Sunday, November 30, 2008

Love at the end of a long weekend

We had an unexpectedly lovely end to the evening tonight. Nothing special happened, we just ended up spending quite awhile stacking blocks together before bathtime. The house was quiet and still. I sat there watching my boy concentrate as hard as he could, holding his breath as he focused on gingerly setting one more block atop an already teetering tower of blocks. Later, in the bath, I marveled anew at the sweetness of his body, his round belly (which he pats vigorously with both hands whenever his shirt is off) and the soft fuzz that trails down his back. There is nothing more precious to me than that little body. Nothing.

My guys

Friday, November 21

Swinging at Shipe while Dada flew to Fargo the day after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recap

We spent Thanksgiving in Wimberley with my grandmother and uncle and his family. It was a nice enough day, though exhausting with E. TJ left for a wedding in Grand Forks, North Dakota, early Friday morning. He gets back tonight around midnight (unless there are delays in Denver, in which case he won't get home until tomorrow). We've stayed as busy as possible the past three days, but there's still been lots of time to kill. E's teething woes continue. He's had diarrhea every day, and his little bum hurts and is quite red. He's had a hard time staying happy for more than a few minutes at a time.

On Friday my mom and stepdad and sisters stopped by on their way to Wimberley. My sister Lauren hadn't seen E since he was three months old. He put on quite a show for them--going from one skill to the next (stacking blocks, rolling balls, spinning tops, and so on) and clapping and smiling and giving big hugs. It was adorable, and they were all beside themselves at the insane cuteness. We all went out for coffee and then they left to go on to Wimberley from there.

Saturday morning we went over to Catherine and Shannon's for breakfast. It was Catherine's birthday. Shannon's sister and niece were in town visiting from CA, so we saw them too. I was excited to give Catherine her gifts: We got her an immersion blender (we recently got one as well), and I made her a word bouquet using a pretty little brown vase and strips of card stock. I had her family and friends send me at least ten things that they love and admire about her, so there were around eighty strips when all was said and done. E was having a very hard time yesterday morning, and I would've liked to present it to her in a more ideal setting, but that wasn't to be. In any case, she cried and seemed very touched, and I was glad. We left soon after that, and then the babysitter came in the afternoon and I drove down to San Marcos for my mom's concert, which went well. I longed to spend more time with my sisters, who both live in New York and who I rarely see together, but I felt like I needed to get home. After the performance, I took the girls to get coffee and we talked for a few minutes before I hit the road. They're funny, those two. More about them later (I hope).

This morning my mom and stepdad stopped by on their way out of town (after dropping my sisters at the airport), and we went to breakfast, then E and I went to church. After he wakes up from his nap I'm going to take him to the outlet mall to get some shoes. The one pair he has are falling apart. I traced his feet earlier, so hopefully that will make the outing less painful.

Wow. This is the driest, most boring post ever. Guess that's all I've got in me right now. And it's just as well, because I hear the monkey stirring.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One of my fellow Austin Mama co-op moms, Cheri, took this picture today. She's a photographer. Those are some gigantic front teeth, huh?

Miserable Night and an Explosion of Poo

Last night was horrific. It's been a long time since we've had a night like that. Nursing was the one and only thing that soothed him. I nursed and nursed and nursed. If he wasn't nursing he was screaming hysterically, didn't want to be rocked, didn't want to be held, didn't want to be in his bed or anywhere. And this was with Motrin. I think he's gotta be working on several teeth at once. Poor monkey.

He hung in at co-op this morning, thanks to the brilliant suggestion by one of the moms that we should have an Ergo on hand at co-op every week. One of the moms on duty today wore him and he fell asleep for ten or fifteen minutes and awoke a new man.

He was fussy and clingy and irritable the rest of the day, though he took a good nap, and then right before supper I looked over and saw what turned out to be poo streaking down the back legs of his pants. I carried him upstairs and peeled off his poo-stained socks and clothes to reveal a blowout of epic proportions. Really, it was staggering. Shit was immediately, inexplicably everywhere. On my hands and arms, my shirt and pants, his hands (and not just a little on his hands), all over the changing table, of course, and covering his body. I put him in the bath just like that, and then he ran around naked while I cleaned the tub before putting him back in. The cloth diaper he had on is still in the toilet. TJ heard the water running (or maybe he heard me freaking out), and he came upstairs to help after he got of the phone (it was around 5:30). I was thanking my lucky stars that he works from home.

So anyway, it was something else. We haven't experienced diarrhea as a symptom of teething before now. (At least I'm assuming that's what was going on.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Sitter

We used our first paid babysitter this afternoon, and it went very well. She was here from 2:00 until 5:45. Eamon already knows her because she works in the nursery at the church. (I wonder if one day I can mention church in passing like this without cringing or feeling the need to justify. What can I say, I've been scarred by some crazy ass believers in the past who've made church seem like a bad word.) Anyway, we went to see the new James Bond movie this afternoon, and then to the RR Outlets where we bought E a heavy winter coat for Christmas in PA and a much less heavy coat for winter in TX, as well as a couple of long-sleeved shirts and some socks. We struck out in our search for shoes for him.

