aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Last night was date night, which means Tai stays with his Grandma (read: Ba) while Tom and I get dinner and a couple of drinks.  I talk about my novel, about what I'm reading (the Twilight series *shudder* - why am I still reading this?) and what Tai is up to during the week, and Tom talks about work.  Sometimes his stories would have a better audience in a computer geek, but last night he had a good one.

One of his employees - I'll call him G - is a gun-nut and a survivalist.  He's ex-Army Special Forces.  I will admit he makes me nervous, in theory, but in practice he's a nice guy.  Anyway - he does hardware as well as software work and he likes to play around with hardware.  One day Tom came back to work and the courtyard was closed off.  There were security and office emergency volunteers posted around the perimeter.  He wondered what was going on, but didn't ask.  Later he found out - G had made a solar powered battery charger for some of his computer equipment.  He'd left it in the middle of the courtyard to see how much of a charge he could get during the day.  Someone saw it out there, a briefcase full of wires and assumed - bomb.  When G went out to get it, they'd already called in the bomb squad.  Fortunately the situation was defused before anything got out of hand.

Later, on a trip to China, G picked up some new supplies, including a solar panel that is about as big as a piece of notebook paper.  He installed it in an army-green folder and created a new solar-charger for other equipment.  One afternoon he was carrying it into work, when Tom and another friend of theirs, H, met up with them.  

H says, "Got another bomb, there, Hurt Locker?" 

I about lost my shit.

Holidays

Dec. 13th, 2009 11:56 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I am so excited for Christmas this year.  It's the first time that Tai is really able to participate, even in the smallest way.  He recognizes Christmas or 'Disnis' decorations - especially snow men, santas and lights.  He loves to point them out.  He wasn't thrilled about sitting on Santa's lap the other weekend, but we managed to get a good picture before he started to cry.   Which was better than last year, when he wouldn't even let us put him on Santa's lap before freaking out.

Most of all I'm looking forward to when he opens his presents.  I know commercialism has 'ruined the holidays' but I love finding just the right gift for someone and seeing their face as they peel back the paper... I'd be perfectly happy to just give presents, I don't need any myself.  (Though I wouldn't complain if someone felt the need to get me a gift certificate for a massage or a weekend away or something.  Heh.)  Tonight Tom and I went out and shopped for Tai.  He's starting to get to that age when he notices things and remembers - so I didn't want to do the shopping while he was with us.  (Though I did buy some clothes that were on sale at the Outlet Mall in SoCal when we were down there.  I figure he isn't going to be into clothes yet, so that doesn't matter.)  Fortunately Sunday night isn't a big shopping night, even in San Mateo.  So we were able to brave the store without going utterly mad.  Unfortunately they didn't have the tricycle that we wanted (which is the main portion of Tai's gift) so we're going to have to order online anyway.  Ah well.  I mostly wanted the hands-on experience of checking out the toys before purchasing them that one just doesn't get with online shopping.  I suppose I'm old fashioned like that.  Same way I like to write with pen and paper before transcribing to the computer.  Or I prefer paper books to reading online.

So my shopping is mostly done - I have stuff for Tai, for Tom, for my brother, and we're going to do Photo books on iPhoto (of Tai, of course) for several family members, so that takes care of them, too.  I just need to get something special for Mom.

I am totally in the Christmas spirit, even if I did have a stomach ache earlier.  
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I am exhausted.  Don't worry - I'll quit writing that soon.  I'm just wishing that Tai would, one night on his own - magically, sleep through the night.  Either in our bed or his, I have no preference.  Just no 1, 3, and 5am wake up calls for boobie.  No nightmares and following desires to play robots (I'm not sure he was awake when he suggested the robot thing).  Just sleep.

 I fantasize about sleep the way most guys fantasize about sex.  I dream about solitude and a king size bed with soft, clean sheets, piled with pillows and blankets with a night stand big enough for a glass of water, a pile of books and a notebook.  No need for an alarm clock in my fantasy.  I could sprawl out - arms and legs like a starfish.  I would open the window at the head of the bed and let the cool air rush in.  If I get chilly, I can just curl up in the blankets.   I could get lost in novels and when I start feeling sleepy I could just lay the book down and sink into the mattress.  

