week 34.

maya @ 34 weeks :: june 30, 2006
  • rupert put her in her crib in a sitting position while he was picking out clothes for her. when he turned around, she had pulled herself up by the crib railing almost to a fully-upright standing position. then, of course, she got stuck and couldn't get herself down!
  • she loves to eat her books. i can't stand damaging books so i had to go out and buy her board books i was okay with her eating. she goes after the corners with a vengeance.
  • she is becoming an escape artist. even when she's strapped into her chairs she manages to twist and squirm enough that she's just about to fall out. i might have to find chairs with shoulder harnesses.
  • besides that crib standing incident she's always trying to pull herself up, oftentimes using the back of the couch, my arm, her chair, or anything within reach. she'll even try to stand up in her pack-and-play by clawing at the sides. if she's on the floor in her room, she'll pull herself up onto her knees by grabbing the bookshelf to try to reach my books that i still have stored in her room.
  • rupert feeds her a bottle of formula a day, which she will take as long as i'm not around. what a lifesaver -- i've been able to sleep more! and now i can actually consider leaving her with family and friends.
  • loves to play peek-a-boo (inai-inai baa) and has even played by herself using a blanket over her face.
  • she can sometimes wave bye-bye (with her whole arm) if you demonstrate for her long enough.
  • i don't know if it's because of the formula, but she's been spitting up more often.
  • she likes to pull the closure on her diaper.
  • recognizes certain words i say to her: okki (up), oide (come here), mimi (milk)
  • really likes to play with her toys: donut rings, wood blocks, maracas, toy remote (which i hate because it makes too much noise but it's a distraction to keep her away from the real remote, which she's always going after), rings
  • she can get herself up into a sitting position from her stomach.
  • when she's sitting on the floor she can scoot herself around on her butt, usually backwards.
  • as much as she likes to be held, she'll only stay still for a little while. after that she's climbing up your body and twisting and turning to try to get loose.
  • when you try to give her a kiss (chu chu) she'll either headbutt you, lick your mouth, or slap you silly.
  • when she's ready to go to sleep she will almost throw herself into the crib from your arms. but when she doesn't want to go in she'll cling to your shirt and arm.

culture is a good thing

my mom and i went to the gustav klimt exhibit at lacma yesterday with maya in tow. it's been quite a while since i went to an art museum; in fact, the last time i went might've been 3 years ago when we saw an ansel adams exhibit at lacma.

i like going to art museums, but i don't like being rushed. i'd rather find a really great piece and just stare at it for awhile. this has not been possible with a toddler, and now with a squirmy baby like maya it's even harder.

the good thing about the klimt exhibit (which ends today) is that there are only five pieces, with adele bloch-bauer I (shown in the poster) being the main piece. as pretty as that piece is, my favorite is probably apple tree I, a landscape. however, it was crowded so you couldn't really take it all in in peace and quiet. didn't help that maya was climbing all over me trying to get a better look at all the people in attendance.

our next museum trip is probably the super heroes science exhibition at the california science center. it's not art/culture, but ian will definitely be interested.

do you remember this?

not a lot of action going on on my blogroll tonight so i stooped low enough to read my own archives. desperate? yes. anything to keep me away from the tv.

anyway, back when i first started this blog i talked incessently about decluttering and cleaning (or the lack thereof). after maya was born that stuff fell by the wayside and i let my house fall apart even more. i mean, honestly, who has time to clean and declutter when you have a baby attached to some part of your body practically 24/7? but now that maya is settling into a semi-routine and she can play by herself i have a bit more time to think about it again. actually, i'm not just thinking about it, i've been obsessing about it in my head. key phrase, of course, being in my head. but in the last week or so i've sprung into action. okay, "sprung" is an exaggeration, but i am taking baby steps.

instead of tackling the house room by room, i've decided to tackle it task by task. for the last week i've been working on clothes and books. i went through maya's drawers and pulled out everthing she's outgrown. i'll do ian's clothes next. i also made the very difficult decision to sell some of my books. i love to read and hoard books (but in my current state i guess you could say i'm more of a biblioholic than a bibliophile). i feel secure being surrounded by books, even if i've never read them or it's been years since i last flipped through the pages. as with most pack rats i always have that "i might need/read/use it someday" thought, which prevents me from getting rid of things, especially things i have emotional attachments to, like books. but there just isn't enough room in the house to continue storing everything and with maya on the verge of becoming mobile i have to streamline our possessions and clean. so some of the books must go.

