Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Son, the Model

Delayed post alert!

Our friend, Jamie Grill,  took pictures of Daniel when he was 9 months old... looking back it was the one month that he didn't really look like himself.. but who cares?  He's damn cute.

Anyhow - we gave Jamie permission to use any images for anything... fast forward over a year and she sends us an email while we are in Mexico after Thanksgiving (sans Daniel) with this link: 

My little baby model!  And, might I comment on the feet behind that cutie?  Yes, those are mine.  V. Exciting!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chanukah Batman Guy

Chanukah has been super fun so far.  Daniel is way into lighting the candles and opening presents.  

Tonight he got two books from us and a Batman figure from Nanny and Papa (so far they have sent him more gifts than we got him and he has loved them all).  Mind you, Daniel has never seen Batman.  But, he is super into Batman because of a Batman t-shirt with cape that he got for Halloween and his Batman toothbrush.  

Anyhow, he opens the gift and says, "OOOOH, Batman Guy!".   We said "this IS Batman" and he says "Yay! Batman Guy!"

Fast forward to bedtime.  Daniel didn't want to go to sleep and for almost 30 minutes said "Mommy, Batman Guy.  Mommy, Batman Guy!"  I finally gave in and went in there, gave him the Batman Guy and said "Now Go To Sleep".  

Not a peep.

2 hours later, Matt snapped this picture:

Nanny and Papa... great gift!  Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Conversation

Scene:  Putting on PJs

Me:  Daniel, your tushy is a little red
Daniel:  Rash, Mommy!
Me:  I see.  You do have a little rash.
Daniel:  Mommy!  Rash on my nuts!
Me:  Excuse me?
Daniel:  Rash on my NUTS, Mommy!
Me:  Lovely.  Should I put some tushy medicine on?
Daniel:  Yes.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Macho Macho Man

Sometimes it's hard to hold a candle to Uncle "Chee Chee".  Especially when it comes to getting Daniel excited about somewhat bad songs from the '70s.  Case in point:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Conversations about Baby #2

Daddy:  "Daniel, do you think Mommy has a boy or girl baby in her belly?"
Daniel:  "BOY!" (note to readers:  we do not know the sex of the baby)
Daddy:  "What do you want his name to be?"
Daniel:  "MOMMY!"

Hmmm... don't think that's on the list right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ABCs for Baby Shrinkie

My family hasn't really gotten the hang of video chatting.  This sucks.  But, we're making it work by just filming these little videos.  This one happened today after Daniel said he wanted to talk to Baby Shrinkie (his cousin Frankie).  Quite impressed with his ABCs these days.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bathtub Riffing..and a Debate with Matt

Matt and I often film Daniel in the bathtub.  Daniel, like most kids I suppose, goes into his own little bath world and babbles nonstop.  It's a good time.  Some of our best film moments happen in the bath, but it has brought up a debate between Matt and I and I welcome your comments.

The debate is:  how much is OK to show in the bathtub? 

This all started because I was posting videos on this blog of Daniel in the bath and didn't pay attention to all of the "parts" that I was actually posting on the internet.  I just thought that since I know almost everyone who sees this blog, who cares?

Well, I filmed Daniel in the bath the other night, posted it to my You Tube page (which is how I embed all of the videos on this blog) and sent the link to my parents, sister and in-laws.  When Matt looked at the video, there were 700 views and in the last 2 minutes of the video, more of Daniel was showing than one would want 700 people to see.  So, Matt tells me to make the video private.  I'm annoyed simply because he's right.  But, my question is: how much is TOO Much?  I get it that full frontal 'aint cool.  But what about his tushy?  Is a little tushy OK?  And, if not, maybe showing him in the bathtub at all is a no-no.  Please discuss.

In the meantime (and until there is an answer), I went out with my future sister-in-law last night (yay!) and Matt showed me this amazing video when I returned home (for obvious reasons starting at about second 44, it's the best video ever).  Check out this GEM!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

...And, We're Back!

Dear Daniel,

It's been three months since I last posted (strange since I thought it was more like 5 months) and I have wondered many times where I should even start at this point since so much has happened in three short months.  I'm sorry for missing this time because you grow up every day and do something new every single day.

First, you're TWO!  Well, you turned two on July 8, so you're really 2 years and almost 3 months old.  Once again, friends would say how "much better it gets the older he gets" and, once again, every single one of them was right.  You are my best friend and I love being with you!  You had a rockin birthday party in our park and the Jersey City Fire Department showed up for a little fun!

