Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh brother!

So far, life as the mom of two boys is going well! Baby Boy is sweet as anything, though his nights and days are still mixed up. At least this time around, I know that won't last forever (even if I don't believe it in the middle of the night). But all in all, life is good. I feel much more relaxed and confident this time and, to be honest, Baby Boy has a calmer disposition than the Bub did. How it will be around here once my hubby is back to work and my mom back at her house . . . that, I can't predict, but I am just going to enjoy all the help while I have it and trust that I will find my way eventually.

One of the joys of the past few days has been seeing Bubby enjoy his new role as big brother. I'm not kidding myself that it won't or can't happen, but so far there has not been any jealous or angry behavior. He proudly announced to Grandma and Grandpa when they got to town that brother was here: "He out. He out." He loves to turn on the aquarium noises for Baby Boy. He is very curious about baby's diaper changes and sponge baths. He is very concerned when Baby Boy cries. I tend to visit the bathroom right before I settle in to nurse Baby Boy--often when the baby is already starting to squawk. Three times now, the Bub has knocked on the bathroom door to hurry me along to take care of brother. Bub also is very helpful about offering his baby brother a passy, though we have stressed that when brother is sound asleep, he does not need it.

And now, more photos . . .

We arrived home to find blue balloon, streamers, and a birthday cake for Baby Boy. Bubby greeted us with big smiles and repeatedly said "Surprise, surprise."

Bubby prepares to sing happy birthday to brother and enjoy some cake.

Bubby likes this big brother gig.

"Gentle. Gentle." New refrain around here.

All mommy's boys.

Enthusiasm or regression?

That's all for now. Thanks so much for the sweet comments and emails!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

He's here and he's perfect, NTB.

My posts will be heavy on pictures in the coming days . . .

Baby Boy (blog handle still to be determined) arrived nine days early on Sunday, June 22 at 2:05 p.m. 8 pounds, 14 ounces. 21 inches long.

Proud Papa

Grammy witnessed the birth and was excited to welcome grandchild #6. Pop had to work, but he'll meet the new one very soon.

Happy Mama

Sweet, sweet baby.

Grandma more than approves.

Ditto for Grandpa.

Bubby is handling his new role as big brother really well.

Yes, he has eyes.

Party of four.

Pulling out all the stops to welcome the new arrival -- stunning view of Lake Michigan, complete with rainbow, from our hospital room. NTB.

Stay tuned if you can tolerate all the (not) bragging!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dear Abby, I just found out my husband is a polygamist or possibly just someone else's babydaddy . . .

The first call came two weeks ago. I answered the phone and an "unknown caller" (per caller id) with the voice of a child in the 8-10 year-old range asked to speak to my husband (whom I will refer to as "Tony Jones" for the purposes of this post--as ever, I will refer to myself as "MEP"): "Is Tony Jones there?" I ask who's calling and feel genuinely concerned that I have a child on the line who is somehow in danger and somehow thinks my husband, perhaps mistaking him for another Tony Jones, can help him/her (gender of child is still unclear). I hand the phone to my husband, and "Tony" attempts to get to the bottom of it, patiently confirming that he is "Tony Jones," asking the child why he/she is calling, asking if there is anything he/she needs, and etc. It is very difficult to understand that the caller is saying and he/she eventually hangs up. We are a bit unsettled, still worried that we have maybe failed to help someone who needs it, but with no callback number, name, or information, we are forced to shrug our shoulders and move on. The child called back one more time that evening, but hung up when I answered the phone.

After hearing nothing for two weeks, we receive, last night, two more calls from "unknown caller" and then "private caller" for Tony Jones. My hubby is in the basement playing with his Wii (not his wee wee, that's something the other Tony Jones would do) and I am way too lazy to go get him. So again, I attempt to get some answers from the child on the line. "Tony Jones is unavailable right now. This is his wife. Is there anything I can help you with?" The answer, though garbled, went something like this: "His wife? Well, you ain't his only wife." Wow, this is news to me. Satisfied that he/she (I still can honestly not determine the caller's gender) has succeeded in telling me what's what, he/she hangs up. The next call comes four minutes later. Unruffled by the recent revelation that my husband is a polygamist, I suggest to my caller that perhaps he/she is looking to speak with a different Tony Jones. I helpfully ask, "What does the Tony Jones you are calling for look like?" I hear another and slightly older child in the background whisper, "Say 'white.'" "White," my caller proffers. "Well, my husband is white," I say, "but I'm still thinking you have the wrong guy. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Another hang up.

