Ethan has suddenly started shaking his head no. NO! Can you believe it? I'm not sure if he knows what in shit's name he's doing or what it means, but it really seems like he does. I'll say "Come here!" and smile and hold out my arms and he'll sit across the room and shake his head. Last night his great grandma said "Clap those hands, boy!" and smiled and clapped and he shook his head no. I suppose he picked this up from me. When he's trying to get into something he shouldn't I'll say "No, no, no. That's (hot-sharp-dangerous-yucky-poisonous-a bobcat-etc.)" and I'll dramatically shake my head. Sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn't. If he's already telling me no, what's next? Critiquing my clothes? Telling me how to style my hair? "Oh for Christmas sakes, mom. You're not honestly going to wear that to the store are you? Can you walk a few feet in front of me then? And get that hideous scrunchy out of your hair!"

Also? He is almost-totally-for-real-I-swear-to-you talking. Because he equates diaper changing with having bamboo shoots shoved under his fingernails, I've found that giving him a book to read (read meaning chew on) while I tend to his stinky ass makes the experience less painful for everyone involved. I'll say "Here, would you like a book? BOOK?" and he'll look at me and study my mouth and say "Bo--. Bo--." Add the --ok and you've got BOOK, baby. Or, I'll say "Are you ready for your bath? BATH?" and he'll say "Ba? Ba?". You guessed right, add the TH and hello! he is practically ready to read War and Peace.

At the very least I'm sure we could get him on Wheel of Fortune.


Thanks to sundrybuzz.com for posting the link to Despair, Inc. and their Parody Motivator Generator. A big fat fun waste of precious time! (My favorite.)


9 Months!

Dear Ethan,

I can't even begin to describe how much you've grown and changed in the last month. You're no longer a baby, you're... a boy. It is bittersweet, so great yet so tragic at the same time.

You are all over the place. You can't sit still unless Teletubbies is on. (Why God, WHY?) Your newfound ability to crawl on your hands and knees at an illegal speed means that there is work to be done! Corners to explore, cords to chew on, a dog to chase. Also, no matter how many times I vacuum you always point out the spots I miss. You do this by crawling around, stopping suddenly and then studying the ground. A tenth of a second later you are sitting quietly, smiling at me and chewing. That's when I rush towards you to do a finger swoop, and you never want to surrender whatever bug/hairball/piece of dog food or grass you're so obviously enjoying. Naturally you purse your lips closed so tightly that they should use your mouth to trap bears. Sometimes I can retrieve the mystery item and sometimes not. I once swooped a small bug out of your mouth and I kind of wish you would've fought me a little harder for that one. If you're into eating bugs you should probably keep it to yourself.

You pull up to standing every chance you get. Your chubby little legs still quiver and shake ever so slightly, but you're getting stronger and stronger every day. Sometimes you'll hold onto my hands and actually walk with me, and I think we should probably stop doing this because I REFUSE TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING THIS MILESTONE. You're on your own, kid. (Waaa, don't grow up!)

You learned to clap your hands a few weeks ago and now you clap at everything. I'll say No! No! No! Do not chew on the cord to the lamp! and you will turn towards me and smile and clap. You'll finish off a jar of baby food and I'll say All gone! and you'll give yourself a round of applause. If you're especially fussy and nothing will make you happy, I can always sing Clap your hands, clap your hands! and you will always cut the crap long enough to smile and clap along with me. You're beside me in your highchair right this very second and you just clapped again. Now you're throwing egg yolk on the floor. Gah, babies are so moody.

My one complaint is that you've suddenly taken up wrestling. The moment I lay you down for a diaper change all hell breaks loose. Sometimes I actually pause to wonder if I'm accidentally severing a limb, the way you scream and flail about. If you need a diaper change in the middle of the night you get especially hostile, and when I come back to bed tired and weary your father always asks What happened? Is he ok?. I tell him that you just needed a fresh diaper and sometimes I don't think he believes me. It really sounds more like we're exorcising demons or maybe slaughtering some cattle.

