Thursday, August 30, 2007

Giving Up

When I like something, I REALLY like it. Food, wine, shopping, you name it. I'm sure I fall in the addictive personality category, and so does it seem does PB.

We never chose to give him a pacifier. I'm not sure whether we would have or not, but the NICU did. Since he was so premature, he didn't yet have a sucking response, and the pacifier (propped up by a teddy bear to keep it in his mouth) was supposed to help. They were the clear, greenish-blue plastic ones that most newborns get in the hospital, use for a few months and then either rid themselves of or move on to bigger pacifiers.

Not PB, he STILL uses the very same ones from the NICU. He calls them "fires" because I hate cutesy words for them like "binky" or "poppy" or whatever and always used the full word. He abbreviated it to "fires", and yes, he has yelled FIRE!!! loudly in many public places when he dropped it.

Years ago we relegated fires to only his bedroom and airplanes, so he's not one of those big kids wondering around the mall with one. But still he has it; and he REALLY likes it. (note that "it" is our supply of about 40 of them). We intended to get rid of it on his 4th bday, but then with the move(s) and all the changes, that just seemed downright mean.

So, with changes still brewing and more to come, I've started putting it in his hands, asking him when he's going to give them up, promising toys, etc. He thinks about, but then tells me how much he REALLY likes them and that he'll never give them up.

Today, he was looking through a toy catalog (he spends hours with these things) when he came upon some musical instruments he REALLY wanted (a saxophone, trumpet and clarinet). I told them he could have them if he gave up his fires.

So all day today he's been walking around say, "I'm giving up!!!" In the grocery store, at the post office, etc. I try to get him to finish his sentence to no avail. God knows what the people around us think.

I thought maybe he was really going to do it this time. Then tonight we were laying on the bed reading books, and he picked one up, "I'm giving up!" he said. I read a few more pages, and he popped it in his mouth.

"I thought you were giving up your fires?" I asked him.

His response: "I'm giving up, but not until next Friday."

Hmmm...sounds familiar.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Bowl

Last week in PB's preschool folder there was a parenting magazine. I think it was published by Scholastic, filled with fun parenting activities, articles, etc. I'm not really sure, however, as PB immediately claimed it as his magazine and proceeded to read it for hours. Seriously--he sat quietly through mass as he was immersed in it, and he never does that! He's a really good reader for a 4-year-old, but they are big adult articles, so I don't know what he's actually getting it out of it. Clearly something.

And among that something is marketing propaganda for a million things your child needs. He zeroed in on an advertisement for a Baby Einstein snack bowl that has these little covered sections for snacks, etc. He kept showing it to me telling me how much he wanted it. While probably intended for smaller children, t would actually be good for his lunch that I pack each days, so I told him sure, we'd go look for one.

We set out Friday afternoon for Target and scoured the store, but there wasn't one to be found.

He then informed me that Sofia, a GRILL (as he calls girls) from preschool, has one. "Great," I told him, "On Monday, I will figure out which one is Sofia then ask her mother where she got it." ALL weekend, he asked if it was Monday. "Let's call Sofia," he begged. "Let's drive to her house and ask her." All of which were impossible because I don't know her last name or anything about her.

So after stealthily checking in every other store in the Orlando area for one with no luck, Monday arrived. "We need to find Sofia," were the first words out of PB's mouth when he sees his teacher, Ms. Amber. Ms. Amber isn't sure she's seen such a bowl, but points out Sofia to me, who is already in the classroom. Her mother has left already, so I will have to stalk her after school. As I'm leaving I hear PB go up to Sofia and say, "we need your phone number."

Pick-up times nears, and I get there early, wanting to make sure that the mother doesn't slip away. We wait as all other children get picked up. Sofia is the last one left in the classroom. We wait some more, and then finally her frantic mother comes racing up for a late pickup.

I then ask the burning question, "Where did you get Sofia's Little Einstein bowl?"

Her answer: "We don't have a Little Einstein bowl?

Me: "Really, no bowl? What about another bowl that you send with her? A plate maybe?"

Sofia's mom: No, I've never sent anything like that.

So now I'm wondering if he just made it up? While he lives in a total imaginary world, this would be the first really big made up thing. Maybe she made it up and told him she had one? I'm just not sure.

Our search continues...

