Giving Thanks

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things for which I am extraordinarily thankful:
  • A post-baby body that is a wee bit smaller than my pre-baby body.
  • The chance to take a mini-vacation/anniversary trip (sans toddler) right after Thanksgiving.
  • A brand new BBQ joint with a Top Chef runner-up in the kitchen, less than 1 mile from my home
  • A cameo on the homepage of Magic Beans
Hold up. What happened to health and happiness? Friends and family?

I sure could use a reality check. And I got one.

Last week, a fellow mom and blogger (a “famous” blogger) Jill Smokler (aka Scary Mommy) posted about the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner and the many families who could not afford the luxury of a hot turkey dinner. She asked for 2 readers to volunteer to donate $25 to help a family in need and she vowed to match these donations. Within hours, she had 600 readers donating over $18,000 which helped provide Thanksgiving dinner for 378 families.

Scary Mommy? I think not. Sensitive, sweet, compassionate Mommy? Oh yeah.

I am proud to be counted among the 600 donors. I didn’t think twice before I donated a grocery gift card so a family in need could spend Thanksgiving just like I will – with family, friends and a great bounty of food.

It is important to recognize what we have and what we take for granted. My husband, son, and I eat a warm meal every evening. We live in a comfortable home, we have clothing, and toys, and birthday parties, and so many other little luxuries that we forget to appreciate on a daily basis.

Giving money to charity is important to us and is a value we hope to instill in our son. We think a lot about the organizations to which we donate and the impact of these funds on people and places in Boston and around the world. This Thanksgiving, I truly want to give thanks. And the most meaningful way I can show my gratitude is to be able to provide for someone else.

I applaud Scary Mommy on her ability to mobilize the blogging community, to raise funds, and to allocate them to families in need. I hope every family who is able to give will do so this Thanksgiving.

I am truly thankful for my lot in life.

Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.



Monday, November 21, 2011

I have vivid memories from one childhood haircut. 

Growing up in Texas, I was always jealous of the blonde, straight, long, beautiful hair of my classmates.  (I'm no longer envious since I found my way out great products to tame my mane.)  Side ponytails were in style and my pony was lopsided.  I was determined to fix it.  So I grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors and cut my side ponytail straight across with one big snip.  Voila - one very cute and very even hairdo! 

All was great 'til I took the ponytail holder out and found the left side of my hair 8 inches shorter than the right side.  That day, I vowed never to let anyone but a professional cut my hair. 

So what, therefore, was I thinking when I let a non-professional hairdresser cut Ari's beautiful baby locks for the very first time? 

Well, I reasoned, my husband can change a tire, can unclog a toilet, can hang a chandelier, and can paint walls... he must be able to cut a toddler's hair!

Right, I wasn't thinking.

Now, in our defense, Ari was sporting a mullet.  His gorgeous 'do had grown halfway down his back, was completely covering his ears, and beginning to hide his eyes. 

Something had to be done.

So we gave him a bath, washed his hair, wrapped him in a towel, and while I held and fed him, the butcher dad went to work.  Snip snip snip.  "Are we done?" I asked.  "Not yet, now I need to texturize," he replied.

Texturize?  I should have known this was not going to end well.  Looking back, we would have been better off with a flowbee. You remember this thing right?

When all was said and done, we had a gorgeous merkin pile of hair to put in the baby book:

And one beautiful little boy... with an unusally large forehead:

Sorry sweetie, it will grow back.   And next time, we'll take you to Snip-Its.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

I think my son is a Jewish mother trapped in the body of a 1 year-old boy.

Here's why:

He force feeds.  If you come over, he will greet you with some delicacy from the fridge floor and do everything in his power to get the food into your lips.  And, if you refuse, he will keep trying until you nosh!  He will even take the food off his own plate and out of his mouth to make sure you're satisfied.  He insists!

He's a backseat driver.  Oy vey, you should hear him whine from the back seat.  Either you're not driving fast enough, or there's too much traffic, or the air is too cold, or you're simply not going the way he wants you to go.  And he's not shy about letting you know how he feels.

He is very manipulative.  He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it.  And when he doesn't get his way, he kvetches.

