He knows me.

Me: "Um. Why are you smelling my breath? Trying to gauge how many drinks I've had?"

Eli: "Yeah. Two."

Me: "Hey--nice work! And what were they, do you think?"

Eli: "Margaritas."

Me: "One of them."

Eli: "A margarita and a beer. You had the margarita first. The beer was a Miller Lite bottle."

Me: "Close, but no bananas."

Eli: "Miller Lite draft."

Me: "You know me too well."

Eli: "I've known you a long time."

Me: "Nearly half our lives."


Adventures in bedtime.

Eliot wakes at 1:00 a.m. last night (well, technically this morning, I guess) and can't get back to sleep. I pat his back, put his nuk back in his mouth, and pull his blanket back over him.

Nothing doing.

This is pretty typical. We rarely go a night without being up at some point around here. I've gotten into the habit of just bringing the little man to bed with me when he wakes up, since Eli works nights now and it's just me most of the time anyway. So even though Eli is home, I scoop up the boy and bring him back to our bedroom.

And for awhile we lay there, the three of us together, a curved line of bodies, big, smaller, smallest, like nested dolls. I have a few delicious "ahh...this is what it feels like to savor the moment" moments, until Eliot, who still cannot get to sleep, starts running his hands up and down my arm, feeling my face, pausing to pinch my nose...all the while talking and babbling in a semi-whisper that grows louder with each passing minute. As the clock ticks away into the morning.

Soon, Eli abandons us for the couch and I scoot over, hoping I'm out of range of the roaming, pinching fingers. After awhile, it becomes clear that burying my head under my pillow and hoping he will just go to &%!ing sleep already is not working, I pick Eliot up, carry him back to his own room, and deposit him soundly back into his crib.

Sometimes this works and he goes back to sleep.

Nothing doing.

This is that point in the story where time becomes irrelevant and the world seems to pause as I am caught up in an endless cycle of insanity. All I know is that while Eli snoozes away on the couch, I make a bottle, feed Eliot, rock him, read bedtime stories to him, bring him back to my bed to snuggle again, return him to his crib again, all to no avail.

By 2:30 I wake Eli up, saying, "Look, the kid won't go back to sleep and I don't know what the hell else to do with him." By this point he has been coughing for awhile, too (he's had a cold he can't shake for almost two weeks now), so we give him some Benadryl to try to dry up the nose, thinking that drainage is making him cough, keeping him up.

After 3:00, I think it is, we give him a breathing treatment, and he falls asleep to the loud humming of the nebulizer. As soon as the nebulizer is turned off, he wakes up again.

*sigh of extreme exasperation*

So Eli turns the nebulizer back on. Eliot falls asleep.

Now what? We can't leave the nebulizer running all night long. (Well, all that's left of it, at this point.) Finally, finally, finally, we get the idea to put my laptop in his room and leave it on playing classical music. I get out the computer, boot it up, wait thirty years for it to find my internet connection, and navigate to Pandora Radio. We choose a classical piano genre station, shut off the nebulizer, and scurry back to bed too anxious to even be optimistic.

We lay and wait. Will it work?

We whisper cautiously: "Too bad there isn't a 'nebulizer' station."

"Or a 'vacuum cleaner' station."

"Maybe there's a 'Rachel's breath stinks' station."

"Oh yeah? Well, probably there's an 'Eli's stomach is making freaky noises' station."

Somewhere between our delirium and hilarity, we all fall asleep. And stay asleep until morning.


Busy, busy.

I haven't posted over here in awhile because I've been busy over here. I do plan on continuing this site, though, so don't give up on me just yet!

Between the moving process, work, and keeping pace with the mogwai, I barely have the energy to crawl between the sheets at night, let alone do any of the extra fun stuff I normally enjoy.

So, tata, my darlings. Until later! :-)


He's 30 today.

Yep, that's my babydaddy, at age 1. Check the bow-biters. Sweet!
And how much does Eliot look like him?

Happy birthday, sweetie. I love you so much.


And so i did.

I've started a second blog, inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I'm hoping it will serve its intended purpose as just another way for me to stop, drop, and roll. That is, to live more in the moment, to breathe more deeply, to love more fiercely.

You can check it out here. You're always welcome.

Join in.

The Beckoning of Lovely

I just discovered this and it made me cry. I think I'm in love.


New digs.

We finally found a great little house in the country, and we close on it in just a couple of weeks. As though this week didn't contain enough insanity and stress (with Eliot's surgery), we had to go out and buy a house. Yep, we Heichers know how to do it up right.

