Friday, October 30, 2009

He would not eat cheesy pasta at day care, but he's munching roasted red pepper hummus with daddy. He's a very interesting baby.
Babies cry for a reason. It works. It provokes a physical response in the caregivers. It's the only way that babies have to tell us that something is wrong. I don't like to hear my baby cry. Normally, it makes me want to provide care and help him.

Then there are times like this. It's been a sucky week, just sucky. I could certainly plow the vocab farm for a more descriptive and even melodious word, but it's really just been sucky. I am exhausted and not feeling well. I am sad about my cat.

And on the way home from picking up Pete at the airport, when Finn started crying, it provoked the other response. The one we are not supposed to talk about. The sighing, oh-jesus-not-again response of a parent who has spent the better part of the last two nights awake, alone with a sick, crying, thrashing baby.

Pete's on duty tonight. I'll fill in with the necessary boob at the appropriate moments, but then I'm off the clock. I'll delve fully into the suck-y-ness of this week later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday's List

Here it is. We'll see how I do by the end of the day:

1. Get Finn to day care.
2. Clean up high chair area (seriously, it's a disaster area).
3. Do dishes.
4. Clean out fridge (see #2).
5. Vacuum living room.
6. Sweep all floors.
7. Cook food for babywhumpus and mama.
8. Go to co-op for milk, chick peas, and half-half (That's the list so far. It may get bigger as I decide what to cook).
9. Buy Guinness (see last night's post re: Bud Light).

Monday Morning Report for Daddy

Finn's normal routine is that he's asleep by about 8:00 p.m. and doesn't wake up until midnight at the earliest. Last night, he was exhausted and fell asleep rather quickly while nursing. I read and waited out the obligatory 20 minutes and went to put him into his crib. This usually works for me, but oh no no no, not last night. He was very upset. After two tries at this, we came out into the living room for a little Lefty snack. I repeated the process and took him in after thirty minutes. This time it worked. It was 9:00. He woke up at 11:00.

I can only guess that he was wanting daddy.

I slept with him in the bed in his room. At one point, his feet were on my chest and his head against the wall. He's a very active sleeper, but we did ok. We got up for good at 6:48, got dressed, packed the diaper bag, had a boob snack, and hit the road at 7:38. He sang until he fell asleep, and we checked him in at day care at 8:06. Only Ellery was there, and Michael was still getting breakfast together, so we talked about nutrition and brain development while he got Finn his oatmeal, chicken quiche, and tomatoes. I left at 8:30 and arrived home at 8:45. Now, it's 9:11. I have folded the rest of the diapers, tidied up the diaper area, and put a few dishes away. Max is sleeping atop the basket of clean laundry, Hazel is perched on the floor next to me, and I am having my coffee (decaff), while listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and recovering from my first outburst of Fritz Missing.

It's just too quiet.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vacation? Day 1?

It's 9:05 p.m. I have just gotten The Boy into his crib, I am drinking a Bud Light because it's the only beer in the house, and this is not the travel journal it was supposed to be.

I'm by myself. Two of my favorite boys are gone, one of them forever, and the other favorite boy is asleep. Pete is somewhere in the air between Seattle and Vancouver, and his cell phone won't work when he arrives. It's just me. Mama duty for the work week.

I could have used his Sandman skills tonight, as Finn, though very tired, did not want to be asleep in his crib. He did not want me to leave him, and he probably wanted his daddy, who often gets him to sleep at night after The Routine begins to cast the bedtime spell. It took me an hour and three rounds of nursing, but he's in his bed, and I have a few minutes to catch up.

Well, not entirely. I am not ready to write in detail about the events of the past two days. I am still in disbelief. 20 years... no. I can't think about it right now.

My travel journal should have been about otters, mountains, and excellent shoe stores. We had decided to use disposables for this trip, and I am sure there would have been much confessing about that on my part. I was dreading parts of the vacation, but still looking forward to it. It wasn't what we wanted, being separated like this, and especially for this reason, but here we are. So my travel journal is going to be about staying home and working through this. It will be here to tell Pete what we did while he was away.

We played.

Drank some water.

He also ate some food. It was a wasteland of pasta and sauce that I will clean up tomorrow. No pictures. Too messy.

One of us posed.

And one of us had a bath.

One of the remaining cats is sleeping in one of Fritz's spots, and the other seems to be watching for something.

The other human in the house is trying to wind down to "The Two Towers" (sorry darlin', I had to) while the second wash runs on the diapers.

This beer is warm.

And it's in a can.

Friday, October 23, 2009

We Haz a Sad

September 6, 1989-October 23, 2009

Change of Plans

(But keep the flying advice coming.)

Our oldest cat, Fritz, is doing very poorly, so Finn and I are not traveling at all, and Pete will be leaving Sunday instead. (Many thanks to the airlines for the 1800 + 300 they wanted to charge us on top of our 1200 in order to change our flights to Saturday. It makes perfect sense to me, really it does.)

We will take him to the vet at 2:30, and realistically, I don't expect him to return home with us. He's 20; I doubt there is much they can do for him at this point.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flying Baby

OK, parents out there. We're taking our first plane trip on Friday.
This is how I feel about it:

Tips? Tricks? Medication recommendations (for me)?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feed Yourself

Because I am sick of doing it.

