Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chris updates

It's been a while, so I thought I'd update what Chris has been doing lately.

His vocabulary grows daily, even if most of the words are still understandable only to us. He knows his nose (his current favorite - if you walked in the door the first thing he'd do is say "nose" and point to his nose), mouth, tongue (added this week), ears, toes and feet. We're avoiding eyes. Oh yeah, and he knows belly button (also a big hit). He'll say all of those, some better than others. Old standbys - dog, mama, dada, cat (ta), duck, bird, balloon, bear, book, ba(bottle), please, more, done. Now he says "moo" for a cow, orange, water (sounds a bit like "that"). He points to get his message across.

Physically, his coordination is getting better, so he finally runs around without falling (too often). He loves to dance (to anything that resembles a beat). And he doesn't just sway like his dad and I do, he bounces up and down and gets his arms into it. He can get on and off the new horse his Grampa and Grammy Lin got him for Christmas.

His new favorite book is Goodnight Gorilla. On the front cover there's a gorilla saying "shhh" with his finger over his mouth. Now if you ask Chris "What does the gorilla say?" he puts one finger over his mouth and says "shhhhh." It's pretty cute - hopefully we're not scarring him to badly!

And my personal favorite, he has started to show a real taste for flavor. He LOVES chicken tikka masala (and just about any other Indian food we have given him). Last night he ate half a burrito (complete with a quite spicy salsa, beans, guacamole, rice, chicken, potatoes and zucchini). He would only eat the bland Thanksgiving food if we gave him a tart cranberry-orange relish with it (cranberries and an orange - peel and all - in a blender). Today we got our shipment of grapefruit from John's parents for Christmas, Chris loves them. Maybe we can transition him from his 4 clementines a day to include some grapefruit. He's still just a happy little boy. We took him to the mall today and he just loves seeing all the people (and Christmas decorations), eating at the food court (Indian food), and playing with the oversized stuffed animals in Macy's. He smiles and blows kisses at everyone, and is really a joy to go places with. Of course dealing with him while trying to make dinner in the evening is another story entirely!

It's almost Christmas and we've already had a ton of snow. Here's hoping for a white Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A free minute?

Chris spent the afternoon at Grammy's house so I could do some work. Only problem is that I haven't yet gotten the green light on my next project for work, so I had no work to do. Instead, I went to Lowe's for mini blinds and weather stripping stuff, to Shaw's for diapers and dinner stuff, came home, made dinner, paid the bills (and sorted through about 3 weeks of mail to do so), submitted my hours for work, and cleaned the kitchen. That took 4 hours. Now dinner's basically ready, and I'm just waiting for my mom, Paul and Chris to come eat. I'm not sure what to do with myself... I actually have a free minute. Of course, there's plenty of laundry covering my bed, but I don't feel like tackling that just yet. Maybe I'll get there when I put Chris to bed. I think I'm starting to feel a little better. I'm still tired, but a few days ago I wasn't moving off the couch.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blowing Kisses

Chris has taken to blowing kisses. He's been kissing people (and the air in the direction of people) for a month or so now. Just recently, he's figured out to blow kisses with his hand. So now my "baby" is walking up the the stairs (holding the railing, with Dad right below), stopping on each step to blow another kiss goodnight to me. What a love.

Kiddo also seems to have gotten Fifth Disease. It's not a problem for kids, and doesn't seem to bug him one bit. But I'm pregnant, and it could be a problem for the baby. Let's hope not!

I started my new job last week with a 2 day stint in Pittsfield. So far, so good. Chris did fine without me (with the help of Dad and Grammy), but he did fight his nap enough for me to decide he must've missed me. Meanwhile, I love my job. We're working with the city and school district in Pittsfield to help them create a new school system that can be the center of their community for years to come. Exactly what I want to do! The guy I work for does this for cities all over the country (and the world, actually). Who knew someone was doing exactly what I want to do. Moreover, who would've thought I could've gotten the job the way I did? Did I write about that? I don't remember. I applied for the full time job posting, and at the interview I explained I wanted to work part time. Well, a few emails and phone calls later, and I'm working about 10 hrs/week for him and getting paid hourly to do something I love. I'm pretty excited - it's absolutely perfect for me! So things are definitely getting better. As much as I want to be home with Chris, I needed something like this to work on too. Now I feel like I have my cake and I'm eating it too. I get to be a "stay at home mom" and work 10 hrs a week, mainly from home (with some travel), on my dream job. How did I get that lucky?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy First Birthday, Chris!

