Thursday, September 30, 2010

Losing My Job

On Monday, at 9am, they called me in and told me that I was losing my job.

My position is being expanded and I don't fit. That's the short version. They need someone with a BA in Accounting, not a BA in Religion and 3 Accounting classes. I had seen it coming. I knew I had a sweet gig, too good to last forever. I knew the other shoe would drop eventually. I was surprised that it was now, but I got over that shock pretty quick. Of course, during the subsequent 3 days at home with a sick baby, I would at times forget all about it for hours at a time.

They're being really sweet about it. I've been there nearly 5 years and they're giving me 10 weeks of severance pay. My last day isn't until December 10th. I can go to job interviews on the clock between now and then. They want me to train my replacement on what I do now.

Since my work is a church related non-profit, they don't participate in unemployment, so I can't collect unemployment. But they've basically given me 5 months notice before my money situation actually changes.

I'm a little sad, but certainly not angry with them. I'll miss my friends with tons of new-mother advice. And my lunch time walks. And only having to work 36.25 hours per week. At whatever schedule I clear with my boss each week. And the 20 minute exercise program they have each day. And the ability to shop craigslist for way too long each day. And being able to listen to books on CD. *big sigh* But who can really expect to get ALL those lovely benefits perpetually.

I've been really blessed to be a Jr. Staff Accountant for 5 years with absolutely no prior accounting experience.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sick Boy - STILL!

Sunday, on the way home from Ohio, Quint had a fever. Sunday night, he started in with the disgusting runny, green nose. Monday morning, as we were getting ready for work and daycare, I had it in my mind that I'd be back home with him soon.

Sure enough at 9:30, Priscilla emailed me saying, in a much sweeter and more specific way, come get your snot nosed kid. I went and got him. She said they would wipe his nose, go wash their hands, and when they got back, he'd need his nose wiped again. And we mean seriously wiped. He seemed to have a fever too. I tried to get us an appointment on Monday, but they were booked. So we went home and I tried the old tried and trues - ibuprofen and benadryl. Things got a tiny bit better. I had to wipe is nose even more often, but it was thinner.

Monday night, there was now a very icky sounding cough involved. And a time or two he couldn't nurse because he couldn't breath through his nose.

Tuesday morning, we had our appointment with a fill in pediatrician because our wonderful doctor always has Tuesdays off. Appointment at 9:50. The hag actually came in our room at 11:20. That's right. Ninety minutes with an energetic and grumpy toddler who wants to go love all the other (non-sick) children in the waiting room. At least a half hour of that with a mostly naked, sick baby in a room which was a tiny bit cool. I'm so glad I took one of his fuzzy blankets in preparation for the mostly naked part of any baby appointment. The hag (no other word for it) smelled like a (clean) 80 year old woman, hadn't read enough of the chart to know if Quint was a boy or a girl, and I had to tell her that we'd been to the doctor 10 days before. When I tried to tell her about the weird results of that ear infection/innoculation problems we had last week, it was obvious that she was impatient to leave.

I'm so glad I went! Yeah, right. But we did get another round of antibiotics. He does have at least one ear infection (right side) and may or may not have another on the other side. That's how specific she was.

We went home and Quint slept for 2 hours - straight through lunch. He seemed to get a bit worse through the day, even though I kept up with the ibuprofen and benadryl. At 7pm, I went to Walgreens with him to get his antibiotics and some other essentials. I bought them all at Walgreens just so we wouldn't have to go to a second store. This became the plan when he started coughing more and constantly as soon as he hit fresh air. I wiped his nose 8 times while we were in Walgreens. He was worse when we got back. I fed him yogurt and his new antibiotic. I'm starting to wonder if he's immune to antibiotics. Not allergic to them, but perhaps they're ineffectual. Last time we had two rounds and he seemed better. Did the antibiotics do anything? How fast would he have gotten better without antibiotics?

Today (Wednesday) he seems a little bit better. He still has an icky sounding cough, but it's not as bad sounding. I think he had a fever at noonish.

Hubby has had big things going on at work this week, so I've been home with Quint. Daycare is closed Friday, so I wonder if we should even contemplate trying to send him to daycare on Thursday.

Here at 9:30 at night, he still has a cough that sounds like he's sick. And we're still having to wipe his nose every few minutes. So he'll stay home again tomorrow (Thursday), but this time with Daddy.

Weekend in Ohio

This past weekend, we drove to Ohio to visit my in-laws. Our time there was very, very fun (except Friday night/Sat morning between midnight and 6am). We're going to focus on the very, very fun parts and bounce across the surface of the non-fun parts.

Hubby was supposed to have gone to Ohio two weeks ago for a family reunion, but had a huge sense of foreboding just before he was to leave. This past Friday morning, we set off at 7am. We had driven perhaps 20 miles or less when our Lincoln lost all power and left us dead in the road at the head of a stop light. Lots of phone calls ensued with panicky, yelling results. A service guy got the car running and we got it back to the house.

