Monday, October 31, 2005

The Pumpkin & The Puppy Take Halloween

This is one of Liam's best friends, Mikayla. They have known each other since they were 4 and 5 months old. "Yeah, we go WAAAY back." Posted by Picasa

The Pumpkin and the Puppy size each other up. "Dude can you believe the crap our parents' dress us in?" "Are you kidding me? I'm a PUMPKIN! So humiliating." "Yeah wait til they are old and need medication." Posted by Picasa

"Are we done yet because this hoody head thing is driving me nuts?! Plus it's doing a number on my curls." Posted by Picasa

Happy Halloween! A Sneak Peek - More To Come!

Sneak peek! Posted by Picasa

Little pumpkin Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Seven small steps for Liam... One Giant Leap for Parenthood

I truly believe that one cannot truly begin to understand and appreciate one's parents until one becomes a parent themselves. I don't say this in a snobbish way, it simply feels to be a fact for me. Maybe it's just me - but I prefer to make blanket statements and apply my truth to everyone. Makes me feel more "normal."

This weekend I spent time with both my in-laws and my parents. I have to say I'm truly lucky. Both sets of parents are great. Each has wonderful aspects as well as not-to-fabulous (What? Who? I did NOT just say that!) But the wonderful ALWAYS trumps everything else. Each is generous in different ways. Both love Dan and I. Both ADORE and DOTE on Liam.

So as I look at my son and grow particularly proud of his achievements, which - by the way - are just mindboggling in the first 14 months of life, I tend to take a step back and think about Liam's grandparents. Wow. Is this the way it felt for them? To see us grow and charm and conquer? Because this feeling I get... when I have a particularly proud moment with Liam? It's STAGGERING. It's OVERWHELMING. It rocks my world. It shakes my heart - squeezing and filling it at the same time. My body hums as if if he is still a part of me... as if he is still existing because my heart is pumping blood to his body. My eyes sting with tears that may or not be shed. My body feels flushed. My whole being is transfixed to his.

Parenthood. It is a very heady experience.

Liam took his first seven steps across the room from Dan to my dad today.

I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Photo Friday: Liam lately

Resting against the couch

Little does he realize, this is practice for future lawn mowing.

Who knew Eeyore could be such a cut up.

Portrait of a snacker.

Considering his first pair of Real Boy shoes.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More whine?

Surviving the day as a sick parent of a healthy toddler is challenging. Of course this is part of the sacrifice you make when having a child. No more days in bed with a box of Kleenex, the remote and frequent naps.

Keeping Liam amused is what is killing me. I have gone through the regular activities and toys and books we play with every day. He looks at me strangely as my laryngitis causes Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? to make every animal sound like a dying cat. The book isn't as fun when Mama can't make the owl Hooo! Hoo! or the clock Tick Tock! Plus if I don't do it the way he wants, the twerp turns the page back or worse! Signs "more" and throws the book at me. Again Mama - till you get it RIGHT!

So to keep us both sane, I've given him more liberal access to the house. Play with boxes of Ziplocs? Sure!! Just don't eat them. Wrestle with the dogs? Why not!! Watch Dora the Explorer (for all of 5 minutes) Sure!!! What else do you want to watch? Look! Wiggles! Sesame Street! General Hospital! Oprah! Flonase commercials!

I just don't have it in me to be as hands on Mom as I am typically. And let's face it - being hands on is being germs on. And I'm trying like HELL to keep him from getting sick. Liberal application of hand sanitizer. My hands are starting to resemble slabs of raw meat but that's OK!! It's better than a sick toddler!

God love him, he is still so goooooood. Maybe he is still too young to realize that we've been trapped in this house together for THREE DAYS. And he's still at the age where a cup is soooo amazing. And is that a plastic coat hangar? Oh my goodness MAMA have you SEEN this thing?

While we have been stuck inside we have been working on new signs. He understands a lot of signs but is still getting the hang of doing them himself. A lot of his signs are a somewhat crude versions of original. Let's make a list of the signs he can do, shall we?
"soooo big"

We are currently working on the signs for "hurt" and "help."

