Sunday, October 31, 2010

And that's how I broke his heart...

New words for the week: Church (turch) and Nursery (nursy).

Gunner has been asking all week long to go to church. Seriously, all week long! I didn't know that he knew or cared that we go to church, other than that it's the place we try to make him sit still and be quiet! He even asked to take one of his friends to church.

As it was Sunday today, we went to church. We planned to only stay for Sacrament meeting because Gunner has a cold and we couldn't send him to nursery. I was actually happy because that meant that he would get a Sunday nap, which hasn't happened for months. So we headed for home.

And when he realized we were walking out of the building, and not into the nursery room, the tears began. I can pinpoint the exact moment when his heart tore in two. (Anyone remember that episode of the Simpsons when Lisa breaks poor Ralph Wiggum's heart? It was like that.)

All the way home, I got this, between the tears:
G: "Nursy, please, Mommy!"




He didn't stop until he had cried himself to sleep in the car.

I didn't realize that it meant that much to him. You can bet that he will be asking me about church all week. You can also bet that as long as he's healthy, we're taking him to nursery next week.

In other news, Spiff's residency interview season has started. He traveled to an interview over the weekend. While he was gone, I hung the plastic on our two living room windows. I will happily accept the Best Wife Award for the month of October. Thank You.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nervous Confession

I know a whole lot of pregnant women these days. A whole lot! It's that time of life for us, and most of our friends are having babies and expanding their families. If someone isn't pregnant, it's probably because they just had a baby, or are somehow in that wonderful in-between stage when your baby is still a baby and you haven't yet thought about the next one. I just spent a few minutes looking at blogs of some friends who are in the just-had-their-baby category. I love their birth stories and pictures of their sqwudgy little newborns, but reading their stories had an unexpected effect on me.

In short, it made me nervous.

Don't get me wrong. I'm already nervous out of my mind about having another baby. How will we make it through labor & delivery again? How will I handle having two small children? How will I survive the newborn stage? How will Gunner handle things? Etc. The nerves are in no way a new thing.

What I didn't expect was realizing with intense sadness that I am coming up short of my alone time with Gunner.

I remember visiting a friend in the hospital 18 months ago to meet her second child. Things went great for them, and their new little boy was a dream! I asked her the details of their hospital stay, and she replied that she was hoping to go home sooner rather than later. She stated, "My girl is there."

I remember being sort of shocked by this opinion because of my own experience being at the hospital with newborn Gunner. I didn't want to take him home. I liked being at the hospital. I liked the food. I liked the nurses. I liked being able to send Gunner away to the nursery, get some sleep, and see him again with a diaper that had been magically replaced for me! Home meant that we had to care for this foreign little demander all on our own, and I had no idea what to do with him!

I think I understand what she meant now. While I read my friends' experiences, I imagined our upcoming stay at the hospital, with Spiff going back and forth from hospital with me to home with Gunner, leaving me to get acquainted with our new little boy. I feel a bit jealous of him. I'm feeling that I would rather go home to the little boy we have had two years to know and love, than stay at the hospital by myself taking care of a stranger and missing my sweet toddler.

I'm also imagining baby #2 reading this post someday and thinking I'm a horrible mother who didn't want or love him. That's not the case. Of course I want this child, and I imagine that I will love him and Gunner equally. All I'm saying is that I have loved having my one baby. I have loved giving Gunner my undivided love and attention. I will miss that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The windows.

"Honey, I think it's time that we put up the plastic," Mr Thrimbly's wife exclaimed chipperly one clear October morning. Gerald Thrimbly thought himself a rather stolid and unflappable chap, not given to easy starts or fear of any kind. Yet his wife's bright announcement sent his heart sinking and the erstwhile cheerful Saturday had suddenly taken on a gloomy timbre, a funerary pall now hanging in the air. Gerald dreaded the annual autumnal ritual placement of plastic over his windows. Secretly he hoped that his wife wouldn't think it necessary, that the baggy sheets of clear cellophane loosely festooning their living room would somehow suffice to keep winter breezes at bay. Realizing that his wife was still awaiting a reply, he answered "Isn't it a bit early?""No," came the stern reply. Gerald's heart sank even further, knowing his one stalling tactic had failed him again.

With dread-laden steps he trudged to the basement. The chipped plaster in the stairwell looked to him as the dank walls of the Bastille, closing in on the foppish French aristocrat. Soon, the tumbril would take him back to his cackling Madame Defarge with her maniacal fascination with weatherproofing. Mentally crossing his fingers, he hoped that the basket with sheets of plastic would somehow be empty, that he could forestall the dreaded operation by making a trip to Home Depot, which might take place some indeterminate day in the future. Sadly, the basket was full, boxes of unopened plastic from the last winter leered at him, mocking his fear. "It's not so bad", they seemed to say, "all your friends are able to hang plastic without the final product looking like a blind chimp placed it". Gerald knew the lie, and had once told himself the same thing. Now, after several years in his centenarian house, he knew the sheets of clear plastic were deceitful. Not only would the final product look like some grotesque parody of a window, but that he would be confronted with his own inadequacy every day he spent in his own home. There could be only two solutions. Either Gerald could hang the plastic and stare his incompetency and incoordination in the face for six months, or he could kill himself. Death seemed a welcome alternative to the incessant barrage of mockery, lies, and poor craftsmanship.

