Monday, May 31, 2010

Finally Catching Up

A fair amount of time has gone past with little opportunity or energy to write about it. I really like headings and bullets, used to use them ALL the time in my teaching handouts. Looks like this blog will be taking that format yet again...

Home visit: On Thursday, our home visitor came. Things went well, with one exception. Mike asked about when Natalie will be old enough for us to start spoiling her / her manipulating us with her cries. The answer: Its already happened. This got us talking about not picking her up when she is fussing. I had a rough time with this conversation. I felt like my tone was coming off too defensive, but I didn't mean for it to. I just find it hard to let Natalie fuss when she is on her stomach stuck there. It looks like she is staring at me pleading for help. This could be manipulating me, but at the same time, she is stuck there. How long am I supposed to let her fuss? Also, what is the line between supporting her when she needs help versus giving in? Mike and I struggled with this for the next few days. Our other question for the home visitor was about solid finger foods for Natalie. She basically said that we were doing a great job and didn't really give me any advice on what to give her next. I agree that I don't want to rush things, but I also want to start weaning in four months. Natalie has to be eating enough solids in four months for us to start doing that. I also want to steadily progress so that she doesn't become too bored with her food options. Plus, she really seems to like feeding herself.

Fussy Times: So, over the last few days, we've had a lot of fussing time. Saturday was probably the worse day we've had in a long, long time. Part of it was us not picking her up off of her stomach when she got stuck there. We instead tried distracting her with toys to keep her happy. This only worked sometimes. But, it also was clinging to Mommy. Sometimes she is looking at me like she is pleading for me to help her. Other times, when I sit near her, she is obviously trying to get to me. Sometimes it feels like she is trying to climb up me. We've kidded that she is trying to crawl back inside because she can't seem to get close enough. Its frustrating for her, but also for me because I have this little person crawling on me, hitting me, grabbing me, scratching me with nails, drooling on me, all the while often crying. BUT, I will say that we have tried to let her stay on her tummy more for the last four days, and today she was getting up on to her knees from her tummy A LOT more often. She even went from tummy to sitting once, but we couldn't get her to do it again. I think she did it by accident. So, maybe she is starting to realize that Mommy won't save her, or the natural progression of things is taking affect. Slightly related news is that she officially cruised along furniture today. She had gone a few steps around her music table or down a bookshelf before, but today she purposefully moved down one side of her music table, turned the corner, went down the other side, then pivoted to hold on to the coffee table, and then went back and forth between the music table and coffee table a few times. She has also pulled up on to her knees a few more times. Watching her move around, it just looks like she is suddenly going to put it all together at any second.

Man's work: Mike's feeling the strain of all the things that go wrong. The brakes were just the beginning. The weed whacker is broken. The Dyson is on its last legs. And then just the up keep of the house. Most of Mike's jobs seem to take forever to do. For example, he surprised me by taking Friday off from work so that he could get all the house stuff done so we could go visiting my parents on Saturday. He mowed the lawn, pruned, and vacuumed. It seemed like he was at it all day. But when I get some time to work around the house, I'm whipping around like crazy. I'm cleaning mail off the kitchen table, putting out Natalie's pjs and bath stuff, defrosting dinner, washing sippy cups, putting away toys, packing bags, refilling wipes, making Mike's lunch, starting loads of laundry or folding them. His work seems to be one at a time jobs that require lots of physical activity and the opportunity for many things to break or go wrong. Meanwhile, my jobs seem to be a million little small things that need to be done many times a day, every day, or every few days. Its really never ending for either of us. But, right now, Mike is feeling the strain of having so many things to do. He spends all this time working on things around the house, but nothing seems to progress. He feels like he has no time to just relax, let alone time to give me by myself sans baby.

This weeks story time: Natalie was quite sociable at this week's story time. She was leading me around to lots of different people. She let a little girl hold / hug her. She and little neighbor had some positive interaction, as well as her interacting a little with another little girl. I just remembered that the neighbors invited us to their cook out. Oops. I'm not sure how that would have gone anyway. We were going okay here, but she seemed to be glad to be home. She didn't get bad until around 4, so maybe it would have worked out.

Weekend trips packing: I have a love / hate relationship with packing. In some ways, I enjoy the organizing aspect of it. But, I dislike the rushing part of packing to get out of the house. I would like to pack a head of time, but as Natalie has gotten older it has been increasingly more difficult to do that. She uses more of her stuff more often, so we can't pack it up the night before like we could when she was very small. I also sometimes get annoyed that I am in charge of doing all of Natalie's packing. I understand that it makes more sense for me to do it since I know where everything is and deal with what she needs more often, but its hard for me to remember every every time as well as doing my packing and getting both Natalie and myself ready to leave the house. Its sometimes a little annoying that the morning we are supposed to be leaving Mike does his thing, and then I'm rushing around to get ready to leave so that Natalie can get her nap in the car. My feelings towards unpack are less sever. I like the feeling of putting everything back in its place, but usually after a trip, I don't have the energy to do so.

