January 27, 2010

I Think I Voided The Warranty...

It has been two weeks since my last post.  I know I said I was going to post last week, but some things came up.  Sara's grandmother, Betty Rhodes passed away just after her 80th birthday.  Her decline wasn't sudden or unexpected.  Even though everyone is glad she is no longer suffering, we will miss her a great deal.  She was an amazing woman whose positive attitude was infectious and wonderful.  Even to the last, she never complained about her pain and only expressed concern for her daughters and family.  She will continue to live on in our hearts and minds and shall never be forgotten by those of us who were fortunate enough to know her.

We took Harper with us to the viewing and service on Saturday.  She was amazingly well behaved, barely fussing and making no big deal at the incredible number of people who wanted to coo loudly in her face.  Sara's mom spent a lot of time holding her, which I think was mostly for comfort.  Other than that, Sara and I passed her back and forth most of the day.  At one point, I locked myself in the women's bathroom to change her because they had a large counter and the men's room did not.  I found out afterwards that around the corner, there was a family bathroom complete with changing table and diaper pail.  "You want to date WHO??  How can you do this to me!  I locked myself in the women's bathroom for you!!"  That conversation will go well in 15 years...

Harper is doing extremely well.  She has a rough weekend, what with the interaction of so many people at once, but my mom came to visit and that really helped out.  She's holding herself up further and for longer period of time (Harper, not my mom.)

"Who is this creepy guy next to me??"

She had a doctor's appointment on Monday at which they told Sara that our beautiful little baby is in the 65% range for length and weighs 10lbs 11oz.  Her motor functions are good, she's interacting with people, responding to cues and following people with her eyes.  I noticed at the funeral home that once when Sara was holding her, Harper looked at me from across the room and followed me as I moved.  She's making more intentional sounds now.  While she hasn't slept through the night, she's getting very close.  We put her down between 8 and 10 and she sleeps until about 4, then goes back to sleep until about 8.  During the last week or so, I've been getting up and playing with her before I go to work.  It's a wonderful time for me.

Work: sigh.  Having this amazing baby at home has made going to work even more difficult than it was before.  I am constantly thinking about Harper and wondering what she's doing while I'm walking the halls, telling students to get back to where they are supposed to be.  Every time a student is rude or disrespectful or tells me to "get out of his face" when I am a good 5 feet away, I struggle with the thought "I don't need this crap!  I have a beautiful baby waiting at home who loves and wants nothing more than to be comfy and played with."  Of course, then two other thoughts come crashing in.  The first is that at some point, my beautiful baby will be a teenager with an attitude, although I hope I can instill some values of courtesy and respect before that happens.  The second is that if I wasn't putting up with this crap, I wouldn't be able to put a roof over the head of said beautiful baby.

Every day at work brings different challenges and surprises.  There are dull moments, but every day holds something slightly different than the day before.  I am constantly amazed at classroom dynamics, how the addition or subtraction of one student from a room can drastically change the way that room works.  During the last two days, three students were suspended and without them, the classes have been doing VERY well.

I have other things to say on the subject of work, but I've read too many articles about  people being fired/written up for what they post in public blogs and while I'm not committed to going to another district, I would like the option to stay where I am.

Back to the baby!

"What do you mean you were talking about something else??"

I've found that as much as I love her to death, I don't really want to be left alone with her for long periods of time.  When she's smiling and looking around, no problem, but as soon as she starts to get upset, my nerves kick in and I worry that I'm doing something wrong.  I've been playing with her in the mornings to allow Sara to sleep in a little bit more, but even that I can only do for about 45 minutes to an hour.  At that point, I start to get really nervous.  I have no idea about what!  The feeling has been decreasing as she's been getting older and I think that by the time June comes around and I'm staying home with her full time, it should be gone.

I keep having these irrational fears that I'll be holding her, she'll start to scream, which she rarely does, and all of a sudden, people will come into the room out of nowhere, Sara, her parents, my parents, police, check-out personnel, coworkers, clowns, etc. and tell me what an awful job I'm doing!  I know this is insane.

