Archive for February, 2010
yesterday’s firsts

Holden’s “firsts” from yesterday, February 24, 2010:

  1. First snow day. Defining “snow day” here as “cancel your usual plans! because school is closed!”
  2. First snow creature. During the snow day’s afternoon shift, A. and The Boy made a “Snow Wallaby”.
  3. First complete sentence. You know, a complete sentence—a sentence with a subject and a verb, maybe even a direct object.  In this case, The Boy’s First Complete Sentence was:  ”Owls eat mice.”
Summertime Rolls

Now that we’re all healthy in our house and we’ve had about enough of the winter, I’ve begun to think ahead to the summer and all of the fun it will bring.  I’m trying to get through my arduous teaching assignment this semester by daydreaming about how our little family will occupy itself during those warm, fragrant, summer months.

My wish list for Summer 2010:

1.  A camping trip with H.  We have yet to go camping with him—we had made camping plans on a couple of occasions since he was born, but sickness intervened each time.  This summer will be different, and we WILL go camping with our little guy.  And it’s going to rock!

2.  A trip to the zoo.  The closest zoo (if you don’t count Canada), is in Boston.  We plan on spending a weekend in Boston—eating good food, getting some sunshine, and seeing some “aminals!”

3.  Holden’s 2nd birthday party.  Two years old?!  Already?!  We’re going to have a low-key barbecue at our house.  I can’t believe he is going to be two.

4.  Some light gardening.  Because of our move last year, we didn’t have time to participate in the community garden.  We also moved into our new place too late in the season to get a garden started in our new yard.  This year we would like to have a VERY modest garden…maybe 2 types of vegetables.  We have to trim back some of the tree limbs to get rid of the substantial shade in our yard—but once we do that, we should have a small patch of yard that will be ready for some veggies.

5.  Re-finishing our deck.  This is the only major “chore” I have on my list for the summer.  The deck is in rough shape and needs to be sanded and stained, before all is lost.  It’s probably an entire weekend project, with both Rob and I working on it.  Any volunteers to entertain H while we save our deck from rotting away from the house?:)

6.  Hiking.  We won’t be climbing Camel’s Hump any time soon, but I suspect that Holden might be up for slightly more challenging hikes compared to the ones we tackled last summer.

7.  My 10 year college reunion.  If we can figure out a way to make it down to St. Mary’s for my 10-year college reunion, I will be a very happy camper indeed.  We’d even be able to fit in some family visits while down there.  It would be great.  It would be all the vacation I would need all summer long.

8.  Cookouts, random bonfires, kayaking excursions, yoga, and having a good meal by the lake.  All requirements of any good summer.

9.  Trips to Maine.  A trip to WV to see my folks.

10.  Hopefully, a new job for me.  More on that later.


I was given a drug that disrupted my memory of my former life.  Holden was taken from me and assigned to a surrogate mother.  I had no explicit recollection of Holden, but when I saw him with the surrogate, I found him to be vaguely familiar, and I couldn’t understand why I felt so bothered that he didn’t seem to recognize me.  My curfew (along with others who also belonged to the lower echelon class) was implemented on a random schedule.  Lights would be illuminated, and all lower echelon folks would have to go into hiding.  We couldn’t own any property—we were nomadic, and had to depend on finding a hiding place that would protect us from the authorities just long enough until the curfew was lifted.  It was possible to advance to the higher echelon class, but the requirements for such advancement were never articulated to anyone.  You had to guess which actions  would allow you to successfully advance yourself.  I never knew anyone to be successful, despite the fact that we all tried very hard to escape from the lower echelon.  At some point, I saw Holden again, and began to recover some of my former memories of him.  I was infinitely sad that he didn’t remember who I was.

I woke up from this nightmare, realizing the seriousness of my work situation, and the extent to which it is affecting me.  It is another impetus for change.

Yellow Room

I’m having a spectacularly crappy day (all job and car-related), so I decided to hop on here and post something positive.  I mentioned last month that I had painted Holden’s room his favorite color, “wellwoah.”  I present to you now, the before and after pictures.

