Dear Gus: One

Dear Gus,

A year ago today you made your grand entrance into this world, sort of dramatically, a little unexpectedly, but surrounded by love (and lots of medical professionals). We heard the doctor very quietly announce, “baby out,” to the rest of her team, and a moment later you made the sweetest, most amazing sound. Actually, you sounded a lot like a kitten, which is sort of funny, because we’re Dog People.

You looked like this:

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Now, you look like this:

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You cruise around like you own the place. You can climb up alllll the stairs by yourself (even though we’re always inches behind you) and you can Houdini your way out of your highchair straps in a matter of seconds.

Speaking of your highchair, if there’s food — you want it. You want it now, and you want to eat it all by yourself. You still love milk, straight from the source, and even though you’re nursing a lot less than you did when we first got started, when you’re promised some milk, you get so excited you scream and laugh with delight.

You positively love our dogs (“Das!”), Daisy and Jake, and can even say their names (“Dasa” and “Ja”) and think it’s hilarious when they bark (you bark with them “ra-ra-ra-ra-ra!”), or shake, or chase their tails. You used to poke or pull their fur, but now you pet them (sort of) gently, just like mommy and daddy.

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You can say “mama,” “dada,” and you’ve said “hi!” and “uh-oh!” once, and only once. You say a lot of other things that mean nothing to us, but obviously mean something to you. But we’ll figure it out eventually, I’m sure.

You love Mater’s Tall Tales, knocking over blocks, pulling anything off shelves, and pushing your lion walker through the house. You love to crawl away so we chase you, but stop periodically to wave over your shoulder and to make sure we’re following you (otherwise, what’s the point?). You’re obsessed with shoes and empty boxes, and will chew up all the junk mail if I leave it within your grasp. If music is playing, you’re bouncing, dancing, and shaking that booty.

You have crazy, weird hair, that sticks up at odd angles, no matter what I do. You have your Mommy’s dimples, and your Daddy’s toes. You have big, bright, mischievous eyes, but no one can seem to agree what color they are. They’re not blue, or brown, or green. They’re a little bit of everything, and seem to change daily.

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You only have two teeth, but the Internet assures me that’s totally normal, and you can still eat whatever you want, so don’t let all those other kids with all their teeth get you down. You earned those two teeth, and you use them to chomp-chomp-chomp on everything.

You sleep …with us. It wasn’t the plan, it just sort of happened, because mommy was exhausted and you were a cuddlebug. If you’re not snuggled up with one of us, you’re simultaneously pushing both of us out of bed, and taking up the whole king-sized mattress by yourself, which is pretty impressive for someone who’s only two and a half feet tall. But, for the most part, we sleep a lot so I’m not complaining. On more than one occasion, you’ve slapped me in the face, and called me mama (which I always assumed was just an expression) when it was time to wake up.

We waited so, so long for you to get here. This last year (and the years before you were born) were so long in the making, but now, it’s like you’ve always been here. You made our family complete, and it’s almost impossible to remember what life was like before you.

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Happy Birthday, little man! The first year of your life has been the best year of our lives!

Love, Mama and Dada

Friday Things

It’s finally stating to feel like fall, I found ahmazing boots on sale, I just ordered a giant, delicious cake for a certain someone’s first birthday, and, OH YEAH, I CAN EAT DAIRY AGAIN.

Oh cheese. I’ve missed you, so, so, much.

Are you following Retta on Twitter? Or Instagram? You really should, because she is killing it (and she’s hilarious.)

Cartoon dogs, from around the world, because, why not?

I don’t have a ton of free time on my hands anymore, so I doubt I’ll be carving any elaborate pumpkins this year. But there’s always time for glue, and glitter.

I’m not sure how I feel about Twin Peaks coming back in 2016 (#11 on this list made me so, so angry, I’ve never gotten over it) but I am SUPER excited about Gilmore Girls on Netflix. You should get started!

Where is Samuel L. Jackson When You Need Him

Three hours ago, was bedtime.

Diaper, PJs, Tylenol, nursing and then approximately 13-18 minutes later, BAM.

ASLEEP. Or, that’s usually how it goes.

And yet, here we are. And by “we” I mean me and Gus, camped out on his bedroom floor, trying to burn off this random energy while Mike (who has been working 60+ hour weeks) sleeps down the hall.

This is after nursing, twice.

It is also after watching all of Mater’s Tall Tales (Gus’ favorite) in its entirety.

Now we’re scaling the sides of the crib, throwing all the clean laundry on the floor, swatting a lamp, and slooooowwwwwly undoing e.v.e.r.y. piece of velcro in the room. I’ve read every book he’s handed me.

Surrounded by toys, and he wants to play with the loudest, smelliest, most breakable things in the room, including, but not limited to:

His hamper lid.
His (thankfully clean and empty, but still smelly) old diaper pail.
The crinkly bag of wipe refills.
The heavy, full, ceramic piggy-bank.
Whatever is wooden and can be thrown on the wood floors (the poor dogs, who sleep downstairs).

