When did it happen? When did my baby become a big boy?

Was it when he started playing pretend? Was it when he started having conversations with his toys? Was it when I had to start feeding the helicopter man toast at breakfast and bunny beat me at a game of Candy Land Castle? Was it last week when he started announcing that he was a big boy to any question (are you hungry? “No, I’m a big boy.” Are you sleepy? “No, I’m a big boy…”).

Was it when he started telling his own jokes? Making up his own songs? Was it when he was able to buckle the top buckle of his car seat and started insisting that he does this now every time. Was it when he figured out how to put on his own coat or decide that he now zips up his own jammies/sweater/pants? Was it when he learned his letters or started using his fingers to show us how many he is?

Or was it farther back? Was it when he started jumping and climbing? Was it when he could swing on the bar above the slide at the park? Was it when he scaled the mini rock wall at the playground on his own? Was it when he started being able to eat with utensils?

Or even farther back? Was it when he started putting together sentences? Was it when he started running or walking? Was it when he could first ask for things clearly, like milk, and requests were granted? Was it when he took his first bites of solid food? Was it when he pulled up on the rails of his crib for the first time? Was it when he first rolled over and therefore started being able to physically move away from me?

Where did my baby go? The one who would just snuggle under my chin and sigh that milky breath, hot against my neck while he slept? The one who cooed and giggled and was easily soothed? The one whose only problems were easily solved with a cuddle, a change, a feeding?

I know he’s still in there. I know he’s only evolving into the little person I always saw behind his eyes.

But last night, as we took the front rail of his crib to create a toddler bed and he eagerly climbed in on his own…

But this morning as he quietly played in his room until he came bounding into ours to tell us he’d slept in his big boy bed…

But this afternoon, when he insisted he get into bed himself, without mommy’s help around the safety rail…

But now, while he sits on the sofa, munching on crackers and watching football on TV with daddy and trying to make me laugh by repeating “Bobby Doerr” over and over, he is most certainly a big boy. A big boy who is sweet, loving, hilarious, physical, rambunctious, sarcastic, smart and gets the most endearing furrowed brow and pursed lips look when he’s concentrating on coloring.

Everyone warned me that time goes by quickly, but big boy status at 29 months (really, 29 months today?)? It caught me off guard.

So excuse me while I dig in my drawers for the toothpicks. Gotta find a way to keep from blinking and missing a single delicious moment of this transition.


If It’s Not One Thing…

…it’s 307,459 others.

How is it that every day I’m straightening and putting away endless piles of mail, toys, laundry, dishes, but then each morning these piles seem to have regenerated over night like a bad “Groundhog Day” scene forcing me to put them all away again and again and again?

How is it that no matter how many activities I seem to have planned in a day to occupy peanut, I always need at least 3 more by 4:30pm?

How is it that every time we fix or replace something in this house we find something else that needs to be fixed first in order to complete a simple upgrade?

Sorry for the vent. Just waiting on the electrician to get here to install a new up-to-code outlet to plug our new stove in. Nothing like waiting a month for a stove that actually has more than two small working burners to finally be purchased and arrive only to be told by the installers that the old one was plugged into a dryer outlet. And of course, modern era stoves have different plugs than dryers. Fabulous.

Just having one of those days where you feel like you never quite get ahead of the game.

Good thing you don’t need a stove to open a bottle of wine. I’m sure a nice chardonnay will make a great pairing to the Chick-Fil-A we’ll probably be having for dinner.

The Pitfalls of Living in the Moment

Peanut’s concept of time is now, now, now and NOW. The present is all that matters. Although he has the memory of an elephant, anything that happened in the past happened “last night.” Anything to take place at any point in the future will take place “tomorrow.” It’s all about immediate gratification.

If there is one thing I know for sure as a mom, it’s that living in the moment is the only way to survive with a toddler. You can only do so much to anticipate the meltdowns, the demands, the rules to any given two-year-old thought-up game. You learn to satisfy the immediate needs, go with the flow, act quickly to accommodate any sudden change in mood, not be disappointed when you’re leaving the book store/Starbucks/grocery store without what you came in for because his behavior requires a quick exit and subsequent time out.