So he's officially ONE YEAR OLD today. Wow. It's pretty amazing. We just got back from the doctor for his 1 yr physical. He had fun. The doctor tried to explain to him that kids aren't supposed to like the doctor's office so much. He ran in circles and squealed. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health. We're still unsure about the egg allergy, but we're just avoiding eggs for now. He can officially face forward in the car, and he can eat honey. Woohoo! The doctor said he was the friendliest one year old she has seen in a long time. Then the nurse came and gave him shots. He screamed for maybe 5 seconds, and then smiled and waved goodbye to her. I love what a sweetie he is.

So, he's one. He can run, clap, wave, kiss, follow simple commands (get a book, get a diaper, where's the dog, feed mommy, give that to me, or to daddy). He can say dog "da", cat "ta", "mama", "dada", bottle "ba" (although he did say "bottle" very clearly ONCE). He said "abby" once. He calls Grandpa Paul "pa" and Grammy Lin "na" and everything else "bird". He can feed himself and eats everything we offer him. He's eaten everything except honey, shellfish, nuts and eggs. He's smiling all the time and just loves to see people, places, animals, new things, etc. Right now he wants us to carry him a lot - mainly so he can get up higher and see what's up there. It's like he decided he has explored the ground level, and now he wants to know what's up higher. He points to whatever he wants, and takes you to it if you let him. He smiles and laughs all the time. He's a charmer, everyone loves him, he's a big flirt. He's really a pleasure as a son. We're definitely lucky. We love you, Chrisaroo!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Party

What a great birthday party for Chris! He couldn't have enjoyed it more. The kid was on cloud 9 all afternoon. He was surrounded by people who love him and paid attention to him. He got balloons, cake, and toys. He crashed and was asleep by 6:30, but man, he had a great time. I was all stressed out about the people flaking out and how they weren't coming. But it didn't matter at all. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. I'm definitely happy to be back here. Now we have to go clean up the mess...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cranky Pants

Chris has been whiny all day, and I think it's contagious. I hope he's not getting sick, as we have a Halloween party tonight at John's lab, and his birthday party tomorrow. Last thing we need is a sick birthday boy. I thought everyone we invited to Chris's party was coming (except John's parents). But then Marie and Gary forgot they had plans, so they can't go. Next Roger, Kristen and Oliver called today to say they can't come. Now it sounds like Gabi and Sandip may not make it either because they don't have a car, and without the others from the city they can't get here. Now I'm depressed about it. Chris won't know the difference, but someday he will. I think maybe next year we'll do something small, just with the people who we know will come. I don't really want him to have to deal with people's plans changing at the last minute. I don't even want to deal with it myself. I know it's a fact of being stuck between two worlds. My friends who don't have kids don't think it's that big of a deal, so they don't think much of changing their plans. And that's the way I used to be too. But somehow it feels different with a kid. And now I want people to commit yes or no and stick to it. But it's not reasonable to ask my friends to do that. So maybe it's time to stop straddling both and pick one. Well, I guess I already picked one. But I'm starting to wonder if I'm working to hard to hang onto the other.

Meanwhile, if Chris doesn't give up soon and take a nap I'm going to lose my mind!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not the Lily!

