let it go too long, it'll affect his hearing...
Now, we have tried to administer this haircut for weeks on end, but he is suddenly terrified of the Flowbee, won't let scissors near his head, and we refuse to spend another $20 on a haircut. Screw that. So today, we were stuck at home without a car since it was getting routine maintenance done and I thought, "Maybe he'll let me cut it if I put him on the chair..." Remember, he doesn't plummet off high surfaces any more. And guess what? It worked!! I mean, he didn't move too much, which would have been great for a professional, but for me... even a sleeping child would have ended up with a butchered haircut. Really, I need some major tips in the hair cutting department. I used clippers as much as he would let me (they tickle him too much) and then had to use scissors for the rest of it. He looks a little ridiculous with long patches of hair in random places on his head, but hey, at least his hair is a little shorter now!
Only some of the hair that came off his head. The rest of it is still hanging in the air because it's so fine.

Not stoked about the new 'do.
Maybe a little emo-looking with the long bangs, but he's still cute, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sign Language

I've been trying to get Johnny to sign for a good nine months of his life and he's FINALLY getting it. Okay, not really, only one sign so far. And pointing. But I don't think that counts. Anyway, I've been working with him on trying to sign "more," "milk," and "all done" for a very long time. He has picked up the "more" sign, although I'm not convinced he really knows what "more" means... whatever. I should just take it and run with it, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In other news

I listen to the radio every morning (100.7 Jack FM) to listen to my favorite show Dave, Shelley and Chainsaw. While listening yesterday I heard an advertisement for a company called "Ashley Madison" whose tag line is "Life is short. Have an affair." I thought it might have been a joke, given the morning show I listen to, so I thought nothing of it. Then I heard it again today and had to check it out. As far as I can tell, it's a real dating service that helps married people find other people with whom they can have an affair.

Nice, married people out there, real nice. Obviously they've got some business or they wouldn't have lasted this long (since 2002 according to the website). I'm not going to claim to be perfect in my marriage and everyone makes mistakes, but anyone who is frequenting this site or using its services made a mistake when they got married. Just my opinion.

Grandma's birthday

For my mom's birthday, we went down to Filippi's Pizza Grotto in downtown San Diego and had a feast of pizza and pasta. Oh, and cannolis.
Johnny was pulling on Daddy's ears, hence the funny face.
Johnny and the birthday girl!

My uncle Steve (for whom John Steven is named) and the two birthday girls.
 The Durso Family!!
John, Johnny, and I arrived early so that we could arrange to have cannolis brought to the table for dessert (already paid for, of course) as a present for my mom. Well, my Uncle Steve was paying for the meal and nearly had a heart attack when eleven cannolis arrived at the table since he had just sent Dylan to ask our waitress for some free birthday ice cream or something. The look on my uncle's face was priceless.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Freedom Garden

I've been working on trying to grow some of my own vegetables both as a hobby and because I want Johnny to learn about where food comes from when he's old enough. I figure that I need to do some practicing before Johnny's old enough to watch seeds grow. Turns out I'm not too bad at growing eggplants.

After a mere six months of growth, I finally have eggplants growing! Yay!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sitting like a big boy

Johnny has recently discovered depth perception. Well, not so much depth perception, more like the wow-I'm-really-high-up-and-it-will-hurt-if-I-fall-off perception. This means he doesn't fall off our bed anymore... not that that happened too many times... once or twice. Maybe three times. Anyway! Sometime recently, he stopped trying to dive bomb off the changing table and every other high surface he is put on. This means that I can put him on a chair to put his shoes on and I don't have to lean over and/or chase him around before wrestling him to the ground to get his shoes on. And he looks so cute, doesn't he?

