Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby's First Sensory Overload

This may not be the optimum time to blog, as Mike and I went to Gooski's tonight and I had The Dreaded Third Drink. That being said, I wanted to post a few photos and a bit of info about Baby's First Christmas.

Mike and I drove to Elyria with all our gifts in tow. That means the stuff we got each other as well as the stuff we got my family. Mike tried to pack the car but I had to use my supernatural powers to fit everything into the trunk and front seat. One more item--even a gift card--and we would have needed bungee cords. The trip to Ohio was quick and the boy slept thru most of it, which is good as we went off the board and opened presents that evening instead of waiting for the morning.

My family has always been of the More is More school of Christmas. My husband, as one of 5, grew up with a more reasonable approach to Christmas but he knew darn well that my Mom's warnings that there "would'nt be much this year" was all poppycock. Donovan got a ton of stuff, including a wooden train that spells out his name, new pajamas, a classic Fisher Price telephone, and (from his Mom and Dad) a two octave Schoenhut piano. By far the most popular toy was my Dad's oxygen hose, which ended up being a good bonding experience for him and The Boy. Between that and my Dad's cane, Donny kept himself well amused. The visit was also marked by Donovan's success at standing up. Note the Betty Boop Starlet legs in this photo. Hard to believe Donovan's nickname used to be Mr. Chickenlegs.

After the gift exchange, Mike and I put Donovan upstairs but there was no sleep to be had. We ended up cloistered in my old bedroom with a fussy baby, a hunk of cheese and a bottle of Boones Farm Sangria that my husband picked up when he made an Enfamil run earlier that night (holding up the bottle and the can of Similac he famously asked, "Guess which one cost more?"). It was funny to have a night of misspent youth in the room where I squandered my adolescence by being Too Good. Luckily the boy slept thru that part of the evening so I don't think we corrupted him.

We left Elyria the day after Christmas to have dinner at Mike's folks' house. Donny was, as usual, a perfect guest and he got a few more gifts, including the classic books "Moo! I'm a Cow!, and "Oink! I'm a Pig!" By the time we got home there was, again, no sleep to be had. I found myself getting mad at the poor kid and I had to pass him off to Mike at one point. We finally got him to sleep at about midnight, roughly 3 hours past his normal bedtime. I guess I can't blame him, with the holidays and all, but we were all tired and cranky. The trip home was good but I worry about my family and my Mom somehow had neglected to tell me that the thyroid trouble she's having might actually be thyroid cancer. She's going to have a biopsy next week and I just hope they are quick with the results. We Benfords are champion worriers and, presented with such classic worry fodder, well, the possibilities are limitless. Despite all that, she got alot of grandson time and tried to distract me while we were packing so that we might forget him. I did'nt forget my kid but I did forget my perscriptions: thanks alot, Ma...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oh, The All of it All!

This now, more later. Hope everyone had a great holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Life, As We Know It, Will Soon Be Over

Dr. Levine told us that some babies go straight from trying to crawl to standing and walking. All that buttwaggling the boy was doing, we thought it was winding up to crawl. Instead it was working to stand. The only place he's successfully stood thus far is his crib but he's constantly looking for surfaces to grab on and hoist himself up. The glee on his face in the photo tells the tale: he knows what he's going to do when he's mobile and it will probably involve catfur, electrical outlets and antique glassware.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Mike just sent me an email here at work: we got a call from our church asking if we could play Mary and Joseph in the First Unitarian Christmas pageant. Donovan, of course, would be the ingenue starring as Baby Jesus. This hi-LAR-ious scenario was nixed by the fact that we will be in Elyria for Christmas Eve.

Man. I keep thinking about it and it keeps getting funnier and funnier.

Do you think they would have let us use a real donkey? I might blow off my folks for a chance at riding a real donkey.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It Feels More Like a Grain of Sand

First Tooth Alert! Its coming in on the bottom in front, which is apparently the classic first tooth. We have been assured by many that our nightmares have just begun and, while I would'nt classify it that way, its proving to be a late night tonight. Donny came home from his grandparents very happy but quickly came down with a fever and wanted desperately to sleep. We dosed him with Tylenol, changed him and I put him into his crib after about 1/2 an hour of rocking him. Long story short, its about an hour and a half later and we're just taking him downstairs. No point all three of us being trapped up here. Mike and I want to decorate the damn tree tonight so he'll need to sit in his carseat while we work. Also, tomorrow is a LUPEC party at my place. I'm so geeked about my theme but mad that I thought of it at the last damn minute. I did have all day to work on everything but that was'nt enough time. I was going to finish my baking while Donovan slept tonight: Oh Well.

Now its time to go down and decorate the tree. Ho ho ho.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Nice Morning

Mike and I usually play tag team when it comes to getting Donny ready in the morning. He’ll bring him down, I’ll feed him while Mike showers, I pick out his outfit and Mike dresses him while I shower—that’s the usual scenario. This morning, tho, Mike had an early meeting at the store so it was just me and The Boy. Part of me was a little worried as I’m not really at my best in the morning but we had a very nice time. He was asleep when I went into the shower and, when I came out, I could hear him on the monitor fussing. I went upstairs in my robe and wet hair, got him out of his crib and he fell right back to sleep in my arms. I took him to our bedroom and held him a little bit before I laid him down on the bed so I could start getting dressed. Instead, we ended up goofing, spooning and playing with each other’s faces and hair for a little bit. I know that being a stay at home Mom is a lot of hard work but its times like this morning that I wish I did’nt have to go to work and that Donny’s schedule could be my schedule. It was nice to have a more leisurely morning instead of running around washing bottles and scraping ice off the windshield so we can all get to where we’re going. By the time Mike came back to pick us up, the boy was fed, dressed and ready to have his jacket put on and zipped up.