P.S. I was right about the Boot Camp fallout--I can barely move today. I did an easy 2- mile run to try and loosen things up. It's not working...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Boot Camp

For 75 minutes this morning, I ran, lifted weights, did squats, did pushups and a multitude other exercises that burned parts of my body I didn't know I had. It was all part of a Boot Camp class offered at my gym. It was a really fun and great workout, but most likely I won't be able to walk tomorrow.

I love that I'm exercising more regularly and more building the intensity. And I expect it to continue, because I feel so quilty about all my freetime that I need to do some productive with it. And while I feel stronger, but the scale isn't really budging. Everyone says it's because of more muscle, etc., but I don't really buy it. I think it's because all of this exercise is making me incredibly hungry! So I'm putting my diet in boot camp so to speak. It's not really that bad, but I'm going to make it better. My first step is to give up sugar. Typically I eat at least one small piece of chocolate after every meal (sometimes many more), and I'm trying to break that habit. Also, I'm trying to give up artificial sweetener--my beloved Diet Coke--as I've read how your body responds to it like normal sugar. So those are my baby steps, with many more to follow (wine, yes, I know wine--or lack thereof-- would make a big difference). I'll let you know how it goes.

Also I'm adjusting my attitude to our housing situation. It's only money right? We could have much bigger problems. So I'm just going to relax about it as much as possible, maybe do a little more visualizing and then be pleasantly surprised by the call one day (SOON!). Besides, my mother's 57-day Novena is up on Monday. Can you imagine if the call comes on that day?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Screw the Secret

I really tried to think positive all weekend. I anticipated the call; I waited. And yet no offer, no real interest. We just signed the lease on a new furnished apt. today. We will move on Wednesday. It's nice, but we'll be paying for that rent AND our mortgages, plus, bills at both locations.

AND we'll likely lose the house we really want because they don't seem open to a true contingent offer (they want us to agree upon a date for closing).

A woman at preschool today told me they moved here two years ago and STILL haven't sold their house. They finally had to rent. OMG, if that happens I will go insane.

Also, screw the cable company!

They can't hook up our Internet access or cable television until September 4. WTF?! With my husband working 'til all hours and me with no friends, activities, job, etc. here yet, I spend a lot of time online and watching television. Now what? I guess I'll catch up on a lot of the books I've been wanting to read.

Ugh, and I WAS going to cut back on my wine consumption this week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Secret

My mother is saying a 57-day Novena. We planted St. Joseph head down in the dirt in our gorgeous brick planting boxes that line our Porte-Cochere. We've even lowered the price. Still our home back in the Evergreen state hasn't sold. (side rant: It's a gorgeous house, and I'm picky, so I'm just shocked it hasn't sold. It's been on about 65 days, which I know given the market in most places isn't bad, but for us it is. Every agent that tours it says, "Oh it's a great house, priced well, it's going to sell in no time." and then it doesn't!)

Anyway, I've been pretty laid back about all this so far (very uncharacteristic for my Type A self). We've had paid corporate housing for a couple months; PB has adjusted well to our "hotel" as we call it. There was no rush.

NOW THERE IS! I want a house. I'm sick of living in an apartment; and I want my stuff. I want space. I want my white fluffy robe from the Mercer in New York. I want my cupcake tins and my Kitchenaid mixer. I want my garlic press and my recipe books. I want more of my shoes (I only brought four out of an embarassingly large collection); and I want my pillow. More improtantly, I don't want to dig into savings to pay to months of rent on top of a mortgage.

So instead of sitting idly by I'm invoking the famous Secret. (I'm sure you all know the Oprah-endorsed, positive thinking, book, CD, video, empire). I'm going to visualize my house selling THIS weekend--just like that kid did when he wanted a bike. I'm even putting it out here in the blogosphere that I'm envisioning the call coming this weekend. I see it; I hear it; I believe it.

And I hope to God that I can come back here and tell you that the Secret is really all it cracked up to be--that our offer will come in, just like that little kid's bicycle did. I'll be their freakin' spokesmodel for free.

I'm off to visualize our offer...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gettin' Hip Again

Clothes, movies, restaurants--I keep up (or attempt to) with the latest, the newest, the trendiest. When it comes to music, however, I'm a flat out dork. You see, I like country music, and besides PB's kids' tunes (which I usually hear all day long) I haven't really listened to much else for years. If asked to sing one of Billboard's Top 10 songs i would most definitely not get one word right.

