February 28, 2011

february flashback!

It was so much easier to photograph the boy a year ago ...

(When he couldn't move)

February 25, 2011

monkey see, monkey do

As has been mentioned before, I am a science teacher.

I like science ... I think I always have.

I like the concept of using evidence to support a claim.

I like to think logically.

I like to problem solve.

But, by the same token, I am a spiritual person.

I believe in a Higher Power and that everything happens for a reason.

That what goes around comes around.

I say all this because, from my current experiences, being both scientifically minded and religious is something of an oxymoron.

It is unheard of.

It is an either/or situation ...

Certainly not both at the same time!

As a teacher (more specifically, a Biology teacher), I am entrusted with educating my students according to the state standards and curriculum that I am given. This semester, part of that curriculum involves the theory of evolution ...

Now, I could ramble on all day long about there is nothing "evil" or "anti-God" about evolution. How a scientific "theory" is a well-supported body of evidence. How it is no less important (or any less "proven") than a scientific law. I could rant and rave about how the statement "it's just a theory" boils my science-teacher blood. Or how species are constantly evolving and adapting to the changing, chaotic world in which we live ...

But you get the idea.

I'll spare you.

While I do believe in God, I agree with (I hate to say "believe in") the scientific claims described in the theory of evolution ... So, it is very difficult for me, when speaking with parents, to hear them say things like:

"I'll just tell my son that what you're talking about in class is all a fairy tale. He knows that God created the world exactly as it is today."

This not only gets me wondering, as a teacher, if I can truly do my job and educate some of my students (especially if they are being told that the material is all lies) ... It also makes me wonder about just how I want to raise Malcolm when it comes to matters of spirituality and belief.

I mean, we currently attend Catholic mass every Sunday. We read children's books about Jesus and virtues and other faith-related themes. We try to live our lives and show Malcolm, by example, what it means to be a "good person."

Obviously, I am teaching my son about religion and faith at an early age.

The Catholic sacrament of Marriage is performed for just that reason ... To produce children and bring them up in the faith, thereby keeping it alive. But, at the same time, I don't want to shelter him from other ways of thinking. I don't want Malcolm to be the ignorant kid that blindly follows me, his mother, because "I told him so."

I want him to ask questions about everything, to educate himself, and ultimately make his own decisions ...

But what if the decisions that he makes are not the same as what I want for him?

What if they deviate from what I believe to be true?

Can I handle that?

Would I consider that a failure on my part?

All of these thoughts are currently swirling around my head ... And the kid is only a year old! He hasn't even said his first word yet, let alone decided if he thinks evolution is a "fairy tale" or a reality ... Or if he believes in the same God that I do.

As I compose this post, I know that there is no easy answer to my dilemma.

While, on one hand, I want my son to follow my lead and example, I also want him to take ownership of his own beliefs. I want him to inquire about science, religion, everything and to know that it is okay to ask tough questions ...

That sometimes a situation resides in a hazy gray area with no boundary between right and wrong.

That sometimes it's not a matter of "either/or," but rather "both/and."

February 23, 2011

under the weather

After a busy weekend, the cold that seemed to be going away has caught back up with me and my family ... And, unfortunately, Malcolm seems to have gotten the worst of it.

He's been feverish and irritable for the past two days.

His nose is runny.

His cough is hacking.

He doesn't know what he wants and is generally unhappy.

He's much more accepting of "nap time," sleeping away most of the day.

He hasn't (been) changed out of his footie pajamas.

As his mother, I've been pretty lucky up until now ... Malcolm has always been the picture of health. Sure, his nose has run and he's been grumpy for the afternoon after receiving vaccinations, but he has never had a long-term bug that affected his mood for more than a couple of days. When I think about it, we're almost a year-and-a-half in, and there have been no major sicknesses to speak of ...

Nothing that a little snuggling couldn't fix.

Nothing to complain or think twice about.

This time, it's different.

My little man is legitimately "under the weather" and I'm having a hard time dealing with it.

