Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Bird's pajama drawer

I like for my drawers to be neat. I like for clothes to be put in the exact same place every time. I like to fold my underwear. I like to organize my t-shirts by color, size, and softness. I like to fold my socks into neat little tubes that you stick directly onto your foot and unfold as you put it on.

At least I used to like all these things. I've been freed a little.

I still insist on folding my t-shirts all the same way. All the towels are folded in half, in half again, and then into thirds.

Kevin has freed me from the sock and underwear compulsiveness. I now toss my socks in one drawer and my panties in another - all wadded up.

It's liberating.

This sense of freedom has not found it's way into Little Bird's room. It's the only room in the house that stays compulsively neat these days. Until the construction is finished at our home, I've resigned myself to live in a bit of a mess, but Bird's room, it stays clean.

And his clothes stay organized and neat.

At least they used to. Before Bird decided that he wanted to "help Mama."

Little Bird likes to help put away his pajamas. He doesn't just like to help, he insists upon it.

And so his pajama drawer belongs to him completely. He has even figured out that he has to put both hands in and stir them up good so that the drawer will close. It's hard for me to close that drawer with those pajamas all twisted and the tops and bottoms scattered amongst each other. But he wants to do it himself, and I want him to learn.

My way is not necessarily the right way. Little Bird is his own little person with his own little messy pajama drawer.

I couldn't be more proud.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Entitled to change my mind

On the rare occasion, I have to admit that I've been wrong. Today is one of those days. Craigslist isn't always entirely a pain in the ass.

I mean, when you score a little beauty like this for $25, how can you complain?

Friday, June 26, 2009

It makes the outfit

Little Bird spends most of his time with me. He watches me do my hair and put on make up each day. Most of his friends are little girls. However, he does love to watch the older boys in the neighborhood, and he will imitate his daddy over me at the drop of a hat.

There is something though, that can only be blamed on me, and that is Bird's love of fabulous shoes.

When we were shoe shopping at Stride Rite one day, he picked out every pink and sparkly shoe he could reach and brought it to me. We left with a very manly pair of navy blue shoes, but the boy had spoken. His heart craved shoe bling.

Yesterday, I had grabbed the camera to take a picture of a baby hawk that was sitting on the slab for our soon to be garage. On my way back to the kitchen, I had to stop and get a shot of Bird in his favorite shoe. The shoe that was declared "scrumptious" by the gay men's vocal ensemble I accompanied once. A ringing endorsement if I have ever gotten one.

I can't wait until boot season this year. I have a feeling Bird is going to rock some Fluevogs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Song Bird

When Little bird was 7 weeks old, I started taking him to Music Together classes. Some insane idea that I should be "doing something" with him. At 7 weeks old. I'm crazy, but I mean well.

Maybe though, it's not as crazy as I thought. Today, at just shy of 17 months, Little Bird serenaded us with "Trot Old Joe." It may be that the only people who appreciate this are Liz and Kristin, but that's alright.

The song goes like this:

Trot, Old Joe. Trot, Old Joe.
You ride better than any horse I know.
Trot, Old Joe. Trot, Old Joe.
You're the best horse in the country, ohhhhh
Whoooooaaaaaa, Joe.

The "Trot, old Joe." part is, "Mi-Do-Do," or a descending major third. Today, it was the last song we heard in the car on our way home from the grocery store. When we got inside, Bird started dancing around the kitchen singing, "Doo, doo doo" in the rhythm and pitch of "Trot, old Joe." He did this several times and then threw his head back and sang, "Whooooaaaaa!"

Just to show me that I wasn't making out something that wasn't there, he did it again at dinner. After he was finished eating, he started singing again. Kevin immediately recognized that Bird was singing an actual song, because it was. Of course by the end of Bird's impromptu concert, he was doing only one "Doo doo doo" before throwing his head back in an enthusiastic "Whooooaaaa!"

He has been trying to do the pitch and rhythm echo exercises at the end of certain songs on our Music Together cd's for awhile. But tonight - an actual song.

