It’s amazing to me how getting thrown out of my comfort zone in every single way has actually been good for me. Who would have thought? (Almost everyone you ever hear talk about comfort zones and getting out of them).
Anyway, after a weekend of exploring this truly gorgeous, fabulous area (Sonoma County, Google it) I am feeling so much better about life here. We drove through vineyards and around curving hills where the grass flows in the breeze and cows are lazing around and sheep frolicking. We drove up the Sonoma coast and along the Russian River Valley through the Redwoods. We made plans for the future and talked and laughed and spent time with our son as a family. It’s what I needed in a big way.
It was cold and I forgot his jacket. He was not thrilled.
I signed up for the mother’s group here in town today. I already have a play date for next week with a mom who has a son the same age (and nap schedule) as Henry. By the way, if you don’t have kids yet, the nap schedule always comes up in conversation when making plans unless you are one of those people with children who don’t have a nap schedule and are totally fine if no nap is had. In that case, shut it. My son runs to the bedroom door with his blanket and pacifier at nap time and giggles as I put him into bed, sooooo it’s kinda important we don’t mess that up. So I’m excited and nervous for the play date. Like I said, this stuff is out of my zone de comfort, but I know that’s what I need right now to make the changes that are needed. Like friendships and a social life, for instance.
For the most part, I’m feeling good about life here in the Bay Area and the future. It’s taking me back to my previous life in Los Angeles where despite not really enjoying living there, I felt like opportunity was abound. I have that same feeling here, but with much nicer people and a greater sense of community. Also, they celebrate something called Butter and Egg Day here SO THAT CAN ONLY BE GOOD. All caps.
So yeah. Things are looking up.
My social media experiment worked and also did not work. See, I didn’t tell people I was deactivating so I made some friends get all panicky (since they know I’ve been bummed lately and all). So I reactivated, but deleted all the apps from my phone. So now I’m just checking it when I can get on an actual computer, which is not a lot since Henry does not like me being on my laptop. Not unless he can punch every key, I mean. The Facebook detox worked because I barely picked up my phone today, except to text a few friends occasionally and checking work email (just to see if I had any). But before, I had my phone glued to me, checking it constantly for….nothing. Really. Nothing. So, maybe I’m making progress in kicking this addiction.
So yesterday I decided to put Henry in the car and just drive. I needed to see what else this town had to offer. I found out there is a post office, a Starbucks, and a chinese place like 2 blocks away. That is very handy. Then we drove to Trader Joes. As I got out of the car and walked toward the store, I saw a little toy store next door. The door was open and it looked so inviting, I had to take Henry in. The place is adorable and had all kinds of toys out for the kids to play with. Henry played with trains and a toy kitchen and had a blast. As a matter of fact, I had my first public toddler meltdown when it was time to leave (after an hour). He did that limp noodle move when I tried to pick him up.
Am I the only mother who finds these things kind of humorous? I’m sure it won’t be so funny later on, but right now, I have a hard time not laughing when he pulls that stuff. However, I know it’s not cute to anyone else, so we do exit the premises with the quickness as to not disturb the peace. We never did make it into Trader Joes. Henry snapped this pic of me as I was putting him in his car seat (the phone was my only line of defense in getting him to sit still).
I also emailed the local mother’s club for info on joining. Joining this group will take me waaaaaahaaahaaaay out of my comfort zone as I usually don’t like group settings with strangers and have bad experiences with other moms in general. HOWEVER. I need to get out this house, I need to make friends, my kid needs playmates and most importantly, having a support system is necessary and it seems that’s what this group excels at. I guess I’ll keep you posted.
**Please excuse the photos in this post. I was playing around with Afterlight to edit them and it (I) need some work.
I can’t do Yoda poses anymore. My climbing/running/crazy toddler won’t sit still long enough and when I attempt to make him, baby rage comes out and he throws Yoda across the room and does this:
A far cry (pun intended) from this little ball of joy just one short year ago:
I’ll just try again when he turns two. They always mellow out by age two right? (hahaha) But in all seriousness, and despite the above picture, Henry really is a sweet, good baby. Here’s some new fun Henry facts:
- He loves getting out of the house. It doesn’t matter where we go, just as long as it’s not in the house. Lately, I don’t even bother with putting him in a cart or carrying him if we’re going to a bookstore or Target for one or two things. He will easily and happily walk along with me and hold my hand. When I tell him to not touch something, he stops touching it. In short, it’s fun to take him places and I like hanging out with him. Really.
