I was trying to get Reed upstairs this morning so he could get dressed, and was following him up our steep stairs. He was three (steep) steps in front of me, and quickly turned around and launched himself onto me. Rather than bringing us both down the stairs on my back, I caught him. In the process of this, I wanked my back. My lower back. I thought it was okay, but as the day has progressed, I'm clearly not okay. I'm on the heating pad now with Motrin and Tylenol coursing through my veins, but yeah, this sucks. Of course it happens on the weekend before the Citywide Garage Sale *and* our Kentucky Derby Party. When I had nothing better to do, you know.
A few weeks ago, there was an obituary in the Strib for a this young woman. A couple weeks later, the CribSheets blog posted this letter from Matt, her widowed husband. I've been following his blog since then, and trying to fathom the life that he is now learning to live. Today's article in the Strib was touching, as expected. I really have no other words. His blog is here.
I got an email today from one of our old neighbors, with a link to the new house that they're buying. They are expecting their second child this summer and I'm sure they're feeling the space crunch of their smaller house. Chad bought the house before he met Carrie, so I'm certain that he never thought ahead to a wife and two children. This is the second set of neighbors that I've heard from in the past two weeks with an announcement that they are moving. We all moved in around the same time when it was a very new development, and we were the first to leave. It was sad when we moved, but it seems really sad now to think about the fact that the Original Bonnie Lane Gang is breaking up even more. Criselda and Brian are off to Geneva, Switzerland in about a month, and Chad and Carrie are moving to another house in the same suburb.
Alex and I finally had our anniversary dinner date last night. We went to Broder's Pasta Bar. It was randomly chosen off of Mpls Magazine's Best of list. The food was good, service was very good, but the wait was insane. They don't take reservations, but do take call-aheads. We called about an hour before we planned to arrive, and we still had to wait a good 45 minutes after we arrived. I enjoyed it, no doubt - we seldom get a meal where we're not dealing with Reed - but the wait to be seated offset my enjoyment of our meal. I was hungry when we arrived; starving when we were finally seated. We ordered dessert to take with us, and my chocolate orange tart was to die for. Seriously. The best part of the meal, by far.
And finally, we woke up to three inches of snow yesterday. I didn't take pictures because I can't possibly stand to take any more snow pictures, but yes, three inches of snow on April 26. It was almost gone by late afternoon, but it was still enough to make me want to get back in bed and hide under the covers for the rest of the day.
A couple months ago, I was getting ready to put Reed in the tub when he asked for some bubbles. I poured some of the J&J lavendar baby bath in the tub, and he had a ball playing with the bubbles. After a few minutes, he started doing a Pac-Man motion with his hand, "eating" the bubbles. I asked him what he was doing, and he held his hand up and made it talk, saying "hi Mommy, my name is Hand-Hand." I said hello to HH and went about my business.
Over the next couple days, HH made various appearances. HH never appears as the same hand - Reed alternates between right and left hands. We generally just acknowledge HH's presence and then Reed will go back to whatever he had been doing before. A few weeks ago, I was tucking Reed in bed (in the tent that is set up in his room) when he told me to tell HH goodnight. I did, and magically, his other hand started talking to me. His other hand is Alex. Nevermind that Daddy's Other Name is also Alex. HH's best friend's name is also Alex. Alex (not Daddy) has a really gruff voice, where HH's voice sounds just like Reed's voice.
So Friday, we all took the day off and went to Mpls to run some errands. Before we headed back to Hutch, we stopped at a liquor store that was having a sale. Because Reed had been a terror (short nap, anyone?), I offered to stay in the car with him and save the store from further chaos. We sat and talked, and all of a sudden Reed started grunting. (Important backstory - we have been trying to get Reed to use the potty for a good eight months and he's just not interested, but when he is trying to poop I always offer the potty.) I asked him if he needed to potty, and he said "no, Hand-Hand is pooping."
Me: "does HH want to use the potty or his diaper?" Reed: "HH uses the potty." Me: "What about Alex? Does he need to potty?" Reed: "Yes, Alex needs to poop too." Me: "Does Alex use the potty or his diaper?" Reed: "Alex uses the potty." Me: "If both of them use the potty, can they tell me why Reed won't use the potty?" Reed: "I need a snack. Cookies. I need five cookies. One, two, three, four, five. Five cookies."
And so goes a typical potty-related conversation at our house. New to this one - Alex and Hand-Hand.
Below: Reed, Hand-Hand, and Alex (we haven't quite mastered showing HH and Alex without blocking our face).
I'm in a really weird place right now. I don't know how to explain it, other than it's mostly me and not really anything that anyone else has responsibility for.
I've been dealing with anxiety and depression issues for 15 years. I feel like the anxiety is under control, but I question how well I'm dealing with the depression. The drug advertisements ask a bunch of questions about things like frequent sadness, irritability, low energy, fatigue, and weight changes. Coming off a long winter, it would be hard to find many people in Minnesota who weren't experiencing some of those symptoms, so I don't know how much of what I'm feeling is related to the seasons and how much of it is actually me.
