Friday, July 27, 2012

Gigantic, A Big Big Love

Part 1: My belly is fucking huge. It was getting bigger, getting bigger, and then POW! huge. My back is starting to hurt a little and bending over the bathtub with Jackson, or carrying his majesty around when demanded, or just getting comfortable in bed is starting to be a drag. And this new little boy must be psyched for the Olympics because he is kickpunching the shit out of me like a gold medalist. But...I'm making some progress in getting his room ready, slowly but surely, and have been taking some time to make artsy-fartsy stuff for both boys. (Good lord, plural. Never thought I'd see the day.)  I sewed some stuff, you guys. With my hands. Granted, it looks hand-sewn, but whatever. I worked on that through a boring-ass conference call. It's surprisingly relaxing, even if it gives you hand cramps. I've also made plans for Jackson's second (what?) birthday party -- well in advance, you may note/snicker. But by September this big belly won't be any less inconvenient, so I want to have all of that squared away now. Done and done. Just a little more work in the nursery, buy a new crib, wash Jackson's old clothes, then done until labor. I'm counting down the weeks until client work is over and I can sit around and watch Daily Show reruns while eating spicy food and bouncing on an exercise ball trying to shake this baby out. Just a few more months (what?). It's starting to sink in.

Part 2: Jackson is fucking huge. I think he's grown several inches in the past month or so. I judge based on his pajama pants, which had to be rolled up to prevent tripping, and now ride up when he lays down to sleep. Crikey. He also just went through (and is still in) a crazy developmental leap that catches us by surprise every day. He baby-babbled with a few coherent words until recently, and now has a killer vocabulary and speaks in full sentences. A month ago, it was, "Mama, milk" or "More, please" on a good day, and now it's, "Mama, I want more milk, please." And then, "Thank you, Mama." Holy shit. (Although, his pronunciation sucks on a comic level and half the time he sounds like Borat.) For a while I thought his words were a little behind some other kids' (friends, classmates at school) but I guess he just needed to be ready. It's a good parenting lesson -- let them do their thing, because they will when they're ready. We've met other parents who helicopter the hell out of their kids and push educational agendas onto every activity, and I feel for their children. I don't really care if Jackson can recite his ABC's yet; I'm more concerned that he's learning how to be a good citizen (he says "please" and "thank you," gives kids hugs when they cry or tantrum, shares toys [when he's not hogging them, so: rarely {what? he's not perfect}], seldom melts down in public and only occasionally at home, and sleeps well most of the time) -- and has fun. I'll take that over "My Baby Can Read" any day. He has his whole life ahead to get serious about things and study and have responsibilities and be mature, but for now, I want to see him enjoy being an almost-2-year-old secure in the fact that his family loves him to bits and be free enough to express himself and become who he is meant to be. I want that for all my many children. On a related note, he seems to understand the general "baby in Mama's tummy" situation and will run up to me, throw his arms around me, kiss my belly, and whisper, "Hi, baby." Love.

Part 3: The shooting in Colorado is fucking depressing. And scary. In the same way that an unexpected natural disaster could sweep through your town and destroy everything you know and love, without warning. And the gun control debates that have followed....shut the fuck up, everyone. The kid was armed to the teeth, wearing full-body protective armor, and released gas canisters into the theater. A second or seventeenth armed citizen wasn't going to improve anyone's odds that night. It was unstoppable, by his design. I'm not saying that there's a strong case for increased gun control coming out of this either, because he apparently obtained everything legally and had no prior history of anything that could have interfered; although I'm still astounded that we allow automatic and semi-automatic weapons designed for mass killing to be sold to civilians. And that Amazon and Google can track my purchasing habits to suggest what brand of toothpaste I might enjoy, but there's no mechanism to track and raise suspicion over buying thousands of rounds and high-count magazines after procuring 4 high-power weapons in the span of a couple of months. Anyway. My point after that rant is there is so much in this world we can't protect our kids from. In a strange way, I am a little comforted by the emerging evidence that the shooter may be in the throes of a psychotic break -- he's the right age and gender for typical onset of schizophrenia and related delusional or manic disorders and his behavior since arrest certainly suggests it. He apparently just failed his PhD prelims after years of academic mediocrity, which would be a significant stress trigger. I find a bit of comfort in that because it means he's a rare crazy person (term not found in the DSM), not an evil person. Crazy usually shows warning signs, in this case missed. Evil is quiet, veiled, conceals its plans. I feel for this guy's parents, how they must be wondering where it all went wrong, what they could have done, how their child could have become this. It's frightening. We all want our children to grow up to be superheroes, not villains. It just goes to show we have to work hard to know them, to really know them, and do whatever we must to teach the hard lessons about right and wrong with the hope that they will always choose right. It's the most important gift we can give them after unconditional love.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Comedy of Errors: Daily Edition

Monday: Neighbors set off massive firework at 10:30pm, waking and scaring the shit out of Jackson. I am up all night (because only "MamaMamaMama!" is allowed) trying to calm him back to sleep. KB and I get no sleep due to this as well as the simmering rage over the neighbors being total asshats.

Tuesday: Around 10pm, the dog begins hacking and heaving like her lung is trying to escape. This continues all night, every 5 minutes, and is accompanied by violent vomiting which I get to clean up every 5 minutes. I stay in the family room with the dog so her hackity-hack doesn't wake the toddler. I think Jackson wakes up anyway and I go in to put him back to sleep, but this week is a blur so that might not have happened. The hacking echoes through the house so KB and I get no sleep.

