Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Happy half-birthday! Today is also my birthday. I am a lot older than you are. And that means you should always do what I say, because I am your mommy and I know what is best for you.

You sat up earlier. I fully expected it to be like every other time I've sat you up recently, where you sit and wobble until you fall over in exactly the same way that a Weeble doesn't. But I walked into the kitchen to find lunch, and I realized I hadn't heard the familiar thud that accompanies your loss of balance. Sure enough, you were still upright, and I had time to take two blurry photos and one good one before you toppled. I'm terrified of this new development, but also really excited, and I've been sitting you back up for the last hour or so and seeing how long you can keep it up.

You also have a lot more hair than you used to, but that isn't hard, because you used to didn't have any. The grammar of that statement is questionable, but I won't fault you if you talk like that. But not yet, because talking is too advanced for you at this point in your life. Also, can we talk about your aversion to clothes? I love keeping you in a diaper all day. Less laundry for me. But you need to wear socks when we go outside. It is cold. It has snowed. And I love your toes too much to let them freeze.

Tomorrow we are flying down to see your daddy's family in Texas. You were so good on the plane last month that I'm hoping we can repeat that performance. It will be a longer flight at a different time of day, but I believe in you!

Love, Mama

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Party at Chuck E. Cheese

I've really never been big on birthday celebrations because my birthday is so close to Christmas. It's never really bothered me that the birth of Our Lord and Savior overshadowed my own. Most of the time my friends were out of town for the holidays so if I had a party, it would have to be either early or late. Usually I opted for late and just had a New Year's party where we ordered pizza and watched the ball drop and drank Welch's sparkling grape juice. Good lord, that stuff is fantastic.


Anyway, this would also give me the opportunity to let OTHER people buy gifts for EACH OTHER, rather than just me! We could have a white elephant exchange! (Or whatever you call it.) So a lot of times we'd have the New Year's party and trade presents and it was fun and far less awkward than going "Hey everyone, watch me open all this stuff, but you don't get anything." I've always hated that about birthdays and showers.

Also most years, we have the family get-together on or around my birthday, so we go down to my grandma's house in the mountains of South Carolina and the whole Duncan clan gets together and eats food and talks and gets the hell out by 9:00. That's how we roll. Except this year, no one wanted to cook, so they had the get-together at Ryan's Steakhouse instead. This year is the first time, I think ever, that I didn't go. Not because it was at Ryan's, but because I live in Massachusetts now.

The point is, tomorrow is my birthday and I don't really want anything. Or to do anything. It's cool when you turn a certain age and can do stuff ("Hey, I'm 16! Let's go get my driver's license AS SOON AS THE DMV REOPENS AFTER CHRISTMAS." "I'm 18! Dad, I'm going to go buy you some cigarettes and a lottery ticket!" "I'm 21! Now I don't have to feel guilty about drinking!") And I mean, next year I can rent a car, or something, but 24 just isn't that special.

Although if someone wants to get me a cake, or tell me to go buy my own damn cake...

(I totally know where I can find one. For cheap.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Valiant Effort

It takes me a very long time to write one blog post because often in the middle of it, the baby wakes up or cries or otherwise needs attention. He's in the ExerSaucer right now so I'm hoping I can bang this out pretty quickly, but we'll see.

We're heading to Texas in three days. I am kind of excited because it's been four months since we saw Brandon's family, and Calvin is enormous now, so it will be a big surprise for them. Also, kid went through a growth spurt and can STAND in the ExerSaucer now, and he's also got this white bump on his bottom gums that looks like it's going to pop...soon.

Brandon's computer broke this week; he thinks it's the charger, so he ordered a new one, and I hope it is because I am sick of sharing my computer. And I'm well aware that sharing is caring (except when it comes to STDs) but it's annoying to check my facebook feed and go "Who are these people?" before realizing that it's not MY feed, Brandon left himself logged in. Perhaps we need to create different internet profiles. Or I need to start using Chrome again.

It's been over an hour again, mostly because I started making Calvin dance to Arctic Monkeys and Motion City Soundtrack...and then fed him...and then put him down for a nap. But I think I had already written everything I wanted to.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This post is going to be weird because I'm going to describe things that really don't go together, but I don't want to do multiple posts in one day so I'll just go with it. You know the word dichotomy? It's a good word; it makes me think of linguistic surgery. This is the mutually exclusive kind. I put Calvin in his rocker to play with the toy bar while I write this because I've gotten slack about posting again.