This afternoon, my caller upped her efforts to make contact with Tony Jones. I say "her" because the content of the conversation soon makes the caller's gender more evident (I now believe that there are at least two youngsters involved in these calls and suspect that the elder of the two is a female around 12, who took over today, possibly displeased with her younger, male companion's prior efforts). This girl called our house at 1:36, 1:37, 1:56, 1:58, 2:07, 2:11, 4:00, 4:01, and 4:02. I picked up almost every time, though a couple of times they got through to voice mail, by redialing before I had hung up. You may be thinking, "MEP, this is ridiculous, why did you pick up? Why didn't you take the phone off the hook?" I picked up, first and foremost, because my Bubby was napping and I was not about to let an endlessly ringing phone wake him. Plus, today is a writing day for me, which means our babysitter was downstairs. If I hadn't picked up, she would have, and the whole situation would have gotten even more complicated. I didn't take the phone off the hook because it would have meant I'd have to leave my bed/work center, haul my nine month pregnant self downstairs to disconnect the main phone (the upstairs phone is only a satellite). Plus, let's face it, if some random kids called to tell you that you weren't your husband's only wife, wouldn't you be curious to get more information?

I will give you only the highlights of this afternoon's conversations. Needless to say, I started off being patient and semi-concerned but moved from patient to annoyed to threatening to simply picking up the phone but not saying anything. Here are some of the tidbits that the caller shared . . .

She and Tony Jones had a date . . . at a hotel.

She is having Tony's baby in three months and she has proof that it's his. (This revelation is preceded with a simulation of the kind of childbirth sounds heard on television sitcoms).

She is glad that Tony did not wear a condom. (I am not making any of this up.)

Tony has shown her MEP's picture and damn, MEP is ugly. MEP looks old, like maybe 72.
(By the way, I am initially freaked out that she knows my name, but my hubby points out that both our names are listed in the phone book and also that both names are on our voicemail message--I was going to transcribe the messages our caller managed to leave, but frankly, I don't have the energy.)

Actually, she believes that MEP is Tony's mother. That's how old MEP looks.

Since the Bubby was awake and I had given our babysitter a heads up, I let the final call go to voice mail. I waited until my husband, the polygamist and babydaddy, arrived home so we could listen together. And, if you can believe it, the caller identifies herself by first and last name, admits that she has been prank calling us, explains that the operator has let her know she has the wrong Tony Jones, apologizes in a surprisingly genuine manner, and leaves her phone number in case we want to call her back. A unexpectedly happy, tidy ending to a bizarre situation. I can only hope that, whatever bone my caller has to pick with another Tony Jones, she has not actually gone on a hotel date with him and is not carrying his child. Because, as I said, she sounds about 12. I am confident that I am my husband's only wife, NTB, and that the only children he has fathered are in this house as I speak (one upstairs in bed, one in my belly), NTB. If I ever have my doubts though, the apology message with phone number is saved. Forget it Abby, I've got this one covered. NTB.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Read it, toss it, eat it, record it . . .

Read it: I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
The title itself is enough to make you want to buy and love this book, and the title is just, pardon the pun, the icing on the cake. Crosley's wit is sharp, and this collection of personal essays hits the spot. I think part of me did not want to like it because looking at her picture on the back cover, she looks about 26 and already has this smoking career as a published writer. I think I expected to read the ramblings of a young, sarcastic hipster who sometimes tries too hard. But no, I read the genuinely humorous, well-written, honest, thoughtful, and engaging work of a smart woman with whom I would totally want to hang out (though I would try to be on my best behavior as she does not hesitate to skewer those friends and acquaintances who deserve it). The essays include--just to whet your appetite--an account of a crazy boss, a bridesmaid gig for a high school "friend," and an investigation into who might have pooped on her bathroom rug . . . start reading.

Toss it: Organic Quinoa
Although I cannot consistently spell or pronounce quinoa (keen-wah) correctly, I have been intrigued with these little grains for a while now. Tonight, I made a batch in my rice cooker as the side of the Trader Joe's package indicated I could do. It looked to be cooked perfectly, but glancing on the box, I realized I had neglected to "Always rinse and drain thoroughly in cold water before cooking." What the hell I would drain it in without losing it all is a mystery (no, of course I don't have a sieve). Anyway, with being pregnant and all, I didn't want to risk harming myself and the child by eating dirty quinoa. I also did not want the hubby to close his mind to quinoa forever after eating one (potentially) bad batch.

