Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Raising a cheese head

I have three major loves in my life: my husband, my son, and my cheese. While I love Casey and Johnny dearly, I must admit I have had a much longer love affair with curdled milk. In fact, all the girls I went to England with can surely vouch for my cheese affinity. We went to the town of Cheddar where I couldn't resist buying a tasty block of cheese. I ate hunks of that cheese all week and nearly cried when I realized the airport security guy wouldn't let me bring my cheese back to the U.S. So what did this cheese head do? I stood right there in the airport and scarfed down eight ounces of the most delicious Sharp Cheddar Cheese I've ever had. I paid dearly in the coming days for my impulsive decision, but I didn't regret eating those calories!

Now I have a little cheese head in my house. Johnny loves cheese as much as I do. Can you believe the kid will eat Roquefort Bleu Cheese? He has to have at least one piece of cheese a day. Every time I go to the refrigerator Johnny says, "Cheese, cheese!" Yesterday when we were grocery shopping I pointed to each item I was going to buy, said its name, let Johnny look at and touch it, and then put it in the cart. Each time I would say aloud to myself, "I wonder what else we need," Johnny would chant, "Cheese, cheese!" When we finally made it to the refrigerated aisle, he recognized the bags of cheese and became really excited. He pointed and shrieked, "Cheese, cheese, Mama, cheese, cheese!" The lady in front of me turned around and said, "I sure hope you are going to buy that baby some cheese." And I did--three packages of Colby Jack, Johnny's favorite.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's all about vigilance

The weather has turned chilly! My favorite time of year has arrived, so I bundled Johnny up and took him to the park in downtown Marion today to enjoy the crispness of Fall. I pushed him on the baby swing and helped him "drive" the bouncy car. He loves to turn the wheel on the bouncy car. The park was hopping today. There were several kiddie birthday parties going on, and kids of all ages swarmed around, filling the park with shrieks and laughter. Johnny and I played and played.

At the end of our play time, a group of older kids came to play on the springy riding toys beside us. The kids were playing rough and began doing some seriously dangerous things. The teacher in me wanted to scold them and remind them of appropriate playground behavior. But we weren't at school, so I kept my mouth shut. I looked around to see where all the other adults were, and that is when I realized I was the only parent playing with her kid on the playground. Most of the other parents had their backs turned and weren't even looking at their kids. "Unbelievable," I thought to myself.

Then, the little rug rats came over and got on the bouncy car Johnny was playing on and began jumping up and down and shaking it all around. Johnny was scared, but he really liked the other kids being around. I guess they became bored with "the baby," so they ran back over to play on the other toys. I turned my attention back to Johnny who wanted to imitate the older kids by sitting on the seat of the car even though he can't reach the steering wheel from there. About the time I helped him up into the seat, I heard a commotion coming from where the other kids were playing and rough-housing. I looked over to check on them, and while I was looking away, which didn't last much longer than a second or two, Johnny fell off of the seat of the car. Luckily, he didn't hit his face or head on anything, but he did get the breath knocked out of him.

Poor guy! Here I am being all high and mighty about parents not keeping an eye on their kids, and who gets hurt? My kid. The one whose mom is within arm's reach of him. I suppose I don't have much to be high and mighty about, now do I?

Parenting is all about vigilance. Accidents happen, but I want to make sure I am there for Johnny to wipe away his tears, dust him off, and tell him I love him. I still have to work on the not being high and mighty part, too. I dread the day when Johnny will only want me to watch him play instead of play with him, so I am going to cherish every minute we spend together.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring...

Well, not exactly raining. Johnny took his first shower today. I usually give him a tub bath, which he loves, but today I was pressed for time and decided to give him a quick shower with me. The kid loved it, except for the water in his eyes part. I kept telling him to close his eyes, but he wouldn't. I guess he was too afraid to close them. He kept reaching his hands up to catch the falling water and was amazed by the sensation. I just adore watching his budding curiosity.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wow, where does time go?

Well, I started this blog six months ago to keep up with all the things going on in the Mabry household, but I haven't posted a thing since April. I can't believe so much time has passed so quickly. Johnny's last major milestones I blogged about were rolling over and sitting up. Now the kid is literally running circles around the house. I have so much to catch up on!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Johnny's First Road Trip

We packed up and headed to Washington, DC over spring break to visit Johnny’s Aunt KK. My mom, Casey, Johnny, and I piled in our sweet Oldsmobile Ninety-eight and started our drive around 4:45 Friday afternoon, April 2. We made it as far as Morganton before we had to pull over to change a poopy diaper. I should have recognized this early pit stop for what it was: the foreshadowing of a long trip to come.