Of course, I'd settle.  A full size bed.  A cot.  A chaise lounge.  A couch.  A tiny night stand.  A single book.  One blanket and pillow.  Wrinkly, scratchy sheets.  But please, just some quiet and a luxurious 8 hours of solid sleep.  I haven't had that in more than two years.  I miss it.

(But not enough, apparently, to consistently try sleep training.)
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Apparently I didn't avoid Tai's cold after all.  I'm sore-throat, mucus girl this evening.  And I'm tired - though that could be from the rough sleep night last night.  I need to remember to give Tai tylenol before bed since he's still working on his bottom molars.  So, instead of working on my novel pages that are due tomorrow, I'm posting the bits and pieces I've been thinking about for the past few days.

Tai has started saying two words together once in a while.  The other day Tom slept in the guest room (he'd been out drinking and if he comes home late and beer-full he tends to wake me up with insane levels of snoring).  When Tai woke up he wondered where Tom was.  I said we should go find him and called 'Where are you?'  After a minute, Tai echoed me - 'Are you?  Are you?'  Complete with sing-song tone and shrug.  I thought he just copied me, but today he was looking for me and he said, "Mama?  Are you?"  And then I died of the kyute.

He's singing more, and the other day when he started to play with his Little People farm he sang 'e-i-e-i-o' (of Old MacDonald) all of his own volition.

We've been going to Story Time at Red Hill books pretty regularly.  It helps to push his one nap to around midafternoon so neither of us loses our mind before Tom gets home.  And it's fun for him to hang out with other kids and sing songs.  It's hard though - he's so exuberant.  He likes to go right up to the person who is doing the story time and touch their legs or just be close.  He tends to vocalize his excitement and to race back to me, sometimes barreling right through other kids.  On the one hand, I want to teach him appropriate behavior (whatever that is) but I don't want to stifle his enthusiasm or make him feel like he can't be himself.  I want him to have fun, to express his enjoyment.  It is a story hour for kids his age, and usually the people who are leading seem to enjoy his pleasure.  I've spent so much of my life worrying about doing the right thing, acting the right way, fitting in... I don't want him to be stuck with all of that fear.  But I also don't want people to dislike being around him.  I know this push/pull is only going to get more obvious as he gets older and goes to preschool.   

I've also been reading a book about being fat in America, and one of the short essays is about the author who was told she was fat ever since she was three and four.  It stuck with her, the memory of being considered fat and therefore inferior, even from such a young age.  I am not saying Tai is fat - I don't believe he is.  But people often comment about how big he is.  Sure, he's sturdy.  I never worry about him getting run over when he's in a crowd of toddlers.  I do, however, want to avoid too much body commentary, even in ways that seem harmless now.  For example - so many people say 'he's so big!  He's going to be a football player!'  This sounds good enough - but what if he grows up to be average, or smaller than average?  Will he feel like he's not as good because he doesn't have that build?

I want to be aware as I bring Tai up.  I want to help him to feel comfortable in his skin.  It's not a feeling that's easy to come by in our culture.  
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Here is Tai, all dressed up for the 4th of July, playing the drums with a guy we met on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate park.  He was drawn by all of the drumming, wanting to dance and participate.  It took him a few minutes to warm up to the guy with the drums enough so that he actually played - but then he would have spent the rest of the day here.  

He's been having a tough time the last couple of days.  His bottom molars are coming very very slowly and I think it's hurting him.  He's drooling like crazy, chewing on his fingers, nursing a lot more than he had been, and throwing a temper tantrum at the drop of a hat.   It's not the end of the world, though, because of two mitigating factors.  1. He's pretty easily distracted after a bit, and 2. He's been having tantrums about funny stuff.

