Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Noah's Favorite Pastime

We often joke about Noah being an army/navy baby. He seems to think flat floors are for wimps and walking is more fun when it's challenging - either up ramps, or up and down steps, or just back and forth over something.

A while back I "built" a bigger step/platform thing that didn't really work out. We looked for one of those step aerobic steps that would be the right height/price and didn't find anything. So, I decided to dismantle the earlier thing and simply nail a couple of boards together to make him a "step". In the process, I also put out the top part of the platform to see what he'd do with it. He loves it.

We're working on maybe making those corners a little softer, but think the concern isn't him falling into the platform, it's more him falling off of it.

Anyway, it really is hard to convey just how happy these two things make him!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Noah Running

Noah's favorite thing in the world to do these days is to walk up and down ramps. So when he came upon this bridge at Six Flags, we almost never got him off of it. He would have walked back and forth for at least an hour if we hadn't picked him up and moved him along.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Travels

Whew - that was mostly fun.

We flew to DFW Wednesday afternoon. Traveling makes me nervous because of all the things that can go wrong, and for many, many travels did go wrong for poor Nerdstar in the past 12 years. So, I got smart and figured that a late afternoon flight would be better so we wouldn't have to rush. (Side note - on the trip back to our house from the airport, first I wonder if the car was stolen from the airport parking, then as we get close to the house I make sure it didn't burn down, then of course, once we're close enough - make sure it doesn't look like it was broken into!)

We did our research and AA is supposed to have wi-fi you can buy on all it's flights. Noah loves his videos we've tagged for him on (twinkle twinkle, Nasty Dan, For the Birds - lots of things like that) and so we were happy that we could take the laptop along and keep him well entertained during the flight. Well, the flight there had no wi-fi at all. Fortunately, he fell asleep on take-off and slept almost half the flight. The other half was tricky, but he didn't get fussy. The flight home had wi-fi, but it kept buffering so much as to be useless. There was a little more of a meltdown, but it was also later - a 6 pm flight. Trust me, no one hates an upset kid on a plane more than that kid's parents! But again, he was mostly great.

We had one of those little backpack leashes to get him through the airport. He LOVES to walk and I didn't really want to mess with the hassle of the stroller and luggage. There was only one small problem - he wanted to walk where he wanted to walk - which wasn't necessarily the direction we needed to be going! But again, it mostly went well. What was fun was watching all the people watch him walking around like he owned the place in his cute little jammies. I can't tell you how many people said "oh how cute!"

He had fun at the grandparents' house. My nephew is 10 and loved having him around. We went to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags, and it would have been better if it hadn't been 40 degrees and windy.

The rest of the trip was mostly hanging out. Nerdstar and I got to go out to eat without him a couple of times - it was so nice not having to take a bite, feed him, take another bite, feed him... Eventually we'll find a baby sitter!

For Nerdstar and I the highlight is pretty much always the food! Every trip from the airport to the house has a stop at Whataburger! This trip we also went to Black-Eyed Pea and Pappadeux's and got some not-Duncan donuts! (We don't understand why the Asian women in this area don't have donut shops!) Mom was great and cooked for us the rest of the time and we had a great Christmas lunch before flying back yesterday!

We're glad to so far Noah seems to travel pretty well. The folks had a crib set up for him and he slept pretty good in it. We did take his glow worm with us.

I often think that these are the times we'll never forget - but he won't even remember.

I'll try to post a video tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Few New Things

Every day there is a point for me of total, exasperated impatience. Thank God, there are also moments of pure joy and love for this boy.

Two fun things lately. The other night in the bathtub he had a fart that probably almost lifted him out of the water - and it made him laugh! Later while playing before bed he had a couple more farts that made him laugh. We know that there will be tons of fart humor in our future, but this first time was really funny. (There was fart humor in this house before the boy, too!)

Then tonight was the first time we saw him with a finger up his nose. So cute!

(Seriously - 2badmoms for a reason!!)

We took him to an allergist yesterday. We found out his slightly allergic to eggs, cats, and dogs. He's not allergic to milk or wheat or soy. Eggs are easy enough to avoid for now - and it doesn't seem that particular allergy is bad enough that he has to avoid eggs in other foods. But, he's not eating any of those "other" foods for now anyway. As for pet allergies, well, we've had Ramen forever, and will have him until he dies.

Overall, it seems that his immune system doesn't like to handle more than one thing at a time, so when he caught some congestion about a week ago, his skin got worse. Now both are improving, it just takes time. The allergy to Ramen probably taxes his immune system some, but we'll just have to work harder at vacuuming more often and things like that.

The other thing lately is really noticing how differently he treats Nerdstar and I. He's much more emotional with her. He hugs and kisses her more, he's sad when she had to leave (he doesn't stay sad once she's gone), he's usually super happy to see her when she gets home, he yells at her more, hits on her more.

With me, we just tend to hang out, play, eat, get into stuff. He doesn't seem to mind when I leave them alone. The other day I explained to Nerdstar that I think I'm kind of his constant. He pretty much knows I'm always here and therefore doesn't worry when I'm not. He also already knows I'm not the pushover.

I love that we're different to him. I love watching and listening to how they interact.

Oh, one more new thing. He's finally using a sippy cup with a straw. But poor boy, with the other bottles/sippy cups, when it's close to empty you tilt it up, but with the straw one that makes it not work. That's a tough distinction to learn!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Funny Boy

We were hanging out in Noah's room this morning, watching him play with his toys. Then he came over to where Nerdstar was sitting and starting chatting at us. (We're really ready for him to start speaking English!) So, he said a couple of long sentences then kinda laughed and grinned at us. I asked "Did you just tell us a joke?" and he said "yeah!" Too funny!

A few minutes later we were talking about what to get at the store and Nerdstar mentioned blueberries and bananas and Noah took off down the hall towards the kitchen yelling with excitement. So Nerdstar had to follow him and feed him some blueberries.

Friday, December 9, 2011


This was the year of losing parts of me - literally. I had my gall bladder removed. Then, I decided to end the year by dealing with a couple of issues - having a wisdom tooth that came in 3 years ago pulled, and finally getting two spots on my arm tested for skin cancer.

The spots on my arm had been there for over thirteen years. I had them tested about four years ago, but never got the results. (I really disliked the doc and when I didn't hear from them I assumed everything was fine and was happy to not deal with him again.) I was a little surprised a few weeks ago when I had them re-tested and found out they were very benign cancer. I had intended to get both spots removed on the same day a couple of weeks ago, but when I went to have them done, the doc decided the one on my forearm was a little deeper than she liked for just scraping it off like the other one. So, I had to schedule another appointment. The best date happened to be two days after the appointment for getting my tooth pulled.

Honestly, after recovering so quickly after gall bladder surgery, I thought it would be no big deal having the tooth pulled. Ugh. Like I put on fb, wisdom tooth removal is far more painful than gall bladder removal! Silly me.

The good part is that as long as I'm on pain meds, might as well make it count!

So, I have six new scars and one less tooth to end the year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Farm Time

We took Noah out to Frying Pan Farm this afternoon. (It's named from the street close to it, and, I assume, not because they make tasty treats out of the chickens and pigs!)

We've been watching videos from Bedlam Farm and he seems to like them. Today, he got to see chickens up close and personal, and some pigs, but no donkeys. His favorite thing was watching a cat run by!

Actually, more than anything, he loved having lots of room to walk around! We wish we could put a pedometer on him and just let him go. Just like sleep - strollers are for wimps.

He doesn't even want to hold our hand, he just walks around like he's got it all going on. He loves to take everything in, so we pretty much give him space and let him go. We walked around for about two, two and a half hours, and he could have walked around another hour or so.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We took Noah to the local mall last night and he walked and walked and walked. It's kinda fun to follow a 16 month old around, thankfully he wasn't just walking in circles! He does, however, love to walk up and down ramps, over and over. So Nerdstar stood at one end of one, and I stood at the other, and he'd walk back and forth laughing when he saw each of us. Then, because that wasn't enough, he got Nerdstar to help him hop down stairs and then walk back up them. It was at least an hour of a good workout for a little guy!

Of course, silly us thought that mean he'd go to bed a little earlier. Nope. He was up until 11 p.m. And then he had the nerve to wake up at 5:30 ready to play some more.

