Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Still Freaking Cold

According to the news last night we've only had four days above freezing so far this year. I am perpetually pissed off. It is unnatural to spend this much time indoors. I'm grateful, though, to have a great job that allows me to work from home and to have a baby who looks so cute all bundled up:

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, January 26, 2009

Everything Is A Pushtoy

Oliver is all over these days... And Eric and I got firsthand exposure to exactly how vast "all over" is, as we were home with the little monkey for a full week because he was sick.

In addition to crawling into every corner and crack, he found great entertainment in converting our furniture into pushtoys. Magazine rack - pushtoy. Kitchen chair - pushtoy. Step stool - pushtoy. Bar stool - pushtoy. New Dyson - pushtoy. Highchair - pushtoy. Toy chest - pushtoy. Wine rack (pictured below) - pushtoy.

And then there's the conversion of the kitchen cabinetry into climbing wall. But that's another story.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, January 23, 2009

Famous Likeness

My sister just sent me this most excellent side-by-side:

Love it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Oliver!

Yesterday (plus a couple weeks because I'm a slacker blogger; actual DOB = 1/8/08) was Oliver's birthday. Hard to believe, but true. It started with a disaster of a morning and ended in a mess of cake and cream. Good times!

It was only his fourth day of daycare, which had been going OK but not great. He's pretty used to easy and quiet, so daycare is a bit chaotic and overwhelming for him. And it doesn't help when Mommy forgets to pack his woobie (small security blanket) and bink (pacifier). Ooops! I did, however, remember the little Dr. Seuss books I brought for all of the other kids in his class. Since they frown on sweets, it seemed like a good compromise. Cute books, really. I hope they like 'em.

So instead of running home to get woobie and bink, I thought I'd hit Target to buy back-ups of each, as well as a few guilt-gifts for putting him through such trauma this week and especially on his birthday.

But even before I left for the trip to Target, there were some tears at the daycare. He really didn't want to be there. His awesome teachers tried to distract him with an activity though. When I left, he was expressing his emotions via art -- Oliver with the Blues, it seems. Yes, those are tears on his cheeks.

Turns out Target didn't have his bink brand, so I bought a sampler of three other brands. Then they didn't have his woobie either -- a white teddy with lion embroidered on it. So instead he got the pink one -- a pink teddy with a ladybug embroidered on it. Sorry, Oliver.

We went through the same separation angst after I brought back the Target goods, along with a back-up woosher (musical crib toy) -- a splurge for sure at $32, but it was his birthday and I was feeling guilty. (Even more guilty knowing that all my Target trinkets didn't soothe him at all.)

BUT, when I returned in the afternoon to get him -- he was happy again. Teachers said he had a pretty rough day all day, but at least he was happy when I got there. He was wearing the awesome birthday crown that Miss Luce had made for him and was busy trying to walk.

Yes, WALK! He's doing a great job, actually. Although, it's hard to say what qualifies as first-steps. They always make it seem like a black and white issue, but when you get right down to it, there are definitely different grades of first steps. I mean, he took some first steps when we held his hands and jostled him along; he took some first steps when he started moving with his push toy; he took some first steps when he held just our fingertips. It's mostly clear that those don't count, but what about now... when he steps from standing to mommy or daddy, but kind of ends the sequence of two-to-three steps with a nosedive into our arms and the origin or the stand prior was because we stood him at arms distance from us. If that counts, then he's taken his first steps. If we have to wait for him to move successfully between inanimate objects without falling, then we have a ways to go.

Anyway... that night I picked up a couple slices of cake at Lutz (yum!), some candles, and a simple balloon. I fed him his standard, yet favorite, grilled cheese and peas and we waited for Daddy to get home for the messy celebration before bathtime.

Here he is enjoying his cake and signing a big finish: VIDEO.