also, this last week ian's been attending baseball camp during the day. he has to leave the house at 7:30am, which is early for us me (during the school year he didn't have to be at school until 9:50). since i have a hard time getting up i decided to get ready the night before by packing his lunch, freezing his water bottle, and washing his camp shirt and baseball pants. so, for the last five nights, i've been very good about washing dishes, doing a load of laundry, folding the previous load of laundry, making ian's lunch, and doing a sudoku puzzle or two to keep my mind in shape.

and even though the list of eight things i was supposed to do everyday also got neglected for ten months, i've managed to do a pretty good job with it for the last week:

1. Wash and get dressed --> i've actually been pretty good about showering, especially since it's so hot lately. i know, it's gross i don't shower everyday, but some days i just don't have the time or energy. you know how it is.
2. Make your bed --> i already said this would not happen and i'm sticking by what i said.
3. Load or unload the dishwasher or empty the sink --> i've been doing it everyday, either right after dinner or before i go to bed.
4. Do a quick cleaning of the bathroom -- swish the toilet, wipe the mirror and sink. Put things right. --> ok, the swishing of the toilet and the wiping of the mirror doesn't happen everyday. but i do try to wipe the counter and sink in ian's bathroom every other day or so. i'm not so diligent with my own bathroom because rupert is the only other one who sees it in all of its glorious griminess, and i don't need to impress rupert.
5. Sweep the kitchen floor if you didn't do that before you went to bed. --> also gross, but sweeping the kitchen floor was kind of a novelty to me until fairly recently. i have been trying to do it more often, mostly because i like my red broom so much!
6. Start one laundry. Do NOT start another load until this load is dried, folded and PUT AWAY. --> this i have been very good about. i don't think we've had a pile of clean, unfolded laundry on the couch for more than one evening in the last month. as much as i hate to fold laundry, it can be done while i mindlessly watch some tv. but i am annoyed that rupert doesn't pitch in, even though he's sitting right there in front of me while i'm folding his clothes (we usually do our laundry separately; but that's another story for another day).
and just because i'm annoyed please allow me to recount what happened this evening: since the only thing that really needed to be washed was ian's baseball stuff i had to find other clothes to fill the washing machine with. i asked rupert if there was anything he needed washed. he replied, "just the usual stuff that needs to be washed." that, for some reason, bugged me, so i snapped back while i walked away to get the hamper, "that's your cue to get off your ass and do some laundry!" i returned to find him still on the couch, which prompted my annoyance level to rise, "and yet, there you are, still sitting on your ass!" his not-so-correct response? "i'll do it if you want me to." um, do you not understand that if i'm ticked off i don't want to have to tell you to do the laundry, i don't want to have to ask you to do the laundry, i just want you to do the damn laundry! get it? apparently not because i ended up doing the laundry and folding the clothes from last night. okay. ranting over. i feel better. to be fair, there are many evenings when rupert does the laundry while i'm sitting around watching tv or reading my blogs. of course, he doesn't fold the laundry, but i shouldn't be so harsh on him ... it's a little too late for that, though, huh? (and usually i don't have a potty mouth. honest!)
7. Set a timer and spend 15 minutes tidying up the public rooms -- no more. But do this every day. Your efforts will add up. --> my efforts have not added up. i do try to tidy up the living room everyday. and yet the second anyone else enters the room it's like a tornado hit and it's worse than before. how is that possible? i make every effort to recycle junk mail right away, to fold the tv blanket, to put maya's toys away, to swiffer if i can, etc. etc. but ian, maya and i just have too much stuff. if there's one major thing rupert should be commended for it's his lack of stuff. i think the tidying will get better once i finish decluttering and eliminating more stuff from the house permanently.
8. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Set a timer and spend 15 minutes DECLUTTERING. This does NOT mean neatening up. It means taking two bags around with you and throwing trash in one and donation items in another. --> like i said in #7 i need to work on this. i already have bags and bags of stuff i need to take to goodwill. since all that stuff is still sitting in my house and garage it's contributing to the clutter, but i'm not done decluttering so the bags continue to wait to be hauled away. i guess i should give myself a deadline, declutter as much as i can until then, take what donation stuff i have, and then repeat the process. all righty, sounds like a plan. i'll recruit/bribe ian to help me with this.
okay, i've done enough writing for tonight. i must go to bed because i'm driving the carpool to baseball camp tomorrow morning and i need to be awake before i get behind the wheel of the car. toodles!


