Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Waxing* Nostalgic

Why is it that while we don't host Thanksgiving, my house becomes a casualty anyway? My Fabulous Baker Boy husband does some damage. I fail to put away all the non-perishable groceries due to my severe housekeeping ADD. Add to it two pugs who track muddy paws and cookie crumbs and a son who is walking so he likes to "reorganize" by carrying an item from one location, say... my wallet, and deposit it in another, say... the toilet.

So whilest I scrub like the scullery maid my sister dubbed me as when I was 13, I've been listening to my holiday music.

I HEART holiday music. A wicked lot.

To you non-New Englanders - that means I really really love it.

Anyway as I listen while making the kitchen glisten
And I wax* as it wanes
And I shine as it winds...

I was thinking of my favorite holiday songs.

I must have my Baby It's Cold Outside with Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark. I must have several versions of O Holy Night - Josh Groban, Martina McBride and maybe even Celine Dion. That is my favorite true Christmas song. It can actually bring me to tears if I've had a little wine... I need me some Sleigh Ride with the Boston Pops Orchestra. And do not leave out Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives. Oh and throw in Looks like a Cold, Cold Winter by Bing Crosby. And if you put that in you might as well include Bing and David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.

Ok I need to stop because there are many more. In fact, Pottery Barn has a fantastic CD set which includes a great selection. Many of my choices come from that. A great gift!

I wonder as I wander, Internet: What is your favorite holiday song? What makes you feel good and/or festive?

*Please do not entertain the thought that I wax anything other than my eyebrows on occasion.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Flushed from Thanksgiving

It was with much rejoicing that I pushed my husband out the door this morning and resumed back to the routine. Does that sound bad? A little too much togetherness. I mean with all the breathing... in and out... over and over. It gets on the nerves, don't you think?

In all seriousness I love my husband dearly. Madly even! We had a great weekend with the families. Two turkey dinners. Two tables of desserts.

One day spent on the toilet.

Ah yes. Sunday, the day of rest... my bowels decided to party without my permission. I haven't been in that much pain since I went into labor. (Ok it wasn't AS painful - but it sure gave me a friendly reminder!)

But! All that Thanksgiving eating didn't cost me anything - in fact I lost 3 lbs! Woooo for stomach viruses. Wooo.... woooooooo.... Whoa.

Liam was truly a prince for both family visits, basking in all the attention, cranberry sauce and apple pie. He was also sure not to poop for either grandmother - he saved those just for me.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thank you

The staff at Raising Liam would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for your support and readership. Even you lurkers who never give us the benefit of a comment. We are thankful for you too. Selfish bastards. Said with love.

Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow there are more diapers to change.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Wolf in Santa's Clothing

In case you didn't hear him yelling yesterday, Liam has declared "Santa is the DEVIL" across all the lands! Hide your children! Do not let this scary man in your chimney.

Though I should probably pleased that Liam didn't want to sit with him. If Liam could speak, I imagine he would have been shouting, "STRANGER DANGER!!! STRANGER DANGER!!!" And to be honest, can I fault him for thinking Santa is the Devil? Red suit? Gleaming eyes? I mean if we learned nothing from The Church Lady, we learned that moving the letters in "SANTA" spells "SATAN."

Here is a link to some other kids who did not particularly enjoy their visits with Santa. Example*:

It's the most wonderful time.... of the year.

*Not the Liam.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Well Hello there...

Is it me or is this completely creepy??

The Hug Me I've Never Felt So Alone Pillow*

Dude. Besides the creep factor... and the fact that I've been lonely in my life - but never THAT lonely... Who the hell would buy an arm to sleep in the most uncomfortable position like EVER?? Seriously. Snuggling is lovely. In fact I ADORE a nice snuggle. But sleep for the night like that? Forget it. That's for rookies! The sleep partner's arm behind the neck has to be one of the most uncomfortable sleeping scenarios imaginable. It screams, "I'm so excited I have a warm body next to me, I don't mind being paralyzed with pins and needles and awake all night!!"

Dan and I... we snuggle. We pillow talk. But then we say goodnight and get into our preferred sleeping position. Typically facing away from each other - ugh cannot breathe the same air! I need to BREATHE! My! Own! Air! I also need to have the comforter between my knees. I can't sleep right with my knees touching each other. Or I sleep on my stomach, something I missed dearly when I was big and pregnant.

But the idea of buying a man-arm to sleep with? Even one which is detailed with a lovely pocket nonetheless... I'd rather
Wake Up with the King.