There are no check-out personnel hiding in my closets.  In any event, if Sara is in the room, I can do anything!  I'm freaking SUPERDAD!  Changing diapers, entertaining babies, cleaning vomit and poop from previously undiscovered crevices?  No problem!  A job for SUPERDAD!  As soon as she steps out of the room though, my confidence drops to zero and every single unhappy squawk that comes out of her mouth has me running to find Sara with cries of "I think she's hungry!!"

On top of everything else, I'm still shocked that we're allowed to keep this child.  No one is going to be knocking on our door, telling us that the 60 trial period is over and that it's time for us to get back to our normal lives.  I don't even remember what that was before Harper.  She really the reason for my life and and inspiration for me.  She's so amazing and she makes being home such a pleasure.  I only wish that more of our friends lived closer so I could show her off more often.  I can't wait for slightly nicer weather so we can have another party!

Well, I'm exhausted.  I hope you enjoyed reading this and I look forward to any comments that you may want to leave.  I do read every comment when I'm not playing with my daughter.  How could I not play with her?  Look how cute she is!!

"Damn right I'm cute!!"

January 13, 2010

Like Sands Through the Hourglass..

Today, Harper is 8 weeks old.  It is amazing to me how much she has changed over the past weeks.  Her eyes are open and she's alert to her surroundings.  She's been focusing on things and spending more time using her neck and arm muscles.  She's been holding herself up when we put her on her stomach and she's starting to roll over.  She hasn't made it all the way yet, but she's getting there.

I am also amazed at how she has changed our lives.  I know people say that your life will never be the same, but I didn't quite believe them.  I simply cannot remember what it was like to not have a child.  It's been barely 2 months but it seems like she has been with us forever.  I don't even remember ever sleeping through the night...

I think also that my over-protectiveness (is that even a word?) has gotten a little bit out of control.  On the way back from Philadelphia a few weeks ago, we stopped at a rest stop to change Harper.  After doing so, Sara passed her off to me so she could use the facilities.  While standing outside the bathroom, holding Harper, a man walked up and exclaimed on how cute she was.  He was a typical rest stop stranger, with a dirty baseball cap, fatigue jacket, torn jeans, and 6 days worth of stubble.  I politely thanked him and turned around to walk away.  He followed us a few steps and tried to continue the conversation.  With a hand outstretched, he asked how old she was.  My reply, which apparently was back by a hint of fire in my eyes was "Old enough to have boundary issues."

I've also been short with some family members, who will remain nameless, who seem to think that they know more about raising my daughter than I do.  This may be the case, what with them having more children than I currently have.  I recognize that they have experience and certainly have the best interest of my child in mind, but Sara and I need to work things out for ourselves.  Everyone and their mother wants to offer advice and tell us what we should and should not do, when we should and should not feed her, how we should and should not hold her, etc...

While I appreciate their desire to help, advice that is unasked for, is unwanted.  When we want help, world, I promise you, we will ask for it.  There are many things that we don't know and we freely admit that, but there are many things that have come naturally to us and we have figured out on our own.  We are also freely consulting doctors and baby research.  You know, experts, rather than relying on old wives' tales.

To be clear, not everyone has perpetrated these annoyances upon us.  One example, but certainly not the only one, has been my mother.  She has been fantastic through the entire pregnancy, birth and subsequent raising.  She never offers advice unless we ask for it, unless it is prefaced with "Can I make a suggestion?"  Even then, if I say no, she gracefully bows out and lets me figure it out or make my mistakes on my own.

I think part of this is due to the fact that she lives 280 miles from us and doesn't want to detract from our visits.  She is just so happy to see us and spend time with us.  "Us"... Who am I kidding? She's just happy to spend time with her granddaughter.  Another part of it is that she and I talked at length about this exact problem weeks before Harper was born.  I think she really understands my concerns about this particular topic.  I've tried to be less violent in my response with family members than I have with strangers, but my patience is wearing thin.

