Friday, December 30, 2011

Good riddance, 2011

Christmas 2011 was going along really well, at least a hell of a lot better than Christmas 2010, when we had double mortgages, sinus infections, terrible weather, and a catastrophic event that damn near ruined us.  This year, Christmas seemed like a nice, gentle, spring breeze in comparison.

By far, the best thing about this Christmas was that for the first time in recent memory, no one was going through hypermesis.  I was so thrilled about that.  Oh my god, was I ever thrilled.

My mom made vegan party potatoes, and they were delicious.  And I could eat them! Without feeling sick! It was amazing.  I was so, so thankful, that for all practical purposes, my sister and I are both done with hyperemesis forever.

After Christmas dinner, Will took a nap.  Rob decided he wanted to hike at Detweiller Park, and I went with him.  I guess I had momentarily  forgotten who Rob is because what he had termed as a hike was for me an all-out, balls to the walls, full steam ahead, trail run.  It was nice, though, and there were really very few times when I thought I was going to die by careening off a cliff face.

Chilled and kind of tired from the trail run, we still managed to stop by Amy MeyPfan's house (actually, her mother's house) so that she and I had a chance to see each other.  I was still feeling pretty good, though a little agitated because the trail run had taken longer than I'd anticipated and I was eager to get home and see what Will was up to.  Then I started feeling kind of bad.  For no apparent reason.  There was nausea.  Seemingly out of nowhere.  It was starting to feel like 2 of the marathons I've run when I haven't eaten for a long time afterwards and gotten really, really @#$%^& up.  I didn't think I could be hungry... I'd just had Christmas dinner.  Those vegan party potatoes.  God, the vegan party potatoes.  Let us not mention them again.

I decided that I was dehydrated.  I hadn't taken my own water on the trail run (thinking, mistakenly, that it was to be a nice and easy hike) and had taken only a sip or two from Rob's Camelback the whole time.  I must be dehydrated.  I needed water.

So we left Amy's, and I still thought I would be able to make a full recovery if I just got some water.  I drank.  I felt worse.  Rob drove, and I texted my Aunt to let her know we were on our way back to my parents.  She had been planning on coming over after Rob and I returned from our "walk at the park."

We got home, and I felt very, very bad.  I was freezing and I thought, I must have been out in the cold too long.  I was sure that drinking some water and taking a hot shower would bring me back to life.  I just wasn't sure how exactly I was going to manage to shower, because I could barely stand up.  Get it together, Melissa, I told myself, Auntie is already on her way over.

So I got in the shower.  The shampoo smelled gross.  The soap smelled gross.  Everthing smelled and felt gross.  Just like when I was pregnant.

And then, before I'd even been able to get my hair rinsed out, I had to bolt from the shower and projectile vomit into the toilet.  Just like when I was pregnant.  Jebus, the first 11 weeks of my pregnancy (the pre-Zofran weeks), I think I puked every time I took a shower.  It @#$%-ing sucked.

I did the mature thing, which was to start sobbing hysterically.

I tried to push all the nastiness aside, because I really wanted to see my Aunt.  Plus, I actually felt a lot better after I threw up, which was great.  That never happened when I had hyperemesis.  I thought it was strange, but it seemed like the most likely explanation was that I'd overexerted myself on the hike, perhaps too soon after Christmas dinner, and that I'd gotten dehydrated.  I've felt this way many times after running... although never to the point of actually throwing up.

Well, I was only able to see my Aunt and Uncle for about 5 minutes before I had to stumble back downstairs and puke again.  And again, and again.  It was scary as hell to me, because my hyperemesis began exactly 3 years ago to the day, when I woke up at my parents' on Christmas morning and puked in the shower.  It brought back a lot of memories, particularly of things that I would very much like to forget.

By the middle of the night when I couldn't go more than an hour without puking, I realized that this must be a stomach virus.

