Friday, April 29, 2011

You Know It's Bad When

... you have to pencil in your calendar "Bathe yourself, you gross person." And right above that is "Bathe your child, you negligent parent."

Happy Easter!
Happy Spring!
Happy Weekend!
Happy Happy!

Things are good. Great. Crazy. Madness. I think, let me check. Yes, all that. The boy is sick (of course), teething, and a miserable beast 50-75% of the time. But we're hanging in there. And enjoying the other 25-50% of the time when he's a delight to be around.

I'll be back with a vengeance next week. I pwomise. Sorry for the baby talk. Need sweepy time. And a cocktail the size of my head. Pwease?

I like turtles.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dudes and Shoes

Tony's shoe wardrobe consists of 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of dress shoes, and 1 pair of flip flops. He wears the corresponding shoes for the appropriate occasions, and he wears them until you can literally SEE THROUGH THEM, and then deals with weeks of his nagging wife pestering him to buy a new goddamn pair already, before he will even consider purchasing new ones.

The nagging wife also buys all of his shirts, pants, shorts, socks, undershirts, and underwear. But the nagging wife stops at shoes because she knows how he gets all "Waah I don't like thoooose" about his footwear.

I think the $10 off coupon to Sports Authority we got in the mail was the final sign that it was time to say bye bye to these pretties:

They have seen many miles, with many holes to show for it.

I went shopping with Tony, because, well.. god only knows what he'd come back with. And really, I'm not picky. Obviously I don't care that much about what he puts on his feet if I am often seen in public with him walking around in the above pictured monstrosities. But the poor guy just has no clue. He needs my help.

At the store I held up some of my favorite options... Adidas shell-toes, cool looking Pumas, skater like Converse. All shot down. He needs support and function and... not cute. Oh well, I tried. Of all the supportive, functional, affordable options, he went with these:

Totally fine. Totally Tony. At least there aren't any holes. Give it tiiiime.

I'm trying to break the cycle of footwear abuse with Desmond. Unfortunately, cute, affordable shoes for boys are ridiculously hard to find. This pair from See Kai Run (LOVE SKR, btw) has done us good, but they've seen better days. I'm on the hunt for a simple pair of sneakers with soles suitable for a first walker. I've literally spent hours online trying to find some. Sigh...

I guess now I understand why some guys just keep 3 pairs around.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Desmond has always been a bit on the slow side of average on the milestone charts, with everything except growth (he's a BIGGUN'). I'm not calling my kid slow, he's just... deliberate. There, that sounds nice. And we've been very patient, I think. Despite the constant reminders from Random Internet Mommies proudly regaling the world wide web that their child walked at 9 months! Spoke in phrases at 1 year! Got their masters right after Kindergarten! And that's awesome. Brag away. I would/have/will too. It's every mom's right.

Des will [insert milestone here] eventually, because he always does. Just on his own time. So even if we have to remind ourselves sometimes, we sit back and enjoy him as he is on this very day, without worry or concern or fear of judgment. We've learned how fast it all goes. (Holy hell, have we.) And we know what a gigantic, life-altering adjustment it can be moving from one step to another. Breast milk to formula, liquids to solids, rolling over, crawling, smiling, laughing, talking... I count it as my own little blessing that I have a few extra breaths to relish each stage.

But... There IS one big milestone we have been on the edge of our seats waiting for... His first steps.

He has been strongly standing on his own for weeks. We can stand him up in the middle of any room and he'll just hang out, standing there like a tree. If he feels the need to move, he'll lower himself down to crawl away. When standing, his feet are glued to the ground. The whole lifting a knee and stepping one foot in front of the other... Meh, not his thing.

Des turned 15 months old on Friday. Again, a bit on the late side for not walking yet, depending on who you ask. But hey, that's fine! Take your time, little man! Heck, if you can put it off until after our upcoming travels, all the better. These milestones are always super accommodating like that, right?


Yesterday, I was in the kitchen and Tony yelled from the living room, "He just took 3 steps!!"

Of course, I dropped whatever dish I was washing and ran the hell in there. And... nothing. He would not repeat the performance for mommy, no matter how much we prodded.

"I swear, I stood him up in front of me and he walked right into my arms!"

"I believe you, honey. It just FREAKIN FIGURES I wasn't here to see it."

But I'm not bitter.

Because today I stood him in front of me and 3 separate times, he walked to me. The screech of glee that came out of me was like nothing I've ever heard. Each time he did it, I'd grab him and squeeze him and go "GOOD JOB OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO AWESOME BAYBEEEE!!"

This voice was foreign to me. I was possessed by complete joy and I could not contain myself.

And tonight, it happened again, this walking thing:

And despite my subdued voice at the end of the video saying "Good enough, buddy," I assure you I am beaming inside with that same possessed joy as earlier.

