Friday, April 28, 2006


Jack said "Mommy" for the first time yesterday!

I about cried.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


It turns out that the new dance moves are dangerous, and not in a "You Got Served" kind of way. I got a call this afternoon from Jack's school. He was dancing, undoubtedly showing off his new spin, got dizzy, and fell into the bookcase, bumping his head.

Poor Jackson. How he suffers for his art.

Also, here is some dialogue from Stately Wasser Manor today.

Steve: Sorry, buddy, but that's the way it is. (shows me Jack's Elmo toothbrush) I just don't think it's safe for him to run around with this in his mouth.
Me: I completely agree, especially because he took that thing out of the trash.
Steve: Oh, Jackson.

How big is Jack?

Soooo big! So big, in fact, that he seems to have already outgrown his size 18 months clothing. That sure didn't last long, did it? As far as I'm concerned, though, this is good news. 18 months is really hard to find, and once you hit 2T, there seems to be a lot more clothing available. Jack seems to have had a mighty growth spurt, because he suddenly seems much taller. This would also explain why he was eating us out of house and home.

In other news, Jack has added some new dance moves. Not only does he bob up and down, but he also likes to spin and twirl! It is too funny. Steve and I kept trying to play music and sing last night so we could watch him dance more.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cracks in My Foundation

I just finished Cracks in My Foundation, a book of essays and short stories by my girl, Marian Keyes. I am a total sucker for this woman's writing. I love the way she blends comedy and tragedy in her novels, and I enjoy her unique voice. Her essays about travel were especially funny. She actually made me think I'd like a trip to Russia after reading the way she delighted in the melodrama of it all. I could absolutely see little kernals of things she ended up writing about in her novels- the mud incident that later showed up in Last Chance Saloon, the Russian women talking about sex who later showed up in Angels.

My favorite thing in the book was a short story, "Mammy Walsh's Problem Page." It's an advice column, written by Mammy Walsh, the mother of the Walsh sisters who appear in several of her books. It is hysterical listening to her rantings and no nonsense approach to modern issues. One person wrote in to say that she is a vegetarian and her boyfriend wants her to make a roast for his parents. Should she do it? Mammy Walsh tells her to knock off this attention seeking vegetarian nonsense and just admit that meat is delicious.

Great fun. I'm sure I'll pick this up again and dip into different stories and essays.

Mommy-Son Weekend

Steve was away last weekend for an informal fraternity reunion, and Jack and I were on our own. I'm sure Steve had a great time walking around campus and drinking bourbon, but I've got to say, the Cub and I had a really great time.

It poured rain on Saturday, thus killing my plans for us to go to Baby Animal Day at Frying Pan Park. I'll take him next week, since I doubt the baby animals will all have matured by then. We did our usual Saturday stuff, and at Costco I made the amazing discovery that Jack, who has been shunning vegetables of late (funny, since that used to be all he'd eat), loves spinach nuggets, of all things. He scarfed down two of the free samples, so I bought a box for home. Dan and Liana came over in the evening so we could go look for a dress for Liana. I was not as desperate for adult contact as I thought I'd be by then, though I'm sure it helped to keep me sane for the rest of the weekend. Dan was very amused by the fact that Jack consistently called me Dada.

On Sunday, things were a little more challenging because I had a horrible headache. Ordinarily, I would have handed Jack over to Steve and crawled into bed, but that was not an option. So, I took a handful of Advil with a cup of coffee. I had to put away the groceries, so I put Jack in his high chair and dumped an entire jar of Blueberry Buckle on the tray. He looked at me like, "Really?" Jack then alternated between eating it by the handful and smearing it all over his tray, making pretty patterns.

Unfortunately, I still wasn't feeling so good and was not up to giving my sticky blue boy a bath quite yet. So I gave his hands and face a quick swipe, took off his shirt, and carried him to the basement. I put on Sesame Street and curled up in a ball on the floor. Jack was really great. He watched the show quietly, coming over every once in a while to cuddle with me or give me a kiss. Sweet little guy, and his magic cuddling powers made me feel much better.

So then, it was time for the bath. Jack had an absolute blast, splashing probably about half of the water out of the tub and onto Mommy and the surrounding floor. Then he got a look on his face. Dialogue follows.

Me: Um, Jack? Are you doing what I think you're doing? Should I maybe put you on the toilet and... oh, it's too late.
Jack: Uh-oh!
Me: This bath is over.