It is ironic, you know.  I was so thrilled about not being nauseous or vomiting this Christmas, and then *bam* the stomach flu.  I puked for maybe 24 hours straight-- even breaking my hyperemesis record of the number of times puked in one day.  After the puking stopped, I felt so completely wiped out.  As in, walking up a flight of stairs made me dizzy enough to nearly pass out.  It was actually several days before that went away.

As of now, I am pretty much back to normal.  The weird thing is, nobody else got sick.  I am so glad that I didn't pass it along to anybody, but it just doesn't make any sense... I shared a water bottle with Rob during our trail run, for crying out loud!  It's a mystery.

Good riddance, 2011.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear William (28 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 28 months old.

You've been talking a lot more than in the past.  For example, you recently rammed my head with your (very hard) head, and I cried out, "Owwww." Then, perhaps feeling bad, you seized my face in your hands and kissed my eyebrow.  I said, "Thank you William!" and you ran into the other room to tell your father, "I KISSED MOMMY."

You sing a lot.  You like "Take Me out to the Ballgame" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider."  You love singing the ABC's and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  You also taught us a new song that you learned at daycare:

Twinkle Twinkle Dinosaur

He lets out a mighty roar

When he walks he STOMP STOMP STOMPS

When he eats he CHOMP CHOMP CHOMPS.

I think you sing a song at daycare about a Baby Shark.  I don't know how it goes, but the other day while you were eating breakfast, you very clearly wanted me to sing Baby Shark.  I don't know that song, so I started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and you got very frustrated.  You glared at me and said "KY-IT, MOMMY.  BABY SHARK.  BABY SHARK!!!!!!!"  I guess I will have to ask Mr. D, your daycare teacher, how that one goes.

This past month we had Thanksgiving, and you saw both sets of grandparents:





You went with Mommy and Daddy and helped us pick out a Christmas tree, which we then decorated:

xmas tree.jpg



We went to the mall, where you did some window shopping:




You pointed to a photo of Demi Moore and said "Mommy!"




You sat on Santa Claus' lap:




You fell asleep in the car while we were Christmas shopping:




We read lots of stories, especially before bedtime.  Your current favorites are When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer (you call it I BIGGER), and My Little Golden Book of Primates, which contains some factually incorrect information but has some great pictures.  You can tell the difference between apes and monkeys.  You point to the gibbons and say "GIBBON! NO TAIL!" and you can successfully identify the howler monkey as well as make howler vocalizations.  You also have an animal encyclopedia book that you love.  You can name every animal in that book.  I have no idea how you learned this, but about the second time we read the book, you pointed to the chinchilla and said "CHINCHILLA!"




Sometimes you insist on wearing your diaper on the outside:




You saw a Blue Angel and some dinosaurs at the Science Center:






You saw mammoths and cave bears at the Missouri History Museum:





You saw trains and flowers at the Missouri Botanical Garden:




We went hiking in the rainforest (okay, it was just the Climatron):




You enjoyed playing with your Mr. Potatohead:



You applied for a passport:



It has been a busy month, William, but you still find the time to be very sweet.  Sometimes you don't want to go to sleep because you'd rather keep reading or playing with Mommy and Daddy.  You say, "ROCK YOU," which means that you want me to rock you.  And so I do that.  You put your arms around me as we rock in the chair, or you put your hand on my cheek and smile at me.  You love hugs and kisses.  You are constantly hugging and kissing us.  That is so great.  I hope you always are so cuddly.

William, we have had such a wonderful month.  I am looking forward to each and every minute that we get to spend together.

Love you,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Going places with William

A few weeks ago, we took Will to the Gardenland Express exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  He was more interested in running around than in actually looking at the trains or flowers, but every once and a while he did slow down enough to take a little bit of notice.  Unfortunately, he didn't slow down enough for us to get a good picture of the three of us while we were there.  That's too bad because it would have made an awesome Christmas card.





Holding Mom's hand


Will with Daddy


We also walked around outside a bit and then went in the Climatron, which was the most freaking awesome thing ever.  It was an honest to God indoor rainforest.  I could have spent days and days in there.  It was hard to take pictures inside because the instant you took out your camera, the lens would fog over.  It was beautiful and amazing.  It made me wonder what I am doing with my life and why I am not back in the jungle studying monkeys like I ought to be.




