(not just a) MommyBlog (dot com)

Our Gatekeeper

June 28th, 2007

We have  a giant Blue Heron that has taken up residence for the past few summers on the land by our dock.   He struts around the dock for at least an hour every morning, taking inventory of the crabs in our traps, and hanging around long enough to taunt Dudley.

I finally got some good shots of him this morning, when Kenny and I were out enjoying the sunrise… it set the tone for  the day, and my little dude was as happy and content as he’s ever been.   No more boo-hoo’s…

Enjoy!   (click on the pictures for the best view)


… I like the comparison of his size next to the picnic table…   Kenny calls him “Big Heron Bird!”



Why, oh Why, Does My Little Boy Cry?

June 27th, 2007

Kenny is generally the happiest kid you will ever meet.   He is good-natured and patient, persistant, funny, rascally and genuine.   But the last week or so, he has had moments of Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde that make my head want to spin around.   It’s like he becomes possessed for an hour or two a day, and it’s nearly impossible to shake.   Then, as soon as it begins, he’s done and back to his normal, cheery self.

Here is an example from today:

We got home from his gymnastics class and a few post-class errands at 11:15… I usually give him lunch at about 11, and since he started whining in the car , I let him eat a muffin on the way home.   As the car pulled into the garage, his face got red and tears started to streak, “LUUNCH!” he wailed.   I got him out of the car, leaving the groceries in the fridge up there (our garage is about 70 feet uphill from the house), and we walked down the sidewalk together in the 95 degree humidity to the house.   At the front door, he lurched the other way, and screamed, “Play OUTSIDE!” and ran away from me into the yard.   Now I was sweaty, hungry and really had to use the loo, so I scooped him up, calmly said, “no” and carried him inside, where he kicked and screamed on the floor and howled “OUTSIDE!” over and over again.

I ignored him and went in the kitchen to make lunch.   He stopped briefly, then stomped over to the stereo and started crying loudly, “Music ON!   OOOOONNNNN!” and hitting the stereo.   I barely lifted an eyebrow and turned the stereo on by remote, and continued to make lunch.   He wailed again, “Different SONG!” and started banging his arm on the coffee table.

Now let me pause for a minute, lest anyone chastise me for “ignoring” his outbursts.   The same thing happened yesterday, and I took the opposite response, cuddling him and trying to understand how I could help him.   He pushed me away and yelled, “No Mama, No!”

Anyway, lunch was ready, and I told him to go to his chair and we’d eat together.   He started that way, then detoured to play trains.   I picked him up and plunked him into his highchair, where he took one bite of the leftover spinach pizza and cried, “Pieces!” (meaning that he wanted me to cut it up for him, which I did.)   As soon as he saw the bites of pizza on his tray, he screamed, “WHOLE THING!” (meaning that he wanted the piece intact).   I picked him up, kissed him lightly on the forehead and said, “All done, lunch!   Naptime!” and he was asleep in thirty seconds.

Ah, but sleepiness is only a part of it, because the same scenario repeated itself for a full two hours after him nap.   Nothing made him happy; anything and everything I did made him wail.   Then we left the house to go to the bookstore (I had to get out of there) and from the moment we got into the car until bedtime tonight, he was his normal, charming and sweet self.

What gives?   Is this an early onset of the terrible twos?   Some toddler form of puberty?   Low blood-sugar?   Ok, you moms of one and two-year-old boys out there….. HELP!

Happy Birthday MommyBlog!! (and Mommy, too!)

June 26th, 2007


This site began one year ago, as a 32nd birthday gift from my husband, Casey.   I can hardly believe that I have been writing here for a full year!   Kenny was just shy of ten months old and I was starting to feel the brain freeze that can crop up in a person who’s primary social interaction is with someone who can’t talk yet.   Casey bought the domain name and hired a web designer to create the site to get me started, and had encouraged me constantly to write often and “think big.”   Thank you, Boo!


Though this past weekend, I have spent many moments thinking about the act of writing, the venue of a blog and the reason that I do it.   I know that the primary focus of this online journal is to chronical my life as a woman, a wife and a mother.   Ok, maybe mostly just the Mommy part.   I want to be able to give this to Kenny someday when he has kids and let him read about his own antics, and the crazy/fun life we had when he was little.   It’s like a baby book (which I haven’t had a chance to make for him) on steroids.

