Monday, April 4, 2011

Water babies and sass

Hello everyone. Let me explain some things openly and honestly. When I started this blog, I had recently seen Julie and Julia. I thought to myself, I'm an aspiring writer. I could blog about being a stay at home dad, like Julie did about cooking through Julia Child's cookbook. Here's the thing, though. Cooking is not as labor-intensive as being a stay at home dad. It doesn't take all day every day to cook something. It always takes me all day to take care of Aislin. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted. So I haven't posted in a while.

Kate signed Aislin and me up for water babies a while back, and we started last week. Aislin normally likes the water. She likes bathing. She'll play with toys in the water and splash and have a good time. Well, the pool is different. She's okay as long as she's on my shoulder. If she's not on my shoulder, it's not okay. She's firmly established herself as the sensitive one in the group. I was talking to Dad about this, and he said that it took me something like seven years before I was comfortable in the water. Whatever the activity is, if she is not on my shoulder, she's crying. She doesn't like being dunked, doing the arm motions, kicking, jumping off the side, nothing. She doesn't mind being on the instructor's shoulder, as long as it's not for very long. In spite of her lack of enthusiasm, we're keeping at it.

Kate's been sick with a sinus infection and a bout of pneumonia. At this point, she's missed a grand total of four days of work, I believe. When I was driving her home from the doctor's office, she was talking about how she felt awful. Jokingly, I told her to get over it. This is how we are. She says something serious to me and I respond jocundly and she whimpers and asks why I don't love her. Obviously, it's the system of a healthy relationship. Anyway. I told her to get over it. And Aislin says in the same tone, Yeah! A few days later, Kate was telling me I needed to change the baby's diaper. I said, "Change the baby's diaper, blah blah blah." Aislin responded "blah blah blah." We laughed very hard.

She's cruising the furniture solidly now. She can almost reach the top of the table, and Kate and I are worried about that because up until now it's been a safe place to put stuff we don't want her getting into. Not for much longer. A few nights ago, she was cruising along, and she stumbled. She hit the edge of the coffee table and cut the inside of her mouth. We're not sure where. She started bleeding, and that's when we freaked out. We've got a couple of shirts now that have blood stains on the left shoulder where we were trying to console her. We haven't found the cut, but it couldn't have been too bad since it stopped bleeding pretty quickly.

That's about all I have to report. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post again. I can't promise I'll be more on top of it from now on. The baby never naps. When she does nap, she doesn't sleep that night. She's crazy. I try putting her down so I can type or do something for myself, and she starts pulling books off the shelves or playing for the mouse and keyboard. She's also getting to the point where she has opinions. If she wants something but doesn't get it, she gets pretty mad about it and starts screaming. Meanwhile, I see posts on facebook of parents who have their new child sleeping in a separate bedroom and everything. What I wouldn't give to have Aislin sleeping in a different bedroom. Heck, I'd be glad to have her content to sleep in a different bed. More often than not, she's sleeping horizontally between Kate and me, so I have one shoulder blade hanging off the edge of the bed. She still hates her crib. She only naps in her car seat. What I need is a remote control for her. I can mute her when she's screaming, pause her when she's getting into my stuff, and rewind when she falls and hurts herself. It's the 21st Century. Anyone want to tell me why we don't have one of those yet?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Merry Christmas (belated)

All right. It's been a while, I know. In fact, several items that would be of particular interest have come and gone and faded from memory to obscurity. And yet, posts remain scant. I apologize. Things haven't exactly been hectic here, but I have been busy.

First of all, let me talk about what you want to hear about the most: my daughter. She clearly says "mama," now. She says it when she's unhappy, hungry, or in her arms. Sometimes she'll just say "ma ma ma ma" on and on. It's lovely. First, she said it to me. I said, "No I'm 'Da da.' Can you say 'Da da?'" and she smiled and shook her head. When I would ask her to say 'Da da' later, she'd spit. Kate saw all this, and she said, "Aislin would just rather say Ma ma instead," or something implying her preference. In response, Aislin said "Yeah." Goodness. Today, she started saying Da da to my immense pleasure. She also says "Bah bah," which could mean any number of things, but could be "Baby." She says it to her dolls, mostly.

She has five dolls now. Christmas came and went, and when the dust settled Aislin had five dolls. Two Raggedy Annes, a tiny doll, a doll whose body could also function as a pillow, and a more traditional doll. She loves them all. Here we were trying to be all gender-neutral, but when my mom brought out the doll she had growing up, Aislin went ballistic. So we all knew what we were getting her for Christmas. She got those five dolls, some clothes, and an illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales from me. She likes the dolls best.

She's much more mobile now, as well. She crawls quite well. She's a little shaky still, but she can really get moving if she feels like it. Yesterday, Kate tried standing her up next to the coffee table, and Aislin can totally hold herself up. It won't be long before she's cruising the furniture.

As for me, I'm transcribing and reading. I'm enjoy my doctor's orders to a glass of red wine at dinner (I still can't get over that) and trying to walk more. Last week, I walked from our apartment to the public library, checked out a few books, then I walked down to Fred Meyer to check out the Redbox, and then I walked home. About a 45 minute walk, and it felt great. Towards the end, Aislin was getting a little sick of it, but it was cold and rainy. Haha! Taking a baby for a 45 minute walk on a cold, rainy morning. Parenting FAIL. Ah, she survived. Didn't even get sick. That's my girl. There's a book I put on hold at the library waiting for me, so I may make the trek again tomorrow. It will probably not be raining, just freezing cold. I may hold off to the afternoon, when it inevitably breaks into sunshine, like it did today.

I really like these winter days. They're freezing cold, it's true, but it's because the cloud cover that was functioning as a thermal blanket for the Willamette Valley lifted and we have these clear blue skies. Everyone complains about the cold. Well, I've noticed that a lot of people also complain about the heat. I, for one, don't mind the cold. This is Oregon. Sometimes it's cold.

Before Christmas, our friends Joel and Heather moved to LA. On their way out, they spent the night at our place because they had packed their bed. It was great seeing them one last time, though it would have been nice to spend more quality time with them. It felt like as soon as they got there we said goodnight. Then, they left early in the morning. Their company did what it seemed to always do: Leave us wanting more. A few weeks after, our friends Tim and Elisha stayed with us for a couple nights on their way back home to LA (LA!!) after spending Christmas with their families up here. Elisha and Kate used to live together, and they are some of the greatest people. Kate keeps saying how she hadn't realized how much she missed them, Elisha in particular.

Kate got some good pictures of Aislin, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet and it's late. I'll post them on my facebook tomorrow and include some in my next post. Sorry to leave you hanging like this, but you've got to be used to it by now. Aislin will be nine months old on the 14th, so I'll try to post at least around then.