Monday, April 30, 2007

Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today

I wonder why it is that I seem to be unable to enjoy things in the here and now. Whenever I'm having a good moment, or relishing a victory or the like, my brain immediately jumps to how sucky it's going to be when the moment is over.

To wit:

Yesterday I was able to go shopping* and go for a run at the YMCA by myself because my awesome mom-in-law is still here with us, and she can hang out with the Nolanmeister while I go do my thang. Almost the entire time I was browsing and then sweating and panting I was thinking "Enjoy it now, because she's leaving in three days and then your life will go back to the hellish mess that it normally is." Yeah! Thanks, brain!

*A pause here to sing the praises of the glory that is T.J. Maxx. Sometimes you gotta elbow the other bargain-seekers out of the way, but man, can you get some great deals. I bought a pair of capris, six tops (including one by BCBG Max Azria) and a pair of Aerosoles shoes for - wait for it - $142. How kick-ass is that?

Last night when I took Nolan out of the bath, he ran away before I could get the towel on him, which he thought was hilarious and thrilling until his wet feet slipped on the hardwood floor and he went down hard. He cried and I picked him up, wrapped him in the towel, and snuggled him. When we got upstairs he just wanted to keep snuggling for a little while, and while I inhaled the scent of his freshly-washed hair and the clean towel, all I could think about was how when he gets older he's not going to let me comfort him that way. He'll get all distant and independent and grown-up, and I won't get to snuggle with him any more. (This is making me weepy just writing about it.)

Sometimes I find myself trying to imprint that happy moment on my brain. I tell myself, "Remember this. This is the last time this will happen." Whatever it happens to be at the time. We went for a drive down to Hull yesterday while our real estate agent had another open house here, and walked out on a little peninsula where you can see straight across the bay to Boston. It was foggy and rainy yesterday, but you could see the city outline, and I thought to myself "Remember this. This is probably the last time you'll see this view in your life. What are the chances you'll ever come back to this exact spot once you move to Princeton? Engrave this in your brain, becuase you won't experience it again."

Why can't I just be in the moment? Why can't I just enjoy myself and smell my kid's hair and be happy? There are so many occasions when I wish I could click a switch to tell my brain "Thank you, that will be all for now," and shut the constant yammering commentary off.

I'm thinking back to when I was in labor and how when the pain got so intense my brain went all "Elvis has now left the building" and wishing I could do that on command. There must be some other way than blinding cervix-stretching pain, though.

And speaking of labor and cervix-stretching (nice blend Fozzie, thank you Fozzie!), my stepsister is in labor at this very moment. My dad called last night at 8 to say that her water had broken and she was 3 centimeters dilated. I hope things are moving along well for her - she was, last I heard, trying to go drug-free - and that her little baby boy will be here safely soon.


Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Keep on with the force, don't stop, don't stop til you get enough

We're not dead!

Sorry if we worried everybody!

Nolan's fine. He's no longer sick and listless. He's having some teething issues and not sleeping very well, but otherwise he is his usual fabulous self.

We've just been busy. (The distinctive cry of the half-assed blogger: "But I've been really busy lately!")

We went down to Princeton the weekend of the 14th and 15th to look at places to live (and found one - more on that in a second) and then had to drive back up to Boston in the Great Nor'Easter of Ought Seven on Sunday. That, as they say, sucked big donkey dick. Seven hours of white-knuckle, rain-soaked, wind-blown driving interrupted only by a (rather pleasant, actually) lunch at Pizzeria Uno somewhere in Connecticut. We brought the portable DVD player in the car (Thanks, Kenton and Andrea!) and Nolan was fairly happy with Happy Feet (thanks, Grandma and Pappy!) but soon discovered he could kick the DVD player from his car seat and that put an end to that. Maybe he was just trying to keep his own feet happy. Robin Williams doing half the voices in one film is enough to drive anyone over the edge.

But we did make it home alive, and Nolan had a great time hanging out in Dirty Jers with Nana (and Nana had a great time hanging out with Nolan, but then, what else is new?) KB and I went around Princeton with our real estate agent and looked at rental houses. It was pretty slim pickins, but we found something that will work for us in the short term whilst we get settled and look for something to buy. (And try to sell this house, for the love of pete, which has NOT HAPPENED YET.) It's nothing fantabulous, but it's big enough for now and it's in a really great location - walking distance to the hospital for KB, walking distance to downtown/library/YMCA for Nolan and myself, and a playground at the end of the street. Yay! Plus, how sweet will it be the first time the faucet springs a leak or the dryer goes kerfloey, instead of trying to fix it myself (or make KB do it) I can just say, "Call the landlord!" I'll be trying to console myself with that while we hemorrhage money paying rent and a mortgage simultaneously. Damned housing market.

