Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Dancing

Aiden has always loved his dad's glass front stereo, because he can see the CD turning around and around and he can just barely reach it to push the buttons. Whenever he wanders into our room he always makes a beeline for the stereo. We leave the same John Mayer CD in it and whenever he hears the first notes of "No Such Thing" he goes into this new and improved dance, which involves more flailing arms and staccato stomps and turns. He refuses to talk but by God he will dance.


video
Some flailing arms....




video
serpentine!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Adjusting

We're going to miss daddy while he's at school!


Now that we're mostly unpacked, we've begun the arduous task of sorting through old and new things, trying to figure out what we keep and what we toss, so that we can paint and reorganize the house. Each night this past week, while Sean was finishing up his last few work days in the city, I've started cleaning and painting and I'm making good progress.

All of the work gave me very little time to think about the fact that after tomorrow Sean will be in Boston full time until December, with only a couple weekends a month to be at home. Now that he's busy packing to leave I'm suddenly realizing that even though this week has been easy and busy, there's bound to be a time in the near future when I'm on the phone wailing, demanding he return at once and help me with this kid.

When it comes to taking care of Aiden I know I'm capable of doing it on my own, but it's certainly easier when he's here. I think a lot of people take for granted being able to turn to someone at the end of the night and have them tell you that everything's going to be okay and you're doing the best you can. I can call Sean whenever I need to, and we talk every evening, but having a warm hand to hold while you rehash your day can be the difference between conquering a mountain of problems or feeling like you're buried under it.

We're infinitely lucky to be around our friends and family now, they've all been so much help as we try and readjust once again. Our parents do so much to make sure we're okay, and my friends are always there to listen, and knowing that everyone's here to help has been a true saving grace.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Prodigy?





Here's a few photos I took of my father introducing Aiden to his passion, the guitar. I just received word that June's internet is back up and running, so I'm sure she'll have a full update soon. Enjoy!
~Laura (The Godmother)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Here...sort of!

So, we still have no internet, and running back and forth between houses to use the computer hasn't really panned out, but Sean will be here this weekend and I will really really try to get some stuff up. I'm borrowing my friend's computer at the moment.

We are (mostly) unpacked, and there were a couple days of serious hard labor involved, but it's given us the opportunity to clean out a lot of stuff we don't use and get ready to repaint the walls. We're still in a bit of a transition but Aiden has taken to the house and is completely happy with having a yard again. He loves to see his grandmas and grandpas and I've been enjoying that also. I think having so much family around has made having Daddy away a little bit easier.

As for the time between now and the day we get an internet connection I'll be trying to take a lot of pictures, hopefully only one more week till we're back online!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving Day


We're finally leaving in the morning. Hopefully everything will be moved and unpacked in a timely manner. Our own internet does not kick in until July first, so in the meantime I'll be running over to my moms to use their computer but I'll try to post something everyday.

In the meantime, back to the boxes...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whens-Day

After Aiden's nap yesterday I really got down to business and started pulling out boxes and putting away what we could afford to live without for a few days. I've managed to find a good balance between packing and getting ready while not filling the apartment with boxes that we have to fish through to find anything. That being said, Aiden is still wandering around looking at everything that's getting packed away and I can see the curiosity in his eyes.

For all of the stress that adults feel during a move, I have to wonder how hard it is for Aiden. For the past year and half we have been hopping from house to house in an effort to maintain as much family stability as possible (sounds like a huge paradox right?). When Aiden was first born, Sean had a week left in his semester, so he was in Boston while we stayed with my mother. A week later we moved to Sean's. Six months later, when Sean had to head back to Boston, we headed back to my mother's. Six months after that we moved to Brooklyn. Now, once again, we're heading back to Sean's. The moves were not bad at all when we shuffled between Sean and my mother, the houses are a couple streets away from each other and we made the moves to have the most family around as possible.

When we moved to Brooklyn it was a different story. For the first time Aiden wasn't around people he knew, it was very noisy and he'd never seen this place in his life. It took two weeks for him to stop clutching my leg every time I stood up. My heart broke for him. Moving home, I know he'll be fine even though Daddy will be away sometimes, because there are friends and family and all of the familiar things he knows.

The stress of moving it absolutly tempered knowing that this may be our last move for a long time. For all of the shuffling and moving and trying to figure out where we fit, I think that Sean, Aiden and I are finally going to be able to settle. So, for all my moaning and groaning, I'm going to keep that silver lining in my head.




A mover.......

