Saturday, November 19, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Today I am giddy with joy. I am pretty polite about expressing myself, so if you ever find yourself wondering if I am cold hearted or uncaring, just know that it's in there somewhere.

Beowulf has been missing for about a month now.. at least he was. Two night ago he made his first appearance. He ran up to the door, and then away, but I had such a good look at him. He circled around throughout the night several more times, each time running away. He was scared of me, and people in general. A friend of mine suggested that he had gone feral, and that I would have to trap him, but I didn't have the heart. Your father left food out, and I took it as a blessing just to have seen him. He was alive, he was well, and that was good enough for me.

Last night, he returned again, only this time, Draco corralled him! I saw Draco chasing him our way, and then Beowulf was in our midst... so close and yet too scared to come near. That's when your father handed me pieces of sandwich meat to lure him towards me, and it worked! I began tossing the meat to him, and gradually tossing it closer and closer to myself, until he was eating out of my hand. Then, I picked him up and brought him inside. I think even he was happy to be back, for he remembered everything. As I was laying with you and your father in bed, I heard a little meow, and Beowulf appeared and demanded we pet him. Then, he snuggled with us all for the evening. He remembers everything, including where the food and litter box are, and has been especially affectionate now that he's home. He keeps laying beside you as well, and you can't keep your hands off of him! You keep grabbing his fur, you're so excited to pet the cats and it's so cute. I try to help you learn how to pet them gently, but at times you get carried away and just grab as much fur as your little fist can hold.

Our plan is to at least get a good collar for Beowulf, so that if he does run off, at least people will know he has a home. However, with Thanksgiving looming so close, this is one extra thing I have to be thankful to the Gods for. Just think, at Thanksgiving you will be enjoying tasty food right along side us! Of course we will give some turkey to the cats, and while you may not get to have turkey, you still get to eat with us. As of your birthday you have officially graduated to two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. You can hold your sippy cup with a bit more of a grip now. I should also mention here that you are very independent. There are times when  you just refuse to nurse, but you are hungry and will take it from the bottle. You still like to be held, but you enjoy being able to look around freely while you eat in my arms. I don't mind at all really, though pumping can be an annoyance. I still breastfeed you at night and when trying to get you to nap. So I would say that your eating habits have been your biggest milestone lately, other than just being able to sit up better. You still cannot crawl, and just kick your feet when you are anxious to get somewhere. You do roll all over the floor, if that counts for mobility. Eating is a perfect theme though, given that Thanksgiving day is just around the corner!

Below: What a pair! Ya Harley, hanging on the couch at his house. I like how you are both holding remotes. (November 2011)

Cesar's Stats

It's time for a six month update! As before, some of these things I’ve taken motherly/creative liberties with, which I’ll mark with *.  

(October 2011)

Age: 6 months
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Brown
Weight: 21 lbs.
Height: NA(Blame your father, who forgot the measurements)
Sign: Taurus
Chinese Zodiac: Rabbit

Favorite Color: Orange*
Favorite Animal: Monkey* (as decided by your Grandpa Harley)
Favorite Toy:  George the Monkey for sleepy time, Graco Car Walker
Favorite Food: Avocados, Banana
Favorite Activity: Rolling around, putting everything in your mouth! When mommy and daddy hold you upside down, or take your arms and swing you in the air.. you really are a monkey!
Least Favorite Activity:  Naptime
Likes: Playing "Mexican Airplaine!" with daddy, Trying to pet the cats, Getting attention from ANYONE
Dislikes: Being inside for too long, laying down for too long

You are a fantastic eater! We gradually introduced food from varying sessions, to every mid morning, and now have started you on two meals a day. You like to hold your own sippy cup, and you sometimes just demand a bottle over the boob. You are very independent, but there's a mama's boy that lingers in there. Most people say you are ahead for your age. I'm not sure about that, but you are extremely alert all of the time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baby Fat

 Above: A couple of guys just hanging out. It's you and Grandpa Harley! I think this is such a cute shot. (November 2011)

"'Tis not the season for dieting," is my motto for these holidays. I've been struggling with body image a lot lately, well my entire life to be perfectly honest. I have loads of extra baby weight, but at this time I've decided I'm not going to worry about it. Not when I have limited time. Instead I plan to give myself a makeover, inside and out. I want to take care of myself a little more intensely (without sacrificing time for you, naturally) and work on my personality. Sometimes I miss the way I was, and I'm not referring to my "before baby" time. In fact, I am inspired by you. When I look at your smile, or when you laugh, it makes me so happy. You are always receiving compliments for what a happy little boy you are. I am so proud when people compliment you, but what really amazes me is your lack of concern. You don't care if people think you are too fat, or too thin, or too active, or too lazy. Your milestones are the least of your concerns. You have no desire to meet anyone's demands and if it should just so happen that you learn to sit at the "right time" its in no way because you are striving to please anyone. I love that. I admire that.

