Today Bean is nine months old.Â He has officially lived longer than any houseplant I have ever owned.Â Which means I can’t make any promises on what happens from here on out.Â These are uncharted waters for me.Â But I think I’ll just stick with what we’ve been doing because we’ve kept him alive this long, so that’s something.
Nine month old Bean is pretty much awesome.Â Like eight month old Bean.Â And seven month old Bean.Â And six…Â You get the idea.Â But in all seriousness, nine months is pretty similar to eight months in our house.Â He is still clapping and yelling and babbling and calling us all kinds of names (my favorite right now is “gaw gaw gaw gaw”…).Â But there has been the edition of two new party tricks that, though small, have rocked our little worlds.
Bean is crawling now.Â And can I just say – whoa.Â He’s not too quick yet, so keeping up with him isn’t a big problem right now.Â But looking up from what you’re doing and seeing Bean in a different place than where you left him is just CRAZY!Â For nine whole months, he has been like a set of keys or my cell phone.Â I put him somewhere and I was pretty certain when I came back he’d still be there.Â But now, I put him somewhere and within minutes he had gotten across the room.Â Its just the weirdest sight.
And that level of independence has made Bean so frustrated!Â Now he knows that the world is out there for the taking and crawling doesn’t satisfy him (even though he’s only been doing it for two days).Â What he really wants to do is walk.Â He crawls over to the closest something to pull up on and then he spends about 15 minutes trying to get himself upright and stable.
Usually, about the time he gets settled and is standing and balanced and happy, he drops his binky.Â It is so funny to watch.Â You see him look down at the binky on the ground and you can just hear him thinking, “Aw, crap.”Â So, he squats, sits, picks up the binky and puts it in his mouth, and then starts the process of stand up all over again.Â Its pretty entertaining to watch, really.
In the past week, he has started actually moving his legs when he stands.Â So, if I’m holding his hands, he can walk a little bit around the room.Â He doesn’t quiet understand what’s happening and you can tell that it is a natural reflex in his legs because he just stares down at them with his mouth hanging open the whole time he’s walking.Â Its pretty funny.
Another thing about nine months is that his teeth seem to be coming in much quicker now.Â He has had his bottom two teeth since he was about four months old and he cut his top two teeth when he was six months old.Â And in the past week or so, he has started cutting the two top teeth on either side of the two in the center and I am thinking he’s also working on a third one on the top left.Â We use Hyland’s Teething Tablets with him pretty regularly.Â He takes three at a time and we usually give them to him when he is particularly fussy.Â I can’t tell if they actually help or if they just distract him for a while.Â Whatever it is, they do help.Â We also use Tylenol religiously when he’s at the peak of teething (like he has been for the past three days).Â It really makes a huge difference in him.Â You can just see his little body relax about 10 minutes after we give him a dose.Â We use Orajel only when we’ve run out of things to try and nothing else is working.Â I forget who it was, but someone left me a comment about Orajel a while back saying that we shouldn’t use it because it can burn the gums a little before it numbs them.Â I tried it on myself and that was actually true!Â No wonder Bean cried so much when we first put it on his gums!Â So, I try not to use it too often anymore.Â But sometimes, there’s just nothing else that works and its worth those few seconds of stinging for a few minutes of numbness.
We have also started using Gerber’s Bitter Teething Biscuits.Â I had mixed feelings about these, too.Â A friend of mine (Hi Ann!) and I were talking about them and our concern was that they crumbled up and could really be a choking hazard.Â But Bean has been doing so great with eating lately and hasn’t had any problems taking bigger chunks of food down, so I’ve been more comfortable letting him naw on those bitter biscuits.Â Turns out he loves them!!Â I have to break them in two though because he ALWAYS gets excited and throws the first part down on the ground in the first ten minutes.Â I was wasting whole cookies because he’d throw them and that’d be the end.Â Now, I break them in two so that if he throws them, I still have another half to give him.
The only other thing to report is that in the past month, Bean Man has grown so much!Â He is now wearing nine month clothes consistently and they fit him great!Â He had to get all new jammies because his feet were poking through all his six month footies, so we went shopping last weekend and bought him the cutest nine month jammies.Â When I brought them home, Chris looked at them and said, “He can’t fit into those yet!”Â They looked so BIG!Â But when I put them on Bean, he fit into them perfectly!Â Growing like a weed, that kid.