We left the car running, transferred everything from one car to the other, took the Lincoln to the repair shop (me following with the car with flashers). Now we're finally off to Ohio, 2.5 hours after we left the house we are now 30 minutes down the road. Quint was very whimpery on the drive and at times I thought that I would completely loose my mind! We stopped I don't know how many times to let him toddle around rest stop park benches. So the drive up was extremely long. At one point, I was singing, "this is the drive that never just goes on and on my friends..."

We finally arrived around 5pm local time and pretty quickly went to the lovely back yard to turn everyone loose to roam. Heaven. Wonderful lawn, fenced yard, play scape including slide and baby swing. Wonderful visit. Wonderful pork chops for dinner. Perfect weather outside. Lots of fun just talking with my mother-in-law while the men were elsewhere for one reason or another. I loved laying in the grass while Quint tried to climb up the slide.

Quint actually liked the baby swing which is different from the park swings around here.

At Quint's regular bedtime, we put him down in Grandma's pack and play with some blankets. I had forgotten to bring his soft and fuzzy blanket and his teddy bear. BIG mistake. He slept for a couple hours while I foolishly played on the internet. Starting at 1am, Quint woke up every 45 minutes until, you know, dawn. At 5:00 or so, it occurred to Hubby to give him some benadryl to make him sleepy. Why on earth didn't me or my mother-in-law think of that?! Quint woke up again at 6:30 or 7am and we got up for the day. At nine, he went down for a 2 hour nap and I got to sleep some more.

In between everyone's naps on Saturday, we had a fun time visiting and playing on the floor with Quint. In the evening, we had a huge gathering of family and friends at Hubby's favorite pizza place, Marion's pizza.
We had a George convention:
Seldom seen great-aunts got to hug on Quint.

Even more rarely seen relatives got to be visited with and loved upon.
A good time was had by most everyone and the festivities continued at my mother-in-law's house afterward. Hubby got to spend a good long time talking to his cousin and his girlfriend, too. It's been a few years since they got to talk and they really needed it.

Saturday night went much better for Quint now that he was used to his room and bed. And I also draped a blanket over the edge of his bed so he couldn't see the scary, big plant.

Sunday morning we were on the road about mid-morning. I was so frustrated with our ride down that I bought a car DVD player and two kids DVDs for the drive back. Also Quint was running a fever when we loaded him into the car. With the DVD player, we had 2 hours of non-whimper time due to singing cucumbers and the rats of NIHM. Pretty good deal.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sick little boy

My baby boy has been sick. Last Thursday, we had his regular 12 month visit and found that he had an ear infection. They gave him two inoculations on top of that. Bad idea.

Friday night, he had an extremely painful ear ache - his first painful one. Lots of tricks finally made it better. He still felt bad for all of Saturday and part of Sunday, but he seemed like himself Sunday evening. Monday, Priscilla said he had some interesting diapers, and didn't seem himself. So I cuddled him up good Monday night. Tuesday, Priscilla called mid-morning saying he was sick and I needed to come get him. He had several interesting diapers through until about 3pm. Hubby and I played some tag team and both watched him Tuesday. The diapers grew less interesting. We fed him yogurt to put back good bacteria in his gut. Things got better. Wednesday he seemed a whole lot more normal. His morning diaper was a little odd, but nothing scary. After the noonish nap, he FINALLY started acting like himself. Actually smiling and laughing.

I knew he was finally better when we were at Walgreens. I had crouched down and set Quint on my leg like a seat. He clambered to get down and I let him down in the nearly empty store. Crawling, he made a B-line for the toy aisle a few feet away. I let him go and he entertained himself by looking at the shiny toys.

We finally started giving him a teaspoon or more of yogurt with each dose of antibiotics. It seems to help.

Finally, a week and variety of symptoms later, I think he may be well. Just in time for us to leave town to visit a whole passel of family! I've nursed him so much in the last few days that I'm starving on a regular basis again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

10+ year journal notes

It's been a while since I put down bullet type details to transfer to my 10+ year journal when I have time.

Sept 11 - Quint's first few steps - nine to be exact - toward me!
Sept 11 - Quint's first birthday party
Sept 16 - Hepititus A and Pneumococcal. He also has an ear ache.
Sept 17 - Extremely painful ear ache for Quint
Sept 4 - Abby and Ryan visit for the weekend
Sept 9 - DAK arrives for birthday weekend
Sept 10 - Mom and Dad arrive for birthday weekend.
Aug 13-15 - Us in TX
Aug 1-4 - Hubby in SC
Aug 18-20 Hubby in Portland Oregon
Sept 14 - Hubby got a smart phone
Sept 8 - Hubby got his lapband adjusted
Sept 17 - Hubby has lost 30 pounds! The vest to his Bonnie Prince Charlie coat fits for the first time ever. I have to move the buttons on his dress uniform.
Sept 18 - Grand Master visits the house
Sept 12 - Hubby was supposed to go to his Mom's but had huge sense of foreboding. Stayed home.
Sept 24-26 - All three go to Ohio
Aug 5 - Hubby elected by 65%!
July 19-23 - Hubby stayed home with Quint for a whole week. At the end, he knew he could raise him by himself.
June 10-13 - All in TX
June 19-27 - NC, Myrtle Beach, NC
June 19 - visit with Tom
June 26 - visit with Bob
June 12 - Quint crawled for the first time