He uses Jewish guilt.  (See above)

He has to be the center of attention.  (Oh you want to be part of the conversation?  Too bad.) 

He likes to take a little shluff in the middle of the day.  And, he complains if he doesn't get his beauty rest.

He collects tchotchkas.  You should see all of his crap.

He meddles in my business.  Whether I'm on the phone, the computer, or the toilet, he wants to know everything I'm doing.

And finally, he's incontinent.  This must be the Jewish great-grandmother in him.  What a pisher.  Literally.

See what I mean?  Ari is Jill Zarin a Jewish mama disguised as a toddler.  Stereotypical perhaps, but I'm pretty sure it takes one to know one. 


Cramping my style

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When thinking of whether or not to write a blog post, I tend to use some simple criteria.  1- Is the topic interesting?  2- Would the story make me chuckle? and 3- How would I feel if my mom or father-in-law or son (16 years from now) read it? 

And, when the answer to #3 is "mortified", I know I have a solid topic. 

So, here goes.  Apologies to the folks listed in #3...most of all, to my son, who, poor thing, has no concept of the embarrassment he's in for when he learns to google.

Ari mimics everything I do.  Sometimes he repeats an action on himself- like, if I yawn, he opens his mouth and says "ahhhh."  If I pick my nose, he picks his nose (unsuccessfully I might add).  If I walk around the house stomping and clapping, he follows right behind me.  But often times, he tries to mimic my action on me.  Examples - I pull out a wedgie.  Next thing I know, his little hand is in my tushie.  I tie my shoe.  He tries to tie my shoe.  I eat a grape.  He feeds me a grape.   And on and on.

Sometimes it's cute, sometimes funny, and as his pediatrician says, it's an indication that he's a smart, inquisitive boy who is soaking up everything around him and practicing new skills. 

And boy-oh-boy did he learn a new 'how-to' today! 

He watched intensely and then attempted to... ohmygod I can't believe I'm really going to write this... yank out my tampon.

Please don't leave me Matt.

Um yeah, so, there are certain things that just can't wait until nap time.  (If you know what I mean.)  And, no matter how well my house is baby-proofed, I would never close the bathroom door preventing Ari from coming in while I take care of business.  I try to teach him about toilet paper and washing hands and other bathroom etiquette.  And, I assume potty training must be easier if kids watch their parents use the toilet.  (Right?  I don't know.  Cut me some slack.)

But today's bathroom adventure was a bit unexpected.  Thinking this through, I should have realized that Ari has been using toys that involve putting different shapes in and out of corresponding holes.  That and, he has a train, on a string, and he loves to pull it around the house.  Combine these two things with the mimicking and, well, we have a bloody mess. (Err. Literally.)

I may regret telling this, but that's the story and I'm sticking to it. 



Jamaican me crazy

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our one-day-a-week nanny Dee recently became my Facebook friend.  Remember Dee?  She's how I know Ari isn't colorblind.  (And she's the reason he loves Oprah.)

This post is in honor of her.  I hope she doesn't quit.

Let's call this...

Sh*t Dee Says:

DEE: "Good morning Harry."  "Come here Harry."  "Do you want breakfast Harry?"
ME: (to myself) Who the F is Harry?  My kid's name is Ari.  Ah-reeeee.  You're going to give him an identity complex.

DEE: "I ordered shoes on" 
Me: Where? 
DEE: "" 
Me: What?
DEE: "" 
ME: How do you spell that?  
DEE: ""
ME: Oh, Hhhhhhhhhh- (as breathy as possible) -eels .com.
DEE: What did you think I said?!

DEE: I'm going to get my air done alf up for alloween.
ME: Dee, this is nonsense.  Hhhhair, hhhhhalf, hhhhalloween.
DEE: Didn't I tell you in Jamaica we drop the H?
ME: Um no. pronounce my son's name H-arry.
DEE: Yeah mon, and we put the H where it doesn't belong!

DEE: I want new knee-high boots but my cows are too big.
ME: Excuse me?
DEE: You have big cows too.
ME: You mean my calves?
DEE: Yeah mon, but we are adult cows. 

