Saturday, June 30, 2012

My trip to Chicago

Since Johnny was born, I haven't been on a vacation. Yes, I've been here and there to visit family, but let's face it, since the kids are there, they were more like "business trips" than vacations. The longest I have been away from Johnny is about 30 hours when my in-laws took care of him for a weekend so John and I could prepare his "big boy" room. I have been away from Hank for 8 consecutive hours in his one year of life. And he stayed with John the whole time and it most certainly wasn't overnight. I have always been a phone call away from my boys should anything happen or if I just needed to see them.

Last weekend of my best girlfriends from high school got married... and I wasn't about to let any offspring keep me from being in Chicago for her wedding. I definitely agonized over how long I was going to be gone, since I wanted to go a little early to actually hang out with her but I wasn't crazy about leaving my kids for so long. In the end, John stepped up and said I should just go. He has been on many trips in the last few years and he insisted I should go on this one. So, I purchased an airline ticket that left San Diego at 6PM on Thursday and returned me home on Sunday at 10:30am.

That Thursday was such a long day. I was having horrible anxiety attacks whenever I thought about leaving my babies. I'm talking, nausea, stomach pains, the shakes - the works - new for me since I'm not usually anxious enough to feel physically ill. I kept thinking that if I really needed to, I could take Hank with me since he would be a lap child on the plane and didn't need a ticket... but that would effectively ruin any chance I had of enjoying every minute of my trip. Finally, it was time to go. I kissed Johnny goodbye (Hank was napping) and walked out the door for three days on my own with minimal tears.

It was a long time, but it went by ridiculously fast.

The best things about being on a vacation for me:
- I got to shower AND brush my teeth every. single. day.
- I didn't wake up in the middle of the night to a screaming toddler.
- I didn't have to prepare food for 13 hours straight.
- I could leave out whatever I wanted wherever I wanted. For instance, my iPhone? I left it on a low nightstand more than once. And guess what? It was there when I went to get it! Incredible.
- I got to sit for two uninterrupted hours while sipping a coffee, reading a book and people-watching with no one to worry about but me.
- I got to go to the bathroom BY MYSELF!!!

And I had a BLAST. I got to hang out with my girlfriend, whom I hadn't seen since I got married (!) and meet her friends and her fiance, as well as catch up with her family, whom I hadn't seen in a decade. The whole day and the wedding itself was so much fun since I got to spend the entire time with another good friend from high school. We navigated the public transit system of Chicago all by ourselves and then drank entirely too much wine at the reception.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I mean, my friend did end up getting married and that was the whole point, so I consider it a win. 

Congratulations, Mo!!! You were beautiful and your wedding was beautiful and your people were beautiful.
P.S. I did get some pretty great shots, but I don't want to publish them here for the world to see. This one is on facebook, so I figured it was safe. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And an old video of Johnny

I don't take a lot of video of Johnny... well, I do, but on my fancy camcorder and I am HORRIBLE at uploading those. Mostly because my poor old laptop doesn't have the storage capacity for all of those videos. Plus it takes FOREVER to process them.

But that's neither here nor there. Here's a really hilarious video of Johnny that I posted on facebook a month ago that I figured I'd share here in case you don't follow me on facebook.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have this horrible habit of taking cute videos and pictures with the intent to throw them up here and blog about them and then COMPLETELY forgetting about them. *sigh* I guess that's how I roll. I'm not the most organized person, nor do I have the best memory, so stuff like this gets shunted to the side.

Anyway. So I took these videos about a month ago, so Hank was 11 months. Better late than never. Or something.

Cute, right?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hank's 12 month doctor's visit

The one-year well child visit was pretty uneventful for Hank. Oh, except for the THREE shots he had to get. Other than that, uneventful. He's still a big guy, obviously, and he's developing normally. His right ear (that one that has had problems) is still a little clogged with fluid, but he seems to hear fine out of it. I still have to make another hearing appointment for him... *sigh* I just don't want to do it. Especially now that he's one year old and not as easy to put asleep in the ring sling.

Anyway. Here are the stats:
Height: 32.8 inches - 99th percentile (!)
Weight: 24lb 4 oz - 71st percentile

No wonder people keep thinking Hank is so much older than he is - he's ridiculously tall!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Hank

You are now one whole year old. As Johnny says, "Hank now one! Not zero." No, my little guy, you're not "zero" anymore.

This first year with you has been an important one, not just because you have blossomed from a (not-so) teeny tiny newborn into a full-blown walking child, but also because I feel like I have finally blossomed as a mother.

You have taught me to let go of all of the things I think I need to do and just sit and play with my boys. Yes, there are cobwebs and dust bunnies and dried splotches of food all over the house, but I've learned not to worry about it. And I'm a much happier person because of it. When I used to sit and watch you and Johnny play I would feel incredible guilt that I should be doing something more "productive" like keeping the house clean or making dinner or folding laundry. But then you started growing so fast and I felt like the ten minutes I spent cleaning were a waste of time if that meant I'd miss out on what you and Johnny were doing.

