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...