I was trying to do dishes this morning, and Chris was in the living room complaining. Eventually he stopped, and then he started laughing, so I looked up. There he was, at the baby gate, looking so proud, holding my lily by the plant, hanging it over the gate into the kitchen. I ran over and started whining "no, no, no, no" and he just looked confused. The pot was on the floor, with all the dirt, and he was giving me the plant. How sweet :(

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dancing Baby

Chris has started dancing, and he loves it. I don't know where he got it, certainly not from me, but he loves it. The other day at the Y he climbed the slide, stood on top, and started dancing to the music. We entertained him (and vice versa) for almost an hour after he was exhausted at Gabi and Sandip's house while he danced to Salsa music. Now he's dancing to the Beatles. Very cute. We were walking out of a restaurant yesterday, and he stopped walking and started dancing.

His other new trick is kissing. He's been air kissing for a few weeks, but in the last couple days he started leaning in and kissing. Today he kissed my face. Very sweet.

Now we're off to the second children's museum in 2 days. Lucky baby. They're all free until he turns 1, so we figure now's a good time to go. He's old enough to have fun, but young enough to be free!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Christopher's New Chair




Mimi and Grandaddy visited this weekend and we searched for the best table and chairs for Chris, who is a bit too small for them. He made his vote known early and often, and we finally broke down and bought him the bear rocker instead.

I'm back to the same old - Do I want to take this job - dilemma. This one is perfect for me. Of course I've said that before. But this time, it really is. It's for an educational planner, which I didn't know existed, but is really my ideal future job. Future is the key word here. I'm just not sure if I want to work now or not. The indecision is driving me crazy. I have no idea. I have an interview for it on Wednesday, though, so we'll see how that goes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fewer and further between

I'm not sure why these posts are growing fewer and further between. It's not like I'm busy or anything. I mean, Chris is non-stop, but we're home a lot.

I just started my first "job" this week. I'm writing a column for education.com about ways that parents can connect with teachers. So far so good.

Dad and Lin came up and visited Tuesday. We went apple picking, and pie baking. It was really fun to spend the day with them. Christopher totally adores them, and vice versa, so that's always fun. Now the Eppleys are coming tomorrow for the weekend. We haven't seen them in ages, so we're all looking forward to that too.

Christopher is trying to talk, and it's becoming clear that he understands a lot of what we say. Today I asked him to go get me a diaper, and he did. He will follow simple commands like - "Go get the ball/book/Brown Bear/birdhouse/dog/Daddy, etc" And he tries to say words, although he has not yet managed to string together more than one sound for a word. So when he started rubbing his eyes at 11:30 today for his "afternoon" nap, and said "ba" it took me until he ran toward the kitchen to know that he wanted a bottle, and not a bear or bird or book. Actually, bird is more "br" so that's different. But book and bottle are indistiguishable. Sometimes he choses the last syllable instead. Cat is "ta" and Grammy Lin became "na na." Yesterday he chased Marie and Gary's cat all over the house saying "ta ta ta ta ta ta." I can't imagine the cat found it as funny as we did. He's getting really steady on his feet, and even managed the ramp at the playground today. He can walk with shoes or without, and on uneven surfaces (like grass, wood chips, sand, etc). All a big improvement from last month. And now that he's understanding us more, at least we can start to communicate. He can tell us when he's done eating or if he wants more (with both sound "da" vs. "ma" and hand signs).

So much changes so quickly around here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chris updates

Chris is walking well now. Yesterday he was running in circles around the house holding a piece of cheese. Joey was chasing him. I was getting tired just watching them. He's definitely starting to get more fun. He spent some time with his Grampa and Grammy Lin this weekend and they taught him all sorts of new tricks. Now he sticks his arms straight out in front of him (as he was taught to do toward the Yankees and say "Evil Empire" - no words yet, though). Every time you say "no" to him, he shakes his head. Of course he doesn't stop doing it or anything. But then I crack up laughing, which isn't so helpful. It's really adorable. He's also starting to follow simple commands. You can tell him to "Get Brown Bear" and he'll get the book and throw it at you. Of course there's not really any need to give that instruction as he wants you to read it all day long anyway. I spent 15 minutes straight this morning reading the Dr. Seuss Foot Book (it can't have more than 30 words total in the whole book). But how can we say no to reading? I finally hid the book I hate the most - it's a dog counting book. It drives me and Joey crazy.

