Tuesday, December 1, 2009


LL is climbing on everything, and he's like half an inch away from being able to open doors. He's addicted to peek-a-boo, and has developed a dramatic flourish for when he throws his arms wide to reveal his face. He blows on food when it's too hot. He can more or less feed himself with a fork. But most exciting of all:

LL is walking!

Wait, "walking" is a bit strong. LL is taking five steps or so before carefully falling gracefully to the ground! Yes, he is now the definition of toddler. The Friday before Thanksgiving, he consented to take some steps while holding onto somebody's hands. (Before that, he would only take steps while holding onto furniture. Other human beings were apparently not stable enough to trust with the support of his 24 pound frame.) On Sunday, he let go of me and took two steps to S. On Monday, he rested. (Learning to walk is very hard work.) After saying a cheerful "hello" to his auntie, S's sister, on Tuesday, LL spent the entire afternoon insisting that Auntie and I sit on the floor a few feet apart from each other so that he could toddle between us. By Wednesday, our house was packed with all of the visiting in-laws, and everybody had to be very careful not to trip over LL, who was pulling himself up on any and all available legs and then setting off across the open floor before falling prostrate onto the ground, usually right in front of an older relative carefully balancing a heaping plate of food.

In related news, Thanksgiving was fun and busy and entertaining and frustrating and stressful, and thankfully, it is now over. S's family has some weird dynamics, and even after ten years, I'm still getting used to it. Also, S's childhood friend, D, who has known his family for a long long time and often spends Thanksgiving with them, was with us for the week and drove me crazy. (As an example: Friday afternoon I had just finished serving lunch to 20 people, for the third day in a row, and finished prepping dinner for the same 20 people, for the fourth day in a row, and finally gotten LL to nap, and my house was still full of guests but they were happy and entertaining themselves for a change, and I sat down to relax a little for the first time in forever, when D came over to me and told me that he and his wife wanted to go shopping but they didn't want to bring their two-year-old with them, so they were going to leave him with me for a few hours. And then they just left. And the two-year-old was in a strange house filled with people he didn't know, and he freaked out. And I spent the next two hours trying to calm him down and reassure him that mommy and daddy were going to come back for him real soon. Because in addition to hosting tons of family for 5 days and cooking a ridiculous amount of food, I was apparently running a holiday baby-sitting service. Also, D arrived at our house on day four with a horrible cough, and when we asked him about it, he said that he'd been really sick for a while now, but he'd been masking it with cold medicine so that he could still come over for Thanksgiving. He'd run out of medicine, so he couldn't hide it from us anymore. Jerk. Yesterday, LL started coughing. Shocking, right?)

On the plus side, S's family was totally charmed by LL, who really ramped up the cuteness for the week. No traces of separation anxiety -- he was totally equal opportunity, playing with everybody and going to the park alone with aunties and uncles that he hadn't seen since he was three months old. He even spent a good hour with a particularly grumpy uncle, handing blocks and stacking cups back and forth and clapping enthusiastically whenever the uncle smiled at him. I even got to see the first half of the Packers game while the turkey cooked (go Pack!) and LL wore his little Packers jersey and cheered for every first down, and crawled around the room tugging on people's legs to make sure that they knew that they were supposed to be clapping. He is scarily comfortable being the center of attention.

So, we survived. Everybody is now back safely at home, our fridge is full of leftovers, and we're slowly putting the house back together. I told S that I'm not cooking again for a month, but I'll probably break down after a few days of pizza and spaghetti. We won't have to host Thanksgiving for at least 6 years (longer if S's sister gets added to the rotation, which will probably happen soon). So, the next time we host, LL will be in grade school, we'll probably be living in a different state, we could have another child, and theoretically, I could have tenure somewhere. Freaky!

I'm feverishly back to working on job applications, with the hopes of getting all of the materials done by December 10 (a little over a week from now). If I can hit that deadline, I can turn my attention to a paper that I'm trying to finish, hoping to get it done before Christmas. If both of those things get done on time, I will be free of work obligations through the December holidays. S's office shuts down between Christmas and New Year's, which gives us an 11-day stretch of vacation during which we will both be free. Amazing! We had been planning on staying home and relaxing and playing with LL for that entire time, but we're starting to feel a little guilty about not bringing LL to visit family, so we might travel for New Year's after all.

Deadlines are looming. No more break time for me. Back to work!


  1. Hooray LL for walking!!! Next up running. And a lovely array of bumps and bruises :)

    Okay, I guess that having family nearby beats hosting all of them for several days. I might have to hurt somebody if that came to pass at my house!

  2. Go, LL! Walking is so very much fun. (For him. Trouble for you, but also fun.)

    I think not hosting Thanksgiving again for six years sounds like a good plan.

  3. The cuteness! Your LL stories always make me excited to be able to tell my own. :)

  4. Congratulations on the walking!! That was my favorite milestone until Bean started talking. It opens up so much more that you can do with him. Although obviously it brings a new set of challenges as well. :)

    I'm also glad you survived the holidays. You must be exhausted!


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