Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Relocation!

I'm so excited to finally be up and running on Wordpress.

Please come visit me there from now on:

It's the same exact blog, but with a much-needed facelift and name change. I'll still probably play with the design. Down the road.

I know at one point I'd talked about retiring this blog and starting a super impersonal one, but I decided not to go that route. Blogging is too much of an outlet for me, and I would be so, so limited in what I could say if our families knew about the blog. I might start one for them that's just pictures and quick baby updates.

See you on Wordpress!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It started at 4:40, when E woke up and refused to let us put him back down. He was hurting. His canines. Getting him to bed the last several nights has been difficult (multiple bouts of rocking and crying), which is unusual for him. He's also woken up mid-nap a few times and needed Tylenol.

Later yesterday morning (it was a long morning) I scared myself by falling on the stairs. I was carrying a huge basket of laundry, and E was downstairs on the other side of the gate, waiting for me. I fell down a couple of stairs and landed on the landing on my knees and one of my feet jammed into the baseboard. I started sobbing immediately for some reason even though I wasn't seriously hurt. E thought I was laughing, so he started laughing the laugh he does when he wants to be in on the joke but doesn't know what's funny, until I came down the stairs. He stopped laughing as soon as he saw me, and a look of grave concern came over his face. He watched me closely and hugged me. He is so sweet, that one.

After nap we were playing outside when I realized he was poopy, so I changed him on our new changing table downstairs, but then realized the diaper cream was upstairs. He's had a terrible diaper rash that was even bleeding yesterday morning, so I wanted to be sure and put cream on his bum. I put him down to run around naked while I ran upstairs to get the cream. You can probably guess what happened: Came back down the stairs and found him frozen in the kitchen with a huge pile of soft poo on the floor behind him and a puddle of pee on the floor in front of him. He didn't know what was going on or what to do. Up until now he's been completely oblivious to all things potty related, although he did ask me two days ago to take his diaper off so he could sit on his potty. I think he'd seen one of the co-op girls doing this; I don't think he's realized the purpose of it yet. Anyway, yeah, cleaning up a steaming pile of shit from the kitchen floor was a first for me. I'm just glad I succeeded in keeping him from running his vacuum through it. It was a close call, as we both apparently had a lot of cleaning to do.

A bit later, before bedtime, I was checking email before reading to him and he was behind me with an empty bottle of Motrin (which he loves to play with), a half-full bottle (which had the childproof cap on), and his little medicine cup. I swear I don't usually let him have an un-empty bottle, but he was going to bed in a few minutes, and it wasn't worth the battle to keep it from him (I thought). I just didn't think there was any way he could get the cap off. We both pretended to pour and sip the medicine and smack our lips, and then I turned back to my computer. Soon thereafter it dawned on me that he'd gotten very quiet, and then I realized that he'd uttered a gleeful, triumphant sound a few seconds before. I turned around and he was standing there with a giant grin on his face and two empty bottles of Motrin. I looked down and the carpet was covered in purple goo, as was the front of his shirt. It took me a minute to realize that he'd probably swallowed some himself before dumping it. And I'd already given him a teaspoon. I wasn't too worried, to be honest, but I wanted to call Poison Control anyway. They were super nice (and even called back this morning to check in). Turns out he could've swallowed an entire bottle and been fine. Good to know. Needless to say, he slept like a rock last night.

So, those were the day's highlights. Which I really didn't have time to just write out. But oh well.
It wasn't a bad day at all (and we had a great time at the park in the morning), it was just long and . . . eventful.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Letting go of insecurities

On Friday morning we had some new friends over, and E and I had a great time. It was actually our first time ever having a one-on-one playdate here at our house with someone we met through the Austin Mamas. It was so nice talking to this mama and being around her sweet little girl, and I'm glad we got together. I've been a bit insecure about having people over, partly because we live kinda far out (for some people), and partly because I've been to several of the mamas' houses, and they're really nice. But you know what I realized? My house is nice too. Nice enough, anyway. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. So we don't live in a hip neighborhood--who gives a shit. And who cares if other people have nicer houses. This is ours, and I'm thankful for it, and it's fun having people over. I've decided to apply this philosophy to other areas of life as well--it's liberating.

E with his friend Clay and Clay's baby sister, Cebe, last week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This Morning with E

E had I had such a nice moment this morning. We don't usually go outside before we head out for the morning, but it was lovely out (not oppressively hot yet the way it's been in the afternoons lately), and we had time to kill, so I opened the sliding door. We sat side by side on the back steps for a long time, sharing a huge bunch of grapes, talking to Squeaky, and watching a cardinal dart from fence to tree and back again, singing happily. The sun lit up patches of grass through the trees and the grapes broke sweetly between our teeth. It felt right and good to be together. My first baby, my love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two (very different) poems on Mother's Day

by Wendell Berry

I was your rebellious son,
do you remember? Sometimes
I wonder if you do remember,
so complete has your forgiveness been.