I'm going to go lay down now and rest for the rest of Liam's afternoon siesta. Hopefully! One day! You can check my blog and I won't whine about! Being sick! !! !!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Out of Office Autoreply: Out Sick

I'm sorry I missed you!

I'll be out of the office for a few more days. I'm coughing like a baby with croup and my right ear feels someone is talking into a cup. My nose is leaking and my intestines are raging. Oh and I have a near 14 month old who wants to get the hell out of the sick house.

I can't blame him.

If you have an urgent need, stick it! I don't care! I'm too busy feeling very sorry for myself. I'll respond to all inquiries in the order they are left. But I can't promise the responses will be comprehensible.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Why Liam Makes Me Crazy: Reason #165

Apparently he was "just saying" he wanted a nap. He didn't actually MEAN it. He was just making conversation. But now he wants to know why I cheered and sprinted him up the stairs to his room.

Why Liam is Cool: Reason #254

I showed him the "sleep" sign twice yesterday. He just did it about five minutes ago to tell me he was ready for his nap.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Might have been the nuts

So I know I'm not doing very well with my Chicago follow up stories. It seems that I have caught a cold. The kind that starts in an isolated location in your throat and causes the passage to slowly close and eventually attempts to kill you altogether. Now it could have been caught from the woman I was sleeping next to on Saturday night. But I choose to blame the flying encapsulated germ vehicle that hurled itself across the sky Sunday afternoon. With me onboard. Eating some warm nuts. And white wine. And a lovely salad with a lite balsamic dressing.

So this nasty throat thing is making me lethargic and quite frankly it's all I can do to prepare Liam's meals and then lay on the floor for 3 hours and let him crawl back and forth across my lifeless body.

I'm tired. So in the future I'll post about High Tea at The Drake, Lou Malnati's lame ass pizza, and my first fondue experience. Until then I'll be doing as follows.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Liam, please stop playing "hair-dos" with the dogs.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Chicaaaah-go Screw

So it was with much anticipation that I boarded a plane on Thursday to travel to Chicago. Or as they say, Chicaaaah-go. The morning of my trip Dan told me that my 10:48am American Airlines ticket, which was free due to frequent flier miles, was also FIRST CLASS BABY!!!!

I mean... it was a seat in First Class. Complete with warm nuts (fill in your own witty joke, they are too easy), a warm meal, a hot towel and FREEEEEEE BOOOOOOOOOOOOZE.

I mean... Complimentary beverage service. Which I took advantage of but not NEARLY as advantageous as the jackass across the row from me who though he was Richard Branson (khaki shorts and Blackbeard t-shirt included on a 56 degree morning on a flight to Chicaaaah-go), ordering Bloody Marys and Makers' Marks in that booming voice that says "Look at me! I'm an asshole who wants people to think I'm not cashing in MY frequent flier miles too! I have no class! So I have to sit here to look like I do!" It was VERY amusing to watch the flight attendants dodge his pickup attempts.

I felt bad that I had to tell the other person I was traveling with that I was going to be in First Class, but I'M NOT GOING TO SIT IN COACH IF I DON'T HAVE TO!

I mean... she was very gracious and didn't seem to resent it at all. Of course if the situation had been reversed I would have been cursing her from the seat in 24F. But she must be a better person than me.

Anyway, like all perfect holiday plans, something had to explode. And it did. OH NO NO NO! NOT THE AIRPLANE. Sorry - that must have been startling. No, what exploded was the assholes at the hotel we were staying at HOTEL 71* - don't ever go there unless you want to be treated like a pimple on the ASS OF LIFE. The group of us booked 3 rooms in May. IN MAY. Remember that - MAY. Last week on Wednesday late LATE afternoon, two of the rooms were BUMPED to an airport hotel, like 20 miles out of the city. They were bumped one and a half days before they were scheduled to check in - which was to be Friday. I was arriving with Jess, my roommate for the weekend, on Thursday as we were able to get an extra day off. That is the only reason we weren't bumped from Hotel 71 as well. So yes, great, we were able to stay in the city. BUT THE SLUMBER PARTY was MOVED to the Doubletree near O'Hare! I know! It suuuuuuucked. And by the time the girls all finally got to the hotel late at night, it was more like pillow talk in the dark - still fun, but not AS fun. And not as fun for the two gals at Hotel 71.

