Archive for November, 2009

Hare sitting up

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

I’ve been taking a couple of tentative outings, with Zag and without the Bean. Yesterday to a couple of shops in our neighboring town; today to the thrift shop in our nearby small city. (We were away over an hour and a half for the latter errand… naturally the Bean was just sleeping away on her daddy’s shoulder the whole time, but I started to get a little anxious and weepy about being away from her…) It’s fun to spend some time with my big kid. He’s good company, and we often have interesting conversations while driving around together. Like this one.

Zag: What will come after us? (more…)

But of course….

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The Bean had her first pediatrician’s visit yesterday. She’s doing great – she’s well past her (mild) jaundice and has passed her birth weight (8 lbs 10 ozs) by 6 ounces. She woke up to peer at the doctor, a gentle grandfatherly type, and turned her head to follow him with her eyes when he moved away. He commented that she was “very tuned in” and “bright”. He didn’t, you know, gasp and say, “In all my decades of practice, I have never seen an eleven-day-old child of such obvious keen intelligence!” But I’m sure he was just trying to be low-key about it.

She likes to gaze at my forehead. Tilt hypothesizes that the word “SUCKER” is written there, in letters only my newborn daughter can read.

Monday morning

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

1. The evening after the conversation recorded in my last post, Zag finally managed to articulate that he is feeling alone at night, and wants to come sleep in our room with the rest of the family for a while. (I think the whole balloon business was some complicated manifestation of this. Children are odd little creatures.) We rearranged furniture, borrowed a crib mattress (thanks, Sarah!!), and made him a little bed/nest in a corner of our room. This is working fine so far except that he’s recently started waking up at 6am, which is rather earlier than the rest of us need or want to be awake. He is perfectly capable of taking care of himself quietly for 45 minutes or an hour – going to the bathroom, reading some books, playing with Lego – but this morning, the fact that he was right there in the room with us meant that he wanted help from/interaction with us. Tilt laid down the law on the subject. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

2. The Bean is waking up. She was awake a lot yesterday, gazing around, thinking her deep wordless little thoughts. She smiles at us, at Zag, at a colorful bedspread. It’s fun to see more of her, and to start to get hints of what she likes. I’m curious to see if she’s awake a lot today, too, or if she needs to sleep off all the stimulation from yesterday. Her godmamas-to-be and their 2-year-old daughter (and their dog, Prize’s best friend) came to visit, so it was a very fun day.

3. It’s going to take me a while to learn to count to four. This morning Zag is at school, and Tilt has a dentist’s appointment. Thinking about this at some point yesterday, I thought, “So I’ll have a morning to myself!…” and started pondering what project to tackle, before remembering, Oh, yeah, I have another child. (Not that she’s a lot of trouble, and I can still tackle some projects with the Bean on my shoulder, in my lap, or in her hammock.)

Processing

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Zag (busily painting a wooden alligator I got him at Michael’s): When we don’t have the baby anymore, I’ll be able to sleep at night.

Weirdbird: When will we not have the baby anymore?

Zag: When she’s dead?

WB: We’re planning on keeping her, sweetie. (more…)

Little children, little problems….

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

My daughter is so together. She really seems very well-organized, for a newborn. She eats in a focused and businesslike way, she sleeps soundly, she gazes around gravely and thoughtfully. She has decided that she doesn’t need to be burped, and had only a few very tiny spit-ups yesterday. Her cord stub is bothering her a little; other than that, she seems well-contented with things. She smiled at me this morning. I know it’s probably too early to count, but it still felt good.

My son is so complicated. Friends from church brought us a big bunch of pink and red balloons on Sunday. We put some out on the mailbox, & kept some in our kitchen, eventually moving them up to Zag’s bedroom, at his request. I used to be proud of Zag’s attitude towards balloons. He likes them, of course, as every kid does, but he always seemed OK with their intrinsic ephemerality. In fact, he quite enjoyed popping them, so we didn’t have to keep them around until they were little shriveled blobs. (more…)

Stone head poetry

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Maybe two months ago, we went to a “Friday movie night” system with Zag, so that we had a set evening when we would watch a video together. We eat dinner in front of the TV, often a slightly treat-ish dinner like pizza. We’ve watched a few movies, but also quite a few Nova episodes. Zag is particularly fond of the “Secrets of Lost Empires” Nova series – experimental archaeology shows in which teams of archaeologists, engineers, and craftspeople work together to try and reconstruct how ancient peoples did technologically-impressive things. They usually get into a good argument at least once in the episode. My favorite is the one about raising an Egyptian obelisk, if you want to check them out on Hulu. (And if anyone has bright ideas about where to find more archaeology videos of any kind, let us know!!)