So complete has your forgiveness been
I wonder sometimes if it did not
precede my wrong, and I erred,
safe found, within your love,

prepared ahead of me, the way home,
or my bed at night, so that almost
I should forgive you, who perhaps
foresaw the worst that I might do,

and forgave before I could act,
causing me to smile now, looking back,
to see how paltry was my worst,
compared to your forgiveness of it

already given. And this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other,

where, for that, the leaves are green,
the light a music in the air,
and all is unentangled,
and all is undismayed.

"To My Mother" by Wendell Berry, from Entries. © Pantheon Books, 1994.


by Sherman Alexie

I wanted to walk outside and praise the stars,
But David, my baby son, coughed and coughed.
His comfort was more important than the stars

So I comforted and kissed him in his dark
Bedroom, but my comfort was not enough.
His mother was more important than the stars

So he cried for her breast and milk. It's hard
For fathers to compete with mothers' love.
In the dark, mothers illuminate like the stars!

Dull and jealous, I was the smallest part
Of the whole. I know this is stupid stuff
But I felt less important than the farthest star

As my wife fed my son in the hungry dark.
How can a father resent his son and his son's love?
Was my comfort more important than the stars?

A selfish father, I wanted to pull apart
My comfortable wife and son. Forgive me, Rough
God, because I walked outside and praised the stars,
And thought I was more important than the stars.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So, the verdict is in . . .

And it looks like we're having a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!

Holy shit. Can you believe it? I can't believe it. More soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mama, Ma, Ma, MAMA

For the first time ever, E called me by name from his room this morning after he woke up and had played awhile. It was awesome. I've actually been looking forward to this for about a year for some reason.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Climbing and Hitting and Growing Up

TJ's away again, this time in New York. But just for two days. E really misses his dad and asks about him all the time. "Dad-dy? Dad-dy? Dad-dy?" It's so, so sweet. He's really into Daddy these days.

So, he climbed onto a kitchen chair (and then practically onto the table) tonight for the first time ever. There's no going back now, this much is clear.

He's obsessed with playing in the sweltering parked car these days, and as a result we were both super hot and sweaty tonight, and I decided to just take a bath with him before having dinner. It was so refreshing to mix up the routine. I took a bath with him last week for the first time since he was a tiny baby and he was totally ambivalent about it (I was imagining him loving it for some reason), but this time he knew the drill and there was less of a feeling of "Dude, you're taking up my space to play," and more of a "You do your thing and I'll do mine." There was a little curiosity about my body, but almost not as much as when I'm just changing clothes or going to the bathroom with him near me.

Speaking of curiosity, he's started hitting me sometimes when I'm holding him and he's annoyed/angry/frustrated. Yikes, major change. He's also less gentle with my breasts all of sudden. Ever since he was weaned he asks to see the boobies several times a day, and he touches them ever so gently and lays his head lovingly on my belly or chest. But in the past couple of days when he's asked to see boobies, he hasn't been gentle at all. Booby time may be drawing to a close.

I was watching him building with some blocks earlier when he didn't know I was watching, and I was just so aware of the fact that he's not a baby anymore. He has his own opinions and desires, and they're separate and often in conflict with what I'm trying to direct him to do. It's such a difference from the baby who you kiss without being pushed away, and who's content to be toted along with you wherever you go. But there's also something beautiful about seeing this little independent person emerge out of the baby you cared for so completely (and still care for completely). It brings up this strange mixture of pride and wonder and sadness and excitement.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Recap

We had such a good weekend. It was a nice balance of social activities and productivity, both of which can be a challenge for us sometimes. We actually could've used some more down time, but whatev. It's better than too much down time, which is usually what happens (and what I always think I want, but I'm realizing that's a mistake).

Anyway, on Saturday we went to the Palmer Events Center for the annual Celebration of Families, sponsored by the fabulous F.amily Connections. It was so much fun. We ran into quite a few people we know, and we saw the Biscuit Brothers up close and personal (I couldn't believe it; yes, I was starstruck--ridiculous), and then later we caught some of their show before we had to leave. They were fantastic. E also had fun playing with a giant balloon, watching a clown and Clifford the Big Red Dog (he was terrified of Clifford, actually), and outside they had a petting zoo that blew his mind. He was walking around with ducks and sheep and rabbits--none of which he's ever seen in real life before. I couldn't STAND that I forgot the camera.

Afterward we had lunch at Katz's Deli, complete with fried pickles. We were closing in on E's naptime, but for once we weren't slaves to our schedule.

Saturday evening I worked at the auction for baby Ike down south at Ruta Maya ( It was amazing, and it raised over $17,000 for the Roy family. I love the Austin Mamas.

