Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Party Time 2x

September is coming and both of my boys will have birthdays.

For ToolMan we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of his 30th birthday. Somehow I have managed to convince him to agree to let me give him a party. He brightened noticeably when I mentioned that so many people wanted to see what he is up to in the shop.

It's been a very long time (far too long) since we have given a party for anything around here, so I am truly starting at square one. Invitations, food, drink. Do we need decorations? He said no to my Cars birthday cake idea ;-) I definitely don't want it to look undecorated though, so I will have to get busy soon.

CRB's birthday will be pretty easy. As he has awoken, I will have to blog about that later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

News at 11

This week CRB is eleven months old. Before CRB, time seemed to pass so slowly, but now that is not the case. For sure now I am much more aware of where my time goes. Time is much more precious.
People often ask what CRB is doing (some even use his real name). Here’s what is happening with him (maybe I can record this in the baby book later.)
· Still no teeth. No sign of teeth either. Don’t feel sorry for him or wonder how he is surviving without them. He is able to gum whatever he chooses. How many babies do you know that have eaten fried okra, insist on having a whole Saltine, and get upset if you don’t hand them the whole banana. Mashed banana is for babies.
· He loves flap books. Some of his favorites include Peekaboo Blue, Curious George’s Neighborhood, and Spot’s First Christmas.
· He is enthralled with dogs and puppies. Tonight on our walk we got to meet 2 new ones (6 month old Westie and Scottie). Over the weekend, ToolMan’s parents took us to feed some ducks. CRB found that to be outrageous fun too.
· Currently CRB is milk intolerant and his allergist has him on a meatless diet. My little vegan loves his veggies, fruit, crushed ice, water, and Boca burgers and Boca chicken. Tonight at the restaurant CRB rejected the illegal chicken I tried to give him. Also, do not stand in between CRB and blue Gatorade. Somebody is going to get the Gatorade and my money is on CRB.
· Much to our horror, last week CRB managed to unlatch Colin’s crate. His aim was to get to the water bowl. Poor Colin. This week Colin is enjoying a respite with my parents. Mom said she has not seen him this relaxed in several months, perhaps 11 or so…
· Anything you hand CRB he examines carefully before throwing it straight up in the air to check its bounce ability.
· When cruising in his Step2 car, CRB has realized that the steering wheel does not do anything so now he likes to lean over and let his fingers drag on the ground, across the tires, or along the hubcaps. Yesterday he enjoyed dragging his motorcycle figure alongside of the car. Things got very exciting when Dad (a.k.a. ToolMan) showed CRB how the motorcycle could wind up for extra speed. The motorcycle guy has lost a lot of paint since we found him in our yard sale acquisition of the Mega Blocks castle set.
· Bath time continues to be great fun. I still remember vividly when it was no fun for anyone involved so I am relieved that this seems to be sticking.
· Tonight at the restaurant CRB hand drummed the table in time with the music playing in the restaurant. I have always been surprised at how much Classic Rock Baby enjoys music. At some point I should probably do something more formal with him, but for now we will continue playing our maracas and drum at home.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The 2.2

For the past two months with rare exceptions, every night CRB and I have taken a 2.2 mile walk to the front of our neighborhood and back. The lengthy walk calms CRB down and then he is almost always receptive to bath and bedtime.

Back in the spring our nanny was saying that her doctor wanted her to walk more. To encourage this I purchased a cheap but adequate pseudo-jogging stroller. While I was shopping ToolMan explained that the "real" and "nicer" joggers had a fixed front wheel which meant that to turn a corner one would have to lift the front stroller wheel off the ground. That did not seem like the best for our nanny so I got the cheaper, bare bones swivel wheel model.

The stroller has exceeded my expectations after ToolMan fixed the "nose gear" shimmy problem that the stroller had out of the box. The air filled tires cushion the ride for CRB. I took the snack tray off and now he has an unobstructed view. The large seating area lets him move around and check out what he sees on the walk. To keep CRB cool in our Deep South heat, I rely on frozen teething rings, or CRB's favorite, crushed ice in a Munchkin mesh sucker bag. Some nights I have to stop 5 times to fill the mesh bag with ice. The stroller came with a stroller leash (for runaway strollers I guess) which works perfectly to attach the mesh bag so that it is not dropped or thrown.

With our nightly walks we have gotten to know a larger subset of our neighbors and their pets. CRB squeals with delight, and never cries or fusses about anything on our walks. It's a time of peace that I am thrilled to get to have with my boy. CRB has even tolerated some rain, which I find a bit unbelievable so you may too, but it is true.