The travel time required to get into the city from O'Hare on the el seriously cut into all of our weekend plans. My lovely dedicated friends Carrie and Ang tried PERSISTENTLY to work with the asshats at Hotel 71 to be placed at a comparable hotel downtown but NNNNNOOOOOOOO. Lots of excuses and OH YEAH! The friggin Opthamologists! Friggin FOUR EYED DOCTOR BASTARDS!** They booked up the whole damn town.

Regardless of this stumbling block. This thorn in our side. This Hotel 71, or as Jenni says, Hotel Suckity One! (I love you Jennnay!). It did NOT dampen our spirits! Well maybe it did a little. But more often or not it provided some additional material for laughs and common bonding experience. Hey I did MY part as a woman lucky enough to stay right downtown. I rode the el allllllll the way out and stayed one night in the ghetto-fabulous Doubletree.*** Ok, I really just wanted a little extra pillow talk.

More stories to come!

*I figure the more times I say Hotel 71, the more likely this post will come up in a google search for Hotel 71 so people will know how UNHELPFUL and UNCARING and general LACKING in customer service skills the Hotel 71 people truly are. Except maybe for Greg who was actually on the pleasant side. But that's IT for the Hotel 71.

**I myself am a four-eyed bastard. Or would that be bitch? Guess it depends on how well you know me. Anyway, I do not have any ill will towards those who wear glasses. In fact, I made passes at a fellow in glasses and married him. And I also love opthamologists! Poking things into eyes - c'mon! What's not to love?! I especially love my doctor who gets a rush from telling me how astigmatism makes my right eye as round as a basketball. Betcha didn't know that WASN'T a good thing.

***Stay at the Doubletree! They are nice people and they give you warm cookies!! It's ok that their wallpaper is from 1975, when you are eating a warm cookie everything looks just lovely. You can barely hear the jet engines. Really.

He cried "More, more, more!"

There is nothing like returning from 4 days of fancy free lifestyle to diaper rash and love from The World's Smallest Food compactor. While I was gone apparently his stomach grew into each leg and arm as he is never FULL. The sign "more eat" is happening every hour on the hour. I haven't fed this much food to anyone since I was pregnant and feeding MYSELF. The boy. He's a bottomless pit!

And the pooping. It is plentiful. No shit (no pun intended)! When he is eating so much, it's gotta go somewhere. But all the pooping - which is also happening during the night now too and he doesn't wake up from it - it's giving him a nasty diaper rash. And the diaper rash. It doesn't make him very happy about diaper changes. I am practically covering him with my entire body in order to keep him down long enough to clean up all the poop. It's the sticky kind that requires 20 wipes. Which doesn't feel very good on a red hiney. Neither does the application of the Butt Paste. He let's me know his displeasure with some yelling and furrowed brows and a very stern look.

Sir, I've taken note. I sympathize and I'm rolling up my sleeves to ride this one out with you. And of course there are more crackers for you.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Out of Office Autoreply

Hi! I'm sorry I missed you!

I will be out of the office from Thursday October 13 to Sunday October 16. I will have no internet access at this time. Nor will I care! I will be too busy frolicking on the Magnificent Mile and inhaling my liquid lunches!

Should you need immediate assistance, I suggest you take a look at my Blogroll and take someone out for a test spin. Just be sure to come back eventually! I get lonely when I'm not out flitting across the country carefree-like.

I am going and you can't stop me.

