Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Science Baby (Musings at 10 months)

Time plays tricks on me and sometimes I just assume you were always here (how quickly that can happen, within a space of 10 months you have become part of our family). I see you in front of me and realize you are not the figment of my imaginings that often rumbled around my head and heart for those many years. No, you are flesh and blood and you are mine.

How can I explain my need for you? Some people would say that we were lucky to have your brother (and that is true), but I knew in my heart that our family was missing someone. Sometimes the hurt that came from not having you in our lives made me question your need to exist. Sometimes I had to turn away with a sense of dread—wondering if the path not taken was the path instead.

It took a long time for us to go down that path and go to the clinic. Being a science fiction geek, I tend to imagine you being mixed up and concocted in a laboratory with fizzy test tubes and electrodes* a scientist with a white fright wig on and sneer, glaring until finally declaring---IT’S ALIVE!!

---hmmm…I think I digressed a bit there….

What I did not imagine is what a wonderful little person you are. How beautiful your eyes are, what a wonderful fluff of hair you have. That tooth, slowly poking through and that hint of personality…all brought together by your mom, dad and a little bit of science. Look what we did! We created you—you, a unique person, our science baby! I am so very proud of what we were able to accomplish. I am so very proud of you. I love you, my daughter.


* although by then I had read and found out all I could about IVF/ICSI, I think I still tend toward my melodramatic tendencies

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sick - Updated

So, all this winter I have read posts from various people on how sick their infants are. Each time, I was happy that we were so fortunate, and I thought to myself--I would rather be sick than have my kids be sick. So, it shouldn't surprise me that I am sick. Possibly my last week of work (its open ended when I will be done with my obligation) and I have been gone home sick two days so far. All the familiar stuff--I think its the flu (guess who did not have a chance to get a flu shot, while the rest of the family did??)

UPDATE: I guess I spoke too soon--Michael is now sick too. I am a bit more paranoid right now because recently a 12 year old boy died of the flu around here. So, I could have struggled again today at work, but I choose to take the day off--I wanna take care of my boy.

The good news, I wasn't sick during the gaming convention. We had a fun time and I think it was a good break for everyone. I enjoyed playing a role playing game and I also got to go in the pool with the kids a few times. Willow and Michael behaved very well, and Uncle John was there to help out. I was even able to get Willow a little cuddy Cthullu of her own!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gone Gaming

February means two things to me. My son’s birthday (which seems to usually be a week long bacchanalia, what with presents coming in the mail, his birthday party usually a week before hand, etc.). His party on Sunday was a hit--some parents were talking about it the next day! The kids ran around "battling" instructors dressed up as Trolls and Ghosts, etc. The kids had foam swords and square padded shields and some people had packets of magic (foam balls/squares). At one point I saw my son (who, as was optional, dressed up in a costume) negotiate with a Cave Troll--by trying to pawn off his costume medallion. A lot of running around and screaming ensued. I then put D&D miniatures on his cake and the kids had cake, fruit and pizza. One kid ate 7 pieces of pizza! Michael also got some REALLY cool gifts--a Star Wars Clone Trooper Gun (Nerf), Night Goggles, a model Gargoyle, a Lego D&D Set, etc.

This weekend is the other major event in February, Total Confusion. We started going to Total Con when Michael was about 3-4 years old. We started making it an overnight destination when he was about 5 years old. Now, it is an annual tradition. It is fun to get away from home (but yet, not too far—its about an hour away). We stay overnight at the hotel where the gaming convention is held and each of us have games (role playing, board games, video games, etc.) to play. I even make a CHART (yes, I am organizational madwoman!) to make sure I know who is with the baby and who is gaming where.

This year will be Willow’s first Total Confusion, but not her first gaming convention—she went for a two day stint last July. This will be for three days, two nights, in a hotel with a mobile baby…should be interesting!

It is fun to see the same people each year, it is fun to devote time to being a family doing something we all love. And it is sooo geeky! ☺

I am looking forward (and a bit nervous) to a role playing horror game I am playing on Friday night. I usually stick to board games, so role playing is not my forte (that is usually the Husbands realm). But I have heard such great things about this GM (Game Master) from my husband, that I had to take a stab at it. (And husband gets to try out dealing with the kids at night in a hotel room—usually my forte!)

Tonight will be devoted to packing up our stuff…ugh, I realize now WHY I was happy Michael was out of the baby years…so much STUFF!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nineteen Years

Nineteen years ago, someone came up behind me. I felt his presence, but was unknowing of his name (I had met him the previous night, we talked until 3 a.m.—I am not good with names). We walked and talked for hours. Both of us scared, both of us not sure of what we were starting.
We ate at Burger King in the student union. I paid for our dinner (I was on work-study and had a job, he did not). We walked across campus to his dorm room, he lived 25 mins. away from where I lived. Later that night, he walked me back to my dorm and then walked back to his dorm. It was February in Michigan—there was snow on the ground, and a hole in his shoe (I would not know about until later).

Our first date, nineteen years ago.

