September 21st

I admit it seems a little ridiculous to be posting about September 21st on October 2nd. In my defense, Conor’s teething has turned him into a Barnacle Extroadinaire, meaning that when I attempt to get up early to post he uncannily wakes up about 5 minutes later, ready to snuggle. Cute, but unproductive.

I’ve considered just pretending September 21st through October 1st never happened, but that would be a waste of Instagram. So here you are:

‘Bou hoo.

I promise I have more interesting photos in store than the above of my Friday breakfast, so-captioned because at that time I had done exactly zero work on Conor’s party (the next day) due to  my vertiginousness (probably not a word) of the week. Friday morning was the first one where I could actually walk in a straight line without feeling like I was going to vomit, hence my Caribou Victory Breakfast.

After work we headed out to a yummy dinner at Benihana to celebrate my friend Laura’s birthday. Note the lack of photos. This was because in between bites of food, the entire dinner was spent:

  • Preventing Conor from crawling atop the searing hot cook surface in the center of our table.
  • Preventing Conor from grabbing the chef’s knives.
  • Preventing Conor from crawling into the restaurant kitchen.
  • Preventing Conor from running wild all over the restaurant.

Conclusion: Conor and restaurants should not get together again for a while.

Post-dinner, I finally got my party prep act together at…….you guessed it…….Party City, which I should just rename the Overpriced Balloon Store:

Where’s Waldo?

I think Party City was invented for people like me who wait until the 11th hour to do any semblance of party planning, and then charges you your soul to pay for it all. In my head and on Pinterest I had carefully planned an adorable dinosaur party, complete with handmade hats, cake, and a personalized outfit for the birthday boy himself. The reality? Party City Dino section. Oh wells.

In between debating the merits of metallic versus matte dinosaur paper plates, I attempted to wrangle a Not Sleepy Conor:

Up to no good.

I think he tried to eat one of the flags, as well as several balloons. Baby + party store is almost as bad as baby + restaurant.

After crying ALL THE WAY HOME, he finally fell asleep. And I finally headed out to do more party shopping. I managed to do the following between midnight and 2:30 a.m.:  finish shopping (thank you, 24-hour stores), bake a cake, make giant letters spelling “CONOR” out of posterboard, do some more laundry, and drink my weight in Diet Coke. The end!





September 19-20

My vertigo vanished on Conor’s birthday, but last Wednesday and Thursday it was back. Let me say that vertigo is fun for about 20 seconds. When it continues for 20+ hours, it is horrible.

All of that is meant to be an excuse for this mishmash of photos, only two of which are actually from the 19th or 20th.

Exhibit 1: Sleeping baby. Conor adopted my schedule of falling asleep at 7pm like a champ:

Why can’t he do this every night?

Naturally, Dada was thrilled at his newfound opportunity to play video games and catch up on Doctor Who. And even though I felt like I was going to be sick, I did appreciate the 10+ hours of sleep I got, which happens pretty much never.

Exhibit 2: Lunchtime Trivial Pursuits:

I knew exactly zero of the trivia answers.

My coworker Kristina and I decided to brave my vertigo and venture into historic downtown Hastings for lunch. After discovering that the coffee shop/cafe we planned to visit was closed (as in, closed for good), we decided to try the Red Rock Cafe, aka geriatric lunch spot extraordinaire.

Despite the noticeable lack of spicy anything on the menu, I was endeared to the cafe due to (1) their enticing dessert menu, and (2) decks of 1980s Trivial Pursuit cards. Unfortunately, I suck at 1980s trivia. I can’t even blame the vertigo on that one.

Exhibit 3: Completely unrelated photo of Conor + grocery store yogurt explosion from a few weeks ago:

He came, he ate, he conquered.

You’re welcome.



September 18th

Setting aside how woefully behind I am on this blog, let’s recap September 18th, AKA the best day of all the days in September (except maybe an arbitrarily-determined “Mommy Wine-and-Pinterest Day” that I just invented…aaaanyway), AKA Conor’s birthday.