It's definitely a lot more fun to spend time with Chris now that he interacts some. He's trying to say words - "brr" means anything that fits in his toy birdhouse, "ba" is bear (like Brown bear), "da" is dog... or anything else. This morning we're working on "pa" to mean "please" - we'll see how that works out. He also has the "more" sign down... sort of. He definitely know it means "more" - but I'm not sure he knows what "more" means. I guess we still have some work to do.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Swimming Lessons

Chris had his first swimming lesson today. He loved it. He was laughing out loud at least half the time. At one point he arched his back and threw himself underwater, and he still didn't get upset. He wasn't a big fan of the pull yourself out of the pool game because he wanted to stay in the water. He certainly couldn't keep up with the big kids in terms of following directions, but he really enjoyed himself.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Edaville Railroad

We took Chris to Edaville Railroad today. We all had a great time. lots of kiddie rides that he could ride on - one you had to be under 36" tall. He had a lot of fun. By the end of the day he was smiling so much I didn't even think it was possible.

I'm starting to write about teaching. Felicia keeps telling me I should write a book about my experiences teaching in Oakland. I don't know what I'll do with what I write, but it gives me something to do with my free time that feels more productive than searching the internet for jobs that are perfect for me and I won't apply for.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Now what?

I want to be with Chris all the time, and I want to be away from him and work too. How can that work? I went into a fabric store and found cute stuff and now I want to make things for him. But I don't know how. I don't even want to clean up the house, so would I really make clothes? I signed up to substitute teach, and the year is starting soon. Soccer should start in a week or 2 as well. I'm trying to get Chris away from a morning nap, but today he's got a little cold, so I put him down around 8:45 and he's still asleep (10:20). Now I'm bored. And the messy house in front of me is not appealing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Getting impatient

I didn't take the job. It would've meant 10 hrs of driving for 10 hrs of teaching. It didn't seem like a good balance. But now I'm going crazy trying to figure out what to do. I really want to do something! I signed up to sub in Hopedale, but the year hasn't started yet and I'm getting anxious. I went in today to see if there was anything I could do part time (job or volunteer). There are no jobs, and the principal wrote down my name to volunteer. He wrote it on a scrap of paper and put it to the side, which means I'm doubtful anything will come of it. So I emailed the teacher I still know there to see if she hears of anything for me. Subbing will be all well and good, but it's not my favorite. Maybe if I sub regularly I'll get to know the students and it'll be different than it would've been in Oakland. Maybe I should transfer my credential over now, just in case. I think I just have to take a test.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Working?

The eternal question seems to be if I should work and what to do. So now I'm presented with the perfect job for me, but it's an hour+ commute. I'd teach 1 2-hr block of history/English to 18 students, and get paid fairly well for it. I was so excited about it until the reality of 10 hrs commuting every week started to sink in. I don't want to be away from Chris so long, and I'd be committing through June. Now I'm starting to have second thoughts. I really want to do it, but I also want to be here. It's a lot of time away from Chris for 2 hrs of work. I could work full time in Hopedale in a similar amount of time. Of course this school is a similar population to Frick, and I know I'd love it there. I just don't think I can handle committing to being away that much and driving hrs each day to get there. I have a meeting with them this afternoon, so I'm going to have to figure things out in the next few hours. If I'm not going to take it, I want to tell them ASAP since school starts next week.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Walking


Chris took his first steps Friday night right before bed.

We had a busy day Thursday with Erin and Nathan (her nephew) visiting. Went to the Museum of Science and then to the North End for dinner. Chris didn't sleep all night. We attributed it to being overwhelmed by the day. Friday we went to the Basketball Hall of Fame (more dragging the baby around to fit the guests schedule). He held out better than I did with the lack of sleep. By evening he had gotten pretty cranky. Right around 7 John put him down, standing up, and he just started walking. He took as many as 8 or 10 steps across the living room floor. Then he went to sleep and slept beautifully.