On Sunday after church we went over to our friends' house for brunch. We hadn't gotten together in a loooong time (like almost a year). Sadly, E was deathly afraid of their sweet puppy Lulu, and Lulu had to go in her crate. I don't know if I've ever seen E that afraid. He was making the sad face and everything. In the meantime, he was fine at the park this morning with a much bigger dog (but he sees this dog fairly often, and the dog is very calm . . . ?).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pregnancy Stuff, Mostly

I am so behind on my emails. I just can't seem to find the time to write very lengthy replies, and I have several in my inbox right now that deserve more than a few quick sentences. In our spare time at home we've been working on cleaning out and organizing the garage (we're at least 80% there), and I've been going through closets and drawers and bookcases little by little, getting ready for the new baby and the rearranging we need to do (turning the guest room/my office into E's new room). I'm also in the midst of touring a couple of preschools (while E's at co-op) and trying to find a new OB. (I've decided to attempt a VBAC. I think.) E's recent developments have also necessitated some additional safety features around the house. Several have been installed, but we really need to secure some of our furniture to the walls. I was looking at the instructions today and it's going to be a bitch. Not sure how the bookshelves downstairs will work since they're Ikea and the backing is particle board.

Pregnancy update: I have an appointment later this week (we start week 17 tomorrow), and the doc said they'll try to make a guess about the baby's gender. I can't wait. I feel absolutely certain it's a boy, and I'm dying to have that confirmed (or to be told I'm wrong--either way will be incredible). I started showing awhile back (feels like I'm pretty big already, for how far along I am), and I think(?) I'm feeling the baby move at times, but only faintly, and I'm still not totally sure. In general I have so, so much more energy than in the first trimester, but there are days I'm wiped out for no apparent reason. The food aversions remain, but the nausea has left completely, which is such a relief. The late night snacking has commenced, and I've started to need a substantial snack (like a pj&j and milk) most nights before bed in order to feel full.

I've thought a lot about how different it is being pregnant this time as compared to last. It feels much easier this time. So far, at least (knock on wood). I've had none of the aches and pains I had last time, and some of them had started by this point. I guess the ligaments and skin and muscle were all broken in pretty well by E. I've had a fraction of the headaches I had before, and my face hasn't broken out (it was out of control with E). I'm also way more physically active this time (not that I exercise or anything. Please). It's easier psychologically as well. About this point last time, I was obsessed with where the top of my uterus was--I was sure it was too low. Now I know that I can't feel the top of my uterus yet. I still get plenty anxious about stuff, just not so much about pregnancy symptoms. And now that the first trimester is over, I'm in no hurry. Whereas it seemed to take forever for E to arrive, I feel like this baby will be here in the blink of an eye. Before, I put everything off until the last trimester, feeling like I shouldn't do things too early. I had no idea how exhausted and physically limited I would be by then. Now I know that I need to get things done in the next couple of months.

Blahblahblah, this seems boring and self-involved (though isn't blogging exactly that). Maybe I should be putting it in the written journal I'm keeping about this pregnancy. But in any case, I'm out of time tonight. Guess I'll have to blog about our weekend later. E got to visit a petting zoo!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday at the tail end of a long naptime

Wow, I'm having a hard time getting anything done. I mean, anything but menial chores. Part of it probably has to do with being pregnant, but mostly I think it has to do with having a very active toddler. When I'm not interacting with him or out with him somewhere, I spend most of my time cleaning and picking up the house, washing clothes and dishes. Order is important to me, and yet I often feel like I have nothing to show for my efforts. I get to enjoy a tidy room or a clean kitchen for a fraction of a second before it's all undone and the cycle starts again. Over and over. I feel like a hamster in a wheel, running and running but not getting anywhere. I'm sure this is the lament of many a mom. You'll have to cut me some slack, because TJ was out of town all week and I'm pretty burned out.

I took E for his 18-month well check yesterday (a month late). He got the dreaded MMR shot, which I've been fearing and avoiding for a year. I would've waited until his two-year checkup, but that's right around when the baby is due, so I decided to go ahead and do it now. And you know what? It was no big deal. I mean, he cried (he got two shots), but he was fine shortly afterward, and he was his usual energetic, happy self the rest of the day. We went to play at the Central Market playscape afterward and he had a freaking blast. He has taken monster naps yesterday and today, and this morning he was very difficult to deal with, but that seems to be more from his bottom canines. So, whew, glad the MMR is over.

By the way, he weighed in at 27 pounds, 11 ounces (75th percentile) and he's 32.5 inches tall (60th percentile). His head circumference is in the 90th percentile.

One thing that jumped out at me from the info sheet they gave us about this age: Don't expect them to share yet. Case in point: E's friend Jonas came over yesterday afternoon and there were many tears shed over the miniature Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner we have. Learning to share is hard.

Last Saturday I drove up to Ft. Worth to help throw a bachelorette party for a high school friend. Several of the girls were staying out all night with the bride, but I rode up and back with a friend of mine who's also pregnant (just two weeks apart!) and mama to a toddler. Partying all night and being away from our families the whole weekend wasn't something we felt comfortable with, so we drove up that morning and then back after a late dinner. I got home at 3 a.m. Groan. TJ left that day (though not until the afternoon).

I have to say that the best part of the day on Saturday was talking to my friend in the car. We talked for a total of around seven hours at least. Non-stop. And I felt like we could've talked longer. It was such a treat. No interruptions, no one else to take care of, and endless subjects to talk about. I love this friend, and I wish we got to see each other more often.

Well, E's up now. More soon, hopefully.