Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Water and Solids

And we just started her on solid foods. She seems to enjoy drinking water.

Anniversaries, Airplanes, and Aislin awash with relatives

Happy anniversary to me! Three years ago, I got married. Ever since I've felt a little closer to being an actual grown-up. Still not there yet, but getting ever closer.

All kinds of news. First of all, the reason I've been lacking in the posts lately is because Kate and I spent ten glorious days in Canada with her family. They had to meet this baby, you know. We were excited about it because it would be the first time Aislin would travel by airplane. The trip up went very well; any time we took off or landed, Kate nursed to keep Aislin distracted. The sucking action kept her ears acclimating to the altitude changes and the flights were very pleasant. The hardest part was the "indefinite delay" in the Seattle airport, but it didn't turn out to be very long.

After we landed, Kate's uncle Eric and his daughter Erica (who was a flower girl three years ago today) picked us up in Edmonton. We had about a two-hour drive ahead of us. They brought a car seat for Aislin so we wouldn't have to pack ours. She cried the entire car trip. Nursing didn't help. We didn't see Eric and Erica again. We later figured out it was the scent of the car seat, and a cycle through the washer without soap fixed the problem.

Aislin smiled at all her extended family. Her great grandfather Bob held her that first night, and Aislin tolerated it for a while. He said to me he remembered holding Kate's mom when she was that small. She loved Kate's uncles, especially. She'd smile at them and pinch their faces. Toward the end of our stay, she started daily explorations of her vocal range. It was unpleasant for Kate's grandparents -- at for Kate too -- but I secretly enjoyed it.

The trip consisted of Kate's aunts, uncles, and cousins stopping by to meet her and far more missed than captured Kodak moments. I finished 1984, read Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and Toward the End of Time by John Updike. I always get my best reading done up there. I liked Hornby's book even though I know nothing about English football. It was an autobiographical account of his lifelong love/hate relationship/obsession with Arsenal. I could somewhat resonate with his experiences being somewhat of a Beaver fan, but I really enjoyed his narrative voice so I checked out High Fidelity and Juliet Naked when I got back. Updike's novel was much more cerebral and scandalous. It was basically about a retiree in a future Boston after a nuclear war between the States and China who is totally selfish and horny. Everything makes him think about fornication, so most of the time I was reading with a grimace on my face. But when it wasn't gross it was intelligent and lyrical. As I'm writing about it, I'm comparing it to Everyman by Philip Roth, which also featured a protagonist dealing with the libido's last gasp. Roth's book is much more accessible than Updike's, but not as beautifully-written. At least Roth's had a complete ending (he dies). Updike's character is left languishing before the inevitable that comes after the book ends, leaving him indefinitely waiting. I think it's Updike's last novel, and he incorporated poetry into the prose beautifully. Reading a novel by Updike is like reading poetry by Eliot: you're practically fooling yourself.

The airplane trips back to Oregon were not nearly as pleasant. Aislin slept the entire car ride over, but then screamed during almost the entirety of the flights. She wouldn't nurse, and had a diaper explosion right away. The trouble was, both flights were go-up, go-down; the seatbelt light didn't seem to ever go out. Our layover was so short they had a cart waiting to dash us across the airport to customs, which turned out to only be about 2/3 of the way to the gate. And then it turned out the very kind lady in the Edmonton Airport didn't include a boarding pass for Aislin, so they almost sent us back to get one. If we had been in the States I bet they would have, but since they were wonderfully kind Canadians they got it for us. We made our flight just barely. They had waited for us. By the time we drove in to our apartment parking lot (at 12:30 in the morning), we were exhausted and sighed for relief. It was a great trip, but we were glad to be home.


We found a new apartment! Remember, they raised our rent here? Like, out of our budget? Well, we found a new apartment that is much bigger than our current one, and is less per-month than even before they raised it here! AND they'll allow a piano. The only downside is no dishwasher, but with so many advantages it's easy to overlook that. I should be getting the key today. So exciting.

Also, don't tell Kate, but Mom and Dad have agreed to bravely watch Aislin tonight so I can take her out to dinner for our anniversary. I should go, actually, because I need to get flowers and a card.