All in all, nine months old has been fantastic.Â And it flew by!Â I feel like I was just writing the eight month post yesterday!Â I can’t wait to see what ten months brings us!!!
Our move to Florida is so darn exciting.Â I can’t wait to live closer to my parents.Â I can’t wait to have Chris’ sister over for dinner.Â I can’t wait to see my Grandma more often.Â I can’t wait to see sunshine and warmer temperatures.Â I can’t wait to see Chris step into a role that he has always wanted in his career.
But before any of these things can happen, I have to accept a few things first.Â And those few things aren’t easy pills to swallow.Â They are worthy of the weight they put on me because it will be worth it all in the long run, but right now it just feels like a weight.
First, the saying goodbye to people has started.Â And that just sucks.Â There’s no way to sugar coat it and I haven’t been able to find the silver lining on that part yet.Â It just plain stinks to say goodbye to people.Â Chris and I have loved living in Connecticut, so far from everything and everyone we grew up with and around, because it gave us independence.Â But we truly, honestly could not have made it the five years we’ve been up here had it not been for certain, special people.Â People who supported us with their friendship and encouraged us with their kindness.Â We have truly been blessed with wonderful people while we’ve been here and saying goodbye to them – to each and every one of them – breaks little pieces of my heart.Â I know that with technology these days its not like we’re saying goodbye for forever.Â And I know that Chris and I will visit and that some of them will even visit us, but its just not the same.
And that makes me very, very sad.Â There’s not another word for it.Â No better way to say it.Â It just makes me so very sad.
While saying goodbye to our friends weighs on my heart, quitting my job weighs heavily on my shoulders.Â I haven’t been unemployed since I was sixteen years old.Â I have never left one job without having another one lined up.Â And that reality now – especially during this economy – is hitting me hard.Â Chris and I quit two good-paying jobs and sold our beautiful house to move to a place where we have a rental home for six months and one job lined up.Â I keep telling myself that this is just part of the transition – I’ll find a job and we’ll buy when we get in the area – but it is still such an unsettling thought.Â We have a stable, solid foundation here in Connecticut and we are leaving that during one of the worst recessions in my lifetime.Â While we are financially able to do this right now, this is not a decision that is like Chris and I to make.Â We are practical, rational people.Â We look before we leap.Â We plan ahead and we make good decisions.Â We prepare for rainy days and we expect the worst and hope for the best.
We have three savings accounts for crying out loud.
So, the idea of us leaving the stable comfort of our first home to head out into a sea of the unknown just makes my stomach churn.
Everyone is asking me if I’m excited.Â They want to talk to me about palm trees and suntans.Â And I have those things on my mind, too, and I’m so excited about them that I sometimes swear I can smell coconut.Â But before I can celebrate that arrival in Florida, I have to prepare for my departure here in Connecticut.Â And the logistics of that have given me a minor case of cold feet.
But maybe the worst part about the cold feet is that I can’t really talk to anyone about it.Â I feel like since I asked Chris to do this, I need to be the constant cheerleader for this decision.Â As if momentary cold feet or moments of hesitation are going to undo everything.Â So, instead of talking about how these things are really bothering me and weighing on me, I just smile and laugh and make jokes about being neighbors with Mickey Mouse.Â And I think that adds even more weight because I am not normally a private person.Â I don’t normally keep a sane thought to myself (or insane ones either, for that matter…).Â And not talking about how scared I am I think is making the situation even worse in my head.
So, tonight I am going to talk to Chris about this.Â I’m going to tell him that I’m scared.Â That I sometimes worry we are making the wrong decision.Â That I feel lost without a job and without a permanent home.Â And I know he’s going to want to talk to me about how irrational those things are and how we made this decision together and how its the right one for our family.Â But I’m still going to talk about these things.Â Because they are on my mind.Â And because talking helps me think through situations.Â And because in these situations, you have two choices.
You can deal with them alone, in your own head where they get bigger and bigger and take on a mind of their own.Â Or you can talk through them – however irrationally – with your spouse and together the two of you can bring those fears down to size.
I am so nervous and scared that I’ve gotten myself frozen.Â Unable to pack and take care of details because I can’t give anything my full attention before these fears begin to weigh on me.Â And so tonight, I’ll talk them over with Chris and then tomorrow I will be able to move past them and on to sunshine and tan lines.