The house was built in 1971 and most of the interior decor is from 1971. Green textured carpet, bathroom flooring with sparkling flecks, the whole nine yards. Our first order of business is going to be re-carpeting and painting, but the rest of the updates can wait until after move-in.

We'll have about two acres of yard. The picture above is taken from our yard looking towards the side of the house. If you go up onto the deck and into the house, you'd come into this huge sunroom, which was a later addition to the house.

And this is the crowning glory, as far as Eli is concerned: a large outbuilding that will be home to his boat, fishing stuff, tools, etc. The manshed. He and Mumford might just take up residence out there, and Eliot and I will live in the house. *ha* kidding...er...sort of.

Here's the little man, expressing his approval. Now that he's got a yard to run around in, I suppose he'll be wanting a puppy. Not if Mumford has anything to say about it.


A mind at work.

This morning Eliot was looking through one of my scrapbooks and stopped at a picture of his cousin Zayda. He began babbling incoherently and pointing at the page. So I said, "Yes, that's Zayda. Can you say 'Zayda'?" But he pointed insistently at the buttons framing her photograph, so I said, "Oh, you mean buttons? Those are buttons." And he immediately pulled up his pajama shirt and pointed to his bellybutton! I had to laugh. The way he makes connections like that amazes me.

Later in the afternoon, we were all sitting on the front porch and I absent-mindedly commented to Eli, "Man, it's hot out here." Hearing me say the word "hot," Eliot pursed his lips and began blowing out air. (Like we would do for bites of hot food before eating them.)

Another day this week we were out for a stroller ride and Eli and I were talking to each other; I mentioned something about the cat, and sure enough, the meowing started up from the stroller, and our boy meowed for another two blocks! Only he says, "Bao bao" instead of "mao mao" for some reason.

He's always listening, always pondering, always turning things over in his mind. I love the way his thought process is almost visible; I can tell by the expression on his face when he's thinking something through and when he comes up with some great idea. He'll cock his head to the side when he hears a noise, and then straighten back up when he realizes what it is--a motorcycle, a school bus, a train going by.

And he's so much a part of our conversations these days, with his own contributions. I love the way he joins in.

And his little bellybutton is pretty cute, too. :-)



Eliot came through the tube placement surgery just fine.

I'm fairly sure today was the first day in his life when Mom and Dad got up in the morning before he was awake. We had to report to the out-patient surgery office at 6:25. As fretful as I was about the surgery beforehand, it was nothing compared to the nervousness I felt this morning. I felt the same as if I would be undergoing the procedure myself--upset stomach, nerves jangling. I almost threw up this morning brushing my teeth. I've honestly never felt that level of anxiety on behalf of someone else before. I guess it's really because in a way, Eliot isn't "someone else" to me. He feels like a part of me still, and probably always will. Yeah, I know. That's original isn't it?! Your child feels like part of you? Really? But I swear, I've been shocked and partly dismayed to learn since becoming a parent that every cliche I've ever heard about parenthood and babies is absolutely true. EVERY single one.

But anyway...

It scared the hell out of me for Eliot to be given Versed, known fondly to those in the medical biz as "the liquid hammer." Even though I knew it would make everything easier for him and his doctor and nurses. Soon after taking the medicine, he started to get groggy and loopy, grinning and giggling at the nurses where before he had turned shyly away and burrowed his face into my neck. They came to take him back into the operating room, and I wasn't sure I could walk out of pre-op and back into the waiting room without wilting into the floor. But I did.

Less than fifteen minutes later, the doctor was back to tell us that he was finished and everything had gone fine. Eliot was starting to wake up already and was drinking a bottle.

This was my first clue that he wasn't himself, because we hadn't brought a bottle with us to the hospital (he only takes them before bedtime now), and he absolutely, vehemently refuses to drink from any bottle but the ones at home with the discontinued Playtex nipple design. (Damn Playtex and their discontinued, hard to get nipples!!!) So I knew he was out of his mind.

Sure enough, by the time we made it back to get him (relief literally flooding through me as the nurse transferred him into my arms), he was starting to really get angry. He laid in my lap as limp and uncoordinated as a blob of jelly dripping off a biscuit, but managed to work up the muscle strength to fling the bottle and his pacifier across the room and begin to flail his arms around wildly, smacking me in the head repeatedly.

To make a long story, let's face it, not that much shorter, he was severely pissed off at me and Eli for the rest of the morning. Screaming, hitting, throwing himself in the floor. Finally, after about thirty years of this, he fell asleep on my lap on the couch. I snuggled him a bit before transferring his limp little body to his crib, and then he slept for three. hours. straight.