You have taught me that I actually do know what I'm doing. I figured out early on what each of your cries meant, which is something that I'm not sure I ever learned with Johnny. I learned what you needed to fall asleep and what you needed to feel comforted. I feel so in tune with you that I almost always know what it is you need at that moment. And you have rewarded all of my hard-won knowledge with great big smiles and cuddles just for me.

You have taught me that I can handle being exhausted. Yes, I still get pretty moody after a weeks' worth of night wakings, but I now know that I can keep you and your brother alive and happy even though I feel like I'm about to keel over from exhaustion. There was a time when I was sure that I needed 8 hours of sleep a night; now I know better.

You have taught me so many things, Hank, which is amazing considering you're my second child. I'm told that one of the unfortunate things about being the second-born is the lapse in memory when it comes to various personality quirks and milestones. So here are things I want to remember about you in your first year:
- The look of complete and utter admiration whenever Johnny walks in the room. In the morning, when Johnny comes downstairs for breakfast, you have a huge smile on your face and a squeal of glee just for him.
- Your "monster" noise that you make and how you laugh so hard after I do it, too. You've even learned to do it after Daddy sings, "Hey, Hey, I feel like a monster!"
- How badly you want to try all of my food. Whatever I'm eating, you want a piece of it.
- The way you point at birds, balloons, lights and fans and say, "Bubble!" so clearly. And then when you want to go outside to play with bubbles you say, "Bo bubble!"
- How you need to be bounced (well, squatted is more like it) and patted on the back in order to fall asleep for naptime or bed time.
- Your back-arching, twisting, kicking fits that you throw whenever I have to change your diaper.
- How you soothe by pulling out large handfuls of my hair.
- How well you entertain yourself with our little play kitchen and all of our toys in the playroom. I could spend hours watching you open a cabinet, take something out, show it to me and tell me something about it, and then put it in a different drawer. Over and over again.
- How you run to Daddy when he gets home from work and give him a big hug.
- How well you fit in my lap when you snuggle in to read bedtime stories.

You will change as you grow, I know this from watching Johnny, but I hope that your interest in the world never wanes, along with your desire to drop whatever you're doing and give me a hug if I ask for one. It has been a wonderful year to be your Mommy, Hank, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I love you.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 months!

I'm 2 and a half years old today!
The months thing is getting a little ridiculous, but considering the monthly updates are the only ones that actually get published from month to month, I'll have to keep doing them, right?

Anyway. So I'm back on to letters as of this month and have started spelling and reading a few words here and there. Words like "stop", "menu", "pig", "cow", "cat" and "dog" I can easily recognize and spell out with the various alphabets at my disposal. I still like numbers and certainly don't want Hank to touch any of them, but I've realized how much more potential letters have at the moment. You can put them together to form words!!!

I'm still talking up a storm and parroting the most random things. Mommy's current favorite is when I say, "Zerorez!", which is something I heard in an advertisement on the radio. I can also repeat the number parents need to call to order a train DVD, which is at the end of the alphabet train video I like to watch on YouTube. I'm still a little obsessed with watching number and letter videos on YouTube, but Mommy's okay with it because it helps me wake up in the morning. Johnny is to YouTube as Mommy is to coffee. And she gets that.

My favorite foods these days consist of blackberries, bagels, Daddy's breakfast cereal, almond butter and jelly sandwiches, grapes, quesadilla, gnocchi, and brownies. I LOVE to make brownies with Mommy.

The worst thing about this month is Hank getting into ALL of my stuff. The only way I can keep him out of my room and away from my toys is to shove him over and continue pushing him into the ground, but Mommy gets really frustrated when I do that. Oh well. It's effective so I'm going to keep doing it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Golden Hour

There is a time of day known as the "golden hour" in photography; actually, there are two times each day when the light is softer, the hue is golden and the shadows are more dramatic and yet not as intense as midday. The first golden hour is the hour right after sunrise, which is usually when I'm up with Hank and the second hour is the hour before sunset... which is when both of my kids are cranky and not in any kind of mood to be photographed.

So I've been getting some great photos of Hank right after sunrise, which kind of makes up for being awake to see the sunrise.

These are all SOOC (straight out of camera), with no editing of any kind; not even cropping. Isn't the light beautiful? Baby skin is already so smooth and pretty, but the soft sunlight just makes Hank's skin glow.

Also? It's ridiculous how happy this kid is at 5am.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The beginning of communication starts with a finger.

 As you can see, Hank has figured out how to use his index finger.
And he has figured out that it is MAGICAL!

We now have conversations:
Hank points at his sippy cup.  "Okay, honey, I'll go fill that up for you."
Hank points at the grapes on the table. "Let me cut these in half and you can have some."
Hank points at my food. "No, sweetheart, you don't want this. It is spicy and too hot for your mouth."
Hank points more emphatically and with louder squeals at my food. "I'm telling you, you're not going to like it."
Hank jabs his index finger at my food and says, "UUNNNNNNNHHHHHH!" "Fine, fine, fine. Here's some chicken enchilada with chipotle peppers and green chiles."

Needless to say, that did not end well.