Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ultrasounds and Nintendo

One thing I've been meaning to mention here is that evidently Nintendo reads my blog. I had no idea. I'm honored.

Way on back, I was incensed and wrote about how Nintendo was going to fail and was all doom-and-gloom. I said no one cared about the Wii and they needed more games to excite gamers again. I'm not even sure what E3 stands for, but this year Nintendo rocked it. They had original third-party games like Epic Mickey that looked cool, they had Donkey Kong Country Returns, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, more Metroid: Other M goodness, and introduced a new version of their popular DS handheld called the 3DS because it has a 3D screen that doesn't require glasses. They rolled out a new Kid Icarus game for it, said they were revamping several classic N64 games like Ocarina of Time and Starfox for it, and even said Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater would come out for it. Everyone else was talking about their motion control technology and maybe a handful of other games. Microsoft solved the Red Ring of Death problem with their new Xbox 360 Slim console. Pretty ingenious. They just removed the red LEDs from the front of the system. So no more Red Ring of Death. If your console breaks, now you won't know why. Meanwhile, Nintendo rocks again. Sweet.

So that had nothing to do with being a stay-at-home Dad, more like being a teenager in the body of someone in their mid-20's.

Today Aislin went to the hospital because her doctor thought there was something funny going on in her hip. We had ultrasound images taken, and the hips look fine. I'm relieved, though I was never that worried. Aislin tuckered herself out by crying loud and hard while they were pressing that hard plastic thing covered in goo all over her diaper region. She's sleeping it off now. When we got there, she was asleep. When she woke up, she was all smiles. When they started the ultrasound, she wasn't excited but not actively unhappy. Then, once the diaper was off, she peed. She's so funny. Every. Time. Every time we take her to the doctor and we take off her diaper she pees.

Kate asked me today if I preferred being called her "Trophy Husband" or her "House Husband." I said the "Trophy Husband" is more flattering because it denotes some sort of physical attractiveness, but I'm not sure it really applies to me. "House Husband" seems kind of demeaning, but more accurate. I don't really know what I am. If these two are my only choices, that's really too bad.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Catching up, Kate's Birthday, and Doctor's Appointments

Sorry there haven't been any new posts lately. Nothing really spectacular has been happening. There were some jobs that opened up and I've applied for them. It looks like that English/Drama teaching position that I wanted may have closed, but the applicants only wanted to teach English, so now there's a full-time drama teaching position open. As the summer goes along, more positions keep opening up. It's promising. No word back from anyone, but it's still promising.

It was Mom's birthday last weekend, and we all went to tea. Aislin was very well-behaved and thoroughly enjoyed her first tea. She again proved to be a show-stealer everywhere she goes.

This past weekend was my first Father's Day, and it was very nice. We mostly relaxed, and hung out with family. To celebrate, Kate and I went to Dairy Queen and I got an ice cream cone. Heh. It was great.

That's about all I have as far as catching-up is concerned. Today is Kate's birthday, and I very cleverly bought her a book and a card while she was at work. She never suspected a thing. I brought them to her today with an iced caramel latte from Red Horse Coffee. The book, I'm sorry to say, was the Eclipse novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner or somesuch. She's really into the Twilight bruhaha and this thing was cheap so it was a perfect fit. I needed to return some cans anyway, and the cash I got almost paid for the book. Kate was surprised and happy. We'd run out of coffee, so the latte in particular was very nice.

Last night, Aislin had fits of inconsolable. They'd strike like lightening too. One minute she'd be asleep -- the next minute she'd be wailing like a banshee. She probably had some premonitions about her doctor's appointment today. It was her two-month checkup today, and for those of you not in-the-know, the two-month checkup entails several shots. Last night and the night before, her precognition must have been warning her of the things to come. I was holding her hands and looking into her eyes when they gave her the shots. She has never screamed so loud and at such a high pitch. This was real pain. Tears were streaming down her bright crimson cheeks as her little world suddenly got significantly more unpleasant. The doctor recommended baby Tylenol so I'm going to pick some up along with some coffee and sour cream after lunch. As I was doing my best to console her, I realized that the earliest memory I have is going to the doctor's office to get shots. I tried to tell her that, but she did not find it comforting. She fell asleep on the car ride home, and for now I'm just trying to keep her peaceful.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Energy = Thoughtful

Last night I got plenty of sleep, so this morning I hit the floor both feet running. I had two cups of coffee and there was no holding me back... from watching like, four episodes of Invader Zim. What a great show. After lunch/breakfast, I felt so good I even showered and put on clean clothes. The dirty pants and stinky sweat shirt I had been wearing all week found themselves in the laundry pile, and I even toyed with going for a walk. Instead, I did the dishes, fed the baby, and read a little.

As I was reading I had my ipod on in the kitchen, and a song came on that I found freshman year in college. My freshman year was really great. Especially fall term. It was the first time I was out of the house, I didn't have a job, classes were easy... it was a great time. I had only one responsibility: do passably in class. I didn't even have a girlfriend. I would stay up late at night watching downloaded movies or playing computer games. The computer was my only media device at the time. The only other material thing that I had was my mini-fridge. I didn't have any DVDs, ipods, video games, tvs, Xboxs... nothing. If you can't tell by now, it made me quite nostalgic. As I was sitting in my easy chair beneath my heavily-laden bookcase, cradling my baby girl, my ipod on in the background, I realized that someday I'd be nostalgic for that moment too. It was an encouraging thought. I sometimes lose myself in nostalgia and forget the time I'm living in now is also a good time. Now is good. Could be better, but could also be so much worse.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quiet day, 'cept for the whimpering

Well, I just got an e-mail from my contact in the Corvallis School District. The language arts position at CV moved on to the interview process without me. I'm disappointed, but I don't know about the drama position yet. I'm not holding out much hope, but there is a bit left.