Eat it: Trader Joe's Multigrain Pilaf
I purchased this plastic package at TJ's a few weeks back, drawn in by the promise on the front that it is microwavable and ready in 2 minutes. The description promises "A new twist on a classic American dish, with whole grains, soybeans, tomatoes, onions and flavorful herbs and spices." I popped the sucker in the microwave to replace the dirty quinoa, and I was delighted with the results. Great texture, great flavor, and ridiculously easy to prepare. Also, very filling -- 4g fiber per serving and 9g protein. I can't wait to get back to TJ's to get more and to see if there are any other microwavable grains befriending the pilaf on the shelf.

Record it: Well, you tell me . . .
Due to a power outage on Thursday evening, my DVR did not capture all of Bravo's A-List Awards (that, or the hubby messed with my timers and isn't fessing up). I only discovered the mishap yesterday and was sorely disappointed. Sadly, Bravo is apparently not replaying these awards again and again as they do with all other programming. Ah well. I don't have too many television commitments for the summer, and with Bub 2.0 coming, I won't have much free time in the evenings, but I do want to have some good stuff saved up for the rare occasions when I will be nursing the baby, sans Bubby and thus sans the accompaniment of Caillou or Super Why. To try to fill the void left by Top Chef (Hooray for Stephanie, by the way, and Richard, I still love you too), I am recording The Next Food Network Star. I am also all set with the new season of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List. On a whim this evening, I set a new timer for Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, but I feel ashamed and may delete it. For the record, I never watched Tori and Dean: Inn Love.

Comment challenge: Give me your own read it, toss it, eat it, record it list!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Child's Play the Prequel: Here's "Bucky" . . .

My son Bubby is curious, lively, energetic, and "problem-solving." He can't be left alone for long. He gets into everything. Everything. Yes, he is a busy boy, but his high level of activity is generally matched with a sweet, good-natured disposition. Sure, he doesn't always listen to what mommy and daddy say, but for the most part, he aims to please.

My son "Bucky" looks a lot like Bubby and started showing up sometime last week, just popping in and out throughout the day, especially at bedtime. "Bucky" likes to scream phrases like "I want it. I WANT it. I want it." Or, when he is feeling a little less demanding, "I NEED it. I need it. I NEED it." "Bucky" opens up the freezer and grabs a popsicle at 7:30 a.m. and then throws a fit when mommy or daddy won't open it for him. "Bucky" wants to eat dinner in front of Caillou and not at the table. "Bucky" has to be talked into taking a bath (Bubby goes willingly) and then pours water out of the tub. If "Bucky" wants to hear Barney's Easter Basket read to him for a second time, he does not say "again pease" as Bubby might, but "AGAIN. AGAIN. AGAIN."

Sure, Bubby likes poop, but "Bucky" takes the poop fetish to a new level. Tonight, I had the pleasure of disinfecting the tub after a particularly disgusting code brown. Bubby seemed confused by what "Bucky" had done, leaning over to inspect the poop smeared on the floor of the tub and asking, quite innocently, "What happened?" What happened indeed? Since "Bucky" started showing up last week, the hubby and I have thrice been tasked with cleaning poop off of the white carpet in the room where Bubby usually sleeps. Indeed, it seems that "Bucky" has regularly started pooping and removing his diaper at nap and bed times. Plus, whereas Bubby was falling asleep by 8:00 p.m., "Bucky" is not throwing in the towel until 9:00 p.m. and only after both daddy and mommy have taken a shift upstairs.

Why and how is this happening? How have we come to see less Bubby and more "Bucky" of late? I thought that there was a chance that "Bucky" had been visiting because Bubby was sick, but one doctor's visit (and the Thomas the Train sticker our $20 co-pay got us) has confirmed that he has no fever, no ear infection, and no other signs of illness. I thought it was teething because Bubby is getting some molars, but as we are generous with the Children's Motrin, I don't think Bubby's molars have too much to do with "Bucky's" frequent appearances. I thought it might be the heat, as the real summer weather has prompted some crankiness in mommy for sure (who is sleeping without covers each night and still waking up with a sweaty shirt each morning), but Bubby is not nine months pregnant and his normally heat-sensitive daddy does not seem that uncomfortable around the house.

