Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I have been brewing lately. A fine mix of guilt made with equal parts shame, laziness and craziness. The shame comes from knowing I should be doing more: more documenting of Callan’s milestones, more time savoring my pregnancy, more time trying to remember the wife/daughter/sister/friend part of the equation that is somehow supposed to factor into a ‘balance.’ The laziness is exasperated my tiredness and that spirals into the craziness where I begin to beat myself up about all of the above. I need to whip myself into shape—if not physically (let’s face it that is totally out of the question for the time being) mentally. I need to make myself do some more! More anything at this point (besides laziness and craziness) would probably be acceptable. I think my fear will help me do better…I am so afraid of losing/forgetting all the amazing things that Callan has been doing that I am making myself promise to do a better job of recording. If not here, then somewhere!!! Also on this list is doing a better job of backing up all our pictures. Taking videos. See lots to do. So enough wallowing already. I resolve to do better. Not perfect, just better. Better? I am once again having this talk with myself while on an airplane back to Omaha. Which is great, because I can do something about it. Goodbye Phoenix, hello productivity! Speaking of my trip--this is the first time that Callan said "uv ooo mama" (love you mama!) to me on the phone. Heart-melting!!!!!!

Callan has never met a tool he didn’t like. Kitchen tools, vacuum attachments, screwdrivers, nail clippers---if it is a tool of any type that guy is into it. My parents came over a few weeks ago to help fix the rocker they are letting us borrow. My dad brought a saw horse, a work table, a bucket of tools and handful of clamps. You would have thought he was unloading Disneyland out of his truck. Callan was THRILLED! He stayed outside for three hours going from tool to tool to tool. Clamping things, examining things, digging things, dropping things, hammering things. I think the only person happier than Callan was Papa Mike!

Construction Zone
Eric and I took Callan to a new exhibit at the Children’s museum: Construction Zone. He was so excited to discover an area that had a rope maze (he loves ropes) but not nearly as excited as he was to discover a small play screwdriver in the ‘gravel pit.’ Of all the things we saw and did none were more fascinating that Callan seeing a kid who had his face painted like Spiderman. He was mesmerized! Callan was following him around trying to get in front of him to look at (and I imagine touch if given a chance) his face.

Sweet Trophies
Q: What’s better than a trophy?
A: A trophy filled with CANDY!
Callan completed another session of swimming lessons. They give all the kids a small trophy filled with gold. I mean M&Ms. Pools, candy and trophies…life is good!

Ah manners. We started with the easy, please. Now onto the harder, thanks. We’ve been practicing and practicing our ‘magic’ words and Callan has definitely gotten the hang of it.
Me: OK Callan, let’s go change your diapers!
Callan: Noanks. (no thanks)
Me: Callan, would you like some vegetables?
Callan: Noanks.
Me: Ok, time to go night-night/take a bath/inside/home.
Callan: NOANKS mama.
I find myself saying “what nice manners! BUT…” a lot. I mean a lot.

Sensitivity Training
It may be time to invoke some HR type regulations around our house. I may conduct an at home power point presentation about sensitivity in the home. The men in my life have a way with words. And while one of them is too little to know any better…the other one should!!!!! And similarly, only one story is worth repeating!
Last week I perched myself on the edge of our tub to put on my socks. Perching a wobbly over weight pregnant butt on the narrow edge of a ledge is no easy task. I got my socks on but I turned on the water in the process. Callan was watching me and in my usual narrating way I said “Oh no! Mama turned on the water with her big bottom!” You see the mistake, right? If not, I’ve been doing a LOT of things in the last week to the melodious sound of “BIG bottom!” “Mama’s big BOTTOM!” Hmm. I think for my future sanity and vanity I will start to narrate self affirmations. Soon Callan Smalley will be saying: Mama is good enough, smart enough and dog gone it, people like her.

According to the calendar, spring is here. That is all the news Eric needs to take to the golf course. After a long winter of longing looks out the back door, he is back on the course. And he is not alone! Eric’s latest golf companion is Callan! He took him out for his first nine holes and made it through seven. I was skeptical of this idea---thinking Callan was too young, that it is too dangerous—all of my normal dream crushing safety mother concerns. Eric was convinced and took him out. From the sounds of it the experience was similar to what I expected would be best case scenario, and apparently was no where near the range of possibilities that Eric had considered. Callan happily rode along in the cart, but wanted to ‘de plane’ every time Eric did, and wanted to do so with a club in hand. I think Eric envisioned Callan sitting happily in the cart waiting while Eric took his shot. (sometimes I think he takes psychotropics.) Eric was thrilled it lasted as long as it did and was beaming a little bit when he reported all the attention that Callan received from the other golfers or “golf guys” as Callan calls them. Unfortunately the round ended on a sour note when Callan had a small melt down when the guys from the clubhouse took Eric’s clubs to storage. He did NOT want them to take away his dad’s clubs. Luckily, he has since recovered. Eric thinks the next outing would be better if it were mother supervised (read: restrained). Time will tell!!!

