Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween!

It’s Tuco’s first Halloween! Originally, we were going to dress him up as middle management, but we figured that might be a little too heady for the age 0 to 1 set.

Unfortunately for Tuco, he had no say in which costume he’s wearing, so he is going to be a rooster. Once Halloween is over, I will continue dressing him like this until he outgrows the costume. It’s just too cute not to see him in this again and again. Just kidding. Or am I?

Coincidentally, my all time favorite David Sedaris essay is called “You Can’t Kill the Rooster” about his foul-mouthed, yet kind-hearted brother. It’s worth a read when you need to laugh. This has nothing to do with Tuco, but it doesn’t always have to be mommy-this and tummy-time that, does it?



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The Al SwearenJar

Confession:  My husband and I are potty mouths.
Issue: We don’t want Tuco to have a potty mouth.
Our Solution: The Al SwearenJar.

My husband and I realized that we have to break our bad habit of swearing. We’re trying not to be “do as I say and not as I do” parents, so we can’t be swearing up a storm all the time and expect Tuco not to do the same. We have to break our habit now before Tuco has the verbal skills to repeat what he hears, though I fear there is a pocket of his brain that retained all the bad words he’s already heard us say.

After discussing how we can’t be s!@##y parents and continue talking like f!@#ing a**holes all the f!@#ing  time, we decided a swear jar is the best solution. The brilliant phrase “Al SwearenJar” came out of my husband’s mouth. Of course this is a reference to Al Swearengen, a character on HBO’s series Deadwood. (I know the reference really should be to Al Swearengen, a figure in American history, but our only connection to him is television.)

Though he was a villain, we fell in love with Al Swearengen immediately. This guy could speak a string of cuss words that sounded like a Shakespeare soliloquy. Really, I’ve never heard swear words sound so eloquently beautiful.

And yeah, we get the irony of  Al Swearengen being the face and inspiration of our Al SwearenJar. That’s what makes this dumb idea so fun.

Here are the Al SwearenJar rules:

  1. Every time a bad word is said in front of Tuco, we have to pay 25 cents.
  2. This rule does not apply if Tuco is not in our presence.
  3. It also does not apply if a profanity is exclaimed as a result of an accident like stubbing a toe or closing a drawer on a finger.

You can tell how much time I had to invest in the jar’s creation by the crudely applied scotch tape over the picture and label. My husband says it’s awesome, so I guess it’s a job well done.

As soon as the jar was created, my husband immediately put in a dollar as a down payment on his inevitable swearing. He currently has a credit of 25 cents on that dollar. I’m down 50 cents and still have yet to put my money in. I will keep you posted on our progress.


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Tuco Laughs!

Watch Tuco laugh with his dad. Hearing Tuco’s little voice make belly laughing sounds melts my heart every time I hear it.


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For Now Tuco Shall Bring Us Together

Tuco turned 6 months old today, and it was a hard day for him at first; he had trouble sleeping, and he was unusually fussy.  It was a rainy day, and I think his demeanor was partly due to having a little cabin fever. I had this suspicion because I felt the same way.

We needed to get out, so I put him in his car seat and loaded him into the car. I wasn’t sure where we were going, but I knew we had to go somewhere. I started driving towards a mall, but as I drove, Tuco whined and cried. Not wanting to be too far from home in case his fussiness was caused by a bug of some sort (and also because I’m not a big fan of malls or long car rides with a screaming baby), I turned the car and started driving away from the mall. We ended up close to our library, and I thought that would be a perfect place to take him. There would be enough activity to keep Tuco occupied, and I could browse the new books and pick up some picture books for him too.

I had Tuco strapped onto the front of my body in his baby carrier, so he could face outwards and see all the action. As I took a book off the shelf, a woman noticed him. I could practically feel the delight oozing from her heart as Tuco smiled and made his little Tuco sounds at her. Before long, the three of us were giggling together in the middle of the library’s stacks. We ended our chat, but Tuco continued to look the woman’s way and tried talking to her as I perused the books.

When I was ready to head on down to the children’s area, we walked by the woman’s table. We said one last goodbye, and an older gentleman came over to get a smile from Tuco too.  Now we were a group of four, and the three adults were helplessly hypnotized by Tuco’s charming ways.

Eventually we parted ways, and I finally picked up some books for Tuco. As I climbed the stairs to get to the check out desk, a passing boy, probably around 10 years old, got a smile from Tuco, and the boy said, “He’s so cute!”  I thanked him and shook Tuco’s arm at the boy to indicate a wave goodbye.

In the car ride home, I thought about these people I never would have interacted with if Tuco wasn’t there.  Being a little deprived of social interaction is probably part of it, but it felt really nice to meet new people in my community and share in something that made us all happy.  And Tuco must have needed a little heart warming too because he dropped his fussiness act once he had the chance to have a friendly chat with some new faces.

So happy 6-month birthday to Tuco, whose sweetness never ceases to amaze me. I wonder if people will be so quick to interact with this kiddo when he’s screaming “No!” at me and throwing his library books all over the place as he spazzes out over something like me insisting on tying his shoe. I know those days will come–I’m not completely blinded in this current honeymoon of parenthood.

Note: The second picture is by Rebecca Gizicki of Francis Marie Photography. Just one in series of fantastic Tuco portraits she shot.


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Tuco in Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season.  It’s not freezing cold, and it’s not blazing hot. Plus there are trees changing colors and fall decorations are abundant. If you take me to a place that has cornstalks adorning light posts, bales of hay surrounded by pumpkins, and fresh taffy apples for sale, I will be happy. I couldn’t wait to share this season with Tuco, but I think Tuco had other plans for our Autumn activities.

We took Tuco to our town’s last farmer’s market of the season. There was a scarecrow contest, apples, gourds, and pumpkins. What did Tuco make of it? He cried. As we waited in line to buy kettle corn, a child behind us pointed out Tuco to his mom. The mom suggested that the little girl smile at Tuco and maybe Tuco would smile back. Instead of smiling, Tuco decided to stick out his bottom lip for a few seconds, and then he began to cry. I wouldn’t say it was the best time Tuco’s ever had.

Shortly after that, I took Tuco to the zoo for their fall festival. What kid doesn’t love the zoo? I’ll tell you which kid: Tuco. Well, it’s not that he didn’t like it. It’s that he just didn’t give a rip that he was surrounded by animals–live, furry animals that he has never seen before. I made special efforts to take him out of his stroller to give him a closer look at them, but he looked every which way without glancing at any animals. What kind of life is this kid going to have if he doesn’t learn what a llama is?

The last taste of Autumn I tried to give Tuco was the pumpkin patch. My husband and I brought him to a farm and sat him in the middle of a sea of pumpkins, but he wasn’t interested in looking at or touching them. However, he did spend a few minutes picking at the grass the pumpkins sat in. Was the grass particularly interesting? In my opinion, no. But Tuco seemed to like it.

This most unflattering picture illustrates how I imagine Tuco felt about these Autumn outings (note the drool of boredom that hangs from his mouth to his shirt). I don’t know what I expected Tuco to do though–he is only 6 months old.  I guess I’m just obsessed with exposing him to new things, so he can soak them up into his little spongy baby brain.  Or am I too eager for Tuco to love the things I love doing, so that we can be best friends forever? Hopefully we can meet somewhere in the middle soon.


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