Once the novelty wears off, the screeching may be more in panicked terror as he takes a nosedive off the deck. But I'm relishing in the moment now.

It was a big day, Desi boy. I'll remember today forever.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Haircut Round 2

One day recently I looked over at Des and his bangs were hanging in his eyes. Then I noticed hair starting to creep down his neck and over his ears. Weren't we just here? Didn't we just have that whole exciting haircut experience, like, yesterday? Okay so I guess it was more like 3 months ago. But still. That seems really fast. If this is going to be an every 2-3 month thing, I might just have to buzz it like daddy's. Boys are so high maintenance!

If Desmond's hair had a little curl to it, he might able to rock the shaggy do, Jo-Bro style. But unfortunately it is stick straight (dad's genes, not mine), so it looks all raggedy and straw-like. My cute little scarecrow.

Off the barber we go!

We tried 2 different days, and the lines were ridiculous. When we went the last time in January it was on a weekday afternoon. So I'm sensing there might be an issue with the weekends. These suburban dudes and their grooming while surrounded by animal carcasses.

It was getting to the desperation point with his hair. I was resorting to hats, every day with the hats. So after a 3rd attempt at our regular barber, all with 30+ minute waits (no thank you!), we finally decided to try out the kid's salon, Snip Its. Over stimulation, over prices and all.

This experience was entirely different from the barber, obviously. But not in a bad way. We waited about 20 minutes, and Des kept himself quite entertained. For a while he just sat on my lap with his thumb in his mouth, taking in all the scenery: kids running around, bright colors, fun music. Once he got his bearings, he was off to investigate puzzles and books and games. He was really into this submarine-looking thing.

Whenever there's a button, he's there to push it... over and over and over.

When it was time for the haircut, he was not that excited about getting in the chair. We had another little boy next to us screaming his lungs out, so that may have made him nervous. And that kid had a lot of hair, poor guy.

So while the chair and the cape and the unknown lady with sharp things were all scary at first, he loosened up and did amazingly well. Just a few whines and only a little blood. The stylist nicked herself on the finger pretty good when Des turned his head suddenly. Hey, better her than him! Sorry lady.

His mood was helped by the dancing cartoons on TV! And bubbles! And animal crackers! And lollipops!

Good lord, the pops. If the stylist needed Des to look down so she could get the back of his hair, I just had to hold the pop down by his lap and he'd bend his neck down, his lips open like a fish reaching toward the sweet sweet sugary goodness. I couldn't contain the laughter.

Of course, he looks stinking precious with his new big boy cut. And after a few days, it's a little less Lloyd Christmas...

... and much more Desmond Jack

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opening Day 2011

The home opener at Fenway turned out to be an amazing day. I was picturing drizzly rain, freezing temps, unruly crowds, and yet another loss for the Sox. And it was all the opposite. Except for the crowds, but that's to be expected.

The one slight snag in the day was when I ventured to the bathroom, which is always an experience at Fenway. I know well enough to get up from my seat when there are either 1 or 2 outs in the inning. If you wait until the inning is over, it's complete madness. So I headed down underneath at the appropriate time. Right outside the ramp from our seats is the women's room entrance, where I noticed two security guards standing. Huh, that's weird. Then through the crowd I saw one of the guards stop a woman trying to go in, and I realized it was closed. No worries, right? I'll just go to the next bathroom just down the way. HA! Yeah right. I knew right away I was in the shit, so to speak. I ran, as fast as one can run through a wall of people, to the next women's room. But it was too late. The line was like a snake down the hall. I was at the end, standing by the men's room where I saw guys walking in and out like it was nothing.

In my younger, drunker days, I would have just walked in to the men's room. But I'm a mom now. I guess that's what it was. I dunno, something kept me from doing that. I only had two beers in me maybe. I'm not gonna lie, and sorry mom but, I cursed. I cursed a lot. In solidarity to the woman in front of me ("What the fuuuuck"), in anger at the men chuckling at our plight ("Oh shut the fuck up"), and in frustration at the shoddy Fenway plumbing which closed that other restroom ("Shittastic!").

I'm sorry I just spent that much time talking about going to the bathroom. But hey, when a girls gotta go... And if that was the only snag in the day, I'd say it was a success.

I didn't bring the camera, so here are some phone photos of our day:


Our seats. The plumbing may not be the best at Fenway, but they finally put in cupholders! Small miracles.

We're trying to look normal while covering our peanut-teeth here.

Tony's mom was nice enough to watch Des for us that day. And it was like old times, sitting in our regular seats, commenting on the game and the surroundings, all the changes they made to the park. The only difference being that we would point out all the babies and talk about how cute they were, while missing our own little one at home.