Again, I want to say that my mom is not alone in this respect.  There have been many people who have been respectful of how we want to raise Harper and I am appreciative of all of them.

In my parental insanity, I have conceived of an invention.  It is a blanket that makes Harper invisible to whomever I don't want looking at her.  I love showing her off, but I am also tired of charging across crowded rooms to scream at strangers that they are unworthy to settle their slack-jawed gazes upon my perfect angel.

On top of all of this, Sara has a meeting with the Methodist Church today to talk about day care for when she has to go back to work.  We're hoping that she can go part time, but if not, this place was the least expensive, coming in at ONLY $160 per week.  I would rather Harper go to a place like Brightside Academy, but they are expensive (almost twice the price) and I know that an educational daycare would be wasted just now.  I am also swallowing the absurd notion that after a single day at Methodist day care, Harper will come home proclaiming her undying love of the Lord, Jesus Christ and still toweling off from her river bank baptism.  These are insane concerns, I know.

It's MUCH to cold to baptize someone in the river...

January 6, 2010

Another Day, Another Staggeringly Fun Drive To Work In The Snow...

Have I mentioned that my car is not an all-weather car?  My drive to work has been fun, what with the fact that it hasn't stopped snowing in almost 6 days.  My school has had 2-hour delays yesterday and today, but since I work from 11:30-7, it has no effect on my schedule.

Enough about work.  Harper has been getting bigger and more alert every day.  She had an excellent Christmas and New Year's.  My mother threw an open house for us so that the family and close friends in the Philadelphia area could meet my gorgeous daughter.  They agreed with me that she is, in fact, gorgeous.  She was amazingly well behaved and slept through the entire thing.  The few times that she was awake, she was looking around and not screaming.

She received a ton of great gifts, including some super cute outfits,  and some super ugly outfits.  I think the latter were purchased with the idea of "Oh man!  I wonder if we can get them to dress their child like this!"  We also got a gift that came with the disclaimer "This is the coolest gift ever!"  It was the coolest gift ever!  It's a turtle night-light that projects the night sky onto the ceiling in three different colors.  I turn it on and watch it for prolonged periods of time.

Her neck muscles have been getting stronger, encouraged by her desire to look at everything, holding her head as high as possible without it snapping off.  (That only happened once.)  She's been sleeping a bit more and has been a pleasure for me to play with when I get home from work.  Leaving in the morning is still a massive pain.  I am apprehensive of when Sara has to go back to work and I expect that she'll be miserable for the first several weeks.  She seems to really enjoy staying at home with Harper.

I wish I made enough money so that she wouldn't have to go back to work.  Perhaps by the time the next child comes around, I'll have become fed up enough with teaching that I'll have become an engineer and be making $100,000 a year.  What?  A girl can dream...

Harper has been smiling a lot more and is starting to imitate us.  She's becoming a little more regular in her responses to some stimuli, which means that we're repeating the same gestures over and over, trying to make her do something funny.

I'm becoming more convinced that babies are genius scientists from the future who are doing massive sociological experiments on parents.  For example, two days ago, I discovered an amazing combination that left me joyous for hours and left Harper gazing at me indifferently.  For those of you who are familiar with baby jargon, you'll know what a Bumbo is.  Those of you who don't, go look it up on Google.  I put Harper in the Bumbo and had her sit at the table with us during dinner.  I was suddenly struck by the idea to place said Bumbo on a lazy susan.  It fit perfectly and I sat for almost an hour slowly spinning her in circles.  Slow enough to keep her from being dizzy, but quickly enough to provide amusement for me and ever-changing visual stimulus for her.

Between this and my flying her around the house, I think I'll cure her car-sickness (which she doesn't have.)  Call me Dr. Dad!

I'm ready to go home now.  I have 6 more hours before I can.  I can't help but think of all of the cute things that I will miss her doing during that time...



Related Posts with Thumbnails