And perhaps I could attribute this embarrassing love up to being reared in Nebraska, but the truth is I just like it. In fact, growing up in Nebraska I listened to all the edgy, indie, punk music I could get my hands on. I lived for live music shows--sometimes even sitting in the alley with friends behind clubs we couldn't get into just to listen to the sounds we could. I spent hours in music stores and spent countless dollars on albums (yes, albums, I'm that old) by the Dead Kennedys, The Smiths, Lou Reed, and a huge gamut of others. I dressed the part--mostly in finds from thrift stores--and even once had my hair near-shaved Annie Lenox style.

However, my ever-so-conservative parents found it all the work of the devil. I remember a particular argument about Lou Reed's song "Heroin". And after I got into some major trouble in high school (which i may write about sometime) they got rid of my entire music collection. Hundreds and thousands of dollars gone. Yes, I'm still bitter.

After my anger subsided, I went to college, and for some reason country swing dancing was a big deal at fraternity and sorority parties. I loved it (even broke a bone doing so), and soon I was hooked. My senior year I bought a Tricia Yearwood CD (yes, it was my first CD). After that, I just didn't have the time or energy to keeping up with the latest or greatest in the musical world, and I got stuck in a country rut.

But now, after all these years, honky tonks, red high heels and Bubba shooting the jukebox may have to step aside! During my now-frequent gym workouts I've been tuning the flatscreen to VH1 where I have fallen in love with a whole new world of music. I first paused when I saw the beautiful Justin Timberlake (Geez he's sexy!), and the music (and him) got me going. So I kept it tuned there and keeping going back where I've found a whole host of others like Plain White T's and Nickleback. These songs are getting ingrained in my head, and I even switched my car radio to some kind of pop station--my Volvo is probably in shock since nothing of its kind has ever graced its speakers.

But I like it, and it brings back memories of the love I had for so many different genres of music that were forgotten for too long. I wonder what my mother would think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


5 hours a day; 4 days a week--that's 20 hours a week PB isn't with me now that he's started preschool. He's never been with anyone else except my husband for that long. Now he is. Back in Washington, it would have just been three days for 2.5 hours a day. This is a big jump.

We're both going to need some time to adjust. Yesterday he was a mess when picked him up--so incredibly tired and whiny. "It was a hard day mommy," he said. He went right to bed and would have stayed there all night if I hadn't woken him up. When he woke up he told me all about his "hard" day and said that meant that he "played hard" and wanted to know if he could go back right then.

Today, he was much better. He told me about John, a boy "he really likes who really likes dogs." But he then lost it when we got home--again right down for a nap. Tomorrow we're having a playdate right after school with a new friend--NOT sure how that one will go. But we need friends, and I've warned her that it might be a disaster so we'll see.

After dropping him off I got a workout in--35 minutes on the elliptical machine, some weights and stretching. I really need to be more vigilant about stretching. I'm sooo tight. I was a gymnast for nearly 10 years, so I was always very flexible. Now I can't even touch my toes!!! Pathetic. So, that's a new goal. I'm going to check out a yoga class or so that my gym offers too.

After my workout and shower, I went to the mall to return a purse. I shopped around, grabbed a salad for lunch and sat in the bookstore reading books. It was nice and depressing all at the same time. Nice to have time to do that, but depressing because it makes me think about what to do now with my life; the fact that PB is an only child; and that the years are going to zip by. I'll figure it out; it's just such a transitional time right now.

Speaking of transitions, we're going to put in an offer on a house today! We still haven't sold ours back in WA, but the sellers are open to a contingent bid. AND they will rent to us until ours sells (we think). That means mid-October we could actually have all of our stuff moved here and get out of these corporate rentals. (We each only took two suitcases when we came as we had no idea it would take this long!) Speaking of which, we have to move again next week--UGH! Those two suitcases have multiplied and grown exponentially--you wouldn't believe all of the stuff we've accumulated in just two months here! Moving will be no small feat. The house we're bidding on is great, tons of upgrades, great pool, nice neighborhood. Not the ideal layout nor the neighborhood I REALLY wanted to be in, but nice. So we'll see what happens...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Home Again

PB and I had a great time in Nebraska. My brothers are hilarious and keep us laughing. PB adores my sister and my mom, and it was just a good time all together. I can't say I could ever go back and live there, but it's nice to be back "home". It's crazy though that I never see anyone I know anymore. I always expect I will, and tend to try to look good at all times in case I run into an old boyfriend. But I never do. I'm sure i will some day when I'm unprepared and looking my worst.