....and a shaker





Packing Day Two

So, shockingly enough I actually got a little bit of packing done. I packed up most of our DVDS and books and wrapped our hanging pictures. And then....I sort of stopped. It seemed like a good start and it only took an hour or so, but I'm suddenly kind of lost as to what I do now. My mother called to check on progress and she kept throwing out suggestions of packing most of the clothes or most of the dishes but I am one of those people who cannot stand living out of boxes. I'd rather face four hours of maniacal packing on Thursday than the idea constantly fishing through bins for a casserole dish or a pair of jeans. I don't know. I'll figure it out.


The joy of moving your family


In other news, Laura had to leave today to get back to her own job. Having her here was a nice diversion from our regular routine, and the idea of getting back into town with her makes moving seem slightly more bearable.


Monday, June 15, 2009

A Good Start

You've got it made with the guy in shades...


So, it seems that Laura brought the sun with her when she came. The two straight weeks of rain seem to have ended and everything is drying out, which seems like a good omen for the move. Aiden even slept in this morning which is incredibly unusual, and completely lovely.It's been so great having her here and Aiden is stuck to her like glue.The only problem is that we'd both be perfectly content to sit, have a cup of coffee and chat the entire visit I really really really need to start packing. I've made her promise that she'll make me get up and at least start throwing things out and sorting this afternoon.

In the meantime, we've got a lot of chatting to do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

My friend Laura arrives today to start helping Sean and I pack up the apartment. Laura is one of Aiden's favorite people in the whole wide world, so I'm certain he's going to be beside himself with joy.

Bestest Buds

Sean will have another week (or two? I can't remember) of work left, but Aiden and I will be heading back up state on Friday. Brooklyn has been a lot of fun, but I have to say I'm pretty eager to be closer to our families, in a house with a big yard for Aiden. Moving down here was one of the most stressful experiences I've had since, oh I don't know, giving birth and taking a Business Law final three days later. It took us FOREVER to find an apartment, which involved weeks of phonecalls and emails and a six hour wait in traffic on Manhatten the night before Thanksgiving. We moved in the week between Christmas and New Years, and the experience was...eye opening.

Our time down here has been a lot of fun, and the distance from our families has been both hard, and liberating. We've gotten a lot closer as a couple and as a family, and the time on our own has really made us feel more confident as parents. That being said, I am SO NOT EXCITED about going through the whole moving process again. Did I mention that when Sean is finished with work he'll be heading to Boston for school? So, once again Aiden and I are facing a few more months on our own until he graduates. We've done this once (last summer) so I know we can do it, and I think it'll be easier with Aiden being a little older, but we're going to miss him like crazy and look foward to the weekend visits.


Bring on the packing...

So...our last week begins. We're going to try and stay relaxed as we begin the big process all over again and hopefully it will go smoothly. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Fort of His Own





Aiden built his first fort all by himself.
Pretty simple, and pretty perfect.

Learning The Language



Every now and then I get a little nervous about how Aiden is doing speaking-wise. It's a part of my daily 'oh-my-gosh-we're-so-young-what-if-we're-doing-it-wrong?' worrying. I've learned that this worrying is usually unnecessary, and I realize all kids learn at a different pace, but a lot of the time we give in to Aiden's whole point-and-grunt method of asking for stuff without even trying to encourage him to use words. I've learned that the only way to alleviate worry is to do something about it, or realize it's out of your hands. Today I decided I really needed to work on taking enough time with him to focus on saying and repeating words, since this is something that he could benefit from.

At lunch, he was pointing at the banana on the plate.
I said: "banana"
He said: "majaba"
I said: "ba-na-na"
He said: "ba-ja-ma"
I said:"BA-NA-NA"
He, very happily, shouted: "BA-DA-DA!!!!"

So...I figure that's close enough for now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting My Game On

Before I had Aiden, I hated babysitting. I hated it because it required constant vigilance, patience and creativity. I always walked away with a headache, pretty certain that the money was so not worth it.

Obviously, that had me concerned about how well I'd handle my own child. I had heard that you immediately adore them and love playing with them every second of the day, so I was hoping it would just naturally kick in. Uh...it didn't. I immediately adored him for sure, but it's taken a lot of getting back in touch with my own imagination and being a little flexible in his choice of toys (since it's always the jewel case or the bic pen or the tupperware he wants to play with, not his expensive puzzle set).

I've also had to learn to stop directing him, nothing annoys a kid more than when you keep saying "shouldn't this happen next? let's go over here! what is this thing supposed to be?". I save those questions for when we're reading because it leads to more stories. When he playing, I just let him lead me.

So, here's Aiden, a bib for a superhero cape, rescuing a carload of sponges from the evil monster (me, naturally).

