Monday, June 30, 2008

Email from Nana

This is from an email I got from Nana last Thursday night. Her cancer is stage three, by the way.

"I think the main theme I want very much for you to internalize is that the news that I received Monday would be a great tragedy for anyone your age or the age of your Mom. I'll be 79 next month. I've said this before... we're terminal from birth. And I've certainly learned there are so many things worse than death. I'm certainly not ready to check it in... don't misunderstand... but that's just how it is. I'm going to play the hand that's been dealt. I'm planning to fight the good fight to the end, and hopefully with grace and good humor. But what will be will be."

Last Wednesday I scrolled through all 230 of the emails I've saved from her since I opened this email account. It's ridiculous, but I was actually crushed to see how few there were. I know 230 isn't few, but in my mind there were a lot more. With every word I read, I felt more panicked. There's so much more I want to hear from her. I'm not sure what exactly: wisdom and advice. Stories. Anything.

But I feel calmer now. More accepting of whatever happens. Grateful for the relationship I have with her, and all the correspondence we've shared. We're going to see her on Friday, I think, and I'm going to try to be as brave and positive as she always is. I know she expects nothing less.

Home, Tired; I'm Me and You're You

We're back. I don't think we've ever been so glad to be home, although E and I have both been tired and out of sorts today. (I feel the kind of tired where it's like you're drugged. Zero energy.) Road trips with a baby are tough; this was our first. Luckily, we'd purchased a new children's music cd--Laurie Berkner--before we left, so we didn't have to listen to the same cd of 57 classic children's songs that we've been listening to nonstop for four months (and that Eamon LOVES, by the way). We're about ready to gouge our eyeballs out on that one. But anyway, Laurie Berkner is great. My favorite song right now is "I'm Me and You're You." The first verse goes:

I'm me, and you're you.
I like green, you like blue.
I use tape, you use glue.
I stayed short, and you grew.
It doesn't matter what we do,
cuz I'm still me and you're still you.

It's super sweet. And frankly, I still struggle with the whole you/me concept even as an adult. I'm always shocked (horrified at times) to discover how different TJ and I are. I forget that he doesn't think exactly the way I do, and need the same things. But he really, really doesn't. Here I must insert, "And that's okay!" It is perfectly okay, it truly is, probably even good, but god, it can present a challenge at times.

So I took a zillion pictures at my mom's, but I'm just going to post this weird one from the drive home that TJ took that I find funny. There's another one that's much better of both of us, where we're looking at the camera and smiling, but I think this one says a lot more. We'd stopped in Waco at a Starbucks at Baylor University and spread a towel out on the grass to give E a break from the car. More about the trip later. Too tired now . . .


p.s. Eamon is nine months old today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sad News, and a Night Out After All

I got to go out with my girls last night, as it turns out. We went out to dinner and talked for a long time--it was wonderful. We were talking about how we all feel this urgency when we're together to cover every single thought or feeling that we've stored up or that comes to mind in the moment, as though we'll never get another chance to visit again. It's silly, but great. I know it will always be this way, no matter where we live. The fact that we ended up in Austin together ten years after college still blows my mind.

An hour before I left to meet them last night, I got an email from Nana (my mom's mom) with the subject line "Kick in the gut." And it really was. She has bladder cancer. She starts chemo and radiation as early as next week, five days a week, and if after six weeks there are still cancer cells, she may have her bladder removed.

I sobbed all the way to the restaurant last night. I had never considered the possibility of her getting sick anytime soon. My grandfather died last year of congestive heart failure and Alzheimer's; she had been caring for him for years (in Wimberley, where she still is) as he steadily declined. She's the toughest woman I've ever met, and other than having her knees replaced, she's never had any health problems. She eats well and exercises. She just seemed like one of those women who lives forever, at least into her nineties--sharp as a tack, plenty crotchety, and funny as hell. I guess it's possible that she'll still live into her nineties; I don't really know. I know that bladder cancer is aggressive, though, and I'm scared. I realize now that I was counting on her being here for years to come. (She turns 79 on July 18.) I'm closer to her than I am to my own mother.

Of course, I realize I'm lucky to have had her for this long, and to have hundreds of emails and letters that we've shared over the years. And I'm so happy she and Eamon got to be in this world together.

I suppose it' s not possible to ever have enough time with those you love.

Speaking of my mom, we're driving to Dallas tomorrow morning after E's swim class to spend the weekend with her and my stepdad (and my twenty-four-year-old sister, who's living with them right now). And my mom and David's three huge, untrained Alaskan Samoyeds. This is the first time we've visited them since E was born, not that we went much before that. In any case, it should be interesting, for a variety of reasons I don't have time to list here. We'll see how E does with the dogs and vice versa. I wonder if we'll get any sleep.

Eamon has been very high maintenance today. In fact, I gave him some Motrin a few minutes ago. I even just turned on some short animated films (I pretty much never let him watch any TV) out of desperation. I have so much to do before tomorrow morning, and aside from errands, I haven't done any of it. He woke up at 5:00 this morning and hasn't napped much, and he's been screaming off and on for no apparent reason, something I always attribute to teething. He also has several big red blotches on his face, and I don't know what they're from. Hmmm.

Okay, time to be productive.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun in the Bath

Eamon has become very adventuresome in the bath just in the past week (connected to swim lessons, I wonder?). Last night he got himself into this position and proceeded to kick his legs like it was going out of style. His mission to get on his tummy closer to the front of the tub started when he saw himself in the reflection of the tub fixtures and got super excited. Can I just say that it's hard to stay in a bad mood when you're looking at a wriggling bum like this?

Night Out? Not Exactly.

Last night was supposed to be my monthly girls' night out with Catherine and Shannon. It's been six weeks since the last one. And this time, I was bringing dinner for the three of us (thank you, Central Market prepared foods) instead of Catherine having to cook. I was soooooooo looking forward to the evening. Now that TJ works from home, he's usually been able to take E at 4:00 so that I can leave for South Austin and get to their place by 5:00. When I checked with him yesterday afternoon to find out what time he'd be able to take E, he told me he had this big conference call starting at 3:00 that could last as long as three hours. He had gotten pulled onto the call at the last minute and had no control over it (there are only three people in his company and two of them had to be on the call). He was hoping to bow out at 5:00 so that I could leave then. I was really annoyed at the thought of having to wait until 5:00 (thinking of traffic), but then realized it was unreasonable for me to expect him to be able to take E at 4:00 on a week day. So 5:00 it was.

