Saturday, July 28, 2007

Those left behind

I woke up and rushed Megan and Ethan to the airport at 7:15 Thursday morning. I guess it really didn't hit me that they were going away for a long time until I pulled up to the drop off zone and started pulling bags out of the trunk. We were so rushed that all I could do is give Megan a kiss and pinch Ethan's cheek. It was a pretty sad ride home. When I got home Thursday night after work, the house was too quiet. I just sat around and watched tv. Among the noise of the dishwasher and buzzing generator by our window, I kept hearing Ethan crying. When Megan and I watch tv at night, we always hit mute and listen for a couple of seconds because we swore we could hear him. This happened Thursday and Friday night only I knew it couldn't be so I ignored the urge to stop everything and listen. I guess I'm having a tough time finding stuff to do. I went for a jog this morning for crying out loud. That was the first run of the year. I'm looking forward to going to Utah on next Sunday, not so much driving the moving truck to West Lafayette on Saturday. I'm affraid it might bring back memories of the 36 hour death march from Logan to DC last January. My brother and I made the trek in a 26 foot Penske without stopping but for food and gas. It makes me happy to know that Megan and Ethan are visiting family and having a good time.
ps - I accidentally got a 35 dollar military haircut today. I was waiting for my bro in the Pentagon City mall and he was running pretty late so I decided to get a haircut. It took the lady about 15 minutes to do me up with clippers and then said, "that'll be 35 bucks please". Man, she must live in a mansion if she makes 140 an hour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We had family visit!

Crying in the Nordstrom shoe section

I haven't really missed home (Wellsville, Utah) at all since I moved out here. I've missed mountains and I've missed family members, but not enough to make me cry. But that all ended Friday when I went to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I ditched out of sight-seeing early that day and hurried to the mall. As I neared the large anchor store, I saw many people leaving with the signature Anniversary Sale bags and (this is definitely lame) I got chills.

Then, as I walked in, I was immediately pulled by some magnetic force toward the shoe section. Upon arrival in that department, I felt that hot sensation in my ears and I couldn't hold back the tears. And at least one dripped out of my eye.

While I love shoes, they usually don't make me cry. It only took me a second to realize I wasn't crying about the endless shoe selection (here in Pentagon City there are quite a few choices). I was crying because I wasn't here at the Nordstrom Sale with my mom and my sister. You see, I cannot remember a year when I have not gone to this sale. And I can only remember one year when I went without my mom and my sister. It just kind of hit home to me how much I miss hanging with those two wonderful gals in my life. And we've got a new shopping pal in our sister-in-law Emma.

So.... I am sooooooo stinking excited to see them on Thursday. I will land in Utah in the afternoon Thursday and stay for almost an entire month. I'm sure we won't even go shopping, but it will be so fun to see them.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holy hot and humid

Ryan's sisters are visiting D.C. this week, so Ethan and I are finally doing the tourist thing while trying to look as untouristy as possible (I left my neon pink fanny pack and red, white and blue tank top at home this time). But we have seen our share of tanned-to-a-crisp, metro map toting tube sock wearers. I almost enjoy watching the people more than seeing the sights here.

We toured the White House today. Well, we toured through a hallway of it. After about five minutes of meandering through the president's abode, we were ushered outside and then smothered with the blanket we here in D.C. like to call 100 percent humidity.

I've never been in a place where a cool rain actually makes things worse. The rain is a welcome reprieve from the heat, but once it stops, the leftover water rises up and almost swallows you.

Ethan seems to have gotten used to it though. He is such a good baby that he just deals with it. Wow. I'm a lucky mom.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Some of Ryan's genes pull through

When Ryan was a little guy he and his brothers used to bite their dog's ears. You may think I need to preface that sentence, give a good explanation for why someone might find it in them to bite their dogs ears, but I can't give you that. Just ask him - there really is no explanation. They had a couple of miniature Dachshunds and I imagine those long, floppy ears were just too much for them to handle. According to Ryan, little Jesse's ears (one of the dogs) would often be all crusty from someone sucking on them.

So you can imagine how hard I laughed when yesterday, I realized that this little habit may be genetic. Ethan had a hold of his little stuffed puppy, Ted. Of course, Ethan doesn't find much enjoyment in anything unless it's in his mouth, so a few seconds after he saw that puppy he began pulling it in to the great abyss. I heard some real serious chomping going on and looked down to see Ethan going to town on none other than Ted's ear. Later in the day he found more enjoyment in that ear.