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend review, the Grand Master and the Congressmans' Husband

Weekend review:
Our worst night with Quint's earache was Friday night. So I napped hard Saturday. He felt pretty good all day Saturday. Sunday, he seemed to feel fine (smiling, happy, playing on his own) even though he had an amazing number of dirty diapers. I learned that being a child's only comfort can either be really annoying (when there's really only whining going on) or really rewarding (when you've managed to relieve a pretty severe discomfort).

I managed to get a good many chores done on Sunday, so I felt accomplished. Hubby had been complaining recently about the fact that I have the TV on a whole lot of the time. He kept asking me if all that radiation gave me a headache. (Does anyone have a clue what he's talking about?) He never said HE had a headache though. Lately, though, I hadn't found much on TV that I thought was spectacular. On the other hand, now that I'm not pumping at work anymore, I don't have a time set aside to read my Diana Gabaldon book. And only getting to read 3 or 4 pages right before bed just doesn't cut it with a 1000 page tome. So as much as possible this weekend, I turned on the radio or MP3 player when I wanted sound entertainment, and read my book when Quint was napping. Hubby didn't mention the difference, but perhaps he enjoyed it anyway.

The Grand Master:

The most exciting 30 minutes of my weekend happened at about 6pm on Saturday. I was coming home from running some errands. Quint was late getting his supper and seemed to need some more ibuprofen. He was clingy and whimpery and rested his head on my shoulder quite a lot. Have you ever tried to push a cart in Walmart while holding a 22 pound child? Not so easy. So Quint needed his dinner, and his medicine, and then he would probably be fine. I'm nearly home when Hubby calls to say that one friend is headed to the house (good friend, no problem) and he's also bringing the Grand Master by the house for a few minutes. That's the head of the Masonic Fraternity for the whole state. They've been at an event where Hubby was in full Highland dress and the Grand Master was in a tux. I am currently wearing a skimpy outfit that shows off my baby-play-bruises, my hair is unwashed and sculpted into a bun, Quint has normal 6pm dribbles on him, plus some crying/snottiness going on, and just wants to be held. Also, both living rooms have small toys scattered across the entire room. You know, it looks like a baby has played there. Great. Sure. No problem. I'm ready for the Grand Master to see my home for the first time ever.

Oh and can I pick up a six pack of that great beer on my way home. Sure. No problem. When might y'all be home? Oh, in about 30 minutes. Wonderful. Thankfully, everyone had already eaten so I didn't need to think about a meal for guests.

I wasn't quite even home yet. I stopped at our local Habib's whose credit card machine was on the blink. Could I use his ATM and use cash instead? Sure. No problem. Thank you, come again!

I race home. Our good friend is just getting out of his truck when I pull in. He helps me haul in the cold groceries. I plunk Quint down in the highchair with crackers and my friend keeps him entertained well. Or perhaps the baby is stunned by a stranger. Whatever, the whimpering stops, which was a big help. I dart into the front living room (beside the front door - first impression land) and rake all the loose toys into one huge basket, paying no attention to where they actually go. I jerk up other things like shoes and sweaters and fling them someplace better than the floor. I gather the big trash (store toy packaging) into a cubby in the hall. Hubby has arrived and moved our tower of mail off the kitchen counter to the dining table. He puts other things there too. This helps. I see the Grand Master pull up and dart around faster. I go to the other living room (the one adjoining the kitchen) and only start to rake small wooden blocks into a pile. At this point, our honored guest arrives in my kitchen. Breathe. Greet. Try to relax.

I continue to work on making Quint his dinner and putting away the cold groceries. I give Quint his ibuprofen and another cracker. I ask him if he wants milk or water. Milk. I manage to have a conversation about my pregnancy and Quint's current ills while shoving yogurt into the fridge. Our guest is also a medical doctor. Even he said something like "they gave him inoculations while he had an ear infection?" But he did not criticize my doctor. The men went out to the deck for drinks, cigars and bagpipes. Yes, that's right. Bagpipes. Mr. Doctor Grand Master had offered to help Hubby tune the drones on his new, fantastic bagpipes. He's a pretty good classical pianist as well. And a licensed plumber ("did we tell you about our water heater blowing up?").

While they're out there tuning bagpipes, I feed Quint his corn and carrots. He gets done eating and wants to get down, so I set him down. He crawls over to the patio door, stands up, and knocks to get out there. Big grin! Hubby brings him out and our boy joins the men. I clean up a few more things, prepare Quint's antibiotics, and go out to join them. They're done playing with the Uileann pipes (a different set from the new fantastic set Hubby has). I give Quint his medicine and then sit down to socialize. Finally, I can relax.

