Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Years

Photographer: Ridwan Angkasa

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since I slapped the ole ball and chain on Vincent Chan-- I mean, since I made Vince the happiest man on the planet. Our first anniversary last year was almost a non-event. I mean, we did have a lot going on: Benjamin was just weeks old, and I was stark raving mad from postpartum depression. In fact, I don't even think I made mention of the marriage milestone in my blog. I was probably too busy weeping. Or talking to myself. Anyway, it seems fitting that we'd find many different ways to celebrate this year.
The revelry began weeks before the actual date of March 25 when Vince took me to see one of my all-time favorite shows, Rent. We made it a double date with our close friends Deb and George.

Unfortunately, the boys were markedly less enthused about seeing the blockbuster musical than Deb and I were. As we got closer and closer to the Pantages, the expressions on their faces grew more and more stricken. The things you do for love, eh, fellas?

Vince surprised me on the actual day of our anniversary with a beribboned black box. When he handed it to me, I noticed there was a cotton ball inexplicably tucked beneath the red ribbon. "What's with the cotton ball?" I asked, to which he replied - and not with a little bit of smug satisfaction - "Cotton is what you give for a second anniversary." I have to admit that I was pretty awed by this little bit of marital ass-covering! That evening, we enjoyed a home-cooked steak dinner together before I left to attend a wine mixer with the neighborhood moms, leaving Vince free to play video games with his online gaming buddy Shawn. Now, before you start thinking we're unromantic for spending the evening apart, let me just say that I came back from the wine mixer quite tipsy. 'Nuff said.

We closed anniversary week with a traditional dinner and movie date. The dinner was sushi, and the movie was Watchmen. Vince was the one who had chosen the movie - it was purported to have lots of blood, lots of special effects, and lots of nudity. What he didn't realize was that most of the nudity was of the full-frontal male variety. As we left the theater, the grumbling began. "Have you noticed that more and more movies these days are doing that? They only used to show boobies in movies. Now they show the other stuff, too. I mean, aren't there rules against that?" I just laughed and told him that he was turning into an old fogey, which only seemed to incense him more. He wouldn't even let me take a picture of him to mark our date! If he's like this now, I wonder what he'll be like in fifty years when he actually is an old fogey. I look forward to finding out.

Happy Anniversary, my sweeties. Here's to many more years' worth of full-frontal male nudity-filled movie dates together. I love you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Family is the Best Medicine

Each night before bedtime, Benjamin gets a bath. If Vince gets home in time, he helps me to undress Benjamin and take him to pee before we put him in the tub, but often Benjamin is so excited to see Daddy that he doesn't want to pee and wants to play instead. When this happens, we try to distract him long enough to do his business. We do this by giving him something to hold in his hands. I usually give Benjamin a plastic clothes hanger to play with because it's waterproof, it's babysafe, and it's too large to fit into the space between his legs and the potty. Last night, Vince decided to give Benjamin his iPhone. You can see where this is going, right? Benjamin promptly dropped the iPhone into his potty- and then peed on it. I swear I'm not making this up. I managed to get some pictures of Benjamin trying to grab the iPhone back from Vince after he rescued it from its watery grave, but I didn't get any pictures of the dripping phone itself because I was too busy rolling on the ground in laughter.

Vince didn't find the whole mess nearly as amusing as I did, but he wasn't angry for long. After all, how can you stay mad at this little face?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Boolander: Part 2

You may remember our recent foray into the wacky world of baby modelling. Two months had gone by with nary a word on whether or not our pictures were selected for use in Graco's new advertising, so we assumed that they wouldn't be. Well, imagine my surprise when I found out that two of our pictures had, indeed, been selected! One of the finished ads appears above. If you look closely, you'll see that the mole on Benjamin's lower lip has been airbrushed out. If you look even more closely, you'll see that the tattoo on my right shoulder blade hasn't been and manages to peek through that wholesome white blouse I'm wearing. Isn't it ironic? Don'tcha think? Maybe the Graco peeps wanted to make sure that there was nothing in this picture to connect them with the floozy in this one.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Courvoisier 4

Every Friday afternoon, Benjamin and I go to the Emerson Adult School for our weekly parent education class where Benjamin loves hanging with the lads, among them CJ, Avery, and Luc.

Recently, Benjamin's homeslice Nolan also joined the class.

All the little lads love hanging out and doing lad-like things like playing in the sandbox, climbing the jungle gym, or piling on to the see-saw. By the time class is over, their clothes are filthy, they have dirt beneath they're fingernails, and they're often sporting a fresh bruise or scrape. As they say, boys will be boys!
At the last class, however, Benjamin seemed distracted by another classmate who was not just another one of the boys.
Her name was Olive, she was new in class, and she had pigtails and beautiful blue eyes. It's no wonder that Benjamin was smitten!