I don't particularly miss my younger years. Not because I had a terrible childhood or because I was robbed of playtime, but because I can't go back to that and I don't know if I would want to. I'm used to the person I've become. I've lived many good memories but also many embarrassing, irrational, hormonal times that were very awkward or difficult. I think it's silly when adults say they wish they could go back to those times... do they really feel that way? I feel happy to be the person I am, and sometimes I look back on who I was an shake my head, but I feel like I've achieved something now. Still, what I do miss was my blind confidence. That time before appearance meant so much. I just thought I was pretty, and I lived that way. I dressed how I wanted to, and I acted like I was as pretty as a movie star. I don't know what changed. I can name a few possibilities but overall I think it was just many things over time that dwindled that confidence. I started realizing how important the numbers on a scale were, and that I was way over the max. When I was younger, I didn't really care about those numbers. I just dismissed them because when I looked in the mirror I was so pleased with myself I thought that losing the weight would be easy, and in a way, it was. I'd like to get a little bit of that back.

And what's more important, is I hope you never lose that about you. I am certain you will to some degree, that's just the nature of things. But I hope you don't obsess over it, or torture yourself. I hope you can eat a cookie of mine here and there and find them delicious, something to indulge on a nice winter's night with a hot cup of cocoa. Tonight, I'm baking sugar cookies. It was my first time, but I made stars. I topped them with icing I made, a bright orange color, and red crazed designs. They don't look very professional, but for a first time, I think they made for fantastic practice. I'm so proud of all the cookies I've made lately. I have plenty of dough frozen as well, which means less work later. In the meantime, you are still eating avocado and banana as well as hummus. Food right now isn't a big priority for you, and you're still having a bit of trouble sitting up. You do quite well for a time and then you lean and topple over. Also, you've been extremely cranky lately. I think you might have begun teething again, though there's nothing that I can see just yet or feel.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A visit to VincentWorld

Women, Cesar. Heck, women, men.. it doesn't matter really. Gifts for whomever you chose to buy them for are a symbol of the care and thought you put into another person. There are a variety of "types" of gifts. They range from gifts that are meant to be a joke, otherwise known as 'gag' gifts, to trinkets that are souvenirs, to gifts that are specifically chosen as representations of deep love. They can be as extravagant or as simple as you wish, and expense really has nothing to do with it. A gift, whether it costs a pretty penny or is handmade, is only worth as much as the receiver will value it.

So now I'm going to tell you a funny story. When I was younger I learned a lot about my mother mainly in that there were very few things she actually desired. She was more of a gift giver than a receiver so one Mother's Day I paid very close attention to what she might like. The holiday came closer and as usual, my father was last minute about it. He's a wonderful man, your Grandpa Harley, brilliant really. But also very last minute about gifts. We jumped from store to store in search of a movie I told him mom would want. Love Potion #9. A romantic movie, but one she wanted. If I had been older I would have realized that store hopping probably wasn't as fun or as practical for my father as it was for my brother and I as children. Eventually, my father settled on a new idea... Highlander. I told him it was wrong. I told him there was no way. He rationalized it. He told us that he remembered she had seen it once and liked it, and that was that.

As I child, I was all too proud to vocalize my victory. To announce that the look on my mother's face translated her disappointment was overkill, but I didn't know any better. I just knew that I was right. It probably hurt my dad's feelings a lot. Then again, since my mom's feelings were hurt as well, so it probably evened out quite nicely. Of course, I won't bother to tell you about the time my dad got my mom coffee pots on three consecutive holidays.. though I like to bring it up whenever I can. He's definitely gotten better these past few years, but it still makes for some hilarious stories.

So please, take note, but laugh when I tell you that your father is ridiculous. Sometimes I like to say that he lives in VincentWorld. In VincentWorld, things are much different. I don't talk nearly as much and my opinions are vastly different. This is why I had little expectations when your father left to Mexico, and promised to bring us back his usual trinkets. I asked for a bottle of liquor, but he insisted he was going to get one anyway, and that he would bring me back something else... so expectations rose a tiny bit. Then, he told me during a phone call he had gotten me something that I was really going to like... and my expectations rose a bit higher. First thing I pictured was a little skull from the recent Day of the Dead celebration... something like that. I could add it to my Halloween collection for next year. Your father has this silly little rule going on that he "doesn't buy girls jewelry," so that was out of the question. Okay, I get his rule. I don't like it (somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice squeaks, "but I'm not a girl.. I'm... I'm special, aren't I?").  But just because you have that rule doesn't mean you get to slack off and buy whatever! So are you ready for the funny part? Your father presents me with a little toy guitar. I felt so bad, because my thought process told me that you are the kid, you're the baby, so when he said he had something for you also, I immediately thought he was trying to trick me, that he was going to pull out something beautiful and pretend like he had switched the gifts around. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Above: Your present and mine. You got a little sombrero, and that's my guitar which I donated to you. Honestly, I wonder if he just bought you the hat and guitar and forgot about me altogether. I'm joking of course. (November 2011)