So, I took the boy out of the polluted bathwater and put him on the floor, forgetting that the floor was soaking wet and therefore slippery. Jack immediately fell down. It was one of those bad times when he didnt start crying right away, but rather turned bright red and took a huge breath so he could really let out a serious holler. I wrapped him in a towel and took him to his room to calm down. Once he finally stopped crying, thank Yoda, it was nap time. Jack went to sleep, I cleaned the tub, then had lunch and made dinner for our guests that night. I am, obviously, an amazing Superwoman.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Yesterday, Jack really impressed me by how well he is learning to communicate. Sure, we're not at, "Mommy, those were some really good mashed sweet potatoes. Thank you so much for making them for me," but considering that not so long ago all he could do was cry, the little guy is making progress.

Last night, he and I got home from a run. He walked over to the stairs and yelled. I opened the gate, figuring he could use a drink. As I was getting him a sippy of milk, he walked over to his high chair and pointed at it frantically. "Do you want a snack, Jack?" I asked. I responded by running over to the pantry door and yelling at it. My smart boy was rewarded with a snack of milk, Teddy Grahams, and banana.

For the past two nights, Jack and I have experimented with no bedtime bottle. It is going great. I really think he was ready to give it up. Instead of having a bottle, we snuggle and read a bedtime story. I think I have a decent array of short books that are good for pre-sleepies, but I suppose time will tell.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Boo Boo Report

It's becoming all too familiar- the sound of my cell phone ringing in the afternoon, and one of the directors at Jack's daycare leading with, "Hi, Mrs. Wasser. It's not an emergency..." Nope, not an emergency- just another boo boo report for Jack!

It honestly doesn't bother me that Jack gets the occasional scratch or scrape. He's a kid, and I want him to be able to play, explore, run, and I know that it's inevitable that he'll hurt himself every once in a while. One of the kids in Jack's class, Amy, lives in our neighborhood. She had a scratch on her face that she got at school, and her parents were totally freaked out about it. They told Steve all about how "they need to watch the children more carefully" and "what if it gets infected?" I can't imagine getting so upset over one scratch. Does Amy never fall down and hurt herself at their house? The whole place must be covered in bubble wrap and cotton batting.

Yesterday's boo boo report came at 4:30. Jack was playing outside, tripped (probably over his own feet) and fell down on the sidewalk. He is totally fine- in fact, Ms. Rashida reported that he hardly cried at all and was all smiles by the time he got inside to get cleaned up. He does, however, have a bunch of scrapes all over one side of his face. Poor Cub!

And guess what? Tomorrow is school picture day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No Dress Rehearsal

No Dress Rehearsal is a very short story by my beloved Marian Keyes. It's about 75 pages in a small book with big type. Not quite a short story, so I guess it would be called a novella. In the first few pages, Lizzie is in a biking accident, and although she doesn't realize it for a while, she dies. The rest of the book is about Lizzie trying to adjust to her new reality, including doing her very best to make sure she is not literally late for her own funeral. The thing I liked the best about this story is that Lizzie did have all of the cliched problems of a heroine in a light women's fiction book- she had a boyfriend who wouldn't commit, a chocolate habit, trouble quitting smoking, a dead-end job, etc. The difference is that she died, which certainly put a new spin on things. It became crystal clear that she was wasting her life with these things that did not make her happy. In the end, she was able to talk to her friend Siobhan in a dream and convince her not to make the same mistakes. Very enjoyable little read.


Yesterday was a big day for Jack. He said both hi and bye for the first time! Not bad, busting out with two new words in one day. Sure, they sound a lot alike, but he still gets points since the context was correct and because both of them were accompanied by waves. He said bye to Steve on his way out of the house for school. Then we were watching a new kid show (Big, Big, World - eh), and he started saying hi to each new animal as it came on the screen. So cute.

Perhaps because he was so very sophisticated, I decided to try putting him to bed without a bottle for the first time. Jack has been mostly bottle-free for ages, but we were still giving him one before bed. His doctor is cool with that and said to just start phasing it out before he turns 18 months. Well, for a while now, he hasn't been that into the pre-bed bottle. He'd take a couple of drinks from it, then bat it away with his hand and ask for his binky. I gave him a cup of milk during our evening quiet time, which he downed. Then I took him up to bed, read him Goodnight Moon, and gave him a binky. He went right to sleep, as usual. I think this transition is going to be an easy one.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter!