I'm relieved that today went well with the sitter, Sunny, because she's coming back next Saturday so that I can go to my mom's concert in San Marcos that afternoon. (TJ will be out of town.)

I still haven't found someone to watch E on December 4 when TJ is getting four teeth pulled. He'll be under general anesthesia for the first time in his life, and I'll need to be there with him in recovery before bringing him home and tending to him here for the rest of the day. I can leave Eamon for an hour or two at a friend's house that morning (with their toddler and nanny), but I know E won't do well there for long, and he'll need to come home for lunch and naptime anyway. In any case, I have a couple of other leads to follow up; hopefully one of them will work out. I'd ask my stepmom to take a day off of work, but she's already missed too many days. Incidentally, I'm completely freaked out about these extractions and concerned about how TJ will do with the anesthesia. It frightens me to think of the pain he'll be in. I hate this shit!

I realize I haven't been blogging much, by the way. There are some things I'd like to blog about, but I haven't for various reasons. Maybe after Thanksgiving, possibly before.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Dada

It's TJ's birthday today. He's an ancient 38.

We're all three wearing the shirts he got us at Skywalker Ranch (George Lucas's compound) when he was in CA. He had to go to the ranch for work (did I mention this already?) and apparently it's amazing. Anyway, yep, all wearing the shirts today. Luckily, they aren't the same shirt. But still. Dorks.

Yesterday as we pulled around the corner of our street to come home, E started shouting, "Da-da-da! Da-da! Da-da-da!" He definitely knows who Dada is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sixth Tooth, Hanging with Renee, "Dada"

Eamon has a sixth tooth in and we didn't even know it. TJ spotted it this morning; it's in the back on the bottom. Not completely in yet, but not brand-new, either. I think he's working on another (or more) right now as well, though his nighttime sleep hasn't been interrupted, thankfully. He's a champ.

This afternoon we're taking him over to Shannon's mom's house and she's going to babysit him while we go to a movie (or do some Christmas shopping, depending on how things time out). We've never left him in a situation quite like this before--in a new place with someone he's not familiar with, so we'll see how it goes. Renee (Shannon's mom) seemed to really want to babysit him, which is how this came about. I suspect he'll be fine, especially because she has a little white dog named Lola who he's going to LOVE, and because Renee will be very attentive to him. I just hope he does well and doesn't get upset.

He's added "Dada" to his repertoire in the past few days and clearly understands what it means, though he doesn't have complete control over it yet. "Dada" joins "ball" and "ga-ga," which originally meant "Gracie" (Shannon and Catherine's dog) but has now apparently come to signify all animals, including Squeaky.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This and That

We stayed at Catherine and Shannon's house for three nights last week, including election night. It sure was nice to have their company. Catherine cooked dinner for us all and Eamon got a chance to spend time with his beloved aunties and their dog, Gracie, who he's nuts for. E did wonderfully at night--he slept through and never woke before 6:00, even with the time change. I was in a funk for much of the week, but grateful to be spending time with my bffs.

Catherine took this picture of us at Zilker Park last Wednesday afternoon.

We picked TJ up at the airport Friday evening, oh happy day. What a relief to have him home. I finally slept well that night.

On Saturday evening I drove to San Antonio to have dinner with two of my college English professors, who were in town for a conference. They were the same as ever, brilliant and kind and unique and beautiful. I hadn't seen either of them in years, and I've been doing a lot of thinking since then.

Saturday afternoon TJ and E went to check the mail (we have a neighborhood bank of mailboxes around the corner), and TJ accidentally left his keys on top of the mailboxes. Some guy we've never met found them and apparently deduced which house was ours by the types of car keys on the key ring. At 6:30 on Sunday morning, he rang the doorbell (which we didn't hear) and then came into our house while we slept to return the keys. Um, creepy! He left them on the floor in an envelope with a very odd note. At my insistence, we have since had the locks changed and an alarm system installed. Better to be safe than sorry. And it will give me peace of mind when TJ's away, as he will be in two weeks.

On Sunday, Catherine and Shannon came over and babysat E while TJ and I had brunch at the Eastside Cafe (using a gift certificate they'd given us for E's birthday to celebrate our first year as parents--aren't they the best?).

What else . . .
We've had some difficulty with co-op the past couple of weeks, but hopefully things will be better from here on out.

Seems like I had a lot more to catch up on, but I think I'll leave it at this for now. This week has been busy, and my to-do list is seemingly neverending. That time of year, I think.

p.s. I'm completely, madly, desperately in love with my son right now. I don't know if I've mentioned on here that recently I was bemoaning the fact that he's not a cuddler, but in any case, he's been proving me wrong the past few weeks. Snuggly guy. Full of love. Can't get enough (me, that is). I remember wishing I could bottle him up at seven months, but this age kicks ass, even with the emerging tantrums and food throwing and infinitely soft, infinitely stinky poos. He's walking, he's starting to talk, he's discovering, he's expressing himself, he's responding to language, he's sleeping well. I can hardly believe this little guy is real.

