Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming, smiles, soothing, and...styles? Something.

Sorry it's been a while my loyal readers. Some things have been happening, and a lot of things have been not happening. For instance, I've been NOT getting teaching jobs; the consistency is comforting I suppose. Today I got a letter in the mail from a school district I applied to a while back, and it turned out to be for an elementary teacher position. I'm not an elementary school teacher, so that worked out pretty well. It has gotten to the point where I'm not sure I want to be a teacher. Don't worry. I'm not giving up on any dreams. In fact, now that I think about it, I've already blogged about this. Anyway. That's what's NOT happening. What has been happening is this: video games. Oh, I'm afraid so. There's been a couple great games called Braid and Shadow Complex on Xbox Live, and they are both fantastic. Braid is a puzzle game that deals with time and stuff and it's got this AMAZING ending. I loved it. Shadow Complex is like Metroid only different. It's really cool too. Kate and I have been watching Heroes and decided that season 4 was very good and it is too bad the show was canceled. Season 5 was going to be the last season anyway. Shame. A darn shame. I've also been reading 1984 a little bit, and the jury's still out. I think I'm enjoying it, but I also think there are things going on that I'm missing. It's hard when you're reading these books on your own and don't have a professor to tell you what you're looking for.

Yesterday we took her in to the doctor's office because we noticed one of her pupils dilates differently than the other one and it wigged us out. Turns out, this is actually somewhat common. The doctor said he'd seen in a couple hundred times and it has never been anything to worry about. He suspected it was actually much more common, but parents don't notice. So kudos to us for being attentive parents. We may take her to an ophthalmologist, but only if it's free. If it's nothing to worry about, then we can afford to not spend money we don't have anyway. While we were there, the nurse said she was ahead of the development curve because she would turn her head to look at things. It's always nice to hear your baby's advanced. That must be why TAG parents are such jerks. Generally. Like when you taste something delicious that's also super healthy, you want to eat it all the time -- any time you are inhibited from eating it you throw a fit. It's evolution. Anyway, the nurse noticed Aislin would turn her head to look at things rather than simply tracking with her eyes. That's advanced for a three month old. She gets it from her mother.

Lately she's been kind of fussy. Well, it alternates. We just went to a wedding in Portland and she was a pleasure through the ceremony and the reception. She was also wonderful at the doctor's office. She would smile at strangers and be perfectly happy to let strange family members hold her. But then the past few days she's been inconsolable. Kate thinks it may be due to the chocolate she's been eating, but that's no excuse to stop eating chocolate. But it's the best one I've heard yet. "Don't eat chocolate: it makes babies cranky and therefore Father's life much harder than it needs to be." Whatever.

While we were at this hotel, we took her into the swimming pool for the first time. We're pretty sure she loved it. At first she was apprehensive, but soon she was smiling and having a good time. We took her out when she started to shiver, and then when the cold set in (you know, the cold you get after swimming when you're all wet and it can be 100 degrees Fahrenheit and still be cold) she started to cry. Mom got this great picture of her smiling in the pool. She had this cute pink bathing suit. It was adorable.

She spends more of her time awake now. That's ok as long as she wants to be awake. Sometimes, she just wants to be asleep. Fortunately for me, she's found her thumb at long last. She self-soothes a little when she's fussy and wants to sleep. Today she even fell asleep in the high chair. It's pretty funny because she doesn't have a sibling to show her how to suck her thumb and no one else around but me, really, and I sure don't suck my thumb, so she doesn't make a fist. She just sticks her thumb in there and the rest of her fingers come too close to poking out her eye. Nah, it's not that perilous. I support this thumb-sucking. For now, at least.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When panic strikes

So I have to relay this adventure I just had really quick.

I was just helping my friend Stu move to a new apartment. Kate was at work so I had Aislin with me. As we were taking things down the first floor hall to his door, his phone started beeping so he turned it off. We made several trips down to the car and back to his room, and then went to his old place for a second load.

When all we had left was his television, Aislin woke up and was hungry. Stu volunteered to get the t.v. himself, and I asked if he could bring the diaper bag back with him. He hurried off, and I got to work trying to appease the suddenly angry baby. When Stu returned, he had forgotten the diaper bag. He gave me the keys and I left the baby with him.

I ran down the hall and out the door. Then I realized I would need a key to get back in. I tried calling Stu, but his phone was off.

I got to the car, pulled out the diaper bag, and ran around the building to the back. These apartments all had mini decks in the back that looked over the railroad tracks. I found the right one and tried calling to Stu, but he couldn't hear me over the bloody murder. I gently tossed the bag over the railing, climbed over, and knocked on the door.

