Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12, 2011 ~ Argh, Mateys!

I was woken up this morning by a very excited toddler Attack Hugging me. Daddy got up with him early and fed him waffles. He apparently ate two all by himself. Then, after letting me sleep for awhile, Billy just had to come wake Mommy up. He's very excited to see me around again.

This morning's movie while playing was finding Nemo. Daddy bought it for him yesterday. He didn't pay any attention to it with Daddy, but this morning he thought it was pretty cool. He really likes the fish. When I pointed to the screen I named the two fish that were talking, Marlin and Dory. He looked at me and said Arlin Doh. He also pointed to a duck today and said, "Ack, ack!" Speaking is not far away.

I'm not really sure what to count as his first word. For months now he's been saying "mamamama" and "dadadada". But he doesn't stop at Mama and Dada and we're trying to get him to say Mommy and Daddy instead. Mid September he parroted "God bless you" perfectly. Clearly, he didn't understand what he was saying. But now he can point to an animal and if you ask him what that animal says he will tell you. The cow says "moo" (he got the m today), the duck says "ack ack", the lamb says "ba-a-a-a", the pig says "oy, oy", the goat says "ma-a-a-a" and  the Buddy says "awf, awf". You tell me, has he said his first word or is that yet to come?

So after naptime we went outside to play on the trike until Grandma arrived for a visit. When she got here I ran out to buy a birthday present for the party later. Grandma tells me that he played with his standing table the whole time I was gone because he got to sit in Grandma's lap. She stayed after I got back to watch him eat his pasta for lunch- and be coy about it. He's such a flirt.

Then it was time to go to the birthday party. We went to see his good friend T turn 3. T is one of Billy's best friends. T's party was pirate themed. Unfortunately for Billy, the party was geared for older kids and the gym was full of neat things for older kids to play with, but he had fun anyway. We couldn't really join in the party festivities, but Billy ran around chasing balls and bubbles and had a merry time climbing on the mats.

After play time came the food. Billy got to sit next to T and the table. All of the kids got a little snack plate with fruit and pretzels. Billy ate all of the grapes and then tried the pretzels. He's liked those. T noticed that Billy didn't have any more grapes, so he went and got more for Billy. It was really sweet. Then came the cake. I let Billy have some, but he decided he wanted the grapes more. He turned his nose up at the cake. So Mommy ate Billy's piece.

When the party was done Billy got to take home a white balloon and a treasure box with pirate ducks inside. I tied the balloon to the leg of a stuffed animal so he could reach the short string. Billy thinks that balloon is a really cool toy, but he wishes the animal wasn't tied to the string. The paper treasure box was probably the biggest hit of the day. You can put things in and take them out and put them back in again. The toys ducks clearly spent the afternoon going in and out of the treasure chest.

For dinner Grandpop came over and we went to get Chinese at a fancy place in Hunt Valley. At that point Billy was full from the party and tired from the activity. He wasn't interested in the edamame and steamed dumplings- both of which he loves. He finally got so tired that he laid his head down on the table right in his food and tried to go to sleep. That didn't work out so well, so Mommy boxed up her dinner (which I still haven't eaten) and walked Billy down to see the live piano. When Grandpop was done eating we headed home. Billy was sound asleep by the time we got home and didn't wake up when we transferred him from the car to the crib.

He sure had a long and busy day. Happy birthday T! And argh to all Billy's mateys!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 ~ 3 And Out ~ Haribo! It's A Wrap!

It is Day 3 of not getting to see Billy except briefly in the morning. We are finally done shooting, and after spending two days watching kids act, I can now watch my own kid. Filming is probably one of the hardest but most visible parts to my job. We've been working non-stop on this shoot for over a month and now it's a wrap. All that's left is the clean up. And now I can get back to my family.

Daddy tells me that Billy has learned his animal sounds. He has a book of farm animals and when he sees the animal on the page he makes the noise before Daddy does. He's still working on some of them. The cow says "ew!" and the pig says "oy!" Who ever heard of a Jewish pig? I have yet to see this for myself, but I will report when I do.

Sorry for the short post, but after 3 grueling 16 hour work days on my feet and not getting to see my son, I don't have a lot of details to report.