A few minutes after 5:00, he came upstairs and told me they were taking a five-minute break and that the call was still going strong and could possibly last until 7:00. In other words, my night out was not happening. Catherine and I had worked hard to schedule this dinner around a bunch of other things, so it's not something that's easily rescheduled. We may try to do it next week, although C & S's niece will be in town from CA, so who knows if that'll work. I felt especially awful since I was the one bringing dinner, and Catherine ended up having to cook on a night she hadn't planned to. Ugh.

I went ahead and started E's bedtime routine. TJ got off the phone at 6:30, right as we were finishing up in the bath. He got E out and ready for bed so I could have a little break before nursing. He was very apologetic and clearly felt terrible. He said he knows how important it is for me to have time away, particularly with C & S. I really appreciated him acknowledging this, and I think it helped me not to hold a grudge. I was disappointed, but not mad. (In the past, I probably would've given him the cold shoulder all night, rightly or wrongly, but I think the horrors of his last job have put things in perspective for me. Last night was nothing compared to the endless nights of misery and stress that characterized our life a few months ago. I can't stay pissed off anymore over something like this. And I feel like we're both kinder and more respectful of each other now.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soup Swap

I went to a soup swap last night hosted by a childhood friend of mine, Amber. We hadn't seen each other in at least thirteen years, if not longer. She's active in the Austin Mamas and I was excited to see her and meet some Mamas (and swap some soup). The swap took place at her parents' condo overlooking Lake Travis. And yes, it's as beautiful as it sounds. It was interesting and fun, and I especially loved hearing tales and words of wisdom from the moms whose kids are older than E (pretty much everyone there).

Alas, I only ended up with three quarts to swap instead of the required six.

I'm not sure what went wrong; I think I accidentally loosened the pitcher from the rubber base it was attached to. I picked the pitcher up after blending, and the soup gushed out the bottom and went everywhere. I stood there frozen in shock, not even realizing at first that the soup was scalding my hand. (This was after I used the food processor, by the way, which I'd decided was too messy. Ha.) Then, while I was taking a break to compose myself, TJ added the coconut milk to the remaining soup. I'd left out two cans of it, and he poured them both in, which amounted to a lot more than the recipe called for. I decided at that point not to take the soup at all, but after some seasoning, it tasted surprisingly good (a little too much coconut milk, perhaps, but not totally overpowering), so I took what I had. It ended up working out; it just meant that I brought home three different soups as opposed to six.

Earlier in the afternoon, TJ had asked what had made me choose curried carrot soup, and I explained that I love carrot ginger soup (this is similar), but more than that, I wanted something easy since I always seem to screw things up in the kitchen and I couldn't afford to mess up this time. He thought I was being too hard on myself, but I told him to just wait and see--something was bound to go wrong. And sure enough! It seems funny now, of course. I guess.

Here's the recipe for Curried Carrot Soup (from Chow.com). I tripled the recipe, and should've quadrupled it.

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 medium clove garlic, smashed
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and smashed
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 medium bay leaf
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add curry powder and garlic, and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add ginger, onion, carrots, bay leaf, and broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until carrots are soft when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Working in batches, process soup in a blender until smooth. (Be very careful when blending the hot soup, as steam could blow off the blender lid.)

Pour soup into a clean pot and return to the stove over medium heat. Stir in coconut milk and adjust seasoning as needed.

To make appetizer portions, serve small amounts of soup in shot glasses or demitasses. Garnish with a few flakes of toasted coconut, if using.

Note: This soup can be served hot or cold. If you’re serving it cold, you may need to thin it with a little water.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Hot Day


We went down to the Austin Farmer's Market yesterday and then to a friend's 4th birthday party way out (for us) off 71 and 620. In between those two things, we bought some gifts for our little friend at Book People, ate lunch, nursed in the car, stopped for coffee, and went to two stores in search of wrapping supplies for the gifts. We had thought that we'd come home for E's afternoon nap, but it ended up making more sense to stay out and have the poor boy nap in the car when he could. Note to self: always pack extra diapers and bathing suits even when you think you won't need them. I carry sunscreen at all times, and a change of clothes, and am good about packing food usually, but we were otherwise fairly unprepared for the change in plans. I thought I'd already learned this lesson (and really I have): that change is the name of the game with a baby, and you have to be flexible and prepared for anything, because things rarely go the way you think they will. But I suppose another lesson is not to get uptight when plans go awry, and your baby has poured water all over himself (I know, water's so tame; just wait till he's a toddler, right?) and hasn't been changed in hours and has to ride forty-five minutes home in that condition. He didn't seem to care one bit, so I didn't either.

TJ and I had our daily, hundred-millionth conversation yesterday about how helplessly in love we are with this boy, how we can't believe he's ours to keep, and we get to be his parents forever, and we get to see his heart-crushingly beautiful face and chubby, cuddly little body every day, and hear his laughter, and witness all his goofy quirks and attitudes. It's still sinking in, almost nine months later, that he's here--even as new changes and discoveries happen every day. Will I still be processing his babyhood when he graduates from high school, or will I have worked my way up to middle school, at least??

