A Rose By Any Other Name

Thursday, October 21, 2010
E has a handful of nicknames for BP:
gagga gooch

chunk'o munk'o
(all derivations of chunky monkey)

lil princess
(the way he says this one invokes Jerry Lewis..lil PRINcess!)

And while these names are so cute because the way they came about is so organic, I am worried about them sticking. I do NOT want tweener BP to be called chunk'o or monk'o or chunk'o monk'o. I'm horrified on her future behalf. The only one that would maybe be ok is gags, but even that is not quite as adorable when heard in my head as if I were an outsider to this family.

Speaking of names, BP's vocabulary is coming along quite nicely. She owns about a dozen words:
dog (pronounced dohg)
wow (pronounced WAAAAAAoh)
mama (can be a combination of anywhere from two to twenty "mas" i.e. mamamamamama)
dada (same as above - sometimes dada sometimes dadadadada)
ball (this one is short and staccato)
Scout (this used to be either "scuh" or "tuh" but not both...until tonight. Tonight she said "Scaaaaaahhoht")
baby (usually reserved for tearful pleading for milk or blankey and said in a most pathetic way...baaaay-beeeeee)
hi (HI!)
bottle* (only slightly different than ball. She puts the 't' in there, but just barely.)
this/what's this (pronounced wusthis - at least I think that's what she's been saying)

words she has said but does not yet use regularly:
goodnight (pronounced guh-nigh)
thanks (oddly, this one she says clear as bell. Thanks!)
E's name (she sort of yells this one. I wonder why...)
yes (also said clearly, but not often because it's much easier to just nod)

words she can sign:

Oh, and gawd forbid she see a cat. She lets loose a shrill, ear-splitting scream and starts to go nuts. Arms waving, legs kicking, shriek! shriek! SHRIEK!

* I will have you know that this child doesn't actually drink from a bottle, but she does thoroughly enjoy a good game of put things in the bottle.

Room service!

Friday, October 15, 2010
Last month we headed out for an adventure. We went to Snowmass, which like all super rich Colorado ski towns, is absolutely gorgeous. The trees were at peak fall color and the hotel we stayed at was slopeside, so it was teeming with things to explore. I don't know what their landscaping budget is, but I can venture to guess that with the money they spend on annuals, you could feed a small country.

D had a conference to attend and the kids and I crashed his party tagged along. It was, I would say, about 80% successful. It was mud season, so the town was not hopping, but it doesn't take a whole lot to please a three year old and if the three year old is happy, chances are everyone else is, too.

The hotel was nice and having two adjoining rooms was clutch. The best part? The mini fridges, but not for the reason you might think.

Go ahead. I'll wait. Yes, that is quite a collection. E is very, very into collections.

We got to ride the shuttle, which next to the mini fridges, was the highlight of the trip as far as E was concerned. And while he rarely leaves my side these days, he went and sat all the way in the back of the bus. All by himself. Every single time.

There was a foos ball table down by the board shop and since everyone was gone, there weren't any pothead hippie skibums (not that we don't LOVE pothead hippie skibums) to fight with over the exclusive use of the table.

We rode the shuttle to a park and to the Snowmass Rec Center. Usually, admission is $10 for kids and $15 for adults, but the lady at the front desk took pity on us (it was cold and rainy that morning) and let us run around the gym for free.

There was also a playground tucked into the back of the hotel where we played and played and played. E taught BP how to go through the tunnel and once she mastered the in and out, she yelled and pulled at him till he got out. Luckily, she allowed him use of the peep hole long enough for me to take a picture.

We also explored the waterfall and the flowers and climbed on the rocks despite the sign clearly telling us not to. E turned BP into a "little princess" and lest I feel left out, he also gave me a flower that he "picked himself."

Then E decided to give himself a beard with my mascara.

We came home in time to attend Belle's wedding, during which BP got a hold of a bag of Jordan almonds and had her first taste a uncut sugar.

All in all, it was a great trip!

p.s. If the pictures are all screwy, I'm really sorry. I've been fighting with it and I don't know how to fix it. If they're ok, then I'm awesome and very technologically savvy.

Happy Birthday, baby B!

Monday, October 11, 2010
When CFB* turned one, we took his picture immediately upon waking. It was hysterical. We've done it every year since.

Today was BP's turn. She is celebrating one year on this Earth today.

And although you can't see all of BP's beautiful face in this picture, it does capture her essence. Annoyed that the flash is violently exploding in her face, annoyed that she was woken up before she was ready (as soon as E comes out of his room, the whole house is AWAKE!) and annoyed that she is still sick, but smiling nonetheless. BP is always smiling. You know, when she's not screaming or crying or biting. But usually, usually she's smiling. She is sunshine and rainbows and ice cream with a touch of temper. Which is just about perfect, isn't it?

*The nickname "CFB" is applying less and less. We've been doing a lot of work to ensure that CFB's sensory needs are being met and I've noticed a huge difference in him. So I think that until CFB does something to warrant a new moniker, I'm going to go back to calling him E. BP however, continues to be a Baby Pterodactyl, so she gets to keep the nickname. Along with all the other things E calls her, which is a post for another day.

Karma's a bitch...Or maybe she's just really tired.

Friday, October 1, 2010
Let's cut Karma some slack, alright folks?

I was racing to get somewhere early one Saturday morning and in order to get out of the house as quickly as possible before the Window of Opportunity slammed shut, I raced out without eating breakfast, taking my vitamins (I swear B complex is poor man's lithium), or without a sip of coffee. I know. Suicide.