My little singer. He already knows how to play my heart strings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You have to cut that out

Yesterday, we went in for our "nurse talk" where a patient history is taken and the nurse talks to you for about an hour about the rules. Nurse Kathy was nice about Little Bird tagging along with us. She wasn't so nice when she chuckled each time she said the word, "mature." Apparently referring to my age was the funniest thing she had done in a long time.

Little Bird climbed up in my lap near the end of our talking to and asked to nurse. Nurse Kathy asked how long he had nursed, and Kevin said that it wasn't a past tense thing. I said he still does, and she raised one eyebrow at me.

She said, "When are you going to cut that out?"

"When he's ready."

Then she put her professionally medical foot down and told me that I had to stop nursing my child. The doctor would tell me, and I needed to go ahead and do it now.

I just smiled.

The thing is, I had been sitting there thinking to myself that this could be easy. Just stay here at this OB practice and have a baby the way most of America has a baby. It's what I did last time, and Bird turned out just fine. Sure, some of the doctors and nurses annoy me, and it's complete overkill, but it would be the path of least resistance and familiarity.

Then I was shaken back into reality. That nurse, with her eyebrow raised in disapproval, was a good reminder of why I'm breaking up with my doctor. Maybe not at my next appointment, but soon.

After all, I'm a "mature" mother. I'm making informed parenting and birthing decisions. I'm done having doctors roll their eyes at me while I'm in labor. I'm done having nurses raise their eyebrows at me.

It's time for a change.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Butterbean at 9 weeks

I've been working on the post about our visit to the OB today, and I'm just too tired to wrap it up for now.

For now, I give you Butterbean at 9 weeks. So much more like a little baby this time. He was dancing his little bootie off in there, shaking his little fetal fins like pom poms. It was really cute.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cherries in the Snow

This morning, I painted my toenails before we left for brunch. I usually go for purple or blue toes, so it made sense when Kevin looked down at them and said,

"Hmmm. What color is that? That's not your color."

No, it isn't. It's my daddy's color. His favorite, or at least one he asked me to wear once. So on Father's Day, every year, I make sure that I'm wearing it.

It's a rich, bright pink, and I think maybe my mom wears it too. If not the exact color, she usually chooses one very similar. It looks great on her toes.

In fact, I remember when she was in a coma and the week afterwards, I was assigned the task of massaging her feet and lower legs. She was bloated and weak and struggling just to survive at this point. Taking on my duty, I lifted the covers at the end of her bed and saw the most perfectly manicured toes. Her feet were still beautiful, and I'm fairly certain she was wearing "Cherries in the Snow," the same polish I put on this morning.

We both wear it because he likes it.

All while I was growing up, I felt like I couldn't do enough to please him. My grades were always a little too low. My clothes were never quite right. I didn't think I would ever measure up.

Funny. Now that I'm all grown up, I know that all it takes to make my daddy happy is something as simple as bright pink toenails.

If you look closely at my fourth toe on my left foot, you'll see that it is completely bruised. I did this by twisting it in between two tiles on our bathroom floor. A grout injury, if you will. And my husband says I'm not graceful. Hmph.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Bird changes his mind

We've come a long way from the first time Little Bird tasted apples. He is quite the fan now, although he chews them for awhile and then spits out what is left. Same with clementines.

Chew, chew, chew, spit. Endearing.

Bird does love his fruit though. Every afternoon after his nap, he gets a smoothie. He follows me into the kitchen and watches me load up the blender. As soon as I turn the blender on, he starts spinning in a circle and then runs back and forth the length of the kitchen, waving his arms in the air and yelling. He gets really excited over his smoothie.

Like I said, we've come a long way since the introduction of fruit to our Little Bird. Here he is last summer, having some apples.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meal planning and other rambling

Oh, my heart. Almost daily, Bird does something that astounds me. Simple things that are so normal, but that to a first-time waited-so-long mama, are amazing.

I don't think this is necessarily fascinating reading material, but it's about all I think about some days. Between that and the overcoming nausea, I've been a little silent lately.

I do think that this pregnancy is going to end up with a healthy baby come the end of January, 2010. Today marks 8 weeks, and I am quite certain that things are progressing.

