Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letter to my 11 month old

Dear baby Max,

Being your mom is a royal pleasure and I never ever ever want to forget this time. You have completely transformed my life in every possible way.

Thank you for pointing out to me that it means NOTHING when I buckle you into the stroller. I see that you are an acrobat and know how to escape the harness.

When I unload the dishwasher, you are so helpful. I appreciate your willingness to climb inside and retrieve a plate, but I will continue to pull you out every single time you master that maneuver. Inside the dishwasher is not a safe place for a baby!

Thank you for barreling up the entire flight of stairs last week in under three seconds. After witnessing your strength, Daddy finally picked up some baby gates to keep you away from all those steps!

You amazed me beyond belief yesterday when you saw your friend, Vladimir. I couldn't believe you simultaneously waved and said "hi" immediately after I told you to wave hello. You knew exactly what you were doing and did it with confidence. It was also completely adorable when you were waving hi to Boogars (the cat) this morning.

You have a wonderful wave that makes these moments most memorable. It's probably because your fingers are curled as if you are clawing at the air that everyone laughs when they see your arms flailing. Your effervescent personality is undeniable, and the tuft of cat hair stuck to your lips is a sure sign as to where you've been.

It is so much fun taking you to music class. Singing and squealing together is one of the highlights of my week! The way you move your body to the beat of the music is such a thrill, and to make instruments out of water bottles keeps us delightfully down to earth.

And how could I not understand that even during the best of times you must take breaks to obstruct another mommy's child-proofed cabinets or fish through her handbag. It reminds us to stay on our toes because every single moment is a new adventure and a magnificent memory in the making.

You are teaching me as much or more than I'm teaching you. You are reminding me to be curious and carefree and less nervous. You are reacquainting me with the fact that the tiniest events can be so exciting. You are reminding me to have patience, because life is messy. I love that about you.

I hope you see yourself with the same loving, accepting eyes as I do for the rest of your life. I love you the way my grandmother loved her boys. Since you have never met her personally, I would like you to know that she is the kindest, sweetest, most loving person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, not to mention being related to.

Oh, and I'd like to let you know that I just changed three diapers in one hour. I've never seen anything like it, but I hope you know that I don't mind because I love every second of being your mom!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Band Baby Down!

It's Saturday afternoon and I am rebelliously blogging while Max naps. Showering, cleaning, and getting ready to meet my friend that will be here in 15 minutes may seem more important, but this is how I want to enjoy a few minutes of alone time.

I seem to be enjoying life more lately. That is always a goal, but since our fabulous Mammoth getaway, I have reconnected with the free-spirited side of myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not overly committal. I only plan one activity per day and that's my max. If we have time and energy for more, then so be it. But I'm a one stop shop in the plans department.

Today my plans are as fun as they've been all week. Paisley and I are going to walk the beach path with baby Max and then lunch with Marc. Doesn't that just sound nice. Southern California may have earthquakes, traffic, and smog, but damn it is beautiful. And perfect for a child to grow up. I can't imagine being so lucky to grow up in the mecca of entertainment. And I'm barely speaking of showbiz when I say entertainment, because the canyons and the sunshine provide more to the masses than the walk of fame has to offer eager tourists snapping pictures with their digital cameras.

December was full of rain and we just don't know how to behave in California after it has been raining for a few weeks in a row. Our activities are all outside-based and I almost went crazy after a month of no hikes, no Santa Monica stairs, and no parks. I guess that's why the Mammoth trip was the perfect kick in the butt. Since my wonderful days on the slopes, I have exercised almost every single day.

Yesterday I packed up baby Max in his new Ergo baby carrier and did six sets of Santa Monica stairs. That's at least 900 steps I climbed. We are getting in stellar shape for our hike in and out of the grand canyon in March. I'm so glad I sprung for the Ergo because it is by far the most comfortable baby carrier for mommy and baby.

Baby Max is in a band now and we have been rehearsing like crazy. He plays the drums, maracas, and makes his own music with random sticks and toys. And yes, you guessed correctly. It sounds beautiful! He is a talented musician along with the rest of his massive skill set. He is getting ready for broadway, but sometimes he likes to take a break to canoodle with one of his girlfriends. Frankie Bear might be a little clingy, but as you can see, chivalrous Max does not mind.

And sometimes a lil rockstar will fall or pass out because the fun is more than they can bare.

On Thursday we went to the park like we always do, and the most interesting thing happened. We were all playing on our patchwork quilt full of blankets. Moms were catching up and babies were grabbing each other's toys as usual. But Max decided he wanted to go play in an area about 25 yards away from us.

Whenever he crawls off I don't chase him because obviously he knows where I am and I can see him perfectly. So he went and sat by himself and played in the dirt and looked back every minute or two to make sure I was watching him. He would occasionally bring me a handful of dirt and then go back to his isolated spot under a tree. He is so secure and leaves me when he is ready, and that makes me so proud.