We joke about him being an army/navy baby - but this is crazy! We're debating when to put a jungle gym in his play area!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Phase

I think we've hit the frustrated with not being able to communicate clearly phase. It's a big side effect of our boy not talking yet. (I think most toddlers hit this phase a little earlier.) With any luck, this will motivate him to finally start speaking English! He mostly likes to moan and grunt at us, but he talks in a lot more diverse syllables when talking to himself. We're giving him until the end of the year to bust out some words, if not then we'll have him evaluated.

Anyway... one fun thing was his first little fit the other day. It was minor enough to be kinda comical. We sat him on his little rocking chair for a brief time out and he got mad at us. He wanted to hit Nerdstar and when she wouldn't let him, he started hitting the floor, then the desk chair, then the desk. He's done a lot of baby "protesting" this was a step towards bigger and better things. Heh.

Mostly, that little fit made us realize just how good a kid he's been so far!! It kind of leaves us ill-equipped to deal with him when he's not so good.

At his 15 month check up the doc asked if he had walked backwards, and we thought that was a weird milestone. Then last week he took a few steps backwards and it's honestly just the cutest thing! No idea why.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just a few more thoughts and reflections about Noah's ER trip

Needless to say, it was quite an adventure that we've had in the last day or so with Noah's ER trip! I am very thankful that the ER staff took care of Noah in a prompt and somewhat organized manner! I am also very glad that Noah is doing a lot better!

However, it was quite a scare for all of us, this marks the third trip to the ER in less than 2 years. It started with my broken ankle (see entry from Sept.-Oct. of 2010), Beth had an GI issue, and now Noah's peanut allergy. Not counting the trips with the pets to the pet clinic, I really hope that we will not have to be at the ER for a long time!

Some observations:

1. With Noah's peanut allergy, that rules out us dining at the "Five Guys" fine dining establishment. I mean, not only are all of their products cooked in peanut oil, but just look at the buckets upon buckets of peanuts at the joint, it's a death trap!

2. Mr. Peanut, instead of being some kind of a friendly, food product related mascot, will instead be the image of the angel of death to Noah, maybe one day Noah will use a cutout of him as a target for target shooting practice.

3. The ER staff at our local hospital were really professional and nice, even though none of then looked like Dr. Cater or Nurse Hathaway....I guess that's ok.

That is all for now.

An Update

Noah seems none the worse for wear today. He woke up about 8 a.m. and was his usual cheerful self. He did end up napping from about 10 a.m. to just after 1 p.m., which is a little early for his nap. He's eaten normally and played normally.

We think his mouth and eye still had a little swelling, but the meds they prescribed seem to have already helped with that.

I must say the people at the ER were really great. They took his case seriously as soon as we walked in, they were friendly and efficient, they did what was necessary but didn't try to do more than that. We got there at 7:30 p.m. and left at 11:30 p.m.

We were able to hear some of what was going on in the next one or two rooms next to us. It was sad to hear about a 41 y/o woman brought in unresponsive. She was more stable later, but we have no idea what happened or why. Other than that it was a fairly quiet ER for a Saturday night.

I think Nerdstar and I are both pretty tired today, physically and emotionally. In some ways it's not a huge deal, in other ways it's a lot to process.

It's weird to know that there's at least one food out there that could potentially kill him.

We know there's been a lot of progress in schools and other environments regarding food allergies - and it's several years before that's even an issue for us. Our prayer is that he'll outgrow this over time.

We're going to follow up with his pediatrician's office tomorrow and see if we need to take him in and when we should see a pediatric allergist. We're really not sure at what age what kinds of allergy tests are accurate.

We're not really that worried about him, it's just an adjustment in going about life.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Trip To The ER

We're always trying to think of new foods for Noah to try and of ways to expand his food horizons. He still eats about the same 12 or 13 things he's been eating since he started solids.

I was hoping peanut butter was something he would like and might would lead to eating sandwiches and such. So, I got a little peanut butter on my finger and put it in his mouth.

Within minutes he started having an allergic reaction. When his eyelid started to swell, I knew it was time to head to the ER.

On the way there I thought about how I'd heard it's best to call 911 than to try to drive to the ER yourself, but he was breathing ok and the reaction wasn't getting worse and it was about 10 more minutes to the ER.

Once we got there, they were great and got him back and started treating him right away. They started an IV, gave him two or three different things, one of which was benedryl, then after a couple of minutes gave him an epi shot.

It didn't really take that long for the swelling to start to go down, they were obviously concerned with his airway, but he never did have trouble breathing.

They observed him for a couple of hours, we were there for less than four, and he slept about the last hour.

Sigh. That really sucked. But, now we know he's allergic to peanuts. At least we were both home and were able to get him to the ER quickly and safely.

He's sleeping now.

We have to find a way to have an epi pen handy all the time. Of course, we'll have one in the house, but neither of us carries a purse - and we don't have a diaper bag, we just carry a lunch container for his snacks with a diaper and wipes in the top compartment when we go eat. So we're going to have to find a way to keep one close when we're out and about.

I'm sure it hasn't sunk in for either of us the longer term little (or big) changes this means. Our prayer is he outgrows it over time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Tough Questions

Having been disappointed with The Walking Dead, I checked out World War Z from the library.

Wow. After it scares you, and then fills you with dread, it makes you think.

We've all seen so many post-apocalypse, post-alien invasion, etc, movies. I think while we're watching them we all envision ourselves as not only the survivors, but the over-comers. That's probably not very realistic. (hahaha, yes I know I said realistic in talking about post-alien invasion scenarios!)

Of course, having Noah changes everything. That's where the tough questions come in.

Do I even want to survive one of those scenarios? Life is going to be hell for a long time to come. Does it matter if the threat - alien or sickness or zombie - is over and it's just a matter of rebuilding from nothing, or if the threat has no end in sight?

Do I kill all of us and end the chance of suffering with the faith that there is a heaven and afterlife? Do I hand Noah off to people better able to survive and take care of him in safety? (Hell, just think of all the kids from WWII separated from their parents for any number of reasons.) I sure as hell don't hand him over to the aliens to start over on some distant planet like the asinine scene in Knowing.

Anyway. This is how my brain works. World War Z is a hell of a book that won't leave you feeling at all optimistic about any world catastrophe.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Poor Ramen

Many years ago there was a woman on tv who was a pet psychic. Nerdstar loved that show. She has always wanted to be able to "talk" with the pets. She's been worried about Ramen since the cats died, and since we've had Noah. He has seemed a little less energetic.

We've been reading John Katz for several years. I don't envy his life on the farm only because he really conveys how much hard work it is. Nerdstar has always wanted lots of animals around.

Anyway, he has recently written about Jeannie, a pet psychic he knows and is working with, one animal at a time. We figured if he trusted her, it was worth giving a try.

Yesterday, we spoke with her on the phone for about 30 minutes. Apparently, we've bored Ramen to death. He kept showing her that he really wants to be outdoors more, to have more walks and to be able to even run around off leash sometimes. He's a dog's dog and wants more of a dog's life - outside running around and smelling things. The back yard is nice, but he wishes we were outside with him more. She said that even though he's 13 years old, he feels like he's 3. If we can provide more outdoor, walking, running time, he'll really "come back to life".

He's not upset about the cats not being around. We knew they weren't close. And he's fine with Noah being here.

He said he listens to me more than Nerdstar because I'm more clear and direct, and it makes him feel safer. So she's going to work on that and on taking him for more walks. We pretty much stopped walking him once we got the back yard for him.

There are a few problems with the off leash dog parks in our area. They're not all that close to where we live. They're in the process of setting up one in our area, but that's still months away. The bigger problem is they don't allow kids under 9 or 10 in with the dogs. And while I understand that - it's a pain in the butt to not be able to let them both run around in the same area.

It's a shame we're finding this out right as the cold weather is setting in. We'll do what we can until it warms up and then hopefully really find him some areas and times to be a dog.

We feel like she had some basic but good insight into Ramen, so it was cool.

Friday, November 11, 2011

15 Months

Noah had his 15 month check up yesterday. He's officially a tall, skinny boy - 73% for height and 40% for weight. We've actually fattened him up just a little bit, he was at 30% for weight.

