Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Whole Story

I wrote a review of our recent summer trip, but while all true, this barely scratches the surface of what actually happened. Yes, the park is lovely. Yes, it was great to spend uninterrupted time with my boys. But we left a whole day early (and the trip was only to be two days anyway).

One of the reasons for the early departure is that while I like to think of myself as low maintenance and outdoorsy, in real life I'm not. I'm just not. I don't like being eaten by mosquitoes and I'm not a fan of submerging myself in murky lake water. Until I settle into my new surroundings, being outside of my comfort zone makes me really antsy.

Milo must have some of these quirks of mine, because it is becoming more and more clear, he can't sleep anyplace other than his own crib. He barely napped in the car coming or going from the park and he refused to sleep in the pack and play in the cabin. Instead he slept with Chris and me in a very small and uncomfortable full-size bed. Even once tucked in with us, it took him quite some time to fall asleep as he kept trying to initiate games of peek. None of got much rest.

Add to these two things that Chris forgot to pack his suitcase with all his clothes and all of our toiletries and we made for a rough, looking, tired family. Instead of staying the second night, we just enjoyed our morning at the park and got the heck out of dodge.

I'm glad we tried a little family trip and I'm hoping for better next time. I'm sure as Milo gets older we will have more freedom to explore.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Splitting Time

Lately I've been working on a new project and I am very excited by it. For almost a year now, I've been wanting a place to write about Columbus, fun kids activities and families. The topic - Columbus! kids! fun things! - really suits me and I enjoy sharing (evangelizing) my interests. The posts didn't really fit in here, so I started a new space for Columbus families to learn more about kid-friendly Columbus.

Come visit me at It is a work in progress, so please let me know your thoughts for things to change or things to add. And if you are so inclined, pass the link on.

Friday, July 16, 2010

16 Months

Holy busy toddler, Batman! While I didn't really think it was possible, in the last month Milo has become so, so busy. He's goes from activity to activity without slowing down. He is quite determined and focused on whatever he is doing at the moment - reading books, stacking blocks, unpacking drawers, emptying the dishwasher - but then it is quickly onto the next task. I can only imagine sleep is such a sweet relief to his pint-sized self (he very willingly goes down for his one nap a day and bedtime around 8 each night). His walking is pretty much constant now and he can even run when really excited. He still trips up in uneven terrain, but for the most part he is quite steady on his feet.

Milo is also starting some imaginative play, which is quite fun to watch develop. In books and magazines (he loves to read Food & Wine), he enjoys finding pictures of berries or grapes and pretending to pluck them off the page. He then "feeds" himself, us, or his friend Bunny.

He uses the two or three signs he knows for everything and I've been teaching him the love sign. It's so sweet to see him cross his arms over himself in a hug. Now that he knows (and quite enjoys the sound of) the word ice, he is constantly asking for ICE. Plus, he's beginning to repeat quite a few of the words I say. He's great at following through on direction. For example, he will leave one room to put an object away if I ask him to.

We've really been enjoying this summer. Milo loves our trips to the pool where he likes to kick, kick, kick and most of all go down the slide with Daddy. We are regulars at certain playgrounds where Milo enjoys climbing and putting mulch through holes. Milo changes so much month to month that it is amazing to think of what is coming next.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Parents in the News

Have you seen this article from the New York Times mag? The gist of it is reporting several studies that state parents are more unhappy than non-parents, and mothers are less happy than fathers. If you make it all the way through the article though, you'll notice that the end suggests those studies are asking the wrong questions. The less happy responses are about overall life mood rather than living life with fulfillment or sense of purpose.

So here is the truth (as I see it): being a parent is hard and it is tiring. And, yes, overall I'm probably less carefree / happy than I was two years ago (when I could sleep in after a rough week or stop by a happy hour to unwind). I've certainly given up some important things - my job, my cat, and plenty of sleep. However, my life has shinier moments of abrupt joy now and also has more meaning overall.

While this article really shocked some people, I am not surprised by it. I've talked to other moms and I know we all carry a mixed bag of happiness. Sure, we love and treasure our kids, but we're also trying to define who we are as people, and we're doing it on little rest. It's a tough job, there is no way around that, but it is also amazing work and I'm so glad I'm on this parenting journey.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Other than Milo waking at the unheard hour of 6 a.m., yesterday morning started as so many others have before. I eased into wakefulness with a warm little body of kitty fur curled into my stomach. Soon it hit me that this would be the last morning I would wake in such way. Yesterday we moved our sweet little kitty to her new home. She promptly hid under the bed at the new place which is totally keeping in her character. I cried a lot - I mean quite a bit - over this whole situation. While I know it is for the best, certainly for Milo, but probably for Prada too, this was a very difficult decision to make and action to carry through. I feel guilty for not keeping the cat despite the allergies, I feel sad that Prada won't be in our life and I worry about her adjusting to her home.

However, Prada is in a great new home with a wonderful woman who has had pets her whole life. She's also living with a boy kitty and I am hoping they become best friends. I keep imagining a picture of the two cats curled up on the couch together. That is the image I put in my head when I look around our house and wonder where kitty is or when Milo says cat while looking for her in the bathroom closet. That image of Prada enjoying the quiet and warmth of her new home gives me peace.