Monday, April 25, 2011

Emmett's First Easter

It's Easter Monday, which is a day off for some people around here (like me) but not others (like Adam). I suspect that the holiday exists so that people have an extra day to get sugar out of their systems. Easter candy is the best holiday candy, in my opinion. I was a bit stumped at first in terms of celebrating Easter with Emmett: it's much too soon to introduce him to candy, and we're not religious. We do love animals, so I bought him yet another bunny book. This one is called My World by Margaret Wise Brown. It's supposedly a companion book to Goodnight Moon. I'd been looking for it in libraries and bookstores for a while and was having trouble finding it. I suspect that it's hard to find because it's kind of dreadful. The writing is pretty clunky. When I first bought it, I was excited to see a daddy bunny and I suppose it's worth having it in the collection so that we can further ponder the little bunny's family situation, but it's definitely not going to be one of our frequently-read bunny books.

We made up for the disappointment of My World by reading various other bunny books, but the thing that really set apart Easter from other days was Emmett's first egg hunt. I had no idea whether an egg hunt would work with him at his age, but he's been pretty good at finding things I don't want him to find so I figured there was a decent chance it would be semi-successful. He actually did pretty great with it. Lately, his favorite "toy" has been a small Tupperware-type container filled with rice (it makes a satisfying sound when shook), so it occurred to me that the eggs would be enticing if they had rice in them, too (plus it got me around the candy thing). He loved shaking the rice filled eggs! He loved somehow getting them open and getting rice everywhere! He loved trying to eat the raw rice before we could get in and clean it up! Still, some eggs stayed closed and he amused himself for a while, looking for eggs, rolling them down the hallway, going after them, and so forth.

We typically go to our friends' house on Easter and hang out during their kids' Easter egg hunt and they invited us over again this year. It was lovely. The kids were eager to show us that the Easter Bunny left bunny paw prints on the table and we speculated how and why the bunny's paws had chocolate syrup on them. It's just part of the territory of his job duties, I guess. The Easter Bunny even left a basket for Emmett at their house, which was very sweet. And useful--one of the large plastic eggs in the basket had a cute/absorbent "Hoppy Easter" bib in it. Seeing that Greta was amused by the hoppy/happy pun, Adam decided to roll out some of his favorite puns and jokes for those present, wiith about a 15% amusement rate. Emmett got to participate in his second egg hunt, where he found one egg and was pretty content to just drool all over it all afternoon. Lucydog had fun running around the yard and stealing frisbees. It was a gorgeous day outside. After a while, Chas put up the hammock and it was cute--every time I sat down in it, Lucy would come running over full speed to jump up and join me in it. Emmett was less enthralled with the hammock but I'm sure that he'll like it more as he gets older.

Holidays are just so much more fun with kids and/or pets.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The taxes are done!

As people scramble to get their taxes done by tomorrow, I am happy to report that I managed to file mine after work this past Tuesday. I normally don't wait until April to file but things like this are hard get done with a baby in the picture, especially since (for space reasons) our filing cabinet is in Emmett's room and it's not advisable to just go in there for another piece of paperwork when he's already asleep.

I am glad that we can e-file. Just this morning I was paying some bills and Emmett found great enjoyment in chewing the envelopes and crinkling the little address window. I hate to think of the damage he might have inflicted on my W-2s.

I ended up doing that final submission of tax forms while breastfeeding, which is a level of multitasking that seems normal-ish to me now but that was unimaginable a year ago. Lately breastfeeding tends to take two forms: sleepy cuddly breastfeeding and contact-sport breastfeeding. I was able to file because it was sleepy cuddly breastfeeding fact, Emmett fell asleep during the process.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It Was Just A Matter of Time

I think I've mentioned that Emmett has developed some excellent crawling skills during the past month. He has started crawling from room to room, and at daycare he sometimes tries to crawl out of the classroom (who's becoming a big kid??).

But yesterday, he did something I knew would happen sooner or later...He crawled from his room into the kitchen, and went straight over to the dog's food and water dishes.
There was no food in the food dish, but he managed to splash some water around before I picked him up and redirected him. Lucy was upstairs when this was going on, luckily.

Stay tuned for "baby's first attempt at eating dog food." I'm so glad that we already spend the extra money for human-grade pet food...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Home Again

I spent two nights away from Emmett this week while I went to an out-of-town training for work. It's funny, on the second night, I went out to dinner with some other women doing the same training and when I mentioned it was my first time being away from my kid, one woman said, "Me too."

"Oh, how old is your kid?" I asked.

"Nine." I don't think I would really want to be someone who'd never been away from her kid until age nine, but in a lot of ways, it did feel like it was too soon to be apart.

I spent a lot of time and effort getting ready for the trip, including advance meal prep. I'd been doing extra pumping whenever possible during the weeks beforehand. While Adam and the day care providers knew I was OK with Emmett having formula during this time apart if need be, I was hoping it wouldn't be necessary. I'm happy to report that it did turn out that we were able to feed Emmett using the freezer stash and our assortment of solid foods. Another woman I met during training told me about the book of instructions she'd left for her husband, but that didn't seem necessary in our case; Adam's already directly experienced with every aspect of baby care other than lactating.

While I was away, pumping was a major hassle. During the daytime, I could only really manage to pump during the hour-long lunch break (and even then, I was rushing back to the hotel and eating fast food in order to get back in time) because the morning and afternoon training sessions only had 15 minutes breaks and it usually takes me at least 20 minutes to do any worthwhile pumping. I started running out of containers to put expressed milk in and ended up using Odwalla drink containers and things like that. For the last day, when we checked out of the hotel in the morning but didn't finish training until noon, I bought a cooler and made my own ice packs out of ziploc bags and hotel ice cubes. (Lesson learned: Always travel with lots of ziploc bags. You never know when you'll need them.)The training was in driving distance, so at least I didn't have to deal with taking the milk on a flight. I have to say that the whole aspect of fitting pumping into the schedule meant that I was distracted and that things felt rushed during the few breaks that we had.

With all of these constraints, there was definitely an aspect of "hoo boy, this all had better be worth it!" And luckily, the training was good in that every session had a good presenter and a lot of useful information. A lot of it involves further reading, which I suppose I'll get to when Emmett starts graduate school or at some point like that. One of the things that's hard is that I felt like I had to go this year since the state budget situation for next year is pretty bleak and the likelihood of going to an expensive training then is unlikely. And hey, it was only two nights away.

It was so strange yesterday when I did my first diaper change after getting back, to realize, "I've gone a whole two days without changing a diaper!" I am slightly surprised at how glad I am to be back to doing mommy stuff. For example, at midnight Lucy woke me up wanting to go out and do her doggy business. She was having some digestion issues and I knew that she really had to go, and while I was also sort of reveling in that "I love being in my own bed" feeling, once I was up and we were out, I thought to myself, "You know, it really is sort of nice to be needed."