But I have also wondered if there is a way to incorporate all the other things I think about and want to write about.     Because I’m really not just a mommy, for all of you loyal readers out there.   I started thinking more clearly about this when that awful writer from that horrible site picked my blog to feature in his weekly “worst on the web” column.   Though his mockery at what he claims is the ridiculous trend in woman blogging about their kids as a last ditch effort in attention-getting was juvenile at best, I have no illusions that “mommy blogging” has any claim to literary or newsworthy genious.   I write here for many reasons,

  • To journal.  
  • To blow off steam at the end of the day.
  • To share a story, or a question, with other moms.   Afterall, our society doesn’t exactly revolve around a town square anymore, nor are the neighborhood wives gathering for bridge or quilting circles these days.   This is a community, annonymous or not, and weren’t we created to live in a community?
  • To share pictures with the grandparents and relatives that don’t live close enough to see Kenny very often.
  • To create something that will one day be a gift to Kenny.
  • To practice writing, and challenge myself to write in a way that is worth reading.

To be frank, I write because I like doing it.   And I happen to really love my life and love writing about it.   Journaling can be tedious, yet blogging is invigorating.   And I can turn the worst day in the week into the funniest story to tell.   Kenny is hilarious; he’s mysterious and maddning; he’s loving and sweet, funny and smart and writing about him is a real kick.  

And let’s not forget Dudley…


… I still think I could write a whole blog on him.     Maybe I should designate a “Dudley Day” in the week, and wrap up his weekly antics…

Lest I close this post without mentioning my MVP, let me take a few lines to say that Casey is the rockin’-est husband ever made.   For my birthday yesterday, he arranged to have my parents take Kenny for the night (his first “sleep-over” without us!   And he did great!), then took me downtown where we were all checked into a beautiful bed and breakfast, then to one of the top spots in town for dinner (where there were a dozen looooong stem roses on the table), and an evening to stroll hand in hand without interruption or split-focus.   This morning we went for a run and a long walk together by the water, had breakfast, and returned to my parent’s house to get Kenny and Dudley, who were happy and exhausted, and who are now both well into their second hour of napping.   What a gift!!

So here’s to the next year of MommyBlog… and who knows what may next be in store…

Bananas, and Other Mysteries

June 21st, 2007

I have decided that someone on Dateline should run a serious on the mysterious innerworkings of a toddler’s mind.  

For instance, Kenny eats three or four bananas a day.   One as soon as we come downstairs in the morning, one before climbing into his crib for naptime, an occasional one in the car, and one just before he climbs into the crib at bedtime.   I think I buy bananas every three days.   I actually begin to panic when I see that we are down to one in the fruit basket.   I’ve noticed though, today and yesterday, that he’s eating a little less than the whole banana… and begining to look at it suspiciously, as if perhaps a new fruit is about to take over.

Then there is the “Zero to Sixty” phenomenon.   By that I mean that he can be playing as content as can be with his blocks in the floor, then look up, his face crumpling into misery and yell, “Juice?   Juice?” and begin frantically looking around for his sippy cup (which is usually in arms length).   Or we will walk into a room and he will begin a shrill cry, then beg “Music on?   MUSIC!”   I am usually taken aback, wondering, “Why didn’t you just ask?”   It’s not like I said no to a previous request, or that I frequently deny him anything.     But the hysteria that insues is enough to make me feel like his head is about to do a 180.

My favorite is the car rides that cut it close to lunchtime.   We will be driving merrily along, and then Kenny will start his litany:   “Food!   Lunch!   ‘Nacktime!   Sand-witch!   FOOOOOODDDD!”   I will zoom us safely into the garage, release him from the entrapment of his carseat, and he’ll run down the sidewalk to the house.   Where he’ll immediately start playing with the toys on the porch, and refuse to come inside to have lunch.   “Play outSIDE!” he’ll explain, as if I’m a little thick these days.   That’s when I have to drag him, arms flailing and tears streaming, into his highchair where he will take two bites and proclaim, “All done!”

Not that all the mysteries are maddening ones.   There are the moments when he’ll stop playing to run over and say, “Mama kiss!” then run back to his business of trundling trains around their tracks.   Or the moments when he’ll come over to me with a book in hand and say, “Mama, read books.” and we sit and snuggle on the couch for a half hour or more and read and giggle and talk.   Then there is his facination with our next door neighbor, Bob, who is probably in his late sixties.   Kenny looks for him everytime we are outside, saying, “Where’s Mr. Bob?” or “Mr. Bob’s outside!” or “Tooties for Mr. Bob?” meaning that he wants to take a cookie over to him.  

Such a sweet and loving heart touches me everyday.   I am so grateful for my baby boy.   Even when he’s a baby maniac!


