Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beyond the boob

Today is Nora's 6-month birthday. I still can't believe that my tiny little lump of baby has turned into a solid mass of human being. She's sitting on her own (for short periods), playing with toys—and plastic bags—and getting furious when they're taken away from her, showing preferences for certain people, pushing up on her knees and trying to crawl (she even managed some forward motion this evening), and in general finding new ways every day to explore her individuality.

I don't like it.

I do know, however, that I need to accept it—even facilitate it—if I want her to grow into an independent, functional person. (That is what I want, right?) To that end I finally took the cue last night, when she plunged her fist ravenously into my mashed potatoes and tried to stuff them into her mouth, that she's maybe ready for something other than breastmilk.

It's a bittersweet step—and one I was happy to delay as long as possible. Until now, we've basically functioned as one unit: She grew as part of my body, taking her nourishment from me; she was born, and though she was no longer physically a part of me, I felt no less connected to her—she has stayed close, slept nuzzled against me, and flourished on nothing more than what my body has produced for her. Every molecule of her chunky little body has come, so far, from me. So giving her solid foods smacked me with the reality that we're taking the first of many steps in the process of detachment, of her finding sustenance (both literal and figurative) apart from me. It's normal. It's natural. It's necessary. And still it kills me.

Heavy discussion over a baby carrot, no? That was her first food: a roasted baby carrot. We're trying something called baby-led weaning, which means that instead of spoon-feeding purees, we'll present Nora with food and she can eat it or not, as she's interested and ready. (And yes, it probably also means I'll be that woman who's still nursing her 14-year-old. Sorry, but you'll get used to it.) From what I've read, babies will normally explore food with their hands and mouths for a while—maybe even months—before eventually gumming off some bites and swallowing them. Not our little overachiever. She immediately got the carrot to her mouth, bit off a piece, chewed, and swallowed. Repeat. I'd say she swallowed about half the baby carrot, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Before I start crying (again), I'll stop dissecting this event and just let the photos, and the video at the end, tell the story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Save handmade toys …

(and sweaters, hair clips, cute little baby booties … you get the idea). Click the button below to learn more about what's going on with safe toy regulations, how they could harm the handmade kids' stuff industry, and what you can do to help:

Save Handmade Toys

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For the therapist's couch

Lately I've been trying to offer up a little more praise (since I spend a lot of my day saying things like, "That is not where peanut butter goes."), so last night at dinner I said, "Nice job eating your dinner, Sidamo!" when he ate some food unprodded and then, "Nice job drinking your water!" when he had some water and actually swallowed it. He, without skipping a beat, said, "Nice job drinking your wine, Mommy!"

Where's the social worker when you need her?

In healthier family news, I got my first completely unsolicited "I love you," tonight. Times three, and each time accompanied by a huge, giggly hug. Melt me. He also told me I'm the sweetest little boy in the world. As flattered as I am, I know someone else who might be in the running for that title.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's official: Our little man is a little man. Yesterday was his 3rd birthday (surreal) and we spent the day celebrating as a family. Greg took the day off so we could take Damo—and, by association, Nora—to his first movie. It went so much better than we ever could have anticipated.

It all started with some bad food court food and a ride on the carousel:

Then the big purchase:

Three tickets to paradise (or Madagascar 2):

And then the really big purchase:

Sidamo sat in his seat and acted like an old pro—eyes fixed on the screen, hand plunged in the popcorn bag, telling his dad to "shh!":

Nora actually spent much of the film in rapt attention. Just not this part:

We then came home, had nap time, and then shared pizza and delicious cupcakes (thanks again, Maia!) with grandpa. Really and truly, the perfect 3rd birthday.

I have such a hard time believing out little guy is such a grown-up already. I've been scanning the blog from the past year, and so much has happened (not sure why that's a surprise). Here are some highlights, to prevent you from having to scan the past year's blog entries:
  • Switched from calling me Mama to Mommy. Today he even experimented with Mom—to my great displeasure.
  • Had his first Christmas with us.
  • Potty trained. Hallelujah.
  • Participated in his first presidential caucus.
  • Cuddled with pretty much every player on the CU Buffaloes football team.
  • Started (and stopped) preschool.
  • Played on a soccer team.
  • Took the shortest vacation on record (23 hours in Basalt).
  • Became a big brother!
  • Celebrated his first year home with us.
  • Saw the beach for the first time.
  • Saw the DNC festivities in Denver.
  • Went to his first Rockies game.
  • Visited Amish Country.
  • Voted for Obama!
I can already tell 3 is going to be a fun year. Not that 2 wasn't fun, but man, it was hard. The tantrums, the defiance, the simultaneous but conflicting desires (did I ever tell you about the meltdown about washing his hands? "I don't want to wash my hands!" "You have to wash your hands." Meltdown. "Fine, let's just go, I'll use hand sanitizer on you." Meltdown. "I want to wash my hands!" "Fine, wash your hands." Meltdown. "Maybe later!" Ugh.).

Just in the past few weeks, as though he knew his birthday was on the horizon, Sidamo has started displaying all the typical 3-year-old characteristics. His imagination is starting to expand, and he tells stories (which could sometimes be interpreted as lies). It's pretty cool to see the mind changing, even when I'm frustrated by the stretched truths. Until now we've loved the fact that he has always acted like he's on truth serum, confessing to his every crime with just teensiest bit of prodding. Now we're realizing that when we aske what he's doing behind a closed door, we can't take, "Nothing!" at face value.

These milestones just remind us how blessed we are that this fantastic person is our son. We continue to fall deeper in love with him as his funny (and brilliant) personality emerges. We're so, so lucky to be your family, Sidamo!

Monday, December 8, 2008


We've done a decent job so far of sheltering our kids (and more importantly, our ears) from electronic toys, but with birthdays, holidays, and personal tastes emerging, it's becoming less and less possible. Really, though, I'm starting to admit that my avoidance is more about my own personal distaste for beeps and buzzes than it is about parenting principles. And I'm also realizing that there's no way to deny the pure joy that this, courtesy of Aunt Lisa, Uncle Chris, and Scarlett, has brought to Sidamo:

Really, it's as though this product was designed for specifically for him—computers and Cars in one package? Couldn't be better. This morning, Greg left for work and tried to buy me and Nora a little sleep-in time by planting Sidamo in his room with the laptop. It worked in a way a pile of books does not. When I went in, about 15 minutes after Greg left, I found Sidamo punching random keys and staring at the screen rather intently. I said, "Morning, sweetie, are you playing with your new computer?" He looked up at me and, very seriously, said, "I'm working, Mommy."

Okay, technology, you win.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

20 flavors, 10 toddlers

Yesterday we had Sidamo's birthday party at a neighborhood ice cream shop, where kids were invited to make their own sundaes. I think the first photo sums up the results.

Doesn't he look like he's laying down rhymes with the help of his lovely back-up singers?

We forgot to put candles in his ice cream before he started devouring it (or was it that we were afraid to get our fingers between him and his sundae?), so I put the candles in what was left of my cone.

Wishing for a sugar-high.

Max's famous stink-eye.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another quick peek

We had professional photos taken this weekend, and the photographer sent us a few of her favorites. Can't wait to see the rest!