Last night I was doing some cleaning down in the basement and Tom was hanging out with Tai.  Suddenly I heard Tai start to freak out.  After a bit I went up to see what was going on.  Tom was in the kitchen cooking, and Tai was in his high-chair, crying.   Apparently Tai went into the kitchen and pointed at the fridge.  Tom asked what he wanted and Tai said something that sounded like 'broccoli'.  He hasn't said anything that complicated before, so Tom tried to figure out what he meant.  After offering several things (juice, cheese, fruit) Tom finally opened up the vegetable drawer (where Tai was pointing) and held up the broccoli.  That's what Tai wanted.  Tai cried for the ten or so minutes it took to cook the broccoli, then happily munched some down.  Must have broccoli now, Dad.

Today Tai and I went to pick up some cereal for me at the Good Life grocery store.  While I picked up some bananas, Tai found the strawberries. He clearly expressed our need for a container of berries.  (He was right.)  He could barely wait until I put them up on the cash register belt to have one.  The cashier grinned at us and said that he had the best hissy fit she'd ever seen - fruit fits.  He and I both ate a berry on the walk home and they were so sweet.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
Lately, when Tai wakes up before I do (as usual, since he wakes up before 7am and I am never awake that early by choice) he likes to get my attention by grabbing my eyeball and turning my head to face him.  Fortunately, he's in a very good mood at this point, so his smiling face makes me smile too.  Then he reaches over me and grabs my glasses off of the nightstand.  I always tell him not to play with them, so he just hands them to me so I can put them on.  Then he reaches over me again and picks up "How Big is a Pig", also from the nightstand.  If I am trying to sneak in a couple more seconds of dozing while he looks at the book himself, he'll take my hand and pull it out from under the covers, then put the book into my hand.  He may not be able to say, "Read to me, dammit!"  but it's clear that he means it.

Just yesterday, when I was reading the book for the millionth time (yes, I pretty much have it memorized now) he did something new.  There's a long string of opposites (some cats are wild, some cats are tame; some cows are fat, some cows are thin; some dogs are quick, some dogs are slow; some hens are in, some hens are out....) and in the string is "Some frogs are jumpy, some frogs are still".  When I read 'jumpy' he actually bounced up and down all on his own!  I was totally surprised, since I'd never shown him 'jumpy' in relation to this book.  He just got it himself!

He's also started walking backwards, sometimes - though he doesn't tend to look where he's going - so I have to make sure he doesn't run into anyone or anything. 

We're heading down to the desert on Sunday - wish us good traveling luck!
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
I am beyond tired tonight.  I haven't been napping with Tai lately because his nap is often a couple of hours long, and sometimes he drops the morning nap entirely - and when the naps are longer I actually feel like I have time to complete a thought.  I don't want to waste that time on something insignificant, like sleep!  Unfortunately his night-sleeps aren't going very well.  He wakes up a lot and wants to nurse for long periods of time.  I'm pretty sure he's teething.  I just wish the teeth would come through already!  I'm starting to consider night weaning, or at least sleeping in the guest bed so Tom can have a turn at waking up.

In more fun, less brain-dead news - Tai is walking really really well now.  On Friday evening we were visiting John and Kendra and their kids and Tai randomly started walking backward.  I don't think I've seen him do that before. 

Yesterday Tom and I took him to a Vietnamese restaurant in the Mission for lunch and the (really kind) waiter brought him a plastic cup of water with a straw and Tom taught him how to drink from the straw.  I was pretty proud of him (as usual).

Tai's also getting into dancing.  Instead of just bobbing a bit, he's getting into it, bouncing and waving his arms.  We were in the car and a song from Riverdance (hush, I know I'm lame) came on and Tai started dancing in his car seat.  He thought it was totally hilarious when I 'danced' along with him.   He also thinks it's funny when I smell his feet and make a 'pee-eww' sound.  He keeps sticking his feet in my face so I do it over and over.