Today was PB's first day of preschool. we woke up really late and were in a big rush, which I hate. PB was so out of it when he was getting ready to eat breakfast that he almost peed all over his plate!!! I told him he should go potty before he started to eat. Then he proceeded to pull down his pants, then his underwear, and aim--right at his breakfast tray (which was sitting on a low coffee table, right about the right height!) I was able to get him to the bathroom in time, but it was pretty funny.

I walked him to his classroom, where we met his very pretty teacher, Miss Amber. He likes pretty girls, so I'm sure he's going to like her. She seemed great. Other kids were crying as their parents left, but he seemed okay. A little hesitant, but okay. I can't wait to go pick him up and hear all about it.

So with my hours of leisure I went to the gym. I got in a 3 mile run and a few weights and feel exhausted. I've been running faster and faster on the treadmill, which feels good. Showered there, then drove by one of the houses we're considering and came home to eat lunch--grilled ham and low fat cheese (Side note: that I can't believe it's not butter spray works great to make grilled cheese!) with some carrots and hummus. Threw in a load of laundry, caught up on some blogs and that's about it. Will leave in a few minutes to pick him up.

Oh, also while I was in Nebraska I grabbed some of my old journals. I'm currently reading through one from college. It's so crazy to read about all I was thinking at that time--the boys, the parties, the friends--and I couldn't put it down last night, which is probably why I overslept. Maybe I'll post some excerpts soon!

Monday, August 13, 2007


PB and I are heading off to Nebraska tomorrow--my hometown--for a family reunion of sorts. Both of my brothers are coming, and my sister will be there as well before she heads off to law school this fall. When I learned everyone would be in one place at one time I didn't want to miss out so I booked last minute tickets, even though we will miss meet and greet day at PB's new preschool.

I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog while I'm there, but I'll try to check in with updates.

On the housing front, realtor says there's a possible buyer who has been nosing around. I'm not getting my hopes up--okay, of course I am--but wow, it would be so great if that happened while we were away!

And in other exciting news, the season premiere of "The Hills" is on tonight. I can't wait! When does one outgrow these kinds of shows? I'm not sure I ever will. My mother told me the other day that my father--my very serious, no frills father--is hooked on "Big Brother". Ha! Maybe it's in my genes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Night

For as long as I can remember I have dreaded Sunday evening. Actually, Sunday all together. It's always been the day where I have to catch up, cram in all the work that I put off in order to meet my deadline. I'm a HUGE procrastinator and very inspired by deadlines, so throughout my school years, all the way through graduate school, I could count on very few hours of sleep on Sundays as I hammered home whatever it was I'd been averting. Once I started working in a regular, full-time job, Sunday was still a sleepless night as I began to ponder and fret about the line up for the week and everything that was to come (have I mention that I'm a poster child for Type-A personalities?). And again with my freelance career for the past 3.5 years, I would piddle around all week, testing leads, writing freeform, etc. until Sunday when it was time to get serious. It was stressful; it gave me a rush; and I was very effective in method. But God, I hated Sundays. They were not a day of rest.

Now they are. I have no job. I have no project (other than writing a novel) hanging over my head. No one expects anything of me tomorrow morning--except my husband and son, of course, but them I can handle. Not to discount the toll of parenting, but really to be able to just focus on that full-time feels like a complete and utter breeze. See, i wasn't the typical working mom who had child care and could focus solely on work for X hours a day. I did both ALL day. When I look back on the crazy juggling act I did, I'm honestly amazed I made it work. Coordinating an hour-long telephone interview with the African president of one of the hugest companies in the world and banking on the fact that I could get my 3-year-old down for a nap, to go to the potty and not throw a huge fit while on this monumental call was a feat worthy of some reward. And I did it over and over and over. Too many times I was bribing PB with cookies, typing with one hand trying to get him to be silent so my VIP interviewee wouldn't hear him in the background. My mute button was my best friend. I'm sure I took years off of my life with the stress of it all, but I'm proud i was able to do it for so long.

And beyond the great shopping it allowed me, it also was really rewarding personally. I thrive on validation, feedback, compliments. I need to know how I'm doing, and a "real" job gives me that. Now, without a formal review cycle in sight, I find myself searching for affirmation more than ever in little (pathetic) ways. "Does the chicken taste alright?" "You don't look like you like the salad?" "Doesn't the house look nice?" My husband is going to have to get used to my begging for compliments.