I play on the floor with Quint and a big ball, occasionally smacking mosquito off us both. After just a few minutes, Quint starts to feel markedly better. He starts to smile and laugh. The Grand Master probably wasn't at the house for longer than an hour. Good, eclectic conversation. I learned a good phrase signifying the middle of nowhere - 40 plum. Forty miles off the highway, plum in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you spell that plumb?

Not a bad visit. Our guest didn't seem uncomfortable, or judgmental of my less than perfect house.

It reminded me of another time my husband popped me into a socially awkward situation. The time I drove the Congressman's Husband to a political event.

The Congressman's Husband:

It was the first year of our marriage. Hubby was working for a female member of Congress. She insists on being called Congressman because that is the title. If she were Governor, you wouldn't call her a governess, so don't call her a congresswoman. I was out of work. Hubby had driven the Congressman, in her SUV, to an event 90 miles from home. I was also invited to the event as was the Congressman's husband. Hubby called me to ask me to pick him (Congressman's Hubby) up and drive him to the event so we wouldn't all get there in 3 cars. Coming home later, the couples could be in their respective cars.

Sounds logical. And a bit terrifying. I remember standing in our loft, hair dripping, towel clutched around me saying, "you want me to do WHAT?!" I may have met the man in passing once or twice. What would I talk about for 90 minutes! Certainly not politics! Also, what state was my car in? Nearly empty tank, a little trashed, and oh yeah, the transmission was shot, but still grudgingly working.

Somehow I managed to get ready in time. The carpooling cut an hour off my preparation time, so my hair had to dry on it's own in the car. So I pick the guy up, me in my fancy dress and basically a towel on my head. The guy is an incurable flirt - harmless, and good natured. After he made a few cracks about the desperate sound of my transmission, I loosened up, and the rest of the drive was un-memorable and pleasant. When we arrived, I encouraged him to go in without me, which was contradictory to his "escort the lady on your arm" instinct. After all, I had to completely fix my hair in the parking lot. Once he understood that, he went in without me. My own Hubby came out with an "are you ok?" type look on his face. I gave him a brief glare for putting me in that situation, but I had stopped sweating by then. It had turned out alright. I finished fixing my hair and braced myself for an evening of political hobnobbing while not talking about politics.

See, both times, it turned out alright! Alright being defined as, I didn't say the wrong thing, accidentally flash anyone, visibly shake, or fall down. I should really have more confidence in myself. And be prepared for anything my Husband throws at me. And perhaps keep my hair washed and dried at all times....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ear Ache

In the future, when Quint already has an ear infection, we will not be getting immunizations. His body had been fighting off just the ear infection, but now it was busy working on the immunizations and the ear infection ran rampant. Yesterday, Priscilla's husband called from the daycare saying that Quint had a temp of 101.3 and was not a happy camper. I thought that might happen. So I went and got him at 10:30. He spent the next 12 hours within about 6 inches of me.

But at least we got to hang out in the hammock for an hour and a half. He slept a bit as we swayed in the breeze. I had taken drinks, a snack, a book, and phones out there. So when he woke up, we laid there eating vanilla wafers and drinking milk or water. I kept saying "good stuff" and at one point, he said "oo stuff" which made me laugh, which made him smile. One of the last smiles I saw for the rest of the day.

He kept feeling worse and worse throughout the day, despite doses of ibuprofen and tylenol. By 9pm, we put him down sleepy but awake, as usual and I went to bed immediately, trying to recover from my own cold. He was up at 9:30 screaming. SCREAMING!

I could get him calmed down for a few minutes at a time by nursing, rocking and singing to him. but as soon as I'd put him down, about 5 minutes later he'd be screaming again. By 10:30, he only wanted to scream and writhe in pain in my arms. He wouldn't even nurse. Loads of fun for us! We were out of tricks. Even the swing didn't help, since laying flat seemed to be torture. So we called in reinforcements: my sister the RN.

She told us that we needed to get the clog of gunk out of the painful part of his ear. She suggested a warm compress on the outside of his ear. Also Benadryl might thin out the mucus. Too bad we couldn't feed him a cup of hot tea to try to get heat to the ear area via the throat. Also, there's some old home remedy involving warm oil in the ear. We looked that one up. Google came through and said olive oil will do, make it just barely warm - not hot. Put just a few drops in the ear. Also, anything to distract him from the pain would be helpful.

So we went back downstairs to try our new tricks. We fed him some Benadryl, and some Tylenol since he was due for it anyway. I found our tiny heating pads and we nuked them for 10 seconds. Not too hot when I put it to my own ear. Sat him on my lap, ran the new ball popper (Thanks Julie!) and held the heating pad to his ear. Small pause for ball popping thought then amazingly fast writhing and high pitched shrieking. Followed by a long pause where he was out of air and thinking about inhaling. I held it on there for about 10 or 15 seconds. Extremely long seconds.