Wednesday: The vet diagnoses a canine upper respiratory infection, which can run up to a 10-day course. Yay! I drive all over town to find a pharmacy that can fill a prescription for a dog cough suppressant. The only one that has it is in a blocked-off intersection (it's construction season in Michigan, when the orange cones are in full bloom). I follow detours for an hour before figuring out how to get to the place. I am now giving the dog 3 different medications with different routes of administration and dosing schedules, around the clock. I am my own apothecary. KB stays up with the dog, but Jackson wakes up twice and I go in to put him back to sleep again, so KB and I don't sleep.

Thursday: The dog is still hacking but maybe, just maybe, getting better (she can go for a whole hour without a hack! Progress!). The power to Jackson's room mysteriously goes out and I can't flip the circuit breaker to fix it. I call an electrician to come out at an emergency rate because dammit, we have to be able to put Jackson to bed tonight. The electrician finds the problem is our burned out lamppost in the front yard, and gives an estimate for trenching (trenching!) the front yard to fix the underground wiring. It is not cheap. So our decorative lamppost will go dark until next year, I guess. It sure will look stupid at Christmastime with lights wrapped around it and no lantern. The dog is still hacking and I think Jackson probably wakes up again. I have forgotten my own name.

Friday: I wake up from my hour of sleep convinced it's Saturday. The dog is better! Still hacking but rarely. She can sleep in the bedroom with us tonight and we can both sleep in our bed. Success! (We couldn't leave her in the family room alone, because she would whimper [and hack] outside our door all night, so someone had to stay with her out there.) Natch, Jackson wakes up and this time KB insists he will go in, even among a chorus of sobbing "No Dada! MAMA!" Eventually he gets Jackson back to sleep and we get the most sleep we've had all week: maybe 4 hours? I mean, I don't even know what day it is. So. On the plus side, the neighbor (who has been avoiding me all week) has finally come over to apologize for the fireworks. Never again, we wag our fingers proverbially.

Saturday: KB confides there's been a small pool of water in the basement all week and he was afraid to mention it amongst the turmoil. This morning it's a large puddle and it might be coming from the general area of the old furnace. Or it could be coming from the refrigerator that we think is directly above it in the kitchen. This is the fun of it...who knows?!? We call our HVAC guy who, thank sweet fancy Moses, can come out today and check it/repair it. If it's the furnace. And it's possible we're on the hook for a new furnace. Or, he could give it the all clear and we have to mop up the puddle and hope it doesn't turn to flood until we can get a plumber here Monday. The fun never stops!

Sunday: Can't hardly wait!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seether Is Neither Black Nor White

  • Vacation was nice. Jackson loved the beach on Lake Michigan and he loved the indoor play places we found when it got stupid hot and he took 2.5-hour naps every day which was the best. thing. ever. I got to nap, too. Halleloo.
  • Work is under control. I'm busy but my part-time-ness is sticking quite nicely right now, and I'm finding enough time to do things. Although cleaning out the office to convert it into a nursery still hasn't magically completed itself. I did buy a desk for the family room and move my work computer and whatnot out, but there's still so much stuff in there. It's so tempting some days to just haul it to the curb unsifted. But I think there are mortgage documents and birth certificates and things like that lurking around in there, so I probably have to get sifting. Maybe if I pile more shit in there I can call Hoarders to do it for me....
  • Did I mention we know what le bebe #2 is? Besides awesome, natch. We're having a........nother boy. He is named. You can wait for that. Now I can tell Jackson to stop kicking his brother. Also, this means I am surrounded by penises. Penii. A future of fart jokes.
  • We had a nice little sleep regression after returning from vacation, and got past it, and then my next-door neighbors thought it would be super cool to set off massive fireworks three times in the past week. Waking up Jackson between 10 and 11pm when the bombs went off and scaring him senseless and then us getting to spend all fucking night trying to calm him back to sleep. KB marched over there last night as soon as their ginormous explosive display was over and dropped some f-bombs of his own. And perhaps they'd been drinking themselves into pickling but they just stared at him and someone mumbled something about it being okay because of an ordinance and KB laid into them for that being the shittiest excuse of all time for terrorizing your neighbors and then stomped home. But I am not through with these fuckers. I want a face-to-face conversation in which I lay out for them how it's gonna go from now on if they can't use some common sense and behave like sensible, respectful neighbors. I don't care if you are empty-nesters who like to hit the sauce and shoot off fireworks on a weeknight for giggles, you can shove those firecrackers up your ass as far as I care. Also, I checked on the city ordinance and they're only permitted on July 4th and one day before and after. So after I've stalked their house for the next few days to get them to answer the door (I think they're avoiding us, I hope out of shame), which if that fails I will write a tactful and pointed letter and drop it in their mailbox, any future utterings louder than a whisper coming out of their house will prompt a call to the local PD. If I'm already up pacing the floors with a terrified toddler, I couldn't care less if calling the police is a hassle. (P.S. these are not the asshole neighbors across the street I normally bitch about. They actually walked over there with KB to back him up. So the enemy of my enemy is my friend. ? Also, we do have nice neighbors we like, I swear.)
  • Gotta end on a high note. Jackson, tenderly watering his duck ("I water him." "He's wet!"):