Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mission Accomplished

On Today's Agenda:

1. Ignore friend's instructions about which subway stations have elevators and then need to carry baby + stroller + giant bag filled with unnecessary crap up three flights of stairs.
2. Forget to refill diaper stash in giant bag filled with unnecessary crap and therefore be unable to change baby as he sits in a poopy diaper in nice restaurant.
3. Pretend not to notice the foul odor eminating from baby while eating in nice restaurant.
4. Repeatedly hand baby back bottle, sippy cup, Sophie, blanket, spoon, puffs after he chucks them on floor/ground. Germs are good, right?
5. Watch baby flirt shamelessly with saleswomen in Sephora.
6. Parlay baby's flirtation into numerous perfume samples.
7. Stare unabashedly at waiter who looks frighteningly similar to an ex-boyfriend except with the addition of a strange little clark gable mustache.
8. Spend an inordinate amount of time wondering why anyone would grow a mustache.
9. Eat an appetizer, entree and dessert at dinner and still try to justify stopping off for a slice of pizza on way home.
10. Watch Mr. Monk enjoy all the action NY has to offer. A box of tissues might still be tops, but NY is a close second.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Watermelon is key

There is a major east coast summer storm raging outside right now. Thunder! Lightning! We just don't get this on the west coast. The rain we get, but not with all the fun accoutrements. Of course, if the power goes out while I'm typing this I may not be quite so appreciative. We're in upstate New York, near where I grew up. Though I lived in NYC for many years before moving to San Francisco, I am torn as to which area I miss more (at least in the summer). I guess I am just a country mouse at heart--I love walking around the general stores in these tiny towns, checking out the one fancy home goods shop and eating the local pie maker's fare. Life is slower and quieter around these parts and it's nice to just let time elapse. We're playing board games, cooking dinners and having face to face conversations instead of electronic ones. Mr. Monk is trying new fruits and crawling on grass. None of us could be happier.

We also got to introduce Mr. Monk to his adorable new baby cousin this trip. He was born the last time we were in NY, but for some reason hospitals don't allow 6-month-olds into birthing rooms. You and your rules, hospitals. It was so incredibly sweet to see my son with my sister's. Mr. Monk thought he was the greatest toy ever! He kept batting at the baby and trying to launch off of him. Thankfully, the littlest one was nonplussed though he didn't much seem to enjoy the old finger in the eye trick. I can't wait to see them together in a couple of years. Something tells me we're going to need a bigger bubble.

This is our third stop in five days, which included visiting another cutey baby boy cousin, attending a wedding and many, many car rides (and an alarming number of u-turns). Thankfully, Mr. Monk has been sleeping well on so far, though he seems a little too excited for two-nap days. I mean, who wants to sleep when there are Grammies to play with and coffee tables to climb on? Tomorrow we head to the big City to see a mighty number of friends and family. Mr. Monk takes Manhattan!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hi, I'm Elana and I'm an overpacker

Someone once told me that after you are done packing for a trip you should give yourself ten minutes and then take out half the items in the suitcase. Yeah, but no. I consider it a great success if I manage to remove one article of clothing and even that involves major deliberation. What can I say? I like options. At least I do usually wear the majority of clothes I bring. This involves multiple costume changes that may or may not be the result of me trying to justify bringing multiple costume changes.

This used to be less of an issue. When I only had to carry my one suitcase, I could make it as heavy as I wanted. Now, I have to carry my suitcase, plus a tiny human and various baby apparati. Somehow the duty of packing Mr. Monk's suitcase has fallen to me even though my husband is a far more efficient, if a little forgetful, packer. Having to pack for myself and the child forces me to seriously ponder the merits of two wardrobes. Though we've gone on multiple trips with the babe, I still struggle at what he might need while away from his home that he doesn't even know is his home. Clearly I'm going to read to him every day all ten books that I now have sitting on top of his suitcase, right? Maybe I should reconsider the cloth toys. Or, better yet, just fish out an empty water bottle from an airport recycle bin since he finds those endlessly fascinating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poor Ricky

Last night (this morning?) at about 4 am either aliens invaded my home or the battery in the smoke detector started failing. The baby monitor went all paranormal activity on us. There was a weird ringing and the video feed flashed on and off. Mr. Schneed and I both shot right up. What the hell? Of course, I wasn't much calmed by the fact that when I looked at the monitor, I couldn't see the baby in his crib. He seems to know exactly where to crouch so that he is out of view. After a few absurdly scary seconds (was he struck by lightning?), my husband realized that it was the smoke detector and promptly fell back asleep. I, meanwhile, kept checking the monitor until a wayward little arm appeared on the screen.