Susie out.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Alone with Friends

This coming weekend I am getting away. Yeah. No. I'm SERIOUS. I'm getting AWAY from home for a whole long weekend. That's right ! From Thursday to Sunday I will be in the Windy City with a group of my best girlfriends being...just a girl.

There are many things I'm looking forward to doing while I'm away. Here are some of them in no particular order.
- Carrying the smallest pocketbook I can find. Only fitting in some cash, a credit card, room key, license and lipstick. This only means anything if you have ever lugged around a diaper bag which is actually a small version of your child's changing table, toybox and snack cabinet.
- Eating a meal. By myself. This means cutting only my meat. My food. Possibly even LINGERING over the meal. ENJOYING the FLAVOR. Marveling at the sheer wonderfulness of a meal prepared by someone else. No unwanted finger in my mashed potatoes (or my chili). No toddler-food envy.
- Showering without a timeline.
- Dressing myself, without stopping in between items of clothing to remove the boy from the dog crate/underwear drawer/deodorant stick.
- Not congratulating my companions for standing up, holding their cup or being gentle with their flip up book. Unless of course we are all very, very drunk.
- Going to the bathroom with the door shut. Seeing as I am roomming with another "mommy," hopefully we'll both remember. "Hi there!"

Oh... there is more,... much more. But the idea being an individual unit for 4 straight days is enough to make me feel faint.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Photo Friday: One Year Photo Shoot

A sneak peek at today's photo session for his one year pictures. I just swallowed him whole. *Burp*

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thanks for the mileage

Four years ago I was a young bride ambling down the aisle (actually I was sobbing and hiccupping) on my way to wedded bliss.

Now I'm elbow deep in dirty diapers and dog drool and folks, I wouldn't have it any other way. When we said "to have and to hold" - which by the way I never actually said because we wrote our own vows - we mean all of it. The glamorous vacation and the horrible stomach flu. God the stomach flu is the worst. I can't be near anyone vomiting because it makes me vomit. One night my husband was so sick, I ran to a floor and 3 rooms away with the door shut and I still dry heaved. I'm a wuss, Internet. For that, I apologize. BUT having now owned two dogs who puke JUST to make things a little more interesting and a baby who used to like to regurgitate whole feedings while I cried, I am toughening up.

But I digress.

Per usual.

To have and to hold.

I have a habit of leaving my car parked in front of the house. We live on a busy street. The speed limit is 40mph. We are luck to have a driveway to the side which is connected to a circle in front of our home. The circle comes right around to the front door. So when I get home from somewhere, especially when I want to throw Liam immediately into his crib because GOD I need a drink, I park in front of the steps. This bypasses the side door and The Girls who are gated in the kitchen while we're out. The Girls get all chipper and barky when we come in that way, so to reduce anything that might rouse Liam from his relaxed ready-for-nap state, I use the front. PLUS when you open my front door the staircase up is right in front of you. Easy peasy.

Problem is if I don't go out again, my car stays there. And the next morning when Dan leaves for work he has to move the car back to leave via the circle so he can get into traffic. Cause there is traffic in front of our house too. Yippie! Why would we want to move? Top that with the lack of yard and sidewalk, it's the perfect place for toddlers! Cars rushing by over 40mph day and night or traffic halted so people are staring in our windows in the morning - SUPER! Hello America!

Anyway, the time it took Dan to move my car this morning resulted in him getting stuck behind the school buses which added 20 minutes to his commute. He sent me a nice little note this morning telling me this. How nice! How lovely! Happy anniversary! Blllllpt!