Knowing that flight through the locked basement door was impossible, and realizing that his 2 year old son needed some kind of father figure, but fearing that his son's affection would forever be tainted by disdain for his father's poor handyman abilities, Gerald Thrimbly decided suicide was out of the question, and shambled back up the basement stairs. "Honey, we need to hang the plastic before it gets too cold for the tape to stick", said Mrs. Thrimbly brightly. She too knew of the duplicity of the plastic, but was somehow inured to its lies. Gerald masked his dread and presented his wife with a basket of plastic, like some trembling Aztec priest offering the sacrificial knife to a homicidal shaman. Suddenly, Buddy ran in, distracting Mrs. Thrimbly. Quickly Gerald put on his shoes and said "Let's go, we need to get to the store" He knew that if he could get the family moving, his sentence would be commuted, and that perhaps in the interval, some miracle would intervene on his behalf. Vaguely, he thought hopefully of flames licking the side of the building or a smoking pile of rubble greeting the family on their return from the store. Calmly, he walked out of the house, leading his family, his aplomb and nerve restored. No coward he, he thought bravely of himself.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gunner's 2nd Birthday

Our little boy is two! I can't quite believe it! We celebrated by doing things he likes to do. We took him to the zoo, where we rode the carousel, visited penguins, the red rock animals, and the bird house. We got splashed with penguin water (gross!), he said Hello to an owl, chased peacocks, and bounced like a kangaroo. Then we had two of his favorite little friends over for dinner and birthday cake.

Some funny things about our little two-year-old boy that I want to remember:
All musical instruments are "tubas," including all brass instruments, drums, a piece of rubber inner tubing Spiff pulled out of his bike toolbox, and his new kazoo that he got for his birthday. Exceptions to this title are violins and guitars, which are "la la's," and the piano, which has no name.

All tools are "hammers," including tape measures, screwdrivers, bike pumps, and my iron.

He has picked up new names for me. From the other room, I have heard him calling me "Honey" (which is what I call him sometimes), "Hottie" (which is what I call Spiff), and "Mindy."

He is ecstatic about his new Richard Scarry books he got from his Grammy for his birthday. He searches for Goldbug and squeals when he finds him, and he walks around the house saying, "Go Go Dinno!" (Dingo is the bad driver character who is running away from Officer Flossy, who is trying to give him a ticket.)

He received some new matchbox cars from his auntie and uncle, and he has already named one of them his "Noon Car." I have no idea what he means by that, but at least I know which car he is referring to.

He is also ecstatic about receiving a new Lightning Mcqueen car from his other Grandma. Now he has his beloved Blue Car, and his new beloved Red Car.

He is such a talkative little guy, and I love hearing what's on his mind. I also love hearing his speech develop. Just the other day, he started putting the final syllable on his words. Instead of "Duh" for Duck, he says, "Dut." Dump Truck used to be "Dump Fwuh" and is now "Dump Fwut." Garbage/Cement Trucks are now "Dahder Fwut." He also answers questions with a crystal clear "Yes" or "Nope," emphasis on a listpy little "s" and the "p". Love it!

He is generally fairly polite, asking for things by saying please (mlee?!) and Thank You (Day dyou).

"Blue" has become a term of endearment for him. He has his beloved Blue Shoes, Blue Car, and "Blue Blank", which refers to two different items, neither of which are blue. One is a baby quilt he got from his Grammy before he was born. It is orange and brown with monkeys on it, and quite gorgeous. Gunner found it one day and decided that the border is a great place to drive his cars around. The other is his Gunnerville. He sits on the with "Blue Blank" on his lap, driving his cars around for hours. And he insists on going to bed with one or the other of these Blue Blanks and falls asleep playing with his cars.

Whenever Spiff gets home from work, Gunner asks to "Mar Daddy." Spiff turns on a playlist of "The Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg, "The Ride of the Valkeries" by Wagner, "The Imperial March" from Star Wars, and the "Indiana Jones Theme." Then the two of them march around the living room, getting faster and faster as the music gets louder and faster.
Spiff has also taught Gunner to hold his hand to his ear when the music is soft and whisper as they listen to hear it. It is a Daddy/Son game, and he loves it!

So Happy Birthday, Gunner! We love you more and more every day!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Grab Bag

Here's the stuff that's been on my mind recently:

Things I learn from patients:

If you have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, don't leave the outside hospital against medical advice. You will come to my hospital obtunded with minimal brainstem activity.

Don't inject "shake and bake" homemade meth synthetic product into your arm, it will give you cellulitis.

A dead liver cannot be fixed by changing ventilator settings.

Things I learn in General Conference

The word "even" can be used as punctuation, in lieu of a comma. Consider the following example:
"We are thankful for the prophet, even Thomas S. Monson, who leads us...."

Alternatively: "We are thankful for the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, who leads us.." This is another instance of why we need Victor Borge's phonetic punctuation.

"Indeed" is three words. "Indeed" becomes "in very deed". Indeed is not the same as "in deed". Indeed is an adverb, expressing incredulity, or to reinforce the credulity of a statement previously asserted. Etymologically, I believe this tendency to embellish words stems from the King James version of the Bible, as seen in very deed in Exodus 9:16, 1 Sam 25:34 and other places. From a literary perspective I think it's fine, but in oral speech it is somewhat stilted and contrived.