are we there yet?

cardstock: bazzill basics
letter stamps: psx, provo craft, cavallini ("to," "rush," "?")
number stamps: cavallini, psx, image tree (ek success)
border stamp: hero arts
stamping ink: artnic (red, purple), close to my heart (green), color box (brown)
number rub on: scrapworks
photo editing software: photoshop elements
other: date stamp, staple

laugh out loud

cardstock: bazzill basics, paper accents
patterned paper: american crafts
rubon letters: making memories, doodlebug, scrapworks, k&co
letter stamps: psx, provo craft
hand and star stamps: cavallini
border stamp: hero arts
stamping ink: close to my heart (orange), color box (blue), artnic (green), versamark (watermark)
journaling tab: heidi swapp
word labels: dymo
other: date stamp, sakura gelly roll pen

t ball

cardstock: bazzill basics, paper accents
patterned paper: bobunny press
letter stickers: doodlebug (round), making memories (white)
letter & number stamps: psx
stamping ink: color box (white, blue), artnic (red)


couldn't have said it better myself

if you're a mom who reads blogs, you're probably very familiar with heather of dooce. personally, i'm a fan and read it regularly.

i just had to talk about today's dooce post because i've been scammed by a door-to-door saleskid too. back in march a high school kid came around selling books to raise funds so he could go to sacramento for a government/civics trip. he was very eloquent and well-spoken and because he dropped my neighbor's name i decided to buy a book and donate some money for books for kids in the hospital. giant red flags should have gone up when he only took cash and gave me no contact info to get my book. i gave him $34 and he hasn't been back with the world history book i wanted to get for ian. and i've been kicking myself (and my brain cell-leaking mind) ever since.

and i gotta make one of those signs -- not heather's version, but jon's!


summer harvest

have i ever mentioned that i have a brown thumb? i manage to kill most plants in an instant. so i stay away from taking care of plants. rupert has a semi-green thumb (or, put another way, a semi-brown thumb) and likes to have lots of plants around. every year he and ian plant some seeds/seedlings. in the past they've grown japanese cucumber and eggplant, strawberries (which continue to produce fruit without replanting), peppers, and tomatoes. this year they planted carrots (a no go) and green beans. as you can see, we had a bountiful first harvest of the beans.

although i can't grow anything worth diddly squat, i love to reap the rewards of my husband's gardening. our first cucumber and big batch of cherry tomatoes were used in a recent salad, and last night i sauteed the green beans. having fresh veggies from our garden really screams summer to me, and i'm looking forward to more!


week 33.

maya @ 33 weeks :: june 23, 2006
  • makes clicking noises with her tongue ... loud! when you copy her she laughs.
  • blowing raspberries again, even while she's crying.
  • really getting around (in her rudimentary army crawl way) if you leave her on the floor. we have to start babyproofing.
  • finally took a bottle of formula on father's day!
  • caught her brother's cold. sleep is out of whack again and she's up every three hours at night.
  • the other day she fell forwards from a sitting position but managed to push herself up and back into a sitting position, although her legs were all tangled up, which made her cry.
  • she's starting to get up on her hands and knees for a little while.


day 180

today was ian's last day of kindergarten. i'm kinda amazed that the school year is over already and in less than three months my son will be in first grade. where does the time go?

yesterday i was trying to get ian to write a little something to his teacher, but he couldn't think of anything to write. i honestly got a little exasperated with him; he spends everyday with this woman for nine months and he can't think of a single thing to say to her?! in the end he just wrote "thank you for being my teacher," which is better than nothing, i guess.

but as we were saying good-bye to her today the tears started to well up and ian cried because he was going to miss mrs. R. the sweet boy that i can't help but hope doesn't vanish with age appeared before me and all i wanted to do was gather him in my arms and squeeze him.