So, what is the problem? Why has "Bucky" been showing up so often? I suspect it has something to do with a reminder that Bubby has been giving me and daddy lately: "I baby," he says, "I baby." It may also be related to his recent interest in having me rock him before he sleeps (he has not wanted to be rocked in almost a year). It may have something to do with the fact that after he removed his diaper before nap today and after he stalled by then trying to pee on the potty, he then went to the changing table that has been moved next to Bub 2.0's cradle, opened the drawer, and pulled out a Size 1 Swaddler diaper. "I want Cookie Monster diaper," he tells me. As Bubby usually wears a Size 6, it was not going to happen . . . but the request seemed a bit of a clue as to why "Bucky" has been making his presence known.

The question is what will happen when Bub 2.0 is out of the womb and into those Swaddlers. I am praying that my sweet Bubby--the one who kisses my belly and reads books to "brother"--will return and that if we do a good enough job of making sure Bubby knows he's still and always our baby (and, if we take the advice we've been given about making sure the baby comes home with presents for Bub), then "Bucky's" appearances will not become the norm.

Those of you have more than one child, dare I hope that "Bucky" is not here to stay? Any advice on how to make the transition easier and to deal with all this Child's Play in the interim?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Beat: Authors You Might Like To Meet

It's been forever since my last book beat post, and I have been reading and listening up a storm, as per usual. A few of my recent reads fall into the category of "authors I've known and enjoyed for a while now" and "good summer reading." [Please note that I did not use the term "beach book" because I find it kind of rude and dismissive. I understand the concept of a "beach book," but I am uncomfortable with the way people think they need to defend or excuse their reading choices by saying things like "It's just a beach book" or "I just needed some mindless reading." Just read what you please!]

1. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
Some years ago, I read Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. I had avoided the book for some time because of its title (kind of yucky), but I loved it. The novel features a plus-size heroine and has more meat to it than other books that get categorized, as Weiner's do (deservedly or not), as "chick lit." I reread the novel a couple of months ago in anticipation of its sequel and loved it all over again, this time really noticing how well Weiner negotiates humor and humanity (though I'm not trying to suggest humor and humanity are opposing forces). Certain Girls, though a bit heavier than its predecessor, was also quite satisfying. I think I've read all of Weiner's offerings thus far and would most heartily recommend Good in Bed, Certain Girls, Little Earthquakes, and her short story collection The Guy Not Taken. I enjoyed In Her Shoes and Goodnight Nobody, but I don't think either of those titles would be the best introduction to Jennifer Weiner. She also has a blog you might be interested in

2. Plan B: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper
My friend (and NTB reader/comment-leaver) MSH introduced me to Jonathan Tropper, and I will be forever grateful. The first book I read (and probably my favorite) was The Book of Joe. I also enjoyed How to Talk to a Widower, Everything Changes, and most recently (but actually his first novel), Plan B. Tropper's novels all feature men in the twenties or thirties who are struggling with their careers, their pasts, their friends, and/or their love lives. Like Weiner's novels, Tropper's offer a nice blend of humor and real issues. His pop culture references are right on and very helpful in terms of characterization; he offers the kind of details where you might nod your head and say to yourself, "Yes, this guy is the kind who would watch Baywatch reruns." Plan B was probably my least favorite, but I don't think most readers would be disappointed with any of Tropper's titles.

3. Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
EFagel, NTB reader and friend of PITA, introduced me to Jen Lancaster. Lancaster is a Chicago author who has now published three memoirs. In the first, Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office, Lancaster takes her readers through the journey of losing her high-paying job and being forced to change her consumer habits and move out of her trendy neighborhood. In her second, Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?, Lancaster tries to de-romanticize city living. You know, it's not all cosmos and brunch with Carrie Bradshaw. Her latest offering, Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass LookBig, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer, probably my favorite, traces Lancaster's quest to become more physically fit after being confident in her plus-size appearance for years. Her experiences with Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and a personal trainer named Barbie (for real) make for entertaining reading and her story is both humorous and inspiring. It sounds like a cliche to say it, but her goal is health and fitness more than weight loss, and I really liked the ending. I will warn you that Lancaster's style is "in-your-face," and it can be uncomfortable at moments, but I find myself respecting her willingness to call it as she sees it, even if I wouldn't always do it in quite the same way. Also, Jen Lancaster has a blog:

So, there you have it. Some other books I have read (or re-read) and enjoyed of late
you can look up for yourself: The Great Indoors by Sabine Durrant; Pride and Prejudice (for the fifteenth time maybe?)and Sense and Sensibility (damn that Willoughby) by Jane Austen; The Observations by Jane Harris; and The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer (damn, this one really deserves its own post I'll have to get back to you).

