Thursday, January 29, 2009

01.29.2009 -- The Payoff

I've posted photos from today which are representative of most of the days in our house lately. Zoe is definitely one of Lucy's favorite playmates. Zoe, as you can see, is a saint. Lucy has her hooked up to something or "dangling" for hours a day. Dangling means that whatever strap or leash that Lucy has attached to the dog remains attached while Zoe is at large. The Payoff referred to in the title is the ten years spent with Zoe--all the expensive shoes she ate, the clothes, furniture and bags she ate, the carpet she ruined... It's paying off. She's a great playmate for Lucy.

I spent some time on our treadmill today while Lucy watched WordWorld on TV. After I got off, I was looking for the remote and Lucy told me it was probably on my "escalator."

As for Gabe-he's doing the baby thing: eating, sleeping/growing, and moving milk through his intestines. He's also smiling a lot and making all kinds of sounds. He likes to train in the early morning and right now, he's working on stomping. I would post more pictures of him today, but it's a bit of a hassle to get him in the right light with clean clothes on and with a good background. They would look just like the ones I took a week or two ago, only with different clothes. He's wonderful, though. Such a (ahem) joy to have around. 'S true, though. He is a joy--as is Lucy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

01.12.2009 -- Missing You

Some of my favorite pictures from Christmas/New Year's:

The power went out today somewhere between 5:15 and 5:30 pm. This was Lucy's first experience with a power outage ever, and my first experience with a power outage in our new house. To start, my patience ran out a little prematurely today, so I was running on patience vapors by the time this happened. Lucy hadn't realized that anything was different, but I was going into crisis mode--not that a power outage is a crisis, but that's where I was heading.

Lucy realized there was something up when she went into her room to change into her gymnastics leotard and couldn't turn on the light. She was concerned and emotional. She wanted me to call Brian so he could fix it. I did my best to explain the situation to her and my composure was intact, but barely.

Brian showed up just in time--and with an offer to go out to dinner. More than dinner out, I just wanted a break from being patient and instructive, so as he often does, he took Lucy--and Gabe went, too. This saved me.

Stay-at-home parents, I salute you.

I realize that I am, in fact, also saluting myself, but... I salute us all anyway. Sure, on paper, it looks like a cakewalk: play with the kids, zap some mac and cheese, do a little light housekeeping--go anywhere you want whenever you want to... Very misleading. This job should pay way more.

Kidding aside, I know about the daily grind of the proverbial 9 to 5 office job. I do. "The Office" is a favorite T.V. show of mine for a reason. It's really hard to go to the office a lot of times--and I retired when I was 30 years old, so I know that I don't know all of it.

But there's something about the job of full-time, stay-at-home parent that, some days, can melt your socks to your feet, it's so hard. Something about the combination of being housekeeper, life-coach, occupational therapist, spiritual guide, child psychologist... Yes, sometimes it's really hard. If it all didn't feel so critical, it might not be so hard. But it does feel critical. Every one of these hats feels portentously important. ..and it never ends.

In most workplaces, there is a sometimes pathetic, but built-in social life with actual adult peers around most of the time. Honestly, I wouldn't trade the time I get to spend with my kids, but the tired old cliche of the stay-at-home mom who is longing for an adult conversation exists for a reason. There can be some intense stretches of lonely.

Today one of Lucy's friends came over to play and it had been a while. She looked up at me and smiled and I realized that I had missed her a lot.

What is it, when we miss people? Isn't it that we miss the way they make us feel? Is it a selfish thing? I think I missed Lucy's friend because when she and Lucy play, I get to see Lucy in her element and full of joy, but this friend of hers is also just purely adorable... I don't miss people that I don't feel happy around. I don't find myself wishing I could spend more time with people who are rude to me, who are unattractive or have terrible social skills...

When I admit that I miss someone, aren't I admitting (at least to myself) how much I love them? (By "love", I mean an admiration, respect and general adoration.) For example, some of the people that I miss are spectacularly witty. What I get from them may be that by associating with said witty people, I feel smart. When I recognize an outstanding quality in someone, and they associate with me (for whatever reason), aren't I basically just basking in their wonderfullness? ...happy to imagine that somehow it may not be an act of altruism that they spend time with me? Hm.

If you are reading this, then I probably miss you.

I miss your smile, your sparkling laughter, your wonderfullness and the handsome way you wear your hair.

So, one of my resolutions (did I just have an involuntary negative gastric reaction to typing that word?), one of my resolutions for 2009 is to get more going on socially, so I don't miss people so much.

...I also need to remember that this is a necessarily extreme period: what, with having a new baby in the middle of winter. When I take Gabe out, which isn't often, people tell me that I'm brave (read, stupid) and ask me if I'm nervous about him being around people. People tell me about newborn children who contracted RSV or Meningitis... So yes, we tend to stay away from crowds, but I have gone out some.

Wait a minute--that's pretty huge! I just realized that this is the major contributing factor to my malaise right now! I have been. in. my. house. for. ev. er.

Tonight, as I was getting Gabe ready to go out to dinner with his daddy and sister, he locked in on my eyes and smiled at me. Then he made his adorable cooing and oohing noises, looking at me all the while. It was the perfect way to remind me why I have been staying in so much and why I put so much energy into parenthood.

I missed them when they were gone.

Friday, January 9, 2009

01.09.2009 -- Funny Lucy

We made the rounds yesterday--to the pediatrician for Gabe's 6 week check-up and to my doctor for mine. Good news is, we're both healthy. Yay!

While we were at the pediatrician, Lucy lifted Gabe's arm and looked in his armpit area. Dr. Judd, whom Lucy loves, asked what Lucy was doing. Her reply: "I wanted to see if Gabe had a tag." Dr. Judd smiled hugely and asked, "with washing instructions?" Yup. A tag.

Lucy's six week post-op check-up will happen in February, as that's the soonest her doc could see her without it being urgent. I should've scheduled the follow-up visit when she had her shunt replaced. O-well. She's doing great.