It is so difficult watching your child cough and cry, knowing that there is little you can do for him ... Despite the baby Tylenol to keep his fever in check, the vaporizer at night to help break up some of the congestion, and the sippy cup full of water to keep him from getting dehydrated, I'm left feeling mostly inadequate.

I can't begin to fathom the feelings I'd endure if I had to hold vigil in the hospital by his bedside, or watch him undergo treatment for some sort of chronic illness ...

I've always felt an intense love for my little boy, but the "Mother Bear" instincts are really kicking in right about now. Malcolm is merely feverish with a nasty cough, but, to me, it seems like so much more.

I'd seriously do anything to make him feel better.

I'd trade places in a second.

But that's not the reality of the situation so I'll just keep plugging away. I'll keep him as happy and comfortable as I possibly can ...

And hope he doesn't pass on his sickness to his father!

February 22, 2011

marley and me

My Dad has always been a big Bob Marley fan, so Bob's music has always been part of the soundtrack of my life. I have so many memories of dancing around as a little kid ... In the house, in the backyard, in the car, on vacation ... Anywhere!

We were loving Bob Marley in my house before it was something that the "cool kids" did.

So, it's no surprise that Malcolm will grow up knowing Bob and the sounds of his music, as well ...

My family will see to it!

Tee-shirt: ZION Rootswear (gift from my sister)
Long-sleeved onesie: Cherokee (thrifted for $1.00)
Jeans: The Children's Place (thrifted for $2.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes (unseen): Faded Glory ($6.00)

February 17, 2011

the changling

I can't put my finger on the exact moment, but it has definitely happened.

My baby has stepped over into the realm of toddlerhood ...

I can see the tiny flashes of independence.

The desire to do everything his way, on his time.

The constant shaking of the head: "No, no, no, no no!" (Funny, that even though he doesn't talk, he's got the whole "no!" thing down already!)

The burning curiosity (and determination to acquire) things that he shouldn't have.

The fake cries.

The whining.

The ability to "help" me out by picking up his toys and closing drawers and doors.

The nonstop energy that propels him from one end of the house to the other ... And back again!

The gradual boycott of the afternoon nap.

In so many ways, my little baby has shown that he's not so little anymore.

He's got his own personality.

His own likes and dislikes.

His own ideas and expectations as to how each day should go.

He has literally changed before my eyes and yet he is still the same ... The same little boy who stole my heart.

It happened, all right.

Malcolm is a toddler.

February 15, 2011

cretaceous baby

Although we've all been a bit under the weather on this end, I was able to get a couple good photos out of Malcolm for the third and final "dinosaur onesie" installment ...

Malcolm's favorite onesie: Jumping Bean (gift)
Cargo overalls: Gymboree (thrifted for $2.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $2.50)
Blanket (AKA "Spot"): Circo (gift)

And, much like the "Cretaceous Era" marked the end of the dinosaurs, that last picture seems to mark the end of Malcolm's babyhood ...

He looks like a full-fledged toddler right there!

What the heck happened?!

February 14, 2011

my valentine

As I've pointed out before (in regards to "preserving" my memories of Malcolm's babyhood), I go all the way when it comes to documenting and keeping little mementos of the past.

For example ...

I have every greeting card my husband ever sent to me during my four years away at college ... And there are quite a few of them because we celebrated every "month" as another anniversary! I know, I know. That's a LOT of cards ... A LOT of cards, with a LOT of writing in them ... We liked to make them personal (you've got to get your money's worth when you're sending that many cards).

I have all the handwritten tags that came with bouquets of flowers.

I have the movie ticket stub from our very first date.

I have more corny photographs than I should probably admit (and that I certainly WILL NOT post).

I also have this:

This is a scan of a page from my 2003-2004 school planner ... My senior year of college.

As you can see ... A week after my "Micro Exam," but about a week before my "53 Month Anniversary," on March 25th, 2004 (at precisely 9:56 as indicated by the pink heart) my then-boyfriend got down on his knee in my dorm room and asked me to be his wife.

I said "yes" and the rest (as they say) is history.

This Valentine's Day won't be much different from any of the others we have spent since we began dating ...

We won't go out to fight the crowds at a local fancy restaurant.