I'm currently reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and next in line is Of Men and Their Mothers by Mameve Medwed (an author you should meet for sure). I'll keep you posted.

Okay, what are you reading? Any authors you'd like to introduce?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My backyard is a mullet . . .

What you need to know is that the title of this post is not meant to be read but sung, specifically to the tune of John Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland." You also need to know that this is one of those titles that likely only makes sense to me, but that, once conceived, could not be discarded.

Mullets themselves are not actually the topic of this post, but I do think I should pause to give you some interesting mullet facts. I remember, maybe eight years ago, checking out a website entitled Mullets Galore and thought you'd like to know that it still exists and is still amusing. Maybe three or so years ago, one of my brother's friends-who works in the flooring business--told him of a flooring company down South called Mullet Flooring and claimed that everyone who works there grows a mullet. I was able to confirm that Mullet Flooring is a legitimate business, but could not find any evidence that its employees all grow mullets. If they do, however, I truly applaud the creativity of the business model. Final fact: if my Bub does not get a haircut in a the next couple of weeks, he will start to have a mullet-esque look in back.

In my mind, the mullet has come to represent disconnect -- disconnect between front and back, disconnect between personal style/preference and more mainstream men's hair styles. Several years ago, a family friend of ours specifically grew a mullet before having his driver's license picture re-taken when he turned 21. I believe he kept using the phrase "all business in front, all party in the back" or something along those lines. Thus, I guess the mullet might also represent multi-dimensionality of some sort. If you have a mullet, you can be the business guy and the party guy, the guy who specially tames and coifs his mane but can change a tire or lay a floor with ease.

My backyard is a mullet because it is a place of disconnect and because it is a good symbol for the dimensions of our life around here. Let me try to show you in pictures.

This is our back deck. It's not really a deck one is justified in bragging about, but it is nice enough. Note the lattice work, the flower boxes of begonias, and the healthy-ish green plants bordering it on the bottom. Not bad.

See this table. Do you imagine that it would be nice to sit around it on a summer evening and enjoy some grilled chicken and vegetables and a cold beer or glass of wine? It is pleasant, and we do enjoy eating outdoors when the heat is not too oppressive. Of course, the past two years, the soundtrack for these meals has been the crackling and static of our baby monitor plugged into the outdoor plug. Or, when the Cubs are in town, we listen to the loud cheering and the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," which despite all my bitching and moaning about the Cubs, is a pleasant kind of experience. The whole deck is sorely in need of a power wash, but again, it's a nice deck and we like it and what it represents: a haven of quiet in the city where we can relax and enjoy the outdoors.

When we purchased our home, it was billed as having a "huge backyard," a laughable notion by suburban standards (I would estimate that it is maybe 15 feet by 15 feet, maybe a bit bigger--it takes my husband longer to start the lawnmower than it does to cut the grass) but a fairly accurate one by the standards of our neighborhood. NTB. Check out the following photos of our yard. If our deck represents the adult, relaxed, peaceful, fairly organized dimensions of our lives, the backyard represents the childlike and chaotic dimensions.

Perhaps a yard full of plastic toys and other debris speaks for itself? If you cannot identify the items, they include: Cozy Coupe car, upturned plastic shopping cart, toppled basketball hoop, slide/bird poop magnet, vacuum cleaner Bub brought from inside, child's pretend lawn mower (fueled by the alternative energy source of play-doh, which is what the Bub has shoved under its gas cap), a roller coaster, a sandbox, a digger, a tailgating chair, and fallen branches from our tree. I should also note that I was able to capture our yard from this vantage point because a portion of the fence dividing our yard from our neighbors' blew over in a windstorm a few weeks (months?) ago, and our yards have been open to each other ever since (we are getting a new fence this summer, but until then, we have found that "bad fences make good neighbors" as Bub and the kids next door love playing in both yards). The missing fence does add to the sense of chaos, clutter, and overall mullet-ness though.

Close up of the hose, typically strewn and twisted about the yard.

Another classy view.

I think the Bubby (Hillbubby?) looked around the yard yesterday afternoon and sensed that it was not a collared shirt-type environment.

None of these photos was staged and, for the record, I did tidy up the yard before we came inside yesterday. I guarantee that by the end of today, the yard will look as chaotic and cluttered as it did at the end of yesterday. Those mullets, they tend to grow back if you don't stay on top of them. But that's okay, I'm fine with all the dimensions of our life, even if I sometimes wish it wore more deck and less yard . . . a little less mullet-esque, if you will.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Talk about customer service . . .