This date, in many ways, is far more important than our wedding anniversary…so, we make the time to remember.

Tonight we are going to go out and have a nice dinner, our children safe at home with a sitter. (He may actually have a hole in his shoe…)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Honest Scrap Meme



From Fertilized.

The rules for this award:

Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
Show the winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Scrap.” There’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

List at least 10 honest things about yourself.
The list:

1. I have not gone to bed before 12 a.m. for about 2 months. And its not the kids (generally speaking) keeping me up. I guess there is just not enough time in the day.

2. I am deathly afraid of the fact that soon there will be "enough time in the day". I worry about PPD, I worry about feeling isolated and alone. I worry about finding a job.

3. I am having a hard time getting my exercise and nutrition routine back on track since being pregnant. Sometimes it is me, sometimes it is life. I get things going, then road blocks appear. I keep trying to get back to the way things were before, and I have not figured out to get this piece of my life in order yet.

4. Okay, okay, I bought Willow a dress (and matching tights!) for this spring. Totally, usually, not my thing...but it's so CUTE!

5. I don't know all the words to most of the nursery songs I start to sing to Willow. I can't believe I have forgotten them. Now, at least, I have the internet
to save me.

6. Guilty pleasure television: Amazing Cakes, Bridezillas, Clean House. What Not to Wear.

7. I really don't get the hype over weddings. I am sorry, I just don't get it. Yet, I watch Whose Wedding is it Anyway? And every time, I go to myself--throwing money away for what?

8. It is 11 p.m. and I hear Willow starting to stir--and it chills my bones. (Please go back to sleep, girly girl)

9. I am still astounded at seeing my daughter's name in print.

10. I enjoy bath time with the kids.

My 7 blog recommendations (please go visit them):

Rachel

Stop the Train...

Christy

Valerie

Jen

Neenie

Kate

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Show & Tell #28

Tomorrow we are throwing Michael's birthday party. February 21st my son will be ten years old. I cannot believe it. Seeing Willow start down the path of toddlerhood, I remember back to when my son was that old...

Here he is at his 2nd Birthday party:




Last weekend, while we were baby-proofing and cleaning the house up, I found some of his birthday gifts from that party...


We found one of these fish maracas last week, it is now Willow's (hopefully we will find the other one soon).





Michael loved this book. It is a book of "animagicals": "Twelve different interactive spreads pose witty rhyming riddles courtesy of poet Carol Diggory Shields, accompanied by Croatian artist Svjetlan Junakovic's whimsical and lovely paintings of musical instruments. Fold out the flap, and the spread extends to a surprise "animagical"--a creative morphing of instrument and animal. The first spread, for example, leads with the following riddle-rhyme: "I plod through the desert / ba-rumpity-bump. / My drums keeping time, / ka-thumpity-thump. / Bumpity, thumpity, / rumpity, thump, / I am a..." Open up the page flap, and the drums reveal themselves to be a "camel, with a drum on each hump.""
We found this book last week in his bookcase, the flaps worn from use.

(oh gosh...is he really going to be ten?!)

Show and Tell
Click to see who else is Showing & Telling.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Adventure Mom

I have been called an adventurous mom. Which I often find ludicrous, as I find that the reasons that I am considered “adventurous” are some of the main reasons I had kids in the first place. I love new experiences. I love doing all sorts of things; I love exploring new things, different things. I take my kid (now kids) to museums, overnight camps, theater shows, etc. I like sharing my love of things with my children. I hope that they learn something, either about the program/event that we are doing, about themselves, about life in general. I at least hope they gain a curiosity of the world around them.

I think that Michael has a great capacity for learning. He is a sponge and it makes me proud that I have a least a small part in shaping his interest in the world around him.

Two recent situations reminded me of this “adventure-some” spirit.

Through Cub Scouts, I was e-mailed details of an African choir (local Zimbabweans) singing at the church that holds the monthly pack meetings. I took note that it was this Sunday, but since it even said on the e-mail that it was not a religious event, I thought it would be a singing program. The invitation was for everyone, and if our Cub Scout came, he was to wear his uniform. We packed ourselves up and went this Sunday. Into a church (remember, we are atheists. Okay, atheist and a cultural Jew—definitely not ones to be in a church on a Sunday—I felt like hissing like a cat or vampire). The choir was going to perform during the church service. At that point, my husband was motioning to “get the hell out of here”. But, being Adventurous Mom, I decided we should stay—it’s a good experience to see what others do on a Sunday, right? (and, being in his Cub Scout uniform and us with an infant, we kind of stood out already). And I am happy to report that we had a good time. We saw the choir; the hymns included “We Shall Overcome” and several traditional African songs. There was mention of the strife in Africa and of civil rights. And then my son went down with the other kids for a bit. To talk about the bible—they asked how many stories are in the bible. Whereupon my son said “Six Hundred and Sixty-Six?” (Fully knowing why he was saying that). We stayed until after the priest’s sermon (which was actually good). Were we converted? No. Did we learn something? Yes.

