Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Twelve Days of Man Cold

We are way beyond Day 12 of Vic's man cold.

After our trip to California, I was looking forward to a little pampering action. After all, I had taken the boys home myself, leaving Vic to spend a week working onsite in Menlo Park. Within minutes of hauling a five-year-old, a 2.5-month-old and our carry-on stuff onto the airplane, Nolan had a diaper blowout. He had another one an hour later. A few hours into the flight, Nico got upset at his Leapster and threw it on the ground. I confiscated it and he, of course, bawled, prompting a flight attendant to console him and ply him with chocolate bars. Anyway, I digress. The point is that it was a difficult trip and I was hoping Vic would appreciate it when he got home.

Instead, Vic came home with a bad cold that has resulted in him being lethargic, prone to extended coughing fits and in a state of general malaise. He has told countless people about the enormous mucus ball he coughed up (he scowled when I interrupted the third retelling with my own stories about my c-section recoveries) and has already been to the doctor, who said there is nothing going on but a mere cold.

The man cold is quite a sneaky affliction. I don't think there is a female version. The man cold comes and goes quite mysteriously. It seems to wane during Browns games and reappear with a vengeance whenever the baby needs a diaper change.

Does anyone have a cure?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Note on a napkin

This is how I know Vic's man cold has gotten really bad: He actually bought Nico a cookie from Stone Oven, one of our favorite places to get sandwiches. Vic never buys cookies. From anywhere.

Anyhow, Vic set out with Nico the other day to pick up soup and sandwiches for lunch. I was taking a nap with Nolan at the time so I'm not exactly sure what happened. I'm guessing that Nico begged for his dad to buy him a Christmas cookie. Vic must have been feeling too miserable to argue. When they got home, Vic's sore throat must have kept him from communicating efficiently when Nico decided to eat his cookie but not his sandwich.

What else can explain this strange message I found on the dining table?

Monday, December 17, 2007

I heart Auntie Linda

Nico misses his Auntie Linda. While we were in California, Linda spent a lot of time spoiling her nephews. Nico adores her.

On one night, while Vic and I went to his company's holiday party, Lin, her girlfriend and some of their friends babysat Nico and Nolan at Lin's place in San Francisco. Nico was intrigued by her apartment in the Mission District. He had never seen anything like it.

When we got back from California, Nico talked about Lin all the time and kept asking when we would return to visit her. When he heard that Vic met up with her for dinner after Nico, Nolan and I had already returned to Cleveland, Nico demanded details: "You're with Auntie Linda? Are you at her apartment? You are? You're not? Who's there then? What are their names?"

Nico created a five-page book about his trip that included two pages about the airplane trip, one page about the tram from the airport to the rental car station and a final page about Linda. That page had a drawing of him and Linda standing side by side and read, "I wis I coud see ate [Auntie] lindu agin!"

California dreamin'

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey...

For the past few days, I've been feeling a little melancholy.

Last week, we went on a family trip to northern California. It was my second trip to San Francisco this year. In the summer, during the second trimester of my pregnancy with Nolan, I had gone on a solo trip to visit my sister and some friends. It was Nico's first trip back since moving to Ohio four years ago. It was Nolan's first trip anywhere, really, since he's only two months old.

For me, it was quite a trip down Memory Lane as we visited the hospital where Nico was born, the apartment complex we lived in when Nico was a baby, restaurants we used to frequent, etc. My sister joined us for most of our visit and all of us met up with several friends, from San Francisco to San Jose.

We had a great time reconnecting with old pals and marveling at how much our lives have changed over the years. Everyone was happy to see Nico and see how much he has grown since they last saw him at age one. Most people seem to think he looks more like Vic now, mainly because of the long eyelashes! Everyone was delighted to meet Nolan too and thought he was so sweet and cute.

One of the highlights of the trip was taking the boys to Muir Woods. Vic and I used to take Nico on hikes and long walks all the time, so we were looking forward to taking both boys this time. When we got to the park, Nico's first reaction was, "Where are the rides?" Then after he got his bearings and started to appreciate the natural beauty all around him, he exclaimed, "I want to climb to the top and see the horizon."

If we had more time, I would have loved to walk across Golden Gate Bridge with the boys, but we really didn't have much time to do any sightseeing. We spent most of the trip visiting friends and that was really fun. We also had some great Chinese food!

On Tuesday, the boys and I flew back to Cleveland, while Vic stayed in town to work on site with his colleagues. As our plane took off, I felt wistful watching the Bay Area grow smaller and smaller below me. I know it's easy to idealize something (or someone) after it's gone, but I couldn't help but feel sad to leave San Francisco again. It was the place Vic and I both moved to - him from Cleveland, me from Los Angeles - when we decided we had both had enough of our long-distance relationship and wanted to be together all the time. It was where we got engaged, planned a wedding, got pregnant and became first-time parents.

But here we are, back in Cleveland, Ohio again. We are home.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sleeping boys

Nico and Nolan crashed on the bed in our hotel room after we settled in from our flight to San Francisco. I love when they are sleeping so cutely (and quietly).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nico's portrait of his brother

Just when I worried that Nico was having sibling rivalry issues, he surprised me with a drawing of his little bro.

Nico created this drawing, which I mistakenly thought was a self-portrait. "No, Mama," he corrected me. "That's NOLAN! See his yellow face? That's his jaundice. Because of his bilirubin."

Apparently, Nico absorbed everything he heard from the hospital about Nolan's enzyme deficiency.