Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Everybody Else Is Doing It

Everyone else is doing it, so I thought I'd join in. Doing this made me realize how incredibly uninteresting this blog has been on a pretty regular basis. Ugh. Sorry. I also have some thoughts on 2008 as it wraps up but they will have to wait as I am currently pumping.

January: Like many people out there, I harbor some decidedly negative feelings toward 2007.

February: This is the post where it becomes obvious that I am a bit hormonal (and a serious bitch when it comes to nit-picky points of grammar, some of which may be more matters of preference than rule anyway).

March: So our internet connection is finally up and stable again (plus, Com*cast put in a new cable modem and phone line today), so there may be another flurry of posts from me.

April: Some new Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds film was filming across the street from my office late last week and yesterday.

May: But tired and disappointed.

June: The doctor sent me an email today regarding the bloodwork results, saying that while my numbers were low, they were not very low, especially for a pregnant woman.

July: Stuff to Say did this one already.

August: I feel like I have a lot to say, but I don't have a ton of time to say much of anything right now.

September: I'm still here, and it's looking less and less like Lou will be making an early appearance.

October: Because I continue to struggle to find a way to post (Harry has reflux, so he spends quite a lot of time being held, as he spits up almost instantly when laid down flat -- and often does so when held as well), rather than post nothing, I'm going to be okay with short posts.

November: Well, I may end up doing a lot of photo posts, but I'm going to attempt to do Nablopomo again this year, mainly to force myself to post more often.

December: Late last week, P opened the back door to let Buddy out without checking to be sure there were no other dogs out there.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas, everyone! What follows is a not-so-brief recounting of our Christmas so far, parts 1 through 3 (of 5) of Harry's first Christmas.

This year, we decided not to do the whole eight-houses-in-four-days thing. It seemed a bit much to ask of an infant. Sadly, though, my grandfather is too old/frail to travel, so we weren't able to eliminate much driving but were able to spread it out a bit more. So we will do five houses in seven days (four down), which seemed a slight bit more reasonable in the planning, though weather resulted in very poor driving conditions thus far, turning what should have been 8-8.5 hours of driving into 14 hours or pure suckage.

Saturday, we headed to my grandfather's house for Christmas part 1. What is normally a two hour and forty-five minute trip took four hours because of the snow. Harry miraculously slept the whole drive. We cursed the situation anyway, and then felt like we should have been thankful as it took us six hours to get home on Sunday. Seriously, snow? I hate you. We debated stopping forty-five miles from home and getting a hotel room, as it was starting to get ridiculous on the roads. Instead, we stopped when we were 15 miles from home, as the baby was awake and we both had to use the bathroom. I changed and fed Harry at the rest stop and then somehow the roads had cleared up enough that we got home in 25 minutes. It was our Christmas miracle.

It was pretty awesome to see my grandfather with Harry. Papa was often a pretty awesome grandfather -- he read us stories from books and made others up for us, elaborate tales of a mouse called Squeaky. He was an expert hand-washer -- so good that we looked forward to getting scrubbed up by him before meals. And his love for my grandmother, who died twenty-six years ago, has always stood as a example to me of how amazing and powerful love can be. That said, he was also, on occasion, a bit of a bully. Sadly, as the years have gone on, he has become increasingly unwell health-wise, though he has stayed fairly coherent -- no small feat at 92. And with those years has come a tendency to say exactly what he thinks at any given moment, often very loudly due to his increasing deafness, with little regard to the feelings of others, really exacerbating his bullying tendencies. So I wasn't really sure what to expect from him. It turns out, I needn't have been concerned. He was so excited to get to spend time with his great-grandson. He really doted on him, calling him the little prince and kissing his hands over and over. Whenever Harry was out of sight, my grandfather immedietely asked "Where's the baby now?" And Harry seemed as excited as his Big Papa was, all smiles for him. Christmas number one was exhausting, but I am so glad we made the trip.

