Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

A Nod to Noah August 21, 2007

pushing up!It’s true that Joseph is often mentioned first in my blogs–he is potty-training, he TALKS to us (after so many months of babydom, it is such a treat to hold a conversation with a person who used to require all our energy just to decipher his nonverbal cues), and he is smart, funny, active and curious. There’s always something new with him.

However, Baby Noah, my newborn, is also deserving of zillions of starring-role blog entries. You could not ask for a sweeter, more jovial and contented baby than he, and while my day is often focused on Joseph’s activities and listening to and playing with him, Noah sits quietly by just watching or sleeping or smiling. He laughs and giggles at most everything and he sleeps through the night, and chatters away when engaged. He loves his bath, he rolls over, he is already bouncing in the jumper and often tries to sit up. He grasps onto his toys and listens with bubbly enthusiasm to stories read to him. He is a joy and a treasure and so very, very easy.
And, I’ll be so bold as to come right out and say it: I think he might be a genius. Now before you begin snickering at my indulgence, I’ve been following his development in several baby manuals, so hear me out. At 4 months, he should only now be determining the difference between “ba” and “pa”, and babbling isn’t supposed to replace cooing until about 6 months. However! Noah has been able to imitate the word “hello” since he was 2 months, and he has been babbling since 3 months. He is also almost ready to sit up, although I attribute that more to his cherub-like mass than I do to his intellect. And what’s more, he is already using his ability to roll to get around to things he wants to see at closer view. I tell you, a genius!
OK, one little story about big-brother Joseph, but this one is in reference to our youngest! The other day when I went to pick up Joseph from school, when I walked in with Noah, the new teacher exclaimed, “Of course he has a little brother! Oh, Joseph is so cute!” She went on to describe how Joseph had spent the afternoon with a baby doll and a stroller, and how he cradled the baby in his arms, kissing it and cooing at it. He changed its clothes, he put it in the stroller and walked it about, then cradled it some more. I saw how deeply he loves his brother, but also how closely he has been watching my relationship with Noah. I should have known; whenever the other children gather around Noah, he always waves away chubby little fingers, admonishing, “Don’t touch the baby!” (He has decided on his own that touching Noah is his privilege and no one else’s.)
As Noah enters the beginning of the teething stage, I’ll admit that I’m in no hurry for him to reach his next babyhood milestone. Truly, there is nothing more exquisite than gathering a whole little human being into your arms and spending countless hours just staring into his gorgeous eyes as he gazes back and smiles at you. I’ll cherish every one of his baby-days.
I’m so thankful. Even the toughest day as a mother is better than anything else I could imagine doing. I’m so blessed to be able to be home with my boys.


The Motherland, at Arm’s Length August 10, 2007

Filed under: travel — rjlacko @ 7:29 pm

It would seem to be an easy enough task: change my Canadian passport to reflect my married name. Ta da! Et voila!

It’s only a twelve-dollar fee to change an existing passport. In Canadian currency. What is that, four bucks?

I won’t even tell you how many wasted hours have been spent in passport photo places that attempt to create a Canadian-authorized photo with little or no success–while trying to entertain infant and toddler. In the US, you can pretty much submit your own at-home photo, providing it’s the right size and has a white background. The Canadians ask that the photos be taken by a professional (fine, I need all the help I can get anyway), are a specific size in millimetres (the Queen demands it!), are stamped with the date the photo was taken, not processed, and are signed by a Canadian-born Guarantor of lofty profession and title.  

I found a delightful grandfather with a little passport biz about 20 miles north who specializes in such quirky requests. He shot my photo, then did one for Noah’s US passport. His youngest grandson is the same age as Noah, but I digress. So, I now have the photo! Now, I just need a guarantor. I haven’t lived in Canada for 10+ years. I don’t really know anyone there, except family and a few close friends. I don’t have a doctor, accountant, lawyer or even veterinarian there to vouch for me. I can’t have it notarized, because, well, I would have to be with the Canadian-born notary to show that the photo looks just like me! There is a form, the PPTC 132, that one might use in lieu of a guarantor, but of course it’s only available at a Passport Canada office… in Canada. No downloads, people?!

Scouring the Los Angeles Canadian Consulate site for more info, I came across this little gem: “for the remainder of 2007, Canadians and Americans do not need a passport to travel back and forth between Canada and the U.S. by land, sea, or fresh water.”
Hmm, so Dad was right. He’d told me as much, but did I listen? Maybe we should just fly in to a bordering US airport this Christmas, drive across and I’ll handle my passport at that time.