Hometown: After Natalie's really fussy day, Mike suggested that we go for a walk, since my parents were home to listen to her. It was really nice to go out for a walk just the two of us. We got to hold hands, even! We walked all around my old neighborhood. It was kind of funny to me how each of us were gradually letting go of the things bothering us as we walked. We each kept coming back to what was bothering us. Then Sunday, we took Natalie out for a walk around the same area.  I was really glad we got to do that because I was excited for her to see where I grew up (of course, she won't remember, but it was nice for me to take her there). There are lots of really nice houses in our home town now. It is expensive to live there though. I kept kidding about moving into certain houses. In some ways, I'd love to move back home, but we can't afford it. One house we looked up when we got home and it was selling for about four times the price of our house! It would be great to have a house with more of the physical features I like, as well as being closer to family and just that look of home.

Cookout behavior: We went down to our home town this weekend to go to a cook out at one of Mike's friend's parent's houses because his girlfriend was visiting for the weekend. (They just started a very long distance relationship). After the meltdowns of Saturday, we were concerned about Sunday. But, Natalie had a great morning. She walked around my parents' backyard and watched my dad work in the garden. This was a bit weird for me because I hadn't been back there in years, just never had any reason to go out back. Its fun to think of her helping water or pick up rocks next summer when she is like 20 months old! Then, she played on the floor with my dad a bunch. We brought her over to the cook out and she fell asleep in the car. We hoped she'd stay asleep, but she didn't. She woke up right away. When we took her out of her car seat, she kept crying whenever she looked at Mike's friend. This was funny, but her little shuddering breaths were kind of sad. BUT, she calmed down and just start on my lap playing with toys almost the whole time, other than the hour or so she nursed and napped. We did walk over to a play ground around 4, and that went poorly. She wanted me to hold her the whole time and didn't want to swing or slide or be with Mike. She weighs to much for me to hold her like that, and then walk the ten minute walk back, too. So, Mike had to take over and much crying followed. She cried the whole ride back in the car (which was only across town), and more at my parents house. My mom had the idea to stick in a Yo Gabba Gabba DVD my sister had brought over that morning. That coupled with me holding her, calmed her down and she even played a little before bed.

Memorial Day 1000 and other count downs: Our local classic rock station did a count down of the top 1,000 classic rock songs, as chosen by voters. I was quiet sad that Baba O'Reily barely cracked the top 50. I guessed the top song, Sweet Home Alabama. I get so frustrated with these types of lists, yet I love them. I'll be excited to hear the rankings of movies, songs, and books, but then I'll be frustrated with the results. This frustration is usually the strongest with song count downs. I get so annoyed to hear a really good song, and then the next few songs suck. All I can think is, Why are these crappy songs higher on the count down that the great one fifteen minutes ago? The other big disappointment in terms of count downs is the Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time special. We watched like four hours of this show only to see Jaws as number 1. Its a great Speilburg movie with that awesome late 70's / 80's home feel, but neither Mike nor I find it that scary. Maybe it was a cultural thing. Recently, I was all consumed by a Top 100 Children's Novels countdown. For a couple of months, the first thing I did every morning when I turned on the computer was check out the next books on the list. I actually was very satisfied with this awesomely thorough count down. I even guessed 9 of the 10 top books and have read 25 of the top 30 books (59 of the whole top 100, about ten of those are recent reads).

Netflix movies: We've been way better about watching movies now that most of our series are over for the summer (or for good in the cases of Lost, 24, and Nip / Tuck). We finally watched Funny People, which we really liked. Then we watched the original version of The Crazies, which we didn't really like much at all. (I took the time to brush a huge mound of fur off of Snickies). It focused on the government aspects more than the horror, but wasn't captivating to me. We have the remake up high on our que for when it is released and we are interested in the comparisons. Then, we watched Cloverfield, which we'd borrowed from Mike's mom. It was far better than we expected since we thought the monster reveal was a big part of the movie and it wasn't. Tonight, we are going to watch The Other Boleyn Girl. I had originally planned to read this, but I've decided that I probably will settle for just watching the movie. There are just too many books I want to read, so I'll settle for this one in movie form.

Other random thoughts:
  • I find that my eye color looks weird now after I spend all day looking at Natalie's. While her eyes aren't exactly green or brown, they certainly don't have a blue tint like mine do.
  • Just saw a commercial for Dragon voice recognition software that types for you. Very cool, yet at the same time, I would feel weird talking the way I write. I also go back and revise too much I think. Still, a very cool tool for drafting.
  • Gas station convenience stores make me think of teenagers, or at least the big ones do. The little local ones up here in ME don't, but the 7/11 and Cumbies and such do. I think this is because the only time I've ever bought anything in those places was as a teenager, mostly late at night getting candy, chips, and soda.
  • I was so excited when we first got the Chiller channel. Its an all horror channel. But, over the years, I've had to realize that they really just play crap. Really bad crap. Every once and a while there is something good, like The Shining or Penny Dreadful or the remakes of Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead, but mostly it is really, really, bad shit. And, all day long all they play is marathons of bad TV series.

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