Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Future President(s) (follow-up to State of the Union)

The following conversation took place in the car as I was taking Owen to his play-school yesterday.

Mommy: Who is our president?
Owen: Bush.
M: That's right.
O: You don't like him, Mommy?
M: No, I don't like him.
O: Why?
M: Because I think he makes bad decisions.
O: Why?
M: Because I think he's selfish and greedy. But it's ok because we're going to get a new president next year.
O: I could be your president!
M: You want to be the president?
O: Yeah! I could do it.
M: I know you could. You can run for president someday if you want. Let's see...who do you think will be our next president? It looks like it will either be Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain,
O: John McCain.
M:...or maybe Mitt Romney.
O: John McCain.
M: Are you sure? I thought you liked Obama.
O: Yeah. Obama. He's my best friend!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union

We normally don't have the TV on during dinner time, but Quincy needed an early evening cat nap last night, so Brady sat in the glider to rock him and turned on the State of the Union address (I know, enough to make you lose your appetite). I was still sitting at the dinner table with Owen, and we could not see the TV from where we were sitting, but we could hear it. I kept reacting to various comments by making disgusted faces to Brady. Owen, of course, picked up on this, and the following discussion took place:
Owen: Who's that talking?
Mommy: That's George W. Bush
Owen: What?
Daddy: He's our president.
Owen: You don't like him, Momm?
Mommy: No, I don't like him.
Owen: Why?
Mommy: Because I think he is a bad person who makes really bad decisions.
Owen: Why?
Mommy: Because he is selfish and greedy and chooses to do things that will only help himself and other very rich people instead of people who work really hard.
Owen: Like you, Mommy?
Mommy: Yes, Owen, like me. And like Daddy.
Owen: Do you like him, Daddy?
Daddy: I don't agree with him. I think he makes really bad choices.
Mommy: We will pick a new president this year.
Daddy: That's right. We'll choose a new president this year.
Mommy: Who do you want to be our next president, Owen? Do you want Hillary, or Obama, or Edwards?
Owen: Obama? That starts with a "O"?
Mommy: Yes.
Owen: (referring to the voice coming from the TV) What his name, Mommy?
Mommy: Bush.
Owen: You don't like Bush, Mommy?
Mommy: No, I don't. But that's only my opinion. We live in the United States where we are free to have and express our own opinions about our president. You can grow up and vote for anyone you want, Owen. I always want you to vote, even if you choose to vote for someone different than the person I vote for. It's important to always vote.
Owen: Oh. (pause) You don't like Bush, Mommy?
Mommy: No.

This continued on for a while. After dinner Owen took a shower with Brady, and I could hear Owen asking Brady if he liked Bush. I could tell he was very intrigued by the idea of me not liking someone. I'm sure it's the firs time he has heard me say that I don't like someone.

Fast forward to this morning...

Owen had come down to our bed at some point in the night and slept the rest of the night with us. It was still dark in our room, and Brady was already up and leaving for work. I was barely waking up and was nestled between sleeping Quincy and (I thought) sleeping Owen when I heard: "Who's our president, Mommy?"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stretching the Cord

They say that it is only an illusion when the baby's umbilical cord is cut at birth. It appears to be severed, but in actuality it remains intact, stretching a little further between mother and baby. At first, especially with a nursing baby, the cord maybe only stretches as far as to the next room and only for a few minutes. After a while maybe it stretches across town for a couple of hours. Of course, the distance and duration of stretching the cord differs for every mommy and baby.

For Owen and me, each step of stretching the cord took quite a while. He was 2 and a half before we spent a night away from each other (I came home from the hospital 6 hours after giving birth to Quincy in order to be here to put Owen to bed). Well, last week we stretched our cord all the way from Corvallis to Boulder!

I had the rare opportunity to attend a training on teaching literacy in Spanish hosted by my professional hero Kathy Escamilla at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Since Owen is now a full-fare passenger on the airlines, we decided that he would stay home with Brady while my mom accompanied me (at her expense--thank you mom!!!) to Boulder to be Quincy's caretaker during conference hours.

As I prepared for the trip, it felt strange to only be packing for myself and one kid. I felt sad at the idea of leaving Owen so far behind. The day before I left I told him that the next day would be the day that I would go to Colorado. The following dialog ensued:
Me: Owen, tomorrow is the day that I go to Colorado. You will stay here and do lots of fun things, and I'll see you Friday morning.
Owen: But I want to go with you!
Me: I know, sweetie. I wish I could take you, but we don't have enough money this time.
Owen: (with a very earnest look on his face) But I have money! (He has two different piggy banks that he has been putting coins in for the past two years)

It melted my heart, and I started to get cold feet about leaving. However, I did in fact go on the trip, and Owen did stay home with daddy (and help from Grandpa Stan and Grandma Linda).

What I experienced over the next few days was great. Of course I missed Owen and was so excited to get home to see him. However, I did not pine away for him. In fact, it was very freeing to be away from him, knowing he was in excellent hands having all kinds of fun, while enjoying my conference, some time with colleagues away from work, and some "only child" parenting of Quincy. Getting back was wonderful, and (thanks to 2 snow days canceling school) we have spent 4 wonderful days playing, reading, cooking, and really just hanging out at home.

