knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Riddance!

This year is finally over. Can't say I'm sorry to see it go. Not that I would ever write one of those obnoxious yearly letters to family and friends, but if i did, I would have to send a strong shot of bourbon along with it.

This year:
  • I birthed a beautiful baby boy
  • I had a c-section in lieu of natural childbirth
  • We found out my son had a tethered spinal cord
  • My dog was attacked by a rabid skunk
  • My sister's heart was broken
  • My furnace broke and filled my house with carbon monoxide
  • Winter snows extended into mid-April
  • My company froze all salaries indefinitely
  • We found out our baby had saggital synostosis
  • My husband found a better paying job
  • Our dog suffered from renal failure and was put to sleep
  • My son endured two major surgeries
  • I got to take my son to work for six months
  • My sister's heart was broken again
  • My dad was diagnosed with cancer and had a tumor removed, then began chemotherapy
  • I got a new car
  • My grandfather died
  • I got a fantastic digital camera
  • We took a family vacation to the beach
  • I maxxed out two credit cards
  • I gained fifteen pounds postpartum
  • Our hospital debt load (four surgeries, seventeen days inpatient combined) got sent to collection
  • I lost fifteen pounds
  • However, no one in my family was maimed by wild dogs, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky.
Heaven knows I'm no pessimist, but this year has GOT to go! Please please please let it be over, and please let next year just be normal. We need it. Vacation is close to a four-letter-word right now because every time we try to plan one, something calamitous happens.

I actually got invited to a party tonight, and guess what? My tummy is having a really bad day. Bad enough that I think I'm going to skip it. Figures. And since Glenn is working, it looks like Liam and I will be watching Battlestar Galactica and eating popcorn.

Okay, I am definitely feeling sorry for myself. Bah humbug. But it's a fitting way to end the year. It can only get better, right?

Happy New Year everybody. Tomorrow, I am going to sit down with the new Fedco seed catalog and order up my garden for next year. Then am going to do a stash inventory and find something to knit, goddammit. Then, I will drink wine or tea, depending on the tummy situation. Then Liam and I will attempt another snowshoe in the backyard. And with that, I will hopefully air out all the bad juju and get back to the stuff that really matters in life. Hope to see you there.

PS-Congratulations to the lovely JBQs for holding off on the birth of baby Harper for a full week so she could be a NYE baby. Way to go!! I miss you all. Send pictures ASAP!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Letters to Liam - Month Ten

Dear Liam,

When I sat down to collect my thoughts and remember all the things that have happened this month, I am astonished by all the things you have been doing. You are SO close to walking. I'm still betting we'll see a step by Christmas.

This month, you endured your very first cold. Nothing major, just a stuffy, runny nose. But man, were you ever cranky! Our plans for sleep training went up in smoke, since you went back to getting up twice a night, and I didn't have the heart to ignore you when you were so miserable.

Despite your cold, you went to visit Santa Claus. While I can say that you were much better behaved than many of the older children there, I have to admit that you were mostly just puzzled by the entire event. You went on Santa's lap, and sat quietly for the pictures, but I have just under a hundred pictures, and you're wearing the same bewildered expression in each one.

I needed some early cheer this year, so we went to get our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. It was fun. You'll be wanting to help Daddy cut down the tree next year, I imagine. Between the time we put the tree in the truck and the time we got it home, it had grown another three feet, and some judicious pruning was required before it would fit in the house.

The tree is gated. This does not deter you. You've discovered how to move the gate. I have sixteen new white hairs from the time I turned around from washing dishes to see you with a narrow glass icicle in your mouth. But you love the tree. You especially love my collection of silver bells and balls, that you tell me to ring so you can hear them.

You are totally at home in the cold and the snow. I love this about you. You are a child of Vermont, and your father couldn't be happier. It has snowed tons this month. Your cousins from Maryland came to visit, and they were not as impressed with the snow, or the cold. They must have thought I was practicing a particularly evil form of child abuse every time I took you outside to get in the car. Bulky outerwear makes you immensely cranky, and since the car is always warm before you get into it, I typically only make you wear a fleece pullover and a hat. No coat, no gloves.

It's a measure of how much I have become a Vermonter that I mentioned to your Aunt Brandy that our day trip to Burlington would be nice since it was pretty warm that day. It was 28 degrees out. There is a BIG difference between 28 degrees and 8. She was nice enough to stop laughing when she saw I was earnest, but she still thinks I'm insane.

