Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fun With Webcam

super weird, but we were havin' fun.:) If Arlo were prime minister, he'd take big ben and eat it(him).

The Fall

So we had our first "fall" experience here at the Davin household... or should I say I had the first fall experience... cause it was my fault completely. I swear the boy was on the couch for .02 seconds... I looked over at a pair of shorts, debating on whether he needed them for his outing, and BAM before I knew it, the kid was on our 1982 pink carpet.  OH. MY. GOD.  This was the WORST feeling I have ever felt in my entire life. Usually when he is on the couch my gigantic ass is blocking him from rolling off, but for some reason it didn't work this time. Next thing I knew, I looked over and he was on the ground. I began to panic... I picked him up although I was hyperventilating... then I began to curse loudly( this entire time my husband was in the shower, go figure) and then came the sobbing. The loud, wailing sobbing(from me, of course). Geoff jumped out of the shower and asked what was wrong. I told him, and he looked at me like I was nuts. " Honey, babies fall all the time. It's okay." Then Arlo began to cry--- he hadn't before I started to lose it. Geoff kissed me on the forehead and swiftly took Arlo out of the room. " Mommy needs a minute" he told him. I swear I cried so hard my entire pillow was soaked... but I eventually pulled myself together. Minutes later my parents came over( they were in the nati for the weekend) and I told my mom what had transpired. " Laura", she said in her southern twang, " do you know how many times YOU fell off the bed??"
She then went on to say " It's obvious he is okay. Look at him!" ( and at this time he was smiling and goofing off in his johnny jump-up)  My in-laws came over shortly thereafter and my mother in law softly touched my arm. " Laura", she said, " I had two boys. Guess how many times they fell?!?"  I immediately felt better. Both my own mother and my mother in law comforted me in a way that no one else could. I am so incredibly lucky to have both of them here to offer advice and to be here for me. I don't think I would have recovered so quickly had it not been for them( and my husband). 

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Plug

If you've seen pictures of Arlo or even seen him up close and personal, then you'll have noticed the little red strawberry looking dot that protrudes from his head.  It's scientific name and description can be found here:

Basically, it's a cluster of blood vessels. Nobody really knows how they form, but our dude has one, and since he has been born, not a day had gone by that somebody hasn't commented on it. Kids do it all the time. They'll point, stare-- ask what happened to him-- and this I can handle and understand. Kids are curious and don't have an edit button. What I am commonly finding troubling, though, is that many adults are doing the same... and it makes me want to scream. One woman asked me the other day what was "wrong" with him. Her tone was very " ewww, what a weirdo" and she looked at him like he might explode at any minute.  Maybe I'm overreacting a bit( what, me?) but I kept my choice words for her in my head and just responded with " it's a birthmark". So in order to help me NOT be carted away by the police or mobile crisis next time this happens, I have prepared a list of answers that I would like to respond with that will make me laugh rather than foam at the mouth.Hopefully, one day, Arlo will laugh at how his dear old Mom decided to handle the situation. Imagine the " What's wrong with him" question, and here are some responses I've crafted to reply with:

1. That's a fake gem. I bedazzled his head. I wanted to add a "wow" factor to my child.
2. (This one is Geoff's. He actually used it, but it was with a kid so it doesn't count) It's his plug. He plug him up in the morning and unplug him at night.
3. What's wrong with him? What's wrong with YOU????( okay, that one might get me in trouble)
4. My husband let a woodpecker peck his head.
5. Voldemort left his mark on my kid, too. ( Harry Potter reference)
6. It's a small communist country. If you stare too long, you'll be magically whisked away to it.

Ah. I feel better now.:)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Little Clarity.

Over the past few days I have encountered some wonderful moments with Arlo. And not just me watching him and laughing, or him watching me and crying... but doing things both of us enjoy. In my mind I'm screaming " FINALLY! FINALLY!" A connection is brewing... one that isn't just raised arms to be held, or a cry when I leave the room... we're actually sharing fun times together, and it is, for lack of a better term, glorious.

