July 15, 2010

My Daughter, The Appropriately Named "Lady Not Appearing In This Blog"

My skin is crawling!!

Never have I been so happy to get my daughter out of the house. I wanted this post to be about my first few days as a stay-at-home dad: the trials and tribulations of diaper changes and peeing during nap time.

That will have to wait for another day, sadly. Did I mention that my skin is crawling? Why is my skin crawling, you may ask. Allow me to tell you the tale of two rooms.

The first room, which we will call "The Basement" is a quiet room, below the house. "The Basement" contains the laundry room, the pantry and a family space that is pseudo-finished. Two days ago, I noticed a few flies buzzing around the lights and thought nothing of it. I killed them and went about my happy existence. Yesterday, I noticed that there were...a few more. These few could be seen from the outside of the house as they decided to congregate on the window panes.

By "few" I mean "thousands."

They were not swarming, merely hanging out on the windows, the curtains, the ropes to the lights, etc.

Today, the plan was to spend the morning with my gorgeous daughter, have lunch and then my mother-in-law was going to get her and take her through tomorrow, having a nice sleepover!

As is typical, I get up before my angel and do some things around the house before she wakes and we start our day. Today, I was sitting on the couch finishing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford when I glimpsed movement out of the corner of my eye. This movement appeared to be a flying insect in our front room. I went to investigate.

Thus begins the tale of the second room, the front room. This is a beautiful room, slightly off from the main area of the house, with a tile floor, nice windows and a sunny disposition. I went into the room to see if I could find the fly. As I rounded the corner, slowly and dramatically, I might add, I saw not one flying creature, but many. It was not a fly.

The room contained, what appeared to be, one hundred bees, flying between the windows and the walls. I called my mother-in-law and asked if she would be so kind as to take Harper a little earlier than she planned. Over the next 20 minutes, I called multiple places looking for an exterminator. As a tribute to my mother, as well as all of the other good liberals I know, I called several local places, none of which picked up their phones. My anxiety was mounting.

I eventually called Terminix and they said they would have a guy out between 11-1. I have, by this time, closed Harper's door, starting packing all of her things and by the time she got up, I had her changed and out the door in 5 minutes. In between the time I saw them and the time I got Harper out of the house, a span of maybe 15 minutes, I moved from concern to full blown panic.

I dropped her off at Sara's aunt's house and returned to mine to wait for the exterminator. Luckily, the bees were still contained in the front room, only three having ventured into the rest of the house. I'll spare you the details of the actual extermination. The guy did help me set off bug bombs in the basement, ending the reign of the flies down there. Within 10 minutes, the windows were clear.

Thus, bugs in two rooms are gone, or will be slowly over the next three days, according to the exterminator.

They are not, however, gone from my mind or under my skin. I keep thinking I'm seeing things out of the corners of my eyes.

A year or two ago, we had fleas. It took a day or two of thorough cleaning to get rid of them, but for weeks afterwards, every time a hair moved on my leg, a small itch appeared on my skin, I slapped at it, thinking I was covered in bugs. This is how I feel now.

I'm slightly afraid to take a shower because I'm worried what it will feel like.

Alright, I'm done. Here are some pictures...

July 1, 2010

My Daughter, The Only Child

It has been a VERY long time since my last post and for that, faithful readers, I apologize. This has been a very busy last 4 weeks.

As I'm sure I mentioned before, I've been teaching calculus-based physics at Duquesne University and today in the final, which is why I'm posting this instead of teaching. As of this writing, I have heard no word as to employment in the fall and I'm only just slightly starting to get nervous. There have been very few job postings for math positions in the area, so I'm holding my breath.

My dad came out to visit us for 10 days, which was lots of fun. It's always good to actually see him in person rather than through the computer. Interestingly, I don't think we have any pictures of him and Harper. How did that happen?

Tomorrow starts my tenure as a stay-at-home dad. I am both excited and terrified. Sara does such an amazing job with Harper that I'm not sure if I'll be able to live up to my own expectations. I'm hoping to spend the down time either napping or boxing or doing yard work.

I'm also hoping to set up play-dates for her with some of the other babies that we know. Anyone want to have a play-date? No babies required, lack of van with tinted windows a must.

Harper's top teeth have FINALLY pushed through her gums, which is excellent. She spent the last two weeks with a terrible runny nose and has trouble sleeping. We found Teething Tablets which dissolve in her mouth and they work wonders. We can tell she's starting to get over it because she's been much more friendly and smiley lately.

WARNING: The following paragraphs may not contain coherence or cohesion!

On a much heavier note, I've been thinking a lot about our little family lately. Sara and I have talked about how many kids we want to have, decided that two is a great number. I'm not sure, however, that I'm going to be able to share my love any more than I already am.

I'm constantly surprised at how much I love my daughter. She has become the shining beacon in my life. Her existence has changed me in ways that I can't even begin to understand and I'm not sure I want to. Many people have made the comment that she has brought, and will continue to bring out the best in me. I would say she brings out the best in Sara, but Sara is so amazing to begin with, it's hard to tell.

I find it confusing that some of the times when I love her the most are when we're apart. This morning, I was in my office helping a student before the final and I looked over and the mini shrine that I have to my daughter. I was suddenly filled with such a sense of sadness at how much I missed her. Her smile, which surrounds the coffee mug that Sara bought for me for Father's Day, beams with light and joy that I can't describe.

In these times, when we're apart and I'm talking about her, or looking at her pictures, or writing a blog post that no one care about, I forget about the times that she wakes us up at 3 am (this morning) and doesn't want to go back to sleep, but only wants to crawl around on our bed, head-butting us as many times as she can in a minute. I forget about the depression I feel when I hold her and it's all she can do to crawl over me to reach for Sara. I forget about how frustrated I get when she doesn't want to eat, or sleep, or be held, or be changed, or be played with, but wants to cry about something anyway.

I only think about her smile. I think about how unbearably cute she is. I think about how smooth her skin is and how it feels to give her gentle kisses when she's not paying attention. I think about how she looks when she's pulled herself up onto the sofa or table or chair and looks around in joy to see who was watching her.

I know that you can't run out of love. I know that another child would be loved just as much, although differently, I'm sure. I know another child would be a wonderful adventure of a completely different sort.

I worry that if I gave this amount of love to three people, instead of just two, it might be too much for me and my heart might break.

I do not worry, however, that another child would steal the love and affection from cheesecake. (Cheesecake, if you're reading this, I love you! Call me! We'll do lunch!)

I do get frustrated and angry. Anyone who has ever met me, or even seen a picture of me, knows that I have a short temper. Luckily, there have only been two times when Sara took Harper because I was getting too frustrated and needed a breather. Twice in seven and a half months, I think, is good record.

Also, we still need to turn the attic into a third bedroom and second bathroom.

I wish I knew where/if I was going to be working in the fall...

Now what you really care about: pictures. There is also a great 5 minute video of Harper eating sweet potatoes, but I'm not at home. You can find it on my facebook page, as well as Sara's and my mom's.

I will post it on here when I get home if I remember.

**Post-post edit**

Google Analytics tells me that more than 30% of the people who visit this blog use Internet Explorer. Seriously? People still use that??

Also, we're getting hits from 8 countries on 3 continents, including Thailand (Hi, Jenn! I hope your research is going well!) and Australia (I assume you are friends of Heather. Welcome!)

Google Analytics is awesome!



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