Dudley’s Top Ten

June 19th, 2007

10. Running full speed to take a flying leap ontop of Mom’s freshly folded laundry.

9.   Slunking under the highchair at lunchtime waiting for a flying piece of cheese.

8.   Licking suntan lotion off of Kenny’s legs.

7.   Licking where “the boys” used to be.

6.   Stealing the newly made sandwiches when Mom turns around to find the napkins.

5.   Bolting upright from sleep when the extra sensory perception kicks in that there is a duck on the lawn, and ramming through the dog door with enough speed to rattle the windows.

4.   Barking forlornly at the back gate when Mom and Kenny get in the big car without remembering to say, “Dudley come too!”

3.   Curling up on the couch as close as physically possible to Mom and Dad  and hoping for  an ear scratch.

2.   Licking where “the boys” used to be.

1.   Spooning Mom in the big bed, stealing the covers and passing lots of gas before she kicks me out.


Kenny’s Top Ten

June 18th, 2007

10.  Cheering Dudley on as he runs full speed and leaps onto Mom’s pile of freshly folded laundry.

9.   Watching Sesame Street, “organizing” Mommy’s pots and pans and eating a slice of cheese, all at the same time.

8.   Turning circles while giggling, “No Dizzy!” and rolling eyes in the opposite direction as the spin, for maximum vertigo effect.

7.   Hiding little pieces of pretzels and waffles  in the train set; afterall, pretzel sticks make good logs and waffles make realistic road blocks.

6.   Refusing to wear shoes outside, then running down the sidewalk in barefeet,  and yelling, “Mama!   Hold you!   Dound is HOT!”

5.   Eating the “Hole Thing!” of anything.

4.   Pee-peeing in the potty, then running bare-bottomed into the living room to “Show Dudley naked!”

3.   Talking to anyone on the phone, but especially Daddy.

2.   Hiding Baa the sheep.   (Except “hiding” usually involves squatting mysteriously  in the middle of  the floor, holding both Baa and the flashlight, and interupting Mommy’s counting to request a sip of water.)

1. Going to the  Father’s Day ballgame  to cheer on the Orioles, and coming home to watch the last two innings with Daddy…


Get Out of Jail Free Card Day

June 14th, 2007

All of my anxiety over Kenny’s allergy test today was for naught; during the interview and exam portion of the test, the doctor determined that a full-blown skin prick test was unnecessary.   Whew.   It turns out that mosquito venom is nearly impossible to test for, as is spider venom, and to test him would be inconclusive, not to mention that if it was conclusive, there would be nothing for them to do for Kenny anyway, other than the precautions we’ve already taken.   I am so relieved.   Kenny has no idea what he missed.   Thank God.

Kenny himself is becoming more and more a little character everyday.     He is more proficiant by the day at communication, and asks questions and generates responses to things as we play and spend our day together.   It’s really quite fun to be with him and witness his revelations and confusions.  

We are having our back deck replaced, and today was the third day that a team of guys were inches away from our living room; the whole back of the house is sliding glass doors and windows, and the deck spans the house, so they are literally an arms length away.   Kenny is facinated, and stops his play often to press his tiny face against the window and shout, “Hi guys!”   and affirm, “Guys wor-keen hard!”   They are pretty good natured about it, and will nod and smile or even wave at him as he pounds his forehead to the glass and imitates the “shriek!” made by their power drills.     Every once in a while, he’ll look up at me with a perplexed frown and say something like, “Wat’s dat?” or “Wat dey doin’?” and I’ll point at the tools and explain how they are leveling the frame, or whatever they are doing.   He will nod, as if he completely agrees with their decision, and return to playing with his  Thomas  train set and table  just passed down from his cousins that has now taken over the living room.   Sometimes he’ll even look up at the workmen and wave one of his trains and say, “Guys play too?”   He still can’t grasp that we can’t invite them in to play Choo Choo.   But he does settle for taking them drinks at the end of the work day.   Today, he proudly carried a very cold Coke can all the way to one of the guys and reverently set it at his feet.   The guy must be a dad, because he intimated Kenny’s solomn gift and bowed to him before picking it up.   Kenny beamed and ran full speed back to me and yelled, “Inside!   Bathtime!   NAKED TIME!”   The guys cracked up.

That’s my boy.

The Amazing Human Pincushion

June 13th, 2007

Tomorrow we are taking Kenny to an allergist to try to get to the bottom of his wild reaction to bug bites.   (For those of you who are new to the blog, Kenny spent four days in the hospital in April for a staph infection that generated in a mosquito bite.)   I am sick to my stomach with the thought of what he’s going to have to go through.   The visit is supposed to last four hours.   Four hours!?!   Kenny wouldn’t even last at a playground for four hours, much less a doctor’s office where they are intermittently sticking him with venom-infused needles.