I just watched the wrong ten minutes of "Boyz In The Hood." Dayum, that was a buzzkill. Such a great movie.

In other news, I'm fairly certain that I have never enjoyed anything in my life as much as I enjoy kissing the underside of my baby's chin. Who knew?

We're leaving on Friday for an east coast tour. When you live on the other side of the country, you can't possibly visit one relative without visiting them ALL. Thus, we will embark on a two-week long odyssee, with 1,2,3,4,5 stopping points. Yippee! Call me crazy, but I am soooooo excited to enjoy some heat, humidity and homecomings. Mr. Schneed can only think about the crabs (he's a Maryland boy). Mr. Monk has no idea what's coming.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life in the fast lane

Ever wish your hot dog could walk and talk? Now here's your chance to make dreams come true...introducing Happy Hot Dog Man! Definitely doesn't bode well for any future "don't play with your food" warnings. I'm thinking about having a BBQ just so I can bust these suckers out and start a real food fight.

This morning we enjoyed a scream-a-thon courtesy of Mr. Monk and his infinite lung capacity. Jury's still out on why, but the little guy straight up yelled for a good two hours when he first woke up. After going through our usual checklist--hungry? poopy? fevery? tiredy?--I finally figured he just needed to express himself. Loudly. Perhaps he's actually getting some teeth after all? They have to come some time, right? I imagine the gummy smiles aren't so cute past age 10 or so. This morning, while nursing, he chomped down on one of my special straws. I shrieked in pain and watched the babe's face crumble in horror. He immediately burst into tears--what? why? I thought I was the one hurt. The biting, combined with the tantrums, combined with the fact that he needs teeth to chew makes me think that one is coming soon. Or, more likely, five at once.

My husband is watching "Revenge of the Nerds" and laughing so hard he's practically snorting. Clearly I didn't marry an Alpha Beta.

Yesterday we took advantage of the heat to visit the one truly air conditioned place in San Francisco, the beach. The babe? His cuteness did enjoy. So much that he fell asleep.

Monday, June 20, 2011

When the cat's away...

First trip without the babe was a success! Granted, the baby daddy was here with him the whole time so I knew he was in good hands. What I didn't know is how easy it would be for both boys. I figured I'd come back on Sunday afternoon to a mess of a house, an exhausted dad and a baby clamoring for his mama. Only one of those actually came true and that's only because the dog decided that 5 am was a good time to start campaigning for a walk. Mr. Monk was an angel baby all weekend. The little traitor! I was secretly sort of hoping that he would be just a tad difficult to show my husband what I do all day. But, mostly I am glad that things worked out so well. That way, I can plan a monthly girls trip...hah, if only.

It was, in a word, awesome to be surrounded by adults for the whole weekend. There was little to no baby talk given that none of the other women had children. The lone pregnant woman seemed happy to ditch the pregnancy chatter for the weekend too. Highlights from the weekend included an intense discussion of whether having sex for three hours is technically possible (or pleasurable), a two hour long hike (walk) along the gorgeous northern California coastline, collaboratively cooking and eating a taco feast that featured no less than ten distinct dishes and nearly as many libations. And, of course, sleeping in until 8 and then GOING BACK TO SLEEP!

As much fun as it was bacheloretting it up, I did miss my family. Thankfully, Mr. Schneed sent me continuous pictures videos and texts detailing their adventures. Seriously, he took him out no less than four times on Saturday?! Some days I am happy if I manage to change both of us out of our pajamas. When I got home, we celebrated father's day by waiting for an hour and a half for pizza. Why no, I am not kidding. That's what the weekend's greatest dad wanted and that's what he got.

Two other random things I learned this weekend:

1. There are zebras in Mendocino (and sometimes giraffes).
2. Grilled leeks are quite possibly the most delicious thing ever.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where is the Babysitters Club when you need it?

How do you know when to call it a day with a babysitter? Ours is a sweet woman who seems to really enjoy spending time with our baby. When she shows up, that is. Unfortunately, in recent weeks that averages about 50% of the time. If you have someone babysitting only two afternoons/eight hours a week and she cancels one of the days, that is only FOUR hours a week of help! Four hours is not enough non-baby time for me. I realize how lucky I am to have any help while being a SAHM but, believe me, this is as much for Mr. Monk's benefit as my own. We don't have any family around here, so I have to hire someone so that I can go get my hairs cut/cavities filled/bras purchased without a baby in tow.