Daniel, you are an absolute dream.  You are truly a pleasure to be around (strange to say that about a 2 year old, right?).  You're hilarious.  You are so sweet.  You're talking... A LOT.  I call you Chatty Cathy. I was actually worried a few months ago that you might be "behind" in the vocab department - but there are days that you literally do not stop talking except when you're sleeping (and since you now talk in your sleep every once in a while, there are days that you literally don't stop talking).  I can finally understand almost every single thing you say - which makes me proud and happy.

You are also going to be big brother!  I know you don't really get it yet, but you like to point to my belly and say hi to the baby.  And since meeting your new baby cousin, Frankie, I think you understand babies a little bit more and you LOVE them!  Baby Frankie was 3 days old when you met her and you were smitten.  I'd post the adorable pictures of you holding her, but I can't get my iphone pictures to transfer to my computer (one reason posting has been difficult in the last 3 months has been the meltdown of our iMac).

You go to "school" every day and your teachers tell me how you've matured over the last month.  You are helpful and sweet and you use your words rather than whine.  When I pick you up at the end of the day and you hug all of your friends and say "Thank You" to your teachers, I melt.

Your love of trucks has really hit an all time high.  You LOVE trucks.  Mimi told me this would happen with boys, but I was not prepared.  Trucks rock your world (as do police cars, race cars and play dough).

A few weekends ago, you went on "rollercoaster" rides for the first time.  Your first ride was a boat ride and I cried my eyes out.  I have no idea what happened to me, but you were on this little boat all by yourself and you were so happy.  I just couldn't stop from becoming a blubbering fool.  Luckily the lady next to me said that she did the same thing!

You love TV and movies.  I know most 2 year olds do, but since you didn't watch TV for a long time, it's amazing to watch you interact with shows and find your favorites.  Right now you're still loving Sesame Street but you really love Thomas, The Wonder Pets, Little Einsteins (you call "rocketship") and Yo Gabba Gabba (you did seem to like "So You Think You Can Dance" and you managed about 20 minutes of X Factor the other night, too!).  Movie-wise: Despicable Me (also one of my favorites), Charlotte's Web and Dumbo.  OH, and a Muppets movie when we find them on TV.  You like to lay on the couch with me and cuddle.  You say "mommy laying" and pat the sofa next to you to tell me to lay down.

You are musical (I think I've said this on the blog before).  You sing songs and make up your own songs.  You're loving Adele's "21" as much as I am AND you showed some serious skills with a drumset recently.

You are currently totally in love with me!  Yes, this sounds conceited coming from the author of this blog, but it rocks my world and I know that you'll favor me or Daddy at certain points, so I'm savoring every last minute of this.  You have literally told Daddy to get off the couch so that I can lay down with you.  It's awesome...except when I'm feeling tired and my belly is big and you want me to carry you up 3 flights of stairs.  That, no so much.

You make random jokes and then say "Daniel funny!".  Or if I do something you think is funny you say "Mommy funny!"  You also say "cooz me" when you toot or burp or when you need to squeeze past someone.  Very polite!

You are no longer a baby.  I think that's the most profound change that I can try to explain.  You are a little boy who likes to run and jump and play with cars and chase your friends.  I don't need to watch you every second of the day and when you need me, I know you will tell me.

As we get ready for baby #2, I find myself clinging on to you.  I can't stand to be away from you as the days are passing so quickly and I don't want to miss anything.  I know that things will be different in a few short months and I'm scared that I won't know how to have Daniel time so I am doing everything possible to hold you and kiss you and cuddle with you and play with you without being preoccupied with anything else.  I'm actually crying as I write this because I am overwhelmed by how much I love you.  I am just so proud of you... who you are and how you are... and I hope that I never forget the feeling of singing to you before you go to sleep - of your hair on my face, you hands on my arms and your face in the crook of my neck.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I'll Spare You the Photo

Last night Daniel pooped on the potty!  I was with a client but Matt said that Daniel savored those M&Ms like he would never have another treat again!

Not bad for a week shy of his 2nd birthday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yummm... Pizza

Clio Peterson used to say "pizza, pizza, pizza" in the cutest way ever (when she was probably a year old - the girl's vocab has always been off the charts!).  I've been trying to get Daniel to say it just to see if it would be as cute.  Little did I know that getting him to say the word was also getting him to love the food.

Finally!!  And yes, it's pretty damn cute.

