Sunday, May 31, 2009

Loosening Up

Sean and I have two very different styles when it comes to our downtime. Sean, for as driven and hardworking as he is during the week, is the slowest moving creature I've ever met come Saturday morning. Meanwhile, I jump out of bed listing off the millions of things I'd like to do and want to hop to it right that instant. Most weekends I'm hurrying Sean along as he takes twenty minutes to tie his shoes and another fifteen to brush his teeth. He's constantly giving me these exasperated looks as I rush around trying to schedule every minute of our weekend. I'm not sure why I'm like this, since Sean and I both remember how annoying it was to have your parents find you sitting in a chair doing nothing and have them say "What are you doing? Find something to do! Get up and be constructive". It seems I've somehow absorbed those years of admonishments and I'm turning them back on the world. I've become such a type-A personality I'm convinced that if we don't feed Aiden lunch at the same time everyday it will throw off the universe and the wheels of civilization will slowly grind to a halt.


This weekend, maybe since we've been so busy for the last two, I have totally turned around. We let Aiden stay in his crib a little longer so we could sleep in, and when we did get up I was in no hurry to get out the door. We saved the few chores we had for the end of the day and spent plenty of time just stopping and sprawling out on the couch for awhile. It was completely relaxing, but now that we're nearing the start of a new week my need for schedules is coming to the forefront in my mind, probably because after such a laid back weekend Aiden is running amok and I've lost all handle on the laundry and the apartment is a mess. Oh yeah..that's why I am the way I am.

For the weekend it was a nice break anyway.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Apartment Fever


While Tuesday was a perfectly lovely day, full of sun and cool tempratures, the rest of this week has turned warmer and full of rain. The apartment has been hot and sticky, especially today, and Aiden is getting more and more cooped up. Even for the hour or so that it's finally stopped raining today I didn't want to take him out because they keep predicting nasty thunderstorms.


This means we are both quickly running out of patience and it's a good thing Sean will be home for the weekend soon. I've tried to take this time indoors to clean, which is pretty foolish because it just results in me cleaning, and him tossing things around again (or quietly removing a jar of minced garlic from the fridge, half opening the top and then spilling it all over our rug without so much as a peep so that I stumble upon it five minutes later and have to call my mother to ask whether baking soda or lemon juice will get the stench out).

Proof of how dire the situation is: we were eating dinner and I turned to Sean and said "Hey I was watching Sesame Street today and they taught us how to count to ten in sign language, wanna see me do it?". He just stared at me...probably because I'm more enthusiastic about displaying my knowledge gained from Big Bird than from my PhD-holding college professors. He then promised to take me to Starbucks tomorrow and talk about grown up things.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just After Getting Off The Phone With My Mother

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This was a pretty acurate impression of me on the phone.

It's Like A Picasso

I believe that's a tongue in the ear hole and an arm in the hat one. At least he got the shoes on right, in this city that's all that matters.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Showing His Love For The Park

The first place we headed to today was the playground. Aiden had to make sure it was still waiting for us down the street, and sure enough, it was. Here he is on his favorite piece of equipment: the jiggly bridge.


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Monday, May 25, 2009

We're Baaaack!

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We're back in NYC tonight, and it's a little bittersweet. It's the home stretch of our time here, and while I want to enjoy the few weeks before Sean heads back to school, I'm also missing our friends and family at home. It was a wonderful week, packed full of celebrations and visits and the amount of fun we had makes it hard to head back into the daily grind.

Aiden was completely in his element with all of the attention and love back home. However, he also seemed excited to be back at the apartment. He really just thrives anywhere Daddy and Mommy and his toys are.

Before we left this morning we tried to teach him how to use the pedals on his little bike. At first he just wanted to straddle it and walk with it, but Sean taught him to put his feet on the pedals. The next step is actually using his weight to propel himself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aiden the Barbarian

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This was after two days of missed naps. By the time the dinner hour rolled around he was acting so silly and on the verge of a complete meltdown that if letting him eat like this was going to get the food into his stomach then by golly he could eat while doing a handstand if he wanted. This is probably going to be a regular occurrence for him in college anyway.

We Miss You Tierney!

Belgium is so far away...


This was a group of us at Laura's graduation party. The baby on the right is Rowan, she's two and a half, and she and Aiden are practically going steady. She taught him how to play chase, and even though Aiden had no idea what the heck he was doing he followed her around all afternoon and they ate cookies and played games. It was utterly adorable.

We're Here!


We're spending the week back home, to celebrate Laura's graduation and my brother's wedding, so there will be fewer posts since we'll be seeing almost everyone. However, my best buddy Tierney is in Belgium and she was really upset about seeing less of Aiden this week, so I will still put up a few things.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chair Master



He climbed up there while I was putting dishes away, and stayed up there while I made breakfast. I kept looking over at him in disbelief, he seemed so at ease sitting in a regular chair, like it wasn't a total miracle of life that a little helpless baby one day learns to coordinate his limbs in such a way that he can get himself and his toys into a big chair and sit quietly for a period of time, just playing. He looked back at me as if to say "Don't overcook my eggs, mom".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Aiden's Favorite Song




We found this band a day or so ago, and Aiden and I listen to them all of the time. Sean and I really like unique bands, and this band I'm From Barcelona actually has songs that are appropriate for kids. I'm sure they all have some deeper meaning, but Aiden just likes to dance around to this song.

