“Eye of the Tiger” holds no power here

We are off to a poor start. Last night I was cracking my knuckles and playing “Eye of the Tiger” to get pumped up for Day 1 of NaBloPoMo, when Henry woke up and had a freakout and needed mommy to get him back to sleep. No rest for the weary; no blog for the mommy.

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Here is why blogging is both a blessing and a curse — you look back on your old entries and think these two things:

1) I had forgotten those details! I am so glad to have a record of my thoughts and feelings during those days gone by! Thanks, Past Me!

2) What kind of piece of crap narcissist would write this stuff?! Did I really think that line was funny? Why would I put those intensely private things online? ANYONE WHO READ THIS PROBABLY HATES ME NOW SOB SOB PAST ME IS A BUTTFACE

But writing makes my brain feel good, and to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, while I don’t love writing, I love having written. So at the risk of embarrassing Future Me, I’ll try not to skip any more days this month. *staring significantly at no-sleep toddler, who ignores me because he is focused on dipping his palm into a pool of ketchup*

Unrelated photo, because every blog needs photo because SEO or something. Seb thought the "B" and "G" were there to represent his middle and last initials.

Unrelated photo, because every blog needs a photo because SEO or something. Seb thought the “B” and “G” were there to represent his middle and last initials.

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NaBloPoMo: Do I dare?

Do I dare to eat a peach?

I shall wear Old Navy trousers, and blog about the beach.

I have heard the children shrieking, each to each.

I do not think they will sleep for me.

— Excerpted from The Grumpsong of J. Burgess Goodfrock

If I do join the blog-every-day-in-November melee, I’ll need to update the crap out of that “about” page.

See you Friday.

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Room for activities

He art-directed this shoot himself.

He art-directed this shoot himself.

I am wondering how many activities my friends have their kids in. Before having children (a time when we are all so wise), I was adamant about strictly limiting extracurriculars. But the reality of Sebastian is that he needs to be kept very, very busy or we all pay in blood.

But how busy? Gymnastics and hip-hop make him ecstatically happy and the good kind of tired. Soccer seemed to make him confused and exhausted, so we only did that for one season, but maybe we can revisit it. He can take or leave karate, so we’re probably going to put it on hold at least for the summer, although I think it’s really good for him. (It’s also so tense to watch — Steve and I sit in the parent area and stare at the mat with big eyes, thinking, Please don’t start wrestling that 3-year-old, please don’t flop face-down on the floor, please don’t take off your belt and swing it around like a lasso.) He needs to learn to swim eventually, though I’m hopeful we can teach him the basics ourselves. And I’d really like him to take piano lessons, just because it’s so helpful if he wants to pursue any kind of music when he’s older.

I am the furthest thing from a Tiger Mom — more like a Tree Sloth Mom — but I want to do what’s right for him while still preserving a modicum of butt-sitting time for Mommy and Daddy.

Maybe Henry’s favorite activity will be sitting quietly at home and reading a book. Ha ha ha sob.

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Sunrise, sunset

It all deteriorated very quickly after this.

It all deteriorated very quickly after this.

My year at home (15 months, actually) with the boys is winding down. School is out and I have a regular teacher’s summer break to go. Sebastian is enrolled in a small variety of summer camps and classes, and Henry is still attached to me like a baby koala almost constantly and makes sad noises and desolate reaching motions if I put him down. That transition to daycare is going to be super-duper fun.

This year has been so wonderful, and yet, so bizarrely unsatisfying. I was so starry-eyed when I started this, and now those stars are burned-out, dead black holes. Staying home with little kids is HARD. Staying home with a kid like Sebastian is EXTRA-SPECIAL HARD. I am chagrined and disappointed to find that I don’t have the infinite well of patience and magnanimity I assumed I did for my young friends.

At the same time, it has been an experience I will remember fondly forever (and perhaps even more fondly with the help of the misty veil of time). It has been undeniably good for Sebastian. He has made up years — literal years — of social and communication development in the last 12 months. He is amazing. And getting to hold a baby all you want while he grows in your arms from a newborn to a toddler is pure primordial joy.

Nonetheless, I will be very glad to go back to the job I love in August, and I will be very sad to put my baby in daycare, and I will be stabbed in the heart — in a good/bad way — to see my sweet firstborn boy start kindergarten. (Via phone pix, unfortunately — his first day of school is also my first day of school. DAGNABBIT.)