The doc was a little concerned that he isn't saying any words yet. I've generally felt that while he's obviously a smart kid, he's sometimes behind on things, and that's ok with us. We know boys are slower in some areas, and he's usually not too far behind. We're going to give him a few more weeks to start speaking English.

He's definitely getting better at understanding what we tell him. When he's hungry he's been in the habit of coming to me and pulling on my shirt and yelling at me. So I ask him if he's hungry and he says "uh-huh" and I ask if he wants a snack and he says "uh-huh". Then I tell him, "ok, let's go to the kitchen" and he heads to the kitchen and to his high chair. It's so cute. Eventually he'll just go stand by his high chair when he's hungry.

The one thing he tends to get into upstairs is the books on our bookshelves, he likes to pull one or two off the shelf, but he doesn't tear them up or anything. I'm working on taking his hand and having him walk away while saying "walk away". With any luck I can train him to literally walk away from things he's getting into. We'll see, I know that's pretty optimistic.

The most fun thing he's doing lately is when we're all in his room he'll take about 3 steps towards the door and turn around and babble at us until we say "ok" then he'll take 3 more steps and repeat until he's out in the hall. Then he'll take off down the hall and wait for us to say "Where's Noah? Where did he go?" Then he'll come running back down the hall into his room and we'll say "Yah -there he is!!" Easiest way ever for us to play hide and seek!!

I always knew I wasn't a baby person, and said just hand me the kid when it can walk and talk. Every day I find him more and more fun. He makes me laugh every day. And oh boy, once he can actually talk... we literally can't wait to see what he tells us!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy early Veteran's Day!

This is not an ad for the Java Monster brand of beverage, I simply posted this picture of me and my soldiers in uniform if some of you guys/gals had not seen me in uniform before.


I can't believe that I am now a full-fledged veteran! So, a day early, I'm going to wish my fellow veterans a happy veteran's day! Now, I know that many of you would like to buy me a beer or something, but due to the distance and the logistic concern, most of you faithful readers are unable to, but I still will thank you from the bottom of my heart! Now, for those of you who will be buying me beers, I'm not that hard to please, I like Guinness, Fat Tire, Pyramid Apricot Ale, and anything else that does not start with the letter B and end with a R!

Or, if you see someone in uniform at a restaurant or some place, offer to pay their meal or buy them a cup of joe, I know that they'll really appreciate it!

Also, worth mentioning is that veteran's day is sort of for Noah Maxx also! As some of you might know, his donor is in the navy, or at least he was when he donated his swimmers. I was, at the time of Noah Maxx's conception, a second lieutenant in the army, so Noah Maxx is our army/navy baby! Happy veteran's day, Noah Maxx, and when/if it's your time to enlist, I hope you'll go air force! :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

From what seems like almost a million years ago...


I am so excited for Noah because he is just so darn happy now that he can walk around. He's wanted to be in motion for most of his life, and he finally is. He walks around chattering and laughing. He's very close to running.

Somehow we missed the memo on the overdrive switch (or invisible meth drip) that comes with walking. We're assuming he's in a big growth spurt because he's been eating about twice the amount he was eating. Now, he's not eating any new foods yet, just a lot more of the regulars. When he's not eating, he's walking and walking and playing and walking. Yesterday he didn't nap until 4 pm, and then only for an hour. Thankfully, today he napped from 11 am to about 1:15. He's also waking up hungry in the night sometimes. I told Nerdstar it'd be nice if there was some sort of bottle holder thing like in hamster cages for his crib.

Also, for the first time, I've sent Noah out and about with Nerdstar without me. I've got the whole house to myself without having to worry about when he's going to wake up! They're going to lunch with some friends and then to the Korean grocery store. I told him he had to be good for her like he is for me!

A couple of funny pics:

This is him hanging out the pet door. In addition to throwing toys/books down the stairs, he also throws them out the pet door. Fun. He also yells at Ramen when Ramen is outdoors.

For some reason, he's decided that this shelf of his changing table is a great place to take breaks when playing.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A few things....

Will someone please tell me what "Pumped Up Kicks" mean?

= Gay, perhaps more than I'll ever be.

The above people aside, these past 2 weeks have been a mixture of good and not so good things. First of all, I've gotten my annual review from the all for profit defense contracting company, and let's just say that I've been made the fall guy for a really trying year. It was sort of what I had expected because so far my work management have been fairly consistent (at sucking). I tell you what, if I had my way, I don't really think I'd like to be working. I'd take my days to be with my family and take the time to maybe learn a thing or two, be it going back to school or cooking by watching Food Network.

Regarding the good things, Noah Maxx is now practically running after a week of walking! He is also using more expressions and sounds to get to his goals. For example, when he got hungry this morning, he went to Beth and said "mmmmm..." and that's the sound we've been making with him while he's eating! Noah has also sprouted more teeth on both sides of his lower jaw, and that probably has contributed to his midnight wake ups to which he'd wake up kind of upset looking. Although, with him, it could just be hunger. After not sprouting new teeth for several months, they're coming in with some kind of vengeance! However, he didn't really seem to be bothered by it during the day and so far, it hasn't affected his eating habit.

Not to brag, but Noah Maxx is funnier, smarter, and cuter than ever! He has started to charm the waiters when we're eating at restaurants. To date, he has gotten extra crayons, fruits, and even ice cream from waiters, all with his cuteness! I think it won't be long (if it is not here already) before he outsmarts me.

We're all here, all fairly healthy, and trying to live as best as we could, and that's more than we could ask for!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creative Bad Parenting

Today was a really good day for Noah and I, right up until it wasn't. He played, snacked, we went to the store, he played and snacked some more. And then it was getting to be what I thought was nap time. He's switching to mostly one nap a day, and sometimes that nap is later in the afternoon, sometimes earlier. It was getting close to 3 and we were both tired, so I put him in bed. There would be moments of quiet, and then moments of talking, making noises. I kept thinking any minute now sleep would take over.

Forty-five minutes later he's much louder, so I figure I'll go in, give him a bottle, rock him, and he'll fall asleep. I walk in to find his glow worm and blanket thrown out of the crib, AND his socks and pants thrown out of the crib. Ugh!

The bottle and rocking seem to work so I put him back in bed and he finally falls asleep a little after 4. Oh thank God. I head downstairs to relax and watch last night's sit-coms until Nerdstar gets home around 5-5:30. Imagine my dismay when I hear rather loud crying at 4:45. Sigh.

We call Nerdstar on the cell phone and he likes to talk to her until she gets home.

Once she's home I hand him over for a while and finally go downstairs to relax.

About 30 minutes later I come upstairs to this scene:

Creative bad parenting!! I laughed, and then of course took a picture! She had his list playing for him while she was cooking part of her dinner.

We keep talking about getting him a little tv that has wi-fi so he can watch his videos in his room or something - but he's only 1!! We don't even have a wi-fi tv in our bedroom! (or wi-fi tv at all)

But, I keep telling her - you can't do something once you don't want to do a thousand times. In a few weeks he'll be able to drag his high chair over by the desk - and that's not something we want to get started doing!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More about Noah Maxx, and stuff...

We took Little Man's leftover supplies (kitty litter, cat food, and his scratching board) to the county animal shelter, and while we were there, we took a look at the cats and the dogs which were waiting to be adopted. There were more cats than dogs there, and they were all very adorable. Of course, we spent a bit more time at the cat section than at the dog section. Noah was chuckling at this one cat that noticed him and they were playing paw paw with each other separated by the clear plastic door.

Funny because I never really considered myself a cat person, but you just can't have two cats live with you for more than 10 years and not become some kind of a fan. O.k, I'm not the "cat lady" sort of a fan, just to clarify.

I miss the cats terribly, sleeping was kind of strange for the first few days after Little Man had passed away because there was no cats to walk on either of us.

We don't think that we'll get another cat until after Ramen goes. It wouldn't be fair for him to have to get used to another pet. I know that he probably doesn't care, but sometimes, I wonder.

As Beth had stated before, Noah loves Ramen, and would love it if Ramen could play chase or something with him.

To switch gears for just a bit...