there's more i want to say about ian finishing kindergarten, but i don't even know where to begin ...


the only thing i can do is sew straight lines

maya has caught ian's cold and seems to be a bit miserable. she got up three times last night, which is now not the norm for us. i'm tired. she is too, but she won't go to sleep. poor thing.

besides being kept up by my maya, i've been making stuff:

since tomorrow is ian's last day of kindergarten i made a gift for his teacher. each day one student gets to take home the "star student of the day" journal with an animal puppet in a vinyl lunch bag. we could never get the darn bag to close because the journal was too big, so i made her a new bag and covered a plain composition notebook with patterned paper (which was what she was sending home as the journal). the journal isn't finished yet; i need to decorate the cover and give it a title.

back in march i found a martha stewart "good things" in the april 2006 issue about making a cover for the sewing machine using a tea towel. it looked simple enough, and since my sewing machine just sits there gathering dust i thought i might as well make a cover for it. i went to target and found a tea towel set on clearance and left them by the sewing machine. that was, what? like three months ago? since i was using the machine last night to make the bag, and the iron was also out, i figured i had better make the cover now or else it would never get made. turns out it was super easy and took like 10 minutes, even with my amateur sewing skills. (i used regular grosgrain ribbon instead of twill tape.)


new toy

i mentioned before that we were getting a dslr (digital single lens reflex) camera for my birthday (it was kinda pricey so it's actually a father's day/wedding anniversary/30th birthday present). well, it arrived yesterday and we're pretty darn excited about it. although i'd heard great things about the canon digital rebel, we went with the konica minolta maxxum 5d because we have a minolta film slr and we can use the lenses interchangeably. unfortunately, minolta is getting out of the camera business so this camera has been discontinued. but on the flip side, sony has taken over its digital camera services so i'm not too concerned about maintenance. we also got a great deal on ebay for it so i'm pretty happy ... as long as it continues to work.

there's just something about a "real" camera (as opposed to a point-and-shoot) that's fun to shoot with. i have no idea what all of the features do, and i'm going to have to relearn all about f-stops and apertures and all that, but i'm really hoping that the quality of my pictures will improve.

here's a comparison of shots i took this morning with the dslr and our old point-and-shoot:

can you tell the difference?


happy father's day!

kinda doing things differently this year ... my dad had to leave for singapore yesterday so we had an early father's day dinner on friday. we were all supposed to go out to the restaurant my sister works at and sit in her section so we could technically "be together," but since ian was sick they got take-out (generously paid for by my sister) and came over to our house.

and since rupert's brother was briefly in town but had to leave this morning, we had dinner with his extended family last night at my in-laws' beach house. at first maya didn't warm up to uncle A, but after seeing him a couple of times she went willingly into his arms (but wasn't so cooperative with her grandmother, great-grandmother or her great-aunt). it may have something to do with the fact that uncla A looks sort of similar to rupert. [rupert would like you to think that he's taller than his younger brother, but i don't think he is ... he's just standing on a step higher than A.]

and, this morning, i was supposed to get up with the kids to let rupert sleep in but i just couldn't. so he took the early 6am shift and maya actually took a bottle of formula!!!!!!!!! after she went back to sleep, i woke up and rupert went back to bed. i didn't make him breakfast or anything. kinda anti-climactic considering he made me an elaborate breakfast for mother's day. oh well.

anyhoo, happy day to all the dads out there! we may not say it often, but we moms do appreciate you year-round. :)


one of those nights

my poor boy is kinda sick. he was a little coughy and lethargic late in the week and his eyes were a bit bloodshot. i figured it was because the air is so dry, but i kept an eye on him for signs of a cold. sure enough, after an afternoon of play with his uncle (who is in town for a few days) he totally conked out early and woke up with a horrible-sounding cough and a fever. usually, even when he feels sick he goes to school. (i give him lots of warnings not to touch anyone, to cough into his sleeve and to wash his hands a lot, but you'd think if he has to do all that i should just keep him home from school!) i knew it was bad when he said he didn't feel well enough to go.

when his fever spiked in the afternoon i gave him some medicine, which really helped. he got his energy back and felt well enough to eat a cheeseburger (an early father's day dinner with my parents). but in the middle of the night he started coughing and you know how it is with little kids: once they get into a coughing fit it often leads to vomiting. sure enough, ian started throwing up in bed and lost everything he ate. fortunately, throwing up made him feel better so he was fine for the rest of the night. and he appears to be feeling much better this morning.

but that also means at 1:30am i had to clean up vomit (rupert does not do well with icky bodily functions), do a couple loads of laundry, keep ian cool with a cold washcloth, lie down with him, and when i was just dozing off, wake up to feed maya, and finally go to bed at 3:30am. on nights like this i realize i'm a parent. not that i don't usually put my children first, but when they're sick you really kick into do-anything-to-alleviate-suffering mode. you know?


week 32.