Before (this shot was actually taken before we moved in; the room was used as an office by the previous owners.  Note the hideous shelving):

After (Notice that I painted the wooden trim, and removed the aforementioned hideous shelving):

You see that nice white trim at the bottom of the wall?  That trim was the same green color as the walls before I tackled it.  Talk about ugly.  The next project is to paint the hideous wooden doors.  I know, I know—painting wooden doors is practically blasphemy if you’re talking about a much older home that sports actual, attractive woodwork.  But woodwork from the 70s doesn’t exactly fall into the attractive category.  It’s dark and gross and needs to be painted.

When I have time When hell freezes over:)


Holden’s tubes are in.  It was a fast surgery followed by an easy recovery.  About a week prior to his surgery, my own eardrum ruptured AGAIN, and I was back to the doctor.  AGAIN.  They had me stop taking the antibiotic that I was on when the rupture happened, and they started me on something more well-suited for the infection.  I felt better pretty quickly, although I had 4 full days of drainage from that ear.  Ick.  By the time H’s surgery day rolled around, I was on my last day of antibiotics and feeling nearly 100%.  This meant I was able to be there for Holden in every way possible.

Holden had to fast the night before surgery.  We were worried that the morning of his surgery would come and he would be upset at not being able to eat or drink.  We decided that we would distract him from hunger by popping in his little “phonics” video.  He seemed entertained, but after a few minutes, Rob and I looked at each other in horror when we discovered that every single song and rhyme was about food:  there were songs about balanced meals, songs about eating all of your food on your plate, songs about cake.  I thought for sure that Holden would become insistent about eating when the song “Cookies and milk” made its debut.  Lucky for us, Holden didn’t insist on eating, even after watching all of this food-related propaganda.

When we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and were ushered into the pediatric pre-op area, where Holden changed into his cute little hospital outfit:

Let me just say that hospitals have come a LONG way in 25 years in terms of accommodating young children.  They had a little play area set up for the kids.  They also had a staff person whose entire job was to sing to the kids, read to the kids, or otherwise reassure the kids and their parents.  Holden just absolutely loved his pre-op experience.  The best part was when he actually went back to the OR.  Back when I had my tube surgeries (I was about 4 and 5 years old for each), my parents were not allowed to come back with me as I was put under.  I can only imagine how scary that must be for some kids.  Now, they allow one parent to go back with their child.  I was given a suit to wear back to the OR, and Holden was placed in a little red wagon (instead of the traditional and antiseptic hospital bed).  I was able to wheel him back to the OR in the little red wagon as a staff person blew bubbles at him.  Holden was in heaven!  He kept shouting “Bubbles!  Bubbles!” the whole way down the hall.  The hospital staff were cracking up at him.  When we finally got to the OR, our attention was directed to a flat screen television on the wall, on which cartoons were being played.  Holden sat on my lap as he was put under.  He got all goofy, giggly, and smiley (more than usual, that is), and after about a minute we laid him on the table, I gave him a kiss, and I left the room.  Within 2 minutes of getting back to the waiting room to join Rob, the doctor came in and told us he was done.  Wow!  Holden had an infection at the time of the operation (no surprise), so he has to take antibiotic ear drops over the next week.

When Rob and I got back to recovery, Holden was already awake and crying.  He was disoriented and upset, but he gave over it within 20 minutes or so:

Within an hour of his surgery, we were home, we had eaten, and Holden was dancing around the house like nothing had ever happened.  Since his surgery, (only 2 days ago), we’ve noticed some big changes.  He is eating more.  He is talking more.  Both of those may be related to a reduction of pain and pressure around his jaw and neck—so that seemingly routine things like swallowing and manipulating his mouth are probably no longer painful.  Holden is still waking at night, but I do attribute this to the fact that he has an infection that is in the process of clearing.  Overall, he doesn’t seem like a miserable child any more.  He seems like he exhibits the “normal” amount of crankiness and whining that you’d expect from a 19-month old.  But he doesn’t seem sick any more.  And that is just awesome.