That following Sunday we had a pizza party for him. I'll try to get that into a slideshow soon. Still have that cruise to document, too. Blogging is hard work. And, according to Eric, who was amiss when I told him I can't find the photos from our trip to AZ last April: "You're slacking as the family archivist." He has a point, but my 2009 resolution is to do the best I can at everything and to be satisfied with that instead of beating myself up about it. Huge challenge, but I'm working on it...


Oliver -- poor little guy -- has had a fever for the past few days and a cough for a couple weeks prior. I'm hoping he gets better soon, but in the meantime, he's been at home instead of daycare.

Monday was lucky because my client was observing MLK Jr. Day, so I didn't feel too bad about taking off. Tuesday was my 5-hour-day gig, so I was able to take that off without a lot of sweat (and a little gratitude because I was able to watch all the inauguration coverage live). But today, I needed to get some work done for my Maryland client so Eric stayed home with The Monk today.

Here are some excerpts along his eye-opening journey so far (and it's only early afternoon as I write this -- wait until the sundowns start)...
  1. As he hit the snooze bar after I was up with Oliver for 45 minutes around 5:30: "How's his temperature? Is he going to daycare?"
  2. With a tightening voice as I was bundling up to leave: "What am I supposed to do with him all day?"
  3. First call: "This kid is a monkey. He's all over the place."
    Response: "Should I be worried?"
  4. Second call: "Man, you can't get any work done with him. I really thought I'd be able to get some work done."
  5. Third call: "Sorry, that was Oliver playing with my phone."
  6. Fourth call: "Aw, man, I was just about to get in the shower and he woke up. Do you think I can take him outside?"
  7. Fifth call: "Ew, I think I should change him. He smells like he has a nasty poo."
    Response: "Why don't you do that and give him a bath to make him feel better and pass the time?"
    Eric: "I just gave him a bath."

Hahahaha... love it. I know I shouldn't be getting so much pleasure out of it. And, I know, like me, Eric is enjoying his day with Oliver for the most part, but it's so true that being a stay-at-home is WAY harder than anyone could imagine. So cheers to all my SAHM friends! Much props.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Crowned Prince

I'm working on a more detailed version to recount Oliver's first birthday (1.08.09), but since I'm stuck here in the car with him as he naps off another long, hard day at the new daycare, I thought I would post this cute photo of him I took with the trusted iPhone when I picked him up from school that day. His new teacher, Miss Luz, made it for him.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Gift of Warmth

Our son is so generous. On the eve of his own birthday party, he decided to give his mommy a special present to warm her heart and saturate her bra and drip down on her socks:

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Year in Review: January 2008 (The Birth)

If it were a year prior to the moment I am writing this, I would have been down at Prentice Hospital waiting for the induction meds to kick in. Hard to believe. Actually, 'hard" is a good word for January, really. It was hard times -- and of course, a few good times, too. (Warning: This is a long post... another one of those for the-good-of-the-archive more than the-good-of-the-reading.)

New Year's Eve was spent like a beached whale on the couch, as our stellar handyman, Esteban, put up some extra storage in our back hallway. I was really starting to get into nesting mode in anticipation of Oliver's due date of January 31.

I was done with what was a crazy December working on the Manage My Home site for Sears, so I could finally focus on our home -- a little ironic, I guess. Eric and I had spent a good amount of the holidays on trips to Ikea and Container Store and cleaning out closets and all that good stuff. I was also getting very excited for the shower that was set for January 6. (See awesome invitation at above!) My sisters were coming in from CA and my dear friend Emily was hosting at her place.

Friday, January 4 was to be my last day at work, but I was still doing this and that on Thursday and I also had a doctor appointment that day. Even though I had had some problems with blood pressure and been in the hospital once already for monitoring, I expected the appointment to be relatively routine. Turns out, the BP was high again so it was back to the hospital for an observation period. My sisters came into town on Friday to find me laid up at Prentice, where the views, the flatscreen TV, and Room Service were pretty novel, really. The doctors sent me home on Saturday on bedrest with orders to come back into the office for a check on Monday. That night we ate Thai Food (nobody had warned me that the salt was bad for my blood pressure), Sunday I violated doctor's orders and went to the shower. I took it easy over there, though. It was so great to see everyone and get so many awesome gifts. And most definitely a highlight: Emily's Bread Pudding! (which she made with croissants because she could find brioche or challah, so you can imagine how delish it was).