I have a commute too, Sweetie. Around this lovely home with a toddler. Here are some ways that you add on to my daily commute:
1. Your clothes fell 2 steps short of the hamper
2. The toilet seat is up.
3. The seat is down but what is that ON IT?
4. The eggs are still on the counter.
5. The dog food is open and on the counter.
6. The cereal is open and on the counter.
7. The diaper you changed this morning (yes! helping! thank you!) is still on the changing table.
8. The space heater is still on in Liam's bedroom.
9. The soda can/glass/plate/spoon/dirty Kleenex is still on the coffee table/end table/kitchen table/sink/plant.
10. The towel you used to dry off Liam after his bath (yes! helping! thank you!) is on my pillow. Damp.
11. Liam's dirty clothes are on our bed.
12. Liam's toys (all of them! wow! you must have had fun!) are all over the living room/playroom/kitchen/bedroom/dog crate.
13. The empty soda can sits on the counter 1 foot away from the recycling trash bag.
14. Another dirty diaper!
15. How many sippy cups do you need in 2 hours!
16. Why is the dog chewing Liam's baby spoon?
17. Is Liam holding a pen?
18. You want to bake something? Great!
19. Wow that's a lot of ingredients!
20. Our non-stick cookware does not need to "soak."

To have and to hold. Give or take and extra 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Endings can feel good or painful. I'm currently dealing with some painful ones. Yesterday morning an extended family member was killed in a car accident. He is the much beloved father of 10 children. He leaves an ex-wife/best friend and four grown children and a partner who is now raising 5 boys and one daughter alone.

Life endings are very painful for me. I have never experienced one that felt ok. Peaceful. Right. Both my grandfathers passed away when I was very young. I barely remember one and hardly the other. My grandmothers both died within a year of each other and they were truly my first experience with devastating loss. I had very strong connections with each of them. I felt screwed, quite frankly, to be without any grandparents by the time I was 16.

The wake for my grandmother, the first one who passed, was very difficult. I had never been to one. And my siblings, all older, knew this. So they stood with me as we entered the room where she lay in state at the funeral home. I remember my knees buckling at the sight and my eldest brother, Bill, and sister, Beth, sitting me down. My Nana Depper was over there. It was her... but it wasn't. It scared me and comforted me at the same time. I cried. I cried and cried. For this was my first real loss. The loss of my Nan. It hurt for a long time. Much like a heartbreak but different somehow. I spent a lot of time with my Nan before she left us. My only regret was that I didn't get to say good-bye. I would have liked to, though now I'm not sure my teenage brain would have understood how.

Before my Nana Casey passed away, I did get to see her. But she didn't see me. It was one of the saddest days of my entire life. Not the day she passed, but rather the last time I saw her. I didn't want to remember her hooked up to machines helping her breathe. I know my parents didn't intend for me to see her this way. We had thought she was getting better. But when we got there she had clearly taken a wrong turn. I remember my mother holding her head, brushing her hair with her fingers, saying "Breathe, Celia." I had to look away. It hurt too much. My Nana was tired. She wanted to go. I try to remember her telling me stories and singing me her Irish songs in her little girl voice. That was the Nana I loved so much.

I've had pets pass away, but never when I was present. I was either away or at college. It was sad to think of them and have the house feel so empty. More often than that though I am able to think of them and see pictures and remember them so happy and playful.

I'm truly blessed to have my family in tact and with me still. When I get brushed with death as close as I did yesterday, it makes me feel so overwhelmed. I have so much feeling for those who are experiencing the pain, it's exhausting. I try to let it go but I can't. I wrestle with it and think too much and end up feeling at a loss for days. Some call me compassionate, I think at times I empathize too much. Is that possible? I bear others pain as my own. I feel pain for them and their situation. But then worry about it happening to me and how I will deal and what will I do.

These thoughts darken my mind and make it hard to see the most wonderful things in front of me. But the Sunshine Boy that graces my days give me a reason to smile and move on and stop wallowing and grieving. He fills up my time and leaves me with little more than reflection on what I am experiencing and doing to make the dark thoughts pass. He puts an ending on the shadows, an ending that is good.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Carrie tagged me with this blog thing.

The Rules:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

Here goes!

Women should have that same passionate love for their husband that caused them to skip down the aisle in the first place (hopefully).

I tag no one cause everyone's doing it already. I'm always late to the damn party. But hey.. where's my lampshade?