And woke up his charming, sweet, calm, collected self.

Welcome back, buddy. :-)


"Surgery" is a scary word.

My baby--who's no longer quite such a baby, after all--is having surgery tomorrow. And it's just tubes in his ears and everyone says he'll be fine, no big deal. But it scares me.

Think about us tomorrow, and send happy, healthy thoughts our way.


You can call it fall if that's what you please.

We've been spending a lot of time outside, now that the days aren't quite so blistering hot and Eliot is steady enough on his feet to wander about the yard and push his shopping cart back and forth and up and down the driveway. My uncle gave Eliot three pumpkins from his garden yesterday, so we've been stacking the pumpkins up in his shopping cart, hauling them across the driveway, and unloading them on the neighbors' bench, then repeating the same over and over again. Eliot likes to pick them up one by one, straining with all his little toddler might, and then throw them and yell "uh-oh"as though their wobbly rolling down the driveway were some unexpected accident.

The neighbors are on vacation and we've been bringing in their mail, so I figure we're well within our rights to use their bench and play in their landscaping rocks. First he was having fun just pouring a cupful of rocks from one cup to the other, but today Eliot got the brilliant idea to try to put rocks in his ear. Because, as you all know, bodily orifices make great storage space for objects we might want to play with later.

I can just imagine the consultation with the ENT specialist after Eliot's surgery on Wednesday: "Well, ma'am, when we began to insert the tubes, we found that your son's ear is actually full of gravel." Ah-ha! Suddenly everything makes so much sense.

(His shirt, compliments of Aunt Lecia, reads, "My parents are exhausted." And, oh, is that the understatement of the year.)


L-O-N-G day, or Way too many ellipses for one blog post.

We've had a rough time of it lately, all three of us snapping and whining and yelling at each other.

Eliot has been battling his asthma again, starting with a rough attack last week that culminated in another visit to the doctor, another round of steroids, round-the-clock breathing treatments, a new antibiotic for ANOTHER sneak ear infection, blah, da blah, da blah--to infinity and beyond.

Eli imagined a relaxing long weekend of fishing, which didn't happen because of other commitments that turned out to be much more involved and grouchiness-invoking than he had imagined.

I've been trying to go with the flow; I swear I have, but it's been difficult. I'm pretty sure I told (well okay, more like "snapped at," than "told") Eli this morning that I was sick of hearing his stupid voice. So I've gotten not only to the point of yelling at my loved ones, but yelling grade school level barbs and insults. I half-expected to hear back that he's rubber and I'm glue...

But the morning had begun with an almost forgotten doctor's appointment and quickly gone downhill after that...

We were sitting around the breakfast table at Eli's parent's house, Eliot smearing biscuits and gravy into his hair, me mentally beginning the list of odds and ends still to be gathered together and organized and packed for our trip back home, when Eli dreamily wonders aloud, "Hmmm...doesn't Eliot have a doctor's appointment sometime this morning???"


It's 8:30. The appointment is for 10:00. It's an hour's drive home. I'm wearing yesterday's clothes stained with snot and other toddler detritus. There are dirty dishes in the sink. Our stuff strewn all over the house. The boat isn't yet hooked up to the truck. Our kid is sporting a thick paste of gravy on his forehead and in his hair.

In short, we are all screwed.

And that's how the day began. Fast forward to this afternoon, where I'm trying in vain to keep Eliot quiet enough for Eli to catch a few hours of sleep before work. It's not enough, apparently, for me to be holding him--he has to try to scale me, digging his little toes into my gut and clutching desperately at my neck.

The only time I am able to pry him off of me is during our visit to the public library, an unfortunately short-lived trip, as I could NOT convince Eliot that it MIGHT be a bad idea to lick puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces that have undoubtedly passed through dozens of other sets of grubbly little toddler hands, and likely, mouths. *shudder* But this was all he wanted to do. Read books? Push the little magnetic train cars around the track? No! Not when there are delicious puzzle pieces here, just waiting to be tasted.

So we return home, where he commences the whining, crying, climbing once more. It's as though his goal is to perch on top of my head. This continues until Eli's parents stop by for a quick visit on their way home, and Eliot morphs into a grinning, giggling little imp, running around the living room in circles, chasing a ball, dancing, performing. Showing off all his best moves.

Then Grandma and Grandpa leave, and he is immediately beside himself again.

Some days bedtime just cannot come soon enough...