February 25, 2006

Marveling over the Inane

For all that being a stay-at-home mom can be viewed as drudgery (whether you're living it or observing someone else live it), there are some amazing plusses in my life because of it.

I took Nathan on a walk to the park a few days ago. He was in the Snugli front-carrier, facing out (his preference). I tried zipping my jacket up over his front and arms so he'd stay warm, but he insisted on having his arms out where they could grab things. I bent down a few times to pick up things and hold them close to him to explore: a handful of snow, which he thrust his little fingers into; a stick, that he grasped and tried to insert in his mouth; and gravel, the sound of which seemed to catch his interest as I let it fall through my fingers. I managed to climb the narrow stairs of a curly slide, squeeze the two of us through the child-sized opening at the top - without hitting Nathan's head on the bar overhead - and slide back down to the ground.

When I am in a peaceful state, I think I observe more detail than many people do. Even without Nathan, I would easily marvel over grains of ice and snow. Because of Nathan, though, my observations increase enormously. He matters to me, and therefore what interests him matters to me. Tumbling clothes in a dryer (why do I normally walk right past that fascinating montage of swirling color?), the small grains of dust caught in my dog's hair... I wouldn't see these things if I wasn't watching Nathan so closely.

Watching him play today on the floor, I realized that I envy him his unapologetic life. He doesn't consider someone else's misunderstanding a reason to feel hurt; he's currently impervious to ridicule or derisive laughter; he doesn't for one minute think it might be stupid to put dog hair in his mouth to see what it tastes like.

I wish I could keep that quality in his life. I want him to care about others, but I know he'll also care about others' perspective of him. I know already that I can't protect him from hurt. I know when I tell him during his teen years that he is unique and special and that trying to be like everyone else around him isn't the path to joy, he will discount my words just like I and scores of other kids discount their parents' words. Parents are supposed to think you're special. It's their job.

There will be times, possibly several years, when he is embarrassed to be seen with me in public. My hope is that some part of my wonder, my delight in the little things in life, will leave a deep enough impact in the early years that it calls him back as an adult...

I don't care whether he's 8 or 58: I want him to keep playing - though if he's still trying to put dog hair in his mouth when he's 58, I'll express my concerns.

February 23, 2006

Working Children

OK, so this week's been even crazier than last... I not only got Nathan's cold, I got an ear infection and apparently reinjured my neck (I herniated the disc between C5/C6 in my neck a little over three years ago; it stabilized with steroids, so I didn't have to have surgery - now the injury's back). Once again, pain in my shoulders, radiating down my left arm, and some tingling sensations in my thumb and first two fingers on my left hand (the bulging disc was pressing on a spinal nerve).

I came away from my doctor's appointment Monday afternoon with antibiotics (for the ear infection), steroids (for the disc) and painkillers (to keep me happy throughout). Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday I was on 60mg of codeine every four hours. I was a very happy girl... I kept looking at Trent and telling him how much I loved him. He kept laughing at me and shaking his head.

I'm trying to wean myself off the Tylenol 3 (the stash is getting low, for one thing), but I'm still wearing a cervical collar in an attempt to keep my neck immobilized. It's amazing how much more I appreciate my body's ability to move when it's restricted. There are a couple of times I've had to feed Nathan by Braille - I can't see what I'm doing or how he's doing!

Now that I've excused myself for the lack of posts, I had to share this picture my sister sent me; it sends me into cackles just looking at it. Makes me want to get one for Nathan:

The text accompanying the picture is this -
"After the birth of a child there's always the temptation to say, 'Yes, it's cute, but what can it do?' Until recently the answer was simply 'lie there and cry,' but now babies can be put on the payroll, so to speak, almost as soon as they're born.

"Just dress your young one in Baby Mops and set him or her down on any hard wood or tile floor that needs cleaning. You may at first need to get things started by calling to the infant form across the room, but pretty soon they'll be doing it all by themselves.

"There's no child exploitation involved. The kid is doing what he does best anyway: crawling. But with Baby Mops he's also learning responsibility and a healthy work ethic."


February 17, 2006

Home, (Almost) Sweet Home

Great - now I'm sick.

