Thursday, November 29, 2012

Family Portraits

So...I took on a task that made me very nervous last week.  I took the portraits of my extended family.  Most of them, obviously, had to be done with a remote, some I took, and then a few I handed off to my brother or cousin, as they were smaller shots that I was in.  I can't remember who took the grandkids photo for the life of me.  Anyone want to own up to it?  Quick glimpse.  I promise I'll write more about Thanksgiving and the party later, but this is it for now.

Taken by remote.

Taken by mystery person.  Shelly?  Dad?  Bueller?  These are all the grandkids (and one great-grandkid).  Bet you'd never guess which one is my brother if you hadn't seen pictures before.  Man we don't look alike.  I know you're relieved, Jim.  ;)

Remote.  And is it me, or do I look like "Overly Attached Girlfriend" here?

All me!  Such an adorable Lion and great-grandpa image.

Guessing...Toran?  Jim?  Not sure.  The bags under my eyes are *heavily* edited.  Thank you Picasa.  I really would like Photoshop, though.  Hint, hint.  Unless one of you recommends some other program.

I really was disappointed that that was the best one of my immediate family.  Not that it was the photographer's fault!  Robby was being a bear by that point (it had been a LOT of shots, and it was dinner time), and Chris was distracted.  Oh well.  Can't decide whether or not to use it for the Christmas card.  And anyone that receives it better still act surprised.  ;)

I'm proud of myself for overcoming my "1st photo shoot" fear.  Honestly?  It would've been a lot easier if I wasn't in the pictures!  But, yay for personal growth, right?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy 60th Anniversary!

My grandparents have been married 60 years! 

No, that's not Grace Kelly.  That's my ridiculously gorgeous grandmother.  People always ask about this photo, which I have hanging in my living room.  She had it rotting in her garage, so in person it doesn't look so great, but I spent some time retouching the digital one to get rid of water marks and such.

Friday we had a huge gathering celebrating, and assuming I get my act together, a post on the party, Thanksgiving, Robby turning 1.5, and a million other posts that I've been sitting on will all come out this week . HA.  MAYBE.  K, the kid has a vacuum cord wrapped around his neck.  See why I can't write?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Ups and Downs of a "Momma's Boy"

Robby is a Momma's Boy.  Don't read that as dainty, he's not.  He's as rough and tumble and "boyish" as they come.  Rather, he is OBSESSIVE about Mommy.

This is both a blessing and a curse.  Do I absolutely love that his face lights up when he sees me, that I'm the one he wants to cuddle with, and I have a magical ability to make things better?  Absolutely, and I'd be lying if I didn't own up to relishing those aspects.  Does it make it harder for other people to care for him (including daddy), make his behavior worse for me, and never gives me a break?  Again, you betcha.

Robby knows the time when I am to arrive at daycare, and will stand at the gate plaintively whining "Mooommmyyy...".  In the mornings, I leave first, and there is always some hysterical crying when I leave.  It is heartbreaking.  I love feeling loved, but I hate that he seems so devastated.  First thing when he wakes up in the morning, I hear him calling "Mommy!" from his crib (which let me tell you, is a VAST improvement over the screaming), and apparently when I was out on Wednesday, he was banging on the rocking chair screaming "Mommy!" and wouldn't let Chris do the nightly routine.

Now, to the parts that are hard.  Chris is getting more and more hurt by the total Mommy devotion.  I cannot leave Robby in a room with him, or hand him to Chris without an absolute meltdown.  I say "Go to Daddy" and get an emphatic, "NO" with a lot of head shaking.  He refuses to hug or kiss him most of the time, unless it's a group hug, and rarely will cuddle on the couch with him.  This is not because of anything Chris has or has not done.  He loves Robby, plays with him, and is a great dad.  Robby just has a hang-up right now.  Chris has started to say that we need to take action to "break him" of this, and I am very opposed.  Partially, selfishly, I like being the center of attention, but that's not my main rationale.  It's a stage.  One day, he'll wake up and want nothing to do with me, and it will be over.  He's being a perfectly normal 1.5 year old by wanting mom.  There's no need to traumatize him (or me) by forcing me to be more distant.