Noah Maxx's sleeping and eating schedule has been on the shifting side this past week or so. He is now down to one nap a day, and I'm sure that if he could, he would just write off naps altogether. It has been hard to really know what time during the day is the best for him to nap. I think he's the type of kid who runs on an extra tank of reserved fuel when tiredness hits him! This has to be payback, I don't remember being a huge fan of napping during my early years, and now I don't even really have that opportunity anymore!

Thankfully, he is still sleeping through the night, at an almost 12 hour stretch!

About his diet, he has decided that he no longer likes the peas in the peas and carrot that we'd feed to him. He's still a big fan of string cheeses, cottage cheese, grapes, apples, blueberries, some sweet potatoes, yogurt, oranges, whole milk, apple juice, and oatmeal. (I just described his overall diet.) Still tells us no when it comes to meat, eggs, or anything else. I hope that changes, because I do still harbors the fantasy that he would become my partner in eating!

One of the biggest development would be the fact that he's walking unassisted. See the previous video post for an idea of how he is walking right now, with ever increasing improvement. Soon, we'll have to get a kiddie leash because we know that he'll simply take off and run when he gets a chance!

Man, it seems just like it was only yesterday when he was laying in his bassinet and we were taking turns to feed and change him overnight, and now he's "talking" and understanding more of what we're saying to him, not to mention his strong opinion of what he wants and does not wants!

I hope that one day Noah will know just how great and fascinating he has been and is still to us!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Noah Update

While other things in life haven't been so great, life with Noah is still pretty darn amazing.

He's still not walking on his own, but he loves to walk with us holding his hands. We took him to the State Fair Sunday evening to get out of the house and into some great weather. He didn't want to spend any of the time in his stroller, he wanted to walk, and walk, and walk. We're sure it won't be long until his most used phrase is "come ON." By the time we were headed home we were really amazed at just how much walking he'd done.

His favorite pastime is still throwing and chasing balls. He's finally figured out how to throw them forward instead of to his side. I'm impressed with that. He's also getting good at playing catch. I told Nerdstar we have every man's dream son - he just wants to run around and play catch all the time.

He's always loved watching Ramen. Lately he's tried a couple of times to get Ramen to chase him or play with him. It's just so sad. Ramen is not, has never been, a dog who plays. He doesn't play fetch, he doesn't play with other dogs, he doesn't play. He just wants to have his belly rubbed and to take walks. Those two things are a ways off for Noah.

Last night he cracked us up. We were eating dinner and he wasn't all that hungry. We had him in his high chair trying to feed him some grapes. He needs a bib for grapes, and he kept looking right at Nerdstar and pulling his bib off. So, we got him out of his high chair and told him to go play. He would play for a minute then come and whine at Nerdstar. Then, she got up to get something and he came and moved her chair from the table about three feet over towards the living area.

He's a great kid. He's cute and smart and fun and goofy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

RIP Little Man

We got to the vet's office about 3 p.m. yesterday to check in on Little Man and talk with the vet. We were leaning toward going ahead with the surgery to remove the mass because that seemed his best chance at getting better.

As we talked with the vet it really became clear that the surgery was very risky and really wouldn't buy him much time, even if the mass wasn't cancer. We also decided that although we could take him home for a few days to spend more time with him, he just wasn't well enough, or strong enough, and it seemed selfish.

We decided to go ahead and have him put to sleep. Nerdstar took some time and said her goodbyes and then I stayed with him during the process.

What makes this more sad for us is that it was so unexpected. He's apparently been sick for a while, with the mass growing, but up until Thursday evening, there was no sign of it. And, we just lost our cat Silly six months ago, also rather unexpectedly.

Little Man was our big, special (short bus special) kitty. I was working at Whole Foods in Austin and a lady came through my cashier line holding him. I asked if it was a boy cat and she said, "yes, do you want him?" Of course I did! I had been wanting to get Nerdstar a cat for several months. She went out to the car and brought in a box with a little litter box, a blanket and a little teddy bear in it. I surprised Nerdstar with him when I got off of work.

He was a tiny little flea bag with huge paws. We took him home and washed him up and named him Little Man because we knew he was going to be huge! And he was.

He was also a simple minded cat. We've always joked that the people who had him as a kitten must have blown pot smoke into his face. It took him a year to learn his name. And he didn't become a snuggle kitty until Nerdstar was away in Iraq.

As simple as he was, he was a fantastic hunter. When we lived in Austin, he would catch geckos and every morning we'd have to dump them out of his food bowl. Everything he caught ended up in his food bowl, and if there weren't critters to hunt, he'd hunt down all the cotton balls and q-tips in the house.

He also hated when he could see the bottom of his food bowl.

When we lived in Kansas City, the food bowl was up on the counter so Ramen couldn't get to it. One morning I saw Little Man get up on the counter, look down the hallway to where Nerdstar was, wait a minute, then push the food bowl off of the counter in protest that it was empty.

I'm going to miss being sandwiched between him and Nerdstar this winter to stay warm.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

Thursday afternoon, we took Noah to a new dermatologist who was recommended by someone Nerdstar knows. I was hesitant because Noah's already seen five people for his eczema, would this new doc really have anything new to say. It seems he did. He talked more than we would have liked (we're different that way), but he had some new info on how eczema works and a new steroid cream to try for it, plus a couple of over the counter things. So far they seem to be working well.

We were in different cars, so Noah and I got home before Nerdstar. I happened to go into the bedroom before bringing Noah upstairs. I saw a small-ish pool of blood on the floor and assumed our cat Little Man had chewed up some small critter. I went to see if I could find said critter and found a much larger pool of blood in the laundry room (thankfully there's tile there and not carpet like the bedroom). I was still thinking it was a critter's blood and not Little Man's. (Peroxide does a decent job of getting blood out of carpets, fabrics.)

When Noah and I came upstairs, I found Little Man lying under the desk, awake, but it was still a weird place for him to be, and he didn't run away or anything.

Nerdstar came home a few minutes later and I showed the blood spots to her. She thought it was Little Man's blood. We really didn't know what to do at that point. Having gone though taking Silly to an emergency vet, knowing how expensive it is, and that it didn't really seem to help in the end, all made us hesitant to head to the emergency vet on a Thursday evening.

We decided to put Little Man in a crate and keep an eye on him, hoping we could at least wait until morning to take him to our regular vet. We later set him up with food and water in the bathroom. About 10:30, before going to bed, I went and checked on him and realized he really wasn't doing well. We'd just gotten Noah to sleep, so Nerdstar took Little Man to the emergency vet.

There were several times the vet and Nerdstar didn't think Little Man would make it. He definitely wouldn't have if we hadn't taken him to the vet. They got fluids in him, got him stabilized, he seemed to perk up some when Nerdstar went back to see him. His blood work was normal, but the loss of all that blood had his pulse and blood pressure weak.

She came home about 4 a.m. We were glad he made it through the night. But we still had no answers about what in the world was wrong with him and what to do next. It seems the vets always want to do everything under the sun and see what works. That would be fine if it wasn't all so damn expensive.

Yesterday he was stable and an ultrasound showed a mass in his abdomen. But, there was no way to know what kind of mass, or how much it was blocking. They recommended an endoscope to take a look and a biopsy. We really hoped that doing one would give us a better idea of what he needed.

I was really frustrated with the mounting bill and lack of answers. Nerdstar's much better at saying cost be damned, take care of the pets.

They did the endoscope around 3 yesterday. He made it through that fine. Unfortunately, we don't know much more than we did before. And the biopsy results will take 3 - 5 days.

Last night, we were hoping to bring him home today and take care of him while waiting to find out the biopsy results. If it's cancer then there's not much to be done and we'll skip the surgery. If it's not cancer, and surgery will remove this mass and he'll be fine - then we'll probably do the surgery in spite of the cost.

As of this morning, he's still stable, but not eating. The vet really doesn't know the best thing to do. We don't either. We're gonna go meet with her later this afternoon.

On top of all this mess, financially, this is the month we have to pay for the plane tickets home for Christmas I purchased last month, I just had to have all new tires and front brakes on my car, and yesterday we found out Nerdstar had to have new tires - hers were in worse condition than mine.

