Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the house of flu

First it was Tim that came home with the flu. Now that he is feeling better, it's Jonah's turn. Yesterday poor Jonah came down with a fever.

I really hope I am able to ward off the monster since the birth of our new baby is imminent. And I definitely pray baby doesn't get the bug.

The good news is that Jonah has had half the colds this winter compared to the last. I feel encouraged by that.

Last year when we were in Prague for Christmas, Jonah had a similar bug - fever, no appetite and vomiting. It came and went fast, which I hope is the case this time too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

logo master

Ever since Jonah was about 20-months-old, I have been seeing evidence of how, from a young age, human brains are wired to recognize and read symbols. First it was the post office logo , then UPS, and now Shell.

We were looking at a magazine. One ad in the magazine took up a whole page and had a rather tasteful collage-like picture of cars and a farm which I thought would interest Jonah. Instead, he noticed the familiar red and yellow Shell gas symbol, saying: "gas station."

I can see how and why brand-marketing to kids is such a hot pursuit, not to mention a very dangerous and unethical one too.

Friday, January 25, 2008

the due date is here

Today is the due date and the baby is still not budging. What is the deal? Hey, someone tell it the world is not such a scary place. I tried to no avail.

I tell you this baby is nearly three weeks older than Jonah when he was born. It better not be a ten-pounder with a giant head and nails so long they curl and droop Yogi-style at the fingertips.

I may have to resort to some old wives' tale-style recipes for bringing about labor. Your tips in that department are welcome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

crack up

Jonah started referring to himself as "commander" today. I don't know where he learned that word, but it's quite fitting. So, he says things like: "Commander climbed up (to his chair)." or "Commander opened the door." He told me I could not be commander, that only a man could be. Well, he said this this way: "Mommy's not commander. Man is commander." Hmmm... I have been calling him Mr. Director when he gets really bossy, but Commander just captures this stage so much better.

Friday, January 18, 2008

39 weeks

I'm 39 weeks along, which means only a week till my due date, and still waiting for the baby to make its appearance. I will keep you posted.

Monday, January 14, 2008

craziest pregnancy dreams yet

Last night tops all the wild dream nights so far this pregnancy. A kitten appeared in our house that looked like a miniature version of our female cat Sarafina. They frolicked and slept together, but Tim looked under its skin like one would look under someone's glove and said the kitten was sick; that it had problems with its veins.

Warning: not for the faint-of-heart - I ended up tasting the kitten without the kitten even registering it. It just went about its kitten business as I chewed on its gamy meat. I would not recommend tasting kittens to you, even if you are dreaming.

In my dream last night I also danced with an ape. The dance resembled what I imagine the multi-armed Hindu goddess Durga would look like dancing. But the ape was dressed like a traditional Thai dancer with a pointy headdress.

What does this all mean? And what about this friendly ape that danced with me? What was it supposed to signify? The input of any dream interpreters out there would be greatly appreciated.

11 days till the due date!

My belly is stretched to the max. New scars seem to appear every few minutes. They burn and itch alternately. The baby seems cozy in its protected little world. We might have to wait a couple more weeks for its appearance. My guess was that the baby would be born on January 8th, Tim's on the 15th. Only he can now be right.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

word games

Jonah loves to have fun with words. He soaks them up like a sponge and remembers ones he surprises with for weeks. He is now able to participate in the famous fill-in-the-blank game of MadLibs as well. Here is one we did today. The underlined words are the fill in the blank ones. See if you can guess which words he contributed. I will list those at the end.

Police Call

Calling all cars...Calling all cars!
Be on the lookout for Jonah. He is wearing a grody suit, a gray UPS truck, and is carrying an old brown fart. He was last seen in the vicinity of a bathroom, waving a loaded daddy. He is charged with holding up a candy store and running off with the owner's mommy. He is also accused of stealing a 1955 alligator and a stupid tiger. It is advisable to approad this person with snotty caution, as he has been known to carry a loaded pickle knife. He uses the alias "Billy the Hamburger" and has been known to disguise himself as a monster jeep. Watch out for this stinky criminal. That is all.

Jonah can't quite understand this story yet, but he enjoys having it read to him and having the words he contributed pointed out.

Which words do you think are his?

