Thursday, May 29, 2008


Thea's accomplishments for the day are as follows:

12 a.m. - eat, burp, sleep
3 a.m. - eat, burp, sleep
4 a.m. - request to eat denied. cry, cry, cry, howl, choke, sleep
5 a.m. - repeat request to eat - denied. see above.
6 a.m. - spy sun shining through crack in blanket-draped window. Wake up. Request assistance. Mothership responds.
6:05 a.m. - finally get new diaper. Whew.
6:10 a.m. - finally get fed. Double whew.
6:15 a.m. - blow raspberries at Mommy. Squeal.
6:20 a.m. - out on the deck for some morning sunshine. What a day!
6:40 a.m. - start yawning - ready to go back to sleep.
7 a.m. - Dad gets up. Make googly eyes.
7:15 a.m. - back to bed.

8:30 a.m. - I'm awake. Hey, I'M AWAKE. Rescued. Food.
8:40 a.m. - Take morning drive to brother's sitter. Eat ladybug toy legs with vigor.
9:30 a.m. - back home - Mommy makes lots of phone calls. I contribute squeals.
10:15 a.m. - back to sleep. Ahhh.
11:30 a.m. - I'm awake and I DON'T WANT TO BE. Choke. Sad. Sob. Rescued.
11:40 a.m. - stop in at bookstore. Flirt shamelessly with my adoring masses.
12:15 p.m. - fall asleep in the car ride home. Mommy lets me snooze in the sunny car while she rakes up all the dog poop from the lawn.

2:30 p.m. - wake up. Chortle. Clean diaper. Ahhh.
2:40 p.m. - to town for 20 pounds of hot dogs for camping trip. Smile at all shoppers, especially cashiers. Am quickly done with shopping, however.
3:30 p.m. - Back home. Take stroll in contraband rolling chair. Find bathroom.
4:30 p.m. - Just don't know what's up, but wow, I'm beat again. Off to take a swing in my chair. Ahh. Nighty night
6 p.m. - Awake again - and sooo, so hungry. Have first BM in 4 days. Yah!
7 p.m. - I'm getting cranky. I need lots of attention. Lots and lots of attention. Hey, where did you go???
7:30 p.m. - Bath time. Ahhh. Splash, splash. Now this is heaven.
8 p.m. - Ohh so ticklish. Must you put baby power under my arms like that? It makes me giggle so hard.
8:30 p.m. - Nightnight. Not a peep and I'm off to sleep.

Monday, May 26, 2008

fire swirls

I remember clearly the first summer I lived with Matt. The first busy week came and he was home late each night. The weekend came and he had to work. And the next week was the same. By the third week, I remember realizing in shock that this wasn't going to stop. This was the new normal.
That was eight years ago, but it still takes me by surprise. Matt has logged more than 100 hours of overtime already this year. He is currently on his second "21," when he works 21 days straight and then must take a mandatory day off. And it's not even June yet.
So what, you might ask, does this have to do with Thea? Well, the other day, Matt went over to pick her up and she gave her "stranger picking me up" cry. Egads. Not that she always does that with him - she only did it because she was already tired and crabby. But still. It makes me wonder what it's going to be like for Matt to be gone on fire assignments this year.
This has been a whirlwind weekend for Liam and Thea. Yesterday, there was a scavenger hunt and two birthday parties. Today, a bike ride, playground time, picnic and barbecue at our friends house in the banana belt of downtown Homer. We are all a little windblown and tired, but it was good to get out in the sunshine, despite a persistent wind that kept temps cool and Matt running all over the Peninsula fighting fires big and small. Right now he's all the way north of Kenai where two fires kicked off at exactly 8 p.m. - quitting time - squashing my plans to go have a glass of wine with friends.
Now, the point of this post. Everyone, and I mean everyone, keeps saying how Thea has Liam's eyes. I'm going to dig through my photos of him and find one that proves what I keep saying. They may look alike now, but when Liam was her age, he looked nothing like that. Let's see what I get.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today was all about Raspberries. Raspberry Lane, Liam's preschool, is closing for the summer tomorrow. That's not the end of the world because I've got a whole bunch of different things lined up, but it does yank on my heart strings because he is so attached to the place. Hmm, maybe it is actually that I am so attached to the place. He comes home enriched, enlightened and exhausted - three very good things which I have had a hard time replicating on my own lately.
Honestly, I am sorry to every older child in the world at this point. You had it so good for a few years, and then us young ones came along. Not that Thea has it so great or anything, but she doesn't know any better. You do. And then it gets taken away - like being served a big slice of chocolate cake and then being forced to split it in two and give half away to a wailing, silly pile of pink.
Raspberry Lane has been amazing for Liam. He comes home singing little songs to himself - a lot. His imagination is blooming with peony-like beauty. He even has picked up a social skill or two along the way, making friends with both boys and girls - though not all of them. He comes home with stories about how he and Miss Red had to have a "conversation" about this or that - some power struggle in the play room, or a rude response that needed correction. These are big deals to him - he takes them very seriously. But he adores his teachers - really, truly. You can see it in his face every morning when he arrives there.
He'll be back at Raspberry Lane in the fall for one more year. When I look at a picture of him at the beginning of school, it blows me away how much he has changed in six months. It just never stops.

I said today was all about Raspberries. Well, Miss Thea learned to blow raspberries today - you know the truck-like bubbly sounds babies all seem to make. She was so pleased with herself, you would think she learned a new language. I guess in a way she did. I laughed so hard when she did it. It's so deliberate. She's working so hard at it. It's a true feat.
She is also squiggling around like crazy these days. Put her on the floor and you never know where she will end up - although she complains about it so bitterly it's hard to lose track of her too much. Consequently, we had to have a conversation, Liam and I, about toilet paper tubes, and things that fit through them being choking hazards, and how if things that size, like Legos, were left in the livingroom, they would be summarily thrown in the garbage.

