Monday, February 25, 2008

Manny's First Drive-by Honking

Manny and I walked to the library today - him in the stroller, me on foot. On our way, a truck with two construction workers (identifiable by their signature orange shirts and hard hats) honked and gave us the "big nod". Were they kidding? Were they just mocking me? Or were they complimenting my saggy maternity jeans that are four days overdue for a wash? Perhaps it was my dirty sneakers or the tent I was wearing to cover my basketball sized middle. Then it dawned on me. It was none of those things. The only logical conclusion is that they were honking at Manny. They were saying, "Hey! That's one cute baby! Yeah!" And to that I say, you're right construction workers. Thanks for noticing. And thanks for not being afraid to give Manny the "big nod". You were right on the money.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunacy at the Lais

I just spent enough time on the web reading about people experiencing sleep problems during a full moon to know that we are not alone. Last night Manny was awake from 3am-6:30am when he finally went to sleep for a couple hours after a little applesauce/Tylenol cocktail I mixed up as a last ditch effort for relief. He just woke up tonight at 9:30 and I gave him the Tylenol outright. I don't know if I am a little too liberal with the Tylenol, but tonight, I'm not messing around. It kills me when there is no apparent reason he is awake and everything we try to do to soothe him fails. You know it's a bad night when we resort to bringing him into our bed, not because we are opposed to that, but because it NEVER works. He just lays there and yanks on my hair while simultaneously hitting Sam in the face with his other arm until we are both so fed up we put him back in his crib, to his great protest.

He is like Jekyll and Hyde. One moment the most wonderful creature you could imagine, a ball of love who only wants your attention and approval and laughs at the most idiotic things you say and do. And then the next moment, flipping out of your arms at the mere suggestion of changing his diaper. You would think I pinch him and force him to eat diaper cream every time he's on the table, the way he reacts now. We think he has a flair for the dramatic. Maybe he will follow in the family footsteps and get a drama degree and use it to pursue real estate.

Two things he has started doing that are worth remembering later - he puts his palm up to his ear and pretends he is talking on the cell phone. "Da" is hello, as well as a million other things. He also is learning to feed himself with a spoon (with a lot of help). This picture captures his latest attempt at yogurt. I seriously am so proud.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunbathing Weather

Today Manny discovered the joy of running around on the deck that is attached to our bedroom. Even though there is no space feasibly large enough for him to lodge his head or fall through, it took me seeing our next door neighbor Gary half-naked sunbathing in the 54 degree heatwave to step inside and watch him run from my seat on the carpet. When I was still outside, Manny kept running in Gary's direction shrieking like a banshee and I felt it was rude not to look at Gary, but I also was too mortified to strike up a conversation. I'm not being a prude. I have no problem with 60-something year old men taking off their shirts. But I feel awkward around Gary fully clothed and his lack of modesty didn't really improve my comfort level. It wasn't long before Aslan joined in with his squeaky rubber chicken that Manny and Aslan take turns sucking on. The rubber chicken is not nearly as big as Manny and quickly went over the edge, inciting persistent barking from Aslan and confusion from Manny. That's when Sam turned to me (who had just arrived home) and said, "We have two children."

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I love Saturdays. Sam and Manny have a standing date on Saturday mornings and it is the only daytime where I feel completely off duty. I worked on my book, which I've been neglecting for a long time, and I cleaned the shower. I have been moving the cleaning supplies around upstairs for days with the intent to remove all the pink gunk off the grout, but it never happens. Just like how I try to do the same load of laundry all week long and it sits and sits until I have nothing left to wear. This bad habit is going to have to change. I have been wearing the same dirty pair of maternity jeans for three days and every day they collect more food and slobber and who knows what else.
It was so amazing to greet Manny when he came home from his adventure with Dad at Third Place Books. The look on his face when he saw me made me feel like Barack Obama at a supporter rally. He ran to me shrieking and threw his little arms around me. It was awesome.
The other day I watched a few minutes of a recent film that opens with Jamie Foxx telling his son's classmates about the best day of his life. The day his son was born. I've never related to that. The day Manny was born was not the best day of my life. I spent the morning writhing like a wounded animal, trying not to vomit and was freaked out of my mind for the rest of the day worrying that I would never sleep again, that my baby would never breastfeed, and to top it off, I was already concerned that Manny didn't like me. Sheesh.
The best day of my life keeps changing. As ordinary as my days are, they are filled with extraordinary moments of delight and pure, unreserved love. I am so grateful. I had no idea that this was going to be so wonderful. I really just thought kids were a big pain in the butt before. And I was just hoping by some act of grace that I wouldn't feel that way about my own. A pretty big bet to take, but it's working out beautifully.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Screaming Valentine

This record of thoughts is for Manny and the babies, as well as for Sam and I, so that we can remind ourselves in our golden years of all the memories we would otherwise have forgotten. I have tried to keep a handwritten journal since Manny was born, but there is something about pen and paper that causes me to write sentimental slop that I later want to burn. The fact that my recent sentimental slop is for Manny makes it tolerable, but I think this method will be more interesting and the knowledge that someone besides the five of us might possibly read it will keep me in check.

Manny and I had a great morning playing with Max and Echo at the Vances' house. Then we came home and the scream fest began. It ceased for 90 minutes while he napped and then resumed with a bang and didn't really end until dinnertime. There would be pauses for sure, but anytime I tried to put him down or do anything to him, like put on his pants, you would have thought I was dipping his tiny toes in boiling oil. He is in the middle of cutting a molar and it must be very uncomfortable or he is testing my ability to withstand torture. At one point, I started sobbing and wailing too. I don't feel well. I am still getting over the stomach flu and am tired and growing great with child. Then, of course, he screamed louder. It was a low point, but then we passed the Tylenol around and that helped.

As much as I enjoy Manny's colorful use of the sound "da" for every possible thing, I look forward to a day when I can ask him what's wrong and something comes out beside a scream. Even with his lack of holiday cheer, he's still the best valentine we could ever ask for.

Monday, February 11, 2008


We had an ultrasound today and after two hours of many photographs, there was no sign of a penis or testicles anywhere. We are thrilled the babies look healthy and our minds are flooded with thoughts of what that will mean for us and for Manny as the girls take the majority of the house in LaiLai land.