Saturday we got up and went into Boston to walk the Freedom Trail, then home to go canoeing (John got his official welcome to Small Town America with his picture in the Sunday Milford Daily News in the canoe!). Yesterday we tried to relax, but I was still exhausted from all the tourist stuff. I brought them to the airport at 5:00 this morning, and then came home and took a 3 hr nap. Hopefully that'll help.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Egg-free cake #1

So I've decided I need to practice making an egg-free birthday cake for Chris. I started today. I made carrot cake muffins, with applesauce instead of eggs. We'll see how it turns out... The batter tasted good, and without eggs, there's no reason not to eat it raw!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Buying Less

I'm going to make a pledge to buy less stuff. There's no good reason for me to buy so much stuff, except that I like to. We need to pay more attention money, it's bad for the environment to produce more stuff, and Chris has plenty already - if I buy more I'm just spoiling him. Besides, his birthday is only a few months away and he'll get stuff then. I mainly buy too much for Chris. Partly because if he's entertained then my life is easier. Partly because I want him to play with the stuff. Doesn't seem like a good plan. So less stuff it is! Of course one thing I need to do today is exchange stuff at Kohl's, and I have to go grocery shopping, but food hardly counts.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I have to admit it's getting better

I think staying home with Chris is getting easier. I still am hoping to start enjoying myself. I spent the morning at the zoo with Jenny, Abby and the babies. How much more could I want? It was definitely fun, but then I dread how long the rest of the day will be when I get home. Chris seems to have functioned (so far) today on one long nap. That would definitely make things easier. He napped for 30 mins in the car this morning, and has now been asleep for 2 hrs for his afternoon nap. It'd be great if I didn't have to plan around 2 naps every day to avoid cranky baby.

I'm trying to plan a housewarming party, but I don't want it to get too close to Chris's first b-day party, so it'll have to be soon. Maybe Labor Day BBQ? I have to admit it occurred to me today to start practicing making cakes without eggs so whatever I make for Chris's birthday will be good. You never know what to expect with all the substitutions.

Speaking of substitutes, I spoke with HHS about subbing last week. I think it'd be nice to sub a couple times a week. Right now I don't think being solely responsible for baby and house during the day is what is getting to me. I think it's the idea of no larger goal or job that I'm working on. I'm certainly not bored, but I really liked my job, so it's difficult to give it up.

We're meeting my mom at the Y at 4, so hopefully Chris will wake up in time for that!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hurry up and wait

I feel like all day I go back and forth between rushing and waiting. I've been running around for the last hour while Chris napped to clean up the house and get everything together to go to the pool when he wakes up. Now I'm ready, and he's asleep. My whole day is like that. Maybe eventually I'll figure out how much time I have and be able to fill it better.

Got a call from Hopedale High today about subbing. Maybe after all my circles about jobs, the best option right now is subbing. It's completely flexible, and I should enjoy it. My mom wants me to get a real estate license and work with her. I could do that to help her out. It's certainly not what I enjoy, but it can't be too bad either, and it would be very flexible. Maybe I'll talk with her about it at the pool today.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cryptonite



So Superbaby found his cryptonite this weekend. Chris has been big and strong and healthy since day 1, and we had carefully gone through almost every food out there by 9 months (which he turned yesterday). So Saturday morning we gave him scrambled eggs, and 5 minutes after smearing them all over his face he was covered with hives. I honestly don't think eating them was the problem, I think it was the skin contact. He ate hard boiled egg last week and had no problem. So a call to 911 and ambulance ride to Milford Hospital later, he came home with a dose of benedryl and advice to not eat eggs again. My brother has a pretty bad egg allergy, but I'm hopeful that if he doesn't eat them again, coupled with his size and strength, maybe he'll grow out of it. I read that somewhere between 2/3 and 80% of babies with egg allergies do grow out of them by age 5, especially those with minor reactions. And despite the hospital trip, in the end it was a pretty minor reaction - it was hives on his face, lasting for about 15 mins., and nothing else. We'll see.

