Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I found this on the interwebz and found it VERY interesting: 40 states that allow underage alcohol consumption.

As a mother now, I have come under some heat at different points, whether be on online forums or in person, for enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage. In my house or at a party or at a bar. Without my child. In front of my child. With my child asleep in the other room. Because obviously, if you don't have children, please feel free to drink irresponsibly and harm yourself. Having a child somehow makes me held to a completely different set of loftier standards.

But, all that was meant to point out why this site caught my eye. As a parent, at some point it will also be Jeff and my responsibility to educate our child about alcohol, its effects, responsible handling of alcohol, decision making, and everything else that comes along with the decision to drink. The US government thinks 21 is a good age to start letting a person drink. Canada thinks 19 is fair enough. Some European nations don't have any age limit. When I grew up, there was no age but a girl just didn't drink, it wasn't done. I didn't get a conversation about alcohol, what it can do, how to drink responsibly ... it was socially unacceptable for me to drink so I didn't, till I got to college at the ripe age of 20 in Canada. Then, I went crazy! And had 4 years of downhill behavior. (I am sorry mom, dad, chuhiya, mamu, mamiji, bade mama, my friends and whoever else I hurt by my behavior back then for what I put you through). I'd like to avoid that in my child, to whatever extent possible.

It helps that MD law states that "alcohol may be possessed or consumed by an underaged person in a private residence so long as it is furnished or allowed by a member of that person's immediate family (typically a parent)." Let's be clear, we don't think we'll let our 13 year old sit on our porch with a bottle of beer, shooting the shit with us. But, we also know we want him to understand responsible drinking before he goes off to college, which will definitely be before the US legal drinking age and I am in no way disillusioned that he won't drink there. We'd rather he learn how to be responsible while at home instead of binging the first time he goes off to college. Now, we'll have to teach him that it is still illegal when he goes off to college, but I am hoping that since there will be no mystery around it at home, he'll be less likely to want to be irresponsible at college. but, then again, I am trying to dissect the mind of a teenage boy ... years before he gets there. So who knows? I will probably change my philosophy a dozen times before we get there :-)

What say you, other parents on the internets?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Happy 14 months!

I love that face
Cooking up some birthday meals

 This weekend was our anniversary celebration and the little dude turned 14 months. He woke up at his usual 5ish but lay in bed with us for an hour or so. Then, we played. Holy cow, did we play. We played so hard he lost his pants. He's such a ham. He thought my phone's flash was hilarious. Every time I tried taking a photo of him with the flash on, he'd giggle out loud. There are a bunch of toothy shots in the Facebook album.

For the anniversary, we had our wonderful babysitter Kelly watch Oli. He saw her walk in the door and literally gasped and smiled and jumped up and down on the couch. He didn't even realize we'd left, according to her text a half hour later. We really got lucky in finding her. We went and watched Sherlock Holmes, and it was pretty good. Afterwards, we just walked around the mall a bit before heading home. Oli was napping, so Jeff caught some snoozes too.

Can you tell what he ate?
After everyone's naps were done, we headed to the mall for an early dinner. Well, we got to our first choice, Buffalo Wild Wings, and were told the wait was anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. Forget that. We headed next door to DuClaw's and were seated within 20 minutes. Oli tried some new stuff. He had mac and cheese. He also tasted some crayons. He found the blue one delicious, as evidenced by a diaper yesterday morning. He also had apple juice, super diluted, for the first time, and was instantly hyper. We won't be repeating that anytime soon. 
"I'm sexy and I know it"

He is so good when we go out though. Evey now and then, he'd try to buck in his seat and I think if I was tied down into a chair for an hour or more, I'd be upset too. But, he mostly sat there, looking at the lights, checking out the people at the adjacent tables, flirting with the waitresses. The usual, you know?