*Ok, so it's not really called that.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Is that so wrong?

In order to get a couple extra seconds to clip Liam's incredibly fast moving toenails (actually it isn't the nails that are fast - it's the feet. We aren't a freak show, people!), I let him dangle, torso to head off the side of the couch, while maintaining a firm arm on his legs and hands on his foot.

When he throws the same book at me for the 100x time, I read a new version in which all the animals go into "hibernation" and the book vanishes into thin air.

I find it hilarious when I point at a picture of Santa and say "Ho ho ho!" Liam responds "Hey hey hey!" a la Fat Albert.

I jam the rest of the cookie down my throat with my back turned just so he won't whine for any.

Sometimes when Liam rolls away mid-diaper change, I let him go and hope for the best. I once blamed the dogs for a poop that I later realized was Liam's. I have small dogs!

Liam eats his weight in Cheerios on an almost daily basis.

Vegetables covered in cheese are still vegetables.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Photo Friday: It's the Belated Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. (taken 10/22/05)

First pumpkin pick. Posted by Picasa

Liam and Daddy working the pumpkinfest. Posted by Picasa

Dada! I want you to lift THIS one. Posted by Picasa

Liam loved this "pumpkin." Posted by Picasa

Liam and Mum Posted by Picasa

Got pumpkins, let's roll! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Keep Away from Your Armpits...

I bought some of these Mr. Clean Magic Reach things. I'm looking at the guidelines on the back of the mopping pad package and the last one made me laugh outloud.

- Not for personal cleansing.

Now you know SOMEBODY did and that's why it's on the package.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What I'm Fixated on Now

Hot drink: Starbucks Caffe Mocha. I. Cannot. Seem. To. Get. Enough. Espresso, steamed milk and mocha syrup goodness! I don't even like coffee. Guess it's not coffee though. It's caffeine- spiked hot chocolate. There is a Starbucks Drive Thru in my town now. Soooooooo easy. I refrain from getting the whip cream topping 90% of the time. I get nonfat Mochas 50% of the time. Santa - gift idea - gift cards!

The Show: The Office. If you have ever worked in an office you will find characters in this show that are either from your past or present. I am convinced this is one of the funniest shows on t.v. Especially since Arrested Development wasn't renewed. Fox bastards.

The Nut: Cashews. Fancy, of course. My mother-in-law always has them. I think she started having them a lot when she did one of those crazy no carbs diets (Totally worked for her, but no bread or pasta for an Italian? Is she nuts?). Anyway, if I think of it, I get a big can of them at BJ's and we nibble on them here and there til they are gone. LOVE the cashew.

The Walking: I cannot take my eyes off of Liam when he is walking around. He's gotten a lot better and can often make it from one room to the next without falling. Liam looks like a cross between Frankenbaby and Joe Cocker (the early days) when he toddles around. Bless his heart!

The Eclair: To be more specific... the pre-frozen mini eclair. They sell them en masse at the grocery store or your local wholesale warehouse in the frozen foods section. My mum gets these things out whenever I come over and I eat one every time I pass the table. Which is often when these little eclairs are out. YUMMO!

What are you fixated on now?

Friday, November 11, 2005

As I slap myself in the forehead

I have found a temporary solutionto the nail trimming problem. I hate to say it works, but it's the dreaded freaks, The Teletubbies. He finds them HILARIOUS. And looks at me as if to say, Holy Crap, Mama! What drugs are the creators of this show on and can I get some when I go to college?

So Oinky Doinkie*, Poop*, GaGa*, and DingleBerry* will captivate him for a full 15 minutes while I give him the manicure.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!!!

*Names changed to protect my sanity.

Photo Friday: Holllllaaaaaa!

On Saturday night my nephew, Andy, was confirmed. Dan was his sponsor. I am his Godmother. Posted by Picasa

The better to EAT you with, my dear! HAHAHA! Posted by Picasa

Allllright! They are finally gonna feed me! Posted by Picasa

Yay for me! I ate a carrot! Can I get a whoop whoop! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Word play

Liam has a couple of words now and uses them repeatedly. He will identify all sorts of things by these words since he hasn't acquired the ability to say many words yet. When he speaks, he places emphasis on the second syllable of the word.

