Where’d May go?

Almost a week on a trip to Chicago, almost a week on a trip to Japan. That’ where a fair amount of it went. What I said in my last post still applies: I can’t keep up with anything any more. I don’t even know where to start. Partially because I don’t know where I left off.

Chilkat will answers yes/no questions most of the time now. Most questions involving Daddy are answered with a resounding “No!” KrisDi made use of this: “Do you love Daddy?” “NO!” In fact, I think it was more like a wail, “NOOOOOO!” She’ll also dive toward KrisDi screaming “no” when I approach or when she hears my name called. Such a sweet family I have.

She’s learning more nouns. She’ll say some of them. “Coocoo” is Cookie Monster. She knows what sound The Count makes: “Ah ah ahhh!” She’s an avid high fiver, and yesterday we taught her how to fist bump (and we were amazed how quickly she picked it up). We decided to try and get her to make dinosaur sounds.

She’s come up with a whole bunch of exciting new dance moves. Every once in a while, she wants to go back in her jumper, and she jumps like crazy. She’s completed weaned now. May 7th was the last time she nursed. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but of course she doesn’t miss it now.

I have nothing very exciting to report from Japan. KrisDi’s parents came in. Les drove with P Dubs to bring KrisDi’s old Alero back and give it away a second time (after having bought it a second time), and D flew. They helped KrisDi with Chilkat while I was out of town. Otherwise it’s essentially impossible for KrisDi to go to work and get Chilkat to daycare. We might need to figure out some way to handle that. I did eat fugu.

The Chicago trip was for two days of training, and KrisDi and Chilkat flew with me and we stayed over the weekend. On Monday when I was flying back, KrisDi had a standby ticket and it didn’t look like she was going to make it. I took Chilkat onto the plane with me, and I was talking to the guy next to me, who had a two year old with whom he had once flown solo, and then vowed never to attempt it again. KrisDi was the last person to get on the plane, and the guy exceedingly kindly moved to KrisDi’s seat way in the back so she could sit with me and Chilkat.

While we were in Chicago, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Flossmoor Station, and didn’t do much else besides familial visits. Of course, we ate pizza and beef and I drank all of E & P Dubs’ beer.

We had our third anniversary; Pixel Chick babysat Chilkat while we went to Palisade for a delicious (but expensive) dinner. We fulfilled all of the stereotypes for “parents who are unaccustomed to being away from their young child”.

I totally disappointed KrisDi for Mothers’ Day. I gave her a wireless mouse. I also made her blueberry pancakes for breakfast, so maybe that gets me some credit. KrisDi totally shamed me by getting me a Canon T3 to use as a “little camera”, after I bitched and moaned in Japan about the 300HS as compared to the 50D and she found an awesome deal on it.

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I can’t keep up with anything anymore

Well, today I spent a significant portion of the day cleaning vomit off of a child, disassembling and cleaning vomit off a carseat (by hand in a sink at work), drying the parts, reassembling, and reinstalling the carseat. Then I drove home. Removed the carseat, disassembled it, ran parts of it through the wash and soaked other parts in a sink, dried everything again, rereassembled, and then rereinstalled. I sincerely hope I do not have to do that again tomorrow. I have just finished consuming an assuaging blizzard. KrisDi also had one.

I haven’t posted in about three weeks, I think. In that time, Chilkat has not grown appreciably larger, but I believe her personality has. She has stronger opinions, is less easily distracted, and is more stubborn about getting her way. She frequently gets it into her head that she wants to go outside. She signals this to us by bringing us our shoes and hats, and occasionally finding KrisDi’s jacket and yanking and yelling insistently. She also tries to put her shoes on KrisDi’s feet, for some reason. KrisDi was in the kitchen the other day, and she felt a small person come up and hug her leg and start trying to lift. So she looked down and lifted up her leg. And Chilkat put a tiny little Cookie Monster shoe on her big toe. God help us when she decides she wants something out of the fridge and we don’t know what it is. She gets awfully (vocally) agitated when she’s not getting her way.

She’s more expressive. She makes some hilarious faces sometimes. She makes a good “What the hell are you talking about?” face, but it’s unpredictable. Ska Yo Yo got her to make a rock and roll sneer. While  watching hockey about a week ago, we got her to make an angry face, complete with clenched and shaking fists. She has figured out two things about that face: (1) It has something to do with being upset. (2) It cracks up her parents. Now she’ll often do it when we ask her to, and she’ll occasionally do it randomly just for laughs, and she’ll occasionally do it when she’s pissed off. Like when she’s getting a diaper change she doesn’t want. It’s a flipping riot. She’s a heck of a kisser now.