A few minutes later, he burped or coughed or something and the pressure in his head changed. Things were better! Now only minor, clingy whimpering. He hadn't really eaten his supper, so I asked him if he wanted to eat his supper. Direct eye contact and a positive look. Hubby said it looked like a yes to him too. Well alrighty then! I re-warmed his green beans and barley and it was nearly too hot for him. He gulped it down and looked relieved. He hoovered down most of the bowl. Maybe the warm goo warmed his ear area from the inside.

After his dinner, things were much improved! He even toddled around and would play a few feet from me. After he was clearly feeling better for about 15 minutes, we put him to bed - where he stayed until 6am. So he slept from 12:30 to 6. We went to bed immediately.

So! New in our bag of ear ache tricks are a heating pad on the outside and pretty hot food or drink on the inside. Benadryl seemed to thin the mucus which helped by getting things moving from the ear canal. We didn't try this, but we read that a few drops of warmed olive oil in the ear might help. Swinging in the swing might help. Laying down does not help. Keep the ibuprofen and tylenol coming at regular intervals. But if you want to skip one pain med, keep in mind that ibuprofen reduces swelling in the ear area.

And's naptime.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Immunizations and Bible Study

Thoughtful cake consumption
Yesterday, Quint had his 12 month well baby visit where we found out that he isn't well. It's just an ear infection, but still! I hate that I'm always clueless about him being sick. He had been especially whimpery right after his 3 day birthday spoilathon with family and friends giving him so many toys that he didn't know what to play with first. I figured that we'd just spoiled him and therefore I have been pretty tough about "I'll only give you that if you stop crying before I hand it to you," and other "suck it up and tell me what you need (which he can usually do with meaningful looks and hand gestures)" type things. I'm trying to squelch the guilt for being tough against bratiness that was actual illness.

During the birthday weekend, he started preferring just me to anyone else. Maybe it was just too many people, but we all thought he might be entering a "nobody but the mama" phase, which is normal about this age. He only wanted me and pitifully would even hold out his hands to me while we were in the carseat and I was driving. So, turns out, that was a painful ear infection.

Last night, after 2 immunizations, and with an ear infection, he had a temp of 101.6 at 1am. Poor little guy. I couldn't remember if that was considered a terrifyingly high temp for a one year old or not. A temp of 100.4 is terrifyingly high for a newborn, so I was concerned. Thankfully, we've got one of those 800 numbers to talk to an RN 24/7 and so I called them. I gave him ibuprofen before I actually got on the phone with them. The nurse was very helpful and put my fears at ease. Forty-five minutes later, when I could tell the temp had gone down, we all went back to bed.

*DING! Major subject change*

For the last couple years, I have not been doing my part on my relationship with God. I've gotten out of the habit of my daily prayer journal and Bible reading, and at times have had long gaps in praying at all. My prayers have primarily been very short, and very heartfelt, things like, "Thank you Lord for a beautiful, healthy son," and "Thank you Lord for my wonderful husband," and "Thank you that we have everything we need in life."

I have my Bachelors in Religion and my Masters in Biblical Studies. During my Masters, I mostly lost the ability to read the Bible devotionally. I spent all my time researching and studying the Bible critically, picking apart verses and passages for what the author might have meant in the original languages. It's a matter of missing the forest for the trees - examining the trees so closely to determine their species that you miss the beauty of the forest. As a result, while reading, I would completely miss how loving and wonderful God is, how He wants the best for me, and wants to teach me how to live. It had even gotten to where I would have these horribly cynical thoughts about so many verses I read or faith-filled stories I would hear. I hated that!

So a while back, I asked my husband to read with me at night basically to make me read each night. I know he reads his Bible each night. Quickly, it became apparent that I needed to specify the type of reading I needed. He would open the Bible to somewhere in Leviticus, read how to treat a medical problem, snap the Bible shut and say "Blessed be the word of the Lord." Wow, that was great. I certainly feel closer to God NOW. Another day it was military movements of troops. Another day it was how Paul traveled from here to there. Hmmm... This isn't working. So I asked him to read me something edifying to my soul. He read me some other passage that was hard to apply to my daily life and then chided me for being ungrateful for the Word and how ANY passage could be edifying to the soul if you tried hard enough. Hmmm... that sure helped. I am now both grateful and edified. And feel like a slug.

OK, so I'm a little disappointed that Hubby doesn't lead me spiritually, but he never has before. Did I really think he would suddenly start just because I asked? His relationship with God has always been quite different than mine. I see God as a loving Father who disciplines lovingly. I think he sees God as a strict disciplinarian who is just waiting for an excuse to throw you into hell. Sometimes he seems almost Catholic in his guilt and fear of God, but he is certainly Protestant in terms of Mary and the saints and whatnot. We're Methodist by the way.