It's moments like this that I go "Oh, THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HAVE KIDS!"

This is a good game, because there's a lot of opportunity for me to grab him and kiss him like crazy. I also try to get him to count the sponges, stack them, and say the colors. Of course, the educational stuff can never overpower the whole hiding/jumping out/ tickling him till he's blue in the face aspect. After a lot of practice, I'm getting pretty good at these games. Aiden seems to think so, anyway.



*some people have told me there's an annoying pop-up over this site. I've changed any settings I can control to try and remove it, but if it's still there it may be through another network. I'll keep trying to fix it*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Brief How-To




video
A tutorial from Aiden on proper form for getting into a grown up chair.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A New Kind of Fun

Last night, while Sean and I were getting ready for bed, we got a call from a few of his high school friends. They were calling us from a noisy bar, and I could hear everyone laughing and shouting in the background. Three of them that just graduated are moving into a new apartment together, just outside of Boston, and wanted to know when they could come visit Sean.

He was on the phone for a bit before reminding them that he couldn't talk long because had to get up for work, and that our sleeping baby was in the next room. They said goodbye, and I felt a pang of jealousy.

"Doesn't that sound like fun?" I asked Sean. "They're all just starting out on this new life with so many fun things to come".
"No way, no way would I want to be any one of them" he said.

I immediately laughed at myself because we too are just starting out, with so many fun things in front of us. We're certainly not going to be hitting up the bars, or staying out at parties (a good night for us is a movie on TBS and a bottle of wine). We aren't living the typical twenty-something college life by any means, but that doesn't mean we don't have our own kind of fun.

Today when I was trying to take Aiden's picture, he thought it was a video, and wouldn't stop dancing around, sticking out his elbows and hopping up and down. All the pictures ended up being of his head jostling around, like this:





For me, dancing around with Aiden is plenty of fun. Gossiping with my best friends is plenty of fun. Wandering through the neighborhood hand in hand with Sean is plenty of fun. Certainly not the type I imagined I'd be having at 21, but more than I could've hoped more.

Besides, this type of fun doesn't leave you with a raging headache, only one shoe on, and wondering who's number is written on your forehead the next morning.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Doggy

This is Doggy

A few weeks ago when we were home for my brother's wedding, Aiden was wandering around in my mother's house and found this dog. He immediately snatched it up and brought it over to show me, and I realized it was a gift Sean had given me in the first months we'd started dating. Since that day Doggy has been Aiden's go-to friend. Any time he bumps his head or is feeling sleepy or is just extra happy he carries Doggy around, setting him on the couch and carefully petting his head or kissing his nose. He evens makes Doggy bark at me and kiss my face.

Aiden doesn't carry Doggy everywhere, and sometimes Doggy is content to just sit on the rocking chair, waiting for the moment Aiden needs a hug. When Aiden needs him, he's always waiting right where he was left. It reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit, because Aiden's love makes him seem so real sometimes. After Aiden has gone to bed, and I'm checking emails or watching t.v. I find myself absently reaching over to scratch him behind the ears. There's real magic in the way Aiden sees him, and it refreshes my own sense of wonder at an age when it's usually long forgotten.




"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time" - The Velveteen Rabbit





Sunday, June 7, 2009

Busy Busy Busy


This weekend we really didn't do too much. We went to the park both days, and discovered a new nature trail that leads to the park boathouse, which was neat, except it was quite a hike and we were exhausted afterwards. The reason why we took such long walks was because it's one of the only ways that Aiden will fall asleep. We realized he has two top molars coming in, and his front canines (which for most people wouldn't be so bad, but in my family we've got long sharp sabertooth tiger-like canines) so that makes four teeth all at once.

He hasn't napped much all week, and wakes up at six. Rather than slow him down, he's become more frenetic than ever, which I didn't think was possible. If I sit down for a moment he grabs my hand and yanks until I give it and run around behind him. If I try and stop to make dinner or clean up he sits between my ankles whining and moaning. He just doesn't stop.

Sean and I are ending this weekend totally worn out. I'm hoping that getting back into a routine will help calm him down, and maybe, just maybe, he will take a nap or at least let me sit down for five minutes. Even just two minutes would be okay.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dead Ringers

Aiden and Daddy, my favorite guys





Bert and Ernie, favorite pals from Sesame Street



The resemblance is UNCANNY

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bigger and Bigger

Dads sneakers fit him perfectly now.
Just kidding.