Now all three of us were frantic. I pulled out Aislin's bottle and filled it. As I shook the bottle to mix the formula, milk leaked all over the sink. The lid holding the rubber nipple had cracked, and milk was leaking profusely. I tried using it anyway, but formula poured all over Aislin's face. She screamed so loud. Stu asked if she was a child or a banshee. I said she was a little of both as I strapped her into her car seat. She stopped crying on the drive home.

Anyway, it was a pretty wild adventure in the life of Steve McClain. More to come.

Teething and other bleak subjects tainted with optimism

Recently, Aislin has been very active. She's been active just about all day for the past couple days, and by "active" I mean she's been fussy. In the past, I've been able to put her down and she goes to sleep. She would only wake up when she was hungry. Now she seems to be hungry all the time. She's sucking on her hands almost all the time, and sometimes she wakes up suddenly and screams as though she's in pain.

Almost as if she's teething.

This is odd: babies normally don't teethe at almost three months. Normally, they teethe more around six months I think. Kate started teething around four months, so if Aislin's early it runs in the family. And if she's old for her age, that runs in the family too -- on my side.

She's been a lot of fun though. She's looking around and smiling a lot more. She recognizes Kate and me and some of our friends. She really seems to like Ted. Whenever I pick her up and walk around she's looking at the stuff as it passes by. She's so smart. It's awesome.

Today I played my guitar for her a little bit while her bottle was warming in the sink. She was hungry so she occasionally burst into tears, but other than that she seemed to enjoy it. I hope the tears were because she was hungry and not a comment on my playing. Of course not.

So she's been active for the past couple days. This morning after Kate went to work, she did her morning fuss which meant it was time to get up and get a bottle going. I put her in the swing to calm her while her bottle warmed, and by the time I was ready to feed her she was back asleep. She slept until lunch. I thought she might be under slept due to the number of naps she has skipped. It's possible I guess.

Now on to other news: I've applied to 12 jobs on EdZapp and only two remain open. Both of the open jobs are part-time. The drama teacher at CV is 0.17, which is like, 1/8th time. The long and short of it is this: I need to find something else. Teaching is not working out. And now more budget cuts for education are announced, so I'm out of luck. I could work for Safeway or something, but the thing is this: I'd rather write. I feel like if I worked at some entry-level job I would have gone to college for nothing. Even if it's temporary. I'd like to put my degrees to work; I just haven't figured out how. So if you see an ad on my blog, click on it -- it might bring me some revenue.

I've also started another blog called "It Might Not Suck" which will be all about movies. It's my movie criticism blog. I haven't written anything in it yet, but I've got some ideas. Feel free to share yours once I get it running. I've also got some stuff to post on The Coterie Blog, but I'll revise it a little first. I'd love for one of these to get noticed by someone who would be willing to pay me to write. Anyway, that's all for now. The baby's fussing so I better feed her some more. She just snorted. That was cute. She's really cute all the time -- even when she's angry.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baby screams and not much else

Oooooh, the baby!

For hours, she was awake and screaming. It began around 9:45. She would calm down, and I'd try to give her the bottle, but as soon as the rubber nip hit her mouth she screamed until she turned red. Finally, I was able to get her to eat while rocking her. She ate like six ounces and then fell asleep. She stayed asleep until I got up to put her in the bassinet and grab some shut-eye myself. As I was putting her down, she stirred and began screaming again. I walked her around the apartment for a little bit, but my legs were tired just like the rest of me, so I tried rocking her again. Finally around midnight she seemed calm enough so I just put her in the bassinet and went to bed. She had all her needs met; she was just being cranky. After a bit, she fell asleep and slept for something like six hours. That was nice. It was just too bad she was so difficult.

I knew that if she just fell asleep she would sleep for a while since she'd been up all day. Yesterday she was fussy and hungry often. I got in a walk and even some frisbee with Ted, but she didn't think I should ask any more from her. She didn't want to be rocking; she didn't want to be put down; she wasn't hungry; she didn't need a burping or a new diaper; all she wanted was to be up on someone's shoulder as long as they were moving. I can only assume she had an upset stomach or something.

For those of you who don't know, sometimes I have scenarios play out in my head. These aren't things I would ever consider doing, just thoughts. Well last night, I thought about a scenario in which I open the door and loudly proclaim "Free baby! Any takers? Come on people! Free baby here!" Of course I would never do that, but just the fact that I thought about a course of action like that... well, it requires pause.

I've applied now for something like 13 jobs online -- there are only four left open. No calls. No e-mails. Nothing to show these schools are remotely interested in me. On the plus side, we re-arranged the living room a little bit, so now the futon is closer to the TV, but the room feels a little smaller. However, it does free up some space beneath the window for the yoga ball and my guitar. The change is nice, but I'm not convinced it's permanent. If you want to see for yourself, give me a call and come on over. Seriously.