Upper Teeth Begin Their Punishment

E was up every two hours last night, even with Tylenol. Ugh. I feel like crap.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weighing In, Ordering Food

This is probably really boring to read about (some would argue that babies are more boring, I'm sure), but since it's new to us and is consuming our daily life at the moment, I feel compelled to write about it. So, the diet. We went out to eat again tonight (we were originally going to be in Dallas visiting my mom this weekend, but it got pushed to next weekend at the last minute, so we had no meal planned for tonight). We've realized there are some restaurants we just can't go to anymore (like Hoover's) except for very, very special occasions; and as for the others, we'll have to order differently. Tonight we went to Fire Bowl. Oh, how I love the Chow Fun Wok Toss there. But oh, how I also love the tofu spring rolls. In the past, I would've ordered both, and a Shiner to boot. Tonight I got the spring rolls and a salad and no beer. The salad was very healthy--not all or even many restaurant salads seem that healthy to me (and I never, ever order one; I mean, except as a side; okay, and not counting Central Market). But this was light and simple. Plain grilled chicken and fresh bell pepper and green onions, mixed greens, and an ever-so-slight Asian citrus dressing. Oh, and peanuts--the fattiest things on there. I was very proud of my self-control in ordering and felt like I deserved a freaking medal for it, but now it's 7:30 and I'm starving. Ugh. The other issue is that it's next to impossible to know how many calories I ate. The food search tool on the calorie counting site we're using pulls up very specific items, like Sonic's chicken salad. Gag, no. I end up choosing the closest thing to what I ordered, but I have no idea if the calories really match. Then I add each ingredient, like peanuts, and guess on things like weight. I guessed I had a half ounce of peanuts, but who the hell really knows. All I know is that supposedly I've only eaten 1880 calories today, which means I have a few hundred to play with tonight, and I'm not wasting them on baklava. I think I'll have some cereal with soy milk. I want to feel full.

I know we shouldn't get bogged down in the details too much. The fact is that we're eating wayyyyyy less and much healthier, much more mindful, which is what's important. I asked TJ if he minded if I blog about his weight and he said no, so for the record, he's starting at 240. His target weight is 190 to 200 pounds, which is appropriate given his large frame and his height of six feet. The calorie counter came up with a weight of 165 for him, which is such bullshit. The only way he should ever weigh that, or could ever weigh that, would be if he had some terrible disease and were dying in front of our eyes. It also seems worth mentioning that everyone in TJ's family is overweight--both his siblings and his parents (who are morbidly so). When we visit his family, everyone comments on how skinny TJ is. In any case, it's a beautiful thing to see him committing to this. He's the driving force behind it. He's even given up sugar in his coffee. It's been over five years now since he had a beer, and over a year since he quietly stopped smoking (a pack and a half a day--and meanwhile I bitched incessantly when I quit smoking my four or five a day three years ago). The man amazes me.

Since I'm revealing his weight, it seems only fair to report that I weigh 117 and am a measly five foot one. My weight's not bad--I could weigh a few pounds less (who wouldn't want that), but I think 110 is too low for me. I've weighed that before, but only with the help of toxic levels of stress and anxiety. My goal is just to eat healthier, support TJ, not gorge myself (sigh), not gain any weight, and it sure would be nice to have a flatter belly. But we'll see. Tomorrow we're going to go shopping for some food that will support our new endeavor, seeing as how this week we've kind of been winging it.

Cheerily, then, my little man . . . she's got blood in her eyes for you.

I have Andrew Bird's song "Fake Palindromes" in my head at the same time as the poem "Barefoot Boy," by John Greenleaf Whittier (1855). (It was on the Writer's Almanac the other day.)

Here's an excerpt:
Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat:
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt’s for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil:
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin.
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

Meanwhile, from "Fake Palindromes" . . .

my dewy-eyed disney bride, what has tried
swapping your blood with formaldehyde?
monsters?
whiskey-plied voices cried fratricide!
jesus don't you know that you could've died
(you should've died)
with the monsters that talk, monsters that walk the earth

and she's got red lipstick and a bright pair of shoes
and she's got knee high socks, what to cover a bruise
she's got an old death kit she's been meaning to use
she's got blood in her eyes, in her eyes for you

Swimming Lessons

E's first swim lesson was this morning. It was a riot. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, but we learned quite a few things to do with the babies. Here's a list of some of the stuff we did: "If you're happy and you know it, splash your hands, kick your feet . . . "; kick, kick, kick, kick (said while holding them under their arms while they're on their bellies and moving in a circle); singing "Twinkle, twinkle" while floating them on their back (this didn't go over big with most); learning how to hold on to the side (long way to go on that one--very funny); pushing off from the side and then kick, kick, kicking back to the side; sitting on the side and jumping off--jump, jump, jump in the water, and then kick, kick, kick back to the side and repeat; rolling over from belly to back to belly (face out of water); grabbing and swatting at bubbles the teacher blew onto the surface of the water; watching mom or dad blow bubbles; holding baby under one of your arms, belly down, and then moving their arms in a freestyle motion. Oh, and pushing a ball back and forth to other parents and babies.

I don't know about other people, but 9:45 falls around the time of E's morning nap (generally speaking), so he was super tired to begin with and fell asleep in the car on the way home almost immediately. He nursed and went down once we got home and slept until 12:30, which has meant that he hasn't taken an afternoon nap today. But that's okay. We ran errands this afternoon and we're playing now and he's a happy guy.

Oh, I met another Austin Mama this morning (always strange but great to meet someone whose blog you read) and she seemed super nice (not that we got a chance to talk more than to introduce ourselves). She reminded me a little of my friend Keltie, who lives in Philly. I think there was another AM signed up for the class, but whoever it is remains a mystery to me thus far.

Counting Calories

We spent hours last night entering our calories for the day. At least it felt like hours. It was fun, though. We were dying of laughter at all the snacks I ate yesterday: low-fat cottage cheese, pretzels, Pirate's Booty, crackers, soy milk, nectarine, diet natural root beer. We were trying to figure out how I ended up with so many calories (over 3,000). It's interesting . . . I've always thought it was so silly when people refuse to put mayo on their sandwiches. Until now. I can't waste my precious calories on that shit! What killed us last night was that we got takeout from a Greek deli nearby. We always think of that place as very healthy. I got the plate of six sides, which was a bitch to figure out how to enter, and who knew falafel was so fatty? I know, I know, it's fried. We then came to our squares of baklava, which I've always felt was somehow not as bad as other desserts. Wrong! My square is still sitting on the kitchen table downstairs. I couldn't bring myself to eat it since my count was already over 3,000 for the day. But I'm sure as hell eating it tonight.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bonks

E rolled off our bed last night for the first time (and last, hopefully). It was really scary for him. TJ was getting his bath ready and turned his back for a second. He managed to catch him before his head hit the ground, so just his legs hit, but he cried a lot.

I feel like having the baby fall off the bed is a rite of passage--but still. Poor guy. And this afternoon he bonked his head on the tile floor in the bathroom. He didn't hit it hard, but it scared him and I know it didn't feel good. It's hard being a baby sometimes.