When my friend Greta's kids were small, and I was childless, she used to complain that she hated feeding them. I thought it was hilarious. I mean, you gotta feed your kids, she's a good cook, and how hard can it be? Her kids were a bit of a pain when it came to eating, I guess, and they did not want whatever it was that she made, kind of like how republicans don't like whatever it is President Obama makes. They won't even taste it. In the case of Greta's food, I can't believe it, as I love her food. In the second case, I'll reserve comment for kittywhumpus.

Now, here I am, in the kitchen, with my son strapped into his high chair. He jams as much finger food as he can into his mouth, and when it's too much, he pushes it all out like a perverse little Play-Do fun factory. When he's mad or done, or he just does not like what you got, he thrashes and pushes the spoon away.

I hate it.

It is not charming.

I think it's because breastfeeding is so no-fuss and relatively no-muss. Just whip it out and insert into mouth. Aside from the occasional biting, it's a pretty sweet deal. Getting food ready, cutting it into bits, or spooning it into his baby bird gob is not nearly as easy or clean.

So he wants to do it himself?
Fine with me.

The best thing about day care?

They feed him.

Perspective Check

I was having a bad time getting The Boy to sleep. He was not co-operating at all, and Pete was at rehearsal. It was all up to me.

I brought him out into the living room, telling him that I did not know what to do for him, while he sat and cried.

We sat down on the couch, and he nursed. I watched "Darwin's Darkest Hour" on PBS.

Just in time to see the death of his young daughter and the death of his little baby.

There's nothing wrong in this house.
We're fine.
And The Boy is asleep.
For now.

(Almost)Famous (Green) Raincoat

The boys, this morning. It's been raining for days, which is good.

Now, I am off to pick up babywhumpus for his one-year follow up with Children's Hospital, Minneapolis. I get to see the new building and everything. Then, his first (seasonal) flu shot. Hopefully.

Tuesdays have been busy lately.

Put Me in the Zoo

When Finn was still in the hospital, I started buying books. We already have many, many books from my childhood, but I wanted to get some board books that he could start chewing on as soon as he came home from the hospital. I reproduced a couple of my favorite titles: "Put Me in the Zoo" and "Ten Apples up on Top."

Imagine my dismay when I found that these were expurgated versions, made simple for early readers.

Pardon me, but wasn't that the point of the original books?

I really noticed it in "Ten Apples," where the deletions make the narrative spotty and confusing, leaving the reader to wonder "Where the hell did they get roller skates?" but that's another review.

"Put Me in the Zoo," in its original form, is a multi-layered tale full of whimsy and magic. The expurgated version bills itself as a book about colors, but the original tale is about so much more. It's about matching your skills to your career; it's about understanding your ability and identity and figuring out how you can best contribute to society; it's about overcoming personal criticism to find that which makes your soul complete. It's about a talking dog-cat who can put his spots onto other animate and inanimate objects.

The expurgated version does not have the same confusing narrative lapses as "Ten Apples (abridged)," but the story loses its full vigor and depth with the cuts.

Finn loves it. It's his favorite book right now, the one he brings to us with his questioning "Ah? Ah?" We have to read it over and over, sometimes going back to the beginning when we are in the middle of the story.

Luckily, in the abridged version, this does not really hurt us.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Bump

No, really.

Finn had his first really good bonk today, leaving him with a developing third eye. I am totally going to tell everyone he got into a bar fight so that all the other babies won't mess with him. We put some ice on it while he was nursing, and administered some Tylenol in case he gets a hangover, but he recovered very quickly, as he usually does when he gets hurt.

Once I was assured that he was not bleeding into his brain or going cross-eyed, he was free to play about the house, which he did. He is now having his morning nap, with daddywhumpus.

I am killing yellowjackets, which are making a last-ditch mass exodus into the house through the basement in response to the colder temperatures outside. It's an insect graveyard in here, with little yellow and black corpses laying about everywhere you look, some still twitching feebly. I don't feel very bad about it, as I have been stung twice; once when I stepped on one, and once when a little bastard flew up my pajama leg. That was a good one.

It's autumn, and... crap... there's another one...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Little Cheesecake fer ya

I think that Pete may be a bit jealous of all the pantless freedom that babies enjoy.

It's not that there's nothing going on...

Having a baby changes your life.

And in other news of the obvious: the earth is round, gravity works, evolution is happening right now.

Pete and I were sitting on the couch watching "America's National Parks," and Finn was asleep in his crib, in his room, and I thought "We are never alone." Sitting on the couch, watching educational and interesting television was much different two years ago. It was just Pete and I. Now, no matter where the boy is, it's never just me; it's never just Pete and I. The boy is always with us.

Finn had his one-year follow-up eye examination on Tuesday, so I plucked him out of day care and whisked him out to a medical care complex in an inner-ring suburb. Premature babies are at risk for eye troubles, though Finn has always checked out completely normal. He did well on his little tests, though he mostly just wanted to grab the things being held up, not just look at them, which is, I am certain, quite common.

Then, they dilated him

I had no idea that this appointment was going to involve dilation. He had his drops, and we returned to the waiting room. Thing is, Finn was already done with waiting, and as I thought this would be a rather quick trip, I had no toys, diapers, or water with me for the boy's amusement and care. Motherhood: fail.

We talked a bit to another mom, there with her four-and-a-half year old daughter, and I got my perspective check for the day. The little girl has brain cancer. BRAIN CANCER.

Things in our life are absolutely rosy. Peachy-keen, in fact. No problems.