Friday, February 27, 2009
And remember when I worried that Henry didn't wave to people?
Well, last night, despite the fact that I was sick as a dog and in my jammies (thank God for long trench coats. That's as good as getting dressed, right?), I had to go to Michael's for supplies for these invitations I am making. And Henry waved to every person in the store. If they were walking towards us, he waved and said, "Hi!" and as they passed and walked away, he waved and chirped "Bye!"
He also now says "bye" when we go from one room into the next. And he has also taken to making sure that every door is shut at all times and so this gives him many opportunities to tell things goodbye. It has also now replaced "Night night" and it makes me sort of sad to hear a little "bye!" as I shut his door at night. Couldn't he even pretend to be sad I am leaving?
And he barks whenever he sees a dog. He watched 101 Dalmatians this morning and he howled at the TV.
You'd think he knows he is getting evaluated for speech therapy next week. Maybe he is just trying to tell me that dad was right and I'm seeking to unleash a beast that is best contained.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Even if they do sing kum-ba-yah.
Monday, February 23, 2009
One of the many random shots that Sloan took of the day. I'm torn as to what to call it as it could fall into either of the following photo series--"Henry eats 8 Nutrigrain Bars in one day" or (my personal favorite) "Mommy wonders why no one told her how big and stupid these sunglasses look."
The race. Pictured (and I can't remember any of their new surnames)--Katie Mackie, Heather Hudson (my gransis), Diane Johnson, me, Carol Chalk, Amy Shey, Dana Harris.
Way to go! We finished the race! And Henry just loves this dog! (And it actually is a dog. Henry calls anything furry a dog.) Also, a big shout out to Ashley Dozier, Darcy Webber, and ET Stevens for doing the "sorority girl squat". The reunion weekend wouldn't have been complete without that squat.
And even though we are home, and playing non-stop with our newly acquired train table (and the Oscar goes to Craigslist!), you can see that in his mind, Henry has gone to Carolina.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
We arrived in Chapel Thrill Thursday night. We got there early so we could enjoy the free food at the hotel. But there was a mix up with our room. Not only were the cleaning crew in the room as we lugged our stuff in, but we also were put in a handicap room. Basically, the bathroom was a bit like a youth hostel. Just a shower head and a curtain around it. I get the point, but still it was a bit strange and so we just resolved that Henry would be dirty all weekend as trying to corral him in a shower with no walls seemed an impossible task. It was all we could do to not have him rip the mirrored closet door from its track(and why did the closet only have one door when it clearly needed 2?). And it is a miracle that we weren't charged for all of the calls he tried to make on the phone.
Henry loved the Penne in a Pink Basil Sauce from Franklin Street Pizza and Pasta. (Like mother like son.) He also enjoyed running about the quad and climbing up on the bench at the Davie Poplar (I'll add pics when we get home--I'm once again blogging on the road.). What he really loved was meeting "vacation" parents. These are the parents that basically always have Fruit Loops and Lollipops in their pockets, because, hey, we can have more fun if the Pickle is all jacked up. (Mainly also because I realized as I ate my fourth slice of bacon at the hotel breakfast, that if I was going to splurge on vacation that it was cool if H did too.) But we've decided that we're going to head down this summer so it won't be 40 degrees outside. (Get ready Jen and Dana.)
I decided to walk the 5k rather than run it because the Jog stroller we have doesn't fold up and also, I could catch up with friends while walking and I can't talk while running. Note to self--it is worth it to bring the non-folding Jog stroller because trying to get a regular stroller up and down curbs while in a moving mob in a timely manner is near impossible. I'm pretty sure the stroller added at least 4 minutes to my time. And Sloan opted out of the 5k because he spent Thursday night at Duke's Emergency Room having a little impromptu blood clot removal surgery and got himself a doctor's note. (He's fine. Still in pain from the incision, but doing well and such a trooper.)
The main thing that was odd about the trip was how much Chapel Hill and the 15-501 corridor have changed. Some good, some bad. Chapel Hill now boasts a Trader Joe's (down by the Loop), a chicken restaurant called Cluck U and a children's museum (both on Franklin Street). And Pepper's Pizza has now taken over the Miami Subs and appears to be clean (er). Airport Rd is now MLK Blvd. But there were also some things missing that I thought would never leave--Hechtor's (I mean can you really end a night of drinking without a Greek Grilled Cheese and fries with a side of taziki sauce) and the Rathskeller (seriously, where else can you eat a vat of cheese in a cave?). Sloan reminded me that it has been a decade, so of course it has changed. But for me, Hechtor's and The Rat were as much a part of Chapel Hill as the Old Well and the Bell Tower. They'd been around for decades.
But some things don't change. It still looks like North Face threw up on Chapel Hill. Girls still wear too tight and too short dresses and then throw a fleece on top. (Why does that even make sense?) Top of the Hill still has overpriced fancy beer. You can still catch a game of darts at Goodfellas. Player's still has a line out front. The bathroom doors at Four Corners still don't close. And the Blue Cups still hold 32 ounces at He's Not Here. (It's just this time there were several orders of Blue Cups of water because, let's face it, there is just no way I can drink 32 ounces of beer fast enough for it not to be piss warm by the end of the cup. I'm already in a bar at midnight, what more do you want from me?)