We'll bring Des one day soon. But it was truly special being there with my husband, just us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And We're Back

The sickness that hit my boys sure packed a punch, but it was merciful in its quickness. And whatever vitamins and prayers I threw out there in my own defense seem to be doing the trick. I'm in the clear so far, just hoping it stays that way. For now, we are all healthy and happy and sleeping ridiculously well.

Last night Des slept 12 1/2 hours. He was wearing new hand-me-down jammies from his cousin Katie. We think they were magic jammies.

To celebrate our new found health and the upcoming spring, Tony and I will be attending the home opener for the Red Sox on Friday. Baseball in 40-degree weather. Gotta love Boston. The Sox are off to a tough start. Maybe we'll get to see their first win of the season!

I have not been to a single game in more than 2 years. First I was pregnant and would have spent the whole game staring down people's beers with drool dripping down my lip. And then I had a baby I didn't want to leave the house. I really miss it. Prior to getting knocked up, I can't remember the last time a season passed without going to a game. Since I met Tony we've been to, ya know, a few games. Including almost every home opener.

Like this one in 2005:

And this one in 2008:

My memory suuuuucks. It usually takes a photograph or a painfully detailed narration to jog back the images. And even though I don't have an actual photo of it, I can clearly recall the night of one of our first dates in 1999, at Fenway Park of course. I can't tell you anything about the game other than Pedro Martinez pitched. We sat in the grandstand on the first baseline, in the middle of a row of about 20. I always hated those seats because if you had to get up, you were forced to ask 10-12 people to stand up for you. But it didn't matter because we stayed put. For 9 innings we sat in those uncomfortable blue seats, sharing memories of growing up going to games. And becoming best friends immediately. Who knew we'd share so many more Red Sox memories.

Like Camden Yards in 2001:

Ugh. That's an embarrassing photo.

And Toronto in 2004:

And San Francisco in 2004:

That's Pedro behind us. And that's where we sat the whole game.

And Wrigley Field in 2005:

The 2004 World Series clincher at The Pour House in Boston, just the two of us and hundreds of other die-hard fans.

The 2007 World Series final game of the sweep in Denver.

We've been on the Monster.

In the EMC club

And everywhere in between.

So nice of Tony's coworkers to congratulate us on the Big Board!

Even though it's going to be in the 40's tomorrow, and it will probably be my only game of the season, I am sooo looking forward to this. It will be nice to spend an afternoon with the love of my life doing something we have always loved to do.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conversations Overheard

Tony: Did I tell you about that thing that happened yesterday?
Me: What thing?
Tony: That thing about the {insert topic here}.
Me: Oh. Yes you did.
Tony: And then how {continuation of same topic}.
Me: Ha, yeah. You told me.

:sound of a fork ticking a dinner plate:

Me: I love rehashing conversations we've already had.
Tony: Hey, if we didn't do that we'd barely talk at all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Partners and Pals

Tony and I are a good team. We've been together a long time. We're like a well-oiled machine in the habits of daily life, even prior to parenthood. And as non-routine occasions come up: traveling, late nights at work, health issues, etc., it takes very little planning and discussion to come up with a quick plan. We just kinda know how it goes. You do this, I'll do that, yup, go.

Parenting has tested the limits of our teamwork. But for the most part, it's been a pretty easy transition for Team Cawlamone. I feel a little douchey saying that. Like those women who pop back into shape immediately after childbirth and say, "What, like it's hard?"

We're not farting roses and love poems, but it just works with us, I don't know how.

It certainly helps that my husband is as present, hands-on, and eager a father as anyone can ask. I knew he would be that way, of course. It's just his nature. It's kinda like he's 100% dad and 25% mom. Which leaves me 75% mom. He's like Michael Jordan in his prime and I'm an aging Dennis Rodman picking up a rebound here and there, questionable hairstyles and all. He might disagree with this allocation. But that's how it feels to me sometimes... most times, really. Des and I are very lucky.

Maybe I take it for granted, but the strength of our team doesn't really hit home until one of us is out of commission. Most notably, Tony.

While Desmond is back to his old self (THANKFULLY), Tony has been hit by the same bug. Fever, chills, cough, cold, the works. It came on fast and hard, within a day he was out. He's been in bed most of Sunday, which is very unusual for him. Even when he's sick he usually pushes through, refusing to admit that anything can take him down. Unfortunately, this one got him good.

So I played the role of single mom today. I wanted to let Tony rest, so I took Des out on the town and we had such a fun day, but I am grateful this is only a temporary role. And I bow at the feet of all the full-time single parents out there. I don't know how you do it every day. You have some serious superpowers.

I can only hope this bug works itself through as quickly as it did with Des. And ya know... STAYS THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. Maybe wishful thinking. Zicam, do your thang please.

Get better quickly, babe. I'll hold us up until then. But our team is not the same without you.

*photo stolen from Jenny Frazier

**and p.s. read this week's article on The Patch.
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