Saturday, April 23


I am giving away some Very Fine Art to some lucky readers. I bought six of these prints in Hallmark's Double D (for "double discount") shop awhile back, thinking I could replace the watercolors with something different and just use the frames. But in the end, we decided to go a different route with our design plan (and the frames weren't quite as easy to reuse as I hoped).

They're great frames, very high quality. As you'll see in the corner sticker, these originally retailed for $45. And the art isn't so bad, though it's not my style. If my company's policy would allow it, I'd try to sell them. But that could get me fired, so instead I shall give them away.

Each frame measures 15.5" x 18", with the mat opening 8.5" x 11". If you want one (or more) of these fine beauties, just let me know in the comments. Local readers preferred, as I don't particularly want to ship it to you.

Thursday, April 21

13 Months Old

Milo has learned several words. He doesn't use them consistently, but we're pretty sure he knows what they mean. In no particular order, here they are: kitty, balloon, ball, whoa, up. He has also learned the sign language for "more" and uses that fairly frequently. It's amazing to see how much he understands, too. I think he knows most of what we say to him, and he can definitely read our facial expressions.

Milo has taken to pouting with his lower lip stuck out, if he thinks we think he is doing something bad. I say, "please leave your cup on the tray" or "no, no, Milo, be gentle with the kitty" and he pouts and looks like he's going to cry.

Milo entertains himself for longer stretches of time. He likes to look at his collection of board books. He's also incredibly needy, and desperately wants to be held and carried.

He is getting to be an excellent walker and hardly ever crawls. He wanders back and forth, all around the house. He's quite the little explorer.

Buttons. Milo can't get enough of them. Buttons on the TV remote, buttons on our phones and iPods, the garage door button—you name the button, Milo wants to push it.

Milo has four teeth. We're back to blaming every little oddity on teething. Not sleeping well? Maybe he's teething. Not eating like usual? Maybe he's teething. Drooling a lot? Probably teething. It seems we spend about 75 percent of the time wondering if he'll get more teeth soon.

And, speaking of not sleeping well, Milo has been waking up EARLY. Like 5:00am early. This morning he actually woke up a few minutes before 4:00. Not fun. At all.

Still addicted to the pacifier. Half the time I think he only can't get back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning because he lost his paci in the night. And no paci = no sleep. For any of us.

Some of Milo's toys du jour include drumsticks, board books, plastic tools, a balloon, and his little red chair. Also the chair featured below (our new monthly photo chair—the other one just never had good lighting). He loves to climb on it.

Milo never sits still for me to trim his nails. This means I end up waiting until they're dangerously long, then try to get him to fall asleep during story time so I can trim them then. This has worked about 50 percent of the time, so almost 100 percent of the time Milo has raggedy sharp nails.

Milo gives high fives and loves getting a silly reaction from Mommy and Daddy when he high fives them. He blows kisses. He waves. He (might) use the sign language for "all done" (which looks kind of like a wave, so I'm not sure). He points. He nods and shakes his head.

Daycare told me that he loves The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Wheels On the Bus. And when I sang Itsy Bitsy Spider for him, he did indeed smile, bounce along, and generally have a rockin' good time. Daycare also told me that he actually did the hand motions (at least once). I have yet to see that.

We've been battling the Worst Diaper Rash Of All Time for a LONG time. This means several trips to the doctor, several different prescription creams, and no more cloth diapers, at least until we're no longer using all these creams. We cannot figure out what's causing the rash or why we can't get rid of it. We have an appointment for Milo to see a dermatologist the week after next so hopefully we can get to the bottom of this. (Get it? The BOTTOM? HA HA HA!)

His hair is red. I'm going to go ahead and put that out there, that I think his coloring will ultimately end up being close to mine. Of course, he still pretty much a baldy, so we'll see what his hair looks like around the time he needs his first haircut, in three years or so.

Much like his love for buttons, Milo loves things that light up. Our TV power button has a little red light on it, so naturally Milo wants to push this button. Repeatedly. To fix this, I taped a piece of paper over that button. The volume and channel buttons below it have no light and therefore no interest from Milo. Other things with lights include cell phones and iPods, his Pal Scout's tag, the DVR, and the power strip in our bedroom.

He loves climbing up on top of things and back down again. I'm amazed at how good he is at stretching, reaching, and pulling himself up. Also amazed at the boy's flexibility.