Last night I talked to Chris like I said I would.Â And it was a great conversation.Â Short.Â Simple.Â Honest.Â All the necessities for a great conversation in my book.Â Chris said he had the same fears sometimes, but that when he got nervous and anxious about all the change, he just thought about Bean.Â And how wonderful this move would be for his life and, in turn, how wonderful that would make all of our lives.
Perspective is important in a marriage.
Today when I woke up I had a little more of a spring in my step.Â I felt a little lighter.Â So, on my way home from work, I impulsively pulled my car into the CVS parking lot and I had a moment.
A moment of weakness, some might say.
A moment of poor judgment, some might say.
But, I’d call it a moment of clarity.
Normally, when I buy candy or chocolate for myself, I find an excuse.Â I’m already in line at the grocery store with a buggy full of groceries, might as well throw in a little somethin’ extra.Â Or, I’m already in the coffee shop ordering a tea, might as well throw a little piece of chocolate from the counter display in with my order.Â I’m a sucker for impulse buys.Â Especially the edible kind.
But this stop at CVS was just outright.Â Loud and proud.Â It’s how I roll.
I walked right in there and didn’t even pretend I was there for anything else.Â I went straight to the Easter candy aisle and I started grabbing handfuls of candy.Â All too quickly, both my arms were full.Â But did I stop?Â Did I give up?Â Did I throw in the towel?
No, I did not.
I walked all the way to the front of the store, candy in arms, and threw everything into a basket and then took the basket back to the candy aisle and filled that basket to my little heart’s content.
I had no reason.Â No justification.Â No pretenses.Â It was just me and the chocolate bunnies.Â Raw, I tell you.Â It was raw and hardcore.
I bought all my favorites…Â Cadbury Eggs…
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs… (which we all know are just giant Reese Peanut Butter Cups and if there’s anything better than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, its GIANT Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups SHAPED LIKE EGGS…)
And I had to buy Chris’ favorite, the Russell Stover marshmallow eggs, so that he didn’t judge me…
There may also have been malt balls involved, but those didn’t quite make it home.Â Or out of the CVS parking lot.
So, in conclusion, the moral of this story is the following:
1.Â I have a good husband.
2.Â A good husband doesn’t necessarily make the road any smoother, but he walks beside you the whole time reminding you of what you’re walking towards.
3.Â There is no situation that isn’t immediately made a little better by chocolate.
This is my last week of work and so I thought in honor of that bittersweet ending, I would take you on a tour of my little office.Â Its a pretty small office so the tour won’t take long.Â Please keep your arms and legs inside the tour bus at all times.Â Thank you for your cooperation.
This is my desk.
See those keys sitting there?Â Those are the keys that I lock in my office at least once a week.Â And then I have to call the one other person who has the master for my office to come let me in.Â And sometimes, she’s not on campus and so I have to sit in the lobby and read the newspaper until she gets to work.Â Seriously.Â Once a week.
And that lamp on the corner?Â The cord hangs off the back of my desk and I always catch the cord and knock the lamp on the floor.Â And every time the lampshade pops off and the light bulb breaks.Â I kept thinking that I should move that lamp, but its been three years and there it sits.
This is my pen holder.Â It is actually a big candle holder from Halloween.Â But it holds a LOT of pens and supplies and so I put it on my desk and turned it into a pen holder.Â Voila!
This is my computer.Â Where all the magic happens.Â And those are my post-it notes where I keep important things such as the phone number to the deli up the street.Â See that little pink box?Â Â That is a cute little going away gift from one of our faculty.Â Inside are cake bites.Â I haven’t unwrapped them yet to find out what cake bites actually are because they are wrapped in beautiful gold paper and I don’t want to open them.
And underneath that expense report on my computer screen is a picture of Bean Man in a diaper, fat and giggly.Â Sometimes in the middle of a particularly busy workday, I’ll minimize everything on my computer screen and just take a peek at Bean’s belly.Â It makes me smile.
This is the other corner of my desk.Â That’s my inbox on the top.Â Its where I kept anything I was working on.Â Most of the time, my desk is fairly clean.Â I don’t work well surrounded by paper and so I like my space to be as clear as possible.Â That means that sometimes it looks like I have nothing going on.Â But in reality, there were a lot of things happening, they were just all piled in that inbox until I could get to them.
And see that notepad under that memo sitting there?Â That is my brain.Â Seriously.Â Anywhere I go during my workday, I have that notepad with me.Â Its where I write EVERYTHING.Â Between you and me, I have a really bad memory.Â Really, really bad.Â If I don’t write it on that notepad, chances are I’m not going to remember it.
