Saturday, October 25, 2008

winter swirl

My friends claim that with windchill it was minus 20 yesterday. In contrast, today's mid-20s feel balmy, and I'm not just saying that. It's hard to believe it is only October, not even yet the last week of October.

This was a crazy work week for me, and I feel like a wet noodle, but the upside has been that Matt and Thea have had a little immersion course that finished up the week much better than it started. The big problem has been getting Thea to sleep without a certain part of the female anatomy. But the ladies at the childcare place where Thea has been going have managed it, so I finally asked them what they did. The swaddle her, apparently, and hold her till she falls asleep. It sounds strange, but on the other hand, which is worse, an hour or more of hollering, or a few minutes of swaddling.

However, this didn't seem to help Matt much. And I haven't tried it, but I'm willing to bet it's a full-contact sport. She's no light-weight and when she doesn't get what she wants, she sure lets you know.

So Matt had several days and a couple nights of hell, thanks to board meetings, etc. Until I thought of the swingy chair - my savior from days gone by that has been mothballed since she fell asleep and her head lolled out and clonked on the bar. But when faced with a napless child.... so he gave it a whirl and she slept wonderfully and I came home Thursday to a happy house. Yay. Sometimes, it would seem, you have to hit rock bottom before things turn around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First step

Thea took her first step yesterday, although I must say it was coerced. She was standing in the middle of the livingroom holding on to my pant leg, her latest favorite thing (so cliche!)I stepped back and she stayed put, standing on her own. Then, she lifted a leg and took a wobbly step, then another, in an effort to get back to the mothership. I cheered - Matt and Liam were both watching and they cheered, too. She looked both shocked and proud - I swear you could almost see the synapses firing inside her head. Good stuff.

Yesterday was a busy one - I cleaned up my desk after months of neglect, creating what I hope is a filing system that actually works, and discarding two garbage bags of junk. I also started work on a freelance project, cut and installed the trim for the hearth, and bought a set of hockey gear. Now, if I can just learn offsides. All this was done with a very mild hangover, thanks to three cosmopolitans at my friend's house the night before. She had just moved into a new space and was celebrating before moving in her home-filling quilting machine. It was a fun night - cocktail dresses or hot pants were the required dress code. Don't get that much here.

Matt and Liam finished his tree-top clubhouse yesterday, much to his glee (Liam's, though Matt was feeling pretty proud of himself, too). It is in the side of the yard in a cluster of trees that we recently limbed up to make for a better fire-safety situation around out property.

Friday, October 17, 2008

new days, new phase

Thea spent several hours pushing a laundry basket around today. She still prefers the low-tech walker over the one with wheels I borrowed from the local B23 office. At least, I heard she spent several hours doing that - I wasn't here to see it.

Today was Matt's second day off for the season, and I seized the day to get some Homer Foundation work out of the way - I have an annual report cover due on Monday. It had been a long time since I ran around with a camera - I must say it felt kind of good, though I didn't get much progress made on the cover. Back home, Thea slept for an hour, just long enough to mess around with several different versions and send them off.

Then she was up again, though not very happy about it. She's working on her second front tooth this week and it seems to be taking forever to come through. In the mean time, she's gnawing on anything she can get her hands on. What a great word gnaw is - it the true verbal equivalent of its meaning.

At the end of the day, trouble brewed. I had been off working and didn't think about the fact that Friday is usually my shopping day. We had nothing planned and nothing thawed, and not much motivation. And since we'd eaten out once and had burgers last night, I was resistant to Matt's breakfast idea. So we ended up eating three different things, late, and none with much in the way of nutrition. Oops. Transitions suck.

There are a lot more to come. The seasonal switch-up means Matt and Thea are spending two or three mornings together each week (he has chosen to keep her going to daycare two mornings a week so he can have time to work on his pottery.) That will be the first consistent time he has spent with Thea and dealt with the whole allergy issue. I think they are both ready for it, but it will be interesting to see how it goes at first.