Calories

So TJ was talking to his friend Dagwood earlier, and it turns out that Dagwood has lost 23 pounds since January by going to the gym and changing the way he eats. He hasn't used a particular diet because he didn't like the idea of being forced to give up certain things (although he now chooses to not eat things like chips or cookies, etc.). Instead, he's basically learned how to count calories. After hearing him talk about it, TJ wants to do that instead of South Beach (which is music to my ears, to be honest--I'm a wimp when it comes to cutting things out completely). We're using an online diet log/calorie counter. (It's fantastic!) When I entered my info, it automatically listed me as eating to maintain weight as opposed to losing weight (based on my height and weight and approximate BMI) and it said I should be eating 1900 calories a day. (But that doesn't figure in breastfeeding, so I'm allowing 500 more calories.) I'm at 1592 now and haven't had dinner. I can't imagine how many thousands of calories I normally eat on any given day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Swim Schedule, No More Pumping

We've decided on a gym schedule. We're going to go Mondays and Wednesdays at lunchtime and take turns swimming laps while the other feeds E. Then we'll go one other time over the weekend. That's the most we can do right now, realistically. We might see about leaving him in the child care center at the Y and swimming at the same time--on Monday I recognized one of the child care providers and later placed her as a doula who sat in on our Bradley class last summer (and is an Austin Mama). That immediately made me feel more comfortable with the idea of leaving E there. Also, even though there are lots of older kids in the room, it looks like there were plenty of people to hold the non-mobile babies.

I'll also be going Friday mornings starting this Friday for a month of parent/baby swim lessons. I think it's going to be hilarious. I wonder if they'll teach us how to get them to hold their breath and go under water. That would be fantastic.

I'm feeling better about the cycle/breastfeeding stuff. Still a little uneasy, but better. I do think that E's cold caused my supply to drop and precipitated the return of my cycle. Suddenly I no longer have to pump at night, which is something I've been working towards a long time, so I guess I'm mostly happy about it. Yes, I am happy about it, what am I saying? I don't have to pump anymore! I'm free! And this morning we took down the drying rack next to the sink, which freed up a bunch of counter space. Cheap thrills.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's baaa-aack.

So. Yesterday, as I mentioned, I was really moody and emotional, way more than I admitted on here. I was sobbing in the shower and so forth--ridiculous--and in general felt like this silent, terrible gulf existed between me and the rest of the world. I also felt like my breasts were completely empty, which caused me to panic. And Eamon not only didn't want to nurse, but at one point was screaming angrily when I went to nurse him, and he flat-out refused. I could tell that it wasn't because of his cold. I was so upset, and I felt like we were frustrated with each other all day. I wondered fleetingly if my cycle might be coming back, which would account for the breastfeeding changes, not to mention my mood, but I highly doubted it since it hadn't appeared yet. I figured it wouldn't for months to come, or until we weaned. Then, last night, there it was. Doh! I couldn't believe my eyes. It's been so long.

I feel like I'm in shock or mourning something in a way. It scares me to have a period again, and I can't really say why. It brings back a lot of memories. It also kind of feels like the end of E's infancy and a signal that I won't be nursing him for much longer, relatively speaking. I don't know. It's just strange. I was so wound up about it last night I had trouble falling asleep. Since then we've had some sweet nursing sessions, so maybe the milk is getting back to normal, I don't know.

Part of me does feel good (relieved?) that my cycle's back. As though it's a confirmation that everything's in working order again.

I just can't believe how empty and lifeless my breasts felt yesterday. I guess that's what it'll be like once I stop nursing? And then eventually it'll just seem normal again?

In any case, this certainly explains what was going on yesterday, and it also explains some tenderness I'd been feeling over the past week or two when I nursed him. I thought it might have something to do with his teeth, but now I realize it was hormonal.

This is the kind of post that keeps me from sharing this blog with many people (not counting the Austin Mamas)!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day pics

Here're TJ and Eamon at Saba (our Moonshine Grill plans were foiled).

My gifts to TJ. The first is a little booklet of photos of him and E from E's birth until today. The second is going to be an annual Father's Day project. We'll take TJ's handprint with one color of paint (or maybe trace it) and then put E's handprint over it in another color and watch his little hands grow over the years. At least that's the idea. (The picture of their hands on the cover is one I cropped from a photo taken when Eamon was six weeks old.)

Father's Day, off to a tiring start

I got about four hours of sleep last night. It's really not worth typing out all the details. I will say that E woke up at 4:00 soaking wet, and then was wide awake after that, babbling in his crib forever and then falling asleep only for a short while. I got up with him at 6:30 and let TJ sleep in because it was Father's Day. Finally at 8:00 I went in and kissed him and said "Happy Father's Day" and asked if he would mind trading off for a half hour so I could get a little nap in. He said yes, but then promptly fell back asleep, and I didn't feel like waking him up again. It was my own choice, but I got pissed off anyway--I guess because he's a heavy sleeper and I'm a light one, which means if I need his help, I have to wake him up (and more often than not, I don't). It gets old. But mainly, I was just tired. I put E down for a nap at 8:30--he ended up babbling and playing in his crib--and I crawled into bed. With TJ snoring away and E babbling over the monitor, I found my mood descending lower and lower. I ended up waking TJ up and asking him to get E and take him downstairs for a while. It was too late for me to sleep at this point, and I was unreasonably emotional and pissy about it. I decided to take a shower, and while in there I talked to myself about how I'm in control of my mood, and how I owe it to TJ, the wonderful father of my beautiful baby, not to be sullen and bitchy on Father's Day. Amazingly, it worked. (I think the shower and the break helped too.) I'm still tired, but the moodiness is gone. Whew.

I can't wait to give TJ the gifts I made him. I think we're going to head over to the Moonshine Grill later this afternoon for an early dinner. This morning we're becoming members of that church I think I've mentioned before. I never thought we'd find a church that was right for us, but this one has everything that's important to us: kid-friendly, people of all ages, *super* liberal and vocal about gay rights and women's rights, accepting of other beliefs, critical of the larger church's agenda, etc. I can't say enough about the pastor. We're even going to have E baptized, which we had decided not to do, but then we saw a baptism there, and it was very, very sweet. More of a blessing and welcoming of a new little person into the community, a commitment to teach the child about love, and a celebration of the beginning of life's spiritual journey.