Monday, June 20, 2011

SKOLA: The First Week

To any readers who are Swedish, you read correctly... Daniel is started "school" last week at the Scandinavian School in Jersey City.  It's a nursery school that opened 2 blocks from our house late last year.  The school immediately filled up and we've been on the waiting list for about 6 months.

The school is run by a local mom (and educator) who is Swedish and wanted to bring the philosophies of Scandinavian childcare over here.  The children are basically outside all the time (rain, snow, or sun) and the love we feel in that school is off the charts!

The first week was a smash success.  Not a single tear (other than my own ridiculous blubbering on day one) and I came home every day to a super happy, crazy good mood Daniel.  We transitioned him to be there a little bit longer every day and every day he did better than we could have imagined.  Also, how cute is he with that backpack?!

On top of all of the usual goodness that you could imagine comes from an environment like this (amazing socialization, exposure to a different language, diversity in ethnicity and culture amongst the children, happy outside time for a toddler to run around, etc) all of the food is homemade, almost all organic, comes from our local co-op and/or farmer's market and is vegetarian!  What?!  You heard me right.  Daniel, my son who seemed to be turning into such a picky eater is now eating Quinoa and Beet & Carrot Casserole.  Amazing!

This will be his first full day full week, so let's all keep our fingers crossed.  I'm off to San Francisco for the entire week, so Matt gets to reap the joy of picking him up every day and seeing that smile when he walks in the door!

Here are some pics from the first day:

We're ready to go!

Stopping for a little puddle jumping

Daddy to the rescue when Daniel just didn't want to finish the 2 block walk

While I was crying, I tried to snap a picture of "circle time"

Just a note here that I left telling the Director that Daniel probably wouldn't eat.  She sent me this picture 30 minutes later and told me that he hasn't stopped eating since!  I'm such a sucker at home!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where's My Martini & Cigar?

My mentor and former boss gave these tres chic PJs to Daniel when he was born. When I finally put him in them the other night before bed I nearly fell over because he looked like such a little man in them.  I kept imagining that he had a British accent and needed a smoking jacket....

Susan, if you're reading this, thanks for making my son so debonair!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Word Sentence

"Mommy! Ball. Out!"

Followed by Daniel leading me to the living room and pointing to his big ball which was stuck inside of a plastic bucket seat.

What a brilliant boy (have I mentioned the counting and the singing and the amazing rhythm?)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"I Love You" and a whole lot more!

Today Daniel said "I love you" (after I've been asking him to say it for months, people)!  It's really more like "wuv ew" but it melted my heart nonetheless.  I've been trying desperately to carve out time to post to the blog for the past 2 months and I could not put this off for another day.

There are so many awesome and hilarious things that Daniel is doing these days but saying that he loves me really takes the cake.  My friend, Sara, told me that this would be happening soon and I've been wondering how it would happen and when.  See, I believe that the acknowledgement of LOVE is so completely complex that he really wouldn't get it.  But not only did he say that he loves me, he hugged me so tightly around the neck and pushed his face so hard against mine, that I know that he feels exactly what I feel when I hold him and tell him that I love him.  That "Of Mice and Men" feeling when I think I can't possibly squeeze him or kiss him hard enough.  

Daniel is 22 months old.  We will celebrate his 2nd birthday in the park with a big party (we're throwing a joint party with his friend, Connor) and I feel like these last couple of months are the last "official" months of him being my baby boy.  I watch him walk down the street and it nearly brings tears to my eyes to see how big he is, how great and huge his personality is and, these days, how independent he tries to be.

Daniel is a complete joy to be with.  He doesn't throw tantrums (yet), he doesn't get greedy with his toys (too often) and he likes to sweetly hold hands with his little friends (mostly the girls).  He talks almost as much as I do (I barely know what he's saying most of the time) and he loves to sing (just like him mommy!). 