As I was racing to my destination, I made a deal with myself. "If there are less than two cars in the $tarbuck$ drive-through, I'll stop. No, no, make that two cars or less." I hate, hate, HATE to be late, but I was going to be dealing with adults for the next few hours and I didn't want to go in uncaffeinated and hungry - not sure which is scarier, but I can tell you that the two combined would have a synergistic effect that would inevitably result in something really, really ugly. I shudder to think.

Of course, as I slow down to scope out the drive-through scene, there are two cars in line. Not one to go against fate, I maneuver Newie in line behind the other two junkies. As I'm sitting there...and sitting there...and sitting there...I realize I have got to use the bathroom and the line isn't moving and motherfuffer I hate to be late and so I swerve over, throw the car in park and run in. I put my order in (tall Chai and a pumpkin muffin, extra pumpkiny) and go tinkle. As I exit the bathroom I spot my cup o' deliciousness and yoink it off the counter. My momentum surprises me and like a predictably painful scene in a romantic comedy, the top pops off my cup and the contents arc up and over and onto the table closest to the counter, spraying spicy black tea all over someone's book.

I panic. What I am about to tell you does not reflect the real me in any way. This is the sucky, temporary me - the sleep-deprived going on three and a half years me - who I hope shrivels up and dies soon so that I can bury her once and for all. Instead of standing there and waiting for the owner of the book to return so that I can apologize profusely and pay him/her for the damage - like I would want and expect someone to do for me if the tables were turned - I try feebly to wipe up the mess. I'm so tired. I am beyond defeated. The book isn't stained...that bad. I was already late and I shouldn't have stopped at stupid $tarbuck$ in the first place and now look at what I'd done. I walked out of there in a flustered and guilty. I could have turned back and made things right at any point. But I didn't. I arrived at my destination ten minutes late and no one even noticed.


D goes out of town for work the following day. It's been a few months since I've played the role of single mom and part of me is dreading it, and part of me is looking forward to a little alone time in the evenings after the kids have gone to sleep. It's not that D is super demanding or anything, we usually just talk about our day and watch tv or something, but I never get any time to myself by myself. And as an introvert, I really need time to myself. So I was ambivalent, at best.

The first night I get the kids to bed super early. We survive joint bathtime (barely) and are in CFB's room reading stories a full half hour before their normal bedtime. We read extra books, BP spends most of the time crawling herself into a frenzy, practicing sitting in CFB's chair.* I promise CFB that I will come back to talk about his day after I put BP to bed. She knocks out in minutes flat and when I come back to talk with CFB, he's asleep, with his arms outstretched Jesus-on-the-cross-style. I did not expect that, but whowee! I'm free. Free at last.

I clean the crap out of the kitchen and then curl up in bed with a book. I'm in bed early (before ten), most of the thoughts running through my head neatly scribed onto a piece of paper so that perhaps I can get a little sleep. And like a painfully predictable scene in a romantic comedy...

CFB, who has essentially been sleeping through the night since February, wakes up at midnight. He wants to talk about the closets in our house. "The downstairs closet has lots of toys in it. And some other stuff, like art supplies...and maracas...and a giant excavator...and then the down downstairs closet has coats...and gloves...and scarves...and your yoga mat...and the basement closet has a...what is it called?...a water heater...and then the closet upstairs has Neosporin for if you cut yourself..." I shit you not. This is why CFB got me out of bed at mid-night. "Sweetheart, that's wonderful but I have to go to sleep." I don't think he even heard me. "And my closet has hangers...and some clothes...and plastic boxes full of toys..."

I collapse back into bed, knowing that I have less than four hours before BP is destined to wake up.

"What the..." My phone is ringing. I grab my glasses and without unfolding the legs, I hold them up to my face. It is 2:27. A.M. Usually, my phone sleeps in the kitchen but with D out of town, it's on my nightstand, just in case. Before I can collect my wits and figure out why the face, it's gone to voicemail.

"Hey. It's Jeremy. I hit all the houses on the list. I got them all except the one on 285. Late-uh." I don't know what scares me more, the gruff voice, the contents of the message or the fact that it's all happening at 2:27 in the morning.

BP wakes up at four-I-don't-even-know-when to nurse and then again at six-something. We're all up for the day at 7:10.

Long day - spectacularly crappy long day - and then it's nighttime again. I am stupid enough to think that last night was a strange anomaly and that tonight will be better. Bullshit. CFB wakes up talking of waterfalls and then coming to enough to beg for a sippy cup refill. Again at midnight. I run, fill up his cup, and crawl back into bed hoping that I get a full four hours before BP demands her milk. Guess what? Jeremy calls again. This time, no message. Why? The? FACE?!?

Now, for those of you who don't know me in real life, you probably wouldn't think that I'd call up this Jeremy person. But I did. Much like I grabbed CFB's wiffle ball bat at four o'clock in the morning last month and stormed outside in my bathrobe to see who the fuck was out there making Scout bark the Big Scary Bark (did I forget to tell you guys this story?!?) Best we can figure it was a coyote, or as CFB likes to say, kie-OH-tee. Anyway, the same way I went outside in the dark of the night to beat the crap out of whoever, or whatever, had the balls to wake me up, I called up the murder/rapist/sociopath that was calling my phone to ask him to either stop calling me or just come kill me already.

"Hi, Jeremy?"
"Um, yeah..."
"Hi. Um, you've called my phone the past two nights and I was hoping to figure out why. I was hoping that you could actually stop calling me in the middle of the night."
"Oh, man. Dude, I'm sorry. I just started a new paper route..."

Yeah. So that's what I get for spilling coffee on someone's book and then bolting. Karma is a bitch. With a cruel sense of humor.

* This was a gift and I gotta say...we love it. BP climbs it, sits in it, poses in it and generally loves to be in it. It actually belongs to CFB but his feelings toward it are luke-warm, so hopefully if BP continues to love it, we'll be able to parlay it her way.