Friday, November 30, 2012

In case you thought I was running out of material...


It has been a while since my last listing of updates. I don't know why I am always so far behind. The list I keep on my iPhone is ridiculous, and I know there is a lot I forgot to put on there. Alas! At least I remembered to make note of some of Banner's latest antics!

Trevor’s brother got married on November 3rd. Banner wore the little plaid pants, black vest and bow tie we bought him for Spencer’s Wedding/Thanksgiving/Santa photos/Christmas/First Birthday celebrations/Etc. The pants are a 2T because – when we bought the outfit in late October – the 18 month pants fit perfectly (read: NO room to grow). The 2T are a little loose in the thighs and butt, but we hope the space will buy us some time before we have to put the whole adorable ensemble in storage when Banner inevitably outgrows it.

But back to Spencer and Allison’s wedding…

Since Trevor was the best man, Banner and I made our way into the church and sat towards the front behind where Gran and John would be seated. When the music started to play, Banner got all excited and started waving his arms and hands like he was the conductor of an orchestra. Unbeknownst to me, Spencer, Trevor and the groomsmen were watching Banner on a TV in a room just off the main sanctuary. And to think that I thought I was the only one who noticed!

Banner made it through about half of the ceremony before getting all squirmy, so we discretely stepped out of the sanctuary and watched the rest of the service on the TVs in the waiting area at HPUMC.

Both Brox and Caroline are about to transition to the toddler room in December and have started sleeping on mats (instead of cribs) during naptime. It is kind of sad because once Brox leaves, Banner will be the oldest in his classroom. He will also be one of only two boys in Room 2. But the other boy is only four months old and not super mobile yet. So, really, it will just be Ban and the ladies.

The good news is that when Banner does transition in January/February, he will be joining Brox in Room 7. Those two boys are good buddies, so I am glad they will be together for at least another year. Now if we could only get Brox to let Banner give him hugs every now and again we would be all set.

Poor Banner. He is like Lenny. Just a big ole lug that loves to be affectionate, but doesn’t realize how big and strong he is. Speaking of: The baby replacing Brox in a few weeks is a little girl named “Nora”. When she starts she will only be about three months old. Her parents had their orientation last week before Thanksgiving. They came in the morning and observed the classroom and watched all the babies interacting with their teachers. Eventually, they left, but returned just a few hours later with a bunch of concerns. Namely, if Nora would be spending most of the time in her crib during the day.

Teacher: “Oh no! She’ll only be in her crib during naps. We will do lots of things with her on the floor, like tummy time, sensory games…”

Nora’s Parents: “But what will you do to protect her from some of the other babies?  Like him [Pointing at Banner].  He is just so big and so fast!”

That’s right. My giant baby strikes fear into the hearts of new parents. O.M.G.

Banner’s “girlfriend” is Emma. She’s little but feisty. It is funny, though. The teacher’s report that Banner is kind of protective of her, and there have been several incidents where Banner has put his arm around her shoulders or held her hand during story time or while on buggy rides out in on the playground. My baby is such a flirt.

He is still all about climbing the cribs and trying to squeeze into the tiny spaces between them at day care. One day he succeeded, though, and wedged himself behind several cribs and the wall. When discovered by his teachers a few minutes later, he had pooped. So, now the joke is that Banner is just looking for some privacy to do his business when he lodges himself behind or under the nursery’s furniture.

He is also an accident prone mess, and there are days when there are MULTIPLE incident reports for us to sign when we pick up Banner at the end of the day. It has gotten so bad that his teacher jokes that she is going to preemptively fill out incident reports with Banner’s name and information on them. I keep threatening to compile all of his incident reports into a single scrap book for posterity. It is amazing what that boy can get himself in to.

Speaking of which, the door knobs in the nursery are higher than normal, and do not usually need baby proofing (most babies aren’t tall enough to reach them until after they’ve graduated to the toddler room). Except Banner can reach them with ease, and thinks it is hysterical to open the door. However, he can only open them while standing, and hasn’t mastered the art of walking backwards. Hence, until the baby proofing door knob handles could be ordered and installed last week, Banner kept opening the door into his own head.

Now that the door knobs have been baby proofed, he has moved on to climbing. I wonder how long it will take until the concept of gravity finally sinks in?

It has gotten where there is a new incident report almost every day. I’ve gotten so used to signing one when I pick up Banner, that I signed another kid’s by mistake. Oy, vey.

(Daycare is really safe, by the way. It is just Banner’s age and recent attempts at standing unassisted that are to blame. And incident reports are issued by the facility for the most minor of accidents. They are really just covering their a$$ so everyone is clear on the reason behind every bump, bruise and scratch.)

Banner’s school also got new furniture for all of the classrooms last week. The nursery now has shelves, tables and cubbies that are wider and lower to the ground. They really look good. Or did. On the day they were installed, Banner took a wood brick to the new “island” in the middle of the room. It is now lovingly dented in by my son.