Since we were having his official b-day party the next weekend, we decided to keep things low-key with a subdued outfit and a present or six:

The wonders of tissue paper.

The above gift was from my coworker Dawn, and was a remote-controlled fire truck set. Conor was transfixed for so long that he forgot to try to climb the dishwasher racks while I loaded the dinner dishes. Dawn is officially a genius.

Then, it was time for a gift from Nana and Co:

Every birthday boy needs a truck half the size of his body.

I think Chris was just as excited as Conor…

At this point, Mama made a critical mistake: feeding Conor brownies.

The birthday boy was so hyperactive he attempted to leap headfirst off the couch. Undeterred, he turned to his next object of destruction: packing material.

10 p.m. Still not sleepy.

Well, at least he’s cute. He’s lucky that gets him out of all sorts of things.

Happy birthday, Conor! Mama loves you.

September 17th

I should preface this post by mentioning that on the previous day, I started feeling dizzy during rehearsal. I chalked it up to not eating enough beforehand, even though the dizziness remained long after I’d returned home and had dinner.

The next morning at about 7, it started again. I tried to ignore it and instead decided to invent a concoction of loose chai tea (gifted to me by my mom) and pumpkin spice creamer (gifted to me by myself) in my french press mug (gifted to me by awesome former coworker Sharon):

Tasty tea plus random desktop pig.

The combo was not as weird as I thought. Sadly, it did nothing to combat my vertigo. After consulting my friend Google and determining that I DEFINITELY had either:

(1) a brain tumor, or

(2) MS (obviously),

I decided to go see the doctor.

Unfortunately, this doctor was less than impressive. The visit took fewer than 5 minutes, during which I was instructed to go buy this:

No, taking 2-4x the recommended dose does not make it more effective.

Yep, it wasn’t even a prescription. Feeling stupid for wasting a copay on something I evidently didn’t need to be seen for, I bought the medicine and took the maximum dose. Nothing happened.

Later that afternoon I emailed the doctor, who said to take another daily maximum dose. Again, nothing. In fact, my vertigo was getting worse.

After work it had gotten so severe that I couldn’t even walk without holding on to the walls. It was like being stuck on the Gravitron at a carnival all day long (does anyone else remember the Gravitron)?

After talking with a nurse who was alarmed that (1) I had taken almost 4 times the daily recommended dose of meclizine, (2) I was getting worse, and (3) the first doctor hadn’t even looked in my ears to see if I had an infection, she said I should go in again.

Enter our evening’s excitement: urgent care!

Picking on someone his own size.

After a thrilling 30 minutes of hazily watching Conor race around the waiting room and alternate between diabolical laughter and karate chops, it was my turn. In about 2 seconds the nurse looked in my ears and said I had labrynthitis (aka: ear infection). Easily treatable with antibiotics.

The bad news: the vertigo might last for weeks.

The good news: the Vistaril shot they gave me, which temporarily knocked me out. I slept from 7 or 8 p.m. until 6 the next morning. It was glorious.

Just don’t ask me to a carnival anytime soon.

September 16th

On Sunday Chris was desperate for some baby-free time to work on his dissertation abstract, so the ‘saurus and I headed to the park. Since Conor seems to equate pavement and roads with “happy fun place to fling myself into and run all around,” I recruited the help of Bebo:

Leash? Yes. Genius? Yes!

Bebo once belonged to my cousin Jen’s daughter. Now he belongs to Conor. I tentatively put it on him and was shocked to discover that Conor didn’t immediately try to claw Bebo off (lately Conor has been anti-any and all clothing). In fact, Conor seemed to like Bebo.

I considered it fate.

However, Chris was horrified. “Conor is not a DOG,” he said. “He is a person. You are not walking our son to the park like Rex” (Rex = Chris’s childhood dog).

Temporarily foiled (I need to work on my argument supporting the benefits of leashes, other than “he looks soooooooo cute!” Any ideas?), we headed to the park sans Bebo:

Afternoon stroll.

