Friday, January 23, 2009

Wrapping Up the Week

We're catching up after a busy week.  I'm exhausted.  At the same time, K. and I are also getting ready to fly to Ohio tomorrow morning to visit my parents.  We'll be gone until Wednesday.  I gotta go pack!

For now, here are some pictures from Inauguration Week for your enjoyment.  Three were taken from the roof of my husband's office during the swearing-in, and the other is of me and my brother at the We Are One concert.  (Watching U2 perform live was one of the highlights of my week!)

I'll be back next week.  Have a good one!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One for the Ages

I am amazed by how toddlers learn language.  I'm intrigued not just the learning of vocabulary, but how they contextualize words and concepts.  And I hate to brag (no, really!) but, since this is a blog devoted to my own little genius, Kibi (ha!) ... I can't resist.

He came up with something so mind-blowing that I promptly jotted it down in his baby book so I would never forget the date, the exact phrasing, and how old he was when he said it (just shy of 21 months, for those of you keeping track at home).

So, on Inauguration Day, my husband and I had the good sense not to take K. down to the Mall in the freezing cold with the LITERALLY 2 MILLION OTHER PEOPLE.  We spent a delightful day at my friend A.'s house, with a bunch of fellow political nerds and their kids.  However, my aforementioned brother came to town specifically to brave the crowds and witness history up close and personally.  We got him a ticket to a party at my husband's office, which happens to be located one block from the Capitol.  Nice!  (Later on, I'll have to post some of his pictures - they were incredible.)

Anyway... before I go any further, there are a few pieces of information that are key to the story:

1) Many times, when we're stuck in the car for one reason or another, K. and I always talk about cars, trucks, and any other aspects of TRAFFIC that you can imagine.  I use that word, in fact, a lot.  Fortunately for me, the topic always seems to interest him.

2) Those of you who are Republicans, cover your eyes because this may irritate you... but I've taught K. to say "Gooooo Obama!" and he happens to do it most times he sees the guy on TV, OR (and this is funny) whenever he sees the red, white, and blue Obama logo - or even when he sees an American flag.  I suppose I can understand how he would confuse the latter two.

3) Throughout Inauguration Day, whenever K. would take an interest in what was happening on the TV, I would make a big deal of talking about my brother actually being there: "Look, Uncle C. is there!  Maybe we'll see him.  How exciting for Uncle C.!" etc.

So back to that night.

After the Inaugural parade, my brother got stuck in the massive logjam and didn't end up getting home until way late in the evening.  Prior to that, as I was putting K. to bed, we shared some good conversation about the day.  K. listened attentively as I changed his diaper and put on his PJ's.  I was going along, chatting away, and then told him how I was mildly concerned because my brother hadn't gotten home yet and I was wondering where he was.

At this point, K. said, very slowly and thoughtfully:  

"Stuck.... in.... Obama.... traffic!"


Although I was super-proud that he could come up with such a concept using words he was familiar with, it is a little depressing, when you think of it, that a 21 month old understands the concept of being stuck in traffic.  Ah, life in our modern times!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Inauguration Week!

My brother is in town for the inauguration of our 44th president.  Like me and Kibi, he did some canvassing on Obama's behalf during the election and has come to town to celebrate the victory. Yay!

We'll all be busy with various events over the next few days, but I'll try to post more later this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Injured Little Monkey

K. has really taken to the song, "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."  (For those of you who use YouTube for desperate tot-entertaining like I shamelessly do, here's a great version of the song for future use.)

Anyway, as I learned today, he's really internalized the verse.  This proved all too true this morning, when he (ouch) ran into the corner of my bedside table with his forehead and promptly burst into tears.  

I rushed to comfort him, knowing how badly that must've hurt, and doing my quick Mom-calculations to determine the seriousness of the bump.

Then, amid tears, he said (very quickly and emphatically): "MonkeybumpedheadMamacalldoctor!"

