Tuesday, December 14, 2010




Seriously, my teeth are chattering right now. And I'm sitting in my kitchen fully dressed with the thermostat set at 70 degrees.

Southeastern Wisconsin - and much of the rest of the country - is in the grips of a major deep freeze, making spending ANY time outdoors nothing short of painful. I dread every single trip out the door, no matter what it's for -- taking Super Boy to or picking him up from school, running to the store, taking trash to the bin. You name it, it sucks. It involves wearing no fewer than 2 layers of clothing, and that's not counting outerwear. And hats - don't get me started. It's not even worth doing one's hair when you have to jam your head into a hat every time you so much as run the garbage out to the bin.

And we live in one of those charming old houses (circa 1895) that has a regrettably detached garage, so even just to warm up the car requires getting full-on decked out in outerwear to trudge out to the garage, back the van out of the garage so it's right by the back door, and then letting it sit for a good 10 minutes to get toasty.

I'm not gonna lie: IT SUCKS.

And I've lived in Wisconsin - aka: The Frozen Tundra - my entire 36 years, so you'd think I'd be hardened to the frigid cold winters that last a solid five to six months by now.

Yeah. Not so much.

In fact, my greatest fantasy these days is moving away somewhere warm. I think back to when Super Man was laid off and interviewing with a Georgia-based company for awhile, and how STUPID STUPID STUPID I was not to encourage him to LEAP at the chance to relocate to the south! Of course, at the time, it was July. We were in the midst of a beautiful Wisconsin summer, and the thing I kept coming back to and that scared the bejeezus out of me as I pondered what life would be like in the southern U.S. was the presence of venomous snakes & spiders. All I could think of was that Super Boy and Super Dog would be dead within 6 months once exposed to completely foreign and deadly wildlife that we don't have here in Wisconsin.

As I sit here freezing my arse off, all I can think is ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Given the choice between snowy, -10 degree winter days and poisonous snakes in my backyard, OF COURSE I'll take the poisonous snakes! Hell, I'll even keep one as a pet! This shit is ridiculous!

Perhaps I'd feel differently about winter if I was a big winter sports fanatic. However, in case it wasn't blatantly apparent, I'm NOT. The only thing I enjoy doing in the winter is ice skating, and frankly, we have the Pettit National Ice Center 10 minutes from our house, so if I want to ice skate, I can do it when it's 90 degrees out and I want to cool off in July. Wretched winter weather is not required for me to experience the joys of ice skating. So really, as far as I'm concerned, winter is not required. EVER.

The only time - ONLY time - I tolerate winter is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. See, I'm one of those poor saps who is totally enamored with the whole notion of a white Christmas, having experienced a white Christmas pretty much every one of my 36 years. But up until 12/24 and from 12/26 on, I'm DONE with the cold and snow and ready to move straight into summer.

I think being pregnant this year has made me even more sensitive to the cold. I literally can't stand it. I shiver constantly, deep wracking shivers from the inner core of my body. I can't help but fear that it's going to send me into premature labor one of these days. I find myself dreaming of inventing a microwavable snowsuit that I can ensconce my expanding body in before I venture outside. If only it were that easy!

Anyhoo. Winter. I hate it. I'm dreaming of summer - CONSTANTLY.

Your freezing friend,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

he's growing up!

My sweet little Super Boy is growing up so fast, it's making my head spin. He's 7-1/2 years old, and it happened in the blink of an eye, I swear.

Being pregnant again is bringing back all sorts of forgotten memories of Super Boy when he was a baby, and a toddler, and a preschooler and a little kid. And then I look at him and see BIG KID standing before me, when it seems like just yesterday I was gazing upon him for the very first time. It does NOT seem possible that the last time I was pregnant pregnant was EIGHT years ago.

And yet, here we are. And my boy is magnificent. He is truly, genuinely magnificent.

So, so smart. We just had his first second grade parent-teacher conference 2 weeks ago and his teacher had all great things to say about his progress in second grade. He is reading at an end-of-second-grade level. He's doing 5th & 6th grade-level math. His writing and spelling is great for his age/grade. And socially he's been making me proud among his peers. He's been a good listener and a leader in class, and he works conscientiously and with focus during work times. I love to hear that. I hope he maintains that focus and love of learning for a very, very long time. And I can't say enough good things about his teacher, either. She is fantastic, and such a sweet, nurturing person. It's easy to see why Super Boy loves school so much! We've really been blessed to have great teachers all along the way so far, really.