I don't know how long I'll be okay with this new freedom (and lack of outside validation). I need and want to do something more, I'm just not sure what that is yet. I'm lucky that I don't have to figure it out in any prescribed time frame. We're comfortable on my husband's salary without me contributing financially. Sure we could be much more comfortable, and my shopping won't be at the levels of old, but that's okay (I think? I did buy a fab new Tory Burch bag today!) ... for now. Maybe it will be my novel; maybe it will be a new business idea. I don't know, but it will be something.

For now, I'm just really happy finally enjoying Sundays.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Underbelly of Florida Life

We've been here about five weeks now. In that time I've seen about 800,000 lizards. They startled me at first, but I'm getting used to them. I'm even finding them a little bit cute. If I ever step on one, I will freak, but so far, they seem pretty adept at darting in and about my flip flops.

I have yet to see an alligator, but I'm waiting. I think my realtor thinks I'm crazy as I ask repeatedly about where they may be lurking. Everytime I go to the apartment swimming pool, I'm looking for them, thinking they may have crawled in. And truthfully, I ALWAYS look in the toilet before sitting down, because I think I heard they can crawl in there.

But lizards and alligators I knew would be part of my entrance into the sunshine state. I've been preparing for these encounters. I know to run in a zig zag pattern if an alligator is pursuing me and that they can only run about 3 miles per hour. I can run faster than that.

What I wasn't prepared for literally jumped out at me today. A FREAKIN' HUGE ASS BLACK SNAKE. We were walking back from the pool, and this huge, black thing jumped out of a bush, twisting and turning in mid-air. I screamed--and miraculously the worst that came out of my mouth was "Oh crap!" as I grabbed PB and RAN. We circled the whole building to avoid going back that way. I searched for someone working there so I could tell them what I saw and so they could go...I don't know what they could do. I think I need to go Google how to survive a snake attack.

Brother Where Art Thou?

After a huge antibiotic-induced tantrum when leaving gym school, PB moaned through his tears today, "I'm not a brother."

"No, you're not. Not everyone is," I told him.

He seemed okay with this at the time, but it's something he brings up more and more frequently--usually out of the blue like this. Probably because he was playing with someone who had a brother.

I wish he was a brother, but the fact is that he probably never will be.

PB was born at 27 weeks. He weighed just 1 pound, 15 ounces. It was a scary, scary beginning that could have had a lot of scary consequences, but thankfully didn't. He recently turned 4, and we've seen no problems, no delays. In fact, he's really bright. He can read like you wouldn't believe--not just three and four-letter words; he can really read. He's curious and loves to learn. Of course, ADD is also often linked to prematurity... (I'm really just kidding, and don't think he has this. He just has an abundant amount of energy! I think...)

Anyway, immediately after he was born, I wanted to be pregnant again. I was afraid to let too much time go by because it had taken so long to get pg with him. I was scared that if I waited too long, I would be too scared to go through it all again. So again we started with all that goes along with trying to conceive--the clomid, the thermometer first thing in the morning, the hundreds of dollars (literally!) spent on pregnancy tests.

And we did get pregnant, but it ended in yet another miscarriage (We had one before PB).

At that point I was so distraught, so emotionally drained that I didn't think I could go through anymore, so we we quit trying. Since then we've bounced between degrees of adamantly not trying, to leaving it up to "the powers that be", to semi-trying. Nothing has worked (I was convinced that adamantly not trying would probably end up with a pg, because isn't that how those things are supposed to go?).

Most of the time I'm okay with it. I wanted more children desperately, now I just want them. Our life is good with just the three of us in many ways. But I have two brothers and a sister, and I can't imagine life without them. They're some of my favorite people in the world.

And I hate all the only child stereotypes--both positive and negative. I'm very defensive about them (more later on this topic I'm sure).

Still in the back of my mind, I'm waiting for the oops baby. The one that comes after you've given all of your baby gear away. The one you really had moved past. I still hold out hope that one may be coming. But the fact is we're probably going to be the parents of an only child--something I never in my life imagined, but something that I'm beginning to realize is plenty for me (most of the time). Because, as I've said ad nausea, I got the very best one in the bunch, and it would be really hard for anyone else to compete (and yes, I know that all people who have one child feel that way, especially when they find out they're expecting a second).