Our first moment was during a music class at a bookstore here in Cincinnati called the Blue Manatee. Fearing another gymboree incident, I was pretty anxious. I soon found out I had nothing to worry about. He loved it. He laughed, he cried, he hurled( okay, spit up excitedly) and enjoyed just lounging around in the store while I read books to him. Geoff and I went out of town for a night soon thereafter, and being away from him is always bittersweet to me. I miss him like crazy, but at the same time enjoy the time away... but it never fails that the morning we are scheduled to come back I'm in a complete frantic/panic mode to get back as soon as possible.

Our second moment was today. Arlo had been crying all morning and refusing to nap(what's new?) so I decided to put our gold passes to King's Island to use. I packed us up, headed out, and we spent the afternoon exploring his first pool experience. He loved it. He laughed, splashed... I couldn't have been happier or prouder of my little man. Next up-- the other side of the park. I want one of those jokers to guess his weight.

Even though we still have our frustrations... life is good.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Mall-- Refuge for the Weary, Downtrodden and Desperate

When I was a kid, my dad used to hate the notion that I wanted to go to the mall with my friends. He would tell me, " I don't want you becoming a mall yuppie."( I remember this line distinctly because I angrily wrote it down in my diary after I had been sent to my room for being "histrionic". Yes, my parents used the term "histrionic" to describe my pre-teen tantrums. Gee, I wonder what line of work they're in.) I had no idea what that meant other than the fact that I was rarely allowed to accompany my friends sans my parents as they perused and snickered at things they didn't quite understand yet at Spencer's, bought fake gold best friend necklaces at Claire's, looked for boys at the arcade and ate at the DQ in the food court.  But now that I am a grown-up with a baby, things are quite different. Not only am I ALLOWED to go to the mall, but it is my safe-haven on those days when I can't quite keep it together enough to do anything else. It's simple, really: next time you go to the mall, look around and count how many frazzled looking moms( and dads) you see mindlessly wheeling their infant around in a stroller/Bjorn. You will find them in abundance, day or night. Since Arlo was born in early December, let's just say that he is well acquainted with the Kenwood mall. If he cries-- who cares? It's not like anyone can really hear him, and believe me there are always like 6 other babies screaming louder than he is at the same time. Hungry? No problem. Nice restroom for breastfeeding or formula feeding-- always littered with moms and babies. Tired? Easy. Arlo falls asleep with the stroller motion, and eventually I can sit down somewhere and just watch people go by until he wakes up. So be kind to your mall warrior friends with babies. Refrain from staring if their kid is throwing a major tantrum. Don't give them the evil eye if they aren't as quick on the draw as you would like them to be when trying to quiet their child. They're just trying to survive, trust me. The mall has saved me many a day-- and I promise, dad-- I'm still not the "mall yuppie" you feared I would become.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Arlo say RELAX

It's amazing the things I learn from my son. I can't get over how much I underestimate how much Arlo really understands about his world and the people who surround him already, namely me. Take today, for example. It started off with a small, ridiculous argument with my husband, which always ( at least in my case) seems to make the rest of the day a semi-hell until he gets home from work. Then factor in fussy baby and my frustration level is tripled. All before 10 AM.  Stupidly, I immediately went into retail-therapy mode, loaded up the stroller and off we went to Old Navy. Arlo was cool in the store, but once we got back to the dressing rooms, my day started to resemble a really bad episode of Full House-- you know, the ones where every character has a pseudo-issue... Uncle Jesse gets herpes, DJ gets her period, Stephanie discovers the wonders of meth... at any rate, Arlo continued his dissertation on how much he hates staying still and we had to leave quickly before we were escorted out(no doubt it would have been by one of those mannequins in the commercials). We went home and regrouped since we had a play date scheduled for the day.... but it ended up being a no-date because of my ridiculous sense of direction( although I have lived in this town for 7 years) and my inability to keep my emotions in check( why can't Cincinnati have CLEAR street signs?). Arlo sensed my frustration and before I knew it he had hit his car-ride limit and began his "Get Me Out of The Car>Scream>Get Me Out of The Car>What the Hell is Going On>Why Haven't You Gotten Me Out of The Car>Scream" jam. ( and just so we're clear, it all sounds pretty much the same but the screaming does occasionally fluctuate thereby letting me know he has transitioned into a different tune)
If you've ever had to deal with a screaming baby in a car by yourself, then you know how ridiculously torturous it is. I couldn't stop because I was stuck in traffic on the lateral( and believe me, I wouldn't stop because all that happens is he gets excited that I'm talking to him and once I get back in the driver's seat, it all begins again. Learned my lesson on that one coming home from Columbus.)and couldn't reach his seat to find the pacifier. So I just had to deal, as did he. Sensing my mounting emotional fall-out, he began to wail, and did so all the way to our driveway. Eventually I joined in. Half sobbing/deliriously laughing, I walked around to the backseat and took a deep breath. I counted to ten, opened the door... and there he was, covered in drool..... smiling. And although I was still a little shaken, that smile- that no-tooth-inflamed-gum grin-- let me know that HE knew I had started to relax. He is wise beyond his... well... months.:)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Poker( The Illusionist)