Last night we were getting Aiden ready for bed, and I was picking out some pajamas for him. I knew it was supposed to be chilly and I was trying to find one of his fleece pairs, I couldn't remember which pair fit best so I grabbed the biggest ones he had. This is a white pair with airplanes on it, and three weeks ago it fit him quite loosely; he'd trip on the end of the feet when he tried to run around in them. We were struggling to get Aiden dressed, which I attributed to the fact that he was wriggling and squirming, and I couldn't get the zipper up. When he stood up we realized that these pajamas were skin tight and the neck was stretched over the top of his shoulders. Three weeks ago they fit over him!!! They were even too big!!!

We were used to him suddenly sprouting over night when he was an infant, but his growth seemed to taper off after one. We could tell when clothes were getting too small but he never shot out of them like he used too. Until now, anyway. None of his pants even reach his ankles anymore, and his one piece pajamas are useless. He's even looking less like a string bean and more proportional now. I'm curious to see just how big he is when we go to the doctor in a couple weeks, but I'm starting to feel like I need to join a gym and do some serious working out because he's such a handful now.

We Have Him Trained Well


Not only does he sweep up after dinner, he does our taxes (with itemized deductions) and makes a mean souffle.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Saying 'No'

When he does things like that...

and then looks like this....

How do I say 'No'???

Discipline is something that Sean and I are starting to discuss and figure out. Sean is the type who can look Aiden in the eye and say "NO" and Aiden takes him completely seriously and just stops. Me on the other hand, because I'm the one who is responsible for entertaining him 90% of the time, have to find a different method. When I look at Aiden and say no he smiles coyly and keeps on going. Maybe it's because I don't have the imposing physical presence Sean does, or maybe it's just hard to take mom seriously when she was busy pretending to be a puppy a minute ago. I don't know. What I find works for me is just talking him through it. I'm always saying things like "Aiden we can't stand on the chair because we might fall off and hurt ourselves" and I'm not sure if he understands me or just gets so bored by my mini lectures but, either way, he usually stops.

The problem we're running into is figuring out what Aiden can and cannot understand. He understands that we don't stand on chairs, it's pretty simple and a matter of safety. However, he might not understand that he shouldn't throw food off his high chair, because sometimes he's trying to say "I am full people why won't you stop shoving food at me already???" and has no other way to say it, and sometimes he just likes to see that vein in Mommy's forehead. It's these situations that make the whole discipline issue so sticky. Sean usually assumes that Aiden knows what we're talking about, while I have to stop and question if it's just our difficulty in understanding him that leads him to do things that drive us nuts.

In the past couple of months he's become so coordinated and strong and curious, but he still can't communicate that well. He wants his independance but doesn't always see the bourdaries we set. Sean and I just try to stick together and be as clear as possible, while paying attention to what he's trying to tell us, even when we feel like we need a baby Rosetta Stone.

Monday, June 1, 2009

That Thing Everyone's Been Dreading

So, Aiden's hair. Yeah. It's gotten really long. We all knew it had to be cut at some point. Even though Sean and I considered letting him grow it out to his knees and parade around like Samson, it really really needed to be cut. His hair has been such a defining feature of him, since before he was born! When I was in labor the doctor leaned over and said to Sean: "you must be Asian because only Asian babies have hair this long". It was so thick and black I thought he'd need a haircut by the time he was four months, but instead it got thinner and started falling out. Only this winter did it really grow back and start to curl.

It got really really really long. Down to his nose in the front and his shoulders in the back. We had to start swooping it to the side in a style my mother said resembled Donald Trump. No one wishes that on their child. It didn't help that stranger after stranger felt compelled to stop and compliment my beautiful daughter and her lovely hair. Even when I dressed him in the most rugged looking clothes he owned, that hair was still in his eyes, in his ears and beginning to get grizzly and haggard looking.

So, despite the warnings (he'll scream when you cut it! it'll never be the same! he won't look like a baby anymore!) we went ahead and bit the bullet. The one thing I knew was that I was going to do it myself. If Aiden were a girl I would've had the opportunity to buy and dress someone in those delicious gossmer dresses and bows, instead I get to pick Dinosaurs or robots, so it's only fair that I get to play stylist at least once.

Altogether, it was pretty uneventful. No screaming, no freaking out. He sat very still for me, but would occasionally brush the scissors away if they interupted his conversation with Dad. He also frowned when I got some hair on his high chair tray. Other than that though, it was perfect. Don't worry, I saved an entire envelope full of curls.

I wanted to get a lot of pictures, but after sitting so still it was hard to photograph him, so enjoy these partially fuzzy ones and everyone will get to see him soon!


And voila, he came out on the other side with his adorable personality in tact, still Aiden...