P.S. Happy birthday Grandma Nancy!! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleep begets sleep

Once upon a time, I was a stay-at-home-pregnant-woman and had nothing better to do than stock up on baby supplies and read books about taking care of newborns. One of the books I read (I forget which one) talked about how with babies, it's important to get them a lot of "healthy" sleep, because unlike adults, "sleep begets sleep." Basically, the point was that with older children (and adults), keeping the day filled with activities that will tire them out means they will sleep well at night, but babies are not this way. They need lots of healthy sleep, healthy meaning good long stretches that won't be interrupted by the motions of a car or swing. The well-rested infant will sleep more because he/she is getting lots of sleep. The infant who does not get enough sleep will not be able to fall asleep easily because they will be "overtired" and thus, will not settle.

When I first read this, I shared it with John, who told me that it didn't make sense at all. I thought it made perfect sense after I had a newborn and experienced the overtired state that could also be called the fifth circle of hell (not so bad that it has to be relegated to the seventh circle). Now, I have proof of this "sleep begets sleep" thing.

Johnny slept for 17 hours on Saturday night. No joke. We put him down at 7PM and he slept until 11:30AM. He woke up a little here and there, but never cried to get up, so we didn't go get him. Now, according to most people, he wouldn't be able to go to bed that night, right? He should have been wired and tireless with a bedtime closer to 10PM than 7PM... not true. He went down like a ton of bricks at 7:30PM. And stayed asleep for the next 12.5 hours. No wakings, no midnight wimperings, nothing. Out like a light.

Last night, however, Johnny did not sleep very well. The heater in our house really dries out his nose and throat and makes him uncomfortable, so there was a lot of waking and adjusting and he woke up earlier than normal. Nap time? Way worse than usual. Kicking, screaming in agony, writhing as I tried to calm him down. I finally managed to get him to sleep, but it was an epic battle and some tears were shed. Putting him down tonight after a short nap and not sleeping well last night? The same kind of struggle.

It seems to me that some of those experts might actually know what they're talking about... even if it doesn't seem to make sense.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Since Johnny's birthday is so close to Christmas, he got an awful lot of toys all at once. So, I took a few of those toys and put them in the closet so that I could dole them out as he tired of his other toys. Last week, I brought out this one from Grandpa and Grams Mitchell and he LOVES it. It plays little songs about nutrients and vegetables and he dances to it, which is adorable. I tried to catch him dancing on this video and he does at the beginning and at the very end.

Sorry, I guess that was a little long... I need to work on video length.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2 down, one to go.

And I've reached the 28th week of pregnancy. I've finished the nausea of the first trimester, the hormonal high of the second trimester and am plummeting headfirst into the physical discomfort of the third trimester. I'm not feeling physically uncomfortable yet, which I will enjoy every minute of because I know what's waiting for me. It is nice to actually have a belly that looks pregnant instead of just fat or like a potbelly. At least, that's what I think:

I thought it'd be appropriate to take this week's belly picture in my exercise clothes since that's what I wear 60% of the day. Johnny and I go for a walk every morning and then I don't get to change until he goes down for a nap around 1pm-ish. So I do errands, go to playdates and various appointments while dressed in sweaty workout clothes. I think I might have cared about this sometime before I had a child, but now I'm just stoked that I don't smell like spoiled breastmilk. Win! Oh, wait, you mean that will be happening all over again in just three months? Damn.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Daylight Savings Time and its effect on the sleeping child

Most adults hate the "spring forward" part of DST, right? You lose that one precious hour of sleep and it throws your day off since outside it looks like it's 11AM, but it's actually noon. Since the "fall back" part of DST was AWFUL for Johnny, I had expected the spring forward to be just as miserable. I was fully prepared to adjust bedtime over the span of a week so he could get back to a normal nighttime sleeping pattern. I had readied myself to deal with a toddler who would not go down for a nap because we missed his napping window. I had prepared for war... and did not need any of the preparations I had made.

He slept for 13 hours at night from Sunday to Friday. Yeah, THIRTEEN HOURS of glorious sleep! Plus, he even took a three hour nap most days. For those who haven't done the math yet, that is 16 hours of sleep a day. I'm not expecting this to become a pattern, but it was pretty awesome to actually sleep past 6:15AM and to have a child who was ridiculously happy about life every day.