So I asked my pastor for help getting back in the habit. He gave me a thing called a Life Journal which gives you certain passages to read each day, and a few instructions on how to prayerfully examine a passage for it's personal meaning to you that day. I'm only 2 days into it, but I really like having structure and instruction. Obviously my own sentiment of "just go do it" was falling pitifully short. This was evident in the fact that my prayer journal was dusty at the bottom of my stack of bedside books, and my Bible was under 3 other bedside books.

For years now, Hubby has come and tucked me in at night. He comes to bed hours later as a general rule. If we go to bed at the same time, we can't shut up talking and laughing and we wind up falling asleep 2 hours later than planned. So, Hubby would take away my book, kiss me, and turn out my light. So now he comes in while I'm doing my Bible study and asks just how much longer I'm going to be. I really don't want to rush through this just because it's late. I know that I will do that on occasion of course, but I certainly don't want that to be the habit. So now I need some snappy comeback/solution to having my Hubby make sure I get enough sleep balanced with the "don't rush the Bible study" issue. Anybody got any great ideas about that? I'm all ears.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Quint!!!

In the beginning, there was a tiny blue line.....and much rejoicing....

And then it was all about me....
and occasionally him... (behold, we see through a mirror dimly...)
but mostly me....
and then him....
and now, it's just all about him. Quint was born on 9-15-09 at 12:26pm. He weighed 7lbs, 7oz.
When he was fresh squeezed, his hair looked curly, but it just needed a comb.
Here's roughly a picture a month for my wonderful little fellow.
I still have a hard time talking about anything else.
"Hi mom!" Ahhh the magical bouncy seat which could calm my baby within three bounces. At times I thought my foot would fall off, but I bounced anyway.
1 month old
"Yay! A clean diaper!" 2 months old
It wasn't always a bed of roses...
It's a good thing he was so cute. Those first three months, it sooooo made it worth it.
4 months old.
5 months old.
6 months old.
7 months old.
8 months old.
9 months old.
10 months old.

11 Months old

First Birthday Party!!

Happy Birthday Quint! You have changed my life in ways I would never have guessed. You have made every moment richer. You have made it easy to sort out what in my life is important and what really is not. Your kisses are the sweetest thing ever. Your love of music and dancing booty always makes me smile. I love to watch you learn new things. You are the joy of my life and I love being your Mom.

What Quint is up to right now: Quint is learning to drink out of a cup and really likes crystal lite lemonade. He is almost weaned and has done all of that himself. He eats 6-8 ounces of baby food goo three times a day with tons of snacks in between. He really likes fried chicken. He can say mama, dada, cracker, and papa with regularity and consistency. At other times, we swear that he's said outside, OK, thank you, dat (meaning cat) and once even "hey cat" while trying to get the kitty's attention. He is walking around all furniture while holding on and absolutely loves his white, hard soled walker shoes. As in cries when I take them off him until I give him one to hug. A time or two, he has insisted on taking the shoes to bed with him. He took his first few unassisted steps just before his birthday party. He had missed a meal and was in search of cheerios. He weighs 22 pounds and is in a forward facing car seat. On the way home from daycare each day, he chats away and tells me all about his day. I can understand none of this, of course, but I pretend like I can and respond with interest. He loves to swing doors back and forth and the pantry and dryer doors are endlessly entertaining. He's a very active little boy with a good sense of humor. He loves to be squirted in the face with water. Gravity is a favorite toy as is anything with buttons that he should not have.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quint's Birthday Party

Look for several additions to this post today as I have time to work on them. But just to get this video up as soon as possible for Quint's Grandmother, here you go!

This weekend, we had Quint's first birthday party. His birthday is not until Wednesday, so I just picked a Saturday to have the party. We had several friends over and several family members came to town to shower our little guy with gifts. We are very grateful for all the wonderful gifts. Soon, we will separate them into perhaps three batches, store some away for a while and then bring them out when a fresh toy would be good.

There was a monkey theme to the party with plates, cups, napkins, cake, rug (yes rug!) and whatnot.

I made and decorated the monkey cake for Quint's birthday. It turned out MUCH better than the first try and only took 2 hours or less to decorate. Lots of short breaks to deal with small fry dangling on my leg while I outlined things in icing. My hand was half crippled from squeezing an icing bag at the end, but I got two backrubs out of the deal!

Here's just part of the loot from the birthday weekend!
Here's a synopsis of the loot. New are the big blue ball, (the stool is old), the table toy with 4 blue legs, the wood puzzles on the floor and chair, (the basket of toys is old), the ball popper, and 3 or 4 DVDs.
A new piano/xylophone can be played with the red sticks or you can plink on the (invisible from this angle) piano keys just in front.
Quint loves this learning and music table. It has a million songs and noises, several things to flip back and forth, it speaks English and Spanish, teaches alphabet and numbers, cooks eggs, can parallel park, can field dress a moose, and has planted the seeds of world peace. It also has an off switch. :-)

These are some new bath toys that we'll try out tonight when we try to scrub that big scab off his head. We've got a couple other new bath toys that have already been kid tested and mother approved. The dolphin squirter is really fun. I'll have to take a picture of the safest frog on the planet which is now our carseat toy.