[for some reason i can't upload this week's picture, so here's a link to it.]
maya @ 32 weeks :: june 16, 2006

  • road trip to lake tahoe for a whopping one full day before driving back! she was pretty good on the way there; just one crying spell while we were stuck in traffic in sacramento. but the way back? yikes! screaming for at least 2 hours and hardly any sleeping.
  • first boat ride in a speed boat on lake tahoe. we were cautious enough to put a life jacket on ian, but they didn't have a baby size for maya, so what did we do? just strapped her into her carseat and brought her along. safe? of course not! fun? you bet!
  • makes sounds that resemble "wov wu". very cute.
  • she's becoming a daddy's girl. it used to be that she always came to me, but now she likes to go to daddy a lot of the time ... which is fine with me!
  • her first bad case of diaper rash. remember that 2-hour screaming bout she had in the car? turns out it was because she had a red, extremely sensitive butt. when we got home we were really startled to see how red it was; no wonder she was crying so much. and not surprisingly, after two diaper changes she started to fear the changing table. a little cream and some bum-washing helped.
  • using her abs to try to do sit-ups, especially after she's finished feeding she'll try to get herself up from the boppy.
  • loves to play peek-a-book-ish games; not only traditional peek-a-boo but also when you move around, trying to hide yourself, she will thrash her head around looking for you giggling all the while.
  • her nighttime sleeping habits are getting bad again. she still wakes up, i still feed her at least once (as long as she hasn't eaten for over 6 hours), and i'm tired.
  • she continues to be extremely determined to get around, whether by rolling or by a very rudimentary form of the "army crawl." she's already eyeing all of the stuff she can pull down, rip up, chew on or destroy.
  • gets really excited when she sees a bottle of baby food in your hands. she was squirming and jumping around in her carseat at the market when i was browsing the baby food aisle.
  • when she's playing she likes to bang things together and throw them.
  • 6.15.2006

    first day of kindergarten

    cardstock: bazzill basics
    patterned paper: ki memories
    letter stickers: ki memories
    number stamps: psx
    foam tape: 3m
    photo editing software: photoshop


    lake tahoe

    for my best friend's 30th birthday we headed up to tahoe for the weekend. it was my first time there and it was so beautiful. i know summer and winter are the high seasons, but spring in tahoe is so green, the water is so blue, and the mountains are still slightly dusted with snow.

    we took a boat ride on a rented speed boat (also a first for me), and although ian didn't want to get on at first, he had a great time and went on twice. unfortunately, we were only there for one full day before driving back on sunday. i would definitely consider going back ... but next time i might fly there since maya cried for like two or three hours on the drive back!


    week 31.

    maya @ 31 weeks :: june 9, 2006

  • first trip to the beach.
  • eating crackers like a pro.
  • getting into the "blah blah" stage of speech.
  • will actually play happily by herself for a little while.
  • on good days she'll lie around in her crib for up to an hour after waking up without complaining.
  • loves to have air blown in her face, whether it's the fan, the wind or just you blowing air, it brings a smile to her face ... and gets her bangs out of her eyes.
  • she fell off our bed on wednesday, right on to the hardwood floor. oops. that same afternoon her brother accidentally bopped her on the back of the head as he was falling over. oops again.
  • still cannot get her to sleep through the night. the other night we let her cry herself back to sleep; it took an hour and twenty minutes of screaming before she tired herself out.
  • 6.07.2006

    happy 18th birthday!

    rupert's younger sister turned 18. i've known her since she was 5. it's crazy to think that i've watched her grow up into an "adult" (i use this term loosely, of course).

    i think back to when i turned 18 and i wonder what the years ahead hold for her. college, independence, work, friends, adventures, finding herself .

    i truly hope she makes wise decisions about the next few years, but still have fun and enjoy her youth.

    happy birthday L!


    my sister is home for the summer holiday. she hasn't seen maya since maya was a month old. i wish she were home more often to see her neice and nephew grow up. but i also know that my little sister needs this time away from us (her parents and her know-it-all big sis) to learn what
    independence really means.

    all the same, i'm glad she's home for the summer ... she's another free babysitter i can call up on a minute's notice!