This babysitter has only been working for us for a little over a month, but she has managed to call in sick four times. I don't think I called in sick that much in my previous three jobs. My husband thinks that I don't react strongly enough when she cancels. If a grown woman tells me that they are sick and in pain, I don't exactly feel comfortable asking for a doctor's note. I generally don't enjoy being confrontational, but her unreliability is starting to become reliable. Hooray for the ability to be brutally honest in email format.

To be honest, I was sort of happy that the babysitter bailed this afternoon so I could sneak in a few more hours of strolling with my little man before I head away for the weekend. As excited as I am to laugh it up with some girlfriends, it will be so incredibly strange to wake up and not immediately be bombarded with his starving mouth. For 8 months (8 months on Saturday, whoa), I have spent nearly every one of my waking, and many non-waking, hours consumed with his care. Now, for two days, I only have to worry about the frequency of my own poops.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Is The Time To Remember

I just got off the phone with my 96-year-old grandma. She was telling me how she hurt herself today. Swimming. She overswam the backstroke and now her back was screaming at her. She was thinking that she probably should skip the gym tomorrow so she could get back to swimming over the weekend. Are you kidding me? She is amazing. I wish I could bottle her energy. Not to be outdone, my husband's 94-year-old grandma, who had BRAIN surgery a few weeks ago is now up and at 'em. Florida's water must be the true fountain of youth.

Earlier today I heard from an old friend with whom I hadn't spoken in months. I love those random chat moments on gmail. Sometimes the internet is a heavenly place. Amidst our playing catch up, this friend asked me how I liked staying at home with my son. I lived with her back in the years that I worked as a big firm lawyer in NY. Work hard, play hard to the extreme. I'm pretty much the polar opposite of that now. Aside from my initial identity crisis at about 3 or 4 months postpartum, I have mostly loved being a SAHM and enjoying my son's fleeting babyhood. It is so very much more exhausting and more thrilling than I could have imagined. Though I still have a little trouble responding to people's questions about when I am going back to work, that's primarily because I have no idea. I will be doing some temporary, part-time work this summer for my old office, which should give me a sense of life as a working mama. I'm most excited about the thought of getting dressed before noon and having dinner waiting for me when I get home--that's the way it works, no?

Mr. Monk's playgroup went to the California Academy of Sciences today. It is a glorious place filled with neon fish, sea dragons and an albino aligator. Needless to say, the babes squealed with delight pretty much the entire time. Here is mine trying to become one with the fish universe.

Definitely a day to hold onto.

And "Footloose" is on tv now. Does life get any better?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just curious

* Does my insanity workout still count if I eat three different types of fried food for dinner? At least one of them was a protein. I think.

* When does the self-preservation instinct kick in? I'm pretty sure Mr. Monk would eat a butcher knife at this point.

* Is my babysitter trying to make me feel bad when she tells me that the other baby she watches, who is only a month older than mine, is already saying words? Not babbling, intelligible words. I'm still impressed by the occasional babble.

* Why is shopping at bed, bath and beyond always such a frustrating experience? Every time I go in there I feel like I enter a common senseless zone and barely make it out alive.

* At what point will the baby's grabbing of the dog's tail cease being funny to me? I love watching him jump with fear and delight every time it smacks him in the face.

* How is it that I have a dishwasher yet I spend about half my day washing dishes? I swear those pump parts are multiplying in the sink.

* Will there ever be anything good on television again? Actually, I take that back as I just remembered True Blood returns in just over a week.

* Should I feel bad that I am more excited about the return of True Blood than I am about the wedding I am going to that same day? It is a Sunday, y'all.

* Can you imagine a more perfect summer toenail polish color than this? It makes me think of a pool all day long as I stare at my feet.

* Could the temperature possibly be over 70 degrees again tomorrow in San Francisco? Two day heat wave! Yes, over 70 in SF is considered a heat wave.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Do Re Mi

You know what's fun? Waking up thinking that you have pink eye. You know what's even more fun? Breaking the coffee pot before you have a chance to make yourself some coffee and deal with your infected little eye. I know all about fun things today.