The humor of the moment may not translate well, in writing, but trust me.  As they say: you had to be there.  It was hilarious!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Teeny Bit of Cabin Fever

Today's one of those days where I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by the lack of an agenda.  It's a slow time for me and work (I lost a client recently due to the crummy economy) so I have more free time than normal.  Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love the free time and most of all I love spending time at home with K.  But you SAHM's out there know that sometimes you can feel panicky at the prospect of a full 12 hours with no scheduled interaction with the outside world.

K. was diagnosed with an ear infection two days ago, which explained his crazy-high temperatures and general crankiness over the weekend.  He's on the mend, thankfully, with antibiotics, but still doesn't appear to be feeling tip-top.  Consequently, although we have an invitation for a play date this afternoon, I think we'll stay home and let him rest up a bit more. 

Add to this the fact that it is about 25 degrees outside, so that eliminates any opportunity for getting out in the open.  

So, knowing that we had a day of hunkering down in store, I tried my best this morning to be creative (and limit my cell phone-Facebook checking!) with games.  I am pretty proud of myself in terms of how I filled the morning.

Here's a list of our activities up until naptime.  

7:30 am     Wake up
7:30 - 8:30     Lounge in Mom's bed drinking milk and watching the news with a bit of Tivo-ed Bob the Builder mixed in (I feel guilty about the TV watching but hey, he's sick, and he was resting the whole time, right?)
8:30 - 9:00    Breakfast (mini pancakes, strawberries, and a squeezy yogurt)
9:00 - 9:45     Play-doh party!  Fun for Mom, too.
9:45 - 10:00   With K. losing interest in Play doh and pulling out his new Christmas gift, the Fisher Price Little People learning town, we played "house" and "school" intermingled with "making a pizza" and delivering it to the Little People.  Some of his cars got in on the action as well.  ("Car ... eat pizza!" etc.)
10:00 - 10:15   K. loses interest in Little People and pulls out his Sesame Street doctor kit, another Christmas present.  He proceeds to give Mom a check-up then moves on to giving his toy dump truck a very good analysis with the otoscope.
10:15 - 11:00   The action moves downstairs to the basement, where his Thomas train table can be found.  This ensures a good chunk of time while Mom can goof around on the computer - glory be!  (So much for my pledge not to check Facebook.)
11:00 - 11:10  K. happens to become intrigued by some photos of friends' kids Mom was viewing; comes over and requests photos of himself.
11:10 - 11:12  We flip quickly through Mom's electronic photo collection of K., to smiles and applause.
11:12 - 11:50 K. suddenly announces he wants to view hot air balloons on You Tube (don't ask) and we proceed to watch various videos, from a lovely hot air balloon race to "Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks" (oldie but a goodie) to a cartoon video of "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed".
11:50 - 12:20   Lunchtime!  Ravioli, strawberries (he's actually EATING them these days so I'm sticking with a good thing) and sweet potatoes.
12:20 - 12:30   Reading books in the countdown to naptime.
12:45   Down for a nap!

I have to say, the morning did seem to fly by.  

Do any of you have suggestions for other things to do when the weather - or your child's health - is not cooperating?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time Just for Us

Last week, K. and I found ourselves with an open day, so I decided to take him to the local nature center

It ended up being a great way to spend a sunny winter morning.  K. was content to walk along the pathways, holding my hand, and looking at the sights I pointed out along the way.  (The tree with the face on it was, needless to say, one of the most delightful surprises of the excursion!)  

We checked out the rehabilitation center, where we saw an eagle and two owls, all of whom had been injured in the wild and were subsequently rescued by the center.  

We went inside the lodge and saw snakes, fish, and turtles. I thought K. would be interested in the animals, and he was - to a degree.  But what he seemed to enjoy most of all was walking outside with me, taking in the sights.  

It was such a relaxing, serene experience (K. and I were literally the only people at the center, other than one employee).  It was hard to imagine that the hustling, bustling center of the political world was less than a mile away from us.  