Last night was kind of hard. We went to our friend's house for dinner and afterward I watched Watchmen with them. Kate went home and went to bed, but she didn't get to sleep. Aislin kept her up cluster-feeding. She called me at midnight making sure I was coming straight home -- which I did. When I got here, Kate shifted onto my side of the bed and went to sleep, signifying to me that the baby was my responsibility for the rest of the night. Honestly and seriously: totally reasonable. She still had to get up early this morning and go to work. I sure didn't.

Aislin and I have been eating unhealthy food and watching Invader Zim. I did take a break though and beat Gears of War. I even played No More Heroes for a little bit. But now I don't feel like watching more tv or playing more games or even reading. I feel like taking a nap. I know this is bad because then I'll wake up in a bit and I'll feel terrible. Naps don't help me. I sleep, but when I wake up I'm groggy and miserable. Maybe I'll just get some water and tough it out. Last night I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, so I need to find a new book to read. I think I'll read 1984. I was born that year, after all. So many books to read...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Existentialism and the ballet

Here's the first Monday Aislin and I have been home alone together. Last week went pretty well -- we watched some movies and had a pretty good time. Over the weekend, the three of us got to see a bunch of family at my niece's ballet recital on Saturday, and our friend Maarika visited us for a bit on Sunday.

The ballet was "Beauty and the Beast." My niece Kaylynn was Belle. She moves with incredible grace and is really light on her feet. Kate and I agree that she's about outgrown the little studio she's a part of right now. The studio has been great to her, and she grew up in it, but she's a big fish in a little pond.

We slept in a little bit, so we were rushing the entire drive up to Hillsboro. We left Aislin in the care of my oldest niece, Cece. I was excited about this. Cece's in college, and what with a shifting family situation, we haven't seen very much of her. I had this sinister plan to get her to bond with Aislin and thus want to see us more. So far it has worked. Aislin got a little sunburned on her cheeks, but she was such an alabaster baby before and it cleared up almost completely by the next day.

Kate asked me yesterday if I knew who I was inside, or some philosophical question relating to identity like that. It's a question I struggled with for a while, and then ignored. I noticed I was a sponge, in that I absorbed the characteristics of my friends and repeated them. Once I noticed that, I became obsessed with being genuine. I still am, to an extent. But it's an interesting question, because I do feel like I spent so much time preparing myself for a life that I've been shut out from lately (teaching High School English), and now for a year I've been staying at home taking care of my baby, watching movies and playing video games. I've been doing a little reading, but mostly doing my best impression of a seriously lazy person. A person with little to no ambition. My friend Joel has said he can get me on at his work, which would double our income in our little apartment, but that would me I'd be working graveyard shifts. Is it worth it? Do I keep holding out for a teaching position next year? That's what I want to do, but is it because I'm enjoying being lazy, or is it because I've tied up so much of my identity preparing for such an occupation? I think it's the latter and the former is just an added benefit.

Thanks to all who have been supportive of my blog so far. I've really appreciated it. So much, in fact, I started another one. This one is called The Coterie Blog. It's pretty much an English Major's blog where writers can submit pieces of prose or poetry fiction or nonfiction whatever, and comment on them. If you've got a piece of writing you want posted... give it a try. I'm going to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Easy breezy so far -- not flippantly

I haven't posted in a while, but that's because there hasn't really been anything exciting to post. Truth is, there STILL isn't. I just don't want to leave my avid readers hanging. So here goes:

Kate went back to work last week, so I got my first day alone with the baby. I had been up a lot during the night, so I slept in until after Kate's lunch break. She came home and said hi, and later said how cute we looked. Aislin was looking at the pictures we had propped up in her bassinet, and I was dead to the world. After I got up, I played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, one of my all-time favorite video games ever, and beat it in two sittings. One day; two sittings. Bam chili fries.

Over the weekend, we took her to my friend's birthday party. All the girls at the party passed her around while Kate and I hung out by the mojitos and margaritas. Both were a little strong. After a few minutes, a semi-drunk Steve announced to the girls at the party that they needed to give him their phone numbers -- in case we ever wanted a baby sitter. In my drunkenness, I couldn't understand why they didn't laugh until I added that addendum. Now I see all too clearly. Ah youth. My friend Heather Hewlett dropped by and gave Aislin a blanket she had made that had the TMNT on it. It's obviously far and away her best blanket so far. That was Sunday.

Kate's parents and our friends from Portland, Stan and Amanda PLUS their wonderful child Nikki visited us on Saturday and took us out to a restaurant. It was the first time we'd been to an actual restaurant, but we were confident because there were three mothers with us. Aislin was the talk of the waitresses in the back; everyone wanted to hold her. She fussed a little but quickly fell asleep on Peggy's shoulder.

On Monday we went to my parents' house to honor Memorial Day. My brother, Brent was there, as well as my nieces Kaylynn, Leah, and Sarah. Brent's fiancee, Verda was also there, as well as her two daughters Riley and Harper. Neither Brent nor Verda and her girls had met Aislin yet, and we were happy they had this chance. She was a hit with all of them.

This week, Kate's been back at work and I've been gradually getting up earlier and earlier. Still, normally not until Kate gets home for lunch. Aislin's been a champ: we watched Iron Man yesterday (she slept through it) and Live Free or Die Hard today (she slept through that one too). Tomorrow I'm taking her out to Mom and Dad's because Mom wants to see her. Dad called on her behalf today under the guise of being concerned about how I was doing. I'm sure they're truly concerned, but so far it's been smooth sailing. They just want to see her. I'm planning on visiting them after lunch and coming home before our friends Joel and Heather make us dinner. In between, I'm having coffee with Dave. We'll see how it goes.