Thank God we've had a rainy day fund for several years - but boy is it raining.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Frustrations

Noah's skin problems have improved greatly, but they still remain. The most frustrating part of this is that he will scratch parts of his skin until it bleeds - usually his hand or foot, but also the crook of his arms and knees. He sometimes does this in his car seat when we can't see/stop him. But, he does it other random times as well. Now, colder weather will help because more of his skin will be covered, but, it seems harder than it should be to keep long, snug socks on his feet. Today, I even tried putting his shoes on as well, then one of them fell off and I gave up. I don't really want shoes on him because he's not walking yet and it's better if he's not in shoes. I hate that he scratches. Nerdstar hates that he scratches. We try to keep his nails really short, but he's not a big fan of nail trimming either.

Monday, Noah woke up with a totally stopped up nose. No fever, he's not sick, really, just lots of snot in his nose. This is a problem because apparently it keeps him from swallowing any drool at all - it ALL leaks out. The top half of his shirt is soaked by the afternoon. This is in spite of me keeping the little fleece wash clothes nearby to wipe his face as much as possible. Because that's lots of fun, too.

Thankfully, none of this affects his moods. Just mine it seems.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mini Vacation

We kept trying to think of a weekend getaway, but nothing really seemed good for the boy. But either the drive was too long, or there just wasn't anything to do appropriate for his age and abilities.

So, we decided to just spend a night at a pretty nice hotel close to home. It had an indoor pool and hot tub, and the malls and restaurants nearby were good.

We took Noah to this big play area at the mall we'd taken him to before. There are always tons of kids running around and it's fun to watch what looks like chaos, but amazingly the kids rarely run into each other.

Apparently, this area isn't big enough for Noah. He repeatedly crawls right for the exit and out into the wide open mall area. We have no idea why. He can't walk on his own yet, but he loves holding our hands and walking, so we did a lot of that. I guess he finally got over his wanderlust and decided to play in the play area.

That evening we took him down to the pool.

There weren't any steps or a really shallow part for him to sit and splash around, but he really liked us holding him in the water and moving him around. Unfortunately, the water was a little cold and after about fifteen minutes we had to get him out and warm him up!

After dinner we just hung out in the room. He was so tired and it took him a while to fall asleep.

Sunday morning, Nerdstar got up early and went to do the Navy 5 mile run with some friends. She finished in 1 hour 8 minutes - pretty darn good for someone who works out some but didn't really train for it.

Then we had a good breakfast and took Noah back to the play area at the mall. He headed for the exit again, but not as many times as the day before.

A little shopping and then it was time for home. Funny how even one night away is both good for getting out of the house, and yet enough to make you glad to be home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Playing Fetch

Ramen has never played fetch. But, for at least six months, Noah's favorite thing to do is throw balls and go get them. He's also always been really good at playing catch if you position yourself right.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A short note from Nerdstar

Noah Maxx is getting so very close to walking, that I am thinking that it'll happen anytime now. He is already standing up on his own from time to time, and had even taken "baby steps", but as soon as he realized that he was standing on his own, he'd quickly sit back down.

We had also shaved his head for the 4th. time in his short life. If you don't look at him from his right side and the backside, his haircut actually looks pretty good!

I included a pic of him before his shave.

His skin is still an issue, but we're doing to best we can to try to not let it get worse.

Overall, he's just growing in every way and we're still so happy to have him in our lives!

So Sweet

Yesterday morning, Noah and I were hanging out in his room, I was in the rocking chair. He came up and pretty much threw me out so he could sit in it and rock. That cracked me up.

This morning, I was in the chair again. This time, he crawled up in my lap and laid there and fell asleep. As if that wasn't sweet enough, he did the same thing this afternoon. We just sat and rocked in silence. Most content moments of my life - or darn near close to it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

From 1979

"Is Your Child Ready for 1st Grade?"

Funny how it's the being able to walk around the neighborhood that's talked about. I guess I was a "free-range" kid growing up. My elementary school was just behind the house across the street from us, but due to fences, I walked all the way down the block, turned the corner, down half a block, and across the street. I mostly loved walking to school and back. My best friend and I would always make an adventure out of it.

But, to illustrate just how powerful my fear of Mom was, and how it would have kept me safe, I'll tell one story.

I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade and there was an after school cupcake sale. It was also pouring rain. I had four cupcakes on top of my old metal lunchbox and was walking home. Some lady in a car offered me a ride, and as miserable as I was, I said, "no." I knew I wasn't supposed to get in the car with strangers. Years later when I told my Mom this story, she laughed and said, "but she was a friend of mine," and I said, "well, I didn't know her."

Ok, one more story. At some point around that same time, maybe a little later, three or four guys, probably in their 20's moved into the house two doors down from us. I don't remember much about them, or how long they lived there (not very long), but I remember sitting right in the doorway because I knew there was no way I was allowed to go in that house.

From the time I learned how to ride a bike, I was riding it all over the neighborhood. The only time I got in serious trouble for it was actually for riding down our sloped driveway, out into the street, in front of a car. My Mom happened to see that out of the window, and boy was I in trouble!

I loved spending so much time outside with my friends, riding bikes, exploring places, walking to school and back in all kinds of weather.

I hope to find a way to let Noah have some freedom and adventure!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1 Year, 1 Month, 1 Week and 1 Day Old

Kinda fun.

I don't think there are any real, big changes going on currently, just the little every day ones.

We finally bought him a couple of pair of shoes. I think he has big feet - size 5W to start! So we got that size and the next size up. He won't wear them too often, but we'll have them for when he finally starts walking and we take him to the park. We have a Stride Rite outlet nearby - wow they're still expensive. We spent the same amount on two pair of shoes and some socks that I spent on his entire winter wardrobe at a consignment store. The consignment store isn't all that close, but it's a really good one. I got seven pairs of pants (corduroy, sweats and jeans), seven or so long sleeve onsies, 3 winter onsies to sleep in, and six or seven long sleeve shirts and fleece pullovers for about $74.

We joke that for Noah it's not the clothes that make the man, it's the man that makes the clothes! He just looks so handsome in his shirts and pants.

He also got his first real bruise on his forehead. He clocked it on the corner of a wall in the bathroom. He seems to take getting hurt pretty well. It takes a decent hurt to make him cry, and then he doesn't cry too long.

He's getting closer to walking, but doesn't seem to be in any hurry to do it. He'll stand on his own when he doesn't know that he is.

Mostly he's still just so fun to hang out with. I guess it was Friday night he decided to stay up until 11 to play and hang out with us. Poor Nerdstar and I were ready to fall asleep about 9! He loves when she's home. If she leaves for work when he's up, he'll cry as she's leaving, but is fine once she's gone. And he's always so happy when she comes home from work. I love it. And on the weekends he insists she does everything for him - which I also love!

He and I have our weekday routines. Wake up, bottle of milk, play, oatmeal, play, watch youtube videos, play in room, a nap in there somewhere, milk, play, lunch, tell him it's my turn to eat lunch - he ate his, apple juice, play, argue over leaving things like his night-light alone, maybe read his books, maybe watch his videos again, hopefully nap #2, more milk, wait for Ma to get home!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crazy Week

The earthquake was followed by a hurricane. How weird is that? But, thank God, the hurricane did no damage for us. I truly believe it's a miracle how much area was covered by both, and yet in most ways how little damage was done or lives lost.

I don't think the preparation I did was a waste of time, I take it as a trial run, and I learned a few things. First is that it doesn't have to be expensive. I made use of things we already had - like 10 gallon buckets to put water in if we needed it to flush the toilets. I used an empty milk jug to fill with water and freeze to put in an ice chest, and filled some baggies with ice from the freezer - might as well put the ice maker to good use - and then filled other baggies partly full of water and froze them to use in smaller ice chests. We've got 4 good flashlights and a bunch of candles. I even finally bought fuel for the coleman camping stove we bought back when I was hoping Y2K would happen!

But it's nice to know that our house and neighborhood have done so well during all of the weather events of the past couple of years. Although I have to remember not to get into a false sense of security the next time a big storm rolls around.

In Noah news. He's never phased by any of it, and I hope it stays that way. He's an army/navy dude and hopefully will always be able to sleep through anything.

He's also getting closer to walking. He finally thinks it's a blast to hold our hands and walk around the house, or tonight it was the mall. It's so cute! He still shakes his head "no" at strangers who talk to him. What's funny to me is that they all shake their head "no" right back at him and say "no?" But, he says "uh-huh" all the time, and sometimes even means it - like when you ask if he's ready for lunch! And even though he can't talk yet - he sure can argue with me.

