10 Months - Let's Review!

Month 1 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What have we done?"

Month 2 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What are we doing?"

Month 3 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What is he doing?"

Month 4 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What do we do now?"

Month 5 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What's next?"

Month 6 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"Where is he trying to go?"

Month 7- Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"Where is he going?"

Month 8 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"Where did he go?"

Month 9 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What is he in to now?"

Month 10 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What was that?"

Month 11 - Overheard from mommy and daddy,
"What have you done?"

Hi, I am Sam's Mommy and I'm Neurotic!

If you were a fly on the wall of my marriage for about thirty minutes (provided its either a Thursday or a Sunday when Andy and I are home together), you will learn three important things about my husband. The first is that he really doesn't care to hear the itemized run down of how much money I saved at the grocery store, he thinks Itunes is, hands down, the best invention of all time and he really really really doesn't want to hear about my hatred of bugs anymore.

I feel sorry for him some days as he really didn't know this about me before we got married. They surely don't cover this stuff in premarital counseling. His first two experiences with me and bugs were in our apartment (you know...above Dick and Dick). Because of the "state" of their place, we got a few escaped visitors. Now, I don't know what size roaches are where you live, but here they practically pass as small dogs. I mean, you might put a dish of water down for your dog one day and suddenly realize that A.) you don't own a dog and B.) if you did, it certainly wouldn't have antennae...that's all I'm saying. So when the first visitor arrived (I make it sound like a heavenly visit of the Magi), I was up late watching t.v. and my over-worked, over-exhausted husband was trying to get a few hours of sleep before his alarm clock woke him up at 4AM. I was happily minding my own business when I locked eyes with the visitor behind the t.v. and went into full panic mode. I chased it through the house to my bathroom, where we stared at each other in fear and defiance...I was breathing so heavy, I could have been hired on the spot for the Blair Witch Project part 2 and I, as I had intended, managed to wake my husband. He was not happy. He thought I was being ridiculous. Don't tell him that I secretly know he was right.

The second incident involved a gigantic spider blocking the door into my apartment and the feeling that I might have to live on the front porch til Andy came home. Now, I completely buy into the theory that whether the chemical you spray on the bug poisons it or drowns it makes no difference...it will still die. That's the whole point. The only thing I had to spray was a very fancy, very expensive car tire shiner that my husband religiously sprayed on his truck tires twice a month. Who cares, this was a life or death situation...okay, maybe it wasn't life or death, but I'm pretty sure missing 24 was not on the agenda. End of the story goes like this...I got in the house, caught the full show and when Andy came home he asked me why the front door had a nice high gloss shine.

So fast-forward to our house we live in now. We do have an Orkin man, but our house is fifty years old...we were not here first. Every fall, when the weather dries out and cools down...we get some "visitors" of the roach persuasion (My scalp is itching as I type this). I know they are just trying to survive, but I take it very personally. I feel violated, I feel on edge, I don't take my shoes off and I try to sleep sitting straight up with my eyes open. I find myself sitting on the couch trying to have conversations with Andy as my eyes dart from baseboards to ceiling corners...I can't even concentrate. Now, we've maybe seen a total of 8 of them in the two years I have lived here... but this is, utterly beside the point. I don't like them, they are not invited, go away!

We moved in here during the fall and I could barely muster up the courage to unpack boxes after finding a dead one, petrified in my spice cabinet (please refer back to the blog title). So tonight, and the reason for the random blog, I killed two visitors, back to back, different species (I've even researched their types and habits...I'm getting the feeling you still don't believe how nuts this makes me) one in the kitchen floor and one in the hall next to Sam's room. As I'm bludgeoning the one next to Sam's room, I caught myself saying, "You will not get my baby you stupid bug." You are probably no longer wondering why this topic is a particularly irritating one for Andy.
As I write this, my sweet, ever-patient husband is sitting in the den hoping I've gone to bed so he doesn't have to hear about how strange I think it is to kill two in different rooms of different species within five minutes of each other. In fact, I bet if I walked in there right now, he'd ask me to tell that really interesting story about how I saved $4 on my contact solution at the grocery store this weekend.