Chatterbox

I don't know what he's saying, because neither of us is fluent yet in the other's language, but I can tell you he was yelling to his father in the other room. His father is probably also the reason that, yet again, he's got no pants on.

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I don't know why, but I think he looks even more adorable than usual in this video, and I just wanna scoop him up and cuddle the heck out of him.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gateway Drug


In an effort to get Aiden to eat we finally had to resort to ketchup. I was sitting trying to get Aiden to eat his vegetables and meat before he got any cheese or fruit. I went to the fridge to get him some more milk and I saw it sitting in the fridge door, just waiting for me to realize it's magnificent power. I took it out and put just a tiny dot of it on his tray and, no joke, he raised his arms above his head and shouted a joyful "Blehhhh" which I think is some kind of prayer of thanks to the condiment gods. For the rest of the meal he dipped everything into that little pea sized spot of ketchup, even after that dollop was gone every piece of food he picked up was dipped in the imaginary ketchup and lo and behold he ate EVERYTHING.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Peek Into His World


*A side note: Last week, I forget what day, Sean came home a half hour or so before he normally does. He hadn't called ahead, so while it was a pleasant surprise I hadn't finished with a few chores I was working on. He walked in and looked around and said with alarm "What happened in here?! Why is everything all over the place? It looks like Aiden just threw his toys everywhere" to which I couldn't help but laugh. I told him the truth: "Sean, it looks like this everyday, I just run around picking everything up five minutes before you get home, because there's no point trying to clean up before that".

Mother's Day

The Joys of A New Baby

Four Months Old


What It's All About


This weekend I had BIG PLANS, most of which involved sleeping in and having delicious meals cooked for me by my boys, and basically relaxing because after all, it was Mother's Day. Well, let's just say it didn't exactly turn out that way.

Sean cooked breakfast Saturday, so that was one meal I got out of. I wanted us all to go to the park that afternoon, but neither one of them wanted to, so I went by myself, but they were nice enough to vacuum while I was out. Sean, remembering I had briefly mentioned that I'd like to go into Manhatten this weekend, took us all into the Financial District to see the building where he works and some other historic banks. This was entertaining, until we realized that our train home didn't stop at any of the nearby stations on the weekends, and we had to catch a different train and transfer, and it was a very long and tiring trip home.

On Sunday we went for a walk, and while I was glad to be with my family, I was wondering what happened to my luxurious plan for the weekend. Mid-thought, two separate people stopped us to wish me a happy Mother's Day. It was like they were reading my thoughts, and hearing that sentiment from total strangers was so validating I suddenly realized that every time Sean had offered to let me sit and relax I had jumped up two seconds later to help him with whatever it was that Aiden needed. I realized, I prefer all the craziness of taking care of Aiden over sitting it out.

This time last year I was just dying for a break, a nap, a meal to myself. That first year was so exhausting and mind boggling, it was like taking Organic Chemistry while completeing military bootcamp. This year, I need that break less and less. As Aiden gets older, and Sean and I figure out what we're doing, if becomes *gasp* FUN. I used to think that this whole thing was so tiring and difficult because we were young, but I realize now that it's the way every parent feels, no matter what. Only a year later and the amount of confidence, knowledge and fun we have is enormous.

I am so lucky to have spent a wonderful Mother's Day with my two favorite guys, and all of the running around, the cleaning up spilled Cheerios and waking up to a noisy "Dad dad dad, Ma Ma Ma!" at six on a Saturday, it's all so worth it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Welcome To My Lair

Aiden arranged the chairs, Sean added the blanket, and voila, a fort. Together they are an unstoppable architectural duo.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sharing Is Caring

Sharing Cheerios


Sharing Avocado


Aiden Giraffe and Mommy Giraffe


The giraffe has been Aiden's favorite toy this week. This afternoon he had me play a game with him and his giraffe, and I'm guessing here, but I'm pretty sure the name of the game was "Make Mommy Feel Like She Has Arthritis". He started by running around, giraffe in one hand, the other dragging his little walker behind him.

I was watching him do laps through the living room and kitchen like this, when I innocently pointed to his Yookidoo and said "Are you going to park in there?" which in baby language must've sounded like "Me play too!". He ran over, rummaged through his toys and emerged clutching a second plastic giraffe, for me. Then, he yanked my hand over to the handle of the walker and indicated that this is where we start dragging.

So, for quite awhile I toddled next to him, bent nearly in half and trying not to whack my shins and shoulders on the furniture. He kept smiling at me as if to say "SEE? Isn't this the greatest game you've ever played?" His crazed giggling certainly made it seem so.

Sean and I are young parents, and while that has it's own share of drawbacks and difficulties, I have to think that if I were eight or ten years older there's no way I'd be hunched over, giraffe in hand, helping Aiden drag his toys around for that long. It seems so worth it when we're playing silly things like this and I feel like I can get really involved instead of just supervising.