His words are:
"mama" (so it becomes "mah MAH")
"dada" (dah DAH)
"baby" (bay BEE)
"doggies" (dug EEZ)
"Daisy" (day ZEE; for one of our pugs, though he calls both pugs "Daisy" or "doggies")
"nana" (nah nah; I'd like to say this is him saying Nana or Nonni for his grandmothers, but it is his effort to say "banana.")

This week he has been enjoying eating some cut up apple as a snack or part of his lunch or dinner. When he wants more - he signs "more" then says, "Baby" and points to the counter where the remainder of the apple sits.

I say, "Apple."

He starts giggling and says "baby" more emphatically.

I say "apple" and show him the sign for apple (closed fist against cheek).

He grins a big toothy grin and cackles.

I bring more apple and deposit on his tray. I say, "apple" again and show him the sign for "apple."

To which he responds, "nana" and puts his fist against his cheek with his pinky poking into his eye.

Insane laughing with head thrown back ensues followed by the stuffing of 10 small pieces of diced apple into his mouth at once.

He's toying with me. Not the first... or last time, I fear.

Walk This Way

Please click here to see Liam's newest music video. ROCK STAR!

There is music so it's best played on a computer with sound.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Like Wrestling an Ungreased Pig

I can't think of many tasks of maintaining Liam's hygeine that I dread like cutting his nails. I mean, as a parent, I partake in more disgusting experiences since I've had a child than I ever thought possible. My friend Marianne pointed this out while we were at the park on Tuesday. With no tissue handy, she was doing a barehanded nose squeeze to Mikayla and wiping the results on her jeans as she said, "The things I never thought I'd do."

I mean Liam is just over 14 months old and I've been puked on, pooped on and sneezed on. Pretty much the gamut of bodily functions. I know in the next ten years I'll add "bled on" to the list, but hopefully just from scratches. No need for life altering blood incidents like I gave my parents when I cracked my head open on a radiator (falling from a chair when attempting to get myself a brownie off the kitchen counter. Mmmmm... brownies.)

Weekly and daily tasks seem to get more and more challenging as the baby becomes a Real Boy. I once posted about possible events in a Parent Olympics. But sometimes I feel like my day has become a triathalon. There is less napping which means less opportunity to catch my breath. I pretend not to be scared that he is barely walking yet, not yet running... but I suppose that makes the race more of a flat out marathon, right? And if you ever saw me run, you would know... it won't be pretty.

Diaper changes depend on Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Who will be laying in front of me? Mr. Hyde who lays smiling and laughing and playing with a toy. Or will Dr. Jekyl appear (usually in combination with a wet poopy diaper) and writhe and twist until I swear I am holding him on his head by his ankles. If only you could hear my pathetic pleas... "Please Liam, please just one more minute... almost done. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo...." This last cry is usually when he reaches down and decides to wipe his privates himself with his bare hands... use your imagination to determine where the hands go next.

But what I dread... really dread.... is trimming his nails. During the summer it was easier because I would take him outside on the front steps and he would be distracted by the cars and bike riders going by. By the time I got to the last nail he was done, but that was ok because so was I. Now? HA! Cars? Trucks? Who CARES, Mama! I want the dirt and the peebles way over there and I want to crawl because it's quicker and who cares if you got these cute pants at BabyGap. I don't! HA! I mean WAH! WHINE! STRETCH! BEND BACKWARDS! STIFFEN! FLAIL!

So trying to trim the nails is like trying to catch a fly with chopsticks. Picture wildly moving hands or feet and me clutching sharp shiney instrument. I almost have iiiiiit...damn. Ok just stay still one second lonnnnnnger... ugh. By the time I get one of his hands done, he has me pinned to the floor and tied to the coffee table with his shoelaces.

Advice welcome, Lucy.

The Getaway

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Back into the Fray

So with great fear and loathing I am about to take on a project for my previous employer. I really like my ex-boss and she asked me to do this and while I'm not altogether sure I have the ability to balance work-life, I'm going to do it.

In a previous life I was a technical writer/course developer for a Software Company. Specifically writing training workbooks and learning aids as well as designing training courses for in class and web-based training. I started out at Software Company as a Training Consultant providing training to Fortune 500 companies across the United States and abroad. I traveled a lot and got to see a great deal of the country as well as meet some REALLY interesting folks. The software I trained on is used in recruiting and human resource departments. REAL interesting folks. "What's a 'mouse'?" "When you say 'Click the Big Honkin' Red Icon,' what all do you mean?" "Does paperless mean no paper at ALL?" "So you think people will actually apply via the INTERNETS?"

