Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our New Trick

During our last trip, there was a fair amount of in-transit napping. On the second day of the trip, we were on the train, and I knew Elan was exhausted because he had skipped the nap the first day and been up in the night (too interested in what Mikhail and I were doing when we returned back to the hotel room at midnight after my friend's wedding). We brought the carseat onto the train, figuring he doesn't usually do well trying to sleep curled into a ball on a seat (hasn't napped on a plane since infancy). But there was a group of chatty 20-somethings sitting across from us, and you can't exactly ask strangers on a train to please stuff it so your toddler can fall asleep. He was doing his best to ignore them, but it wasn't quite working. So I came up with the (ahem, brilliant!) idea of letting him listen to music on the ipod. We found a suitably soothing tinkly music box rendition of U2 tunes, and he was out in less than 2 minutes.

Needless to say, we used this trick several more times for car trips. Unfortunately, now he thinks he can hijack the earphones while traveling on the plane too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Away Again

This time we are in north-west Washington state, at Mikhail's dad and stepmom's house. They live on a bay, and it's warm and sunny here. A gorgeous location for a relaxing week away. Of course we're traveling with a toddler, preschooler, whatever you want to call him, so it can only get so relaxing. Elan is doing his version of Jekyll and Hyde - alternately being extraordinarily charming and a non-stop tantrum-throwing fussy mess. Oh, travel with a 2.5-year-old is so full of surprises!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Own Personal Louise

Back in June, I wrote about longing for Louise to come save me from the piles of un-done and dis-organized and un-made that seemed to be looming in on me from every angle in our little house. I was experiencing a longing for someone to come help me figure out what to do with all this stuff that we accumulate and then haul around with us. In this case, I'm talking about physical stuff - old bills and bedding, letters and linen - though I'm sure my frustration with the messy build-up in my house is also frustration with the mess and difficulty of my life lately.

I have thought about Louise often since then. She has also come to represent the ability to ask for - and accept - help. I've been lucky in the last months to have a few real-life Louises come and help me. My friend Julie, who called me up shortly after the miscarriage and said, "I have a light week. Can I come and be your Louise?" And then she came and vacuumed my house and folded laundry and returned videos and library books. My parents, whose fun beginning-of-vacation visit turned into trauma-support. My mother-in-law, who made an impromptu visit for two days last week, took Elan to the park more times than I can count (his nursery school was closed for vacation), and helped me reorganize my linen closet. This kind of help is such an amazing gift. It gives me a boost of energy and makes me feel not alone even when the day is difficult. It is the kind of help I imagine people used to engage in more often, when families lived in the same town and communities were more cohesive. It is the kind of help I would like to offer more too.

Louise has also become a metaphor for me, a way to think about a certain kind of energy that I know I have inside but that is sometimes difficult to locate. I love to be organized, and yet I am slow and methodical when it comes to getting organized. I keep things too freely and find culling them difficult. The nice thing about Louise, though, is that I can call on her when I am ready for her (today she came for a few hours and made nice progress on the guest room closet), and when she's not around, I don't beat myself up about that. Louise is out on vacation, I tell myself. I imagine her sipping a mai tai on a Hawaiian beach, and I shut the closet door behind me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sometimes All A Boy Needs

Is his dada and a big old bowl of mac & cheese.

Elan's been a picky eater pretty much since he entered toddler-hood, but about once a day he'll surprise us and tuck into a meal with gusto. It's always a crapshoot what that meal will turn out to be, and many times it's been crackers in the car instead of something at least marginally more nutritious.

Both Mikhail and I seeded our fair share of bad-eater karma when we were little, so it's no surprise that we have to deal with Elan giving it back to us. I famously subsisted mainly on apple juice for some unspecified period of time when I was a toddler (family friends insist I smelled like apples for months). Mikhail required foods to be blended, refused key ingredients, freaked out if items touched other items, and had very specific aversions to texture (Elan especially takes after him in this respect).

Mainly our parents are sympathetic, but occasionally they like to laugh at our plight. 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zero is My Favorite Number

Since my miscarriage, a negative HCG level (signified by a big fat ZERO result from my blood test) is the best news I could hope for. And yesterday I got it.



Aren't I articulate?

Now I wait a month between blood tests, which are to make sure the level stays at zero. There's a lot of different information out there about how long you should wait before trying to conceive again after a partial molar pregnancy. So much different research and so many different conclusions being drawn by different people. My doctor generally favors the six-month wait, and since that's the timeframe I've managed to wrap my head around, that continues to be my working assumption. My doctor has started to show some signs of flexibility with that number, and I'm not sure if I will enquire more about that or leave it be. I know myself well enough to know that, given any tiny kernel of doubt, I will worry needlessly during another pregnancy. And I assume I'll be worrying enough during my next pregnancy without adding in fear of developing cancer to the list. 

I also feel like my recovery, physical and emotional, is taking time, and I want to allow myself to take that time. I want to be pregnant again, but I don't want to rush the processing of this loss, which has been a real loss for me requiring its own grieving process. I'm not going to say more about that right now. I will, at a later date, once I feel my thoughts more formulated and my energy higher (today I am sleepy after a very productive week).

I finish off the week with a picture of my beautiful and intense boy, who will be waking soon from his nap.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Colorado Part II

I am feeling totally uncreative after a very busy & blessedly productive day, but I feel the need to post a few more pictures of Colorado. So bear with me and enjoy the toddler eye candy.

Bubsy happily surprised by the bubbling water-play fountain on Pearl Street in Boulder.

Add a balloon and it gets even better.

Elan is very into older women these days, such as his cousin Molly, who he adored.

Elan and doggie pass out in the backseat.