When we finally left, Will was tired and practically beside himself.  He would alternately throw himself on the ground for no reason, or just plant it and refuse to move.  I said to him, "Will do you want to walk or do you want me to hold you?"  He looked at me quite plaintively and said, "HOLD YOU."

Sometimes he doesn't get his pronouns quite right.

I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way, which was actually a long way, out of the gardens and back to the car.  My arms got very tired.  As we were walking throught he parking lot, he pressed his cheek against mine and he gave a little giggle.  I could feel him smile.  I said, "Do you want to press your cheek against Mommy's cheek?" He smiled again and said, "CHEEK."  He was very sweet and my arms didn't feel so tired anymore, and I was glad to be carrying him.

Last weekend, Rob was away somewhere with the car, and on Saturday morning I decided that Will and I would take the train to the Missouri History Museum to go to a Mammoth and Mastadon Story Hour they were having.  Will can be very slow in the mornings, or really, any time that you are trying to get him to do something on time.  I finally got him moving by repeatedly telling him that we were going to take the train and stressing how fun that would be.  Every other time I've taken him on the train, I've put him in the stroller to walk over to the station, but this time I decided to leave the stroller at home. The stroller tends to become a big nuisance when we get to wherever we're going because I've got to try to hang onto it in addition to hanging onto William (he generally refuses to stay in the stroller for long periods of time), and that can be quite a challenge.

The 1/4 mile walk to the train station was slow but methodical-- I was proud of William for moving along at quite a respectable pace for a 2-year old and not planting it or throwing any fits.

We had a very long wait once we got to the train station because on weekends the train only comes every 1/2 hour, and apparently we got there right after the last train had left.  But we got through it.  I told William to look for the train, and for the most part, he did-- he stood there and stared down the tunnel, every once and a while saying, "TRAIN COMING?"

At last the train arrived and he was very excited.  We got onto the train and he marched right over to an empty seat and climbed up in it to sit.  He was beaming.  This was the first time he'd ever been on the train when he wasn't in his stroller.  He really enjoyed sitting in that seat.

Unfortunately, the museum was only 2 stops away, so it was a very short ride.  He did not want to get off that train. A look of horror washed his face when I told him we were getting off the train, and he planted it.  He clung to the seat.  He cried.  He screamed.  He kicked.  Red splotches of anger appeared on his face.  I ended up having to hoist him up and haul him off of the train.  He cried and kicked and screamed all the way to the museum, about another 1/4 mile away.  I became very exasperated.

Once inside the museum, he was briefly assuaged when he saw the giant replicas of a mammoth and cave bear in the foyer.  He said, "ELEPHANT!" And "BEAR!"  I finally found where the story hour was being held (by this point, we were 1/2 hour late), and he walked in the room, made a big circle, and walked out again.  That was that.  Just not interested.  He then proceded to amuse himself by walking up and down the stairs to the upper and lower level of the museum.  It was exhausting.




He became a bit fussy and I asked him what he wanted and eventually he said, "HOME."  So back we went, to trek towards the train station once again.  We had another long wait.  I managed to distract him by giving him one of his animal books to read, and he promptly ripped out two of the pages.  "No, William, we don't rip pages in books!" I said.

The train arrived and we boarded, while he was still clutching his torn book.  We sat down together and he held the book out to me.  In a tone of both impishness and regret, he said to me "I RIP PAGE."

He did not want to get off the train at our stop, so I decided we could stay on until the next one.  It would be a slightly farther walk back to our house, but more through residential areas.  I knew at this point I would be carrying him most of the way, and I thought I'd prefer walking through quiet streets rather than a busy road.