As it turns out (one trip to the eye doctor and $140 later), I do not have the pink eye. Hooray! I have a minor infection that is not contagious but is irritating, on many levels. The dr. flipped my eyelids inside out, which was a most peculiar feeling. It reminded me of the boys in my class who used to do that on a dare to freak the girls out. After she said that I shouldn't wear my contacts for two days, I told her how ugly I feel in my glasses. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I looked up and realized that she was wearing glasses. Open mouth, insert foot.

Perhaps the infection is payback for staying out on Saturday night and getting home later than we promised the babysitter. The wedding was lovely--good friends, good music and good cupcakes. It was held on a ranch in far out Marin. As promised, I dragged along my handy dandy pump and did my business in a friend's car during the dinner course. There was a deer right outside the car, staring at me as I pumped. I wonder which one of us would have been a more startling sight to passers by.

The eye doctor also told me that I should go and buy some new makeup. Apparently, you really are supposed to replace mascara and eyeliners every three months. Sephora, here I come!

Thanks for not giving me pink eye, mom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Reprieve

So tomorrow we have a wedding to go to up in Marin. It should be sunny, warm and FUN. I know it will be fun because it'll be the single longest stretch I've ever been apart from Mr. Monk. A whole 10 hours! I can't even imagine what I'll do with the freedom. Somehow I think cocktails and dancing in large quantities will enter the picture.

I'm trying to figure out how to camouflage the fact that I have to bring my pump to this wedding. I've pumped on a plane, in a car, in a public restroom, but I think this might just top that. I have no idea where I'm going to pump since this is an outdoor wedding. Maybe they'll have the extra fancy porta potties for this sorta thing. Should I even bother bringing a cute clutch to match my strappy sandals when I have to lug my big black breast bag? It should set off my coral dress nicely. Speaking of the dress, I wonder if it's a bad idea to wear silk when I know I have to be dealing with potentially precarious milking sitch. Living on the edge, my friends.

Being out most of tomorrow should be good preparation for next week's bachelorette party when I will be away overnight (maybe even for two nights)! As excited as I am, I know I'll miss the way he grunts like he's carrying on a conversation, the way he twirls his hands like he's conducting a symphony and the way he smiles at me like I'm the most important person ever, which I am to him...for now. But, luckily for me, I get to spend the rest of my life enjoying this boy so a few days off will be good for both of us. My husband, shockingly, is less excited for my upcoming break. He doesn't seem totally scared, yet. What man doesn't want a weekend alone with an eight month old for Father's Day?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spinach, apricot and yogurt

That's what I fed my baby for lunch. Sounds deelish, no? At first I started giving them to him separately, but then I figured I might as well up and whip 'em together. The baby food companies offer combinations that look and smell like vomit--beef, sweet potato and apple sauce; spinach, peas and pear. Why not just make some of my own and call it artisanal baby food? The more revolting it is to me, the more he seems to like it. Of course, we live in a city where one can buy a bacon maple apple donut or a prosciutto ice cream cone, so this is just training his palate for future culinary adventures. Tonight's dinner is chicken and watermelon mash. Just kidding, it's chicken and pears. Yum.

Feeding solids has been equally the most satisfying and frustrating part of parenting so far. I'll spend an hour making something that he'll eat one bite of (see picture of beets above, taken pre-revolt), but then he'll eat half an avocado straight off the pit. It is both interesting and annoying to see how Mr. Monk's taste differ from mine. I just assumed that he would love what I love and hate what I hate. Some foods, like the devil's sperm, mayonnaise, he is unlikely to have anytime soon because we won't allow them in our home. Actually, that is the only "food" non grata. Not coincidentally, I married a fellow mayo hater. I guess even if I'm not that not into a food, I should let him make up his own mind about it. A friend told me her pediatrician recommended giving her son a roasted lamb chop to suck on, so he gets the nutrients out without being able to swallow any chokeable pieces. Sounds like a prehistoric teething ring. Lamb is one of my least favorite meat treats, but maybe Mr. Monk will dig the lamb lollipop.

By the way, when did organic produce become a luxury item? Yesterday I went to Whole Foods and noticed that peaches were $4.99/lb. I knew that cherries were more expensive than gold, but peaches too? I spend a good portion of my non-income on produce. While I do think it's important to give Mr. Monk fresh, organic foods, this is getting ridiculous. It shouldn't be cheaper to buy processed baby foods than to make my own, which is what I'm finding. Time to start farming, or get a job at Whole Foods.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Insane in the Membrane

Mr. Schneed and I are now on Day 6 of the Insanity workout. Only one more day until we get a break! How did this happen?! I have never worked out six days a week in my life. Even before my wedding I only kicked it up to four and I felt like a maniac. I just keep thinking that this is the best (only?) time for me to do something like this since I'm unlikely to have a break while the boss naps at my next job.