I figured we would arrive at the DC Days Inn by 1 am, but my calculation was off by a couple of hours. While we did exit the beltway at 2 am, we drove around and around trying to find our hotel, thanks to some misdirection from the hotel’s night clerk. We eventually got checked in and into our room around 3 am. We were all exhausted. Since having Johnny, Casey and I are usually in our bed by 8 pm and asleep by 9 pm. I know, I know, we are real party animals these days! Needless to say, we fell into bed, unpacking only our pajamas.

And what about Johnny? He did great on his first long distance ride. He did stay awake well past his 6:30 pm bedtime, finally going to sleep around 9 pm after our dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Blacksburg, VA. He slept until midnight, waking when we made a coffee stop but falling right back asleep as soon as the car was moving again. He stayed asleep until the next morning, even sleeping through being moved from the car to the hotel room. Score! My major concern about this trip had been that Johnny would not sleep and would be cranky the whole time. This scenario never played out. He slept snugly between his Nanny Ward and me each night and was a perfect angel everyday. I cannot remember even one cry. We know how fortunate we are, and we are so thankful for Johnny’s easy temperament!

Johnny’s Nanny and Granddaddy Mabry flew into DC Saturday morning, and the seven of us spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sightseeing and eating great food. We toured the major monuments and memorials, walked around the perimeter of the White House, admired the Cherry blossoms, listened to beautiful music in the National Cathedral, walked through the National Zoo, and rode an open top double-decker tour bus around the city. The weather was gorgeous and warm, perfect for sightseeing and touring.

We reluctantly left on Tuesday morning and arrived back in Marion around 8 pm. We were tired from the weekend’s activity, but it was a good kind of tired. Johnny’s first road trip was a success, and Aunt KK made Easter weekend memorable for all of us, especially my mom because this trip was her first to DC. Thanks, Aunt KK! Johnny is lucky to have such a cool aunt!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Roll, Johnny, Roll!

The wait is over! Johnny finally rolled from his back to his tummy yesterday.

We were on the bed getting ready for a nap when Johnny started twisting and turning on his back to reach for the pillows. He loves to play with the pillows on my bed. He pulls and tugs on them until they fall over, most of the time on top of him. After the pillows fall on him, he digs his feet in and kicks them off. Johnny can play this game forever. Before I knew it, he rolled over onto his tummy to better reach the pillows. He practiced his new skill over and over yesterday evening and this morning. He is fascinated by his new mobility.

I am amazed again, just like when he began sitting up on his own. I guess I will never get over how quickly he goes from not being able to do something to doing it. Watching his development is so exciting.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Spoon Wars

Johnny loves to eat. The kid can seriously put away the groceries. Some of his favorite purees are sweet peas, squash, green beans, carrots, pears, blueberries, mangoes, and prunes. Surprisingly he likes vegetables better than fruits, but if he could talk, he would probably say he likes ice cream best.

Lately Johnny’s mealtimes have been messy. No, messy is an understatement. Mealtimes have become all out warfare. Johnny has recently realized he is quite dexterous, and he loves to practice batting, swinging, and flapping his little arms. He can grab just about anything within his reach. And boy is he quick! Those tiny arms and hands present a real challenge when we are trying to feed him.

Johnny gets so excited when it is time to eat. We bought a high chair for him, but he prefers playing with his toys in the high chair and eating in his infant recliner. As soon as we put him in his seat, he begins to kick his legs and shriek. He proceeds to whine, and eventually cry, if we do not get the food to him fast enough for his liking. It is when we begin to feed Johnny that the real fun ensues.

Most days I have to change Johnny’s clothes after each meal. Putting a bib on him really makes little difference in how dirty his clothes get while he is eating. He seems to wear as much food as he eats these days. This is not due to our ineptitude at feeding. Casey and I are actually fairly accurate at getting the spoon to Johnny’s mouth with little spillage. Well, we used to be.

Achieving spoon to mouth now is like completing an obstacle course. We dip out a perfect spoonful, steady our arms, steel our nerves, grit our teeth, and dodge two waving, slapping, grabbing, Mr. Miyagi-wax-on-wax-off hands. The food usually ends up flying off of the spoon and onto his clothes, the seat, the floor, and any other nearby object. He sometimes manages to get food all over his face and hands and in his hair and eyes and nose and eyebrows and anywhere else those little hands may roam.

Yesterday I decided something had to be done. Even though Johnny’s food-covered face is really cute, scrubbing stains out of all those little outfits is not so cute. I read in a magazine to give Johnny a spoon of his own to hold during mealtimes in order to deter him from grabbing my spoon. Ha! All this accomplished was making my job more dangerous!

Needless to say, Johnny loved having his own spoon. He brandished his spoon like a sword and sent food flying when he smacked my spoon. He put his spoon in his mouth, which would not have been a problem if he had waited to cram it in there after I removed my spoon. He poked himself in the eye and cried. He threw the spoon in the floor and cried.

In the end giving Johnny his own spoon turned out to be more of a hassle and a mess than just feeding him, but it made for some really sweet pictures and some fun mommy-baby time.