Welcome, True Believers! When we last left our hero, he had just turned one year old. His rite of passage was replete with trials, tribulations, and rewards. Pleasure came in the form of visits from his family and friends who showered him with love and prezzies at a gala affair held at LB and KG's place. Pain came in the form of a shot in the forearms and two in the turkeythighs. Insult was added to injury when his caretaker accidentally locked herself out of the house with our hero trapped inside the house for about an hour. His indignation was made quite apparent by his high-decibel vocal protests. Let's just say that he could be heard from across the street and leave it at that.

Nonetheless, our hero eventually overcame these obstacles and sallied forth bravely into his first year. He cruised in his TEK 911 police car up and down the streets of the neighborhood to warn evil-doers of his presence. With the help of his loyal sidekicks, he climbed the stairs of justice . . . well, at least he climbed the stairs. He patrolled his park and watched over its denizens with a careful eye that missed nothing.

This morning, I discovered not one, not two, but three spider bites on his tiny, fat foot. After staring dully at the red, swollen spots for a moment, trying to fathom how any creature would DARE to bite ZP (myself excluded), I put some ointment on the bites and (fakey fake) Dr. TP gave him some antihistamines.

I'm not sure what kind of spider bit him, but I'll just say this:

Later in the morning, we were assisting our hero in standing and, on a whim, tried to coax him to come to one of us while the other was prepared to catch him if he fell. After a few failed attempts, he did it. He walked. On his own. About three steps each time.

"Oh my GOD! It must have been a radioactive spider that bit him because now he has superpowers!" I exclaimed.

"With great power comes great responsibility," TP responded. "Now he has to do the dishes."


Birthday Numero Uno

Happy One Year Birthday, Zainy Zoo! Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, you made your grand entrance onto the world's stage. Back then, you were just a tight ball full of baby fat, milk, and warmth, but not much else. Oh wait. The poop. Can't forget the poop. My God, the poop. I mean, honestly, how can such a tiny baby contain so much poop? Um. Where was I? Oh yeah, your growth and personality development since then have been staggering. You can talk, mostly about daddy (a.k.a. Daiwoo), your nanny (a.k.a. Tia), and doggies and kitties (a.k.a. Aiiiiii! Daiiiii! Kaiiii!). You can recognize the opening music to the Colbert Report and seemingly enjoy the jokes that we laugh at while watching it before bedtime. You love bedtime reading, even though some nights you are more interested in turning the pages yourself than you are hearing how the story ends. Luckily, I already know what happens in Goodnight Gorilla, so I don't mind you skipping pages, flipping the book upside down for a good gnawing, and then jumping to the end.

The playground is once again yours now that summer has arrived. You are equally enamored of sliding and swinging as you are watching other children do the same. Ever the gracious host, you proudly display your toys to all guests and then allow them to share them with you and play nicely. The only caveat to that last statement is if anyone dares to build a structure equal to or more than two blocks high, you are compelled to race over and destroy it, all Gojira-like.

For my very first Mother's Day, you gave me exactly what I asked for: you slept through the entire night. Next time, I'll know to ask for more! Your teeth are coming in quite nicely and I hope that the nightly brushing routine (sung to the "brusha brusha brusha, brush your little teeth" tune) stays with you. Still a gigantic fan of Cheerios, you have finally expanded your culinary repertoire to include falafel, latkes, and toasted rosemary sourdough bread. Although you have your moments of grumpiness, peevishness, and outright fury (especially when you spy your pacifier on the couch and can't reach it), for the most part, you are a happy, funny baby. You know that your father gets a kick out of you blowing raspberries and saturating anyone within a two-foot radius and so, when you remember, you begin your show with gusto just to get him to laugh. Woe is me for being in the path of your slobber. Still too macho to give me a proper smooch, your recent attempts which involve more teeth than lips, are still savored. You like to be scared, you like to be tickled, and you like to hang upside down like the monkey on one of your shirts.

You have changed our lives and made them fuller and richer. You are a joy to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. You are healthy, clever, and have excellent taste in parents. We love you to pieces, even when, and sometimes especially when, you are a beast. Happy Birthday, me wee one! Now get over here and give us all a hug!



Pandi's 'Pinions

Between baby, work, allergies, Cressie's brakes being shot, and house stuff, there's no time to read, reflect, and review! Anyway.

Books: Empire Falls by Richard Russo was a much more enjoyable, but in the same vein, book as The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx's. In an attempt not to give anything away, it was a nice glimpse into a small northern town and its quirky inhabitants but it was disconcerting to read the climactic ending in light of recent real-life events. Is that cryptic enough for ya?

Music: Love this song, Lazy Eye, by the Smashing-Pumpkins-reincarnated band Silversun Pickups. Ah, the 90s.

TV: GAH! Only a handful of episodes left in Heroes! What's going to happen?! Is Peter going to explode but Nathan will grab him, fly him into space, and thus save New York and redeem himself? How will Hiro repair his broken sword to kill Sylar before Sylar begins his massacre? Will they (hopefully) kill off Nikki/Jessica, DL, and Micah before they annoy me to death?

Food: Santa Fe BBQ Rice Chips. A+



In the 1950s, my grandfather attended the Queen of England's coronation in Westminster Abbey. Five decades later, my grandfather-in-law is going to meet her when she comes to D.C. to meet World War II veterans. But before that, she'll be in my hometown(ish) of Louisville, KY for the Derby. Hey, Cybermom, if you see her, tell her we said, "hi" and "bring some derby pie for us when you get back!"


Excuse for Shopping

Yes, kids, it's true. Having a child will change you: physically, mentally, emotionally, economically, and spiritually. I was prepared for most of it. But the physical changes? I'm still not wrapping my head around that. I used to be skinny. Not slender. Not willowy. Not any other slimming poetic something or other. Skinny. As in, my clavicle was like a wire hanger. As in, I could fit into size 0 - 2 jeans. As in, if I turned sideways, I would disappear.

But then I hit 30 and my metabolism plummeted. Add to that the fact that I hated exercise but didn't change my eating habits. Stir in one baby and you've got the new me: tossing out my too-tight clothes, shopping for a bigger size shoe, and still not grasping that my body has changed so much that not only my belly, but my shoulders and hips and feet have morphed.

I kind of like having a little shelf (formerly known as my washboard abs) upon which to rest ZP when I'm carrying him around. But with the summer season fast approaching, I'm thinking that these bulky sweaters and eye-distracting layers are not going to be helping me much. Still, I really do hate exercising. Honestly, the only time I don't mind running is if someone is chasing me or if I am chasing someone. I was forced to play sports in high school (softball and field hockey) but once I was free of the requirements, I was quite content to count among the most strenuous of activities a vigorous Scrabble match. I've started walking to the Metro now which, in addition to the walk from the Metro to work, gives me about half an hour of fast-paced exercise. Isn't that enough? *sigh*