The Starter Kid

This past Friday, Binky had his nine month check-up (yes at ten months). He is in the 80% for height, 90% for weight and thankfully his head is now on the chart at 90% (I really wanted to high five God when they told me this). I got a good dose of exactly how laid back my pediatrician really is at this visit . She told me that since I'd already given Sam eggs and he was fine, don't worry about allergies. I could forward face the carseat at anytime I saw fit (rather than rear-facing until he heads to college as is suggested these days). Peanut butter wasn't a big deal because babies don't like it. Ideally wait til somewhere around two but don't stress if he gets something with peanuts in it ahead of time. Rubbing alcohol works on cleaning his new Harley Davidson tattoo and the cigar and red wine before bed was generally a great idea for babies.

I'm beginning to wonder if she's even listening to me.

I can't believe how far he's come in 10 months. It, naturally, makes me reminisce about times past. Not about labor, first cries and that four hour drive home from the hospital that is only 8 miles from my house...but about how far we are from when Andy and I first got married. I thought about back to when we had our starter kid. Those were fun times.

Wait, do you not know about our starter kid? Grab some coffee (or some red wine and a cigar).

Picture it...it was late spring of 2005. Andy and I had been married about 8 or 9 months and were living in a 2nd floor apartment conveniently located across the street from a Starbucks (what isn't conveniently located across the street from a Starbucks these days). That Spring we met our downstairs neighbors. It was a father and son, a widower and a bachelor, living below us in an identical apartment that I called the "man cave". The two Dicks...thats what we called them...or Dick and Co...sometimes even Dick squared. We got "Dick" from the fact that it was both of their names and any other words added, were purely for our own amusement. I liked to call them Dick and Dick personally. Unlike our apartment, Dick and Dick had their man cave decorated in boxes of unpacked items (they'd lived there for 9 years), empty fast food containers and ten years worth of phone books stacked right inside their door. It was quite the pad...Mary Poppins would have run screaming.

They were really nice men. Dick Sr. was in his 80's. A war veteran who had become confused of late and was seemingly in the first stages of dementia with doctors leaning toward Alzheimers. His son worked a lot and so as you can imagine...it got tough to watch out for Dick Sr. Andy and I (like always) were on fairly opposite schedules. Andy was home during the day and I was home at night. One day, Andy came out of our apartment to find Dick with the door open screaming for help. Andy walked in to see what was wrong and found that he had turned his heat up to maximum and was complaining that he was suffocating. He called the front office and was told that Dick had been doing that all week.

That night we talked to Dick Jr. I told him that I had previously worked with seniors and we were happy to look in on his dad when we could. Generously, he offered to pay us. I felt bad for him. He hated seeing his dad like this. Thus began our month with the starter kid. The days looked different for us. During the day, Dick would take a broom and bang on the ceiling of his apartment (Mr. Heckles style) to get Andy to come down and visit with him. Which is an amusing idea since Dick couldn't hear a word we said anyway. At night, I would get dinner or order a pizza for him and make sure he had taken his dementia medication. I even popped open the beer that he chased it with. I was quite the caregiver. I have learned a thing or two since then. These days Sam can only drink a beer if its been 30 minutes since he's taken his medicine. Thank God for starter kids so you can learn something. I would perch on the end of one of the recliners in the living room, a little afraid to touch anything, and listen to him tell stories about the war. Well, when I say listen, what I mean is I let him talk while I wondered what exactly could produce that particular brand of stink I was inhaling and if the burning in my nose would ever go away.

It was both an amusing and sad relationship we forged. I hated that a month into our arrangement, they had to move. They needed to be closer to Little Dick's job (okay, I said it...you know you wanted me to), and his dad was not far from needing around the clock care. It seems like a lifetime ago that we welcomed our starter kid...sometimes I wonder where Dick and Dick ended up.

Walk Like a Sam!

I finally got it...sort of. It's kind of dark. Turn your volume down, because I'm loud! HAHA! I'm particularly fond of the part where I said, "you just walked, how do you feel?" As if he won the superbowl.

Me Time

Sunday I got out of the house and had some "me time". And as a friend of mine would qualify, by "Me Time" I mean I went to Kohls and ran errands Binky-free. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Binky Time. I am a working mom so, naturally, I treasure my Binky time. I think all moms and dads would agree though that some days, simply grabbing your keys and getting out is nice. It means that I don't have to stand in the middle of Sam's room with the diaper bag in some state of analysis paralysis trying to decide if I dare risk not taking a change of clothes or a bottle of juice with me. I don't have to get out my flip note book and a few markers to schedule the errands in between bottles and naps. I don't have to make 3 trips to the car with the "gear" before I actually put the Binky and myself in it to go.