He also loves nothing more than pulling apart the classroom’s cardboard books.

(I am so embarrassed.)

The good news is that he is a very adventuresome eater, and is always willing to try new things regardless of taste, texture or color. I was so proud when he sucked down the plain spaghetti squash on Wednesday. Trevor thought he would hate it, but – just like his mom – he loved it. I wish I had set aside more for him.

He also LOVES Trevor’s buckwheat and quinoa pancakes. Yum. Whenever Trev makes them, we set a bunch aside for Banner to snack on throughout the week. They might be Ban’s favorite.

Trev calls them Banner's "man cakes".

Gypsy waiting for something to "fall".

Banner doesn’t usually (with the exception of Trev’s pancakes) like it when you give him the same thing more than a couple of times a week. For example, he ate loads of raspberries over the weekend and loved them. But when I packed him some for snack today he completely rejected them. You just never know with that boy.

After a brief break, Banner is teething again. This time, though, the painful culprits are his molars. My lower wisdom teeth came in when I was in high school, and it gave me a whole new appreciation and respect for what babies have to go through. I completely empathize, and just hope they break through the gum soon so he can have some relief. None of us have slept through the night since before Thanksgiving, and are all exhausted! Banner loves the frozen teethers, but screams when they cease to be cold. If they weren’t so effective, I’d almost say they weren’t worth the trouble. They just don’t stay cold very long at all!

In other news, Banner thinks that balls, trucks and leaves are the coolest things ever. He LOVES to play peek-a-boo with his towel after he gets out of the bath, and always squenches up his nose when he smiles.

His favorite book is PEEK-A-WHO. He will actually let you read it to him multiple times in a row without squirming (of course it helps that it is all of five pages long). It is the first book I’ve read to him where he will actually giggle and pay attention.

He now says “Hi” and “A-DA” all the time. Uncle Adam thinks “A-DA” is Banner’s way of saying “Adam”. It is funny, though, because Banner DOES seem say it more when Adam is around. Maybe there is a connection?  Or maybe it is just that Adam always reacts to it?

Banner has now had two play dates. The first was with Grant on November 5th.  Grant is the son of a girl that I was in a playgroup with 30 years ago. He is 18 months old but he and Banner are the same height. I never realize how big my baby is until I see him with babies nearly twice his age.

The second play date was with Connor. Connor’s mom and I went to high school together in Maryland, got married on the exact same day (9/5/2009) and had the same due date last December. Of course, since Banner was two weeks late and Connor one week early, the two are three weeks apart, but it is still pretty amazing how closely Ashley’s life has paralleled my own.

Connor and Banner also attend the same daycare, and share the same fabulous babysitter. We are going to be so sad when Ashley and Connor move to Houston in a couple of weeks.

Banner is still fascinated with TV remotes, and has an uncanny ability to find U-Verses Santa Tracker. Trevor and I joke that he is trying to tell us something.

But my favorite recent story is from a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting with Banner in the rocking chair in the nursery reading a bedtime story, when Trevor walked in the room to say “goodnight”. Banner reached for his dad, and Trevor picked him up to give him a bedtime hug. No sooner did Trevor lean in to give his son a kiss on the forehead, did Banner let one of the loudest and stinkiest burps loose right in Trevor’s face. It is very possible that you needed to be there to find it funny, but every time I think about it I smile. Sometimes it is the simple, little things in life.

Love this little guy!

In other non-Banner related news, I am having a difficult time with Picasa web albums (who hosts the images for this blog now that Blogger is now owned by Google).  It keeps telling me that I have reached my image upload quota, so I went through and deleted hundreds of photos.  I ONLY use Picasa for this blog, but some of my pictures were uploaded multiple times when I thought the upload had failed, timed out, etc.  Except - unbeknownst to me - they had all uploaded just fine.  So, since before Thanksgiving, I've been going through YEARS of blog-related photos and deleting the duplicates.  Which sounds simple, but is actually surprisingly stressful since it is impossible to tell for sure which images are tied to an old blog post.  

Anyway, I was able to free up nearly 30% of space, and uploaded some of the pictures from Thanksgiving.  But - less than 30 pictures later - I had reached my quota again (odd since I had deleted hundreds already).  So, I purged again.  And...nothing.  It doesn't seem to matter how many more I delete, I am still hovering at 99.85% of my quota.  It just isn't right.

After doing some research, though, I have learned that this is not a unique problem.  Lots of people are experiencing the same thing, but no one has done anything to fix it.  Picasa says it is Google's problem and Google only says that it is a "known problem" and they are working on it.  

Some pictures - like 95% included in this post here - were uploaded before the problem started.  But I have a whole bunch of drafts that are waiting for a picture or two.  I find all this to be very frustrating.