So we got off the train and headed for home.  He was moving very slowly and I said, "William, would you like me to hold you?"  He said, "HOLD YOU."  So I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way.  My back ached.  My arms hurt so bad.  He laid his head against my shoulder and wrapped his arms tight, tight around me.  I said, "William, what would you like for lunch?"  He said, "CHEEZ-ITS!"  I laughed.  "You can't have Cheez-its for lunch!  How about you have some cheese instead?"  He giggled.  "NOOO."  "How about some apple?" I offered.  He giggled again and said no.  "Well, what else would you like, then?" I asked.  He thought for just a second and replied, "CAKE!"

It is really nice to have these little conversations with each other.  For so long, I have wondered what is going on in his mind, and although it is still mainly a mystery to me, it feels good to see it bit by bit.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

I've got to get over my aversion to kale

I follow a local news reporter on Twitter, and around a week ago she tweeted a story about a relatively new business in the area, called NeighborGood Foods.

I was like, this is what I have been waiting for my entire life.  Organic, (mainly) local produce, delivered right to my doorstep.  It sounded too good to be true.  I thought, there's got be a catch.  This can't really be so many ways of perfect.

I decided to take a chance.  I ordered the smallest box ($25).  I figured, there will be like a piece of wilted kale in it and maybe a mealy apple.  But whatever.  I just wanted to see.

I didn't even have to talk to anybody.  I placed the order online, and then texted with the guy to narrow down a delivery time.  That part was pretty easy, since Rob works at home so he is pretty much always here to go and answer the door.

So they came yesterday afternoon.  When I got home from work there was a gigantic box of produce waiting for me.



Are you ready for a list of what was in the box?

Here goes:

1 Bunch carrots

1 Green pepper

1 Purple pepper

1 Onion

4 Potatoes

3 giant radishes

1 bunch curly mustard grees

1 bunch Russian kale

Several bunches of Spinach

2 tomatoes

1 head Red leaf lettuce

3 giant turnips

Head cauliflower

Bunch broccoli

1 Spaghetti squash

Large bag of Green beans

3 apples

1 orange






Seriously!!  If I had bought all of that at the grocery store-- even if I'd gone with conventional produce and not organic or local-- it would have probably cost at least $40.  Okay, actually, I don't really know how much it would cost, but I'm just sort of estimating how much I think each item would cost and adding it up. And I think I'm lowballing the estimate in most cases.  Plus, if I'd gone out and bought all that stuff on my own, it would have taken time and energy that I don't have.

This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

Besides William.

And Rob.

And my NSF grant.

We ate salads last night (made from this produce) with our dinner (leftover quinoa and beans).  Will wasn't too excited about any of it, but he did take a a few bites out of one of the apples:


I am in vegan heaven. Believe it or not, I have never actually worked with turnips before, so I am trying to figure out what to do with them for dinner tonight.

And I am actively trying to forget what it is like to repeatedly throw up kale. In defense of this kale, it is a lot more delicate than the kale that I have previously thrown up. I figure, worse case scenario, I can drizzle it with olive oil and bake it in the oven to make kale chips. I think I could keep those down.

Feeling a tiny bit more at home in St. Louis.

Dear William (27 months)

Dear William

Today you are 27 months old!

You've had quite a month of ups and downs.

We went camping.


Hug. Mom.

You dressed like your dad sometimes.

Union suits

We had Halloween.  You were a chef.

Chef William

Candy bag

You rode your scooter and climbed over things.


Just. A. Few. More. Inches.

You had a visit from your friend A.  We think this will be the cover of your album when you start a boy-band.

Boy Band.jpg


Looking forward to another month of fun with you!


Your mama

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Teal Nightmare

A week ago I ran the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon.  It was my 11th marathon overall-- my 3rd since Will was born and my first since he stopped nursing.  I trained pretty well for it, considering that I'm also working full time, caring for a small child, writing a novel, creating a new framework of Alouatta ontogeny, folding laundry, scrubbing toilets, and cooking everybody's dinner in all my spare time.