    (the three of them are playing with kami-fuusen - paper balloons - a traditional japanese toy. no surprise maya crushed, ripped and ate hers. you can sometimes purchase these at japanese-style 99 cent stores.)

    (néné is what ian calls my sister; it's a combination of her name and the japanese word for "big sister," which can be used as a term of endearment for any girl who is older.)

    what more can you ask for?

    ian earned a limo ride and lunch with the principal at burger king for being one of the winners of his school's readathon. he read the most pages in his class (234 pages) and earned the most money in kindergarten (he raised $217.62, a mere 62 cents more than the next top earner!).

    i've never ridden in a limo ... how many pages do i need to read to get a ride to burger king in a stretch suv??


    brain cells certainly die after you turn 30

    i was in disbelief when rupert couldn't remember what day maya was born on. um, it's only been 7 months since she was born. how could he forget already?? and does it mean something that he asked right after seeing the slogan "evil has a birthday" for the omen?


    before june gloom sets in

    it was such a beautiful weekend we headed over to the beach. luckily for us, rupert's parents own a house one block from the ocean, which means we always have free parking nearby and a clean bathroom to use.

    maya enjoyed the ocean breeze but when rupert dunked her feet into the waves she wasn't too happy. i have a feeling, though, that if the water is warmer and we give her a few minutes to adjust she will enjoy the waves much more than ian ever did at that age.

    as much as i hate the sand (i don't mind the water) i will probably end up spending a good deal of time at my in-laws' house and at the beach this summer. i cringe at the thought of keeping maya from stuffing sand into her mouth and getting sand out of the nooks and crannies of her thighs ...

    link round-up 06.2006

    c r a f t y b l o g s
  • a girl who creates

  • merwing

  • one good bumblebee

  • j a p a n e s e s c r a p p e r s
  • scrapaholic

  • scrapbooking garden

  • scr-happy

  • s t u f f t h a t i n t r i g u e s m e
  • kokeshi botanical ringer tee

  • jakc designs

  • ghee happy "little india"
  • ah, the innocent

    rupert and ian watching sports center ...

    ian: you mean you can get paid to play baseball?!


    week 30.

    maya @ 30 weeks :: june 2, 2006
    • she enjoys playing while sitting up. she used to fall over after 10~30 seconds but now she can sit for minutes on end. and if she falls sideways, she's able to fall fairly gently so she can easily get herself onto her stomach.
    • she's playing more with toys, instead of just gnawing on them.
    • she was extremely fussy this week. maybe all that solid food wasn't agreeing with her? not sleeping much didn't help matters.
    • still waking up, on average, twice a night. no feedings (unless it's after 5am), but we still have to soothe her to sleep. she isn't very good at self-soothing, unfortunately.
    • on the rare occasion she will push herself up on her hands and knees.
    • i always thought she got around the floor by rolling over, but it turns out she rolls over until she gets off her playmat, then she slides around on her tummy on the hardwood floor.
    • if she's leaning up against something she can support herself standing up for a little while.
    • mama is seriously thinking about weaning because maya's leaving bite marks (and drawing blood) when she nurses.
    • we had her first instance of grabbing toys at rie class. she tried to grab a toy out of the hands of the baby next to her. they played tug-o-war for a little while and maya took it away. while she was playing with it, the teacher gave the other baby an identical toy. of course, maya lunged for that one too. she was more interested in what the other baby had, i guess. a sign of things to come ...

    growing up

    this is a rambling post; it's long too. my brain is frazzled. i'm tired. my emotions are all over the place. and something is tugging at me; one of the things i've been thinking about a lot is my son.

    lately i feel like i spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy on maya. which also means i feel like i don't spend nearly enough time with ian. which, in turn, makes me feel bad -- i wish i could do more with/for him.