If you listed these, you are correct: Jonah, UPS truck, daddy, mommy, alligator, tiger, monster jeep.

Friday, January 11, 2008

new project

Inspired by my friend Karin, I decided to start a blog that will give me a chance to devote some time to creative writing. Hey, now that I'm on maternity leave, I've got to invent some kind of non-parenting related work for myself.

The idea is to write a short little piece each day for one year about a different person that I have known. Writing every day is quite a big commitment, especially with a new baby coming soon, but why not give it a try. These short pieces don't have to take much time.

Most people who have a 365-type blog (yes, lots of people do) have an exact word count for all their posts. For example, each composition must be no less or no more than 35 words. I will just try to keep my posts short. Counting my words and trying to edit my writing down to the same number of words each time feels too rigid. I like the idea of writing something creative every day and of reaching into the crevices of my brain for memories that may otherwise never resurface.

Here is the link to my 365 experiment. Let's see how long I can keep it up.

Monday, January 07, 2008

patience... what a virtue

These days when Jonah and I have a good day with tantrums kept to a minimum, I feel relieved and elated in the evenings. It truly feels like a miracle. But on the days teeming with emotional upheaval and toddler violence, I sometimes have a hard time liking the fellow. Not loving him, just liking him.

Today was one of those days. A tantrum about every little thing, violence towards the cats, and even me. All day the words of my friend Jenn, mother of two toddlers, have resounded in my head: "I've been there." That helps ease the pain a bit though it's hard not to feel completely at a loss and disheartened.

Hopefully Jonah will learn to cope with boundaries and his emotions in a gentler way soon. I'm trying to teach him in a trial and error sort of way, as best as I can with images of Supernanny, the cop, floating around my brain as I attempt various disciplining and distraction techniques. I too must remember to breathe and be patient.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dick Cheney snuck into my dreams!

Last night I dreamt I was in labor in Dick Cheney's van. He drove it and let me use his cell phone. He was going to let me stay in his apartment for a while since I was away from home, but it was a fifth floor walk-up. There was a snow blizzard outside. I never saw Dick from the front; always from behind. Surprisingly he wasn't an asshole to me. That still doesn't change my opinion of him. Just one request - Dick, how about you get out of my dreams!

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 with a bang

The New Year started with a bang for Mr. Jonah & me. But first, let me share how we celebrated the Eve. We went to our friend Karin's party early and stayed just past Jonah's bed time. Though it was mostly adults -except for Jonah and a two-month-old baby girl- our son was entertained. As usual, he basked in the presence of adults having a good time, chatting away and eating tasty hors d'oeuvres. I included a picture of us at the party on New Year's Eve.

Our New Year's day was a little rough with Jonah being extremely moody and dictatorial, playing if-one-parent-is-hard, let's-try-the-other-one nearly all day. But we did have a good portion of the day, playing outside and getting together with a friend of mine, Kyle, that Jonah likes in an uncle sort of way. Kyle is a high school teacher and a football & basketball coach. He always gives Jonah sports paraphernalia. In fact, he is the only friend who does. Someone has got to fulfill that niche, I guess. Jonah likes Kyle so much that I cease to exist when the two of them interact. Too bad Kyle is so busy, because I would love to take advantage of his Mary Poppins magic and evaporate while the two of them do their manly thing for a couple of hours sometime.

On the 2nd of January my friend Megan came over with her son, Jonah's friend Finn. The two of them are nine months apart in age, with Finn being the older one, but their age difference has never seemed so small before. The two boys played like never before, sharing toys, running around, tackling and hugging each other alternately, snacking together -feeding each other, actually- and imitating each other's made up words. This was such an incredible experience for me. Megan and I could actually talk uninterrupted for quite a while. Before that, the two boys mostly fought over toys and got stressed out around each other. And before that, they barely interacted. Parallel play, they call it at that age, I guess. I had never seen Jonah play with another kid like he did that way. That made me so happy! He is getting older, I suppose.

37 weeks!

Yay! I made it to 37 weeks! (This is a picture of me taken today, by the way). The baby is now considered full-term and I am relieved. Now we expect the birth could happen any day. What a life change we are about to experience. No matter how hard I try to imagine life with two little ones, I can't quite picture it. Soon, though, it will become a reality. I hope it will not be as hard as many people make it sound.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008