So anyway, there we are. I haven’t felt like writing here much because I’ve gotten really squirrelly about the boys’ privacy, and my privacy. (Plus: Brain leaking from ears from year at home with boys.) Steve’s privacy I don’t respect at all, but unfortunately he is .06 percent funnier than I am so he should tell his own stories.

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Chihuly under the wire

Steve came home from work a bit early today and shooed me out the door to see the Dallas Arboretum’s Chihuly exhibit. We’d had tickets for Chihuly Nights last week, but couldn’t go because we were all sick. Today was the last day it was in town. Far be it from me not to push every deadline available.

And call me morbid, call me pale, but I was so happy the day was overcast, misty, and chilly. It was really, really lovely.

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Turquoise glass rocks in a creek.

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This was big. There’s a couple of people in the background for reference. Although they’re kind of far away, which may skew the perspective. I used trick photography, just like Peter Jackson in The Lord of the Rings.

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I wanted to grab one of these and be an ice warrior!

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I really like the color pallete here. Maybe I should redo our living room in lavender and green. What’s that, Steve? OK, OK, you don’t have to swear.

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I don’t edit these blog photos — they’re just quick iPhone snaps — but I’m bothered that the center of this sculpture is so very dark. Maybe that’s the point.

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All of the sculptures were lovely, but these, these were lump-in-throat awesome.

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My second-favorite. They look like ghost plants.

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Whirly swirly twirly.

Lots of giant glass swizzle sticks were poked into the ground all throughout.

I sipped a cup of Mexican hot chocolate before returning home to my fellows.

I sipped a cup of Mexican hot chocolate before returning home to my fellows.

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A boy by any other name

The Babycenter list of 2012’s top names came out today (a bit different from the official Social Security list, but still interesting).

I always told Steve I wanted our kids to have names that were unusual enough so that they wouldn’t have to go by their last initial in elementary school classes, something he and I (Steven & Jessica, Nos. 20 and 8, respectively, in 1976 ) both had to do, year after year. Jessica B., Jessica B., Jessica B. When I was a kid I used to “joke” that I wished my name were Ambrosia, because at least I wouldn’t have to be Ambrosia B.

But anyway, after all that talk, both our kids have names that are in the top 100. Which is fine — almost as annoying as getting branded with a last initial is having your name constantly mispronounced. My maiden name: Hard G? Soft G? Who cares? Just call her Jessica Burgers.

Henry’s name, especially, is zooming up the ranks.

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I don’t care, though, because I LOVE HIS NAME I LOVE IT. (It’s sort of a family name, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s also the name of a History’s Greatest Hero. Don’t be surprised if we someday have a pet named after a state, hoping Henry takes his cue.)

Sebastian’s name we took from a Shakespearean character. I love the way it sounds. It’s a hard name to say, though. For a long time, he called himself “Sha-sheben,” which is pretty cute. But he has emerged triumphant; not only can he now say his name, he can spell the heck out of the whole unwieldy thing.

Here are the meanings of our names, which we didn’t even look at before bestowing them on our offspring:

Jessica — Wealthy

Steve — Kingly

Henry — Ruler

Sebastian — Majestic

Wow. We are a pretty intimidating household. Rich, powerful, majestic.

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Das baby

It looks like he’s reading, but he’s really just smacking the pictures of babies.

This kid. He’s babbling now, still not by the book — he gets big eyes and pins you with an intense stare and says, “RA RA RA RA RA RA” instead of fluttering his eyelashes and giving us a sweet and cute “ma ma!” But I’ll take it. I’m on pins and needles waiting for language development. PINS AND NEEDLES.

We put him in pajamas all the time because… well, I really don’t have an excuse.

We’re doing this dirty-hippy approach to feeding called “baby-led weaning.” It basically means you skip purees and head straight for finger foods. HE LOVES FOOD. Food food food. Bananas, toast, anything squishy. Gimme gimme gimme.

Baby-led weaning — empowering for baby! “I CONTROL MY OWN DESTINY! AND THIS PIECE OF BREAD!”

He’s good and sweet and really no trouble, which is good, because his brother trips the trouble-o-meter all day, every day.

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