Monday, January 7, Eric and I went in to see Dr. McNair who didn't like what my pressure was doing, who made me pee in a cup even though I had to try like 5 separate times, and who said I wasn't dialated, but "That baby is cooked. Go across the street." So back to Prentice we went to get induced. Sent Eric home for the bag (which we hadn't even packed yet) and let the fun begin. I'll leave out the gory details here (and it was a bit gory to tell you the truth)... just know that Oliver was born some 27 hours later on January 8 at 5:something PM. Hooray! He was 7 lbs, 10 oz, but looked like a 20-pounder in the photo below, eh? Hooray! And Eric proclaimed him Oliver James (with some doubt and hesitation that maybe he was an Owen). Hooray! It was so exciting to have this little bundle. I hardly slept because I just couldn't stop staring at him in wonder and awe. Hooray!

Hooray, EXCEPT! After two days in the hospital, they sent us home, but mommy was not well. I couldn't breathe overnight and I was still very swolen. My BP was still high, skyrocketed in fact and I had to go back into the hospital through the ER (not fun). Long story short, I spent the next five days in the hospital missing Oliver and being really scared about my health and well-being. Oliver was well taken care of by his grandmas, though -- such a blessing.

The rest of January is a bit of a blur. The day after I got home, January 16, was Oliver's bris (wish I had some good pictures of that day, but I really don't -- everything is kinda blurry because of the no-flash rule). Then a week with mom here helping me, still not feeling quite myself but already so in love with that little baby. Then mom gone and Eric back at work. The weather was an absolute nightmare and we really didn't leave the house but for an occasional doctor appointment, so it was pretty aweful. Oh, that reminds me... when Oliver first came home, before I was readmitted, we took him to this barrio pediatrician office in Uptown. Let's just say that was a BAD IDEA! But we have a great pediatrician now, thank goodness.

And that was January 2008. And January 2008 was hard. And hard is character-building and perspective-giving and all worth it in the case of Oliver James Weinstein:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Your Baby's First Year of Life - Week 52

The second you find out you're pregnant you sign up for these weekly updates from online magazines and mommy sites so you can monitor all those tiny developments like getting eyelashes and having identifiable private parts, all the while devouring your What to Expect book that lives on your nightstand.

Then, eventually, you have the baby and you move on to the second volume of What to Expect, which keeps your attention for maybe the first 6 weeks when you discard the seemingly common-sense advice. But, the emails, they keep coming. Who has time to unsubscribe with a 6-week-old to take care of? Mostly you skim them now, not following the links from the teasers to the more in-depth content. Then one day you get the one called "Your Baby's First Year of Life - Week 52." Week 52? What? How can that be?

It's true, though, this week is Oliver's 52nd week. The little diablo will be uno en January 8. (Sorry for the Spanglish, I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on vacation where the two languages were commonly interchanged.)

We aren't going to do too much for his big day. Just a family dinner on the Thursday, then a pizza with family and a few friends on Sunday. Oliver is hoping to take his Stroller Strides girlfriends out to lunch next week, too, but all-in-all it should be a quiet one. (Well, I guess three events isn't exactly "quiet" but in the whole Elmo-and-Dora scheme of things, pizza is quiet.)

And quiet is good.

We just got back from a very active vacation -- a 10-night Eastern Carribean Cruise! It was great to spend a lot of individual and extended family time (but more on all of our adventures at sea later when I get the hundreds of Oliver photos downloaded from our camera).

Also on the docket for blog later (blater?) is some sort of Year in Review effort. I've been thinking that I should try to do a little catch-up on the blog since I didn't start until September and he had 8-9 months of life prior that went entirely without commentary. The audacity!

So, visit often, comment more, and have a happy new year!