Life is good and I'm so grateful for all of it.

My grandmother passed this week. She was 92. I'll never know a more content, serene, giving person. I truly know she's finally in heaven, and that makes me happy for her instead of being sad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Earthquake

That was certainly a big surprise!! Even that may be an understatement. I've been through tornadoes and hail storms and blizzards, those don't scare me. The earthquake today, scared me.
At 2 p.m. Noah and I were hanging out watching videos online when it started. We live fairly close to Quantico and the house frequently shakes when they're setting off large ordinances. At first that's what I thought it was. Then there was this really strange sound, so I got up and carried Noah and sorta looked out the back patio, then it dawned on me OMG this is an actual earthquake.

By then I was trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do, and while thinking about that realizing it's getting stronger and I have no idea if it's going to stop or get much worse. So we stood in the doorway and it finally all stopped shaking. I didn't stop shaking for about another five or ten minutes. Noah didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. And it didn't bother Ramen dog much either, which is weird because he hates thunder and loud noises. I think it might have scared the cat.

Nerdstar wasn't at her normal work location today, she was a little closer to home doing stuff for her pending transfer to a new work location. Her stuff started at noon and wasn't expected to last too long, so she was going to get to come home early. So, after it happened I didn't know when she'd start heading home, and there was no cell phone coverage.

Of course, this being DC, everyone started their drive home early today and the traffic reports were terrible. Ugh. No, it couldn't possibly end up being as bad as when the snow hit last year, but it was still an unknown. She got home about 4:30 - one of the good surprises today.

We haven't felt the aftershocks, well, Nerdstar might have felt one, but it was only a few seconds. No damage, no injuries. Just some frayed nerves.

Now we're just waiting to see if we're gonna get hit by Irene this weekend.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Time Keeps on Slippin'

It surely does. The days mostly repeat themselves. That's not a bad thing.

Last weekend we headed down to Charlottesville to have a friend take some photos of Noah. We couldn't believe how well he did. Normally if you set him down anywhere, he takes off crawling as fast as he can. This time, he sat there with his books and had his picture taken. It was a hot and humid afternoon and we took pictures at three different locations and he was such a trooper. He's not great at smiling or laughing on command, but he did what we asked him to for the most part. Can't wait to see all the finished photos!

We were also lucky to hang out with RR and her two Moms. She's just so adorable!

The only down thing lately is that Noah has apparently decided that long car rides aren't any fun. That, or having Nerdstar in the car with us isn't any fun. (heh) We're learning he mostly just has to fuss it out, nothing really makes a difference. My guess is he's a little bored after a while.

These days he's still throwing books at us all the time and making us read them to him. It's crazy. He's got five books he wants us to read over and over. I'm already tired of them, and I tried putting them up and bringing in some new ones, he wouldn't have it. Sigh. One of them is the Dr. Suess ABC book. I put on FB the other day that I'm sometimes quite tempted to just make up cuss word phrases for each letter. (See name of blog.)

Sometimes when he's sitting on my lap I think, Wow one day this adorable little boy, who I can pick up and toss in the air and all that fun stuff, will be a grown man. It's cool and disconcerting.

He's not in any hurry to walk - he crawls so fast that walking would feel like a step back to him. That's fine with me. The big milestones can take their time. I think he'd like to be able to talk. Sometimes he seems to be making an effort to repeat us. Some days he talks up a storm, telling us who knows what. Nerdstar thinks he's telling us the winning lottery numbers and we're just out of luck because we can't understand him. I can't wait to hear his stories.

Tomorrow is his one year ped. appointment. We're waiting to see how tall he is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on a Year

Nerdstar and I were talking about a week ago about what, if anything, had been a surprise for us this year. First and most of all, while I felt he would be a good baby/kid - I just can’t tell you how good he is/has been. He’s slept well, ate well, plays well. He's always so happy to go out to eat with us or run errands with me. We won the baby lottery!

I’ve been with him every day this year, and am so happy to be able to say that. I’m so grateful to God for him.

In picking words to describe him, one of the best is undeterred. Some would call it stubborn, but it’s slightly different from that. Two is goofy. In public, especially when strangers talk to him, he has this adorable serious face. He doesn’t laugh easily, (he’s not even really ticklish, but he humors us and laughs anyway) but he has this goofy spirit about him.

This last week, he's starting to warm up to strangers, smile at them, laugh at them, interact with them. It's so funny to watch him be a ham.

In the last week or two he's also started insisting on reading his books. Reading to him wasn't something we really did very often, but he's had his books laying around with his other toys. We noticed he knew which book was which, and he'd throw one to indicate he wanted it read. We've read "Five Little Monkeys" "The Hungry Caterpillar" and an ABC book by Dr. Suess a hundred times lately. He really loved having his Granny and Pa here to read to him.

It's just been a great year overall, in spite of all the worrying we did. We couldn't have asked for a better child!

A Few Birthday Pictures

Well, Noah's 1st birthday was a low-key family affair because the grandparents were in town. We got an ice cream cake. He likes ice cream and the cake wasn't too bad either.

I went ahead and got a few books for his future reading.

His favorite toys, other than balls to throw, are the ones where he can push a button and music plays. It was hard to find one we liked, but this has easy to push buttons and more than three songs, so it's cool.

And while he loves the music his toys play, he never really pays any attention when I have the iPod playing. But, we got him some more tunes anyway.

Granny and Pa brought him a few old toys, mine or my brothers or my nephews. I love that none of them have batteries!

The rocking chair was mine as a child. The tigger chair was my nephews. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Noah At Play

For reasons unclear to me, most of Noah's favorite toys are trash - literally. He loves to crawl around with a baggy in his fist. (It's pretty funny to watch him crawl around with anything in his fist, but he's getting better at it!) He got a water bottle that still has a little bit of water in and loves to shake it. Of course, there's the cardboard tube from the foil. He also loves to pull up on the kitchen trash can and start throwing the trash on the floor. I guess he's looking for new toys.

Other than those, he likes toys that play music when he pushes buttons. And it was surprisingly hard to find him a new/good one like that for his birthday. But we found one. He still loves to throw balls and go get them. The most fun place to throw a ball is past the rails and down the stairs.

His other favorite pastime is pulling up on everything and pulling everything possible onto the floor. My brilliant strategy for that is to leave it all on the floor until the end of the day. Poor boy only gets to pull everything down once day.

Maybe most of all though, he loves to crawl very, very fast.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Little Event

Well, we're getting closer to surgery day. Ten days ago I got my blood drawn. Then, last Friday I spent over an hour at the hospital getting pre-registered and meeting with a nurse to fill out info and learn about the process from start to finish. I've never had surgery before. I also met with the surgeon for about two minutes last Friday. I actually like that he's young and no-nonsense. The nurse I met with at the hospital said he's really good.

So, I show up at the hospital at 9:00 Friday morning and go straight to the surgery area. Thankfully I don't have to go through registration that morning. Then it's an hour and a half of getting ready for surgery - changing into gown, getting the IV in, talking with anesthesiologist, whatever. Then, as long as they can do this laparscopicly and don't have to open me up, the procedure will take about an hour. Then it's a couple of hours of post-op recovery. With any luck, we'll be at the hospital around six hours. Not bad.

Now, I'm not worried about any of it. Which is weird for me. But I do think the whole surgery thing is strange. I'll come home missing a part of me. Now, I'm really glad (and optimistic) that they don't have to actually open me up to look inside. I've always thought that would be so creepy.

Nerdstar and Noah will be at the hospital while I'm there. We're still trying to sort out billing from Noah's birth, so she'll hopefully be able to speak to someone in person and explain that they have failed to take into account $ the insurance company gave them. Ugh. It's been so crazy. We always wonder what people do who don't have the skills/time to keep up with wrong bills like this - they just get screwed it seems. That will keep them busy part of the time. Other than that, we'll pack lots of snacks for Noah and hopefully find a nice, long hallway for him to crawl up and down as fast as he can.

Monday, my parents should be arriving. They're driving up from Dallas this weekend. My techno-phobe folks even bought a Garmin for the trip. They had been planning a road trip this summer already, and I explained that they should drive the rest of the way here for Noah's birthday. Then this surgery came up and we scheduled everything so they'd be here for it and his bday. Because even if everything goes well, I can't pick up Noah for about a week.