Baby Sister

Callan was right! In fact; Callan, Eric and the Chinese Birth Chart were right. We are expecting a new baby girl in late July. Which means we have some prep work to do! It will be an adjustment for all of us, but very exciting. I think Eric is starting to get his arms around the idea. Although the first time I brought home a little pink outfit he said “that is weird.” When I asked what, he said it seemed weird to have baby girl clothes in the house instead of boy clothes. Better get used to it, and fast!!!

Cirque de suck

I feel it necessary to preface this post with the disclamer that I had never been to a circus. In my mind it was a glorious softly lit place full of sequined acrobats, clowns with seltzer bottles, non-stop cotton candy and the wafting and delicous scent of hotdogs. This is a sign I have seen too much TV in my life. The circus, or at least the Shriner's circus is none of those things. Callan and I went with my friend Michaella and her daughter to have a fun little circus time. Wow wow wow. The great news is the company was good---we had fun with Michaella and Ellie! The bad news is give me a flash light, a disco ball, a hula hoop and Vegas and I could put on a better show in our basement. You know it is bad when Callan keeps alternating between asking to go home and asking to go night-night. Whoops. Lesson learned. No more circus!

here are the posts I wrote on February 16, 2010 but never got around to actually posting.

Time Out!
Well, it appears as though Callan has a healthy sense of adventure and perhaps a blatant disregard for authority. I wonder who he gets that from? (Since we all know it clearly isn’t me!) Callan started getting ‘time outs’ several months ago—perhaps shortly before Christmas (what a present, eh?) or so. Anyway, I’m not sure Eric nor I realized how consistent we’d been (yay us) nor how regular (boo) until last week. I was working in the kitchen and Eric was watching TV in the other room. I looked over to see Callan reaching up on his tip toes to touch the television. I reminded him that we don’t touch the TV. He lowered himself and glanced over his shoulder at me. I assume now that it was to gauge my position and distance. He promptly turned back around, raised up on his tip toes and craned those little arms overhead to try again. This time Eric intervened, warning him with a time out. Callan looked over his shoulder, smiled, and reached right on back up. Just as Eric was getting of the couch to talk to Callan and take him to time out, Callan turned around, walked over to the fireplace (the timeout spot) and sat down himself. Eric and I were stunned! Eric told him he needed to sit there until he told him he could get up. About 90 seconds into this self administered time out, Callan blurts out “Sorry!” The magic word that releases him from the time out prison. Does this kid have it down, or what? He obviously calculated his odds on this and decided a little handful of TV would be worth a few minutes on the fp. Oh what a wonder to watch that little mind work!

Last weekend’s swimming lesson brought us a few new things—one a delectable new treat for Callan, two his first use of a three syllable word, and three the need for cleaning wipes moist enough to remove shellac from toddler fingers. I imagine you can string this together yourself, but indulge me. So last weekend was probably like our 20th swimming lesson. Every Saturday we walk by the same green frog bucket on the entry desk twice—once on our way in, and once on our way out. Callan has never seen anyone take anything out of it, nor has he shown any real interest in it. Until this week. On our way out the door Callan reached up to the counter, grabbed the bucket, peered inside and declared “candy!” It was a bucket full of SafeT pops. How he knew those were candy I have no idea…I guess instinct is a strong thing! Anyway, we decided that he could have one, and as soon as we got him strapped in his car seat and handed him the all powerful pop, he immediately tried to bite into it. Which didn’t work out very well. Eric told him not to bite it, it would hurt his teeth. Less than five seconds later I turn around and he has his tongue hanging out of his mouth, licking the lolli like crazy. I guess some things you just don’t need instructions for. He heard us call it a lollipop and the whole way home (between licks) he was repeating LoLLY pop. lollyPOP. Lowwy Pop. I guess some things are just worth working on! When we got home I realized the other consequence of a lowwipop, besides tooth decay and poor nutrition….shellac. Toddler slobber + grape Safety pop= Strongest adhesive in the universe. Take note 3M.

I am currently sitting on an airplane returning to Omaha from Phoenix. I hate being without my boys, but if I must be lonely, I do prefer to be lonely and warm. Although after calling home my second night away I would have traded all the sun in the universe to be able to blink my eyes and be home. There is just something about hearing that sweet little voice on the other end of the phone that makes you realize you really don’t care about having a car or a house or clothes or health insurance, all you want is to be there right at that moment, kissing that downy blonde head and tickling that little belly. However, Eric is a fan of cars, houses, insurance and clothing. So here we are. Anyway, when I called home Eric had Callan on speaker phone so I got to hear him ‘reading’ his truck book to me. Army Truck. Pickle Truck. Painter Guy. Ladder. Up up up, down down down. Blower. Daddy. Hi. It may not have been “I love you and I miss you mommy” but it sure did have the same effect.