We've been spending our days biding time the past couple of weeks. There is lots of mommy-on-the-couch time with Bird climbing over me to reach the books that have been placed carefully within his reach. We read a lot. We watch too much TV. We try our very best to make it to the pool or the park after nap time when I feel better. We also infringe upon our neighbor probably way too much, but she is the type of person who meets you where you are, feeling good, bad, or ugly, so it's nice. I can be talkative or silently fighting off feeling like crap.

Summer is moving slowing, I'm afraid.

Meal plans have gone out the window. I've got to get back on that. At the beginning of the year, I took my dayplanner, which I always insist on having even though I have used it less and less since I left the non-profit world, and turned it into a meal planner. (Leave now if you are already bored, because it's about to get a lot more boring)

Each page has a week's calendar on the right and the left page is half blank and half full of lines. It's a planner that came in the infamous SVMoms swag bags last year at BlogHer, a BusyBody Book. At the beginning of the month, I go to Costco and buy meat for the month. I divide it up into portions of 2 or 3 and then freeze it. After listing what all in is the freezer on the blank section next to the first week of the month, I start filling in the days with meals, checking off the contents of the freezer as I go.

There are some constants. Tuesdays are swap meal days with Cyndi. Friday nights are breakfast for dinner nights. I also always buy 2 whole chickens every month so one night we have roast chicken, then the following night we'll have chicken enchiladas or some chicken casserole. Also, buying the whole chicken ensures that we always have chicken stock in the freezer.

Using the planner means that I can also incorporate Lovely's schedule into the planning, making sure I have lunch fixings on hand for her time with us as well. Or, if Kevin has a meeting or whatever, I can put it right in the same calendar where our meals are. The blank sections give me room to jot down a new recipe to try, and the lines for each week give me a place to make my grocery list right next to what meals we are going to have.

This was a fantastic system until I started getting really woozy when thinking about food. Planning meals is very difficult when just considering food makes you want to yak.

I have got to get back to it though, because I completely scored at the North Hills Farmer's Market yesterday. Thanks to Ilina, I was able to scoop up the full share of someone who wanted out of their committment to the very booked up Double-T Farm CSA for the rest of the season. Farmer Tom was looking for a "friend of a friend" to take it over, and Ilina was just that friend I needed to convince him to sell the share to me.

This means that every Saturday, we will have a whole mess of beautiful, tasty, organic, local produce to work into our meals for the week. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. This week we have lettuce, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, leeks, vidalia onions, zucchini, and zepher squash. The carrots taste exactly like I was standing with my grandfather in his garden. We would wash off the vegetables before we even got back in the house and munch on them in the backyard. I haven't had a carrot that tasted like that in years, until yesterday.

If I don't plan ahead, I'll be sure to forget what is in the fridge and let it go to waste. That would be awful, so I'm going to get back on it for sure this week.

It looks like I've written myself into a goal. I had better quit before I make any more promises to myself in public. Wish me luck.

Be sure to go over and enter the giveaway at Triangle Mamas. As of right now, it's been up for almost 48 hours and no one has entered. That is both embarrassing for me and great for you at the same time. It's for Animal Planet's Emergency Vets for the Nintendo DS. I don't even care if you have a DS. Just enter. It will make me feel better. Mercy buckets.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm holding still, Bird is wiggling

Forgive me. I'm exhausted and nauseous and every idea I have for writing gets sucked up by mommybrain.

In order not to go an entire week without posting anything, I give you Little Bird doing the Yo Gabba Gabba song about wiggling and holding still. It makes me laugh every single time.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Goodbye isn't so bad

Yesterday and today, I said goodbye to three very important people in my life. Three students of mine have graduated. They are really an end of an era for me.

They have been in my studio for 10 years. I have watched them grow up, and they are not only my students, but my friends. One is going to music school, one to art school, and one to film school. Three very artistic and creative young people of whom I am so incredibly proud.

It was hardest saying goodbye to the artist. He and his family are moving back to Sweden. I most likely won't see him again. We had dinner with them this past weekend, and they gave Little Bird the Brio train set that belonged to their boys. Even better than the gift though was watching the two teenage boys and my one little baby boy play with the trains on the floor together. They were so sweet.

The director isn't going too far from home for now. She'll be at North Carolina School of the Arts. She could be going to the school of the arts for any of their disciplines really. She acts, sings, plays guitar, composes, is a visual artist, and isn't just dabbling in them all. She's really good at them all. Today she gave me a Muse CD/DVD as a goodbye present. I love that she gives me things that she loves.

The pianist is going into music therapy. She has been student teaching at a music school for children from low-income families for two years now. The beautiful thing is that twelve years ago, she started out as a student in that school. Her mother is amazing. They immigrated from Turkey and have built successful businesses. She has her mother's focus and an immense amount of talent to back it up. I know I'm not really saying goodbye to her. I just won't see her every week anymore.

I invest myself deeply in my students. There are a few students who I invested too much of myself in and who let me down, but for the most part, whatever I invested was returned much greater. Especially by these three.

I won't be taking on any new students for awhile. I've got things to create. Albums to record and most importantly, babies to grow.

Meet Butterbean. He's due January 26, 2010, on Little Bird's 2nd birthday. We got to meet him today. He said, "swish swish swish swish," which translates into, "I love you, Mama." At least, that's what I'm going with.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Why I didn't sell him to gypsies

Last night, we decided to skip the baby motrin for Little Bird. He has had it most nights over the past month because of his incredibly slow, torturous, horrific molars. The top ones each have one corner broken through, but seem to be stuck. Some days, Bird just puts his hand in his mouth, chomps down, climbs in my lap, and cries. It's so pathetic.

Skipping the baby motrin was a bad idea. He woke up this morning crying out big sad "MAMA's" in his crib. Usually, he wakes up babbling and playing with his heartbeat bear. I went and got him, and he didn't stop crying until we made it downstairs for his morning "nuh-nuh."

He didn't get better. He took his plate of eggs and threw it across the dining room. He screamed when I wouldn't let him hurl his grits too. He clung to my leg as I tried to clean the kitchen. I decided we needed to go somewhere, so we went upstairs to get dressed, and he proceeded to empty the top drawer of my bedside table, bang on the glass shower doors, flush the toilet, play in the trash can, and try to turn the water on in the bathtub. And he ran through that cycle about five times. Every "no" from me sent him on to the next thing in the list of stuff he knows not to do.

We finally left the house. I called my mom and asked for help. He was driving me crazy. I've started trying to use "Time Out" with him, but he's too little to sit by himself, and as soon as I get on his level and look at him in the eyes, he either puckers up for a kiss or he starts to laugh. I don't think he understands that he has done anything wrong, he's just glad I've stopped whatever I was trying to accomplish to pay attention to him.

When we got home, he was still being incorigable. I decided it was naptime, just a smidge early. He didn't disagree. I gave him the much needed baby motrin, and he slept for a couple of hours. When he woke up, he was cooing and talking sweetly again.

I was hopeful.

I brought him downstairs and fixed him some lunch. He was a hungry boy, aksing for more with his sign instead of by whining and pointing. It is so much more pleasant. Then? After I gave him more? He signed "thank you" for the first time. I hadn't even cued him for it because I was just happy he wasn't screaming anymore. He did it again the next time he got more. It was fantastic.

We played on the floor for awhile after lunch, stacking and building and then knocking it all down. We read some books and sang some songs. He was a littel angel. Just when I thought he couldn't get sweeter, snack time came.

I asked him if he wanted a smoothie, and he responded with an enthusiastic nod. He had been nursing, and when I put him down on the floor, he started wailing again. This time, though, he was easily consoled when I took his hand and started walking him into the kitchen singing made up songs about what was going into his smoothie. He danced in the kitchen while the blender sang, and after I handed him his cup, he reached up and took my hand, leading me back into the living room for a little more lap time.

That's two things. A thank you sign, and him reaching for my hand instead of the other way around. Two new things on a day that I thought was going to completely suck rocks.

I barely remember the morning now. Except for those eggs.