I better go. We need to eat breakfast . . .

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Changing Our Diet (Possibly), and the Cold Continues


This was our dinner tonight. It was so wonderful and summery, I had to take a picture. Nothing fancy, but oh, so good. TJ grilled the corn and salmon and made some lemon-limeade from scratch as well as some salsa that ended up being too hot to eat (but he said he knows what to do differently next time). I love being married to a man who loves to cook so much. I've been meaning to post about it, actually.

The Basmati rice was delicious. We're considering going on the South Beach Diet, and I don't think it would be allowed (it's the least of what I'd miss, though, to be honest). Hmmm, I don't know. Should we do it? I'm so weak when it comes to restricting my diet. But TJ needs to lose weight (he would ideally like to lose forty pounds, but I think it would be wonderful if he lost twenty) and I could stand to lose ten pounds myself.

As for E, he was so congested today, it was pitiful. The snot was literally bubbling out of his nose at times. Poor E. It was hard to wipe his nose efficiently, especially because he kept rubbing the snot all over his face whenever I would grab a Kleenex. He was so stopped up this morning, he couldn't breathe well enough to nurse. It was sad! We used the saline drops and tried suctioning, but it didn't do enough. Eventually he just kind of persevered and snorted and gasped his way through nursing for a few minutes. He woke up from his morning nap in good spirits, so we went to Central Market to eat and buy groceries for the week, and it seemed to do him good to get out. We ended up canceling our babysitting plans with Kay and Joel this afternoon. It just didn't seem right to have E coughing and dripping snot all over baby Jonas and his toys, and Kay encouraged us to postpone when she heard what was going on. I hope he sleeps well tonight. He actually had a fantastic night last night, despite his cold.

I better sign off--we're watching Battlestar Galactica . . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Cold, Falling Asleep with Grandma

I ended up taking E to the doctor yesterday because his cough had gotten worse and he was pretty congested. It's the first time the baby's had a cold, so I wanted to get him checked out, mostly for my own peace of mind. Dr. D looked him over and declared he has a nasty summer cold, but nothing to worry about. Today is the worst so far, at least in terms of his cough and runny nose, and he seems run down. His little eyes are red and watery. This morning he coughed so hard he puked up a bunch of the milk he'd just nursed down. Poor guy; he doesn't know what a cold is. He woke up a lot last night between 7:00 and 11:00, at which point we put saline drops in his nose (he FREAKED) and gave him some Tylenol, as Dr. D recommended. E weighs 22.10 pounds now (egad!) and can handle a higher dose, so that's good to know. He woke up at 2:45 and then at 7:00 for the day. So, not too bad, considering. I realized that he was mad at me after we gave him the drops (TJ held him down while I put the drops up his nose). I went to nurse him afterwards and he wouldn't look at me or latch on. At first I thought he just didn't want to (which never happens) or couldn't breathe well enough to suck, but he was very dramatic in the way he craned his head away from me, and it finally clicked that he was angry. For some reason it struck me as incredibly funny (and sweet). Of course, he gave in and started nursing within a couple of minutes--I guess you can't hold a grudge for very long when you're eight months old.

We were going to visit my parents in San Marcos today, but we're going to go Monday instead.

E did great with Grandma on Wednesday night. We'd planned on waiting until he was asleep before leaving for the show, but he was awake when I put him in his crib and it was already after 7:00. I was worried he would have a terrible time falling asleep (which is what happened last time we left him, two months ago), but Gwen only had to rock him twice before he put his head on her shoulder and conked out. What a relief. And he didn't wake up once before we got home--unusual these days.

I really hope I get a chance to post about the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile. It was an amazing night. I can't even begin to tell you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things TJ's mom told me about him as a child that I hadn't heard before.

He was potty-trained by two years, three months.

He crawled into his parents' bed almost every morning at 5:00 for many years. His older brother and sister didn't do this, and would make fun of him for it.

He loved the sound of pennies jangling in his pocket when he was two. His mom would give him two pennies when he'd go potty, and he'd put them in his pocket and walk around listening to them, or clink them together with his hand in his pocket. He never put them in his mouth.

His room was so messy (this was several years later), his mom couldn't deal with it. She would send his dad in with him, and would hear the door close and then hear TJ crying. :(

Something very sweet, and something not so sweet

I love it when E's nursing and he pulls off and looks at me for a second, and then he smiles, and a little milk trickles out the side of his mouth. It kills me every time.

Then there's this other thing that has just started happening: I'm trying to rock him, and he reaches behind my neck and yanks my hair as hard as he can. As I uncurl his fingers from the hair, he starts giggling, and when I say sternly, "Pulling hair hurts," or something like that, he laughs harder and tries to do it again. It *infuriates* me, even though I know he doesn't understand what he's doing. And so it begins . . . I didn't know this kind of thing started so early. So far, each time this happens, I use a serious tone of voice, and I immediately stop rocking him and put him in his crib and leave, hoping he'll learn that there's a negative consequence when he pulls my hair like that. (It's not like my hair is down when I rock him. He has to really work at pulling it.) Does this sound like a good strategy?

But back to the milk trickling out the mouth. I can't tell you how cute it is. It's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Da-da-da-da

This is my first video posting. Yay! E really stepped up the da-da-das today, and here's some evidence. He was really cracking us up. (The sound is a little staticky, not sure why or what to do about that.)
video

E fights a cold, Bill and Mary leave, house is blessedly peaceful

I'm not sure what's going on with Eamon. His temperature was around 100 degrees last night (not bad), and we were up and down with him all night, but by the morning the fever was gone and he was in great spirits. Around 11:00 this morning, he started feeling warm again (and whimpering a little like last night, so pitiful), but his other symptoms seem mild. The only noticeable one is a dry cough. I went to Target earlier and bought a humidifier and saline drops, etc., so that we're prepared for a cold if that's indeed what he has. So far he's fighting it off very well. He's asleep right now. This is his third nap today; the other two were short.

TJ and I are supposed to go see the Indigo Girls at Stubb's tomorrow night and my parents are set to come babysit. I really hope we get to go.