    but, honestly, i don't know how he feels about it all. independent may not be the right word, but ian is content spending tons of time by himself. he's always been that way. so, in his eyes, i may not be neglecting him at all.

    when maya is wailing in my ear, i can't help but long for those quiet afternoons when it was just me and ian. we would hang out, watching tv, reading books, taking naps, snacking. and i really liked that. we were the center of each other's worlds.

    our relationship worked for five years because he's the ideal kind of kid for a parent like me. this is a selfish thing to say, but ian doesn't cramp my style. he's generously allowed me five years of "me" time, he hasn't asked too much of me, and still loves me. in many ways he's more mature than i am.

    now, at five-and-a-half, ian is starting to detach himself from me ... and i'm not ready for it. i always whine that i can't wait until the kids are 18 and move away. but when ian told me i can't kiss him when i'm proud of him (unless he gives me permission), or when he neglects to give me a hug as i drop him off at school, i realize that he's ready to grow up. i am not ready.

    and, slowly but surely, he's starting to experience things on his own. there are fewer and fewer shared experiences. i'm not there to hold his hand when he does something for the first time. i don't get to see his expressions of happiness, pride, uncertainty, hope. i can't always be there to protect him, to cheer him on, to witness firsthand his growth.

    i have to get it secondhand. and i know i'm missing details. lots of them ...

    yesterday he went on a field trip. i couldn't chaperone because there was no one to watch maya. it secretly drove me crazy that i wasn't going to be there. it didn't matter that the field trip was to a children's museum we've already gone to as a family. i did not want to miss a moment of ian's life. i remember feeling the same way just before he started kindergarten. going to school was not a new concept for us; he'd been in preschool for three years already. but when i stopped and thought about the oddest thing -- hot school lunch -- i was immediately hurt. the first time ian buys hot lunch i wouldn't be there to stand with him in line, to help him carry his tray, to open up his milk carton. and i was actually close to feeling devastated that i would miss this. i don't know if that feeling is the reason, but ian has taken a packed lunch with him everyday this school year.

    anyway, i digress. when i saw him after the field trip it was like pulling teeth to get him to tell me about it. it was a good thing i'd been to the museum because i could ask him specific questions, "did you climb the structures? did you ride the trikes? where did you eat? did you go in the water? who was in your group? how was the bus ride?" i must've asked him 20 questions to try to piece together his day.

    it turns out i didn't get the whole story anyway. i talked to the chaperone of his group, a mom i've become friendly with. ian told me he climbed part of the structure but didn't have time to get all the way up. i was impressed because when we went he really did not want to climb either of the structures (granted, this was a year and a half ago). we had to climb up with him very slowly, encouraging and praising him, and carrying him down because he couldn't do it on his own. so i was glad to hear he climbed up, even if he didn't get all the way to the top. the way ian told it, it was an uneventful climb. but the chaperone had some more details. the other boys in ian's group took off, climbing up no problem. ian, on the other hand, took his time. that's fine. but i guess part way up he started to get nervous and slightly panic-y. the chaperone is watching him, noticing the paniced look on his face. he gets down on his bum and tries to scoot down on his own. he doesn't call out for help, he remains calm. he's trying. but then a whole horde of bigger kids start climbing up the structure and ian can't get around them. the chaperone gets worried he's going to get squashed. this kind of event usually freaks ian out and he'll start to cry. but i guess he managed to escape the structure unscathed.

    so, what's the point of this example? i think it shows how he's growing up. not only did he get through this incident on his own, but he didn't think it was a big deal that he had to get through it on his own. had i been there i would've made it into a big deal. it also shows that, like a teenager, he doesn't tell me anything! is this what i have to look forward to?

    i just read back this particular story and rationally i don't know why i'm getting so emotionally worked up. does this incident really show that he's growing up? i don't know. i'm starting to think and act like a crazy, over-protective mother. (starting?! who am i kidding? i already am crazy and over-protective.) what's wrong with me? if i keep this up i'm going to make myself and ian neurotic.

    this summer ian will go to baseball camp for a week with some friends. it's a day camp so it'll be just like going to school. he's perfectly capable of following directions and doing things on his own. but i can't let go. i'll have to work hard to grow up.