DEE: Harry must have some Spanish in him.  He has a meaty bottom.
ME: He gets it from me.
DEE: Then you have Spanish in you.
ME: (to myself) (How did you know about that one night in college?)
DEE: Don't worry mon, he looks good.  Especially for a white boy.

DEE: Matt has sexy legs.
ME: Matt my husband?
DEE: Yeah mon, in Jamaica we call those legs sexxxxxxy.
ME: (Why you checkin' out my husband?) You mean sexy cows?
DEE: What? You crazy!

ME (via text msg): Is Ari okay?
DEE: My baby is great
ME: (to myself) (You mean my baby?  Yeah mon.)

watching Dee changing Baby J's (Dee's other job, same age as Ari) diaper.
ME: Woah!!  J has a huge penis.
DEE: I know. He's hung like a black man.

DEE (via text msg): Your son just ate everything on the tray plus a waffle and a banana
ME: He's gotta maintain those thighs
DEE: He is just a big sexy guy.

DEE: When I change Harry's poopies, he touches his penis.
ME: Maybe he likes you.
DEE: Come here Harry and give me some sugar.
ME: Maybe you should go for someone your own age.
DEE: You crazy.

To my sweet eel wearing friend, thanks for taking great care of Harry.  And for the record, you crazy!


Married White Female

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I used to be a great stalker private investigator.  I could find out any one's personal information!  I realize this sounds a bit creepy, but Google and I were totally in sync. 

Yet, I have a current contact conundrum and my stalking skills seem to be a bit outdated. 

Here's the background.  Ari and I have been taking a class at MyGym for months.  At the beginning of every class, we go around the circle and say the names of all of the kids.  I know the regulars well.  There's Nola and Ella and Beverly and Molly and Elle.  (Where are the boys?  Good question.)  Elle and Ari seem to get along very well.  And Elle's Mommy and I do as well.  She's funny and down-to-earth and well-dressed.  Sometimes we jump together on the trampoline or talk about new toddler finds.  We've bonded over chicken meatballs and goldfish.  We've even shared apple slices and squeezable yogurt.  Yeah, I really like her. 

It seems I have a mom crush.  I want to call her up and ask her out on a play date.  Maybe she wants to come to the Aquarium with us today?  We could even have lunch or ice cream together afterwards!

But, slight issue, I don't know her name.  I don't know her number.  And I don't know her email address.  All I know is that she drives an SUV and has a 1-year old named Elle and she gives her daughter coconut milk (I didn't say she was perfect.)

(I'm also praying she doesn't read this.  Ever.  She'd definitely think I was psycho.)

I tried googling and Facebook searching but that got me nowhere.  I think I may just have to awkwardly introduce myself to her next week.  "Hi, we've been chatting for the last 4 months.  My name is JulieSue."  I cringe just thinking about it.

I'm ordering myself  a Mom card.  And, in the meantime, anyone want to come to the Aquarium with me today?


Prick or Treat

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ari celebrated Halloween as a:

Woopie Cushion:

 (People asked how I came up with the idea for this. Duh.),

and as a Dragon:

 (note the tail),

and as a...

Pumpkin?  Tomato?  Body-less voodoo doll?

Nope.  A pin cushion. 

That's right, the pediatrician did not seem to care that it was Halloween and the poor 1 year (and 2 day old) received not 1, not 2, not 3...but 4 shots in his pudgy arms.  Trick or treat?  Trick, obviously.

It was like a scene from Scream.

And then, after he had recovered and was happily eating an animal cracker (with little tears still fresh on his cheeks), he leaned over, grabbed my arm, and did his best Twilight impression.  The dragon and woopie weren't enough for him...I guess I should have purchased a Dracula costume too.

Now, I don't think I have a biter.  I think he was both mimicking and punishing me at the same time.  He got "bit" 4 times and was just trying to show me what it felt like, right?

I tried to reason with him.  I said, "Ari, these shots will keep you healthy and safe.  I'm really sorry and I know they hurt but it's for your own benefit."

He looked at me with puppy dog eyes and I gave him an extra hug and kiss and firmly said, "do not do that again."

I know what you're thinking.  And sheesh.  You're right.  I guess it's my fault for taking him to the doctor on Halloween.  I'm a first time mom!  Nobody told me not to do it. 

You know what, haters?

Bite me.


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