As for behavior, oh goodness.  I hear from daycare, other providers, grandparents, everyone that he is an angel for them.  Not just "good", but downright saintly.  One day, I asked his daycare teacher what she did for discipline.  Specifically, did she use counting "1 - 2 - 3", because I had tried it for the first time at home, and it had miraculously worked, so I assumed that's what she did.  She looked at me like I had 3 heads.  She said, "Robby has never given me trouble.  Ever."  WHAT?!?!?!  What sort of drugs are they pumping into the air over there?  She described to me what she used with other children, but insisted that he was never a problem.  She also claims that he lies perfectly still to change his diaper.  HAHAHAHA.  Alright, at home?  THIS IS NOT MY CHILD.

At home he primarily misbehaves if I'm trying to do something other than pay attention to him.  Just this morning, he dumped a full container of face powder all over the bathroom floor (for the 2nd time), because I was trying to do my make-up.  This is after pushing me away from the mirror did not work.  Yesterday, we had to put him in time out before we could take the dog walk, because he was KICKING Chris, because he wanted MOMMY to put on his coat, and not Daddy.  You get the idea?  My attention must be 100% devoted to him, or there is dog water dumped on the floor, stereo cords pulled out of the wall, and crayon drawings on doors.  All of which he is very clear that they are wrong, but he does to get my attention.  And diaper changes are wrestling matches.  I just don't get it.  It is not because I'm permissive.  I'm not!  I think he just feels a little too comfortable with me, and also cares more about me doing something other than hanging out with him than he does about other people.  It also is painfully difficult for me when people tell me (or act like) I'm making it up.  They act like I must just be short tempered, or doing something wrong, or exaggerating.  THAT IS NOT THE CASE.  He is DIFFERENT when it's just me, or when there are other people around.  I think my mother is starting to believe me after phone calls where he is screaming continuously in the background.  Again, don't misinterpret that this is 100% of the time.  He's great if I can sit there and play blocks.  But sometimes, I need to cook dinner, answer a phone, drive a car, or use a bathroom.

I'm just a little at a loss.  I'm hurt when people don't believe me or downplay it.  I'm elated that I'm his first love (though I hear he's crazy about a girl at daycare).  I'm saddened that he won't do more with his dad.  I'm frustrated that his behavior is so poor for me, but relieved that it's good for everyone else.  Even through the aggravation I'm trying to enjoy it.  I know the idol worship won't last for long, so I guess bring on the bad behavior.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trapped Inside

What do you do when you're trapped inside with a toddler (and a large dog) for days on end?  Got me!  Thank goodness our friend Meghan took Robby on Monday morning during Sandy, because otherwise?  Lil man would have gone truly crazy.  As is?  This was on MONDAY night (and he had been doing this for AWHILE so this was after he slowed down):

And...I forgot that I had a pumpkin video when I wrote yesterday's post.  In fact, I have forgotten to upload my video camera for months.  But, pumpkin video it is. 

Thankful Day #2: I am thankful for the roof over our heads.

Thankful Day #3: I am thankful for my memories, and my capable brain...especially when it works.  ;)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

No guts, no glory

No guts, no glory, eh?  Lies.  The Lion managed to avoid every bit of pumpkin guts, but still ended up with a carved pumpkin.  You just need to have a sucker named Mom on your team. 

He was happy to do some scooping, but there really wasn't a need to take his shirt off.  Guaranteed, though, that if I hadn't, he would have been covered.

This was a good activity, though, on Monday when he was already starting to go a little batty being cooped up inside.  I think the biggest blessing of not getting hit so hard by Sandy is that our imprisonment was brief.  Still, wait for the video I post tomorrow.

As I said, he was intrigued, but like at the petting zoo, did not want to get his hands dirty.  He did not so much as touch one little orange strand.  He did try and eat a raw seed, but that's because he's familiar with the cooked variety.  (Loves them, and does a good job chewing, don't worry.)

He got very excited when I showed him the lid and spent quite a bit of time taking it on and off.  My notch that makes it easier for us to put on was helpful, too.

In the end, I'm fairly please with myself and thought it was cute.  Not my crazy carvings of the past, but cute. 

Thankful Day #1: Today I'm thankful for the harvest that pumpkins represent.  I'm thankful we have plenty of food on our table.