Here are some of his new (or new to this blog) favorite things:
 - Counting!  I have to get this on video.  He counts by saying un, ree, ree, four, and then something like seven and then more un, un.  It's damn cute.  His favorite thing to count is when Matt empties his pockets every night and Daniel gets to put all of the change in his piggy soccer bank.  He cheers when he's done!
- Bubbles!  Daniel says "bubboos".  My mother recently taught him to blow his own bubbles and then my sister took that lesson to the pool - so drinking water is now tons of fun - and very messy!
Aunt Andi ("D" as Daniel calls her) teaching Daniel the art of Bubble Blowing in Miami
- Jumping... specifically in puddles and telling the cat to jump.  He says "poop. jump."  Poop (our cat) ignores him.
- Trucks.  Wow - this kid loves trucks.  I mean, WOW.  He still calls them "uch".  His all-time favorite is still the fire truck.  He points to them and says "wee-ew, wee-ew, wee-ew"
- Trains.  "Choo-Choo".  He spots a train or train tracks so quickly it's like he smells them
- Singing the ABCs into a microphone.  We have one of those cheap vibrating plastic microphones but really any mic will do (the below video does not do this justice and he's full blown into singing by himself now.  It's amazing how great his rhythm is).
- Our cat, Poop.  Daniel has suddenly become obsessed with our cat.  It's incredibly sweet - especially since our cat was pretty much homicidal 3 years ago.  Thankfully Poop is now old (almost 17) and I think he realizes that Daniel is here to stay, so he better just chill out and deal with a little toddler poking at him.
- Cheering, in general.  Daniel loves to shout "Yay" to whatever it is he might be doing.  Sometimes it's just "Yay, Mommy" or "Yay, Daddy".  Sometimes he's so excited that he puts all the names together, "Yay, DaMommyPoop"

Looking way too much like his Daddy
There is so much more to describe so I promise to this blog (really to Daniel) that I will be posting a lot over the next month in order to catch up with my growing boy.
Reading in his room

Doing it up at on "Take Your Child to Work Day"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Update

Since January 1, I've been on 6 business trips.  Apologies for the crazy lack of posts.

Luckily while my posts have been few and far between, my little man hasn't missed a beat and is simply sprouting.  I have a blast with him, but I'm still freaked out by how quickly he is growing up and wish I could just slow down time.  I know I should live every day in the moment and not worry about tomorrow or yesterday - but it's really hard when my little baby is suddenly talking to me in his own strange sentences.

The words are free flowing at this point (though I still usually don't know what he's saying) and the thing I love the most right now is that he is finally starting to sing along with me.  He especially loves to sing the ABC song (again, he's not really saying the letters but he is singing the tune, pausing when we pause, etc).  He gets into bed with us in the morning and likes to "hide" under the covers (we have to be under them, too) and he is just crazy happy all the time (well, except when he's not happy - that's a whole other story and an entirely separate blog post.  Let's just say that it's no longer easy to take something away from him).

He knows so much now.  He points to objects when I ask where they are.  He literally plugs in, turns on and asks his Daddy to play the bass when he wants to hear it.  He started to attempt to pull up his pants after I change a diaper.  He saw me use the lint brush today, asked for it and started de-linting his jeans.  He also recently started putting his finger up his nose.  Hmmm... not so sure about the cuteness factor here.

He also loves to brush his teeth (sometimes pantless) and use utencils as you can see in these videos.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And Baby Makes Three... A Valentine's Day Announcement from my Sister.

I've been waiting for 3 months to publish this post.

My sister is 12 weeks pregnant!  Daniel is going to have a baby cousin and I am going to be AUNT! 

This is the picture that Andi sent us from her most recent ultrasound.  I told Daniel that this was his baby cousin and he took the phone (she texted the picture) said "Babyby" then hugged and kissed the phone.  Literally, my sweet little boy hugged and kissed the picture of the baby!

Now, you may be saying "you couldn't know for all 3 months" but my sister and brother-in-law have gone through more than most people on their path to pregnancy and we've known about this little fertilized egg since day one of conception.

Two years ago Andi and Gabe decided to start trying to get pregnant.  It didn't work.  People (myself included) would tell Andi that it takes time.  That while it seems like ladies get pregnant left and right, there is really only a small window of fertility every month.  As the months went on, Andi got a little more nervous, a little more anxious and little sadder. 

Then I got pregnant with Daniel.  I tried not to feel guilty but I knew the day I told her I was pregnant that she cried and I was scared that she would be sad throughout my pregnancy.  Of course, she wasn't because my sister is one of the most selfless people I've ever known.  She embraced my pregnancy and, eventually, became the most supportive person and the most incredible Aunt Daniel could ever ask for.

When Andi finally learned that her eggs were "of not good quality" the entire family rallied around her and Gabe to support their efforts to get pregnant in less traditional ways.  In the end, my sister and Gabe used an egg donor (an entirely new soul searching scenario for me as I am not the donor of her eggs).  When they got the call that they were next on the waiting list for a live donor, we all cheered and breathed a sigh of relief.  And then the day came.  In mid December Andi was implanted with two fertilized eggs and we all held our breath until her first official pregnancy test two days before Christmas.

