March 29, 2010

Four Generation of Biting Wit...

What a fantastic weekend!  My mom, her partner, and my grandmother came to visit and we had a great time!  They got to play with Harper, go shopping with us and we went for walks, cooked healthy meals and just enjoyed each others company.

It was a truly a wonderful visit.

There are no pictures where I don't look like a jackass...

With her new found teeth, Harper spent a good amount of time trying to find the finger bones in my mom's hand.  She's also getting much better at using utensils!

She also had a great time in the bathtub.

Caution:  You're about to look at naked baby.  Don't tell Chris Hanson...

Strategic Duck Placement!!

March 25, 2010

It's My Birthday And I'll Ignore It If I Want To...

Three posts in one week?  That's insane!

I wanted to get some thoughts down before I forget about them.  I'm about to type a sentence that I have been avoiding, both in print and vocally, for several reasons.  The main one is that no one really believes the reasons I have for not wanting to say it.  I am constantly assaulted by people who feel they know me better than I know myself and think that I am in denial over this particular topic.  Ready?  Here it goes.

My birthday is on Saturday.

Why am I hesitant to use this phrase?  Is it because my birthday is only on a Saturday once every five to six years? (I know that that sounds odd, mathematically, but it's true.)  No.

Is it because I'm depressed about getting older?  Perhaps, but I don't think any more than anyone else.  Of course, my birthday reminds of all of the things that I haven't done since my last birthday, but this year, I have a ton of things that I DID do.  Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head, in chronological order.
  1. Graduated with a Master's
  2. Had a summer job that I loved
  3. Procured a teaching job with a salary that extends into the summer
  4. Had a beautiful baby girl, whom I adore with every ounce of my soul
  5. Bought my first house
All in all, I think it was a pretty good year.  I do, of course, have a list of things that I didn't do since last year but I dwell on those enough in my mind and I don't feel the need to list any of them.  I would rather focus on the positive.

So, what is the real reason?  When I say, you won't believe me.  You'll think "that can't be right!  He must be depressed about getting older!"  You'll probably want to call me or comment on here about how great it is to experience another year of life and how every year, the number of people who get to celebrate how old I am drops significantly as people die off.  (How's that for a morbid thought?)

The real reason is this:  I don't care about my birthday.  I used to!  When I was young, as every kid does, I would anxiously await the coming of the day, knowing that there would be presents and parties and I would get to be king for the day!  I have many fond memories of most of my birthdays.  The last one I can distinctly remember was my 17th, which wasn't great, but all the others were pretty good.  (Although my 10th birthday was canceled due to my bad behavior at school and lying to my parents about this.  The actually made me call all of my friends to tell them that there would be no party.  I thought that was horrible at the time, but looking back on it, I think it was fair.)

I just don't care about my birthday.  It's just another day to me.  Because of these feelings, I'm now reluctant to even tell anyone that it is my birthday because, inevitably, I have to get into a discussion about why I don't care about my birthday.  Everyone and their mother suddenly thinks that they are a psychologist and tries to analyze the reasons behind my indifference.

I like to think that if there were some traumatic event, that I would hate birthdays, or at least hate my own.  That's simply not the case.  I love birthdays!  I love celebrating for other people and I love throwing parties for them.  I love hosting parties too, but I like them to be for no reason other than to have a good time.  I also plan to throw parties for Harper and encourage her to look forward to her birthday.  I have no desire to spread my indifference to her, or to anyone else.  I just don't want a birthday party thrown for me.

I don't like getting birthday gifts.  I don't mind getting gifts, but only if I'm not the only one getting them.  I like Christmas and Hannukah gifts.  I like anniversary gifts.  All of these occasions involve many people getting presents. (With anniversary gifts, I can pretend they are all for Sara.)   I don't like receiving birthday gifts.

My mom and I have had several conversations about this.  She states that gift giving isn't just about the person receiving the gift, but also about the one giving it; the enjoyment of giving something to someone else.  I agree with her on this and I don't want to begrudge other people that feeling.  I love giving gifts, so I know how great it feels when someone opens up a gifts that you picked out especially for them.  Getting gifts makes me uncomfortable.

Perhaps sometime in the future, I will change my mind.  Perhaps, one day, I will want to celebrate my birthday with a big raucous party with heavy amounts of drinking, debauchery and dancing around a fire, among the scattered corpses of half-opened presents.  Perhaps, I will want to celebrate with a quiet dinner party at my house with my wife and our closest friends.  For now, however, I want none of it.  I want my birthday to pass by, unremarked.  I welcome well wishes, but not much more.

I hate that I wrote this post.  I understand the irony of spending several pages talking about something that I don't want to talk about.  I did, however, feel it was important to get off of my chest.  Many people have asked me why I don't care about my birthday and this is as close as I can get to explaining it.  I'm not looking for analysis, pity or help deciphering.  I just needed to say it, even it if it just goes into the great void of the interwebs, never to be read or acknowledged.

In any event, here's a picture of Strawberry Baby that I took this morning.  Enjoy!