Thank you, Daylight Savings Time, you have redeemed yourself this spring. Please consider staying this way and just bypassing the "fall back" portion of the cycle.

P.S. As I write this, Johnny is happily hanging out in his crib talking to himself. Yes, it is 9:36AM and he woke up fifteen minutes ago and has not made any fuss. WHO IS THIS KID?!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Zoo trip with Daddy

Daddy, Mommy and Johnny ventured to the zoo together for the first time last weekend and we had a blast! There's a little playground that is for kids aged 2 and up, but that didn't stop Johnny from enjoying a little time on the slide.
Things did get a little ugly, though, when Johnny was taking forever to get in position at the top of the slide and an older kid pushed him over... the kid's dad apologized, but hey, Johnny deserved it. You can't be the youngest person on the playground and keep everyone else waiting. We also hit the petting zoo, which really only contains goats, but Johnny enjoyed it anyway.
And then we walked over to the elephant exhibit, which is my favorite. By that point Johnny was over the stroller, so he was hanging out on Daddy's shoulders. Then Daddy got tired of holding him there, so we played in the dinosaur bones before we took off for the day.

Yay for weekends and zoo memberships!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Toddlerhood rules

I just put Johnny down for his afternoon nap and he actually fell asleep on me. While he curled up in "stink bug" position on my chest and stomach, I just rocked with him and thought about how far we have come in the last 15 months.

I don't think it's a secret that I'm not a baby person. Or if it is... surprise! I'm not a baby person. Do I think they are adorable? Yes. Do I love holding a freshly baked newborn? Totally. But being the mother of an infant was/is not my thing.

I started out as a mother very short on both patience and experience; I had never even held a baby before (well, I guess I held my brothers, but I was way too young to learn from that) and didn't have any close friends or relatives with children. I thought that being a teacher would help me in the patience arena and it may have, but it certainly wasn't enough to keep me sane and level-headed most of the time. The times that Johnny was fussy, I would get frustrated pretty quickly if I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then I didn't appreciate the times when he was "quiet alert" because I was bored out of my mind with a newborn who just wanted to look at colors and patterns. I'm not trying to be hard on myself for how I acted when Johnny was new, I'm just looking back on what I remember and most of what I remember is being either frustrated, tired, or bored... and guilty for feeling any of that.

Now? A complete 180. I LOVE being the mom of a toddler. Do I have to chase Johnny around a lot? Yes. Do I have to protect him from himself and then endure the ensuing tantrum? Of course. But I love it. Most of it is that I have finally gotten to know my child and figure out what he wants most of the time. Many times that means having to be the "mean mommy" and keep that glass bottle/sharp knife/dog poop away from him. I like being able to take him to the zoo or the park and have him explore new places by himself (supervised, of course). I like watching him interact with other kids and adults. I like watching his mind work when he's trying to figure something out.

Granted, it's not all warm and fuzzy all the time. When he fights a nap or when he throws a tantrum because I won't let him bring his prized mop upstairs, it gets a little rough, but now I can handle it. He's finally instilled me with lots of patience and given me many experiences to make me the mom I am now. I'm more able to go with the flow and not resent the fact that my life has been taken over by a 25-lb human. I'm not jealous of John "getting" to go to work every day and escape the house. I feel like I can (usually) fill our days with meaningful and somewhat productive activities and not just kill time until I get to go to bed. There are still days when I long for a classroom, to teach a subject that I love, and to eat lunch in peace, but I think that's part of being a stay-at-home-mom.

For the first time ever, while I rocked my sleeping toddler, I came to terms with being a full-time mom  and was actually happy about it.

10 Things for a Toddler Mom

I guess Johnny's only officially been a toddler for, what? Two months? Despite the short time frame, I already have a list of items that I find invaluable as the mother of a mobile child. They are (in order from least to most important):

10. An easy-to-lug-around diaper bag - I use a backpack. When you're carrying a screaming toddler away from the park, the last thing you want to do is juggle him and your diaper bag. My backpack stays in place on my back with little effort. LOVE.