To make matters more complicated, my doctor told me that he would want me to go off my medication if I were to get pregnant. He didn't have my entire medical history in front of him when he said that, so he doesn't know that I was on my medication when I was pregnant with Reed, or that I've tried every drug in the book and this is what works for me right now. I explained my history to him, and he backed off on his statement about going off my medication, but he did go on to say that many babies whose mothers take Effexor during pregnancy go through withdrawls after birth. I told him that I hadn't noticed that with Reed, and he said that he sometimes sees those babies have trouble breastfeeding. Great, just what I needed; more guilt. We had trouble breastfeeding and didn't do it for very long, so all I really needed was someone telling me that it was possibly because of something I was doing. As he saw my face crumble, he went on to say that many mothers have breastfeeding issues and that I shouldn't beat myself up over not breastfeeding and I shouldn't automatically associate my difficulties with my medication. Anyway, as we start to discuss having another baby, those sorts of things trouble me. Reed is happy, healthy, and well-adjusted so formula obviously didn't harm him - no more than his frequent ear infections and subsequent hearing loss did, anyway.
We are planning a Kentucky Derby party to be held on May 3rd. Today is April 17th. Alex has a list of things that he wants to do between now and then (get our patio drawn out, get Reed a swingset and get it put together - since we will have plenty of kiddos at the party...); cleaning the house, and getting some stuff put in storage to free up more space for the party.
That's not even counting my list - which includes cooking club with my girlfriends on Sunday, grocery shopping for said cooking club, and figuring out what I am going to be serving at the Derby party. If I could get some prep work done for the party, that would be awesome. I'd also like to work on some closet organization - putting away winter clothes, getting spring and summer stuff more accessible, packing up Reed's winter 3T clothes and breaking out the 4T stuff (*sob*)...
Not to mention our anniversary, which is this weekend. I don't even know what we're doing to celebrate. It's his year to figure that out, so I'm just worrying about my stuff for now.
What's the traditional gift for the sixth wedding anniversary?
and life is good in Minnesota. When I left work this afternoon, the car's thermometer read 70. My friend Tara told me a while back that nobody appreciates spring more than Minnesotans, and I am beginning to believe her. I have to keep pushing aside the thought that it has been spring in Texas for-freaking-ever.
So after Reed's fun with the "cave" the other night, Alex remembered that we have a tent that we got for him at Ikea last year. It's not very big - maybe 4' square - but it's a tent nonetheless. We set it up in his room, and he made us all get inside (so it's big enough for the three of us, minus my legs which were hanging out the door...). We sat there for a few minutes and talked about the tent, and then he decided that he was going to sleep in it. I was halfway expecting him to change his mind in the middle of the night, but he was either that tired or that determined, because he stayed in it all night. Last night was his second night to sleep in it. He has his pacifier, his elephant, and a few blankets and just settles right down.
I was changing the sheets on our bed last night, and Reed was in our room nosing around in nightstand drawers. In a move to try to distract him and redirect him to something else, I used our quilt to make a tent for him, but he decided it was a cave. He immediately ran to get his flashlight (which always has dead batteries so he took my booklight instead) and called it his "cave."
We crouched down on the floor and shined the light into the cave. He pointed out all kinds of animals. He saw a puma (too much Diego, maybe?), snakes, a bird, a zebra, and a happy monster. It was getting close to bedtime, so he decided that he wanted to sleep in his cave. Alex got his pillow, paci, and elephant and Reed settled down and fell asleep on the floor, in his "cave."
Though I haven't lived in Kentucky for almost twelve years, it's still home. To many people who call Kentucky home (with the exception of my cousin Clay, who is a DUKE fan, of all things. I'm working on disowning him), University of Kentucky basketball is a religion. Royal blue and white are the colors of royalty. It's almost as hot of a topic as this year's Democratic nomination - except instead of Hillary or Obama, you're asked to choose sides between Kentucky and Louisville (that's another entry entirely). If you make the wrong choice (Louisville, in many cases), you're in trouble.
Anyway, for as long as I've been watching UK basketball (and beyond, in fact - for the past 48 years), the equipment manager has been Bill Keightley. He is as much Kentucky basketball as Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino, and Tubby Smith combined. A literal fixture in Kentucky basketball. He has been at 57% of all Kentucky basketball games ever played. I was so sad to learn that Bill passed away suddenly this week. He was 81 years old, going to his annual opening day baseball game in Cincinnati. He fell getting off the bus, and was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that he had a previously undiagnosed tumor on his spine. He died of internal bleeding. Reports say that he was cussing the entire way to the hospital because they were going to miss the first pitch of the game. Players and coaches considered him a close friend and confidant; a father or a grandfather of sorts. Though I haven't lived in Kentucky for so many years, I still find myself on the verge of tears when I think about the fact that Bill won't be on the bench next year.