If it weren’t for the fear of another infected bite and a recurrent staph infection, there’s no way I would put my precious little guy through this.   I can’t imagine what he’s going to be thinking tomorrow as I sit there holding his hand and allowing a doctor to cover his arms and back with tiny pin-pricks.     Is he old enough to understand that he’s not being punished?   That this won’t hurt him in the long run but might keep him from getting sick again?

Pain aside, I don’t know how it’s going to work keeping him there that long.   We’re scheduled from 8:30 until 12:30… he usually eats lunch at 11… do we get a lunch break?   And what about his flailing nap schedule?  

I ache just thinking about his perfect little body covered with welts and needle marks.   I’m worried that he will somehow be mad at me, or feel betrayed by me, for letting the doctors do all this to him.   I hope he’s young enough that he won’t even remember it all.   Has anyone else out there had to take a toddler to an allergist?     Was it as bad as I’m fearing??

Joe, the Comeback Kid

June 11th, 2007


Lack of antics and adventure is certainly not the reason for my lapse in writing over this long five day void.   I can blame it on only one thing.   Kenny hasn’t napped since last Wednesday.  

For my long-time readers, you will remember that Kenny was otherwise known as “No Nap Joe” for the first fourteen months of his life.   He miraculously started taking them precisely the time we moved out to Scottsdale, AZ for our our annual five-month stint.   He even took naps the first five days we were back in Maryland, but now, wham! NO NAP JOE RETURNS.

I can’t tell you what an emotional toll this is taking on me.   Not only was  I totally used to my one-or-two hours a day to get things done (or just mentally recharge), but now is the time I desperately need those naptimes so that I can finish getting us unpacked and settled in.   Today he screached every five minutes for the hour I left him in his bed.   It’s the same screech he’s been doing since last Thursday: “Blan-ked-on!”   He wails this with such heartwrenchingly pathetic sincerity, I’ve actually found myself returning to his room multiple times to pull the little blanket back over his back from whence he kicked it off.   (He hasn’t done this at night once.)   In Scottsdale when I put him down for a nap, he would play happily for up to a half hour before putting himself to sleep.   But here, all he will do is immediately lay down, then get frustrated when he can’t sleep due to the skewed feng shui of his environment.

I have found myself in a ball of anxiousness over it.   All I can envision is a return to the Life With Non-Napping Child and a messy house, a pile of unopened mail and bathrooms nearly shelacked with hairspray residue.   Not only that, but I fear my own demise as the little hours I had squireled away for myself to write and pursue non-mommy-eque goals  are  stolen by a tricky blanket that won’t stay put.

What do I DO?!?   I have enforced putting him in his bed, and letting him cry.   But the hour he’s in there is no respite for me and certainly no rest for him.    This evening  he fell asleep on the way home from getting his haircut (it was five PM),  then wailed through  dinner, demanding “Mo’wer GOAT CHEESE!” of all things.   I’m frazzled.

Ah, but he is  still the apple of my eye, and I supposed I could view this as an opportunity to spend an extra hour with him every day.

Hm.   Ok, I’m still going to pray that he takes  a nap tomorrow.  


June 7th, 2007

First off, thanks to all the well-wishes for Dudley… my little canine companion is nearly recovered.   He’s a little “mellow” still, but he has once again noticed the  herons on our pier and is giving them a run for their money.

I however, after 48 hours or so of dog-nursing, am way behind on the unpacking and cleaning.   I have spent every spare moment (read: when Kenny is sleeping) working on it, and yet the laundry pile is looming, the spider webs on the ceiling are growing and the floor is spattered with sippy-cup refuse.   There is still an unopened box in my closet and a pile of clean clothes with no place to go on the floor.   I am a neat-freak.   I can’t deal with this much longer.


In spite of my frenzied pace, Kenny and I are having fun re-aquianting ourselves with life on the water.   We have traipsed down the side yard in chase of ducks, gone to  a playgroup and had some friends over to play.   We have also re-aquainted ourselves with the fact that it takes half an hour or more to get anywhere around here.   We have suddenly found ourselves in the car a lot more than we’d like to be.   Kenny, in fact, fell asleep in the backseat out of boredom today a mere one minute from our house, and then had no inclination whatsoever to take a real nap once inside the house.

As for me, it’s back to the grind.   I want to cry when I look at my master bathroom in the state it’s in.   Remind me to hire a maid before we move houses again next year.


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