I’ve always been a planner, so this was quite an adjustment for me. Thankfully, those early newborn days were a crash course for me. I truly dove into living in the moment in order to survive: sleeping when the baby slept, showering at odd times, eating when someone put something in front of me, realizing when the moment was right to leave the house for a quick errand. I’ve been quite proud of my turnaround and success in this moment-to-moment living.

The only problem is that I now realize I need more than the moment. As I reflected on 2008 over New Year’s, I realized that I had made plans back in January. Plans that were just mine. Plans and goals to nourish me, the writer me, the creative me. Plans and goals that were never pulled out in 2008 since I was so busy satisfying the more immediate needs of peanut, the hubby, the house, the family, whatever. Apparently, I’ve been doing too good a job of living in the moment.

In 2009, then, I’m going to make a few plans. I’ve got a few ideas that are exciting me already and tapping into a part of my brain that has been quiet for a really long time. I’ve got a few side projects cooking that will allow me to dust off the old PR skills to benefit a client close to home. Call me crazy, but if I can figure out how to play with peanut, make lunch and fold the laundry at the same time, I surely can figure out how to ensure that mom, wife and me are all successful in the new year.

If my closet can hold heels, boots, flats, sneakers and an awesome new pair of slippers (thanks again hubby!), I certainly have enough room in my life to fit in a few me moments…both today and “tomorrow.”

Just for Fun

While in the car shuttling from store to store looking for the best deals on new ovens (joy of joys), peanut piped up from the back seat: “Mommy can turn it all the way on.”

Translation: “Turn the radio up.”

Britney’s new song, “Womanizer” was on.

The hubby rolled his eyes, not a real Britney fan, and asked peanut, “Are you a womanizer?”

Peanut: “No. I am a big boy.”

Okay, then.

Happy New Year!

Ever notice how at the end of every year, we all seem eager to say goodbye to the year that was and eagerly, optimistically look forward to the year to come? I mean, is every year that bad or is it just the promise of a clean slate, the turning over of a new year that gives us all hope? Kind of like how every April felt to Red Sox fans from 1918 to 2004.

Granted, in some ways and for some out there, it is a year to say goodbye and good riddance to, bring on 2009. For me? 2008 was simply a so-so year. Nothing too exciting. Nothing too dramatic. Nothing too anything.

2008 was the year of routine. Peanut’s officially a one-nap kid. He gets up, eats, naps and goes to bed at the same times every day. We have our scheduled activities. Every day looks pretty much the same as the day before – as it pertains to structure, anyway. And that works for us.

2008 was also the year of a few learning experiences: the panic attack, the guilt trip, the crumbling economy and how we can continue to prepare for our one-income household becoming a no-income household just in case the hubby’s job disappears (not a likely event right now, but in media and with a new parent company…you just never know..and the hubby and I are both oldest children, meaning we’re planners).

2008 was the year of the sister-in-law’s wedding which meant peanut’s inaugural experience with the ocean. It was also the year that marked our 10-year anniversary (still in disbelief it’s been that long) and our first trip as parents without our child.

2008 and was the year of some tough decisions. It was the year I struggled with this stay-at-home-mom job in a way that I had not experienced yet. It was the year we again struggled with the distance that separates us from our families.

In the grand scheme of things, though, 2008 just kind of was.

And because it was simply another year checked off the calendar, I think I’d like to make 2009 a little better, a little brighter, a little more engaged and exciting. I’m hoping it will be the year of potty training (please, oh please!). It will certainly be the year that my toddler hits “big boy” status since he’s been slowly loosing baby status for the last year anyway. It will be the year of baby, baby, baby since at least 6 people I know right now are expecting baby number two in 2009 (seriously, what are you ladies drinking?!). It will be the year I focus on myself in a way I haven’t before.

And 2009 will be the year of the high heeled mamas! We will definitely be doing a wear your heels to wherever week soon…

So goodbye 2008, hello 2009. I wish you all a year filled with whatever brings you peace, happiness and joy!