And I’m not even kidding you when I say he just (JUST THIS SECOND) realized the Sophie the Giraffe squeaks. (Those poor, poor dogs)

And maybe I’m just sleepy (or still lightheaded from all the pizza I had at dinner! Pizza!!!) but I think I feel a tooth coming in too. (But if I try to feel it or, god forbid, look at it, all hell breaks loose)

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There is no eye-rubbing. No whining or crying. He’s all smiles, this kid. In fact, he routinely stops playing and pretend belly-laughs, because it makes us laugh and it’s his new go-to game. So I guess it could be worse, but really. I’m sleepy.

Long story short: Go The F To Sleep.

Friday Things (on Tuesday)

Because why not?

I love dogs. I’m a dog person. I love adopting dogs. Here’s an amazing (and kind of terrifying!) story, about how great dogs are, and why you should adopt one.

I know, I’m obsessed with Kitchen Vignettes (they’re all so prettyyyy!) but after a week at the beach eating caramel popcorn (and a lot of other things) I think my dairy-free days might be over! I want someone to make this, now, please.

Speaking of caramel popcorn, you can order some here. Everybody loves it.

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Apparently I’m hungry, because now I want to make some ramen. I like mine all the different ways.

I just spent a week at the beach with my mom, and we stumbled across an adorable shop in Berlin, MD (a tiny little town, where Runaway Bride was filmed), where I found these plates, etc., and then promptly kicked myself for not coming up with the idea before someone else did.

Eleven Months

No, no, no. Nope. How’d we get here already? You’re telling me that in one month — a mere four weeks! — I’ll have a one-year-old?! A toddler?! Impossible!

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Height & Weight: nothing official until his birthday (!) but he feels heavier and looks taller. He’s still a stringbean though.

Likes: If I think it’s disgusting, Gus thinks it’s hilarious. So anything that warrants what I’d call my “blech” face, the child cannot stop laughing. And he’s in luck, because as he continues to try to feed himself, and graciously shares everything with his mama, mushy wet food gets on everything, and I make that face a lot.

Dislikes: Periodically, diaper changes are still the worst. But really, it’s a lot better, as long as I plan ahead and distract him with a toy. Unfortunately, now if he gets ahold of some thing he shouldn’t have and we take it away, oooooooh boy.

Sleep: Out of nowhere, we’re back to sleeping about 10+ hours straight. Every so often he’ll wake himself up because he’s talking or crawling or standing (almost always between 4–5 a.m.) and need some nursing to settle back down. They’re exactly the sort of nights we had right before he started crawling, so I suspect walking is not too far away.

Eating: It’s officially impossible to feed this child anything (aside from yogurt and oatmeal) with a spoon. If he can’t feed himself, he is not interested. So we’ve been giving him more and more finger foods, like tater tots, pieces of chicken, meatballs, scrambled eggs (he was not impressed) and pancakes in addition to his Cheerios, veggie straws and avocado. I’ve officially created a French Fry Monster, who won’t eat anything else until all visible fries are gone. And he still really likes his fruit/veggie pouches, as long as there are no spoons involved. He’s down to nursing five times a day now.

Clothes: 12–18M in length, but he’s still got a 6–9M waist (I told you. Stringbean.) Dressing him is becoming a bit of a challenge.

New Tricks: Every day this month, it’s been something new, it’s unbelievable! Clapping, high fives, waving all the time, clicking his tongue, playing peekaboo, siting on the floor and using his feet to spin in circles, standing independently, imitating sounds and expressions, AND climbing the stairs. So, basically we’re exhausted, and my baby is a genius.

Teeth: Extra drool and even more chewing than I thought possible, but still no more. Tooth tally: 2.

Nicknames: Rocket Man, Oatmeal Face, Dancing Machine, Crabman.

Mommy & Daddy: I’ve experimented with a little hidden dairy (breads, baked goods, marinades, etc) and fingers crossed! so far, so good. I’m trying to phase things back in really slowly, and I get a little overwhelmed when I think about all the things I need want to eat. Pizza! Pasta! Ice cream! A barrel of queso! More ice cream!! This is super exciting for me, because oooohhhhh how I’ve missed this deliciousness!, but also for Mike who finally gets to eat something other than McDonalds, Subway or Qdoba when we’re in a hurry (or I’m feeling lazy, which is pretty often). First birthday planning is in full swing, and I really, really hope I can eat some damn ice cream (to celebrate, you know, a year without ice cream.)

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Friday Things

It’s finally starting to feel like fall, my favorite time of year. But, really, isn’t it everyone’s? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hates fall. That’s like hating dessert. Or getting angry when you find money in the pocket of that coat you haven’t worn in months. Weirdos.

Speaking of fall, I’m on the hunt for a pair of over-the-knee boots (because I’m tall, and I love boots, and I think I can pull them off) but the search is a little difficult thanks to my slightly wider calves. I keep coming back to these, but then I can’t quite seem to pull the trigger. Thankfully Brittany Gibbons is willing to try stuff on, and report back to us.

I want to eat all these things. Don’t tell my nutritionist.

Except for these pancakes, because they’re too amazing to eat.

I love Mindy Kaling for a variety of reasons — the top being: 1) she’s hilarious and smart, and 2) she’s shaped like a normal human woman. Thanks to Worn on TV, you can wear what she wears! (Assuming you have a fair amount of money to burn.)

All of these quotes are good, but (surprise, surprise!) this one is my favorite:
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