Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week in Review

This week was especially notable but I did a poor job of capturing it as it was happening. So just pretend this is an issue of Time or Newsweek and we'll look back on all the major stories with a wee bit of commentary. Last Saturday/Sunday--Mother's Day weekend: Austin surprised Mom by showing up here in Seattle during the Mother's Day weekend when she and Cindy came up to visit. It was a fun-filled 2 days that included a BBQ with the delightful Testas & Amy, plus a pre-funk visit with Sumeer. Mother got to drink a lot of wine and we had a raucous evening of celebrity true-stories told by Amy. I also broke out a tin of Cougar Gold. Here's some advice: if the pack date on the can predates Bush taking office, it's probably not good anymore. And it wasn't. After a home-cooked breakfast the next morning by Mom and Cindy (they offered), we made a prerequisite visit to the Farmers Market especially to see the folks of Empire Ice Cream who are back for the season. Catch their Strawberry ice cream later this summer. It rocks.

Looking at earrings for Mother.

Even though I am not officially a momma yet, I received cards and presents(!) for Mother's Day which was an unexpected and wonderful thing. It's still pretty amazing to realize I will be in that category soon. Monday--nursery prep, part one: Austin stayed with us for a few days and helped us transform our fully packed office into an empty room for the nursery conversion. He did some major moving of items, Ethernet and speaker cable rewiring and made a pot of chili that is so spicy that Ken must eat the rest of it by himself. Next week the Wall Doctor comes here to repair the cracks in the lath & plaster walls and to secure a drywall ceiling. We are looking forward to the upgrade and it's amazing how much stuff had to be moved out. But where is the office relocating in our ever shrinking house, you ask? Why, downstairs right outside the guest room, atop the newly cleaned carpets. Which by the way, looked incredible once they were cleaned. I wondered why we hadn't done it sooner since it wasn't that expensive. Tuesday--Flight of the Conchords: Austin's big birthday present from Mom and us this year was tickets to the Flight of the Conchords concert at the Paramount. First let me tell you that Amy sat with him since he got 2 tickets and pairing those two up harkens me back to our wedding day. There could not be two more opposite souls but they are fun to see interact. When first meeting her years ago, Austin suggested that she smelled like cabbage and needed a helmet. How many first impressions get off to that good a start?
The venue took pains to vex the scalpers from the primo seats (first 12 rows). If you were keen enough to get those seats during the internet presale (which I was for both pairs), you could only pick-up the tickets via will call an hour and half prior to the show, your entire group had to be present and once you entered the theater, there was no in/out privileges. So effectively you could not resell your tickets. Quite extreme but it was cool to know that we were sitting amongst fans who were savvy to get tickets and paid the same amount we did for them. It does get a bit crazy to get tickets to shows these days. You either have to jump on internet presales or be a fan and get notices months prior to the show date. Thursday--Kick it: Aside from being the season finale of Grey's Anatomy that was rather shocking and a bit of a tear-jerker, Ken got to feel the baby kick for the first time! As I was waking up, I could feel The Wetus kicking but then I realized I could feel it with my hands so I grabbed his hand and (POW!) there it was. One of our favorite things to do now is play The Wetus some music before we go to bed via Ken's MP3 player and headphones. The Wetus will usually kick at the headphones (where the sound is coming from). Ken endeavors to introduce a range of music, including but not limited to the Bach Cello Suites, Finnish folk songs, Brazilian jazz and Beethoven's Greatest Hits. I guess we'll be reserving Depeche Mode, Radiohead, David Byrne, Genesis and The Killers for after it's born. Friday--Baby 101: Our neighbors, The Stewarts, who had Miss Emmy over 7 weeks ago, were kind enough to help educate us in the ways of real babies. Ken and I have many books on the subject, are signed up for several classes and have watched a few DVDs now. But nothing is quite like having a real live baby with real live situations. Some of the major things we learned about:
  • Elimination Training: getting an infant accustomed to using a toilet. Did you know most of the world's children don't use diapers? It can be done if you can pick up on the baby's cues and start associating a sound with going to the bathroom.
  • White noise: Did you know a hairdryer can double as a white noise generator when baby needs to be soothed? Facing the dryer away, turn it on and set it next to their head for 30 secs or so. Works.
  • Vowel time: This could just be an Emmy thing but she is picking up on vowel sounds. If you catch her in an attentive mood, she will make sounds just like vowels so you just repeat them back to her. She seemed to be repeating them. What is truly amazing is realizing how much they comprehend even at that young an age.
  • Burping: Arms up and place baby's chest sort of over your shoulder whilst patting up and down the back. Gets big burps.
  • Butt Paste: Moisture barrier to avoid diaper rash. Use liberally.
So Friday was our training session. Next time we'll be in-charge but The Stewarts will still be onsite. One thing I have to overcome is that feeling of anxiety when the baby cries and despite what you do, nothing "fixes it." I notice they (and the cats) have a sense of patience and calm even when there is prolonged crying.
We are eternally grateful to have this level of interaction with an infant so close to the arrival of our own. Both of us have commented that the experience and awareness that we're getting will help us feel better prepared and confident. And not to be left out, the Tomassi-Nunnelly family, the Rich family & the Grimsrud family have also been very instructive to us specifically for the amount of time we've spent with those children at various developmental stages.
Quite a whirlwind of a week.

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