It seems like there's more to report, but apparently every thought has fled my brain.  Tonight - bed, early.  Hopefully more intelligent post tomorrow.




aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
and you're guaranteed to have your baby on the mend within the hour.  Last night Tai didn't nurse all night. He wanted to, he asked to, but it made him gag and he wouldn't actually nurse at all.  By this morning, when Tom changed his diaper, it was mostly dry.  Tom tried to give him water, but Tai just let it dribble down his chin and wouldn't drink.  He still felt warm, too.  I was a bit worried, so I called the triage nurse at Dr. Treece's office.  She said I should probably bring him in.  Of course, by the time I did - he'd taken a little water and peed a bit, and had more energy than he did yesterday.

Unfortunately Dr. Treece was booked, so we saw Dr. Kevin Chu - who also rocks.  I love his bedside manner as well, calm even when Tai was fussing because he was ready to go home and take a nap and also with a good sense of humor.  But Tai definitely prefers Dr. Treece.  He kept looking warily at Dr. Chu, which he never does with Dr. Treece.

Oh!  And an amusing sidenote - when I called back to talk to the nurse, someone answered the phone and said, "St. Luke's pediatrics, Michael speaking..." and I asked for the nurse.  Only after I was transfered that it was Dr. Treece who had answered!  Dude, crazy!

When the nurse weighed Tai, we discovered he's only 28lbs, 7oz.  Up 3oz. from our last appointment at the end of January.  I think he's lost weight from all of the walking he's been doing.  Though the first thing everyone comments on is how big he is.  Even Dr. Chu said what a solid boy he is.  Go mama-milkie!

So the verdict - Tai has a virus.  His fever had gone down, and didn't seem to go up much at all today, maybe a degree or so late in the day.  His ears looked clean, his lungs sounded clear.  His throat was red, but not as bad as if it had been Strep - and his fever was too low for that.  He also wasn't dehydrated and the doctor gave me a couple of ways to check for that in the future (check nailbeds for color - if the color comes right back after pressing, no dehydration.  Also, pinch his belly skin a bit - if it's doughy then there's dehydration.)  He said Tai obviously isn't wasting away, so if he doesn't eat much for a couple of days it's not an issue.  Give him tylenol and try and get him to drink.  If he gets worse, go back in.

Yes, I did a nervous first-time mom trip in, but I figure better safe than sorry.  Tai was clearly on the mend today - he drank some water, nursed a couple of times (like, twice.  I pumped several times) and played.  Also whined and fussed and cried.  He ate about a quarter of an apple, then gagged on the last bite and barfed up a bit - poor kid. I tried applesauce and a bit of jarred babyfood (separate of course) but he didn't want any of either. I'm hoping his appetite comes back soon; it's so weird to have him eat nothing.  And not nurse!  

We did go out a bit this afternoon and just walked down to Cortland in the sun.  Tai enjoyed looking at the flowers and watching all of the bees.  He spent a good 10 minutes by one flowery bush, just watching the bees.  On our way back we met a woman who reminded me to take it slow with him, not rush him along when we go places together, since it's the time for him to really explore and experience everything.  So far I've been pretty good about that.  Truthfully, I enjoy watching him have fun with everyday things.  

I put him in the Ergo when he didn't want to walk anymore, did the back carry.  He seemed to like it, even rested his head on my back for a bit.  I think it's going to be a good way to carry him around when he wants to walk sometimes, but can't walk all the time.  I plan on doing a trek down to the Mission library later this week to see how long I can wear him without killing my back.

In other news, my throat is a little sore tonight.  I hope we weren't Typhoid Mary at Blue's party, or visiting on Monday night.  