Steve and I agreed that this Easter was probably our best yet (in my case, ranking right up there with the Easter I spent in Madrid at the opening day of bullfighting). Jack was a perfect wonderful Angel Cub and slept until 8:00! The Easter Bunny had come, and did a helpfully poor job of hiding Easter eggs, just scattering them around the study. Jack had a great time picking up the eggs and bringing them to me. Then he was really psyched about his Easter basket, full of little toys, Elmo sippy cups, and Sesame Beginnings DVDs.

The three of us had breakfast, then we went to Lowe's. Jack and I looked at flowers while Steve got the rest of the bricks for edging the front of the house. At home, Steve finished putting out the bricks while I chased Jack up and down the street. A trip to the park and a bath later, and the little guy was ready for a three-hour nap.

Dan, Liana, Bill, and Rebecca came over for dinner, and it was just like the kind of holiday dinner I like- laid back, everyone pitching in, and board games afterwards. It was really a great day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

One Year Later

This morning, Steve and I took Jack to the South Riding Easter Egg Hunt. To be fair, it's not so much a "hunt" as it is a "grab," since all of the plastic eggs are just spread out on the lawn. We took him last year, and it really made me think about how much he's changed.

Last year, we just watched the other kids. He was so little that not only could he not walk and pick up eggs, he couldn't even roll over yet. That's so crazy to think about! I also remember we weren't sure how the short walk was going to go, since he didn't really like his stroller that much. Now one of his favorite things to do is to go for walks. It's really cool to look back and see how much he's grown up. Next year, who knows? He might be able to do something really fancy, like hold a basket and pick up eggs at the same time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Second Draft of My Life

I finished this book, Second Draft of My Life by Sara Lewis a couple of nights ago. It's about Charlotte, a novelist who gets frustrated with her lack of success and decides to throw in the towel and become a first grade teacher. She finds that teaching is a lot harder than she thought it would be and ends up using the skills she learned as a novelist to reinvent herself and to be a better teacher. It was entertaining fluff and I will probably forget about it completely within a month, but I enjoyed it while I was reading it. I'll probably attempt to sell it at our yard sale next month.

Bock Bock!

Jack totally cracks me up sometimes. This morning, I took him to school. Ms. Esthella and Ms. Vicky were apparently running a bit behind, so there were no toys out yet. Ms. Vicky went into the Magical Toy Closet to get some stuff for the kids. Jack did his best to wedge his little body in there so he could check things out. She was, of course, quick enough to block his way in. She was not, however, able to keep him from spotting one of his favorite school toys: Chicken Dance Elmo.
Jack immediately began pointing at CDE and yelling, "Uh-oh! More!" Vicky brought him the toy, and Jack immediately pushed CDE's foot to make him dance. When I left him this morning, Jack was making Elmo dance, dancing with him, and laughing his wee baby head off. Good stuff.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Jack has become enamored lately with one of his words. All day long, there are choruses of uh-oh! Really, it's a handy phrase for Jack, given his lifestyle. Uh-oh is good to use, for example, when you deliberately drop your Spider-Man fork on the floor after every bite of ravioli. Uh-oh also came into play when he dropped his binky in the toilet. I turned my back for one second, heard the "Uh-oh," and found the binky floating in the water and Jack waving bye-bye to it.

Yeah. Bye-bye is right. He'll not be seeing that particular binker ever again.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Yesterday, we took Jack to Great Country Farm. It was so much fun for all three of us. There are all kinds of animals to see, mazes, rope swings, a giant slide, hay rides, a country store, and u-pick fruits and veggies (though nothing is in season to pick right now). All of this for the bargain price of $3 per adult! Jack was absolutely thrilled by the entire thing. He loved the animals. Every time we directed his stroller towards something new, he'd yell, bounce up and down in the seat, and point to it. The rope swing and giant slide were also a lot of fun. I hope that I never reach the point in which I don't realize how fun it is to swing on a rope swing or go screaming down a hill on a steep, fast slide. I was more than happy to make the climb to the top of the slide with Jack because it was just so fun. It was also great to just be able to get Jack out of the stroller and let him run around and explore. At the end of our time there, he was dirty, hungry, and happy. We'll definitely go back.