Enjoying being kept to a toddler's pace, I had time to think about how truly precious the moment was - just K. and me, taking our time, enjoying the scenery.  Times like these always make me a little emotional, flashing forward to when K. is grown up with appointments to keep and friends of his own.  I know that then I will be looking back on these times fondly, remembering them as the first few brushstrokes of a colorful mosaic of experiences we will share together as a mother and son.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Have You Ever Been So Tired ...

... that you forget to put the coffee pot in the coffee maker when you turn it on?  

I took the time to add the beans, pour the water in, close the various doors and compartments, press "Grind On" and turn the thing on.  I did not, however, take the time to actually set the pot on its little stand in the machine.  I then left the kitchen, sat down with K. and ate breakfast.  I heard a strange gurgling noise, but attributed that to the rain outside in the gutters.  I did not take time to even glance at the machine until we were finished eating, at which point I returned to the kitchen, saw that coffee and ground-up beans had spilled ALL OVER THE COUNTER AND KITCHEN FLOOR, and cursed pretty loudly.

That pretty much tops my list of Stupid Stuff I Do When I am Tired.  K. seemed to enjoy the spectacle, at least!

Hope all of your weekends are faring better...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just Like a Flower

Motherhood is fraught with emotional ups and downs (not to mention hormonal swings, but that's another story...).  I often find myself blindsided by my reaction to something so unbelievably touching, or sad, or sweet, or funny. 

One of those "that's so sweet I could just cry" moments happened this morning, as I was getting K. dressed.  

Earlier in the morning, as has been our custom these last few days, we went into our home office which, because of its nice morning light, is the place where I chose to put an amaryllis my mother in law got us for the holidays.  To my surprise, K. has really enjoyed spying on the bud every morning to see how much it has grown from the past day.  I told him that we'll check in on it every day and keep waiting for the flower to bloom, as it is, at this moment, only in the stem stage.  We usually cap off our little visit by proclaiming that "The flower is growing!"

Well, later on this morning, after putting on his shirt and overalls, I pulled K. onto my lap and sat with him in the rocking chair as I reached for his socks.  I told him we'd need to get some new socks soon because his feet appear to be outgrowing them.  For that matter, I said, "YOU are growing! A little bit bigger every day."  

After listening intently, he said: "Kian growing... like flower."

It was just so sweet and simple, but it was exactly right.  Just like a flower in bloom.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blast from the Past

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon what I have now deemed The Best Invention for Parents of Toddlers.  Are you ready...?  It's Play-Doh!

When I was in the drug store on Xmas Eve, picking up a few last minute stocking stuffers, I came upon a package of mini-Play-Doh canisters and thought, "I haven't seen these in years.  Why not?"

The result: my wildest dreams have come true.  Playing with Play-Doh keeps K. entertained for a good 30 minutes, if not more.  And those of you with little ones know that any activity that crosses the 15 minute threshold, let alone one half-hour, should be packaged and mass-marketed immediately.

While my brother was here over New Year's, the three of us had a big Play-Doh party.  It was a lot of fun.  At one point, K. had moved to the other side of the room to play with other toys, while my brother and I remained at the play table, rolling out our dough, braiding it, making various shapes, and squishing it to our hearts' content.  I remarked that it was like he and I had gone back in time about 30 years!

Here are some Play-Doh party pics for your enjoyment.  The shapes in the photos (if, shockingly, they are not easily identifiable) are a blue airplane (by Uncle C. for Kibi) and a slice of pizza (by moi).  Now go buy some for yourselves!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ah, The Holidays...

Well, it's another new year and we're all back in the swing of things.  I, however, have been fighting it every step of the way, doing my best to cling to the days of lounging, not letting a messy house get to me, diving into the books I got or borrowed from family members at Christmastime, catching up on my Netflix queue.  These are the days when I am so happy that I am not working full time!

While I enjoy the fleeting holiday hangover, I will keep the blogging brief, leaving you with lots of pictures from our two week holiday celebration with family and friends.

Happy 2009!

About Me

Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

I'm #1804