She’s growing more coordinated. She does an amazingly good job of lifting the bowl and drinking the remaining milk when she has finished a bowl of cereal. We gave her an opportunity: We set up a small camera on our tripod on the shortest setting (which is just the right height for her). She took lots of pictures, and was delighted when she got a picture of her mother. She would kiss the preview on the camera. She actually took a good picture of us, but the first picture of me was a little embarrassing (although it makes me laugh a lot).

She likes to help. She knows that when the dishwasher is open, she needs to close it. Her father is clearly incompetent. He just can’t keep that thing closed. Especially when he’s trying to do the dishes. She likes to throw trash out (but she can’t lift the lid yet). She also likes to help with the laundry (by taking clothes and putting them in the machine). KrisDi had her help make lemon bars yesterday, by handing her pre-measured cups of flour or sugar and asking her to dump it in mixing bowls.

Aside from that, Ska Yo Yo and Tufty came to town for their 10th anniversary (happy anniversary!). They spent two nights with us. I spent one day hung over because of it. We missed out on Humber‘s perfect game on Saturday because we wanted to be able to hang out with them when they came back from Vancouver. We spent a lot of time table curling. And drinking. And reminiscing. It was fun.

We have a trip to Chicago coming up in the very near future. I have two days of GD&T training on a Thursday and Friday, and then we’re extending through Monday for pizza, Italian beef, beer, and family.

I hit my five year anniversary at my work today. It’s been the longest employment I have maintained for the last year and a half now. I’ve been working there nearly a sixth of my life.

We, of course, have been taking lots of pictures.

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Rush Job

I’m tired and grumpy and uninspired. At least I’m not hungry any more.

Happy Saint Patrick’s day. I spent the day moving E Dubs and Pixel Chick into their new house in Gig Harbor. It’s big and nice.

My birthday was last Wednesday. I’m 31 now. It feels no different. We didn’t do much for my birthday. We went for a hibachi dinner the previous Saturday, and KrisDi made cupcakes. She also got me a Neil Gaiman graphic novel.

Chilkat is learning more and more. She will shush us now (after I tried to shush her at day care while the other kids were napping). She learned today that she enjoys chasing little dogs. She dances for particular songs, but she’s clearly borne of two white engineers — it’s mostly hand motion. Occasionally she’ll get her little butt into it. It’s awfully cute.

She was sick for about two weeks after her birthday. Pink eye, then low grade fever for about a week and a half that was semi-diagnosed as “maybe an ear infection or pneumonia or both”, got on amoxicillin, got better, finished the amoxicillin, and started coughing again. KrisDi is on antibiotics for mastitis again (although it didn’t initiate catastrophically this time). Neither of us has felt healthy in a month. I’m going to see my doctor Monday.

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How is babby formed?

That’s no mystery. Babies just happen. They start out as babies and spend the rest of their lives changing into something else. More to the point, how are parents formed? I suppose they’re usually transformed from mushy-headed children, with varying degrees of suffering and success.

Chilkat’s over a year old, which means I’ve been a father for a year and KrisDi’s been a mother for a year. I’ve felt like a dad for about six months, I think. I fuzzily remember the disconnected disorientation and disbelief when we got home from the hospital.

The first real emotional connection I had with Chilkat as another human being (versus a crying micturating defecating lump of responsibility with lots of potential) was probably when she laughed the first time (June of 2011). I was overjoyed. I cried (but I did not micturate or defecate). Now she has such a distinct personality and she’s so much more independent and she’s genuinely interesting (intellectually in addition to emotionally and cutenessally) and she’s sleeping better, which means I’m sleeping better, which means I’m only constantly tired instead of constantly exhausted, which means I’m better able to deal with frustration. Most of the time — and “better” does not mean “good” in this instance. It means “less bad”.  Although I do run on coffee. I go through about a half gallon of quite strong coffee a day, give or take. Usually less on the weekends.

I don’t feel like an utter failure as a father any more. I don’t feel like the best father in the world, but I feel like I have a handle on it for now. I know I can outlast her when she’s cranky but needs to sleep (or I can drop her in the crib and she’ll very likely go to sleep on her own now). I know she can’t make a dirty enough diaper that I can’t eventually get the mess satisfactorily cleaned. She’s home sick for the third day in a row, and while she’s upstairs napping, I’m downstairs worrying that she’s running a fever of 167 and is actually unconscious, not sleeping. When she’s walking, I’m worried that she’s going to fall and break all her bones, blind herself, and drive whatever is in her mouth through the back of her throat. When she’s at day care, I’m worried she’s starving and sitting neglected in a pool of her own excretions and being showered with infectious diseases. When she’s eating, I’m worried she’ll choke and go into anaphylactic shock and get struck by lightning. Et cetera.