9. Leap Frog's Scout toy - Johnny freaking loves this thing. It goes in his crib now and plays ten minutes of bedtime music when he gets ready to go to bed. If he's not quite tired enough to fall asleep or if he wakes up early in the morning, he'll sit and play with Scout until he gets sleepy and passes out. This was a gift from Grandpa and Grams Mitchell and it has been AWESOME.

8. Super Baby Foods book - This book became my bible when Johnny started on solids. It was great because it had a list of foods to try at each month of age (should be approved by your pediatrician, of course), an index of how to cook various foods, snack and recipe ideas. Now that Johnny's getting a little picky about foods, I can just open up this book, find a recipe to try and see how it goes. Everything in here is natural and pretty easy to make and I could not live without it.

7. Vita-Mix blender - I use it twice a day. That's how much I enjoy it. Seriously, getting Johnny his necessary servings of fruits and veggies has been made so much easier by this fabulous invention.

6. Munchkin snack catchers - Johnny figured out how to use his before he was one year old and it made traveling in the car and walking around the grocery store so much easier.

5. A car seat with cup holders - This is not something I was looking for in a car seat until my mom pointed one out at Babies R' Us and mentioned that it would be great for a toddler. At the time I didn't understand the value of cup holders since I had a 7-month-old who couldn't hold much in one hand or the other. Now, however, I find them exceedingly convenient. Sippy cups, snack holders, toys, etc all go in the cup holders and they turn a trip to the grocery store into a delightful 10 minutes of solace since Johnny has something to do.

4. Magnetic tot locks - After Johnny figured out our original locking mechanisms, we had to find an alternative for the cupboards in our bathroom. We keep things like medicine, mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, and nail polish in there and have no (convenient) way to store these things out of Johnny's reach. Enter the Tot Lock by Safety 1st. Now, no one can get into our bathroom cabinets unless you have the magnetic Tot Lock key in your possession. Granted, they were a little difficult to install, but totally worth it.

3. Playtex sippy cups with straws - When we started the whole sippy cup thing, Johnny could not get the hang of the ones with the spouts. I kept having to tip them up for him so that the liquid would flow into the spout and he could suck it out. Plus, he would get frustrated because the flow was really slow through the spout. These ones with the straw AND the handles? Are perfect. Except when he turns them upside down and shakes them to empty the contents on the floor. But that's not the sippy cup's fault.

2. Ziploc storage containers - I have a zillion of the small cup-sized ones because they are *perfect* for packing a toddler-sized serving of a snack. Plus, since they are so small, several of them can fit easily into my backpack (I mentioned that Johnny's getting a little picky, right?) and take up very little room in my pantry/refrigerator.  

1. Baby gates - And I mean the kind with a gate in the barrier. We have three (one at the top of the stairs, one at the bottom of the stairs, and one between the kitchen and the formal dining room) and I go through them a million times a day. If I had to step over each one (especially since I'm pregnant) I think I would have broken my neck by now.

Just the things I get a lot of use out of on a daily basis... even though I've only had a walking child for a few months.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Break

Aunt Julie came to San Diego for her spring break and got to spend a little time with Johnny while she was here. Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of pictures even though there were many opportunities... I'm such a bad photographer. However, I got some really adorable ones of them reading and playing peek-a-boo through the sliding glass door. We miss you Auntie Julie!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New pediatrician

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to finally look for a new pediatrician. I'm not particularly in love with the one we've been taking Johnny to and I really don't want to deal with her diagnosing my newborn so it's time to do some shopping. I started the process by taking Johnny to a new doctor yesterday and while I liked him and his nurse, I think we'll still do some more looking around before making a selection. In the meantime, here are Johnny's stats:

Weight: 24lbs 8oz. ~50th percentile
Height: 32.5 in. ~ 90th percentile
Head circumference: 19in. ~80th percentile

The height and head circumference are estimates because Johnny is a REALLY squirmy guy and tough to measure with a measuring tape.