Andy had been out on Saturday shooting dove all day (to each his own) that I am eternally grateful didn't end up in our freezer. I think its a pain to defrost chicken, so you won't catch me plucking and cleaning anything that my husband shot, this I know. I'm just not that rugged. That meant that on Sunday he was long overdue for some father-son time and I got a few hours of freedom. Of course I jumped at it...almost too overwhelmed by the thought of two to three hours to myself. It was like getting $20 to spend at Target...what did I really want to do? I don't need to even tell you that Starbucks was my first stop, you should just know this about me by now.

So it dawned on me Sunday how my "me time" has changed significantly over the last ten months. I mean, wasn't all my time "me time" before I was a mom? "Me time" back then meant a one hour massage, a pedicure, even a mini shopping spree. I would go catch a movie on a Saturday afternoon or meet a friend for dinner...all spur of the moment of course. I'd decide I was suddenly into one hobby or another and go buy everything needed to do that hobby (i.e. scrapbooking), then be too tired to actually embark on the hobby (i.e. the scrapbooking box of supplies in the back of the closet). All of the grocery shopping, laundry, banking and cleaning was something I dreaded and it took away from that abundance of precious time for myself. Then came the Binky. Two weeks ago, I actually caught myself asking my mom to keep Sam for two hours so I could just put my Ipod on and clean the house. The very thought of it sounded so decadent to me. Huh? When did I get so boring, exactly? When did grocery shopping become a few hours on the town instead of a weekly chore?

So onto the Binky Milestone update: On Sunday, when I returned from "Rachel's three hours of fun" a.k.a. going to the grocery store and Kohls. I came in and unpacked the two for one Jello (do I even eat Jello?), the four boxes of cereal (the coupon only works if you buy four of them) and the two lemons (don't even remember why I bought those now). I came into the living room and sat down with my boys. Andy was laying on the couch watching football and Sam was standing next to him perched on the side of the couch as always. I said, "Come here Binky" and when I did, my sweet Sam turned around and took ten, non supported steps to me from the couch to our chair. I freaked out! I was uncertain before if the stuff he was doing could be called "officially walking", but this one left no doubt in my mind. Our Binky is walking! It's exciting and scary all at the same time!

Way to go, Binky!

Mommy and Daddy are proud of you!

The Pressure to Deliver

So I feel like I am obligated to balance out my rants with a few recent picks of Binky. How else will I justify this blog, after all? The only problem these days has to do with a certain Binky on the go. I have been having trouble getting pics of expressions, milestones and mischief. These days I'm getting pics of ears, elbows and yes, even tonsils. All Sam seems to do lately is run away or rush the camera. Long gone are the days that I lay, position, even restrain him into a photo opportunity. Pics these days are live action shots. Here are a few of my most recent treasures. Please don't duplicate and sell these as much as you would like to.

The Walking Update - We are walking a few steps...when we feel like it. Sam will now let go of something he's pulled up on and shakily walk to me. I find this amazing since, he will stand on his own while drinking a bottle, then squat down (again with nothing to balance) pick up a toy and stand back up. But there is something about walking without holding on that he's still not sure about. He'll get there.

Where are my pictures/videos of this? See First Paragraph. You'll have to catch the live show sometime. I do want to just say this about milestone videos, pictures and the Family Zog. They get EVERYTHING on camera. Can you see the green tint to my skin? How are they doing this? Click on their link under "Sam's Peeps" you will see what I mean. Neatly arranged in a line to the left of the blog, Mama Zog has every milestone that ever happened to Boy Zog. They are awesome videos and they will treasure them. In fact, I wish they would teach a seminar on this. What do I get? A walking video that ends up being a film of the back of Sam's throat as he's eating the lens. A first self feeding video that ends with choking and a quick pan down to the carpet as I run to perform the finger swab. A laughing tantrum, immediately ends the moment the camera red light is on and I get a video of the ceiling as Sam jerks the cord to the camera and I drop it. Then there are the videos that start off cute, go terribly wrong for no apparent reason and close with a Binky screaming bloody murder. The kind of scream that I'm certain would make people think, "Good Lord, what did she do to that precious angel?"

Now lest you feel sorry for me, we did get a cute Peekaboo video tonight...see below.