Sometimes the little monster actually shows affection for me. On very rare occasions, she seems to prefer my company to KrisDi’s. Incidentally, KrisDi is an amazing mother, in addition to being an amazing wife and an amazing cook and an amazing woman and an amazing human being.

It’s strange to think about how different our life is now. Chilkat is in some way involved in every single thing we have done in the last year (more than that, counting pregnancy). We have taken 4,921 pictures and 244 videos of Chilkat since she was born (not even counting pictures we threw away) versus 3508 pictures of KrisDi and 2636 pictures of me altogether. I guess that’s approximate, because some grandparental pictures are included in that count. I talk about very little besides Chilkat and KrisDi. I clearly blog about almost nothing else.

I love her so much. I tell her, but she doesn’t understand yet. KrisDi made this nice video out of a small selection of photos of her.

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Chairman Mao sent us a framed Certificate of Achievement “For Unstinting Meritorious and Successful Achievement in the Glorious Effort to Preserve and Protect the Existence of a Human Child over a Period of no Less than One Year”. This is the third electronic communication channel through which I’ve sent the words “Chairman Mao” today, so I expect a visit from the FBI or the CIA or something any time now.

KrisDi and I have managed to keep Chilkat alive for one trip around the sun and 365+ trips around Earth’s rotational axis. Hopefully many more to go. Judging by the state of her face, no guarantees.

Poor little monster appears to have the ol’ double eye infection going on right now. First signs were at her birthday party on Sunday (little gum in the corners, some swelling and redness around the eyes), and it was probably agitated by getting cake and frosting all up in there. It got a little worse Monday, but when KrisDi got her up this morning to feed her before work, both eyes were completely gummed shut. Of course, trying to clean off the gum was an incredibly traumatic experience for all three participants. I’m staying home today because day cares are not fond of children with eye infections. She has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. She’ll get about five vaccinations (that’ll be fun), and hopefully the doctor will have something we can do for her eyes. All things considered, I think she’s doing incredibly well. She’s sleeping right now, which is why I was able to clean up a little after Sunday’s party and start blogging this here blog. I don’t expect her to sleep long enough to complete this without interruption.

—– Several hours pass —–

And that was as far as I got without interruption. It is now about 10 hours later. We’ve been to the doctor and back, and had dinner, and run errands, and administered the first dose of Vigamox. She has double pink eye. KrisDi will have to stay home with her tomorrow, because day care won’t let her back until she’s been on medication for 24 hours. She’s also gotten a couple vaccinations and been weighed and measured: they claim 19lb 8oz, 29 1/2″ tall, 18 1/3″ head circumference, but I think they mismeasured the head. Incidentally, this is nearly as large as GirlAndi’s second daughter was at 6 months.

Birthday party. Pictures say most of what there is to say: KrisDi made 30 cupcakes, 6 Big Birds, 6 Grovers, 6 Oscars, 6 Cookie Monsters, and 6 Elmos. She ordered a bunch of cake pops of the same characters. She made cookies and a red velvet cake. We brought in two varieties of fudge. She made Italian Beef sandwiches and ordered fried chicken from Ezell’s. She got cole slaw and made potato salad, jalapeno popper dip, and spicy sausage dip. She also made mac & cheese and deviled eggs, and also served cheese and crackers. This is what KrisDi calls “keeping it simple.” We had about 15 friends and family show up. The False Alarm family couldn’t make it because they spent the preceding night luxuriating in the hospital with a daughter whose temperature peaked at 104.9 degrees. What an overachiever.

Aside from that…it looks like I’m going to Japan in late May and Chicago in early May. Tufty and Ska Yo-Yo may visit in April some time for their 10th anniversary. Northwood and his special lady friend may travel out to North Dakota while we’re there for Tom’s wedding so they can see Chilkat. We may meet up with Wilmbo’s parents in Arizona when we’re there for KrisDi’s cousin’s wedding. E Dubs and Pixel Chick bought a house and P Dubs bought their townhome (both deals still in progress), but I’ll talk about that next time I post.

Behaviorally, Chilkat is becoming more of a mimic. She “cooks” — she’ll stir anything with anything. She’s more interested in feeding herself. She wants to sweep when she sees KrisDi do it. She’s picking up new stuff like saying “boo” for peek a boo, she’s getting sick of some of the old Sesame Street videos that she’s been watching a lot (C is for Cookie). She’s really starting to get the concept of blowing kisses, which is adorable (she was blowing kisses at the doctor today). She’s figuring things out at an alarming rate — today she grabbed the web cam and demanded that it be put on a lap top and then was very upset that the computer wasn’t talking to her.

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