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Nothing too much to report, but at least the feeling of boredom has lifted today. PB and I set off to pick up his preschool forms from the dr. this morning (because I callled, and they said, yes, they were ready). We go there, and of course, they weren't. I once again breathed through the experience, and I'm proud to announce I did not lose it. This is big for me.

So we then headed to the mall--the nicest one around here that has Neiman's, Bloomingdale's, and the ONLY Anthropologie for miles. PB's mouth was REALLY bugging him. It has been for the past couple of days, but today it was really bad--he wouldn't even eat french fries. poor guy. I decided he really needed to see a dr.--a new and better one--and think I actually found one!

From the moment I stepped in the door, I felt like it was such a better choice than the first crazy office that tried to sell us vitamins and stuff. (Although i'll always be indebted to them, as PB puked all over their waiting room a couple weeks ago!) But this new office was great. We loved the dr. and the whole experience. Oh, and he has hand, foot and mouth disease, which isn't serious at all. It just has to play out its course. I just like to get a formal opinion so I don't speculate too much on what could be. I'm terrified of missing something.

I mourn the loss of our amazing health insurance that we left behind with the last job. This week already I've spent $45 on doctor visits and prescriptions. This could add up.

No gym today with all the running around. I did, however, buy a cute skirt at Anthropologie.

Sorry for the lame post, but at least it's a post.

I'm wondering if I've been found. Michele, if you're reading this, shout out! She's as much, if not more of a sleuth than I am, when it comes to these things, and some timing of a call yesterday, has got me wondering!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I'm bored.
I'm in a two-bedroom apartment; I want a house.
For that to happen, our house on the opposite coast has to sell.
It's been on the market for almost two months.
I never thought it would take this long.
I'm trying to remain positive, but I'm getting frustrated.
And I'm bored.
No neighbors to play with; no house to clean; no projects to organize.
Today we can't even go swimming because PB has double ear infections.
Costco was our morning outing. They didn't even have the tub of organic mixed greens I count on; nor did they have the sweet potato fries. Don't they have those in Florida?
I should work on my novel. Maybe I will.
For now, I'm bored.
And I want my house to sell.

Monday, August 6, 2007


My body feels stronger. I'm finding less jiggle on my arms. I didn't want to throw up when I tried on a swimsuit I had ordered online. The progress has been slow, but I feel like I'm actually making progress. I don't have MY scale, and I'm hesitant to use the one at the gym because I'm scared it won't show the progress I'm feeling. But the two times I have snuck on, it has shown a little drop. I honestly thought for awhile that something was wrong with my body; that I couldn't lose weight like other people or like I used to. But the truth is I wasn't really trying--not really--I didn't stick to an exercise plan; I didn't really limit what I ate (or drank). And now I am. Not to an extreme. Not on a specific plan. But I'm making changes. I'm exercising and loving it. And I'm working toward a better me. It feels good, and I hope I can continue down this very good road I'm on. In the past I've been easily detoured, but I hope that Florida is a new beginning for me--the new, healthier, fitter, hotter me.

Food rundown for today--kashi in the morning (i swear this helps keep me full the rest of the day!); part of an arby's market carver sandwich--half the bread--and a few of PB's fries (blah!); a very little bit of leftover bday cake, chicken salad and grapes for dinner; and then 2.5 glasses of wine. The wine--i know--i need to give it up, and the progress would...progress. But I'm not ready yet, i'm cutting down, but not enough. I will though.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

So. Much. Fun.

Today I took PB to Universal Stuidos and Islands of Adventure, and it was, as the title states, "so much fun"! We went with his new little friend C, his mom and baby sister. While part of me wished it was just he and I so we could do what we wanted, it was also fun for him to have a friend to play with.

C is a nice boy and appears pretty intelligent, but he pushes PB a lot (PB pushes back when he needs to!) and kind of bothers PB I can tell. I think there's about a 4-6 month difference in age, which can make a big difference. I'm sure it goes both ways and will continue to do so because PB is no saint, but today he was pretty close. It's nice to see that, when in so many cases, it's been PB who has been the problem.

Today, I was so proud of PB he just did a great job. Seriously, it's not even work to be with with him most of the time, it's a privilege. He's so sweet and so full of life and wonderment and kindness. I love him more than i could ever possibly express.