I'd pay the $2.49/month for upgraded storage, but it makes me a little wary to pay for something that obviously has so many problems, so I am - instead - trying to do what Google recommends:  be patient.    I'm falling so behind, though, that I don't know how long it will last until I start using someone else to host my photos.  Years ago, I had pretty good luck with Flickr.  Sigh...I guess it is time to start weighing my options.

In the interim, please forgive the back posting and (possible) lack of images.  I'm working on finding a solution.  Here's to hoping I don't fall too far behind in the process!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reason No. 876 why I am a horrible mother...

Banner stayed home from school yesterday because he was a snotty, drooly mess (thanks to a teething/runny nose combo).  Trevor and I decided to take him to school today, though, because he seemed to feel okay, never had any fever and had more energy than we knew what to do with.

(Plus, I had taken him to the pediatrician yesterday because I was worried his runny nose had morphed into a sinus or ear infection.  But the doctor declared him to be "absolutely fine" with the exception of some nasal congestion and a swollen, angry knob on the bottom, left side of his lower jaw where his first molar will (hopefully) be soon.)

In other words, he wasn't sick.  Or at least wasn't acting like it.  And any doubts I may have had were completely dashed the second I heard my son SQUEAL when we walked into his classroom and he saw all of his little friends.  I sat him on the ground and he looked at me, smiled his big, snaggle toothed grin and started to clap his hands.

I tried not to take it personally.

After dropping him off, I proceeded on to work, but my heart froze a couple of hours later when I saw that I had a missed call from day care around 11 AM.  I immediately called back expecting news of a fever or something of the like.  I was sure they were going to tell me to come and pick him up and take him home.

Instead, I learned that Banner had climbed up on the new island/shelf in the middle of the classroom and crawled over the edge before the teacher - who was holding another baby - could make it over to stop/catch him.  He fell less than 12 inches, but bumped his head on the floor.  And, hence, his teacher was calling once again to tell me that I would have another incident report waiting for me when I came to pick him up.

(Banner, in case you were wondering, was absolutely fine.  Apparently, he barely even cried.  It scared him more than anything.  Trevor is hoping it will help teach Banner about the hazards of gravity.)

Instead of worrying about the bump on Banner's head, however, I was RELIEVED.

Not relieved, mind you, that my baby had hurt himself or had a bump on his head.  Relieved that he was still feeling okay and didn't have a fever.  He loves school and playing with his friends so much.  I didn't want to have to bring him home if he was well enough to be there.  It has nothing to do with missing work, being at home or snuggling with a sick kiddo two days in a row.  Banner was just so happy to arrive at school this morning, I was relieved he could stay and play like usual.

And Trevor?  Yeah, he admitted to feeling the same thing.  Apparently, we are the a$$hat parents of the year.

[Shakes head]

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For the record...

...I think saying "it sounds like the building is breathing" is perfectly acceptable when describing the noise made by a surging discharge fan motor.

Just saying.

Screw Hallmark. Travelers Insurance commercials make me cry...

Love this SO much...
(Stop laughing at me TREVOR)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Sunset...

Trevor took these while I was bathing the dogs late this afternoon from the park in our neighborhood:

Central Texas Sunrise...

(Or the plus side to leaving before dawn to drive back to Dallas)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Remembering Moo...

Since the whole family was all together down at the ranch this weekend, we decided to spread Moo's ashes.  She passed away in 2008, but there has been a lot of discussion about the places she wanted to be scattered.  Moo definitely wanted to be with her parents in Dallas and the ranch, but there ended up also being room at the family plot next to my grandfather (but only because she wanted to be cremated), so it has taken awhile to work out all the details and find a time when the entire family could be present. 

Moo's head stone is on the right and Pop's to the left.

Additionally, dad wanted to scatter some of her ashes at her favorite fishing spot (Lake Mimi), as well as Mimi's backyard in Lampasas (Mimi purchased Moo's home after my grandfather passed away back in the mid 1990s). 

Out of the five spots, we got three done today.  We started at the cemetery where Pop is buried then went to Mimi and Bud's house in town.  Lunch was next at Eve's followed by a carivan back out to the ranch for the third and final scattering of the day. 

We will reconvene in Dallas for the final scattering at Moo's parents graves over the holidays.  William and my dad will take the remaining ashes to Lake Mimi in the interim.

Even though it pretty much took all afternoon, it was nice to spend the day with family while remembering Moo.  She was such a wonderful woman, and I feel so lucky to have had her in my life for 28 years.

It was also nice to have Banner in attendance.  Even though he never got to meet any of his great grandparents, I think he sometimes smiles like Moo.  I know her spirit lives on in him.

Mimi's backyard.  Moo always loved this view.

Adam, Amy, Claire and Trevor.

Final scattering at the ranch at sunset.

Love and miss you, Moo.