I can only imagine what it will feel like when Quincy's and my cord is ready to stretch that far. Actually, I'm not ready to even really imagine that one yet.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Burnt Piggies

If you're familiar with Audrey and Don Wood's children's book, Piggies, you may realize that I'm referring to fingers. Nine days ago we went out to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday. Quincy was sitting on a friend's lap when the food was delivered. He suddenly screamed a screaming cry that I had never heard before. Within seconds I knew something was definitely hurting him. It didn't take me long to realize that he had reached out and touched the very hot plate of food that had just been delivered. To make a long and agonizing story short, he cried and cried for about half an hour. I left the restaurant shortly, and by the time we got home he had developed the largest blisters I've ever seen. They went all the way across the top of his palm and all the way up his index and pinky fingers. The blisters were as thick as his own little fingers. Amazingly, within a few minutes of being home he was his normal cheery self smiling and playing--even using his right hand normally.
It has now been 9 days, and his poor hand is still healing. The blisters stayed intact for about 4 days, and the healing process has definitely been more challenging since they broke. The good news is that he is healing, and he uses his thumb and index finger pretty effectively while protectively keeping the rest of his fingers closed around the top of his palm.
It was an accident that could have happened to anyone. Yet it felt terrible that to me that I didn't foresee it and wasn't able to prevent it!
And as if that wasn't enough burnt piggies in this house...Owen had a little incident tonight.
We were already having a bit of a weird night. Brady is gone to Newport where he is coaching at a basketball tournament this weekend. I'm here with the boys, and our night was progressing pretty normally. We had dinner and were doing baths in preparation for bed. I had already gotten Quincy out and dressed. Then I got Owen out, and he was lying on the bathroom floor waiting for me to get him dressed in his PJ's when he suddenly threw up without any warning. It was so strange! He was lying on his back, so the puke got in his hair and everywhere else. Obviously it was back into the bath for him.
I finally got Owen dressed in PJ's and downstairs where he was patiently waiting for Quincy to nurse and fall asleep. When Q was finally ready to be put in his bed, Owen lead the way into the bedroom. Earlier I had turned on the lamp on my nightstand and bent the neck as far down as I could to reduce the amount of light it would give off. Well, Owen walked over to it and grabbed it by the light bulb area to move it up! It was awful! It was like watching the whole thing in slow motion...even the couple of seconds it took for him to start to cry after he pulled his hand away.
I knew it was really hurting him when he didn't want to let go of the boo boo buddy ice pack. We put fresh aloe on it (didn't realize the little plant would come in so handy right away, huh mom?) as well as lots of kisses. He told me amidst tears and little sobs, "That was very, very, very hot. That hurt! That was bad listening." The last part refers to us telling him over and over again not to touch lamps. (Sigh) If only we could make them always listen...they wouldn't have to learn anything the hard way.
Well, this is not a very uplifting post, but I'm going to cycle the barf towels through the laundry and head to bed. Maybe tomorrow I'll have time to write about our trip to Boulder this past week.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dividing Undivided Attention

So I've been feeling pretty guilty about the fact that A) Owen got our undivided attention for 27 months before his sudden and shocking entry into sibling-hood and B) Quincy was born into sibling-hood and therefore experienced zero months of undivided attention. Also, Quincy has been a very good natured spectator at many of Owen's classes and activities over the past almost 7 months. Today, each boy got some one-on-one time with Mommy, and Quincy got to go to his own class.

Annanne came over to stay with Quincy this morning so that Owen and I could have a play date. It was very fun (and so easy!) to take one child to our wonderful local toy store to play for a while. We made a quick stop at a coffee shop where Owen charmed all of the women working and waiting in line. From the Toy Factory Owen got dropped off at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Then I rushed home to pick up Quincy and get to our first session of Live and Learn with your Baby. I took this class twice with Owen when he was an infant. It's a great opportunity to meet other moms and for babies to interact with other babies. The babies range in age from one month to 9 1/2 months. Our dear friends Rebecca and Baby Cole attend as well.

It was a great Mommy day to have some one-on-one time with each of them and then to see both of
their faces light up and their arms go around each other when they saw each other at the end of the day.

I'll attempt to add some pictures to this post. If it works, this is a picture of
Owen and Quincy on Epiphany and a picture of Owen playing the guitar that he got for Christmas. If you don't see any pictures, just use your imagination :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is there anything worse?

In full daylight (when I tend to do my most rational thinking) I am very aware of the horrors in the world these days. There are a plethora of senseless wars, AIDS is spreading like wildfire through Africa infecting countless people, the polar ice cap is melting so quickly that Owen may be asking Santa for a walrus next year. However, at 3:00AM a mom's perspective (well, THIS mom's perspective at any rate) is that there is nothing worse than her sick baby. Gagging on mucus, chest rattling with every short little breath, pitiful whimpering cries with eyes closed. there anything worse? A visit to the Dr. late the next afternoon diagnosed bronchitis in the sweet little babe. Hopefully the antibiotics will kill the infection and the albuterol will help him breathe a little easier. As soon as he's better, I'll get back to worrying about war, famine, and widespread disease. In the meantime, all my energy is staying right here.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Years Resolutions and Holidays Withdrawal

Bare fir trees lie aside garbage cans and recycling bins full of the carcasses of gift packaging. The wonderful daily collection of 1st class mail containing photos and recaps of our loved ones has dwindled to bills, coupons, and of course credit card offers. And the cups at Starbucks are white again. The holidays are officially over, and I am suffering a bit of withdrawal from the hectic but oh-so-fun marathon that spans from Thanksgiving to New Years. Luckily school doesn't start again until the 7th, so I have a few more days of vacation.

I made two new years resolutions. The first is the traditional one of getting (and then staying) fit and healthy. I won't bore you with any more on that. The second is to be better about staying up to date with photos and updates on the kids. That includes creating and maintaining this blog.

So here we are on January 3rd, and I've created the blog. Now for the maintaining part...