I also played soccer Saturday for the first time in months. I picked up with a random team of pick-ups for what turned out to be a very real tournament. We played 4 games with no subs and lost the championship in overtime. Not too shabby! I scored our only goal, of course it was on what was supposed to be a cross that got botched by the keeper in the pouring rain, but I was happy nonetheless. We had 2 0-0 ties, a 1-0 win, and lost 0-1 in OT of the championship. I'm still sore, but I may go to the gym this afternoon.

Chris just fell asleep for a nap. I'm planning to go to Toys R Us when he wakes up, eat lunch, go to the gym (while my mom babysits here), and then drive into Cambridge in the afternoon to see KP, Roger and Oliver for dinner. A bit of a hectic day. I have nothing scheduled tomorrow, so it should be okay.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Confusion

I can't figure out what would make me happiest, but I do know that if I'm going to be home with Chris, I need to find a way to enjoy the time I spend with him. For months I've been waiting for him to be more interactive. Maybe that's unreasonable for a baby. If I keep waiting for him to get older, I'm just going to miss the time I have with him now and I might as well not be staying home with him. Do I want another? I think so, but is that just because I'm supposed to want another? Or because it's what I'm used to? Part of me wants another so taht I get too spend the time with him or her that I missed with Chris while I was working. I feel like I'm just jumping in the middle here and I'm unprepared. I guess that's how you're supposed to feel with a newborn, but I didn't really feel like that with a newborn. John and I were both around for 3 monhts and I felt like we were competent people and could figure it out and do fine. Then I went to work and lost touch, and John cotinued. Now I feel like I'm jumping in the deep end and I know how to tread water, but not swim. If I can't swim, then I won't enjoy anything. I don't want to stay at home if I'm just trying to pass the time until John gets back. I should be enjoying my wonderful son and my time off and time to go to museums, zoos, shopping, hang out with friends, etc. On paper, this is the best life ever. I stay home with my beautiful (and realtively easy) son, and live two blocks from my best friend who is also staying home. How much better could it get? I spent Tuesday with friends, Wednesday with a friend I haven't seen in ages. What could I possibly have to be stressed or unhappy about? Why am I so tired? I didn't even leave the house yesterday because of Christopher's cough. I'm really hoping we can leave today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The eternal search for a job

Why am I looking for a job? I'm not sure. I just decided not to follow through with the job that would pay me a lot to teach 3 hrs/week to SAT prep kids. So I'm guessing I don't want a job for the money. I miss Frick, and the idea of not going back there bothers me. It really felt more like home to me than Berkeley did. And it's the only job I've ever had that felt like it mattered. Maybe I could help Courtney with her school planning stuff. Of course maybe she'd want me to create a website. At least that would look good on a resume. But it's still not why I'm looking for a job.

I want to do something that matters. Something that might make the world better someday, or at least some people's lives better, or at least that I can convince myself will. My job at Frick was real. I want to do something real. Maybe teaching is my calling and I'm desperately seeking something else for no good reason. Maybe it's because I paid too much for my education if I'm going to be a teacher. Of course all of that makes me a better teacher, so it's worth the money. Or it's worth the money because college was amazing and I can't imagine a better foundation for my future.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should contact the School & Main Institute. I worked there right after college. I have a lot of respect for the people there, and for their work. When I was there I didn't have enough education or experience to do anything useful. Now I do. But do I really want to work now? Or do I want to stay with Chris? That is the question.

No more tears

Under dr's orders, Chris isn't supposed to cry. When he cries he gets the bad croupy noises, so they said just to let him do whatever he wants and not cry. Simple, right? It's been quite a day catering to my little half pint. He wants to walk, we walk. He wants to climb the stairs, we climb the stairs (he made it to the top by the way). Can you spoil a baby in 1 day? Meanwhile, he isn't acting sick at all?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

He has the croup

Isn't that something Ben Franklin had? Croup sounds so old, yet Chris has it. He played all day at the beach with me and Courtney. I put him down for his afternoon nap, and when he woke up it sounded like he had swallowed a duck ("no, a seal" according to the dr). So now my oversized child is on steroids, so I'm expecting the Jolly Green Giant any day now.