Trips to the Loo, My Darling August 6, 2007

Filed under: Lacko Family Chronicles,Potty-training — rjlacko @ 8:25 pm

Could it be? Has our little son decided, all by himself, to use the potty? All signs say yes!

Our punky little boy!Earlier in the year, as we approached Joseph’s second birthday, we began interviewing several Montessori schools for the toddler program. Invariably we were told that our son would have to be potty-trained to enter the program. Just how many little boys do you know who are fully trained by their second birthday?! Enough, I guess. The classes are often waiting-list only. 

I began investigating just how the mystery of transitioning from diaper to potty unravels. Any mother will tell you, it is a tricky path, fraught with potential danger and setback. Freud wrote textbooks replete with cases of patients who “failed” somehow on the journey to this monumental milestone. I would not take things lightly. I promised myself and my son I would be patient, consistent, loving, reassuring, unrushed, intuitive, supportive and encouraging. But, perhaps, just maybe, we could pull it off before age two?

Yeah, right.

Between his nightly bedtime struggle, moving to a new house, starting a new school and the birth of his younger brother, the road to themed underpants has been uncertain to say the least. However, we cheerfully purchased a potty with requisite anatomically correct doll, miniature doll potty and respective storybook. He loved the novelty of it, and took great interest in his father’s and my bathroom habits. But still, nothing.

His diaper size crept up, as did the contents therein, ahem.

He began saying “Ew, stinky poo-poo!” at the onset of Number Two–and knowing the moment is about to arrive is half the battle!–but still, nothing happened when he sat on his potty.

During our trip to the library last week, on a whim I rented “I Can Go Potty.” Joseph studied it with intensity. He loved the song about being a “big kid,” and would softly repeat the lyrics under his breath: “a big kid eats by himself, a big kid is polite, a big kid uses a potty” as though in a trance. He watched it over and over, and then stood up, took off his clothes and sat down on his potty. Folding laundry, I smiled and thought nothing of it. Months of looking into the depths of a bone-dry potty had left me cynical and jaded. I walked out of the room to put away the clean clothes, only to hear, “Done! Doooooooooone!”

When I returned, sure enough, there it was. Number Two. Right there in the potty. To be honest, I had to steel myself against showing how, well, gross it looked. Instead, I let out a cheer, we hugged, we clapped and when I called him my “big kid” and his eyes lit up with pride. Together, we dumped his prize into the toilet and waved bye-bye. My big kid flushed the toilet, and we promptly called Daddy, then Gramma, to share the news.

Since then, he’s done it a few more times during stints running naked about the house. While he’s thrilled with his Thomas the Train underwear, they have yet to deter him from accidents when we’re out and about. Consistent success has come from waist-down nudity at home. I’m hoping that since we’ve made it this far, it can only get better. Now, what to do about night-time? Should he wear a pull-up, undies, or stay in a diaper until he’s got this toilet thing all figured out?


Rolling Over and Summer School

Filed under: Baby Bedtime Drama,Lacko Family Chronicles,school — rjlacko @ 7:10 pm

sleepy noahCan little boys “blossom”?

We’ve had an exciting last few weeks here in the Lacko household. Noah made a very auspicious first rollover the week he turned 3 months old (Boy genius!) and Joseph has been absolutely thriving at his new school.

He has been attending Anneliese’s Aliso campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is such a lovely little school, where the teachers address their young students in German, French, Japanese and Spanish (and yes, English!) They serve organic meals, teach the children how to plant and tend the garden, and foster a broad cultural awareness. We’ve been very pleased to have Joseph come home happy, shouting “bonjour!” and counting effortlessly in Spanish. It would seem that he is learning at lightning speed in this new environment, and we couldn’t be happier. The funny thing is that during the summer months, Anneliese’s is on “summer school”–essentially playtime. I look forward to seeing his progress this fall when the actual school curriculum begins. Hurray, Anneliese!

They have had nothing but glowing remarks about our sweet little guy and are very impressed that he is such a good sharer, he pays attention and joins the activities in circle and has come already equipped with his alphabet, shapes, colors and numbers. I’m so proud of him and I’m so glad my little boy and I spend time together working on learning and more importantly, learning to learn.

But, they also commend him for being such an independent sleeper–ha! Not at home! Every naptime and every evening, it’s a new adventure for mommy and daddy. But that’s another story…