Finally my Grace in Small Things list:

1. Tai feeling a bit better
2. Easy access to good doctors
3. Bed
4. My dogs
5. Fresh applesauce
 


Long Day

Mar. 17th, 2009 09:46 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Poor Tai.  Last night Tai was wanting to nurse a lot, again.  Sometime around 2am I finally said enough and went to rub his head to help soothe him instead.  His head was warm.  Not too hot, but definitely fever warm.  I hadn't exactly expected it, but he hadn't eaten much during the day - which is unusual for him - and Tom said he barely drank any of his bottle before bed, which is also rare.  Poor kidlet - he woke up with a fever and clearly felt like crap all day.  No other symptoms - except for the crying, drooling, hand biting and very little eating.  At least he nursed and had a bit of cheese and half of a cracker.  And some water.  Yum!

But it was a day of holding Tai.  He only played for half an hour or so, and spent the rest of the time on my lap.  We watched a lot of television and had a couple of naps.  Tylenol seemed to help some.  I'm just worried that he might have an ear infection or something important.  There were several times where he really started crying and it took quite a while to console him.  He sounded like he was really hurting - I just wish I could tell where!  If it happens again tomorrow, I might take him to see Dr. Treece.

I really really hope he's feeling better tomorrow, because it was a long day today.  I think I got butt rot from sitting in one place.  And it's so difficult to not be able to make him feel better.  He couldn't even nurse every time because it made him gag.  Poor kid.

In an effor to balance the whiny nature of the post - here are 5 things I'm grateful for, in no particular order.  Partially inspired by Schmutzie.

1. Good mama friends
2. Tom giving me a break in the evening
3. Wine
4. Thin Mints
5. Television

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
This afternoon Tai and I headed over to [livejournal.com profile] neuraltube 's place to celebrate Blue's birthday.  Tai had a blast, playing with the big kids and checking out all of Blue's cool toys.  It took him a minute or two to warm up, since we were (almost) the last ones there, and he'd been sleeping in the car.  But pretty soon he was flirting with [livejournal.com profile] janisfan  and [livejournal.com profile] artemis_rich .  Unfortunately, I was not as adorable.  I'm not too sure what my deal was, I just got an attack of the awkwards.  Every now and again I get overly self-conscious and I start over-thinking how I'm coming across to people and I start to feel like a big dork who is just lurking around the edges of a group. Which makes me act like a big dork who is lurking around the edges of a group.  Lame.  I certainly didn't make my best impression, but I showed up - which is a much bigger thing than it sounds.  Usually I'll just hide out at home.  Tai, on the other hand, always loves a good party and I didn't want to deprive him.  Plus,  I wanted to wish Blue a happy 4th birthday.  He's such a big kid, and so amazingly sweet to Tai.  When Tai arrived, Blue gave him the nicest hug and kiss.  I wish I'd had a camera.

While I know it's good for the state and all, I am so bummed that it's raining again.  Tai and I have been enjoying running around the neighborhood and haunting the playground every day.  What are we going to do with ourselves while it's raining?  Maybe I'll have to find him a raincoat to go withe the boots I got him and we can see what the city is like in the rain.  Tai loves to make the covers over PG&E meters clank when he stomps on them - I bet he'll dig stomping in puddles.

I've been doing a lot of reading on Livejournal lately, trying to keep up with RaceFail '09.  A lot has been said, some of it batshit insane, but some of it well-written and insightful.  I especially found both parts of Mary-Anne Mohanraj's entry on John Scalzi's blog really amazing.  More to say about this soon - but not tonight.  It's too late for using of the brain.

Also - Mel is coming to town next month.  I cannot wait!  



aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Everything always looks better when the sun comes up.  Both this morning and yesterday morning Tai woke up with the biggest smile on his face.  He was happy to see me, even though we'd had a rough couple of nights.  It was immensely reassuring.  I'm glad he still loves me, even though I screw up.   And Tom got back from China this morning, which made both Tai and I happy.

Since Tom is pretty wiped out the first few days he's home, we had a mostly laid back day.  We did, however, drive out to Oakland for the Oakland Museum's White Elephant sale - it's like the world's biggest garage sale.  They've got tons of stuff -books, clothes, kids toys, linen,  jewelry, furniture, gardening stuff, sewing stuff, music, electronics.  I spent over an hour there and didn't get to see anything close to everything. I didn't even get to see everything I wanted to.  We'll see whether I'm motivated enough to head across the Bay Bridge again tomorrow.  It's a great opportunity to buy cheap junk (and some stuff that isn't so junky).   I didn't go last year since Tai was just a newborn and I missed it.  