I should also probably mention that the stuff with my family is resolved, or as resolved as it can be, and we're all moving forward as best we can. I think we'll be seeing my parents sometime soon. They are desperate to see E (they've yet to see him walk), and I want him to see his Grandma and Pops as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It really happened. Are you pinching yourself like I am?!

President-Elect Obama.
The moment when he and his family walked out on stage last night will stay with me forever.
Maybe eight years of Bush was worth it to get to this point. Is that possible?

More later . . . no time now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's gotta go to Obama, right?

Tell me there's no way McCain's gonna win this.
I'm suddenly very scared, listening to the news.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Out of Sorts

Things started feeling weird around 3:30. For one thing, the time change suddenly became very noticeable. It felt more like 5:30. But it wasn't. Luckily, I had the Triangle outing in mind, and it turned out to be just the thing. I turned the fountain on (there weren't any other kids there) and E played in the water cautiously for the few minutes it was on, but he was really more interested in throwing his balls across the bricklaid ground and crawling after them. We also played in the grass and watched dogs for a while. He had a blast, and was on the move constantly the whole time we were there. I was gratified thinking of all the energy he was getting out. Here are a couple of pictures I took to send TJ. I also took a video that I find hilarious but that I think would be too boring to most people to post.

Now I'm sitting in what feels like a cavernously empty house and trying not to feel too strange. I usually love the rare night I get to myself at home, but tonight isn't one of those nights. TJ's presence makes this place feel so warm and full and balanced; without him there's a gaping hole. This isn't news to me, but I'm acutely aware of it tonight, I think partly because of the distance I feel from my family. And because we've been so content at home lately in our routines with E, and so delighted by him. Every night, without fail, we end up talking about how funny he is, how beautiful, how crazy--freaking crazy--we are about him. I always go in before bed and put a hand on him to feel him breathing, and when I come back to our room TJ asks me what position he was in, and I tell him, and then we talk about how insanely cute it is, whether he was on his back or his side or whatever. It's all insanely cute.

TJ might as well be on another planet right now from where I sit. He's in San Francisco with good friends who are also his business partners, and his brother is there, too, on business, and some other friends he used to work with in DC. He's staying in a nice hotel, is out to dinner tonight, and has plans every night. I can't really imagine, and it doesn't sound like we'll get to talk all that much. But I'm looking forward to spending time with Catherine and Shannon, and to other things like getting to the bottom of the laundry hamper and having it stay that way for longer than a day.

Not So Bad

Today has been better so far than I expected. I think it was good that we took TJ to the airport; I don't know why, but it feels a lot better than saying good-bye to him at home. This was the first time we've done that; it would've been a waste of money to pay for parking for six days, obviously.

We came home and had a snack and played and then went to church, where I had a hard time staying focused. I picked E up from the nursery before the service ended (since it was way past lunch and naptime on his clock) and we came home to eat. Now he's napping. He's been teething with a vengeance for the past day and a half, so I gave him some Tylenol before putting him down because he was chewing on his hands nonstop, drooling, and has a runny nose.

I have to admit I'm stressed about how the nights will go away from home (mainly because of the teething and our dependence on rocking and the fact that we don't nurse at night anymore, although I'm sure I'll end up doing exactly that). Last night he was up from 3:30 to 4:30. I rocked him twice and TJ once; in between there was hysterical crying. Anyway, I guess we'll see. The good thing is that after he finally stayed down he slept until 6:30 (7:30 according to the old time). Whew.

Last night we went to dinner at Mandola's at the Triangle, and saw the fountain they have there. It's way better than the one at the Domain, and I plan on taking E back to play in it later this afternoon. He desperately wanted to last night, but we just weren't equipped to deal with a soaking wet boy. I was happy to discover something new that we could come back to today.

You'd think TJ was going off to Iraq for a year from the way I've been dreading this trip. It's ridiculous, really. I tend to get anxious about things like this, sometimes more and sometimes less. Now that it's started, I feel almost relieved, and today has been nice in a way. I knew it would be a solitary day, and I guess my mood adapted. Eamon plays so well by himself now, and I've just been doing some housework and laundry and playing with him in between as usual.

It's becoming more and more clear that he's saying the word "ball." When he says it, it sounds more like "buh," but he says it when looking at his toy balls and when he's holding them (which is pretty much 24/7). He is a funny, funny guy.

I can't believe the election is only two days away. God! I think I'd be obsessing about it more if this weren't such an unusual week for us and I wasn't already so preoccupied. But it's incredibly exciting and incredibly nerve-wracking, and I just pray it's a landslide. It really does feel like Obama is our country's only hope, to the point that it might as well be written in the stars. If only that's true.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I'm so depressed that TJ's going out of town. We're taking him to the airport at 8:30 tomorrow morning. The fact that it's a Sunday feels worse to me for some reason. We have plenty of things planned to keep us occupied over the next week while he's gone, but tomorrow will be a long day, and I know it's going to be an exhausting week. Oh well. Sorry for the pity party.