• Mama Brag #2

    As soon as Leon and I entered the exam room for his 18-month checkup, he pointed out the butterfly (“bababa”) and clock (“dock”) on the wall. We waited for a while, long enough for Leon to spray pancake crumbs in every crevice of the exam table and tell me that the cow in the wall mural says “booooooo.” He’s meeting motor skill milestones for 24 months. He can easily kick a ball, stand on one foot, and walk on the balance beam with his teacher’s help. He’s been trying to jump lately but hasn’t quite gotten it yet. He’s been able to scribble back and forth for a couple months…

  • Splish Splash

    On Saturday, I took Leon to the splash park. We met up with several other moms with boys born within a month of Leon. The other toddlers ran around (and away), but Leon stayed superglued to my side, refusing to let go of my hand. When I asked if he wanted to play or to sit, he answered emphatically, “Sit.” I was able to get a couple pictures of him splashing through the puddles, but most of the time he stayed latched onto me. It made me a little sad. I knew he’d have more fun if I weren’t there. On Monday he got the opportunity — it was Splash…

  • A Successful Weekend

    On Memorial Day 2011, Minh and I took our first vacation together to go camping with a group of friends at a cabin on Lake Texoma. It was a weekend filled with drinking, swimming, sunburns, and unexpected fires. Record scratch and freeze frame. This past Memorial Day weekend, Minh and I hauled a 16-month-old — and probably half of our house — on an eight-hour road trip to visit my family in Missouri. Only slightly less sexy. Honestly, I was extremely nervous about the whole thing — I imagined Leon screaming from the back seat and the trek taking hours longer than it should. We broke the trip there into…

  • Back at the NICU

    We went to a NICU reunion this afternoon. Honestly, it was mostly so I could reclaim some of those negative memories from when Leon was born. I dressed Leon in a dorky sweatervest in preparation for possibly having to make small talk with other uncomfortable parents. But the reunion was grander than I expected — it was essentially a carnival with popcorn and bounce houses and face-painting and a snowcone truck. Leon didn’t care about anything other than the balloons, to be honest. We spent five minutes letting him bat at two balloons by the water station before we got bored and took him to the bounce house. But it…

  • Thoughts While Shopping

    Today, as I was wheeling Leon around Whole Foods during our weekly shopping trip, I realized I don’t know what the eff I’m doing with this kid. I’m just a-wingin’ it. And I realize that’s kind of the inside joke, right, that we’re all just figuring it out as we go along. But I’m not sure how to teach this kid what he needs to learn to be successful. He knows that a brush is for hair and he knows where all the lights are in the house and he knows that we put our shoes on our feet before we go outside, but how do I teach him to…

  • Mama Brag #1

    ​This is Mama Brag #1 because honestly I’m sure there will be more. Sorry not sorry — this is my blog about my kid. Anyway, it amazes me how quickly Leon is learning. ​​Just a few minutes ago, he brought me his shoes (he loves going outside). I told him that we could put his shoes on, but I reminded him that socks go on his feet first. I asked him to bring me his socks  (mostly because I’m lazy) and pointed in the general direction of them, and he actually brought them to me! It just showed how much he’s really understanding — he knows that socks and shoes…

  • All the Feels

    I grew up not really speaking much about my feelings and I’ve really honed in on those skills over the past decade, so it’s become really important to me to make sure Leon has the skills and knows that it’s okay to speak his feelings. (Hypermasculinity ain’t a good look, yo.) ​Therefore, according to yours truly, 2018 is the Year of the Feelings in our household. Leon’s favorite bedtime book, Tough Guys ​Have Feelings Too, has probably more scotch tape than actual paper at this point, and he occasionally calms down from a tantrum just by hearing me recite the first few lines. That said, we’ve been dealing with some…

  • ‘Twas the Night Before Surgery

    Leon got his clearance from the cardiologist this morning. With exactly 12 hours until his first time under anesthesia, my feelings about everything have only amplified. I’m nervous for the uncertainty of surgery, I’m relieved that he’ll no longer feel constant pressure, I’m excited for him to hear clearly for the first time. I also feel so much love and adoration for such a small human. He drives me crazy sometimes when he flings his food on the floor or he barrel rolls out of a diaper change and runs through the house naked, but he also pulls on my heartstrings — he crawls in my lap in the morning…

  • Leon’s First ENT Appointment

    ​​Now that Leon’s recovered from his fourth ear infection since November, I asked his pediatrician for a referral to an otolaryngologist. We started our appointment this morning with a hearing test; Leon and I sat in a soundproof room with speakers in opposite corners, and I was instructed to stay still so I didn’t bias the test. Through the speakers, the audiologist called Leon’s name and played high-pitched beeps at low volume; when Leon turned his head to look at the source, she played a video of a dancing toy to serve as positive reinforcement. I was so tempted to congratulate him when he correctly turned his head to the…

  • Again?

    Leon’s sick. Again. At first we thought it was just a fever from the one-year vaccines he got last week. But a couple mornings ago, he just wanted to lay on me. I held him like a newborn (which he usually hates nowadays), and he just stared off into space for 15 or 20 minutes. I didn’t know what was happening (was he having a seizure?); it was so unusual for him to be so calm and still that I was honestly afraid he’d just stop breathing right there. I haven’t been that afraid for his health since we left the NICU. I called the doctor immediately, and that afternoon…