I spent under $20 and got a few cute outfits for Tai and a handful of books.  Tom picked up a shovel and pail for Tai to play in the sandTo'm sure I would have gotten more, if I had more time.  I didn't even get to the art, gardening or sewing sections.  *sigh*  Of course the true shoppers get there right when they open and was nowhere near that early.

Tonight Tom helped by doing Tai's nightly routine.  I'd pumped a bit this afternoon, so he did the first bedtime feeding, too.  I got a whole two hours before Tai woke up and needed to nurse.  What's even more shocking is that I was able to put him back to bed and finish watching Dollhouse.  (I still keep imagining that Echo is Faith.  It's disorienting.  I'm still waiting for real Joss-isms.)  Stress levels are subsiding, writing juices are returning.  Things are looking up.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Or lack thereof. I am about to lose my everloving mind. Ever since Tai and I arrived in the desert he's gone back to not sleeping in the evenings. He'll go down, then wake up every half hour or so and insist on nursing. In the middle of the night he'll want to nurse for an hour straight and it's not all eating- or even most of it. I cuddle, I rock, I offer a pacifier. He reacts like I am poking him with sticks.

Last night (our first night back) I was so fried that I snapped at him and when he cried louder I put my hand over his mouth for a second. Like that would help. We were in bed together, it was midnight and he'd been nursing since 11. My nipples were killing me. I finally told him he didn't need to nurse anymore right then, took him off and just rubbed his back and let him cry until we fell asleep.

I don't feel good about it, but I didn't know what else to do. Tom is in china until tomorrow and I needed a break. Tonight is looking like it might go similarly, nursing wise and I hope venting here will help me stay patient. It's not like Tai is trying to be mean or doing this on purpose. I just wish he'd take comfort in something other than my nipple.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I haven't updated in ages.  I hope to get back on track, so I'm just getting some words down on the screen to break the block.  It's funny, I have had posts in my mind, but haven't actually sat my butt down to write any of them.  I'm not sure what that's about.  

Tai and I are down in the desert with Mom, McGee and Quin.  Tom's in China - he left on the 25th and he won't be back until March 7th.  Hopefully he won't have to stay longer, which has happened several times in the past.  We're having a good time.  Tai loves hanging out with his Granddad and his Uncle.  He's in a phase where he's always wanting to hang out with other guys.  We went to a Child Observation class last week and there was one dad among all of the moms and Tai wanted to show him everything.  

Tai thinks the desert house is the best - there's so much room to run around.  He's walking and walking - I had to buy him a new pair of shoes because the little ones we got at Mervyn's are totally falling apart.  He also digs the pool.  He took to it instantly - if we let him, he'd just dive right in.  He doesn't know how to swim, but he loves to float when someone's holding him and he playes on the stairs, climbing in and out.  (He is such a fan of stairs.)

He's a little sports fiend, too.  When we were at the park the other evening he spent a bunch of time watching a group of guys playing basket ball. He would have wlked right onto the court if I had let him.  When we all went out to dinner at the Yard House (for my birthday) he was engrossed by a basket ball game on TV.  The minute he found his football here, he held it under one arm and held the other arm up so Grandma could say 'touchdown!'  I have no idea how Tom's genes combined with mine to make a sports fan.

He is eating a ton, too.  He has three meals a day (yes, I know - just like the rest of us) and some of his favorite things are: omlettes, mushrooms, pasta shaped like Elmo, burritoes, Morning Star Farms veggie sausages, yogurt, bananas, apples, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and whatever you're eating.  He hates it when we're having something he can't.

I'm taking time to enjoy the sun, read a bit and consider writing.  Next up: a real journal entry and work on the novel.