We found a church, and I'm kind of happy that we did. There's a certain relief that goes along with it, because as I've mentioned before, I have a guilt complex and feel like I OUGHT to go to church, but I've had some bad experiences with organized religion. This place is comfortable and hasn't freaked me out in the two weeks we've been going--in fact, just the opposite. I don't feel pressured into being super-religious, I feel like who I am is OK in the church context, the people are friendly, and the service is fairly informal. But not with contemporary music because we don't go for that. It's not that I have a problem with contemporary music as a ministry tool, I just don't like it. I don't think it's good. Anyway. Now we have to figure out whether to get Calvin baptized. I kind of see that as insurance for your soul, but that's probably blasphemy. (Nothing new there!) If we join, I'll probably do it. Because I promised to raise my children in a Christian household/church and it's a show of good faith, as it were.

So, now that the church talk is out of the way...

Sorry, I just looked out the window and it's snowing. Not real snow, not even anything to be excited about, but there are SNOWFLAKES swirling around.

Back to what I was going to say.

There's this song called "Horse Outside" that Vivek posted on Brandon's facebook wall that has been stuck in my head for DAYS. It's not even a good song; the chorus is (I'll censor for those readers of a delicate disposition): "F--- your (type of car), I've a horse outside." The three types of cars mentioned are a Honda Civic, a Subaru, and a Mitsubishi. That's it! That's the whole chorus! And the rest of the song is about how awesome it is to own a horse and using it to pick up chicks. IT IS SO WEIRD. And the band members wear grocery bags on their heads and dance like Michael Jackson.

Also, there's a new (unofficial) King's Quest game and it's AWESOME.

I'm still sick, which is a giant bummer, especially because I need to clean before Thursday, but maybe the chemicals will burn out the congestion. I'm really scared I gave it to Calvin; he's coughing and sneezing. Calvin doesn't suck his thumb. He eats his fingers--whichever he can get in his mouth--with a loud, hilarious sucking sound. I love it.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I will explain why it took me an hour to write this post.

Monday, December 13, 2010

La vie c'est ├ępatant

There are so many moments in my days that I stop and look at this child that I'm responsible for bringing into the world and I feel so overwhelmed with love that I just want to cry.

Calvin puked on my new couch today and then had a poop-splosion out of his diaper. (Those were not the moments I'm referring to.) I gave him a bath and put on the lavender lotion that he seems to like so much, and then put him in his rocket ship pajamas. They're my new favorites, even if they are 6-9 months and are too big. No, the moment came after Brandon got home appallingly late, and had popped him into the ExerSaucer. I was scratching Brandon's head and trading sympathy (with him for his terrible day at work, and me for the fact that I have a nasty cold) and Calvin was pushing the duck and turtle up and down. They're on a seesaw that clicks, and he was pushing on it like it was the coolest thing ever. It was beautiful.

He has really started going for things over his head, which is cool, and speaking of his head IT IS SO MUCH LESS FLAT AND LOPSIDED. Thank God. He has his six month appointment on Wednesday and I really hope they tell me he doesn't need the helmet after all. I don't know if our insurance covers it, so I want to avoid it if I can. Also, new shots. Not going to be fun.

Our friends Ken and Amna and their adorable two-year-old are coming to visit us this week. Maya used to be my absolute favorite kid before I had one of my own (but I still love you Maya baby!) and she's such a real little person that it blows my mind. One day, Calvin will be dancing and talking and running around and it will be surreal. Maya will also have a baby sister sometime soon, which is EXCITING! This will be our first visit from NC friends, so it should be a lot of fun. It's a reason to go into Boston, and maybe the children's museum.

Oh, yeah, and I mentioned this earlier: I got a new couch. It was my Christmas gift. It is fabulous. We got rid of the old green one and got this fabulously soft, light blue-green suede couch with a chaise. Oh, I could lie on it all day. And it is so pretty.

Also, why is NC getting snow and we're not? I moved to Massachusetts with the understanding that I would be getting snow! NATURE, COME ON.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Strange Dreams

Last night Todd and Molly came over and we played Last Night on Earth, the best zombie board game in the history of zombie board games. (I also watched part of Shawn of the Dead earlier in the day, and that might be relevant later.) During the game, or possibly after, we were discussing a bunch of random things, including drugs, and the fact that neither Molly nor I have ever smoked weed.