You and your cousin Dylan are only two weeks apart. It was a real treat to see the two of you interact. Dylan is BIG. And he made you look like a peanut. You retaliated by trying to eat his head several times a day. Poor Dylan. He is so big, he's not crawling or standing yet. He was more or less helpless against your onslaughts.

One day, it snowed so much that it came up to my mid-thigh in the backyard. Being that sort of mother, I took you out of the sled and deposited you in the hold made by my leg. Anything for a picture! I thought I might get one or two off before you started screaming. Instead, you started eating snow.

Your cousins Dylan and Rachel came for a visit and left their coughy plague behind. With three rugrats sharing a small house for three days, it was inevitable that you'd catch it. My poor little Bean. You're a coughy, feverish mess, and I missed almost a whole week of work between snowstorms and sick baby. You are immensely cuddly, though. It's a good thing too, since you've got me up all night.

You've just said your first word. I couldn't be prouder every time you say, "uh-oh". Or "uh-uh-uhhhhh-oh." You're incredibly delighted with yourself. You still need to work on your timing though. Grabbing a handful of Cheerios from your high chair, you hold them over the side, pronounce "uh-oh" and then let them fall. Cheeky monkey. It's almost as hard not to laugh as when you grab onto the Christmas tree. I'll give you my sternest "no-noooo" and shake my head. You'll shake your head emphatically back at me, then produce the most mischevious grin and head right back to whatever trouble you were trying to accomplish.

Christmas is only a week away little man. Ready?



Thursday, December 13, 2007

just great

After an absence of a year and a half, it has returned. Today, I woke up with my period. AND a pimple. How's that for irony?


My cousins are here from Maryland with their little kids. Dylan is only three weeks older than Liam. They arrived at 5:00 this morning, so Liam hasn't even met them yet. I can't wait for this day to be over so we can go hang out with them. Will be so much fun! Rachel is 4, and on Saturday, we're taking them all to Santa's Village. She's the perfect age for it. I don't know who's more excited, her or me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rite of Passage

Three weeks after starting daycare, Liam has come down with his first cold. We've been inducted into the neverending drippy-nose club. yecch. He's been mildly feverish since last Wednesday, so we stayed home on Friday to try to get it under control.

He's been pretty whingy and we haven't been able to put him down in five days. He's learned to avoid the handkerchief and knows all about the nose sucker, the poor wee wain. He's determined enough to keep nursing, but the noise he makes is enough to raise the hackles on my neck. It's like a cross between Darth Vader and the boy who sat next to me in third grade who unconsciously cleared his sinuses every five minutes.

When the warm steam humidifier seemed to give him relief, I replaced his nightly bath with a shower. I brought him in with me, much to his delight. He'll dabble his fingers in the spray, point to the blue and green spots on the shower curtain, then he'll tuck his little head under my chin and settle in. We stand there under the warm spray until we turn pruney. It's the perfect excuse to take incredibly long showers twice a day.

Liam enjoyed the shower so much that I've repeated it twice a day for the past three days. I can't help loving it too. Holding that snuggly little body to mine, while it's still little enough to hold. It's quite a sensation. And I get kisses! A little girl at daycare loves to kiss Liam, and he's catching on...slowly. He gets the mouth-to-face thing, but he's yet to learn that kissing involves puckered lips, and not so much a gaping lamprey mouth. Except on very rare occasions, Liam will not give kisses when asked, except I've discovered, when in the shower. Which is fine with me, because it cuts down on the amount of nasal seepage that comes along with the kiss. Hey, it's my kid! It's only gross to you.

Moving on, yesterday morning we had breakfast, and played a bit, and then I stripped him and we took a shower. He wasn't quite as excited as before, and didn't want to play in the spray. He just tucked his head under my chin, his hands under his belly and...hey, wait a second, is he sleeping??

Asleep after two minutes in the shower. While still in the shower. His mouth was closed and he was breathing through his sinuses. Not wanting to interrupt a good thing, I wandered around the shower for twenty minutes or so. When the water started to cool off, I got out, wrapped his towel around him. Bringing him into his bedroom, I laid him down in the crib, naked and damp. I slid a diaper on him, piled a heap of blankets on top of him, and he slept that way for a hour and a half.

Nighttime sleep has become a rare commodity again since Liam's been sick. Now when he wakes in the middle of the night, I have one more strategy to sooth him back to slumber.