The other thing that happened was this morning. I saw that the Museum of Science is sponsoring Tall Ship boat tours of the harbor this summer. It’s a 90-minute tour on a boat in the harbor, talking about the Tall Ships visiting the harbor. On the web site it said “not recommended for children under 3 years old” “if you have an infant in your party, please call for reservation”. So, I dutifully called. I wondered if it was a safety issue. I wondered if it was an issue because they wanted you to pay a certain amount for the infant. No. They did not recommend it for infants because “they would be stuck on the boat for 90 mins and would not be able to get off for any reason”. Umm…okay…I guess I am an Adventurous Mom, cuz I really don’t see a reason that that would be a problem. I mean, Willow, at four months, traveled in a car for hours on end. I think she can handle a tour boat.

Sometimes being an Adventurous Mom is just knowing that the world is out there for you and your children to explore. Not to be afraid of.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

Moment # 1:

Just me and my son. Getting our hair cut. Finished, getting ready to go home. “Do you want to pick up something for lunch, or just…” “Well, mom…there is the Wendy’s right over there…” I am thinking of just going through the drive-thru. I want to get home, I want to see my husband and daughter. My son wants to go inside to eat (where my temptation to have some very fattening food awaits). I relent. We go inside, I eat my good-but-not-good-for-me food. And we play the games suggested by the kids meal bag…a matching game, an eye spy game. I enjoy this small moment between me and my son.

Moment #2:

I am holding her. She puts her small arm around my neck and squeezes. The first actual hug from my daughter.

Moment #3:

We moved all Michael’s toys up to his room this weekend. Through the years, some contingency of his toys has been neatly (and sometimes not so neatly) kept in the corner of the living room. Now, as part of baby proofing, his toys are now all upstairs in his room (some of them are being given to charity, some are being saved for Willow). Toys that go in that corner are now going to be Willow’s toys. I had not thought about the emotional impact of this. Until I looked at my husband’s expression. Our first born is growing up before our eyes.

See more Perfect Moments.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Show & Tell #27

I do not wear a lot of jewerly, but I do like bracelets, especially charm bracelets. Here are some that I have:

This is my newest one:

It has both Michael's birthstones and Willow's birthstones.





Here are a couple I got a few years ago to commerate my obsession with Dr. Who.

(I like wearing these geeky ones at conventions--I am especially proud of the Tardis!)




The first bracelet I ever got from my son. He made this for me at daycare when he was 3 years old. I was so touched that he made this specifically for me, I wore it every day for about a year--hence why it is really kinda dirty...



And finally, my fondness for bracelets has not gone unnoticed by my son, this is what he got me for a birthday present a couple of years ago:



Show and Tell

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Echos

Being at work, knowing that soon it will not be my work anymore. Already I am not doing my job, as I am only contracted to do the filing. I feel a bit distant. I go down the hall, expecting to hear a certain person's voice on the phone...she is not there. I leave for the day and I look at the corner office, expecting to see another co-worker still working in her office. One whole section of our office is empty. It is eerie.

I have been at this company for 10 years. I have saved voice mail messages throughout the years. I have the first phone message I ever got from my son. He was 4years old and he was talking to me about Spongebob. He sounds so small. He hesitates, and stammers out about a new Spongebob computer game that he has started playing. His voice with a South Boston accent from his daycare providers. I have my husband talking about an incident during Michael's first grade...the high school was being built, and there was a gas leak, so the fire trucks were out and the school was waiting for the all clear to let the kids go in. He talks about how the kids were going up to the first grade teacher saying that they don't want to be at school. I have a voice mail from my brother when he had just moved up here and was trying to be cheerful despite his heart just being broken from a divorce.

All these messages that I saved throughout the years will be deleted. This morning, I brought my video camera in and I videotaped the phone and played the voice mail messages. I videotaped my working space...my pictures of my husband and I before the kids, our chinchillas, various Michael pictures and drawings that he has made when he has come into work with me and the new pictures of Willow.

Soon I will be gone and all that will be left will be echos.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Milestones

Willow went to her 9 month wellness check up today. She is 17 lbs. 12 oz. and she is 27 inches.
The doctor said she is very expressive (she was really putting on a show for him).

In nine months I have seen her change from a helpless little being to a spunky almost-toddler. It struck me today how much she has “turned on” in the last few weeks. She is crawling and pulling herself up. She is eating cherrios, pizza crusts, rice, the occasional magazine cover…

But aside from all the wonderful physical milestones, I am starting to see glimmers of her personality. She has definite preferences in toys (and the types of toys) she likes. She beams whenever one of us comes in the room. She follows the cat with her eyes with an expression of love and want. (Wait a week or so, Gabby, then you will to run out of her way). She giggles at things. She dances to music, and she is curious curious curious about the world around her. Even her clingy-ness lately is a sign that she is growing up.

She is officially been outside my body longer than she was in. And I am so very grateful for her.

Things I haven't done yet...

Things I haven't had the chance of doing yet or been prevented from doing: See my son's presentation on Rabies for his biology ...