This Monday Night is All Right

We have been lucky enough to have M.’s dad stay with us. He’s fabulous with Baby A. And in addition, he generous of his time, which allows me to get some work done. He also goes to bed early.

We live in a two-bedroom apartment and so our guest room is our living room. When grandpa goes to bed, M., Moo, Pumpkin and I retreat to the master bedroom. (A is sleeping in his room, of course.) While M. misses the DVR and television (only one, located in living/guest room), I enjoy times like right now. M. is reading, I’m writing and we are surrounded by cuddling kitties. Not a bad way to end the first day of the week.

This Monday Night is All Right

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tomorrow I fly. Usually that means I get to the airport in plenty of time to check-in, go through security, get coffee and sit at the gate to read. Once I board, I sit down and continue to read. This is how I fly. But instead of carrying on an assortment of reading material and my laptop tomorrow, I will be hauling a car seat, an assortment of animated DVDs, toys and snacks. Baby A is flying with me.

My flying ritual soothes me. Because even though I like to travel, planes make me anxious. So if you can imagine, I’m a bit worried about tomorrow. I hope that my nervous energy doesn’t rub off on him. Thankfully, we’re traveling with Ya-Ya and that should help.

Wish us luck. Will Baby A survive a non-stop from LAX to Chicago? Stay Tuned.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Three Generations

Papa, aka M.’s pop, has been visiting us since before the holiday and it has been truly wonderful. The relationship he has was Baby A is truly magical. And honestly, he is just fun and my toddler picks up on that.

Tonight Papa cooked dinner for all of us. I’m so sick I’ve spent most of the day in bed so not only did I got kitchen duty off but I got taken off of baby duty. Of course, Baby A wanted to help and was insistent about it. To appease A., M. picked up the crying tot so that they could oversee Papa’s activity. It was at this moment that I looked into the kitchen to see three generations of men cooking, playing and laughing together. It was a purely wonderful moment that I will never forget.

Three Generations

It was a Memorable Christmas

The title of this post isn’t about the memories that were created today: the look on A’s face when he came out to the living room this morning or the day playing with all the toys relatives and friends sent him (Thank you to all). Today was memorable because Ya-Ya surprised us not only with her presence but with my toy box.

For decades, she has stored my dollhouse and my toy box until a few years ago when I had to decide which one to keep. Both were built-by my Nonno so the sentiment of these items runs deep. After some thought, I decided to part ways with my dollhouse. It stood about 4 feet tall and opened up. Each room was wallpapered and as a girl I loved it. The decision was difficult until my mom’s neighbor inquired about it. He was looking for a dollhouse for his granddaughter and was willing to fix it up for her. It was a sign (at least that’s how I saw it). The dollhouse would have a good home and be revived with love.

As for my toy box, it is a circus car that has a lion with a bee on his nose on the front. My Nonno isn’t the only person that had a hand in it; my mom painted the lion. One of the reason’s I wanted to keep it was that two generations had contributed to it. And since, A was born I was looking forward to him having it in his room, putting his toys in it and even, sitting in it (that’s what I did). So when my mom called this morning and told me to that she needed some help, I was surprised. Not only because she wasn’t planning on coming, but because she brought the toy box. A. went straight to it. Sit next to it, played with it, and within an hour he was sitting in it.

Tonight as we were winding down from the day, I sat in it with my childhood Pooh bear that was made by my aunt. (Baby A has also taken him as his own and sleeps with him each night.) And as I sat in my childhood toy box with my son giggling at his silly mommy, I felt strangely safe. Sure, I was at home with my family but there was something about the presence of my past that made me feel warm, comfortable and at peace. I hope that it gives Baby A those feelings one day too.

It was a Memorable Christmas

Fa La La La La

This weekend the east is being blanketed with snow and here in Los Angeles it’s close to 80 degrees. It doesn’t look anything like Christmas.

However, Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle reminds M. and I of Michigan Avenue with the white lights and the festive store fronts so last night we packed up A.’s peeps (Ya-Ya, Papa, M. and I) and went there to walk around. We had a great time chasing A. through the streets of Beverly Hills dodging pedestrians and dogs. He climbed the stairs at Two Rodeo Drive and as he reached the top he was greeted by carolers. Unsure what to do, he ran past them clapping, then stopped, turned around and walked to a spot in front of them where he decided to stand for the next 20 minutes.

Now, I haven’t seen carolers in a while. But I knelt there with my son and listened to this quartet sing holiday music—about peace on earth, goodwill towards men and visiting relatives’ homes. I enjoyed watching his grandparents interact with him as he clapped and danced to the music. (Jingle Bells was his favorite, probably because it is the melody Elmo sings at the end of his segment.)

But most of all, as we watched the carolers sing underneath the towering Christmas tree, it felt like the holiday season to me. It’s a feeling I haven’t enjoyed for a long time, and I am so glad that I found it.

Fa La La La La

Today is Her Day

Ya-ya’s birthday is today and in grand Thank You Everything tradition, here is my ode to her.

While I was growing up, she was more like an older sister, who was more hip and more popular. To give you an idea, I was visiting a very old friend and when it came to describing my mom, he told his wife: “She’s the person that all the girls whated to go shopping with.” I’m not sure if this was true in high school, but it felt like it. And as older sisters do, she did embarrass me. The most memorable red-cheek moment was on my tenth birthday. She displayed a nude baby picture of me lying on a sheep skin rug as part of a photo montage of me. I was mortified. She tells this story to this day. Never once have I felt like an only child because of this.

I like to think that I got my work ethic from her. She has always worked hard and has made sure that I knew the importance of doing things for myself. I started working at ten and with her help started my own company. Early on she instilled a business sense in me that I use to this day.

She taught me to suck it up. Throughout life curve balls will come at you and sometimes you will get hit. But if you keep your head down and keep plowing away, eventually it will get better. Yes, there are times in my life when I needed her to commiserate with me and she didn’t and it irritated me. But now that I am a mom this lesson has been invaluable because there are days that I just need to deal.

I love the way that she thinks an article I write might have been influenced by her. I laugh each time she brings up the article I wrote about how mothers influence their child’s body image. It’s cute. And it is one of the few things I can tease her about.

She sends birthday cards to my friends. I didn’t get this gene. I don’t send cards unless Plaxo reminds me and links me to the e-card site. She is so thoughtful.

She is a talented artist who needs to make time to hone her skill. When I was a kid, I found her journal of a trip she took to New York City when she was 16. It was filled with beautiful sketches of the Empire State Building, Washington Square and other things. Now that I am older and realize what a person with her talent can do, I wonder what she would be doing if she decided to go to art school.

Finally, (because I don’t want to bore you and mother’s day is only five months away) the gusto in which she loves Baby A is amazing and beautiful. She is more patient and nurturing with both of us than I remember most of my adult life. Sometimes I think that when I gave birth to Baby A, my big sister figure became my mom. And I like it this way.

Happy Birthday, Ya-Ya. (There are way more things that I am grateful for but I have an audience.)

P.S. This is your e-card this year.

Today is Her Day

Kiss, Kiss

Around my birthday, Baby A. greeted his Ya-Ya with kisses—wet, open-mouthed smacks to her cheek. He did this to her for nearly five minutes. It was cute and I was a bit jealous. I’m the mommy; I’ve never received kisses. Well, now I do and M gets kissed too.

I could be playing with A. and all of the sudden he’ll look at me and lean in to give me a peek on the lips. Sometimes I get the smacks Ya-Ya got, but the former is more common. His timing is always perfect since he bestows this gift usually after he’s been crazy-active. It’s my reward for keeping up with him. And every time, it melts my heart.

But M and I are not the only receiptents of his affections. He’s taken to trying to give the kitties kisses. They’ll have none of it, so he kisses the air in their direction. Today he gave Cy’s mom kisses after she played with him and we were leaving. I’m thankful that Baby A is so affectionate, as he enters his second year I wonder how long this stage will last.

Kiss, Kiss