January 31, 2011


From about the age of twelve to the time I was about six months pregnant with Malcolm, I was a little bit queasy around needles.



A LOT bit queasy around needles!

Given a vaccine or simple shot of any kind and I'd get all woozy and pass out. Forget about drawing blood for any purpose ... That would require rest and time to recuperate for the rest of the day!

I guess the mass amounts of poking and prodding during my pregnancy sort of snapped me out of it. By the time I was giving sixteen vials of my precious blood for prenatal tests, I had it down. I didn't even have to lay down anymore. I could sit in the blood-draw chair like a normal person, get my blood taken, and then get up and walk right out.

No more sitting hunched over with my head between my knees.

No more nervous babbling to try and keep my mind away from the possibility of fainting.

It was great.

So, when we had to have a nurse stop by our house for our life insurance "check ups," I was confident: I've given birth! Of course I can give a couple vials of blood!

My husband, on the other hand, was a little less enthusiastic.

His last run-in with a needle was not a pleasant one: He had had a nurse-in-training stick him multiple times (missing his vein) and then cause blood to literally shoot out of the injection site. Needless to say, he panicked and passed out.

He was certain that this time would be more of the same ... Fainting was in the cards.

He was right.

Sort of.

Someone passed out.

But it wasn't him.

Yes, yes, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar-I-could-give-blood-all-day-and-not-even-blink got woozy the second that needle entered my arm. I put my head down, thinking I'd be okay and that the nauseous feeling would pass, but when I didn't remember the wet washcloth being obtained and set down on the back of my neck, I knew I had regressed.

I had fainted.

My streak was over.

How embarrassing!

It bothers me that I had (finally!) gotten to the point where I was unaffected by giving blood and now I'm right back to square one.

On one hand, I want another chance to prove that I can do it ... Take more blood from me! I won't faint this time!

On the other, I'm afraid that I'm doomed to be that person again. The one that needs to lay down and then stay there for ten minutes post draw. The one that needs to fill the air with nervous chit-chat. The one that the nurses probably laugh about as soon as she leaves the room ... She's given birth! How can see be afraid of a little needle?

I guess we will see what the future holds.

Maybe it will take a couple more kids to kick this fainting habit ...

I'm pretty sure our parents wouldn't have a problem with that!

January 26, 2011

mother, may i?

Malcolm is quite the obedient little fellow.

For example, there is a mini flashlight that sits on my husband's bedside table (he wakes up before it's light out and, at times, needs to locate something in the room without disturbing my slumber) that fascinates Malcolm. Whenever he is close to our bedroom door he gets really excited and squeals to go inside ...

Note: Gosh, I can't wait until I don't have to write "squeals" anymore! "Asks" will be so much more satisfying!

He beelines right for the table and picks up the flashlight, waving it in the air and carrying it around with him the whole time we are in the room. But, no sooner than I ask, "Malcolm, can you please put Daddy's flashlight back?" he scurries off and actually does it.

And he seems quite proud of himself, too.

I find myself somewhat surprised (and thrilled) when he eagerly follows similar directions during the day ...

When asked to bring me a specific item, he promptly locates and retrieves it.

When asked to "help" clean up the mess that is the living room, he jumps right in and starts returning items to their proper places.

When asked if he's hungry or in need of a nap, he actually goes to where the activity would take place ...

Even my parents, after his weekend visit, recounted how he ran out of the room to grab a book after being asked to do so (they were surprised when he returned to the room with the correct one).

I don't know if this is normal, and/or if it is going to last (and for how long?!), but I am finding so much joy in every single minute of it! It's fun to "test him" throughout the day to see what he knows and what he doesn't ... He rarely misses a beat! He may not be saying any words just yet, but he is already building up an impressive receptive vocabulary!

My little Malcolm is transforming into a full fledged person right before my eyes ... A well-behaved full fledged person.

What more could I ask for?!

January 25, 2011

fun with gramma and grampa

Occasionally, my Mom offers to take Malcolm overnight. Knowing that this may not continue with as much frequency once more grandchildren are added to the mix (right now, Malcolm is the only one), I go along with it.

Not only does it give my husband and I a break (and a clean house for the evening!), it gives my parents the chance to enjoy our Little Guy.

A win-win situation!

Not to mention that Malcolm absolutely adores his grandparents and has a really fun time whenever he is with them.

I mean, who wouldn't like to get virtually unlimited "Ponyboy" rides on Grampa's lap?

Or eat sandwich cookies instead of "real" food?

Or make new friends?

Or read new (to him) books?

Onesie: Circo (pack of three for $5.00)
Long-sleeved tee shirt: Garanimals (gift)
Overalls: Gymboree (gift)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $2.50)

The kid has it made!

January 20, 2011

babies aren't the only ones with milestones

A haiku ...

More weeknight meetings!
Shopping for life insurance ...
When'd we get so old?!

Or perhaps ...

No more fun for us.
Yet another bill to pay ...
We are so boring!

Or even ...

I miss childhood!
No worries but lots of fun!
Growing up? I'll pass.

January 18, 2011

ready to rock

A single shelving unit of CDs has been residing in our dining room and/or living room for as long as we have lived in this house. It held strong in its usual position until Malcolm was able to walk ... And even a little longer than that.

We decided it was time to finally "relocate" it to our extra bedroom upstairs when Malcolm made it a point to wiggle his way behind our rocker recliner and carefully (or not-so-carefully) clear off each shelf, CD by CD each and every day.

While he still enjoys selecting a CD or two, he is rarely in the extra bedroom so it has become a bit of a "treat" for him.

He loves looking at the pictures in the liner notes, opening and closing each case, and even creating neat little stacks of them on the floor. It keeps him occupied for minutes and minutes on end!