So, that's the run down.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So far.....

Hi everyone! This is Nerdstar and I'm just here to put in a long overdue entry. We're about 11 days away from Noah Maxx's first birthday, and 4 days away from B's gallbladder surgery. Life is moving on in its usual fast pace.

After almost a year into my tenure at the big bad defense contracting company, I've arrived at the conclusion that it's no longer worth it, the long commutes, the cooperativeness at work, and management whose sole concern is profit and nothing else. (It's really what companies are supposed to do anyways, but there are better ways to do it and keep the employees somewhat happy, aren't there?) So I'm going to try and look for a hopefully better alternative...wish me luck!

Noah Maxx, at almost one year old, is amazing as usual. I'd get such kicks out of watching him crawling at lightening fast speed, his determination, feeding his huge appetite, and "conversating" with him in his baby speech. Heck, we've even napped in sync! Took a rare nap yesterday while he was taking his, not only did we we both sleep for almost 2 hours and both of us were also so quiet that B. thought that she had to check on both of us to make sure that we're still alive!

Hope that B's surgery goes well. Noah Maxx and I will be at the hospital waiting for her while the surgery and the recovery are taking place. I really hope that there are spaces that he can craw around and explore in!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Changes

No, this isn't our version of Big Pimpin'.

I sold my motorcycle this evening. I really miss riding. There's just not much out there like it. It takes enough concentration, and then if you're lucky, there's nice enough scenery to push out all other thoughts. If you know me at all, you know that's a big deal. My brain is deadly.

But, I've never really enjoyed riding here in northern Virginia. Yes, you can get out into horse country, but I'd need a GPS for that. I enjoyed riding with a group our first summer here, but it fell apart and finding another one just didn't happen. Then, well, Noah came along. And while I don't have to sell it, I could ride on some weekends if I really wanted to, it's just not worth the time away and the inherent risk.

My current daydream is that in a few years we'll get a nice little RV and a couple of mopeds and do some of our big road trips.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Buttons and Stairs

It appears we're in a stage where Noah is doing new things all the time. A few weeks ago we bought him a helicopter that plays music and stuff. Last week he figured out how to push the buttons to get it to play different songs. I think we only showed him that a few times.

He's been pulling up on just about everything in the house for a couple of weeks now. He's not walking, though. I try to get him to practice, but it's too slow, so he speed crawls around instead. As I've said, we spend most of time upstairs. There's a gate at the top of the stairs because he is fearless and would go head-first down the stairs given half a chance. But yesterday we were downstairs before heading out to run errands and he crawled over to the stairs and pulled himself up on the first one. I had a feeling he was going to start climbing up so I stood behind him. Sure enough, he just started climbing on up - no hesitation. I let him get about four stairs up before getting him down.

We keep saying he's been ready to run since he was two or three months old. It's crazy to watch him get closer and closer to being able to. We have no idea how we're going to keep up with him!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

11 Months

Wow, 11 months. The big 1 year is coming up soon!

You're doing new stuff on a regular basis and continue to be quite the goofy boy. You still do your inchworm, military, special olympics style crawl, and pull up everywhere. You still like to throw balls and go get them. You're changing your nap schedule, which is good. You insist on sitting on my lap when I'm at my desk. You still love going out to eat, and we think you did your first flirting with a lady at the restaurant the other day.

I got you a mirror yesterday and we think you loved seeing/playing with yourself more than anyone else. You waved at and smiled at and kissed yourself in the mirror. It was cute and funny.

You take in the world with your serious face on. You laugh with us.

We still love you more than anything and love hanging out with you. We know you're just going to be even more fun in the future.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Favorite Video

So far Noah doesn't watch tv. That's 90% because there isn't a tv upstairs where we spend most of our day. But the times we are downstairs where the tv is, even with kids shows on, he doesn't really pay much attention to it. He's a boy in motion and wants to stay in motion.

Nerdstar and I both spend a good amount of time on the computer, and he likes to sit in our lap while we do. She watches entertainment/interview shows from Taiwan with him on Saturday mornings. We both find him a few kids' videos on

We both think this is a really cute video for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - and Noah really seems to like it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Protect MY Family

Apparently, election season has begun. Oh joy. I think I read it's 505 days until the election, and yet, here we go.

Naturally, both parties become all about "family" during election time.

But I'm pretty sure none of them are about helping or protecting my family.

It got me to thinking about the "It Get's Better" campaign for gay young people. I think it's a great project, it's just not something I'm all that into.

I thought it would be cool to have a "This (insert family photo) is my family. Protect it."

Yes, that's a huge part of the gay marriage fight. But it's also about adoptions laws, property rights, inheritance, etc. (Gay marriage would solve all of it, but I'll take it piecemeal if I have to.)

But it's like my type of family doesn't even exist in the eyes of most politicians - local, state or national.

So, I was thinking last night how to change that. How to literally put our faces out there. Sure, there could be a FB campaign, or or whatever. I don't know. How effective are they?

Just my thoughts last night.

General Update

Things are good.

Noah's getting good at pulling up on things and trying to balance standing up more. He thinks it's a blast. I'd say there's at least a small chance he'll be walking by his birthday. He's so ready to run around.

We're still working to get Noah's skin all cleared up. Took him to another dermatologist Friday, she gave him some stronger ointments. Two weeks or so ago, his skin was at it's all-time worst. Today it looks just about the best it has. We think it's due to the Chinese herbs we get from Austin. The derm wanted us to stop using those with these new ointments, we think otherwise. We'll see if this is just a good part of the cycle or if maybe he's turning a corner and getting better. It's hard not knowing a real cause or cure, everyone says he'll hopefully grow out of it one day.

One of those little things about being a parent with a baby/toddler is the not going to movie theaters anymore. Now, we had gotten to where we didn't see a lot of movies in the theater anyway - too expensive, too many people making noise, hot theater, etc. For 95% of movies, I really would rather sit on my sofa and watch them in peace and quiet at home. But, that means I'm watching the movies when everyone else has forgotten about them. Watched True Grit over the weekend. Can't say I thought it was as great as everyone else seemed to.

Speaking of hot theaters - what's up with that? In Texas, where it's hot as hell half of the year, public buildings are generally freezing, as they should be. Here in Virginia where the weather is a little milder, the malls and theaters are hot and icky. Bleh.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

King Of Beers

When Noah was just a wee tadpole in Nerdstar's tummy, we had a vision of this picture when we saw the jean diapers for sale. So we got some of those, found him some wifebeaters online, and finally got a beer to complete the picture!

We work hard to earn the name 2 Bad Moms!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Is This Kid?

We've been living with our Noah Maxx for almost a year now. Today we were talking about how we don't really know much about him yet. We have no idea what kind of music he'll like, what he'll like to wear, watch, do... you get the picture.

But, here's what we know so far:

He really, really can't wait to run.
He will yell between bites if you don't feed him fast enough. If that fails, there will be actual tears.
He laughs at his own jokes (we have no idea what they are) and will laugh whenever he hears someone else laugh.
He talks to beings in our house that we can't see.
He loves Ramen dog.
He's content to play by himself, but also loves to watch older kids playing.
He reads and talks to himself more than he talks to us.
If you say yes, or nod your head yes, he will only shake his head NO.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Standing/Pulling Up

Noah's been pulling himself up holding onto my hands and then pretty much using me as a jungle gym. (I know that I'll continue to be his jungle gym for a very long time to come.)

Today I heard him behind me laughing and all excited. I turned around and it was the first time he'd pulled himself up by himself with this step stool.

Our boy has wanted to run from at least the time he was about three months old. He's so excited to be getting closer and closer to being able to!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not Excited

When I got sick with nausea for four days back at the end of April, I told Nerdstar I had a suspicion it was gallstones. My Mom, and come to find out, my grandmother both had them at a younger age than I am now. I got an ultrasound done a couple of weeks ago, and sure enough, there they were. Not very many, and not currently causing any problems. I met with a general surgeon just over a week ago and he said it was pretty much up to me when to get the surgery done. I asked if I could wait up to a year, and he said sure.