We had Chipotle for dinner this evening, and it was delicious and satisfying as always. I have recently started ordering online and then just picking it up. It's an easy process. Create an account, log in, and then use the mouse to craft your burrito using a virtual version of the behind-the-counter bar. If you are ordering for multiple eaters, they also ask you to give a different name for each burrito. Then, you avoid the whole scene of opening up a burrito and figuring whose has extra sour cream (MEP's), whose is light on cheese (my mom's, and by the way, there is also a box for special instructions like this), and whose has been rendered toxic by the hot salsa (the hubby's). Each burrito has a sticker with its owner's name on it.

They send an email immediately after you order, asking you to call and confirm that they received the order. I would like to share the final portion of my confirmation email:

"Please do not reply to this confirmation email. If there is a problem
with your order or a further question, please call your restaurant.


Wow. "Love, Joe." Not "Thanks, Joe" or "Joe, Store Manager" or "Sincerely, Joe" but "Love, Joe." Now that's customer service . . . if only I knew who Joe was.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lemonems and Other Mini-Miracles: A Bubdate

"See poop. See poop." Some version of "see poop" has been the favorite phrase around here of late. I am of the camp that once your toddler begins expressing a passionate interest in investigating and admiring his own excrement, he is perhaps ready to start depositing said excrement in a potty. For the past month or so, the Bub has been so excited to see his poop that when I change his diaper I can barely get him wiped before he starts grabbing for the diaper to get a peek. He usually does not want to touch the poop, but he really marvels at his product. Last night when he was supposed to be asleep, I heard him on the monitor bidding me to "See poop. See poop." I arrived upstairs to find he had removed his diaper and was kneeling beside it. He gestured with enthusiasm, "Mommy, see poop." I'm not sure how I am supposed to respond. I don't want him to feel ashamed of his poop, but I don't want checking it out to become one of the great passions of his life. I made a lame attempt at a "teachable moment" by reminding him that if he poops in the potty, it will be a lot easier to see his poop.

All of this leads me to the first of the mini-miracles that are the subject of this bubdate. With an "lemonem" reward system, we started upping our potty training efforts two weeks ago. The Bub is kind of hot and cold on the whole thing, but we had a major breakthrough on Friday. He told me he wanted to poop on the potty and then did so. He has also peed on the potty several times. We are nowhere near ready to stop with the diapers, but progress is progress. On Saturday morning, he did wear a pair of Thomas the Train big boy pants for two hours before wetting them (this despite my asking every 3-5 minutes if he needed to use the potty). When the Bub does use the potty, he savors his "lemonems" as if they were indeed miraculous.

The next mini-miracles come in the culinary arena. The Bub is a good eater insofar as he eats plenty and does not need a lot of cajoling to do so. I am proud to report that he eats a ton of fruit and still drinks milk quite willingly. I am semi-ashamed that, except for grape tomatoes (technically a fruit but a vegetable in my mind), the Bub still will only eat vegetables in baby food form. So, basically, my almost-40 pound, 29 month-old child is still rocking Gerber Stage 2 peas and sweet potatoes on a daily basis. My goal is to change that situation by the time Bub 2.0 is ready for baby food (kidding, hopefully way before then). I also feel ashamed that his regular rotation of "entrees" all require dipping sauces. The first culinary miracle is that the Bub finally ate and seemingly enjoyed macaroni and cheese this past week. Not that mac and cheese is so healthy and great, but I was starting to wonder why my toddler would not even swallow a bite of the stuff (especially considering that, NTB, it is one of my few culinary specialties). The second culinary miracle is that the Bub also ate a sandwich. It may not sound like much, but I was practically crying tears of joy as he ate his ham sandwich the other day and told me it was "so good." Sure, I put mustard on it, but other than the condiment on the bread, there was not a dipping sauce in sight.

The last of the mini-miracles is the absolute joy the Bub takes in bubbles. We blow them outside and in the bath tub. It is one of the things he has learned to "do self," though he still asks me to take turns too. The best part of it is the way he smiles as he watches the bubbles and says, "Amazing. Amazing bubbles mommy." Truly warms the heart. NTB.

Finally, the last of the mini-miracles is this. I am sitting at the table writing this post. My husband is lounging on the couch watching Pretty Woman.

Any mini-miracles in your life these days?
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