And after killing my quads by walking up the play structure only 15 times in a row so Conor and I could slide down the big slide together, I was elated to discover that Conor enjoyed the swings for more than 10-second stretches (his previous record):

Way better than the carseat.

I congratulated myself on a successful park trip and my ability to distract Conor enough to prevent any rock-eating. We began our journey back home.

En route, Conor started coughing and proceeded to hack up a pebble.

Baby steps.



September 15th

Saturday mornings always present a unique dilemma: do I

(1) get up early and actually get a few things done, or

(2) sleep in and wake up when Conor does, ensuring that I not only get nothing done but that the simple act of getting ready takes 4 times as long as otherwise would?

I’ll let you guess which one wins out.

Last Saturday was no exception. While I attempted to shower, Conor entertained himself by alternating between (1) howling piteously while staring up at me with a pouty face, and (2) doing this:

Ridding the bathroom of that pesky toilet paper.

I suppose I should be grateful that he hasn’t discovered the fun of tossing things into the toilet yet.

Moving on. The rest of Saturday was infinitely more fun, care of a much-needed visit to see our friends Dana and Brian, aka chefs/bakers extraordinaire and Excellent Role Models of Appropriate Playground Behavior for an impressionable young Conor:

Acting our shoe sizes. For Conor’s benefit, of course.

Following an ill-advised barefoot race across a deceptively rock-strewn field resulting in one wounded party (for once, not me, since I had the good sense to officiate), we decided to call it an afternoon and head in for some cooking. Actually, Dana and Brian headed in for some cooking while Chris headed in to play some old-school Mario game, I headed in to alternately be lazy/prevent Conor from terrorizing Bella the cat/sip a tasty fizzy lemony drink whose name I can’t remember.

We ate macaroni and cheese and breaded chicken and cooked carrots and it was Fan.Tas.Tic.  If  I ever had the choice of (1) enjoying a delicious homemade meal that I didn’t have to prepare or clean up after, and (2) a Keurig, I would pick (1) every time.  And given my caffeine obsession, that is saying a lot.

In a tie with the barefoot race for Most Entertaining Moment of the Evening was Conor’s first watermelon:

Which is bigger: the watermelon slice or his head?

I have never been able to stand watermelon, to which you might say, “But Audrey, isn’t it basically all water?” To which I reply: No. No it is not. Watermelons, other melons, and cucumbers: you are officially on my s–t list (censored to protect all of your pristine, tender ears, of course).

Not one to pass on my food prejudices to the next generation, I let Conor have at it. Fortunately he probably ate enough for him and me combined, after which he fell asleep for the night. Watermelons: you may have one redeeming quality.

September 14th

Careful readers may have observed that Fridays are usually grocery shopping days. As a result, my Fridays are usually terrible.

Enter Project: Fridays That Don’t Suck. I just invented this project, since in retrospect last Friday actually wasn’t so terrible. In a bizarre twist, I actually convinced Chris that it would be fun to preface our shopping with a semi-structured activity–in this case, an open house at The Little Gym:

Debating the merits of springboard-as-catapult.

Considering Conor enjoys nothing more than attempting to fling himself off of high surfaces and climb the unclimbable at home, I figured that a room full of equipment just begging to be climbed would be a dream come true for him. The Conorsaur did not disappoint:

Watch your form. Mama’s counting on that athletic scholarship.

Admittedly he was a little dazed by the combination of music, 8 billion toddlers and their parents, and the dizzying cornucopia of primary colors. Initially I was filled with joy at this realization, imagining him being so overstimulated he would snooze through our shopping trip.

Unfortunately, the gymnastics only fueled his appetite for destruction:

He should probably carry this caution sign with him everywhere.

Fortunately he was so preoccupied with the above caution sign that he only threw a few things off the shelves during our Aldi trip. And he slept for most of the way home. So this was one Friday that Did Not Suck.

Unfortunately, since The Little Gym is almost an hour away I need to find other Friday activities, since I’m guessing my preference of  “hand baby to Chris and send them both shopping while I browse Pinterest and drink wine” probaby isn’t going to fly.