20 February 2013

Where we are now

Hi. I have been here all along, although the blog languishes in silence. The longer I wait to post, the less likely I am to post, because I want to catch up on everything, five months' worth of everything.

So this is a warm-up, a little post meant to get my toes wet. I want to make myself just dump out a few thoughts and not worry if they don't cohere or if I leave things out.

Eloi is eight months and a half. He's gigantic, wearing the clothes that Gabriel wore when he was a year plus and walking around (and I thought Gabriel was a big baby!). Eloi doesn't even crawl yet, a fact for which I am grateful, because I know as soon as he does it will be insanity around here. For now he rolls around quite efficiently and has started to scoot. He is only *meh* about solid foods and has only just acquiesced to drinking from a bottle (of pumped milk) at daycare (after months of trying; he started in December). He has the widest toothy smile (seven teeth! he got his first two at four months) and when not hungry or tired is consistently a happy-go-lucky baby, content to hang out wherever I plop him down. I was thinking about Eloi's birth yesterday as I walked past the hospital, and realized I never wrote it down. As each month slides by, it will be harder to remember, so I want to do that soon.

And Gabriel turned THREE last weekend, which is mind-blowing in itself. He is cheerful and funny, and likes building elaborate castles and animals with his blocks or legos. "Look mom, it's a giraffe!" His toast is a crocodile, his blanket is a cape, the pillow is a hat, a tree, a mushroom. "I a tiger," he says, but he pronounces it "tijher," I guess because of Dutch. He often says, "I too!"--he wants to be sure he's included. He got close to tears the other day because he was asking for a vitamin and I thought he was asking for a "fireman," and couldn't figure it out. Those are the hard tears, the frustrated ones, the "I'm trying to tell you something but you don't understand me or I can't explain it" tears. He is starting to notice the difference between "boys and grills" (which reminded us of our nephew calling them "girdles"). He likes to cook with me and pretend cook with his toys, and asks to watch "recipes" and "toff chef" on the internet. I could go on and on. He's his own little person, this astounding three-year-old, this sweet kid of ours.

January was frigid and yucky, sleety and damp, and we were sick with endless maladies of the kind that one gets in January when one child attends daycare and the other preschool. But so far, we've had a more mild February, and the sun has even peeked out in the last few days. We had M's family in town to celebrate Gabriel's birthday, and M and I actually got to go out for two meals AND a movie on our own during that time.

I am more active with the university now, and find myself a coordinator for an upcoming conference. After Christmas I attended the big disciplinary conference in Boston, which was awesome not least because I got to see good friends. I had a job interview in January, which did not result in a job, but which was an exciting development nonetheless. (The less exciting part was when our internet went completely dead the DAY before the skype interview and would not come back on. I scrambled to set up at a friend's house and the internet came back with only hours to spare.)

My mom was completely cleared after her long journey of cancer treatments, as they found no evidence of the tumor just before Thanksgiving. But after a truly wonderful Christmas celebration all together in Maine, she got the flu, then pneumonia, then a scary loss of weight/strength and then cognition that landed her in the hospital for a week in January. The docs still don't know exactly why that happened, but it was probably the weakness combined with the previous brain radiation. SO, so scary. We were the ones who brought the flu with us at Christmas, I think--Eloi was sick, then me, then Gabriel with a VERY high fever that lingered for a week and required an ER visit, the first time we'd ever had to bring him.

(This account skips entirely the whole month we spent in Maine back in late September and October, stays in Boston and a trip to Madison, the birth of a new baby niece--the first girl cousin!--and then a trip to Barcelona for the last week of October. You can understand why we opted to not take a scheduled trip to Barcelona last week...after a crazy fall and holiday season we just couldn't handle another round of travel and jet lag and whacked schedules.)

At this particular moment in time, we are all healthy, the sun is out, the baby wants milk, and I have work to do. But there! I have wetted my toes.