I'm sure I looked a little confused when I said, "Um, what am I supposed to do with this?" Of course, naturally I was scolded for being unappreciative, but in my defense I couldn't help it! I gave you the guitar instead, and at least you got some great use out of it. I'm really glad you like it, because I would have felt just awful if no one were around to appreciate it. And please, honey, it's not that I didn't appreciate what your father was trying to do. I just sometimes wonder if he knows me as well as I think he does. On a funny note, I was so upset that I had to count all of the other reasons your father is so wonderful, and as I did I found that I was less and less hurt and more amused by the audacity of it. Your father is terrible at gift selection, but it just means that I have to be specific (insist on that bottle of liquor!). There's no use in letting one flaw cancel out ten great qualities that your father has about him. I'm certain that in VincentWorld I really liked the gift and it was all I'd ever wanted and RealWorld Amanda probably hurt your dad's feelings by the recoil reflex that was beyond my control.

So that's my funny story for you about your father and I for now. At least he returned in one piece, and that is something I am extraordinarily grateful for.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Placing the blame...

Your father left for Mexico today. I hope he is alright. He called me last just after crossing the border, but we weren't certain he would have service in Monterrey. I'm going to assume that he does not, but come Sunday I will be anxious to hear back from him. I get a little worried because of all the violence in Mexico. It's mainly attributed to all of the drug related activities, and tourists aren't really targeted because of this, but accidents happen. Vincent is so confident and sure. I tell him to be safe and that nothing had better happen to him.

That leaves  you here with me, and incidentally, you refuse to go to sleep. I had this idiotic vision that I would get you to bed around your normal time, then I would have a few hours to watch a movie and enjoy myself. Well, aren't you the cruel one! You decided that you just won't fall asleep! So, I've decided to blame your father tonight. After all, if he were here he could put you to sleep with his magic. It's that passive calm he has about him that works so well with you. But no, he decided to go enjoy his vacation time, to make the most of it! Meanwhile, I am here trying to entertain you.

Of course, I hope you realize that was completely sarcastic. It's a game your father and I play. We try to decide whose fault it is whenever something goes out of whack. Sometimes we blame each other, sometimes we blame you (typically when we've decided to have a momentary peace treaty), and other times, we all gang up together and just blame the president (Obama). Life, after all, is all about where to place the blame. It's a cool lesson you will learn soon enough. Everyone wants to blame something or someone when things don't go according to plan, and it may be you sometimes even when the fault does not lie with anyone at all. We try not to take it too seriously, which is why we took up this charade. Blame is sometimes so overrated, especially since most of the time it doesn't alleviate the situation, it just gives us a target for anger. So... that's my lesson for today. In the meantime, you are crying again, so I am off to see if I can't get you to sleep again.

Above: You and your father, wearing matching WWE shirts hailing the wrestler known as The Rock. What a cute pair! (October 2011)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Monkeys love bananas!

Above: In your crib! With pirate PJ's! It all matches. As you can tell, your crib is open on the front. That is because it is set against our bed so that we can all sleep together. (October 2011)

 Your father has been on vacation since Saturday. I hope we aren't too boring for him, though I really haven't been doing what I normally do either. Usually, when he goes to work, I go about my day, which includes cleaning, entertaining and teaching you, and trying to find a bit of time to enjoy myself. I suppose since he has come on vacation, I have sort of jumped onto that bandwagon with you. I figure it's the best I can do, seeing as a stay-at-home-mother I really don't get vacation in the same sense at this time. So I've been very lazy about my duties and about reading to you. We've been watching TV, pigging out on the spoils of candy from Halloween, and just in general having a lazy time of it.

Still, that doesn't mean I'm a complete slob. I've done laundry, and after Monday I reluctantly removed the Halloween decorations and began the packing process. I really don't have anything for Thanksgiving, but I don't mind that so much since Yule is fast approaching right behind it.

