Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blink of an Eye

I am not sure why but it seems to happen on a regular basis...when we are playing at the park, walking into a store, cruising the grocery store, or sitting on an airplane...but a passerby will smile and make a remark, usually along the lines of "next thing you'll know, he'll be asking to borrow the car"... "goes by in a blink of an eye"...or wistfully "I remember those days" (or sometimes they jump in to help saying with a meaningful glance "I remember those days...been here before! ;)".  But it always jolts me and re-centers me squarely in the present moment...and in a good way.   I am keenly aware of how fast time is moving and how much Xavi is growing everyday. 

And although there are many things for us to look forward to...and days that I look forward to a return to life with the "simple things" like showering on a daily basis, wearing clothes that I've selected carefully instead of thrown on in a haste to chase my escaping child down the street, sleeping in the bed just Mario and I,  eating meals at a dinner table as a family.  I have learned to accept (more or less...more on somedays, less on others)the chaos of each day... and by chaos I don't mean tragic, traumatic, or terrible..just chaos in that life is not predictable right now; we have an outline of a schedule but will it go as planned? (probably NOT); will today be an "easy" day or one in which we fight every step of the way? (getting dressed, diaper changes, wanting to be carried even though his legs work really well and he is getting really heavy, getting in the car seat, staying in the grocery cart, having little temper tantrums when mom doesn't know what he is pointing at, eating or not eating...repeat, repeat). 

I am learning to accept and love the chaos, but I still feel pangs when I catch a glimpse of myself in the store window or my car rear view mirror and think "did I really just leave the house and go out in public looking like this?"  I remember getting admiring glances and feeling good when I noticed that specific appreciation in my husband's eyes for how I looked...now I sadly sigh when I see myself as other people must see me at Trader Joe's...as that "older mom" looking slightly harried and tired...messy hair, no make up, stretchy pants, but holding it together (?).  Thankfully my shallowness is short lived as I don't have the luxury of worrying about that too often...I have a busy little growing boy who wants to look at every truck in Lowe's parking lot, scream and chase birds, and needs his mama to smile and laugh with him...who cares what anyone at Trader Joes thinks! 

And so I do..and we have a great time together.  Someday when he first asks to take the car, I am going to go back and read this post...probably cry...but I will be able to remember exactly how those times smelled and what his little laugh sounded like.  Blink of an eye...I am sure it will seem so...but right now, I'm blinking as little as possible and storing up every smile for when I have to let go...of the keys. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Trucks, Balls...and Rainbows?

A house on our culdesac was sold and is undergoing construction.  Last week, every morning by 7am, we heard the rumble of big trucks going up the street. Xavi would look up and say "TRUCKS!" and stand at the front door until someone took him out to see the TRUCKS.  There were trucks that delivered and picked up big dumpsters, pick up trucks, bulldozers, "machines" (as we used to call my dad's skidsteer), cranes that delivered roofing supplies, and even chainsaws.  Right now, they all fall into the category  of "trucks" but we are looking at books to learn the differences.  The noise did not scare him at all...he kept trying to get closer!  And that it was muddy?  even better!  He has a capital Y in his xy chromosome...and I love it! 

The only thing that trumps trucks?  Balls!  Whenever Mario walks in the door, Xavi runs to him and says "Ball", lifts his arms to be picked up, and then points outside;  sometimes saying "ow-sie peez".  And that is how every other day begins too.  He wants someone to hold him while kicking the ball against the house...again and again and again.  Sometimes red ball, sometimes blue, sometimes the baseball...doesn't really matter.  Mario is the best at it because he makes good noises and delivers minute by minute championship game commentary. 
We even play "ball" on the beach

keeping his eye on the ball

learning to execute every time

Xavi takes it all in...then when he "practices" himself, we can hear him making the same noises and imitating our kicking.  He even throws his head back and forward so as to show how hard he is kicking.  He picks up the ball, centers it on level ground, and backs up.  Eyeing the ball, he takes two steps and "BAM!"...kicks it into the wall, couch, box (it was raining so we couldn't go outside and play...so we set up a big box to kick into).  Now we're just working on the "gooooooallllll!" part. 

At just 15 months, he is mastering some pretty tricky coordination and developing some amazing neurological pathways/memory. Now, naming him Xavi after the great Spanish midfielder, wasn't with the intention of forcing him to play soccer...he can do anything he wants. I know he'll be a good athlete at most anything so he'll have to choose...but man, am I looking forward to being a "soccer mom"! I know that we'll be sitting there watching him run around the field, scoring goals, and having great footwork...and remembering these days of "BALL" and endless kick practice against the side of our little humble house.

On that rainy afternoon, it was hard work keeping him happy and busy inside.  I even popped in our first kid "movie"...a Thomas the train DVD that I bought for use in our new car.  It kept his attention for a bit and I learned the songs.  But all of a sudden, i looked out the window and saw a beautiful rainbow.  I jumped up and grabbed Xavi to show him what it looks like.  It was still sprinkling so we weren't out long but it was a perfect end to end rainbow...right over us.  I enjoyed knowing  the promise that the sun would shine again and we went in to play some more.  That is what is great about California...you don't have to wait as long as say Wisconsin for the promise to be realized.  The next day was gorgeous and we were back out on the soccer "field" first thing. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Routines, Recovery, Re-establishing the "norm"

I think I've mentioned that whenever we travel to WI for work/school...it takes at least a week for us to go back to "normal".  Everything is thrown off....sleeping, eating, moods.  I try to re-establish everything on our time zone immediately but it just always seems to take at least a week.  For that week I have a very clingy, sensitive boy who still chirps awake bright and early but naptimes are thrown off sometimes by an hour or two, as is bed time.  He is always happy to see Miss Debbie again but reluctant to go play with her...and it always tears at my heart.  I feel so guilty for "doing" this to him, yet I know that all of these experiences are good for him and he is learning flexibility?  travel skills?  developing relationships with his maternal grandparents?  making friends that he is learning and growing from? 
Sitting in Grampa's little rocking chair like a good boy

Reading "I Spy" with mama

And now we are standing...sitting wasn't enough

Getting dressed to go for a walk?  a work out in itself...and might take as long as the walk itself :)

Refusing to be carried...not sure mom is going the right way.  Maybe I'll blaze my own path...which leads to mom catching me and carrying me anyway. which leads to...
temper tantrum..

brushing my old AND new teeth...4 new on their way.  2 molars and 2 more on top...ouch!

An apple a day...means finding apple pieces and party eaten apples after we've gone, right Gramma?

Spending time with mom's bff and our beloved "Florency"

His immune system definitely gets a work out as we undoubtably come home with a new variety of boogers...that take at least a week to slow the flow. 
walking the doggy in bed...definitely not a usual part of the routine

saying "cheese"...while catching up on my favorite books
The hardest part?  Being away from "papa". 

More on this in future posts...but doesn't this picture say more than I can do the topic justice?