One Sick Mommy + One Teething Toddler X Readjusting After a Holiday =

a week where you wonder where it went and how it could be so long all at the same time.

I have the strangest grouping of annoying symptoms that are simply wearing me out. Just when I think I’m better, I’m not. And my strange kid is popping some weird teeth – he’s most certainly not following any type of regular teething schedule (unless, of course, they are all about to pop at once and I’m just feeling a few random ones).

So we’re all looking forward to a quiet weekend at home where the hubby can chase the peanut around and I can hopefully kick these germs’ butts.

Ah…and now I hear the peanut waking up from his nap a good 45 minutes early. Oh, it’s going to be a great afternoon.



Whatever Happened to the 12 Days of Christmas?

I know I grew up in the South so I should be used to it. The tree going up the day after Thanksgiving and coming down the day after Christmas. Holiday music starting into the radio rotation on turkey day. Black Friday signifying the start of the holiday mall mayhem.

But what is with people this year? Is it just me or did Christmas start the day after Halloween? And why? The way Thanksgiving fell this year means we have the longest time between pilgrims and Santa that we possibly can and yet driving down the country road to my parents house on the Wednesday afternoon BEFORE Thanksgiving there were multiple houses with their lawn decorations up, trees lit in the windows and there were several holiday music 24/7 stations broadcasting “Holly, Jolly Christmas” and “Feliz Navidad.”

Now I’m as excited about the holidays as the next guy. I’m eagerly awaiting the weekend to go pick out our tree and getting all of our Santas and snowmen and candles and garland placed around the house. I’ve got all my cookie and bread recipes ready to go. I’m lining up babysitters for our holiday hoorahs. But don’t we risk holiday burnout by starting too early? Can’t there be too much of a good thing? Are we all falling victim to the over commercialization by retailers fearing for their bottom lines in the face of rising gas prices and a declining housing market?

Who knows. All I do know is that it seemed to be starting a bit early this year, even for me.

Too bad with all this extra time I’ll still end up not getting everything done I need to until the last minute. And to make it worse, I’ll have had “Feliz Navidad” in my head for a month and a half. *shiver*

Giving Thanks

I am truly blessed. There is always so much to be thankful for that it seems embarrassing that it takes a holiday to remind me.

Of course I am thankful daily for my little peanut. Every time he smiles at me so that his nose crinkles or he kisses the pictures of his grandparents during night-nights or he dances or he stomps in place (a new game I’m not quite clear on, but it’s hilarious) or he splashes in the tub or he runs down the hall to give me a hug or any number of other little gestures, I am thankful for the gift of him in my life.

I am thankful for the gift of having this time at home with him, raising him, loving him. I am thankful I have a supportive hubby who loves me unconditionally (and I provide lots of opportunities for conditions!), encourages me and allows me to not only do this stay-at-home mom gig, but who also listens when I’m struggling with all that entails. I am thankful for the opportunity to take some time out of the rat race and really think about what I want from a career and take the time to examine all the different ways to make that happen. I am thankful for the family adding peanut to our marriage created for the hubby and me.

I am thankful for our larger family, for the parents that raised us and provided us a pathway to parenting based on their successful efforts. I am thankful for our siblings who are wonderful aunts and uncles to our little guy. I am particularly thankful for my parents who are there to talk me off my “I’m a horrible mother” ledge when peanut experiences a few bumps and bruises and aren’t afraid to share stories from their weak moments. I am thankful for a sister who even though she’s on a serious executive fast-track in the corporate world and I’m at home in mommyland still thinks I’m pretty cool to talk to.

I am thankful to have found a home in Atlanta and live in a neighborhood that is truly wonderful (ladies, you are fabulous!). I am thankful for good health and security. I am thankful for sunshine (although a little rain would be nice). I am thankful for not having to plan and cook and clean-up the Big Meal this year (as much as I do miss it). I am thankful for this little corner of the Internet that is all mine. I am thankful to those of you who come and read my words and especially thankful to those of you who comment (either in this forum or when I see you in the “real world”) on how you relate to this post or that.

I am, simply, thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

How I Know I’m Not Ready for Another

It seems that once your little one hits a year old, you start to get the raised eyebrows, the nudge-nudge-hint-hints and sometimes the uncomfortably direct question about when you’re going to provide a sibling for your peanut. I have to admit that as the one-year birthday approached and I was looking back on all the changes our little guy had gone through, I was totally ready to bring another little bundle into the fold. Luckily, the hubby was there to talk some sense into me, that this year might not be the best time.

Last week reiterated the difficulties of the two-party system. I was watching my little peanut and his buddy, who is only two weeks older, while his mama went to get her tresses pampered. Whew. They were both very good boys, to be honest. There was the occasional toy battle, but really they were quite easily entertained. But being there to diffuse any power struggles before they erupted and doing silly dances to keep them laughing and trying to keep two toddlers in the same room had me pooped! After peanut’s buddy left, my peanut and I snuggled in a chair to read a story and I thought, how do parents manage two or more ALL THE TIME!?

But it was a blast to see these two together. I always find it interesting to watch how peanut interacts and reacts to other kids. He’ll giggle when another baby dances or want to follow another kid and imitate how he played with a particular toy. He actually seemed proud to show his buddy how a few of his toys worked and occasionally even shared a book or two (and a few times, offered the book and just as the other baby would reach for it, he’d take it away. So not cool!). The icing on the cake was this moment:

Oh yeah! That’s my little guy giving his buddy a ride on the firetruck. They had a fabulous time “working together” at this game.

I know having a sibling for peanut will be a wonderful addition to our family…one day. For now, I think we’ll stick to play dates and babysitting swaps to give peanut the interaction with other kids he needs and his mama the reminder she does!