Since I don't feel up to being terribly creative (and who knows how long I have before Nathan's up from his nap), I thought I'd share pictures of the house we're in the processing of purchasing:

In the words of the merchant in the movie Aladdin, "Do not be fooled by eets commonplace appearance..." - Thees is no ordinary house!

It was built in 1964, and some of the decor (which hasn't really been updated since then) reflects that:
Love that carpet - and the stove has an analog timer mounted on top of it, plus that always necessary feature in a kitchen: an upper electrical outlet for a kitchen clock!

This fixture has already been claimed by my brother-in-law; the light can be extended or retracted from the ceiling mount as desired... he said he'd give us an IKEA fixture in trade. I think this one will go over better in San Francisco anyway, so have at it, Brian. : )

It's a small house - two bedrooms, one bath on the main floor and another bathroom in worse condition (a steel shower with rust patches to prove it!) in the basement.

What do we like about it? Good location, good price, good-sized rooms, fairly easy updating we can do, and (for me) storage, storage, STORAGE! Seven closets:

Four good-sized storage cabinets (in addition to three walls' worth of cupboards in the kitchen):

-Even a basement workroom for Trent:

We're waiting to see if our loan application goes through, but if it does, we'll tear out carpet, install flooring, paint all of the upstairs rooms, do some electrical work (I love being married to an electrician) and put in new appliances.

Yay! Our own space to own and cuddle and boss. I've missed having our library of books since we moved here... Most of them have been boxed and in storage since May. True torture for bibliophiles like we are.

February 16, 2006

Another Gourmand on the Loose

So... this last week wasn't just adjusting to a new sleep schedule for Nathan (he's rarely awake for more than two hours at a time this way, but he's a lot more cheerful for those two hours!). In the time since I've posted, he finally finished the meds for his first ear infection, got his latest cold (and 2nd ear infection), got shades of Trent's abdominal infection (Trent stayed home from work Thursday, Friday and Monday, which means he was really sick). And Jasper (one of our dogs) was sick. Ever try getting cough syrup down a 60-70lb. dog's throat? I recommend a loving, trusting relationship before attempting it - particularly if the dog's teeth are sharp. -Oh, and we bought a house.

I've been pretty busy. Really busy. "Too busy to post" busy. It's not my fault.


Trent is now better, Nathan's on a second course of antibiotics (Amoxil last time, Cefzil this time - somewhere it must be written that children's antibiotics must be flavored a sugary bubble gum pink, which requires the most permanently staining pink dyes this world has ever seen. Oy.) and Jasper, too, is better.

I'll post pictures of the house some other time (maybe even later today, depending on how the afternoon goes), but I wanted to post pictures of Nathan's first experience with solid food.

He's been eyeing our food as we eat for a while, and recently started reaching for glasses, sandwiches, spoons and anything else that seemed food-like. I sat him in his feeding chair on Valentine's Day and made his first bowl of rice cereal. Play with the water temperature, cereal consistency - all so that bowl of sticky glue-like stuff is just perfect for putting in my child's mouth. I seriously think you could stick the bib to the kid using cereal alone.

I read in some baby reference/publication that if you give the kid a spoon of their own to hold, they don't grab for the one you're using to feed them. I gave Nathan his own little yellow spoon (that I remember using as a kid), but he chucked it over the side of his chair, reached for the spoon I was using with both hands, and rammed the spoon and its cereal contents into his mouth.

So much for the delicate eating worries:

Please note that at least one hand is "assisting" me in each picture. He seemed worried I wasn't going to get it to his mouth fast enough. If I took too long between spoonfuls, he would solicit food by leaning toward me with his mouth open.

Look out, world. Another gourmand (concerned with quantity rather than the gourmet's concern of quality) has been created.

February 05, 2006

Life by the Hour

My apologies for the lack of posts... We're putting Nathan on a new schedule, courtesy of Dr. Weisbluth. I'm sure I'll love the difference in Nathan when it's finally in place, but implementing it is hard. He's basically sleeping or I'm trying to feed him/interact with him from 7 a.m. until he goes down to bed ~6 p.m. [yawn] Now if only I could get in better sleep habits...

In an act of saving face, try reading this post and see if you're as flabbergasted as I was when I read it. If ever I needed proof that our lives are too hectic and too work-focused, this would be it.

I'll get back to posting when I've figured out where little things like laundry and cleaning and meals fit.