You are a pro at feeding yourself now and actually seem to get offended if I try to help you. Some of your favorite foods include cubes of cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, apple-cinnamon oat cereal, whole wheat rotini with parmesan cheese and smashed peas. Your not-so-favorites include green beans, egg yolk and nectarine. Your drink of choice is apple or white grape juice, and you are less and less interested in THE BOOB these days but you still guzzle it down just the same. Weaning is not very far away and you won't get to see any boobies for many years after that so enjoy it while you can.

Your sense of humor is amazing. We often take turns mimicking each other and laughing at our silly noises and faces. You think your dad is hilarious. You squeal and giggle with delight when you chase Bogart around the house. He hates it and you know it. You have the best laugh in the whole world. You're very laid back and you seem to be able to find humor in almost anything. I hope that never, ever changes.

I'm sure every mother feels this way about her baby, but bringing you places is what I imagine being the bodyguard for a celebrity is like. EVERYWHERE we go people stop to ask about you, and the compliments are endless. People actually stop me while I'm grocery shopping. The clerk behind the city's utilities department desk asked to hold you yesterday. You dazzle everyone, and I'm not just saying that. You're very social and always happy out in public. You babble and squeal to the men you see. You smile and totally flirt with all the women. (You already have about half a million girlfriends.) From the curly q's on the top of your head to your twinkling baby blue eyes and your big toothy smile, you are quite the charmer. I hope that never, ever changes. You are such a people person and I don't know where you get it from, but it's awesome. I must say, I am quite impressed.

It's been a wild ride so far mister but I have genuinely loved (almost) every minute of it. It seems like I've learned more about myself in the last 9 months than I have in my whole life. I've grown and changed so much as a person, found patience in places that I never knew existed. Being your mom is the biggest challenge I'll ever have to face. How'd I get so lucky?

I love you.



New hair, Zoolander and a Baby Pic...


Mommy Beauty Tip!

Feed your kid ripe chunks of avocado. It's a great finger food, and you will NEVER be able to get the oily residue off your child's hands. For the rest of the day whenever he or she grabs at your hair or smacks your face, you get instant deep conditioning! Brilliant!


This Blows...

I've been feeling out of sorts since last Sunday when we were still in Texas. You know the drill: annoying scratch in the back of your throat, not quite stuffy nose but you know it's coming, a major head rush if you stand up too quickly. Then you graduate to a throat so swollen that you consider cutting a hole in your neck just so you can actually breathe, a nose so stuffy it feels like you successfully snorted a line of Peter Pan peanut butter (the chunky kind), breaking out into cold sweats and the oh so subtle yearning for someone to PLEASE JUST KILL YOU NOW. Or is that just me?

Anyway, then comes that day where you're almost back to your good ole' self. You think I will totally be fine tomorrow! You know the worst is over and that there's a light at the end of the mucus-encrusted tunnel. For me that day was yesterday. Today I am carrying around a paring knife in case my throat decides to close up completely, because it's almost there. I am worse. I don't understand! I feel very, very sorry for myself. And for Ethan. He hasn't gotten sick yet (despite his parents having The Fucking Plague), but today I am going to force him to watch Failure to Launch with me. I fear this might permanently damage our relationship: CLEARLY MY JUDGMENT CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

Today I am self-medicating. Supplies are as follows:

*1 pack: 94% fat-free SmartPop kettle corn

*1: 2-liter bottle of Diet Barq's rootbeer

*1: cheesy movie with the always delicious Matthew McConaughey

*1: cheesy movie with the squeaky yet lovable Sarah Jessica Parker

*1 pair: over-sized boxers, stolen from the husband

*1: old screen-print t-shirt that in no way matches the boxers

*2: unshaven legs

*1: bed head that is oh so sexily tousled

*LOTS OF: tissue

*1: 9-month old baby boy that JUST WON'T QUIT

(Am hoping that the movie will put him right to sleep.)


Ethan's new "thing" is magazine eating. He'll snack on books too, but magazines are his favorite. He seems to prefer Maxim and FHM to Parents and Self, which, duh.