About 2 weeks ago, CRB realized that I was listening to music and he was not and that was an unacceptable state of affairs. For the last week or so I tried bringing ToolMan's iPod for CRB and using my own iPod myself. That did not work great or easily so I quit having the music much to my disappointment. Tonight ToolMan surprised me by pimping CRB's ride with some speakers. CRB ga-ga-ed to the music (in the right places even) and had a great time.

I enjoy spending this time with my son even though it is outrageously hot. Lately I have been considering getting a bike trailer so that we could change up the routine a bit for me. ToolMan is concerned that the trailer would make the bike feel like I was constantly going up hill. That would be a big negative from my standpoint, plus I am not sure how I can man the ice bag if I am on the bike. Finally, would I not be a bit psycho to mess with the routine that works?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Baby Carnival

Today CRB got to ride in the race car shopping cart at Lowe's and go to the McD's super PlayPlace. The shopping cart was his favorite. The first person he encountered in Lowe's said "Boy he is sure having a great time! Maybe he will drive a race car one day." ToolMan's reply "It could happen."

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My CoDriver

Sometime next week, ToolMan and I will have been married for ten (10) years. Happily!

A few weeks ago we had a discussion about the patronizing things people say to one another, especially spouse to spouse, parent to child. Though we are not perfect, we both make conscious efforts to not make those kind of comments, and that effort was the main focus of our discussion. But at one point in our conversation, I could not resist any longer.

Grinning I asked him "Do you want to know what the most patronizing thing that you have ever said to me was?"

As a man who has been married for almost ten years he appropriately answered with slight hesitation "Sure. What is it?"

"If you are going to slide the tires, make sure that you have both hands on the wheel."

This was in response to a Carlos Sainz like move I made getting on our bypass bridge back in February.

What any other spouse would have said back in February in the context of our situation:

  • What did you just do?!
  • What was that noise?
  • Stop the car!
  • The baby is in the backseat!!
  • The baby is ASLEEP in the backseat!!!
  • Are you trying to kill us?
  • That's it, I'll drive.
  • Are you practicing for a rally car driving position? Am I your co-driver?

But no, ToolMan did not question my need to do this, or even ask why I was trying to slide the car in the corner. He was just concerned about proper technique.

Recently, when I asked him why my tires make so much noise in the traffic circle or at certain intersections, he said "Most people would go slower." When I said that neither of my previous cars did this and I think I drive the same, he pointed out that "most people in your kind of car don't drive the way you do."

Should Vegas start making odds on when CRB is getting downsized to a MINI? No, that would be a waste of the odds-makers' time. How on earth could I even take him to the pool - we need to have a stroller? How could we get to Aunt Kerri's 8 miles away with all the stuff we need? What if (a HUGE, almost out of the question if, but my jury's still out) CRB gets a sibling in the next few years? Nope. No MINI. Ask again later. Much, much later.

Yesterday, coming home from a quick shopping trip south of town a crazy lady pulled sharply and suddenly into my lane. I broke hard engaging the anti-lock brakes, checked in the rearview and swerved a tad into the next lane. I asked ToolMan "How'd I do?" expecting great praise. He said, "Well, I would not have taken that other hand off the wheel to blow the horn." You know, he's right, the horn blowing was extraneous.

I can think of many times when I have been in the car with him driving and he has avoided accidents with his good judgment and quick reflexes both. In the coming week, our state is planning a zero tolerance campaign related to speeding. There will be no grace miles over or warning tickets. A few of our friends have said that maybe ToolMan might not ought to drive that week. I disagree, but I might need a new line item in the budget for "traffic tax" as he calls it.

Speaking of rally cars and safety, after much consideration, we just ordered CRB's new car seat. We plan to move him to that one around the beginning of September.

DISCLAIMER: Gratuitous speeding is not funny. I have 0 points on my license. I go exceptionally slow and I am extraordinarily careful anywhere there might possibly be pets, children or other pedestrians. When I see the police in my neighborhood, I do not have to slow down. I do not run red-lights or take an extended yellow. If the situation permits, I brake for squirrels. I try to drive with extra consideration for motorcyclists and truck drivers. I believe I dislike my SUV because of the disconnect I feel while driving it, but it is a wonderfully nice, posh car, and I am a very lucky woman in so many respects, but please give me some space to still mourn the MINI.