Your father may or may not go to Mexico after all. Things sort of went up in the air because he lost his wallet, and had to go about getting all of his items replaced, which can be a big hassle. He hopes to go, but if so it will be for maybe a day, which isn't much. I feel bad about it because I now he loves to travel, and with Mexico so close it was one of his favorite getaways. I hope he doesn't get frustrated about not going. I try to encourage him to go whenever he can, but one day just doesn't seem like much fun, especially since he wants to take a bus there and that will take hours just for the travel time. One day I hope we can take a family vacation somewhere together, and I hope someday, when you are older and mature, he will take you south of the border as well.

In the meantime, today you tried banana. I ate most of it, but your father mashed up a nice little bit for you. The nice thing about letting you eat sparingly right now is that you aren't having to eat jarred up, processed baby food. We can share bits of fresh things with you, and somehow I find that so much more appealing. You enjoyed banana very much, just the same as you did avocado and hummus. You get a terribly ugly loo on your face at first, and then you become excited and start crying for more or grabbing the spoon and shoving it into your mouth!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Havoc done.. onto Thanksgiving!

I meant to blog yesterday, but I became so wrapped up in the day I was unable to. Anyway, Cesar you were very well behaved last night! First I'd like to say that we had a nice, easy morning. While you have taste tested a few things here and there through the course of your early life, the past couple of days you have actually had a few bites, as I figured we are about to introduce solid food, so rather than bombard you with it all at once I would casually introduce you to bits. First was avacado. It's so hilarious whenever you try new foods, because your faces scrunches up and your eyebrows become knitted in a look of disgust. Then, you begin to get happy, and reach for the spoon eagerly. At once point you grabbed it and wrapped your mouth around it without anything on it! It was so exciting. You have been so anxious to try table food, just like "big people" which to me says you're ready for some samplings. Yesterday Vincent took us out to a restaurant where you tried hummus, and boy did you love it! I was so pleased. I think the best thing about having a child is watching them share new experiences with you.

Above: Family photo! Your father (Alberto Del Rio), yourself (Stewie Griffin), and myself. I was supposed to be Hera, but I failed to acquire any peacock decor. Your aunt Miranda said she thought of Athena when she saw me, so that works as well! (Halloween 2011)

Anyhow, before we left to the fairgrounds of Helotes, where my father was, we left out offerings for the dead on the doorstep. One was a small bowl of wet dog food and cat food for lost pets, and the other was for humans. My mother told me I should share what I enjoy, so Vincent put out popcorn (I eat popcorn nearly every day!) and added peanuts... the peanuts just seemed like a good mix. I lit a small votive candle in a safe glass with water and we departed. I'll have you know that by the time we got back all of the pet food was gone, and this morning, all of the popcorn was gone so there were only nuts left, and the votive had burned completely down.

The fairgrounds were busy, bustling with loads of costumes. Most of the events were for older kids. They had FOUR bouncy castles, and hay rides (Vincent calls them "hick" rides) and little fun things. I think when you get a little older you will have much more fun. The stimulation made you very cranky, but that was ok. I imagine from a baby's perspective such an explosion of people and activity and colors must be very overwhelming. But it was worth it to have you see your grandfather and share a bit of your first Halloween with him. Your father also had a good time. There were two small boys dressed as wrestlers, who immediately recognized who he was (Alberto Del Rio) and they got all excited and their father asked for a picture of them together. It was very awesome and made your father's night.

Then we proceeded over to your Grandmother Melinda's house. We said hellos to the family, but I wanted to go Trick 'R Treating as well. Hey, the best thing about breastfeeding you is that you can enjoy the candy... if I eat it! So away we went. We just went about the block, but we hit a few houses. It is heartwarming to see that there are still houses proudly handing out candy, keeping the tradition alive. We even came to a house that just had a bowl of candy and a sign reading, "Take the candy, leave the bowl." Well, at least they were kind enough to leave it out! It's a good idea in case Vincent and I ever go to a party or something if we have a house. Anyhow, you had a much nicer time Trick 'R Treating because we walked so much, and you had so many compliments on just how cute you were. I don't think you made a very menacing Stewie, but that's alright.

After that we went back to the house, where everyone was hanging out, drinking, and having an overall good time. I even had a beer, but just one so that I could drive us all home safely later on that night. As soon as we came home I was beat. You crashed out, and then your father and I followed suit just shortly after. I'd say, for your first Halloween, it was splendid. I saw so many costumes! From a skeleton dressed dog, to Strawberry Shortcake, to werewolves and ghouls!

Now, the next holiday is Thanksgiving. Today I have been taking down decor from All Hallow's Eve and packing the little bit of it up. I'm not certain what we will be doing for Thanksgiving, but by then you will be eating some solids, so it's quite perfect timing.