For me, I'm looking forward to cutting in half the number of days I have to get two kids out the door, and am planning to start hockey again, too. And there might be a trip to Anchorage in my future, too. It's time, and it's been a long time coming. Plus, Target has finally arrived in Anchorage and I've got to go see that.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yesterday I watched as Thea made it almost around the entire living space downstairs without crawling - moving from walls to chairs to table legs. Such diligence is admirable and fear inspiring, too.

Liam spent last night at his Auntie Santa's for his birthday sleepover. When I arrived to drop him off, the table was set with all sorts of birthday stuff, hamburgers were being made and Liam was in heaven. The birthday week continues. What craziness. He also got a package in the mail today - a box from Grandma Jan with a soccer suit, money toward swim lessons and a new Skippyjon Jones book, which he looooved.

The house seemed so quiet without Liam in it last night. Funny how having just one kid, even for a few hours, seems so amazingly different. It's like someone turned down the music so low you can barely hear it. Until 5:30 a.m. when Thea howled for 45 minutes until I gave in and fed her.

It seems she is notching down the nursing quite considerably these days. Yesterday, I had to almost force-feed her at one point because it was that or pump. It's funny - Liam stopped nursing altogether at this age, but with Thea, I was surprised to see her scale back (during the day, at least.) But she's there - already.

I was reading back through those early posts today, and reflecting on how hard that all was. Now I'm sure she was in true pain, and so sad I didn't really know what was going on enough to make changes that would have almost certainly helped.

But at least now it feels like Thea and I are getting a handle on life with allergies. It's a lot of work, but she seems to be doing well - no runny noses, etc. Hopefully, her system will sort out all these allergy issues in the next couple years, and she won't have to spend her life without ice cream. On the other hand, I don't really miss it anymore.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

alternate universe

This is one of those weeks where that extra hand I've been lobbying for would have really come in ... handy.

Sorry. Old habits die hard.

Five years ago today, I was laying in a hospital room, drunk on the after-emotion of giving birth, and trying to come to terms with this small, pink bundle that was now entrusted to my care.

It seems like an eternity ago. It cannot have been a mere five years ago. It feels more like half my life has been mothering, not one-seventh, though I guess if you figure adult life, it is a third.

I turned 35 on Thursday, which was OK with me, no major identity crisis, but a couple of resolutions which I haven't managed to keep as yet... idealistic stuff about relaxing and taking time for myself - candle time, I like to call it.

This week, the workload of motherhood got completely out of control. Birthday cakes, party invitations, shopping, not to mention preschool being closed for all of last week and Monday as well - deadly. And then we had a party on Sunday - sorry, camera battery was not charged so I missed taking pictures of the bonanza - and then today was his real b-day, so I had to bake cupcakes for his class only his teacher wasn't ready to celebrate his birthday today, so now I have to go in and help him celebrate it tomorrow ..... aaaaahhhhgg.

On top of all that was finishing the living room cabinet and our first snow, all adding static to the mix and throwing off my routine. I think I made it out of the house before 8:30 once in the past seven days. Baaad.

But even without birthdays that go on forever, it is really challenging right now. I'm cooking a meal for Thea pretty much every morning because I haven't gotten a food schedule really going for her yet. If I would just take the time to get it figured out, it could work pretty smoothly, but I haven't had that time. I fed her halibut tonight for the first time and it seemed to go well - she gobbled it up with no runny nose. Her face got pretty blotchy after the chocolate cake - dairy free, mind you - but you've got to live a little, right. Probably won't do the chocolate thing again.

OK - so silver lining time. Liam had his friend Sam over today and for most of the day they played on their own. It is fascinating to listen to two five-year-olds interact. They were talking about all kinds of things - their hair, (why it grows and what it is made of) - what planets were, and what happens when cats die (Liam's lecture on the subject consisted of his opinion that their hearts keep working but their stomachs die, and their eyes stay closed, but they still love you.) Really, it was priceless stuff, and I only heard it because I was upstairs nursing Thea while they ate lunch below me and there was this flurry of information flowing between them - some accurate, some not so much, but it didn't really matter because their take on it all was far more interesting than the nuts and bolts details of the world. I wish I still lived in that reality. It sounded much more interesting.