This fun, monkey rug is double sided and just darn cute! It's pretty big too! Probably three feet across at the ears.
This shows the xylophone/piano, a lovely wood block house my dad built (and Quint for some reason did NOT knock over), an elephant toy, a single weeble (we have 4), and the walk and ride lion that I got on Craigslist.

The weebles have been a whole lot of fun already. Quint put them in one of the package boxes and would scoot them side to side, watching the weebles dance choreographically.

There's the ball popper which I don't have a still photo of, but here's a link to a great video of it. There's one of these in the church nursery, but the balls have all gone missing and I think the batteries are dead as well. Friday, I bought some balls to go in the one at church and was going to take batteries too just because we wanted to see it work! And then Hubby's sister had this one shipped to us just an hour later. So I immediately had extra balls for my own ball popper!

There's even one more present that hasn't gotten unwrapped yet, but my sister said it was a bath toy and we could just unwrap it later. The big problem with baths lately has been that he won't stay sitting down. Maybe all these bath toys will help with that. Or maybe I'll just have to start getting completely in the tub with him. I'd be just as wet as I am outside the tub!

Some friends of ours are getting married on Halloween and they bought Quint a superman costume for the wedding. We will be in nice dress clothes, but the kiddies will be in costumes. It is size 2T but looks like it will fit perfectly!

I think my mother purchased every monkey-themed outfit at Walmart that was in either size 12M or 18M, so we've got some incredibly cute new clothes too. Several of our friends have recently given us boxes of 12m and 18 month clothes and Quint has everything he needs in life.

So Quint's birthday was a big hit, he (and we) enjoyed his cake, we enjoyed seeing our friends who were willing to come to a 1 year old's birthday party, and we received enough gifts to last the next six months.

Quint's first steps!

First of all, I have so much to put in the blog today that I'll separate things into different posts like "presents", "party", and "walking". This one is "walking"

Quite the busy weekend for Quint. Just before his first birthday party, he took his first steps!

This is my first attempt to upload anything to youtube and then link it in, so I hope it works.

Quint was really really hungry when he took his first steps. He was overdue for a full meal, so Cherrios were the big motivator. But also, he started walking to me and/or the camera, both of which he loves!

This was on Saturday. This morning, he took one unaided step towards me. So we're on our way!!! Grandpa Billy put all the baby latches on all the cabinets this weekend, so we're ready for a fast moving little boy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rough day

You know you've had a bad day when....
We have got to get some smaller bandaids. I bet he's really close to learning to walk. These are his first bandaid boo-boos.

But there was another first that was lots more fun! His first scribbling with a crayon!Big day for Quint!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekend rundown

I had a really good weekend. It was relaxing and peaceful, and I'm really trying not to ruin those memories by kicking myself for not getting things, you know, DONE! There was nothing I needed to get done that didn't get done. I had pre-done stuff to make sure of that.

Hubby's sister and boyfriend were in town which filled the house with music, Avatar, and conversation. The weather was absolutely perfect and we had the house open almost the whole weekend. I love our yard and it's 4 million trees. With their shade and a breeze, it was 80 degrees outside but 75 or so in the house. Beautiful dappled light suffused the whole weekend in one way or another.

We even got to hang out in the hammock with the baby! Our extremely mobile child wasn't feeling tip top (teething probably) and so was content to just sit and lean on one of us while we swang in the hammock. We have a string set up so we can make ourselves rock from within the hammock. Quint figured out how that worked and tried to pull the string himself. Which was very cute but completely ineffective.

Hubby's aunt and uncle stopped by on their way through town and got to see Quint for the first time. It was really great to see them! I haven't seen them, omigosh, in close to 2 years! Thanksgiving before last I think.

We need a new deck. Ours is 22 years old and soooooo looks it. It's a splinter factory, and seems a bit small, but perhaps that's just our furniture choices. I visited our neighbors for a few minutes this weekend and we sat on their wonderful deck. It's just a couple years old and not covered over with trees. That means it stays cleaner. I could put Quint down on the deck and let him explore. (For those panicky grandmothers out there, his head can NOT fit through the slats and there was a gate at the top of the stairs.) But we agree that a new roof is first, then a deck, then siding for 2 sides of the house. We gotta put that in the budget somewhere.

We went to a local state park and walked their 2 mile lovely walkway. I had my loaded for bear baby bag with me which Hubby asked, as always, "do we really need all that?" To which I replied, "How many times have you asked me that in our marriage and what was the answer then?" We put it in the stroller anyway, it's not like I asked him to carry the thing. And as a result, we had bug spray, water, baby snacks, Quint's lunch, and wet washrags to wipe him down afterward.

Last night, we bought some fried chicken at Walmart and I fed bits to Quint while I ate. This was the first adult food that he's really taken to! Well, the first non-mush adult food. He's liked mashed potatoes for quite some time. He flung the salmon fillet at the wall. He slung the string cheese off his hand as if I'd handed him a spiderweb - spider intact. Tiny pieces of cut fruit have popped right back out. Plain white rice was jerked out of his mouth and wiped on his tray. But the boy loves chicken skin! This weekend, maybe I'll try him on some diced carrots and other stuff I know he likes in mush form.

