Yesterday.

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days that I typically dread and often end up loving: a home day.

We played with the doll house.

We did our old favorite floor puzzle.

We made "pizza" with Play-Doh.

We didn’t step even one foot out the door all day and none of us even changed out of the jammies we had woken up in.

Well, not until the puke.

Even after the fact, I can’t say that I know where it came from. M* is convinced that it was just a result of his lingering cold and all the snot he’s been basically swallowing. I thought it must be a bug and waited all night for the fever to spike, which it never did, despite the listlessness, sleepy whimpering, and gray pallor of his face. He, in fact, woke up at 5am, raring to go — as if he hadn’t just horked up his entire body weight fewer than 12 hours before. In my sleepy morning haze, I listened to my bed-mate (sick boy = Mama sleepover) chatter about stars and sunlight and that Barney firefighter movie he hadn’t seen in 6 months or more. I fumbled for my phone, found that damn movie on Netflix and slept for another 3 hours. Presumably, he fell back to sleep, too.

Anyway, that was yesterday. I just thought I’d tell you all about yesterday.

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A Little Big.

“You’re a silly duck,” I said. “I’m not a duck!” said he. And then: “I’m a kid! Ducks are animals; not kids!”

Touche.

He’s becoming this person right before my eyes. Cliche, I know. But it’s happening and when it’s happening, all you can do is comment on it every day.

“Have a good nap,” I said. And then: “I love you love you.” Said he: “I love you, too,” through a mouth full of binky. Still my little boy.

Earlier: “I’m not little.”
“I know! You’re big!”
“But you said I was your little boy today. And I’m big.”

Sigh.

 

A Week.

We had a week in Boston, The Who and I. I loved it. I had been craving time with friends and family and I’m lucky that my friends and family make time for me when we visit. I had plans every morning and every evening (some with The Who and some without) and still made sure that he got a solid nap in every afternoon. Win. The drives to and fro were even completely uneventful. What 3-year-old can occupy himself in the back seat for 8 hours? My 3-year-old can. Lucky, lucky me. (There was an hour or so of laptop-tv-watching, but aside from that, he really made it work by playing with the toys that always live in the car plus a few novelties (most notably, one of those “magic” marker pads that look clear but make color appear on special paper.)

We spent some time on my undergrad college campus. It was fun to see him against the backdrop of those years. Two worlds colliding.

We also got some beautiful, powdery snow. About 5" worth, which was just right for playing. It wasn't "snowman snow," which was disappointing, but there also was no rain or slush so it was light and feathery and barely stuck to our clothes at all.

One of my favorite activities of the week was visiting this place called MuckyKids in Cambridge. Genius! A kids’ drop-in art studio! The concept is similar to the paint-your-own pottery idea, but so much better and more. Little tables full of projects just right for the 3-5 year old set. “Bleeding” tissue paper and colored ice, Oobleck, plastic saws and cardboard, a “sticky” wall, bubble wrap squares taped to the floor for stomping, a wire-sculpting station, and more that we didn’t even have time to discover. Ribbons and colored tape and all kinds of recyclables and findings for free-form projects. I can’t believe this doesn’t exist in Philadelphia and I am 73% serious about opening one myself. If I could find a business partner, I think we could make a go of it. Seriously.

Although he liked painting on the paper well enough, he REALLY liked painting on the wall.

It was a good week, people. A restorative week. My mission is to find some way to recreate that sense of camaraderie and home here.

Crib.

A million and one years ago (it seems), m* and I drove out to the Intercourse area (really) and took a good look at a lot of furniture. We went from store to store on this beautiful summer day, all rosy-cheeked and excited. (It was a my second trimester, see. The one where energy is good and excitement is high and, if this is your first pregnancy, as was mine, you are blissfully unaware of what your life is about to turn into.) We came home with a crib, or at least the receipt for one that would be crafted just for us.

I remember the day so well. The drive was so pretty and we had such fun together. This was our first major baby-related purchase and I just walked around every store with my hand on my belly, feeling my baby kicking and delighting in the process of building his room. From there, we went to the Organic Mattress Store (there really is such a place) and picked out a crib mattress and a wool mattress pad. They threw in a softie little turtle for good measure. A few weekends after that, in the pouring rain, we went to a now-defunct monthly estate furniture sale. This tiny storage space on the Main Line, tucked behind a little strip of stores, packed to the walls with random and rare pieces of furniture. After serpentining through the narrow walkway and finding nothing that really suited us, we were just about to leave when we spied this knotty pine dresser, underneath some boxes in a far corner. And so with that, and the addition of our handed-down glider, a bedroom was born.

This little room with the green walls and the striped curtains became our baby’s first space. His little place. A beautiful, handcrafted crib, the mattress inside it and the sheets to go on it. An unfinished bookshelf that m* painted. The dresser, its drawers carved with seashells. Blankets. A mobile. A tiny little Sox cap. I loved his room. I loved it still.

A month ago, he finally announced that he was ready for a “big boy” bed. And so the process of re-visioning this space began. His mattress was moved to the floor and a new blanket was added to accommodate for his growing, long body. He got a pillow. And a new night light. Today — right after I hit “publish” in fact — I am driving back out to that cute little store in that cute little town to pick up the conversion rails for the crib, that were handcrafted by one Amish guy in his workshop. I love how his space is turning into something that suits his evolving self.

Tomorrow, his crib will be a toddler bed. Eventually, it will become a boy’s bed. And after that, a man’s bed. This simple piece of rough-hewn oak, changing and morphing into one thing after another, taking shape as he grows.

2012, Part 5. (fin.)

There’s this meme I’ve been doing for a lot of years.* I swear I did it on Facebook last year, but now I can’t find it — even with the new fancy Timeline. Whatev, Facebook. Thanks for nothing. Anyway, this is 40 questions long. I answered 8 each day for the past 4 days and tomorrow it will be 2012. Yes. Bring it.

*I’d love for you to do this, too. Either in comments or on your own blog.

(Read Part 1)    (Read Part 2)     (Read Part 3)     (Read Part 4)

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Much more frumpy than I would have liked, but — especially in cold weather — it seems to be all that feels comfortable. I really hate cold weather clothes. I like capris and how I look in them more than long pants and I absolutely hate wearing socks. I’d like to wear clothes appropriate for 70 degrees every day. Alas…

34. What kept you sane?
Facebook. That’s sad, isn’t it? It might be. But it’s still true. The ability to both check out and check in at the same time is something I need pretty much daily and despite the bullshit and the privacy issues and the drama that can exist, I am glad it’s there and as ubiquitous as it is. I enjoy it.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t really “fancy” anyone — public or private — these days. I’ll always look twice at Sharon Osbourne and Taye Diggs, though. And since I’ve been watching Private Practice marathons while painting, I’ve developed a little crush on Kate Walsh. Weird because she isn’t even my “type.”

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Nothing, you guys. It’s like I am unstirrable, politically. I still feel pretty strongly about the movie Monster, though. I re-watched it recently and cried. Again.

37. Who did you miss?
I missed my Nana. 😦

38. Who was the best new person you met?
It’s a tie between S and D. I enjoy them and look forward to spending more time with them both.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Plan ahead. Because it’s 12:17am and I am still writing this. I had hoped to have it published before watching Dick Clark awkwardly kiss his wife without getting his several inches of pancake makeup on her cheek. (That’s not nice; I know. Poor Dick.)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
from “Take a Breath” as performed by Elmo on the Best of Elmo album:

Take a breath
Take a breath
Smell a smell
Sniff a sniff
And take a breath
You can move your feet to walk
And you use your tongue to talk
But your mouth and nose are waiting
Take a breath