TJ took his parents to the airport this afternoon following a morning that did not lack for entertainment. I won't go into it all, but basically they ended up getting in a fight and it ended with Mary saying, "Guess how important you are in my life, Bill?" "Not very," Bill replied. "That's right," Mary said. TJ told them it was an inappropriate discussion for them to be having in our living room. They are Too Much. I honestly don't know why they stay married. They're miserable together (Bill's miserable regardless) and they harbor some serious resentment towards each other. Mary's always telling stories about what a jerk Bill is (stories going back 47 years, not that she's counting or anything!), and Bill is usually present when she tells the stories. It's uncomfortable. Meanwhile, he's always berating her for spending money and making travel plans that he wants no part of. And when they're home he plays poker every night while she sits home feeling lonely and hurt. It's messed up.

I'm going to try not to post much in the next few days (though I expect I'll post some pictures at the very least). I need to focus on putting the house back together, grocery shopping and meal planning, getting ready for Father's Day, and some other things.

Hmmm. I hear E coughing in there. It sounds like his cough is getting worse. Oh dear.

p.s. I swam ten lengths at the Y yesterday (Mary and I went). It was hard (sad but true) but it felt amazing. I feel like every muscle in my body got a workout. I'm a little sore today, but in a good way. I think we're going to try to go together and trade off hanging out with E while the other one swims. The child care center looks like it has too many big kids in the summertime for our little guy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sweepstaking, Food

I could write another post similar to yesterday with details of the past day or so, but I'm too tired. Some friends of mine who read the blog observed that it sounds like this has been an intense visit, but in reality every visit with Bill and Mary has its tales, I just don't usually have access to a computer. They're fascinating people to be around, in part because they're so (SO) different from us. It's hard to believe that TJ is their son. Today Mary had me stop by the mail drop so she could mail her sweepstakes entries. (She actually pays money to be part of a sweepstakes organization. She was telling me about how last month's featured winner won eleven trips last year.) The stakes she entered today features a top prize of $10,000, and then they give out a hundred $500 giftcards to Publix, spread among Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tenessee (so she imagines Florida gets twenty-five). She snuck away all the entry forms from her Publix at home because you can enter as many times as you want. I really wished I had a tape recorder for this conversation--what I'm saying here doesn't do it justice!

We went to the Y today, and I'm so glad, because by the end of a visit with them, I always feel like all I've done is eat. They're food addicts, and I don't say that with judgment because we all have issues, but it can be upsetting to be around people who are so deliberately unhealthy. Actually, TJ's dad is the only one who's deliberate about it. (He literally hides cookies and candy and then eats them when he's alone.) Mary, on the other hand, is always talking about eating healthy foods, but her idea of what's healthy isn't actually healthy at all. Or some of it is, but it doesn't matter when you're eating a bunch of other stuff on top of it. For example, they drink a ton of diet sodas every day, and they feel good about it because they're "diet." But diet soda is terrible for you! And TJ's dad is diabetic!

I could go on and on about this issue. It's so sad. To me it feels the same as being around an alcoholic. My parents have food issues as well (especially my dad), but Bill and Mary's case is extreme.

Uh-oh . . . . it looks like I need to sign off. E keeps waking up, and I think he might have a fever.

Gag

Can you believe that I threw out a bunch of raw chicken just before my in-laws' visit (and almost a week before the next trash day)? I don't know what I was thinking. It's in the trash can in the garage, but you wouldn't know it. You can smell it all the way upstairs. It is SO FREAKING DISGUSTING. Dead, rotting flesh--while we're all eating breakfast, for instance. Yesterday we double-bagged the garbage bag it was in, and today I sprinkled baking soda in the trash can and sprayed a bunch of Febreze everywhere. Not that any of it really helps.

It's almost comical to me, I must admit (put together with everything else).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tales of the Visit So Far

The trip to San Marcos yesterday went well, though it was very tiring. Gwen called in the morning to tell me that she was worried that their rickety dining table chairs wouldn't hold Bill and Mary's weight. She was worried about an uncomfortable situation happening, and wanted TJ and me to somehow (without them knowing) arrange for Bill and Mary to sit on the couch with their lunch on tray tables. TJ said they wouldn't want to and wouldn't be able to lean forward to eat (that hadn't occurred to me, but it's true), so we brought a couple of folding chairs instead. I'm not sure what chairs they ended up sitting on, but there were no embarrassing mishaps.

Gwen was also calling because she wanted me to warn Bill and Mary that Joel (who has schizophrenia) sometimes says inappropriate things to people, like telling you you're fat or that your breath smells or that you're sexy. I suppose she was worried he'd comment on their weight. He's told Gwen she's fat before, and my parents are like toothpicks next to TJ's (which is saying something).

So armed with this knowledge, we were off like a herd of turtles yesterday. TJ was frustrated with his parents that we got off to a late start. Then, in the car, they started making jokes about Joel. Asking if he lived in an insane asylum. Bill asked (jokingly) if he lived in the Southeast Los Angeles Home for the Criminally Insane. (He lives in an assisted living facility for mentally ill people outside of LA.) The two of them were feeding off each other and laughing. TJ finally said, "Hey, HEY. You need to remember that this is Gwen's brother. His name is Joel. Stop making jokes about him. It's not funny." I was grateful to him for saying this. He has the ability to be very blunt with them, and I don't feel comfortable doing that as their daughter-in-law.

My dad and Joel came out to meet us when we got there, and Joel introduced himself to Bill and Mary. I could tell he made them a little uneasy (it can be unsettling talking with him if you've never experienced anything like it before), but they handled it pretty well. At one point Joel told Mary that he'd seen her the last time he was there. She said, "Oh . . ." I almost laughed to see Mary speechless!

Gwen said that Joel had been agitated and antagonistic towards her this visit, and I saw that firsthand (it was disturbing), but he was very sweet to us. He took me back to his room and showed me his swimsuits, and I asked him about Grandpa, his dad, who died a year ago. Joel clearly understands that he's gone, but sometimes he talks about him as though he were still alive. He said he misses him a lot, and told me about how his dad had to grow his hair really long when he was sick so he could protect himself (or something like that). He also told me that "all of Mexico swims on the bluest side of the pool."

