Thursday, October 25, 2007

Baby Love

Miss M rolled over for the first time when we were visiting my family for Christmas. I don't remember much about that hazy newborn time, but I do recall that the three and a half months between her birth and that milestone seemed to take fooooreeeeverrrrr.

Mr. Baby turned four months old yesterday. About two weeks ago, he did his first rollover, in the sufficiently impressed company of his Auntie K and The Commander. And the first thing I thought was, "Holy crap, already?" The time has gone so much faster this go around. We thought our lives were hectic with one new baby, but now with two children, a business to run, an actual social circle and all of our various other activities and commitments, the days are flying by and this happy little baby-man is just chilling out for the ride. I can't do anything but shake my head sometimes, so amazed that he is as laid-back and content and easy as he is. He goes anywhere, sleeps anywhere, nurses anywhere, and smiles all the dang time. I sometimes have to remind myself not to squeeze his little guts out because he is just so incredibly huggable and sweet.

In other milestone news, he's gotten very vocal and is happy to comment throughout an entire episode of The Office. He's fallen asleep completely on his own (and without us even suggesting it) twice in the last week. If we set him up in the corner of the couch, he sits himself up independently and looks around like, "Who're you calling a baby?" And he's much, much better in the car. He has also discovered the true and abiding joy of thumbsucking, which is already making our days better and our nights smoother. I'm trying to remind myself every day to enjoy this time, this fun-but-still-entirely-portable stage of his life, before it flies by, too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Now Is The Hour Of Quitting

Well, it's been a good run, but I think it's time for me to hang it up. I just don't have the free time I once did, and something, finally, has to give.

No, I'm not giving up the blog. Or the store. Or, of course, the whole mothering thing. But that leaves only one expendable occupation. Yes, dear reader, Secret Agent Mom is an agent no more, secretly or otherwise. As I explained in the email to my currently neglected clients, the whole running-two-businesses-while-raising-two-children thing wasn't working out quite as smoothly as I expected. I think the breaking point was when I realized that, after working either at or for the store all day, then settling both kids to bed at night, I was still feeling like I had things to do. A lot of things to do. Route planning and phone calls and emails and press pack mailings and website updating. I just couldn't ever catch up, and my genetic inability to admit I was having trouble made me suck it up and keep making promises that I couldn't keep without the discovery of at least three wormholes in the space-time continuum.

And so, with some regret but mostly relief, I'm letting this ball drop. I'll miss the regular contact with my musician friends, as well as the in-show shout-outs (should I ever be able to go to a show again), but I know they all understand. I'll still be clinging to some fragment of my former cool by continuing my work with CB's website and merchandise sales, although with the full acknowledgment that Webslinger doesn't have quite the same credibility or intimidation factor as Agent. But that's okay. I'm still a mom, and that's about as credible and intimidating as it gets.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

And The Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day

In the interest of safety, I don't like to mention The Admiral's trips out of town until after he returns, but by then, I usually forget all the solo parenting anecdotes I've been storing up the whole time. His most recent adventure away was to attend our good friend's wedding to a bona fide cowgirl at a ranch in Colorado, where members of the wedding party actually helped to construct the ceremony, from building the platform where vows would be exchanged to baling hay for guest seating.

Things weren't quite as exciting here at the homestead, although we did receive a surprise visit from Cha Cha and Pops. It was so very helpful to have them here, doing pre-school pick-up duty and getting to the random household tasks that we never seem to find the time to do (our back security door has never gleamed so brightly before). They left Friday morning, though, leaving the three of us with a full day and a half to fend for ourselves.

Which was, as usual, where Castilo Urf came in. Due largely to my ability to look pathetic and helpless after 3 hours with both children, Kristy and RJA took us in, once again, and eased the remainder of our week with food, cocktails and the usual lively conversation. I'd like to think it's my vibrant, loquacious personality that makes me a welcome guest at the Castilo, but the fact is, the doors are always open to any friend, whether in need or just in between errands. As much as they kid about the overcrowding, they've made the home that everyone feels comfortable in. I hope they know how much we all appreciate their kindness, hospitality and, of course, non-stop supply of cheese pizza.

(Happy Birthday, Kristy!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Party Like It's Yo Birthday

There's nothing really remarkable about turning 31. Except, I guess, for the realization that you're a full decade past the giddy thrill of the 21st birthday. What was most remarkable about this latest anniversary was what it lacked - namely, the company of my youngest child. Thanks to a very selfless aunt and uncle, The Admiral and I were able to join my fellow Libras (and a couple hangers-on) for an actual dinner out and a post-meal sojourn to flout our parental responsibility at the local watering hole (see Fig. A). With only one stop at home in between to get the sleep-resistant baby to bed.

It was, quite simply, delightful. Three months is a long time to go without a night of (relative) freedom. I remember that my first night out after having Miss M was a two hour dash with my sister (aforementioned aunt), and I was stressed out pretty much the entire time. But with more parenting experience and a pint of Dos Equis in me, even the fact that Mr. Baby had never taken a bottle wasn't getting to me. With good friends, good food and a jukebox considerately loaded with Prince's greatest hits, there was really no way not to enjoy the evening. And coming home to see Auntie K calmly feeding Mr. Baby his first indirect dosage of breastmilk made it that much better, because I walked in the house and immediately felt like we may, someday, possibly, get to do it again.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Exciting And New

The final part of Miss M's bedtime routine, after the toothbrushing, toilet-using, bathing, and book-reading, is her bedtime story. On an easy night, we can get away with a standard; she's generally fond of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs (sometimes in their original form and sometimes combined into one mega-story). But other nights, she wants an original work following very specific guidelines. Coming up with freehand fiction at the end of a long day can be a challenge, especially when she throws in random requests like "the one about the fly-bird." The other night, though, she said, "Tell me the one about the commercial people" and that set The Admiral's creative wheels spinning. He then regaled her with a classic tale of a poor mountaineer who came across a magical liquid in the woods. Black gold. Texas tea, as it were.

I can't believe it took us this long to incorporate classic TV shows into bedtime. Last night, I told a story combining The Love Boat with Fantasy Island, and Miss M found it riveting. I took some creative license - the Pacific Princess was an actual princess, for one - but it was still a ratings winner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Summer In The City

Stealing collectively from a variety of my most-read blogs, I now present ...

Things I Meant To Do This Summer But Didn't:

1. Go to the drive-in
2. Take Mr. Baby to his first baseball game
3. Get a tattoo (officially postponed until my next trip to Minnesota)
4. Extract myself from at least one of my businesses
5. Keep my car clean
6. Choose all winning Powerball numbers at least once
7. Use the massage gift certificates I got as shower gifts
8. Figure out my hair

But whatever. I had a baby.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Love, Angel, Music, Baby

Mr. Baby strode by another milestone this weekend. No, he's not rolling over or reciting Pi in Spanish. Not this week, anyway. He is, however, now a seasoned veteran of the Memphis live music scene. This past Saturday night, I put him in his slackerest onesie and hauled him out to Otherlands to enjoy an evening of arty folk rock with my friend and fellow high school/college alum John Elliott, his lovely and talented touring companion Raina Rose and my newly re-established client, Jamie Randolph.

If enjoyment of a show can be measured by how soundly one sleeps through it, then Mr. Baby had a fantastic time. As did I, what with it being my first post-partum attendance and the closest thing I've had to a purely self-centered social evening in a very long time. And making an effortless switch from Big Mama to Hot Mama, I think Sassy Molassy enjoyed herself as well, although I'm going to stop taking her on dates if she continues to ditch me after a couple beers to go get musicians' phone numbers.