Weather on race was perfect, and other than being chronically sleep deprived, everything was great.  I dressed all in teal, as you can see below.  I don't know why.  I didn't really plan it.  I centered my wardrobe around those shorts, just because they are really comfortable.  It turned out that the race number was teal too, which I didn't even find out until the day before when I picked up my packet.  Before the race I even wore a teal fleece, which was also unplanned.  It is just the oldest fleece I own and the one I would be the least sad to lose if I ended up just throwing it down on the side of the road.  I felt like a veritable teal nightmare.

Rob's parents visited us that weekend, and they stayed at home with Will.  Rob and I took the metro downtown before dawn, which was nice and also kind of fun.  The train was packed with runners, and I made friends with a nice lady who was running the half.  We arrived downtown by about 6:30 and then stood out there in the semi-cold for an hour waiting for the start.

Melissa pre-race


Early miles


Enjoying the run


I ran pretty slow in the first miles, kind of just because I had to.  They did a "wave start" (I was in the 6th corral), which probably helped a lot with the conjestion, but it was still fairly congested.  After the first couple miles went by way too slowly, I got a little panicky and started frantically trying to pick up the pace.  The thing is, it actually felt pretty difficult to run any faster, which should have been a bad sign.  You don't want to feel tired at mile 4 of a marathon.  I ignored it and ran faster.  This is a terrible strategy, I know, but it actually worked for me really well at the Indianapolis Marathon in 2008.  I thought I would be okay.  I ran a couple of 8:15's and then kept it steady at 8:35 for a while.  I thought I could pull off a 3:45 finish.

There were hills.  I didn't worry about them.  I just ran.  About mile 8 I thought, something doesn't feel right.  I'd brought my phone with me and had an "Emergency Playlist" of Amy Ray songs to get me through if something terrible happened.  I never ever ever listen to music when I'm running a marathon, but at mile 8, I turned it on.  I thought, I'll just listen to this for a mile or two and then I'll feel better.

Around mile 9, I saw Rob again.  I smiled and gave him a thumbs up, all the while thinking, why am I giving him a thumbs up?  I feel terrible.  I kept running.  I ate some Clif Shot blocks and took some Endurolytes.  I drank water at every aid station.  The energy replacement drink was "Cytomax," which tasted like Lemon Pledge.  Seriously.  As a public service announcement to race directors: Just do Gatorade.  Always.  I guess it is probably more complicated, involving things like sponsorship and money and whatnot, but Cytomax and Melissa did not mix.  I know, I know.  I should have realized Cytomax was the energy drink at this marathon and gone out and found somewhere to buy it so that I could get used to running with it.  But seriously, I just could not deal with that.  Too many loads of laundry to fold, too many crock pots of chili to make.  I can buy Gatorade at Schucks, so that is what I train with.  During the marathon, I got horrible stomach cramps, so I stopped taking any Cytomax.  I thought, I've got my Clif Shot blocks and Endurolytes... I'll be okay."

There were more hills.  There was a big hill at mile 14.  I'd been running 8:35's but I dropped to over 9:00.  The 3:50 pace group passed me.  I remained convinced that their pace leader was running way too fast and they were ahead of schedule.  I picked up my pace again but felt completely dead and I still couldn't catch them.  I then convinced myself that it was actually the 3:40 pace group that had passed me.  (It wasn't).

I felt more and more terrible.  I took an orange slice from somebody in the crowd.  It tasted good, but I felt no better.  I didn't understand why I just had no energy... I'd eaten a whole pack of Shot Blocks by this point (200 calories)-- which is more than I've eaten during some entire marathons.  I wasn't drinking electrolytes, but I had taken a couple of Endurolytes, which I thought would be equivalent.

At mile 16, I saw Rob again.  I'd been listening to Beauty Queen Sister for a while on repeat by this point, completely ignoring all the cover bands out there on the course who were playing things like Sweet Home Alabama. I must have looked bad.  Rob stayed with me for the next 10 miles, riding off to the side on his Bike Friday.

He said he had a banana and did I want it.  I said yes.  I couldn't even say thank you when he handed it to me.  I took a bite and knew it was a mistake.  It felt kind of like when I threw up kale, except with banana instead.  I'd had enough calories, I didn't think I needed to eat, so why did I feel this way?