Anyway, a few weeks ago we watched one about the moai, the famous Easter Island heads, and how the Easter Islanders might have moved them from the hillsides where they were carved out of the volcanic rock to the seashore where they were erected on great platforms. It was one of the slower episodes, frankly, and Zag got bored at some points, but the moai and the moai-moving project made a big impression. A couple of days after watching it, I made a model moai out of some oldish PlayDoh and let it dry, and he’s been periodically working on moai-transport projects with his blocks ever since. (more…)

Day 4 with the Bean

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post here. I guess we’ve been busy, with this and that. Go figure. Here’s a long rambling catch-up entry for your reading pleasure.

Our Bean was born on Thursday evening, Nov. 12 – Tilt’s mother’s birthday, a lovely outcome after all the birthday speculation on this blog and elsewhere. My labor was long, beginning with my water breaking at midnight Tuesday night – the same way things started when Zag was born. But I was in much better shape through the whole process than I was when Zag was born; I managed to eat, drink, and sleep at various points during that 43 hours, which can’t exactly be said of the 51 hours it took to produce Zag.

Bean was born under a midwife’s care at a freestanding birth center, which meant we could go home in the morning after spending the night there; with Zag, I ended up in the hospital to deliver him (basically due to exhaustion-related failure to progress), which was fine but meant a two-day hospital stay. Hospitals are boring, and the food is bad, and right now Zag would not have been allowed to visit us at our local hospital, due to H1N1-related restrictions. So we’re very thankful for our birth center.

I’ve been feeling a little bad that I whined a certain amount during my second day of labor with the Bean, expressing doubt that I could complete the assignment and making some wistful noises about hospitals and medication. But you know what? I had a successful natural birth. I pushed my baby out. It’s pretty unreasonable of me to expect myself to have enjoyed the whole business. I’m going to work on being prouder of myself.

Edit: I’ve been feeling bad about this. I am proud of myself… but I had a lot going for me that I had no control over, beginning with being able to conceive easily. I’m also proud of my mama friends who’ve handled C-sections, planned and unplanned, with grace and aplomb – and those who have fought much harder to become mothers than I did, in different ways – the tough roads of infertility treatments and adoption.

(more…)

The anthropomorphism continuum: a first take

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

I’m done at work, and there’s still no baby. So we find ourselves with a surprising amount of free time. This morning, while Zag was at school, Tilt and I got talking somehow about the degree of anthropomorphizing of animals in literature – mostly, but not exclusively, children’s books. We had fun talking about it, so I thought I’d type up an initial scheme. Tilt thinks it may be possible to nuance this further by separating out some different axes, but I’ll leave that project to him; he’s the one who’s been to Tufte training.

It was fun thinking about different books and working out where we think they fit on the continuum, but it’s also interesting to think about likes & dislikes in relation to this continuum. For example, while I liked the Miss Bianca books as a child, I tend to avoid things on that end of the continuum now. And it’s interesting to think about anomalies – for example, Gromit, Nick Park’s claymation dog. Gromit is very anthropomorphized in that he’s much smarter than his master, & can use tools, etc.; but he doesn’t speak or wear clothes. I think part of Gromit’s effectiveness and humor as a character is that he’s a rather unique configuration of anthropomorphism and natural doggyness.

Anyway. OK, here it is, in narrative form. I invite additions, modifications, thoughts, etc.

(more…)

Confession

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

I love my pregnant belly. As inconvenient and uncomfortable as it is, as hard as it is to put my socks on or get out of bed or dress myself comfortably and attractively… when I’m contemplating it in the shower, or am wearing one of the few things that fits well, I just love its firm roundness. People keep telling me I look great, and you know what? I do. I haven’t put on much weight anywhere besides my belly with either of my pregnancies (in spite of eating pretty much whatever I want, so I can’t take any credit). So I’m the shape I always am, plus this wonderful watermelon belly.

It will be great to birth this baby & begin to return to my regular shape, with my customary levels of mobility and flexibility… but I’ll be a little sorry to trade in my big firm baby belly for my old familiar soft flabby midsection.

And still.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

My ┬ámother told me once that while she was waiting for me to be born (rather late), she became increasingly discouraged and convinced that she wasn’t actually going to have me at all. In retrospect, she thinks she was thinking of the downslope of the due date bell curve as representing decreasing likelihood of actually having a baby. (Of course, the downslope really represents decreasing percentage of births the farther you get past the due date… that is, more people have their babies a little late than have them really late… I’m not good at putting this stuff into words; that’s Tilt’s department.)

Anyway. It’s a funny thought, but we’re definitely kind of in that space. Puttering around today, I kept noticing that I was sliding into a vague sense of having been looking forward to something that wasn’t going to happen after all. Just a little wistful, like a party we’d been looking forward to had been cancelled, you know? And I’d have to remind myself that the thing we’re looking forward to – the birth of our second child – IS still going to happen, and within the next ten to twelve days, maximum.

I think Tilt’s feeling it too. He told me last night that this child is becoming more abstract to him, rather than more concrete. Baby? What baby? I don’t see any baby….

I am posting this, of course, so that I can look back and laugh at myself in a week or so, when this baby will be a VERY present and concrete reality.