But it was a blast to be with old friends, meet husbands and kids, and just laugh about what idiots we were in college. Several times I almost peed in my pants. I think the mood can be aptly summed up with the following anecdote---
So we're standing at the crosswalk waiting to cross Airport (I mean MLK), heading back to the parking garage at Nationsbank (I mean B of A) plaza. The light is still flashing the big red hand and someone (I think it was Amy) starts prattling off the words from PD Eastman's Go Dog! Go! Red means stop. Stop dogs! Stop! And then I say, "Do you like my hat?" And then ET said, "No, I do not like your hat." And then the light changed, and suddenly, we all yelled "WHITE MAN. WALK. WHITE MAN. WALK!"
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It appears that this is how I am now going to spend large sums of my parenthood as well because Henry likes a good show. (And I put on a really good show. A really good show.)
So I've decided that I'm going to start choreographing dance numbers to accompany my singing. Only problem is--Henry's two favorite songs are John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It." This is what happens when your husband travels for work, you just have too much time on your hands, and the weather is too yucky to play outside.
I might be too old for this job.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Two years and a day ago Britney shaved her head.
Two years and a day ago Sloan was hungover and I was pissed off at him.
Two years and a day ago I went into labor with Henry and was admitted to the hospital for the bedrest that started this blog.
One year and 5 days ago, I was struggling to understand God's grace to us in Henry's life and his grace to another family who was grieving the loss of a child.
2 days ago, I signed up to take a meal to that same family to help them celebrate the birth of their child.
Who knows where He'll take me in another 713 days.
Monday, February 16, 2009
And to say I shook my tail feather would be a gross understatement. There were certainly times when Sloan would whisper into my ear, "Remember we have to see these people tomorrow morning at church" and at least twice I heard the phrase, "Holy cow, look at my spiritual leader dance." Umm, well. It took my momma nine months to make it, so hell yeah, I'm gonna shake it. Four (or was it five?) glasses of pink wine helped.
But more than because I had that awesome high of just getting my groove on with my buddies and husband (not necessarily in that order), I had a wonderful time Saturday night. I am still a bit hungover from the thrill of it all.
There was a moment Saturday night that simply reflecting on makes my eyes water. Sloan and I were dancing to "Falling Slowly" from the Once Soundtrack. And despite the fact that we were in the middle of a crowded dance floor, really, it was just us. My head was buried in his chest, eyes closed, and he pulled my hand to his face and kissed it. He started to talk to our good friends, Shannon and Hatch, and I had to tell him to shut up because he was missing it. Missing that as my breathing slowed I was remembering. Remembering that I was home. In his arms.
My wandering heart safely moored.
There is nothing quite like being his. That sense of belonging. That sense that when people say his name it is just natural to include the "and Elizabeth" and vice versa. No longer were we separate, but two people who were created to be together. Not two halves coming together, as in 'my better half'--but two wholes coming together to make one new thing.
For once, I am at a loss for what I felt and feel for my Valentine. My sweet Sloan. So I will borrow words from the great poet, John Donne---
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Valentine's can be kind of cool. Particularly when you get to sleep in and are brought this to wake you up.
(If you can't tell--that's Hot chocolate with a marshmallow heart floating in it.)
And then you go downstairs to a clean kitchen smelling that lovely bleachy smell and see this on the island.
And then you get to receive kisses from this little guy--
Friday, February 13, 2009
But it kind of sucks when you're married sometimes too. Don't get me wrong. I love my husband. But my sinful nature has me wanting him to worship me and plan a romantic day centered around roses, chocolates, no messy diapers, and oodles of surprises that are too wonderful to even imagine. And let's face it, even if I were to have a day with all of those things, I would still be left unsatisfied.
And I know that.
Recently I've been convicted of the fact that I seek too much life from Sloan. That I expect him to be my source of joy, validation, identity. Apparently, he has not gotten this memo that he is to be my god. I have set him up to fail miserably. Yucko.
And so once again I'm repenting. Bluh. Repenting of seeking from others that which only God can provide. From polishing my golden calf of a husband and then getting angry when my idol does not behave as only God can. Bluh.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
- Henry loves to do puzzles and is actually pretty good at them.
- He has excellent small motor skills. His fork and spoon skills are well above average for his age. He is also capable of devouring chicken pot pie with a fork and maneuvering his way around all of the vegetables.
- Also about food--the more flavor the better. Bring on the garlic. Bring on the peppers. He has attempted to drink salsa, and thinks that crab stuffed mushrooms are the best thing since bacon.
- Do not interupt him when he is drinking. The boy is a chugger. Were you to see him attack him sippy cup, you'd think he'd just been in the dessert. He'll chug down half of the cup, take a big breath, and then finish it off. It's hilarious. He'll probably win contests in college.