Anyway, there was a ton of food from the Salt Lick, so we all stuffed our faces, and ooohed and ahhhhed over Eamon, and Gwen asked Mary (who's a retired realtor) for tips on selling my parents' house, which has been on the market since last November. My little brother Angus showed me the new Ford Escape my parents just bought (I can't believe they did this; it's very out of character and I know they don't have the money for it). He'll be driving it until he graduates from high school next year, and he and I went for a little drive and talked. Then later my dad played us all a recording of Angus singing at a voice recital this spring. It was wonderful! (I've had to miss his various activities this year because it's too hard with Eamon, and he goes to school in San Antonio, but I plan to get to more of his stuff next year.)

In any case, it was a successful visit. Loud and non-stop (my head was spinning), but fine. We left around 3:00.

We didn't see Bill much after we got home. He sat downstairs while TJ and his mom and I sat upstairs watching TV. We invited him up several times. This is pretty typical of him even at his own house, but it's no less anti-social. TJ figured out today that part of it could be that his dad has a hard time getting up from the upstairs couch, so he moved a chair up here for him.

In other news (this post is way too long, I know), Mary is getting on TJ's nerves (mine too, sometimes, but I hide it in front of her). He's been very short with her at times, and she talked to me about it this yesterday afternoon. She said she feels like he's mad at her, and she doesn't know why. I didn't know what to say, because it's not like I can explain it to her. "Well, you're really annoying, and he can't deal with the things you say." She doesn't understand how she comes across. She asked me if I thought he needed some counseling. Ha! Probably, but not for the reasons she thinks!

The three of us watched FAST FOOD NATION last night. (The book was much better.) It makes me never want to eat cow's meat again, but I don't know if I have it in me. Mary retired early, soon after the movie ended. I think she might've gone in because of an exchange that she and TJ had. FAST FOOD NATION ended (on a pretty somber, unresolved note) and she said, "Well, that was a stupid movie." TJ looked at her and said, "What does that mean? What was stupid about it?" She refused to answer him and he kept pushing her, and finally she said she wasn't going to tell him because he would just pick it apart. He replied that she's the one who'd said it was stupid and so he wanted to hear what she thought was stupid about it. But she wouldn't say, and shortly after that she went back to her room.

Today in the car, I was trying to say something, and she kept interrupting me and talking over me (which she does constantly with everyone; usually I just stop trying to say whatever it is because there's really no point and it's not like she's listening anyway). I was getting very frustrated in this instance--her rudeness was undeniable (and yet she's *completely* oblivious!). Finally TJ said, "STOP TALKING! Heather's trying to say something and you keep interrupting her! Let her finish." Aaaaagh.

The thing is, she's very sweet, and she LOVES Eamon. She's utterly devoted to him and she said she feels like there's a rubber band pulling her towards him (as well as towards her other grandkids). I appreciate her love for him. Yesterday she told me she feels close to me, which seems kind of sad. TJ and I talked a little today about how it's impossible to feel close to her on anything other than a shallow level. He said something like, "You can't feel close to a cartoon character unless you're one yourself."

Today we went to the Domain and she bought herself several shirts at Macy's (out of her allowance, as she always tells us; she and Bill constantly fight about money, and he gives her an allowance every month--can you imagine?), and then we went to Border's and she bought Eamon a beautiful book of Mother Goose rhymes.

On that note, I better close. We're about to go out to dinner.

Sleep Battles

Eamon will not sleep during the day and going down at night is a huge battle. We don't know what's going on. My guess is that he's becoming more mobile and can't relax because he just wants to be on the move. Yesterday in San Marcos he went from a sitting position to being on his hands and belly without any assistance. It was hard work getting that one leg out from under himself, but he did it! It was exciting. I was beaming with pride, which seems funny. In any case, maybe this is what's causing him to not be able to relax and sleep? I don't get the sense that it's teething, but then again, perhaps those upper teeth are starting to make their way down.

Yesterday, out of twelve hours, he slept about 30 minutes in the car on the way to SM and about 25 minutes on the way home. We'd tried to put him down for a morning nap here at home, but gave up after an hour and a half of him staying awake and us going in to rock him over and over. He was clearly exhausted, but going in his crib is like playtime to him now. It's a master class in how not to fall asleep. He's learned to turn himself around and can move from one end of the crib to the other. By 6:00 last night, he was beyond tired, as we'd expected. I took him back to his room to nurse him and put him down (he'd already eaten and been bathed). I was sure he'd crash immediately. Nope! It was almost 8:00 by the time we got him down. It was stressful and frustrating, more so because we have guests. I thought for sure he would sleep all night or at least sleep a little later in the morning, but he woke up at 2:30 (soaked) and then was up for the day at 6:00. TJ put him down for a nap at 8:00 this morning, and while he did go to sleep, he only slept for thirty minutes. WTF???? He has to be massively overtired at this point. We'll see how the rest of today goes . . .

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Friday with Bill and Mary

TJ's parents made it in right on time last night (flying from Florida). They raced back to the house to see E before he went to bed and got here around 6:00. E was already in his sleep sack when they got here, and we all watched him play on the floor and roll around and try to crawl (he's been trying some cool new moves; he starts in a seated position, then leans to the side so that he's supporting himself with his hands, but then one of his legs invariably gets stuck and he needs help transitioning to his tummy).

Bill (TJ's dad) doesn't seem happy to be here. Mary was pressuring him to come back with her for Eamon's birthday party, and he said, "I can't give you an answer right now. I have to get through this and get through the next trip first." TJ and Mary were making fun of him for being such a sourpuss and were disgusted by his negative attitude. I feel like I understand where he's coming from. It's very stressful for him to travel and he doesn't like being around people much anyway. He says he only has a few more years to live (he specified six for some reason) and only wants to do what he wants to do. Mary said to us (in front of him), "He's very self-centered and always has been." I know this is true, but I'm sympathetic towards him for some reason, partly because she says stuff like that and also because I think he's probably been depressed for a long, long time, and he's not in good health.

Anyway, we didn't see him much the rest of the night. We got their room set up and then Bill stayed in there while TJ and Mary and I watched a movie. (Three Days of the Condor, with Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, directed by Sydney Pollack--it's fantastic!!!! I always resist watching old movies, if 1975 can be called old, but I think this one is going to make it into my Favorite Movies of All Time. It's suspenseful and fun.)