Christmas part 2 was our annual "family Christmas", which has expanded over the years to include P, my brother's wife, and my dad's wife. (We hit traffic for this one too, though it was just traffic and not weather.) It was pretty low key. And that was fine with me. But we hit enough traffic on the way home that we only had time to run into the house, change Harry's diaper, change our own clothes, and run back out the door for what seemed like the longest Christmas service ever at church. P went (reluctantly) because I asked him too, and I'm now afraid that he'll never come again, which sucks since Christmas is such a nice service even if you don't think of it as anything more than the celebration of the birth of some baby two millenia ago. I love the music and the candles and the quiet beauty of it. Without it, Christmas feels so rushed and so commercial and so hollow. After Harry went to bed, we had dinner, then put together his main present from us, a jumperoo.

This morning, otherwise known as Christmas part 3, I put out the new stockings I got for us with our names embroidered on them, including one for Buddy (there's actually a great story about Buddy's stocking that I'll save for another day). We opened presents (almost all of which were for Harry -- mostly clothes, some books, and some small toys, much coming from the BabyCenter store clearance sale). Harry most enjoyed the gift bag that I had put a tie for P into. He loved to hold onto the handle and shake it. Ah, the simple things.

As you can see, though, he also loved the jumperoo. He's still a bit small for it -- we put the biggest phone book we have beneath it for him to jump on. But he doesn't know the difference.

So, it's time to make the sweet potato casserole and green beans for Christmas part 4 at Ps mom's house this evening, then home to sleep and get ready for Christmas part 5. My mom is coming here, which means more work but less driving and something that more resembles a routine for Harry.

I hope you and yours have had a good one.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Seventeen years ago today, my mom left. She sat us down in the dining room and told us that when we returned from celebrating Christmas with our grandparents, she would be gone and wouldn't be coming back. She meant in the living-in-the-same-house sense, and in that sense she was wrong -- she did come back for a few weeks in the spring, making a half-hearted attempt to work things out.

But in the more meaningful sense she was right. She never really did come back. Without my father, brother and me to keep her in check, she descended deeper into an alcoholic haze, one she seems to be in even when sober now. And there's been a distance in her eyes ever since then. Or maybe it was there before and I just didn't notice it. But I definitely experienced that moment as a turning point, for me for sure, even if not really for her.

And, sadly, this continues to be what I think of when Christmas Eve rolls around. Merry frickin' Christmas, mom.

On a more positive note, tomorrow I will wake up in my own house on Christmas morning for the first time in twenty years. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BabyCenter Store

In case anyone doesn't know, the BabyCenter Store is closing shop in January. Most/all of their inventory is seriously marked down. And free shipping if you spend $49 using the code FREESHIP49. I went on a bit of a spree. If you need something for yourself or for a friend, you might want to check it out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Exciting Evening of Tummy Time

In addition to holding his head up for over a minute, taking in his surroundings, Harry rolled from his front to his back tonight! (He then tried to do it again but no luck.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Three Months

Dear Harry,

Happy three monthiversary! To celebrate the quarter-year anniversary of your birth, your dad and I are going out without you for the first time -- a truly momentous occasion. Don't worry, Grandma is coming over to take care of you -- we aren't ready to give Buddy that much responsibility. She came over for a dry run a few days ago and did a fine job. And we'll only be gone for four hours; what's the worst that can happen? You're still awake when we get home? I suspect we have many years of permissive grandma nights ahead of us, so we might as well start practicing now.

At the beginning of this month, you had your two month appointment with Dr. E. While you were naked after being weighed, she had you do some tummy time, and we saw that you were a much bigger fan of tummy time when naked than when clothed. So all month, you've been doing naked tummy time every night before your bath. It's still not your favorite thing, but you will usually go for 10-15 minutes at a time instead of 5-6. And last night you figured out that tummy time could even be fun -- you looked up and saw your duck and hippo bath toys in front of you and smiled!

For your dad and I, one of the best things that happened this month was that you decided that the bouncy seat, rather than being the root of all evil, might in fact be fun. What made this so awesome? The fact that it has allowed your dad and I to eat dinner together again. And for that we are very thankful.