Now we get to welcome a new baby to our family.  A baby whose parents have gone through so much to have him or her and who we all know will be two of the best parents on earth.  All babies are blessings and this one is a big, huge, amazing blessing.

So, the best Valentine's Day gift is being able to officially congratulate Andi and Gabe on their healthy pregnancy.  We love you so much and Daniel can't wait to teach his baby cousin all of his tricks.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy

It has happened.  Daniel is in a "Daddy" phase and that's pretty much the only word the kid says these days.  I feel like chopped liver.

Daddy is usually followed by "Peeeze" because he wants something and mysteriously at 18 months has already decided that Daddy might give him something that Mama won't.

The only time this really makes me sad is sometimes in the morning when Daniel only wants Matt and he screams if I try to take him or when Matt gets into the shower.  Man, it blows!

Daniel, please bring "mama" back into the picture.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Aunt Andi

Happy birthday to my sister.  Daniel's wonderful and amazing, Aunt Andi. 

We love you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

18 Months

Dear Daniel,
Today is your 18 month birthday.  18 months!  For some reason this, your 1 1/2 birthday, is monumental.  It's the time that my friends said would be the most fun.  The time before "they" say that you're going to turn into a little 2 year old toddler nightmare (not MY baby!).  The time that you're still kind of a baby but I can feel that slipping away every single day as you become more and more of a toddler.

Keeping up with the blog has proven to be difficult recently and since this is my diary to you, it makes me sad that I haven't been able to log my thoughts and your stories more frequently.  I can say that it's one of my New Year's resolutions but that would just be plain silly!

What I can do is tell you what you're up to right now.  This divine, special, split-second-long chapter will change every day, so I'll try to include it all:

1.  You are still one of the sweetest boys imaginable (this is not just an "I'm your mom, so I think so", this is a truth that people tell us all the time.  You love to hug and kiss.  You cuddle (for only a few minutes, but still!), you say "baby" in a much higher and sweeter voice than you say any other word.  You don't hit.  You love to share. (both of the previous sentences could easily end with "Yet").

2.  You are still pensive, like you were as a baby.  I love this about you because I can see your brain working and growing every time you look at a project and think about it  before you dig into it.  Every time you flip a toy over to see if you can take it apart and every time you squat in front of the cat and try to communicate with him before trying to touch him.
3.  You lay in your crib and sing to yourself and then you clap at the end of your song.
4.  Your babbling is nothing short of RIDICULOUSLY amazing and constantly keeps me laughing.
5.  You still don't say a ton of words, but the ones you are into these days are:
Baby (you say it in 3 syllables, "ba-beee-beee")
Mama (and now you're finally talking to me and not just needing something)
Dada and Daddy
Peeesh (please)
Up (I haven't heard you say this, but you apparently do)
The following animal sounds:  Mooo (cow), Uff Uff (dog), Snnnn (snake), Cack Cack (duck), Tsss Tsss while shaking your finger (this is what you say for Monkey because of the book "Caps for Sale" which is one of you favorites), Hi Kitty (for Kitty.. no joke).
Uckch (Truck.  This is our favorite)
Yay! (after clapping)
6.  You are a fabulous sleeper.  You sleep from about 7:30 to 7 and you take one nap from 1-3 (or later) every day.  We love you for this.
7.  Your favorite books are "Everywhere Babies", "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel", "Caps for Sale", and "The Very Hungry Catepillar"
8.  You run to me and throw your arms around me and hug me tight before kissing me.  Oh my lord, there is nothing better.
9.  You still like to play with my hair like you did when you were nursing.
10.  You love to dance and have made some new dance moves over the last few months that are particularly groovy
11.  Music calms you down and you love it when we sing big musical-type songs to you (you often applaud us when the song is over)
12.  You have a lot of teeth now and they are sharp. 
13.  You love the snow which makes me hopeful that you will snowboard with me in a few years.
14.  You are randomly enjoying spicy foods.  On Christmas, you were loving super spicy Hot & Sour soup in Chinatown

15.  You love to wash your hair (and your tummy, tushy, hands, etc).  Here you are at the Liberty Science Center washing your hair at a bubble exhibit.  Nice.
16.  You are happy and loving and curious about life.  You are an angel.  You are my best buddy.  You have changed me and made me better in ways that I'll never quite be able to explain.

Happy birthday, Daniel Bing.