Eamon woke up at 5:30 this morning, so it's been a long day. TJ worked in the morning some, then we all went to the Y and swam (except Bill, who lifted some weights). After that we went out for lunch and came home. E was exhausted but played in his crib for an hour instead of sleeping. He just won't go to sleep lately without nursing. Oh dear. We finally brought him out and he played happily for another hour. TJ went ahead and took his parents to Whole Foods (where they are now) since it was getting late. When it was time to nurse again, E fell asleep immediately and is down now. I'm going to have to wake him up soon so his nighttime sleep isn't screwed up. What a little stinker!

We're grilling out tonight, and tomorrow we're going to San Marcos for lunch, which should be interesting. My schizophrenic uncle is visiting from California, and my stepbrother (same side of the family), who is bipolar and has recently shown signs of paranoia, is also coming over (along with his new wife). My stepmom is picking up Salt Lick for everyone on her way home from Wimberley (yummmm).

Mary and I talked this morning for a long time, or rather I listened. Wow, it's tiring. She'd told me most of the stuff before many times. But she's been very sweet since she's been here, so I can't complain too much. She said she thought I was the best thing that's ever happened to TJ (isn't that nice?), and she's gone on and on about how gorgeous E is, which is always music to my ears!

I feel conflicted writing about TJ's parents on here, since I haven't written much about my family (and god knows there's a lot I could write about). I guess I've steered clear of mine because it's overwhelming and there's no way I can stay on top of it all in terms of blogging, and Eamon is the main focus of this blog anyway . . . but maybe it's unfair of me to write about TJ's family and not mine.

Speaking of my family, my baby brother (who turns 18 in two weeks!) aced the SAT (as in, wow) and also just received an Outstanding Performer award for State Solo & Ensemble. Out of 22,000 band, orchestra, and choir kids (he's choir), only 256 are chosen for Outstanding Performer. He's freaking amazing, and I'm so proud.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ikea and the In-Laws

I'm in a tizzy getting ready for the arrival of TJ's parents tomorrow. They're staying with us for five nights. Eeeeek. They've never both stayed with us before, and we're not really equipped to accommodate their lifestyle. (They sleep in separate rooms and they often watch tv during the night. They're also not super mobile, and our kitchen and bedrooms are on separate floors.)

In any case, this will be short and scattered, probably. Let's see . . . Eamon is really fighting the morning nap. We'll see how long this trend continues. He's also taken to sticking his tongue out a little to feel his bottom teeth. It's pretty darn cute.

Yesterday Catherine came with us to Ikea. Thank god she wanted to come; I don't know how I would've managed the stroller and the huge frames we bought. I obviously hadn't thought it through. I was so absent-minded yesterday I neglected to pack E's lunch, so we had to stop at Wal-Mart (it was the closest thing) and pick up some baby food and spoons. She fed him in the car while I drove. We had a limited amount of time before he was going to be ready to nap, and Ikea is not a store you can rush through (to put it mildly). We rushed as much as human beings can while happily trapped in the alternate reality that is Ikea. Oh Ikea, why must you tempt me to buy a bunch of crap I don't need? I must admit that I'm thrilled with the cheap framed art we got there, though, and I didn't buy any frivolous items. Our walls are so bare, and it's too expensive to get things framed, but I've been wanting to hang stuff, and I figured I'd use his parents' visit as the impetus to do so. (Plus, last time his mom said something about how it still looked like we'd just moved in. She said it as a compliment, sort of, but it didn't feel like one.) Catherine suggested some bright throw pillows to go along with the prints I bought. Thanks to all that, the loft is looking much less beige. And I also ended up framing one of TJ's old paintings. I ripped the canvas off the wooden frame it was stapled to and taped it to the Ikea matte. It looks fantastic! I hope to frame more of his stuff, and perhaps one day we can get his paintings professionally framed.

I bought a new twin sheet and comforter set as well (not at Ikea) and some curtains to go in my office/the guest room, which will hopefully make the room cooler in the afternoon when the sun beats down on the window. The blinds just aren't cutting it. We now have enough bedding for the twin guest bed as well as the trundle underneath.

Well, I'm rambling about boring stuff, so I better try to get some things done while E naps. I don't know how often I'll be able to post in the next week . . . but maybe more than I think.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sunday afternoon with friends, chickens, and a dog named Zoli


Yesterday afternoon we went to a little farewell party for our friends Brian and Mitchell, who are moving out of state. Kay and Joel were hosting, and they have a beautiful backyard with chickens, compost, and a lovely garden (not pictured).

Friday and Saturday

We had a busy weekend. Friday night Catherine and Shannon came with me to Wimberley to see my mom perform her one-woman concert (a benefit for a children's grief camp she works at each summer). She's doing two in Dallas, where she lives, one in Wimberley, and maybe one in San Marcos. I wasn't sure what to expect and was nervous going into it, but she was incredible, I have to say. It's been quite awhile since I heard her sing, and she's been training for this concert for a year and a half. Her voice is in the best shape it's ever been in. Really, there aren't words to describe it. The program was very diverse, ranging from Faure and Handel to Gershwin and Sondheim. She also sang a few children's songs she wrote many years ago when my sisters were little. The last song she did was "Autumn Leaves," by Joseph Kosma. I'd never heard it before, and apparently it's my grandmother's favorite song. It was so sad and so beautiful--I cried and cried, thinking of Papa.

In any case, Catherine and Shannon and I had so much fun on our little road trip. It felt like we were back in college. TJ and Eamon, in the meantime, enjoyed their time alone together. E had some trouble falling asleep (he's been nursing to sleep almost every night lately), but it wasn't horrible, and he was out by 6:30.

His second tooth emerged the following morning (I swear it came through between the time he woke up and the time he went down for his first nap). He proceeded to take two good naps that day, so I think we're out of the woods with this one, and all in all it wasn't too bad. I thought his nighttime sleep would be a mess, but it really wasn't (and last night he went eleven hours straight). He seems to have lost the ability to fall asleep on his own, however. I've been having to nurse him down for naps. Hmmm.

My mom came over on Saturday and we took her to lunch at the Eastside Cafe, which of course she loved. She hadn't seen E in a long time. Here's a picture of them having fun together on the couch.