14 months! I can't believe it. Sometimes, I feel like we try to treat him so much older because of all he's started doing. He has 8 teeth and a molar coming out. He likes to take pens, crayons, etc and write with them. He likes taking the dog out with me. He loves running to you and giving you a hug if you ask him nicely. He's curious about everything. He wants to touch every new thing he sees. Including garbage, unfortunately. He walked around the house yesterday with Jeff's Blackberry up to his ear babbling non-stop. Oh, the things they learn from us. Last but not the least, he melts your heart with that sweet smiling cute adorable face of his!

I love you bug and you are growing way too fast for mommy and daddy.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

So, it's a new year, you say?

Let's talk about everything that happened in 2011:
  • We introduced Oli to the beach, and it didn't go well. He didn't care for the waves or the sand.
  • I went back to work and Oli started daycare. I can honestly say that if I had to pick anybody to take care of Oli, besides family members, I could not have asked for a better set of women than the ones he had in his baby room. He and his teacher, Miss Shirley, had a connection so strong that he cried when she went home for the day. She took his bottles home "by accident." ;-) Jeff and I were truly sad when Oli was moved up to the toddler room. Miss Shirley still drops by to see him every now and then.
  • So, that's the second thing, Oliver got moved up to the toddler room towards the end of 2011.
  • I had my annual ER visit. As an update, there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage to the finger. The nail has grown back out fully. There's just a spot on the finger where the skin didn't totally grow back together seamlessly. But, overall, it's all good.
  • Oli attended his first baseball game
  • We left Oli with my parents and Jeff and I took 4 days away in Gettysburg, PA.
  • Oli had his first flight, then his second flight and then a third flight ... all in 2011.
  • We attended my cousins' (I should say brothers' since we grew up like siblings) marriages, in CA and CO.
  • Oli got his first ear infection and a bout of strep.
  • I participated in sending baked goods abroad to soldiers.
  • Oli turned 1!
  • We spent Christmas in CA with the Williams' side of the family.
  • Jeff and I saw a lot of acts in Baltimore and VA: Pat Benatar, Jimmy Buffet, Toby Keith, Bob Seger, Lewis Black, Black Eyed Peas and Trace Adkins. We crossed off quite a few names from our "want to see before we die" list.
As you can see, it was a busy, busy year for this family. When I wrote about the ending of 2010 and entering 2011, these were the things we wanted to do in 2011:
  • watching Oli grow and seeing his personality emerge

  to this:

What a change! Our bubs turned 1, crawled, then walked, and is now running! He has 8 teeth, 4 top and 4 bottom and has a molar emerging right now, even as I type this. He doesn't have any distinct words yet but he "talks" all the time. He knows the signs for dog, daddy, milk, fish, hello. He waves goodbye, claps his hands, stomps his feet and has a few dance moves. He loves playing with the new kitchen he got for Christmas and some trucks. He still loves being silly on the ground, rolling around, crawling over us, giving us hugs and open mouthed sloppy kisses.
  • working on getting Jeff a job closer to home; the 2 hr commute each way is a bummer to say the least
Done! Jeff no longer has a 2 hr commute each way to work. He works a few miles from me, so we get to carpool almost everyday. You have no idea how much more quality time we have together. We get to eat dinner together as a family everyday. He gets to do Oli's bath time daily and be there before he falls asleep.
  • making a visit out to the West Coast
Did this twice last year, once for my cousin's reception and then for Christmas.
  • maybe getting a cruise in, specially since they all now leave out of Baltimore
This one thing we didn't get to do, so I'll add it to 2012.
So, here's our list for 2012:
  • Enjoy watching Oli learn, thrive, and grow
  • Take a Cruise
  • Take Oli to the Baltimore Zoo and the Aquarium
  • Take Oli to the beach again. Now that he's played in the sand and seems to enjoy his bathtub, maybe he'll view the beach and the water as just a bigger bathtub and play yard for him
  • Start researching houses. The condo is big enough for us but there isn't enough outdoor space for Oli to play in.
  • I'd like to see Lady Gaga if she comes through this area on tour
  • Spend less, save more
  • Eat less, work out more
  • Take more family photos. Going through my 2011 photos, there is an embarrassing lack of photos with Jeff, me and Oli in them
 So, there you have it folks! Oliver would like to wish you all a clean beginning to 2012: