beled_el_djinn: (Eye2)
My love and I were sitting on our bed with the baby yesterday, just watching him play with the pillows and making sure he didn't dive head first onto the floor, when he took one of the pillows, folded it in half and proudly proclaimed "A book!". Then, opening up his newly made book and he said "The end" and closed it again. The cuteness, it slayed. Upon later reflection, I find myself amazed at the imagination and associative leap that particular moment entailed.

The daily grind of wrangling a toddler sometimes makes it hard to remember that you've got a little person in your care who has their own likes, loves, desires, sense of humor and ideas of how the universe should run. I value the moments like the above not only because of the humor and love they engender in all of us, but because they also remind me to stop and just soak in all the wonder and joy present in every moment I spend with our son.
beled_el_djinn: (Default)





Getting diaper changed and play cloths on   10 minutes
Eating mid-morning yogurt snack and cleanup   15 minutes
Getting into snow suit, boots, hat and mittens   20 minutes
Convincing toddler that his favored stuffed animal won't survive the snow   05 minutes
Getting squirming & crying toddler and sled out the door   02 minutes
Getting no longer squirming & crying toddler into sled   01 minute
Pulling toddler in sled through 2' of snow while breaking trail for what feels like 6 hours   15 minutes
Time it takes for toddler to start crying when he realizes that daddy is 'out of steam'   30 seconds


All I can say is thank all the gods for Veggie Tales because by the time I got us back in the house, I was in no condition to do anything other than hit "play" on the dvd player.

Lessons learned here: Until he is old enough to climb a hill with a sled and then ride it down by himself, sledding is a two adult job. Also, if this is how outdoor excursions are going to be for the conceivable future, then I need to start doing more cardio, because daaaayum.
beled_el_djinn: (Homework)
Today's horoscope:

"Tuesday, Nov 9th, 2010 -- You might want the fun times to last forever, but of course they cannot. However, this doesn't mean that you are headed for troubled waters; it's just that your exuberant energy needs to mellow out. If you consider what you have, though, you'll realize that there are many good things in your life, even if fireworks aren't lighting up the sky. There's no need to wait for something better to happen; share your love with those in your life who deserve it right now."

Rick, you marvelous bastard. Why is it that you manage to hit the nail right on the head whenever I get this way?
beled_el_djinn: (Mindscape)
Years ago, my mother and I were driving home from an appointment. It was December and it had been snowing for several hours and there was about a foot of snow on the ground. We were driving on Rt. 2 and right before we got to the Waltham St. exit, we hit a patch of black ice and spun out. Long story short, we came within a hair's breadth of being in a head-on with a tractor trailer truck. After we realized we weren't actually going to die that night, and we were safely away from further near death experiences, my mom did something which seemed odd to me at the time. She just sat there, with this blank expression on her face. I knew she was just as full of adrenalin as I was at that moment, but she still just sat there and wouldn't speak.

Flash forward to today, this morning, in fact. The baby and I were making our daily trip to daycare and as we were pulling out of our street, I almost t-boned a police car - there was a truck pulled over on the side of the road blocking my view and even though I had carefully checked as best I could and thought that I was clear, it appears that I failed my awareness check. Long story short here too, everyone was okay, the policeman yelled at the truck driver for parking in an absolutely moronic place and then reassured me that he was okay and that I wasn't a) at fault and b) in any trouble. I had pulled over to the side of the road, right after almost hitting the cruiser and after making sure I wasn't going to be ticketed, I just sat there, adrenalin coursing through my veins, and just stared at the baby in the rear view mirror while he contentedly looked at some raindrops on the window next to him. I imagine that if the baby ever remembers this moment, he'll be puzzled over the blank look that I'm sure was on my face.

Through the jumble of my thoughts, the one constant thread was that my son could have been seriously injured somehow and I would have ultimately felt responsible for it since I was driving and in charge of his safety. I once commented to my mom about how odd her reaction was to me on that night, oh so many years ago, especially since it stood in such stark contrast to my need to be moving, to bleed off the excess of the fight or flight response. She had just given me this look which I couldn't begin to fathom until today. I really hate the argument of "you aren't a parent, you wouldn't understand." but I'm finding that sometimes that does happen to be the case. I couldn't understand my mother's reaction until I was in a similar situation.

It's funny to me how being a parent is seems to be this odd learning experience about love, fear, sorrow and patience. Every day brings a new challenge for my love and I, new sets of fond memories and new sets of worries for the future as we realize that our son is growing up faster and faster. Through it all, we're managing not to lose our minds and also finding just how much love you can be filled with, and I think it is that love that causes moments like the one I had this morning. The very thought of that love being altered or absent from my life scared me so deeply that I almost shut down when I had a moment to reflect upon it.

Man, this parenting thing is a scary trip, sometimes.
beled_el_djinn: (Eye2)
It is Fall!

This morning the air finally smelled of fall, instead of just hinting at it.

For the past few days, when we have been heading out to daycare, I've been explaining to the baby how you can tell that the change of the seasons is near - the subtle coolness to the scents, the hints of leaves beginning to die... I don't know as he was paying attention, since there were squirrels and birds to look at, but hopefully some of it sank in. At the very least, he picked up on me being excited today and gave me one of his wonderful smiles while I rambled on to him.

And now that the season has turned, I can finally start working on his Halloween costume! I'm so excited.
beled_el_djinn: (Help!)
Somebody has learned to climb.

Wait, I don't know as I've conveyed the true terror I'm feeling at the moment. Let me try again.

SOMEBODY HAS LEARNED TO CLIMB!!!!!1!!!OMGWTFBBQ!!!

I was minding my own business this morning, taking a quick moment to check my email while the baby contentedly played on the floor with one of his toys. Or so I thought.

One of the warning signs that something you probably don't want happening is going on, is the absence of sound. I don't mean that sound disappears and the only noise you hear is the rushing of blood through your body. No, the absence I'm talking about is more akin to a feeling of anticipation - like the whole world is holding it's breath and watching whatever deviltry your most precious bundle of joy is about to perpetrate. This feeling is almost always coupled with a lack of noise coming from said bundle of joy, as they are so focused, they forget to babble, bang a block on a table, scream in fury as they cat once again moves just our of reach, etc. So yeah, absence of sound.

So there I was, minding my own business, when I realize that I should turn around and attend the boy. Imagine my surprise, when there he is, sitting on the couch just happy as a clam with our PS3 controller in hand. He looked at me, I voiced the obligatory and rather impotent "Hey!" and began to move to his side. I believe he recognized my intent to take away his hard won treasure because he immediately abandoned the PS3 controller, dove on the DVD remote and started pushing ever button under the sun, trying to either overload the DVD player and cause it to explode, or maybe just make it play Baby Mozart. It was really hard to say.

After the mandatory showing of his War Face and protestations of the fascist regime headed by mommy and daddy, we went back to our regularly scheduled day. Well, to be honest, only he did. Now my brain is constantly on the lookout for him trying to climb the curtains or the book cases, or maybe just levitating up to the ceiling using only the power of his evil genius brain. Our world will never be the same.
beled_el_djinn: (Eye2)
A man once said that "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you can get what you need". In light of the past week I'd have to say that truer words were never spoken, although I am at a loss as to why I needed a tornado and obliterated break hose.

The Walkabout Experiment went pretty well (for those of you who didn't know, I was off wandering the wilds of Western NY all last week). I'm still processing a lot of what I experienced, but I can definitely say that I am much better for having taken the trek. Still, it is wonderful to be home now. Although I miss the relaxed atmosphere and all the new people I met, I was seriously missing my love and the baby. I managed to miss his first word and steps, which was sad, but the look on his face this morning when I went in to wake him up erased most of that in an instant.

Now I just need to catch up on all the sleep I didn't get and let the bruises on the soles of my feet heal, and I'll be all happy. Speaking of sleep...
beled_el_djinn: (Mindscape)
So my brother was hit by a car last night while riding to catch a train.

From what I understand, his bike was totaled, but he is mostly fine (ie: mild concussion, some bruising and scrapes but no broken bones or fuxxored organs). I'm just ...I don't know. He has been really lucky to have been a bike courier this long and not come away with lasting damage to his body. When I think about all his friends who have been hit, door prized, run off the road, tackled off their bikes, it just makes me wonder when it will be his 'turn' as it were.

I really hope that this will be the incident which convinces him to hang up his courier bag, as I'd really like my son to have a cool uncle who will teach him all sorts of weird shit when he is older.
beled_el_djinn: (Default)
One of the downsides to daycare? Not being able to go and hug your child whenever you want to without first having to drive to get there.
beled_el_djinn: (Ookla)
I think I'm going to need to pick up an acrylic juggling sphere. I just spent a good 20 minutes entertaining the baby with my rusty contact juggling skills, and while it was really awesome to see how pleased he was by this, I was so nervous that I'd bash him in the head with the solid metal sphere I use. There were a few close calls when he actively grabbed my arm or hand, but I managed to maintain control of the sphere, so yay. But yeah, the acrylic balls may be just as head bashy, but I feel that something lighter than what I use now will make things feel much less perilous to me, anyway.

I should also look into getting smaller sized spheres for the little guy as the idea of teaching him how to contact juggle when he is a bit older is just too tempting.
beled_el_djinn: (Content)
This morning marked the baby's first honest-to-goodness thunder storm. While I wasn't all that happy to be up at 3am, I loved that I was able to hold him in my arms and just sit and listen to the thunder and watch the lightning with him until he drifted back off to sleep.

The whole experience actually reminded me of a time in high school, when I was over a friend's house studying for a physics exam. We were sitting on their enclosed porch, having just finished our studying, and were talking about whatever seemed important to us back then. I think we both noticed the lightning flash together and shared a look - while she went to turn off the lights, I dragged to lounge chairs next to each other, and we just sat and watched the lightning and listened to the thunder and the rain. It was such a wonderfully peaceful moment in time - even though it was late on a school night and we had a test the next morning at 7:30 am, we stayed up stupid late (and I believe we both fell asleep for a bit) and just experienced the world.

I'm perpetually amazed at how I experience the world anew whenever I'm spending time with the baby. His voyage of discovery brings back a joy of looking at the world I seemed to have forgotten.
beled_el_djinn: (Default)
For those who celebrate, I wish you a very happy Beltane. To the rest of y'all, happy May Day.

For the record, lemon-honey spritzers are both ridiculously tasty and deceptively deadly. Also, in a fight, Grand Marnier would totally beat the ass of Tripple-sec. I'm just sayin'.
beled_el_djinn: (Eye1)
A little less than 28 years ago, my father took me to see The Dark Crystal in the theater. I'm fairly certain this is the only time I ever went to a movie with just him, and it is one of my happiest memories of him - the wonder and magic which the film inspires in me seems inextricably tied to the memory of him.

Over the years since I've gotten into the habit of watching The Dark Crystal once a year or so, to revisit the memories and enjoy one of my favorite films. This year, it would seem that Cambridge's own, The Brattle Theater, decided to smile upon my little tradition as they put it up on the big screen. So last night, I and my co-conspirator wended our way to Harvard Square and caught the double header of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. There, amid the sea of people who giggled every time the Chamberlain whimpered, for 93 minutes I was transported to another world, another time, when I was a little boy sitting in a darkened room and seeing for the first time the most wondrous puppet show ever conceived of.
beled_el_djinn: (Content)
Feeling a bunch better compared to last week's emotional roller coaster, so yay. Still sort of feeling squirrely, but I've got a plan for that and I think I realized the root of the problem, so I can take steps to deal.

All that said, this isn't the reason for me posting.

Today, for the first time ever, the baby clapped his hands and actually made a tiny clapping sound. He's been making the motion for the past two days now, but without sound. It was so cute and I wish I could have captured it on video, since when he realized that I was excited, he face lit up in a beautiful smile and he redoubled his clapping efforts. I just about died from being pwnd by the cuteness.

One of the most wonderful things about being a parent is that no matter how down or tired or at the end of my rope I feel, he has the power to just made that not matter with a smile or little antic.
beled_el_djinn: (Eye2)
Had a mostly 'down' weekend and it took me a bit to figure out the why, considering the 'up' the week started on. Due to this, I didn't manage to accomplish anything I had set out to do, which makes me sad, as I really need to get the taxes done and it really would be nice if I could get the yard work done before the evil vine starts it's bid for domination again.

I ended up resorting to something resembling a metaphysical hard reset on my mental server and that seems to have mitigated the issue, so maybe I'll be able to get taxes done this week by working on them every night after the baby goes to bed. Whee!

I swear, I know I wasn't ever this busy before he was born, and really, I'm still not stupidly busy, so much as feeling the constraints of rationing my free time. Still, I miss being able to just randomly poke at things what need poking at and not have to worry about keeping an eye on "Mr. I'm'a gunna put that sharp/choking hazard/poisonous/generally inimical to life/dangerous thing in my mouth" too.

I'm out.
beled_el_djinn: (Homework)
A conversation the other day served to illustrate just how far I have come from the angry 23 year old who didn't care enough about anyone to even think about the social ramifications of his actions. I still feel like I have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but it is nice to see evidence of progress.

Said conversation also served to remind me of how difficult it must have been to deal with me back then. [livejournal.com profile] brunahildm, although I've said this before, if you happen to see this, I'm sorry.
beled_el_djinn: (Happy)
I just put the baby down for a nap in his swingy thing (he only naps for me either in my arms or in the swingy thing. why oh why won't he ever nap in his crib for me?!?) and covered him with a light blanket so his feet wouldn't get cold. Still asleep, he kept peddling his feet until one was out from underneath the blanket, at which point he settled right down. Somebody is totally his mother's son.

In other news, I need to go through my fabric remnants and see if I have anything fit to make a tunic for the wee one. I figure if mommy and daddy are getting dressed up to go to Birka, then there is no reason he shouldn't be as well. Of course he'll totally out grow the thing in two days, but I'm so unreasonably excited to make garb for him that I just don't care.
beled_el_djinn: (Mindscape)
Friday marked 13 years. Funny that I remembered on Thursday and then again on Monday, but between then it seems that I couldn't spare him a thought.

Yesterday, however, I found myself wondering what dad would say if he met the baby and also what the baby would think of him. I couldn't imagine how dad could have held my brother in his arms and not felt the same love I feel for my child, and yet I have 23 years worth of memories that tell me it was highly unlikely that he ever did. And where do I fit in all of that? Did he ever hold me in his arms and just lose himself in the love I'd like to think poured out of me? I'd like to think he did, but I'm perhaps a bit too cynical/realistic to blindly accept that he did.

I'm still struggling with what I'll tell my child about dad - I don't really want to pad the reality of life under his rule, but I guess I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with why I still have love in my heart for someone who could be such a douchebag on so many levels. I suppose I could just argue Stockholm Syndrome and have done, but that would be lame and also miss the point in many, many ways.

I guess, as always, my relationship with dad is a work in progress and likely it will be one that never ends. I had thought that I was over this, that I no longer needed to keep looking at the bits of puzzle that made up our life together, but my need to do better for my child (and also not become my father) keeps urging me on.
beled_el_djinn: (Homework)
The one downside to putting in all this work from home is that I'm having a hard time with the work/not work divide. Throughout the day, I'll have to see to the baby, thus eating into my work time, which I then feel I need to make up. Couple that with needing to make lunch and dinner and even though I'm typically only working 8 hours, 12-13 hours have passed. The easy solution, I suppose, would be to just stop giving a shit about the work, but among my many faults, a lack of work ethic does not seem to be among them.

I think going forward, I'm going to have to set up some realistic work/life boundaries, and really just identifying and articulating this need has done a lot to alleviate the feelings I've been having recently. But yay for boundaries.

In other news, I now have a practice deadbolt. Hooray for pastimes that aren't technically illegal!

That is all citizens.
beled_el_djinn: (Homework)
It would appear that one of my very distant relations is the only person to ever successfully assassinate a British Prime Minister.

Weird, yet kind of cool.

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