Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Liam: 6 Months

Sweet William,

Today in Relief Society you sat in your car seat and rocked yourself happily to the rhythm of the hymns, looking around and smiling your big baby smile at anyone who would catch your eye. You are an enormous flirt and do the most delightful things with your face while feeling flirtatious: the double-eyebrow raise, which I personally favor, plus a hands-to-the-face-bashful-half-turn grin that I'm sure will melt the heart of many a little girl in years to come.

Through your first few months, you were uncomfortable and cried a lot, but since those difficult days you have become a delightfully happy little person, a sweet presence of calm warmth and light in our home. One day I was holding you in my lap and you were studiously looking at the world around us, cheeks puffed and eyes squinted like an old man reading the evening news. You rotated your head, looking first left-- then center, where you saw my face and lit up into a smile--then right, where you immediately settled back into your analytical frown.

With Uncle Seth after The Big Race.

You can often be heard singing high-pitched whale songs to yourself-- squeals that climb and dip and slide at melancholy intervals. This suits you in that you are big and blubbery (and lovable) like a whale.

You are your daddy's little boy. He just positively lights up when he sees you, and I frequently catch you gazing at him, aglow with admiration. He loves to rock you to sleep at night. He'll frequently take you from me so he can put you to bed.

Reading Robinson Crusoe with Daddy.

Soren is a also source of fascination for you. You seem to really love and look up to him. And he loves you. Sometimes. He's always excited when you wake up in the morning. And he loves watching the way your eyes get big and googly when we pull the car into the dark garage. He'll do anything to make you laugh. NOTHING makes him happier than making you laugh. He also likes to make you cry, unfortunately, and continues to lash out at you at the most unexpected moments. This does not seem to have dampened your love for him, though, and you continue to smile when he comes into a room.

A rare violence-free moment between Soren and Liam.

So you are sweet. But you are also stubborn. After three weeks of letting you cry it out at night, I finally gave up and brought you back into the big people bed, where you contentedly nurse all night long, stretch out, and hog the bed like a spoiled Persian cat.

Demonstrating the Persian cat pose.

And there are places you do not like. Doctor's officers are one of those places. I don't know if you still retain memories of your hospitalization or if it's an unconscious thing, but whenever I take you in for checkups you cry and cry and cry. Whereas most people comment on your blithe personality, at your six month checkup the PA looking at you asked if you were a melancholy baby, taking things a little more seriously than most. (Incidentally, at your six month checkup you weighed in at 22 pounds (98th percentile), measured 26 1/2 inches long (95th percentile), and bore a cranium so large it measured off the charts.)

Waking up and not very happy about it.

And that about wraps it up for this month.

So, to our little Mr. Rainbow-sunshine-sugar-spice-sweetness: we love you.



P.S. As I read through this letter, I've noticed that, amid all my talk of your cheerful personality, every single one of these pictures of you are serious. So you're just going to have to believe me. You are very smiley and happy. Honest.

I know I can! I know I can!

(I've been waiting for pictures, but they're slow in coming, so I'll post this now and pictures later.)

Way back in June my sister-in-law Karen blogged about how she and my brother Seth had signed up to run a 5K in August. They'd done something similar last summer; it's how they motivate themselves to keep in shape. In that post she wrote, "We've already got my sister, Annie on board to run with us and I thought it would be fun to invite all my devoted blog readers to join us too!" And I, being a devotee of Karen's blog, as well as a (former) devotee of long-distance running, decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign up for the Ogden Family Fun Run. I started training that very week. Karen's sister Annie and my sister's husband Marty also signed up for the race.

Training wasn't easy. First of all, I was in terrible shape. At first I could barely run a lap around the high school track, so I started out by running a lap, walking a lap, running a lap, walking a lap. Secondly, I could think of a million reasons why right now was now a good time to get back into running: I hadn't slept longer than a three hour stretch in five months, the physical demands of mothering left me exhausted at the end of each day, I'd rather spend my precious spare moments pursuing something more intellectual.

One day while I lay curled up in a patch of tall weeds in an empty lot in our neighborhood, wondering how anyone ever survives motherhood, I decided I was going to quit training. It was just one extra stress that I didn't need. And then the thought came to me: If people only accomplished their goals when it was easy to do so, this world would be a pretty crappy place. Training for this race was going to be hard, yes, but I am capable of doing hard things. So I returned home to my frazzled husband and screaming children, fed the kids, bathed them, put them to bed, and went for a run.