- Henry is not a people person. He's cool if you want to come play with him, but do not expect an invitation. He'd much rather play with his cars or his trains than talk to you. This trait will probably make him popular with the ladies.
- Henry likes things done properly. Each train engine must use it's proper tender. And he is well aware that Percy and Thomas do not use tenders, so please, don't attempt to give Thomas Edward's tender because that's just silly and will make him laugh at you. But he's cool if you want to mix it up a bit, and will even play with your crazy Henry engine, Annie, Clarabel, James tender configuration, but in awhile, he'll put things straight again. And if you really want to get in his good graces, put on the Thomas the tank engine show while he plays with his trains. He also enjoys pulling out the Thomas books and looking at them while the show is on. (But do not let the pulling out of all the Thomas books fool you. He doesn't want you to read them to him. He just wants to flip the pages himself and occasionally say, "Poop poop!")
- Henry has a wee bit of a temper. If you put him down for a nap when he is not ready, he will throw all of his animals and blankets out of his crib. Then he will remove his clothing. Then he will begin to tear the crib sheet off the bed. I'm just praying he never figures out how to climb out of the crib.
- Henry loves his daddy. He will crawl up into Sloan's lap and let him read his books over and over. His current books that we read non-stop are "Thank you Clifford", "Henry in the Tunnel", and "Go Dog, Go!"
- Henry thinks I have a beautiful singing voice. His favorite songs for me to sing to him are "Jesus Loves Me", "Jesus loves the little children", and "Beautiful Boy." But he does NOT like the songs "You are my sunshine", "He's got the whole world in His hands" or anything from the musical Oklahoma. (Sloan finds this last fact reassuring.)
But the most shocking thing I learned from Henry today was his willingness to obey even when it was obvious that he did not want to. I have no idea where he gets this from, as I have yet to learn this quality.
It was time to put away the trains and get ready for dinner. And he cheerfully put away the tracks, clapping for himself as each piece was tossed into the train basket. (Recognize that playing with trains means that we usually have about 10 trains out with their various tenders, cars, and accessories, in addition to the tracks and buildings.) But as it became time to put away Spencer, Sir Handel, and the beloved dairy cars, Henry started to cry. I looked at him and said, "Put the trains away, Henry." He pulled the engines up to his chest. I tossed James into the basket and said, "Good job, Mommy!" Henry cried, "No" and dropped the engines on the floor. "Put the trains away, Henry." And through his tears and his little voice chirping "No no no no no no" he bent down, and one by one, he put his trains in the basket. I have never clapped so loud for my son, nor have I ever been so proud.
Doing the right thing when you want to do it is easy. But to do the right thing even though it breaks your heart, even though it is inconvenient, doesn't feel good, and pretty much puts an end to a good time--this is beyond difficult. And I don't think I've ever done it.
But my little man has and it makes me wonder, who are you little Henry? And where the heck did you come from?
Friday, February 6, 2009
At first, I was driving as Sloan has already driven some 700 miles already with his job this week. But I had him working for me on the laptop. He changed my facebook status for me, and then proceeded to read out every body's status changes, complete with comments. I was about to have him go through my notes to see about other people's "25 random things" lists when I realized I have a problem. I was itching to be at the keyboard. Pointing to things on the screen for him to click on as I took us 65 mph down the road.
I think I'm addicted to the Internet. (And I'm pretty positive I'm a bad driver.)
I liken my driving next to Sloan while he facebooked to a recovering alcoholic walking into a bar. Needless to say, we had to pull over and switch places. I'm not quite ready to start working on my 12 steps.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
But I'm going to share my ugly. Not because it is any of your business. Not even because it may be helpful to you in some way. But because I need to let go of it. I need to bring it out in the light, confess it, repent of it, and hopefully, turn from it. And I need this public domain to hold me accountable.
I find my identity in Henry. In being his mom.
On the surface, this seems natural. Healthy even. It is a part of my identity. But it is shameful that I place this burden on him. To derive my worth from his mood, behavior, actions, cuteness. I take great delight in myself when he clasps his hands to pray whenever someone says "Let's pray." I take pride in his laughter, because I tell you, hands down, he has the best laugh around. And for some reason, I also take pride in the fact that my son has giant feet. I mean feet so big that on a regular basis people comment on his big feet. (How I think I am even remotely responsible for this, I do not know.)
But the flip side of this is ugly. When he misbehaves, I'm more concerned about what you'll think of me as a parent than I am about the fact that my son is disobedient. And what is even more heartbreaking, is that this also causes me to constantly compare Henry to other kids. And so when he doesn't talk as much as other kids, I feel ashamed. And when he doesn't wave to everybody in the parking lot, I make excuses. Joking that he must be a snob, when really, I wonder why isn't he waving at people. And I feel embarrassed. I try to push this down, but the god awful truth is that I've allowed my identity to become so wrapped up in Henry that the only thing he can do is disappoint me. Identity giving just ain't a kids job, so how can he not fail at that? I'm setting my son up to fail. What sort of mother does this?
Henry, dear Henry. Please forgive me.
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinful mother.