I'm trying to figure out what to do work-wise. I have an "audition" for a teaching position at an SAT prep place next week. I'd teach 1 class, for 3 hrs/week, a mile away, and make $25/hr. But I'm having second thoughts. I really want a job more for the job than for the money, and while that's good money, it's not such an interesting jjob. Courtney is working on planning a new school, maybe I can help with that. It sounds more interesting (although less money if any). We'll see.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chris meets his match

I dragged Chris shopping all day with my mother. We got dresses for Jenna's wedding in September, then went out to lunch. Found that Olive Garden had some good kids' options. We ordered Chris the Chicken, broccoli and pasta. He loved it.

Then we went to Toys 'R Us to find some sort of walker thing so I don't have to walk with him ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY. We found another baby, 2 weeks younger than he. They are the same size and doing all the same things. Turns out that although they live in Natck, they visit a relative in Hopedale and play at the park across the street from our house. Hopefully they'll call next time they're in town. In 8.5 months I have yet to find a baby that Chris can play evenly with. He's either bigger or smaller, and at a different developmental point. I know that soon enough that will all even out, but right now just a couple months makes all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Age of Exploration?

John took Joey and Chris out for a run. I'm sore from 2 days of exercise. Pilates Monday night, elliptical machine yesterday morning, then the nautilus circuit, a 2 mile walk on the trail and then 3 miles with KP and Oliver to Harvard Square and back to her house. So now they're running and I'm alone in the house with Roomba, drinking my coffee. Nice break.

What was that, the 15th/16th century? Chris seems to be redefining it (for me at least). He's so much more interesting and fun than 2 weeks ago. We've moved on from pulling up and falling over non-stop to crawling all over the house and looking at new things. He's curious about everything, and now that we've basically babyb-proofed (except the dog), we can let him look around, supervised at least. He's having fun, and I don't have to follow him to catch him. Plus, it's pretty interesting to watch him try to figure things out and be interested in every thing, no matter how small or simple.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pilates is tough!

I went to the Y for the first time yesterday - to Pilates class. It confirmed what I already knew, that my core muscles are gone. Went back this morning for the cardio and nautilus machines. It felt great to go to the gym. I haven't been in a year and a half.

Left Chris in the day care at the Y both times. Last night when I picked him up they said there had been an accident. Some boy grabbed his arm. He didn't cry until they put a wet papertowel on it to cool it down. He cries anytime you put a wet wipe near him, so I assume it was no big deal. It did make me wonder if we should leave him there, but I decided to try again this monring. Today was great. The woman in charge was wonderful, and completely in control. She's there every morning, so I think I may try to go earlier in the day and see how that works. There's a Wednesday Pilates class in the morning, so I guess I'l try that out.

We also went for a nice walk on the bike trail with Jenny, Abby, Matt and baby. It's certainly nice to spend my days at the gym and bike trails. Maybe this no job thing will work out after all.

Now Chris is trying to climb over the activity table... maybe I should go.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Maple Farm Delivery

I just signed up for milk delivery. In Berkeley we could pick up an organic vegetable box each week down the street from our house. In Hopedale we can get milk from a local farm delivered weekly to our door. I'm pretty excited about it. It's not much more expensive than buying it at the store, and it's from a local farm. They deliver lots of other stuff - all the dairy products, and other food too. I get the list Friday, when my first half gallon of milk arrives. When Chris gets a little older we can even take him to the farm and show him the cow that makes our milk. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

The only thing that's not baby-proof in this room is the dog...