To be honest, it wasn't actually software. Software Company is actually an ASP which means all the infrastructure and data is stored by them. The companies utilizing the custom program just log in via the Internet.

Anyway my job was feeling duller than dirt in the months leading up to the birth of my son. So when Mr. Excitement showed up it was easy to say goodbye to the cubicle and hello to the Desitin Creamy and diaper shit storms.

But Ex-boss came a callin' with an offer for two and a half months worth of work updating existing documentation and presentation materials as well as creating a couple new vehicles for delivery and after a little haggling I decided to go for it.

Is it bad to say I'm not sure I did the right thing?

I'm just worried about the balance. Liam and I have our thing - which won't be messed with if I can help it. My work will be done at night and on weekends. But that's typically when I spend time with Dan. Of course he's the first to chuck quality time if it means me bringing in some cash. My nights and weekends are also my times to decompress from Mommyville and attempt to give myself some personal attention. Even if it's a shower that takes longer than five minutes. (My parents would never believe how fast I am now capable of showering.)

So I'm just waiting on some paperwork and materials to show up to welcome me back to the non-stop fun of technical documentation. Somebody make this roller coaster stop. Pinch pinch.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Afternoon Tea at The Drake: No Experience Necessary

I'm really not an Afternoon High Tea kind of a girl. At least I didn't think so. I imagined older women with polyester pantsuits and pearls. Gossiping about friends and family (ok that I CAN do). So when Jess suggested we go to tea at one of the nicer hotels in Chicago I wasn't too sure. But I knew she really enjoyed that sort of thing so I said "Why not?"

We had three hotels we were deciding between: The Drake, The Ritz-Carlton, and The Four Seasons. Tea is served in the lounge area typically beginning around 4pm. Jess is pregnant so she called around to see what finger sandwiches were being served since her dietary requirements were much more stringent than mine. I just knew I wasn't going to be having the duck pate. Brrrrllllch. No.

We ended up going to The Drake Hotel's Palm Court. Very nice. Very elegant inside. We sat together on the couch at our table so we could people watch together. We had a choice to order champagne to make it ROYAL High Tea but Jess can't drink of course. And I couldn't stomach the idea of having champagne with my tea if I know that's a practice also enjoyed by Camilla and Charles. Camilla, here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

Anyway, the lovely wait staff were prompt and courteous. I am not much of a tea drinker. I had a green tea jag that I was on a couple years ago, but I drank it solely for the health benefits - taking it like medicine - a necessary evil. I just have never warmed up to the taste. For our Afternoon Tea, I was there for the sandwiches and pastries. Oh and the harp.

Yes there was a harpist. A sweet girl decked out in a flowy dress. She played so angelically. But wait. That familiar... "Endless Love?" To be followed by "My Love Goes on" from Titanic. She played movie soundtrack songs. Very lovely, but it seemed strange that I was singing along in my head. Sort of like I do to the muzak at the grocery store. I kept waiting for the Star Trek or Indiana Jones theme to begin.

I picked my tea (Gunpowder Green) and Jess (Darjeeling) showed me how to use the "tea equipment" because I was clueless. Then they brought over the little sandwiches, scones and breads with jams and clotted cream. I had very mixed feelings about eating anything with the word "clotted" in it. The Drake referred to it as Devonshire cream and it was mmmm...good. The sandwiches were delightful (Roast beef, Ham & Asparagus roll up, Egg Salad and Cucumber & Tomato). How can you beat small sandwiches with no crust!

"Delightful" doesn't sound terribly British to say when talking about tea. It was charming, BRILLIANT even.

After we finished tea and gabbing and gossiping and looking at all the biddies and tourists having tea, we had our pastries and decided to try a different tea. I went with a Chocolate Mint. I forget what Jess was having because I was too busy licking the tea cup ful of chocolatey mint goodness.

We finished up the tea and gathered our things and as we walked out of The Drake's Palm Court I swear I heard the harpist beginning the refrains of "A little less conversation a little more action..."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Photo Friday: Because I don't post enough pictures. Really.

Getting a feel for fall: leaf scrunching! Posted by Picasa

Obligatory front steps pumpkin shot. Of course the leaves are there soley for the photos benefit. Posted by Picasa

Leaf study Posted by Picasa

This morning's mischief. Yes, he has pjs with penguins and polar bears on them already. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

TV Addict Confession #354

I'M The Biggest Loser because I'm crying while watching the damn show!

Ahem... also watching while eating buffalo chicken strips. Ooops!