Another thing we are thankful for: sleeping through the night, which you have been doing since shortly before Thanksgiving. Yippee! I love getting a full night's sleep. You seem to as well.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, you celebrated your first one this month! Apparently crying the minute we sat down to dinner and not letting up until I gave up and took you upstairs to nurse you is your idea of a celebration. Don't worry, I promise I'll always love you, even if I have to miss a thousand Thansgiving dinners. On this trip, we were reminded that your sunny disposition is somewhat dependent on getting one or two good naps in each day. We own the DVD of The Happiest Baby On The Block but never got around to watching it since you already ARE the happiest guy around, but a napless you made us wish we'd brought it along, though I'm not sure what it would have told us other than GET THIS KID TO NAP!

Thanksgiving was also your first trip out of state, involving a three-hour car ride to your great-aunt's vacation house, and your first two nights spent away from home. I hope you took it all in this time, because we don't get invited to her place very often. You also met some new relatives, including one of your great-grandpas, and spent time with some old ones, like your cousin C.

Speaking of cousin C, know now that your dad and I will not be allowing you to eat ice cream for breakfast. Or straight from the carton. And we definitely won't let you do that, then have eighteen cookies for lunch, then five bowls of popcorn before dinner, even if we are on vacation. Cousin C learned what happens when you do that, and no one likes to throw up at dinner.

An exciting thing happened this month -- you made your first real choice (I don't think choose which toy to bat counts, since I think most of the time your choice was more accident than design). Apparently, given a choice between a wood rattle, a stuffed ladybug, and a bunch of links that are meant to attach your toys to your carseat, you'll choose the links (you're totally going to be that kid who prefers the packaging to the toy inside). They fit nicely in your hand, have a bunch of colors, make a cool sound when you shake them, and taste just yummy. Just know that you have a lifetime of choices in front of you. And most of the time, the options will not be all good ones that I have preselected for you.

I hope you always make great choices, and that any less than great ones you make have non-horrendous consequences and that you learn what you should from them. You learned from that first choice that you can always choose again. And sometimes you can choose two things at once. Like a bunch of links AND a ladybug.

We're really looking forward to celebrating your first Christmas and New Year's Eve with you this month! You don't know it yet, but you're getting a Rainforest Jumperoo for Christmas from your dad and I. You tried one out at your friend Js house the other day and had an awesome time, even if you couldn't quite reach the ground or figure out how to manipulate the toys -- having a cool view was enough. And hooray for that.

These past three months have been amazing, watching you learn and grow. I love you sooo much and am so excited to see what the future brings.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dog Bites Dog

Late last week, P opened the back door to let Buddy out without checking to be sure there were no other dogs out there. There were two (much bigger) dogs on leash in front of the house, and Buddy left the yard to bark in their faces. P heard the barking and called for Buddy. He came running right away. P went to apologize to the woman walking the dogs and make sure she was okay. She said she was and walked away. She failed to mention that her dogs had bit Buddy several times.

Clearly this was our fault, since even aggressive dogs have to go for walks and our dog should either have been on a leash or should have stayed in our yard (which he usually does when we tell him to, but we don't generally tell him to unless we see an unfamiliar dog coming, which P didn't as he didn't check). But the owner could have said something. As it was, the wounds didn't bleed right away, and he didn't stiffen up for a few hours, so it was a while before we knew something was wrong.

When I took Buddy to the vet, the vet shaved Buddy's shoulder and found what he described as a severe dog bite, along with several superficial ones. The big one was down to the muscle and required three staples to close (and will require general anesthesia and stitches if the staples don't work but we all wanted to avoid the risks of putting him under). He can't run or go for real walks or play until the staples come out next week. And he's on antibiotics and pain killers. Finally, because we don't have the other dogs' rabies vaccination numbers (which we would have gotten had the owner mentioned that they BIT OUR DOG), the vet has to assume the dog was rabid, so Buddy had to get another rabies shot even though he wasn't due for one for two years. He also can't be off-leash or interact with another dog for 45 days.

Our poor boy. He looks so sad. And we can't exactly explain why he can't do stuff. Looks like we're going to have to find the money to fence the yard, since keeping our very active dog on-leash isn't really a sustainable option long-term.