So anyway.

All is (mostly) well. KB's wonderful mom is here staying with us for a spell, and let me tell you, has my mood improved since she's been here (I am particularly blessed in the mother-in-law department, I must say); she never tires of reading "Mother Goose" to Nolan 38 times in a row, she helps with the cooking and the laundry, and she's fun to talk to besides. We (meaning she and I, not KB - he had to work the next day) had a few too many glasses of wine with dinner one night last week and were up until all hours telling embarrassing stories to each other. And she's knitting (another) sweater for Nolan! (The gauntlet has been thrown down, Dru.)

And now, Nolan with a giant bear:

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It's tough to walk in dignity with throw-up on your shoes

Poor Noney is sick.

I was supposed to have playgroup at my house this morning at nine-thirty, and as I was dashing around cleaning up the kitchen, making more coffee, picking up stray toys and wiping off the dining room table, I couldn't help but notice that it was almost eight o'clock and Nolan was still asleep. He normally gets up around 6:45 or 7, 7:15 if I'm really lucky.

So I kept my fingers crossed and hopped in the shower, and when I got out, he still wasn't up. So I stuck to my old adage "Never wake a sleeping baby" and threw in a load of laundry, got dressed and put out some muffins.

Nine-twenty rolls around and he's STILL asleep. Then I start to have those old fears from when he was a newborn that he's died in the night and oh, if only I'd gone and checked on him sooner, I could have saved him, what a terrible mother I am.

So I go up to his room. He's laying there in his crib, surrounded by stuffed animals, thumb firmly corked in mouth. Awake. But listless. He sees me and croaks, "Mommy," very heart-breakingly and puts his arms out for me to pick him up. I pick him up and immediately get a whiff of The Stench, that awful aroma that means he has probably had diarrhea in the night and been laying in it for hours. I feel awful. I quickly change him out of his soiled pj's and diaper and put on a clean dry diaper and comfy sweats. He protests and cries, but in that same listless manner that tells me he's really not feeling like himself. I check his temperature - low fever, nothing serious.

I take him downstairs and call the other playgroup moms to call them off - no point in their kids getting the plague, too. Nolan drinks the milk I offer him, but just wants to lay in my arms and snuggle.

It's weird, probably about 75% of me feels bad for him that he's not feeling well, and bummed for myself that I will be denied the adult company of the other moms - my little sanity break for the day; but the other 25% is like, "Woo-hoo! He's gonna be a piece of cake today!"

And it's true. No tantrums, no defiance. He just wants to sit and have me read him books. We watch an Elmo video and he eats some graham crackers and a banana; drinks some water.

Then I try to put him back to bed and he cries pitifully. Usually when I put him down for a nap if he cries a little I just leave him to it; he always settles down and goes to sleep after a short interval. But when he's sick like this I just don't have the heart for it. I pick him back up and sit in the rocking chair with him for a while.

That's pretty much how the rest of the day goes. More diarrhea; more half-hearted protests as I change his diaper. More water. More graham crackers. More Elmo. More laundry. I give him chicken soup for dinner at 4:30, a bath at 5:15, and have him back in bed by ten to six. I never even leave the house.

My poor baby guy. I hope he's better tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Where they lie so long, beneath the seasons

Well, you wouldn't really know it from the freezing cold rain we're having, but spring is officially here.

Last fall, KB's mom was out here for a visit and she showed me how to plant bulbs (me being the non-gardenically inclined sort) and now the flowers are coming up!

I feel kind of bad for the crocuses - they're popping up all cheerful and perky and then getting smashed and trampled by the sleet/slush/hail crap we've been getting all week.

I love that they're even blooming at all, though. I feel all proud and boastful, like, "Look what I did!" even though all I did was dig the holes and put the food and bulbs in. It's fun, though, seeing my handiwork coming to fruition. Pretty magical, too, thinking that all those bulbs have just lain there dormant all winter and now somehow know to come sprouting up. I should be getting some tulips and daffodils and some other flower whose name I have forgotten, too. (Hyacinth? Can that be right?)

Ah, nature. All organic and biological and green and good.

Yay, flowers!