Side Note:
What was I doing? We just wrapped a commercial for Haribo Gummi Bears. The set was prop and mechanics heavy. Funny enough, Gummi Bears don't look like anything when you try to photograph them to make props. So, I've spent the past month learning how to photograph them and make them look their best. Then I spent a week with a large format printer making huge prints of piles of bears. This week we assembled the bags for the shoot. Each bag is handcrafted, made of a folded acetate sheet with a gold lamay layer on it and then taped together. Then the interior of the bag has to be reinforced and colored gold. Finally, Gummis are glued to an acetate sleeve (all either forward facing or side facing) and the sleeve is then slipped into the bag. It's an arduous and expensive process. When you see the commercial you'll realize that everything in the prop-laden set is handmade.

Here's a link to the previous Haribo spot we made that ran in England:

This was shot in Harford Co. Md. I love the sheep in the background- yes, we rented a herd of sheep. I made most of the blurry props in the background.

November 10, 2011 ~ The Daycare Plague

Today is another day without Billy. I got to see him briefly in the morning, but that was it. We have a major production going on at work and I have to be there to coordinate things. Unfortunately, that means I don't get to see my family.

This morning I was holding Billy and pointed at my chest and said, "Who am I? Mommy?" I'm trying to get him to talk. He pressed his forefinger right into the spot I pointed to. Then I said, "Who are you? Are you Billy?" and I pointed at him. Then he pressed his finger into his chest, same as he did with me and kept pointing to himself. Yeah, he knows.

He is finally on the mend from the Daycare Plague. I had to take him to the doctor on Tuesday morning because I suspected me needed some medicine for him. His bad cold became an ear infection and he was all congested. But with a few days of medicine in him he is on the mend. He, in fact, loves his medicine. This morning he grabbed the vial out of my hand, shoved it in his mouth and sucked it dry. Then he asked for more. Which, of course, resulted in a tantrum since I couldn't give him more. Hey, better than force-feeding.

I call it the Daycare Plague. It's the sniffles that make my toddler a total grumpy pants. It strikes at least once a month during cold/flu season and is sure to infect me and grandma as well. Daddy is less susceptible to colds. Everyone tells me that it's good for him to be sick now, because it means his immune system will be great by the time he gets to school so he'll miss less school. Here's what I say to that: BULLSH*T. Sorry for the bad language. But if x number of years of exposure to illness ensured not getting sick in the future, then I wouldn't be catching Billy's colds. I would have become immune from 12 years of school and 4 years of college. It's just not the case. Some kids catch all of the germs and some don't. Mine catches them all. It's the Daycare Plague.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 9, 2011 ~ A Day Without Billy

If you're a working parent, then chances are there will be days when you work through the night. This, of course, means that you don't get to see your kid(s). Today is one of those days.

This morning I got to see him shoving fistfuls of strawberries into his mouth along with a smattering of cheerios. I took him to daycare and kissed him goodbye and that was all of the Billy time I got today. I called to wish him goodnight, but it's not like he can have a real conversation. I'm not sure he even understands why the voices coming out of the phone sound like his favorite people. He might just think it's a toy.

So, instead of playing with my little man, I worked late and tomorrow I will have to work late again. It's very hard knowing that I won't get to see him again. Honestly, it's probably one of the toughest parts about being a working Mom. I cherish that short amount of time each night between when I pick him up at daycare and when he goes to bed. If Daddy picks him up, then I might only get to see him for an hour before bed. So each minute is important. When those minutes are taken away by work, it's tough, especially since the timing of things at work are outside of my control.

Billy is sleeping soundly now, binky in mouth, laying on his back, probably dreaming about animal crackers and Buddy. Excuse me while I go check on him again- I'll take whatever Billy time I can get!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011 ~ Hungry, Hungry Billy!