My main issue, other than that it is the worst pain I've ever willingly felt, is that I hate doing it with the mister. He talks out loud during the hardest parts! Can you imagine anything more annoying? The last thing I want when I am sweating more than I ever thought possible is for my husband to tell me that he can't believe how much I am sweating. Listening to him moan and groan, not to mention watching him flail out of the corner of my eye, makes me laugh. And sometimes I pee myself from laughing and moving so hard. Just a little. But still. Childbirth- the gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Where did I put that bubble?

You know when you're in a restaurant and you see a mom come in and immediately move all the silverware and dishes away from a child's go go gadget arms? Well, we've reached that stage. In fact, we've probably been there for a while but I wasn't paying attention until recently. In the past week, I haven't been quick enough with my preemptive measures and Mr. Monk has knocked over three glasses of water and just this morning, a cup of coffee. At least I know for sure he's my son. Good times!

Maybe it's time to think about baby proofing after all. I've been waiting until the babe was actually crawling, though I'm now realizing that it might be best to have protections in place before he can get himself over to the top of the stairs. Somehow I just know that will be the first place he goes to explore. My mother now starts every conversation with "did you get the gates?" I win at procrastination.

A few months ago my mother-in-law gave me an article from the NYT about how dangerous coffee tables are. The article profiled numerous children who had been hurt by the evil piece and recommended that any home with children should be a home without a coffee table. I do admit the thought of Mr. Monk bumping his head on ours scares me, but not as much as not having anywhere to put our magazines, computers, phones, drinks, food, feet.

I decided to go with a friend's recommendation and have a consultant come to our house to tell us what a death trap it really is. I have a feeling this guy will be horrified at our steep stairs, open floor-level shelves containing every shape of glass known to man, bar stools serving as Mr. Monk's favorite thing to use for standing support, the aforementioned coffee table, exposed wiring and so forth. It might be easier to just move.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cocktails and Dreams

Nothing makes me feel more like an adult than coming home to find the babysitter has eaten all our snacks and fallen asleep on the couch watching bad TV. Never mind that my babysitter is in her late 40's and is someone's grandma. Every time she comes in and I'm running around half-dressed, trying to put the baby to sleep, I think I must be faking this whole parenting thing.

One of my first regular babysitting gigs was in high school for my younger sister's good friend. This family had a beautiful home, stocked pantries and...wait for it...a soda machine!!! The dad worked for Coke and they had a soda gun hooked up to their sink. I'm fairly certain that I drank more soda in the couple of years that I babysat for them than in the entire rest of my life. I remember their kitchen was basically all windows and I would see my reflection gorging on soda and candy. Even though I repulsed myself, I was powerless to stop. I mean, there was a freaking soda machine in their house! You don't get many opportunities like that.

I put myself through college babysitting with this service, It was the perfect job--they had to provide dinner, cab fare home and I never made less than $18-20 an hour (pretty crazy when you consider that's less than what I pay my babysitters now). One time I even got to meet Sarah Jessica Parker because I babysat for her niece and nephew. I had to bite my tongue to keep from calling her Carrie.

Almost every Friday and Saturday night, I would babysit on the Upper West Side from about 7 to 11, watch cable I couldn't afford, get a free meal, pocket the cab fare and then take the subway downtown to dance and spend my newly-earned dollar bills. Back then the parents seemed so accomplished and uh, old. They always wanted to hear about my dating life-too bad I had to make up the interesting bits. It blows my mind that some of my friends in NY now use the same service. My favorite nights were the ones when the wives would come home drunk and laughing. And that wife was me last night-smiling a little too big, talking a little too loud. I'm pretty sure the babysitter enjoyed my tipsiness as much as I did.

Apropos of nothing, here's a pic of Mr. Monk enjoying his favorite Hawaiian delicacy last week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Let's Go Crazy

After seeing so many beautiful bodies and beautiful people at this beautiful place, my husband decided that he needs to do something drastic to get in shape. And by he, I mean we because he isn't so good at the self-motivation. So, I was informed today that I will be doing the insanity workout over the next 60 days. My first thought was um, no. But, I have started to realize lately that breastfeeding isn't quite the workout it used to be. Apparently, the jig is up and I can't keep eating muffins and cupcakes every day and expect it to go right to the baby. I enjoy myself a good old endorphin rush now and again, so I figured I might as well try it. How bad could the first lesson be?