The baby likes the dog. And he likes pulling up and climbing and crawling - on the dog, over the dog and through the dog. The dog no longer likes the baby. Joey is the world's most friendly dog, but she doesn't like being climbed on. So now she's growling when the baby climbs on her. Our solution is to put Joey's bed in a pretty enclosed part of the living room so the baby can't get there. Now we just have to teach Joey to go there to excape Chris. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Especially one who was demoted to dog status with the birth of the baby. We'll soon find out.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Utopia?

I wrote my college thesis about Hopedale. It was founded in 1842 as a utopian community, and then was bought out in the 1850s by George and Ebenezer Draper so they could start to expand their company. That company, The Draper Corporation, eventually became the 2nd largest textile loom manufacturer in the world. They built the town around the factory, and in many ways became the model company town. They built award winning factory housing - duplexes with 2 stories, 3 bedrooms, full walk up attic and basement, yards, 1200-1800 sq feet. That's what we're living in now - one of the old Draper duplexes.

In the 1970s the company started to struggle and moved south. The huge building in the center of town has been vacant for 30 years now. There's a committee to figure out what to do with it.

My parents graduated from Hopedale High, and so did my grandmother. Like I said, I guess all the signs were there that I'd move back. Poor John got dragged along.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

YMCA

I joined the Y today. I'm not sure why I'm so excited about it, but I am. Maybe it's because I haven't been to a gym since before I knew I was pregnant with Christopher. There's 2 hrs of free childcare, and a play gym for the baby. Classes for babies, and classes, weights, a pool and cardio equipment for me. They have dinner nights and birthday parties and free wireless internet. What more could I want?

I think I may move in. Then I won't have to unpack.

2 couches

We went out to buy an armchair and came home with a second couch. Pretty much par for the course. It actually looks good, though. And now that most of the living room is filled with couches, there's less to baby-proof.

Chris is on the move. He commando-crawls everywhere, pulls up (and lets go). He's starting to "cruise" now, which is scary. When we left the Cape Thursday he waved goodbye for the first time (who knows what he was thinking, though). Lots of progress in the last few weeks.

Now if only we'd make so much progress unpacking the house.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Looking Backward

When I used that as the title for a chapter in my college thesis, I didn't realize it was the title of a book by Edward Bellamy and I needed to cite it. Now I do, so maybe it should be in quotes.

When I left town 13 years ago, I never thought I'd return. Of course all the signs were there. I went to Swarthmore College, and defined success as city life. I thought I'd have some big important job in a city, work a lot, maybe get married and have kids. I assumed I'd pay someone to raise them.

After Swarthmore was the non-profit job that turned into Fed-Exing and making copies. Then enter software development like everyone else in the late 90s. Next John and I got married and moved out west for grad school at UC Berkeley. Then I found the only job I've had that mattered, and the only job I've truly enjoyed. I taught history and English at Frick Middle School in Oakland. I never really thought I'd leave there, and part of me already wishes I hadn't left.

John and I decided it was time for him to get into the job force, and we chose Massachusetts as a place to settle near family and friends.

Baby's awake from his nap...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Getting Started

I started this earlier today but had to run.
The Basics...
I'm trying to stay at home this year with Chris while John works. It's a big change, and a bit difficult for me, but exactly that I want to do at the same time. I want a record of my thoughts during this time, as well as what Chris is doing during the year. It will probably include random musings about life, Chris, work, not working, and philosophical choices in my life. Hopefully then when I try to decide if this is going to work long term, I can look back at my life this year and see if it's going to work for us or not.

Chris was born 10/29/06, which makes him almost 9 months old. He's the happiest baby I know. He's trying to learn to walk. If you ask him, he already knows low to walk. He's quite wobbly, though. He crawls around, pulls up on everything he can find, and lets go. All he really wants to do is walk around (which requires help now). He's also a big baby and a good eater. Last night's dinner was salmon, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Tonight was miso soup, tofu, veggies and baby cereal, zucchini, and chicken.

We got back from vacation today. John started work last week at MIT (long commute), and goes back next week.

Now I'm going to watch the Houston v. Chicago MLS game.

Done!

Looks like I've started a blog of my own...