Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving thanks ( a little early)

While Elle's napping on this grey, chilly afternoon, I thought I'd pop in and update. Apologies for the lack of regular updates-- it's been an incredibly busy few weeks, with colds, coughs, and developmental changes. Blogging isn't just taking a back seat; it's dragging behind the car hanging onto a rope for dear life.

We have walking (unsteadily), we have even more talking, we have desperately wanting to see what Mama is doing in the kitchen AT ALL TIMES. We have the increased clinginess/neediness/whining that comes with major developmental changes. We also have the amazing leaps in growth and comprehension that make the clinginess/neediness/whining easier to bear-- her receptive language comprehension grows exponentially every day, and her spoken vocabulary continues to develop. Maybe I should say it continues to become more comprehensible? I feel like she's been saying many of these things/phrases forever, but just hasn't been articulating them to the level where I can understand them. Mama is slow sometimes.

Elle is a joy, every day, even when I'm tired and sneezy and wish I could crawl into bed without obligations, like I did before I became a parent.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my amazing daughter. I am thankful my tiny family is healthy, barring colds and sneezy. I am thankful for our friends, who continue to be in my life despite how my life has changed. I'm thankful for my good job and my excellent health insurance. I am thankful for the roof over our heads, the food on our table (even when it gets flung to the floor), and the clothes on our backs. We have been given so many blessings; I don't want to take a single one for granted.

If you celebrate it this week, happy Thanksgiving. If you don't, have a great week.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Danger! Danger!

I'm told that the toddler aversion to trying new foods is actually a protective measure that's built in-- it stops them from eating potentially dangerous/toxic foods. I guess if you're living in a cave, it's good to have instincts that stop you from eating whatever random things you find growing on a bush, hm?

Given that Elle is not exactly finding random food in random places, the look of deep suspicion she gives to new foods I put on her high chair tray makes me laugh. One would think that avocado is made of green toxic alien brains, for instance. She almost took a bite of it tonight, then thought better of it, flung it back on her tray, and rubbed the remaining bits of it all over her face. (This must be how people discovered avocado facial masks! Ha!)

I keep putting new food on there, periodically, with the idea that it will eventually work. It did at lunch today, shockingly-- she willingly ate several slices of mandarin oranges, which has expanded her group of "fruit she'll eat without it being hidden in applesauce" exponentially. I've been putting it in front of her off and on for weeks now; she's eaten a piece or two, here and there. Today was the first time she ate it with purpose and enjoyment.

I'm glad-- she needs all the vitamin C she can get, as do I.


We had our first playdate yesterday at our house-- it was complete and total chaos but fun, and smart to have it the night before we fell back for daylight savings time. Elle was so pooped that she woke up at pretty much her normal time on the clock this morning, though of course it was an hour later than her usual waking. Naps were borked today and she was asleep within minutes of me putting her down-- and I put her down early, which I will probably regret. But baby girl was tired.


In other news, with Halloween over, candy corn will not be easily available in the stores. THANK GOD. I, and my butt, are grateful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So close

I've been reading the Tumblr for the 99%-- I can't possibly keep up with every posting, but I scan them periodically. What strikes me most is that these are (generally) not people living stupid lives; they're people who've done what middle-class people have been doing in this country for generations, and now have no way out, no help, no health insurance. The middle class of our parents' generation is fast becoming a memory.

There are some that hurt more than others to see. There are a good number of veterans on there, barely surviving. There are parents not knowing how they will pay for clothing for their babies. There are parents who eat one meal a day so their kids can eat three. There are people who can't afford medications and/or treatment for conditions that are easily helped with one or both of those things.

It's common for Americans to scoff at people like this. It's their fault. They made bad choices.

I don't think it's that simple any more.

I'm by no means the 1%, but I feel like I was one of the last generations that got to grow up with health insurance (thanks to my father's job), go to college, and have my loans paid off within a (somewhat) reasonable time period of finishing school. I even had much of my grad school paid for by companies I worked for, which is also going the way of the dodo. I bought a home that, while it's not worth nearly what it was, at least isn't underwater; if I had to sell, I'd come out OK.

I am very lucky. I wish other people were so lucky.

I am also acutely conscious of how little it would take to put me in the category of the unemployed, the uninsured, the foreclosed, the repossessed, the terrified over how to make ends meet.

Anyone who thinks they're safe, that somehow it couldn't happen to them-- well, it could. It can.

Unless you're part of the 1%, it could always happen to you. At any time. And as a single parent, this is even scarier than it is for those who have another income (or at least the potential for another income) to rely on.

I look at Elle's curls, at her rosy cheeks, and know I'd do anything for her. So would any parent for their child-- well, almost any parent, I guess. I try to imagine how it would feel not to be able to meet her basic needs. It is an absolutely terrifying thought.

** **

I lost a co-worker (and friend) this week. It was a terrible accident. We'd just talked the evening before it happened, laughing over some silly situation in her office. The next morning, I sent off several e-mails to her, not knowing that she was already gone.

If we're talking about absolutely terrifying thoughts, let me add this to the list: not living long enough to take care of Elle. Not living long enough for her to remember me.

Rest in peace, my friend. Rest in peace. Your daughter is in my prayers.