I've come to the conclusion that my son is going to be an excellent poker player. At almost six months, he's already as good of an illusionist as Phil Ivey,  is as hard to read as Doyle Brunson, and has the temper of the "poker brat" himself, Phil Helmuth.  I will now illiustrate his gambling prowess by likening his naptime antics to one hand of Texas Hold Em', heads up style-- Mommy vs. Arlo.  Just imagine Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patton commentating.

Mike: Well Vince, we're down to the last two standing, Mommy Davin and Arlo Stewart. Should be interesting.
Vince: Yes, Mike, they've both been playing a pretty solid game, although the dealer has had to change decks several times due to Arlo's excessive drool problem. Isn't that a violation of some kind?
Mike: Well, Vince, that's why he's a pro. 

[dealer deals cards(mommy sits down with Arlo and bottle)]

Mike: Mommy D's checking out her cards(beginning to give Arlo a bottle and seeing signs of sleepiness). I'm seeing a pair of Aces, Vince. Looking good already for her. She raises to 20,000.
Vince: Let's see what Arlo has to work with. Wow, Mike. A pair of nines. Not looking good for the Drool King. But... he calls. Bold move. (Arlo opens eyes up very wide and begins to play with bottle)
Mike: Let's see the flop-- and holy cow, would you look at that? Two nines and an ace . This doesn't look good for Mommy D.( Arlo is almost finished with bottle and is still awake but drowsy) She's staring him down, Vince, but he's showing no signs of excitement( Arlo lays still). Mommy D. raises another 20,000.
Vince: And once again, Arlo calls. He knows he's got the best hand. ( Arlo "appears" asleep)
Mike: and on the turn is a deuce. No help to Mommy D. She checks.( puts pacifier in Arlo's mouth)
Vince: Arlo checks as well. He's slow playing her. ( Arlo sighs as if he is content and asleep)
Mike: and the river is... a queen. Arlo's got four of a kind-- let's watch and see how Mommy D plays this one.
Vince: She's going all in, Mike. She feels like she's got him beat( Mommy puts arlo in crib)
Mike: Here we go, Arlo calls.... ( opens eyes as soon as he is put in the crib and begins to giggle and laugh) and turns over his cards. Mommy D is NOT happy, Vince. Not happy at all.  Arlo is truly a master at this game.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Stinker

Up all night last night.... but seriously, how could you be mad at this face??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zombie Mommy(and Daddy)

The last week has been rough. Arlo hasn't been sleeping much at night and Geoff and I are having trouble pinpointing why. Maybe that's our problem, though. It's hard to "pinpoint" anything with a baby. There always seems to be more than one reason why they do or don't do something. I've come to the conclusion that he just isn't a super sleeper. My body adjusts(most of the time) accordingly. When I go in at whatever time it is in the middle of the night/early morning, I usually find him trying to crawl around in his crib or just rolling around, half giggling and half crying. I keep telling myself that this is just a phase... and we WILL get through it.

On the upswing, we took him to River Downs with my parents and my in-laws. He was a total angel. I honestly believe he loves constant noise and distraction. Keeps him occupied... but the over-stim doesn't help him sleep at night. Also took him to Taste of Cincinnati-- again, a total angel. Loved it. Smiled and looked around the whole time. Enjoyed listening to Cover Model(a friend's band)-- although some dude came up and told us that he shouldn't be around loud music. My first encounter with unsolicited advice from a stranger. Maybe he was right, maybe he was wrong... but I just had to remind myself he was being nice and looking out for my kid.