I’m actively trying not to panic as Christmas might as well be tonight for all the free time I don’t have. Tomorrow, Donovan is going to hang out with Mike’s folks for the day. My original plan was to make that a big Shopping Day, which it still needs to be, but I also have to prep for a LUPEC party at our place. I’m geeked for the party but there is so much that still needs to be done for Christmas—the tree is still undecorated, for example, and the shopping, oy the shopping

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Acting Out: Parts I and II

Donovan had his first fight today. Miss Tekela said that he and CJ "got into it," apparently over a toy that Donovan could reach but that CJ wanted. It sounds like CJ got in the first swing but that Donovan quickly fought dirty and grabbed a couple of handfuls of CJ's hair. There was much screaming and Miss Joy had to break it up. I, of course, wanted to know who won. Miss Tekela said it was pretty much a tie. She said CJ's Mom asked the same question, tho she was a bit more gracious, saying "We'll have to apologize to Donovan, now, won't we?...Who won?"

My son, the Polish Hill Bad Ass.

I think it would be very flaky and drug store psychology of me to say that Donovan is acting out because I'm not in the best frame of mind these days. I think he's just being an 8 month old. I, however, am not an 8 month old and I am definitely acting out because I'm not in the best frame of mind these days. Today at work was an Acting Out Extravaganza, from which I walked away blushing beet red inside. I broke of of my cardinal managerial rules, which is never to take someone to task in front of their coworkers--and this wasn't even someone I manage. In fact, if the world was fair and just, she would be managing my sorry ass. I have officially become part of the problem and I have a couple of apologetic phone calls to make tomorrow. I just hope I haven't damaged things beyond repair.

Tonight I'm going to clear my head by wrapping presents. Mike did, indeed, go out, which is what I was hoping he'd decide to do. No sense in having two people moping around the house. Donny was fussing in his sleep but he's quiet now so maybe it will all work out. The gift wrapping, that is.

Here's hoping the rest of it works out as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Its warm out tonight. Really warm. As in, "I'm standing outside without a coat in December in PITTSBURGH!" warm. There's this lovely little breeze blowing and everyone has their Christmas lights plugged in.

I hate it. And I hate everything.

I didn't realize how fed up I was until, driving home from meeting Mike at work, he asked, pseudo/joking sheepishly if he could go out Thursday night with some folks from work. I said yes but realized I was jealous. Where are all the folks I used to go out with? My favorite bar is literally a block away and I can't go. Oh, I could go alone and see who I'd run into but that's not really what I need. What I need is for someone to ask me if I'd like to go out for drinks and conversation. I can usually find a date if I call folks but I've reached the point where I'm starting to feel self conscious about always being the one to call, especially since everyone is super busy and can't come out and play.

I've had a few folks recently say, with much joy for me in their hearts, "I bet you can't imagine life before Donovan!" No offense to them or my kid but yes, I can imagaine it. It was good and sometimes I miss it.

On a lighter note we put up but did not yet decorate our tree. We are going to give it a night to warm up, drink up and unfurl.

How's that for a completely unintentional but apt metaphor?

Monday, December 10, 2007

No, We Don't Use Ajax...

Donovan had his picture taken today by a professional photographer. This photo, obviously, is not one of them but it shows what we did alot of in the week leading up to the photos, which is Scrub The Baby. Our house has a shower but no bathtub so we make do with what we can. When he was just a 5 pound squawker we would give him baths in a roasting pan so the sink is definately a step up. For those of you who have not seen our kitchen, it is lovely huge but ugly brown. Luckily we got an insurance check for damage due to a bad roofing job and that will help us remodel. Until then, please ignore the nastiness in the background. Luckily, you are most likely distracted by those Liza Minelli eyelashes the boy is sporting.

I am going to keep this short as I am all computered out. I won't tell you how long I spent on line trying to find some Baby's First Christmas pajamas for him to wear when we are in Ohio with my folks for Christmas. Really, I'm surprised my eyes arent bleeding. Who are all these people who buy such things in October? Is that what I'm expected to do as a mother? Wrong woman, people--wrong, wrong woman. I did find a pair, AND they were on sale. Now I'm going to hide under my bed

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't Mess With Polish Hill

The neighborhood we live in could go either way. I have to admit, 6 or whatever years ago when we bought the house, we were thinking more of access to Gooski’s and less about good school districts and safe sidewalks for learning to rollerskate. That being said, we are trying with what little time and effort we have left after parenthood and full time jobs to be good neighbors and citizens. Its tough and I don’t think I’m doing very well at it (who’s Christmas lights are up? Everyone’s but ours…) but I’m trying. I really want my kid to live in a nice place

So DON’T throw bags of trash from your pale gold Altima when you drive thru my neighborhood. I will SO report your ass to the Pittsburgh Litterbug Hotline. That’s exactly what I did when I got into work today. BTW, the number is 888-LITTERBUG. Once I hung up, I realize they didn’t take my name and contact info. I should call back and make sure they can get ahold of me when the felony trial comes up. I don’t know who you are, Altima Driving Asshole, but you are going up river. If I have my way you are going up all three rivers.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Truth in Advertising

Donovan wore his new onesie to daycare yesterday. Aunt Shirley picked it up for him in Boston and (in case you can't quite read it) it says, "Chicks Dig Me." As his de facto agent, I'm here to tell you that chicks do, in fact, dig him. Alot. I've been told by a variety of people that we could be making money off of him. I know they mean modeling but I always hear the theme to "Midnight Cowboy" in my head whenever that subject is broached.

I think we'll just let him give it away for free. The cuteness, that is. Besides, who's got time to be a stage mom? Hell, I don't even have time to get a haircut...