In the end, I feel like the resulting backache is more a badge of honor, and besides, I'd much rather play this game than last nights game, which was called "Oh No, What Did Aiden Just Flush Down The Toilet?".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hiding








You never know where you might find an Aiden











Bad Timing

Today we woke up to a weather forecast predicting a break in the clouds this afternoon. It's the eighth straight day of rain, so an afternoon of sun was something I did not want to miss. It stopped raining long enough yesterday for us to go for a walk but the entire time it still looked like the sky was on the verge of opening up again, but this afternoon was actually supposed to be sunny!

In an attempt to ensure that Aiden would be awake and in a good enough mood for a trip to the park, I tried to see if he would nap a little early today. I put him down around 10, which is only an hour earlier than he usually naps, and hoped hoped hoped he would fall asleep. He seemed quiet on the monitor for a while, so when I was pretty sure he was asleep I went to peek in on him. He was sitting nestled in the corner of his crib, quietly scratching at a scab on his knee. Occasionally he would stop to count his fingers (this involves him pointing carefully at each finger of one hand, sing out "one...one...one...one...one!". We're working on new numbers but he's pretty content to stick with one).

He was not about to fall asleep, so I got him up and we played for awhile. At noon I started making lunch while he listened and danced to some music. I was relieved because he was dancing around the living room looking pretty energetic. We shared some avacado (his new favorite food) and empanadas for lunch and he was still trucking along as I was cleaning up lunch.
Just as I put the last lunch dish away, he looked up at me, sighed heavily, and laid down right on the hardwood floors. So now, with the sun brightly shining, I'm inside folding laundry while Aiden naps.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Keep On Truckin'

Source of Contention


This was one of those heart attack moments for me. I turned around and he was standing in the rocking chair, which is not a small chair, looking at me as if waiting for the verdict on whether or not this was breaking the rules. I could not believe he was capable of this, he's learned to climb in and out of his small stroller which is close to the ground, but I had no idea he could do this.

We are really lucky with Aiden, he's always been pretty mild mannered and follows directions pretty well for a seventeen month old, but this climbing thing has opened up a whole new issue. For safety reasons we don't want him climbing on anything unless we're standing right there with him, but constantly telling him "No climbing" has in turn started tantrums.

Tantrums at first really scared me, I kept thinking he was hurt or something was terribly wrong, but soon realized he's just expressing himself the only way he can right now. When he has a tantrum usually it involves throwing things, or trying to pinch or hit. This sort of behavior tends to spiral out of control, especially when you keep saying "No" or trying to stop him. Then, we discovered cure: when he starts into a tantrum, I scoop him up and hug him. These aren't like the tantrums an older child might throw for attention, these are just him expressing anger, and emotion like that is not easily reversed or controlled, not by an adult and especially not by the poor toddler who doesn't even understand what he's feeling. Just hugging him, explaining why we say "No" and telling him he's okay nips the whole episode in the bud. Even as an adult I can understand the feeling of your emotions getting out of control, and for a small child it must be frightening.

When Sean and I figure out how to deal with things like this, even simple issues like an angry toddler, it is so validating as a parent. It's one of the moments when you feel like "yes, we can do this".

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chasing His Tail?

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As if you hadn't seen enough of Aiden in a diaper, here he is again. After dinner I got him out of his clothes while Sean ran the bath, and he started spinning in circles. I tried to keep him from crashing into things, and when I would stop him he would stagger off in a jagged line, laughing like a maniac (I think we've seen a preveiw of what he's going to be like after his first beer). I realize this was taped sideways, I can't figure out how to fix it yet, but I promise it's every bit as ridiculous as it seems.

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Ladykiller



This is his "Come Hither" stare, and in sixteen or so years it will turn some girl's heart into butter.

The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You


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While listening to Ben Lee's "I Love Pop Music"

Another very rainy week has forced us to get creative since we've been missing our regular trips to the playground. When Aiden gets bored with his toys, we turn on music and he dances. It's so funny to see him find his own unique moves, to realize that from such a young age we're able to recognize a beat and our natural reaction is to dance to it. We've been playing all different kinds of music, and it's interesting to see what he likes. Sean, although he'd never admit this, is a very good dancer, and I can tell that Aiden is going to be just like him. Me on the other hand, I get my moves from Elaine on Seinfeld.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sean's Creation

Sean created this picture of Aiden and his toys.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Greatest Toy Ever







Aiden loves this yookidoo playhouse. It's the perfect place for him to run and hide, to sit and play or, as I like to do, throw all of his toys so that they're not all over the living room. It was a very wonderful gift from Sean's dad and stepmom and will last Aiden for years to come.

Friday, May 1, 2009

He's a Maniac, Maniac

You'll have to pardon our dirty mirror in this one, but that's what happens when there's a toddler in love with his own image. I like this video because it's so obvious he's trying to play coy, he sees himself but he's not going to get too excited. Then, after really getting a good look at his own cuteness, he just can't help but clap, and that clap slowly turns into the Flashdance routine.


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