As other people would walk by, we were joking that maybe they forgot to take their baby. Everyone was laughing about who that baby belonged to. He was so independent without a care or worry in the world. I wish every baby could have the complete in arms experience in the beginning of life, and leave their mom when they are ready.

I hope Max never feels sick in his environment like he needs to run away. Attachment parenting has been so important to me. The Continuum Concept has given me so much confidence in my parenting style. I love my rambunctious rockstar!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!!! 01-01-11 Mammoth Mountain

Last weekend we went to Mammoth for a long weekend of snowboarding. It's an annual trip that we go on after every Christmas, but this year I kind of forgot that it was new year's eve because I've been so busy taking care of an extra bundle. Everything we do is generally all about Max and things like celebrating the clock striking midnight are on the back burner.

Our first day on the mountain was less than stellar. First of all, we did not think to arrange daycare in advance and didn't realize that it would be full months in advance. But there was a last minute cancellation on Fri., and we sent Max to the penguin playground in the small world daycare so Marc and I could enjoy a day on the mountain together.

On my first run, I was going really slow and a guy pommelled directly into me at about a hundred miles an hour. What a way to start the trip! After I got passed the dizziness and the pain, I was a little timid about the rest of the day. Last year was the first year I had not been skiing or snowboarding since I was completely off balance during pregnancy, and it took me a while to reacquaint myself with the snow. By the end of the day I was starting to have fun despite the soreness and intimidation.

When I finally started to find my groove, I got a call from Max's babysitter that he was having a meltdown and had not napped all day. So Marc and I made our way around the mountain to rescue our sad snowman. Once I finally got to him and peeled off all 6 layers of clothes it only took a few minutes to feed him and allow the milk coma to take effect. By the time we laid Max down in his slumber and we got back on the slopes, the day was almost over.

At sunset I recall saying, "Oh well, tomorrow is a new day". And someone said to me, "No, tomorrow is a new year!" And that's when I realized it was new years eve!

That evening I kind of forgot it was new year's eve again and could barely keep my eyes open after about 11pm. Max was wide awake--like he always is when we are traveling and off his regular routine--and of course I was busy taking care of him.

When I reached the point where I couldn't hold my head up any longer I took Max into the bedroom to lie down and breast feed him like I always do when I am ready for him to go to bed for the night. I had no concept of our friends in the next room pouring champagne and toasting to the new year until Marc came to find me and give me a new year's kiss. And then I blissfully slept into the new year!

The next day was AWESOME! I went snowboarding all by myself for four hours while Marc and Max hung out at the condo. I had a few friends on the mountain that day, but it didn't matter. I was in heaven the whole entire time. There were no lines for the lifts and it was the best snow I had experienced since the last time I went to Vail. I didn't even stop for the bathroom--I just went in my pants! Ok, not to that extent, but I didn't even stop for lunch or a coffee break like I normally would. I was happy to eat my smooshed peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the gondola on the way for another encounter with perfection.

That was one of my top favorite days of snowboarding of my whole life. Anyone who knows the feeling of freedom and serenity knows how magical that kind of day is like. You never want it to end and you won't be able to stop talking about it for the rest of the trip. 01-01-11 started off like it's going to be the best year ever!

When I wasn't snowboarding, I was toting my little polar bear around town and explaining to him that this would be at least one of our family trips every year. He loved eating the snow, but he hated how freezing cold his hand would get. I tried to teach him what the problem was but the poor little guy didn't make the correlation between the icy snow and his frosty fingers. I ended up having to bring snowballs inside the house for him to eat so he could stay warmer and continue eating this newly discovered phenomenon.

It was wonderful to have our sweet snow angel in Mammoth. We hope everyone had a happy new year's! This year really is going to be the best!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby's First Christmas

Every day is Christmas when you're a precious baby, but last week Max got to have his first official Christmas, and it was fabulous. With all the excitement that's been going on this year, we didn't feel pressured to go anywhere or do anything over the top. We simply enjoyed a perfect day with fantastic friends and a feast of food in LA. We lacked for nothing!

Thank you to everyone who has been so thoughtful and generous to us and sweet little Maxi-moo. He loves all his gifts including his new car from his uncles. It is so cute to watch him open and close the car door by himself with such assurance. I swear he knows exactly what he is doing by the way he sits inside with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hanging out the window.

I'm most excited about Max's new stroller. We finally got the BOB revolution after obsessing over it for months and months! Max and I feel so blesed and I hope he never takes it for granted that we have everything and more than we could ever need. This stroller was a huge splurge and can be taken on any hiking trail or off-roading with the best of 'em. Only $400 later you might think we are crazy, but this is an athletic mom must have, and if you know me at all I just had to have this stroller!

This is a lucky little reindeer. He has multiple modes of operation for bobbin' around addition to a grocery cart. He's such a cool little dude and is happy to go anywhere we take him.

We hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah! Max's first Christmas was another notch on the list of firsts that we will always remember. Tis the season!