Once a magazine is in site, he'll drop whatever he's doing and will stop at nothing to get to it's deliciously glossy pages. Naturally he tends to go for the issues I haven't read yet, and once he has his paws on one he shows no mercy. He rips it to shreds, tearing at it with his hands and teeth like a savage animal. (Heh, SAVAGE ANIMAL!) And...

...he swallows. The paper. Not in the 'oh I'm a baby I put everything in my mouth because I don't know what it is' way. It's more like 'this issue of Spin is especially good. I will eat until nothing is left. Now get in my belly!'. I really feel like he gets kind of bummed when I take him off the floor and put him in his highchair for actual food. He'll unenthusiastically munch on his cheese or fruit or cereal while eyeing the stack of magazines on the kitchen table, his gut burning with desire.

I'm sure he'll grow out of this. It's just a phase. And of course it could always be worse! Hey, maybe he's just got a healthy appetite for good journalism. And pictures of hot chicks.



The drive home this weekend was not nearly as bad as I'd anticipated, but that doesn't mean it didn't suck. We made it through the first 5 hours with absolutely no problem. At one point I turned to D and said "Heh, this is nothing! It's going by so quickly and we're making great time!". As soon as I shut my yap time proceeded to stand still. The last two hours felt like years. We grew tired and cranky and stiff and miserable. Thankfully, Ethan was amazing. He slept for the majority of the trip once the sun went down. We made it to my mom's house at around 11:30 p.m. Ethan perked up immediately upon arrival and charmed everyone with his newfound ability to clap his hands, showed off how he can pull up to standing with ease and demonstrated his driving passion to get his little hands on everything in his line of vision.

Friday my sister cut my hair. Two feet of frizzy, dead, NAPPY hair gone. Bu-bye! Carolyn worked her magic and turned my dramatically confused mop into a straight, sleek, short, shiny, layered, thinned Aniston-esque 'do. I was amazed. The best part is that it looks equally as good when I wear it curly and needs only a small amount of two products (2!!) to hold it's style and keep frizz at bay. I am pleased as pie.

BUT! I showered today and was given only a small window of time to copy exactly what my sis did. Ethan basically said "Look, I'll nap. But not for very long. You smell and are in need of a shower, dear mother. However, I cannot promise that you will have time to both blow-dry AND flat-iron your hair. That's really asking too much of me". I anticipated this and am still pleasantly pleased with the end result of the half-assed job I did. Horray! I never expected to be able to get my hair as straight as my sister did anyway. She, like every other good stylist I know, is magical. That's all there is to it. David Blaine has nothing on her.

The rest of the day was spent visting family and friends. On Saturday we had the pleasure of finally visiting my uncle's art studio. I've always adored his work and it was neat to see where the magic happens. (Again with the magic, I know.) On the way home from his studio I began feeling strangely nauseous. Things swiftly moved from nausea to "bowel issues". Fun! Also, D had been complaining of a scratchy throat and within hours he turned into a walking ball of phlegm, complete with an extra forceful cough to ensure that everything within a 10 mile radius was splattered with an even coating of mucus. D uses the "snot rocket" method of nose blowing which involves closing off one nostril and shooting snot out of the open nostril with a force so powerful that it chips sidewalks. No tissue necessary, as clearly there is nothing more enjoyable than blowing snot from your nose into the air at high speeds. Fascinating to watch. Also, highly revolting, especially when your husband is doing the blowing. At this point we really have no need for birth control.

Saturday night we hung out with my sister and her fiance at their new pad. We watched Artie Lang's standup dvd and grilled burgers. I tried to drink, I really did. I just wasn't into it. I was starting to get sick too. Sunday we woke up and both felt pretty bad. We were supposed to leave but couldn't bare the thought of sitting in a congested car for the ride home, snotting all over each other (and Ethan!), so we stayed an extra day. For those of you that didn't get to see us, you got lucky and you missed a whole lotta nothing special.

I hate to say it but I MISS TEXAS. I really, really do.