So while most people say Ethan looks a lot like me, there is a little bit of Ryan in him as well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chair, glorious chair

I have semi-good news to report. While we experienced yet another night full of sleep - only interrupted once by a certain person we'll just call "E" - last night, he woke up twice. That was OK in my book because we had a bad day of naps prior to last night in the first place. And we all know that good naps contribute to good nights, right?

Today while I was eating breakfast, my little sleeper decided that he was bored with his old swing and old hanging toys and old chew toys and he just wanted me to hold him. He said that via little whines that sound sort of like a new little puppy whimpering. So I picked him up and brought him to sit with me while I ate my scrambled eggs. He soon became very interested in the chair that I was sitting in, and soon, in true Maughan fashion (Ben, remember your love for eating paper) chowed down on the back of the chair. Because we all know that chairs are delicious.

He soon got pretty frustrated as he realized that it was difficult to fit that chair in his mouth. And I figured I would redirect his attention before another existential meltdown occurred. So I stood up and, after a few seconds, he found my shoulder to be very tasty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Junior birdman


To sleep or to pass out?

Last night was groundbreaking. It was the first night since I gave birth to Ethan that he only woke up once. He went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up at 4:15 a.m. then went back to sleep after I fed him and woke up at 8:30 a.m. I woke up and felt like I could run a marathon.

Speaking of being able to run marathons, I am so out of shape that I can't even walk up our hill. We live at the top of a hill above a shopping center and I always go on walks down to the shops and look around then hike back up. It's really not that far or even that steep. It was obviously too much for me yesterday, however, as I came this close (my thumb and pointer finger and less than a centimeter apart right now) to passing out as I reached my front door.

It was hot out - very hot. And humid. I felt fine all the way up the hill, but as I was crossing the street to get to the front door of my apartment building, things began to go dark. I knew I was going to go down if I didn't sit down and so I stumbled to the front steps, sat down and put my head between my legs. I briefly looked up to check on Ethan and, luckily, he was snoozing. I had to sit there for about five minutes. I got up, got inside the door, then had to sit down again for what seemed like another five minutes.

So here I am - sitting in the front lobby of my building - with my head between my legs. I was also sweating like a pig. When people walked by, I grabbed The Wall Street Journal sitting there (which just happened to be ours) and acted like I was reading it real close.

Finally, I walked to the elevator, but got woozy again and had to put my head down. I kept my head down all the way to my door, then, once inside, crawled onto the couch and laid there for about 20 minutes before I felt OK enough to stand up.

I need to exercise more.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Methods of taking away the madness

I should be taking notes. I plan on having other children (not because I want to raise them, but because I'd like large family gatherings when I'm older) and the things that I'm learning now about raising Ethan will likely help me when I have another carseat screamer. By carseat screamer, I mean a baby who absolutely hates the carseat. Whether it's sitting backwards (I'd be mad if I had to do that) or hating the motion of the car, Ethan can't seem to enjoy a good car ride.

Before I ever got myself into this mess - by giving birth to a baby- everyone told me that "when your baby won't go to sleep or when he won't seem to stop screaming, you can always take him on a ride in the car. Babies love the motion of the car." Yeah, worst advice I have ever received.

Ethan thinks cars suck and because of this, so do I. It used to be really bad (he screamed the entire hour home from Sandee's once) and I began scratching my eyeballs out. It's calmed down a lot thanks to Ryan Adams' cover of "Wonderwall," by Oasis. Seriously. One day, Ethan started crying and I just happened to be listening to this song and since I've exhausted all other options, I turned it up so loud that I could feel the bass buzzing my rump. And he went silent. Just like that.

Of course, last night it only worked for part of our trip home from Sandee's. But a few minutes is all I need sometimes.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A very different little boy

A few months ago, I felt that I had done something terribly wrong - I had a baby. In doing so, I had brought on hell to my life. All I did all day long was feed the little ungrateful blob and in return, all he did was scream.

He didn't sleep - not during the day, not at night - and he didn't even really eat very well (though by the look and feel of him you wouldn't believe it). My visiting teacher brought me the book that was supposed to solve all my problems. It didn't (Shane, you are the best visiting teacher in the world and I am really grateful for the book - I'm sure it will help with my other babies). It was just Ethan. He was the worst. And nobody would believe me, either, because every time someone else came around he would go quiet or fall asleep.

Things changed, however, when my mom and dad visited us mid-May. All of the sudden, Ethan slept like, well, a baby. And he didn't really even cry that much.