That's it for now! Catch your act later!
Sam's Mom

and P.S. Check out all of "Sam's Peeps" This is his crew!


Shhh...don't tell mommy!

Hey, it's me, Sam. Mommy is on the couch sleeping through the last of the Beverly Hills 90210 marathon. I snuck out of my crib to say a few things. Let me give you the 411 on me for a second. After all, this blog is about me, shouldn't I guest blog every now and then? First of all, if mommy catches me and sends me back to bed before I finish this, there are six finger puffs hidden under the padding in my high chair. I saved them.

Okay, so let me tell you about myself now. I'm 9 1/2 months and despite what people tell you, I'm NOT a baby. I'm a big boy. I like the Wiggles, Higglytown Heroes, my bedtime bunny, chewing on books, trying to pull up on the toilet (mommy doesn't let me do this), blowing grits on whoever is feeding me and talking to that incredibly good looking baby in the mirror. I am particularly proud of my voice. I use it whenever possible. I screech, I sing, I talk, sometimes I even grunt. These noises are only acceptable if made loudly and repeatedly. They are particularly popular in restaurants. When I play restaurants, they love me. In terms of food, there aren't many things I don't like. Applesauce is pretty much the only thing I refuse to eat. Mommy lets me have some finger foods, but quite franky, when it comes to Baby Mum Mums, Biter Biscuites and anything bigger than a nickel, she is tired of swabbing the back of my throat with her finger. So we stick to fruits, baby food, pasta and sometimes Nana sneaks me some of her jelly biscuit.

I have a lot of toys. They are my toys. I have them in a particular arrangement. Do not change my arrangement. These toys apparently all have different functions. To me they are all just various objects to chew on. When I get bored with these toys, I make a break for the blinds, the remote control and the bottle of body wash in the bathroom, among other things. These things are snatched away. I do not know why, but they must be pretty special. I will continue to go to these objects until I unlock their mystery. Now, that is mostly who I am...let's meet my peeps.

Mom - a.k.a. MAMAMAMAMAMA - This lady is great. Everytime I make a noise, she shows up. She has a big stash of food and formula and replenishes it every week. I can get past the silly faces and the constant picture taking because she is my meal ticket. I particularly like the lengths she goes to try to keep me from flipping over on the changing table mid diaper change...she thinks I'm distracted by the Aveeno lotion bottle. Sometimes, I just let her win.

Dad - a.k.a. HEY DADA - This guy is hilarious. Everything he does is funny. We crawl all over the house when mom is not home. We watch Top Gear and NASCAR and listen to cars screech their wheels. I'm not sure why we do this, I make better noises than that, but daddy likes it. Daddy also has this thing called a PlayStation. Daddy plays soldier and goes on "missions", but I think its fun to yank the cords and make the entire thing fall over. Daddy doesn't share my sense of fun on this activity.

Kitty and Nana - These are MY grandmothers. You do not need to speak to them, make goo goo eyes or give them sugar. They are mine. I have them well trained and I do not want you derailing my teachings. Nana calls me her "Big Boy" and to Kitty, I'm her "Precious". These names are not directed at you. Hands off the Grandmas.

Granddaddy and Papa - These two crazy guys keep promising me stuff. They want to teach me to hunt, take me to Chucky Cheese, teach me to play golf. All of these activities are fine, just make sure you bring the bottles and Roo. I do not like to be hungry or bored. At first, Grandaddy wanted to go by Mr. and Papa and I have a little disagreement going about the "purpose" of his laptop. Still, these are my grandpas and I am going to learn a lot from them.

Auntie Anna and Auntie Jen - These are my aunts. I think they are gorgeous and they are around solely to spoil me. Do not interfere with the Aunties.

Uncle Chris and Uncle Eric - Uncle Eric is teaching me to talk with my hands. When I get good enough, I'm gonna ask him to teach me how to build stuff with wood. My Uncle Chris is the coolest. I want to learn how to play soccer and he is going to teach me to be a soccer star like he is.

Cece - This is my cousin and the only acceptable babysitter. I don't need anyone else coming over, messing with my toys and getting in my business. Cece is my babysitter, go find someone else to sit for.

And that is the crew. You might think it's wonderful to have a staff of well trained people working around the clock to make me happy. It's harder than it looks. Somedays they have it down and somedays I wonder if I will EVER understand them. Ick...mommy is up. Gotta go!