Benjamin was so smitten by Olive that he had trouble finishing his snack because he couldn't stop staring at her. At the time I thought it was really cute, but now that I'm looking at the pictures, he seems like a bit of a baby stalker.
Thankfully, Olive wasn't put-off by the little dude making goo-goo eyes at her. She even offered Benjamin a drink from her cup. If Benjamin has any chance of developing a friendship, though, he'd be wise to get acquainted with another lady - Miss Emily Post. The Boo's table manners leave something to be desired.
I wonder where he learned them from?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Creature of Habit 5

It's a little-known fact that pregnancy can mess with your eyesight. I'm not sure exactly how this happens, but it has something to do with the liquid composition of the vitreous fluid, the goop inside your eyeballs. Usually, your eyesight self-corrects after pregnancy, but for a select few, it stays the same. I'm one of those lucky few. So now, along with my waistline and my feet, the size and shape of my eyeballs have been irrevocably altered. Thanks, Benjamin.

The upside of worsening eyesight is that you get to choose new glasses. If there is one thing that I dig, it's glasses. Before I gave birth to Mr. Grabby Hands, I used to wear glasses all the time. I loooove glasses. They're like clothes for your face! So it was with glee that I took a trip to the local optomologist last week. Before I unveil my newest face outfit, however, let's take a trip down my Memory Lane of Myopia...

This pair above are my current glasses. After about ten years of daily use and abuse, they're about to fall apart, but I love them so much that I just keep getting the lenses switched out.

This pair of glasses are my reading/computer glasses. I got them after my pregnancy when I found that I was having difficulty focusing on text. NO I DO NOT NEED BIFOCALS. Ok, maybe I do.

Now it's time for me to unveil my newest face outfit:

Ta-da! These are my new glasses! Aren't they cute? Not only are they cute, but they feature bendy legs that can withstand a reasonable degree of manipulation by chubby, grubby hands.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Gosh, Lily, those glasses all look alike. I'll admit that there is a slight resemblance among all three pairs. But first, let's look at them together:

When you see them side-by-side like this, you can see that each pair is distinctively different. Right?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Super Soaker

Six months into our Potty-sey, we've reached a turning point: Benjamin can now be diaper-free for small chunks of the day. Let me rephrase: he can be diaper-free as long as he's had his morning poo and pee; he's not suffering from any sort of intestinal distress (such as the kind that Augmentin inflicts on babies - moms, you know what I'm talking about); and I make myself available to him in the event that he does need to go and wants to cue me. I don't have be Helicopter Mom and hover over him, but I do have to be at least somewhat aware of what he's doing. If I'm not, then the whole thing goes to sh*t. Literally.

During those diaper-free times, I put training pants on Benjamin. Training pants have several benefits over diapers when it comes to EC. For one thing, they're much easier to whip off and on when he has to go. Also, I can see immediately if Benjamin does have a miss, which helps me to get a better understanding of his patterns and signals. Finally, the unpleasant sensation Benjamin gets from wearing wet pants gives him an incentive to cue me when he needs to go. Unfortunately, finding training pants that fit is next to impossible. The smallest size available in stores is 2T, which is way to big for the Boo. In fact, he's actually crawled right out of his underpants because they're too saggy. The solution? Custom-knit wool soakers!

A fellow mom in the Diaper Free Baby Yahoo Group directed me to a free pattern for wool soakers. Pattern in hand, I consulted my rather sizeable stash, and found two wool options: Noro Silk Garden left over from my Lady E project and Cascade Wool 220 left over from a bag I knit a few years back. I settled on using the Cascade Wool 220. As beautiful as that gorgeous Noro colorway would look on Benjamin's little bottom, I just couldn't stomach the idea of using a $14/skein yarn for something that would probably be crapped on.

In my pre-Boo life, I would've been able to knock out about three of these soakers by now, but at this point, all I have to show for my efforts is this:

That's eventually going to be the butt part of the soaker. Cute, huh? I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to felt it or not. I think that felting it would probably make for a better soaker, but it would also shrink it. So I guess it depends on whether or not I finish this project anytime in the next year.

One very notable thing about this project is the fact that I knitted a gauge swatch for it. SAY WHAT? Gauge swatches are anathema to most knitters, especially impatient knitters with such as myself. I'd rather just rush into the project sans swatch and risk having to redo the whole thing if it doesn't fit. Perhaps this is why I enjoy knitting toys so much - one size fits all! My gauge swatch was only ten stitches wide and one inch long, but it was a swatch nonetheless - my first swatch, I'm ashamed to say. I guess that motherhood has taught me a bit about patience.