Pretty damn nuts, as it turns out. Before you start the program, you are advised to take a fitness test, which consists of 25 minutes of pure torture. Ostensibly, you are supposed to keep track of how many reps of each exercise you complete so that you can compare your results with any subsequent fitness tests you perform after beginning the regimen. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with the act of breathing while my heart was exploding to remember how to count. Basically, I failed the test. Guess that means I'm not ready for insanity, right?

The thing is, I kind of want to challenge myself. Since having Mr. Monk, I have regularly been going to spin but haven't stepped it up at all. This might actually be what I need to tighten things up without a trainer. Trainers scare me. I just hate the idea of someone telling me what I am doing wrong while I'm wearing shorts. That sounds like my worst nightmare--and then to pay $50/hour for that pleasure. No tanks. I'm not making any promises about finishing the 60 days, but I think I can at least try the real first day. That is, of course, assuming I can walk tomorrow.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back to life, back to reality

Oh, how I miss seeing this every morning when I wake up!

Back to the here and now. Mr. Monk is thisclosetocrawling. He moves himself all over by sheer determination. While spinning around to find the next item to drown in his mouth, he definitely uses his arms and his legs, though never both at the same time. It might be the most awkwardly adorable thing I've ever seen. Almost as cute as him rubbing his feet on the ground obsessively to shake off his socks. Why all the sock hate?

We spent a good deal of our last few days in Maui trying to relieve the babe's constipation. The poor boy would grunt, turn bright red and cry from the effort and get no satisfaction in return. After giving him all the natural stimulants I could mash, prunes, pears, papayas (the P fruits--so easy to remember!), I shouldn't have been surprised when he finally managed to relieve his bowels on the plane home. Four times! Yay! Even the flight attendants noted they had never seen a baby poop so much. Why, thank you! My boy's got skillz.

Moving on to an even more pleasant topic--I am scared of my period, y'all. Based on the state of crazy going on in my tum and my mind lately, I believe she's coming back with a vengeance. It's been so long since I've seen her that I've almost forgotten what a bitch she can be. For a while I thought I wanted to hang with her again, so I would at least know I wasn't preggo (I am singlehandedly keeping EPT afloat with all my unnecessary test purchases). Now I realize how good I had it when she was away. Perhaps she won't be so mean to me once she hears about my 24 hours of labor. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? You trade one pain for another? Ah, the joys of womanhood!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My son, the pick up artist

I always used to think it was sort of funny/sort of weird when moms of baby boys would say that they were “flirting” with me. I never heard anyone describe her baby girl’s smiling at someone as her being a little flirt. But, now that I am the mama of a total playa, I get it. He IS flirting with women. He looks at them, smiles, waits for them to smile, looks away for a few seconds, catches their eye and smiles again…if a woman stops paying attention to him midway through his game, he will just stare at her until the whole cycle begins anew. Although he does smile and play nice with the males, you can tell he's just going through the motions.

I’ve been watching this process (a bit too intently-I am on vacation after all) and definitely notice that he seems to care much more when the object of his smiles is a PYT. This boy has got some taste. It’s hilarious to watch our little Casanova work his charm.

The other day I met him and his dad at the breakfast buffet line after having gone to spin class (the effects of which were promptly canceled out by my eating enough for four at said buffet). When I walked up, I caught Mr. Monk in a serious smiling contest with a lovely teenage girl behind them on line. He was so beguiled (and beguiling) that he wouldn’t even look over at me until the girl turned back to her friends. I called his name and tried to get his attention, but he wasn’t about to let me cramp his style. Now I know I wasn’t looking too hot, being that I almost died in spin (grab another gear!), but am I already being passed over for the ladies? I suddenly had visions of my little man as someone’s prom date, boyfriend, husband. And then I realized how much I get to help shape the way he treats people. My son will be one of those rare guys who actually calls/emails/texts when he says he will, and he will be man enough to have that awkward break up convo rather than just fade away. My mother-in-law may not have taught my husband how to pick up his socks, but she taught him to be kind. I hope someday someone can say the same thing about me. And I know he'll clean up after himself because his mother is a neurotic neat freak.