I tried to run three times a week, but there were some weeks when I'd only go out once. There were others when I didn't make it out at all. I just kept reminding myself that, not only was I capable of doing this, I had invested fifteen whole dollars in the race registration fee, so I darned well be ready to run the dumb race at the end of August.

And, lo and behold, August 29, 2009, Karen, Seth, Annie, Marty, and I ran and completed the Ogden Family Fun Run. My goal was to run the whole way, without any walking, which I did, despite the insane hilliness of the run. It took me 32 1/2 minutes, which was worse than the worst time I ever clocked during my high school cross-country days, but let me tell you: it was a hard-fought 32 1/2 minutes, uphill both ways, and I'm proud of it. I decided to do something hard and, through hell and high water, I did it. Go me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So maybe I should mention the major life upheavals.

Things at Harbor House (the drug-and-alcohol rehab where Abe and I both worked) were not looking very good. It's very complex, and I won't get into the politics of it all here, but let's just say that the Clinical Supervisor quit, the Director quit, the Youth Specialist Supervisor quit-- and no one was hired to replace them. Abe (the interim supervisor), Jenny (a counselor), and I (the admin assistant) were stuck running the place on our own. When the former clinical supervisor offered me a job at his own business, I jumped at the chance to get out of the sinking ship and into something more stable. No one was hired to replace me. I started my new job Monday this week. On Tuesday it was announced that Harbor House would be closing in two weeks.

So Abe is out of a job.

Which is OK, actually, because we've decided that he can use this time to plow through his Master's program. He should be able to complete it in a year and a half or less now. I'll be working full time, but I think I can rig my schedule so that I can be home a lot anyway-- working from 7 to 3 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and from 12 to 8 on Tuesday and Thursday. That will give me a couple afternoons and a couple mornings a week to spend with the boys. We're still going to have to tighten our belts some, but I think we'll be able to ride this out without too much suffering.

In other news, Nicholas got a job in Salt Lake and moved out. He found a fabulous apartment in the downtown area, is liking his new job (doing graphic design for a scrapbooking company called BasicGrey), and has already made a kajillion new friends-- though he still remembers to text me most days. Tonight he sent me the following two messages:
1) Omg walking to get groceries at dusk. Life is perfect!
2) And I'm quickly brought down from my cloud when I discover my fly is down.

Next up for our downstairs bedroom: Abe's sister Hillary, who is moving in at the end of the week.


Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm famous.

Adam Sheppard, the author of Scratch Beginnings, which I reviewed here, commented on the review. Wow. Kind of wish I hadn't been so critical.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I'd like to thank the academy..

My sis-in-law Karen nominated me for this prestigious award on her blog. She, herself, is the proprietor of a delightful blog that I think you should all visit and leave comments on. Click here to visit it.

This, like all blog memes, has its ruls, which are, as copy-and-pasted from Karen's blog:

1. Put the award on your blog.
2. Include a link to the person who gave you the award.
3. Nominate 6 or more blogs.
4. Leave a message on their blog letting them know they have an award on your blog.

Now this provides me with an opportunity to discourse briefly about what I think makes a good blog. My requirements are as follows: (1) I have to feel some sort of genuine love or affinity for the blog writer or be extremely interested in their writing (2) The blog can be neither too positive nor too negative. (3) The blog has to include something more than pictures of your kids. (4) The English language must not be brutalized into an unrecognizable state by cruel misuse and idiocy. (5) The blogging individual has to post at least once a month. I am picky about my blogs because I would otherwise spend my entire lifetime reading about everyone's children's cute antics, and I am only really interested in my own children's cute antics, and also Holly's and Ginger's, but their blogs are private, so I will not nominate them here. So these are my favorite blogs, excluding those that are all secrety and password-requiring:

(1) Simply Mother. Kate is one of those really cool people who knows who she is and what she's doing and why-- but she's totally not annoying about it. That takes some skills, my friends.
(2) Dooce. So inappropriate. And yet, I love her.
(3) Nckwhlr (ie, Nick aka Uncle Sue). I love Nick and I love his blog. You should read it.
(4) You Probably Don't Care, but You Should This is my pseudo-cousin Mark's blog. He is totally wacky and hilarious.
(5) My Random Life Story. This is Karen's blog, which I'm linking you to again, in case you didn't get my first message about going to it and leaving comments.