Hooded long-sleeve tee: Circo (thrifted for $1.00)
Overalls: Genuine Kids (thrifted for $2.50)
Socks: Circo (gift)
Shoes: Faded Glory ($6.00)

It's nice to know that, in a pinch, a CD can double as a toddler toy.

Who knew?!

January 17, 2011

mama's boy (in training)

The other night, my husband thought it would be funny to tackle me in the middle of the living room as I was picking up some toys.

Malcolm wasn't amused.

He took one look at me struggling to get free and began to whine.

Knowing that tears would soon follow, the husband let up.

I might be on to something here ...

January 13, 2011

he's a keeper

I was getting ready for a funeral of all things when my husband said to me (out of the blue):

"You look more beautiful today than you ever have."

I can't really remember how I responded because I was taken aback.

He just sort of threw it out there ... Without any warning or indication that it was coming ... But it had me thinking for the rest of the day.

We've been "together" for about eleven years and have known each other slightly longer than that. He's seen me just about every single day for the past six years or so, a majority of those days being of the mundane and boring sort. He's watched me (red-faced and exhausted) deliver a squishy, squirmy baby into the world.

Part of my brain doesn't quite understand how, after all of that, I can still be beautiful to him at all.

He's seen me as a teenager ... One that, although a little late to bloom, was confident and cute. One that loved to laugh and was comfortable in who she was.

He's seen me as a college co-ed ... Determined and focused, yet ready to see where life would take me. More comfortable with my (finally!) filled out physique and more apt to "dress up" and look presentable, make-up and contacts and fitted shirts and all.

He's seen me as a newlywed wife ... So unbelievably happy after a gorgeous wedding day where I was (for once) the most beautiful girl in the world. Frolicking on the beach in a bikini during our honeymoon (something I hadn't owned since I was a little kid) and knowing I could actually pull it off.

He's seen me as a new mother ... First glowing with the radiance only a pregnant woman can possess, and then with the unmistakable shine of leaking breast milk and baby spit-up. With sleepy eyes and a tired mind, but a heart so full of love and giddiness I could have stayed awake forever.

And now ...

When body parts that were once bigger have shrunken and body parts that were once smaller (and probably a bit more fit and firm) have increased in size and gone a bit softer. When stretch marks have left their fading, yet noticeable, grooves like animal scratches across surfaces that used to be unblemished. When clothes are baggy and "comfortable" and contacts are hardly ever worn. When teeth (sometimes) don't get brushed until the middle of the afternoon and hair is usually air dried in some sort of crazy, unruly style ...


Now, he thinks I'm more beautiful than I have ever been.

Maybe I should get dressed up more often.

January 11, 2011

busy boy

Some days, Malcolm is just as busy as the patterns on his onesies!

He goes from quietly (and quite contentedly) playing with one electronic toy ...

To selecting a book to read ...

To showing off his advanced stacking skills ...

Onesie: Jumping Bean (gift)
Fleece pants: Garanimals (gift)
Fleece booties: Unknown brand (gift)

Then he starts over and does it again.

On days where I am busy, too, this ever expanding whirlwind of toddler and toys is often a blessing in disguise ... One humongous mess is always better than one, bored (and cranky) little boy!

January 10, 2011

cuddle bug for an afternoon

Although a balance is hard to strike, working at home has its benefits.

Last week, Malcolm had one particularly rough afternoon where his teeth were actually bothering him. He was tearful and crabby, and nothing was making him happy ... The old standbys were of no use. When I went to change his diaper, and just laying on the changing table had him fitfully sobbing, I knew that work needed to take a back seat for a little while.

Grabbing "Spot" (his blanket, which has become his comfort object of choice), we headed downstairs and sat together on the rocker recliner. I cradled him in my arms like I used to do when he was just a little guy ... And, for once (in a great, great while), he stayed put!

We rocked and just looked at each other.

I stroked his cheek.

He pointed at my nose and grabbed my glasses.

It was the perfect way to spend half an hour.

Something I certainly wouldn't have been able to do had I been teaching from a "regular" classroom that day.

Like I said, working at home has its benefits ... Just being with my son is the best one of all.

January 6, 2011

winter thaw

Last week, during the quick bit of "warmer weather" that passed through, we made it a point to spend some time outside of the house.

Since Malcolm is a full fledged walker, a nearby park was an obvious choice.

It was so fun to set him down and watch him explore (rather than carry him from place to place) for the first time. He was pretty reserved and quiet when we arrived, cautiously taking it all in ...

But as soon as he realized that he could touch everything, he perked up a little bit.

Then it was on to the swings ... Not only has Malcolm always loved the swings, but the back-and-forth motion of the activity gave me a chance to test some of the features on my new digital SLR camera (my one and only Christmas gift this year).

I have to say, the camera (already!) has my seal of approval and I've barely scratched the surface of all it is able to do!

Can you believe that he is actually moving in the above photo? If I had been using my old camera, you'd probably only see the side of his face as he went out of frame!

Anyway, the quick excursion to the park was a success!

It's too bad we'll ultimately have to wait another four months or so before heading back ...

January 4, 2011

new year's baby no more

Last year, on New Year's Day, we took a very memorable picture of Malcolm:

Onesie: Janie and Jack (gift)
Socks: Unknown brand (taken from the hospital)

Holy crap, how things have changed!

Not only was someone much too big for the sink ...

He was more interested in checking out his own reflection in the mirror, and a lot less accepting of the whole "picture taking" thing ...

Onesie: Old Navy ($1.50)
Overalls: Genuine Kids (thrifted for $2.50)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Baby Sonoma (thrifted for $2.50)

I guess trying this same "photo shoot" next year is out of the question ...

January 3, 2011

a surprise appearance

Even the always-elusive Circe can't resist the peaceful glow of the Christmas tree.

I'll be sad to see it go, too.