Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's been a while...

Sorry, Fair Readers, about my lack of updates lately. Been busy with life, adjusting to school/work, and holidays. No matter how hard I try to get the world to slow down, the sun always goes down faster than I'd like. Guess that's life.

Meanwhile, our boy keeps getting cuter and bigger (!) and is doing all sorts of neat things.

Today, in fact, he really mastered the tummy to back roll, which hopefully means that he won't wake up furious when he flips over in his crib at night. I keep telling him that if he didn't want to be on his belly, he should stop turning over onto it in the first place but he just won't listen.
Infants. They're so, well, infantile.
He now eats rice cereal with enthusiasm and eagerly opens his mouth in anticipation. Little does he know what gastric delights await his palate in a few short months... Squash! Beans! Peas! His little world will be rocked.

Aside from that, Ben had his first swing experience with our neighbor Uma at Touhy Park on a cold Memorial Day. You can't tell from this picture, but he enjoyed himself.

Okay. Back to reality, wherein I hope to get a few more things done before this day slips away from us, just like all the others.

Monday, May 18, 2009

5 Months

Dear Little (Big) Boy,
Did I miss something? Has it really been 5 whole months since you arrived on this planet? The calendar says so, so it must be true.
This has been an exciting month for you—and for our little family, too.
So I'm 5 months old. Tell everyone to stop looking at me.

You started “school” and I went back to work. I won’t say it was the easiest thing either of us has ever done, but I am confident that we are both going to be okay—better than okay, actually. I find myself wondering what you are doing at any given moment and sometimes I can’t resist the temptation to pop downstairs and peek into your classroom. I know I can’t do this forever, but for the first few weeks I think the teachers don’t mind.
Too tired to believe I am 5 months old!

Speaking of, the teachers in your classroom are like the wisest mothers you will ever meet. I walked a fussy You into the room for the first time last week and mentioned that I thought you were reacting to the type of formula we were trying. No, the all said, you are teething.


See the drooling?

See the gnawing on hands?


Smash! Smash the 5 months old!
At not even 5 months old, you were teething. Not that I can see any teeth, but the process can take a long time. This, little buddy, is one of the best reasons that we put you in child care—so that Mommy can learn how to be the best parent she can be by following the lead of some pretty awesome women.
Already reading at 5 months old!

Aside from starting school and teething, we had visits from the Vegas Riveras,the Indianapolis Nowakowskis and the L.A. Riveras. People are pouring in to Chicago to meet you and you don’t disappoint. Well, maybe I was a little disappointed when you decided to empty the contents of your stomach onto my lap after church on Sunday. Look, if you don’t want to go, you can simply tell me next time! mean I'M 5 months old? No way!

So, our new adventure has started this month and you seem up for the challenge. Hopefully your old Maw can hang with you. If you hear me sniffling as I walk away from your classroom in the morning, just keep on playing, Little Guy. I’ll see you at the end of the day.
You know? This 5 month old thing isn't so bad after all!

Can't wait to have more adventures with you.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Week One

This is Ben’s first week in child care and my first week back at work. It has been an unusual week, schedule-wise, because Carole Robertson Center for Learning (CRCL) has a gradual admission process for enrolling kids so our week has thus far looked like this:

Monday: Ben and Mommy spend the morning together in his classroom
Tuesday: Ben and Mommy spend the morning together in the classroom and Daddy spends an hour with us, too
Wednesday: Ben and Mommy spend an hour together in the classroom and then Ben spends 3 hours alone in the classroom
Tomorrow: Ben’s first full day in the classroom, Mommy’s first full day in the office

The fact that Ben’s teeth have decided that now is the appropriate time to begin their arduous ascent is really what I would call BAD TIMING!

So, this has been a hard week for the lad (and for his mother, more on that later). He’s irritable, not sleeping very well or eating with much regularity and he has to adjust to different caregivers and a totally new environment. Keep in mind that CRCL is a top notch educational facility and so much more than just a child care center (yes, it’s also where I work so I am a tad biased, I confess) and he is still having trouble getting used to everything being so different. Here’s the kicker: I totally expected this, but it is still hard to see him out of his comfort zone and not showing his true sweet, calm side to all the people that are meeting him for the first time.

In my heart of hearts, I know that he will adjust beautifully. He has extraordinary teachers who have helped raise many, many children over the years and I am honored to share my son with them. I know that he will make great friends and have neat experiences. He will get colds and lice and pink eye and will be just fine. He will go on nature walks and run through sprinklers and paint and get messy. He will eat balanced meals and not so balanced meals. I am thrilled for him just thinking of all the fun that’s in store.

When I went to pick Ben up to go home for the day and caught up with his class during their rainy day inside-the-center walk, I rounded the corner and saw my boy, riding in the 6-seat buggy with five of his new friends. He was looking around, taking in the new sites and smells and it dawned on me: he is learning how to be okay without me. That thought simultaneously made my heart swell with pride, and break just a bit.

I feel as though I have just had my initiation into the illustrious Sorority of Mothers. It is an amazing privilege and an honor to be a part of this group.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last day

Time flies.
I can't believe this is the last day of my maternity leave. And let me just say how thankful I am that I was able to be off of work for almost 5 months. I absolutely cannot imagine going back any earlier than this.
I am currently spending this glorious spring day trying to get my baby boy to settle in to a nap (pretty please? with sugar on top?), as we experienced our first cat-nap-in-the-car-which-ruined-our-early-afternoon-nap scenario. Not pretty.
I start work next week. Ben has gradual admission into his child care classroom on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then I'm back to work on Thursday. Three days a week, which is the amount I'll be going back, sounds like it will be a nice balance for both of us.
Sitting in then den in the wee hours of those cold, dark December nights, I dreamed in fast forward and saw myself happily trotting back to work. Now I feel very mixed. I truly love being a mommy, spending my days with Ben but as I've said all along, I do believe I will ultimately be a better mother to him because I will be working part time.

Sounds as if the last nap on our last leave day together has been achieved.

Sleep quickly, Mr. Cheeks, there's still so much we have to do together.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Anatomy of a Roll

*Today marks the first time rolling from front to back.
Helps to have a large noggin to pull one over, methinks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Jewtheran Russi-Poli-Germa-Pino Baby

Yesterday morning: Filipino Family gathering, celebrating the visit of Cousin Debbie from Las Vegas
Yesterday afternoon: Orthodox Jewish Bat Mitzvah party, celebrating the happy occasion of Emily’s cousin David’s daughter Chana’s Bat Mitzvah
A multi-ethnic, multi-religious household’s Sunday plans!

Jonathan and I are keen on helping Ben understand not only his mixed ethnic background, but also his mixed religious heritage. Many people have asked us what we are going to “do” about religion in our household and the short answer is…both. Ben will celebrate the holidays in both the Jewish and Lutheran tradition, lucky boy, and will be exposed to his Filipino, Polish, German and Russian heritage.

No small feat for someone with, uh, small feet.

Friday, May 1, 2009


This just in...
It has come to my attention that you have to jump through multiple hoops in order to leave comments after entries...

Thankfully, blogspot is VERY user friendly and I was just able to change the comments setting, thus making it much easier for you to leave comments.

So...comment away!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.