Moving Into 2011: Stitch-Free

I took W in to have his stitches removed this morning. He insisted that they would be replaced and it took some explaining that he doesn't get new stitches, they just go away. I think he was starting to get used to them and the extra attention (and treats) he's been getting haven't hurt.

Dr.: "What happened?"
W: "I fell."
Dr.: "Oh wow!"
W: "I got some stitches."
Dr.: "How many stitches did you get?"
W: "One, two."
(I hold up my hand to show her five behind him.)
Dr.: "Five stitches?!?! Wow, you're brave."
W: "No. One, two stitches."

Stitch removal went well, as the Nurse bribed him with both a Thomas and a Cars sticker. W turned and took a good look at the pile of stitches, said good-bye to all five of them, and we were on our way. Just like that.

Listen and Repeat

Our chatterbox has us constantly cracking up. For a while I was really impressed by the things I thought he was coming up with himself, however most of his one-liners aren't necessarily original. He's been saying phrases from movies and books for a while, but it used to be random. Now, he's using them in every day coversation.

For example: Our neighbors were over a couple of weeks ago for brunch and play time. W was not so keen on sharing a toy with his little friend from down the block. All of a sudden a very loud and very stern, "Get out of this house!" can be heard. It was later that I realized it was inspired by the fish in "The Cat in the Hat."

His new favorite saying for moments of great excitement is: "Holy moly guacamole!" I wrongly thought he came up with this one on his own. Oh no. Upon the 10th viewing of "Toy Story 3" I realized Rex says this when they enter the Caterpillar Room.

As we were leaving Matt's parents after Christmas weekend, I gave the little guy the heads up that we were going to start getting ready to head home. His response: "We could build a life here!" Again thanks to "Toy Story 3."

It's all been sweet and funny, except for the random stupid that he's been throwing out every now and then. I think it's from "Cars" or one of the "Toy Story" movies. Or maybe it's from living with the two of us. And, if that's the case, we're coming off easy if stupid is the worst we hear out of his mouth.


Boxing Day (And Our Little Boxer)

Christmas was awesome in every way. I'll put together something soon about everything we learned about Christmas with a toddler, but it was Boxing Day that taught us the most this holiday season. W has been obsessed with playing "chase," a simple game that involves being chased around the house. It often starts with him coming up to any available adult and saying, "I better run...." And then he takes off.

This was, of course, his game of choice when we were at Matt's parents over the weekend. It was around 5:00 or so on Boxing Day when he ran from his cousin and fell, hitting the wooden stair between the kitchen and living room, and splitting open his eye.

It was bad. There was a ton of blood. I've never been a fan of blood and wounds give me the heebie-jeebies, so I always wondered how I would react when it was go-time. And now I know: I completely took control of the situation and focused on calming down W, barking out orders, and tried to make good, quick decisions. I'm usually good in crisis situations, but like everyone says, there is a gear that moms are able to put themselves in and I found it.

We ultimately had to head out so the little guy could get stitches. It all happened rather quickly. I think back and it was all a blur, except the blood that just kept coming and coming. Ugh. But I know that I had a moment when I turned away from him to grab a towel and had a tiny moment when I could have freaked, but I took a deep breath, looked back at him, and never gave in.

Sometimes being a parent is hard. Co-parenting can be really hard. Two people having to compromise, know what the other needs, step in, step out, bite their tongue, decide what is best for a child... It's all hard and (like most honest new parents will admit) Matt and I have had some really rough bumps as we learn how to best work together as parents. And on Sunday we seemed to figure it out.

When William was getting his stitches, I had to lay on the bed and hold down his arms, Matt had to hold his head in place. And we had to keep him perfectly still. Never before have the two of us worked so well together than we did in those ten minutes. From the second William hurt himself, we both instinctively fell into the perfect roles to compliment each other. I grabbed William and tried to calm him down and get his bleeding under control. Matt stood by, got me a towel when I asked, got his dad when I needed him, and was swiftly out the door to pull up and warm the car with his id, insurance card, and money in hand before we even accepted we'd go to the hospital. He knew I had the current situation under control and he was preparing for the next steps.

Five stitches later we were alright, but nothing hurts a parent's heart more than seeing their little one in pain. It's bound to happen to all of us. And, all in all, I'm feeling pretty good about how we handled it this time around.

Special thanks to Aunt Kate for soothing the little guy, Uncle Dan for getting the ice, Papa Don for flipping into Dr. Hanneman mode so quickly, Nana Linda for riding to the hospital with us, and to that special person who cleaned up all the blood. (Somehow it was magically gone when we got back.) And to W's Hanneman family who cheered when we got back from the hospital and let him know how cherished he is by everyone.


Christkindlmarket: Seven Years Later

Ever since Matt and I started dating he has wanted to go to the Christkindlmarket at Daley Center. A Christmas beer tent caught Matt's attention back then and has held it ever since. Every year it comes up. And every year it just hasn't worked out, mainly because I'm too busy with work and then it's just too damn cold.

One year, even despite my best intentions of having friends meet us there as a surprise for Matt's birthday, we still didn't make it. I *may* have skipped the whole checking the schedule thing and quickly realized when we met there that the fest was set up, but not opening until the next day.

So, finally, finally, finally... Tonight we made it. We had plans for dinner to celebrate our dear friend Jennifer's birthday. Reservations were for 6:30 and I came up with the brilliant idea of finally making Matt's German Christmas dreams come true.

It would have been a different experience back in the day when we could have killed a few hours in the beer tent, snacked on pretzels for the night, and then jumped on the blue line home. It was a very different experience than the one we originally hoped to have there. Life has changed. We waited seven years to spend 20 minutes checking out the vendors, snacking on cinnamon/sugar almonds, and making some really excellent jokes about Germans (which we both happen to be, so don't get all offended). It was worth the wait.


I'm Back

OK, so it's been really quiet around here. I had to turn off all aspects of life, except work, for the past two months. Not complaining, but that's the way it goes. Starting in early November I was working at least six days a week, including two late nights. Then after Thanksgiving, I worked 27 days straight, most of those days were well over 12 hours and included commuting downtown.

All this work meant I missed a lot. I missed a lot of William and Matt. I missed a couple birthdays. A few opportunities to see my friends. A ton of opportunities to blog. The stress is hard to describe. Again, I'm not complaining, just stating the facts.

I work on a Gala that raised over $3.25 million and hosted nearly 2,000 guests. It takes this much time because it's done right. You cannot possibly imagine the amount of detail and time that goes into something like this. It wouldn't be successful without the extra hours, but it's an incredible amount of work for a small team of people to pull off... Which is why this was my last Gala. As I mentioned before I luckily had a really good opportunity to feel like I'd be here for William and still work for an organization and with people that I really care about. And I had to take it. I don't know if we Hannemaniacs can handle another Gala.

I missed a lot of William's life. Two months is a lot of development time for a 2 year old. He's not letting me back in as easily as you'd think. On the first day I actually stayed home he asked me to go to work and told me he wanted to drop me off at the train station. He asked to go to my mom's house, explaining "Nana needs me. She misses me and I have to go to her house now." Wow. Ouch. He also told me I wasn't nice and wasn't his best friend. That was a few days ago. Things are getting better. I know he doesn't mean it. I know he's only 2 with an incredible vocabulary, that he often doesn't even understand what he's saying. But, still, seriously?!?!

I'm slowly crawling out of the post-Gala hole. I promise to be more active and catch up on everyone's lives. Can't tell you the last time I read a blog. Right now I have to go get a little guy ready for bedtime. I have a lot of bedtimes to make up for.