Archive for August, 2010

NYC – Day 1

August 27, 2010

This vacation brought to you by Grandparents: because we could never leave home without them.

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Over a month ago now, Dan and I took a long weekend trip to NYC.  I had never been, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t turn out to be another one of those grueling walk-your-face-off vacations, even despite our generous use of the subway.  We stayed at a hotel right by Grand Central Station which turned out to be wonderfully convenient.  We  covered A LOT of ground in 3 days.

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On Friday we got a late start as we were coming in from the Newark airport in New Jersey.  We came out of the train station at Madison Square Gardens and hopped straight into a taxi which ended up to be an awesome way to kick off our time in NYC.  I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say taxi drivers don’t like being cut off,  “tapping” in NY is a perfectly legal way to let someone know they suck, and traffic is slow enough through the city that there’s no problem getting out of your car in the middle of the street.  Needless to say, we tipped our taxi driver well because it was a very entertaining ride.

Once we finally got out and about, we spent most of the day at the Empire State Building and it’s surrounding area.  We hadn’t warmed up to the subway yet so we did a lot of walking and saw very little.  It was a rainy, overcast day, so the shots from atop the tallest building in NYC didn’t turn out all that impressive.  I still wish we would have taken the stairs.

Sky line

Real top from the fake top

Us

That night we hit an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.  It was no Dad’s Garage (if you live in Atlanta, and you haven’t, you must!),  but  I still do remember laughing quite a bit.  Plus some of the actors were actually recognizable from commercials.  Gotta love a good improv show!

Awkward Family Photo

August 20, 2010

This picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

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I captured this gem while trying to set the timer to get a family shot.  What is my brother doing?  And why does Dan look so irritated?

We managed to get it together though…

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My Mom Has A Lion on Her Head…

August 12, 2010

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…and she keeps it there all day.  ROAR!  If you know, you know, but if you don’t, let me just say we love Laurie Berkner in this house.

Side Note

August 10, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad,

Maybe you were right.  Maybe those first few months were the easiest it’s going to get.   Who won the bet on how long it would take me to say that?

Love,

Beth

Terrible Ones?

August 10, 2010

Sometime around 13 months, we noticed a change in Aiden’s behavior.

Can't get the puzzle out...meltdown begins...

Our once happy-to-be-alive, easy-going little boy started showing signs of frustration and downright anger.  We’re talking unrelenting bouts of crying, screaming, clenched fists, hitting, and just generally lashing out.

 ...oh the inhumanity...

These tantrums can show up at any time for any reason although the common theme seems to be moments when things aren’t going his way.  Like if he bangs his head on something.  Or we give him the cup he doesn’t like.  Or if we put him down and he wants to be held.  Or if we pick him up and he wants to be down.  Or when he can’t get his puzzle board out of his toy box (because mommy is holding it there).

Why does this box hate me?

Suffice it to say, the world just seems against Aiden lately.  Many times during his tantrums, I look to Dan and ask “Is this normal?  Are we messing him up?  I mean why is he so angry?  How can he be perfectly happy one minute and so upset the next?”

I hate you box. 

During one of his more recent tantrums, when the questions of concern started flowing freely, Dan encouraged me to look in the parenting book that we had on the shelf.  So I turned to the “Second Year” section and started reading, looking for any sign that we weren’t screw-up parents.  Here are the first six sentences of the chapter:

Your baby enters her second year and becomes a toddler, crawling vigorously, starting to walk, even talking a little.  As she becomes more and more independent, the days of her unquestioning adoration and dependency on you are becoming numbered.

This realization probably makes you feel both sad and excited—not to mention a little nervous as you think about the coming clashes between her will and yours.  In fact, you may already be getting some glimpses of these struggles.  For instance, try to take something away from her and she may scream in protest.”

Strike out “sad and excited” there and replace it with “stressed out and mortified” and these people just might be on to something.  I didn’t read any more after that because my questions were answered.  This is apparently just what happens to our sweet babies.  In Aiden’s case, I think a lot of it has to with the frustration of not quite being able to walk and obviously not being able to communicate what he wants, so my initial thought is that it should be relatively temporary, right?  RIGHT? 

Well after some recent conversations with his co-workers, Dan has informed me that different versions of this behavior has been reported all the way to age 4.   Great.  So I guess we’ll just have to learn how to deal and chalk this up to more crap that nobody felt it was important to mention before we had kids.

Defeated.

All we can do now is just stay calm (aka suppress our worries that we have a bi-polar kid), laugh about it when we can (which is surprisingly often), and try to teach Aiden to relax.  Or in the words of Dan: “We just have to power through the next 20 years.”

Note: No babies were harmed in the staging of these photos…only pissed off.

First Steps

August 8, 2010

He’s been doing this for the last couple of days and is increasing his step count every day.  My back is breathing a sigh of relief just watching this video.

More Baby-Proofing

August 8, 2010

We had to put this at the top of the stairs…

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…to put a stop to this…

…oh and to stop him from falling down the stairs and all that.  Now he just skips the steps and throws them through the bars at the top.  Can you say favorite upstairs activity?  Can you say broken tiles below?

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And my mom and I sewed this up…

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…to put a stop to this…

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That’s right, we’ve got a beaver on the loose.  It’s only a few minor scratches on our “we’ll have this forever” convertible crib, so if you have children that can’t stand at the railing yet, you NEED one of these.  You’ve been warned.

Blanket

August 3, 2010

I started this blanket for you before I new the shape of your face or the sound of your laugh and it’s been those very things that have pushed me to finish for you well over a year later.  I remember very clearly that fateful day when I randomly decided that I wanted to make you a gift, and I picked up a crochet hook for the first time.  Little did I know that making a blanket is not a quick process, but like most crafts I’ve found, tends to be labor intensive and curse word producing.  But it’s done now, and while it’s not as soft as some of your other blankets (daddy has actually  likened it to the lead vests used during x-rays), it’s the only one in the world that was made by your mommy.

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