- He can climb stairs by himself (and give me about 14959 heart attacks in the meantime)
- He can do things on the iPad and iPhone that I don’t even know how to do. But it is cool to just hand him the iPad and watch him swipe to turn it on and find his apps. Today, he started tracing letters with his fingers in his alphabet app. People who try to tell me tablets aren’t beneficial for toddlers, I’ll show them Henry tracing his ABC’s at 17 months old.
- There’s not much on the speech development front, though he is always “talking.” When actual intelligible words are formed, I will never get a word in edgewise, so I’m not rushing it. However, he understands EVERYTHING we say. It amazes me sometimes all that he understands.
- He eats everything. Anything you give him, he will try. Oh, sorry, no. Except meat. He has all his teeth (minus the 2-year molars) and can bite through an apple core (yes, this happened) but he won’t eat meat. Half of a caesar salad? Yes. Chicken? No.
- He is very snuggly. This is my most favorite development. I love when I’m in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes and I just feel these little arms wrap around my leg.
- When we moved into this apartment, we decided to scrap the home office and just give Henry a full room. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. He LOVES his room. It has really fostered a new independence in him and he doesn’t need to be entertained all the time anymore. I love peeking in there to him reading or stacking blocks or whatever kids do. On a bittersweet note, he loves his room so much that he no longer wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to get in bed with me. He’s sleeping 11-12 hours a night, on his own. I’ll be honest, I miss it.
I feel like I am forgetting so many things, but what more can I say? He’s amazing. An average toddler to most, but my world, and I feel so lucky to have him. I thank God every night for him and try to steal as many snuggles, kisses, and laughs as I can every single day.
It just keeps getting better with him, really, tantrums and all.
A week and some change before we hit the road. I’m starting to feel anxious and nervous and excited and terrified. Part of me wants to get there and get settled in already, but the other part of me wants to slow down time. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye. I don’t like that I’m texting my best friend telling her I want to see her just one more time before we leave. There’s also this nagging feeling that I’m leaving unfinished business behind. But that business wants nothing to do with me as far as I can tell, so it’s probably best I leave that in the rear view, however difficult that might be.
But let’s talk about happier things: Henry. OMG you guys, this kid is growing up fast. I know he’s just your average 16 month old (tomorrow) but he’s amazing to me.
The kid is so well behaved in public. The tantrums he throws at home are epic, but in public he’s an angel. He holds my hand, minds me when I say “don’t touch that” or “put that back”, and he’s so patient. We went to the bookstore, just the two of us, last weekend and he stood there in line with me, holding my hand for a good 10 minutes while a chatty German woman checked out. I was honestly shocked.
Ok he’s not always an angel in public. When it’s nap time and I won’t let him dump the salt shaker all over the table in a restaurant…yeah that’s our cue to exit swiftly.
Honestly though, I love these toddler times, tantrums and all. He’s starting to become a little kid with a personality. He loves his shoes and would wear them all day and night if I let him. Daniel Tiger is still his BFF. He is a pro at navigating the iPad and taking lots of (mostly black) photos and some pretty cool videos, really. He likes to grab a book and sit on his Sesame Street chair. I bought him a back pack and it’s his new favorite thing. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ll leave you with some pics of my growing little boy.
Ugh, I’ve had my Dexter fill. I’m actually super excited for the series to be over. We’ve committed to it now, no turning back, but c’mon! End already!
That’s why I’m blogging on a Saturday night. After this, it’s the first half of SNL and lights out. That’s if I make it that far. I postponed a much needed girls night with my bestest and her homemade cookies because I am so exhausted. Stress will do that to you.