We won't get dressed up and take in a show.

Instead, we'll make a nice dinner together and spend the evening in with our amazing son ...

Then I'll get some chocolate lava cake, my husband's signature dessert.

And (of course) I'll put the inevitable Valentine greeting card into the box with all the other memorabilia ...

February 10, 2011

sick day musings

My husband wasn't feeling well on Saturday.

By Sunday he was getting worse.

On Monday, he called in sick from work.

It was at that very moment I realized, with great sadness, that I will never get a "real" sick day ever again ...

While my husband slept away most of Monday, I busily held class from my laptop and later (he had spent the night at with his grandparents) wrangled Malcolm as I tried to get lab reports graded.

It stands to say that no matter how gross or achy or fatigued I may end up feeling, one of my "jobs" is always going to need tending to ... While I can always call off at the virtual school and be relieved of those duties, I will always have be "on" for my Little Guy.

I can't as easily "call off" when he is concerned.

That's not to say I'm disappointed that that is the case ... I obviously want nothing more than to make sure my son is well cared for ... It is just something that still requires some getting used to.

It's hard to explain it, but some mornings I wake up and have trouble believing that this is really my life.

Is it really 2011 already?

Am I really 28 years old?

When did my squishy squirmy infant son turn into a tornado of a toddler?

Where has the time gone?

The fact that I will never enjoy the full benefits of a sick day has just made this (new) reality all the more real. It screams: "You are someone's mother! Your life will never be the same!"

Even so, I wouldn't trade my little boy for all the sick days in the world ... I'll resign to be just a tiny bit jealous of his father, instead!

February 8, 2011

jurassic baby

We spent a lot of time just hunkered down in the house last week, avoiding the winter weather that blasted on through the great state of Ohio.

Not only did this mean lots of cuddles (and an equal number of squirms away from the cuddles), it meant lots of warm, comfortable outfits.

The dinosaur onesie (as usual) got some face time, and is seen here in it's usual manifestation ...

Malcolm's favorite onesie: Jumping Bean (gift)
Hooded sweatshirt: Old Navy ($8.00)
Sweatpants: The Children's Place (thrifted for $0.50)
Socks: Circo (gift)
Shoes: Baby Sonoma (thrifted for $2.50)

I told you it was his favorite.

Note: Join us for the last installment next week. Does anyone want to encourage my inner dork by guessing what the third and final Age of the Dinosaurs was?!

February 7, 2011

the silent treatment

Still no words, but the Little Guy's receptive vocabulary is just growing and growing ...








He can find them all!

The fact that he's listening to what we're saying (and learning!) gets me all the more excited for the day he'll decide to say his first word ...

No matter what it turns out to be!

February 3, 2011

ice sculpture

There's beauty even in the midst of the storm ...

You just have to know where to look.

February 1, 2011

triassic baby

Even with his three dresser drawers and closet full of clothes, I am running out of material for these Tuesday "baby fashion" posts!

I can't honestly say that every single item Malcolm owns has been on display. Instead, it's that I want to showcase my favorite parts of my son's wardrobe, the outfits that represent specific moments in time ... Moments that I want to freeze in my memory.

Not just any old thing.

It certainly doesn't help that we stay in our pajamas until 2:00 in the afternoon on most days, leaving very little time for impromptu photo shoots when he does look extra cute or the timing is just right.

Luckily, Malcolm's love for his brown, dinosaur-patterned onesie (and the fact that he wears it just about every week) gave me a terrific idea.

One onesie.

Three different looks.

Why didn't I think of this before?

For this installment, we're layering and dressing it up for weekend wear:

Malcolm's favorite onesie: Jumping Bean (gift)
Fleece vest: Arizona (thrifted for $1.00)
Corduroy pants: Wonder Kids (thrifted for $1.50)
Socks: Circo (gift)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $2.50)
Dinosaur chunky puzzle: Melissa and Doug ($10.00)

Note: Since I am prone to scientific dorkiness (I just can't help myself!), the titles of these three coordinating posts will reflect the three Ages during which dinosaurs roamed the Earth ... Next week, the Jurassic ...