(And congrats to my gal pals Mama G. and Mama L. and cousin-in-law K. who are all expecting their second babes! You all make being mom to your little ones look so easy I’m sure you’ll be an inspiration to the rest of us.)

One Mom’s Failed Attempt to Slow Down Father Time

It seemed like everyone told me that the first year of motherhood was the hardest – if you could survive the first year, the rest would just flow in such a beautiful and organic way based on the solid foundations you had built during those first months. In my sleep-deprived, not sure of anything post-partum months, that seemed a logical and comforting argument. After all, I didn’t know a thing about caring for a brand new baby. If I could make it through the first 365 days, it appeared anything afterwards would be attainable.

Ha! I think parents tell new parents this same line to make them feel better about the understandable insecurities that come home from the hospital with your new bundle. But in all honesty, newborns are pretty simple to take care of. They make few demands (food, warmth, a cuddle for attention, a new diaper, put me down already so I can sleep in peace) and aren’t really getting into much trouble. As I begin to see a foreshadowing of the toddler tantrum months to come in peanut’s stomping, pouting and urgent demanding, I realize the first year was nothing! (And I’m sure there are parents of teenagers and grown children (hi mom!) who are sitting back and laughing as they think on the joys of adolescence that await me in a little more than a decade).

Recently, however, I’m beginning to become overwhelmed with some of the changes peanut is making that I feel either unprepared for or completely incompetent to handle. Case in point, yesterday, on peanut’s 15-month birthday (WHAT?! Pour me a glass of wine.), we took him for his first haircut. I had been dreading this task for who knows what reason the last couple of weeks as I realized it was time. The little blonde curls peanut was growing in the back melted me every morning (even if they were totally uneven), but the scraggly pieces in the front that just wouldn’t stay put were becoming an issue. Finally, this weekend, I bit the bullet and we headed over to Snip-its.

As always, peanut was not intimidated by the situation at all. He sat in the chair by himself, didn’t flinch when she put the little drape on him and sat pretty still throughout the entire cut, content to watch the other kids in the shop and completely ignore the cartoons the stylist put on to distract him (although I do think the hubby enjoyed them!). I, however, cried. How embarrassing. I still don’t know why this hit me so hard. I can’t look at the locks they put in a plastic baggie for me without welling up (because of course I kept them!). It’s ridiculous and I know it, but for some reason this particular milestone was difficult – as if cutting his hair was as precious as cutting the cord. Peanut received a certificate of bravery for showing courage during his first haircut and I felt like I should have gotten one, too (seriously, pour me another glass of wine).

On top of the haircut, peanut’s enamored with trying to use a fork and spoon when he eats. It doesn’t usually go well in terms of getting the food into his mouth, but the effort’s there and he’s having a blast trying to scoop and stab his dinner. And I’m in pre-school drama land. To send him when he’s two (ie, next fall) or not? Where to send him (is there a pre-school directory like a college directory? how about guidance counselors for pre-school?)? What do you mean applications are due soon? (Sheesh. Just give me the bottle and a straw.)

This growing up fast thing is such a cliche and so unforgivably true. I just wish I felt like I was growing at the same rate as my little guy so I could keep up, at the very least. The good news is I’m doing my damnedest to heed the advice of experienced parents to enjoy each moment. The bad news, that doesn’t leave a lot of time to figure out pre-school. I suppose there are worse things.

Like realizing that peanut will have to get his hair cut again.

What I Love About Going Home

Watching the leaves change on I85 as we go north (well, more north than where we came from).

Trying to explain to the hubby that I know where I am and where I’m going I just don’t know the names of the roads in the town I lived in for 17 years.

Watching peanut play with his cousin and giggle with pure glee when she tosses the magnetic letters off the fridge.

Giving peanut his first taste of barbecue and hush puppies.

Game day in Chapel Hill with the drum cadences and the Bell Tower and the Old Well and one of the most beautiful football stadiums in the country.

Watching peanut follow after Grandpa while he did some yard work.

Seeing the joy and wonder in the eyes of our family as they watch peanut play (and best of all, getting right down on the floor and joining him in his Tupperware band, block architecture or ball tossing).

Seeing old friends, reliving old jokes, meeting new babies and settling into old comforts.

What I’m beginning to realize is that we are now building home for peanut. And that one day, he will hopefully experience the same joys and warmth returning home. Ah, but that implies that I actually let him leave. And for now, I’m enjoying the fact that the farthest he goes from me is across the playground.

Alphabet Club

Where has High Heeled Mama been all week? I wish I knew! I have no good excuse other than the fact that I’m a stay a mom of a toddler and this week has included an attempt to make up sleep lost during the World Series games, Halloween (and all that entails) and a visit by a plumber (a small annoyance that means we are one step closer to having a working tub…don’t ask).

So here it is Thursday and I haven’t posted since Monday and I feel like I’m letting you all down. Ah, but High Heeled Mama is going public tonight. Sort of.

When I was a working gal, a colleague had the idea to do a networking evening once a month that was ladies only called the Alphabet Club. The idea being that once a month we’d all gather at a different bar, working our way through the alphabet. In the PR field, ladies only really isn’t all that exclusive and it was a great way to meet new potential contacts in a non-threatening environment.

Recently, I was thinking how rarely I get together with my mom friends, outside of play dates and other kid-centered activities, but how much fun it is when we actually do. So I’ve officially borrowed the idea – I mean if anyone is qualified (and entitled) to cocktail her way through the alphabet it’s a mom. And so tonight is the first scheduled event. Local bars/restaurants won’t know what hit them! I’m excited about the idea and looking forward to knowing that at least one night a month I get to put on some lip gloss and have a gal’s night.

Feel free to borrow this idea for your home town, put on a pretty pair of heels and go have a cocktail with a few friends. We all deserve it!