Milo is learning to feed himself with a spoon. He tries to scoop up food with it and everything. Sometimes if he isn't interested in the food, we get him to eat it using his own spoon, held by him, and he often goes ahead and eats the offending food. But this trick only works once or twice before he catches on, so better make it a pretty damn nutritious bite.

Milo is a bit shy around strangers, but he warms up pretty quickly.

We've now officially had our first night away from him, and the second night away from him is already planned (we're going to an out-of-town wedding; we didn't just love our night away so much we had to schedule another). It's nice to know that Andrew and I can take time to focus on our marriage occasionally and Milo will be just fine.

As Milo gets better at communicating, he gets more and more fun. We certainly have moments and entire days that are not easy. Milo fusses, we get frustrated. We're all exhausted. But I love the little boy he is turning into, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Now that Milo has passed the year mark, I'm changing things up for the monthly photos. New chair with better lighting and more Milo-appeal. No more white onesie. We're going diaper-only now. Keeping the pillow, of course.

Tuesday, April 19


Last Thursday Andrew and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary by going on a mini-vacation to Weston, MO. It was our first time to go away together since we became parents and my first night away from Milo.

And it all went really, really well. Of course I missed Milo and wondered what he was up to. How was his bath? Did he get a bedtime story? Did he wonder where we were? He was with his nana, my MIL, and I know he adores her. But still. Obviously no one can take care of him quite as well as his daddy and me.

Andrew and I had a great time. We desperately needed a night away from our daily grind. It's wearing, working all the time, constantly doing chores and being responsible for a tiny person's well-being. We didn't have the time or the funds for a huge trip, so a single night at a B&B it was. We've never really spent any time in Weston, so it was all new to us. We wandered into every single store, sampled the local wine and beer, had a couple of great meals, and watched about half of a dull video on Lewis and Clark. But mostly we just had fun being together.
Happy Anniversary to us!

We saw this shop: Old Geezer's Mantiques. I thought it would surely be the most awesome shop in the entire town, but turns out not so much. The smell in that place made me nauseous, literally. It smelled like incense and cigars and body odor and a moldy old basement, all rolled into one overcrowded space. Gross.

Exploring Weston made us T-I-R-E-D. We had to stop to rest at least five times in a two-block stretch of shopping. Perhaps we should have napped instead?

When we got back, Milo was not nearly as excited to see us as I hoped he would be. He was happy we were back, even though he didn't give me the huge grin and excited welcome that I had imagined. But who can blame him, when going home meant leaving Nana and Grandpa Mark?

(Side note: I'm still nursing Milo in the morning and before his bedtime, but when I'm away from him, he just goes to bed without any milk. So while we were gone, Milo didn't get anything to replace his breast milk snacks. But I took my pump in case I needed some relief. And, well, I did not. At all. In fact, I went about 36 hours between nursing sessions, and still felt like there wasn't really any milk in there. Crazy. Makes me wonder if Milo isn't nursing so much as just hanging out and being close. Perhaps complete weaning will come soon?)

Saturday, April 9

They're coming in droves

Milo got his fourth tooth. The top left one. Now that he has both top teeth, he looks different. Where did my baby go? Someone stole him and left this toddler in his place.

Wednesday, April 6

A New Word

At Milo's 12-month check-up, the doctor asked if Milo had said any words yet. We said that he could say "kitty," but nothing else. She said that by his 15-month check-up, he would probably know three to five words. I brushed it off, thinking, "No way. He's been saying 'kitty' for a month. How could he possibly get five more words in just a few short months?"

But. (You know where this is going, eh?) After breakfast this morning I asked Milo if he was ready to get up, and he raised his arms and so clearly said, "Up. Up."

I said, "Did you just say 'up'? You totally just said 'up!' Yay!" And that is literally how it went. I know you all appreciate the play-by-play.

So maybe Milo will have three to five words by June 21. (By the way, Andrew thinks Milo can say "balloon" too, but I'm not convinced.)

Monday, April 4

He's up to three

Milo got his third tooth on Saturday. I've been convinced that this tooth was on its way for quite some time now, but it finally made it's sharp little appearance this weekend. Top left, for those of you who want all the details. Now we just have to wait for the next round of teething to begin. I can't wait, can you?