Now, he is the best baby in the world. He loves to laugh, talk and cuddle. He watches us and loves to touch and discover things. He almost always smiles when you look at him with a smile. I am suddenly realizing why all these other moms tell me they love being a mom. It's a great feeling.


"I layed (sic) down for a minute now i can't get up"
That's the text message I received last night from a unknown phone number from Cache Valley or rural Utah. This is troubling for two reasons. 1. I haven't received a text message since I lived in Utah. 2. Someone in Cache Valley or rural Utah can't get up and they summoned a stay-at-home mom in Arlington, Va. to help them. ;)

Friday, July 6, 2007

News from the mom

This is Ethan's blog, but every once in a while I just have this urge to write about me. It may be because I like to hear myself talk (or watch myself type?). Anyway, since I have a difficult time writing in my journal, this is a good place to air my thoughts every once in a while, right?

While touring the national art galleries, I happened upon a collection of works by Jasper Johns and was instantly drawn to it. My favorite piece by him is "0 through 9." Right when I entered the room, I immediately saw the 3 in the piece but after a few minutes looking at it, I could only see the 4. What number did you see first? Here are more of his works.

I thought I'd get prints of maybe "Savarin" and "O through 9" to go in my house, and decorate around those pieces. I'm sure I'll change my mind next week and my apartment will likely NEVER be decorated.

So that's my two cents.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

the 4th of july in our nation's capital

Independence Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I absolutely love fireworks. They are right up there with Ryan and that fabulous Chart House molten chocolate dessert. And I feel very lucky to be a citizen of the U.S.

Since we live right across the Potomac from our nation's capital, we decided to join the insanity that is Washington D.C. on July 4. Ryan's parents Ken and Judi came down to our house from Kensington, Md., where they are serving an LDS mission and his brother Rob (who lives and works in D.C.) met us in the city. We had lunch and wandered through the art galleries. Ethan was the absolute best baby.

After all the art we could stomach (though Rob would have gladly spent the rest of his mortal life in there), we headed over the the National Mall to find a place to watch the concert and fireworks. Only we were turned away. We didn't really know what was going on then, but we found out later (thanks to the 11 p.m. news) that there was a tornado warning in D.C. After we took off (we split back to Pentagon City to watch them at a distance) the Mall was evacuated. Of course, there was no tornado (the weather people here are seriously jumpy. Every time there is like two inches of snow, school is canceled and people stay home from work).
We ended up watching the fireworks on the very end of Arlington Ridge. It is just a block down from our apartment. There were so many people there that the people behind us (and I mean, breathing down our necks) were sitting on each other's laps. All lanes (except the shoulder) of I-395 were stopped to watch the fireworks. I felt bad for the people who were actually trying to get places, because there is no way they could have gotten anywhere on that highway. It was a really fun family time and Ethan was a real trooper for not having any real naps and going to bed so late. The fireworks and weather ended up being beautiful.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

He's a boy, alright!

While I am doing everything possible to make sure that Ethan doesn't have any gender issues as an adult, the strangers we see every day are making it real hard.
"Oh, how old is she," I hear from some passerby almost daily. Often it's, "Oh she is sooo cute."
Yep, he is a really pretty boy.
So now we comb down this little natural curl that he has on the front of his hair in an attempt to make him a little more boyish.

Today we took a field trip to Ryan's office to eat sushi and visit his co-workers. The secretary at Ryan's work, an older woman named Mary Ann, asked to hold Ethan. She only held him for a few seconds, however, then quickly gave him back and said, "I can't hold him anymore. He is so heavy."
In fact, he is very heavy for his age. He is 18 lbs. - in the 95th percentile in weight for his age. It sure makes him cuddly.

In other news... We finally got to see our new little lover, Craig. He is sooo darling. Apparently he got an infection while in the womb so they kept him at the hospital for a long time. He is supposed to go home today. Ethan and I can't wait to see him in a month.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


That is what I would call the new phase that Ethan is going through. He is feeling and watching and listening. It is so fun to watch his extremely expressive eyes as he discovers something new.

His brow furrows while his pillowy hands grab the Wall Street Journal as Mom reads it and crumple it. Right before we put him down to sleep the other night, Ethan found Ryan's stubbly chin. Earlier that day, he decided to feel those white (OK, off-white), shiny things in Mom's mouth.

Then, after he's scratched at it for a while, he will grab whatever object he is discovering and, with all the strength of his pudgy arms, pull that thing into his mouth. He is such a slobbery kisser.