The doctor says that he's looking really healthy and seems to be where he should be developmentally. Since there were no problems, Johnny won't need another well child visit until he's TWO YEARS OLD! It's hard to imagine that he will ever be that old... but I suppose it will go quickly when there's another child in the mix.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ears, Nose and Mouth

For some reason, Johnny picked up the location of ears pretty quickly and with very little coaching. The nose and mouth, however, have required a little more work. He still has issues with the exact location of his nose, but we're getting there.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just playing

I thought this series of pictures was too cute not to post.
This is what he does when he sees the camera and it's within touching distance. Well, I guess he always tried to grab it, but now he's mobile so it's easier for him to put fingerprints on the lens.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rockin' Pajamas

One of the things that happens when you receive gifts of clothing from people is that you look at it and say, "How cute!" and then realize that your kid is about a year too young to fit into said clothing. So you put it in storage somewhere and then find it and think, "I totally forgot about this... I really hope it still fits!"

These pajamas were given to Johnny by his cousin (actually, first cousin once removed) for his first birthday and they were too big for him then. Last week I ran into a problem where all of Johnny's pajamas were in the wash, so I pulled these out of the drawer for "too big" clothing and what do you know? They fit perfectly! And they are uber-cute. Thank goodness I didn't have any clean pajamas for Johnny or I might have missed the window for him to wear these!
Note: Johnny is psyched about his new pjs, too, but he was just starting to get sick when these were taken so he's in a bit of a foul mood.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Johnny and Daddy

Johnny is rarely in a mood to cuddle, so when he feels like it, it's a photo op for sure! He had just gotten up from his nap was allowing me to feed him bits of gnocchi from my plate while Daddy cuddled him.

Monday, March 7, 2011


... don't send toys, only household appliances.

Johnny has a fascination with a few household appliances. The vacuum, of course, being one of them.
Others he has an affinity for are the dishwasher (no idea why), the hand-held Dirt Devil, his humidifier and the microwave. Of course he plays with plenty of his toys, but I find the most photo opportunities arising from his play with such mundane objects as vacuum cleaners. But I guess that while I find them mundane, he finds them magical. Look! You turn it on, point it at the dead bug and the floor and whoosh! It's gone! Magic!!! Perhaps I can find a way to turn his fascination to my advantage... nah, Johnny doesn't do things that he knows I think are productive.

Friday, March 4, 2011


The movie "Outbreak" could be taking place at our house. Well, cut out the monkey, Patrick Dempsey and the blood exiting from all possible orifices and then it's a little closer to our lives. Johnny and I have been sick all week long and wow, is that a misery! Being sick really does suck, especially when your little one is dealing with it, too. But being sick and pregnant and cut off from all of those awesome drugs that make life with a cold liveable? Hell. Especially whenever I open the medicine cabinet to get a new box of Kleenex and those boxes of cold & flu medicine are just laughing at me. Bitches.

Anyway! Back to our regular programming: Johnny and I have been sick and thus, cut off from the rest of the world. No playdates, no Gymboree, no walks since Mommy can't breathe, no visiting Grandma Durso since she'll be seeing newborn cousin Jack next week, no visiting anyone we like due to possible contagion... so we've been spending a lot of time at the park in the open air. Where Johnny's sneezes and coughs merely transmit viruses into the air and human-less space around him.

I was going to post a few of the pictures I've taken this week... but I don't think I will. I took lots of pictures of him this week with massive amounts of snot running down face and I decided not to publish them because they're disgusting. Yes, his mother, queen of pee, poop and puke would rather not introduce you all to Johnny's Niagara Falls of a nose. You're welcome.

In the meantime, here are some pictures I took awhile back of Johnny after he consumed massive amounts of Eggplant Parmigiana. Way cuter than snot, promise.