I don't know why my numbered list up there came out as froufy flowers, or whatever they are.

Also, I've heard that if you want more people to read your blog, you should keep the entries short and clever.  Perhaps I will get lucky and the sheer length of this post will keep too many people from reading it.

March 24, 2010

Choppers, Gnashers and Biters, Oh My!

We have an UNHAPPY baby!  By unhappy, of course, I mean that she has developed a version of Bipolar Disorder that only babies and small children can truly contract.

She will be happy and smiling, laughing and playing.  In the blink of an eye, she will remember that she has hard, bone-like structures violently pushing their way through her lower gums.  Once this becomes apparent, she suddenly, and without warning, feels a distressing desire to let it become a common fact that she is in agony.  Unfettered, unadulterated agony.

I've been spiking her bottle with Jim Beam, but that's just a temporary fix.

She's 4 months old.  Can she really be teething already?  One on the bottom has already broken through and can be seen and felt by anyone who hates their finger enough to stick it in there.  There is a second one on the bottom that can be seen through her gums, but hasn't made an appearance yet.

I had some pictures to add, and they would have been humorous, but I am unable to load them do to various firewalls.

On an almost unrelated topic, I'm trying to get a slightly wider audience for this blog.  I'm not sure if I said that already, but if people who read this (all 4 of you) would be so kind as to share my entries on facebook, or twitter, or wherever, I would greatly appreciate it.


March 22, 2010

Post-Partum Parting

This is the smiling face that greeted me this morning.  After spending the night on the couch (voluntarily, I swear) in the comforting spring breeze from the open window, I got up with Sara, made her coffee and began organizing my day.  When Harper finally got up, she was happy, giggling and adorable!

It's easy (easier, anyway) to drop her off at daycare when she's upset, crying, screaming, whining, or asleep.  This morning, however, she was super happy and talkative.  When I picked her out of our bed, she was happy and giddy.  When I changed her diaper and clothes, she was chatty and smiling.  She ate well, burped well and was happy to hang out in the car seat while I got her stuff together for daycare.  She talked to me during the entire drive and scowled at me when I dropped her off.

I didn't want to leave her, but sadly, I have students at school who need me (like a fish needs punch in the face from students in an alternative education setting...)

Mornings like this one make me glad that I get to spend the summer with her.

"When is dad coming home?"

In other news, I'm trying to find, or start, a group of dads who can gather for play dates over the summer.  With all the free time that we're going to have, I'd like to spend as much time outside as possible and start meeting other parents of young kids.

Anyone happen to know any dads of young children in the Greensburg area?
"I want some friends!"

March 12, 2010

Having A Baby Is Like Joining The Navy...

You do it because you want adventure and exciting new experiences, but you end up spending all of your time swabbing the poop deck.  You cannot even imagine the horror I found when I went to change Harper this morning.

As of this past Wednesday, Harper is now 16 weeks old.  There have been remarkable changes and she is growing so quickly and yet still very slowly.  She's responding to stimuli but still not able to sit up, crawl, walk, dance or recite Shakespeare by heart. 

I am constantly baffled by how in love I am with this little girl.  I am much less nervous being alone with her.  She seems to be responding much better to me lately and just entering her line of sight makes her stop crying and start to smile.  I can't think of anything that could warm my heart more than that.

I had a dream two nights ago where Harper was 2.  I came into the room where she was and she jumped up and threw her arms around my neck.  We went for a walk together and, in the style of dreams, she was suddenly slightly taller than I was with long, straight, black hair and a flowing skirt.  We (Sara and I) also had a young son who was about 4 months old. 

Harper had her 4 month appointment this week.  She is currently 12 lbs, 6 oz.  She is a little small in terms of age and length, but she's proportional and within the range where she is supposed to be.  She loves standing up, although she doesn't have the balance to do so on her own.  If you hold her under the arms, or even just by her hands to keep her balanced, she has plenty of strength to do it and she smiles so big when she does.

It is very difficult, however, to catch that smile on film...  When the camera comes out, she looks at it with astonishment and wonder.

What is this thing I'm lookin' at??

I find myself just staring at her pictures throughout the day.  When I have a free moment, I'll open my phone and just flip through them, smiling to myself and wishing desperately that I were home with her.

With the improvement in the weather, she and I have been going for walks.  As of right now, she's not a huge fan of the stroller, but I think it might get better as she starts to sit up more.  Yesterday, I just carried her and we walked down the block.  I told her about the cars and trucks and we said hi to some neighbors.  I am baffled at how well behaved she is and quite thankful.

I'm hoping that she's able to sit up on her own soon because her outfits are super cute and it's difficult to get a good picture when she's scrunched up in a corner.
She moved a bit for this one...

I am still so amazed at how different she looks from just a few months ago.
For some reason, this picture makes me think of Dr. Suess...

I would like to post some more pictures, but the computer where I am sitting right now takes longer to load a picture than (insert analogy for a very long time.)

Am I glad it's Friday?  Yes...



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