Grandpop and I were talking today about Thanksgiving and he mentioned that he wasn't counting Billy in the total number of people eating Thanksgiving dinner, since Billy eats so very little. Really? Let's have a look at what Billy eats in an average day:

A Mommy-sized handful of cheerios
6oz of fruit or 6oz of yogurt
4oz milk

Breakfast 2 (or elevenses if you're a hobbit)~
6 oz of fruit or yogurt, whichever he didn't have with breakfast 1.
4oz water

Half a sandwich or a 6oz bowl of pasta
6oz of veggies or fruit
4oz milk

Afternoon Snack 1~
6oz of veggies or fruit
4oz water

Afternoon Snack 2~
Mommy-sized handful of crackers or cheerios

10-12oz of food, usually a main course with 1-2 side dishes (usually fruit and veggie)
4oz water or juice

4oz milk

Remember, he's only 23 pounds and is still a little guy. Think about how much food you eat in a day and try to determine ounce-wise how much that is. He's like a hummingbird, eating his body weight (slight exaggeration) every day. He is 1/5 my weight and eats 1/2 to 3/4 the amount I consume every day. That's a hungry, hungry Billy!

Trust me, Grandpop, he'll be able to hold his own when the turkey is on the table.

Drumstick anyone?

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011 ~ Baby's Best Friend

Buddy probably won't admit it, but he and Billy are best friends. At least, according to Billy they are.

Buddy is a full 9.5 years older than Billy and considers himself the older sibling. He was, to be blunt, not thrilled about this bald, screaming interloper. And I can't blame him. He used to be the baby, pampered daily, walked, played with, spoiled rotten. I used to groom him biweekly and take him to parks to play ball. Now, he's lucky if he's fed on time. I bought him toys all of the time. Now I have to yell at him to leave Billy's toys alone. He used to cuddle in my lap every evening. Now he has to wait his turn until Billy goes to sleep. No, Buddy was definitely not thrilled about having a baby in the house.

Billy, on the other hand has always been in love with Buddy. Who doesn't love a fuzzy, panting mop that lumbers around lazily? Who better to Attack Hug? When Billy was just a tiny thing, barely able to move, he used to follow Buddy with his eyes, enchanted. As soon as he could crawl he was crawling after Buddy. When he started to control his coos better he started imitating Buddy's bark. Now that he can walk and play, he plays with Buddy and his toys. They even play tug'o'war.

No, Buddy definitely won't admit it. But now he has a playmate that will gladly play tug'o'war until bedtime and throw toys for him. Someone to romp through the yard with. Yes, Buddy definitely has a friend. A best friend. Just don't tell Billy.

(both photos taken today)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6, 2011 ~ The Billy Attack Hug

Be warned! It can come out of no where. All of a sudden the full weight of a toddler comes flying at you to embrace you with love and bruising. Anyone within 100ft of Billy is not safe from the Attack Hug. If you are of the canine persuasion, especially if your name is Buddy, you are the most vulnerable to the Attack Hug. Mommy is a favorite victim for the ferocious affection.

Billy woke me up before the sun today so I tried to bring him into the big bed and have us both sleep a little later, especially because it's Daylight Savings. After several Attack Hugs it was clear that neither of us were going to get any sleep. So, I got up and made him pancakes for breakfast.

The Evil Happy Airplane strikes again! I moved this evil, cute little toy to another shelf so Billy could still get to it if he wanted it, but so that is wouldn't be with the other toys. He's afraid to go near it... Well, he found it on the new shelf and kept pointing at it. He decided that he wanted to walk past that particular shelf but he couldn't take his eyes off of Evil Airplane and ran head first into the easy chair. He got knocked flat on his bum. But Billy was not to be deterred. He discovered that if he pushed on the books on that shelf from one end they would fall on Evil Airplane. So he pushed on the books several times today.

I would like to be able to contain Billy in the den sometimes when I don't want to chase him from one end of the house to the other. It's not all of the time, just once and awhile. So we bought an inexpensive baby gate today. He's already figured out how to undo it. Awesome.

We also bought a 10lb jug of animal crackers. OMG. I think they must be made of baby crack. I gave him a few and he thought they we so good that he continued to try to lift the 10lb container until he did manage to pick it up and move it around the room in an attempt to open it. (Remember, when you're a toddler, 10lb is nearly half your weight). He flat out refused to eat dinner and kept pointing to the jug. Mommy was firm. No more animal crackers, not in your soup, no loop-da-loop.

I think he must be dreaming of animal crackers.