Awake

Feb. 14th, 2009 11:43 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I should be sleeping.  Everyone else in the house is sleeping.  Tai, Tom, the beasts, the in-laws.  But my brain is just humming with all of this stuff I want to do.  Some of it is lame and boring (like clean out some of my clothes, getting rid of the stuff I never wear or stuff I've gotten too fat to wear) other stuff is more exciting (like the fifty gazillion journal entries that I want to be writing, and ideas for a new book, and ideas for a different novel and ideas for the novel I already have going).

Maybe it's the wind.

Tai is sleeping restlessly tonight, too.  He was quietly sawing logs next to me, when suddenly he shifted and mumbled, and then pointed across the room, still with his eyes closed.  He pointed several times.  I wonder what he was dreaming about.

I think I'm going to see how long I stay awake and work on my novel.  Since the in-laws are here, they're more than happy to take care of Tai in the bright early morning - I can sleep in!
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
So Tai is nestled all snug in his crib - for the next hour or so, before we nestle down with him in our bed.  Of course he's not having visions of sugar plums... maybe visions of boobies.  Or Thai food.  He doesn't even know that in just a few hours he'll be opening a pile of presents on his first Christmas day.

I'm far more excited about the holiday this year than I have been in a long time.  After spending a day boxing and wrapping presents, I'm actually in the holiday spirit.  I'm looking forward to watching Tai discover the magic of the season.  Tonight Tom, Tai, Quin, Mom, McGee and I went to our favorite little Thai restaurant near the Haight.  (It was the first place Tom and I went to dinner when we moved to San Francisco.  We'd just driven across the country, we were exhausted, we had no furniture because the moving truck wasn't going to arrive for a couple of days, we had no bed, we had no electricity because the landlord screwed something up... but going out to dinner made us remember why we'd moved to the city.)  They were totally decorated for Christmas with lights and garland and ornaments hung on the banister.  Tai had the best time getting his Grandma and Granddad to walk him around and look at all the interesting stuff.  Bright!  Shiny!  

He enjoyed all of the food we gave him - carrots, tofu, mushrooms, rice.  Except for the broccoli, which had sucked up the curry sauce and it seemed to be too spicy for the kidlet.  He put it in his mouth, then immediately stuck his fingers in his mouth and kept poking around and then he started reaching for me.  Fortunately milky makes everything better.

He's got presents slipped into his new Winnie the Pooh stocking and wrapped up under the tree. (In Tom's family Santa wraps the presents he delivers.)  I can't wait to see what he does when he finds it all waiting tomorrow morning.  Then we head over to Mom's for dinner and more presents and much drinking and carousing.  

Tonight is all about the chatting with my brother, the drinking of the spiked nog, and the consuming mass quantities of Christmas cookies.  And then sleeping.  Tomorrow will be a big day.
 


Changes

Dec. 16th, 2008 09:50 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Along with the inner changes I've been going through since becoming a Mom (trying to be more like an adult, trying to be more social), I've just started working on some outer changes as well. 

This Saturday we decided to hit the Alemany Farmers Market, since we were awake early and Richard and Judy were still on East Coast time.   We got a ton of fresh produce for not a lot of money.  While I was picking out some potatoes I was struck by the smell of the carrots.  They were a couple of bins away, but I could still smell them.  Sweet and unlike the prepackaged carrots I usually buy at Safeway.  Even the organic version.  I couldn't pass them up.  Last night I cooked up the bunch of collard greens that I bought, making sure to get to them quickly so they didn't spoil.  They were more flavorful and crisp than anything I've had before.  It was surprising.  I'm planning on making the weekly trek to the Farmer's Market, if at all possible.  Shopping from local farmers helps the environment and it's healthier.  