There were more hills, and a hairpin turn around a cone in Carondelet Park.  I couldn't handle anything but water at the aid stations, and most of the time I ended up coughing up the water because for some reason my throat wasn't working right.  Around mile 18, they were handing out salt packets and I took one.  I've never done that at a marathon before.  I thought, surely, this will help.

At mile 19, I thought I would call my mom.  I tried to get the voice activation thing working on my phone but for some reason it didn't, and I was too exhausted to mess with it.  I just kept listening to Amy Ray, and I kept looking at Rob on his bike.  I thought, I didn't put Dairy Queen on this playlist.  How could I have forgotten?  It was the song I gave birth to.

There were more hills.

Rob said, "You can finish it in 3:55."  But that was only if I could hold my current pace.

At some point after mile 20, there were a couple guys on the road who cheered for me, and said, "You're doing great, young lady!"

I actually laughed, and I said to Rob, "They think I'm young." **

There was more of a crowd as I got closer to the finish.  During the last couple of miles, I remember a short haired lady along the sideline who looked right at me and cheered and gave me too thumbs up.  I started crying and whispered, "Thank you."

Finally I could see the finish.  I was running exactly 10:00 minute pace, which would put me there at exactly 3:56. I thought, if I can just pick it up a little, even just a tiny bit... I can cross the finish line while it is still in the 3:55's.  Even if it is 3:55:59.  I gave it everything I had.  I gave it to glory.  I crossed the finish line at... exactly 3:56:00.  I have no idea what my "official" chip time is.  I've never bothered to look it up.  I don't really care, I guess.

It was an ugly, ugly, marathon for me.  Not my ugliest by far, but definitely in the top 3 of Melissa's Ugly Marathons.  Afterwards, I was so nauseated I felt like I was having a bout of hyperemesis.  We took the metro home and it was all I could do not to puke.  I was pretty sure that I was Mostly Dead.

We got back home (we have to walk up a big hill to get from the metro station to our house).  I think Will may have been napping, or maybe I got to talk to him for a little while, I honestly can't remember.  I was Mostly Dead.  I had made a crock pot of chili the night before, so that everybody would have something to eat for lunch, but I couldn't really eat it.  I tried to tell myself, I was really sick after Indianapolis last year, but I started feeling better after I actually ate food.  I managed a few bites, but felt even worse.  I got myself upstairs and slept (emesis bowl in hand) for maybe 20 minutes or 2 hours, I can't remember which.  Eventually I realized I was going to live, and I was able to eat again and started feeling better.

I really have no complaints about the Rock and Roll Marathon or the race course or organization, per se.  A marathon is a marathon.  It is going to be hard, it is going to be ugly.  There is really no way around that.  The course was definitely hilly, but how do you have a flat marathon in St. Louis?  You don't.  I thought I would be okay with it, considering that I live here and this is where I do all of my training runs.  Rob pointed out that I run a lot in Forest Park, which is essentially flat.  This could be my problem.  I consider Forest Park to be fairly hilly... at least, with a few gently rolling hills.  I thought, training there would be better than nothing.  I'm not sure it was.  I don't know.  There is a giant hill right by my house, that I have to run up everytime I run.  I thought that counted for something.  I guess not.  I've never survived a hilly marathon very well.

I had to work until 8pm the next day, and that kind of sucked, but not as bad as I'd feared.

I am about 99% certain that I am going to run the Go! St. Louis marathon in April.  The website describes the course as challenging and hilly, so I am probably out of my mind.  But here is my rationale:  I'm not going to do well in a spring marathon, period.  It is just too hard to train in the winter when you've got 2 months of ice on the ground and it gets dark at 4:30pm.  So I'm going to suck it up, use it as a training run to keep myself in shape, and finally (hopefully) get my redemption with my 13th marathon next fall, a year from now.  Maybe then I will have finished my novel and the howler chapter, and we can hire someone to deal with our laundry and crock pots of chili so that I can get more rest.  Maybe it will be easier to travel somewhere and run something flat and fast again.  We'll see.