Again, all you first-born children, I apologize. There is no justice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

too busy to think

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I wrote in this blog. Two weeks is like an eternity in baby time. Things happen so fast - and these two weeks were no exception. But when I try to remember what has happened, I can't. It's all one big blur.

Sleep: We tried to let Thea cry it out, and had some success, but as soon as I started caving in and feeding her (and we had some nights where Ghangis Kahn (sp?) would have caved ) she started wiggling back into the every hour routine. So it's been a push and pull thing. I'll feed her between 11:30-12:30 and then not again until 5. But some times that means listening to her howl for an hour or more. Not fun. On the other hand, neither is getting up to nurse her every freekin' hour. So it goes.
I have noticed, however, that all this lack of sleep has aged me in ways I have never seen before. My eyes are fried. Big, old-looking creases under them. Scary stuff. Seriously. And in every picture, they always seem half-way closed. Camera timing or my new normal? Who knows.

Exercise: I did purchase a yoga video the other day and did a couple routines and found out that they were very calming and deceptively difficult. The next day, muscles screamed in odd places on my body. The other form of exercise I have been doing is called the 4-year-old-on-training-wheels-sprint. Liam has become one with his bike this year, and goes pretty fast at times. This weekend, he biked 3 miles, so I ran most of that. The first few times we went out, I didn't expect to be running so much and wore clogs. Huge mistake. The kid flat-out boogies. We also hiked down to the beach on Diamond Creek this weekend with some friends. I found that carrying Thea in a backpack plus all the essentials of two kids in Alaska (extra clothes, diapers, jackets just in case, food, water...) is a substantial feat. At the top, our friend told us that we had covered 1.5 miles, according to his gps. He refused to tell us what our rate of speed was. I probably should have thanked him for that.

Squiggles: Miss Thea is a ball of energy these days. She rolls over almost the second she is set down on the floor, and then most of the time gets annoyed that she can't crawl. She wiggles and squiggles a lot, drools, teeths, tries to grab passing cats, and generally is ready to move forward if she could just get her body to do what her mind is already doing. And oooh the frustration. It's going to be a long 18 years.

Teeth: two for sure, more coming. Cut marks on both her little fists from teething. Likes to chew on metal, fingers and blankets.

Food: Very enthusiastic about food. Also very messy. Insists on grabbing the spoon as it comes by, usually with messy implications. You can fake her out, but then she laughs and her food consumption efficiency takes a dive. Pears, apples, carrots, bananas, and oatmeal all well received.

Mother's Day: As a friend pointed out, not really for mothers when they need it most at the height of mothering. Really geared toward mothers of adult children now feeling guilty for all they put their mothers through. I will wait to collect my dues.

Dad: Still working on those two. Can't figure it out, but every time I leave the house solo, Miss Thea figures it out and throws a full-fledged fit. Gulping, gasping, sadness. She does, of course, survive, but.... And since Matt is around less and less right now as fire season ramps up, it isn't helping my cause any. She did it again tonight, and I was only gone for a half-hour. I'm pretty close to giving up on those two bonding before she is weaned.

Spring: Oh joy. The snow is shrinking faster than cotton candy in a downpour. Crocuses finally blooming. Happiness. Could do without the winter's worth of shredded newspapers and dog poop in our yard, but that's best left a couple days to cure, experience has told me. And anyway, I am soooo busy. Don't get me started.

Let's see if I can actually get a picture up here before the end of may, shall we?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fighting sleep

Last week, Thea went to the doc for her four-month check-up. She weighed in at 16.something pounds, 27 inches - 99th and 95th percentile respectively, which is to say she's a big baby. But what struck me most during the visit was the realization that I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep in more than 4 months. That's a third of a year. That, I opined, was not OK. There's a lot I can handle. Fire season is starting, and Matt hasn't been off on the weekend for about a month. Liam is busy and always positioning himself for more attention. Work is challenging, and my WordWorks business seems to be getting some attention. Pretty soon, fire season will be in full swing and preschool will be over for the summer, and if I'm going to manage all that (and a broken dishwasher), I need more than 3.5 hours at a time.

So, I launched a teach-Thea-to-sleep campaign. The first couple nights were aided by the four-month immunization shots, which make her sleepy anyway. Then the real fun started. Thea had been waking up consistently at what I realized were specific times - 11 p.m., 2:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. were all pretty much set in stone. She might add more to that, but not less. So I knew those would be the tough ones. I opted to feed her at the 11 wake-up, then battle over the 2:30 and try to push the 5 to 6.

On Friday night, she howled for a good 45 minutes at 2:30 in the morning before passing out again until 6. On Saturday night, it seemed worse, her howling was more intense, and finally, Matt broke down and went in to check on her. As it turned out, she had blown out her diaper and was soaked through. guilt, guilt, guilt. So I fed her at 3 and went back to sleep. Those two days were a haze of the worst sleep-deprivation I've felt in a long time. When you wake and feed, you don't really wake up all the way. But when you are essentially torturing your kid, you sure do.

But, last night, she woke up at 2:30 again, and this time, I don't even know how long she cried, so it couldn't have been very long. And then she went back to sleep and slept until 6 a.m., when I fed her, and put her back to bed. And there she stays now, sleeping.

I'm not silly enough to think that is it and I will soon be sleeping every night uninterrupted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but I think she will get this figured out in time. And that's all I can ask for.