While I was researching the best way to cook Collard greens I pulled out "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" that Tom had purchased probably a year ago and neither of us had ever used.  I spent some time reading it, learning some cooking basics and I found myself inspired.  Now that Tai's starting to eat solid foods, I'm going to have to start actually cooking rather than just heating whatever junk we have in the freezer.  He's not that fond of pureed baby food in jars - I don't even know if he'd enjoy fresh cooked purees, either.  But he does enjoy little bites of whatever we're eating.  On Sunday, Judy cooked one of Tom's favorite dinners - Spaghetti squash casserole.  Tom gave Tai a bite and he loved it.  He ate far more than the jarred food.  He likes Thai food, and Ethiopian and Mexican - I don't see why he can't have bits of whatever we're having for dinner. That means less pizza and take-out Chinese for us.

Possibly TMI )

I'm reminding myself to go slowly with this stuff, to not get discouraged when I slip back into eating the easy, frozen, prepackaged stuff, or to use disposable stuff rather than cloth.  Progress, not perfection.  And it takes time to create new habits.  

Messiah

Dec. 14th, 2008 11:24 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tonight was the annual Sing-It-Yourself Messiah at the symphony hall.  Last time I went was 2005, so it was fun to go back, even if I lost my place in the music several times.  There were a couple of other altos in the audience near me, so that helped keep me from sliding up to the soprano part, since that's what Mom sings.  I was surprised at the sparse turn-out, especially since this is the 30th anniversary.  The conductor had a great sense of humor and seemed to be having a good time, unlike the last conductor who was irritated at having to deal with all of us ignorant fools.

The soloists were a mix of passionate and technically proficient singers.  I thought the bass was wonderful, and the trumpet soloist was stunning.  When they came together in the Air that went: " The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I was totally breathless.  

But my favorite piece is still the Alto Air: "
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls."  I could feel myself settling down, quieting and coming to center. 

I wish peace to all who are heavy laden.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Today was a big day for Tai.  When he woke up at the crack of dawn he went down to spend the earliest morning with Mimi and Popa (Judy and Richard).  They checked out our Christmas tree and then, since the rain had blown through for the morning, went for a long walk up Bernal Hill.  Once Tom and I rolled out of bed around 9:00 we all went down to the Alemany Farmers Market where we got a ton of good fall/winter produce.  For $14 we got persimmons, a pomegranate, collard greens, bok choy, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, and shittake mushrooms.  I'm going to make some kick ass stir fry this week, and maybe some of my favorite Green Jade soup (gingery and warm).

After that we headed out to Union Square because we need a couch that isn't crappy, uncomfortable Ikea furniture.   So we hit Crate and Barrel and Macy's.  We went to Gumps and Borders.  Everywhere was decorated for Christmas and Gumps had some beautiful handpainted ornaments from Krakow.  If I had a spare $250 I totally would have purchased one.  They were so beautiful even Tom appreciated them.  And he's not one who is into that sort of thing.

Tai enjoyed our lunch - he had tofu and rice and mushrooms and cheerios at the Thai restaurant.  He far prefers finger food to purees.  It's hilarious to watch him pick up tiny tofu bits with his fingers.  He's working on the pincher grasp, but isn't quite there.  He's having the best time with his grand parents, it's great to see.  We're lucky they want to be part of his life.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Richard and Judy, Tom's step-dad and Mom came into town today.  They can't get enough of Tai.  Actually it's quite nice for me - I get a break for much of the day.  I can actually go to the bathroom all by myself.  I spent more than one hour reading uninterrupted.  It felt so good.  I'm having a little staycation.  Unfortunately it's going to rain all weekend so it's going to be a little cozy.  We did get to go to Holly Park this morning before the fog rolled in and Tai showed off his swinging, teeter-tottering, merry-go-rounding, climbing talent.  He also discovered his love for the slide for the first time, too.  He wore himself out playing with everyone and took a long nap on his Mimi's (Judy's) lap.

Even if I get a tiny bit jealous (he's *my* baby, not theirs and even if he looks exactly like Tom, I'm part of it, too.) that's mostly just sour grapes on my part.  I appreciate that they want to be part of his life, and I appreciate the break.  It's going to be a relaxing weekend, if I let it.  I can write!

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