Thanks for reading.


** This references an Arrested Development quote, but I can't find a good website with the line.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear William (26 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 26 months old!  You are such a delightful little person.

The biggest thing that happened this month was that you transitioned from your crib to your toddler bed!  It was very exciting.  The first several nights were very rough, actually.  But it seems like you've got the hang of it  now!!  You are so cute in your toddler bed.  I love it because I can crawl in beside you to read stories or kiss you.

You slept in the big bed with mama and daddy a lot during this transition period, and even though none of us really got much sleep throughout that, it was okay because you did incredibly cute and wonderful things such as roll over in your sleep, grasp my hand, smile, and whisper, "Mama."

Slumber party



On the second or third night that you were in your toddler bed in your room, you got up and somehow managed to set your clock/sound machine so that the alarm went off in the middle of the night. That gave us all a little startle.

You have invented some new words this month, such as "NO-KAY."  You say this when you are mad about something or fighting against something that you do not want to do, such as being placed in your high chair.

You still eat next to nothing, but we've had some encouraging reports that you've tried a few foods at daycare.  The most impressive of these was spaghetti with marinara sauce.  Your teachers insisted that you ate some of it, even though at home you will not touch pasta or anything red.


You "direct traffic" a lot.  If you want a person to be at a specific place in the room, you physically move them there.  If you want me to go into the kitchen and get you some milk or crackers, you put your hands on my legs and push me along until I get to where you need me to be.  You are surprisingly strong.  Once I was sitting on the floor trying to play with you, except that you wanted me to move to a different location, so you put your hands under my armpits and tried to pick me up.  You're hilarious.

You love hugs and kisses.  You are constantly hugging me.  I love it.  You have always given good hugs, but you are getting even better at hugging.  Maybe you are growing and your arms are getting longer or something, I don't know.  But you can wrap your arms around me in just the best way.  I hope you always love hugging.

We recently discovered that everything at the zoo is free during the first hour that it is open, so on the weekends we have taken you there a lot and you've ridden the carousel and driven around in cars with girls.



Cruising for chicks at the zoo


Looking forward to what the next month will bring!

Love you always,


Love Mom

The long way home

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Slumber parties

So we got the windows replaced in William's room, which is kind of a long story, but let it suffice to say that during the replacement process, we had to move everything out.  This meant that his crib had to be taken apart because it will not fit through the door of Will's room while it is assembled.  One of us (was it Rob?) had the bright idea that Will would just sleep on his mattress on the floor of our room during this process.  We sort of just wanted to see what would happen, I guess.  Will is often very fussy when we put him to bed, but being in the crib really limits what he can do about that, and generally in a few minutes he falls asleep.  If he was going to sleep on just his mattress, I envisioned that there would be a lot of crying and wandering about the room and eventually he would just join us in our bed, and actually, that is pretty much what has been happening.

When we first got his mattress set up and he noticed it in our room, he was so excited.  He ran to the mattress and lay down on it and smiled and said, "Sleep."  So far so good.  The he stood up and jumped and giggled.  Then he used the mattress as a spring board to climb onto our bed.  The he lept off the mattress and ran around the room in circles.

We tried to get him excited about the whole idea of sleeping in his very own bed in mommy and daddy's room, and he eventually warmed to the idea again.  We read stories and turned off the lights.  We rubbed his back and whispered to him.  He smiled at us, snuggled up with his blankie and said, "Happy."

Good, good.

Well, he fell out of the bed at least 4 times the first night.  Granted, it wasn't far (only like 6 inches off the ground), so he wasn't hurt.  More stunned I guess.  Each time he found himself on the floor instead of the mattress, he looked around like, "How did I get here?" and climbed back onto his bed.

And he did wander a bit during the night.  Every once and a while I would wake up and hear the padding of little feet and then barely see his little shadowed form at our door or elsewhere in the room.  It was kind of creepy but okay.