Tomorrow he turns 4. It's hard to think back to where I was four years ago--in a hospital bed, scared to death, assuming that I wouldn't walk out with a living child. But I did. And God gave me the best one on the lot. Seriously, in so much of my life, I'm a grass is greener person, and see what others have and want it. But when it comes to PB, if you lined up every child in the entire universe, I would chose him first. He's the best. (And again, i must clarify that I hope every parent feels this way about his or her child)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Best

Swimming lessons today was a mess. The combined two classes==pb's beginning 1's class and the 2's class, which is more advanced. It was testing day, so the regular teacher was out of the water recording the "scores" while a new teacher did the actual testing in the water.

PB was in tears almost immediately, and I couldn't figure out why. He usually loves swimming lessons and has done great the last couple of weeks. But through his sniffling, he told me, "I want the other one." I thought he meant other teacher, and i think that's partly what he meant, but really he meant his other class--the one where kids can't swim by themselves and bob all the way under water; the one where everyone isn't better than him.

After we unbelievably got word and certificate from the teacher that he passed and will move on to the 2's class, he burst into tears. "But I wasn't the best one in the whole world," he sobbed. My heart sunk, and my parental embarrassment level went through the roof as he said this in front of a whole lockeroom of parents.

I wanted to cry and quickly reassured him that he didn't have to be the best, that he just had to do HIS best. But really, it's my fault, and it's a good slap in the face I need to not try to push him; and how he picks up on everything.

I tell him multiple times a day, "You're the best boy in the whole world." etc., etc. I lavish on praise and compliments even though I've read in the books that you shouldn't. I know I shouldn't, but they're coming from my heart--my heart that burst with love and overflows with pride. Because really I can't imagine a smarter, cuter, better boy in the whole world (and yes, i realize/hope that everyone feels that way about their own child.)

Truth be told, I've on occasion when trying to encourage him, used the phrase, "if you do x, then you can be the best." or pointed out a friend who's doing something better than him, and said, "I bet you could do that if you tried harder or practiced more" or whatever. Because I do want him to be his best.

But I don't want to be that parent that pushes that makes their child feel like they can't ever do it right. I don't want him ever to feel like he's disappointing me, because really it would be hard to do. I just want him to have the confidence to give it all, to compete, to be okay with losing, but always try to win. I'm probably contradicting myself, and I probably sending contradictory messages to him too. But really, it's all coming from a place of love, total absolute adoration, and I think/hope that when it's coming from that, it can't be all bad.

Still those words he uttered in the locker room today were some of the hardest I've ever had to hear. I don't ever want to hear them again, but I'm glad I did this once, so that I can use them to be a better parent.

On My Own

I bitch a lot when my husband is out of town, because I've been terrified of staying by myself for as long as I can remember. REALLY scared, as in not sleeping most of the night because of the noises I "hear" and the scenarios that occur to me at all hours. I've been known to beg (successfully) for family members from around the country to fly to see me when I know he is going to be out of town.

Over the years, however, I'm getting braver. I often actually find sleep (more easily with the help of a couple of glasses of Chardonnay), and I wake up with a feeling of accomplishment. I've even started looking forward to these times in the smallest of ways. It's nice for me and my picklebug to be on our own, to eat whatever we want for dinner, to not worry about getting home in time to prepare, to just bond a little more.

And while I would never wish for my husband to leave, and I rejoice when he comes back, sometimes I feel the slightest annoyance when he returns to his position and interferes the small routines or lacktherof that my picklebug and I have put into place.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Settling In Again

Yesterday was a tense day. I had cramps from hell; our apartment wasn't ready when it was supposed to be; no internet (got it this afternoon), etc. all the while I was trying to remain calm. I actually did a much better job than I thought I would--I did not rage at the man who was here until almost 7 p.m. setting it up when it was supposed to be move-in ready by 3:30. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective. I don't have a job; all I really need to do is keep my family and I as happy, healthy and nourished in all ways as possible. One of the ways to nourish is to diminish stress, and I need to start with myself. It's so great to not have my time split and to feel stressed and frazzled all the time. I'm thinking more and more of starting a novel.

Good workout yesterday, and pretty good one today--great considering I wasn't even planning on going. Food day okay--Kashi for breakfast (love it); lean cuisine pizza, couple chicken nuggets and three mini chocolate candies for lunch; handful of nuts for a snack; dinner will be homemade tacos with guac and fat free refried beans. maybe I'll try for no wine tonight...i just like it so much! off to swimming lessons.