I finally found his little blue shoes last night! Priscilla kept saying that he had hidden them from me on purpose and I think maybe he did! He loves to play with doors, swinging them back and forth and back and forth.... the dryer door is just fascinating! He had apparently played with the linen closet door sometime last weekend and closed the shoes up in there. I guess he was ready for the next size up and this was the only way he could tell me. He loves his little hard soled walkers so much that he's taken them to bed 3 times as his binki. We probably won't put his first blue shoes on him again, but I certainly didn't want to loose them!! So now they're found. Yay!

I DID get the microwave cleaned out, got rid of a nearly permanent pile of junk near the phone, scrubbed two (out of 4) kitchen cabinets to perfection with a Mr. Clean Eraser, and (drumroll please) completely cleaned off the dining room table!!!! This morning, I even found all the paperwork necessary for our mortgage refinancing in about 5 minutes worth of searching. Isn't it great when things are correctly filed?!

Tonight, I need to clean out the refrigerator to make room for an iced birthday cake and a crock pot. We need to dry the guest sheets and put them back on the bed. Switch out the towels in the guest bathroom... buy more Dr. Pepper...empty the video camera and recharge its' batteries... Ok, so all that won't get done tonight, but it needs to get done before Thursday.

Monday, September 6, 2010

cool birthday gifts

Quint's aunt came to visit this weekend and brought Quint his first birthday present. It was a huge hit with both child and adults! While Quint was hopping up and down while playing with the blocks, we were enjoying playing with them too. We had four graduate degree recipients playing with blocks and saying things like, "wow, this guy really put a lot of thought into these" and "ooo look, it can do this too!" and "wow it fits perfectly this way too!". We all loved that they are a toy that encourages creativity and can be used with lots of other toys. Quint's only a year old now, but he'll play with them differently as he grows.

Here's the whole ship set:As we pulled the ship set over my non-smooth wood floors, it sounded like a train chugging along. No fear that they would scratch my floors! The pieces are very smoothly sanded and the wood feels divine.

With all the pieces displayed:
The pegs easily come off the boat base to use as connectors, yet stay put within the boat.

And some of the endless things you can do:
And yes, this is a shameless ad for the guy in Franklin, North Carolina who makes them. Go check out his website called CircaToys.

These photos were taken after Quint was in bed, so unfortunately I don't have any shots of Quint hopping up and down with a big "oooooo" face. I'm sure you'll see photos like that on this blog in the future.

Quint's aunt asked if these would make a gift every year, and I said sure!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Loaded for bear

We've got a busy weekend ahead of us. Hubby's sister and boyfriend are in town and staying with us. Some other friends of ours are in town and staying with some other friends of ours, but we're planning on getting together a good bit. Hubby's aunt and uncle will be passing through town Sunday and would like to meet the baby.

To prepare for this distinct lack of schedule, I've loaded down the baby bag and trunk. With nearly zero notice, I could be away from the house for approximately a day and a half before I ran out of diapers, jarred baby food, or baby clothes. I have spoons, baby wipes, baby washrags, PJs, toys, blankets (AKA drop cloths), an umbrella stroller, (no baby bug spray yet), bottled water, baby cups, and at least three kinds of baby snacks. I have nothing on my weekend list that can't wait. I have all the laundry (except one load) washed AND dried. I have groceries bought to be able to produce three large meals at the house this weekend. OK, so one of them is just spaghetti, but I could feed an army! I have chips, I have dips, I have diet ginger ale (for mixing), I have frozen cookies. I have the guest room ready for company (but need to put more towels in their bathroom, come to think of it.) I am mentally prepared to have my guests' stuff in weird places. I have the still camera in my purse and need to put the video camera (and charging cord) in the car. I even have 3/4 of a tank of gas!

I am not carting around the pack and play this weekend in case Quint needs a nap somewhere random. We can just go for a drive and sleep in the car. Maybe I should put a book for me in the car for while he naps.

I'm all excited with my preparations and am almost daring Murphy to try to thwart me. I said almost! ALMOST! You hear that Murphy!!

So let's see, what is still on my to-do list?
Pack bug spray, and baby leash for lawn crawling.
Pack/charge video camera.
Put still camera batteries in the car.
Put Diana Galbaldon book in the car.
Put towels in guest bathroom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My hair

This morning, I washed my hair for the first time since we cut off 9 inches. I know! Earth shattering news! It feels wonderfully short. Blissfully short. It seems to be drying so much faster. When I slung my head back and forth to get out more water this morning, I laughed at how light it felt. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! I can wear it in a ponytail again! Before it weighed too much. Last night, Hubby complimented my hair several times. He said it looks really beautiful shorter. Now that it's shorter, I can wear it somehow other than braided or bunned.