But then at some point during the night, he got tired of the fun new game of sleeping on his mattress and he started bawling and ran around to my side of the bed and crawled in beside me.  Still, I was proud of him for doing reasonably well on his first night out of the crib.

Last night we tried it again.  He wasn't as surprised, since we'd been through this drill the previous night.  He jumped and jumped and ran and ran and got all hot and sweaty again after his bath.  It was more of a struggle to get him to stay in his bed.  Rob tried to coax him to lie down by lying down himself, and although Will stayed awake, Rob fell asleep.  I had meanwhile gone downstairs because I had some real actual work do to.  As I was sitting there compiling my lecture on Callitrichine reproductive ecology, all of a sudden Will was standing in front of me, saying, "MULK."  He had gotten up, let himself out of the room, and walked downstairs all on his own, all while Rob was sleeping.

I got him his mulk and he was very happy.  I made him brush his teeth again and he was even happy about that too.  Then I brought him back to our room and he willingly crawled into his bed.  He lay down, smiling at me, as I rubbed his back and his head.  Then he reached up, touched my face and said, "Happy."  I kissed him and told him how sweet he was, and we kept giggling and whispering "Happy" to each other until finally he pointed to my bed and said, "MAMA, BED."  So I guess he thought I should go to sleep.  By that time it was almost 9:30, and although that Callitrichine reproductive ecology lecture wasn't going to write itself, I decided to call it a night.

I crawled into bed and tried to go to sleep, but William kept getting up and running around the room.  Probably about 2am, he just got into bed with us, which was fine, except he insisted on lying the wrong way-- so that his feet were in my ribs.

He was exhausted from all this running around, and he slept in until 8:30 this morning (and even then we had to wake him up).

The weird thing is that when Rob got up this morning, he found pee-pee in William's potty.  The most parsimonious explanation is that Will peed either before or after his bath, and we just did not notice it.  I actually find that kind of hard to believe though.  Will makes quite a big deal of it when he pees-- demanding to be given his sticker and insisting that he does the flush himself.  What I kind of think may have happened is that at some point during his nocturnal wanderings, he went into the bathroom, took his diaper off, and peed.  This would mean that he put his diaper back on by himself (which is the most implausible part of this whole scenario) because he was wearing a diaper when he woke up, and although it was full there were no leaks.

I don't know.  It's a mystery.

I'm not sure what tonight will bring.  The windows are replaced, but we just kind of want to go with this thing-- hoping that if we stick it out a few more nights, he will become accustomed to sleeping not in his crib and we can just move him to his toddler bed when we reassemble his room.

We'll see.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear William (25 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 25 months old!!  Are you too old for me to write you monthly letters anymore?  I don't know.  When I started writing them, I didn't really have an endpoint in mind.  But I realized recently, things don't change as quickly as they did during those early months, back when I tried to capture every detail.  These days, from month to month, a lot of things stay the same!

Well, we'll see how long I can keep this going.  It is kind of nice to take a minute to reflect on what has been going on in our lives over the past month, and I'm afraid if I stopped writing the letters, I might not do that as much.

First off, since I last wrote to you, you had your 2nd birthday party.  It was a very nice party, including balloons, friends, snacks, and an Elmo cake that your Grandma Nan helped me make!

Happy Birthday!

Elmo cake

Balloon fun







Old truck


New truck


Princely snack


You have spent the rest of the month playing with all your new toys.  The big thing that your dad and I got you was an easel.  You seem to love doing art so much.  The easel also comes in handy for you to practice your letters, too.  You love reading letters.  I will write things on the easel and then you spell them out for me.  I kind of think you can read.



Oh also, I made you that Elmo shirt you are wearing in the picture.  Aren't I talented?!  You like to wear that shirt because then all day long you can point to your tummy and say "Mos" (which is your word for Elmo).

You are still cute when you are taking a bath.

Bath time



You are still cute when you wake up in the mornings!

with Daddy


You are cute all the time!

Much love,

Your Mom xoxo