Please say I'm not the only one...

Yesterday my main goal was to go to super Wal-Mart to replace the two front tires on my car. We're traveling back to Texas for a long weekend this week and I guess we're all safe and responsible now that we have a child. Skidding along the highway at 85 mph on bald tires has lost some of it's flare. MAN I'm getting old.

Anyway, this is the third time I've gone to that Wal-Mart for their "EXPRESS TIRE AND LUBE" services since I moved to Louisiana in May. Each time there has been at least a three hour wait. Why I keep going back is still in question. Clearly something is wrong with me. All signs point to you keep going back because you are a dumbshit. Right.

So I pull up under the cute little tent they have outside where the attendant takes your "order" and routinely proceeds to tell you that there is a three hour wait, maybe four. There are eight cars in front of me also in need of new tires. This time I ask him if it's ALWAYS like this, is there ALWAYS a wait? He shakes his head no. Oh, I say, only when I come then? He snickers and I sneer and I park and we go inside.

I head to the front of the store to get a cart. Ethan and I will cruise the aisles of Wal-Mart for three hours. Now, it's to be expected that at some point I will have to pee. I went before we left the house and made it a point to not drink any water in the hour before leaving, but no matter how dehydrated I am I simply cannot go three hours without peeing. This makes for exceptionally fun road trips, I must say. I hold it for as long as I can, until it hurts, but I was wearing a skirt and was thinking that maybe urine dripping down my leg was kind of last year? For fashion's sake, I head to the restroom. Only... no carts allowed in the restroom. And I have this baby, see. In my arms. I need to pee and I have a baby in my arms. Fuckety fuckety fuck.

I see no other solution. If there was an obvious other way please let me know what it was! Put the baby on the floor? Hell to the nooooooooooooooooo. Let some stranger hold him? Not so much. I hold Ethan high on my waist and close to my body. I lift my skirt with my only available hand and fold it up. I carefully pull down zee panties with said hand. All this while holding an 18-pound baby and carefully squatting as to not touch the toilet seat, for the love of God! I look at Ethan and try to distract him. I was peeing! While holding my baby! My attempts to foil him didn't work. His gaze immediately went down to the stream of liquid somehow spraying from my nether regions. He was fascinated. I was mortified.

As quick as I could I finished up and bolted out the door. I wonder if there's a space in his babybook for this?


Chihuahua Stew

I have been mentally writing an "Ode To Bogart" type entry to apologize to my dog for neglecting him since Ethan's birth. Today that rough draft went straight out the window.

Earlier this morning I went into our room where Bogart sleeps only to find a fresh piece of poop waiting for me in front of D's dresser. I disposed of the offensive matter, scolded Bogart as he scurried under the bed, disinfected and went on my merry way. Later I returned to put some laundry away and was greeted by a stench so rancid it burned my eyeballs. More poop. But where? I went on a wild search and finally discovered the awful, awful truth: Bogart had eaten his own feces and then vomited it up UNDERNEATH OUR BED.

I think this means we're even.


Orange-Faced Mini-Me

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
What do you expect me to do with this pea?
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
And I was on the verge of saying "ma-ma"!

What do you get when you give me this crap?
An unhappy baby who's in need of a nap!
What happened to that milk from your boob?
What's with this piece of carrot shaped like a cube?

I don't like the look of this.

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-doo
Soon I'll have a full diaper for you
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me!

WAIT! Maybe he's just pissed because I made him wear a purple bib!?


He's not always all smiles and rainbows.

Picture 1: BOO! This highchair blows fat nuts! And you, MOMMY DEAREST, are getting on my nerves.
Picture 2: Juice makes everything better! Thanks mom! Yum-o! (Did I mention that he's a big Rachael Ray fan? I'm not even kidding.)
Pictures 3 & 4: Done with the juice, and now I thirst for your soul. Within the next few seconds I will unleash a series of screams so horrifying it will wake the dead. Now, do as I say, dear mother. Tap dance at once!

His wish is my command. Also, moderately improved dancing skills.

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