That night I had a dream, which I feel it is necessary to recount.

I was walking around somewhere (I didn't recognize the place) with a bunch of my friends, and we ended up at a swim club. The pool was in use for a kids' swim meet, so we couldn't go swimming in there, but there was a big well nearby--I call it a well; it was just a large, probably 12'diameter hole lined with stone and filled with water...and now that I think about it, it looked kind of like this:

In that game, you drain the water and walk down into the well, and it has steps and you find something you need. Whatever, that's what it looked like.

Anyway, we decided to go swimming in this well, and we all jumped in. I went first, but something I was wearing prevented me from swimming back up to the top, so I sank to the bottom. Fortunately, Jessee McClelland helped me get back to the surface. Thanks, man.

I don't quite know how we transitioned to the next part, except that there was a house near the swim club, and there were zombies on the loose. Our group got separated somehow, and a lot of people had crowded into the entryway of this house and locked all of the doors. We were desperately trying to figure out how to fend off these zombies, and Justin Timberlake broke out his supply of weed, which he happened to have on hand. One of us in the room had this great revelation that the zombies, being reanimated corpses, have systems that function at a much slower level than regular humans; so, if we were able to slow them down even more by getting them high, we'd be able to take them out, no problem. So Justin Timberlake gave Molly and me his stash of weed, and we ran around smoking it and blowing the smoke into the faces of the zombies, who then fell down and other people could kill them.

I say that's a damn good reason to smoke weed, and if that situation ever arises for real, I will totally volunteer.


Friday, December 3, 2010

In which I discover that my son is capable of giving hugs

Molly and I took the babies to IKEA today. It was actually a really nice trip and we drove around half of Metro West Massachusetts looking at things. There are some unbelievable houses in Dover and Westwood. They are also unbelievably expensive.

I bought a couple of things at IKEA: a star bed tent for Calvin that I've wanted to get him since before he was born, a set of stacking cups, and a new thermos for his formula water. I also got some picture frames for $1. I will probably get others at Target or HomeGoods (I haven't even looked there yet). Also tomorrow Children's Orchard is having a bag sale: all you can stuff into a bag for $5. I am going to rock that sale.

Anyway, while we were out shopping I took Calvin out of the stroller a few times and carried him. There were two guys shopping in the kitchen section who thought he was adorable (because he is) and joked "Do they sell those at IKEA?" This was especially funny because there were two elevators down to the Marketplace: one shows a man, woman, and child icons, and the other shows two men and a child. Guess which one Molly and I took to the Marketplace?

At one point while I was carrying him, Calvin positioned himself in such a way that he was hugging my neck. It seriously almost made my cry because he hasn't ever hugged me before and it seemed like a conscious thing. Like he was holding on to me because he loves me, not just that it was a coincidental placement of his arms. I even moved his arms to see if he'd do it again and he did. It was so sweet, you guys. Then he pulled my hair.

I cut my thumb on something but I don't know what. It stings.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I went to bed at 11:30 last night. Calvin woke up at 12:30 and made noise until about 2. During that hour and a half period, I fed him, fixed his blankets, rubbed his head, and finally just went back to bed to listen to the weird little sounds he made on the baby monitor. He woke up at 6:30. Most mornings he'll go back to sleep after I feed and change him, but not today. Not in his crib, not in our bed, nothing. He was ready to go. I dragged both of us out of bed at 8:15. He has taken one half-hour nap today. I am exhausted.

He's been sleepy for the last hour or so, but he wouldn't fall asleep in his swing, so I took him in our room and got in bed with him, and he fussed the whole time. Finally, after about 15 minutes, I thought maybe he was hungry so I got up to make him another bottle. I walked into the kitchen and he went silent. When I looked back in our room, he was asleep.


Now I'm so keyed up from listening to him cry for the last hour and a half that I can't fall asleep and I SO DESPERATELY NEED A NAP. But I can't take one because now I have to go clean the apartment for playgroup tomorrow. And figure out what to make for snacks. And I have a holiday party planning meeting in the morning so I can't clean tomorrow.

I'm so tired.