Monday, June 30, 2008

Entering the Potty Zone

Recently in the middle of a typical Monday afternoon and a barrage of emails about data sets, client reviews and extranets, I received a wonderful little ray of light in the form of an email from Mimi, while she was watching the boys:

“When Graham got up from his nap his pants were dry so I asked him if he wanted to go to the potty. He did. And he peed!”

Take that, world! My baby is growing up! Today it’s peeing in the potty…tomorrow, maybe Congress! MY BABY PEED IN THE POTTY!

I imagined the look of pride that must have graced his face when he realized what he was doing. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him what a big boy he is.

I thought about a sign that hung in my old hairdresser’s salon in my small home town:

“Doing a good job around here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling but nobody really notices.”

Now this is a big moment for a toddler that barely goes unnoticed. I’m sure we’ll now go get that potty trainer and maybe some Pull-Ups and perhaps we’ll stock up on some key potty training tips at our favorite parenting sites. But for me, this little guy’s mother, well heck, you might say I’m “peeing” right along with him…right into my dark suit.

Friday, June 27, 2008

TV as T-Ball Coach

Almost a year ago, we moved to a new house, new neighborhood, new zip code. It was very exciting. Reid was just a few months old and we were ready to expand our square footage to accommodate our newly doubled number of offspring. We moved from what my in-laws considered “the hood” of Kansas City to a more peaceful setting with gorgeous trees and a bicycle-friendly cul-de-sac. But what wasn’t exciting was moving far away from our best friends who had lived just three houses away in the old ‘hood, and with whom we had spur of the moment dinners, games, drinks…and with whom we even had baby boys around the same time. (They were supposed to be best friends, too! How would they become best friends if we moved a half hour away?!)

So we were quite pleased last week when we had one of our spur-of-the-moment dinner dates at our house, even though they had to drive a half hour home afterwards. Between the eating and the driving, we all hung out in the backyard for a bit and enjoyed our lovely June Kansas City weather. And their little almost-two-year-old adorable Grady played with Graham’s t-ball set – the plastic toy in which Hubby Hawks had been waiting, hoping that the boys would start to show some interest. No matter, it saw a little love from little Grady that night. This almost-two-year-old’s swing was frankly amazing. He whacked the ball off the tee across the yard, over and over, with a power surely harnessed by future pros.

Graham couldn’t have cared less, watching and cheering for “Gary” (still working on Gra-dy) from the bench before getting bored and trying to coax him into riding bikes in the cul-de-sac instead of whacking t-balls.

Our friends, perhaps noting our amazement mentioned that Grady watches a lot of baseball on TV with them at home. Really? That’s the secret? This toddler is emulating the likes of Pujols, Jeter, A-Rod…after seeing them on TV? I got to thinking about the great toddler vs. TV debates of our time. Wasn’t it just last year that Baby Einstein came under such fire from a new study about toddler TV time causing ADD? In my undergrad career I studied the effects of TV ads on children, and how they perpetuate gender and racial stereotypes. TV can create health problems, stereotypes and racism, but I had never considered it could create a t-ball talent. Hubby Hawks surely hadn’t realized this either or he would have plopped Graham down right in front of Sports Center for hours. ADD, schmay-dee-dee! My kid WILL LOVE T-BALL!!!

Luckily, Hubby Hawks isn’t one of those over-bearing sports parents. And neither are our friends. I’m not sure about their attribution of Grady’s hefty swing to ESPN, but they certainly have a little talent on their hands. Now, I’m off to check the TV Guide for the Tour de France airing…hopefully it doesn’t overlap with nap time…

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

View Into the Hawks Nest

What's that smell?

It was a banner day today. I got up early to try to get some work done before the boys got up, but of course one thing after the other...yada yada yada...and then we're 15 minutes late getting out the door and I didn't even have time to log on. This was my first clue of the kind of day in store.

Now on to my second, and most favorite, clue. It smelled like something curled up and died inside the car at some point overnight and then radiated in the heat of our garage until this morning when I opened the doors to quickly strap the boys into their car seats and race off to Mimi's, only to be greeted with the most horrid putridness racing its way right up into my nostrils.

"AAAAHHHH!! WHAT'S THAT SMELL???" I asked the boys. They looked at me like I was crazy (I've seen that look before). (And by the way, do babies and toddlers not get sickened by bad smells? They never seem to care! What is the deal?)

