Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Mardi Gras

These pictures were taken last year, of course.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Joseph took a couple of years off my life this past Sunday when he burned his fingers and knuckles, forcing us to take our first (and who knows, maybe he’ll be a careful kid, and maybe it will be our last) trip to our local urgent care facility.

He was in such a bad mood after his afternoon nap (this is not uncommon). He should have slept longer, but didn’t, and so he was needy and crabby and whiny and just plain difficult. Tony and I really wanted to make dinner, and my back was tired from holding him for what seemed like years, but if I put him down, all I heard was, “uuupppppp……uuuuuppppp” over and over again. Sometimes this can go on for hours. I’m not kidding.

Finally we had a break when Tony opened one of the cupboards. Joseph let out a squeal as he ran towards all of the cookie sheets and cake pans. But his attention quickly shifted when he saw another drawer open. It was the storage drawer under the oven. What a treasure chest!!! He had absolutely no idea that it was there. It was like a secret room that he had just discovered. And when Tony quickly closed the drawer, he didn’t even seem upset. I guess I should have known that he would be up to something if he wasn’t still asking to be picked up.

That’s when it all happened. Joseph ran over to the storage drawer (did I mention that the oven was ON?) and tried to open it. Apparently (and this is a warning to all of you who, like me, had no idea this could happen) it gets REALLY hot in the crack between the storage drawer and the oven. Joseph started crying. AND I MEAN CRYING.

I’ll skip over the rest of the details about cold water, a lot of tears, trying to remember if we were doing the correct thing for burns, getting scolded over the phone by Joseph’s pediatrician for not having a safe house, freaking out over the painful looking blisters that were quickly forming, putting a coat on, trying to distract him while getting into the car seat, and ending up with gauze, burn cream, and Tylenol 3. My poor baby ended up with second degree burns on his fingertips and knuckles. I know that in the long run, this will seem like no big deal. But for now, it’s a big deal to me. If you ask Joseph about why he is wearing a glove (that’s what we call the gauze he has to wear over the burns), he will say things like “oven. hot. hurt. burn. cry. okay.” If you ask me, I’ll say “baby. cry. innocent. guilt. protect. let down.”

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Are we there yet?

This winter feels so long. It’s probably because I didn’t have a winter last year. I find myself looking out the window, holding Joseph, looking at the snow and ice, hoping that it will warm up soon. But then I have to stop myself. I have to stop wishing time away. I know that this is a common problem for everyone. It surely is not profound by any means, but I think it really defines some of the difficulties of being a stay-at-home mom (or dad). I have completely contradictory feelings at the same time. I want time to stop and time to go. I’m utterly bored and absolutely amazed. I’m more depressed than ever as well as the happiest I’ve ever been. The days stretch out to no end while they are flying by. Book after block after ball, I’m just tired. I know that I would have it no other way.

Tony got me this wonderful book for Christmas (Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman). Catherine’s son Ben is three years old when his baby sister is born, and she chronicles her family’s life during this time. I think this excerpt explains a little of what I’m feeling:

“Is it always spring now?” Ben wondered.
I asked him if he could remember what came after spring.
“Summer!” he said. “Is summer about as big as a string cheese?”
“I don’t know,” I said. Is a string cheese big or small?”
“Kind of big and kind of small.” He moved his hands apart and then together to show me.
“Then yes,” I said. “That’s summer. Kind of big and kind of small.”

But my God – doesn’t that describe everything? Kind of big and kind of small. Time with a new baby. Childhood. And life itself.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Baby cells

I heard a great story today on Morning Edition. If you have a minute and want to listen to it (or read a brief summary), click here. Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Something I'm not looking forward to...

Spit up. I'm not looking forward to spit up.