For a few moments I worried about my nominations and wondered if I should just nominate EVERYONE whose blog I have ever read ever, for fear of offending someone, and then I decided that it's probably good for me to offend someone now and again as a reminder to myself that I don't have to be loved by everyone all the time. So go ahead, People Whose Blogs I Did Not Nominate, hate me. See if I care.

Also, I am breaking the following rules: Number 3, because I take my blog nominations very seriously. And number 2, because I am also not going to post comments on anyone's blogs about how I nominated them, because everyone listed here also reads MY blog and will therefore know that they have been nomated. Everyone, that is, except for Dooce, who gets thousands of comments on every post and has won real blog awards and doesn't give a damn that I like her blog.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Liam: 5 Months

Sweet William,

When I open my eyes in the morning, you are usually right there, tucked under my shoulder, one short chubby arm slung as far over my body as you can get it. You're usually still asleep, but sometimes you're not-- and as soon as you notice me looking at you your face lights up into a smile, a smile that will continue for most of the rest of the day. And if that's all I were to say to you in this letter, it would pretty much sum you up. You're a Cuddler and a Smiler; a twenty-pound bundle of sweet squishy smiley baby fatness.

Smiling at Daddy outside. Age 3 months.
Looking so fat in your car seat. Age 3 months.
Cuddling with Grandpa Hanson. Age 4 months.

It's good, too, that you're such a happy little fella, because it seems that life is hell-bent on making sure that you experience a lot of pain in the first few months of your life. Between your reflux problem, your hospitalization, and your older brother's guerrilla attacks, I'm afraid you're beginning to believe that life, though usually pretty good, is laced with unexpected bursts of inexplicable agony. Which, now that I write this, I realize is true. So maybe it's not so bad that you're learning this lesson early on. At any rate, you seem to really enjoy the good parts.

Worried that Soren might be coming to attack.

Speaking of the not-so-good parts: We've been letting you cry it out at night lately. The doc said that if we did sleep training while you were four months old, it would take three nights--tops!--for you to be sleeping through the night on your own. I believed him, not taking into account that you're our child, and therefore ridiculously stubborn. Thus far it has been 18 nights, and you still wake up and cry. I can't stand to listen to you crying, so I usually close the bedroom door and turn on the fan to block out the sound. I feel bad about this, but here's what you can tell your counselor when you're confronting your trust/abandonment issues in therapy later on: after four months of not sleeping for longer than 1-3 hour stretches, your mother decided it was either (1) let you cry it out, or (2) commit vehicular suicide. Now, after 18 glorious nights of getting long stretches of sleep, I no longer look longingly at trees, bridges, and telephone poles while I'm driving. My hope is that at this reading you're grateful I gave you the gift of nighttime sleep and didn't leave you motherless. If you're not, please also tell your therapist to stop looking for blame and start looking for solutions.

Age 3 months. The towel is to protect the carpet from baby barf.

We've tried introducing you to big people food, but you're not so into it. This is problematic, as I don't think my body is capable of producing enough milk to support a child the size of a newborn whale, which is the size category I think you'll grow into right after you're finished with your 9-12 month sized clothing. I've fed you rice cereal, I've given you squash, and I've tried pears, but from the expression on your face when these foods hit your palate, you'd think I was feeding you fecal matter, dog vomit, and overcooked brussel sprouts. You're going to have to adjust, though, cookie, 'cause I'm not nursing you forever. As soon as you say your first word, we're through. And then it'll be nothing but rice cereal and applesauce forever.
Trying to pretend the food isn't coming.

Squash. Yuck.

Might I get a spot of milk? I've seem to have a foul taste in my mouth.

Anyway, my little munchkin, I'm so grateful we still have you. Where would I be without your smiles? And nuzzling the skin on the top of your head, which is loose and soft as a puppy's, and smells like milk and baby oil? Also kissing your pillowy cheeks? And slow dancing with you in the kitchen? You are such an excellent slow dancer.

Oh, Sweet Soft Cuddly Milky Pillowy Smiley Baby of Mine...

I love you.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...