My eyes immediately began darting around the car, looking for the spilled sippy cup of milk, the forming cottage cheese, the half-eaten...something? But I couldn't solve the riddle. There was nothing around. No culprit. Just a horrid smell that we had to sit in, windows down and A/C on in the humid heat of a late June day.

Third clue. About five minutes from Mimi's house, the cell phone rings. Mimi is stuck at the car dealer, where she had dropped her car earlier, expecting a shuttle return to her house before our arrival. No such luck.

"You might as well pick me up. They don't know how long it will be. I'm at 103rd Street."

ONE-HUNDRED-AND-THIRD? It hit me like a lightning bolt. I'm now officially going to be at least a half hour late to the office. My breathing turned shallow and I imagined the headline: "29-Year-Old Mom Dies of Stress-Induced Heart Attack." I could hear the mountain of work waiting on my desk laughing at me, louder with each block that passed...56th Street, 57th Street, 58th...

The day went on like that. I won't bring you down with the details.

But now it's night. The breathing is still shallow, but no heart attack today. I made it! I even carved out a few minutes this evening to Febreeze the car. Please, God, don't let that smell greet me tomorrow morning. I might hit the breaking point and drive the thing right into the dealership. One a little closer than 103rd Street...

Monday, June 23, 2008


Though it’s been a few months now, I have this moment in my head and just have to share. It’s one of those, you know, moments…the kind where you get that reminder that you are dealing with a higher power and your kids are just angels on loan.

First, let me explain that story time at night is one of my most favorite times with my older son, Graham. Reid is still too little to really enjoy his books. But Graham has gotten to the place, finally, where he can become enthralled with a book and sit through the whole thing. I read the words and feel his body become still on my lap, seeing his face fixated on each page. And I just know that of course this is just my first sign that this kid is going to be President. Of course.

Story time has been especially important to us this year as we realized Graham had a delay in speaking and was lagging behind where “they” say a 2-year-old should be though they couldn’t find any reason why. I remember when “they” told us we needed to start seeing an SLP, and I wondered, “Have I not been reading to him enough? Speaking to him enough? Practicing phonics enough?” And story time became kind of a big deal to me.

But I digress. So on this particular night, I don’t even know the story, but that’s not even the point. The point is actually that the story was over. And we were just rocking in the big brown comfy chair in his room. And talking about the random subjects that make up 2-year-old topics of conversation. This night it was about naming each person in our family. At this point in his speech delay, he called his brother Reid by a sound in the back of his throat that only his dad and I could decipher. It consisted of no vowels or consonants, and I really have no clue how we determined he was saying “Reid” but that’s what parents do – we translate. In trying to get him to speak “Reid” or at least “Weed” a little more clearly, we did a lot of pointing and asking “Who’s that?” So, on this night we were doing a little of that. Naming mommy, daddy, Graham and Weed. And then, out of nowhere, he labeled all of us:


Yep, wherever all four were involved, my baby had decided that’s where his heart was. His home – the magic equation of himself plus mommy, daddy and little brother. His sanctuary, his respite. His home. And mine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What I've Learned

A year ago today I gave birth to my blonde baby. My little mini-surfer dude. And what a year it has been since! I doubled my volume of offspring, bought a house, lost 35 pounds, welcomed three new sisters-in-law and a niece, completed two more classes towards my master's degree and got a promotion. And I launched a blog! I joined the masses of "mommy bloggers" in the blogosphere, even though most of them don't know I'm here with them...yet. (But hopefully they'll want to be friends? Circle one: yes, no, or maybe?)

Great year, huh!?

I also learned a lot about mothering (since I was suddenly doing twice as much of it) and about nystagmus (my baby's diagnosis) and speech delay (that we are starting to get to finally get to the other side of with my toddler). I learned that it is hard to see your infant anesthetized for an MRI. I learned that no matter how close we get, my sister and I will likely never again have a relationship with our father, and that it's okay to look for the positives in bad situations and not try to fix everything. I learned that my mom is one of the most selfless people I know and I will never be able to show her the depth of my gratitude. I learned that I can be an entrepreneur without taking an accounting class. That I prefer the Gulf to the Pacific. That my New Year's resolutions are going to be the same. Every. Single. Year. That I get giddy about a good deal (who would've thunk it 10 years ago!!) and my husband loves that. And that I have a certifiable addicition to cafe mocha and unfortunately it's an expensive addiction (there goes the benefit of those "good deals" I get giddy about).

What does year two as a mom of two have in store for me? Although I've learned to savor every second because of what "they" say about it flying by far to fast, I can't wait to find out.