Royal Blue

Thoughts of a writer, wife, mother, PhD, sister, crafty chick, program coordinator, homeowner, culture vulture, bibliophile, and blogger.
Friday, November 14, 2003
Where to Start

There's so much going on right's hard to know where to start to reflect on it all. Just the flotsam and jetsam and sweetness of everyday life.

On top of all that, the holidays are rushing toward us and it's hard to reconcile the fun of all of that with the brutality going on in Iraq and the inanity of the Bush administration.

Except for our old house sitting empty on the housing market, everything else feels full, brimming and busy.
My job, our new house, my personal calendar, our social lives, our children's lives.

And, so, I want to keep it all simple--Molly's upcoming birthday, our holiday travel plans, our weekend agendas.

I guess this post is just a reflection that there's so much to post, I just can't get it all down and don't really want to, anyway.

I must stop doing crazy things, like agreeing to write a book review for Dec. 1 or getting ideas for elaborate Christmas gifts to make. Keep it simple, keep it sweet.

That's what has gotten me through the past 6 months of dinner menus since Sean was born--simple, healthy, basic things. Nothing elaborate. No showing off.

In January, I hope I look back at 2003 and just sigh and shake my head and say the year of the new baby-new jobs-new house-new city was busy, so let's just relax now.

And enjoy. Keep it simple, keep it simple. That's my new motto.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
On My Mind

Sean's doing better, health-wise. The antibiotics are kicking in and he is much, much happier. Yay.

It was such a relief to leave him with Lindsday on Monday morning rather than take him to group daycare, where he might not get all the extra attention he needs while he is recovering from his ear infection. What a blessing that I pulled together this shared child care situation.

He's been waking up far too many times at night, however, and it's not related to being sick. It's related to us getting lax about letting him have 2 bottles at night when he doesn't need it at this age. He's only using them to fall back asleep.

Ah ha! I'm on to him! We start Jodi Mindell's sleep training techniques tonight. They worked beautifully with Molly and there's no reason they won't work well with Sean. Thank you, Jodi!

I'm trying to figure out what to make for Christmas gifts this year. I"ve been making Christmas gifts for 10 years.

In past years, Ed and I have been collecting photos from family members on both sides of the family and making calendars using my computer at work (scanner, PhotoShop, desktop publishing stuff) on weekends and then having them copied and bound at Kinko's.

This year we haven't had time to collect photos right software yet but I might make calendars anyway with photos I have or quotes I collect. We'll see. i'm still mulling it over.

I can't stand to buy Christmas gifts after making them for so long. For several years I made personalized notepads, then we made refrigerator magnets out of photos and then calendars with different themes each year. Hmm. We must decide soon.

I'm feeling like I need to get crafty pdq.

Monday, November 10, 2003
A Weekend Report

This weekend we had our first house guests--my best friend from grad school and his live-in girlfriend, whom I had not yet met.

There was so many great things about their visit, one of which was their great delight in playing with our kids. Because Howard and Kassidy are just living together and not married and don't have kids, they could have easily been sort of mildly interested in them.

But no--they brought small age-appropriate gifts for the kids and then actually got down on the floor with them and played with them. Then the babysitter arrived and we all went out to dinner (at one of our old favorite haunts) and got coffee and had a great time. The next morning we took the kids out for breakfast with us and they helped with shlepping them and their stuff to and fro.

Meeting sweet, down-to-earth Kassidy was really great because she seems a perfect match for Howard, who dated a series of drama queens while we were in graduate school. It's great to see him settling into domestic tranquility and enjoying it (Several years back, Howard went to New Orleans for New Year's to party hearty and couldn't believe that Ed and I preferred to stay home and enjoy the holidays in a quieter way).

It's sort of funny that Howard was my best friend for all those years we worked on our PhDs together, considering he is about 4 years younger than me and was a single guy while at the same time I was dating and meeting Ed, getting married and having our first kid. Through it all, Howard was interested, attentive and engaged in the details of my life and vice versa.

Sure, we had our differences, but we are more alike than different. While we both have the same dry, sarcastic sense of humor, he's got that acerbic edge to his personality that my sister also has and that I appreciate so much. We spent countless hours at artsy movies on the weekends and although I'm sure some of our friends thought it was weird that we would go to the movies without Ed, Ed was relieved to be let off the hook, frankly.

It's a tribute to both Howard and Ed that they learned to like and appreciate each other and the 3 of us could spend a lot of quality time together (Howard said that we were one of those couples that could be together and not be hanging all over each other making him feel awkward).

Howard and I ran (and won) the president-vice president positions of our departments' grad student association.
Howard gave a reading at our wedding and visited me in the hospital when I gave birth to Molly (he wore a white lab coat and carried a huge box of diaper wipes). He brought flowers over when I has a miscarriage and I got up at 4:30am one day to drive him to the airport when his dad died. He house-sat for us when we were on our honeymoon and babysat Molly when she was an infant.

Some of our friends wondered why Howard and I never dated, but our relationship just never went in that direction. Even after I started dating Ed seriously, I never let my friendship with Howard suffer. It was too integral to my life by then. We literally saw each other through the first day of our doctoral program through our respective graduation parties.

Howard now lives in Chicago with his girllfriend. Ed and I have visited him in Chi-town once and now he has visited us and I can only imagine many more years of remaining friends across the miles. I guess this weekend made me realize how important it is to maintain those friendship ties across lifestyle differences (marriages, kids) and through the years. I feel lucky.

Howard and Kassidy remarked several times on how funny and fun Molly is and how easygoing and mellow Sean is. He didn't cry or fuss once while they were here.

Then, guess what?

An hour after they leave on Sunday Sean starts fussing and fussing and we can't figue out what is wrong. The on-call doctor says to take him to the after-hours clinic and when I do that, we find out he has an ear infection. While I'm relieved to hear that it's nothing serious, I have just spent the last 7 hours of my weekend dealing with Sean's unexpected illness so I didn't get my to-do list done. Oh well--at least I have to praise Sean for his excellent timing. If he had started feeling yucky Saturday night or earlier that weekend, our visit with H and K would have been none too pleasant.
But they got to see the best of us as a family and vice versa. It was so very nice and now Sean is on the mend.

Happy sigh.


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