And my boy is tender-hearted. He has such strong feelings, and really loves his family and his friends. I love watching him with his closest friends, seeing how much he enjoys their company. He's protective of those who aren't quite as strong, and he's not afraid to stand up to those who bully him or others. I admire that in him. He's genuine -- what you see with him is exactly what you get. There's no artifice in him at all. And the love he shows to his family is just so sweet. He can't wait to see Super Girl and keeps track of when she's coming again, counting down the days and hours until she gets here. And when Super Man is traveling for work, he takes being "the man of the house" very seriously, protecting me and helping around the house more. But he's always thrilled when Daddy comes home, and loves to hang out with him for "guy time." That's another thing I hope he never outgrows -- his love of our family.

His sense of humor is well-developed, and his laugh is infectious. He loves a good (or bad!) joke, and is all about laughing and being silly. Despite the fact that he's very emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the feelings of others and can appreciate a range of even deep emotions, he's got such a sunny disposition and a true zest for life and fun. Spending time with him makes it near impossible to be blue for long.

And then there are the obvious signs that he's growing up. He has gotten so long, so tall in the past 2 years. His limbs changed from the plumpish & noodle-like toddler arms and legs to the broader, longer & more defined arms and legs of a bigger kid. And they went from hairless to hairy seemingly overnight, at least as far as his legs are concerned. His torso looks more like his dad's by the day, broadening and becoming less concave. His face is losing the baby sweetness and starting to resemble the future young man he will be. And the faint little beginnings of peach fuzz are showing on his upper lip, bringing tears to my eyes! Granted, some of that could be the fact that he's 50% Italian and is guaranteed to have plenty of facial hair later on, but still - he seems to little to be showing the faintest signs of a mustache.

The very latest development has been stinky pits! I noticed it first over the summer, but didn't think much of it because the boy was constantly on the move, and it was a hot & humid summer in our area, so I think I'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone who WASN'T stinky by the end of the day! I know I reeked at the end of each day, personally (not pretty). Still, his armpits were really smelling ripe, and this was even with showering or bathing on a pretty much daily basis. When we got into fall and soccer season, I continued not to be too surprised by it, because he was sweating a lot in practices and games, and it was still pretty mild for much of the fall, so between gym class and recess, it seemed to make sense. But now, in the frigid temps of winter and showering every 2-3 days, I'm still smelling the armpit stink, so we finally talked about it yesterday and I told Super Boy I was thinking of getting him a natural deodorant to try. He was wary at first, but then when we picked out a Tom's natural deodorant together, he seemed to be sort of excited at the thought of using deodorant like Mom & Dad do. :)

He showered last night before bed and put his deodorant on for the first time. He wasn't sure what to do with it, so I did it for him, and he was giggling and squirming like a worm, since his armpits are by far the most ticklish parts of his body! He said it felt wet & sticky, but it really smelled good! (We went with the apricot scent, which is nice and light.) All the way up until I tucked him in to bed, he was talking about how fresh and clean he smelled, and how he couldn't believe he was old enough to be wearing deodorant. It was super cute. I would bet anything he's sharing his big new news with his class today at school, with as much as he was bursting with pride over it! He even insisted that we call his dad (who is out of town for work ) this morning to tell him about it, since we forgot to tell Daddy about it last night on the phone.

I just can't believe he's at this point already though. I don't remember wearing deodorant until 4th or 5th grade, and he's only in 2nd. But he's a bigger kid than I was, and he sweats a lot in general, so I'm not inclined to be worried about it. I've heard of several other kids his age who are also using deodorant, girls and boys, so maybe it's becoming more common, too. But I felt better about using a natural deodorant for him than a run-of-the-mill commercial deodorant & antiperspirant; I'm not concerned about him sweating, I just don't want him to stink to the point where others can smell it.

Anyway, I know this is only the beginning. Pretty soon, he will be looking more and more like a tween. And that, too, will seem to happen in the blink of an eye. My baby is growing up.

Now, excuse me while I go enjoy a good cry... :)

Super Woman