It was kind of a hard call to go ahead and get the surgery done when I'm not having any symptoms at all. But, my folks were already planning to be here for a few days at the end of next month for Noah's birthday, so that seemed like a good time. I figure it's better to get it done before things get worse.

That said, I can't say I'm thrilled about it. I've never had any kind of surgery. I know this is a relatively minor one, but you never know.

So. Yep. That's the fun news lately.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Couldn't Imagine

How funny, I'm not doing the non-challenge of 30 days of blog posts, but yesterday on FB I wrote, "It's amazing the things about being a parent you really can't imagine before being one." which is one of the topics. A friend asked "such as?"

So far I've come up with that there's not only the way my heart grows with love for him, the joy of hearing him laugh, watching him grow and learn and change.

But there's also the abject terror that something awful will happen to them. I started worrying about him the minute we saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test. That worrying is like a constant white noise, it's not bad, just always there.

There's also how it's a 24/7 gig. Even if he's asleep, and now that he shows up in my dreams, even if I'm asleep, there's still a part of my brain that's devoted to him.

Nerdstar said she hasn't been surprised by any of it. I spent a lot of years avoiding thinking about actually having kids because I was so afraid it would never happen. I'm so glad it did!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nicknames and Books

Apparently, the nicknames I have for Noah that have stuck are Handsome, Shorty, and Sweetness.

I realized the other day I've done more reading since he's been born than in a few years before him. I sit and read while he plays. I got through 85% of Laura Bush's biography. It kept making me cry when I'd read about 9/11, or 9/11 families, or women in Afghanistan. It's a good read though. I read the Hunger Games trilogy. I'm a little surprised at kids reading them. Hope the movies are good. I re-read Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions. It was refreshingly honest about her son's first year. I just finished The Lottery and 24 other short stories by Shirley Jackson. They were written in the mid-40s and that, more than anything made them interesting, but mostly, I felt like I was missing the point. I'm just starting The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I enjoyed her other books.

Not often, but sometimes, I'll read out loud to Noah while he plays. He likes to pick up his books, lay on his back, and at least appear to pretend to read. He likes The Hungry Caterpillar book.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Noah Eating Oranges

It's a shame he's so aware of the camera. We were trying to capture the jekel/hyde aspect of feeding him - the hysterics before we can get a bite into his mouth, and the joy after. It's still a darn cute video of our darn cute boy!

Happy 10th. month, Noah Maxx!

Happy 10 months old, Noah Maxx! You can now sit up pretty well, and also crawl really fast in your frogman like crawl. Your skin is still a mess but we are trying the best we can with both Eastern and Western medicine.

You're still the funniest baby ever as you crawl into the kitchen to check out what we are cooking or washing. I've got to say that your stubborn streak is now showing and I wonder where you got that from? :-)

I love spending time with you and speaking in "ba's and blah's" with you! You yell at me a lot at times because I haven't been feeding you fast enough.

In two more months, you'll be one year old, wow does time fly or what? It seems like every other day you'll do or "say" something that's really neat! You are crawling so fast, it makes me think that you'll be running before you start walking!

Stay sweet, and your mamas love you so very much!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

That's Our Boy

Nerdstar was in the kitchen putting up groceries. Noah and I were in the living area that's connected. He made a beeline for the fridge. We put him back in the living area and he took off again - as fast as he could move.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2 New Pics

I call him "monkey boy" because he's always using his foot to help hold his bottle.

He's still got a few rough places on his scalp from the eczema, and his hair was getting a bit wild, so for the third time in under a year, we shaved his head. I think it makes him look a little like a baby monk.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So Lucky

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that if we told you just how good Noah is, you wouldn't believe us. Every night when we go to bed we talk about how cute he is, what all he did that day, and how lucky we are to have him.

Oh sure, there can be real tears if you're in the middle of feeding him and get up to do something like, get more food. And the way he yells at us to tell us he's hungry, well, for now it's still cute, along with the way he'll grunt between bites if you're not feeding him fast enough.
Can you tell he has a thing about food? If he had a motto it would be "The Hunger... It HURTS".

Generally, though, he's fun to be around. He has this cute way of cocking his head to one side and grinning at us. He is also fantastic at social laughing. Friday night we went out to dinner, on the drive home one of us said something funny and laughed. Then from the backseat came this laugh from Noah, which of course made us laugh again. So we laughed back and forth for about ten minutes of the drive home. It's cool, from almost day one he would recognize my laugh and look at me and see what was up.

He's also so well behaved in public. Saturday, we went to a friend's baby shower. He pretty much just hung out with us and ate all the grapes. After that we went out to eat again, and although he was starting to get tired, he didn't get fussy. I'm so glad he's so flexible schedule-wise. I used to think we should work harder to get him on a more regular schedule. But maybe it's worked out better.

He's happier now that he can inch-worm his way around the house. He's so good about just hanging out and playing with his toys while I'm online or in the kitchen or whatever. He loves "chasing" Ramen around. Ramen has finally learned that the way to deal with Noah is to get up and move. Unfortunately, he'll move about four feet, which takes Noah all of 30 seconds to cross.

Also, while he's hanging out, he'll grab one of his books and lay on his back and "talk" as if he's reading it. So cute.

He still really wants to be able to run around. We were at Ikea yesterday, and he saw some kids playing and so we had to at least go hang out in that area. He was so sad when they left and so we left.

I've taken him to the park down the street to swing a couple of times. He thinks that's pretty cool.

So yeah. We still think he's the greatest thing ever.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Noah and Ramen

Life has certainly gotten much more frustrating for our poor, old (he's 12) Ramen dog now that Noah is mobile.

Noah has always loved Ramen, has watched him all the time, loves his fluffy tail.

Ramen loves me. He's always where I am. This now poses a problem because while Ramen could simply go sleep in another room, he won't. That means Noah can now inch worm his way over to Ramen all the time and pet his feet, or try to pet his tail and end up pulling it. Noah is mostly very gentle with Ramen, but baby hands tend to grab things and not let go.

Me, well, after spending so many years telling Ramen to "Move" all damn day to get him out of my way when trying to walk anywhere in the house, I'm kind of enjoying Ramen's new problem of having to get up and move about six feet across the room every so often.

Thankfully, Ramen is a gentle, patient dog with Noah.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Inch Worm!

The Last Week

Last Wednesday we caught a good glimpse at two more top teeth coming in. And Noah had his first teething reaction, a slight fever. He was a really sweet sick boy. The best way I could tell he didn't feel well was he wasn't moving around all over the floor and he wanted to be held. Thankfully, he felt a lot better Thursday.

Friday was his 9 month pediatrician apt. I came away from it feeling like I was doing everything wrong. When she asked about what he's eating and I said he was still during purees, she was like, "No, he should be eating more solids by now, eating more of what you're eating." Oh, ok. Then we went over motor skills. He still isn't sitting up on his own. (How do you get a boy who has only wanted to run for months now to sit still?) Said his leg tone wasn't great and he should be working more on pulling himself up. Um, I thought he was doing good to be making progress toward crawling.

And, of course, he had his first ear infection.

The ear infection led to him being on amoxicillin, which led to his very first diaper blow out. All I can say is thank God we were both there to deal with it, that it didn't happen in the car, and that he wasn't bothered by it at all! Poor boy had diarrhea for the next three days. Thankfully, no more blow outs, and it seems to have gotten better yesterday.

Naturally, all of this stuff led to his skin problem acting up. That's better today, too.

The good side is, the last couple of days he's finally sat up on his own much better. We're working on pulling up and standing with me just holding his hands more. He thinks it's fun.

We're trying to use up the purees we'd already made and figure out what to feed him instead. He still loves his banana and yogurt in the mornings. I baked him a sweet potato and he likes that. Yesterday I steamed a carrot for him and he ate the whole thing. Today I'm going to try steaming some peas to go with another carrot. He ate a whole small orange the other night after we cut it into little pieces. But he had a harder time chewing up little pieces of apple. He still likes mangoes, didn't like watermelon or cantaloupe.

He still can't quite pick up food and put it into his mouth yet. Hopefully soon.

The cutest thing he does this week is his fantastic downward dog pose and instead of doing a real crawl he's doing a perfect inch worm move. I'm trying to get it on video. He's not at all phased by the word No. He's such a good natured boy who laughs with me all the time.