My little big boy.

Collin is nine months old tomorrow. Nine months?

….

Oh, I’m sorry. I just spaced out a little, because I realized that somehow the little infant I spent 24 hours heaving out of my body is almost a year old. If he’s nine months old, that means in just three months he will be a year!

A year?

Ok, sorry. In all seriousness, I am in love with being a mom of an older baby. Having a young baby is a lot of fun, but I’m finally able to get a thing or two done when Collin sleeps instead of flop on the couch, drained and  exhausted, with a line of drool falling down my chin and an, “I’m sorry, the number you have reached is no longer in service” message running through my head.

I love having an older baby. I love the giant, slobbery baby kisses all over my face. I love the raspberries he blows on my belly. I love that he looks for me when I’m gone, and the way he smears food all over his face when he eats, and the way he talks to us in the backseat of the car. I love when he crawls to me and tries to climb up my legs into my arms. I love the way he waves at everything: the lamp, the cat, the window, the toilet. I love his courage and sense of adventure, but that he still cries for me whenever he’s afraid. I love the way he rolls onto his belly while he sleeps and curls his limbs underneath himself until he looks like a sleepy turtle.

I love Collin for who he is, every minute of the day (and night), and I’m counting on that to help me make it through his toddler years.

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Pass the Sudafed, please.

Illness has swept through the house, yet again. We used to have a pretty good track record when it came to illnesses. Husband rarely ever got sick, and when I did, it was usually once or twice in the winter. Nothing major. Now, however, we’re sick at least twice a month. We’re sick so much, it’s boring. We’re sick so much, our colds get colds. Around here, a phone call with your concerned relative might go something like this:

“Hi, honey. You sound sick. Do you still have that cold?”

“Oh, I was better for two days. This is a new one.”

Now, whenever a week of solid wellness goes by, I begin to look at my watch and wait for it, the Inevitable Cold, and I start appreciating the little things, like breathing out of both nostrils at the same time. I know that, before long, I will yet again become a blubbering fountain of snot and the baby will become a fussing, napless maniac. Collin always seems to come down with his colds overnight. He will be a little clingy and sleepy one day, and then at night I will notice, with each increasing night wakening, that his poor little nose is stuffier and stuffier. He starts coughing and sputtering, tossing and turning. Then, morning will come, and he will sit straight up in bed and look at me with this glazed, disoriented look in his eyes, panting to catch his breath from the boogers that have clogged his nose. He always looks so confused, as if he wants to say, “Why do I feel so lousy?“  And somehow he always looks sadly disheveled, with his hair sticking out in every direction and his nose swollen, runny, and pink. My poor boy.

I’m thinking about ordering a custom “Quarantined”  sign to hang on our door. So what do I do during all this sick time?  I make gallons of chicken soup. Yep, you heard me right. Gallons. There is a whole chicken simmering in two gallons of water in my stock pot right now. On top of that, there is a whole bag of soup from the last round of colds hanging out in the freezer (which wrapped itself around the iron rack shelf and froze like that, so now I have to take the whole shelf out to de-thaw the soup. Lesson learned) along with blocks and blocks of broth that I froze in little square baby food trays. Being sick so much has given me the great opportunity to practice my Jewish mother chicken soup-making skills. I’m not sure why I go so overboard with the soup, other than “overboard” seems to be my style. I will say that nothing makes a sick body feel comforted like a hot bowl of chicken soup. Let’s just hope your stomach isn’t feeling sick, though, because the process of making broth makes the whole house stink to high heaven.
 Come to think of it, it’s possible Collin has a tummy ache, because he has been farting in a way that would make his farty parents proud lately. He is a true member of the family now. Of course, his little baby farts are adorable and smell like cotton candy.

Maybe that last part was a bit of an exaggeration.

Anyway, moving on, when we got back from our visit to Southern California, there was a video baby monitor waiting for us. Huzzah! A video baby monitor! I derive great pleasure from watching Collin sleep, as if I don’t get to do that often enough by co-sleeping with him. Sometimes he will wake up and crawl around in bed, as if looking for me. The down side, though, is that at night the monitor uses night vision, which makes it look as if my baby has a starring role in Paranormal Activity. Sometimes, I watch it a little anxiously, as if something seriously freaky were about to happen. Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised, as this house is over 100 years old. Don’t make me get all Ghost Busters on your asses, house spirits.

Our lives, here now.

So we’ve been living in our new place for a couple weeks now, and it’s just beginning to feel like home. Or, maybe I’m just beginning to not feel so lost and alone in it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, this is our dream home (until we have more kids and grow out of it), but isn’t there something about a new house that is strange and foreign? I found myself walking into the kitchen at night and feeling the need to say, “Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to intrude…” Do you know what I’m saying? New homes take getting used to. There are new noises at night, new neighbors to get to know, new rhythms of life.

Anyway, we’ve moved most of our stuff over to the new house and settled in, and we’re living out of boxes a lot less, which is nice. It felt like glorified camping for a while. The first day alone with Collin in the new house felt shockingly similar to my first day alone with him EVER after Husband went back to work and my mom went back to Minnesota. I had the “Will it always be this terrifying?!” feeling again, and walked the baby to Whole Foods to meet my friend, V. V is the Winnie the pooh to my Piglet. While I, Piglet, am running in circles crying, “Oh dear! Oh dear!” over the baby gate not fitting in the doorway or the fact that I went to the new house to clean it and forgot all my cleaning supplies, V the Pooh will waltz in and find the most simple (sometimes obvious), yet brilliant solution. To anything. And she’ll make it look easy, and you will be immeasurably relieved and wonder how on earth you have such a great friend. Seriously, everyone needs a V in their lives. So that first day alone in the new house wasn’t so scary after seeing V’s refreshing smile.

In other news, we will most likely be leaving tomorrow to go back to Socal to say goodbye to my mom’s partner, who is losing her battle with cancer. Cancer is such a dirty word. I hate it.