This is the top drawer in my desk.Â It holds anything I use on a daily basis.Â Mostly, that’s post-it notes of all sizes.Â I love them.Â I couldn’t live without them.Â I need them.Â Also, that staple remover?Â I use that quite often because I like to staple things and my boss likes to paper clip things.Â So, I staple things until I have to give them to him and then I pull the staples out and throw a paper clip on them.Â Weird?Â Sure.Â But it worked and we were both happy.
And see that gray calculator?Â I use it to do simple math.Â Math that I really should be able to do myself.Â Math like if I have an invoice for $190 and $20 of that is deductible, how much is the balance?
(crickets, crickets, crickets)
Hang on, let me get my calculator.
This is the drawer below that other drawer and its where I hoard office supplies.Â And keys.Â I have a ton of keys that I have inherited over the past three years.Â Some of them – most of them – I don’t even know what they go to.Â I also randomly hoard highlighters.Â Which is weird because I don’t really use a lot of highlighters.Â And note cards.Â I bet I’ve used four note cards in my entire time in this job and yet I have, like, twelve packs of them in this drawer.
But this drawer is the mother load.Â This is my junk drawer with personal stuff in it.
Like these Life Saver mints, which I always forget that I have.Â But boy does it make my day when I remember they are in there!
And these instant oatmeal packets. Just add a little hot water from the water cooler and on a cold morning, you’re suddenly warm and toasty!
And these are my cough drops.Â Without them, I would sit in meetings and cough until I had properly infected every person in the room.Â Thanks to Bean Bean, I have become much more prone to sickness this year (that’s what you get when you birth a carrier monkey) and so I have just accepted my fate as one of those people who always smell like menthol.
And, of course, there are the sanitizing wipes.Â (See the previously reference carrier monkey)
This is my family wall under my window.Â I have two pictures of Bean Man.Â See that taller picture of him in the back?Â That’s his fall school picture.Â Isn’t that funny???Â They took school pictures in his daycare.Â If you look closely, you can see the red rim around his lips where they yanked the binky out of his mouth right before they took the picture.Â I love that.Â And there’s a picture of me and Chris, a picture of Lucy Goosey on a beach, feeling the wind in her ears.Â And then there is this…
My BFF Emily made this for me a year or two ago.Â Its a salt shaker for happy thoughts.Â You just sprinkle them all over when you’re having a bad day.Â She got all crafty one Saturday and made this for me and I just love it.Â Who knew a little salt shaker, a little ribbon, and a couple sequins could brighten your day?Â Thanks, Em!
This is the art that I picked for my office in the first month or two.Â I work at a music school and I know NOTHING about music, so I was really intimidated about picking art for my walls.Â When I found these prints, I thought they were perfect.Â My abstract style, but in the right area.Â And I loved that they had jazz instruments because I am a big fan of jazz.Â But – guess what!Â WE DON’T HAVE A JAZZ PROGRAM AT OUR SCHOOL.Â So, here I am with jazz art on my walls and that is the one area we don’t instruct in.Â Perfect.
Along those same lines, one time in the first few months in my job, I was working with a group of staff on a concert that we were planning.Â Someone had the music selections listed on a piece of paper.Â Next to one of the sheets of music was the name of the composer, “Anon.”Â So, I snickered and said to the group, “Anon?Â What?Â Is that person too good for a first and last name?Â Like Madonna?Â Or Meatloaf?”
“No,” said one of my co-workers.Â “That stands for Anonymous.”
Sometimes I really wonder how I got this job and then how I survived in it!
This is probably my favorite part of my office.Â This is the poster from Yale’s 300th anniversary.Â It is a photograph taken of the bell tower on Yale’s campus.Â Students managed to hang a handmade flag of a smiley face on the tower.Â And it just so happened that streamers from the celebration drifted up to the bell tower this clear, fall afternoon and blew in the breeze just as the picture was taken.Â I think it is such a wonderful dichotomy:Â the old and the young, the traditional and the spontaneous.Â I love this picture.
So, that’s my office.Â That is my office.Â That was my office.Â That will be my office until Friday.Â And then I will box it all up and have it to take with me to my next professional home.Â And when I unpack these little trinkets and doodads, I’ll think about this office and the people who came and went through my office door every day and I’ll smile and remember how truly lucky I was to work at such a wonderful institution.