I just realized that I haven’t given a Henry update in a while and now is the time when he’s actually starting to do things. Here’s the low down for this 13 1/2 month old:
- He can point to nose, toes, tongue (his favorite), hair (or ear, they sound similar), and belly button. The kid is a sponge. We have a body parts board book that he brings to me every day, so we’ve been practicing and he picks it up so fast.
- Climbing. I think he’s a little behind in this area because I have friends whose kids were terrorizing them with their climbing skills much earlier. I actually felt blessed that Henry showed no interest in climbing. NOW IT IS THE MOST FUN THING TO DO EVER. Especially after he gets up onto something and then does a fake cry to help him down so he can do it again. I try not to let him see me laugh so he will know that no, mommy does not want him on the coffee table, but it’s pretty hard not to.
- He has a new word: “bear.” He’ll say “bear, bear” when bringing me his other favorite book (ok, alright, he brings me ALL of his books all day long. I think that’s pretty typical toddler behavior, but I like it.)
An old classic.
- Elmo has taken a back seat to Daniel Tiger. I wish I liked anything half as much as this kid likes Daniel Tiger. I know kids aren’t supposed to watch TV before 2 or something, but it’s on PBS, so it’s ok, right? Actually, it’s really educational so I let him watch a couple episodes a day on Netflix. “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away,” is a little ditty that should not be stuck in my head 24/7 but is. Anyway, it brings the kid joy and brings me some down time, so I’m all for it.
- The fine motor skills are getting better. We let him draw with a pen or crayon and paper (which he loves) and I give him a spoon or fork with dinner now. He prefers the latter because it’s much more fun to stab food repeatedly until it’s sufficiently stabbed and ready to eat. Also, I taught him all about the joy of stickers today. All kids needs stickers in their lives.
- He’s still super snuggly and super clingy to mommy. It’s like WWIII every time I need to use the bathroom for 30 seconds. That’s ok though. My biceps can use the workout from carrying those 22 lbs of love.
- He laughs every time he sneezes. Not really a milestone, just insanely cute.
There’s a lot more, but it’s probably more boring than what I’ve already listed, if you can imagine that. He’s my kid, so of course everything he does amazes me. When we have baby number 2, I might not be as amazed. Or maybe I will, I don’t know.
News on our situation: we will probably most definitely be moving out of here at the end of February. Unless Chris gets a job in the next week or two, we are moving in with my mom temporarily. They are graciously giving us the master suite so we will have lots of privacy and room. Chris has some pretty good opportunities he’s looking into (some out of state – eek!) and I know one of those will work out. If we can get through this period without draining (or even touching) our savings, then it’s worth it. And that’s what we’re on track to do. Honestly, we are pretty lucky to even have the option. Plus, my parents have cable, so there’s that.
Alright, I apologize for the late-night blathering. Please come back later for more though, ok? Ok. Goodnight!
I read an article about how Facebook makes people unhappy. I think it’s true. Sure, I have some hilarious, intelligent friends who make me laugh daily but I also spend a lot of time rolling my eyes. We also live in a day and age where it’s perfectly acceptable to “unfriend” people you’ve known for years as a way to let them know you’re pissed off. It’s a passive aggressive dream come true. That alone makes me sad and disappointed, so I figured it was time to take a break.
The one thing I really need is an extra dose positivity. My husband is still unemployed and where we will be living after February is up in the air. He has some great leads out there so I’m praying one works out.
Anyway. It lasted 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS! Restraint is obviously not my strong suit. After I put Henry to bed, I sat down and really needed to see what foods my friend ate that day or something. Sad.
But despite my obvious addiction, I’m going to try to stay off it when I’m at home with Henry. I think I already do pretty good at that, but I can do better. Also, I really want to finish a couple books I’ve started and I still have one season of Dexter left. Priorities, people.
Henry checked with his Ocean Buddies book and then told me, “yep, mom, you have problems.” (recycled Instagram pic taken during the great FB hiatus of 2014)
I know I’m not alone here. What is it about social media sites that makes it so difficult to disconnect? And which ones are you addicted to? I don’t do the Twitter, but I love FB and Instagram. Also Pinterest, but that’s different. Chime in.